The American people are hurting. As a result of the greed, recklessness and illegal behavior on Wall Street, millions of Americans have lost their jobs, homes, life savings and their ability to get a higher education. Today, some 22 percent of our children live in poverty, and millions more have become dependent on food stamps for their food.
Economy & Budget
Last week, the U.S. House of Representatives approved the Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act with my strong support, and the measure has now been signed into law. The legislation is designed to identify and eliminate improper payments from federal agency spending and recover the lost funds that agencies have misspent.
Right now, I am absolutely astonished how the special interests work in this town. Incredible.
Ever since I took office, I have been meeting with people who have been hurt by the economic crisis by big Wall Street players. People who lost jobs and homes, or saw their savings decline. I came here to work hard for them, and for the last 18 months, that's what I have been doing.
Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.) made the following remarks on the House floor Thursday regarding Social Security:
Seventy-five years ago this country recognized the plight of senior citizens who had no retirement, who were forced to move in with their kids when they got old, and we created Social Security. And it has been a tremendous success.
The economy is on everyone's mind today, and it's no wonder. Unemployment is around 9.5 percent. People who have jobs are afraid to leave them. The housing market is still recovering, and millions of Americans are facing foreclosure despite being employed full time. Everywhere you go, you hear about struggles as much as successes.
U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor Thursday regarding the small-business bill and job creation:
Republicans today will continue to look for a way forward on the Small Business Bill. This is an opportunity to deliver some real relief to small businesses struggling to dig themselves out of the recession.
Unfortunately, Democrats seem to have other priorities. In the middle of a debt crisis, Democrats can’t seem to pass trillion-dollar spending bills fast enough. And in the middle of a jobs crisis, they continue to push one bill after another containing job-stifling taxes, new rules and regulations, and government intrusion into business.
In the first full Appropriations Committee mark up of the year yesterday, Republicans on the Appropriations Committee attempted to limit government spending by offering an alternative funding proposal for discretionary spending. In contrast to the Democrats’ plan, the Republican proposal would save $31 billion next year and $341 billion over the next decade. The Republican alternative also includes additional resources for national defense, while still providing a sensible level of non-security spending for key investments in areas such as education, medical research, and transportation. By contrast, the Democrats’ proposal would cut defense and security spending by $7 billion in order to fund their domestic priorities, which could impair military readiness and national security.
Former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher once said, “The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people’s money.” That’s true, and in the case of Greece and the European Union, decades of “spend and borrow” economic policies have created a dangerous debt crisis which has put the entire Continent on the brink of bankruptcy. To keep the government spigots flowing, the European Union has requested a $360 billion bailout from the International Monetary Fund. What many people don’t realize is that the United States is the largest contributor to the IMF. That means over $60 billion of U.S. tax money will be funneled through the IMF to the European Union to prop up failed socialist policies that have become too expensive to pay. In fact, the cost to U.S. taxpayers may reach even higher.
When the new healthcare law was passed most people understood, among other things, it would help insure 220,000 Nebraskans who have been denied coverage because they can’t afford it, have pre-existing conditions or the like. We also knew that the law would require constant monitoring to confront the challenge of unintended consequences as they were discovered.
Senator Carte Goodwin today released the following statement after casting his first vote in the Senate for a cloture vote to extend unemployment insurance (UI) benefits to thousands of West Virginians and millions of Americans:
“I am deeply honored that my first vote in the United States Senate could help so many of my fellow West Virginians who are struggling during this difficult economy as they search for a new job,” said Senator Goodwin.