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Mr. ROHRABACHER. I rise in opposition to this amendment. Long ago my parents told me a truism that has been reconfirmed over and over again in my life. My parents both were raised on dirt-poor farms in North Dakota in abject poverty. And my father, who made a decent life for himself and for his family with hard work and struggle, told me as a child when we visited those farms, he said: Son, ordinary people are not going to live well in this country or any country unless there is an abundance of water and energy. And that's what all through my life I've seen; that those people who have had their water or energy restricted, it has hurt the ordinary people, the standard of living of the people of that country.
What we have faced in this country is a good example of that. What we have got is a coalition of radical environmentalists who have over the years prevented America from having the energy we need to have a high and a good standard of living for our people. Ordinary people have suffered. The same is true when we are talking about water.
Now, this radical coalition has never thought anything about constitutional rights and about whether it is States' rights to this or that. That has made no difference to them at all. The central issue is there is a vision that the radical environmentalists have in which people are less important than fish or little insects or reptiles.
The bottom line is ordinary people, ordinary Americans, should be our highest priority. What is it doing to their standard of living? And we have seen an attack on the standard of living of the people of California by depleting water resources that should go to them that instead are being committed to a tiny little fish that isn't even good enough for bait.
Today, we are going to reaffirm in a very bipartisan fashion that no, the people of this body are elected to represent the well-being of ordinary Americans, to make sure that we have the energy and the water we need to fulfill the American Dream where everyone has a chance at a decent life.
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