Mr. ANDREWS. Mr. Speaker, we're here this morning for the fellow citizens who didn't put up a Christmas tree or light a menorah or celebrate their holiday at home this year because they have no home. We're here for the boardwalk merchants who are not going to be starting their businesses up again this Memorial Day along the boardwalk because there's no business, and there's no boardwalk. We're here because a lot of people's lives are devastated.
It's important to understand what we are and are not asking for. We are not asking that every Member of this Chamber follow our lead and vote ``yes'' in favor of the bill the Senate has already passed. We are simply asking that every Member of this Chamber have the opportunity to vote on that bill.
President Kennedy said governing is choosing. We are prepared to choose an investment in the recovery of our neighbors and our country. We respect those who would make a different choice, but we cannot abide by those who would say they would make the choice of doing nothing at all, letting the clock run out on this Congress, which means that we'd have to start all over again. The people I talked about for whom we are here this morning, they need to start all over again. They need to get back to their homes, back to their businesses, back to their lives; and as we delay, we delay that possibility for them.
Every Member has the right to exercise his or her own conscience on any piece of legislation. No Member has the right to deprive the rest of us of the same opportunity for our constituents. We should meet today. We should vote today. We should move forward today.