AGRICULTURAL DISASTER ASSISTANCE AND WESTERN STATES EMERGENCY UNFINISHED BUSINESS APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2007
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Mr. DeFAZIO. I thank the gentlelady for the time.
Mr. Speaker, the ranking Republican on the other side said there is no other reason for this than to make room for the fiscal year 2008 spending.
No, this is the unfinished business of the 109th Congress, the Republican Congress led by the Republican President in the White House, who allowed county and school payments to lapse without lifting a finger. Nothing was done. 780 counties are on the brink of losing essential services, closing jails, laying off deputy sheriffs, no rural law enforcement, no public health, other essential services jeopardized, thousands of jobs. 4,400 rural schools, already underfunded, struggling to make ends meet for their kids, are going to lose money if these payments aren't renewed. And the President says that does not meet any reasonable definition of an emergency.
Well, I guess if you live in the White House and you ride in motorcades protected by the Secret Service and you fly in a private 747, you're not too worried about cops in rural areas. You're not too worried about public health. You get free health care up at Walter Reed. You're not too worried about educating the Nation's kids and the kids in rural areas. But I am, and I represent that district. This is long overdue. This is an emergency.
And then for them to denigrate the emergency assistance to the fishermen? We had to drag the administration kicking and screaming last year to finally declare an emergency when they closed down the season and people couldn't work and they are losing their boats. Now they say it is unwarranted funding for the fishermen.
How distant from the reality of the American people can you get? Twice in one day we have tried to bring this President back to Earth, on a new course in Iraq and on the needs of the American people here at home.
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