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Floor Speeches

Concurrent Resolution on the Budget for Fiscal Year 2012

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Mr. PASCRELL. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

   If the Republican budget is a doubling down on the policies that brought us to the brink, which is contained in this budget, my brother from New Jersey presents a budget which I think quadruples down on the economic policies and lack of optimism in the American people.

   The budget believes we cannot, as President Kennedy said a little over 50 years ago, "bear any burden and meet any hardship'' in order to better our Nation. That's what America is all about, regardless of your party persuasion.

   This budget gives trillions in income tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans, we both agree on that--you think it's a good policy, we think it's a horrible policy--and at the same time cuts $18 billion. Let me just take one example, the SCHIP program: $18 billion cut to our children--our own children, our grandchildren. You must be kidding me. This budget gives trillions in estate breaks to the wealthiest Americans. Many people having estates pay no taxes, yet this slashes funding for Pell Grants for our kids, our grandchildren to go to college.

   This budget gives trillions in tax breaks to corporations that have been shipping jobs overseas, but ask our constituents, in your district and my district and everybody's district, to take a 20 percent cut in the scheduled benefits to Social Security. It's easy to sit here as a Congressman waiting until you turn 70--why are you smiling?--to retire with benefits you've earned, but you're asking this of our asphalt layers, our secretaries, and our teachers.

   It comes down to a clear set of priorities, Mr. Chairman. If your priorities are to cut taxes for the wealthy on the backs of the retirees, then I think this second budget is the budget for you. But if you believe in an America that protects our seniors, our children, the disabled, our veterans, levels the playing field and invests in future generations, then I urge you to stand with us.

   Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.


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