(House of Representatives - October 13, 2011)

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[Pages H6864-H6865]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []

                          INVESTING IN AMERICA

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The Chair recognizes the gentlewoman from 
Texas (Ms. Jackson Lee) for 5 minutes.
  Ms. JACKSON LEE of Texas. Mr. Speaker, thank you very much for 
yielding to me this morning.
  I wanted to share with my colleagues an important challenge that we 
have. And I think some would say how obvious with 9 percent 
unemployment, which I think we should be honest with ourselves and 
realize that it has been an accident that has been long in coming. 
Almost as if one slowed down on a rainy day and looked as if one was 
following the prudent rules of the road and decided to, in a moment's 
notice, not only speed but speed through a stop sign, an accident 
waiting to happen. We have of course, had spending without 
accountability in two wars, Iraq and Afghanistan, preceding this 
administration; and, of course, tax cuts for the top 1 percent of the 
population, many of whom acknowledge that where there is opportunity 
and benefit, there must be sacrifice and contribution.
  And if we were to engage them in a reasoned discussion, we would find 
out, of course, that they would be willing to invest in America. I 
don't call it taxation. None of us enjoy getting that bill that deals 
with taxes, but we do understand the value of investing in America.

                              {time}  1040

  Yesterday, we debated three trade bills. All of them are my friends. 
I have had the opportunity to engage with the communities represented 
by South Korea, Panama, and Colombia. Let me say in particular on 
Panama, my grandfather worked on the Panama Canal. The evidence is not 
his words to me, since he died before I was born, but it is the 
evidence of his name being printed in the annals of the Panamanian 
history of the canal right there at the canal site that I have visited 
on many occasions. What an emotional moment to see his name arise as 
one who helped construct and build in the 1900s amongst all the 
devastation, the mosquitoes, and disease. He survived and helped build 
the Panama Canal. So we have a longstanding relationship with them. We 
have a longstanding relationship with the canal.
  But the trade bills, for me, should answer one question--and I 
respect those who voted for it: Will it have an infusion of opportunity 
for those who have lost their jobs? Unlike some comments by 
Presidential candidates running for this job, I don't believe if you're 
unemployed and if you are not rich, it is your fault. There are college 
graduates who are unemployed today. There are skilled artisans and 
those who are in the trades who are unemployed today. There are 
returning veterans--young men and women--who led almost multinational 
companies in terms of the jobs that they had in the military in Iraq 
and Afghanistan. How do I know? Because I have visited them and seen 
them in operation. If you are over the logistics of moving equipment 
and moving men and women, and you're 25 years old, I can assure you 
that you know how to work in a large corporation.
  There's no evidence that these bills being passed at this time will 
in fact bring down the unemployment. I believe our chief responsibility 
is to find work for the American people.
  One of the challenges of the language of the trade bill is the 
question of protecting our intellectual property. Intellectual property 
creates jobs. It protects the genius of America. Of course, all of us 
through our history books have known about the origins of the telephone 
and we know the origins of the lightbulb and some of the geniuses that 
we've known in our early history. Many of us have heard of George 
Washington Carver, who did a lot with the peanut.
  America knows how to invent. We know how to do research. I have the 
privilege of having in my jurisdiction and surrounding areas the Texas 
Medical Center, where some of the most outstanding research is being 
done on cancer, which seems to be an epidemic in this country.

[[Page H6865]]

  So I argue we did not have sufficient protections for intellectual 
property. But here is the key. In addition to not having a direct 
correlation and an oversight on the passage of these bills which passed 
in the Senate last night and the creation of jobs that our population, 
our citizens, those that we are here to protect, those who we're here 
to create a pathway of economic opportunity for--a nexus of jobs, 
that's what you need to prove to me. And so I believe that we are 
missing a manufacturing strategy. It is interesting that we consider 
that old stuff and how proud we were of the Model T.
  I believe that we cannot go forward on trade bills, Mr. Speaker, 
until we focus on manufacturing in America, make it in America, and 
putting people back to work at all levels of education. That's going to 
be my cause for now and forever and ever. I want America back to work. 
It's a great Nation. It's the greatest country in the world. Let us 
focus on our folks getting jobs and getting our folks back to 
manufacturing, making things, selling things, and America continues to 
serve this world as the greatest democracy and the greatest country in 
the world.