Floor Statements

April 24, 2013
“I thank Congresswoman Sewell for her leadership and for yielding this time. And I thank my good friend, Spencer Bachus, for his leadership as well – and congratulate him and his family for the courage they showed at a time of great stress that this Gold Medal reflects.
April 24, 2013
“Mr. Speaker, seven weeks on, America has begun to feel the effects of the Republican policy of sequestration.
April 17, 2013
“Mr. Speaker, I rise today to pay tribute to a wonderful individual who has served our country in government service for many years and spent the last four overseeing our federal workforce as the Director of the Office of Personnel Management. I am speaking of my dear friend John Berry, who retired last week as Director of the Office of Personnel Management.
March 20, 2013
“I first want to thank the Ranking Member for the work that he's done on this budget that he offers as an alternative. It is a reasonable alternative that can be implemented. To that extent, a stark difference to the Majority's proposal, which will not be implemented – and they know it.
March 15, 2013
“I thank the Gentleman for yielding, and I rise in support of his substitute and in opposition to the so-called SKILLS Act.
March 6, 2013
“I agree with the Gentlelady who has just spoken. But I want to say to my friend, Mr. McKeon, this is neither regular order nor rational policy. It ought to be rejected.
March 6, 2013
“Mr. Speaker, I am extremely disappointed that the sequestration has taken effect, because Republicans refused to work with Democrats on a balanced plan to prevent it.
February 28, 2013
“Mr. Speaker, the inability to get to agreement on this sequester is hurting the economy. And I will tell my friend that we've offered three times to have a bill considered as an alternative to sequester which cuts spending, raises some additional revenues.
February 28, 2013
“I want to congratulate the Leader for her efforts in getting us to this point. Today, after two months, I think we're going to do something very positive and we're going to do it in a very bipartisan way. I think that's excellent. I think America will be advantaged. Every American – women, yes, but every American – will be advantaged.
February 27, 2013
“Mr. Speaker, we are now two days away from failure-triggered, ideological-driven and irrational budget cuts called ‘sequester.’ It's an extraordinarily bad policy that 229 Republicans voted for on July 19, 2011 [in their Cut, Cap, and Balance bill]. These cuts could be incredibly harmful to our national defense, our economy, and our national welfare.
February 26, 2013
“Today, Mr. Speaker, we continue an unfortunate and unnecessary countdown to the irrational and reckless automatic cuts the Republican policies will impose. The countdown stands at three days.
February 25, 2013
“I am pleased to join Marcia Fudge, the Chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus, and my good friend, Steve Horsford, the Gentleman from Nevada, and I noticed that Don Payne is here. His father was a very close friend of mine, active some 45 years ago. So it's good to see you here, Don. Hakeem Jeffries - two of our really great new members - I'm pleased to join you.
February 25, 2013
“Thank you, Mr. Speaker. We have now entered the final week before the dangerous, arbitrary, and irrational policy of sequestration, which Republicans proposed first in their Cut, Cap and Balance bill in July of 2011. If I were the Majority Leader, Mr. Speaker, that policy would not go into effect.
February 15, 2013
“Mr. Speaker, there is not time to debate in the time I have available how we determine federal pay. I was a sponsor of the Federal Employee Pay Comparability Act, which [President] George Bush signed back in 1990. I know a little bit about this. But America is confronting a sequestration that will have devastating impact on our economy, on every individual in America and on international confidence in America's ability to manage itself. And what have we spent two days on? A quarter percent cap on cost-of-living adjustment for federal employees. A quarter of a percent.
February 15, 2013
“Mr. Speaker, we are on the brink of achieving the Republican policy of sequester.
February 14, 2013
"What the Federal Employee Pay Comparability Act does, that I have pointed out to you was adopted in a bipartisan way, working with the OMB, OPM, and the first Bush Administration.
February 14, 2013
“The Gentleman who preceded me is new to the Congress of the United States. I've been here for a little longer than that, some 32 years. This is the least confidence building Congress – last Congress and this Congress – in which I have ever served. It is taking us from fiscal crisis to fiscal crisis. It is creating cliffs where no cliffs ought to exist, and they undermine the confidence of business, America, Americans, and, indeed, the rest of the world that needs a stable and secure America to ensure that we keep the kind of stability that Americans want here at home and around the world.
February 13, 2013
“Mr. Speaker, the President spoke to us last night and he talked to us about avoiding the sequester.
February 12, 2013
“Mr. Speaker, tonight the President will once again walk into this chamber and lay out a vision for how to strengthen America in the years ahead.
February 6, 2013
“I think it's unfortunate that now for two and a half years the only working people - the only working people - in America who have received a freeze or decrease or have contributed to solving the debt crisis which confronts us, with which the Gentleman and I agree, are federal workers. I’m not talking about Members of Congress. I'm not talking about the President or the Vice President. The President doesn't get a COLA adjustment, obviously. But it's a cost of living adjustment, and I will say to my friend that I have worked over the last 20 years with his counterparts, either in the majority or minority to ensure we made the distinction so people understood and didn't demagogue that issue. I regret that we are doing so here again.”
February 5, 2013
“I thank the gentleman for yielding. Mr. Price of Georgia said what the American people want. What the American people don't want is games. This is a game. This is a sham. This is a shame. What the American people want is honest legislation to address the challenges that confront us.
January 23, 2013
“I want to say to the Speaker before he leaves the Floor, I believe the Speaker wants to get to a responsible agreement between our parties, between the House and the Senate and between the Congress and the President on getting to a responsible way to reduce the budget. This bill is not that vehicle. This bill, in my view, is an irresponsible waste of our time. This bill does not do what Republicans said they wanted to do over and over and over again. And that is: give a sense of certainty to our economy, to our people, and to the international community.
January 22, 2013
“I join in thanking U.S. Trade Representative Amb. Ron Kirk for his four years of dedicated service as America’s chief advocate for exports and fair trade practices.  Under his leadership, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative oversaw the opening of new markets for our businesses and the implementation of tougher trade enforcement rules that help ensure a level playing field for American products overseas.  Throughout this tenure, Amb. Kirk has stressed that when American businesses can compete fairly, they will prosper and create new opportunities for jobs here at home.  He has been a strong supporter of American workers and their role as the engine of our economic growth, and I was glad to have had the opportunity to work with him in developing parts of House Democrats’ Make It In America jobs plan to revitalize our manufacturing sector.  I wish him all the best as he embarks on the next phase in his career.”  
January 22, 2013
“I join in marking the 40th anniversary today of the landmark Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade, which affirmed every woman’s basic right to individual privacy and reproductive health choices.  As Congress continues to address the issue of access to affordable health care for all Americans, I will continue to stand firm in protecting reproductive choice and initiatives that prevent unintended pregnancies through contraception and health education.  I look forward to working hand-in-hand with women’s health groups and women’s rights advocates to stand up for the choices and privacy all American women deserve and that, according to the Court’s ruling in Roe v. Wade,  our Constitution guarantees.”  
January 21, 2013
“Today, as President Barack Obama took his second oath of office to ‘preserve, protect, and defend’ our Constitution, we reflect on the challenges our nation has faced over the past four years, as well as the ones that lie ahead. President Obama has taken action to strengthen our economy, reduce our deficits, and increase our national security. We have made significant progress over the course of his first term, but we know more needs to be done to make the promise of the American Dream more accessible to every American.