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Mr. SCALISE. I thank the gentleman from Florida for yielding, Mr. Speaker.
I rise in opposition to this rule because 80 percent of the amendments that were brought forward on this bill were not allowed under this rule. And so clearly we are not operating under a transparent process. We are not operating under a process that is allowing the free debate that I think all Americans want us to have on appropriations bills that spend their money.
First, there were some amendments that were brought forward that would have actually directed the Corps of Engineers to base their flood protection decisions on the most safe options to protect our citizens and their property from future storms. That amendment was not allowed under this rule. There was actually an amendment to cut, and I know it is a word that some people don't like over in this building, to cut spending by $7 billion based on the amount of money that was added in the stimulus bill.
I think many of us, on this side for sure, and I would hope some of my colleagues on the other side, would even acknowledge that the President's stimulus bill was a failed spending bill, $800 billion of new government spending at a time when our economy is hurting. And now even the Vice President acknowledges they misread the economy.
Everybody I think that has looked at it objectively acknowledges the spending bill was a bad idea. Those of us who voted against it said it would be a bad idea and hurt the economy then. That is why we proposed an alternative. Yet this steamroller to just continue spending money out of control went on, and they passed the bill.
There was an amendment that was proposed that would have cut that $7 billion in this Department that went through the stimulus bill that clearly isn't working. Instead of controlling the spending and allowing a vote on that, that was ruled out of order under this rule.
All of us that have looked and said, where are the jobs from the spending bill, that stimulus bill, no one can point to the jobs, because we have lost jobs. Since President Obama took office, 2 million more Americans have lost their job. And what is their answer? You would think their answer would be, Maybe some of those Republicans that had some alternative ideas might have been right; we will actually work in a bipartisan way and go talk to them and see what their ideas were because they were good ideas that would have helped small businesses and helped American families get back on their feet. Instead, these ideas were discarded. Maybe they would go back and look at those ideas again.
Instead, some people in the White House are actually suggesting a second stimulus bill, yet another massive spending bill at a time when the spending is what is hurting our economy. And so we bring an amendment to cut spending, and they rule it out of order in this rule.
Maybe Speaker Pelosi and some of her liberal lieutenants think that the American people aren't watching, and maybe they are high-fiving because they are hoodwinking people into not knowing what is going on here in this House.
But I hate to tell them, the American people are watching, and they don't like what they see. They see massive runaway spending. They see more jobs being lost. They see this energy bill, this cap-and-trade energy tax that would run millions of jobs to countries like China, causing more Americans to be unemployed and raising utility rates on every American family.
The American people are watching this. And they are demanding action from Congress. That is why we are bringing these amendments to cut the spending.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.
Mr. LINCOLN DIAZ-BALART of Florida. I yield the gentleman 1 additional minute.
Mr. SCALISE. I want to thank my friend from Florida again. That is why we are bringing these amendments. We are bringing constructive ideas to solve the problems of our country and to propose different approaches, not massive spending, but actually ways to get Americans back employed, ways to help small businesses survive during these tough times, ways to help middle class families who are struggling to get back on their feet. And every time we bring these proposals, the liberal leadership on the other side says, no, we don't want to hear those alternative ideas; we want to just keep spending money like there is no end in sight.
Well, there is an end in sight. And if you look just earlier this week, we reached a hurdle that I don't think is a good hurdle, I don't think anyone should be proud of, but it is a historic hurdle. Earlier this week, our country exceeded $1 trillion in deficits during the course of a fiscal year. It was already exceeded this week, and we still have months to go in the fiscal year.
So this is going to have a devastating effect on our economy, this massive runaway spending. And yet they bring a rule that closes debate on 80 percent of amendments.
I would urge rejection of this rule.
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