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Congresswoman Louise Slaughter

Representing the 25th District of New York

On the House Floor, Slaughter Calls Out Congressional Republicans for Failing to Take Action on National Priorities

December 7, 2017
Press Release
Asks what they are willing to accomplish over the next two weeks as the House considers a continuing resolution

WASHINGTON, DC — Congresswoman Louise M. Slaughter (NY-25) took to the House Floor today to call out Republican leaders in Congress for proposing a two-week continuing resolution that fails to address our nation’s urgent priorities. It has been two months since Congressional Republicans allowed the Children’s Health Insurance Program, Community Health Centers, and the Perkins student loan program to expire with no reauthorizations on the horizon. Congress also needs to act to provide additional disaster relief funding and reauthorize section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which expires at the end of the month. In addition, we are now two months into the new fiscal year without the enactment of full-year appropriations. Video of her remarks is available here.

“What is the Majority actually willing to get done over the next two weeks? Because it has now been more than two months since some vital national priorities have lapsed under their leadership,” Slaughter said on the House Floor. “If past is prologue, this Majority will be missing in action two weeks from now just as they have been for months. Just consider how they have squandered this year. They wasted months on fruitless attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act. It remains the law of the land today after the public overwhelmingly demanded the Majority stop their crusade. Now, they are trying to pass a tax cut for the wealthy that, if enacted, would represent one of the largest transfers of wealth from working families to the wealthy that our nation has ever seen.”

“This is no way to run the government of the United States. The lives of Americans are hanging in the balance. And all we do under the Majority is lurch from one self-inflicted crisis to the next. Our constituents deserve better than this,” continued Slaughter.

Slaughter’s full remarks, as prepared for delivery, are included below:

The Majority has put before us today a two week continuing resolution that will fund the government through December 22nd. I have heard some in the Majority question why anyone would take issue with this approach.

But M. /Speaker, the question that should be asked is this: what is the Majority actually willing to get done over the next two weeks?

Because it has now been more than two months since some vital national priorities have lapsed under their leadership. The Children’s Health Insurance Program, which provides health care to more than 9 million children across the nation, expired on September 30th. So did Community Health Centers, which serve more than 25 million people.

This expiration has put 2,800 centers in danger of closure and 9 million people at risk for losing their access to health care. The Perkins loan program, which many low-income students rely on for their education, was allowed to expire by the Majority with no reauthorization in sight. That’s despite the broad bipartisan support for a bill to do just that. Unfortunately, the Majority has been unwilling to even bring it up for a vote.

Are they now ready to take meaningful action to protect our children, students, and public health? Democrats haven’t just been fighting to reauthorize programs that expired two months ago. We are also trying to address the priorities we know our nation will face in the weeks ahead. That includes passing hurricane relief funding to help the families that are still recovering from this horrendous hurricane season.

And reauthorizing Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which is due to expire at the end of the month. The FISA court helps keep our country safe.

M. /Speaker, if past is prologue, this Majority will be missing in action two weeks from now just as they have been for months. Just consider how they have squandered this year. They wasted months on fruitless attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

It remains the law of the land today after the public overwhelmingly demanded the Majority stop their crusade.

Now, they are trying to pass a tax cut for the wealthy that, if enacted, would represent one of the largest transfers of wealth from working families to the wealthy that our nation has ever seen.

According to the Joint Committee on Taxation and the Congressional Budget Office, under the Majority’s plan, those making $40,000 to $50,000 would pay an additional $5.3 billion in taxes combined over the next decade. At the same time, those earning $1 million or more would see a $5.8 billion cut. Have you ever seen anything so cut and dry? It’s taking from the poor to give to the rich.

We are two months into the fiscal year, and the Majority has been so preoccupied with its special interest agenda that we still have not passed full-year appropriations. This has robbed federal agencies and our economy of the certainty they need.

The Majority holds the House, the Senate, and the White House. And still, it is unable to get anything done. So when Democrats see this two week continuing resolution, we don’t see a simple extension of the status quo.

We see it for what it really is: kicking the can down the road in order to pursue reckless partisan policies. And it comes without any plan to tackle the major issues facing our nation today.

Let me remind my colleagues how important it has been for both parties to work together. Democrats have helped the Majority pass every major funding bill since they assumed control in 2011. That’s the result of bipartisanship.

This time, the Majority decided not to compromise with us to reach a deal. We’ll see if they can cobble together the votes to get this proposal over the finish line. Even if it passes, we will be right back here later this month to consider another short term continuing resolution. And we still have no idea whether this bill could even pass the Senate.

This is no way to run the government of the United States. The lives of Americans are hanging in the balance. And all we do under the Majority is lurch from one self-inflicted crisis to the next. Our constituents deserve better than this.

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