|00:00:00||HIGHWAY BILL, THE INFRASTRUCTURE BILL THAT THE -- THAT IS PENDING.|
|00:00:07||OBVIOUSLY WE HAD EXPECTED TO CONSIDER THAT BILL ON THE HOUSE FLOOR ON OUR SIDE, AT LEAST, WE ARE -- OUR EXPECTATION IS THAT IT WAS GOING TO BE A NUMBER OF WEEKS AGO.|
|00:00:19||IT HAS NOT COME HERE.|
|00:00:22||AS I EXPECT WE ARE TALKING ABOUT AN EXTENSION OF SOME PERIOD OF TIME.|
|00:00:28||WE ARE CONCERNED THAT YOU RIGHTFULLY, PERSONALLY AND AS A PARTY MADE IT VERY CLEAR THAT CERTAINTY WAS AN IMPORTANT ASPECT OF GROWING OUR ECONOMY.|
|00:00:40||THAT'S A PROPOSITION ON WHICH I AGREE.|
|00:00:43||I THINK YOU'RE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT.|
|00:00:45||I THINK THAT WE NEED TO CREATE CERTAINTY AND CLEARLY WE NEED TO CREATE JOBS.|
|00:00:51||I SAID THIS MORNING, MR.|
|00:00:54||LEADER, TO THE PRESS THAT I'M SURE YOU GET IT AS WELL THAT THE PUBLIC SAYS TO ME, WHEN ARE YOU GUYS GOING TO START WORKING TOGETHER, WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO GET SOMETHING DONE IN A BIPARTISAN WAY.|
|00:01:08||THE SENATE HAS DONE THAT, I SAY TO MY FRIEND.|
|00:01:13||THE SENATE HAS DONE IT IN AN OVERWHELMING FASHION.|
|00:01:16||THEY HAD 74, THERE WOULD HAVE BEEN 75, BUT MR.|
|00:01:20||LAUTENBERG WAS ABSENT, WAS FOR THE BILL.|
|00:01:25||3/4 OF THE SENATE VOTED FOR WHAT WAS A VERY BIPARTISAN BILL AND AS A MATTER OF FACT, HALF THE SENATE REPUBLICANS ESSENTIALLY VOTED FOR THAT BILL.|
|00:01:34||IT HAD, AS YOU KNOW, A TECHNICAL FLAW IN THE BILL AND THAT IT HAD REVENUES WHICH NEED TO BE INITIATED IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.|
|00:01:49||REPRESENTATIVE TIM BISHOP OF NEW YORK HAS INTRODUCED THE SENATE BILL WHICH HAS OVERWHELMING SUPPORT IN THE UNITED STATES SENATE AND VERY FRANKLY IN MY VIEW WOULD HAVE AT LEAST 218 VOTES IN THIS HOUSE, AT LEAST 218 VOTES IN THIS HOUSE IF IT WERE PUT ON THE FLOOR.|
|00:02:09||THE SPEAKER HAS SAID IN THE PAST THAT HE IS COMMITTED TO LETTING THE HOUSE WORK ITS WILL.|
|00:02:20||OBVIOUSLY REFERRING TO OPEN AMENDMENTS PROCESS.|
|00:02:22||BUT OBVIOUSLY IF A BILL DOESN'T COME TO THE FLOOR, WE HAVE NO OPPORTUNITY EITHER TO AMEND OR TO VOTE.|
|00:02:30||THAT'S BEEN ONE OF OUR PROBLEMS, OF COURSE, WITH THE JOBS BILL THAT WE HOPE WOULD HAVE BEEN BROUGHT TO THE FLOOR THAT THE PRESIDENT PROPOSED.|
|00:02:37||THAT HAS NOT BEEN TO THE FLOOR.|
|00:02:38||I ASK MY FRIEND, RATHER THAN CONTINUE TO DELAY, AND BOTH SIDES HAVE DONE THAT ON THE HIGHWAY BILL, TO GIVE THAT COMPETENCE OF WHICH YOU HAVE SPOKEN AND OTHERS ON YOUR SIDE OF THE AISLE HAVE SPOKEN I THINK ABSOLUTELY CORRECTLY, IN ORDER TO GIVE THE CONFIDENCE THAT WE CAN IN FACT ACT, THAT WE CAN WORK IN A BIPARTISAN FASHION, I WOULD ASK MY FRIEND WHETHER OR NOT HE WOULD BE PREPARED TO BRING, AS THE MAJORITY LEADER, TO BRING THE BISHOP BILL TO THE FLOOR WHICH AGAIN IS THE SENATE BILL, SUPPORTED BY 75 MEMBERS OF THE UNITED STATES SENATE, HALF OF THE REPUBLICAN CAUCUS IN THE SENATE, AND WHICH WILL GIVE SOME DEGREE OF CERTAINTY FOR A HIGHWAY PROGRAM THAT CLEARLY IS ALSO A JOBS BILL.|
|00:03:33||WHICH WILL HAVE AN IMPACT ON ALMOST TWO MILLION JOBS AND MAYBE ANOTHER MILLION JOBS ALONG THE WAY.|
|00:03:40||WE THINK THAT'S THE WAY THAT WOULD BE GOOD FOR OUR COUNTRY TO PROCEED AND IT WOULD SEND A MESSAGE BECAUSE I THINK IT WOULD GET BIPARTISAN SUPPORT IF WE -- IF YOU BROUGHT IT TO THE FLOOR.|
|00:03:54||THAT IT WOULD SEND A GOOD PLEANL TO THE COUNTRY, THAT -- MESSAGE TO THE COUNTRY, THAT, YES, FROM TIME TO TIME WE CAN WORK TOGETHER.|
|00:04:01||VERY FRANKLY, MR.|
|00:04:02||LEADER, IF WE DID THAT IT WOULD BE CONSISTENT WITH EVERY TRANSPORTATION BILL THAT WE'VE PASSED SINCE 1956 UNDER DWIGHT EISENHOWER WHERE WE WORKED TOGETHER IN A BIPARTISAN FASHION.|
|00:04:14||THIS IS THE FIRST TIME THAT I'VE EXPERIENCED A PARTISAN DIVIDE.|
|00:04:17||I MEAN, PEOPLE HAVE HAD DIFFERENCES OF OPINION.|
|00:04:19||A PARTISAN DIVIDE ON THE HIGHWAY BILL.|
|00:04:22||AS YOU KNOW, SENATOR BOXER AND SENATOR INHALF CAME TOGETHER AND AGREED.|
|00:04:30||THAT'S A PRETTY BROAD IDEOLOGICAL SPECTRUM OF THE UNITED STATES SENATE.|
|00:04:33||THEY CAME TOGETHER, THEY AGREED AND THEY LED THE EFFORT TO PASS THAT BIPARTISAN BILL.|
|00:04:38||I WOULD VERY MUCH HOPE THAT, MR.|
|00:04:42||MAJORITY LEADER, THAT YOU COULD BRING THAT BILL TO THE FLOOR AND SEE WHETHER OR NOT IN FACT IT COULD PASS.|
|00:04:48||I THINK THAT WOULD BE GOOD FOR THE COUNTRY AND I YIELD TO MY FRIEND FOR HIS COMMENTS.|
|00:04:51||MR. CANTOR: MR.|
|00:04:52||SPEAKER, I THANK THE GENTLEMAN AND I WOULD RESPOND BY SAYING TO HIM THAT, NO, I'M NOT PREPARED TO BRING THAT BILL|
Mr. HOYER. I thank the gentleman for his information with respect to the legislation that is going to be considered next week.
I would note that he talks about the highway bill, the infrastructure bill that is pending. Obviously, we had expected to consider that bill on the House floor. On our side, at least, our expectation was that it was going to be considered a number of weeks ago. It has not come to the floor here. As I understand it, we are now talking about an extension of some period of time. We are concerned that you rightfully, personally and as a party, made it very clear that certainty was an important aspect of growing our economy. That's a proposition on which I agree. I think you are absolutely right. I think that we need to create certainty and, clearly, we need to create jobs.
I said this morning, Mr. Leader, to the press--and I'm sure you get it as well--that the public says to me: When are you guys going to start working together? When are you going to get something done in a bipartisan way? The Senate has done that, I will say to my friend. The Senate has done it in an overwhelming fashion. They had 74--it would have been 75, but Mr. Lautenberg was absent but was for the bill. So 75 percent of the Senate, three-quarters of the Senate voted for what was a very bipartisan bill. And, as a matter of fact, half the Senate Republicans essentially voted for that bill.
As you know, it had a technical flaw in the bill in that it had revenues which need to be initiated in the House of Representatives. Representative Tim Bishop of New York has introduced the Senate bill, which has overwhelming support in the United States Senate and, very frankly, in my view, would have at least 218 votes in this House if it were put on the floor.
The Speaker has said in the past that he is committed to letting the House work its will, obviously referring to the open amendments process. But if a bill doesn't come to the floor, we have no opportunity either to amend or to vote. That's been one of our problems, of course, with the jobs bill that the President proposed that we had hoped would have been brought to the floor which has not been to the floor.
But I ask my friend, rather than continue to delay--and both sides have done that on the highway bill--to give that confidence, of which you have spoken and others on your side of the aisle have spoken I think absolutely correctly, in order to give the confidence that we can, in fact, act, that we can work in a bipartisan fashion, I would ask my friend whether or not he, as the majority leader, would be prepared to bring the Bishop bill to the floor, which, again, is the Senate bill, supported by 75 Members of the United States Senate, half of the Republican caucus in the Senate, and which will give some degree of certainty for a highway program which clearly is also a jobs bill and will have an impact on almost 2 million jobs and maybe another million jobs along the way.
We think that's the way that would be good for our country to proceed, and it would send a message--because I think it would get bipartisan support if you brought it to the floor--that it would send a good message to the country that, yes, from time to time, we can work together. And, very frankly, Mr. Leader, if we did that, it would be consistent with every transportation bill that we have passed since 1956 under Dwight Eisenhower, where we worked together in a bipartisan fashion. This is the first time that I have experienced a partisan divide--I mean, people have had differences of opinion, but a partisan divide on the highway bill.
As you know, Senator Boxer and Senator Inhofe came together to agree. I think that's a pretty broad ideological spectrum of the United States Senate. They came together, they agreed, and they led the effort to pass that bipartisan bill.
I would very much hope that, Mr. Majority Leader, that you could bring that bill to the floor and see whether or not, in fact, it could pass. I think that would be good for the country. [Page: H1520] And I yield to my friend for his comments.