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tv   Politics Public Policy Today  CSPAN  February 3, 2012 10:30pm-5:59am EST

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-- >> thank you. i like to recognize the jump in from texas. >> i will not use five minutes. thank you. this is a continuation hearing. everything that can be said about keystone has been said. sometimes it needs to be repeated. this is an extremely important project for our nation's future. just in the last month or so, we have had a number of announcements of refinements that are closing. several in pennsylvania. one in the virgin islands. one in ohio. altogether, they are taking about 1 million barrels of refinery production off the books. while keystone pipeline is not building a new refinery, it is bringing additional crude-oil to
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the gulf coast where we still have a -- where we still have refinery capacity. that crude oil will be used to be refined into products that can be shipped up into the midwest and northeast. if you shut down refineries in the midwest and offshore that serve that market, and if you do not build keystone, that is a double whammy. the certainty is that prices will go up, charges will exist. the economy will suffer. if they build the pipeline, we will have additional crude coming into the u.s., approximately 800,000 barrels per day. it does not offset the closure of these other refinery facilities, but it will alleviate them. as my good friend from organ was just pointing out, to have to go through the red tape that this
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project has gone through, for the reasons it has been subjected to it, just as not seem to be a good thing in any way. i look forward to the hearing. there is another one downstairs on the chemical facilities act. i will be shuttling back and forth. i appreciate you holding the hearing. i appreciate being allowed to speak i would like to yield my time to mr. jerry -- mr. terry of nebraska. >> thank you. just to clarify a, the state department issued three statements over the summer that they would have all of the information and they were doing all of the due diligence to have a decision made by the end of 2011. we took them at their word for
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that and it turned out to be untrue. one of the key point here that has been missed in the state department's testimony, in particular in the basis for their decision, is that they are using nebraska as the excuse to deny the permit. the reality is, in the legislation that the president signed this -- signed, this was going forward on the other parts of the pipeline in the other states. a card out -- a card -- is reviewed at nebraska portion and the pipeline would be moved based upon when the governor certified that it was ready. i am amazed that why that has not been brought out. i am glad that the court of engineers is here today because they do play a vital point in our testimony.
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we have already planned to change a point t-- the legislation removes the presidential permission part and gives it to the agency. the federal agency that actually has experience in pipelines. we thought that was an irrational approach with this bill. -- a rational approach to this bill. any project that crosses a jurisdiction will be under your consideration. once the presidential authorization was made, they will have to make other changes. i am disappointed we invited the corps of engineers to our hearing last week and they denied the or refuse to come, but yet when henry waxman asked to testify in opposition --
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that concerns me. i think the message that the president's denial of this permits and the world -- sent the world is that the far left of the environmental community is now in charge of our energy and foreign policy. i yield back. >> at this time, i recognize that gentlemen from california, mr. waxman for five minutes for opening statements. >> mr. chairman, today we are holding a legislative hearing on a bill to mandate approval of transcanada's pipeline keystone xl. this pipeline is hugely controversial. for good reason. the american people who bear the risks -- will bear the risks. with this pipeline, we get more carbon pollution, dangerous oil spills, land seizures by a foreign country, and hire oil prices in the midwest. -- higher voral prices -- higher
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oil prices in the midwest. this exploits products to china. this is regardless of the consequences. president obama listen to differing views of american citizens and neighbors possible decision. he would not approve the pipeline -- and made a responsible decision. he would not approve the pipeline in nebraska, but the state department would consider an alternative route. nebraska is taking the time to find a route that is acceptable. the president is making sure that he has all of the information he needs to make the right decision. this bill takes the opposite approach. it gives the pipeline and unprecedented regulatory earmark. it directs them to approve the
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pipeline. we do not know what route will take to the state of nebraska. it exempts the pipeline from the requirements to obtain permits from the corps of engineers before crossing rivers and wetlands. it takes away the department of interior's authority to protect public lands. for one year, i have been asking a simple question. who benefits from this extraordinary congressional intervention and in the regulatory process? last year, we reported that koch industries would be a big winner. there is evidence to support this. we know they are one of the largest crude oil exporters in canada. we know that it owns an oil terminal in canada where the pipeline would begin. we know it has a refinery in texas. we are aware the pipeline is
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going to end. last may, i contacted koch to ask about the nature of its interest in the pipeline. they responded that despite this evidence to the contrary, it had no financial interest in whether the pipeline was built or not. i accepted that answer. then i learned that they had told the canadian government that the company had a direct and substantial interest in the pipeline. i want to know why they would tell the u.s. congress one thing and the canadian government the exact opposite. i asked the chairman's to invite them to testify today. they refuse. koch refused to appear without the invitation from the chairman. we have unanswered questions. why are they being placed in a
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witness protection program? what does the company have to hide? why does the company get special treatment while the american people get left in the dark? i also asked the chairman to invite the operator of the pipeline, transcanada. members want to ask transcanada reasonable questions like what route it plans to follow in nebraska? we also want to know about the claims of jobs. the state department testified that we would get five to 06 thousand temporary jobs if this pipeline is approved. -- 5000 to 6000 temporary jobs if this pipeline is approved. transcanada said it would be 20,000 jobs, over 100,000. where did they get that number? that is looking at the lifetime of the pipeline for 100 years. this is the republican jobs bill. and 20 -- 20,000 jobs they say. maybe 100,000 jobs.
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the state department did an analysis and they are saying 6000 jobs for two years. i regret thatkoch is not -- that hock -- kich is not here today. i am glad we have witnesses that are going to give us their views. the department -- two departments are going to be excluded from giving their usual review of the department. we have two jenna men who have special insight -- gentlemen who has special insight of what this might mean. thank you for going over seven seconds. >> thank you, mr. waxman. today, we have two panels of witnesses. on the first panel, if those of you would come forward. that is the chief regulatory for u.s. army corps of engineers and the deputy director of the bureau of land management in the
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year is department of the interior. we appreciate both of you -- the u.s. department of the interior. we appreciate both of you being with us this morning. we ask you to give a five minute opening statement. at the end of that time, questions will be asked. i might also point out that we have been told that there will be five or six votes on the house floor somewhere around 11:00 or so. we are going to proceed as long as we can and then we will vote and then we will come back. thank you for being with us this morning at this time. i would like to recognize you, miss, for five minutes. be sure to turn your microphone on. i guess that little box out there on the table with a red light will come on. you are now recognized. >> thank you, sir. i am chief of the regulatory
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program for the u.s. army corps of engineers. thank you for the opportunity to discuss the regulatory authority under section 4 04 of the clean water act and section 10 of the rivers and harbors act. this is related to utility line projects and to discuss a regulatory involvement in the proposed he's done next a pipeline. -- keystone xl pipeline. section 400 for the clean water act requires authorization for the discharge of material into waters of the u.s. utility line project may require 404 permits for temporary fill such as access roadways, storage and work area this -- and work areas. when discharges of material are associated with activities of a
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similar nature and are expected to cause no more than minimal effects, individually or to really be, they may be authorized by general permit. activities that do not meet the criteria for a general permit are processed through the course individual standard permit procedures. when implementing the regulatory program, the core is neither an opponent of any but the court -- we make timely decisions that are not contrary to the public interest. the authority to make the final decisions on permit applications rests with our 38th district commanders. nationwide permit 12 is a general permanent that may be used to authorize utility line construction. the permit authorizes the discharge of material in association with temporary or permanent activities related to the construction, repair,
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maintenance and rule of utility lines provided the activity does not result in the loss of greater than one half acre of waters for a single project. under nationwide permit 12, there are seven notification requirements. if any one of these are triggered, a project master -- must submit a request to the appropriate office before they begin work. other statutes in patty at -- other statutes are in accordance with the nationwide permit rules. now activity may be authorized that would likely jeopardize the continued existence of threatened or endangered species or destroy or adversely modified the critical habitat of such species. no activity may be authorized by a nationwide permit until the requirements of section 106 of the national historic preservation act have been filled. -- fulfilled. the permits do not of the the need to obtain other federal
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approvals or authorizations that are required by law. in september and october, 2011, transcanada submitted preconception notifications to our court districts in galveston, fort worth, and tulsa. we requested an association with the keystone xl pipeline be verified under nationwide permit 12. in november and december, each of the three districts made decisions to exercise the discretionary authority and spend a -- and work with the keystone texas pipeline application. these decisions were made because of concerns identified by the department of states that cannot be addressed until a final decision was made on the pending presidential permit application. the president has since determined that based on the state department you that 60 days in his -- is insufficient to obtain and assess the necessary information that the
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keystone xl pipeline project as presented and analyzed at that time would not serve the national interest. should circumstances change in the future, our districts will process any future requests that are submitted for department of the army permit in accordance with the approach procedures based on our statutory authorities in implementing regulations. if this is a net income only the federal energy regulatory commission and not the court would be and we would not be responsible for issuing any permits. -- we would not be responsible for issuing any permits. we can review the keystone xl for the permit -- for the permit under the rivers and harbors act and the keep -- clean air act. none of these reviews to be allowed for this project under the language in section 4 a of this bill. i appreciate the opportunity to be here today.
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>> to you, very must -- thank you, very much. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for inviting us to this hearing on the age -- this bill. the department has concerns with several provisions of the legislation. the proposed $7 billion pipeline project would spend more than 1,700 miles between canada and multiple destinations in oklahoma and texas. under the executive order, all proposed oil pipeline projects across the u.s. orders require a presidential permit. including a determination of the proposed cross border pipeline in the national interest. the state department reviews applications for presidential permits and consults with eight other agencies including the department of interior and its
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review. -- in its review. we have an application from the pipeline in september of 20 -- 2008. the proposed pipeline crosses through eastern montana for 220 miles and includes approximately 42 miles of federal land managed by theblm. they are incorporating agency -- a cooperating agency. they address the effects of the pipeline construction and operation activity. they identify pipeline routes across federal land in montana that would minimize environmental impacts of pipeline construction. the final report was exist -- was issued on august 26. they have authorized crude oil pipelines across federal lands. transcanada keystone pipeline filed applications in 2008. the keystone project would
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include a permanent -- permanent 50 foot right away along the lands in indiana and jim -- montana. they would like to surprise -- supply power. temporary rights for construction purposes comprise a few hundred additional acres this burst on the tracks of land and would be used for three years and then be claimed by keystone. if these applications have not been withdrawn. processing is on hold. the north american energy act appears to make the federal energy regulatory commission the sole federal agency responsible for the project. the bill also gives the commission permission to work with the facility four minutes. we are not clear on how the pipeline will be carried out on
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federal lands. what role the blm would have with regards to the pipeline. the departure from current law also precludes the blm from collecting rent related to the pipeline. thank you for the opportunity to testify. i am pleased to answer any questions. >> to you very much. at this time, i recognize myself or five minutes. -- thank you very much. i recognize myself or five minutes. there has been a lot of discussion on the pete -- thiessen pipeline about theko k och brothers. for that reason, we have never really call them as a witness. i might say that the burlington northern santa fe railroad has direct routes right into canada and alberta. this pipeline is not built, some
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of that oil will move by rail into the u.s.. of course the owner of the railroad is warren buffett. we have not made any effort to call warren buffett to testify in this hearing because even though his company might benefit if the pipeline is not built, we do not think he has a direct financial interest in int. -- in it. i do not think warren buffett is any difference from the situation. i wanted to mention that. i will also say that the state department, when it issued its final environmental impact statement in august of 2011, actually made the comment that it would be better to build this pipeline then to not build the pipeline. if you were looking at these two options, it would be better to build it been not to build it.
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-- to build it den not to build it. other pipeline projects usually take 18 to 24 months to review and approval. keystone is now in its 40th month. wendy's additional delays appear to be mounting early in 2011, -- wendy's additional delays appear to be mounting early in 2011, they instructed president obama to make a final decision in one way or the other. he had until november 1, 2011. at the time, the white house stated the legislation was unnecessary because the state department would be making a decision by the end of 2011. president obama's campaign began to warm-up for the president, his a advisers realized that the environmental groups would be --
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his advisers realized that the environmental groups would be upset if he said yes. the labor unions were going to be quite upset if the president said no to the pipeline. at that time, instead of making a decision, he said that he would wait until after the election to make a decision. from hours per -- perspective, this was nothing but a political decision. since we have had 40 months of detailed study and analysis on this, we felt like there was no reason to delay any more because we do need to be -- we are still dependent on foreign oil. we can grow bit 3 -- -- we can bring this in from canada. we can create jobs as well. i wanted to make that comment about the koch brothers.
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they're not in a different position than warren buffett said they are different sides of the issues -- they are on different sides of the issue. mr. rush, i recognize you for questions. >> [inaudible] maybe you should invite warren buffett here. regarding the current role in permitting -- i want you to expand on this. how will this bill affect the role of your agency? >> pardon me? >> how will this bill affect the role of your agency? >> it raises concerns. the blm has a long history of
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issuing permits. we have experience. we have the practitioners in the field that are familiar with the right of way program. and the importance of working through and taking into account any cultural concerns. we have got that experience and we have dealt with pipelines many times in the past. the way it is worded, the bill confers all our responsibility -- all of our responsibility. some of the accelerated time frames in the bill takes the question whether not there is any additional concertation requirements under the section 106 or any additional consultation that may be required for the fish and wildlife services. adding the other thing that is very important is that the blm has established relationships in
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the west. we have many offices in the west. we are accustomed to working with local governments and state governments. we work with our federal counterparts as well. we have been in this process for three years. the right of way application in montana -- we have established relationship with our federal and state entities as we worked through this particular project or future projects. i think that helps with the involvement of our federal agencies that we are for billing our congressional mandates. >> [inaudible]
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you have the best footprint in the west. >> from a juristic tristan point, but they are a regulatory hannity. when it comes dick -- and nt. when it comes to the transcontinental gas line, we are cooperating agency. it is important to point out that -- the pipeline in the west had the lead, but all other mandates regarding segments was administered an authorized in the middle east and act. other mandates are required. >> [inaudible] would you care to its bound more
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on how this bill would affect your -- expound more on how your role affect the bill? let us be eliminate -- >> we eliminate processing anything. under the current language within the bill, we have no authority to regulate the activities and waters under our jurisdiction under those two laws. >> the army corps of engineers have built it up over centuries. >> we want to remove any existing experience we could lead to the review of the proposal. >> it all right. -- all right. can you tell us which agency would be responsible for enforcing the terms of the
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environmental impact statement? >> from the corps of engineers perspective it looks like the entire responsibility is provided to the federal energy regulatory commission. >> -- >> that is the way the bill comes across. that is the current thing we have been blm. -- we have in the blm. that is conferred to. i should point out that in terms programs, -- the work we perform in the studies that may be necessary depending on where any pipeline may run, the industry provides a cost reimbursable account. that will pretty much -- we do not have a it anymore. >> thank you. >> i recognize the gentleman from oklahoma.
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>> thank you. during his state of the union address, president obama turned his back on the keystone pipeline. he actually rejected the advice of his own jobs council that recommended an approach to energy policy that approach that included expediting energy projects like pipelines. like many americans, i was surprised that the primary reasons stated for his denial was an arbitrary deadline. if excuses were boroughs of oil, this administration would have filled the reserves several times over. the truth of the matter is, he had three years to reach a decision on keystone xl. they failed to do so. exactly how much time do you need to secure our energy future, mr. president? it begs the question, who is control of the nation's energy
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and then judge -- agenda? t increases jobs and rejects our foreign dependency on foreign oil, but he rejects it to keep his anti-jobs base happy in an election year. president obama turned his back on american jobs. what logical reason could there be to say no to a private-sector jobs with potentially 100,000 indirect jobs as the unemployment rate remains above 8%. it is in both our economic and national-security interests to use the oil and gas reserves right here in our own backyard. mr. president, why not embrace our energy supply with a stable source of oil from canada and
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north dakota instead of politically tumultuous opec nations? the keystone project is privately funded and does not cost the taxpayers one dime. the pipeline is a game changer for energy security. when fully complete, it will transport 1.3 million barrels of oil a day from alberta north dakota to refineries in the midwest and the gulf coast. i believe this is in our national interest to move forward with the three-year delay, considering this pipeline is a national travesty. three years into the obama presidency, he has severely limited access to on and off- shore reserves. the most expensive environmental regulatory agenda in history, and sending money to a bankrupt solar company.
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the country needs all the energy we can get. the decision to reject the pipeline means that the energy security is now in the hands of china, iran, and other opec nations. this keystone pipeline is the right thing to do to make our nation more energy secure and i like the yield the balance of my time to the congressman from nebraska. >> can i reject that since i only have one in 30 seconds? i appreciate that opportunity. >> we recognize mr. waxman for 5 minutes. >> of the topic is the keystone pipeline. the republicans are like keystone kops in the way they have handled this whole issue. they have been going way out on a limb to get this pipeline improved.
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even to the point where a tax cut for middle-class americans with the unemployment benefits and money for physicians, the bill was held up to make sure that there was a provision to give special treatment to the keystone pipeline. he's brilliant people put in a provision that said the president had to decide the issue within a certain time. they forgot to tell him how he had decided. he said i want to get all the facts first. i can't approve it in this timeframe. and this is a remarkable bill. i wish people would read it. the pipeline in this bill is the keystone pipeline, and a question about it. they are exempted from review except for 30 days.
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adobe been approved. they're not taking any chances now. in addition, the other agencies that might be involved when no longer have the power to review the bill. we have witnesses that ordinarily would review any legislation -- any application for something that would go over public lands, over waterways. they can't review it. when we found out that was the case, he said for the first time this morning, leon not going to do that. the application has to preapproved for 30 days or it is approved. they can ask for review for 30 days.
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for this one project. we wanted to find out what interest the coke industries had. coleco industries is one of the largest crude-oil exporters in canada. -- coke industries has a refinery near where the pipeline would end. the chairman said to take their word for it that they don't have any interest. he throws a real hearingrring. wait a minute, there is a guy that agrees with the democrats some of the time and he owns a real role. ailroad. they are fronting for another
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industry. does that make sense? you have the refinery and we should take their word because they have no interest. we should appoint a figure out warren buffett's company. they say at hearings, we know what is going on, we are attributing the worst possible motives for the president of the united states. that is quite a statement. how do they get into the president's pet? the president said want to get information before i approve it and they said, what is really going on, the president is trying to take care of the environmentalists. they have it all written out. when they could be on 24 hour news radio. they figured it out without more information. before acting, we should get further information about the special interest bill. it directs them to deal with the matter, and under the section of
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the clean water act, the army corps of engineers has a permit process to ensure that the wetlands are protected. away't this bill takes jurisdiction over the pipeline? >> it appears to do so, yes. >> your agency has to do with wild life. tell me what your origins you would ordinarily review? >> we reviewed them for a land use plans, the commercial mandate. >> is that jurisdiction being taken away from you? >> it would that we would not apply those other -- >> we had a party called the know-nothings. the people pushing this point us to know nothing except what the proponents want us to know. if the koch brothers are going
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to benefit, i want to know about it. my time is expired and i hope we have another round. >> i thank the gentleman very much. tell me again the agency you're with. and tell me how many acres are at play that you have reviewed as part of the keystone pipeline process? >> and the majority is montana, a little over 42 miles of segments that comprise about 250 acres. with an additional 900 acres that would be needed for staging during the construction phase. >> i was looking forward to hearing your testimony. i thought it was 270 acres. you have done the environment to
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work on that, right? >> it was reviewed through the process that was led by the state department. that segment was evaluated and i asked them to come out in august without identifying any major restraints. >> you have done the full review and you have been through the eis, seis, final environmental impact statement, this is all about a 50 ft. wide swath of that covers home hundred and 70 -- the other land that you talked about -- a temporary in and out? >> it is, a temporary use permit or grant for the construction phase. >> and that would revert back.
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talk to me about any issues related to the work that your fine agency did on the biological opinions related to the endangered species act. the you find any threat -- did you find any threat? >> indicated they would not likely be in jeopardy to the existence of the threatened and endangered species. = was subsequently withdrawn -- -->> it was >> it was issued after. >> you have thoroughly reviewed the keystone part that would cause federal land under which you have jurisdiction and found no likely jeopardy of any threat or endangered species? you're talking about a total of 270 acres, roughly?
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the state department has all that? >> yes, they do. that is the theory we are responding for. a majority of the crossing public land. >> i think that is important for the record because we have heard a lot of spin up rhetoric here and i want to get to the facts. i went through some in the last hearing we had, and we hear about this jobs number. i would think we want private sector investment and this is a $7 billion in shovel-ready private-sector construction jobs. i think what mr. waxman referenced was only the construction jobs and during the phase of the construction.
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i know, having been a small business owner, the when you get involved in a big project, if i bought a transmitter, somebody had to build that thing. i had to hire an engineer to install it and go through a lot of other efforts with indirect jobs associated with it. that might be were the difference in opinion is. if you look the several thousands of jobs that would be there for two years in an industry that has been devastated over the last three years, i would take whatever jobs we could. if there is no environmental impact on the federal lands and it doesn't appear there would be, i think we can make the change mr. terry recommended to deal with the issue. if we change this bill to allow you to have the authority, that would not be a problem, would
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it? gosh we evaluate the statutory authorities. >> you have done that already. >> we have not done that. >> my time has expired, thank you very much. >> mr. gonzalez for five minutes. >> the way i recall his testimony is that they weren't really acquited do it, and the timeline is being imposed by this particular bill 35-48 is not realistic. i believe that what you provide and what you bring to the equation of building this pipeline safely is invaluable and essential. i don't believe that this bill is the best method for accomplishing the bill of the keystone pipeline which i support. i just don't think this is the
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way to do it. my greater fear, and we may have witnesses that address other implications, unrealistic expectations of what this pipeline is going to provide this country. i am going to do this as briefly as i can. when it comes to price, if your prices reduces economic growth. high gas prices reduced economic growth in this country in 2012 by 0.5%. we know that total growth for the year, we're looking at about 2%. that is what we are telling the american public, i wish we had a hearing that would really explore the impact on price. eventually it will be our constituents that will be dumbfounded when we complete the pipeline and they are still paying an extraordinary amount
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of money for a gallon of gasoline. gasoline supplies are being exported to the highest bidder. above all exports in this country was fuel last year. a global market is what we are in competition with. this is for a chief analyst which he said, it is a market that will go to the highest bidder. at the senate hearing, the president last year said, simply stated, oil as a global commodity and oil companies are price takers, not price makers. that is the same lesson that is going to be imposed on refiners. it is a global market. who owns all the oil that is going to be stored somewhere? that is really curious.
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this was the story in the dallas morning news. 70% of contracts are now bought by financial speculators. largely big investment banks and hedge funds that never take control of the oil. they just flip the contract for a big profit. only about 30% of contracts are bought by a purchaser that actually intends to use the oil such as an airline. that is according to the trade commission that regulates trade in those contracts. testifying before congress, they push prices well beyond what the supply and the demand warrant. until the early 1990's, trades with oil was tilted heavily toward the users of oil.
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but from 1991 forward, the financial players like goldman sachs want exemptions to free them from limits on how much they can speculate in futures markets. we have attempted to do something about that but the majority party has fought us tooth and nail on this whether it is dodd-frank or any kind of regulatory scheme that would not allow the plane of futures and commodities to the detriment of american consumers. this is all part of it that we seem to be ignoring the holistic approach. we will have a witness that is going to tell us that this may not be. the answer to national security. i think that it can be, depending on how we use the refined product that we derive from oil. but if it is a global market, the only way you maintained that edge is somehow making sure that
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there is available, accessible, and affordable supplies in the united states. but if you have investors and charged with the duty with making a good profit for their investors, and that is the american way and i have no problem with that, what do you do? do you keep in the domestic market or do you export it? it is not just about the safety of the pipeline, i would rather be dependent on mexico and canada and saudi arabia and venezuela. -- canada than saudi arabia and venezuela. i am hoping to return for the witnesses that will be touching on some of the subject matter that i just touched on. i appreciate your testimony today and i think you are invaluable for building a safe keystone pipeline. and thank you, mr. chairman. >> mr. terry.
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>> i guess i will submit items for the record, i ask unanimous consent that i may submit a memorandum from the u.s. state department dated june 22, 2011. and on the issue that my friend from st. louis -- san antonio, a little further south, mentioned on the record from the state department's review of this pipeline that eliminating transportation constraints from pushing to houston would not adversely affect midwest gasoline consumers. it says that it will help crude considering that
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the transportation is consistent, reliable, and less expensive. keep in mind that what we are talking about is around 700,000 barrels initially going up to 1 million barrels that would completely offset the need for us to send tankers to venezuela and fill up with their heavy crude and should appear. -- and ship it up here. >> without objection. >> it defies logic to me that when you have a transportation system that the state department testified it wasn't the safest means of transport, the most environmentally safe transport that there be arguments that it would not add to an energy security.
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secondly, on jobs, it befuddles most americans that it denies the permanent and the jobs that would be created for the laborers, there are people sitting on the bench waiting to have their names on the list to be called. there is an engineering company that has ceased doing work because of the denial of the sperm at on the nebraska route -- of the permit on the nebraska route. my friends on the other side of the aisle say that direct jobs out on the pipeline is not enough for them, it is only temporary. i don't know and infrastructure
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project that is not temporary, so evidently, we are against all infrastructure now. it befuddles me why they would oppose it. i appreciate your testimony here today, and with the help of the state department, you have made some valid points that we realize and decided before this hearing today, that we need to make sure we are clear in the fact that the intent of the bill was the presidential authority needed to be moved away from the white house to an agency that had expertise in pipelines to make a decision on whether it is the safety and soundness of the pipeline versus politics that overwhelm this issue. making that correction that
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recognizes we're not usurping the corps of engineers powers, and you have any objections to this legislation? speak to legislation where i haven't seen the actual language, but it would be appropriate for us to look at and see if its put us back -- it puts us back. >> [inaudible] >> your microphone. >> the light is on. [inaudible] >> i am not aware that an official invitation was provided.
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>> in the state of nebraska, thank you. in this state of nebraska, what federal lands did the original route to take? did it go through any federal lands? >> there was a small piece of land administered with the reclamation in the canal area. that is nebraska. >> my time is up, i am sorry. i will submit that for the record for you to get back to me on. >> and the gentleman from michigan. >> i think you for your courtesy, i would like to make a couple of quick observations. in 1970, we wrote the national environmental policy act. it was to politicize the approval of projects and see to
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it that we had the information we needed when going into those kinds of questions. that could be speeded up. i would caution that if you speed it up too fast, you will make a fine mess out of the thing. i would beg you not to do this. parenthetically, i want to support this legislation. i think that canadians are going to do this letter will we want them to or not. it is better that if the pipeline goes anywhere, it goes south because it will be a more dependable source of energy for the united states. i urge my colleagues not to drive away members like me by moving too fast on this. if you do, you will just create a wealth of litigation. the business of the country will
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be delayed by carelessness in this committee. having said that, first question here. did the state department for for the application to your department? >> say again? >> did the state department the for the application to your department? >> the application we received was for the land coming across montana. a right of way application. >> [inaudible] >> no, like the department of interior, the application came from the applicant. >> did blm provide views on the application? did blm provide views on the permit application?
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>> we were part of the environmental impact process that was led by the state department. the mandates that we have obligations with in terms of issuing a right of way grant in montana, we did review the applications. >> did the core provide views on the permit applications? >> in three, we received a pre- construction notification and we initiated a coordination with other agencies. we did provide response to the applicant based on comments we received from the department of state. >> so the answer is yes. and did need to be completed within 30 days even though blm would no longer be involved in the permit review process? is that enough time for them to
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do the necessary due diligence on submitting the views for the keystone pipeline? not would say no, it's enough time. >> same questio ntn to you. is 30 days enough time? >> i don't believe so. >> this goes to both. yes or no. and do you believe that they have the experience that blm has to review a permit of this scope? please answer yes or no. >> i don't believe they do. >> no, sir. >> do you believe firk has the experience that the corps has to review a permit?
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>> mno. >> i apologize for the fact that i curtailed you in your time. this is going to create lots of trouble and wind up ultimately with a delay or veto or profound litigation that can go on for years. if that occurs, we will find ourselves in the position to have to re-enter this issue with all of the politics that goes to it and all of the difficulty. or we can begin moving to try to work this thing out. i would like to move in that direction. i hope we can begin working on this in that way rather than getting ourselves in a splendid fight that will generate monstrous ill will and create a
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situation where there will be more delays rather than less. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. dingell. we have votes on the floor, but we have six minutes left. i will recognize you for 5 minutes. >> i know mr. markey was here and wants to speak, do you want some of my time? i will do it. i come from an area that is energy producing as well, and i am very impressed. i have one image in my mind, you were in charge of blm for the state of california. who escorted me for the first
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time to see the shangri-la of the west, the eastern portion of san francisco county, a fragile ecosystem that gets the remnant of 300 years ago in which all of the vested interest, the mineral rights, the cattle ranchers, all the stakeholders have found a way to preserve the natural history. and also make it economically viable area. the oil and gas industry has had their role there. a picture this pipeline going through the plains. i am very concerned that we take the time that is needed to preserve, in the midwest, what i know from my area to be the possibility of protecting the land as well as rendering economic interests. i see this latest attempt to
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short circuit the review process. i want to ask you because i know your expertise and i have a number of army corps projects that have had the pleasure of working with that agency. would it make sense for the bureau of land management to issue permits for a pipeline with an unknown route? >> i can only speak to the segment in montana that we are knowledgeable of that area. >> for the further part of it, you have knowledge of where it is, is that correct? >> if it doesn't fall in public land jurisdiction, it is not going to pertain to that.
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>> typically providing permits when the route of the pipeline is unknown? >> we only of the late permits for applications that have been submitted by project applicants in the past. >> i would like to yield the balance of my time to mr. markey. >> under this bill, are there any guarantees that the friendly canadian oil that is said to the pipeline will be sold here in the united states? no. but let me get this plan right. was the, trans candaada dirtiest royal and the planet into the brand new pipeline the republicans are giving them. this and the oil to the gulf coast where they can make billions more than where they currently sell its in the midwest -- don't pay any taxes
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for doing it. the americans that higher tax prices and no increased energy security. and trans canada and saudi arabia laugh all the way to the bank. that is pretty much what this bill allows. make no mistake, this bill is not about energy security or jobs. it is about oil company profits, plain and simple. this bill turns the united states into a middle man into an international oil deal between canada, south america, europe, and china. grow here, drawn-out, payless. we are letting canada to drill here, ship here, and pre-export. all we have to do is pay more
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both in terms of money at the gas pump and cost to the environment. today, along with mr. waxman and others will introduce a bill to require her that if this pipeline is permitted, the oil will stay here to benefit americans. if we are going to go to the extreme lengths of legislating the construction of an environmentally constructive pipeline, to benefit a canadian company, we should be sure that we in the united states can realize the energy security and consumer benefits that we have been told of the project will bring. let's play it straight. without my bill, this pipeline will not do a thing to enhance the security of our country or our men and women stationed all over the world for the purpose of protecting the fossil fuel and rest. -- interest. the ceo sat there and said he
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would not support that legislation. that is all we have to know about our relationship with this company. i yield back the balance of my time. >> of all the u.s. petroleum products, we are currently exporting less than 5%. >> the number one export for the united states in 2011 was oil petroleum products. >> we want to increase our exports. >> not of oil. >> all the members are gone, we still have a vote on the floor so i will release this panel. thank you for being here. we will recess for about 35 or 40 minutes and we will come back and began with a panel two.
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we're in recess. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> i called the hearing back to order, and before i introduce the witnesses, as we were finishing up with the first panel, there was a back-and- forth about whether or not we
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were going to release the first panel. in consultation with the majority, a decision was made to release them but i have already told him before he left that he could come back and ask some questions. since they are not here, i will recognize him for three minutes to say whatever he wanted to say about the corps of engineer or whatever the issue was. >> i appreciate you giving me the time, it is frustrating that you think you have an agreement and i think some of these questions are important. i will raise them with the army corps here because i have a little bit of experience, giving my miranda rights for the potential violation of a 404 permits because i was involved in constituting a sewage break. it is very near and dear.
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there is a lot of talk here in washington d.c. about certain jobs, aggressive job programs by the federal government. the tennessee authority is one of them that has been cited again and again. the tennessee authority cost thousands of waterways, never received one 404 permit. when we talk about these great job programs and ways of stimulating the economy in the past, we have to remember just how much regulatory oversight and regulatory obstructionism has occurred since then, there are things that we have done in the past that would not be legal to do under today's regulations. the other issue a wanted to raise, even though it takes a permit to put a pipeline over the waterway, to transport oil, there is no permit required to
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transport the same oil by truck over a bridge that spans a waterway. the same way there is no requirement for a permit for a train to go across a bridge that spans a waterway. even though statistically, the risk of having spills caused by truck at train transport into those waterways is much higher. there is also the issue of the fact that no one talks about as they look at the risk of pipelines but don't look at the risk of if you transport the same oil, that 1,700 miles, it is 87 times more dangerous than with transport buy oil. somebody that has worked and environmental agencies have had the privilege of being regulator, i think the environmental impact of the no- project option is one that any reasonable person that really cares about the environment has to understand. the fact that the state department has admitted that the
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transport of this oil by alternative sources -- it would be many times more polluting than the use of a pipeline. i am shocked that the state department cannot quantify how many metric tons a year would be omitted by going to the other alternative transports of the truck and the train. coming from california, we would tell you down to the minute of what it is because we use good science to make those decisions. the state department admits that the transport by alternatives are higher than the transport of this pipeline. in all fairness, the adverse environmental impact has not yet been given a fair hearing and has not been identified or quantified in a responsible way. before we start turning down these projects, we will look at what will be the impact of the environment.
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one of the things i am really concerned about is canada is being treated like we can't trust canada with their environment. their history on environmental issues is something that puts into question why we approve the crossings in mexico but holding of this one the canada. >> i understand he would like to have his three minutes on our side as well. i hope he can be recognized. >> absolutely. by myhis last statement colleague made no sense. he is criticizing the different alternatives of bringing these down from canada and saying if it is done by railroad as opposed to a pipeline. the real issue is if they will
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do these at all. if they can't bring it into the united states, they are not going to develop those things. it is the dirtiest source of coal, they have to spend some much energy, at some point, it will have to be revised. the energy used to refine it will add to the greenhouse gases. i want people to understand it is not just a question of how it is going to be transported. a pipeline is often away weak transport these things. i am not against pipelines. but any pipeline ought to be reviewed by the appropriate agencies. and the two witnesses that are going to be taken out of their opportunity to review any proposal, this bill is only about one specific pipeline that is going to be given the treatment and that no other pipeline has had.
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if they review it, they have 30 days and they have to come up with the right conclusion. that is a special interest bill for this one project and it is really troubling. we will be adding to the greenhouse gases, it not just affect canada, but the whole world. we will be committed to that source of energy where we ought to be looking for other ways to use less energy and make us more independent. i think the witnesses on the second panel will have more to say about that issue. >> i would like to reclaim my time and say that i have an open mind in general about the whole issue of keystone. i am very concerned about this. removing the federal review of oil agencies except for mandating the issues, to me, it
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doesn't sound like we're really weighing the pros and cons. we are rushing to make a decision. the health and safety of the american people is paramount. if we are not going to take that seriously, it really troubles me. the other thing that troubles me, i would feel much more comfortable if i knew that the oil that was coming down to be refined from canada and to be refined in texas went for domestic consumption in the united states. i have sat through hearings and i am still not satisfied or convinced that the oil is not going to be shipped to china or some other place. those are some of the questions i have about this. >> i said the word coal, i meant oil. oil. is tehe dirtiest i would not want to take you on
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that issue. >> i would like to introduce the second panel, we have stephen anderson of the united states army. we have mr. randall thompson who as a rancher in nebraska. we welcome you to the hearing and we appreciate you being here very much. at this time, general anderson, i will recognize you for your five-minute opening statement. the red light will come on 25 minutes is up. >> i am a concerned citizen and part owner of a small business based in knoxville, tennessee. i would like to thank the subcommittee for this opportunity and the thinking -- and thanking my president for
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denying the pipeline. as a long time registered republican, i don't often agree with president obama. on this matter, he absolutely got it right. it will degrade our national security. the critical element is this. the pipeline keeps our great nation addicted to oil. it makes us both strategically and operationally vulnerable. as a retired general officer, i believe that i am fully qualified to comment on both of these vulnerabilities. the pipeline will keep us dependent on outside sources to meet most of our general -- energy needs. keystone only addresses the symptom of the illness. it does nothing to cure the disease itself which is the overreliance on oil. as nations like china and india demand more oil, competition will increase.
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the carbon based energy consumption, it will lead to climate change and increasingly catastrophic weather events. the pipeline keep strategically vulnerable because the economy will remain petro-centric. providing renewable energy solutions will not grow to capacity and capability as quickly as america needs. i believe keystone will set back the alternative energy industry 20 years. -- weeks ago, i d read thatub i read that dubai will invest in alternative energy. their economy is 250 times smaller than ours.
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yet they are astute enough to see the consequences of an oil- dependent economy and are willing to invest now in renewable energy in a big way. why aren't we? because we are not fully committed to new energy capabilities, our soldiers are operationally vulnerable, too. serving as the senior -- i struggled with the challenge for providing 3 million gallons of fuel every day to sustain our forces. i saw the huge impact of not having any renewable energy systems and being completely dependent on oil based power generation. in consideration with the burning cost of fuel, taxpayers have been spending well over $30 billion annually. with a b. billion. it will be even higher this year, but the dollar cost doesn't concern me as much as
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the human cost. over 1000 american troops have been killed in the wars in iraq and afghanistan executing fuel emissions. we should all be outraged. yet to make matters worse, our supply lines provide thousands of convenient targets and the revenues from satiating our oil habit of enemy the resources they used to kill us. fighting a much less capable enemy. imagine leveraging solar, wind, and geothermal technologies to end the war sooner and save billions of dollars in soldier lives. let me comment on the jobs issue. as a former soldier, i am concerned at the high unemployment rates for vets. they need jobs with staying power. careers.
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america is best served by creating jobs for 100 years, not 100 days. it produces a clean energy economy, it could be 1000. this pipeline is an addiction that makes us less secure. and now's the time to make the hard choices and put our future economic prosperity in the capable hands of middle america rather than big oil. i stand before you today convinced that a national mission and focus that put a man on the meoon 42 years ago can prevail. setting -- stopping the pipeline to they can set the conditions needed for the will to win and the entrepreneurial drive to succeed in breaking our terrible addiction to oil. >> thank you, general anderson.
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you're recognized for five minutes for your opening statement. turn that on. >> you can tell i'm used to testifying in congress. i am here as a landowner. i would like to thank the chair for the opportunity to be here today. i will start my testimony by thanking president obama for making the right decision by denying the permanent for the keystone xl pipeline. i like to think that the voices of nebraska and had an impact on his decision. those of us that live and work on the proposed half of this pipeline applaud him for placing our welfare ahead of the interest of big oil companies. i can honestly tell you that i have never witnessed any project
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that has stirred the emotions of my fellow nebraskan is like the keystone xl has. contrary to what you may have heard from elected officials, i can assure you that the dust has not settled on this issue. trans canada has built a mountain of distrust among the ordinary citizens of our state. even with the voluntary agreement to move the pipeline out of the sand hills, we remain very skeptical. many nebraskans, including myself, we view them as an overly aggressive company that thought that they could come in and intimidate and believe their way across our state. -- bully their way across our state. witnessing their actions have made us wary of about what they would do if they were empowered by a premature permit. i fear that an early permanent
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would place a tremendous amount of pressure on the state of nebraska to hurry through its review process. trans canada has been granted plenty of free passes and they seek another. they want political allies to free them from the tangled mass that they themselves helped to create. perhaps it is time for the free passes to come to an end. if it truly is american, it should be able to withstand a rigorous and comprehensive review that it deserves and has not gotten. if this pipeline is built, thousands of us in the heartland will have to live and work next to it for the rest of our lives. and probably for the rest of my kids and my grandkids lives. it will cost hundreds of our waterways and it will only get riskier with the passage of
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time. short circuit in the review process would be an injustice, a gross injustice to all of us that have to live and work along and the half of this pipeline. many of us feel that the approval of this project would strip us of individual property rights. we don't feel any foreign corporation has any right to take our land for their private use and game. especially when there has been no determination that this project is in the national interest. we have seen no evidence that this pipeline is anything other than an export pipeline providing access to the oil market for canadian -- aside from a few months of temporary employment, yields few other benefits. mr. terry himself, in a speech a
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few weeks ago in the state of nebraska said there would be no more than 30 permanent jobs as a result of the pipeline project. we are being asked to risk some of our greatest national resources and a lot of folks livelihoods, and we will get 30 permanent jobs. completion of the pipeline would actually increase the price of the oil we are currently importing from canada. this is an undisputed fact. really, does this make any sense? we help them build a pipeline and as a result, we end up with higher oil and fuel prices and the midwest? why don't we take a gun out and shoot ourselves in the flood, that would make more sense to me.
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perhaps it is just my nebraska logic, but from my perspective, it appears that the united states is getting the short end of the stick on this deal. canada and the big oil companies are reaping all the rewards while americans are being left behind. thank you very much. >> we appreciate your opening statement. i will defer my five minutes of questions and recognize the representative from kansas. >> i asked to enter a record that appeared in the wall street journal written by ted olson. i understand mr. waxman doesn't like this pipeline. but the incredible political nature became apparent when he had his chance to ask questions. he spent four minutes and 31
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seconds testifying. he brought to folks out from the united states government, ostensibly because he was keenly interested. he thought it was absolutely critical that we hear from them. 29 seconds. it did not appear to me that there is anything but blatant politics. mr. waxman has the benefit standard. his notion of legislation, apparently, is that you decide a piece of legislation depending on who benefits. >> i want to make a point of order. i know the rules on the house floor would not permit the gentleman to make such a personal attack. a member's motivations or actions, i am happy to answer it when i get my turn, but if i don't have enough time for questions of these witnesses, you will say i did not ask them
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enough questions. i think it is inappropriate and i make a point of order that the words be stricken. >> with the gentleman hold for one minute? >> certainly. >> unless the gentleman wants to withdraw the comments? >> i am happy to withdraw them so we can proceed. >> i withdraw my point of order. >> certainly. we have a standard that is being applied by folks across the aisle. we tried to decide if there is a personal benefit. if a person in order would not benefit. this is a $7 billion private
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investment. i watched this committee last year as we were debating and discussing. it was different. i watched them on the floor debate obamacare. there was no discussion about who might benefit from those in taking from the taxpayer. i think it is intellectually dishonest to now, for us, to have a different standard. we should have a standard about policy. not a standard where we look to see who benefits. i yield back my time. >> at this time, we record meant -- recognize the gentleman from california. >> i want to point out that sense it has been commented i am being political, the chairman of
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the subcommittee raised the issue of whether the president is in the full campaign mode trying to respond to the extremists in the environmental side. he said that perhaps we should look at mr. soros who has say train it could take this pipeline to texas. my point was never that -- >> it was mr. buffett. not mr. soros. >> excuse me. the other guy you do not like. republican colleagues make several arguments for building the pipeline. they say we need the oil and the lower gas prices. the facts do not support these
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claims. the energy information agency is projecting that america's oil consumption is not growing. it is no longer growing. the reason is because we have insisted on more efficient automobiles that have better mileage. the standards for these will further reduce our oil dependence. with growth and consumption in check, i do not think we have to be stampeded into something like this deal. this pipeline will not reduce gas prices. last year, transcanada admitted that the pipeline will raise oil prices in the midwest. there is a debate about how much but it will not lower them. that to leads to national security as a reason why we need to go along with this pipeline.
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we have the general anderson, could you explain your experience? >> 31 years in the army. i served in the pentagon for two years as a chief would guess -- logistics officer. i was david petraeus' officer. >> you did not think this pipeline was in our national security interests. you said oil dependence threatens our national security. is this a controversial view? >> i do not think so. i am not sure if i would call myself a national security expert. i am an expert in the operational impact of our oil addiction in iraq and afghanistan. i do work in afghanistan
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curious i spent a lot of time over there with my private interest and i can tell you we have not changed it at all in 10 years. we are incredibly wasteful and inefficient. we do not have the renewable technology we need to save soldiers' lives. >> this is a different kind of oil. a car -- comes from tar sands and can have problems in the pipeline. transcanada has one pipeline that has been around for a year and a half and they have had a 14 spills over the last year and half. a lot of people are concerned about the safety of the pipeline. is not carrying this crude oil, if i understand the situation.
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to get the tar sand ready, there has to be such a use of energy to refine it to look through the pipeline that it will cause us more greenhouse gas and at to climate change problems. >> that is exactly the way i see it. i think it is detrimental to this nation to continue the co2 emissions we are doing and will no doubt to do with the encouragement of this pipeline. it brings about climate change and global instability. the likelihood that soldiers will have to fight and die in order to protect the stability of the world, it is much more likely. >> the threat of oil spills from the pipeline is another reason why people oppose it. n engineer for transcanada's
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first pipeline wrote an op-ed in the the linkedin internal star -- lincoln star. he said it cracked when workers tried to weld it. i also have the letter -- a letter from mr. klink i would ask consent be put into the record. >> without objection. >> thank you for your testimony. i think we should hear another side. not have it ramrodded through the congress. this is a big decision. we will live with the consequences for 50 or 100
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years. it is in the wrong direction in terms of carbon emissions and pipeline safety, in terms of danger to the people around the pipeline and the taking of the property for this special interest purpose. >> the gentleman from virginia is recognized. >> i appreciate you gentleman taking your time to be with us today. we may disagree on some of this but i appreciate your rights under our constitution to speak to your government and commend you for being here. i do have some issues with some of the comments about the jobs. we can argue over the numbers but one thing that i find interesting is that if you accept the argument that the oil is going to come in and go to
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other countries, you also have to except the argument that before it goes to the other countries it is going to be refined in the united states. to do that, you have to add jobs. you add strength in our economy. i recognize the situation you have, mr. thompson, the property rights. i have not looked at that but i see a situation where it has been studied for a long time and i believe there are jobs that are created by having that keystone pipeline. others do not feel we should use carbon-based energy. i think that general falls into that category. i do not agree with that.
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i would be remiss if i did not tell you i think for the foreseeable future we will need to use oil, coal, natural gas. we should be looking at green energy sources long term, i would not want to put us in a situation where our military had to rely on solar panels to move forward. it is something we should look at but over the next 20 years, we are going to need our carbon based fuels. >> we recognize the gentleman from texas for five minutes. >> i want to thank the witnesses. i agree with my colleagues that if you are exporting fuel from canada, exporting is good. it creates jobs. the real question is refining
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it. i want to remind my colleagues that we attempted to make sure we did it in a cleaner fashion and a safer fashion and that they opposed us every step of the way. we got a bill out of the house that we have not been able to conclude. i hope they recognize the necessity of safe and clean for finding in this country in the way we can meet all of the demands. general anderson, is that right? thank you for your service, first of all. thank you, mr. thompson. i and stand what you're saying and i agree with you. i am from texas. i still believe in fossil fuel. how much longer will we require a reliable source of fossil fuel in this country? many of the studies that are
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published, from the oil companies. they will tell you that we're going to have domestic dependence for some years to come and globally for a longer time. i share your fear. that my support may expand the duration of the time that we may be dependent. my position is, we need it. i would rather get there from canada and -- than anyone else. that does not mean we should not continue to aggressively of view efficiency and conservation and alternative. i agree with him. there has to be a balance to be able to accomplish this. to my colleagues on the other side of the fence, the problem is you have almost 100%
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dedication to fossil fuel. as much as i enter stand they have to be part, i will give you a quote. he makes reference to how we export today for fossil fuels. "we are burning the furniture to heat the house." that is the caution. be realistic about our needs for the future. how we wean ourselves from dependency on fossil fuel. everyone will tell you that expiration and refining is a twilight industry. i am here to tell you it is a long twilight. we cannot afford to be caught without an adequate supply and depend on countries that will be in jeopardy for years to come.
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a i think you for your observation. mr. thompson, there is all lot of complaining about regulation, it is over burdensome. the greatest exercise is eminent domain. you made reference to that. have you been approached by transcanada to negotiate anything regarding some possible use of your property? >> absolutely. >> can you tell me about that? >> yes. we were first notified verbally that they intended to use eminent domain if we did not go along with the offer they presented us for the use of our property. definitely declined to enter into agreement with them. they followed up with a written letter expressly stating that if
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we did not accept the terms of the agreement that, if we did not accept those terms within 30 days, they would immediately proceed to take our land through eminent domain. my problem with that, sir, they were still in the permitting process at this time. yet and they are threatening me with an eminent domain. they did this throughout the state of nebraska. i will guarantee you that many of the easements that land owners signed was due to the fact that transcanada told them, threatened them with eminent domain. there are not too many ranchers or citizens willing to take on a multibillion-dollar corporation.
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>> my time is up. i hate cutting you off but i think you. -- thank you. >> i recognize the gentleman from california. >> first of all, general anderson i appreciate your concerns about the environmental issues. you're concerned about this pipeline and its short-term and long-term impact is what we want to talk about. do you feel the construction of the alaskan pipeline in the 1970's was detrimental to the national security? >> at that time, that was the right thing to do. much different situation, of course. now the world has changed. greenhouse gases and climate change and instability are
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things that are at the forefront then there were 40 years ago. >> general, do you think the physics of environmental reality and the reality of the political instability of the middle east have changed dramatically since the congress voted on that pipeline? >> i am not sure if i understand. >> do you believe that the physics of the environmental impact, issues like climate change, toxic emissions, and the situations that have historically been unstable in the middle east, the you think those issues weren't at least, if not proceed, reality and that
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time? >> i do not think there was a developed -- they were as developed as they are today. >> that is my point. they were still there. do you believe to use or the development and expansion of contributingr is to national security or is it a detriment? >> i consider nuclear power to be clean energy. >> i appreciate you using that. one of my frustrations is people mix the word renewable as if it is all clean and deny energy across the line. the number one purchaser of nuclear reactors is the united states government.
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i appreciate that. do you believe the mandated use of ethanol helps in the security of this country and its long- term stability? >> not really. >> in other words, you go along with those of us who are addressed to the issue that ethanol is not only an expensive, and on sustainable option, but it is also a polluting option that was not clarified when the mandate occurred. >> i would agree with that. >> even though we tried to warn washington. >> i would agree with that. but i am not an expert in that field. >> we're getting back to our energy policy affects security. would you agree that giving ethanol and all of the benefits like tax credits while denying
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other options the same package is counterproductive to the energy independence? >> i would agree with that. >> thank you for your testimony. i appreciate we approach the challenges. i would ask the record showed the general is clear about the fact that one some people perceived as damaging in washington may not be perceived by the general or myself by being damaging or may be essential for security purposes. >> we recognize the gentleman from massachusetts. >> the keystone pipeline would carry some of the dirtiest oil in the world through the middle of our country. it is a double barreled threat
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to the environment, pumping millions of tons of pollutants that cause global warming and risking oil spills into our ground water. we have been told that it would lower gas prices, even though transcanada projects that oil prices and its profits would rise because it can charge more for keystone oil in the gulf than a dozen the midwest. we have also been told to get over our concerns because the oil would enable us to reduce our dependence on oil imported from on friendly the leister nations. it turns out that these benefits may be a complete fiction. manna of the refineries or the keystone crude will be sent say they will re-export the fuel.
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this means that when these refineries re-export they will not have to pay u.s. taxes on those exports. when i asked the president of transcanada whether he would agree to ensure that the oil and refined fuel stay here in united states instead of being reexported, he said now. -- now. . the canadian prime minister said, "when you look at the iranians, i think that illustrates how critical is that supply for the united states to be north american." general, do you think this bill
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to legislate a permit is guaranteed to reduce our dependence on oil transported through the strait if we do not have day provision? >> i do not believe it will guarantee energy security at all for our nation. >> the american petroleum institute has cited our friendly relationship with canada and finds americans would prefer more oral from canada. under this bill, are there guarantees that all of the friendly canadian oil and sent through the pipeline will be sold here in the united states? sand hills. even if a new route would avoid it, will they go through the offer -- aquafir? >> we do not know where they're proposing. that is a problem.
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what i heard, it would still aquafir.ss the >> what would happen to the water table? >> our water table is so high that the pipeline would be buried in many places if any type of leak, it will go into our water supply. >> what would that impact be? >> it could be from small to tremendous. you have all kind of small communities. i have livestock and irrigation. if they become contaminated, that property becomes useless. >> how you feel about that? -- do you feel about that? >> i am angry as hell.
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when people want to play a political football games with my livelihood. >> we agree with you. we can see how their public health could be in jeopardy. >> i think somewhere in this process we need to look at this. people who are going to be impacted by this. it is not all about money and this and that. there are people's livelihoods' at stake. thousands of us, and our resources. that needs to enter the debate somewhere. >> i will now recognize myself for five minutes. the first thing i want to do is
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read from a memorandum from a representative of the u.s. department of energy. he talks about the issue, this oil coming from canada that is going to be exported out of the u.s. i'm going to read this verbatim. this provides data and analysis about a number of issues. it concludes that refiners will likely consume additional canadian oil well in excess of what would be provided by the keystone xl pipeline. it also concludes that exports from port arthur are highly unlikely. now, when you hear this argument
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that, as the president stated in his decision not to make a decision, he said one of the reasons was that he did not have sufficient information to make a decision, that congress did not give him enough time. as i stated, this pipeline has been under study for 40 months. in the fall of 2011, a supplemental draft statement was issued by the state department. after months of public hearings along to the proposed route, the state department issued its final impact statement and in that final statement between two options, not building or building the pipeline, they indicated that the preferred
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option was to build the pipeline as proposed. now, a person on the outside not paying any attention, everyone expected the state department was going to make its final decision sometime in the fall of 2011. all of a sudden it announced they said it would seek a new route through the state of nebraska and undergo another round of studies that would not be complete until the first quarter of 2013. that was the stated reason for president obama not making a decision, because of this new route through nebraska. when some of the political leaders realized their concerns were being used by the president to stop this project, they had a
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special session of the legislature. a new law was passed to give the nebraska department of environmental quality the ability to evaluate a new route for the pipeline within nebraska poster borders in half the time frame that the state department in vision. taking that development into account, the provision that was put into the act allowed the president to approve the pipeline. because the modification of this long pipeline is in nebraska is
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not an interstate modification, there really was no federal role. since the rest of the pipeline route outside of nebraska and its evaluated environmental impact remains unchanged, there was really no reason for the white house or the state department to believe that there was not enough time to make the decision. there was a clear explanation of all of this and i clearly stated. we generally appreciate you being here and i would like to thank you for your support and service to our country for. mr. thompson, we appreciate you being here and speaking up on
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your personal views about this issue for. nebraska is in the big 12, right? we will keep the record open for 10 days for any additional might want to beit concluded -- included. with that, this hearing is concluded. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> sunday, democratic national campaign chairman steve israel on the strategy to win 25 more seats to take control of the house of representatives.
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here is a look at some upcoming political coverage. watch the c-span network for super tuesday coverage. we will have live coverage from alaska, idaho, and north dakota. we will go to wyoming for the start of the five-day caucasus. we'll have primaries in oklahoma, tennessee, georgia, ohio, vermont, massachusetts. watch the c-span networks for your road to the white house coverage. >> now, erick kanter talks about the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance. -- eric cantor talks about a payroll tax cuts and an employe insurance. this is about 30 minutes. would ask him on the timing, the conference committee has m twice on the payroll tax cut,
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the unemployment insurance, and the so-called doc fix to ensure the fact that doctors are compensated and will be available for medicare patients. conference committee, mr. leader, has met twice since december 23. we adopted a motion to instruct overwhelmingly through the house to make sure that they reported ck by february 17. i think you may have read my comments in the press that if we do not do it by the 17th, then we are off for a week and we will be back, 27, 28, 29, come back the night of the 27th will be jammed at the end on wednesday the 29th. we on have six full dayleft before the february break. that does not include our 6:30 start times. house democrats, mr. leader,
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stand ready to, frankly, i think work through the weekend if that was necessary, but i'm very concerned that something that we l want to get done, and i have made the suggestion to my democratic conferees, and they were equally amused as you are, i understand that. but i will tell you, that i have great concern that we are going to get to the 27th, 28th, and 29th and be in the same kind of confrontation and debacle we found ourselves in in december. that's not good for your party. my opinion it's not od for our party. it's not good for the house and senate, but it is certainly not good for the 160 million people who are going to be concerned about whether or not their tax cut will continue or medicare people who are going to be concerned about whether their doc's going to be available or the unemployed who are going to be conceed. now, of course, the unemployed
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we had some very good news. i'm sure you didn't mention it in your opening comments, but i'm sure you were as excited as i was about the 257,000 new private sector jobs that were created last month. showed real progress. but i will tell you that i'm very concerned about the timing and would be delhted to hear the gentleman's thoughts on the success and progress of the conference committee. i yield to my friend. mr. cantor: i thank the gentleman. mr. speaker, what i would say is the republicans on the house side led by chairman camp have been and are ready to make sure we resolve the issue of the payroll tax holiday extension right now. the issue has been the reluctance on the gentleman's side of the aisle on the unfunded capital. if i thought that working seven days a week through weekends and all hours of the day and night would make a difference, i would
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be all for that as well. but the fact of the matter is, mr. speaker, this house continues to act. this house passed a year-long extension that also did not have the effect of raiding theocial security trust fund. something the gentleman and i both want to make sure happens. that we restore the integrity of that fund for the people who are counting on it. but, mr. speaker, i would say the house also this week acted on several measures that frankly are very relevant to the work of the conference committee yet no action by the senate. onof those things as the gentleman knows was passed out of the house this week. it was a measure calling for a pay freeze. at the federal level for federal employees, including members of the house and senate. and this was a vote, a bipartisan vote, 309 members voted for that. and it allowed for about $26 billion in savings that could be
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easily included in the conference committee deliberation. something that our side continues to want to include, but yet no swer from the senate majority leader and his conferees. so again i would tell the gentleman, please, we are as anxious as you are to try and resolve these issues. we had another vote today on this week, mr. speaker, which garner 400 votes in the hou, a bipartisan bill, which called for some necessary reforms to the tanf program. these were reforms which preclude the use of the moneys that beneficiaries receive for purchases of services at casinos and other types of establishments that perhaps thos moneys could be better spent not in those places, but again no response from the senate. and i would ask the gentleman if he could please direct his
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urgency towards the majority leader in the senate to see if we can get this off the dime and resolve the issue of the payroll tax so that we can, as the gentleman suggests, send a very certain signal to the people who are struggling out there working day in and day out that their taxes will not go up. and as for the gentleman's suggestion about the job numbers, i don't know if you saw my public statement this morning, but i said that was welcomed news. that when you have job creation like that, welcomed news. but i also think we can do a lot better. i was pleased to see that the president came out this week and said he now, too, wants to be a champion of small business. and we say we are happy to work with this white house so that we can provide the help to small businesses. we will be bringing to the floor before tax day a small business tax cut bill that goes right at the issue of helping small businesspeople -- small business
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people, allowing them more incentive to invest their capital so they can create jobs and we can see this economy really take off. i yield back. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for his comments. we have long been a supporter of small business. we believe small business is the engine of our economy. we believe we need to grow entrepreneurs. weeed to expand, frankly, small business and the middle class. it was interesting what the gentleman referred to in response to my question. yes, we understand that cutting the pay of average working americans who happen to be federal employees, but they are average working mens is the way you want to pay for what we do. we of course want to pay for it with some of the wealthiest people in our country just contributing a little bit more, just a little bit more, as opposed to average working people who are struggling by, and by the way the sponsor of that piece of legislation to
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which you referred indicat he was having a tough timgetting by supporting his family on the salary that he makes here in congress. now, frankly we offered, as you know, to have a vote on freezing members of congress salary straight up. not hidden in another bill, but straight up. which i would have supported. and my side would have supported overwhelmingly. i presume your side would have supported overwhelmingly. we of course didn't get that opportunity because frankly our priorities do in fact differ. average working people as opposed to the best off in america. that was -- that's the choice in this conference committee, apparently, because you want to pay for it with the average working people taking a hit. and we want to pay for it by just asking just a little more from the wealthiest in america to help us through this tough patch that we are in. things are getting better. the gentleman -- i haven't seen
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his release but i will certainly look at his release, he says we ought to do better. i will tell the gentleman we are doing a lot better. the gentleman knows during the last five months of the bush administration wlost 3,192,000 jobs. the gentleman smiles because that's history. it is history and we learn from it. we were following the economic policies the the gentleman still continues to press upon the american people. we lost 3,19 ,000 jobs in five months. in the last five months, however, we have gained now over a million jobs. that's progress. and in fact over the last 22 months we have gaineover three million jobs. so that we are making significant progress. not enough. we dug a very, very deep hole and we are trying to get out of it.
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but the fact of the matter is losing three million jobs in fi months and gaining a million jobs in five months is about a four million job difference. so i tell my friend both in terms of who ought to pay for the investments that have agreed we need to make, we don't want to raise taxes on ese folks as the economy is still coming backment obviously still showing great progress, but we don't want to pay for it with average working people having to pay the price. and i will tell my friend i was disappointed that we dew point have a separate vote so -- that we were disappointed we haven't a separate vote so members of congress could vote straight up on their being frozen. i will tell my friend i will work with him perhaps towards that end. . now, having said that, is the gentleman expecting, i'm sure
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he's been in conversations with mr. camp, is the gentleman expecting a relatively early report back from the conference committee, hopefully prior to the 18th of february that we might be voting on this? mr. cantor: let me respond, mr. speaker, do you yield? mr. hoyer: i yield. mr. cantor: i would say to the gentleman, first of all, i do hope that we can act in an expeditious manner to accomplish the same goal he stated, that i agree with. he we need to let the people of this country out there working so hard to know they're not going to have their taxes go up on them and we should allow for certainty for a full year. the position the house has taken from the very beginning. i would say to the gentleman, about his assertions of our policies and those under the last president and perhaps their effect on job creationr job loss, the issue is, right now, andy question to the
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gentleman is, as far as that's concerned, doesn't he agree that we could be doing better? and that's my point, mr. speaker. we can do better. we can do better by focusing on e private sector, small business men and wom, so that we can empower them to invest and create jobs again. we can do better. that's what we intend to do, straight up, through policies that affect reduction of red tape in this town, to make it easier for small business men and women to operate, as i indicated before, a bill to be brought forward to provide for 20% tax cut for small businesses. i hope if the gentleman says he's for small businesses he'll join nuss a bipartisan way to support a bill that provides far 20% tax cut for small businesses. i ask the gentleman as well, he continues to advocate higher taxes for people. higher taxes. that's what we hear.
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higher taxes on people who make a lot of money. well, the fact is, the result of that is putting more money into this town, putting more money into the hands washington so that washington can decide where people's money is spent. now we all know we've got a spending problem, and we all know that raising taxes does not.gov -- dig us out of the hole. i k the gentleman, does he think that's going to fix the problem? it's not as if we're saying we don't want to help the people out there struggling, that's what we're trying to do. i'm looking forward to working with him in a bipartisan way and i yield back. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman. we look forward to wor-- working in a bipartisan way. we have found difficulty doing it, because we have trouble having a meeting of the minds. i will tell my friend, what i advocate overand over and over again is ping for what we buy. that's what i advocate. and if -- and if you don't want
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it, don't buy it. you controled this town for eight years from an economic standpoint. we were in -- were in charge for two years but we couldn't pass anything over george bush's veto. we went from surplus to deficit, from a debt of $5.6 -- -- from a debt of 5.6 to a debt of 11. have we added to the debt? yes. why? because we went into the deepest depression, starting in 2007, that this country has been in in your lifetime and my lifetime -- and i'm a t older than you. that's why i advocate paying for what we buy and have the colonel to make decisions on doing exactly that. frankly, on your side of the aisle, when you go and say, look, we need to pay for elections, who do you go to? you go to members and go to people who have some resources they can contribute to an
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effort you think is very important. i think america's efforts are very important. i think those of us who have done better out to pay a little more than those who are struggling as the gentleman refers to. yes, that's the difference. i believe it's the difference. i will continue to advocate paying for what we buy. that's why i was for pay-go which george bush abandoned and which essentially is not being followed today as i think all of us should do. so i will tell my friend that i think we ought to do better. i agree with him. and did do better. we did do better under policies that i supported. 22 million jobs in the 1990's. we last jobs in the 2000's. we went backwards. the stock market went up 216% in the 1990's. under george bush, it went down 26%. yes, i think we can do better.
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and we ought to do better. and we ought to do better by investing. now i talked about investing. let me talk a little bit about the bill that the speaker has talked about, you've talked about, infrastructure and jobs. the transportation infrastructure committee marked up a controversial highway bill. the gentleman says we want to work together, he and i tried to do that. we don't always succeed but we try to do it. they marked up yesterday 17 hours. finished around 3:0a.m. at the start of that debate, i don't know whether the gentleman knows this, mr. rahall, the ranking member, asked all the members of the transportation committee, when the bill was put on torque raise their hand if they read the bill. do you know how many people raised their hand? that's a rhetorical question, because the gentleman probably hasn't inquired of this, none. 800-page bill. not a person raised their hand. that they had read the bill. there was a lot of discussion about reang the bill.
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reading the bill. now if they had read this bill, there was, of course, as you know a bipartisan no vote, one of the senior members voted against it, this is in stark contrast to the unanimous vote that occurred in the united states senate. on the bill. the committee on natural resources also completed a controversial markup on opening anwr to drilling. as i understand, you're going to put that inhe infrastructure bill. with the clear knowledge that that is a verycontroversial item that will not pass the united states senate. you may have the votes here, that is similar to what happened on the payroll tax cut just last december. if you're going to work in a -- on a bipartisan basis, we ought to understand that we're going to have to try to not push on one party or the other things that are unacceptable -- unacceptable and won't ps and don't have the votes. the reason george bush sign sod many bills we passed in the
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congress in 2009 and 2010 is because we worked with the administration and worked with the senate. the senate and the house controlled by democrats, president bush in office, he signed more than twice as many bills that we passed. why? because we worked with him. we wld urge you to do the same. is the gentleman planning to bring up the infrastructure ll to the floor soon and can he tell the members it will be considered urn an open process? furthermore is the majority leader expecting there to be bipartisan cooperation on the infrtructure package so we don't have to go up against another deadline? as the gentleman knows, march 31, the highway bill authorization ends. we temporarily conclude . let me end with this before you answer the question, because ray lahood was leader in this congss ray lahood was a leader on your side of the aisle. ray lahood served together for a long time. i don't know if you've seen his
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quote, i think it bears consideration of your sid of the aisle from a republican, from middle america, peoria, who, you leader, your minority leader, bob michael, had as his chief of staff. here's what he said about the infrastructure bill that was marked up. this is the most partisan transportation bill that i have ever seen. and it is also the most anti-safety bill i have ever seen. this is a direct quote from ray lahood, republican, former member of this house for many years and former chief of staff to the minority leader bob michael. it hollows out our number one priority, which is safety. and ray lahood went on to say this. frankly it hollows t the guts of the transportation efforts we have been about for the last three years. it's the worst transportation bill i've ever seen during my 35 years of public service.
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ray lahood, politico, february 3, just a few days ago, actually, that's today. he said it today. in realtime. this is real, breaking news from the majority leader. the worst transportation bill he has seen in 35 years. that does not, i tell my friend, bode well for bipartisan cooperation on a piece of legislation. that nobody in the committee had read. so i ask my friend, do we expect to bring that bill up under those conditions in the near term? i yield to my friend. mr. cantor: i thank the gentleman, mr. speak. first of all, we expect to vote on the bill the week of the 13th. i think there will be adequate time f members to review the bill and the text to the gentleman's concern about mr. rahall's inquiry last night in committee. that's why we're allowing for the time so members can review
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ch a big bill. a bi that means so many jobs to so many americans. i hope the gentleman will work with us. this american infrastructure, energy, and jobs act is this just -- is just that. it is a jobs bill. it can provide certainty to contractors torque our community, so we can start to grow again and see jobs proliferate. but i find it ironic that the gentleman complned about paying for it. because he talks about the ways of our wanting to open up our resources. our resources offshore. our resources in anwr. as number one, an attempt to allow america to develop, finally, a national energy policy, but to also promote jobs. the gentleman kns, as i do, the energy sector provides an ful lot of jobs in plenty of
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parts of this country and can do lot more, and is willing. private capital. willing to deploy to create jobs. but i find it also ironic, mr. spear, that the gentleman complains that there's no bipartisanship. because somehow we're not working with the administration. the administration's been absent on all of this. they're not interested in working with us. -- with us to create a product wher we can see jobs created. as you can see, the secretary sits in his office and opines and attacks the bill. saying it is all the negative things he said. now that's not a way to collaborate and work together. and the gentleman knows that as well. the gentleman knows that that is certainly not how things have worked in this town if you want to produce a result. so the gentleman can claim the mantle of wanting to work together an the administration, oh, the poor admintration is
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being trampled by some action here, he knows good and well, mr. speaker, that this administration has been absent in so many of the discussions on so many important issues and the fact that we differ on policy, yeah. but i think the gentleman also knows that reasonable people can disagree. but we -- that doesn't mean we can't work together to find some things that we agree on. and certainly we agree on jobs. the gentleman sayse agree on small business. i'm looking for his support of that small business tax credit bill. and we agree on infrastructure spending being an important part of our economy. i'm looking forward to the next week or so as the bill works its way to the floor to hopefully garner his support. i yield back. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman. wonderful, wonderful logic. a republican leader in this house is appointed to include bipartisan, as we have been on
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transportation and infrastructure, as secretary of transportation, who was a leader in this house and the chief of staff of the minority leader of this house, says that the bill you have drafte, that your members didn'read before they passed out of committee, the public i'm sure is glad they're going to read it before we pass it, i've heard a lot o talk about reading the bills, nobody read it before they passed it out of committee. and a republican secretary of transportation, former chief of staff of the minority leader, says, my friend, it's the most partisan bill he has ever seen in 35 years. and then you say, well, i know we passed the most partisan bill in 35 years but gee, the administration won't work with us. you don't accept that premise, i understand that. but it's ironic that you say the admintration won't work with you. you and i both know ray lahood happens to be one of the more
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bipartisan people you and i have served. i have worked frequently with congressman he lahood when he worked -- represented peoria in the house of representatives. we worked together on a lot of somebodies. why? he wanted to get things done. he wasn'timply interested in making political points. now you bring up anwr in terms of pay-for. i'm for paying for this. you didn't hear me say anything about offshore drilling. i did about anwr because you and i both know, in a bipartisan way, many of your members have voted against opening up anwr and we have, as the gentleman knows, millions of acres, millions of achers currently available for drilling in alaska right now, as we speak. so that we want to have a bipartisan -- but putting an 800-page bill on the table, no chance to read it, passing it in a 17-hour marathon session
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and then having clearly no -- having not worked at all with ray lahood and if you're telling me ray lahood won't work with republicans, i do not accept that premise. i think that's an absolute -- i think that's a disrvice toray lahood. if that's what you're sang. he is the secretary of transportation and i'm -- there is no doubt in my mind, none, zero, that if mr. micah wants to work with ray lahood on a bipartisan bill, ray lahood will be here as many hours, days and weeks that mr. micah needs him here and i think you would hopully agree with that proposition. ray lahood is a republican but he is a bipartisan american who wants to get things done for our country and create those jobs of which you speak, which all of us want to do we have a jobs bill, by the way, that you have not brought to the floor. what's one of the aspects of that jobs bill? infrastructure. investing in infrastructure. that bill has languished for
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five months now not brought to the floor by the majority leader who has the authority to bring it to the floor and i of course have been urging him to do so. i'll yield. mr. cantor: absolutely, mr. speaker. i join the gentleman in thinking secretary lahood is a fine gentleman but i have to say is actions speak louder than words. what i have to say about the request of the president's jobs bill and whether we are bringing the whole bill up for a vote, i ask the gentleman, how many on his side of the aisle actually sponsored that bill. and i think there is certainly many elements of that bill that we can all agree on. and in fact, we have voted on four separate elements, big elements of the president's small business agenda that he announced this week that was part of that bill. crowd funning, mini offerings to help small business access
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financing. a bill to provide for 100% depreciation, the provisions that will aow for more ability for small businesses to see money to go to the bottom line so they can grow, and a bill that we passed out of this house teliminate country caps for immigration, for the highly skilled workers. all these e part of the president's proposals. all these the house has passed and they sit and they sit on the other side of the capitol. so i would say to the gentleman, he knows as well as i do that this -- that more stimulus spending as a part of that president's -- the president's proposal is something we don't accept but there is plenty in there that we can agree on. back to the notion of bipartisanship, let's set aside differences and find what we can agree. these are areas we can agree on, d so i would say to the gentleman, please, work with us. please ask the leader on the
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other side of the capitol, bring these bills up. i yield back. mr. hoyer: the gentleman knows a mber of those proposals had bipartisan support in this house. i think had bipartisan support over in the senate. they need to be paid fornd that's where the contention comes, as the gentlemannows. let me ask you on another subject, if i might, the stock act. the -- and -- well, before i do that, i appreciate the gentleman's observation with respect to those bills that the president has suggested we do, that we have done. mr. cantorif the gentleman could just yield for correction. there is no need for pay-fors on these bills. these bills are something that were cleared out of the house in a revenue-neutral way. mr. hoyer: the individual bills, right. mr. cantor: again, the gentleman is correct in saying there's bipartisan support for these bills. the prident supports them. where the problem is across the hallway here and we could
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actually get the majority leader there to help move these bills we can make some progress. mr. hoyer: we could make some progress if frankly the majority leader could get 60 votes to enact legislation and transact business on the floor of the senate. unfortunately, as the gentleman very well knows, the majority leader, harry reid, has had great difficulty getting 60 votes to proceed with business on the floor of the united states senate. i think that's unfortunate. but let me move on because the gentleman went from infrastructure bill, which secretary lahood, that was the most partisan bill he's seen in 35 years, shifting to jobs which we agree. the fact of the matter is i want to talk about another piece of legislation that the senate has worked on. we have a bill here, we asked that it be taken from the floor -- from the desk, put on the floor and that's the stock act. the gentleman has expressed support for the stock act. i'm hopeful we could pass a
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house bill and then go to conference with the senate on a bill in the near future. can the gentleman comment on at? mr. cantor: if the gentleman yields. it has always been my intention to act on this very important issue and to get the president a bill that he can sign as quickly as possible. again, the underlying notion is, as the geleman believes, we need to make sure that the people that send us here know that we are acting and abiding by the trust that they place in us. that's what the stock act is about. and so what we're going to do next week, mr. speaker, as i indicated earlier, is we are going act with dispatch. we are going to take up the senate bill. we are currently reviewing the actions the senate took on that bill and we intend to strengthen that bill. again, to do so in a way that can get a bill to the president's desk as quickly as
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possible so that there is no misunderstanding on the part of the people here that they can trust this institution and the members and there is no preanticipation whatsoever that anyone here -- eanticipation whatsoever that anyone here misuses information for their own personal use. i yield. mr. hoyer: tim walz of minnesota has had a bill, as the gentleman probably knows, the stock act, also louise slaughter, ranking member on the rules committee, has worked on for literally a decade or more. so we have legislation which is available to take frankly from the desk, pass that and go immediately to conference with the senate. the gentleman indicates he wants to change the senate bill. i think that that may be appropriate, but if he does we are going to have to go to conference in any event so my
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thought is take tim walz's bill and we go to conference on that bill. it seems to be the most exditious way in a way the gentleman wants to accomplish in a very quick fashion. i think tim walz of minnesota would be happy to hear that and available to work towards that end along with louise slaughter. i thank the gentleman. i yield to the gentleman. mr. cantor: mr. speaker, i say to the gentleman, i know the gentleman likes to talk about past congresses. when he was house majority leader he did not bring the stock act to the floor and it waa submitted bill. so let's set the record straight. this majority leader is going to bring the bill, a stock act bill to the floor next week. and i would also say, mr. speaker, that mr. walz's bill actually would weaken the senate bill. and it is our intention to pass and get to the president a workable, strong bill that
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makes sure we're delivering on the promise that we made to the people that sent us here. i know the gentleman wants to join min the effort to reinstill the confidence in the public that we are abiding by that trust. i yield back. mr. hoyer: mr. speaker, i think certainly that all of us hopefully agree with what the leader has just said. we clearly want to make sure the american public has confidence and trust in the actions we take and are not driven by personal terests but by public interest, by a concern of the welfare of the >> sunday, steve israel of new york on the strategy to win 25 more seats to take control of the house of representatives. that is at 10:00 a.m. on c-span and c-span radio.
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>> the u.s. labor department reported that 243,000 new jobs were added in january, dropping the unemployment rate to 8.3%. now remarks from president obama. he spoke at fire station no. 5 in virginia. this is about 25 minutes. [applause] >> thank you. thank you. thank you so much. >> good morning, everybody. thank you for that introduction. thank you for your extraordinary service to our country. i want to acknowledge
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outstanding members of my cabinet who are here today. the secretary of veterans affairs, secretary shinseki, is in the house. [applause] he is an extraordinary leader, as he was in our army. i also want to acknowledge interior secretary can salazar who is in the house. [applause] >> we're joined by another president, the international firefighters association president is here. this is a fire station that holds some special significance for our country. on september 11, the firefighters of this house were among the first to respond to the attack on the pentagon. you guys answer this nation's
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call during its hour of need. in the years that followed, as americans went to work, some of you answered the call as well. as today's nine/11th generation of veterans, you have already earned a special place in our history. our veterans and all the brave men and women who serve our country are the reason why america's military is the greatest in the history of the world. in the face of great odds and great danger, they get the job done. they work as a team. they personify the very best american has to offer. that is true battlefront. we're here today because it is also true on the home front. after a decade of war, our nation needs to do some building right here in the united states of america.
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this morning, we received more good news about our economy. in january, american businesses added another 257,000 jobs. the unemployment rate came down because more people found work. altogether, we have added 3.7 million new jobs over the past 23 months. these numbers will go up and down in the coming months. there are still far too many americans who need a job or need a job that pays better than the one they have now. but the economy is growing stronger and. the recovery is speeding up. we have got to do everything in our power to keep it going. we cannot go back to the policies that led to the
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recession. we cannot let washington stand in the way of our recovery. we want washington to be helping with the recovery, not making it tougher. the most important thing congress needs to do now is to stop the taxes from going out on 160 million americans at the end of this month. they've got to renew the payroll tax cuts they extended only for a couple months. they need to pass an extension of the payroll tax cuts and unemployment insurance -- and do it without drama, without delay, without linking it to some ideological side issues. they just need to get it done. it should not be that complicated. now is not the time for self- interested wounds to our economy. now is the time for action. i want to send a message to congress, do not slow down the
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recovery we're on. keep it moving in the right direction. [applause] beyond preventing a tax hike, we need to do more to create an economy built to last, to restore american manufacturing. we need to stop giving tax breaks to companies that ship jobs overseas and give them to companies investing in plants and equipment and hiring in america. that makes sense. we need to stop subsidizing oil companies that are already making record profits and double down on clean energy that creates jobs, opportunities, new industries, and also improves our security because we are not so dependent on foreign oil. we need to make sure our businesses do not need to move overseas to find skilled
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workers. we need to invest in education to make college affordable for every hardworking american. we need to make sure that as our troops returned from battles, they can find a job when they get home. that is what i want to talk about today [applause] the war in iraq is over. the war in afghanistan is moving into a new phase. we are transitioning. over the past decade, nearly 3 million service members have transitioned back to civilian life. more are joining them every day. when these men and women come home, they bring unparalleled skills and experience. folks like jacob have saved lives in some of the toughest conditions imaginable. they have managed convoys and
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moved tons of equipment over dangerous terrain. they attract militants -- millions of dollars of military action. they have used equipment worth millions of dollars. they do incredible work. nobody is more skilled, more precise, more diligent, more disciplined. our veterans are some of the most highly trained, highly educated, highly skilled workers we have got. these are americans that every business should be competing to attract. these are americans who want to keep serving here at home as we rebuild this country. we will do everything we can to make sure that when our troops come home, they come home to new jobs, new opportunities, and new ways to serve their country. this has been a top priority of mine since i came into office. we have felt 600,000 veterans
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and their family members go back to school on the post-9/11 gi bill. we have hired over 120,000 veterans to serve in the federal government. we have made it easier veterans texas employment services. we have set up online tools to connect veterans with job openings that match their skills. michelle and joe biden have worked with the private sector, with businesses, to secure a pledge of 135,000 jobs for veterans and their families. with the support of democrats and republicans, we put in place two in new tax credits for companies that hire veterans. these are all important steps. we have made progress. we have got to do more. there is more we can do. in my state of the union address, a proposed a new initiative called the veteran's job corps to put veterans back
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to work rebuilding america. today we're laying out the details of the proposal. first, we want to help communities hire more veterans as cops and firefighters. you have seen what a great job jacob is doing. there are a bunch of folks like that who could be doing the same outstanding work across the country. it is not that easy to get a job at a firehouse these days. over the past few years, tight budgets have forced a lot of states and communities to lay off a lot of first responders. when i first came into office, one of the first things we did was through the recovery act to make sure states and local governments got the help they needed to prevent some of these layoffs.
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thousands of jobs were saved across the country. thousands of firefighter jobs were saved because of the actions we took. budgets are still tight. that is a problem we need to face. -- fix. jobs to protect our families and communities should not be the first on the chopping block. they should be one of our highest priorities as a nation. over the past three years, my administration has made it possible for states to keep thousands of first responders on the job. communities that make it a priority to recruit veterans will be among the first in line when it comes to getting help from the federal government. that is one thing you have been doing here in arlington. we want to prioritize veterans. we want to help states and local communities hire veterans through firehouses and police stations across the country. we want to connect up to 20,000
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veterans with jobs that involve rebuilding local communities or national parks. that is why ken salazar is here as the interior secretary. our veterans are highly qualified to help. they have risked their lives defending america. they should have the opportunity to rebuild america. we have roads and bridges in and around our national parks in need of repair. let's fix them. congress needs to fund these projects. congress should take the money we're no longer spending on war and use half of it to pay down our debt, and use the rest to do some nation-building at home, to improve the quality of life in the united states of america, and put our veterans to work. [applause] let's get more cops on the beat. let's get more rangers in the parks. let's get more firefighters on
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call. in the process, we will put more veterans back to work. it is good for our communities, our economy, and our country. for veterans who want to do something else, maybe put their leadership skills to you starting a small business, we will start offering entrepreneurial training to our veterans. we want service members prepared for battle and for professional success when they come home. we should do all we can to support our troops and veterans in helping them start a business, get a foothold in the fire station like this one, start moving up the ranks, doing outstanding work we jacob has been doing. we also need to follow their lead. we want to help them but we should learn from them. we should remember that no matter what the circumstances,
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those men and women in uniform, a lot like the firefighters in this station, work together, act as a team, finish the job. that is what we have to do when it comes to our economy. these are challenging times. we have based challenging times before. on the grounds here community stone from the pentagon and a beam from the world trade center. that reminds us of our resolve as a people. when we come together as one people and one community, one nation, we prevail. that is who we are. this nation exists because generations of americans worked together to build it. this is a nation where out of many we come together as one. those are the values that every veteran understands.
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those are values that this fire station understands. we have to make sure we return to those values. if we do, i guarantee you we will remind everybody around the world why the united states is the greatest country on earth. [applause] thank you very much. god bless you. god bless america. [applause] ♪ ♪ ["stars and stripes forever"] h[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012]
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[applause] >> house republican leaders respond to the unemployment numbers.
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this is about 20 minutes. >> good morning, everyone. i'm going to talk to you today about the american jobs act which is coming together this week. >> we had three bills that came through the natural resources committee. these are common sense bills as far as i am concerned. we live in south dakota. it is a long way to get anywhere there. you have families that are hard- working taxpayers trying to stretch their dollars to make everything work. they need to pay for gasoline to drive. they need to pay for diesel fuel and energy to heat their homes. that is what these bills will
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do. they will solve two problems at once. they will deal with our infrastructure needs as a country. they will also lower our energy costs as well. it is common sense. by accessing the offshore drilling resources, by utilizing our oil shale resources, and making sure we can use other resources available makes sense to it every day americans who are hard-working taxpayers who really want to get the job done. the benefits are that it will create jobs, drive down energy costs, and give them consistency in the economy which we have been lacking since this administration has taken office. gas prices have doubled since this president has gone into office. it is a shame for those people really struggling. the over-spending has to stop. we can do a lot to fix our funding issues and drive down
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costs. what is so unique about these bills double come together with the transportation bill's is that there will not be any earmarks attached. there will be no more borrowed stimulus dollars when it comes to transportation bill. i hope when you are writing about these bills that is what you focus on. this is fundamental reform that will be great for america. >> the president is going to ot out happy faces today. the american people will say not so fast. we feel worse than we did four years ago. 5 million more americans are unemployed than one year ago. the economy is still under- performing. if this economy were performing the way it did in the reagan economy, we would have 7 million more americans working than we do right now. if the reagan recovery model
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were followed, we would have almost $5,700 per capita in greater gdp than today. the president's policies have failed. they are holding back the economic recovery. instead of trying to focus on real-world solutions like the gop jobs plan that is bipartisan, he is relying on the politics of division. i started a company in late 2005. that company was sold early last year. if i sat down to start the company today, i would not do it because of the uncertainty of this president's policies. i do not know what my taxes will be at this time next year. i do not know what new regulations will get in my way. i do not know the next waste of taxpayer dollars on a solyndra-
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type project. because of that, i will wait until the president start paying attention to real-world solutions to put americans back to work. thank you. >> good morning. three years ago this month, president obama came to congress and said you must pass my stimulus package. it was a $787 billion spending program. he promised america that if we passed this plan, unemployment will not exceed 8%. we know this month this is the 36 months in a row that 8% has been exceeded. it did not have to be this way. there is a different approach we could have taken. president reagan took a very different approach. he took an approach focused on growth, free-market solutions. president reagan had a more difficult, a deeper recession.
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unemployment was higher. inflation was rampant. he took an approach that in the third year of his term resulted in the economy booming by then. president obama has taken the approach of borrowing and spending. those are policies that failed. they make it worse. house republicans stand here today looking forward to a pro- growth agenda, a jobs package that would get people back to work and get americans back to work. >> on monday, the american people were reminded again that this president's policies have failed. when the congressional budget announced that this president is on track to deliver a $1 trillion plus deficit every year he is in office. today is an indication of another failure of this president's policies, 36 months in a row of 8% plus
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unemployment. we're all encouraged that the unemployment rate has come down. as my colleagues said, we were told if we passed his stimulus plan, we would never see unemployment above 8%. by technical definition of a professional economist, this economy is in recovery. by historic standards, it is the slowest, weakest recovery in the post-depression era. there are millions of americans that do not feel the recovery. tell that to the one in seven who have to rely on food stamps. tell it to the 50%, almost half of americans, who are now either low income or in poverty. tell it to them, that we have a great recovery. the president's policies have failed. it is one of the reasons we see the politics of division. american people do not want division.
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they want more jobs. had this recovery followed the pattern of other recoveries in the post-war era, americans would have thousands of dollars more in their family budgets and millions more would be employed. that is why i am proud the once again, house republicans continue to pass jobs bills. just this week, we repealed again a portion of the president's health care program, one of the greatest impediments to small business. i am sure that our congressional budget office will give us a macro-economic view of job impact statement. after the president's health care plan was passed, we finally got the report from the congressional budget office that it would cost us almost 1
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million jobs. i wonder what would have happened if that information had been available to the american people ahead of time. another week, another indication of failed presidential policies, another week more of republican jobs bills passed in the house. >> good morning. the jobs numbers today are welcome news. all of us want to see more americans get back to work. as my colleagues have laid out, we could do a lot better. that is the kind of policies we're talking about an hour job creators plan. the president this week has indicated that perhaps he may now join us in focusing on the backbone of the american economy, american small businesses. we know every business at one point was a small business. small-business startups and the number of jobs created are still locally low. if we want to get more people back to work and reflect the
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kind of growth rate we have seen in the reagan recovery and beyond, we can do that by focusing on small business. we will bring a bill to the floor of the house prior to tax day that provides small business a 20% tax cut. that is the kind of measure that will help inspire our entrepreneurs, small businessmen and women to invest and create more jobs. they need a signal from washington that there is not an adversary here, that we believe in the aspirational sense of america and small business entrepreneurs. >> good morning, everyone. the american people have seen the same story now for 36 straight months. there are flickers of hope in our recovery. they are welcome. but the american people were promised by the president that unemployment would not exceed 8%. we've had 36 straight months of unemployment over 8%.
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three years ago when the president asked us to vote for his stimulus bill, they said unemployment at this point would be at 6%. we welcome the positive news today, but our point is very simple. we can do better. the way we do better is for the senate to take the 27 jobs bills sitting in the united states senate. the president asked us to work with them. we have worked with them. these bills in supports and his jobs council supports. they passed with bipartisan support in the house. the president wants to get the economy moving and improve his own chances for reelection, maybe he will pick up the phone and call senator reid and ask the senate democrats to get off their rear ends. >> steve israel of new york on newsmaker.
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that is at 10:00 a.m. here on c- span, c-span radio and c-span .org. >> nv's caucuses are tomorrow. what coverage with speeches tomorrow night and throughout the day. follow on line with live reports on the individual caucuses. you can also add your comments through our facebook page. >> january's jobs report was also the focus of today's economic hearing. unemployment dropped to 8.3%. earlier this week, the congressional budget office unveiled its 2012 outlook which predicted unemployment will remain high this year. this is an hour and 15 minutes.
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>> chairman casey cannot be here today. i am pleased to stand in for him this morning. i would like to welcome the acting commissioner john galvin and dr. michael horrigan. i want to make a couple of overall comments about the economic recovery before diving into this month's unemployment numbers. in the second half of 2011, economic momentum picked up. the labor market continued to strengthen, adding 100,000 or more jobs for four straight months. we learned last week the gdp grew at a to 0.8% annual rate in the fourth quarter, an
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improvement over the previous three quarters of 2011. inventory rebuilding accounted for much of that growth. there are other encouraging signs. the manufacturing sector continues to show strength. of the manufacturing index reading of 54.1% in january marked the 30th consecutive month of expansion in the manufacturing sector. the unemployment rate has been moving in the right direction. in 2011, the unemployment rate fell from 9.4% to 8.5%. workers who have been out of work for long periods continue to struggle to find new jobs. more than 42% of the unemployed have been jobless for six
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months or more. need to help workers regain their footing and bolster the recovery by extending the payroll tax cut for the remainder of the year and continuing unemployment insurance for workers counting on the benefits to make ends meet. both policies put money in people's pockets, boosting demand, creating jobs, and strengthening our economy. the january jobs report shows that we're making progress. this report was positive. we must continue to invest in education, infrastructure, and our workers. we must also take on the housing crisis. without a sensible path toward in housing, we cannot sustain this economic recovery.
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today's unemployment report shows jobs gains. the private sector added jobs for the 23rd straight month. the economy gained 237,000 private-sector jobs. due to the loss of government jobs, the economy added to the 43,000 jobs during the month. the manufacturing sector added 237,000 jobs in 2011. it gained 50,000 jobs in january. that is always good news. professional and business services sectors added 37,000 jobs and have not lost jobs since march 2010. employment in state and local government was basically unchanged in january. in 2011, state and local governments shed 235,000 jobs and continued to face the budget challenges that presented a headwind for the economy.
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the overall unemployment rate is the lowest since the glory of -- february 2009. even with this progress, more than 12.7 million people are looking for work and cannot find it. the unemployment rate in the african-american community was 13.6%. among hispanic workers, the unemployment rate was 10.5%. veterans face an unemployment rate of 9.1%. today's employment report shows the labor market continues to recover. the jobs gained in january continue the momentum from the fourth quarter of 2011. however, unemployment remains too high, unacceptably high, and we need to stay focused on creating jobs. i look forward to your
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testimony. it gives me pleasure to yield to mr. brady. >> we welcome you in your new capacity to the joint economic committee hearing on the employment numbers. we know you well. you have had appearances at prior hearings. we appreciate your service and look forward to your testimony. we also welcome the members of your staff. these jobs numbers are encouraging. they are long overdue but encouraging. the unemployment rate going down slightly is as well. it masks underlying weakness in the economy. fewer americans are participating in the workforce than in 28 years. the labor force participation rate has not been this low since march of 1983.
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the labor market is not recovering fast enough considering how the press it has been. by comparison, we had already added 8.7 million new payroll jobs. today the u.s. economy at best is uncertain, stopping and starting. we're still 6 million jobs short of what we were before the recession began. labor force participation is the lowest in decades. unemployed workers still account for more than 8% in the shrunken work force. whatever claims the president has made about how much worse the recession has been, his policies have not stimulated the economy. we have a huge federal debt, large deficits, and uncertain job growth. more than 2.5 years passed since the recession formally ended, it real gdp growth is expected to decline this year. we averaged over 6% economic
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growth during the first 10 quarters of the reagan recovery. business in america is still awarding cash. -- hoarding cash. they still hold investment below where it was before the recession began. it is not stepping up hiring despite what the new payroll numbers say. consider the chart behind me. the green line shows hires and the bottom line shows layoffs. over 4 million hires compared to the layoffs. the key observation is that the hires remain where it was during the middle of the recession. with all the money the white house and members of congress have spent to stimulate
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employment, hires are still down from before the recession. the jobs gains today are not that impressive. the magnitude of benchmark revisions only underscores this problem. low hires helps to explain why labor force participation is down. if hiring has not risen in three years, there is a huge pool of unemployed competing for jobs. why stay in the labor force? they are simply dropping out. the unemployment rate and payroll jobs numbers are important statistics but do not reveal the full extent of the problem that america faces. the president's current actions and proposals are feeble attempts to lift a $15 trillion economy. at the same time, it is tightening regulations and imposing an avalanche of new
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regulations. he threatens to raise taxes while adding to our national debt with and disciplined deficit spending. strong private investment in job creation requires a balanced regulatory environment that encourages operation in a free-market economy. it engenders expansion and not retrenchment. the president is working against the free market economy with his policies, undermining it was subsidies and special favors in some areas, and harsh the constraining and punishing in others. that will cause anemic growth as the labor chart shows. slowing economic growth will cause the unemployment rate to rise this year and next. the congressional budget office projects the unemployment rate will hit 8.9% in the fourth quarter. americans are eager for work, but the economic policies of this president have failed. we need to change course.
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hard-working taxpayers deserve better. the federal government needs to get out of the way some hiring can accelerate. i look forward to hearing your testimony. i yield back. >> thank you very much. now i yield to ms. maloney. >> congratulations on your interim appointment. thank you for your many years of hard work of the joint economic committee in testimony. we welcome you. we have continuing good news. for the fifth month, there has been a drop in the unemployment rate to 8.3%. for the 23rd month, we have been gaining jobs to 243,000 jobs.
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i fail to understand the doomsday testimony of my good friend mr. brady with unemployment numbers falling in the number of jobs gaining. that shows we're making steady progress. steadyows we're making progress in covering recovering from the great recession. we have more work to do, including extending the payroll tax cuts for all of 2012, which is a priority of president obama and the democrats. i am hopeful the house will approve that before the current extension expires at the end of the month. i look forward to your testimony. i hope it contains even more good news than these very encouraging numbers in employment and job growth. i yield back. >> welcome to our committee. we will all miss dr. hall.
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he had a great deal of candor. he was the epitome of non- partisanship in his office. i tried to bait him but was never successful. we certainly look forward to your service here. the jobs numbers today is good news. it almost feels like i am in a charles dickens novel, the best of times, the worst of times. the american economy is hard to keep down. it has a unique ability to recover. i was in the private sector during the savings-and-loan crashed in texas in the late 1980's. no government action seemed to be responsible for the recovery that eventually recurred.
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it lasted for the next 25 years with unparalleled prosperity in our state. our state continues to enjoy prosperity. people move to texas because of the low regulation environment, the lack of income tax. texas has added four new congressional districts, a population size of arkansas has moved to texas in the last 10 years. it is possible for the public to do the right thing as far as job creation is concerned. it is not always possible that the government does the right thing. i would align myself closely with mr. brady's comments. it is the private sector, the real economy, the real folks who decide they're going to create something of their own. that is what drives our economy.
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i do not have a lot of faith in the administration's ability. we have been hearing various people from the administration testified. i cannot tell you the number of times we were told by christina romer that the economy was recovering only to find that those were weeds proliferating in the parking lot because no one was showing up for work because there were no jobs. they have the ability to make decisions and have made the wrong decisions. german brady referenced the keystone pipeline. no government spending required, just an international boundary crossed. the president's office was involved and he made the wrong decision. the president is barnstorming around the country talking about how he is creating jobs. here was something at his fingertips that would have created thousands of jobs with no government spending to put
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people back to work to restore dignity and self-worth and he turned his back on it. the cross-state pollution laws, there was no inclination prior to the issuance of the rules that the epa was even considering texas, and now we may have rolling brownouts during the hot summer months. the war on natural gas continues. domestic energy production will be part of the economic recovery whether this administration likes it or not. it is high time they stopped interfering with that. the affordable care act, i could go on and on about that. employers say they do not know what is ahead, what is the court going to do? people are so uncertain about what they're going to have to be providing in terms of employee benefits.
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they are genuinely frightened to grab and employees. the president goes around the country talking about jobs proposal. they all involve more government. let the private sector do what it does best. we are america. we have a history of doing this over and over. we need to decrease regulations and taxes to let our economy grow. i have faith in the american people. they can create jobs. what congress does is an impediment. i know what the administration does is counterproductive. i look forward to your testimony. i am certain we will learn a great deal. i yield back the balance of my time. >> i want to let mr. burgess know that one of mr. mccain's advisers said the business community is starting to engage.
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he said this report was unambiguously positive. >> i was going to say that mark zandi was 3 million jobs off. >> they have besieged the president to remove regulations. that was something they distinctly referenced in report before this committee. it is time for the administration to get out of the way. >> we're going in the right direction. you would think this was a doomsday reports. we are going in the right direction, thank god. >> when president obama took office, this country was losing 700,000 jobs a month. the first four months before
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president obama took office, this country lost 4 million jobs. the president put in a recovery package that is moving us in the right direction. can we at least agree is good news that for five months the unemployment has fallen and that for 23 months, we have been gaining jobs in this country? we should be pleased with this news. >> we do think these numbers are encouraging. our concern is the seventh when -- unemployment the rate is going down because people are giving up because they are not getting jobs. we think that is the wrong reason. >> the unemployment rate is 8.3%. last month it was 8.5%. ms. sanchez. >> i do not have a statement. i came this morning to figure out where we really are and get
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some ideas from people about how the continue the good trend we have seen in the last five months with respect to unemployment going down. i did not come here to hear political posturing. i am struck by the fact that this committee's job is to contemplate and think about, suggest and move forward ideas for other committees to implement. this going back and forth is degrading of this committee. is it frustrating thing for somebody who understands that
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when we see good numbers, all of the economists i saw this morning were saying that this is good. this is good. what can we do to make it better? that is what this committee is charged with. i am looking forward to hearing from the three gentlemen before us to try to figure out where we go from here. how do we go from here? how do we make this a positive thing for the american people? i am hoping to hear from my friends on the other side. >> we do apologize. >> let's work together on this. >> mr. campbell. mr. galvin, thank you for being
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here. we welcome you. >> thank you for the warm welcome this morning and for the opportunity to discuss the unemployment data released this morning. the unemployment rate decreased to 8.3% in january. >> a little louder, please. the green light should come on. >> it is on. the unemployment rate decreased to 8.3% in january. non-farm payroll employment rose by 243,000. in 2011, it increased by an average of 152,000 per month. job growth was widespread in the private sector in january with the largest gains occurring in professional and business
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services, leisure and hospitality, and manufacturing. professional and business services added 70,000 jobs over the month compared with an average monthly gain of 48,000 in 2011. nearly half of the january increase occurred in employment services as temporary health employment continued to trend up. employment rose in accounting and bookkeeping and architectural and engineering services. employment in leisure and hospitality increased by 44,000, mostly in food services. health care employment rose by 31,000 with job gains in hospitals and ambulatory care services. employment in wholesale and
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retail trade continue to trend up over the month. the goods producing sector, manufacturing increased by 50,000 in january. it was nearly all in durable goods manufacturing. fabricated metal products, machinery, and motor vehicles each added jobs. over the past eight months, construction employment rose by 52,000, mainly among specialty trade contractors. mining employment continue to expand in january. there was a recent low point in october of 2009. since then, they added 72,000 jobs. government employment was unchanged in january. over the past two months, employment in that sector has decreased by 276,000 with declines in local government, state government, excluding education, and the u.s. postal service. the average hourly earnings of all employees on private non- farm payrolls increased by 4 cents in january. over the past 12 months, the average hourly earnings have risen by 1.9%. from december 2010 to december 2011, the consumer price index for consumers increased by 3%. in accordance with annual
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practice, the data released today reflecting benchmark revisions, each year we reanchor the estimates to full council employment derived from the unemployment tax system. the non-farm unemployment was revised up by 162,000 or 0.1%. this compares to an average benchmark revision over the past 10 years of plus or minus 0.3%. before discussing the data from our survey of households, i would note that we have incorporated new population controls into the january estimates. the beginning in january of 2012 reflects population controls
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based on the census of 2010 as well as updates on migration and some adjustments in the estimation process. official estimates for december of 2011 and earlier months will not be revised to incorporate census 2010 base controls. the impact is negligible. two important household survey measures are lowered by the change in the composition of the population has seen in the new controls. the new controls rate populations of persons 55 and older and persons 16 years of age. both of these are less likely to be in the labor force than the general population. the unemployment rate continued to decline over the month. since august of 2011, the
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jobless rate has fallen from 9.1% to 8.3%. the number of unemployed persons has declined by about 1.2 million. in january, the number of persons unemployed for 27 weeks or more was little changed at 5.5 million. that made up 42.9% of the total. the labor force partition rate was unchanged after accounting for the impact of the bass population controls. to summarize, non-farm payroll employment increased by 243,000. the unemployment rate decreased to 8.3%. my colleagues and i would be glad to answer questions. >> thank you very much. i wanted to clarify one point. how much of the drop in the and on the rate was due to people finding jobs and how much was due to people dropping out of
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the labor force? >> the level of unemployment was down about 381,000 in january. since august, while it has been declining, the level of unemployment is down about 1.2 million. employment measured by the household surveys is up about 1.7 million. the numbers add up to a story of the unemployed finding jobs over these five months. the labor force has risen a little bit. >> the economic momentum that has occurred over the past few months seemed to have carried into the labor market, in addition to the jobs being created each month, weekly applications for initial unemployment benefits fell last week to three and 67,000 and remained below 400,000 for 10
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of the last 12 weeks. the unemployment rate last month fell to 8.3%. some have said increased hiring always occurs during the winter holidays. or in the case of the unemployment rate, a reduced labor force participation. commissioner, what are your perspectives regarding the job creation numbers and the extent to which they are attributable to the winter holiday shopping season or other factors? >> i am confident in the accuracy of the numbers. we adjust the numbers to remove
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abnormal recover -- normal seasonal variations such as christmas time hiring. >> the overall unemployment rate has fallen. are all demographic groups facing lower unemployment rates? how are african-american teenagers doing, and hispanic teenagers, and african-american and hispanic adults? >> i have the overall african- american and employment rate. it dropped two points this month down t. >> what do you attribute that to? >> the numbers add up to african-americans leaving unemployment and finding jobs. >> hispanics? >> hispanic rate was 10.5% in
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january. down about half a point. not a significant difference. >> one of the most persistent challenges in 2007 paltry economic collapse was the issue of long-term unemployment as i mentioned, some have been jobless for six months or more. 70% have been out of work for a year or longer. what long-term unemployment trends are you seeing and then i'll turn it over to mr. grady. >> the number of people looking for work have fallen by about 700,000. just as unemployment has fallen over the last year. the long-term unemployed still represent a large share of the unemployed. 42.9% this month, little different from port -- 43.9% a year earlier. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
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we are always encouraged by new job numbers. we see the unemployment rate going down. but we wanted to go down because people are getting jobs, not just getting out of the workforce. when the recession began, the labour participation rates, people who were actually in the workforce, was a 66%. today, according to the latest report, it is 63.7%, the lowest since 1983. are fewer workers in the work force indicative of a healthy economy? >> well, i mean, honestly, is that the sign of a help the economy that fewer people are working in the work force?
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>> some of the decline in the labour force since the recession due to demographic reasons. overall the productive capacity of the economy is higher. the more work, the more participation of workers in the labor force. >> cbo this week indicated that unemployment will rise this year and next and that at this pace of job growth that america will not get that to a level of unemployment before the recession until 2015. do you have any reason to disagree with those progression -- those projections? >> we avoid forecasting like that. it is an exercise that requires a lot of assumptions and judgments. we try to stick to the facts of describing the current labour market.
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>> in taking a look at the numbers of this month, in the numbers that you report each month, it is a number that could go up if businesses lay off fewer workers than before, or even though they may not be hiring more new ones, i do not know if that fact is widely recognized. could you comment on the term "job creation" in the context. >> there is lots of turning in the economy each month. this number we report from payroll surveys a net number reflecting the difference between the additions to payrolls and the subtractions from payrolls. >> in the chart behind me, we are still looking at the bigger picture. what does it take to have a healthy recovery? here we are years after the recession officially ended and
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we are still in this stop and start mode. clearly the new hires continue to be about where they were in the middle of the recession. can you comment? we get these reports not as frequently as we get your employment situation report. how could we get more insight into critical numbers like this before the next report comes out? how can we look more quickly at important indicators like this? >> the jolts numbers are about a month and a half behind the payroll numbers. we do not have any data that is more timely. -- more tightly to tell you what is going on. >> let me finish with this. we are looking for indicators of
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a help the economy. new jobs numbers are good. number of people working is a key indicator. my numbers show that if we actually had counted those that have given up that this month our unemployment rate actually would have gone up to 11.6%-0 11.7% 5. do you figure those numbers as you do your report? >> no, we do not. >> i yelled back, mr. chairman. >> rossi is very much. >> process for this report. it is good news, especially in the number of the unemployment rate dropping for five straight months. that is very good news. we are treading in the right direction with 23 months of job gains. 243,000 far this month alone. can you point out other bright spots in this report? any other good news you see that
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the country is trending in the right direction? >> the rise in payroll employment the smut is a sizable one compared to payroll employment last year, which averaged monthly gains of 100 to 2000. -- 152,000. some of the gains this month in the private sector were widespread. professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, and how care employment. manufacturing gained 50,000 jobs. construction has been flat since 2008, but i have recorded a couple of increases totaling 52,000 in nonresidential specialty trade contractors. >> often january numbers do not
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show this kind of game. is this unusual for january numbers? >> no. we adjust the numbers. we try to take the normal variation out of there. you are looking at the underlying trend in the labour market. >> i am interested in making sure the economy improves for all sectors. can you tell me whether the unemployment rate has been dropping for women or just men seeing this unemployment rate drop? >> i will get right with you on that. we have seen the unemployment rate for men dropped a bit more than for women. it went up much more during the
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recession than the rate for women did. they both went up, but they are both lower -- they are not as low as they were at the start of the recession obviously. >> many state and local governments have been laid off workers do you think that is part of the cause of the women's unemployment rate? >> the fact that the men's rate has come down more than the women's is a reflection of the fact that men were more affected in industries that were very hard hit cyclically, like manufacturing and construction. >> when you were talking about the long-term unemployed and you said earlier that the long-term unemployed was continuing. do you have a breakdown in age of the people that are saying --
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the people that are giving up? is a predominantly 55 and older? do you have a breakdown in age in the long-term unemployed? is there a trend in that sector? >> 1 second. we do have that. >> let's move on and he will find that. >> also, do you break down regions? are there certain regions that are booming or doing better with the employment and the dropping of the unemployed rate? the south, the east, the west, or urban areas? are they more hard hit than others? do you have any trends in geography and how the workers of our country are fairing?
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>> we will have to get you -- back to you on the breakdown of the long-term unemployed. we will also get back to you on the geographic differentials and the drop in the unemployment rate. >> thank you for your hard work. my time has expired. >> thank you, mr. chairman. sometimes we get these statistics. it happens with cp i as well. the feel on the ground as different than the statistics. recently cpi was kind of low but the feel on the ground, the things people were buying were going up at a faster rate. i come from one of the fact the unemployment states -- california. the feel on the ground is that as much as the main statistic here is good, the feel on the ground is not quite as good this. one of the things i wanted to
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ask about, correct me if i i am rahm, where is the unemployment -- where did the unemployment percentage drop that the widest measure of unemployment, which includes the marginally attacked and part-time people who would prefer to be full time, actually increased slightly to 23.8% if i have my number is correct. what does that mean? how does that happen? the sort of headline number went down, but the broader number went up. >> of the widest measure is referred to -- the widest measure does include all of the margins attacked and the part- time. that is at 15.1% in january. that is as compared to 8.3% for the basic unemployment rate.
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that was unchanged over the month. >> that was unchanged, but the other went down. that means that maybe some of these people that became employed became employed at part-time? it is that what that means? by the way, what is marginally attached mean? >> workers who want and are available to work. they have looked in the last year for jobs, but they have not worked in the last month. >> they have looked in the last year but not have looked in the last month. quite they have to have looked in the lap but to be considered unemployed. >> they are employed, but you do not count them in the number that includes the 8.3%. on the broader number -- 15.1% of the population is the number
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that is not employed or is underemployed. that did not change? >> correct. it has declined pretty much in step with the decline in the regular unemployment rate over the last five months. >> the total workforce -- civilian labor force -- was actually upped democrat -- was actually up? sometimes at the numerator and the denominator drops when people drop out of the workforce. it makes it look like we are doing better, but we are
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actually not employing more people. >> over these five months where the unemployment rate has come down. 8%, the level of unemployed has declined by 1.2 million. at the same time, the level of employed is up 1.7 million. for some of those is the labor force. you get a rise in the labor force of about 500,000. >> i yelled back, mr. chairman. >> thank you very much. >> take you, mr. chairman.
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i want to go along with the discussion points as to my colleague from orange canny was talking about. i am interested in -- because you mentioned population in your report or a population group, i am trying to understand what that means. in particular, when you look at the overall numbers, there is this thing called the baby boomers. a lot of them are getting to retirement age. supposedly, that was the largest group of people in a particular time frame that the u.s. had seen. my question to you is, are we seeing the baby boomers retire and therefore be out of the workforce and is that having an impact on the numbers? are we graduating or are we seeing enough young people entering into the workforce that is making up those numbers? what is the relationship between the two ends of the employment line? my next question is, could you in some way characterize what is going on with the used in particular? those with a college degree and those with that because it does
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seem that on a -- in the weeds, where we are when we go home, children are not getting employment this by getting an education. >> i will have my colleague, mr. nardone, handle that. >> in terms of looking -- one thing that will be worth looking at is looking at labor participation rates. one thing that has been happening is the labor force participation rates for people age 55 and over, which would include the baby boomers, has actually been going up a little bit over time. labor force participation rates for younger people over a longer period have been trending down. young people who are in school can be in the labor force, obviously. they could be looking for work.
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in general, people who are in school are less likely to be in the labor force than those who are not in school. >> ok. what you are telling me is -- do you think that might be attributed to the fact that maybe people who thought they had a retirement lost their retirement or they do not feel as comfortable about having enough money? maybe they are living longer and they are going back and doing the mcdonald's job or a part-time job or what have you. >> we do not know. we know that the increase in labor force participation rate for people 55 and over actually predated the recession. it had been going on since the 1990's, really. >> interesting. ok. i know that someone asked about this.
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this is about geography. it seems to me -- can we tell where the jobs are being created because it seems to me that a lot of these jobs that are being created may be moving south or southwest in the country. can you get us number so we can look at where jobs are really being created and where we are losing them? >> i do have some numbers on that with me today. our state numbers have lagged a month. looking at the december numbers, the states with the largest gain since the national employment trough in early 2010, on a job basis, have been texas, california, florida, the largest aids. on a percentage basis, percentage growth -- texas,
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california, florida, the largest states. >> my last question. when we talk about the underemployed or searching for the job you want, do we have -- i know that you gave us a particular average per wage of $23 or $24. does that include benefit and are we seeing changes in the type of jobs we are getting and what type -- is there a smaller benefit package going with those steps? are there numbers available? >> those numbers i gave you are wages only. we issued a report earlier this week which showed the continuation of the trend of the cost of benefits to
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employers growing faster than the cost of wages. i do not have any information about the nature of the benefit packages of jobs that are being created right now. >> let me just rephrase that. if i am an average employer and i am getting an average position on the payroll for the first time, i am paying $24 but the benefit package to them is actually costing me more than it used to per employee? >> correct. >> i am going to stay away from the policy issues and i am going to make sure i understand the data. i want to make sure i am reading it correctly. the labor force participation rate dropped from 64% to 62.7%? >> correct. >> the number of discouraged workers was up to 1.0 5 million people.
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>> correct. >> the number of other marginally attached workers grew from 1.59 5 million to 1.7 5 million last month? >> yes. i have to do the math. that looks right. >> the number of folks who are employed for economic reasons grew from 8 million people to 8.2 million people last month? >> correct. the unemployed by the widest measure grew then from 23.7 million people to 23.8 million people last month? >> yes. i have to dig for that level. the rate went from 15.2 to 15.1. >> the percentage of unemployed rose?
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>> yes. >> the graph that chairman brady offered behind us shows that the number of total hires is roughly the same now on a monthly basis as it was in late 2008, would you agree? >> if those numbers are correct, yes, i would. i have some data from our jolt survey that shows that hiring has increased some sense the end of the recession. it does not appear that that line is going up. >> that is correct. there were new hires last month. if you go back to late 2008, which is the blue dotted vertical line there, current hires are below that level.
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>> folks who are unemployed, part-time, the unemployment rate in this country is 15.1% if you add them all together? >> correct. >> you mention the labor force has crown's lightly and it looks like it has from 153 million people to 154 million people. given the population group over the same. of time, is that the growth that you would have expected? >> that depends on the growth of the population -- which percentage participates in the labor force. >> i am sorry. say that again.
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you would expect the number of jobs to grow 150,000 jobs? >> you expect the labor force -- you need about 150,000 jobs per month to keep up with the growth in the labor force. >> if we add 150,000 jobs per month, all other things being equal, the unemployment rate will not come down? >> correct. all other things being equal. the participation rate will stay the same and the jobs being south will go to the new folks coming into the labor force. >> the rate of job creation last month, all of the things being equal, how long will it take to get unemployment down to 6%? >> that require speculation. i cannot predict a rate at which people will enter the labor force. i can tell you that the job growth we have seen since
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employment turned around as measured by the payroll survey. there are still 5.6 million jobs to be gained in order to regain all the jobs lost. >> on page three, you indicated that government jobs are down considerably since -- over the course of the last 12 months. 276,000 jobs lost. this excludes education and the u.s. postal service. if you add education back in, what does the job loss look like? >> i will get that for you. that is the total of the year. >> yes, sir.
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>> 276,000 jobs were lost in government over 2011. that is the total federal, state, education and the non- education components. >> i am sorry. i am looking at your notes and it says that state government, excluding education -- any gains in education were excluded? >> that is a way of breaking down the state government total. some people are interested in that. >> i apologize for going along. where are the education jobs contained on page -- the list on page 3? >> -- >> it looks like we have added education jobs since the beginning of the recession. on the list on page three, if we hire a teacher, what
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category does it go into? >> in terms of local government education, looking over the year, currently there are 7.8 million in local government education. that is down from 7.9000001 year ago. state government education -- is about 2.4 million. private education may have gone up. >> ok. education is roughly flat over the course of the last year. >> if you are looking at government education, state and local, 8 is done mainly in local areas. state government education -- it is down mainly in local areas. >> thank you, mr. chairman. we've looked at the previous recessions and the recovery.
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everyone understands that the recovery has been slower and much more prolonged than other recessions that have occurred during my lifetime and the years preceding that. can you give us reasons why the recovery has been so painfully slow? >> i do not know that i have their reasons. i certainly can confirm that as compared to the recessions in the 1970's, it is much lower. as compared to the 2003 recession, job recovery after this recession is somewhat slower. >> well, i took the liberty of preparing some economic data
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and i realize that is not my forte. i decided to plot the unemployment rates of the last 10 years. i put on the graph also, since it has been the subject of some national discussion, the minimum wage increases that have recently occurred. i realize there is a risk in relating two things that made not be related, but do you have a comment on the association between the lines? >> we do not engage in that policy analysis. >> this changes the unemployment rate. there's some things the administration has done, but there are other things that congress has done. there are some things that congress has done when speaker pelosi took over as speaker of the house. what i see in looking at this is a period of stability.
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perhaps we are achieving a new equilibrium at the other end of the craft. if you index the minimum wage to inflation, would it have this effect that occurred during the 2007 --? >> i can comment on policy questions like that. >> let me ask you this, did the size of the labor force change this past month? >> yes. >> the civilian labor force? >> yes. after adjustment for the population controls, it was up 250,000. that is a small change. >> another way of looking at is
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not in the labor force increased from 86.7 million to 87.9 million -- is that accurate? >> there is an issue with this month's numbers that was mentioned in the testimony. we incorporated new population estimates that are based on the census 2010. this makes the difference between december and january not particularly comparable. of those new population controls show that there were more people over the age of 55 and between the ages of 16 to 24 groups that are less likely to be in the labor force than the general population. you have what looks like a big bump up in the number of people not in the labor force if you adjust for those population controls -- is down by 75,000. the size of the population that is not in the labor force.
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>> this may fall into the category of statistics, but still 1.2 million people lost from the labor force -- that is a big chunk of people. we have made it look not so bad, but you have to worry if we are losing people from the labor force at that rate, it -- you have made your numbers better as far as the unemployment rate if your goal post is november 2012, but people are feeling in the country -- people say, do not talk to be about the economic recovery because even in texas, we are not talking about it. if i was visiting california, i would hear those same sentiments, perhaps even more strongly. let me just ask you in the time i have remaining, the fact that there are fewer payroll jobs than there were pre-recession
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and this month you have gained 200,000, so coming back at a rate of 200,000 per month -- say this month is the new normal and this is the new benchmark. every month will be just like this month. when do we get back to the pre- recession level? >> it will take 23 more months of growth at this pace -- 243,000 per month. >> the length of time is going to extend -- what do you look to -- let me ask you this. you referenced in your figures in mining and -- is that oil and gas development? we did see a positive reflection there. even with the price of natural gas being low and the price of oil has maintained a high level.
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the overall outlook for that sector -- is it something positive or negative? >> we avoid forecasting, but mining has been growing recently due to support activities for oil and gas mining. >> again, i reemphasize that the administration can go a long way towards the economic growth of this country. i do not know whether i am yielding back time or if i am running over. >> you have to went over two minutes. >> i yield back. >> let me pick up on something that we were talking about earlier. the public sector jobs -- we have lost a lot of jobs. 276,000?
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>> correct. that was a loss -- that is correct. 276,000 government jobs lost over the year. >> do you see a trend? is that a steady trend? we see a lot of complaints about public service workers and making government smaller. i know we are talking about state, local, and federal? >> correct. the government has been losing pretty steadily since near the end of 2010. >> all right. the question that i always ask is, somebody is watching this today and they were trying to find employment based upon what you see it there.
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what are the areas they would tell them -- not you would be giving advice, but he would tell them what seems to be growing. the jury reaching the geographic areas? somebody who is really desperate for a job and trying to get something out of the hearing as to where they might go to get a job. >> we just published our projections for 2020. they provide a job outlook for occupations. to summarize, these projections show allows -- the largest number of jobs are in three classes of occupations. office and administration support occupations -- things like customer service representatives. jobs like registered nurses,
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which we project to grow by 700,000 jobs by 2020. physicians and surgeons are in that group, too. the group that the third largest trade of increase for projected growth in sales and related occupations. jobs like sales representatives and cashiers. >> what about geographic areas? if somebody wants to move from a state that has a very high unemployment rate -- i think you mentioned earlier a few states that were doing pretty good. what states would you tell them that they might want to look at? >> -- >> i knew taxes would be one. >> regarding unemployment rate,
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states with the lowest unemployment rate in our most recent release, december 2011, were north dakota, south dakota, new hampshire, nebraska, vermont, iowa, minnesota. >> all right. three minutes -- >> i will not need that much time. >> just to follow up on a question the chairman s. the 276,000 government jobs that were lost, what percentage does that number represents? >> i will have to look that up. >> i had thought i had seen 22 million government jobs as of last month.
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>> is this state, local, and federal? >> yes, sir. i believe it to be. >> that would be a decline of -- 1.2% of the level in january 2011. >> for all of 2011, the size of the government work force shrank by 1.2%? >> yes. >> we are still 5.6 million jobs short in the overall economy from the beginning of the recession. what percentage does that represent of the overall work force? >> it is about 4% of the current work force.
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i do not really have where it was from the start. >> it would be a little bit hire. >> thank you, chairman. >> typically, in your experience, purely from a statistical perspective and not from a policy prospective, will unemployment benefits run out -- when they do, what happens to the unemployment rate? >> that is a policy question. >> from a statistical analysis, you have looked at it from previous years. is there a trend or is this a non sequitur? >> we have not looked at the relationship between unemployment insurance and the rise of the unemployment rate. >> could you look at that and respond to me between this month and next month?
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that holds a lot of interest for a lot of us. >> we can certainly looked round at what other studies are out there and bring them to your attention. >> the bureau clearly tracks the length of time that folks are on unemployment. is there data available that would or could show us when folks on the average come off of unemployment and go back to the work force whether it be in workweek two or eight or 27? >> and we do not actually track when people are on unemployment insurance. we have some statistics for people who are unemployed. how long they are unemployed before they either find employment or go out. we develop that over the past year and we have provided an article that we wrote about that. >> thank you. i appreciate that. >> i want to thank you very much. it does appear that we are
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moving in the right direction. not moving as fast as all of us would like because there are so many people unemployed. i see it every day and i live amongst it. the fact is, we are moving in the right direction. thank you very much. >> thank you. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> nevada's gop caucuses are to
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water. what's wrote to the white house coverage live tomorrow night and throughout the day. follow on my with live reports from the individual caucuses and their results. c-span.org/campaign2012. >> republic could prevent the candidate mitt romney said the lower employment -- on a plan rate was good news and he hoped it would continue. the former governor made these remarks outside of reno at the western nevada supply company. following the comment, he spoke to the company bought three employees in the next room. nevada is holding their caucuses tomorrow. this is about 30 minutes. >> i will answer that question, but i appreciate from your perspective. the policies of the
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administration have been real helpful to you? i believe the economy will come back. it always does. it has taken a lot longer than it should have to come back in part because of the policies of this administration. suffered, businesses have laid off people. for that, the president deserves the blame that he will receive in this campaign. i think there is a disadvantage that he had upon being elected, a democrat house and a democrat said that that did not think he needed to work with the opposition party. he did not realize that he had to bring people together. the role of the leader is not just to take the people that agree with you, but to bring americans together, and he violated that premise.
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he pushed through a number of pieces of legislation that his base voters wanted and made it very hard for enterprises to recover. whether it was obamacare, dodd- frank, we talk about banks not loaning. there are over 2000 pages of dodd-frank, they don't know what will happen to them. if the regulators and inspectors will come in. they have pulled back. there is a difference in working with home owners to renegotiate mortgages, they want to put them in the foreclosure. it has become less flexible and not more flexible. i was with the head of the big money-center bank in new york and they said they have
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literally hundreds of workers working on implementing dodd- frank. community banks don't have hundreds of lawyers, so they tend to freeze. i will just note, part one is the president never let anything before and he came into a setting where he didn't have to work and made it harder for business to regroup to get the economy on the right track. i listened to the state of the union address the other night, and he laid out what he thought you had to do to get in the economy to grow. i was listening very carefully, probably more carefully than you all were. there were four or five things. he said to lower corporate taxes, he has raised them. he said less regulation, he has
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increased them. he has made it almost impossible to get coal, oil, and gas on the ground. he said we need to crack down on cheaters like china, and he hasn't. it simply proves the point that what he has done is not getting this economy going. i look to do the things i have described. president obama has hired over 200,000 new government regulators. add a time where we need to speed up the process, get banks lending, get the drillers for oil and gas, people want to build new facilities and roads, it should speed up and not slowed down. this recovery has been slower
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than it should have been, people are suffering longer than they should have to suffer. i don't know how long it is going to take. i hope job creation continues and we get people back to work. that is the antidote for falling home prices. it is the antidote for what is going on right here in the supply business. people able to buy new things, by a home, remodel and get back to work. this president has not helped the process, he has hurt it. you don't think you have a friend in washington, and if i am the president, i will see what you do as being a very good thing. a patriotic and good thing, which is employing people. i want businesses to hire, grow, and expand.
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sure if i am president i will work tirelessly to listen to you and people like you across the country to encourage business to invest and grow, to make the hard decisions that it is to hire somebody. i am concerned about what you have described, and we'll look at that. i have not begun making promises that suggest spending lots and lots of money. some politicians promise everything people want to hear, and clearly, if investment and infrastructure will yield greater returns on people willing to invest in business and hire more people that will pay more taxes, that is the kind of investment i will make. i like spending money which is associated with jobs and returns and people going back to
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work. what i don't like is spending money where there is no prospect of return. and the investment will be lost. that is the worry he has about his kids and his grandkids. i have very much identified with your comment in that regard.
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i fear that an early permanent would place a tremendous amount of pressure on the state of nebraska to hurry through its review process. trans canada has been granted plenty of free passes and they seek another. they want political allies to free them from the tangled mass that they themselves helped to create. perhaps it is time for the free passes to come to an end. if it truly is american, it
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should be able to withstand a rigorous and comprehensive review that it deserves and has not gotten. if this pipeline is built, thousands of us in the heartland will have to live and work next to it for the rest of our lives. and probably for the rest of my kids and my grandkids lives. it will cost hundreds of our waterways and it will only get riskier with the passage of time. short circuit in the review process would be an injustice, a gross injustice to all of us that have to live and work along and the half of this pipeline. many of us feel that the approval of this project would strip us of individual property rights. we don't feel any foreign corporation has any right to take our land for their private
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use and game. especially when there has been no determination that this project is in the national interest. we have seen no evidence that this pipeline is anything other than an export pipeline providing access to the oil market for canadian -- aside from a few months of temporary employment, yields few other benefits. mr. terry himself, in a speech a few weeks ago in the state of nebraska said there would be no more than 30 permanent jobs as a result of the pipeline project. we are being asked to risk some of our greatest national resources and a lot of folks livelihoods, and we will get 30 permanent jobs.
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completion of the pipeline would actually increase the price of the oil we are currently importing from canada. this is an undisputed fact. really, does this make any sense? we help them build a pipeline and as a result, we end up with higher oil and fuel prices and the midwest? why don't we take a gun out and shoot ourselves in the flood, that would make more sense to me. perhaps it is just my nebraska logic, but from my perspective, it appears that the united states is getting the short end of the stick on this deal. canada and the big oil companies are reaping all the rewards while americans are being left behind. thank you very much. >> we appreciate your opening statement. i will defer my five minutes of questions and recognize the
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representative from kansas. >> i asked to enter a record that appeared in the wall street journal written by ted olson. i understand mr. waxman doesn't like this pipeline. but the incredible political nature became apparent when he had his chance to ask questions. he spent four minutes and 31 seconds testifying. he brought to folks out from the united states government, ostensibly because he was keenly interested. he thought it was absolutely critical that we hear from them. 29 seconds. it did not appear to me that there is anything but blatant politics. mr. waxman has the benefit standard.
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his notion of legislation, apparently, is that you decide a piece of legislation depending on who benefits. >> i want to make a point of order. i know the rules on the house floor would not permit the gentleman to make such a personal attack. a member's motivations or actions, i am happy to answer it when i get my turn, but if i don't have enough time for questions of these witnesses, you will say i did not ask them enough questions. i think it is inappropriate and i make a point of order that the words be stricken. >> will the gentleman hold for one minute? >> certainly. >> unless the gentleman wants to withdraw the comments? >> i am happy to withdraw them
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so we can proceed. >> i withdraw my point of order. >> certainly. we have a standard that is being applied by folks across the aisle. we tried to decide if there is a personal benefit. if a person in order would not benefit. this is a $7 billion private investment. i watched this committee last year as we were debating and discussing. it was different. i watched them on the floor debate obamacare. there was no discussion about who might benefit from those in taking from the taxpayer. i think it is intellectually dishonest to now, for us, to
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have a different standard. we should have a standard about policy. not a standard where we look to see who benefits. i yield back my time. >> at this time, we record meant -- recognize the gentleman from california. >> i want to point out that sense it has been commented i am being political, the chairman of the subcommittee raised the issue of whether the president is in the full campaign mode trying to respond to the extremists in the environmental side. he said that perhaps we should look at mr. soros who has say train it could take this pipeline to texas. my point was never that --
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>> it was mr. buffett. not mr. soros. >> excuse me. the other guy you do not like. republican colleagues make several arguments for building the pipeline. they say we need the oil and the lower gas prices. the facts do not support these claims. the energy information agency is projecting that america's oil consumption is not growing. it is no longer growing. the reason is because we have insisted on more efficient automobiles that have better mileage.
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the standards for these will further reduce our oil dependence. with growth and consumption in check, i do not think we have to be stampeded into something like this deal. this pipeline will not reduce gas prices. last year, transcanada admitted that the pipeline will raise oil prices in the midwest. there is a debate about how much but it will not lower them. that to leads to national security as a reason why we need to go along with this pipeline. we have the general anderson, could you explain your experience? >> 31 years in the army. i served in the pentagon for two years as a chief would guess -- logistics officer. i was david petraeus' officer. >> you did not think this
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pipeline was in our national security interests. you said oil dependence threatens our national security. is this a controversial view? >> i do not think so. i am not sure if i would call myself a national security expert. i am an expert in the operational impact of our oil addiction in iraq and afghanistan. i do work in afghanistan curious i spent a lot of time over there with my private interest and i can tell you we have not changed it at all in 10 years. we are incredibly wasteful and inefficient. we do not have the renewable technology we need to save soldiers' lives. >> this is a different kind of oil. a car -- comes from tar sands and can have problems in the
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pipeline. transcanada has one pipeline that has been around for a year and a half and they have had a 14 spills over the last year and half. a lot of people are concerned about the safety of the pipeline. is not carrying this crude oil, if i understand the situation. to get the tar sand ready, there has to be such a use of energy to refine it to look through the pipeline that it will cause us more greenhouse gas and at to climate change problems. >> that is exactly the way i see it. i think it is detrimental to this nation to continue the co2 emissions we are doing and will
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no doubt to do with the encouragement of this pipeline. it brings about climate change and global instability. the likelihood that soldiers will have to fight and die in order to protect the stability of the world, it is much more likely. >> the threat of oil spills from the pipeline is another reason why people oppose it. an engineer for transcanada's first pipeline wrote an op-ed in the the linkedin internal star -- lincoln star. he said it cracked when workers tried to weld it. i also have the letter -- a letter from mr. klink i would
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ask consent be put into the record. >> without objection. >> thank you for your testimony. i think we should hear another side. not have it ramrodded through the congress. this is a big decision. we will live with the consequences for 50 or 100 years. it is in the wrong direction in terms of carbon emissions and pipeline safety, in terms of danger to the people around the pipeline and the taking of the property for this special interest purpose. >> the gentleman from virginia is recognized. >> i appreciate you gentleman taking your time to be with us
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today. we may disagree on some of this but i appreciate your rights under our constitution to speak to your government and commend you for being here. i do have some issues with some of the comments about the jobs. we can argue over the numbers but one thing that i find interesting is that if you accept the argument that the oil is going to come in and go to other countries, you also have to except the argument that before it goes to the other countries it is going to be refined in the united states. to do that, you have to add jobs. you add strength in our economy. i recognize the situation you have, mr. thompson, the property rights. i have not looked at that but i
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see a situation where it has been studied for a long time and i believe there are jobs that are created by having that keystone pipeline. others do not feel we should use carbon-based energy. i think that general falls into that category. i do not agree with that. i would be remiss if i did not tell you i think for the foreseeable future we will need to use oil, coal, natural gas. we should be looking at green energy sources long term, i would not want to put us in a situation where our military had to rely on solar panels to move forward. it is something we should look at but over the next 20 years, we are going to need our carbon
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based fuels. >> we recognize the gentleman from texas for five minutes. >> i want to thank the witnesses. i agree with my colleagues that if you are exporting fuel from canada, exporting is good. it creates jobs. the real question is refining it. i want to remind my colleagues that we attempted to make sure we did it in a cleaner fashion and a safer fashion and that they opposed us every step of the way. we got a bill out of the house that we have not been able to conclude. i hope they recognize the necessity of safe and clean for finding in this country in the way we can meet all of the demands.
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general anderson, is that right? thank you for your service, first of all. thank you, mr. thompson. i and stand what you're saying and i agree with you. i am from texas. i still believe in fossil fuel. how much longer will we require a reliable source of fossil fuel in this country? many of the studies that are published, from the oil companies. they will tell you that we're going to have domestic dependence for some years to come and globally for a longer time. i share your fear. that my support may expand the duration of the time that we may be dependent. my position is, we need it.
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i would rather get there from canada and -- than anyone else. that does not mean we should not continue to aggressively of view efficiency and conservation and alternative. i agree with him. there has to be a balance to be able to accomplish this. to my colleagues on the other side of the fence, the problem is you have almost 100% dedication to fossil fuel. as much as i enter stand they have to be part, i will give you a quote. he makes reference to how we export today for fossil fuels. "we are burning the furniture to heat the house." that is the caution. be realistic about our needs for the future.
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how we wean ourselves from dependency on fossil fuel. everyone will tell you that expiration and refining is a twilight industry. i am here to tell you it is a long twilight. we cannot afford to be caught without an adequate supply and depend on countries that will be in jeopardy for years to come. a i think you for your observation. mr. thompson, there is all lot of complaining about regulation, it is over burdensome. the greatest exercise is eminent domain. you made reference to that. have you been approached by transcanada to negotiate anything regarding some possible use of your property? >> absolutely. >> can you tell me about that?
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>> yes. we were first notified verbally that they intended to use eminent domain if we did not go along with the offer they presented us for the use of our property. we definitely declined to enter into agreement with them. they followed up with a written letter expressly stating that if we did not accept the terms of the agreement that, if we did not accept those terms within 30 days, they would immediately proceed to take our land through eminent domain. my problem with that, sir, they were still in the permitting process at this time. yet and they are threatening me
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with an eminent domain. they did this throughout the state of nebraska. i will guarantee you that many of the easements that land owners signed was due to the fact that transcanada told them, threatened them with eminent domain. there are not too many ranchers or citizens willing to take on a multibillion-dollar corporation. >> my time is up. i hate cutting you off but i think you. -- thank you. >> i recognize the gentleman from california. >> first of all, general anderson i appreciate your concerns about the environmental issues. you're concerned about this pipeline and its short-term and long-term impact is what we want to talk about.
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do you feel the construction of the alaskan pipeline in the 1970's was detrimental to the national security? >> at that time, that was the right thing to do. much different situation, of course. now the world has changed. greenhouse gases and climate change and instability are things that are at the forefront then there were 40 years ago. >> general, do you think the physics of environmental reality and the reality of the political instability of the middle east have changed dramatically since the congress voted on that pipeline? >> i am not sure if i understand. >> do you believe that the
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physics of the environmental impact, issues like climate change, toxic emissions, and the situations that have historically been unstable in the middle east, the you think those issues weren't at least, if not proceed, reality and that time? >> i do not think there was a developed -- they were as developed as they are today. >> that is my point. they were still there. do you believe to use or the development and expansion of nuclear power is contributing to national security or is it a
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detriment? >> i consider nuclear power to be clean energy. >> i appreciate you using that. one of my frustrations is people mix the word renewable as if it is all clean and deny energy across the line. the number one purchaser of nuclear reactors is the united states government. i appreciate that. do you believe the mandated use of ethanol helps in the security of this country and its long-term stability? >> not really. >> in other words, you go along with those of us who are addressed to the issue that ethanol is not only an expensive, and on sustainable option, but it is also a polluting option that was not
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clarified when the mandate occurred. >> i would agree with that. >> even though we tried to warn washington. >> i would agree with that. but i am not an expert in that field. >> we're getting back to our energy policy affects security. would you agree that giving ethanol and all of the benefits like tax credits while denying other options the same package is counterproductive to the energy independence? >> i would agree with that. >> thank you for your testimony. i appreciate we approach the challenges. i would ask the record showed the general is clear about the fact that one some people
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perceived as damaging in washington may not be perceived by the general or myself by being damaging or may be essential for security purposes. >> we recognize the gentleman from massachusetts. >> the keystone pipeline would carry some of the dirtiest oil in the world through the middle of our country. it is a double barreled threat to the environment, pumping millions of tons of pollutants that cause global warming and risking oil spills into our ground water. we have been told that it would lower gas prices, even though transcanada projects that oil prices and its profits would rise because it can charge more for keystone oil in the gulf than a dozen the midwest.
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we have also been told to get over our concerns because the oil would enable us to reduce our dependence on oil imported from on friendly the leister nations. it turns out that these benefits may be a complete fiction. manna of the refineries or the keystone crude will be sent say they will re-export the fuel. this means that when these refineries re-export they will not have to pay u.s. taxes on those exports. when i asked the president of transcanada whether he would agree to ensure that the oil and refined fuel stay here in united states instead of being reexported, he said now. -- no.
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the canadian prime minister said, "when you look at the iranians, i think that illustrates how critical is that supply for the united states to be north american." general, do you think this bill to legislate a permit is guaranteed to reduce our dependence on oil transported through the strait if we do not have day provision? >> i do not believe it will guarantee energy security at all for our nation. >> the american petroleum institute has cited our friendly relationship with canada and finds americans would prefer more oral from canada.
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under this bill, are there guarantees that all of the friendly canadian oil and sent through the pipeline will be sold here in the united states? >> i am not aware of any guarantees. >> what i'm hearing is there is a threat because they are extracting the oil from tar. there is a greater likelihood of a dangerous warming on the planet and that the benefits as the pipeline goes through our country are not certain in terms of the oil staying in our country. what is the benefit to the american people? >> there is no benefit. i believe it is a detriment. it keeps our addiction to oil. our addiction to oil makes us vulnerable.
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>> mr. thompson, the route to that transcanada proposed would have gone through nebraska's sand hills. even if a new route would avoid it, will they go through the aquifer? >> we do not know where they're proposing. that is a problem. what i heard, it would still cross the aquifer. >> what would happen to the water table? >> our water table is so high that the pipeline would be buried in many places if any type of leak, it will go into our water supply. >> what would that impact be? >> it could be from small to
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tremendous. you have all kind of small communities. i have livestock and irrigation. if they become contaminated, that property becomes useless. >> how you feel about that? -- do you feel about that? >> i am angry as hell. when people want to play a political football games with my livelihood. >> we agree with you. we can see how their public health could be in jeopardy. >> i think somewhere in this process we need to look at this. people who are going to be impacted by this. it is not all about money and
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this and that. there are people's livelihoods' at stake. thousands of us, and our resources. that needs to enter the debate somewhere. >> i will now recognize myself for five minutes. the first thing i want to do is read from a memorandum from a representative of the u.s. department of energy. he talks about the issue, this oil coming from canada that is going to be exported out of the u.s. i'm going to read this verbatim. this provides data and analysis about a number of issues. it concludes that refiners will likely consume additional
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canadian oil well in excess of what would be provided by the keystone xl pipeline. it also concludes that exports from port arthur are highly unlikely. now, when you hear this argument that, as the president stated in his decision not to make a decision, he said one of the reasons was that he did not have sufficient information to make a decision, that congress did not give him enough time. as i stated, this pipeline has been under study for 40 months. in the fall of 2011, a supplemental draft statement was issued by the state
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department. after months of public hearings along to the proposed route, the state department issued its final impact statement and in that final statement between two options, not building or building the pipeline, they indicated that the preferred option was to build the pipeline as proposed. now, a person on the outside not paying any attention, everyone expected the state department was going to make its final decision sometime in the fall of 2011. all of a sudden it announced they said it would seek a new route through the state of nebraska and undergo another round of studies that would not be complete until the first
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quarter of 2013. that was the stated reason for president obama not making a decision, because of this new route through nebraska. when some of the political leaders realized their concerns were being used by the president to stop this project, they had a special session of the legislature. a new law was passed to give the nebraska department of environmental quality the ability to evaluate a new route for the pipeline within nebraska poster borders in half the time frame that the state department in vision. taking that development into account, the provision that was put into the act, allowed the president to approve the pipeline while the state
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completed its review. since the rest of the pipeline route out of nebraska remains unchanged, there was really no reason for the white house or state department do believe there is not enough time to make the decision by february 21. that is what we wanted to talk
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about. there was a clear explanation of all of this. i think i clearly stated it. in concluding, mr. anderson, -- general anderson, we appreciate you being here. i thank you for your service to our country. mr. thompson, we appreciate you being here and speaking up on your personal views about this issue. nebraska is in the big 10. right? ok. we know they will continue to do well. we will keep the record open for 10 days for any additional material that might want to be submitted. with that, we will conclude the hearing. thank you for your assistance in helping us out. with that, the hearing is
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concluded. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> today on washington journal, the joint investigation on freddie mac's business practices. after that, a discussion about the january unemployment rate with robert feldman of georgetown university. later, a look ahead at today's nevada caucuses. that is live at 7:00 a.m. eastern here on c-span. >> friday, house democrats called on republican leadership to bring to the floor a bill banning insider trading by members of congress and congressional staff. democrats have initiated a petition to move the bill to the floor. the senate passed a similar bill thursday. this is about 50 minutes.
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>> good morning. >> good morning. >> it is afternoon. it is morning in california. good morning. it is a great morning. the jobs numbers coming out being so significant. the decision by the susan g. komen foundation to reverse their decisions about planned parenthood just goes to show you when women speak out, women win. women's health has a big victory. we are here to talk about stock. i am happy to be here with so many leaders. we do not need any introductions beyond that. last week, in the state of the union, the president said that he will sign the bill.
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since the president said that, when we came back at the beginning of this week, congressman walz got a lot more co-sponsors on the republican side. within a matter of hours, a huge number of people signed the discharge petition for the house on the stock act. that is a remarkable legislative achievement for them to advance the ball down the field that much. as you know, last night, the senate passed this version of the stock act. we are here today to call on our republican leadership to bring the house stopgap to the floor. our colleagues will tell you
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the support and the purpose of sending it to conference with the senate bill. i am here to congratulate them on their work yesterday at our press event. i mentioned at the stock act in my comments with the idea that the bill needs to be brought up. it has passed the senate. they should bring up the house version. we have a discharge petition and nearly 300 code-sponsors. i want to congratulate everyone for the leadership. >> thank you. i think that every american, from the president to the rest of us, wants the bill passed. it is gratifying to me to see the kind of action that it has
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gotten. i am pleased that the senate passed their bill last night. i was pleased that they put political intelligence back in because i said many times that it is my belief that that is the most important part of the bill. everybody knows where we are going except those of us in the house. our leadership is the one question remaining. what are they going to do? we are telling them that it requires a number of people who have signed on the bill in a bipartisan manner -- the speaker mentioned how many signatures we thought. 167 in less than two days. that by itself is fairly remarkable. we are asking our leadership at once to please bring up the stock act. heaven knows it has been very well vetted. everybody knows about it. everybody understands how critical it is that we get it
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passed. we could build it this week as easy as all get out. we are already to do our part and vote. this restored the integrity of the house and the congress. i want to thank the leaders who have been strong supporters of this from the very beginning. i really appreciate very much of the great work that is going on. i appreciate my republican cosigners. i appreciate the bipartisan support to the discharge petition. i believe that two of us are going to be pretty upset if we cannot get the bill that we have here in the house to go through. we want to give a clear message to the leadership that this cannot go on another year or another week.
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we would like very much to see action on it. thank you. >> thank you for being here. thank you, leader pelosi. thank you for making sure this institution gains the respect from the american people that the democracy deserves. i have to tell you, five years ago, the first time i walked in this building i was a high- school teacher. after i saw for a while how things were done, i felt like i needed to explain to them everything. i talked about how a bill becomes law. you have the american people asking for the government to look up to the ideals they do. playing fairly and making sure there is an accountability. when i was told, you came here
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to make government different and more accountable, we have got something that will help do it. i could not believe that a loophole -- of course, we are responsible to our constituents. it does not include the knowledge we've gained. that trust that was undermined as we see it in our approval ratings, it is hard to get the nation's business done if they do not trust us. i am proud of members on both sides of the aisle. walter jones has been a champion on this as our republican lead sponsor. the senate did something -- they took up a call from the president in a bipartisan manner in an open fashion, contain themselves on their amendments and took our base built and improve it to make it better. the bill has been vetted for six years. the government has weighed in on this asking us to make us more accountable. i am very pleased for the
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american public that they can believe that the system can work and we can do something. we are this close -- we sit on the edge of making this work. i implore speaker boehner not to write something behind closed doors and bring it here. we need to do the will of the american public. this bill is ready to go. the president said tomorrow, i wish we would have stayed today and take it up. i want to thank everyone for standing with us to make this a priority. let us keep this trust and the momentum going for it.
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>> thank you very much. i want to thank leader pelosi and my two colleagues for their tremendous work on this effort. i think that short of a suspension bill, you are not going to get much more bipartisanship on a piece of legislation then you have got on this one. 282 co-sponsors in 1.5 days. we were able to get 167. it may be a little more than that now. now, 169. [laughter] i think this is indicative of the fact that people raised to join hands, especially when the president makes a call and so many of the circle has weighed in on this piece of legislation.
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i think it would be great to start next week -- to have the 23rd consecutive month of private sector job growth. to see unemployment drop to 8.3%. those two things were outstanding. today, the president is announcing the job effort that we -- [inaudible] we would like to see our returning men and women from iraq and afghanistan. we need to move into a 21st century civilian conservation program.
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this is the kind of stuff that american tenacity is made of. i am pleased to be here and join with my colleagues in calling for the speaker to bring this bill to the floor. let us keep this momentum going. thank you. >> majority leader cantor -- why do you need to ask him when he said he was going to do it? >> we are asking him to bring the house bill to the floor so it can go to conference. i did not hear he was bringing the senate bill up. if you say that, i believe you. we think this is a bipartisan project, developed in the house of representatives. overwhelming support.
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we would like to go to the conference table to a conference on this bill so we can have the best possible bill if we go forward. if they bring up the senate bill, that would be good, too. it is better to bring up the house bill. >> is the susan g. komen foundation going to have long- term problems based on this debacle this week? do you think you will be able to support them in the ways you have in the past? >> we will support them as we have in the past. that is a question of what other people in the country think about it. it was an unfortunate set to nation, but it was dealt with in a short time. i commend the susan g. komen foundation for seeing the light on this. i salute the women who spoke out on behalf of women's health. they showed their power and make a difference. women will be healthier. >> -- >> same subject.
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>> -- [laughter] >> we are excited about the women's issues today. [inaudible] >> people have said this is politically motivated. do you think it was a politically motivated decision? what is behind with the susan g. komen foundation did? >> i have not seen the letters that have characterized it that
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way, that there were strong feelings and thinking on the subject. i can only take the komen foundation at its word, that it was changing its policy towards planned parenthood because it was under investigation, and if that is their standard, everything they do should be the same standard. then made a decision, they reversed yet. they should just go forward with that out, and focus on improving women's health. >> on the discharge, if mr. cantor brings up wanting to change it, [inaudible] d think the fundamental bill you have created is the best bill? >> we don't intend to give up. it will stay with that and we believe sincerely that our bill is the best. it is very close to the senate bill, the senate bill that
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passed 96-3, it's practically unanimous over here. not getting it to the floor is absolutely disturbing to the people we serve. >> what is your concern that mr. cantor and others might do? >> that that might dilute it or do away with enforcement. they have not told us anything they are going to do, but as you know, we had a hearing 60 days ago. we are asking them now, in the face of 282 members, not to do that. we are looking for some bipartisan vote here that every american from the president to the rest of us can look forward
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to this passage. there are 98 republican sponsors. and the last one to sign on was michele bachmann. thank you. >> house majority leader eric kanter talks about the payroll tax cuts and unemployment insurance. also, remarked from house democratic whip steny hoyer. this is about 30 minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from maryland. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman
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for his information. would ask him on the timing, the conference committee has met twice on the payroll tax cut, the unemployment insurance, and the so-called doc fix to ensure the fact that doctors are compensated and will be available for medicare patients. conference committee, mr. leader, has met twice since december 23. we adopted a motion to instruct overwhelmingly through the house to make sure that they reported back by february 17. i think you may have read my comments in the press that if we do not do it by the 17th, then we are off for a week and we will be back, 27, 28, 29, come back the night of the 27th will be jammed at the end on wednesday the 29th. we on have six full days left before the february break. that does not include our 6:30
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start times. house democrats, mr. leader, stand ready to, frankly, i think work through the weekend if that was necessary, but i'm very concerned that something that we all want to get done, and i have made the suggestion to my democratic conferees, and they were equally amused as you are, i understand that. but i will tell you, that i have great concern that we are going to get to the 27th, 28th, and 29th and be in the same kind of confrontation and debacle we found ourselves in in december. that's not good for your party. my opinion it's not good for our party. it's not