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Public Statements

20th Anniversary of the Birth of Abraham Lincoln

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

200TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE BIRTH OF ABRAHAM LINCOLN -- (House of Representatives - February 12, 2009)


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

This is a very critical debate. It is a debate on the most important issue facing our country. We are talking now about the single largest spending bill in the history of our country being rammed through with very little debate. There are closed-door, backroom deals being cut right now on the actual final product that we're going to vote on today. None of us here can even see it. We were told this was going to be the most transparent administration. The American people can't even go online right now and see it. They can't even get a copy faxed to them because there is no copy available. It's being debated behind closed doors and with no public input, and we're starting to hear about some things that may be in it. I think it concerns a lot of people as they have already seen some things that are in this bill that are very concerning.

We are hearing that there are going to be billions of dollars for a railroad between California and Las Vegas. I don't know about you, my good friend from Iowa, but we used to hear that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. I guess now what happens in Vegas is going to affect every taxpayer in this country. Billions of dollars on that one item.

There is language that we're hearing is going to be in this bill that will undermine the welfare reforms that were made in the 1990s, welfare reforms that have been dramatically successful in helping people get off of welfare and get off of that government dependence and finally get jobs--good, healthy jobs, good-paying jobs, good careers. For those single women who are out there who are, maybe, single mothers who are finally getting a good career opportunity, that is being taken away from them with the undermining of this welfare reform that is in this language.

The health care czar, this is something that we have never even heard about before. Now we're finding out there is language that is going to create some kind of health care czar that will basically be able to ration health care.

So there are some major changes in here that do not stimulate the economy at all, that do not create any jobs but that make some very dramatic policy changes that will affect adversely many, many millions of people across this country and that will hurt our economy even worse at a time when we need to be turning it around. We have presented good alternatives to try to get our economy back on track which would create jobs in the middle class for those small businesses.

I just want to read one final word before we leave, because all of this massive spending is creating tremendous debt. Just look at what FDR's Treasury Secretary said after the New Deal with all of the spending they did.

``We are spending more than we have ever spent before, and it does not work. I say, after 8 years of this administration, we have just as much unemployment as when we started and an enormous debt to boot.''

Let's not make the mistakes of the past.

I yield back.


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