Providing for Consideration of H.R. 444, Require Presidential Leadership and No Deficit Actby Representative Louise McIntosh Slaughter
Posted on 2013-02-05
SLAUGHTER. Mr. Speaker, I do love my country, and my country is
begging me, as I'm sure it is all other Members of Congress, to for
heaven's sake get some of this taken care of and have some certainty.
Talking with constituents just this morning, they were saying they simply don't know what to do. And what we're doing here again is just theater, as my colleague pointed out. This isn't a plan. It's a gimmick, and it has wasted valuable time.
CBS News reported last year that it cost $24 million a week to operate the House of Representatives. On behalf of the taxpayers who pay those bills, we should be debating some serious legislation and come up with serious answers to our Nation's problems.
And everybody has known from their grammar school days that the way we pass a bill is that the House proposes a bill, the Senate proposes a bill, they go through the committee processes, they are passed on through the committee, the subcommittees, then the major committee, then to the Rules Committee, in our case, and then we have a conference and we send it to the President. We don't do that anymore.
The last two bills we dealt with on this floor just came directly to the Rules Committee. There was no committee action whatsoever, there was no discussion, there was no input.
And yesterday, what really I think grieves me most is that there was a wonderful substitute put forward with great sincerity by the ranking member of the Budget Committee, Mr. Van Hollen. I think he's respected by all sides, and most of this country, for his wisdom and for his acuity. But could they put his substitute in order? No. They said they had to have a waiver. Well, that's what the Rules Committee is for. That's what the Rules Committee does.
The Budget Committee itself has had at least 18 waivers in the last term. It just defies imagination. But this is $24 million again this week, where we're brought in from all of the corners of the United States at an expense to stand here and do absolutely nothing.
If they want to know what the President wants to do, they should call him up and ask him. We don't have to do a resolution or a bill on the floor of the House to find that out if that's so important. What a crazy thing that we could do in this time of communication to say this is the way we're going to try to find out something--and find out what? The drastic across-the-board spending cuts are going to take effect on March 1. Now, the week after next we're taking another week off. We work about two and a half days here. It's really unfortunate. I think I can use that word without being called down, but I have much stronger words in my head. But instead of solving that looming crisis, again, they propose legislation that tries to change the subject. Try as they might, they can't hide from the fact that they are failing to provide help when American people need it most.
Mr. Speaker, we are days away from a serious self-inflicted wound.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentlewoman has expired.