tv Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN February 1, 2012 8:00pm-1:00am EST
subsidizing his unemployment. and destroying his motivation to work. this veteran. the speaker pro tempore: members are reminded not to traffic in the well while another member is under recognition. the gentleman from texas. mr. brady: mr. speaker, i would yield two minutes to one of the new leaders, a freshman member of the house ways and means committee, a gentleman who, with his brother, have run a successful small business for 15 years, understands the system we have today simply isn't working. i yield two minutes to the gentleman from new york, mr. reed. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. . mr. reed: i thank my colleague for yielding. as my colleague indicated, i am a small business owner and proud of the business we started up in corning, new york and the many people we have employed in that business, mr. speaker. and also to know that there are times when people are in trouble or businesses are in trouble and they have to make the hard
decision of laying some people off and i can empathize and understand when those individuals are in that situation. but what we're talking about here tonight, ladies and gentlemen, is just some commonsense reforms to allow the states to have the flexibility to do what is best for them in their local jurisdiction to try to empower the men and women from their districts so they have the opportunity to go back to work. i wholeheartedly disagree with the concept that my colleagues on the other side of the aisle are arguing for tonight to strip that language that would give the states the flexibility to do commonsense reforms in unemployment, not taking away the unemployment program. no one's talking about doing that. but what we are talking about, ladies and gentlemen, is implementing the ability for states to have people get an education or require people to get a g.e.d. or give them tools
so when they go into the marketplace they have the ability to get a paycheck again rather than an unemployment check. that should be a goal that we in washington, d.c., share across both aisles and we should send a message to america, you know what? we get it in washington. we don't necessarily have all the answers here. we should defer to the people closer to the people back in our states and in our local communities. this is what our proposal is about. that is where these commonsense reforms are coming from and no one is talking about the that is associated unemployment insurance. but reforms to get people back to work. with that, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maine. mr. michaud: i yield two minutes to the the gentlewoman from texas, ms. jackson lee. the speaker pro tempore: the
gentlewoman from texas is recognized. ms. jackson lee: i would like to thank the gentleman from maine for providing an opportunity for civility and dialogue on the true grit of the american constituency. i'm amazed and shocked that we would be here on the floor of the house denigrating an institution that has been set up as a rainy day umbrellas for individuals who have toiled the hot sun and skyscrapers on building infrastructure, on driving buses and trains or however they may have provided for their families and now lost their jobs. they paid into the insurance pool called unemployment insurance and followed the laws of their state. some of them may be veterans who are in the civilian work force and they now find themselves
unemployed. now we have frr those who one would say idle hands are the devil's workshop, want to insist they are drug addicts, uneducated, need a g.e.d. and all kinds of baggage that would not allow them to be gainfully employed. mr. speaker, i'm sorry to say that is not true. in my own community we are more fortunate than others regarding the amount of unemployed individuals. in devastating communities, people want to work. i have had individuals come to my office over and over again and see people line up in the hot sun across this nation this past summer attempting to get jobs. i want to join with the gentleman's motion to instruct. i want this to be the motion to instruct for dignity and i want to thank you for insisting that workers who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own are not, in essence, drug
addicts, that means conspicuous drug addicts. why don't we have a component that says, you have job skills training, if you need counseling, get counseling. let's not denigrate the unemployed. let's call for dignity. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentleman from texas. mr. brady: i yield myself such time as i may consume and assuming i'm the last speaker on our side, the gentleman will be closing. look, if you think what's working is fine, we don't need to change anything. if you think 27 million people trying to find a full-time job, many of them who have been out of work six months or more, if you think that's great, the status quo is perfect, then this motion to instruct is what you want. but i believe and many people
believe on both sides of the aisle that we can do better, those unemployed and looking for a job truly want a paycheck. they don't long for that unemployment check every two months but long for a job every day. and what we want to do is to turn loose those who know their community and economy best to put together the innovative programs to put people back to work sooner rather than later because we know the longer you stay out of work, the harder it is to find that job. the less education you have, the harder it is to find that job and to keep that job. and so the question at hand here is should we allow our local communities, our local states to work with businesses, to work with workers, design programs to get people back to work sooner rather than later. it's worked before in other areas. we have given states the waivers to put together innovative
programs on welfare, again to help educate people and train them and link them up with workers so they have a real life, a real career, not a dependency, on a federal check. and as a result of that, with democrat and republican governors, working with democrat and republican white houses have succeeded inputting people back to work, getting them off the welfare rolls. it's worked before. so why don't we apply this same type of innovation to a system that has been in place since the 190's. frankly, we need a 21st century solution. tired old ways that are failing workers, why are we sticking with it? why don't we allow states, not direct them or mandate them, allow them to put together programs for job training so you can match people's skills or
give them skills to get a job? why don't we require that from the first day you get an unemployment check to the last day, that you are actively searching for work each day, not going through the motions as some do, but every person getting that help is searching aggressively every day to do their best. why don't those who don't have a high school education with years left in the work force, why don't we allow states to put together the programs to get them that g.e.d., so they have a chance for a better life, because they again, first to be laid off and hardest to find a job, why don't we give them some hope and a high school equivalent degree while on unemployment. and why don't we ensure that those who are getting help for unemployment are ready and available to work? too often in all sizes of towns across this country, we are
finding workers who can't pass a simple drug test. and more and more jobs today require that drug test. why don't we allow states to put programs together to screen those early on and put programs together so that that applicant is a clean applicant who's ready and willing to work, who actually has a bright future for themselves and its children. at the end of the day, this is the simple question, do we stick with the status quo that we know isn't working, do we allow states and communities to be innovative to get people back to work sooner rather than later. these are the commonsense reforms that this country and more importantly these workers deserve. i oppose this motion to instruct because i think it's rooted in years and decades past. and we deserve better for our workers in america today. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the
gentleman from maine is recognized. mr. michaud: thank you, mr. speaker. i agree with part of the comments the good gentlemen has made. people do not want to sit home and collect a paycheck. they want to go to work. people definitely have to be trained for jobs. there is nothing in my motion that prevents states from offering training programs. nothing in my motion will prevent states from encouraging people to get their g.e.d. the states have that flexibility to establish these programs on their own. my motion to instruct simply says that the benefit that was collected by the employers and employees for unemployment benefits will have to be used for unemployment benefits. it cannot be used for training programs. it cannot be used to help subsidize businesses to pay for these employees. it has to be used for unemployment benefits.
this motion to instruct is important because if you look at my home state of maine, there are more than 48,000 mainers out of work and i want to read a letter from one of my constituents whose story illustrates that it's critical for unemployment benefits to go to those who need them and not to the alternative programs. the other alternatives, states can do that on their own and the only difference is they cannot use unemployment benefits. i would like to read this letter from my constituent and i quote the letter. i just became a 99er as those of us who exhausted our unemployment benefits are called. though some in congress and media thinks we comprise the bottom feeders that the business creators needed to shed, this is not always the case. i have worked hard ever since i
was a kid doing odd jobs for my father peddling newspapers. i went into the army and benefited from the veteran era i.g.i. bill and have been glad to give back in the form of higher taxes for many years. in 2009, my former company laid me off and hundreds of others were laid off despite my having an earned superior performance review for most of my years with them. to their credit, we were given outplacement services and a decent severance package. nonetheless, i have since tried to find employment in my field, but find myself being screened out by junior human resource people who find me overqualified , too senior or too highly
compensated for the job at hand. i'm certain that some of this is ageism, which though illegal is sanctioned in this society. and now we face companies telling us that we need not apply if we have been out of work for more than six months. please show some compassion for those of us who become unemployed through no fault of our own and still hope join the tax paying ranks once again. end of quote. this constituent of mine relies on unemployment benefits, not because he wants to or because he's lazy, but because he can't find a job. as i mentioned, some labor markets in the state of maine are over 20% unemployment. he is the reason why i'm offering this motion to instruct today to make sure that the
unemployment insurance program is preserved for americans like him. it requires that unemployment benefits will be used for those unemployed. the states have the flexibility to determine eligibility, the length and the amount. they have that flexibility. so i urge my colleagues to vote for this motion to instruct and protect unemployment benefits for what it was intended for for those that are unemployed and not to help subsidize other programs that states might decide to create. and with that, mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: all time for debate has expired. without objection, the previous question is ordered. the question is on the motion to instruct. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the noes have it. mr. michaud: mr. speaker -- the speaker pro tempore: the
gentleman from maine. mr. michaud: i ask for the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: yeas and nays have been requested. those favoring a vote by the yeas and nays. a a sufficient number having arisen having risen, the yeas and nays are ordered. further proceedings on this question will be postponed. the chair will now entertain requests for one-minute speeches. the chair lays before the house the following personal requests. the clerk: leave of absence requested for mr. carson of indiana for today and for the balance of the week.
the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the request is granted. the chair now recognizes the gentleman -- under the speaker's announced policy of january 5, 011, the gentleman from colorado, mr. gardner is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the majority leader. mr. gardner: i thank you, mr. speaker, for the opportunity to address the chamber tonight to discuss a very important issue, the issue of job creation, the issue of energy independence and what we are doing in the 112th congress, the republican majority torque make sure we're creating jobs and opportunities for the american people. according to the canadian government, mr. speaker, over 143,000 jobs in colorado depend on our trade relationship with canada. and whether people want to admit it or not, crude petroleum is our top import from canada. we are not unique in that
aspect. colorado is by no means unique. much of -- many of our jobs depend on our friendly relationship with our good neighbor to the north. when it comes to the keystone pipeline, it's been three years since the application was first filed. the keystone pipeline, a 1,700 mile project from our neighbors to the earth that could create thousands of direct and indirect jobs. the united states as a whole would benefit economically and from a national security standpoint. if this country were able to move forward with the keystone pipeline. tonight we have members from across the country, from the north, the south, the east, and the west, who will talk about the importance of energy security, the importance of creating jobs. so manufacture of the debates we heard on the chamber floor have all been revolving around the notion of creating jobs an what we are going to do to get this economy turned around.
an economy that already has over 14 million americans unemployed and 46 million americans living in poverty. a chance to get people to work. a chance to create jobs. i'll frame this debate with some information we just received. people across this country want the keystone pipeline to be built. if you look at the numbers we have here, supporters of the keystone pipeline,ing see the support. it's not just republicans, it's not scrust the majority of democrats. every sector that we have talked about in this poll support of the keystone pipeline overwhelmingly. 64%. when you take into account the opinions of republicans an democrats. they know that this project will create opportunity. opportunity that hasn't existed for far too long. for over 36 months now, we've seen the unemployment rate in this nation exceed 8%. it's unacceptable. and the fact that this administration has decided to punt on jobs is shameful.
it's been said before, a career ago, two years ago, when the president was talking about shovel ready projects, now aparently the only thing the president is willing to use his shovel for is to bury jobs. that's why i'm excited for the discussion we'll have with the american people tonight. so at this time, i would like to yield to some of my colleagues who have joined us on the floor for their take and perspective on the keystone pipeline. i yield to my good friend from alabama, martha roby. mrs. roby: i thank the gentleman for hosting this very important leadership hour tonight. mr. speaker, i rise today to express my extreme disappointment over president obama's decision to block the keystone pipeline by rejecting an application to build an oil pipeline a i -- across the u.s. and canada border. i think every american should be aware of the consequences.
more than 100,000 jobs could be created over the life of the project, including an estimated 20,000 immediate american jobs in construction and manufacturing and oil accounts for 37% of u.s. energy demand with 71% directed to fuels used in transportation. that is equally true of a mother who drives her children to school as it is of the business owner who operates a fleet of delivery vehicles. when the price of gasoline increases, americans hurt. and the price of gasoline increased 81 cents per gallon in 2011 alone. i support an all-of-the-above approach to energy, which includes opening up new areas for american energy exploration, transitioning to renewable andall terntive energy and using more clean and reliable nuclear
power. in his state of the union address, the president stated, and i quote, this country needs an all-out, all of--the-above strategy that developing every available source of american energy, a strategy that's cleaner, cheaper, and full of new jobs, end quote. in my opinion, his decision on the keystone pipeline is blatantly inconsistent with this very statement. the door is now open for this canadian oil to go to china. canada's prime minister announces, quote, profound disappointment with the news, end quote. while the chinese government has ensured its future supply of oil and other resources, the united states has rejected a new source of energy that was laid at our doorstep. mr. speaker, i ask, how does the fact that china could receive
this energy supply not serve our national interest? mr. speaker, i consider president obama's decision a grave mistake and on behalf of the american people who want secure oil and new manufacturing jobs, i hope that the congress will can't to push him to reconsider this error in judgment. again, i thank you to my friend from colorado for holding this important hour tonight on this very important topic to the american people for job creation. thanks again and i yield back. mr. forward for the: i thank the gentlelady -- mr. gardner: i thank the gentleman for being here. the gentlelady brings up a good point when it comes to the price of gas. report we was say that the discovery of the canadian oil sands has the potential to change the current gas price dynamic, bringing a massive amount of oil to market can restore market confidence and bring down gas prices. with that, i would recognize the gentleman from ohio, mr. johnson.
mr. johnson: i thank my colleague for yielding an it's great to be here with so many of them who also believe in not only the keystone pipeline but that america can attain energy independence and security. when the president came into office, gasoline at the pumps was about $1.68 a felon. today it's approaching $3.40, in some places higher than that. we face a dichotomy in leadership here in washington, d.c. you just heard our colleague from alabama talk about the president's state of the union address. he talked about an all-of-the-above approach to energy. well the squad mrgs' actions and their words simply don't -- don't match. there's no more striking example of this than the president's rejection of the keystone pipeline a project that would
have created 20,000 immediate jobs, bipartisan support, even the unions are supportive of that project. upwards of 100,000 jobs, as it trickled down through the life cycle of that project and yet the president rejected it. hardworking taxpayers across america, particularly those in my district, along eastern an southeastern ohio are very tired of washington taking more and giving less. they want real leadership. they want real solutions. and they want a return to american exceptionalism. i remember, and i know many of you do, a time when we grasped the concept of american exceptionalism. president kennedy told us back in the 1960's, he said, we're going to go to the moon in 10 years.
we didn't make it in 10 year, we made it in seven. because he engaged every fabric of our society, academia, our industrial base, our economic base, our political will, even our military was behind this idea of getting to the moon. we saw industries crop up around space exploration. we saw millions of jobs created. we saw young people lining up to get into institutions where they could major in disciplines that would prepare them for careers in space exploration. think about what would happen if we really had an all-of-the-above approach to energy similar to that. think about what would happen if america had an energy policy that said, starting today, we're going to draw a line in the sand. and over the next decade, we're going to set a goal to become energy independent and secure in
the united states. we're no longer going to sit on the sidelines. we're going to go after the three trillion barrels of oil we already own. we're going to go after the natural gas we own because we're sitting on the world's largest deposits of it. we're going to continue to mine coal and because we're going to invest in it, we're going to learn how to use it more environmentally soundly. we're going to expand our nuclear footprint because, guess what, it's the cleanest, safest form of energy on the planet. we're even going to look at wind and solar and find out where they fit in the overall energy pro file. we know they can't solve all the problems but they have a niche where they can. we're not going to sit idly by and do nothing. we're going to start by telling our regulatory agencies to become partner this is progress with american businesses. to become, rather than the department of no, the department of let's move the ball forward. and get over throwing up
arbitrary barriers keeping america from going after its own natural resources. i submit to you, mr. speaker, that if we had that kind of all-of-the-above energy policy that had action behind the wors, you would again see america believe in american exceptionalism. you would see young people lining up to get into institutions to major in disciplines to prepare them for advances in energy production and distribution an even usage and at the end of the -- and even usage and at the end of the day we would find out we can produce and store and find energy in ways we never even imagined. you know why? because i do believe in american exceptionalism. i know that my colleagues belief in american exceptionalism. i just don't think our leaders in washington and in the white house and in this administration believe in american exceptionalism. there was a striking example
back last march, last spring, when the prime minister of australia stood in this very chamber and gave a presentation. we were all here. she related a story, and she said, you know, i remember being a young girl, sitting in front of my television and watching neil armstrong and buzz aled run land on the moon, thinking to myself, wow, americans can do anything. she went on to talk about the history of america and australia and how we worked together to address the world's problems and how america had stood by australia during world war ii. she gave many examples. at the end of her speech, she said, you know, i'm not that young girl today. i'm the prime min stopher our country and i've got a lot of experience under my belt. but i still -- minister of our country an i've got a lot more experience under my belt. but i still believe americans can do anything. i was sitting right over there
and i could feel a cleansing breath take place in the house chamber. you could have heard a pin drop in here. we heard something from a leader of another nation that we so desperately want to hear from our own leaders. mr. speaker, america is the exception. we are gifted with the ability to innovate and compete and solve the world's problems and we've been doing it for over 230 years. we can become energy independent and secure in this country. we can return the idea of american exceptionalism to this country. we can put the american dream back into play to the overall 14 million americans that are out of work and the 40-plus million americans that are underemployed. i ask the president and the senate today, to begin to work
with us in the house of representatives to advance the idea of a real no kidding all-of-the-above energy policy, one that puts america first, above politics and above campaigning. i want to thank my colleagues for being here and thanks for biving me an opportunity to share. i yield back my time. mr. gardner: i thank the gentleman for joining us. i'm sure you know this, according to testimony given before the energy and commerce committee last year on energy issues, the impact of alberta oil sands development on the u.s. state economy in your great state of ohio, 13,200 new jobs could be created between 2011 and 2015 as the development of the alberta oil sands moves forward and the keystone pipeline is an important part of that. . there many visits going on by the president and perhaps he can explain to the unemployed, 13,000 200 jobs could be
created. i thank the gentleman for being here today and with that i yield to the gentleman from arizona for his perspective. >> one of the big things we worry about is the cost of gasoline. it is $3.60, twice as much as it would cost back before president obama was elected. mr. quayle: in 2011, the average american household sent $4,155 at the pump. this is equal to 8.4% of the median family income. so this is a huge issue that we need to continue to find stable sources of oil so that we can have a secure source of oil and we can make sure that we have more supply of oil so we can start to bring the prices down
for gas at the pump. and one of the things as i was back before the president made his decision, i talked to people in my district and said what if i told you that with the swipe of a pen, the president and his administration could create 20,000 immediate jobs and over 100,000 jobs over the long-term and there wouldn't be any taxpayer dollars put at risk or expended. what do you think we should do? every single one of the people i spoke to said the president should sign that as soon as possible and let's get to work making sure that the keystone pipeline gets put into effect. then something funny happened. the administration decided to placate the radical fringe element of their party. the president punted to 2013 and didn't make a decision yes or
no. just pushed it down the road. the house republicans decided that we were going to give the president a second chance, a second opportunity to do the right thing, an opportunity to realize that the secretary -- that the state department had already done an environmental impact study that showed that they were very little chance for any environmental damage some of the sensitive areas where the pipeline is going. maybe we could get the president to realize that this is not the time to play politics. this is the time to get the american people back to work. and that's exactly what the keystone pipeline would do. and yet, once again, the president punted. we can't give him too many more chances. we have already given two chances for this one already. but we also heard in the state of the union and heard him say we were going to adopt all of the above approach.
we realize that that's not really the case. because it seems like there are only favored sectors that gets attention from this administration. you have companies like so linddra. it received $535 loan guarantees from the government and $15 million in severance money for its employees when that company went bankrupt. a total of nearly $550 million taxpayer dollars were squandered. this is a risk that the american taxpayer should never have taken. and there is little chance to get any of that back because all rights were actually put lower than people who were give yench loans after the american taxpayers. then we have another company received $118 million before going belly up. according to the "washington
post," obama's $38.6 billion loan guarantee program has created 3,545 permanent jobs. that's the cost of five -- $5 million per job. $5 million per job in the favored sector. you know how many taxpayer dollars would be spent to create hundreds of thousands of jobs for the keystone pipeline? zero. and yet the president couldn't sign a simple sheet of paper to get this done. this is a no-brainer, as many people have said. so i hope that the president will reconsider. i hope that the house republicans will continue to push this issue, because this is something that we can do right away. it is shovel-ready, to borrow a
phrase, and this is something that will make sure we are looking towards the future towards our energy security. and i thank the gentleman from colorado for addressing this important issue and starting this conversation and i yield back. mr. gardner: the gentleman from arizona brings up keystone pipeline and there is a real question of what kind of an economy we want, do we have an economy that relies on government financing and rips off the american taxpayers or rely on a keystone economy, that creates 100,000 sector jobs. "the arizona republic," in an editorial on january 20, a lack of urgency regarding energy independence is one of the reasons that president obama is being shell ackeded by republicans and democrats alike for his decision regarding the keystone x.l. pipeline. the foot-dragging runs counter
of the president's own recommendation on jobs. president obama's choice is a bad one. and that was an editorial from "the arizona republic." i yield to my good friend from the state of new york, someone who has been a leader on the ways and means committee, mr. reed from new york. mr. reed: i thank mr. gardner for hosting this special order and the conversation we need to have with america. and i would like to associate myself with the words of the the gentleman from ohio when mr. johnson spoke some eloquently about the need for a comprehensive energy policy, an all-of-the-above approach of getting us off of foreign sources of energy once and for all. mr. johnson hit the nail on the head with his description of the american dream or exceptionalism and the ability that in america,
we develop a plan, when we have a vision, we can accomplish anything. and i don't know if you notice this, mr. gardner, i'm over here on the other side of the chamber tonight. i'm an individual who's proud to be a member of the republican party and many of the times i'm standing on that side of the chamber, but i'm willing to come over on this side of the chamber to speak tonight to say to my fellow colleagues across the aisle that my hand is open for us to join together on this issue and many issues that face americans back at home. and this issue in particular, because it impacts all of us, all 300 million people across america, because when we can commit ourselves as the president did at the state of the union to developing a
comprehensive energy policy of all of the above, i am confident that we can achieve that energy independence. and tonight's discussion on the keystone pipeline is an example of an administration and of folks engaging in old-school politics rather than focus on good sound policy that is going to achieve that dream of energy independence. because as my colleagues have articulated, this project has been fully vetted, years of environmental studies and reviews. the primary agency, ferc, who had the responsibility to oversee the project, came to the conclusion there were no significant adverse environmental impacts that were associated with this project and on the verge of approval at the
department of state if i remember correctly, the primary mission is to deal with plementic issues because this pipe crosses an international border, the president used the final act from an agency who is focused on diplomatic issues reached in and for political purposes said no. and i applaud the gentleman from arizona and i associate myself with his words that we were given another chance to the president to do what is right in our and my opinion. this is a project that is ready to go. it will put 20,000 people back to work. and that's what we have been talking about here for months, is improving this economy, jobs, jobs, jobs, and with a stroke of a pen, the president said no to 20,000 jobs and 100,000 jobs on top of that. and he put an obstacle in the barrier of his own state of the
union message that we are going to accomplish energy independence with an all-of-the above approach by taking action a week before and saying for political purposes, we aren't going to be able to achieve that goal. that has to stop, ladies and gentlemen. and i'm proud to be part of this freshman class that came in 2010 and we are fundamentally changing the conversation in washington to focusing on policy over politics. and this is an example under this pipeline project that is going to be directly related to that change in conversation in washington, because it's commonsense type of approach to the job. it's about focusing on people, getting them back to work, committing ourselves to a vision of energy independence, which is so critical to our future, and also so critical to our future
in the manufacturing sector, because if we can get energy from domestic supplies here and we can secure those energy sources long-term, we will have lower utility rates. manufacturers are going to invest in america again and we are going to building things again. that has to be the cornstone and the keystone pipeline is an example of that. and one last point i would like to address. we here in washington can impact people every day. and this is an example of that impact in a positive way, because if we put the keystone pipeline on-line, every time an american goes to the pump to fill up his or her gas the tank, you will see the immediate results of it in a lower price if we continue down the policy that the president has committed us to in not constructing this pipeline. every penny counts in this
economy. and so i'm proud to be down here on the floor tonight to talk about this key issue and also the bigger issue of making sure that we stay focused on the american dream of energy independence. and with that, i wholeheartedly join my colleagues tonight. and with that, i yield the balance of my time. mr. gardner: i thank the gentleman from new york and again, thank you for your constant leadership on our national energy security. and we do hashingen back to the time just a few weeks ago when the president gave his state of the union address, address in this chamber, joint session of congress and reminded me when he said, i'm for an all of the above energy policy and the president said i'm for an all of the above energy policy and vetoed the keystone pipeline and reminded me of something that yogey bearer might say and i'm for an all of the above energy
policy as long as it's not from all of the above. and shows the intent in terms of job creation and some people in this chamber. you mentioned the department of state. last week we had assistant secretary of state from the department of state testified before the energy and commerce committee and admitted that when it comes to the e.i.s., the no-pipeline alternative -- there was an atlantative considered under the environmental impact statement. one of the options they considered was a no pipeline. no pipeline at all. and testimony before the energy and commerce committee, it was admitted that that was not the preferable alternative. that was not the preferable alternative under the environmental impact statement. even the state department admits that the e.i.s. envisions the construction of a pipeline and yet the president said no. and i thank the gentleman from new york and the thousands of
people that could be employed by the development of the alberta oil sands. and i know the next gentleman, mr. conaway from texas will be addressing the chamber. i don't know if he has the statistics right in front of him, but according to testimony again before committee, 170 firms supply the canadian oil sands from texas, 170 firms supply the canadian oil sands and i yield to the gentleman from texas. . >> i thank the gentleman for allowing me to join in, i hope they won't kick me out since i'm not a member of the freshman class. i want to foe through what canada has gone through, trying to get through all the hoops that anybody doing a project of
this scope has to do -- go through. they started in 2008 when they started this pipeline. the state department wouldn't be involved at all, except it crosses an international boarer. if this stayed within the united states, the state department an the president would be out of it. in april of 2010, the state department issued their draft environmental impact study. then a couple of months later in june of 2010, e.p.a. weighed in with the results of their technical review was deficient and didn't provide the scope and the detail necessary for decisionmakers to make their mind up. bureaucratic nonsense for stopping things from going forward so it allows one group of folks in the admrget to brag on how hard we're pushing on this issue while all the time they've got a back stop at the e.p.a. that knows they're not
going to move anything forward. then in 2010, the e.p.a. offered a supplemental draft environmental study, only in america can you come up with these titles for simply laying a pipeline across the country. the e.p.a. weighed in and said the supplemental is defibt, you've got to continue to give us information. although when asked later on that month, secretary of state clinton was asked at a press conference, kind of, where are we with respect to the pipe lien approval process, she commented that we're inclined to say yes to the pipeline. then in april, 2011, e.p.a. again said, in a filing, that the sup lemal draft, environmental impact study was deficient. fainl in august of 2011, the state department issued its final environmental impact
study, allowing for a 30-day public comment and 90-day agency comment. it was during the agency comment period that state department decided a new route was necessary, that the original route planned and the alternatives going across, the 13 alternatives assessed, this one was the best, that somehow a new route was necessary, and that gave raise to the charade where the president decided he would wait until after the election and then congress weighed in and said, no, you need to make that decision sooner. the state department's decision to go no-go on it has to be based on a finding that the pipeline is not in our national interest. transporting this oil, 1 hadn't 4 million barrels of crude across this country to u.s. refineries would have to be not in the united states'est best interest. that's what the state department found. after we passed the law
requiring the president to make a decision, the state department decided that building this pipeline was no longer in the national interest an allowed the president then to say what he said. the president's wrongheadedness on this issue couldn't be more self-evident on its face. the -- i want to talk quickly about the safety issue. you hear a lot about that. i come from west texas, midland-oguess is a, san angelo, there are thousands and -- midland-odessa, san angelo, thousands and thousands of pipe miles ofpipeline, we have lived there for 15 years now, not a bit of trouble with pipelines, they're inspected all the time, both inside and out and observed from the airened this type of thing. pipeline safety is not an issue. drilling safety, i want to pitch this in real quickly, when i left my home yesterday morning at 5:45 to come here, as i was
closing the gradge door, i could see -- the garage door, i could see the lights on the crown of a drilling rig less than half a mile from my house that's in operation, been in operation for four or five months now drilling wells that are that close to my house. it's being drilled inside the city limits of midland, texas. so when we talk about not in my backyard or other reasons why people don't want oil an gas production around them, i come from a part of the state where it's a badge of honor and it's helpful on the 20th of the month each month, when the royalty checks show up. this industry has a record of being able to operate soundly not only in the drilling and exploration phase bus in production and transportation issues. let me give you one quick thing and i'll close. "wall street journal" on the 19th head a pretty good statement. it said the central conflict of the obama presidency has been between the job and growth
crisis he inherited and his pursuit of his larger social policy ambitions. the tragedy is that the economic recovery has been so welcome luster because of the second impulse -- because the sec impulse keeps winning. yesterday came proof positive with the white house repudiation of the keystone pipeline. the $7 billion, shovel-ready project that would provide thousands of jobs if it could only get the u.s. permits. those jobs aparaphernalialy can wait. a couple of paragraphs later, very succinctly, she said, this is, to put it politely a cro. with that, -- a crock. with that, mr. gardner, i yield back mr. gardner: i'll show a map, the gentleman from texas referred to apipeline, the only reason we have the department of state involved is because it crosses a -- crosses a national boundary. you can see the pipeline here where it extends. we already have some pipelines,
pete olson from texas will be addressing the chamber shortly and share more about this route and the different pipelines. here it is, that's the only reason the state department is involve. the only reason they had a hook to get involved. as you can see, the hook was cranked and jobs were killed. -- were yanked and jobs were killed. i would like to follow up with an edtorial from the "detroit news" on the 20th of january, detroit, michigan, particularly hard hit by economic tough times over the past several years. this is the editorial. president barack obama is willing to wait and wait and wait for 20,000 desperately needed jobs. for someone whose operating slogan is, we can't wait, it's curious that president obama is willing to wait and wait and wait for the keystone x.l. pipeline and the desperately needed jobs it promises. if he keeps dragging his feet, he'll hand the chinese one more competitive advantage over the
united states. "detroit news," january 20. a couple of weeks ago. i know the gentleman from texas, mr. olson, has been very involved in the energy and commerce committee, he's been standing up for his state, nrnl security, jobs that would be created. i'm -- i'm sure you knew this already but in texas alone, the development of the alberta oil sands could be -- could create over 1,000 jobs over the next few years. with that, i yield to mr. olson. mr. olson: i thank my colleague from colorado and my brother on the energy and commerce committee. they say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, i've got the same chart you have. and i want to focus my discussion tonight on national security. i want to make sure that the
american public understands the truth. there's been many, many, many misstatements from the administration about the safety, security implications and jobs for the keystone x.l. pipeline. while every american can have their own opinion, no american can have their own version of the facts. that's why we're here tonight torque give the american people the facts. this is the keystone pipeline, as my colleague alluded to. there are two keystone pipelines. the first one, the orange line here, that's the keystone pipeline, the plain keystone pipeline, oil is flowing through the pipeline right now, steel city, the kansas-nebraska border into st. louis and into illinois. that is happening right now as we speak today. the thing that's been controversial is the dotted line. the keystone x.l. pipeline, which follows a similar path, ends up in the gulf states in my home area of houston, texas, the port of houston and the abort of
beaumont an the port of port arthur. the real problem -- i want to point out three points. little slivers right there, no one knows what it is, it's an imaginary line. those two crossing points, those pipelines cross from canada into the united states. this is the only reason the state expect is involved in this process. some imaginary lines between our two countries and state department has the approval authority. again i talked about the two ports down there in the gulf coast, in texas. those -- those are the safest, most advanced, most efficient ports in the entire world that oil will be processed quickly, efficiently and in an environmentally friendly manner. we've just got to get it there. this part right here, the state of nebraska. that's the problem.
as the american people can see, this is a map of the central part of the united states where the keystone pipeline comes through. the yellow line that's hard to see, that's the keystone pipeline, the one that's existing right now, the one that oil is flowing through illinois as we speak. the dark green line here is the proposed key stope x.l. pipeline. the reason the administration has given for not approving this pipeline is because of this big pink area. that's the aquifer that runs in nebraska and goes into my home state of texas. all these other lines, all these spinoffs, these dark lines, those are pipelines. pipelines going all through that aquifer. the keystone x.l. pipeline is designed to be the safest pipeline in the spire world,
much safer than these other pipe inns that may have been there for 50 years. the keystone x.l. pipeline is going to be put in deeper so it doesn't have the risk, most pipelines the integrity gos compromised because someone on the surface deprills into it. this has all these modern systems that monitor at a fixed interval so it will shut down almost automatically and prevent further spill ints the aquifer. again, not -- all these pipelines are there. keystone is the safest young. yet the administration didn't approve. we all know the numbers. 20,000 shovel-ready jobs right now. 830,000 barrels of oil a day flow down to southeast texas ports. energy security, national security.
now i'm going to focus on national security. as the american people know, the mideast is as unstable as it's been in midwest of our lifetimes. egypt, libya, tunisia, all have new governments. syria is on the verge of clappings. yemen as well. on top of all that, we have iran. iran is actively pursue agnew clear weapon. the world is growing appreciation of the threat a nuclear-powered iran has to our world security. we in congress here passed the bill imposing sanctions on the iran national bank. the european union pass sanctions on iran just this past week preventing them from purchasing oil from iran.
but the ianian -- iranian responded the way we thought, with lots of swagger and bravado and what did they do? they talked about shutting down the strait of hormuz. next slide, please. the iranians shut down this waterway, that's a very real threat to the world's economic stability and growth. i may be the only member of congress that's flun missions as part of the united states navy a naval aviator, through the strait of hormuz. it's narrow. it's about 25 miles at its longest point. that's the distance between houston and galveston.
it's shall hoe, 200 feet. a football field is longer. to -- than the strait of hormuz is deep. as you can see, the sea lanes where the tankers cruise through are very close to iran. they're not out in the middle of the strait. this island over here is an iranian island. all the traffic going through that strait have to pass basically through iran on one side, iran on the other side. i'm not worried about my navy having access through the straits. they can handle any situation. what i fear and am concerned about is the tanker traffic going through those straits. 30% of the wrl's oil goes through those straits to get to our country. if those straits are shut down for any given period of time our
world will go into an economic collapse. we have seen this in the past. late 1970's, 16 years old, it was this country again that was the problem. the shah of iran fell. the mullahs in power right now took over and opec resupported the shah and all the arab nations involved in opec put an embargo on the united states. overnight we lost all this oil flowing through the straits. what happened? my colleague from colorado talked about gas prices going up. they doubled in about a week's period. i remember because my job as a new guy with lance and i loved doing it because i was driving was get in the car and go down, it depended on your license plate, the last digit, if it was an odd or even day, you could get in the gas line. some days it was 30 minutes, some days an hour and a half. my job was to sit there and wait and got up there to pump gas in
the car. again, gas prices went from 25 cents a gallon, as you can't imagine today, to 50 cents overnight. if those straits were shut down tomorrow with gas prices going up as they are right now, approaching $4 all the way across the country, we could see almost $10 a gallon overnight. $10 a gallon. so we can't diminish this threat that the straits be shut down. how do we fix this? how do we address it? it's simple. we develop energy sources right here in america. again, the administration and state department has proven in the past that they will approve a pipeline based on the considerations i talked about. let me give an example of that. again, lots of pipelines coming
from canada to our country. just to get the listeners oriented again. the blue line, the dark blue line here, that's the keystone x.l. pipeline. the dotted line is the keystone x.l. coming down here. the blue line is the keystone pipeline. the pipeline i want to talk about is the alberta clipper pipeline. and the alberta clipper pipeline is the yellow one coming here, right here to the point there in i believe that is lake superior, maybe. but right there, the northern part of minnesota and right there. and listen to what the administration approved a couple of years ago, here's what the state department said. this is a record of decisions and national interest determination. the department of state has determined through review of the alberta clipper project application that the alberta clipper project would serve the national interest in a time of considerable political tension in other major oil-producing regions and countries by
providing additional access to approximate mat stable crude oil with limited transportation requirements from a reliable ally and training partner of the united states with which we have free trade agreements and further augments of security of this energy supply. if that was true three years ago , for this pipeline, isn't it more true today for the keystone x.l. pipeline? why doesn't the president approve the pipeline immediately and give our country energy security and more national security? i don't know why -- i know why the president did it. it's very clear. when it first started coming out, all the administration was saying, we can't make a decision until sometime in 2013. the american people know what happens between now and 2013. there is a presidential election. the american people need a leader. they need someone who will step
up and do what's right for the country, do what's right for our security. i'd like to close by using a quote from the father of the united states navy, my navy, admiral john paul jones. he was in a battle with the british ship superior, more speed, more guns. his ship was getting blown up pretty good. the british captain got on the megaphone and yelled over to admiral john paul jones and said, sir, will you surrender? and admiral john paul jones said the words, he yelled back, sir, i have not yet begun to fight. the american people should know that house republicans have not yet begun to fight for the keystone x.l. pipeline. i yield back the balance of my time. >> i thank the gentleman for his leadership tonight and before he leaves the chamber tonight and before i yield to the gentleman
from south carolina, i think it's again important to talk about something that you mentioned at the very beginning of your comments. the only reason the state department was involved is because it crossed the border. mr. gardner: the only reason, the only reason they were allowed to kill 100,000 american jobs is because it crosses the border. if the pipeline was built from fargo, north dakota, to houston, texas, would they have been involved? mr. olson: no, sir. mr. gardner: and, again, to the american people, we've heard it asked often by members of this body, where are the jobs? and i think we need to start asking why not these jobs? i thank the gentleman from texas and with that i'd yield to the gentleman from south carolina who has been a very active in the fight for jobs in his home state and across this country. >> well, i appreciate the gentleman from colorado allowing me to have a little bit of time to talk about this. you know, canada is our largest and best trading partner. a good friend of mine was an ambassador to canada, i had the opportunity to go up there and talk with him and talk with him about this issue and why it's important to the united states.
why keystone pipeline? how about the refining capacity we've got in the gulf. how about the refining jobs that would be provided in a very hard hit, post-horizon gulf state economy? the gentleman from texas was very clear and they understand in texas as they do in north dakota that energy is a segue to job creation. you look at the unemployment rate in texas or north dakota, north dakota, 3% unemployment. you looking for a job in this country in america, go to north dakota. there are good-paying energy jobs right there today and if we can get keystone x.l. pipeline to be a reality, we'll have good paying, long-term jobs in the refineries in louisiana, texas, mississippi, oklahoma and all the places that we're going. mr. duncan: what i would like to talk about are these are the president's own words because you he said in his statement and -- because he said in his statement and this is from the white house website, that the rushed and arbitrary deadline insisted on by congressional republicans prevented a full assessment of the pipeline's
impact. now, how long has this been going on that they've been doing the environmental impacts assessment that you talked so brilliantly about? you know, i came to congress last year. this was going on well before i came here. a rushed assessment? and under the obama administration an $800 billion stimulus package and an unprecedented growth in government, don't you think that we have the personnel in the department of energy to deal with this and do the assessment in a timely manner, in order to approve a pipeline that would provide not only american energy independence but north american energy independence? buying oil and natural gas from our largest and best trading partner, our friends in canada, providing good paying jobs in america. but i want america to listen to what the president also said in his own statement. he said he was disappointed that republicans focused on this decision. we should focus on this decision. this is about american energy independence and it's about jobs. but he goes on to say, -- but
can it does not change my mind and this administration's commitment to american-made energy that creates jobs and, listen closely, reduces our dependence on oil. period. not reducing our dependence on foreign oil, not reducing our dependence on middle eastern oil and countries that oftentimes don't like us very much, but lessening our dependence on oil period. that is the dynamic that's driving this administration's policies and america needs to know that. these resources don't belong to president obama, they belong to the american people and it's time we step up to the plate. and we use energy as a segue to job creation in this country, we trade with trading partners that like us. friendly trading -- trading partners within our own hem steer -- hemisphere. if we can't have american energy independence, keystone pipeline, it is the answer to putting americans back to work and with that i'll yield back. mr. gardner: thank you, the gentleman from south carolina.
again you can see the passion which so many members have tonight throughout this fight to create american jobs and with that we have a few remaining minutes and i would yield to the gentleman from virginia who also, mr. griffith, who has also been a lead when are it comes to energy security and american energy production. mr. griffith: thank you very much. i appreciate these few minutes to speak. i've been sitting here listening to everybody speak and there have been very good points made by so many of the speakers. and it does come down to a couple of simple things. it was a tough decision for the president not because he didn't have the ability to make that decision and not because he didn't have the ability and the materials to make that decision. you know in our hearing last week, congressman lee terry brought in stacks and stacks of studies that have been done on this pipeline. but i think about it in the terms of my daughter. she's a sixth grader back home. abby doesn't like to do her homework. she would much rather be talking to her friends or watching tv.
president obama apparently doesn't like to do his homework either. he would much rather be speaking to friends that tell him how great he is or being on tv. the bottom line is the same. i have to tell abby from time to time, abby go do your homework. read your materials. the american people need to tell president obama on keystone pipeline, why can't you read the materials? it's all there for you, quit making speeches about jobs and take action after you've done your homework. do it and do it now and bring us the jobs you keep talking about. get off the telephone, get off the speaking circuit and put your nose to the grind stone and get the job done and i yield back to my friend from colorado. mr. gardner: i thank the gentleman for his time tonight. again, as we wrap up our discussion, we'd just highlight the support the keystone pipeline has across this country. again, you can see the people
who believe that job creation and america energy security matters. it matters because we can create jobs now. we have an opportunity to develop our north american resources, to reduce our reliance on overseas oil. the question that these supporters ought to be asking tonight is whether or not they want to give up this project to china. i don't think they want china to win. and yet that's the decision this administration has made. 100,000 jobs, american energy security. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: thank you. under the speaker's announced policy of january 5, 2011, the chair recognizes the gentleman
from texas, mr. gohmert, for 30 minutes. mr. gohmert: thank you, mr. speaker. it's an honor to be here before you tonight. there's so much going on in this country. so many threats to our national security and energy is one of them. and i am so proud to be a member of congress with the freshman that i've heard here tonight. they make the rest of us look good. and i'm so grateful for their
discussion about energy. it doesn't make any sense to have more energy overall than any country in the world and then to pay billions and hundreds of billions of dollars to people many of whom don't like us, they want to bring down this nation and yet we're enriching them, actually engorging them on our money. and then we have a solution. one little part of the solution is a keystone pipeline. more oil coming from our friends in canada who actually are our friends. they don't want to see this country taken down. they don't want to see this country attacked again like it was on 9/11. and then we have a hearing today on energy and our natural
resources committee -- in our natural resources committee and we were trying to pass legislation out of committee that would allow us to provide proper of our own energy. but the wrongheaded approach of this administration and some people on the other side of the aisle that is forcing us to pay billions of dollars to companies that have no good plan for producing energy but a great plan for bill ing, sucking the money out -- bilking, sucking the money out of this administration, ready to throw it on any whim that they can say somehow is a green job. well, it seems to be more brown in color from where i come from. but anyway, we voted today in natural resources to once again
allow drilling in this tiny area out of the arctic national wildlife area in alaska. i know that there are some people, even from this body, who have been taken up by so-called environmental groups and taken to areas of anwr that are beautiful and certainly worth keeping pristine. not taken within 100 miles of the little area that we passed today to allow drilling in. . . it's a tiny part that president jimmy carter set aside in the 1970's to allow drilling because there's nothing there, there's not a tree, a bush, anything that's living in that area in
the area way of wildlife. they have to get out of there and go to the pristine areas. that's why jimmy carter decided that's the place to drill. but the wrongheaded approach of this administration is to continue put off limits, our own natural resources. but that's only one aspect of things that are going wrong in this country with this administration. so tonight, i want to pay tribute to a great american hero who has been demeaned. a man who has spent most of his life as an american hero fighting for americans to have freedom of speech and yet being condemned and disallowed the
opportunity to have the freedom of speech he repeatedly, over and over, laid down his life or was willing to lay down his life to provide for the rest of us. but as lieutenant general retired william g. boykin, former commander of the united states army, special forces. he was a founding member of the delta force. he's also known for his devotion to the christian faith, which at one time in this country, in fact for 99.9% of this country's history, was considered a good thing to be a person of faith and devoted particularly to a christian faith. lieutenant general boykin graduated from virginia tech in
1971 and received his army commission. by 1980, he was the delta force operations officer on the april 24-25 irian hostage rescue attempt. i talked to general boykin about that before and consider him to be a friend. something that i had heard in my days in the service was something that general boykin was above his grade back then, 1979, 1980 and it would be interesting to hear someone from the carter administration actually provide documentation of the actual decision to reduce the number of helicopters that would be utilized to go into iraq -- sorry, into iran, to a
staging area, hundreds of miles inside iran, meet up with c-130 other helicopters -- other equipment, rather, that was there in the staging area. and then from there, stage the rescue effort that would go into tehran and get our hostages. the story i was led to see documentation on, a member i had heard as a member of the u.s. army years ago was that the original plan had at least 12 helicopters that were going to be utilized to go into the staging area, but the carter administration believed that it might look too much like an invasion. so the word was back then that we heard, the carter
administration ordered the 12 helicopters reduced to eight, so it wouldn't look like an invasion. and that there were those engaged in the planning who said, you know what? we need 12, because the mission must have six helicopters to go forward from the staging area. these turbine engines will cross hundreds of miles of sand. and we have to count on perhaps a 50% loss of helicopters coming to the staging area. and since we know we need six, we start -- we want to start out with 12. we knew where the hostages were, and yet people in the administration ultimate responsibility resting with the president decided, let's take more of a chance with the people we are putting at risk, sending in as a delta force, let's put
them even more at risk and make them go in with fewer helicopters and as those with delta force, ultimately knew that if you get to the staging area, don't have six helicopters in the mission, will be aborted and will have to turn around and go back and since they were ordered to come in with eight instead of 12 or more, they got to the staging area with five. these american heroes, who were not given adequate resources to go in and rescue our hostages in iran by an administration, you would have thought understood and appreciated the military, but apparently did not adequately. even though president carter had been in the military, might have thought he would have
understood. they get to the staging area. there are five helicopters and the mission is aborted. one helicopter, one explanation was, when one helicopter pilot was trying to lift off, once they knew it was aborted, everyone was anxious to get out. and the helicopter started up. obviously the sand swirls. easy to get vertigo, lose sense of direction and the helicopter went sideways and cut into a c-130 and we left heroic americans on the desert floor in iran, a terrible embarrassment. and to this former soldier, didn't think it was an embarrassment to the delta force that was september in.
their orders were to go in and sent in without adequate helicopters. and when the mission did not go forward, people lost their lives. but as we know from the old poem there's was not to reason why but theirs was to do and die. some of them did. i would have hoped over the years the lesson learned from vietnam would have been not that that was not a winnable war as our colleague, sam johnson, could tell you after carpet bombing after north vietnam left the negotiation table, after two weeks of carpet bombing and the hanoi hilton prisoners were taken away, sam said, the meanest -- one of the officers
at the hanoi hilton said, you stupid americans, if you would have bombed us for one more week we would have surrendered unconditionally. that could have been done early in the 1960's. the lesson of vietnam should have been we don't send our military men and women anywhere in the world on our behalf unless we give them the equipment to do the job, unless we give them the order to go in, whatever it costs, win and come home. that should have been the lesson. but it wasn't learned in vietnam. and it apparently wasn't learned during the failed rescue attempt under the carter administration. but these were american heroes who put their lives at risk for an administration that didn't fully appreciate what was
involved. general boykin, in february of 2003, received -- he had two stars as an army general, commander of the john f. kennedy warfare center at fort bragg and was about to interview with secretary rumsfeld for his third star nomination. he had received two purple hearts, one for grenada in 1983 and the other in somalia in 1993. he was involved as a commander in the blackhawk down scenario. from 1978 to 1993, general boykin was assigned in various capacities to delta force. but delta force he oversaw the rescue of c.i.a. operative from
a panamanian prison and the kaptur of manual norriega, the brutal dictator who put him in there. in colombia, our hero, jay boykin helped hunt downes cow bar and hunted war criminals in bosnia and helped hostage and helped kidnappers in el salvador and 13 years in delta force and as i mentioned, a founding member of delta force, and also ultimately later its commanding officer. in october of 1983, major boykin worked as an operations officer during operation urgent furry in grenada. during a dawn assault to free from grenada government
officials held by the marxist revolution army, he was shot with a .50 caliber round splitting the bone completely in two and was told he would never use it again, but almost mere ack can you louisly, his arm healed, which boykin believed was a god thing. in october of 1993, colonel boykin was in command of the delta force tracking down militia leader muhammad adid in somalia during which time the infamous battle of mogadishu took place. some would recognize that is the blackhawk down scenario. that was the event. but april, 1998, to february of 2000, boykin served as the
commanding general special forces command airborne at fort bragg, north carolina. from march 2000 to 2003, he was the commanding general, united states army, john f. kennedy special warfare center, fort bragg, north carolina. in june of 2003, general boykin was appointed under secretary of defense for intelligence under dr. steven cambone. general boykin retired in october, 2007 and teaches at a college. he is an awe tore of "never surrender, cross roads into faith and freedom and also "danger close," a novel, as well as killer 10 threat," another
novel. he attended the army war college, shipensburg university. his badges include the master parachuteist badge, military freefall badge, medals include the zpwished service medal. defense legion of merit, with an oak leaf cluster. this is a real hero. bronze star, air medal, purple heart with an oak leaf cluster. this is an american hero. ready repeatedly to lay down his life for our right to free speech, to the freedoms we know and love. . . and yet he was not so well
treated. people thought it was inappropriate that a general would say basically the same things that franklin roosevelt did. things like franklin radios velt said in his prayer -- roosevelt said on his prayer on d-day as he prayed on the radio, national radio broadcast, and during that radio broadcast franklin roosevelt prayed for our troops. against those forces of evil. i believe he used the word crusade in there. and yet franklin videos relate was never -- roosevelt was never cruisified for the language he used in the prayer because people knew he cared about our troops. people knew that he cared about americans having freedom. so they never went after franklin roosevelt the way they have come after jerry boiken.
jen boiken was invited to -- general boiken was invited to speak at west point this year. he was going to be speaking to cadets at our u.s. military academy, cadets who were christians, about how a christian in the service of the united states reconciles his faith, his commitment to god and his commitment to country. i would imagine most of us who are christians who served in the united states military had those inner questions. some of us found answers in scripture, found answers in wise counsel and found a -- peace afforded through prayer.
wise counsel is what i get any time i talk to general boykin this incredible man this american hero -- this incredible man, this american hero who should be an icon, was told he really should withdraw his acceptance of the invitation to come and speak because west point, our u.s. military academy, not the military, but the people that this administration put in place, were too embarrassed to have this american hero come speak to christian cadets at the united states military academy. where we also have a politically correct czar who monitoring such things and makes sure we don't offend the people who want to kill us and destroy our way of life. so pressure was put, gee, the
military academy, those in power , allowed to be there by this administration with the political correctness in full display didn't want to withdraw the invitation. they thought it would be better if he backed out of coming. this american hero will do anything his nation needs him to do and he did something that i'm not sure i would have done. he said, sure. you don't want me to come, i withdraw my acceptance, i won't come. he canceled. this american hero who has repeatedly put himself between america and harm is not afforded freedom of speech.
united states military academy cadets, because of this administration's approach, surely must feel that, gee, it's not a good thing to be a christian in america if you're going to really live your faith. it's not appropriate to wrestle with religious issues unless of course you're a muslim like major hasan, because if you want to speak freely, in major hasan's case, of course, in the private who was ready to kill people in the service with him as major hasan did, this military with this administration's overblown political correctness would not even deal with the private who did the same kind of interview
that major hasan, that made the same kind of statement that major hasan did, it's on the internet, basically saying, if they make me deploy, i'll have to kill troops to avoid having to go face muslims and possibly kill muslims for one of the reasons that we're not allowed to kill other muslims, i'll have to kill americans. what's wrong with this picture? certainly wasn't a problem for the greatest american general, the greatest american leader in the history of the world, a general named george washington. he believed so fervently in the same things that jerry boykin believed in. at one point he issued an order, that you couldn't take god's name in vein. his approach was, how can we ask god for blessings and protection
with the same mouth that's taken his name in vein? i can assure you when i was in the army, that was not a standing order. george washington is the only person in the history of the world. just down the hall is depicted in a painting resigning. he did the unthinkable. king george couldn't believe it. he led a military in a revolution, won the revolution as head of the military, tendered his resignation, gave back all the power and went home. recently during a stop for refueling, one of the leaders during a luncheon, we were talking, he said, you know, we have to constantly worry about the possibility of a military coup. this man on the other side of the world said, because, see, we never had a george washington who set the proper pattern here.
george washington was a man of faith. anyone who doubts that can read the sacred fire. there's an article today or yesterday from todd stalings, the u.s. military academy pressured a retired u.s. lieutenant general to withdraw from speaking at west point after muslims and atheists complained. fox news and commentary has learned. retired lieutenant general william boykin was scheduled to deliver a speech at west point on february 8 but late monday the military academy released a statement saying it decided to withdraw from speaking would be replaced by another speaker. however, a source close to the controversy told fox news and commentary that boykin waps pressured to withdraw -- was pressured to withdraw. quote, it was very clear they wanted general boiken to withdraw, unquote, said the
source, who asked not to be identified. and after you see what they've done to an american icon like general boykin, you certainly understand why i quote, he sad sked them to rescind the invitation but they were reluctant to do that. so he said he would take them off the hook, unquote. a spokesman for west point told fox news and commentary, the u.s. military academy did not decide this for him. nothing is worse than political correctness and mistreatment of military heroes than dishonesty in doing so. after a conversation with our chaplain, lieutenant general boykin decided to withdraw what she said in an email. boykin, a former senior military intelligence officer had been criticized for speeches he made at evangelical christian churches where he said america's enemy is satan, that god had put president bush in the white house and that a muslim somali
warlord was an ought with a worshiper. that was enough to decide to try to destroy an american hero. army "times" has an article, retired three stars west point invite draws protest. all about the controversy. "new york times," general withdraws from west point talk. the message is coming loud and clear to our military. if you're a christian, if you're a person of faith as demonstrated through george washington's life and times, you better keep your mouth shut or this administration and those who are in charge of political correctness will see to it that you regret being so. there's another article by rebecca long, "the holy warrior" it's entitled. another interesting article. this goes right along with this administration's zeal to avoid
recognizing the enemy against us. we've already seen as i met with -- along with dana rohrabacher backer, steve king, we met with northern alliance leaders, including general dustin, the hero in fighting the taliban. now, these are muslims. some try to paint us as xenophobes, islamphobes, isn't it interesting that term came as a strategy to try to scare off embarrassed, humiliate people who stood up for what was right defence muslim terrorists who want to destroy us, try to intimidate us into not using the word muslim. for heaven's sake, we know there are muslim friends. the northern alliance are our allies. they're muslims. we talked about it.
met with some people from southern pakistan, some leaders there. they're muslim. they're our friends. they don't want to destroy us. they want to support us and some of us want to support them. and yet this administration has such a wrongheaded approach to those who want to destroy our way of life. it best be illustrated on this chart. illustrating political correctness run amok. the 9/11 commission report was prepared in a bipartisan fashion before people knew that the organization of islamic states, islamic society of north america , care, would make such a tax on
those who dare to point out that even though it's not the mass muslim population who are our enemy, there are those small group within the muslim community who want to destroy our way of life. how can you understand and anticipate your enemy's actions, the enemy that has sworn to destroy you, unless you study what they believe and you understand what their 'approach is and you understand that people like ahmadinejad -- are we running out of time? well, let me conclude by just pointing to this chart and the commission report, 322 times, islam's mentioned. jihad's mentioned 126 times. and now it is inappropriate under this administration to mention jihad. it's inappropriate for our justice, intelligence, state to
talk about jihad. it doesn't mention al qaeda, it doesn't mention hezbollah, hamas , shari'a. this administration has run aground and they have brought their ship right on top of real american heroes. and with that, mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: thank you. does the gentleman have a motion? mr. gohmert: yes, i move that we do now hereby adjourn. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on the motion to adjourn. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the motion is adopted. accordingly, the house stands adjourned until 10:00 a.m. tomo
>> tomorrow, we expect lawmakers to take up several bills, when they return for legislative business at noon, with live coverage right here on c-span. in a few moments, house and sent it confirees talk about federal unemployment benefits. in 2.5 hours, president obama announces a plan to help homeowners to the baggage of low interest rates and refinanced mortgages. after that, today's briefing with speaker of the house john boehner. c-span's road to the white house
political coverage takes us to the candidate events. >> i laid out a blueprint that has a firm foundation. where we are making stuff and selling stocks and moving it around. ups drivers are dropping things off everywhere. that is the economy that we want. >> if i am president of the united states, i will stop all of the obama-era of regulations, those that killed jobs, we will change. >> i think you will see the economy recovery. the minute that people realize that obama is gone, that is how decisive the change will be and how rapid change will be. >> follow the candidates as they meet with voters. >> we are working for you. >> we're working hard for you. >> use our website to view
recent video, and political opinions, at c- span.org/campaign2012. as house and senate conference committee continued negotiations wednesday to reach an agreement on the the payroll tax cut and federal unemployment benefits. that tax cut for workers paying social security taxes expires at the end of the month. members agreed that it should be extended, but not on how to pay for it. this is a little more than 2.5 hours. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> good morning. this meeting of the conference committee will come to order. we are here today to start narrowing the differences between house and senate bill, and we will discuss an extension of the payroll tax holiday, the extension of the unemployment
insurance program, and the medicare fix and related medicare extenders. i have spoken with the chairman and the senators and we will tackle these issues in that order. we have also agreed that we alternate between senate democrats and senate republicans and house democrats and house republicans to board discussions. in order to provide for more open discourse, we have also agreed to set aside specific amounts of time to debate on each issue, and we will not be time each member. i ask each member to be direct in their statements and mindful of their colleagues possibilities to be heard. in the tradition of the senate, vice chairman baucus will recognize senators. in the tradition of the house, i will turn to congressman levin for the purpose of recognizing house democrats. i will yield to house republicans to seek recognition. given the limited time we have to reach agreement, we will discuss the payroll tax for up
to 30 minutes, then unemployment insurance up to 90 minutes, and then the medicare extenders for up to 45 minutes. it is my hope, and one that i know the vice chairman shares, that the talks today will yield progress on the policies before us. we will start to build a foundation upon which we can find a resolution that can stand. the faster we move through the policies, the more quickly we can turn to pay-fors. it is a board to show the american people that real progress is being made. it is what they demand and deserve. none of us will get everything that we want. but our time is very limited. i urge the members to stick to the agenda in their remarks. one thing that i learned from the super committee, and i suspect others will share and
agree with me, it is impossible to make headway on anything when everything is open for discussion at the same time. by narrowing the focus today, i hope to widen the areas of agreement between house and senate. with that, i want to recognize senator baucus for any opening comments he may have, followed by senator kyl, congressman levin, and we will begin our discussion. senator? >> thank you. it is a pleasure to be here. >> we hear you. >> try again. >> all right. hi. can you hear me now?
thank you, mr. chairman, very much. here,ry happy that we are to roll up our sleeves and get to work. it is awfully good at the first subject is the payroll cuts. it is so important to so many americans, millions of americans individually, also along with a big boost to the gdp. i urge us to quickly wrap up this portion. i did not think there are many issues with respect to the payroll tax cut. hopefully we did that agree to have moved onto other items. helping senior citizens that they want to see through s.g.r. >> ok, senator kyl? >> thank you. just following in senator baucus' message, we need to get
to the point where we are starting negotiations, and not just lying down negotiating positions. we have done negotiations before. it is at that point that we all feel the good will of each other and reaching conclusion. i hope that we get to that point, too, and i will not laydown negotiating positions, but say i am ready to talk. thank you. >> thank you. congressman levin? >> i very much here the sentiments expressed so far. i just want to add a couple of thoughts. we must act and act wisely with a clear understanding of the significance of the issues that we face, because the three large subject matter is that we are considering today involve the daily lives -- and i emphasize that -- of millions
and millions of americans. the taxes they pay, 160 million americans, are impacted by the work that we do here. the unemployment concerns of nearly 500 -- 5 million americans are receiving this vital lifeline during this time, with the highest long-term unemployment on record. an average weekly benefit of $300 to help them and their family with the basics of living while they look for work. and the effective access to physician care for more than 46 million seniors and disabled. and beyond the well-being of families throughout our country, the payroll tax reduction and unemployment insurance affect the continued economic recovery and the well- being of our entire nation. there are hardly three issues,
and i think that motivates us all today, that have a greater impact on people's lives and the issues in front of us today. therefore, it should not be surprising if the resolution involve some policy issues where there are differences with whose resolution is neither easy nor only technical. that means they will require us as legislators to work extra hard and to work together as and we are committed to do all that we can to succeed, as indeed we must. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, congressman levin. as we all heard in the opening statements last week, i did hear pretty much brought support for extending the payroll tax holiday through the end of the
year. we have up to 30 minutes set aside for this topic. i hope that we can dispense with it in a timely way. with that, i recognize senator baucus. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i will keep my remarks short. on the democratic side, senator casey will read off on the payroll, and i think senator kyl will lead off on s.g.r. with respect to the payroll tax, just a couple of numbers to help confirm its importance. it expires, the payroll tax cut expires, there will be a tax increase on 160 million american workers. we do not want that. that includes 600,000 employees in my state of montana.
clearly, the expiration would hamper economic recovery. we all want unemployment down. we want to boost the economy. at extending the payroll tax cut for a year will happen that regard. the economist i have seen are pretty much in agreement that gdp growth would decline by about 1.3%, or about $200 billion if expires. americans who have expressed the payroll tax cut for a while now, if it is extended one more year, that is about as much as it should be, that will give certainty and confidence to americans that congress is not a yo-yo, enacting provisions without certainty. predictability is very important
here. i urge us to work together to the extent that it does very much help our economy. senator to turn to casey now. centre casey is our lead person on payroll tax cuts -- senator casey is our lead person on. tax cuts. senator casey, it is all yours. >> turn my microphone on? >> you got it. >> mr. chair, mr. vice chair, thank you. briefly, on the payroll tax, one is the goal, the others are reasons to support that goal. the goal, obviously, and i believe it is bipartisan, that we need to extend the payroll tax cut not just for a short time, but through the rest of the year, the remainder of 2012. i think that is the basic goal that we are operating under, and i think it is very important.
one reason is to provide a measure of certainty for families and businesses, said they know it is in place. as senator kyl mentioned, about what a small business owner, the payroll, as somebody who is concerned about and needs to deal with payroll every day, giving them simplicity and certainty that they know will be in place the rest of the year. i also think the fact that we can come together and agree on something so important, 160 million families, provides in addition to the policy benefit and provides an opportunity for people to see us working together, democrats and republicans, on a very tough issue, a very important issue for them. the second reason to extend a whole year is even more urgent, and senator baucus referred to this -- that is the gross
domestic product impact. we have the vice chairman of the joint economic committee, rep. , couldn't knows produces a lot of great reports. on the democratic side and that republican side. both reports. i will just highlight these for reference, and folks can get copies later. but the report yesterday was a county by county, state by state breakdown of the payroll tax impact on an individual worker, individual counties, for the remaining 10 months of the year. i will not go through all of it for pennsylvania, but what struck me was the similarity between the worker impact from the big city of philadelphia, a place that rep short represents, to a very small county and north central pennsylvania.
the number would be $457. another county would be $408. one end of the state, $421 per worker, way out west to a tiny little county, cameron county, just about the same number, 420 less per worker. this is real for workers whether they are in small towns or big cities. the other report that we put out was, and this is the title of a report from last week, held continuing the payroll tax cut in federal unemployment benefits will help american families and support the recovery. one sentence for that i think would suffice for just my opening comments. i am quoting from a report here. delmar to reauthorize federal benefits in the payroll tax cut for the remaining 10 months of the year would have a
significant impact on disposable personal income and could attract 1.7 percentage points from inflation adjusted gdp growth in the current calendar year. one final way to say it is that in pennsylvania, just on the payroll tax cut, one economist said that failure to extend that tax cut for the entire year of 2012 without an adverse impact would amount to a little less than 20,000 jobs just in pennsylvania. i think folks know what is at stake here on jobs, gdp growth, as well as the certainty we can provide our families in our business. it is good to remind ourselves that we still have more than 13 million people out of work and as it relates to the payroll tax cut, 160 million workers that are depending upon us to come
together, to work together and get a new, bipartisan agreement on cutting the payroll tax. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. it is interesting to me and a very positive development that the first issue we are taking up appears to be one on which we are going to be able to get broad consensus, for all the reasons that have been stated already, the impact on jobs, gdp, and frankly just the individual impact on families, 160 million people receiving this tax relief is critical. i think it is very positive that we can apparently see this kind of consensus early in our deliberations on this process. with our economy continuing and the congressional budget office report yesterday telling us we have a projected unemployment
rate of 8% until 2015, now is not the time to raising taxes on anybody in the united states, particularly those who are getting relief from the social security payroll tax cut. that being said, i think we also need to pay very close attention to our national debt and the impact of this decision if we don't offset these costs. right now, these taxes, if they were collected, would go to the social security trust fund, and we don't want to do anything to diminish the solvency and strengthen -- of the strength of the social credit trust fund. this will mean literally billions of new dollars of spending at the federal level that needs to be offset. this is the same cbo report that was put out yesterday, indicated that we had just a phenomenal, a
trillion dollar deficit problem now moving forward, and an explosion of our national debt. and frankly, probably the biggest threat to our nation right now, in my opinion, is the debt crisis that we face. i believe it is incredibly important for us as we move forward in implementing the agreed policy of extending the social security payroll tax cut that we do so in a way that is fiscally responsible and help to continue to address our major debt issues in the country. >> i apologize for being late. i was with dr. elmendorf, the
head of the congressional budget office, and i am pleased there seems to be consensus that we need to move ahead to extend the payroll tax cut for 160 million americans through the end of this year. i think that is a very important step to make sure people have a little bit more money in their pockets so they can go out and purchase more goods and services, so small businesses and other businesses can sell those goods and services and hire more people. that makes sense. as we pursue this conversation, we should consider what has been a different standard set by certain members of congress with respect to what we pay for and do not pay for, because it has been the position of the republicans in congress that we don't pay for tax cuts for folks at the very top, permanent tax cuts, and so it is a little curious to apply a very
different standard when we are talking about a 10-month tax cut for 160 moving people as opposed to a permanent tax cut that disproportionately benefits folks at the very top. center crapo, you are mentioning the impact of lost revenue with respect to the deficit, and you are right, this was a chart that just came up with dr. elmendorf. it shows that the cost of extending all the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts is four $0.50 trillion, which more than doubles the cumulative 10-year deficit under card call. it is just an indication of the magnitude of this issue and something we all have to tackle. i do have to put aside one issue, because if we do not fill that hole, it does not have any
impact on the social security trust fund. senator kyl knows this and others know this. in 2010, we also had a payroll tax cut for a year that was not paid for. it did not take one penny out of the social security trust fund. and the social security trust fund trusty actuary has made that very clear, because we are transferring dollar for dollar money from the general fund into the social security trust fund, it has zero impact. with respect to the general fund, the issue is the same with respect to this payroll tax cut as it is for any tax cut, including tax cuts for folks at the very top, which gets back to my original point. i just ask that if we are born to apply different standards, we need to fully offset it, that we not all set it in a way that hurts people who we are trying to help cover the payroll tax cut, that we not take it out on
struggling families around the country when we look for deeper ways to make an offset, if we are going to move forward. senate democrats originally proposed a surcharge asking folks to the very top to share more of the responsibility. there are other ways of addressing it as well, but it seems to me that we should keep all those points in mind as we discussed, how much we all said it, and how much we are going to do that as we move forward. with that, mr. chairman, i yield back the balance of my time. >> thank you. obviously we are going to have a lot of time to talk about -- our time is not that long. what we are really trying to do is make sure we agree on the policies today, and then we will have to address the issues you have raised. we want to begin to find areas where there is agreement, and speaking on behalf of the house
republicans, we clearly do agree that we should extend payroll tax for the remainder of the year. i am hearing around the room broad agreement on this first issue that everyone, unless i hear in one object, that we all agree we ought to extend the payroll tax through the end of the year. so with that, -- >> i just want to make sure we are clear, i think there is agreement. >> we are not going to take a vote. >> the consensus to move forward, on the point mr. van hull and raises -- mr. crapo races, we can dispose of the issue of whether or not we are doing anything to endanger the trust fund to social security at the same time. >> we are really trying to keep narrowly focused on the issues before us right now. on that issue, because of that, i don't feel the need to give a long speech. being from michigan, i understand the importance of
unemployment insurance, but i am hearing that we really do see pretty broad agreement on that. without objection, i would like to move forward and address the next issue we have at hand, which is unemployment insurance. >> it is only fair to say yes, we are all in agreement on both sides, both bodies, 10 more months, the payroll tax, the end of this year. there is a sense that will have to be paid for, but that raises the next question. or going to find enough money that we can agree on to pay for it. i want to point out that it cannot agree -- if we cannot agree, or to the degree that we cannot, we may have to look at other options and the payroll tax. maybe a shorter time, not a full
10 months, the rest of this year. it is going to have some effect on the direction of policy. >> we will have that discussion when we get there, but i appreciate your raising that. >> let me just follow up on mr. baucus's common. i think it is progress we have moved beyond december. i just want to say how that separating policy from pay forests is somewhat problematic, because the pay-fors involve policy. i think we should not assume there will be no reference to whether we pay for and how we
pay for it while we accept the notion that we are going to try today to focus on policies and not address the issue of pay- fors, but there is a relationship in terms of policy of whether repay for and how. >> when we know all the policies we have, we will know all the pay-fors we are going to have. i am glad to see that at least for this part of it, i realized is a partial step forward, but again, i think it helps us at least narrow the issue and narrow our focus that when we meet again, we can decide how we proceed. we do have up to 90 minutes of discussion on unemployment insurance and as we discussed in the last meeting, i look forward to hearing the senate's position on some of the reforms that the house proposed. i will yield to senator baucus
to begin our discussion on uncommon insurance. >> a few short points before a turn to jack reed. we do, i think, want to address and help those people or unemployed. the unemployment level is still way too high. it is slowly coming down, but clearly not come down quickly enough. that leaves about 13 million people in america unemployed. 13 million americans unemployed. some of these folks are our neighbors, some we don't know personally but know where they are. it is an individual tragedy, people out of work through no fault of their own. they are just up. it cannot find a job. it is hard to find jobs in this economy. these are people that deserve
our attention. on a macro level, just a reminder, every dollar spent on unemployment benefits has a multiplier effect of a least $2, a positive effect on the economy. we get much better bang for our buck from federal dollars than state dollars spent on benefits than any other program. cbo has issued these charts and nobody has disputed those charts. is very important to the economy that we continue these benefits. i urge us to work through the more complicated issues. there are some areas we can reach agreement on and second- tier issues and what not so can get to the more difficult issues. while we are discussing other
ui policy, the house bill has certain policies that are not in the senate bill. to ask questions, constructive questions of each other, try to see what we are really trying to get at with some of these policy changes. i often think that the assumptions behind some of these policies, there is more agreement than we realize. we have to ask, what is the assumption of that and what are you trying to get at. that will help us reach agreement very quickly. senator reid, thank you very much for your work on this issue. >> thank you, senator baucus. mr. chairman, thank you. as many of my colleagues have pointed out, we have seen over the last 22 months private- sector job growth of about 3 million jobs, but still
insufficient to meet the demands of families throughout this country. indeed, i think we have got to begin with the notion of the benefits that were available to american working families of the last several years should be continued. and also make the point that we have a historically skewed this program as emergency spending. it was not offset. on one occasion in 1982 in which i believe there was an offset, there was a tax on employers and attacks on those receiving the benefits. unemployment benefits are not taxable. at a time we conceptually agreed to reducing payroll taxes, adding to those taxes seems to be counterintuitive. we are at a point now where history strongly suggests that we have to provide continuous benefits as we have in the last few years, and we have to do it, and i would urge us to do it
under the emergency basis we have always adopted. one aspect of extending the benefits to the 99 weeks is the logic of this program. it is countercyclical. if we truncate the number of weeks we might find ourselves in a situation where still we are looking at a% unemployment. it might stay around 10% unemployment, and then people will be left without any support. if in fact we do have an extended program in the economy and in helping us improve, they will not exercise those weeks. the logic really is to go big, not so small. i know we have been talking in a very collaborative and constructive way about some of the reforms that would be acceptable in the program, and some, frankly, that would cause
difficulties on our side, but also i think would not be helpful to working families. one of the things that is important to stress is that this really is as close as you can get to a working-class, working person benefit. you have got to work to collect. you have to have a record of work. we are talking about people who have worked for years, who are now without employment. they need the help. their employers pay into the system with the expectation that they would have this help. we are in a job market that has for applicants for every one job. we are seeing long-term unemployment, record long-term unemployment. harder and harder for people to find jobs. doing it in the way we have done a the last several years. one of the other aspects of the
impact of this program is that it is helping our middle-class barely stay above water. one of the interesting points i have found is that the median income of these ui recipients was $55,000. we are not talking about the program that is targeted to the lowest households in this country. we are talking about working people. i have heard the stories that in this economy, most households have to spouses working. one may be lucky enough to have their job, but without the benefit the unemployed spouses able to obtain, they are in danger of losing their home, of not being able to continue to do the things they have always done. so this is a program that i think is hugely beneficial to
middle-income americans. and it has to be continued. there has been some sort of talk about, this program is really useful, but it provides disincentives to work. $300 a week checked barely replaces half of what people were earning before they lost their jobs. but moreover, academic studies, and one that was just released two days ago by the federal reserve bank of san francisco, clearly points out that the critical issue here is a lack of aggregate demand. companies are ready to hire, but they are only ready to hire when more people are buying their products. that is the problem. this program goes to that problem, too. there are economists on both sides that indicate for every dollar we put in to the
unemployment insurance, we get $1.67 return. that is the biggest bang for the bulk of it -- biggest bang for the buck of any of these programs. getting demand up in getting people back to work, because we all do understand, once the demand rises in the united states, employment will rise. so for all these reasons, i hope we can move quickly to a principled resolution of some of the issues. we have already made some real progress on some structural reforms, which both sides agreed to. there are programs that i would find difficult. drug testing i don't think helped get people back to work. in most cases, particularly given this long episode of
unemployment, people who are losing jobs now have been working through tough times, and mostly they are very good workers. that have been working 30 years or more and the idea that they don't qualify unless they have to go sign up for school or do something else, i think is not what was intended and not she should -- and should not be part of the program. we talked about incentives for on to greener of business development while collecting -- for on to print your -- entrepreneurial development. i thank you for your collaborative approach to this issue and i think it can make progress. >> mr. chairman, i think at some points we will discuss the potential progress of some issues. before we get to that --
>> thank you very much, mr. chairman. i appreciate the comments by senator reid. i listen closely and took lots of notes and found it very helpful. we have made some progress with getting people back to work, but people across the nation are continuing to have a tough time because of the poor economy. the national unemployment rate in december was 8.5%. since june of 2008, the federal garment has added about $180 billion to our national debt for unemployment insurance. i support extending the federal unemployment insurance program, but it does need to be done in a way that is fiscally responsible. as we work to extend these benefits, we must be mindful of the debt crisis the nation is facing. i believe we need to fully pay for the cost of the extension to avoid adding any additional money to our national debt. the cbo has just announced yesterday that our budget
deficit is going to be over one trillion dollars in 2012. this will be the fourth consecutive year with a deficit greater than a trillion dollars. cbo also talks about the unemployment rate, and while there may be new jobs create beauty being created, we are likely to see unemployment rates rise to 8.9% by the end of this year. they say by the fourth quarter of 2013, the unemployment rate will be 9.2%. in light of the startling predictions, i think is the critical that this debate on unemployment insurance focuses on more than just paying benefits checks. it needs to preserve and promote each state's ability to provide reappointment and job search assistance. we do a lot of that and wyoming another state to doing that. i support providing states with new flexibility. when and enables them to design better programs to get the unemployed people back to work. is time for us to consider
reasonable changes and reforms to the unemployed insurance program. we should not forget that the unemployment insurance program is intended to provide temporary relief for those in need. the sooner get americans back to work, the better off they are. in terms of education and ged and things like that, the president the other night in his state of the union said when students are not allowed to drop out, they do better. tonight at proposing that every state requires that all students stay in high school until they graduate or turn 18. it is a focus toward education, toward promoting the sorts of things that give the training, the education that allows for faster reemployment for people all across the country. those are the things that i look to as we do want to extend the unemployment insurance to give additional incentives for people to go out and seek work, and remove the disincentives for
them to not seek work. >> we know that those without high school educations have a disproportionately high unemployment rate. >> we are trying to go 1, 1, 1, 1. if you keep it brief, i would appreciate it. >> thank you, mr. chairman. perhaps the thing that is most important to recognize is that america is slowly but surely pulling herself out of these tough economic times. we know that last month -- the month of december saw some 212,000 private-sector jobs added to the economy created 2
million in the entire year of 2011. even though 2 million may not be a lot compared to the 8 million that were lost during the recession that began in 2007, it is recovered and it is progress. we have to continue that. the 2 million jobs created last year were the most we have seen in any year since 2005. we all know that we still have a lot to do and there are still four americans out there looking for jobs for every opening there is out there today. we know that there are some people who are still unemployed and have been unemployed for longer than we have seen in our lifetimes. so we have enough to do just to try to work to get this particular extension taken care of. we have certainly far more to do to make sure that folks don't have to reduce the unemployment insurance benefits that they paid for while they were working. i think most of us would agree that this is not a common practice for us to have to continue to extend unemployment
benefits. this is not something we hope to have to do again for a long time. but just as we knew back in 2008 that there was something going on when the financial world was telling us something really bad is about to happen, congress went out there working with president bush and rescued the financial industry. at that point, there is no question about whether or not we were going to recoup our money at that particular time, because we knew we needed to do something. it was not just the banks that would go under, it was americans as well. most of us understand that the close to 6 million americans that are still out of luck and without a job, through no fault of their own, would love to be back working again. over 4 million of them unemployed for quite some time. whether it is the economic policy basis for doing this
extension, whether it is mark zande, the economists who worked with senator mccain during his presidential campaign he said that each dollar benefits for workers who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own would generate $1.50 got sense of new economic activity, or whether the it is studies of the labor department that found that federal emergency unemployment insurance benefit boosted employment by up to 750,000 jobs, which seems contradictory, but this country. you put money in the hands of those who are having a tough time, they will buy the right stuff, which create more economic activity if you have to build more plants is because people are able to purchase some of the things they need. i don't believe that at this stage this conference has an issue with trying to extend the
benefits. it is more on what basis we do it. some have talked about the need to improve the program. i think everyone of us is trying -- is ready to improve the program. just as we down with the financial crisis were confronting in 2008, we are not sent here to try to make a full- scale reform to the unemployment insurance program that we can all talk about and hopefully work with without controversy to get there. i would hope we can do is recognize that we have a month to go, and in that month, just as with the payroll tax cut for 168 million workers, the unemployment insurance benefit for workers who have lost their jobs through no fault of their own, would benefit from these extensions, should not be put at risk because we cannot figure out a way to get this done by february 29.
so mr. chairman, my sense is that unemployment insurance benefits, we recognize both for policy reasons, but because we owe it to americans who work very hard and paid unemployment benefits while they are working , and are now looking to make sure that we remember them at least as much as we remember the bank. that we were picked out a way to do this that does not cause other americans to carry the load of trying to make sure that those who are diligently looking for an opportunity to go back to work have that opportunity. with that, i will yield back. >> congressman tom reed. one is big reed and little reed. >> i truly listened to the
comments, and one thing i hope can set as a goal as we discussed this issue is that we are having a lot of discussion about unemployment and the benefit check itself. i hope we can do better than that and that we can lead to reforms that will lead to paychecks for americans. i think that is why you see proposals and our house bill that were sent over to the senate talking about such things as reforming unemployment insurance by requiring people to get a ged or high school diploma. to me, that is a common-sense -- just being a country lawyer from upstate new york, a common sense initiative that i would think we could all agree upon. if you are an individual with a diploma, the likelihood of that individual -- i think every study i have ever read tells me the higher educational success to achieve, the better your chance of being reemployed into
the marketplace. as folks are in this unemployment status, and i empathize with those folks, why can we not come together and agree on reforms that are going to give individuals, men and women, additional tools such as a ged, that will make them more marketable, make them more apt to be reemployed. i am going to follow up on one other point before i get into a question. i will follow chairman baucus's recommendation of trying to open up a dialogue to questions. there were some discussions when you talk about treating this as emergency spending and not pay for it. if i heard you correctly, i would just have to say i disagree with that, because as a member of this freshman class, i came in in november 2010, i am
very concerned about the size of our national debt and the attitude that has been historically on display that is an emergency, too tough to play for, we will keep it down the road and pay for it later. i have to say, i am here to disagree with that sentiment. that attitude has to change in washington, and my constituents back home told me we have to start paying for what we are doing out of washington. that is a common-sense comment that i offer for everyone. hopefully we can change that attitude and be an example of that changed attitude through this conference committee. i am going to defer back to senator reid if i could. if you could just please explain to me why you think that not obtaining a ged while you are in unemployed status would be an obstacle or a hindrance or a burden on an individual that is
not something we should support together to try to give them the tools to be reemployed. >> i understand the proposal is not -- we should encourage people to get as much education as possible, but if making it a condition to collect, a condition that has never existed before the program is going to miss the point of the program, which is to provide support, financial support for people who have worked many years, who thought they would qualify based on the fact that they lost their jobs, through no fault of their own. and now we have imposed another condition which never existed before. and some very practical points, this provision would disproportionately affect older workers. has been estimated 35% ofui
beneficiaries without a high- school education or over the age of 50. so you have basic benefit number of people who have worked literally for 30 years. am i have more skills, even technical certificates and company training towards than anyone else, and then to ask them to go get a ged before they could collect on their unemployment, i think is going to pose a huge problem. the other practical issue, and have been so awful about if this works, the reality is that in most communities, there is a long waiting list to get into ged programs. it would be terribly ironic, i think 50 states have reported that they have growing lists of people trying to qualify for a ged training or other types of training. it would be really ironic to
force someone who had worked 30 years, who fully expects this is the only benefit that is going to keep them in their house, to be disqualified because they don't mind getting a ged, but they cannot get into the program. and that is one of the realities. if we are proposing to come up with resources which would be substantial in terms of supporting state training and ged program so that we can guarantee that they can walk right out of the unemployment office, signed up for a ged, start working for a ged, that is something else, but i don't see that in the proposal. i just see this requirement, go get a ged, even though it might be completely impractical to get one. the other point i would make as you go back, really, to what is causing this lack of employment? particularly for people who do not have college, post college,
whatever. it is this lack of demand. that was the conclusion of the most recent report by the san francisco fed. people are not hiring because there is not demand. i would suspect that people without high school or post high school training, what is going to get them back in the work force, and they want to work, i am convinced, it is not the two or three years it will take them to get the ged. that is not something that you can turn around in two weeks in get your ged. that could take a couple of years. what is going to take to get them back to jobs is the fact that companies are hiring and people want to buy their products. >> to improve the economy will take care a lot of the problems in the unemployment area. what i am hearing as a response to my question is essentially this is not a good policy from your perspective, because we
never did before, and there are practical barriers to people getting an education and a ged program in our communities, but at dawn here fundamental disagreement in the philosophy that if people get a ged, that enhances their lives and enhances the ability for them to get a job down the road. i don't your disagreement with that. i hear an excuse as to why not to do it, or rather the fundamental philosophy of trying to rearm people with an education so that when they go into the work force, that have an additional tool to be reemployed. am i misinterpreting? >> i don't think you'll find anyone in this room who is more pro education over 20 years of both the house and senate urging real resources or workers trained for all these -- for worker training, but to link the social -- a program designed for
70 plus years and functioning to provide financial support when you lose your job, to our requirement that you have to be in this training, i think first of all, it will not work for some of the practical considerations. second, i don't think it contradicts the notion that you are suggesting that the more education you have today, the better off you will be in this economy. there is nothing contradictory there. the question is, what is the vehicle we use to provide this training assistance? >> if you could wrap up. >> in our bill that came out of the house, we did have the exception for undue burdens provision in there, so that the practical areas you are referring to could be taken care of by that proposal that came out of the house. we try to take that into consideration. >> you were referring to the older worker issue with the
hardship exception. >> senator baucus. >> thank you very much. following the chairman's desire to seek consensus, i think we do have a consensus that we need to extend the unemployment insurance. i would urge it to be at the same length of time that we currently have. i think the current economic circumstances justify that people who are currently unemployed be able to get the same type of help that those have gotten during this resection -- this recession and this recovery. the current economic -- the current economic numbers are such that with four people applying for every job that is open indicates that we should do that, and i would urge us to reach consensus on that point. i will not deliver the issue of the emergency nature. i will concur with senator jack reed, circumstances of this being counter cyclical insurance
program and we need to put in context of rational and responsible plan and i hope the congress will get to that. i want to respond to the issue of the g e d and also the point on additional flexibility for the locals to be able to use the money for job training, etc. i think there is a huge difference between someone who is under 18 years of age getting their high school diploma and a 40-year-old worker. here's the problem without is set up. it is just fundamentally flawed, the ged requirement. let me give you my reasons why. the average person going on unemployment is over 40 years of age. the typical person has worked for 20-30 years. they have lost their job. a d d is not going to make a difference for them getting their jobs back, quite frankly. it is not the age group where it
makes the most sense to be targeting. -- a ged is not going to make a difference. it makes no sense to add this as an additional burden. as the senator pointed out, we have waiting list today for state programs. where is the capacity here? that brings me to my second point, the issue of the waiver authority of local to give the type of employment services that we all think are valuable. democrats and republicans believe we should be offering greater employment. we do believe that government has more responsibility than just giving a check and some is unemployed. they should be able to get unemployment services and training and so forth. the minute they came over from the house is a substitute for local governments fixing their budget at a cost of benefits for those who are unemployed. you did not provide the money. you should be doing it to
complement the unemployment benefits. today, the average unemployment benefit is about $300 a week, less than one-half replacement of an individual's income. uzziah understand house proposal, the likely result is that the individual is going to get less cash benefit, which makes that person suffer more. i just don't understand why you can couple that with the resources and what does it take using the benefits for the most vulnerable that are unemployed right now to fund the programs. i just want to -- i have serious questions with both the waiver issues and the ged issues from the point of view that i think it fundamentally should not be in this bill, and secondly, it is being used for funding rather than looking at the way these programs should be funded.
get too't want to technical here. >> it would be the senate republicans opportunity to make a comment. >> i will this make a quick point. i am going to sell like strom thurmond here in a minute, cursing the machine. >> it is light touch on the button. >> your about to make my point. senator cardin just made two point that i think are interesting indeed response. the first is that the ged is going to help these older workers. i think it would. the time of jobs that are available and needed in the workforce now are different than the jobs for years ago. as firms have downsized, never
moved jobs that did not require skill. the top of jobs that are going to be available, more and more of the people in the work force are those that do require more skills. there is a saying you cannot teach an old dog new tricks, but that is not true with the head of household wants to get back to work and earn a living for his family. it is willing to learn how to use the blackberry or computer in order to be more useful employee. even for those who have been in the work force for a while, they may have had the kind of job that is going out of style, and they may need to sharpen up their work skills to get good employment. secondly, we will need to do some research on the question of whether or not there are adequate resources for the job training that would be inferred in the house bill. there are 47 different job training programs just by the federal government itself.
i am not sure i by the proposition that we need more money for job training. that question i think is not resolved. >> congressman levin. >> if i might, i would like to spend a little time on the ged but go back to the more general set of issues here. i can start by summing up. i think this is not the time to weaken the unemployment insurance structure in this country. if we can strengthen it, fine. to weaken it at this time is a resounding no. i just wanted to emphasize, and
we are passing out charts. i would like to refer to them in terms of the situation that the unemployed in this country and their families now face. the first chart, and we are now distributing them. i will just wait a minute. i want everybody to have a copy, too. the first chart shows that the long-term unemployment is at record levels, and you have a small version of it. there is a large version there. this is a striking statistic and what we need to do is to
remember that people who are represented by this statistic. you compare it with previous recessions, this is the highest by far on record of long-term unemployed, close to 45% of the people who are unemployed have been unemployed for more than 26 weeks. i think that is why jack reed and others including myself think this is clearly an emergency. the second chart relates to the lack of jobs, and this comes from the san francisco federal reserve bank that jack reed has cited. this is historically different than previous recessions in
terms of the job loss and when we move back from that job loss. this chart begins in 2007, and nothing more or less the first 18-24 weeks incurred before it did occur before 2009. then we see what has happened since 2009. the third chart relates to, and this has been mentioned my hobby air --by javier and others, the increase in unemployment and how it did, and now we are moving back, but we have a long ways to go. the fourth chart compares the
bill that was passed by the house, essentially on a partisan vote, with the present law, current law, and there would be close to 3 million people who would lose unemployment benefits if we were to adopt a house bill. and i don't think we can do that in good conscience, because what the house bill essentially does is to really hurt workers with the highest level of unemployment. that is what it does, while it doesn't hurt as much people in states with the lowest.
fact, workers in states with the highest level of unemployment will lose nearly three times as many weeks as workers in the states with the lowest rate. i think targeting high unemployment states is unfair. so we have begun to discuss some of the barriers in house bill. there are things we can improve, fine. but to create new barriers at this time i think would be a very serious mistake. for example, to allow states -- is giving them essentially a waiver to defer ui funds for other purposes i think is a terrible mistake. we have discussed the g.d. -- the ged, and the program
provides help for the gdp, provides help for other training and retraining. while people receive their benefits, while they receive their benefits. it is not common sense to say to someone who does not have a ged, you are going to lose your benefits if you don't go into a program. the ta program combines the two. if you want to abide unemployment benefits while people go for a ged, that is a continuation of sound policy. let me just mention, senator kyl, you talked about available funds. i just want to review what is in the house gop proposal for 2012 in terms of the most important
training and retraining programs. there would be a proposed 73% cut in the work force investment act over 200 million bid for dislocated work activities there would be 90% cut. and for employment service grants to states, a 50% cut could so let me just say a word about that, as someone who over the years has worked with and seen the activities for the employment service in our state. we have been cutting the employment service programs in the state's and federal funding for it. it used to be that people went into offices and there were employment services there in the unemployment compensation office. now they are very, very minimal.
we are talking about 160,000 people that was referred to by you, who are on waiting lists for adult education classes in our states. let me just say a final word about the proposal for drug tests. right now, if you are fired from a job because of a substance abuse problem, under state laws in most cases you no longer have a ui benefit. and where and in florida requires a drug test and someone refuses to do so, also the state can disqualify someone from the unemployment benefits. my main point is this. we need to find common ground if
we can improve programs, let's do it. but this is not the time of historic long-term unemployment to essentially pull the rug out from under people who are in need, who on average are receiving $300 a week. we should not basically blame the unemployed in this country. we should not be blaming them. there are four people on average looking for every job. there are some jobs for which there are not adequately trained people. this is a minority. boost the training programs. don't punish the people, half of whom have been out of work, looking for work for 26 weeks. we have never had a situation on record in this country like that, never, never.
that charge there, i just will finish by urging people to talk to the unemployed. thank you. >> before i yield to mr. brady, i would look at this chart of red ink and also say that the program is designed -- the program as designed obviously is not working. it is not getting people reemployed. it is not just about unemployment, it is about reemployment and job readiness. those are some of the issues we are going to discuss. i will yield to mr. brady. >> i think there is agreement around the table on extending unemployment benefits. clearly we are in tough economic times. here we are 2.5 years after the recession officially ended, and
27 million people cannot find a full-time job. we have a lower unemployment rate principally because people have given up looking for work. we know what is not working. we also agree that an unemployment check is no substitute for a paycheck. we also know that the longer people stay unemployed, the harder it is for them to get back in the work force. most studies show us that after two years of unemployment, which is what we are extending, your chances of getting back to work are very slim. i think there is agreement that the sooner we can get people back to work, the better. my belief is what we are doing is not working. that charge is a good example. in the house, some common-sense reforms are in order. as unemployment goes down, we began to phase out the highest levels of unemployment, ending
the last 20 weeks of unemployment, as the president proposed in the american jobs act, but keeping the benefits high in those states with the toughest unemployment rate. we require -- you can go almost a year and have of getting unemployment benefits without really having to go look for a job, and that is not acceptable. we are requiring that those who have the lowest education, whose chances of getting a job are the slimmest, who actually get laid off first and it hired last, all states now put together the programs to actually get them that education. if you are 40 years old and don't have a ged, the truth of the matter is, you have a quarter century of work history in front of you. you are going to be better applicant and have a better future if we can get you that ged.
we also give states the ability to tailor those job training programs to get people back to work. this is what the president proposed. let states to know the local economies but the programs together to put people back to work. finally, i think it is time to stop subsidizing drug use for federal benefits. i wonder how many people went to work today in the dark, how many single moms struggle to get the kids dressed and off to school before they went to work. how many people will not get home tonight to their kids practice because they are at work. how many are told the boy scouts will not how many people would take money from their paycheck to help people who are unemployed? it seems those companies who are begging for workers who have
good paying jobs for them, but they choose to use drugs, it seems to me they are not going to be ready to work. they will not have much of a future for themselves or their children. remove the block that prohibits states from doing common-sense drug screening by requiring people ask if you're willing to go to work. to make it makes perfect sense. if you are using drugs and unemployed, go door-to-door and ask your neighbors for help. do not use federal benefits to do that. we what you ready and willing to -- want you ready and willing to work. make thesestates to and m
decisions. i think it is an area open to change. i yield back. >> i think this has been a fairly good discussion. we're not today going to resolve drug testing. there are some areas where there has been discussion with both sides trying to figure how to make progress. it is good. hopefully, hopefully it'll favorably. that includes job searches.
i think we should try to find some way to encoureagage more jb search. i think this is an important provision, too. it will strengthen the program. we also talked about reemployment services to help people have qualifications. that the uid payment is high. it seems we could strengthen the overpayment provisions.
these are provisions that go on in the house and the seante. -- senate. i hope we can reach as much agreement as possible to show progress. it probably makes some sense. it is my understanding that the senate has sent some ideas over and the house has looked over. we tweaked them back and forth. it also includes a self employment system. that is also one of the provisions we talked about. senator reid was also closely involved in this. i suggest you see how far we go
on those. i apologize before all members of the committee, but we have both sides of the aisle talking about these. i would suggest we see what we can do. >> i appreciate those comments. i know dimensions of the overpayment issue, a $17 million. -- i know you mentioned the overpayment issue, a $70 million. that is in one year. we want to make sure the dollars are there and that they're going to people who are in need. we have had some staff discussions on the issues you mentioned in terms of job search and reemployment services. i'd like to have an opportunity
to share those with the members of the conference to see whether we can make some progress at least initially in those areas. i realize there is some and druge on the ge dd screening issue. we will work on those as well. for reasons that were articulately stated, those are important, too. there are a number of outstanding issues. if we could move forward, that would be positive for step. i do think a uniform standard for job search at the state and federal level is important. we continue to try to discuss that as we move ahead. on drug screening, it really is allowing states if they choose. they are blocked because of
legislation that is decades old. it is time to look at things in a new light under current budget circumstances, economic circumstances. and under the fact that compare to win the regulation was passed, rep employers often demand drug screening as a condition of employment. if you do not want someone to get to the end of unemployment and then find that they are not able to qualify for the jobs which they have applied. you want to have that identification of the problem up the states can design resources. in terms of the job search requirements at a federal level, i would like to pursue that with you. >> i have a suggestion when we
next meet. in the meantime, head the senate has prepared -- the senate has prepared an offer which we could share with the house. it would be my hope that when we meet tomorrow the house would be in a position to accept it with modifications or what not. we can make some headway on ui. >> that would be a positive first step. we look forward to that. >> we are about to vote over here. i make that suggestion. we are prepared to make an offer with the house before tomorrows meeting if we meet tomorrow. we'll have time to look at it. >> we are glad to look at them.
there are issues on some of them we need to talk about. >> to make headway, we will prepare a good offer. >> we look forward to receiving the offer. we can continue to discuss this issue foor we can move on to another issue. i think this has been productive. >> i will be very brief. i wanted to make it clear. during the discussion i think there was an impression created that what the house proposal we are discussing would do would be to eliminate unemployment benefits. it does adjust the benefit program. currently we have the component of an insurance support.
we have a federal component added in and then an extended federal component. after february 29 of this month if we take no action, then what we will see is that unemployment benefits are quickly going to drop from a maximum of 99 weeks of state and federal benefit to just 26 weeks of state only benefits. that is what we're trying to do with. to the house proposal essentially continues to pay the federal portion of the benefit and the federal extended benefits through 2013 and provide 79 weeks now could january of 2012 adjusting some. that is an adjustment to the current state of extended benefits. i think it needed to be clarified.
this is a cliff that we will go over. but back in place a significant majority predict it put back in place a significant majority -- it put back in place a significant majority of the benefits we are taught being talking about. he can reduce the need for the height extended benefits -- it can reduce the need for the high extended benefits we are talking about. we're not talking about ending unemployment benefits. we're talking about continuing the federal extended benefits. >> can i clarify? >> there is a cliff in all three programs. it is not fair to say we are ending the cliff for you whui.
we are facing a cliff for all three. if we do not acted goes into affect. >> correct. >> the question is whether when we address it we are going to leave a substantial part of the cliff. >> i am not aware that the state benefits will expire. >> the cliff -- >> there will be a state benefit regardless. >> 26 weeks. >> on average. >> the house bill will extend federal support. i think there was some question as to whether that was going to happen. i thought it should be made clear. >> i just wanted to clarify something. when we talk about the offering,
are we talking about an offer that will resolve the issue of how we deal with unemployment benefit? or will it be an offer that simply addresses part of what we need to do on unemployment benefits? >> if i can answer, my understanding is the latter. >> we will still have to deal with other aspects. >> you have to crawl before you can walk. >> thank you very much. i appreciate this discussion and the openness to provide us with an offer. i think it is very good. we look forward to receiving it. it is important to remind people that the house did improve a full one-year extension of unemployment. the house did approved a one-year extension of middle- class payroll tax cuts.
this is what went to the senate. what came back was the to my proposal -- was the two month proposal. on the issue of helping people on unemployment, they have a better chance of getting a job. that is how i look at the reforms. having been a small business owner since 1986, we did not do a drug screening or testing. i know in talking to big employers, if they do. if he cannot pass a drug screening when you go to get a job, something is wrong. i think mr. brady made a good comment that those were working day in and day out are subsidizing those who cannot get a job if it was offered because they cannot pass a drug test.
we need to help those people get beyond that by giving the states the flexibility to manage the situation. i had a gentle man, office. he has been unemployed since last year. the county is the highest of unemployment in oregon. he supports drug testing. what you really want is a job. -- what he really wants is a job. none have been as bad as coming out of this recession. we can attribute why that is the case, whether you believe it is the president's policies or what. it is the worst we have ever faced. the congress, and i have supported the extension of unemployment benefits, has offered 99 weeks of unemployment. it is the most of that america has ever offered. that has lasted 42 months. 42 months.
what we're seeing with these modest reforms in the legislation that the house has passed is that we know that if you have a ged or high school diploma, you have a better chance of getting a job. we can encourage you to do that with the exception of older workers. it is all outlet and a legislation. we know that without a high school -- that is all up to legislation. we know without a high-school education, those without a high- school degree have been particularly hard hit of the past few years. a couple of my colleagues reflected on this and continue to have a lower labor force participation rate of 46% compared to all of their education levels. the data tells us if we can help people get that degree, it they have a better chance of getting
a job. if we can work with them so that they can pass a drug screening, then if they get offered a job they can get it. that is the heart of a matter. i have heard today that if extending unemployment is some sort of economic growth model, i heard a ratio of 1 to a $1.65. this recovery stinks. we can do better. we should do better. we need a safety net in place of unemployment insurance with proper reforms. we need payroll tax reduction properly paid for. i would yield to my friend from new york. >> thank you chairman.
i would just like to point out that one of the ones we can use -- this is sadly a record breaking recession. it is an unspectacular recovery if you can even call it that. we need to innovate solutions. we are dealing with taxpayer dollars here. we have to respect our taxpayers whose dollar should be going to grow the economy so we can have the jobs that the unemployed folks need. if you look at the history of welfare reforms, which were passed under president clinton and by our congress working in concert in the mid-nineties, there is good evidence that enhancing the requirement for welfare recipients could be
credited with a decline in the number of people in the welfare roles. the citizen population and those repsonsible for providing benefits. there is a great study that we can provide to you. kato is an object of an elected body when it comes to economic evidence. i think that argues strongly on an evidenciary level that to enhance their requirements for receiving unemployment insurance or unemployment benefits will motivate people even further to search for jobs in a more effective away. thank you. >> thank you very much.
senator baucus, we have time to go on one more round. there will be some proposal going forward. we could move on. whatever you prefer. why don't we do one more round then. >> this is a very important issue. >> i thought it was interesting that this is a very productive discussion. i think we all have a sincere in agreement on the value of education. we like to see everyone get as much education as possible. it is interesting when you take the proposed cut two basic state training programs and access to geds. we are saying we want people to qualify for unemployment
insurance by getting a ged, but it does not look like we will put money into the state to get everyone automatically signed up and get the program. no waiting lists, no nothing. we're not making that commitment. the point i would bake is that this becomes -- make is that this becomes a barrier for people to collect what they assumed they were eligible for many years. unless we are willing to fund the support system necessary to get everyone who wants, and if they are required, sign up for a ged, it puts a lot of people in a difficult situation. you have to ask questions about signing up for a ged and taking the two or three years to finish it. is that going to get you the
job? we like to see people meet it. the other point i want to make is about a drug testing. there have been some studies in texas that if they were able to implement this program, that is $30 million. where is that money coming from? is that cutting out the benefits we are paying to people --coming out of the benefits we are paying to people? this long term has disproportionately affected middle aged workers. if we have the resources and we're trying to apply them to help people, someone who has worked for 30 years, as someone who is coming in and applying for unemployment compensation because they have a work record, i think that does not
automatically suggest to me that they have real serious problems with drug abuse, it that they did not have skills in the workplace that they can use. it is the issue that the demand is so slack that the jobs are not out there. i think we need to focus on the main point, to provide the kind of financial support that they expected. points have been made about people working hard. people are working three jobs and supporting people. a lot of people that find themselves without a job, they worked two jobs for 20 years. they were supporting people 50 years ago. they're collecting the benefits. they thought they would also be eligible when that day came and they were told sorry. we have to be pragmatic. we are dealing i think with programs that have course.
no one will argue against the efficacy of education. if you want to look at the biggest pay off, the people doing the best are people with advanced degrees. i do not think anyone would suggest you have to have a bachelor's degree to reacquire for compensation. that is where we are going. i think we need to focus. i think there are some areas of common agreement that we can reach and offer and build on that. >> i would just ask a question. does the house bill require the obtaining of a ged degree or does it merely require that you enroll in a program? >> it is simply making progress. with regard to the waiting list,
that could be part of the conception that if there is a waiting list the states would have the authority to suspend the proposal if it is not available. that is not every state. i go back to this 17 billion a year in overpayments. we have to find a way to make sure the benefits are going to the people who are truly deserving. >> with the gentleman from arizona yield? --would the gentleman from arizona yield? >> this is totally unheard of. i was going to yield a minute to a senator. >> i will take its. . >> like other senators, he says he has to take a phone call. [laughter]
>> you mentioned making an offer tomorrow. i have not seen a democratic offer. >> i will look at that. >> we talk about the ged. the focus is really to get younger people into getting geds. it will do them the most good over the entire bank of their career. that is the purpose of the ged. >> i will just say a few words. >> i was just one to make the point to clarify on a senator kyl. ego to page 29 of the bill, section 21 and 22, it spells out clearly for purposes of this paragraph an individual will have been considered to met the minimum unless such individual has earned a high-school diploma, ged, or state
recognized equivalent including alternative standards for individuals with disabilities or enrolled in making satisfactory progress in classes leading to satisfaction of clause1 or 2. the requirement of separate paragraph b deems such requirement to be unduly burdensome. we are trying to strike a balance here to bring the state s in and evaluate their programs as it relates to their individual spirit helping the people look forward -- there individuals. helping the people look forward is the first step. if you look at the packet, non elderly households receiving benefits have no high school
diploma, it is -- you are hurting. what we need to do is provide incentives and help the people get that basic education so when they go in to apply for a job you have that on your resonatum. >> i was going to yield. let me just say a few words. drug-testing, employers can require a drug test. if someone refuses to take it, the state can disqualify them for unemployment. in terms of high school education, i think you simply need to put your shoes if you can in the place of many unemployed.
for example, the construction industry. i do not know how many have a ged and how many do not. they have learned a lot of skills. these are skilled workers. what you're saying is in a role in a program with 160,000 people in line. -- enroll in a program with 160,000 people in line. this is not a welfare program. this is a traditional program in this country and every other industrial country where people who are laid off through no fault of their own, who are looking for work, received some subsistence amount so that they can eat, and maybe get
health care, and maybe pay their mortgage for $300 a month on the average. i would just say to you it may be in texas you can go a year and a half and not be in touch with any employment service entity. that is the problem with states. that is the problem of the state. states now have every ability insist that people come in or register for reemployment. state have the ability to follow through with that in terms of prerequisites. now, if we want to make a federal standard instead of having the state apply
standards, we can discuss that. i think it is a mistake to assume that for the vast, vast majority of people who are out of work that they are not looking for work. by definition, they were unemployed through no fault of their own. they are not entitled to unemployment insurance. they are also required to be looking for work. the vast, vast majority of people that i know of, and i hope everybody will check this out that column, are people who are desperately looking for work and need a bit of help so that their search does not result in a desperate economic situation for them. that is really what this is all
about. if we can find some ways to improve the program, we are all in favor of it. in terms of work sharing, of these ideas. we have to sustain the basic program. you keep on saying this is a unique crisis. you need uniquely to sustain the unemployment insurance system that is the basis for subsistence in times of crisis. that is what this is all about. we can look at so-called second tier issues as long as it is understood that what is really most at stake are the first tier issues of the sustaining of a program in a unique time in
this country. is tonot talk about who blame. one of these charts shows how job loss went up in 2007 - 2008 dramatically. let's not argue with that. what we know is the results, and there has been some improvements. if you have 5 million people long-term unemployed. we cannot shirk our responsibility. thank you. >> i am going to go to mr. brady for a brief moment. >> i would just say these are tough economic times. in the house proposal, we continue a record level of unemployment help for those seeking jobs.
that is critical to remember. texas does require people to get unemployment help to actually go look for a job. some states do not at all. you can receive dollars in help from your neighbors and taxpayers and not addrsearch foa job. i'm not talking about calling an employer to get a no. i am talking about aggressively looking for the next job. all seeking. we are " i think i got it there. i would just like to follow off of congressman brady in say the house bill we passed is a reemployment plan. it is what i was out there saying. it is what many of my colleagues were saying when we were voting on it. the president himself said that
he wanted a reemployment plan. that is exactly what we put forward. it is interesting. i am looking at the charts. the points that have been made to the arguments we can also make. we are coming out of the recession as we normally would have a buy this time. -- by this point. we are still stuck here. it does prove that none could 2009 we bring in a crisis situation. maybe this was appropriate. many are out there looking for jobs. even last week i am reminded of the stark contrast in some of the discussions we had in our opening statements where we were talking today was $2 million
jobs. last week it was 3 million jobs. we still need help. we also need to improve the system. the american taxpayers are looking for something more efficient. there's nothing wrong with improving the system that helping those who need us and them powering them. what an awesome thought that what they will be getting is assistance to get reemployed than just a constant reminder that they are unemployed. we can do better than this. to the argument of not addressing those issues, absolutely not.
the american people are telling that we have to do our job better. it is a perfect example of one way to do that. >> this has been a productive discussion. we need to continue these talks on reforms to the unemployment program. at this point, i am prepared to begin to move toward discussing the medicare if standards which would give us up to 45 minutes of debate. >> it is frustrating as it gets more and more expensive. we need to find a way to solve it. i would like to turn to senator kyle who was spent a lot of time thinking about this.
>> thank you very much. there is a pretty broad agreement on the things we have to do and maybe even the beginning of a consensus on something that would be good to do if we can. we have to decide how much of positions we will receive and how long we will fund the medicare positions -- physicians. if we define the right offsets, we would all appreciate the desirability of having a longer time rather than something shorter. the third thing that they have had some expression about is to
decide to repeal the so-called srg which has not worked ever since 1999. do we need to supplied the replacement for that? can it evolved over the next two or four years? there have been some conversation about that. let me get to the question of how long we should try to provide this update in what it should be. i think some statistics are useful. in 2010, total expenditures for
medicare work five under 22.8 billion. of that, there are about 64.5 billion. every year we provide the increase in spending. what is it for? there are more patients being added to the patient load. they are living longer. they are requiring more services. sometimes we also increase the amount we would reimburse them for. 1%.will update them on sometimes we have not updated at all. the number of people age 65 or older will increase by about one third between 2012 and 200022. we are facing a 1/3 increase in
medical omedicare. that is not even begin to account for what amount of inflation we provide. we know that seniors are complaining a lot about the difficulty of getting in to see physicians that will care for medicare patients. none could 2011, only 67% of surveyed practices accepted new medicare patients. we have anecdotal evidence to support this as well. as a result of the looming srg cut, 41 term are considering not taking medicare patients. -- 41% are considering not taking medicare patients. i did not realize the extent we have built into the current law
the significant increased cost for physicians. it is a good reminder for the remainder of us. in 2013, unless we find a solution to the automatic sequester that is built and in, that is an additional 2% cut. if you do it, it'll cost you money. in 2015, there is a potential 1% penalty to develop information technology. that will require significant expenditures. an average practice would spend $162,000 for the initial adoption and another $85,000 to maintain it.
we assumed that these things will be done and that the penalties will not attach. all will require expenses by the physician community. we are looking at an increase in the amount of patience that will have to be cared for. the cuts that the sgr can be implemented we can all agree. in 2010, it would of been a 21.3% cut. it took at that number could 2010. -- we cut it in 2010. this is what we are worried about here. i want to make sure they're paid properly. we are worried about people whose care we have embraced as
part of medicare receiving the care that we are promising. here is what happens because of that reduction. during be delayed sgr update, they stopped and excepting new patients. 15.5% reduced employment for current medicare patients. this had an impact on patients. even that temporary cut which is impact.servisreversed had an not acting is not an option. it gets worse every month. at the time the cost is only $50 billion. today it is just under $40
billion. cbo's 2011 numbers show that even if we give doctors a zero% of date and do not cut their pay for 2012-2014, and they would still be facing a 37% cut. that is unacceptable. that is why sgr have got to be be peeled. the cbo updated the numbers and the new -- has to be appealed. the cbo updated the numbers. it went up $26 billion to reflect a change in the cbo baseline. what should we do? let me just refer to one chart which i'm going to distribute to people. i did not have copies made. this is just a comparison of the last 10 years. what is the average cost of
living adjustment per year for civil service retirement living? it went up 2.43%, just about what inflation was. for the last 10 years, members of congress' salaries, the average per year was 1.84%. we did not meet inflation. physician payment of dates, 0.23% -- updates, 0.23%. inflation is running something between 2.5% and 3%. what do we do? we have to find a way to pay for the house provision. it must be at least a 1% of
date. that is not even keep pace with inflation. if we have the inclination, we should tackle this overhang problem of sgr, repeal it. we do not have to have a substitute ready. we just have to keep addressing this a year at a time which is what we have been doing. we will have to deal with the accounting problem that some of us have talked about dealing with. i was a little bit longer there. i suggest that at some point we have to get in the wheat discussion -- weeds discussion. that be parochial. wheat options to discuss at a further meeting. -- we can discuss the options at a further meeting. >> thank you for it that presentation. >> i think mr. waxman will
speak. >> thank you very much i think senator kyl made a very persuasive case. we have to deal with this problem. we have to deal with it in a permanent way. we have a flawed payment system. we have been going on for 10 years was simple patches on the system. it is a flawed payment formula. it is disruptive to the program and the beneficiaries alike. it gets worse every year. we should take this opportunity to protect seniors by solving the problem permanently in
conference, not cobble together and other short-term fix that only makes the long-term problem harder to address. i was taken by his statement about how much it would have cost early on and how these patches are about as much as it would have taken to fix the problem permanently. to findwhat we're going ourselves doing if we keep digging this whole -- hole and falling right in it. most colleagues share this goal. the challenge will not be that we agree on these priorities. it will be with how we pay for them. i never believed that it made sense for us to buy offset to pay for the artificial payment formula. if we must, we have ways to do it.
we have corporate loopholes that it will have special tax breaks for companies. we should also look at revenues for millionaires to pay less in taxes than their secretaries who work for them where the waiters who serve the males -- or the waiters to serve their meals. we should consider using the war savings to find a permanent solution to the payment formula. we must also sort out the issue of extender issues. provisions that have never been made permanent part are addressed every year or two -- per minute but are addressed every year or two.
as a general rule, i would fix the standards for two years. while most of the focus has been on the medicare extenders, there are too important medicaid provisions that must be addressed that should be extended for at least as long as the medicare extenders. it provides health insurance for family is transitioning from welfare to work. it must be extended. we should do so without adding onerous reporting requirements. seniors of for their medicare programs -- programs helping seniors up for their medicare programs must be extended. it should not require offsets. there are certainly ways to offset divisions of this bill without harming medicare, cutting medicaid, and
undermining the affordable care act. we do not need to raise premiums for millions of seniors and families. nor do we need to jeopardize the promise of affordable private health insurance coverage for american families. if we put aside ideology, we can find ways to remain fiscally responsible without enacting harmful policies. this is a chance to deal with two issues that must be addressed. the required tax cuts and the unemployment insurance. this is something that we need to do. both of those are ideas that have a temporary time in which we can foresee resolving them. when it comes to the sgr, it is such a compelling case got to get down the road. we cannot live with this sgr
a cost more and more money. this is an issue we've got to tackle and permanently resolve. it is the only way we will keep the promise to our seniors on the medicare. that promise is that they can have access to doctors. doctors are having a hard time staying in the medicare program when they faced the threat of these cuts. when we had that short-time that we had to collect the proper dig correct the problem retroactively, -- where we had to correct the problem retroactively, a lot of doctors dropped out of the program. we do not to turn medicare into
medicaid were there is a problem of access to the physicians because they're not providing adequate payment. i strongly urge that we look to resolve this issue in a permanent way. we should as the beneficiaries to pay the price for congress's error in adopting its in the first -- nor should we ask the beneficiaries to pay the price for congress's error in adopting it in the first place. >> thank you. i want to thank my colleagues for all the work and comment that we have had about the sgr. this is one of the major issues that is dictating how long physician stay in practice. i spent 20 years in private practice before surgery -- for
surgery. to highlight one of the items that he made reference to, i had a practice in 1984 and ended in 2004. when i complete my practice, there was nothing for which i was being paid more in absolute dollars in 2004 then i began in 1984. the consequence of that is that many of my colleagues said this is crazy. i cannot do this anymore. i want to commend senator kyl for his help for review and highlight one of the items that you mentioned. that is the anti-medicare budget is about $520 billion. the physician component is about 12%.
we walked away and we wack away and we wack away, thinking we are saving big money in the system. the savings that can truly be had are outside of truly the docs trying to care for our nation's seniors. the issue really is access. it is about access to care. if you ask your seniors, especially those just arriving to the age of medicare eligibility in trying to find a position he will take new medicare patients, in many communities it is not a third that are not taking new patients. you cannot find a physician that is taking a medicare patients. it is truly about access. when a the commonalities that ties -- one at the commonalities
that ties the issues -- one of the commonalities that ties the issues is the uncertainty that is out there. never is it more apparent to the patients then in the area of the sgr. it is not just seniors. this is not just seniors. virtually all of the private insurance companies out there and the self insured plans track off of the medicare reimbursement rates and formula. we clearly cannot increase to the degree that current law would stipulate a payment to physicians. it is a broker system that need significant overhaul. i think it is important to remind folks that the house bill had a two-year fix, patch to it that we felt was responsibly
done. that is the bottom line as a move into this. senator kyl ask important questions. do we extend the sgr? yes. how long? that is important to respond to. there may be an opportunity to extend it for a longer time. maybe it is the entire budget window. for the physicians out there, taking care of patience, at the longer we extend it the better. do repeal it? what a terribly flawed system that we have right now. as i mentioned, this was a "solution" for how to handle payment for physicians.
it has rarely if ever worked. a repair is in order. how do we move forward? i would suggest it is important to put in place benchmarks for how we move forward to get to the next step. it is important for a physicians and patients in this country to appreciate that we understand that this is not working. there is a construct and a way to move forward. as we discussed the extenders, it is important to talk honestly about them and recognize that patients have to be our focus. not members of congress. not insurance companies. not even the better system itself. but patients. when you talk about section 508 and a direct billing and all those things, that it is important to remember that patients are the ones that need
to be kept in line as we move forward. i hear some common things. i am optimistic. i look forward to sharing ideas as we move forward to make it so we can solve this and get on the plate a to repeal of sgr and a concert for moving forward. >> i think we are hearing some common themes. it is interested we're hearing, and beans from mr. price and mr. waxman. >> let me just quote from a letter received from a doctor last night that underscores the point that center kyle made. i do think all of us have to recognize the real sacrifices from all of us are needed to make this solution possible. i fear that some of my colleagues realize there will
have to be some cuts. life would be easier for all of us if we knew the numbers and are able to plan where we need to make cuts and adjustments. i think senator kyle really brought that out. put me down the side that wants to eliminate this cliff once and for all. i think that is doable. senator kyl mention the updates are really in a different issue and we need to talk about updates, but i hope we could agree. we are not here to talk about offsets the day, but i want to point out that if we eliminated the clip, it would be current policy because that is where we have been since 1999. cbo scores it because it is different than current law. that is why we have a scoring problem. it is certainly not different than current policy. i would just remind us that cbo
has given us some offset that we've put in a similar category that i think would pare up nicely, and we will hopefully have a chance to talk about how we can get that done. senator, i mentioned scoring that we got in 2005 when we first introduced this bill it was about $50 billion over 10 years. now is $300 billion over 10 years. if you wait five more years it will be about $600 billion. so now is the time to act to eliminate the clip issue. then we can talk about how physicians are reimbursed within the structure, similar to the other issues we have in medicare. i think we can have a more rational debate.
there are 10 other health care extenders' that are in play here. the house bill contained five. there were 10 included in the senate, a temporary extension. most i think we can probably work out. there are a few that need a little more time. i just want to mention one or two if i might. the therapy cap, 1997 i was part of the ways and means committee at that time and opposed the therapy cap. it never was based on health care policy. you were supposed to fill in the dollar amount no. you needed in the balanced budget act. it doesn't make any sense. it hurts those who need the help the most, about 15% of those in medicare that received rehab services will fall under the cap if we do not extend it. these are our most seriously in need of medicare patients or rehab services.
we are talking about stroke victims, people who have had a hip replacement, we are talking about parkinson's victims, individuals that need rehab for more than one episode during the course of the year. fortunately we have almost always extended the cap from taking effect. we change the policy in 2006 to make it subject to certain exceptions of categories. i would hope we could eliminate this, and on predictability, i would hope could repeal the cap altogether, but we certainly have to extended. i would hope that we would not expand the cap as the house bill did to other venues of services, just taking a flawed policy and making more people suffer by it. to me, that is not the answer on the their cap. i agree with congressman waxman on t may transitioned medical system. is important we extend that program. encourages people to go out to
the workplace and take away their health benefits. the requirement in the house bill would impose new burdens on our system. we don't have to report the income issues because we are one of the 13 states that fall into that category. the house bill is probably an unintended consequence, but by changing the month of ineligibility on income, it imposes new burdens on the state. i would hope we could work that issue out. many of the provisions -- there is total agreement between house and senate. some cannot include oversight and if you need a little more time to work out the differences between house and senate's. i am impressed by the consensus that appears to be building as it relates to the extension of the health care provisions.
>> mr. chairman, i am just curious about how not voting some of these health extensions -- outpatient hold harmless, and so forth, if there is a reason why those were not extended. i don't mean to put you on the spot. i would just be curious. >> generally, it is because many of these have been extended without thought again and again and again. we think each one of them need to be justified to stand on their own merits. i think the data is not there, speaking in a general sense, to support many of them, so i think maybe not necessarily at this particular meeting, but i think we need to begin to those further and perhaps we can have
some back and forth on that. >> on two of them, the mental health at on is temporary until road could be developed. the bone mass measurement payment, this is the first time this is on the list. i do think those two or oversights, i hope. >> there is such agreement here , someone leaned against the wall here. >> that always gets you in trouble. our prospects are not demming, they are actually getting
brighter. [laughter] >> thank you very much. i am delighted to weigh in on what is a very, very strong agreement about what would be able -- hope to be able to do. we ought to do what we really want to do. we have an opportunity to do that, and i think it is somewhat of a unique opportunity. there actually is a real way forward. i do want to acknowledge center kyle's remarks and dr. price on the other side of the aisle for really stepping out there and talking about how important this is to finally fixed the sdr. really to all beneficiaries, and there are a lot of seniors out there, and every day there are more of them. we ought to fix it now. you all know this, but i want to
reiterate that we are one month away from almost 30% cut four positions in this country. it is real, and we have one month to act on it, which is enough time. the suggestion was, do we have enough time to do this. many of us have been working on this for very long time. i do think this is the time for us to fix this policy. it is hurting taxpayers, making our budget problems difficult to deal with. the accounting problem that we all face, you have heard about this issue for beneficiaries. i hope we can reach agreement on the medicare extenders and be able to move forward. on sgr, we have been talking across the aisle on how to fix the sgr in a responsible way. i believe it can be done. there have been suggestions about how to do that.
i may be more forceful than some and suggesting how we do it, but that will not be news to any of you. there is no reason for us to hesitate and just do it for another year or two and face even more billions of dollars down the road that we have no idea how to pay for. center, said this is that the radical debt, so let's take care of it. -- senator jon kyl. the cost of failing is even higher because that number just grows and grows. so we can keep burying of the cult -- the true cost with the false expectation we are going to make these cuts and we are not. we now have the means to end the parental crisis without adding to the debt that is putting our seniors at risk. we can finally eliminate the $300 billion debt that is
accruing every decade. this is offsetting anticipated cuts with expenditures. i think it is a fair accounting issue and we ought to take care of it. this funding mechanism has gained support from members of both parties. it allows us a more accurate accounting for future government expenditures without increasing the deficit. we have a choice, all of us sitting here have a choice right now as to whether we deny and for this problem once again, even for a year or two, leaving seniors not sure what to expect and leaving doctors uncertain about whether they should continue to take medicare patients or not, and what their updates would look like and what their cuts would look like. it was offered for two years. we are in a different place right now or we actually could go further. you have heard that from your side of the aisle as well.
we all agree that the rate of growth and spending in health care is not sustainable and we need to do more about it, but we also agree that the s g r is the wrong approach. failure to repeal sgr with a meaningful payment mechanisms for positions prohibits the drive so many of us believe in, for an innovative delivery system, a disincentive [unintelligible] i say take the opportunity. we have talked about that. you can use the word opportunity. i believe it is us the opportunity to do this. it is a question of will, and i think we even have some of the language. we have the ability to get this done and we ought to do it. if during this, denying it,
kicking the ball down the road, whatever you want to call it, is just not acceptable anymore. i urge my colleagues to work together to put an end to this unpredictable, unstable, and sustainable policy once and for all. let's set medicare on a more stable and fiscally sound path for our current beneficiaries into the future. that would be remarkable for us to get it done. i would be proud to see it happen. >> we have the will and we may indeed have a way to accomplish this goal that is broadly shared, and it should be. just to respond regarding their cabs, and i agree with chairman camp and chairman baucus that we
have to approach these issues in a more global context. we did provide for a waiver mechanism so it was not a matter of setting a cap that was inflexible, and this is a theme that has to be emphasized when we talk about the great responsibilities we have taken on as a society to our seniors for medicare. we also have to remember the responsibility that we have to those who currently pay 40 cents of every payroll dollar in debt, and that debt is going to grow. that is why we provided for that possibility of instituting those caps with the waiver so that we consult fully approach these obligations. >> with the gentle lady yield? >> yes, of course. >> i understand the waivers in the law and that is what we are extending and that is where we
end up, we can survive. the question is, what rationale is there for the cap? when it was first put in place, there was no rationale. there is just no medical rationale for why there is a cap on this particular service. >> respectfully submitted, because as the position i have had myself to a test to the value of extending certain therapies when there is statistical evidence that there may indeed be a tendency for them, and perhaps passably, -- perhaps passively, certain things are extended beyond their usual limit. that is the issue and it is one that we have to approach. i contend in the global and holistic and systematic way, there is no question, but we have a marvelous opportunity and i want to thank congressman
price for his eloquence about this sgr issue. our doctors have taken more than enough abuse from the medicare system, if you will, and it is the patients and our seniors who we care so much about. i look forward to working with our colleagues in this very virtuous endeavour together. >> we have a few minutes left. we want to try to do one more lightning round on this issue. [laughter] what you areknow asking of the senate. [laughter] >> if we have time, if somebody wants to say something. >> i think mr. brady would like to speak on one of the extenders. >> we can go in order if there is anybody who would like to speak on one of the extenders.
>> i will be very brief, mr. chairman. there is a provision in the house package that says if you like your hospital you can keep it. that is not the case today. as you know, every region has a different mix of out that provide health care. some are for-profit hospitals, some nonprofit. some academic, to university. those are all born of a need in that community to meet that need. unfortunate, current law includes a ban on any position on hospitals and this hurts the community. the house provision, at the time it was enacted, actually stopped approximately 40 new hospitals dead in their tracks from being built to actually serve the community they are in. this common-sense provision allows these types of hospitals to be created where there is a need. so the ban on new hospitals is lifted, as it should be.
as importantly, it allows existing position on hospitals to grow with the needs of their communities. a survey done in november shows nearly half of our position on hospitals see an immediate need in their community to build new beds. we do have 10,000 seniors a day signing up for social security can medicare. almost 9% will need to expand in the next five years. it is important for the federal government to get out of the way of the regional and local solutions to health care, especially as the need for beds will increase, as do health care is required. i think this provision is a very common-sense one. i yield back. >> frankly, this is a very sensitive issue and subject.
there are many hospitals in this country who feel that the special the hospitals are getting an unfair advantage. the goal here is to have a level playing field or at least not give an unfair advantage to certain providers. this has been a topic of discussion for a couple or three years, especially hospitals. i know the arguments are that they are special and require special care. on the other hand, don special hospitals provide just as good care. you don't have to go to especially hospital to get good care. second, these other hospitals have a lot more obligations. i urge us to do what is right here and remember lots of folks
who are part of their provider groups, they are not specialties. other obligations like ambulance or emergency care and so forth, we don't go overboard and give a special break to specialties. >> i would just like to make a couple of comments about physician on hospitals and extenders as well. there again, if we are talking about a level playing field, by denying them their medicare access number, currently under construction hospitals, 40 across the country. not only are we limiting access to our patients to receive medicare and receive services, but let's look at it from a practical standpoint of jobs created just for the construction of those hospitals themselves, which came to a standstill. but to the issue of effectiveness, there again if we
are talking about patients in a patient centered perspective, position on hospitals have high marks on their effectiveness. i would just put one out there, for 67 medicare -- msdrg's, the typical patient acute -- accrued charges lower than the same case treated in a non physician on hospital. that was a study done in 2009 by the oxford outcomes study. i have other statistics here and i would be happy to share them with you, but the fact is, a physician on hospitals are very effective. they are great use of taxpayer dollars. we are providing the benefit of care to our medicare recipients in these communities. not all states have them, but those that do, there is a high
rate of effectiveness. i just think it is something that we really need to look hard at. thank you. >> is there house democrat who wants to speak? >> i think as senator baucus has indicated, we have been discussing this issue for in last year's, it seems. i think we just need to be careful. we were on a we weresgr and the wisdom of a permanent solution. i think on the extensions, i think the senate provisions myself -- those provisions should be extended. we will talk about them, but as we get into position on hospitals, i think we should all be aware in looking through
this, mr. chairman, that we have tried to wrestle with this issue over the years, and with some care, and before we go back, i think we need to be careful. it is an example of these policy issues are not easy issues. for those who think we are facing basically technical issues, that is wrong. we have a lot of work to do. i think closing up our discussion on ui illustrates the serious responsibilities that each of us has to millions of people, and unfortunately, there are unknowns. therefore they are faceless. i think if we could look at them and hear them, it would be
beneficial and we would come up with the right solutions. thank you. >> i see a time has expired. senator baucus, is there anything you want to say by way of closing? >> i think it is important for us to determine when we next meet. >> i want to thank everyone for the productive discussion we had this morning. i think we have begun to start to narrow on some of these issues and identify some areas of agreement. we will meet again tomorrow at 10:00 in this room, and we will get to you later today, the topics for discussion. i look forward to seeing everyone at 10:00 in this room. >> just to confirm, the senate will be sending an offer to the house. >> we will have ample time to look at it before we meet tomorrow. that is why wanted to leave the topics open. rigell of forward to reviewing that this afternoon.
imf, the world's leading economy will be a communist dictatorship. that is in five years' time. think about that. if the imf is right, the guy you elect next november will be the last president of the united states to preside over the world's leading economy. >> mark steyn has published nine books. his latest is the new york times best-seller. he also writes a column for the new york review and is a frequent guest on rush limbaugh's radio show. live at noon eastern on book tv on c-span2. >> in a few moments, president obama announces a plan to help homeowners take advantage of lower interest rates to refinance their mortgages. and about 25 minutes, wednesday's briefing with speaker of the house john boehner. after that, house debate on a proposal to repeal the long-term
assisted care provision in the new health-care law. later we will we hear the house and senate conference on extending the payroll tax cut and federal unemployment benefits. a couple of live events to tell you about tomorrow morning. president obama will be at the 16th annual national prayer breakfast. that is on c-span2 at 8:00 eastern. later, federal reserve chairman ben bernanke testifies before the house budget committee on the state of the economy. >> we as exports and readers of literature have a responsibility. for those of you in the creation of literature, you have a responsibility, do you not? can you create anything you want, affecting history or not, and feel comfortable in that creation? >> this weekend, from lectors in history, professor william
foster onthe n-word. he changed the reading habits of america. look at the influence of henry luce, publisher of time, fortune, and life magazines. saturday morning at 9:30 a.m. eastern. visit the boomtown, wealthy homes, and into the streets of beaumont, texas. american history texas -- american history tv on c-span3 q >> president obama has announced a plan to help certain homeowners take advantage of low interest rates and refinance their loans. the president called on congress to take up the plan that would be paid for by a fee on large banks. he spoke in falls church, a suburb of washington, d.c..
>> hello, everybody. [cheers and applause] thank you so much. thank you, everybody. thank you. thank you. thank you so much. everybody, please have a seat. it is great to be back in falls church. [applause] thank you for having me. last week, in my state of the union, i laid out my blueprint for an economy that is built to last. a want to assure you i am not going to go over the whole thing again this morning. [laughter] that was a long speech. i am not going to repeat the whole thing.
but i do want to talk about some of the issues that i discussed last week, because the blueprint we put forward was one that focuses on restoring what has always been this country's credit strength. american manufacturing, american energy, skills and education for american workers, so that we can compete with anybody around the world in the 21st century economy. most importantly, the american values of fairness and responsibility. fairness and responsibility. [applause] we know what happens because we have just seen it, what happens
when we stray from those values. we saw what happened over the past decade when we strayed from those values. especially when it comes to the massive housing bubble that burst and heard so many people. millions of families who did the right and the responsible thing, folks who shopped for a home they could afford, secured a mortgage, made their payments each month, they were hurt badly by an irresponsible -- by the irresponsible actions of other people. they were not playing by the same rules. they were not taking the same care, not acting as responsibly. by lenders who sold loans to people who they knew could not afford the mortgage. and buyers who bought homes they knew they could not afford. and banks that packaged those
mortgages up and traded them to reap phantom profits, knowing they were building a house of cards. it was wrong. it was wrong. it triggered the worst economic crisis of our lifetimes. and it has been the single biggest drag on our recovery from a terrible recession. crushing debt has kept millions of consumers from spending. a lack of building demand has kept hundreds of thousands of construction workers idle. everybody involved in home building businesses, folks who make windows, folks who make carpets. they have all been impacted. the challenge is massive in size and in scope. we have a multi trillion dollar housing industry, and economists
can tell you how it has affected all sorts of specifics from gdp to consumer confidence. of what is at stake is more than just it is sticks. it is personal. i have been saying that this is a make or break moment for the middle-class, and this housing crisis struck right at the heart of what it means to be middle- class in america. our homes, the place where we invest our nest egg, where raise our family. the place where we plant roots in a community. the place where we build memories. it's personal. it affects so much of how people feel about their lives, about their communities, about the country, about the economy.
we need to do everything in our power to repair the damage and make responsible families whole again. everything we can. [applause] now, the truth is, it is going to take more time than any of us would like for the housing market to fully recover from this crisis. this was a big bubble, and when it burst, it had a big effect. home prices started a pretty steady decline about five years ago, and government certainly cannot fix the entire problem on its own. but it is wrong for anybody to suggest that the only option for struggling, responsible homeowners is to sit and wait for the housing market to hit
bottom. [applause] i refuse to accept that, and so did the american people. there are more than 10 million homeowners across the country right now who, because of its unprecedented decline in home prices that is no fault of their own, zero more on their mortgage than their homes are worth. it means your mortgage, your house is under water. here in falls church, home values have fallen by about 1/4 from their peak. in places like las vegas, more than half of all homeowners are under water. more than half. so it's going to take a while for those prices to rise again, but there are actions we can take right now to provide some
relief to folks who have been responsible, have done the right thing, and are making their payments on time. already, thanks to the outstanding work, in part, of my secretary of housing and urban development, shaun donovan, who is here today -- darrius, the good-looking guy in the front here. the house and when we launched a couple of years ago has helped nearly 1 million responsible homeowners refinance their mortgages, and they are saving an average of $300 on their payments each month. $300, which is great. [applause] but i will be honest.
the programs that we put forward have not worked on the scale we have hoped. but not as many people have taken advantage of it as we wanted pierre cordray tried low as we have seen in half a century. when that happens, usually homeowners plot to refinance their mortgages, so lot of people take advantage of it and save a lot of money. but this time too many families have not been able to take advantage of the low rates, because falling prices locked them out of the market. they were under water, it made it more difficult for them to refinance. then you have all the fees involved in refinancing. a lot of people said even though i would like to be cutting down my monthly payments, the banks are not being real encouraging. last year we took aggressive action that allowed more families to participate. today we are doing even more. this is the main reason i am here today. [applause]
as i indicated at the state of the union last week, i am sending congress a plan that will give every responsible homeowner in america the chance to save about $3,000 a year on their mortgage by refinancing at historically low rates. [applause] no more red tape. no more runaround from the banks. and a small fee on the largest financial institutions will make sure it doesn't add to our deficit. i want to be clear. this plan, like the other actions we have taken, will not help the neighbors down the street who bought a house they could not afford and then walk away and left a foreclosed home behind.
it is not designed for those who acted irresponsibly, but it can help those who acted responsibly. it is not going to help those who bought multiple loans just to speculate and flipped the house and make a quick buck, but it can help those who acted responsibly. what this plan will do is help millions of response will homeowners who make their payments on time but find themselves trapped under falling home values or wrapped up in red tape. if you are ineligible for refinancing just because you are under water on your mortgage, through no fault of your own, this plan changes that. you'll be able to refinance at a lower rate. it will be able to save hundreds of dollars a month that you can put back in your pocket. or you can choose those savings to rebuild equity in your homes, which will help most underwater
homeowners come back up for air more quickly. now, to move this part of my plan, we are going to need congress to act. we are going to need congress to act. i hear some murmuring in the audience here. we need them to act. but were not just going to wait for congress. we are going to keep building a fire wall to prevent the same kind of abuses that led this crisis -- led to this crisis in the first place. so there are things we can do administratively that are also going to held responsible homeowners. [applause] already, we've set up a special
task force -- i ask my attorney general to established to investigate the kind of activity banks took when they packaged and sold risky mortgages. [applause] that task force is wrapping up its work as we speak. we are going to keep at it and hold people who broke the law accountable and help restore confidence in the market. we are going to speed assistance to homeowners, and were going to turn the page on an era of recklessness that hurt so many hard-working americans. [applause] today, i am also proposing a homeowner's bill of rights, one straightforward set of common sense rules of the road that every family knows they can count on when they are shopping for a mortgage. no more hidden fees or conflicts
of interest. no more getting the runaround when you call about your loan. no more fine print that used to get families to take a deal that is not as good as the one that should have gotten. new safeguards against inappropriate for closures. new options to avoid foreclosure if you have fallen on hardship or a run of bad luck. [applause] and a new, simple, clear form for new buyers of a home. [applause] now, think about it. this is the most important purchase a family makes. but how many of you have had to deal with overly complicated mortgage forms and hidden clauses and complex terms?
i remember when michelle and i bought our first condo, and we were both lawyers. [applause] and we are looking through the forms and kind of holding up, reading it again. what does this phrase mean? and that support two trained lawyers rejected that is fort two trained lawyers. the potential for abuse is too great just because the forms were too complicated. so this is what a mortgage form should look like. this is it. [applause] now that our new consumer watchdog agency is finally running at full steam, now that
richard cordray is in as the director of the consumer finance protection bureau, they are moving forward on important protections like this new, shorter mortgage form. simple, not complicated. informative, not confusing. terms are clear. these are transparent. this, by the way, is what some of the folks in congress are trying to roll back and prevent from happening. i guess they are like complicated things that confused consumers and allow them to be cheated. i prefer actions that are taken
to make things simpler and easier to understand for consumers so that they can get the best deal possible, especially on the biggest single investment that most people will ever make. [applause] americans making a down payment on their dreams should not be terrified by pages and pages of fine print. they should be confident they are making the right decisions for their future. there is more that we are announcing today. we are working to turn more foreclosed homes into rental houses, because as we know, that in the house or for sale sign down the block can bring down the price of homes across the neighborhood. we are working to make sure people don't lose their homes just because they lose their jobs.
these are steps that can make a concrete difference in people's lives right now. [applause] as i said earlier, no program or policy will solve all the problems and a multi trillion dollar housing market. the heights of the housing bubble reached before it burst, those were unsustainable, and is going to take time to fully recover. that requires everybody to do their part. as much as our economic challenges were born of eroding home values and portfolio values, they were also born of an erosion of some old-fashioned american values. an economy that's built to
last, that is on a firm foundation, so that middle-class families have a sense of security and those who want to get in the middle class can make it if they are working hard. that demand responsibility from everyone. government must take responsibility for rules that are fair and fairly enforced. [applause] banks and lenders must be held accountable for ending the practices that help caused this crisis in the first place. [applause] and all of us have to take responsibility for our own actions, or lack of action. so i urge congress to act. pass this plan.
war families keep their homes. held more neighbors remain vibrant. help keep more dreams defended and alive. and i promise you that i'll keep doing everything i can to make the future brighter for this community, for this commonwealth, for this country. thank you, everybody. god bless you. god bless the united states of america. thank you. [cheers and applause] ♪ ♪
says the president's new mortgage assistance program would not work any better than the administration's previous attempts to help homeowners. he also said his party has passed legislation to benefit the economy. this is 15 minutes. >> good morning, everyone. the president's economic policies have failed to improve our economy and in fact, have made them worse. house republicans this week will continue our focus on getting our economy moving again. the american infrastructure and energy jobs act will be worked on in committee. we hope to have it on the floor in the coming weeks. reform the way we build highways and rebuild highways. the president in his state of the union address -- we believe
that opening up the intermountain west will provide needed revenues to help fund the rebuilding of our roads and bridges. this is all part of our plan for american job creation. we have passed 37 bills. 27 of them are still sitting in the united states senate. it is time for the senate to act and allow the american people the act -- a chance to get back to work. >> good morning. in everyday life, when something doesn't work, most people stop doing it and try something new. we know that the president's policies have not help this economy get back to a strong footing. we know they are not working. the stimulus and the radical takeover of health care and the incurrence of more debt, these are not working to help get people back to work in this country. what we heard yesterday, though,
the white house now says that perhaps we should focus on small business. well, thank you, mr. president. we want you to help us do something for the backbone of this country, which are the american small businesses. some of the things that the white house mentioned are the things we have been talking about for over a year now, like business expenses, like helping businesses start up, like time to address the visa can issue for foreign workers. all these are in our plans for america's job creators. all these things we have been asking the president to join us to help small businesses. we are very excited about that, and hopefully we can get something done. also, we need to make sure we are sending a signal that we are going to get the fiscal house straight here in washington, that we stop spending money that we don't have. we have a bill on the floor today that does that. it says we have to reduce the expenditure having to do with the growth in the number of
federal employees. we want to freeze federal employee pay, including our own. this is a bill that make sure we are consistent with what we are expecting of everybody else and we are doing in here and the legislative branch as well. we hope our colleagues on the other side of the aisle will join us in doing that. >> yesterday when cbo came out with the numbers continue to show the policies of this president have failed. fourth highest deficit in since 1946. today on the floor, the democrats or act of trying to block freezing our pay. they are trying to block the ability to cut over on budget even further than we cut last time. there is no bigger sign that you have to start from a yourself. today they will have the opportunity to see the president continue to fail with the highest trillion dollar deficit
since 1946. >> another week, more presidential failures, more house republican jobs bills coming to the floor. not that the american people needed yet one more date -- one more datapoint that this president's policies have failed, but the congressional budget office put out their annual baseline budget report. we now know that president obama is on track to deliver 1, 2, 3, 4 trillion dollar deficits in a row. we've got to quit spending money we don't have four jobs we never get. that is why it as part of the house republican plan for american job creators, the bill is coming to the floor as the other leadership has indicated that would freeze federal pay, in addition to budget process reform, aimed at ensuring that we spend less, not taxed more in washington. in addition, we talk to small
businesses throughout america. they know that the president's health-care plan is one of the single biggest impediment to job growth. house republicans will bring the repeal of the part of the president's health care program that is inhibiting job growth. i heard from a small businessman in my district, a furniture businessman in garland, texas. he said it was not for the president's health-care plan, i could start to more companies and hire dozens of people. again, one more week of presidential failed policy, another week of house republican jobs bills. >> in the president's stated the unit, he called for an all of the above energy approach as house republicans, we have long supported that approach. get the president's call for action really begs the question , is this rhetoric matching reality? reality? as we know the