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Public Statements

Waiving Points of Order Against Conference Report on H.R. 4818, Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2005 and Providing for Consideration of H.J. Res. 114

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC


WAIVING POINTS OF ORDER AGAINST CONFERENCE REPORT ON H.R. 4818, CONSOLIDATED APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 2005 AND PROVIDING FOR CONSIDERATION OF H.J. RES. 114, MAKING FURTHER CONTINUING APPROPRIATIONS FOR THE FISCAL YEAR 2005, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES -- (House of Representatives - November 20, 2004)

Mr. PUTNAM. Mr. Speaker, by direction of the Committee on Rules, I call up House Resolution 866 and ask for its immediate consideration.

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Mr. FROST. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Florida for yielding me this time, and I yield myself such time as I may consume.

(Mr. FROST asked and was given permission to revise and extend his remarks.)

Mr. FROST. Mr. Speaker, for months now, Republicans have held hostage some of the foremost priorities of the American people. Key national level needs like education, veterans health care, and highway construction have all been put on the back burner. The hard legislative choices and spending decisions that had to be made were delayed so that Republicans could ensure their success at the polls.

Well, now that the election is over, we have returned to Washington to finally finish our budget for fiscal year 2005, and I am certain that my Republican friends will come down to the floor, pat each other on the back, and proclaim this giant $388.4 billion spending bill a great success that finishes their work for the year.

But, Mr. Speaker, this bill does not even come close to accomplishing what our constituents expect from this Congress. Republicans in this House just returned from the campaign trail where they promised to create more jobs and more economic opportunity. They promised they would do all they could to keep our homeland safe. They promised they would work hard to provide Americans with affordable health care and lower prescription drug prices, and they promised they would balance the budget.

However, their record tells a very different story.

This Congress has failed to act on job creation. There is a 1.6 million private sector job deficit in this country, yet Republicans have failed to pass a long-term highway bill that would create more than a million new jobs, and they have failed to end tax breaks for companies that ship jobs overseas.

This Congress has failed to provide adequate resources for our national security. This Congress has failed to provide resources for our national security. Not only have Republicans failed to give our police and firefighters the resources they need, they have failed to secure our borders and ports and failed to complete action on the critical recommendations of the bipartisan 9/11 Commission.

This Congress has failed to provide quality, affordable health care for Americans. Republicans have failed to hold down the price of prescription drugs, failed to reduce the number of uninsured, and failed to give Americans the right to import lower-priced prescription drugs from abroad.

This Congress has failed to keep America fiscally sound. Republicans repeatedly refuse to enact sensible measures to pay for any new spending or tax cuts enacted. Their policies and mismanagements have sent the budget deficit skyrocketing from $159 billion in fiscal year 2002 to a record $422 billion today, and just this week forced Congress to raise the debt limit by $800 billion, saddling our children with a massive debt that they cannot afford.

Our work is nowhere near done, Mr. Speaker. It is shameful Republicans are rushing to finish our final spending bills and leave town without taking these very serious and very important matters under consideration. Perhaps while Republicans are enjoying their Thanksgiving vacation they will take a moment to give thanks that they do not have to face the electorate for 2 more years. I do not think the American people would approve of this do-nothing Congress.

Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

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Mr. FROST. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentlewoman from New York (Ms. SLAUGHTER).

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Mr. FROST. Mr. Speaker, I yield 3 minutes to the gentleman from Massachusetts (Mr. McGovern).

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Mr. FROST. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from California (Ms. WOOLSEY).

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Mr. FROST. Mr. Speaker, I yield for the purpose of making a unanimous consent request to the gentlewoman from California (Ms. LOFGREN).

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Mr. FROST. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from Illinois (Ms. SCHAKOWSKY).

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Mr. FROST. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from California (Ms. LEE).

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Mr. FROST. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from Texas (Ms. Jackson-Lee).

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Mr. FROST. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Moran).

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Mr. FROST. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from Washington (Mr. BAIRD).

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Mr. FROST. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from New York (Mrs. MALONEY).

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Mr. FROST. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from New York (Mr. NADLER).

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Mr. FROST. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 ½ minutes to the gentleman from California (Mr. SHERMAN).

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Mr. FROST. Mr. Speaker, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from Colorado (Ms. DeGette).

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Mr. FROST. Mr. Speaker, I yield 1 minute to the gentlewoman from California (Ms. PELOSI), the distinguished minority leader.

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Mr. FROST. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself the remaining time.

Mr. Speaker, I have no further requests for time; but I would like to take a moment, if I may, to speak on a more personal note.

This will be my last speech before the House and the last rule that I will manage. First, let me say that serving on the Committee on Rules has been the highlight of my congressional career, and although I will not miss attending our midnight and 7 a.m. meetings, I will miss the committee, its members, and the good work we tried to do every week.

It has been my distinct honor to have served in this great body for 26 years. During my time here, I have had the privilege to work alongside some of the most talented and dedicated Members that this body has ever known. I want to thank them, my colleagues, for their constant efforts on behalf of this great Nation, and I want to thank them for their friendship. I also want to thank my constituents for their trust and support. I have always tried to serve my constituents as honestly and diligently as I could, and although my time here has come to an end, I do hope in some way that I may have been able to give a little something back to the people and to the country that has given me so much.

Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.

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