Providing for Consideration of House Joint Resolution 118, Disapproving Rule Relating to Waiver and Expenditure Authority with Respect to the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program; Providing for Consideration of H.R. 3409, Stop the War on Coal Act of 2012; and Providing for Proceedings During the Period from September 22, 2012, Through November 12, 2012

Floor Speech

By:  Leonard Boswell
Date: Sept. 20, 2012
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. BOSWELL. Mr. Speaker, today is Thursday, September 20. And tomorrow, I understand, the House is set to adjourn until after the election. Tomorrow, the House is set to leave town without finishing the work that the American people sent us here to do.

Now, I have no objection to increasing domestic energy production, and I think an all-of-the-above approach is a rational approach to take. However, I rise against this rule. I rise in opposition to this rule because two amendments that I had offered to the bill were not made in order by the Rules Committee. The amendments I offered were on substantive policy that my constituents are calling for, and I am here to stand up for and represent my constituents in Iowa--and, I might add, across the Nation.

One amendment would extend the wind production tax credit. Wind energy plays a significant role in electricity generation in the State of Iowa and many other States--for us about 20 percent--and the manufacturing of wind turbine components in Iowa has brought high-tech manufacturing jobs to my district. The fact that the House is set to adjourn until after the election while this industry is being forced to lay off workers because of Congress' inaction is shameful. It's something we should not do. Yesterday, it was announced we would be laying off 400, and more to come.

Another amendment I offered would have allowed the House to finally vote on a farm bill. But once again the Republican leadership of the House stopped the House from voting on a farm bill. Let me say that again: The House Republican leadership is preventing this House from working its will on a farm bill.

Mr. Speaker, apparently some House Republicans believe standing up for our farmers and ranchers across the country is not worthy of this House. This is a disgrace. Inaction on a farm bill is creating the market uncertainty that the House Republicans so often decry, and this uncertainty will only get more complicated as the House continues to kick the can down the road.

So, once again, I rise in opposition to this rule. And I call on my colleagues to defeat the previous question so that we can amend the rule and proceed to a debate that will result in the House actually doing the work our constituents sent us here to do.

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