Republican Spending Plan Does Nothing to Address Jobs, Unemployment
Washington, DC – U.S. Rep. Karen Bass spoke on the House Floor today in opposition to the Republican Spending Bill. Below are the remarks as prepared for delivery, and the YouTube video to the floor speech:
“Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to the reckless Republican spending plan, H.R. 1.
“Mr. Speaker, it has been 43 days since the Republicans have held the majority and NOT ONE Republican has offered a jobs plan to put Americans back to work. While hardworking Americans struggle to keep a roof over their head, food on the table, and the heat turned on, my Republican colleagues have not taken one single action to create jobs for the unemployed. The Republicans have completely abandoned any effort to create jobs and now are blatantly destroying good jobs with this Continuing Resolution. In fact, Speaker Boehner recently said "If some of those jobs are lost in the spending cuts, so be it.”
“Mr. Speaker, under Mr. Boehner’s spending plan JOBS are the target of Republican cuts. For example, the largest cuts ever in history for education programs under H.R. 1 would result in more than 26,500 K-12 teachers and support staff, 14,600 Head Start teachers, and 7100 special education teachers losing their jobs.
“And Mr. Speaker that is just the education budget alone.
“According to the nonpartisan Economic Policy Institute, the Republican Continuing Resolution would cost the nation almost 1 million jobs. Included on the Republican chopping block are:
25,000 new construction jobs from infrastructure projects.
1,330 police officers by eliminating the COPS hiring program.
2,400 firefighters by terminating the SAFER grants.
16,000 private sector construction jobs lost from cutting $1.7 billion to GSA Federal Buildings Fund.
“The Republican spending bill would also slash in half all job-training funds – dollars used to help workers obtain the skills they need to compete in the global economy.
“Mr. Speaker,reducing unemployment rate is the most important challenge facing this county and unlike my Republican colleagues JOBS is my NUMBER ONE priority. The most promising new source of economic growth and job creation is in our public infrastructure system from roads and bridges to broadband and air traffic control systems to a new energy grid. And I commend President Obama for his leadership in crafting a budget proposal for Fiscal Year 2012 that focuses federal investments on rebuilding America’s infrastructure which USA Today described as “amassive job-creation engine, with plans to generate millions of them by repairing and expanding highways, bridges and railways.”
“Mr. Speaker, the President’s Budget is a further success because it addresses the real sources of our deficit and makes tough but careful choices needed to reduce the deficit. With cuts of $78 billion, President Obama has taken the first step in trimming the bloated defense budget,and I want to work with my colleagues and the President to find additional savings in the defense budget by closing permanent bases overseas that serve no strategic value in countering emerging threats or combating terrorism. The President’s Budget also makes necessary sacrifices to sustain the $5550 maximum Pell grant for all needy students by eliminating the summer grant program that allowed some students to obtain two Pell grants.
“The Republican bill, on the other hand, prefers to arbitrarily make short-sighted cuts while leaving huge parts of the federal budget like the Pentagon immune to cuts. I find it particularly egregious that the Republicans cut funding from programs that affect women and their babies like $758 from WIC,$1 billion from Head Start, and $327 million from Title X – all of which have been proven to be effective programs and produce savings to the taxpayer. The impact of these cuts is clear: Republicans prohibit access to family planning services forcing the woman to have the baby, then starve the child by cutting access to infant formula and deny them from going to preschool. Make no mistake about it, shutting down Planned Parenthood centers and denying women reproductive healthcare services will have long term consequences that our children and our children’s children will have to pay for.
“Mr. Speaker, H.R. 1 recklessly cuts spending at the expense of our economic recovery and job creation. And the Republican plan does not put us on a sustainable path to deficit reduction. I urge my colleagues to stand with me and vote against this job-cutting, fiscally irresponsible spending bill.
“I yield back the balance of my time.”
Karen Bass represents the 33rd congressional district, which includes Los Angeles, Hollywood, and Culver City and was the 67th Speaker of the California Assembly.