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Mr. LaTOURETTE. I thank the chairman for yielding.
I listened with great interest to the distinguished minority leader and her remarks, and I always like listening to her. I never cast my ballot for her to become the Speaker of the House in the last two Congresses, but as an American we all celebrated the historic accomplishment when she became the first woman to preside over this Chamber since the founding of the Republic. And a lot of wonderful things will be said and written about her tenure as Speaker of the House.
One thing that will not be said or written is that she presided over two Congresses that will be known for fiscal responsibility--that Congress passed a bank bailout bill costing $700 billion which may bankrupt the Nation; passed an $800 billion stimulus bill that created no jobs that may bankrupt the Nation; passed a cap-and-tax piece of legislation that would gut jobs in Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, and would have bankrupted the Nation; and, finally, a health care bill that took over one-sixth of the Nation's economy, did not bend the cost curve and, if not checked, will, in fact, bankrupt the Nation.
The distinguished minority leader's speech reminds me of that old adage that everybody wants to go to heaven but nobody wants to die. We hear continuously we have to cut, we have to cut, we have to cut, but not these cuts, not those cuts, not this program, not my program. The time is now. The time is serious. We have laid an offer upon the table, and we wait with great expectation.
Now, I know what all those people in St. Peters Square must feel like when they are waiting for the white smoke to come out of the top of the dome for the election of a Pope. We would like very much for the other side of this Capitol to give us a proposal to negotiate with. We would like very much for the Vice President of the United States to return to this Nation to talk to us. It's not happening. We need to pass the bill.
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