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Public Statements

Providing for Consideration of H.R. 847, James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010; Providing for Consideration of H.R. 2378, Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act; and Providing for Consideration of Senate Amendment to H.R. 2701, Intelligence a

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. Speaker, all three bills that this rule provides for consideration of are important and very pressing matters. I will speak to the merits of each this morning, but let me take this opportunity to begin by discussing H.R. 847, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act.

I want to start by thanking Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Speaker Pelosi, and Leader Hoyer for their dedication to the heroes and heroines and survivors of 9/11. I would like to thank all my colleagues in the New York delegation. With their support, we will finally do, after 9 years, what has been so long overdue--guarantee help for the survivors who served their country in the time of a national emergency.

The 9/11 attacks were attacks on the United States. The response was a national response, and providing for those heroes who served our Nation is our responsibility because many of them are sick and dying today as a result of their service to our country. This is not a New York bill, no. This is a bill for America.

As has been repeated many times, there are more than 71,000 people enrolled in the Federal World Trade Health Registry from--and I cannot stress this enough--every single State in the country. Thousands of firefighters, rescue workers, first responders, medical personnel, and construction workers traveled to Ground Zero to help search for survivors, to help clean up, and to help New York City recover. Many spent days, weeks, or months doing this hard work on behalf of our Nation. These heroes are now sick. We owe them more than we are currently providing. We are indebted to their service, and we must repay that debt if we hope to be able to count on others to act with similar valor if, God forbid, we were ever to face another national emergency of that nature again.

I strongly urge my colleagues, whether they be Democrat or Republican, liberal or conservative, northern or southern, eastern or western, to vote ``yes'' on the previous question and to vote ``yes'' on the rule and vote ``yes'' on the bill. Those who stood up for our country in the wake of 9/11 are now counting on each of us to stand up for them.

Another important measure of this rule allows for the consideration of H.R. 2378, the Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act, which is necessary to level the international playing field so that United States manufacturers can fairly compete with our trading partners.

China is, without a doubt, undercutting our Nation's industrial base by devaluing its currency and dumping products into our markets, and we must do something about it.

There is no way our domestic manufacturers can compete globally when our trading partners don't play by the same rules. Without action, we face the possibility of losing thousands of fair wage manufacturing jobs in upstate New York as well as across the Nation.

I have dealt with this countless times with the steel industry and have testified before the House Ways and Means Committee and the International Trade Commission to express my views. It is one of the reasons I became a cosponsor of the Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act, along with 159 of my House colleagues, Republicans and Democrats alike, because we feel that countries like China that devalue their currency should be held accountable, and, as a Nation, we should have the ability to defend our domestic business.

This rule provides for consideration of H.R. 2378, the Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act, which will require the Department of Commerce to assess whether a Nation's currency rules grant a benefit in terms of the additional currency the country's exporters receive as a result of the undervaluation and to use widely accepted IMF methods for determining the level of undervaluation.

As amended, H.R. 2378 is WTO consistent, because countervailing duties may only be imposed when commerce finds, based on an assessment of all the facts, the WTO criteria for an export subsidy have been met.

Again, I urge all Members to support this rule so that we can have a debate here today on this legislation which is so important to the businesses and employees that each of us represent.

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