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Mark T.
Democrat CA 41

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  • Congressional Progressive Caucus Hour: Sequestration

    by Representative Mark Takano

    Posted on 2013-02-27

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    TAKANO. I'd like to thank the gentleman from Wisconsin for yielding some time to me this evening.

    Mr. Speaker, there seems to be a lot of talk from my friends on the other side of the aisle about whose idea the sequester was, instead of actually working to stop this from happening.

    Make no mistake. If the House Republican leadership really wanted to [[Page H694]] stop the sequester from taking effect, they could do so. It's the House Republican leadership that is sitting back and letting the sequester go through.

    My friends on the other side of the aisle seem to forget how we arrived here. In 2011, it was the Democrats who wanted a clean raise of the debt ceiling, which had been the process for decades, under Republican and Democratic Presidents. But the extreme wing of the Republican Conference demanded cuts, and chose to hold the American economy hostage.

    What we got was the Budget Control Act of 2011, which Speaker Boehner said was 98 percent of what he wanted. And here we are, a year and a half later, Mr. Speaker, up to the eleventh hour again, dealing with another manufactured crisis instead of talking about jobs and how to improve the economy.

    But again, we must deal with the soap opera that is the House of Representatives. Every time the House of Representatives wants to pass some meaningful legislation, we're forced to go through this pattern where our citizens are put through weeks of drama on pins and needles wondering what will happen. But then what happens is the governing majority finally comes together to pass legislation with substance, legislation that is sensible.

    But who is this governing majority that passes meaningful legislation? It's made up nearly of the entire Democratic Caucus, and a handful of moderate, sensible Republicans. When we faced the fiscal cliff, which nearly every credible economist said would be disastrous for our economy, it took a commonsense governing majority of 172 Democrats and 85 Republicans to come together to save the economy from ruin.

    {time} 1730 On the vote to provide aid to victims of Superstorm Sandy, after weeks and weeks of delay, with leaders of their own party up in arms, finally the governing majority emerged with 192 Democrats and only 49 Republicans. I understood the need to help the victims of Superstorm Sandy. I'm from California, where earthquakes and other natural disasters are a reality, as are tornados in the Midwest and hurricanes in Florida. Most Americans understand that it is a basic function of the Federal Government to provide aid to victims of natural disasters; but still the Republican caucus was divided, and it took reasonable people to come together to help those in need.

    And just last night, we got word again that the governing majority is needed in order to pass some real legislation as we take up the Violence Against Women Act. The reality is, to pass anything with substance, Speaker Boehner needs the Democrats.

    So when the House of Representatives takes up the Senate version of the Violence Against Women Act, what will the governing majority look like? Go to Twitter and tell me what you think the vote will look like with the hash tag Boehner Needs Dems.

    Mr. Boehner, the governing majority has done its job with the fiscal cliff, with aid to Sandy victims, and I'm willing to bet that the governing majority will do its job once again with the sequester and the Violence Against Women Act.

    Speaker Boehner, when you're ready to get serious, we, the governing majority, are here to help.

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