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(Mr. ANDREWS asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)
Mr. ANDREWS. I thank my friend for yielding.
Mr. Speaker, as we began this week, there were 15 million unemployed Americans looking for this Congress to work together to try to get something done for entrepreneurs and small businesses to create jobs. What has the Congress done? Yesterday, the majority managed, only with the help of a few dozen Democrats, to keep the government running for the next 3 weeks because they couldn't agree among themselves as to what to do with the budget. Today, they're taking up this bill that, rather than fixing a flawed program, they rip it up from the roots and throw it out. Tomorrow, they're going to pull the plug on National Public Radio.
Now, I would suggest if you're like some of those 15 million Americans who are spending the day at the public library in front of Monster.com or looking at the want ads in the newspapers, wearing out your shoe leather to figure out where your next job is going to come from, this has not been a great week. Eleven weeks the majority has been in control--no jobs bill, no jobs plan, no jobs idea. Not one word, not one bill, not one minute.
The priorities of this majority are wrong.
Republicans and Democrats should come together, work together to create an environment where small businesses and entrepreneurs can create jobs for the American people. Eleven weeks--no jobs, no sense of priorities. That's the record of this majority.
Mr. SESSIONS. Mr. Speaker, I was just reminded by the gentleman, Mr. Mica, the favorite son of Florida, who's the chairman of our Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, that the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Andrews) had referred that we've done nothing about jobs. But the gentleman, Mr. Mica, as chairman of the committee reminded me that this House passed just 2 weeks ago a transportation bill that had been lagging, waiting since 2009, that will add a substantial number of jobs. And that was a good jobs bill.
So I wouldn't expect to get credit for anything, necessarily, on the floor, but at least we need to be honest about this. The Republicans did pass a bill that was adding jobs as opposed to this massive undertaking that we are trying to save jobs that are at risk as a result of the outlandish spending and wasteful government spending taking place here.
Secondly, the gentleman said, Why are Republicans now trying to get rid of this? Why didn't we do something to fix the program? But I would remind the American people that this is a report that went to the Secretary of the Treasury over a year ago. And I would ask the question: Why did the Democrats, why did this administration continue a failed program? Why did they continue it? That's because they were happy with it. In fact, as we've already read, a 40 percent failure rate and thousands of more people harmed. That's why Republicans are trying to fix this--because we have tried to work.
Today, we're going to pass this on the floor. It's a great bill. And we're going to ask every single person to be able to vote for this opportunity.
Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.
Mr. POLIS. Mr. Speaker, I yield 30 seconds to the gentleman from New Jersey (Mr. Andrews).
Mr. ANDREWS. I thank my friend.
I want to agree with my friend from Texas that investing in transportation construction creates jobs. We agree with him. And I would ask the gentleman if he would support our Build America bill that offsets the deficit by cutting job outsources and creates more transportation construction jobs. Would he agree to put that on the floor?
I yield to the gentleman.
Mr. SESSIONS. As soon as it's on the floor, I'll consider that.
Mr. ANDREWS. Reclaiming my time, we'll give the gentleman a chance on the previous question motion, perhaps tomorrow.
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