[Congressional Record Volume 164, Number 146 (Tuesday, September 4, 2018)]
[Pages H7813-H7817]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]

                              {time}  1945
                           ISSUES OF THE DAY

  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under the Speaker's announced policy of 
January 3, 2017, the gentleman from California (Mr. Garamendi) is 
recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the minority leader.
  Mr. GARAMENDI. Mr. Speaker, before I launch into the major subject 
matter of this evening, I want to call attention to the horrific fires 
that have occurred in California over the last month. It is extremely 
early in the fire season. Normally, fires of the size that we have seen 
in California during the month of August occur in late October/
  Climate change is real, and what we are seeing is a 365-day-a-year 
fire season in California. In my own district of Lake County, the 
largest fire ever in California's history is still burning, mostly 
under control, but it will probably burn for another month until the 
rains come.
  Just to the north, in the Redding, California, area, more than 1,000 
homes were lost and 4 people lost their lives. We saw last year the 
huge fire that occurred in southern California, in the Santa Barbara-
Ventura County area, followed by horrific mudslides that, again, 
claimed the lives of dozens of people.
  My heart goes out to all the victims of the fire, and my gratitude, 
along with the gratitude of the communities of California, goes out to 
the brave firefighters and first responders who met the challenge of 
these very fast moving, very, very dangerous fires.
  It should bring to the attention of all Americans the need for us to 

[[Page H7814]]

the new issues that confront our Nation as a result of the ever-warming 
climate and, also, the need for this Congress to carry on what is now 
in place in law, and that is to allow the U.S. Forest Service to have 
two accounts: one account for fighting fires and a separate account for 
managing the forests.
  The health of our forests is in doubt. As one of my colleagues often 
says, we can take the trees out in an orderly way and remove some of 
the vegetation, providing the necessary firebreaks and forest 
thinnings, or it will come out in a fire.
  Now, if I might, Mr. Speaker, go to the other subject matter that I 
would like to spend a few minutes on.
  I often start my Special Order hours with some words from a very 
well-known American, a fellow who had four terms as President of the 
United States. If you haven't figured it out already, it would be FDR.
  In the past, as I have used this to set the tone and to set the value 
of my conversation, or the values of my conversation, I didn't really 
appreciate how pertinent these words would be here in September, the 
day after Labor Day, of 2018.
  So I want to draw your attention to what FDR said in the 1930s. He 
said: ``The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the 
abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for 
those who have too little.''
  I want to say that again, because this really should be our goal. It 
should be the principle value of our legislative process here.
  ``The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the 
abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for 
those who have too little.''
  So, what to make of this. Yesterday was Labor Day, a tradition that 
goes back to the 1880s, when there was a real crisis, when there was 
child labor, where there were no workplace safety laws, where there was 
the advent of what became known as the robber barons and the era of the 
golden few.
  Yesterday, Richard Trumka, the president of the AFL-CIO, wrote an op-
ed laying down some thoughts that all of us ought to pay attention to. 
He said that working people are crying out for change that would bring 
about a political system that lifts up our voices, an economy that 
treats us fairly, and a society that values labor.
  He also said a few other things. He said: ``For decades, corporate 
interests have been hell-bent on chipping away at our most fundamental 
rights and freedoms. They have corrupted our public institutions and 
rigged the economy to work for the few at the expense of the many.''
  Well, it seems as though he may have been channeling FDR, and it 
wouldn't surprise me that he would.
  In December, Congress passed and the President signed the largest tax 
scam in America's history. Our friends on the Republican side sold the 
tax bill to the American public as relief for middle-income families. 
President Trump went further to say that working families could expect 
a $4,000 to $7,000 raise due to the lowering of tax burdens on 
  I should repeat that: President Trump said that working families 
could expect a $4,000 to $7,000 raise due to the lowering tax burden on 
companies and corporations. Hmm.
  Let's test those words. Let's test those words against what has 
happened since December of 2017 when the largest tax scam in the 
Nation's history actually passed. So, what have the workers of America 
found? The Bureau of Labor Statistics in the Department of Labor has 
shown that workers' real wages, accounting for inflation, have 
decreased slightly since the signing of the tax bill.
  This means that the average worker's salary buys less today than it 
did before December 2017. By the way, that tax bill cost the Federal 
Treasury, that is, reduced the tax receipts to the Federal Treasury, by 
nearly $2 trillion over the next decade. Well, not the next decade. We 
are now 9\1/4\ years ahead. Two trillion dollars.
  All that sold on the premise that the wages for working Americans 
would increase. No. Didn't happen. Not likely to happen. There were 
some modest increases in wages, but they have been negated, wiped out, 
by rising inflation.
  Since the great recession of 2009 and '10, there really was real wage 
growth, adjusted for inflation, every year until the current year. Now, 
undoubtedly, there are some here in Congress--and perhaps 
the President--who would point out that some corporations have actually 
used their windfall for employee bonuses.

  Let's just take a look at what that windfall is. Yes. Here it is. 
Well, I'm afraid this number is wrong. We now know it is actually going 
to be close to a $2 trillion reduction in taxes.
  So where is it going? Well, let's see. Mr. Speaker, 83 percent of all 
of that near $2 trillion winds up in the hands of the top 1 percent and 
American corporations. Everyone else can share 17 percent of that 
number, $2 trillion.
  So, how many Americans saw a windfall as a result of the tax cut, as 
promised by the President, the $4,000 to $7,000 bonus coming to you as 
a result of the tax bill? Well, there are 155 million employees in 
America, doing every conceivable kind of work, including some of the 
folks here in the dais behind me.
  Only 6.8 million of the 155 million actually received wage increases 
or bonuses since the passage of the tax scam. Their 5.9 million 
employers, a very generous 411 of the 5.9 million employers, provided 
their employees with a bonus or a significant wage increase.
  Publicly traded companies across America are spending 101 times more 
money on stock buybacks, $712 billion in the first 8 months of 2018, 
than employee raises or bonuses, which are $7.1 billion. Shall I say 
that again? Probably ought to. Publicly traded companies have spent 
$712 billion on stock buybacks and $7.1 billion on bonuses and raises. 
  The New York Times reported on this on July 13, and the headlines 
read, ``Paychecks Lag as Profits Soar, and Prices Erode Wage Gains. 
Corporate profits have rarely swept up a bigger share of the Nation's 
wealth, and workers have rarely shared a smaller one.''
  I suppose, if I wanted to play economist, I would put up something 
like this: How is corporate America spending their tax cut, the Trump 
tax cut? Well, here you have--oh, this was April. This blue line, that 
was April.
  In April, corporate stock buybacks were $238 billion, in April of 
2018. We are now in September. That was April. Mr. Speaker, $238 
billion in stock buybacks, $6.5 billion for bonuses and wage increases. 
We are now in September, 4 months later, and stock buybacks are $712 
billion, a number that I said just a moment ago; and wages and bonuses 
have increased $7.1 billion. Half a trillion dollars. A half a trillion 
dollars of the stock of the tax cut has been spent, increased, from 
April to September.
  No doubt in everybody's mind why the stock market is roaring ahead. 
There has been $712 billion spent on buying back stocks since January 
1, 2018. That is three-quarters of a trillion dollars. No wonder the 
stock market is roaring ahead. Unfortunately, the wages of Americans 
have actually, in real dollars, declined.

                              {time}  2000

  A few other things for those of you who like to play economist. You 
have to love these graphs. The employee pay as a share of the national 
income, in 1970, it was about, I don't know, 66\1/2\ percent of the 
total wealth of the total national income that was for wages. Here we 
are in 2018, and it has fallen to 62 percent.
  Well, how about corporate profits as a share of national income? 
Well, in 1970, it was down here around 9 percent of the total national 
income that was corporate profits. Here we are in 2018, and it is 13 
  We would say that would be wonderful for corporations, if somehow 
that corporate wealth would actually be shared with employees.
  Now you can kind of understand why Mr. Trump was so agitated on Labor 
Day yesterday when he was talking about income inequality.
  There is one other way to see this, and let me put this up. This is 
corporate tax rate, individual and corporate income taxes as a 
percentage of all the Federal revenue. That is all the tax revenue the 
Federal Government collects.
  Well, let's see, way back in 1934, about 10 percent. Both corporate 
and individuals paid about the same

[[Page H7815]]

amount, and that went on until 1939, 1940, and then it began to shift. 
In that period of time, since the 1940s, early 1940s, until today, 
corporate taxes, as a share of the burden of taxes paid in America, has 
declined from 40 percent in 1939--that was the build up to World War 
II--to, well, somewhere down around 7.8 percent today. Pretty good for 
corporations. Pretty good for people who own stock.
  Who does own stock? Eighty-four percent of U.S.-traded stock is owned 
by the top 10 percent of Americans. Whoa, now that is an interesting 
  So the stock market roars as more and more of the tax cut is poured 
into stock buybacks, and the benefit goes to the top 10 percent of 
  We ought to pay attention to that. Oh, by the way, individuals have 
continued to pay more and more of the total burden of funding our 
Federal Government. All of this is a result of tax policy over time.
  So what are we going to do about this? Before I go to what we are 
going to do about it, let me just pick up one more thing. Do you 
remember all the talk about bringing American corporations back to 
America, end the offshoring? Surely, you remember that. Well, I 
remember the talk here on the floor. The great tax bill is going to end 
the offshoring of American jobs. We are going to Make America Great 
Again. We are going to bring American corporations back home.
  Well, it didn't happen. Why didn't it happen? Well, because the way 
the law was written, there is actually greater incentive today to 
offshore jobs than there was prior to the great tax scam of December 
2017. American corporations can actually have a lower tax rate by 
offshoring, by investing offshore.
  I am sure you remember the great ballyhoo about Harley-Davidson. They 
were concerned about the President's tariffs and said that they were 
going to manufacture their motorcycles in Europe as a result of the 
tariff on steel and aluminum. Well, there is another known issue about 
Harley-Davidson. They utilized the tax break given to American 
corporations for offshoring jobs to open a facility in Thailand after 
the tax bill was passed.
  They laid off 800 workers in their Kansas City facility and opened a 
new facility in Thailand. They not only did that, but what did they do 
for the remaining workers in America? Well, if those workers happened 
to own Harley-Davidson stock, I suppose they did okay, because Harley-
Davidson decided to spend $700 million to buy back 15 million shares.
  Interesting the way in which tax policy actually works, to the 
benefit of whom? Hardworking American families? No. The top wealthy 
Americans? Yes.
  What did FDR have to say about all this? This isn't ancient history. 
This is America today. This is America today, and we ought to pay 
attention to what FDR has said when he said American progress is not 
whether the wealthy do better, but, rather, whether the working men and 
women of America, the poor, the people who are struggling to put food 
on their table, the people who are trying to get their kids an 
education, trying to deal with the ever-increasing cost of higher 
education, FDR said it very clearly when he said it is our test, that 
we are judged by what we do for those who have little.
  So here we are today. Here we are just days ahead of a new election 
in which this issue is going to address every American. This election 
is going to be about whether the policies so starkly laid out here in 
the tax legislation, the policies of adjusting the American wealth so 
that those who have much get more versus those who are working day in 
and day out are struggling just to stay ahead and failing to do so.
  There is a stark difference here in policy. Let there be no doubt 
that, for us, as we go into this election, we go into this election 
keeping firmly in mind that our task is to provide A Better Deal for 
the people, A Better Deal for the people of America.
  The wealthy have done fine. The top 10 percent are doing terrific. We 
are not against them, but we are for the people. We are for the working 
men and women of America who are trying to put food on their table, pay 
rent as housing prices soar, as rental rates go through the roof, 
working men and women in the families of America who are struggling 
every day just to keep up with inflation, and far too many not able to 
do so.
  Yes, there is no doubt that, in America today, the unemployment rate 
has dropped. Yet, there are still millions of Americans who have not 
been able to get into the labor market, who have not been able to 
adjust to the changing economy of America, who are unable to have the 
skills to fit into that new economy, who are on the outside.
  But I will tell you this: We care about them. We think it is our 
responsibility to care about every American, not just the wealthy, as 
some do in this hall, but every working man and woman and for those not 
able to work.
  So we offer A Better Deal for the people, and I am just going to lay 
out four specific issues in the next remaining minutes.
  First of all, it is about healthcare. I came to this Congress in 2009 
with the determination to work for a healthcare system that provided 
quality insurance for every American. We made a major step toward that, 
not because I arrived but because the American public was crying out 
for a quality health insurance program.
  Too many Americans were on the outside. Too many people were excluded 
because they had a preexisting condition. Too many Americans couldn't 
afford it, and more and more American companies were eliminating 
healthcare insurance as part of the benefits.
  So we, the Democrats, without one Republican vote, put forward the 
Affordable Care Act. And guess what? More than 20 million Americans 
within 3 years had insurance that wasn't previously available to them, 
and it was a good insurance policy.
  All the while, from January 2011 to this moment, our Republican 
colleagues have been trying to reverse that progress. More than 60 
different bills passed the House of Representatives in those years that 
would eliminate the basic health insurance for 27 million Americans.
  That was their policy. That is not ours.
  Our policy is to provide universal health insurance for every 
American. We have not given it up. We have seen erosion in the years 
with the new President who rails against insurance for everybody. And 
we see specific programs put forward by our Republican colleagues to 
carve away protections for those Americans who have preexisting 
  How cruel is that? How wrong is that, that this Nation would set up a 
system that would remove the protection that has been in the law since 
2010, the protection that insurance companies cannot discriminate in 
the provision of insurance because of preexisting conditions?
  What is a preexisting condition? For a young female, it is that she 
might get pregnant. Yes, they consider that a preexisting condition, 
being a female. You have high blood pressure? That is a preexisting 
condition. You had measles or chickenpox in the past? That is a 
preexisting condition. It goes on and on and on.
  I know this issue. I was an insurance commissioner elected in 
California to protect Californians from the abuses of insurance 
companies, and I saw time after time after time insurance companies 
discriminating, harming individuals, terminating their health insurance 
because they forgot to write down that they had chickenpox as a child.
  Now here we are in this era of Trump, this era where, once again, the 
majority and the President would impose upon Americans, once again, 
insurance discrimination. You have a preexisting condition? Good luck. 
We are going to fight that.
  As we have seen the wages of Americans stagnate under the pressure of 
insurance and the pressure of the tax scam, as we have seen that, we 
have also seen the inevitable increase in the cost of prescription 
drugs. Who does that hurt? The super wealthy? The 10 percenters who 
have done so well in the last year? Or does it hurt everyday working 
  I will tell you this, it is our plan to put in place policies that 
would give the Federal Government the opportunity to negotiate prices 
for prescription drugs so that Medicare and Medicaid recipients don't 
have to endure

[[Page H7816]]

the enormous out-of-pocket costs associated with that and to give other 
Americans who are not yet of that age the opportunity to be able to get 
their prescription drugs at a reasonable price just as the rest of the 
world, or at least that part of the world that has advanced economies, 
is able to get.

                              {time}  2015

  What about education?
  I was back home in my district, as were all the rest of us over this 
last month. How many times did I hear from parents whose children are 
about to graduate from high school, saying they can't afford it, that 
they can't afford to go to college. And if they do, they will be 
saddled with such student debt that they will never be able to buy a 
home. They will spend the first 10, 15 years of their postgraduate life 
paying off the student loans.
  This is not a small matter for Californians. This is not a small 
matter for citizens of every other State. It is an epidemic in America, 
the cost of higher education, the burden that is placed upon young men 
and women who are struggling to get an education, having to go out and 
get a student loan just to be able to continue, and then paying that 
off in the years ahead.
  It occurred to me somewhere along the way that, as I received the 
inevitable mail about refinancing my home mortgage, maybe students 
ought to be able to refinance their student loan. But, oh, no, not in 
America. You can refinance your home mortgage, but you can't refinance 
your student loan at a lower rate? That is wrong.
  So I, and others, have introduced legislation that would at least 
allow for a refinancing of student loans at a lower rate. But that is 
not enough. That is just one piece of a solution to a problem that is 
endemic and an epidemic in America.
  We are going to spend $1 trillion in the next decade rebuilding every 
one of our nuclear bombs and our basic mechanisms to deliver those 
bombs. What if we spent like one-tenth of that on allowing American 
children to get an education without being saddled with a student loan 
for the first 10 to 15 years of their postgraduate life, to be able to 
have a free community college education the first 2 years? Some States 
are trying to do that, New York among them. Why not the Federal 
  But, oh, no. The Secretary of Education is going exactly the other 
direction, trying to eliminate the protections that were put in place 
by the Obama administration to protect students from loan scams, from 
bogus education programs, such as the Trump real estate education 
program. Did I mention that loudly enough? Such as the Trump real 
estate program.
  So his Secretary of Education wants to allow him, when he terminates 
his career as President, to go back and rebuild the scam that harmed 
thousands of Americans and, along with that, maybe many, many more.
  American families need to be concerned about what is going on here. 
For the people, are our policies for the people?
  I was traveling across California in my district, 200 miles one side 
to the other, the great Sacramento River Valley, more levees than 
anywhere in America, including Louisiana. The roads are filled with 
potholes. The levees are in need of repair. The airports are crowded. 
We just heard a lot about that in the previous session.
  The bridges are collapsing, not just in Italy, here in America. I 
think we have some 60,000 bridges that are in need of serious repair. I 
noticed one of them across the river here in Washington, D.C., under 
repair, and that is good for Washington, D.C. But what about, I don't 
know, Missouri? What about our infrastructure?
  We have lead contamination in the communities of Michigan and other 
contamination in the water of cities in California. We have shore lines 
that are collapsing. We have water lines that are not working properly.
  American infrastructure was built decades ago and has not been 
repaired in the intervening years, and we have a $1 trillion backlog 
just to keep pace.
  Travel to Europe, travel to China, travel to other countries, Japan, 
and others, and you will see modern infrastructure, but not in America, 
not in America.
  So what are we going to do about it? I will tell you what we want to 
do about it on our side of the aisle. We want a real infrastructure 
program, not a bogus one like ones proposed earlier this year by our 
President, but a real, solid infrastructure program that has real 
money, that has the real opportunity to be able to rebuild our existing 
infrastructure to bring about what we have called for, for more than a 
decade: good repair of all of it, whether it is a water system, 
sanitation system, a levee, a highway, or an airport.
  That is what we want to do, and we want to build the infrastructure 
for tomorrow.
  We know that international trade is going to increase. Well, maybe 
not. Maybe I have to change that, given the trade war that is now 
underway, brought to us by the President. So we will see how it turns 
  But right now, maybe we are not going to see an increase in 
international trade as tariffs are imposed. But maybe that will pass, 
and we will get back to fair trade, real opportunity to grow our 
economy by trading internationally. To do that, we are going to need 
better ports. We are going to need better infrastructure to move goods 
into and out of the ports. We need to have deeper ports. All of these 
are infrastructure projects.
  How are we going to do it? Well, I suggest that we are going to do it 
with a real infrastructure program that has real money. If we were to 
go back to one of those charts I had there that showed the share of 
American corporations, their share of the total tax revenues is 
declining, decade by decade, to the lowest level since the imposition 
of a corporate tax rate.
  We are going to try to retrieve some of the mistake that was made in 
the tax bill of December 2017, retrieve some of those incentives that 
were in the bill, replace those incentives with real legislation that 
encourages American corporations to bring those profits back into 
  I bring to your attention a bill that Mr. Lloyd Doggett of Texas has 
put forth, a bill that would terminate the unfair, unjustified 
provisions of the 2017 tax bill that encourages further investment by 
American corporations overseas. Reverse that. Bring that money back 
  If we were to pair that with another bill by Mr. Delaney, we would 
see the opportunity for a rea infrastructure program, setting up an 
infrastructure bond and banking program where we can use that money 
coming back into America from the kind of tax reform that Mr. Doggett 
has put forth and Mr. Delaney has put forth to build our 
infrastructure, having American corporations that enjoy the benefits of 
this Nation pay their fair share and not hide their profits overseas, 
as so many have done and will do even more because of the tax program.

  A final point about our program, which we call A Better Deal for the 
People, America knows the level of corruption that is taking place here 
in our Nation. They hear it; they see it on television. There has 
never--well, ``never'' is a long time. In the memory of living 
Americans, there has never been such a corrupt administration as we 
have today: EPA Director; questions raised about the Commerce 
Secretary; people resigning left, right, and center, just ahead of the 
cops; and, of course, the President.
  We need to pay attention to this. It erodes the foundation of our 
democracy. Campaign financing, Citizens United, is allowing secret, 
dark money to invade our election process.
  We don't know the full extent of Russian involvement. We know 
hacking. We know that they are out there using social media. We don't 
know the full extent of foreign money coming into our election. We are 
not ever likely to know, under the current laws, because there is 
secret money allowed in our democratic process, eroding the very nature 
of our democracy. Maybe some of it is foreign. There is evidence that 
it is. Maybe--no, not maybe. We know about millions coming into the 
  There is not a Member in this House of 435, less those who have left 
for various issues of corruption, not one of us wakes up in the morning 
without concern that secret money, millions, will be dumped into their 
campaign in the 65 days, 62 days until the next election.
  We don't know. We can't know. It is out there. It is wandering around 

[[Page H7817]]

there, millions upon millions of dark money, secret money. It could 
land on any of us. Given what I have been saying about the President, 
it may land on me. Fine, we will deal with that.
  This is a problem. It is a problem for America when that kind of 
money buys elections, buys candidates, buys Members of Congress and 
  Citizens United and all the rest needs to go. We need to know who is 
financing me, financing my colleagues here. We need to be able to 
report that so that the people can make up their minds what they want 
to do.
  I will give you one example, and then I think I have said enough for 
the night. There was an election in California a few years ago that had 
Pacific Gas and Electric, one of the major corporations, utilities--
well, the largest in the Nation, trying to carve a special favor for 
itself, eliminating all competition. They got it on the ballot. They 
collected signatures, got it on the ballot.
  They were required, under California law, to disclose where the money 
came from in support of their campaign and all of the ads, all the 
television, all the written mailers and so forth paid for by PG&E.
  The opposition to this, which was basic citizen groups, said that 
this is wrong. There were editorials written. Maybe $20,000, $30,000 
was spent opposing PG&E's effort. It went down 2-1 for one simple 
reason: PG&E was required to disclose that they were paying for the 
ads, and people go, whoa, whoa, wait a minute. So disclosure works.
  Unfortunately, Citizens United and a couple of other decisions have 
made it impossible for the American people to know who is financing 
Members of Congress, Senate, President, so forth.

                              {time}  2030

  So, here we are. A better deal for the people, healthcare, 
infrastructure, jobs, wages, corruption. You are going to hear a lot 
about this.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield to the gentlewoman from Ohio (Ms. Kaptur), who 
is joining me this evening.
  Ms. KAPTUR. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman, Mr. Garamendi, for 
  I welcome Congressman Garamendi back. Wouldn't I know he would be on 
the floor the very first moments we get back here. How fortunate the 
citizens of California are to have elected him.
  I am very proud to stand with the gentleman this evening for A Better 
Deal for the American people. And because it has been Labor Day week 
and we are celebrating Labor Day this week, I thought it important to 
link my remarks to his, and I will be very brief.
  As we celebrated Labor Day this week, we recall that it actually was 
declared Labor Day by a Republican president back in the 1890s. So this 
is an historic moment by any measure, but this past weekend, the 
President and Republican congressional leaders in this chamber chose to 
criticize, to vilify labor unions and their leaders, while the 
Republicans have failed to deliver on a living wage for America's 
  Wages are stuck, while many in the top 1 percent get very handsome 
bonuses and pay increases. And the Trump administration is actually 
increasing, and the record shows, job outsourcing, shipping out our 
jobs, by doling out, get ready for this, $50 billion in new Federal 
contracts to companies that continue to close down factories here and 
move them abroad.
  In fact, the President's trade antics can't hide the fact that with 
China--I remember how China feted him--can't hide the fact that China 
is drowning us in imports and we can't move an equal amount into that 
vast marketplace.
  The President actually tried to say he is renegotiating NAFTA, but it 
is funny that in that proposed agreement, he does end runs around the 
labor standards and living wage issues.
  More than 133,000 Americans have a certified trade-related job loss 
since this President took office, 133,000 people, and only 4 percent of 
the workers Congressman Garamendi talked about will receive an increase 
from the GOP's big tax giveaway to the top 1 percent.
  So for most Americans, real wages are falling and the middle class is 
a dream for tens of millions of people who can't seem to get there. Any 
pay raise people have earned is, in fact, now being eaten up, and I 
heard this at my meetings all across the district, as their costs of 
healthcare go up, the cost of medicine goes up, the cost of education 
for their family goes up.
  President Trump on Labor Day weekend announced that he is going to 
cancel pay raises for 2 million Federal workers, people who work in 
Homeland Security, people in our air control towers, people who are 
caring for the sick, people who are ministering to our veterans. How 
about that: cancel any cost of living.
  The pay increase is actually a cost-of-living increase. And for those 
that work in the capital city areas across our country, we know how 
expensive it is to live in these places.
  Americans' labor history shaped the American economic dream and grew 
the middle class, which is what you and I want to get back to. And 
following our 124th national Labor Day, the power and worth of hard 
work is worth fighting for, it is an earned status, and we must never 
diminish the value of hard work or, in fact, we will lose its value 
  Mr. Speaker, I want to thank Congressman Garamendi for being here 
tonight. Americans deserve a Congress and a President that gives them A 
Better Deal and stands up for the true value of hard work for the 
people, always for the people, especially when Labor Day has been 
celebrated for the 124th time in our Nation's history, over a century 
and nearly a quarter.
  Mr. GARAMENDI. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlewoman so very much.
  124 Labor Days for the working men and women of America. We should 
keep that in mind, and certainly I know the gentlewoman will and I, and 
I am sure my colleagues, at least on the Democratic side of the aisle, 
will also.
  Mr. Speaker, I want to end once again with FDR:
  ``The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the 
abundance of those who have much, it is whether we provide enough for 
those who have too little.''
  Mr. Speaker, I yield back the balance of my time.