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tv   U.S. House of Representatives  CSPAN  February 9, 2012 10:00am-1:00pm EST

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information derived from the individual's position as a member of congress or employee of congress or gained from performance of the individual's duties for person benefit. that is waving a flag to all of our constituents, to the nation, that says that we are here to stand united for you. i hope that helps us as we move forward on payroll tax relief and unemployment, but there is a challenge that i think we have missed and i think senator grassley has carefully analyzed why he is, in essence, offended, even with 16, if you will, drafting errors, which i hope as we move to conference that we must do will be corrected. . mr. conyers: will the gentlelady yield to me just briefly? we have 16 from our distinguished judiciary colleague, mr. lungren, and these are merely technical errors that are corrected by
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the enrolling resolution that surely you must have heard about. these aren't errors that would have gone not bill. and i thank the gentlelady for yielding. ms. jackson lee: and i thank the gentleman for clarifying. i still think we should rush quickly to conference. what is missing from this, and we can't say it more often than over and over again, from the abramoff matters that people knew years ago, and information that is potentially market moving is nonpublic or not easily accessible to the public is gathered and analyzed and therefore we are missing a large gap, madam speaker, by leaving out the provision on political intelligence $100 million industry. yes, we are going to support this legislation but we can't get to conference soon enough to make this bill comparable and ready for the american people. we must regulate ourselves because they entrusted us to lead this nation. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas. mr. smith: madam speaker, i
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yield the balance of my time to the gentleman from california, mr. lungren, chairman of the house administration committee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is yielded 6 1/2 minutes. mr. len gren: i thank the gentleman from texas for yielding. -- mr. lungren: i thank the gentleman from texas for yielding. madam speaker, i'd like to particularly point to staff who have worked over this last weekend, including four attorneys on my house administration committee who spent a good portion of this last weekend going through the senate bill and trying to come up with what we believe is a responsible bill, a tough bill that could pass this house and frankly did not claim -- did not include the errors that we found in the bill on the senate side. several months before the stock act debate in the senate, questions were raised publicly
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about the application of existing laws related to insider trading. specifically, there were questions as to whether or not the current laws applied to members of congress or their staff. as chairman of the committee on house administration, i and my staff carefully reviewed current law and we concluded that the prohibition on insider trading and the criminal penalties associated with it are very much applicable and not just to members of congress and staff of the legislative branch. so let me be clear. let us disabuse any of the notion that somehow they could engage in insider trading between now and a bill gets on the president's desk and he signs it. it is already illegal. it is already illegal. that's the advice i've given members when i've been asked. that's the advice i've been given to the press when they've asked. it's the advice that's been given by the ethics committee to members of congress and to
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staff. no one within the house of representatives or the senate or the executive branch or even the judicial branch, regardless of responsibility, title or salary, should be under the false impression that they are somehow exempt under these laws. they are not. i'd be happy to yield. mr. conyers: thank you, sir. why are we passing this law if the conduct we're prohibiting is already illegal? mr. lungren: i'll be very much happy to respond to that and i will a little bit later in my statement. sometimes when congress is dedicated to redundancy, there is a question of clarification. and the fact that we've had questions asked of us over the last several hours as house administration chairman, as the ethics chairman has done, gives rise to the question that some have asked and we have tried to disabuse them of that notion all along. although we create and uphold the laws of the land we are not
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above them. as elected representatives we owe our constituents to assure them that the decisions we make are for the people, not ourselves. and this assurance, madam speaker, must be governmentwide. america not only needs to know that all of their government officials are subject to insider trading laws but also need to know and need proof that they're adhering to them which is exactly what the amended version of senate 2038 accomplishes. in 2010 the u.s. supreme court issued a decision in skin vs. united states that set out several specific questions that said must be answered in criminal statutes. they failed to answer the questions it set out. the amendment does more that eliminate the senate's defective provisions and numerous drafting errors. our bill before us also strengthens the previous state and house and senate proposals by first clarifying the broad
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application of insider trading laws, making sure no one questions it. although, as i say, it is already against the law and no member ought to rush out now and attempt to use his insider trading -- information for insider trading, thinking he or she is not covered. they are already covered. it expands the financial transaction disclosure requirements. we're going to be required now in terms of actual transactions, financial transactions to report within a 30-day period as opposed to doing it quarterly. we are also going to be required to disclose our mortgages which are not required right now. so we are expanding the disclosure requirements. we extend the postemployment numbers. and this is an additional point, i would say to my friend from michigan, the former chairman of judiciary committee, we end the
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preferencial treatment of government officials by prohibiting them from accepting exclusive access to i.p.o.'s. that has not been against the law. there's been some suggestion that might have been carried on by some members. i have no evidence whether it has or has not. but that is an additional prohibition placed in this by i believe is not in the senate bill, is not in current law but it makes it explicit. members of congress cannot participate in accepting exclusive access to i.p.o.'s. mr. conyers: if the gentleman will yield? mr. lungren: certainly. mr. conyers: i will take back to everybody on this side of the aisle, don't rush out and try to do any last-minute deals because it's already illegal. if you do the same with the members on your side. mr. lungren: i'd be happy to if they don't know that already. but when you read the newspapers, you would think that somehow it is proper and appropriate. and i want to make it clear not only to our colleagues but to the american public, it is
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against the law now. it has been against the law, and if anybody has evidence of this, they should report it to proper authorities because it is against the law. mr. speaker, the amendment before us, when applied to the underlying bill, creates the clarity and accountability necessary to ensure that government officials, elected, appointed and otherwise adhere to federal insider trading laws. it prohibits members, officials and employees of every branch of government from using nonpublic privileged information for personal gain, and it creates a disclosure mechanism for finding out when they do so. additionally, the bill denies pensions for members convicted of crimes. that is an addition to current law. eliminates bonuses for senior executives at fannie mae and freddie mac. that is addition to current law. and directs the g.a.o. to analyze. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. lungren: and with that i would all vote for this strong, strong stock act. >> madam speaker, can i ask unanimous consent to ask one
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brief question that is pertinent to this bill? the speaker pro tempore: does the gentleman seek unanimous consent to extend the debate time? mr. cohen: yes, please. one minute. the speaker pro tempore: is there objection to extending the debate time? mr. smith: i will have to object. the gentleman's time has expired. the speaker pro tempore: the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass senate 2038, as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended -- mr. smith: madam speaker, with that i ask for the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? mr. smith: i ask for the yeas and nays on that. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. those favoring a vote by the yeas and nays will rise. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, this 15-minute vote on the motion to suspend will be followed by five-minute votes on the motion to instruct on
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h.r. 3630. this is a 15-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 413.
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the nays are 2. this bill --
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the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 417. the nays are two. the bill is passed. the unfinished business is on the motion to instruct. without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. the unfinished business is on the vote on the motion to instruct on h.r. 3630 on which the yeas and nays were ordered. the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: motion to instruct conferees on h.r. 3630 offered by mr. bishop of new york. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on the motion. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or
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commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are -- the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 403. the nays are 14.
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the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 405. the nays are 14. the bill -- the motion is agreed to. without objection --
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the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 405. the nays are 15. the motion is agreed to. without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. for what purpose does -- the house will come to order. >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that the committee on howard administration -- house administration -- the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the concurrent resolution. the clerk: house concurrent resolution 99. concurrent resolution authorizing the use of emancipation hall in the capitol visitor center for a ceremony to unveil the marker which acknowledges the role slave labors played in the construction of the united states capitol. the speaker pro tempore: is there objection to the consideration of the concurrent resolution? without objection, the concurrent resolution is agreed to and the motion to reconsider is laid on the table.
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the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from maryland rise? mr. hoyer: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to speak out of order for one minute for the purpose of inquiring of the majority leader the schedule for the week to come. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentleman is recognized. mr. hoyer: i now yield to my
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friend, mr. cantor, the majority leader. mr. cantor: i thank the gentleman from maryland, the democratic whip, for yielding. mr. hoyer: mr. speaker, the house is not in order. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is correct. the house is not in order. would all members please take their conversations from the floor, clear the well, clear the aisles. find a seat or exit the chamber. the gentleman is recognized. mr. cantor: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the gentleman from maryland, democratic whip, for yielding. mr. speaker, on monday the house will meet at 1:00 p.m. in pro forma session. no votes are expected. on tuesday, the house will meet at noon for morning hour and 2:00 p.m. for legislative business. votes will be postponed until 6:30 p.m. on wednesday and thursday, the house will meet at 10:00 a.m. for morning hour and noon for legislative business. on friday, the house will meet
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at 9:00 a.m. for legislative business, last votes of the week are expected no later than 3:00 p.m. mr. speaker, the house will consider a few bills under suspension of the rules, a complete list of which will be announced by the close of business tomorrow. in addition, the house will consider h.r. 7, the american energy and infrastructure jobs act of 2012. the house may also consider legislation relating to h.r. 3630, the temporary payroll tax cut continue -- continuation act. i thank the gentleman from maryland and yield back. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for that information with respect to the two pieces of legislation and the suspension bills. if i might inquire, mr. leader, of the timing of the conference committee has met, as all of us know, a few times since being appointed on december 23. they were supposed to have a meeting today but apparently that meeting was canceled. we adopt add motion to instruct conferees on january 18 with only -- adopted a motion to
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instruct conferees on january 18 with only 16 republicans opposing and a few republicans opposing this time on a similar motion to instruct urging the conferees to report back by february 17. you know as well as anybody we will be off for president's week , work period, and we will not be back until the night of the 27th which only gives us the two days and that evening to pass this bill if we do not pass it before the 17th. in december we almost, as you well know, did not extend the payroll tax holiday or the unemployment or the s.g.r. package. that would have resulted as the gentleman knows in 160 million americans having a tax increase. benefits lost for many unemployed americans, almost 2.3 over the next three months, and we only have three full days left before the february break. is the gentleman expecting the conference committee -- i know
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you put it as a possibility, but can the gentleman, mr. camp, of course, chairman of the ways and means committee, chairs that conference. can the gentleman tell us whether or not there is a reasonable expectation that we will be able to act on this bill and have the conference committee report on the house floor? mr. cantor: i will say just to the gentleman as i said before in reflected by the vote that just occurred on the motion to instruct conferees, we, too, desire a resolution to this issue next week. i mean i think the gentleman knows we have been on this floor before in the same discussion where it's imperative for us to send signal to hardworking taxpayers of this country they are not going to have their taxes go up. it is my hope that we are going to see some productivity out of the conference committee. i think the gentleman knows my position as to why there's been no productivity, and frankly i, last week, urged the gentleman
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to point his arm to the other side of the capitol because it is that side of the capitol and leader reid that has been unwilling to come forward with a resolution to this issue. as the gentleman knows the house has taken its position. we believe we ought to extend the payroll tax holiday for a year and do so in a responsible manner so as not to raise the social trust fund. but there's been -- raid the social security trust fund. but there's been no willingness on leader reid and his conferees to offer a suggestion as to how to resolve this impasse. i say to the gentleman, we are committed to making sure taxes don't go up on hardworking people in these economic times. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for his comments. i'm pleased to hear that. as the gentleman knows mark zandi just a few days ago said that failure to extend the payroll tax and the unemployment insurance benefits would deliver a significant blow to our fragile economic recovery.
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and could cost our economy 500,000 jobs and raise the unemployment rate by the at least .3 points and lower economic growth by .7 points. i'm pleased to hear what the majority leader has said but of course we still have some concern. representative paul broun, one of your members from georgia, i quote him, said this payroll tax holiday is just a gimmick to try to get obama re-elected. this, he said, is bad policy. representative chaffetz from utah, one of your colleagues, said, tax holidays are just bad policy. a year is pretty short. the chairman of your campaign committee, pete sessions, said, quoted in the "l.a. times," representative pete sessions of texas, who heads the house republican campaign committee, called obama's plan, that is the extension of the payroll tax, a horrible idea. he said g.o.p. candidates would
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have no difficulty explaining to voters why they want to let the tax break expire. and then of course the chairman of the conference committee, my good friend for whom i have a great deal of respect, apparently does not agree with what the majority leader just said in wanting to extend this tax cut because he said, i'm not in favor of that. i don't think that's a good idea. now, that was admittedly back in august so some months ago when he said that, but it gives us some concern that the leadership of the conference committee, mr. camp, and others are in the position where they don't really think, as seem to be reflected in the last year, that this tax cut ought to be extended. they do, however, believe, very strongly, as i understand it, that the tax cut for the wealthiest in america, the bush tax cuts, ought to be extended
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and they ought to be extended without paying for them, and in fact you provided in your rule that you adopted in this congress that they could be extended without paying for them. i don't think that's your position, as i understand it, it -- with respect to tax cuts for middle class americans. would the gentleman like to comment on those observations? mr. cantor: i thank the gentleman. mr. speaker, i just say really it's not productive to engage in politics and division. we ought to be about multiplication here. we ought to be about growing the economy. we ought not be talking in the way that the gentleman suggests that somehow we republicans prefer one group of people over another. that's not true. we are here fighting for hardworking taxpayers. i just said, mr. speaker, to the gentleman, that we as republicans in this house do not support taxes going up on anybody. we believe that washington spends too much money. we don't believe you ought to tax anybody, especially the job creators, the small business men
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and women who we are relying on to create jobs and get this economy back to where it needs to be in a growth mode. the gentleman knows very well my position and it is the position of our conference we do not want to see taxes going up on hardworking taxpayers. i said before, i'll say it again, we hope that the conferees can produce something for us to vote on, but we are not in any way, shape, or form advocating for taxes to go up on hardworking people. no. we are for making sure that doesn't happen. so, mr. speaker, i don't know how many times i can say that to underscore our commitment. i yield back. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for his recommitment to that proposition. let me ask the gentleman, therefore, given the fact, am i correct, that you do not believe that tax cuts, the 2001 and 2003
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extension of the tax cuts, need to be paid for, is that still your position? mr. cantor: mr. speaker, again the question has to do with the gentleman and his side and the president's insistence that somehow the math requires us to raise taxes on small business men and women. we don't believe that. we don't believe that we ought to let tax rates go up and create a tax hike on the small businesspeople of this country. because, number one that exacerbates the challenge that we are already dealing with in trying to get this economy growing, and number two, it will put more money into the hands of washington to begin to start spending that money without paying down the debt. 7 the gentleman knows very well -- the gentleman knows very well our commitment to make sure we get our fiscal house in order. he knows very well we believe we got to fix the problem and not
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go in and ask the small business men and women to pay more taxes to dig a hole deeper. we believe you ought to fix the problem, stop taking small business money away from the men and women who make it, and let them continue to put it back into their enterprises and create jobs. that's what we are trying to do. i look forward to the gentleman working with him to make sure we accomplish that end. mr. hoyer: i appreciate the gentleman's answer. that doesn't surprise me, but he didn't answer my question. my question was, you amended your rules in this house so that the extension of the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts did not have to be paid for. i'm asking, is that the gentleman's position now? very simple question, yes or no. it is or is not. mr. cantor: if i could, mr. speaker, i'd ask the gentleman does he think, does he think that the payroll tax holiday extension for the year needs to be paid for? mr. hoyer: i don't think it
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needs to be paid for the reason you pointed out. what you pointed out was you don't want to depress either by increasing the taxes on small business as you points out, we are not for increasing taxes on small business. we are for asking those who have made the best in our society over the last 10 years, make the most, make $1 million or more, we do believe, yes, a greater contribution is in order because our country is in a -- has a challenge situation that we need to respond to. having said that, i believe that it ought to be consistent in terms of your application of not paying for tax cuts for it to be also applicable to middle income, hardworking americans who find themselves in a real pinch in this present economy that we would take a similar position. all i'm asking the gentleman is your position on the middle class tax cut, which we are
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talking about and it is in conference, the same as it is on the bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003? that's all i'm asking. mr. cantor: mr. speaker, i thank the gentleman. i would ask in response to that does he not agree there is a difference between the nature of the tax relief in the payroll tax than the nature of existing tax rates on the marginal level as well as cap gains? and along those lines, would he not then be advocating a position that would say it's ok to raise the social security trust fund if you're not going to pay for the extension of payroll tax holiday? mr. hoyer: the gentleman goes off in about seven directions on that question in my view. what i believe is that it ought to be a consistent policy as it relates to keeping taxes down on hardworking americans that we apply to the wealthiest in america. now, whether they are temporary or permanent, it makes an economic difference to the
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people in question. and hardworking americans, 160 million of them, are hoping their taxes will not go up on march 1. the only way they are going to not go up on march 1 is if we pass, as we had a great struggle doing in december, if we pass a conference report that will be reported out of the conference committee, headed up by mr. camp, which in fact makes sure that those taxes don't increase. you say you don't want them to increase. i say we don't want them to increase. we seem to have an agreement on that rhetoricically, although i quoted a number of your leaders who say they think it's a bad idea, but having said that, my question to you is, is your position consistent with both the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts and these tax cuts? that's all i'm asking. mr. cantor: i respond to the gentleman i was not in seven different directions. it's very simple. i asked the gentleman are you ok with raiding the social security trust fund? because your response to my
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question indicated to me that it's fine for you and your side to say, let's just raid the social security trust fund, extend the payroll tax holiday, without any pay-fors. is that ok? mr. hoyer: your president you supported when he wanted to raid the social security trust fund said there was no trust fund. i believe there is a trust fund and i believe we have a moral responsibility to be sure that trust fund is kept whole. as you well know we will keep it whole. we will sign the proper i.o.u.'s so that trust fund is intact. there will be no reduction in that social security tax, and the gentleman knows it. the gentleman knows that that trust fund will be as secure tomorrow as it is today and that, i presume, both of us have a commitment to that end. yes, we will have to make whole the trust fund money that does not come in on the tax cut just as we had to make money for the
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war, for the prescription drug bill, and the bush tax cuts whole by borrowing from somebody , usually china, and other nations around the world. . we went from a surplus to a $10 trillion-plus deficit. why? because we did things and didn't pay for them. so if the gentleman is asking me do i believe the social security trust fund ought to be kept whole, the answer is yes. mr. cantor: mr. speaker, with all due respect, i'd say to the gentleman, he has answered the same question in two different ways. and he's also gone not in seven different directions but nine or 10 when he starts talking about the former president, george bush. george bush has nothing to do with this debate. has nothing to do with the issue before us. what i'm asking, mr. speaker, is, number one, does he not agree that if we paid for the extension of the payroll tax
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holiday, we are making sure that we attempt to address the raid on the social security trust fund? and is that not different than talking about marginal rates on small business men and women? is that not different than talking about keeping the capital gains rates the same on investors and entrepreneurs in america, we need to put investment capital back into the economy, the private economy. and so my point was not seven different directions, my point is just that. and, again, i would say, mr. speaker, to the gentleman, it bothers me to hear that the gentleman just wants to rely on an i.o.u. the public is tired of saying, yes, we'll owe it -- we'll owe it, we'll pay it later. what we're saying is, let's make sure we don't dig the hole any deeper, let's make sure we don't raid the social security trust fund. there's why we are saying, let's pay for it. but again, to the gentleman's point about trying to expedite
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things so we can have a result out of the conference committee, there's just been no activity. no activity on the part of the senate. they're not serious. not serious in wanting to address the issue. at least they've not been thus far. and we're running out of time. so again i guess the gentleman's solution is, go ahead and raid the social security trust fund and let's ex tend the payroll tax holiday -- extend the payroll tax holiday and if that's the gentleman's position then we know the position, i would imagine, of the minority on this issue. mr. hoyer: will the gentleman has talked a lot but heapt answered my question and the -- hasn't answered my question and the question was a simple one. do you believe the same principle applies to the 2001-2003 tax cuts as applied to the middle income working people's tax consult that we're talking about? i would tell you this, my friend, if we were talking about the taxes that you're talking about, they would go through like greased lightning and there would be no question. but oh, of course we've got it continue those tax cuts. but when it comes to average working americans and the only
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way we can get them a tax cut, this is the first time we've really talked about real tax cuts for middle income working americans. it has got a log jam that it has hit and it hit in december and we came that close to not having that and we're about to come that close again. and i'm just telling the gentleman that if he applies the same principle, we could get this done. now, i'm for paying for frankly the middle income tax cut. i'm for paying for it as the gentleman well knows by a surtax on those who have done the best. not because i want to penalize them but because all of us in this room, maybe not all of us, but most of in -- us in this room have done pretty well. there are some people in this country who haven't done pretty well. and as clint eastwood walked down that road we saw during the super bowl, he said, halftime, we can do better.
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and i'll tell you what they said in the locker room. every one of us according to bill can get it done, needs to get it done. that's what i'm saying to my friend. i think the position you would be taking would be radically different and that that conference committee would have had a report out on this floor if we were talking about tax cuts for millionaires that would have passed like that. absolutely. that's my position, i believe it and very frankly i think the american people believes it. i will yield to my friend if he wants to comment on that. then we can leave this subject and go to the infrastructure bill which i know you like to talk about as well. mr. cantor: yes, mr. speaker. i thank the gentleman. i just, just wrap it up saying, i don't think that there was anybody, any working american that did not benefit from the 2001, 2003 tax relief. so, again, the gentleman's attempt to divide this country, saying that some benefit from this and others benefit from
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that, that's not the way i think most americans look at it. we're all in this together. ok? and so, again, we're trying to make sure taxes don't go up on anybody. we're trying to do it responsibly. and the gentleman does and acknowledges that the payroll tax holiday involves a tax that is dedicated to the viability of the social security trust fund and the gentleman knows that if we pass that bill because of his insistence and the insistence of the leader on the democratic side of the aisle in the senate, the majority leader in the senate, that we have to go ahead and just do it unpaid for, then we have crealted more of a problem -- created more of a problem and raided the social scuste -- social security trust fund. if that's the choice, if the gentleman's saying that his side is not going to support an extension of the payroll tax holiday unless it's unpaid for, then i guess we know where we stand and the american people know where we stand. because they'll force a raid on
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the social security trust fund. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for his comment. the gentleman has a habit with frankly -- which frankly disturbs me, i will tell my friend. i didn't say that at all. as a matter of fact, my last comment was, i think it ought to be paid for. now, let me explain what that means. i think it ought to be paid for. i have been consistent on that position and frankly i was consistent on that position on all the bills we passed in this house, including your tax bills of 2001 and 2003. i thought they ought to be paid for. you thought they ought not to be paid for. the gentleman talks about looking at the past. they didn't work out so well. they were supposed to grow our economy, they were supposed to explode jobs. we lost jobs in the private sector. the only reason we had a plus-one-million over eight years was because we grew in the public sector. we lost jobs in the private sector on that economic program. it didn't work in my opinion. paid for or not paid for it did
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not work. but it did put a hole in the deficit. i think it ought to be paid for. what i think it ought not to be paid for with is taking out of the hyde of average working -- hide of average working people in this country which is the way you want to pay for it. i don't think that's good policy because i think that will further depress the economy and take dollars out of the hands of hardworking people. yes, i think it ought to be paid for. and paying for things is tough. and we didn't pay for things in the last decade. and that's why we dug this deep, deep hole we're in. now, if we want to go on to the infrastructure bill i'd like to do that. unless the gentleman wants to make additional comment. on the infrastructure bill, you indicate that it may come to the floor. you can tell me under what kind of a rule that will come to the floor? will it be an open rule, as has been projected? i yield to my friend. mr. cantor: i'd say to the gentleman, the rules committee has announced that there is an amendment deadline for members
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to get their amendments in by monday morning. and it will then proceed in the normal process to vote on a rule to govern the debate on the american energy infrastructure jobs act. mr. hoyer: it's my understanding, mr. leader this bill is over 1,000 pages long. it was marked up just shortly after it was introduced and finalized. is the gentleman concerned by the length of that bill and the short time that members have to review it? and the very short time that the public will essentially have almost no opportunity to review it? is the gentleman concerned about that? mr. cantor: mr. speaker, maybe the gentleman's confusing this majority with the one he was a leader in. because we have now seen almost all the committees, transportation and infrastructure, resources, ways
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and means, govern reform, energy and commerce, all -- government reform, energy and commerce, all of them marked up and considered amendments from both sides. and h.r. 7 in its entirety was posted at approximately noon yesterday, the 8th, noon yesterday was online for everyone to see. the vote is scheduled for next friday, february 17. again, given the process of all the committees and all the markups and the willingness to entertain amendments from both sides and now posting yesterday, wednesday, when the vote is next friday, i think that we are providing and living up to the commitment we've made that we're going to have a much more open process. that the public is going to be able to enjoy its right to know what we're doing and members and their staffs as well. can do what they need to do to prepare for their amendments and their votes on this bill. and i yield back. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman. what i was confusing was your rhetoric now and your rhetoric as it related to a bill that was longer in pages but had 10 times
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greater period of time for debate, discussion, considered by extraordinarily large number of committees in both the senate and the house, town meetings all over this country about that bill. what i'm confuse something your rhetoric as it related to the affordable care act and your rhetoric related to the transportation bill which has had probably 1/20 or 1/30 of the time to consider certainly by the public. i don't know that anybody has had a town meeting or had the opportunity for the public to have input on this bill as it is now written. and very frankly i may be confusing it with the bill that we just adopted on suspension of the calendar without any opportunity to amend it, which was filed less than 24 hours ago. mr. cantor: right. mr. speaker, the gentleman knows where i'm going on that last comment because i'll just point out the fact when he was the majority leader, that bill, the
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stock act, had sat dormant and he refused as majority leader to pick up the bill and bring it to the floor of the house, again, by giving the vote that we just saw, i think that there was probably a legitimate working and to improve and strengthen the bill which indicated and was reflected in the vote that he -- that we just had on the stock act. as for the gentleman's suggestion that somehow i'm confusing this bill with others and his reference to the affordable care act, the public doesn't like that bill. right? and it doesn't. and i'm thinking that perhaps the gentleman is confusing this bill with one that came up during his term as majority leader when the cap and trade bill was filed at 2:00 a.m. and then we were asked to vote on it at 10:00 the next morning. again, i think, mr. speaker, the gentleman knows we have provided for over a week's time and then some for members to take a look
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at the full version and to give members of time -- members time to prepare their amendments until next monday, so we can have a full and robust debate on this bill. i yield back. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman. the gentleman says full time but very frankly there wasn't participation by everybody in this full discussion and in fact as i said last week and i will reiterate this week, because he hasn't changed his position, ray lahood, republican, former chief of staff to the republican leader in this house, former chairman of the appropriations subcommittee on the republican side of the aisle, says this is the most partisan transportation bill i've ever seen. and it's almost the most antisafety bill i've ever seen. it hollows out our number one priority which is safety and frankly it hollows out the guts of the transportation efforts that we've been about for the last three years. he concludes with, it's the worst transportation bill i've ever seen during 35 years of
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public service. ray lahood, republican, secretary of transportation. now, whatever time the gentleman has spent that he thinks exposing this bill, he didn't expose it on our side because -- and he apparently didn't expose it in a way that reached bipartisan agreement from the secretary of transportation, i will tell you i lament the fact, mr. leader, when i was in a majority leader, and the gentleman likes to refer to, that transportation bill passed with a overwhelmingly bipartisan vote. every transportation bill that i've seen in the 30 years i've been in the congress of the united states has passed on an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote. and it came out of committee almost unanimously. this bill, as the gentleman knows, came out on a purely partisan vote. except -- actually it was a bipartisan opposition because mr. petri, long time member of the transportation committee, and of course mr. latourette's not too happy with the bill either, as the gentleman knows, who is a senior member on your
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side, one of your leaders on your side of the aisle, so i will tell my friend that unfortunately we have a situation where you're going to bring a bill up next week, which clearly is a partisan bill, which does not enjoy bipartisan support, contrary to every transportation bill that i think we've passed in this house in the 30 years i've been here. i yield to my friend. . mr. can'ter: i don't understand what -- mr. cantor: i don't understand what the gentleman is seeing here. "the washington post" has done an extensive coverage and story on the transportation bill and the 5,000-plus earmarks that were involved in the bill that he's bragging about. we are in a new day here which we are shining the light of day, we are saying no more earmarks. we are not doing things the way we used to do them. that's exactly what the people want. they want a reformed congress that belongs to them, that works for them and not the other way around.
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so, mr. speaker, i would say to the gentleman, i look forward to his amendments that he smits for monday to be considered by the rules committee so that we can proceed as we have on so many bills in an open debate on the floor of this house, unlike we ever experienced in majority's past -- majorities past. let's try and agree, we have to reform this system. we are standing up for reform whether it be no more earmarks, whether it be continued positing of positions online so members have enough time to review with open announcement of how long the amendment deadline is, with continued pattern of allowing for debate on amendments on both sides on the floor. i mean, mr. speaker, we are trying to change this institution so it can actually
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live up to what the people are expecting, and for us to be able to abide by their trust. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for that comment. i the american people don't think we are accomplishing that objective you want to accomplish by virtue of their response to the polls about what they think of the job that we have done over the last year. let me say in addition to that the bills i was referring to, my friend, yes, while i was majority leader, we had the house and senate, i said 30 years, the 12 years that your party had the chairmanship, transportation committee, we passed bills on a bipartisan basis and with respect to transparency, as the gentleman knows on earmarks, you quadrupled the number of earmarks under your leadership. not your personal leadership but under republican control of the house of representatives, quadrupled the number of earmarks. when we came in what we did was said they all had to be online.
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members had to put them on their website. and committees had to identify where those came from. personally we made them very transparent. you have eliminated them temporarily. we'll see whether that holds. but we will move on to the question of whether or not when you say we are going to have open amendments, whether or not the amendments that are germane will be made in order so that in fact we can impact on the bill. the gentleman says he's interested in seeing my amendments. i think most of the amendments will come from our committee members. they are the ones that are struggling to find out exactly what this bill does and we don't believe it's paid for, by the way, as i think the gentleman probably has seen the c.b.o. report. but let me ask you this. do you believe this bill is a jobs bill? mr. cantor: i believe that what is needed, mr. speaker, is some
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certainty so that the agencies at the state level can operate with their plans going forward for infrastructure needs. i believe that the private sector that is heavily involved with the infrastructure industry can know how to plan so they can make investments necessary, so that we can see the maintenance, repair, and expansion of our infrastructure system in this country. we are about trying to say let's grow. let's grow, let's try and work together so we can grow this economy. the economy is dependent upon a infrastructure future that is certain. and the gentleman also knows that we have in the bill a paid for that is derived from the expansion of the ability to explore in the deep ocean off our coasts. because it's an energy resource that we should be utilizing.
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and that is as well holds the potential for thousands ever new jobs. so, mr. speaker, we are all about job creation. and i hope that the gentleman can join us in what is titled the american energy infrastructure jobs act. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for his comment. am i to take it, therefore, he disagree was speaker boehner when speaker boehner said a few days ago we are not making the claim that spending taxpayer money on transportation projects creates jobs. we don't like that claim. so this would not be a jobs bill from that standpoint, am i correct? mr. cantor: again, the gentleman, if he wants to play gotcha -- mr. hoyer: i want to figure out whether this is a jobs bill. mr. cantor: mr. speaker -- mr. hoyer: i yield. mr. cantor: the gentleman just heard what i said. we can create jobs if we open up the ability from our energy exploration. we can create jobs if we provide some certainty to the industries and the state agencies as well as the federal agencies that are
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involved in planning and in charting the course for infrastructure maintenance, repair, and expansion in this contry. growth requires infrastructure that is at topnotch. we know we are a far cry from that in this country. so the gentleman understands my point. growth comes from better infrastructure. growth comes from expanding the ability to explore our natural resources off our coasts. something that unfortunately most members on his side of the aisle have not been supportive of in terms of charting a more certain and responsible energy future. does the gentleman have any more scheduling questions? mr. hoyer: these are all scheduling questions. these are scheduling questions as to whether or not we are going to have legislation on the floor that can get us from where we are to where we want to be. the gentleman knows that the senate has passed a bipartisan bill out of sneet with senator inhofe, republican, and senator
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boxer, not exactly ideological sole mates, coming together and -- soulmates, coming together. i'm trying to figure out from you you go from other aspects of the bill that create jobs but -- you say infrastructure is necessary for growth, my readling of that -- reading of that is as the president pointed out, investing in infrastructure does in fact grow jobs. to the extent we can pass a bill scheduling a bill that has bipartisan support here and bipartisan support there and the support of the president of the united states is what we ought to be doing. doing it in a partisan fashion undercuts our scheduling of moving that forward. that's my point. i think the gentleman understands that point. but i would hope that as we work on this bill we could do what the senate's done, which they don't do very off, and come together in a bipartisan way as we have historically done in this house on transportation and
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infrastructure bills. so important for the growth of our country and the creation of jobs and the moving forward as you say, and i believe, as well, we ought to come together and accomplish. unless the gentleman has anything further i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia rise? mr. cantor: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that when the house adjourns today it adjourn to meet at 1:00 p.m. on monday, february 13, 2012. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. it is now time to consider requests for one-minute speeches. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania rise? mr. thompson: request unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. thompson: mr. speaker,
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pennsylvania 5th congressional district, oshyson died this week. he lived his 77 years serving and making a difference in the lives of individuals and families and communities. he was an extraordinary caring leader in many facets of life, from singing at churches, organizing benefits for persons and families in need, and serving the home community of oshyson. as a community leader he demonstrated a deep commitment to serving his neighbors, his leadership within thely lions club and the clinton county fair represented numerous efforts he performed. he provided an excellent example to all who knew him. his determination, bright outlook, and voice will be remembered. my thoughts and prayers are with his wife and sons and the entire
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family. kelsey's kindness, professionalism, talent, and unselfish service will be missed. rest with the lord, my friend. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from tennessee seek recognition? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: does the gentleman seek unanimous consent? mr. cohen: yes. what the public sauted in the house of representatives was a stock act sold short. unfortunately what could have been an outstanding bill was changed by the republican leadership by taking the two most important aspects put in the senate bill out. one was a public corruption provision that would have allowed prosecutors to prosecute from the courthouse to the capital public scruppings. this was senator leahy had. but for some reason unbeknownst to me it was stripped by the leadership of the republican side out of the bill. democrats didn't have an opportunity to participate in the drafting of the bill. and what was the work of louise slaughter and tim walz was hijacked from them. another most important provision
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was the politico intelligence provision. it was taken out by k street lobbyists working with the leadership late. that should not have been taken out. the two best parts of the stock act were sold short and the american public should have had better today. we passed something but not what we should have done. mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from ohio seek recognition? >> to address the house for one minute. rent. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from ohio is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. because government has spent money we don't have and borrowed money we can't pay back, our national debt now stands at $15 trillion. my daughter, sarah, who is 2 years old, now has $50,000 as her share of the national debt. congress and the president have an obligation to make tough decisions to reduce spending so we can provide a brighter future for our kids. that's why i was proud to support the legislative line-item veto and rescission
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act this week. the bipartisan legislation provides a constitutional line-item veto and creates more checks and balances against ron away spending. mr. stivers: alone it won't solve our problems, but combined with a biannual budget and balanced budget amendment, it can deliver our children, like sarah, from a future of debt to one of opportunity. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from nevada seek recognition? ms. berkley: to address the house for one minute. revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: does the gentlelady seek unanimous consent? ms. berkley: yes, i am. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for one minute. ms. berkley: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, with the highest unemployment rate in the nation, nevadans are struggling. that's why we in washington should be focusing on creating good-paying middle class jobs. unfortunately washington republicans are focused on a divisive die elogical agenda. -- ideological agenda. it cannot be fixed by restricting access to mammograms
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for women. by killing medicare, by turning it over to private insurance companies, and it did not be fixed by protecting taxpayer give aways to big oil companies. our jobs crisis can be fixed by getting real about job creation. we can do that right now by passing legislation, expanding our visa waiver program which allows tourist from certain countries up to 90 days of visa free travel to the u.s. in 2010 nearly 18 million people visited our country due to this program. what will happen if we expand it? the answer for tourism dependent states like nevada is simple, it will put people back to work. i urge my republican colleagues in the house and senate to drop their ideological agenda, join me in creating -- making job creation our top priority. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i rise to ask unanimous consent to address the
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house for one minute. revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. olson: mr. speaker, february is heart month. i rise today to recognize save the life community heart training day. this is an encht by the american red cross that the texas institute and the methodist bebakey heart center in houston, texas, to raise awareness about the importance of adult c.p.r. and a.e.d. use. sudden cardiac arrest, also known as s.c.a., is the leading cause of death in the united states. with roughly 300,000 americans dying from s.c.a.'s every year. both of our grandfathers died of s.c.a. before i was born. i always dreamed of what it
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would be like to go fishing with grandpa. the best chance for survival is defibrillation, the delivering of electric pulse shock to the heart. an s.c.a. victim has a 50% to 35% chance of survival if the shock is administered to the heart within five minutes of collapse. training is critical to saving and enhancing lives. mr. speaker, as sponsor of legislation designed to encourage good samaritans to use a.e.d.'s to save lives, i'm proud to recognize save a life day. get trained. so a young boy can go fishing with grandpa. i yield back. . the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from illinois seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute, to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from illinois is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, i rise today to send up a signal flair about a
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grievous concern that has foisted itself upon this nation from the obama administration. and that is this, the obama administration is now going up to communities of faith and poking their chest and saying, either you will change the dictates of your conscience or we will fine you. we will use the long arm of the federal government to manipulate you into our view of the world, not the view of the world that you think is bestowed upon you by god. mr. speaker, that is a grievous error. that is a provocation that needs to be answered and in a nutshell, we have a foreshadowing of what happens when that isn't answered. it's a foreshadowing that comes in the form of a quote, from pastor martin neemolar, an antinazi activist. he said, first they came for the jews and i didn't speak out because i was not a jew. then they came out for the
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communists and i did not speak out because i was not a communist. then they came out for the trade unionists and i didn't speak out because i was not a trade unionist. mr. roskam: and then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me. mr. speaker, it's time for this country to rise and to speak out and to tush back on this outrageous -- push back on this outrages to provocation from the obama administration. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair lays before the house the following personal requests. the clerk: leaves of absence requested for mr. burton of indiana for today, ms. edwards of maryland for today, and mr. michaud of maine for today. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the requests are granted. under the speaker's announced policy of january 5, 2011, the gentleman from illinois, mr. shimkus, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the majority leader. mr. shimkus: thank you, mr. speaker.
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i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. so ordered. the gentleman is recognized. mr. shimkus: before my pennsylvania friends get all freaked out, i appreciate you letting me come to the floor for five minutes to do what is now a weekly constitutional of mine and talk about high-level nuclear waste in yucca mountain. washington i've been doing to -- what i've been doing to set the stage is highlighting areas where there's nuclear waste throughout this country and just making the statement that it is in the national interests and actually it's national federal law that this waste be consolidated in a centralized storage facility. and so with that, i'll begin. today we're headed to the great state of minnesota and we're looking at a nuclear power plant
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called prairie island. now, prairie island has 725 million tons ofure rainum, of spent -- of uranium, of spent fuel on site. prairie island has waste stored above ground in pools and dried casts. prairie island is in the mississippi river floodplain, as you can see from the photo here. and prairie island is 50 miles from the twin cities. now, where should this waste be? well, this waste should be where in 1982 energy policy -- the waste policy act and then the amendments in 1987 said by federal law it should be. which is underneath a mountain in a desert. and where is that mountain? the mountain's called yucca mountain. currently after $15 billion spent researching and preparing the site we have zero nuclear waste on site. if we were store iing -- storing
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the nuclear waste there it would be 1,000 feet underground, it would be 1,000 feet above the water table and it would be 100 miles from the nearest body of water which would be the colorado river. now, look at the difference between yucca mountain, 100 miles from the colorado river, versus nuclear waste right next to the mississippi river, actually in the mississippi river floodplain. so, why aren't we doing what the law has dictated? well, we have the majority leader of the senate who's been blocking funding and stopping any movement to do the final scientific study. in fact, the will of the house was spoke last year when we voted i think 297 votes, bipartisan votes, to complete the funding and the study. so let's look at the senators from the region of where this nuclear power plant is. and it's very curious, both
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senators from minnesota, senator klobucha are r, senator franken -- klobuchar, senator franken are silent. they're silent on nuclear waste in their own state. it's curious. not only nuclear waste but nuclear waste on the river. and then you go to north dakota, senator conrad has voted no. senator hogan -- hoeven supports it. south dakota, senator johnson voted no. senator thune supports. senator nelson votes in support of yucca mountain. senator johnson votes in support of yucca mountain. ♪ has two sites, three reactors, two of them are right in this location. so, as i've been coming down to the floor, if you add these new senators to the total tally, right now we have 40 senators who have expressed support for moving high level nuclear waste. we have 12 who are curiously silent on nuclear waste in their
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state or in their region. and we have 10 who have stated a position of no. it's in the best interests of our country for the safety and security of this country that we consolidate in seanlized location, underneath a mountain in a desert, in the defined spot by law, which is yucca mountain and again i want to thank my colleagues and friends from pennsylvania for allowing me to intrude upon their hour and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. under the speaker's announced policy of january 5, 2011, the gentleman from arizona, mr. flake, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the majority leader. mr. flake: mr. speaker, i rise today to commemorate a milestone in arizona's history, the centennial of our great state. after nearly 49 years as a u.s. territory, arizona became part
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of the united states on february 14, 1912. today arizona is a bustling contemporary oasis of more than six million people. its natural wonders, the grand canyon, the petified forest, the red rocks of sedona, the painted desert, coupled with modern conveniences, most notably air conditioning, draws millions of visiters from around the world every year. but it wasn't always. so early settlers, ranchers and miners had to wonder what they got themselves into. such was the case with my ancestors. allow me to tell a sliver of their story because it tells a little bit about arizona's history. william jordan flake, my great- great-grandfather arrived in arizona in 1878 when he bought a ranch on the silver creek he was warned by the previous owners not to invite any other families because the land and water would not sustain them. fortunately he didn't listen. soon the town of snowflake was formed, becoming the hub of activity in what was then
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arizona territory. not long after, william jordan's son, james madison flake, was department advertised along with his brother, charles love flake, to arrest an outlaw who had drifted into town. as they disarmed the outlaw, the outlaw reached into his boot, drew a weapon and shot charles in the neck, killing him instantly. james received a bullet in the left ear before returning fire, killing the outlaw. just three years later james madison flake sat at the bedside of his beloved wife as she passed away, leaving him with nine children. once again i must kiss theed so and face a cloudy future -- sod and -- kiss the sod and face a cloudy future but like so many pioneers, he shaped the future. along with raising these children and many others that would come later, james madison flake involved himself politically in the issues of the day, notably he tells in his journal of attending numerous meetings and conventions around
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arizona and in colorado to promote the cause of women's suffrage. no doubt he was proud when just after statehood in 1912 arizona became the seventh state to approve the right for women to vote just a few -- vote. just a few years later the nation followed with the 19th amendment to the constitution. james madison flake would be proud to know that arizona has many women legislators, has had a number of women governors and that the first woman appointed to the supreme court, sandra day o'connor, is a proud arizonan. he would truly be proud to know of gabby giffords, daughter of arizona, and one of this nation's enduring symbols of hope who served this nation's house of representatives so ably. over the next 100 years arizona -- or over the past 100 years arizona has been the home to a number of colorful and transformative figures. barry goldwater, john mccain. with so many unsuccessful presidential candidates, it's often joked that ashese is the only state where mothers don't
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tell their children, some day you can grow up to be president. in fact, mothers get to tell their children something better. you have the privilege of being an arizonan. one thing is certain, because of the hard work and sacrifice of those who have gone before, arizona's next 100 years promise to be even better than the first. because in arizona, the beauty of the sunset in the evening is only eclipsed by the sunrise in the morning. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. under the speaker's announced policy of january 5, 2011, the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. thompson, is recognized for 52 minutes as the designee of the majority leader. mr. thompson: thank you, mr. speaker. i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on the subject of my special order. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. the gentleman is recognized. mr. thompson: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today, mr. speaker, to, with colleagues from
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pennsylvania, to recognize the accomplishments of joe paterno, the long-time penn state football coach who passed away last month. paterno's accomplishments as a teacher and a coach rank him among the very best in the history of the country. his accomplishments were both on the field and on the campus and i'm pleased today to be joined by a number of my colleagues from pennsylvania and pleased to yield to the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. kelly, for as much time as he may consume. mr. kelly: i thank the gentleman. and i'm glad to be here with my colleagues from pennsylvania. my thoughts of coach paterno go way back to the time when i was a really young guy and coach paterno at that time was an assistant coach for rip engel and coach paterno would come into our high school and he was very close friends with my high school coach. but the thing i remember most about coach paterno, he had the ability to inspire you to do things that maybe you didn't
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think you could do. he had the ability to get you to go beyond being tired into being better. and as a young guy growing up, he would come into our study halls and into our halls and i had the chance to go to penn state many times to see him as an assistant coach and always enjoyed the moments we had and we would go over to his house with mrs. patent and he would say, these -- mrs. paterno, and he would say, these guys are hungry, they were always nice to us. the kids were small then. so i can understand the sense of loss that not only the paterno family has but the state of pennsylvania and in particular penn state university, because coach paterno was part of the fabric of that which is penn state. he was the man that transcended not just football, because football was only a very small part of our life, but it was that game that taught us about life that was to come. and the adversity that you would face and the problems you'd have to solve and the idea that,
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yeah, you may not have done it real well in that last play, the only sin was not getting up off the deck and getting ready for the next play. so, i join my colleagues from pennsylvania and there's a deep sense of loss for all of us in pennsylvania and especially all those folks at penn state who have lost a true leader and a true icon. not just for college football and not just for athletics but for the american life. so i am deeply indebted to coach paterno for what he taught us. i also am grieving with the family and the rest of the state of pennsylvania for the loss of a truly great american in joe paterno and i thank the gentleman and i yield back the balance of my time. mr. thompson: i thank the gentleman for his comments, for joining us and honoring and remembering a great individual in joe paterno. it's now my honor to recognize mr. gerlach, another colleague that i've had the privilege and honor to serve with since coming to congress and i yield to congressman gerlach for as much time as he may consume. mr. gerlach: i thank the
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gentleman and appreciate this opportunity to join you today and thank you, mr. speaker, for this opportunity. i'm joining my colleagues from pennsylvania in recognizing coach joe paterno and the legacy he forged during more than 6 -- excuse me, 60 years at penn state university. most major college football programs measure success on what happens on a 100 yeard patch of grass on a saturday afternoon in the fall. and if you measure a career only at wins and losses, what coach paterno achieved historic. 409 times he walked off the field victorious, the most wins of any coach in division i college football. . what is the coach paterno apart was he demanded excellence from his players every day of the week. success with honor was what coach paterno expected whether his players were performing in front of 100 fans in beaver stadium or taking in a museum in the classroom. as someone who played football through youth colleague through college, i fully appreciate the special role that a football
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coach can play in the lives of his players. a coach is above all a teacher and one who can build his player's character and instill the values of hard work, persistence, and teamwork. lessons that last a lifetime. coach paterno did just that. football was the means by which he molded players into leaders and forever transformed a university. he prepared his players to be winners in life not just on saturday aftersnoons. that is why when joe paterno passed away on january 22, pennsylvania lost a ledgendary football coach who graciously used the spotlight he was given to help his players, penn state university, and our great commonwealth. may he rest in peace. i yield back the balance of my time. mr. thompson: i thank the gentleman for participating today in this remembering and celebrating. mr. speaker, i in my times in my life of opportunities to -- that
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i have to reflect back, i think on, as special times, there's one time in particular when i was a senior in high school i grew up in centre county as a -- went to penn state, proud penn state alumni, i grew up in the shadow of the nittany lion and joe paterno. one of my most meaningful memories having played high school football was the day i got word that coach joe paterno had asked for game films to look at me as a prospect for that great team. and that was going well until he saw that as an offensive guard i was less than 200 pounds. but today i still treasure that. i still treasure that as he looked at my performance and saw something there. joe paterno grew up in brooklyn. the descendant of albanian an italian immigrants. he derived a toughness from that heritage describing his father as albania as a land of quiet
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hardheaded people. his toughness was seasoned by a deep appreciation of the classics. virgil, which he read in the original latin, was a key source of inspiration for paterno. he wrote, quote, i'll never forget the majestic ring of the opening lines of annie ed, he translated as of arms and the man i sing. the man grew inspiration for vigil's hero. he him he wrote, he yearns to be free of his tormenting duty but he knows his duty is to others to his men. he attended brown on a football scholarship where he met and combated prejudice. prejudice from those who thought that football players lacked the intellectual firepower of other students. prejudice from those who thought birth gave status instead of personal excellence and hard
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work. prejudice based on religion. as a player and later as coach, paterno gave everything to his men, his players, and his team. i'm now very proud to yield to my good friend from pennsylvania, also a penn state alumni, nittany lion, mr. dent. mr. dent: thank you, mr. thompson, for organizing this special hour to discuss the life of joseph vincent paterno. as has been said there have been many yule gis about joe paterno. he was an extraordinary man by anyone's measure. as been mentioned he came to us via brooklyn, brown university. i believe he studied english literature. and he always had a great -- he always took great inspiration from the books he read. and the classics. in fact, he turned down a life in professional football in order to stay at penn state, stay in this university, academic environment.
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he actually liked meeting with the faculty and enjoyed discussing english literature and other weighty matters. this man was quite complex. he was more than just football. although certainly that was such an important part of his life and big part of his live. -- life. we should also note, too, some of us would always kind of -- we watched joe paterno over the years, my mom is a penn state alumna, i am a penn state alumnus. our family goes back many, many decades. so we have some abeginance with joe paterno and many people fondly remember him the guy with the thick coke bottle lenses and khaki pants, with athletic shoes. that's how they would see him on the field gettingage dated from time to time with officials. he was much more complex than all that. a few things. first, if there is a theme about joe paterno's life, he was about setting clear standards. as one of his children told me. his five wonderful children. wonderful devoted wife, sue.
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he often said joe said things like this. take care of the little things and the big things take care of themselves. you either get better or you get worse. you never stay the same. and most importantly, he said, make an impact. that was the wisdom his father passed on to him and joe passed on to his children. make an impact. so when you think about it, joe paterno's life was about making an impact. and football was just a means to that greater end for him. he and his wife, sue, would see a need and they would meet it. one small thing at a time, and until the big things a legacy of philanthropy and caring took care of itself. and they get a lot of their own time as well as their own money. his son said something to me, i'm going to read this, one of his children sent this knee, over the years joe attended hundreds of dinners and financials raising billions of dollars for penn state special
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olympics, and it was sue particularly devoted to special olympics, the catholic church, and education at all levels. and he said, i once asked why he did it. why he smiled when he signed his 30th autograph while getting a paper? he said that with a twinkle in his eyes, quote, the moment they don't care about penn state football, we can't do the things that matter. close quote. he understood that as a symbol and as a person he had to let people own a piece of him to get them to buy into the bigger, the larger vision. they did. and the results were spectacular. from the library, paterno library, the scholarships, the dance pair marathon, where they raise so much money for children with cancer. he said my dad helped them all. he made an impact. and that's really what it was about. it was often been stated, too,
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that joe paterno really wasn't supposed to go to penn state at all. he was supposed to go from brown university to become an attorney as his father had expected. and he basically told his dad at one point, no, i'm never going to be a lawyer. he was enjoying penn state. he enjoyed the football program. his dad -- he said his father took it all right. but closed with a mandate that drove him his whole life. he said, quote, it's not enough for you to be just a good football coach. you need to make an impact. so that was imparted from his father on to joe. and there are a lot of folks out there, a lot of people, who played football for him who some of these were young men who had a lot of talent in many cases. some of them were maybe a little bit pampered as some athletes are at the high school level. and joe could be a pretty strict disciplinarian for loot of them. one of his former players, kenny
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jackson who attended penn state when i did, still calls him teacher first. hundreds of players call him a surrogate father. the lessons they learned translated across the whole spectrum of their lives. creating a living legacy. that will make an impact of decades past his passing. there are so many people who spoke of him. since his death and just prior to his death i spoke to some of his former players and friends who knew him well. they often talk about the impact he made on their lives and how much they cared for him. all these decades after, after playing for him. in fact there is one story i want to share. i remember back in the 1980's there was a player named bob white. became an all american. was on the national championship team. think he even played in the nfl for a while. i remember how paternos took him under their wing. apparently he was a fairly marginal student. had trouble reading. not very good at it. sue paterno basically would give
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him books and he would have to read the books and then give her a book report. i mean this is the coach's wife taking an interest in one player who was academically not very strong. at the time. now, today he's quite successful. lives quite well. you just wanted to share that story. it's one of those stories you don't hear about. or an anonymous contributions that have been made by him that have been discovered recently because people have spilled the beents so to speak. didn't want people to know that he was helping them. he did all these things without any recognition. he was an extraordinary man. he will be deeply missed. and all i can say is that he's a great pennsylvanian. even if he did spend his first few years of his life in brooklyn. he was very proud of that, by the way. i just want to say i always have very fond memories of him. the university is a better place because of what he has done.
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throughout his life. and i think we will always remember him. at this time i'd like to yield to my colleagues. mr. thompson: i thank the gentleman. winning was important for joe paterno and he won a lot. last fall he achieved a record, becoming with 409 wins and 136 losses the winningest coach in division i college football. his wins record surpassed legendary coaches including bear byant in 2001, bobby bowden in 2008, and eddie robinson in 2011. penn state is one of just 17 with more than 800 wins in its history. and joe paterno was active with the program for 704 of those games over 61 seasons with an amazing record of 514-183 losses, seven ties. or 73%. it's my pleasure and privilege now to yield to another great pennsylvania congressman for as much time as he may consume,
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congressman lieu bar leta. -- lou barletta. mr. barletta: thank you. it's easy to judge joe paterno's career by the numbers. 409 career wins, which is a division i coaching record. 37 bowl game appearances, with 24 wins. five undefeated seasons. 62 years at one university, 46 of them as the head football coach. many of those numbers will never be equaled or past. but those numbers weren't the most important things to joe paterno. joepa coached the greatest players in penn state football history, franco harris, shane conlin, lavar arrington, curt warner, john cap letty, kerry collins. more than 350 of his players signed nfl contracts. 79 first team all americans.
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but again, those numbers weren't the most important things to joe paterno. here's what mattered to joepa. 47 academic all americans, 37 of them first team. and 87% graduation rate in 2011. 20 points higher than the national average. and according to the new america foundation, no achievement gap between its black and white players. joe paterno loved coaching at the college level because he loved preparing young men to succeed in life. he turned down several offers to coach in the nfl. he made far less than any other college football coaches. during the memorial service for joepa, a native son of my district, jimmy seppilo of pitston, captured the essence of his coach.
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he said, i quote, he took the sobs of coal miners -- sons of coal miners and he took the sons ever steel mill workers and of farmers in rural pennsylvania with the idea that we would come together and do it the right way. the joe paterno way. those thousands, literally thousands of young men taken from generally small communities looking for direction at a very young age, this is joe paterno's legacy, end quote. that sums it up perfectly without joe paterno, thousands of young men from the smallest towns and townships of pennsylvania might not have received the quality college education. he saw all of these young men as his sons and he wanted the best for each and every one of them. outside of college football, joepa lived a life as plain as
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penn state's uniforms. he lived in the same simpleranch house for 45 years. his home phone number could have been found in the white pages. for years he drove a ford tempo. his trademark rolled up pants were not a fashion statement, but a prack at this cality. he rolled up the cuffs to save on dry cleaning bills. but when it came to the university he loved, the university that educated his five children and thousands of his players, joe paterno was exceedingly generous. . joepa alternativeow, his wife and their five children announced the contribution of $3.5 million to the university in 1998. giving his total to more than $4 million. his personal life was humble.
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his humanitarian life was remarkable. and his professional life was legendary. i yield back. mr. thompson: i thank my good friend for sharing his thoughts on coach joe paterno. among joe paterno's accolades in 46 years as head coach were two -- two national championships, 23 finishes in the top 10 rankings and three big ten conference championships since joining the conference in 1993. he 24 bowl wins and 27 bowl game appearance. both of which are the most of any coach in history. in as many decades as a coach at penn state, paterno built a team dedicated to excellence on the field and off the field, as you heard many of my colleagues refer to today. he saw football as important, but he kept even football in perspective. in his view, the players who have been most important to the success of penn state teams have
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just naturally kept their priorities straight. football, a high second, but academics an undisputed first in his words. paterno said that he hounded his players to get involved, don't let the world pass you by. go after life, attack it. 10 years from now i want to you look back on college as a wonderful time of expanding yourself. not just four years of playing football. the purpose of college football is to serve education, not the other way around. he understood that education required effort by both students and teachers, another of his quote, even the most talented teacher can try what he or she thinks is teaching, but it won't really take unless a student takes charge of the most important job, learning. end quote. thus began joe paterno's grand experiment at penn state where players would not just be model athletes but model students and model citizens. his players responded consistently ranking at or near
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the top among the leading football programs in graduation rates. under his tenure, penn state football team had 16 hall of fame scholar athletes. 49 academic all americans and 18 ncaa post graduate scholarship winners. penn state had more american academic all-americans than all other big ten schools and ranked number three among all 120 football bowl division schools. in 2009 the graduate rate of joe paterno's players was 89%. and the graduation success rate was 85%. both of which were the greatest among all football programs in the final 2009 associated press top 25 poll. now pleased to yield back to my good friend, mr. dent. mr. dent: thank you. as we wind down this special order this hour and talk about joe paterno, we should also probably note one other thing, too. of course joe paterno was about success with honor, he was about
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making an impact. he was also about family and i also just want to say that too, ma many players over the years, their children would come, in some cases three generations would play with him. it's a remarkable story. i think of a guy from my hometown, mike. many of my colleagues from arizona will remember mike for the famous goal line stand penn state-alabama sugar bowl in 1979. i wish the results had been different but nevertheless mike was a running back and had so many kind, wonderful things to say about him. his son, too, played at penn state and that was just the kind of program that i think joe wanted. it was very family-oriented. and also wanted to mention, too, that one of the eulogies about joe that is probably worth sharing, i believe was given by his son jay, he often talked about his sense of humor. and that of his wife. joe was apparently utterly, as was sue, early this utterly
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devoted to each other. very independent-minded people but very much dependent upon one another. i'm just going to read an excerpt from that eulogy. humor was a large part of my parents' marriage. my mom and dad speaking together was always entertaining. my mom would jump up with a smart comment when he was talking and you'd get a glimpse of how the two of them intertacted -- interacted. neethser one of them took them too seriously. one of my favorite lines they had was about how they stayed married so long. they had a deal. whoever leaves the marriage first had to take the children so neither one of them ever left. that was sort of the sense of humor they had, but they were so utterly devoted to each other, to their five children, and to their many grandchildren, that's something we don't know -- we don't speak much about joe paternoest. didn't have a whole lot of hobbies, either. he was devoted to family and his football program and the university. that's what he was about. and so it really speaks volumes about him. he will be deeply missed and at
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this time i would i guess yield to the gentleman from altoona, mr. shuster. mr. shuster: i thank the gentleman from allentown for yielding. it's a great privilege for me to be here on the house floor today, talking about someone who i have the highest regard for and over the years was able to watch just what a tremendous thing he did at the university, penn state university. it's not just about winning football games. of course he won 409 games in his 46 seasons, five undefeated teams and led penn state to two national championships. but he zpw more than that. did more for the university. i know my colleagues have already talked about the only division i school in the country that has a wing of the library named after the head football coach. that's because his and sue's dedication and contributions to building that, not only that library but that institution, and a lot of that building came
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through as he built those football teams and brought national attention to penn state. but for me on a personal level, probably one of the proudest moments i had was to stand on the house floor when he -- i believe he surpassed walter camp's winning record of 309 victories i think it was, about 10 years ago. and john peterson, the congressman from the state who represented that part of the country at that time, who g.t.'s replaced or followed, he had a special order on the floor and john peterson started first and then the great coach tom osborne, tom osborne served in congress in the early 2000's. and so tom osborne then got up and talked about joepa alternativeow and his -- joe paterno and his respect for him. so then i got to follow tom osborne. i'm following a legendary football coach talking about a legendary football coach. even to this day i'm getting goosebumps remembering that time because it was really an exciting and a moment i'll
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always remember. but again, what joe paterno did that stood apart from many other coaches was his dedication to education and academic excellence. unlike many other schools with division i programs, paterno recruited a player speaking first about penn state's academic excellence. and during that time in the early 2000's when i served with coach tom osborne, those were mean years for penn state and joe paterno and when we'd come to town on a monday or tuesday night for votes, coach osborne would summon me over on the floor and talk to me about what was going on in central pennsylvania, how was the media treating joe? and there was a real concern that coach osborne had for joe paterno. and a real respect came through. so after several of these meetings i finally asked coach osborne, i said, it's obvious you have this great respect for joe paterno. is that because you thought he was the superior coach to you? and he said, no, absolutely not. i have a higher winning percentage with paterno but he said i do have a great respect
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for joe because joe could do something that nobody ever was able to achieve and that is year in and year out joe paterno would graduate roughly 85% of his players. but always the highest graduation rate in division i. and on top of that, he had quality football teams. and he recruited quality players and he could compete at a national level. so he said, that's something none of us could do and then he went on, coach osborne went on to tell me about how he would talk to joe in the offseason and try to understand the programs and the discipline and the things he did because he wanted to be able to get to that level with joe and coach osborne told me i believe the highest -- highest he ever got was 79% graduation rate. that's what one of the great all-time coaches, that's the great respect he held for joe paterno and again it was not just about his football but it was about what he was, about building young mention, about instilling in them the need to educate themselves and to be excellent when it came to their academic efforts.
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and he often said, you have to start with the idea that a kid has to be a student first and paterno said in the 1982 news service interview, we preached three things in a student's life when comes to spent state. studies, athletics and social life and you must keep them in that order and you can never back away from that. so again, joe paterno, education first mindset paid off for those thousands of young men that came to pen stapet and i don't know if -- penn state and i don't know if you've watched the ceremony, dedication to his life, and his funeral, but you saw that come clear through. not just from superstars but from kids that couldn't even play after a couple of years because of injury, but joe paterno stuck with them, encouraged them and instilled in them the importance of academics in their life and making sure they get that education because as we know full well, when kids go off to division i -- play division i sports, wlts
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football, basketball, baseball, they don't always -- 99% of them never make it to the pro level but they get an opportunity to go to college and in places like penn state and other universities, when you have coaches like joe paterno and coaches that aspire to be like joe paterno, they instill in those kids that those 99% that can't make it big in the prose, they still can get an ed -- pros, they still can get an education and get a good job and provide for their families and become productive citizens and again that's something that joe paterno always preached, to be productive, to be a good citizen, to give back to your community and he lived that life and he will be sorely missed, not only in central and in pennsylvania, but i believe throughout the college ranks, throughout the nation. and he'll be one of those people you can look to and say, that's the kind of coach i want to be, that's the kind of program i want to build and those are the kind of kid thaze want to turn into young productive citizens of the united states of america. so, again, pleased to be here
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with my colleagues from allentown and bellfont? close to bellfont. that's even smaller. i'm from everett. so altoona's a big city to me. i don't even know my way around altoona. thanks for doing this. i yield back. mr. dent: i have to apologize for making that error. it's a wonderful area. we love it. but just wanted to say, one other thing, too, that my friend, mr. shuster, just reminded me of. about how coach paterno, joe paterno, recognized that most of his players were not going to become pros and he celebrated the accomplishments of his players off the field. in fact, i remember one fellow who went to school with me, a guy named stu. i think he was captain of the special teams. they won the national title of the year -- title the year after i graduated. he talked with pride about that young man.
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he's not going to be a pro but he's got all this spirit, all this fight in him. he's a smart kid, all that. he became a dentist. and very proud of the fact that that was one of his players and that was kind of the way he was. he wanted to see his players succeed. he wasn't so concerned about the next five years after graduation but the next 15, 20, 30, 50 years to see what they're doing with their lives. and so i think that's something we shouldn't lose sight of. i did read from a eulogy given at the celebration of joe's life by one of his children. i will like to submit this for the record. and i appreciate that. and, again, i just want to conclude by saying that joe vincent paterno, great pennsylvanian, a great american, a strong leader, a mentor to so many, a mentor even to many people who never met him. but who had an impact on their lives. so, joe paterno, yes, you did in fact make an impact. i yield back, mr. thompson.
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mr. thompson: thank you, mr. dent. mr. speaker, joe paterno claimed that the long run major of the success of his teams was in the contributions his players made to society after graduation. joe paterno decided not to accept a lucrative nfl coaching offerings because he loved being an educator as a college coach. he also criticized the nfl teams that took too much of his players' time during their senior years. paterno pushed the ncaa to adopt rules requiring higher levels of academic performance from college athletes, pushing higher standards from both high school and college athletes. paterno's dedication to education extended far beyond the players he coached. in the early 1 80's he pushed -- 1980's he pushed penn state leadership to extend fun raising from alumni in order to extend academic programs them. donated several million dollars to penn state university and he helped them raise many millions more.
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coach paterno once said, when i'm gone, i hope they write, i made penn state a better place, not just that i was a good football coach. well, coach, that is what they're writing today. he envisioned that increasing the resources available to the university through fundraising would help its students to attain academic excellence. and the great things that penn state has attained over the years are in part a testament to his vision and his dedication to that cause. often universities name athletic facilities after great coaches. penn state named a new wing of its library after paterno. paterno's contributions extend beyond penn state, he was heavily involved, he and his wife sue, in a special olympics. it was also a national spokesperson for the tooth foundation. mr. speaker, just yesterday i had the opportunity to visit with one of the special olympic
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athletes, an am bass for that program -- an ambassador for that program, chris geleski and the first thing that chris did in coming to my office was to express his sorrows for the loss of coach joe paterno. paterno wrote that he had been strongly influenced by this line from st. iginatus. always work as though everything depended on you yet always pray knowing that everything depends on god. over the years that dynamite thought has exploded to something larger and larger in life. it means to me now never be afraid to accept the limitations of you or others. accept that we are all pretty small potatoes but always know how great each of us can be. so the winningest coach in college football history, i think, was among the most
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humble of men based on those remarks that he made. the enormous positive impact that joe paterno has made on thousands of players, hundreds of thousands of students and millions of fans and admirers across central pennsylvania and around the world cannot be understated. he was a man but his legend continues of for combining humility with the dedication to greatness, joe paterno stands as a model for all of us. with the passing of joe paterno, we are all penn state and we mourn his loss. thank you, joe paterno. and with that i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time.
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the speaker pro tempore: under the speaker's announced policy of january 5, 2011, the gentleman from minnesota, mr. ellison, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the minority leader. mr. ellison: mr. speaker, allow me to claim the hour on behalf of the minority leader and i got some boards to put up so i am going to take a moment to do that.
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well, thank you, mr. speaker. i appreciate the time today. a lot of important issues facing the american people. none more important than their economic livelihood and viability. and so we're going to be talking today during this special order about economic justice, economic opportunity
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and the fight for the american middle class. mr. speaker, i'm co-chair of the congressional progressive caucus, the congressional progressive caucus is that caucus that comes to congress to ban together to stand up for the american dream. the idea that all americans, no matter which color they may be, no matter if they're disabled or not, straight or gay, have right to full participation and opportunity to grab that american dream as one of their core beliefs. the progressive caucus believes that all americans, all people across the world have the right to clean air, clean water and food free of pesticides and toxics. the progressive caucus is the organization that is four square for civil rights for all people. but we believe that it is a national disgrace that women are paid 80 cents for every dollar a man makes. we think it's a national disgrace that you not be able
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to marry whoever you love and want to be with. we think it's a national problem that people in our society which is founded on the idea of rilks tolerance find themselves the religious hate and hysteria. we are four square with the idea that peace should be the guiding principle of our nation and diplomacy and development are good things and that war is almost always a bad thing, though sometimes necessary, diplomacy is always better before we send our young people into harm's way. that's who the progressive caucus is. that's who we're about. and i'm going to offer tonight, mr. speaker, a progressive message. technical difficulty. a progressive message. so let me begin with that progressive message. we're here to talk about the progressive message on this
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day, february 9, to address the issue of economic viability. working american families are getting crushed under our middle -- and our middle class is shrinking every day, but here in washington our friends on the other side of the aisle, the republican caucus, is in control of the house, and while millions of people are facing foreclosure and unemployment, sadly we see americans continuing to hurt and their problems are not being addressed. this week in congress, if i can just talk about what we did this week, the republican majority did not bring up a single jobs bill. we didn't talk about jobs this week. here we are at the close of the week and not talking about jobs. they did not bring up a bill to keep americans in their homes and address foreclosure, nor did we talk about cleaning up our air and water or rebuilding our economy or our nation's crumbling infrastructure. no, we weren't doing that. we were doing something else that has to do with scoring points in an election.
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but one of the things we did today, which i think was important but which was an idea that came from the democratic majority senate and originated with great democrats, tim walz and louise slaughter, was that we voted on a bill to stop trading on congressional knowledge, the stock act. today, we voted on a bill designed to stop members of congress from profiting from confidential information they received while doing their jobs. you would think that this goes without saying, but sadly that's exactly what some politicses have been doing. we voted on -- politicians have been doing. we voted on the stock act, the stop trading on congressional knowledge act, and i was happy to support this bill because my colleagues, louise slaughter and tim walz, pushing a bill which i think was a better version but we voted on the senate version today, and -- but the price for getting that
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bill in front of us today, the price for fighting to get that bill in front of us was a carveout for wall street special interests. that's too bad. the bill came before us today, and i voted for it, but the public should know a few things about the legislation. only after stripping out a provision to stop the so-called political intelligence would the majority even consider to stop members vote on betting on confidential information. we wonder why congress has a 10% approval rating. after months of calling for action by house democrats, house republicans have finally relented and the house took up the stock act today, clarifying that members of congress and congressional staff and zeck of it branch officials and judicial officers are subject to the same insider trading rules as everyone else. unfortunately, leadership and the majority house caucus took transparency and accountability measure and rewrote it in
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secret in the dark of night and the majority caucus, the republican caucus weakened the bill, dropping the provision that will acquire those who peddle political intelligence for profit to register and report the eliminating and the anti-corrupting provision added by the senate and unanimously approved by the house judiciary committee. regarding the political intelligence provisions, senator grassley, republican of iowa, responded -- it's astonishing and extremely disappointing that the house would fulfill wall street's wishes by killing this provision. so republican senator grassley even had to admonish the house to say, why would we weaken the bill, dropping a provision that would require those who peddle political intelligence for money to register and report their activities? that's too bad. if congress delays action, the political intelligence industry
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will stay in the shadows just the way wall street likes it. it's time to act on this legislation and take a first step toward restoring trust in government. we must hold a swift house-senate conference to strengthen this democrat -- this republican majority bill that passed through here that's a weakened piece of legislation. last week the senate bill passed a stronger measure by a vote of 96-3 and a stronger bipartisan house bill is co-sponsored by 299 members. this really pads wall street profits off of a rigged game. this insider trading is nothing more than wall street insiders pumping washington insiders so they can place bets on stocks. political intelligence firms have grown drastically in the
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last few decades and is now $100 million industry. they unfairly profit from nonpublic information and these firms have no oversight and could freely pass along information for investment purposes. a 2005 story on insiders profiting off a last-minute government bailout of companies embroiled in asbestos litigation was the catalyst to the stock act. a recent "wall street journal" story on the prevalence of the industry, the intelligence industry reinforces the need for this bill. without the stock act, enforcement officials are left in the dark on who is paying and playing in the political intelligence industry. this is why we need the whole stock act, the stop trading on congressional knowledge act, the stock act, which shed necessary light on a lucrative industry that has been lurking
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in the shadows since 1970's. h.r. 1148 establishes regulation for political intelligence industry by amending the lobbying disclosure act to apply the registration reporting and disclosure requirements to all political intelligence activities just as they are applied to lobbyists now. it's important -- this is an important provision and an essential piece to the stock act purpose, to ban insider trading based on congressional knowledge. support for the stock act -- support for the stock act, the stock act has a lot of support, mr. speaker. the stock act has a broad base of support from organizations dedicated to government reform, including public citizens, citizens for responsibility and ethics in washington, common cause, democracy 21, league of women voters, project on government oversight and the sunlight foundation and u.s. per. here's a summary of the stock
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act, and this is a bill authored by tim walz and louise slaughter, which i am an original co-sponsor. it's a stronger version than what came through here today, and it's what our country needs. the stock act requires firms that specialize in political intelligence who use information obtained from congress to advise financial transactions to register with the house and senate, just like lobbying firms are required to do. it prohibits members, their staff, executive branch employees and any other person from buying or selling securities, swaps or commodity futures based on congressional and executive branch nonpublic information. it requires a more timely disclosure of financial transactions above $1,000 for those members and staff that are already required to file annual financial disclosures. and it amends the house ethics rules to prohibit members and their employees from disclosing any nonpublic information about legislative action for
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investment purposes. my constituents don't have insider traders looking out for their bottom line. now, let me just talk a little bit more about the stock act. while the house voted this morning on the stock act, making clear that rules against insider trading apply to members of congress, congressional staff, executive branch officials and judicial officers and employees, the version brought to the floor by leader cantor was weakened by republicans before it actually became to be voted on. the g.o.p. rhetoric suggesting otherwise isn't fooling anybody. the associated press weighed in on this issue and they said the house passes republican written insider trading bill that was heavy wall street influence. the house has pass a bill to ban members of congress and executive branch officials from insider trading but critics from both parties accuse house
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republican leaders of caving in to investment firms by eliminating a proposal to regulate people who try to pry financial information from congress. "the new york times" had something to say, too. here's what they said in an editorial. the house less persuasive ban on insider trading. they apeer ready to bough to election year pressure and pass a bill banning law makers from using nonpublic information they hear on the job to make financial investments. the house legislation however is missing two vital provisions that are in the senate bill that won overwhelming approval last week. if the goal is to root out corruption and raise the public's low opinion of congress, the house shd approve the full range of reform in the senate bill. "the washington post" also had something to say about this, mr. speaker. what they had to say is, the house should take the opportunity to crack down on public construction -- corruption. the house much representatives is expected to take up thursday
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a useful member to -- measure to prohibit insider trading by members of congress and beef up disclosure of lawmakers' financial transactions. unfortunately the version of the measure produced by the house majority leader, he eric cantor, omits, omits, one of the most important parts of the bill passed by the senate, a provision that would restore prosecutors' ability to go after official corruption. so, plitcode, which is one of our -- "politico" which someone of our local papes that are talks about congress took -- papers that talks about congress took up this issue and wrote, cantor under fire over stock act. what the "politico" writes is this, mr. speaker. house majority leader eric cantor, republican, virginia, has released his version of a congressional insider trading ban and -- ban and it strips a provision that would require political intelligence consultants to disclose their activities like lobbyists already do. it also scraps a proposal that
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empowers federal prosecutors for going after corruption by public officials. that stoked backlash from democrats, yes, it did, and even some republicans who are furious that cantor are recruising the virginia republican of watering down the popular legislation that easily passed the senate last week. it's astonishing, this is a quote from the "politico" article, it's astonishing and extremely disappointing that the house would fulfill wall streets a wishes by killing the provision -- wall street's wishes by killing the pro vision. that's what senator grassley said in a statement. if congress delays action, the political intelligence industry will stay in the shadows just the way wall street likes it. of course, mr. speaker, wall street -- excuse me, roll d had to weigh in on this issue as well. it sounds like there's a pretty strong consensus that the house version we passed was weakened and watered down and not what the public was expecting. "roll call" says, grassley,
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others rip house stock act. senator grassley is ripping the house version of a major reform bill passed late tuesday calling it, quote, astonishing, unquote, that house g.o.p. leaders would drop a provision requiring political intelligence consultants to register as lobbyists. grassley, senator grassley jind chorus of watchdog groups and democrats crid criticizing the house version -- criticizing the house version. president for citizens of responsibility and ethics in washington said the cantor provision is a sham and aimed at tricking americans into thinking he's dealing with the issue. that was a quote. and so whether you're talking about "politico," "washington times," "the washington post," associated press, "roll call" or whether you're just talking about members of the house democratic caucus or citizens across the nation, we did pass a version of the stock act today, it was a weakened version, it wasn't good enough, and, mr. speaker, if americans across
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this country decided that they were going to demand that there be a conference committee in which the stronger provisions were adopted, i think that would be a very good thing. the americans across this country, i think they agree with what's written in this "the washington post" article. they write, a scaledback ethics bill headed toward likely passage on the house thursday despite complaints from senators that republican leaders are jettisonning, that means getting rid of, several key provisions that won overwhelming support in the senate last week. and of course think progress probably echoes the sentiments of the american people, too, mr. speaker. as they write in their blog, house republicans prepare to vote on watered down congressional insider trading ban. here's what they say. since a "60 minutes" report showed that representative spenter bachus, republican, alabama, profited from information he obtained in a private economic briefing in 2008, congress has moved quickly
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to pass a bill to ban insider trading by its members. house majority leader eric cantor has made several changes to the legislation which appear intended to at least weaken the final product if not kill it outright. that is what they said. of course "the new york times", they're in this too. this is an issue of serious public concern and we would expect their editorial writers to weigh in. what they said was this, mr. speaker, with the house poised to take up the major ethics bill, republican leaders have deleted a provision that would for the first time regulate the collection of political intelligence from political insiders for the use of hedge funds, mutual funds and other investors. representative slaughter, democrat of new york, said lawmakers and the public needed to know more about the activities of these professionals who she said, quote, glean information from members of congress and staff and sell it to clients who make a lot of money off of it.
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you know, mr. speaker, i'm betting that a lot of people across america don't even know that this practice even takes place. i'm bing that a lot of people across -- i'm betting that a lot of people across america don't realize that there are people who sort of scurry around in the shadows looking for tidbits of information which they could use to make an investment decision and that these people -- this is a multimillion-dollar industry. i would like to pause for a moment, mr. speaker, and say, if representative marcy kaptur -- all right, let me know when you're ready. when you're ready, let me know. but let me also move back and just say that, mr. speaker, i doubt that the american people really realize that there is important information that can affect stock price, that is
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thrown around around here, and you would think that it would be just common sense, mr. speaker, that as we as members of congress are hired to pursue the public interests, that no one would ever use that information to advance their private commercial interests. there's nothing wrong with members of congress owning a business or something like that. i mean, this is america. but to say you're going to congress to get information, to try to trade stocks and then getting rich off that information seems to me a real problem. now, i don't know what the facts are, all i know is what i saw on "60 minutes," but it was alleged that a member of congress was in a meeting, pursuing his responsibility to promote the public interests, left that meeting, using information from that meeting and purchasing
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stock options and basically made a bet that the economy would go down. so, i ask you, mr. speaker, can a person charged with the public duty to uphold the public interests simultaneously pursue their private interests and what happens, mr. speaker, when those two things are at odds? if your job is to keep the economy afloat but it would make you money if the economy goes down because you have essentially bought stock options where you would financially gain from the loss of value, what is one to do? well, if they're a public service employee, if they're a public official they should pursue the public interests. and the law should forbid them from trying to pursue their private interests at public expense. and yet we do know that these things -- that there's good evidence that these things may
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well have happened and there needs to be accountability all around. and it is disappointing that when we finally, after these things finally get to the point where we're going to pass a bill, that we don't go all the way. we make carveouts for political intelligence industry, we make carveouts for people here and there. this is not right. the senate version, which has accountability, which has prosecution authority and which bans this political intelligence industry from just operating in the shadows, that is what we should be doing. not making carveouts for them and sweetheart deals. so, i'm joined now by my good friend from the state of ohio, representing the northern ohio area. there's really no one, mr. speaker, who has been a greater advocate for consumers than marcy capture -- marcy kaptur. marcy, i yield the floor to you. ms. kaptur: i thank my dear friend from minnesota and thank you for your leadership on so many issues here.
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i've listened with care to what you've been presenting today, to give voice to the american people from coast-to-coast. and i want to thank you in particular for the work you've done on mortgage foreclosures, on holding wall street accountable, congressman ellison. no one has fought harder. minnesota's been affected, your home city of detroit, you will across northern ohio, toledo, to lorraine, to cleveland, all these communities. struck so hard by wall street's malfeasance and i wanted to join you today as you keep a focus on who the wrong doctors really have been -- wrong doers really have been and how we help the public heal to. thank the obama administration for the efforts they've made to date on a major settlement that's being announced during the same time frame as we speak here. where individual states and five of the major wall street banks who are responsible, who use the widespread fraudulent paperwork
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that precipitated the foreclosure crisis, that this settlement will actually bring some measure of justice and we ought to claim a great deal of credit because the progressive caucus has been working so hard on this and housing, and the mortgage foreclosure crisis has been at the top of our agenda. the settlement, the initial settlement will reportedly impose a $26 billion penalty against wells fargo, bank of america, jpmorgan chase, ally financial and citigroup that were at the heart of the schemes that led to the securitization and clatral debt obligation risk taking. the total amount could grow to $30 billion or $45 billion if additional banks join the settlement. given the extent of the damage they've caused, it's a start and frankly a very important one. we can't forget that millions of americans -- america's families lost their homes and countless more are still dealing with foreclosure and our cities have
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empty hulks of neighborhoods that are struggling as a result. as you come to places that i represent, as you mentioned, in northern ohio, you can see the thousands of vacant structures that these banks left to decay. they didn't even manage them well. once they possessed them. in neighborhood after neighborhood. the damage these banks inflicted is incalculable, as they achieved the largest transfer of equity and wealth from wall street to main street. they've made every community more poor. this agreement is the largest joint federal state settlement ever obtained and the result of unprecedented coordination between the various corners of our government and the states and it needs to be a major settlement. one in five american families with a mortgage today, this is an astounding number, owe more than the house is actually worth. by an average of over $50,000. the collective negative equity across the nation is over $700 billion. for years i've come to this
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floor urging congress to do more and one critical part of this agreement is that it does not provide blanket immunity to the banks for their misdeed. while the ink is barely dry on this agreement, the press is reporting, officials will also be able to pursue any allegations of criminal wrongdoing and know the congressman and i want to go down that road and i wish the place in the record -- and wish to place in the record an article from the "new york times" this week that talks about how african-american new yorkers making more than $68,000 are nearly five times as likely to hold high interest mortgages as caucasians of similar income. i think the civil rights aspect of what has gone on -- thank you very much. is extraordinarily important. i don't want to overstep my time boundaries here, congressman ellison. do i have a couple of extra minutes in this period or not? mr. ellison: yes, you do, but may i ask you a question before you continue on? ms. kaptur: please. mr. ellison: we may see as many as 10 million homes go into
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foreclosure from the beginning of this crisis to the end. you know, how important to the average homeowner is this settlement? is it going to help them? i yield back to the gentlelady. ms. kaptur: i think what's going to happen to this is even though a million homeowners are likely to be helped and several hundred thousand get some recompence, maybe be a $2,000 per household, it's going to precipitate more foreclosures as the system continues to progress and that is a deep concern of mine because these banks have not been noted for treating customers well and according to the justice department, however, the agreement does not prevent any claims by individual borrowers who wish to bring their own lawsuits and i think it's incumbent upon lawyers across this country, our progressive caucus, to look for legal recommend disto continue to gain sweet justice for those who have been so harmed.
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mr. ellison: flealed. as we know -- if the gentlelady will yield. we know maybe one million will get help. hope they get it. but has anybody gone to prison for, you know, for mortgage fraud schemes? here's why -- i want you to address this question, but let melee it out just a tad for you -- but let me lay it out just a tad for you. as we know is people were drawn with high-pressure tactics to get in a mortgage they didn't understand, and sometimes were even misstated the income. there are people who would say, look, i didn't borrow that much money. i had no idea where that amount came from. and then there was a bunch of signing stuff that happened that people were not aware of and that sort of skirted the reality. ms. kaptur: the robeo signing. -- robo signing.
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mr. ellison: and people would underwrite mortgages based on their ability to sell that mortgage into the secondary market. and then it would get repackaged into a mortgage-based security which somehow miraculously these things with stated income, no income, no job loans, falsified income for these things, made it into a mortgage-based security which then was rated as a.a.a. in many cases. there's got to be some fraud and misrepresentation there. i mean, and so, you know, it just seems like the system was full of misrepresentation. have we investigated this thing to the point where there's people to hold accountable before we're settling this case? mrs. capito: you know what's important -- ms. kaptur: you know what's important to point out. this settlement does not deal with those that originated mortgages. it only deals with those
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mortgages that were held in the secondary market. so it doesn't claw back to the perpetrators of the scheme. and that's why i'm saying this is an important first step. we also need in every city as we had during the savings and loans crisis, strike forces of f.b.i. agents. mr. ellison: right. ms. kaptur: there were maybe 55 eakt working on that. during the s.n.l. crisis we had 1,000. in my area there were liars loans that were targeted to senior citizens. mr. ellison: liar loans. ms. kaptur: they would go up to a senior citizen, a woman after she lost her husband and say, ma'am, you know, we feel very sorry for you but we want you to know we have a deal. you'll never have to worry about your financial future again. they got her to cash out her equity and they put one of these balloon payments on there so they ended up having -- she ended up having to pay more than she could afford 10 years out.
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this is what happened to people. there's so much crime inside what was done in community after community and what's been happening at the f.b.i. is they have not been able to beef up their financial fraud division. and they've been held -- that's why -- mr. ellison: if the gentlelady will yield for just a moment on that. ms. kaptur: i'll yield. mr. ellison: i'll ask you about that. so over the course of the last several months our friends on the republican side of the aisle -- i am going honest -- have been trumpeted this idea that government is too big. we have to cut. we just have to cut. cut, cut, cut. just cut. scale it back, shrink it down, make it smaller, get rid of government. one iconic conservative figure said we have to shrink government to the size where you can drown in a bathtub. now, if we were able to shrink government to the size where you can drown in a bathtub, where are with he going to get these lawyers and f.b.i. agents to investigate mortgage fraud?
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ms. kaptur: there will be no justice. there will be no justice. the congressman has pointed out something extraordinarily important. there are those who seek to harm the american people, whether it's through financial crimes and those who are true enemies of our republic and we have to be strong on all fronts. and in this arena of prosecution, we have been very weak. mr. ellison: i mean, have we really investigated the extent of the wrongdoing before we settled the case? i mean, i'm glad there's been a settlement. i hope it brings justice to everyone. i suspect it will bring justice to some people. i hope so. but my question is, do we -- do we know the extent of the harm that bad actors -- and here's the thing, the originators might not be part of this, but these secondary market actors are -- in my view, are cuppable too because they had to know if they read the mortgages, they read the documentation, they
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have to say, wait a minute. something's funny here. we got a 72-year-old retired widow with a stated income of $ 160,000 a year or $500,000 a year, you know, it just doesn't make sense there would be that many widows earning that kind of income. now, there might be some that have that kind of wealth. but that kind of income in their retirement years? there's got to be something fishy here. ms. kaptur: it reminds me of baseball. you have some players on the field and say, you have to hold the shortstop accountable for what he did out there on the field, but you got the team coach sitting in the dugout, right? they haven't touched the coach. they haven't touched the players and they are not dealing with the one calling the plays. soer what dealing with some of the mortgages in the secondary market, they haven't touched the coaches, they haven't touched the originators of the
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mortgages in this particular settlement. now, in terms you say, how much does it help? the hole to our economy is several trillion dollars counting unemployment and lost revenue and so forth. overall the tarp was $700 billion. i didn't support it. this settlement is maybe $25 billion. ohio alone had a gap about that large. so when you look at the settlement, it's important, it's a victory. it's a victory. mr. ellison: we are going to claim it. ms. kaptur: but we got to get to the first baseman and second baseman and the third baseman and the catcher and the guys in the dugout. mr. ellison: you mentioned the s.n.l. crisis. we had 1,000 justice department lawyers going after this thing. we have 50 justice department lawyers going after this recent housing foreclosure crisis. i mean, can we even compete with some of these titans who the justice department has to deal with with that small
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number? ms. kaptur: we need to look at those over it the justice department and where they worked before they got there because i think one of the reasons prosecution isn't occurring at the level that it should there is some paralysis in some places because of those who are able to block a play. they're able to block prosecution. we have a bill, h.r. 3050, the financial crisis criminal investigation act, that would authorize an additional 1,000 f.b.i. agents. that's just as many as we had in the s.n.l. crisis which is much smaller than what we have today. but across our cities, across our regions, we don't have the agents in place to go after the crimes we've been talking about. mr. ellison: now, i just want to ask you this, the gentlelady from ohio, we talk about who lost. homeowners lost. even homeowners who never lost their home in foreclosure and never missed a payment, their home value dropped.
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a lot of people lost. but did some people really make a lot of money off of this crisis? ms. kaptur: oh, they made the highest salaries in the country. bonuses. we didn't take a penny away. i had a bill to take 100% of the bonuses away. guess what? they never bring it on the floor. we couldn't even take the bonuses away much less their yacht, their seven houses, all the fancy cars. they are living a great life. they're living -- and they believe they are immune from prosecution, that the american people won't -- mr. ellison: so far they have. ms. kaptur: it's not a pretty picture. mr. ellison: but if the gentlelady will yield, many, many people suffered in this foreclosure crisis. it's also cities suffered. cities were required -- they used to have a tax-paying citizen in a home. now, after the foreclosure, with all the stated income and the dishonesty and everything,
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they have no one living there. they have weeds growing. dead dogs there. they have an attractive nuisance where, you know, sometimes awful things happen in those abandoned houses. ms. kaptur: that's right. mr. ellison: so cities have seen their coffers drain. they went from a plus property tax paying person to now an expense on the tax roll. we've seen a reduction in the overall property tax revenue of cities which they need to put on vital services for residents of cities, streets, cops, fire, all that stuff. ms. kaptur: and the school districts, congressman ellison. when you look at the revenues that are bleeding away from school districts, the harm these big banks did, and they used to be speculation houses. then they changed their names to banks. mr. ellison: they got to be holding banks. ms. kaptur: they got to be holding banks. but if you look at the harm they caused across america, it's still not over, and
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they're not being held accountable. actually, they got richer as a result of this crisis. six banks now control 2/3 of the finances of this country. six banks. before the crisis they controlled about 40%. so they just got bigger and more powerful while community after community has been struck with more homelessness, with declining revenues to school systems, declining revenues into coffers so they couldn't hire police. the drug trade is just locked down in some of these communities as people struggle to earn their way forward in the most unfortunate way. you know, you look at the harm this has caused around the country, it's profound, and i gave a special order the other day and i said i think what we ought to do with these big bankers, places like goldman sachs and ci timbings igroup, they ought to go to our
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homeless shelters and scrub our floors. wouldn't it be great if the c.e.o. of goldman sachs had to come to a homeless shelter in minneapolis and scrub the floors and join habitat for humanity for a couple of years and go try to fix up some of these houses in these communities? they haven't confronted their damage. they feel they're being held harmless. you know what, they are. mr. ellison: well, if the gentlelady will yield. what happens, the profit from this mortgage fraud, they make exorbitant moneys as they, you know, securitize these bad mortgages. they, you know, they make exorbitant money as they collected on these credit swap. many of these people made goobs, gobs of money. it boggles the mind how big they are. your point is interesting because they don't see the damage they caused because they have -- some of them even
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helicopter from their homes to their offices. others of them are in limousines flying down the highway back to their country villa from their downtown manhattan skyscraper and, you know, they don't see the damage. they don't drive through cleveland and detroit and minneapolis and other places where whole neighborhoods have been sucked out because of the damaging behavior that they engaged in. and i think that it would be important to after they served their jail time to come and be with the people who they harmed and have to explain that, you know, the reason that we have created an exacerbated homelessness is because we just love money that much. and having two or three yachts and a couple boats wasn't good enough. we needed more and more and more, and that's why we wrecked your city, damaged your neighborhood and put you out of your home. ms. kaptur: what they have done are capital crimes.
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they have harmed our republic so much with this massive transfer. wealth. i think the best the american people can do is if they are paying a mortgage loan or a car loan or a student loan to any one of these big institutions that harmed america, take it out, renegotiate that loan with a local institution, credit union, community bank that didn't do this harm to the republic. that's something every american family can do. and then when you think about it, with this group of bankers did, and i call them speculators because they really weren't prudent bankers. mr. ellison: bankers collect deposits and loan money to communities they represent and help people do what they need to do. ms. kaptur: what they have done is harm the capital system in this country because they have disrupted the measurement of value at the local parcel level. so our normal system of recording deeds and value in minnesota, in ohio was thrown


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