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tv   Public Affairs  CSPAN  December 13, 2012 10:00am-1:00pm EST

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transfer rising health care costs on the backs of seniors. we think we should get it, the bigger issue is rising health care costs overall in the private system as well as the public medicare and medicaid. of course medicaid has the lowest increase in per capita cost of any of the major health care systems. >> the focus has been amongst democrats on taxes. what do you make of the suggestion that democrats really take this opportunity to talk about entitlement reform and make it on their own terms? and then, looking into the next congress, what do you want to see from your party? what do you really think should be done? i know we will see a lot of this policy transfer over, of course, but what are some of
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your focused items? >> sure. what is the last part of the question? >> some of your -- what you would like to see in the next congress? >> on policy issues. so on the -- first of all, let's remember the fiscal cliff is defined the issue right before us, right? the fiscal cliff contains $5 trillion in revenue. you know, just an aside here, if the fiscal cliff were allowed to happen, and we want to make sure it doesn't, we would over a 10-year period overachieve on the simpson bowles reduction. we would overshoot them now. we don't want to do it that way because it's way too much, way too fast and in the wrong way. the other component of the fiscal cliff are the sequester cuts. so that's why you see the president's proposal lined up as it is. it has $1.6 trillion in revenue
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on top of $1 trillion in cuts and he has another $600 billion in cuts. in terms of -- just in terms of entitlement reform, i want to go back to what i see as a very different philosophical approach, and we began this effort in the affordable care act. we did save $716 billion in the medicare program. i don't want to get -- >> all of this in our video library. we'll take you back live to the floor of the u.s. house here on c-span. te to inform the house that the senate has passed s. 3677, an act to make technical corrections to flood disaster protection act of 197 in which the concurrence of the house is requested. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, by direction of the committee on armed services i ask unanimous consent to take
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the speaker's table the bill h.r. 4310 with a senate amendment thereto, disagree to the senate amendment, and agree to the conference requested by the senate. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 4310, an act to authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2013 for military activities of the department of defense, for military construction, and for defense activities of the department of energy to prescribe military personnel strengths for such fiscal year, and for other purposes. . the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. for what purpose does the gentlelady from california seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i rise to instruct the motion conferees, the national defense authorization for fiscal year 2013, to accept the senate language that requires the plan for promoting the security of afghan women and girls during
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the security transition process. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the motion. the clerk: motion to instruct conferees offered by mrs. davis of california. mrs. davis of california 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. 4310 be instructed to agree to section 1249 of the senate amendment relating to a plan for promoting the security of afghan women and girls during the security transition process. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 7 of rule 22, the gentlelady from california, mrs. davis, and the gentleman from california, mr. mckeon, each will control 30 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlelady from california. mrs. davis: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. mrs. davis: thank you,. mr. speaker, five years ago i was at a congressional delegation of female members to afghanistan on mother's day to visit with our troops and meet with afghan women, and i
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continued to participate in this trip ever since. on that first trip, in the southwestern region of afghanistan and i met the women of the village they worked with. like much of afghanistan, this area is rural and impoverished. the women we met had the same aspirations of women across the globe. they seek to send their children to school and learn a trade in order to support themselves and their family. during that first visit in 2008, the school head master told us stories of how acid was thrown into the faces of serve female students who attended the school. these young girls overcame enormous challenges in coming to school every day. but their desire to learn surmounted the obstacles they faced, and there, just like at home, we heard these young girls talk of being doctors and
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teachers and anything else they could dream of. each year we have continued to visit the women and their message remains clear and consistent. they need security for themselves and their families if they are going to succeed. during these visits, we have seen slow but steady progress being made as security in the area has improved. this year during our visit, instead of talking about wanting the kids to come to school and being fearful that their parents would keep them at home, the school head master spoke about the 4,000 students who were coming to school each day and the need for additional desks and supplies. with a tremendous turnaround in such a short period of time. but, mr. speaker, these steep challenges remain for women in afghanistan. security, especially for women,
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has been at the heart of the problem that needs to be addressed as we transition responsibility to afghan forces. just this week we had a reminder of those security concerns. on monday the director of women's affairs was killed. she replaced the previous director who was also assassinated just six months ago. it is heartbreaking to hear of these female leaders being assassinated in an area that is trying so hard to move their people and their country forward. a country cannot disenfranchise nearly 50% of their population while seeking to achieve a strong prosperous economy. the language included in the senate bill is a step in the right direction. so many organizations have been active in the transformation of afghanistan, and i encourage my colleagues at the department of defense and the department of state to ensure this is a
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multipronged effort. we must involve all the entities, not only here in the united states and afghanistan, but also in pakistan and india where women there understand the daily challenges that afghan women face and create opportunities for these groups to work together. it is the least we can do to support the women of afghanistan and leave their country with a sustainable path for stability. mr. speaker, this is more than the security of women and their ability to prosper in afghanistan. it is also about our military service members. women on reconstruction teams have worked hard to help the women of afghanistan and members of the female engagement teams have been tremendous role models for young afghan children. our brave military men and women have sacrificed so much in afghanistan. and to leave without the ability of continued security there would be a dishonor to all those who have served.
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we must ensure that the strides afghan women and girls have achieved over the last decade do not erode. next year, i hope to visit afghanistan again on mother's day, and i want to tell the women we meet with, again, the same group of women that we have met with over the last several years, that their security is of importance. mr. speaker, i ask my colleagues to join me in this motion to instruct the house conferees and accept this language. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: does the gentlelady yield back her time or reserve? does the gentlelady yield back or does the gentlelady reserve her time? mrs. davis: i'm sorry, mr. speaker. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves the balance of her time. the gentleman from california. mr. mckeon: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise to thank the gentlelady for her leadership not only on this issue but on the leadership she helps provide to
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our committee. we have several women serving on the house arm services committee, and they do an outstanding job. over the years, many of us have visited iraq and afghanistan, and i have had that opportunity, but i know that the troops that the women have made bring us back a different perspective. i know the troops that i made, like time before last to afghanistan i went to the south. i went to camp leather neck where they were setting up the marines that just arrived and they were pushing out in the desert. we were not able to visit marja, which was one of the towns in that area. was totally under the control of the taliban. the taliban flag flew over marja. the last time i was there, totally changed. the marines had taken over marja, and the day we were there we opened a school.
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now, it's not like a school that we have here for our young people. they had a few classrooms in an adobe building and then they had a few tents. it was kind of raining that day, but there were as we opened that school 500 children were going to now be able to go to school and over a third of them were young girls who could not go to school before. they were so excited. 10 teachers and 500 young people. as i said, about a third of them young girls. we have made some great improvements in afghanistan. a lot of the things we don't hear about, but when these women go on these trips on mother's day, they meet with the same women each year so they give us a whole different perspective. many of us on the trips, we go
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to one place. the next time we go to a different place and we don't get a real feel as to what is happening actually with the people there. and i've talked to some of these women after those trips. they reported back and told me the things that they have seen and learned, and this perspective of actually being able to see the same people and hear their perspective change from year to year is invaluable. and i thank you for making those trips. and we have women on both sides of the aisle, both on and off the committee, that have gone to those trips. marta roby, one of the fresh -- martha roby, one of the freshmen members, led the trip this last time. and vicky hertzler and renee ellmers, another freshman member on our side, again, with women from the other side of
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the aisle, made that trip. and i thanked them for it, and i strongly support this effort on this motion to instruct. what we need to do is everything we can do to ensure the safety of women during this -- we made lots of gains for those women and the girls who will become women in that country. and when you withdraw the troops, it's a serious time. it's a dangerous time. and as we passed the effort over to the afghan security forces to provide the protections and keep the gains that we've made, it's very important that they don't fall back into the same way that they treated women in the past. we lose all those gains that we made. so this is a very important addition to the bill. and i thank you for bringing
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this forward. i thank you for the support. it's something i hope everyone in the congress will support as we move forward. and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: jartsjarts. the gentlelady from california. mrs. davis -- the speaker pro tempore: jarts. the gentlelady from california. mrs. davis: i want to thank you for your remarks here this morning, because this has been a bipartisan trip. and i can say that we have many, many hours together on these trips, and to experience it with the afghan women and with our female troops, particularly, has been an incredible experience. and i particularly enjoy the support and collegiality of the colleagues that mr. mckeon referenced. it has been very meaningful to awful us. i want to yield three minutes to ms. tsongas of massachusetts and ms. tsongas has been with us on those trips and i know will share some of her experiences as well.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from massachusetts is recognized for three minutes. ms. tsongas: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in support of this motion to instruct. as we have heard, this motion supports bipartisan senate language that would help promote the security of afghan women and girls. since becoming a member of congress, i have had the honor of visiting afghanistan four times, several with the mother's day trips that chairman mckeon referenced, and i have been fortunate on those trips to visit in particular with some of our military moms who are serving in afghanistan. these are female soldiers who have children back home, leaving them for months on end. . thousands of soldiers, men and women, go without seeing their family and loved ones for months on end, highlighting the extraordinary commitment that accompanies military service. this service is something, this commitment is something that we take home with us as we learned from them and from their
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stories. these service men and women have made such very personal sacrifices for the people of afghanistan. the ever increasing participation of women in our military demonstrates the important contributions women are making to our effort in afghanistan and around the world. it also stands in stark contrast to the involvement that afghan women are able to have in their country's public life. one of the most important observations and lessons that i have learned during this trip as well as the others was that if this country is to become more stable and secure, women must be included in afghan society and government. several years ago i visited a school where over 1,000 young afghan girls cycled through each day of all ages, very young up to high school. when we asked them what they wanted to be when they grew up, the answers we heard from doctor, lawyer, teacher, even
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journalist. these are exactly what so many of our own young daughters hope to achieve. these young women felt optimistic about opportunities that were previously unheard of for women in afghanistan. and represent a future of promise for this country. we should take great pride in the work that we have done to elevate their sight lines. ensuring that these young girls continue to have access to these opportunities in more broadly ensuring that women are able to participate in afghan society as a whole is not only good for the future of afghanistan, it is good for the united states as well. so that we can help ensure a more peaceful and just future there. on monday, we were starkly reminded of the tenuous position of women in afghanistan when the acting head of women's affairs in an eastern province was assassinated as she traveled to work. it also reminds us of their extraordinary courage as he they take advantage of the
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opportunities and seek to be full participants in their country's lives. as we reduce our military presence in afghanistan, the united states must be cognizant of how we will make sure that women continue to have a seat at the table and that the nascent gains for them are not abdicated. the bipartisan language -- this bipartisan language in the motion before us would require that the department of defense -- mrs. davis: i yield another minute. ms. tsongas: the bipartisan language in the motion before us would require that the department of defense produce a plan to promote the security of afghan women and girls as it withdraws from the country. it would encourage a recruitment of women as members of the security forces. in fact several years ago we met with young women who were being trained to be helicopter pilots and require the department of defense to report back on its progress toward meeting these goals.
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i strongly urge a yes vote on the motion and am so pleased to see our chairman's support for it. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california. mr. mckeon: reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from california. mrs. davis: i yield three minutes to ms. jackson lee of texas. i know she's been very involved in developing democracies and working with member. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from texas is recognized for two minutes. ms. jackson lee: i thank all my colleagues, particularly thank congresswoman davis for her persistent leadership. i joint her as co-chair of the afghan caucus. i thank the chairman for his support as well. so many of us have traveled to afghanistan and traveled as women to afghanistan and have begun to look to this country from the eyes of wanting its survival. a young girl is not from afghanistan but she symbolizes the essence of this motion to
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instruct. she's from pakistan, but many of you will remember that she took more than one bullet as a young girl who fought and stood up for girls being able to be educated. in my travels to afghanistan and the many provinces, you would hear stories from women as have been evidenced about the inability to serve, the inability to express themselves. in meeting with a group of women afghan parliamentarians, interestingly enough they would indicate how they wanted to serve their constituencies but how difficult it was and dangerous it is to travel as a woman to their particular province to serve their constituents. that is not the nation, that is not the basis of the principles of which our soldiers have fought and died for. america has wonderful principles and i'm delighted this motion to instruct focuses on providing the safety net for girls and women in leadership and in
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education. it is indicated, of course, that this transition will occur, but that the requirement of a road map to ensure the safety and security of girls and women. we have over the period of time in being in afghanistan, the longest war this nation has ever seen, seen the ups and downs. but more particularly the tragedy of having schools burn that were particularly directed towards serving girls. girls turn into young women and to women who want to serve. as we all know the hand that rocks the cradle does establish the basis of civilization. for the democracy of this great nation, i include my support for a motion to instruct for our nation not to lead as it leaves a pathway of democracy for the women and girls of afghanistan. we must provide the protection that they need to help lead this nation and to ensure its
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democracy, freedom, and justice. with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california. mr. mckeon: reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california. mrs. davis: i yield one minute to the gentlelady from california who has also been an extremely strong leader on this topic. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california is recognized for one minute. ms. lee: let me first thank congress wop susan davis for your tremendous leadership on this issue. i agree with congresswoman jackson lee, it has been consistent and bold. also to other -- my other colleagues who have joined us in this effort. there's really no military solution in afghanistan and abroad bipartisan coalition of many of our colleagues have called for an accelerated withdrawal from afghanistan. that said, when we inevitably leave, we must ensure that afghan women have a place at the table and an opportunity to shape the future of their country. i stand in strong support of this amendment that calls for a plan to promote the security of afghan women and girls during the process of transfer and security responsibility to
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afghan forces. we met with afghan women and let me tell you this was their very first priority, and we heard some stories that really speak to why this is so desperately needed. afghan women and girls carry with them the prospects for long-term growth, security, and prosperity for their country. i encourage also the conferees to include the hutchinson amendment -- may i have another 30 seconds? thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for an additional 30 seconds. ms. lee: we encourage, myself and others, the conferees to also include the hutchinson amendment as well as senator merkley's amendment calls for expedited withdrawal from afghanistan. but also we must support this amendment and make sure that we do -- this motion to instruct copper ifees and ensure that we protect afghan women and provide for their security. because they are the future of afghanistan. i encourage our colleagues to support this and i want to thank
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again, congresswoman davis, for her leadership. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california. mr. mckeon: reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california. mrs. davis: i yield two minutes to mr. kucinich of ohio, and i want to thank him for his outspokenness and his strong belief in peace and the role women play in those initiatives. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from ohio is recognized for two minutes. mr. kucinich: thank you. i simply want to ask for unanimous consent to revise and extend and include my remarks in the proceedings of this debate. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. kucinich: thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california. mr. mckeon: research. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentlelady from california. mrs. davis: thank you. mr. speaker, i yield two minutes to ms. schakowsky of illinois and want to thank her as well for her bold leadership in preparing women for democracy. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from illinois is recognized for two minutes. ms. schakowsky: i rise in strong support of this motion to instruct. i join my colleagues first in congratulating congresswoman
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davis for the enormous work that she has done to protect the women of afghanistan. and i thank my republican colleagues, too, for their support. this truly is a bipartisan effort. i am committed to a peaceful transition and a secure future for afghanistan as u.s. troops withdraw. and there is no better way to reach that goal than to involve women in the process. to ensure their voices are heard. to protect their fundamental rights. security of women has to be a top u.s. priority. afghan women have made incredible advancements over the past decades, but they face enormous challenges. just this week the acting head of women's affairs in eastern afghan province was shot to death in broad daylight as she was traveling to work. her predecessor in that position was killed in july when an i.e.d. exploded under her car. women particularly women who are
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involved in the political process or civil society are targeted, intimidated, threatened, and even killed. since the 2009 trip i took to kabul, i kept a sky blue burqa in my office as a reminder of the responsibility we have to the women of afghanistan. women's rights are essential to the long-term stability of afghanistan. women must feel safe participating in politics and in civil society, and they have to be free to seek education and start businesses and they must have the opportunity to help their country forge a peaceful future. mr. speaker, the hutchison amendment requires a three-part plan to promote the security of afghan women and girls by including this language in the ndaa we show we are serious about human rights in afghanistan and that we are committed to a peaceful transition away from u.s. military engagement. we have the opportunity to use the ndaa to stand with our
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afghan sisters, to promote the security of our afghan women and girls, and to ensure that women have the opportunity to engage in the rebuilding of their country. i urge my colleagues to support in this motion to instruct. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california. mr. mckeon: reserves. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california. mrs. davis: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield two minutes to mr. andrews of new jersey. i want to thank him for his support as well. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey is recognized for two minutes. mr. andrews: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. andrews: thank you. i'd like to thank my friend for yielding. i am immensely proud of the service and sacrifice of our men and women in afghanistan. they have done a great job defending our country and our hearts go out to each one of them who is serving our has served for the greatness of their service. i'm one who believes that the time to bring them home is a lot sooner than later. i'd like to see them all come home as soon as possible.
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when they do, it's important that as we leave afghanistan we leave an imprint of a value that is not just an american value but i think a value of humanity around the world. and that is that your opportunity to thrive in a community should not be determined by your gender. it is astonishing to most americans, but it was the reality for most female afghans that during the rule of the taliban, for a young girl a visit to a school put her life at risk. a girl who dared to try to go to school was risking a violent assault or even death. i am very proud of the fact that our military leaders, our civilian employees, and brave afghans have worked very hard to change that fact. and today afghan girls are in school. and afghan women are serving in
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positions of authority and leadership in education and health care and government and commerce in afghanistan. as we make the transition to afghan security in that country, let us make sure that the transition to full human rights for women and girls continues in that country. that is the purpose of this motion to instruct. and it's gratifying that members of both political parties has spoke up in favor of this very basic principle. being a girl or being a woman should not subject one to violence or shortchange one's opportunities. i'm proud to support this motion. i certainly hope as we go forward with this bill the principles of fairness and equality will be included. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california. mr. mckeon: mr. speaker, i yield at this time two minutes to the gentlelady from illinois, mrs. biggert. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from illinois is recognized for two minutes. mrs. biggert: i thank the gentleman for yielding. mr. speaker, i rise this morning
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in support of the motion to instruct offered by my good friend, mrs. davis from california. this measure would ensure that the afghan women and girls security promotion act, an important and bipartisan piece of legislation, will be included in the final version of the national defense authorization act. and it will require the department of defense to produce a detailed plan to promote the security of afghan women and girls during the process of transferring security responsibility to afghan forces. for more than a decade now, the rights and security of afghan women have been on the rise thanks in part to the efforts and sacrifice of our brave men and women in uniform. . i traveled to afghanistan over mother's day a few years ago and got to see excited young girls attending school for the first time and accomplished women proudly serving in government office. here in the united states we often take these liberties like
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this for granted. for an afghan woman, however, that represents dramatic strides forward in basic human rights and equality. mr. mckeon: i yield the gentlelady an additional minute. mrs. biggert: like my colleagues here, i am deeply concerned as we begin to transition out of afghanistan that we risk losing those hard-fought gains. tragic new stories like a brutal murder of a young girl in northern afghanistan over a rejected marriage proposal still occur with frightening regularity. i believe that this piece of legislation provides an opportunity for us to do that by providing incredible path forward, for promoting the continued safety and well-being of those girls and women. this is absolutely essential for the future peace, stability and prosperity of afghanistan. for that reason i urge my colleagues to support this motion to instruct. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california. mrs. davis: thank you, mr. speaker. how much time do i have left?
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california has 12 3/4 minutes remaining. the gentleman from california has 22 1/2 minutes remaining. mrs. davis: thank you. i yield myself such time as i may consume. i just wanted to acknowledge and thank my colleague, mrs. biggert, because she went with me on that first trip and we had that opportunity to observe women who were -- had had such very, very incredibly difficult lives and yet whereas aspirational as many we meet every day. i wanted to acknowledge her for that leadership. i now want to turn and yield 1 1/2 minutes to ms. hanabusa and, again, thank her for her leadership as well. ms. hanabusa of hawaii. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from hawaii is recognized for one minute. ms. hanabusa: thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: 1 1/2 minutes. my apologies. ms. honor buicea: i rise in support of the motion to instruct conferees which requires a plan for promoting the security of afghanistan
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women and girls during the transition process. i have been a supporter of an accelerated withdrawal of troops from afghanistan but believe we must do so responsibly. part of this responsibility lies in protecting the gains we have made by afghan women in ensuring they have a role in creating the future of their country. since 2001, women in afghanistan have made tremendous progress in being able to educate themselves and diversify their ways to provide for their families. they receive better health care and can move freely about within their communities. this progress, which has come at a great cost to the women and men of our armed services, must be preserved and furthered. to lose these gains would be to minimize the great sacrifices that our men and women in uniform have made. it is undisputed that the burden of war and keeping the family together after a loss of a life falls in the mothers and women of the households. it is also undisputed that war
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leaves many scarred, physically and emotionally. yet, it is is so rare that we can say out of these difficult situations that there can be a glimmer of hope for the future. one example. hope for the future is for these women and girls to know that they will be secure in their pursuits and in the progress that have been made. we must also believe that by doing so the foundations we have helped build will continue, and these women and girls will have a future in their afghan nation. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for an additional one minute. ms. hanabusa: as a nation this is one of the most positive acts we can do, mr. speaker. i yield back the remainder of my time to the gentlelady from california. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california. mr. mckeon: continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentlelady from california. mrs. davis: thank you. mr. speaker, i have no more
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speakers, so if the gentleman wanted to yield back, i would be happy to close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady continues to reserve. the gentleman from california. mr. mckeon: i want to thank the gentlelady for bringing this issue. it's something i think we can totally support on our side, and i would encourage all the members of this body to support this issue. i thank all of the women who have made the trips over there to afghanistan, because they really added to the cause. our men and women in the military that have fought for all these many years, one of the major benefits from this war is the freedoms that these women are able to enjoy right now and these girls and it's my hope that we can leave sufficient force there to complete the mission to guarantee the safety of these women and children, young girls, going forward to leave
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precipitously without having completed that mission and put these women and girls in jeopardy after they've seen a whole new life emerge, a whole new opportunity presented to them that they never conceived of before would be a disaster. so i thank, again, the gentlelady, mrs. davis from california, for her efforts here and all the women who have spoken on this issue and traveled to afghanistan and urge that we all support this issue and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentlelady from california. mrs. davis: thank you, mr. speaker. as i said, i'm certainly prepared to close. i again want to thank my colleague for his kind words. it has really been an honor and privilege to be part of this and to have worked with our female troops, all of our troops, of course, in afghanistan, but to see the difference that they are making. there is an approach that they have and it seems to work and they're able to bring people along and they can make the
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situation safer for the families and the community in which they're serving. i want to thank everyone who spoke today, and i also certainly want to thank everyone who's traveled on this particular trip. this is an important motion to instruct. it defines something just as basic as ensuring the mobility of women within their own country. thank you, mr. speaker. and i now close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time. all time for debate has expired. without objection, the previous question is ordered. the question is on the motion to instruct. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair -- mrs. davis: i ask for the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays have been requested. those favoring a 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 in recess subject to the call of the chair.
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because this is all of that
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time -- the most precious of all commodities, because it can produce results or not. if we take christmas and engineer back from there -- because that's a day we won't be in session -- we could engineer a path forward. we have to come to some agreement in the next couple of days or the very beginning of next week for us to have engineered our way to a solution. i wasn't trained as an engineer, but i admired their work, because they find solutions. they make things work. they make things operate. if we avoid the cliff, as i think we all should agree to that, then what are the steps we need to take and how quickly
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can we take them? so that we at least have a week of consumer confidence that can improve. but we have a week -- the year comes to an end where the markets have the confidence to go forward. so far they trust that we would not be so stupid as to go over a cliff. the markets have reflected some optimism i believe in that regard. but the consumer spending, as you see by some statements of -- well, c.e.o. of wal-mart, for one, that the season is not as what was hoped for in terms of consumer confidence and consumer purchasing. coming down to the wire. it's a matter of days. last week we went out on wednesday morning. this week we'll probably go out on thurg morning having come in
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on tuesday. two-day workweek in a row. this is just not right. how does this make sense? when time is of the essence, while the clock is ticking and again we're coming down to the floor. just to be clear, democrats have said we have already agreed in the budget control act and in other legislation passed by this congress to $1.6 trillion in spending cuts. we already have agreed in the affordable care act and in the president's budget to over $1 trillion in savings in medicare. to be -- to strengthen benefits. and it just remains for the republicans to agree to pass the middle-income tax cut which gives a tax cut by the way to 100% of the american people for people making over $250,000 a
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year, they get a tax cut up to $250,000 a year and are asked to pay a little more beyond that. this is all about confidence, consumer confidence, market confidence. it's about creating jobs and growing our economy. chairman bernanke who sort of coined the phrase at the cliff, has said if we don't act and we should act as soon as possible because it's already -- there's already a slope here, if we don't act, the economy will go over the cliff. not just our budget process, the economy will go over the cliff. what more motivation do our republican colleagues have than to get the job done, to manage the issue, to engineer a solution so that we can go forward? it will be two stages. this year we'll deal with the spending, the issues that i mentioned earlier. and next year we can take a
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bigger issue at reforming the tax code, closing loopholes, perhaps lowering rates for individuals and for corporate america. that's a longer endeavor and to also look at how to increase savings from the entitlement side of it. so the speaker had proposed a two-step process. let's take step one. it's a big downstatement. then we go to step two, to some of the reforms that we can subject to scrutiny to see if they really do save money, if they do create jobs, if they do reduce the deficit as they do grow the economy. any questions? >> you talked about comprehensive tax reform. >> i said katrina, not sandy. we have to address the needs. and if i just might say thank you, whoever just put that there, was that you, joe? we had to do this before.
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we had an impact with the disagreements between the executive branch and legislative branch. at that time it was katrina. every day that we didn't pass something for katrina was really -- caused great apprehension in that region and with individuals living there. and so same thing with sandy. where is the confidence they will get? this little bit now and this little bit now and can't spend that now. it's not only what he can spend now, it's what you can plan on now. so. so the timing is really important for sandy as well as it was when we had a similar impasse because of the iraq war that people were concerned would hold up the katrina funding. yes, ma'am. >> speaker boehner said there's no point in raising tax rates for the top 2%, including some small businesses, if you're just going to turn around next year and do comprehensive tax
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reform that perhaps lowers everyone's rates. what's your reaction? >> upside down. his statement is an argument for decoupling middle-income tax cuts and higher income taxes. we all agree that we should have the middle-income tax cut. decouple it. put high income tax on the table when we review comprehensively how do we get additional revenue to reduce the deficit, how do those decisions affect investment and growth and creation of jobs? so i take what he said in the complete opposite way. it argues for putting it on the table next week -- next year so it can justify its existence. because there's no justification right now. no justification for higher tax cuts that reduces -- that has not created jobs and increases the deficit. that's what it has done for the years it has been in effect. yes, sir.
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>> the speaker said he's gotten those specifics from the white house about what spending cuts they would entertain. and he wants significant more spending cuts to get more revenue. is he asking for something that's politically impossible for the president who campaigned on protecting these entitlements? >> no, he's not. in fact, the fact is that i don't know if that's a reasonable excuse or a stalling action, but it's not a serious statement. the fact is go to a table, debate it out, come out with a project -- a product, manage the issue, engineer a solution but don't make up excuses as to why we're working two days a week this week, two days a week last week. the week before that thanksgiving. thank god we were able to be home for that. we don't know if we'll be home for the rest of hanukkah or christmas. but that's just totally -- the republicans sent a letter. perhaps you saw it. it had a number in it. it had no specifics. it had no specifics.
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the president has been very specific. if you compare what the president put forward, i would need something this high for you to even be able to read the finest print it would be this high as to what the president forth in terms of specificity. the republicans put out a letter that had more signatures than it had ideas. and had one number. let's get real. let's really get real about this if we're going to have a solution and let's stay here and sit at that table and call, you know, make that charge. ok, here are the president's cuts. have you seen the president's specifics? the president has been very specific, do you not agree? >> is there demand for even more cuts than what he's offering? >> $1.6 trillion. $1.6 trillion. at some point you were cutting the -- the president wants
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investment in infrastructure. he wants education. he wants job creating investments for the future. you are not going to reduce the deficit by cutting -- only cutting your way to it because you will cut the prospects for job creation which produce revenue. so i know that you've all seen the president's specificity. so the question is if they want more cuts, then that's a different question than they want specifics from the president. the president has been very specific. the president said, i'm open to having a discussion about this. let's just -- you know, let's just all take a deep breath. the back and forth is only useful if it enhances understanding. the back and forth is only useful if it eliminates possibilities. as i have said, don't even think about raising the medicare age. we are not throwing america's
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seniors over the cliff to give a tax cut to the wealthiest people in america. we have clarity on that. but again, all these other things, go to the table and negotiate. >> madam leader. >> yes, sir. >> $600 billion is the president on entitlement cuts and something -- $600 billion i think is the number they put out. is there any movement in that? >> 44u7bd is what i heard -- 400 is what i heard. when you look at what this is. if you'ring trophies and you want to scout in order to -- if you want to scaaple seniors before you touch one hair on the wealthiest people in our country, then what's the discussion about that? are we serious in terms of
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economic security for our seniors and their families protected, then that's along the conversation about where we go. i said over and over, if you want to talk about social security, having it on the table, it's on its own table. any savings from social security that can be created should stay to strengthen the life of social security, not to give a tax cut to wealthy people and call that deficit reduction. >> madam leader, you said that markets so far has been fairly confident that there's going to be a deal here. >> i say that must be wise. >> what should the markets be looking for as to whether or not we are going to get a deal or not get a deal? >> i think first of all when we -- the four leaders met with the president, we talked -- we came out with positive
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statements because we talked about we wanted to avoid -- we mentioned -- we agreed we wanted to avoid the cliff, that we knew there had to be the element of cuts, of addressing the entitlement and having revenue. the speaker suggested, and most of us agreed and had our own versions of the same two steps which is we'll do a down payment now. which will be significant. and then to go to another stage where we would do things like tax reform, fairness simplification, loophole closing, lowering of rates, whatever you could do in a comprehensive way, not just taking one thing, but in a comprehensive way, and also putting on the table how we strengthen -- how we sfrengen medicare, social security -- strengthen medicare, social security and the rest of that. so my understanding from those who visited our offices, they
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understand we have to have revenue and what we had hoped from a few weeks ago meeting is we would see milestones along the way with a reasonable timetable to -- where's your timetable? what are the milestones for success? we thought we'd see more by now because again the time is growing short. so i think that a comprehensive bill, bold, balanced, which is what we're perfectly capable of doing, initiative to avoid the cliff as a starter would be -- is what they tell us they would like to see. >> so our market is getting -- because we haven't seen those -- >> hopefully they're not. hopefully we will have that. again, as you get closer to the time, why it has to go this long, i just don't know. >> madam leader --
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>> the speaker has his press conference. you had one yesterday. >> leader pelosi, you've been resistant to any major entitlement changes. but the president in his last meeting with the spearing did agree to some significant changes. are you worried that if this goes forward if there is any progress in negotiation that he'll disagree to some entitlement? >> let me remind you that we in the affordable care act had savings of over $700 billion by slowing the increase of costs to medicare. so we took the first step in this regard. the president has several hundred billion dollars more in his budget which we fully support. the president knows our views, shares our values. we respect his leadership, and the speaker may need our vote
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going forward. so i'm confident about how the president is leading us. thank you all very much. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> leader pelosi wrapping up her briefing. speaker boehner will have his in about 20 minutes where you can see on and perhaps c-span 1. a series of three votes. one on the defense authorization bill, agreeing to a section of that bill dealing with the security of afghan women and girls during the transition in afghanistan and also a bill on curbing improper payments by the federal government. we will have live coverage when the house gavels down which should be in a couple of minutes. until then, part of our conversation on this morning's "washington journal" about the impact of medicare about the fiscal cliff negotiations. host: and here on "washington journal," we are going to
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continue our look that we've done over the last couple of weeks at the so-called fiscal cliff and its impact on taxes and spending and some other issues. and today we're focusing on the issue of medicare, and our guest is mary agnus carey, senior health care correspondent for the kaiser health care news. mary agnus, just as a reminder for our viewers, how is medicare funded? guest: well, medicare has part a is funded by payroll taxes, gets taken out of their checks. part b and d. part b is your outpatient service and part d is prescription drugs and it's funded by yn revenue. host: is it self-sustaining? does it pay for itself? guest: in the sense general revenues pays for it, its needs are met and then the medicare trustees says the program is funded through 2024 in part because of the reductions in the health care law to providers and here we're
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talking about the part a trust fund. as we know 50 million people rely on this program. it was created in 1965. it benefits individuals over the age of 65 and disabled individuals under that age so a lot of people depend on it. it's expected to hit 80 million by 2030. host: so what's the current budget for medicare? guest: the amount of money that will be paid out in expenditures and so on is about $550 billion for this year. host: $250 billion. and does that $550 billion include the premiums that seniors pay out of their monthly social security checks? guest: what they pay for that will certainly go to those payments that are made to the doctors and hospitals and the other providers that care for the beneficiaries. host: so out of the $550 billion, how much is coming out of general revenue which is an allocation from congress, correct? guest: well, yes. let's look at it this way. in part b, beneficiaries pay 25% of that program. so in that case, 75% would be
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general revenues. and then in part d you have about 32 million beneficiaries that are on the program and that also gets some funding from general revenue as well as premiums. host: part b is medical insurance. part c is the medicare advantage plus program and part d prescription drug coverage. how did the affordable care act change medicare? guest: did several things. it is going to take $716 billion over the next decade away from medicare providers. now their payments will still grow but not at the he same rate of increases before. so hospitals, physicians, other providers of care will see their reimbursements decrease. and also medicare beneficiaries got some new services. they received some new preventive services. annual physical, for example. and they also are going to get
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some help if they are enrolled in medicare part d prescription drug program they will be helped this thing called the doughnut hole. it's the gap between what the plan covers and how much beneficiaries have to pay. host: when it comes to the so-called fiscal cliff and the discussions around that, how is medicare being looked at? what are some of the proposed changes? guest: what the key thing here for jaques is that medicare providers -- here for sequestration is that medicare providers, they will be cut by 2%. beneficiaries' benefits will not be cut but providers will be cut. when the office of management and budget made an estimate in i think about a month or two ago, they said medicare would be hit $11 billion next year. host: what do you mean it will be hit $11 billion? guest: the payment reductions would amount to that amount of money. the 2% across the board to providers. host: now, one of the other proposals is -- that's been floated, i guess is the right
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word, to raise the medicare eligibility age. guest: if there were a grand bargain struck, chances are the negotiators would lay out perhaps a target number of medicare spending reductions to be attained in 10 years theoretically. one is to increase the eligibility age from 65 to 67. this is already happening in social security. it points to the rush of baby boomers coming into the program. seniors are living longer. they tend to be healthier. we ought to extend the eligibility age. there is a lot of opposition from senior groups, and -- >> we will take you live back now to the house floor for a series of votes on bills debated earlier. proceedings will resume on postponed votes. the first electronic vote will
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be conducted as a 15-minute vote, remaining electronic votes will be conducted as five-minute votes. the unfinished business is the vote on the motion to strugget on h reform 4310, offered by the gentlelady from california, mrs. davis, on which the yeas and nays are ordered. the clerk will redesignate the motion. the clerk: motion to instruct conferees on h r. 4310, offered by mrs. davis of california. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on the motion to instruct. 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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mr. cantor: mr. speaker, i say to the gentleman he is correct in assuming that the defense bill will not be ready. we don't know for sure but probably likely by wednesday or after. so without complete surety i
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will say to the gentleman, likely a suspension debate on the floor on tuesday. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for that information. moments will find that helpful. -- members will find that helpful. the majority leader mentioned last week and reiterated this week that we will not adjourn the 112th congress until we averted the fiscal cliff. i think the american people would share that view and would hope that was the case. i hope it's the case as well. on the fiscal cliff, one of the things, of course, in the fiscal cliff, one of the items of concern we had a debate upon on the floor today and the majority leader and i have discussed it again, last week and the week before that, part of the negotiations are with respect to the 98% of americans who fall
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into the category we seem to have agreement on should not receive a tax increase. there have been increasing number of republicans and democrats who have urged us to take that issue on which we agree in the near term and i again ask my colleague, the majority leader, whether or not there is any possibility that next week we might consider at least that segment -- let me make perhaps a wrinkle of a suggestion to the majority leader if i might, obviously we have a disagreement on that over 250. we could, mr. majority leader, perhaps consider two bills. one for those under 250 or 200, the senate bill essentially, and another bill that you might bring to the floor which would involve extending the tax cuts on those over those limits.
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so that members, even though there is a disagreement, could express themselves on on both those propositions. i know the gentleman has made it a point repeatedly that there are small businesses that would be hurt if we did not extend over the 250 level. that would give members an opportunity to express themselves on that point of view as well as expressing themselves on the under 250 and under 200 for individuals. and that would give the senate -- my presumption is both those bills would pass and that would give the senate two bills to consider to send to the president at least to the extent we could reach agreement, have some certainty brought to some segment of the population. i yield to my friend. . mr. cantor: we have had this discussion before and the
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suggestion he has has certainly been brought to me on several occasion this is week. i would say to the gentleman, i know that he joins me in the desire to try and address all the aspects facing this country in terms of the fiscal cliff, namely try and actually put us on the path to managing down the deficit and debt and as the gentleman knows, we are trying in terms of negotiations -- negotiating with the white house and the speaker has been very earnest in his desire to want to address the spending problem, not just the revenue problem, and the gentleman's suggestion would not go to that. and i would say to the gentleman, his proposal would leave the issue of increased taxes on small businesses making over $200,000 a year and if the concern is to try and focus on generating more jobs
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and helping heal the economy, i'd ask the gentleman in return what does -- what is his suggestion about helping though businesses because as we know the preponderance of the jobs created come from those small piss, $200,000 and up. i yield back. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for his comments. we have this discussion on a regular basis, i'm sure everybody in america looks forward to this discussion. when the gentleman talks about small businesses, he is essentially talk about -- talking about 3% of the small businesses in america because 97% of the small businesses, those job creators of which the -- of which the gentleman speak, 97% of them make less than the -- and would be positively affected by the bill that affects those under $200,000 individually and $250,000 collectively and of course 100% of the small businesses would be assured,
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let's say they make $350,000. they would be assured that the first $250,000 would not get a tax increase. so i tell the gentleman, i am concerned about small businesses and small businesses will be included in the under $250,000 and under $200,000 as well. 100% of america no, matter how much they make, would have the assurance -- of america, no matter how much they make, would have the assurance after that the first $200,000 or $250,000 if they're families would not get a tax increase. the gentleman in the election cycle talked a lot about bringing confidence, certainty of what the tax structure and what the rules would be. i suggest to the gentleman, small businesses, whether they be in the 97% or the 3% the 97% being affected by the bill i would like to see passed that i think the senate passed, but
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the other 3% as i say would be positively affected knowing full well that the first $250,000 in income would not see any increase in their taxes. ic that would be a positive step for those small businesses and the small businesses above and below those figures. and i yield to my friend. mr. cantor: i thank the gentleman again. i said to the gentleman before, the majority of business income comes from those small businesses with income over $200,000. and the higher the percentage of income derived if the small business the more jobs are created by that individual. and that is the point. we also know, and the gentleman has heard me recite these figures before, there was a third party outside study conducted which would indicate that if we gentleman's proposal has passed, we are going to see the reduction of 700,000 jobs going forward.
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again if the focus son jobs, as it should be, it raises certain concerns. i would also remind the gentleman, he and i both feel very strongly about trying to do something about the fiscal health of the federal government in attempts to try to heal the economy and the fiscal helt of the government has much more to do about getting control of the spending rather than bring manager revenue in. more revenue in can come if we grow the economy but just by statically increasing tax rates without doing anything to try to address the spending problem, will actually make the problem worse and will leave that mountain of debt untouched and as the gentleman knows, our speaker has tried and tried to get the white house engaged in actually discussing specifics the way those specifics were discussed a year and a half ago. and these kinds of things that
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we all know need to be done on the entitlement program, the white house needs to come forward and say they'll join us in trying to fix the problem. that is what we have not seen. we have seen, mr. speaker, you know, speaker boehner, go forward and put revenues on the table, instead, we asked the white house to join us in trying to fix the problem of spending and that's where things have stopped. and hopefully we can resolve that and as the gentleman knows, i'm committed and as we have announced in the schedule, to staying here until we can resolve the problem. i yield back. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for his comments. i agree with him, as he knows, staying here until we get this problem solved. america expects it. america more importantly needs it. and the economy needs toe the confidence of a resolution of this stalemate. so i agree 100% with the gentleman but let me say in
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terms of the -- in terms of again one of the disquieting factors is that we can't even act on that on which we agree. now the gentleman and i disagree on a proposition, that is the gentleman believes and cites a study this we think is questionable -- of questionable validity that says we're going to lose jobs if we raise taxes on those above $250,000. we don't share that view, most economists i've talked to don't share that view there is a study the gentleman refers to that says that, i understand that. what i'm saying is, we can vote on that, and some of us will agree, some of us will disagree. but if we can't vote oint, let me call the attention to somebody who is certainly not a democratic spine meister -- spin meister but i think the perception will be that what we
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are doing is holding the better off, we can't help them, we can't help those who are not making as much money. david brooks i'm sure you're aware of david brooks' column in the "new york times," not a liberal democrat, not a democrat, i don't think he's a democrat or a republican, but more conservative columnist, says this and i quote from "the new york times" just a few days ago, sometimes you have to walk through the desert to get to the promised land. this is a quote. a budget stalemate will confirm every bad republican stereotype. republicans will be raising middle class taxes in order to serve the rich. hurting sam's club to benefit the country club. if they do this, they might as well get mitt romney's 47% comment printed on t-shirts and wear them the rest of their life. i say this not to criticize but to say that ther is peppings is
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if we do not act on something on which we agree, we are not doing so because we wancht to make sure that the best off -- we want to make sure that the best off if they're not helped, nobody will be helped. i think that's not good for the country. i think frankly it's not good for the congress. not necessarily republicans or democrats. i think we're all perceived as having the ability to act or not act. if we're going to get this fiscal cliff resolved, it will be because we agree on that on which we can agree. here we d. -- we do. we have 167 c.e.o.'s who have written to us saying that the business round table agrees we ought to move in this direction. bob corker, senator corker, said that the other day. others have said that as well. and i really don't think it's a -- either a political gotcha or political advantage. i think it will do what the gentleman talked about, it will give confidence to 98% of the
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american people who pay taxes that they don't have to worry on january 1 about their taxes going up. it seems to me that's a positive for our economy. because it will give them confidence that they're going to have resources to do some of the things that will help our economy grow. i understand the gentleman's position is that there'll be 2% who won't be -- have that confidence and 3% of small businesses, as the gentleman points out, those 3% are relatively large businesses in the sense that that 3% gets 53% of the business income. he's correct. those are large small businesses. or in many cases, individuals who just make a lot of money. that's fine. but they're not the majority, i think job creators, in terms of numbers of small businesses, who have added one or two or three people to their rolls. we can get off this but i certainly will yield to the gentleman and hope that we can
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do this, the reason you've got then suggestion of a two-bill strategy, two-bill scenario, because that gives everybody in the house of representatives and you talked about this and particularly in 2010 but have talked about it since then of giving the house of representatives the opportunity to work its will. two bills, you move them forward, one which the president says he will sign, up with which the president says he will veto and after all he'll be our president for the next 50 months. we can get something done. and at the same time all 435 members of -- members, or 433 i think we have at the present time, can express their views on those issues on which we have agreement and those issues on which we have disagreement. i yield to my friend. mr. cantor: on issues -- on issues we have agreement on, i think we have agreement on many spending issues. i think the gentleman has been
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outspoken in his commitment to say, hey, we've got to modernize if you will, the age eligibility of some of our entitlement programs. i thank the -- i think the gentleman if i'm correct, has said he's in support of adjusting the age eligibility for medicare. mr. hoyer: what i have said is, and i've said everything needs to be on the table. not that i agreed with everything that would be on the table. i have some very substantial reservations about age increase, particularly in the ryan bill, it doesn't get you any money in the next 10 queers, it won't help us get to that fiscal crisis. what i have said and i repeat is you have the right to put everything on the table, twheff right to put everything on the table. if you're going to have an honest negotiation, we ought to consider everybody's point of view. that's what i said. mr. cantor: and i say to the gentleman, this is the kind of conversation we should be having about fixing the problems rather than just kicking the can. and again the gentleman has been very upfront about i think
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his commitment to do some of those more difficult political things that i agree with him on. unfortunately, we're not having those conversations. and we're not having those conversations because i believe there are others in his party in the house and elsewhere, certainly in the white house that refuse to engage in the specifics about how we address the mountain of debt and the continuing spiraling upwards of spending. and that is what we've got to do. i think the gentleman would say, without -- running the risk of putting words in his mouth, that many folks out there who are wealthy would say sure i'll pay more taxes. but i go back to those individuals, i believe you say that because you trust that your money is being spent to pay down the debt an deficit. that's what we're trying to get to. none of us on this side of the aisle believe raising taxes is good in this economy or something that we should do,
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feeding more money into the federal government and certainly as the federal government is not fixing the problem. that's what we're trying to do, mr. speaker. i know the gentleman understands my point of view on this and we've had this discussion continuously. i yield back. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for his comments. it is a discussion the country is having. it's a discussion we need to have. and we need to have it honestly with one another. and the gentleman knows my position, it's not taxes or spending, it's, if you buy something, pay for it. we haven't done that. that's what creates debt. taxing doesn't create debt, spending doesn't create debt if you pay for it. spend creag ates debt only if you don't pay for it. the revenues, taxes, are what you pay for things you buy. we are buying things and we're not paying for them. and your children and mine are being put in debt as a result. so this debate is really about what are we going to pay for? how much do we want to do? and if we want to do it, we
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need to pay for it. the gentleman know misside very much believes that we had two tax cuts in 2001 and 2003 and didn't pay for them. we had two wars, pote of which i supported as the gentleman knows. we didn't pay for them. we passed a prescription drug bill and didn't pay for it. hopefully we're going to pass a disaster relief bill that hopefully we're not going to pay for in the short-term but that we will pay for and have a scenario to pay for in the longer term because we owe that to our children. mr. cantor: will the gentleman yield. mr. hoyer: just to make the point, the gentleman talks about tax and spending is the problem. the problem is we vote to buy things. whatever those things are, and we isn't voted to pay for them -- we haven't voted to pay for them. the discipline in any system in the family's budget, in the country's budget, should be, if you want to buy it, have the discipline to pay for it.
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or at least to amortize it and pay for it over a series of careers -- years that you plan for, we haven't done that we're in a debate about this fiscal cliff about how to do that. we plan this fiscal cliff. this is not happenstance. we planned, i didn't vote for the tax bills but they sunsetted. they sunsetted this december 31. that was planned. it was planned because of a scoring issue. not because i think your side really believed they ought to sunset but because of a scoring issue. the fact of the matter is the sequester was put in place as a fail safe to make the supercommittee work and it didn't work so on january 2, the sequester takes place. i don't think any of us believes the sequester ought to take place in the way it's planned to do so. what i'm saying to the gentleman, everything that happened on december 31 we planned, we put in place, we sunsetted.
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yes, taxes is the way we pay for things we buy, because if we pay for things we don't -- i'd be glad to yield. mr. cantor: mr. speaker, along those lines, the gentleman talks about the 2001-2003 tax cuts. he's talking about mostly the 98% that he refers to that continue to need that tax cut and i'd ask the gentleman if he's now saying if we need to pay for that tax cut? mr. hoyer: i absolutely believe we need to pay for that tax cut over that 10-year plan that we came up with to get us to a place that we can agree on being the objective in 2022 or 2023 as to where we want to be as a country in terms of fiscal sustainability. a credible plan that will get us from here to there, including taking cognizance of the costs of those tax cuts. yes, i'm saying over the longer term we ought to pay for it. right now the economy is struggling. the reason none of us wants to
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raise taxes on the average working men and women of this country is because the economy is still struggling. we are going to have that issue in terms of the payroll tax cut. we did the payroll tax deduction which is controversial and hasn't been a lot of the discussion in order to get some additional revenues to present cut in the fica tax -- 2% cut in the fica tax, actually a third of the cut so we can get additional moneys in the pockets of consumers so they can continue to buy. the economy has been better than it certainly was. we have grown but not to the extend we need to, and that is why our view is that for those working americans we ought to continue that level. but not because we think that we ought to just put that on the credit card and forget about it. it's got to be part of this fiscal cliff negotiations and your point is making sure we pay for things. mr. cantor: mr. speaker, i know the gentleman's view is -- my
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-- that's exactly the point of these discussions. where is the discussion about the specifics on where we are paying for things in terms of reducing spending? that's exactly the point. if the gentleman will be so kind as to go to the white house and engage the president and say, hey, give us some specifics, because the president so desperately wants to raise those taxes and to grant the 98% the tax relief. and if the gentleman's contention is the president's, where are the specifics on the other side of the ledger? that's exactly what we're saying, mr. speaker. we need to solve this problem. mr. hoyer: we had that -- in fact -- reclaiming my time. we had that discussion in terms of specifics. i pointed out to the gentleman last week and i'll point out to him again today, the president has in his budget 23 pages of cuts, including very frankly
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with respect to medicare in which he cuts more, specifically identified, than paul ryan's budget that passed this house reduced medicare expenditures. so i will say to my friend, given this list he can't see, you have five items in the letter you sent. five line items. all conclusionary. no specifics. for instance, the gentleman refers to $800 billion. not the gentleman, but in the offer -- the republican offer refers to $800 billion in revenues. now, the president's been very specific as to what he thinks we ought to do in revenues. we ought to go to the clinton rates on those over $200,000 individually and over $250,000 family. very specific. and he's made other specific proposals that would get him to his revenue number. frankly, your revenue number is
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positive on the fact we are going to reduce, as i understand it, preference items to attain an additional $800 billion in revenue without including -- without increasing rates. i understand that general proposition. would the gentleman then tell me which preference items you would reduce to get to the $800? that's a little rhetorical. i don't think it's to the extent you have been specific in terms of your offer at all while i do believe the president has put forward both on the tax side and the spending side some very specific proposals on how to get to his numbers, and i yield to my friend. mr. cantor: i thank the gentleman, mr. speaker. i will say this. again, the gentleman has been very good, not in negotiations with the speaker and the president, but knowing the state of affairs. because this is the problem. if the gentleman said that we ought to look to the president's budget proposals as
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our guide what he would submit and propose as to specifics, just yesterday i think the news came that the administration has now decided not to uphold its commitment on the medicaid reduction in spending. and so what are we to believe as far as the president's proposal in his budget from months and months ago and how that applies to the discussions and negotiations around the fiscal cliff, which is exactly why we need the specifics now. i understand and take the gentleman's point as far as $800 billion. but we have not dealt at all with the spending side of the ledger, and the commitment should be balanced. as the president always said, we need a balanced approach. but yet we don't have any discussion on the spending side of the ledger other than to reference a prior proposal by the administration which the administration now has said, no, we're not sticking to that
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on the medicaid piece. so what are we to believe? which exactly the point we need real specificity in terms of the spending, and i take the gentleman's point on the $800 billion. yes, but it takes two sides, and this white house and president have refused on the spending side. and i yield back. mr. hoyer: well, of course, again, we have a disagreement. this list -- i can't read it either. mr. cantor: we have just seen the administration backtrack its commitment on this list. mr. hoyer: i don't think he backtracked. what he said was and what we have said continually is on the revenue side, if you're going to have a balanced package, on the revenue side, this is his specific proposal. he's made a number of proposals on the spending cut side already. as i said in medicare more than the ryan budget in his budget. the fact is -- i will tell the gentleman -- you have no
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specificity on balance nor do you have any specificity, frankly, on cuts. there's no specificity on your spending cuts here. there are' conclusions. so -- they're conclusions. so i don't know how you think one side can be specific and the other side comes with five lines of dollars that add up to $2.2 trillion, none of which have any spessfiss -- as you see there's no individual items below those five lines saying where you want to cut or raise revenues. therefore, i think it's -- we need to get to an agreement. this argument is not very helpful i think. we need to get to an agreement. both sides need to get to an agreement. but the reason we get into this conversation is we have agreement on a part of that which will help give confidence to our people. and that is on the middle-class taxes not going up.
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i would again urge and perhaps we can get off this subject because i don't think we're really enlightening our public very much other than the fact there are obviously disagreements but they expect us and we need to bridge these disagreements. i think the president has shown -- you and i participated in discussions with the president of the united states, and i've been here 31 years. no president in the 31 years i've been here have spent as much time sitting in the oval office discussing with you and i and others, mr. boehner, ms. pelosi, mr. reid, mr. mcconnell and others, sitting in the office trying to get to specific agreements. this president's willing to do that. and he has done it. he's shown that he's willing to do it in 2011 and you and i were in the room watching it happen. now, did it result in what we wanted and that was an agreement? it did not. that was unfortunate.
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but this president's willing to do it. hopefully both sides are willing to do both sides of the ledger, which the gentleman points out, revenues and spending, balanced package, getting us to where we need to be. i'll move on to another subject unless the gentleman wants to make another point. ok. debt ceiling. i'm very worried about the debt ceiling, mr. leader. i think the debt ceiling is something that you and i have expressed both publicly and privately ought not to be something that really we put at risk. i frankly think all the leaders that i've talked to on the republican side and on the democratic side think that when you incur debts as the united states of america, the most credit worthy nation on the face of the earth, that you have every intention of paying those debts. the debt ceiling theoretically says you can't pay over a
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certain number. you can't go into debt any more. you and i both know that sometime in february, maybe later, that debt ceiling will be reached. very frankly, both parties played a game on the debt ceiling. when you were in charge, we played the fact that the debt was your problem because you cut taxes and didn't pay for that. on your the speaker pro tempore: you said we spent too much money and we didn't pay for -- on your side you said we spent money and we didn't pay for it. neither one of ourselves covered ourselves with a great deal of glory on that. the debt ceiling has to be raised because america will pay its bills. america will be credit worthy, and we saw the last time we had this political -- i call it a charade or dance -- the last time for the first time in history, first time since you and i served here -- history is a lot longer than that -- the
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credit of the united states of america was downgraded by one of the rating agencies, standard & poor's. i would hope that the debt ceiling would not be a subject of disagreement. the president has proposed senator mcconnell's proposal so that the party in charge could take charge. the president of the united states would say, look, in order to pay our bills we have to raise our debt ceiling. most countries don't have a debt ceiling, of course. most families don't have a debt ceiling. they incur debt, they expect to pay it. i would hope that this would not be a subject of political leveraging or political disagreement. we know as an economic fact of life that we're going to have to increase the debt limit. and i would ask the gentleman if he has any thoughts on that and when we might act on that. i yield to my friend. mr. cantor: i thank -- mr. hoyer: i don't think i finished for anybody who happens to be watching us is
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not bored stiff at this point in time. the mcconnell proposal was that the president would propose a level and then if that were not rejected by 2/3 of each house it then would go into effect which means that the president of the united states, republican or democrat, would take the responsibility for making that judgment on behalf of managing the finances of our country. and i yield to my friend. mr. cantor: mr. speaker, i thank the gentleman for yielding, and i believe that in all fairness looking at the credit rating agencies and their view towards debt ceiling increased discussions, some of that certainly has to do with the continuing increasing of debt and its burden on this country, our citizens and its economy. if the gentleman recalls a year and a half ago when we were engaged in the discussions around the increase of the debt ceiling, we established a proposition which said that if
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we're going to increase the debt ceiling we ought to be decreasing the spending in a commensurate amount. very simply put. the difficulty was we could not get the gentleman's party and/or the white house to go along with us in terms of agreement of those spending reductions. in echo of the original discussions the gentleman and i just had as far as the fiscal cliff is concerned. our commitment is to try to reduce the mountain of tet that is strangling this country and trying to stop the spending that continues to spiral out of control. so any discussion of the increase of debt for us has to be accompanied with a real commitment to the reduction in spending, otherwise, those credit rating agencies are going to continue to do what they did.
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and so in order to engender confidence in those agencies and the market and throughout the american economy and the public, we have got to gain some credibility on the spending issue and stop the spending. that is our position, the gentleman knows that. yes, we all agree america is a country that pays its bills. we need to stop racking up so many of them. we've got ton a situation where we are generating trillions, $1 trillion of additional annual debt. we can't do that. and that's why we take the position we do. to try and arrest that, to get our economy back on an even keel so we can heal that economy. i yield back. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman, i don't think he answered my question about the debt limit, therefore my presumption is that unfortunately it will continue to be an item used as leverage, holding hostage the credit
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worthiness of the united states. mr. cantor: that's a mischaracterization of my remarks. all i said was, we feel that this white house has a tin ear in terms of the spending problem. what we're saying is we need some balance. just as the rhetoric comes from the white house, that we need a balanced approach, we need a balanced approach on both sides. spending and revenue. that's what the whole discussion is about on the debt ceiling issue. because it is accessing additional funds for the federal government instead of through taxation, but borrowing. but equally if we're gong to increase that, we better be decreasing the other side of the ledge sore we don't continue to increase and mount that debt. mr. hoyer: i hear the gentleman and the gentleman says spending is the problem. if spending is the problem and
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spending obviously is one of the challenges we confront as is revenues, if that is the case, then let me remind the gentleman that during the time that his porte was totally in charge of spending, spending increased very substantially. otherwise known as 86% increase from 2001 to 2008 in the national debt. 86%. increase. now under ronald reagan it increased 189%. under this president it's increased 41%. and he confronted the deepest recession as a result of the economic policies in part pursued in the last administration which i did not support and which my party did not support. so if we want to get into this i hear this about spending all the time. we had a pay as you go, bipartisan process in place, put in place by george bush the
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first and democrats in 1990. in 1993, that pay as you go was continued. in 1997, a deal between mr. gingrich and mr. clinton continued that pay as you go process an for four years in a row, the last four year of the clinton administration, we didn't borrow a single additional nickel to raise the debt limit. we didn't have to. why? because we were paying for what we bought. now republicans were in charge of the house and the senate for part of that time. and so they deserve some of the responsibility for that. and the president was in charge of signing bills. and making sure that we made investments. he made sure we did that. and the economy exploded. those three factors obviously resulted in the only president in the lifetime of either the majority leader or myself who
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ended up with a net surplus. in his term. so we don't need to be lectured about spending. as i said, spending does not cause debt. what causes debt is not paying for the spending you make. that's exactly what happened. i tell my friend when his party was in charge from 2001 to 2006. totally and essential i in 2008 because we didn't change any economic policies and president bush had to sign any bill that was passed here. so this circuitous discussion we have about simply spending is the problem, yes, you're right. but the problem is ultimately if we want to buy things, and what we're doing now, as the gentleman knows is, we are producing a product that costs $23 to produce and asking people to pay $15 for it. talk about small businesses. any small business that does that goes out of business
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pretty quickly. that's what we're doing. and we have to stop it. the debt ceiling, however, is -- the gentleman knows, is about that which we have already done. and whether we're going to pay those bills. and all i'm saying is we ought not to make that part of the leveraging between our two parties. let me go quickly to farm bill, violence against women act, and the sandy supplemental. can the gentleman tell me which of these three if any, might we see next week? mr. cantor: as the gentleman knows on the farm bill we are committed to trying to address the issue of the farm bill prior to leaving for the year. as far as the violence against women act, as the gentleman knows, i am in discussions with the vice president, i know it is of particular interest to him. there are many members on our side who i've met with today as
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well as members of the other body who are interested as well. and we have met and we're trying to work out the differences. i'm committed to do all i can as the gentleman knows to bring this to a conclusion so we can see passage. as far as the supplemental bill, i know that the white house and the gentleman's heard me say this before, has submitted its request, appropriations committee is doing its review of the request. to see that that supplemental aid gets to the victims that need it, to the localities and states that need it, and is money that will be spent directly as a result of the very catastrophic storm of sandy. and hope to be able to resolve that as well. we are operating in an environment post-budget control act, where we have put in budget meck -- mechanisms for
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disasters. fema has indicated it has the money it needs to operate at least far little while. but we are committed to making sure that adequate funding gets to the victim thoofs catastrophic storm. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for his intent there. i observe that the gentleman observed and he was correct, obviously, fema indicated it has some resources to go through the beginning of the year. there are as the gentleman well knows a myriad number of agencies that will be involved in helping the victims of sandy that do not have those resources and need them. i appreciate therefore the gentleman's focusing on this and trying to bring this forth as quickly as possible. last -- miscellaneous tariff bill that expires on december 31 as well. can the gentleman give me a view as to where that stands? mr. cantor: i think the gentleman is aware, mr. speaker, that the chairman of the committee, mr. camp is
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speaking with the ranking member to try to see what it is we can do to move forward on that issue. mr. hoyer: i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia seek reck mission? mr. cantor: i ask unanimous consent that when the house adjourns today it adyourn -- adjourn to meet at noon on monday next for morning hour debate and 2:00 p.m. for legislative business. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. under the speaker's announced policy of january 5, 2011, the gentleman from iowa, mr. latham is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the majority leader.
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mr. latham: i thank the speaker and ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and insert extraneous materials for the record on the topic of my special order. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. latham: those of us from yay and elsewhere would like -- from iowa and elsewhere would like to recognize the service of my fell he iowan, leonard boswell, who will be leaving the house at the adjournment of this congress. i want to thank him for his service to our great nation in the u.s. army. no one has done more to secure our freedom and the promise of a bright future for our veterans and military personnel. i know he kuhns his efforts to secure additional support for military families and veterans as among his most meaningful achievements. i want to recognize him for his time in -- as a public legislator. his distinguished career straces back to the iowa state
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senate. though we haven't always agreed on the issues before us, leonard's relationships with his fellow members enabled him to work with colleagues of all political stripes. his work on behalf of his constituents as complemplefied when iowans expect their representatives in congress, someone who is approachable, thoughtful and hard working. i appreciate the many years of service leonard boswell has provided to our home state of iowa and its people. i know that he will continue to serve his fellow iowans faithfully beyond the conclusion of this congress and in that i truly wish him and his family the very, very best. mr. speaker, in addition to my remarks today, i ask iowans to pay tribute to leonard by providing their comments for submission into the congressional record. we do not have the luxury of time to read the numerous notes and well wishes that came in but i'd like to highlight a few of those at this time. iowa governor terry bransted
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sent the faux following. i commend congressman leonard boswell for his longtime dedication to public service. his selfless service to others has been demonstrated in many ways as officer of the united states army, as novet iowa senate and a congressman from iowa. congressman boswell should be proud of his service and accomplishments, for his personal achievements as a husband, father and grandfather. i'm heartened by iowans like congressman boswell who have spent a lifetime serving the state of iowa. we thank him for his service. iowa senator chuck grassley wrote, representative boswell has worked hard to represent his constituents. he did his job very well. while we disageeplilledly we never had a personal disagreement. we found plenty of common ground. i'll miss his camaraderie around congress but i have in doubt we'll run across each
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other because representative boswell is unlikely to avoid public service which has been his calling for so long. thank you for your service, representative boswell. nancy williams, president of a.i.b. college of business in des moines wrote, i wish to recognize and thank congressman boswell her fizz dedication to our country, to iowa and to his constituents. he has changed our world, our country and our state with his personal service for so many years. every life has a great purpose and congressman boswell has had a wonderful calling for him. i'll wait in anticipation to see what he chooses to do next. i just cannot thank him enough. kent sager, poth of this -- president of the iowa federation of labor, afl-cio wrote congressman boswell was a representative who would take the time to listen to iowans. he paid special care and attention to all veterans. he was a friend of working people. when home visiting, he would make an effort to meet with the
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labor leaders in the state. he spent his time listening to their concerns and would give honest answers on his positions. not always to the liking of the union. but always honest and upfront. john murphy, director of government affairs and policy works sums up the assurances we all have that leonard will continue to serve his state and nation. i'd like to thank congressman boswell not only for his support of me personally but also for his service to our country. as a soldier and statesman, there are few people who have given more of themselves to our nation. i wish him and dodi well as they move forward in their next adventure in life. i would ask them to take some time and get some rest. but i know that won't happen. that's not the boswell way. mr. speaker, at this point i'd like to recognize the gentleman from iowa, mr. loebsack. mr. loebsack: thank you, tom.
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my colleague, tom latham, from iowa. i'll start out by saying this is my sixth year here in congress. just finishing it up. and this is only the third time i've actually come to the floor during special orders to speak. that's how important it is for me to do this. the first time was when i was arguing for fwoing get the tanker deal when that was a big issue before our country, the second time was when i was pushing hard to make sure that the stock act was pass sod that members could not trade on insider knowledge and now i'm here for leonard boswell my good friend leonard boswell. it's not that i don't come to the floor vutch, i do speak for bills, but not during special orders. this is only the third time and it's with very good reason. i also want to note at the outset here too how many members of the iowa dell gation are here.
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include -- delegation are here, including a former member, jim. it's fantastic that you're here today, yim. i -- this is an honor for leonard. when you say special orders, mr. speaker, it applies in this case. i didn't know leonard boswell very well when i first got elected in 2006. i knew him but not very well. i was not an elected official before i got elected in 2006 but i had been involved in politics, in democratic party politics for a number of years helping other folks get elected. leonard and i, i think it's fair to say that when i got elected, probably and i think he would say this, i think he would admit this, that neither one of us had any idea what good friends we would become over the years. leonard has been helpful for me to sort of navigate the ways of
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this chamber, the ways of washington, the ways of congress, something that i think everybody knows is a challenge, whether you've been in the state legislature or any kind of legislative body prior to coming to the congress, it is a challenge to get to know how to operate in this environment. leonard has been very, very good to me, and i appreciate everything he has done. i could talk about his military service and all these other things that congressman latham just mentioned, but i'm not going to do that except say i am on armed services. i never served in the military myself. i have two marine children with whom we're going to be spending christmas again this year no matter what the congress decides to do and no matter what the president and speaker boehner decide to do, we're with them, to honor them and our military this christmas. leonard has a distinguished past in the military. there's absolutely no doubt about that. one other thing i'll say about leonard boswell, we talked a
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lot about us being from iowa. but i refer to leonard boswell being of iowa. he's an iowan through and through in every possible way. those from iowa knows exactly what i'm talking about. it is important that leonard boswell is of iowa. we are not going to lose touch. i do have six of his former counties, including his home county of decatur county now, and look forward to staying in touch from him, getting more advice from leonard as we go forward. he's a vaunt of wisdom and advice for those who need it here in this body. thank you very much for having me, and thank you, especially, congressman latham for organizing this. i think that tells us something about what can happen if we put our eyes to it on the larger
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issues of getting our economy back on track. thank you, leonard boswell, for your wonderful service. thank you. mr. latham: i, too, want to recognize congressman nussle here on the floor. in honor of congressman boswell. we have the distinguished minority whip, mr. hoyer. mr. hoyer: i thank my friend for yielding and i'll be brief. i had the privilege many years ago to get on the telephone and call leonard boswell. leonard boswell who was then presiding over the state senate. he tells the story about how his executive assistant came on the floor and said there's a guy named congressman hoyer on the phone. shall i tell him we'll call him back? and fortunately at the time he said i'll talk to him now. i said, senator, this is steny hoyer. i would very much like you to run for congress. we think you'd be an excellent member of congress. we think you'd be a great
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candidate for congress. we think you could win this seat. he said, well, what's mr. gephardt think about that? i said, let me turn this over to him. he echoed my comments. i didn't know leonard boswell at the time but i heard wonderful things about leonard boswell, not only about his skill as a legislator but his decency and character as a human being. not only his experiences -- but his service at home. as a farmer, as a businessman, as a public representative and as a senate leader in iowa. and i want to say that nothing that has transpired over the years that he and i served together in this body have disabused in any way the extraordinary positive things that we're told of me of leonard boswell and why i asked him to come to the congress of
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the united states. he's been a dear and close friend of mine every day he has served. he will remain a dear and close friend of mine until he and i pass from this earth. he is a salt of the earth human being. he is someone that the american people, if they knew personally, would say is the kind of person they wanted representing them in the congress of the united states or frankly in any other body. leonard boswell, thank you. thanking for serving our country so well, so courageously, so ablely, so conscientiously and with so much decency. you have brought a greater degree of civility and understanding to this institution. it is better for your service. god speed. mr. latham: i'd like to recognize the gentleman from iowa, congressman king. mr. king: i thank the gentleman from iowa for leading this
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discussion and to have an opportunity to say some things about my friend, leonard boswell, across the floor. i reflect a number of things. in 1996 i aspired to run for the iowa senate. i got there just as leonard boswell was elected to come here to the united states congress. and i got to know a little bit about the iowa that he came from and traveled down in there a good number of times and little did i know a few years later i would arrive in this united states congress, some six years later, representing not congressman boswell, not lieutenant colonel boswell, and i stopped along a number of times and looked across the landscape and wonder what makes the man the man that he is. and coming from iowa, especially rural iowa, and growing up in the hills like i did and walking through those hills and working within that soil and having my hands on a lot of things that are the originalins of new wealth, you understand what makes a man who
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he is when you see the landscape that he came from. and that landscape down in decatur county, it is hilly. it raises a lot of grass. we don't think it's the best corn ground but they're doing better with the new hybrids. now i'm seeing the character of the man that served in this congress for 16 years, the man from the military for over 20 years. he was an assault helicopter pilot in vietnam, was formed and shaped in the hills that today i have the privilege to represent and that feed those cowboys that wander out there -- cows that wander out in there in that pasture. i'm glad to know that congressman leonard boswell will check on those cows because he loves them and takes care of them. i also had the privilege of making the trip to go to vietnam as congressman boswell was going back to vietnam for
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the first time since the end of his second deployment there. and he asked me if i would sit in front behind the glass with him as we went all around vietnam, through saigon, out to the streets of saigon, out in the countryside, out on a boat on the river, and as we looked at how the country had changed and the population of saigon had gone from one million to seven million during that interim period of time since leonard so nobly, bravely and patriotically fossil fuel over that landscape -- flew over that landscape. everybody he served with didn't always come back. but more people came back because of leonard boswell and i know that i heard some of those stories because i pulled a few of those out. it's not something he's worn on his sleeve. it's within the character of the man that sits here with us today. it's part of the character of the man that served iowans and americans in the united states congress these 16 years. and for this time i've had the
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privilege to serve with him a decade for me, i'm grateful for those times. we've always been able to work with us and served on the ag committee together all of that time. there's been a certain commouncation that has gone on that was often unspoken, even in committee, when we looked over across at each other and somehow leonard boswell would know what i was thinking and i would think i knew what he was thinking and that worked pretty good for iowans and it worked pretty good for americans and it worked pretty good for agriculture. i congratulate you, leonard boswell, on your service to our country all of these years. it's been a stellar career, and it's not over. there's a future also of service that i know will continue every day. and certainly i'll keep you in my prayers and in our memories here as i thank you for serving the united states of america and serving here in the united states congress and serving iowans the way that you have. i yield back. mr. latham: i thank the gentleman. i'd like to recognize the gentleman from iowa, mr. braley.
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mr. braley: i thank the gentleman for yielding and for organizing this well deserved tribute to my colleague, my mentor and my hero, leonard boswell. we've been talking about how leonard is iowa through and through, but leonard, the secret is out. you were born in missouri. and that was a great day for america but i think that it has also been part of shaping the person you are because you know that we are much more than the state we come from, the region we come from and everything about your life of public service has reflected that. leonard grew up on farms in both decatur and bringol counties and was drafted into the army on his 22nd birthday. quite a birthday present. he served with distinction for
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20 years but the people who know him best can tell you that one of the things that made leonard boswell unique is he went from a draftee serving at the lowest levels of the army to being encouraged to go to officer's candidates school. and what happens when you get commissioned is you actually have to resign from the united states army in order to be commissioned and leonard did that. and was commissioned as a second lieutenant on february 19 of 1957. seems like a long time ago. but after his commissioning as an officer, you heard how leonard served two tours as a helicopter assault pilot in vietnam. and leonard, i know from doing a lot of interviews with vietnam veterans for the library of congress' oral history project that everyone remembers that first day when
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they arrived in vietnam. and for you that was on april 12 of 1965. i'm sure you can tell us the sights, the sounds, the smells, the feelings you had when you arrived there. one of the things that leonard never talks about, because he's too modest of a person, is the fact that he was awarded not one but two distinguish flying crosses for his bravery and heroism serving our country in vietnam. on november 1 of 1968 on his second tour of duty, leonard became the assault helicopter company commander for the 336 and led that unit with distinction until he finally retired and came back to the state that he loved and started pursuing other things. but leonard has always been about service to country,
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service to family and service to his faith. and so when an opportunity presented itself, he ran for office in iowa, was elected to the iowa senate, became senate president in iowa in 2002 and then continued his career here and we've heard the minority whip talk about how that all came back about. and we're so glad that it did. leonard has always been a strong advocate for military families. he has a lot of proud achievements in this body, but leonard to me, your proudest moment was when the joshua suicide prevention act was passed in the house, passed in the senate and signed into law by the president. and the reason why that was so meaningful to me personally is i knew joshua omvig's family long before he took his life. and for you to take up that cause and to give voice to the thousands of americans who were losing loved ones to


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