tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN January 26, 2010 1:00pm-5:00pm EST
army, navy, air force, marines, coast guard, active, guard and reserve, we all are one force and we are all one family. you always feel it when you are in a room full of wonderful spouses. it's also great to see so many family faces, people that i worked with over the course of the year. becky, deborah, mary, sandy, and others. all the wives of the joint chiefs of staff, women who do so much for our military families and who i'm very proud to call my friends. in fact, we just had a few of you guys over for dinner last week. we had the joint chiefs, combatant commanders and their spouses over for dinner a few weeks ago at the white house. it was a wonderful evening. very inspiring because we shared the evening with several wounded warriors. so it was wonderful to have you at my home. i' happy we are switching the tables today. i know this is the joint armed
forces officers wives club. but today i want to start by thanking you not simply because of who you are married to, but because of what you do every day. because of the spirit of service that define your lives. you-all are truly leaders in your own right. i don't know if you hear that enough, but it's real. you are the vital link between your husbands and the troops they command, making sure their needs and those of their families are heard and met. you're often that mom away from home, the person that other military wives go to for advice and support. and it's always amazing because you do all of this for other families even as your own family serves. for that alone you all deserve this nation's unending gratitude , but you not only provide support to your husbands and to other families, many of you have
also watched your own sons and daughters put on the uniforms and go into harm's way. and you have experienced all the emotions that come with that. all the worries, all the anxieties, but also that incredible pride. i want to particularly thank all the blue star moms who are here today and i would like you-all to stand. i also want to salute another remarkable group of women who i know here today. the women who for nearly 40 years have made sure that no american is ever buried alone at arlington national cemetery. please join me in thanking the arlington ladies. please stand, ladies.
finally, some of you not only married someone in uniform, but we -- we sometimes don't remember that many of you also wore a uniform yourself. you volunteered, you served, you defended our freedoms. so please, would all the women who served in the armed forces please stand and be recognized. to all of you, thank you. thank you for your service to this country. so the president and i as you have heard and our daughters, we have been in the white house for a year now.
it's been a year. as a mom i often say my priority this year has really been the girls. making sure that they make this transition smootly, as smoothly as possible. you think about it, these little girls, they have had to get adjusted to a new city, new house, it's a nice house, but it's still a new house. to a new school and new friends. and so when people ask me what i'm most proud of this year, i usually give them two responses. i usually say first as a mother i am most proud that our two girls have made that adjustment and they built a new life here and are happy and healthy. as i say as normal as they could possibly be under these circumstances. i joke that i still recognize them. so that's a good thing. then the other response is as first lady. i tell people that at the top of the list of priorities that i
have had over this year, it's been the time that i spent highlighting the service of our incredible military families. and that's what i want to talk about today with you. i want to talk about what you do for america and also what america needs to do for all of you. from day one this has been a mission of mine, along with the vice president's i wife, dr. jill biden, my dear, dear friend and blue star mom herself, who has been a tireless advocate in support of our extraordinary national guard and reserve members and their families, jill and i have been working hard on this. one of the first things that we wanted to do was to first listen and learn. so with many of you we had a series of round table discussions -- roundtable discussions, thank you-all with our military spouses. we met with deborah and sandy and other wives of the joint chiefs to get their advice and guidance on how to develop our
initiatives. that was incredibly helpful. we also met with the senior enlisted advisors wives to discuss what's working in the ranks and what also can be improved. these conversations gave jill and i just really critical guidance and insight for what would be our subsequent visits to bases and military communities around the country. and as i think back on all the incredible experiences of this past year, and we have had many. i have met the queen, the pope. we have done a lot. i have to say that those visits to the military bases have been one of my greatest privileges as first lady. truly. through these interactions that we have had, i have gained an even greater level of respect and gratitude for our troops and their amazing families. it is a sight to see. i remember visiting the soldiers and their families at fort
bragg, one of my first its with charlene austin. we were just talking about that. she hosted me for my first visit. and there i saw firsthand the toll that these wars have taken on these soldiers who have carried so much of the burden of the wars in iraq and afghanistan. i will never forget the families that the president and i met at fort hood after suffering such a horrible tragedy, they showed us incredible strength. the strength that binds army families together. i remember the sailors and their families at norfolk and what a thrill it was for me to share their excitement as we welcomed home the crew of the aircraft carrier the u.s.s. eisenhower and the hospital ship, comfort. they were coming back from treating patients and delivering health care and humanitarian assistance across the americas, including haiti. and as we all know only after a
few short months at home the comfort is back in haiti along with many other branches of our military delivering aid with their civilian cornlte parts. helping the -- counterparts. helping the haitian people and all the while showing the very best of america and making us all so proud. i remember visiting the air men and women and their families at eggland air force base where some of the pilots and crew had just returned from iraq. it was their sixth deployment in as many years. i think of the coast guard's men and women who will serve aboard the new cutter that i am proud to sponsor, the straten, which honors commander dorothy straten who led the spard during world war ii. and i can never forget our marines who are a part of our daily lives at the white house in a very special way. and we see them display the same
professionalism in our home every single day that defines their service around the world. they are a joy to have in our lives. and then we can never forget our wounded warriors. the inspirational men and women that the president and i have welcomed to the white house and those we have met all around the country. unfortunately for too many of them, the battle continues even after they come home. they are the servicemen that i met at a v.a. hospital in the bronx working so hard to get back on their feet. and in some cases to get back to their units. that's all they cared about. they are the patriots like the young navy seal who joined us at the joint chiefs dinner last week at the white house. this young man attended the dinner with his little sister. i got to sit next to them. she was a nurse who moved to
washington to care for her brother. left her career behind. and he explained to me how he stepped on an i.e.d. in afghanistan and lost both of his legs. then just four months later he finished a half marathon. the courage -- yes. [applause] the courage and optimism of both he and his sister was breathtaking. their continued love of life and of country was something to behold. and i will always remember all of the wives and husbands, all the moms and dads the president and i have met at arlington on memorial day and veterans day and all around the country. spouses who have lost their begs friend in the world -- best friend in the world. parents who have laid their children to rest. and as a wife, as a mother i simply cannot imagine the depth
of their pain and loss. yet every time i meet them, they show a strength and a resolve that always leaves me in awe. their sacrifice reminds us all that our men and women in uniform as well as their families are our nation's greatest military asset. so at every one of these visits that i have had, collecting these memories, my goal has been simple. first, to listen. listen to those voices, listen to those concerned, listen to those needs. the second goal is to share what i have heard with a team of dedicated leaders who also care deeply about military families. from the president, the vice president, to secretary gates, to admiral mullens. to leaders down the chain of command, these people care deeply. and finally, my goal has been to work hard to ensure that the concerns and needs that we hear
actually lead to some real change coming out of washington. because the quality of the lives of our military and their families means a great deal because in the history of our all-volunteer force we have never asked so much of so few. we have seen the huge burden of eight years of war on our troops, tour after tour, year after year, missing out on moments that every parent treasures. a baby's first steps. the first words. the day the training wheel comes off the bike. birthdays, anniversaries. we have seen the sacrifices of families on the home front. spouses back home left to do the parenting of two, juggling play dates and ballet recitals and practices. keeping the household together all on their own. holding down jobs. all the while trying to hide their own fear and worries.
when the kids look up and ask when mommy or daddy are coming home. and somehow despite everything that's going on in your lives, military families still find the time to serve others. coaching little league, running the p.t.a., making christmas special for kids with toys for to the. volunteering at churches and hospitals, mentoring young people, being role models in your own right. you just keep on serving. keep on serving your communities. keep on serving this country. and all of you, our troops and families, you do your duty and you do it without complaint. no complaint here, right? you give your all and ask very little in return. only that we back you up so our troops can do their job. that's why my husband and his administration have worked to do right by our armed forces and their families. to be there for you like you
have been there for us. to lighten your load as you have lightened all of ours. because of your willingness to advocate for change, all of you here, some really important progress has been made in just one year. deborah, deborah mullen has been telling me ever since we met that just like our troops our spouses also need the very best support and counseling. many of you share the need to reduce the stress of long deployments and give our troops more time home between deployments. so this is what happened. my husband heard you and moved to increase the size of the military. that's why his first budget included pay raises and funding for better military housing and more money for childcare. in addition to more funds for career development, counseling, and support for spouses. last year's budget also included money to improve care and treatment for our wrounded warriors -- wounded warriors,
it includes $1.3 billion to reduce shortages in military childcare and to keep our military childcare among the best this country has to offer. that's something i got to see. because we can't forget that military kids also serve in their own special way. we can't forget these kids. they're just like any other child in this country except for the fact that their lives are turned upside down every time their mom or dad has to go halfway around the country risking their lives so that all our children can enjoy the freedoms of this democracy. it is so incredibly hard for
these kids. as a result, they often experience more anxiety. they can have a harder time focusing at school. they can have a higher risk of depression. so we can never forget just how much these wars affect our military kids. and we all have an obligation to ensure that these kids have the support they need at home and at school. so i'm proud to announce that this year's budget will include more money for youth programs for military kids. and then at the direction of secretary gates, the budget will also include funds to improve and build new d.o.d. schools from georgia to germany. and this is all part of a major effort -- [applause] -- this is part of a major effort over the next five years to renovate more than half of our d.o.d. schools which will benefit tens of thousands of
children from military families. this year's budget will also include $84 million for spousal career development, including tuition assistance and federal internship programs. [applause] and i want to thank all of the spouses that spoke to me about housing challenges. as a result, the president's budget will have quality coast guard housing, and i know that's a big one. [applause] these are all major investments. and they are the result of military families speaking up and being heard. and they are part of a larger ongoing commitment to care for our troops and their families even after the fighting ends. but in addition to good
government and sfendnunding, supporting our troops and their families requires active citizens. that's why i've made it a priority to keep asking all americans to join the cause of supporting our military families. and that's why last veterans day jill and i helped launch mission serve, a national network that brings civilians and military service groups together to help support our troops and families. but this network also encourages families to tap that incredible service of our military families as well as the veterans. we are asking americans to engage and support military families any way they can, from business owners helping veterans and military spouses find a job or develop skills, to professionals in areas such as mental health and law offering their services pro
bono, to ordinary folks out there doing simple things like driving a carpool, offering to baby-sit or making a home cooked meal for military families in their community. our men and women in uniform and their families sacrifice for us, every single one of us. so every single one of us can do something in return. even if it's something as simple as saying thank you. last spring i had the opportunity to thank one of those military families during a visit to the white house. staff sergeant robert was deployed to baghdad with the 82nd airborne and he was the sole survivor and suffered terrible burns over more than a third of his body. well, back at fort bragg, his
wife, connie, had to leave their three kids with family and she made the trip to a hospital in texas to care for her husband. so day after day and month after month connie fed him and tended him and his wounds. back at home their oldest daughter, brittany helped to hold the family together. and overnight she went from being a 15-year-old teenager to a mom for her younger brother and sister. she had to get her driver's license early so she could run the erneds and do the shopping. she made the laundry. she made the food. yes, a 15-year-old. her younger siblings would crawl into brittany's bed and seek the security they would
get her -- from her military. the president and i were honored to welcome the whole family to the white house. the father who had endured such horrible injuries, the wife who never left his bedside and brittany, the daughter who grew up faster than she had ever planned. and when a reporter asked brittany how a teenager could take on so much responsibility she did what you all do. she didn't speak of herself but she spoke of her younger brother and sister. and she said simply, they needed me. and my priorities changed. my family came first. so you see, that is the strength and the spirit and courage that our military families display every day. you put your own priorities aside, you take care of one another and you take care of this nation. so as first lady, i cannot thank you all enough for that
sacrifice. and i promise you that i will use every ounce of my energy and being to make sure that america always takes care of you. so thank you. thank you so much. thank you for having me here. and have some wine. [applause] >> i'm claudia michelle and i'm a coasty's wife. so -- [applause] i'm here to thank michelle obama for coming to our luncheon and having food with us and sharing her support for all military families. and we want to give her a token of our appreciation.
that is some military chocolates with each of the five -- the five service emblems are included in this. >> we have to hide this from my staff. [applause] >> i think i speak for everyone here, we're truly in awe of you. so thank you so much. you're just beautiful. >> thank you. >> thank you. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] >> announcing an increase of $8.8 billion for programs to support military families.
>> michelle obama speaking at bowling air force base in maryland. and just across the river at the u.s. capitol, the u.s. house gavels back in in just over half an hour meeting at 2:00 eastern for legislative work. eight bills in resolutions incling oneppdy bnateesterday a esd 45,000.s c who aut ithaiti overagwhen house ve i >>edpresida of cntis issues such as unemployment, health care and the wars in iraq and afghanistan. the state of the union address wednesday night. our coverage starts at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. you can also listen to the president's address live on your iphone with the
c-span radio ap. >> "book tv" welcomes british
historian and former advisor to margaret thatcher paul johnson. his latest on winston churchill. join our three-hour conversation live from london. sunday february 7 at noon eastern on "book tv "he's "in depth" on c-span2. >> and howard baker, tom daschle and bob dole has a task force which will be led by pete domenici of new mexico and alice rivlin who served during the clinton administration. their announcement from yesterdas ines. we sw wt out ahoe i >> it is a pleasure to welcome you here today. this is in fact the first event
we are having in our brand new
conference room and we hope to make it a good one. i get to say a few words about the bipartisan policy center before we get into the real action. we were founded on the idea that people with significantly different views and who have strong allegiance to different parties could still come together and try to design serious and substantive conclusions to a-- solutions to address the nation's big challenges. we are not a think tank in a traditional sense. we only study things for a purpose. and when our projects come together, people understand that they spend as much time ti apen trt.anha committed to that adequacy effort. the project we are launching today will very much test the proposition of bringing people together towards a substantive and detailed solution and we'll also test our ability to advocate, as you are all well aware, bipartisan on this issue is not richly shared in congress these days and we recognize the uphill battle.
we have i think a number of attributes at the bipartisan policy center. one of the greatest ones is sitting here in the front row, senator tom daschle, who joined by his colleagues, senators baker, dole and mitchell, and in 2007 launched the b.p.c. when it comes to challenging problems, as you all know, this is a target-rich environment. and presently with their guidance, we are focused on energy and climate change, we have transportation projects, we have projects on national security and homeland security. and there was a significant effort that the senators themselves led last year that focused on health care. over the last few years we've learned that project leadership and organizational leadership matters a great deal. while the nation is fortunate to have senator mitchell trying to fix that little challenge in the middle east, we are also fortunate that congressman dick gephardt will provide the balance that we are looking for. we could not ask for a better
leadership on this project than for the people to my right, senator pete domenici and alice rivlin. i want to thank chuck. a number of you know came from the concord coalition, has a significant amount of experience, both on the administration -- with the administration and on the hill. both senators baker and dole was not able to be here with us. sheila was chief of staff for senator dole for a number of years. she's a senior pool is i advisor at the law firm baker and donaldson. she's at the faculty at harvard university. she is on the board of the bipartisan policy center and will in fact be participating in this project. so, sheila, thank you for being with us.
>> thank you very much. on behalf of the board of directors and particularly on behalf of sdorgizio i want to also welcome you to the launch of the task force. over the course of my career, i had the great privilege of working on federal budget issues with two of the astounding fathers, dole and baker, and of course, with senator pete, on a variety of issues that we struggled with year after year. but know full well that the task force is in senators pete and alice's hands. i know working with dole there was a great change on senator domenici that resulted in pete wilson being rolled on the senate floor in a gurney to vote. it was a long evening. unfortunately, the result was not what we hoped it would be, but nonetheless it was a first of many efforts to get these
problems under control. i believe, as both dole and baker do, both of whom i have spoken in the last day, that it is in fact something we can do. we can in fact deal with the deficit. it won't be easy, as all of us know. certainly as they both know. it will require some very difficult decisions like we've seen on health care as how one looks at our federal spending, how one looks at our allocation of resources. but in fact those tough decisions have to be made. and need to be made soon. the task force we are launching today will do just that. the membership, as you will see, a really made up of stakeholders, not just one group. it represents big business, small business.
it represents labor, it represents the faith community. it represents social service advocates, people that are deeply knowledgeable of programs, as well as people knowledgeable about the public policy process. their goal is to produce a very specific budget plan, not general themes but one that gives us the steps towards reducing the nation's deficit and debt in a reasonable time frame. such a plan can only be effective, we believe, if it includes not only the lawmakers who are responsible but also citizens. those who will in fact live with these decisions will be an important part of this process. so let me now turn it over to a member of the b.p.c. board of directors, someone for whom i have enormous respect and have had the great luck to work with not only when i was on the senate staff but in the last year on the health policy issues and that is senator tom daschle.
>> sheila, thank you very much for those very important remarks. like you, i only wish that senators dole and domenici -- senators dole and baker could be here today. i have enjoyed my second reiteration in my opportunity to work with them a great deal here at the b.p.c. they have been terrific partners, and i am delighted once again to join them through sheila burke in welcoming all of you this morning. it is my -- has been my good fortune to work closely with both alice in several compass its. of course with pete as a colleague. and as one of the most respected fiscal experts in the senate while he was there, i can't think of many challenges more important to address than
the soaring indebtedness that our country now faces. if we continue on the present path most of the important programs for education, for health care, for pensions, for infrastructure and other basic social needs will be pushed aside by entitlements, including enormous interest payments on the public debt. we cannot leave this legacy to our children and grandchildren. upon that commitment there is broad and deep bipartisan support. we cannot allow this to consume on our social programs, yet that is where we're headed without fundamental change in the balance between revenue and spending. a bipartisan approach is really the only one that can work. remember that it was under president clinton whose administration worked tirelessly for months with pete
and other republicans and democrats to produce the last balanced budget in our nation's history. we have to restore that kind of bipartisanship today. we have all seen the frustrations of both members and the public as we've been unable to achieve fiscal balance. now we're beyond the level of frustration and we're nearing a level of fear. when serious people begin to think about downgrading america's at the time or even the unlikely event of a default, then we know we simply can't hesitate. we need to act now, and that is where the b.p.c. is establishing the task force, representing almost every element of our society. and there are no two people more capable, more able, more respected or more ready to lead this task force than our two leaders here this morning. it has been an honor to work with them in the past, and i am
thrilled to work with them again now in the future. and with that let me again thank pete domenici for his leadership and invite him to the podium for his remarks. [applause] >> i think alice wants to introduce some of the members of the task force who are here. alice, would you like to do that? >> we're very proud of the group of task force members that we have assembled for this effort. and not all of them could be here today, but we are really pleased that many of them and it's my pleasure to introduce at the moment i alphabetical order bob bigsby. would you stand? the executive director of the concord coalition who think of as st of mr. debt an budget.
jim blanchard. the former ambassador to canada, former governor of the state of michigan and former member of the house of representatives. sheila you've already met. sheila burke. carlos gutierrez. who as a former secretary -- former secretary of commerce and former before that c.e.o. of the kellogg company and now a scholar at the university of miami institute for cuban -- and cuban american studies. bill hoglin, another person that i can't think of budgets without thinking of bill. bill is now vice president for
public policy at cigna. he is a longtime staff director at the senate budget committee. he even worked for me at the congressional budget office early in his career. frank keating, president and c.e.o. of the american council of life insurers and former governor of the state of oklahoma. joe minnerick, a long time person i've known during the budget wars part of the committee of economic development, has been at the office of management and budget and was a former chief economist of the house budget committee. and my friend and colleague, former mayor, anthony williams, who led this city to a balanced
budget, who is now the executive director of government practice at the corporate executive board and director of state municipal practice at fox, also part of the institute of politics at harvard. those are the ones we managed to get here today. >> thank you, alice. well, here i am. good to be with you all. i feel great today. i think i feel better as governor than perhaps brett favre feels. i haven't made any big mistakes and i haven't had anybody come up and threaten me. he's had all of those things happen to him last night. i guess the worst of all is he lost. we are not in this to lose. we are in this because america
has probably the worst economic future that we've ever had. now, that's not just child's talk. that's for real. the united states of america to borrow a phrase from will rogers, the economics of america is in a deep hole. and will rogers says, what do you do when you find yourself in a deep hole? you stop digging. well, it's not so easy to stop digging. but essentially we have to find ways, this task force, over the next year, bipartisan, consensual, working together, we have to find a way to present to the congress and the president and the american people a budget. multiyear, many years, it will encompass many years. and it will provide to us a way out of this enormous, unsustainable debt.
now, i want to start with one of the graphs we have up here. and if i were somebody who could tie a graph into a proposal, i'd make this graph part of our everyday life. i don't know if i'd put it on our forehead and get somebody to screw it up there or what. let me step up here and show you this one. it says debt held by the public. and the word public is not just individuals. it's countries, it's institutions that have bought debt from the united states for all united states dollars or equivalents. and look at what's happened to us. you know, this is -- if you think back two years, we had a tsunami. we heard it coming. we put these things down and heard that gigantic wave.
this is the wave. just look at it, friends. it doesn't matter whose numbers you use, something like this turns up no matter what you try to do to avoid it. and it says that in 1999, here we are, that we are already approaching 50% of our gross domestic product, the equivalency of that in debt. but now look what happens after 2009. it becomes absolutely unsustainable. see, as you go to 2019, it's already exceeded 100%. and most people don't think we can survive on 100% for any period of time. for our task force members, you are all going to see what happens to america after the second world war, and some people who don't want to do anything are going to say, we had a great big debt -- talking to the two governors -- we had a great big debt because it's
dissimilar because all that debt was owned by us. that was the era of bonds. by savings bonds, and we all knew and it took us three years and we were back off that gigantic 65%, 70% arrow. but this is the one. we have to turn this one down some way over a period of 10 or 15 years, we have to show the light, show the way. we have to stop digging. something has to move in the other direction. now, there's some things that we are going to tell the public here today and we're telling our task force members that we don't believe we can get started without everybody putting their hands on the table and saying we understand this and we have to do something about it. number two, you have to do -- with the same commitment, we have to say everything son the table. mayor, you did things in your city that people said you couldn't do. this is one you joined a group
where people say you can't do it. if you're a can't do it fellow, get off the group, because we don't want any cannot do its. we can't somebody to say you can do it. that's why sheila's on. she knows it than most of us. she said, are you serious? as serious as a citizen group we can be, that's how serious we are. we are going to take this on and say we are going to do something about it. we understand that the united states of america scoo end up if we don't bend this line -- could end up if we don't bend this line we could end up a second rate world power without doing anything. it would just happen. for those of you who like to think of america in terms of great naval power where we can move ourselves where we have to go, general, you are working on issues with us that have to do
with the world and america in the world, well, we're all committed to the proposition that america won't be a power in the world if we let this kind of -- this kind of tsunami debt continue. now, we have to also tell you that we think we're different than any other group, not better than, but just different from. we are committed to come up with an actual plan, not suggestions, not 10 suggestions, you might do this one, you might do that one. well, we will put together a budget. it will take many years to get implemented. the total effect on some change might be 15 years. but the whole of what we recommend will yield a bipartisan balance al-- excuse me, bipartisan budget that will remove this economic debt from
around our neck. now, i know that some people think we have to be more specific about what all this means. we will in due course. but we take this job because we face this debt crisis and it's more than we can realistically sustain, and we think we should do something about it. now, with a deficit at 10% of g.d.p., with unemployment at 10%, with the government taking on literally trillions of dollars of new obligations, we are risking our economic and national security, and there's no doubt about it. and now we go to one step -- one step further. i alluded a while ago to the fact that the debt during the second world war and after it was owned by us. all you can remember how
federal reservent we were about buying savings bonds and how people had these -- fervant we were about buying savings bonds and how people had these savings bonds and ended up with millions of dollars. well, let me tell you one bad news. this is another graph that is starting to show red. red means that we are in debt. and this graph shows foreign ownership of united states public debt. sends a vast interest payments go abroad. here's 2000. and we're already at 35% foreign. 2009 we passed 50%. now, of that the biggest holder of our debt now happens to be china. now, they're buying our debt which keeps some kind of equal libry up but, -- equal libry
up. now, my friends, we are not unhappy. we have to do it by way of our own policy. we don't have to go calling names or threatening. we have to change our policy over time where that is no longer the case. now, we, those of us that are working together here, have asked real people who individually have a stake in this country or they have a stake vy care yussly through their children and grandchildren they have a stake. they have a stake in an american future. they have a stake in the american dream. and i have a stake in the american dream. i can -- i can remember a father who came from italy and never went to school in america and he had a dream and he had a
wonder flee successful wholesale grocery business and he did what he had to do. he couldn't write english so he hired an italian secretary. she was bilingual. she didn't learn spanish. she learned italian. he didn't -- he couldn't write so he had a secretary to do it. but there was a grand opportunity for him to get ahead. he could grow and prosper. there was money at the bank. all of these things are in jeopardy today because the united states of america through its leaders has meat a mistake, made a big mistake. we had decided to give our people more than we could afford to pay for. i regret telling you that's another way of telling you how our problem became a reality. we have, we come to the conclusion that we cannot pay for this debt through growth alone. and we will start with that and
dispose of that rather early in our deliberations because the numbers don't add up. you can't go to -- go here saying we're just going to change taxes and grow out of this. it won't work. my last observation for you is to say, everything is on the table. if you are not yet a member and we're looking for two or three vacancies that we want to fill, obviously we want every member to come to the first meeting and say collectively everything's on the table. now, i'm a republican and i say everything, i mean everything. that means taxes are on the table along with all the programs of our government. ok. and if you don't want that you better let us substitute for you. i think by the time you go through one meeting and see what a great nation it could do to itself if we don't solve this problem, i think you'll want to be on. if you're a true american. i think i am. i want to be on this as an
american citizen because i want to try to solve it. i hope you think we can, and we're willing to answer questions after my good friend, dr. alice, spees. i want to say to the board, the task force members, we just casually invited you today and it's great that you found time to come. now it's my privilege to introduce my partner in this venture, dr. alice rivlin. doctor. [applause] >> i share senator pete's obvious fervor that we are engaged in a very important enterprise here. i think the biggest threat to the united states' economy as we look ahead is this trajectory that we're on, this unsustainable trajectory of rising debt. i also think that the greatest
threat to our political system is the strident partisanship which has developed in the last few years. both parties thinking they have the only answer and less and less communication between them. so we are here to try to do our bit to bring people from both sides of the spectrum together to face this issue. we don't have any illusions that it's easy. if it were easy it would have been done a long time ago. and the problems to be solved are very difficult and will cause real pain. raising taxes causes real pain. cutting spending, especially entitlement benefits that people have counted on will cause real pain. but it's nothing to what would happen if we pretend that we
can go on this trajectory. we actually can't. the top end of that line is just silly. it's fantasy. we couldn't borrow that much money. no one would lend it to us. and the interest rates that we would have to pay would sink our economy and mean that we were putting most of our tax dollars into debt service. but why am i confident that we might succeed in this endeavor? it's partly because actually if you look at what needs to be changed, rather small changes in the number of things, spending programs, tax programs , phased in over time can solve this problem. we are a productive growing economy. this is not a problem that is unique to us. it is largely caused by the
fact that we have an aging population and a rising cost of medical care so that our medical commitments and our pension commitments will grow faster than the economy and faster than taxes at any feasible rate of taxation. so we have to do something about this, but, you know, the japanese have a worse problem. they're aging faster than we are. the europeans are aging faster than we are and many of them have taken drastic steps. we have not had to face this frobs because we were lucky. we could borrow in the world's currency, and we have such a strong economy that people were willing to lend to us steamingly without limit. but we have reached a limit, and we have to face this problem. so i am hopeful that the deliberations that this group will engage in over the next
few months will while not easy lead us to a package of changes in policy that will not be perfect. not everybody will agree with all of it, but will actually illustrate that the problem can be solved. and that i think is the main hope for this group. there have been other groups which we will build the national academies to put out a report very recently that shows alternative paths to a sustainable budget. i was a member of a another group sponsored by the pew foundation recently that advocated stabilizing the debt at 60% of g.d.p. we didn't say how to do it though. this group is going to say, here is an illustration that it can be done. and i think that is our main
function. if we can illustrate this problem is -- real changes that will not sinks anybody, can be put together and we can come out the other side with a much stronger economy. now, we're going to take questions. >> we're going to leave the remainder of this reported event as the u.s. house gavels in. they have eight bills and resolutions, including one approved by the senate yesterday to aid an estimated 45,000 u.s. citizens who got caught in the haiti earthquake. votes later today at 6:30. the senate's back at 2:15 eastern to continue debate on legislation to raise the federal debt limit. senate's live at 2:15 on c-span2. now live to the house here on c-span. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010]
the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the chair will be ord by our guest chaplain from the catholic university of america. the chaplain: good and gracious god in these times of difficulty and confusion, our hearts remind us to turn back to you. you are the light, you are the truth. we trust you will guide our paths during these troubled times and keep us safe from all evil and one day you will lead us safely home. may we open our eyes now to see you in our lives. may we open our ears this day to hear your voice. and following you with steadfastness and courage.
we ask this of your spirit and your word present among us. amen. the speaker pro tempore: the chair has examined the journal of the last day's proceedings and announces to the house his approval thereof. pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1, the journal stands approved. the pledge of allegiance will be led by the gentleman from michigan, mr. dingell. . mr. dingell: madam speaker, if my colleagues will join me. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the speaker pro tempore: the chair will entertain requests for one-minute speeches. for what purpose does the gentleman from michigan rise? mr. dingell: to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection.
mr. dingell: madam speaker, it is not long since a bunch of be a rigsists grasping new york bakers caused a replay of 1929 and a major collapse of the american economy. they were too big to fail, and as a result this nation has spent hundreds of billions of dollars bailing them out for their wrongdoing. this is intolerable. if we cannot regulate these people, the least we can do is see that they are properly sized. i urge my colleagues to join me in sponsoring the financial services industry stability act of 2010, which i am introducing today. as paul voker, former chairman of the federal reserve said, the institutions too big to
fail would be that they would be shouldered by access to federal safety net in time of crisis. another former fed chair, my dear friend, alan greenspan, said, if they're too big to fail they're too big. similarly, marvin king, governor of the bank of england, in some banks are thought to be too big to fail, then in the words of a distinguished economist, they're too big. i urge my colleagues to help me cut down these scound rells to proper -- scound rales to proper size -- scoundrells to proper size. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from south carolina rise? mr. wilson: to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. wilson: anonymous, where are the jobs? this is the question i continue to ask the liberal majority since they persist pushing legislation killing jobs. familiar lesion are hurting. particularly in south carolina where the unemployment rate recently jumped to a gruesome
12.6%. the stimulus bill isn't living up to its name and americans realize it. according to a cnn poll released yesterday, americans believe that half of the money spent in the federal spending plan has been wasted. 63% believe that projects in the plan were included for political reasons and will have no economic benefit. i have introduced a national commission on american recovery and reinvestment act so taxpayers receive adequate answers as to the whereabouts of the stimulus funds. i urge speaker pelosi to consider this legislation to ensure full accountability of every stimulus dollar spent. in conclusion, god bless our troops and we will never forget september 11 and the global war on terrorism. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from the great state of missouri rise? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection.
mr. skelton: malls, -- madam speaker, i rise today to pay tribute to our remarkable troops. our men and women in uniform represent the best of america, never more apparent when they mobilize to help the people in need, most recently, to the devastating effects of the earthquake in haiti. more than 45,000 personnel are part of the haiti relief effort. about 10,000 aboard ship and 3,000 ashore. united states response to the haiti earthquake is a whole of government effort in the u.s. agency for development in need. but our military personnel are truly indennis pinsable to the response. they have a logistical, medical and engineering skills that are desperately needed in the disaster zone. this critical contribution to the haiti relief effort comes at a time when the men and women of our military are already being stressed by two
wars. the crises rarely happen on a planned timetable, and our troops have demonstrated once again their capability to respond admirably whenever disaster strikes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? mr. poe: i ask permission to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. poe: madam speaker, the united states constitution is a document to limit the federal government. thomas jefferson said, pre-government is found in jealousy and not in confidence which requires limited constitutions to bind down those who we are abliged to trust with our power. as the all-seeing government tries to take care of us and who believes that we are subjects incapable of taking care of our own health, nowhere in the constitution the federal government is given the enew mexico rated power grab and control the nation's health.
the constitution sets limits on what dictates of pain the federal government is allowed to inflict on the rest of us. george washington didn't fight the red coats so people would be the subjects of a new oppressive, untruth worthy federal bureaucracy. and the colonnists didn't die in the war of independence so the health czar would have the rule over us. it's an un-constitutional abuse of power to nationalize america's health care and trust the government with our health andes that that's just the way it is. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from louisiana rise? mr. fleming: ask unanimous consent to speak to the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. fleming: madam speaker, the american people are hurting and washington is not listening. over the past year the policies of more taxes, runaway spending and record debt have had a chilling effect on job creation across this country. the stock market is
languishing, home sales have declined and unemployment is at a double digit level reaching its highest levels in decades. last year president obama and congressional democrats promised that the trillion dollar stimulus plan would create jobs immediately and unemployment would not rise above 8%. sadly, the only thing the wasteful stimulus bill created was bigger government. with nearly 2.7 million american jobs lost since that promise was made. the american plan provides targeted tax relief to american families and small businesses and will create real jobs, not an illusion of jobs saved, as the administration suggests. it's past time that the president and the democratic majority get serious about putting americans back to work. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? mr. smith: madam speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address
the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. smith: madam speaker, president obama says that closing the terrorist detention center in cuba will help america's image abroad and make america safer. this idea is contrary to common sense, nonsensical, irrational, counterintuitive and dangerous. since the president has announced his intention to close the military prison, there have been more attempted terrorist attacks, not fewer. the terrorists sense weakness, not strength. keeping terrorists locked up in cuba rather than transferring them to the u.s. or other countries is the only way to protect americans. if they go to other countries, they can be released. if they go to the u.s., they can get constitutional rights which they certainly don't deserve. the administration should treat terrorists like terrorists and leave them in cuba. the speaker pro tempore: the
gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from california rise? >> madam speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. dreier: madam speaker, as we all know, a great deal of excitement around the capitol tomorrow evening, the president of the united states will be delivering his first state of the union message. early indications are that he will be talking about the issue that democrats and republicans alike and people around this country are talking about and that is job creation. we got unemployment rate in excess of 10%, much higher in my state of california. and we think democrat and republican alike and that it's a very good idea for the president to be focusing on job creation and economic growth. madam speaker, he has a wonderful opportunity to take what i believe would be the strongest, boldest, most dynamic step toward economic growth and that is to send to capitol hill three pending trade agreements. panama, colombia and south korea. we could create jobs in the manufacturing sector, in the stmb sector, in the farming sector of our economy if we were to break down the barriers
that right now prevent u.s. workers and service providers from being able to have access to that consumer market. so as we work together in a bipartisan way to create jobs, i encourage the president, madam speaker, to send those three trade agreements so we can create jobs. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the chair lays before the house a communication. the clerk: the honorable the speaker, house of representatives, madam, pursuant to the permission granted in clause 2-h of rule 2 of the rules of the u.s. house of representatives, i have the honor to transmit a sealed envelope received from the white house on friday, january 22, 2010, at 2:53 p.m. and said to contain a message from the president whereby he transmits consistent with public law 107-108 a report on matters related to support for the interdiction of aircraft engaged in illicit drug trafficking. with best wishes i am.
signed sincerely, lorraine c. miller, clerk of the house. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the message. the clerk: to the congress of the united states, consistent with the authorities related to official immunity in the interdiction of aircraft engaged in illicit drug trafficking, public law 107-108, as amended, and in order to keep the congress fully informed, i am providing a report by my administration. this report includes matters related to, support for the interdiction of aircraft engaged in illicit drug trafficking. signed, barack obama, the white house, january 22, 2010. the speaker pro tempore: referred to the committee on foreign affairs and ordered printed. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, the chair will postpone further proceedings today on motions to suspend the rules on which a recorded vote or the yeas and nays are ordered or on which the vote incurs objection under clause 6 of rule 20. recorded votes on postponed
questions will be taken after 6:30 p.m. today. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from california rise? >> madam speaker, i move that the house suspend the rules and agree to house resolution 583 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 583, resolution expressing the sense of the house of representatives that lester flatt has made an invaluable contribution to american art as both a songwriter and a performer, leaving an indelible legacy in bluegrass music. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentlewoman from california, ms. woolsey, and the gentleman from utah, mr. bishop, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from california. ms. woolsey: madam speaker, i request five legislative days during which members may revise and extend and insert extraneous material on h.res. 583 into the record.
the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. woolsey: madam speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. woolsey: madam speaker, i rise today to support house resolution 583, which recognizes lester flatt invaluable contributions to american art as both a songwriter and a performer. one of nine children, lester flatt was born on june 9, 1914, and raised in sparta, tennessee, as a singer and a guitarist, lester flatt is widely considered one of the founding fathers of bluegrass music. he learned to sing and to play the guitar in local churches. as a member of the legendary flatt and scruggs and the foggy mountain boys, flatt not only popularized bluegrass music, he transformed the music genre from regional to national. .
irish, scottish, english, and african-american cultures have played a major part in developing bluegrass music. the music started in rural areas and in smalltowns describing life in the hills or the farms. eventually this sound became popularized and lester flatt emerged from tennessee as our nation's premier bluegrass artist. with bill monroe's bluegrass boys in the mid 1940's, lester helped bring national acclaim to bluegrass music with the original bluegrass band. later in flat's career he teamed up with earl scruggs to create the foggy mountain boys in 1948. this group went on to achieve long-standing success and prestige unprecedented in the bluegrass music world. parting with earl in 1969,
lester continued successfully with his own nashville grass until shortly before his death in 1979. though he reached tremendous heights across the nation, flatt preferred to perform in small towns. he and two others became inaugural members of the international bluegrass music hall of fame. madam speaker, i want to once again congratulate lester flatt on his artistic accomplishmentment and honor his extraordinary life. i thank congressman lincoln davis from tennessee for bringing this resolution forward today. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady reserves the balance of her time. the gentleman from utah is recognized. mr. bishop: thank you, madam speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. bishop: thank you. i rise today in support of house resolution 583, expressing the sense of the house of representatives that lester flatt has made an invaluable
contribution to the american art as both a songwriter and performer and left a legacy on bluegrass music. born in overton county, tennessee, in 1914. by age 7 he learned to play the guitar and sang in the church choir. he entertained locally and began to pursue a music career when arthritis forced him to quit his job in a silk mill. he started with the bluegrass boys then later the foggy mountain boys and finally with the nashville grass. he passed away but his voice and unique bluegrass style will always be remembered. lester flatt and the bluegrass boys are credited with the introduction of bluegrass music to this nation. bluegrass music is a unique form with american roots of music and it's considered a subagain ray of the country music scene. bluegrass was especially popular in rural areas of the country and often referred to as country bluegrass -- kentucky bluegrass
after bill monroe, who was from kentucky and member of the bluegrass boys. bluegrass music is a uniquely american art form and lester flatt helped introduce this music to the nation. lester flatt left an indelible legacy in bluegrass music and i ask my colleagues to support this resolution. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentlelady from california is recognized. ms. woolsey: madam speaker, i'm pleased to recognize the gentleman from tennessee, mr. davis, the sponsor of this legislation, for as much time as he may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from tennessee is recognized. mr. davis: i thank the gentlelady for yielding time. and will make some very brief comments. as we look across america, we look at our rivers, our streams, our oceans, and our lakes. the scenic mountains of tennessee, the rocky mountains and appalachia. our artists that will paint port rates and paintings on canvas.
our literature of the great authors of our time. our character as a nation. our heritage. our family traditions, our family values, and, yes, our music are part of this great american heritage. music, music of those like flatt and scruggs that when i was a child growing up listening to a radio operated by a battery on a saturday night, special times for the family got together but certainly for this particular occasion for that hour-long session, the grand ole opry. we would hear such performers as string bean, and yes flatt and scruggs. it became an entity in the mid 1940's. lester flatt was born in sparta, tennessee, a district i represent. from that he basically learned his art in church by singing
with the choir. he learned his art by self-teaching by instructions from others in the community how to play different instruments. he became someone that those of us who love mountain music, who love the mountain music, love to hear him. the songs that he sang, the songs that he composed, most he sang himself and some by others. but he gave us, all of us who live in america, an all of us who loved bluegrass music on a saturday night, our monday, tuesday, wednesday, thursday, friday, and gospel music on sunday night this bluegrass style. kind of have a great respect and reverence for lester flatt. it is my honor as a member of congress and it is my honor as the congressman who represents the area where he was born and later moved to north carolina, kentucky, to perform to audiences that were blessed with his voice, which was unique, and
his music, which was unique. and the three finger roll that was brought by the bango to make -- banjo to make that music better. it is my honor to recognize this giant who was one of the first three that became a member of the hall of fame in 1991 and it's fitting he did then. it's fitting that we here today honor this giant of bluegrass music. i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from utah is recognized. mr. bishop: thank you. after hearing the eloquence of the gentleman from tennessee i am embarrassed to admit the only time i think of -- when i hear lester flatt's name i think of beverly hillbillies. with that i yield to the gentleman from north carolina, mr. coble. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from north carolina is recognized. mr. coble: i thank the gentleman from utah for yielding. i appreciate that. you are on the money. "the beverly hillbillies" were a vig role they played.
lester flatt. earl scruggs and the foggy mountain boys brought to you by martha white. those were words distributed to you across the airwaves throughout the tennessee, southeastern united states, and beyond. introducing what in my opinion was the world's premier bluegrass aggregation during that era. specifically the 1950's and 1960's. i realize that the distinguished gentleman from tennessee can claim and rightly so that lester flatt was his constituent, but i would be remiss if i didn't remind him again that earl scruggs, the world's premeer five string bangoist -- nanjoist is a native north carolina though not in the district i represent. in addition to lester and earl, paul, josh, and jake completed the starting five. lester flatt, earl scurggs and
the foggy mountain boys performed whether on radio, television, or live concert, americana was on parade because bluegrass music after all is america's music. these men, all superb musicians, were celebrities in their own right, but they did not conduct themselves as celebrities. they were not unlike our next door neighbor or the guy down the street. finally i think it's fitting and appropriate that this house of representatives recognizes today that lester flatt has made an invaluable contribution to american art as both a congress writer and a performer. leaving an indelible legacy in bluegrass music. i thank my friend for having
yielded. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentlelady from california is recognized. ms. woolsey: i reserve the balance of my time for the gentleman from utah to close. then i will do the final closing. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady reserves the balance of her time. the gentleman from utah is recognized. mr. bishop: we have no more speakers. i'm ready to yield back at this time if you are. with that, madam speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. i urge my colleagues to vote favorably on this particular resolution. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentlelady from california is recognized. ms. woolsey: madam speaker, i urge my colleagues to support h.res. 583 which recognizes lester flatt's invaluable contributions to american art as both a songwriter and performer. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the question is, will the house suspend the rules and agree to house resolution 583, as amended. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3
of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the resolution is agreed to, and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid upon the table. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from california rise ? ms. woolsey: madam speaker, i move that the house suspend the rules and agree to house resolution 990. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 990. resolution expressing support for designation of january 2010 as national mentoring month. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentlewoman from california, ms. woolsey, and the gentleman from utah, mr. bishop, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from california. ms. woolsey: madam speaker, i request five legislative days during which members may revise and extend and insert extraneous material on h.res. 990 into the record. the speaker pro tempore: without
objection. ms. woolsey: madam speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. woolsey: madam speaker, i rise today in support of h.res. 990, which recognizes january as national mentoring month. today we acknowledge and thank the millions of caring adults and students who volunteer as mentors. we commend their efforts. national mentor month serves as a great opportunity to encourage others to get involved mentoring and volunteering their time. mentors directly improve the lives of those who are in need of guidance by providing support, care, and encouragement to facilitate a younger person's development in life. research consistently proves, madam speaker, that mentors bolster academic achievement, self-esteem, social skills, and career development. in addition to these positive outcomes, mentoring reduces delinquency, substance abuse, and academic failure.
mentoring whether it is for school work or life in general helps young people realize that a better life is attainable. and it helps them to obtain the tools they need to succeed. today there are over 4,700 mentoring programs in communities all across the united states. serving approximately three million young people. this country, however, is in need of more mentors to help fill the gap and reach the nearly 15 million young people who would benefit from a positive solly mentoring relationship. -- solid mentoring relationship. as a nation we must continue to encourage volunteers to invest their human capital in our youth. through nonprofit, government, and private sector partnerships, we can expand mentoring. national mentoring month is a reminder to reinvest our energy towards mentoring relationships. by building awareness of this issue, we can encourage more people to serve as mentors.
madam speaker, once again i express my support and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady reserves the balance of her time. the gentleman from utah is recognized. mr. bishop: madam speaker, again i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. bishop: i rise today in support of house resolution 990 expressing support for the designation of january, 2010 as national mentoring month. and i'm glad we are doing it before it's over. national mentoring month celebrates mentors who are positively impacting the lives of our young people and highlights the need for additional mentors to make themselves available for america's youth. mentoring is a structured and trusting relationship that brings young people together with caring individuals who offer guidance, support, encouragement, all named at developing the competence and character of the mentee. a mentor is an adult who along with parents provides a young person with support, counsel, friendship, and positive
reinforcement. by estimates almost 18 million young people, nearly half of the young people between the age of 10 and 18 live in situation that is put them at risk of not living up this their full potential. without immediate addition by caring adults they could make choice that is not only undermines their choices but the social being of our entire nation. research shows that formal high quality mentoring focused on developing the character of the mentee promotes positive outcomes crewing self-steam and social skills. by honoring mentors and programs, recognizing the importance of the programs implemented in our schools in the communities, and we also draw attention to the components of a quality program including appropriate screening of potential mentors and careful mentoring of youth with adults who have an interest in providing guidance and being a role model. today three million young people are enjoying mentoring's many benefits through school based, faith-based, and community organizations. a sixfold increase in the formal
mentoring relation ships -- relationships since the 1990's. the time adults take to serve as mentors provides children and young adults with a positive adult example and support system. adult mentors should be recognized for their contributions and efforts. therefore i urge members to support this resolution. i reserve the balance of my time. . the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentlewoman from california is recognized. ms. woolsey: madam speaker, i'm pleased to recognize the sponsor of this legislation, the gentlewoman from minnesota, congresswoman mccollum. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. mccollum: thank you, madam speaker, thank you, madam chair. madam speaker, as co-chair of the congressional mentoring caucus, i rise today in strong support for designating january, 2010, as national mentoring month. thank you to chairman miller and for chairwoman woolsy for bringing this legislation -- woolsey for bringing this legislation to the floor.
i'd like to thank the other chairs of the mentoring caucus, mrs. davis of california, and mr. rogers of michigan, who are original co-sponsors of this legislation. we all have an important role to play in the lives of young people around us. our entire community needs to be part of the process in shaping young lives and to become responsible citizens. when caring adults make connections and provide guidance to our youth, it makes a positive impact on their lives. a local newspaper in minnesota recently ran an article about the enormous difference mentoring makes in someone's life. and all of us have experienced that personally. for far too many young people and children, they just might not have a strong adult presence in their lives. for mentors encourage the development of strong character and healthy identities and that's a fact. we have the data to back that up. studies show that young adults who had mentors are less likely to experiment with drugs, skip school or become involved in criminal activity.
and at the same time students are more likely to be confident, make good grades and graduate from high school and improve their self-esteem when they have a mentor. when these students grow up, they are more likely to be better parents, better neighbors, in general, better citizens. nationally, there's an estimated mentoring gap of 15 million at-risk young people who need and would benefit greatly from a mentor. in minnesota alone, there are more than 250,000 students who fall into this gap. i sponsored this resolution to help raise awareness of this gap and of the many benefits of mentoring, for both the mentee and the mep tore. and to encourage more -- mentor. and to encourage more mentors. mentorship -- whenever you are asking neighbors to assist you after you have your first child
or to ask someone to help guide you, you are turning to a mentor. and my life has personally will be fulfilled with mentorship. the congressman, whose seat i now hold, mentored me until i decided to run for congress. and you might not know whenever you might find a mentor. my first mentor here was congressman henry hyde. he helped me understand the greatness of this institution and he taught me by example that elected officials should always, always respect one another in debate and at always respect one another, especially when we disagree. i encourage all of my colleagues to mentor youth and they can start doing that today by voting yes on this resolution. madam speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the
gentlelady yields back the balance of her time. the gentleman from utah is recognized. mr. bishop: thank you. i urge adoption of this resolution and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentlelady from california is recognized. ms. woolsey: madam speaker, i urge my colleagues to support h.res. 990, which recognizes january as national mentoring month. with that i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time. the question is will the house suspend the rules and agree to house resolution 990. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. ms. woolsey: madam speaker, i request the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended -- the gentlewoman from california. ms. woolsey: oh, i'm sorry. i would request the yeas and nays, madam speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. all those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are
ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20 and the chair's prior announcement, further proceedings on this motion will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from california rise? ms. woolsey: madam speaker, i move that it the house suspend the rules and agree to house resolution 1030. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 1030, resolution congratulating messiah college men's and women's soccer teams on winning the 2009 ncaa division iii national championships. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentlewoman from california, ms. woolsey, and the gentleman from utah, mr. bishop, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from california. ms. woolsey: madam speaker, i request five legislative days during which members may revise and extend and insert extraneous material on h.res. 1030 into the record.
the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. woolsey: madam speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. woolsey: madam speaker, i rise today to congratulate messiah college men's and women's soccer teams on winning the 2009 ncaa division iii national championships against calvin college and washington university-st. louis respectively. messiah is the only ncaa institution to claim men's and women's soccer national championships in the same season. messiah college men's team won their national championship game 2-0 and provided the men's team with its seventh national title in the last 10 years. 10 seasons. and ncaa division iii all-time best, to say the least. messiah college women's team collected its third national
championship and second championship in a row capping a three-year run in which the falcons' only loss was to wheaton college in 2007. after outscoring your opponents by a 20-1 margin in last year's ncaa tournament, the messiah college women posted just seven goals in their final five games this year winning four contests, 1-0, one in double overtime. congratulations are in order for head coaches mccarty and scott frey. mccarty was recently named head coach of the messiah men's soccer program and became the seventh head coach in the program's two-year history. before becoming head coach, mccarty helped messiah to five of its six national championships as the assistant coach. as for the women's coach, scott
frey has compiled a record of 156 wins, 12 losses and eight ties in his eight seasons with the women's soccer program winning over 90% of his games, he was placed on the winningest active coaches list. the success of both men's and women's soccer teams is a testament to messiah college's commitment to excellence. they have won 10 national soccer championships combined in the past 10 years. not only does messiah college excel athletically, madam speaker, they are a nationally ranked private christian college with a socially denominationally and politically diverse student body of 2,800 undergraduate students. located in pennsylvania, messiah college awards bachelors of arts and bachelors of -- bachelor of science
degrees in more than 55 may -- and more than 55 majors. madam speaker, once again, i congratulate the messiah college soccer program for their success, and i thank representative platts for bringing this bill forward. i urge my colleagues to support h.res. 1030, and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady reserves the balance of her time. the gentleman from utah is recognized. mr. bishop: thank you, madam speaker. again, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized. mr. bishop: madam speaker, i rise today in support of house resolution 1030, congratulating messiah college's men's and women's soccer teams on winning the 2009 ncaa division iii national championships. messiah college is a private christian college, was founded in 1909, located in pennsylvania. messiah's mission is, to quote them, to educate men and women toward maturity of intellect, character and christian faith in preparation for lives of service, leadership and reconciliation in church and
society. the college mission reflects its dedication developing student character as well as their intellect. messiah college offers 60 majors in five different schools and has been ranked as the top 10 colleges for comprehensive bachelor degrees in the north by "u.s. news and world report." messiah college boasts an excellent athletic program. the men and women's soccer team are the college's two most wingest -- winningest team. they won their championship on september 5. victory was the seventh national championship since 2000 for the men, third since 2000 for the women. messiah claimed their third and only men's and women's duo national championships in the ncaa history. in the championship game, the head coaches led their men's and women's soccer teams to
victory against calvin college and against washington university of st. louis. clarkson was voted most valuable defensive player. jeff and amanda was named the most offensive valuable player at the tournament. so i congratulate messiah college, the men and women team, the head coaches for their victories. i ask my colleagues to join me in supporting this resolution. might i inquire if there are additional speakers on your side, the gentlelady? ms. woolsey: we have no more speakers. mr. bishop: with that i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentlewoman from california is recognized. ms. woolsey: madam speaker, i urge my colleagues to support h.res. 1030, congratulating messiah college men's and women's soccer teams on winning the 2009 ncaa division iii national championships, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the
gentlelady yields back the remainder of her time. the question is will the house suspend the rules and agree to house resolution 1030. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, and the resolution is agreed to. without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from california rise? ms. woolsey: madam speaker, i move that the house suspend the rules and agree to house resolution 1029. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 1029, resolution expressing support for designation of the week of february 1 through february 5, 2010, as national school counseling week. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentlewoman from california, ms. woolsey, and the gentleman from utah, mr. bishop, each will control 20 minutes. the gentlewoman from california is recognized. ms. woolsey: madam speaker, i request five legislative during which members may revise and
extend and insert extraneous material on h.res. 10 -- excuse me -- h.res. 1029 into the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. woolsey: madam speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. woolsey: madam speaker, i rise today in support of h.res. 1029, which recognizes the impact that school counselors have in students' lives throughout the country and encourages the observance of february 1 through 5 as national school counseling week. school counselors play an essential role in students', teachers' and families' lives. they improve teacher quality, bolster student achievement, lower dropout rates. and additionally, research demonstrates that students who receive emotional and other support through counselors
achieve higher academic results. it employs school counselors at all levels in elementary, middle and high school, as well as in district -- district town supervisory positions. the educational backgrounds of school counselors qualify them to work with students to address their academic, personal, social and career development needs through the implementation of a school counseling program. through that town program, counselors provide a raining of services to students. they also offer these services to parents, guardians, our school staff and the community at large. school counselors assist with curriculum design and implementation, offer individual guidance and counseling and other intervention activities that meet immediate school needs. examples is education on mental health issues, school violence prevention, social and skills training, guidance and
preparation as well as conflict resolution. day in and day out, madam speaker, school counselors work tirelessly to provide academic, college preparatory, career and emotional support to our children. through their leadership and advocacy, school counselors strive to foster healthy school environments that promote equity and access to quality educational experiences for every student. i thank the american school counselor association and the national education association for supporting this important resolution and the work of counselors in our schools. national school counselors week reminds us that the crucial role counselors play is absolutely important in every student's life. madam speaker, again, i support this resolution and thank congresswoman linda sanchez for bringing this resolution forward and i urge my colleagues to support this bill. i reserve the balance of my time. .
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from utah. mr. bishop: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. bishop: i rise today in support of house resolution 56 that expresses the support for the designation of the week of february 1 through the 5, 2010, as national school counseling week. even though that's only five days, but i guess that is a school week. school counselors serve as a valuable resource to students across the nation. school counselors assist students with the transition from secondary education to higher education, the work force, they help students cope with trauma, difficult family issues, assist students and teachers in dealing with behavioral problems, they serve as a resource for students dealing with challenges of becoming adults, they also serve as a resource for parnse and educators. they assist parents in communicating with kids and provide important information to help their kids transition to
higher education or the work force. they work with teachers and parents, help students explore their potential, set realistic education and career goals. they off serve as a third party to mediate between parent-teacher or student-teacher or parent-student relationship. national school counseling week highlights the importance of school counselors with valuable assistance they provide students and parents and teachers. this year's theme is celebrate school counseling. to focus public attention on the unique contributions on professional school counselors. i spent far too many years of my life teaching in the public school system. i have known many counselors and i have appreciated their efforts and have respected their efforts and their goals even as i have harassed them on their particular job. with that i express my sincere gratitude to all school counselors. i recognize their contribution to our nation's youth, and i urge my colleagues to support this resolution. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance
of his time. the gentlewoman from california is recognized. ms. woolsey: madam speaker, i'm pleased to recognize the gentlewoman from california, congresswoman linda sanchez, the sponsor of this legislation, for as much time as she may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from california is recognized. ms. sanchez: thank you. i want to thank my colleague from california, ms. woolsey. i rise in strong support of house resolution 1029 and support the goals of national school counseling week. i want to thank chairman george miller and ranking member john kline and representative verne ehlers for their support of this resolution. i introduced this resolution to exare nies the tireless efforts of a group of professionals who have dedicated themselves to children and their education. school counselors. i wish to take this opportunity to recognize a few of the diligent and hardworking school counselors from california's 39th district. angela of santa fe high school in wittier, california, and alex perez of southeast high school
in southgate, california, are two examples of counselors who do exceptional work every single day to help our students reach their highest potential. it is because of their unending dedication and the dedication of counselors like angela and alex that children across our country succeed in becoming engineers, doctors, and, yes, even members of congress. school counselors play a vital role in the development of our students not just on academic but social and personal levels as well. unfortunately, there simply aren't enough of them. counselors off find themselves a casualty of budget cuts. in california, for example, the student to counselor ratio is a dismal 945 students to one counselor. that's 945 students to one counselor. almost four times the recommended ratio. our secondary school counselors work vigorously to increase graduation rates, identify problems in our schools, and
improve morale by inspiring students to challenge themselves and explore new opportunities. primary counselors often help identify students with health problems or disabilities that interfere with learning. they also help youngsters to cope with traumatic events from moving to a new school to the death of a parent. our counselors do amazing and often unrecognized work. our communities are strengthened by the students who are championed by their school counselors. i urge my colleagues to support this effort to recognize the outstanding work that counselors do to ensure that our children's future is full of promise. i thank again my colleague and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from california yields back the balance of her time. the gentleman from utah is recognized. mr. bishop: i have no other speakers. is the gentlelady from california ready to yield back? ms. woolsey: i'm ready to yield back. mr. bishop: with that i urge adoption of this resolution. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the
balance of his time. the gentlewoman from california is recognized. ms. woolsey: madam speaker, i urge my colleagues to support h.res. 1029 which recognizes the impact of school counselors have in students' lives an encourages the observation of february 1 through 5 as national school counseling week. with that i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from california yields back the balance of her time. the question is, will the house suspend the rules and agree to house resolution 1029. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the resolution is agreed to. without objection the motion to reconsider is laid upon the reconsider is laid upon the table.
the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from new jersey rise? >> i move that the house suspend the rules and agree to house resolution 1011, commemorating the goals and ideals of cervical health awareness month. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 1011, resolution recognizing the importance of cervical health and of detecting cervical cancer during its earliest stages and supporting the goals and ideals of cervical health awareness mont. -- month. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from new jersey, mr. pallone, and the gentleman from texas, mr. burgess, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from new jersey. mr. pallone: thank you, madam speaker. i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include
extraneous material on the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. pallone: madam speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. pallone: thank you. i rise in support of h.res. 1011 supporting the goals and ideals of cervical health awareness month according to the american cancer society, over 11,000 american women will receive the news that they have cervical cancer this year and over 4,000 women will die due to this disease. the earlier cervical cancer is detected, the better chance a woman has of surviving. cellular changes that precede cervical cancer can be detected by a pap test or other detection methods. the earliest detections women can get treatment that prevents the disease from progressing. as a result of the increase in prevention, we are beginning to see a decrease in the number of women who get and die from cervical cancer. but we still have more work to do, especially in the minority populations.
african-american women and hispanic women, for example, are 50% more likely to develop cervical cancer than nonhispanic white women and are also more likely to die from the disease. that's why this resolution, madam speaker, before us today is so important. we must increase awareness of cervical cancer and promote testing to ensure early detection so that we can further reduce the numbers of women who succumb to cervical cancer every year. the resolution before us today sports the goals and ideals -- supports the goals and ideals of cervical health awareness month. and supports heightened awareness about prevention of cervical cancer. i want to thank my colleague, the sponsor of the legislation, representative debbie halvorson of illinois, for her work in raising this important issue. i urge my colleagues to pass this resolution, madam speaker, and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from texas is
recognized. mr. burgess: i wish to thank the chairman of the subcommittee of health on the energy and commerce committee for bringing this important piece of legislation to the floor. and i am a co-sponsor of h.res. 1011 sponsored by representative deborah halvorson from the state of illinois. this month, jan january, is national cervical health awareness month. it is fitting we highlight the educational efforts that have been made to increase early detection of cervical cancer. almost half of the women that are diagnosed with this disease are between the ages of 35 and 55. they fall into two populations. one is relatively slow to evolve. obviously in this group the detection of precancerous and preinvasive changes allows for treatment of this disease to be relatively straightforward. but there's a second population,
a much smaller population, for the disease behaves with sometimes frightening speed. the disease can be so aggressive as to go from a normal test to an actual invasive cancer within a year's time. it is this group of individuals where these tests may be lifesaving. that is why it is so important that we highlight the awareness of cervical health. the month of january is over half over. but the need for cervical cancer awareness an education should continue throughout the entire year. awareness is the leadling cause in the annual decline in deaths from cervical key seize. the survival rate of individuals who have cervical cancer is 96% to 99% when detected early versus a 15% to 20% survival rate when cervical cancer is diagnosed after it has spread beyond the confines of the cervix. it is because of these programs that encourage early diagnosis so americans can lead full and
active lives. by supporting the observe advance of cervical health awareness months, we have the opportunity to encourage women to educate themselves about this disease and screening methods available to them. madam speaker, i urge all members to support this resolution. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. pallone: madam speaker, i yield such time as she may consume to congresswoman halvorson who is the sponsor of the legislation. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from illinois is recognized. mrs. halvorson: thank you, madam speaker. i want to thank congressman pallone. i would also like to thank my colleagues for recognizing me on behalf of this very important and timely resolution. madam speaker, i rise today in support of h.r. 1011, commemorating the goals and ideals of cervical health awareness month. i urge my colleagues to support its passage. january has long been recognized as cervical health awareness
month, particularly throughout the public health, women's health, and cervical health advocacy communities. today we commemorate the hard work and sacrifice that has been made by these patients, their families, and those who have been confronted by this disease. we also honor the health care providers and advocates that tirelessly work to treat this disease and work to educate the general public on its causes and treatment. madam speaker, cervical cancer is usually a very slow growing cancer that may not present any symptoms and its primarily caused by the human pap home must virus, h.p.v., but can be detected by early detection tests. it is estimated that 4,000 women in the united states die of cervical cancer every year and approximately 11,000 new cases
will be detected just this year. half of those women diagnosed with the disease are as been said between 35 and 55 years of age. and approximately 20% of all those diagnoses are made in women who are older than 55 years of age. in the vast majority of cases, these deaths could be prevented with earl -- early detection and by being educated and aware of causes, screenings, and medical treatments. according to the data from the centers for disease control, cervical cancer is the easiest female cancer to prevent, and yet it was the number one cause of death from cancer in women. . but for the first time in history we have the potential for significantly reducing if not eliminating the number of
victims in this cancer through advancements in treatments and procedures that aid in prevention. so in keeping with the goals and the ideals of cervical health awareness month, i encourage the people of the united states to learn about cervical cancer, its causes and its treatments, and i encourage health care advocates to continue to raise public awareness about cervical cancer and the importance of early detection. because the earlier cervical cancer's detected the better the chance a woman has in surviving cervical cancer. so once again i'd like to thank you all for allowing h.r. 1011 to come to the floor today, and i urge my colleagues to vote in favor of its passage. thank you and i yield back the remaining balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from illinois yields back the remainder of her time.
the gentleman from texas is recognized. >> thank you, madam speaker. as a fellow of the american college of gynecologists, before i came to congress i understood the importance of cervical health awareness monther tests, newer methods, are occurring as we speak. certainly to the health care community out there that has done such a great job at providing information to their patients, providing early detection and treatment to their patients, we owe a debt of gratitude. the work has not yet done and i encourage passage of this legislation. i'll reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields the balance of his time. the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. pallone: madam speaker, i have no additional speakers. and so --
mr. burgess: i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas yields back the balance of his time. mr. pallone: i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is will the house suspend the rules and agree to house resolution 1011. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended -- mr. pallone: madam speaker, i'm sorry. i'd ask for the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. all those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20 and the chair's prior announcement, further proceedings on this motion will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentleman from new jersey rise? mr. pallone: madam speaker, i move that the house suspend the rules and agree to house resolution 1003, expressing support of the designation of
january 10, 2010, through january 16, 2010, as national influenza vaccination week, as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 1003, resolution expressing support for the designation of january 10, 2010, through january 16, 2010, as national influenza vaccination week. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from new jersey, mr. pallone, and the gentleman from texas, mr. burgess, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from new jersey. mr. pallone: madam speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. pallone: madam speaker, i yield to myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. pallone: thank you, madam speaker. i rise in support of h.res. 1003, expressing support for the designation of january 10,
through january 16, 2010, as national influenza vaccination week. in the six months between april and mid november, there were approximately 47 million cases of the 2009 mr. hunter: flu -- h-1-n-1 flu in the united states. many were hospitalized and tragically nearly 10,000 people lost their lives to this illness. monica rodriguez died in october of 2009 before the h 16rbings n 16rbings vaccine was available. mr. rodriguez, a constituent of representative judy chu, was the mother of three children and was five months pregnant. she was considered high risk and would have been on the priority list to get the vaccine as soon as it was ready. vaccines saves lives and if it was available it could have saved their life. through flu activity has declined in recent weeks, experts warn that the need for
contracting flu is great. we need to be aware of a next wave of the h-1-n-1 virus. in both instances, the vaccines can help protect against illnesses. now the resolution before us today supports national vacks nation week. by supporting -- vaccination week. by supporting this resolution, americans can take advantage of the supplies available to prevent further needless deaths from the h-1-n-1 virus or the flu. i want to thank representative chu for her work. i ask my colleagues to support this resolution and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from texas, mr. burgess, is recognized. mr. burgess: thank you, madam speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. and i'll rise today in support of h.res. 1003, supporting the designation of january 10
through january 16 as national influenza vaccination week. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. burgess: i'd like to thank the numerous associations and health professionals in this week. and national influenza vaccination week is an important opportunity to encourage those vulnerable to seasonal flu and those vulnerable to h-1-n-1 to avail themselves of a vaccination. those who have not been vaccinated should consider how important it is to protect not only themselves but the health of their family, their community and, of course, their own well-being. currently there are well over 130,000 doses of the h-1-n-1 available and those coming every day. for those wondering more information about the seasonal vacks -- vaccines, they can go to the c.d.c., www.flu.gov website. i thank all the professionals
for their help. i ask my colleagues to support this resolution and i ask reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. pallone: madam speaker, i'd like to recognize now the sponsor of the legislation, the gentlewoman from california, representative chu, for as much time as she may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from california is recognized. ms. chu: thank you, madam speaker. and thank you, pallone and chairman waxman, for your assistance in getting this resolution presented to the house floor. it is january 26 and six months of flu season is before us. many people are at risk of contracting h-1-n-1 but have not gotten the vaccination that would have saved their lives. months before cold and flu season began, the media and health professionals warned us about the potential complications from this new strain of flu, h-1-n-1, and indeed this virus killed over 10,000 people last year. the purpose of this resolution
is to remind people that the threat is not over and that it is imperative that they get their h-1-n-1 vaccination. such vaccination would have helped one of my constituents, monica rodriguez. monica was a wife, mother of three children, and five months pregnant. after experiencing severe flu symptoms, including fever, congestion and cough, monica went twice in 24 hours to a hospital in el monte but she was turned away with own cough syrup to numb the pain which did little to help the illness. monica returned to the hospital where she was immediately admitted into intensive care after several days but it was too late. on october 25, 2009, monica and her unborn child passed away from complications of the h-1-n-1 virus. monica's husband, jorge gonzalez, wants others to know
his wife's story that they can receive proper care. many may believe that the risk of death from h-1-n-1 no longer exist, but flu experts warn that we should prepare for a possible third wave of h-1-n-1. americans definitely have a window of opportunity of getting this vaccine and lessening the impact or even preventing another wave of illness. and monica's husband, jorge, will tell you that he wished a vaccine was available to save his wife's life. the threat of h-1-n-1 is clearly not over. getting vaccinated is the most important step to preventing the spread of influenza. that is why i authored this resolution which recognizes national influenza week. in contrast to last year, now the h-1-n-1 vaccine is now widely available. the risk of contracting flu is still high, and we have several months of flu season before us.
today with this resolution we have another opportunity to get the word out and to remind the public that it is a time to protect yourself. many public health departments, hospitals, doctors and nurses are doing a good job of preventing and treating the 22 million cases of h-1-n-1 across the country. however, we must not be complacent and let patients like monica slip through the cracks. in fact, we must remind everyone to get the h-1-n-1 vaccine. today you can easily find the shot, such as online at flu.gov and must not forget those at greatest risk, pregnant women like monica, people who care for infants, health care and emergency personnel, those under the ages of 24, and people with medical conditions that put them at higher risk for influenza-related complications.
please join me and the 22 health organizations that have endorsed this resolution and showing support for national influenza vaccination week and spreading the message at getting -- that getting vaccinated is the first step toward preventing the flu. it will not only avert another wave of h-1-n-1 but will honor monica rodriguez and all those who have suffered or died from the virus. at this time i'd like to ask unanimous consent to insert into the record the names of the health organizations who have endorsed the resolution. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. burgess: thank you, madam speaker. you know, it's just about 10 months ago that we first began to hear about this novel strain of flu that was coming across the border from mexico, my home state of texas was affected severely early on. and it is amazing that within
such a short period of time, the virus was identified, isolated, the genetics sequence was known that a vaccination was developed, tested, found to be safe and delivered into the hands of americans shortly after the commencement of the school year this year. we did lose many individuals to this illness, and for that we are -- we are sorry but i would also stress that because of the efforts of the men and women who worked at the c.d.c., the national institutes of health, all the practitioners across this country who provided information and timely vaccination, this epidemic, the effect of this epidemic was significantly blunted over what it might have been. those early telephone calls, those early conference calls in march and april of last year was nothing short of startling and alarming. we are fortunate to have the vaccine in large supply. i do urge people to avail themselves of this vaccine
before this flu season is over, and having no other speakers on this side, i'll yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. pallone: madam speaker, i have no additional speakers. i'd yield back the balance of my time. and urge passage of this resolution. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is will the house suspend the rules and agree to house resolution 1003 as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the affirmative -- mr. pallone: i'd ask for the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. all those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20 and the chair's prior announcement, further proceedings on this motion will proceedings on this motion will be postponed.
the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from washington rise? >> i move to suspend the rules and pass s. 2939, emergency aid to the american survivors of the haiti earthquake act. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title. the clerk: senate 2949 to provide authority for increased fiscal year for 2008 payment for temporary assistance to united states citizens returned from foreign countries to provide necessary funding to avoid shortfalls in the medicare program for low-income qualifying individuals and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore:
pursuant to the rule the gentleman from washington, mr. mcdermott, and the gentlewoman from florida, ms. brown-waite, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognized the gentleman from washington. mr. mcdermott: i ask unanimous consent that the gentleman from new jersey, mr. pallone, be allowed to control 10 minutes of the time for debate on this bill. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. mcdermott: i ask that all members have five elect slative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on s. 2949. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. mcdermott: madam speaker, two weeks ago, the largest earthquake in haiti wreaked havoc throughout the country. some of those affected are u.s. citizens now being evacuated back to the united states. we need tookt today to continue a program that helps the americans get back home. the repatriateuation act
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e n ans linin ica tocat tos mics, ondr cally higher for children in single parent families and in blabbling and latino households. at the same time, a recent report showed the top 1% of richest americans now holds the greatest proportion of wealth since 1928. for the wealthiest nation in the world, this is completely unacceptable and we must readjust our priorities. in fact, the way we measure poverty is outdated. the current poverty threshold is calculated by taking the cost of a minimal diet in 1955
and multiplying that number by three and then adjusting this amount for inflation. that may have made some sense when the measure was created in 1960 because the cost of food actually made up about 1/3 of a family's average expenditure. but today families only spend about 1/7 of their income on food and or current measure fails to capture the cost of basic necessary its such as clothing, utilities and shelter. what we define as poverty no longer reflects at all what it really means to be poor in this country. and using our current method of measuring poverty, we don't even consider a family of four making just $23,000 poor. there's something wrong with our formula and majority of americans agree with the higher of the threshold.
senator moynihan said you can't solve a problem until you first learn how to measure it and we're making great progress towards moving to the publication of a new measure of poverty that reflects the economic and social realities in this country. an accurate measurement is essential in determining how to best tackle this problem. if the moral cause of helping the poor doesn't serve as motivation enough to help struggling americans rise out of poverty, maybe the economic argument will. economists estimate that persistent child poverty alone costs our society an estimated $500 billion a year in loss productivity and increased spending on health care and the criminal justice system. more and more americans are slipping through the mesh of our badly tattered safety net, and we are at risk of losing an entire generation. as congress discusses pay-go
and the deficit reduction agenda, i often hear the rhetoric that we can't drive up the deficit on the back of our children. but we cannot abandon the needs of vulnerable groups with little political voice and certainly few lobbyists on k street. because the voices of the least among us are too often drowneded out, we must take opportunities like this to draw attention to the realities facing poor americans. awareness is a critical step in finding solutions to improve the well-being of those living in poverty. so let us affirm the recognition of january as poverty in america awareness month. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentlewoman from florida is recognized. ms. brown-waite: i thank the speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. brown-waite: thank you,
madam speaker. i rise today in support of house resolution 1024 which expresses support for designating january as poverty in america awareness month. as i'm sure my colleagues would agree, awareness of poverty is something that congress should never lose sight of. not for one single day. but it also should be noted that poverty can only be eliminated in this country when there are jobs available for every able bodied man and woman. i know this firsthand because i grew up in poverty and i know that the only way that my mother helped get my brother and i out of poverty was by having a great work ethic. and working her way out of poverty. the government does not create jobs. small businesses do. the american people know this even if the majority in congress does not. that is why cnn is reporting that 75% of americans polled believe that at least half of
the stimulus has been wasted. and a third of those believe that it actually has made the economy worse. in a perfect world, the president would hold a jobs summit and everybody would breathe a sigh of relief as they went off to new jobs created. but in the real world sitting around talking about jobs does not magically make them appear. in a perfect world, the money to pay for the stimulus and the endless unemployment extensions would come from the magic tree growing on the south lawn of the white house. we know that unemployment benefits are no real substitute for a paycheck. we know that the stimulus didn't work, and we know that the closest thing that the government has to a money tree is the money that it takes out of taxpayers' pockets. the bottom line is if they are serious about reducing poverty, the president and my democrat colleagues need to stop talking about jobs and start working
with republicans to support and facilitate an economy that will create them. specifically, the democrats who control the who agrees of legislation in this town, should do three things. first, they need to end their obsession with the trillion dollar takeover of health care because this single-minded approach is coming at the expense of everything else that matters to the american public. second, the tax code should be reformed to protect workers' wages, to encourage investment and entrepreneurship, to reward savings and provide the american people with the confidence and certainty about their financial future. and third, my democrat colleagues need to take a long, hard look at their failed trillion dollar stimulus plan and fix it. don't just borrow another $100 billion and there and hope that it works better this time.
raising awareness about poverty is important and i support this legislation, but before we spend too much time patting ourselves on the back for this feel-good resolution, let us get down to business in a bipartisan manner and really do the hard work of making this economy great again. with that, madam speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from florida reserves the balance of her time. mr. rangel: i ask unanimous consent that i ask to speak out of turn. i was not able to be here on the last resolution. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. rangel: i want to thank dr. mcdermott for bringing this piece of legislation on the floor to give some assistance to american citizens that found themselves in haiti during this tragedy. this comes under the social security system. i'm glad that dr. mcdermott was able to bring it to the floor. i've never been more proud of
the congress, my country and indeed citizens throughout the world for rallying to the cause of these young people. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. mcdermott: madam speaker, i yield two minutes to the lady -- the gentlelady from minnesota, ms. mccollum. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from minnesota is recognized. ms. mccollum: thank you, madam speaker. in the wealthiest country of the world, too, too many of our citizens live in poverty. and the numbers are growing. mr. mcdermott and chairman rangel, thank you for bringing this important resolution to the floor. families in minnesota and across this country are hurting. the economy may be improving on wall street, but families on main street are hurting. workers are wondering if they can survive after their unemployment insurance runs out. our neighbors are jobs are
facing hours being cut, facing pay cuts and they are in fear of also losing their job. and the housing crisis has turned families from their home and the homeless shelters are full. access to basic health care and putting food on the table are now a struggle for far too many americans. and more families are falling below the poverty line, and they need our help. in 2008, one in eight residents of minnesota's fourth congressional district, which i represent, were living in poverty. over 68,000 men, women and children and seniors. the number is certainly growing with the economic recession. and that means children are going hungry, parents lack quality daycare and reliable transportation to get a job, seniors struggle to pay rent and, yes, many illnesses are left unattended. yesterday i visited a headstart
site in st. paul. the staff members there are worried about the food and security for their children in their classroom and it's unacceptable that america's children will go hungry. the role of the federal government is to keep our country safe and to provide opportunity for people to improve their lives. we have much work to do. but because of democrats in congress, passing the recovery act, an estimated 61 -- excuse me -- an estimated 60.1 million americans did not fall below the poverty line. may i have another minute? mr. mcdermott: madam speaker, i yield another minute to the gentlelady. ms. mccollum: rr an estimated 6.1 million americans didn't fall into poverty. they escaped poverty. including 66,000 minnesotans. i urge my colleagues to support this resolution because if we're going to defeat poverty
and create jobs and economic opportunity for all americans, we need to reach out to get to know those americans who need our help the most, those in poverty. i thank the gentleman and i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time. the gentlewoman from florida is recognized. ms. brown-waite: madam speaker, in closing, i want to reiterate that there is still much more to be done and undone to breathe new life into this economy. the democrats showed americans that if their stimulus passed unemployment would stay below 8% and million americans would continue receiving paychecks. instead, the stimulus passed and a record 12 million americans are now collecting unemployment checks. as predicted, that is triggering massive state tax hikes that will continue for years to come. frankly, madam speaker, that is why the stimulus isn't working. every dollar spent by government is a dollar that
first must be taken out of the economy. that dollar of government spending is a dollar that a business owner can use to hire a new worker, and it's a dollar that a mother can use to feed her child. my colleagues will say that this is what the stimulus was supposed to do, but what they won't tell you is that the government wastes 50 cents collecting that dollar and fumble around trying to put it back into the economy. as part of our awareness of poverty, let us also be aware of that. and with that i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back the balance of her time. the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. mcdermott: madam speaker, i urge the adoption of the resolution and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is will the house suspend the rules and agree to house resolution 1024. all those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the
affirmative, the rules are suspended and the resolution is -- mr. mcdermott: madam speaker, i ask for the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. all all those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20 and the chair's prior announcement, further proceedings on this motion will be postponed. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the chair declares the house in recess until approximately 6:30 p.m. today.
command and currently commander of the joint task force unified response. general keane, thank you for any opening remarks you'd like to make, then we'll start the questions. >> ok, thank you very much. good morning, ladies and gentlemen, and thank you for the opportunity to join you today and update you on the efforts under way by the international community here in haiti. i know you join me in extending our condolences to the haitian people, our hearts and prayers continue to be with haiti's citizens in this tragic time. all of us here in haiti and across the globe partners in this recovery effort share an uncommon passion and commitment to do all we can to help the government of haiti and the haitian people recover from this tragedy. we are employeing all resources as fast as we can and we continue to make progress here every day. every day is better than the previous day and i expect tomorrow to be better than today. we are working in partnership
with the united nations and the international community. we are enjoying incredible teamwork with and for all contributing partners and the people of haiti. early on the morning of 24 january, we operated a joint food distribution point. this was done in conjunction with the brazilian battalion assigned to the united nations. the city was and still is in dire need of relief. it was one of the toughest neighborhoods in this city for years. our soldiers assigned to the 82nd airborne division handed out every over 18,400 meals ready to eat and over 19,700 bottles of water, all in a six-hour period to a peaceful yet anxious crowd. other developments include the 227b marine expeditionary unit from camp la june, continues its operations west of port-au-prince in places like
petees garab and others that were last week were in dire need of support. it is estimated that 10,000 people in these areas have been killed and 400,000 have been displaced. i was there yesterday visiting our marines and -- who are working jointly with the sleelan can soldiers supporting the united states international development and other international organizations so much-need red leaf supplies are provided to these areas. the 82nd airborne division is now over 3,000 strong. the hospital ship, the united states naval ship comfort, is here offshore providing fantastic medical support. today the comfort has take on on board 387 patients. it's important to note that all of the haitian patients were screened and selected by the
haitian minister of health. 101 surgeries have been performed aboard the hospital ship. the pharmacy onboard this amazing floating hospital has filled over 11,800 prescriptions. history was made on board the comfort when her staff delivered its first baby. the 24th marine expeditionary unit arrived last saturday and immediately went into operation off the coast. we currently have over 4,700 boots on the ground and other 10,700 afloat for an aggregate strength of over 15 4rks00 soldier, say loffers, airmen, marines and coast guard. our airmen number 550 and continue to run the airport operations controlling both helicopters and airplanes. over the last 24 hours they landed other 200 aircraft. our navy and coast guard have 20 ships operating off the coast of haiti in support of
relief operations. as of this morning in support of humanitarian assistance efforts, we have delivered over 1.1 million bottles of water and one million m.r.e.'s to the people of haiti since this started. that's only what the joint task force has delivered. the security system here remains relatively calm. distribution points remain relatively orderly throughout our efforts both here in the city and in outlying areas. we have had extremely positive feedback from all those we reach out and touch. the united nations security forces don't address the emerging security requirements with great agility and responsiveness. the brazilian command for the charge of the 14-nation united nations forces here is aggressively employing his forces to maintain the secure environment that enables us to continue our primary focus on
hue minnesotatarian aid distribution. medical relief capacity has grown since last week with the arrival of several international field hospitals and surgical teams. currently, portable hospitals from nine nations, including the united states are involved in medical support. these countries are argentina, israel, russia, portugal, turkey, colombia, france and brazil. we have doctors working in these hospitals from around the to include mexico and japan. thank you very much. at this time i'll take any of your questions. >> this is ann with associated press. you said in the past that troops will stay as long as they're needed but how long do you think that that might be and have you started to plan for the inevitable redeployment of these troops? >> ok thank you for the question. our response here, both from particularly from the united
states military is in reaction to the emergency need to save lives and focused on humanitarian assistance. we are working with the united states agency for international development and the international community -- [airplane flying over] as they build up their capacity to provide that much-needed assistance, the need for our military resources is decreased. we are talking to them as they build the capacity to do just that. obviously along with usaid, united nations and other nongovernment organizations such as the rural food program as they look at building their capacity to deliver much-needed humanitarian aid we will be able to scale back our assistance but right now, our focus is on providing this emergency relief that is so desperately needed. >> hi, general, this is
courtney from nbc news, yesterday at a conference in montreal, the haitian representative said that it would take five to 10 years before haiti could be rebuilt to the -- to where it was before the earthquake so just to be clear you don't see an actual u.s. military presence there for that five to 10 years, you think that would be more n.g.o.'s and state department organization? >> i think it has been said that the government of haiti, in conjunction with the international community, is developing a recovery plan, reconstruction plan that will take, as you mentioned, a number of years. but i think as the -- our role here is providing this immediate need for emergency assistance and supporting usaid as they go forward and develop that plan and transitioning these tasks we are currently doing over to them.
we are fall focused on that. we have to see as we develop the situation and as they build their capacity. we are already seeing much of that capacity being looked at, whether it be in the area of delivering water or even in the area of medical assistance. for example, hospital that we are looking at building and creating in order to address the medical needs is a 5,000-bed hospital that is needed desperately to take patients off of the comfort and from other hospitals for post-surgical care. they're not -- in order to allow hospitals that are currently addressing the needs to treat these critical care patients we need a place to put those that need care before they're obviously released. we need to build that capacity. we are working with n.g.o.'s, within the united nations to staff that hospital and we can
enable that process by helping them get it started but it's across the board, whether it's delivery of food, delivery of water, building medical and international community build up their capability and build up these plan the requirements for not just the united states military but other military such as canada, france, and other whors here providing much-needed assistance will no longer be needed. >> you also, when you mentioned the number of u.s. forces afloat and ashore, it seems like the numbers are lower than the briefing we had with general frazier last week indicated. we were told it would be closer to about 20,000 by the end of the weekend. can you explain, where is the discrepancy there? it seems to be about 5,000 fewer troops now, u.s. troops, than we anticipated. >> we still have troops coming.
for support, we have the third expeditionary sustainment command of the u.s. army coming here. they have less than 10% of their forces on the ground here right now but it's growing rapidly. we expect over the next 48 hours to 72 hours to see upwards of over 20 companies from the sustainment area arriving with much-needed equipment and that's the logistical pieces being put in place. our capability on the ground is still growing as we are able to continue to do what we're doing. we will see the number of troops rise and fall based upon the conditions on the ground and as we determine what capabilities that we no longer need or capabilities that we need that may -- that maybe were not initially forecasted. but we are remaining flexible and agile to work with the
inter2345rb8 community for who can provide a what critical needs to continue to provide much-needed relief to the people of haiti. >> general, you have mentioned a 5,000-bed hospital is needed to start transferring patient office the comfort, how long will it take to build this hospital? >> that's a very good question. we are looking at that, we are anticipating to at least get the seeds of that hospital up within the next week or so, but that will begin small and grow from there. we are hoping to be able to at least start with a 250-man centerpiece of that and we have the equipment that is either has arrived within the last 12 to 24 hours or will be arriving shortly. again, the manning of that hospital, we are turn to n.g.o.'s and they are responding in terms of being
able to manage the hospital and staff the hospital. we are enabling that by working with the international community to procure all the things you can imagine you need to build a hospital of that magnitude. we have our best surgeons and medical personnel looking at this, again, planning it along with the minister of health and united nations, the government immediately gave us access to a large piece of the land that could be used effectively to not just take patients off the comfort but that is a principle source of patients that we want to do because obviously the capability of the comfort we want to continue to see a flow of patients that need that critical care that the comfort offers and then take patients off of her that do not need that any longer in order to maximize the utility of the comfort but also from these other hospitals that i mentioned that have patients that could be cared for before
they're released, that's what this particular hospital would provide us. so to get to 5,000-bed capacity, i don't have the analysis yet provided by everyone determine that, nor all the resources. but i expect to see the seeds of that hospital up and operating within the next several weeks. >> a quick followup, southcome is saying there are -- southcom is saying there are about 13,000 troops afloat, when you gave your number this is morning, were you including the 24th? >> yes, my numbers, again, are including the 24th, if there are differences between my numbers and theirs, i'll take that back. it could be based on the
reporting dates we report numbers. we track things very closely but we have cutoff times each day for certain numbers so the discrepancy could be based upon when we selected our data. but yes, my numbers certainly include the 24th. >> general, this is al passen from voice of america, going in, were you concerned about the impact of sending in so many armed troops with all their vehicles and camouflage uniforms and so on? was there any actual impact of that or what steps did you take to ameliorate what could be the impact of that and to what do you attribute the relative lack of violence of any kind, especially in those conditions with still scarce resources being distributed? >> well, i attribute the lack of
violence, as i mention ed of, one, to the great resilience of the haitian people, their patience, and understanding that the world is coming to help them. at the same time i also certainly give credit to general pa show theow and all the 17 nations that make up the united nations. they have been out there every day and you have to remember, when this earthquake hit, it struck everyone and it struck the united nations headquarters and the general's staff as well and he lost a number of soldiers. but they immediately went into action. i met with his deputy commander within hours after first light after the earthquake and he had troops out doing patrolling. obviously they were trying to account for their personnel like everyone else. but he has done everything i think that is necessary to ensure that we have a safe and secure environment which enables
all of us, all the nations who have military here, as well as n.g.o.'s, to go about and do their best job we can to focus on providing humanitarian assistance. with respect to your question about concern for the presence of our military earnel, all i can say is, we have been welcomed with open arms wherever we go. every day i go out and visit our soldiers, sailors, airmen, marines, i walk among the haitians and they are very welcoming. we have had no security ins dents with our -- incidents with our particular forces. we take great precaution and we have translators down to platoon level, if at all possible, and in most cases we have sufficient translators to get to platoon level if not lower, both french and creole, so that we can communicate effectively with the civic leaders, explain to them what we're doing so they
understand what we're there for and what we're trying to accomplish. in many cases it is the civic leaders who are organizing the distribution point and we're simply enabling the n.g.o.'s and civic leaders to provide this. so it's a partnership and really going about doing our job and as we go around the city and we travel in our humvees and other vehicles, we do it as cautiously as possible and as least intrusive as possible. but obviously with the mission in mind. obviously helicopters, helicopter operations have to be of great concern, where we're operating, to ensure the safety of not only our crew but certainly the people on the ground. and that is a key component about where we land the helicopters, ensuring that it's safe and doesn't provide a disturbance on the ground and explaining to the people. so those are the type of measures that we're taking here.
>> general, the mike with cnn. just returning to the hospital question again, i just wanted to be clear, who is actually going to build that hospital? is that a u.s. military project? and if so -- or was that kind of a contractor project? and if so, where's the money coming from there? and also, how long do you anticipate the comfort, the nasa and the baton to be there taking patients as you start this hospital project? >> well, your second question first. we're going to be here as long as we're needed and i go back to how long we're going to be needed is based upon how soon we're able to build up the capacity of the united nations, usaid capability to get means in here to take care of the medical needs of the pop us will, water, food, those types of thix --
things. plans are in place to put mechanisms to sustain providing water, food, and medical assistance. obviously, to get those things in place. with respect to your second question -- or first question on the hospital, this is truly a joint venture. obviously we're taking the lead of the minister of health who has been very he aggressive in working with us and the united nations again, working alongside the united nations, a medical cluster that really determines the needs and requirements along with the government of haiti. we have some capabilities such as a corps of a hospital capability being principally equipment we can put on the ground to start the seed of that and then working with the united nations and usaid to contract to build the structures that are
needed to actually build the hospital. so we are very much in -- an advisory, an assist role in that, providing what we can to get it started. we're talking, along with the united nations, in the medical clusters, to get volunteer n.g.o.'s to have access to doctors. week of already -- i've met with several that are very anxious to provide the management and the core of the medical staff because all of them recognize that having this capability is essential to normalizing as best that you can normalize the medical situation. so it very much is a team effort and we're taking the direction of the minister of health along with the united nations medical leads. >> there seems to be a disparity between some neighborhoods having access to food and water and others that don't. i'm assuming that those that
don't are the ones being prioritized right now. how do you transition to a more formal and food and water delivery? has more consideration been given to field kitchens in those neighborhoods and how soon do you anticipate a transition like that? >> thank you for that question, because i think that is key to sustaining what is desperately needed and that is the basic needs of the people. i talk about food because that on very aggressively with the world food program. a number of days ago, along with the director of the world food program, came here and we met with the united nations and we worked together with all of the planners both from the united nations, the government, the minister of agriculture, world food program and laid out the elements of a plan particularly
for port-au-prince with the significance of the number of people who have to be fed here, what would be a plan that would be sufficient to do that. basically in concert with the government of haiti, they've selected 15 distribution points throughout the city. and they have obviously experienced all around the world in doing this, so we're simply enabling this to happen by delivering supplies and working alongside the united nations forces because we will be running these distribution points with them because most of them will be joint. 12 of the 15 sites will be jointly secured and run with u.s. military alongside the united nations military. and the other three will be run strictly by the united nations forces. but each of these sites are set up to feed 15,000 people a day. it will take over one million
rations a day to sustain these 15 distribution points. we need to have up to -- over five million rations ready to go in order to kick this off and basically what we're doing, and i think the director of the world food program has laid this out in previous discussions, is, we're flooding the city with food. i mean, food is being delivered right now. but the being delivered pretty much in terms of where we can get to and where we can distribute. it's not being -- there's no distribution points that are set up that are being sustained where every day a family member can depend upon a particular location providing food and water. so these 15 points will be set up, every day we'll feed 15,000 people. if a family member, it will be a female family member comes in, she will get sufficient supplies family to last two weeks. and therefore if you do the math
and calculate it, as they come through over two weeks, you're able to sustain and feed those that are in need within the port-au-prince area. and so we need to sustain that. that's sort of the -- that phase of it. the next phase, the world food program, working with usaid and other n.g.o.'s is to move to, how do you get off of the m.r.e.'s or the humanitarian rations and get them on dry food or set up some type of sustainable kitchen? so that is being looked at as well. how do you move beyond this for sustainable mechanism and plan to feed the population? we're also working with them to look at other areas outside port-au-prince that are affected that need the same service. you can take the same thing, each boarder is a little bit different but -- each water is a little bit different but water is a basic necessity and just
sanitation issues. so the united nations cluster, whether it be the food cluster or the medical cluster or the water and sanitation clusters, all are working feverishly hard to put in place these long-term sustainers. as those come up and operate and we're able to turn over the operation of those to n.g.o.'s who build the capacity to transport the food, etc., that's when our forces will no longer be needed and we can look at where we go from there. >> general, it's courtney from nbc again. one more follow-up on this hospital. i'm a little unclear about -- have you determined where the going to be and then did you was paying for it exactly? is it u.n. money or -- >> i'm sorry, i'm not sure i
heard your question correctly. if i understood it, who determined the location of these distribution points and the answer so that is -- to that is the government of haiti in the form of their minister of agriculture in concert with the world food program and they have , based upon their experiences in other locations, they picked those based upon where the population densities are at. >> thank you for that. i have one other question actually about the hospital. where is that going to be located? have you determined that yet? and also, who is paying ultimately? i think mike asked you earlier but i'm not quite clear on that. >> the hospital, the location of the hospital was picked based upon proximity to where the comfort is. we needed it in fairly close proximity to the shore but we also need it in a location where we had obviously access through
a road network. so -- and enough land to put it up. so location has been selected in concert with the government, is approximately 10 miles north of city solai if you're familiar with the area around port-au-prince. as far as the paying of the cost of the hospital, that is being done, i believe, in concert with the united nations, but don't quote me on that. quite frankly i have not been in discussions to the detail to determine where all the costs of the hospital, but each nation, for example, we're providing a piece of that that's coming with our normal deployment of assistance, so we're bearing the cost of getting this thing up in terms of putting some equipment in there to get it started and obviously all the things that we
support. but the overall cost of operating the hospital, i think, is being looked at, obviously between the united nations and through the various donor countries that are providing assistance here. >> all right, general, thank you. i know that you're pressed for time. you have lots on your plate. if you'd like to make any closer remarks i'd sent it -- send it back to you. >> ok. well, thank you very much. i think it goes without saying, but the haitians are really, my interaction with them, the most resilient people i've ever seen. as a nation they have endured much in the past and with the international interagency team support we have here we're providing an invitation this nation will endure. this is a creole saying and roughly paraphrased it goes something like this, the hands of many make the wait not so heavy -- weight not so heavy.
here in haiti we are joined with an incredible dedicated team of teams, with many hands committed to help haiti to lift the haitian people out of this tragedy. this cannot be done by any one nation and it cannot be done without the dedication and commitment of a lot of volunteers around the world, the international organizations that do this, as well as the nongovernment organizations. it's truly -- as truly we seek to have a unity of effort in everything that we do. the joint task force haiti has created a facebook fan page, i welcome all of you to join that fan pages and we will seek to keep you informed of what we're doing here. please join us, we'll provide the latest updates and photos of the operation and thank you very much for having me this morning. >> thank you, general.
[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] >> the u.s. house returns for legislate of work today. they debated eight bills this afternoon, including one to provide funds for u.s. citizens caught in the haiti earthquake. members meet at 6:0 eastern to vote on several of those bills. live coverage here on c-span. >> live this february on in depth, book tv welcomes british historian and former advisor to margaret thatcher, paul johnson, author of over 40 books. his latest on winston churchill. join our three-hour conversation live from london with your phone calls for paul johnson, sunday, book tv's in depth on c-span 2. >> representatives of more than a dozen countries and the
european union are meeting in montreal to coordinate aid efforts for haiti. haitian fofingses -- officials are expected to ask for $3 billion. the prime ministers of canada and haiti spoke for about 20 minutes. this is courtesy of canada's cable public affairs channel. >> now i have the honor to present to you the prime minister of canada, the right honorable steven harper. >> thank you. ladies and gentlemen, before we start, first i'd like to sincerely thank each and every one of you. each and every one of you for taking the time. despite your very heavy schedule, you've taken the time to be here today. by being here today do credit to the great nations you represent to the great organizations you represent and of course reflects the great priority that all citizens of the world place on
the challenge before us. i'd also like to welcome the prime minister of haiti and so, mr. prime minister, i have to say to you once again, that on behalf of the cabinet of canada, i have to offer my most sincere sympathy to you and to everyone in haiti. our thoughts and our prayers, the prayers of all canadians, are with our brothers and sisters in haiti. the entire world has been moved by the scenes of devastation in haiti. instant and utter the destruction wrought by the earthquake in this already fragile country is truly heartwrenching. like canada, countries throughout the hemisphere and around the world have responded swiftly and generously. thanks to decisive international action, medical humanitarian and
search and rescue support is pouring into the country. private citizens are also contributing greatly. and canadians showing compassion and generosity. they're moved by the suffering of the people of haiti. a number of people have really opened up their hearts and have made many generous gifts, many generous donations in order to make their contribution to the humanitarian effort. to the kindness and compassion that unites humanity in the face of catastrophe. the difficulty we face then is not one of concern, but rather one of coordination. we must work to ensure that every resource committed, every relief worker, every vehicle, every dollar is used as effectively as possible.
canada, as a world leader, takes its role very seriously. particularly with respect to the responsibilities in the western hemisphere. this special responsibility canada shares is one reason why we convened this meeting, to better harmonize international efforts in haiti. in order to do the greatest amount of good, we must work together. as we continue to focus on fast and effective humanitarian assistance, we must at the same time begin to look at the longer term challenge of reconstruction. this meeting is a crucial first step in that direction. the international community must be prepared for a sustained significant effort in haiti, relying on the leadership of the government of haiti and in line with its priorities. it is canada's hope that this meeting will set the stage for a
broad international conference on reconstruction that will mobilize the will and resources of all of haiti's partners. today's conference will allow us to agree on the principles that should guide our approach on haiti's reconstruction. let me just highlight a few of these principles. one, sustainability is key. we need to commit to haiti for the long-term. -- long term. i'm not exaggerating when i say that 10 years of hard work, at least 10 years of hard work, is what we'll have to do in haiti. two, we need to focus on effectiveness, the haitian people deserve it and our own taxpayers expect it. three, we must hold ourselves and each other accountable for the commitments that we make.
i'd like to see emerge from this meeting the beginnings of a plan that will guide reconstruction in haiti in a way that is effective, coordinated and strategic for the decade to come. the task which 'waits us is considerable but our determination to give hope to our haitian friends, member of the large community of nations, is even greater. more than ever we must all be united in order to help haiti and i'm convinced, ladies and gentlemen, that together we will succeed in making the -- meeting the challenge. thank you. >> thank you, prime minister. now i would call on the prime minister of haiti to give us his vision of the future of his country. prime minister. >> thank you, mr. cannon.
prime minister harper. i will take the opportunity to thank you, to thank all those who came here today to show their support for haiti, who came as friends, to listen to what we want to do over the next few years. ladies and gentlemen, i would like to pass on to you the thanks of a country that is a martyr, that is ruined but is still standing. our government has been deeply affected but the government is working with the population especially to build bridges toward a better country. on january 12, 2012, it was the worst moment in our history. there were sacrifices made by an entire people with the help of the international community we're start to get us from the dark tunnel because of the hurricanes. it was a day that will remain indellably in the memory of a nation that was trying to get
out of misery to greatness. we must admit that our geologists had predicted that an earthquake was possible, but we had social problems, we're fighting poverty and we didn't have the time to take measures to limit the damage of such a catastrophe. the government, like everyone, the building centers were flattened and some people survived miraculously. the people who worked with us died under a cloud of dust. quickly we realized shortly afterwards that we didn't have any houses, we had no documents, no archives. we went on foot to see the city, the capital was in the abyss of human suffering. quickly communications were paralyzed in spite of everything we found the necessary energy to help a few people.
now that's a description of what our government experienced during that period, but i would like to point out that -- i would like to focus on the fact that the main here o'on january 12 was the haitian -- hero on january 12 was the hue shan -- haitian people. they showed compassion. immediately they started helping their sworn difficulty. thousands of people started working immediately to try to get the unknown people or those they hold dear, to get them out of -- to bring them that hospital, a great deal of solidarity was shown, that is the strength of our nation, it's this resilience and this strength, whatever the plan we agree upon, whatever the vision that the government could propose, it's on this strength, this resilience, that we can build the future of haiti. nonetheless, once again, on
behalf of the president and the haitian population, i'd like to thank all the actors who are getting involved and are still involved today in haiti. we need your help, urgently, we need your help today, we needed your help yesterday. people claim that this period of emergency is over but it's not the case. this emergency period will last for a long time. we'll have to talk about reconstruction. today i just received a call from the french president and we told them that we need 200,000 tents. the call came from the president of haiti, but we must find urgently some tents. people are living in the street. to talk about reconstruction means that we must have the capacity to meet the primary
needs of the population. today they're living in the reconstruction means that we can understand the territory where we interact. many people have left the capital towards the provinces. yesterday i visited centers here. there are many people, people from our nationalities, they went to the united nations, to canada, to other countries. we must understand the territory we're referring to. many people went to the provinces. they traveled, encouraged by the government. we felt that it was good to encourage this initiative. the territory has changed and the population movement has changed and the needs have changed and rebuilding port-au-prince means we have to reassess the entire country and the needs of the entire country. it also involves job creation on
the entire territory. 400,000 families, that's our assessment, are in the street. they have to be housed. in centers they need various services, health services, and quickly they must be able to send their children back to school and quickly we'll have to find the means to find work for them. 400,000 families for which there's no hope left. on coming to this conference, on behalf of the government to talk about reconstruction and i must be able to tell those families what tomorrow holds for them. it's not clear yet for us. many, many things happened in haiti, coordination is crucial to solve the problems, but for the past two or three days things are going much better. there are many improvements in
haiti. we're getting aid, it's reaching the population and not totally satisfyly but it's acceptable and we're starting to better identify all the problems that could prevent the normalization of the situation for the lives of the people who are still in the street. there are still priorities. here they are. more hospitals in the areas affected, rehouse the homeless, as i said, distribute central products to at least three million people over the next three months and repair the health centers that are still operating, we must under that many hospitals have been installed but today they're full, full of people who are ill. they could leave the hospital today but they have no house. they have no housing and they're afraid that in their house they wouldn't get medication and
care. there are no specific way to respond to these needs for amp tees, there's no orthpeet -- amputees, there's no orthopedic equipment. that is still an emergency which is ongoing. it's difficult to talk only about re-reconstruction if we don't take this emergency into account. we also have to have mechanisms to prevent epidemics. if we can't move people out of the street we're running the risk, a greater risk, with the arrival of the ray bee season. i could continue -- rainy season. i could continue talking about an endless risk of emergencies and they need to be managed with the reconstruction plan -- plan. so on behalf of the haitian government, that's what i'm asking of you today. to accompany us, to stabilize the emergency situation, we're
out of the emergency phase and now we're in the humanitarian phase in order to seriously reflect about the reconstruction. it is clear that you cannot rebuild the houses that were destroyed in a mechanical way. we have to certify the house, we have to understand the space, we have to displace populations. this will require a lot of support and technical assistance from all our partners. that's the first thing that i'm asking of you on behalf of the government. this technical assistance so we can once again have a more cohesive approach and take owner ofship of our space -- ownership of our space. the second thing i ask of you is understanding with us. but i have won that battle. to ask for you to understand that this operation will take months and many years.
to get back to point zero, to where we were in january, 2010, according to our first assessments, will will -- it will take four or five years to get fwook a situation which is not acceptable, according to all. so from the point of view of the government, we are convinced that without cynicism there is an enormous opportunity for our partners. hundreds of thousands of haitians have died, made the sacrifice involuntarily, and the government and myself particularly as prime minister, i'm trying to take into account this cooperation that's been happening for 20, 30 years, why so many efforts, so much goodwill, did not lead to the development of haiti. that has to be considered as well. everyone's talking about coordination, but where's the blockage? why is there no coordination?
of course we heard many n.g.o.'s and associations talk. from the funding organizations and i have thought about this and i've come to three conclusions. first of all, the government structures as they are today cannot meet this emergency that exists today in haiti. so, we are in the process of doing this, myself and the president and other, we're thinking about structures which would allow us to better coordinate our action with our partners. and we're creating crisis committees that can better correspondent to the instruction that will be set up -- core spent to the construction in haiti. the second conclusion we have come to is the excessive centralization. in 30 seconds, haiti lost about 60% of its g.d.p.
because all our resources are concentrated in and around the national palas. we have to be centralized -- palace. we have to be centralized, the only way to be efficient, the only way to avoid the same problem in the future. finally human resources. i spent an evening last night with the haitian community and i told the haitians that i have no alternative. we have to act immediately through the government. servants, senior civil servants, many people are traumatized, they're afraid, they're leaving the country. i have no alternative. they have to be involved in haiti. they have to be engaged. we need to have better governance, we need to decentralize, compulsory
decentralization and participation engagement of the desupporta. i think this will allow us to think about our reconstruction that would be much stronger, that can guarantee that private investment will start happening in haiti. haiti will not be renewed if investors have not come to haiti. they must feel that they can invest without risk. the media asked me questions about the oasis of the sea -- when i came to canada i flew over this boat, 6,000, 7,000 who were on the beach. i was very comforted. haiti is still alive, haiti has opportunities. i know that many people felt that it was unfortunate that these people were on the beach. i think it's positive. those people who work, they continue getting their salary. we have to show that haiti is still a land of opportunity. so i thank you all. thank you for being present here
today. it demonstrates the will of the international company, to accompany haiti, not only in its misfortune, but -- the first earthquake happened 12 days ago, all the haitian people showed volume daret, and i want to address the gratitude of the president of the republic, the government, the haitian people, for this generalized solidarity around the world. and i hope it will not simply be a flash of the pan. haiti needs support from the international community for some time. its nation, its governmental structures, haiti still needs his brothers and sisters abroad. please continue helping us. thank you.
[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] >> the house will gavel back in at 6:30 eastern. one of the votes was a measure to provide funds for u.s. citizens caught in the haiti earthquake. live coverage when the house returns here on c-span. >> wednesday, president obama delivers his first state of the union address to congress. laying out his vision for the future of the country and his plan to deal with issues such as unemployment, health care, the wars in iraq and afghanistan. the state of the union address, wednesday night, our coverage starts at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. you can also listen to the president's address live on your iphone with the c-span radio app. in the nation's capital and across the country, listen to c-span radio. in washington at 90.1 f.m. and on x.m. satellite radio channel
132. also a free app for your iphone. c-span radio, covering washington like no other. >> annual car shows are traveling through the country right now displaying the latest from u.s. car makers. this morning "washington journal" talked with executives from several companies. we begin with a look at general motors. it's about a half hour. campbell, the chevrolet general manager for the general motors company. we awoke to this headline from the gm chief, "i like the people so much of insane." what did this mean to the company? -- i am staying." guest: we are thrilled that he decided to stay. he has a proven track record, he knows how to win, he is
decisive, and that is what we need right angle. host: as you sit there at the auto show, what is your sense what the white house can do to help these companies hire employees? guest: i think anything that can be done to improve the stability of the economy, stability in the economic landscape is exactly what we need. today, we will be revealing some of our small compact and trees -- and trees -- entries. we need an improved economy, and anything that can be done from washington to help that is
appreciated. host: 6300 people employed here in the u.s. our guest is jim campbell. let us be more specific, before we go to calls, about the white house and congress. general motors has received $50 billion from the government. what is the status of that money? guest: there are two parts of the story. first of all, we are very appreciative to the taxpayer for helping us out. we are going to work hard to pay those back. what ed whitaker announced was
comply june we will pay back the initial set of loans. then we will be working hard this year to continued to gain momentum with the company so we can prepare for an ipo. that will be the next key step in the process in order to enable the taxpayer, treasury, to check with ties the investment in the new company that was established on july 10. so two parts. we are going to pay back by june and then work on the ipo so that we can exercise the investment. -- equitize the investment. host: first phone call. caller:, many investment are you
going to have this year? how many plant are going to reopen, and how many of those people are going to come back? my husband is a gm retiree. he gets $700 a month. could you live on that? host: a couple of questions. first, the reopening of plants. guest: thank you. we announced that we will be starting to build one of our smaller cars at a lake or in -- lake orion. we will also be building another vehicle in lordstown, ohio.
that will be good as we prepare for that. those are a couple of examples where we are creating guns. -- jobs. when it comes to our investments in the electric vehicle category, we have a battery facility that we opened up in the past year. we had the first battery pack, off the line recently -- come off the line recently. host: we read about one of your competitors, ford motors, talking about hiring, but at lower wages. is that something that is on the table for you? guest: the economy is getting better, although it is not as
robust as it once. inventory write-down is that the cleanest level it has been in history. the good news is, we will be looking to add overtime, in some cases, a third shift, and even more as the economy improves. the economy is starting to show some strength but there is a way to cope. it is all about delivering great products to the market. host: gary on the independent line. caller: good morning. thank you for c-span. it seems strange listening to you. i heard they were contemplating a hydrogen sell in the volt.
i am also wondering why they also owned an amazing nickel- hydride battery that one of their plants and they sold 63% share of that company. that was supposed to go into the ev1 that you destroyed in 2005. then you sold 50% staken,daár@ á i'll take your answers off the air. guest: at chevrolet we basically have an approach that's called gas friendly to gas free. it's five propulsion technologies that beer investing in and pursuing. the first is improvement in the engine efficiency and the entire power train. we have vehicles had that will
have a tushow charged four cylinder high efficiency model, 40 miles a gallon. second is basically, you know, investment in technologies around the biofuels are going to introduce some vehicles to run on bio-diesel. we also will be making future investments in hybrids. you mentioned hydrogen fuel cells. we have a fleet of vehicles that we are testing right now. this is technology that we are continuing to develop. the fifth area, around the electra vehicle -- the chevy volt -- it will allow you to drive up to 40 miles without gasoline. 80% of americans commute less than 40 miles per day, so i think a lot of people will like
that. so that is our range. gas-friendly to gas-free. in terms of the example that you talked about, we have partnerships across the country that help us invest in technology, so that is a common practice in the industry, to bring key partners into the process along the way. we are going to be running a lithium battery. host: remind us about the current price of the automobile? guest: we have not priced it yet. that is one of my jobs as the general manager. the attributes of the vehicle are terrific, so we will take a
look at or the competitive landscape is and make sure we have a competitive price on the vehicle. it is an electric vehicle which has some of short narrow -- extraordinary capabilities. when the battery is depleted and you do not have time to recharge it, there is a backup power available that will allow you to drive up to 350 miles. host: john from oregon. democratic line. caller: i am glad that you're looking forward, but part of the bailout package was that retirees would lose their benefits. and what are you going to do to commit those obligations that were made in the past? guest: this past year has been an unbelievable challenge for
the industry. what happened in the global economic crisis impacted a lot of companies, including gm. reorganizing the company was difficult. many stakeholders felt the pain along the way. dealers, suppliers, a key partners. we are very lucky to have a second chance. it is our job to deliver great products to the market. everyone would love to own and put on and come back in the business, so we can give the american taxpayers and the ability to equitize the investment. i have a lot of friends and other business partners involved in this, and it is not hard, but we will work hard to regain the
trust of the american consumer. host: we are with the chevrolet general manager, responsible for the brand in north america. derrick from jackson, alabama. on the democratic line. caller: a few months ago, i read you had 63,000 employees in the u.s., thousand overseas. one not bring back some of those jobs? guest: chevrolet is a global brand. about 60% of our volume is outside the u.s. it is not unlike other companies with a global footprint. market opportunities are
obviously large in north america, but there is a lot of growth potential in markets around the world. asia, latin america, for example. as i mentioned earlier, we will be building the aveo in michigan, the cruise- -- a compact car -- in ohio. we will be making some announcements later today as it relates to the other promoters that we will be designing and building within the company. host: back to policymaking. how do decisions in washington impacter competitiveness worldwide? guest: i would say the bottom
line comes down to our responsibility to be -- to make vehicles that stand up to fuel economy. the mission is small cars, compact cars, crossovers. that is something that we are working hard on. we have some large trucks but we also have a category of small cars like the cruise, equinox. we are going to be making investments to meet those fuel economy standards coming at us. we will leverage our global footprint to bring the best technologies to make our vehicles the most efficient. host: what do you think in terms of the government subsidizing the consumer to get these newer
cars? what do you think should be happening? guest: we are fortunate in north america to have relatively low fuel prices compared to the rest of the world. the bottom line is, the price has gone up and down. what we have to do is be ready so that if the economy gets better, we can go along with that. that is why we are making investments in the vehicles like the spark, aveo. those are cars that are very gas-friendly. if we encounter higher fuel prices in the future, which we believe we will, we will be ready with our product offering. host: wendy from new jersey.
caller: basically, my question was entered. your governor has been so involved in michigan, standing up and saying we need help. how much at this impact in your company? my second question is, in looking in politics, and in general, does this impact decision shoemaker on a day to day basis? guest: the governor has been very vocal, active, looking for ways to get investment in the state. the battery plant in brown's town is an example of that.
the good news is, we are making progress in making investments in the u.s., especially when it comes to green technologies, lithium-ion batteries. we are going to be producing that in michigan. in terms of the government's role in the company, there are a lot of meetings from product meetings to advertise in meetings to dealer meetings. there have never been government official telling us what to do, what not to do, but we have to deliver great products to the market to meet the forward fuel standards. host: name mentioned politics. does that make you think one way
or another on a day-to-day basis? guest: we need to be astute to what is happening, but my focus every day, along with my team, is to design, build, and engineer the best cars weekend. i have a passion for chevrolet. we have a real opportunity to grow the business in 2010 and beyond we do need to be astute to what is happening politically, for sure. host: you took bailout money. jim campbell, before we get back to the phone calls, what do you think government can do to stay out of the way, for a lack of better terms, from your industry? guest: first of all, we are
grateful that we are getting a second chance. we have an immense responsibility to deliver great results. our focus will be on getting great momentum for an ipo so that we can equitize the investment. in terms of what else the government can do, things to help the economy improved. we are forecasting the industry to be about 11.5 million units. if we can go north of that, that will be positive, not only for our country, but also in terms of employment across the country. the other thing i would mention is, last year credit was tight. credit is better now. the banking system is better, but there is still a ways to go, but that is a second area where we would like to see support of
the industry. host: democrat caller from texas. caller: thank you for c-span. why is it so hard to produce cars with higher gas mileage? even today, we build trucks that gets 17 mpg. this is ridiculous. why are we moving into high bridge when we cannot even produce a car that gets 50 miles per gallon? guest: thank you for the question. our strategy is to build those technologies that are gas- friendly to cast-free. -- gas-free.
we are here in washington, and we will be introducing the chevrolet cruise, which has a small termer charged engine. that would be the performance and the economy that everyone wants. as it relates to the trucks, i ran our fleet in commercial operation and i spoke to many people around the country who do a lot of hard work and they need pickup trucks to get the job done. what we are doing on that front is we have vehicles that are getting 22 mpg, a hybrid application in the tahoe. we are going to produce engines that run on biofuels. we are working on hydrogen fuel