tv U.S. House of Representatives Removing Mandatory Spending Cuts CSPAN March 20, 2021 2:49am-4:01am EDT
consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from kentucky is recognized. mr. yarmuth: mr. speaker, because of the american rescue plan, relief checks are already being deposited in americans' bank accounts. furloughs have already ended for tens of thousands of workers, and we averted the unemployment cliff. but we have a loose end to tie up before our work is finish and that's the bill before us. enacting covid relief through budget reconciliation was always plan b, but the american people could not afford any more delays and congress needed a path forward for the american rescue plan and the transformative support it provides. because pay-go requirements cannot be changed in
reconciliation bills, we knew from the outset this additional legislative fix was needed to avert painful and indiscriminate cuts to medicare, farm supports and other programs. the language of h.r. 1868 should look familiar. over the past year, congress has enacted multiple covid relief packages to address the crises facing the american people and our economy. each time we excluded these bills from statutory pay-go calculations because of the dire impacts sequestration would have on our nation's students, farmers, and others. today's bill will ensure the american rescue plan is treated the same as these previous relief measures and treated the same as the last reconciliation bill passed by congress. that was in 2017 when republicans used reconciliation when republicans passed the tax cuts and jobs act without democratic support in either the house and senate, republicans
proposed this same legislative fix. buried in a problematic continuing resolution. enough house and senate democrats joined republicans to prevent harmful across-the-board cuts to the critical programs i mentioned even though we opposed the short-term c.r. this time the situation is flipped but the same nonetheless. house republicans opposed the american rescue plan. i don't understand their position. this bill is supported by more than 70% of americans. either way, a statutory legislative fix for pay-go is now needed and historically that is been enacted with little dispute. even in the wake of contentious legislation, congress has come together to prevent sequestration and to protect medicare, farm support programs, social services, resources for students, and individuals with
disabilities and other programs americans rely on. this time should be no different. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman is recognized, the gentleman from missouri. mr. smith: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman, mr. smith, is recognized. mr. smith: thank you, mr. speaker. this week the president has been traveling across the country, telling americans how appreciative they should be that washington democrats are spending or have spent $1.9 trillion in borrowed dollars. money they are using to bail out states run by the president's political buddies. and to reward devastating lockdowns that have destroyed hundreds of thousands of small businesses and kept kids out of schools. billions on policies that will reduce private sector employment in this country. billions on foreign aid.
and out of all the money, less than 9% goes towards health care spending to crush the virus and to put vaccinations in people's arms. the massive debt-inducing spending package also threatens billions in cuts to seniors on medicare, including $36 billion starting next year. my guess is that the president is probably not going to be bragging to seniors he meets on the road, that the bill he signed into law is cutting billions of dollars from their medicare. just as i'm sure he won't bother to mention that the economic recovery he wants to take credit for is already under way. that the economy is steadily projected to reach the level of real g.d.p. growth we saw prior to the pandemic by the middle of this year. that we are on track this year,
in fact, to have the largest economic growth in more than 15 years. all without one dime used from the nearly $2 trillion bailout package that democrats passed in the last week. in other words, just as president biden has desperately tried to take credit for the incredible, truly historic work president trump did to ensure that we have vaccines going into the arms to save lives, he's trying to take credit for an economic recovery put in place by the policies signed into law by president trump. don't listen to the words. watch his actions. in fact, it was under president trump's leadership that operation warp speed delivered multiple vaccines in record time
and planning to get those shots into the arms of the american people. meanwhile, the biden administration has spent an inorder nate amount of time running afoul of fact checkers meant to dismiss the incredible work done by the previous administration. nevertheless, we are here today because democrats want to fix one of the many problems caused by president biden and the house democrats. in the $1.9 trillion bailout. those cuts to medicare. and they want to do so by erasing almost $2 trillion in spending from the nation's books. pretending $2 trillion in spending is not going to happen. that, of course, serves two purposes for our democrat colleagues. first, it avoids the immediate cuts which they caused and they chose to happen.
and second, it gives them a clean slate on which they are reportedly already planning to add trillions more in spending in the months to come. given all of this, i would ask my colleagues to move forward with a much better approach. one that stops their medicare cuts and does so in a more responsible way. let's work together to protect seniors and cut waste from their bailout bill. the american people clearly want this to happen. stopping billions in benefits and payments to prisoners and illegal immigrants. billions in benefits and payments to prisoners and illegal immigrants. stopping funds they recklessly jammed into the bailout for the national endowment of the arts. the national endowment of the humanities. stopping special handouts to
federal employees. rescinding billions in bailouts that go to state governments who do not need it and reward their continued lockdowns. put people before politics. put people before politics. put seniors ahead of the democrats' special interests and their political class. this is the responsible way to address the medicare cuts caused by my democrat colleagues. it is a far better approach than to simply pretend $1 is. -- $1.9 trillion in spending is not happening. it's a far more honest approach given the fact that president is traveling the country bragging about the same nearly $2 trillion in spending. $1.9 trillion, such a big number, mr. speaker. it's hard to put in proper
perspective. but this year when the american people pay their federal income taxes, every single penny, every single penny of their hard-earned money the i.r.s. collects will total less than the cost of this $1.9 trillion bailout to their friends, donors, and political allies. let's do the responsible thing, protect seniors by rolling back some of the most wasteful and wrong policies embedded in the democrats' bailout bill. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from kentucky is recognized. mr. yarmuth: mr. speaker, i'm happy to yield two minutes to the gentleman from virginia, the distinguished chairman of the education and labor committee and also a member of the budget committee, mr. scott. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia is recognized for two minutes. mr. scott: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in support of h.r. 1868. since the start of the pandemic,
congress has passed several emergency covid-19 response packages to help our communities get back on their feet. due to technicalities in the reconciliation process, some of that will be wiped away unless we pass this legislation. so h.r. 1868 is necessary to provent the automatic across-the-board funding cuts that will undermined our recovery, just as the ranking member mentioned, that will happen unless we pass this bill. many will occur in education and labor. it stops students from borrowing. would increase the cost of taking out a student loan. the bill protects teach grants which help recruit talented individuals into the classroom. the proposal preserves funding for many of our colleges
struggling to survive during the pandemic. passing this legislation will prevent cuts to grants that go to students whose parents made the ultimate sacrifice serving in -- serving our nation in iraq and afghanistan. finally, this bill protects the americans' access to affordable health care. during the global health emergency. mr. speaker, congress took bold action to get our action through the pandemic by enacting the american rescue plan. now we must take this final step in the reconciliation process to ensure that we do not undermine critical programs that students and families urgently need. i urge my colleagues to support the legislation and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from kentucky reserves. the gentleman from missouri is recognized. mr. smith: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield four minutes to the gentleman from virginia. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia is recognized for four minutes. >> thank you, mr. speaker.
thank you to the distinguished member from missouri for yielding this time. mr. speaker, i rise today in strong opposition to h.r. 1868, the democrats' attempt to put a band-aid on their out-of-control spending and this bill tries to remove, as the other speakers have said, the tough consequences of their continued reckless and irresponsible spending. mr. good: last week, the democrats passed their massive $2 trillion blue state bailout package with the intent to burden future generations of americans with yet another layer of crippling debt and inevitably higher taxes for years to come. this was yet another effort to further use the covid virus as an opportunity to fund their leftist expansion of government, climate extremism, woke social justice, and radical progressive agenda. . ed $2 trillion the pelosi bill would add another $6,000 per
american citizen. this debt per citizen with the chance for some to receive a $1,400 check is a raw deal for americans. everybody gets an i.o.u. for $6,000. some people get a $400 check in return. only 9% of the $2 trillion is related to covid relief with the bulk of spending going to fund these democrat pet projects. there is no pressure at all on the teacher as you unions to reopen the schools in return for the additional $130 billion in the bill. the democrats rejected those commonsense amendments to require the schools to reopen. that's how essential it is for covid relief. now democrats are finally acknowledging today that their spending is out of control and unsustainable. instead of seeking a true remedy for the problem, they are once again trying to kick the can down the road and try to exempt
this spending from the long-standing pay-go rules. this new legislation would prevent sequestration for mandatory spending which was only triggered in response to the reckless spending bill they passed last week. their ilconreceivesed bill. the imminent see quester cuts this bill is intended to address came about as a result of the blatantly partisan and irresponsible bill that democrats rammed through last week. our national debt is now nearing $30 trillion. an inconceivable number. it equates to about $90,000 per citizens. this amounts to an economic crisis. a national security crisis, and we can't afford to ignore it any longer, a day of reekonning is coming. but the majority is ignoring it. any semblance of fiscal discipline would have resulted in a covid bill that was maybe 10% to 20% of the $2 trillion
that was in h.r. 1319. the pelosi blue state bailout. but instead, the unilaterally on a hyper partisan basis rammed through the $2 trillion to satisfy their left wing and appease poorly run blue state governors and governments. our country cannot continue to afford to race towards fiscal insolvency and this bill allows the democrats to put the pedal to the metal without consequence as we speed faster towards a fiscal catastrophe. rather than truly helping the country, the bill enables democrats' irresponsibility. actions like this are why congress has such a low, abysmal approval rating. i'll continue to tell my folks back home that i'm fighting for them and their hard-earned tax dollars. while the other side wants to continue to steal those dollars to fund their future pet projects. we find ourselves today truly in march madness. and the democrats are throwing up another air ball with this legislation. and i urge a no vote on this bill.
i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from missouri reserves. the gentleman from kentucky is recognized. mr. yarmuth: i would like to remind gentleman from virginia, in 2017 when republicans passed an almost identical amount of tax cuts, 83% of which went to the top 1% and major corporations, mitch mcconnell said on the senate floor, sequence tration has never happened, will not happen now, and will never happen. his words were prophetic because it's not going to happen today. i'm happy to yield two minutes to the gentleman from new jersey, the distinguished chairman of the energy and commerce committee, mr. pallone. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey is recognized for two minutes. mr. pallone: thank you, mr. speaker. i want to thank the chair of our budget committee, the gentleman from kentucky. he really makes the point so well which is, look, regardless of what our ranking member says on the other side, america is not in great shape.
the economy is not good. many people have lost their jobs. and the reason for the american rescue plan was exactly that. we want to help people. make sure people get direct cash payments to help them. make sure the state and local governments get help because they don't want to be laying people off and not provide services during the pandemic. we want to help small businesses. the contrast between what we as democrats push in the american rescue plan to help people in this economic and health crisis is so vast compared to what the republicans did with their tax cut which just helped the wealthiest and helped corporate interest. aim going to ask my colleagues on the other side to put partisanship aside to vote for this bill. this legislation includes noncontroversial policies that will truly help all of our constituents. it provides critical support for hospitals and rural health chloroquine in recent weeks,
republicans have claimed that any cuts to medicare would be incredibly harmful. but the only way to make sure that these cuts don't happen is halfing this legislation today. in the past we have always been able to come together to prevent these cuts. when republicans passed their $2 trillion tax law for the wealthiest few, it triggered billions in mandatory cuts and congress ultimately voted to prevent those cuts with democratic support. if republicans truly want to protect medicare and other programs that support our farmers, our students, and the nation's defense they simply should vote for this bill today. i want to remind my colleagues that in addition to averting statutory pay-go cuts, this bill provides additional release specifically to frontline health care providers to increase medicare payments. this is a policy that congress supported multiple times. please support this bill, if you care. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from kentucky reserves. the gentleman from missouri is
recognized. mr. smith: i want to remind the gentleman from new jersey that the folks in southeast missouri, a family of four, who makes less than $55,000 a year, under the tax cut and jobs act, had zero in tax liability because of what the republicans passed. i don't think a family of four who makes $55,000 or less is considered the wealthy. but apparently maybe someone from new jersey might think someone who makes $55,000 for a family of four is wealthy. it's surely not in southeast missouri. i would like to point out that the gentleman from new jersey did not help support in waving this provision back in 2017. i would like to yield five minutes to the gentleman from california. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized for five minutes. mr. mcclintock: thank you, mr. speaker. this bill is just the first taste of a bitter brew concongressed by those who pushed through $1.9 trillion of
pure deficit spending last week. this measure involves our pay-go rules. you remember pay-go. the current version dates to 2010. those days everyone was worried about a $1.3 trillion deficit and $13 trillion of national debt. isn't that adorable? pay-go requires across-the-board spending cuts to offset any bill to spend money we don't have. we just spent a lot of money we don't have. as pay-go works, the first installment payment for this biden binge is $345 billion of spending cuts every year for the next five years. and that includes $52 billion in pay-go and b.c.a. cuts to medicare, which is expected to go broke in 2024 as it is. now, that's just to pay for the party the democrats had the other day. so it's time to pay for it.
how do you deal with a bill like that? well, it's simple. just forget about it. just wipe it off the books and start planning the next trillion dollar spending spree. in fairness, that's how both parties have addressed pay-go since we passed it. and the net result is that the deficit has nearly tripled and the debt has more than doubled in less than a decade. at least the trble tax cuts in 2017 helped produce such a strong economic recovery that our revenues went up. they didn't go down. that should have reduced our deficit. but our failure to control spending instead drove that deficit still higher. in short, it's the spending, stupid. no nation has ever spent, taxed, and borrowed its way to prosperity. but many have spent, taxed, and borrowed themselves into bankruptcy and ruin. history warns us that nations
that bankrupt themselves aren't around very long. because before you can provide for the common defense and promote the general welfare, you first have to be able to pay for them. excessive debt saps the credit of a nation that is its life line in times of genuine peril. it consumes the future prosperity of the nation as interest costs swell. it saps the economic vitality of our nation by crowding out capital that would otherwise be available to consumers and home buyers and businesses. it robs the currency of its value, pilfering people's savings and their pensions. and it ailentates capital markets until interest rates rise and interest costs balloon into a debt spiral. once this starts, there is no way to stop it until the whole house of cards crashes down. you want to know what that looks like? it looks a lot like venezuela.
in the spring of 1945, there was serious concern whether we could continue the war into 1946. bond sales were failing miserably, war taxes, spending, borrowing, and inflation had hollowed out our economy, and the nation's credit was nearing exhaustion. consider this, we are carrying a larger percentage of debt today than we were at the very end of world war ii, and i fear how we could respond to a similar sustained national threat today. when a colleague told the great economist, adam smith, that a british defeat would be the ruin of the nation. smith calmly observed be assured my young friend there is a great deal of ruin in a nation. but as i look at the unprecedented and unsustainable debt that these policies are producing, i can't avoid a sense of foreboding that our nation is fast running out of ruin and
that a terrible day of reckoning is coming. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from missouri reserves. the gentleman from kentucky is recognized. mr. yarmuth: mr. speaker, i now pleased to yield two minutes to the gentlewoman from minnesota, distinguished member of the energy and commerce committee, mrs. craig. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from minnesota is recognized for two minutes. mrs. craig: thank you so much, mr. chairman. last week we passed the american rescue plan to help our nation get through a covid-19 public health and economic crisis. this historic legislation is already helping millions of americans and hundreds of thousands of minnesotans. when i think about this piece of legislation it is widely on a bipartisan basis supported in a swing district like mine back in minnesota. but if congress fails to take action and we are not going to let that happen, to prevent
sequestration, countless federal programs that our constituents rely on could be impacted. if we fail to pass h.r. 1868, cuts to programs at usda could devastate family farmers who are already reeling after years of trade instability and stupid trade wars. we must act because we cannot allow cuts to medicare. risking seniors' access to care at a time when they need it the most, in the midst of a deadly global pandemic. i urge all of my colleagues to vote yes on this crucial legislation. to ensure that the federal government can meet the needs of minnesotans and the american people during a public health crisis. this body that i joined only just over two years ago, this body has come together numerous times to make sure that we do not allow sequestration to take
cuts. for worse, worse ideas than helping the american people through a public idea -- health crisis. with that please support the bill today. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. the gentleman from kentucky reserves. gentleman from missouri is recognized. mr. smith: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield three minutes to my good friend from ohio. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from ohio is recognized for three minutes. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i appreciate that. the pandemic was a problem that led some health care providers to close their doors. and in bipartisan way in the previous session of congress, we made an effort to fix that problem. mr. wenstrup: now, because the democrats' irresponsible spending bill, health care providers who are struggling will see decreased payments, which is the last thing they need right now, and it's the last thing we need right now. medicare reimbursement rates are already low. only balanced out by non-medicare payments.
the better way is to target the funding to those who need it, and are still working to come out of the pandemic. we can fill the gaps without adding to the deficit. wasn't the ideas of rescue to improve access to care? yet 9% of the $$1.9 trillion went to address the covid cryries. they failed out failed pension funds without reform and ignored our doctors and health care providers on the frontlines of the pandemic. they cut payments to caregivers. $1.9 trillion, yet cut health care providers during a pandemic. so what democrats are trying to do today is ignore the negative consequences of the bill they passed earlier this month. . the consequences of the bill passed two weeks ago mean there will be payment cuts to
providers, $1.9 trillion. someone should be helped in this measure. someone should be helped in this measure, but we can do better. we can do better but we weren't talked to with our ideas. members, mr. speaker, members should ask themselves -- what about all of this, all of this today? will the next several generations of americans look to us and say thank you for as they get stuck with paying our bills? with that, mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from missouri reserves. the gentleman from kentucky is recognized. mr. yarmuth: mr. speaker, i'm happy to yield two minutes to the distinguished member from the agriculture committee, mr. scott from georgia. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. scott: thank you very much, mr. chairman. i appreciate that. ladies and gentlemen, this is an important, urgent activity that we're on this morning. now, my republican friends talked about this, but you did
the identical, same thing in 2017 with president trump's tax cuts. now, what's good for you is also good for us. that's the way the rules are. ladies and gentlemen, let me tell you how devastating the damage would be if we do not act. first of all, it will cut $29 billion from badly needed programs and no entity will be impacted or devastated like agriculture. they will cut $29 billion, cut our programs for energy efficiency, rural development. we're working on that together. this bill will cut -- will save
our rural development. research, specialty crop development, beginning and veteran farmers development. and it will take out of the $29 billion, it will take $23 billion out of our commodities and credit corporation, limiting our ability to make payments to our farmers, to our food producers at this critical time where we're in a hunger crisis. my friends, you must understand, we democrats and republicans need to send a powerful message to the nation on this bill and let us move hand in hand. mr. yarmuth: i yield the
gentleman an additional 30 seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for 30 seconds. mr. scott: let us move hand in hand together at a serious time. now, when he all use this -- when you all use this, it was for the tax cut, most of much went to the wealthy. but this $23 million that will cut our c.c.c. will devastate the american people where it hurts the most, their food, their water, their shelter, and their clothing. we must not do that. i ask you to join us. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from kentucky reserves. the gentleman from missouri is recognized. mr. smith: thank you, mr. speaker. i'd like to remind the body the reason why we are here today is because of the reckless
behavior. all these cuts on medicare, all of these cuts are because the house democrats forced through a nearly $2 trillion spending bill. and the reason why we have the pay-go statutory provision is because president obama signed it into law and the house democrats passed it. so the cuts are the result today of all the policies that democrats have been doing since 2010. i would love to yield three minutes to the gentleman from georgia. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes, the gentleman from georgia. mr. carter: thank you, mr. speaker. today we're addressing a problem that didn't even exist a week ago. it did not even exist last week. republicans stood on this floor and we argued against a $1.9 trillion partisan package last week. there were many reason to oppose
it. one of the most significant reasons is the fact that the bill would trigger cuts to medicare and other essential programs. we argued that it would harm all of our constituents. i argued it would harm my constituents in georgia. to my friend, my fellow delegation member, this bill penalized the state of georgia more than any state in the united states. more than any state in the nation georgia was punished. we lost $1.3 billion because of the funding formula. because we didn't shut down our state. we didn't destroy our economy. and the funding was based on the unemployment rate and not population. and where did that $1.3 billion go? it went to blue states. it went to california. it went to new york. georgian taxpayers' money went to other states, went to blue states, and what did it do to medicare in the state of
georgia? we lost $11.5 billion that would have went to the seniors on medicare in the state of georgia. and where did it go? again, it went to california, it went to new york, it went to the blue states. it went to the states that shut down their businesses and destroyed their economies. yet, the bill was pushed forward anyway. this could have all been avoided altogether. we could have crafted a bipartisan package that would not have triggered these medicare cuts. instead, those across the aisle resorted to forcing a bill through reconciliation. and in the end, they passed a package filled with political favors on the back of our seniors. again, this could have been avoided. but today we need to fix this for our constituents who are arguing we have a spending problem. now that the largest stimulus bill in our history has been signed into law, our deficit for the year will also break
records. we are now projected to have a federal deficit of $3.4 trillion, and debt as a share of our g.d.p. will be over 100% for only the second time in our country's history. my colleagues have shown little regard for paying for this reckless bill for political favor. that's why i urge my colleagues to find a way to restore the cuts to medicare. and the first place i suggest looking for it is in an over 90% of the last package that will not go to addressing the pandemic. mr. speaker, mr. speaker, this is wrong. my colleagues know it's wrong. let's get this fixed. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from missouri reserves. the gentleman from kentucky is recognized. mr. yarmuth: mr. speaker, i'm pleased to yield two minutes to the gentleman from california, a distinguished member of the ways
and means committee, mr. panetta. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized for two minutes. mr. panetta: thank you, mr. speaker, mr. chairman. today, i rise in support of h.r. 1868, to prevent these cuts to vital agriculture programs that are relied on farmers, farm workers, and food insecurity people in all of our districts. in we doss pass -- don't pass this bill today, $29 billion will be subject to the sequester cuts. those type of cuts would zero out funding for such crucial agricultural programs like equip and the conservation stewardship program and the regional conservation program. in the central coast of california, many farmers, ranchers, forest landowners rely on those type of helpful programs, not just to survive, mr. speaker, but to succeed. they use these products to harvest their products and to be
part of the climate solution. they appreciate the old adage which says the land they use now must be kept fresh and fertile, not just for them, but for future generations. and it's these programs that contribute to their current product and, yes, that type of forward thinking. sequester cuts would also prevent the federal government from purchasing and donating food to food banks through section 32 purchases. after the year we had, in which food banks contributed so much to the food insecurity of so many of my constituents, we should be doing everything we can to protect and bolster our food programs. we should also be doing everything we can to protect the production of food. but sequestration cuts would compromise many parts of the farm bill, like the specialty crop block grants or the agriculture research extension programs at public universities. as the co-chair of the congressional ag research caucus, i know that these type
of ag research programs help our farmers meet the challenges of 2021 and will allow them to prepare for challenges of the 21st century. mr. speaker, as the representative from the salad bowl of the world, it's my job to ensure my farmers and food workers and food insecurity families have all the tools they need to live and lead healthy and productive lives. as representatives of congress in this nation, it's -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for 30 seconds. mr. panetta: as representatives in congress for this nation, it's all of our jobs to ensure the programs for those tools and that food are here, not just today, but for tomorrow. we can live up to that responsibility by supporting h.r. 1868. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from kentucky reserves. the gentleman from missouri is recognized. mr. smith: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield two minutes to the newest member of the budget committee, the gentleman from mississippi. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from mississippi is recognized for two minutes. >> thank you, mr. speaker.
mr. speaker, i rise in opposition to h.r. 1868, the bill to prevent across-the-board direct spending cuts. it should come as no surprise to my democrat friends, you were told during the what little process we had of the $1.9 billion -- trillion spending bill that it was going to disproportionately hurt seniors, that it was going to hurt farmers. mr. kelly: you were told this and know that and knowing you would have to fix it later and drive something just as irresponsibly now. it goes to show this $2 trillion goes to urban, poorly run democratic cities and states at the expense of a rural, blue-collar americans who feed, clothe, and protect america every day. we told you this weeks ago and you ignored it. i am deeply concerned that the democrats would enact a bill that adds $1.9 trillion to an
american deficit without the support of a single republican. over 200 voting members of this body had no opportunity for input into this massively destructive package. the biden administration promised the american people bipartisanship and unity. however, they unilaterally drafted and pushed this bill through without any republican support. now the democrats have hastily put together a bill that jeopardizes the standing of our seniors and mortgages the future of our children. a $36 billion cut to medicare beginning in 2022. democrats would rather cut benefits to american seniors and rural america than give up checks to illegal immigrants and prisoners. the democrats have taken advantage of the need of the american people. my colleagues and i are advocating for a more responsible alternative and
protect our most vulnerable population. we must cut the billions of liberal state bailouts and ensure the money is spent responsibly. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yield it's back. the gentleman from missouri reserves. the gentleman from kentucky is recognized. mr. yarmuth: mr. speaker, i just want to remind the gentleman from mississippi, along with all the other members of this body that his citizens will receive in total $900 million from just the $1,400 checks. that's the average that every congressional district is going to receive. and i hope that at some point they will realize the benefits of that injection of capital in an economy that's struggling. i am now pleased to yield two minutes to the gentleman from connecticut, a distinguished member of the education and labor committee, mr. courtney. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from connecticut is recognized for two minutes. mr. courtney: thank you, mr. speaker. and i want to thank the chairman of the budget committee for him and his committee staff's steady
hand over the last couple of months to make sure the american rescue plan was enenacted last week. in that -- was enacted last week. the american people had a chance to listen to the debate and evaluate what they think of the american rescue plan. a poll that came out yesterday said 72% support. 44% among republicans across the country. and why not? 90 million americans on wednesday received $1,400 checks totaling $242 billion. and for those americans who are not connected digitally to the i.r.s., they are going to get their checks through the mail. for those americans filing their 2020 tax return whose income now qualifies them with the economic impact checks. on monday people who are on unemployment, they will get their benefits. in the commercial real estate sector, those parts of the
economy that are still hurting out there, and another vote of confidence happened on wednesday which is the federal reserve board met and they voted to keep their key benchmark rate at zero, not just for a couple of weeks or months but for the balance of 2021, for all of 2022 and into 2023. so for all the hysterical arguments that we're overheated the economy and inflation is going to go up, jerome powell, donald trump's nominee as chair of the federal reserve who took questions for over an hour on this inflation issue argued accurately with the battalion of economists that they have at the federal reserve that there is still slack in this economy and 10 million folks on unemployment need to get this type of fiscal relief that the american rescue plan responsibly targeted is going to make sure that this
country recovers as soon as possible. this is a routine bill today. we've done it over and over again in the last 10 years. vote yes and make sure that this economy, as the chairman of the federal reserve advised us, gets the help it needs. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from kentucky reserves. the gentleman from missouri is recognized. . mr. smith: i would like to yield three minutes to one of the leading doctors of the conference and a great member of the budget committee, the gentleman from texas. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized for three minutes. mr. burgess: i thank the gentleman for yielding. i am going to speak in opposition to 1868, but i also feel obligated to point out that you may say that the inflation rate is zero, but if you bought a gallon of gas, purchased a two by four at home depot, or a sack of quick krete at lows you know inflation is a real phenomenon. i do rise in opposition to 1868. there was no effort made on the part of the majority party to work with republicans on what
should be a bipartisan priority. and that is provide relief. i have heard from physicians, hospitals in texas, who struggled financially throughout the pandemic. the bill we have before us today is simply an excuse to wipe up the scorecard of the fiscal impact of the $1.9 trillion partisan package passed last week. and last week, republicans warned that this would threaten cuts to medicare, but those warnings were repeatedly ignored. so, look, if the house majority really cared, if house democrats really cared about meaningful health care provider relief, they would have worked to gain republican support, worked with us to build the bill from the ground up. instead, this bill is coming toward us as a hail mary pass right before the medicare sequester cuts go into effect in april. as a physician i have deep empathy for those whose medical practices have been impacted and
now struggling to stay open. i know i have helped many doctors, many clinics navigate the provider relief fund over this past year. we need targeted relief for the providers hurting and some are hurting more than others. i am a co-sponsor of-h 1999 which adds over $12 billion to the provider relief fund and ensures dollars would flow to those doctors who have experienced lost revenue or increased cost. this type of financial relief has already been proven successful. we passed the cares act on the 27th of march last year. we know it's successful. additionally, this alternative bill ensures that the 4% cut to medicare providers that was included in last week's reconciliation bill as a result of statutory pay-go, does not go into effect in 2022. the american rescue plan act
gifted $350 billion to state and local governments that simply was not justified. unstate and local communities are worthy of funding and they should specifically benefit from those state and local dollars that are not necessary to go where they are planned to go. that's why we would like to redirect the state and local funding towards provider relief. maintaining a strong health care work force is critical to the health of this nation during normal times, and especially critical during a public health emergency. we should work together on the right policy solution to deliver this relief to ensure that it stands a chance of actually passing in the other body, and that should be a starting point for those discussions. and i hope we can come to such a sensible solution. i yield back to the gentleman from missouri. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yield back. the gentleman from missouri reserves. the gentleman from kentucky is recognized. mr. yarmuth: mr. speaker, i'm happy to yield two minutes to the gentlewoman from illinois, a
distinguished member of the budget committee, ms. schakowsky. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized for two minutes. ms. schakowsky: thank you, mr. chairman. i am proud to co-sponsor h.r. 18 68 to prevent arbitrary cuts to medicare and to ensure that the american rescue plan is treated in the same way as previous coronavirus bills have been treated, including the cares act. this legislation as we all know is needed, the fix is needed, to avoid painful cuts to mandatory spending programs. let's remember hypocrisy is overwhelming here. the democrats voted with republicans in 2017 to avoid medicare cuts as a result of the republicans' tax scam, a $2 trillion bill tax cut that went mostly to the wealthy.
noneson over a year fighting this pandemic, they do not deserve a cut in medicare payments for taking care of seniors and people with disabilities. by removing the see quester, we can ensure that provide -- sequester, that providers keep their doors opened and continue to treat the -- their patients. the republicans voted against the american rescue plan, which they shouldn't have, i sincerely hope that today they will join us and vote to protect these programs that enjoy broad bipartisan public support and ensure that our commitment to our nation's seniors and people with disabilities are met during this public health crisis. especially now we need to be
working together, as we did for you when you were giving tax cuts to the wealthiest americans, we were not going to let medicare suffer. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. the gentleman from kentucky reserves. the gentleman from missouri is recognized. mr. smith: thank you, mr. speaker. i'd like to remind the lady from illinois that actions speak louder than words. and that she did not help the folks in 2017. that she tried to point out the hypocrisy. i'd like to yield three minutes to the gentleman from texas. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized for three minutes. >> i thank the chairman. mr. arrington: mr. speaker, to the lady's point about working together. democrats did not offer any hand of bipartisanship in this ram and jam job on the $2 trillion bailout bill. they even lost democrats on it. so they didn't work with us. it was a pure partisan play. and there is a reason for that. it's mostly unrelated to covid.
it is bailout galore. it is a wish list of the liberals in this house. and they just pushed it through and called it in disguise covid relief. the fundamental principle we are talking about today is pay-go. a law passed by democrats. signed by democrat president that says, fundamentally, american people understand this, if you spend beyond your means, you have to find a way to pay for it. you got to offset it. or you go into debt. the american people, they don't pay their bills, mr. speaker, they get their water turned off or electricity turned off. the i.r.s. will hunt them down. put them in jail if they don't pay their taxes. they'll have their mortgage foreclosed. their cars repossessed. that's what happens to the american people when they don't pay their bills. president obama when he signed the law said you can't spend a dollar unless you cut a dollar elsewhere. i agree with him.
ms. pelosi, our speaker, gave a speech and she gave glowing points as she embraced wholeheartedly and full throatedly this pay-go. she said, it's important on fiscal soundness to our children and grandchildren. she said who could oppose this great idea? she went on to say, this is an investment in our children's future must be paid for or else we are heaping a debt on to our children. $30 trillion almost and counting. who is going to pay for that? not us. not you. not us. our kids are going to pay for it. these are ms. pelosi's words, mr. speaker. this pay-as-you-go is part of a blueprint responsibility, subjecting spending to the harshest scruteny. every dollar must be subject to scruteny. bailing out union pensions. giving city and states -- cities and states money who horribly
mismanaged their business prior to covid. giving people more money on unemployment than they made in their previous job. paying people who are not economically harmed in this covid disaster. all of these things, there is a litany of wasteful, irresponsible, and unnecessary spending. hundreds of billions of dollars. and she says every dollar's going to be scrutinized? we are going to stick it to our seniors? we are going to stick it to our kids? that's a profile in courage if i ever saw one. that's the leadership that made this country great, mr. speaker. these are ms. pelosi's words, not fine. but i agree with her. we have an opportunity here. to do the right thing by our children. to offset the spending here in this $2 trillion bailout with the wasteful spending that's in there. i gave you a list, mr. speaker. i plead with you, and i plead with my colleagues, offset this and do right by our kids and their future in this country. i yield back.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from kentucky is recognized. mr. yarmuth: may ininquire how much time remains on both sides? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from kentucky has 11 magnificent --11 1/2 minutes. the gentleman from missouri has 1 1/4 minute remaining. mr. yarmuth: i'm happy to yield two minutes to the gentlewoman from texas, a distinguished member of the budget committee, ms. jackson lee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from texas is recognized for two minutes. ms. jackson lee: i thank our distinguished chairman. whenever you hear the words speaker pelosi, you know that she is leading, leading us on the fight to protect our seniors. i'm glad to co-sponsor this legislation to be a strong supporter of being on the front seat of protecting our seniors. whenever you hear us being demagogued from those on the other side, using demagoguery, you can be assured when they passed the tax bill it was not having seniors as their priority. but when you hear the word medicare, you know that democrats are standing strong to
make sure that not one dime is taken away from our seniors with medicare. open letter to my seniors in my district. open message to my seniors. we will die on this vine to protect your medicare. that is what we are doing today on the floor of the house. not one dime will come out of your medicare. i am proud to support h.r. 1868 which excludes a budgetary effects of the american rescue plan of 2021 from scorecard established by the statutory pay as you go or pay-as-you-go act of 2010. preventing across-the-board cuts to numerous spending programs. that's what we are doing. we are taking our seniors seriously. seniors have no fear, with all this demagoguery, because we are going to make sure that not one dime comes out of your pocket. in addition, seniors, you are going to be living in cities like houston where it says that
houston's share of the stimulus package is $00 million. that is going -- $600 million, that is going to help your city's services going. fire, police, trash pickup. we know you call my office, these are important to you. let me also indicate your health care will be in good place with this particular program. your grandchildren will be able to go back to school with almost $1 billion to the houston independent school district. stimulus checks. you are not going to be ignored. you are going to be able to get stimulus checks directly into your accounts. your grandchildren. your children will be able to get for them $3,600 for a 5-year-old. $3,000 -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman has an additional 30 seconds. ms. jackson lee: i thank the gentleman. $3,000 for children above 9. you'll be able to have enhanced unemployment for the young people in your life that have been unemployed. and then, of course, you may have the ability to have that
local restaurant, and i fought for this, local restaurant to be open again with $28 billion. the issue of public assistance, local government assistance was something i was allowed to offer a motion to instruct. it was something that i fought that we could not abandon. we will not abandon you as seniors. we will not let them catch one dime of medicare as our friends on the other side have. vote for this legislation because we are seniors first. i ask unanimous consent to place into the record the houston article dated march 10, 2021, $600 million for the sitity of houston. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentleman from kentucky reserves. the gentleman from missouri is recognized. mr. smith: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from kentucky is recognized. mr. yarmuth: mr. speaker, i'm happy to yield two minutes to the gentleman from texas, a distinguished member of the budget committee, mr. doggett. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized for two minutes. . mr. doggett: 55 years ago
president johnson enacted medicare. it's been a literal lifeline for millions. those who suffered without health care before medicare and now have access to a family physician and hospital care when they need it. former republican speaker newt gingrich in this very room plotted to let medicare wither on the vine. millions of americans would have withered had he been successful. yet, generations of americans have sought to privatize it, cut it, weaken it, and surely some of the strongest evidence of the success of medicare through all of these times is the claim by today's republicans that after so many failed attempts to weaken medicare, they are here quite amazingly, claiming to be its new protectors. of course, this comes following their understandable desperation to justify their inexplicable
efforts to deny the relief that was offered by the american rescue plan. the survivor benefits, the unemployment, small business, rental assistance, so vitally needed. the support for getting our students back in school. the funding to keep state and local employees doing their jobs. these republicans have resisted that rescue plan with the same fervor that they resisted medicare in the first place. so determined were these folks to oppose anything that president biden advances that they claim -- they've come out here and they claim that the rescue plan means medicare cuts, which certainly it does not. most of medicare falls within the jurisdiction of the ways and means health subcommittee that i chair. we do need to strengthen medicare. the latest financial report suggests additional revenues will be needed to sustain medicare beginning in 2026.
some of the changes that are needed are largely accounting adjustments and others will require additional revenue. may i have an additional 30 seconds? mr. yarmuth: i yield the gentleman an additional 30 seconds. mr. doggett: what our colleagues should be doing is coming together to work with us to ensure the permanent security of medicare. medicare works, but after 55 years, it needs some updates. it's not provided adequate protection against pharmaceutical pursuant to the order of the house gouging. it does not cover -- pharmaceutical price gouging. too many americans are too young to be in medicare. i believe we need to be working together to make medicare better and more widely available to more americans because health security is american security. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from kentucky reserves. the gentleman from missouri is recognized. mr. smith: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from kentucky is recognized.
mr. yarmuth: mr. speaker, i'm happy to yield two minutes to the gentlewoman from illinois, a distinguished member of the agriculture and appropriations committees, mrs. bustos. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized for two minutes. mrs. bustos: thank you, chairman yarmuth, and thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to support h.r. 1868. i know we've talked this morning about the importance of that bill protecting medicare. i want to talk with you for a couple minutes here about its protection of farm supports and other direct spending as it pertains to our family farmers. as chair of the agriculture subcommittee on general farm commodities and risk manage. justice, this bill will protect critical resources -- management, this bill will protect farms. there are more than two million farmers across our nation. in the district that i serve, we have close to 10,000 family farms. but throughout our nation, there is no farm that isn't touched by
the commodity credit corporation. not one american farmer who wouldn't be impacted by these cuts. in the district i serve, those close to 10,000 family farm -- family farmers, who wouldn't have more resources if this were to happen and would face challenges as they try to pay their bills and put food on the table. the truth is our family farmers have seen an onslaught of challenges for years, each year worse than the one before it. extreme weather conditions, devastated crops, unstable and uncertain trade markets that held back exports and economic growth. and throughout the past year, a global pandemic that has left many of our farmers ravaged, even as they kept fighting for fellow americans to keep them fed. covid-19 has impacted all of us, but thankfully we have not seen truly empty store shelves. we have our american farmers to thank for that.
we have them for the stable food supply and even after years of challenges, even at the height of our worldwide crisis, our american farmers have our backs. now it's time for us to have theirs. a vote against this bill is a vote to cut farm funding. i urge my colleagues to vote to protect our family farmers and vote yes on this critical bill. thank you very much. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. the gentleman from kentucky reserves. mr. yarmuth: mr. speaker, i have no other speakers. if the ranking member has no speakers, i'm prepared to close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from kentucky reserves. the gentleman from missouri is recognized. mr. smith: thank you, mr. speaker. my colleagues and i introduced an alternative, a more responsible approach that protects our seniors and rolls back some of the most wasteful and absurd parts of the democrat bailout bill. i'd urge my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to put america's seniors ahead of their
special interest allies. join us to protect the working class. we will offer such a solution as a motion to recommit. if adopted, it will instruct the committee on the budget to consider an amendment to make the sensible cuts in ways offered in the protect seniors and cut waste act. mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to insert the text of the amendment in the record immediately prior to the vote on the motion to recommit. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. smith: let's put the health care of our seniors ahead of prisoners. illegal immigrants, and the political class. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from kentucky is recognized. mr. yarmuth: mr. speaker, i yield myself the remainder of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. yarmuth: thank you, mr. speaker. the last couple of months have been an incredibly busy time. and the work that was done on the american rescue plan from start to finish was
extraordinary. we owe our staffs an enormous debt of gratitude that not just the budget committee staff but the staff of the 12 committees that contributed to the drafting of the american rescue plan. i'd like to read the names of the budget committee staff who pulled all-nighters, all-weekenders, and went way beyond the call of duty on doing the work on the american rescue plan. erica, ellen, samantha, edward, jose, jocelyn, emily, sarah, sheila, diana, layla, kim berly, barbara, scott russell, laura santos, raquel spencer, alexander, kristie, jennifer, sam, ted, and grady. i want to thank all of them personally for their work. and on behalf of the house.
in closing, mr. speaker, i just want to say this. we have heard a lot of newly found concern about the deficit and the debt today. we heard it during the debates. this is the same party that drove up the deficit three years ago, four years ago now with a $2 trillion tax cut. most of which benefited the wealthiest americans. and according to virtually that looked for it didn't come close to paying for itself. what we have done in the american rescue plan is give an incredible boost to the american people. and the american people who need the boost most. not one dollar in the american rescue plan goes to the top 1% of americans. the vast majority goes to middle and lower income people struggling to get by.
and i'm kind of amused when people talk about their states being cheated, the gentleman from georgia talked about how georgia was cheated. under this american rescue plan, georgia gets over $8 billion, twice as much as georgia got under the cares act. that doesn't even count all of the money that's going to the georgia citizens. as i said, in every congressional district in this country on average the people, the citizens we represent will get $900 million. every congressional district. and my friend from missouri talked about his family of four and i know his math is better than this. but a family of four doesn't get $1,400, as he mentioned. a family of four gets $1,400 times four which is $5,600. and then two children, depending on their ages, get at least $3,000 each. so that family of four is going
to get $11,000 out of this bill. and to talk about future generations, i love that. i'm sure that when the national debt reached $1 billion under abraham lincoln there were people saying, wow, we're laying an incredible burden on our grandchildren. and when it reached $1 trillion under ronald reagan i'm sure there were people saying the same thing. and when it gets to $50 trillion, as it probably will in the next couple of decades, people will be saying the same thing. we've been accumulating debt for our entire history and yet no one has ever been asked to pay for that debt. and no one ever will. so all in all, we're very proud of the american rescue plan. the american people love the american rescue plan, and this fix, which we ask for today, is something that, again, is just what the republicans asked to do in 2017. it's a routine measure.