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Public Statements

GOP Freshman Hour

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Ms. FOXX. I want to thank members of the freshman class--I think people don't realize we call ourselves ``freshmen'' our first year here--for doing such a wonderful job of humanizing this bill.

This is not the most exciting legislation that has ever passed the House of Representatives, and I have to say my piece of this legislation is probably one of the least exciting pieces of it. It's H.R. 373. It's called the Unfunded Mandates Information and Transparency Act. It's pretty dull. I'll tell you, when you read it, if you need something to put you to sleep, it's a great thing to put you to sleep, but it is very important legislation. All seven pieces of the legislation that you all are talking about tonight have real impact on the public.

I want to say, in 1995, when Republicans took over the majority for the first time in 40 years, they passed a bill with bipartisan support called the Unfunded Mandates bill. We all grew up hearing how the Federal Government was putting unfunded mandates on State and local governments. So they said, well, we're not going to do that anymore. We're going to figure out how much this costs, and if it costs over $100 million, we're not going to do it. Well, guess what? There were loopholes in the legislation. We hear about loopholes all the time in tax legislation, but you don't hear very many people talking about the loopholes that are out there that govern the bureaucracy. Well, there were lots of loopholes in the Unfunded Mandates bill, or UMRA.

What my bill does is close those loopholes to keep the bureaucrats from getting around telling us how much these unfunded mandates are going to cost. For the first time ever, it is going to apply to the private sector so that we will really know--these rules and regulations that the gentleman from Indiana was talking about--how much they're going to cost that business that was almost put out of business. That's what we need to be doing.

So the rules may go into effect, but this Congress is going to understand and the world is going to understand how much it is costing us, and that is very, very important.

I thank you for letting me share a couple of minutes of your time tonight in order to bring some information forward about H.R. 373, which is a bipartisanly supported bill, as I think most of these bills are. So, while they are not exciting, they do good work.


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