Larsen: Congress Leaves Kids and Seniors to Fend For Themselves, But Ends Flight Delays

Apr 26, 2013 Issues: Education, Social Services, Transportation

WASHINGTON—Rep. Rick Larsen, WA-02, said the Congressional deal to end furloughs for air traffic controllers “lands somewhere short of a profile in courage” because Congress has failed to address the bigger problems that sequester created. Larsen, the ranking Democrat on the House Aviation Subcommittee, said kids and seniors across the country are being hurt thanks to Congress’s failure to replace sequestration.

The text of Larsen’s floor speech, as delivered, follows:

Before we start patting each other on the back for this bill, I think it’s important that we recognize that we’re not fixing the bigger problems that sequester has created.

Earlier this month, the Bellingham Herald reported that Head Start students in my District will have to begin finding their own way to school as bus service is being cut because of the sequester.

Perhaps we now we can ask these four-year-olds to ride their tricycles to class, or, because of this bill, maybe book a flight.

Children of military families at NAS Whidbey Island are going to schools where budgets are being cut because of reductions in Impact Aid mandated by sequestration.

But we’re not doing anything to help those kids today.

We’re not helping seniors in Arlington, Washington who are getting Meals on Wheels no longer delivered to them.

And it’s not just my District. Every member of this House represents a District whose kids and seniors are being hurt thanks to our failure to clean up the mess we caused.

This lands somewhere short of a profile in courage.

This is a band-aid and sequestration needs a triple-bypass surgery.

Sequestration is a little bit like the person who kicks a boulder, and then blames the boulder for his broken toe.

Congress created this problem. We need to fix it.