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Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. I thank the gentlelady from Washington for yielding me the time. I'm inspired to hear my wonderful colleagues, proud Republican women, proud to be Republican, as well as plugging our gender because we have a very positive story to tell our country.
And as my wonderful friend, the colleague from the State of Washington, pointed out, my name is Ileana Ros-Lehtinen; and I represent Florida's proud and beautiful 18th Congressional District that covers from Bal Harbor all the way down to sunny Key West, 265 miles of coastal beach area.
And I'm a daughter, I'm a mother, I'm a grandmother, I'm a wife of a Vietnam veteran, a former educator and a former small business owner. I fled Castro's communist Cuba with my parents when I was 8 years old. I'm proud to be a naturalized American, so Cuban by birth, American by choice. And I am also a Republican woman.
I entered public service after talking with my parents, with the parents of a school, a small private bilingual school that I operated along with my parents in Hialeah, a blue-collar working town of Miami-Dade County.
And after hearing from the parents of the school that I operated about their hopes and their dreams and the problems and the concerns that they had, I decided that the best way to help them was not just to help them individually, but rather to help them in a bigger way by being involved in the legislative process in order to change the policies that were causing them difficulties.
As we have said here tonight, Mr. Speaker, our Nation faces grave economic dissatisfaction and a sluggish economy and no job recovery. And Republican women understand and recognize the need for creative and bold solutions to get America moving in a positive direction once again so that small business owners, such as the Ileana Ros-Lehtinens in south Florida, who have a small school or who have a small business, are not hampered by burdensome regulations that inhibit their growth.
And we know how small business suffers due to this growing bureaucracy and this unnecessary regulatory wrangling that goes on and that has occurred in the last few years, and the previous speakers spoke on this issue of the regulation that has run amuck.
So Republican women also recognize this economic prosperity cannot be created by government because small and medium-sized businesses are the engines that fuel our economy. So together, Republican women don't want to--we're in unison to say that we do not want to leave this burden, this financial debt, this deficit to our children and grandchildren. We want to leave them with a more prosperous and secure Nation. And that's why I'm proud to be a Republican woman.
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