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Mrs. CHRISTENSEN. Mr. Speaker, I yield such time as she may consume to the sponsor of this important piece of legislation, the gentlewoman from Arizona, Representative Ann Kirkpatrick.
Mrs. KIRKPATRICK of Arizona. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of my legislation, H.R. 5110, the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument Boundary Modification Act.
In Coolidge, Arizona, we have the largest prehistoric structure in the Nation--the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument. Throughout Coolidge and the nearby city of Florence, there is evidence of prehistoric structures--homes, irrigation canals and potential recreational facilities.
Each year, thousands of visitors come to Pinal County to visit the ruins, to learn about the ancient Hohokam culture that lived there, and to see the amazing prehistoric architecture they left behind. Protecting more of these sensitive areas will allow further development of tourism to the area, and it will help fulfill the mission of the monument.
The legislation under consideration today does two things. First, it allows an expansion of the boundary of the monument to include land nearby, which will greatly enhance the existing site. Second, it provides for a study to determine what additional sites in Coolidge and Florence could be incorporated in the future.
This bill is critical to the economic development of Coolidge and Florence and of the entire county. It is critical for the preservation of cultural and historical sites, which is unequaled anywhere else on the continent. It is the kind of low-cost, job-creating project we need in Arizona.
Mr. Speaker, since I have been in Congress, I have been the voice of fiscal discipline, and I have been looking for low-cost, job-creating projects. This is one of them. This project would create hundreds of jobs in an area where it does have double-digit unemployment. Talk about double-digit unemployment--that's in my district. That is what this is going to address. This is a low-cost jobs project.
Let me tell you that this is exactly why the American people right now are so angry and frustrated. It is why I am angry and frustrated, and it is why you are angry and frustrated. It is because Washington is not listening to the local people. The people of Coolidge and Florence have worked on this project for years. It is not about partisanship. They have come together as local community leaders and as private businesses to support this job-creation project. It makes common sense. Yet, once again, Washington is not going to listen to the voices of the American people. Once again, Washington is going to impose its partisan bickering to stop jobs and to not listen to the American people. That is what is wrong with Washington.
I urge my colleagues to vote ``yes'' on this critical legislation.
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