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Mr. McGOVERN. I want to thank my colleague for the time, and I rise in very strong opposition to this rule and to the underlying legislation.
Mr. Speaker, if I could create a rule that would best sum up the Republican
leadership of this House over the past 2 years, this would be it, because this rule represents everything we have seen over the length of this Congress. It's a closed rule that stifles debate, and it's a rule that makes in order partisan, meaningless legislation that will do nothing--absolutely nothing--to address the real issues facing the American people.
I voted against the sequester because it was a lousy idea and a terrible way to run a government.
But let's be clear: This bill does not stop the sequester. It simply kicks the can down the road once again and prohibits any effort to address our fiscal situation that raises a single dime of revenue. The Republican approach is not fair, it is not balanced, and it stands no chance of becoming law.
Meanwhile, back in the real world, the American people are wondering why Congress isn't focused on their concerns. Where is the comprehensive jobs legislation, like the Make it In America plan? Nowhere to be found. Where is the middle class tax cut bill that passed the Senate? Not on this House floor. Where is the bipartisan farm bill and drought relief bill that passed the Senate, or the Violence Against Women Act or postal reform? Not here on this floor. Where is the big, bipartisan, balanced plan to reduce the deficit? Not here. And where--and this one really bugs me, Mr. Speaker--where in the world is a full and fair debate on the war in Afghanistan?
It's absolutely stunning to me that Governor Romney accepted the nomination of his party and asked the American people for their votes to be Commander in Chief without even mentioning the longest war in U.S. history, a war that continues to do this and continues to claim the lives of American servicemen and -women, a war for which we are borrowing tens of billions of dollars every month.
Apparently, the Republican leadership of this House would like to ignore these big issues and instead focus on meaningless sound bites for their 30-second political commercials. It is no wonder that the public has the lowest regard for Congress in history. I guess the Republican plan is to do next to nothing and to get out of town as quickly as possible--even though we just got back from a 5-week recess--and hope that the American people don't notice we were even here.
It's a sad day for the people's House, Mr. Speaker. And let me remind my colleagues, Mr. Speaker, this is the people's House. It is not the House of Big Oil, it is not the House of Big Banks, Big Business, or special interest super PACs. This is the people's House, and I hope the people take it back.
I urge my colleagues to reject this rule.
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