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Waiving Requirement Of Clause 6(a) Of Rule XIII With Respect To Consideration Of Certain Resolutions

Location: Washington, DC



Mr. PASCRELL. Madam Speaker, I rise today to defeat the previous question on the rule so that the House can finally consider the real issues facing American families.

You know, many conservative writers have called the Congress the less-than-do-nothing-congress, particularly at a time when there is concern on all parts of the political spectrum about the growth of the power of the Executive Branch of the government. Our forefathers warned us about this. No oversight, no oversight as to what is happening.

Look at what happened in the Interior Department in just the last 10 days and the HUD Department by Inspector Generals. That is a disgrace. And you can try to get us off track all you want, we are going to stay on track. This is not so much a question of less days, which we will be here, this is a question of less progress more than anything else.

You tell me if it is not irresponsible 5 years after September 11, 2001, that this Republican Congress is set to adjourn without fully implementing the 9/11 Commission recommendations to make our country safer. I am listening.

You tell me if it is not irresponsible that this Republican Congress pays lip service to the importance of higher education, and yet they are set to adjourn after making it harder to pay for college by cutting $12 billion over the next several years to student aid.

You tell me if it is not irresponsible that the Republican Congress has been a rubber stamp for the White House's Big Oil policies, and is set to adjourn without passing an energy plan that decreases dependence on foreign oil.

What is our answer? We are addicted to oil, Mr. President, you said in the State of the Union, and that is why we are going to drill off five States in this union. We lost our addiction, I guess, on the way.

It is irresponsible that this Congress is set to adjourn without increasing the minimum wage to $7.25 for up to 15 million hardworking Americans and their families. That is irresponsible. You attached it to another bill. You are good at it. You look back over the last several Congresses, you are good at attaching these things.

It is indeed irresponsible that millions of Americans are suffering the economic injustice of working a full-time job and earning a wage that leaves them below the poverty line. You tell me if it is not irresponsible that wages are stagnant, and that we are $1,700 below the median income of 6 years ago. You tell me if that is responsible. The fact is that it takes a minimum wage earner more than 1 day of work just to earn a full tank of gasoline.

The minimum wage is no longer a livable wage. Get it? As health care, grocery, energy and housing costs skyrocket for average Americans, house Republicans would rather help their CEO friends.

Madam Speaker, I urge the defeat of the previous question.


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