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Providing for Consideration of the Senate Amendment to H.J. Res. 59, Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2014, and Providing for Consideration of H.R. 3210, Pay Our Military Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Ms. JACKSON LEE. Mr. Speaker, many of us promised our constituents that we would come back here to Washington and fight for them. I imagine that there are some families in America right now holding an 8-year-old or a 10-year-old, maybe a teenager, with a preexisting disease. Maybe like the little girl that I heard about when we were debating the Affordable Care Act that had leukemia, and time after time after time she was rejected by insurance companies until she died.

And so I asked the question earlier tonight: What is the morally right thing to do? And I want to announce what is going to happen tonight.

Let us be very clear. Let us not be full of smoke and mirrors. Tonight, the Republican majority will vote to shut the government down. I'll say it again: they will vote to shut the government down. They will look that family in the eye, and they will say that they are delaying the Affordable Care Act--long approved. But they are actually destroying it and eliminating it. A delay is eliminating it.

They will stop the American people on October 1 from getting premiums between $100 and $130. They will stop seniors from being able to have help with their prescription part D, their prescription drugs, choosing dog food over their prescription. They will stop preventative care. They will stop research for cancer and leukemia and heart disease and stroke. They will stop the preventative care nonpayments. And they will also stop those young families from being able to have insurance.

Remember what I said: What is the morally right thing to do? Is it morally right to be able to provide for the American people health care that they've never had? Is it the morally right thing to shut down the government so that seniors trying to get Medicare benefits will not have anybody to process them, or Social Security, or the disabled, or downpayment for homes for young families?

I came here to stand for the American people. Tonight you will witness the shutdown of the government. That is what the vote will be, a shutdown of this government.


Ms. JACKSON LEE. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to the rule and the underlying resolution.

I oppose this rule because it conditions the funding needed to avoid a government shutdown on a one-year delay in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act and a repeal of the excise tax on certain medical device that helps defray the cost of the affordable, quality healthcare made available for the first time to millions of Americans by the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

I oppose this rule because the two amendments it makes in order to the ``clean'' continuing resolution passed yesterday by the Senate will, if approved, result in a shutdown of the government.

Both President Obama and Senate Majority Leader Reid have it crystal clear that they will not accept any continuing resolution containing any provision to delay, defund, or weaken the Affordable Care Act.

The Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, was passed by both houses of Congress and signed into law by the President three years ago. It has been upheld by the Supreme Court. It is here to stay.

Mr. Speaker, you would think our friends across the aisle would have gotten this message by now because they have tried to repeal or undermine the Affordable Care Act more than 40 times without success.

As former President Clinton would say: ``Here's another Obamacare score for you: `Obamacare--42, House Republicans--zero'.''

Since it is clear that anti-Obamacare amendments made in order by this rule are not going to become law, the only purpose to be served by this latest kamikaze mission by our friends across the aisle is to shut down the government and harm the economic recovery and disrupt the lives of millions of Americans who provide and depend upon the services provide by the federal government.

Mr. Speaker, it is well and good that House majority has finally realized the importance of ensuring that our troops are paid so they can provide for their families.

However, this piecemeal approach of singling out worthy beneficiaries on an ad hoc basis is inadequate as it denies many other critical services that Americans depend so heavily on.

That is why it is grossly irresponsible for House Republicans to be wasting time on a resolution like the one before us that will lead to a government shutdown.

Mr. Speaker, we need to pass the clean CR approved by the Senate so we can keep our promises to our veterans, as well as the doctors, nurses, and hospital workers who take care of our wounded and healthy warriors.

We need to pass the clean CR approved by the Senate so we can fund our engineers and technicians who maintain all of our critical military equipment to keep our troops safe and take care of national security infrastructure.

We need to pass the clean CR approved by the Senate so we can fund our IT security folks who protect us from cyber-attacks, and our astronauts who risk their lives to push the technical boundaries of knowledge for all mankind.

These exceptional Americans, and the people who depend on them and benefit from their work, do not deserve to be locked out of their workplaces on Tuesday.

These exceptional Americans deserve a Congress that does its job and keeps America open for business.

Mr. Speaker, make no mistake about it, given the lateness of the hour and the irresponsibility of the House majority in wasting time trying to defund or impede the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, any vote other than one to concur in the clean continuing resolution passed yesterday by the Senate is a vote to shut down the government.

For these reasons and more, I oppose this rule and the underlying amendments it makes in order and urge my colleagues to join me in urging the passage of H.J. Res. 59 as amended by the Senate so that Americans can rest assured that their government will be open for business and to serve them on Tuesday morning.


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