Mr. BLUMENAUER. Mr. Speaker, as the 112th Congress ends with a whimper, not a bang, not so much finished as worn out, I was prepared to come to the floor this morning and talk about some of the unfinished business that we kicked down the road with a proposal last night: a serious deficit reduction, the debt ceiling, tax reform. One thing I didn't expect to be confronted with is what you have been hearing from my colleagues today, that we do not have the time to address the disaster relief for Hurricane Sandy, which everybody thought was a given.
This is the crew that came to town shouting ``read the bill,'' that they were going to have 72 hours' regular order to move in a fashion. They gave us 154 pages, 24,000 words nobody had read, but we at least thought we would be dealing today with this emergency assistance.
I am stunned, frankly, that we find ourselves in this situation, but we have 24 hours left. How hard would it be to take up a bill that was already overwhelmingly passed by the Senate? How hard could it be, based on the bipartisan expression last night of support for a bill that almost everybody hated and had reservations about but would come together for something they thought was important for the country?
Remember when rebuilding and renewing America was a bipartisan objective? Maybe we could take a little bit of that spirit of bipartisanship and cooperation last night and rise to the occasion in the next 24 hours to do something for the people who deserve our help and support. If not, then it ought to be the first order of business of the new Congress, and we ought not to go home this week until this matter is addressed.