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I thank the gentleman for yielding.
During the markup on this bill, Mr. Rangel of New York was very magnanimous in his concern for our emotional well-being on our side of the aisle. And he said that no matter how sincere they are in their argument, it must be awkward and embarrassing just to say no. I really do appreciate that gesture and his concern for how we're feeling. But the good news for Mr. Rangel is, we don't feel embarrassed, and this isn't awkward. In fact, it is with a sense of duty that we stand up and say, You know what, this bill is a classic underperformer.
If you notice something, we're hearing echoes of the exact same rhetoric that we heard during the stimulus debate. The stimulus, as you will remember, was $750 billion, plus or minus, plus interest, so you are at a trillion dollars worth of commitment and a stampede argument of spending that said, If we would only do this now, only do this quick, only do this right now, unemployment was going to peak at 8 percent. Well, that didn't happen in my home State of Illinois. In fact, The Chicago Tribune recently quoted a civic leader, the Civic Federation of Chicago, and this is what they said regarding the State of Illinois' budget morass, notwithstanding all the help that the majority has claimed that they've foisted on these States. They've said, This is historic. It is epic. It is impossible to overstate the level of peril.
That's with the majority's help.
So now the argument comes, ``Well, you Republicans talk about small government all the time. Let's help small government here.'' I think that's an inherently flawed argument because what we're doing is borrowing and then foisting more spending.
Look, I think ultimately the most difficult and troublesome component of this is the overriding of 60 bilateral trade agreements. I have over 3,400 employees in my district alone in suburban Chicago. That's not to mention another over a quarter of a million employees who are employed by companies that are insourcing jobs.
I think the National Association of Manufacturers and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce got it just right when they opposed this bill for all the right reasons.
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