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Kerry slams House GOP bugdet in floor speech, defends Head Start, Pell grants and CDBGs

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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-08-11 06:24 PM
Original message
Kerry slams House GOP bugdet in floor speech, defends Head Start, Pell grants and CDBGs
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Excerpt from the transcript:

I come here today to appeal to the common sense and conscience of our colleagues. This is not the time to create a fundamentally political budget document steeped in ideology. It's not the time to put forward a set of choices, many of which, have absolutely nothing to do debt. With reducing the deficit or the but everything to do with ideological goals long sought by some now cloaked in the guise of deficit crisis in order to achieve what they've never been able to achieve to date. Everyone here knows -- you know, you have private conversation with colleagues and they'll nod their heads and acknowledge to you how serious this budget situation is. We need a serious conversation about our fiscal situation.


A lot of Americans appropriately ask, what are we doing with 57,000, 60,000 pages of a tax code? How many Americans have their own page? But you can run through it and find an awful lot of big interest, big business, folks who can afford big lobbyists, they get their own pages. But the average American appropriately feels left out and abused by that process. That ought to be on this agenda, the simplification of the code and the fairness of the code.


We have a whole set of other let me also point out to my colleagues, revenue right now -- spending -- spending is at the highest level as a share of our economy than it has been in more than 60 years. We are spending more than we've spent, as a share of our economy at any time in 60 years. But we are also collecting less revenue than we have ever collected in the last 60 years. There's something wrong with that equation.


They reduce -- they reduce federal funds from being spent for planned parenthood, for doctors and nurses to conduct one million life-saving screenings for cervical cancer. More than 830,000 breast cancer exams. I guess it's much more important that millionaires, people earning more than $1 million a year get their tax cut than that 830,000 women have breast cancer screenings. I mean, this value system is something that i think is absolutely essential for us to examine.


The house cuts almost $2 billion from the clean water and drinking water state funds that allow us to capitalize on low interest loans and no interest loans so that we can build and refurbish clean water systems. All across our country, we have communities that are under court orders to clean up the water for our citizens, and the house is cutting the ability of those communities to be able to provide for that because they don't have the tax base, most of them, to be able to do it on their own. The house bill prohibits the E.P.A. -- that discussion took place and Ill skip over it, but it has nothing to do with deficit reduction. It just prohibits the E.P.A. from enforcing clean air laws. After the American people decided in 1970 they wanted clean air and people's lives have been improved because we have provided it, so we're going to go backwards there.


We have a train that runs from Washington to New York called the Acela. It can go 150 miles an hour but only goes 150 miles an hour for 18 miles that have trip between here and New York. Why? Because if it goes too fast between the tunnel in Baltimore, the tunnel may cave in. You go to China, you ride on a train that goes 200 miles an hour and the water doesn't even move in a glass. 300 miles an hour on the Maglev train from Shanghai airport to downtown Shanghai. Go to Dubai, go to Paris, go to any major airport in America, and you'll find an airport that outshines the airports in the United States and you'll find public transit systems that outshine the public transit systems of the united states. Because once again, we're living off what our parents and our grandparents built because we're not willing to pay for anything, which is why revenue in the United States is at a 60-year low.

Mr. President, we need to be smart about where we're going here.

The G.D.P. of our country is measured by our total expenditures of consumption of the American people. It's measured by our investments. It's measured by government spending and investment, and by our exports minus our imports. That's the G.D.P. That's how you measure G.D.P. How can these folks sit here and say if you cut the government spending, you're not going to cut the G.D.P. , which is what every major economic analysis has said.

So, yes, we have to cut waste. Yes, we have to cut some spending. Yes, we have to be responsible. But let's be responsible in a responsible way. By looking at the overall budget and the places that we can reduce at a tempo, Mr. President, that doesn't do injury to our ability to be able to invest in Americas future, create the jobs for the future but nevertheless send the right message to the marketplace and to the American people. We've done that before.


We saw the longest expansion in Americas history staring us in the face, Mr. President, is the largest economic opportunity of a lifetime. The energy marketplace is a $6 trillion market with 6 billion potential users today rising to about 9 billion over the next 30 years. We're not engaged in that. Years ago china produced 5% of the world's solar panels. Today they produce 60% and the United States doesn't have one company in the top ten companies in the world's solar panel producers.

What are we doing?

The biggest transformational market staring us in the face is the energy market and we should be here putting an energy policy in place, an education policy in place, an infrastructure investment policy in place and a research policy for technology and medical that soars, that takes America into the future, creates the jobs we need for the next generations, reduces the deficit in responsible ways, not in this unbelievable, reckless, meat ax hatchet budget that is being presented to us by the house of representatives.


From the prepared remarks

<...>

Completely absent from this debate is an honest discussion of what actions only the government is equipped to take to bolster our nations global competitiveness. Every CEO in America knows there are some things that only the government can do things they need the government to do. Look at President Eisenhowers national interstate highway system in the 1950s and the investments in DARPA that gave us the growth of the Internet during the 1980s and 1990s. Were still living off that inheritance. What we havent been discussing during this budget debate is what we need to invest in now -- a coherent national energy policy to make sure that our economy is not held hostage to oil and instability in the Middle East. The United States can become the first country to have one million electric vehicles on the road by 2015 and ensure that 80 percent of our electricity comes from clean energy sources, and with that comes jobs. We need a cutting-edge, high-speed wireless data network to make sure our businesses can compete in the international marketplace. America has always been built to compete, and if we want to attract the best jobs and businesses to our shores, we have to be that Nation again. This budget process does not even begin to address those choices and every day we dont have that discussion is a day we fall further behind.

<...>

What do they do instead? They make reckless cuts that endanger our economic recovery today and threaten our economic competitiveness tomorrow. And theyve turned their back on any serious discussion about eliminating tax loopholes and other reforms that would make the tax code fairer. Instead, they focus their efforts on spending cuts that primarily hurt the most vulnerable in our society. We can do better.

Just look at their vote to slash over $1 billion from Head Start a deep cut to comprehensive early childhood services for low income children as young as three that provides them with education, nutrition, and health support. If enacted 2,936 Massachusetts children would lose access to Head Start. Do we really think thats going to help build a generation of young people that can go out and compete with China, India, and other countries that are racing ahead globally?

But thats just the start. The House bill cuts $2.5 billion in funding for the Community Development Block Grant program which is critical to our cities in towns in Massachusetts. A month doesnt pass that I dont hear from a Mayor about how they have used CDBG money to get their local economy moving. Under the House plan, Massachusetts would lose over $72 million in CDBG funding to develop jobs and build housing. Is that really how we keep an economic recovery going?

And just look at what their budget would do to our workforce tomorrow and in the future. The House budget plan decimates education funding. While China is racing ahead sending their students to the United States for degrees in math, science, and engineering, the House is cutting the maximum annual Pell Grant award by $845 to $4,705, a 15 percent cut below the current maximum of $5,550. This would affect over a 100,000 students in Massachusetts, making college less affordable and accessible for low-and moderate-income students. Many students may be forced to drop out. Higher education is not only critical to the competitiveness of our country; its an entire industry in Massachusetts. The House plan provides no funding for Race to the Top, which provided Massachusetts $250 million last year to improve our schools and bolster reform.

This isnt a budget to help our economy or deal with deficits in the short and long term; its an ideological wish list topped by over one hundred riders that have nothing to do with jobs or the deficit but which zero in on everything from gun sales to Guantanamo and global warming.

They tie the hands of the Consumer Product Safety Commission from launching and maintaining a database of consumer products. I guess you dont need to know if the products you buy could be harmful to you. I guess that has something to do with the deficit. They prohibit federal funds from being spent by Planned Parenthood for doctors and nurses to conduct nearly one million lifesaving screenings for cervical cancer and more than 830,000 breast cancer exams. I dont think anyone really believes thats how you create jobs or wrestle with our debt. Its just ideological venting, at a huge cost to our country.

But at the same time that were talking about winning the future, the most devastating impact of the House bill is its affect on science, research and the environment.

The House bill cuts almost $2 billion from The Clean Water and Drinking Water State Revolving Funds are formula grants to the states which capitalize low-interest and no-interest loans to our local communities to help them build and refurbish wastewater/sewer systems and drinking water systems. This will kill more than 30,000 jobs.

The House bill slashes EPAs budget by one-third below FY2010, the largest cut to any federal agency.

The bill prohibits EPA from spending funds on renewable fuels mandates, greenhouse gas reporting and energy efficiency programs. It would prevent EPA from setting minimum federal standards for power plants and oil refineries, and severely interferes with EPAs permitting process for new or expanded facilities. This imposes a de facto construction ban in Massachusetts and many other areas of the country by preventing EPA from issuing the necessary pre-construction permits to the largest new and expanded facilities to address greenhouse gas emissions. It prohibits the EPA from issuing or enforcing new guidance regarding which water bodies in the United States are protected under the Clean Water Act. This would effectively bar the EPA from restoring Clean Water Act protections to some of Americas most valuable wetlands, streams and water resources.

The House bill cuts the Department of Energys Advanced Research Projects (ARPA-E) budget by 10 percent. The proposed cut to ARPA-E would curtail its ability to develop technologies that are too risky for the private sector to invest in but once commercialized, will ensure U.S. technological lead in developing and deploying advanced technologies and boost the U.S. economy. Massachusetts has received 17 ARPA-E awards to date. Secretary Chu recently announced that in a little over one year, six projects that received a total of $23.6 million in seed funding from ARPA-E have generated more than $100 million in outside private capital investment. Of these six companies, five are located in Massachusetts. This is a death sentence for these companies; theyre on the cutting edge but this budget leaves them on the cutting room floor.

The House bill provides $787 million below the current level for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. It would significantly delay needed investments in Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy R&D, demonstration and deployment programs critical to the transition to a Clean Energy Economy.

The US stands to be the world leader in concentrated solar with the addition of these two projects, but this title is in jeopardy thanks to more irresponsible and irrational cuts in HR1. The proposed elimination of the DOE loan guarantee program for clean energy cost jobs, American competitiveness, and immediate economic benefits. For example, yesterday I met with Abengoa Solar, a company trying to help the US become the world leader in concentrated solar with two of the largest facilities in Arizona and California. But by cutting the loan guarantee program we stand to lose 1,200 jobs from just the California project. In addition this doesn't include the half a billion dollars of equipment from US suppliers in 9 states across the US including Arizona, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Colorado and Kansas.

The House bill slashes $1.3 billion from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which would force NIH to reduce support for more than 25,000 existing research grants and scale back clinical trials and research projects. These drastic cuts will devastate biomedical research; cures will be delayed, jobs will be eliminated, and American leadership and innovation will be jeopardized. NIH is the primary federal agency responsible for conducting and supporting medical research, most of which is done at medical schools, hospitals, universities and research institutes distributed in every state in the country. NIH-funded research drives scientific innovation and develops new and better diagnostics, prevention strategies, and more effective treatments. NIH-funded research also contributes to the nations economic strength by creating skilled, high-paying jobs; new products and industries; and improved technologies.

They do that even as we know that continued commitment to NIH is essential for securing a strong national economy and for maintaining our leadership as the global leader in research and development. Everyone applauded when President Obama said in his 2011 State of the Union Address that one key to future growth in the U.S. economy will be to encourage American innovation and job creation by investing in research and developmentincluding biomedical research at the NIH. And Massachusetts received more than $2.5 billion in NIH grants last year alone. But here we are gutting the NIH because were afraid to look at the things that need to be addressed that yield real savings.

Folks, this is killing our economic competitiveness in the cradle and in the laboratories. Investment in the NIH produces a steady stream of talented researchers who lead the way to treatments and cures for some of the worlds most devastating diseases. In fact, a report by Families USA estimated NIH awards to the states results in over 351,000 jobs that pay an average annual wage of more than $52,000, and results in $50.5 billion in increased output of goods and services to the U.S. The jobs, the spinoff industries, and the local development that are sustained by NIH awards will disappear or relocate to more competitive nationssuch as China or Indiawithout continued and stable funding for the NIH.

The House bill reduces funding for the National Institute of Standards and Technology by $223 million which will reduce research and hurt job creation. The House bill slashes funding for the National Science Foundation by more than $300 million below current levels meaning 1,800 fewer research and education grants.

<...>


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msongs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-08-11 06:25 PM
Response to Original message
1. oddly enough we have lots of $$ to help kill kids gathering firewood, Mr. Kerry nt
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karynnj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-08-11 06:39 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. You are suggesting that Senator Kerry has the ability to change
the administration's strategy in Afghanistan. If you were paying attention, in fall of 2009 when Obama was considering what to do - Kerry had 4 hearings, wrote op-eds, and spoke at the CFR - as well as advised Obama. Kerry did not favor the McChrystal plan - but Gates and Clinton did. Obama went with them.

Not to mention, would you eliminate EVERY Democrat tn the Senate from defending these programs. This seems like a hell of a good speech.
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msongs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-08-11 07:11 PM
Response to Reply #3
6. merely an observation, it is Obama's war and what goes on their is his responsibility nt
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wisteria Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-08-11 08:33 PM
Response to Reply #1
9. That is another subject for another time. It really is out of place here.
Apples and oranges.
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Mar-11-11 08:33 AM
Response to Reply #1
18. Kerry has been formulating an exit strategy for Afghanistan. Not something corpmedia has bothered
discussing, including the 'left' media who are always there ready to distort whatever Kerry says in service to the establishment lies that have been dumped on Kerry for decades.
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Scurrilous Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-08-11 06:28 PM
Response to Original message
2. K & R
:thumbsup:
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politicasista Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-08-11 06:47 PM
Response to Original message
4. Kick
Edited on Tue Mar-08-11 07:18 PM by politicasista
The Senator gives a nice speech, but it's not or never good enough for some. Guess if Kucinich, Sanders', or Grayson gave this, you would see more + than -. JAHO.


:kick: :patriot:
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protect our future Donating Member (786 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-08-11 06:57 PM
Response to Original message
5. Gotta repost this from Senator Kerry's remarks above:
"The biggest transformational market staring us in the face is the energy market and we should be here putting an energy policy in place, an education policy in place, an infrastructure investment policy in place and a research policy for technology and medical that soars, that takes America into the future, creates the jobs we need for the next generations, reduces the deficit in responsible ways, not in this unbelievable, reckless, meat ax hatchet budget that is being presented to us by the house of representatives."

K & R for Senator Kerry and some sanity on another insane day.
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alcibiades_mystery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-08-11 07:51 PM
Response to Original message
7. Why did they let CBGB's die?
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polmaven Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-08-11 08:18 PM
Response to Original message
8. Senator Kerry -
I have but one thing and one thing only to say to you!


:yourock:


I am very proud that you are MY SENATOR!
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wisteria Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-08-11 08:35 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. +1 n/t
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YvonneCa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-08-11 08:59 PM
Response to Original message
11. Thanks for posting this, Prosense. I've been out all day...
...and missed it. :)
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ProSense Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Mar-08-11 11:19 PM
Response to Reply #11
12. It's a great speech
:hi:

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YvonneCa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 12:17 PM
Response to Reply #12
14. ...
...Of that I have NO doubt. :hi:
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Shiver Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 12:36 AM
Response to Original message
13. That is an awesome speech.
Kicking for the late-nighters! :kick:
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politicasista Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-10-11 02:43 PM
Response to Reply #13
17. kick n/t
:kick:
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wiggs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Mar-09-11 12:51 PM
Response to Original message
15. right on speech that few will hear. What the gop does is propose outrageous
cuts on spending they know will not stand. They will allow dems to make amendments that spare half the threatened programs. Cervical cancer screenings will continue. National Endowment for the Arts will not be zeroed out. But in exchange, they'll get the cuts they wanted in the first place because the nation will express a sign of relief that they didn't stick with a nightmarish budget...we compromised down to a horrible budget. Instead of 10 million people suffering, only 5 million will be hurt.
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blm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Mar-10-11 08:49 AM
Response to Reply #15
16. When will people wake up and realize that certain Dems are distorted by media DELIBERATELY
because they DO make so much sense? Even the allegedly LEFT media will take words out of context and spin them against him, because they get rewarded for doing so by the establishment figures in the Dem party who have also been part of the decades of distortion against Kerry.
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