Enyart: Fund Social Security, Medicare and Veterans Pay in Event of Government Shut-Down
U.S. Congressman Bill Enyart (D-IL) spoke on the House Floor on an amendment to the House Republicans' partisan continuing resolution that lays the groundwork for defaulting on the national debt, and continues the damaging sequester. Congressman Enyart’s amendment would have funded Social Security, Medicare and Veterans’ benefits for an entire year in case of a government shut-down or default. Below are his remarks and a link to the video:
Click the image above to watch the video.
“Madame Speaker, we are 9 short days from the end of the fiscal year and 3 weeks from when we as a nation can no longer pay our bills.
“In 2011 Congressional leaders changed the rules - for the first time ever – by debating whether the United States should voluntarily refuse to pay its bills.
“Congress ultimately raised the debt limit, but this partisan brinksmanship led to business uncertainty, a drop in consumer confidence, and the first ever downgrade of the nation’s AAA credit rating. Most importantly it cost job growth.
“I cannot believe that the full faith and credit of the United States would be threatened by this House. I can’t fathom how we can choose not to pay the bills we’ve already incurred.
“As we stand here today, we are hurtling toward a government shutdown and once again facing potential default. I’m offering this amendment because the last thing we should be doing is threatening seniors with losing their Social Security or their Medicare. Our troops protecting us both domestically and overseas shouldn’t have to worry that they won’t be paid.
“With this amendment, Social Security checks will be processed and mailed on time. Medicare and veterans benefits will not be cut or delayed. Our men and women serving around the world will receive the pay they have earned. This amendment prohibits Social Security from being privatized and Medicare from being turned into a voucher program.
“Madame Speaker, I represent 136,263 Social Security recipients and more thousands of veterans in Southern Illinois. Real people – not statistics. They are not only the retired; they are disabled, widows, spouses and children looking to us for leadership and depending on us to do the right thing.
“Madame Speaker, our nation is at a crossroads. This body was sent here by our constituents to GOVERN. Instead, a determined few have turned the House of Representatives away from solving problems and are creating problems.
“We need to turn to the most important work of our great nation today -- creating jobs for those who want to work but can’t find employment. I hope my colleagues across the aisle will signal to the American people that they are ready to get about the serious business of GOVERNING.
“Join me to protect our seniors, our veterans and our brave servicemen and women. We cannot do less.”