Mr. MARINO. My father taught me a long time ago not to make a speech or give an opinion unless I thought it was important. I think tonight it's important, and I hope that you also think it's important.
I would never question anyone's motives and ideals. However, we are here tonight to meet the immediate needs of the people that we represent.
This vote is not about politics. This vote is not about Republicans or Democrats. This vote is not about cut or not cut. This vote is about coming to the aid of the American people whom we represent, the people who have been devastated by floods. People like friends and neighbors, seniors and children in the 10th Congressional District of Pennsylvania and on the east coast. It is heartbreaking and it is heart wrenching. You must see it firsthand to understand it.
The Federal Government's main purpose is to protect its citizens from disaster, both from terrorism and from natural disasters.
My staff and I stood in mud, waste, and stagnant water over the last 3 weeks along with families who lost everything: furniture, clothes, photos, toys stacked outside of their homes that were destroyed or condemned. If each of you stood where I stood, I know in my heart that because you are compassionate, this bill would have been passed by now.
I tried to comfort children who were sitting in cars or on car rooftops and in truck beds because they could not get into their home that was condemned and filled with the same stagnant mud and water and waste and snakes that were outside their homes. I talked to grown men that were crying because their homes were destroyed and asked me, Where am I going to safely put my family tonight?
A little girl not more than 8 years old asked me where she was going to sleep because she no longer had her bed and her bedroom in which she and her sister slept.
Seniors were trapped on the second floor of their home because the first floor was flooded. Small businesses were completely wiped out.
I plead with you, I implore you, I beg you to pass this flood relief now for our people who do not have the basic comforts that those of us here have. The American people are depending on us to give them a hand up, and they deserve our immediate attention.