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Mr. SESSIONS. Madam Speaker, Congressman Johnson comes down here week in and week out and talks about not just the problems that face our great Nation but really the discussions that I want to bring tonight about families who sit at home, families who sit around before they perhaps watch TV or when they come home from church. They are talking about their lives, the lives of their children, and the things which concern them most.
I remember well just a few years ago when America had the greatest of times that it has perhaps ever had: a stock market reaching the highest levels; employment in America that was the highest level we had ever had; more African Americans, more Hispanic, more women, more people at work with a growing economy; housing aplenty.
It was full of opportunity from an economic perspective that came as a result from what I think was discipline, discipline from Republicans who had been in the majority. Yes, I was one of those Republicans, and I had an opportunity to serve as chairman of the Committee on Rules for 6 years.
During those 6 years, 2013 to 2019, we held a disciplined view of the budget and of spending. We held a disciplined view that meant that we did not spend one penny more in discretionary spending than we did in 2008, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018.
It allowed the free enterprise system to grow. It allowed Americans the opportunity to not have government grabbing at them or overburdening their jobs. It meant that the free enterprise system with gasoline, with cars being built, with opportunity, with economic success was on the rise.
Madam Speaker, tonight, we will say to you that that changed. That changed on January 20, a year ago. This Trump boost that we had, this opportunity where Republicans were growing our economy, it all of a sudden changed on January 20, a full year and a half ago when President Biden came in and immediately did exactly what had been done by President Clinton, what had been done by President Obama, and that is a massive spending bill. None that was talked about during the election, but as soon as they got control, a massive spending bill.
This is virtually the same kind of policy that President Biden's favorite President, Jimmy Carter, had when I was in college that led to 18 percent interest rates. A whole generation of people that had to dig themselves out of paying too much for the day-to-day products that they needed.
We are back to that. We are back to that because of excessive government spending that started here in the House of Representatives. The Democratic Party tonight was on record asking us to please come and vote with them on more Big Government, more spending.
Well, the word is out that we are close to entering a recession. This is something that comes because Democrats have made inflation their friend. They have done the things for inflation that would have it roaring back to rob the American people not only of any gains they made under President Trump, but to rob them as they face their future, as our children are attempting to go to college, as they are planning for their future of retirement, but, more importantly, as they go to simply try to fill up their cars with gasoline, as they move forward to try to live their lives and make their families more successful.
Madam Speaker, this comes as a result of politics. It is politics, pure and simple. On the one hand, you had Republicans and President Trump working diligently to give people an opportunity for not just a job but a career, not just to fill up their gas tank but to prepare them and their children for getting out and getting their own career.
No wonder almost three in five children are back living in their homes with their parents. They get through with college, and they come back. This is exactly, Congressman Johnson, what we saw when President Obama was President.
Our message tonight is one of hope and opportunity. Republicans will offer a vision, as we do on the floor here every day, about spending and the opportunity to balance out what the American people want and need. They want and need to do away with inflation. They want to go back to work. They don't want to be incented by this administration to get money but stay at home. They recognize that the President pushing the Fed to dump $110 billion into the economy every single month simply means that we have more that we have to pay on interest.
Madam Speaker, I want you to know that Republicans are on the floor tonight to offer opportunity, and the most important thing we would say is this: Don't make friends with inflation. Don't do the things that this administration and this Secretary of the Treasury have done. Don't have Big Government programs. Don't incent people to come and break the law. By golly, don't spend the $10 million on fake IDs that the Democratic Party calls secure IDs for people who come to this country so they could travel around.
Madam Speaker, people are weary. They are around their tables and talking, and they know that November is around the corner.
Congressman Johnson, I thank you for taking the time to come gather together every week with a message of hope and opportunity. Tonight, it is not just that. It is reality.
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