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Mr. LaTOURETTE. I thank the chairman.
One of the useless sorts of pieces of trivia I carry around in my head is that the originator of Superman comics was from Cleveland, Ohio. I think he sold the rights to it for a pittance and was very sorry after that. One of the things I could never get my arms around in the Superman series was the Bizarro Superman. As I listen to this debate, I think that I have landed in a ``bizarro'' world.
To go to another children's story, everyone knows the story of the three little pigs. Those who are criticizing the process or the criticism of the process, not those, the criticism of the process that has brought this bill to the floor, is a little bit like there is a fourth little pig that didn't even bother to build a straw house or a wood house but gets to the brick house where the wolf can't get in and is complaining that the brick furniture is too hard.
Now, listen. No budget was produced in the last Congress. Not one. And so, for the process lovers around here, you know where all of the numbers came from that we had to deal with in the appropriations committee? In the mind of one man from Wisconsin who is now retired. That didn't happen. The budget was passed. You know what else? The budget this year gave lower numbers for the second time straight under this majority, and it is a little more difficult to spend less money than more money. It's easier to spend more money.
But Mr. Dicks and Mr. Rogers did something that was never done under the stewardship of the previous Speaker, and that is we had bills come up in subcommittee. You know what? Any Member could offer an amendment--good amendments, bad amendments, stupid amendments, wonderful amendments--and we voted on them. They went to full committee. The same thing occurred.
I'm going to tell you, the bills came to the floor under open rules. I think I could count on--I wouldn't have to take off my shoes to figure out the number of open rules under the previous Speaker's administration, as they privatized the Nation's health care, one-seventh of the economy of the United States, as they put in place a national carbon tax with no amendments. So for those who are squealing about process, it's really an inappropriate exercise.
And relative to the other body, and I have nothing but respect for Mr. Dicks, but to say that the Senate wasn't doing anything nefarious by linking this bill that was going to put on furlough and shut down the government at midnight tonight and link that to the payroll tax cuts and others, listen, the Senate has become again and again and again the place where legislation goes to die. It is not enough to sit over there in the lofty Senate Chamber and say, ``We don't like what you did, House,'' and not produce a product.
The time has come for them to pass a bill, and then the process is we're only one-third of the government. You can't have this bill unless the Senate passes it and the President signs it.
So again, Merry Christmas to all, and we should get on with this.
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