Mr. SESSIONS. I appreciate the gentleman from Oklahoma leading, not just this exercise on behalf of the Rules Committee, but actually on behalf of the Appropriations Committee.
The Rules Committee, I know that the gentlewoman, Louise Slaughter, and I have great confidence, not only in Tom's leadership, but really his insight into what needs to be done. And, Tom, I want to thank you for your strong leadership in this endeavor on behalf of the Appropriations Committee, as well as the Rules Committee.
Mr. Speaker, today what I'd like to do is take just a minute, if I can, and kind of reset where we are. We've had lots of debate today about what we're doing and why we're doing this. But the bottom line is that our Speaker, John Boehner; our majority leader, Eric Cantor; and the minority leader, Nancy Pelosi, understand that we must approach a national disaster such as a superstorm together.
And as a body, whether it was Nita Lowey, whether it was Jon Runyan, Rodney Frelinghuysen, Chris Smith, Michael Grimm, Frank LoBiondo, we, as a body, understood we had a job to do. The gentlewoman from New York, the ranking member of this committee, Louise Slaughter, and I understand the responsibility because we had people back home like Mayor William Akers of Seaside Heights, New Jersey, who talked to Jon Runyan, or perhaps Sylvia Petillo for Hopatcong, New Jersey, talked to her Congressman, Rodney Frelinghuysen, about the needs of the communities, one Nation under God, the United States coming together at a time of extreme difficulty. And that's what we have done.
We have worked well together. We have worked with the Governors, Governor Corbett from Pennsylvania, Governor Cuomo from New York, certainly Governor Christie of New Jersey, Mayor Bloomberg of New York, people who got together and worked. [Page: H105] We did wait for the President's declaration of a national emergency; and we did, after 40 days and some few hours after that, receive the bill. But I think this House of Representatives, on a bipartisan basis, Members working together, Louise Slaughter, Michael Grimm, Tom Cole, others coming together; and we are now getting behind a bill. One of the amendments is called the Rodney Frelinghuysen amendment, and it is an amendment that meets the needs of these States and these people.
So for those who would say we've taken our time, I'd like to say, I think we're trying to do it right. For those who would say, well, we're not sure exactly how much should be in here or not, this body will determine it by the votes. Every Member of this body, I believe, will have a fair and open opportunity, not just as a result of the rule, but us working together.
And I'm very proud of that process, very proud of Hal Rogers, our Appropriations chair, who came to the Rules Committee yesterday and said that he placed before this body what he felt like was an equal opportunity for us to help people, this time in the Northeast--perhaps it will be people in other places--but he wants to make sure that fairness is done.
The Speaker of the House, John Boehner, cares deeply about the people of the Northeast and all the people of this country.
I think this rule today, and I think this bill, is an adequate opportunity for Members to speak clearly and that is, we care about our country, and we care about the people of this country.
Mr. Cole, thank you for yielding me time. I want you to know that we, the Rules Committee, appreciate the time that you have spent on this; and the results, I think, will come to bear for all of us.