(House of Representatives - July 20, 2011)

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[Pages H5244-H5245]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []

                      CUT, CAP, AND CONTINUE WARS

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from 
California (Ms. Woolsey) for 5 minutes.
  Ms. WOOLSEY. Mr. Speaker, I'm here catching my breath after the 
debate over the extreme Tea Party legislation that we considered 
yesterday. It's easily one of the worst bills I can remember in nearly 
20 years of service here in this body. Every time I think they can't 
possibly go any farther, the majority blows me away with the audacity 
of their proposals and the cruelty of their priorities.
  H.R. 2560, yesterday's debt ceiling proposal, almost makes the Ryan 
budget look progressive. It makes the continuing resolution passed back 
in April look positively generous. On this side of the aisle, we call 
it the Cut, Cap, and

[[Page H5245]]

End Medicare plan, which is completely accurate. But I'm going to give 
it another name today, Cut, Cap, and Continue Wars, because throughout 
the debate over the debt ceiling there's been an elephant in the room, 
if you'll pardon the expression, that hardly anyone is willing to 
acknowledge, and that is the impact of waging not one, not two, but 
three wars is having on our Nation's fiscal health.
  Afghanistan alone is costing $10 billion a month, with the total 
price tag for Iraq and Afghanistan, going back 10 years, $3.2 trillion. 
And that's a conservative estimate, Mr. Speaker. These are staggering 
figures, especially during a recession when Americans are crying out 
for Washington to do something about creating jobs and breathing life 
back into our economy.
  And what are the taxpayers getting for their trillions of dollars in 
war spending? More than 6,100 dead Americans, continued violence in 
Iraq and a Prime Minister who's cozying up to Iran, and an ongoing 
civil war in Libya, a corrupt regime in Kabul, insurgents that continue 
to kill at will, in Afghanistan a nation still under crushing poverty, 
and an Afghan Government that cannot protect its own people.
  By any measure, these wars have been a devastating failure. And yet, 
with barely any scrutiny, barely any debate, and certainly no outrage 
from Republican leaders, we continue to write that check. Meanwhile, we 
have domestic programs that work, proven investments in the survival 
and prosperity of our people: Medicare, Social Security, Medicaid, 
school lunches, student loans, food stamps, unemployment insurance. But 
the majority says these programs have to be cut and capped so we can 
continue three wars.
  Republicans want to cut programs that are keeping Americans alive 
while they want to continue funding the wars that have killed more than 
6,100 Americans. It blows my mind, Mr. Speaker.
  How about we ask the American people: Which do they prefer? These 
wars that have been failing us for 10 years or the guaranteed Medicare 
benefits that will allow them and their families to retire with 
  I ask my colleagues on the other side of the aisle: Do you really 
believe everything should be on the table? Everything? If you do, let's 
talk about war spending. And if you're really and truly serious about 
restoring fiscal sanity, where were you when the Congressional 
Progressive Caucus released a plan that will put us back in the black 
within 10 years?
  The Congressional Progressive Caucus budget proves that we can 
balance the budget, but we don't have to amend the Constitution to do 
it. We don't need to shred the safety net to do it. We don't need to 
tear the heart out of Medicare to do it.
  We can do it by bringing fairness back to the Tax Code, by ending 
subsidies, handouts, and giveaways to people and corporations who will 
do just fine without them, we can do it by passing a clean debt ceiling 
and putting our people to work, and, Mr. Speaker, we can do it by 
ending these wars once and for all and bringing our troops home where 
they belong.