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Mrs. SCHMIDT. I thank my good friend from Washington.
Mr. Speaker, I rise today because I really want to say thank you to my parents for instilling in me the opportunity to live the American Dream. My father didn't have much as a child. He didn't even have an education. But he grew up in a place where he could live his dream. He knew if he worked hard that he could live and do what he wanted to do, and that was to provide for his family, buy a farm, own a business, and give us the opportunity to lead our lives in the way that we wanted to. I instilled that hope and that desire in my own daughter. Over 5 years ago, I decided to run for this office. It was March 23, 2005. I'll never forget the date. It was the day my daughter got engaged. As we celebrated both decisions, I realized the enormity in the decision that I was making. See, back then I realized that government was spending too much money, and we had to do something about it. But now that she is married and I've been here over 5 years and administrations have changed, I realize that we weren't spending as much then as we are today. The accelerated spending is really hurting our American Dream.
My daughter owns her own business, and she has two wonderful little children, but I fear that they won't be able to have the American Dream that she is trying to hold onto and that I was afforded by my own parents. And I look today and I say to myself, what has this administration done to help us move forward? A year ago, the President announced that in 2010, June 17, was going to be the summer of recovery.
How is that recovery going? Well, we're still over 9 percent unemployment. We spent over $1 trillion in stimulus money to no effect. Our underemployment is at 19 percent. We have over 14 million people that are underemployed and looking for work and 9 million people have part-time jobs. But in addition to those statistics, our economy is not growing, and it's not growing because this government is getting in the way of the growth and it's with overregulation.
I worked with Bob Gibbs on one bill, H.R. 872, the Reducing Regulatory Burdens Act, which took an erroneous court decision and put it in its place. But it's more than just that bill that's in our way. As a mother and a grandmother, I'm alarmed at the USDA getting into my grandchildren's lunch boxes and into my pantry with overregulation, telling schools what they can provide for their students. They're taking potatoes out of the lunch room. It's not just eliminating potatoes to one cup a week, but it's the enormity of the burden of expense that's put onto our school system, over $5 billion mandated to public schools, and most of that burden is on schools that can least afford it.
I could go on and on about the overregulation that is squelching the ability for our country to grow. I have a stake in this. Actually I have two. It's Michael and it's Anthony. They mean everything to me. I want those two wonderful little boys to have all the hopes and dreams that I had as a child fulfilled as an adult. I want them to have the same hopes and dreams that my daughter had fulfilled. I want what my father gave to me, the belief that with God and living in America, all things are possible.
We have to stop the overregulation and the overspending that is occurring in this country today. Our future is at stake, and it is serious. The Republican women in the House get it, and I applaud them for fighting with me for their children, for their grandchildren, but most importantly for my Michael and my Anthony.
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