Mr. SESSIONS. Mr. Speaker, to hear the gentleman's strong voice, not only as an entrepreneur before he came to Congress, but in Mr. Polis' dustup as he speaks in the Rules Committee in which he talks about America wanting to have a bright future, he is the father of a new young son, and he looks forward to the day that his son will have a bright future in this country. I appreciate his words today. He is also correct that we do not create jobs in this town, as it is the free enterprise system that does that. Yet with that comes an equal recognition that this town gets in the way of jobs and job creation.
Our taxes are preparing to be raised. The President, the Democratic Party are all about raising taxes on entrepreneurs, and people who get up and go to work every day, and small business, and taking away a Tax Code that benefits women, in particular married women, with the marriage penalty, as well as job creation through incentives that might deal with depreciation. All of these things are part of a pro-growth jobs package, and unfortunately, this House is not together on that. This House is having to, as the gentleman Mr. Pence said, make incremental progress as we move forward.
Mr. Speaker, this body is big enough to be able to recognize that this country is in trouble. I don't care if you live in Orlando, Florida, or in Pensacola, Florida, or whether you live in Dallas, Texas, or whether you live in California. The needs of this great Nation are about job creation and about ensuring in a competitive marketplace that we keep jobs, that we have ample credit that's available, that we have new ideas like we're handling today in this bill, but that we also go to some old ideas, one of which is, when you tax companies or when you tax something, you get less of it.
What the President of the United States and the Democratic Party want to do is to tax America--the free enterprise system--to pick winners and losers and then try to call that ``new revenue'' to this country when, in fact, all it does is offset it with higher unemployment.
We need a pro-growth economy. We need a pro-growth agenda from the United States Congress. It's not just the House but the Senate, also. We need the President of the United States to understand that his temptation to talk about economic growth should be about job creation, not just about picking winners and losers. We need someone who will bring this country together, not attack our free enterprise system, not stand up in front of people and say that we can work together but then not actually become responsible enough to become engaged in legislation that will pass so that we can make this country stronger.
The Republican Party is here today, leading this bill on the floor. We've got [Page: H1231] a rule which allows for 17 amendments--13 from Democrats, 3 from Republicans, 1 bipartisan. Once again, our Speaker, John Boehner, and the gentleman from California, David Dreier, who is the chairman of the Rules Committee, are intensely interested in having this House work in a bipartisan fashion, but making progress for the American people. The American people expect us and want us to do better. Today is a chance to work together, pass a bill, put it across the aisle to the Senate, and ask them to please join us in making life better for Americans.
Mr. Speaker, I hope all of my colleagues support this rule. It's a great rule. It does the right thing. The underlying legislation is wonderful, and I urge a ``yes'' vote on the previous question and on the rule.
The material previously referred to by Mr. Polis is as follows: An Amendment to H. Res. 572 Offered by Mr. Polis of Colorado At the end of the resolution, add the following new sections: SEC. 2. Immediately upon adoption of this resolution the Speaker shall, pursuant to clause 2(b) of rule XVIII, declare the House resolved into the Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union for consideration of the bill (H.R. 1748) to provide consumers relief from high gas prices, and for other purposes. The first reading of the bill shall be dispensed with. All points of order against consideration of the bill are waived. General debate shall be confined to the bill and shall not exceed one hour equally divided among and controlled by the chair and ranking minority members of the Committee on Energy and Commerce, the Committee on Ways and Means, and the Committee on Natural Resources. After general debate the bill shall be considered for amendment under the five-minute rule. All points of order against provisions in the bill are waived. At the conclusion of consideration of the bill for amendment the Committee shall rise and report the bill to the House with such amendments as may have been adopted. The previous question shall be considered as ordered on the bill and amendments thereto to final passage without intervening motion except one motion to recommit with or without instructions. If the Committee of the Whole rises and reports that it has come to no resolution on the bill, then on the next legislative day the House shall, immediately after the third daily order of business under clause 1 of rule XIV, resolve into the Committee of the Whole for further consideration of the bill.
SEC. 3. Clause 1(c) of rule XIX shall not apply to the consideration of the bill specified in section 2 of this resolution. -- (The information contained herein was provided by the Republican Minority on multiple occasions throughout the 110th and 111th Congresses.) The Vote on the Previous Question: What It Really Means This vote, the vote on whether to order the previous question on a special rule, is not merely a procedural vote. A vote against ordering the previous question is a vote against the Republican majority agenda and a vote to allow the opposition, at least for the moment, to offer an alternative plan. It is a vote about what the House should be debating.
Mr. Clarence Cannon's Precedents of the House of Representatives (VI, 308 311), describes the vote on the previous question on the rule as ``a motion to direct or control the consideration of the subject before the House being made by the Member in charge.'' To defeat the previous question is to give the opposition a chance to decide the subject before the House. Cannon cites the Speaker's ruling of January 13, 1920, to the effect that ``the refusal of the House to sustain the demand for the previous question passes the control of the resolution to the opposition'' in order to offer an amendment. On March 15, 1909, a member of the majority party offered a rule resolution. The House defeated the previous question and a member of the opposition rose to a parliamentary inquiry, asking who was entitled to recognition. Speaker Joseph G. Cannon (R-Illinois) said: ``The previous question having been refused, the gentleman from New York, Mr. Fitzgerald, who had asked the gentleman to yield to him for an amendment, is entitled to the first recognition.'' Because the vote today may look bad for the Republican majority they will say ``the vote on the previous question is simply a vote on whether to proceed to an immediate vote on adopting the resolution ..... [and] has no substantive legislative or policy implications whatsoever.'' But that is not what they have always said. Listen to the Republican Leadership Manual on the Legislative Process in the United States House of Representatives, (6th edition, page 135). Here's how the Republicans describe the previous question vote in their own manual: ``Although it is generally not possible to amend the rule because the majority Member controlling the time will not yield for the purpose of offering an amendment, the same result may be achieved by voting down the previous question on the rule....... When the motion for the previous question is defeated, control of the time passes to the Member who led the opposition to ordering the previous question. That Member, because he then controls the time, may offer an amendment to the rule, or yield for the purpose of amendment.'' In Deschler's Procedure in the U.S. House of Representatives, the subchapter titled ``Amending Special Rules'' states: ``a refusal to order the previous question on such a rule [a special rule reported from the Committee on Rules] opens the resolution to amendment and further debate.'' (Chapter 21, section 21.2) Section 21.3 continues: ``Upon rejection of the motion for the previous question on a resolution reported from the Committee on Rules, control shifts to the Member leading the opposition to the previous question, who may offer a proper amendment or motion and who controls the time for debate thereon.'' Clearly, the vote on the previous question on a rule does have substantive policy implications. It is one of the only available tools for those who oppose the Republican majority's agenda and allows those with alternative views the opportunity to offer an alternative plan.