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Public Statements

Solutions for Small Businesses

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. DREIER. I thank my friend for yielding, and I appreciate his yielding.

The reason I've come to the floor is to share with our colleagues the very sad news of the passing of my very close friend Dick Clark, who just within the past couple of hours, it has been reported, has passed away.

When I listen to the topic of your discussion, I am reminded of a conversation. I had dinner with him 2 weeks ago, and he was somebody who said exactly what my friend from Georgia indicated. He was a proud taxpayer. I know people are going to be talking about ``American Bandstand.'' This was someone who actually broke the barrier by bringing African Americans on to television in the 1950s and the 1960s. He is someone who was an amazingly successful businessman. He was a small business man, himself, but was a very, very successful one. I just want to say that, as I listened to your discussion, I was reminded of how he regularly said everyone should pay their fair share of taxes. He said that not too long ago to me, and I said I appreciated that because he knew he was paying my salary and yours and yours as well.

But I just want to share with our colleagues what a great loss this is for our country. The show that he started initially and became so famous for was ``American Bandstand,'' and I think it's a very appropriate one because this guy was a very patriotic American. He was a believer in the free enterprise system. He was a believer in encouraging individual initiative and opportunity on a regular basis, and he is someone who provided inspiration to people all the way across the spectrum.

I just wanted to say that, as you guys are here, talking about the need for tax fairness and the imperative to ensure that we encourage more people like Dick Clark, I think it's important for us to remember the wonderful life that this man had. I've got to say just a couple of things if I might.

He was someone who, you'll all recall, on New Year's Eve would regularly host up in Times Square; and in 2004, he suffered a massive stroke. I have never seen anyone with more determination and fight than Dick Clark. A number of people said, Gosh, why did Dick Clark continue to go out and be on television?

Do you know what? I had a conversation with him just before he decided to go this past fall to do this program. People across this country said to him, The fact that you have suffered this stroke and are continuing to fight to get better and continuing to be active is something that is an inspiration to us.

So that kind of fighting spirit is exactly what the small business man or -woman has who at this hour is still working and who my friend was just talking about; and the imperative to make sure that everyone pays their taxes but no more is something that, I think, he should be remembered for along with all of the great, great accomplishments that he had.

I just wanted to take this moment to share this with our colleagues here in the House.


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