RULES OF THE HOUSE -- (House of Representatives - January 04, 2007)
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Mr. CANTOR. Madam Speaker, I thank the gentleman.
Madam Speaker, first of all I would like to congratulate the gentlelady from California on her election as Speaker and look forward to serving with her.
I just ran into a reporter on the outside of the Chamber who asked me about the tone of debate and what I thought the tone would be going forward. I agree with Leader BOEHNER when he spoke in this Chamber just a little bit earlier about the fact that we can debate, we can differ in a nice way, and I think that is what the American people expect.
But they also expect rigorous debate here on the floor of the House. I am asking my colleagues to reject the previous question. Because if we look at the message from this election, the American people spoke out: They want change. They want us to change the way that Washington does business. And in fact, a little less than 2 years ago, then Minority Leader Pelosi saw fit to send a letter to the former Speaker Hastert spelling out the way that she thought this House should run, how we should change, a prescription to correct the so-called ills that my friend from Massachusetts mentioned earlier of the 109th Congress. So if we defeat the previous question, we in the House will be allowed to bring up what has been called the minority bill of rights, and this again was the recipe for change that then minority Leader Pelosi saw fit that was the right prescription for the ills that affected this institution or allegedly affected this institution.
So it just doesn't make sense for us to be here today and somehow in spirit of bipartisanship, transparency, civility, to be going back on that pledge to honor the rights of all Americans so that we can have an open debate in this House. It doesn't make sense to follow the adage, ``Do as I say, not as I do.'
So I would urge my colleagues to defeat the previous question, allow there to be light, allow there to be transparency, not just after we pass the first 100 hours of this Congress.
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