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Public Statements

Congressional Black Caucus

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. PAYNE. Mr. Speaker, to my colleagues, the gentleman from Nevada and the gentleman from New York who have done an outstanding job of managing these Special Orders, I would just like to thank them for the opportunity to come out and speak on this matter, this issue, this frivolous issue of where we find our Nation, a lack of respect for a man who won an election, as we have had elections throughout this Nation's history.

But we come to a point in history now where there is something wrong with this President. Something about him is illegitimate. Something about him just isn't right. Something about him has Members of this institution disrespecting him on a daily basis. He is the President of the United States of America, the greatest Nation in the world, the most powerful man in the world, and deserves the respect that we have given every other President that has held that office.

While millions of Americans are still out of work, my Republican colleagues are wasting time and money again. This time it is on a partisan lawsuit waged against the President and talk of impeachment. These actions are frivolous and shameful, and they pander to the most extreme wing of the Republican Party.

Every serious constitutional scholar sees the Republican lawsuit against the President for what it is: a desperate political stunt. And they have tried many times, as it was stated by colleagues prior to me, 50 times trying to repeal the law of the Nation, the Affordable Care Act--50 times. They will not stop at anything in order to have this President defeated and look as if he is a failure.

When has that been our history in this Nation? When has it come to that? This great democracy that we have has been a battle over ideas and a coming together in a bipartisan manner. You are over here, I am over there, but we come together on common issues to come to what is in the best interest of all Americans.

Why should a President have to have Members of this body or the Senate stand in front of him and say that ``I can't even stand to look at you.''

Where? Where in this Nation, the home of the free, the land of the brave, we hold these truths to be self-evident. Are they self-evident these days? Are they? The humanitarian issue we have at our border, I remember somewhere it saying, ``give us your tired, your poor, your huddled masses.'' Now we say, ``Stop the bus at the border and go back.''

Where is this Nation going? It is a sad time in this country that we find ourselves at this point: Okay. This didn't work. We couldn't get him on that. His birth certificate, he showed up with that. Okay. Scratch that. I know what. Let's repeal the Affordable Care Act. Try 50 times. Okay. That didn't work. Hey, I have a new one. Let's just sue him.

Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Speaker, just because Republicans disagree with the President's policies or political persuasion doesn't give them the right to sue him. Even the Nation's most conservative Supreme Court Justices have said that the Congress cannot sue the President in these circumstances. Meanwhile, millions of Americans are out of work, including nearly 300,000 people in my home State of New Jersey. Instead of working together to create jobs, New Jerseyans are learning that the Republicans are at it again, wasting taxpayer time and money on frivolous lawsuits.

My constituents are outraged. But just because Republicans won't do their job, the President and Democrats in Congress will. I can remember prior to coming to Congress President Obama extending his hand on numerous occasions to work with the Congress, to work with the other side of the aisle, and he was just rebuffed.

Now that he says he will use executive privilege, executive order, now there is a problem once again. If you can't work with them, then he is going to have to go it alone and do what he has to do to make sure that this Nation has the things, the laws, to be, to continue to be the great Nation that it is. Democrats have a real jobs plan, the Make It In America plan, to put America back to work, to bring jobs back to our shores, to build roads and bridges, to create a better education system, and to lead the world in innovation.

My bill, the Green Jobs Act, is part of that plan and will expand access to capital for small businesses to create good-paying jobs in low-income communities.

We are ready to work. We are ready to work with this President. I think it is high time that our colleagues on the other side of the aisle say: Okay. We tried everything. There is one more thing to try--working with this President to move this Nation forward.


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