|00:00:01||WE'VE BEEN DOWN THIS PATH BEFORE WHERE THE SENATE WAS ABLE TO REACH A BIPARTISAN AGREEMENT ON LEGISLATION VERY IMPORTANT TO JOBS, THE ECONOMY AND TO THE CONFIDENCE OF AMERICA.|
|00:00:13||AND THAT BIPARTISAN PIECE OF LEGISLATION WOULD HAVE ENJOYED THE SUPPORT I THINK CERTAINLY THE OVERWHELMING MAJORITY, ALMOST UNANIMOUS SUPPORT ON OUR SIDE AND A BIPARTISAN AGREEMENT.|
|00:00:25||I DON'T MEAN A DEMOCRATIC PROPOSAL FROM THE SENATE BUT A BIPARTISAN AGREEMENT THAT CAME FROM THE SENATE.|
|00:00:32||AND THAT DEALT OF COURSE WITH PAYROLL TAXES, EXTENDING THOSE.|
|00:00:37||AND ULTIMATELY WE DID THAT.|
|00:00:39||WE TOOK THAT BILL.|
|00:00:40||BUT I WOULD SAY TO MY FRIEND THAT THE SPEAKER INDICATED HE WANTED A BILL ON THIS FLOOR.|
|00:00:48||I'VE BEEN ASKING YOU FOR A NUMBER OF WEEKS IF IT WAS GOING TO COME TO THE FLOOR, FOR APPROXIMATELY A MONTH NOW.|
|00:00:55||THAT BILL HASN'T COME TO THE FLOOR.|
|00:00:56||WE ALL KNOW IT HAS TO COME TO THE FLOOR BECAUSE THERE'S VERY SUBSTANTIAL DISI AGREEMENT WITHIN YOUR PARTY -- DISAGREEMENT WITHIN YOUR PARTY ABOUT THAT BILL.|
|00:01:04||EVERYBODY TALKS ABOUT IT.|
|00:01:06||WE UNDERSTAND THAT.|
|00:01:08||I SAY TO MY FRIEND THAT HE AND I DO HAVE A DISAGREEMENT, I THINK IT WOULD ENJOY BIPARTISAN SUPPORT ON THIS FLOOR IF YOU BROUGHT THE BISHOP BILL, THE SENATE BIPARTISAN BILL TO THE FLOOR.|
|00:01:20||BUT THE ONLY WAY WE'RE REALLY GOING TO BE ABLE TO FIND THAT OUT, NOT BY ME SAYING I THINK -- YOU SAYING, I THINK IT WOULDN'T, THERE'S A VERY EASY WAY TO SEE WHETHER IT WOULD AND THAT IS TO BRING IT TO THE FLOOR NEXT WEEK.|
|00:01:34||THE GENTLEMAN IS ABSOLUTELY CORRECT, I DON'T THINK THERE'S ANYBODY HOPEFULLY THAT WANTS TO DISRUPT AND HAVE LITERALLY HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF PEOPLE THROWN OUT OF WORK OR NOT HAVE OPPORTUNITIES FOR WORK.|
|00:01:47||WE KNOW THE CONSTRUCTION TRADES IN PARTICULAR HAVE BEEN VERY BADLY HIT BY THE LACK OF CONSTRUCTION THAT'S GOING ON.|
|00:01:58||SO YOU CAN HAVE YOUR OPINION, I CAN HAVE MY OPINION, BUT THERE IS A WAY TO DETERMINE WHETHER OR NOT IN FACT WE CAN GET BIPARTISAN AGREEMENT AND THAT IS, AS I SAID, THE SPEAKER HAS INDICATED, LET THE HOUSE WORK ITS WILL.|
|00:02:11||THE ONLY WAY THE HOUSE CAN WORK ITS WILL, HAVING BEEN MAJORITY LEADER, IS FOR THE MAJORITY LEADER TO BRING THE LEGISLATION TO THE FLOOR FOR A VOTE, THEN YOU MAY BE RIGHT, I MAY BE RIGHT , BUT WE WILL KNOW, IT WON'T HAVE TO BE SPECULATION, WE WILL KNOW, AND IF I'M RIGHT AND WE DO PASS THAT BILL, THEN NEXT WEEK BEFORE MARCH 31, BEFORE THE EXPIRATION OF THE CURRENT HIGHWAY AUTHORIZATION, WE CAN SEND A BILL TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES AND HE WILL SIGN THE SENATE BILL.|
|00:02:45||WE DON'T KNOW THAT HE WILL SIGN A BILL THAT, YOU KNOW, IS STILL LANGUISHING IN YOUR COMMITTEE, BECAUSE WE HAVEN'T SEEN THE FINAL PARAMETERS OF THAT BILL, BECAUSE IT'S OBVIOUSLY PRETTY CONTROVERSIAL ON YOUR SIDE OF THE AISLE.|
|00:03:00||SO I WOULD HOPE AGAIN, IF YOU WANT CERTAINTY, WE HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY FOR CERTAINTY.|
|00:03:07||WE HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY WITH A BIPARTISAN BILL THAT THE SENATE'S PASSED.|
|00:03:11||I DON'T KNOW WHY WE'RE REJECTING THAT BIPARTISANSHIP.|
|00:03:15||I KNOW WE HAVE, AS A MATTER OF FACT, THE GENTLEMAN SAYS, WELL, THIS IS A UNIQUE ECONOMIC TIME.|
|00:03:21||IT SEEMS TO ME THAT'S A GREATER ARGUMENT FOR TRYING TO EMBRACE BIPARTISAN AGREEMENT AND MOVE FORWARD WITH GIVING CERTAINTY TO THE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY, TO STATES, TO MUNICIPALITIES, TO COUNTIES ON WHAT IS GOING TO BE AVAILABLE TO THEM TO PLAN AND TO PURSUE INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS CRITICAL TO COMMERCE AND TO THEIR COMMUNITIES.|
|00:03:49||SO, I REGRET THAT THE GENTLEMAN HAS INDICATED THAT THAT'S NOT OF AN OPTION THAT HE WILL CONSIDER, BUT A SHORT-TERM EXTENSION SEEMS TO BE THE CONTINUATION OF UNCERTAINTY, NOT THE ALAYING OF UNCERTAINTY.|
|00:04:08||I DON'T KNOW WHETHER THE GENTLEMAN WANTS TO MAKE ANOTHER COMMENT OR NOT.|
|00:04:11||MR. CANTOR: MR.|
|00:04:12||SPEAKER, I WOULD JUST SAY TO THE GENTLEMAN, I GUESS WE'RE GOING TO AGREE TO DISAGREE.|
|00:04:16||WE'RE DEALING WITH THE REALITY THAT WE|
Mr. HOYER. I thank the gentleman for his comments. But I will say again to the gentleman, we've been down this path before. We've been down this path before where the Senate was able to reach a bipartisan agreement on legislation very important to jobs, to the economy, and to the confidence of America.
[Time: 12:50] That bipartisan piece of legislation would have enjoyed the support, I think, of certainly the overwhelming majority, almost the unanimous support on our side on a bipartisan agreement. I don't mean a Democratic proposal from the Senate, but a bipartisan agreement that came from the Senate. That dealt, of course, with payroll taxes and extending those, and ultimately we did that. We took that bill.
But I would say to my friend that the Speaker indicated he wanted a bill on this floor. I've been asking you for approximately a month now if it was going to come to the floor. That bill hasn't come to the floor. We all know it hasn't come to the floor because there's very substantial disagreement within your party about that bill. The papers report that. Everybody talks about it. We understand that.
I say to my friend that he and I do have a disagreement. I think it would enjoy bipartisan support on this floor if you brought the Bishop bill, the Senate bipartisan bill, to the floor. But the only way we're really going to be able to find that out--it's not by me saying, I think it would and you saying, I think it wouldn't. There's a very easy way to see whether it would, and that is to bring it to the floor next week.
I don't think there is anybody, hopefully, that wants to disrupt and have literally hundreds of thousands of people thrown out of work or not have opportunities for work. We know the construction trades in particular have been very badly hit by the lack of construction that's going on.
You can have your opinion and I can have my opinion, but there is a way to determine whether or not, in fact, we can get bipartisan agreement; and that is, as I said, and as the Speaker has indicated, let the House work its will. The only way the House can work its will--having been majority leader--is for the majority leader to bring the legislation to the floor for a vote. Then you may be right, I may be right, but we will know and it won't have to be speculation. We will know.
If I'm right and we do pass that bill, then next week, before March 31, before the expiration of the current highway authorization, we can send a bill to the President of the United States, and he will sign the Senate bill. We don't know that he will sign a bill that's still languishing in your committee because we haven't seen the final parameters of that bill because it is obviously pretty controversial on your side of the aisle.
Again, if you want certainty, we have an opportunity for certainty. We have an opportunity with a bipartisan bill that the Senate has passed. I don't know why we're rejecting that bipartisanship. The gentleman says, well, this is a unique economic time. He's right. It seems to me that's a greater argument for trying to embrace a bipartisan agreement and move forward with giving certainty to the construction industry, to States, to municipalities, and to counties on what is going to be available to them to plan and to pursue infrastructure projects critical to commerce and to their communities.
I regret that the gentleman has indicated that's not an option that he will consider, but a short-term extension seems to be the continuation of uncertainty, not the allaying of uncertainty. I don't know whether the gentleman wants to make another comment on that or not.