Skip to main content

tv   U.S. House of Representatives  CSPAN  October 26, 2011 10:00am-1:00pm EDT

10:00 am
subject, the second part of your piece says "does it matter?" guest: i think it absolutely matters. we need to know. we cannot just go. host: megan mcardle, herpes is in the november issue. we will go to the house of representatives. host: caller: . use will be in order the chair lays before the house a communication from the speaker. the clerk: the speaker's room, washington, d.c., october 26, 2011. i hereby appoint the honorable chip kravaac to act as speaker pro tempore on this day. signed, john a. boehner. speaker of the house of representatives. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the order of the house of january 5, 2011, the chair will now recognize members from lists submitted by the majority and minority leaders for morning hour debate.
10:01 am
the chair will alternate recognition between the parties with each party limited to one hour and each member other than the majority and minority leaders and the minority whip limited to five minutes each, but in no event shall the event continue beyond 11:50 a.m. the chair recognizes the gentleman from oregon, mr. blumenauer, for five minutes. mr. blumenauer: thank you, mr. speaker. this is a special moment for american agriculture as well as an opportunity to address the major challenges america faces, our long-term government spending, environmental protection, health problem of our families. it's also key to improving the economy which should be our number one priority. helping more people at less cost by reducing subsidies to large agri business also speaks directly to the frustrations of protestors from coast to coast, whether they are occupying wall street or they're tea party
10:02 am
protestors. now, there's no doubt that america's massive investment in farm support, hundreds of billions of dollars of taxpayer money, the special rules and regulations and tariff protections have all contributed to the success of american agriculture. it's boosted productivity and made a difference in providing plentiful low-cost food. left unaddressed is whether this patchwork of complicated and excessive programs is the best we can do. the answer from independent analysts is overwhelming. we can do far better for less money and help more farmers and ranchers and especially those americans in need of food. today i'm releasing a report entitled "growing opportunities: family farm values for reforming the farm bill," which brings together that big picture and illustrates a better way. the core principles are to reduce the flow of money to the largest agri business interests which shortchanges the majority
10:03 am
of farmers and ranchers who receive virtually no assistans from direct commod -- assistance from direct commodity payments, programs to shield farmers from market forces and of course the unusual program of crop insurance which pays more to insurance agents than to farmers. it would instead concentrate it for people who need help the most, make healthy food more affordable and give assistance to new farmers that is so necessary to deal with the turnover in american agriculture where the average farmer is 55 years of age. it would stop the inappropriate and expensive subis i diization which sprow -- subsidizization which compromises our trade relations which not only gives these large agri businesses a leg up but helps them get bigger at the expense of small and medium-sized farmers and ranchers. it would stop the insanity of
10:04 am
giving $1.5 billion to brazilian cotton farmers over the next 10 years because we don't have the colonel and the political will to stop giving support to american cotton farmers which has been deemed illegal. we must make the production of food, not commodities, more affordable and more nutritious for all americans, but particularly for our students, our young families and the elderly. redirecting money away from incentives to pollute and paying more to farmers and ranchers to protect water quality and wildlife habitat will give real benefit to american communities who are the neighbors of our farmers. it fits our economic and recreational opportunities, reduces the cost of cleanup of our waterways from animal waste, pesticides and fertilizers. help with research, marketing and environmental protection
10:05 am
will allow our farmers to be more productive and better stewards of the land while putting money in their pockets. in turn, increasing benefits and reducing costs for everybody else. now, i don't pretend this report contends any silver bullet. it's a collection of what i've learned dealing with these issues in my 15 years in congress, but more important, spending a lot of time with oregon farmers and ranchers, people in the nursery industry, the vendors who are shortchanged by the current system and deserve better. joining me in the release of this report are representatives from people who advocate on behalf of the taxpayers who deal with deficit spending, who are environmental advocates and people who care deeply about america's farmers and ranchers. there is across this country a grand coalition that is forming and coalescing behind a unified
10:06 am
vision for american agriculture at exactly the time when the taxpayers need it, most farmers and ranchers deserve it and advocates on behalf of better health and nutrition for all americans demand it. thank you and i yield back. i would seek unanimous consent to include this material in the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. the chair recognizes the gentleman from illinois, mr. dole, for five minutes. mr. dole: thank you, mr. speaker. i came to this body as a small business owner, someone that employees just under 100 people. for me that's 100 families. i decided to run for congress because it felt to me as if the federal government was making it harder and harder for me to put the key in the door and open up my business each and every day. and frankly they should be doing quite the opposite. we here in this body should be making it easier for american businesses to grow their businesses, to be able to hire
10:07 am
more people, to invest back in their business and grow. i am pleased to say we have an opportunity this week to vote on some legislation that's a bipartisan piece of legislation to end some of the barriers that are prerenting businesses from investing back -- preventing businesses from investing back in their businesses. we will vote on h.r. 674 which will repeal a provision that would force government entities to withhold 3% from the vendors that they do business with. earlier this year we took care of some legislation on 1099's for small businesses. this is paperwork that will in essence cost small businesses hundreds of thousands of dollars and in some cases millions of dollars just to comply. just to cross the t's and dot the i's, we would be helping
10:08 am
providing help to consumers. there is no question this bill will help small businesses. it would also help government, municipalities that would be forced to withhold. this withholding requirement is particularly harmful to small businesses, to contractors and would undermine our efforts to spur job creation. this requirement needlessly ties up cash flow to small businesses and that's exactly what we don't need to do at this particular time. this is a commonsense piece of legislation and i'm confident that we're able to pass it. we got over 269 co-sponsors today. mr. speaker, the gentleman that was just up here is in fact the lead co-sponsor, mr. blumenauer, with my colleague, wally herger from california. it enjoins bipartisan support. it's commonsense legislation. we do not need to be taking dollars out of the economy at this point in time. it increases costs for goods and services. it increases the burdens on administrative requirements.
10:09 am
it increases the costs for record keeping. this is another instance of unintended consequences of legislation and ones that i think we cannot afford. we must focus on how we can help small businesses across this land. we in this body need to create an environment where small businesses can have more certainty because when i talk to businesses all across the 10th district of illinois, the one thing i hear over and over and over again is that the uncertainty out there is preventing people from investing in their business, from moving forward. this would be yet one more burden. we don't need to do that. so i'm pleased to see that members on both sides of the aisle are coming together to try to solve some of these issues. it's certainly what the american public is looking for us to do, to be able to find some common ground to move
10:10 am
forward so we can eliminate some of these barriers. the number one issue we face without exception is jobs and the economy. so it would seem like common sense to me that we try to ep able small businesses to be able to have the tools necessary -- enable small business to be able to have the tools necessary, to invest and to grow. with small businesses in our nation, if we can create the environment where half of those businesses can create a single job, think about where we'd be then? we have 9.4% unemployment in this country. in illinois it's at 10%. in certain areas in the 10th district we have unemployment at 20% to 22%. we've just been recognized as the number one manufacturing district in the country. we've lost 750,000 manufacturing jobs in illinois. we have to step up and allow small businesses to be able to invest back in their businesses and to grow. i'm delighted to see that last week we're able to come together two weeks ago on trade
10:11 am
legislation to be able to help those manufacturers, help farmers, to be able to increase exports and to be able to grow jobs right here in america. this is exactly the efforts that we need to do. so i want to encourage my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to come together on h.r. 674 to help small businesses move forward and get america back to work. with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from illinois, mr. shimkus -- the gentleman from indiana -- my correction -- mr. donnelly, for five minutes. mr. donnelly: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, today i pay tribute to an outstanding citizen of south bend, indiana, mayor steve licky, who devoted his life to the service of our community. raised in freeport, illinois, the mayor made south bend his
10:12 am
home 30 years ago after graduated from fordham university. he and his beloved wife, peg, the director for the south bend museum of art, have four children they are so proud of. steve has been south bend's 31st and longest serving mayor in the city's history. he took office in 1997 succeeding joe kernan who became the lieutenant governor. in his fourth term, he has developed a city in which all residents can be proud to live and work. previously he served two terms as president, representing the south district on south bend's -- 10th district on south bend's northwest side. it has become a hub of technological diversity. mayor licky spearheaded the demolition of more than 400 square feet of obsolete buildings in the former studebaker corridor and
10:13 am
strengthened partnerships with leading community institutions, including the university of notre dame. these efforts have come together as south bend created indiana's duo site first technology park, consisting of ignition park on the grounds of the former studebaker corporation. in addition, south bend became the first u.s. city to create a broadband network, the metronet, using its own traffic conduit. as the owner of a small construction company, steve took interest in neighborhood restoration, infrastructure improvements and the revitalization of our city. among other projects, he fosters the public-private restoration, the northeast neighborhood revitalization and the renovation in the indiana university civil rights heritage center.
10:14 am
under his leadership, south bend received a white house designation in 2008 as a preserve america community. he also directed the completion of the riverwalk along the st. joe river and added 50 miles of bicycle lanes and routes throughout our city. he has served on the advisory board for indiana university-south bend, during a period of expansion and growth that positioned it as an active participant in the economic development of our region. enrollment growth at ivey tech has exploded and led the partnership between the redevelopment commission and the college as the commission acquires and relow indicates businesses to help expand the campus of ivy tech even more. with concern of the future, mayor licky's pigs vision has helped provide the spark with several environmental efforts that led to south bend's designation as indiana's green community of the year in 2009. our city has developed into an
10:15 am
innovative, dynamic and progressive place. in 2011 it was named all-american city. the mayor's vision, leadership anded a vow cass or good government earned him the 2011 association of cities and towns russell lloyd distinguished service award. he's also the 2011-2012 iact president. so today on behalf of all of the citizens of south bend, indiana, i want to thank mayor steve for his years of unselfish dedication, to the city and to its people. you will never be forgotten. thank you for everything. thank you, mayor, and god bless you and peg and your family. . with that, mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair now recognizes the gentleman from illinois, mr. shimkus, for five minutes. mr. shimkus: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without
10:16 am
objection. the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. shimkus: thank you, mr. speaker. third time on the floor to talk about high level nuclear waste and yucca mountain. i started talking about hanford in washington state comparing it to the yucca facility. in hanford, 53 million gallons of nuclear waste, zero at yucca. nuclear waste stored 10 feet under ground in hanford. waste would be stored 1 now feet under ground in yucca. 250 feet from the water table. at yucca the nuclear waste would be 100 miles from the river. hanford, it's one mile from the nearest river. so what are the senator's position on yucca mountain in washington state and oregon knowing we have 53 million gallons of nuclear waste one mile from the river? senator cantwell is not supportive. senator murray is supportive at least in her public statements.
10:17 am
senator wyden did not support it. and senator merkley is silent. they should not be silent. a couple weeks ago i then moved to my home state of illinois and the zion nuclear decommissioned power plant that still has high level nuclear waste on site. again the same statistics for yucca are there in the desert, away from a river, zion is on lake michigan. zion has 65 casks,, 1,135 metric tons of nuclear waste. waste stored above ground, five feet above the water table, 1,300 feet from lake michigan. what do the senators from the two states, and wisconsin has two nuclear power plants also on lake michigan. well, senator durbin is supportive of in. senator kirk is supportive of yucca mountain. senator cole is supportive of yucca mountain. senatoronson -- senator johnson
10:18 am
is still silent on yucca mountain. i imagine we'll know soon. now we move to georgia and south carolina. look at this difference here. savannah river has 6,300 canisters of waste, nuclear waste on site. the waste is stored right belove the ground -- below the ground. it's 160 feet above the water table. it's right next to the savannah river. again, compare that to yucca mountain. no nuclear waste. waste would be stored 1,000 feet under ground. 1,000 feet above the water table. and 100 miles from the colorado river. so where are these senators from georgia and south carolina? well, senator isakson says we need to retain yucca mountain as our nation's high-level waste repository. what does senator -- he supports. senator chambliss says, we have long advocated that the
10:19 am
department of energy immediately halt all actions to dismantle operations at yucca mountain. he supports. senator graham, no one should be required to pay for an empty hole in the nevada desert. the decision by the obama administration to close yucca mountain was ill-advised and leaves our nation without a disposal plan for spent nuclear fuel. or cold war waste. that's what hanford is. cold war nuclear waste from our weapons sector. what does senator demint say? without yucca mountain, america will not have safe and secure place to permanently store nuclear waste and instead waste will pile up at existing reactors. we will continue and i will continue to come down on the floor and go through the nation highlighting, high level nuclear waste all over this country. when the federal law under the nuclear waste policy act of 1972 says we should have one site. and the law says that site is --
10:20 am
yucca mountain. and so as we continue to go through the states, hopefully some senators will get off the dime and state their position, culminating to 60 senators in support as we move this forward. this nation forward to a more secure location for high-level nuclear waste, away from lakes, away from rivers, away from the groundwater tables. there's no safer place on the planet than underneath a mountain in a desert. and that place is yucca mountain. with that i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from new york, mr. rangel, for five minutes. mr. rangel: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. rangel: thank you. it appeared some time yesterday that the congressional budget office looked at statistically
10:21 am
where the wealth of this country was being held and came to the conclusion that 1% of americans high earners have 42% of the nation's wealth. it also pointed out that one out of every five kids, american kids, are born into poverty. well, certainly one might look at the income tax system to see whether or not this disparate is being dealt with, but if you do, you'll find out that we have aggressively protected income from people who are wealthy enough to invest it at lower rates than lower income people who work hard every day and yet have a higher rate of their income that they have paid taxes
10:22 am
on. what does this unfairness mean? well, one thing i can tell you is that you're not going to have too much noise from the spiritual community because somehow their silence as we deal with the question of budget deficits and budget cuts, they haven't responded to the fact that many of these cuts has to deal with income after retirement with social security. others deal with the ability to pay for health care. others just deal with the plight of not being able to put food on the table to get health care. in other words, it's all biblical as to the -- what is wrong about the disparates in income. but this other -- there's other things that we don't talk about that you can rest assured that this includes some of the
10:23 am
benefits that the 1% has. why is it that we know or that we can suspect that in this world where we lost so many lives that so many people have been wounded, that our brave men and women coming home will subject themselves to a lack of funds to deal with their physical and mental problems, and yet we somehow know that that 1% was not involved in defending our great nation. oh, we take it for granted that those people who can't get jobs will volunteer. but we can almost know without any investigation that the wealthiest of americans never found themselves protecting our flag. what else can we tell? well, we can tell there's a limited amount of money that billionaires can spend. and we don't expect them to be
10:24 am
at the local supermarket or buying a pair of socks or going to the drugstore looking for prescriptions. no, they hold on to their money. they invest their money. they don't even loan their money. but having said that one thing is clear, that if we have the other 99% of the people that are not wealthy, and if it was possible for them to get a fairer shake and have more expendable income, you wouldn't have to put out ads for them to buy. they have the needs and that they would be purchasing. and small businesses depend on these people. not the barons, not the tie consequence, but they -- tie cons -- tycoons, but they depend on the people in the neighborhood. that's where the store is located. it's not a question of having consumer confidence. it's a question of consumers not having the money to buy what
10:25 am
they need. but i really think that the worst thing of all when we just overlook and don't pay attention to that, is the american dream that's being shattered. because we do know that poverty means that you're not going to have good health. you're not going to get the type of education to get out of poverty. poverty means that you lose the hope and the dreams of this great nation, and more than poor poverty and wealth, what real is the engine -- really is the engine that makes our nation so great is people from all over the world believes that you can make it in the united states of america. but when you are now going through decades of poverty, kids not able to go to college, those that graduate not able to find jobs, our young people and older
10:26 am
alike running to the streets in protest. explosion of this type occurring all over the great united states , then the hopes and dreams that are the engine that makes our country so great are limited in their ability to bring the scientists and the doctors and the people we need for this country. 1% of our wage earners, 42% of the nation's wealth. there is something wrong with that formula. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from georgia, mr. woodall, for five minutes. mr. woodall: thank you, mr. speaker. you know, mr. speaker, you probably get the same questions i get when i go back home and some folks who came and sat here in the gallery and looked down on the house floor and thought,
10:27 am
golly, where is everybody? i thought it was going to be full of 435 members of congress. as you know, mr. speaker, in today's modern technology, everyone's back in their waffs watching things on television, but i confess that sometime during this morning hour i turn the volume down a little bit. because sometimes we get into those divisive issues down here on the house floor that gets my blood pressure so much i think my head will explode first thing in the morning. today i want to come down here and find those things that bring us together as oppose to divide us because i do believe that as we face the economic challenges we are facing in america today, there is more that unites this body than divides it. there is more that we can do together than we must fight about in order to move the american dream forward. i have in my pocket a card, it's titled the house republican job plan, mr. speaker. but i tell you it's an american job plan. i look down the items that we have brought forward in this
10:28 am
republican house, america's house, the thing that they have been able to pass the united states senate, the things that have gone to the president's doveg, and we are making progress -- desk, and we are making progress, mr. speaker, on those things that unite us. we started the off repealing the 1099 provision from the health care bill. that required paper mandates on all of our small businesses. we came together, house and senate and president, repealed that. last week, we came and we passed three new free trade agreements. three new free trade agreements for this nation. mr. speaker, as you know with every nation that america has a free trade agreement, we have a manufacturing surplus. hear that, mr. speaker. with every nation with which we have a free trade agreement, we have a manufacturing trade surplus. we ship more american made goods to those countries than we import. we have a trade deficit as a nation, but a manufactured goods surplus with nations with which
10:29 am
we find free trade agreements. free trade agreements, good for america. good for jobs. good for trade. and we were able to move those across the president's desk with his signature last week. two weeks ago now. and this week we are going to bring two more bills to the floor. things that bring us together. you heard my colleague from illinois talk about earlier this morning, the 3% withholding, a bill that we passed to say we think there's lots of tax cheats going out there among folks who contract for the government, we'll withhold those taxes up front and make you get them back later on. turns out 3% withholding our small business owners didn't have a 3% margin. if we withheld all that money they couldn't pay the bills. they would have to operate at a loss for the year and ask the government back in april for their refund. the president's onboard with that repeal. i believe the house is going to be onboard with that repeal. the senate will be onboard. we'll move that across the floor this week as well. things that are bringing us together, mr. speaker, common ground that we can cover to make
10:30 am
it easier to create jobs in this country, because i agree with my colleague, mr. rangel, the american dream is that you can come here and do better tomorrow than you did today, that you can provide your kids with more opportunity than what you had. that is the american dream. i don't worry that folks want to come to america, i worry about the one day that that dream has disappeared and folks don't want to come to america anymore. they would rather take their big brain and hard work ethic to china or india or brazil or argentina. we must preserve america. . as the mess met of success, the -- the magnet of success, the magnet that believes those opportunities exist here. you know, mr. speaker, there is a commonality in all those bills that we passed and sent to the president's desk this year. it's that these were things that the government did to try to encourage compliance, to try to regulate, to try to require
10:31 am
that small businesses operate differently and what we found out is they didn't work. 1099 provision. free trade -- those tariffs and duties that prevented that free trade. this 3% withholding provision. what's the common ground, mr. speaker? it's that the congress is doing too much in regulating. america is doing too much in regulating this country. i ran on that premise, mr. speaker, that the challenge is not that we're doing too little. the problem is we're doing too much and burdening those small businesses. you know, the former soviet block countries, mr. speaker, have learned from that example. they have flat tax rates, no exemptions, no exceptions and their tax collections went up. mr. speaker, folks can't pay taxes if they don't have a job. you can't pay income taxes if you don't have a job, and you can't have a job if you don't have opportunity in your society. the fair tax, mr. speaker, h.r. 25, goes right to the heart of
10:32 am
these job issues. repealing those burdensome taxes and making sure everybody gets a fair shake, mr. speaker, that's what it's all about. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from virginia, mr. connolly, for five minutes. mr. connolly: mr. speaker, there are 14 million americans out of work. they need jobs. this economy needs jobs. unfortunately, jobs have not been the focus for the house republican leadership thus far. while private sector job growth has dwindled, house republicans have repeatedly placed partisanship above policy. it's long past time we vote on a jobs bill. the president's america jobs act contains a number of important jobs initiatives which have traditionally enjoyed bipartisan support, tax cuts for businesses, tax cuts to workers, tax cuts to employ veterans and critically needed infrastructure in this country.
10:33 am
unfortunately, the senate republicans voted to kill this job creator and the house republican leadership hasn't even brought it up for debate. today, however, we have a small opportunity to help small businesses and provide them with greater predictability by repealing the burdensome 3% withholding requirement on government contractors, vendors, farmers and medicare providers. the president has called for its repeal and this is a bipartisan bill supported by many of us on both sides of the aisle. the 3% withholding regulation became law under president bush in 2005 and the republican congress. the original intent may have been to ensure tax compliance among the very small number of bad actors, yet, the sledgehammer approach that was adopted is creating far more challenges than the problem we're trying to solve. since then, a number of bipartisan efforts have delayed its implementation, but temporary measures at best lead businesses uncertain and weary about future investment. my district here in the national capital region is
10:34 am
probably home to more federal contractors than any other in congress and i routinely hear from them about this issue everywhere i go. they report that the 3% withholding will unduly restrict their cash flows, increase project bond costs and not be able to create jobs. in addition, this burdensome regulation won't just harm the private sector, it hurts state and local governments that contract to those subject to the withholding requirement. i know this regulation would create an accounting nightmare for our local and state partners. an estimated 20% of counties throughout the country have more than $100 million in annual expenditures that would be subject to this withholding. as county chairman of such jurisdiction i have an open r.f.p. process to make sure the lowest cost for our taxpayers. this would be a nightmare for state and local governments which will have the collection
10:35 am
going to the i.r.s. the cost of the department of defense to be compliant with this regulation would have to withhold more than $17 billion for private companies every year. furthermore, many businesses subject to the requirement would either have to increase their business, stop bidding on projects with local governments. either way, whether the competition is limited or prices increased, they will furred burden local taxpayers at a time they can't afford it. we need to partner with the private sector to spur economic growth and recover from this regular are recession. the government withholding relief coalition represents more than 140 trade associations, state and local governments and stated the total cost of the 3% regulation would be $75 billion over five years. repealing it today will provide businesses with greater predictability and remove undue government intrusions. with greater predictability,
10:36 am
america's businesses will be able to invest in job creation. we can provide that predictability today. i urge my colleagues to vote to support small businesses and vote for h.r. 674. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. fitzpatrick, for five minutes. mr. fitzpatrick: thank you, mr. speaker. there's much debate on the floor of this house about the plight of the uninsured and we need more discussion about health care solutions and we need more praise for those health care professionals in our communities who do the hard work of providing health care for the poor and the uninsured without government mandate and without government involvement. i rise today to honor the 20th anniversary of the mother bachmann maternity center which is part of bucks county. for over two decades, the mother bachmann center has been providing women of bucks county
10:37 am
with the health care they need regardless of their ability to pay. certified nurse mid wifes provide obstetrical care to women who are uninsured or underinsured. women who would otherwise go without medical care during their pregnancy have access to a wide range of services including nutrition education, financial counseling and prenatal and delivery care. the mother bachmann center is also able to partner with catholic social services in order to identify patients at risk for postpartum depression and offer them social support and important counseling services. this center aims to provide a continuum of care to new mothers and families who are in need. st. mary and its partners offer emergency housing in 10 local apartments where families receive financial counseling, parental skills instruction and computer education to help them
10:38 am
in search for employment. the mother bachmann center also offers confidential domestic violence evaluations and resource referrals in partnership with a local nonprofit agency that helps women and helps families in crisis. this center is just one part of a larger group of community programs including children's health center and the family resource center that serve expecting and new mothers of bucks county through st. mary medical center. the mother bachmann center is a prime example of charitable organizations and community groups coming together to address an important issue with effective local solutions. st. mary medical center with this center has provided the community of bucks county with an alternative to handouts from the state, local or federal government. these types of programs not only provide quality health care services but they also empower women to take charge of their pregnancies and navigate their first trials as a new
10:39 am
mother. and so as this congress continues to debate issues of health care and the proper role of the government and the industry, i urge my colleagues to look at this center as a model for efficient community-based solutions. thomas jefferson once said that health is worth more than learning. it is true, but we can all learn from projects like the mother bachmann maternity center about what it takes and how to provide health and health care for our most at-risk constituents. and so, mr. speaker, i'm proud to rise today to honor the mother bachmann maternity center as it celebrates 20 years of providing families in needs with important health and human services. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair now recognizes the gentlelady from ohio, ms. kaptur, for five minutes. ms. kaptur: thank you, mr. speaker. this week marks the 8 nd anniversary of black thursday, the start of the great stock market crash of 1929. on that day rampant wall street
10:40 am
speculation that characterized the roaring 20's came to an abrupt end. our country learned many valuable lessons about the banking system and took action to contain the severe risks of an unregulated banking system. this body passed the banking act of 1933, commonly called glass-steagall, named after the sponsors of the bill. well, from the shape of our economy today, it appears the u.s. forgot important lessons of economic behavior. the banking system we have today again is too risky, too concentrated and with too much absentee ownership. as a result, our system of credit is seized up and also less competitive. this results in lower capital formation in our local communities which translates into fewer jobs. our system also has become one that does not financially empower or reward the average
10:41 am
depositor. consumers know that their interest on certificates of deposit have fallen to all-time lows. yet, we see banking fees increasing on all kinds of transactions. yes, it almost seems like you have to pay the banks to take your money. money center banks, meanwhile, are earning huge profits. while tightly restricting loans and hindering our economic recovery. the u.s. has far fewer banks and savings and loan institutions than we did a decade and a half ago. in fact, the federal deposit insurance corporation's figures show our nation has 6,414 commercial banks today, half that existed in 1990. in addition, 856 banks are on the fdic's watch list, a very high figure. moreover, 60% of the savings institutions have disappeared over the same period of time. we see enormous accumulation of banking assets and vast
10:42 am
financial power moved to a handful of powerful institutions that are making enormous profits. indeed, the highest profits in our nation in addition to the oil companies. 15 years ago the assets of the sixth largest banks were approximately 17% of gross domestic product. today, after the recent financial panic, estimates for assets of those same banks are over half of our gross domestic product. so six financial institutions control an enormous percentage. not just of our banking system but indeed our economy and in turn our nation's future. this is too much power in too few hands. the american people are feeling it in the restriction of credit, the lack of jobs with sluggish growth and the lack of competitive capital opportunities. over a decade ago, congress' ultimate response to the stock
10:43 am
market crash of 1929 was abolished. yes, the law that separated risky wall street speculation from prudent community banking, the glass-steagall act, was obliterated by the conference committee on the gramm-leach-bliley act. it created an economic time bomb that started ticking and contributed in an explosion in september of 2008. financial abandon replaced prudence. wall street and its supporters in congress became obsessed with stripping away all the prudent banking rules that were once the cornerstone of what had been a stable financial system. that system formed capital, protected consumer accounts, paid them a decent return on their money and created the greatest period of growth in american history. that system built confidence, dependability and wealth across our economy. wall street lobbyists were eager to walk back the hands of time, falsely claiming the
10:44 am
banking act of 1933 that formed the basis of stable credit for half a century was quaint and outdated. but when gramm-leach-bliley was signed into law, it was swept into the dust bin and financial calamity followed. the glass-steagall protections are not outdated. wall street opposed them in the 1930's just as much as they do today. in the 1930's it was a commission and we need another one that was an instrument of this congress that was charged with investigating wall street abuses in the banking system following the great depression. their work is often credited with creating the momentum for passage of the glass-steagall banking act of 1933 and one wrote that bitterly hostile was wall street to the enactment of those regulatory reforms. what is different today is how tamely congress and the executive branch reacted to wall street abuse. following the 2008 economic collapse, there was not an immediate recognition that what
10:45 am
was needed was restoration of that sound financial framework. mr. speaker, i have a bill, h.r. 1489, the return to prudent banking act. i ask my colleagues to co-sponsor this bipartisan legislation. america surely needs to restore a secure, dependable and prudent banking system so we can get on with the job of job creation. i yield back my remaining time. . the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the chair recognizes the gentlelady from missouri for five minutes. mrs. hartzler: thank you, mr. speaker. every day we hear of some new government overreach coming from washington washington. well, today i want to tell you about perhaps the biggest overreach of all, centered around a pristine, beautiful place in my district, the lake of the ozarks. it was built in the 190's and
10:46 am
includes over 1,100 miles of shoreline and home to thousands of homes and residents and tens of thousands of americans who enjoy the beauty and the lifestyle of living on the lake. every day you'll find families and people of all ages enjoying the water and being with each other surrounded by god's beauty and the ozark hills. in the spring we enjoy the dogwood festival there where the hillsides are dotted with the whites and pinks of the dogwood amidst a lime green background of budding trees. in the fall we have autumn. the boat on the lake pulling up to one of the marinas at a restaurant to grab a bite to eat. and then heading home when the sky changes from orange to blue to star-studded. the lake is a special place and
10:47 am
it is under attack. it is under attack from the federal government. this summer the federal energy regulatory commission issued an order requiring the removal of over 4,000, what they call encroachments, from around the shoreline of the lake, including over 1,200 homes. think about that. the federal government has ordered the removal and destruction of over 1,200 homes. all that have free and clear title to their property and have been paying property taxes on them for decades. it's shocking. it's outrageous. it's infuriating. and it's got to be stopped. you ask, how did this happen? the lake of the ozarks is a privately opened lake, power is generate interested a hydroelectric plant at the lake's dam. ferc regulates the power plant
10:48 am
and required them to submit a shoreline management plan as part of a 40-year lease application for the continued operation of the dam and osage renewal energy center. they submitted the paperwork over two years ago and after sitting on the application for over two years, this july ferc rejected their plan and substituted their own plan which includes an order requiring them to remove as many as 4,000 out-of-compliance structures near the shoreline and within the boundary of the dam project. here's an example of some of the structures they say need to go. ferc stated the structures, quote, should be removed in a timely manner and site restored to pre-existing conditions. this ludicrous order could result in the unnecessary removal of thousands of homes and other structures along over 1,100 miles of shoreline.
10:49 am
what makes this action so onerous is that the property owners have clear title to this land with an easement giving them the right to do with their property as they wish. the deed issued in the 1930's when the lake was built also reserved the right for the landowners to utilize the lakeshore and adjoining land for any and all purposes, including, quote, the erection and maintenance of improvements thereon. ferc's order is nothing more than a public taking and it needs to be stopped. if it's not, it will be devastating to our area's economy, home values, businesses, and most importantly devastating to the wonderful hardworking people who have invested their life savings to live, raise a family, and retire at missouri's beautiful lake of the ozarks. the lake of the ozarks is one of the most popular tourist destinations not only in missouri but across the nation. it has homeowners from all 50
10:50 am
states of the union. ferc's action could cause irreparable harm to the homeowners, boating, to fishing, water supports, and other business interests. it will cause uncertainty and fear that property values will plummet and has already locked up the real estate market at the lake. ferc's actions are causing the whole lake community to suffer economically. economic downturn will lead to delays and much needed infrastructure repairs will hurt schools, which depend on property taxes to provide our children with the quality education they deserve. the federal energy regulatory commission is a prime example of out-of-control government agency. it must be stopped. that's why on monday i introduced h.r. 3244, this bill will remove ferc's power to tell landowners that they must remove structures from around the lake. i was joined by all of the other missouri members in the house of representatives, five other republicans, and three
10:51 am
democrats. our two u.s. senators, one republican and one democrat, introduced an identical bill in the other chamber. this is a rare show of bipartisanship these days which just shows how indefensible ferc's actions are. we may disagree on other issues, but on this one we are united. washington's overreach must be stopped. it's time to put the genie back in the bottle and ensure it doesn't wreak havoc on our lives, lake, and rights. mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the chair now recognizes the gentlelady from california, ms. roybal-allard, for five minutes. ms. roybal-allard: mr. speaker, as national breast cancer awareness month comes to a close, i rise to honor our breast cancer warriors who are bravely battling this deadly disease. according to the american chancer society, approximately 2.6 million women and men are living with breast cancer in this country. it is estimated that this year
10:52 am
alone there will be 290,000 new cases of breast cancer, and almost 40,000 patients will lose their battle with this disease. until five years ago, i would hear these statistics, sympathize with personal stories of suffering from this tragic disease, and reaffirm my commitment to support finding a cure. but i never fully understood what it meant to have a family diagnosed with breast cancer until the day my sister called to tell me she had breast cancer. at that moment i fully understood the personal sense of helplessness, anguish, and disbelief that had been described to me so many times before. now i, too, found myself hoping and praying that i would wake up from the nightmare that was my sister's reality. like so many other breast cancer warriors, lillian bravely confrontsed her cancer,
10:53 am
determined to overcome her devastating illness, and the intensely physical and deeply emotional challenge it presented. as my sister moves towards her fifth year free of cancer, there is much to be hopeful for. from 1998 to 2007, breast cancer incidents rates in the u.s. decreased by about 2% a year due in part, it is thought, to the reduced use of hormonal replacement therapy. since about 1990, death rates from breast cancer have also been declining with larger decreases in women younger than 50. while breast cancer is still the second leading cause of death in women, exceeded only by lung cancer, the chance that breast cancer will be responsible for a woman's death has been reduced one in 36. these dramatic improvements and life expectancy are believed to be the result of earlier
10:54 am
detection through screening and increased awareness, as well as improved treatment. these improvements also stand as a testament to the investments congress has made in prevention, screening, and researching new treatments for the disease. but they must not be the final frontier in our efforts to make breast cancer a disease of the past. i was recently and personally reminded of this fact because once again breast cancer has attacked someone who is close to my heart. earlier this summer, monica, my long time district office manager, was diagnosed with invasive breast cancer. she faced this unbelievable challenge with characteristic grace and strength, with family, friends, and colleagues she has been up front and up beat about her illness and always a stylish dresser. she has doned a number of very fashionable head scarves.
10:55 am
after first undergoing several months of chemotherapy, last friday monica had successful surgery and is home recovering. i want her to know we are praying for her continued strength and speedy recovery. like so many other breast cancer warriors, monica's extraordinary courage as she fights against her disease is an example of the power of the human spirit to survive. and it gives renewed fervor to my personal commitment to fight this disease. as long as women in our country face a one in eight chance of developing breast cancer, we must continue to invest in improved and earlier detection of the disease. better treatment, and educational outreach. for lillian, for monica, and for my colleague who is here, debi wasserman schultz -- debbie wasserman schultz, and for all our mothers, sisters, daughters, and friends let us never abandon
10:56 am
our fight to find a cure and finally eradicate breast cancer in our country and ultimately in the world. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california, mr. mcclintock, for five minutes. mr. mcclintock: thank you. mr. speaker, the government's continuing failure to address our nation's gut wrenching unemployment stems from a fundamental disagreement over how jobs are created in the first place. we are now in the third year of policies predicated assumption that government spending creates jobs. we squandered three years and trillions of dollars of the nation's wealth on such policies and they have not worked because they cannot work. government cannot inject a single dollar into the economy until it's first taken that same dollar out of the economy. true, we see the job that saved
10:57 am
or created when the government puts that dollar back into the economy, what we can't see is clear is the jobs that are destroyed or prevented from forming because government has first taken that dollar out of the economy. we see those millions of lost jobs in a chronic unemployment rate and a stagnating economy. government can transfer jobs from the productive sector to the government sector by taking money from one and giving it to the other, that's at the heart of the president's plan to spend billions of dollars to hire more teachers and firefighters and police officers. but these temporary government jobs come at a steep price. every dollar spent sustaining one of these jobs is a dollar taken from the same capital pool that would otherwise been available to productive businesses to invest in creating permanent jobs. government can also transfer jobs from one business to another by taking capital from
10:58 am
one and giving it to the other. that's how we got solyndra. we put a half billion dollars at risk to create 1,100 jobs. that's $450,000 per job. now that half billion dollars is gone and so are the jobs. and who pays for these losses? other businesses and their employees, meaning fewer jobs created. what government can do very effectively is to create the conditions in which jobs either flourish and expand or wither and disappear. when we place additional taxes on productivity, jobs disappear. the president says he only wants to tax millionaires and billionaires, but the tax increases in his so-called jobs plan actually hammer more than 75% of net small business income. at a time when we are counting on those small businesses to produce 2/3 of the new jobs that our people desperately need.
10:59 am
that is insane. when we place additional regulations on productivity jobs disappear. that's what we are watching in real time thousands of pages of new regulations from obamacare, from dodd frank, from the e.p.a. stifling american job creation. it's no secret why business isn't expanding. just ask a businessman. they are scared to death of the additional taxes and regulations they may be facing in the next few years and they are pulling back to see what happens. ask bankers why they are not lending, you hear the same answer. house republicans have laid out a comprehensive plan to revive the economy through the same policies that worked under ronald reagan in the early 1980's, under john f. kennedy in the 1960's, under harry truman in the mid 1940's, and warren harding in the early 1920's. for example, the congressional budget office estimates that obamacare by itself will cost our economy a net loss of
11:00 am
800,000 jobs. a few weeks ago the natural resources committee received testimony that just by getting government out of the way and opening up american energy resources to development, the economy could create 700,000 jobs and $660 billion of direct revenues to the national and state treasuries. so repeal obamacare, open up american energy resources, there is 1.5 million jobs right there at no cost to taxpayers. . now, imagine doing that across all sectors of the economy. that's what the republicans are proposing to do. the fact that the president doesn't even recognize this as a jobs plan leads me to conclude that he simply doesn't understand how jobs are created in the first place. when ronald reagan inherited an even worse economy from jimmy carter, he reduced the tax and regulatory burdens that were crushing the economy just as
11:01 am
republicans propose to do today. according to a recent article in "the wall street journal," if the economy today under obama had tracked the same as it did under reagan, 15.7 million more americans would be working today and per capita income would be $4,000 higher than it is today. $16,000 higher for a family of four. mr. speaker, freedom works. it's time we put it back to work. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the chair now recognizes the gentlelady from california -- florida, ms. wasserman schultz, for five minutes. thank you. ms. wasserman schultz: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today in recognition of national work and family month. as a mother of young kids and a household with two working parents, i know all too well the daily struggles facing today's american families. how can we be great parents and also be great at our jobs? this summer when i was home in
11:02 am
my congressional district, a constituent raised the question that particularly struck me. can you imagine what a typical workweek would look like if suddenly without warning every single childcare provider failed to show up to work and left parents with no alternative childcare options? from wall street to main street, america's businesses would come to a grinding halt. and the carefully spun web of endless schedules and systems and to-do lists we created to make it all work would unravel. with the number of parents working full time on the rise, more and more families are fully engaged in the daily juggling act that comes with trying to do it all. particularly in today's economy when secure employment has become more ten with us, parents have become increasing hesitant to ask their employers for greater flexibility in their work schedule to encourage their companies to open a daycare center or to ask
11:03 am
to work remotely. the current economic climate has needed greater flexibility. thousands of parents are at home not by choice but because they have lost their jobs and not had the opportunity to re-enter the workplace. these parents may be at home but looking for employment is a full-time job. with thousands of families experiencing this situation as we speak, we are hearing too many stories about parents who couldn't get to an interview, a networking opportunity or a job training session because their partners didn't have the flexibility in their work arrangements to make it work. studies show that employees and their families are not the only ones to benefit from greater workplace flexibility. from improved productivity and efficiencies to higher employee morale, flexible work arrangements benefit employers and can help companies reach their fullest potential. in the last decade we've seen significant strides made toward improve the great juggling act
11:04 am
that is work-life balance. in the spirit of national work and family month, i urge my fellow policymakers, employers and employees to pause this month to think about how we can better work together to make it just a little bit easier for today's families. attending the school play, tending to a sick child or just being able to meet your family's needs makes a huge difference in the morale and work ethic of an employee. achieving work-life balance makes for a more productive employee and a more loyal one. i encourage all employers to assist their employees in achieving this balance. it will reap immeasurable benefits for both the workplace and for our families. thank you. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from south carolina, mr. gowdy, for five minutes. mr. gowdy: thank you, mr. speaker. milt and suzy smith from south carolina are parents to three wonderful sons, doug smith is a former speaker protemperature of the south carolina house of
11:05 am
representatives -- speaker pro tempore of the south carolina house of representatives. another is a world-class sunday school teacher. but, mr. speaker, i rise today in praise of their third son, chip. chip smith is from spartanburg, south carolina, and his company, blue ridge log cabins employs nearly 100 people in the fourth congressional district. blue ridge log cabins is an innovator in the modular log cabin industry and one of the fastest growing privately held companies in the nation. mr. speaker, i am not here to talk about that today. i'm here to talk about something even more significant and special than that. on sunday, september 25 of this year, extreme makeover home edition spotlighted the efforts of blue ridge log cabins in their season opening episode on abc. over 10 million viewers witnessed the donation made by blue ridge log cabins to barbara marshall of fayetteville, north carolina. chip smith decided to build stepson stages jubilee house to
11:06 am
serve as a shelter for homeless female military veterans. chip's generosity and barbara marshall's vision of providing invaluable service to those who have sacrificed their safety for ours. this 8,000 square foot facility will provide the most basic necessity to those who cannot provide it for themselves which is shelter. and when it comes to our veterans, mr. speaker, it is imperative that we encourage efforts like this and help those in need. so, chip, thank you and your company for putting your time and treasure to use to help others. mr. speaker, times are tough and people are hurting. the greatness of the american spirit is even in those times. we still reach out to others who are in need. so i am proud to call chip smith is constituent. i'm even prouder to call him my friend. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back.
11:07 am
the chair recognizes the gentleman from connecticut, mr. murphy, for five minutes. mr. murphy: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, colleagues, america is not broke so republicans should stop saying it, conservative pundits should stop spreading it because this country isn't broke. now our government temporarily is and millions of american families are, but our nation is not. and my hypothesis is this. if we don't wake up to this fact soon, if we don't start investing our nation's riches in spreading wealth out across this economy, then our whole economy is sunk, whether you're rich or you're poor. so let's try to debunk this myth once and for all that america is broke, that we cannot afford these investments and let's start here. it's pretty simple. the united states is still a global leader. we are still the richest country in the world on a per
11:08 am
capita basis. for all the talk of the rise of india and china and brazil, you take their population adjusted wealth and combine it together and they are still 50% of u.s. wealth. but so if our country's still wealthy we need to understand we made a choice to keep our government poor. now, why is that? contrary to popular beleaf, it's not because discretionary spending -- beleaf, it's not because discretionary spending has run amuck. discretionary spending has remained stable over time. we've had a brief uptick with some extraordinary pieces of legislation but discretionary spending has remained stable. don't believe this chart? take a look at this. if government is growing at extraordinary rates you'd expect that government workers would be exploding as well. that's not true either. we have 16,000 less federal employees than we did in 1970. as you see the trend line from
11:09 am
1990 continues to go down as well. now, this isn't to say the government can't get leaner and meaner. it's just a suggestion that there's another culprit at work. and that other culprit is revenue. despite what you hear on tv, despite what you hear on fox news today, taxes as a percentage of g.d.p. today are at a 60-year low. right now we are collecting about 15% of our g.d.p. in taxes. the problem isn't just that the government is broke, it's just that we made a decision effectively to keep it broke. now, if the government isn't broke and this country is still the richest in the world, why is it that so many families feel broke, why is it that so many families are broke? well, let's explore that for a second. here's the problem right here. over the last 60 years, incomes for the bottom 99% of americans have basically remained flat,
11:10 am
and what that has meant is all of the additional wealth we have accumulated in this nation has gone to the richest 1% such as their incomes during that same time have increased by almost 300%. you want to see it in even starker terms? then, take a look at this chart. the 400 wealthiest americans have a net worth that is greater than the net worth of the 100 million poorest americans. let me say that again. the 400 richest of us have more money than the 100 million poorest of us. now, having said all of this, let me say this. getting rich is good. it's great. the richest 400 people didn't steal this money. they made it legally. we just have to start having policies in this country that make more people rich, that make more people feel rich. and so we need to be having a debate in this country right now about how we do that, about
11:11 am
how we put policies in place to lift more people into the ranks of those that have enough to succeed. because in an economy with this kind of wealth disparity combined with an unwillingness to make the investments to shrink it is destined to collapse. this is not about pitting one group against another. this is about economics. it's not class warfare that to suggest as a economy we would be stronger if incomes were rising for more people than the top 1%, the people that tend to spend domestically, the middle class, not internationally. it's not class warfare if more of our nation's wealth would went to local innovators rather than big multinational companies that tend to take income from the united states and use it to create employment overseas. and it's not class warfare to suggest that our economy would be stronger if more kids had access to the ultimate wealth creator, higher education. if we were investing our nation's richest in making college cheaper.
11:12 am
you know what, if we have this discussion, everybody, not just the bottom 99% benefits from the discussion. my friends, the government is temporarily broke. millions of american families are broke, but our nation is not broke. we're just pretending that we are. and here's the thing. if we don't wake up from this dream soon, what is fiction today will be fact before we know it. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas, mr. brady, for five minutes. mr. brady: mr. speaker, thank you. my district and the people of southeast texas know and understand of the devastating hurricanes and what they bring to our communities having survived hurricane rita and ike. this past september we dealt with a very different type of disaster in the form of major wildfires in jasper counties,
11:13 am
tyler counties, my own county of montgomery. luckily for us we were also granted our september miracle on labor day weekend as fire crews from across texas and in fact the entire country came to magnolia to battle a three-county blaze that threatened to consume well over 10,000 homes and businesses in magnolia as well as 1,000 more -- thousands more in neighboring counties. in fact, if you look at this map, you can see the structures lost in montgomery county were a fraction percent of those saved by brave fire crews. the fire was in this area outlined here, but you can see in the red, the yellow, the green, the blue going out, all the homes, the thousands of homes and small businesses who were saved by the actions of our local firefighters. i had the privilege to go out
11:14 am
twice to those fire areas to see for myself how the fire lines came right up to these homes within five feet of their front door and somehow our firefighters saved them. then, they did it as the home next to that and the home next to that. it is impossible for me and for anyone who could see that not to be in awe of these heroes. their skill and dedication saved the town of magnolia. and i can't wait to join them this saturday in union park to honor their success and their hard work. chief vincent led the magnolia volunteer firefighters and exempted their motto of community of unity. he united over 50 firefighting agencies by his side. he had help from our sheriff, tommy gauge, our constables, our police departments, our terrific fire marshal, who you
11:15 am
need to meet. our school districts, just to name a few of the people and the agencies that stepped up like you can't believe. california, california sent from the federal government interagency instant management team, and i think they had their eyes open. . this got to he see what happens when a community rallies together as volunteers. it was a sight to behold. everyday texans, everyday citizens in the magnolia, montgomery county area, joined with our charity agencies, red cross, local food banks, churches, chambers of commerce, and others to provide a response the firefighters across this nation will be talking about for years to come. we saw the best of our communities and the massive volunteer effort to feed, clothe, and take care of our bravest. at the magnolia west high school staging area i got to tour a firefighter was thirsty, three volunteers would rush over with a bottle of water.
11:16 am
there was likely two more behind him carrying a hot meal. just in case that firefighter might be hungry. speaking with the firefighters who came in from across the country, all they could talk about was how well they were treated by the community of magnolia. they came in looking for water in a fema bar and what they got was home cooked meals, fresh clothes, and necessaryities. if they asked for it, volunteer found it and brought it right over. and when these volunteers ran low, they simply september out a message on facebook to the community. within three hours that staging area, the ag barn, was filled to the brim again. it was amazing. outpouring of love and support was truly a sight to behold. it's no wonder back home we consider this god's country. today it's an honor for me to be here on the house floor to honor our heroes. without all of you, thousands of families wouldn't have homes to
11:17 am
go to tonight or businesses to go work to. the proof is right here on this map. this saturday afternoon the park in magnolia, our community will come together to honor the men and women who beat backfire, held the line, and saved our community. we'll also honor them by heeding their warnings, the fire danger remains extraordinarily high. we must remain vigilant in our prevention efforts. that's another way we can honor our bravest who spent the month of september away from their families, saving homes and businesses in our community. god bless our firefighters. god bless our volunteers and all who supported them. and god bless our community. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from kansas, mr. yoder, for five minutes. mr. yoder: thank you, mr. speaker. today i rise to recognize the
11:18 am
service and sacrifice of our nation's veterans and military service members who have answered our country's call to serve. last month we commemorated the 10th anniversary of the attacks of september 11, 2001 in ref brans of their victims and their families while at the same time recognizing the need for continued vigilance as the united states seeks to rid the world of terrorism. this month we commemorate the 10th anniversary of the afghanistan war. 10 years later our nation is safer as a direct result of the voluntary service of men and women who are willing to place themselves in harm's way often under circumstances many americans cannot fathom. this willingness to serve and dedication to duty remains consistent. as with previous generations of veterans who chose to serve their country during our greatest time of need. unfortunately we have lost some of our greatest treasure in our fight against terrorism. since october, 2001, 4,914
11:19 am
service members have been killed and another 46,376 injured as a result of military action in iraq and afghanistan. recently we again faced a tragic loss of life. on august 6 a ch-46 chinook helicopter carrying u.s. army soldiers and navy seals and afghan soldiers was shot down in afghanistan resulting in the greatest loss of life in any combat incident in the entire conflict thus far. the unit involved b company 7th 158th aviation, headquartered in new century kansas in the southern most part of my district. last march i had the privilege to attend the deployment ceremony for the unit as they departed for training at fort bliss, ultimately gloig to afghanistan as part of operation enduring freedom. as my colleagues are well aware, members -- deployment ceremonies are often somber affairs with
11:20 am
family members wanting to spend every last second with their loved ones before they depart for duty and soldiers assuring family members that they will be ok and not to worry. this past august i was saddened to learn about the trackic events of august 6, 2011. hearing the news that three members of the unit had been killed during the combat operation. these soldiers, army specialist spencer duncan, chief warrant officer brian nicholls, and army specialist compander bennett are remembered as outstanding soldiers, dedicated to duty, their unit, and each other. spencer duncan was just 21. a 2008 graduate he enlisted in the army reserve shortly after graduation and before employment to afghanistan. he served at the new century aviation support facility in kansas. first he was an aircraft mechanic and later he trained to become a chinook door gunner. i had the honor of attempting a
11:21 am
memorial service for him and witnessed the outpouring of love from his family. brian nicholls was a pilot who in hearing the need to train people for mobilization volunteered and sacrificed for his country leaving behind a wife and son. alexander bennett was 23, and was trained as a helicopter flight mechanic. originally from tacoma, washington, he already served one tour of duty in iraq in 2009 before being deployed again. this time to afghanistan. mr. speaker, our hearts go out to the families and friends of these three patriotic servicemen who gave the ultimate sacrifice that we all in this country might continue to live in a nation of freedom and liberty. with their service and sacrifice to our nation, a grieving country says thank you. mr. speaker, next month we'll celebrate veterans day, and once again remember the service and sacrifice of all of those who have faithfully and dutifully served in peacetime and war throughout. i yield back the balance of my time.
11:22 am
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the chair declares house in recess why don't we kill them?
11:23 am
these guys have killed almost 1,000 of us? why don't we kill them and why don't we conductess speenage against them? we have people in our government that know how to do this. i am not suggesting a military action. i am suggesting covert action that has deniablity to it. my partner to my left here knows more about this than i could possibly ever know, but i am suggesting that -- >> only have a minute left. let me just say this. i agree, i don't think anybody wants to go to war with iran, but i do think we need a sufficienter response, particularly in light of the assassination attempt in the nation's capital. colonel, i want to give you the last word in my little bit of
11:24 am
time left. you discussed quite extensively between tehran and caracas, between tehran and venezuela and latin america. the fact that hezbollah forces are in latin america. the fact that hezbollah forces may be working with drug cartels i think is in your words. they may have been connected to them previously. could you expand upon that? >> well, it's almost like a play i've seen before. establishing a base in lebanon and look at that and look at what they expanded that to today. we're really preventing any kind of the larger issues. the preventing any kind of accommodation between the palestinian and israelis and with the hamas. they've expanded that. they've become a major player and a major threat that they never had before that. that's why the iranian
11:25 am
revolutionary card moving to lebanon at the time was on a peacekeeping mission was a game changer. there were things that weren't there before. the bomb that we faced wasn't put together by any shias, wasn't put together by any weekend over in a garage. it the biggest nonnuclear explosion ever recorded. still maintains that. the magnitude of the bomb really predetermined mass casualties and the removal, really, the destruction of the mission at the same time. moving that to venezuela and so on, i would state the cuts commander connection with the assassination plot here is the fellow that i pin is the -- has to be one of the key guys in the planning and control of the force is the founder that was
11:26 am
in beirut is the current minister of defense. he's the one that founded it. he's the one that had -- just look at the jobs he's had before he's before the minister of defense and it's all key jobs that leaves out -- like i mentioned -- lays out, like i mentioned, a road map. he was expelled from bolivia after the interpol came because he's on their red notice to -- but he travels under diplomatic cover. the point is he's probably the key guy that's orchestrating all this, specific missions. i think that has that kind of influence. >> thank you, colonel. let me also echo dr. levity's testimony. the cuts would be devastating to the terrorist organization.
11:27 am
the flights going to caracas and tehran, they can't be checked by interpol. the international community cannot check these flights and i've had bolivian lawmakers say there are uranium on these flights going to tehran. i think it's time to start stepping up to the plate and start responding. with that i recognize the gentlelady from california, ms. speier. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, again, to all of our witnesses and i can't think -- i don't think we can say often enough to the colonel and general the great services you provided to our country. it is very commendable. let me sta with you, doctor. you testified about a few things the sanction programs have achieved. can you describe the u.s. sanction programs that are designed to strip iran's access to global financial systems?
11:28 am
>> last june the u.n. security council adopted its tougher set of sanctions. the u.s., e.u., australia, japan, norway and korea followed up with sanctions of their own and the goal is to restrict iran's access to the global financial system especially major backs. there are provisions in the resolution that prohibit any financial services, meaning banker, insurance, reinsurance to iran if there's reason to believe those services could assist iran's nuclear firms. these sanctions have been very powerful. i think more powerful than most people expect it -- expected. and that's why i mentioned what president reagan used to call the misery index is beginning to have -- you know, beginning to create problems for iran internally. >> you referenced in your comments as well that the plot may indeed be a sign of iran's
11:29 am
weakness and desperation. can you expand upon that a little bit for us? >> well, i think if you take a look at the fact that the government now is in kay os, they're concerned about the arab spring because this is undermining the iranian narrative that the islamic republic should be the future of the arab and muslim world. we know that when president ahmadinejad accepted some of our offers about enriching nuclear energy and asking us giving him nuclear materials to be used for medicinal purposes, he was undermined by the ruling cleric. the ruling clerics are now basically saying they don't want to have a president any more. we know what happened, of course, in the 2009 election.
11:30 am
so with their influence declining, with them having economic problems this was, as some people talked about, if in fact it's true, a potential game changer to show that they're still relevant. i think the fact that they allow this renegade -- i mean, this was the keystone kops. this was not a -- you know, if you take a look at the way this was done, the very fact they would allow that to happen shows that the country is in disarray and they're becoming desperate. >> the movement of the money is something that still kind of perplexes me. do any of you have any knowledge of how this money could be moved en masse so we would not know about it? >> none of us know exactly how it happened and hasn't been made public yet. but when i was deputy assistant secretary for treasury this is the thing we looked at closely.
11:31 am
it wasn't sent from an iranian account to an american account. i informal banking channels. bank transfers, deals. but bottom line is it probably was sent from iran and some way it was able to be traced through at least one of the third country. you could pretty easily send those fund. >> dr. korb, you said the nuclear program isn't working. could you elaborate somewhat? >> yes. as you mentioned in your opening statement, the report in "the washington post" quoted high-level government officials, in the intelligence community and also david albright who honor toured this closely saying that as a result of the so-called computer virus and also with the sanctions that have happened that their
11:32 am
nuclear program is not where they would like it to be. they don't have access to all of the materials they would like in order to move in the direction that we -- that they would like. so what has happened is this program has stalled. you know, it's very interesting. you could go back and i can show you statements from people going back to 2004 saying in six months they are going to have a nuclear weapon and six months and six months. they don't have it yet. i think this shows that the international community acting together has made it difficult for them. you know, we talk about russia. actually backed off a deal they made to send them, you know, missiles as a result of these sanctions. so i think what's happened is they are no further along than they were a couple years ago. >> thank you, mr. chairman. my time has expired. >> the chair now recognizes mr. meehan. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and thank you for the distinguished panel who has really opened our eyes.
11:33 am
i go back again to the commentary i made at the beginning what we've been through before. colonel, you discussed this. we're looking at the past and when we analyzed the past after 9/11 we talked about the failure of imagination. and today each of you have identified various points the concept of red flags. now, our committee has worked on the issue of this -- we are aware of the iranian nuclear ambitions. we are aware of their animosity towards israel. what we begin to study more is the use of these proxies outside of the middle east and now increasingly closer to our homeland. we've heard system today about the activity within inside the margarita islands where chavez has worked and creating a stepping off point. we've now seen the creation of relationships with mexican drug cartels, but the significance to me there is the reality that
11:34 am
this cartel could create the opening of opportunity for terrorists to get into our country much easier than we may perhaps anticipate. we heard testimony today about an iranian presence in canada. my real question here is, are we -- is is this a red flag moment? have we seen a time in which we've seen iran cross the line, we have a window, dr. korb, you've said we have desperation on our part and this is showing us a sense of inability but we've also heard testimony about persistence and sloppiness but still having results. it's clear in everybody's mind that the game remarkably changes if iran ever gets a nuclear weapon. and as a result this appears to be a remarkable moment of opportunity.
11:35 am
should we be concerned, however, of the ability of iranian influenced proxies or otherwise to use the groundwork that they've laid as the ability to penetrate our homeland and to use that as leverage against any kind of more proactive stands against iran? we've discussed a series of sanctions, but we also see the realistic capability for iran to strike back. what are the complications of our continuing efforts to try to tighten the screws on iran? and i ask the panel, each of you, to answer that particular question. what should we be doing next? >> again, i am not against sanctions. there are some things that the united states should tighten. i am in favor of what i call central bank sanctions.
11:36 am
there are lots of things we should do. i emphasize, the people that rule iran rose up essentially by killing people. they obtained a coercive system. they do not respond in the same rational economic ways that we do. iran would not look like the country it is today if they were concerned about the bottom line. so i don't think that you are going to really intimidate these people, get their attention unless you shoot somebody. i don't know. it's pretty blunt but i don't think you get to get around it. i think, for example, we believe the guard corps is responsible for this operation then you should hold them responsible. he travels a lot. he's all over the place. go get him. either try to capture him or kill him. but i think you have to send a pretty powerful message to
11:37 am
those who have undertaken this or i think down the road you're asking for it. they will read this not as a response of someone who's strong but -- >> there's been a totality of things eye department find today that could be pretty significant. do we have to get to the point of some kind of aggressive military response to still be able to accomplish significant enroads in interfering with iran's ability to carry out this proxy terrorism as well as move towards a nuclear capability? >> you could aggressive leija rass many of their operations overseas. there's no doubt about that, but you would have to have a consensus to do that. i mean, the -- it is to say the white house, the c.i.a. would have to be onboard to do that. you would have to have the approval to do that. we all know it's washington, d.c., these things are difficult to do. so you may find out that this type of covert action, this
11:38 am
type of covert action is actually much more difficult to do than going after, say, solimani when he travels. >> if i may add, and agree, there has to be something clear that is done. you know in 1987, referring back to the 1983 and 1984 beirut bombings, they reported that many iranian leaders, and i'm quoting, this is proof that terrorism can break american resolve. and it's confrontation with the united states in the persian gulf. i agree that something like this, this really is a red flag in the sense that they have decided to carry operation in the united states. the question is how to respond. i don't think we necessarily have to put a bullet in someone's head. i do think that if we aren't, and i hope we are already, that there should be a significant covert action program in place to deal with these type of
11:39 am
things. times sophisticated, sometimes not so much. sometimes the iranians just to make sure we know that they know what's going on would surveil our diplomats in different places using iranian diplomatic vehicles with tags to know they are there. even with that type of thing. together with other things can be very effective. i've listed out a bunch. i just want to say one thing about sanctions as someone who was treasury official at some point. i say it all the time now. i think the sanctions have been tremendously, tremendously effective. but let's be clear. they were never intended and they never will solve your problem. not the counterterrorism sanctions, not the north korea sanctions, not the iran sanctions. where they have been effected and continue to be effective, though there is a lot more that can be done is disruption. they have slowed down the program. they have not ended it. iran is farther than it was. if every six months they don't get a bomb, 10 years from now
11:40 am
we're having that conversation, it's a victory. it has to be used in tandem with other things. military options, covert action, custom enforcement, all these things have to be done in a way that will send a message to iran that we're serious about it. i'll give you one recent example. right after this plot was revealed treasury designated several individuals to reveal a little more information clearly based on intelligence about the plot on a terrorism basis. he'd already been designated twice. once in a proliferation executive order. once in a human rights executive order for his action supporting the syrian regime's suppression of people there. on the one hand that's great because we use this as a vehicle to get out to the public that we believe this was not a rogue operation. that this was done at the very highest levels of the force. if i'm sitting at my desk and
11:41 am
say the u.s. designated me a third time. now i'm worried. there are different reasons to use these tools but i tonight think we're using them enough in tandem with others aggressively enough to make iran care. we are afraid of our shadows when it comes to iran and they are extremely aggressive. it's not a combination that's going to work for us. >> let me say something that's very important. >> well, let me respond. we're running over the time. i want the other members to ask. >> go ahead. i'll wait. >> mr. chairman, in fairness to dr. korb, he didn't use his entire five minutes so maybe we can give him a minute. >> ok. fair enough. >> ok. i think we americans we like to solve problems right away. but i think we have to be patient and in the long run time is on our side. if we overreact by using military force this will ignite them.
11:42 am
i think if we're patient and we continue to use these things, some of which have been mentioned by my colleagues, eventually this regime is going to have to change its character. if you told americans when president truman came up with the marshall plan that the cold war was going to last another 40 years, people said, no, we can't wait that long, you have president eisenhower have to stop people from the rollback strategy, i think you need to be patient, need to keep taking the steps and the more consensus you get from the international community the more effective they're going to be. >> thank you, dr. korb. the chair recognizes the gentleman from mr. keating. >> thank you, mr. chair. let me try something because my time is limited. i am going to give a comment and then ask three different questions and ask all to jump in. first a comment. is my recognize rex, if i'm not wrong, that the president has not ruled out military action against -- is my recollection
11:43 am
if i'm not wrong, that the president has not ruled out military action against iran? i was in pakistan fairly recently. and i was astounded when i saw three different officials in pakistan tell me that they did not believe the united states killed osama bin laden. and i asked them how they came to that conclusion. even al qaeda admitted that. i asked them where they came to that conclusion and they all cited the information and propaganda coming from iran. so my question is, i think the propaganda machine is being pretty effective if they can come to that conclusion and what can he we do to concur it. it's something that mr. gerecht
11:44 am
mentioned the threat. what are the threats in the western hemisphere that we should be really vigilant about? i find that to be a common threat. the third thing, there is an acxiom that your enemy is your friend. it's my belief that within iran there's an internal conflict historically and i think it still exists with the ayatollah and ahmadinejad. there's a conflict with them. is the u.s. nonspentionly but is the u.s. acting in a way that we are inhibiting that internal conflict that's there from inc. baiting and maybe causing problems within iran itself? so those are the three questions. i throw it open to anyone that wants to answer those things. first being propaganda, second being western hemisphere, third is are we doing things
11:45 am
unintentionally to maybe not let the percolation of their internal conflict grow? >> if you take the first one, the propaganda, i think we have to recognize that because we invaded iraq under false pretenses people don't fluff a lot what we say during that part of the world. during the 1990's we cut back our u.s. information agency and we really haven't got it up to where it stands now. and i think one thing that has been missing here in terms of iran's internal conflict, remember, they had a democracy. we overthrew it. we allowed the shah to be developing nuclear weapons. when we said, you couldn't do it, they said, wait a minute, you didn't mind when the shah had it. they helped us in afghanistan and got the northern alliance which is their supporting the
11:46 am
karzai government, president bush put them on the axis of evil. they said, what do you expect from us? so therefore they went back to some of their aggressive behavior. >> yeah, i'm going to let the history and go to the discussion of internal events. i just say this. when president obama came into office and he had a very aggressive policy of engagement. he was writing letters to hamadi, that did have a profound effect i think. when the -- and it spooked the hell out of hamanni. it did the opposite what the president thought would happen. he sends that letter -- and president ham knee gives a speech later and he refers to the united states, satan inwarnate.
11:47 am
president obama actually fed his fear of the united states, the western cultural invasion. when the pro-democracy dissidents of the green movement started shouting in persian, a shortened version of he is with us, that had a catalytic affect, actually, i think on demonstrations because the people in the streets actually thought that obama was standing with them, with the pro-democracy movement. now, the president actually wasn't. he was actually trying to have a dialogue directly with ham knee and his movement was on him and not the green movement. but the united states can have an internal effect. i would suggest that incidence tells us that u.s. does actually talk about democracy in iran, if they use the pulpit to challenge the regime, to challenge the regime on its internal oppression, it actually can encourage dissent,
11:48 am
it can encourage change and reinforces the people inside psychologically. when we don't do that i think we send signals to the regime that we don't really care. some iranian diplomats have made it crystal clear to folks that that the americans and europeans would come and see them and talk about one thing. they'd talk about the nuclear program. so what did those diplomats write back home, they don't care about anything else. that's a mistake. >> the thing i would add is we know how to do this propaganda. we have a history, done it effectively. we did it somewhat effectively encountering the soviet union propaganda. it does take authorities. it takes resources. and perseverance to do it. >> may i suggest it's easier
11:49 am
these days because of social networking to be more effective. >> very much so and it might -- in my statement i said we certainly should be targeting iran with this kind of effort in terms of making an impact on those people. i think one of the low points in american history when over a million people were in the streets in tehran in 2009 in july and we had no moral response to that movement and this is one of the most repressive regimes that we have and we did not respond. and side with them much as we responded to the polish movement, the ukrainian movement and other people around the world when people get in the streets and fight against a dictatorship. there is much we can do. it should be one of the other things in our kickback. >> final comment and then i'll have to relinquish my time. it's over. but let me just say this.
11:50 am
there's things we can't talk about that's classified obviously but many of the things you suggested that this government should be doing, i would suggest that perhaps we are already doing those things but we just can't talk about them. thank you. >> the chair now recognizes the gentleman from florida, mr. bilirakis. >> thank you, mr. chairman. appreciate it. thank you, gentlemen, for your testimony today. i have a couple questions. this is regard to the cartels and this is for the generaleds a also the concern. does it stand a reason that the iranians have not approached the cartels for the first time with a task as delicate and important and sensitive as assassinating an ambassador and is it not indicative of a pre-existing relationship? whoever would like to address that. the general or the colonel. >> after you, general. >> i think the answer's obvious
11:51 am
from my perspective. of course it suggests the take on something that's as vital as conducting an attack inside the united states. there's got to be a relationship there and there's got to be some trust in that relationship. just let me say something. i want to associate my remarks and totally disagree with dr. korb that this is what an act of desperation. a strategic decision is made to attack the united states because of a sense of frustration and their involvement in chaos. i totally dismiss that theory that they would come to the united states. they came to the united states to do this because they believe it's going to advantage them in their part of the world and they're trying to get the influence of the united states in the west out of their region and they fundamentally believe and they are right about this, they would get away with this. when bin laden took the two embassies down in africa in
11:52 am
1998 they lost 400 people dead. i think bin laden makes a decision -- and what we did in terms of our response to that is we threw some missiles up into a training base in afghanistan. i think bin laden concludes, i just killed 400 of them and they don't even count for us. i think we can count for them because they're weak. that's why they're here. because we're weak. that's what they believe. they're here because they believe we're weak and we're not going to respond. >> thank you. this question is for mr. geraghc. is it true that some of the car bombs being used by some of the cartels in mexico is similar to the car bombs being used in iraq by the terrorist proxies there? does it have some possible inclusion of the terrorist
11:53 am
groups? >> i am not a wiring expert. i doubt it. i mean, i think the knowledge of bombs sort of gets around. i mean, proliferation not only occurs with high technology. it also occurs with low technology. so i'm not sure that you need to see links and car bombs to suggest you have active engagement. you might. i'm not denying it. i'm just saying this type of knowledge is fairly ubiquitous and it spreads easily. >> anyone else want to comment on that? >> i'll just add generally that we should be weary of jumping too quickly to the conclusion that in order for there to have been this type of cooperation there has to be institutionalized with lots of trust. the d.a. has found many times that what you have is the same type of facilitators, gray type of people who work within the
11:54 am
industries. that's clearly happening in mexico where the same people who will move things will move guns or money or people and sometimes it's just an opportunity. if in fact bob sierra, as was reported, had all kinds of business in mexico, illicit business, turns out to have been source of -- it may just have been that. a relative in the kutz force sees an opportunity to leverage a relative who is living here who has connections south of the border and might be able to do this just for money. sometimes it really is just that simple. it's still telling because there are those opportunities to leverage those types of relationships, but it doesn't necessarily mean these are institutionalized and we have to wait and see how the investigation pans out and information is made public to really draw and form conclusions. >> thank you.
11:55 am
i yield back my time. the chair now recognizes the ranking member, mr. thompson. >> thank you. let me say from the beginning that while there might have been some acts perpetrated before the last three years of this administration that might have been characterized from a response standpoint as weak, i'm very comfortable that under the obama administration we have taken some very, very bad people out. there's no question about it. the record is clear. so this notion that somehow as a country we're weak, from my standpoint i want to make sure that there are some who disagree with that. but that being said, given the situation where what we face
11:56 am
now with the drawdown in iraq and situation with iran, i want to ask unanimous consent, mr. chair, to enter in the record a statement by the u.s. ambassador. >> without objection, so ordered. >> and going forward, dr. korb, can you give some of us on the committee how you think diplomacy from the u.s. standpoint going forward would be important? some have talked about expelling any iranian official from this country and going to other levels. but i'd like you, and i'll ask a couple other justice he also,
11:57 am
where does diplomacy fit in this situation where we are today? >> well, as i mentioned in my testimony, i support what admiral mullen who recently stepped down as chairman of the joint chiefs of staff says, we're not talking to iran so we don't understand each other. i think you ought to keep the contacts, keep the contact open to the extent that you can. i think -- and i agree with you with the president basically reaching out to them, wanting to negotiate that it demonstrates to people in iran that we're not the enemy and are completely against them. general keane, if you go back and look at when iraq attacked iran we, and i was in government then, supported iraq by giving them photos that said they used to drop chemical
11:58 am
weapons on iran. and so when you say they're terrible people, there are things that we've done that i think by reaching out and talking to them and using diplomatic channels, be willing to negotiate, i think will undermine that narrative of some people in iran that were just out to harm them and we don't agree with their role in the world. so i'm all for, you know, keeping contacts open and talking to -- and talking to them to the extent that we can. as admiral mullen mentioned, the darkest days of the cold war were not some u.s. exinsens was involved, existence was involved and we kept talks open with the soviet union. >> general keane, given your 37 years of military experience, what role do you see the military having with respect to
11:59 am
iran where we are today? dr. korb talked about plopes, but i want to talk -- diplomacy, but i want to talk about the military. >> yes, certainly. let me just respond to something you already said. when i use the term weak i didn't -- i was using iran's assumption of us. i was not using our perception of our country. just to clarify that. and i believe bin laden when he believed we were weak he totally underestimated the united states of pleark and the character of our -- america and the character of our people. the role of the military plays right now with iran primarily is planning. i mean, the united states military has been asked to put together a plan to conduct war with this country.
12:00 pm
on different basis. and this is not unusual for us. you know, we have to do that sort of planning in the event that we have strategic surprise or the -- >> as this hearing continues, you can continue to watch it online at but we're breaking away here for live house coverage. the -- they're meeting for legislative work. a bill for the federal government to swap land in arizona. they want to mine copper on federal land. the federal government gets land in arizona. members will debate rules for two other bills. one repealing the requirement of the government would withhold 3% for government contractors to make sure they're compliant. another bill to include social security income when calculating medicaid and subsidy eligibility under the new health care law. now live house coverage on
12:01 pm
c-span. the speaker: the house rb in order. our prayer today will be offered by our guest chaplain, reverend scott ieinan. the chaplain: let us pray. heavily father, it is our prayer that you will grant us wisdom today and that will you bless the members of congress as they lead our nation during these challenging times. father, we are amazed by your grace, awed by your creation, captivated by your love and dependent upon your guidance for every day. we do not take these blessings for granted. we thank you for them. we also thank you for the problems that come our way, for they make us even more dependent upon you. for your guidance and for your strength.
12:02 pm
father, your word tells us that righteousness exalts a nation. so help us to be great by striving to be good. may our representatives exemplify principal-centered leadership. father, we ask that you would bless the men and women who serve in our military. we ask that you would bless those who serve here in congress , we ask that you bless this great land that we call home. in jesus' name i pray, amen. the speaker: the chair has examined the journal of the last day's proceedings and announces to the house his approval thereof and pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1 the journal stands approved. the pledge of allegiance today will be led by the gentlelady from new york, ms. hochul. ms. hochul: i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under god, indivisible, with
12:03 pm
liberty and justice for all. the speaker: without objection, the gentleman from florida, mr. west, is recognized for one minute. mr. west: thank you, mr. speaker. former secretary of state william stewart said this, i do not believe human society, including not merely a few persons in any state but whole masses of men ever have obtained or ever can attain a high state of intelligence, virtue, security, liberty or happiness without the holy scriptures. even the whole hope of human progress is suspended on the ever growing influence of the bible. today i'd like to recognize my pastor, pastor scott inan, and community christian church for the service they give to the community in south florida, for
12:04 pm
their missionary work in haiti as well as in africa. mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair will entertain up to 15 further one-minute requests for one-minute speeches on each side of the aisle. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? mr. poe: i ask permission to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. poe: mr. speaker, right now there's probably a group of folks in a large oak table and a marble palace down the street nibbling on their $16 muchins, drinking their lattas and dreaming up new expensive, ineffective regulations to impose on the rest of us. they are the regulators. the very term brings fear and trendation in the hearts and souls of people who -- trepidation in the hearts and souls of people who work for a living. millions of folks are drinking coffee from their mr. coffee pot with no job on the horizon. in a gull up poll this week, small business owners said that complying with government regulations was the biggest
12:05 pm
economic problem they face. some businesses pack up their bags and even move to places like china. meanwhile, the u.s. reckless regulators are putting businesses out of business. the act will bring some accountability to the regulatory bureaucrats by requiring a vote on any regulation costing $100 million or more. congress must pass this bill now. cut red tape, clamp down on the renegade regulators and create jobs. america can't wait. and that's just the way it is. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from rhode island rise? mr. cicilline: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. cicilline: mr. speaker, i rise today to recognize the leon matthews senior center. this center center recently celebrated 30 years of service to seniors in paw tuckette, rhode island. it is the great success due in part of the wonderful work of the staff, including the director of the senior services
12:06 pm
division, mary moran. joe and marylou, like the rest of the staff at the center, have committed theirselves to provide seniors with a safe, supportive and nurturing environment where seniors can access information about resources, programs and services available on the local, state and federal levels. the center acts as an advocate for the rights and well beings of americans on a wide variety of issues. they worked through 1,00 individual cases and annually serves thousands of people. i am proud to salute their great work and congratulate them on 30 years of service. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from tennessee rise? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. >> mr. speaker, today i rise to talk about a successful business in tennessee's third district, oak ridge office
12:07 pm
supply. for almost 15 years they have grown their business, weathered through tough times and brought jobs to anderson county. with 17 employees now, they are a great example of what hard work and the american free enterprise system can do. i ran a business with my wife for 24 years, and i know how tough it is. the free enterprise system has helped make this country the greatest nation the world has ever known. mr. fleischmann: it is those people who risk everything to start their own businesses and per so you their dreams that drive our economy. i was glad to give oak ridge office supply my very first economic excellence award last week. and i will continue to hand out these awards as i recognize businesses in east tennessee that embody the idea of hard work and success. thank you. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from california rise? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for
12:08 pm
one minute. ms. chu: this month is filipino american history month. it is time for us to take pride in our country's diversity and celebrate the ways in which filipino americans have contributed to the vibrancy of our nation. filipino americans are civic leaders, health care providers, educators and hardworking americans. they've won pule itser prize winners, pitched in the world series. filipinos volunteer by the thousands to help us win world war ii and served our nation's military in every war since. filipinoess first came in the u.s. in california over 400 years ago. today, filipino americans have grown to be the third largest asian american in the nation and they reside in every corner of the united states. so as we celebrate filipino american history month, i hope you will join me and remember the many contributions that filipino americans have made to our great country.
12:09 pm
thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from colorado rise? >> address the house for one minute 1. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> this past weekend i volunteered at the fifth annual colorado mission of mercy, a two-day free dental clinic held in a different colorado community each year. it this year was in brush, colorado. it brings more than 100 portable dental chairs into a colorado community and provides services to children, adults and the elderly who cannot afford them on their own. hundred of dental high ginnists, lab technicians. mr. gardner: there were 947 volunteers and nearly 1,500 patients who were served over the two-day period. helping people avoid dental discomfort that can interfere with school and work was a life changing americans for many at the -- life-changing experience for many at the clinic. this person now felt confident to go out and look for a job.
12:10 pm
rural communities in particular face tougher challenges when it comes to getting proper dental care because there are so few dentists and people have to drive long distances to see them. proper care is vital to our overall help and i commend the colorado mission of mercy for holding this event. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentlewoman rise? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i welcome president obama's announcement that our brave men and women in armed forces in iraq will soon be coming home in time for holidays. we can expect to see 40,000 people returning to this country and some coming back to the niagara falls air force base where i welcome them warmly. ms. hochul: as we embrace this new veteran, i'm troubled in a time of 9.1% unemployment and even higher rate of unemployment for our returning veterans which approaches 12%,
12:11 pm
we have to ensures that these individuals will have jobs. otherwise, it is a national disgrace. that is why it's critical that we pass the american jobs act. this would create a $5,600 return heroes tax credit for employers who hire veterans. and a $9,600 tax credit for wounded warriors. again, for employers who hire our veterans and service -- with service-connected disabilities. in a country as grateful as ours for their service, we owe them no less. we owe them better. that is why i urge my colleagues to support me in joining the american jobs act. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from wyoming rise? mrs. lummis: to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the diop is recognized for one minute. mrs. lummis: as i traveled to another district, nevada, over
12:12 pm
the last work period, i heard repeatedly from small business people about the burdensome regulations that have been placed on their businesses and ability to hire people and put people back to work by the current administration here in washington. so when i returned to washington, i asked for a copy of all of the federal registers, knows are all the new regulations that have been printed just in this year alone and implemented by this administration. i now have in my office boxes of regulations that are taller than i am. and we're not even finished with this year. and going back to the year before and the year before, those regulations have been growing at exponential paces. if we're going to put americans back to work, mr. speaker, we need to make sure that these rules that are taller than i am, thousands of pages, tens of thousands of pages, are
12:13 pm
repealed. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from massachusetts rise? ms. tsongas: to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. ms. tsongas: i spoke about ways to grow our manufacturing base and promote policies that keep jobs in the united states, not overseas. participating in this town hall were several major employers who have made the often challenging decision to keep their labor force here in the united states. among these employers was new balance, the last athletic shoe maker to make sneakers from first stitch to fine product in the united states. and an employer of more than 800 massachusetts workers. the success of these types of companies demonstrates that manufacturing jobs can still thrive in the united states. but we need to pursue policies at the federal level that supports their efforts. house democrats make it in
12:14 pm
america agenda provides the tax incentives, work force training and investment in 21st century education that will help keep the production of goods and services here in the united states. we can't sit back and allow our manufacturing base to be continually eroded. we must pass the make it in america agenda. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from minnesota rise? >> thank you, mr. speaker. to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> like the last speaker, i had the opportunity to visit blue strip power systems, a small business in southern minnesota employing 35 people, manufacturers backup generators for schools, hospitals and businesses. mr. wals: someone told me something that made me pause. the bank says, we believe in you, in your product, but unless there's no risk we don't want anything to do with you. our economic system relies on
12:15 pm
risks for those that boost our economy and grow our middle class. yesterday there was a "new york times" story saying banks were turning depositors away at the door because they have more money than they can do with. invest in businesses like blue star power systems that create first-class products right here in the united states. blue star also told me there are things we can do in congress that will streamline the small business administration and make it more efficient and effective. i look forward to working with them on that. blue star businesses and other companies like that can continue to innovate and create jobs in america. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. . for what purpose does the gentleman from illinois rise? the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, two years ago i stood on this floor and spoke out against the injustice of our nation's don't ask, don't tell policy. mr. quigley: i told the story of
12:16 pm
lee ryan heart, a patriotic constituent of mine who wanted to serve his country in time of war. lee had already retired from a four-year navy career when our nation was attacked on september 11. like many americans after september 11, lee wanted to serve his country and again enlisted in the coast guard. but four months later he was discharged under don't ask, don't tell. last december my colleagues and i repealed that policy. and monday i had the honor administering the oath to lee rinehart as he re-enlisted in the navy. dr. martin luther king once said, the arc of the moral universe is long but it bends toward justice. mr. speaker, i was proud of my country and proud of lee rinehart when justice finally arrived for both. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from california rise? >> to address the house for one minute, revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is -- the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. mrs. capps: mr. speaker, our top
12:17 pm
priority must be creating jobs. yesterday i hosted a job creation conference for my constituents right here in washington, d.c. central coast business owners, development experts, job trainers and educators shared their experiences about job creation and discussed actions the federal government can take to support them. i'm grateful to these dedicated job creators for taking the time and effort to come all the way from california for this important event. we had a packed day hearing -- hearing from policy experts and top white house economic officials about the steps we need to take now to create jobs today and strengthen our economy for tomorrow. opinions were diverse and spirited but there was clear consensus on making it easier for businesses to succeed by lowering taxes and increasing access to credit. and making smart investments in education, in innovation and in infrastructure. these are bipartisan, commonsense solutions. mr. speaker, we simply can't wait any longer.
12:18 pm
the message from my constituents is clear, put aside our partisan differences, take action now for the american people. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from mississippi rise? >> unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, there's a saying that the path for space goes through hancock county, mississippi. that statement has been true for five decades due to the unequaled excellence in dedication for the men and women of the space center which commemorates the 50th anniversary of its founding this week. the work done is varied but it was known worldwide as the home of rocket engine testing. before we have sent men and women into space, the engines they ascended on were tested on the ground. every mission to the moon and every flight of the space shuttle roared with our engines. mr. palazzo: the space center is a beacon for innovation for private industry, educational institutions and students of all ages. i am honored to serve as chairman of the committee.
12:19 pm
in my role i hope to see all my colleagues visit the space center, especially to see an engine test. you'll be you aed by the technological -- awed by the technological work force. it is so easy to herald the achievements of the nasa space center but it's the future that should drive us toward even greater ones. it goes through hancock county, mississippi. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? >> request permission to address the house for one minute, mr. speaker, tooneds revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, i rise today to support one of our nation's crowning achievements, the social security program. and the 55 million americans who benefit from this critical program. since 1935 social security has contempt the promise to american seniors -- has kept the promise to american seniors that you should not have to live in poverty when you retire. mr. green: i was happy to see last week that after two years our nation's seniors will receive a well-deserved cost of
12:20 pm
living adjust increase of 3.6%. the american people should be concerned, however, that the recent announced could he la increase would effectively disappear if this congress decides to adopt a change c.p.i. formula for social security. the chain consumer price index would lower benefits by $112 billion for current and future beneficiaries over the next 10 years. i support efforts to reduce our federal deficit, but we should not balance the nation's budget on the backs of seniors and disabled and children. i call on my colleagues to stand with american seniors in support of social security. it's not a ponsj scheme as some canned -- ponzi scheme as some candidates for president allege. let's celebrate the 3.6% for our seniors. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from tennessee rise? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. cohen: thank you, mr. speaker. i want to commend president obama for announcing a plan this morning to lower student loan payments. "the new york times" recently reported the student loan debt
12:21 pm
outpaced credit card debt for the first time last year and the growth in student loan debt threatens to undermine the future life of the current generation of students. it was this realization that led me as a state senator to pass the tennessee education library program that gives scholarships to our tennessee students. too many young people have an unbelievable amount of debt that burdens them for the rest of their lives. the students that occupy wall street are very aware of this threat. earlier this year i reintroduced h.r. 2028, the private student loan bankruptcy fairness act, which will restore fair treatment to americans in severe financial distresses, debts that include private student loans. before 2005, private student loans issued by for-profit lenders were appropriately treated in bankruptcy like credit card debt and other similar types of unsecured consumer liabilities. the bill i've introduced was -- with senator durbin in the senate would assure that student loans will be issued -- treated like other debt and be dischargeble in bankruptcy. we need to give our students a
12:22 pm
fair chance. thank you, mr. speaker, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from california rise? >> revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. ms. sanchez: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i rise today to recognize october as domestic violence awareness month. as you know, violence against women in the united states is at insid -- is as insidious as it is destructive. and according to a study by the u.s. department of justice, bureau of justice statistics, there is as many as three million cases of domestic violence across the united states every year. due to the nature of the crime, the mental and physical cost of domestic violence are difficult to quantify. but they're far too obvious to ignore. women suffering from domestic abuse average more emergency room visits, a significantly higher rate of unemployment, are
12:23 pm
more likely to lose the jobs they have and are also more likely to rely on welfare. various studies find the monetary cost to the federal government, not only the reported cases of domestic violence, but only of the domestic violence cases reported, to be an estimated billions of dollars. regrettably, hard economic times make even more crimes of this sort likely to occur, which is why the congress must ensure not only to address this growing epidemic, but to protect the necessary funds to protect the women of this country from domestic abuse. thank you, mr. speaker. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from kentucky rise? >> request permission to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. yarmuth: thank you. i rise today for louisville's equal campaign. this month the fairness campaign
12:24 pm
is celebrating 20 years of fighting against discrimination, inspiring hope and protecting our citizens. thanks for fairness, in 1999 louisville became one of the first cities to prohibit housing and employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. now fairness is working tirelessly to secure these protections for all kentuckians. because of fairness, more kentuckians are seeing that the lines once drawn between us because of sexual orientation and gender identity are only imaginary and they're realizing that hate has no place in our commonwealth. that's a message that needs to be heard not just from pikeville , but from coast-to-coast. i urge my colleagues to join me in congratulating the fairness campaign on two decades of service, it's truly thrilling how much progress they have made. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia rise? >> to address the house for one minute, to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, so the supercommittee is at a
12:25 pm
standstill. mr. moran: the democrats won't consider cuts to entitlement programs if the money is primarily for the purpose of cutting taxes on the wealthy. republicans won't consider raising taxes on the wealthy from their currently historically low levels because these are job creators. but where are the jobs? the fact is that corporate profits are at historic highs. as are c.e.o. and investor compensation. but the reason for that corporate profit being historically high is that over the last several years 75% of corporate profit has come from reduction in personnel costs. then the top 1% reward themselves for cutting those costs and raising profits by increasing their own income and bonuses to record high levels. in fact, the c.b.o. report that came out today confirms this. the wealthiest 1%, whose income the republican majority wants so
12:26 pm
much to protect, went up by 275% since 1980. you don't get upward mobility, you don't realize our full potential as a nation when we have such a concentration of wealth at the top. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from california rise? george, excuse me -- georgia, excuse me. georgia. the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. johnson: thank you, mr. speaker. i recently introduced the fairness and -- in contracting act which will help level the playingfield for small businesses and ensure that publicly traded companies no longer massacre aid and then receive -- massacre aid and then receive contracts for small businesses. small business contracts should go to small businesses. unfortunately loopholes in the system have resulted in sudden sib -- subsidiaries of large corporations receiving federal small business contracts. the g.a.o. has found that small
12:27 pm
businesses across the nation are the real losers when the federal contracts are awarded to large firms that should not be eligible. mr. speaker, congress should no longer turn a blind eye when large, publicly traded and foreign-owned companies obtain federal small business contracts. the fairness and transparency in contracting act will ensure that america's small businesses can compete. i urge my colleagues to support this legislation and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from michigan rise? >> to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. clarke: thank you. thank you, mr. speaker. several months ago i introduced house resolution 365 which asks this congress to cut student loan debt and home mortgage
12:28 pm
debt. as a result several hundreds of thousands of people all around this country signed an online petition to support this resolution. i'm happy to say that our voices are now being heard, the white house is moving in the right direction on helping to cut student loan debt. but i'm urging the american public to keep speaking out, sign onto this petition to support house resolution 365 and help free the american people from excessive home mortgage and student loan debt. i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from south carolina rise? >> mr. speaker, by the direction of the committee on rules, i call up house resolution 448 and ask for its immediate consideration. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the resolution. the clerk: house calendar number 84, house resolution 448, resolved that upon adoption of
12:29 pm
this resolution it shall be in order to consider in the house the bill, h.r. 2576, to amend the internal revenue code of 1986 to modify the calculation of modified adjusted gross income, for purposes of determining eligibility for certain health care-related programs. all points of order against consideration of the bill are waived. the bill shall be considered as read. all points of order against provisions in the bill are waived. the previous question shall be considered as ordered on the bill to final passage without intervening motion except, one, one hour of debate equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the committee on ways and means and, two, one motion to recommit. section 2, upon the adoption of this resolution, it shall be in order to consider in the house the bill h.r. 674, to amend the internal revenue code of 1986 to repeal the imposition of 3% with holding on certain payments made to venders by government entities. all points of order against consideration of the bill are
12:30 pm
waived. the amendment printed in the report of the committee on rules accompanying this resolution shall be considered as adopted. the bill as amembered shall be considered as read -- amended shall be considered as read. all points of order against provisions of the bill as amend ready waived. the previous question shall be considered as ordered on the bill as amended to final passage without intervening motion except, one, one hour of debate equally divided a -- divided and controlled by the members, and, two, one motion to recommit with or without instructions. section 3, a, in the engrossment of h.r. 674, the clerk shall, one, add the text of h.r. 2576 as passed by the house as new matter at the end of h.r. 674. two, conform the title of h.r. 674 to reflect the addition of the text of h.r. 2576 as passed by the house to the engrossment. three, assign appropriate designations to provisions
12:31 pm
within the engrossment and, four, conform provisions for short titles within the engrossment. b, upon the addition of the text of h.r. 2576 as passed by the house, to the engrossment of h.r. 674, h.r. 2576 shall be laid on the table. table. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from south carolina is recognized for one hour. mr. scott: thank you, mr. speaker. for the purpose of debate only i yield the customary 30 minutes to the gentleman from florida, mr. hastings, pending which i yield myself such time as i may consume. during consideration of this resolution, all time yielded is for the purpose of debate only. mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks . the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. scott: house resolution 488 provide for a closed rule for consideration of h.r. 674, a bill to amend the internal revenue code of 1986 to repeal
12:32 pm
the imposition of the 3% withholding on certain payments made to vendors by government entities and h.r. 2576, to amend the internal revenue code of 1986 to modify the calculation of modified adjusted gross income for purposes of determining eligibility for certain health care-related programs. mr. speaker, i rise today in support of this rule and the underlying bills. we have here something very simple, a bill to save jobs in america, and a way to pay for it through a simple technical fix in the patient protection and affordable care act that is supported by the president and many democrats in this chamber. h.r. 674, or what i will call the saving american jobs act, would repeal the 3% withholding requirement on government payments to businesses, both large and small. this is truly a bipartisan bill with more than 60 democrats
12:33 pm
among the 269 co-sponsors. even the president supports changing the withholding tax. the tax is a job killer. plain and simple. beginning january 1, 2013, government agencies at all levels, federal, state and local, will have to withhold 3% of the payments to businesses for goods and services. for many small businesses, this has the potential to completely wipe out their profit margin at a time when we are desperately needing -- we have a desperate need to create jobs and the withholding tax does the exact opposite. for many state and local governments, the implementation costs will be a huge -- will be huge at a time when their budgets are already stretched then. for example, in my home state of south carolina, the state
12:34 pm
comptroller estimates the implementation costs associated with this tax will take up 11.5% of their budget. this tax punishes all businesses for the since of a few. automatically and wrongly assuming all job creators who do business with the federal government are somehow evading full taxation. last i checked, we should be encouraging people to follow the law, not penalizing them for doing so. the tax also treats all businesses the same regardless of their taxable income. in the construction industry, for example, where unemployment, unemployment is currently at 13.5%. companies rarely have a profit margin of 3%. therefore, a 3% withholding tax would completely wipe out their profit margin. as a former small business owner myself, i can assure you
12:35 pm
this is not the kind of math that leads to job creation. this tax will also harm local governments already hurting for dollars by placing on them another unfunded mandate to collect a federal tax. again, as former chairman of charleston county council, this is more math that just doesn't add up. with unemployment still at 9%, our job creators need capital to invest and long-term certainty in the tax code. taking hard-earned dollars away from our job creators will only lead to higher prices, lower wages and lost jobs. once again, mr. speaker, i rise in support of this rule and the underlying legislation. i encourage my colleagues to vote yes on the underlying rule and the underlying bills and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from florida is recognized.
12:36 pm
mr. hastings: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. hastings: mr. speaker, i thank my friend for yielding the time and i rise today in opposition to the combined rule for h.r. 674 and 2576. the underlying bill, h.r. 674, repeals the 3% withholding for taxes on payments to government contractors. and h.r. 2576, it will make health care unaffordable for 500,000 americans, and that's not according to me. that's according to c.b.o. leaving them with no choice but to drop their coverage. this bill will also increase the costs or reduce the coverage for many more americans, including individuals with severe disabilities. the pairing of these two bills is not in my considered opinion an appropriate use of our nation's tax code and in my opinion does nothing to create jobs. it is part of the same old
12:37 pm
all-or-nothing majority strategy that led to the debt ceiling standoff earlier this year. the republicans have taken a bipartisan idea, and it is bipartisan, as my good friend from south carolina said, that would actually put money directly in the pockets of hardworking americans and made its passage contingent on a bill that rehashes the health care reform debate from the last congress. once again, my colleagues have chosen to play politics with the lives of middle-class and working poor citizens. the withholding requirement itself was passed in 2005 when president george w. bush was in the white house and republicans had majority in both the house and the senate. but it was never implemented,
12:38 pm
and it has been put off a number of times. today, there is broad support for repealing this republican created provision. h.r. 674 has, as my friend said, 269 bipartisan co-sponsors. since republicans have now brought a bill to the floor that would repeal this requirement, it is clear that this measure should not be combined as in this rule with h.r. 2576. getting rid of this provision would keep administrative costs down and assist american businesses during these challenging economic times. however, republicans want to pay for the 3% bill by making it harder for retirees, the disabled and poor to get access to health insurance. this is yet again an inappropriate use of our tax code. this bill is known as the magi,
12:39 pm
m-a-g-i, modified adjusted gross income. it repeals the provision in the affordable care act that allows individuals and families to exclude nontaxable social security benefits from their income when determining their eligibility for health care benefits. this definition would also apply when qualifying for medicaid and federal subsidies to buy private insurance in the state-run exchanges. according to the joint committee on taxation, the exclusion of nontaxable social security benefits is typical when applying income limitations to tax benefits. regardless of the facts, my friends in the majority have decided to throw retirees and disabled individuals under the bus in order to offset a completely unrelated bill. my friend on the other side of the aisle claim that this is
12:40 pm
about equity and fairness, but it is -- is it equitable for as many as 500,000 americans to lose all their health care coverage as a result of this measure? why -- what do we say to these individuals? sorry, 500,000 of you are out of luck. is it fair to make health care less accessible for low and middle-income individuals rather than close loopholes and can sell special tax deals for wealthy, wealthy oil companies? in contrast, the democrats' substitute, offered by mr. levin, the ranking member of the ways and means committee, will make oil companies pay their fair share of taxes. thereby reducing the deficit by $5.3 billion over five years and $12.8 billion over 10 years.
12:41 pm
it is clear that h.r. 2576 is not about equity at all. it's about forcing individual taxpayers to shoulder the burden of business tax provisions. h.r. 2576 will impose higher costs on retirees and persons with severe disabilities, shifting them out of medicaid coverage or requiring that they contribute significantly more of their income for health insurance coverage through reduced tax credit. how do republicans intend to offset the cost such as incapriced trips to the emergency room -- increased trips to the emergency room? how do you offset that association with half a million americans suddenly losing their health insurance coverage? the tax code should not be used to effectively reduce health care coverage and increase
12:42 pm
costs for those least able to afford it. make no mistake, h.r. 2576 is yet another attempt by republicans to undermine comprehensive health care reform. last week, the senate republicans forced a vote on 3% withholding bill -- repeal bill, but it, too, failed over unreasonable republican demands. where are the jobs? instead of passing a jobs bill, republicans are redefining the rules to make health care less accessible for consumers. this is a new approach for cutting the deficit for republicans. they said the only way to fix the deficit was to stall the beef. that is spending cuts only. but with a bill like h.r. 2576
12:43 pm
that takes away health care from hundreds of thousands of americans, republicans have decided that rather than starving the beef, it's rather than feed the beast to our society -- society's most vulnerable members. mr. speaker, at this time i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from south carolina. mr. scott: thank you, mr. speaker. you know, it's out of the american people continue to watch congress asking for a bipartisan approach to what we do here. it's very odd for us to find ourselves in that position today saying to the american people remember finally on the right page of a bipartisan approach and as it relates to the whole undermining of the health care act, the president himself has released a statement, administration policy statement that he supports 2576. we are going to find ways to save medicaid and keep it available for the next
12:44 pm
generation, west must do those things in -- we must do those things in a bipartisan approach that actually solves the problems. mr. speaker, i yield five minutes to the gentlelady from tennessee, ms. diane black. mrs. black: i thank my colleague from south carolina for yielding. i'd like to begin by stating that this legislation, h.r. 2576, is about fairness. when the news broke this summer that the affordable care act contained a loophole that would allow middle-class americans to receive medicaid benefits, i, like many of my colleagues, from very concerned. the new income formula that determines eligibility for government subsidies health insurance, the modified adjusted gross income, or also known as magi, deviated from all of the other federal assistance programs failing to include social security benefits as income. under the health care law, a
12:45 pm
married couple with an annual income of over $60,000 could qualify to receive medicaid benefits. let me put it in more stark terms. changing the income formula could result in individuals whose incomes are up to 400% of the poverty level receiving medicaid. this is unacceptable. . i very strongly believe that it is our duty to ensure that the very scarce medicaid dollars and resources are there for those who are in the most need. again, let me state that the affordable care act income formula for medicaid, chip and exchange subsidies deviated from the eligibility requirements for all other federal assistance programs. such as social security income, supplement social security number, supplemental -- supplemental assistance programs, temporary assistance for needy families and public
12:46 pm
housing, all, all include the entire social security benefit as income. my bill, h.r. 2576, would add social security benefits back into the equation, realigning medicaid with all the other programs and stopping these improper payments before they occur. it is incorrect to assert that this legislation unfairly targets widows, survivors and the disabled. this is equivalent of asserting that the public housing or the staff are unfairly targeted to widows and disabled simply because when accounting for the resource programs they consider the source of income. the health care laws deviation from the typical method of counting income results in taxpayer dollars being directed to individuals who do not need the -- meet the standard definition of low income. according to the current law, a couple who both earn social
12:47 pm
security benefits and has a total income of $22,065 would have a higher income than a couple earning $58,840 for the purpose of the turning eligibility for the federal subsidies in the exchange. this is totally unfair. when asked about the magi glitch, c.m.s. actuary richard foster said, and i quote, i don't generally comment on the pros and cons of policy, but that just doesn't make sense. end quote. foster said the situation keeps him up at night and has previously compared the magi formula to allowing middle class americans to receiving food stamps. additionally richard sorian, the h.h.s. secretary for public affairs, conceded that, and i quote, as a matter of law some middle income americans may be receiving conference through
12:48 pm
medicaid, which is meant to serve only the neediest americans. now, it is important to note that my legislation does not take away a benefit from anyone on the medicaid rolls today. magi would not be in effect until 2014, so it's important that we bring medicaid back into line with all of the other federal assistance programs as soon as possible. additionally, my legislation enjoys bipartisan support. in the senate, in the help, committee ranking member has a companion bill and president obama himself, as has already been noted, recognizes the problem. in the recent debt reduction plan, the president explicitly, explicitly proposes that the entire amount of social security benefits be included in the definition of income. and as has already been stated, there was a statement of
12:49 pm
administration policy put out yesterday and i want to read that to you. the administration supports h.r. 2576, which could change the calculation of the modified adjusted gross income as defined in section 1401 of the affordability care act to include both taxable and nontaxable social security benefits. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized for 30 more seconds. mrs. black: thank you, mr. chairman. this commonsense, bipartisan solution would bring medicaid into line with all the other federal assistance programs and ensure that the program is there for those who are in the most need. that is very important. furthermore, and i believe this cannot be emphasized enough, according to c.b.o. and the joint tax committee estimates this bill could save taxpayers approximately $13 billion over 10 years. considering our $14 trillions in
12:50 pm
national debt, closing this loophole as soon as possible is a good policy on a number of levels. thank you and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. the gentleman from florida. mr. hastings: mr. speaker, i'm very pleased to yield 1 1/2 minutes to the distinguished gentleman from pennsylvania, my friend, mr. altmire. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized for 1 1/2 minutes. mr. altmire: mr. speaker, i rise in support of this legislation which is bipartisan and co-sponsored by almost 2/3 of our colleagues in this chamber. earlier this year congress passed another bill with almost equal support when we repealed the burdensome 1099 requirement. today we are again working in a bipartisan way to make this commonsense change to the tax code that will provide much-needed certainty to businesses around the country. i've heard from numerous small businesses in my district that if the 3% withholding provision goes into effect as scheduled, firms that do business with the federal, state and local governments will face what
12:51 pm
amounts to a tax increase at this time when they can least afford it. congress has previously voasted -- voted to delay implementation of this provision but we it do more to show businesses in western pennsylvania and across the country that we are serious about helping them succeed. i urge my colleagues to join me in permanently repealing the 3% withholding tax provision and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from south carolina. mr. scott: mr. speaker, i yield two minutes to the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. mike fitzpatrick. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. fitzpatrick: i thank ja for -- i thank the gentleman for the time and for your leadership, in bringing both parties around this idea that will create jobs in the united states. and so i rise in support of the rule today and in support of the underlying legislation. throughout the past year i've heard over and over again from small businesses, from women-owned businesses, from contracting businesses, hospitals and the like that this rule, which essentially amounts
12:52 pm
to a tax, will hinder businesses' ability to compete, grow and thereby create jobs. this bill that's before the house today would right a wrong that unnecessarily punishes good actors. small businesses and local governments who do business with the federal government in good faith. small businesses, who often operate with the thinnest of margins, will be unnecessarily targeted in the federal government's zeal to capture more money. small and medium sized businesses are being looked to for our economic recovery. we cannot simultaneously ask american companies to begin hiring again while we withhold the capital that they require to grow. additionally while the 3% withholding bill was originally well intentioned, implementation of this rule has been continuously delayed, most recently in the 2009 stimulus bill and again by the i.r.s. in
12:53 pm
may of 2011. this is a clear indication of the widespread recognition that this provision is costly and harmful to our economy. so, mr. speaker, i co-sponsored this underlying bill because it is bipartisan legislation that will be good for the economy and will help create certainty for job creators. the president has expressed support for -- for this repeal and i urge swift action on the legislation in the senate. i ask my colleagues to support the rule and the underlying bill. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from florida. mr. hastings: yes, mr. speaker, i'm very pleased to yield to my good friend three minutes, the distinguished gentleman from new jersey, mr. andrews. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. andrews: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. andrews: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank my friend from florida for yielding. as we meet this afternoon, 15 million americans are unemployed. the president has a proposal to put people to work, modernizing 35,000 schools in america. but we're not voting on that bill.
12:54 pm
the president has a proposal that would avoid a $1,500 a year tax increase on middle class americans january 1 if we don't act, but we're not voting on that bill. the president has ideas to help the real job creators, the small businesses of this country, get banks lonings from the people they -- loans from the people they bailed out with their tax dollars in the tarp bill a couple years ago but we're not voting on that bill. now, we are voting on a bill that we should support. that says that businesses should not have to make an interest-free loan to the government when they do business with the government. i'm for that. but you do need to understand the way this bill is paid for. this bill does have an offset meaning it will not add to the deficit, i think we're all for that. but it's important to understand the way we make that decision. there were two options as to how we might take care of that offset. we said, let's go to the
12:55 pm
industry that's had the most successful year in its history, the oil industry, and stop giving our tax dollars to the oil industry when they're making record profits. that idea's not up for a vote. what is up for a vote is a provision that may make some sense, it may make some sense. it essentially deals with the adjustment formula for benefits under the new health care law. but we're not really sure exactly how the proposal will operate. there's a risk that some deserving middle class people will pay higher health insurance premiums if this is not done in the right way. so understand this, the first way we could have paid for this bill would be to go to the oil industry and say, you've had enough time at the public trauf, you're making -- trough, you're making record profits, no. or, we could say, let's roll the dies and let's try this experiment with the -- dice and let's try this experiment with the health premiums of middle
12:56 pm
class people. guess who won? now, we thought that it would be good to put the two ideas up for a vote but this rule doesn't do that. so the house will have to work its will today on the underlying bill. i'm going to vote for the underlying bill. but i'd really look forward to voting next week, let me say one other thing. the plan for the house for the rest of the year is to be here another 14 days, between now and new year's day, and take the rest of the year off. a lot of americans are going to have the rest of the year off, too. involuntarily. because they're out of work. let's get to the business of creating an environment where small businesses create jobs for the people of this country. let's put americans back to work after we do this good business of today. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from south carolina. mr. scott: thank you, mr. speaker. one of the things that's so important for us to recognize is the importance of living within our means and allowing our ability to control our spending
12:57 pm
to dictate what we are able to use as opposed to having more tax increases as a way to fund the resource priorities of this nation. mr. speaker, i yield two minutes to the gentleman from oklahoma, mr. james lankford. three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from oklahoma is recognized for three minutes. mr. lankford: thank you, mr. speaker. today i rise in support of the rule and the underlying bill of h.r. 674 which repeals the 3% withholding requirements on state and local governments for goods and services. the 3% with holding requirement is just another layer of burden on unfunded mandates on our states, cities, counties and private entities. with holding 3% of a contract at the start just in case sets a horrible precedent. when we find a bad actor in the contracting community we should have aggressive prosecution and disbarment. with you you -- but we should not have a national policy that assumes every contractor in america is a tax cheat. it's a dreadful policy and it's horrible economics. let me break this down to what
12:58 pm
it will mean in oklahoma. in oklahoma city will it -- it will cost between $75,000 and $250,000 to implement the initial financial system and all the modifications to comply with these rules. after that it's expected to cost at least $15,000 a year to maintain those modifications in the financial system. to ensure that oklahoma city fully complies with these mandates, to maintain the financial system, the oklahoma city estimates they're going to have to hire two additional full-time employees. now, i understand that we're all about job creation here. but that's -- our job creation should focus on goods and services and taking care of people, not filling out even more federal forms. in ed monday, oklahoma, they're concerned that the 3% requirement would be passed on to the buyer. increasing the overall cost. they're contractual services expenditure line is over $130 million this year. if the cost of these products and services are increased by 3% to cover the withholding cost, their expanses will be raised by
12:59 pm
$4 billion. it will decrease competition and increasing the cost. a contractor in a small town that i spoke with told me that with the down economy, he only had a 2% profit margin last year. the 3% requirement would stifle his cash flow and would force him to increase his bids which of course would be passed along to the taxpayer. mr. speaker, as we continue to find ways to kickstart our economy and encourage job growth in this private sector, i am hopeful we can come to a bipartisan agreement to reduce the regulatory burden on state and local governments and encourage private sector growth. i am sure it is well intentioned at the start, but it is time to eliminate this burdensome regulation and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from florida. mr. hastings: mr. speaker, i'm very pleased to yield three minutes to my friend and classmate from oregon, mr. blumenauer. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from oregon is recognized for three minutes. mr. blumenauer: i appreciate the gentleman's courtesy. i'm pleased that the house will deal with thpe


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on