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Continuing Appropriations Resolution, 2014

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. KINGSTON. I thank the gentleman from Kentucky.

Mr. Speaker, I want to say that we are here tonight to keep the government open. I keep hearing that we want to shut the government down. And yet this is actually our third attempt to send something to the U.S. Senate to give them an opportunity to negotiate with us.

And why are we here talking about a continuing resolution to begin with? We're here because this year, the House Appropriations Committee, with my colleagues on the other side, has passed five separate appropriations bills. There are 12 in total. Unfortunately, during the time period that we've passed five, the Senate has passed zero. Last year, the House passed seven and the Senate passed one.

After a while, you see there's a pattern. The Senate doesn't want to work on regular order. The Senate really does prefer continuing resolutions because then they can pull stunts like the one Harry Reid is doing now.

You know, Mr. Speaker, where were they yesterday? Where were they this weekend? The Senate adjourned. Where was the President? He was playing golf. He was so concerned about the government being shut down.

Now, what is the issue with ObamaCare? The Speaker at the time, Ms. Pelosi, said we need to pass the bill so we can find out what's in it.

Now, that bill has grown to 7.5 feet in height, and we are reading what's in it. But two things we know that it does not accomplish is it does not decrease the cost of health care, and it does not increase the accessibility. Those were the two major objectives. Those were the selling points.

Health care is one-sixth of the economy. Therefore, I think it's the right thing to fight over.

This is something that affects every American. We know already that premiums have skyrocketed under ObamaCare and that they will only grow worse. We also know that many major companies and smaller companies are stopping providing insurance to their employees. Accessibility is going down as well.

So ObamaCare has been a failure. Why is it that the Democrat Party believes in it so bad? Even when it fails, they can't let go. I don't think it's a bad thing to say, hey, you know what, we were wrong. We tried to decrease the cost of health care, we tried to increase the accessibility, but we did not achieve that. Therefore, maybe Harry Reid should sit down with Speaker Boehner. Maybe the President of the United States can interrupt his negotiations with the Iranians and come and talk to the Americans, i.e., Republican Americans. I think it would be a good thing. Again, Mr. Speaker, this will be our third attempt to work with the Harry Reid Democrats to keep the government open.

But I want to say this also to my friends on the other side of the aisle who have said they want to shut down the government. Let me mention, we had 17 shutdowns since 1976. And often one might say, well, that's when you had split government.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.

Mr. ROGERS of Kentucky. The gentleman is recognized for an additional 1 minute.

Mr. KINGSTON. In 1977, the government shut down three separate times--once for 8 days, a second time for 8 days, and another time for 12 days. The Democrats controlled the House, the Democrats controlled the Senate, and there was a Democrat in the White House. Indeed, over the history of the last 25 years, there have been a number of government shutdowns until the Senate, the House, and the White House sat down and negotiated. That's all we're saying tonight is, you know what, we understand we don't control government, but we are willing to negotiate.

It is time for cooler heads to prevail in the U.S. Senate. It's time for the U.S. Senate to have some adult leadership and sit down with House leadership and hammer out the differences. That's why we're here right now, while the Senate, I believe, has already gone home. I guess the President is no longer playing golf. But we are ready to negotiate.


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