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Public Statements

Surface Transportation Extension Act of 2012, Part II

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Ms. BROWN of Florida. Thank you, Chairman Mica and Mr. Rahall.

I will vote for this 3-month extension. But I have got to tell you, the Republican leadership has turned the House floor into Frankenstein's laboratory. Instead of bringing up a transportation bill that could get the support from both sides, they brought a bill to the floor that couldn't get support from either side. Now, after they couldn't convince the Tea Party Members that transportation is actually very important to our economy, they're taking parts from different bills and creating the monster that they call ``transportation.''

It's a very sad time for transportation in the House of Representatives. The Republican leadership has ruined a process that used to be bipartisan, from a committee that used to be bipartisan. This is not the way to run the U.S. House of Representatives, and it is clearly not the way the American people want it to be run.

I've been on the Transportation Committee for 20 years, and it has never been partisan. We were the committee that moved people, goods, and services, and put millions of people to work. Now we gut funding, abandon core programs like transit and hazmat safety, and argue about issues that aren't even germane to transportation.

The Republican leadership has had a war on our Transportation Committee from the very beginning. First, they removed the firewalls from the trust fund and would no doubt be raiding it if we had any money in it. They cut the size of our committee in half. Then they gave us all freshmen Members, many who don't know how to say anything but no, no, no, no, no, no, no. And then for 2 straight years they've gutted transportation funding in the Ryan budget.

You can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time.

President Barack Obama said recently that Republicans used to like to build roads. All of our stakeholders support a comprehensive transportation bill, and I am hoping that we can pass--I hate to say it--the Senate bill--we used to do the work--but I hope we can pass the Senate bill. I really want to say thank God for the United States Senate because finally we have some people that are pulling together a transportation bill that really will put the American people to work.


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