WASHINGTON,DC – Rules Committee Chairman David Dreier (R-CA) delivered thefollowing statement today on the floor of the U.S. House ofRepresentatives:
“Mr.Speaker, I have chosen to leave Congress at the end of this term. Itake the unusual step of announcing this from the floor of Congress fortwo reasons. First, this is where my fellow Californians sent me torepresent them. Second, I am a proud institutionalist, and I believethat this institution is as great as it has ever been.
“Mydecision has been a deliberative one. Three years ago I contemplatedleaving at the end of the previous Congress, but I ultimately chose toseek reelection for the sake of pursuing four key objectives: (1) toreverse the very dangerous 82% increase in non-defense discretionaryspending that we had in the previous two Congresses; (2) to finallypass the job-creating free trade agreements with Colombia, Panama andSouth Korea; (3) to enhance our national security by working tostrengthen the legislatures of new and reemerging democracies acrossthe globe through the bipartisan House Democracy Partnership; and (4)to ensure, through the Rules Committee, that both Democrats andRepublicans have the opportunity to offer their solutions by proposingamendments on the House floor.
“Mr.Speaker, I have been honored to play a part in the effort to accomplishthese four goals. Acting in a bipartisan way, we have fundamentallyaltered the federal spending process, focusing on fiscal disciplinerather than profligacy. We not only passed all three pending freetrade agreements. We did so with the largest bipartisan support of anytrade measure in years. The 17 partner countries of the HouseDemocracy Partnership are making important strides, and the advent ofthe Arab Spring has brought about the greatest opportunity in more thana generation for democracy throughout the Arab world. Finally, bothDemocrats and Republicans can offer their ideas on the House floor.
“Thiswork is far from over, and I intend to spend this year working towardgreater bipartisan progress. Our economy and our job market remain inperil, and the effort to rein in the deficit has only just begun. Having cleared out the backlog of trade agreements, we must embark on arenewed trade liberalization agenda to revitalize the worldwidemarketplace. The endeavor to ensure that American workers andentrepreneurs are able to grow our economy and increase our standard ofliving is an ongoing one. It is an endeavor that I look forward topursuing as vigorously outside of Congress as I have here.
“Ihave always believed that Republicans and Democrats alike serve theAmerican people best when we find ways to build bipartisan consensus. The framers of our constitution envisioned Congress as a forum for agreat clash of ideas. We all have different, sometimes radicallydifferent, views of how to build a better and stronger America. I havealways believed that our efforts must be rooted in our pursuit of afree economy, personal freedom, limited government, and a strongnational defense. Others may take a different view. These differencesdemand a passionate debate, but that debate must ultimately arrive atconsensus.
“AsI prepare to follow the Madisonian directive that Members of Congressshould one day leave office to live under the laws they passed, thereare many whom I would like to thank. Family and friends, volunteersand supporters, and of course the voters who first gave me my party’snomination in 1978 when I was 25 and lived in the Phillips Halldormitory at my alma mater, Claremont McKenna College.
“Iwould also like to thank the dedicated public servants in my offices inCalifornia and Washington, who have so ably worked in behalf of thepeople I’ve been privileged to represent.”
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