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Mr. RUSH. First of all, I want to commend Mr. Waxman and thank him for leading us on the subcommittee in such a profound and effective way, leading the minority on the subcommittee and also on the full committee.
Mr. Chairman, this is much to-do about nothing. As a matter of fact, I would strongly urge the members of this committee and the members of the majority side of the committee to get on their feet and apologize to the American people for this waste of time, energy, and resources because this piece of legislation that we have before us is legislation that doesn't solve any of the American people's problems, that doesn't acknowledge any of their concerns, and that certainly doesn't speak to the pain that they are suffering day to day, moment by moment, week by week as we stand here posturing solely for a few political points in the November election.
I would ask the Members of this body to refer to comments made just about 30 days ago in USA Today. It was an article dated August 15, 2012, entitled, ``This Congress could be least productive since 1947.''
The authors analyzed records of the U.S. House's Clerk's Office and determined that, in 2012, a measly 2 percent of the close to 4,000 bills introduced by Members of the 112th Congress became law--that 2 percent of 4,000 bills actually became law. We are not proud of these figures. I want to quote from this article:
These statistics make the 112th Congress, covering 2011-2012, the least productive 2-year gathering on Capitol Hill since the end of World War II. Not even the 80th Congress, which President Truman called the ``do-nothing Congress'' in 1948, passed as few laws as the current one, records show.
Mr. Chairman, here we go again. It's another charade, another empty gesture, another misguided approach, another insensitive response to the pain and the plight of the problems of the American people. Here we go again. On this floor today is another prime example for the American people of why this has been the least effective Congress in over 60 years.
After taking the last 6 weeks off, we come back into session here in Washington, D.C., for a pathetic 8 days total in the month of September. And what are we doing? Instead of working on bipartisan legislation to create jobs and put Americans back to work, my Republican colleagues--you men and women on the other side--come back here to Washington and bring to this floor yet one more ill-conceived, unwanted, and unnecessary messaging bill, its only purpose being to gather some political advantages over the Obama administration.
Shame on you. We need to apologize to the American people. This no-more-innovation bill is not a serious piece of legislation.
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Mr. RUSH. My Republican colleagues, you know full well that this bill would never become law. It would die before it even gets to the front door of the Senate. Yet here we are in front of the cameras hoping to score more political points before we head into this fall election.
As the ranking member of the Energy and Power Subcommittee, which is where this horrendous excuse for legislation originated, I must confess, unfortunately, that the subcommittee and the Energy and Commerce Committee as a whole have certainly contributed to the do-nothing, accomplished-nothing label for this 112th Congress. With over 30 hearings and over a dozen subcommittee and full committee hearings on bills that have originated from the Energy and Power Subcommittee, Congress has enacted one piece of legislation. We've had 30 hearings and one piece of legislation, and that is part of our record.
While this would be a sad and pitiful record at any time, it is even more egregious when you look at all of the extreme weather events that have occurred in this past year and is a reminder of why the work of the Energy and Power Subcommittee, the Energy and Commerce Committee, and this Congress overall is so necessary and so important.
The CHAIR. The time of the gentleman has again expired.
Mr. WAXMAN. I yield an additional 1 minute to the gentleman from Illinois.
Mr. RUSH. This past summer, two-thirds of the country experienced severe drought, causing crops to wither and spurring the earliest corn harvest in 25 years. At the same time, the water levels in four of the five Great Lakes has plummeted due to high evaporation rates and insufficient rainfall.
While America burns, House Republicans twiddle their thumbs and have brought messaging bills to the floor of the Congress instead of working in a bipartisan fashion to address the real issues facing the American people.
It is past time for this Congress, it is past time for my Republican colleagues
to get serious with the business of governing and not just voting on political posturing legislation to express their displeasure over President Obama.
I urge my colleagues to vote ``no'' on this piece of legislation
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