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Public Statements

Health Care Reform

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. GARRETT of New Jersey. Madam Speaker, I come to the floor today to speak out on the Democrats' proposed ``Slaughter solution.'' This is a sleight-of-hand with an unconstitutional move to avoid a true vote. Article I, section 7 of the Constitution reads, Every bill shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate before it is presented to the President of the United States.

With the Slaughter solution, leadership is attempting to manipulate the rules to circumvent this fundamental constitutional requirement. In the Senate, they have a bill there with so many special deals--taxes on insurance, coverage for abortion--even they cannot pass it for a second time. And so Democrat leadership here in the House tried to avoid a traditional up-or-down vote. The Supreme Court has even spoken on this and said a bill must contain the exact text before it is approved in one House and then the other--precisely the same text.

Madam Speaker, if we ignore the basic requirements of the Constitution, whether by disregarding procedural restraints or overstepping our congressional authority by dictating people's health insurance, we will descend from the freedom of democracy toward the tyranny of a dictatorship.

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