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SSI Extension for Elderly and Disabled Refugees Act

Floor Speech

Date: Sept. 17, 2008
Location: Washington, DC

SSI EXTENSION FOR ELDERLY AND DISABLED REFUGEES ACT -- (House of Representatives - September 17, 2008)


Mr. SHIMKUS. Madam Speaker, I too join with our leader and all in the Chamber in support of this legislation. I actually have great respect for the ranking member here. We have had our fights, but I know he is a man of sincerity.

We are on the floor just to highlight the other challenges faced by those people who we are trying to help. SSI payments do not go far enough when we are under a regime of high energy prices, and, as I talked about in the last bill from this article here, gas prices confine sick people.

Again, as a former high school teacher on how a bill becomes a law, we should not be dancing in the well of the floor on the passage of a bill, nor should we be disappointed, those of us, with the outcome. The process still goes forward. Hopefully there will be a conference.

Hopefully there will be changes and we bring more supply to this energy debate. Because if we don't bring on more supply, and in my aspect coal-to-liquid technologies, the tar sands from Canada, we get a real bill that addresses where the oil is off the California coast, which is 50 miles less, not 50 miles out, and then we take those royalties to move into renewables, clean solar, wind, all of the above, we are going to have to continue to revisit all these spending regimes on social services based upon high energy costs.

So we come down here respectfully with the matter of the bill. It is needed. It is supported. We are all going to vote yes. But also to highlight the fact that there is much more to be done on the energy debate. And I am not one that says we are going to drive prices down to $1.50 a gallon. I never make those proclamations. What I would like to see is stabilization, instead of the swings that we will see.

I would also like to see us not be held captive to Mother Nature by having all our main assets in hurricane alley versus disbursed around the country, and in my case the coal-to-liquid refinery aspects, which would be very, very helpful.

This article says, ``Gas prices confine sick people. Some have to cut back on traveling, treatment such as dialysis, or chemotherapy.'' If that is what not having an energy plan that can be signed into law is doing to our most needful, then we have not done the right thing.