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Public Statements

Health Care Reform

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. SCALISE. I want to thank the gentleman from Iowa for yielding.

I appreciate the comments from my friend from Arizona and his alternative bill. I serve on the Energy and Commerce Committee as well. We're going to have a heated debate, a very necessary and important debate. But this should be a debate that allows all of these different ideas and facts to come out.

But there is an old adage that says if you don't learn from the mistakes of history, you are doomed to repeat it. So I think if you go back to January and review the last 6 months and you look at the mistakes that have been made along the way and transpose that to the bill that was filed today, this government takeover of our health care system, you'll see a lot of similarities to the previous mistakes that's been made up until this point.

When the President came in in January, his first initiative was this massive so-called stimulus bill: $787 billion in spending, borrowed money that we don't have, money that's going to be borrowed against our future, China and other countries that will be loaning us

this money. This bill was touted as a way to save the economy.

The President said we need to do this or else unemployment will reach 8 percent. Today as we stand here and review that bill, as my friend from Georgia said, where are the jobs? We know it hasn't created jobs. In fact, since President Obama took office, two million more Americans have lost their jobs. In the meantime, the stimulus bill is starting to have effects on the economy, but now you are beginning to see the beginnings of inflation because of all of this borrowing.

You are also seeing the fact that this bill is clearly not working--not only all of us who voted against the bill and proposed an alternative, and the President who vowed to be so bipartisan would not work with any Republicans to take some of the ideas that we had, ideas to actually empower Americans, to allow small businesses to hire people, to give tax relief to small businesses and families that are struggling out there. The President didn't want to approach any of those ideas. He just wanted this one-size-fits-all government-run program, spend more money, $800 billion.

And now just last week his own Vice President said this plan, they misread the economy. And the President himself is going around saying--first he's saying that he wouldn't do anything differently on the stimulus bill and he said the stimulus bill is working according to plan.

Now, I'm not sure what plan he had, but two million more people out of work from the day he took office, unemployment approaching 10 percent, and he said that's the plan that's working.

Mr. SHADEGG. He said what?

Mr. SCALISE. He said he wouldn't do anything differently and the stimulus bill was working according to plan.

Mr. SHADEGG. He was planning on 9.5 percent unemployment?

Mr. SCALISE. Clearly he must have been because he and his own Vice President not only are saying that that bill, the stimulus bill, is working according to plan but they're saying on the other end, some people in the White House are saying they're so concerned now about the economy and the approaching 10 percent unemployment that they're talking about doing a second stimulus.

So people who are admitting on one hand they misread the economy, everyone's acknowledged that their stimulus plan isn't working and is spending money we don't have.

Then they're talking about doing another stimulus bill to spend even more money we don't have.


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