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America's Energy Crisis

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

AMERICA'S ENERGY CRISIS -- (House of Representatives - May 20, 2009)


Mr. BROUN of Georgia. I thank the gentleman for yielding.

Mr. Speaker, this whole cap-and-tax philosophy is a hoax. It's a hoax. It's a hoax on the American people, and it's a hoax because it's giving a promise that cannot be fulfilled. We are promised by the Democrats that this is going to create green jobs. Going back to what the gentleman from Spain said as Mr. Akin and you, Mr. King, were talking about, he said it cost jobs. Going back to the figure that you put out, Mr. King, they had an unemployment rate of 17.5 percent because of their cap-and-tax, cap-and-trade policy that they put in place. The experts have looked at our economy, at our job market, and we're being promised green jobs. But the experts say that for every single green job that's produced, we're going to lose 2.2 other jobs, a net loss of 1.2 jobs for every job created in this false promise, this empty promise of creating jobs.

Now to buy off some certain groups, particularly the retirees and the poor people, they're going to give--who knows what, refundable tax credits--the President and Mr. Waxman and others are promising to give more money to the poor people to take care of this higher tax, higher food cost, higher cost for all goods and services. Where's that going to come from? It's going to steal from my grandchildren. It's stealing from their future. Don't be fooled by this hoax, by all the smoke and mirrors, by all this promise because it's not going to do anything but cost jobs. It's going to create a higher cost of living for everybody, and it's going to put us in a deeper recession, maybe even a depression if we continue down this road. Republicans have offered amendment after amendment in the committee, but they've been defeated by the Democrats. Amendments to even just stop this from going into place if the gas taxes or gas costs go too high or if electric prices go too high or if other prices go too high for the American people. But the Democrats have voted uniformly not to accept those amendments over and over again.

Congresswoman Lummis from Wyoming talked very eloquently about some of the ideas that Republicans are producing. The American people are told that the Republican Party is the Party of No. Well, I agree with that. We are the Party of No, but the know is K-N-O-W. We know how to solve this economic downturn. We know how to solve some of the financing problems in health care. We know how to create an all-of-the-above solution to the energy problem to make America energy independent.

But the Speaker of the House has been an obstructionist. She has been an obstructionist and not allowed any idea that we have proposed for all these things to stimulate the economy, to solve the problem we had with the housing market and to solve the banking problem. We have not been allowed. All of our ideas have been blocked by the leadership of this House and the leadership of the Senate.

Mr. KING of Iowa. Will the gentleman yield?

Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Absolutely.

Mr. KING of Iowa. I would just ask: Have all of your ideas been blocked? How does this work? Can't you offer an amendment that would put up a recorded vote and tell America where you stand? What prevents you from at least telling America where you stand so that they can evaluate the votes of people on both sides of the aisle and make their decision in November of 2010? What is the obstruction there?

Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Absolutely. And I have offered an amendment to the non-stimulus bill. I offered an amendment that said, let's bail out the American people instead of bailing out all these favorable groups, the payback groups. In fact, the Democrats were bent on spending $835 billion of our grandchildren's and children's future. I said, if we are going to do that, let's really do something that stimulates the economy. Let's send that money to the legal resident taxpayers in this country. And I introduced an amendment that would have sent a check for almost $9,000 per legal resident taxpayer. A couple would have gotten $18,000. That would have stimulated the economy because they would have paid off credit card bills. They would have saved it. They would have bought education or food.

Mr. KING of Iowa. If the gentleman would yield, then why didn't I see that amendment on the floor of the House of Representatives and have an opportunity to send a message to my constituents about how I would like to see this economy managed? Is there a reason that blocked that from coming to the floor?

Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Absolutely. And I thank you for asking because that is exactly what I was referring to. Every single idea, my idea as well as many others, have been blocked. They have been obstructed. My amendment was considered not to be valid. And they just totally would not allow my amendment to even be considered on this floor.

Mr. KING of Iowa. Reclaiming my time, the Rules Committee, which is up there on the third floor, meets without the benefit of television cameras and often without the benefit of the news media even reporting it. They can decide whether your idea can be heard on the floor of the House of Representatives. And often the Rules Committee decides that your idea will not be heard and it will not see the light of day. Is that correct?

Mr. BROUN of Georgia. You are absolutely correct, Mr. King. That is exactly what has happened. That is what has happened over and over again. And I want to remind the gentleman from Iowa, my dear friend, that over and over again, we see these bills come to the floor with what is called a closed rule. Now we know here in the House what that means. That means we cannot amend the bill. They will not accept our amendments. They have their bills shoved down the throats of the American people. That is the reason I'm calling what is going on here a steamroller of socialism. That is being shoved down the throats of the American people and strangling the American economy


Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Thank you, Mr. King, for bringing this up. The American people need to understand this. And I think this is something that you made very clear. What they did is all of your hard work, and all of Energy and Commerce's hard work, was just thrown in the trash can. And who was involved in doing that? It was the leadership of this House. It was thrown in the trash can. It didn't go through the normal process, normal ``order'' as we call it here. It was thrown in the trash can. And something else was produced by just a very small handful of people. And we had no way of changing that, no way of amending it and no way of doing anything with it. It was shoved down our throats.

That is an oligarchy type of rule. It is a dictatorial manner of running things. And the American people need to know that that's what is going on up here. And the Republicans are offering solution after solution to all these things. The American people need to start demanding something different. It is up to the American people. Because we are in a minority, we can be here talking tonight and every night, as we are, and Mr. Akin has been here week after week, and you too have, Mr. King. But the American people need to stand up and say ``no'' to the way this business is going on up here.

Let's go back to regular order. Let's go back to having debate and being able to bring forth ideas from both sides of the aisle. But we are not allowed to do that by the leadership of this House. It is wrong. It is immoral. It needs to stop. And the American people need to demand it to be stopped.


Mr. KING of Iowa. Reclaiming my time.

I want to pose this question, and this is the question I posed to the judge from Texas and I posed this to the other judge from Texas and the doctor from Georgia. I pose this to all of my Democrat friends over on this side of the aisle. Can you envision any program that would transfer more jobs from America to the developing countries than cap-and-tax? Is there anything out there that would be worse for our economy? If you have an idea, stand. I will yield to you. I will be very happy to yield this microphone to anybody on this side of the aisle that believes that Judge Gohmert would happen to be wrong or I happen to be wrong that there is any means that can more cripple America's industry or cost our economy more or transfer more jobs to foreign countries than cap-and-tax that's being debated right now in Energy and Commerce. I say none. You don't ask me to yield. That means you have no better idea.

I will yield to the gentleman from Georgia instead.

Mr. BROUN of Georgia. It's a great question.

In my district in Georgia, the 10th Congressional District in Georgia where many counties already have right now, today, right at a 14 percent unemployment rate, I've been told by a number of manufacturers that are still left here in this country that if this cap-and-tax bill goes through, they're shutting the doors. They're moving offshore. They cannot afford to continue to operate in this country. And they're going to do that. It's going to drive up the unemployment rate in my district that's already at 14 percent in many counties.

Mr. KING of Iowa. So the gentleman agrees with my conclusion.

Mr. BROUN of Georgia. Absolutely. Nothing could be worse except for maybe the budget that has been produced by this administration.


Mr. BROUN of Georgia. I absolutely agree with you, Mr. King. I don't believe there's been a bigger colossal failure to the American people than this proposed cap-and-tax--tax-and-cap, as I call it. It's going to be disastrous for our economy. It's going to be disastrous for everything that we believe in as a Nation.

Right now today, this government is spending too much money, it's taxing too much, as Judge Carter was talking about. We have the highest corporate tax rate in the world, which is driving companies offshore and it's causing unemployment. We're borrowing too much. We're borrowing our children's and our grandchildren's future. They're going to live at a lower standard of living than we do today with the policies that we've seen just over the last about 120 days already today. And this cap-and-tax policy is going to make it magnified markedly.

We've got to stop the spending. We've got to stop the taxing. We've got to stop the borrowing, and we've got to put America back on track.

And what I want to say before I yield back is that the American people need to understand that the Republicans are the ``party of know,'' k-n-o-w, because we know how to solve all these problems if we'll just be allowed to do so.

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