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North American Wetlands Conservation Extension Act

Floor Speech

Date: Oct. 1, 2020
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. ZELDIN. Mr. Speaker, this is not a bill, a vote, and a debate that is about national principle. This is about politics; this is about grandstanding; this is about political calculations; and this is about the election.

Mr. Speaker, do you want to talk about leadership?

Right now, there is a real deal, a real counteroffer that is on the table: $150 billion more for education, $75 billion more for testing and tracing, $250 billion more for State and local government funding, $400 weekly enhanced unemployment insurance, $15 billion more in food assistance, and $60 billion more in rental and mortgage assistance. It actually adds up to $1.6 trillion, which is more than the House Democrats who are members of the Problem Solvers Caucus asked for. They asked for $1.5 trillion. This is a real counteroffer.

Instead, what you are seeing, Mr. Speaker, is a political calculation that is getting made, and real lives are at stake. This is a serious offer that is on the table, and instead of sending this Chamber home and ending up with nothing, how about we do our jobs and cut a deal?

This debate right now is exactly what the American public hates about Congress. They hate us for this kind of a debate. They want to see us working together, Republicans and Democrats, to cut a deal.

We have a chair of the Appropriations Committee from New York. I view this as a New Yorker. She is a New Yorker. We have an MTA that needs money. Our State needs money. New York City, the Port Authority, and our local governments on the east end of Long Island, hey, we should be working together to get something done.

This bill has poison pills in it that make this bill dead on arrival. There are certain pieces in here where we know this is never going to become law: stimulus checks for people who are not in our country legally, nationwide cashless bail, nationwide ballot harvesting, prohibition on voter ID, and releasing criminals from prison. None of that will ever become law.

Why are we doing that when we have real lives, real people?

Go talk to that person who works for the airline and they are being furloughed first thing this morning. They don't have a job to go to. Go to talk to the MTA, the largest mass transit system in the entire country. What they want us to do is to work together to get something done.

The Speaker is staking her political capital on what benefits her the most politically, and what is crazy is that she benefits the most by having the highest death count. She is benefiting the most by having our economy suffering as much as possible.

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Mr. ZELDIN. Mr. Speaker, this is the type of political calculation that my constituents absolutely hate. The Speaker's biggest decision, when we all go home and we go home without a deal, is picking between which of her expensive flavors of gourmet ice cream to eat or which closed-down salon to get her next blowout at; but for that furloughed airline worker, they are expecting us to get the job done.

I will tell you what, Mr. Speaker. There is a real deal on the table, and right now, before we leave, I beg my colleagues--I see Congressman Espaillat here. He has been leading the charge on MTA funding. I thank the gentleman.

We are all working together as Republicans and Democrats to get the victory over the finish line. This Chamber cannot leave without actually getting this done. I tell my Republican colleagues and my Democratic colleagues in the House and in the Senate: Do not leave without getting a deal done. This Heroes Act is dead on arrival, and we all know that.

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