Floor Statements

February 16, 2011
If our country continues on a course of fiscal irresponsibility, and continues to pile debt on our children, we will all feel the consequences, no matter our party. It is vital that our two parties work together to put our fiscal house in order. So when I tell the House how disappointed I am in Republicans’ spending bill for the rest of the fiscal year, I’m coming from a perspective of real worry about our debt—a defining challenge that must be met seriously and thoughtfully. Sadly, that’s not the seriousness we see in Republicans’ spending bill for the rest of this fiscal year.
February 15, 2011
In 1993, we looked the fiscal situation of our country in the eye. We had sustained $1.4 trillion of deficit spending under President Reagan and $1.1 trillion of deficit spending under President Bush. We put legislation on the floor and said that we need to meet our fiscal responsibilities. Not a single Republican voted for that legislation. But over the next eight years, we had a net surplus in this country—the only time in the lifetime of anyone in this body that it’s happened. Unfortunately, the last administration ran up $3.8 trillion in deficits. And we inherited an economy that was in substantial freefall. We adopted legislation that tried to stabilize the economy, and the good news is that the economy has stabilized. But we still haven’t gotten to where we want to be—far too many Americans remain out of work.
February 11, 2011
This resolution directs House committees to review federal regulations for their effect on our economy. I agree with it—in fact, that’s oversight that committees should already be doing. Democrats believe that it’s important to vigorously review regulations to make sure they’re keeping pace with a changing economy—and that’s why President Obama has already issued an executive order that calls for such a review.
January 25, 2011
After borrowing trillions of dollars to finance tax cuts, a new entitlement, and two wars, Republicans tell us that they are now taking the deficit seriously. And if they meant it; if they were interested in the deficit as anything other than a political cudgel; if they actually used their House majority to back up their words with action—then no one would be happier than the Democratic Party. Our deficit is too big for partisan politics: it cripples our children’s opportunities; it makes it harder for them to pay for a college education, buy a home, start a business, or plan a future.
January 19, 2011
Last year, Democrats acted to reform health care in America: to make it easier for small businesses to cover their employees; to take important steps to bring down costs; and to stop insurance company abuses that bankrupt sick Americans or deny them coverage.
January 12, 2011
This week, we pause the work of this House to mourn the lost lives of six of our fellow citizens—one born on that day of tragedy and carnage when thousands were slain in an equally indiscriminate, heinous act of hate—citizens shot dead on Saturday in Tucson, Arizona in pursuit of their 'right to peaceably assemble.' We come, as well, to honor those who risked their lives to save others; to pray for the lives of the wounded; and to pray for our colleague and friend, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.
January 5, 2011
I rise in opposition to this rules package, not for small reasons, but because it authorizes trillions of dollars of new debt, without paying for it. There are two ways to create debt: you can buy things and not pay for it, or you can simply cut revenues and make yourself unable to pay for things. If you don’t cut spending or maintain revenues consistent with your spending, then you will inevitably create new debt.
December 21, 2010
The America COMPETES Act expands support for research and development, helping the United States to remain the world’s innovation leader. It creates jobs for the short-term and lays a foundation for long-term prosperity. And it is an important part of the 'Make It In America' agenda—a series of important bills designed to help America regain its manufacturing strength.
December 17, 2010
This Defense Authorization bill is about securing our nation in stronger and smarter ways. It builds on our strong Democratic record of putting new and better weapons into the battlefield; increasing support for human intelligence collection, cybersecurity, and security for our skies, our ports, and our borders; and looking out for our troops, our veterans, and their families.
December 15, 2010
This May, the House approved the repeal of our Armed Forces’ policy of 'Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,' by a vote of 234-194, during consideration of the Defense Authorization bill. We voted to end an outdated policy that damages our national security—pending a comprehensive Defense Department report that would review the issues associated with implementing repeal and study our troops’ attitudes toward open service for gays and lesbians.
December 8, 2010
I understand that immigration is an issue that divides many of us in this House; it’s an issue that arouses more passion than most others. But the test of governing responsibly is whether, even in the face of those divisions, we can come together to make progress on the basis of principles that ought to be universal.
December 1, 2010
The Centers for Disease Control tell us that, over the past three decades, childhood obesity rates have tripled. Nearly one out of every five American children between the ages of six and 19 is obese. That doesn’t just mean a lifetime of health problems for those children—it means a public health crisis that we all pay for. We pay for it in billions of dollars in health care costs each year. And we even pay for it in military readiness, with at least 9 million young adults too overweight to serve in our armed forces, according to a coalition of retired senior military leaders.  
November 30, 2010
Today, the House has an opportunity to bring an end to two historic injustices. We can do so by approving the settlements in the Pigford and Cobell class-action lawsuits, helping to make amends to African American farmers and more than 300,000 Native Americans.
September 23, 2010
In our work to recover from the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes, small businesses play a very important role. They are our economy's job-creating engine: over the past year, 64% of new jobs came from small businesses. Keeping small businesses growing and creating jobs is essential to our recovery. And supporting small businesses is an essential part of rebuilding American industry—which is why this important small business lending bill is part of Democrats' Make It In America agenda, a plan to strengthen American manufacturing and its ability to create well-paying, middle-class jobs.
September 22, 2010
In fewer than four months, Southern Sudan will hold a referendum on independence, which was guaranteed by the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement. The C.P.A. ended Africa's bloodiest civil war, a war which took almost 2 million lives and displaced 4 million—yet the risk of descending into war again seems all too real.
September 15, 2010
Saint Paul wrote: "We fix our eyes not on things that are seen, but on things unseen; for what is seen passes away, but what is unseen endures." As long as we live, each September we will mark an anniversary of loss: of the day we saw monuments of our power and pride turn to dust; of the day so many we loved were taken from us in an instant; a day of fear and anger that is becoming, with time, a day of remembrance and resolve.
September 14, 2010
As we did nine years ago, today we stand united as one people: united in memory of the dead of September 11th, 2001; united in awe at the heroic sacrifices that graced that dark day, and so many since; and united in resolve to defend our nation and the ideals that animate its spirit.
July 28, 2010
For 75 years, Social Security has been more than a retirement program: it has meant dignity, security, and peace of mind for generations of our seniors.
July 28, 2010
Americans have always looked to our manufacturing sector as a source of economic vitality—and as a source of pride.
July 26, 2010
Twenty years ago today, the Americans with Disabilities Act strengthened our country's core value of equal opportunity.
July 22, 2010
Twenty years ago on Monday, the Americans with Disabilities Act strongly committed our country to inclusion and equal opportunities for people with disabilities. It was a landmark piece of legislation, and its effects have been widely felt.
July 22, 2010
Twenty years ago on Monday, the first President Bush signed into law one of the most consequential pieces of civil rights legislation in recent memory.
July 22, 2010
For generations, Americans have looked to our manufacturing sector as a source of pride, a source of economic vitality, and a source of good-paying jobs.
July 19, 2010
Nearly 2.5 million out-of-work Americans are without unemployment insurance today.
June 30, 2010
This week, the Republican Leader, Mr. Boehner, compared reforming Wall Street to "killing an ant with a nuclear weapon." The greatest economic crisis since the Depression may look miniature to him—but not to the eight million Americans whose jobs it took away, or the millions more who saw their savings devastated, or the families in every one of our districts who have lost their homes.