(House of Representatives - November 19, 2013)

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[Page H7197]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]


  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from 
Ohio (Ms. Kaptur) for 5 minutes.
  Ms. KAPTUR. Mr. Speaker, now that the Republican shutdown is over, 
Congress should be addressing the most pressing issues facing our 
Nation--faster economic growth, putting our people back to work at 
living-wage jobs, balancing the budget, and investing in our future. 
But so far, there is no Republican budget deal completed to set the 
frame for all of this, to give confidence to businesses that they can 
invest, and to assure the American people that there is some certainty 
that Congress has done its job.
  The first step is completion of a responsible budget resolution for 
2014 which starts in just a few weeks; and, in fact, the Federal fiscal 
year started October 1. From that resolution would follow, if we had 
regular order in this House, 12 appropriation bills constrained within 
the limits of that important budget. But rather than completing the 
budget bill, I observed the chairman of the House Budget Committee 
making political speeches out in Iowa rather than getting the job done 
here. My message today is get the job done of the Budget Committee.
  We know that the economy will grow when more people are working; and 
when that happens, the Federal debt will go down.
  The first chart I have here actually shows that during the Clinton 
years when employment went up, we were able to balance the budget. It 
was followed during the Bush year with the terrible recession where 
unemployment went up and, guess what, the budget deficit increased and 
our accumulated debt grew at extraordinary proportions.
  Now, think about what happens to the U.S. debt when unemployment goes 
up; and during the Bush years, we had over 8.8 million jobs that were 
eliminated because of the Great Recession. When people don't have a 
job, they aren't paying taxes. They aren't buying a new car or spending 
money at department stores or other consumer spending that drives 
employment growth and job creation. Increased wages drive investment. 
Moreover, people who don't have a job are likely relying on government 
for help--unemployment benefits that are extended, or other parts of 
the Federal safety net, the social safety net such as health insurance, 
and health care. That causes a drawdown in Federal spending.
  So the message to my Republican colleagues is get the job done. 
That's the only way you are going to be able to reduce the debt. We 
cannot balance our budget with unemployment hovering at over 7 percent 
  Although the Obama administration has successfully led 42 months of 
consecutive job creation compared to the Bush years when we went so 
much into the hole, we still have not dug ourselves out and replaced 
those 8.8 million jobs that were eliminated. That is a lot of jobs. 
Over 2 million manufacturing jobs alone were eliminated. If we think 
about that, we have done a good job month by month. in crawling out of 
the recession. But the pace of this is not what I would call robust, 
but it definitely has been steady.
  Piled on top of this gigantic effort to try to create jobs is a 
nagging trade deficit. In my part of America, people know well what job 
outsourcing has occurred to foreign countries. We have had continuing 
hemorrhaging of U.S. jobs because of trade agreements like NAFTA, China 
PNTR, Korea, all in the negative, all in the red, not in the black. We 
have not had a positive trade balance in this country since 1975, and 
the numbers show it. The deficits just keep getting worse.
  Can you find anything made in America any more? There is $9 trillion 
in accumulated trade deficit since 1975. That actually equals half of 
our long-term debt because our monthly trade deficit now hovers around 
$39 billion more imported goods coming in there than we are able to 
export. This means more foreign goods, fewer U.S. jobs. Over time, 
these foreign subsidized products from closed markets replace American 
products and the jobs that go with them. The word ``outsourcing'' has 
become all too familiar.
  Mr. Speaker, if my Republican colleagues want to tackle the Federal 
debt, then they need to bring a completed budget deal to the floor. It 
is months, almost a year, too late. We need to tackle the Federal debt 
by growing jobs. Bring economic growth and jobs bills to the floor. We 
need to no longer bring trade deals to this floor that result, through 
fast track, in the kind of job killing that we have had over the last 
quarter century. Shouldn't we focus on what the American people have 
been saying to us year after year after year: it is the economy; it is 
job creation. This institution ought to be focused laser beam on what 
the American people are telling us. Why is that so hard to do?
  I urge my colleagues on the Budget Committee, get back to work. Stop 
the politicking around the country; get those committees reaching 
compromises between the House and the Senate. Let's get the big frame; 
and then let's, through regular order, bring up the 12 appropriation 
bills within those budget restraints so we can eliminate the debt by 
making this economy grow fully again.