Floor Statements

July 24, 2012
“Mr. Speaker, when the sponsors of the bill talk about auditing the Federal Reserve, they don't mean a traditional audit.
July 23, 2012
"Mr. Speaker, I want to thank my friends in the Congressional Black Caucus for organizing today's special order. As my colleague, Mr. Engel, as my colleague on the Republican side, and as Dr. Christensen has pointed out, our hearts and thoughts go out to and with those people who by happenstance of going to a movie have lost their lives. Been injured badly. Have lost family members. Have had the confidence of going out and about in this country put at risk. How we lament that loss of life, that loss of confidence, that loss of a sense of safety in their community.
July 17, 2012
“Again, as I do repeatedly when I rise to speak on issues related to our closest ally in the Middle East, Israel, and the relationship between our two countries to congratulate the Chairman of the Committee, the Gentlelady from Florida, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, for her leadership on this issue and focus on the importance not only of the relationship but on the importance of making sure that Israel is strong and able to defend herself. And also to congratulate the Gentleman from California, Mr. Berman.
July 11, 2012
“‘Repeal it and replace it.’ For the 31st time we have a repeal with no replacement. No alternative. No protection offered by my Republican colleagues. Not one. You could of course introduce legislation that said, ‘we're going to repeal and replace with this.’ You haven't done it. You haven't done it. So the American people have no idea.
June 28, 2012
Mr. Speaker, this is a sad day for the House of Representatives. It is an irresponsible day for the House of Representatives. It is a day in which the Majority party asked us to take an action that has never been taken in the history of America - never once holding a cabinet officer in contempt of the Congress.
June 21, 2012
“Mr. Speaker, tomorrow will mark, as I said a little earlier, 100 days since the United States Senate approved its bipartisan compromise highway bill in the United States Senate. Seventy-four senators voted for that. Essentially half of the Republican conference in the United States Senate voted for that bill.
June 8, 2012
Mr. Speaker, some of the most pressing legislative items were nowhere to be found on the Floor this week. We had an opportunity to make headway on critical legislation. Unfortunately, the leadership provided no action. Not solutions, not action, only obstruction and delay.
May 31, 2012
I believe today’s decision by the First Circuit Court of Appeals upholding a previous ruling that the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act is unconstitutional was correct. By preventing the federal government from recognizing same-sex marriages – even in states where those unions are legal – DOMA denies these families the same federal rights and benefits available to others. Today’s decision is a victory for the basic tenet of equality for all.
May 25, 2012
On Memorial Day, we pause to remember the fallen – those brave men and women who, throughout our history, fought courageously and sacrificed all to protect Americans and the values we hold dear. To them we owe our rights and freedoms and express our eternal gratitude. 
May 18, 2012
I continue to be disappointed at how Republicans are approaching deficit reduction.  Every day, we hear Republicans talking about the need for painful cuts to get our deficits in order.  However, time and again, Republicans appear unwilling to exercise fiscal discipline when it affects something they like.
May 17, 2012
We are now six months from a pivotal election, the outcome of which will have a profound impact on the direction our country takes in the years ahead. Every single American eligible to vote should be able to participate in choosing that direction. Yet, in the 2008 election, around 3 million Americans tried to vote but were turned away due to voter registration problems.  That is simply unacceptable, and the problem is getting worse.
May 16, 2012
I would say as an aside, the last speaker talked about Native Americans. The National Congress of American Indians, of course, says: ‘this measure does nothing to address the crux of the issue –  a lack of local authority to handle misdemeanor level and domestic dating violence when the perpetrator is non-Indian.’ It goes on to oppose this legislation.
May 16, 2012
As a cosponsor of the original Violence Against Women Act in 1994, I am deeply disappointed that Republicans are trying to politicize this issue.  Traditionally, domestic violence legislation has been a subject of bipartisan consensus.  In the past, we rallied together around our common responsibility to help law enforcement stop perpetrators of sexual assault, stalking, and partner abuse and provide resources to victims.
May 15, 2012
I thank the gentleman from California for yielding and for his leadership on this issue.  Rep. Howard Berman has been the leader in Congress when it comes to reminding us how important it is to prevent the rise of a nuclear Iran. He has been instrumental in securing funding for the deployment of the 'Iron Dome' anti-missile system to counter the threat from Iranian-supplied short-range rockets in the hands of terror groups like Hamas and Hezbollah.
May 10, 2012
Mr. Speaker, the challenging times we live in force us to make difficult choices about our priorities. The reconciliation bill before us today is an example of choosing the wrong priorities.
May 10, 2012
First of all, federal employees have contributed $75 billion over the last two years towards helping us reduce the deficit – $75 billion. No other working American has been asked to do that. You treat federal employees in this House as second-class working people. That's wrong. This is a 5% tax increase on federal employees. Nobody else. Nobody else do we ask. The richest people in America, we don't ask them to help solve this deficit problem. But federal employees, yes, a $75 billion contribution, and you don't blink an eye because it's easy – because we demagogue about government and, by association, we demagogue about ‘bureaucrats’ used as an epithet.
May 9, 2012
Mr. Speaker, today we are ending the uncertainty for American manufacturers waiting for Congress to act by coming together to re-authorize the U.S. Export-Import Bank. I want to thank the Republican leader, Mr. Cantor, and his staff – I mentioned Neil Bradley before – for working with Democrats to find common ground and reach an agreement that is supported by both business and labor, Democrats and Republicans. I also want to commend Ranking Member Barney Frank of the Financial Services Committee and Carolyn McCarthy who's done such an extraordinary effort on this effort as well. She’s the Ranking Member – Mr. Miller chairs it – of the International Monetary Policy Subcommittee.  Their hard work has been important to make sure this agreement will help American businesses save and create jobs.
April 27, 2012
I served on the Labor and Health Committee for 23 years. Bill Natcher from Kentucky used to say this: if you take care of the health of your people and invest in the education of your young people, you'll continue to be the strongest and best nation on the face of the Earth.
April 26, 2012
Sixty four years ago, the State of Israel was born out from the hope of the generations and on the heels of history’s darkest human tragedy.  Notwithstanding the many grave challenges it has faced since that day and still in our time, Israel has achieved a thriving economy, a strong national defense, and an important role as a member of the family of nations.  Israel’s existence itself is a powerful symbol of the Jewish people’s resolve never again to permit its sons and daughters to face the threat of persecution or genocide.
April 19, 2012
It is hard to call us to responsibility, but that's what our public wants. Our public wants it on the right, they want it on the left, and they want it on the middle. This is a totally fiscally irresponsible piece of legislation, and you know it. And I know you know it. And America ought to know you know it.
March 29, 2012
But there is no balance in this proposal. Seniors, middle class, vulnerable, working Americans are asked to pay the price of this agreement. And, indeed, not only are they asked to pay the price, but the best-off among us is asked to do the least. That's not the America of which we are all proud that has worked together, sacrificed together at times, to come together to make a joint contribution to the welfare of this country.
March 28, 2012
The Chairman of the Budget Committee has spoken of a choice between two futures.  He is correct in framing it this way.  The budget he proposes would end the Medicare guarantee, cut taxes for the wealthiest, and place our economic recovery at risk. 
March 8, 2012
Our budgets reflect our values and the direction we want for this country in the year ahead – and for several years beyond.  With our economic recovery gathering momentum, we ought to ensure that our budget for Fiscal Year 2013 strengthens that recovery and helps American businesses create jobs that grow our middle class.