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tv   Today in Washington  CSPAN  July 3, 2010 2:00am-6:00am EDT

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federal debt will rise to 90% of gdp by the end of fiscal year 2020. in the long-term budget outlook, the cbo projects that under the alternative fiscal scenario, which he spurned -- which keeps current policies in place, this spending growth will cause the fedal debt to explode to nearly 10 times america's gdp by the end of fiscal year 2084. president obama and congressional democrats are pursuing reckless policies that are clearly unsustainable. unless they're excessive ficits and debt accumulation are put into reverse, the united states may experience a debt crisis silar to greece. we're putting the future of our . \ . . at these reports every month, coissioner paul, --
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commissioner hall, and have a spirit of ar as opposed to hope. i have chosen hope. when i think about from whence we come, and the chart here tells the story very clearly -- back in january 2009, we were in deep trouble. president obama came in with a patient, our economic system, which was in deep trouble and was in intensive care. he tk that situation and turned it around. i do not know how many people have been in intensive care, but it takes time to heal. and i do believe our country has come a long way. is it where we wanted to be? no. i wish that we could wave a magic wand and the folks to come to me on a daily basis in my district, the ones who are saying they cannot find jobs --
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i wish they could find them. but the fact still remains that we have come a long way, and we do have a long way to go. i have often said that in these hearings, when we hear our jobs reports on a monthly basis, the question becomes so often when do we root for the home team. when do we acknowledge progress? when do we give this president, this administration, this congress credit for what we are accomplishing? we must keep in mind that 60%
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of the gdp is consumer spending, and my good friend mr. brady is right. it is about confidence. the fact remains that o of the things to get that confidence going is going back to what the chairwoman talked about in most of her speech this morning. we have got to get people employed, but we also have to make sure that those who are not employed and cannot find jobs through no fault of their own have some kind of way making it through day-to-day life. sometimes i listened to my colleagues on the other side and i wonder, what do you say? maybe hey have never been in those situations where the person just could not find a job. so what do you say to the person who cannot find a job? just go and die? just get lost? no empathy? no nothing?
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through no fault of their own? i am hoping, madam chair, that the senate will act. i think it is very sad that we leave for a fourth of july vacation and when the fireworks are going off and people a having fun there will be a lot of people throughout our country who will not be able -- that are not trying to get down to disney world. they are just trying to get to the nearest amusement park. they are not trying to eat steak. they are simply trying to get a hamburger.
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books who are just trying to live their lives, people who were doing fine a few years ago, doing fine before the country was put in intensive care through no fault of their own, ding finehile others were getting, at aig and other big firms, major bonuses of billions of dollars for running our country into the gutter. again, one of the things we did not talk about yet this morning is that a lot of people at the beginning of this week were saying "the sky is going to fall and we will move from 9.7 to 9.9." i heard it all week. not a mumbling word yet about the fact that the unemployment rate went down to 9.5. hello. rooting for the home team. we still have a lot to do. but the fact still remains that we have come a long way. and the chairwoman is right. we are going in the right direction. and i think that this congress can work with this president to speed that process up. and so i choose hope as opposed to fear. with that, madam chair, i yield
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back. >> thank you very much. i would now like to introduce dr. keith hall. he is the commissioner of labor statistics for the united states department of labor. that is an independent, national, statistical agency that connects, processes, analyzes, and disseminates its central statistical data to the american public, the united states cgress, other federal agencies, state and local governments, business, and labor. dr. hall has also served as chief economist for the white house council of economic advisers. prior to that, he was the chief economist for the u.s. department of coerce. dr. hall also spent 10 years at the united states international trade commission. thank you for your public service. we look forward to your testimony.
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>> thank you, madam chair. thank you for the opportunity to discuss the employment and unemployment data we released this morning. non-farm employment fell by up 125,000 in june, and the unemployment rate edged down to 915%. the larger employment reflects a fall in the number of the number of jobs in the private sector is up. private-sector employment has risen by 593,000 so far in 2010. in june it was 9.7 below its previous session level. federal government employment decline shortly. the number of temporary census workers dropped by 225,000, leaving 339,000 temporary workers on the census peril. in the private sector, temporary help services employment continued to grow over the month. the industry has added 379,000 jobs since september 2009. employment also rose in management and technical consulting and business support services in june.
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amusement and recreation gained 28,000 jobs, will transportation and warehousing was up by 15,000. mining employment continued to train up. the industry has gained 56,000 jobs since october 2009. employment in thing of pressuring also trended up in june. -- in manufacturing also trended up in june. the manufacturing workweek decline by half an hour in june, more than offsetting an increase in may. nonetheless, factory hours remained 1.3 hours above their recent trough. employment in health care edged up in june. construction employment fell by 22,000. specialty trade contractors accounted for most of the decline. that has shown little change
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over the last four months. on a measure of a survey of households, the unemployment edged down to 95% in june. of the unemployed individuals, about 6.8 million have been jobless for 27 weeks or more. in comparison, 1.3 million were unemployed for 27 weeks or more when the recession began. the labor force declined in june following an increase earlier in the year. that declined by half a percentage point over the last two months. the employment population ratio edged down in june. among the employees there were 8.6 million individuals working part time who would prefer full-time work. the number of special workers has fallen by 525,000 over the past two months.
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in summary, payroll employment fell by 125,000 in je as modest growth in the private sector was more than offset by a large decline in temporary census workers. the unemployment rate edged down to 9.5%. i would now be happy to answer questions. >> commissioner hall, what are the bright spots in this month's jobs report? are there any particularly encouraging areas that you can report to us in this month's report? >> the biggest bright spot is the drop in the unemployment rate from 9.7% to 9.5% all the private-sector j growth was not strong it was job growth. it has been growing now for six straight months. i think in context that is a positive sign. manufacturing employment continues to grow. not strongly, but it has grown for six straight months. that also is a good sign.
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temporary help work continues to add jobs. that continues to be a good job for future growth and employment. the was not strong job growth in any portion of the economy. there was not strong job loss either. i think there were some areas where there was modest growth. >> what sectors are experiencing more job creation than job losses now? you mentioned manufacturing. what other areas? >> manufacturi is. retail trade declined a little this month, but over the prior six months it started to grow modestly. temporary help services -- i mentioned that. education and health services continue to grow jobs. leisure and hospitality has grown jobs for the past six months, and in june as well. >> are there any others sectors
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that are showing signs that they might have job growth? that are giving indication that are getting stronger? >> there are no real industries that are losing jobs strongly. everything is either hovering around a little job growth or is growing a little bit. i would say the biggest indication is the temporary help services. that has been strong. that suggests that at some point workers will start to bring back other workers. >> as you have said, we are trending in the right direction. are there any further indicators that overall job gains will continue in e coming months, besides the temporary help and the six months of job gains in
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manufacturing? >> i think one of the more encouraging things -- this month the manufacturing work hours declined. that is not a good sign. prior to that, there had been a pretty steady rise in manufacturing work hours. that is generally a leading indicator as well. >> i would like to ask you about the gulf region. have you done any analysis on the impact of the disaster on jobs in that region? are you tracking that? >> we are starting to do some tabulations on that. we are probablnot going to be able to simply identify what has been the effect of the oil spill, but we will probably have some nice tabulation that will show you the areas that could be affected. in terms of overall job impact this is probably going to be a tricky thing to estimate,
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because you do get a job boost from cleanup and activities like that. and of course you have tourism and such along the beaches that will be impacted. wdo have pretty good data on that. i think as more of our data becomes available people will be ae to tease out some of these facts. >> when will it be available? >> some will be available over the next few months. the best data we have will not be available for quite a while. the apparel jobs that we simple right now -- at some point, we are going to do a census of all of those. we do that once a year. that will give us detaid information. but that will not be for a -- until later in the year. >> commissioner, i cannot believe you just said a bright spot is that the unemployment rate fell. do you realize that is because 652,000 americans gave up looking for work? >> the labor force did decline by that much. >> next month, another 600,000 people could give up looking for work. should we organize some parade to cheer it? it seems to me that it is not good news, going forward. and i also -- the second quarter, i think all of us were optimistic about it. it started out strong. it has not moved forward. i do not see any payroll job
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growth by industry in this month's report that is the specifically -- statistically significant. do you? >> i do not. i would agree that we have not growth.n strong, sustained job that is clearly something we are going to need to see at some point to start lowering the unemployment rate further. >> i think companies are hopeful that their customers will art demanding. consumers will have confidence. companies will have confidence to make investment and hiring decisions. but that is not happening. i think it is the policies of washington that is holding this recovery back. i would like to point out -- i agree that the unemployment benefits are a tragedy. i point out that democrats have nothing to blame but themselves. this is not a surprise. we have known this deadline for months. they hold a super majority in
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the house and they hold the white house. i guess other than blaming george bush they have to loo in the mirror for those who will not be getting help this month. on unemployment are looking hard for work. they are struggling to find it. what they really want are jobs. this report today is not very encouraging news for them. one concern i have, and the chairman raise the issue correctly -- the impact of the gulf oil spill. clearly, it is going to have an impact on tourism. the tourist season is pretty short. shrimping in the ocean season is very short period. there will be real impact going forward. have you been able to estimate another equally important blow to our economy -- this six month drilling moratorium of 33
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deepwater wells? the federal courts have stated -- have stayed the moratorium, but the secretary has announced the will find a way to reinstate it. in our region, we had a woman laid off due to the drilling moratorium. there are almost 50,000 jobs directly related to those rigs in the gulf coast or the deepwater area. thousands of businesses -- they say they cannot survive six months without business. have you had a chance to study the impact of shutting down our energy exploration in the gulf for a six month period, including e rigs that will leave? it was announced this week that rigs are leaving for was to
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africa or the middle east and will not be returning for a year cause the company is already redeploying workers to other areas that are allowing energy exploration. the have any estimes yet but the devastating economic impact of the moratorium will be? >> we do not. if you like, i can follow up and see what sort of numbers. >> what these think the impact from the gulf spell will start showing up in your reports? this week, for example, it was small, but there was some tiny job gains in recreation and tourism. do you think we will start seeing that impact in next month's report are the following month?
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>> whatever impact there is, i think we will. the difficulty for us is teasing out the impact of somethg like that, because in context of 130 million payroll jobs, at sort of impact is difficult. i think we have the right sort of data that someone could take a look at that and try to make some estimates, but to be honest it will not be easy. it is not because it is not there. it is because it is very hard to isolate. >> thank you, councilman. >> i need to respond to my good friend and colleague. there is a lot of revisionist history going on. blaming the democrats for the loss of jobs is absolutely factually incorrect. we see clearly in this chart in red, white, and blue for the fourth of july that is coming up -- clearly, president bush not only inherited the surplus, but we see throughout his
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administration in a big way we continued to lose jobs in a downward trend. the last month he was in office, this country lost over 779,000 jobs. that is an undisputed fact. with president obama and the democratic policies, we have started trending in the right direction. it is true that recovery is never moved in a straight line. there has not been a straight linep that v chart, and it doesn't stand for victory, but it shows progress. we are moving in the right direction. it shows that we have gained private-sector jobs, the truest indicator of an economic recovery, consistently. it zigzagged, but that is the light blue. we are trending in the right direction because of the efforts in the recovery act and stabilizing our economy. the recovery will take time, but we need to stay vigilant. we ed to continue working.
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we need to continue helping our people buying jobs. i assure you the democrats will not stop until every american who wants a job can get ooe. i now recognize my good friend and colleague mr. cummings, who has been a leader in creating jobs and helping small businesses. >> thank you very much. mr. brady said when democrats look in the mirror we should blame ourselves for the plight of our many constituents who are out of work. i just want to be very clear that when i look in the mirror i feel good about the fact that just yesterday i voted to try to help constituents get unemployment benefits while the other side of the aisle gainsaid it. i do not know what merely want to look into, but that is the mirror i look into.
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i do not want to get into the blame game, but i want to make this picture clear. we ask you about the gulf coast, and we understand there are 33 wells we are talking about out of 3600. there are 33 wells the moratorium effects. when we see the damage that has been done to our environment, when we see it the 11 gentlemen who were tragically killed -- as a matter of fact, one of their own fathers was with us yesterday in the transportation committee. when we see all the damage done to our environment, a six month moratorium to try to get this thing straight so it does not happen again seems to be a small price. we understand it does affect people. i have talked to folks on both sides of that issue.
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the fact remains that tens of billions of dollars of damage has already been done. lives have been lost. we have to figure out how to bring a balance to this. i think the president is doing the right thing. the other thing mr. brady talked about -- i heard some people on cnbc talking about it on my way here. they were saying that last month we had an increase in the number of jobs. i am not talking about this report, but the last one. but the rate stayed the same. is that right? >> yes. >> it stayed the same. there were saying you have a situation where if you are going to live and die by the rate, there are certain variables thatome with that. the overall picture is still that we are going in the right direction. in other words, we are not moving backwards.
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is that a fair statement? >> that is a fair statement. the data is showing improvement over several months. >> this temporary jobs thing -- you talk about it every month and you say that is something significant. at what point would you expect to see that temporary prediction -- that temporary job prediction -- turned into some permanent jobs? do you follow me? >> sure. it is not clear. it predicts turning points very well. and it is continuing to show growth. but to be honest the reaction varies at times. sometimest comes fast,
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sometimes later. >> these private temporary js had growth? >> there was. >> what is the significance of that as opposed to public? >> as opposed to public? the private sector is a reflection, probably, of the fact that establishments are more likely to bring back temporary help workers first before they start bringing back the permanent workers. that is why it winds up being sort of a leading indicator. it is perhaps an indicator of some uncertainty that they are bringing back temporary folks instead of permanent players. >> at least they are going in the direction of increasing. >> that is true.
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>> there was an article in "the new york times" yesterday that said that employment in the manufacturing sector is on the rise. in fact, it said that there will was -- that the report today shows an increase of 9000 jobs in manufacturing. >> that is accurate. >> what is the significance of that? >> first of all, manufacturing has not shown sustained job growth for a long time. in fact, the last recession -- the recovery after the last recession, manufacturing did not regain any of the jobs lost. this is the first time manufacturing has showed some recovery from cession in quite a while. >> that is a good sign? >> that is a good sign. >> i see my time is up. >> thankou very much.
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commissioner hall, at our hearing in may we talked about dr. krugman's testimony at the treasury department. he testified at an earlier joint economic committee hearing that the recovery was fragile and it wasoving in the right direction, but very zigzagging. he did say something i thought was interesting. he said that in most recoveries the driver of new job creation has ways, historically, been small and medium-sized businesses, but in this recovery it has been larger businesses. i would like to ask you -- do you have any numbers on small and medium-sized companies and thr hiring patterns? wheat in congress have initiated a number of incentives in support to small businesses, to help them gain access to credit, to give them a tax relief for hiring new unemployed workers. i would like to hear the status, since it is such an important part of our ecomy, of the employment movement of small and medium-sized
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businesses. >> to put this into context, in the last recsion -- in evious recessions, the job loss was somewhat centered in lae firms. this particular recession has been more evenly balanced. it is more jobs lost at small and medium firms than at past recessions. that has been notable. in this early stage of the recovery, hopefully, the large industries -- the large establishments have had job growth since september, but the medium and small have not. they have been lagging in recovery. our data is not up date yet. we should be coming out with new data soon. that is the early incation. >> since this is such an important engine of our economy and employment in our country, would it be possible for you to supply us on a more regular basis with information on employment and small and medium-sized businesses? >> sure.
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that is a tabulation we have not always done, but wean make an effort to update that for you. it is a little bit difficult for us, because our sample size is not very large. that is what we do not do it all the time. but if that will help inform things we will do what we can do. >> [inaudible] in thfirst six months of 2010. we have now six months of unemployment data. i would like to see if you can't put it in context, setting
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aside the temporary census jobs we lost. you noted that 225,000 were lost. how would you characterize overall the job growth in the first six months of 2010? >> the past six months, we have average 100,000 jobs added a month. well that is not strong, sustained job growth, it is job growth.
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i have to say it is not -- that has actually been fairly typical. last two recessions, one of the things i have been struck by is the labor market, once it hit its trough, the first six months afterwards -- is recession had a trough somewhere in november d december of last year. the six months since then we've added about 100,000 jobs. the last recession hit a trough in something like juner july 2003. the first six months after that, we increase by about 100,000 jobs a game. it is very much the same. the six months before that, we were losing out 275,000 jobs per month for the second half of 2009. >> is this a labor market in fr fall, or would you characterize it as one with early stages of prior economic recoveries? >> i would say this is consistent with the recoveries in the last two recessions. >> do you see anything in this information that is a potential pitfall or problem we could see in the future? >> no.
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just that we are at a point, as in past recessions, where we have some job growth but it is not strong job growth. it is not sustained yet. i would say the biggest risk is probably a higher risk until we start to get the strongob growth -- a higher risk of things not improving quickly. >> thank you very much. mr. brady. >> this recovery certainly is not consistent with the recovery of '81 and '82, where job growth and unemployment was three times better than the obama recovery. i will take comfort in telling our workers and small businesses in the gulf coast, who will lose their jobs and are losing their jobs and losing their businesses, due to the drilling moratorium, that they are "a small price to pay" for this over reactionary and politically advantageous policy-making here in washington. what is frustrating, i think, is that this democrat congress has had control over mms, that oversees the gulf, forhree years. they have done nothing to reform
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it. the obama administration themselves approved british petroleum'operational waivers on the well. the approved the cleanup plans which have turned out to be ful. they have failed to support our gulf coast governors and local communities in protecting the marshes and beaches, that is why you see them on tv every day pleading for help. now i try to reinstate a drilling moratorium, they are intent on turning an environmental cctastrophe into an economic catastrophe. i am not just talking about 50,000 direct jobs which will be lost, or the $2 billion in wages that will be taken from the economy. i am talking about thousands of small and medium-sized businesses that simply will not survive. what is frustrating is that 24 lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have sent a letter to secretary salazar, recommending a path forward that would
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protect the safety and security of the golf and allow exploration to go forward on the development and appraisal wells in the gulf that pose almost no risk at all, a proposal that would save 95% of jobsavoid an energy supply problem in 2011-2012. we are just hopeful that maybe the small price to pay folks who are going to suffer can get some relief on this white house. maybe coress could delay their unemployment checks as well. jobless claims were up agai last week. construction is stalled. no industry, as you said a moment ago -- none of the job growth is statistically significant. now there are worries from europe. there are concerns about manufacturing slowdowns in china and throughout the world. that is keepinconsumers at bay. the saving rate continues to go up. people are banking their money rather than buying something. i am looking for optimistic
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signs in these numbers, anddthe sooner we get this recovery going the better. but i just do not see what i think we are all hoping for. we need at least 250,000 private sector -- not government workers, private- sector workers -- each month. that is just to start working off the unemployment rate in a sustainable rate. >> that would be a strong, sustained growth. >> lowering the unemployment rate not by workers giving up, which is what happened this month, but by workers going back to work. we need at least twice the job growth rate in the privat sector that we got this month. is that correct? >> to make a strong move downward in the unemployment rate, we need something like
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that. >> that is what we should be shooting for in all our policies appear, adding at least 250,000 private-sector jobs to the peril so we can get this unemployment down and people can get some hope ba again, consumer confidence can rise, and companies will again not be so fearful of washington, energy prices, new taxes, and the regulation. they will make those critical business investment decisions. thank you, commissioner. >> and thank you very much, madame chair. the chairlady was asking you a few minutes ago about medium- sized and small businesses. do you remember that? >> i do. >> in my district we just had the federal reserve, and talk to some small business folks a few weeks ago. the federal reserve was trying to get a feel for what problems they were experiencing.
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what we heard over and over again from the small business people was the had a problem with accessing capital. . . >> you don't go to why certa things happen like that, do you? you don't go that far? you don't even draw conclusions, do you? >> no. >> if you don't have the money, it is kind of hard to do what you have to do. we have been pushing pretty hard to try to get these banks to do
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even more so that people can get the capital. one of the things that is interesting as i listen to you, i could not help but think about a few years ago when i was learning to ride a bike, remember, the chain had to catch. if the chain did not catch, you're not going anywhere fast. it sounds like we got here is things moving in the right direction, but there needs to be me kind of catch, a push to get us moving even faster. but once that happens, i am listening to what you're saying. we might see that motion that sends us into another level of progress. in the past, has that been the case?
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you were talking about how this could be 2003, six months, you see 100,000 jobs each month? what have you seen in the past with regard to getting beyond that six months? is there anything different about this recession, a situation which would cause you to have less optimism or more pessimism? >> it is true that in the past couple of recessions, there was at some pint, it became sustained. the biggest concern i would have going forward is that this has been a very severe recession.
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ideally, we have even stronger job growth the last couple of recessions to recover from those jobs, and it is going to take a while to recover those jobs. we do need a stronger job growth than we have had the last couple of expansions to get back the jobs. >> those otherecessions, were they associated with anything like the problems that we have had with regard to wall street? >> both of those recessions were mild recessions and relatively short recession. this is neither mild nor short. >> i will repeat what i said. president obama came into this situation having to put a patient in intensive care, not
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just critical care, but intensive care. it is taking awhile to get out of that. it is a slow process. we would like to get better quicker. the fact remains, for every person out there, -- when i go back to my district, there'lle people that s, i am looking for a job. we're looking in the right direction. i want to make it even faster. >> i agree with my good friend and colleague that what we want in this country is robt private sector job creation. i believe that trying to create 300,000 private sector jobs a month is a very daunting job given the fact that the former
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president, president bush, created roughlyhat much during his entire eight years in office. for the fourth of july, red white and blue, we were losing over 779,000 jobs a month. it takes a long time to recover, but we are trending in the right direction. we are digging ourselves out of this deep valley. i would like to ask you a few questions on reports that the commission produced and the impact on them -- we found that african-americans have been disproportionately hurt by long- term unemployment. have you seen any recent signs that the uration of unemployment is ssortening for african-americans?
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>> no, i haven't. >> and in a may report that we issued for working mothers, one out of tee working mothers was the sole breadwinner for her family. you noted in your last implement hearing that it is women with children who lost their jobs during this recession. i am concerned how they are fearing. how did they fare during the june numbers? >> i don't have that data really handy. we don't have that data yet. i would be happy to follow up for the june numbers. it lags. >> in an airport, the joint economic committee issued on the younger workers, we found that these workers were experiencing the highest unemployment in history for
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younger workers. did things get any better for younger workers? >> not significantly, no. >> we also released a report o the impact of recession on hispanic workers. the report concluded that the driverf unemployment and geography, latino workers were over represented among construction employment. going into the downturn, you're more likely to live in regions that were hit hard by the housing burst and housing bubble states such as nevada, arizona, florida, california. what has happened to construction employment in the first half of 2010? is it experiencing job gains at the same rate as some of the other sectors?
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>> no, we have been losing about 20,000 jobs a month in construction still. >> d.c. any evidce that this will expand in the near future and will reach the levels seen before the housing market collapsed? >> no, i think that obviously, the thing y want to see first is a pickup new-home construction. we haven't yet seen a big pickup in that. hysterically, it takes a while once t housing starts start to pick up. there are not good signs on that yet. >> with the latino community, we felt we need to provide looking at policies, not only with skills, but with the ability to mo to areas where the economy is better, particularly in the construction trade. we have been working on trying to improve that.
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my time has expired. >> i hate being outnumbered on this committee. it makes for a tough friday morning. i do think president bush apologize for the united states losing its soccer game the other day. chicago not winning the olympics bid, avatar not winning the best motion picture of the year, and democrats not passing unemployment benefits for those who are out of work. let's talk about that becse it has a real impact on our economy. it is skyrocketing. $1.50 trillion, independent congressional budget office tells a terrifying tale. we have had economists before us telling us that when that reaches a certain level, it
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creates a very strong drag on the economy, we are at 83% of gdp for all that. 62% in the publicly held debt. it will skyrocket over the next decade, d that puts us already, right now, we are below greece, italy, and portugal. but other european countries that are in trouble, and budget deficit, we trail only greece and ireland. we're almost at 10%. this debt will increase as far as the eye can see. the only thing being considered at this point are increasing taxes on families, small businesses, capital dividends,
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and on companies that are trying to sell around the globe. commissioner, that creates higher interest payments for a budget, puts a strain their. it puts a strain on companies' borrowing as well. it tends to drag down the economy. at what point -- can you estimate how much our economy is hurting as a result of the debt that we are accumulating, what that would do to our economy? >> that is not my garden. i am focused on the labour market. >> you are a wise man. can we talk a little about where you see trends going? construction has stalled for several months now,
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manufacturing has been stalled as well. a few jobs we did see did seem to be in services, temporary services. a small amount in recreation and tourism. are there any significant trends in the numbers this month that we can be looking to? >> i don't want to speculate too much going for, but the truth we have already seen is the one we have mentioned, we have had job growth and manufacturing, it continues to have jobs and education and health services. those of been the real trends pretty much all this year. >> my good friend and colleague, you mentioned a deficit that is a concern that we have. the federal budt deficit was
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$941 billion through the first eight months of the fiscal year 2010. $51 billion less than the record shortfall recorded over the same time last year. both revenues and outlays are down. the debt is now -- we do have a strong deb the total debt for the federal government was $13 trillion. the federal governmentaid roughly $152 billion, 1% of gdp. we're not in comparison with greece. we need to focus on it. but to compare our economy at this point with others is factually inaccurate. and now, mr. cummings is recognized for five minutes. >> the health-care industry, i
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think he said that they have increased jobs? has that been a steady situation? one of the things that have been trying to encourage, many of my constituents, to look towards those fields that seem to be on the upward trend and seem to be providing jobs and a steady way. the reports are that a lot of companies now are doing more with less, and therefore, will not be replacing people in the same job. people have to be retrained. if there are people that are looking at this right now, if there are areas where you see a trend with regard to jobs either increasing or not losing, seeming to have a steady
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stability or growth, what would those areas be? >> othe area that most jumps out is, in fact, health care. they have steadily added jobs throughout the whole recession. that is a remarkable thing when you consider how many jobs we are losing while there are growing. going forward, the demographics of the american population are going to encourage job growth in health-care industry. >> when you look at the health- care industry, is there a break wn? is it general health care? is it to various types of health care? is this health care in general? >> we have some breakdowns in the various categories. >> can you give me an idea of what some of them might be? in other words, i want people watching this to be able to get an idea of what might be -- we
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have some people who have been out of jobs for a long time and they are trying to figure out where they go from here. possibly going to community college or going back for some type of training. i want to give them some sense of hope. we have heard a lot of fear from mr. brady this morning, but i want to give some hope. >> it includes offices of physicians, home health-care services, that sector added about 7400 jobs this month. that was a major part of the job growth in health care this month. hospitals have been losing jobs this past month, there is also nursing and ridential care facilities that have been adding jobs. social assistance is often
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worked in t health care as well. that has continued to add jobs. >> are there any other areas that might fall into that category, staying steady or increasing jobs? >> one of the things -- i don't have the numbers in my mind very quickly, but we produced some long-term forecasts on occupations and industry growth. we have just released some last year and really give you an idea in great detail about the industry's we would expect three replacement or just growing industries. there are a number of areas, mostly services industries. service providing industries have quite a bit of promise. >> in the tourism industry and restaurants, how are they doing? >> they are doing ok. they have gone up and down, they
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don't have a really clear pattern. we did it had -- or we did have growth this month, and i think i have a break down. >> the reason that i mentioned it is bause it might show some confidence on the part of consumers if they are doing things that they might otherwise it was so concerned about finances that they probably would not -- i am tryingo figure out -- >> that makes logical sense. i have kind of looked at that and i have not seen a really clear pattern. it doesn't seem to reflect so well consumer confidence like you think it might. >> if the president called do after we are finished here and said, what's your summary, what would you say? >> i would say that this is not
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a strong report. but the prior six months have been encouraging. we did have a drop in the unemployment rate, we did have some job growth, and the past six months have had some job growth. >> thank you very much, commissioner paul and a staff for being here today. i think my colleagues. the last six months, the data clearly shows that the labor markets have begun to turn around and is trending in the right direction. without a doubt, job creation will be at the top of our to do list. it will remain there until americans across america are backo work. i would like to wish everyone safe and happy independence day. thank you very much. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010]
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the president says the economy is headed in the right direction, but not fast enough to satisfy him or many americans. his remarks are about five minutes. >> good morning, everybody.
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before i depart, i'd like to say a quick word about the state of our economy. this morning, we received the june employment report. it reflected the planned phase out of 225,000 temporary census jobs. but it also showed the sixth straight month of job growth in the private sector. all told, our economy has created nearly 600,000 private sector jobs this year. that's a stark turnaround from the first six months of last year, when we lost 3.7 million jobs at the height of the recession. now, make no mistake: we are headed in the right direction. but as i was reminded on a trip to racine, wisconsin, earlier this week, we're not headed there fast enough for a lot of americans. we're not headed there fast enough for me, either. the recession dug us a hole of about 8 million jobs deep. and we continue to fight headwinds from volatile global markets. so we still have a great deal of work to do to repair the economy and get the american people back to work.
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that's why we're continuing a relentless effort across multiple fronts to keep this recovery moving. and today, i'd like to make a quick announcement regarding new infrastructure investments under the recovery act -- investments that will create private sector jobs and make america more competitive. secretary locke and secretary vilsack have joined me here today to announce that the departments of commerce and agriculture will invest in 66 new projects across america that will finally bring reliable broadband internet service to communities that currently have little or no access. in the short term, we expect these projects to create about 5,000 construction and installation jobs around the country. and once we emerge from the immediate crisis, the long-term economic gains to communities that have been left behind in the digital age will be immeasurable.
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all told, these investments will benefit tens of millions of americans -- more than 685,000 businesses, 900 health care facilities, and 2,400 schools around the -- across the country. and studies have shown that when communities adopt broadband access, it can lead to hundreds of thousands of new jobs. broadband can remove geographic barriers between patients and their doctors. . .
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our men and women in harm's way deserve nothing less. i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from wisconsin. mr. obey: we are told we are told we are mmitting a mortal sin. i would simply point out just a few weeks ago, as the gentleman from massachusetts pointed out earlier in the debate, when the defense authorization bill was on the floor, only nine republicans in this house voted for it. they felt then that another matter was evidently more important than providing pasge
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for that bill. and yet today, they criticize us because we are suggesting several additions to the appropriation bill. i find that inconsistent. i would also point out that there are a number of high priority national items that we are trying to add besides education funding. we are trying to provide additional funds for pell grants, $5 billion. we are trying to provide $700 million for border security. $180 million more for energy loans, $163 million more for school installations, gulf coast -- i yield myself -- for gulf coast oil funding and $16 million to buildal processing center at fort hood. i would like to know what is wrong with any of those items. woy like to yield two minutes
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the -- i would like to yield two minutes to the distinguished the gentleman from texas, mr. reyes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. raha: i thank the gentleman for -- mr. reyes: i rise today to urge my colleagues to vote in favor of this amendment, the obey amendment, because during these tough economic times there are many areas that merit attention and this amendment takes a comprehensive approach towards addressing the vital needs to our communities. the support in this amendment for border security and law forcement. border security is a major portion of the concerns of americans as we have seen in the recent days. this amendment prodes $701 million to strengthen our security efforts along the
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u.s.-mexico border. the funds would be used to hire 1,200 border patrol agents and 500 customs officers that would be working the ports of entry, critically needed today, as well as improved tactical communications and making much other needed investments in the security along the u.s.-mexico border. in districts that i represt are concerned about the level of violence affecting our southern neighbor, mexico. as former border patrol chief and veteran in the united states border patrol, i know very well what these resources that are provided in this amendment mean to a critical area such as the southwest border. i'm particularly encouraged by mr. obey's efforts in this amendment to address the long-standing needs ofur ports
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of entry by funding funds to officers. for too long, inadequate staffing and infrastructure have made the u.s. and mexico border less safe. this is a major step forward in making our nation even more secure by providing funding for more officers at our ports of entry to conduct a more thorough and efficient inspection and keep americans safe. in addition, the bill also provides -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. reyes: another 30 seconds? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. reyes: this amendment provides $10 billion to support our teachers across the country and another $4.9 billion to fill the shortage in the pell grant program. it is vitally important that we recognize that the resources that are dedicated here are important, not just along the border but to the security of
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americans everywhere. therefore, i urge my colleagues to vote for the obey amendment and i thank chairman obey, speaker pelosi and majority leader hoyer and chairman price for their leadership on this important issue. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. lewis: i recognize our leader of the homeland security committee, mr. rogers of kentucky. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. rogers: i thank the speaker for the time. i rise today to voice my opposition to the blatant exploittation of our brave troops and the brazen process being undertaken here tonight. with this ongoing char arch de, the democrat majory has chosen to drag out the consideration of this supplemental appropriations bill, now five months lagging.
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they have chosen to bypass the markup by the appropriations committee. they have chosen to dictate by the few, rather than legislate by the representative many. and worst of all, they're holding hostage vital funding for our troops as a vehicle for more spending, more bailouts, more encroachment by the federal government into our private lives. a clean supplemental, mr. speaker, could have easily been disposed of through regular order months ago. regrettably, the majority has waitedntil the very last minute, twisted the rules of the house and put the pentagon and our warfighters in dire straits. this abuse of congress national security responsibilities would be outrageous if it wasn't so
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sad. and for what? for what? another bailout? more spending? political points? to curry special interest favors? the american people want a fiscally responsible government that first and foremost provides for e safety and security of this great nation and the american people expect the congress to meet that solemn responsibility while mindful it is their money, not ours. instead, let's call it what it is. the democrat majority has hijack our national security for their perceived political security. this is not the governance the american people want, nor deserve. we can do better. and so i plead with my colleagues to restore regular order and return to the business
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at hand, which is providing for our warfighters and responsibly wielding the power of the purse. i urge a defeat of all these amendments and this bill. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. who seeks rk nix at this time? the gentleman from wisconsin is recognized. mr. obey: i yield the gentleman from texas. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized for two minutes. >> mr. speaker, i had the humbling privilege of representing ft hood, america's largest army installation for 14 years through three combat deployments. it is now next door to my district in central texas. fort hood has sent more troops to iraq and afghanistan than any other military installation in america. and despite that sacrifice, sadly the soldiers and families at fort hood to to face an
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unbearable, unspeakable tragedy at the hands of the terrorists in our mids who -- midst who killed 12 fort hood army soldiers and onermy civilian just several movements ago. mr. andrews: the center through which soldiers go -- -- mr. edwards: the centethrough which soldiers go to fort hood, it's the last place they see while serving in iraq or afghanistan, is a soldier development servicing center there. at the request of the pentagon, i want to thank chairman obey for putting our request for $16.5 million into this amendment. first, because that center ws old and inefficient and too small, but most importantly because the soldiers from fort hood who have sacrificed so much for our nation's defense in iraq and afghanistan should not be asked to process through a
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building where 12 of their fellow soldier comrades in that installation were brutally murdered at the hands of a domestic terrorist. i thank chairman obey for putting this in. it is a meaningful dignyified way to show support for our troops. and i support this amendment and ask my colleagues on a bipartisan basis to support it as well. e speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from california seeks recognition. who seeks recognition at this time? the gentleman from california is cognized. mr. lewis: mr. speaker, i'm proud to recognize the ranking member of the judiciary committee, mr. smith of texas, for two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized for two minutes. mr. smith: mr. speaker, first of all i want to thank the ranking member, the gentleman from california, mr. lewis, for yielding me time. mr. speaker, i'm opposed to the inclusion of the preserved access to affordable generics act in r.r. 4899.
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most cases in the united states where the civil or criminal, antitrust or patent settle. the reasons for this are simple. litigation is expensive and its outcomes are uncerin. the supposed problem involves a payment of cash in the settlement of a patent case brought by generic drug manufacturer. such payments were said to frustrate the intent of federal law by allowing the brand name pharmaceutical cpany to pay to delay entry of the generic competitor into the market. the proposed solution to this problem incorporated in this bill goes much too far. it creates a presumption that all such settlements are unlawful. the bill sets forth the criteria that a court may use to determine whether to uphold a settlement. however the validity of the underlying patent is not one of those specified criteria. also the bill dramatically reduces the ability of companies to settle these cases. if the parties cannot agree on a date of entry into the market, then in many cases they would
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effectively be forced to litigate the case. this means that the entry of the generic into a particular drug market could be clayed -- delayed significantly. the majorityf federal courts including the second 11th and d.c. circuit have upheld the validity of these settlements. congress should uphold a well-reasoned judgment of these courts. innovative new drugs, after all, are created in the laboratory, not in the courtroom. i urge my colleagues to reject this attempt to legislate an unrelated domestic issue on a bill that is intended to pay for our troops overseas. mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas yields back. who seeks recognition? mr. obey: i reserve the balance of my time for the moment. the speaker pro tempore: forgive me. the gentleman reserves.
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the gentleman from california. mr. lewis: mr. speaker, i yield two minutes to the gentleman from utah, mr. bishop. the speaker pro tempore: the gentman from utah is recognized for two minutes. mr. bishop: thank you, mr. speaker. we are here on a bill that allegedly provides supplemental funding for our troops yet within the bowels of this house amendment are implications for our border security, provisions in violation of our rules by produce -- but provide a permanent security for border patrol to the department of interior with no limit. $50 million this time but then unlimited after that. so to have a situation of congress appropriating money we think is going to border patrol but then border patrol will have to give that money to the department of interior for alleged mitigation issues, such concepts and projects as in the past such as hiring three employees of the interior to monitor prong-horned antelope or having a bioologist watch the erection of 15-foot towers to verify no animal was crushed or having fish and wildlife for one acre of habitat possible lost increasing 5,500 acres somewhere
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else to give to them. we'll have the forest service regulations blocking border patrol from their patrols and yet the same provision, the border patrol has to pay d.o.i. with no legislation from the legislature, no internal rules, no limitation, just to do their job. even secretary napolitano last year sent as you letter in which she said the border patrol stops the drug cartels, the human traffickers, the potential terrorists and that is a value in and of itself to the environment and should count as mitigation. yet in the provisions within this particular bill, that does not take place. this provision is a dumb idea in the wrong bill. it diverts dollars from the border patrol and makes our borders less secur i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. who seeks recognition? the gentleman from wisconsin seek recognition at this time?
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mr. obey: mr. speaker, i'm waiting for my last speaker to arrive. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. mr. obey: i reserve for the moment. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from california. mr. lewis: mr. speaker, my next speaker is not here either. i reserve myself. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker prtempore: the gentleman from wisconsin has reserved. the gentleman from california has reserved. mr. obey: mr. speaker, how much time does each side have remaining? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from wisconsin has six minutes remaining. and the gentleman from california has 3 1/2 minutes remaining. mr. obey: let me yield a minute and a half to the gentleman from north carolina. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from north carolina is recognized for 90 seconds. >> i thank the gentleman for yielding and i'm happy as the chairman of the homela
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security appropriations subcommittee to remind our colleagues of the provisio in this bill that will enhance border security. the obey amendment adds money for these urgent needs, to address the alarming level of violence attributable to mexican gangs and drug cartels, to increase the presence of critical border patrol and customs personnel at the border and to strengthen the protection of jeopardized communities. four critical aspects of this -- these border provisions. first, the obey amendment would strengthen enforcement between ports of entry to deter and apprehend smugglers and illegal crossings. that means 1,200 new border patrol agents, up to three armored operating bases and it will provide two new unmanned aircraft systems to patrol the border. mr. price: secondly the amendment will tighten enforcement at ports of entry while aiding legitimate travel
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and commerce. it will sustain hundreds of critical c.b.p. officers at risk of being cut because of declining fee collections. and it will add 500 c.b.p. officers for inspection and enforcement at ports of entry inbound and outbound to crack down on ugs, weapon, cash and alien traffickers. third, the bill enhances immigration and customs enforcement or investigative operations on the border and their cooperation with our mexican partners to target the cartels, their criminal enterprises and their violent henchmen. four new southwest border security enforces, embedded enforcement units with the government of mexico, 120-day surge in the i.c.e. joint criminal alien removal task force and criminal alien program and training for mexican officials on investigations of transnational drug smuggling and money laundering. 15 additional seconds. transnational drug smuggling --
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the speaker pro tempore: 15 seconds. mr. price: thank you, mr. speaker. money laundering, human trafficking and child exploitation. and then finally the bill expands aid to state and local law enforcement partners along the border, spanning the systems under operation stone garden to state and local law enforcement in cooperation with d.h.s. mr. speaker, this obey amendment will greatly enhance our border security, i urge its adoption. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. who seeks recognition at this time? the gentleman from california. mr. lewis: mr. speaker, i yield two minutes to my colleague from the appropriations committee, mr. frelinghuysen. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. frelinghuysen: i thank the gentleman for yielding. i want to associate my remarks with my ranking mr. lewis. followinging the time-honored tradition of our defense appropriation, chairman dicks and mr. young have put together in a collegial manner a solid product, the funding for defense operations and maintenance of the afghan and iraq security forces, for the army base
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operations, the mraps, national guard and reserve equipment and the other portions of the defensive military construction forces in this bill are worthy of our support. and if that's where the story ended, we'd be fine. but as ronald reagan famously said, there they go again. this legislation contains over $72 billion in discretionary and mandatory spending. less than half that total, $35 billion, is related to the ongoing fight against the taliban and al qaeda in afghanistan. our withdrawal from iraq and the staae department funded related to the war on terror. the rest is earmarked for nondefense programs, new bailouts and pet projects that benefit the majority's political allies. i share the views of mr. lewis on the extraneous spending in this bill, $10 billion state bailout fund, $5 billion pell grant infusion, half a billion
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dollars to, quote, forward fund accounts in the fiscal year 2011 appropriations bill, thereby freeing up money to spend on other activities in fiscal year 2011. the $245 million to allow the i.r.s. to ramp up its enforcement activities. my colleagues in the majority just doesn't get it. this is washington business as usual, as this congress uses funding for our deployed war fighters, many of them in harm's way as we speak, to ovide for more unnecessary social spending. my colleagues, i urge the adoption of a clean supplemental appropriation as quickly as possible so that our men in uniform can continue to do their important work on our behalf and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. who seeks recognition at this time? the gentleman from wisconsin. mr. obey: mr. speaker, i have only one remaining speaker. we have the right to close. i'd suggest e gentleman use his time.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from california. the gentleman from wisconsin. the gentleman from california. . mr. lewis: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for such time as he may consume. mr. lewis: it is important for all of my colleagues especially on the majority side of the aisle to make note of the fact that this is the president's, the president's supplemental request. this amendment adds almost $17 billion in new domestic spending to a critical war funding and disaster assistance bill, most of which w never formally requested by the commander in chief and none of which is included in the senate-passed
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bill. these domestic bloated domestic spending are unnecessary spending or should be considered as part of the regular fy 2011 process. for example, the amendment includes language under the teacher jobs fund that singles out texas by requiring that texas maintain a higher level of state support for elementary and secondary education and higher education spending than any other state. it as $4.95 billion for pell grants that would normally be and should be funded in the fy 2011 health and labor and human services bill whichas been the practice in previous years. $538 million to gain the fy 2011 process by forward-funding certain activities now with fy 2010 funds, thereby freeing up money to spend on other
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activities in 2011. this includes giving the i.r.s. an additional $245 million now to ramp up its enforcement. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from wisconsin. mr. obey: mr. speaker, i yield to the gentleman for a unanimous consent request. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. >> i ask unanimous consent to insert a statement into the record in support of the obey record and extraneous material. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentleman from wisconsin. mr. obey: mr. speaker, let me simply say that our republican friends are running true to form tonight. in the past two weeks, they have voted against funding unemployment insurance for people who have been laid off in the most excruciating recession. and today, they are refusing to support the proposal which will
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help us stave the laying off of an additional 100,000 teachers across the country which i thought thoughtful people would recognize recognize those teachers and the students. there is nothing as expensive as ignorance and ignorance is sad when you have an inadequate number of quality teachers. let me devote the rest of my time to something that i consider to be fairly off the point today, because we have been -- it has been suggested to us that the secretary of education is somewhat unhappy because of the offsets that we have required in order to pay for this additional funding. let me put that in perspective. we are trying to provide $15 billion in additional education
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resources to this administration, $10 billion to stave off the firing of teachers and $5 billion to fill the shortfall that developed in the pell program this year because of t economy. in order to finance that, we have had to cut many programs. i don't like to do that and the administration doesn't like to see it either, but we also had to require that the secretary of the department himself take a t that is equal to about 5% of the value of the additional education dollars that his department would receive. one of the secretary's objections evidently is the fact that last year in the stimulus package, we provided him with a $4.3 billion pot of money to use
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virtually anyway he wanted to stimulate educational progress in this country. $4.3 billion. he has spent a very small amount of that, about $600 million and we decided we had to cut about $500 million out of that fund in order to finance and fully pay for e package before us. that still leaves him with $3.2 billion in money that he can spend anyway his department wants. we had a big discussion yesterday in the agriculture appropriatio subcommittee about whether or not it was acceptable for the secretary of agriculture to have a $38 million pot. and yet the secretary of education was somehow offended because he only has $3.2 billion to pass around. i would suggest that that loose
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money that untargeted money he haavailable, is roughly called a congressional earmark. in fact what i would call that fund i enabbling the secretary to provide executive branch earmarks. all the legislative-directed earmarks in the labor-h.h.s. bill last year amounted to less than $1 billion and the secretary seems to be offended by the facthat he only has three times that amount to spread around as he sees fit. i would also point out in the year and a half, they have only gotten grants out to two states and the department has already announced that at most, it will be about 15 other states that will get winning grants which means more than half the country
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will never see a dime. i would suggest there is nothing wrong with providing the secretary a modest amount of funds to promote educational change. goknows we need it. but to suggest we are being unduly harsh is a joke. the speaker pro tempore: all time for debate from the committee on appropriations has expired. pursuant to the rule, the gentlewoman from california, ms. lee and a an opponent, each will control 15 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from california. ms. lee: i rise to claim time allotted to me under the rule. the speaker pro tempore: witut objection. the gentlelady is recognized. ms. lee: i want to thank chairman obey for his incredible leadership on this supplemental, very difficult job to put this together, but you have done a great job. and let me thank the chair of
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the rules committee, congresswoman slaughter and speaker pelosi for allowing this important discussion and amendment. i uld like to applaud congressman govern for his amendment. he and mr. obey set forth the amendment that we'll vote on it today. i vote on it to get an exit strategy to end this war. my amendment would prevent any escalation or ongoing operation in afghanistan and limb the funding to the safe and orderly withdrawal of our troops and military contractors from afghanistan. it's critical to understand that this amendment would provide for the safety of our troops, civilian personnel a contractors while troop withdrawal takes place. it does not allow funding for ongoing combat operations or escalation. it's not a cut-and-run amendment. it would not leave our troops stranded. this amendment provides for the safe and orderly withdrawal of
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our troops from afghanistan. we need it because there is no military solution to afghanistan. in fact, the occupation of afghanistan is making us less safe. our occupation is a recruiting tool for taliban and al qaeda and if we remember nearly nine years ago the reason the authorization was granted, which i could not support was to provide authorization to go after al qaeda and osa bin laden. nearly a decade later, what are we doing there? we need to redefine this mission and begin safely withdrawal of troops and military troops and we should do so by adopting this amendment. the war in afghanistan will enter its 10th year and longest war in our nation's history longer than vietnam and the civil war and there is no end in sight. this concern of war without end is why i opposed that resolution
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authorizing military force on september 14, 2001. it was a blank check then and it remains a blank check now. i think it's importanto take a moment and put t evolution of this war in context, because we have to remember that again, there was no discussion about the potential consequences of invading afghanistan. the debate we're having toy should have happened 10 years ago. few people imagined that we would have nearly 100,000 troops there a decade later. despite the fact that the cia estites that there may be only 50 to 100 al qaeda in afghanistan. so we have to be honest rkts the war is not working. the afghan government is playinged with corruptio and tragically over 1,000 servicen and women have lost their lives. it is clear that our servicemen and women have performed with incredle courage and commitment and done everything we have asked them to do.
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as a daughter of a 25-year military office, my dad was a lieutenant colonel in the army, i understand and know the sacrifices that these families are making. but the truth is, they have been put in an impossible situation. the afghan government is anything but a reliable partner and conditions on the ground ma winning over the afghan people extremely difficult, if not nearly an impossible task. and sadly this war has no end in sight. we are bound to see the generals come back to us and ask us for more money, more time and more troops if they say it's going well. if it's not going well, i expect to see the generals come back and ask for moreoney, more time and more troops. regardless of the situation, unless congress does something -- and we have to face this -- if congress allows this, it will be an endless war. enough is enough. the u.s. has no choice to pursue a diplomatic solution in
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afghanistan. we must be about that hard work now. so please join me in supporting the safe and orderly withdrawal of our troops. we can and we must responsibly bring them home and end this war now. thank you. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady reserves. the gentleman from california, do you rise to claim time in opposition? mr. lewis: i do. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. lewis: i rise to oppose the lee amendment to essentially cut off the funding for r troops in afghanistan and i'm very proud to call upon my colleague, our leader on the defense subcommittee from florida, bill young, for five minutes. the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. young: mr. speaker, i thank the gentleman for yielding the time. and i rise to say compliments to
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chairman norm dicks of the subcommittee for having worked with the minority and majority as well as the president of the united states to develop a very good defense appropriations supplemental appropriations bill for our troops who are fighting in iraq and afghanistan. the bill provides the equipment necessary for those troops to carry out their mission. the bill provides for training. the bill provides for self-protective measures to keep our troops safe while they fight the war they were sent to fight. now the only problem i have is, we aren't going to vote on tha bill. that bill, although this is supposedly a defense supplemental, that bill is not going to be voted on. that bill was reported and approved by the subcommittee back in may, but yet there has
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been no consideration beyond that date. the subcommittee approved it back in may after the president requested it. the members of the appropriations committee have not had an opportunity to vote on a defense supplemental appropriations bill. the members of the house have not had an opportunity to vote on a defense appropriations supplemental bill. there's something wrong with that. chairman dicks did a good job. he worked with us as did chairman murtha before him and it was a good bipartisan effort. we aren't not only going to vote on that good bill, we aren't going to have a chance to vote on the senate version of the bill that's not quite as good as the house version, but it's better than nothing. and it's time we provide the funding that our troops in the field deployed and exposed to
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danger, that they're provided with what they need. i have a problem with this. i said the subcommittee approved the bill back in may. the full committee has not nsidered it. as a matter of fact, we are rapidly approaching the one-year anniversary of the last time the appropriations committee met to consider an appropriations bill. now, that's unusual. it seems to me it flies in the face of the constitution because article 1, section 9 makes it very clear that the executive branch of government cannot spend money from the general treasury that has not first been appropriated by congress. ifhe appropriations committee doesn't meet to approve the
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bill, or to report the bills to the house, how are we going to meet that constitutional responsibility? it's pretty tough. july 22, last year, was the last time e appropriations committee met to consider an appropriations bill. so i compliment chairman dicks for creating a good bipartisan product that the president of the united states supported. and i'm just disappointed that we're not going to have a chan to vote oit. our troops in the field need to know that we are supporting them with whatever it is that they need to carry out their mission. i'm opposed to all these amendments that we are considering, because nonof them do anything to support our troops in the field which is what this bill is supposed to be all about. these amendments are not good and it's just a real shame that
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we are not considering the needs of our troops who are deployed to provide what it is that they need in order to accomplish the mission that we sent home to accomplish and to protect themselves while they're doing it. mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentlelady from california is recognized. ms. lee: i would like to yield a minute and a half to the gentleman from california, george miller. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for 90 seconds. mr. miller: i want to thank the gentlewoman for offering this amendment and for yielding me time. this is an iortant amendment. the time has come to understand what is taking place in afghanistan and the incredible price that our soldiers are paying in that country and think i -- and the incredible price the american taxpayer is fight fund this war. we've got to understand that the ingredients for victory as people identify it as discuss it and describe it are simply
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not present in afghanistan. the idea that we would expand the franchise of an honest central government to the countryside so we could stabilize the countryside. there is no honest central government in afghanistan. it's rife with corruption, including the president of the country and his family and his retives and his warlords and his ministers. that's got to stop. the idea that we are going to get help from the neighbors. we're not -- we're getting minimal help from pakistanis, we're getting no help of any consequence from the russians, chinese or indians. they're all engaged in the same game, they're protecting their position while america bleeds. the america bleeds -- while america bleeds the blood of our soldiers, while our treasury bleeds the dollars of our taxpayers. that's been going on and on and on. we know how the taliban was created. we know the double counting they do and the protections they run. we know the sanctuaries they provide. yet our soldiers are required
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to go in and ferret it out over and over again we're told we'll develop this naon that if we bring development, we'll have peace in pakistan. eight years ago, nine years ago, one of the first requests from the general was to send small scale agriculture. you know what the request is nine years late her small scale agriculture, send us police that will fight, none of that has been matched what has been matched is the death and injury of our troops, it's time to bring them home. the speaker pro tempore: who seeks recognition. mr. lewis: i'm proud to recognize the gentleman from missouri, ike skeleton, two minutes. -- ike skelton, two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. skelton: i rise today in strong opposition to all the
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amendments to end funding for the war in afghanistan or to withdraw troops before the job is done. afghanistan is the epicenter for teorism and it was the genesis of multiple attacks against our nation, including the attacks on november -- on september 11. we must not forget why we are fighting ts war. there's far too much at stake. for nearly a decade under the previous administration, afghanistan was the forgotten war with no clear strategy. but now, we have a strategy, a good strategy. we're already seeing clear signs of success, even before the surge of an additional 30,000 troops is complete. with the help of our allies who are capturing and killing terrorists every wk, including the most significant taliban capture since the start of the war. we've been in afghanistan for
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many years. i recognize that the patience the american people is not unlimited. but thanks to the men and women of our military and the new strategy adopted, we are finally on the path to success. now is not the time to abandon this war. our nato allies and the afghan people. the amendments to immediately cut off funding for war in afghanistan or to immediately redeploy our troops are clearl the wrong thing to do. but it would be equally unwise to make a decision not to leave afghan -- now to leave afghanistan before the job is done. at long last, we have a strategy for success. now is not the time to abandon that strategy. i urge my colleagues to join me in standing behind our troops and the security of our nation by voting against these amendments. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentlelady from california is recognized. ms. lee: i'd like to yield one
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minute to the gentleman from ohio, mr. kucinich. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. kucinich: just a few days before his dismissal, general mccrystal wrote what has been described as a devastate regular port on his mission. he pointed out that he faced a resilient and growing insurgency with too few troops and he expected no progress in the coming months. why are we continuing to send our troops into a mission impossible? are we committing our troops -- why are we committing our troops to a situation which is certainly bound to bring about more casualties, both of our troops and innocent civilians? general petraeus is promising
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an escalation of the war which will put more american lives on the line and more innocent civilians killed. do we support our troops? if we do, and if we really paid attention to what's going on in afghistan if we really supported our troops, we would bring them home. at's exactly what the barbara lee amendment is designed to do and that's why we should support it. the speaker pro tempore: the me of the gentlemahas expired. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. lewis: i'm proud to yield time to ike skelton's partner, buck mckeon, the ranking member on the armed services committee, for three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. mckeon: i thank the gentleman for yielding the time. i'm disappointed that the house democratic leadership would allow vote on these amendments at this time. all three would go far to crip they will war in afghanistan and directly undermine the
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command for the chief. 24 hours ago, the senate unanimously confirmed general david petraeus as the new commander of the international forces in afghanistan, yet not a day later, here we are on the house floor taking dangerous political potshots at our troops' mission and the president's strategy to surge an additional 30,000 troops in the region. i strongly oppose all three afghanistan amendments before us. not only would they tie the hands of the command for the chief, b they sendhe exact wrong message to our allies and enemies alike at such a critical moment in our efforts in afghanistan. today, our newly confirmed commander walks the -- walked the halls at nato headquarters, working to assure our allies our country is committed to this war. right now, he's headed to afghanistan to take command. we should stand in unity with him, not sit here in washington taking vote after vote to strip funding from our war fighters before his plane touches down.
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general pe trays you has proven himself to be one of america's most capable military officers. he turned around a perilous situation in iraq and our combat troops have started coming home. by the end of august, our troop levels in iraq will be down to 50,000. for training and reserve purposes. i believe the president has chosen the right commander and right strategy in afghanistan. i'm confident that general petraeus and our troops can succeed if given the time, space, and resources they need to complete their mission. as the general arrives in afghanistan, those of us here in congress cannot lose sight of the broader perspective, our brave military men and women and their civilian counterparts are in the midst of a tough fight that's critical to the u.s. national security. cutting off their funding in the middle of that fight is tantamount to abandonment. in december and again last week, the president oh minded us why we are in afghanistan.
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it was the epicenter of what al qaeda planned and launched the 9/11 attacks against innocent americans. after an exhaustive 90-day review last fall, the president recommitted the united states to defeating al qaeda and the taliban. the timeline for success in afghanistan cannot be dictated by arbitrary political clocks here in washington. it must be driven by the operational clock in cabal, kandahar and the afghanistan countryside. we all hope and pray that the goal can be accomplished by july, 2011, but the president must adhere to his recent commentshat conditions on the ground will dictate the pace of any withdrawal next summer. i urge my colleagues to reject these ill-timed measures, reject attempts to strip funding for our war fighters and instead show our troops and allies a united front in our efforts. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the time of the gentleman has expire the gentlelady from california is recognized. ms. lee: i yield one minute to
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the gentleman from minnesota, mr. oberstar. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. oberstar: i thing he gentlewoman for her courageous lead on this issue. the $35 billion for afghanistan is roughly equivalent to the amount in the recovery act for highways and transit. if instead of afghanistan, they were invested in fund, we could do what we did in the recovery act, 1,262 bridges, 5,000 transit statio improved, 1.3 million jobs that we've documented on our part of the recovery act but thiis a conflict with no end, no exit, no offset and we should not provide money for it. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. who seeks recognition? the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. lewis: i'm pws to -- proud to recognize our great leader, mike pence of indiana, for three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for
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three minutes. mr. pence: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. pence: i thank the distinguished ranking member for yielding time. i rise in opposition to the amendment and also to the underlying bill. i have great respect for the gentlelady who brings this amendment. she said earlier that there is, in her way of thinking no military solution in afghanistan, but let me say that surrender is a military tactic. i just oppose it. this is a very serious time in the life of our country here at home. it's easy, iuspect, for some amicans to forget that we're a nation at war. but we are. as i was reminded when i traveled to afghanistan the day after christmas this last year, at this very hour, we haveen and women in uniform in harm's
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y in afghanistan ann iraq. we owe them in this moment the resources they need to complete their mission, get the job done, and come home safe. we also owe them the respect of doing that without using our soldiers as a vehicle for other domestic spending priorities. military spending bills should be a about military -- should be about military spending and nothing else. this legislation fails that test. before us today is a $75 billion spending bill. but less than half of this legislion will be used to support the defense department's war operatis. less than half the military funding measure will spend aost $5 billion, supposedly on a temporary
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bailout for federal pell grant programs. this so-called military funding measure will spend $50 million on the port of guam and $18 million for emergency reforestation and $15 million for a highway safety study. this military funding measure will also even spend, as we've heard in earlier debate, $10 billion on teacher jobs. . i have been married for 25 years to a teaer. i support teachers, which is a state and local function. we just spent $53 billion and one-time spending for education in the president's failed stimulus bill and on the backs of our soldiers comes another $10 billion that has to be apopriated to save teachs' jobs.
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we can do better, men and women. to top it all off, $63 illion isn't paid for. just more deficits and more debt. one of the ways the democrats are saving a little money here is by $3 billion in cuts to the defense department. we can do better. our soldiers deserve better. let's reject this legislation and do right by our soldiers, the military spending bill should be about military spending and nothing else. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentlelady from california. ms. lee: how much time do i have remaining? the speaker pro tempore: 7 1/2 minutes remaining and the gentleman from california has 2 1/2 minutes remaining. ms. lee: i would like to recognize the gentlelady from california, ms. waters. ms. waters: i support congresswoman lee's amendment. this amendment would limit the
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funds appropriated within the supplemental to the continued protection of our military and civilian personnel in afghanistan, while a plan is implemented to begin their safe and orderly withdrawal from the region. despite nearly $300 billion spent on a predominantly military operation which resued in the loss of over 1,000 troops in afghanistan, we have not been able to address afghanistan's economic society, political corruption or social divisions which have impeded ou divisions which have impeded our military efforts within the country. the american public is tired of this war. many of us in congress do not see the logic in investing funds in training the afghan army when all methods utilized to this point have failed to achieve tangible gains. charges of corruption within the
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karzai government have negatively our credibility forcing them to choose between two different groups of terrorists. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. who seeks recognition. the gentlelady from california. ms. lee: just for clarification, let me make sure that the opposition understands that this bill -- it is very legitimate is dealing with issues. the military spending was actually added in the sthat. what we're doing today is very credible, very legitimate. we wt to begino end this war and we want to do it by stopping the funding. let me yield a munt to congressman rohrabacher, the gentleman from southern california. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. rohrabacher: yes, there are
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snowballs in hell. i rise in support of amendments four and five. i do so with a heavy heart because i appreciate the americans whose lives are in danger in afghanistan. they are there to protect us against the radical forces in islam by led the slaughter of 3,000 americans. after that attack, yes, we cannot let down our guard. however, that does not mean rubber stamping any military operation, even if it does not have a chance of success. i have been engaged in afghanistan since the 1980's and i can state emphatically, that if we continue our present strategy in afghanistan, we will not succeed and america will eventually be weakened by loss of liv and expenditure of hundreds of billions of dollars. what works in afghanistan is what has worked in afghanistan. let the afghans pay the price
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and do their fighting. putting american boys in place is contrary to our national interest and will not lead to success. trying to put upon the afghan people, will not wk. we need to strategy instead of putting our people into a meat grinder. the speaker pro tempore: the time of the gentleman has expired. who seeks recognition. the gentlelady from california is recognized. ms. lee: i wou like to yield one minute to the congresswoman from maryland, donna edwards. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. edwards: i rise in support as a co-sponsor of this amendment and i thank congresswoman lee. this amendment requires that we act on evidee and we know that based on the evidence our afghanistan policy is a failure. numerous strategies and restated mission statements from president bush to prime minister
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gordon brown to prime minister blair to president obama, we -- restated mission statements continue to fall srt. u.s. military reported that 102 coalition forces were killed in june alone along with the people of afghanistan heightening the iraq war. we need to use our resources to bring our troops, our treasure home. i want to be clear. my opposition to the war is opposition to the policy and not to the brave men and women about we do an an injustice if we do not have a debate. i have seen the conditions on the ground just recently and this war will never end quickly, if at all. i urge my colleagues to support this andment. and whether it was miss crystal or petraeus, it's not about the generalsut about the failure.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentlelady from california. ms. lee: i yield o minute to the the gentlewoman from texas, sheila jackson lee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlela is recognized for one minute. ms. jackson lee: i rise strongly to support the barbara lee amendment which i'm a co-sponsor. and this is about the orderly withdrawal of our troops. we lost 58,000 men and women in vietnam, now today we have the opportunity to do what congress should do, not to g+ive an unending mandate or a war, which is this is not. if we are looking after the terrorists, al qaeda is not there. our intelligence authorities, general petraeus has indicated there are less than 100 al qaeda terrorists there. there are snurts and the taliban. it is well known if you give to the taliban the mountains and
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valleys that have been given by general mcchrystal, you still will lose this war. $37 billion is in this bill. we must do what were did in see vietnam and not cry after the fact. yes, we salute the young men and women and thank them for their service. i have been afghanistan many times. now it's time to invest in the afghan people and the government to make a difference not continue to lose the precious treasure of america. stand against this war and order withdrawal for the sake of the american people. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady has expired. the the gentleman from california has 2 1/2 minutes and the gentlewoman from califnia has 3 minutes. mr. lewis: i reserve. ms. lee: how much time? the speaker pro tempore: three minutes. ms. lee: i yield 30 seconds to
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the the gentleman from wisconsin plrks gen. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for 30 seconds. without objection, so ordered. mr. kagen: i rise in support of this amendment and ask the question, whose side are these gentlemen on? the leader of iran was there with the leader of afghanistan, one day after our secretary of defense, secretary gates was there. are these our friends? are these the people you are willing to invest $35 billion. human history has proved one thing in afghanistan. it's easy to get into afghanistan and very hard to get out. when you leave, they'll shoot you in the rearend. 40% of all money we are investing is being stolen. 100 al qaeda was there before we had the surge. this is our time to leave
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afghanistan with all honor and respect. to all who support our troops. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired.. who seeks recognition? the gentlelady -- gentlelady from california. ms. lee: i yield one minute to the the gentleman from florida, mr. grayson. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. grayson: thank you. i speak tonight in support of peace. the hardest thing that we do as human beings is to admit that we are wrong. it's not easy and we don't look forward to it and we feel bad afterwards. we have to admit we're wrong, because if we don't, we keep hurting ourselves and that's what we see in iraq and afghanistan. at this point, we are hurting ourselves and hurting ourselves extremely deeply. we have spent over $3 trillion pursuing these wars, over 10,000
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for every man, woman and child in this country. we have put our national economy at the risk than and we have killed hundreds of thousands of afghans and iraqis. we have shed blood all over the middle east at this pot. and in addition to that, we have done lasting damage to ourselves as a country, on a moral level, economic level and level on the health of the young men and women who serve us. a quarter of a million of them left with brain abnormalities. we are hurting ourselves. we decide when wars begin and end and we have to end this one right now. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from california. mr. lewis: does the gentlelady have additional speakers? i reserve. ms. lee: how much time do i have now? the speaker pro tempore: 1 1/2 minutes. ms. lee: may i for the purpose
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of unanimous consent ask a couple members to come forward for the purpose of unanimous consent? >> i make unanimous consent request to support this amendment. ms. lee: let me yield one minute to the the gentleman from new york, mr. nadler. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. nadler: thank you, mr. speaker. every dollar we spend in afghanistan, every life we sacrifice there is a tragic waste that does not enhance the security of the united states. we were attacked in 9/11 by al qaeda. al qaeda bases in afghanistan and kes sense to destroyhose bas and we did. but the bases are no longer
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there, but in pakistan, yemen and somalia and we aren't invading those countries. why do we in-- go in that country. we have no ability nor necessity to win it for one side or the other. this idea of countersnurs that we are going to persuade the people left alive to love the government we like is absurd. at this point, we must recognize rebuilding afghanistan is beyond our ability and prevents our ability to protect the united states. we should support our amendment, support our troops and bring them home now. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. who seeks recognition? the gentlewoman from california is recognized. mr. lewis: let me begin my reminding the members that this
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supplemental originally was sent to us by our commander in chief the president of the united states, barack obama. i understand the concerns about the war in afghistan. i have similar concerns, especially following the recent turmoil regarding command changes. but i also have full faith and confidence in our brave and selfless men and women fighting over there. the president knows that war is tough and a dirty business. but our forces, although tired, are eager for the opportunity to succeed and more than capable in doing so. i have in my hand a statement of administration policy from our commander in chief, barack obama. in it, his advisers suggest that this amendment is a rt of the bill that it will be recommending to the president that he veto this bill. indeed, it is time for us to recognize that the war on terror
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is very well. the challenge is supported by the president because he recognizes it is very real as one of the basees ofperation for activities. i believe we have to let conditions on the ground dictate the process. as general petraeus just testified this week, even if those conditions require forces to stay past the president's july 11 withdrawal date. and mr. speaker, i yield back. . the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california. mr. lee: i yield myself the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for 30 seconds. ms. lee: we need to ask, when is enough, enough. how many of our brave men and women must be sacrificed to this never-ending war? how much blood, how much treasure do we have to spend in afghanistan? and do we need another 10 years to figure it out? i suggest we don't. it's time to change course,
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it's time focongress assert itself in our responsibilities, in our role we control the pursstrings and enough is enough. we need to say today that we must begin to safely withdraw our young men and women from afghanistan. no more funds for combat operations. the speaker pro tempore: all time for debate from the gentlewoman from california, ms. lee, and her opponent have expired. pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. mcgovern, or his designee, and an opponent each will control 15 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. mcgovern. mr. mcgovern: i rise in rong support of the mcgovern-obey-jones amendment. it makes sure that congre is accountable to the american people, our troops and their families about what our policy in afghanistan will be from july 11 onward. i would like to yield five minutes to the gentleman from wisconsin, mr. obey. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes.
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mrr obey: as was point out earlier, those who sugst that any efforts to add any items to what is called the military supplemental are somehow out of line are simply wrong. this legislation started out as a disaster relief bill, it went to the senate and they marked it into a military supplemental and we're simply now responding to that action. i want to talk about the problems in afghanistan. a year ago, i made the statement that, while i was dubious about the mission in afghanistan, i would give the presidena year to see whether his policy would bear fruit. but i warned at the time that we could have the best possible policy in the world and if we did not have the tools to implement it, it wld be a faure. and i would suggest that the only two tools we have available to use in that region of the world are the pakistan
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government and the afghan government and i think it's safe to say that both of them have been less than a spectacular success to say the least. since then, i think it's also fair to say that events have gone downhill, especially in afghanistan. and in addition, since we're now spending $167 billion on these two wars, i think it's also obvious that we're having a profoundly negative effect on our ability to reinvest and rebuild our own economy. i think the time has come for new consideration. now last december, the president indicated that it was his intention to follow policy which would begin to withdraw our troops from afghanistan beginning in july of 2011. this amendment is nonet simply buttress that commitment and what it says is this -- it requires that in january, a new
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intelligence estimate be provided and that after that is provided, the administration, by april 4, must respond to it by sending to the congress an outline of its plans to follow the policy which they have -- which they have announced, which would begin to get us out of there, starting in july of next year. what this amendment also says is, if the administration decides to follow a different policy by, for instance, extending that date, then they cannot do that unless the congress expliciily votes to allow funds to be used for that purpose. what i'm concerned about is this -- what i can see happening is, come next july, we can be told by the pentagon, well things are marginally better than we thought they would be, so we're going to
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need more time and that target date will be slipped. on the other hand, they could also say, things are really going badly and so we obviously can't get out at this time. we need to have more time. i want to know that there's a serious, determined commitment to withdraw our troops beginning in june of next year. that is more than ample time for the pakistani government and the afghan government to demonstrate whether they are capable of doing this mission or not. i think it is obvious that we are not going to be able to rebuild our own country and make the investments we need here at home so lock as we're cop continuing this -- so long as we're continuing this warn afghanistan. i suggest this provides an orderly, responsible way to get ouof that country rather than
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spending another nine years before we final -- finally face up to reality. i thank the gentleman for the time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. who seeks recognition? mr. lewis: mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: does the gentleman from california seek to claim time in opposition? mr. lewis: i do. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. lewis: i yield three minutes to my colleague from new jersey, mr. frelinghuysen. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. frelinghuysen: i rise to oppose all these amendments, especially those dealing with our operations in afghanistan. how quickly forget, as mr. lewis mentioned, as did mr. pence, the senate confirmed our nato command for the afghanistan. during his brief hearing, general petras proposed funding in an expedited way.
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this guarantees no fund welcome signed into law until mid july. if that's not bad enough we find ourselveses on the floor debating, not one, but three amendments that have the effect of defunding our afghanistan operation. basically, tying the hands of our commander in chief and micromanaging the military at a time when they need to do their job and to be successful. mr. speaker, we are a nation at war. we have soldiers and marines deployed halfway around the world. many of them are in combat at this very hour, facing a dangerous enemy. yet we find ourselves here tonight questioning the very mission we've asked our troops to execute. what message does that send to them? if they're watching us? what message does it s to our allies, some of whom may question in their own government their resolution to stay the course? wh message does it send to
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our enemies, people who would launch deadly attacks in our homeland, as they've done in their homeland. each and every day at an early opportity. this is a critical moment in our efforts in afghanistan. i urge rejection of these amendments and support of our troops. let's pass the clean supplemental, get rid of these amendments that do harm to our mission in afghanistan and get about the business of supporting our national defense in a proper way. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. mr. mcgovern: i yield three minutes to a co-sponsor of this amendment, mr. jones. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. jones: i'd like to start any comments on an edtorial in the "pensacola news journal" on june 25. is afghanistan worth it? is it not often that
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conservative columnist george will and liberal columnist thomas friedman are on the same page, welcome to afghanistan. the reason tonight that we need to have this debate is because one issue, one main issue that bothers me greatly is what's called rules of engagement. in fact, on the 20th of june in "the washington post," george will's editorial, the n.c.o. recognizes a flawed afghanistan strategy. a recent email from a noncommissioned officer serving in afghanistan, he explains wh the rules of engagement for u.s. troops are too prohibitive for coalition forces to achieve sustained tactical success. i would also like to show quickly two newspapers from the marine times, two articles, rules of engagement, we are putting our kids out there to fight with their hands
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handcuffed, left to die. they call for help, negligent army leadership refused and abandoned them on the battlefield, four marines and one army kill. i spoke to this father, mr. speaker, from maine. who was featured in "the marine times," he says, caution killed my son. marine families blast suicidal tactics in afghanistan. mr. speaker, this is what they called rules of engagement. we handcuff our troops and we tell them we want them to go out and fight. mr. speaker, i have a retired general who for the last nine months has been my advisor on afghanistan. i gave him my word that i would not use his name publicly on the floor of the house in a committee or in a newspaper. six weeks ago, i asked him again about afghanistan. this is what he emailed back to me. afghanistan has been too tough a nut to crack for every nation that has ever tried to crack it. we need to figure out a way to
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pack our bags and get out. it is not in our national interest to be there. mr. speaker, that's why i'm on this amendment with mr. mcgovern and mr. obey. i don't see how anybody could be opposed to this. if you're concerned about our troops and the frequent deployments that are wearing out our military and their families, if you're concerned about the billions of dollars that's unaccounted for in afghanistan, this is a reasonable amendment. it will give hope to our troops and it will give hope tour taxpayers that we're watching their moneys, but more importantly, the troops will know what's in front of them, not 10 more years of going down a road thahas no end to it. with that, mr. speaker, i will ask the men and women in this room to continue to pray for our men and women in uniform and their families and let's pass this amendment. it's a good amendment. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman has expired. -- the gentleman's time has
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expired. who seeks recognition? the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. lewis: i reserve my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: i'd like unanimous consent to insert into the record two articles from "the washington post," one entitled, u.s. paying afghan war lords, and the other saying karzai involved in corruption cases involving the elite. at thitime, i yield two minutes to the je gentleman from tennessee, mr. cohe the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. cohen: thank you, mr. speaker. you don't put good money after bad. this would be putting good %% money after bad. in this hall earlier with senator mcgovern, who is in the speakes lobby. i said something to senator mcgovern, former senator mcgovern, and he said, did i hear vietnam? the echos of vietnam are in this chamber, mr. speaker. when people on the other side say they don't want to hear
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about surrender, that's not right, we could still be in vietnam. we'd still be losing american lives and american resources because that was a war we couldn't win and some people would accept it system of we lost more lis and more american economy and more opportunities in america. my district cannot afford another $35 billion and $35 billion and $35 billion trying to create infrastructure in afghanistan which is not a third world country but probably like a fifth world country. the third most corrupt nation on the face of the earth. and that's not with the -- what the united states is known for doing, supporting corrupt countries around the world wh a man like karzai whose brother is in the opium trade a country that predominantly benefits fr the growing of poppies an the spreading of heroin around the world and that's who we're supporting. we should not be spending our money and our lives. i go to the funerals of every
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soldier in my district that passes. i don't want to go to more of them. i stop every soldier i see in airports and ask thewhere they're going, if they're going to afghan and arook, and i ask em how they're going and they say not well. they say, we should not st there. we are not doing well. i went to a function in my district in the west side, almost entirely african-american and to a person, we need to spend our money here. and on the east side, entirely caucasian and i asked this crowd of 30, does anybody want me to go to washington and vote for more funds for afghanistan? not one. this war is lost, bring our troops home, save our money. thank you, m speaker. . mr. lewis: i recognize the gentleman from ohio, turet
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for two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlen is recognized for two minutes. mr. latourette: i heard the majority speaker give a good talk about how he wird every member could have input in this bill, 435 of us so they structured the rule in a way. there's one choice, no ability of the member of the house to vote on the senate bill and send to the president of the united states before the 4th f july a clean funding bill for the troops in the field. the ruleself-executing already, if that bill passes, it conflicts with the sate bill, nothing can go to the president. mr. speaker, what i think the house ought to be doing is clearing the senate amendments for presentation to the senate -- president. not sending more proposals to the senate, but putting the bill this that the senate has passed to the president's desk for approval as law tomorrow. to that end, i wonder if the
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proponent, the gentleman from wisconsin, would yield to me fr a unanimous consent request and i will tell you what it is in the hopes he'll let me pro pound it. i would like to ask unanimous consent that the senate amendmts be considered as withdrawn in favor of a motion to concur in the senate amendment and woy ask the gentleman if he would yield to me for that purpose. will you permit me to have a clean vote on funding to support the troops? the silence the other side is deafeng. ability to cast a vote to pass a bill that would go to the president. mr. obey: the senate amend the the house bill which was a disaster bill. if you want a clean vote, we would be voting on the disaster bill tonight, not the war.
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mr. latourette: my understanding of where we are is that the senate hollowed house a bill, you don't have a motion to recommit and you have denied the members of this house the opportunity to cast an up or down vote on the war funding instead. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. who seeks recognition. the gentleman from from massachusetts reserves. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. lewis: i yield an additional minute to the the gentleman from ohio. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from ohio is recognized. mr. latourette: i only need 10 seconds. i ask unanimous consent to take from the speaker's table the bill h.r. 4899 and concur in the senate amendments. i'll take the rest of my minute. this is unfortunate. we have troops in the field. we have a holiday upon us and no
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one in this house is going to be able to cast a vote on a clean supplemental. the president of the united states has asked for it. he has issued a veto threat against the chaa rmp ade we are performing tonight and can't let the house work its will. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentlen from california. mr. lewis: i yield the balance of our time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for 10 minutes. mr. lewis: mr. speaker, i think it's very important for the members one more time remind ourselves that this is the president's supplemental and it's designed to provide needed funding for our troops, who are representing our interests in fighting for freedom in afghanistan.
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i think it's very important that this amendment goes on to restrict year 2011 funds from being used in a manner inconsistent with a july, 2011 troop withdrawal unless expressly provided by and for the joint resolution of the congress. the president of the united states has indicated in his policy administration statement coming from his chief adviser, the amendments we have been considering this evening are a part of this bill, those chief advisers will recommend to the president that he veto this funding measure. it's very apparent that the other body tomorrow is leaving town. they have already left town. indeed, an amendment to this bill will cause this bill to involve considerable delay for funding for our troops.
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as i argued under the previous administration, we should not tie the president's hands while he is executing his duties as commander in chief. perhaps the most solemn of the commder in chief's responsibility. this amendment would do just that. the new general testified that the july 11 date is not a race for the exit, rather that date will begin a condition-based process. and he left further the option of realming change or delays in the current plan. the amendment encumbers future year funds whichs not only impractical but the conditions on which those funds would be encumbered are questionable. i fail to see the logic in attempting to talk about future year funds and why try to do this now while fiscal 2011
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ocess is working its way through the committee. the war on terror, mr. speaker, continues to be very real. our troops certainly understand it, even if our majority leadership does not understand it. of course, i want our troops home as quickly as possible, but tying the hands of the commander in chief and the commander's executing the war is irresponsible and dangerous. mr. speaker, for that reason, i have unanimous consent ruest -- mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to take from the speaker's table the bill h.r. 4899, the senate amendment thereto and concur in the senate amendment. the speaker pro tempore: the objection is heard. mr. lewis: i'm very surprised there was an objection to that recommendation. after all, we are trying to find some way to get the presint's original recommendations up here so the commander in chief can
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support outroops so they can come home as quickly as ssible. in afghanistan, whether we believe it or not, the war on al qaeda involves our future freedom and ceainly as it would have a significant impact on peace in the world. mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. %% the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance ofis time. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california. mr. lewis: i have no additional speakers. mr. speaker, suddenly, my last speaker showed up. i would yield to my colleague, jack kingston, three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. kingston: i thank the gentleman for yielding and while i certainly appreciate the sincerity of the people who are offering this amendment, i disagree with it in as much as it ties the hands of the military.
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i have had the opportunity to go to iraq and afghanistan severa times and i can say war is complicated. war does not always go your way. the enemy does always cooperate with the best of our plans. and yet, we here in the safety of the u.s. congress can dictate to the commanders in the field what direction the war should go in and the time frame and what should happen next, according to a political guideline and political deadline as opposed to military guidelines and military deadlines. when the defense subcommittee of appropriations visited general mcchrystal and the ambassador and the rest of our leadership in march in afghanistan, one of the things that they told us is that there had been a difference, significant differences in the war. part of it
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ms. wasserman schultz: that the afghan army was stepping up in a different way, a newulture if you will, they were taking owner in the war. in pakistan, troops had been shted from the kashmir border over to the afghan border and that they were being attacked themselves by taliban terrorists, so the pakistanis were showing an interest and an energy, which up until now, they have not given us or given the afghan people. they are no longer looking at this war as america's war in afghanistan. they are seeing it as their war that has spilled into pakistan and caused instability in the region. i will say this, our commander, general mcchrystal said, i'm not over here to waste everyone's time. i'm keenly aware that the clock
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is ticking and we have to have a resolution on this. the campaign had just been concluded and went very well. the shift in the next campaign in kandahar was already under way d people were moving in that direction. and so, mr. speaker, i think it's very important for us to let the military make these decisions and not political representatives in the washington. and i think furthermore, bogging this bill down withxtra amendments sends a mixed signal to our troops. so i ask unanimous consent to take from the speaker's table, h.r. 4899 the senate amendment thereto and concur with the senate amendment. the speaker pro tempore: according to the speaker's announced policy such requests are not entertained that have
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not been cleared by the leadership on both sides. mr. kingston: that's why i was asking for unanimous consent, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the question is not entertained under a previous announced policy of the speaker. mr. kingston: it's a shame because when it comes to war, we are going to let parliamentary procedure tie our hands in doing what's right for the soldiers. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. who seeks recognition? mr. lewis: i yield the gentleman an additional minute. mr. kingston: i would like to make this point about h.r. 4899 and the senate amendment is that it gives a clean bill, and a bill that will take our hands so they can do the right thing and work closely with the administration and as we know, the transition frr mcchrystal to petraeus -- from mcchrystal to petraeus has been tenuous
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enough, on a bipartisan basis and we don't need to add to the military woes and efforts in afghanistan by sending a bill, which incidentally, is not going to be signed by the president. the president has said he is going to veto and the senate isn't going to pass it anyhow. why are we doing this on the eastbound of the 4th of july? we need to have a clean bill. the best thing for us to do is to take h.r. 4899 with the senate amendment and concur with the senate resolution. with that, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the chair will notify mr. mcgovern that he has six minutes remaining and mr. lewis has 2 1/2 minutes remaining. the gentleman from california. mr. lewis: mr. speaker, we have no additional speakers. so i'll make brief remarks and would hope -- the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentleman is recognized. mr. lewis: thank you, mr. speaker. i think you know that as a result of your interpretting existing policy relative to unanimous consent requests, on three different occasions, in an effort to get the original package here before the body so they could vote up or down on h.r. 4899, i know that i could speak for my own leadership. they certainly would agree to this unanimous consent request. it would appear that the leadership on the other side, perhaps the committee, i can't speak for the spear of course, but apparently the other side does not want to have that package before the body. mr. speaker, it is critical for uso remind ourselves continually in the weeks and months ahead, the war on terror is very real. america has been challenged at home and continues to be challenged abroad. the men and women that our commander in chief has chosen to
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send to afghanistan are in need ofupplemental funding. to have an essentially watered down proposals in the amendments is absolutely unbelievable to me. if the public could ornl know what the people's body is doing tonight to not just our people here at home but our people overseas as well, they would make a decision that they ought to change the entire congress. and with that, mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. the gentleman is recognized for up to six minutes. mr. mcgove mr. mcgovern: we have close to 100,000 men and women deployed in afghanian. the war has raged for nine years, our strategy has changed at least that many times. we have lost over 1,000 of our brave soldiers and thousands more have been wounded.
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we are spending hundreds of billions of dollars in borrowed money. in nine year, neither george w. bush nor barack obama nor this congress has seen fit to pay for the war. th's burden we are placing on our children and our grandchildren. all of us, every single one of us, republicans and democrats alike are dedicated to defeating al qaeda and holding to account those who committed the horrible atrocities on september 11. what we are proposing today in no way lessens our commitment to that fight. our current policy in afghanistan is deeply flawed. we are getting sucked deeper and deeper and deeper into a war with no clear end. it is a war that will continue to claim the lives of our soldiers. it is a war that will continue to bankrupt us. it is a war that will not enhance our national security. my friends, we can no longer go along to get along. all of us have a responsibility to make sure we are doing the right thing.
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it is not just the president's war, it is our war too. we arehe ones who voted to put our soldiers in harm's way. we are the ones who keep funding it. my friends on the other side of the aisle who request, why are we asking questions, why don't we just rubber stamp what the senate did or what the prident sent us? the reason why we shouldn't do that is because it's not our job. we're supposed to deliberate and ask questions and figure out whether we're doing the right thing. they're our constituents, our family members in harm's way. we need to let this administration know that we want a way out. we want a plan. that's not a radical idea. we want a plan. we want an exit strategy. for the last 30 years we said never again will we commit our armed forces out a clearly defined mission and that means a mission with a beginning a middle, a transition period and an end. well, that's all we're aing fotoday is a clearly defined mission. what's the plan?
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we are dealing with the worst economy since the great deprefplgs our citizens, our constituents are hurting. yet we're told that we cannot afford to extend unemployment benefits to out of work americans because we cannot afford it. we're told we can't help more families aford a college education or rebuild our roads and bridges, but when it comes to supporting a corrupt, incompetent karzai government, we're supposed to be a bottomless pit. don't ask any question, just give them all the money they want, look the other way. that's in the right. that's not our job. i don't have all the answers. but i do know that it makes absolutely no sense to quietly endure the status quo. ending a war is not easy. it ruires courage and it demands action. what this amendment requests is action. a strong signal to the administration that we want a plan. it also signals that congress will no longer just sit back and hope for the best. to those who say that asking
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the afghan government to stand up and take responsibility is somehow a bad idea, i would remind them that when we signaled to iraq that we had a withdrawal plan, official there is actually began to act like a real government. ensuring that the president gives us a plan by next april so we can figure out by jy what to do with the money slated for the war is not too much to ask. we require we deserve, and we should demand the information we need to do our jobs. let me close with this. there is a small sliver of america that is directly impacted by this war in iraq. those are the people who are fighting the war and who have family members fighting the war. the rest of us are asked to do nothing. absolutely nothing. we're not even asked to pay for it. hundreds of billions of llars in borrowed money. well, the let we could do for these brave men and women, who we have put in harm's way, is debate this issue.
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to make sure we're getting it right. to make sure we're not sending these people on a mission that commits itself to a war with no end. that is what we are asking for here today. a clearly defined mission. and i ask all of you, every one of us here, to re-engage in this policy. this issue has taken -- has been on the back burner for too long. we are at war. our constituents are dying. each and every day. we read about more people who are killed in afghanistan. we have an obligation to do better. this policy is deeply flawed. we need a way out. i ask all of you today to vote for the mcgovern-obey-jones for the mcgovern-obey-jones amendment.
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[bells ringing] [bells ringing]
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[background sounds]
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[background sounds] >> speaker rick thompson and i invite you to join us as we recite the pledge of allegiance. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america, and to the republic for which it stand, one nation, under god,
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indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. >> would you please remain standing for the national anthem. ♪ . ♪ .
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[applause] >> let us pray. oh, holy one, loving god, we cry out to today in our sadness and loss. our mountains weep today, and our rivers run salty with the tears. our senator, our advocate, our brother and friend, has left us to be with irma and with you. but through our tears we smile as this beautiful day smiles upon the grieving mountains and rivers and the people of west virginia.
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we need not tell you his story as we pray. you know the story. it is your story. you are its author, its beginning and its ending. he with sim thank you -- we simply thank you for the gift of robert c. byrd, who loved you with all his heart and mind and soul and strength and who loved his neighbors as himself. his neighbors were the people of west virginia, his fellow senators and the people of the world. the neighbors that he loved were all the people of every race and language and station in life. we thank you that beneath the constitution, in his pocket over his heart, within his heart was your
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word in which he believed and which he obeyed. which enabled him to change his mind and to change his heart and to learn and grow from the moment of his birth until the day of his death. so we pray. receive our thanksgiving and comfort our wounded hearts as we thank you for the life and the gift of our senator, and our friend. in your holy name we pray, amane. -- amen.
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>> on behalf of the great state of west virginia and its wonderful people i would like to welcome all of you to this historic state memorial service. today it is my honor to welcome of the president of the united states of america, barack obama. [applause] the vice president of the united states of mechanic, joe bide. -- biden. [applause]
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president bill clinton. [applause] senate majority leader harry reid. [applause] senate minority leader, mitch mcconnell. [applause] and speaker of the the house, nancy pelosi. [applause] and our great senator, jay rockefeller. [applause]
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the west virginia congressional delegation and many of their fellow members of congress. thank you so much. [applause] members of the west virginia board of public works, the west virginia state legislature, the west virginia supreme court, judges, various local and county officials, and everyone here today, and watching. while e mourn the loss of our son of west virginia, today we come together to celebrate the outstanding life of a man, the likes of whom we shall never seen again. in one of the five books that senator byrd authored he said, we must study the great figures of our history and carry them forward in our imaginations as living, breathing presences. we can in effect consult on
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vital issues of the day. without question, senator robert c byrd is a pillar in our nation's history. his leadership, and influence have stretched well beyond the borders of our mountain state. my first memory of senator byrd was as a young boy working in the back of my grandfather's grocery store in the small coal mining town of farmington, west virginia, and hearing scripture of the bible being quoted from great or atores. my grandfather, papa joe, and robert c. byrd. both held the same great okaytation. -- occupation. they were both butchers in grocery stores. they were discussing bible and business with great fervor. i still remember today, my personal memory of meeting the senator is no different than so many west virginians. meeting senator robert c. byrd in every small nook and cranny of this great state. . .
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>> fifty-seven years of service in congress. [applause] >> it would be impossible to stand here and recite all that our beloved senator did for you and me. from highways and hospitals to schools and technology, centers, there are more than 50 projects
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in west virginia that bear his name, or that of his beloved wife. and we were numbered senator byrd for the strong family man that he was. the love of his life, erma, and their two daughters, six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren provided unconditional support. we will remember senator byrd for the devoted public servant that he was, for the thousands of jobs he created, for his efforts to protect our veterans, and provide health care to rural areas. we will remember his commitment to transforming our economy. we will remember his ongoing quest to provide our youth with the opportunity to learn, to work and to succeed. we will remember his steadfast leadership, his wisdom, his reason, his compassion, his strong voice and enthuusiasm. but more importantly, we will remember his in eight quality, honest, integrity, loyalty, and
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intense respect for democracy and his unwavering love for the people and the state of west virginia. [applause] >> and we will never forget his deeply rooted spiritual conviction and his utmost respect for our founding fathers. the senator truly epitomizes the spirit of west virginia. he wore that mountain state spirit on his sleeve, and never forgot where that journey in history began. back in wolf creek hollow in west virginia. [applause] >> nor did he ever forget the hard-working salt of the earth people of west virginia who, he loved as if they were his extended family. when he launched a career in public service some 60 plus
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years ago, our state was a blank canvas, untouched by the colors of the modern way of life. senator byrd brought a blank canvas to like using broad architect and optimism, and a can-do spirit that resonated throughout the hills of west virginia. in fact, when his political career was in its beginning stages, there were only four miles a divided highway in our state. and senator byrd made it his mission to transform those their lands. he was a true champion. a man of his word, and a true patriot and guardian of the united states constitution. senator byrd was looked up to buy all of congress, and often referred to as the conscience of the senate. a long list of colleagues have sang his praises, and here are just a few. senator bob dole said, he has set the standard as a senator,
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as a legislative leader, and as a statesman that will stand among the best, as long as there is a senate. [applause] >> and his beloved, dear friend ted kennedy, senator ted kennedy said, that he personified what our founding fathers were thinking of when they were thinking about a united states senate. [applause] >> he has been called a patriot and warrior of the united states constitution. however, the best way that i can describe the senator is as the architect of appalachia. he is the most historic figure to ever call west virginia home, and will forever live in our hearts, and in those of our children. no one, no one can replace our senator. [applause]
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>> no wind can fill his shoes, and we must never forget his tireless dedication as we humbly try to follow in his footsteps. senator byrd, you've told and triumphed on behalf of your beloved mountain state, and now your time to rest has. your memory will live in our hearts forever. may god bless you and erma. may god bless the state of west virginia, and may god bless america. [applause] >> i'm senator mitch mcconnell from your neighboring state of kentucky, the republican leader of the senate. [applause]
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>> and i'm here today to represent all of the republican members of the united states senate, and pay tribute to your beloved senator, robert c. byrd. 10 years ago senator byrd honored me and the students at the university of louisville by making a trip to kentucky to share some of his wisdom about the senate. i regret to say it's taken me a decade to return the favor. but i do so with a deep sense of gratitude, not only for that particular kindness, but for many others he showed me over the years, and for the many bible lessons i have learned and we learned from the life and example of robert c. byrd. while there's talk about his encyclopedic knowledge of history and literature, his corniness, his profound reverence for the u.s. constitution, his oratory.
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it's all true. for about a quarter of the time our government has existed, senator byrd stood like a century and a three-piece suit watching over the legislative branch. but here in west virginia, one can't help but be reminded first and foremost of the challenges he overcame to achieve all this. it's one of the glories of our country that success isn't restricted to the connected or the wellborn. that anyone with an enough talent and drive to the heights and power and prestige. it's remarkable to think that the man who wrote the gettysburg address was raised by a couple who couldn't even sign their names. and it's no less remarkable that the man we honor today, a man who held everyone of us, fell down with his knowledge and his command of history, couldn't even afford a pair of socks to wear to sunday school as a boy.
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so here, in charleston, we are reminded that the american promise reaches even into the remotest corners of hardin county, kentucky, and the winding dollars of raleigh county, west virginia. the glory of our nation is reaffirmed every time another man or woman overcomes what some call disadvantages. to achieve great things. and robert byrd may well be their patron saint. [applause] >> he was the ultimate self-made man, the high school valedictorian who couldn't afford to go to college but who could teach a room full of professors something new every day. you might say he was a walking argument for homeschooling. [laughter] >> he was the orphan who growth in home without electricity or running water, but who spent his
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adult life getting back to his adopted state as much as his beloved adopted parents gave him. best of all, he was never embarrassed by the poverty of his youth. he wore it like a badge of honor, because he knew his dignity lay not in material possessions, but in being the child of a loving god, the husband of a devoted wife, a citizen of the united states of america, and a son of the mountain state. [applause] >> some people get elected to the senate with a hope of making it on the national stage. not robert byrd. as he once put it, when i am debt and i'm open, they will find west virginia written on my heart. [applause] >> he made it all look easy, but
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it didn't come easy. i remember asking him once if it ever been to a football game. he said he had not. and then he corrected himself, he had actually gone to a game wants. but only the halftime show, and even then he left halfway before it was over. [laughter] >> he was making better use of his time than we were, learning the lessons of history, expanding his views, always learning. quoting one of the seven wise men of greece, he would say i grow old in the pursuit of learning. he was the only person i ever knew who had no interest in leisure, whatsoever. no ball game ever change the course of history, he said. the fact is, he was engaged in a different contest. not for a perishable crown, but foreign imperishable one. and in the end, he could say with paul that he had run the
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race as if to win. we are consoled by the thought that this man who believed, even in the twilight of his life, that the prayers his mother had always followed him, has reached his father's house, and that robert carlyle byrd has heard those words he always longed to hear, well done, good and faithful servant, share your master is a joy. -- masters joy. [applause] >> governor manchin, president obama, vice president biden, president clinton, colleagues of
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senator byrd in the senate and in the house, and in his beloved state of west virginia, mona and marjorie and the family of senator byrd, his extended family, staff members of senator byrd, and all of you who admired and loved senator byrd, i am vicki kennedy, and i'm honored to be here and humbled to speak for someone else who treasured the man we mourn and celebrate today. a giant in the history of the senate -- [applause] -- and a giant in the history of west virginia. for whom the smallest corner of this state could be the greatest of causes. my husband wrote of robert byrd vast knowledge and experience, his remarkable insight and wisdom, but he was forecaddie, so much more than that.
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briefly foes, they became the best of friends. coming from very different places, across the years, they came together to keep america's promise. robert byrd moved with our country, and he moved our country forward. from the ceaseless fight for economic justice to the long struggle for health care, where, from the floor of the united states senate last christmas eve, he raised his arm and his voice to cast the deciding vote. i was in the gallery, and tears flowed down my cheeks when he said, mr. president, this is for my friend, ted kennedy. aye. [applause]
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>> and, yes, as the years passed, they were together, to, in the quest for civil rights and equal rights. his friend, teddy, had no patience for those who focus on a distant past instead of the robert byrd who, day after day at the center of our democracy, was giving heart, hand and his peerless parliamentary command to help those left behind, and to advance our highest hopes for the future. on the floor of the senate in 2007, senator byrd defiantly exclaimed, people do get older, even, dare i say it, old. but with his indomitable will, the power of his eloquence proved a new that youth is not a time of life, but a state of mind. it was in the eighth decade of his life, and the fifth decade
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of his service in the legislative branch that he foresaw the folly of invading iraq, and spoke for conscience and constitution against the tides of onrushing war. [applause] >> oh, oh, yes, he was like a prophet of old. and not just here, but always, robert byrd good for the constitution, and for the integrity and authority of the senate. teddy, who shared his love of history, thought of him as a modern incarnation of ancient virtue, a roman of west virginia. [applause] >> to the citizens of the state he loved, there is another epitaph incentives ago that surely applies to him. if you seek his monument, look all around you.
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did not only changed the landscape in so many lives here, he touched souls, and people knew without being told, that he was on their side. i saw this as teddy and i campaigned across west virginia with senator byrd during the 2004 presidential contest. we crisscrossed the state in a huge bus. he was an incredible force, quoting scripture, striding the back of a flatbed trucks, spellbinding his audiences. teddy told me, we were watching a master. which was high praise indeed from someone who was a master campaigner himself. i'm not sure robert byrd would have put it this way, but he was a rock star. [laughter] [applause] >> finally, to all of you, to
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the family and friends who have lost him now, and love him as before, let me share what i have learned. the sorrow will be there. returning each day, often randomly and quickened by little things, but you will be sustained by the priceless grace of memories and the gifts of faith. and so it was with robert byrd, as he looked forward to being reunited, as he is now, with this precious erma. he made history that few others in the senate chamber ever have. he lifted up countless lives, as few senators from any state ever have. someone will take robert byrd's seat, but no one will ever fill his place. [applause]
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>> today as west virginia, we mourn the incredible loss of our friend and our protector, our senator, robert c. byrd. and yet today we also celebrate his remarkable life. this is not an easy balance for us. from the southern mountains to the northern panhandle, we have shed so many tears at the learning of his passing. yet, we stand together as a people with warmth in our hearts knowing that his legacy will live on, and grateful that the nation pauses today to honor him.
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senator byrd was in so many ways the embodiment of what is to be a west virginia. he made me and all of us so proud to be west virginia and. he took such a pure joy and for roche is unyielding pride, not just in the senate as an institution, but, frankly, in pulling the levers of power for west virginia and west virginia and, for people, for education, veterans, economic opportunity. he reveled in the power that he had through the grace of his persistence, and the intensity of his focus. it was in his blood. it was his sacred cause. robert c. byrd reached great
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heights because of the purity of his purpose. and the depth of his determination. every day i intimately witnessed that senator byrd never forgot where he came from, and he never let up. even when his heart was broken. first with the tragic death of his young grandson, and then i know part of it was lost forever when his beloved wife, erma, passed on. watching him hurt was deeply agonizing for me, and for all who love him. we saw each other constantly, obviously, on the floor of the
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senate. i wish so much that there was something, just anything that i could do to try to ease his pain because it was so obvious. when senator byrd and i would see each other as we did obvious it a lot on the floor of the senate, since erma's passing, sometimes he would take my hand ever so gently and press it and hold it against his cheek. he was talking less in those days, but we were communicating. to sharon and i and all of west virginia, robert byrd was our family, yours, ours, all of ours, all of those who are behind me.
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and it was his special touch that made us all shine. senator byrd, thank you. we will miss you. from the bottom of our hearts, we thank you. and always, we will mourn you. [applause] >> reverend clergy, mr. president, mr. vice president, mona and marjorie, senator byrd's family,
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grandchildren, great-grandchildren, his hard-working staff, members and colleagues of his from the senate, leaders of the senate, speaker of the house, members of the state legislature, you know, i just never thought he would die. just never really thought he would. although this date is not unexpected. it is unexpectedly difficult to stand here to say goodbye to senator robert c. byrd. our senator, our chairman, our mentor, our friend, our big daddy. [applause] >> he was -- he was so eloquent, so daunting to find so every night, that it is daunting to find the words that can encompass the enormous the of the man and all that he has
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left behind. all the around us, senator byrd has left his legacy to this day, to the nation that he loved. we could talk about the bricks and mortar, the record set, both in west virginia, and national legislators, but senator byrd quite literally has paid our way to the future. he has paid a path to the future. but i believe it is the most lasting legacy will come from the example that he sat with his own life, with his own life. full of lessons for each of us to learn from and build upon. senator byrd never stop learning, and he never stopped working. despite the obstacles of which we all know it and the setbacks that would have to mobilize less determined individuals. he was a great reader. a great reader of what he called the greatest book of all, the bible. of history's from ancient rome
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to the 20th century, the poetry, and believe you me, from memory. i heard it often, rather on his staff and driving them back and forth between washington and west virginia, are even as his congressman, driving them back and forth to west virginia. i heard such registrations very often. and, indeed, they kept me awake while i was driving the car. [laughter] >> i've always been working for senator byrd. for over 40 years, on his staff in the senate democratic cloakroom, and now to until the last few days as his congressman. when senator byrd had a problem, when he needed help on an issue, he would always call his congressman, and i would be there to help them in anyway i could. he loved beautiful words and he love to share them. the congressional record and our public libraries are much richer for him. nor bible no generic went unread
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by senator byrd. centerburg definitely put history to work with more passion and power and promise than anyone in the republic's history. but while he relished history, he lived for the future. the picture of his great state and our great country. he was unapologetic to critics of his efforts to bring federal programs and dollars to west virginia. to him, it was a labor of love. when robert c. byrd loved, he loved deeply and for all the days of his life. to senator byrd the constitution, yes, it was not a relic but rather a living, breathing soul of the republic. he was its greatest defender and its most compassionate promoter. it is fitting that this lover of history, the guarding of the cost of tuition, the son of the senate, is being memorialized even as a nation celebrates indie pendant today. senator byrd may not have been a founding father, but this
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adopted son of a west virginia coal miner would have been right at home among them. yes, he could hobnob with kings and claims all over the world and prince and princesses, and he could scold president of the united states -- [laughter] [applause] -- but, you know, my friends, you know as well as i know where he was most comfortable. that was either in my parents home in beckley, west virginia and raleigh county, or in my home or in your home, he was much more comfortable sitting down to a dinner of beans and cornbread and onions ann sipping buttermilk. [applause] >> he competed only against himself to work the hardest to do the most to cash. cast the greatest number of votes. and in doing so he invited --
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inspired a generation of west virginia. he has now crossed the bar. crosssd the bar. he set sail on a journey to the farthest shore where his beloved erma waits for him. and i know i speak for my colleagues today, representative alan mollohan and shelley moore capital, in saying godspeed, my dear senator. in his role as president pro tem of the senate centerburg resident the entire senate at significant national events. his compatriot during those events, our speaker of the house of representatives who is joined here today by our majority leader, steny hoyer, that our speaker, you, senator byrd, almost as well as we west virginia and, they traveled together, they represent both bodies of this great country of ours in many different forms.
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speakers and senator byrd's approach is to statecraft a similar and and no detail is too small, no vote is taken for granted, and every person matters. they both share a passion for people. ladies and gentlemen, welcome to speak of the house of representatives, nancy pelosi. [applause] >> good afternoon. mr. president, mr. president president, mr. vice president, leaders read and the, bishop, so many friends of senator byrd who are gathered here. i'm so pleased to join my colleagues from west virginia,
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mr. rahal who is the chairman and great leader in the congress of the united states. congressman alan mollohan who is a chairman as well, as well as our delegation from house of representatives lead but our leader steny hoyer in the house? house. [applause] . .
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>> i-then that his service was exemption -- exceptional. he demonstrated what would become the hallmarks of his commitment. his love for the people of west virginia, his passion for history, and public service, and his remarkable oratorical skills. i am going to talk to you about his service in the house, briefly. >> in 1953, this is one of his earliest speeches. he came to the floor of the house and he said, i learned quite a long time ago before becoming a member of this house that there is an unwritten rule in the minds of some, perhaps,
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which is expected to cover the conduct of members in the legislative body said that it should be seen in seldom be heard. i have observed this will very carefully up until this time, and i shall continue to do so. however, the book of ecclesiastes says, to everything there is a season, a time to be silent, and the time to speak. and he decided it was time for him to speak. [applause] he went on in the speech not only to quote the bible, shakespeare, rudd yard kipling and daniel webster and mr. president, this was a speech about world trade. [laughter] those he thrived in the house, when he moved onto the senate, senator byrd remarked that he was happy to leave behind the limitations on speaking time on the house floor. [laughter] on a personal note i will
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never forget a dinner i hosted for him in the early '80s when he was running for reelection at that time, in california. after dinner we didn't know what to expect. we were all nervous to be in the presence of such a great person. what did he do? he pulled out his fiddle and regailed us with west virginia tunes and told us great storelies about each and everyone of you. [applause] that was an act of ship that i will never forget. later when i came to congress, i told senator byrd how my father who had served in congress, gave me the i am of a coal miner carved in coal. it is only thing i have from my's office as a member of congress. it had to have been a gift to him from jennings randolph who had representedded west virginia so well. [applause] and it sat in my father's
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office when he was in the house of representatives. it now sits in the speaker's office. and it is in my west virginia corner along with a silver stray from senator byrd which i love, especially because it is engraved with thanks from robert and irma. in the beginning of my comments i mentioned a speech of senator byrd's on the house floor. that day, in 1953, he quoted the words of daniel webster. these words, when you come to the capitol are etched on the wall of the chamber high above speaker's chair. and these words would come to define his leadership, but he voiced them in that earliest speech. senator byrd said, let us develop the resources of our land, call forth its powers, build up its institution, promote all its great interests and see whether we
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also in our day and our generation may perform something worthy to be remembered. daniel webster. senator byrd's service and his leadership were more than worthy to be remembered for many generations to come. and as my colleague, mr. rahall said, it is very appropriate that weeare celebrating robert byrd's life and putting him to rest in the week of july 4th. he was a great american patriot and as governor man said, we shall never see his like again. may he rest in peace. amen. [applause]
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>> my name is harry reid. i'm ther of the united states senate. [applause] i have the honor today to speak for those members of the united states senate now serving and who have served. i also want to speak for those staff members who are now serving in the united states senate and who have served. 18 years ago i left my home in searchlight, nevada and i needed something to read on the plane. i pulled out of my little library a paper back that i read long time ago, the adventures of robinson cure russo. i had enjoyed it. i hadn't read it in a long, long time. i came --
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[inaudible] i know how much he liked to read and i wanted to impress him that i had read something and, i said i read the adventures of robinson curso. he leaned his bed like so many times. his eyes rolled back toward the heavens. he paused for just a second and then he said, 28 years, two months, and 19 days. in case anyone doesn't. that is how long he was on that island. i was as astonished, i didn't know how long he had been on the island, i just read the book. [laughter] robert byrd knew it to the day and he hadn't read the book in 50 years. it was hardly the first time i had been dumfounded and hardly the first i was, i was not the first to be
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dumfounded by this man's brilliance. we've all marveled at breadth of bob byrd's boundless mind, one he so generously gave to the people of this state and this country. a few years before barry goldwater died he wrote a letter to senator byrd from his home in arizona, to tell him how much he admired senator byrd's gift for remembering and reciting even the most obscure facts. here's what bear goldwater said in this -- barry goldwater said. keep it up. when you get to heaven, i'm there and i want to have someone to listen to. robert byrd didn't just memorize and catalog things for the heck of it. in fact he once advised a crowd here in charleston is the purpose of an education is not simply to make the mind a storehouse for information but to transform that mind into an inquisitive and innovative
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instrument of knowledge. he could never quite quench his thirst for learning. he was without limit, his mind and he was without equal. the first in his family to make it to the third grade, senator byrd once said he craved knowledge the way a hungry man craves bread and he consumed it in untold fashion. he grew by doing so and he changed by doing so. he never stopped learning. learning from others or even from his own mistakes. and with every new lesson he learned he also learned how much more there was to know. robert byrd could dispense knowledge as well as he absorbed it. indeed it was because he was a tireless learner he became a perillous teacher. no one was his peer as a teacher. i remember how in his precise, poetic voice he us
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to protect the traditions that strengthen the senate of the united states and warned us to avoid the hazards that weakened the senate of our own, ancient rome. he taught me to care in my pocket, a copy of the constitution. all senators swear to support and defend. i of course have it with me today. it every day. my old one me first is worn out. it is in my home in searchlight, in a treasured spot. this one is fairly new. the handwriting isn't as good as the first one. i'm not going to read the personal note to me but he signed it, cordially, robert c. byrd, united states senator. robert byrd always kept that charter so close to his heart because he loved his country. he will always keep his mem my so close to our hearts because we loved him.
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when the founders conjured this constitution, robert byrd so revered and treasured, when they imagined the's representatives who would fill the great positions they prescribed, i believe they had the senior senator from west virginia in mind. they really had to. the authors outlined oh only a few characteristics of a united states senator. his age, his citizenship, his residency. if they had only kept writing, i'm confident they would have described robert c. byrd in full. he was exactly what they intended, an eloquent, steadfast ward of the nation's founding principles, fiercely loyal to the state that chose him. forever faithful to his constituents, his country and this constitution. it is hard to believe america's longest serving member of congress was once a freshman senator, but he was. but in the summer of that
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first year, in the senate, 1959, the "charleston gazette" asked a young robert byrd to name his highest ambition. quote, if i live long enough, i would like to be the chairman of the senate appropriations committee. why did he dream that dream? [applause] why didn't he aspire to the white house or governor's mansion or some other high office? it is because robert byrd knew it was from that chair he could best help his neighbors back home in west virginia. he knew that was his first and most important job. [applause] he knew that was his first and most important job as their representative in this senate. of course, just as he had predicted, robert byrd did indeed live long enough to hold the gavel that he
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coveted. 30 years to the day after he assumed the title of senator, he assumed the title of appropriations chairman. trading in the title of majority leader to do so, and then he lived and served for two more qaed. though he did more than anyone before him and probably more than anyone will ever again, he never thought he had done enough for west virginians. as we watched him work, we learned another lesson, i learned another lesson, we all learned another lesson, to never forget why we serve and where we come from. he once wrote and i quote, west virginia is dellably written on my heart and will be there until my body is returned to the dust. no one has meant more to a state than robert byrd did to west virginia. [applause] the united states senate has never meant more to anyone than it did to robert byrd. it is true that his record
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for longevity are astound. just think about this. he served in our nation's congress for more than a quarter of the time our country has existed. and longer than a quarter of today's sitting senators and the president have been alive. it is by virtue of his endurance that robert byrd knew and worked with many of the greats of american history. but it is because of his enduring virtue that he will forever be remembered as one of these greats. his career can not alone be counted in the time he worked. rather we should measure it in the lives of those for whom he worked. his accomplishments are not sum of millions of dollars he brought back to cities like huntington and wheeling but millions of families he brought out of same poverty that he endured. on the last day of his life, on the last day of his life, robert byrd felt just as strongly about the principle i just mentioned as he did
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the very first time he rose to speak as a state legislator in this beautiful state capitol building behind us. in that speech, which of course he memorized before delivering, he said, quote, to me the dollar is secondary. human misery and sufferering and welfare of the helpless and depebd ent children come first. he was teaching us from day one and he never stopped. that doesn't mean he didn't also love his remarkable records of public service because he did. rankings will forever be his and never be surpassed. he was surely proud of it. i have no doubt right now, robert byrd is bowing his head, looking down from the heavens and saying, 57 years, five months, 26 days. [laughter] [applause]
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[singing] ♪ .
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[applause] >> that was beautiful. ladies and gentlemen, it is my pleasure to present the 42nd president of the united states, my dear friend, president bill clinton. [applause]
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>> thank you. thank you very much. governor, all the members of senator byrd's family, mr. president, mr. vice president, madam speaker, congressman rahall and all the house members here, senator reared, senator mcconnell, all the senators, thank you, senator rockefeller and thank you, vicki kennedy. i'd also like to thank all the people here who at the time of his passing, or ever worked for robert byrd who helped him to succeed for the people of west virginia. i thank them. [applause]
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and, i want to thank the martin luther king male chorus. they gave us a needed break from all these politicians talking up here. [applause] i want to say first that i come here to speak for two members my family. hillary wanted to be here today and she paid her respects to senator byrd as he lay in state in the united states senate before making a trip on behalf of our country to central and eastern europe. i am grateful to bob byrd for many things, but one thing that no one has given enough attention to in my opinion today is that while he always wanted to be the best senator, and he always wanted to be the longest-serving senator, he
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wanted every other senator to be the best senator that he or she could be and he helped hillary a lot when she came to represent the people of new york. i am forever grateful for that. [applause] now, everybody else has canonizing senator byrd. i would like to humanize him a little bit. because i think it makes it more interesting and makes his service all the more important much. first of all, most people had to go all the way to washington to become awed by, you might even say, intimidated by robert byrd. not me. i had advance experience before i got elected president because the first time i ever ran for office, at the opening of campaign season in arkansas, below
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the wacataw and ozark mountains which were once connected to the appalachians, we had this big rally and the year i started, don't you know robert byrd was the speaker. 1974, april, i'll never forget it. it was a beautiful spring night and he gave one of those stem-winding speeches. and then he got up and he played the fed dill and the crowd went crazy. you know, in 1974, in a place like arc say and west virginia, playing the fed dill was whole lot better for your politics than playing a saxophone. [laughter] so, i am completely intimidated. and then, all the candidates get to speak. they're all limited to four or five minutes. some went over. all the candidates for governor and every state officer. members, people running for the house of representatives,
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there were five of us. we were dead last and i drew the short last, i was dead last among them. by the time i got up to speak, it been so long since bert byrd spoke, he was hungry again. and i realized, in my awed state, i couldn't do that well. so i decided to only chance i had to be remembered was to give the shortest speech. i spoke for 80 seconds. and i won the primary. and i owd it to robert byrd. [applause] now, when i was elected president, i knew that one of the things i needed to do before i took the oath of office was go to the senate and pay my respects to senator byrd. in 1974 when i met him he had already been the leading
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authority on the institutional history of the senate and the senate rules for some years and he certainly was, by the time i was about to become president. so i did that. and i got a copy of his history of the senate, and his history of the roman senate. and i read them and i'm proud to say still on my bookshelfs in my office in harlem, in new york city today because i was so profoundly impressed. now, robert byrd was not without a sense of humor. for example, i was once ragging him about all the federal money he was hauling down to west virginia.


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