I would say for just a minute, if I might, to my friends who were asking for a "no" vote, the"perfectionist caucus, "And then what would you do under our constitution?" It is easy to get up and say vote "no," but then what would they do?
The fact is, under our Constitution, 435 Members of the House, each elected by a constituency based on population, work with 100 Members of the Senate, two from each State, then we work with the President of the United States. And surely those of us who have grown up and matured in this process understand after the last 4 years that we have to work together on big issues. And if we do not work together on big issues, nothing gets done.
The fact is there is a liberal Democrat in the White House, and he legitimately represents the views of the party which nominated him. And there are things he wants in order to sign a bill, and that is legitimate and a part of precisely what the Founding Fathers established: A balance of power. And the fact is conservative Republicans control the House and Senate, much, I might say, to the discomfort of my good friend from Michigan, the Democratic whip, who seemed unhappy at his having to vote "yes" tonight. But that is the nature of reality.
So the question is: Can we craft a bill which is a win for the American people because it is a win for the President and a win for the Congress? Because if we cannot find a way to have all three winning, we do not have a bill worthy of being passed.
Now, my fine friends who are perfectionists, each in their own world where they are petty dictators could write a perfect bill. And it would not be 4,000 pages, it would be about 2,200 of their particular projects and their particular interests and their particular goodies taking care of their particular States. But that is not the way life works in a free society. In a free society we have to have give and take. We have to be able to work.