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Mr. NEAL. Thank you, Mr. Levin.
Mr. Speaker, I stand in opposition to this proposal today.
I have just a couple of thoughts, having had long-term membership here.
This is not the way to write legislation, and the Members on the other side know this.
The chairman of the Ways and Means Committee should be here with us today to discuss this. This should have been vetted into the full committee. This should have had an active markup with full participation.
I revere this institution, and I revere that committee. Members spend their careers trying to become members of the Ways and Means Committee. To bring this legislation to the floor today without a hearing is ill-considered.
From a historic perspective, why don't we talk about how we got into this situation?
This bill today adds $46 billion to the deficit. Without a hearing? Why don't we just do these proposals by unanimous consent and bring them to the floor? We missed the point of what the vetting process does, where people stand in front of that committee and they offer expert testimony. But our friends on the Republican side, they call this a small business tax cut. This is about the theater of the election year, and everybody knows it.
This is the same group that would have you believe, incidentally, that tax cuts pay for themselves, even though you can't find an economist who will adhere to that position.
They have run up the deficits in this country recklessly, and in the name of a political campaign, they're prepared to do it again. They want to pour syrup on the plate and not even bother to serve pancakes with it. In our current fiscal situation, to have not vetted this sort of proposal in front of the committee is a mistake.
You want to talk about helping small business with tax policy? Count me in. We've worked on some good bipartisan legislation over the last 20 years to help small business, not to do it in this manner where this legislation has been brought to the floor.
We had a markup in the committee yesterday where cuts are being proposed to senior citizens, to low-income families, eliminate funding for Meals On Wheels, and yet they bring this proposal up today with a straight face.
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