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Mr. TONKO. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Colorado for yielding time.
I would hope that the order of business on this floor is guided by priorities, the most essential priorities that are calling for this body to respond to the people of this great Nation, and in these difficult economic times to do it with a degree of urgency. But what is our order of business here today on the floor? Fixing a typo. That's what we're doing here this morning. We're fixing a typo in an election-year driven, politically motivated bill. But we are really wasting time and playing games. You see, our families and businesses are calling out for compromise, for confidence and for certainty. And this body has utterly failed to answer that call.
Just yesterday, the other Chamber passed a bill to guarantee the current tax rate for our middle class. If this bill fails to pass, taxes will go up on nearly everyone in this country.
But instead of passing the Senate bill, an extension of tax rates that nearly every single Member of this body supports, our order of business is an attempt to pass a rule on the underlying bill for a second time. Why? So that we can continue to hold the extension of middle class tax cuts hostage to enable the richest amongst us to get another Bush-era style tax handout.
Make no mistake. There is but a single roadblock in the way for the middle class right now--and that's the majority in this House. The other Chamber passed a bill. The President said he will sign that bill. And if just one of every 10 Republicans in this body stands with our side of the aisle, we can ensure certainty and confidence for our middle class.
Instead, it looks like we are heading down the road of yet another manufactured crisis. From government shutdowns to debt ceiling debacles to highway bill holdups, this body has consistently fallen short over the past year and a half.
So let's quit these games on the underlying bill. This is about more than a typo. It's about priorities, and it's about values. And right now, we must prioritize middle class tax cuts and provide the certainty and predictability that our American families so desperately deserve and need.
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