Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2014by Representative Nita M. Lowey
Posted on 2013-12-12
LOWEY. Mr. Speaker, the budget deal is a breakthrough in a
difficult budget year in a dysfunctional Congress. As with any
compromise, there are elements I oppose; yet this agreement should help
us do our jobs to the American people and end the shutdown standoffs.
It provides some relief from the devastating impact of the sequester cuts on our economy and American families. Keeping sequestration in place through fiscal year 2014 would cost up to an estimated 1.6 million jobs. Now, the House and Senate must restore regular order to craft bills that instead create new jobs and protect important priorities like medical research, security and infrastructure upgrades, and early education.
This agreement restores over 60 percent of the sequester on nondefense discretionary spending in 2014, restores those bills to roughly the FY 2013 enacted pre-sequester levels. It would hold defense funding levels roughly consistent with the 2013 level after sequester.
The bill before us includes elements, frankly, I don't like and fails to address others it should. First, I am deeply upset that my colleagues on the other side of the aisle insisted on extending the 2 percent sequester on Medicare providers for an additional 2 years as part of the package's offsets. We should not extend their sequester burden.
It is also unconscionable that the deal does not extend long-term unemployment benefits. Even with the progress our economy has made since the depths of the recession, there are still 1.3 million fewer jobs today than 6 years ago.
Four million Americans have been looking for work for more than 6 months.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentlewoman has expired.
Mr. VAN HOLLEN. I yield an additional 30 seconds to the gentlelady.
Mrs. LOWEY. More than 1.3 million of them will lose their benefits and, for some, the only income they have just 3 days after Christmas and 3 days before the new year.
Today's bill will provide some economic certainty about fiscal policy over the next 2 years, which should boost growth and job creation.
Because we cannot continue lurching from crisis to crisis, and despite my misgivings about the extension of Medicare provider cuts and failure to address long-term unemployment, I will vote ``yes.'' Mr. RYAN of Wisconsin. Mr. Speaker, at this time, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Iowa (Mr. Latham) for the purposes of a colloquy.