|2:08 PM EDT||
John Culberson, R-TX 7th
Mr. CULBERSON. Mr. Speaker, I think it's important for the American people to understand that throughout the history of this Congress and this Nation that party divisions in time of war have always ended at the water's edge, until today.
Tragically, for this Congress, for this House, for the Appropriations Committee, the Speaker of the House has decided to unilaterally impose on the will of the entire Nation this appropriations bill without the benefit of a hearing, without the benefit of amendments, without the benefit of input not just from the Republican Members, Mr. Speaker, but from the Democrat Members.
It's, I think, a terrible precedent to set for this great committee that I am so proud to be a member of. I know that my colleague, Mr. Lewis, and my colleague, Chairman Obey, are both men of good will and good hearts. I know this is, I think, a particularly sad day for the institution and the Nation where 300 million Americans are not given an opportunity to be heard on a question of national security as important as the issue of funding our troops is. Never before in the history
of this institution have the entire committees, the Congress been shut out of this process.
On the aftermath of 9/11, when you could stand in front of the Capitol Building and still smell the Pentagon burning, the Congress came together and by unanimous consent agreed to approve a supplemental appropriations bill to help pay for the costs of the war. In a time of emergency with the hurricane damage in New Orleans and across the South, we all came together and agreed to do this.
But this is done unilaterally, without the consent of both sides, in a time of national emergency, and it is a travesty, Mr. Speaker. It contains provisions that have nothing to do with our troops' survival and safety in the field. To burden our troops with pork, with tax increases, with special provisions that have nothing to do with the war, adds to, I think, the obvious misuse of the process, and I urge Members to vote against the pork and support our troops.