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Public Statements


Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC

Mr. KINZINGER of Illinois. Mr. Speaker, I agree with my colleague that spoke previously. America needs to be a voice for freedom in the world. America is a great nation.

I find it interesting that we talk about the need to be engaged, with which I agree, but then we talk about the need to leave Iraq before we can know for a fact that we are leaving a very stable country.

I find it interesting people are rushing to the exits in Afghanistan, and I understand that's a tough and difficult war. But in the process, we have brought millions of people freedom; we've brought to women the ability to go to school; we've brought to people the ability to live their lives in freedom and not under an oppressed regime.

America is a great country. We are an amazing country that is a force for freedom in this world, and it's a country I am very proud of. Having served in the military and continuing to serve as a pilot in the Air National Guard, I understand that the people I serve with are part of that great country.

Right now one of the concerns in our country, though, is that, in order to back up and to support a great military and to support a great force for freedom, you have to have a great economy. What bothers me is that in 2009 in this Chamber a stimulus was passed which cost in just a few minutes of debate as much as the war in Iraq has cost in 8 years. In just a few minutes, we were promised that unemployment would not go above 8 percent, and, in fact, unemployment has never gone below 8 percent since the passage of the stimulus.

But do you know what has gone up? Not employment. Debt and deficits, more and more of a burden that we're piling on our children.

Now the President is coming out with a plan that says we can't wait, that we can't wait to pass stimulus version 2. Really, if you look at the depths of what the jobs plan is, it's stimulus 2. It's, in essence, a carbon copy of stimulus 1 but a little bit smaller. I've heard people in this Chamber argue, actually, that the problem with the first stimulus is it wasn't large enough. Now, I disagree. I think that's the wrong answer, but let's say for a moment that that's right. Let's say the problem is it wasn't large enough. Why would you introduce a second stimulus that's even smaller and say, This is the miracle bullet right here, this is how we're going to pull ourselves out?

I don't know how many times we have to do the same thing over and over and over again until we realize it doesn't work. The American people are hurting. The definition of insanity, by the way, is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

House Republicans have a plan for America's job creators. We've had a plan for America and America's job creators and our economy for many, many months. Despite that people can get on television and say Republicans have no plan doesn't make it true. You're entitled to your own opinion, but you're not entitled to your own set of facts.

The fact is, at, we have a plan. That plan includes empowering small business and reducing regulation on job creators but not to a dangerous level, as some on the other side of the aisle will have you believe that we want to take away all regulation. We don't. What we want to do is find that balance between allowing the free market to breathe and allowing people to come in and say, I want to hire people; I want to create more jobs; I don't need the heavy hand of government to come in and give me the permission to do what I'm doing.

We do have to fix the Tax Code. I think both sides of the aisle agree that there have to be Tax Code reparations go on to make it better and easier to do business. We have to boost competitiveness for American manufacturers. Look, American manufacturers aren't leaving because it's nicer in China and the weather is better. They're leaving because they simply can't afford to access the 95 percent of consumers who live outside of our country and do it competitively.

But with all these things, and, again, with the Republican plan for America's job creators, I think we have to acknowledge areas where we have found success and bipartisanship. One of those happened just a week ago when we passed the three trade agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea. We've shown that this Chamber has the ability to work together.

So, yes, we can't wait. We can't wait until the end of the election for the President to come up with a real plan and to work with Republicans. We want to stand together. I get it. An election is coming up next November. We all understand that. You're going to hear about it on television. But let's not miss the next 14 months. Let's not miss this opportunity to really stand up and govern and get the American people back to work.

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