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Transportation, Treasury, Housing and Urban Development, the Judiciary, the District of Columbia, and Independent Agencies Appropriations Act, 2006

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

TRANSPORTATION, TREASURY, HOUSING AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT, THE JUDICIARY, THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, AND INDEPENDENT AGENCIES APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2006 -- (House of Representatives - June 30, 2005)

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AMENDMENT OFFERED BY MR. GARRETT OF NEW JERSEY

Mr. GARRETT of New Jersey. Mr. Chairman, I offer an amendment.

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Mr. GARRETT of New Jersey. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself 2 minutes.

I rise today to offer an amendment to help protect one of America's most cherished rights of an American, to own their own home, to own their own property.

Last week the U.S. Supreme Court, by the slimmest of margins, ruled that a local government can come in and seize people's homes, seize their small businesses against their will for other private economic development. This decision now will allow cities to come in and bulldoze their house, bulldoze their business, tear it all down just so that they can build a shopping center owned by somebody else.

The Garrett-Kennedy amendment seeks to prohibit any funds made available under this act from being used to enforce the judgment of the U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Kelo v. New London.

The practical effect of this will mean that we will prohibit Federal dollars from going out to be used for support purposes, infrastructure and the like, so that a private developer will benefit from the loss of these people's homes. It will mean that a bus stop will not be able to be built on what was once their home in order that a commercial building can be built there instead. It will prohibit Federal dollars from building a new entrance ramp or an exit ramp in partnership with that developer so that that developer can build a strip mall there instead.

I believe that if a private developer is going to push someone off their land, out of their house, and destroy that house or small business, then he should foot the bill for any infrastructure that he is going to build. I want to ensure that the Federal Government does not contribute in any way financially to this terrible Supreme Court decision.

Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.

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Mr. GARRETT of New Jersey. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

I will just close by addressing the comment by the chairman, and I appreciate the chairman's remarks.

This decision of the Supreme Court will continue to be respected by this House and by the people of New London, Connecticut and the State of Connecticut as well. This legislation simply sees to it that the taxpayers of that community and the taxpayers and the citizens of the United States of America will not subsidize those private developers in that instance.

Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.

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