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The Rest of the Story

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. WEBER of Texas. I thank the gentleman.

You know, it's interesting. We see that in 2010, the other side of the aisle--the Ds--had no problem passing this humongous takeover of health care. Funny, they had no problem that the Republicans were against it; they had no problem that the majority of Americans were against it; and, Mr. Speaker, they had no problem that the majority of the business community was against it. They had no problem that there wasn't any bipartisanship involved, and now they have no problem blaming others, as a result of this government shutdown, of this failed legislation, this not-ready-for-prime-time hostile takeover of almost a sixth of the economy.

In short, the other side has no problem. I guess that's right. Now the Affordable Care Act is the American people's problem, and yet they continue to blame us. They continue to demagogue and say it's all about us.

We have a President who will not negotiate. He will negotiate with terrorists; he will get his foreign policy from the Russian President, Putin; but he will not come to the House of Representatives and negotiate.

The majority leader in the Senate and the Executive in the White House want this House of Representatives, the Republicans, to unconditionally surrender and roll over and forget that it is the American public that has the problem--this huge entitlement that the gentleman from Texas was just alluding to. This is our method of getting negotiations going about fixing that problem.

Interestingly enough, today we heard in speeches on the floor of the House the analogy of the Republicans' attempt to go ahead and fund those crucial parts of the government while they play their games. They bring up a game analogy called Whac-A-Mole. They say that our policy is akin to Whac-A-Mole. Well, Mr. Speaker, this is the first time I recall in recorded history that someone has actually made a molehill out of a mountain--a Whac-A-Mole analogy.

I would submit that the ``Unaffordable Care Act,'' as I like to call it, is a lot larger than the 900-pound gorilla in the room. Our colleagues on the other side are ignoring the 900-pound gorilla and paying attention to moles, that proverbial molehill. That's so interesting.

In some of their comments today they have been decrying the fact that hunters in their own States may not get to hunt. Well, that seems really peculiar to me. The party who is in favor of gun control, who seems to be anti-Second Amendment rights in my opinion, all of a sudden are interested in hunters' rights. As Mr. Rogers from the old TV show used to say: Can you spell hypocrisy? Sure you can.

It's very interesting to me, Mr. Speaker, at this juncture in the game, that all of a sudden they're interested in those rights that heretofore they had no interest in and somehow it's the Republicans' fault.

I will remind my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, as well as the American people, that of the last 17 shutdowns in the last 30 years, 15 of those shutdowns occurred when a Democratic majority was in control of this House of Representatives. You never heard the terms ``terrorists,'' ``holding a gun to the head,'' ``refusing to negotiate.'' You never heard that back then.

But because of this Affordable Care Act, as the gentleman from Texas has already eloquently stated is a huge mandate, because this seems to be their signature legislation--to make Americans have health insurance--now we're hearing that all of a sudden they're in favor of these other things.

Well, Mr. Speaker, since March 23, 2010, when President Obama signed that hostile takeover of health care into law, we have seen key promise after key promise made to the American people broken.

The President said, ``The Affordable Care Act is designed to make it easier for younger Americans to obtain and maintain health insurance.'' Well, I'm from Texas. We believe in being truthful with people. In Texas, you get in trouble for making those kinds of false statements. We still believe in truth, justice, and the American way even though we're from Texas.

In reality, if ObamaCare is implemented in Texas, health insurance premiums on the individual market will see an increase of 53 percent for young males and an increase of 11 percent for young females. That doesn't sound like such an affordable deal. To top that off, those who live in Texas could see premiums increase up to 43 percent in the individual market and 23 percent in the small group market.

Promise number two, broken, the President said, ``If you like your current health care plan, you'll be able to keep it.'' Promise number two, broken.

The fact is, ObamaCare incentivizes, as the gentleman from Texas stated, employers to drop coverage to avert taxes and fees that would be imposed on those small businesses and large businesses if they were to continue to provide their employees coverage. Home Depot, UPS, to name a few, have dropped tens of thousands of covered employees from their plans just at the outset of this. According to the CBO, 7 million people will lose their employer-sponsored coverage, nearly double the previous estimate of 4 million.

In 2012, the Texas State Comptroller, Susan Combs, and her office surveyed Texas members of the National Federation of Independent Businesses and received replies from over 900 Texas businesses, large and small. In that report, only 3.4 percent of those business owners believe that the President's health care would be good for their business. In fact, fines and penalties paid by those same Texas businesses with more than 50 employees for fiscal year 2010 through 2019, those fines were estimated at $9.3 billion.

Not only have there been broken promises, there have been major delays of the law. It is simply not ready for prime time; and the truth of the matter is, folks, it will probably never be. As more and more Americans get that, they understand how imperative it is that we make changes in that law. In fact, since the law has been in place, there have been 22 actions to defund, revise, or repeal parts of that overburdensome law.

To the other side, I would say this. Let's use the President's words: Knock it off and move on. Fifty-nine percent of the American people want this law defunded. Why does the President and the majority leader keep ignoring the American taxpayers?

In my district, I have constituents sharing their heart-wrenching stories about the negative impact ObamaCare has already had on their family. There's been hundreds of responses. Take Susan Gay from Beaumont. She said:

My husband and his coworkers lost their overtime 2 years ago from the vote for ObamaCare. We are now still frightened he may lose his job, as he works for a small business man locally in Beaumont.

Susan, I hear you. The Republicans hear you. We're fighting for you, fighting for your husband and his coworkers and millions of others that have already been negatively impacted by the President's hostile takeover of the health care system.

Folks, your House Republicans are making every effort to get rid of this law. We have introduced replacement bills that will empower the individual and make affordable health care more accessible for everyone.

Folks, there is a better way. It is high time that

the President and the Senate get on board with us in the House if they truly want to help and listen to the American people.

I'm Randy Weber, and I'm proud to be a Texan.


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