(House of Representatives - July 20, 2011)

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[Page H5246]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []

                         CUT, CAP, AND BALANCE

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair recognizes the gentleman from 
Virginia (Mr. Moran) for 5 minutes.
  Mr. MORAN. Last night, we were asked to amend the Constitution, after 
two-and-a-quarter centuries, in a way that will permanently limit the 
ability of our government to foster competitiveness in a global 
economy, to generate greater equality of opportunity, to treat our 
seniors with dignity and respect, and to defend and define this great 
Nation as an ever-shining democratic beacon of hope and prosperity.
  So I was proud to vote against the Cut, Cap, and Balance Act. It is 
the House Republicans' vision for America's future. This is a vision in 
which the country turns its back on the achievements of the last 
century and chooses not to invest in meeting the challenges of the next 
  Republicans aim to use a crisis of their own making to hamstring 
future Congresses, limiting our ability to make necessary 
infrastructure investments, to care for the poor, aged and disabled, 
and to respond to national and international crises.
  The 18 percent spending cap mandated by the bill would return the 
government to spending levels not seen since the establishment of 
Medicare and Medicaid. The impending retirement of more than 70 million 
baby boomers means that these spending levels are woefully inadequate, 
unless we condemn our grandparents to a severely diminished quality of 

                              {time}  1050

  The Republican Party would enshrine constitutional protections for 
tax cuts and loopholes for wealthy individuals and corporations, 
requiring an unattainable two-thirds majority in both the House and the 
Senate for the government to increase the currently unsustainably low 
revenue levels of roughly 15 percent of GDP.
  This would necessarily result in unprecedented cuts in student loans 
and grants, transportation, education, environmental protection, law 
enforcement--in other words, the physical and the human infrastructure 
of our economy.
  The only budget plan that comes close to meeting the requirements of 
these constitutional amendments is the Republican Study Committee 
budget which eliminates 70 percent of nondefense discretionary funding 
by 2021, contains deep cuts to Medicare, cuts Medicaid, food stamps, 
supplemental security income for the elderly and disabled and poor in 
half by the end of the decade, and raises the Social Security 
retirement age to 70 years of age.
  Yesterday's vote means that the Republican majority is demanding that 
in return for avoiding an economically disastrous default on our debt, 
we make $111 billion in immediate spending cuts. These cuts seriously 
increase the likelihood of a double-dip recession. It is estimated that 
they could cause the loss of more than a million public sector jobs 
just in the next year alone.
  Last month, the economy added an anemic 18,000 jobs; but the private 
sector added 57,000 jobs, while 39,000 public sector jobs were lost in 
addition to the 49,000 public sector jobs lost in the prior month. This 
is a continuing trend. Half a million public sector employees have now 
lost their jobs, 200,000 of them teachers, while student enrollment has 
increased by 750,000. Firing more government workers will only decrease 
aggregate demand, making it that much harder to sustain the recovery.
  We have witnessed this before. In 1937, President Roosevelt responded 
to similar conservative pressure by substantially reducing Federal 
spending before the Great Depression was fully in the rearview mirror. 
It drove us right back into economic depression. The economy wouldn't 
recover until the increased spending and hiring that accompanied the 
World War II armaments buildup got the country moving again. After the 
war, spending on education and housing for our GIs, the Marshall Plan 
for Europe, and the construction of the interstate highway system 
established a permanent middle class and sustainable prosperity.
  This is not the time for the Democratic Party to sacrifice our 
values, values held by a majority of the American people, even in the 
face of opposition that has reached unprecedented levels of ideological 
  We have to address our long-term deficits for the sake of future 
generations, but we must do so in a balanced manner, combining rational 
spending cuts and increased revenue. That's what has worked in the 
past. That's what we need to do now. We must not abandon the people 
that depend upon the government for a decent quality of life, but we 
must not let this great Nation become a second-class society and a 
third-rate economy. If the bill that was passed last night were to be 
enacted into law, that's the limited vision it would yield. That's why 
I was proud to vote against it.