Skip to main content

tv   Tonight From Washington  CSPAN  June 30, 2010 8:00pm-11:00pm EDT

8:00 pm
south african government placed a high priority on public awaurness and the antitrafficking law. -- awareness and the antitrafficking law. as the preparations for the soccer tournament got under way, the country's sex industry was simultaneously gearing up for the large influx of visiiors and the trafficking of women, girls, men and boys into city brothels to meet the expected demand. . south fwrick has been on a relentless drive to modernize its laws and make sure they protect their citizens and punish our offenders. in spite of the many achievements since throwing off
8:01 pm
apartheid, the country is playinged by many ills that confront the rest of the world, including human trafficking. because of daunting economic problems throughout africa and its own rule and urban poverty, south africa cities are an attractive place for bad characters, including human traffickers and drug dealers. south africa must confront both sides of the problem as it is both a source and a destination for trafficed persons. people from impoverished areas are brought into the country to provide sexual services and all kinds of labor for little or no pay. young boys are made to beg on the streets or work on farms while young girls are forced
8:02 pm
into domestic service or the illicit sex industry. at the same time trafficers often target south africans themselves, sending them off to europe or the united states as laborers or domestic servants. mr. speaker, the government of south africa has invested in law enforcement, community education and international cooperation to stem the tide of trafficed persons. countries are taking the kime of trafficking seriously. last he can week, the african union announced that it is establishing a commission initiative against this. this new campaign announced on
8:03 pm
the day of the african child will help ensure that member states are adopting and properly implementing international protocols to eliminating trafficking. to free those who are living in shackles, to prevent vulnerable people from falling captive to those who would modify human life is a challenge that must be shared by all governments. that is why i urge my colleagues to support this resolution and join me in recognizing the progress that south africa is making. mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves. the gentlewoman from florida is recognized. ms. ros-lehtinen: i'm so honored
8:04 pm
to yield such time as he may consume to the gentleman from new jersey, mr. smith, the ranking member on the subcommittee of africa and global health and the author of this resolution. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. smith: i thank my ranking member and thank her for being a co-sponsor and carolyn maloney and others. this is a bipartisan resolution that we present on the floor today. while the world cup is a joyous and unifying event watched the world over, it comes at a very high cost for many women and children trapped in sexual slavery in south africa. going on right now, the world cup is enjoying 2.7 million local spectators and up to 500,000 visitors to the country. it is an honor and economic boom for south africa but also a threat to vulnerable women and children, a threat to the government of south africa is
8:05 pm
and must continue to aggressively combat. major sporting events and conventions that attract large numbers of people in the united states or abroad have been proven to result in the increase for commercial sexual exploittation. pimps jump to the demand by trafficking women and girls for prostitution such as the world cup. we have seen examples of this in stories coming out of south africa in the media over the last several months. one taxi driver covered in a story proudly advertised his red light tour which includes bar hopping and guidance to prostituted women less likely to be h.i.v. positive. he is hoping to cash in on sexual tourism accompanying the world cup. a woman who was just 17 years
8:06 pm
old and according to "time" magazine, forced into prostitution after leaving her village after a promise of a job. she died of aids complications this year. according to the u.s. department of state where prostitution is legalized or tolerated, there is a greater demand for human trafficking victims and nearly always an increase in the number of women and children trafficed into commercial, sexual slavery. in preparation for the world cup, the government commissioned a comprehensive study of human trafficking within its borders and discovered that trafficking victims were brought from all over the world, not just from neighboring countries where poverty make women and children make them vulnerable to exploittation.
8:07 pm
capetown has been closely monitoring and tracking this. capetown law enforcement noted a sudden increase in women arriving with falsified immigration documents from asia yeah and saw a sudden drop in the age of girls working the streets. i applaud captown for its vigilance because criminal cindy indicates have the means and capacity for trafficking women and girls to the world cup. as you may be away, i offered the protection act of 2000 and authorizations in 2003 and 2005. our most recent report which is mandated ranks south africa as a tier two country, a country that does not fully comply with the minimum standards of trafficking, but making significant efforts to do so.
8:08 pm
and so on behalf of my colleagues and i, we offer this resolution today to congratulate south africa for the steps it has taken, its first two major trafficking conditions and increased law enforcement activity, especially in this all important fight against human trafficking. we offer h.r. 1412 today to underscore the urgent need for further action and trafficking funding priorityization by the government of south africa and that admonishment should go to each and every one of us. while south africa does not yet have in place an anti-trafficking legislation, it does have legislation that offers increased protection to children. it is my sincere hope that all levels of relevant government officials would be aware of their responsibilities under the anti-trafficking provisions
8:09 pm
under the sexual and children's act and children's amendment act of 2007 and these will be fully funded and implemented by the government of south africa. as we all know, if the law goes unen forced, it is not worth the paper it is printed on. they need to implement this and do so faithfully. law enforcement must be vigilant in protecting children going to the world cup, to expanded law enforcement presence and raids in areas where exploittation is occurring. trafficed women and children rescued during the games should be given care in order to prevent the trauma they have suffered from defining them and condemning them to a life of further exploittation and abuse. aggressive prosecution of the trafficers is also a must as organized crime will gravitate
8:10 pm
towards whatever activity is most lucrative and least risky. as this resolution points out, it is our hope that south africa will follow up with prosecution of any soccer fans or other tourists caught exploiting women and children. the buyers of trafficking victims are responsible for this human misery, for without demand these women and children would not be slaves. i believe that the games are just the beginning for south africa in its fight against human trafficking. we have seen tremendous investment of resources and will and anti-trafficking momentum from nongovernmental organizations and faith-based organizations in the leadup to the games. capetown is an international union of superiors general in the southern african catholic bishops conference, salvation army, red card 2010 campaign and
8:11 pm
the anti-trafficking coalition of 2010 are a few of those who have stepped up to combat this. south african citizens have been warned about the dangers of human trafficking and many have volunteered in the fight. human trafficking is in the public eye now and it is time for the government of south africa to purge it from its cities and anywhere elsewhere it is found. i thank my good friend for yielding and urge members to support the resolution. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentlewoman from florida. ms. ros-lehtinen: i yield myself such time as i may consume. i thank the gentleman from new jersey and we are blessed to have such a human rights activist on our committee and indeed in the entire house of representatives. thank you so much, mr. smith. mr. speaker, the bill before us house resolution 1412, recognizes the efforts today of the south african government to
8:12 pm
fight human trafficking while urging sustained and expanded efforts for the future. according to the state department's 2010 trafficking and persons report and i quote, south africa is a source, transit and destination country for men, women and children subjected to trafficking in persons, specifically forced labor and forced commercial sexual exploittation, end quote. further, south africa, quote, does not fully comply with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. however, it is making significant efforts to do so, end quote. as the 2010 trafficking report recognizes and this resolution reaffirms, south africa has, in fact, made notable progress in confronting human trafficking. the recent conviction by the municipal court on two individuals on trafficking-related charges is
8:13 pm
particularly significant and merits recognition. still, we have a long way to go, mr. speaker. concerns over trafficking in south africa have been heightened with the commencement of the feefa 2010 world cup -- fifa 2010 world cup games. the massive influx of workers to build these stadiums and other infrastructure, high rates of domestic unemployment, the arrival of millions of spectators and gaps in law enforcement capacity have provided an ideal operating environment for traffickers. criminal networks and street gangs are known to operate child prostitution rings in the country's major cities where child sex tourism is on the rise. these same cities, including durbin, capetown and johannesburg, now boast major soccer stadiums capable of
8:14 pm
drawing between 40,000 to 95,000 spectators each. the criminality and opportunity created by the world cup has presented major challenges for the south african government. unfortunately, these challenges will endure long after the cup has been awarded. this resolution urges the south african government to engage in an aggressive, sustained and effective campaign to fight the scurge of trafficking. it urges the government to adopt the pending prevention and combating of trafficking in persons bill and enforce relevant elements of the sexual offenses and child justice act. it urges the government to adopt additional measures to protect vulnerable children and other potential victims from sexual and labor exploittation. it urges the government to
8:15 pm
prioritize anti-trafficking law enforcement, particularly during the world cup games. and lastly, it encourages the government to prosecute tourists engaging in commercial sexual exploittation. i strongly urge our colleagues to support this timely and important resolution. and with that, mr. speaker, i'm very pleased to yield as much time as he may consume to the the gentleman from california, mr. royce, the ranking member on the foreign affairs subcommittee on terrorism, nonproliferation and trade. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized. . mr. royce: thank you. i would like to thank the gentleman from new jersey, mr. chris smith, for all that he has attempted to do to bring this resolution before us, but also to bring this issue into the international community and congresswoman diane watson, i
8:16 pm
appreciate your leadership on this as well. i think for any of us who try to contemplate the impact of mod he were day slavery, i was thinking -- modern day slavely, -- slavery, i was thinking, i was talking to congressman smith about the movie "amazing grace" about william which will berforce and the attempt -- wilberforce and the attempt in britain so long ago to try to eliminate its slave trade and -- eliminate the slave trade and when we think about the fact that in this century, this type of slavery still exists, i think that when we consider the magnitude of it, the misery of the people, especially the children, that are subjected to this, when we think about this
8:17 pm
range of sexual servitude across this planet affecting some 12 million adults but also millions of children, and this is what is happening every day, people are trafficked into this type of servitude. you think about the fact that many of these children are 6, 7 years old and sadly, as the state department tells us in this report that was just released, the majority of transnational trafficking, the majority of these victims are being trafficked into commercial sexual exploitation. so that is the reality that the world faces today. now importantly, this resolution commends south africa for taking -- for the government taking some steps because it has tried
8:18 pm
to combat this problem, it has brought to justice, it successfully convicted its human traffickers here in a trial that has gotten some attention. so it is important to note such improvements. but at the same time it's important for us to realize how much remains to be done, how much the international community needs to work and come together, to go after these criminals syndicates that are involved in this kind of activity. and i only wish we could be celebrating the achievement of countries like vietnam, but unfortunately we've read the report. some countries are actually being downgraded in this report and in vietnam women and children are routinely misled by fraudulent job opportunities where they find themselves instead sold into brothels.
8:19 pm
sadly, while some conditions are improving other states like vietnam are falling far, far behind and it is also our hope that the release of this report will do much in the international community, along with a help by n.g.o.'s that have come forward in order to try to put a spotlight on this issue in order to try to get every government involved in moving in the correct direction and prosecuting those who are involved in the criminal syndicates in trying to advance this kind of inhumanity across this planet. thank you, i again commend all the co-sponsors of this legislation, including my colleague, ileana ros-lehtinen, and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentlewoman from florida. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr. speaker. i'd like to thank mr. royce and thank mr. smith, the authors of this resolution, and with that,
8:20 pm
mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time. the gentlewoman from california is recognized. ms. watson: mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back the balance of her time. the question is will the house suspend the rules and agree to house resolution 1412 as amended. those 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 on the table. ms. watson: mr. speaker, i object to the vote on the grounds that a quorum is not present and i make a point of order that a quorum is not present. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20 and the chair's prior announcement, further proceedings on this motion will be post uponned. -- postponed. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from california seek recognition? ms. watson: mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and agree to the senate bill, s. 3104.
8:21 pm
the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: senate 3104, an act to permanently authorize radio free asia and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentlewoman from california, ms. watson, and the gentlewoman from florida, ms. ros-lehtinen, will each control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from california. ms. watson: mr. 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 resolution under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. watson: this bill, which passed the senate last week by unanimous consent, would amend the international broadcasting act of 1994 to permanently authorize radio free asia. radio free asia was established by congress in 1994 and began its operations in 1996.
8:22 pm
as a private nonprofit corporation, its mission is to provide accurate and timely news to asian countries whose governments prohibit access to a free press. today r.f.a. broadcast news and information in nine languages, cantonese, chinese, korean,ly a oshe -- laotian, tibetan and vietnamese. r.f.a. also maintains a vibrant internet presence, providing information through podcasts, blogs, message boards and youtube. because r.f.a. is guided by the principles of free expression and opinion and serves as asian -- serves its asian listeners by providing information critical for informed decisionmaking, the
8:23 pm
governments of the countries that are their targets have actively sought to block r.f.a.'s transmissions and access to its website. these repressive governments are clearly concerned that public access to the timely, uncensored and accurate information provided by r.f.a. will lead to greater demands for democracy, respect for fundamental human rights and government accountability. a winner of numerous human rights and broadcast journalism awards, r.f.a. has played a vital role in providing information in some of the most oppressed societies in asia. for example, r.f.a. broke the news of the peaceful protest by tibetan monks in the capital of
8:24 pm
tibet in 2008 and provided extensive coverage, used by major international media outlets of the chinese crackdown on the monks. but permanent -- by permanently authorizing r.f.a. we will enhance the efficiency of the r.f.a.'s operations and send a powerful signal of our country's support for a free press in asia and throughout the world. according to article 19 of the universal declaration of human rights, everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression. this includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers, unquote.
8:25 pm
r.f.a.'s mission is to do just that, to bring news and information about their own countries to populations denied the benefits of freedom of information by their governments. r.f.a.'s broadcasts through the radio and internet are devoted to the very idea to that notion of enlightenment. radio free asia provides a vital voice to hundreds of millions of people in asia and i strongly urge my colleagues to support this legislation. mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady reserves the balance of her time -- the gentlewoman reserves the balance of her time. the gentlewoman from florida is recognized. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr. speaker. i'm pleased to yield to the gentleman from california, mr. royce, the ranking member on the foreign affairs subcommittee on
8:26 pm
terrorism, nonproliferation and trade, and the author of the house companion to this bill. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. royce: i thank the gentlelady for yielding and this program, radio free asia, was due to expire under existing law in september and i am delighted here for several reasons that the legislation is before us. one, -- one is because on a strategic level, if you have this sunset and you have authoritarian regimes presuming that at the end of the year r.f.a.'s broadcasts are going to be discontinued, it implies that it does not have the full support of the u.s. government or our people here in the united states and in some countries there's even been talk of r.f.a.
8:27 pm
going out of business. this sends the message that that just isn't so, because now r.f.a. will permanently be in business and from a practical standpoint, what does that mean if you're running a station? it means that you've got the ability now to contract effectively in long range leases, you get the capital agreements that you need, you're better able, less expensively, to run these operations. it's not that these operations are expensive. as my friend, former chairman of the budget committee, once said, the price of this is the price of a fuel cap on a b-52. but oh, how effective, how e -- but, oh, how effective this strategy has been over the years. because what we provide here is surrogate news. we provide the kind of information that people would be hearing if they actually had a
8:28 pm
free radio station, if they could actually listen to the voice of a news reporter on issues such as the corruption of a local official, let's say, or what is actually happening in their city, what is happening in their country. that is provided now through r.f.a. and i wanted to share with you just a couple of observations. many of us have heard the words of eastern europeans who were very moved by the broadcasts into their own countries by radio free europe. and whether it's a crackdown on workers at a local factory or news and information about ideas like tolerance, political plurism, the fact is, these messages were heard. and i remember in the former yugoslavia talking to a croatian
8:29 pm
journalist who had tears in his eyes and he said there was one country in eastern europe where we did not broadcast with radio free europe, that was yugoslavia. and as a result, he told me, as a result we watched what happened in czechoslovakia, as they were able to do a plebiscite and the czech republic went one way and slow he vackia went the other and the reason he was crying was because he said, not one human life was lost in that and he had said he had listened to those broadcasts about the importance of political pluralism and self-determination and tolerance , whereas he, as a quote, was -- as a croatian, was listening to croatianan -- croatian hate radio and hate radio from every single ethnic group in that
8:30 pm
country and as his time as a reporter, covering those wars, he watched the war with slow eventia spin out of control and then crow asia and bosnia and the kosovo war. he watched each of these tragedies with their tens of thousands of human lives lost and he said to me something i'll never forget, if only we had had the prod aft -- broadcasts here to better prepare us for what was to come. that is why this work is so important and today we do this work in burma, we do this work in north korea, in vietnam and in china and all the major dialects and many of these governments actively work, of course, to try to block rrment r.f.a. transmissions and information into their society, but still the information manages to get in. maybe not into the main cities at times but into the rural areas and into the suburban
8:31 pm
areas. and frankly freedom house which ranks all of these countries not free attests to the ability of this information to get through. as one observer has noted, this type of broadcasting irritates authoritarian regimes, inspires democrats and creates greater space for civil society. . but r.f.a. has been chipping away at totalitarian regimes and i'll mention kim jung il. i mention it because congresswoman watson and i went into north korea and according to experts today, that grip is not as strong as it once was and
8:32 pm
this is one of the reasons. the information cordon that encircled north korea is now in at that timers as information is getting in. and that is backed up by a survey by a prominent think tank, which interviews hundreds of north korean refugees every year and it finds an ever increasing percentage, now more than half, who fled since 2006, have listened to foreign news regularly, including r.f.a. i remember a report we had of one of the members who said in debate, if you aren't listening to the radio broadcasts you are like a frog in the well who doesn't know what's going on in the outside world. and so the harsher the regime, the more the attempt to control information, the more diligent we find our reporters and
8:33 pm
stringers are at r.f.a. in trying to counter the propoganda that comes from the state. and with this legislation we can focus the long-term message of bringing the message of some humanity, freedom, democracy, respect for the rule of law, creating a space for civil society where it can flourish under the asian continent's oppressive regime. i have participated in some of the broadcasts into china, we have a tremendous opportunity to reach a young generation of people who are in desperate need of another side of the story. and those reporters are providing it with r.f.a. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentlewoman from florida is
8:34 pm
recognized. ms. ros-lehtinen: i would like to yield myself such time as i may consume. i thank mr. royce, the author of the companion of this bill. and i rise in strong support of the senate bill, 133104, a bipartisan bill that deserves our prompt approval. i want to thank the gentleman from california who has been working on this issue for a number of years. and as we know, mr. speaker, an unfettered and independent press is so vital to the maintenance of liberty that is protection, was enshrined in the first amendment of our constitution. tyranny cannot abide dissept and the oppressive regimes know they can't afford to allow the dissemination of ideas. people accustomed to thinking freely and speaking freely cannot be deterred from also
8:35 pm
living freely. these are the realities that drive our nation's long-standing commitment to surrogate broadcasting, providing to oppressed societies the kind of news and information that local journalists would supply if they were allowed to operate freely. we can all recall the important role that radio free europe played in helping us to end the cold war. for the past 14 years, its younger sibling, radio free asia, has provided critical broadcasting in a neighborhood that contains some of the world's most anti-democratic regimes, north korea, burma, china, vietnam and laos. it also broadcasts an important minority languages such as weegar, canton east, and dial
8:36 pm
ects of tie bet. among all the freedom broadcasts of the united states, radio free asia is the only one whose authorizing legislation contained a sunset date which congress has repeatedly extended. it is high time to remove that sunset and make radio free asia this orsation permanent. sadly, it's not going to end any time soon, mr. speaker, making the authorization permanent, therefore, is an important signal of the united states' commitment, putting those regimes who try so extremely hard to block the radio free asia broadcast that they cannot wait our resolve to support freedom of the press in asia. in addition, permanent authority
8:37 pm
makes operational sense as the reoccurring sunset has complicated radio free asia's ability to hire long-term staff, to negotiate cost-effective leases and capital agreements. for these reasons, mr. speaker, this measure before us deserves our unanimous support. let us stand today with the long suffering people of china, of tibet, of north korea, of burma, of vietnam, of cambodia and laos and against regime-sponsored attempts to restrict the information they receive. mr. speaker, i have no requests for time. so i yield the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. the gentlewoman from california. ms. watson: i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the
8:38 pm
gentlewoman yields back. the question is, all time is yielded back. the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass senate 3104. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from california seek recognition? ms. watson: mr. speaker, i move to success mend the rules and -- suspend the rules and agree to h. res. 1462 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 1462, resolution expressing support for the people of guatemala, honduras and el salvador as they persevere
8:39 pm
through the aftermath of agatha. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentlewoman from california, ms. watson and the gentlewoman from florida, ms. ros-lehtinen, will each control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from california. ms. watson: i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material in the resolution under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. watson: i rise in strong support of this resolution and yield myself as much time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. watson: on may 2, 2010e, guatemala, honduras and el salvador felt the aftermath of
8:40 pm
tropical storms and affected 162,000 families in guatemala, killed 22 and forced 8,000 in honduras and left 11 dead and 12,000 in shelters in el salvador. and to make matters worse, over 2,000 people of guatemala were displaced with little forewarning following the eruption of the volcano on may 27, 2010. the combination of the tropical storm and the volcano have devastated guatemala's landscape, leaving behind simbing holes and mudslides across the country. in addition, due to recent droughts, erratic rainfalls and
8:41 pm
high food prices, a sharp drop in remitances, guatemala now faces severe food insecurity. and this is expected to increase in the wake of tropical storm agatha. the officials of guatemala are estimating that damages will surpass $475 million. in honduras, the loss in the agriculture secretary -- tech tore could be close to $18.5 million. in all three countries, critical infrastructure relating to water and sanitation has been destroyed. the united states has provided relief for the victims of tropical storm agatha by deploying united states southern command support helicopters and
8:42 pm
frigates to assist with food, water and emergency supplies. humanitarian aid agencies in the united states and countries and n.g.o.'s around the world are providing much needed assistance to the relief and recovery efforts. the resolution before us recognizes the assistance efforts already under way and urges the secretary of state in coordination with the administrator of the united states agency for international development or usaid to continue to develop a strategic plan with the goal of mitigating the effects of the recent national natural disasters that have devastated these three countries. guatemala, honduras and el
8:43 pm
salvador face a major challenge as they recover and rebuild. they deserve our continued support. and for these reasons, mr. speaker, i urge my colleagues to support this important resolution and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves the balance of her time. the gentlewoman from florida. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr. speaker. i would like to yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. ros-lehtinen: ros-lehtinen i'm a proud co-sponsor of h.r. 1462 which expresses the support of the united states to the people of guatemala, honduras and el salvador in the aftermath of tropical storm agatha. having already declared a state of emergency following a volcano eruption issues 50 miles from
8:44 pm
guatemala city days earlier, guatemala was hit by tropical storm agatha on may 29, 2010. floods and mudstidse devastated parts of guatemala, honduras and el salvador as a result of the storm. hundreds of lives were lost. hundreds of thousands of survivors left in shelters. immediately following this disaster, as we always do, the united states, as a government and as a people, were standing by to lend a helping hand. the united states southern command located in my home district in miami, florida, deployed four helicopters from the air base in honduras to conduct aerial assistance and transport emergency relief supplies to areas impacted by the disaster. the ability of southcom to
8:45 pm
utilize resources demonstrates the important role that honduras plays in enabling the united states to provide support for security and disaster purposes. southcom sent personnel from miami to join a humanitarian assessment team in guatemala. and i was proud to see royal caribbean cruises work with the pan american foundation to transport food to the tens of thousands of survivors in the daze following the storm. the growing security challenges facing guatemala, honduras and el salvador as a result of narco traffickers and vicious gangs have only been complicated by this recent natural disaster. it will be critical for the united states to work were
8:46 pm
responsible, democratic nations in the region to ensure that this does not become a window of opportunity for criminals. the success we have seen in colombia and the ongoing efforts being taken in mexico against the drug cartels have created an unfortunate sandwich effect in central america. but only through a united, hemisphereic wide approach that is based on a shared commitment to democracy, to security, to prosperity, will we achieve success against the narco traffickers and organized crime. again, mr. speaker i would like to extend my condolences to the families and friends who suffered as a result of tropical storm agatha. as the brave people of guatemala, honduras and el
8:47 pm
salvador continue to recover from this tragic disaster, please note that we have you in our heart and prayers. with that, mr. speaker. i have no further requests for time. and i yield back the balance of our time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. the gentlewoman from california. . ms. watson: mr. speaker, i have no further witnesses and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from california yields back. the question is will the house suspend the rules and agree to house resolution 1462 as amended. those 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 -- the gentlewoman from california. ms. watson: i object to the vote on the grounds that a quorum is not present and i make a point of order that a quorum is not present. the speaker pro tempore:
8:48 pm
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: for what purpose does the gentleman from washington seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i move that the house suspend the rules and agree to h.con.res. 290, expressing support for the designation of june 30 as national esign day. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the concurrent resolution. the clerk: house concurrent resolution 290, concurrent resolution expressing support for designation of june 30 as national esign day. the speaker pro tempore:
8:49 pm
pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from washington, mr. mcdermott, and the gentleman from illinois, mr. shimkus, will each control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from washington. mr. mcdermott: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days in which to revise and extends their remarks and include extraneous material in the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. mcdermott: mr. speaker, i yield myself as much time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. mr. mcdermott: mr. speaker, i rise today to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the signing of electronic signatures in global and national commerce act, the esign bill, a landmark piece of legislation that has transformed how we conduct interstate commerce and business. the advent of e signatures has brought enormous benefit to both consumers and businesses alike by drastically improving convenience, reducing cost and increasing the speed of
8:50 pm
transactions. as many of you know, i represent seattle, which is one of the most wired and high-tech cities in the world, esign has great ily you improvinged the ability of companies in my -- greatly improvinged the companies of -- the ability of companies in my district to be competitive in the global marketplace. i would especially like to commend docusign for being a leader in the industry and for helping spearhead the coalition to recognize june 30 as national esign day. docusign recognizes that the benefits of ecommerce extend beyond the dollar values that are placed on business activity. with over 30,000 current customers and having served over 4 1/2 million people to date, docusign provides its customers with confidence in the integrity and the credibility of emerging electronic capabilities.
8:51 pm
they have been a leader in removing obstacles and barriers to business transactions online, allowing their customers to work faster, more reliably and more securely. it is important we recognize the foresight and vision of those who work so hard to pass esign 10 years ago, including congresswoman eshoo and congressman inslee. the passage of that bill helped more american companies to operate globally and has helped increase productivity and efficiency for consumers, businesses and governments. when president clinton signed the bill into law in june, 2000, he said, just imagine if this had been offered 224 years ago, the founding fathers wouldn't have had to come all the way to philadelphia on july 4 for the declaration of independence. -- july fourth for the declaration of independence. they could have emailed their
8:52 pm
john hancocks in. now years later, that's what businesses and government in every carver of the globe are able to do, instantly complete transactions that used to take days. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from illinois. mr. shimkus: thank you, mr. chairman. i yield such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois is recognized. mr. shimkus: thank you, mr. speaker. and it's great to be down here with my colleague, mr. mcdermott . usually i don't like resolutions, you know, but he approached me on the floor. but this is a really important one. and i think it's important to go back over the history of what we did 10 years ago. everything was paper, you had to have paper copies, you couldn't do bank transactions, you
8:53 pm
couldn't do certifications, you couldn't do business documentation. and my colleague mentioned anne eshoo, jay inslee, i serve on the energy and commerce committee, i've been on the telecommunications subcommittee. i think credit goes to chairman bliley, some credit goes to billy toe zan. the great thing about energy and commerce is a lot of the issues we address cut across partisan lines. it really is a regional -- especially the technology committee. so, the signing of this bill really helped, as my colleague said, really changed the way we can conduct business in the new digital age. and it's a -- really a great credit and it does merit taking time to think back on those folks who pushed for this through in a bipartisan resolution, through both
8:54 pm
chambers to get the bill signed into law. and i'm sure there was, you know, opposition by both members in both parties. in fact, i know one famous democrat on the committee who wasn't an original supporter of this in the committee. so the fact that chairman bliley and billy, as the chairmen oo the subcommittee and the full committee, were all engaged in support shows that what we can do when we work together. the electronic signature, esign, represents a critical step in harmonizing the world's global commerce and clause law with increasingly internet-dependent world. this happened during the 106th congress, it was my second congress, i came in the 105th. and i think the other important information with other digital
8:55 pm
ecommerce issues that were approaching and discussing woorks err discussing one in the committee now, which is the 21st century access to disabilities which is trying to make sure that the digital age doesn't leave the disability community behind. so the question that we face in the committee today is how much do we make sure that we set the standards but we don't dictate technology? because if we dictate technology we disincentivize the folks who are the smarts behind this new age. and what we did on esign is say, here's the standards, you smart people out there figure it out. make sure that privacy is protected, make sure that you can continue to keep data, if people want hard copy. and the other thing we allowed is we allowed the consumers to
8:56 pm
choose. we really did allow the marketplace, if people wanted to try this new venue, pretty scary, you can imagine going on the internet 10 years ago and say, i'm going to buy a pair of tennis shoes and i'm going to put my credit card number on the computer and they're going to mail empty he stuff and it's all going to work out? pretty scary. people do it all the time now. but if you want to go down to the store and pay cash for those shoes, you can still do it. so the benefit of what we did was say, let the consumers choose and the benefit of what we did was say, give the business community the standards, don't try to squeeze them into a one-size-fits-all method and let the great innovative minds, many of them in my colleague's state of washington state, really make this stuff work. ivepk been on the energy and commerce committee, fortunately my 14 years in congress, and on
8:57 pm
the telecommunications subcommittee, i should be an expert, i still don't understand it. i still don't understand how it all works. but i know that there's smart enough people that can make it work and this is the perfect example. this in essence 10-year anniversary is a tremendous success story. i have a 17-year-old, a 15-year-old and a 10-year-old. they're growing up in an age, they don't know any other way of doing transactions and doing business than what we did 10 years ago, jim. and i appreciate your effort, i appreciate you coming to me on the floor, like i said, i'm not a big resolution guy, but i thought this was one worthy of sitting back, of focuses -- focusing on what we did and in hopes of that as we move forward on our other high-tech issues we set the guidelines but we let the really smart innovators
8:58 pm
figure out how it can be done. and with that, mr. speaker, i don't think i have any additional speakers so i'll check the chamber and i'll just yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from washington. mr. mcdermott: mr. speaker, i have no further speakers. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the question is will the house suspend the rules and agree to house concurrent resolution 290. those 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 concurrent resolution is agreed to and without objection -- mr. mcdermott: mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from washington. mr. mcdermott: i object to the vote on the grounds that a quorum is not present and i make a point of order that a quorum is not present. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20 and the chair's prior announcement, further proceedings on this motion will be postponed.
8:59 pm
the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from california seek recognition? ms. matsui: i move that the house suspend the rules. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 5610, a bill to provide technical adjustment for respected living under the rehabilitation act of 1973 in order to ensure stability for such centers. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentlewoman from california, ms. chu, and the gentleman from tennessee, mr. roe, will each control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from california. ms. chu: mr. speaker, i request five legislative days during which members may revise and extend and insert extraneous material on h.r. 5610 into the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the request is granted. ms. chu: i yield myself as much time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognizesed.
9:00 pm
ms. chu: mook, i rise today in support of the independent living centers technical adjustment act. this bill addresses an issue brought to our attention by a number of states who are at risk of having to reduce services for adults with disabilities. authorized under the rehabilitation act of 1973, the independent living center program serves adults with disabilities by providing an array of independent living services, including the information and referral services, independent living skills training, peer counseling and individual and systems advocacy training. this program is administered by the rehabilitation services administration which allocates federal funds to the centers based on a formula and in an established state plan. under current law, centers within a state must first receive funds at the level that they received in the believe year and absence sufficient funding, they must receive the
9:01 pm
same proportional amount of the total they received the previous year. . states were given maximum flexibility for determining the allocation in their states. several states opted to distribute these temporary funds using a formula different from their base formula. as a result, some centers received a larger or smaller allocation than they did in previous years. this one-time change in the allocation of funds made sense because of the challenges state economies were facing. at the same time, current law did not envision this one-time increase in funding. in fact, the rehabilitation services administration is required to allocate 2010 funds based on a center's proportional
9:02 pm
allocation for 2009 and the additional funding that the center received under the act, this requirement resulted in some centers losing up to 35% of funds as the total proportion a center receives may be less they received in the prior year. the the act would allow states to request that the funds not be included in determining their center's previous year allocations. that way, the temporary funds provided do not permanently change the septemberer's base allocations. this is a necessary fix to protect services with so many people with disabilities that benefit from the work of the independent living centers. mr. speaker, i want to thank chairman miller for introducing this important legislation. and i urge support of this technical change to ensure independent living centers can continue the important work for
9:03 pm
people with disabilities in our community. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves. the gentleman from tennessee. mr. roe: i yield myself such time as i may consume. i rise today in support of h.r. 5610, the independent living centers technical adjustment act. these are nonprofit agencies that provide people to live independently. they provide skills and training for people to enable them to become citizens of society. and live independent lives and participate in society as working adults. the reelings act provides funding for the planning, conduct, administration and evaluation of independent living centers. due to the way 31 states distributed funds in the
9:04 pm
americans recovery and reinvestment act, funds may be distributed disproportionately to independent living centers in the 31 states. h.r. 5610, the independent living centers technical adjustment act will enable funds to be distributed to independent living centers in the appropriate manner for fy 2010. h.r. 5610 enables states to distribute funds disproportionately to the centers to have those funds disregarded in the zribs of f ymp 2010 funds. this bill ensures the funding for independent living centers which provides such valuable resources is distributed to centers proportionately and approximately. i stand in support of this bill and i ask my colleagues for support. and i reare reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentlewoman from california.
9:05 pm
ms. chu: i reserve. mr. roe: i have no further speakers and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. ms. chu: i urge support of h.r. 5610 and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 5610 as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended -- the gentlewoman from california. the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. the speaker pro tempore: the chair will now entertain requests for one-minute
9:06 pm
speeches. the gentlewoman from -- the gentleman from minnesota. >> address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. paulsen: i commend the work being done by the children of the american revolution. they are hosting a pancake business to raise money for their grant programs to teach kids about the real meaning of the 4th of july. their mission is to train good citizens, develop leaders and promote love for the united states of america and its hertteage. the chapter gave a grant to the kids, a nonprofit that provides assistance to arts, sports and music camps to children of parents who are deloird overseas and presenting a donation for a memorial planned in the minnesota state capitol grounds to all men and women who have
9:07 pm
served our country in uniform. i commend the children of the american revolution and encourage all of us to remember those who served as we approach the 4th of july. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from kansas rise? mr. moran: i rise in opposition to the job-killing bill the dodd-frank act of 2010. all this so-called financial regulation keeps burdens on community financial institutions which were not the cause of the financial crisis. even worse, this legislation doesn't address the issue of too big to fail for wall street firms that were the root of the problem. the added regulatory costs on the community banks will further slow growth than hurt farmers and ranchers. the added cost of regulation and
9:08 pm
increased capital requirements will lead to an even worst credit market. congress should reject the bill and pass legislation to address the crisis and not further regulation and costs to main street. the speaker pro tempore: are there any other requests for one-minute speeches? for what purpose does the gentlewoman from ohio seek recognition? ms. kaptur: i ask unanimous consent that today following legislative business and any special orders heretofore entered into, the following members may be permitted to address the house and include extraneous material, ms. sutton, ms. woolsey, mr. davis, ms. kaptur of ohio, mr. schiff and mr. defazio of oregon for five minutes.
9:09 pm
the speaker pro tempore: without objection. under the speaker's announced policy of january 6, 2009 and under a previous order of the house, the following members are recognized for five minutes each, mr. poe of texas. mr. poe: thank you, mr. speaker. when i was at a town hall meeting in texas, a local man came up to me afterward to talk about his concerns over where our country was headed, something to do with the firey inferno in a hand basket. i noticed his tee-shirt. here's what it said, i love my bible and had a photograph of the bible and i love my guns, with a photograph of two .45 colt resolvers. they were in the right order after all he was the local preacher. we have the freedom of speech and that includes the freedom of religion. it is first in the
9:10 pm
constitutional bill of rights because without it, none of the wreft would be possible. the right to bear arms is the second amendment because without it we could not protect the first amendment. the recent supreme court decision stated the obvious what is written in the bill of rights, a militia being necessary to the security of a free state, right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, end quote. the halls were up in arm about the right to bear arms. the media began spreading the shocking news that the supreme court upheld the constitution. the hysteria they went through. they said murder rates will double upon the announcement of this, never mind the gun control lowers murder rates, look at this city, washington, d.c., toughest gun control in the
9:11 pm
country. let's not get the facts in the way. i wonder how the media and anti-gun protestors would have felt about the first amendment being ignored. the second amendment, like the rest of the bill of rights protects citizens from the power of government. people have rights. government has no rights. government has power. and when citizens give away their rights, like the second amendment, government increases its power and oppression over the people. the supreme court ruled accurately and restored the rights of all americans based on the due process clause of the 14th amendment to the constitution, which commands that no state shall deprive any person of life, liberty or property without due process of law. to truly understand the meaning and purpose of the second amendment, we need to understand the men who actually wrote the constitution and what they said when it was ratified. the founding fathers were very concerned that a strong federal
9:12 pm
government would trample on individual freedom and individual rights because that's what happened to the colonists unt the power of great britain. governments historically do that to their people. that's historical. so after ratification of the constitution, the framers knew that a declaration of rights had to be added to protect basic individual rights, rights that are inallenable created by our creator. the second amendment was included in the bill of rights to prevent the federal government from disarming the public, like the british army did to american citizens. the right of the free people to defend freedom to protect themselves was so important that it was placed second behind the first amendment behind freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of peace.
9:13 pm
currently gun control advocates and their allies wish to subject the people to more government oppression of freedom by denying people the right to ample themselves. thomas jefferson said, no freeman shall ever be barred from the use of arms. sam you ell adams said, the constitution shall never be construed to prevent the people of the united states from keeping their arms. and of course, james mad ison who helped write the bill of rights said americans have the advantage of being armed and other nation' governments were afraid to trust the people with such arms. leave it to a texas preacher to keep it all in perspective. without the second amendment, you can't protect the first amendment, the freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of peace and freedom to assemble without the second amendment. and that's just the way it is.
9:14 pm
i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentlewoman from ohio. ms. kaptur: address the house for five minutes. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlewoman from ohio is recognized. ms. kaptur: i rise to share my major disappointment and key concerns with the wall street reform bill and why i voted no on this measure. bottom line, the bill does not fundamentally change the skewed financial power relationship between wall street and main street. that relationship has so gravely hurt our nation. the bill allows the wall street institutions to maintain their choke hold on main street's vitals. the big banks that have caused our economic crisis by severely abusing their privilege to create money were treated with kid gloves.
9:15 pm
the republican leader said that the bill was like a nuclear weapon aimed at an ant. it was a cotton ball aimed at an elephant. it doesn't creailt competition to big banks that have become too big and controlling. the bill allows them to keep their positions with a few modifications to their business practices. it will take years to sort out and apply if ever the mild provisions in the bill and there are so many loopholes, you could read the bill for another year. a consumer financial protection bureau cannot compensate for a banking system that is, at its hat heart, terribly misformed. time will prove this correct. a handful of banks, jpmorgan, citigroup, wells fargoo and
9:16 pm
morgan stanley have done -- have so harmed the vast majority of other financial institutions on main street that these smaller institutions which comprise the majority that are still left by penalizing them big time by having to pay additional insurance fund fees to the regulators to prop up the losses of the big banks that are so harmed the whole financial architecture of our country. it's why over 84 more banks have folded this year and while this is happening for the remaining that are left, then the big six go in and gobble up what's there. the bill grandfathers the too big to fail big banks that have grown as the financial crisis.
9:17 pm
they have been rewarded because they are growing bigger. . before the crisis, they controlled 1/3 of the assets of the country. astoundingly they now control 2/3 of the country. the bill does nothing about that, kind of looks the other way. one cannot call this structure free market competition. if you're feeling the pain because you lost your home or you're about to lose your home or you lost your job or lost some of your pension or you lost some of your i.r.a., you know who to blame. their bad behavior has hurt all the other banks in this country and in fact other nations and people around the world. for shame. but as a result of their concentration of power in the hands of far too few, it is expected that 20 million american families will lose
9:18 pm
their homes. 2.4 million american this is year. unemployment rates remain stuck too high and our economy is not producing the jobs it should because lending is seized up across this nation. people are losing more equity and their savings, yet goldman sachs, j.p. morgan, wells fargo, hsbc, they're doing just fine. making billions and billions in profits and taking bigger and bigger bonuses to boot. this bill didn't even recoup the bonuses to help pay for the cost of housing modifications for americans who stand to lose their most important asset this year, their equity. the arrogant power of the big banks is demonstrated by their interconnectedness when you saw goldman sachs and a.i.g. bail one another out and it's a perfect example of why too big to fail is too big to exist. they are very clever and command inordinate power. so much market power that they
9:19 pm
ignore the laws for themselves when it is convenient. banks are doing more than just banking. in fact, they are speculating with our money. they just can't help themselves. they take $1 and turn it into $100 or more. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. ms. kaptur: thank you, madam speaker, i will place the other remarks in the railroad tonight and i might say it's not a question of if the banks will fail but when it will fail. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. mr. jones of north carolina. >> i ask unanimous consent to claim the gentleman's time. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from kansas is recognized. mr. moran: i want to talk about studying history, the importance of great teachers and the glory of a life lived in service to others.
9:20 pm
in 1999, norm canard a history and social studies teach for the kansas came across a clipping from "u.s. news & world report"," explaining the story of irena schindler who helped rescue jewish children in the holocaust. mr. canard and his students wondered if the carl could be a misprint he encouraged his students to participate in national history day and learn more, find out the answer. an initial internet search found just one additional article about irena but the students dug deeper and found an amazing story nearly lost to history. while searching for irena's resting place, they discovered she was, in fact, alive. after many let evers were alive, the kansas students
9:21 pm
traveled to poland to visit with her in 2001. sheafs catholic social worker living in poland when the nazis first invaded warsaw. as early as 1939 she began helping jews by offering food and shelter and if falsifying documents. when the nazis erected the warsaw ghetto in 1940, irena and her collaborators created false papers allowing them in and out of the ghetto. she helped 2 50rks0 jewish children escape near-certain death by sneaking them out of the ghetto. she took the children to polish families and orphanages and recorded a list of their names to ensure their identities were preserved so she could help reunite them with their parent that was war. after the records were nearly discovered in her home by the gestapo she put them in jars and buried them. in 1943, she was arrested by the nazis and placed in prison
9:22 pm
and interrogated and tortured. when pressured about the names and locations of those she helped, she gave a false story she had created in the event of her capture. she was sentenced to death. unbeknown to her, a group quietly negotiated with the nazi executioner for her release. despite her escape, the nazis publicized her death throughout the city. for the remainder of the war she remained hidden like the children she had helped theasm war ended she dug up the jars and worked to reunite the children with their parents. unfortunately, sadly, most of the parents died in the holocaust. the uniontown students used her story as an ince pration for a play called "life in a jar" to honor her contributions. these students along with others from southeast kansas have presented "life in a jar" to over 270 venues around the world. they have also performed for holocaust survivor many of whom
9:23 pm
were saved by ierna. since the student's discovery, she has received international recognition for her brave work. she was awarded a 2003 award for valor and courage, she was recognized by pope john paul ii and the president of poland. additionally, she was considered for ea nobel peace prize in 2007. she passed away in 2008 at the age of 98. the students' legacy lives on in kansas as well. mr. canard was awarded a grant to build a center in fort scott, kansas, committed to the teaching of the importance of respect, understanding, and religious tolerance and to develop diversity projects about unsung heroes. the center also provides holocaust lesson plans to teachers and uses "life in a jar" to demonstrate what students are capable of achieving. they also produced a d.v.d. to
9:24 pm
share the story. funds raised are for the care of those who worked to rescue jew dish -- jewish children in poland like irena. when the students met irena, she told them they were continuing the effort she began 50 years ago and expressed appreciation, as we should, for their work to make this piece of history known. now their efforts inspire others. it is the hope of the project that all who learn of irena's efforts to save the children of poland will embrace their classroom motto, he who changes one person changes the world entire. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. ms. woolsey of california. mr. davis of illinois. mr. burton of indiana. ms. ros-lehtinen of florida. mr. schiff of california. mr. mchenry of north carolina. mr. defazio of oregon. mr. paul of texas. under pe the speaker's announced policy of january 6,
9:25 pm
2009, the gentleman from missouri, mr. akin is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the minority leader. mr. akin: thank you, mr. speaker. we'll take just a moment to get a few charts up here. mr. akin: thank you, mr. speaker. we're going to talk about an interesting subject here this evening, one that might seem a little boring to start with but actually has tremendous ramifications and that is the question and the subject of budgeting. now, budgets are always kind of an unpleasant thing because
9:26 pm
there's a natural requirement of a budget to balance a couple of things. balance spending, and how much money you take in. so when a family works on a budget, it may be a hard time because you have to make choices between what are you going to spend your money on and how much money do you have to spend? budgeting is one of those tough things, but it's necessary for organizations in order to be organized enough to try to keep some semblance of economic sanity. we're going to talk about budgeting some and the subject is of some interest tonight because if you think about a family, maybe some families budget in a much more formal process, others do it informally but more or less what they try to do is keep how much money coming in close to what's going out. when they don't, they start to get high credit card bills. small businesses, very important for them to budget who sit, which one do you think
9:27 pm
forgot about budgeting? foorn 0 companies? schools? what we find is a curious phenomena, this is a little bit like watching an eclipse, it doesn't happen often. since 1974, when the budget act was passed, it never happened that congress did not have a budget, yet this year, congress -- it's congress that doesn't have the budget. kind of an amazing thing. we've heard our floor leader, congressman hoyer, he says, it isn't possible to debate and pass a realistic, long-term budget until we've considered the bipartisan commission's deficit reduction plan, which is expected in december. that sounds a little bit like an excuse, doesn't it? this is the first time we've done anything bipartisan in the last 18 months, they did wait for it, and if it were bipartisan, i'm sure they wouldn't be interested in passing it. is it true that we have to wait
9:28 pm
until december to pass a budget? i don't think so. there's no excuse. here's a balanced budget resolution here. here it is, a copy of the front of the bill. of course the trouble with this, this has a big problem. this is a republican budget. this is a budget talking about getting the budget balanced by 2020. it's an austere budget, it's a tough budget, it's a budget you argue about. but it's a responsible budget. and i'm joined by some very good friends of mine on the subject of budgets and we're going to move from budgets, we're going to end up answering at least one question, that is, why are budgets important? i'm joined by my good friend from arizona, congressman franks, expert on quite a number of different subjects and we're going to talk a little bit later tonight about doing some oil drilling. i believe you were 16 or 17 when you had your first oil rig? but i yield time to my good friend. mr. franks: in talking about
9:29 pm
the budget, i guess i believe that the budget challenges we have, the deficii spending and the debt, has the ability to challenge and damage this country in perhaps a way that no military power has been able to do. we're now $13 trillion in debt. in this country. and if you try to measure that in simple terms, it gets -- it almost boggles the mind. but you know if you try to put it in terms we can understand if we decided to pay that debt off at $1 million a day. say we suspended the interest on the debt, didn't go another penny in debt, we said, we're going to pay what we owe off before we go deep for the debt. that's -- that sounds outrageous for a place like this, but that's a common sense idea. yet if we paid our debt off, our existing debt off at $1 million a day with no interest and no additional spending, it would take us around 40,000 years to do that.
9:30 pm
so -- that's really -- my grandkids may not be around that long. but the real tragedy of course is that we're not paying this debt off at $1 million a day. that's a nominal figure. we're going into debt thousands of times that much every day. the obama administration is spending us into oblivion. there's never been a precedent in the last -- since this obama administration has taken place in two budgets, two-year cycles, they have put us what looks like we'll be around $3 trillion additional in debt. and if we don't change that, i really believe that it could be the central figure in america's economic obituary. . mr. akin: what does it mean? and i think you put that in graphic terms.
9:31 pm
you are saying it more damaging than war, a foreign conquerer could week more havoc than a war. mr. franks: we aren't going to be able to project any military capability. a government is what it spends. and one of the reasons that america has a strong military capability is we are strong economically. we dwarf all other economies. but the way we are going, we could be competing with greece for the instability that this administration seems to be heading our country toward. mr. akin: you have been reading my mind because i have charts that chair greece to where we are economically. i'm joined by my good friend from georgia, congressman broun. and i have my favorite people to share the hour on the floor
9:32 pm
tonight, both very articulate, congressman franks if you talk to him about missile defense and ballistics and all kinds of technical questions, he is a popular mechanic walking on two feet and dr. broun has a whale of a lot of georgia common sense and i welcome you congressman broun. thank you. mr. broun: i appreciate you yielding. in fact, the quotes that you have up there on the chart i think are very telling. democratic whip, steny hoyer, when he was the minority whip in 2006 as is indicated said quote, the most basic responsibility of governing, unquote. and as you also very ably pointed out, john spratt, the
9:33 pm
chairman of the budget committee, congressman from south carolina said, quote, if you can't budget, you can't govern, unquote. if you can't budget, you can't govern. and it's just inane and unconscionable that this leadership here in this house isn't even going to attempt, not even attempt to bring about a budget to this congress to vote on. and why is that? why would they not, particularly with these very strong statements that majority whip steny hoyer made in 2006 before they became the majority, john spratt was on the budget committee, when he said, you can't budget, you can't govern. they won't budget and they aren't governing very well. but why?
9:34 pm
why is that that so? mr. akin: i would like to jump in. i would like to ask the question because when republicans were in the majority, and they are saying the most basic responsibility is governing. this is congressman hoyer and we don't have a budget and he is one of the leaders. and here we have the ranking member on the house budget committee and says if you can't budget, you can't govern. that's what they're saying in 2006, but seems like that's not where we are today, is it? where is the budget? this is something in "the hill". skipping the budget resolution this year would be unprecedented. the house has never failed to pass an annual budget resolution since the current budget rules were put into place in 1974. this is a little bit like those full eclipse of the sun. you have to wait a certain number of years and be in the right place to see it.
9:35 pm
we haven't seen this before. unfortunately, it is not a good omen from an economic point of view, according to the congressional research service. all of this kind of stuff. there isn't any budget which begs the question. mr. broun: if you would yield a half a second. i want to call attention to the viewers, this was an article, not from glenn beck, rush limbaugh or hahn hannity, but from "the hill," called "the hill" on april 14, 2010, talking about this congress, talking about this leadership, skipping a budget resolution would be unprecedented, unprecedented. mr. akin: and one of the implications, congress didn't pass the budget. this is a complicated looking
9:36 pm
chart. this isn't complicated, because this thing is receipts, money coming in and this is outlays. now this is the sort of chart that you need to have first-graders because they could give us real wisdom. which one of these circles is bigger, the red one or the bigger. the red one is bigger. we are spending more than what we are receiving. that says your budget is in trouble. that's not very complicated. and it's so much in trouble that the u.s. congress doesn't want to acknowledge that fact and say, well, if we don't see it, maybe it's like at night, if you have a bad dream, pull the covers up and it will go away. that's where we are. my good friend from arizona. mr. franks: one of the disappointing things in this body, the majority seems to hold themselves unconstrained to the
9:37 pm
truth. it seems like they can hold themselves to be able to take a vote here and repeal the laws of math. and we are facing a day of reckonning that is coming pretty quickly. there are a couple of thing ready to snowball. no only is this administration spending in an unprecedented way but we are fast approaching where the baby boomer generation which i'm on the tail end -- mr. akin: but the point is, this is the most productive generation in the history of the country. and the baby boomers are starting to retire and that means two things, that productivity is going to be dramatically reduced and then they are going to go on social security and put a drain on the system. and we are in an unsustainable
9:38 pm
circumstance at this moment. and for all the things we try to do, the democrat majority simply is ignoring that reality. and i have two little babies at home, 22 month old twins and they are the greatest joy of my soul and we are robbing them of god knows what. it's almost like they could be facing a complete economic meltdown and could happen way before they could get old enough to deal with it. but we somewhere generational theft here and it is something that is a disgrace and fundamentally immoral and we don't have to do that. all we have to say is whatever else we are going to do is have a budget and not spend more than we take in. we can't pay this off, but we're not going to go in further debt. and that's something that this
9:39 pm
congress should have the congress to do. and i yield back. mr. akin: i think that congress -- our job is to spend money. that's what congress is designed to do. we do too good a job of it. and the question is, we have been overspending for a long time. we over spent when president bush, we republicans, when he was in. and i know you gentlemen joined me in saying no, we can't afford to do that. but we have overspent to a degree. but what's happened we have taken this thing to an entirely new level. i have some charts that explain that. but i want to hear from my good friend from georgia. mr. broun: i want to add to what my good friend from arizona was saying. proverbs, a good man leaves an
9:40 pm
inheritance to his children's children. now there is a debt that we'll never overcome. we have to stop the spending here in washington. we have to stop this outrageous growth of the federal government. this outrageous, unacceptable to the american people, robbing our children and grandchildren, not only of their economic future but their freedom. and that's what we are doing here in this congress. and it all started, it all started with the tarp funds. president bush and hank paulsen and i voted against those tarp funds in 2007 or 2008 when it was pressed forward by president bush, but he was wrong and i voted against that and many republicans did at the same time voted against him. but it has been magnified. it has been grown at a
9:41 pm
tremendous rate that readied the debt, the spending and the reason we aren't going to vote on a budget is because this majority does note want any constraints on their spending. they don't want any. and a budget, if you follow it, constrains spending. that's what it's designed to do and puts forth all the parameters and which show the american people the increasing debt that is going to be pushed off on future generations. so we're going totally against what scriptures teaches us when god tells us a good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children. mr. akin: i wasn't a boy scout but we had a bunch of boy scouts
9:42 pm
and one of the things they learned and my wife and i did a lot of outdoors things, when you come to a camp site, you want to leave it better. it was a tradition among outdoorsman and that reflected the mindset, my father is 89 and was with patton in the army. there was a general way of thinking in that generation and the mindset was they were going to sacrifice a lot of things they wished they had a as kids to give their kids better and leave the camsite better than what was left for them. my parents' generation, if they made a mistake is they tended to spoil us. they tended to give us everything we wanted whereas the
9:43 pm
other generation they might not have been -- my son is going to be a doctor and that wag their mivendeseat and that breaks my heart because of the fact that we aren't following, we are leaving that camp site look like a dump truck and leaving liter that our grandchildren won't be able to pick up and that's wrong. and it's not the american way. and what does it spring from? our own selfishness that we have to redistribute wealth, that is wrong in the first place, that's theft and hand it out to people. and that's a sad place to be in. and we are doing two things. we are increasing taxes radically and increasing spen
9:44 pm
even more. the ironic thing is when you increase taxes, you kill the goose that slain the golden egg and take in less revenue. this cap and tax bill we passed, this thing is supposed to be about global warming and reducing co-2. the only thing it does is create more taxes and government regulation and more co-2 to boot. if people were honest about stopping co-2, let's assume it's bad, how are you going to do it? double the number of nuclear power plants and wipe out the co-2 burned by every passenger car in america. that's not what this bill does. it supposedly is about global warming but it's about more taxes. health tax, they had to struggle to keep it under $1 trillion.
9:45 pm
the president said i won't do it if it cogses more than that. there is death tax, capital gains. we are going high in taxes, but does that mean we are cutting back in spending? no. if i were a democrat, i wouldn't want to put a budget out there. take a look at that picture out there, my friend from arizona. mr. franks: if we could explain that, they do not want the american people to see what they're really doing. mr. akin: they don't want to see that graph, do you? mr. franks: that is correct. and i was touched by the gentleman. the understanding, this is really about -- we always forget true state manship is not about the next election but the next generation. my parents warked so hard. my dad worked in the mines and
9:46 pm
he probably is listening to us tonight. i'm thankful for a father that gave everything of himself to make it possible for me to have a better life. i wouldn't be here. my mother worked in nursing homes. and they gave everything they had to us. and here, we are doing exactly the opposite. not only are we spending our children into an object liveion of debt, not only teaching the next generation that they don't have to be responsible, not only are we seeing government take over most of our major industries, whether -- the auto industry, health industry, banking industry. i don't know what's next. we are teaching our kids that is very frightening. and more than anything, mr. akin, you pointed out the real issue here. it's the lack of commitment to the future generations and this
9:47 pm
democratic majority has done for spending what stonehedge did for rocks. and mr. broun is here and we worked hard when we were in the majority, our votes reflected a desperate commitment to balance the budget. but this democratic majority has left all reason to the wind. they have spent, taxed and borrowed our way to prosperity and i don't think i have seen a more dangerous situation for us economically and the final analysis here, they are doing everything to crush business and job growth. it seems like all of these things coming together, i don't know where it ends and i don't know -- it's almost like you have to be an alarmist to tell the truth.
9:48 pm
mr. akin: these were republican years under bush. weir not proud of this deficit, the worst year under bush was this one, where speaker pelosi ran the congress. this was bush's worst year for deficit right here. so we go from 2009 to 2010 with president obama and he's three times the bush level of deficit and this year is even higher. one way to measure these things, deficit as a percent of gross domestic product, all the stuff we make in america. this is running about 3.1%. this is about 9.9% right here. now these numbers are consequences. the consequences are your children and your grandchildren, but it also could precipitate a crisis a lot sooner. we don't know what that crisis looks like. what happens when you go to the bank and your a.t.m. doesn't
9:49 pm
work? you've worked all your life, you have savings in the bank, there isn't any money, you can't get any money out because the dollar bill isn't worth anything. we've seen high inflation, that's not pretty. what happens if the banking system stops working because we pushed this too far. what is the civil unrest, what happens with our just in time food inventories, when there's no more food on the shelves, when there's no more gasoline at the gas pumps because we pushed this too far. how far is too far? i don't know. but i know this, this isn't the right direction we're going in. i yield to my friend from georgia. mr. broun: mr. akin, you're exactly right. we have seen historically what happens when this sort of thing occurs. all we have to do is look off our own florida shores in cuba. under the communist dictatorship of fidel castro. i'm old enough to remember when
9:50 pm
mr. batista was overthrown by castro and i'm old enough to remember that cuba, prior to the communist takeover of that country, was a very vibrant community. economically sound. there were some inequities and problems there, i'm not trying to promote mr. batista's governance down there, by any means, but on the other hand, where are the cubans today? the debt created by fidel castro and the socialistic mentality that is very pervasive here that's the same mentality that fidel castro had, same mentality here we have with our leadership, both in the white house and here in congress today under democratic leadership leads to economic ruin. it leads to abject poverty for everyone.
9:51 pm
former prime minister of england, margaret thatcher, one time said the problem with socialism is, eventually you run out of other people's money. that's exactly what happens. you had a chart up there about the taxes, you had it up there, cap and tax, i want to quote president obama about a couple of things about that so-called cap and trade bill we passed here in the ,000 senate has been dealing with that as you said, mr. akin, it's not about the environment. the president himself said that he needed that for revenue. rev mue to pay for obamacare. that's not a direct quote of the president. but that's what he said he said he needed the revenue from the environmental tax, which was really an energy tax, tax on all the energy, gasoline, electricity, everything, he needed the revenue so that he could pay for his medical program, socialized medicine
9:52 pm
that we forced through here in congress. i'll call it tax and trade, not cap and trade, you could call it tax and tax, any of those. the president said very clearly, and i can quote him on, he said that this energy tax would, quote, necessarily skyrocket the cost of gasoline. necessarily skyrocket the cost of gasoline. mr. akin: i think he also promised nobody making less than $250,000 would be taxed, right? yet if you flip a light switch, you'll get taxed. how do you square those? mr. broun: everybody is going to get taxed. that was a falsehood. in georgia we call that a bald-faced lie. but the promise we had that people who made under $250,000
9:53 pm
would not be taxed is totally wrong. and knew it. it was, as i say in georgia, people just say it's a faled--- a bald-faced law lie, meaning he knew very well he was not telling the truth when he said that. mr. akin: the funny thing is we need to learn something from history and the democrats got someone they could learn from, henry morgenthau, the secretary of the treasury under f.d.r. they had a recession and under his policies they turned it into the great depression, and after eight years of government spending which is what we've seen he makes f.d.r. look like a piker, makes george bush look like ebenezer scrooge. so here's henry morgenthau before the house committee on ways and means and he says, we have tried spending money, we are spending more than we have ever spent before and it does not work. i say after eight years of the administration we have just as much unemployment as when we
9:54 pm
started, and an enormous debt to boot. that's henry morgenthau, a contemporary of little lord keynes, the not so bright british economist. here's a democrat who said, we tried it eight years and it doesn't work. so what are we doing now? we are going right back around, we are overspending, we haven't learned our lesson. mr. broun: if you would yield a minute, just recently, just last week, our president went before the g-20, i guess, is what it's called now, he was encouraging them to spend. spend, spend, spend. as you brought up lord keynes' name, there's something called keynesian economics which basically says that you get out of recessions and depressions by government spending money. and it never has worked.
9:55 pm
it never will work. just like socialism never has worked, never will work. it seems as if the arrogance of this administration and this laidership and the ignorance of both is leading us down the same path that f.d.r. and henry morgenthau went down in the great depression. world war ii didn't get us out of the depression. it wasn't world war ii that got us out of the depression. it was cranking up the manufacturing sector and the private sector actually starting to create new jobs because of the need for increased manufacturing that got us out of the depression. actually, the depression didn't end until after world war ii. private enterprise and free enterprise and what's called supply-side economics which
9:56 pm
most people don't understand, i think a lot of economists don't understand, but we certainly know that this administration and the leadership of this house and the senate have absolutely no clue about what creates jobs. what creates a strong economy. and it's less government, less spending, more manufacturing, more free enterprise, the small business sector expanding, consumers having money in their pockets to be able to go buy goods and services, that's what's going to create jobs. that's what's going to get us out of the recession we're in today. in fact, some economists are now saying we're beginning into a depression. and the policies of the administration, the policies of the leadership in the house and senate and the democratic party are going to do the same thing they did under f.d.r., henry morgenthau, they are going to create greater debt, already doing it, going to create greater spending, they're going to create greater problems for
9:57 pm
the future of this nation, the question is, how are we going to ever recover? i'm not sure -- mr. akin: your whole idea about little lord keynes and this idea of spending your way into prosperity strikes me as grabbing your boot loops and trying to fly around the room. i don't know if he was a boot loops kind of guy but he was different in his view of economics. my good friend from arizona. mr. franks: i want to agree with congressman broun about what brought us out of the depression, the post-war industrial machine in this country was astounding. one of the things that seemed like this democrat majority simply does not understand, mostly because most of them have not be been -- have not been in small business, they don't usually sign the front of the check, it's usually the back of it and the reality is they forget that the monetary system is a reflection of the
9:58 pm
method -- of the productivity mechanism we have in this country. our economy and in the most fundamental, substantive analysis is about productivity. that means that people have to work and create goods and services around when we don't have people work, when we don't have jobs, it doesn't happen. when you take government money and you say, we're going to spend our way into recovery, that does two things. it either takes the money directly out of taxpayers' pockets, it has to come from somewhere, or we have to borrow it. if we borrow it, it makes less capital available for business and those groups that actually create jobs. they don't seem to understand that unless the people of this, the 300-plus million people are working and creating jobs and creating goods and services no matter what our monetary policies are, nothing will work. the economy will fail. i guess i want to add, congressman that, you know, the
9:59 pm
highway of history is littered with the wreckage of governments that thought they could create and maintain productivity and markets better than free enterprise could. it's been an element of history. i don't want to see this country join that litany and this administration is driving us head on in that direction and you talked about historically, we -- i think probably our total g.d.p. of our country, you can correct me if i'm wrong, it's in the neighborhood of $15 trillion to $17 trillion a year. whatever our -- whenever our debt approaches 100% of the g.d.p. per year of a country, historically, empirically that is almost always precipitated a major meltdown. i'm not talking about just a recession, or even a deprefplgs i'm talking about a cataclysmic economic meltdown that leaves a country having to start over
10:00 pm
from the beginning. i don't want to see us go in that direction. mr. akin: you expressed that in good scholarly terms, about your debt being as high as your g.d.p., but trying to put that as a family, you're flame you make $100 a week, and your credit card bill is $100 a week, you're in trouble. that's what you're saying. you're more than in trouble. and i think that's what you're talking about. mr. franks: but in this case, the democrats are way past that. that would mean your spend -- you're spending as much as you're making. they're spending more than than the government is taking in. that's deficit. i'm talking about something different. i'm talking about the debt, the total debt to g.d.p. ratio and in this case, we're not there yet, i think we're somewhere about $1.4 trillion to $1.3 trillion deficit and about a $13 trillion debt and a $13 trillion debt would be up
10:01 pm
against around a $15 trillion to $17 trillion g.d.p. annual economy and that means that -- what's 13 into 17? we're not at 100% but we're starting to get there when it goes to 100% or 150105%, historically, there's usually some type of major meltdown, i think that's a reflection not of arbitrary numbers but of human nature, we begin to think, we'll never pay this off, let's just quit. the capital begins to run away from markets, people horde what they have. it wasn't that the money disappeared in the great depression, it wasn't that the capital vaporized, people put it in their pockets because they no longer trusted their government, no longer trusted to put their capital at risk and have any real assurance they had even a possibility of getting it back and that's where this government is failing the people, they are destabilizing this economy so
10:02 pm
badly that capital is afraid to even get in the game. .kin: and that's one of the factors that totally destroys jobs. so if you want to ruin jobs, raise taxes, create uncertainty and spend way beyond your means. it's a war on business. and there are a couple of different things. we talked about these tax increases. here's something they didn't do at all. think haven't fixed the problem with fannie and freddie. these are two time bombs. they started the crisis before when we mismanaged freddie and fannie. as much as they boo and hiss president bush, he was asking for authority to regulate because they were out of control and the democrats blocked that legislation in the senate and now we have a meltdown on our
10:03 pm
hands. there are some things that are taxes, some things that are spending and some things that are no action at all that all feed into this problem. this sounds kind of boring. mr. broun: let me ask you something. we hear from our democratic colleagues over and over again that all this is bush's fault. we are still hearing that on this floor, bush's fault. bush was trying to -- i mean in 2003, was trying to rein in 2003, was trying to rein in fannie and freddie. the bush administration said there was a problem and i think you are fixing to show us an article. mr. akin: this doesn't say rush limbaugh here. this says the "new york times." "new york times." not exactly a conservative newspaper, september 11, 2003, the headline is, bush administration today recommend the the most significant
10:04 pm
regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago. a in agency would be created in the treasury department to assume supervision of freddie mac and freddie mac going on. this is 2003. they saw it coming. this then resulted in republicans in the house passing a bill. what goes then? we sent it to the senate. what happened in the senate? you needed 60 votes to pass it? and what happened? the democrats killed this in the senate, just like they killed the energy bill in the senate that was designed to help us with gas prices. justs as you know, gentlemen, to reduce health care costs. they killed the society the health plans time after time here on the floor to allow small businesses to pool their
10:05 pm
employees to get a better price. we were accused of doing nothing. we didn't do nothing. we sent a lot of legislation to the senate where they didn't have 60 republican votes. have we done anything about freddie and fannie? no. it's still hugely in debt and we are bailing it out all the time. what's the result? we will be in a lot of trouble. this is what hurts. unemployment. look at the private sector unemployment numbers. look at the red line. that is the public sector? have we created jobs? sure have. hired census workers. the jobs that pay for the government are going down because these policies make a difference in people's lives. whenever i think of unemployment, you gentlemen are both gentlemen. both of you have wives and kids and i suppose that somehow wired in the back of our minds, when i
10:06 pm
have a wife and kids, i need to take care of them. that's the fundamental thing i'm supposed to do as a dad. if i fail at that, i'm a miserable failure in my own mind. i'm picturing a set of policies that the democrats proposed to put people into houses they couldn't afford to pay for so they will default on their mortgage and they and their kids are going to be sitting on a sofa out on the street. that, to me, is kind of a nightmareish thing. and it looks like a boring number on a chart, but it's people who are hurting and people living back with their parents and parents digging into their savings. they may be boring, but they have a pain associated with them and consequences associated with them. this is the promise that if we gave lots of money to different
10:07 pm
states that have been mismanaging their budget with this supposedly stimulus bill. it was supposedly $787 billion but $800 billion and this is what is supposed to happen. reduce unemployment. and here's where the unemployment is. we have learned from henry morgenthau, you can't spend your way into prosperity. this hurts people. this isn't putting numbers on a graph. that is the actual unemployment. so there is a consequence to these policies. a little cartoon. kind of heff heavy. there are solutions. what we ought to do is learn from j.f.k. and ronald reagan but trying to be charitable. j.f.k. got it right. there is a solution. we don't have to do this.
10:08 pm
all we have to do is cut spending and cut taxes. everybody knows that. were you a pilot, congressman franks? frank franks i never was. mr. broun: i'm a pilot. mr. akin: i remember the biplanes. my science teacher flew glider planes and flew some of those in the d-day invasion and he hated physical ed and didn't like the1 physical ed and didn't like the football jocks. he got an award to the national hall of fame of glider pilots, which is an athletic thing because he could do loops with his planes. he taught my basics about flying. in the early days of flight, you get in an airplane and do one of these deals, you pull the
10:09 pm
airplane into a stall and it will start to spin and called the graveyard spin, i guess. and when pilots got into those things, they kept the flying the planes into the ground which ruined their afternoon. somebody realized to gamble his life and said there is a way out of this problem and it is counterintuitive. when you are in that spin, try to pull the stick up and that makes it worse. this guy when he's in this graveyard spin and said i'm going to do it. and instead, he kicks the rudder and pushes the stick forward until the airplane stabilized and made it look easy. the solution is, j.f.k. rkts ronald reagan understood the solution. the solution is, stop federal
10:10 pm
spending. stop the high tax rate and pretty soon we will come out of the graveyard spiral. we have done that before. i don't want to be too doom and gloom but these numbers are hurting people right now and it's time -- this is the president. he says, give me one more good reason why you aren't hiring and you have this socialized medicine bill which is calculated to destroy the economy and this cap and tax excuse for global warming. i asked my constituents which is more important to you, our dependence on foreign oil or global warming. they said let's get practical. we need to be doing about our energy business. but it isn't all doom and demroom. my good friend from arizona. mr. franks: it seems obvious to me and i will take a little
10:11 pm
chapter out of your cartoon there. this president has been very confident in aa lot of these things. there is an arrogance there is just overwhelming. but when you look at the facts, whether it's in our military challenges, our national security challenges, whether it's dealing with the challenges in the gulf, whether it's dealing with the economy, his arrogance to competency ratios is out of balance. if you want to know the deficit, it is between the arrogance and competence of this administration and there is the challenges we face. and i don't know what will cure that if voters don't wake up. mr. akin: i'm an engineer and engineers are geeks anyway, but we have a predictable thought pattern and that is, now we've
10:12 pm
got this big hole we just drilled in the bottom of the ocean. you can talk about it is a mile deep and we will talk about this because you used to have an oil rig but in the similar left form there is this ocean and hole in the bottom and it's leaking oil. and most americans i know when you have all this sloppy, yucky sticky oil, your first reaction is is to try to figure out how do you fix it, you know? you want to try and say, ok, let's get some people together that know about this stuff and let's stop the problem and let's try to mitigate the damage that's done, clean it up, but let's stop it from spilling oil. that's such a fundamental thing. engineers are ready to fix something when they haven't
10:13 pm
defined the problem. but that is a knee-jerk reaction. but yet, what we've got here is somebody who is more ready to try to figure out who to blame than to fix the problem and we have seen it before in the economy and other things, but there's not anything quite as vivid. and you would say, well, first, let's put a team together to fix it. instead, we're going to say, let's see how much we can get out of b.p. i don't feel sorry for them. as far as i know, they had personnel on the oil rig that were either incompetent or made so very bad decisions. they deserve to lose a lot of money. they did things wrong. but the federal government is doing things worse. and the thing that is so amazing, why don't we put the
10:14 pm
team together to fix the problem instead of standing around and looking for assigninging blame on the whole thing. that is what concerns me a lot. what happens if this economy turns into another big hole in the ocean? what are we going to have for leadership to fix that problem? i would recognize my friend from georgia. mr. broun: just today, we hat secretary salazar come to the natural resources committee to talk about the b.p. oil spill. and during my time of questioning of the secretary, i brought up to him something -- according to bill clinton, democratic president, i don't very often quote bill clinton, but bill clinton urged this administration first to stop the leak. second, to clean up the oil. and third, to protect the
10:15 pm
environment and those who are being damaged by this. and then, then, to try to find out what caused the problem and then fix it. but that's not what we're doing. just today we had a hearing on the chairman of the resources committee's bill, the clear act, to regulate offshore drilling, onshore drilling, all drilling, all energy production here in this country and secretary saldar -- salazar defended his moratorium that's going to kill hundreds of thousands of jobs in this country. mr. akin: i think it was 140,000 direct jobs. these aren't the barbers and the owners of restaurants but the hard jobs. mr. broun: it's going to kill those jobs. and secretary salazar defended
10:16 pm
his decision. and the interesting thing, the president pulled together a panel -- well, actually, secretary salt czar pulled together a panel of experts to look at this problem and to make recommendations. and then the report came out, used the secretary used this report to promote a six-month moratorium on stopping drilling, all drilling, jo shore, offshore, shallow water, deep water, all drilling. . mr. akin: did this stop the oil coming out of this the floor of the ocean? mr. broun: no. mr. akin: is it dealing with cleaning up thes me? mr. broun: they're not doing anything that bill clinton
10:17 pm
suggested they do the secretary said this panel was suggesting that we have this moratorium. an the panel came back and said, no, no, no. we didn't do that. in fact we don't want you to stop the drilling, we think you ought to continue it. and -- mr. akin: let's get this straight. this is confusing. a panel of more or less experts is put together, they're asked to come up with a recommendation, they come up with a recommendation, and the administration says, well, we're going to put a moratorium on drilling because that's what was recommended and the panel says, no, we didn't recommend that. i guess the panel came up with the wrong answer. mr. broun: i think it goes back to what's something the -- back to something' president's chief of staff said, when he said a crisis is too good to waste. i suggest to the seg secretary
10:18 pm
today this is a crisis they should ignore. what it appears to me and what it appears to the american people, this administration is trying to push through its tax and trade policy. mr. akin: i call it cap and tax. tax and trade. mr. broun: it's an energy tax, it's going to tax all people in the society, it's going thourt poor people more than anything else because more of their money is expended on things that are critical for life. mr. akin: let's get this straight. what we're going to do, we've got a hole in the ocean pouring out this really sticky, yucky oil. we haven't figured out, we're counting on b. fomplet clog that up. we don't really have that good a solution on the cleanup thing because the governor is saying we want to build sand berms to stop the oil from washing into our wetlands and the government says you can't do it, then they say you can, and when they
10:19 pm
start to do it, they say you can't. so we're not taking care of the mitigation piece of it. instead, what our solution is, hey, let's tax everybody. that seems a little counterintuitive. we're going to tax them twice. we're going to tax them when the government taxes them on energy. two, they're going to get hammered because the cost of energy is going to go up because we don't have the whole oil basin in the gulf which is a pretty good source of oil to give us lower-priced fuel that seems counterintuitive, doesn't it it's a little like that graveyard spiral we need someone to kick the rudders right and pull us out. my good friend congressman franks from arizona, was it 15, 16, 17, you owned your first oil rig? mr. franks: my younger brother and i started out with a drilling rig when i was 17, he was 15.
10:20 pm
it was a great experience. the offshore thing is a much bigger challenge. my conviction is that this administration, when this tragedy took place, they were so busy trying to fix blame rather than fixing the problem. the ironic part is, they'd like to try to pretend there's some debate on who's to blame and there isn't. all of us in this chamber, all of us in this congress recognize that b.p. is to blame for this tragedy. b.p. has said they are to blame for this tragedy. and what poth because ma should have done when this occurred, %% he should have immediately met with the only industry in the world that could deal with the problem of this nature. you can't call in the air force to lob heavy bombs at it. you've got to go to the industry that know house to deal with these things. he should have called all the experts to say, here's the deal. first of all, we're going told you accountable. it's going to happen.
10:21 pm
we know you're at fault, you're going to be accountable. but right now, our job is to plug this blowout and we're going to do whatever it takes to do that. we're going to work with everyone, we're going to work together and we're going to make it happen and make sure you're doing the best you can and we're going to make sure we're doing the best we can. we're going to have help from all over the world to help us, we're going to protect the shore in the meantime. instead this president is out looking over the horizon, to and free throw, find somebody's rear end to -- to and fro, to find somebody's rear end to kick can. i find it amazing because the moratorium they're talking about that not only doesn't plug the hole, it's like bringing somebody into the emergency room who is bleeding to death and he's trying to find somebody's rear to kick. this moratorium, not only it will it destroy jobs and hurt the economy and if all you
10:22 pm
cared about was the pollution, this moratorium is going to mean about a third of the oil we produce out of the gulf, we produce about 42%, somewhere in that neighborhood, of our own oil in this country. about a third of that comes from the gulf. if we don't produce that, we've go to bring in more tankers and buy more oil from overseas. what this administration overlooks is they forgot that seven of 10 of the last major spills in this country, seven out of 10, were from tankers system of what we're going to do is bring more tankers over and increase the chances of us having greater spills and ultimately the money we pay for that, a lot of it comes from middle eastern oil, a lot of that money finds its way into terrorist coffers. they may bring something over to this country that will really be a cataclysm. this administration seems blind to all of that i find it astonishing. mr. akin: you have illustrated
10:23 pm
the point i tried to make. you instinctively think in terms of fixing the problem, not fixing blame. you're a member of the armed services committee like myself. the military has basically a plan of a fusion unit. it's a management structure where when you get into something like this, the president can pull on every resource in the united states he puts together the smart people, puts somebody in charge of it and they take a look and say, here's how we're going to solve the problem. one, we're going to try this. if this doesn't work, we're going to try plan two, and here's plan three. foreign countries offer to help us. we yao put this thing together, you have somebody else taking care of state laws, environmental laws, making decisions. when governor jindal says we want to put a sand bar in front of our wetlands to stop the oil coming in you take a look and come back to him in 24 hours or 12 hours and decide if it's a good plan or not, you have the right people, the best people
10:24 pm
available in place to analyze that, make a decision and move forward. instead he waits a month to get a response from the federal government, builds the sand bar and they tell him to tear it down. mr. franks: he waited two months before he met with b.p. mr. akin: the president waited two months before going to b.p.? mr. franks: he should have been there in two days. mr. akin: that's convenient, anything that goes wrong, he could say it's all b.p. b.p. was wrong, but i'm not sure if it was more equipment or more human. i suspect it's more operator error than technology. but be that as it may, it seems to me that the only thing that eclipsed the foolishness and the incompetence of b.p. is the federal government response, it's even worse. mr. franks: it really is. regardless of whose fault it was on the ground, regardless
10:25 pm
of whether it was a mistake made by the ompletor or by the driller or by one of the contractor there is, the bottom line, b.p. is the operator. they're ultimately responsible. everybody knows that. this administration was focused on blame and political expediency rather than fixing the problem. mr. akin: thank you gentlemen, thank you for joining us. thank you, mr. speaker, for allowing us to talk about budgets and the situation in the gulf. god bless you and good night. the speaker pro tempore: under the speaker's announced -- announced policy of january 6, 2009, the chair recognizes the gentleman from california, mr. garamendi, for 60 minutes as the designee of the majority leader. first the chair will receive a message. the messenger: mr. speaker a message from the senate. the secretary: mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: ma cam secrrtary. the secretary: i have been
10:26 pm
directed to inform the house that the senate has passed without amendment h.r. 5623, cited as the home buyers assistance and improvement act of 2010. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is now recognized. mr. garamendi: mr. speaker, thank you very much for this opportunity. i've been here for the better part of this last hour, i've heard some astounding, astounding accusations and things that are purported to be fact and i just am going, what in the world is happening here? to think that the president of the united states is to blame for the blowout is the most extraordinary leap of logic you could possibly imagine. for the last 15 minutes, we
10:27 pm
have heard about the president didn't do this, the president didn't do that, the experts are not assembled -- well that's just not true. if you knew what was going on, instead of just flapping your lips, you would know that in fact shortly, very shortly, within days and hours after this blowout occurred, the best minds in america were assembled, in houston, and in louisiana, to deal with this. the fact of the matter is, there is a very, very good reason for the moratorium. in fact my colleagues on the republican side here said the reason. they didn't know why this occurred. was it human error? was it a problem on the rig? was it a problem down on the bottom? they don't know. in fact, we don't know today and that's why we have a moratorium. we have a moratorium because we don't know whaw why this blowout occurred. we have pretty good evidence
10:28 pm
that the blowout preventer didn't work. we have pretty good evidence that the efforts of the various methods of standard methods of dealing with the blowout didn't work. we don't know exactly why this well failed. and until we do know, we ought not be drilling in deep water because we certainly cannot afford another blowout. now, in 2008, in the republican administration, two t-38 jets crashed within two weeks. the united states air force put every one of these t-38's on the ramp and said you're not flying those airplanes until we know why they crashed. that's called a standdown. it's called a moratorium. so we have a moratorium. b.p.'s to blame for this and i must tell you, i am just absolutely astounded by what
10:29 pm
the republican caucus put together that was actually announced by our colleague from houston, texas, the ranking member of the house committee, when he apologized to british petroleum because the president demanded that british petroleum put together a $20 million trust mund fund to pay for the damage. the republican policy is to apologize -- to apologize to b.p. for the president forcing b.p. to do what was right. that is pay for the damages. that's just but one issue. i wasn't going to talk about this in great length but i'm just coming off listening to my republican colleagues here, we have to deal with the facts as they really exist. joining me tonight is
10:30 pm
congressman ellison from one of the great northern states in the midwest and i think he wants to pick up this issue and maybe carry it a little longer. mr. ellison: i do want to take up this issue of the spill. it is an important issue and you just mentioned the very frank and i believe honest comments of representative barton, the ranking member of the energy and commerce committee in which he apologized to b.p. some people might be think, you know he apologized for his apology, so you know, why don't we just drop it. but it doesn't start with mr. barton. it doesn't end with mr. bar torn. it actually started with the republican study committee, the republican study committee, which creates policy agenda and talking points for the republican leadership and that's headed by a gentleman, who was a member of this body, congressman price, tom price,
10:31 pm
he is he one with the help of the committee itself, not just by himself who released a statement calls for compensation fund and calling the compensation fund that you referred to help compensate small business people put out of business by this spill and people who live on the gulf, people who suffered, a shakedown. . this term comes from the republican leadership conference. they say president obama is shaking down the british petroleum. b.p. and from that point, price makes the statement -- this is before barton ever dos, but price says, b.p.'s record willingness to go along with the white house suggested that the obama administration is hard at work exerting its brand of chicago-style shakedown
10:32 pm
politics. these actions are emblem attic that has been borne out of our administration and they believe it is the best opportunity to pursue a failed agenda. this is where the conversation comes. then after that, mr. barton, following the party line, doing what the republican study committee has said to do, says, quote, i'm ashamed of what happened in the white house yesterday. i think it's a tragedy of the first proportion that a private corporation can be subject to what i would characterize as a shakedown and this creates a $20 billion shakedown. in this statement by barton, i never heard and maybe i'll leave it to the gentleman, any sort of apology or sympathy for the people who live on the gulf, who
10:33 pm
make a living there, send their kids to school there and see their economic life ruined. mr. garamendi: it's not only the extraordinary economic damage. 11 people were killed in thr blowout. 11 men who were working on that, who had families, who were trying to earn a living were killed as a result of it. for b.p., it wasn't their only accident. they have the worst safety record in the oil industry. so you're quite right congressman ellison that the issue of where the republican party stands on this, it's not just one member speaking out out of turn, it was, in fact, the ranking member of the committee speaking on the talking points developed by the republican study committee, which is the policy development committee for
10:34 pm
the republican caucus in this house. mr. ellison: if the gentleman would yield back. it didn't stop after mr. barton made his apology, which seemed sincere. after that, michelle bachmann, our colleague, says to the b.p. president about the $20e billion says, if i was the head of b.p., i would let the signal get out there, we aren't going to be chumps or be fleeced and we shouldn't have to be fleeced and make chump to have to pay for the perpetual unemployment and all the rest. so, i mean, if you contemplate that statement for a moment, our friends on the other side of the aisle just got through talking about how it's b.p.'s fault. that's what they say now, right after the fund that was developed by the president to make sure that victims of this
10:35 pm
both economic, physical and others had a basis of compensation. the republican caucus initial gut reaction which is their most sincere reaction is to say it's a shakedown and we aren't going to be chumps and say that b.p. shouldn't have to pay unemployment. i mean -- it didn't stop there. let me say one more before i hand it back to you. congressman king from iowa, i think joe barton was spot on when we when he called it a shakedown. no remorse. let me yield to the gentleman. mr. garamendi: with whom do you stand? what side are you on? we just heard an extraordinary renditionon of falsehoods in my view, from the republican side here that somehow this blowout, this b.p. accident was the fault of the federal government.
10:36 pm
hell loohe hello. the regulations they were talking about were absolutely necessary to prevent this kind of thing. in fact, the regulations that were relaxed during the george w. bush administration allowed this company to proceed with minimum safety requirements. and we heard this talk about the governor of louisiana and a state that is heavily impacted and tragically impacted by this oil. what is their response plan? pointing fig fingers at the federal government, which the governor is doing, and at the same time, what is the response plan for louisiana? it's virtually nonexist tant. the state of california, where i come from, we have a heff duty responsibility plan. we make the oil industry pay for
10:37 pm
it. does louisiana have a program? no, they don't. but they are willing to point a finger. what is this? mr. ellison: if the gentleman would yield back. they do have a plan. mr. garamendi: really? what is it? mr. ellison: the taxpayers can pay for it. mr. garamendi: taxpayers they were so concerned about. they want the american taxpayers to pay for it. mr. ellison: the g.o.p.-b.p. bailout is that the american takes pairs should pay and that their plan is the taxpayers can pay, because heaven forbid we ask a privately-held corporation to pay for its own damages. mr. garamendi: this corporation, b.p. that had a $58 billion profit last year?
10:38 pm
mr. ellison: if the gentleman would yield. b.p. is well healed and doing fine based on the profits they have made. so i yield back. mr. garamendi: quite possibly, they are so well healed and have big profits because they cut corners that resulted in the death of i think 13 people at their oil refinery in texas and another 11 in their rig at the deep horizon situation. this is the company with the worst safety record because they cut corners. mr. ellison: if the gentleman would yield. mr. garamendi: now it's time for them to pay. mr. ellison: if the gentleman would yield. if you observed the safety rules and regulations that are designed to save lives and save our natural environment, it may take you more time and cost you monday. maybe you won't have that
10:39 pm
exorbitant profit, but you'll make more money and people will be alive so they can go home at the end of the day and we will be able to have a gulf of mexico that bears some resemblance of the way the good lord intended it to make. right behind you is a graphic photograph -- i mean look at that bird. i yield back to the gentleman. mr. garamendi: this start the in the republican party, vice presidential candidate, it was called drill, baby, drill. what we found out this drill, baby, drill, results in spill, baby spill. in these shallow, deepwater operations, there have been 48 blowouts, none as catastrophic
10:40 pm
as this, but this is not a new situation. in the indian ocean, west of australia last year, there was a blowout of similar size by one of the international drilling oil companies and it took them even longer, over 120 days, maybe even longer everyone that to drill a relieve will well. there was a a blowout on the mexican side of the gulf of mexico several years ago that resulted in a huge oil spill and there was another off the coast of the brazil. this isn't new, but what is new is the extraordinary damage that is taking place and the irresponsibility of b.p. in this particular case where they cut corners, where they did the least that they thought they needed instead of maximum, be prepared, they did exactly the opposite and now we are faced
10:41 pm
with this catastrophic event. our colleagues across the aisle were talking about nothing happening. well, in fact, numerous efforts have been made, unsuccessful to date. the capping, the effort to activate the blowout preventer, on and on and hopefully in the next couple of weeks we will have one of the relief wells intersecting the blowout well and bring this thing to a stop. however, we need to recognize that as long as we drill, we will run the risks. and as we run those risks, we also commit even a greater problem for this planet. and that is, as long as we can drill, we will be dependent upon oil, whether it is domestically produced or foreign-produced. this oil is not only contaminating the ocean and the beaches and the marshes, but
10:42 pm
also contaminating our atmosphere. and that carbon doesn't disappear and leads us to more dependence on oil. we need to break that addiction to oil and yous this catastrophic event to call our attention to focus our minds on what we must do to break america's addictton to oil. this is not a new effort. we have been at this since the 1970's with the first oil crisis. we have yet to break it. in fact, we have continued the addiction. we must move away from this. and our energy policy must move us in a different direction. i know you have spent a lot of time working on these issues. and let me put up another one, as horrible as this spill is, we need to understand what the oil industry is all about. the oil industry has been
10:43 pm
operating in america for about 140 eyes, since the turn of the last century. and for a century now, the oil industry -- well, let me ask a question, which of these industries receives the most federal subsidies? tax dollars. subsidies are tax dollars. you want to taxes, my republican friend, where do your tax dollars go? well, let's find out. solar panels, right? ok, do they get the most subsidies? how about windmills? well, we'll call them wind turbines. this is an interesting one that has been around for years, and this is using the ocean, the waves and the ocean or the current in the ocean or even in the rivers.
10:44 pm
and this is an interesting one and this is a brand new one and this is algae, algae producing biodiesels. or the oil industry. now, my question to you, mr. ellison, which of these receives the greatest subsidy, reid tax dollars from the public? mr. ellison: drum roll first, congressman garamendi? i think we know. i'm going to take a wild guess. the oil industry. mr. garamendi: you are a brilliant legislator and a fine arbiter of the question. turns out you are right. it is the oil industry. let's take a look at this, our tax dollars. where do they go? this side is the oil industry and this is from 2002 to 2008. so we've got some numbers up here for fossil fuel, between
10:45 pm
2002 and 2008, this is the oil and a little bit of the coal, $72.5 combillion of direct subsidies, our tax -- billion of direct subsidies, our tax money, being taken out of our pocket and given to the oil industry. $72.5 billion. where does it go? traditional fossil fuels, oil and coal. there you have it. now, on the other side, renewable energy. well, we have corn ethanol industry and they have received $16.8 billion. and then the traditional renewables, these would be solar, wind and the like, about $12.2 billion. taken together, $29 billion for renewable abbles in the same six-year period that the oil
10:46 pm
industry received $72.5 billion. the question of public policy is this. what if we flip this over. what if we flip this around and took the $72.5 billion and spent it on renewable abbles and we -- renewables and we could continue the subsidy, not if you have $58 billion of profit. but we -- but we could take that and give the renewable industry the $72 billion. mr. ellison: we'd be healthier, we wouldn't be burning hydrocarbons and spewing them to the air. our planet would be healthier. we would see our technology and creativity would blossom as we subsidize renewable sources of energy. it would be a good thing.
10:47 pm
mr. garamendi: it would be a very, very good thing. most economists who look at the international markets and the next great industries don't look to the 19th century energy industry, coal and oil, as being the growth industries, and where the jobs will be created. those economists and futurists who look at these things tell us that the great energy industries of the future are the energy industries of this century. the renewables. of all kinds. all that we had up here and even more than i had on that little chart, that the jobs will come there and our policy ought to be to encourage those industries and those things that -- wind turbines, solar, even nuclear systems and the rest, that they be built in america. mr. ellison: let's not forget about efficiency.
10:48 pm
there are a lot of jobs to be had by retrofitting buildings and -- mr. garamendi: conservation. mr. ellison: putting a lot of people back to work making homes and buildings energy efficient you put that together with renewable energy, that's an employment driver. that's an economic driver. that's an environment driver. mr. garamendi: let's bring the issue you just raised right back to this chamber in the present moment. we have voted here three times, i believe, on what are called programs for energy conservation. one thosme was called cash for clunkers. -- for cash for caulkers. we had cash for clunkers which helped the auto industry. now we have cash for caulkers, it is bringing about energy conservation. in doing that, two good things happen.
10:49 pm
we're employing people, taking our tax dollars, get this back up here. we don't have conservation on here but if we were to add conservation, taking our tax dollars, instead of giving them to coal and oil companies, ive it to men and women in the communities that are doing the insulation. doing the window caulking. and as that's done, homeowners and renters see their energy bills drop. what happened on this noor when those bills came up? what's your memory of how the votes turned out? mr. ellison: well, i don't remember any ringing endorsement from the party opposite. mr. garamendi: my recollection is the democratic side said, let's give people jobs, let's use the public's tax money to employ people to do energy conservation, the republicans, to a person, voted no.
10:50 pm
whose side do you stand on? you're going to take those tax dollars and continue to give them to the oil industry and the coal industry? or are you going to take those tax dollars and put people to work and achieve the energy conservation and allow homeowners and renters to see their energy bills go down? the republican party made a very clear decision on who they stand with. they do not stand with the homeowner. they do not stand with those who can get the jobs. instead, they voted no on those three conservation programs that would put people to work. mr. ellison: they stand with b.p. against the resident of the gulf and businesses there they stand with the oil and gulf company -- oil and gas companies with the subsidies rather than the people who want a clean, green future. they consistently stand against progress. the thing that i find so astounding is that they will
10:51 pm
come back to the house floor and continue to repeat these things. quite frankly, i'm quite proud of president obama for demanding that b.p. start an escrow fund so we can have some relief for the people suffering such horrendous hardship on that gulf coast. i think it was an act of responsibility. it was what he should do. the administration was responsive to this spill. the administration did get engaged right away. and the congress is holding hearings right now to get to the bottom of what happened and to prevent it and put the policies in place to do something about it but all along the way, what we're getting is apologies to b.p. and really no help at all. and you know, we're not discouraged, though. congressman garamendi, you know that we are stout of heart and every time we get a chance to do something for this economy, for consumers, for the environment, the democratic
10:52 pm
caucus is counted on to do it. mr. garamendi: you're quite correct. i'm going to go through a litany a list, a list of specific things to help the economy. but before i go to that, i think we ought to set the stage here. there was a lot of talk in the previous hour about deficits and where the deficits came from. mr. ellison: oh, brother. mr. garamendi: where did the deficits come from? first of all, let's understand that public policy doesn't change the moment a president comes into office. there is the continuity of the previous years' policy that stay in effect for a while until those are changed and even then, it isn't an immediate night to day. it takes a while for the policies to go into effect. so the charts shown earlier are just plain disingenuous, if not outright false. the george w. bush
10:53 pm
administration came into office with a significant surplus that was created in the last three years of the clinton administration. i think it was about $500 million annual surplus that was projected to go on into the future. george w. bush administration, together with the republican controlled congress and senate, did four things. that created the deficit we have today that the republicans want to pin back onto obama and the democrats. here are the four things they did. first of all, they instituted a -- one of the largest tax cuts every in american history for the wealthiest 10% of americans. not the everyday workers, not the people out earning a salary day by day or an hourly wage but for the wealthiest. fact one.
10:54 pm
fact two, the prescription drug benefit for seniors was not paid for and they specifically put in a provision that prevents the federal government from negotiating prices with the pharmaceutical companies. fact number three. two wars started and paid for with borrowed money. most unusual event. borrowed money resm deucing taxes, start two wars, that's fact three. right now, those wars have cost us well over $1 trillion, nearly $1,100,000,00000 dollars. fact four, escalating costs. those are the four reasons we have the deficit today thism fifth reason is the crash of
10:55 pm
the american economy. those all happened during the george w. bush administration. and they didn't stop the day obama came into office. they actually -- we're now changing those policies. for example, the health care reform that not one republican in this house voted for, not one. will, over its lifetime actually reduce the deficit because it reins in the cost of medical care. in my view, not enough. but nonetheless, does that. secondly, the other policies have been allowed to continue, now the tax policies of the bush administration will expire. that will help. and the prescription drug benefit will work -- we're working on that. that was part of health care reform also. the wars continue. fortunately, the iraq war is winding down. while the afghan war escalates. so we need to understand how we got to this place where we are
10:56 pm
today. and how we got there with the -- were the basic policies, the clinton administration left a surplus a continuing surplus, for the george w. bush administration and had they not changed the policies, it is estimated that by the middle of this decade, we would wipe out the american debt. period. gone. history. but no, they changed the policies and now we're saddled with this debt. the crash. the crash of this economy was caused by reckless action on the part of wall street. reckless, river e-- irresponsible action on the part of wall street. basically, driven by the grossest greed you could possibly imagine. all kinds of inducements to homeowners to engage in mortgages that there's no way they could possibly pay. i know that you're faced with
10:57 pm
this in your community and action taken on this floor not more than five hours ago, we're coming to that in just a moment. but share with us the experiences in your community about mortgages, about all of the problems of the housing industry and the crash and what's happened in your community. mr. ellison: if the gentleman will yield, you're so right. when people look at the crash, it's a chain of events. it starts out in the neighborhood. there's something we need to talk about. something called a yield spread premium. what that is is the amount of money that somebody is selling a loan can get if they steer you from a loan you may qualify for to a high cost loan system of there's a lot of people who qualified for prime loans but were literally steered. then you had another development a ninja loan. no job, no assets. yet you can get money to buy a
10:58 pm
house. then there's something called a liar loan, that's a curious thing to call a loan, it was stated income. you could write down whatever you said your income was, there was no verification of that income. and then after you got into these loans, they had terms and conditions like prepayment penalties. so that if you wanted to get of of this loan to get a fairer loan, you couldn't do it unless you paid somebody off down the line system of these loans, people got into them, they were being sold and the people who made those loans really didn't need to make sure they were well underwritten. they didn't -- it didn't matter to them if these folks could pay the money back because they would simply sell those -- that paper on the secondary market. now what was the effect in the neighborhood? the effect in the neighborhood is once the housing values begin to flatten and decline, people couldn't pay, and once they couldn't refinance, because they had negative
10:59 pm
equity in the home, they couldn't make the payments, and they ended up getting foreclosed upon. in neighborhoods all across this country, california, your state was hit hard. florida, yeads, even my state of minnesota, hit very hard, people started being foreclosed from their homes and short sales began to happen, property values begin to decline and neighborhoods began to go into the wrong direction. so there was a lot of difficulty right there on the front line, the front line was foreclosure of homes, abandoned properties, high grass, dead dogs, expenses to the local government because if you have a house where people are paying property taxes, that's coming into the local government. but if you have an abandoned property, that's an expense to the local government. more pressure on local government budgets, intense difficulty, tough times on main street. street. i yield back to the gentleman.


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on