Providing for Consideration of H.R. 2279, Reducing Excessive Deadline Obligations Act of 2013by Representative Gerald E. Connolly
Posted on 2014-01-09
CONNOLLY. Mr. Speaker, I thank my colleague for yielding.
[[Page H93]] I was listening as a student of history myself to our friend from Texas. In that little last bit about affordable health care, he left out one little piece of history, which was that the Republicans of both the Senate and the House, to a person, decided it a priority to oppose the health care reform act no matter what was in it.
To now come back and say we weren't given an opportunity to amend something that we decided we were going to oppose--remember Jim DeMint's words: if we can defeat this bill, it will be President Obama's Waterloo, no matter what is in it. So we need to remember history in its full context.
And speaking of history, knowing of my distinguished friend's love of it, it was almost 35 years ago when the 96th Congress answered the cries of communities across the country facing the life-threatening effects of hazardous toxic waste. Who can forget, speaking of history, the Love Canal disaster in New York or the Valley of the Drums in Kentucky, the unexplained increase in the incidence of cancer, birth defects, and miscarriages? In an overwhelmingly bipartisan effort then, that Congress did the right thing by creating the Superfund program, offering communities a way to remediate contaminated sites, to protect public health, and hold polluters accountable.
The success of the Superfund is clear: according to the EPA, as of April of last year, remedial actions have been completed at more than 1,145 national priority list sites, and an additional 365 have been completely cleaned up and deleted from the list. That is called success. That is called a program that is working. That is 70 percent of the sites that had been added to the priority list.
Today, human exposure is under control at 1,361 priority sites and contaminated groundwater under control at 1,069 sites.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentleman has expired.