Providing for Consideration of the Senate Amendment to H.R. 83, Insular Areas and Freely Associated States Energy Developmentby Representative Daniel T. Kildee
Posted on 2014-12-11
KILDEE. I thank the gentlewoman.
Madam Speaker, I share the concern expressed by my friend, Mr. Cole, that if we don't act today, government will be shut down, so I agree that we need to act. The question that we have to ask ourselves in this body is: At what price do we keep government open? There is a lot of good in this legislation, no question about it, but for me--and I have supported bipartisan efforts to keep government open in the past, I have only been here 2 years, and I had to do it already--but the notion that a price has to be paid in order to keep government open--and that price is to grant greater power to the wealthiest Americans to have more influence over our political process--is just too much for me to take.
Of all the problems that we could use this moment to try to solve, are we offering help to the unemployed who lost their benefits as a part of this package? No. Are we dealing with the massive problems we have with infrastructure? No. Are we trying to balance the playing field for people who happen to be born in a ZIP Code full of poverty? No.
But what we are doing as a condition of keeping government open is deciding that the one thing we have to do is to make sure that the wealthiest Americans can now spend 10 times more money on the political process than they did last year. Seriously? This is a problem that we have to solve in order to keep government open? I just can't imagine that this is the price we have to pay.