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Public Statements

The State of Our Congress

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. MARINO. Thank you, Congressman Kelly. I appreciate this. It is an honor to be here with you, and it is an honor to be setting the record straight.

You know, I spent a couple minutes in here listening to my colleagues about what we are not doing and what they are doing. The facts and figures that they are throwing out are coming from the White House. They change on a regular basis. We will get into that stuff in a little bit.

But I want to hold up something and show it to the American people and then touch on it a little bit, about what we have done in the House of Representatives. What the Republicans have done in the House of Representatives for the 113th Congress--that is just last year and this year. That is not including the legislation that we passed in the 112th Congress, from 2011 to 2012.

I am holding in my hand here the names, the numbers, the dates, and the details of 220 bills that the House passed--220 bills. Some of it was with support from a handful of Democrats who saw that this is good legislation, that it will create jobs, it will keep taxes low. It does away with job-crushing regulation. It lets the private sector do what it does best. It allows the hardworking taxpayers to have a level playing field.

I am just going to recite some of the bills. I am not going to go over nearly all 220 bills that are sitting on Democrat Senate Leader Harry Reid's desk that he refuses to bring to the floor for a vote. I ask the Democrat leader: Senator Reid, what are you afraid of? Why do you not bring these bills to the floor for a vote so the American people can see the legislation and how their Senators vote for it? They can see it right here in the House. They can go to our Web site. They can go to the congressional Web site. They can see how we voted on legislation.

I think it is despicable that one person in Congress can hold up 220 pieces of legislation and hide it from the American people. And do you know why he does it? Politics. There is an election coming up this year. He doesn't want his Democrat Senators to have a voting record. Well, that is why we are here. We are supposed to have a voting record. We are supposed to represent the American people.

Some of the legislation concerns energy, the Offshore Energy and Jobs Act, H.R. 2231; Northern Route Approval Act, H.R. 3; hydropower regulation; Energy Consumers Relief; Coal Residuals Reuse; Federal Lands; Energy and Water appropriations; Department of Defense appropriations; Homeland Security appropriations; Preserving Work Requirements for Welfare Programs; the SKILLS Act; Student Success Act; the RAPID Act, which does away with regulation and time that prevents businesses from creating jobs. And who creates the jobs the best? The private industry.

Look, the Federal Government has a rough time keeping Amtrak on time, and they are always way over budget, and we are going to trust them with health care? We are going to trust the Federal Government with creating jobs when entrepreneurs are the best people, women and men, to do that?

Any time you want to see what legislation is on Mr. Reid's desk, you just go to the Web site, the congressional Web site and see what was passed.

You are going to hear some facts and figures. I was a prosecutor for 18 years. Actually, I started working in a bakery, a wholesale bakery, at 17. I worked in that bakery until I was 33. The owner died, and a new company came in. They overlooked me for a promotion because I didn't have a college degree, but they wanted me to train the guy with the college degree coming in. I went home and said to my wife: I want to go to college and law school. My wife worked full-time, and I worked part-time. We got through college and law school, which normally takes 7 years, in 5 years. I wouldn't have been able to do it without my wife.

But I know what it is like to work in a factory 60 and 65 hours a week. I know what it is like to stretch a paycheck. My wife knows what it is like to stretch a dollar from here to next year. And I also know what it is like in the criminal justice system as a prosecutor for 18 years. I have seen it all. I have seen the worst sides of life that I have ever seen. But do you know what I have a passion for? It is the children. And our children's future now is dismal.

My father gave me a better life than he had. I am not sure I can do that for my children. They are now looking at over $50,000 of debt--each of them. So that means that every dollar that they earn, over 50 percent of it--if we ever get to the point to pay the debt down--is going to our debt.

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Mr. MARINO. If this were not nauseating, it would be hilarious. There are millions of people out of work, Mr. Speaker, millions of people who are losing their health care and millions more whose health care is increasing. There are 230 pieces of legislation sitting on Harry Reid's desk. And do you know what they debated a couple weeks ago all night on the floor? Nothing to do with jobs, nothing to do with deregulation, and nothing to do with getting out of the way of the hardworking taxpayer business. They debated climate change all night on the floor.

Now, there is no one that is more than a conservationist than myself. I live out in the country. I love seeing the bear and the deer walk across my property. I get my water from a well. My children have grown up there. I will do everything I can to protect my children and make sure that the air they are breathing is clean, the water is clean, and the land is pristine. But do you know something? I am pretty sure the hardworking taxpayers, the people in this country, the farmers in my district, and the entrepreneurs in my district want to see the government get out of the way and let entrepreneurs and business do what it does.

I am a states' rights guy. I believe the less Federal Government in my life the better. That is proven by--I just met with a group of entrepreneurs a little earlier. They are called start-ups. They are young kids. They are geniuses who know the IT industry and who create apps, create hardware, and create software. They are saying to me: Congressman, our hands are tied. We are being overregulated, and we have a lot of good ideas that will help the American people.

You are going to be hearing some figures quoted. I am not a big figure guy, but I think it is important that you listen to these figures and see these figures. But I want to tell you where I got them, because as a prosecutor, I always had to back up, in court, where I got my evidence and cite it.

You have all heard of the Congressional Budget Office. We refer to it as the CBO. I am going to tell you just in two sentences what the Congressional Budget Office does. The Congressional Budget Office, CBO, is a Federal agency within the legislative branch of the United States Government that provides economic data to Congress. The CBO was created as a nonpartisan agency by the Congressional Budget and Improvement Control Act of 1974, which means they are independent. They are not Republican, and they are not Democrat. These are people who crunch numbers, make estimates, bring us information, and then submit it to us so the American people know what the actual facts are.

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Mr. MARINO. Mr. Speaker, I heard a little bit ago when my colleagues on the other side of the aisle were talking about ObamaCare, and they said that Republicans tried to repeal it over 40 times; and that is true, we did.

We tried to fix it, with no help from the other side, but he said, twice, that we didn't have anything to offer. Again, that statement is not correct.

Look at H.R. 3121, American Health Care Reform Act. It repeals ObamaCare and puts together a health care program that physicians and hospital administrators and the public took part in suggesting what we need in a health care program, so it is there. It is backed up. H.R. 3121, we did do something.

Now, we need to talk a little bit about some issues concerning what my colleagues have said with regard to ObamaCare.

I just recently heard and verified this by my staff that the House minority leader, Nancy Pelosi, said Tuesday that the Founding Fathers--talking about Franklin, Adams, Jefferson, and Washington, the Founding Fathers--would be pleased with ObamaCare because it means that Americans can pursue happiness without being stuck with a job just to have health care.

This is the same person that says we have to pass it so we know what is in it. Well, we all know what is in it, and we all know what is not in it.

Now, I want to make a point clear. Congressman Kelly and myself, this is our second term. We new Members of the House, we have a little different approach to things.

This $18 trillion of debt that we are in, this just didn't happen over the last couple of years. This happened over the last 50 years. I often say to my constituents, if I had the ability to have every living President in a group of my constituents, Mr. Speaker, and every leader, I would say to them: how dare you do this to us; how dare you, Republicans and Democrats, put us into this debt.

The Republicans had some opportunities when they had control of the House and the Senate a decade or so ago, but times are changing. There is a new breed here.

I just want to bring some issues to your attention concerning ObamaCare that the American people need to know about. When ObamaCare was first implemented, first told about what is going to happen, it was supposed to cover 60 million people. Again, go to the Congressional Budget Office Web site at www.cbo.gov. It is supposed to cover 60 million people at a cost of $900 billion and some change over a 10-year period.

You were told you can keep your doctor; you can keep your health care program. If you didn't want to participate in ObamaCare, you didn't have to. And do you know something? It wasn't going to cost you one penny more. Well, the Congressional Budget Office just released new figures and they simply put it this way: instead of covering 60 million people, maybe--maybe--ObamaCare will cover 24 million people; and instead of costing $900 billion, it now is closer to $2 trillion.

And, oh, by the way, were you able to keep your insurance that you had prior to ObamaCare? No. The President said you could, but you can't.

Were you able to keep your physicians? In many instances, no.

Your rates weren't going up. How many of your rates stayed the same? We are talking about millions of people, millions and millions of people who lost insurance because of ObamaCare, and millions more whose insurance rates went up significantly.

The President waived more than 30 provisions of his law in order to try and make it work, number one.

Despite his promise that everyone who likes their plan can keep it, between 4 and 7 million Americans have had their health care plans canceled.

Approximately, 7.5 million seniors will be forced from their Medicare Advantage health care plan of choice in 2014. Others will see more than $3,700 in services cut.

ObamaCare imposes 21 different taxes on Americans and businesses and an additional cost of more than $1 trillion to Americans and the economy.

The workforce will shrink. My colleague said there is no evidence that the workforce would shrink. Well, you go to www.cbo.gov and you will read that the workforce will shrink by 2.5 million jobs because of ObamaCare. Not a good sign for the 4 million Americans who have been unemployed for over 6 months.

Eleven million small business employees will see premiums rise under ObamaCare.

And Medicaid, a program that already has reimbursement rates below Medicare and one in which one out of three doctors does not accept new patients will see enrollments rise by more than 91 million Americans, 34 million of whom are childless adults.

This, ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Speaker, this does not work, and we have to fix it. We have offered a way to fix it, but the President said there is nothing wrong with it.

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Mr. MARINO. Mr. Speaker, I am going to hit on two areas here for a moment and ask the American people to get more involved, to call your Representatives, to call your Senators, demand from them that we get legislation passed through both Houses, or at least the legislation is brought to the floor for a vote. The American people deserve that.

As I said earlier, I am a states' rights guy, a constitutionalist, worked in a factory, worked in industry, and then put myself through college and law school.

My father, as I said, gave me a good life. My father was a firefighter, a janitor, a painter, and whatever else he could do to raise money to keep a roof over our heads and to feed us. He always said, if you are going to say something, first of all, to someone, that you look right in their eye and you speak the truth. You don't make it personal, and you base what you say on facts and you support those facts.

I am a true believer that Americans, over the last decade or two, even more so today, have been asked to do more with less. Their budgets are tight. Some are laid off. Some are completely out of jobs. They are working one and two and three part-time jobs. But we have the technology out there to create better jobs.

Also, the American people should demand that government operates the same way. I am a believer that the Federal Government is much too large. The left hand doesn't know what the right hand is doing. It needs to be downsized by at least a third.

From those of us still here, the taxpayers should demand that we do more--do more with less--just like industry does, just like we do at home. The government should operate under that basis.

I am now going to switch back to ObamaCare for a moment. In an article of 2-24-2014 in Forbes magazine, it reads: ``ObamaCare Will Cost 2.9 million or More Jobs a Year.'' I have more health care people--physicians, hospitals, constituents--constantly calling me, saying, What am I going to do? I can't get insurance or I cannot afford this insurance. We, the Republicans, have put a proposal together, and we would like to see that voted on. We would like to see that get over to the Senate.

I also want to bring something else to your attention concerning ObamaCare, and it is concerning our young people, the future of this country. I have met so many bright young people who are out of college but who cannot get a job. They are very talented. They are smart individuals. There was a feature issue put out by Sea Change, and it was a poll. It reads: ``Policy Feature Issue: ObamaCare and Youth--Why Millennials are Right to be Concerned.'' These are young people, particularly those out of college who can't find work.

It reads:

A recent poll of millennials, released by Harvard's Institute of Politics, found that, today, ``only 41 percent of millennials approve of the President's performance, down 11 points since Harvard's last survey in April.''

I am going to go further on to read:

With respect to ObamaCare, young Americans are even more suspicious. More than half of the poll's responders believe that health care costs will increase under ObamaCare, with 44 percent indicating that they believe the quality of care will decline. Moreover, almost two-thirds of the respondents say they do not plan to enroll in ObamaCare, which, if accurate, would be extremely problematic for the future viability of the Federal exchanges.

The White House just released that now they have--I heard it on the floor today--almost 7 million. It was 7 million, and then it was over 7 million. Again, the White House has not been consistent with its numbers, and it hasn't, I believe, given all of the information. I read an article here in which it says they are touting that 6 million, 7 million--whatever figure they have come up with--got on the Web site and signed up. There is a big difference there, folks, because, Mr. Speaker, there is a difference between signing up and paying. This article stated that most of those individuals who signed up did not pay and that they project that those individuals will not pay. That is what this ObamaCare health care plan was relying on, for young people who are in good health today to pay. Yet they are saying, I am in good health. Why should I bail others out?

Now, let me make this perfectly clear. I believe that everyone should have health care. My daughter has cystic fibrosis, a disease for which there is no cure. The hoops that my wife and I had to jump through and still are jumping through in order to cover my daughter are extraordinary. If there are people out there who cannot afford health care, we, as Americans, have to help them. We have to pay for them. We have to give them health care. That is what America is about. That is what Americans do. We help people. We try to improve the quality of life.

I am asking, Mr. Speaker, that the American people get more involved in the political system, to be aware of what is out there, to hear what is going on. You heard what I stated and what I cited. Check my facts. Follow up. Just don't take what you hear as actual fact and actual truth. Back it up. Ask your elected officials, Where did you get that information? On what did you base it?

It is about time, as my colleague Congressman Kelly said, that we level the playing field, that we take the handcuffs and the restraints off of hardworking taxpayers so they can give their children and their grandchildren a better way of life. I know that we can do that in this country. We are the greatest country in the world. I am a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee, and I am a member of the NATO alliance. I talk to people who represent 27 other countries about how great America is and about how they look to us and what we can do. Even the countries that do not like us look to America for leadership. They look to America for a better way of life, not only here in the U.S. but around the world.

I have to tell you that every time I drive from Williamsport, Pennsylvania--the 10th Congressional District there--after a week of listening to my constituents and seeing what they go through--my farmers, businesspeople, homemakers, single moms, men who can't find jobs, women who have to work two and three part-time jobs to raise their families--I know we have a responsibility. As I turn on to Independence and as I see the dome of this beautiful building, I can't believe that I am fortunate enough to be here, to represent not only my 10th Congressional District in Pennsylvania but all of America, but it is a responsibility that I chose. It is a responsibility for which I have to continue to fight every day of my life.

I heard one of my colleagues say--and I am going to borrow his line, and I am going to ad-lib it a little bit. He would say to his people as he was speaking to them in a group--and he would stand up and take his glasses off--do you see this line here, this wrinkle here? This was caused by fighting to keep your taxes low. Do you see this wrinkle here? This was caused by making sure that the American people know what we are voting on. This line here was caused to make sure that there is a level playing field, and there is still room on my face for more lines and more wrinkles to keep fighting.

That is what I am going to do--that is what we all should be doing here in the House--to keep fighting for the American people. Down the road, I want someone to say to my children, Do you know something? When your father was a Member of Congress, he did the right thing for the American people and for his constituents.

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