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Mr. ANDREWS. Mr. Speaker, this ends yet another week for the House of Representatives without consideration of a meaningful jobs bill. More meaningfully, though, this concludes another week where a nightmare is about to come true for our constituents. This is another week without a paycheck for a lot of Americans. It might be the week that their unemployment benefits expire. This might be the day that someone shuts down their small business and closes the doors for the last time. This might be the week that the foreclosure notice is executed and someone loses their home. This has been a bad week for a lot of Americans. It's been a bad time for a lot of Americans. But what they have lost is not simply their job, not simply their business, not simply their health insurance or their pension. Many of our neighbors have lost their basic faith that America is fair.
Mr. Speaker, 50 percent--50 percent--of the American people recently surveyed said the American Dream was either dead or on life support. They see in the halls of big institutions, they see on Wall Street and they see in the Halls of Congress a basic sense that America is not fair anymore, that the basic deal that if you work as hard as you can, give as much as you can and do as much as you can that you can go as far as your abilities will take you, too many of our constituents no longer believe that.
My motion makes what I believe is an improvement to a good bill. I'm going to support this bill that says that no small business person should have to make an interest-free loan to the Federal Government to do business with the government. I think that's exactly right. But here's the improvement it makes. It recognizes that some who would take advantage of that provision are taking advantage of our tax system and not paying their fair share.
When I say ``not paying their fair share,'' I'm not talking about policy or arguing about tax rates. I'm talking about someone who is delinquent on their taxes and cheating the rest of us. So when someone looks at their pay envelope this afternoon and sees what's taken out in FICA and Federal withholding tax, they're paying their fair share. Some like it, many do not, but they're paying their fair share. Why should it be that someone who is not paying their fair share to support this country should take advantage of this very good bill? I say they shouldn't.
So my improvement to this bill is very simple. If you run a barber shop or a software company or a delicatessen or a manufacturing plant, you no longer have to make an interest-free loan to the government to do business with the government. I agree with that, and I salute the authors of the bill. But if you are delinquent on your taxes, if you haven't paid your fair share, if you are cheating the rest of the community, then you may not take advantage of this opportunity.
This amendment is not just about improving the revenue flow to the Federal Government. It's about making the country a little more fair again. It's about saying that those who follow the rules, our small businesses, our middle class citizens, those who follow the rules can take advantage of the law, but those who do not follow the rules may not take advantage of the law. I think the American people want to see that in big hospitals and insurance companies; I think they want to see that on Wall Street; and I think they want to see it right here on the floor of this Chamber.
So let's cast a vote today not just for an improvement to this bill, but let's make America a little more fair. Let's make the American Dream a little more alive. Let's stand for the proposition that those who play by the rules benefit from the rules, but those who break the rules do not.
The question raised, colleagues, by this amendment is this: Where do you stand? Do you stand with small businesses and middle class people who follow the rules, or do you follow with those who would violate the rules and pillage the American system?
The American people have had enough of this. We need to do far more than this to restore fairness to our country, but this is a good start. I would urge a ``yes'' vote on this motion.
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