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Public Statements

Expediated Legislative Line-Item Veto and Rescissions Act of 2012

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. WALZ of Minnesota. I thank the gentleman from Colorado for yielding.

As the American people watch us here, the previous gentleman from Florida was right in that the frustration levels are as high as they've been with this sacred institution, with this idea of self-governance. It would be a lot easier if we didn't have to go through all of this.

I hear some of my constituents sometimes say, We need to get rid of some of you Members of Congress. There are too many of you.

I say, Why think small? Get rid of all of us and name a king. Then we don't have to do a dang thing, do we? They can think for us.

The idea is coming here together to self-govern ourselves. And the gentleman and all the speakers were right: It's about the integrity of this institution. It will be here, and it will stand when we are long gone and forgotten. Our children will inherit this place and the things that happen here. The integrity of this institution stands above all else. That's why when I walked through this door, coming out of a classroom in Mankato, Minnesota, after a career in the military and in teaching, I was approached by Louise Slaughter who said, You were sent here to do things differently. It's about making this place work, and I've got a bill for you. And for 5 years, Louise and I and seven others have tried to make this case. So I am pleased today that it's here.

It's not perfect. As one of our former colleagues, Dave Obey, used to say, Of course it's not perfect. You'll get perfect in heaven. And this place is a lot closer than hell, so let's take a compromise. Let's get something done for the American public that restores their trust, and then lets move on to debate the important issues of employment, of caring for our veterans, of educating our children, of securing our Nation.

Louise Slaughter has been there every step of the way. This was not a twelfth-hour comeback to the righteousness thing. Louise has lived this way. When she says this issue of political intelligence and gathering here is undermining our markets and our trust, she knows something about it.

We're going to make a compromise. We're going to move a piece of legislation forward that is a step on a journey, not a destination. It is a quest towards a more perfect union. This is one small step.

This is the only place in the world where doing something right lets us pat ourselves on the back. This is what Americans do every day. We need to assure them we're there.

But this offering of adding this piece is all part of the bigger puzzle. I am in full support. I am proud to serve with the gentlelady from New York. She has been a champion. And it's not about our political differences.

I thank all the Members here who spoke eloquently about restoring faith in this. The public wants us to come here and debate differences for the direction of our country. They don't want us to tear each other down, and they don't want us to game the system.


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