|12:49 PM EDT||
Tom Reynolds, R-NY 26th
Mr. REYNOLDS. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
Mr. Speaker, as the debate continues from the Ways and Means portion of the housing bill, I believe the ranking member has set very clear remarks on where many of us find ourselves with this debate today.
Chairman Rangel and Ranking Member McCrery have a superb working relationship, and they have set the tenor of what has been hard work on both sides of the aisle and bipartisan compromise and consensus to craft some good legislation that has passed this body and has become law. And as I manage this portion for the minority and look across to my colleague from Massachusetts, he and I also share in commonsense solutions to strengthen America and to resolve some of the problems
and challenges that are there. And this bill is not an exception to that. We worked at the spirit of request of both the Chair and ranking member to reach compromise and consensus to improve the Ways and Means jurisdiction on housing.
And I look at it with sadness in two parts. One, as a realtor who looks at the industry, knowing across the country that we face challenges, and the statistics that Ranking Member McCrery outlined, 680,000 fewer starts, a reduction in high percentages of what the industry is about, seeing what the drag has been on our country's growth. And we need to work through good, solid solutions that need a hearing process that involve the Congress, particularly this body, in a debate of solution.
And when we look at the entire complexity of this bill, not only as a Ways and Means member, not only as someone who understands the housing world, but also as a former member of the Rules Committee, I know that the Members of this body were trampled on based on the decision of taking an energy bill and making the housing provisions, one of the challenges of the country today, short-circuited as an amendment to circumvent debate, amendments, recommittals, and substitutes that would be afforded
the minority in any other instance.
And as I look at this and the frustration I heard in the ranking member's message of what is being trampled on on rights of the minority to make presentations, quite frankly, maybe some majority Members on amendments, recommittal, and substitute, I find it disturbing that this is the beginning of strong trends of kind of a less than reasonable approach to advance legislation through this body.
And in the final thoughts, as we look at the predicament we're in on procedural processes here and maybe the fact that we could have made this bill even better, I must share with my colleagues that there is a clear veto message on this legislation as it leaves the House and it will unlikely be the solution of the land.
So with that, Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.