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Providing For Consideration Of H.R. 3639, Expedited Card Reform For Consumers Act Of 2009

Floor Speech

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Location: Washington D.C.

Providing For Consideration Of H.R. 3639, Expedited Card Reform For Consumers Act Of 2009

Mr. ROSKAM. I thank the gentlewoman for yielding.

Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to the rule.

In a nutshell, I think we would be much better served and, ultimately, the public would have been much better served with an open rule. I have an amendment which, under an open rule, I would have proposed. While all of this is very interesting--talking about credit card debt and those protections--and while you can have a conversation about that, the elephant in the room is this idea of national debt.

My amendment would have simply said that income tax return forms would have been amended to have four lines on them as follows: Number one, the taxpayer's dependent shares of the national debt; the taxpayer family's share of the national debt; how much each individual's share of the national debt increased in the last year; and how much adjusted gross income would be required to meet the burden of that share in the national debt.

Here is where we are right now: this Congress and this administration have doubled the national debt in 5 years, and they will triple the national debt in 10 years. Why does that matter?

That matters because we are experiencing a feeling in this country that one generation is not passing on a legacy of prosperity to the next generation. In other words, one generation is actually stealing from the next generation. Why? Because of a lack of discipline that comes from this Chamber, a lack of discipline that says we're going to spend our way into prosperity.

What Americans understand, Mr. Speaker, is you cannot borrow and spend your way into prosperity. As to the idea that we're going to incur more and more and more debt, whether it's from a stimulus that has underperformed, whether it's on a bloated budget or whether it's on a health care bill that takes people's breath away, it's so costly, I think, by and large, Americans have said enough is enough.

So, towards that end, I rise in opposition to the rule. I think the rule is tone deaf, and it doesn't offer a larger conversation on debt.


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