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Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2013

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Ms. BROWN of Florida. I rise today to speak on the Transportation and Housing and Urban Development appropriations bill on the floor.

First off, I want to say that whether it's the mayor of Jacksonville, Florida; Orlando; California; or Texas, every single mayor that I've talked to--Democrats or Republicans--support Community Development Block Grants and are very concerned with what we're doing here and making sure that we send funds that they can decide how the community is to use the funds to meet their needs.

In addition, I want to talk about transportation. I've been on the Transportation Committee for the entire 20 years that I've been here in Congress, and transportation has always been bipartisan. It did not matter who the President was, and it did not matter who the Speaker was. In fact, when Newt Gingrich was the Speaker and President Clinton was the President, the House passed the transportation bill over both of them and funded the Transportation Committee for 6 years.

This House has not been able to pass a transportation bill. For the first time, you see people who really don't want to put America to work because the Transportation Committee is the committee that put the American people to work. When you look at the engineers or architects, they rate America as a ``D minus,'' as far as our infrastructure is concerned. Yet you have people that do not want to put the American people back to work.

In my home State of Florida, we received close to $3 billion for a high-speed train from Orlando to Tampa. What did we do? We sent it back. Eighteen States have our money, and they are putting people to work. We're talking about transportation money.

When you have people with other agendas besides putting people to work, that is a real problem in the area of transportation. We know that for every $1 billion we invest, it generates 44,000 permanent jobs. Yet you have people in this House with a different agenda, and their agenda has nothing to do with jobs and putting people to work. It is a sad state of affairs. But I've often said you can fool some of the people some of the time, but you can't fool all of the people all of the time.

I yield back the balance of my time.


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