A picture of Representative Sheila Jackson Lee
Sheila J.
Democrat TX 18

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  • Providing for Consideration of H.R. 325, No Budget, No Pay Act of 2013

    by Representative Sheila Jackson Lee

    Posted on 2013-01-23

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    JACKSON LEE. I thank the gentleman very much from Massachusetts, and I thank my friend from Texas.

    I would hope that all of us would commit to doing our job. And I know that my good friend recognizes that the Constitution in article I, section 8, requires the Congress to have the power to collect taxes and duties and to pay the debts, but also to be concerned about the general welfare.

    Really what the administration says is that they support a long-term increase in the debt ceiling. And the reason why the people of the United States have not heard of this controversy is because the normal course of business constitutionally is for the Congress to consult with the Treasury, the Treasury to consult with the Congress, and the debt ceiling is raised in a manner that protects the general welfare of the American people.

    But now we have a proposal that is driven by polling and brinksmanship. This is not the way to run a country. I heard a comedian some years ago say, What a great country. We are a great country. I love America. The Constitution emphasizes the greatness of this Nation, but we don't play politics with something that is the ordinary course of business.

    Spending cuts is the responsible way to govern, but it is to govern in a way that we sit at the table of reconciliation and we don't break the backs of seniors who utilize Medicare and Social Security and veterans benefits. What we do is we sit at the table and we understand how to deal with the oncoming issue of the deficit. How do we do that? We do it with growth. But the Constitution has nothing in here that suggests, under this article, that we are to do brinksmanship and do 2 weeks or 3 weeks or to May. What happens in May, a crisis where we can't pay our military? The debt ceiling is paying the debt, and I am troubled by the fact that we would use this tactic.

    I want bipartisanship. In fact, someone who raises issues about the vulnerable, like myself, has worked with my Republican friends. I look forward to do it. I'm an American. I believe in the Constitution, but you do not raise the debt ceiling in increments. The administration says, We won't stop it, but we want a long-term increase so that we can begin the rebuilding of this Nation.

    Growth, the Constitution, that's what we should be talking about, making America better.

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