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Adopting the Rules of the House of Representatives for the 117th Congress

Floor Speech

Date: Jan. 4, 2021
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. SMITH of Missouri. Madam Speaker, I thank the gentleman from Oklahoma for yielding.

Madam Speaker, on only day two of the 117th Congress, House Democrats are already attempting to strip Americans of the transparency that they deserve in order to push through an expensive progressive wish list.

The House rules package includes three main provisions that will allow Democrats to hide their plans to irresponsibly spend taxpayer dollars in an effort to satisfy their liberal base: a deeming resolution, signaling they do not plan on doing a budget; two, new, broad exemptions to budget rules, such as paygo, to allow passage of socialist policies with large price tags; and, three, they want the repeal of a House rule prohibiting reconciliation from increasing net direct spending, making it easier to advance a costly radical agenda.

It has been 733 days since Democrats took control of the House of Representatives, and they have yet to produce one single budget. These rules will continue to let Democrats shirk their duty to write and pass a budget.

Don't forget, Speaker Pelosi is the one who stated the budget is a statement of values. I couldn't agree more. I must ask: Have Democrats not done a budget because they know revealing their true plans, their true colors, will let the American people know how unpopular their ideas are?

The people deserve to know, and they deserve a transparent budget to know how House Democrats plan to spend their hard-earned tax dollars and how Democrats want to increase their taxes.

Furthermore, by weakening fiscal restraint rules, Democrats clearly intend to drastically increase the size of the Federal Government. This will only continue to drive up the unsustainable Federal debt while decreasing Americans' liberties and freedoms.

Specifically, it includes a budgetary exemption for measures to prevent, prepare, or respond to economic, environmental, or public health consequences resulting from climate change. This exemption is irresponsible, since, arguably, it could apply to any radical, progressive, out-of-touch legislation dreamed up next by House Democrats. Clearly, this exemption was designed as a mechanism to ram through socialist policies like the Green New Deal and other ideas aimed at hurting American workers, families, and farmers.


Mr. SMITH of Missouri. Madam Speaker, this past November, the voters rejected a socialist agenda. If this rules package is any indication for how Democrats plan to run the 117th Congress, I cannot wait for the midterm elections. These rules allow Democrats to continue deceiving the American people.

Madam Speaker, I oppose this Soviet-style rules package.

Mr. SMITH of Missouri. Mr. Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and nays.

The yeas and nays were ordered.

The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--yeas 203, nays 217, not voting 9, as follows: [Roll No. 7] YEAS--203 Aderholt Allen Amodei Armstrong Arrington Babin Bacon Baird Balderson Banks Barr Bentz Bergman Bice (OK) Biggs Bilirakis Bishop (NC) Boebert Bost Brady Buchanan Buck Bucshon Budd Burchett Burgess Calvert Cammack Carl Carter (GA) Carter (TX) Cawthorn Chabot Cheney Cline Cloud Cole Comer Crawford Crenshaw Curtis Davidson Davis, Rodney DesJarlais Diaz-Balart Donalds Duncan Dunn Emmer Estes Fallon Feenstra Fischbach Fitzgerald Fitzpatrick Fleischmann Fortenberry Foxx Franklin, C. Scott Fulcher Gaetz Gallagher Garbarino Garcia (CA) Gibbs Gimenez Gohmert Gonzales, Tony Gonzalez (OH) Good (VA) Gooden (TX) Gosar Graves (LA) Graves (MO) Green (TN) Greene (GA) Griffith Grothman Guest Guthrie Hagedorn Harris Harshbarger Hartzler Hern Herrell Herrera Beutler Higgins (LA) Hill Hinson Hollingsworth Hudson Huizenga Issa Jackson Jacobs (NY) Johnson (LA) Johnson (OH) Johnson (SD) Jordan Joyce (OH) Joyce (PA) Katko Keller Kelly (MS) Kelly (PA) Kim (CA) Kinzinger Kustoff LaHood LaMalfa Lamborn Latta LaTurner Lesko Long Loudermilk Lucas Luetkemeyer Mace Malliotakis Mann Massie Mast McCarthy McCaul McClain McClintock McHenry McKinley Meijer Meuser Miller (IL) Miller (WV) Miller-Meeks Moolenaar Mooney Moore (AL) Moore (UT) Mullin Murphy (NC) Nehls Newhouse Norman Nunes Obernolte Owens Palazzo Palmer Pence Perry Pfluger Posey Reed Reschenthaler Rice (SC) Rodgers (WA) Rogers (AL) Rogers (KY) Rose Rosendale Rouzer Roy Rutherford Scalise Schweikert Sessions Simpson Smith (MO) Smith (NE) Smith (NJ) Smucker Spartz Stauber Steel Stefanik Steil Steube Stewart Stivers Taylor Thompson (PA) Tiffany Timmons Turner Upton Van Drew Van Duyne Wagner Walberg Walorski Waltz Weber (TX) Webster (FL) Wenstrup Westerman Williams (TX) Wilson (SC) Wittman Womack Wright Young Zeldin NAYS--217 Adams Aguilar Allred Auchincloss Axne Barragan Bass Beatty Bera Beyer Bishop (GA) Blumenauer Blunt Rochester Bonamici Bourdeaux Bowman Boyle, Brendan F. Brown Bush Bustos Butterfield Carbajal Cardenas Carson Cartwright Case Casten Castor (FL) Castro (TX) Chu Cicilline Clark (MA) Clarke (NY) Cleaver Clyburn Cohen Connolly Cooper Correa Costa Courtney Craig Crist Crow Cuellar Davids (KS) Davis, Danny K. Dean DeFazio DeGette DeLauro DelBene Delgado Demings DeSaulnier Deutch Dingell Doggett Doyle, Michael F. Escobar Eshoo Espaillat Evans Fletcher Foster Frankel, Lois Fudge Gallego Garamendi Garcia (IL) Garcia (TX) Golden Gomez Gonzalez, Vicente Gottheimer Green, Al (TX) Grijalva Haaland Harder (CA) Hayes Higgins (NY) Himes Horsford Houlahan Hoyer Huffman Jackson Lee Jacobs (CA) Jayapal Jeffries Johnson (GA) Johnson (TX) Jones Kahele Kaptur Keating Kelly (IL) Khanna Kildee Kilmer Kim (NJ) Kind Kirkpatrick Krishnamoorthi Kuster Lamb Langevin Larsen (WA) Larson (CT) Lawrence Lawson (FL) Lee (CA) Lee (NV) Leger Fernandez Levin (CA) Levin (MI) Lieu Lofgren Lowenthal Luria Lynch Malinowski Maloney, Carolyn B. Maloney, Sean Manning Matsui McBath McCollum McEachin McGovern McNerney Meeks Meng Mfume Moore (WI) Morelle Moulton Mrvan Murphy (FL) Napolitano Neal Neguse Newman Norcross O'Halleran Ocasio-Cortez Omar Pallone Panetta Pappas Pascrell Payne Perlmutter Peters Phillips Pingree Pocan Porter Pressley Price (NC) Quigley Rice (NY) Richmond Ross Roybal-Allard Ruiz Ruppersberger Rush Ryan Sanchez Sarbanes Scanlon Schakowsky Schiff Schneider Schrader Schrier Scott (VA) Scott, David Sewell Sherman Sherrill Sires Slotkin Smith (WA) Soto Spanberger Speier Stanton Stevens Strickland Suozzi Swalwell Takano Thompson (CA) Thompson (MS) Titus Tlaib Tonko Torres (CA) Torres (NY) Trahan Trone Underwood Vargas Veasey Vela Velazquez Wasserman Schultz Waters Watson Coleman Welch Wexton Wild Williams (GA) Wilson (FL) Yarmuth NOT VOTING--9 Brooks Brownley Clyde Ferguson Granger Hice (GA) Nadler Raskin Scott, Austin

Ms. DeGETTE, Mr. CLEAVER, Ms. CASTOR of Florida, and Mrs. FLETCHER changed their vote from ``yea'' to ``nay.''

Mr. BUCK, Ms. VAN DUYNE, Messrs. NEWHOUSE, GAETZ, ISSA, BILIRAKIS, and CARTER of Texas changed their vote from ``nay'' to ``yea.''

So the motion to commit was rejected.

The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.