Moving the American Dream Forward

Floor Speech

Date: Oct. 26, 2011
Location: Washington, DC

Mr. WOODALL. Mr. Speaker, you probably get the same questions I get when I go back home. Those questions are from folks who came, they sat here in the gallery and they looked down on the House floor, and they thought: Golly, where is everybody? Where's everybody? I thought it was going to be full of 435 Members of Congress. But, of course, as you know, Mr. Speaker, in today's modern technology world, everybody's back in their office watching things on television. But I confess that sometimes during this morning-hour, I turn the volume down a little bit. I turn it down a little bit because sometimes we get into those divisive issues down here on the House floor. It gets my blood pressure up so much I think my head is going to explode first thing in the morning. I sometimes turn the volume down.

But today I wanted to come down here and find those things that bring us together as opposed to divide us, because I really do believe that as we face the kind of economic challenges that we're facing in America today, there is more that unites this body than divides it. There's more that we can do together than we must fight about in order to move the American Dream forward.

I have in my pocket a card. It's titled, ``The House Republican Jobs Plan,'' but I'd tell you it's an American jobs plan. I look down the items that we have brought forward in this Republican House, America's House, the things that they've been able to pass in the United States Senate, those things that have gone to the President's desk, and we are making progress, Mr. Speaker, on those things that unite us.

Of course, we started the year off repealing the 1099 provision from the President's health care bill, that onerous provision that required new paperwork mandates on all of our small businesses, completely unworkable. We came together, the House and Senate, and the President repealed that.

Last week, we came and we passed three new free trade agreements--three new free trade agreements--for this Nation. Mr. Speaker, as you know, with every nation that America has a free trade agreement, we have a manufacturing surplus. Hear that, Mr. Speaker. With every nation with which we have a free trade agreement, we have a manufacturing trade surplus. We ship more American-made goods to those countries than we import. We have a trade deficit as a Nation, but a manufactured goods surplus with the nations with which we signed free trade agreements. Free trade agreements, good for America, good for jobs, good for trade, and we were able to move those across the President's desk with his signature last week--2 weeks ago now.

And this week, we're going to bring two more bills to the floor, things that bring us together. You heard my colleague from Illinois talk about, earlier this morning, the 3 percent withholding, a bill that we passed to say we think there are lots of tax cheats going on out there among folks who contract with the government, so we're going to just withhold those taxes up front and make you get them back later on. Well, it turns out 3 percent withholding, our small businesses owners didn't even have a 3 percent margin.

If we had held all that money, they couldn't even pay the bills. They'd actually have to operate at a loss for the year and ask the government in April for their refund.

The President's onboard with that repeal. I believe the House is going to be onboard with that repeal. The Senate is going to be onboard with that repeal. We're going to move that across the floor this week as well.

Things that are bringing us together, Mr. Speaker, are common ground that we can cover to make it easier to create jobs in this country. Because I agree with my colleague, Mr. Rangel, the American Dream is that you can come here and do better tomorrow than you did today, that you can provide your kids with more opportunity than what you had. That is the American Dream.

I don't worry that folks want to come to America. I worry about the one day that that dream has disappeared and folks don't want to come to America anymore. They'd rather take their big brain and their hard work ethic to China or to India or Brazil or Argentina. We must preserve America as the magnet of success, the magnet that attracts those that want to improve their lives and believe those opportunities exist here.

Mr. Speaker, there's a commonality in all of those bills that we've passed and sent to the President's desk this year, and it's that these were things the government did to try to encourage compliance, to try to regulate, to try to require that small businesses operate differently, and what we found out is they didn't work. The 1099 provision, free trade, those tariffs and duties that GPO's PDF prevented that free trade, this 3 percent holding provision, what is the common ground, Mr. Speaker? Congress is doing too much in regulating. America is doing too much in regulating this country.

I ran on that premise, Mr. Speaker. The challenge is we are not doing too little. The problem is that we are doing too much and burdening those small businesses.

The former soviet bloc countries, Mr. Speaker, have learned from that example. They have flat tax rates, no exemptions, no exceptions, and their tax collections went up.

Mr. Speaker, folks can't pay taxes if they don't have a job. You can't pay income taxes if you don't have a job. And you can't have a job if you don't have opportunity in your society.

The Fair Tax, Mr. Speaker, H.R. 25, goes right to the heart of these jobs issues. Repealing those burdensome taxes, repealing those regulations, and making sure everybody gets a fair shake, because that is what America is all about.