[Page: H2925] GPO's PDF
(Mrs. BLACK asked and was given permission to address the House for 1 minute.)
Mrs. BLACK. Last week I held three town hall meetings back in my community, throughout my district; and the number one topic was the staggering national debt. People in my district are angry at Washington that they have allowed the debt to balloon so far out of control. Many understand that big changes have to be made to reduce spending and to address our debt. And while the problem includes billions that have been spent to grow agencies and bloat programs over the years, the big problem is the auto-pilot programs.
Medicare spending is growing at an unsustainable rate of 7.2 percent every year; and unless we start now, Medicare goes bankrupt in 9 years, according to the CBO, and in 7 to 19 years, according to the Medicare Trustees Report. Left unchecked, the explosive growth of these programs, especially Medicare, threatens not only the ability of government to keep its promises to the beneficiaries but also the solvency of the Federal Government and the health of the U.S. economy.
Our Republican plan addresses this unsustainable growth while ensuring that our current seniors, those 55 and older, are still taken care of. Our Republican plan attacks the growth. And when we hear the political fodder, I ask, Where is your plan to address Medicare and reduce our debt? The time for leadership on this issue is now, not in 5 to 10 years when Medicare is almost bankrupt. Let us seize this moment and do what is necessary to preserve this vital program and save America from our looming debt crisis.