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Rep. John Lewis Says Estate Tax Bill is Greed

June 22, 2006
Press Release

June 22, 2006 - Rep. John Lewis spoke out against H.R. 5638, the Permanent Estate Tax Relief Bill on the House floor today. He made the following comments (as prepared for delivery):

"Mr. Speaker, I come to the floor today because I am sick and tired of the greed that is prevailing in this House. The Republican majority today will help millionaires with an estate tax cut, while forgetting hard-working Americans - Millions of them - by refusing to increase the minimum wage.

"This is unbelievable. It is immoral. And it is wrong.

"The majority must wake up and see the struggles of minimum wage earners. They work hard, every day, to feed their families. People cannot afford health care, people are struggling to fill their cars with gas. Many live in poverty; they all live pay-check to pay-check, and they have not seen an increase in the minimum wage in 9 years. This Congress should be ashamed. "When will we stop helping the super rich? They don't need our help! When will we start to take care of the least among us?

"Franklin Delano Roosevelt said that ‘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 that have too little'."

"We are failing this test and we are failing the American people. This is not progress. This is greed and it is disgraceful."