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

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

PROVIDING FOR CONSIDERATION OF H.R. 5818, NEIGHBORHOOD STABILIZATION ACT OF 2008 -- (House of Representatives - May 07, 2008)


Mr. Speaker, I rise to oppose the rule, because there are so many amendments that could have improved this bill and saved the taxpayers money, but they were ignored by the Rules Committee, not allowed on the floor of the House, which isn't totally unlike the situation we are in with the supplemental appropriation bill.

Here we are about to pass a $200 billion--that's billion with a B--the largest supplemental appropriation bill in the history of Congress, and supplemental appropriation bills aren't anything new. They go back to the second Congress that ever existed because, so often, when you have a war, there are unanticipated costs associated with it, as there are with disasters and other things that might occur during the course of the year. So supplemental appropriation bills are normal. But what isn't normal is the size of this bill.

And what isn't normal is the Democrat Party who even has on Speaker Pelosi's Web page, as I speak, a promise to the American people that every bill would be vetted properly and passed through proper order.

And we all know from our eighth grade social studies class that proper order is that a bill is introduced; ding. It is sent to subcommittee; ding. The subcommittee has hearings, it has a markup in which amendments are allowed and where endorsements and where statements are made. Then it goes to full committee; ding. And full committee again repeats the process, possibly with hearings, certainly with debate, always with amendments, always with the minority and the majority party putting aside partisan differences on a committee level before the final product goes to the floor. And then again, ding, the bill goes to the floor where again people are allowed to amend a bill. People are allowed to make speeches on it.

But instead, what we have from what can only be called a ruthless, iron-fisted majority, an air-dropped bill. Yes, Mr. Speaker, an air-dropped bill, a bill that has bypassed, leapfrogged over the regular subcommittee and committee process.

Again, Mr. Speaker, this bill is thrust upon Members of the House who will not have read it. In fact, I will take a poll right now.

Is there anybody who has read, there are a lot of Members of Congress on this floor, have any of you read this $200 billion supplemental appropriations bill of which we will be voting on tomorrow? Not one hand goes up. I rest my point. This bill has not been vetted.

It should go through regular order which means subcommittee, full committee and then on the floor. Members should have the opportunity to read a $200 billion bill and they should have the opportunity to amend it.


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