“Last year, Republicans refused to extend unemployment benefits unless the Bush tax cuts were extended for millionaires and billionaires.
“Here they go again, Mr. Speaker.
“This year, Republicans are trying to prevent continuation of jobless benefits and the payroll tax cut unless their wish list of goodies for America’s biggest polluters is granted in full.
“During this Christmas season, instead of gold, frankincense and myrrh, Republicans are bearing gifts of arsenic, mercury and oil on behalf of their planet-polluting patrons - Big Oil and Big Coal.
“GOP used to stand for Grand Old Party – Now it stands for “Gang of Polluters” - Now it stands for “Gas and Oil Party.”
“This Republican bill:
“One, it blocks and indefinitely delays standards that would reduce hazardous air pollution like lead and cancer-causing substances that are released from industrial boilers and sent to the lungs of America’s children.
“Two, it rushes approval for the Keystone pipeline that will bring the dirtiest oil on the planet through the United States so it can be re-exported to other countries while hurting our health and environment here.
“Three, it cuts much-needed Medicare payments to hospitals to care for the sickest in our country.
“Republicans are presenting a false choice to the American people:
“We should not have to choose between toxic chemicals and tax relief for American workers.
“We should not have to choose between pollution and prosperity.
“In this Republican-controlled House of Representatives, billionaires, big oil, and big bankers benefit while the rest of America bears the burden.
“Enough is enough.
“We know we need to pass the middle class tax cuts.
“We know we need to extend unemployment benefits.
“If we fail to act, Congress will leave a giant legislative lump of coal in the stockings of struggling Americans.
“That is unacceptable during these difficult times. This legislation is bad for children, bad for the elderly, bad for the environment, and it is bad for America.
“I urge my colleagues to vote No.”