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Public Statements

Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2012

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Mr. MICA. Thank you for yielding.

Mr. Speaker and my colleagues, let's just set the record straight. The other side says that this wasn't a bipartisan process.

First of all, the first hearing was held in the ranking Democrat member's hometown and district in West Virginia. We went from sea to shining sea, all the way to Los Angeles, in order to accommodate a bicameral, unprecedented bipartisan hearing in Los Angeles. Again, the comments that are made here do not reflect the reality. In the committee, we took 100 Democrat amendments, and we accepted about 20 of them. In addition to when we drafted the legislation, 60 percent of the recommendations of the Democrats were in the draft that came before the committee. Yet there is this stuff about it not being bipartisan.

Then the Republicans can't get it done. These are the people who cannot get it done. They controlled the House; they controlled the Senate; they controlled the White House during this entire process. They couldn't even get it to committee. They could not get the bill to committee. It passed a subcommittee.

So we have passed it. They've made bipartisanship in this committee a one-way street, and it wasn't that way before. They will close down major projects across this country if we don't pass this extension. Why are we here for this extension for 90 days? Because we offered 90 days to begin with, and they said, No, we won't do 90 days because we want to keep things stirred up. So we said, Well, what do you want? They said 60 days. Okay. In the spirit of bipartisanship, we'll go 60 days. So then they rejected that. Some of the Democrats threw each other under the bus, so to speak; and here we are at 90 days again.

So, folks, let's get the facts straight and the reality straight. Republicans want America to work and our infrastructure to be built.

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Mr. MICA. Mr. Speaker, first I yield myself as much time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, and my colleagues, we know why we're here. We are here to pass a responsible extension so that people across America can go to work, that we can finish a long-term transportation bill, and that we can be responsible stewards of the trust which the taxpayers and the citizens of America sent us here for.

I reserve the balance of my time.

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Mr. MICA. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 30 seconds, and then I would like to yield 2 minutes to the chair of the Highway Subcommittee, Mr. Duncan.

Mr. Speaker, my colleagues, let's just deal with the facts. The fact is that the Democrats had six amendments--1 month, 1.5 months, 2.5 months, 1 month, 9 months, and 2 months--when they controlled the House of Representatives and the Senate by huge majorities, and the White House. They couldn't even get it through committee. They could not get it through committee. These are the facts.

List of Transportation Extensions

Extension #1: A Democratic controlled House passed extension with a duration of 1-month from 10/01/2009 to 10/31/2009.

Extension #2: A Democratic controlled House passed extension with a duration of 1.5-months from 11/01/2009 to 12/18/2009.

Extension #3: A Democratic controlled House passed extension with a duration of 2.5-months from 12/19/2009 to 2/28/2010.

Extension #4: A Democratic controlled House passed extension with a duration of 1-month from 3/01/2010 to 3/28/2010.

Extension #5: A Democratic controlled House passed extension with a duration of 9-months from 3/29/2010 to 12/31/2010.

Extension #6: A Democratic controlled House passed extension with a duration of 2-months from 1/01/2011 to 3/04/2011.

Extension #7: A Republican controlled House passed extension with a duration of 7-months from 3/05/2011 to 9/30/2011.

Extension #8: A Republican controlled House passed extension with a duration of 6-months from 10/01/2011 to 3/31/2012.

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Mr. MICA. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself 45 seconds.

First of all, Mr. Speaker, I don't think it is appropriate that Members of my conference be referred to as bozos. I think that we have dedicated Americans, ladies and gentlemen, who serve this country and the Congress well.

The gentleman who just spoke on September 23, 2009, said:

Don't play politics with investments in our infrastructure, don't play politics with the economy, don't play politics with people's jobs, don't bring America to a screeching halt on October 1 and walk away from your obligation to extend this program.

Mr. Speaker, when they controlled the House in huge numbers, they could not pass that extension, nor could they pass, I'm told, any extension freestanding.

I reserve the balance of my time.

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Mr. MICA. Madam Speaker, I yield myself the balance of the time to close.

Madam Speaker and my colleagues, I think it might be time right now, Madam Speaker, that we call the Capitol Physician to come to the House floor. I think we should call the Capitol Physician because there appears to be on the other side a mass case of loss of memory, and I think that we need to clear up just a few facts in what has been said here.

Now, we have the gentlelady from California who happened to be the Speaker of the House. As I recall, the other side controlled the House by a huge margin, the Senate by a significant margin--most of the time I think it was 60 votes where you could do anything--and they controlled the White House for those 2 years. They could have done anything they wanted to do. President Obama, in fact, sent Secretary LaHood to Mr. Oberstar and me--I was the ranking Republican, he was the chair--and cut the knees right out from the Democrats and said he wasn't doing a long-term bill, he was doing an 18-month bill, which really sent a death signal to transportation and infrastructure projects.

In fact, the other side would be in the majority probably and I would be the ranking member if they had just done what they could have done. Then they tell you that we can't pass a bill. Well, let's deal with the facts. They six times
had to do extensions. Not one extension was freestanding. In fact, one time they could not even pass the extension with the House, the Senate, and the White House. In March of 2010, they actually closed down programs.
Madam Speaker, we may need the House Physician because there are multiple cases of amnesia, and we need to remind folks about the facts and what they have forgotten.

Even in the extensions, I offered first a 90-day extension, and I know Speaker Boehner talked to the Senate and the other leaders and said we'll do a 90. No, we want to do a 60-day extension, they said. Then some of the Democrats felt like they were thrown under the bus, and the 60-day extension that they asked us to do, they couldn't get the votes for, they came down and spoke against yesterday.

Madam Speaker, there's something wrong here. I think we really need to get the Capitol Physician involved because the amnesia is very, very serious on the other side. They had earmarks. The last bill was passed with 6,300 earmarks. They had earmarks. They had control. They couldn't even pass a freestanding bill and get it to the full committee. So, again, I think the amnesia is pretty rampant on the other side.

I don't want this to be delayed any further because I want Americans to go back to work.

We offer here today a long-term bill that will put people who want jobs in this country back to work without earmarks and without tax increases. The end of the era of the biggest gorilla walking off with the most bananas is over, and we will pass responsible legislation, and we will get it done.

As the Cable Guy said, Ladies and gentlemen, we're going to ``Git-R-Done.''

I yield back the balance of my time.

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT


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