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Providing for Consideration of H.J. Res. 59, Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2014

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


(Mr. ANDREWS asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

Mr. ANDREWS. Mr. Speaker, I have not had Bob Woodward in my office, but I have had in my office a guy who remodels kitchens for a living. He told me that, even though the economy has picked up a little bit, it's still not as good as it needs to be, and his concern is the one that I bring to the floor here today.

I believe that the majority is putting the country on the perilous path to a government shutdown with this vote, and the government shutdown is bad enough. It's bad enough that, on October 1, I think it's now likely that the people who inspect our food, that the people who now help pursue criminals at the FBI and that the people who run our National Guard Armories won't be showing up for work because of the government shutdown. That's bad enough. The problem here is not just a government shutdown--it's a shutdown of the economy. That's what this causes.

The way the American economy works is, when a person at the USDA or the FBI gets a paycheck, he goes out and he has his kitchen remodeled. The kitchen remodeler is then more likely to buy a house, so the real estate broker is more likely to earn a commission. Then she is more likely to buy a car, so the car salesman is more likely to earn his commission, and he's more likely to go buy a refrigerator. The person running the appliance store is more likely to hire more people at the store, and more truck drivers have work in delivering the appliances. On it goes or on it doesn't go.

When the sequester was locked in, economists in this country predicted that a third of the projected economic growth wouldn't happen. They were right. When the latest growth figures came out, instead of growing at about 2.5 percent, the economy grew at 1.7. It's not a mystery as to why. The problem here is not simply the government shutdown--it's the shutdown of the economy that this represents. This bill will probably pass the House. It will not pass the Senate. It represents an obsession with the health care law rather than good faith negotiation.

We should begin those good faith negotiations right now. We should have on the floor right now a proposal that Mr. Van Hollen has made for a very long time that says: let's get rid of the sequester for a period of time; let's not lay off the person at the National Guard Armory or the FBI or the USDA; and let's replace the spending cuts with a fair and honest set of proposals that would include things like taking tax breaks away from oil companies that are making billions of dollars a year.

We are not getting a chance to vote on that today or tomorrow, and I suspect I know the reason why--because it would pass. It would keep the government running. It would further reduce the deficit. It would put more Americans back to work--but it doesn't fit the political script of the majority.

Vote ``no'' on the rule and ``no'' on the bill.


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