Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2014by Representative Keith Ellison
Posted on 2013-12-12
ELLISON. Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my colleagues for arriving
at a budget deal. When we asked our Democratic conferees to negotiate
the best deal they could, we did it knowing that they were negotiating
with colleagues whose priority is debt reduction, not jobs, even though
the Federal Government deficit is the smallest since 2008. Given
Republican priorities, they had a heavy task of partially lifting the
sequester, protecting Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid, and
averting a shutdown. And so I think that is good.
But there are parts of the deal that leave me very uncomfortable. I can't possibly imagine leaving this place, leaving all those Americans, over a million people, without any means of sustenance other than maybe their local food shelf. I mean, it is not humane. It is not right, and it is bad for the economy because the people who got those unemployment insurance checks would be able to spend them with local vendors which would actually help our local economy. That is not going to happen unless something else happens. I have heard estimates as high as 310,000 jobs could be lost if something is not done.
Also, the $6 billion cut for future Federal employees' retirement, I am very disturbed about that because we need good people working for the Federal Government. How can we attract the best people to work for this country if every time we have to solve a budget problem, we are going into their piggy bank. Jets and yachts, if we accelerated depreciation, we would be three-fourths of the way there on these future Federal employees' retirement benefits.
I am deeply disappointed we did not work to close any loopholes. That is a shame. So I remain disappointed.