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Public Statements

Providing for Consideration of H.R. 5818, Neighborhood Stabilization Act of 2008

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. LaHOOD. I thank the gentleman for yielding, and I rise to say that I wish as a member of the Appropriations Committee, that the same procedure that is being followed for helping the housing industry whereby the Committee on Financial Services held hearings, allowed members to offer amendments, allowed members to read the bill, allowed members to have their say about the bill, we on the Appropriations Committee would be accorded the same opportunity when it comes to a bill that will be considered by the House tomorrow, a $200 billion bill that will appropriate money to help our troops and to fund our troops and to provide them the equipment they need.

Now as a member of the Appropriations Committee, none of us will have the chance to read the bill, to look at the bill, and those of us who have been around this House for some time, and members of the committee know that the devil is in the details. We know what happens when bills are brought to the floor when Members haven't had a chance to read them. Things are inserted, words are inserted, dollars are inserted that become a great embarrassment for people as they vote on these bills.

And so tomorrow when this bill comes to the floor, the appropriation bill, the $200 billion appropriation bill, I encourage Members to vote against it because they will not know what is in it. They won't know what words are in it or what money is in it because the Appropriations Committee has been shut out from the opportunity to have their say, to offer amendments, to offer an opportunity to change the language in the bill.

And really it is disingenuous, I think, to our committee to allow this kind of procedure to take place. We have two very experienced people on the Appropriations Committee in the chairman from Pennsylvania and the ranking member from Florida of the Defense Appropriation Subcommittee who will have little or nothing to say about the bill.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. The gentleman's time has expired.

Mr. HASTINGS of Washington. I yield the gentleman an additional 30 seconds.

Mr. LaHOOD. Now I talked to two of the Democratic leaders about this, and I tried to persuade them, let's go through the regular procedure. You've got the votes to pass the bill. You're going to pass the bill. Why not give all of us a chance to have our say and to at least read it and offer amendments and have our say. What are you afraid of?

Mr. Speaker, this is not the way to run the House. This is unprecedented that a bill of this magnitude would come to the House like this. I urge the Speaker and the leadership to give us a chance, as members of the Appropriations Committee, to have our say, to read the bill, to offer amendments.


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