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Public Statements

GOP Freshman Special Order

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. FLORES. Mr. Reed, I want to thank you for managing this Special Order today, and thank you for allowing me some time to participate.

I'm very proud of our freshman class here in Washington. We have changed things in this town, at least on this side of the Capitol, and we're responding to what the American people want. The American people overwhelmingly do not want ObamaCare.

So I have to thank Mr. Palazzo and Mr. West and Mrs. Black. I assume Mr. Woodall's going to speak in a few minutes, and Mr. Gardner, and thank them for getting up here and telling the truth.

A few minutes ago I was sitting in the Chair as the Speaker pro tempore, and the gentleman from California (Mr. Garamendi), a Democrat, and Mr. Tonko, a Democrat from New York, invited me to come down and debate with them, so I'm here to debate with them.

If you'd listen to what the Democrats say about ObamaCare, you'd think the world was going to be perfect and butterflies were going to be singing Kumbaya. You'd think that everything was going to be just fine.

When you go to the HHS Web site that talks about ObamaCare, all you see are all the things that tell you about how great your life is going to be, but it doesn't discuss the cost. And only in this town we call Washington, D.C., this town that's based on fantasy, can you believe things like that, where you can get everything for a cost of nothing.

Well, Americans know that's not the case. They know that you can't do that, and Americans know that you can't take one-sixth of our economy and turn it over to bureaucrats like the people that run the GSA. Now, the people at the GSA partied real well, but I don't trust them with our Nation's health care, not my granddaughter's, not my grandmother's, none of their health care.

Now, we, as I said, in this town we're changing things as the freshman class. Most of us that came in this class came from the real world. We know how to sign the front side of a paycheck, we know what the commitment is like to have to hire an employee, to have to make sure that that employee's family gets a paycheck so that that family will have food and housing and education; that they can be part of a robust local economy so that they can be part of a healthy middle class in this country.

But bureaucrats don't do that. The private sector does that, builds that healthy economy for Americans.

So, again, I just can't see how you could say that we could turn over health care to folks like the ones that run the GSA.

What Mr. Garamendi and Mr. Tonko need to do, when they say that everything's for free and costs nothing, and the world's going to be better off, they need to come talk to a small software company in Waco, Texas, that saw their premiums go up in 2011 by 27 percent and saw their health insurance premiums go up this year by 23 percent. Or the small manufacturer in Bryan-College Station, Texas, that's looked at their premiums increase by a combination of about 40 percent over the last 2 years. And each of these companies is thinking, Do I have to drop coverage? Do I have to lay off employees so I can absorb the extra cost? Do I move my operations overseas?

The folks on the other side of the aisle need to understand that the taxes, the restrictions, the regulations that come with ObamaCare are a tax on all America. When you tax the economy, you tax all Americans. And we've already talked in great detail. Mr. West laid out all the taxes in ObamaCare, did it pretty well.

But I just say, when you add it all up, and you add all those taxes together, they're a tax on the economy, and that's a tax on the middle class. That's a tax on every class in America. And that's not what Americans want.

I voted for the repeal of ObamaCare today, and I'm proud I did. And I'd urge that Harry Reid, over in the Senate, take it up.

And so I've put together sort of the top 10 fatal flaws that are part of ObamaCare, and here they are.

Number one, the worst of them is it's a violation of our constitutional liberties, your right to your religious preferences, where you can have a bureaucrat, like the ones at the GSA, cram down your throat what your employer has to provide for you or what it may not provide for you.

Number two, it fails in its primary goals of controlling costs and allowing Americans to keep their health insurance coverage. You heard our other freshman speakers lay that out well today.

Number three, it hurts our hardworking taxpayers by adding over 20 new taxes, costing over $800 billion, taxes on things like home sales and investment income. Those hit the middle class just like everybody else.

Number four, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, the CBO, as we call it around here, it will cost our Nation over 800,000 jobs. How's that good for the middle class?

In addition, now that the State Medicaid mandate was ruled unconstitutional, the costs of ObamaCare are going to increase by $700 billion. And that's already on top, further damaging our fragile fiscal situation at the Federal level.

Number six, we've already talked about this tonight, a half a trillion dollars cut from Medicare, hurting our seniors.

Number seven, ObamaCare puts 15 unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats between doctors and patients.

Mr. Speaker, I don't want people who run the GSA between me and my doctor or between my granddaughter and her doctor or my daughter-in-law and her doctor. This is an assault on all Americans--women and men, young and old.

Number eight, even though it has been partially implemented, it has caused health care premiums to inflate dramatically across the country.

Number nine, ObamaCare is causing massive uncertainty for American businesses, hurting American job growth and our economy and the American middle class, adding further pain to all of the economic policies that we are experiencing in the Obama economy.

Number 10, we heard about this earlier, about the Federal takeover of the student loan program, which is another accounting gimmick that was used to pay for the Democratic takeover of health care.

So, Mr. Reed and Mr. Speaker, I would say it's time for us--and we did today--to recognize that these fatal flaws mean that this program should be overturned. We did the right thing today. We took bold action, and I think it's high time that the Senate acted and did the same thing.

One of the things that Mr. Tonko and Mr. Garamendi talked about is if Americans wanted to hear the facts. They laid out their version of the facts. Americans can go my Web site. There is an ObamaCare section at that's right at the top of the page. You can find out about the taxes. You can find out about the law and about the times we've tried to repeal this thing. You can read the law to see what's in it. You can read the Supreme Court decision. Then you can also see what the Republican alternatives are, some of the ideas of the alternatives to fix this.

Mr. Reed, I thank you for your leadership on this, and I look forward to serving with you.


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