A picture of Representative Steve Israel
Steve I.
Democrat NY 3

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  • Rules of the House

    by Representative Steve Israel

    Posted on 2015-01-06

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    ISRAEL. Mr. Speaker, I thank my friend from New York, the distinguished ranking member.

    Mr. Speaker, I congratulate all of my colleagues on our swearing in. I just hope that it doesn't trigger 2 years of swearing at. It really does not have to be that way, Mr. Speaker. Democrats in this House will work with the majority to find commonsense solutions to ease the squeeze, to support paycheck growth for the middle class.

    What better middle ground than the middle class, Mr. Speaker. The problem with this rules package is it is stacked against the middle class, it is stacked against tax cuts for the middle class, it is stacked against paycheck growth for the middle class.

    In contrast, Mr. Speaker, here is what House Democrats are proposing. It is very simple.

    Number one, bigger paychecks for the middle class. Under the current rules that the majority supports, Mr. Speaker, a CEO can get a million- dollar bonus and deduct that million dollars from taxes. That shifts that tax burden to an underpaid worker for that CEO. Now, how is that fair? How is that fair? It is not.

    It is bad enough that middle class workers' paychecks are squeezed, but sticking the middle class worker with a bill for the CEO's taxes as a result of that million dollar bonus is unconscionable. We have a better way, a better contrast, something that will grow paychecks for the middle class.

    Second, under the rules, in the stacked deck that the majority supports, a big corporation can ship jobs overseas. With those jobs overseas go bigger bridges, better roads, better airports, and faster airplanes. Meanwhile, in my district on Long Island, Mr. Speaker, the average middle class worker has to drive through potholes, has longer delays, slower trains, antiquated transportation systems, and delayed airplanes because all of the infrastructure is being built abroad.

    It is bad enough that corporations are given incentives to ship jobs overseas. It is unconscionable that under these rules those corporations are able to build infrastructure in those foreign places while America decays.

    Under our contrast, Mr. Speaker, we will invest in America, we will rebuild America, we will create new jobs in America, improving our infrastructure.

    It is bad enough to be underpaid, Mr. Speaker, but to be underpaid and have to drive through potholes, that is even worse.

    Mr. Speaker, on this first day of this new Congress until the very last day of this new Congress, the American people are going to want to know whose side we are on. With these two votes we clearly demonstrate and clearly establish who is on whose side.

    I urge my colleagues in this majority on this first day to establish for the American people whose backs they have: the special interests, tax deductions for million-dollar bonuses, foreign corporations; or rebuilding America and rebuilding American jobs.

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