A picture of Representative Donna F. Edwards
Donna E.
Democrat MD 4

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  • Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2014

    by Representative Donna F. Edwards

    Posted on 2013-12-12

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    EDWARDS. Thank you to the gentleman from Maryland, my friend and my colleague, for all of your work in getting us to this point. Thank you to my friend also, Chairman Ryan, for getting us to this point, and to all of the conferees.

    Mr. Speaker, I am in support of the bipartisan Budget Act. Though I support the agreement, it isn't the bill that I would have written. It is not the bill that I would have written to fully protect Federal employees, today's employees and future employees. It is not the bill that I would have written to protect 1.3 million Americans who are about to lose their emergency unemployment insurance--22,900 of them in Maryland--just at the holidays. It is not the bill that I would have written that would reduce cost-of-living adjustments for our Nation's military retirees. It is not the bill that I would have written to protect the commuter tax credit.

    But do you know what? I didn't write this legislation, Mr. Speaker. It is a compromise. It is a negotiation. It is not perfect, but I support it.

    The agreement does ensure that current Federal employees will get their cost-of-living increases this year. They won't face the uncertainties of furloughs, and they will face stability for the next couple of years.

    {time} 1645 This compromise rejects the draconian proposal in the chairman's budget that would have made Federal employees pay 5.5 percent more for retirement at a cost of $20 billion, but that is not in this bill.

    This agreement does roll back sequestration cuts using spending cuts and new revenue.

    And the agreement increases nondefense discrimination spending by replacing almost two-thirds of this year's cuts, bringing the funding down to $77 billion above the Republican's preferred budget levels.

    The agreement doesn't cut Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid benefits, not by a single penny.

    What the agreement does is it allows Congress and this Nation to get out of the dysfunction and the obstruction and to get on to other business of protecting the American people, perhaps allowing us to focus on unemployment insurance extension, immigration, infrastructure investment, and all of the things that it takes to protect our economy.

    I support this legislation. Let's get on with it.

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