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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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Those brave men and women deserve to be treated fairly, and their families as well. Unfortunately, as noble as this bill is, it is paid for by increased taxes on companies located in the United States that are employing American workers. Many of us believe that at a time of high unemployment and really evident economic stagnation, our country should not allow the majority to raise taxes.

With regard to the currency legislation, it is meant, Mr. Speaker, to provide leverage to the administration, to the President, in what is America's ongoing work to achieve a proper valuation of the Chinese regime's currency. Despite the best efforts of the Secretary of the Treasury, Mr. Geithner, and others, the PRC regime has given no indication that they are willing to advance efforts to create a level playing field, and that is not acceptable.

The distinguished ranking member of the Ways and Means Committee, Mr. Camp, has included changes in the legislation meant to make the bill compliant with WTO regulations. But, Mr. Speaker, make no mistake, the bill is about sending a message to the PRC regime, a message of American unity, and it is important, it is very important at this time. I think the legislation will move us closer to correcting an obvious unacceptable situation which the PRC regime insists on maintaining, but they need to be clearly informed that they are wrong.

With regard to the intelligence authorization, this is the third time in this Congress that legislation has been brought to the House floor. The most recent delay was the result of a disagreement between the Speaker and the administration, and that has caused a significant delay, about an 8 month delay.

But the third time doesn't seem to be the charm for the majority to allow an open process to consider this legislation that is very important to our national security. One Republican amendment was allowed during the first consideration of the legislation; four Republican amendments the second time, while 26 majority amendments were made in order; and now we are facing a closed rule, no amendments.

The underlying bill contains changes that were negotiated with no House Republican input. The collaboration of one Republican Senator led the majority to declare that this is a bipartisan bill. That is not serious.

Despite the Speaker's insistence on delaying the legislation, the delay has resulted in little tangible change to the requirement to notify leaders of this body in the Intelligence committees. Instead, the administration under the bill retains authority to decide on its own which Members of Congress receive those vital briefings.

The legislation also removes the prohibition on using intelligence funding to bring prisoners from Guantanamo to the United States, and it excludes a bipartisan amendment that would prohibit the granting of Miranda rights to foreign terrorists captured overseas.

I know, Mr. Speaker, the majority wishes to rush to the exit to be back in their districts campaigning, but we should not pass a bill that hurts the intelligence community in the process.

I reserve the balance of my time.

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Mr. LINCOLN DIAZ-BALART of Florida. I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, on the heels of consideration of legislation last week that I referred to as ``Junior TARP,'' where the majority added another $30 billion to the Nation's debt, I think it seems fitting that we, Republicans, are bringing forward another YouCut proposal, voted on and recommended to this House by the American people. The people really are sounding an alarm, and we have to change course. We must focus on reducing the size of government and not continuing programs that dig our fiscal hole deeper and deeper, and this process is going to require bipartisanship. Certainly I hope that the Nation can witness bipartisanship soon, but we're not seeing it yet, and that's worrisome.

Over the last week, participants in Republican Whip Cantor's YouCut initiative voted on programs for us to bring to this floor for cutting spending. To date, participants in that program have voted to cut over $150 billion in spending. This week, the participants in that program voted to end the TARP program.

I was surprised to learn that TARP is still scheduled to spend billions of dollars in the next years. We must take action to end TARP now.

I will be asking Members to vote ``no'' on the previous question so that we can have a vote on Congressman Paulsen's bill on ending TARP. I would like to remind the membership that a ``no'' vote on the previous question will not preclude consideration on the underlying legislation before us today.

Let me take a minute, at this point, if I may, Mr. Speaker, to a point of personal privilege. This may be the last rule that I come to the floor to debate because, in January, as you know, I will be leaving Congress. And it has been an extraordinary honor to be a Member of the United States Congress for 18 years, to represent an honorable and hardworking constituency.

I will leave Congress in January with a sense of duty fulfilled, Mr. Speaker, with infinite love and admiration for the most generous and noble Nation in history, the United States of America, and with profound gratitude to my wonderful staff for their hard work and their loyalty in representing our constituents and the Nation, and of gratitude to all of my colleagues for the honor of having been able to serve with them.

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