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Providing for Consideration of H.R. 836, Emergency Mortgage Relief Program Termination Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. ANDREWS. I thank my friend for yielding.

Mr. Speaker, I want to agree with the gentlelady from Illinois who just spoke, who said what the American people want is jobs. I agree with her. And when we assess the record of the new majority on this issue, I think we have to assess that it's found very wanting.

This is the 10th week of the new majority. In 10 weeks, they found a way to shut down women's health clinics by defunding Planned Parenthood. They've found a way to essentially repeal 30 years' worth of protections for our drinking water and our air and our land. They've found a way to pass a budget that cuts education, that saps strength and energy from our job creators in this country, but they haven't found one bill, 1 minute, one debate over a plan to work together to create jobs for the American people.

I believe, Mr. Speaker, that the American people want Republicans and Democrats to come together and figure out an environment that will encourage entrepreneurs and small businesses to create jobs for our country. The majority has, frankly, done everything but that. And today is yet another bill that I think is a wasted opportunity in that regard.

I view today's debate through the eyes of three constituents I interacted with at home this weekend. One was a gentleman who runs a music distribution company. They produce CDs for people who have written and recorded music and don't have a label yet so they can get their music out to the rest of the world. He employs 500 people, and he wants to grow. And in order to grow, he needs people who are facile with various software and other technologies that will help his company grow. He depends upon graduates from our community colleges and our 4-year colleges and universities. And he didn't understand why the majority wants to cut the maximum college scholarship under Pell Grants by $845, thereby taking employees away, conceivably, from him by taking them out of school.

It's the homebuilder that I met who really can't call himself a homebuilder anymore because he's not building any homes, and he wonders what we're doing to try to restore faith and confidence to the real estate market so that Americans will feel secure and confident enough to buy a home and put him and his workers back to work. He wonders what we're doing.

It was the gentleman I met yesterday who runs a biotech company that has two employees, and he depends on contracts from the National Institutes of Health to do research on various pharmaceutical products. He wants to double the size of his company, put just two more people to work, but he won't hire them as long as the threat of a government shutdown is imminent.

This is the wrong bill at the wrong time on the floor.


Mr. ANDREWS. I thank the gentlelady.

What we should be doing is coming together, Republicans and Democrats, to cut spending, to find ways to sensibly cut spending. Many of us on the floor, for instance, 2 weeks ago voted to not send $1.5 billion to Iraq to fund their police department. Many of us voted not to spend a substantial amount of money for the Brazilian Cotton Institute. Many of us voted to say that if you make over a quarter of a million dollars a year as a farmer you shouldn't get a crop subsidy. These are areas that we agreed upon to reduce spending.

Let's work to sensibly reduce spending but let's not cut education and let's not undermine jobs. By all means, let's bring to the floor a bill that says to my friend that runs the music production company, we will help train the workers that you need; that says to my friend that wishes he were a homebuilder, we will talk to these banks that have record amounts of money in their balance sheets and get them lending money again so people can buy a home; and says to our friend that's running the small biotech company, you don't have to worry that there's going to be gaping cuts in the research budget of the National Institutes of Health, we're going to fund them, and they're going to continue to pay people to be the best and the brightest and find cures to diseases, and you can hire those two more people.

Ten weeks, no jobs bill, no jobs plan, no cooperation to produce an environment where small business and entrepreneurs can put America back to work. Let's put aside our differences. Let's get to work on solving the real problems of our country.

Mr. SESSIONS. Mr. Speaker, you know, I'm shocked at our friend after friend on the Democratic side who say ``no jobs bill,'' ``no jobs bill.'' But my friends also recognize what the American public does, that we voted, literally the first vote in this House, to overturn what is known as ObamaCare, the massive government takeover of health care in this country that would result in a loss of 800,000 jobs. Mr. Speaker, the Republican majority does have a jobs bill, and that is to go and rescind what the Democrats have outrageously done and that is to put this country in a diminished position not only with us being competitive overseas but also for us diminishing American jobs.

No, we're not going to go and do a, quote, jobs bill to add jobs. We're trying to simply go back and save the jobs that are being lost today and would be lost by wasteful government spending, huge government bureaucracies, and so my friends on the other side simply want to come and attack us. Well, the Republicans have it, and so do the American people. We are going to stop the outrageous spending. We are going to attack the rules and regulations which are killing not only business but losing jobs all across this country. We, as Republicans, are going to stand up and say $4 gasoline is outrageous, Mr. President; work on the things from your administration that you are doing that ruin jobs, that make sure we have higher gas prices at the pump, and do those things that would help the American people.

The Republican House majority is one-half of one-third of the body, and we are one-third of government. We are trying to do the things that the American people sent us here for. We are all about trying to reduce wasteful government spending. We are going to take on the laws that have been passed by this President and the former two sessions of Congress that were outrageous spending, tax increases, an assault on employers, making it more difficult for the American people to have freedom and diminishing our future.

So every time one of our Democrat friends goes and says there's no jobs bill by the Republicans, the American people will get it. The Republicans first have to save the jobs that are at risk today; 800,000 net free enterprise system jobs that--if we do not overturn ObamaCare that was passed by this body on March 22, a year ago, we're going to lose even more jobs.

So the most immediate thing we're doing is trying to reduce wasteful government spending, to try and do away with and attack rules and regulations that will kill the jobs that we have, and to make sure that we're telling the American people that this spending spree that we're on causes a massive deficit, a hemorrhaging by this government, including last month $230 billion we overspent. Then we're doing our job. If we are doing those things, we're trying to save the jobs that we've got.

Mr. Speaker, that is what the Republican majority is about. We're not going to let the Democrats get us off our game. We understand what they want. They want to talk about, well, we can look at doing back to some of the spending, but when it comes down to it, they can't pick anything they really will support. Everything is a sacred cow. Everything that we do is a problem if you go and touch it.

Mr. Speaker, the Republican Party, the Republican majority, led by Speaker Boehner and our majority leader Eric Cantor, is all about trying to get back to an America where we have a balance, to where we don't lose more jobs, where we don't add more debt, and we stand up for the American people. That's why we're the new majority party.

I reserve the balance of my time.


Mr. ANDREWS. I thank my friend for yielding.

Mr. Speaker, I have great respect and affection for my friend from Texas. He's a valued Member of this House and someone who cherishes this institution and represents his constituents well. I would like to respond to two of the points that he's made.

First, he makes reference to this 800,000 job loss as a result of the health care act. There was a prediction made before the final version of the act was put together, very early in the process, by a group that frankly is rather ideologically to his side of the aisle, that predicted that 800,000 jobs would be lost. In fact, most economists have argued that hundreds of thousands of jobs would be gained, but more importantly, Mr. Speaker, than predictions is reality.

The health care law was signed into law almost a year ago, and I wonder if anyone on the majority side could tell us how many jobs the economy has lost in that year. How many jobs has the economy lost since the health care bill was signed into law?


Mr. ANDREWS. Reclaiming my time, the answer is that the economy has added over 1 million private sector jobs since the health care law was signed into effect, so predictions of great job loss have turned out not to be the case.

Secondly, the gentleman made reference to the sort of great opposition to this law around the country.


Mr. ANDREWS. I thank my friend for yielding.

So the fact here is that despite this prediction of 800,000 jobs lost, in fact, the economy has gained more than 1 million private sector jobs since this happened.

But I want to address one other thing that he said. He said that our goal is to ``knock the Republicans off their game.'' We do not think this is a game. We think 15 million unemployed people is a very serious national crisis, and we do not want to play a game. We want to come to an agreement that would create an environment for small businesses and entrepreneurs to create jobs for the American people.

He mentioned sacred cows. We don't think college scholarships are wasteful spending. We don't think that student loans are reckless spending. We don't think that reading teachers and math coaches for our neediest children is wasteful spending. We don't think that job-training grants for people who have lost their job is wasteful. We think that cutting those programs wastes jobs in the private sector. That's why we oppose their reckless budget plan. That's why we beseech the majority, let's get to work putting Americans to work.

Mr. SESSIONS. Mr. Speaker, I stood up and openly said I have no clue how many jobs have been added. But the million-job figure that the gentleman quotes is not a net figure. It's not a net figure. We have lost many, many, many times what we have gained. And the net figure means that when you add in what has been added versus what was lost, this country is in trouble. And I think the American people understand this. They understood it last November. They understand it now.

People are scared. They're scared about their future. They're scared about their job. They're scared about how much gasoline is going to go up. They're scared about whether the EPA is going to come put some more rules and regulations on them. They're scared about what will happen in the long run with their job and health care. They see the diminishment of freedom.

They see where we are in trouble not only in our own homes; we are in trouble with our country. They see that we ran a $230 billion deficit last month alone. They see where this administration is incapable of looking at facts and factors and making a realistic choice about, now that we understand what's happening, what are we going to do when we're in trouble.

The Republican Party is here, and we are not going to be knocked off our game. We're going to go and try and save as many jobs as we can from the onerous rules and regulation, the excessive taxation, and perhaps worst of all, the inattention to try and create a better circumstance for this country.

So that's what we're going to do. We're going to go after and we're going to repeal this ObamaCare. We're going to stay after the rules and regulations, and we're going to make sure that the middle class of this country has a chance to save the job that they have rather than diminishing it.

You have seen, Mr. Speaker, all across this country the States who are in the most trouble have top-to-bottom Democratic-controlled legislatures as well as Democrat Governors. Those States are unwilling to make tough choices. They're unwilling to do the things which would say ``no'' to constituencies who are special interests. Today, the Republicans are on the floor of the House of Representatives, and we're saying not only ``no'' to special interests, but what we're trying to say is that we need to use common sense and balance.

And I recognized 14 years ago when I came up here that common sense is not common in Washington. But today, part of that common sense takes place with, we're going to read the bills before we vote on them; we're going to go through regular order; we're going to relook at the things which have been passed which diminish jobs and which harm our economy. And those are the things which are on the floor today.

Mr. Speaker, I'm proud of our Republican majority. I'm proud of our Speaker, who's from the great State of Ohio, who understands himself, personally, because of the State where he is from, that the State of Ohio is in need of leadership, real leadership, in Washington, DC, just as the rest of the country. And so the Republican Party stands on the floor of the House today. We are about jobs. We're about reducing wasteful Washington spending, and we're going to stand for common sense.

I reserve the balance of my time.

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