Video: Rep. Swalwell Accuses Republican Leadership of 'Legislative Malpractice'

Swalwell blames Republicans for the most recent budget crisis.

With the Congress in another budget stalemate, Rep. Eric Swalwell (D-Dublin) put the blame on his Republican colleagues in a speech of the floor of the House of Representatives on Monday.

On Friday, automatic budget cuts will go into effect which will impact domestic discretionary spending and military spending.

The cuts — known as "sequestration" — were originally designed to be so awful that it would force Congress to come together and come up with a better solution.

Here is the text of Swalwell's speech:

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to express my strong disappointment that the House Republican Leadership is committing such legislative malpractice by failing to do anything about the automatic spending cuts that will happen this Friday.

Here we are, on the brink of another economic crisis manufactured by Washington.  And, just as before, this crisis will have real consequences, to real people.

In my district alone, schools will lose $11 million in federal funding.  California will be losing $87.6 million in funding for primary and secondary schools.  That means fewer students learning and more teachers out of work.

There's a rational way to approach balancing the people's budget, and this is not it.  And, we can cut foolish spending without foolishly cutting spending.

H.R. 699, of which I’m a cosponsor, would replace this method of budgeting with a balanced approach.  It would include additional revenue from multimillionaires and smart cuts to reduce unnecessary spending.

We may not agree on the right way to cut spending, but almost everyone agrees using broad, indiscriminate cuts is the wrong way to cut spending.  Let’s come together to pass legislation to avert these cuts.

I yield back the balance of my time.

Do you think the Republicans are to blame for the lastest budget squabble? Do you agree or disagree with Swalwell's position? Let us know in the comments section.

Californicated1 February 26, 2013 at 03:19 PM
It's not surprising to see the freshman Representative from California's US Congressional District 15 try and do some more PR work out there so we voters, especially those of us here in Livermore, don't forget this guy come the 2014 elections. And when it comes to this issue about "sequestration", it's more a publicity move or a diversionary tactic to get our attention focused here instead something more important, like in Afghanistan or Pakistan, or the next growing crises in both food and energy these days as the food crisis in Europe spreads and may lead to questions about how safe is our food supply, which use the same methods and procedures that the Europeans do, or the fact that prices in energy are rising fast once again and that the economy in the most delicate parts of the US, California in particular, is continuing to stagnate. I also don't the same old stale arguments about "taxing the rich", either, but guess what, if they have the money, they should be taxed. And besides, if the rich have proven that they could make money, all they need to do is make more. The poor don't earn enough and neither do the middling classes these days, so why not tax the wealthy? Especially if all they can really do with that wealth is just spend it anyway. So instead of buying that mansion or that yacht or luxury car, why not pay more in taxes? The wealthy can definitely afford it. People like me can't.
Raleigh February 26, 2013 at 03:36 PM
"Here we are, on the brink of another economic crisis manufactured by Washington." and the manufacturer is (from Bob Woodward)... "Obama personally approved of the plan for Lew and Nabors to propose the sequester to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.). " Woodward also writes in his op-ed article: "In fact, the final deal reached between Vice President Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) in 2011 included an agreement that there would be no tax increases in the sequester in exchange for what the president was insisting on: an agreement that the nation’s debt ceiling would be increased for 18 months, so Obama would not have to go through another such negotiation in 2012, when he was running for reelection. So when the president asks that a substitute for the sequester include not just spending cuts but also new revenue, he is moving the goal posts. His call for a balanced approach is reasonable, and he makes a strong case that those in the top income brackets could and should pay more. But that was not the deal he made." Isn't it time that Congress recognize that they made a bad agreement to have a good campaign? Congress needs to apologize to federal employees and tax payers and commit to working for the citizens of this country rather than party candidates and campaigns. http://articles.washingtonpost.com/2013-02-22/opinions/37238840_1_jack-lew-treasury-secretary-rob-nabors/2
TPH February 26, 2013 at 04:49 PM
Swallwell you are such a liberal talking point, fear mongering drone you make me sick. These cuts are nothing, and should be the beginning of much more drastic cuts to come in order to reign in the TRILLION dollar yearly deficits this Administration runs to the tune of 6.5 trillion new debt added since 2009. Why aren't you demanding your beloved democrat senators send you a budget that they haven't passed in 4 years. Sir you are already a part of the problem. You are a naive lap dog to your fellow Democrat congressional leaders that have caused these problems. You will be out next term!
MTCWBY February 26, 2013 at 05:16 PM
Mr. Swalwell has quickly forgotten that he was elected with the help of non-Democrats and has decided that partisan bickering and the Democratic mantra is part of his gameplan. You represent a mixed district. If you thought Pete Stark was too old, maybe you're too young and inexperienced.
Big M February 26, 2013 at 05:18 PM
At this point, we need to raise taxes to cover the deficit... On EVERYONE, not just "the rich". People will quickly realize that their votes have consequences and the next time around, they'll vote for whomever says they will lower taxes for everyone. I know we can't tax the poor, middle class or rich enough to cover our deficit. Anyone care to join me for some tea?
Jaime Roberto February 26, 2013 at 05:25 PM
Oh please. Something like half of the so-called cuts are really just decreases in the rate of increase in spending. Only about $40 billion will be cut from a budget of $3.5 trillion, a little over 1%. The world is not going to end.
David February 26, 2013 at 06:09 PM
Young Mr. Swalwell, you have so quickly entered into the fray of the democrat left it is amazing. I blame ALL in Washington, including YOU! Lets stop playing the "it's the republicans" or "it's the democrats" and actually do something positive for this country! Everyone likes to say tax the rich, but you can't tax them enough to fix this mess!! Additionally, NOTHING is stopping the rich that say they should be taxed more, from actually making donations to the general fund of the federal and state governments. But no, none of them will do that simple task. They would rather stand up with the political hacks in Washington and get their time on TV, in print and/or online! While the working class gets taxed into further poverty. If you look at the cuts, you are correct CA schools are going to be hurt drastically. But part of that problem comes from this state alone. The new sales tax and every other "school fund" program has the same language, even though they always have said that the funds can't be taken away during the campaigns. The language always stipulates that the funds can still be used wherever needed for the state budget and nowhere does it say that the state legislature cannot decrease the school budget in the same anticipated amount received by the new source of income! If you think I am incorrect, remember the beginning of the lottery and all it's promises. Mr. Swalwell stop being part of the problem and be part of the solution!
Anneke9 February 26, 2013 at 06:40 PM
You're a fool for thinking he cares about non-Democrats. His interest stopped on Election Day with a win in his column.
CAofficerX February 26, 2013 at 07:12 PM
Swalwell is just another leftist, doucebag democrat, grandstanding and pointing the finger. ACTIONS speak louder than words. Sequestration is a DEMOCRAT/ White House idea, not Republicans! Start making cuts in the right places, and then you will see REAL change!
Carol February 26, 2013 at 07:56 PM
Swalwell spews nonsensical, straight party-line rhetoric. The democrats and the White Hose had just as much to do with the terms of the sequestration as the republicans. "Balanced approach" is just code for raise taxes, increased "revenues" is just code for more taxes, "multimillionaire" is just code for someone who makes for than $250,000 per year, "cuts" is just code for a decrease in a planned increase in spending. Just ignore the deficit, keep on spending and hand our kids and grandkids the bill.
john m February 26, 2013 at 08:24 PM
Hey idiot, The sequestration idea was a white house idea........and agreed to. Nice job.......
john m February 26, 2013 at 08:25 PM
OMG we sent another idiot to Washington.......blaming already...... i never thought I'd miss Pete Stark (less of an idiot)
Paisley February 26, 2013 at 08:58 PM
"I also don't the same old stale arguments about "taxing the rich", either, but guess what, if they have the money, they should be taxed." AND "And besides, if the rich have proven that they could make money, all they need to do is make more." Socialism at it's finest. Why do you think YOU are entitled to the fruits of another persons labor? Why should the rich carry you on their backs? Maybe if you can't "afford" something, you should wait until you can. Why would rich people "make more" money if you are just going to take it from them? Raising taxes almost never brings in new revenue. Often it brings in less revenue because people change their habits. The past two generations should be ashamed of themselves. They spent every dime they made. Lived like there was no tomorrow. And now feel like they are entitled to the fruits of others hard work because they saved and scrimped for their futures.
T. Sellick February 26, 2013 at 08:59 PM
Not enough money for the kids...so let's build a train to nowhere. I'll bet he supports that stupidity. He is such a tool.
Paisley February 26, 2013 at 09:05 PM
Dear Mr Stallwell, These cuts were your bosses idea. We agree with them. As a conservative I believe in a strong military. However our guys are tired. Bring them home. When we say we want you to cut spending - WE REALLY MEAN IT.
Julia February 26, 2013 at 09:35 PM
How about $0.00 salary for CONGRESS until they actually deliver a solid, sustainable budget!?
David February 26, 2013 at 10:01 PM
AGREED! Plus when they do start getting a salary again, they all must be taxed accordingly, also pay into Social Security (eliminate the golden parachute) AND get health insurance based upon the requirements of Obamacare. No more free healthcare for Congress and their families, let them deal with it the same as the rest of the US population. Then see how quickly sustainable budgets begin to occur.
Maurice Duenas February 26, 2013 at 10:12 PM
And no back pay
Julia February 26, 2013 at 10:18 PM
Congressional Reform 2013! We the sheeple are forced to eat the dog food. Why not congress!? 1. No Tenure / No Pension. A Congressman collects a salary while in office and receives no pay when they are out of office. 2. Congress (past, present & future) participates in Social Security. All funds in the Congressional retirement fund move to the Social Security system immediately. All future funds flow into the Social Security system, and Congress participates with the American people. It may not be used for any other purpose. 3. Congress can purchase their own retirement plan, just as all Americans do. 4. Congress will no longer vote themselves a pay raise. Congressional pay will rise by the lower of CPI or 3%. 5. Congress loses their current health care system and participates in the same health care system as the American people. 6. Congress must equally abide by all laws they impose on the American people. 7. All contracts with past and present Congressmen are void effective 1/1/13. The American people did not make this contract with Congressmen. Congressmen made all these contracts for themselves. Serving in Congress is an honor, not a career. The Founding Fathers envisioned citizen legislators, so ours should serve their term's, then go home and back to work.
john m February 26, 2013 at 10:55 PM
Hey Swawell.... Here are the rules to govern by, get on the liberal bandwagon.....say it is Bush's fault..... do not take any responsibility just blame the Republicans.... you are right on track......and don't forget the Union handouts (AKA Jerry Brown) You are going to make an awesome politician.
Lorraine Sheatsley February 26, 2013 at 11:02 PM
Ryan, You are right on the money (pun intended.) This is Obama's "crisis" totally manufactured by him and totally controlled by him. If he didn't want all of those entities about which he is railing to receive a cut, he could change it. Think about it, he and his staff is the one who designed this, and now he is campaigning againist it. The Republican House of Representatives have produced a bill designed to alleviate this; the Senate didn't even bring it to a vote. Even if it didn't pass in the Senate, it could have had a companion bill and gone to conference. BTW Harry Reid is a congential lier.
TrueRealist February 26, 2013 at 11:27 PM
Swalwell is an idiot. He applauds gun control and spends his time on the PR front talking about how guns are bad and now he wants to talk about the budget cuts? Where were you on Jan 1 little fella? This country has a spending issue not an income issue. Only in America can a group of people vote to take the assets of another group of people because they don't want to pay. Californians are taxed ridculous amounts of $$ and the poor want more more more because they need the playing field leveled. I suggest you level your own playing field and leave my check book out of it.
Paisley February 27, 2013 at 01:50 AM
"This country has a spending issue not an income issue. " They don't think so. When Stockton reveals that 25% of employees make 100,000 or more a year - they only think - how can we get that to 50%. It was 30%!! Never mind the median income in Stockton is a little less than 50 grand, and the median price of a house is 130 grand. Our government is like an upside down triangle. Taxpayers are the apex at the bottom, and the public obligations are the base now burdensomly at the top.
Andrew February 27, 2013 at 01:58 AM
I agree with Swalwell that Congress should just eliminate the sequester. Sequestration really is a stupid idea. The long term problems with the budget are mostly in Medicare, SS, and some defense spending. The sequester takes a bite out of the part of the Federal Budget that isn't the problem: the discretionary budget & non-War related defense.
David Lee February 27, 2013 at 03:13 AM
Perhaps, Mr Swallwell, you should review the platform on which you ran.....bringing the two sides together as I remember your promise. this speech is about as devisive as can get....Mr. Obama has his initials all over this so called sequester issue. If the government can't stand such a small cut ove the next seven years, then god help us all.....let the sequester just happen and see what happens, you know, sort of like passing obama care...pass it then find out what's in it.!
TPH February 27, 2013 at 05:17 AM
Can we recall this guy?
Joe Granada February 27, 2013 at 06:31 AM
If it was Obama's terrible idea why don't they just get rid of it? Just pass a bill saying, oops, your sequester was a bad idea, it is hereby repealed.
Chris3 February 27, 2013 at 07:08 AM
Mr Swalwell, congratulations on your speech, it shows responsability and leadership. It's sad instead to read that some people don't consider education important, that they think that the divide between rich and poor should get bigger and that they have so much acrimony. Maybe money is not enough to make them happy ?
john m April 13, 2013 at 03:08 PM
Yes look what education did for Swewell......my pet rat could go to Washington and give a speech blaming the Republicans. Chris3 if you think Swewell is anything but a hack and puppet for the Democratic leadership then when the stuff hits the fan and interest rates rise (artificially low) and 40-60% of the Government intake goes for interest on the debt you deserve the pain ahead for backing this idiot. SO when it happens do not blame others and do not whine because you were warned!!!!
Nick April 13, 2013 at 07:02 PM
You do realize that Democrats, especially Swalwell, are center-right on the political spectrum, right? Claiming leftism is quite stupid.


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