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Mr. CANTOR. I thank the gentleman for yielding.
Madam Speaker, I am pleased to rise this afternoon in strong support of this important relief legislation for the people of Haiti.
On January 12, 2010, Haiti was shaken by an earthquake unparalleled in its history. As horrendous as they are, the pictures in our newspapers and on TV can only begin to tell the story of the suffering of the Haitian people. Just this morning, the people of that country had another scare, experiencing another shock with a magnitude of 6.1.
Madam Speaker, when crisis calls, American citizens are at their finest. The people of the U.S. have always been, and continue to be, a generous and giving people. And whether it is offering shelter to orphan children, making cash donations, or simply volunteering time, when tragedy strikes, the American people take action.
Charitable donations have already begun pouring into organizations assisting in the relief efforts. This legislation allows generous Americans who make a cash donation to the Haitian relief effort to treat those donations as if they were made in the tax year 2009. Similar policy has been used in past tragedies, and studies show that it actually increases the total amount of charitable contributions.
I want to thank my colleague, Majority Whip Clyburn, for his assistance in bringing this legislation to the floor. I would also like to thank the gentleman from New York and the gentleman from Michigan and their leadership in bringing forward this important bill. While it is often the differences between the parties in Congress that makes the news, this legislation demonstrates that we can come together on commonsense proposals to ease the suffering of our fellow man. When our offices discussed last week how we could help encourage charitable donations for the relief effort, and in particular this proposal, it was clear that partisanship had been set aside. I think the American people and those in Haiti are all the better for it. I ask for support of this legislation.
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