Hoyer Discussing Future Policies Under the Principle of Pay-Go on the House Floor

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... balance of his time? mr. barton: reserve the balance. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from california. mr. waxman: mr. speaker, i am pleased at this point to yield one minute to the distinguished majority leader to speak on the legislation. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. hoyer: i thank the distinguished gentleman for yielding and i rise in strong support of this legislation. i want to say to my friend who just spoke, the ranking member who chaired the committee who said they wanted to pay for things. what this bill does is puts statutory pay-go into law. he's right. but what he didn't say to you is when their side controlled the presidency, the house and the senate, they jettisonned paying for things. they did away with pay-go generally, and what happened? we went from substantial surpluses under the clinton administration to substantial deficits under the bush administration. now, these substantial deficits and deficit being created, we were told would create great economic growth in our country. in point of fact, however, after eight years of that economic policy where they jettisonned pay-go, a pay-go which provided there are 5.6 trillion of surplus -- provided $5.6 trillion of surplus in 2001. but they abandoned pay-go, which is in this bill. this is not a question of payoff somebody. this was in the president's budget when he sat down earlier this year. it was in our budget that we passed the house and the senate. we said we were going to do this. why? because it's the right thing to do. today we have the chance to vote for health care our seniors can count on and a fiscal future for all americans that they can have faith in. now, very frankly, my friend said we on the republican side want to fix this. my question is simply, why didn't you? why do we still have this issue that confronts us year after year after year? because we didn't have the courage to face it. i'm going to talk about the deficit because this adds to the deficit. i'll lament that. but there is not an option as you added to the deficit every time you fixed it one year at a time. and doctors couldn't rely on it. but more importantly, seniors couldn't rely on the fact that their doctors wouldn't have a big cut and push them out. i am going to talk about that as well. we can do it by stopping a massive medicare payment cut and by committing future policies to the tested principle of pay-as-you-go. my friends on the other side doesn't like pay-as-you-go because it cuts revenues over $1 trillion. which is one of the reasons we have such a large deficit. because they didn't pay for what they bought. and interestingly enough, my friends, they bought at a rate twice the growth in spending that occurred during the 1,990's, in the 2000's, which -- during the 1990's, in the 200's, which was about 7% per year. so they decreased revenue and increased spending. and we had large deficits. and the biggest recession we have faced since the 1930's. it was inherited by this administration and frankly by this congress. now, going back to the pay as you go. first, the medicare payment rate cut, if we do nothing payments to doctors treating medicare patients would drop by 21% in the new year with more cuts in the years to come. if we allow that to take place, many seniors will find their doctor is no longer available to treat them. so this is not only about compensating doctors for the services that are vitally important and we want them to give, but it is also to protecting seniors to access the doctors. that will mean less access to health care, longer waiting lists and serious conditions going untreated. and in some, if we do not act on this bill it will mean sicker seniors. that's why it's essential that we stop these cuts before they're allowed to take effect. the cuts, of course, will occur on january 1 of this year, approximately one month from today. ...