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tv   U.S. House of Representatives  CSPAN  April 25, 2012 1:00pm-5:00pm EDT

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have consent. one view might be that the decision was predicated on the business -- >> we'll have more testimony from rupert murdoch on the phone hacking investigation live on c-span2 tomorrow at 5:00 a.m. eastern. the house is coming in now to debate a couple of bills, including legislation that establishes a permanent government transparency board and later on, democrats plan to force a vote on the senate's two-year highway bill. the speaker pro tempore: the house -- the speaker: the house will be in order. the prayer will be offered by our guest chaplain reverend matthew barnes, capital commission, indiana, indianapolis, indiana. the chaplain: heavenly father,
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thank you for civil government and the power you invest in each of the members in the people's house. with that power comes tremendous responsibility and sacrifice. we know that your son, jesus, had all power in heaven and in earth. yet he condescended to our lowest state in a grand act of service to mankind. through the greater love hath no man than this than a man lay down his life for his friends. we ask that such noble acts of courage, commitment, and compassion be evident in the men and women leading the united states. help them to remember that they serve their fellow citizens and are accountable to you, the almighty god. in the midst of this sacrificial service, may they make time to spend with their families and with you. for thine is the kingdom and the pow herb and the glory forever. amen. the speaker: the chair has
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examined the journal of the last day's proceedings and announces to the house his approval thereof. pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1, the journal stands approved. the pledge of allegiance today will be lead by the gentleman from indiana, mr. stutzman. mr. stutzman: i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the speaker: without objection, the gentleman from indiana, mr. stutzman, is recognized for one minute. mr. stutzman: thank you, mr. speaker. today's opening prayer was given by my good friend and mentor, matthew barnes, who serves as chaplain at the indiana statehouse and also serves as state director for capital commission in indiana. mr. speaker, i'm only a freshman in this body but it doesn't take a seasoned veteran to know our government is made up of human
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beings who need wisdom, and grounding in the truth of god's word. matt has made it his mission to pray for those in position of authority. in 2004 he was called to serve indiana's elected officials. matt administers love knowing he serves a god whose will is good and gracious and law is truth n my time in the legislature i saw matt give comfort and counsel to my colleagues. matt and his wife have three wonderful children, sarah, macah, and emma. their work and sacrifice have made indiana a better place. i'm honored my friend has been able to join us today. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from tennessee seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. >> thank you, madam speaker. i rise today to honor a woman of incredible strength and courage,
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one who has inspired and personally pushed numerous young ladies to achieve beyond their wildest dream. i'm talking about the record setting leader of the lady vols basketball team. pat head summit. mrs. black: i can sit here and read off a list of the stats and accomplishments on the courts, and they are many and quite impressive, but, madam speaker, i believe that we would miss the true scope of pat summit's impact not only on the sport but the lives of her players and so many who have watched her career. while the world saw her impact on the sport, her focus was always on teaching young women about life. and using their shared passion of basketball as the tool. her student athletes were always students first. they left the university of tennessee equipped for a successful life. she instilled in her players the work ethic that she learned on the dairy farm in henrieta, tennessee. it was her father's values of determination, hard work, and her years of holding among her brothers and families that inspired the toughness and drive
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to achieve the winning attitude. now the legendary pat summit will inspire countless americans off the court as she raises awareness in her personal fight against alzheimer's. one item from her well-known list of definite dos is to be a competitor. those of us who have admired her for years know she is a true competitor and ready for the fight. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from rhode island seek recognition? mr. cicilline: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. cicilline: madam speaker, i rise today to remember the 1.5 million armenians, men, women, earn children, who were massacred on the ottoman empire at the beginning of the 20th century. each year armenians throughout the world mark april 24 as genocide remembrance day, honoring those who perished from 1915 to 1923. i join my friend and colleagues in remembering the victims today. it's important to raise awareness about the genocide not only because it's an undeniable chapter in world history, but
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also because learning more about this horrific tragedy underscores the importance of eliminatingle to rans and bigotry wherever it -- eliminating tolerance and bigotry wherever it occurs. as a co-sponsor of house resolution 304, i strongly believe the time has come for the united states government to recognize this atrocity for what it was. genocide. i join my colleagues today in recognizing the vick -- victims of the armenian genocide. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from south carolina rise? mr. wilson: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. wilson: madam speaker, our nation's social security system is sadly approaching bankruptcy. the secretary of the treasury spoke on monday revealing that social security benefits are expected to become insolvent in only 21 years. three years sooner than was projected just last year. in a recent article in "the washington post," emily miller
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wrote, quote, thanks in part -- large part to mr. obama's insistence the 2011 deficit of $148 billion was the second largest single year deterioration since 1983. if washington doesn't do anything to address the program's imbalance, the trustees say we'll be raising the payroll tax to 16.7% to cover the gap, end of quote. this administration continues to take money out of the social security fund, shifting it for programs we cannot afford. it's past time for congress to act and stop washington's out-of-control spending which will ultimately result in higher taxes, more debt, destroying jobs, and putting senior citizens at risk. in conclusion, god bless our troops and we will never forget september 11 and the global war on terrorism. welcome south carolina attorney to washington for supreme court oral arguments. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from new york rise? >> madam speaker, i ask unanimous consent to revise and
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extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. >> thank you, madam speaker. you look into their faces and their eyes to see the worry that these young people had. just yesterday i had a round table of students in my district and talked about the biggest concern on their mind and it wasn't the final examines. it was the knowledge in three short months if this body does not act these young people will face a doubling of the interest rate on the student loan from 3.4% to 6.8%. ms. hochul: these young people were afraid, they are concerned. i asked what it will mean to them. one man who already has $120,000 in debt now said he had to leave to pay back his debt. one woman said she's going to take a fourth job on top of her third job. another said he would probably not be back next year. heartbreaking stories, ladies
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and gentlemen. we can stop it from happening. banks are lending each other at zero%. you can get a home mortgage loan for 3.9%. why are young people who are doing nothing other than having a shot at the american dream that each one of us had, why are they going to be slapped with this debt? i ask unanimous consent to -- i ask all of us to join in asking the house of representatives the leadership to allow us 20 vote -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from illinois rise? >> madam speaker, request unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. >> madam speaker, i rise today once again to express my concern about the e.p.a., their red tape, and its effect on jobs and the economy in my home state of illinois. in fact, a recent study found that that it could destroy more jobs in illinois than any other
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state. more than 38,000 illinois jobs are at risk. mr. hultgren: these 23450u layers of red tape would be especially harmful on electricity, raising costs for small businesses and forcing them to lay off employees. we could see electricity prices rise as much as 18%. a huge burden on small businesses, already struggling to keep their doors opened. time and again i have heard from small businesses in my district who are concerned about this regulatory onslaught. but house republicans are not standing idly by with bipartisan support we passed a half dozen pieces of legislation that would rein in the e.p.a. and help protect american jobs. unfortunately as with so many of the bills we have passed to create jobs and spur economic growth, the senate has refused to act. perhaps another reminder what is at stake is finally spurred them to action. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from california rise? >> to address the house for one minute. revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentlelady is recognized. ms. speier: thank you, madam speaker. let me get this straight, my good friend on the republican side really interested in cutting taxes for the wealthy. but when it comes to maybe cutting the taxes that students will be paying in the student loans they have by $1,000 more a year, they are not nearly so interested. let me read to you a posting to my facebook from a young woman that really hits home. she wrote, quote, going to college was the worst decision of my life. i hate to say it, but it's true. i did everything right. i graduated high school early at the top of my class. i got all of my core corresponds out of the way at a community college and transferred to a four-year college but couldn't afford it and had to stop before my last year. it's the biggest regret of my life, but i couldn't afford college. i'm not lazy, i'm not stupid, but i had the misfortune of
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being born poor. madam speaker, it's time for us to make sure that the poor students in our country have the right to go to college and to see it as a good decision not a wrong decision. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. johnson: thank you, madam speaker. i rise today to congratulate the recent victories of two plano high school teams, the 2012 plano girls soccer state champions and 2012 senior high school world quest national champions. last weekend the plano less girls soccer team defeated katy seven erninged its school the fifth state title. under the first year coach, who won the school state title in 2002, the soccer program has excelled and continued in its success. and last month the plano senior
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high school world quest team successfully defended its national championship title for the second year in a row, this team placed first in the national academic competition that tests high school students' knowledge of international affairs, geography, history, and culture. congratulations to those two stellar teams. that's the way to represent the great state of texas. god bless you and i salute you. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from california rise? >> madam speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. >> madam speaker, in these tough economic times it's critical that congress work to make quality education available to all americans. mr. baca: we know investing in education and investment in our future. an investment in the strength of america. by the year 2018, 63% of all american jobs will require some level of higher education. sadly if congress does not act soon, the interest rate for student loans will double from
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3.4% to 6.8% higher than the home loans. this will cause thousands of dollars in new debt for more than 7.4 million american students. unfortunately, the republicans in congress have refused to go forward with legislation that would prevent this crisis. and some republican leaders have openly criticized student loans who graduate with debt. it's time that congress work together, i say it's time that congress work together to help middle class families not just the wealthiest few. we must pass legislation and prevent increase in student loan rates. thank you, president obama, for taking the lead in helping our future generation and leaders of tomorrow. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> request unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. >> thank you, madam speaker. i rise to talk about the corruption, the fraud, the waste within g.s.a. an agency that has nearly a $10
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billion slush fund that they hide from the american taxpayers every single year. mr. denham: today i'm introducing a bill that will request transparency on an annual basis showing annual audits so american taxpayers can see exactly where this waste is going and hold this agency accountable. we are going to hold another hearing on the issue to make sure that the waste stops and that we actually start selling off some of the buildings that are sitting vacant right now today. an opportunity for republicans and democrats to actually come together just getting rid of waste. at the same time that we sell the properties and redevelop the things we aren't using, put people back to work. madam chair, i yield back. . the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from new jersey rise? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognize fed. >> i rise today in honor of
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holocaust remembrance day which was celebrated last week. the theme this year was courage to act a reminder for the need of all of taos stand against evil. the holocaust represents the worst of human may havor. mr. sires: yet some deny the holocaust ever occurred. it's no wonder that israel is extremely concerned with the development of nuclear weapons in iraq, with people who have shown no respect for human rights or human life. we must keep in the back of our minds the history of the jewish people. understanding the history helps us understand their feelings about what's going on in the world. on holocaust remembrance day, we remember that the jewish people have had a true experience with evil and we must work to ensure those
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things don't happen again. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman rise? >> request unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. poe: the regulators are going after america's farms. now they are considering prohibiting kids from working on farms. growing up on a farm teaches kids a valuable lesson and strong work ethic. the federal government is contemplating from prohibiting kids from doing work on their uncle's farms. according to the department of labor, prohibiting places of unemployment would include country -- county grain elevator, grain bin, feed lots, stockyards and livestock exchanges. anyone under 16 would not be allowed to drive any type of power equipment, including tractors. so if the farmer wants to hire a young boy to help move hay, it would be a crime. people who know nothing about farms are trying to stop educating our future farmers because a lot of farm kids grow up to be farmers now we're
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faced with the problem that the average farmer in the united states is over 50. if the regulators have their way and young people are shut out, there will be a lost generation of american farmers this ought not to be but that's just the way it is. >> for what purpose does the gentleman from new york rise? the gentleman is recognized. >> mr. speaker, just over three years ago, continental connection flight 340 7 crashed in my -- crashed in my western new york community and that of congresswoman hochul. sadly, all aboard were killed. in the wake of this tragic crash, the families of the passengers on board joined together and successfully fought for the inclusion of strong airline safety provisions in the federal aviation administration's re-authorization which was signed into law in august of 2010. mr. higgins: crew member screening and qualification, in addition to pilot certification requirements were factors that,
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if properly monitored, could have prevented the case. -- the crash. we must see to it that the f.a.a. follows through on the reforms passed by this congress. mr. speaker, keeping our flying public safe should be a top priority. i am committed to continuing the fight on behalf of the memory of those we lost on that day and i urge my colleagues to join our efforts to achieve safer skies for all americans. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. >> thank you, madam speaker. i rise today to take note of something that ocan you ared in this body, the other body, and on june 16 will occur in arizona. brian terry died more than a year ago as a border patrol agent serving his country on the arizona border. he was shot and killed by smugglers with weapons that ultimately came from the united
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states and went across the border under the operation fast and furious program. mr. sigh issa: that's controversial but there's no controversy that brian terry lived and exemplified the american spirit in serving his country in the military and then as a border patrol agent. on june 16 that border patrol station will open. on june 16, thanks to action here in the house weeks ago and in the senate today, we will in fact name it after brian terry. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from california rise? >> to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. >> madam speaker, 97 years ago, the ottoman empire orchestrated a murderous campaign that resulted in the death of over 1.5 million armenian men, women and children and forced hundreds of thousands of -- hundreds of thousands into exile. growing up in fresno, california, the place william is a royian, a great american
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author of armenian descent, called home, i heard the stories of the tragic time between 1915 and 1923. mr. costa: the sons and daughters of survivors, time and time again, told the stories of their families. the facts are clear. what happened 97 years ago can only be called in one name, genocide. the first genocide of the 20th century. and yet after nearly a century, the house of representatives and current and past american presidents have refused to recognize the armenian genocide as such. we can't -- we cannot wait for a convenient truth for it's not a convenient truth. man's inhumanity to mankind never is. now is the time to pass resolution 304 that i am a co-sponsor of and formally recognize the armenian genocide. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from california rise? >> i ask permission to address the house for one minute.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. >> thank you. madam speaker, this past friday, i spoke to the graduates of pepperdine university school of public policy. i was the commencement address. and like many other students who will be graduating this year, they are determined and eager to take on the difficult challenges of this world. ms. hahn: unfortunately, many of them are leaving college with a mountain of student debt, debt that can keep them from pursuing opportunities which may not yield short-term financial rewards but could make our world a better place to live. you don't have to look forward to finding these amazing -- you don't have to look far to find these amazing young people, our offices are filled with them. others have said it today but i'll say it again, we must pass legislation to prevent the interest rate on stafford loans from doubling this july 1. it's also why i introduced h.r.
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4286, which would allow students to begin paying back their federal loans 12 months after their graduate, instead of six. i hope i have support on that. this is common sense legislation that will allow new grads the chance to start their careers without the burden of monthly student loan payments. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from nevada rise? >> to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. >> despite the fact that president obama took swift action to puppish those who abused g.s.a., some are loobing to score cheep political points by attacking las vegas and nevada's to tourism industry. ms. berkley: they are trying to bring back the last administration's so-called black list of resort cities like las vegas and reno, prohibiting federal agencies from traveling to nevada to
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hold conferences and seminars. this policy is -- has damaged the reputation of my state, hurt our economy and killed jobs. thanks to president obama, black list was listed -- was lifted and discrimination against las vegas and reno was ended. it's time we made this policy permanent and that's why i'm going to introduce legislation to prohibit the black listing of any city in america. this means discrimination against cities like las vegas and reno will be illegal. las vegas wasn't the problem, the irresponsible behavior of the g.s.a. was. i urge my colleagues to stand up for jobs and join me in co-sponsoring this legislation. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from hawaii seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. >> madam speaker, i represent hawaii, the youngest state in this union. and many of our people
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immigrated to our wonderful state within the last 100-plus years. when they immigrated, they came to work on plantations for the most part and they knew one thing. ms. hanabusa: for their children to be better and get ahead, they needed an education and it's always been a very strong belief that education was the answer. this july, we will see the most popular student loan increase their interest rate from 3.4 focht 6.8%. it will affect 7.4 million students and it will mean $1,000 a month more for each and every one of them. think about it, madam speaker. we say the students are our future. we say we need them. we need them to be in college so that ewe will be the great nation we once were. then i ask you, why is it that we haven't taken up the legislation to again freeze the loan rates? keep it at 3.4%. so we can have our future and we can show these students that
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we really believe in them and invest in them. thank you, madam speaker. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from texas rise? >> to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. jackson lee: madam speaker, i rise today to acknowledge a milestone reached by marcus alexander. he is the first african-american to become commander of the texas a&m corps of cadets, currently he's a corporal in the u.s. marine reserves and a rising senior majoring in international studies. congratulations. the history of -- the history of african-americans at texas a&m university dates back to the founding of the institution. african-americans in the texas legislature advocated for the land grant act in 1866 which established a&m college of texas between 1876 and 1963. they worked at a&m as laborers
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and maids and support staff but were prohibited from attending as students and faculty until 1963. it's been a long time but here we are today to congratulate this young man a graduate of barbara jordan high school in the 18th congressional district mitigating circumstance district new york houston texas. he's the oldest of 10 children and the first in his family to go to college. he's said to be an admirable and mature young man. he's a corporal in the marine reserve and is the first person with marine experience to head the corps. texas a&m has the proud ditings of having the most graduates enlist in our nation's armed forces when compared to other nonmilitary academies. our city is proud of his achievements, he has always wanted to attend texas a&m and he was so gung ho about the military that he participated in the junior ka dealt program while still in high school. a week of enlisting in the
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marine corps he received a letter of acceptance to texas a&m yet true to his word he attended boot camp. he's the kind of young american we can be proud of. i am so proud of him. congratulations to you and your family,s that glory, hallelujah day and congratulations to texas a&m for opening up to being a student body president and yell leader. congratulations again, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia rise? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. >> thank you, madam speaker. over the years it's become harder to find the made in america label even though we know a robust manufacturing industry is important for our economy and creates jobs. mr. connolly: we've got a great opportunity to help manufacturing, the export-import bank. the entity that helps american companies export american goods. the u.s. chamber has urged the bank's re-authorization because
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it supports american job creation. since 2007, companies in my home state of virginia have supported almost $1 billion in export sales because of ex-im. with those in my district alone supporting $130 million in exports. last week house republicans brought up a bill to help small businesses, allegedly that will cost taxpayers $46 billion. 85% of the export-import banks transactions aid those same small businesses and provides a benefit to taxpayers, more than $4 billion over the last six years. the export-import intank good business. it creates jobs, supports american companies and it returns a profit to the american taxpayer. i urge my colleagues to support its re-authorization and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, the chair will postpone further proceedings today on motions to suspend the rules on which a recorded vote or the yeas and nays are ordered.
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or on which the vote incurs objection under clause 6 of rule 20. record votes on postponed questions will be taken later. for what purpose does the gentleman from california rise? >> madam speaker, i move that the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 2146 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 2146, a bill to amend title 31 united states code to require accountability and transparency in federal spending, and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from california, mr. issa, and the gentleman from maryland, mr. cummings, each will control 20 minutes. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. issa: thank you, madam speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. cummings: i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material
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on the bill under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. issa: thank you, madam speaker. the american people have a right to know that taxpayer dollars are well spent. we have a responsibility to stay up with the times as government has grown, waste, fraud, and abuse and mismanagement has increased. today, however, the technology is before us if we simply embrace it to do a far better job of accounting for every dollar spent on behalf of the american people. that's not just the american dollars that are spent by the federal government, but dollars passed on to private sector, to the states, to public ebb tits -- entities, and nonprofits. today as those trillions of dollars are put out, we find that we don't know where they are spent. at best we know the first place they went to. under the recovery act, often called the stimulus, we can all
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disagree or agree on how the money was spent, but unlike previous appropriations, under that act we found a way to do a better job of tracing the dollars. tracing the dollars through recipient reporting. a system that although it costs a little bit to do, ultimately once set up saves money. the data act before us today will literally track those trillions of dollars in a way not done outside of the recovery act. quite frankly, we owe a debt of gratitude to the recovery board for showing us an effective system on which we could build. just a few days ago our committee on a very bipartisan basis evaluated the g.s.a.'s lavish spending. they explained to us that part of the way they spent $830-plus thousand dollars was in fact cobbled together as they put it multiple baskets of money. meaning if you didn't know and couldn't trace how they spent
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their money, you wouldn't know that it was spent on a mime -- a mind reader and a clown. you wouldn't know that those 10 trips essentially were privately -- publicly funded trips so key executives could have family vacations. with the data act we expect that and many other wasteful practices to be brought to an end. some of them will be brought to the end by the ranking member and our work on the committee. but a great many of them will be brought to bear by the american people being able to search online and learn what they currently cannot learn. the data act has been a bill that has been unlike many, completely bipartisan. the minority and majority have worked hand in hand. we come to you today with a bill that has been agreed to and that will save, i repeat, save billions of dollars. additionally we do in fact amend
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some of the abuses under the g.s.a. scandal and do so based on the good work of representative denis ross of florida who introduced -- dennis ross of florida who introduced strong language to do what we are doing today. before we go on let me just say that i want to thank the ranking minority member -- ranking member because the work on this bill, the reason this bill is before us on suspension is, we have been able to work hand in hand with members of the majority and minority and with key staff on both sides to make sure that we have a bill that will pass the house hopefully at a unanimous basis and clearly will see the senate send a message that it's time for accountability generated from bipartisan work in the house. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california reserves the time. the gentleman from maryland. mr. cummings: thank you, madam speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. cummings: thank you, madam speaker. madam speaker, first let me say
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that the chairman, chairman issa, has worked very closely with us as we co-sponsor this bill and has worked hard to make sure that all of its provisions are satisfactory to this side. so he is absolutely right, madam speaker, it is truly a bipartisan bill. again i thank him. taxpayers deserve to know how their money is being spent. and we on our committee as we believe not only us but all the congress have a responsibility to assure that those hard-earned tax dollars are spent effectively and efficiently. h.r. 2146, the digital accountability and transparency act, will make the federal government more accountable by making it easier for taxpayers to see where their money is going. by making government spending
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more transparent, we will hopefully reduce wasteful spending. this bill aims to capitalize on the success of the recovery, accountability, and transparency board. democrats in congress created the board as a part of the recovery act in 2009. in addition to promoting job creation, economic activity, and long-term growth, the recovery act fostered unprecedented accountability and transparency in government spending. under the administration's implementation and the board oversight, the recovery act has had certainly low levels of waste, fraud, and abuse. the successful implementation of the recovery act should be a model for improving transparency and accountability in all federal spending. today the act would do many of the same things the president directed by executive order in june of 2011.
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today the act would establish a new independent commission to lead the government's efforts on federal spending, transparency, and accountability. the new commission would be authorized to set governmentwide data standards and coordinate oversight of federal funds to prevent waste, fraud, and abuse. i support this legislation when it was considered by the oversight committee in june but i had several concerns which i asked chairman issa to work with me in addressing. i commend the chairman for bringing an amendment to the floor today that addresses those concerns. this bill also includes language requiring agencies to disclose spending on conferences and to justify their location and cost efficiency. the bill as amended also requires agencies to reduce their travel spending by 20% from fiscal year 2010 levels. the president directed agencies to reduce travel spending in an
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executive order when he signed that executive order to cut waste and promote efficient spending he said this, and i quote, we can't wait for congress to act. we can't wait for them to get our fiscal house in order and make the investment necessary to keep america great. that's why today i'm signing an executive order that will build on our efforts to cut waste and promote more efficient spending across the government. cutting what we don't need so we can invest in what we do need. end of quote. let's show the president that congress can and will act to reduce wasteful spending. i urge my colleagues to join me, our chairman, and our committee in supporting this legislation. with that, madam speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maryland reserves. the gentleman from california. mr. issa: thank you, madam speaker. i'd now like to yield five minutes to the gentleman from oklahoma, mr. lankford. the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentleman from oklahoma is recognized for five minutes. mr. lankford: if people called my office and ask a simple question, something as simple as how much did this cost? it's difficult for even a member of congress to be able to track down the details. how much was allotted for that grant. how much was actually spent? how much was that contract? how much was actually spent? how much does this agency spend on x number of programs or specific program? an individual hardworking taxpayer should be able to go research that out. outside groups should be able to research that and be able to develop some way to systematically research and compare. right now we can't do that. we may do something as labor intensive as mail them something, or email them some things we found or maybe get a p.d.f. document or send to an agency website, but there is no systematic structured way to compare last year to this year. one agency to another agency. how this contract was done. how this grant was done.
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this is a great moment to be able to bring all that information together so that every group, including congress, can pull that data, can research it. this gets to the essence of why transparency is such a big deal. because we want every single taxpayer to be able to look in and see how their money is spent. that's an appropriate way to be able to respond to this. this also eliminates duplication in reporting from a contractor or agency that is actually trying to file this information to not have to do it multiple times to make it more efficient. this deals with the inconsistent requirements of reporting across different platforms. this deals with the basics of grant and contract recipients being able to also report in the data as was done by the recovery board which has been very successful in getting accurate information in. this also nages those outside individuals, grant writers, recipients and contract recipients to come back in and process that data so we get real time information. it deals with one of the most basics things, efficient use of
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money. in this particular bill dealing with all these conferences. reducing the cost of government conferences. finding some way to be able to put some parameters around them and structure so money is not pulled from one place or another to be able to function in conference. a conference that doesn't have a quarter million dollar budget spending $850,000 for a single event. i reiterate what we have said on both sides of the aisle. transparency is not a partisan issue. this is a bipartisan bill. whoever is in the white house and whoever is running agencies just like congress is accountable to all the american people. so this makes all of what we do publicly available, easy to be able to research, easy to be able to compare. it is a simple way to take this on. i'm strongly in support of this and grateful it's a very bipartisan act. with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from oklahoma yields back. the gentleman from maryland. mr. cummings: madam speaker, i grant the gentlelady from new
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york five minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from new york is recognized for five minutes. mrs. maloney: i thank the gentleman for yielding and his leadership. i thank the chairman for his leadership. this is truly a bipartisan effort and one that is sorely needed. as we can see from the hearing we had last week in the oversight and government reform committee on the general accounting office, it is just outrageous that they would spend over $800,000 for some conference with mind readers and clowns when so many americans are struggling and working hard. this bill will help prevent this type of abuse will not happen again. and i am rising in strong support of h.r. 2146, the digital accountability and transparency act. it is good government. it is bipartisan.
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it is something that we can all agree on. it is common sense. and if it had been in place earlier, we could have possibly prevented the type of abuse that we are both dedicated to cleaning up. this bill will improve congressional oversight of how federal dollars are being spent. this bill does this by creating a single online portal where information about federal spending can be tracked. the bill requires recipients of federal grants, loans, and contracts to disclose how much money they receive and how that money is spent. and reduces the compliance burden on recipients of federal funds by streamlining reporting and establishing universal data standards. the congressional budget office has certified that h.r. 2146 contains no intergovernmental or private sector mandate as
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defined by the unfunded mandates reform act, and would impose no additional costs on state, local, or tribal governments. end quote. this is designed to save money and to save the taxpayers and to allow the public to have insight into how these dollars are being spent, too. the data act capitalizes on the reporting required under the american recovery and reinvestment act, and president obama's executive order establishing the government accountability and transparency board, and it will give legislative teeth to increased transparency and accountability over federal spending across the government. the data act also caps nonmilitary travel spending at 20% below f.y. 2010 levels and limits both the number of and amount spent on agency
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conferences. which will save taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars per year. so this is a truly -- truly something we can all agree upon, the technology is there. this bill puts the political will behind having this accountability. . we do know how to track this. this will be in one centralized place, it will be available to the public, and it's an improvement in all ways. currently available data on federal spending is incomplete, confusing and inconsistent. this act would centralize and simplify the convoluted reporting that is in place now and everything would be reported in the same way and the bill also includes uniform reporting from the recipients of the federal fund and very importantly, all of this would be available to the public. the independent commission that would be established by this would be responsible for publishing and monitoring
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federal spending. a number of diverse groups have come out in favor of it. i have roughly 20 group that was written in support of the bill from the citizens for responsibility and ethics in government to the taxpayers for common sense, to pogo, to o.m.b. watch. i would like to, with unanimous consent, place their record and comments in the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. ma low mi: i believe this is an important bill, i believe it will make government perform better, save taxpayers money and the time of those who are tracking where these dollars are going. it is well overdue and it should pass today. i urge all my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to vote for this important piece of legislation. i yield my time back to the ranking member. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields her time. the gentleman from california. mr. issa: thank you, madam
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chair. i'd like to yield three minutes to the gentleman from florida, mr. ross, the author of many of the reforms in this bill. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. ross: i rise in support of the digital accountability and transparency act of 201011, the data act. it does what -- of 2011 the data act. it does what american taxpayers wants, to open it up so they can see what's being spent. it also cuts agency travel spend being -- spending by hundreds of millions of dollars per year. by requiring federal agencies to report how they're funds are spent and capping travel expenses, this commonsense, bipartisan bill will bring much-needed transparency and accountability to government spending. it will also send a message to bureaucrat here's in washington, d.c., the american tax payer is watching and they're sick and thiferede blank check mentality.
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let's make sure that taxpayer dollars are no longer spent on lavish conference bus with this bill we can also begin to crowd source all federal spending. i thank the gentleman from california, mr. issa, for introducing this bill and for his leadershipped on transparency and accountability in government. let's make sure that common sense becomes something common in government. please join me in support the data act and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from maryland. >> we continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california. mr. issa: i have no other speakers other than myself for closing so i'll reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maryland. mr. van hollen: --
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mr. cummings: we saw the abuses of g.s.a. and we will certainly continue to follow them because i believe that all of us were very upset about those abuses, madam speaker. one of the things we do believe is that legislation like this is so important because it shines a light on how money is being spent. it won't solve all the problems but it certainly will solve a lot of them. one of the things that mr. deveney said, who was over the bill there, he wanted to do certain things that not only would lay out a formula for accountability, but would prevent people from even abusing the system.
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and again, i think what we're doing here puts us out front of hopefully some thinkings that people may have been thinking about doing. we don't even want to think about it because there are so many people in our districts who worked so hard to earn their money and they don't mind paying their taxes, they don't mind sacrificing. as long as they know that that money is being spent effectively and efficiently. and one of the things we have to do, madam speaker, is to make sure that we establish and maintain a trust with them so that when they write that check, that they know it's going toward the roads that they want to see built, going toward the -- making sure the air is clean and making sure that the park rangers are present.
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they want to see that money spent properly. they don't want to see it spent on some bureaucrats flying around the country using the money in an improper way. so with this bill and this bipartisan bill i think we send a message to the public that we're going to do everything in our power to make sure that they have as much information as possible about where that money goes when it leaves their checking account. and because of that, and because this bill is so significant, and because it is about a truly bipartisan effort, i'm hoping we will have every member of the house voting in favor of it and with that, madam speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from california. mr. issa: i yield myself such time as may consume to close. the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentleman is recognized. mr. issa: the expression we often hear about success and failure is that success has many fathers while failure is an orphan this bill will not be an orphan. in fact the work of ranking member cummings, along with representative maloney, representative sherman, representative collin peterson and the former chairman of the full committee, ed towns, on just one side, have been critical in getting this done. the support of jason chaffetz of course dan burton, of blake farenthold, of james lankford, mike kelly, time latham, patrick mckinney and dennis ross all have been critical in this process but perhaps less often heard would be, as the ranking member referred, former inspector general and chairman of the recovery board, earl deveney has been critical to
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shepherding the process that's gone on over two congresses. i want to thank him permly as he's enjoying his well-earned retirement. along with to him, vice president joe biden who has supported us and held hearings at the white house on this issue. in the senate, mike warner championed and introduced the companion product making it bipartisan in both houses. additionally, as the ranking member alluded to, the sunlight foundation, the american institute of certified public accountants, the americans for tax reform, the data transparency coalition and xprlus have all been critical. the last one i mentioned is particularly critical because the need for standards that ultimately are set that allow for this transparency are going to come not from us in government but from organizations who have open and transparent capability that we will leverage. all of these and more are to be
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thanked today. i want to close by saying, the win wers this effort will be the american people and they'll be the american people because when this is fully implemented, american people who are used to googling for information outside of government will find it possible to get meaningful information on where their hard-earned tax dollars are being spent just as quickly. that's the goal of our committee to recognize that the 100 or so staff and members on both sides of the aisle of the oversilingt committee cannot protect the american people alone. the 12,000 or so members of the inspector general's staff throughout government cannot protect the american people alone. but with data transparency and more access and sunlight available more broadly, we believe that these organizations can in fact have the kinds of whistleblowers and information providers that will allow us to scrub the balance
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sheet, to wriverage out waste, fraud, and abuse at any level in our government so i join with the ranking member in urging its support and y50e8d back. the speaker pro tempore: all time having expired, the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 2146 as amended? those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table.
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for what purpose does the gentleman from oklahoma seek recognition? >> madam speaker, i move to suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 3336 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 336 -- 3336, a bill to exclude certain lenders from the dodd-frank act. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from oklahoma, mr. lucas, and the gentleman, mr. peterson, will each control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from oklahoma. mr. lucas: i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks on h.r. 3336. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. lucas: madam speaker, i yield myself as much time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. lucas: madam speaker, i rise to voice my support for
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this bill. first and foremost, i'd like to thank my committee's ranking member, mr. peterson, and his staff for their diligent work on this bill on behalf of end users and small business lenders. we have a long standing tradition of bipartisanship at the agriculture committee and their work was invaluable and i'd like to thank representative hartzler for her leadership on h.r. 3336 on behalf of small business institutions and the businesses they serve. i would also like to acknowledge and thank representative hultgren and representative boren whose legislation, h.r. 3527, which will not be considered today, as a result of their leadership and mr. peterson's support, many of the critical issues for end users addressed in h.r. 3527 were reintoifed the cftc in its final definitions rule. i think we can reasonably feel assured that agricultural cooperatives and other end users out in the country side
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won't be unnecessarily deemed swap dealers and regulated like the largest financial institutions. as i said from the outset, the cftc on its own resolves concerns, we have -- concerns we have raised for months in our committee room we would not proceed with legislation and that's what we're -- what we've done with h.r. 3527. however, concerns of the implementation of title seven remain and so we are here today to proceed with h.r. 3336. this bill addresses issues that are important to community and farm credit banks. organizations which are instrumental to the economic vitality of our towns and rural communities. in the dodd-frank act, congress was careful to ensure that new regulations wouldn't impose unnecessary costs on small institutions that might deter them from extending credit to businesses across america. small banks pose very little risk to our financial system.
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within the banking system, 96% of the notional value of derivatives is held by the five largest banks. the very small remaining percentages of derivatives exposure is spread across hundreds of small institutions. that's why congress never intended for these community leaders to be regulated lenders -- lenders, i should say, to be regulated in the same fashions the largest global financial institutions. this bill aims to restore congressional intent by exempting small banks, credit unions, nonprofit cooperative leppeders and farm credit institutions -- lenders and farm credit institutions from costly query inquiries under dodd-frank and ensures that they can continue oto provide risk management tools to their borrowers. in addition, thanks to the leadership of representatives schilling, owens, and mcintyre,
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this will ensure captive financial affiliates of manufacturing companies like john deere and caterpillar are eligible for the same exemptions as their parent companies and other end users. these affiliates are an important source of credit to consumers and businesses and promote our manufacturing sector. lastly, through the hard work of representatives costa, cardoza, and baca, h.r. 3336 clarifies that utilities will not be miscast as swap dealers because they enter into contracts that are required by state law. . the legislation clarifies complying with state laws alone won't draw new and costly federal regulations. there are many members on both sides of the aisle at the ag committee who have spent time getting this bill to where it is today. we have been careful not to create loopholes or to stray from congressional intent. the bill does not open the door for large financial players to
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evade regulations or engage in speculative or highly riskie activities. madam speaker, in this economy it all comes back to jobs. to create new jobs, businesses need access to credit to make new investments. this bill ensures that businesses maintain access to credit from community lenders. so i urge my colleagues, support h.r. 3336 and ensure that america's small businesses can continue to access the credit they need to build our economy. madam speaker, i yield back the balance of my time and reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from oklahoma reserves. the gentleman from minnesota. >> madam speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. peterson: thank you, madam speaker. today the house considers h.r. 3336, a bill that makes clarifying changes to the dodd
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frank act. like two other dodd frank bills with the house passed previously, h.r. 2779 and the other affiliate bill, and h.r. 2682, the margin bill, this legislation was crafted in a bipartisan manner. as the ag committee continues to oversee the implementation of dodd-frank, i believe that the cftc will ultimately get the rules and regulations right. if you look at the dodd-frank rules that have already been completed, by and large they have been bipartisan and responsive to the concerns that we have heard during our oversight hearings. for example, during a legislative hearing last year, we heard concerns about business conduct standards and the potential impact it could have on the ability to use swaps to hedge risk. when the commission approved a bipartisan final rule establishing these business conduct standards, the general response from the pension community was satisfaction. well, recently the cftc approved
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last week again with a bipartisan vote of 4-1 rules defining who would be subject to dodd-frank's new oversight. again the general view from the end user community is the rule addresses their concerns. in fact, i believe one of the bills the committee voted on earlier, h.r. 3527, which rewrote the swap dealer definition now no longer seems necessary. i talk frequently with cftc chairman gens letter, from what he has told me i'm confident that the remaining concerns seeks to address that h.r. 3336 seeks to address will ultimately be resolved satisfactory by the -- satisfactorily by the cftc. i think some want to use this bill to send a message to the cftc. since it was consistent with the original intent of dodd-frank i have no objection to it. as considered by the committee, h.r. 3336 was meant to address
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concerns raised by the farm credit institutions, credit unions, and small bangs that worry about being forced to close. under current law the cftc is supposed to develop an asset based exemption. when you look at the swap activity and some of the banks -- that some of the banks' questions will raise whether a fixed asset test was appropriate. a risk-based test contained in the bill will, i think, prove more than adequate and certainly will provide incentive for banks to be more -- to moreau bustly back up their positions to the extent they are not doing so now. during the committee's markup of h.r. 3336, representative mcintyre raised concerns they had on behalf of capital finance companies which fears the exemption provided to them under the law will not be implemented properly. this bill not only addresses those concerns, it closed a potential loophole in dodd-frank
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which could have allowed capital finance companies to use the original dodd-frank exemption to engage in speculation or swap activities unrelated to the commercial business without proper oversight. also during the markup, representative kosta raised concerns on behalf of california utilities which feared the swap dealers for entering into transaction necessary to comply with state regulation. working with members of the california delegation we were able to adequately address these concerns as well. this legislation clarifies what congress intended to do with the original dodd-frank law, i urge my colleagues to support its pass ang. with that, madam speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from minnesota reserves. the gentleman from oklahoma. mr. lucas: i would like to yield four minutes to the gentlelady from missouri, mrs. hartzler, who is the primary sponsor of the legislation. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from missouri is recognized for four minutes.
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mrs. hartzler: thank you, mr. chairman, for bringing this forth and for our bipartisan support for this bill. i'm pleased to bring the small business credit availability act forward today in order to help small businesses, american manufacturers, farmers, and consumers to access the credit they need in order to grow our economy. madam speaker, we need jobs in our country. we need manufacturing to stay strong in america and we need small businesses to be able to grow. they can't do that if washington stands in the way. the small business credit availability act removes the onerous barriers to credit imposed by the 2009 dodd-frank bill governing a bank's ability to offer low rate fixed loans to small businesses and manufacturers. this bill also removes the barriers to low rate fixed loans from credit unions, farm credit banks, rural electric cooperative infrastructure lenders, and finance companies who offer credit to their customers. without this bill, the farm credit council alone expects
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that substantial new costs between $6 million and $27.2 million a year will be added to their cost of doing business. all for new processes and red tape that are not needed. it is important that local businesses, local manufacturers, and local farmers be able to access low rate interest loans from local financial entities. this bill keeps the business in the local communities where it belongs by reducing the costly new regulations imposed by the 2009 bill. in addition, it clarifies a provision of d.o.d. frank to ensure -- dodd-frank to ensure manufacturers will be able to continue to provide credit to customers. we need to do everything we can to keep manufacturing here in america and h.r. 3336 helps do that. lastly our bill clarifies that states utilities are unduly burdened by dodd-frank in complying with state law as they
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entered contracts. it's time for washington to cut the unnecessary red tape that hampers job creation by passing the small business credit availability act, congress will remove the barriers and clear the way for local entities to do business at home and create jobs while doing it. i urge all my colleagues to support this vital bill. with that i yield back the balance of my time. . the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from missouri yields back her time of the the gentleman from minnesota. mr. peterson: madam speaker, i now yield the distinguished gentleman from california such time as he may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california for as much time as he may consume. mr. kosta: thank you very much, madam speaker. i rise today in support of h.r. 3336, the small business credit availability act. the bipartisan measure received unanimous support in the house committee on agriculture, and ensures as the previous speakers have indicated, that small financial entities such as community banks, farm credit system institutions, credit unions will not be burdened with
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costly regulations resulting from the reform of our financial system. that was never congress' intent. i appreciate very much chairman lucas and ranking member peterson and their staffs for working with -- as well as the bill's sponsor, representative hartzler, to reach an agreement not only with myself but my colleagues congressmen baca, cardoza, as well as the california delegation on the underlying text of this bill. without your support obviously we could not address this issue pertaining to california. and while we worked to maintain the viability of the small business businesses recognized in h.r. 3336, we also must look for ways to avoid the unintended consequences resulting from the implementation of the dodd-frank act on other entities, in this case such as utilities. it's also the difficult challenge we have in congress, the law of unintended consequences, that we must
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respond to. because of california's regulatory environment, i expressed concerns in the committee that california's energy providers, are utility companies, might be or would be inadvertently, as we believe, swept up by the swap dealer definition. which is the efforts that the committee has addressed. over several weeks we worked together with the staff and the utilities to ensure to develop language that provides the clarity needed to ensure that companies within california that provide energy for all businesses and residences, which are ultimately california's ratepayers, are not penalized by the federal regulators for simply complying with state law. h.r. 3336 includes language clarifying that the actions undertaken to comply with state or local laws are regulations are excluded in determining whether or not an entity is
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considered a swap dealer. let me be specific, the language clarifies that, one, resource adequacy contracts entered into satisfy california's public utilities commission procurement requirements. two, renewable energy credits used to satisfy california's renewable portfolio standard. three, an emegs allowance to satisfy california's greenhouse gas regulations should not, this is the key, the key line, should not be considered in determining whether or not an entity is a swap dealer. for my colleagues we should understand that the situation we are dealing with in these examples, these transactions are closely regulated by the california's public utility commission on the california air resources board, and they pose no systemic risk to our financial systems or to the ratepayers. while california's currently
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affected, it is possible that these concerns could be shared by energy providers and other states, and that's why the committee in their wisdom chose to address this issue and to help not only california but possibly extent to other states that might be similarly affected. for these reasons i encourage my colleagues to support this bill and i yield back the balance of my time. i once again want to thank the chairman, thank ranking member peterson, chairman lucas, and the author of the bill, representative hartzler. thank you very much. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california yields. the gentleman from oklahoma. mr. lucas: madam speaker, i yield to the gentleman from illinois, mr. schilling, four minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois for four minutes. mr. schilling: thank you, chairman. i rise in support of h.r. 3336, the small business credit availability act. madam speaker, i have only been in congress for a little over a year, i have found the house committee on agriculture to be
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very bipartisan and i believe that is in large part due to the leadership of chairman lucas and ranking member peterson. i come to the floor today to speak in support of a bipartisan provision in the bill that is important to the american manufacturing sector. particularly to illinois companies like john deere and caterpillar which employ almost 150,000 men and women. many of the manufacturers here at home have what are called captive finance affiliates whose function is to provide loans and leases to customers to purchase goods they make. the credit that they provide is essential to agricultural producers, construction contractors, and manufacturers, and the jobs they support here at home. congress provided an exemption under current law for captive finance affiliates so when they hedge risk associated with providing loans to their customers, they receive the same exemptions available to the parent company and other end users. however, there is a lack of
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guidance in the cftc's implementation of the exemption. leading to concern that these companies could be subject to mandatory clearing requirements or regulated as major swap participants. there is no -- there is bipartisan agreement that this is not what congress originally intended. h.r. 3336 will provide the needed clarification for our manufacturers and their affiliates. it does so while also providing safeguards against abuse. first and foremost this only applies to entities that use derivatives to manage their risks. meaning they cannot, i repeat, cannot use derivatives to speculate. in addition to these entities, these entities cannot engage in financing that does not facilitate the sale of their manufactured products. the cftc will have the authority to prevent affiliates from qualifying for this exemption. again, i appreciate the bipartisan nature of providing
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certainty on this issue. i want to thank chairman lucas, ranking member peterson, congressman bill owens, congressman mike mcintyre, congressman randy neugebauer for their efforts in this issue. i also want to thank the majority and minority and the staff for their work on this issue especially ryan and clark. it is an important certainty we provide for our folks back home w that i yield back the balance of my time. . the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from oklahoma. >> madam speaker, i yield to the gentleman from texas, mr. conaway, for three minutes. mr. conaway: i rise in support of the small business credit availability act. it will clarify exactly how congress intended for the cftc to implement the new swap
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dealer registration requirements under dodd-frank. in the law congress authorizes cftc to exclude small financial institutions that provide swaps in connection with loans from the heavy regulation to swap dealers. we did so because we understood the importance of these institutions and -- for the ability to package together hedging instruments. offering loans in this way allows them to offset some of the underlying risks and offer lower rates to local farmers, small businesses. it means businesses that sustain our rural community will have greater access to the capital they need to continue to invest in their growing businesses. with the entity definitions recently released by the cftc, although not yet published in the federal reserve, cftc took steps toward resolving the issues addressed by h.r. 3336. however, it left some undone. unfortunately, the commodity swaps for agriculture businesses is unnecessarily
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restricted for farm credit institutions and applies arbitrary time restrictions on excluded swaps. h.r. 3336 would strengthen the rule passed by the cftc by expanding the scope of exemption to protect the way rural america has long done business. the farms and ranches in my district will not be part of the systemic failure of our financial system. neither they nor the small institutions that serve them ought to be considered as a threat. today's legislation is carefully tailored to ensure we do not shackle small businesses and family farms with rules that ought to apry and meant to police the largest wall street banks. i want to thank mrs. hartzler for the work she's done in shepherding this through the committee. she's been a staunch advocate of dodd-frank. i want to thank mr. boswell, our chairman, mr. lucas, and ranking member, mr. peterson, for their continued efforts, bipartisanship on the house
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agriculture committee. many -- like many bills through our committee this year, h.r. 3336 passed with unanimous bipartisan support. it's a testament to the leadership on both sides of the aisle. i urge swift adoption of the small business credit availability act and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from illinois. mr. -- >> i have one speaker. mr. peterson: i guess we'll reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from oklahoma. mr. lucas: i yield to the gentleman from illinois, mr. hultgren, two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois is recognized for two minutes. mr. hultgren: it's been a pleasure working with you and your staff during my first term in congress and in the ag committee. we've trying to protect them from dodd-frank red tape and
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that's why i rise in strong support of vicky hartzler's resolution. h.r. 3336 reduces unnecessary regulatory burdens on small financial institutions to ensure they can continue to provide capital to small businesses in their communities. the bill ensures that small financial and farm credit institutions will continue to provide swaps to their loan customers without being considered a region -- or registered as swap dealers. i am pleased that the cftc has come out with a ruling more favorable than the original legislation, but i think it's important to note that this bill ensures that the cftc provides an exemption from clearing for small financial institutions that are hedging their own risks. i also want to thank my colleague, illinois colleague, congressman bobby schilling, for his work in this bill. he added a provision for companies like john deere and caterpillar, which has facilities in my district. thank you. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois yields back his time. the gentleman from minnesota. mr. peterson: i thank you, madam speaker. again, this bill clarifies what
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was the original intent of the dodd-frank deliberations. a lot of what -- some of what's in this bill i think has already been resolved. there's some clarifications here. if there is duplication it doesn't do any harm, so we support this bill and urge it be adopted. the speaker pro tempore: does the gentleman yields back the balance of his time? mr. peterson: i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from minnesota yields back his time. the gentleman from oklahoma. mr. lucas: madam speaker, i yield myself the balance of the time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. lucas: i think as we've heard here today this piece of legislation is an effort in a very bipartisan way to address some of the issues in dodd-frank that need to be fixed. if you care about production agriculture, if you care about main street business, if you care about the people who work in the factories that produce the products and do the things that make this great economy move forward, then you'll support h.r. 3336. it won't affect the five
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biggest financial institutions that do 96% of this kind of business. but it will help the people who really toil and struggle every day that make a living. it will help the communities. it's a positive effort to address issues that have come to light in the course of the ag committee's exhaustive hearings. i simply thank my colleague, congresswoman hartzler, for working diligently on this bill. i thank the ranking member and my colleagues, let's vote for h.r. 3336. let's try and help the folks back home. with that, madam speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: all time having been expired, the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 336 -- 3336 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 --
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>> i request a recorded vote. the speaker pro tempore: does the gentlelady ask for the yeas and nays? mrs. maloney: yes. the speaker pro tempore: all those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this question will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentleman from florida rise? mr. mica: madam speaker, i ask unanimous consent to take from the speaker's table h.r. 4348 with the senate amendment thereto, disagree to the senate amendment and agree to the
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conference requested by the senate. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 4348, an act to provide an extension of federal-aid highway, highway safety, motor carrier safety, transit and other programs funded out of the highway trust fund pending enactment of a multiyear law re-authorizing such programs and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the motion is adopted. for what purpose does the gentleman from west virginia seek recognition? mr. rahall: mr. speaker, i have a motion at the desk. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title -- report the motion. the clerk: mr. rahall moves that the managers on the part of the house at the conference on the disagreeing votes of the two houses on the senate amendment to the bill h.r. 4348 be instructed to receive from disagreement to the amendment of the senate. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 7 of rule 22, the gentleman from west virginia, mr. rahall, and the gentleman from florida, mr.
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mica, each will control 30 minutes, and the chair now recognizes the gentleman from west virginia. mr. rahall: thank you, madam speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. rahall: madam speaker, the long-term authorization of surface transportation programs expired on september 30, 2009. since that time congress has enacted nine separate surface transportation extension acts, allowing us to continue to limp along, patching our nation's surface transportation systems. these short-term start and stop surface transportation extension acts are undermining our surface transportation system. running these programs through short-term extensions creates tremendous uncertainty among public transit agencies and highway and transit contractors that delay critical highway and transit projects, costing good-paying jobs each step of the way. with more than 2.5 million construction and manufacturing workers still out of work, it is par past time for congress
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to enact -- far past time for congress to enact surface transportation act, create and sustain family wage jobs and restore our nation's economic growth. that's why i offer this motion today. we have an opportunity before us to move quickly, to pass legislation that can remove this uncertainty and get america back to work. over a month ago, the senate passed s. 1813, known as map-21, by an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote of 74-22. now, each of us in this body know how difficult it is for the other body to agree on just about anything. but unlike the house, the senate was able to come together to pass bipartisan legislation that will provide states with the certainty that they need to move forward with highway and transit projects and get americans back to work. it is time for the house, believe it or not, to follow
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the other body's lead and pass s. 1813. certainly s. 1813 is not the exact bill i would have written. however, the senate bill is a dramatic improvement over what house republicans propose in their now-dead partisan re-authorization, known as h.r. 7, which was reported by the transportation and infrastructure committee but never acted upon by the full house. last week in an effort to facilitate a conference with the senate on map-21, the house of representatives passed h.r. 4348, another surface transportation extension bill. i supported the house passage of h.r. 4348 as a vehicle to go to conference on the senate bill. i said then that taking republicans at their word that they are serious about moving this process forward, passage of that short-term extension bill would allow us to quickly convene a conference with the senate on its bipartisan, multiyear surface transportation re-authorization
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bill which passed with the support of 3/4 of the other body. a long-term bill would provide the certainty that states need to invest and proceed with their plans on the books. it will provide the certainty that highway and transit contracters the confidence to hire one more worker. that's what surface transportation is all about, putting americans back to work and sustaining our economic competitiveness. if there are issues we must change we can address those through a technical corrections bill that will make the necessary positive changes to improve the bill. that's done -- that is not unprecedented. we've done it before. there's nothing to prevent the congress from enacting s. 1813, and then continuing to work to develop further bicameral, bipartisan changes to improve surface transportation policies. but american workers should not have to wait any longer as
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congress searches for an agreement. the time for political games is over. my motion is simple. very simple. it instructs house conferees to agree to the senate bill. enactment of map-21 will place 18 months worth of funding, provide states d.o.t.'s and surface transportation agencies contracts and provides contractors the certainty to hire one more worker. out-of-work americans simply cannot wait any longer. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from west virginia reserves his time. the gentleman from florida. mr. mica: madam speaker, i rise in opposition to the motion to instruct and yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. mica: madam speaker, i want to take a little bit of time to explain to you, madam speaker and my colleagues and others who may be listening to this
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debate, about what's happening. now, the other side of the aisle have just offered a motion to instruct and we're going to conference on an important piece of legislation. that's the transportation bill that sets the transportation policy for the united states of america for all of our transportation projects, those projects that would be eligible . we identify the terms of participation for states and local governments and everyone who is going to receive federal funds for transportation projects. so all that is very important, and it's important that we put people to work. when i go back home i talk to people who lost their house, lost their job and they want an opportunity to work. and you heard in fact there have been nine amendments since the bill expired and six of
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those were passed -- extensions were passed under the democrats. i've had to do three. they had complete control of the u.s. house of representatives, the united states senate and the white house and still had to pass six extensions. and then i learned from our staff that they did not pass a single freestanding extension before. before we left for easter, i passed a free-standing extension so we wouldn't close down jobs, so we wouldn't stop contracts, so we wouldn't stop people working. . they are asking us to take the senate carte blanche proposal adopted by the senate, not a total vote but it was a bipartisan vote, just adopt it in their motion to instruct. madam speaker, i just got through explaining the
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constitution to a wonderful group of young people from the stetson baptist christian school in florida. just a few steps from here, right out that door and down those steps. i explained to them that the founding fathers created two houses. in the first body that they created most important the congress of the united states, the legislative branch, where they -- with a house and yes the young people and teachers and chaperons that were listening, and i said also with the senate. and they did that because they wanted all of those opinions to come together and they wanted us to work again in a bipartisan fashion to come up with the best possible solution. yet they operated with articles of confederation with a une camera government, but the last time i checked down the hall, if they opened those doors and
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looked down there, there is the united states senate, and this is the people's house, the people's house of representatives. and i also explained to the students this is the only body in which the members actually have to be elected. everybody else can be appointed. the senators can be appointed. the president can actually -- you could replace him by appointment. the vice president. but the only federal representative that they have is the house of representatives. but what they want to do is cast the participation of the house of representatives aside and just adopt what the senate has brought forward. and i tell you that the house has worked hard. i didn't have the benefit of 6,300 earmarks which my predecessor had to pass a bill. so it's take mean me -- taken me longer and a few days ago we did pass a bill. it wasn't the bill that we passed out of committee, h.r. 7.
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with all the republican votes but one and we tried to bring to the house. it wasn't the vote we heard in committee for some 18 hours. most of the time consumed not with republican amendments but with democrat amendments. there were 100 democrat amendments. i said we are going to sit there as long as it takes to give everyone an opportunity to participate in this free and open process which we are doing here. today they propose closing down that free and open process. let's just adopt, let the senate toss it over to us. i say, no. i say no for a whole host of reasons. the senate proposal is a proposal that will bankrupt the trust fund. the senate proposal is a path to just building paths. to resurfacing, to short-term jobs. not answering the call of people who sent us here to make certain
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that their transportation money, when they go fill up their gas tank and pay for one gallon of gas, 18.4 cents comes to washington in the trust fund and we spend it. that's what this sets the policy for what's eligible for receiving those federal dollars. forget there is a house of representatives and cast that body aside. i think not. i think not. i think even an eighth grader from one of my schools at home can figure this one out, madam speaker. and i just can't agree with this motion to recommit. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida reserves. the gentleman from west virginia. mr. rahall: madam speaker, i yield myself one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. rahall: in order to respond to the distinguished chairman, that's funny and i appreciate
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the history lesson he's given us on legislation in this body, but it's funny while you were speaking to students from your district i was just speaking with students from my district outside on the capitol steps as well. they happened to have been from webster high school. i explained to them the process that we are in right now going to conference on the transportation bill. how the other body had passed in a bipartisan fashion, the other body who can rarely agree on anything, including a resolution saying i love mother, but here they came together and passed a bill with 72 votes in a bipartisan fashion. i explained to them briefly what the other body's bill did and what our bill did. that's funny, they were all in agreement we ought to accept the senate bill. go for the senate bill. so i guess the point i'm making is that we all know how this place works and we all know the difficulties in getting something through the other body
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where like it or not the framers of our constitution set it up so that the minority in that body had the power. madam speaker, i yield three minutes to the distinguished gentleman from oregon, the ranking member on our highways and transit subcommittee, mr. peter defazio. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from oregon for three minutes. mr. defazio: you know, barely divided congress along party zahn lines i think there is one thipping we can all agree upon. american is falling apart. -- america is falling apart. our nation's infrastructure, according to two reports from commissions that met during the bush administration when the republicans controlled the house, the white house, and the senate, came to the same conclusion. we are vastly underinvesting in our national transportation infrastructure. we are not even spending enough to bring the eisenhower era investments up to a state of
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good repair, 150,000 bridges need reor replacement. 40% of the pavement on the national highway system needs to be substantially rebuilt. not just paved over. and a $60 billion or $70 billion backlog on critical capital investments for our legacy transit systems across america. the good news is if we make these investments we'll put millions of people to work. and not just construction workers. not just engineers. manufacturing, steel for the bridges. manufacturing for light railcars, for streetcars, first made in america streetcars are being produced in oregon ironworks. the components from 24 states in the united states of america. we have the strongest buy america requirements in our transportation sector, and i hope that we can agree as we move forward through this conference to strengthen those even more so we don't leak these
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precious tax dollars in jobs overseas like we do in so many other ways. now, i understand the reluctance of the majority and they will prevail here today, to say let's do the senate bill now and move on. let's put people back to work starting next week. but i've got to caution the majority, they will prevail today, but these temporary extensions are costing us jobs. they aren't status quo, let's just extend 90 days and 90 days. we are getting substaniated reports from the 50 states that they are delaying or canceling transportation investments in projects for this construction season because of the uncertainty about federal funding. time is of the essence here. in the northern tier states we've got to get this bill done before we take -- we got right next week we are back for i think seven legislative days then we got a break the next week and come back for another
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seven legislative days, then we get a 10-daybreak after that. we got to squeeze in a little legislative work between these breaks. i believe that if we are determined that we can begin the conference as soon as we are appointed, and we could have this done no later than may 15 before we begin two breaks from now another break. so we've got to stop taking breaks and give the american people a break and put them back to work. make the investments they know we need in our nation's infrastructure. i urge support for the minority leader, the ranking member's position. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida. million mica: i'm pleased to yield to the gentleman from tennessee who also chairs the highway subcommittee, mr. duncan, three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from tennessee is recognized for three minutes. mr. duncan: thank you very much, madam speaker. i thank the chairman, i thank
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chairman mica for yielding me this time. i especially thank him for his long and hard work on this legislation. he's raised several points, chairman mica has, to the problems that this motion to instruct would cause, but let me just mention just a few mings -- things. this motion to instruct conferees to accept the senate bill in its entirety is contrary to the purpose of having a house and senate conference. it's our responsibility to sit down with our senate colleagues and address areas where we have differences of opinion. but more importantly the senate bill includes provisions that many people have serious concerns about. for example, the senate bill requires that all new passenger vehicles beginning in 2015, 2015, be equipped with an event
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data recorder. these recorders are similar to the black boxes required on airplanes. while the intent of this purpose is to collect safety information, many people think this is a slippery slope that we really don't want to go down. privacy is a big concern for many of my constituents and many people across this country. and this provision would -- many people feel, cross the line between -- would cross the line of federal intrusion into citizens' personal or private lives. there are also areas, other areas where the senate bill does not go far enough. we have talked about environmental streamlining for years, but everyone on both sides of the aisle know we need to really do something about that now because other developed nations are doing projects in half the time or less than we are. and the last two federal highway studies they showed that it took -- one study showed 13 years, one study 15 years from conception to completion. these are not transcontinental highways.
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these are just relatively short highway projects and we could be doing those in six or seven years. the senate bill does not set hard deadlines for federal agencies to approve projects so they can be delayed and delayed and delayed. it does not allow state environmental laws to be used in place of federal environmental laws. there are some states where the state laws are better. the senate bill does not expand the list of projects that qualify for categorical exclusions. the senate bill does not expedite projects that are being rebuilt due to a disaster such as the bridge on the interstate 35 in minnesota that was done so very quickly to everybody's great relief. these are issues not addressed in the senate bill. it could be addressed in the conference. there are many others as chairman mica has pointed out. let me just say this, much of the highway bill that the house has produced came from the other side. i understand there were hundreds
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of letters from democratic members and 60% of what was requested in those letters was done by the committee staff. and then we had the -- over 100 amendments in our conference -- can i have 30 seconds more? then there were over 100 amendments we took -- we started our markup at i think 9:00 in the morning and went until 3:00 the next morning. and we addressed over 100 amendments that were submitted by democratic members. i think over 20 of them were put into the bill. so many things were put in by the other side before the bill ever was marked up. and then during the markup. and now we are just supposed to do away with all that and just go with the senate bill and i just don't think that's the way we should do. and i urge my colleagues to oppose this motion.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from west virginia. mr. rahall: i yield two minutes to our distinguished ranking member on the subcommittee on railroads, the gentlelady from florida, miss corrine brown. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from florida is recognized for two minutes. ms. brown: thank you, madam speaker. and to the members of the house, let me just say having served on the committee for 19 years this bill, the house bill, i'm very disappointed with, is really as secretary lahood said it best, it's the worst bill he's seen in 35 years. of course it's the worst bill i have ever seen. i sat through that markup from 9 in the morning until 3 in the morning and it was a nightmare. many of the proposals was dismantled transportation. and i can truly say that people come to this floor often raving against the senate. i now say thank god for the united states senate because they have come up with a
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commonsense bill that we could fund, pass, and go home that would fund transportation and really put about two million people to work. we have many projects in the florida area that could benefit from passing a comprehensive transportation, but more than that we have such a high unemployment rate in florida, 9% of every billion dollars we spend in transportation generates 44,000 permanent jobs. . let me say visiting us today in the capitol is the hawke family. their daughter was killed because of pollution. and they're visiting here today. when we talk about regulations, surely we got to strike a balance, but we have regulations for a purpose. that purpose -- when we raise our hand to defend and protect the public, we're talking about the tution but -- constitution
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but we also have the responsibility to protect the public and have a balanced approach and not destroy all of the regulations person take to the environment which is what the house bill did in the markup. so we can go on and on, but let me tell you as i close, you can fool some of the people some of the time but you can't fool all of the people all of the time. pass the senate bill. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida. mr. mica: madam speaker, i'm pleased to yield 2 1/2 minutes to the gentleman who has authored one of the major amendments to the legislation that passed, mr. ribble from wisconsin. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from wisconsin is recognized for 2 1/2 minutes. mr. ribble: thank you, madam speaker. i'm struck here this afternoon. i've heard my good friends on the other side of the aisle and their concern. i think it's legitimate that
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they would like to see long-term certainty into our infrastructure system, and yet when the highway bill ended in 2009 and they controlled the white house, the house of representatives and the u.s. senate while in majority of all three levels of government they chose to extend six times the transportation authorization. so here we are once again with another delay tactic letting the american people wait some more. they know that this motion to instruct is not going to go anywhere because there are important reforms that the american people have told us that they want. one of those reforms was my amendment that's part of our bill that streamlines the red tape. why in the world should we take 15 years to get a highway bill done, a highway project finished because we're waiting 2/3 of the time to get approvals done? it's none sincecal but we continue to -- it's nonsincecal
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-- nonsensical. madam speaker, it gets frustrating. we need to move forward with something. let's get this into conference so we can go ahead and take our reforms. the american people have spoken. they spoke in the last election. they decided they want a split government. they want majority over here in the house, a different majority in the senate. that was their choice. and so bill becomes a law, the senate does their thing and we do our thing and we come together and we negotiate in between to find the best common ground for all americans and that's what we plan on doing here. i would very strongly urge my colleagues to vote no on this motion to instruct and let us get to conference with our reforms and our legislation. the house-passed legislation, the bipartisan house-passed legislation and let's get on with it so we can get some
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certainty put back into this and with that i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from wisconsin yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from west virginia. mr. rahall: madam speaker, i'm honored to yield two minutes to the gentlelady from texas, a value member of our committee, ms. eddie bernice johnson. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from texas is recognized for two minutes. ms. johnson: thank you very much, madam speaker. let me thank my ranking member and chair of the transportation and infrastructure committee. i rise to speak in support of the provisions included in the senate version of the re-authorization. it was my hope that we would have a longer term bill, one that would re-authorize surface transportation, transit and rail provision for several years, and i support the senate version because it will provide certainty to the state departments of transportation, transit agencies and contractors that will help create and sustain jobs for
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out-of-work americans. most of the roads and bridges in this country are in serious disrepair, and states and municipalities are unable to address these needs with piecemeal extensions. the senate bill preserves transit funding and continues funding major transit programs from the highway trust fund. i was very concerned with the elimination of transit funding included in the house version. transit funds are essential to both urban and rural areas by providing alternative transportation, even congestion and reducing emissions. in addition, i support the expansion of a two-year program and the modifications that make it easier for transportation agencies with dedicated revenue sources to apply. madam speaker, we are currently operating under the ninth
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extension of safetea-lu. this really is unacceptable, and we owe it to the american people to address our crumbling infrastructure and to get them back to work. i voted for the most recent extension of safetea-lu, but for the purpose of getting to where we are now so we can get to conference and consider the senate amendment to h.r. 4348 in conference, and i implore my colleagues to support the senate transportation bill before in conference so we can bring it to the floor. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida. mr. mica: madam speaker, i'm pleased to yield two minutes one of the outstanding new members of transportation and infrastructure committee, mr. bucshon, the gentleman from indiana. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from indiana is recognized for two minutes. mr. bucshon: thank you, madam speaker. i rise in opposition to this motion to instruct. the house needs to conference with the senate and craft a
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long-term highway bill. in map-21, the senate bill, there was a provision that was offered by -- that was offered for cities and states to compete with the private sector. i ask unanimous consent to introduce a letter from mayor bloomberg, formor -- former governor rin del. in my state, governor daniels, indiana received over $4 billion upfront for the lease of the toll road. when the governor announced this public-private partnership, members of this body were critical of the decision and some even claim it would never work. not only has it been successful for the indiana toll rod but it's also resulted in over $6.5 billion invested in infrastructure projects throughout indiana.
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and after 30 years of planning, interstate 69 in my district is being built connecting evansville, the third largest city in the state, to indianapolis. the indiana toll road is a perfect example of how business and government can work together to address our infrastructure needs. the bingaman amendment, rather than rewarding, pursuing alternative funding for roads, it will punish the state and take away portions of their federal funding. nevada will lose $66 million. in these challenging fiscal times, public-private partnerships represents an exciting option to many states to better leverage their federal transportation dollars. congress should take positive steps to encourage innovative financing strategies by public-private partnerships rather than penalizing them. the only way to fully address our infrastructure needs is to involve the private sector, the federal government can't do
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everything. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from west virginia. mr. rahall: madam speaker, i'm pleased to yield at this time two minutes to our distinguished ranking member on the water resources and environment committee, the gentleman from new york, mr. bishop. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york for two minutes. mr. bishop: thank you very much, madam speaker. and i thank mr. rahall for yielding. i rise to speak in support of the motion to instruct conferees. this motion would direct conferees to adopt the senate bill, map-21, which i introduced as h.r. 14, in march. this can provide state d.o.t.'s, agencies and contractors with the certainty they need to create and sustain jobs for the thousands of americans who are still out of work as a result of the economic downturn. map-21 not only passed overwhelmingly in the senate with a bipartisan majority of 74-22, but the senate bill is fully paid for and will save an estimated 1.8 million jobs and create up to one million additional jobs when implemented. during weak economic recovery looking for a jump-start, this
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is precisely what we need to do. given that h.r. 4348 is merely a 90-day extension of highway programs at current levels with a few policy additions, we could put the construction industry back to work that much faster given that the construction season is in full swing if this motion to instruct is adopted. map- 1 has the support of -- map-21 has the support of 3/4 of senate, has democrats and the support of the white house. americans want safe roads and bridges, but above all they want jobs. the senate passed the biggest job-creating bill in this congress by an overwhelming bipartisan margin. the house has done nothing. let's get this country moving again by passing the senate bill so the president can sign it. let's create jobs. let's make it in america. i urge my colleagues to support this motion to instruct conferees. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from florida. mr. mica: pleased to yield two
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the chair of the rail subcommittee, distinguished member of our transportation and infrastructure committee, the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. shuster, 3 1/2 minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized for 3 1/2 minutes. mr. shuster: thank you very much. i just want to remind my colleague from new york that he's walking -- as he's walking off the floor that it was the democratic controlled congress that was unable to pass a transportation bill when they had control of this body for the past couple of years. and today i come to the floor in opposition to the motion to instruct and quite frankly i'm surprised, i'm shocked, i'm stunned that my colleagues on the other side are willing to take up a senate bill which is a bad bill and in fact there's a couple provisions in there that i would think the ranking member of the full committee and the ranking member of the railroad subcommittee would embrace. there's a coal ash provision in there which is going to be good for coal in west virginia so
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that's something i would hope we'd embrace that going to conference to come out and save those jobs in west virginia, create more jobs. of course, the gentlelady from florida, she embraces the senate bill which is going to be a disincentive for private money. it's my understanding that florida is a leader when it comes to working with the private sector to build infrastructure. so why in the world would we want to have a disincentive out there for public-private partnerships when florida will benefit mightily from it? again, i'm stunned we're standing here today with this motion to instruct. the senate bill fails to make real reforms, continues to -- it continues the transportation enhancement and safety routes to school programs that mandate bike paths and roadside flowers and walking school bus programs. you'd think that the people in pennsylvania or florida, west virginia didn't love their kids enough that they would be able to instruct them on their own how to go to school safely. and also the people in pennsylvania, we need to spend
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that money, not on bike paths. i love bike paths. i got them in my district. the time should be focused on bridges which are in desperate need of repair. the senate bill continues to mandate that they hire a bike pedestrian coordinator and a safe routes to school coordinator. like i said, those are things i don't believe belong in this bill. further, the senate bill fails or it creates, actually, a national freight program adding to bureaucracy at penn d.o.t. it allows states to use up to 10% of their appropriated funds for freight projects. i don't believe class one's would have anything to do with this because every time they got involved in federal money, it takes longer and more expensive. i don't believe the class ones would embrace this program that the senate is putting out there. the federal regulatory
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provisions for passenger rail provides rail authorities that are intended to stifle competition. once again, there's -- there's private sector initiatives going on all over this country when it comes to commuter rail. positive train control is another thing. the senate doesn't push that back which we found the technology's not there. it's not right. we don't have it. you can't use alternative forms of safety devices when it comes to positive train control. in addition to that, in pennsylvania, pennsylvania, new jersey and delaware, they are going to have to spend half of the capital money, capital -- half of their capital dollars to put positive train control in place which is going to cause -- trains in new jersey and philadelphia area would be less safe because they're not going to be spending fixing their stock and rehabilitating their rail lines. so this bill again falls short of any kind of reforms we need. as well as railway rehabilitation financing fund.
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30 seconds, please. mr. mica: 30 seconds. mr. shuster: which is a loan program to tap into $30 billion. that's the kind of reform we need to see, not forcing states to spend 10% into rail, freight rail projects but let's let them tap into this loan program. the way our reforms are would make it much easier for the class 1's and those to invest those dollars at low interest rates and improve the freight rail system in this country. again, i'm stunned that my colleagues wouldn't support these what i consider to be groundbreaking reforms that will allow us to spend more money on building roads and bridges. so with that i urge rejection of this motion to instruct. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from west virginia. >> may i have a time check? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from west virginia has 16 minutes remain, the gentleman from florida has 12 minute it is re-maining.
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the gentleman from west virginia. >> i have the right to close debate? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is right, he has the right to close. the gentleman from florida. mr. mica: i'm pleased to yield to mr. hanna for two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. hanna: the house has developed some of the strongest policy reforms in decades. i, for up withen, am not ready to give them -- for one, am not ready to give them upism thank chairman mica for his leadership to streamline project leadership. it shouldn't take 15 years to finish a project. we streamline the process so it can be done con currently instead of consecutively.
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this is good policy and something worth fighting for. we can cut this time in half and we should. i also worked on two other provisions that simply aren't addressed in the senate bill. one addressed the use of engineering services, specifically, it calls for states to utilize private sector engineering firms to maximize the -- to the maximum extent practical. state d.o.t.'s should streamline their operations and reduceover head so more money is going to put shovels in the ground, not to bureaucracy. the second provision, which would create regional planning organizations to give small communities a seat at the table, something they don't have now, the rural areas i represent face stiff competition for limited federal dollars and they deserve their fair share but this reform too is absent if the senate bill. let's work with the senate to get these and other good ideas from both sides including a final bill.
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madam speaker, we should embrace this process to make a positive impact on the senate bill. i urge my colleagues to oppose the motion to instruct and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from west virginia. mr. rahall: i continue to reserve my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida. mr. mica: madam speaker, i'm pleased to yield to one of the senior members of the transportation committee, the gentleman from california, mr. miller, three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized for three minutes. mr. miller: thank you, mr. chairman. what's interesting about the debate is, if the senate bill is good, you're going to play conferees. introduce a bill on the senate side youmple don't have to introduce a bill here that we haven't debate, haven't read, it came to the floor without discussion on our side. when we go to conference if you like the senate provisions if
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you like a two-year bill, you're welcome to ask for that but there are things in the senate bill that bother me you had the senate side guarantee there were no earmarks in this bill. if you look at what senator reid has done new york 2005, safe lew, the house put out -- safetea-lu, the how house put out a request, he's reappropriated that project to a $45 million project near the las vegas airport. now, it's nice that the senate wants to make promises but actions speak a lot louder than words. when the actions of the bill state clearly that $45 million of house money authorized in 2005 is being transfered to a project in las vegas in a bill and it's 2012, something inappropriate about that promise seems to occur. i really appreciate the chairman putting language in our original bill on environmental streamlining. i think he kid a great job on there. but when i read the bill, the language, it was clear what we
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were trying to do. in 2005, there was language that said if a state has environmental process that meets or exceeds federal law, they don't have to go through a duplicative process. it awe lo -- allowed five states to do that, one state took advantage of that, california. it's saving 30 months of delivery time. what we try to do in the house bill was the same thing. we're say, allow environmentalist -- environmental resip rossity. not only should states be allowed to d that but allow local municipalities to do the same thing. today, time equals $s. if you can create the projects today, we'll move the economy forward in a positive direction and create some jobs. there are other things we need to do. receiving grants. current law says if a state apply farce federal grant, they can't start the prompt until the grant money is received the
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ethis agency. what we say is once you've been approved for the grant, if you want to start the project now, start it now. you can reimburse yourself when the grant funds comes in. you can wait 12 months wait for the grant money to come in. but you can start the project today and get your money back when the money comes in from the grant project. we need to establish some certainty on when you can start a project. the problem we have is when applications made to the federal government far process for approval, it goes through an uncertain time process where they can delay and delay and delay. we said, thanks to the chairman, there's a date certain. now the federal government has to respond by a date, has to approve it by a date. >> 30 additional seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. miller: i thank chairman mica did a great job putting the language in the bill because it says, you have to know when you can do something based on the federal process and this is the deadline far bureaucrat to get their job
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done. now it seems like local government and state government are rapidly wanting to do things and the federal government trags their heels, requiring them to delay until they get final approval. i say no. let's set a date to let the construction projects go forward and make sure bureaucrats do their jobism aprove what chairman mica is willing to do and wants to do here and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from west virginia. mr. rahall: i continue to reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from florida. mr. michael: -- mr. mica: at this time i have no additional speakers. i believe the gentleman on the minority side would have the right to close. the speaker pro tempore: that is correct. mr. mica: so what i will do, i yield myself the balance of our time and allow him to conclude. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. mica: thank you, madam speaker, and my colleagues.
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we started out talking about how it's important for the legislative process tom properly be fulfilled under the terms of the constitution and separation of responsibilities in the legislative body. this motion, of course, would close all of that down, we'd accept what the senate has done without all the work many members o-- many members have put into this. i didn't go to webster springs but i went to beck lee, west virginia, where we held the first meeting to allow the other side of the aisle to present the very first of these deliberations, their viewpoint and their recommendations for trying to pass a long-term transportation bill, and we took many of those, as you
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heard, of% of the recommendations from the other side, we took 100 amendments, considered the tissue considered them, passed 20 in 18 hours of marking up and considering the will. so we've tried to make this a bipartisan process and a full process that everyone gets to participate. but now they're here telling us we don't want the house to participate any further, that would just take the -- we'll just take the senate bill and go along. they, of course, passed six extensions, short-term, keeping things in turmoil, during, i think we calculated about 14 months. i've had to do three in the same period of time. the difference is, i didn't have 6,300 earmarks, i didn't control the other body, or the house downtown what do they call that? the white house. put they controlled them all and they couldn't get it done. so -- but the senate bill does
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not set a threshold on some of these environmental approvals that tie us up. no one wants to step over any environmental good provisions. what want to shorten a little bit the time these things go under consideration. they go on and on. it's 15 years to approve some of the projects in his district, seven years on average for simple processing, if the federal government gets involved and we keep repeating the same thing, you heard the speaker say, it's like groundhog day around here, got to stop groundhog day, and we can do that by having the house provisions adopted. there are a whole host of things wrong with the senate bill and i won't get into them. i know it's been a bumpy road to get here. i told folks that when i became chairman and i think the ranking member when he became ranking member, neither of us was handed an operating manual.
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so this has been a bumpy road to get here and it is a difficult process but we've tried to include everyone in that process to come up with the best suggestions, recommendations. one amendment was to streamline provisions of h.r. 7, excellent. we'll get more for less and we can do it responsibly. mr. boustany's amendment from louisiana, to improve our ports, they improve our ports that are so important to infrastructure. there more good provisions in our legislation. it's not what i would have exactly crafted or passed in the very beginning or brought out here buts a -- but it is a vehicle so that everyone can have consideration who has participated in this possess.
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i submit to you, though it's been a bumpy road with some twists and turns we didn't expect, the senate is a pass to fewer jobs, a pass to fewer projects getting done, it's a pass to build only paths, if you want to look at it that way. unfortunately, it's the path to dead end for transportation. so i submit, madam speaker, that we take a different road. we take a road oto where we'll have more jobs, we can do more with less, and we can, i think, do a lot more for the american people at a very difficult time in our history and moving this great country forward and building our -- building our infrastructure. with that, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from west virginia. mr. rahall: i yield myself the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentleman veck niced. mr. rahall: madam speaker, as i said in my opening comments, the senate bill is not the perfect bill. it's not the bill i would have written had i had my druthers. yet i hear several of my colleagues on the other side saying how stunned they are that i am not for the house bill and that i would be here offering a motion to accept carte blanche the other body's bill. i'm sure the other members know how the process works and before i just give them a brief lesson -- lesson on that, let me repeat my words again from my opening comments that the other body's bill is not perfect. if there are issues we must change, we can address those through a technical corrections bill that will make the necessary policy changes to improve the bill. this is not unprecedented. we have dope it before. i would say to my stunned colleagues on the other side of the aisle. so there is nothing to prevent
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congress from enacting s.-1813 and then continuing to work to develop further bicameral, bipartisan changes to further improve our surface transportation programs and policies. but the bottom line here, the bottom line here is that our american workers should not have to wait any longer as congress searches for an agreement. the time for political gain, the time for adding stuff to score political points, is over. i would say in addition to my distinguished chairman from florida, he appears to blame part of his problems and headaches and troubles on his side of the aisle to the fact that we no longer have what are known as earmarks. now, it seems to me the suggestion that we reinstate that process known as earmarks, whereby we in this body if it so concerned about members of the house having a say and doing our tugal jobs, where we would have a he -- our
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constitutional jobs, where we would have a legitimate insight, deciding local projects that are best for our people, rather than leaving them to bureaucracies or presidents of the united states, regardless of who occupies that office system of last week, i asked my colleague to join me in a bipartisan manner in writing a letter to the speaker, urging an expeditious naming of conferees, which we've now done. that was a bipartisan letter, signed by the big four in our committee. i would now ask him, again in a spirit of bipartisanship and i will yield him time if he's prepared to answer my question yes or no, if he would join me in a bipartisan letter to the speaker asking for the reinstatement of earmarks? yes or no. mr. mica: i won't adjust yes or no, i have to be more verbose. would you allow me additional time?
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mr. rahall: i yield him one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. mica: first, when i took over as ranking member and we had sort of a rank way in which earmarks were done, i cleaned up the process. i think earmarks, there can be bad legislative earmarks and bad administrative earmarks. when they're done behind closed doors, they aren't properly vetted, they haven't had the sunshine antiseptic sunshine to let people what's going on and they're not a worthwhile project that has true support they should be considered, whether by the administration or legislatively. i think that we have a moratorium and i'd like to see a different way to present those requests. and i think fundamentally under article 1 of the constitution,
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i think it's section 2, we should as the house of representatives we do earmark even if we just put one line in and said we turn all this money and responsibility over to the administration. that is an earmark. but we can do and we should do better. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from west virginia. mr. rahall: i appreciate the gentleman's response. perhaps we better start drafting such a letter and see how far we can get. let me conclude my part of the debate here, madam speaker, by reiterating what my motion is. it's simple. it's pure. it's clean. it's straightforward. it instructs our conferees that we are appointing today to agree to the senate bill. that bill known as map-21, provides a total of $109 billion in funding for fiscal years 2012 and 2013 for federal highway, highway safety and public transportation programs. among its other features, it
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continues current funding levels, it sustains approximately 1.9 million jobs on an annual basis, it provides continued dedicated financing for public transit frot highway trust fund -- from the highway trust fund. no more go fish for our transit agencies. it continues and expands upon provisions developed during the last surface transportation act to expedite project delivery without gutting environmental protections or limiting public participation. i fear if you do either of the last two you're only going to prolong the process through court battles, because there will be court challenges that will go on beyond any approval process of the bureaucracy that may exist today. the senate bill also strengthens buy american requirements that apply to federal highway transit by --
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it ensures that the department of transportation periodically review existing nationwide waivers. it requires d.o.t. to justify any proposed waiver to buy american requirements and ensures the american public has notice of opportunity to commint on any proposed waiver prior to it taking effect. finally, map-21's bipartisan financing package fully pays for the bill. fully pays for the bill. fully pays for the bill. by providing approximately $9.6 billion in new revenues into the highway trust fund. this amount will fully pay for highway transit and highway safety programs authorized by the bill, and it will allow d.o.t. to maintain a positive balance in both the highway and transit accounts of the highway trust fund at the end of the bill.
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the bipartisan offsets do not add to the deficit because the general fund of the treasury is also made whole for every dollar that's transferred in the highway trust fund so as i conclude, let me say for these reasons i urge adoption of this motion and, yes, i'll yield. mr. mica: will the gentleman yield for one question? mr. rahall: yes. mr. mica: last week i think it was that you asked me to sign a letter to the speaker to appoint conferees and to go to conference, is that correct? mr. rahall: correct. mr. mica: and then we signed that and sent it to the speaker . it's gone to the speaker. so now we're doing that and now you're asking me to go to conference, roll over and play dead? mr. rahall: no, i'm not asking you to roll over and play dead. i'm asking -- mr. mica: that would be to take the senate bill -- mr. rahall: as i said for the third, fourth time, add a technical corrections bill if there's something we see in there that is --
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mr. mica: i thought this motion was to accept the senate's position. we're getting into conference and we just had a motion to -- didn't i pass a motion to go to conference? you're asking me to just, ok, surrender, it's all over? mr. rahall: reclaiming my time, madam chair. i said many times during this debate that that's not the position that we roll over and play dead to the other body. i said the other body does not have the perfect bill. i said there are technical corrections we can change once we get a conference under way, once we pass a conference committee bill, we can come back and make technical corrections. that's not unprecedented in this body. the important point here to remember here no longer can we play these political games. no longer can we add extraneous stuff on jobs bills to score political points for a certain wing of our party. what we need to do and the american people are asking, these are the contracts are for
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work. not 90 days from now. not 180 days from now. this is springtime. this is when the erican worker is waiting to know whether he or she will have a job this summer. that's why i think every move should be made to get to conference expeditiously, to have that conference conclude its work and bring a bill back for both houses of congress to enact in order to provide that certainty to the american small businesses, to the american economy, to the american worker that he or she will have a job this summer. and that certainty should not wait around for us to decide whether we're going to roll over and play dead or not. that certainty can be -- that bill can be corrected as we've done numerous times in this body through technical changes. once we have given that certainty to the american worker and to the american people. excuse me -- it's for that reason that i urge that the house today approve this motion to instruct conferees as we go to conference on the
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transportation bill, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the previous question is ordered. and the question is on the motion offered by the gentleman from west virginia, and those in favor will signify by saying aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the noes have it. the noes have it, the motion is not agreed to. mr. rahall: i ask for the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman asks for the yeas and nays. they're requested. all those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this question will be postponed. pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the chair declares the house is in recess until approximately 4:45 p.m. today.
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carrying the dutys -- >> i would say -- that's a pretty complicated question. >> massive gas line ruptures. >> the terror threat. >> serious danger. did you know there could be something there that could harm or even kill your kids? are your kids being brainwashed? >> the end of the world. >> it's a pretty challenging era right now with respect to media. i think we've seen over the course of our american democracy lots of different ways that you see the media in operation. >> a new gallup poll found media credibility at its lowest point in decades. 55% of respondents say they
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have either not very much confidence or none at all in the media's fairness and accuracy. >> some of the media does a pretty good job. npr does a good job, i think pbs does a good job, i think other news organizations do not a very good job informing the public. >> people find news sources to confirm their beliefs. >> there's a wonderful quotering americans these days use the media the way a drunk uses a lamppost, for support, not illumination. and what that means is more and more people are turning to news sources that are essentially echo chambers to support their own beliefs so if you're a conservative, you get your news from fox news. if you're a liberal, you get your news from msnbc. >> people will just plug in to the people who agree with them. >> there are some people who would rather be entertained by
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television than learn. >> the media will give us whatever we want to see. they just want to bring in as many viewers as they can. >> the advertisers will pay a premium to reach a smaller audience but actually of people who have a defined profile. >> there is a financial incentive to go to the extremes that we're seing with fox news and increasingly with msnbc. >> straight news content has given way to celebrity and crime news. stories with public policy content decrease, conflict and sensation take their place. >> the stories which should get reported, which should get more attention, like stories about money and politics or corruption, things like that, don't get as much attention. >> advertisers may have too much influence over the content of a newspaper or tv station because the media outlet is concerned about where the money
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comes from. >> media companies aren't having trouble staying in business, they're having trouble staying in journalism. >> as the final question to everybody that i interviewed, i asked, if you could change one thing about the american news media, what would it be? >> i think that needs to change is us, the public. news outlets are businesses. they're going to behave like businesses and they're going to give -- they're going to supply whatever there is a demand for. >> we need to chart a different pathway for our future. i think that younger people and people who see these challenges, the older generations, including me, have left to you, you need to get deeply involved in challenging the status quo, channeling the old ways. >> ultimately the people prevail. ultimately they demand their rights. >> we keep demanding and we are
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going to keep getting from them. >> i want journalism, i want stories to be told. i want that to live. >> we want to encourage vigorous, robust debate on all issues that affect our society. >> we have to have this conversation. we have to have -- we have to talk to people who don't agree with you. >> in the 21st century, the basic principles of freedom of the press face many challenges but we can overcome them. what kind of news media do you want in this country? your answer may very well dictate -- dictate the outcome. >> don't expect that the way things are and the way thing -- are the way things have to be because it's been that way. >> go to studentcam.org to watch all the winning videos and continue the conversation about today's documentary at our facebook and twitter pages. >> during question time today, british prime minister david cameron took questions on
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allegations against his culture secretary, jeremy h.u.d. yesterday, james murdoch testified before a british phone hacking panel on his relationship with the culture secretary and mr. h.u.d.'s special advisor, adam smith. the opposition claims their relationship was improper and biased toward news corporation and called for the culture secretary's resignation. this is 30 minutes. >> i'm sure we want to pay tribute to the explosive ordinance specialist who tied from wounds sustained in afghanistan. he was the scribed as a superb soldier and we send our condolences to his family and his loved ones. this momping i tissue this morning i had meetings with my
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ministerial colleagues and others and in addition to my duties in this house, i shall have further meetings today. >> i should like to associate myself with the prime minister's tribute to conner ray and ask my right honorable friend if he'll confirm that although british servicemen and women are scheduled to leave afghanistan in 2013, the actual pace of withdrawal will be determined by the need to minimize risk to our armed forces serving in afghanistan at the time. >> i can confirm that by the end of 2014, we won't have anything like the troops' numbers we have now and we won't be in a come pat role. post-2014, we do believe in having a training role with the afghan army, particularly the officer training role that president karzai has personally asked for us to undertake. the speefed the reductions between now and the end of 2014 will be done in acofferedance with the conditions on the ground and what is right in
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terms of transitioning from allied control to afghan control and at all times, of course, paramount in our minds, is the safety and security of our brave armed forces who i pay tribute again to today. >> can i join the minister in his tribute, he had the utmost courage and save maryland afghan and british lives and our deepest condolences to his family and friends. today we the catastrophic news that britain is back in recession. i'm sure the prime minister spent the last -- -- -- spent the last 24 hours thinking of an excuse why this has nothing to do with him. what's his excuse? >> these are very, very disappointing figures. i don't seek to excuse them, i
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don't seek to try to explain them away. and let me be absolutely clear, there's no complacentcy at all in this government in dealing with what is a very tough situation that frankly has just got tougher. i believe the truth is this. it is very difficult recovering from the deepest recession in living memory, akochnied as it was by a debt crisis, our banks have too much debt, our households have too much debt, our government had too much debt. we have got to rebalance our economy. we need a bigger private sector, we need more exports, more investment. this is painstaking, difficult work but we will stick with our plans, stick with the low interest rates and do everything we can to boost competitiveness and jobs in our country. >> mr. speaker, should the talk of this arrogant prime minister, the reality is, this is a recession made by him and
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the chancellor. over the last 18 months since his the catastrophic spend regular view, our economy has shrunk and this is a slower recovery from recession even than the 19 poss and the reality is that it's families and businesses who are paying the price for his arrogance and complacency. why doesn't he admit it, it's his scat strosk economic policy, his plans for austerity, cutting too far and too fast that landed us back in recession. there's not a single business organization or serious commentator or international body that thinks these problems emerged in the last 24 months. the debt crisis has been long in making. the failure to regulate our banks has been long in making. the government overspending has been long in making. this is a tough and difficult situation that the economy is
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in, but the one thing we musten -- mustn't do is abandon our plan because the solution to a debt crisis cannot be more debt. we must not put at risk the low interest rates that are absolutely essential to our recovery that would be absolute folly and that is why there is no business organization, no international economic organization that suggests we follow that course. >> it's all bluster. his plan has failed. that is the reality. stay with the people, mr. speaker, who said that britain was a safe haven. the chancellor said it on monday and we are back in recession. he was the person, he was the person who said we were out of the danger zone and this is what has happened. as even his own ventures are say, the complacent, arrogant boys don't get it.
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now let's turn p the economic disaster of this government to the political disaster of the culture secretary. we now know from the evidence published yesterday that throughout the time the culture secretary was supposed to be acting in an impartial matter -- manner, he and his office were providing a constant flow of confidential information to news corporation about statements to be made in this house in advance, in private cushion with the regulation yacht and his discussions with opposing parties. having seen the 163 pages published yesterday, is the prime minister seriously trying to tell thinks secretary of state was acting as he should have done in a transparent, impartial, and fair manner? >> let me finish off on the economy, which he has moved off. >> order. let's hear what the prime minister has to say on the
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economy or anything else. prime minister. >> we will not let anyone forget who got us into this mess in the first place. more spending, more borrowing, more debt that is what caused these problems, it cannot be the solution to these problems. now let me turn, mr. speaker, let me turn, mr. speaker, to the inquiry. i set up the levinson inquiry. the terms of reference of the inquiry were agreed by the leader of the liberal democrat party and the leader of the labor party. and i believe that to step in and try and prejudge that inquiry would be wrong. and let me be clear. let me be clear, lord justice
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levinson has made that precise point this morning. let me read to the house what lord justice levinson has said. perhaps the house would like to listen. let's hear -- >> let's hear what the prime minister has to say and then the questioning will continue. prime minister? >> lord justice levin said said this this morning, it is very important to hear every side of the story before drawing conclusions. and then he said this. although i have seen requests for other inquiries and investigations, and of course i do not seek to constrain parliament, but it seems to me that the better course is to allow this inquiry to proceed. now having set up this inquiry, having agreed with this inquiry, he should listen to the inquiry. -- >> mr. speaker lord justice levinson is responsible for a lot of things but he's not
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responsible for the integrity of the prime minister's government. in case he's forgotten, that's his responsibility as prime minister. now, mr. speaker, it beggars belief that the prime minister can defend the secretary because he wasn't judging this bid, he was helping the bid by news corporation. two days before, on the 25th of january, they were not only oco-lewding with news corps to provide them information in advance, they were hatching a plan to ensure, and i quote, it would be game over for the opposition to the bid. does the prime minister really believe that is how a judge and his advisors are supposed to act? >> the leader of the opposition clearly doesn't think what lord levinson this morning mat -- said this morning matters. let me remind him what he said yesterday about the levinson inquishry. he said this. i think -- this is the leader
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of the opposition speaking. i think that it's right that the levinson inquiry takes its course. he went on, the most important thing is that the levinson inquiry gets to the bottom of what happened, of what labor did, of what the conservatives did, and we reach a judgment about that. isn't it typical of the right honorable gentleman, in the morning he sets out his very clear position put in the afternoon, he cannot resist the passing political bandwagon. totally, totally, totally -- >> order. i said the prime minister must be heard. the leader of the opposition must be heard. both will be heard, however long it takes. it's very clear. >> totally pathetic answers.
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he's the prime minister. if he can't defend the conduct of his own ministers, his ministers should be out the door. he should fire them. now, now, he doesn't even try to defend the secretary and what he did. the secretary of state told this house on the third of march of this year in answer to a question from the honorable members of banberry, and i quote, today we are publishing the consultation dumont, all the submissions we received, all the exchanges between my department and news corporation. but he did not. because 163 pages have now emerged. the prime minister doesn't defend him over giving confidential information to one party in the case he doesn't defend him over co-lution. is he going to defend him about not being straight with his house of commons? let me make absolutely clear about the culture secretary -- >> let me make clear about the
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culture secretary who has my full support. the culture secretary, the culture secretary will be giving a full account of himself in this house of common this is afternoon and in front of the levinson inquishry and he will give a good account of himself for this very simple reason, that in judging this important bid, the culture secretary sought independent advice from independent regulators at every stage although he did not need to and the culture secretary took that independent advice at every stage, although he did not need to. the way that the culture secretary has dealt with this issue is in stark contrast to the governments in which he was a member. >> mr. speaker, i do say this to the prime minister. while his culture secretary remains in place, while he refuses to come clean on his and the chancellors' meetings with rupert murdoch, the shadow
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of sleaze will hang over this government and mr. speaker, mr. speaker, it's a pattern with this prime minister. paulsen, rebecca brook, now the culture secretary, when is he going to realize -- now he is flip-flopping all over the place on it. the closeness between politicians and media proprietors has been going on for years and this government is going to sort it out. whether it is a proper regulation of the press, whether it is cleaning up our financial system, whether it's dealing with our debt, i don't shirk my responsibilities, what a pity he can't live up to his.
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>> order. >> thank you, speaker. if my right honorable friend brings good news to the manufacturing and engineering secors in lincoln. we've seen an increase in turnover to around 70.5 million , confirms a circa 50 million investment and they are involved in the first new engineering school. what -- would my right honorable friend accept my invitation to visit for himself and see the excellent progress? >> i'm very grate to feel my honorable friend for the invitation, i will try to take it up. what is happening in our economy, the very disappointing news today, but underneath that, there is a rebalancing
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that needs to take place and that is taking place in terms of manufacturing investment, in terms of exports, in terms of government getting behind that with more investment in apprenticeships, more investments in technical hubs like the one at the university of lincoln and cutting business taxes so we get britain working and making things again. >> mr. speaker, on monday, the prime minister said that he'd gone on an economic rescue mission. is it not fair to say that that mission has failed spectacularly in lifingt the figures today? >> if you look at the recession that we suffered a 7% contradiction of our g.d.p., much bigger even than what happened in america and it is worth remembering, the biggest bank bailout anywhere in the world, it wasn't in america, it was here in britain. getting out of the recession, the financial crisis and the debt crisis is difficult,
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painstaking work but this government is committed to do do -- to doing just this. >> gordon burgewhistle. >> i met the chief executive of the fourth largest manufacturing group in the u.k. they have a substantial factory in berlin. he has been instructed by his u.s. board to increase the turnover of his u.k. operations. he's concerned about the lack of skills. can my right honorable friend assure me that the investment is coming? >> what is interestinging mr. speaker, is that if any member of parliament wants to talk about manufacturing success or business success in their constituency, they are shouted down by the opposition. because all they want to hear is bad news and to talk our economy down. we are investing in skills.
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we are putting more money into apprenticeship schemes, putting more money into the technical colleges. i was seeing expanse and growth plans and it's good to hear what's happening in his constituency. >> does the prime minister agree with his chancellor who said in 2008 that, and i quote, once you've got a down turn, you cannot possible stop public expenditure. will he stick to his complacent plan of cutting too far. >> well read. point is, we inherited -- we -- we inherited from the party opposite a budget deficit of 11%. the budget deficit we inherited was bigger than greece, bigger than spain, bigger than portugal. if you don't deal with your debt and deficit, you will never keep interest rates low and it is low interest rates
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that offer us the best prospect of getting out of this difficult economic situation we're in. >> thank you, thank you mr. speaker. >> order, let's hear from mr. lefroi. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i think half a million children died from malaria last year. on world malaria day may i thank the prime minister for his personal commitment to combating this disease and will he join me in recognizing the international leadership which british scientists, aid workers and volunteers, including rotarians in my constituency show in combating malaria? >> i am very grate to feel join the honorable gentleman and wish the people of the area well, he did better in con vising the people there to
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society for him than i did in 1997. he's right to raise the issue of malaria on world malaria day. 15,000 children die every week from what is a preventable illness. that's why i'm proud of the fact that britain is leading on this issue, is putting money into our aid budget, putting money into malaria and the scientific advances. even in difficult times, i think we're right to pursue this. >> does this out of touch prime minister still believe, still believe that the british economy is out of the danger zone? >> one of the biggest problems we've faced of taking office was the danger that financial markets would take a view of britain like they've taken a view of greece or of spain or of portugal, where interest rates were rising. the fact that we have such low interest rates in britain demonstrates that we have credibility. these are difficult decisions to get on top of debt and
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deficit and to deal with public spending but they're the right decisions, not least because the shadow chancellor once said that low interest rates are the mark of economic credibility. >> the high school very much welcomed the government's educational reform, two schools that never qualified under the b.s.f. under the previous government have attained that. can the prime minister tell the people when they can expect an announcement on the priority school buildings project? >> what i can tell him is compared with the first two parliaments of the party opposite were investing more in school building than they did, i think the figure now is something lie along the lines of $17 -- of 17 billion pounds in the spend regular view period so there are opportunities for new classrooms and new buildings
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and i'm sure the secretary of state for education is listening carefully to my honorable friend and will be in touch with him. >> ian mckenzie. >> does the prime minister agree with the member when she said -- [inaudible] >> order. let's hear the question. ian mckenzie. >> showing no compassion or understanding for the ways of others and though he meant that that's further evidence of being out of touch and why we are in a double dip recession? >> i agree with my honorable friend that many, many things. -- about many, many things. >> andruw jones. >> mr. speaker, over the last two years, u.k. exports have grown by 23% with faster growth to the brick countries. will my friend join me in congratulating 151 winners of
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the queens award for enterprise in their success in international trade, particularly gspk circus in my constituency? >> i join him in congratulating this business for its export performance. when we look at some of the fastest growing markets in the world, whether india or china or the southeast asian markets, i visited some days ago, export performance care compared with 2009 in those markets is up by as much as 60%. but as well as those markets, we've also got to remember our old friends, as it were, and the fact that we still export more to the republic of ireland than brazil, russia, india, and china combined. expanding our existing market but much more work to get in the fast growing markets in the world. >> david simpson. >> thank you, mr. speaker. recently the prime minister conceded that the government had made an important mistake in the handling oof this fuel cry sess. can i ask him, wouldn't it be a
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positive step in correcting that mistake if the government were to scrap the piece in august in order to help motorists, companies and families in the united kingdom? >> the government has actually used around four pl bel pounds of budget money to keep petrol prices down and petrol prices are about 6 p lower than they would be under the plans of the party opposite. let me update the honorable gentleman and the house on the issues of fuel strike. it now looks as if there is a longer period of time before any potential strike could take place. i'm determine wed use that time to make sure there is every piece of resilience in place. the plans we inherited would have allowed the military to provide maybe 10% of our fuel needs. we've now managed to lift that to something like 60% or 70%. we're in a much better place now because of the proper
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emergency planning that this government has done lawyer han -- rather than the party opposite that crossed their fingers and hope nerd best. >> my mother will celebrate her 100th birthday. living as she does five minutes from the olympic stadium, she has agreed to give up her pacemaker to give the other athletes a chance. will themy right honorable join me in recognizing her? >> i will certainly do that. i have written to her to congratulate her on this fantastic milestone and i'm sure that as she speeds past she will just turn around and reflect that indeed the only way is essex. >> i'm delighted the prime minister has written to us.
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that makes two of us. >> thank you, mr. speaker. the prime minister has spent plenty of time cozying up to corporates -- -- to news corporation and -- [inaudible] he is well qualified to answer this question. when he agreed to act for news corps, was he acting in self-interest or the interest of scotland? >> that's something only he can answer for himself. secondly, i think this is another issue that the levinson inquiry, prop ler i -- properly set up, properly established, that's going to interview all the politicians, including all sorts of people who cozied up to news international over the jurors and on all sides of the house there's a need for a hand on heart, we all did too much cozying up to rupert murdoch, i
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think we agree. on that basis, i'm sure lord levinson will make some important recommendations. >> thank you, mr. speaker. has the prime minister seen the research published today by the taxpayers' alliance which shows that there are 3,097 town hall employees earning more than 100,000 pounds and 52 earning more than 250,000 pounds? my constituents can't understand such exorbitant salaries. what can we do about it? >> i think you're entirely right to raise this issue and the important thing we have done is made completely transparent the pay in our town halls and in local governments. sadly i believe there is still one local council, a labor control council, that is not making this information available. every council should be transparent about how they spend council taxpayers money.
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barbara kingly. >> thank you. last year the prime minister said to people warning him that cutting too far and too fast would make a double dip recession should apologize. now he's delivered a double dip recession, shouldn't he apologize? >> we face a very difficult situation, with an 11% budget deficit. if we had listened to the plans of the party opposite and spent more, borrowed more and increased our debt, that would only make the debt crisis worse. how can the answer to a debt crisis be more borrowing? that is the question the party opposite can never answer. >> thank you, mr. speaker. after weeks of diving, ken livingston has given an indication of his [inaudible] sadly he refuses to publish the tax affairs of the company set up. does my friend agree with me
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that ken livingston has ceased to be the old pretender and has become the dodger? >> i think you speak for all of london when he speaks on this point. ken livingston owes the people of london some proper transparency, about his company and about his tax bill. there are still several days to go before this key election. he should make that information available. and have to say that it's something of a shock this week when i hardly ever agree with anything allen sugar has ever said. but he's saying londoners shouldn't back kent, he was spot on. >> thank you, mr. speaker. now that the prime minister has created the economic mess the country's in, can i be helpful to the prime minister? drop these ridiculous proposals for genal bakeoffs and celebrate the capital program for covetry. >> as i said earlier, we are spending more on capital on
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schools in this parliament than on either of the first two labor parliaments. i'm very happy again for education ministers to look specifically at the case in his constituency, see what can be done. i also hope he'll be joining me and inviting people on the third of may to votey yes -- vote yes. >> thank you, mr. speaker. every year millions of british people donate money to charities. they do it for the simple reason they want to help. help others worse off than themselves. i would call these actions honorable, kind and selfless. we have all heard recently that some, not all, but some of our wealthy citizens only want to donate money to charity if they can continue to reduce their tax bill. does the prime minister think their motives are honorable, kind and selfless? >> first of all, i think we should support in our country people who give money to charity and that's why this government has expanded gift aid in a very generous way and made available
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a change to help people with inheritance tax if they leave the quest for charity. there were set out in the budget a number of limits to reliefs. we specifically identified the potential problem for charities. am i right, the chancellor is going to consult wisely with how he'll make sure we encourage proper giving, encourage charities and encourage what they do in our country. >> mr. speaker, the -- [inaudible] shouldn't -- [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> we're leaving this to go live to capitol hill. speaker bainer is holding a press conference. >> back in 2007, a democrat-controlled congress put in place a law that would double student loan interest rates this year. republicans and democrats on both sides of the aisle here on the capitol have long agreed
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this was a problem that must be addressed. right now the president's economic policies are leaving a recent cut with graduates, 50% of them are either unemployed or underemployed. today i'm pleased to announce that on friday, the house will vote on a bill to extend the current interest rate on federal student loans for one year. we will pay for this by taking money from one of the slush funds in the president's health care law. and on this week, the president's traveling the country on the taxpayers' dime, campaigning and trying to put a fight where there isn't one and never has been one on this issue of student loans. we can and will fix the problem without a bunch of campaign-style theatrics. the rising cost of tuition is a serious one for students. i know this issue well. it took me seven years to work
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my way through college and working every job i could get my hands on. and what washington shouldn't be doing is exploiting the challenges that young americans face for political gain. and it shouldn't be sticking small businesses with a health care law that's making it more difficult for them to hire workers. let's fix the problems for young americans and leave the campaign theatrics for the fall. >> mr. speaker. >> yes, sir. >> [inaudible] >> this slush fund has been used to offset other spending and been done so in a bipartisan fashion. it's a reasonable and a responsible way to deal with the problem that the democrats themselves created five years ago. [inaudible]
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that's exactly the right question. we need to be working toward a long-term solution to this issue. a solution that brings the market into bear, we're looking at the possibility of variable rates so that this is not a political decision. every year or every two years or every election year. so this fix that the speaker has just outlined, which will extend the current 3.4% rate for one year, and pay for it without adding $6 billion to the debt or billions of dollars in taxes to small business this just gives us the room to work for that long-term solution which we all know that we have to reach. democrats and republicans, house and senate. [inaudible] >> listen, the democrats controlled both houses of the
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congress in 2007. they put this into law. and i don't know why they put it into law the way they did. but it's been recognized for some time that it was a problem that had to be addressed. the chairman's been working on this for months. but the president did go out and to campaign on this with taxpayer funds is inventing an issue that just does not exist. >> how does it not exist? [inaudible] >> a lot of things in the budget assumes current law and current law is current law. [inaudible] we have a bipartisan bill that addresses the issue of
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cyberterrorism. it's a very serious problem that affects not only the government, not only the department of defense, but employers of all types. and thousands of jobs are being lost as a result of the cyberterrorism that's going on today. the president wants the government to set the standards and to write the law for what cybersecurity is going to look like. if you want to get the american people a little exercise, put the government in charge of the internet. there are responsible steps that we can take that will allow the private sector to share information and to learn together about how best to address these challenges. we think this is a much better approach. [inaudible] >> specifically targeting the youth vote.
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>> please. this issue is not a partisan issue. no one here expected that interest rates were going to go up in july. and members on both sides of the aisle are recognizing that and are working to resolve it. [inaudible] we work in the united states house of representatives and we'll deal with our members. [inaudible] this is prevention and public health slush fund that was put into the bill by one of the senators from iowa, i believe. [inaudible] that depends on how much money's left in the slush fund. thank you, everybody. [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
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[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> we heard speaker boehner talk about the president. president obama has made a few stops at universities yesterday and today. calling on congress to prevent student loan rates from doubling on july 1. you can see president obama's speeches at c-span.org. the house is expected back in at about 4:45 eastern, when democrats plan to vote to instruct house negotiators to take a certain position on the highway bill, when they meet with their counterparts in the senate. we talked with a capitol hill reporter about a bill the house approved earlier today. >> a staff writer for the federal times joining us. congress appears to be moving quickly to limit the amount of money agencies spend on travel and conferences. how does the bill sponsored by congressman issa aim to do that. >> legislation is going to cut agency travel budgets by 20% over 2010 levels for the next
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four or five years. it will also limit agency spending on a single conference to $500,000 and place other limits on how agencies can and should put on conferences. >> the senate adopted an amendment on the same topic yesterday during work on a postal service bill. who was the sponsor that have amendment and what would that amendment do? >> senator tomko burn from oklahoma, he attached an amendment to the postal bill that would limit spending to $500,000 for any one conference and it would also cut agency spending by 20%. they're very similar. his would require agencies reporting four times a year detailed reports on all of their conference spending as well. >> why what are these measures coming up now? a lot of these are gaining new life in response to recent allegations that the general services administration, about lavish conference spending, in particular a 2010 conference where g.s.a. spent $822,000 on
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lavish catering, mind readers, bike building, team exercises and those sorts of things. >> and what's the next step for the issa bill and the coburn amendment? >> well, the coburn amendment is attached to the postal bill, once the senate looks and does have the postal bill, it will need to be voted on in the house and conferenced there and the house bill will need to be taken up in some part in the senate as well. once those are both done, they'll be awaiting the president's signature. >> your publication is called "the federal times," you can tell us a little bit about it zphrsn >> we're a weekly newspaper. we cover federal agencies and the workers of the federal government. >> and a staff writer for the federal times. thank you very much. >> thank you for having me. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> so we expect the house to come back in at 4:45 eastern time for votes. later this week the house is expected to vote on a few cybersecurity bills. we heard from one of the
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sponsors of the bill this morning. >> this is michael mchall, republican from texas. serves air chair chairman. several bills this week dealing with cybersecurity. what's the message? >> well, i think it's a historic week. we haven't had cybersecurity legislation like this on the floor in the history of the congress. i think the message though is that america's under attack, that we've been hacked into both in the private sector and in the federal government. about $1 trillion of intellectual property have been stolen from the united states from countries primarily like china. and then when you look at the espionage piece, it's even more frightening. they've installed blueprints for the f-35 joint strike fighter plane, for instance, just one example of many military secrets
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that they have stolen. they're very interested in satellite and rocket technology. and then finally we look at cyberwarfare piece, that's the one that keeps me up at night. this is the ability to go in and hit critical infrastructures through the click of a mouse and bring down power grids, electrical grids, nuclear plants, financial institutions, f.a.a., you name it. anything connected to the internet is vulnerable. so we're attempting to do two things. one is to harden the federal networks so that they can't steal this information from the federal government and number two, to have a sharing of information between the federal government and the private sector in terms of signature threat information so that the private sector, which controls about 0% of the critical infrastructure, can better protect itself. if i can just say, every federal
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agency's been hacked into, including the pentagon, and imagine if agents of a foreign power stole paper files out of the pentagon, classified or nonclassified, and they got caught. that would be all over the front page of the "washington post." in the virtual world that is happening every day. so that's a threat, i think the legislation we have this week is good legislation to remedy that problem. >> before we go further, we have about 20 minutes with our guest. if you want to ask him questions about cybersecurity, the number's on your screen. how does your legislation, the cybersecurity enhancement act, differ from the others? guest: you know, my frankly passed unanimously out of committee, bipartisan support in
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a very partisan congress that we're in, it's refreshing to see that kind of solidarity behind a bill. but it essentially, it hardens the federal networks. it allows the national institute for standards and technology to apply standards to the federal networks, to harden them, to protect them from the threat of a cyberattack. first and foremost. secondly, it has a research and development component that also involves the yoofrlts, which i think can be a great -- universities, which i think can be a great asset to protect the country. it also has education and awareness piece. when you talk to like, for instance, the n.s.a., they'll tell you, the computer hygiene is so important. if we could educate and make people wear -- aware of how these people get into your computers, how they attack you, and have better computer
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hygiene, that would cure probably 80% to 90% of our problems. then finally the procurement practices, we need to have more certification standards in the industry in terms of how we procure hardware and software, which we think will have a ripple effect to the private sector and i think it's going to do a lot of good. what we try to avoid at all cost was mandates to the private sector, we try to incentivize rather than be punitive. guest: arlene from florida. our first call, -- host: arlene from florida. caller: hello. talking about the circuit boards that we had built over in china and all the other countries, if we built them here in the united states, our computers would be more secure. i used to build mother boards and you can manipulate components that go into these mother boards and they go into
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our computers and that's what's kind of messing up everything in our world really. if we had built our own, we'd be much more secure. guest: i think the caller makes a good point. china is so advanced at this game. they have stolen so much, it really rivals the size that they have stolen. and any time you travel to, say, china, i wouldn't advise taking your blackberry. they are so sophisticated getting into your electronic devices. and so anyway, it's a big threat, i think the caller knows the threat obviously. what i've tried to do, i chaired the cybersecurity caucus, i have for eight years been trying to raise awareness, not only to the american people, but members of congress, as to the high level
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and seriousness of this threat. our military knows the threat. because they have the offensive capability. they know day in and day out what we can do offensively. that kind of capability in the wrong hands would be a huge threat. finally, and i know you want to get to some callers, but when i asked the director of n.s.a., can we expect a cyber pearl harbor, his response was, the question is not if but when. host: albany, new york, independent line. go ahead. caller: yes. no doubt that cyberterrorism is probably one of the scariest new frontiers we have. however, it seems like every bill is too far reaching and can be used against the american citizens themselves. i was curious to hear your thoughts on that. i'll take my call off air.
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host: and he used the acronym sispa, if you could talk about that. guest: we have a lot of offensive capabilities that can't be turned against us. i can't speak as to the origin of these or get into the classified realm. having said that, anything we can use can't be turned against us. it's almost like when we created the nuclear bomb, nuclear weapons, the genie's out of the bottle on this stuff and it's an ever-evolving industry, just like when they called them computer viruses, because these viruses are ever evolving. and the idea that they can be turned against us is a very real threat. there's one that's highly sophisticated reprogramming virus that was sent into the nuclear facility in iran, blue up their centrifuges and they didn't even know it was
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occurring because on their video screen they couldn't even see it was happening. that turned against us, is obviously a very scary idea. so we have to always stay ahead of the curve. we're very good at the offensive capability but it's the defensive side of things, i think that's where we're vulnerable as a nation. that's where we're weak and that's where we're attempting to correct and remedy with the legislation, cybersecurity legislation that we have on the floor this week. host: the cyberintelligence sharing and protection act, this was released by representatives rogers and ruppersberger and federal information security amendments act by representative issa. caller: good morning. thank you for taking my call. i have a brief question for you in regards to how you plan on the bill that you sponsored to implement the advances of private companies and nonprofit companies have in giving you
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information. and what you need in regards to completing the task of getting everyone intertwined and safely involved narcotic to protecting their systems. do you plan own doersing competitive bidding processes for these companies in regards to this supervision of or daning that information or working on those projects? guest: any of the information sharing, the -- i didn't hear his question in terms of the intelligence bill so i do want to speak to that. any of these information sharing concepts we have, let me say first and foremost, they're completely voluntary. this is a -- any private company, again, 90% of the critical infrastructures are controlled by the private sector, so what we're trying to do is encourage and incentivize them to work with us, with the federal government, so we can share the signature threat information. these would be how to put a
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patch to protect themselves. and so again, it's a voluntary system. with respect to the intelligence bill that's out there, there was a pilot program called the defense industrial base program that worked very well with the federal government sharing this information with the private sector and we want to do it in a protected environment where these companies are protected from vulnerabilities. if we can't work together with the private sector and share threat information, and that's all this bill does is share information with the private sector, private sector can share information with the federal government in terms of threats, specific signature threat information, if we can't do that we can't solve this problem because that goes to the core of where we are. and i can tell you this pilot program was highly successful in
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protecting not only the private sector from these threats, but also educating the federal government as to how to better protect the federal networks. host: are there concerns from the private sector by sharing this information? caller: i know there was -- guest: i know there was some concern voiced with the bill that's still being worked on for homeland security committee, i think above all what we want to avoid, when you get into the internet and cybersecurity, is burdensome regulatory framework, mandates and being punitive. those three. i think when you start crossing that bridge i think you get into trouble as a legislature. so what we're trying -- so we're trying to avoid those. what we're trying to do is make this a voluntary system and incentivize private sector rather than start mandating things and telling the private sector what they have to do and what they can and cannot do. host: a newspaper reports that
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dan lungren had a piece of legislation called the precise act and one of the reasons it didn't make the floor is because it would create new regulations. guest: i think the industry had some issues with the bill as it came out of the subcommittee. i believe those issues were cured at the full committee markup. when i talked to secretary napolitano and the director of n.s.a., what they said was essential, was that the existing legal authorities through presidential directives and executive orders be codified and that there be an information-sharing system, program fit in place. and i think that alleviates one of the concerns that the private sector had. unfortunately on the other side of the aisle the democrats objected to the bill and it is not a bipartisan bill, unlike the other four that are going to the house floor. unfortunately the homeland security bill has been very
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partisanly divided, every democrat voted against it. so i think leadership made the current decision to hold off on that bill until we can get more bipartisan support for that bill. host: house leaders made it clear they wouldn't support any bill that creates new regulations for cybersecurity. is that the case? guest: again, i think i was on the speaker's cybersecurity task force and our recommendations were to incentivize, not mandate. to make it voluntary, not regulate. and again when you get into the internet, and we saw what happened with sopa, for instance, you have to be very careful about what you're doing as a legislator, when you're dealing with the internet and cybersecurity. i'm always -- certainly our philosophy is one more to incentivize and not have punitive measures on the private sector when it comes to cybersecurity. caller: good morning.
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i just got a couple simple comments to make. first off, don't you do any background checks on the people that you hired? and the second one is, why would you put these major facilities online? so anybody can get on to them? guest: well, of course most federal employees, if not all, go through background checks. i used to work in the justice department and i went through numerous background checks in my career, prior to congress. but the fact is, you know, in this age of the internet and computers, we're all tied to it. we can't simply unplug ourselves from it. now, having said that, it's a very classified level, we do have very restrictive measures, to basically unplug it from the internet, so there isn't that connection. there are some ways that they still try to get in to steal
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classified information, but i feel very confident that our classified information is very well protected. there's the dot-gov and dot-mil. the dot-gov is very protected. dot-mil probably more open to an attack because it's very tied to the internet. like i said, we're ever-evolving. the einstein program that the department of homeland security developed is a great program to harden our federal networks and i think we just moved the bill out of homeland security where i introduced a measure to enhance the einstein program which i think will protect our federal networks. host: spokane washington on our republican line, mary. caller: yeah, i'm calling, i just wanted to say that i really don't think these regulations on the internet should be governed
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from town to town or state to state, all these civil laws that already exist in that state. if you're not allowed -- [inaudible] you shouldn't be allowed to watch pornography four blocks from a school online. but when it comes to had homeland security i think it's a -- [inaudible] that we're not calling it what it is which is a continuous government act that was written up in 1983 which is -- [inaudible] the federal commerce control at all times because of social strife amongst the commoners within our -- you know, basic people like you and me. and i don't think that we need to have more regulations by our government and we need more deregulation, even though i seem to be more on the democratic side of things, i don't feel that it's going to do any
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justice for america as long as we continue to pay officials any dollars an hour to make these decisions when they're just turning around and giving people who worked for 30 years only $3 to live on on social security. guest: i agree with the caller. that's why i emphasized to the speaker being on the task force that we do not want to go down the road of regulating and putting mandates on the private sector. and secondly we need to always be mindful of the civil liberties and privacy protections that we have put in these bills and this legislation. because my philosophy is, you know, we don't want an overreach in the federal government. and particularly when it comes to the internet. if i could just add another plug if i can. i introduced a bill, the united nations has been at the drks of china and russia, has been looking at sentssensering the internet and regulating the internet. i had a resolution that i
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introduced to call upon our ambassador it's a the u.n. to oppose this resolution in the united nations. the last thing we want is for the united nations to be getting into the business of censoring and regulating the internet. host: next up, spring valuey, illinois. jason, democrats line. caller: i have two questions. one, what are the consequences of the actions of cyberattacks? and how do you plan on catching cyberattacker when he can do it anywhere in the world? guest: i think they have the ability not only the intellectual property theft to the tune of $1 trillion, espionage in terms of stealing our military secrets, cyberwarfare, bring down our power grids, financial institutions, f.a.a., you name it. we have very sophisticated techniques to determine whether an intrusion has taken place.
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for instance, the c.i.a. probably has 100,000 attempted hacks per week. the house of representatives, i think we have close to a million but we know about those and the members are notified. and very few are successful. that's the good news. they can sometimes intrude and get in, but when they have the beacon to get out of the system, there's a wall that stops the beacon from escaping and getting back to the perpetrator. attribution is very important here. any time we've had a cyberattack, being able to attribute that back to the source and to the computer and then find out who was behind that act and who's behind the computer, very, very important in these investigations. i will say the f.b.i. was extremely successful in bringing down some of these activists, the unanimous groups, at bringing down multiple bad actors who have been responsible
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for the corruption of website, stealing of social security numbers, credit card theft, like in my had hometown of austin, texas. these groups are out there, very mischievous, but they're also stealing a lot of economic information that's very danieling and that's the point i haven't made yet -- damaging, and that's the point i haven't made yet. host: they have comments made by an admiral who is the director of intelligence of u.s. cybercommand, he told a group in washington that the united states would use cyberweapons against an adversary's computer networks only after officials at the highest level of government improve -- approved the plan. who do you think of that as a strategy? guest: i think that's appropriate. a lot of people don't realize when you can blow up a power generator through the click of a mouse, they don't really think you can do that but you can. and so it's an act of warfare. we have to define in this cyberworld what is an act of
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warfare here. and i think we have to be very careful when we use that capability, to do so with approval at the highest levels. because it is in my judgment an act of warfare. the challenge is determining what is an act of warfare from a rogue nation or state, can we attribute the act of warfare to bring things down which is essentially what they want to do, shut things down, and do we have good intelligence to determine was that a state-sanctioned act or some rogue operator that wanted to blow things up? so this is going to be the future of warfare. when you talk to the military, knowing what our offensive capability is, our defensive is notted a good as our offensive. but they will tell you, this is what they're most concerned with in terms of defending the nation because they know what we can do offensive and it will be -- offensively and it will be the future of warfare. host: and he played down the prospect of an enemy of the u.s.
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could shut down the internet because those systems are designed to with stand severe cyberattacks. guest: we have hardened those networks. the aroarow project was an idaho national lab program where through the click of a mouse they literally blew up a power generator. i think cnn broadcasted this. you can see the generator actually starting to destroy itself through a reprogramming virus like the internet virus. by doing things like that, just like when we look at viruses and develop vaccines to protect humans from viruses, same thing in the computer world. we have developed better vaccines, if you will, to protect our critical infrastructures. host: representative michael mccaul. thank you for your time. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> what part of the constitution was important to them and why.
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today's first prize winner in middle school selected the first amendment. >> every night millions of americans sit down in front of their tv to watch the news. they read the morning newspaper with a cup of coffee or they scan the internet for the most recent updates. the first amendment is one of the most cherished freedoms americans have. it is essential to the well-being of our democracy. what challenges does this face in the 21st century? >> freedom of the press is one of the bedrocks of the u.s. constitution. of our democracy, frankly. >> jefferson and the founding fathers really understood that government, without a vibrant bress, was ultimately going to
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become a government not of and for the people. >> it used later transparency into the entire process of democracy. it's a way for the public to keep tabs on what's going on in the legislature and in the executive branch. and in the judicial branch. >> journalism is basically the watchdogs over society, in addition to romping on it -- reporting on it. and it's a very important role. >> without the press you would see that people would exercise power on the basis of self-interest or profit or maintaining power rather than on the basis of what are the best ideas to build a great place for everyone. >> if you have lawmakers and executive officers who know that nobody's keeping an eye on what they're doing, the whole idea of power corrupts will come into play. >> the ability for people to
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question and challenge their government, to do that in ink on paper or in electronics on a computer screen -- >> all around the world there are enormously courageous journalists who at great risk to themselves are trying to shine light on the critical issues that the people of their country face. >> the most important thing to a country is to have an informed populous, an informed public. >> so if you think the american media has done a very good job carrying the duties? >> i will say that's a pretty complicated question. >> are there terrorist cells in your neighborhood? >> the terrorist threat.
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>> behind the scandal. >> serious danger. >> if you know there could be something there that could harm or it could kill your kids. >> are your kids being brainwashed? >> the end of the world. >> we're in a pretty challenging era right now with respect to media. i think we've seen over the course of our american democracy lots of different ways that you see the media in operation. >> a new gallup poll found media credibility at its lowest point in decades. 55% of respondents say they have either not very much confident or -- confidence or none at all in the media's fairness and accuracy. >> the media does a pretty good job, i think pbs does a good job. i think other news organizations
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do not do a very good job of informing the public. >> people find news sources to confirm their beliefs. >> there's a wonderful quote, americans these days use the media the way a drunk uses a lamp post for support, not illumination. and what that means is that more and more people are turning to news sources that are essentially echo chambers to support their own beliefs. so if you're a conservative you get your news from fox news. if you're a liberal you get your news from msnbc. >> people will just plug in to the people who agree with them. >> there are some people who would rather be entertained on television than actually learn. >> the media will just give us whatever we want to see. they just want to bring in as many viewers as they possibly can. >> if advertisers will pay a premium to reach a smaller audience than fuelly people who have a defined profile. >> there is a financial
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incentiving to to the extremes that we're seeing with fox news and increasingly with msnbc. >> stories with public policy content decrease conflict and sensation take their place. >> the stories which should get reported, which should get more attention like stories about money and politics or corruption , things like, that don't get as much attention. >> advertisers, they have too much influence over the content of the newspaper or tv station because the media outlet is concerned about whether their revenue comes from. >> people who have the free speech are people who own the press. >> media companies are not having trouble staying in business. they're having trouble staying in journalism. >> as the final question to everybody that i interviewed i asked, if you could change one thing about the american news media, what would it be? >> i think what really needs to
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change is us. the public. news outlets are businesses. so they're just going to behave like businesses and they're going to give, they're going to sly whatever there is a demand for. >> we need to chart a different pathway for our future and i think that younger people and people who can see these challenges that the older generations, including me, have left to you, need to get really deeply involved in challenging the status quo and challenging the old ways of looking at things. >> ultimately people prevail. ultimately they demand their rights. we keep demanding then we are going to keep getting from them. >> i want story togs to be told, i want -- stories to be told, i want that to live. >> we want to encourage vigorous and robust debate on all issues that affect our society. >> we have to have this conversation.
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we have to talk to people that don't agree with you. >> in the 21st century, the basic principles of the freedoms of the press face many challenges but we can overcome them. what kind of news media do you want in this country? your answer may very well dictate the outcome. >> don't accept that the way things are is the way things have to be because it's been that way. >> go to studentcam.com to -- studentcam.org to watch all of the videos. >> the house is coming in now for votes on a few measures debated earlier today.
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the speaker: the house will be in order. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20 -- the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, votes will be taken on matters previously postponed. all votes take bin this eyeas and nays. the first electronic vote will be conducted as a 15-minute vote, remaining votes will be
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conducted as five-minute votes. the unfinished business is the vote on the motion to instruct on h.r. 538. the clerk: motion to instruct conferees on h r. 4348 offered by mr. rahall of west virginia. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on the motion to instruct. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. members will record their votes by electronic device. 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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