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Occurrences in the Congressional Record

Entry Title Date
In Opposition To H.R. 5021 July 15, 2015
Earl Blumenauer, D-OR
"I am pleased that Congress is finally acting today, not with a looming crisis, but one that is already upon us. This is entirely predictable. I have been arguing for months that Congress needs to act because the stopgap measure we did last Congress was designed to create precisely this Congress at precisely this time. Sixty-two groups may have signed on a letter of support, but they prefer us to act meaningfully for long-term funding. They accept this because it is the only alternative to shutting down activities this summer. My Republican friends are unwilling—not unable—but unwilling to resolve the funding contradictions. Revenues have failed to keep pace with the demands of an aging growing Nation, making no change for 21 years, as our infrastructure ages and falls apart, our Nation continues to grow and transportation patterns change. It is guaranteed that we should change as well. This Congress has refused to address its responsibilities. The House Ways and Means Committee has not had a single hearing on transportation finance. One of our most important responsibilities, uniquely ours, one that is unlike so many other items we deal with, it is possible to resolve. We haven’t had a hearing in the 43 months that the Republicans have been in charge of Congress. Now, I understand there are conflicts within the Republican Caucus. There are some that appear satisfied with locking us into a slow, steady decline called for in the Republican budget— no new projects until October of 2015 and a 30 percent reduction over the next decade, at exactly the time the Federal partnership should be enhanced, not reduced. There are others in the Republicans whose answer is to just abandon ship, to give up on the Federal partnership, slash the Federal gas tax, and abandon any hope of a national transportation policy and partnership to help States with projects that are multistate in nature or that need to be done whether economic times are bad. That would be tragic and wrong to abandon the partnership that has meant so much, but it is part of what is driving some of our Republican Tea Party friends. Just because there may not be a majority in the Republican ranks for either approach does not mean that we should continue to dither. Because Republicans friends are unwilling or unable to resolve this, we have frozen the Transportation Committee in place. They don’t have a bill. They are not going to have a bill unless we resolve what the budget number is: increase, continue the downward slide, or abandon it altogether. We will be no better off next May to resolve this question. In fact, we will be worse off because we will be in the middle of a Presidential campaign, with a new Congress, maybe new committee lineups. We should reject this approach to hand off our responsibilities. We should resolve the resource question, and we should commit that this Congress is not going to recess for August vacation, not going to recess to campaign in October, until we have worked to give the American people a transportation bill they need—deserve—to jump-start the economy, create hundreds of thousands of family-wage jobs, and strengthen communities and families across the Nation. American infrastructure used to be the best in the world and a point of pride bringing Americans together. It is now a source of embarrassment and deep concern as we fall further and further behind global leaders."
Alzheimer’S & Brain Awareness Month June 24, 2015
Edward Markey, D-MA
"Right now is not the time to cut funding at the National Institutes of Health. They are not only the National Institutes of Health, they are also the national institutes of hope, and we must give that hope to American families that we can find a cure. We cannot cut that budget. We cannot allow sequestration to come in and slash the NIH budget once again. In 2015, NIH has buying power that is 20 percent lower than it was 10 years ago. This is at a point where it should be ramped up 20 percent higher, not lower."
Protect Medical Innovation Act Of 2015 June 17, 2015
Erik Paulsen, R-MN
"Medical advancements have helped add 5 years to U.S. life expectancy in the last two decades. It has helped slash the death rate from heart disease by a stunning 50 percent and cut the death rate from stroke by 30 percent."
National Defense Authorization Act For Fiscal Year 2016 June 8, 2015
John McCain, R-AZ
"Is there any Member of this Chamber who believes we should increase the Army staff by 60 percent over a decade, and then turn around and slash our Army brigade combat teams from 45 to 32? Of course not."
Concurrent Resolution On The Budget, Fiscal Year 2016—Conference Report—Continued May 5, 2015
Elizabeth Warren, D-MA
"Assuming it is applied proportionately, the Republican budget can cut mandatory transportation funding by 40 percent over the next decade. That will be significantly fewer dollars to repair and improve our highways and to help keep our buses and trains moving in Massachusetts. So if you already think we have a crumbling infrastructure, if you are already worried about old buses and whether the T can struggle through another winter, remember that the Republicans want to slash the support for transportation by 40 percent. With these cuts, our crumbling infrastructure will crumble even faster."

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