Mr. Speaker, a couple of weeks ago President Obama came and he addressed the House Republicans in our retreat in Baltimore, and I posed a question to him. And, in a nutshell, I asked, how about the free trade agreements?
This is an opportunity where we can come together, both sides of the aisle, frankly, at a no-cost job creation initiative. And we've heard a lot of consternation and a lot of hand-wringing today, and we've seen it on the House floor, where Democrats are very, very concerned about a debt that they've inherited, they claim. Republicans have pointed out the national debt has tripled under their watch.
And yet here is an opportunity to put together and to advance legislation that will open markets overseas in Panama, in Colombia, and in South Korea.
And in a moment of candor, President Obama acknowledged that the lion's share of the problem was on his side of the aisle, that in fact it was politics in the Democratic Caucus that was preventing that from coming to the floor.
And I think, Mr. Speaker, this is an opportunity for us to transcend those problems and do a no-cost job creator, and that is pass these free trade agreements.