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Barbara L.
Democrat CA 13

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  • Providing for Consideration of H. Con. Res. 25, Concurrent Resolution
    on the Budget for Fiscal Year 2014

    by Representative Barbara Lee

    Posted on 2013-03-19

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    LEE of California. Let me thank the gentlelady for yielding and for her continued tremendous leadership on the Rules Committee.

    I rise in strong opposition to the rule; and I think the previous speaker, the chairman of the Rules Committee, really laid out why I'm totally opposed to this rule and the bill.

    As a member of the Budget Committee, let me just say that I've had a chance to study this GOP budget, which is full of choices that would undermine our Nation's future for the continued benefit of special interests, the wealthy and, yes, big oil companies--oil subsidies. It creates more income inequality, and it shreds the safety net. It is in keeping with the overall effort we've seen over and over again to dismantle government, increase inequality and leave the most vulnerable people on their own.

    We should reject this very warped vision of America, and we should call this budget for what it is. Republicans call it a Path to Prosperity, but it really is a path to poverty for the middle class, for working families, for children, and for our seniors.

    Mr. Speaker, the majority did not support the amendment that I offered in the Budget Committee that would set a goal of cutting poverty in half in 10 years, which listed and reaffirmed those government-supported programs, such as the earned income tax credit, which lifts people out of poverty even though we tried to come to some agreement on language; but, quite frankly, if they supported that goal, they would have accepted my amendment, and their budget would have made some radically different choices.

    The reality is we hear the rhetoric that claims to support a goal of ending poverty while at the same time making devastating cuts that put more people into poverty. The fact of the matter is you cannot pretend to fight poverty while you make brutal cuts to the very programs that lift millions of Americans out of poverty.

    The Republican budget would make devastating cuts that will increase child hunger, cut off millions of seniors from access to health care, and throw struggling families off TANF during the middle of a jobs crisis. Blocking Medicaid, turning Medicare into a voucher program, and gutting food assistance to our children and our seniors will not reduce poverty. It will just make it worse.

    When you look at this Republican budget, for example, it takes 66 percent of the budget cuts from programs for people with low or moderate incomes. It would cost 2 million jobs in 2014, and it would slash $135 billion over 10 years by cutting 8 million to 9 million people from the SNAP program--our nutrition program, our food stamps program--which is one of the most effective anti-poverty programs in the United States.

    The American people deserve more. They deserve a budget that creates jobs, a budget that creates opportunity for all, not a budget that creates more poverty. So I urge my colleagues to vote ``no'' on this rule and to vote ``no'' on this budget because it is a pathway to poverty.

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