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Public Statements

Provoding for Consideration of H.R. 5486, Small Business Jobs Tax Relief Act of 2010; and Providing for Consideration of H.R. 5297, Small Business Lending Fund Act 0f 2010

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Ms. FOXX. Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague from Maine for yielding time, and I yield myself such time as I may consume.

I will urge my colleagues on this side of the aisle to vote ``no'' on the rule and ``no'' on this bill, and I believe that my colleagues and I will be able to explain why.

In case there are some folks still listening to what my colleagues on the other side of the aisle were talking about in the last of the 1-minutes that were spoken a while ago, I need to say that they have very selective memories. They talked about what the economy was like when President Obama took office, and they blame everything on our former President Bush. But they failed to mention ever, ever, ever that they were in charge of the Congress the last 2 years of President Bush's administration, and they were the ones in charge of what was happening in terms of spending money and why our economy was in such an unfortunate situation. It's very easy to blame President Bush because he was President, but they were in charge of the Congress.

Mr. Speaker, it's unfortunate that I, again, find myself before this body amazed by the stunning arrogance of the liberal Democrats responsible for bringing this rule before us today which provides for consideration of H.R. 5297, the Small Business Lending Act, and accompanying legislation, H.R. 5486, a bill intended to offset the immense cost of H.R. 5297. Consideration of this legislation, which will cost taxpayers another $32 billion, comes at a time when the Democrats have demonstrated a complete paralysis in presenting the annual budget resolution necessary for guiding congressional spending decisions.

We all know that many small businesses have not been able to get available credit. However, the Democrat response is, unfortunately, too predictable: Borrow more money from foreign lenders in future generations and spend it on yet another in a long string of bailouts; create a lot of Federal Government jobs; and do nothing to really help small businesses.

The way we can help all businesses in this country is to lower taxes across the board and not continue to create unnecessary, inefficient government programs which don't deliver what they need to deliver.

With that, Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

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Ms. FOXX. Mr. Speaker, you know, this bill is being promoted as necessary to increase the availability for small businesses. But as my colleague from California so eloquently pointed out, it's really a bailout for banks that are in shaky positions. And what nobody has pointed out yet is, incredibly, this money doesn't have to be available for 2 years and probably will not be available for 2 years. So what is that going to do, again, to help small businesses that need help right now?

Again, as my colleague pointed out, it creates a $30 billion lending fund for banks with less than $10 billion in assets. It also is going to appropriate $2 billion to States to shore up their small business lending and guarantee programs. But we shouldn't be doing that either. We have no business going in and shoring up programs that the States have when they haven't been responsible with the use of their money. But what this bill is going to do is deepen our debt problems, duplicate the goal of the original $700 billion TARP program, as Mr. McClintock pointed out.

We have nearly 10 percent unemployment, and the so-called economic leadership of the ruling liberal Democrats has proven to be a failure. This is TARP III, and its $32 billion price tag is not going to be any different from the previous mechanisms that they've used to try to stimulate the economy. Rather than proposing sound economic policies, like lowering taxes and reducing regulatory burdens, the Democrats continue to advocate misguided policies that expand the government's control and increase the Nation's debt. The simple truth is that taxpayers can't afford another bank bailout.

The original bailout bill, TARP I, was $700 billion. In 2009, our colleagues on the other side of the aisle rammed through a so-called stimulus bill costing $1.138 trillion--part of that is the cost of the interest--a $410 billion omnibus appropriations bill for FY09, a $3.6 trillion fiscal year 2010 budget. They increased the debt ceiling by $1.9 trillion. The national debt now stands above $13 trillion. The taxpayers lost $145 billion by bailing out Fannie and Freddie, and the CBO expects that to approach $400 billion overall.

Recently, the European Union and the International Monetary Fund pledged $145 billion to bail out the bankrupt nation of Greece. American taxpayers are on the hook for $6.8 billion in loan guarantees for the IMF. The European Union and the IMF have also announced a $1 trillion bailout plan that could put American taxpayers on the hook for $50 billion in additional loan guarantees to bail out other financially irresponsible members of the European Union. And the news today is that Spain is almost ready to go bankrupt and expects our support. Yet the ruling liberal Democrats continue to spend our Nation into a financial abyss.

I've just gone over a lot of numbers, and I want to go over them one more time to make sure the American people fully understand what these people in charge of the agenda of this Congress are doing. They have been in charge, by the way, Mr. Speaker, since January 2007, which is when most of our problems began happening. So let me go over it again: a $700 billion bailout for the megabanks, a $1.138 trillion spending bill, a $410 billion omnibus spending bill, a $3.6 trillion fiscal year 2010 budget, a $1.9 trillion debt ceiling increase, $6.8 billion to the International Monetary Fund loan guarantee program for countries in Europe--not even helping people in the United States--and an additional $50 billion in loan guarantees for bailing out other financially irresponsible members of the European Union.

Again, this bill is going to create unnecessary programs. Already under TARP I, the megabank bailout, Treasury created these programs, as Mr. McClintock pointed out. So it's a clear indication that TARP I was a failure if the Democrats have to bring this back and create $32 billion more to do what the $700 billion TARP wasn't able to do. So what we're seeing is our friends on the other side of the aisle creating more taxpayer-funded jobs at the Federal level, not jobs for average Americans, and not money for small businesses. And yet our unemployment rate continues to stay almost at 10 percent when they have promised with the first stimulus bill that it would never go above 8 percent.

Albert Einstein is credited with defining insanity as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. The American people have a right to question why our friends on the other side of the aisle are doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results from what they've gotten in the past.

With that, I reserve the balance of my time.

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Ms. FOXX. Mr. Speaker, I realize that my colleagues on the other side of the aisle sometimes can't understand why Republicans vote against their ill-conceived legislation, but it is really because we have a very different philosophy about what makes this country successful. We believe that we should adhere to the capitalistic society that has always made us successful. It isn't the government that makes us successful. It isn't taking money from hardworking taxpayers, sending it through government bureaucracies, and then giving a small portion of that money back to the taxpayers that has made this country successful. And this bill is very misnamed. It isn't a small business bill, it is a bailout of banks, smaller banks than the megabanks that were bailed out by the Democrats primarily, with the help of President Bush. This is not a small business bill but a bank bailout bill.

I would now like to yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from Minnesota (Mr. Paulsen).

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Ms. FOXX. Mr. Speaker, there are other reasons why this rule and this bill deserve ``no'' votes. The bill lacks proper oversight for the TARP III program because it would not be subject to the effective oversight of the Special Inspector General for TARP, otherwise known as SIGTARP. I believe my colleague, the gentleman from California (Mr. McClintock), pointed out some of these concerns in his remarks.

On February 19 of this year, SIGTARP's watchdog, Neil Barofsky, sent a letter to Treasury's Assistant Secretary For Financial Stability, Herb Allison. In the letter, Barofsky expressed concern regarding Treasury's decision to remove TARP III from SIGTARP's oversight and warned that such a move would be terribly wasteful and could lead to a significant exposure to waste, fraud and abuse.

If all of this weren't enough, Americans should know that TARP III creates more uncertainty. Like the original TARP megabank bailout, the Federal Government will once again, at its discretion, be able to reach into the board rooms and pocketbooks of private sectors firms and employees. The use of the original TARP by some banks begets the use of the Obama administration's pay czar and auto task force, which closed thousands of dealerships. Also, the use of the original TARP inspired the Democrats to pursue a ``responsibility fee,'' another tax on financial firms. Through TARP III, many small and mid-sized banks may soon find the Federal Government as their new senior partner.

This approach is particularly disturbing given availability of sensible, cost-free alternatives, some of them offered by our Democratic colleagues such as Mr. Kanjorski's bill, H.R. 3380, the Promoting Lending to America's Small Business Act which hosts a bipartisan list of 123 cosponsors, including myself.

Fortunately, the American people have a choice between the same old, tired liberal agenda or new, innovative solutions being offered by members of the GOP.

Some of the no-cost proposals offered by House Republican leadership to President Obama last December include: halting any proposed mandate or regulation expected to have an economic cost, result in job loss, or have a disparate impact on small business; eliminating job killing Federal tax increases; freezing domestic discretionary spending at last year's levels; removing unnecessary barriers to domestic energy production; providing an incentive for companies to repatriate earnings back to the United States; and increasing exports through trade agreements beneficial to domestic job creation. To that list I would add a few more items such as rescinding unspent stimulus funds, reforming the tort system to lower cost and uncertainties facing small businesses, suspending the job killing Davis-Bacon Act, and shrinking the cost of the Federal minimum wage, particularly for young and inexperienced workers seeking entry-level jobs.

Basically, Mr. Speaker, there are alternatives to the bad legislation being proposed by our colleagues on the other side of the aisle. Again, I urge my colleagues to vote ``no'' on the rule and ``no'' on the underlying bill.

I reserve the balance of my time.

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Ms. FOXX. Mr. Speaker, what we need, again, are across-the-board tax cuts. We don't need more government control. It's interesting to me that our colleagues have two different tacks. One is blame everything on the previous administration. But the next to the last Democrat who spoke during 1-minutes made a speech telling us about how everything was great and how much better everything is going. So it's a little hard, I am sure, for the American people to wonder what is the policy of this group that's in charge of the Congress.

I now would like to yield 2 minutes to my distinguished colleague from Tennessee (Mr. Duncan).

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Ms. FOXX. Mr. Speaker, as my colleague has pointed out, there are lots of different perspectives from our folks on the other side of the aisle. They change the line of talking to depend on what it is they want to point out.

I want to say again that we have major problems with our economy. We have a problem with spending. Not a problem with revenue, but a problem with spending. And I want to point out some comments and contrast positions from when our colleagues were in the minority to now.

In May of 2006, then-Minority Leader Pelosi declared, quote, ``Our national debt is a national security issue. Countries that own our debt will not only be making our toys, our clothes, and our computers, pretty soon they will be making our foreign policy. They have far too much leverage over us.'' Keep in mind that, at the time she said this, the total public debt outstanding was $8.351 trillion. Now, when they have created a debt of over $13 trillion, suddenly it's not a problem.

Or in December 2005 when she declared, quote, ``Democrats support pay-as-you-go. No deficit spending. If something is important to you, figure out how to pay for it, but do not make my grandchildren and children have to pay for it, or anybody's children and grandchildren have to pay for it.'' Again, keep in mind that, at the time she said this, the debt was $8.107 trillion. Now, when they've created a debt of over $13 trillion, they seem not to be concerned about their children and grandchildren.

The ruling liberal Democrats' pride in their fiscal irresponsibility is also a far cry from March 2005, when Minority Whip Hoyer expressed outrage, declaring that, quote, ``On the Republican Party's watch, the Federal Government recorded the worst budget deficit in American history, $412 billion in fiscal year 2004. $412 billion of deficit spending ..... We ought to be ashamed of that. We ought to be ashamed to tell our children that that's what we have done to them. We ought to be ashamed to tell our grandchildren, of which I have three, that that is what we have done to them and their generation. That is the height of fiscal irresponsibility, and I suggest it is also a fiscally immoral act and is the abuse of our children and grandchildren and generations yet to come, who in their time will face a challenge perhaps like Iraq, perhaps like AIDS, perhaps a tsunami or other natural disaster, and they will look around for resources to respond to their crisis in their time and say, oh, my goodness, the resources were spent by this Congress and by the previous Congress. What a shame.''

So, apparently under Republican rule, a $412 billion deficit was considered a threat to our descendants, but a $1.42 trillion deficit under Democrats is somehow excused for some reason. What a shame indeed.

Mr. Speaker, when the liberal Democrats seized control of Congress in January of 2007, the number of unemployed persons stood at 7 million and the unemployment rate was 4.6 percent. Oh, how times have changed. Today, the numbers are more than double. Fifteen million Americans unemployed, resulting in a staggering 9.7 percent unemployment rate.

Strange how these immutable numbers from the same nonpartisan official government source tell a different story than the liberal Democrats in desperate search of a scapegoat would have you to believe.

Mr. Speaker, we do not need to continue to borrow money and put our children and grandchildren into greater debt. The evidence is in. The liberal Democrat agenda has failed. They need to go back to the drawing board and come back to the American people with real solutions to their real problems.

And do we hear from small business people? Do we hear from people who are out of work? Absolutely. Every weekend. This isn't the time to dither and blame the Republican minority for the disappointing collapse of governance we've seen since the liberal majority seized control in 2007.

I yield back the balance of my time.

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