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Waving Requirement of Clause 6(a) of Rule XIII With Respect to Consideration of Certain Resolutions

Location: Washington, DC



Mr. KIND. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding me this time.

Mr. Speaker, I do rise in opposition to this martial law rule, and I would encourage my colleagues to vote against it because this budget resolution is a travesty; but what is even worse is the process in which this budget resolution is going to come before this body within the next day or so.

This is a $2.6 trillion document. This is going to establish the priorities and the important investments that we need to make as a Nation for the next fiscal year, and yet it is being written by a handful of people, mainly in the Speaker's office, at 2, 3, 4 o'clock in the morning, drafted by a bunch of staff people, and not one of us in this body will have the chance to thoroughly review it before we are asked to cast a vote on it. And that is a joke.

And what is even worse is that it basically adopts wholesale the budget parameters that the President had submitted earlier this year, which, by the way, was written by a bunch of unknown people in the President's Office of Management and Budget, which in essence now is drafting and writing these budget documents that the Congress is considering.

And I would defy any Member of this body to stand here today and claim with a straight face that they think this House and this Congress is a co-equal branch of government today. We have ceded everything to the executive branch. Not only that, but just to a few enlightened individuals, it seems, to make these important decisions for the rest of the Nation. And we do not even have the common decency or courtesy to take the time to allow an important deliberative discussion about these priorities and allow a little bit more input from the various Members who want to be involved in this process for the sake of the people whom they are representing.

The resolution itself, I feel, lacks the vision that we need to deal with the challenges facing our Nation. Instead of the majority party and the President being so eager to dismantle the New Deal, we should be talking about offering the American people a new New Deal to prepare them for the challenges of a global marketplace, because it is here now. And yet the effort that we are making in regards to support for education and job-training programs is a joke, and it is not going to get us there to maintain our technological and scientific edge in the world when it comes to the competition of the jobs that are coming up.

This budget resolution that is coming before us allows the continuation of the exploding budget deficits. It automatically increases the debt ceiling for the fourth time in 4 years, and every Member should understand that, by voting for it, they are increasing the debt ceiling by another half a trillion dollars in this budget resolution.

It fails to adopt budget disciplinary rules such as pay-as-you-go for both the spending and the revenue side, rules that worked effectively in the 1990s that led us on a glidepath to 4 years of budget surpluses. It continues the raid on the Social Security, Medicare trust funds, being used for other purposes, either tax cuts that are primarily benefiting the most wealthy in this country or other spending priorities at a time when they are claiming that Social Security is in dire financial crisis; and there is no effort to try to repay those trust fund moneys.

I think we can offer the American people a more realistic vision of the challenges that I think we all appreciate on both sides of the aisle; and yet this budget that is going to be coming up before us, again mainly drafted in the dark wee hours of the early morning, lacks that vision. And it is not offering enough people in this country the hope or the optimism that we are going to be able to compete in the global marketplace in light of what other countries are doing.

Let us start over. There is no need to rush to get this done within the next day or even the next week. I would rather do it the right way than the wrong way, and there are too many missed opportunities in this budget resolution that is going to be coming up to be able to support it.

So, again, I oppose the process, the martial law rule that we are debating here this morning, and I oppose the substance of this budget resolution and encourage my colleagues to vote "no."


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