2:16 PM EST

Donna Christian-Green, D-VI

Mrs. CHRISTENSEN. Mr. Speaker, the national media ignored it, so I want the Nation to know of the devastating floods that occurred in the U.S. Virgin Islands in the last few weeks. First there were the dangerous mudslides, caused by Earl and Otto, that trapped residents and undermined the foundations of homes in St. John. But even worse were last week's rains, remnants of Tomas which caused unprecedented flooding that overcame bridges and storm drainage systems in a matter of hours, shutting

down roads, washing away vehicles, stranding residents, flooding offices, schools and homes, and devastating the historic west end of St. Croix.

Police and rescue personnel risked their own lives assisting those trapped in homes and stranded on flooded roadways. The floods claimed the life of one St. Croix woman, Ms. Rita Stinson. Our heartfelt condolences are extended to her family and many friends. Thank you to our police, rescue, the Coast Guard, and all who assisted in the search for Rita, the rescue of our residents, and emergency cleanup.

Today damage assessments begin, but we need a disaster declaration because the cost of repairs and mitigation will be in the millions. Colleagues, as I ask you to join in prayers for Ms. Stinson and those who lost homes and property, I ask for your support to repair the damage and meet the needs of my community in the wake of this disaster.


2:17 PM EST

Ted Poe, R-TX 2nd

Mr. POE of Texas. Mr. Speaker, my district is in hurricane alley. Since I've been elected to Congress, we've had five hurricanes: Katrina, Rita, Humberto, Gustav, and Ike. Hurricane season is over in southeast Texas, but hurricane season came late this year to D.C. And as I predicted in September, the fall forecast in Washington was for gale-force winds.

And sure enough, the hurricane hit D.C. on November 2. We warned them. We told them all about the hurricane warning signs. We even gave them an evacuation plan: Stop spending trillions of taxpayer dollars. Say ``no'' to nationalized health care. Stop the government takeover of everything that moves. Stop the taxes, and quit borrowing money from the Chinese. And most importantly, listen to the American people. But they didn't listen, and a hurricane named after the American people blew through

town. And it was a category 5, with 63 electoral casualties. The elites and big government control gang have sown the wind, and now they are reaping the whirlwind.

And that's just the way it is.


2:18 PM EST

John Conyers Jr., D-MI 14th

Mr. CONYERS. I wanted to welcome Judge POE back after the hurricanes that he predicted. And there's nothing more gracious than starting off the session with an ``I told you so'' lecture. And so I am going to be remembering everything that the gentleman said and try to take it to heart as much as I can.


2:19 PM EST

Michael C. Burgess M.D., R-TX 26th

Mr. BURGESS. Mr. Speaker, as we've heard, a new Congress was elected 2 weeks ago. But now the American people are anxious because the old Congress is back in town to finish the unfinished business. And to be sure, there are some things that need to be taken care of; but what remains of this Congress must be careful not to overstep its bounds.

We saw what happened with the passage of a deeply, deeply unpopular health care law. That repeal vote needs to come quickly in the next Congress; and, quite honestly, it can't come quickly enough.

But as long as we're here, as long as we're here doing the people's business, how about if we exercised some of that famous congressional oversight and [Page: H7403]

asked some of the heads of the Federal agencies to come into the relevant committees and talk about what their plans are for implementation of these rules in the health care law?

What about these new Federal agencies that are being created even as we speak with new office space being rented and personnel being hired?

What about these waivers that, over the last 2 1/2 weeks, have just snowballed out of the White House, and what about the health exchanges that even now our State legislatures are being asked to create?

Oversight was eliminated by the last Congress; it will not be overlooked by the next.


2:20 PM EST

Joe Wilson, R-SC 2nd

Mr. WILSON of South Carolina. Mr. Speaker, after a year of having their requests for job creation policies fall on deaf ears, the American people have not only spoken; they've been finally heard.

When it came to job creation, the American people made it perfectly clear they are no longer willing to play the waiting game. For 15 straight months over 14 million citizens have been without jobs. Despite these dismal numbers, liberal leaders in Congress continue to push for more strangling regulations and more government spending.

I believe this is a new day, with a new way forward, including extending tax cuts and passing tax relief for all Americans, while providing the incentives to business to create jobs.

It is now time to get the economy rolling, get people back to work, and get rid of Washington's runaway spending.

In conclusion, God bless our troops, and we will never forget September 11th in the global war on terrorism.

Best wishes for a speedy recovery to Specialist Joseph Deloach and Specialist Jeremiah Ashley, wounded warriors and American heroes whom I visited today receiving world-class care at Walter Reed Army Medical Center.


2:22 PM EST

Erik Paulsen, R-MN 3rd

Mr. PAULSEN. Mr. Speaker, Americans donate their time and resources to charitable organizations not only because of their generosity, but because they know that these actions will help enhance our communities, improve opportunities for our children, and create higher standards of living for our neighbors.

As our economy continues to stagnate, we need to do all that we can to help these charities who provide services for communities all over this country.

That's why today I want to remind my colleagues that January is fast approaching, and that means the largest tax increases in American history are just around the corner. With the traditional season of giving well under way, tax uncertainly is causing individual and corporate charitable donors to think twice before opening their wallets; and that's, in turn, worrying many charities across this country in their greatest time of need.

Mr. Speaker, it is time that this Congress take action and address this issue on behalf of all Americans.