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Public Statements

Legislative Program

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. ROSKAM. I thank the gentleman from Maryland, the Democratic whip, for yielding to me.

Mr. Speaker, on Monday the House will meet at noon for morning-hour and 2 p.m. for legislative business. Votes will be postponed until 6:30 p.m. On Tuesday and Wednesday, the House will meet at 10 a.m. for morning-hour and noon for legislative business. On Thursday, the House will meet at 9 a.m. for legislative business. The last votes of the week are expected no later than 3 p.m.

Mr. Speaker, the House will consider a number of bills under suspension on Monday and Tuesday, and of particular note will be H.R. 459, the Federal Reserve Transparency Act, a bipartisan bill sponsored by Congressman Ron Paul. A complete list of the suspensions will be announced by the close of business tomorrow.

Beginning on Tuesday, the House will consider H.R. 6082, the Congressional Replacement of President Obama's Energy-Restricting and Job-Limiting Offshore Drilling Plan. And finally, the balance of the week will be spent on H.R. 4078, the Red Tape Reduction and Small Business Job Creation Act. This is a compilation of bills that are sponsored by Representatives Tim Griffin, Reid Ribble, Ben Quayle, Dennis Ross, Virginia Foxx, Scott Garrett, and Mike Conaway.

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Mr. ROSKAM. As the gentleman knows, the 2001 and the 2003 tax rates have been well vetted and well discussed. They're not news or breaking ground in any way, shape, or form. So my understanding is that the current thinking is to bring those directly to the floor and that there's not a plan for a markup.

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Mr. ROSKAM. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

One of the points I think that's important to focus in on is the last time this Congress dealt with the '01 and the '03 tax rates was not in '01, not in '03, but in December of 2010 when President Obama signed these into law. So this is an arena where we do reflect back, but ultimately we need to look forward. So the question is how do you create a sense of predictability by which businesses can deal with these situations?

So the gentleman is right to point out past forecasts that were incorrect. But it's also correct to point out that the White House made one error after another--this White House--one error after another as it relates to the predictions of the stimulus, for example, where unemployment was promised to peak at 8 percent, and it didn't turn out to be so.

So as we move forward, this is not new ground, these are not new concepts, and it's consistent with what then-Minority Leader Boehner said in the Pledge to America. This process has been open, this process has been dynamic, this process has been participatory, and this bill will be considered under the same rules and the same commitments that were made in the Pledge to America.

Moving forward, what I would like to announce to the gentleman and to the membership is that there will be an opportunity, I'm told, for the minority party to offer the President's alternative as an amendment on the floor, to have the debate. Because as the gentleman and I both know, that's really the crux of the matter. So to have an up-or-down vote, as I would characterize it, is a bad idea. I know the gentleman has a different view of that, but I think, particularly in light of this week's study from Ernst & Young, I think we should be chastened, actually, with the notion of moving forward and raising taxes on anybody.

I accept the world view of the gentleman who has been articulate in the past in communicating that. But I think that really is the crystallization of these two competing views of how to create economic growth, and I think the gentleman will be fully satisfied.

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Mr. ROSKAM. I thank my friend for yielding.

As the gentleman knows, the farm bill has created a lot of concern on our side of the aisle. It's my understanding that there is concern on the gentleman's side of the aisle. Your ranking member supports the bill. It's my understanding that Leader Pelosi does not support the bill. So we're in conversation with our Members, as I'm sure you are with yours; and we're not prepared to make an announcement today in light of continuing to get Member feedback.

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Mr. ROSKAM. Well, as the gentleman knows, making things permanent in this arena with this conundrum of rules and limitations--and limitations particularly in the other body--make that difficult. I, speaking on behalf of myself, think that that rate at that level permanent is a wise course. But as the gentleman knows, based on the difficulty of the rules, what I have to say on that is fairly limited based on the reality of the rules.

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