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tv   U.S. House of Representatives  CSPAN  May 12, 2011 5:00pm-8:00pm EDT

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i am pleased that we on the democratic side have put forth a very ambitious but very important agenda of making it in america. you know, when you think about it, we've had an economy that was built on bubbles and credit swaps and all kinds of things and it failed. it hurt families in this country very, very badly. i think what we need to do is return to this idea of making things again in this country that we can sell all over the world and having policies developed at the national level, at the state level, that support manufacturing. that give american manufacturing the ability to compete in the global marketplace, give them the ability to grow jobs and to create opportunities to make things that we can sell to the rest of the world so we can export american made goods, not export jobs. we have the best workers, the best minds, we have the best innovators in the world, and what we need is to have policies at the national level that recognize we have to make
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things again, we need to stop the chinese from cheating in manufacturing, and having an unfair advantage an we need to recognize that this is an important part of rebuilding the economy in this country. we put forth, as you know, mr. garamendi, with your leadership a whole set of bills that will help jump start and support what is already happening in american manufacturing. try to go into a store and find something with those three words, made in america, it's almost impossible. we can change that, we have to change it and the agenda we put forth will do it. the bill i am lead sponsor on is the make it in america block grant, it's a simple idea. take resources in american manufacturing, help manufacturers retrofit their buildings for more energy efficiencies, retrain workers for the 21st century, buy new equipment, increased their exports, the kinds of tools we know that i hear from
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manufacturers when i travel throughout my district and talk to them and listen to what they need to give them a chance to compete in this global marketplace. we have responsibilities to do that. it's the best way we can grow jobs. you're absolutely right, it's unimaginable that tens of billions of dollars in subsidies are given to big oil companies. corporate welfare at a time when our nation is facing some of the highest gas prices ever. we have to pass anti-gouging legislation. we have to release some of the strategic reserve to lower the prices at the pump. we have to invest in clean energy, renewable energy, particularly that will lead to a good energy future for our country. so i thank you, mr. garemeppedy, for your leadership. this is an important agenda. it's not just about job creation. it's about regaining that position as the leaders of the world in manufacturing.
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we have a long history of innovation, of manufacturing. this country can lead again in this area, but yes need to have pollties that sport the great minds that are doing this work. we need to have job training to get to take these jobs and we need to make it a national priority so we can start making things here again and so that american families can make it in america by relying on manufacturing. i thank you for the time. mr. garamendi: thank you very much, mr. cicilline. we note that you're part of the nation which is where the manufacturing started in america, in the rivers taking the power of the rivers and using it to start the mills and eventually creating the early american economy and continuing on to this day in a very special part of this nation, the rhode island and new england area. many, many things to say as you were talking, mr. cicilline, in bringing us up to date.
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i notice that two of my colleagues came to join us. you were here in the first make it in america discussion. you were talking about what we could do in rebuilding the great american manufacturing base, the strength of america, the incredible innovation that's possible. and you just happen to come from those areas where it was done and still being done. >> absolutely. mr. garamendi: upstate new york. mr. tonko: thank you for bringing us together in this important discussion. you have done that time and time again for us to focus on an innovation economy, on building it and making it in america. the an important aspect to the work we do. thank you for bringing that to the attention to the greater public that watches these proceedings. you know, i do represent this region in upstate new york
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where we have the consulates of the hudson and mow hack rivers. it was to the erie canale. that birth to the erie canal became the port of new york which became a major area which was given birth to that canal movement which became -- inspired a westward movement. not only inspired the growth of this nation but impacted the quality of life of the globe. so that pioneer spirit should speak to us again as we develop budgets, as we promote public policy. it should be about investing, not disinvesting. it should be about funning, not defunding. there's a current climate in this house with the new majority is to defund, to take those dollars away from economic recovery and to shift them over to tax cuts for millionaires, tax cuts for billionaires, ending medicare, block granting medicaid,
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disinvesting, providing for corporate loopholes. this is not the strategy that america needs. this attack on middle-class america is unwarranted. it is not going to resolve what we need to resolve here in the great united states of america. we need to invest in a way that allows us to bulk up and compete and compete effectively on the global scene so that we can drive this clean energy economy, this innovation economy. i know from my work prior to coming here to the house of representatives with the new york state research and energy authority there is job opportunity galore. there are innovators that work with the angel network, work with the venture capitalists and the federal government that enable us to take ideas and move it along and where r&d is, where research and development lands so will manufacturing. that's what we have within our grasp. what we see happening is walking away from that
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progressive approach and catering to a crowd that's grown stronger and stronger through this recession. you know, when we look at some of the outcomes of these -- the majority here challenges us about not doing the mindless handouts to oil companies. we're seeing some of the c.e.o.'s gathering some quarter of a million shares, prime shares of stock. that's what they're doing with these -- with these payments, these handouts to the oil companies when we can invest that in job creation. that's what this make it in america is all about. i know when we put these down payments on invention and innovation we can expect lucrative dividend that we can have job growth and the kind of job growth that's secure because it stakes itself in the community, in small business, and they grow within the community. they grow and expand their opportunity. i have within the capital region of new york the third fastest growing hub for science and tech jobs and that's happening because of investment from public sector, part nerd with private sector investments and it works. it's a winning formula and i
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say we need to pursue in that fashion and we can gain tremendously. why would you change that globe of steady growth upward in recovery from the recession after 8.2 million jobs lost through the bush recession, why would you turn that around? that's the attempt right here, stop it. i just think we don't need to repeat that recent history of reaganomics. it's devastating to the working families, to middle class, it's devastating to job growth. mr. garamendi: thank you very much, mr. tonko. the -- you raised -- you started with the erie canal. mr. tonko: absolutely. mr. garamendi: it's interesting to note in that period of time which was the last decades of the 1700's and the early 1800's the united states government set out on a course to build infrastructure, and infrastructure was the canal
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systems at that time and you so correctly and correctly pointed out the growth that came from that. that lesson now more than 200 years old needs to be repeated in america once again. mr. tonko: absolutely. i think what people will say, too, well, we don't make those products in america. well, we might be able to if we monday earnize our manufacturing prophecies. if you are going to try to convince each other that all the products that america can make, design, ennear, discover and manufacture are over -- engineer, discover and manufacture are over, what are we telling ourselves? there are product coming out as we speak. there are products coming out every week in a sophisticated society, braces itself to invest in investigation, in r&d, taking ideas an moving them along and we can manufacture those latest products on the scene. and that's the growth of a sophisticated society. so this can-do spirit prevails in the democratic caucus in this great house in which we
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see and i'm proud to serve with these members who are visionary, reinforcing the efforts of manufacturing of the newest kind here in the country. mr. garamendi: you talk about innovation and new things. last week i was out in my district talking to manufacturers. one company called bridge lux. they make l.e.d. lights. kind of things that are now in the stores when you get a flashlight, it's an l.e.d. flashlight. they have taken those l.e.d.'s a new level of technology and advantagement. in fact, if we put them in these lights here in the chamber we could reduce the energy consumption by about 90%. which wouldn't be a bad thing for the taxpayers. and their particular system would allow those lights to change color, which might put me at a better color.
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that might not be such a bad thing. and to dim when the place is -- when people are not here and move the lights and in that way improve our ability to see while smumently saving us a lot of energy. the company is two years old, has 250 employees, is manufacturing these advance l.e.d. lighting systems in livermore in my district. i'm saying, go bridge, lux, go. they need something. they need access to the american markets. that's where the use of our tax dollars. in this case, perhaps the local tax dollars in the cities around that area, would reach out, save the taxpayers a bundle of money by buying lights from that company. mr. tonko: not only is it promoting energy efficiency, it can help us in this -- along this trail of energy subsufficiency which then pulls us out of our dependence on --
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mr. garamendi: national security today. mr. tonko: providing us supplies for it. it doesn't make sense of the clarion call we heard from the voting booth last fall was stop shrinking the middle class and that's what we're about with this make it in america. i know our friend, representative tim ryan from ohio, has something to add to that agenda because he's been aggressive on this also. mr. garamendi: indeed. mr. ryan, you come from part of the world that was and is going to be, given your leadership and the leadership of this make it in america agenda, the premiere manufacturing place in the world. we'll continue in california. we'll be happy to contend for that and compete for that title but you're in the process of rebuilding the manufacturing base in the heartland of america. mr. ryan. ryan madson it's interesting my -- mr. ryan: my district was the fifth fastest developing -- mr. garamendi: excuse me.
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name those places again. mr. ryan: youngstown and warren, ohio. mr. garamendi: we're talking about what america thinks was yesterday. you're telling me it's the fastest growing? mr. ryan: yeah. the just recent. but in large part a couple different things, there's $1 billion invested into a steel mill but also we have a major auto plant and it was the work of the last congress and the president saying we cannot lose the american auto industry and made investments in the companies like general motors. now we have three shifts selling the chevy cru sdemrmbings all over the world. every employee got a $4,000 bonus a few weeks ago when they're spending in our community. this is what happens when you manufacture products in america. the goal for all of us is to wrestle control from the major multinational corporations who
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are running this institution and have undue influence over the government. whether it's globalization, moving manufacturing offshore or if it's the oil companies who not only aren't paying taxes but are completely content with our citizens sending $1 billion a day out of the united states to go try to find cheap oil which isn't so cheap anymore and diminishing day by day and what we're saying is if we drive that $1 billion a day back into the united states economy for the kind of research and development that's going on in upstate new york, that's going on in california, that's going on at youngstown state university and in akron university, if we pump billions of dollars into this, instead of falling from first to second to third in the green energy revolution behind china and
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germany, we'll start leading it and it's about coming up with the next technologies that you gentlemen were talking about, whether it's light bulbs or something else. we need to discover that here mountain united states and then make it here in the united states. but what all the major tech companies are saying now, they want to manufacture here in the united states. there's so much risk when you move your operations to china losing intellectual property, losing the cutting edge, losing the quality that there is an incentive. if we don't pump money into research, that's why this whole philosophy that every single thing the government does is awful and the government should just serve big business, cut taxes for the oil companies, make sure that the big multinationals don't pay anything in taxes and we'll come back and cut n.i.h., cut energy investment, cut the national science foundation, cut the national institutes for science and technology, standards and technology. these are the kind of things that we have to be investing
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in, and it starts with let's get out of this dependency on foreign oil, $4 a gallon is nonsense, and this illusion that if we continue to keep drilling we're somehow going to drop the price is an illusion. let's take control of our own destiny here. i want to show this chart. this is the u.s. balance of trade from 1960 to 2010. 23 you look in the last 10 to 15 years, we now have $500 billion in a trade imbalance, most of this is energy. most of this is oil. what are we thinking? we're giving our -- we're giving away the house. this is not good public policy. this is not good economics. let's take control. let's invest in our own people. $1 billion a day we send to another country that doesn't like us and finances the war on
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terrorism? and then we take our budget and have three wars going on at the same time so we pay them to run the terrorist operation and then we pay our own military to go to the middle east to try to stop it and meanwhile, the middle class in the united states, we've got a $3 trillion deficit on the roads and bridges and infrastructure, combined, college expenses are going up, we're not going doing research, this is a recipe for disaster for the united states. i yelled to my friend from california. mr. garamendi: i thank you for that. you just reminded me, last night, 2:30 in the morning, when the house armed services committee completed the markup that's moving out of committee, the national defense act, we do it every year, $700 billion, a study done by one of the think tanks came up with the number that america spends about 17%
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of its total defense budget protecting the flow of oil out of the middle east. so you can add that to the deficit. that's over $100 billion a year that we spend of our tax money to protect the flow of oil. not only for us but for the rest of the world. we need to build a domestic energy system, not based on carbon based fuels of the future but rather the future energy, all of the clean green technologies, nuclear and others that will provide us with the energy security we need. in doing so, each and every one of those, if we spend our tax dollars on buying american made systems, will come back just as you say and build our community stronger along the way. mr. ryan: we had a group in cleveland, ohio, do a study a few years back, if you added in that cost, the $17 billion in the budget that protects supply
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lines all over the world, the actual cost for gas would be another $1 or $1.50. because of the subsidy. it's another subsidy to make oil come here. all we're saying is pump that money back into the rerge -- research. somebody in this country will come up with some synthetic, some magical something or other that will replicate diesel fuel. it will happen. put the money into it. mr. garamendi: it's already there. it's called advanced biofuels, algae based fuels, everything from cosmetic oils to fuel for navy ships. we can do these things but again it's how we deploy our resources. we have about five minutes and we'll do a lightning round between the three of us, mr. tonko, you've got a minute and a half, then we'll wrap this up. mr. tonko: i would just encourage us here in washington on the hill as we develop policy and debate budgets to keep in mind the history that
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should be replicated, sound history, hist ray ry that had a proven track record like that of the global race on space. some of us are old enough to have been youngsters or adolescents when that message, that noble vision of j.f.k. and he's offering in an inaugural address, that we're going to make it, we're going to win the race to space. it was landing the first astronaut on the moon that happened to be an american, and his quote of one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind went well beyond that. they was opening of the gates to technology that invaded every sector of our economy, all aspects of life. it was that technology investment that grew because of the soundness of a plan that enabled us to win a global race. that was done with passionate resolve and a thoughtfulness
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and a clear vision. we need to embrace that sort of american spirit that pioneer spirit in this present moment and repeat good history, sound history that grew our economy and i think we can do it. i believe we can do it, make it in america is a way to make it all happen. mr. garamendi: yes we can. mr. ryan: give him a minute of my time. he's from pennsylvania, he can't help it. mr. garamendi: i yield to the gentleman. mr. altmire: this is the key to our innovation, in our country because as we've seen through western pennsylvania, the american workers is going to compete and win on a level playing feld against anybody in the world any day of the week. we want to make sure we have a tax policy in place, a trade policy in place, and a manufacturing and jobs policy
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in place that's going to allow the american worker that level playing field to compete and win against the rest of the world. mr. garamendi: great example. your colleague next to you there has a piece of legislation that calls for fairness in the financial markets, the value of the dollar versus the value of the chinese yuan. mr. ryan you put it out there, you say it's got to be fair. mr. ryan: clearly, currency manipulation. chevron, $19 million refund from the i.r.s. last year. they made $10 billion. valero energy, 25th largest company in america, $68 billion in sales last year, got a $150 million tax refund check subsidized by the taxpayer. if we're going to do this we need shared sacrifice. we need everybody to contribute, especially those people making a lot of money to help us invest. these folks are benefiting from an old age industry that we're
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running out of oil. it only makes sense. it went into the ground for 4 billion years, we're pulling it out and burning it, it's an old industry and we're subsidizing it. we need to be americans which invest in the next great tech nothing to -- technology to the -- lead the world. mr. garamendi: over the months ahead, we'll talk about the make it in america agenda. there's about 25 pieces of legislation, ranging from the ones we talked about here, using our tax money when we buy solar equipment, make sure it's made in america, if you're going to use our tax money, make sure it's made. the innovation economy, all of those things. this is legislation that we have, infrastructure financing and all the rest. we talk about it piece by piece. i thank my colleagues for joining us and i have the sense that behind me, we're about to be gaveled that we're out of time. i want to thank the american
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public for listening to the make it in america agenda. mr. speaker, -- the speaker pro tempore: your time has expired. mr. garamendi: i think we're out of time. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: under the speaker's announced policy of january 5, 2011, the gentleman from arkansas, mr. griffin, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the majority leader. mr. griffin: thank you, mr. speaker. thank you to the american people for watching today. i wanted to talk with my colleagues here today about jobs, how we create jobs in america, and what we're going to do about our national debt. we have a spending problem in america and we've heard a lot from our colleagues on the other side of the aisle, they've been talking about jobs bills. i heard someone say that we haven't passed any legislation or taken up any legislation in
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this house that addresses jobs. that puzzles me. maybe they've been absent. but it seems to me, since i arrived here in january, we have been focused on jobs. and i just want to -- i want to give a few examples. number one, this week, we have been working on energy legislation that will open up drilling. open up drilling in parts of the country where right now it's prohibited. those will be jobs. those are jobs, good-paying jobs, in the energy sector. not only will that allow for the creation of jobs, it will allow for our country to be more energy independent. we've taken up all sorts of legislation regarding health care. since i've been here. we voted to repeal and to work
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on some legislation to replace and i talk to small business owners all the tile and they tell me the obama health care law hurts them. buds of the increased price they have to pay, they can't hire as many people. that's a piece of legislation that directly addresses job creation. there's a provision, the 1099 provision, included in the obama health care law. we repealed that. we were fortunate enough to convince the senate to pass it and the president to sign it. i'll say this, joined by my colleague from indiana, i want to say this, then i'll turn it over to him, every time that we
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deal with our spending problem in this house, every time that we deal with our debt problem and our deficit, every time we try to get our fiscal house in order, and make this government live within its means, the way folks back in arkansas do, to live within a budget, every time we do that, we are creating a better environment in this country for job creation. so don't let anyone tell you that there's the issue of spending and the debt and then there's the issue of jobs. they are all one issue. they are all one. if we want to see the kind of innovation and job creation that we are accustomed to in this country, if we want to see it continue, if we want to continue to be the lead for the
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innovation and technological advancement and job creation, we better deal with our spending problem. or we're not going to see that kind of job creation. furthermore, if we don't deal with the debt, now, we have a debt crisis. we are going to see job losses that will make what happened in september of 2008 pale in comparison. i want to yield to my colleague from indiana. >> thank you, my friend from arkansas, mr. griffin. i thank the speaker also for recognizing me. i know we're going to talk about medicare and the debt ceiling but i thank you for rising to address what's happened on the house floor this very last hour. because what you say is absolutely the truth. and if we have to, my friend, the gentleman from arkansas, as new members, keep speaking truth to power, then we will do that. but the fact of the matter is, every time, every time the
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government confiscates the property of the american people , which is there money, you're exactly right. you take away their freedom, their property, their ability to invest that dollar as they see fit. whether it's in the hand of a small business or large business, ice cream shop or oil company, they have a better opportunity and know better what to do with that dollar in terms of investment and growing the economy of any government bureaucrat or anyone as a matter of fact on the floor of this house ever can. i don't understand, mr. speaker, why every other investor on the face of the earth understands that when you pull a lump of coal from the ground, when you take some oil from the ground, when you exploit in the best sense of
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that word our natural resources you create wealth. mr. rokita: you raise the standard of living for all involved. why is one party in this country so masochistic that they can't understand that? i yield back to the gentleman from arkansas. thank you for your time. mr. griffin: i'm thinking about what i heard a few minutes ago and i think that my colleagues on the other side of the aisle, they believe that if you leave the lid on a full cookie jar, then that means you're out of cookies. and i would say to my colleagues on the other side of the aisle just because we have banned drilling and exploration for natural gas and for oil on the east coast and west coast and alaska and the gulf, just
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because we've banned it doesn't mean we're out of it. just because you leave the top on the cookie jar doesn't mean you've run out of cookies. you've got to actually take specific steps to develop energy. we are an energy-rich nation. i happen to believe in an all-of-the-above policy. i think we ought to be pursuing renewable energy, wind and solar, but at the same time we ought to be pursuing natural resources that we can use right now, natural gas. we have a lot of it in arkansas. we'd love to continue developing it. it's interesting to me that at a time when this administration put obstacles to energy
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development in the gulf and elsewhere around the united states that would help us be more energy independent, at the same time they were encouraging energy production in foreign countries. it makes no sense. i say that my friend from indiana, mr. speaker, i want to recognize him. >> thank you. i appreciate his comments what he's saying and i agree with him wholeheartedly. i can say coming from a family farm background and having a small trucking operation, all of the talk here on this floor and in washington doesn't make a lot of sense to a lot of hoosiers. growing up in the agricultural industry, it's hard work, and i know that my grand dad and
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father and other familiar -- my grand dad and father and other family members, they're willing to work hard. when the government makes it difficult, it's tough to say i want to go out and do this. mr. stutzman: when the government says, we are going to make it harder to do your business, you start to think twice. do i want to do what i love to do? who creates jobs? is it the government? i know some in this town believe the government creates jobs. how do they create that job they took your dollar, your dollar, my dollar, they took collected in taxes and then they put it in a pot and then we have this large entity called congress and bureaucracies and our federal government decides we're going to pick and choose what type of jobs we're going to create and we take those dollars we took from the hard--- hardworking
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taxpayer and create jobs. my constituents build steel and r.v.'s and medical devices that help enhance the quality of life, agriculture, boats. we are one of the largest manufacturing districts in the country. and that's where wealth was created. that's where jobs are created. the government doesn't build any of that stuff and they shouldn't. they can't do it as well as the private sector can. but the government does is spend money and that's why our jobs are looking somewhere else because the threat of higher taxes, the threat of regulation. we got the e.p.a. that comes in. most of the folks that come into our office, since i've been elected to congress, this last year i say 0% of them come in and -- 90% of them come in and start talking about the regulation of the e.p.a. and
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the enforcement attitude that the e.p.a. has on our small businesses. how can any small business grow to be a big business if they're going to be continually hampered by our own government? f.d.a., osha mandates -- we are going to be talking about medicare and what is that -- what is that going to look like in the future in taxes? finally, we're talking about taxing here. my colleagues on the other side of the aisle talk about the way the government can grow business. the best way government can grow business is get out of the way. right now america has the highest corporate income tax in the industrialized world. look at other countries, japan, greece, all these other countries are finally figuring out because of just natural economic laws that you can't spend more money than you take in. why are we going to raise -- why would we want to raise taxes even more when people say, i'm out of here, i'm tired of doing business here?
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i don't think i have faith in this country and they start taking their money overseas. that's why our companies are leaving. i believe it's important we have a flattened tax policy, one that's fair to everybody across the country and one that's not going to pick and choose winners. so i yield back. i appreciate what you're saying because jobs are not created by the government. they're creating by americans just like henry ford. government didn't subsidize henry ford in creating the combuston engine. they didn't go out and subsidize henry ford in creating the ford motor company. how many other small businesses started so many american businesses started in their garage or somebody's shop and grew into some of the greatest companies in the world? but our government now wants to go in and make it more difficult for them and for small businesses. i'll yield back. mr. griffin: i appreciate the gentleman's comments. mr. speaker.
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the speaker pro tempore: will the gentleman suspend? mr. griffin: i will. i see my chairman. be happy to yield to the chairman. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from california rise? >> mr. speaker, by the direction of the committee on armed services i present a privileged report to accompany house resolution 208 for filing under the rule. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title. the clerk: report to accompany house resolution 208, resolution directing the secretary of defense to transmit to the house of representatives copies of any document, record, correspondence or any communication of the department of defense or any portion of such communication that refers or relates to any consultation with congress regarding operation odyssey dawn or military actions in or against libya. the speaker pro tempore: referred to the house calendar and ordered printed. the gentleman from arkansas may proceed. mr. griffin: thank you, mr. speaker.
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my colleague from indiana was just talking about competitiveness. the question is how do we compete? what is competitiveness? well, you have to start with the premise that the private sector is the primary job creator in this country. they're not just the primary job creator. they're the primary innovator. they are the primary source of technological advancement. and that leads to jobs. so the question is -- do we want businesses to be attracted to our country? or do we want them to flee our country? that's the question. that's the question of competitiveness. i want to live in an america that is attractive to job creators. you can talk about big business. you can talk about small business.
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you can talk about mom and pop shops. you don't seen have to can he fine each -- define each size business. they're all job creators. we got in my district in the second district of arkansas we got all sorts of job creators and i love them all equally. we got small businesses. we've got hew lit packard. we got cat -- hewlett-packard. we got caterpillar. they all create jobs. and when businesses look for a home somewhere on this planet we want them to look at the united states and say that's where i want to do business. i can do better there. my labor will be rewarded there. the taxes are not so burdensome
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there. the regulations don't crush my business there. that's where opportunity is. that's the america that we're trying to create, and the gentleman from indiana referenced some of the conversations he's had with constituents. i have them every day. they come in my office and they say this agency is not working with me, it's working against me. this part of government is an obstacle. can you help me? can you help me break through so that i can just do my business and create jobs and make a living? and that's ultimately the america that we're talking about. now, since we're talking about competitiveness, we're talking about jobs that ultimately, as
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some were talking earlier, leads us to a conversation about debt. i see that my friend, mr. womack of arkansas, has risen. i'd love to recognize him. mr. womack: thanks to the gentleman from arkansas. appreciate his leadership and his friendship and service to our great state, the great state of arkansas, and i'm thrilled that we're having the conversation here late in the day regarding these types of issues that in my strongest opinion are impacting our ability to create jobs. and that's -- that's the prize that we all keep our eye on here in these chambers is what can we do to strengthen our capacity to put people back to work because i think at the end of the day that's exactly what people elected us to do last november is to come up here and change this climate, change
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this culture and put the entrepreneur back in charge because that's where job creation comes from. a couple of points before i go to some notes that i brought specifically for this afternoon's presentation and that is this cloud of uncertainty that continues to hoffer over the economy of the united states of america is influenced by a number of things. but let me just take two or three of them. the threat of higher taxes, and not just the threat of higher taxes but the relationship of the threat of higher taxes to the issues of the deficits and the debt. and i made these comments not too long ago on this floor that in private business, in business in general, your debt is usually tied to your assets,
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the assets of the company. most business people get that. but in government your debt is tied to your capacity to increase taxes. and so this debt and deficit issue that we continue to struggle with as a country and the prospect of that debt continuing to rise and not too long from now we're going to have a vote on increasing the statutory limit on debt influences i think contributes to this cloud of uncertainty that leads a prospective entrepreneur, a prospective job creator to do not what that person would like to do even with trillions of dollars on the balance sheets of corporate america the hesitancy to create these jobs influenced by the threat of higher taxes. and then i think also
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fundamental to this cloud of uncertainty, as i call it, continuous overregulation by this government that the prospective job creator cannot compute the input cost associated with more government regulation. notice i haven't even mentioned the impact of the health care law, obamacare, as we call it. hard to compute the input costs of this health care law. and then more recently the threat of higher energy prices and a flawed if almost nonexistent energy policy of this administration. so just think about it. you're a prospeckive job creator, you got an idea, you're a creative person, you want to live the american dream but standing in your way between your green and your
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capacity to do something creatively and resourcefully to put people to work, to contribute to society are things like higher taxes, more government regulation and red tape, the impact of when i hire these people the impact of obamacare and then on top of all that the price at the pump and higher energy prices. i just don't see why the other side cannot understand why we're not creating jobs, why we continue to hoffer at the 9% level of unemployment. but you know, a couple of weeks ago, we passed on this floor a budget for 2012. in that budget, before the ink was dry, we were being criticized because of what we were trying to do in what i believe is the reasonable approach to solving our
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nation's fiscal problems and that is finally delving into something that nobody ever wanted to touch and that is the entitlement programs, the mandatory spending side of the house where most of the money is. i want to make a couple of comments as it concerns medicare. i heard back from my constituents, a teletown hall meeting the other night, the first phone call i got from bella vista, arkansas, was a gentleman worried because he heard we were attempting to take his medicare away. in 1965, when that program was created, baby boomers were teenagers and now 10,000 baby boomers a day enter qualification for medicare. when medicare was created in 1965, the life expectancy of a human being was around 70, a little younger. today, it's close to 80 years
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of age. medicare spending is growing at an unsustainable rate of 7.2% every year. seniors are already facing access issues. think about this. under the current system, the current system, one in three primary doctors limiting medicare patients. one in eight are forced to deny medicare patients altogether. so if a medicare program is allowed to continue without any change at all, the congressional budget office projects it goes bankrupt in nine years. basically, if we allow medicare to maintain the status quo, medicare collapses. so we're leading, our conference is leading, we're taking mandatory spending and entitlement programs, and we're going to throw our cards town on the table and do something about it. the plan that we voted to
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approve just a couple of weeks ago, preserved -- preserves, protects medicare for those 55 and over, not just those drawing medicare, but those near regular tirmente, people that have planned their lives around that program. we don't change that for those people. that needs to be said, it needs to be repeated over and over again. but again, we get demagogued about it because at the surface level it sounds like we're trying to just take it away. let me repeat again, those 55 and older, not affected by the proposed reforms that we support. starting in 2022, new medicare beneficiaries will be enrolled in the same kind of health care program that i have. that my colleague from arkansas has. and my other colleagues who have spoken here tonight. future medicare recipients would be able to choose from a list of guaranteed coverage options and be able to choose a plan that works best for them. it's not a vouch every system,
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it's premium support. no money changes hands between the government and the individual. it's modeled after what members of congress and federal employees already have. the reforms are designed to increase fraud -- to decrease fraud within the system an requires congressional oversight by requiring transparent pricing and minimum benefit and quality standards and institute manager competitive forces. that's what the free enterprise system is about. i believe if it has worked for 235 years in this great country, it should be also the way forward. now let me finish by saying this. like my colleague from arkansas, he and i came in as freshmen together, on january 5 in these hallowed chambers, we didn't come here to do nothing. we didn't d -- we didn't come here to kick the old can down the road to ignore the facts. we came here to act with dispatch and make a tinches for our country. that's why i'm -- a difference
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for our country. that's why i'm pleased to join my colleagues here in the great freshman class in -- class in proding -- providing this information to the american public, it is not only what we were elected to do but to do it as soon as we can and to do it with the sense of purpose that i think that defines the 112th congress and i yield back my time. mr. griffin: thank you to my colleague from arkansas. mr. speaker, my colleague makes a great point and i think what we've been talking about here over the last few minutes is that the jobs issue is not separate from the debt issue. we have to deal with the debt in order to create an environment in this country that attracts business, and where jobs can be created. i want to take just a second here, we've heard a lot about
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medicare and about the debt, and i think it's important to emphasize here as this chart shows that of our yearly spending well over half is what we call mandatory spending. that's spending that doesn't have to be renewed every year. spending that's in the books. in the law. it just happens. that includes social security, medicare, and medicaid. the bad news is, if we do nothing, to this big chunk here called medicare, if we do nothing, medicare goes bankrupt. this next chart shows that in just a couple of decades, the entire federal budget, at this
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point right here, the entire federal budget will be consumed by medicare, medicaid and social security. what does all this tell us? it tells us a couple of things. number one, we have to do something to reform our system so that we don't have a crisis. number two, it tells us that if we don't reform medicare, it goes away. it no longer exists. i tell folks all the time when they say, well you're going to try to end medicare as we know it. i say, whoa, whoa, whoa. medicare as we know it ends itself in just a short number of years.
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it ends itself. and i say to my friends when they mention something like that, i say, well, if someone really wanted to harm medicare, they wouldn't propose a bold reform to save it. they would just quietly do nothing. because if you quietly do nothing, you kick the can a little further down the road. medicare goes bankrupt. with no action, medicare goes bankrupt. what would that look like? well, it would look a lot like the president's plan. now, i don't believe that the president wants to harm medicare, but i'm certain that he has failed to take the steps necessary to save it.
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what would a plan looks like that harms medicare? it would look lie the president's plan. -- it would look like the president's plan. a plan, a budget that doubles our tet in five years, triples it in 10 years and does nothing to save medicare. it's silent on that, on medicaid and social security. i'd like to recognize now the gentleman from arizona, thank you for joining us. >> i thank the gentleman for yielding and talking about these important issues. one thing i want to talk about is something you said, about kicking the can down the road. we can no longer afford to do that because every year we do not address and solve the problems related to our mandatory spending, they add close to $10 trillion each year to our unfunded liabilities. those are the liabilities that will be put on the backs of our
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children and grandchildren. so kicking the can down the road is no longer an opings. i want to get back to something that the gentleman from arkansas talked about earlier that is making america competitive in the global marketplace. mr. quayle: we live in the global economy. nothing is going to change that. but what america has to do, and what we have to do here in the house, is to make america the most competitive country on the face of the earth. we need to make america the best place and the safest place to do business and that's what we were charged to do when we came in in this 112th congress. that's what we've been doing from day one. when we came in here, we said we'd do two things. we'd get american people back to work by creating jobs through pro-growth economic policies and we were going to rein in our out of control federal spending. we've been doing that. since day one.
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week by week. we have been addressing our problems with out of control government spending. it's billions at times, sometimes trillions of dollars of savings to make our country prosperous again. that right there is the charge of my generation and our generation to return america's prosperity. that's what we're doing here in the house. that's the republican -- what the republican house majority has been doing since day one of the 112th congress. one of the things we did just a few weeks ago was that we passed a 2012 budget plan that sets our fiscal course on the right path. it sets us up so that we will have that prosperity, so that the crushing burden of government spending is not passed on to future generations and immediately, practically before the vote was even cast, we heard from our friends on
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the other side of the aisle that we were starting to end medicare as we know it. funny thing how short their memory is. because medicare, as we know it, was actually ended by the previous congress. when they passed obamacare. and medicare as we know it was ended in two different ways. first, they took over $500 billion out of medicare to fund their government takeover of health care. the second thing, and the most dangerous thing they did was to establish the independent payment advisory board. what this is, a lot of people don't know what this is, but it's a bureaucratic 15-person panel that will actually determine how we're going to provide health care to our seniors. these are not elected officials. these are employed by the -- appointed by the president and they will be making decisions on how to reduce our medicare costs by actually preventing certain treatments.
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to our patients, to our seniors. this will get in the middle of the doctor-patient relationship, one of the most important relationships there is. we need to have the trust between our doctors an patients and not taking dictates from a 15-panel of bureaucrats here in washington, d.c. and the great thing is, there's really no oversight. now congress can go in and say, well, we don't agree with the independent advisory board, but you know what it takes? it takes an act of 2/3 majority in the house to override one of their decisions. now i've only been here four months but i can tell you 2/3 majority is almost near impossible. so this is what we have to do. we have to educate and tell everybody and get the facts out to the american people because like the other gentleman from arkansas said, after the 2012 budget was passed, i too had a public town hall.
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-- a teletown hall. one of my first questions was from a person on medicare who asked, are you getting rid of medicare for me? because i rely on it. that's when i had to tell her the facts. no, absolutely not. those who are in or near retirement, their benefits will not change because they had planned for those benefits to be there. however, we are going to save medicare from the implosion that will occur if we do nothing. because in nine years, nine short years, medicare will be bankrupt and the 2012 budget that the house republicans pass will save medicare bankruptcy, put us on strong fiscal footing going forward and return america's prosperity to future generations and with that i yealed back. mr. griffin: thank you so much to the gentleman from arizona. i appreciate you making those clear points. i want to go to the gentleman from indiana who is -- who has risen.
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>> thank you. i thank the gentleman from arkansas, i want to associate my comments with the ones just made by the gentleman from arizona. mr. rokita: i think they were excellent. i think they accurately state along with the other gentleman from arkansas why we're here as new members, to grow the economy, make this in the 21st century the best place on earth to grow a family to grow jobs to grow a business. but you can't have that discussion if we're also not going to talk about how big this government is, how much bigger it's going to get, and who has to pay for it. . and who has to pay for it, my good friend is not necessarily us but our kids and grandkids so some of us can have more on our plate now. these were reckless promises made by politicians who came before us on this floor and all
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around this town. the simple fact of the matter is, they can't possibly be paid for. what i would like to do as i continue to work with you on the floor tonight and rise again a little bit later, as a member of the budget committee, simply put on the floor some facts and figures so we understand where we are as we go about talking about the solutions. $14 trillion, rounding, in debt, right now, this hour, this day. if you look out into the future and you see our new red menace, the tidal wave of debt that is about to come crashing down on us, the total bill, $100 trillion. the kicking of the can down the road tonight, the cost year over year of waiting, over $12 trillion more expensive.
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let's break it down, because i will be the first to admit on the floor of the house, i can't count to one trillion. i can't comprehend what one trillion, not to mention 14 trillion or 100 trillion. $1 billion, one thousand million. let's break it down by hour. the hour we are spending talking to the american people about this serious problem, this country will borrow in this hour over $170 million, just this hour. for every dollar this federal government spends, we are borrowing 42 cents of it. let's put it in terms of days. we have heard about tax day. that day every year that we fine that americans can keep what they earn and start working for
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themselves, but we also have a debt day now. and debt day this year is july 27. every day this federal government operates on and after july 27, they are operating on borrowed money. let's put it in terms of speed. let's say you are driving down the highway and historical debt is a car, they would be going down the highway at historical speeds of 65 miles an hour. and that is bad enough if the car is debt. but it has gotten a lot worse recently. let's see there is another car coming up in our rear view mirror and coming up fast and the license plate said hope and change and it was coming up and zoomed right by us, how fast do you think that car was going if we are going 65 miles an hour?
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70? 100? no, that car that just passed us by, that new debt car is going over 7,000 miles an hour. and that's the challenge we're up against. and the only help that we've gotten from the other side in capping this challenge is name calling, demagogry and old tactics. but i'm hopeful, because every day we get to talk about this and over the last couple of years we have gotten to talk about this, we are educating our fellow citizens more and we are doing a great job and winning the argument and we are ready to tackle this debt problem if we talk honestly and directly with the american people. and i yield. mr. griffin: thank you to the gentleman from indiana. i think the point you are making is that we first got to identify
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the problem. and the problem is a spending problem. we don't have a revenue problem. we have a spending problem. we are spending too much money. we have made promises that the government can't keep. saying that we just need more revenue is like a gambler sitting at a slot machine saying, i'm -- i don't have a gambling problem, i just don't have enough money. we have a spending problem, folks, and that's why we have to talk about all of the different programs. and i have been one who has been willing to say, we have to look at everything at a time like this. i want to yield to my friend from illinois. but before i do, i want to point one thing out. you mentioned demagogry. we are trying to responsibly
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address the spending problem in all parts of the budget, including medicare. and i want to run through a couple of attacks, couple of misrepresentations that i have been hearing and then i would like to hear from my colleague from illinois. but let me point this out. the first thing that i heard was that our plan in the house is a voucher program that premium support, which is the core of our medicare reform for those under 55, those 55 and over, no changes. but premium supports the core of those under 55. i stood here on the floor and i said this is a program much like
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the one members of congress have, much like the ones that federal employees have. and the gentleman from the other side of the aisle said it's a voucher plan. well, is it or is it not? it's not a voucher plan. you don't have to take my word for it. what's interesting is, back in 1999, president clinton recognized that we had a medicare problem, a spending problem within medicare. so what did president clinton do? he appointed a medicare commission. and who led that commission? well, one of the co-chairs was a democrat senator from louisiana, john breaux. he was an advocate for something called premium support. so the plan we're advocating, that we have passed in the house
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was not created by a few in a back room last week or a couple of months ago. it's based on something that the medicare clinton commission discussed in 1999. i just want to point this out. this is an excerpt from an op ed written by senator breaux. and he said, quote, what exactly is a premium support model and what does my particular version do? it means the government would support or pay part of the premium for a defined core package of medicare benefits. and look at this. this is democrat senator, clinton's co-chair of the medicare commission, 1999. he says, this is not a voucher program, but an alternative to the current system.
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my plan, combines the best of the private sector has to offer with the government protections we need to maintain the social safety net. it's pretty clear it's not a voucher program no matter what you've heard. not a voucher program. and i have said repeatedly, it's the type of plan we have and others have said no, it's not true. well, senator breaux thinks it's true. he said i proposed a plan modeled after the health care plan serving 10 million federal employees, workers and their families. there is a lot of misinformation out there and i ask folks to get the fax. i would like to yield to the gentleman from illinois. >> i thank the gentleman from illinois and thank my colleagues to have this important discussion about the direction of our nation. and i can tell you and i have had the opportunity to talk to a
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number of congressmen, several of them in the freshman class that come from different backgrounds. they don't come from the traditionally political realm. they have met a budget and met a payroll and created jobs. there is no question that some of the big issues we face today is about jobs and the economy. how do we jump-start the economy and create more jobs. the federal government is going to play a role. and the role it can play is allow the private sector to grow and thrive. we heard tonight about our debt and our deficit, the deficit that we face right now is significant. we are doing about $1.5 trillion in deficit spending. the gentleman from indiana talked about our debt and how fast we are mounting this debt. and i would like to say, when i talk in my town hall meetings and i ask people, do you have
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any idea what $1.5 trillion really means? and i tell them my daughter, who's 9. she said it is not quite one and not quite two. but when we say $1.5 trillion, another way to look at it, $ 57,000 a second. we can't say it fast enough. $58,000 a second is what we are spending in deficit spending. the chart that was up before talked about the pie and what we were spending. the big thing we are looking at in terms of our discretionary spending, it went up 84% over the last two years. 84%. now i know household incomes across my district and across america did not go up 84%, but
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let's be fair. a significant portion of that was the stimulus package. so if we strip out the stimulus and say we aren't going to include that, discretionary spending went up 24%. that is still a heck of a lot more than families that have tightened their belts. we have a spending problem in washington. we have had a spending problem in washington for a long time on both sides of the while and i'm here to say we are prepared to say things have to change. i'm not here pointing my finger in any direction but saying my colleagues and i on both sides of the aisle are prepared to get things done. mr. griffin: would you agree with me that there is no way to address the debt issue without entitlement reform and that entitlement reform must include
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medicare? mr. dold: big issues we face at this point in time have to deal with entitlement spending and i had a town hall meeting this weekend and said they don't like it calling entitlements. he likes to call it earned benefits. the mandatory spending that is going on neesdz to be -- needs to be addressed. and the budget is addressing and no question it is going to spiral out of control. it's growing by leaps and bounds and will take over the entire federal budget. we have to talk about medicare. we talk about saving medicare which is critically important. in lake county, part of my district, trying to find a physician that is willing to take additional medicare patients is very difficult to find. you go to the gentleman from arizona, mayo clinic in arizona
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is saying they aren't taking any more medicare patients. this to me is alarming. what we need to be doing is having a conversation with the american public so we can solve the big issues of our time. i'm fearful that i may be the first generation of americans that leaves our country worst than what i received from my parents and grandparents and that is unacceptable. we have to talk about grow revenues. we are going to grow revenues on the backs of the private sector and address mandatory spending and everything must be on the table. defense has to be on the table, agriculture has to be on the table. but what we do know is have a willing partner on the other side of the aisle month is willing to have this discussion about what it is what we need to put us on the right course. we know the attack ads have come in and saying medicare as we know it is going to end. well, it's true, because it will
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go bankrupt if we do nothing in nine years. we have to strengthen medicare. the plan that's been put in place says to those seniors, those who have paid into the system for years and years that we must keep our promises. so for those 55 and older there are no changes. 54 and younger, many of them don't believe there is going to be a social safety net for them. i believe we have to strengthen it. we have to strengthen it so it is there for future generations. and so what we want to do today is make sure we are coming to the table to have a fact-based conversation about the problems that we face and i know we have to have that serious conversation now. i came to congress to be part of the solution. the. .
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my daughter asked me, why are you not here during the week, daddy? i had to tell her i'm trying to make the country a better place for you and your brothers and sisters. she says, is it working? i said, i certainly hope so. we're going to do erg he -- everything we can to make sure that the next generation has a better and stronger america than the one that you and i know today. so it is time for us to have this conversation. it is time for us to step up and i certainly want to thank the gentleman from arkansas for putting this time together and look forward to coming back up again and having some more conversations about it. but the time is now. we cannot wait any longer. certainly taking time away from my business, from the employees and other family members and one of the reasons think a decided to run and i know -- i see my other colleague over here, small business owner, one of the reasons he decided to run as well, is that the federal government was making it harder and harder for me to put the key in the door and open up my
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business each and every day. that's not what we want to do. they should make it easier for us to put the key in the door, make it easier for us to be able to provide benefits for those whom we work. so with that i appreciate the gentleman for taking the time and i yield back the balance of my time. mr. griffith: thank you, thank you. i just want to point out that the gentleman from illinois mentioned some of the nonsense, some of the attackses that the other side have been making on those of us who are trying to save medicare and responsibly deal with the budget. mr. griffin: the union leader newspaper took alook at some of the attacks and said, quote, the ending of medicare is a big, scary lie, end quote. and "politifact which is a website, it determines how much validity there is, it gave our
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colleagues on the other side, it gave their attacks the pants on fire rating as in liar, liar, pants on fire on their truth-o-meter. so there's a lot of misinformation out there. and i'd like to now yield to my colleague, mr. kelly. mr. kelly: thank you. i appreciate that, my friend from arkansas, and the rest of my colleagues here tonight. it's only been about four months since we all came here and we came for the right reason, we came for a cause and not a career and i want to tell you, the reason i'm here tonight is because i had a telephone town hall today. and the folks who called me were seniors. and the disturbing part about the conversations were that the most vulnerable folks out there, the people who have lived within their means for the longest, made the most sacrifices, done the most to keep the promise that america holds for all of us, are the ones that are being
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attacked now and they're not being attacked with facts, they're being attacked with fear. and i have friends who are democrats but i would ask them to please, if you can't confuse them, then try to convince them. if you don't have the right facts, then quit using fear. if you're going to use fear to make these people not able to sleep at night, to make it uncomfortable for them to lay their head on the pillow at night, they're the same people that have done so much to make the country great. if you're going to continue to lie to them and tell them, those republicans are going to take away your health care, they're going to take away medicare, they're going to take away medicaid, they're going to ruin social security for you, please, please play by the rules. play by the rules, do what's right, do what's right for america. this is not about republicans, this is not about democrats. this is about americans. and this is especially about seniors. and i am one right now. my birthday was just the other day. i'm 63 years old. i don't think of myself as a senior but you know, the folks
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think a see after church on sunday, the ones i have coffee with, they are seniors. they're in their 70's and 80's and to have to sit there with them and tell them we are not taking away your medicare, we're the ones who have a plan to save. it we're not taking away your social security. we're the ones who have plan to make sure it's safe. if we can't be honest, if we can't look each other in the eye and say we're here to fix it, that we are here to make america , have the stability that it once had, if we can't tell our seniors, it's ok, folks, we're not going to take anything from you, we're going to work together to get them fixed and this is the thing that botters me, after listening to those folks today on the phone, i am convinced that there is something seriously wrong within this house. mr. griffin: will the gentleman yield? mr. kelly: i will yield. mr. griffin: seniors are thinking about it. they're think being that they're on a fixed income. they're looking at rising prices, whether it's at the gas pump, we talked about today, solid american energy issues but
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they're thinking about the rising commodity prices. i brought with me a bank note. this is an official currency note from the bank of zimbabwe. it's a $100 trillion bank note. how to turn $100 trillion into a $5 and feel good about it. it drives home the point that policies of this administration are increasing the cost of commodities, the cost of fuel, devaluing our currency and that applies to health care as well. seniors are concerned, they've got every right to be concerned. one of the things about the republican budget and one thing the gentleman from arkansas is trying to point out, that we're trying to solve the problems of this nation here in this body, this republican freshmen class is taking the bull by the horns to bring home the issue to the american people and let them know we're trying to solve these problems soirks commend him and i yield back -- so i commend him and i yield back.
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mr. griffin: i'm going to wrap up. we came here for a cause. we did not come here for a career and if you cannot win the debate by using facts, and if you have to use fear, then shame on you. mr. kelly: go home, if you don't want to fix it, if you don't want to play by the rules, if you don't want to make america sleep safely again and sleep soundly, then go home. there is a level of fairness that needs to be played by. and i will tell you this, i have never in my life been subjected and have watched seniors be put through so much and it's not necessary. if it's about your party, if it's about trying to convince them, then you're using the wrong message. let's be sure we fix up for the future and it's there for our children. i yield back. mr. griffin: thank you. i yield to the lady from new york. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to commend my colleagues for putting together this hour which is of so much value. i am here as a physician who's also a member of congress. i've had the privilege of taking
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care of elderly patients for 16 years in private practice and in hospital settings and i have two parents whom i cherish who have been medicare recipients for many years and the facts of the case, as our colleague from pennsylvania has aptly pointed out, we have to go by the facts of the case and as a doctor that's what we always did and approached them with compassion and sensitivity to be sure. ms. hayworth: but the facts of the case are that we currently have 10,000 americans, baby boomers, now entering medicare eligibility every day. on average each of them will have contributed approximately $110,000 in payroll taxes over their lifetimes and that's a lot of money. there's no question. but, medicare will spend on average, it's projected, approximately $330,000 on their care. and as all of us can tell,
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unfortunately that's not something that we can sustain, that's not something that our children and our grandchildren will be able to pay for. that is what is threatening the future for everyone, including our seniors and including all of us who will be senior citizens, god lord willing, by and by. we know that in the affordable care act, measures were taken to control the cost of medicare. one of the measures in fact took funding away from medicare. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. ms. hayworth: thank you, doctor. so we know we need to do something about it. the way the affordable care act approaches it is to have ipad which is a board of bureaucrats is going to decide how money is spent on our seniors' care. i as a doctor and as daughter would much prefer to see us have that choice. and that's why premium support makes sense. mr. griffin: thank you. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired.
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under the speaker's announced policy of january 5, 2011, the chair recognizes the gentleman from new york, mr. tonko, for 30 minutes. mr. tonko: thank you, mr. speaker. the opportunity this evening for the democratic caucus in the house to address this budget and to go forward with a discussion on our stand on the issues and solutions that were propose -- that we're proposing is an important opportunity for us to be able to dialogue here amongst each other on the house floor and also to share that messaging with the viewing public. certainly the general public out there is watching many of these proposals, they're concerned about the stability of the middle class, they're concerned about the economy, concerned about job creation. and you know, we are now well into the 112th session of congress, we watch as many weeks and months have passed without
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one single measure that would increase jobs in this country coming before the house. nothing that deals with the economy, nothing that deals with the retention of jobs or the job creation situation have been produced here as legislation. and voted upon on the house floor. a rather dismal track record when the claarian call, the message that resonated from the voting booth to these halls of congress on the hill in washington was very clear. start growing the economy, stop shrinking the middle class. and people are concerned about the opportunities that will be passed by and as we walk through these very difficult times it is about job creation and retention . there's also a concern that there has been this very strong attempt to make the comfortable even more comfortable with the new republican majority in the
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house. and we'll talk about that. let's talk about it. we have a situation where people will allow for corporate loopholes that cost our economy money, they'll allow for a continuation of millionaires and billionaires to receive tax cuts , they'll advance the reducing of medicaid where 2/3 of those dollars go toward sustaining the elderly in health care settings and where they want to end medicare and all of this is professed to be some sort of savings in federal government. well, that is only part of the story. the real truth is that the savings quickly dissipate. they're gone because they are used as payment for tax cuts for millionaires, handouts to the oil companies that sit on historic profit that has been realized, $1 trillion nearly in profit realized by the big oil companies of this nation and
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that is the vulgar outcome that has so infuriated the middle class and as i travel to my district, i hear repeatedly about the concerns to end medicare. they'll say, we're not ending it, we're fixing it, we're not really providing for an end, we're offering at first what was a voucher and now it's called a transformation. as we shift rissfrk the government to the individual senior household, we are ending a benefit that has lasted for some 4 1/2 decades, that came about for the very reasons that seniors could not access an affordable health care plan, that there was cherry picking going on, that only the he's crest to ensure would be covered -- easiest to ensure would be covered, that only those that come with some pre-existing condition would be passed by and where the affordable notion of a health care insurance premium, a policy that was unaffordable, was just beyond the grasp of our nation's seniors.
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and so that's why the program grew in strength and popularity and why it is -- it has provided stability for our nation's seniors. now, when we look at what's happening here, we'll talk about the many dynamics, but there are those who professed very boldly that what we're doing here is exactly what the congress has in terms of an insurance policy. well, congress has about 72 cents of its premium costs covered. with this plan, with this voucher plan, initiated in this republican budget, approved in this house, the republicans suggest with their plan that it would be a 32 cents coverage, every 32 cents on a dollar covered with their voucher program. and just what guarantee is there that the senior who shops will in fact land a policy that will cover them? so it's very concerning. and i will just hold up, we just recently did a mailer that informed people of the various
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reforms that are being proposed, we also solicited their input on what priorities they believe we should hold in our hearts and minds here as we move forward and we received a great supply of information already in the very infant days in responding and as they come in they keep growing more and more one-sided. let me just hold up just what the first few days has produced. . we have one pile here speaking against the medicare end. we have yet a second pile. all received in the first few days of people receiving their mailings. this is the response in favor of . well beyond 90% of the return to date is don't mess with medicare. now mindful, when we were
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addressing the affordable care act, holding town forums, 3,000 to 4,000 forums across this country discussing the health care reforms, to improve it, what exactly was included, what the priorities ought to be, there were collarion calls of ending medicare, death pan else and risk to seniors and denying access. we proved it was not the case. this one walks into this argument because it ends medicare and turns it into a voucher system and has everyone shopping in the private sector insurance market to get their coverage. and we can't allow this to happen. we have seen since the nigs -- nirks of medicare the growth in the market and that equates to
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5,000%. there are friends out there that helped bring along candidates to this house and it is time for them to come forward to get some sort of return on that investment where we cannot afford to have that investment come down onto the senior community because it would be devastating. we will continue to do battle. to end medicare would be devastating to our nation's seniors. can we make it stronger? absolutely. can we provide more stability? absolutely. we will continue to work on it. but seniors did not tell me, and i talked to my colleagues and did not tell colleagues across this nation, go back, go back to washington and end our medicare program. they said absolutely the worse. there are a number of other things that attack the middle class, working families, we will make certain there is not an attack on the middle class, that attack that drains worthy
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programs of dollars that gets transferred over to payments for millionaire and billionaire handouts. we are joined by a very good friend who has entered the house this year as a freshman member, and former member of providence, rhode island and represents rhode island's first congressional district. he has been an outspoken voice. i'm impressed with david cicilline's i am passioned voice. he has been outspoken on the house floor and in our caucus and it's a pleasure representative cicilline to have you here this evening to talk about this medicare situation and perhaps what you are hearing in your district. mr. cicilline: i thank the gentleman for his kind words and for giving me the opportunity, part of this discussion tonight and your leadership on the importance of preserving medicare for seniors in this
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country. i hear from constituents in my district about the importance of strengthening and protecting medicare. to give you an idea of how important this is important in rhode island, 170,000 rhode islanders rely on medicare for reliable quality and low cost hospital and medical insurance as well as prescription drug coverage. 65,000 seniors and people with disabilities in rhode island rely upon medicaid coverage for long-term care. when i participated in the debate and when i listened to the debate on this floor about the republican budget proposal, my friends on the other side of the aisle said it will strengthen medicare. i thought how can they make that claim because i knew what their proposal did was end medicare as we know, so people 55 and under, and ended this important safety
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net. and turned it into a voucher system for our seniors. now i know longer have my grandparents, they all have passed. but the idea that my grandmother and grandfather in their later years would have to go into the private insurance market and buy insurance because they would have lost the protection of medicare is something nobody should be prepared to accept. and what is even more disturbing is what the republicans passed in that budget when they ended medicare as we know it, also resulted in increased costs for our seniors. the difference is -- nothing in their proposal will reduce costs of health care. that's really what we need to do. we don't need to shift the cost to our seniors and visit that problem upon them because then they have the burden of enduring additional health care costs. we need to eliminate fraud,
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waste and abuse and invest in wellness and prevention and information technology, all the things that will drive down health care costs. but shifting the burden to our seniors should not be the answer. and the nonpartisan congressional budget office, not republicans or democrats, this is nonpartisan, they said this republican budget which was passed by the republicans would actually increase health care costs for our seniors, provide less costs and be more expensive. it would restore the doughnut hole and make prescription drugs more expensive for our seniors and in addition to that, when you take their budget proposal in the aggregate, it would add $8 trillion to the deficit over the next 10 years. so it doesn't even reduce the deficit. and we all recognize, we have got to reduce the deficit. we have to cut spending. we have to be serious about it. but can't do it at the expense
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of our seniors, of protecting medicare, strengthening medicare so our seniors have access to quality health care and that's the responsibility that we have. there are lots of ways we have to look at every part of this budget, eliminate fraud and waste, get rid of programs that don't work, look at our military spending, what is happening in afghanistan, $2 billion a week or more than that now. look at the billions of dollars that we are giving oil subsidies to big oil companies, a big tax cut to the richest millionaires and billionaires and ending medicare as we know it. wrong priorities. we can do better than this. and i thank distinguished the gentleman from new york for the opportunity to share my share. rhode island seniors are depending on me and this congress to protect and strengthen medicare and they expect us to deal with this deficit in a responsible way and be responsible but maintain our
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commitment to our seniors. mr. tonko: thank you, representative cicilline and thank you for your outspokenness and america knees to be involved. we can raid on the middle class and cut domestic programs or do it intelligently where we share the pain and speak of sharing the pain, a budget, as you indicate, is nothing more, nothing less than our values, our principles, our priorities. and we have seen where the priorities lie in the -- with the majority of this house. they have said it's about big oil first, corporate loopholes first, millionaires and billionaires first and the people see it because they know they are going to have to pay two times what they pay today for medicare coverage out of their pocket. it's shifting risk from government to the senior citizen
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household and senior citizen individual. 2030, triple the amount of money and plus the risk of going out there and finding a carrier that will cover you, because they will put your coverage in the whim -- at the whims of the insurance company, that they want to cover some of your health care needs, they will, if not, they won't. and that is what will ache here and what happened is we are taking this moral compass that has been expressed by a program like medicare and denouncing it and say fend for yourself and find your owner program and you know what i find in my district seniors, they are saying, you know, i'm just not talking about myself or my generation, but my children and grandchildren. we know what comfort, security, stability, this brought our household. what comfort does it bring to add utility children to know their relatives, their parents
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are sitting in a situation that is responding with dignity. when you talk about the principles and the priorities, look at the road to ruin and they call it to the path to pros tert. the road to ruin takes money from our seniors, $4.3 trillion that then goes and transfers itself over to benefits for big oil and millionaires and billionaires. the scales are balanced in terms of where the dollarsr but the real pain here is that they get empty from the seniors' covers and then get emptied into the pockets of billionaires and millionaires and big oil companies. representative garamendi has wonderful and interesting discussions has something to say
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about big oil companies and flipping from one scale to another, equal amount of money found in savings by cutting our seniors is now going to be spent -- it's not saving, but accruing the dollars necessary to transfer in some sort of way and painful way that finds itself with oil companies and billionaires and millionaires. mr. garamendi: thank you for bringing up this critically important issue and as you were saying, nothing more important than the question of who we are as americans and our values, what is it that we really care about and how do we structure and create a society that reflects those values. before 1964, the largest segment of the american population that was in abject poverty were
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seniors. they had no health care and couldn't get insurance and they were basically the poor of the poor. as a result of the fundamental goodness of america, medicare was created, a medical insurance program for seniors so they would have available to them doctorso services and hospital services and it work. i was the insurance commissioner in california for eight years, elected statewide by 34 million to oversee and regulate the insurance companies. and in that process, we were looking and watching the medicare program. wasn't a private insurance, but it was part of the health insurance system. and we knew that it worked. it's exceedingly efficient. it works for less than 2%. you got a nationwide insurance policy. wherever you are in america, you
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get the exact same insurance policy. doctors know how to bill health insurance -- hospitals know how to bill. it is efficient. it is effective, it works. and more than that, as an expression of the basic goodness of america. i was surprised. shocked, angered when the republican budget came forward and proposed that medicare be terminated for all who want to live to the age of 65. terminated, ended. that wasn't all that the republicans proposed. they proposed that not only would it be terminated, but that all future medicare enrollees would be given a voucher worth
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about one half the cost of insurance and told go to the insurance companies and buy an insurance policy. wait a minute. wait a minute, time out, mr. republican. time out. what are you saying? you're going to take the population that has pre-existing conditions. and there are very few that are 65 years of age that don't have pre-existing conditions and going to turn them over to the sharks in this nation, health insurance companies? no way. no way. they're going to get chewed up, spit up and uninsured or else charged a small fortune. this is the most un-american, the most inhumane thing that could be imagined for tomorrow's seniors. we cannot let it happen. and then on top of that, in the very next breath, they proposed
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to continue billions of dollars of subsidies, taking money, literally out of the pockets of seniors and working men and women and giving it to big oil, who happens to have big profits, just as you have on your card up there. not only the big oil, but the big -- the wealthiest people in america, people whose incomes are $10 million, $1 billion in income and give them additional tax breaks so in 10 years, it's $4 trillion in tax breaks to the big oil companies and those, not millionaires, but those whose annual income is in the millions. what's going on here? . mr. tonko: you talk about those big oil, big profits. you talk about the trillions that are willing to -- they're
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willing to spend and then they have the you a daft -- audacity to say it's a spending problem. well, where are we spending? we're making the comfortable more comfortable. with those big oil handouts, up to 90% according to studies released, up to 90% are going toward bonuses for executives in the oil industry. up to 90%. what quantifiable societal good is there from these handouts? so mindless. and today, today someone from the industry was quoted as saying to not offer these handouts is un-american. it's unbelievable. >> i think what is just shocking is that that claim was made today and really what's un-american is to end medicare. the reality is medicare reflects our values as a country. we decided as a nation that we wanted to ensure that our seniors in their final years, as
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they live the life and played by the rules and done what's right, that they could live with security and with dignity and without the fear, the anxiety of worrying how they would have access to basic health care. mr. cicilline: because we decided as a country that they wanted to ensure, to guarantee that our seniors could live with dignity, with proper health care. the idea of ending that and requiring to go buy a voucher, that's un-american. mr. tonko: and when you look at the statistics, the median household salary for our seniors is $19,000. the average individual salary, $19,000. what we -- well, we look at that and the onerous outcome of having to reach for thousands of more dollars out of your pocket on a base of a median of $19,000 when we're looking at millionaires and billionaires getting even more assistance, that is spending. so let's not get offtrack here. it is spending. where are we going to invest? investing in health care, a
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basic core need? when premiums in the last decade have risen over 130% and where the administrative costs of the private sector and insurance are higher, where they're much lower in medicare, where the average hike in costs aren't there, and we know we have coverage and now we say, here your voucher payment, it's not going to be indexed appropriately so that with time it becomes less and less valuable, this is the kind of un-american behavior that we're witnessing here and that people get upset saying that they're lives, the fear tactic, this is what's happening. tends medicare. because once you remove the risk that falls with government and transfer it over to our nation's seniors, you have ended the core principle, when you deny a give and bit of certainty and stability to our seniors, you have ended medicare. well, you're going to inflate the cost of health care, you have ended medicare and we have
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now taken that money and transferred it over to the big oil. mr. garamendi: thank you for yielding. if you add to that destruction, termination of medicare, the way in which the republicans have already voted for on this floor to end the american -- the health care reform act, which regulated the insurance companies and said the insurance companies could no longer discriminate based upon pre-existing conditions, discriminate based upon age and whether you're a woman or a man, all of those protections that are in the health care reform law would be terminated so not only are you taking the medicare program and ending it, giving the seniors a voucher that is perhaps half of the cost of a health insurance policy, you are
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eliminating the restrictions that were placed on the insurance companies for discriminating against people that have pre-existing conditions, so you've deliberately taken these people and thrown them to the sharks. and on top of that, the rest of the proposal was to take the medicaid program which is health insurance for impoverished children and given a block grant to the state that's worth about half of the cost, $700 billion cut out of that program for children's health care, you go, what is this? this is not us, this is not america, these are harsh, cruel programs that are being foisted upon the american citizens. i yield back. mr. tonko: if you will, that medicaid cut also will impact the nation's seniors because within institutional settings we
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know that about 66% of the expenditure is for our seniors and again we understand the compassion that is required. we know the american spirit. to respond to those who have served society so well and in their golden years they need the assistance. but, you know, every attempt is being made here, we have tried every which way to inform the public of the attack on medicare, the attack on social security, to privatize social security. this is about giving big oil, big insurance companies, big banks more business. this is like cashing in on being good to some people here. that is not what this government -- how this government should be guided. it should be guided on the principles of providing the basic core needs in a way that's most effective, most efficient. we have even attempted, the house was addressing the republican version of the budget, i introduced an amendment on the budget committee where i serve. and presented it before the budget committee and it went down by party vote to stop the
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attack on medicare, to end medicare. there was an absolute amendment that said, let's pull out ending medicare from your budget plan. it was denied. then i traveled to the rules committee and attempted once more before the bill came to the house, let's stop the effort to end medicare. it was denied at the rules committee again with the republican majority at the rules committee. so now we're visiting this situation and the budget was approved in this house with this raid on the middle class and the attack on the values of the middle class of working families. it is really disturbing that the most comfortable continue to get that effort made their way and especially when history speaks and speaks so abundantly well to us. it should resonate. where we put people to work with f.d.r.'s programs, you know, back years ago, decades ago, the result was 8.5 million people put to work and public projects built that still serve us well today. j.f.k. investing in global
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technology to win the space race. those are examples of things that work. l.b.j. promoting a medicare program. now we're repeating this driving the car into the ditch scenario. regomics and its triple -- trickledown didn't work and the bush ii presidency and its cuts didn't work. why would we revisit that as we crawl out of the most painful recession and propose ending medicare, ending medicare, denying dignity to our nation's seniors and avoiding the responsibility, fundamental responsibility, of grood government, efficient government, which is what i think the voters asked for in november. not this sort of thing. mr. cicilline: thank you. i thank the gentleman. and in addition to that the other part of the republican budget that passed in this chamber was also to restore the doughnut hole, to make prescription drugs more expensive for our seniors and to eliminate the free preventative care. i know from talking to seniors in my own district, there are two many seniors in this country
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that are faced with a choice of do i buy my groceries or do i buy the prescription drugs that are necessary to keep me healthy? no senior in america should be faced with that choice and this bill, this budget that the republicans passed will raise prescription costs for our seniors. mr. tonko: thank you. we have four minutes remaining in our one-half hour here of dialogue. mr. garamendi: i'll take a lightning minute here. it really comes down to a question of where do you stand? who do you stand for? it's very, very clear, if there's ever a dichotomy and a clear opportunity to see where you stand, it is in the republican budget. let's be very clear. it terminates medicare, gives seniors a voucher that worth perhaps half of the cost of insurance, takes $700 billion out of medicaid and that is, as you said, that's the long-term
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care for seniors in nursing homes, and continues the tax cuts for people whose income is millions, billions, continues the tax subsidies for big oil, $4 billion, $5 billion a year to companies that have made over $1 trillion in the last decade. and just this quarter exxon, $10.7 billion, oxy, $1.6 billion. this is one quarter, three months' earnings. billions and billions of dollars. and then they want to continue where do you stand? do you stand for the working men and women, the seniors, those people that need to be able to get health care or do you stand for the very, very rich in the big oil companies? the republicans have made it clear, there's a difference here between where we stand as democrats and where they stand
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as republicans. i yield back my time to you, mr. tonko. mr. tonko: thank you, and i appreciate you and representative cicilline joining in this important half-hour of discussion. but you know, i can clearly state that no one that i talk to in this house, no representative was hearing advocacy to end medicare during our campaigns last year. i didn't hear one individual tell me that, senior, nonsenior. i didn't hear anyone ask me to give more profits, more handouts to the big oil companies. i didn't hear one person say, protect the corporate loopholes for corporations out there. i didn't hear anyone say, hand more tax cuts to millions airs and billionaires. i -- millionaires and billionaires. did i hear, make my budget work at home. i need the basics. i did hear, i cabinet survive with the situation as it is -- i can't survive with the situation as it is. i did hear, we need jobs. i did hear, start growing our economy, stop shrinking the middle class. well, evidently this majority
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was not listening. there was anger, undeniable anger, understandable anger that existed out there, but this is not the quantityfication that they were looking for. they did not want to see this as a result, as an outcome. and i think we need to continue to fight this effort to end medicare and we're going to continue that fight. with that i thank the gentleman for joining me in this half-hour and we yield back, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. under the speaker's announced policy of january 5, 2011, the chair recognizes the gentleman from iowa, mr. king. for 30 minutes. mr. king: thank you, mr. speaker. it's my privilege to be recognized to address you here on the floor of the united states house of representatives in this great deliberative body and i came here to talk about a different subject matter but after i listened to my colleagues for a little while, i believe it's pretty important that we set some of this record straight. i don't know where they'd be satisfied, it seems as though the attack is on anybody that's
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in free enterprise and the support goes to anything that is government. anything that raises taxes and grows government is good and anything that taxes free enterprise and especially profits, those evil profits are bad. that's the theme that i hear from the gentleman who spent the previous half hour or hour demagoguing the issue of big oil and big insurance companies. this is particularly appalling to me when i walk here on the floor and i hear a statement made by the gentleman from california saying this, you're going to turn them over to the most voracious sharks in the country, the health insurance companies. well, if it happens to be that the health insurance companies are operating without competition, keeping their prices down, why didn't the gentleman or others that might believe that engage in the health insurance industry? the president of the united states made it very clear, he said he wanted more competition
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in the health insurance industry, he wanted to create a government-run, government-owned health insurance industry as part of obamacare. and he didn't realize, i don't think, when he uttered that statement that there are, at least before obamacare was passed and began to knock the competition out of the way, that there were 1,300 health insurance companies in america. 1,300. and over 100,000 policy varieties that one could choose from depending on the state that you might live in. that's a lot of companies and they've all been shot down here with the blanket allegation that they're voracious sharks. how can they be voracious sharks if there's 1,300 companies to compete against and 100,000 policies to choose from? certainly there's something that there would satisfy the gentleman from that array of variety that is available before the president decided he wanted to make the 1,300 insurance companies be the federal government and perhaps give us a
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half a dozen or so policy varieties, with a community rating that compressed it down, that raises the health insurance premiums for the youngest, lowest income people among us and subsidizes the premiums for the highest income people among us. that's obamacare, mr. speaker. and it clearly is. and the gentleman seemed to have forget whan they all worked together to do to america over the last 19 months. they worked to impose obamacare on 300 million americans, 306 or so million americans and they come on the floor tonight to talk about the effort on the part of republicans to try to save this republic from the voracious appetite of government . government. the voracious shark of government that feeds upon the suftnence of the american people. that puts into debt every single person, every man, woman and child in america and puts the mortgage on their heads the day they are born.
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last fall, i talked about my grandmother, my most recent granddaughter, reagan ann king. she's about 6 or 7 months old now. on the day she was born, her share of the national debt was $44,000. welcome to america, welcome to the world, welcome into life. you owe uncle sam $44,000 and the interest is building. the interest is building. and this young lady is going to have to work a long time to pay this off. i hear the members over here talking about the average debt that a college graduate has. student loans are costing too much money. they had to confiscate all the access to the marketplace for the free market on student loans and turn it completely into a government-run operation because they believed somebody was making money off the interest. they lamented that an average student loan that was --
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someone graduated from college was in the area of maybe 20,000 to delsh of maybe $20,000 to $40,000. but it doesn't bother them that the the senate leader, nancy pelosi, president obama, and senate leader harry reid, doesn't bother them that they can do what they want to america, an they have driven up the debt an deficit to the point where it is fiscally -- it is appalling to the fiscally responsible americans who pay their bills on time with the amount that's left after they pay taxes and payroll. and they want more government, more tacks, more irresponsibility, they want the nonproductive sector of the economy to feed on the productive sector of the economy. and they stand here and talk about a company that they claim made over -- or maybe the aggregate of the companies made over $1 trillion in profits over the last decade.
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i'd like to see that data and perhaps if they have anybody on that side of the aisle that's ever actually engaged in business they would do a calculation to see what the return on investment was. what is the capital investment, the return on that kind of investment if those numbers will hold up under scrutiny and i suspect they won't. then if they're going to do a legitimate measure, they'll see what have been the windfall profits of the american government and collecting royalty office the product that's been produced by these companies that are doing high risk exploration in deep waters to make sure, yes for a profit, they should have a profit but they're making sure there's cheaper energy here in the united states, certainly, than there would be otherwise if we didn't have these companies exploring for oil in the places like the gulf coast and up in the other regions and if we didn't have support here in congress to open up offshore drilling, drilling on nonnational park public lands here in america, we're an
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energy-rich nation. we have a large share of the world's energy and a smaller percentage of the world's population and we have that energy, i suspect, because we've explored for it, identified it, measured it and quantified it. but of course that stuff -- it escapes the people on the other side who are making these arguments for political reason the talking points of the democrats are now demagogue the republican budget, attack the republicans and accuse them of threatening senior citizens and they completely deny the fact that people 55 and up in the republican budget are expressly protected from any kind of budgetary changes. it is truly an entitlement for those 55 and up. now i'm not going to take the stand that we should then transfer that all the way down and guarantee my little granddaughter, reagan ann king, that her anticipated medicare an social security benefits
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will be what she expects them to be on the day she's born with her $44,000 worth of national debt she his to pay off, are we going to guarantee her she gets her retirement benefits under social security and the amount -- in the amount that's been calculated in the actuarial tables? is that an entitlement? are we going to guarantee her the level of medicare? are we taking away incentives for all children born in america to establish themselves to plan for their own retirement, their own future an perhaps be responsible enough to take themselves off the entitlement rolls so there can be a future for america. this economy collapses unless we address it. if we don't have the will, if we're going to listen to this kind of talk, and cower before that, and misdirect the american people with statements that clearly cannot be supported by the facts, and think somehow there's a solution, my question is,
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what's your solution? more debt? more deficit? more demagoguery? for what? you'll put america into debt to exchange it for more political power? we saw what you did with political power and the american people rejected it in a resounding election just last november and the large super democrat majority in this congress turned completely over to a large republican majority instead. 87 freshman republicans. should be able to understand, none of them got elected because they want to grow government or increase the debt an deficit. not one. every one ran on the repeal of obama care. while i'm on the subject, mr. speakering i'd make this point. of all that was said about what it is that allegedly republicans would do with seniors, here's what obamacare exactly does with seniors. it cuts medicare by $532
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billion. a direct assault on seniors. a direct assault on their medicare. now, it's in the a delay, it's as soon as they can get this monstrosity implicate -- implemented and they believe they'll take that money and roll it over into something else, it was part of the smoke and mirrors to come up with a c.b.o. score that they could allege it would be a money saver. but the american people threw a lot of people out of office last november because they knew when the president of the united states, the speaker of the house, and the majority leader all say the same thing, we're going to ensure 30 million more people with obamacare and it's going to be at no cost, 30 million more people insured at no cost, the american people know that's false. and in matter how many time it's repeated, they know that's false. you can't get more for less, things cost money. they could understand this, that if you take the 306
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million or so americans and if you're concerned that there's a percentage of them that are uninsured, we should only be concerned about the americans that were uninsured and remain uninsured, i might add, that don't have affordable options. if bill gates is uninsured, i don't have any heart burn over there, -- other that, bill gates can manage his own health care. if warren buffett is uninsured, i'm not concerned about that. he can manage his own health care. if somebody that's making $174,000 is uninsured, i'm not concerned about that person, because they're making enough money to take care of their own health insurance. and on down the line. to what level. but the people they're trying to argue were uninsured, this larger number of around 46 million uninsured americans, when you start subtracting from that, those that are eligible for medicaid but don't bother
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to sign up, those that are eligible under their employer but opt out. those who are here in the united states illegally, i don't want to cover them, mr. speaker. and as you begin subtracting from the 46 million and you get down to the number of those americans that are uninsured and do not have affordable options, that number turns out to be not 46 million but 12.1 million. that's making 75 -- making $75,000 or less, that's the measure, those who are uninsured and don't have an affordable option. now 12.1 million is still a lot of people but it only amounts to less than 4% of the u.s. population. and obamacare completely transforms the best health care system in the world, the best health care delivery system in the world and the best health insurance system in the world to try to get at a small percentage of the less than 4% of americans who were uninsured
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without affordable options. what do we have today? do you hear any democrats coming to the floor to tell us how many people are uninsured in america after obamacare was passed? i can offer this guarantee, it's more. there are more uninsured today than there were on the day obamacare was passed because more employers became more doubtful about what it would be that they would be -- that would be imposed upon them. there are fewer employees today than there would be if obamacare had never passed because the companies don't have the confidence that they can operate within the environment of an implemented obamacare. and i listened to demagoguery on big insurance companies, big oil, big banks. america is set up on competition. if these companies have such a market share an such an advantage that now they can take unreasonable profits from the marketplace, somebody is going to get in the market and they're going to start a bank, an oil company or insurance
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company. but here's what i'm for within the area of health insurance. i want to allow people to buy insurance across state lines. i want the people of new jersey, the young man that's buying a typical policy, in good health, at age 23, at $6,000 a year, i want him to be able to go to kentucky and buy a similar, a typical policy for a 23-year-old in kentucky for about $1,000. that whey your 1,300 health insurance companies we have are competing against each orrin std of being isolated within the states and operating under individual state mandates. and they can then afford policies that could have higher deductibles, higher co-payments and significantly lower premiums. and i want to see people get off the entitlement rolls, both of social security and medicare. and this can be done. mr. speaker, i'll take you quickly down the path of how we
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get there with medicare and h.s.a.'s. under the h.s.a. legislation passed in 2003 under medicare part d, a young couple, let's say they presumably fell in love and got married at age 20 and went to work with their life's work and over the course of 45 years of work they maxed out on their health savings account, it started at $100 or $150 a year for that couple, it grows by cola, it continues as long as there's a cost of living allowance that increases it. and if you subtract from that amount $2,000 a year that would come out of their health savings account in what we might call typical expenses of health care, going to the doctor, doing those things you don't want to put on your insurance policy and you compounded the balance of that health savings account at 4% which is historically accurate, i did this math before we had the dun turn over the last -- the downturn over the last 2
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1/2 years, they would arrive at medicare eligibility, age 65, with a health savings account that had $950,000 in it. $950,000. now the linalt, the present very, the -- the liability, the present negative value of an individual that arrives at medicare eligible age today is about $270,000. that's the average the federal government would be paying for health care benefits for the d duration of the life of the individual after they reach 65. medicare eligibility. $72,000. the couple would be at $144,000, you'll have to adjust for innation, i'll go without it tonight, so you take the $950,000, and subtract $144,000 to take care of what would be the premium for a medicare replacement policy, a paid up medicare replacement policy,
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similar to an annuitized health care plan for life. now you're in this area of let's just say $806,000 would be the balance in your health savings account. $806,000. what's the federal government's interest in that health savings account after that point? they want to tax it as regular income as it comes out of that account as being spent by the individual or they want to tax it as a death tax later on if the people -- once they pass away, tax it on the way to their heirs, the death tax. why wouldn't this federal government offer to the people that have their health savings account, why wouldn't it offer them this, by a medicare replacement policy and you can keep the change tax free and you can will it to your children or use it as a pension plan. now we're already solving the situation of social security, medicare, by allowing h.s.a.'s to grow and let people manage their own lives. that's the kind of thing we
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need to have going on for solutions, not demagoguery. not trying to conflate the philosophy of a budget that's designed to get us to balance. where's your balanced budget over there on that side of the aisle? is there a single one of you that will stand up and tell me you offered a balanced budget? you didn't even offer a budget when nancy pelosi was speaker the last year or two year and now you're here attacking this budget, you don't have a plan you don't have a platform to stand on to criticize this platform, you have plenty of opportunity to offer your own but there's no balanced budget being offered here on this side of the aisle. that's clear. that's why no one responds to me, or i'd yield to someone who wants to allege the democrats offer a balanced budget. if it they did it would be, what's that word? the voracious shark of tax increases would be what would happen, mr. speaker. i think perhaps we've dispatched what took place in the previous half-hour or hour
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and i will then now without segue transition into the subject matter i came here to talk about. and then that's this. day before yesterday i listened to the president's speech that he gave in el paso, texas. and it was a surprising in a way, a bit shocking in a way, it was a political speech on immigration, i mean, that's clear, and the people that analyzed it came to the same conclusion that i did, mr. speaker. but as i listened to the president of the united states who was standing in el paso, very near the border of the united states, begin to ridicule people who want border security, well, first he uttered the breathtaking statement that the border fence is, quote, basically complete, closed quote. mr. speaker, the border fence is basically complete, uttered by
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the president of the united states? i have a few data points i think he should go back and revisit. one of them is, mr. president, there are 2,000 miles of southern border, about 4,000 miles of northern border, but just dealing with the southern border, 2,000 milings of southern border. now, whatever was the janet napolitano told you, mr. president, here are the facts on the border fence as of today as constructed. out of the 2,000 miles, there are 350 miles of pedestrian fence, that's called primary fencing. that's a fence that you don't just walk through, it's a bit of a barrier. they get climbed all the time but it's a single fence, often it's a chain link fence. i don't know if they're referring to the barbed wire fence, i suspect not because actually i think we've got a little bit more of that on the border.
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but even the federal government, department of homeland security, claims the primary fencing, pedestrian fencing is 350 miles out of the 2,000 miles. now, they add this up awl up and say we have all these miles of fencing but if it's double fencing or triple fencing, they count each mile of it, even if it's layered. if that's the case, then we have 6,000 miles of fence, mr. speaker. but that isn't the case at all. here's the comparison. 350 miles of primary fencing or pedestrian fencing. now, we know that a single fence doesn't do us a lot, it slows some traffic down and it gives a line of demarcation. double fencing slows them down a lot better and it sets up kind of a no man's land that we can patrol and sometimes catch illegals inside of that before they climb the second fence and go off into the underbrush. so of the secondary fencing that they have, there's not 350 miles of that, remember, 2,000 mile
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border, secondary fencing, 36.3 miles. now, remember the primary fencing, 350 miles, the secondary fencing, 36.3 miles. i'm going to tell that you we don't have a lot of effectiveness until we get to the -- at least the secondary fencing component of this. so of 2,000 miles of border, 36.3 miles of secondary fencing, 36.3 miles is kind of what you can say is somewhat built but a lot of it requires also triple fencing. and i've been down to visit the triple fencing and that exists in a number of places tanned exists in a very effective way in arizona, in the southwest corner of arizona, of course on the mexican border. when you look at the border, out of the 2,000-mile border, the fence that is -- they call it tesh year, the third layer of fence, you have 350 miles of
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fencing, 36.3 miles of double fencing and 14.3 miles are triple fencing. the triple fencing, as far as i know, has never been defeated by anyone. they go around it. they may tunnel under it sometimes but they've not defeated the fencing and it's been pretty effective. but if you've got effective fencing at 14.3 of the 2,000 miles and within 220 yards of that fence, that triple fencing by the way, there's thripple fencing in el paso, the president is standing within 220 yards of triple fencing in el paso, arguing that the fencing is basically complete and ridiculing americans that want border security by saying that -- i'm just going to include myself in this, that we'd never be satisfied, we keep raising the bar. well, i always set the bar up pretty high. i don't think i need to raise it. reminds me of what margaret
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thatcher once responded to a student when she was in iowa, asked her the question, what have you changed your mind on since you left snoffs she thought a little bit and said, goodness, i was in office 11 1/2 years. my principles were very soundly based, i saw no reason to change them. well, the principle that i've laid out for border security as far as infrastructure on the border is this, we've got 2,000 miles on the southern border through which comes 90% of the illegal drugs consumed in america and i don't suggest that we have to build 2,000 miles of triple fencing, i want to build a fence a wall and a fence, that's effective, it's cost effective as well. i only suggest that we build that, build that fence until they quit going around the end, mr. speaker. that will be the measure. that's how we'll know if it's effective, if they're going around the end, we'll extend a few more miles. if they keep going around the end, we keep building. if the illegals are still entering the united states, then
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we'll build it from brownsville all the way up to san diego. but the president said defense is basically complete and he's basically got 14.3 miles of completed fencing on 2,000, i don't think anybody's going to think that that's a very basic completion and i should have perhaps done this math but if i just do 14.3 miles and i divide that by 2,000 miles, i get, let me see, .7% of completion. that would be the president's idea of basically complete, .7% of the entire 2,000-mile border as triple fencing on it and 2 1/2 times more than that, so maybe you'd have, let's say, 1.9% completed if you consider the double fencing instead of the triple fencing. and the president's making fun
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of people that might want a mote? i have a picture here, i've flown that within the last couple of months in a helicopter to evaluate the border all the way from -- almost all of it, from el paso across all of new mexico and almost all of arizona. i know i've flown it all one time or another. but it occurred to me that the president is standing close to the moat at the time, 220 yards away from right there at the border, not only does it have triple fencing that janet napolitano made fun of, if you show me a 21-foot fence, i'll show you a 21-foot latter but -- ladder but here's what we have. the rio grande river, moat number one, water in it, flowing down. you have a fence. you have a petroleum road. you have another fence. then you have a canal that has a fairly fast current in it and a lot of water with a concrete side and bottom. then you have another fence. so you have triple fencing and if anybody's going to come into the united states, into el paso, they've got to get across the
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river, sometimes swim, most of the time wade, climb a fence, avoid the patrol that has a patrol road and stations inside the column of the two fences, climb a second fence, get into the canal, swim cat nal, get up into el paso. f the fence and well, mr. president, it's not happening in el paso because fences work and by the way the natural water streams there have been really useful as well and i think that if i had any staff that stood me up within 220 yards of a structure like that to make fun of it, i'd probably have different staff the next day. hope he takes a note on that, mr. speaker, and i make these points that the immigration situation in the united states is this. we have a c.b.o. or excuse me a g.a.o. study and this study that was just emerged a few weeks ago tells us this. i began asking the question, there are a number of people that die in the arizona desert sneaking into the united states.
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and every one of those personal lives is a tragedy and it's of high proportion to their families but i began asking the question, how many americans die at the hands of those who do get into the united states? and that study report comesous and tells us this, in the prisons in america, federal, state and local prisons in america, there are currently incarcerated, this is a very minimum number, this is a floor, not a ceiling, we know the number is higher, we know it's no lower than this, 25,064 criminal aliens that were arrested for homicide that are currently incarcerated in those -- those prisons that i mentioned in the united states. that's 25,064 homicide victims at a minimum that we know of and that's some of the price for us not securing our border. if we had 100% enforcement on our border and 100% unforcement over people in the united states illegally, then theoretically,
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all 25,000 of those people would be alive, they would not be under the ground in the united states. one coffin at a time, obscure village at a time, one tragedy in a family at a time, more than 25,000 certainly, a number that source when you think of it, -- soars when you think of it, and we sit here and say, well, you know, it's only people that want to come here to make a better life. well, it's not only that to the families that have lost victims to this. i just sat down and had a discussion within the last couple of hours with tiffany hartly. whose husband was a victim of the vicious murder out on the jet skis on falcon lake just north of mcallen, texas, september 30 of last year. the tragedy of his death, the unwillingness on the part of this administration to go in and invest -- investigate his death, to find the perpetrators that killed her husband and come to
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the truth on that incident is inexcusable and unconscionable. the justice department needs to drill in this, they need to turn up their diplomatic pressure, hillary clinton needs to connect with the mexican council, let's get to the bottom of this, let's get the facts as they stand, let's find out who investigated what and when and let's take a look at the communications as they go back and forth so we can get a sense of the level of focus that maybe existed or maybe didn't exist. i'm calling upon eric holder, take a look at the murder of david hartly. do so for tiffany. help her get some closure. thank you, mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: under the speaker's announced policy of january 5, 2011, the chair recognizes the gentleman from florida, mr. nugent, for 30 minutes. mr. nugent: mr. speaker, i rise today to get something off my chest. last night the president hosted
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a poetry event at the white house. the invitation of one of his guests sparked a lot of anger and let me explain why. the musician wrote a song in which he vocallie supports a convicted cop killer and her escape from jail. oh, by the way, she's still at large living in cuba, living the good life. this musician, you know, it may not mean much to some, but i've got a serious problem with this. before coming to congress i spent 37 years as a cop. i lost friends in the line of duty and i'm not the only one. as we speak here right now, police officers, thousands of them, are coming to washington, d.c., to go to the law enforcement memorial. tomorrow night those men and women will attend the
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candlelight vigil to honor those law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty. this is the 23rd annual vigil, candlelight vigil at the national law enforcement memorial. this year it will also include a 36-year-old father of three who was struck down last tuesday night. the white house press secretary said that the president opposes the lyrics in question but they do not represent the sum total of the artist's work. mr. speaker, i'm sure i don't care. it's not the point. the point is that you've got thousands of men and women in law enforcement that put their lives on the line every day for this great nation. just like our troops. and the president invited to the white house who supports and
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glorifies a convicted killer of a police officer, a man who volunteered to protect his community. he was husband and a father and the loss watt not only to that community but to -- loss was not only to that community but to america. our law enforcement officers are the first line of defense for america. mr. president, you can not see what this means to the people who put their lives on the line every day? it's a slap in the face, sum total or not. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back his time. does the gentleman have a motion? mr. nugent: i have a motion to adjourn. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on the motion to adjourn. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes visit.
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>> mitt romney was in ann arbor, michigan, today, to talk about healthcare policy. this 40-minute event is hosted by the university of michigan college republicans. >> i want to say thanks to the college republicans for hosting me today and welcoming me to the university of michigan. thank you, also, to the leadership of the university of michigan medical school and school of public health. particularly those that are here as part of the cardiovascular center. dr. pinsky and dr. eagle, we appreciate your willingness to
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invite me here today and allow me to address members of the student body as well as individuals who are part of the faculty and administration at the school of public health at the cardiovascular center and also at the medical school. it is good to be back at michigan and in the university of michigan. i grew up as a wolverine fan. my brother went to michigan state. and he was elected to the board of trustees there so i have divided loyalties but i've been a wolverine fan for a long time and it's good to be here and see how the campus has grown and the it's like being home and i really appreciate the chance to be here in michigan. i'm going to talk today about
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repealing and replacing president obama's healthcare system. and i know that some people when i talk about doing that say, wait a second, i've heard your plan in massachusetts is a lot like president obama's plan and so why is it that you're so anxious to repeal this plan and replace it with something else if it's so much like what you did so with that question in mind, i thought that, before i talked about my own plan, i'd spend a moment talking about what we did in massachusetts, how president obama's plan and my view doesn't work properly and should be repealed and get that ground work laid. i'll start off by really being at 100,000 feet and talking about the country and what makes america work because when the founders got together and decided what kind of nation we'd be, the first decision they face side whether we would be a nation governed by a strong
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central government, or a king-like structure, that would tell us how to live our lives, what to do with our lives, what to make and how to make it, or if we would be a nation guided by the aspirations of individuals and they chose the latter. the people of america are sovereign, free to chose not only our elected representatives but the freedom to chose our life course, our enterprises. that choice to be a free enterprise nation meant that people all over the world seeking freedom, seeking to pursue the dreams of their youth wanted to come to this country. we are a nation of innovators, pioneers, creators. it is what's propelled us to be the most powerful economy in the world but this wasn't the only decision that the founders faced. they also had the question of whether america would be guided governmentally primarily at the federal level or instead at the state level, whether the interaction citizens had in
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education, in healthcare and so forth, would be driven by the federal government or the state government and in that case they also made an unusual choice relative to our european heritage, they said, we'll be a federalist system, meaning a state power system, so the 10th amendment was specifically written to limit the powers of the federal government and states retained most of the rights and responsibilities that affected citizens from day to day. the states, in the words much justice brandeis, would be the laboratories of democracy, they would try things and we would learn from one another. they would also compete with one another so the dynamic that would prepel our economy, competition and freedom, would propel learning between the states. the states would be responsive to the people that were closest to them and the solutions could be tailored to fit the needs of people of different states. people ask, what are the differences between the states? my experience is that healthcare
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delivery in massachusetts may be different than healthcare in montana or mississippi or other places in the country and so people could tailor their programs and their needs based upon the needs of the citizens, and finally, that model would had lead america to have states that were more efficient, more effective, and more productive than if we had a one-size-fits-all system. i believe that the obama administration fundamentally distrusts free enterprise and distrusts the idea that states are where the power resides. the most recent decision was the decision made by the nlrb to decide that boeing can't locate a factory in south carolina. it was a power grab from states with the federal government saying we know better than states. that was the most recent example and i think the most egregious
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example of this distrust was the obama care plan itself. our plan was a state solution to a state problem and his is a power grab by the federal government to put in place a one-size-fits-all plan across the nation. i know that some of my more liberal friends don't find that a compelling difference, but those of us who believe that the decision to make america a federalist system was not just a throw-away decision, but an important fundamental element of what makes america such a successful nation and that was something which, of course, is lost in obama care. but when i ask people what they dislike most about the president's plan, what i typically hear is they say, obama care represents a government takeover of healthcare and i don't like it. and i think they're right. what we were doing in our state
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was quite different than that, it was a more modest proposal. we weren't trying to get government to take over healthcare, instead, we were trying to find a way for people who didn't have insurance to be insured and also people that did have insurance wouldn't have to worry they would lose their insurance if they lost their jobs, especially if they developed a condition or a sickness during the time that they were insured. another difference, during obama care, taxes were raised $500 billion over 10 years. we didn't raise taxes. and there were also $500 billion in medicare cuts not to bring down the cost of medicare and make the federal budget more balanced, but instead to fund obama care. now, this were some similarities. and one similarity that i know brothers people a lot is the fact that there is a mandate in
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the massachusetts plan that i put in place and let me tell you why this is a mandate in our plan. what we found in my state was that we had a number of citizens who recognized that they could get healthcare even though they didn't have insurance. that's actually true in most states. if you don't have insurance and you develop a serious illness of some kind -- cancer or heart attack, you can get emergency care. you may not get the preventive care you need, you may not get all the follow-up care you need, but depending on the state and the circumstances, you can get care without insurance and many citizens who could afford insurance having learned they could get care for free were saying, i'm not going to buy insurance. if i'm healthy and strong, why would i get insurance because if something really bad happens to me, if i get cancer or something awful, i can go to the hospital and i'll get treated for free and this was a free-rider problem.
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it wasn't a large number but a growing number and we found in our state we were spending hundreds of millions of dollars a year giving out care to people, many of whom could afford to buy their own insurance. this free rider problem was a real issue so we said, you know, we got really three choices and most states have three choices. the ones we saw were these. first, we could say to those people who could have afforded insurance that didn't get it and who, let's say, had a heart attack, we're sorry, we're not going to treat you. that, however, goes against the hippocratic oath and it's against federal law. you're required to treat those people so that's really not an option. the next option is the one that was being exercised in my state. we had the taxpayers pay for them. we were spending hundreds of millions of dollars, we were mandating to the taxpayers, you've got to take care of these people, we're adding it to your insurance premium or your tax
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bill, but you're going to pay for these folks and we said somehow that's a big government approach, that government and taxpayers are going to give to people something they should be able to get for themselves so we chose the last alternative, which is to insist on personal responsibility and to say to folks who could afford to buy insurance, either buy insurance yourself, or pay your own way, and ultimately the bill that we passed was the bill said that, either have insurance or we're going to charge you for the cost of the fact that the state is going to have to cover you if. if you get seriously ill and the maximum is $120 a month, obviously less than the cost of insurance, but a big incentive for people to be insured. this, under the 10th amendment, was a state decision. other states can take a different choice, but the state decision we took was to insist upon personal responsibility.
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now, let me tell you for a moment about why it is that we decided to go ahead and put in place our plan. first of all, i'll note that about 94% of our population in state was insured but we put this plan in place. that 94%, there was no change in their insurance policies, the program remained the same so we're dealing with that last 6% that wasn't insured but that last 6% sounds like a small percentage, only 6%, but that's half a million people. i don't know how many people in this room have lived without health insurance, but i have not only family members but dear friends who have lived at one time or another without health insurance. it is a frightening experience. you wonder, what happens, if i get ill or more seriously, what happens if my child get ill? i had half a million people who i was elected to serve who were
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frightened because they didn't have insurance. as a result of the plan we put in place, about 400,000 of them are now insured, and i'm pleased with the fact that we were able to accomplish that. the other people who have insurance, the 94%, there's another feature for them, they don't have to worry about losing insurance if they change jobs or develop a serious condition and then change jobs because under our plan, everybody in the state is able to get affordable insurance. i also note, there's no government insurance here. we didn't create a government insurance program or a government policy that people got. no, no, we gave people a premium support program where they could buy their own private insurance of their choice and for the poor, we helped them with support. the analysis of what the cost of the program would be was carried out by a group called the massachusetts taxpayers foundation. they're an independent think
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tank funded largely by business interests. they looked at the massachusetts healthcare system after reform and they concluded this -- that the cost of the system is relatively modest and that it costs less than 1% per year of the state budget. now, that's not free, by any means, but it's not what some people might have thought. some people might think, did this cost half your state budget? 25%? 10%? no, it cost less than 1% of the state budget and, by the way, i think that's too much. if you were governor, i would get it down to zero. because we were already paying for people who were getting free care. i wanted to limit how much we were going to pay in the future to that amount we had already been paying. all these things we did without a tax increase. now, i know that with that summary about what we did and its differences with president obama's plan, that that explanation is not going to
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satisfy everybody, and i respect the views of those who think we took the wrong course and think we should have taken a different course. i also recognize that a lot of pundits around the nation are saying i should stand up and say this whole thing was a mistake, it was a boneheaded idea and i should admit it was a mistake and walk away and i presume that if i did that, a lot of folks would think it would be good for me politically. but it wouldn't be honest. i did what i believed was right for the people of my state and i'm going to describe to you what i think would be right for the people of united states, which is quite a different plan. now, i'm going to turn to repeal and replace and go back to the question, again, why repeal? i told you some of the things i didn't like about the president's plan. let me give you some more and i'm going to start with just an overview, again, of our
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healthcare system and i know we have doctors and professionals in the medical community here so you'd probably elaborate on this but a couple of thoughts. there are major advantages of our healthcare system relative to those in other nations of the world. i believe we have the highest quality healthcare in the world. we provide to our consumers an extraordinary level of choice and freedom. we attract to the profession the best and brightest from among our population and we're the most innovative place in the world for medical technologies and drugs and instruments and devices and so forth. we do, however, have some disadvantages in our system. it is a high-cost system. it does not have, by and large, portable insurance. people are worried they might lose their insurance if they change jobs. we have about 50 million people that don't have coverage and when i say tax discrimination, what i'm referring to there, is the individuals that want to buy insurance on their own are treated differently under our tax code than people working for a big company where the company buys the insurance for them.
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that's tax discrimination. now, unfortunately, the president's plan, at least in my view, detracts from some of the best things of the american healthcare system. it hurts the quality of healthcare by having healthcare more dominated by government. it also reduces consumer choice by having government play a bigger role in deciding what insurance you can get and what will be covered under your insurance. it repels the best and brightest. now, i know there's some doctors in the room and so i'm not going to ask for witnesses here, but my son went into medical school and he talked to a -- there are no romney doctors in my immediate family so he talked to a number of people who were doctors and he said, what do you think about going into medicine and almost without exception they said, don't do it, unless you really, really love it, my goodness, this is the toughest profession to go into because of what's happening by virtue of hand innt's heavy
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medicine. there's no question in my view but the president's plan will tend to repel people from coming into the medical profession. and finally, i'm afraid that the obama reforms discourage innovation. heck, when you tax people who are developing devices and instruments that are used in medicine, they're going to have less funds to invest and create new innovations. but there's more wrongs with the president's plan. i believe it's an economic nightmare. it does not lower healthcare cost overall in our system. raises taxes, it diverts medicare funds, and it kills jobs. let me tell you, as i go around the country and talk to business people and i was one for 25 years, when you explain and when they understand the implications of the obama care program on them, they're less likely to hire people. they're concerned about the cost of obama care on their ability
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to hire and train workers. it kills jobs. it is, in my opinion, one of the reasons why this recession has taken so long to get out of and why we have 20 million americans unemployed, underemployed, or have ceased looking for work. i don't like the massive federal spending. i don't like the power grab from the states. i don't like the massive federal bureaucracy. the republican joint congressional committee tried to chart out how obama care works. prepare yourself. this is their slide. that is not a pretty picture. and suggest to me why it is people are a little concerned about getting into the healthcare profession. so, for all those reasons, if i were lucky enough to be in the white house in the position of leadership, on the first day i would issue an executive order paving the way for obama care waivers to be given to all 50 states and then i'd go to work with congress to make sure we
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could repeal obama care. but now let's look at what i would do instead. you won't be surprised here, because what i'm going to describe to you is basically the same structure that i described four years ago when i was running for president. i should note, by the way, that that was a time when my massachusetts healthcare plan was considered at least by me to be an asset politically. i hear laughter in the room. that's not the case now. but you will note that despite the fact that it's gone from being seen as an asset to being seen as a liability politically, that the plan i'm going to describe for you is the same. i'm not adjusting the plan to reflect the sentiment, the political sentiment. the plan, in fact, starts with the same elements, and let me begin with what i consider the objectivess of my plan. one is, do no harm. two, strengthen the current healthcare system by lowering costs and improving quality, by
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providing portability -- the ability to know that you're going to keep your insurance if you change jobs -- improve consumer choice, and expand healthcare by dealing with those individuals who have pre-existing conditions fairly, and provide greater access to care for those that are low-income or uninsured. five principles -- restore states to leadership, empower individuals to purchase their own insurance, focus our federal regulation as opposed to making it over bureaucratic, reform the medical liability system, and introduce market forces to healthcare to the extent possible. one by one, restore to the states the responsibility and the resources to care for their own poor, their own uninsured, and their chronically ill. the state is the best place to determine who's poor. the state is the best place to determine what's the best way to help those poor. and so i would, therefore, block
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grant to the states medicaid funds and so-called dish payments, disproportionate payments, to the states and say, states, you use these moneys as you feel appropriate to care for your own poor. i'd limit the federal standards to those that were absolutely necessary. states, of course, will experiment and learn from one another and they'll have flexibility to deal with the uninsured in the way they think best. some will decide they want to understand the role of charity in their state and can it be expanded. others will say, let's put in place exchanges like we did in massachusetts, some will put in place subsidies for private coverage. there will also be flexibility to deal with a chronically ill population with high-risk pools and reinsurance plans and high-risk adjustments. these ideas will be tried out and are now being tried out by various states until which point obama care was passed because most of that was put on ice
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because the federal government took over. second, empower individual ownership. i think this is critical. i would make sure we give the same tax treatment to individuals who buy insurance that we give to individuals who get insurance from their big employer. what would that do? in a lot of cases, an individual is going to say, you know what, general motors or ford or chrysler, instead of taking your plan, i want to buy my own plan so you give me the amount of that you're paying for blue cross-blue shield here and let me pick my own plan from blue cross or anybody else i want and when that happens, you'll find people choosing plans that fit their needs rather than plans that have been put in place by the human resources department of a big corporation. this gets greater consumer choice so that people can buy what they want, not just what their employer wants to give them. it promotes portability. why? because if i own my own healthcare insurance, i don't lose it if i change jobs.
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i'm continuously insured from job to job and by virtue of that fact and the fact that i'm choosing what i want myself, not just what is given to me, the cost of health insurance and the choices that people make, in my view, is likely to come down. focus federal regulation. we got to make the markets work better. a couple of common failures i'd go after, insure the individuals with pre-existing conditions who are continuously covered for some specified period. may not be denied coverage. so you're not going to say to somebody who is age 55 and they have a heart attack and they want insurance, that doesn't work very well but if you had insurance for 10 years, because of that continuous insurance, you can continue to be covered. eliminate counterproductive federal constraints, removing
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barriers from the sale of superior products across state lines and allow providers to design insurance plans that meet the needs of consumers across state lines. reforming liability. i don't have to tell you about the burden of our medical liability system on our healthcare system. we should cap non-economic damages in medical malpractice lawsuits and provide innovation grants for state reforms like health courts, alternative dispute resolution and so forth. market forces. i'd like to make healthcare work more like a market and less like a government agency. i'd like to make health savings accounts which really empower the consumer far more efficient and effective by such things as permitting health saving account funds to be used to pay the insurance premiums, which isn't allowed today. i also like the new innovations in insurance like co-insurance. we were talking earlier with members of the team here about
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value-based insurance products where co-insurance, for those not familiar with the term, we've all heard of copays where you pay $10 for an office visit. co-insurance would say, i'm paying 10% of my total bill. when that happens, i, as a consumer, care about the cost of the total bill, i care about the quality of the provider and what the total bill would be and that kind of product, i believe, would lower premiums and give people a greater stake in thinking about the cost and quality of the care they're seeking. i like the idea of a consumer reports type approach where "consumer reports" itself or others like it would rank different insurance programs around the country and which ones provide the best coverage for the best value. i'd like to facilitate information technology interoperability among providers and establish cost and quality and finally -- i know a number of you are doing this in the health community --
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promoting alternatives to fee for service with bundled rates. i think we've done what i suggested at the beginning. we haven't done harm, i think we strengthened healthcare and we've expanded healthcare to those that don't have it. let me mention more on healthcare costs. how do we get healthcare costs down? one, we, for the first time, allow individuals to purchase insurance as an individual without being penalized on a tax basis. two, we're going to introduce market dynamics where consumers care what something costs, as i just described. we're going to reform the medical malpractice system to keep the cost down in defense of medicine. providers will have an incentive in the non-fee-for-service approach that i've described for quality, not just quantity. medicaid ceases being an open checkbook for states to say i'm going to expand more people on medicaid because the federal government picks up half the bill. and there will be greater competition across state lines
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as people are able to buy insurance from other places and join into purchasing alliances. let me note that there is more to come, that there are additional specifics that you expect from me and they'll be coming. i also note that there's going to be a lot that you're going to expect from me on medicare reforms and that's a big part of healthcare and will have an enormous impact on the overall system. let me make a couple of points. one is, i applaud the fact that representative ryan put forward a plan to keep medicare solvent. that's got to be our primary objective, and to keep our country fiscally solvent, as well. and he's also added choice to his plan and inserted market dynamics, and i'll note that while i haven't introduced my own plan today, will in the future, it's not going to be the ryan plan, but it shares many of the same objectives. let me conclude by summarizing differences between thepu


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