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James M.
Democrat MA 2

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  • Providing for Consideration of the Senate Amendment to H.R. 83, Insular Areas and Freely Associated States Energy Development

    by Representative James P. McGovern

    Posted on 2014-12-11

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    McGOVERN. I thank the gentlewoman.

    Madam Speaker, I oppose this closed rule, and I oppose the underlying bill, which is the product of a closed and deeply flawed process.

    It contains policy riders that will do great damage to this country and that have no business whatsoever being in an omnibus spending bill. It contains an airdropped earmark for politicians that would allow wealthy couples to give as much as $3.1 million to political parties-- three times as much as the current level. No hearings, no markup, no discussion--just snuck into the bill with the hope that no one would notice. We ought to be finding ways, Madam Speaker, to get money out of politics, not the reverse.

    The bill would repeal, at the request of Wall Street special interests and lobbyists, important Dodd-Frank provisions. It would allow banks to engage in the same risky behavior that caused the financial crisis of 2008.

    What in the world are my Republican colleagues thinking? I know they want to do a lot of favors for their pals on Wall Street, but, please, please, do not do it at the expense of our economy.

    The bill contains a provision that the trucking industry wants to allow truck drivers to work up to 80 hours a week when we know that over-tired truck drivers put all of us at risk on the roads. Unbelievable.

    Finally, the bill funds new wars that Congress has not authorized. We are dropping bombs every day in Iraq and Syria. We have 3,000 troops deployed in Iraq, and we hear more and more talk about having those troops engage in direct combat.

    Yet, this Republican leadership has been content to do nothing. In fact, the majority has repeatedly and routinely denied Members the right to debate the issue of war on the floor of the House of Representatives. None of us will be asked to fight another pointless war, Madam Speaker--they are not our lives on the line--but we have a constitutional responsibility to debate and vote on whether to authorize it. But no. Instead, we are leaving town. Instead, we are ducking a vote. We are not doing our jobs. It is shameful and it is inexcusable, and it is a lousy way to end this session.

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