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Public Statements

Instructing Certain Committees to Report Legislation Replacing the Job-Killing Health Care Law

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


I thank my friend from Massachusetts.

Madam Speaker, well, we could have a bill on the floor today that expands fair trade for American companies, but we don't. We could have a bill on the floor today that finds ways to stop sending a billion dollars to the Middle East to buy oil every day and instead create jobs producing energy in America, but we don't. We could have a bill on the floor today talking about ways to regenerate our real estate market and get people buying and selling houses again, but we don't.

What we have is an empty promise that someday, somehow, the new majority will come to the floor with a bill that will fix the health care problem. Quoting from Speaker John Boehner, he said on June 18, 2002, ``Instead of focusing on new health care mandates that will increase costs on employers and swell the ranks of the uninsured, Senate Democrats should focus on providing access to health insurance for the 39 million of Americans who remain without health coverage. That should be our first priority.''

So at a time when Republicans had a majority in this House, a President in the White House, and for most of the time a majority in the Senate, their first priority, which was to deal with the health care problem, they didn't do. That's the standard against which we should measure today's promise. It doesn't leave much room for much optimism.

I would say, instead of focusing on yet another empty promise, let's focus on putting Americans back to work.


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