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Public Statements

The Scourge of Minor Sex Trafficking

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Thank you so much to the great gentleman from the wonderful State of Texas. And I'm so glad that the gentleman brings up the word ``bipartisan'' to describe what we just witnessed, very heartfelt testimony.

But, Mr. Speaker, we have a lot of work to do right here in the House as well and with the Senate and with the President, because it's time for all parties to work together in a genuine, bipartisan, and adult manner to avoid a government shutdown. A shutdown is not some abstract exercise, as the gentleman knows. It has real consequences for our communities and our families.

The American people sent us to Washington to work together for our great Nation, and it is unacceptable for one side to refuse to negotiate.

Where's the President in all of this? The bully pulpit can just as equally be used for constructive leadership as it can be used for political showmanship.

Let us work together, get something done, and help America's vanishing middle class.

Mr. Speaker, it is just as important to remember that in addition to the constant legislative battles happening right here in Congress, life goes on outside of the Capitol. And I want to take just a few minutes today to recognize two remarkable south Florida organizations that are holding events this weekend.

Tomorrow, Go Red for Women will be celebrating its 10th anniversary in south Florida. The Go Red for Women organization is an impressive force to be reckoned with. Many people don't know this, but heart disease is the number one killer of women. It is more deadly than all forms of cancer.

Fortunately, we have the strong women of Go Red taking the fight to heart disease. Mothers, daughters, sisters, and friends all are standing together and leading the change and the charge that we need to educate, to advocate, and to raise awareness about heart disease.

I want to especially congratulate Jessica Cerda-Antomarchi, the Miami Heart Society director, as well as Gabrielle Finley-Haze, the 2013 chair, and all of the women of Go Red. With their continued strength and leadership, we will finally put an end to heart disease.

Finally, let me congratulate the Lupus Foundation of America's southeast Florida chapter. They will be holding this year's Walk to End Lupus Now in Miami this month. Despite approximately 1.5 million Americans suffering from lupus, including my stepdaughter, the lovely Katharine Lehtinen, we still do not know what causes lupus. It is a cruel and mysterious disease.

We know that almost 28,000 people are suffering from lupus in my south Florida community. While that disease cuts across racial, gender, and social lines, we do know that lupus disproportionately impacts women and ethnic minority populations.

So I'm extremely grateful for the outreach and the advocacy of the Lupus Foundation of America and especially its southeast Florida chapter. As cochair of the Congressional Lupus Caucus, I will keep up the fight against this terrible disease, and I extend my deepest gratitude to Amy Kelly-Yalden and everyone in the southeast Florida chapter for their continued incredible work.

Let's continue to work together in a bipartisan way to avoid a government shutdown, and I thank the gentleman for yielding me the time.

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