Ms. JACKSON LEE of Texas. For fear of offending the training that my mother gave me, I will again say that I stand here unaddicted and recognize that there are those who are addicted to throwing the vulnerable on the trash heap of life. Time and time again, in those budgets that my good friend from New York (Mr. Nadler) voted against, I assume that he refused to throw the vulnerable on the trash heap of life.
We come again to a time when we want to abdicate our responsibility under the Constitution. But, my friends, I want to remind you that time and time again the Republicans came back to that tired old formula, balanced budget amendment; and time and time again they were rejected.
This Constitution is sacred. It has nothing in it about the balanced budget. Twenty-six amendments, and they have been rejected. Why? Because they don't want to do the job that the people of the United States have sent us to do. The job that says give and take on how we fund this government.
Someone wants to talk about State governments. Yes, 49 States have a balanced budget amendment; but it is on the operations budget, not on the capital budget. The United States of America is responsible for disasters when they hit New York, Missouri, and Texas. The United States is responsible for lifting a military and providing for our sons and daughters on the front lines of Iraq and Afghanistan, World Wars I and II, Korea, and, of course, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, and many other places.
Our States are not responsible for that.
Balanced budget amendment, maybe we want to be able to follow the good work of our dear friends on the supercommittee. I have great respect for them. The headline says: ``Supercommittee Well Short of a Deal,'' because this is not the way we run a country.
And I refuse to be called ``addicted'' without the explanation that my mother would want me to give. I am addicted to saving lives. I'm addicted to making sure that Social Security is not violently cut by the balanced budget amendment, Medicare being cut by [Page: H7848] nearly $750 billion if this resolution were to pass, Social Security almost $1.2 trillion, veterans benefits $85 billion through 2021.
So my argument is to be able to analyze what we're doing here, my friends. The Constitution gives this House the power of the purse strings; yet it will take a two-thirds vote in the middle of a crisis, a war, a disaster, the need to invest in our young people--numbers that Dr. Jeffrey Sachs said that we need for a legitimate apprentice program that leads young people from college or training into a job.
Creating jobs invests in America. Would you understand that we have the lowest number of white males going to college, the lowest number of African Americans going to college, the lowest number of Latinos.