Ranking Member McGovern Speaks Out Against GOP Efforts Putting Social Safety Net Programs at Risk & Undermining the Wall Street Reform Law

Apr 13, 2018

Congressman Jim McGovern

Ranking Member, House Committee on Rules

Representing Massachusetts' 2nd District


Wednesday, April 11, 2018


Jeff Gohringer (202) 225-2888


Ranking Member McGovern Speaks Out Against GOP Efforts Putting Social Safety Net Programs at Risk & Undermining the Wall Street Reform Law  


Calls on Republican leaders to start focusing on the urgent issues facing our country


**Video of his full speech is available online here**


WASHINGTON, DC — On the House Floor today, Rules Committee Ranking Member Jim McGovern (D-MA) spoke out against Republicans’ proposed balanced budget amendment that would put social safety net programs like Social Security, Medicare, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program at risk and H.R. 4790, their latest attempt to undermine the Wall Street reform law. 

The hypocritical balanced budget amendment that Republican leaders will bring to the floor this week comes on the heels of their partisan $1.5 trillion tax cut for the wealthy and large corporations, which is completely unpaid for. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office announced yesterday that this tax bill would explode the deficit by $2 trillion.

“The so-called Balanced Budget Amendment could do irreparable harm to our economy. It would hinder Congress’ ability to respond appropriately to an economic crisis, and could potentially even create one. It could even require Congress to cut funding for safety net programs that millions of our constituents rely on – programs like Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Supplemental Security Income, and Veterans’ Pensions,” said McGovern. “This Balanced Budget Amendment is supposed to trick people into believing Republicans still care about fiscal responsibility.”  

This will be the seventh time a balanced budget amendment has been voted on in the House. Like their last attempt to pass a similar amendment in 2011, the Republican Majority will again bring it to the floor as a suspension bill, providing no opportunity for amendments or a motion to recommit.  

H.R. 4790 is a dangerous bill that would exempt many banks from the Volcker Rule, a safeguard implemented as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act to prevent large banks that receive taxpayer money from engaging in the risky trading activities that contributed to the 2008 financial crisis. It would once again allow large banks to engage in that risky behavior, making another financial crash more likely.

“Quite frankly, I had hoped that when we returned from our Easter break, that we would be debating and voting on legislation that would help people. I had hoped that, maybe, we would be able to finally help the hundreds of thousands of DREAMers whose lives are now in limbo because of President Trump’s decision to end DACA,” McGovern said.

“I had also hoped that we would do something to address the epidemic of gun violence in this country. Instead, what we’re doing is another bill to help the financial services industry…The Republican leadership of this House is ignoring the most pressing issues facing our country and our constituents, in favor of more legislation to rollback financial protections put into place to prevent another financial crisis.”