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Conference Report on H.R. 3630, Middle Class Tax Relief and Job Creation Act of 2012

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. BARTON of Texas. I want to thank the gentleman from South Carolina for yielding.

I've been in the House, this is my 28th year, 14 years in the minority and now I'm in my 14th year in the majority. I don't believe I have ever voted against a rule when I was in the majority, but I'm going to vote against this one. I'm also going to vote against the underlying bill.

I'm not saying anything disparaging about the leadership on both sides of the aisle and the leadership in both bodies, but we are taking money away from the Social Security trust fund and we are substituting an IOU that may or may not ever be repaid. So on principle alone, I think we should at least shoot straight with the American people. So I will vote ``no'' on the underlying bill.

On the rule, when we became the majority, we, the Republicans, we promised the American people that we would be more open and more transparent than the previous majority that was headed by Speaker Pelosi; and one of our primary promises was that we would give the American people 3 days, or 72 hours, before any bill was voted on the House floor. This rule waives that principle. And I know it's expedient and I know that there is majority support, as you can tell by the debate for both political parties on this bill, but I think to go back on a principle to the American people, that what we vote on, especially bills that are very important, should have enough time that people can look at what's in the bill. I don't think that's something that you compromise for political expediency.

So I will vote ``no'' against this rule for the first time in my career in the House of Representatives as a member of the majority when a majority rule is up, and I would hope that this is a one-time exception that we violate the principle that we promised when we became the majority.


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