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Public Statements

Red Tape Reduction and Small Business Job Creation Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. HASTINGS of Florida. Mr. Chairman, I am pleased to introduce this amendment to help ensure clean drinking water. This measure amends H.R. 4078, the Regulatory Freeze for Jobs Act, by exempting from the moratorium regulations that ensure drinking water is safe.

Safe drinking water is essential to public health. There is a long and terrible history of polluters dumping all matter of toxins into rivers, streams, and other sources of drinking water. Aside from the environmental destruction, it costs an enormous amount to effectively clean such sources once they have been polluted. It costs even more to provide the necessary medical care for persons made sick by exposure to polluted water.

We cannot afford to weaken or delay critical agency actions designed to ensure the continued enforcement and regulation of clean water rules.

This is not about creating jobs. Polluting water doesn't create more jobs, but it does negatively impact public health. We must remain vigilant in protecting our water supplies, and I urge my colleagues to vote in favor of this amendment.

I reserve the balance of my time.


Mr. HASTINGS of Florida. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself the balance of my time in light of the fact that I don't think anyone else is going to speak on this amendment.

I clearly understand my colleague's position as set forth. One thing I cannot abide and offer by way of constructive criticism is the fact that all over this Nation too often we find that polluters cause our streams, rivers, and waters to be damaged. I'm a fifth-generation Floridian, and I heard the gentleman in the Rules Committee and on the floor today speaking pridefully, and rightfully, about his children. I've seen the damage in Florida, and I have seen much of the damage that has been done around the Nation. While it is true that the legislation as offered would allow for the President to come to Congress for approval, by the time Congress gets through doing anything, the pollution that we are trying to avoid may very well have overtaken us.

We have a very fragile ecosystem in our country and, as it pertains to water, it would just be absurd for us not to be able to address it immediately.

I'm pleased to yield such time as he will consume to the gentleman from Michigan (Mr. Conyers).


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