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tv   U.S. House of Representatives  CSPAN  April 5, 2011 10:00am-1:00pm EDT

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follow orders to kill, even in legitimate combat, involves a whole process of desensitizing them to the very idea they are killing people. they are not killing people, they are identifying targets. that kind of language is. it is very difficult or very tricky in a combat situation to make those kinds of distinctions about who you were targeting into you are killing. in this case you had a very conscious effort by a group of soldiers to just go out and kill civilians who they knew posed no threat. host: we have been talking with eric bates, executive editor at "the rolling stone" magazine. live coverage of the rollout of
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the budget by paul ryan that comes out at 10:30 on c-span3. we now go live to the floor of the house of representatives where they are getting ready for morning our speeches. the clerk: the speaker's room, washington, d.c., april 5, 2011. i hereby appoint the honorable kevin yoder to act as speaker pro tempore on this day. signed, john a. boehner, speaker of the house of representatives. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the order of the house of january 5, 2011, the chair will now recognize members from lists submitted by the majority and minority leaders for morning hour debate. the chair will alternate recognition between the parties with each party limited to one hour and each member other than the majority and minority leaders and the minority whip limited to five minutes each but in no event shall debate continue beyond 11:50 a.m. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california, mr. miller, for five minutes. mr. miller: i ask unanimous
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consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. miller: mr. speaker, one year ago today a massive explosion ripped through the two-mile area of upper big branch mine in west virginia. it bent railroad tracks like pretzels and killed 29 miners. it layed bare the loopholes in mine safety laws. it allows operators, like massey energy, to violate rules repeatedly and with impunity. in fact, the upper big branch mine was allowed to remain open though it had been ordered to stop operations 51 times in the previous year because of severe safety hazards. after the disaster, there were proclamations made from both sides of the aisle about taking meaningful action to honor the victims so something like this will never happen again. however, standing here a year later miners still face many of the same dangers they did on
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the morning before the tragedy in west virginia. unscrupulous mine operators are still gaming the system by clogging it with thousands of appeals as a way to avoid paying strong penalties. miners are still paralyzed with fear of speaking out. decisions made in the board rooms to maximize coal production remain unchallenged. management practices of illegally giving advanced warning of pending inspections are still a mere misdemeanor. shortly after the big branch tragedy, the education labor committee held the only hearings where congress heard from families and miners affected by this tragedy. many were reluctant to testify because they feared retaliation. for others there was a strong desire to tell the stories to prevent another tragedy in the coal mines in america. eddie cook told us about the dangerous practices he heard from the miners in upper big branch mine after the explosion.
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he lost his 21-year-old nephew, adam morgan. adam's father, steve morgan, said that when he spoke to his son about the unsafe conditions management told him that he might just have to find another job. they did nothing about the unsafe conditions. gary lost his only son at upper big branch. gary asked us to make a commitment to make sure that it doesn't happen again. alice peters testified how her son-in-law, dean jones, was afraid to work in the mine because of the ventilation problems but dean needed a job in order to keep health insurance coverage for his special needs son. clay mullins lost his brother, rex, in upper big branch. clay testified how the management would give advanced warnings of an impending mine safety inspection so that they could quickly cover-up any violations before the federal inspectors got to that part of the mine. and stanley goose stewart was working in upper big branch mine the day it exploded.
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he testified twice before the committee about the persistent fear and intimidationed faced by workers by massey management. every mine safety law was written by the blood of miners. and sadly, political interests know that as the tragedy fades, so does the willingness of the congress to act decisively. families and miners expressed their concern about this skepticism. looking back now a year later, their skepticism was entirely justified. congress has utterly failed to respond to the real problems that miners themselves have identified as safety hazards in their workplace. a toxic political environment has failed these families and the pay to play nature of politics have failed these familiar lice. while congressional work has been stymied, we've tried to prevent road mine operators were recklessly putting lives at risk. but even with these measures
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we're hearing the familiar cries from big coal to maintain the status quo while they continue to game the legal system designed to protect the miners who go to work in those mines every day. they cry about their so-called due process, but what about the due process for the 29 miners who died in the big branch mine explosion and their pam lease and the miners who went to work today in the coal mines of america and their families? is congress just going to sit here and simply wait for the next explosion, the next tragedy, the next loss of life, or are we going to let the special interests continue to paralyze this institution? these should not be hard questions for the congress of the united states. our ability to respond goes to the heart of who we are as a nation. there are things that congress can and must do right now, and that only congress can do to better ensure that every coal miner who goes to work is able
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to return safely to their families at the end of their shift. congress has an obligation to make sure that that is the case. it's long overdue to honor our promises to the families of the 29 miners who perished a year ago for doing the job that our nation relies on to provide us energy. and it's also long overdue to give the rest of our nation's miners modern health and safety protections, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from ohio, mr. chabot, for five minutes. mr. chabot: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, boxing legend mohammed ali once said, and i quote, championships aren't made in the gyms. champions are made from something they have deep inside them, a desire, a dream, a vision. i'd like to recognize two high school basketball teams from my district who prove that they are indeed champions. they have the desire to make every practice count and play every game as if it were their
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last. they shared a dream that was strong enough to overcome the distractions all high school kids face. and their coaches gave them the vision that all their hard work and sacrifice would pay off in the end. the schools, la salle lancers and the taft senators. first, congratulations to the la salle lancers on winning the 2011 ohio division i basketball state championship. la salle is a boy's catholic high school in my district that's particularly special to me since its my alma mater. regardless of my personal attachments to the school, i'd like to recognize them on a job well done and a season well played. they represented themselves and our community without standing display athleticism, class throughout the season but especially in the playoffs. the players and coaches stuck together in the face of
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adversity, especially when their head coach, dan flemming, suffered a heart attack, that placed sports and the tournament in perspective. they rallied around the school and they went on to win their first basketball state championship in 15 years and the second in school's history. i'd also like to congratulate coach tom gripa and the lancer football team for their tremendous season. you made us proud. congratulations, lancers. i also rise today to congratulate the taft high school senators who won the division iii basketball state championship. now, i acknowledge that it's rare that a member of this esteemed body, the house of representatives, ever says anything positive about senators but i'd like to make an exception today. led by their head coach, mark mitchell, the senators defeated cleveland central catholic high
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school to win the first championship in their school's history. the senators went into the tournament ranked number one by the associated press. they not only made school history by winning their first state championship but they also set a division iii boy's basketball record for the most points scored in a championship game. finishing the season at 26-1 is quite a feat. it's an honor to have them represent our district and i congratulate them on their success. i'd be remiss if i didn't also commend former cincinnati bengals star mike martin for the tremendous effort he's made in turning around the taft high school's football program, mentoring his players to the success in life that they will have as well as on the football field. let me conclude by once again congratulating the players, the coaches, the students, the faculty and the fans of cincinnati's la salle lancers and taft senators for the inspirational seasons you've just completed.
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you've made all of us very proud. your accomplishments will be long remembered. go lancers and go senators. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from west virginia, mr. rahall, for five minutes. mr. rahall: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. rahall: mr. speaker, it's been one year since the fatal explosion at upper big branch mine. 365 days since we lost 29 courageous coal miners, fathers and sons, brothers and friends. we vowed then that some good would come from this terrible tragedy and we can say that criminal investigations are almost complete, enforcement has toughened, that congress has increased funding to target violators and yet coal miners are still dying in our coal fields. it's easy to doubt, it's easy to question whether things can be made better. i find inspiration in the biblical verse from romans, glory and tribulations also,
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knowing that tribulations work as patience and patience, experience and experience hope. never lose hope that we can improve the health and safety of miners in the coal fields. never lose hope that we can pass tougher mine safety laws and that we can enforce those laws and save lives. there are plenty of good coal companies in america. companies that put time and effort and money into making their workplaces safe in which they operate. they are forward thinking coal companies with strong safety records that have designed programs aimed at protecting the lives and preserving the health of their miners. they want to see those bad actors, those companies that have tarnished the reputation of companies reined in. they do not accept a world in which they must compete against companies that would sacrifice lives of their own employees for competitive advantage and blatant profit. there are plenty members of
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congress on both sides of the aisle that recognize that legislation is necessary. congressman miller, congresswoman woolsey and i will give the agencies the tools they need to target the bad actors. we want to ensure that sound companies have good records -- that have good records can continue to perform and produce but we want to ensure that the worst of the worse operators can be reined in and that lives can be saved. we can strike a balance and we will. changes and improvements may come slowly but they will come. as long as coal miners and these brave, courageous families continue to demand that the loss of their loved ones will not be in vain they will come. the april 5 disaster of one year ago was a tragedy that never ever should have occurred. it must provide accountability and we have a duty to institute changes that will help prevent a repeat of that awful day. those 29 coal miners should not
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have perished, and for them and all those miners on the job today we must keep speaking out. tonight i will be at the one-year anniversary of the families of all these perished coal miners. i will look in the eyes of their loved ones once again as i did that painful week following the tragedy 24 hours, seven days a week. we will join and we will commemorate these good men and people that have come together that have tried to rescue them. for them we say thank you, and to provide comfort and to provide a final closure to these families which we have yet to do. these families want accountability, they want the truth and they want to ensure that no other families ever have to suffer the way they have. chairman miller, lynn woolsey and i remain committed to their cause and i urge my colleagues to join us in this life-saving important endeavor. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from north carolina, mr. jones, for five minutes. mr. jones: mr. speaker, thank
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you. last tuesday congresswoman sue myrick and i went to visit the wounded at walter reed. these treats are always a vivid reminder of the true cost of war. seeing the men and women that have lost limbs for this country make me wonder how many more are going to be in that hospital both at walter reed and bethesda with severe wounds. after hearing secretary gates, i have great respect for secretary gates, but he has made it clear that we will be in afghanistan until 2014. he said it will be 2014 or 2015 before we can start substantially bringing down the number of troops in that country. . here we are in washington battling right now about the 2011 budget, what should we do, not do. cut this, cut that. yet we seem to find $8 billion a month for a corrupt leader in afghanistan named karzai. he's corrupt and his government is corrupt.
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and yet we are saying to the american people, if you are a senior, we can't be sure that you can get a sandwich at the senior citizen center in your county. we are saying to the children that cannot afford milk at home, there will be no programs for you, but yet we find $8 billion a month for a corrupt leader in a country in a war that we cannot win. our troops have already won, but history says, you will not change afghanistan. i won't go through the history because of time. but, mr. speaker, karzai one day he likes american troops being over there, the next day he doesn't like the american troops being there. in fact, in december, 2010 in the "washington post," i quote him, i'll paraphrase this, karzai said to general petraeus, he said i have three main enemies, the taliban, the americans, and the international community. if i had to choose a friend today -- again, this is the president of afghanistan, i
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would choose the taliban. they are the ones killing americans and blowing their legs off and their arms off. how much longer does this have to go on? i say to my colleagues in both parties, join representative kucinich and ron paul and myself and many others, let's bring our troops home. i have a photograph here, mr. speaker, that was in the rally north carolina paper about a year ago. -- raleigh, north carolina paper about a year ago. this is a young army sergeant. his legs are gone. they have been blown off. his right arm has been blown off. and he has a left arm. he's what he they call a triple am amputee. his lovely wife is there pushing the wheelchair. mr. speaker, it's time for the american people to say to those of us in congress, do not keep our troops there until 2014, 2015, 2016. for a corrupt leader. it's time to bring our troops home. i have the fortune of
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representing camp lejeune marine base in my district. i talked to the marines who are brave as brave can be who have been there three, four, five times. i have talked to families, the families when their loved one has committed suicide upon returning from afghanistan. it's time to bring them home. how many more would be like this sergeant without legs, without arms. mr. speaker, last week on tuesday, sue myrick an i saw two young men, one from florida and one from inform neff that have no body parts below their waist. the body parts are gone. everything is gone. wake up, congress, and let's bring our troops home from afghanistan. my close is this, mr. speaker. i ask god to please bless our men and women in uniform. i ask god to please bless the families of our men and women in uniform. i ask god in his loving arms to hold the families who have give a child dying for freedom in afghanistan and iraq. mr. speaker, i ask god to bless the house and senate that we would do what is right. i ask god to give wisdom,
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strength, and courage to president obama that he will do what is right in the eyes of god. i'll ask three times, god please, god please, god please continue to bless america. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from new york, mr. rangel. for five minutes. mr. rangel: 7 i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. rangel: my colleagues, i rise to pay tribute to one of the great americans that we ever had in this body, congresswoman geraldine ferraro. most of the people remember her as an exciting vice presidential candidate. those of us in the new york delegation remember her as just a great personality, a great legislator, and a great american. we in the new york delegation have been fighting for time in which we could express
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ourselves, but the legislative calendar has not been very kind to us, so this morning we have two of her dear friends in congresswoman mccarthy, and congresswoman maloney and i suspect every time a new york member gets an opportunity, we will grab that time so that no one will ever say that she did not leave footprints here that all of us were just so proud. she succeeded jim delaney, who was known to be a very conservative democrat from long island, and we all awaited to see just who was going to succeed jim. and to see this beautiful, intellectual, former teacher, former assistant district attorney to come here, we all waited with breath held back to see just what type of woman she would be. and even though she held closely
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those conservative views, it has never been presented to this body in a more eloquent, more farming way as we found ourselves with this new, exciting candidate who later became a member and became a part of the leadership of the new york delegation, and once tip o'neill saw her, she became a part of the congressional democratic delegation, and just went on that wherever she went, she excelled with her smile, with her brains, and contributed so much in raising the standards of members of congress and those who would run for national office. i worked pretty closely with senator fritz mondale when he ran for president of the united states, and while he was looking for a vice presidential
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candidate, i was so pleased but surprised that tip o'neill said that he thought that within our delegation the answer to fritz mondale's problem would be the nomination of geraldine ferraro. i was surprised but so excited that i could serve on the mondale team and to be able to say not only do we have a new yorker, but we have an exciting candidate that could provide that shot in the arm that the mondale campaign so badly -- was so badly needed. and i felt so much like an american when we found out that her background was one of near poverty. her dad had come here from italy. that she was -- she just made the italian american community just so proud. she made women from all over the country proud. she made new yorkers proud.
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and certainly while she did not succeed in becoming vice president as mondale did not get the numbers that he needed, she became a national figure, a compassionate figure, serving in the united nations, serving in -- on television in terms of expressing -- expression, raising funds for candidates, and then when she was stricken with this terrible disease she died from, you would only hear her talking about her husband, john, her beautiful children, and how she can help to make it a better, more effective democratic party as well as what contributions can she make to this great country. so we in the new york delegation feel extremely proud that she was a part of us. she had her own personal family that she loved her own church,
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her own community. she had the respect and support of all americans and the deep-seated feeling that italian americans have. she was so well respected in democratic circles and congressional circles, but most of all, we will remember what a gentlelady she was. we have an expression in this house of representatives the gentleman from wisconsin, the gentlewoman from new york. but anyone who knew gerry as we so affectionately called her, would know she was indeed a strong leader but a gentle leader from long island and from new york. i thank you so much, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the chair now recognizes the gentleman from florida, mr. by can nan -- mr. buchanan, for five minutes. mr. buchanan: mr. speaker, in my home state of florida, seven people die a day, each day on
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prescription drug abuse. we had three teenagers a couple weeks ago die in one week. a gentleman, a friend of mine, buried his daughter on a saturday. i talked to him on monday. and he pleaded with me to do something about killing these pill mills across our state. florida prescribes 10 times more objectiony cotton pills than all days combined. we have more pain clinics than mcdonald's restaurants. it's time to put the pill mills out of business. we have over 1,300 pill mills in florida. we need to shut them down now. 4,000 deaths in florida in 2008. i have introduced legislation to crack down on pill mills. bill stiffen penaltieses and fines and use the seized assets to fund prescription fund data
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base. we need a data base today. the time to act is now. i urge my colleagues from both sides of the aisle to join me in this fight. to put these pill mills out of business and stop these needless deaths. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair now recognizes the gentlewoman from new york, mrs. maloney, for five minutes. mrs. maloney: mr. speaker, i rise with the new york delegation to honor the memory and many contributions of one of our favorite daughters, geraldine ferraro. last thursday, new yorkers poured out in great numbers to honor her at her funeral. her three children, donna, laura, and john jr. spoke eloquently and movingly in support and love of their late mother. and at the funeral and speaking in a eulogy beautifully for her,
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vice president mondale, secretary of state madeleine albright, secretary of state hillary rodham clinton, congresswoman jane harman, senator murkowski, and former president clinton. it would have thrilled her to see four women precede a president in eulogizing and speaking about her, two of whom were secretaries of state, because it was her life that helped inspire and move women forward in our national life not only in politics but in every area, business, finance, all areas of american life, geraldine ferraro inspired with her life and her historic run for vice president of the united states. with her passing, america lost a leader who was as wise as she was warm. a trail blazer who broke down barriers for women. for women everywhere not just united states but across the world, geraldine ferraro was a
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champion. for me permanently she was a dear, dear friend and a mentor. what seemed to nonnew yorker -- non-new yorkers was a feisty and fast talking woman, seemed to us as just another mom from queens. she inspired us with her personal story. the daughter of italian immigrants, raised by her seamstress mother after her father died at 8. she became a public school teacher, a lawyer, one of just two women in her law class. and a member and leader of congress elected in 1978. she also after historic run became a commentator on television and a delegate to the united nations. she headed the world conference in beijing in 1995 and i was proud to be part of her delegation. late august -- last august on her 75th birthday, we renamed
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the post office in long island city in her honor. it used to be in her district, it is now in mine, and i was honored to be able to author the legislation and work with my new york colleagues and others to pass it. and she was so thrilled at that naming. to see so many of her friends, not only from new york and her district, but across the country come in one place to honor her. later that day which happened also to be women's equality day, she rang the bell at the new york stock exchange in honor of the progress for women. i know that a post office is only the start of the memorials to this wonderful, charming, talented trailblazer who continued blazing trails her entire life. i met with her shortly before she died and she had a list of constituents she wanted helped and causes she wanted completed. we do stand on her shoulders and
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women like her who came before us. i will never forget as an eager young delegate to the 1984 democratic national convention, i can tell you first hand that geraldine ferraro thrilled us when she took the stage as the first woman ever nominated by a major political party to be his candidate for vice president of the united states. . she changed my life and changed women everywhere. she changed the aspirations of women and how they view themselves. many of the men gave their delegate card to the women delegates who were part-time delegates so the floor was filled with women. people were heading out saying it's a woman and when she went to the floor there was literally applause for over 10
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minutes. i shall miss her dearly and shall honor her passing by redoubling my efforts to complete her unfinished work, to pass the e.r.a. it is time to enshrine in our constitution the high principle of gender equality that jerald even ferraro so courageously fought for in her life. injury dean, we thank you -- geraldine, we thank you for your many contributions in life. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from missouri, mrs. mccarthy. for five minutes. mrs. mccarthy: thank you, mr. speaker. i also am part of the new york delegation and i want to talk about geraldine ferraro and my good colleague, carolyn maloney, who basically laid out
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her life on all the good things that she did, i guess i want to talk about, you know, what she meant to so many of us that weren't even in politics back then. i think the first time that i ever saw geraldine or heard geraldine, when she was announcing that she's going to be running for vice president. so all these things that -- from last week when we were notified that geraldine had passed away, many of us wanted to go back to new york for the funeral. unfortunately our business here kept us here so we couldn't go back. we're kind of used to that. you know, a lot of times it's said you can spend a lifetime here in congress but two minutes after you die they will say, who's that, but that's not geraldine. geraldine was someone that was a force. you know, again, i say in 1984,
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like most americans, i took notice of geraldine ferraro when she did accept the democratic nomination for vice president at the national convention in san francisco. she stuck to me as the unique figure on tv, a woman in a male dominated profession. she had a smile, she had confidence. you know, when she got onto that stage you just knew this radiance that came out of her. for myself i was not in politics, didn't follow politics too well, but she certainly gave a strong impression to me. her message was also full of hope, and i happen to believe that, you know, especially when we try to say to people, if we can do this we can do anything. i'm one of those people that believe that. i'm here in congress. everybody said i couldn't do
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that. somehow i got here. somehow i stayed here. somehow i keep fighting for my constituents back at home. but she inspired women to get involved. she inspired them to get involved in politics whether at the staff level or as a candidate. and while i understood the importance of the event, i had no idea that i would be standing here praising this woman that i first saw on tv. as i said, i had no political ambitions. i was a nurse just several miles away from the city where geraldine was. like most americans, i did vote and i followed the news but never thought i would get involved in politics. 1996, fast forward 12 years and it's mid 1996 and i'm still a nurse in nassau county and still not thinking about politics whatsoever. something happened to my life,
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as it does to so many lives, an event happened and all of a sudden you change and become an activist. gun violence was unfortunately the issue that hit my family and many families on the long island railroad. my husband was killed, my son was seriously wounded. but you know what, i decided i was going to do something about it. and geraldine ferraro, the person i saw on tv, called me. said, carolyn, you should really think about running for congress. and there were other people calling me too. i said, i'm a nurse. what do i know about politics? but you know what, if i was going to try and do something, then i had to run. everybody told me i was going to lose. maybe i would have. but i didn't. i won.
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but geraldine was always there to give advice. you know, just because you're a woman doesn't mean you can't be tough. just because you're a woman you can be tough and you can be gentle. and you have to use that to get legislation done. well, here i am in congress and i'm proud to be following the footsteps of geraldine ferraro. i would use the words, the kind words that people used for her on myself like pioneer or trailblazer. i actually followed geraldine and her advice to come to washington and try to make a difference. like so many women in politics today, geraldine helped me when i went from private citizen to candidate to public official. she opened so many doors to me, introducing people to me that i needed to meet. she was well-known to this, helping lift up others and
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having another woman follow. we'll all remember you, geraldine. i will always remember you. god bless you. we do remember you. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the chair now recognizes the gentlewoman from california, ms. woolsey, for five minutes. ms. woolsey: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for five minutes and to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. woolsey: mr. speaker, it was exactly one year ago today that an explosion ripped through upper big branch mine in montcoal, west virginia, killing 29 workers. it was the deadliest mine accident in 40 years. but perhaps accident is the wrong word to characterize what happened in montcoal, west virginia, last april 5. this wasn't a hurricane, it wasn't a tsunami or some other act of nature. although the mine safety and health agency, m that, has yet to complete their -- msha, has
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yet to complete their investigation, it's clear that this accident was avoidable. but for negligence and carelessness on the part of massey energy. when chairman miller and i traveled to west virginia with congressman rahall, miners told us that massey routinely cut corners on safety. and yet the miners were afraid. they told us this, too, to come forward for fear of losing their job. that's why we need stronger federal whistleblower protections, mr. speaker. inspectors can't be everywhere all the time. so we need to rely on the people who know best. we need to rely on the people, the workers, those that can report safety violations, because they're living with them. and we must ensure that these workers have job protection when they come forward. the questions we need to be asking ourselves are, what can
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we be doing to ensure this does not happen again to them? what can we do to ensure that our nation's coal miners, some of the hardest working and courageous people you'll ever meet, aren't descending into a potential death trap every time they clock in? but the silence from the united states congress has been positively deafening. it's incomprehensible to me that we still haven't passed the robert c. byrd miner safety health act. how many miners have to die before we take action? worker safety, not just in mines, but in workplaces above ground and across the nation, is under siege thanks to irresponsible cuts in the republican continuing resolution. fully half of osha staff would be furloughed if h.r. 1 becomes law. a weak economy like this one we're living in now also
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further undermines workers' safety because workers who want to report violations know there are dozens who would take their jobs in spite of unsafe conditions just to have work. mr. speaker, last congress i was chair and now this congress i'm the ranking minority member of the work force protection subcommittee, and in that role i'm absolutely committed, along with congressman george miller and nicky rahall, to bringing osha and msha into the 21st century, strengthening regulations, protect people from injury, sickness and possible death on the job. needless to say, the upper big branch explosion has devastated a tight nit community with a tight knit community. one said the life has been
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sucked right out of me since -- because he lost his only child in the explosion. another man says that the death of his twin brother is like part of me is gone. one woman lost her fiance, whom she met when they worked side by side in the mine. and i cannot imagine the or detail of timothy blake, who survived the blast, and tried in vain to save eight co-workers. but on this one-year anniversary, mr. speaker, let's do more than look back. let's look -- do more than remember and be sad. let's use this tragedy as a call to action. in honor of the 29 fallen members, let's give their co-workers the safety and protection they deserve. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from oregon, mr. defazio, for five minutes.
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mr. defazio: a lot of talk around here about millions and billions and trillions, but let's just try and put a face on some of the cuts the republicans put in h.r. 1. i think one of the meanest of their cuts and the stupidest of their cuts is to eliminate a program called youth bill. now, i'm sure most of them don't know what it is, they don't meet with the kids that come back here every year. this is a program that started in 1992 under george w. bush. it's a program that -- george h.w. bush. it's a program that gets kids who dropped out of high school, have problems with drugs, alcohol, at some point want to get straight and want to do something better with their lives. so this program takes kids between 18 and 16 and 24, helps them get their g.e.d., gets them some counseling, get them involved in peer groups, they learn leadership skills,
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teaches them how to build houses and the houses they build are for low-income americans. and in the long term we found incredible results with this program. last year -- and these are almost 100% high school dropouts with problems. 78% of the kids completed the program. that's pretty extraordinary. and now after -- when they leave the program, the longevity of the effect of this program, seven years after completing the program 75% of the youth bill kids, kids that have problems with drugs, alcohol, homelessness, dropped out of high school, everything else, are either in college or employed in jobs earning more than $10 an hour. now, that's a pretty darn good investment. now, what does this cost and why would the republicans zero it out? well, it cost $102 million last year for 20,000 students. now, we could, i guess, instead
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leave them -- in the street without their high school degree, homeless. maybe they'll get back on drugs, maybe they'll get in trouble and get in jail and pay $30,000 a year in jail. $20,000 for one year. zeroed out by the republicans. now, it is a lot of money. that's almost one hour of spending for the pentagon across the river. almost one hour. there's no waste at the pentagon. we're not allowed to look at the pentagon for was. it's almost two days, that's a lot, of agriculture subsidies. paying people a month to grow things. so paying people not to grow things or a year's funding for a program that takes kids who have been in trouble but want to do better, want to learn some skills, want to be productive members of society and helping them get a leg up. but, no, in the republican world that's wasteful spending. they zeroed out this program.
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i met with eight of these kids. i urge my republican colleagues, i ask, seeing a republican member of my delegation, said, no, they met with a staff person or an intern, our republican colleagues don't want to be bothered. there is a lot of wisdom there. and i think future leaders there. they've gotten their lives straight and have gone through some hard times and we gave them a little help. yeah, one year. they get $500 a month while they're in the program, while they're building houses for low-income people, learning skills and as taxpayers in the future they'll pay that back pretty darn quickly. now, i wonder why they eliminated this program. first of all, i don't know if they know about the program, these aren't people that go to the country club, after after. but secondly, it's housed in the department of labor and we hate anything on the republican side of the aisle that has the word labor in it. god forbid that america should do things for working people in this country, working people should be allowed the right to organize and have a better
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life. well, this is a program that should be continued, it should in fact be enhanced. they had 19,000 kids who couldn't get in the program last year on the waiting list, 19,000, which is double the size of this program. maybe triple it. that would be a huge amount of money. that would be three hours of spending at the pentagon or almost a week of subsidies pay ig -- paying corporations not to grow things on surplused land. boy, we can't cut the subsidies and can't look for waste at the pentagon but we can stick it to these kids. good work, republicans. . the speaker pro tempore: the chair now recognizes the gentlewoman from new york, miss have vell, for five minutes. -- ms. velazquez for five minutes. ms. velazquez: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. velazquez: i rise to recognize a great american and one of the great political trailblazers in american history, geraldine ferraro. many of us speaking today,
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myself included, would likely not have achieved our successes without her paving the way ahead of us. of course her contributions do not benefit just those of us in the political sphere. her life was an important symbol to girls and women who inspired to succeed in any field. particularly those who have struggled to break into professions traditionally dominated by men. the 1984 presidential campaign is remembered by many for president ronald reagan. he was a very popular president. but many of us who aspire to enter politics were electrified to see the first female on the presidential ticket. of course gerry was more than just a first woman on a presidential ticket. those of us from the new york
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delegation remember her service to queens and really to all five burroughs. before coming to the house her life had already been dedicated to the service of others in the district attorney's office and as an educator for our city's youth. perhaps most of us she will be fondly remembered for her kindless and grace. yet despite her gentleness she was also not one to shirk from speaking her mind. mr. speaker, women everywhere have lost an inspiration. new york has lost a public servant, and all of us have lost a great american. her legacy will be remembered and i am proud to be on the house floor remembering her many contributions. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back.
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pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the chair declares the house in recess senators will take up a bill to repeal vendor payments over $600 -- the legislation about the paperwork regarding that.
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there is all lunch at 2:15. mean rock, a short-term budget measure is being prepared -- meanwhile, a short-term budget measure is being prepared in the case of an agreement not been reached for the rest of the fiscal year 2011. there are prepping the 2011 spending bill -- they are prepping the 2011 spending bill. the bill would cut $12 billion from current spending levels, more than the usual $2 million per week that republicans have been seeking. we'll go live now to a house hearing on the u.s. postal service work force costs. witnesses and could the postmaster general, the postal workers union president, and the postal service -- witnesses include the postmaster general, the postal workers union
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president, and others. >> iwe are recommending greater use of non-career or part-time employees in order to reduce the compensation-related expenses. the 10-year strategic plan made similar recommendations. what steps has the postal service taken to accomplish this goal? i remind you that this committee itself -- 87% of our money goes to employees. you're at 80% and you are trying to reduce that further? >> we constantly look to shrink the pie. you will always be higher from a percentage standpoint. we're trying to cut the total costs. we have accomplished that through productivity improvements, headcount reductions, and negotiations. going forward, i mentioned the percentages that we have been
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able to work out with the apwu. tore working with the apw provide flexible assignments. currently, you have a number of people that will work five days a week, eight hours a day, singing schedule. our needs change daily. -- same schedule. our needs change daily. if we can work out something flexible, that will meet our customer's needs. >> if ratified, attended a contract negotiated will bring the -- if ratified, the tentative contract negotiated will bring them in on a much lower pay scale. what does this say about the postal service and the apw's commitment to continuing the conversation? we keep hearing people banging on public employees. it seems like this is going a long way. people are literally making less money.
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it -- there has been a freeze for two years. you're representing your union. what does that say about your union? >> first, i would like to correct one thing that was said. he said they would have to join the union to get this health insurance. our health insurance plan that we provide to the non-career people is a non-profit plan that is below-cost. -- low-cost. no one will have to join the apwu to get back. -- that. we cannot require them to join the union to get that insurance. as a follow-up, as a labor organization, we have no desire to destroy the company that we work for. we entered into these
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negotiations knowing that the postal service is under -- is in a dire financial strait. in doing so, we want to ensure the future. we discussed flexibility. the old work rules of 5/8 may not allow the postal windows to be open until 6:00, 7:00. we may be turning around -- turning away customers. we have allowed them to do this without overtime. >> it is called shared sacrifice. >> we now recognize the gentleman from florida for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i like the placement of your signs. i hope that members on the other side, if you do not like the signs, then maybe help us find solutions to change them. last month, when you were here
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testifying, you acknowledge labor costs as a large, a contributing factor to the postal service budget problems. you're number one priority was to address these costs. is that correct? and yes, sir. >> since that is a, what steps have you taken to reduce that amount -- a sense that the visit -- since that visit, what steps have you taken to reduce that amount? >> have worked through a very good agreement with the union. >> let me ask a question. i will let you continue. this is the best deal you could strike under current law? >> yes, sir. >> but you are saying it is a
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good deal, regardless of current law? >> is is the best deal -- this is the best deal we could make. >> if the law was changed, would you consider a better deal? >> i would love to see you address retiree overpayments and flexibility. >> it in your negotiations with the -- >> in your negotiation with the apwu, is it true that you guaranteed that there would not be any layoffs for an additional seven dozen workers? >> yes, we did -- 7000 workers? >> yes, we did. i will tell you why. goals were workforce
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flexibility, the immediate cost reduction. we know that you do not get that through an arbitrated solution. we talked about a layoff clause. we got the immediate feedback that that was a non-starter. wanted to get a negotiated contract that achieved -- we wanted to get a negotiated contract that achieved our goals. the money that we were able to negotiate on of these labor costs could have been delayed for perhaps a year and a half. we would not have gotten the same deal. >> i hear you all continue to say that this was the best deal you could get under current law. have you asked the committee for changes to current loss to you could strike a deal with the unions -- current laws so you could strike a better deal?
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if you're going to say that you need changes to the law, you should submit what those are to the committee in the writing so that we can discuss what the changes are. >> we will submit those, along with the recommendations to remove mandates that are causing problems. >> why is it taking so long task for changes to the law? >> we have been asking for changes for the past few years and we will continue. >> but never in writing to the committee? >> we will follow up in the riding with you. -- writing with you. >> not to me. >> to the chairman. >> that would be helpful. i have an article on my iphone talking about a post office that is going to be closed in my district. would it not be better if
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negotiations with the union took place in such a way that people would not lose their jobs, but we were able to get some of the costs under control? >> i would like to answer that question. here is what you're looking at from a postal service access and convenience standpoint. are many ways to provide access to the american public -- there are many ways to provide access to the american public. we have to look at how much money we have spent to provide the access. when you read about the closing of a post office, what we're proposing to do is look at each community where we do not have enough revenue and perhaps provide that service -- >> i understand. it sounds like the heads of the union would rather see people lose their jobs than to renegotiate contracts. >> part of
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>> what we are looking at as much smaller places where you cannot have a unit employees, where you are looking at trading off postmaster's for a contractor were you could provide better access at a better cost. >> thank you. >> the gentleman's time has expired. we will recognize mr. towns for five minutes. >> thank you. let me commend the postal service for the outstanding job they have done under these adverse conditions, and let me tell you they are definitely adverse. you have already eliminated 100,000 positions since 2008. that within itself. let me begin by asking you, mr. miller, in your written testimony, you mentioned that the postal service has taken
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steps to strengthen the revenue base by offering more services and acquiring more clients. you also mentioned providing services in response to customers and entering partnerships with other service providers. i am interested in the concept of offering different services other than mail delivery as a means of creating a strong revenue source. like every other large, private entity, the postal service needs to adapt with changing times in order to remain financially viable in the future. we know the postal service already takes passport applications. i would like to see this expanded to other things. could you give us some examples of additional services that could be provided that would result in a reliable income stream for the postal service?
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>> mr. chairman, thank you for raising that. when i wrote that, i had in mind that the new mailing services that we have initiated, for example, the box that you see advertised on television a lot -- it does not matter how much it ways, if it fits, it ships -- things of this nature. i think what you are talking about our products that are ancillary to our business. my own personal view is that as long as we have the monopoly on mail, i would be careful about going beyond that. as an economic proposition, i would be careful about going too far. there have been those that suggest we get into the banking business. i think that would be disaster. on the other hand, some of the things you were hinting on, like the passports and things of this nature, i think there are
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opportunities that perhaps do not fit within the current legislative definition of permissible services that might be considered, and i would have to discuss that with my colleagues, but i would think there might be opportunity for us to consider that and get back to you in writing, mr. chairman. >> let me say this. the hearing today is to get information, ideas, and to see how we can work together. he is not about whether you have sent us a letter already, is about what you need to send to get us moving. i want to stay focused on what we need to focus on. on that point, mr. donahoe, what can we do on this side you think needs to be done to help you become viable? >> the key issue is to address the congressional mandates are around their retiree health benefits, and to allow us to deliver flexibility.
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those are the key thing is going forward. we have been responsible stewards of this organization. we take seriously our requirements to the american people for service and to the american public to provide efficient service. just as the chairman said, one of the visions of your committee -- we take that seriously. what we need his help on the issues that are beyond our control. we have excellent employees. we have excellent working relationships with our four unions. we know how to get things done. the things we cannot control of the mandates, the retiring health benefits. get those of the way. you will never see us again. all you will hear our accolades about how good the service is to the american public. >> i think you are serious about it because you have hired one of
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our best. i think you are committed. on that note, mr. chairman, i yield back, and if there is someone that disagrees that there should be additional service, i would like to hear you respond very quickly. >> to the chairman's point, he mentioned the facilities. there are plenty of opportunities to provide services for other people to come in. we are exploring those. we know there is a lot of value in the mail. we will continue to work on that. >> thank you. we now recognize the chairman of the transportation committee, a longtime member of this committee -- senior? you are too young to be senior. mr. micca. >> that is just using a lot of just for men. [laughter] >> i do not know if our
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witnesses noticed, but the group that has been feeding dinosaurs from the house of representatives is no longer here. unfortunately, it looks like the post office is someone becoming a dinosaur. it is not your fault. everybody has one of these, and you get most of your messages -- i did not send any letters to my nieces and nephews today. i sent them an e-mail. from what i read and heard when i was sitting in the back, you have 570 two thousand employees, and it should be down to 400,000 to deal with the kind of traffic that you have now? is that correct? >> yes. >> i did not see a specific plan on how to get rid of 172,000.
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i saw the average cost is $89,845 per employee. i saw you mentioned how you get rid of some of the cost, but that does not help the math. you are 6 billion in the hole this time, right? i asked how your financing that, and they said you have a line of credit with treasury for 15 billion. that runs out in september. what will happen when we stop feeding the dinosaur? >> we do not pay the federal government. >> just billfold? >> we will deliver the mail. >> speaking of delivering the mail, saturday, tuesday, is that off the -- >> it would be saturday. that is the best day.
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>> we have been talking about these things. some years ago i had the opportunity -- actually, i went down to the post office. i forget who the postmaster general was. we had to buy him depends at the time because he had never seen a member of congress in his office. they took me around and showed me how many people they got rid of. usually, if you look at some of the overhead, you have people on the ground, and they need to do a good job. sometimes you get rid of the administrative overhead. how may do you have in the administrative positions? >> we have about 16,000 people that includes everyone from operations to payroll to >> how many in washington, d.c.? >> about 1100.
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>> i could come down and see a lot more empty desks? >> we have seen a lot more empty buildings. >> that is the big picture. on the local level, you hear from members. i have tried not to contact you on consolidations or take a position, because you need to do your thing. it is tough. hundreds of people show up at these things. i do not know if you could sit down with members or others that are close to the subject. i could give you an example. begin office t augustine, florida. i have been trying to get you out of a congested corridor, where you cannot move traffic. it's expensive to operate. trying to get in and out just does not make sense. i used to be a real estate developer. i could put a deal together in
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no time. my observation is the post office does not initiate anything on the local level to bring about cost-effective changes. if i could put you in a retail center. i have tons of taken space. somebody needs the brains to put this together. i have tried peripherally. we did one years ago, and that was a huge success. it revitalize the whole center and that sort of town. -- that side of town. i have daytona beach, here is another example -- i have gone from a leaven hundred bureaucrats in washington, down to smaller projects. you have a post office that is a beautiful site downtown, and has had the second floor vacant. i tried to get some folks in there. it is vacant. we produced in our committee a
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report called "the federal government's must stop sitting on its assets." i did not think we have a chapter for you, but maybe we could write one. >> i would be happy to sit down, walk through all of the buildings we have sold. we have opportunities in boston. i am open to any suggestions. >> i applaud you. we need a better handle on getting rid of the excess property, excess space, excess employees. the last thing would be buyouts. what is the status? >> we have an option on the table. we are working through a downsizing, and the bile provision would be paid over a two-year period. >> for how many? >> we have the offer for up to
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8000 people. >> you are 160,000 short. >> thank you. i might note you have not heard about the sales because they get to keep the money and internal use those dollars. was that, we recognize the distinguished gentleman from the metropolis of cleveland, mr. dennis is an inch. >> thank you, chairman. in listening to this discussion, what strikes me is that i have not heard the people in charge of managing the post office about the moral obligation that you have to those who delivered the mail for 20, 30 years or more, with respect to their full health benefits, and they're full retirement benefits.
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people are retired. they put all of that time in. for the life of me, i do not understand why they should have to go begging the government to assure that all of the things they worked a lifetime for are going to be there. i keep hearing this thing. i had state workers in my office the other day tell me they have to deal with the pension benefit guaranty corp. and they will be lucky to get 40% of their benefits. what is happening here, and by the way, mr. donahoe, is it your goal to see the postal service privatized eventually? >> that is not my goal. my goal is to provide excellent service. >> have you met with people concerned in a broader privatization of postal service functions? >> i have not. >> have you, or anybody else in the government, mr. giuliano?
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>> approximately two years ago, when we started looking at all of the alternatives we put into our comprehensive plan, we looked at them, and one of those was privatization. another part was other types of products. >> that is all i want. if somebody had some meetings and talk about privatization i think what is going on is that there is actually an attack on the idea of universal service. once you privatize, you can legitimize knocking down wages and benefits and cutting services. it is already started. in my neighborhoods, you have seen postboxes taken out of neighborhoods. then, you see branches closed. i have seen private delivery service boxes outside of branches, what is that about?
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you are operating with 100,000 less employees. so, your jobs are cut. wages are not moving up. the burden in these discussions seems to keep focusing on the workers. i like that mr. townes raise the question of trying to find ways to bring some income in. the tone of these hearings characterizing the service as something that is so much in the past that it is a dinosaur -- it really belies the fact that millions of americans rely on
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this as a service. you ought to be able to communicate by mail, -- by e- mail, but not everybody does. we understand there is a huge social divide in america in terms of people who use the internet to communicate, and those that do not. and, you know, we want everyone working together. i am glad to see you are negotiating. from what i see, it sounds like it is in good faith, and you're trying to solve it within the context of the system. but, mr. duffy, are you concerned -- guffey, are you concerned that these hearings
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could be setting the stage for a broader privatization of the postal service? could you speaking to the microphone and turn a microphone on? >> i believe it is leading to an attack on the labor movement as a whole, just as the workers in wisconsin -- the fireman, the teachers, the police, and the state troopers are being attacked in those states. >> what about the postal service? >> that is what is happening. there's a great opportunity. the post offices where the flag flies in every little community across the country. opportunities for putting other government services into the post offices is there. do in the tse work, the verification work, it could be done in local post offices. >> could you give this committee for the chair, of course, the ideas that you presented that could expand revenue of the postal service? could you do that? >> sure.
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>> i just want to add this in my last 15 seconds you are right about this broad attack on workers. if you look a michigan bill, it sets the stage for broader privatization. people paid for it once, and they're paying for it again through privatization, and inevitably the cost of the service goes up, and the quality goes down. thank you. i yield back my time. >> the gentleman from the time has ended i will take the opportunity to question now, and i appreciate the panel for being here. this is an open hearing with a great opportunity. i would quickly add that i appreciate having a rural merrill region now carrier. -- mail carrier. it adds some real special
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additional defects to what a mail carrier can do. i appreciate the work involved. i have a daughter that lives in a third world country, and i know that we are not able to send her male with anything of value. we do not worry about that in the united states. i applaud you for that. thank you for the service you provide. we also need to understand that we need to make it work for the taxpayer i appreciate the efforts, and that is why these hearings are being undertaken. i received a letter from a constituent that operates a family-owned rail transportation business and it employs 45 people. his business to perform services at a fraction of the cost of u.s. ps employees, and the couldtive contract w negatively impact upon his small
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business. mr. miller, as you rightfully stated in your testimony, using contractors helps lower the cost. can you quantify how much it saves usps overall, and how the tentative agreement with the apwu will help the same fiscal responsibility? >> mr. chairman, i would be glad to do that in writing. i have not those numbers on the top of my head. on the second part of your question, there was some give and take in this agreement. we gave a few things the apwu wanted. they took some things that we asked for. as i think the postmaster general has described this morning, and if not, we will send you additional
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information, the unions have to compete for this source work. they need to demonstrate they will provide at least the same cost we could go outside and get it. it is very important to >> the same cost at this point in time? >> it could be contacted for. >> as we look at the budget dynamically in the future, that could be a low cost put in now, taking these jobs away without the incentive of the future because of the content and situation. >> mr. chairman, you are absolutely right, and we need to be careful on the way we execute that provision. you put your finger on something, and that is the importance of our being able to continue contract out, and contract out in some areas where the service is now provided by
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postal employees. this is a way of lowering costs and keeping a restraint on will but -- on labor, wage, and benefit demands. i will come back to a point in response to a congressman mica's raising about the sale of assets and reallocation, etc. we have been very troubled, the postmaster general, the previous postmaster general, the board of governors, but the propensity of congress putting riders on appropriations for preventing us from doing these things. if there could be a moratorium, like a moratorium on earmarks, on these writers, we could move more refashioned lee and effectively on the areas the congressman identified. >> that is certainly worth
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looking at. let me jump -- we have talked about contracts. what would a good contract look like to you, mr. miller, then i want to jump over to mr. donahoe? >> a contract would be one in which the service provided would be at least as good as we are accustomed to having, and the prices lower than what we are paying now. >> mr. donahoe? >> thank you, mr. chairman. we have 30,000 contracts in the united states postal service, and we contract everywhere from which everything from using federal express planes -- everywhere from using federal express planes -- we take everything seriously. what we look that was our ability to absorb working to the existing framework. the flexibility in truck schedules allows us to schedule people in a different way.
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we used to schedule five days a week, eight hours a day. the new schedule gives us more flexibility. i can of soared smaller contracts and it saves me bottom-line money without adding on people at the same time. that is what we have looked at. we have the embraced process management across the board, and we have routed numerous costs and identified these opportunities. we did not give up any ability to outsource. the apwu has asked the we are able to compete on the same basis with any outsourcing going forward. >> thank you, mr. donahoe. my time has expired. we'll move on to mr. lynch. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you to the witnesses for your help. the postal service goes into
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every american business and home six days a week. i think if there was any illustration of the value of having a public system, having the current postal system, it happened on and after september 11. most people now i have an extraordinary number of people in my family that worked for the postal service. my aunts, cousins, my mom, my two sisters were still there. my mom is a retiree. going back to september 11, then there was elected in the primary, and after that, we had anthrax attacks on the postal service, and down here, at the brentwood facility, we lost two brave postal workers from inhalation of anthrax. i remember talking to some of
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the local union leaders with the american postal workers and letter carriers, and mail handlers, and supervisors, and post handlers' -- postmasters, and they were concerned about going to work because in many of these facilities you have the risk of anthrax. so, the question was posed to the union leadership at the apwu, should we send our people into work? should we send them into work one we know there is, especially with the brentwood example, there is lethal danger there. it was a very precarious time. we, in government, were afraid that if the got to -- if the mail did not get delivered to every american home and business, that the economy would seize up. that is one president bush was saying get out there, and try to stimulate the economy. if the american postal worker
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had not gone to work, it would have seized up our economy. i think it was a very proud moment that the union leaders at the postal service ask their members to go into work, and i know my sister had two young kids at the time, and that was a vexing situation for the union leadership and the workers themselves, but god bless them. they went to work, and they kept the mail being delivered and we got through that tough spot. with all of the top of privatization, i wonder how that would have gone if they were private employees for some contractor? when they make the same commitment? do they handle the security of a special responsibility they have with respect to our nation as do the postal employees? i think it is remarkable, as one of my colleagues noted, that for
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the sixth consecutive year, postal workers are, again, rated in the pew foundation poll on the popularity of the reliability of federal employees and all employees in regards to the american people, and they continue to rate the postal workers the highest, six years in a row. we are talking today, at least in one part about going to five- day delivery, and i am wondering if that is just one way -- of the postal service is not going to deliver on saturday, then who is? i think there will be a private entity that will want to take up that space. if so, mr. donahoe, do you have any thoughts on that?
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losing market share for the post office by considering going to five-day delivery? >> thank you for the excellent comments on our employees. if they do a great job, and we are very proud of them. even this winter, they delivered mail every day through trying conditions. the saturday issue is an issue we have wrestled with. it has been a concern. there is a changing marketplace in the first-class volume we have lost. that has left us with looking at these changes. the one thing which you would do is keep our post offices open so you could still come in and buy stamps. he needed now, we will have post office boxes open. we will still deliver things like to express mail. as we examine the demand for mail going forward, it does prices on some of those choices. we looked at things like asking
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the american public to move their mailbox. people say they do not want that. we talked about changing service standards. we have done some feedback that that would not work. it is an ongoing process. we continue to look at that. as we have laid out in our comprehensive plan, we think that just the nature of the changing demands for mail would force us to move to a five-day delivery schedule. >> thank you. my time is expired. i yield back. >> we now recognize mr. ross of florida 45 minister >> thank you, mr. chairman. -- 45 minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> i take seriously the issue of pensions. it does not resolve the long-
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term issues, does it? >> no, it does not. >> we still need to make systemic changes. we need to address a worker compensation. over-capacity and under- performing facilities? >> yes. >> well we are able to identify there is an issue, the bigger issue is systemic changes we need to make to the postal service for the long-term viability. >> that is what we have laid out in our comprehensive plan, and this agreement with one union helps to get in that direction. >> we have been able to meet several times, and i appreciate you'll -- you and your staff. we discussed pay for performance plans that a been in existence for 10 years with managers and supervisors. could you briefly describe how that works? >> we have established a pay-
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for-performance plan. we have 65,000 people, postmasters, supervisors, administrative people, all non- bargaining employees, and will we do yearly is set goals. we have national goals on services, finance, and people. we also have individual goals. we have constructed a process that all 65,000 people have an individual rating, and that is how they are compensated. it is strictly a pay-for- performance. we have no quota. when have no step to increase. they're all compensated on pay- for-performance could >> what is in your experience with those managers? >> they like it. is competitive. they are on the website seeing how they're doing. it does produce benefits for the postal service and customers. >> transferring that to the collective bargaining
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negotiations, has this ever been introduced or discussing a collective bargaining situation? >> mr. guffey and i have had these discussions. the changes we have been able to effect with this negotiation is the most we have ever seen. the fact that we have been able to change flexibility and long- term pay structure indicates that there is a willingness for the apwu to take into effect our customers and business is going for part >> never was a put on the table a pay-for performance plan? >> we had some discussions. is a give and take. >> mr. guffey, he said if the economy were to get better, it would change things. he is much more than the economy. if it was always the economy, we would have mail delivered by bicycles. it has to do with technology.
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in order to adapt, the united states postal service and employees have to adapt to changing the changing trends in the market. >> it is true. there are some americans will never use the postal service again. they're not required to pay for it. the postal service does not receive tax payer money. everything is paid for by postage. while there are individuals that will use the -- >> is more than just the economy. >> we would rebound in the deep, -- and the decline. >> it is more than that. let's be honest. >> i am going to try to be honest. >> i will ask the questions. >> ok. >> thank you.
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>> how you feel about the agreement? >> i think the agreement was a give and take. we gave some flexibility and change for the security of our people. >> you told your employees is a pretty good deal? >> i have told them that it will be a good deal. so much, that you will pay your members to vote? >> i will not pay anybody. >> have you look in your website. it says cliff guffey is encouraging locals to get out to vote. the national union will reward the locals that are most successful in mobilizing members to vote with the top three receiving monetary compensation to be used on behalf of a local members. you are buying your vote, are you not? >> they couldn't vote no. >> -- they could buy vote. that is an affront.
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it is a common practice on your side of the table, but not with my part >> does your website not offered compensation to vote? >> it encourages people to vote. >> not one way or the other? >> the chair would suggest that neither side get into the rationale behind somebody's intention. i would expect that on both sides of this debate, and i appreciate that you are both interested in getting it right, but i would make that caution. the chair now recognizes the gentleman, mr. davis, for five minutes per >> thank you, mr. chairman, and let me thank all of the witnesses for being here with us. these are very obviously difficult and complex issues and serious problems. i have always been told that there are no simple solutions to
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complex problems. mr. giuliano, did i understand you to suggest that if we did not have to pre-fund the retiree benefits for the postal service, they did not have to pre-fund those benefits, and although we sought we were putting in good provisions, in the postal accountability and enhancement act, and that instead of the deficit we would be talking about profits in terms of the postal service? >> my statement was that over the last four years that would be true, congressman. >> what would be the downside to not having that requirement? if that requirement was not present?
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>> i do not believe there is any down side. we are funding on an annual basis to in excess of two billion dollars health-care benefits for our employees. we have been paying them. we continue to pay for them. private corporations do not have to refund retiree health-care benefits. they need to account for them on their balance sheet. it is not a cash output. in fact, because that is such a burden, in 1992, i may not have the right, but in the early 1990's. -- there is a change that said companies have a one-time option to tap forever retiree health- care benefits because if they could not do that, if they did not do that, they would have an unbounded liability on their
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balance sheets, and there would be no way to tell. most corporations took the option and kept them in 1992, and whether you've retired in 1980, 2000, or two thousand 40, the company has no more responsibility. >> while this would obviously not solve the problem in terms of all long range conditions, it would be movement, and we would not be standing still. movement.ld be >> it would be significant progress. we have made progress in this union negotiation. it would make a significant progress. we also need to move forward with six-to-5, and we need to stop over pain -- over-paid in.
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these are the drivers. we have considered all of these things. we have the most rational choices. considering alternatives, when we polled the american people, one week of service, when we had outside experts looked at that, they said out of all of the alternatives, raising prices, changing delivery standards, and a bunch of others -- this was the least painful. this was the best we could do. >> mr. donahoe and mr. guffey, let me commend both of you on the tentative contract that has been negotiated. i think that is one of the most positive labor management movements that i have seen in a long time, and i know there are efforts on the parts of some people in our country to
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diminish the role of unions. it seems to me they use struck an accord debt suggested that both sides understood that it was not a win/lose situation, but a win/win situation for the american public, and i think that is where we have to go. so, how would both of you comment briefly, relative to being able to reach that agreement? >> real quickly, i think american labor and industry needs to come together to bring back industry and commerce to this country, and i hope this is is that to show other people that it could happen. >> i would agree with mr. guffey. we have great employees in this organization, and they wanted to a great job for the american public. as we said down and talk through the things we needed from a
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postal service perspective, we were able to achieve that, and mr. guffey was able to achieve what he needed for his employees. it is a very good thing for the american public and our customers. >> i commend you both and yield back the balance of my time. >> we now recognize the gentleman from tennessee. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i would like to take a few minutes and put some things in perspective we are facing a tough battle this week on the budget, and certainly the country right now is hurting and many people are scrambling to cover themselves and make sure that financially they could be as stable as possible. we go back to districts with high unemployment, 9% across the country, and several are upward of 20%.
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times are tough, and i sympathize with everyone. according to committee calculations, the average employee cost of four usps is close to $45 per hour in benefits. with the total compensation -- is a total compensation averaging out over $80,000 per year? >> i would need to check those numbers, but the way we calculate our costs is wages and full benefits, including retirements. >> if that is true, the average work hour for a usps employee is $40 per hour? >> right around there, yes. >> ok. do you think that is generally a fair amount in terms of trying to keep the postal service running when you are doing in these negotiations?
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nobody wants to give up anything. it is hard to take things away from people once they have them, but it is that as low as people are willing to go to keep their jobs? >> when we went into this negotiation we had three goals -- we will looking for immediate financial relief, flexibility, and long-term, structural change. we achieve that. we had a substantial change in the way we will be compensating non--career employees, and that pulls the factor down significantly. we realize that labor costs are high, and as we have worked with the apwu, they understand where we are coming from. we also have real opportunities with the flexibility is we have negotiated. if you have a full-time employee, they can now work between 30 and 40 hours a week, which is different than what we have had in the past.
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we're looking at every way to provide great service in an efficient and effective way. >> could you speak to the grass behind us -- the private sector? >> i could see that. it would be interesting to see the numbers, but it looks like the blue line starts going up when we began to pre-fund employee health benefits. that is the first thing that i see. it is critical to understand that the postal services focused not only on total labor costs in terms of wages, but we are focused on headcount. we have reduced headcount by 30% since the year 2000. >> mr. guffey, when i go home and talk to my folks, it has been mentioned that the postal service does not cost the taxpayer. what will happen if you default? does the burden shifted? >> i believe mr. miller said it
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would be a miracle for these things to happen, and i think congress can work together and resolve the problems of our country and the post office, and i think that is what america wants you to do right now. i think they want their post offices in rural tennessee. they want to have their mail delivered. they want the sort of things. >> you had mentioned a you employ over 100,000 veterans, which i think it's fantastic. what do we say to the active military personnel whose wages are far less than the $40 per hour? >> i am not sure if you take the weighted average of the military benefits, of their retirement and their health benefits, which are all provided by the government, too, i'm not sure if put altogether their package would not be the same.
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i am saying that we would like to of good jobs for these people to have when they do come home. talking about the custodial jobs, they were priced maybe a little higher than they should be, but they were reserved for veterans so people could come home to good jobs. >> when you were talking about concerns for your employees losing pensions and benefits, what we say to the private sector who faces losing social security and medicare? >> they only face losing social security and medicare because of the economy, and we are seeing trillions and trillions of dollars overseas right now, as opposed to working in this economy to lift up the next generation, and broadening the tax base to afford social as attorney and medicare. that is the real problem, not the fact that public workers are making too much. >> not the government spends too much? >> there are a lot of things the government should not be spending on.
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this hearing is costing more right now in tax dollars than what the post -- postal service is getting out of tax dollars. >> that is a big part of the problem, and it is what we are here to solve part >> thank you the chair would note the graph on the screen does not include the pre funding. that is a pay-as-you-go cost. we showty sure whether up or not, the cost is substantially the same. the chair recognizes the distinguished gentleman from massachusetts. >> thank you. i think the way you work toward a agreement is to be commended preventing that is what collective bargaining is all about, and it seems to mean that everybody made concessions. which, is, in essence, what the american people expect out of public service employees and
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employers. they want everybody to be reasonable. it could've been downsizing for both of you if you went to arbitration. i think that as a positive. knowing that there were constraints by management, with what they perceive to be legal constraints, and the union is obviously under constraints about risking going to arbitration and coming down with far less than what you got, but i believe the testimony was given and the question was asked about potential retirement contributions and how much it would go toward solving the issues you have. when we had a hearing on april 15, 2010, john potter, the then-postmaster general was one of our witnesses, and i asked him about the privatization, and what would be the cost to the american citizens if it was privatized.
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he talked about the fact that it would be fair to expect that you would not get mail delivered to your doorstep, prices in all likelihood was significantly go off, not all areas would be served. universal service would be threatened. these would all be decisions management could then make. i then wondered whether or not there was not some price tag in terms of what we got what six- day mail, and of the things we get having this type of service as opposed to privatize service, if somebody had not put a value to that. if we put a price tag on that of about $4 billion. he said in today's dollars, it is like $4.5 billion on that basis. do you gentlemen agree with that? >> when the postal service was first formed in the early 1970's, there was a universal service option that we could best for continued
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appropriations to cover for. if you look forward with a value of money going out through inflation, it would turn out to be above that amount. >> i wondered why we have not gone forward, but mr. potter then said they end up with poor conditions with the difficulty to get appropriations and they were reluctant to ask for it. >> our issue has always been one of the self test sustaining entity. his the government does not pass the budget this week, the mail will still get delivered. what we have asked for is for congress to act on the mandates surrounding the pre-funding requirements. as i said before, we did those resolved, we know we will be a viable, ongoing business. we still provide excellent service for the american public. if that is the help we need. >> i think people by and large
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want the service they're getting -- the universal service, six-day mail. you have a customer that goes to about $4.5 billion a year, that you are not collecting. mr. duffy, the you have a comment on that? >> -- mr. guffey, and do you have a comment on that? >> it would be refreshing to see if it was coming to the postal service instead of to the government >> mr. donahoe, you are smiling, but you have a customer that you never collected from. >> the reason i am smiling is because we have some other bills that have been owed over the years that do not get paid. we would like the congress to feel that the postal service can stand on its own and do a great job without any kind of appropriation. and no tax payer money could >> you could look get as a --
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money. you could look at it as an appropriation, or value in return. he decided that it is not a political hassle to ask people. it is much easier to try to run $4.5 billion in the hole. >> we have paid into the health retirement benefits care what we would like congress to do is to take a look to see if that $43 billion along with that ongoing payment, -- we do not want any money. we do not want taxpayer money. we just want congress to remove the burden we are being forced to pay. you owe $6.9 billion back to me. i got a bill last week increasing my premiums. i am already over-paying. treatise fairly. we will do a good job appeared >> i co-sponsor the bill, so
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let's see what we can do with the rest of them appeared >> thank you. -- i co-sponsor that bill, so let's see what we can do with the rest of them. >> thank you. >> i am one of the people that thinks that in order to know where you are going, you need to know where you have come from. it is interesting to note that on july 26, 1775, benjamin franklin was appointed postmaster general at a salary of $1,000. i'm sure a lot of people thought he was grossly overpaid, but we know how important it was. in 18 08, the subject committee on post offices and post roads was established by the house of representatives, and it was the beginning of a surface transportation program that does benefit in this country ever since. one of my wife's grandfather is
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was a first-generation american whose father came from germany, and he left to go back to fight the kaiser in world war i, the war to end all wars, came back and became a letter carrier in iowa, became president of this letter carriers local, and when they started renovating the white house some of the truman administration, the people he worked with thought so much of him they spent two dollars to get big gamble for him that i am fortunate to have in my possession. when my father left the small rural community in iowa to go to the road jima at the age of 18, he got letters that i am thrilled to have in my possession that only got to him because of hard works and efforts from the postal service. that is why i love letter carriers and postal workers. my dad came back and became a
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substitute rural letter carrier. i know that service was a lifeline that guy you much- needed services that you needed to do your work and to function in society. i'm very impressed with the fact that as the ranking member of the veterans affairs economic development committee, that unlike many federal agencies, the postal service has done an extraordinary job of employing veterans, and you brought this up in your testimony, mr. duffy. here, at a time where returning veterans have an alarming unemployment rate of 22%, i have tried to figure out why my friends on the other side of the aisle wants to add to the unemployment problem by firing the veterans, and minorities that make up eight large portion of the work force. that is something we need to be
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concerned about. some have argued that a union would never fly off a hard- working veteran postal worker. we know that is not true. we know it happens because that is the way the postal service has had to make tough decisions. we also know that if we are going to fire middle-class american veterans that work for the post office it will not fix our budget crisis, and that is why we need to fix this problem with pre-funding, because we know it is all low-hanging fruit. he is the most clear, obvious opportunity re-have to make an impact, and that is what we should be focused on. according to two independent offices, the civil service retirement services over-funded by 50 to $75 billion, -- million dollars. we should let the post office to transfer that to fund future
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obligations, and make sure that we are promoting efficiency. mr. donahoe, i remember when my daughter graduated from high school five years ago, and i was thrilled to find out i could get customized stamps of hers -- of her and her friends to give them a graduation. they were thrilled to receive them. we know there has been a lot of innovation going on to try to address these market pressures, modernize, and come up with new revenue streams. could you give us examples of what other things the postal service is looking at like the stamp program? >> one of the things we have been focusing on from a revenue perspective is simplicity, and making sure we can really grow the business, the consumer channel, especially for small business. we have just launched a new product with the idea that if you are a small business you can reach within a couple of the zip
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codes, everybody their lives there. we're also conducting sessions teaching people how to use ebay and amazon to grow their small business. congressman mica showed us that e-mail on his blackberry. one of the products we are working on it is to show you what is coming in your mail to take care we have the technology. we can do things for small business, and people who like to have a little bit of digital in their products, too. >> thank you. >> mr. mica. >> first of all, mr. guffey, i have to take exception with your comments at this is an assault on labour, whether it is in wisconsin, or in this hearing.
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mr. guffey, the know what the financial difference is between the state and federal governments? >> we are going to leave this hearing now in order to resume live house coverage. house members are returning for legislative business. you can watch the hearing continuing live online at c- house members returning for legislative business, and they will consider rules for debate on the bill disapproving. to the floor , live house covera. the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the prayer will be offered by the guest chaplain, rabbi goldberg, boca raton synagogue from boca raton, florida. the chaplain: our father in heaven, guard the members of our esteemed house of representatives. instill with them the
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determination to provide for the physical as well as the spiritual well-being of the citizens of this great country. may this body which hosts rigorous and robust debate continue to embrace diversity without resulting in divisiveness. may it seek and celebrate unity without imposing uniformity. may this house of representatives, together with houses of worship across the land, promote ethical living, righteousness and acts of kindness. as a grandchild of immigrants who fled the nazis and came to this country 72 years ago this month to find refuge, freedom and opportunity, i join this house in a prayer of profound gratitude and deep appreciation for the blessings we, the people of the united states of america, are privileged to enjoy. master of the universe, protect our courageous armed forces, watch our elected leaders, grant peace and prosperity to these united states and the
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entire world and let us respond. amen. the speaker pro tempore: the chair has examined the journal of the last day's proceedings and announces to the house his approval thereof. pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1 the journal stands approved. for what purpose does the gentleman from new jersey rise? >> mr. speaker, pursuant to clause 1, rule 1, i demand a vote on agreeing to the speaker's approval of the journal. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on agreeing to the speaker's approval of the journal. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the journal stands approved. >> mr. speaker, i object to the vote on the grounds that a quorum is not present and i make a point of order that a quorum is not present. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this question are postponed. the pledge of allegiance will be led by the gentleman from florida, mr. deutch. mr. deutch: i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
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the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from florida, mr. deutch, is recognized for one minute. mr. deutch: thank you, mr. speaker. i'm honored to welcome rabbi efram goldberg to our capitol and thank him for delivering such an inciteful invocation. i regularly study under his guidance. since entering public life i've become all the more grateful to have him as a spiritual mentor, his insights help me serve my constituents and work to bet you are our world in a way that honors our jewish tradition. as senior rabbi of boca raton synagogue, he is over 1,200 family. over an extraordinary five years as senior rabbi, it was announced he will lead the
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congregation for the next decade. he touches everyone he meets just as it did here this morning when he had his compelling and thoughtful invocation. the speaker pro tempore: the chair will entertain up to 15 further requests for one-minute speeches on each side of the aisle. for what purpose does the gentleman from new jersey rise? mr. runyan: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. runyan: mr. speaker, today, i rise in honor of sheriff officer daniel charles murphy, a fine public servant who passed away on saturday, april 24, 2010. a lifelong resident of toms river, new jersey, he graduated in 2002 from high school and attended montclair university. after graduating in 2006, charles began his career at the juvenile justice commission for the state of new jersey. he was then named a dedicated
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sheriff's officer for ocean county sheriff's department and held this position for three years. charles' commitment to justice was honored by the veterans of foreign wars post 9503 on sunday, march 20, 2011, when he was named the sheriff's officer of the year at the v.f.w. stenship award ceremony. mr. speaker, please join me in honoring sheriff's officer daniel charles murphy who dedicated his life of protecting the residents of ocean county, new jersey. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from massachusetts rise? >> to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. mcgovern: mr. speaker, last week usaid administrator testified before the house subcommittee on foreign operations. in his testimony he said, and i quote, these are conservative estimates, that h.r. 1 would lead to 70,000 kids dying, end
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quote. this means conservatively speaking that the g.o.p. budget cuts could result in the deaths of 70,000 children around the world from disease, from hunger, from lack of basic immunizations, mosquito nets and food. these brutal cuts are not only a stain on the moral conscience of this house, they directly undermine our national security and our economic future. over 23,000 people from faith groups and other organizations are fasting in protests to these draconian cuts. join them at i ask my colleagues to restore funding for these humanitarian and developmental organizations. the lives of our children are at stake. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia rise? mr. broun: to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. broun: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i rise today to again condemn my democratic
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colleagues' attempts to shut down the federal government. even with total control of spending, democrats failed to pass a budget last year. in the meantime, we've been operating on short-term spending bills only so that they can use their ace in the hole now. the government shutdown card. this has been their game plan all along, to attempt to divide the republican party, back us into a corner and to shut down the government for their own political purposes. mr. speaker, our democratic counterparts are gambling with the future of this nation and it's a bet i'm not willing to take. i implore my colleagues to pass a long-term bill that protects seniors, protects veterans and funds our troops so we can move on to next year's budget and work to get it right this time. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back.
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for what purpose does the gentleman from new jersey rise? mr. sires: i ask permission to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. sires: mr. speaker, the majority's proposed budget for fiscal year 2012 undermines our nation's values and priorities, affecting our middle class and particularly our nation's seniors. today, seniors are the middle income of only $19,000 a year, both the medicare and medicaid program enables seniors to have health care coverage they would not otherwise be able to afford. the proposed budget will have end the medicare program as we know it under the guise of program, turning into a voucher program that will shift more and more costs to seniors and their families. the majority's budgets proposes deep cuts in medicaid which serves as our nation's primary payer for long-term care services. medicaid will be starved by shifting the cost of the programs from the federal government to the states which in turn could force seniors out of their own homes and go into
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nursing homes. before medicaid and medicare, nearly one half of america's seniors were uninsured. mr. speaker, we cannot go back to the days of the past. we must be committed to strengthening and protecting medicare and medicaid for the well-being of our seniors and future generations. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? mr. johnson: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from texas is recognized for one minute. mr. johnson: thank you, mr. speaker. you know it's been 45 days since the house passed our bill to keep the government open and cut spending for the rest of this fiscal year. 45 days and the senate democrats still have not passed a bill or come up with a plan to reduce spending. the american people have a right to know how we got here. for the first time since 1974, last year when the democrats ran the house, the senate and the white house, the democrat
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majorities failed to pass a budget, failed to pass spending bills to create beater and stronger america. we need to cut spending, balance the budget, pay down the debt and slash the deficit. the american people want, need and deserve better than trying to run a government deep into debt. a sign in my office sums it up well. it says, "it's the spending, stupid." . i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from new mexico rise? >> to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. lujan: mr. speaker, our nation faces serious economic challenges that require solutions, that will create jobs and strengthen our economy. at a time when our top priorities should be creating jobs for the american people, our republican colleagues have lost focus on working families. the house budget that republicans introduced this morning fails to put our country on a path to
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prosperity. budgets are about priorities and values. on the republican budget it makes the wrong choices for hardworking families. let's talk about the republican dictionary. they mean vouchers and privatization. pro-growth changes to the tax code. when they talk about pro-growth changes, in fact, when they talk about anything that's going to change the tax code, they mean more cuts to millionaires and billionaires. the republican plans ends medicare and medicaid as we know it by privatizing medicare. millions of seniors who rely on this program will be left out in the cold. while it's critical that we tie our belts we have choices to make. let's choose not to do it on the backs of our seniors. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from tennessee rise? >> unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, today i rise to
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honor two members of the chattanooga police department who were shot over the weekend. one of them fatally, while responding to a robbery in progress. sergeant tim chapin was a 26-year veteran of the department. he lost his life in the line of duty on saturday during a gun battle with an escaped convict who had robbed a local store. throughout my law career, i had the chance to interact with sergeant chapin on many occasions. i found him to be an outstanding officer and even better human being. officer lauren johnson, who a few years ago donated a kidney to a fellow officer, was wounded during the gun battle as well. mr. fleischmann: i ask everyone to join me in saying many prayers for sergeant chapin's family and his wife, kelly, as
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she now has to raise two boys as a single mother. today we remember officers chapin and johnson and those who serve alongside of them keeping our communities safe. they are our heroes. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from california rise? >> to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. ms. speier: thank you, mr. speaker. this week the house will debate a misguided and dangerous bill to repeal the clean air act. republicans are calling this bill the energy tax prevention act. except there is nothing to do with preventing taxes in the bill. instead, this dirty air act is a giveaway to any company who wants to dump pollution in the air free of charge and is a big gimme to any member of congress hoping to collect their share of dirty campaign contributions. if my republican colleagues want to write a bill to
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overturn a decision by the supreme court, turn science on its head, increase our dependence on foreign oil and put the interests of big polluters above taxpayers, they should at least come up with a catchier title like, call it the make smog in america act, or the national hot air distribution act. if my republican colleagues want to write a bill that guarantees that more american children get sick with asthma maybe they could call it the take your child to the emergency room act. really, anything else will do. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. ms. speier: i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? >> to request unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from texas is recognized for one minute. mr. canseco: we have to cut excessive government regulation that keeps businesses from growing, spending and hiring more people. we've got to get rid of the culture of no that permits our regulatory agencies like a
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cancer. a small business from south texas that has shortsighted and excessive company. with the 145 employees they suffered the great depression in this economic downturn and now they face another big threat, the e.p.a. and the job-killing rules. another large business is considering locating a new plant in china instead of south texas to avoid oppressive regulations. our government has become too big and federal regulations too onerous. in a recent meeting with a federal agency i asked how long their federal permitting progress would took. they told me between three and seven years. how do regulators sleep at night that every day they delay is a day someone doesn't get a job they need to support their families? our job is to create jobs and we create jobs by getting the government out of the way. thank you very much. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from hawaii rise? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the
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gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. ms. hirono: you don't propose eliminating tax breaks for the hugely profitable oil and gas industries? he doesn't consider asking the multimillionaires to pair their fair share. he wants to reduce the top corporate and individual tax rates so the middle class americans can pay even more. instead, he's focused on cutting the safety net programs for our seniors and those less fortunate. he plans to turn medicare into a voucher plan and dramatically restrict eligibility for medicaid. lastly, majority leader cantor clearly explained the plans for medicare, medicaid, social security when he said, quote, listen, we are going to have to come to grips with the facts that these programs can't exist if we want america to be what we want america to be. close quote. it is clear chairman ryan and
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majority leader cantor are on. i n stand with the senior citizens and working people coping with medicare and social security. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. ms. hirono: how about a little aloha. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentlewoman yields back. fraps the gentleman from georgia rise? -- for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia rise? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, it's been 45 days since house republicans passed the bill to cut $100 billion in federal spending. spending that quite honestly the prior congress didn't have to spend and should have never appropriated. i want to remind you that we are here today because senator reid, the democrats in the house, and the president when they were in charge last year chose not to pass a budget. it was irresponsible of them then and it's irresponsible of them now to continue to do nothing. house republicans spent 72 hours debating spending bills. we held 107 votes on spending
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amendments. mr. scott: senate democrats, four hours, four votes. four hours and four votes in 45 days, mr. speaker. i want you to think about that. it's unacceptable. senator reid needs to get to work to pass a bill. the american people need it. american livelihoods are depending on it. senator reid, just needs to wake up in the morning, put on his big boy britches, come to the capitol, pass the bill, and help us -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from florida rise? ms. castor: to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. ms. castor: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i rise to express my concern over my republican colleagues' cheering the impending prospect of government shutdown as was reported in the press. . then this morning,
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we wake up to find out the republican proposal to address the deficit and debt is not to address major tax loopholes of tax earmarks but to undermine medicare and end medicare as we know it. now for decades and decades, we have had this wonderful medicare program that ensured our older neighbors lived their retirement in dignity. they can see the doctor if they have to go to the hospital, it is there for them and they -- and the hospice benefit in their last days. this is all at risk now. because the renew -- the renew republican plan announced this morning will end medicare as we know it by eliminating benefits. we're not going to stand for it. we're going to stand on the side of our older neighbors to ensure they can live their retirement years in dignity. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from illinois rise? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one
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minute and revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> today i rise to congratulate wheeling high school students preston riley and roger roye who were finalists in the solve for tomorrow contest. i'm proud of them for their energy and creativity in using stem education to tackle real world challenges. strong stem education is critical to ensuring that all of our young people have the skills and knowledge that they need for success in college and careers. mr. dold: i would also like to recognize wheeling high school science teacher lisa dellmaro and others. i recently visited wheeling high school to look at the stem for all program where students of all backgrounds an academic achievement are challenged in the stem subjects. this initiative incorporated
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all disciplines, including arts and languages, the humanities, alongside the focus on career certifications, college partnerships and technology to prepare students for post-secondary opportunities. >> the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from west virginia rise? >> to request permission to address the house and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlelady is recognized. >> when president lyndon johnson made medicare a reality, these were programs our seniors depended upon. that was backed by a lifetime of hard work they backed on their own sweat and tears, yet now we need to back it up with our commitment. ms. richardson: my democratic colleagues and i favor a budget
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that show ours dual responsibility to reduce the deficit but not on the backs of our seniors who have paid into social security and received medicare benefits, who have limited means to really have the opportunities to increase their salary. in my district, 52,000 people are over the age of 65. only 11.9% of them are working. these are impossible odds. mr. speaker, we need a budget, but we're not willing to do it on the backs of seepors. you make your choice, democrats have a better way and it's not called hurting seniors. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from florida rise? >> unanimous consent to address the house and revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> i rise with serious concerns -- mr. stearns: i rise with egregious concerns with fannie maye and freddie mac giving
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large executive salaries at the expense of taxpayers. the c.e.o. received of fannie maye received $9 million for 2009 and 2010. but it was a failure of these same type of company executives in the past that forced government intervention in the first place by them overstating past earnings and generating millions in improper bonuses. now taxpayers who have already spent $153 billion to bail them out which doesn't include legal fees that taxpayers have to pay to keep them afloat may require more bailout money to counter the company's mounting mortgage losses. allowing this gross mismanagement of public funds for extravagant -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expire. the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from illinois rise? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute.
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the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. ms. schakowsky: today the republicans released their budget. budgets are moral documents and republicans have made clear their moral compass puts hedge fund managers and big corporations ahead of america's middle class and senior citizens. republicans got education -- gut education programs an investment in job creation, privatize medicare, slash medicaid but leaving plenty of money to help subsidize bill -- big oil companies and give tax breaks to companies that put jobs overseas. there is another way. i have a bill that would create new tax brackets for millionaires and billionaires, still lower than those under ronald reagan and raise $74 billion in 2011. we can bring down the deficit and we can do it while protecting programs that create jobs and that don't further burden old people, the poor and
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middle class americans. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia rise? >> to address the house for one minute and revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, i rise today as tax day is fast approaching. we heard about the budget being bro deuced today, i'm a proud supporter of that budget. we don't have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem. but what we do have is a problem with the revenue we contribute to the spending. there's a better way, called the fair tax. mr. woodall: it will take the burden of taxes off what you earn, and put it on what you spend. you want to talk about jobs in this country a magnet for jobs in this country, the fair tax is the only bill in congress that abolishes every single corporate tax break, tax
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loophole, tax prerns. abolishing the corporate income tax rate and telling international businesses they can locate here with the most powerful, hardest working workers on this planet. h.r. 25, the fair tax, is a better way and as you fill out your tax forms this year, think about how we can do it differently next time around. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia rise? mr. woodall: by committee on rules i call up house resolution 200 ask for its immediate consideration. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 200, resolved that upon adoption of this resolution it shall be in order to consider in the house house joint resolution 37, disapproving the
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rule submitted by the federal communications commission with respect to regulating the internet and broadband industry practices. all points of order against the joint resolution are waived. the joint resolution shall be considered as read. all points of order against provisions in the joint resolution are waived. the previous question shall be considered as ordered on the joint resolution to final passage without intervening motion except, one, one hour of debate equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the committee on energy and commerce, and two, one motion to recommit. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia is recognized for one hour. mr. woodall: thank you, mr. speaker. for the purposes of debate only, i yield 30 minutes to my good friend, the gentleman from colorado, mr. polis. pending which, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. wood yawl: during this debate, all time yielded is for purposes of debate only. i ask that all members have
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five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. woodall: what we have is the congressional review act, an act passed by the republican congress and president clinton that gives congress an opportunity to review the burdens imposed -- regulations imposed by the executive branch and say do we want it or do we not. today that resolution is the net neutrality law, the rule disapproves of the f.c.c. rule concerning that neutrality on the basis that congress did not authorize the f.c.c. to regulate in this area. according to a d.c. circuit court decision in april of last year, the f.c.c. failed to demonstrate that it had the authority to regulate the internet network management. until such time as the f.c.c. is given that authority by this congress, we must reject any
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rules that it promulgates in this area. we'll hear a lot today in the underlying resolution about the effective compromise that was crafted by the f.c.c. we'll hear a lot about the light touch that was used by the f.c.c. to wade into this area. but mr. speaker, if you don't have the authority to do it you don't have the authority to do it. it is congress' responsibility to delegate that authority. if folks like the underlying rule proposed by the f.c.c., they're welcome to bring that back as a congressional resolution this bill today is about congressional prerogative. will we, or will we not, stand up to an executive branch that does not have the authority to regulate? we've done a sad job in this congress in years past, mr. speaker, of providing that oversight responsibility. republicans had the responsibility of providing oversight to the bush administration and we didn't always live up to that measure.
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democrats have the ability to provide oversight and they haven't always lived up to that example. we have the cubt today to begin that step forward. until congress acts to delegate that responsibility, the internet should continue as the interin the has grown and always continued as an area free of government interference, as an opportunity for entrepreneurs and investors and students and the elderly to be out there using the internet as they see fit, free from the hand of government regulation. i'd also like to comment briefly on the nature of this rule. it's a closed rule. and i came to this congress to advocate in fare of abopen process, mr. speaker. but it needs to be understood that the congressional review act is a closed process by nature. what my constituents said to me is, rob if you're doing something complicated i want you to open up the house floor and have as many amendments and as much discussion as you can
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because that's the right way to do things but what i would really prefer is that you bring one bill with one idea and have an up or down vote for all the world to see, well, mr. speakering that's exactly the call we have responded to today, a simple bill, one page long that says the f.c.c. does not have the congressional -- the delegated congressional authority to act in this area and as such the regulation shall be null and void. with that i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserve the gentleman from colorado. mr. polis: this is one-page long and it's a terrible bill one page long and i'll tell you why. with our economy only beginning to recover, i believe this rule and the underlying rule will gel one of the greatest sources of job creation in america, the internet. over the past 15 years it's
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created three million jobs, according to hamilton consultants. many americans have full or part-time jobs on ebay alone. yet the majority brings before legislation that will harm the open internet. i can speak to this with some degree of authority. before i came to congress i created over 300 jobs of myself by finding several internet-related company. my first internet company was an internet service provider on the other end of this equation so i have good experience from the commerce side as well as the access side which i bring to this debate. and i have long supported open access to the internet and continue to support net neutrality. let me bring this close to home. when i started a flower company,, back in the late 1990's, we offered a supply chain solution. we brought fresher flowers to people at beater price by allowing consumers to buy
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flowers directly from growers. now, we were up against several legacy companies. companies like f.t.d. and 1-800-flowers. we believe and argued in the marketplace was a less efficient distribution model. now, had there not been a de facto net neutrality at that point it would be very difficult for a new company to break in because you would have had the incumbent leaders in the marketplace buying the access through the broadband connections, much as companies will pay slotting fees to get into grocery stores, some book publishers pay fees to be out on the open table. the big difference is we have a robust distribution. with regard to broadband access, over 70% of the residents of this country live in areas with only one or two broadband providers. all of the dynamism, and i have not heard this disputed, even by the chairman of the subcommittee who testified before us yesterday, really, the dynamism, the job growth on
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the internet comes from the content and application side. there aren't legitimate economic situations on the bandwidth side. both debating wireless and wire bandwidth need to have a return on calculus, but there is a content-driven internet that drives the usage that leads people to pay more for higher speed access to the internet. now the f.c.c. has done an exemplary job with these rules. they have actually received buy-in from all of the major players with regard to this matter. content providers, content aggregators, search engines and, yes, even only the broadband access side, most of the major broadband providers have supported these regulations as well. so they've done an excellent job. i realize what they first put out there, many people were concerned with. they then did their job as they were told to by congressional statute, specifically which authorized them to do this. they listened to all parties
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and they revised their net neutrality regulations so i think we can all be proud as americans and we can all be proud of as users of the internet. now, just to be clear how they hit their mark. i know yesterday in committee the chairman mentioned -- the chairman of the subcommittee mentioned that he thought that some of the broadband providers were coerced into supporting the protocol standard before the f.c.c. i don't know enough to dispute that enough, but i will tell you is i then got third party testimony which i think is -- the way the investment banking sector works is they have analysts who really cover different stocks, cover different sectors and they inform people about the impact of market regulations on that sector. what i have from the bank of america and merrill lynch analysts, it says the agreement, the f.c.c.'s net neutrality provisions, is consistent with our view that the regulatory overhang has been eliminated from telecom
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and cable stocks. now, let me elaborate. what that means, net neutrality regulatory overhang, there was fear among the analysts covering the telecom sectors that the obama administration would do something overarching with net neutrality. however, the f.c.c. did their job and that fear has been eliminated. there is now no market overhang on companies in this sector and they are no longer concerned that the regulations are overarching. let me go to goldman sachs' analyst fathers december of last year. the rules stuck largely as what was exacted and will be viewed as a light touch. let in go to raymond james. we are glad that the staff is making this innocuous by placing official rules by what is being done by the industry under a no regulations scenario. all this rule does is preserve the status quo. why is this important? absent this there could be a major shift in power on the internet to the broadband providers from the content providers.
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the internet historically, again, a wonderful innovation to man kinde, allows anybody with a great -- mankind, allows anything with a server to be linged up from their garbage, the very same as a major corporation that spends $100 million launching a website. and they compete in the marketplace with ideas. now there have been -- some people say, have there ever been any instance where a provider has used tiered access or has censored anything? there has been some. in 2005 madison river communication blocked something on their d.s.l. cingular blocked paypal after contracting with another online payment service. now, this is a perfect example of why we need to keep the competition on the provider side. you can lead the consumers with access with presumably a less efficient payment service if they would not select given their own prerogative because it is locked in through some sort of slotting fee or some
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arrangement under the same capital structure as an access provider. so this rule is actually critical to continue to operate a free and open internet. that's why the f.c.c. moved forward with explicit permission from congress with rules of this issue. there were open process and got buy-in from all major parties including internet service providers. there are many on the left that wish the rule went further. yes, there might be some in business that prefers there were no rules at all. the vast majority of the business community strongly supports the consensus rules that the f.c.c. came out with. of those commenting on the proposed rule before the f.c.c., well over 90% supported the commission's effort and over 130 organizations support the proposed rule and oppose this legislation, including groups like the american library association, the free press, league of latin american citizens, communication workers
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of america and the vast majority of internet-related companies. i also want to emphasize that there's been a number of faith-based groups that have weighed in. one of the largest is the conference of catholic bishops, representing millions of american catholics who weighed in. the internet is open to any speaker, commercial and noncommercial, whether or not the speech is connected financially to the company providing internet access or whether it is popular or prophetic. there is legitimate fear. one between the nonprofit and religious community in general. their content would receive a lower tier because they are not necessarily able to pay the same slotting fees or access that a for-profit commercial provider would do. your webpage from nike might load faster than your webpage from the catholic church because if there was tiered access who would be likely to pay for the access?
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and there is political and religious censorship of the internet. you could have a provider that would say, you know what, i like obama so i'm going to block access to tea party sites or slow them down from -- through our broadband access. now, again, in a market with compete dynamism where there is a lot of competition and every american can choose broadband providers, that would be less problematic. where we have a situation where over 70% of americans only have one or two choices for broadband access, there's historically been broad support from both sides of the aisle for the no blocking rule which simply states that broadband providers cannot block lawful content. it's the equivalent of telling the postal service they can deliver or not deliver your mail based on whether they agree or disagree with the content. the carriers of the internet itself is one cohesive entity. what a wonder 68 entity of mankind the fact that you can plug into a wide breath of information on the internet. i also want to refute the argument that there is no or
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should there be any government regulation of the internet. i actually have several pages of government regulation of the internet and i'd like to submit it without any objection. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. polis: including, of course, the complex of intellectual property and intellectual property enforcement, to ensure that the internet is not used as a medium to steal the properties of others. we go on and on about ecommerce, a number of laws designed to protect our privacy, protect us from abuse and protect us from security breaches with regard to viruses. this is another dimension to protect the internet being broken apart by a series of tiered pipelines rather than one cohesive internet. the absence of any net neutrality regime would have corporate america censors the america like china censors the
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internet. you -- we risk the same potential here. if you don't -- if the broadband actors play a critical role, and i want to make sure their concerns are balanced, they get their return on investment. we have a quote from the at&t executive who did it -- who said they can use the 10 to 15-year time frame with regard to broadband infrastructure. even comcast has called the new rules workable balance between the marketplace and carefully crafted limited rules can provide to ensure that internet freedom and openness are preserved. i'd further argue that a free and open internet is in the interest of the broadband providers themselves. so not only is it not necessarily the case that they agree to it under dueress, they realize what drives internet access would drive people to a faster connection is the very vibrancy in the marketplace
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that net neutrality reserves. the question is why are we hear debating something that is thoughtful, that is buying in from all sides of the debate? i had a tough time figuring it out even in our committee, the examination yesterday. the reason we are here is because of those opposed from the more overarching rules that were originally proposed by the f.c.c. this feared takeover of the internet didn't occur, overarching rules didn't occur, most of the broadband providers support the direction of the f.c.c. and yet under the legislation that we'll consider today, the open internet rule and repeal of it will provide more uncertainty to investors. they again not know what's going to occur. the investment bankers will say there is uncertainty, hurting the valuation of the very broadband stocks that the majority is claiming to do this for the benefit of. market analysis have found that the new open internet rule removes the overhang. it's a light touch and this throws a monkey wrench into the market mechanisms at a critical
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time of our recovery and job creation. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from georgia is recognized. mr. woodall: mr. speaker, at this time i'm proud to yield two minutes to a the gentlelady from the committee of jurisdiction, the gentlelady from tennessee, mrs. blackburn. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for two minutes. mrs. blackburn: thank you, mr. speaker. if my colleague across the aisle is having a tough time figuring this out, i think we can probably help with that explanation. first of all, if you like the internet that you have, we are saying we want you to keep it. mr. speaker, there has been no market failure. over 80% of all the americans are pleased with the internet service that they have. what they do not want to see is the obama administration step in in front of these internet service providers and say, we, the government, are here to change your internet. we're here to take control of your internet. and that is exactly what net neutrality would do.
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net neutrality is the federal government stepping in and saying we're going to come first, we're going to assign priority and value to content. it basically is the fairness doctrine for the internet. as i said, there has been no market failure and there is no need for this government overreach. so many are saying why do this. it's one of those issues of power and control. government wanting to dictate what speed you will have, how often you will be on, the type internet service you will have, being able to control that. what the f.c.c. did after congress left them, mind you, during christmas week what they did was step in and bring uncertainty to the marketplace. they said, we are going to put ourselves, the government in control of the internet.
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ever this has happened. also in their net neutrality order, if you read paragraph 84, what it does is bring an incredible amount of uncertainty to the innovative community and economy that our jobs growth will be based on because what it says to innovators is says, look if you want -- mr. woodall: i yield an additional minute. mrs. blackburn: if you want to have a new usage for a web-based service for the internet a ply to the f.c.c. first because if you don't, we can step in and require you to come make application to us. if you want to talk about a killing effect, a killing effect on all our high-tech innovation, our medical innovation, with our
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telemedicine concept, health i.t. concepts, paragraph 84 found in the net neutrality order that was brought forward on a 3-2 vote by the obama administration, i would encourage individuals to look at that. because it will do more to squelch jobs growth and to pull back innovation than any other action in this administration, with that, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. the gentleman from colorado. mr. polis: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. polis: it's hard to know where to begin in refuting the comments of my friend from tennessee. one view was that this is a fairness doctrine for the internet, it's some sort of government involvement with the internet, quite the contrary is true. the fairness doctrine, i was an awareness -- an original
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co-sponsor that would have prevented the administration from moving forward with the fairness doctrine, net neutrality is moving forward with the market ideas the fairness doctrine is contrary to. if we don't have a net neutrality rule, we risk the internet becoming tiered -- tyred in structure. -- tiered in structure. it is net neutrality that will preserve the internet as it is. i agree that 80% of the people are happy with their access, i hope it's even higher. mrs. blackburn: if the gentleman will yield. mr. polis: i yield for a
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moment. mrs. blackburn: any time you allow the federal government to step into a process where they have not been involved in a process. mr. polis: reclaiming my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman controls the time. mr. polis: with regards to the postal service would the gentlelady oppose an effort to say that the postal service can decide which mail to deliver based on which political candidates their unions support? would the gentlelady say it would be ok for the postal service to do that. mrs. blackburn: the gentleman knows that's not relevant to the discussion we're having here. what we're talking about is the fairness doctrine. mr. polis: reclaiming my time. mrs. blackburn: if the gentleman will focus on the issue -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady will suspend. mr. polis: the fairness doctrine is something i will oppose and the fairness
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doctrine is consistent with the approach of the gentlelady to the internet. by having net neutrality in place, we prevent fairness doctrine or selective allowance of content to consumers of the internet. the structure is to ensure that everyone has access to putting content on the internet in the same way and that won't be discriminated against based on ideology or considerations. mrs. blackburn: if we snelt -- if the gentleman will yield, any time you give the government the ability to assign authority and value, they are inserted in the process. they wail precede the the ability of the market providers. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady will su spend. mr. polis: the absence of the net neutrality regime would be the government assigning value as gate keepers and allowing
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them to provide what kind of internet they intend to serb up to their users. i will not yield further. we could continue this colloquy on your own time. i would like to add that under the legislation we consider today, the open internet rule will add the certainty to investors and companies we need and predictability in our marketplace to allow companies to continue to grow and invest in job growth. it strikes a balance and it solves a real issue. some on the other side will say, this could be an issue in the future but it hasen arisen. the rules enshrine in place the very internet, the die namism, the ideology -- the dynanism, the idea roling the gentlelady says she wants to preserve. i.s.p.a.'s -- i.s.p.'s have blocked voice other i.s.p. service, they've blocked paypal in favor of other financial
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transaction companies that might have economic relationships with them. i believe strongly in internet, internet as an achievement for mankind, internet that net neutrality will help preserve for our generation and the next and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia. mr. woodall: i'm pleased to yield two minutes to another gentleman from the committee, mr. terry. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. terry: i rise in favor of this rule to block the f.c.c. from regulating the internet. i thought the exchange between the gentleman from colorado and the good lady from tennessee was very telling. because right now the marketplace controls the internet. it is free. i call it wild, wild in its applications. now what we're -- what the government is trying to do now
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in the words of ed marquee during our hearing on this was -- of ed markey during our hearing on this was, quote, we need to regulate the internet to keep it unregulated. i don't get that. but it is kind of the thought from the left side of the aisle that you have to regulate it in order to prevent anything that they may disagree with. so what we have here is an instance where now the freedoms of the internet and the marketplace driving it now have to be under a regulatory scheme decided by a group of appointees of the president. if not to be free, it has to be built in relation to their image. listen to his words. it's going to be built on their image.
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the analogy of communist china regulating the content can't happen today. they talk about politicing these i.s.p.'s will stop us from going to our websites. there have been a handful of those situations. and every time public marketplace chastised them openly, there were a few times the f.c.c. called up and said you can't do that under the principles that were adopted. can i have an additional minute. mr. woodall: i yield the gentleman an additional minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. terry: so those were resolved by, yeah, a little bit of involvement but the marketplace. now the comparison to communist china here from the gentleman is appropriate when you look at how this measure was implemented.
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the president campaigned on net neutrality, congress would not authorize it because congress as a whole bipartisanly disagreed with net neutrality giving a regulatory, bureaucratic agency control over the internet versus free market, so since congress wouldn't pass it, they said, we don't have the authority. they didn't say they don't have the authority but congress never gave them the authority to regulate the internet, so they're just assuming that they're going to take that power away from the people and the marketplace and do it themselves. that is where the analogy to communist china is appropriate. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from colorado is recognized. mr. polis: i would argue that in communist china, the resident there is do not have access to the internet. what they have access to is an
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internet minus, an internet minus the sites their government deems inappropriate. we risk going down that same route if we don't enshrine in rule or in law net neutrality provisions that ensure there's an open and free internet and that american sit zepps have access to the internet in its entirety, not with any censorship because of economic or religious reasons. i won't yield. one of the simple components of the rule, i'll be happy to discuss it on your time. one of the simple components of the rule is the no blocking rule. it states simply a broadband provider cannot block lawful content. a provider cannot say, i don't like catholics, i'll block catholic sites. we need to ensure the internet as one entity is available to all americans who buy access. and again, the broadband providers themselves endorse this concept because they truly
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understand with the fiduciary responsibility of their own share shoulders that the dynamism that makes the internet useful are protected this way. support for -- a witness the majority brought to capitol hill said i.s.p.'s should be allowed to block lawful content and said it's appropriate because you block the source of the program. if they're tissue if the person violating your acceptable use policy is netflix, you block netflix. you can say, i don't like that you're renting this movie or linking to this news. that's the direction that communist china has gone and that's the direction that america and the global internet
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will go if we fail to preserve the net neutrality regime that's before us. i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia is recognized. mr. bad all: at this time -- mr. woodall: at this time, i yield to the subcommittee chairman, mr. walton. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. walton: i thank the gentleman from the rules committee for his work on this issue. there are a number of issues i'd like to address, first of all, when it comes to the notion that the f.c.c. -- or let me back up, these area -- carriers that give us the internet might somehow regulate religious speech. it's -- mr. walden: it's interesting to note that the f.c.c. in its own order threatens and pulls out specifically a threat to religious content. paragraph 47, footnote 148, which i'm sure the gentleman from colorado must know about,
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says a religious organization would be prohibited from creating a specialized internet access service. there is an internet provider out there called kosher net that wanted a special service for those religious subscribers who happen to agree that they don't want to be exposed to things on the internet that they are bound to regard -- mr. polis: would the gentleman yield for a question? mr. walden: i would not. the issue that the f.c.c. points out is that, oh, we -- we're not going to allow that to happen under these rules. you can't have a separate internet provider that's just set up for its own subscribers, that just wants to have a filter on the internet, if you will, for those who want to subscribe to that for their religious beliefs. already you see a government getting involved at the head in. we've seen it in egypt where the government is


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