12:55 PM EST
Steny Hoyer, D-MD 5th

Mr. HOYER. Mr. Speaker, I see four people in the gallery. I see three Members on the floor. The galleries are empty, the floor is empty because we are not doing anything, and it is not because we don't have a lot of things to do.

We have 6--7 if you count tomorrow where we will leave by 12:00--6 full days left in the session in 2013, and yet we fiddle here while the country sees itself burning on bills that are going nowhere, that have no priority and deal with a subject, energy, which, happily, is one of the most successful places we are at in America today, where we are fast becoming the energy-independent, low-cost energy situs of the world.

We have no budget conference coming to this floor scheduled in the 6 full days that we have left and the 2 other days that may be counted in which we come in at 6:30 and meet for probably a half an hour or 45 minutes and vote on suspension bills. Yet we have spent this entire week--and we left, of course, hardworking day yesterday, we left doing work at 2:30 in the afternoon. No budget conference, no fiscal policy, no solution to the crisis that confronted us when we shut down government.

I urged that we have a budget conference report by November 22--that is tomorrow--so that we didn't, as our practice has been in recent months and [Page: H7270]

years, confront real issues only when crisis gives us no other alternative.

No immigration reform has been brought to the floor, although it passed the Senate with 68 votes, comprehensive immigration reform, which will address a problem that every Member of this House says is an immigration system that is broken. The majority leader said that the other day, and I asked him about the four bills that our Republican friends, Mr. Speaker, have reported out of committee but they languish somewhere in the netherworld, not brought to the floor for consideration by this House.

And yet we have time to consider bills that will have no impact, which the President says he will veto, and are not bipartisan bills, were reported out of the committee in a partisan fashion, as so much of the legislation that we consider on this House floor is, partisan, confrontational, no-consensus pieces of legislation.

Yet a comprehensive immigration reform bill that had 68 votes, over two-thirds of the United States Senate, 14 Republicans voted for that bill, yet the Speaker says he is not for it and won't bring it to the floor. That is the same Speaker that says let the House work its will. The House cannot work its will if the legislation is not brought to the floor by the House, which can only be done by the Republican majority, Mr. Speaker, as you know. So they keep that bill from being considered, although

CBO says it will help the economy, grow jobs, and fix a broken system.

[Time: 13:00]

There are 6 full days left to go on the schedule in 2013. And yet the farm bill, which was reported out of the committee 2 years ago in a bipartisan fashion in the last Congress but was never brought to this floor, while we twiddled our thumbs while Rome burned--the farm bill lies languishing in conference committee because a bipartisan bill, passed by the United States Senate, was not considered in this House.