tv Public Affairs CSPAN July 23, 2013 10:00am-1:01pm EDT
when we all need a little bit of inspiration. i think the american public is pretty depressed at the moment. want a snapshot of in 1775ston because up and takes control-- >> we now take you to the u.s. house. but just laid of work beginning at noon -- legislative work beginning at noon. >> the house will be in order. >> the speakers rims july 23 2013. signed john a boehner, speaker
of the house of representatives. >> pursuant to the order of the house january 3, 2013, the chair for now recognize members morning our debate. the chair will alternate recognition between the parties with each party having one hour. with majority and minority leaders limited to five minutes each. note debate should continue beyond 11:50 a.m. the chair recognizes the german from oregon -- the gentleman from oregon for five minutes. >> unfair and often counterproductive.
invites tax engineering and is hugely expensive for those just trying to meet their obligations. invasions we and lose billions of dollars of .evenue that should be and providing for our families. while we may disagree with some fundamentals, it would be a mistake to begin with our area of disagreement. i commend the chairman for working to build common
understanding on a path forward. but there is one area that has not been part of the tax reform discussion but is every bit as critical at solving our budget deficit. that's to deal with our infrastructure deficit. every day brings more stories of a nation slowly falling apart and falling behind other nations that are modernizing their infrastructure, like japan, china, india, the european union, all of whom spend more money on their economy than does the united states. last week's potential water emergency in prince george's county underscores a point made by my friend, representative don young from alaska. we leak more water than we drink. 1.9 trillion gallons of water lost due to inadequate infrastructure underground. it's water, sewer, the electrical grid, transit, roads and bridges. the american society of civil engineers estimated we need to
spend $1.3 trillion in the next five years just to maintain basic standards. transportation re-authorization is under the committee's jurisdiction and it's fast approaching. with a highway trust fund unable to meet even current inadequate requirements. this resource gap prevented us from being able to enact a full six-year re-authorization last congress. hence we're facing it again next year. in the 20 years since the gas tax was last increased, the purchasing power of the fund has eroded dramatically due to inflation and increased fuel economy. so the average motorist is paying half as much per mile than they did in 1993. the failure to meet the revenue needs required has increased borrowing from the general fund, adding $55 billion to the deficit just to meet the current inadequate levels.
at the same time we've seen a collapse in the construction industry costing hundreds of thousands of family wage jobs and slowing our economic recovery. resources had become increasingly inadequate to meet basic transportation needs but at the same time the consensus among key road users in support of an increase has grown ever stronger. a vast coalition has emerged in support of raising the fuel tax, includes business, the professions, organized labor, nongovernmental organizations, the truckers, transit, cyclists, the list of supporters is as long as it is varied. allowing an inflationary increase for the highway trust fund was part of the clinton deficit reduction plan back when we had balanced budgets. more recently, it was included in the recommendation of the chairs of the president's deficit reduction committee, allen simpson andwles, making i
part of the proposal will meet a growing need of our economy. it will help satisfy the concerns of those insisting on more revenue but do so in a manner that's supported by a broad, diverse and indeed powerful coalition of interests. we all have a stake in funding to rebuild and renew america. it's not just the quickest way to put people back to work but also make our communities more livable, our families safer, healthier and more economically secure and it just might be the smoothest path to tax reform as ell. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from virginia, mr. wolf, for five minutes. mr. wolf: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, with only six legislative days left before the congress departs for august recess, i'm increasingly concern we will not learn the
answers to any of the questions i have raised over the past week before the one-year anniversary of the attack on benghazi, if ever. this is due in large part to the secretive nature of the investigations to date. most of the key hearings on what happened that night in benghazi have happened behind closed doors in classified settings, including a june hearing with general carter hamm. that is why i was surprised to hear comments made by general hamm at the aspen security forum where he spoke freely about the u.s. response about the attack. does it bother any of my colleagues that general hamm can publicly speak about the military's response at a forum in aspen, colorado, where the tickets, the tickets were $1,200? the american people should not have to pay $1,200. yet, his testimony was behind
closed doors. according to a cnn report, by the time an american drone arrived before the u.s. consulate the attack on the mission was winding down. by that time he knew ambassador stevens was missing and believe he could have been possibly kidnapped. he was quoted, in my mind we were no longer in response to an attack. we were in a recovery. and frankly i thought we were in a potential hostage rescue situation. the article continued, quote, hamm said although he had authority to scramble to the scene he decided, quote, there was not necessity and not a clear purpose in doing so. to do what, hamm asked, it was a very, very, very uncertain situation, he said. it was a very uncertain situation indeed. uncertain as to whether the terrorists held our ambassador as hostage, uncertain as to whether the terrorists would target the annex, as they did, uncertain as to whether this situation would last hours, days, weeks or months or years.
it raises the questions, if command required no additional authority to respond, what he then believed to be a hostage-rescue situation, why did it take another seven hours before africomm ordered a c-17 to deploy to libya to evacuate americans? and why did that plane not leave germany for another eight hours after that? if the situation appeared to be deteriorating, why wasn't there an effort to accelerate air support or planes to evacuate american personnel directly from benghazi? nd given the betrayal of our allied -- allies, why wasn't the pentagon moving faster for a hostage response in benghazi? and given that no american plane arrived in benghazi to support the evacuation, just
what planes were used to evacuate the americans on the morning of september 12? the state department's review board said two planes were used evacuate from benghazi to tripoli. and one transported the four bodies but the first to depart was a private chartered jet that took off at 7:40 a.m. with evacuees, including all wounded personnel, according to an unclassified version of the report. just who owned that jet? was it the same jet that brought in the seven-person response team from tripoli earlier that night? was it either chartered or common deered? how many wounded were evacuated on that jet? of the wounded how many were state department employees, c.i.a. employees or security contractors? when the first plane arrived in
tripoli, wounded personnel were transferred to a local hospital in coordination that helped save the lives of two severely injured americans. despite my letter i sent to secretary kerry, i have never received a full accounting of how many americans were injured in the attack. are any of the wounded still receiving care in military hospitals or other medical facilities? will we ever officially learn their names and they were heroes, the heroic action that night that resulted in their serious injuries? i think we can all agree it would be constructive for those that were in the chain of command that night to publicly testify and answer these questions. the american people are losing confidence in their government. how will history judge the actions or inaction of the obama administration and the response of the congress to the benghazi attack?
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the chair recognizes the gentleman from virginia, mr. onnolly, for five minutes. mr. connolly: mr. speaker, c.b.o.'s may report shows the deficit has dropped another $220 billion. the federal deficit continues to fall faster now than it has since post-world war ii demobilization in the late 1940's and early 1950's. o.m.b. released the mid session review saying deficits will be reduced below 3% of g.d.p. by fall by ontinue to 2023. this recent good news hasn't delimb nated the need to address our long-term fiscal crisis but it has created some breathing space for us to renew
our investments in america. we're now five years removed from the financial crisis and have yet to demonstrated an ability to balance competing needs between the long-term deficit reduction need and investments in the future that made america great. house republicans have been obsessed by the debt but struggle to recognize any need for investment in education, r&d and infrastructure. a few weeks ago larry sommers said just as you burden future generations when you accumulate debt you also burden future generations when you defer maintenance. given the current market, we're refusing to maintain our infrastructure at a time when investors are literally throwing money at us. to be clear, yields on the five, seven and 10-year treasuries have been negative for the past two years. negative. this past month we've witnessed a rate jump as markets fret
bout qe-3 yet yield treasuries remain below 3%. rates have not been this low for many, many decades. republicans look the other way when it comes to this question and i'm shocked that my colleagues who persistently say we ought to run the government like a business have little interest of taking advantage of one of our generation's great opportunities of investing in the future. this is a far cry from the party of lincoln that invested in the homestead act, invested in the transcontinental railroad or eisenhower who invested in the interstate highway system. unfortunately, congress continues to fiddle while rome burns. two months ago the i-5 bridge collapsed in the state of washington. it was a miracle nobody died considering that 71,000 vehicles a day use that critical connection.
the main route connecting seattle to british columbia, according to the u.s. highway federal administration virginia has one in four bridges that are either structurally deficient or functionally obsolete and we are not unique in america. water main pipes are more than 100 years ago. american society of civil engineers estimate it is will take $298 billion over the next 20 years to fix the situation. otherwise, many americans are going to get waste water when they turn on their faucets. more residents of the national capital reasonableon learned this the hard way when because of lack of infrastructure, infrastructure maintenance, they almost went without water. our choice is not to invest in maintaining the critical infrastructure in the backbone f our economy as putting
america at a competitive disadvantage in the next century. the canal will be -- its expansion will be completed in 2015, radically caltering global trade capacity. yet the east coast will have only four ports capable of receiving the new post panamax ships. the u.s. army core corps of engineer reports these new ships will make up 62% in the world by 2030. right now china and korea not only surpass the united states in this capacity, they lead in terms of container traffic as well. this didn't happen by accident. they invested. mr. speaker, there's no doubt that leaving our grandchildren with unsustainable debt is irresponsible. but what are they to think when they look back and realize we left them with a nation of potholes, contaminated water, and crumbling bridges. our global competitors aren't waiting around for things to pick up here in america. they are actively investing in
infrastructure to gain ground in the hoping of overtaking us in global competition. the chinese spent billions in ports, rail, and highways. they are not alone. it's time to turn our attention back to the seemingly unglamorous but critical business of fixing america's infrastructure. our roads, our ports, our airports, our bridges, and our to ensure in few tear generations america stays strong. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the chair recognizes the gentleman from illinois, mr. kinzinger, for five minutes. mr. kinzinger: thank you, mr. speaker. this is a very important issue that unfortunately hasn't gotten as much attention lately as it should. i'm a veteran of iraq and afghanistan, spent most of my time in iraq, but i remember i was in a nation outside of afghanistan getting ready to fly an airplane one day, this was back in the mid 2000's, mr. speaker, the majority leader from the other chamber
basically got on television and said, the war in iraq is lost. he said it's lost. it's done. it's over. i remember that. because i was on a treadmill getting ready to go fly a mission into afghanistan when i heard that. the interesting thing about that is i guarantee you our enemy in iraq probably cheered loudly at the moment they saw the majority leader from the senate say those words. we know that something very courageous happened, the president of the united states at the time said, not only is the war not lost, we are sending more troops and we are going to win this thing and we did. we saw the enemy realize that america could never be defeated on the battlefield. it could only be defeated by its will. and president bush sent a strong and loud message that america's will will not be defeated. this is a situation we face in afghanistan today. as a member of congress, as a politician, the easiest thing for me to do is to stand up here and say the war in afghanistan is lost and we need
to just go home. i tell you you look at the polling, and with the lack of a president leading this country on the public opinion side of what we are doing in afghanistan, i probably get a lot of people sending facebook messages and emails saying, go get them. it's time to leave afghanistan. but you know what? if i did that, i wouldn't be able to look at myself in the mirror and say i did the right thing. is, se the right thing generations of people that have lived under oppression and have lived for years under the taliban regime, they stood up, they kicked the taliban out of their nation, and they looked at the united states and said, it took you decades at your inception to get your democracy right, help us get our democracy right. what's at stake here. i see a ver here and couple things. a girl by the name of bebe, you would see she does not have a
nose or ears. -- at 15 ut out years old she left her abusive usband an eventually she was captured and apprehend herseth sandlinned by the taliban as they forced her family to cut her nose and ears off. we are running away from a terrible situation. she officially escaped and went to an american forward operating picture as she lived in the united states, she has a prosthetic nose today and is living as close to a normal life as possible despite the trauma she suffered. on the bottom down here you'll see a number of girls in school right now. learning and being educated. before we were -- went into afghanistan there, was something like 800,000 people in school. today it's over six million. did you know that 60% of the afghan population is under the age of 20? and there is this movement in
afghanistan called the civil society in which they stand up and say, it's time for freedom and it's time to take our country back. are you also aware, mr. speaker, that every province is now under control of afghanistan and the united states has everted to a training mission and counterterrorism mission? these are all huge victories for the afghan people we ought to be celebrating but instead i wake up the other day and look in the paper and the president of the united states, the leader of the free world, is tion after 2014 to take all troops out of afghanistan. let me ask you a question, do you think that made the taliban frightened? or do you think they cheered when they saw the president of the united states say, i'm considering all troops gone after 2014? the whole year of 2014 was pulled out of the hat for political reasons. when you say that we are surging in afghanistan but as the last troop goes in the first troop's coming out from the surge, it's not very
effective. you know the taliban has a saying, actually. it says america may have the watches, but we have the time. ladies and gentlemen, mr. speaker, we are on the verge of a clear victory in afghanistan for the afghan people. the biggest mistake we can make today is to let politics come into play and to withdraw and leave zero troops after 2014. in 50 years history will judge us for that. mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the the gentlewoman from ohio, ms. kaptur, for five minutes. ms. kaptur: thank you. mr. speaker, in 1999 congress sadly repealed the glass-steagall act. that law, which had protected our nation for over seven decades against wild speculation by wall street, investment houses, and financial giants. when the floodgates were removed between prudent banking and speculative abandon, again
wall street gambled with the money of the american consumers. look where it took us, into the worst recession since the great depression. into a world where we had the continues. he flood now your savings deposits and certificates of deposit earn almost no interest. guess who is making money off of your money? in commemoration of the 80th anniversary of enactment of the glass-steagall act, congress must adopt the prudent return to banking act, h.r. 129. i invite all members to co-sponsor our bipartisan bill to reinstall the floodgates that protected the public from wall street greed. the glass-steagall act, or banking act of 1933, was signed into law during the great depression in an effort to restore order and stability to the banking system. representative henry steagall and senator carter glass wrote the law and throughists passage the federal deposit insurance
corporation was created. the law presented commercial banks from -- prevented commercial banks with trading securities with deposits from their clients. after the repeal in 1999, the wall street banks, true to form, again created false money with abandon. they used that false money to purchase more mortgage backed securities which were packaged into collateralized debt obligations. most americans couldn't even define what these instruments were. but wall street giants ended up fleecing them by osama bin ladening up an average of 20% of the value of their home equity. lack of regulation allowed wall street to gorge themselves, pass sustainable ratios. they manipulated consumer mutual funds and pension accounts of american workers, thus ensuring americans were on the hook for when the housing bubble burst. sandy wild, who helped invent these practices, as the gorme chairman and c.e.o. of citigroup, stated on c nns, what we should probably do, he
said, is go and split up the investment banking from regular banking, have banks be deposit takers, have banks do something that's not going to risk taxpayer dollars. i wish he thought about that before he did it. wall street turned our strong banking system into a haven for speculators. they threw caution to the wind, displacing prudence with greed. these money men gained massive profits for the banks. by and large the american public was unaware of their backroom dealing, but wall street took hard-earned american dollars to gamble on omplex and risky instruments like derivatives and filled the gap with the lost equity of the american people's homes. we now see enormous accumulation of banking assets in vast financial power in a handful of powerful institutions like j.p. morgan chase and others. they are making enormous profits. larger than ever. as a result of the american people having bailed them out.
indeed, they are yielding the highest profits in our nation in addition to the oil companies. 15 years ago the assets of these six largest banks were approximately 17% of gross domestic product. today estimates for their assets are over half of g.d.p. so six institutions control an even normous and growing percentage of our banking system. in turn, our nation's future is placed at their doorstep. this is too much power in too few hands. the american people are feeling it in the restriction of credit, the sluggishness of the housing market and depreciated values, lack of interest paid on savings deposits and certificates of deposit, and the economy's sluggish growth and lack of competitive opportunities. in fact, the american people are subs advertising democrat n 2012 j.p. morgan chase reported record net revenue of $21.3 billion compared to the $19 billion they made in the previous year. for the third consecutive year the banking giants recorded a
record net income. total revenue for j.p. morgan chase in 2012 was nearly $100 billion. that would fully fund the department of transportation, nasa, the national science foundation, and even bail out detroit. yes, let's look at detroit. this weekend we saw the city of detroit file for bankruptcy. the new stories report detroit is $18 billion short, about a third in its pension funds. well, look at what the financial crisis took from the cities of michigan. over $180 billion. 10 times more than the debt that the city of detroit is juggling. $180 billion in lost property value in michigan alone. who should pay detroiters and michigan back for what was taken from them? the value of their property. now there it's a math problem for you. i would say to my colleagues, please join us in sponsorship of h.r. 129. let's put prudence back into banking and keep the
speculators out. mr. speaker, i yield back my remaining time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania, r. thompson, for five minutes. mr. thompson: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, on sunday, the "washington times" reported, and i quote, the leading federal research effort into the controversial drilling method known as tracking has -- fracking has turned up no evidence linking the process to water contamination. a connection continually drawn by critics along with some democrats in congress, end quote. the report continues saying the department of energy research being conducted at a shale natural gas well in western pennsylvania, thus far has shown that chemicals used in fracturing practice has stayed thousands
of feet below drinking water supplies, end quote. additionally, in april the determination made by the environmental protection department of pennsylvania, found it is not to blame for high methane levels in northern pennsylvania. mr. speaker, the united states oil and gas producers would pay an additional $345 million a ,913 r an average of $9 per well under the united states bureau of land management's amended proposed federal onshore hydraulic fracturing regulations. according to the report the amended proposals' estimate cost still received the threshold requiring an economic assessment by the bureau of land management. while changes the department of interior made following comments from producers, environmental organizations, and other stakeholders include an elimination of the requirement to regulate well maintenance, much more consideration must be given to these burdensome regulations.
local scientists and regulators know the geology for the national gas extraction occurs. they know the industry. they know how to balance good science and expansion without thwarting innovation, and affordable, reliable energy. local economies, including many in my district, are booming due to the natural gas industry. the model that is making this problem is based on stringent regulation at the state level, not the heavy hand of the federal government. . mr. speaker, later this week e'll have a field hearing, the economic impacts of shale. the caucus will receive testimony from local officials and community leaders concerning the economic impacts of natural gas production. we must promote best practices, sound science and do our very best as communities to manage this rapid growth and promote this industry that is offering
prosperity that to so many americans. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california, mr. mcclintock, for five minutes. mr. speaker, this has been a summer of alarming revelations that suggest that our government is drifting far from the principles of individual liberty and constitutionally limited government that define he american founding and eated the best nation of mankind. single out ordinary americans because of their political eliefs with the apparent intent of getting them out of the policy of debate. reporters were asked
embarrassing questions of the administration and one case with the threat of prosecution under the espionage act. men acing ngly militarization of domestic police agencies. the shakedown of health care providers to fund advocacy in promotion of obamacare. frequent assertions by the president of authority to nullify laws that he deems objectionable or inconvenient despite his clear constitutional mandate to see that the laws are faithfully executed. the executive's use of legislative powers of congress by using the regulatory bureaucracies to impose laws that the elected congress has specifically refused to enact. continued suggestions that the -- utive may order military and this week we're beginning
to learn details of the so-called federal data hub, including an excellent article of john fund of the national review. according to fund, quote, the department of health and human services is about to hire an army of patient navigators to inform americans about the subsidized insurance promised by obamacare and assist them in enrolling. these organizers will be guided by the new federal data hub which will give them access of reams of information compiled by federal agencies ranging from the i.r.s. to the department of defense and the veterans administration. mr. speaker, the american people are slowly beginning to realize the threat to individual freedom, personal privacy and fundamental constitutional principles that these developments pose. some very bright constitutional lines have been crossed and my constituents keep asking, what is congress going to do? well, the house has taken the
first steps to restore our constitutional checks and lances by focusing its scandal. ory i.r.s. those responsible identified and safeguards to make sure this abuse doesn't happen again. the house rules committee allowed amendments to the defense appropriations act to stop the warrantless seize year seizure of phone records. and the house is in a position to resist many of these abuses through its power to appropriate, but it's often been reluctant to fully assert that authority. the conventional wisdom is that the appropriations process will shortly stall and a continuing resolution will be agreed to. that would be a tragic mistake
if it leads to the continued funding of these increasingly unconstitutional and authoritarian measures. all appropriations must start in the house which means that a simple majority of this body by itself could arrest many of iece these -- these disturbing relevance to just say no by pulling the purse strings shut. if we fail to do so, i believe that we are allowing our nation o drift dangerously toward a constitutional crisis with grave implications to the rule of law and the survival of american liberty. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from georgia, mr. collins, for five minutes. mr. collins: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i come from the ninth district of georgia and it's a pleasure always to be back there because the mountains and the rural nature of our district and there's so many businesses that make up in the economic engines from our
agriculture to our industry, but they are also the backbone that's played out in the ninth district and this morning i rise to honor what i say backbones of our economic development and that is one of our e.m.c.'s. in fact i rise to honor the electric membership corporation as it april proaches the milestone. they will mark their 70th nniversary of providing clean, reliable, affordable energy to homes and businesses in northeast georgia. it shares lump kin, white, stevens and rayburn counties. it is an innovative member-owned cooperative that provides power to more than 33,000 members and maintains approximately 3,700 miles of line. i had the pleasure of stopping by the e.m.c. a few months ago to speak with their leadership of this great organization. todd and his staff and the board of directors are wonderful examples of servant leadership that provide an invaluable service to their
community. hile i'm sorry to miss the 75th anniversary celebration, i want to extend the best wishes to the employees and members. i hope the next 75 years will bring even more innovation and continued success in providing the affordable energy needed to fuel our economy. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the chair declares the house in recess until noon today. >> the house returned at noon to debate. the rules committee yesterday voted to allow 100 amendments to be offered to the defense spending bill, including several republican amendments that would restrict the nsa's data collection authority and also block military aid to syrian rebels and the egyptian
military. the white house yesterday issued a veto threat for the 2014 defense spending bill. saying it would hurt our economy and required taccone and cuts -- require draconian cuts. we will have live house coverage at noon eastern when members gavel back in. in a minute, we will take you live to the senate -- center for american progress where oregon senator ron wyden will be speaking about the nsa's data collection programs and the balance between national security and privacy. thes a senior member on intelligence committee and has expressed concerns about the programs, calling for more transparency and changes to how data is collected and stored. it should get underway in a minute or two. the house returning today at to show you a
conversation we had about the agenda this week on capitol hill. >> a staff correspondent for "national journal" joining us. the house continues its work on the annual spending bill to keep the federal government funded in fiscal 2014. what is coming up this week? the defense appropriations in the house will be the big show. billion. the issue in the house is how do you bring it there and how do you get the world -- the floor procedures set up so they can vote on the bill? that has been the problem for the last week on this particular bill with both republicans and democrats raising issues of the national security agency's withg program, along assistance to syria and egypt and activities tied to those two countries.
they want to talk about that on the house floor before any passage. house republican leaders will that.low they say there are classified things that might come up during those discussions on the floor in the public. they are also very concerned that federal programs they don't want cut could become big and to a combination of -- could become of -- to a combination >> we will show you more of this later on. you can see it in our video library. we take you live now to a discussion about the nsa's data collection program. tenant or ron wyden will be speaking at the center for american progress. wyden will be speaking at the center for american progress. >> senator wyden has consistently been a thoughtful voice speaking out in support of
constitutional principles and on behalf of the rights of average americans. i'm looking forward to what he has to say to us today. i first want to offer a few --ef reflections on my own on surveillance and privacy, a topic i have been working on for quite a long time. year, not theeal book, when i was working for pat leahy, we sent a letter to the attorney general asking the 1968 -- whether it applied to electronic mail and other forms of a lot -- of electronic communication. we heard shortly thereafter from the deputy attorney general, who said the answer to that question was neither clear nor obvious. that response and senator leahy's dedication to the issue led to the passage of the a lot tronic -- of the electronic mutations act the -- electronic
communications act. technological change has swamped our existing legal regime. -- media has focused on the focused almost exclusively over edward snowden's attempt to earn the world record for longest airport layover. last time we had a national conversation about the nsa and domestic surveillance or in the days of warrantless wiretapping -- domestic surveillance during the days of warrantless wiretapping -- are time, the challenges rooted in nsa overstepping legal boundaries. cost of storing huge amounts of data means that surveillance of an unprecedented scale is now not just technologically possible but
financially feasible for the first time. i sometime think this is the dark side of this law. it is past time for us to begin a new national debate about what we want our surveillance laws to permit, particularly in light of how rapidly's -- rapidly technology and society are changing. it's also the time to revisit intelligence privatization. the intelligence community has outsourced a great deal of work that many americans could just that many americans just assume the government does itself. it is mind-boggling that we have millions of contractors with security clearances, nearly half a million with top-secret clearances. they often supplement their screening with significantly less rigor and have access to the government's most sensitive secrets. snowden is a spectacular failure systemsystem -- in a engineered to malfunction.
congress should work to ensure that critical intelligence activities are performed by appropriate personnel. these last weeks and months have also made clear that we may better oversight -- we need better oversight of our surveillance agencies and we need increased transparency at the foreign intelligence capability particular. the american people have a right to know and understand the laws we live under. we all have a right to be treated as citizens by our government and to be respected as customers by the company we buy product and services from. surely we can meet our national security needs without sacrificing the need for purpose -- for personal privacy that has long been a hallmark of american life. finally, because these issues are so technologically complex, and go to the heart of constitutional protections that we most cherish, we are recommending that president obama establish a national commission to examine these challenges in full. aesidential commissions have long history of thoroughly and impartially investigating major national security issues, from pearl harbor to 9/11.
the commission should be tasked with offering recommendations or applicable legal framework that can easily accommodate technological advances -- offering recommendations for applicable legal framework that can easily accommodate technological advances. also private sector activities and telecommunications technology more generally. the nsa program that came to light in june rests in large part on a foundation of personal data collected by private corporations and governed by those lengthy terms and condition agreements that you click ok to without a second thought. smart phones with built-in gps technology track their users' locations. social networks use personal information to sell ads. those companies collect mega .ata -- metadata what was once thought of as transactional data and not content can now be used to develop a penetrating profile of
any american. this won't be an easy debate to have, but the difficulty of the conversation, i think, is just one more reason why we need to begin today. it is one more reason why i'm glad we have senator wyden's leadership on this very important set of questions. after senator wyden offers his remarks, the senior vice president of the national security program at the center will moderate a q&a session. thank you for being here. [applause] john, thank you for your very kind words. suffice it to say, getting an inflationary introduction from a renowned privacy hawklike john podesta is a pretty good way to start the day. i thank you for that. know,nter, as many of you has long been pursuing thoughtful intelligent policy.
since opening the centerpunch stores in 2003, the center -- in 2003, thedoors center has been making the case that security and liberty are not mutually exclusive. that work is well-known in washington and especially in my office. i commend you for it. when the patriot act was last reauthorized, i stood on the floor of the united states senate and said, i want to deliver a warning this afternoon. when the american people find out how their government has interpreted the patriot act, they are going to be stunned and they are going to be angry. for my precision on the senate -- position on the intended -- on the senate intelligence activity, i had seen activities conducted under the umbrella of the patriot act that i knew would astonish most of our people. rules about senate
classified information barred me from giving out any specifics. and so we came to describe what was going on as essentially secret law. a secret interpretation of the patriot act, issued by a secret court that authorizes secret surveillance programs. programs that i and several colleagues thought went far beyond the intent of the statute. if that is not enough to give pause, then consider that not only were the existence of and the legal justification for these programs kept completely ,ecret from the american people senior officials from across the government were making statements to the public about domestic surveillance that were .learly misleading statements
sometimes, they were simply false. senator mark udall and i tried again and again to get the executive branch to be straight with the public. but under the classification rules observed by the senate, we are not allowed to exactly tap out the truth in morse code. we tried just about everything else that we can think of to put the -- we could think of to put the american people on notice. but as i said that day on the senate floor, one way or another, the truth of -- the truth eventually in our country comes out. last month, disclosure was made by an nsa contractor. onlit the surveillance world fire. several provisions of secret law were no longer secret. the american people were finally able to see some of the things that we had been raising the alarm about for years.
and when they did, there was a lot of anger. a lot of americans were stunned. so, now, you hear about it in the lunchroom of office buildings. you get asked about it at town hall meetings and at senior citizen centers. the latest polling done by -- polling found that now up allow reality -- now a plurality of americans say the government is overreaching and encroaching too much on our civil liberties. his is a dramatic swing from -- this is a dramatic swing from what the same survey said just a couple of years ago. the number is trending upward. as more information about sweeping government surveillance of law-abiding americans is made public and the american people can discuss the impact, i believe more americans will speak out. they are going to say, in
america, you don't have to settle for one priority or another. you don't have to settle for just your security or your liberty. we can have both. we can have laws that protect both privacy and security. and the laws, especially, should not be kept secret. 9/11, when 3000 of our fellow citizens were murdered by terrorists, there was consensus that our country needed to take decisive action. at a time of understandable panic, the congress gave the government new surveillance authority. but the congress also attached an expiration date to the use -- to these authorities so that they could be deliberated more once the emergency, once the immediate emergency had passed. yet in the decade since, law has been extended -- the law has been extended several times with no public discussion about how the law has actually been
interpreted. the creation of an always-expanding, omnipresent surveillance state that now chips away needlessly at the liberties and freedoms our founding fathers established for all of us. and it is all done without the benefit of actually making us safer. so, today, here at the center, i am going to deliver another warning. if we do not seize this unique moment in our constitutional history to reform our surveillance laws and practices, we are all going to live to regret it. i will have more to say about the consequences of the omnipresent surveillance state. but as you listen to this talk, ponder that most of us here have a computer in our pockets that
potentially can be used to track 24/7.nitor us the combination of increasingly advanced technology with a breakdown in the checks and balances that limit government action could lead us to a surveillance state that cannot be reversed. point, i thought a little bit of history might be helpful. i joined the senate intelligence committee in january, 2001, right before 9/11. like most senators, i voted for the original patriot act. in part, i did so because i was reassured that it had an expiration date. an expiration date that would force the congress to come back and consider these authorities more carefully when the immediate crisis had passed. as time went on, there were intel is -- there were
developments that seemed farther and farther removed from the ideals of the founding fathers. this started not long after 9/11, with a pentagon program that was called total information awareness. this program was essentially an effort to develop an ultra large -scale domestic data mining program. and the by all of this not exactly modest logo of an all seeing eye on the universe, i worked with a number of senators to shut it down. unfortunately, this was hardly the last domestic surveillance overreach. in fact, the nsa's infamous warrantless wiretapping program was already up and running at i and most though members of the intelligence committee didn't even know about
it until several years later. that was part of a pattern of withholding information from the congress. it persisted throughout the bush administration. example, the intelligence committee in 2001, but i learned about the warrantless wiretapping program when i read about it in "the new york times" in late-2005. the bush administration sent -- spent much of 2006 attempting to defend the warmest wiretapping program. -- the warrantless wiretapping program. once again, when the truth came out, it produced a surge of public pressure. the bush administration announced that they would submit it to oversight from the foreign intelligence surveillance court. unfortunately, because the court 's rulings are kept secret, most americans had no idea that the court was prepared to issue
extraordinarily broad ruling permitting the massive surveillance that eventually made headlines last month. it is now a matter of public record that both the phone records program has been 2007.ing since it is not a coincidence that a handful of senators have been working since then to find ways to alert the public to what is actually going on. months and years went into trying to find ways to raise public awareness about secret surveillance authorities, and to do it within the confines of the classification rules. made itveral colleagues our mission, our special cause to end the use of secret law. now, when the people in my home state hear those words, "secret
law," some of them come up and say, ron, what are you talking about? how can the law be kept secret? when you guys pass laws back there, it is like a public deal. i am going to look this stuff up online. and in response, i tell oregonians that there are, effectively, 28. two patriottively, acts. there is one you can read on your laptop. you can analyze that and understand it. then there is the real patriot act. the secret interpretation of the law that the government actually relies on, the secret rulings of the foreign intelligence surveillance court have interpreted the patriot act as well as section 702 of the statute in some surprising ways. those rulings are kept secret from the public.
rulings canou those be astoundingly broad. the one that authorizes the bulk collection of phone records is as broad a ruling as i have ever seen. the reliance of government agencies on a secret body of law has real consequences. most americans don't expect to know the details about ongoing ongoing, sensitive, military intelligence activities. but as voters, they have a right and a need to know what their government believes it is permitted to do, because that is what americans need to be able to ratify or reject decisions that elected officials make on their behalf. , americansnother way recognize that intelligence agencies will sometimes need to conduct secret operations, but they don't think those agencies ought to be relying on secret
laws. some argue that keeping the surveillance laws secret is somehow necessary. their argument essentially is it makes it easier to gather intelligence on terrorist groups and other foreign powers, and that is why the secrecy is appropriate. if you follow this logic, when congress passed the original foreign intelligence surveillance act back in the 1970's, they could have found a way to keep the entire thing secret. that way, soviet agents would not know that the fbi's surveillance of -- what the fbi's surveillance authorities were. but that's not the way we do it in america. we don't keep laws secret. it is a fundamental principle of american democracy that laws should not be the -- should not be public only when it's convenient for government officials to make them public. laws ought to be public all the
time, open to review by an adversarial, judicial process am a and subject to by unaccountable legislature -- judicial process, and subject to accountableen -- an legislative process. that is why even at the height of the cold war, when the argument for absolute secrecy was at its zenith, the congress said we are going to make surveillance laws public. and publiclic laws court rulings that interpret those laws, you simply cannot public debate. when the american people are in the dark, they can't make fully informed decisions about who ought to represent them or, in effect, voice agreement or disagreement about various government policies.
these are fundamentals about our countries -- about our country and what they founding fathers wanted was civics 101. secret laws violate those -- violate those sacred principles. secret laws have no place in america. i would like to turn next to the secret court, the foreign intelligence surveillance court, the one that virtually no one knew about a couple of months ago and now people ask me about it at the barbershop. was created as part of the 1978 fisa law. its work was pre-routine. it was designed to review government applications for wiretapping and decide whether the government was able to show probable cause. , itall of you lawyers sounds like a garden-variety function of district courts and district court judges across the
country. in fact, their role was so much like a district court, that the judges -- that the judges who make up the fisa court are current federal district court judges. congress passed the patriot act and the fisa amendment act and this gave the government broad new surveillance power. these new powers to not resemble anything in either criminal law enforcement or the original fisa law. the fisa court got the job interpreting these new unparalleled authorities of the patriot act and fisa amendments act. it was their decision to issue binding secret rulings that interbrand to the law and constitution in these startling ways that has come to light in the last six weeks. were to issue the decision the patriot act could be used for dragnet and surveillance of
law-abiding americans. outside of the names of the fisa court judges, virtually everything else is secret about the court. whichlings are secret, certainly makes challenging them in an appeals process almost impossible. the proceedings are secret, but i can tell you they are almost always one-sided. the government lawyers walk in, they lay out the argument for why the government ought to be andwed to do something, the court decides on the justice assessment of the court of the government's argument. that is not unusual if the court is considering a routine warned request. at it is very unusual if court is conducting a major legal or constitutional analysis. i know of no other court in fromca that strays so far the adversarial process that
has been part of america for centuries. it may also surprise you that when president obama came to office, his administration agreed with me that these rulings needed to be made public. in the summer of 2009, i received a written commitment from the justice department and the office of director of national intelligence that a process would begin, would be created, to start redacting and declassifying fisa court opinions so the american people would have some idea of what their government believed the law is allowed to do. , exactlyst four years zero opinions have been released. now that we know a bit about the secret law and the court that created it, i want to talk about how this has diminished the rights of every american man and woman and child.
despite the efforts of the intelligence community leadership to downplay the privacy impact of the patriot act collection, the bulk collection of phone records, significantly impacts the privacy of millions of law- abiding americans. if you know someone calls, when they call, where they call from, and how long they talk, you lay bare the personal lives of law- abiding americans to the scrutiny of government bureaucrats and outside contractors. that is the reality of the bulk phone records collection program. ifs is particularly true you are vacuuming up cell phone location data, essentially turning everybody's cell phone into a tracking device. we have been told this isn't happening today, but intelligence officials have told the crowd that they have the legal authority to collect americans location and
information in bulk. especially troubling is the fact that there is nothing in the patriot act that limits the sweeping bulk collection of phone records. the government can use the patriot act business records authorities to collect, collate, and retain all sorts of sensitive information, including medical records, financial records, or credit card purchases. they can use this authority to develop a database of gun owners, readers of books and magazines aimed subversive. this means the government authority to collect information on law-abiding americans is essentially limitless at this time. if it is a record held by a business or membership organization, dr., school, or any other third party, it could be subject to bulk collection
under the patriot act. authorities this broad give the national security bureaucracy the power to scrutinize the personal lives of every law- abiding american. allowing that to continue is a grave error that demonstrates a willful ignorance of human nature. moreover, it demonstrates a complete disregard for the responsibilities entrusted to us that the founding fathers who -- to maintain robust checks and balances on the power of any -- of our government area arm of our government. at this point, we have in front of us some very serious questions. what happens to our government, our civil liberties, and our wonderful system, our basic mocker see, if the surveillance state is allowed to grow unchecked?
omnipresentxpanding surveillance state, what happens if it keeps growing and growing and growing? as we've seen in recent days, the intelligence leadership is determined to hold onto this authority, merging capabilities to conduct surveillance that reveals every aspect of a persons's life with the ability to conjure up the legal authority to execute that surveillance and finally, removing any accountable judicial oversight creates these unprecedented opportunities to influence our system of government. without additional protections of the law, every single one of may be andne of us can be tracked and monitored anywhere we are at any time. the piece of technology we consider vital to the conduct of our everyday personal and professional life, all of those smartphones, happened to be a
combination of a phone bug, listening device, location tracker, and hidden camera. there isn't an american alive is required to carry those items, so we ought to reject the can that government arbitrarily bypassed the consent. today, government officials openly tell the press that they have the authority to effectively turn america's smart phones and cell phones into location enabled homing beacons. compounding the problem is the fact that kate's law is unsettled with cell phone tracking and leaders in the sulfone community have been consistently unwilling to state what the right of law-abiding people are on this issue. i know that because i have repeatedly asked this in public adequate without protection built into the law, there is no way americans can
never be sure that the government isn't going to interpret authorities more and more broadly year after year until the idea of monitoring your every move turns from dystopia to reality. some are going to say that's never going to happen because there are secret work oversights and secret courts that guard against it. but the fact of the matter is senior policy and federal judges againeferred again and to the intelligence agency to decide what surveillance authorities they need. for those who believe executive branch officials will voluntarily interpret their surveillance authority with restraint, i believe it is more likely i will achieve my lifelong dream of playing in the nba.
when james madison was attempting to persuade americans that the constitution contained sufficient protection against any politician or bureaucrat seizing more power not granted to them by the people, he did not just ask fellow americans to trust him. he carefully laid out the protections contained in the constitution and how the people could ensure they were not breached. we are failing our constituents. we are failing our founding fathers, we are failing every great man and woman who fought and continues to fight to protect american democracy if we are willing to just trust any individual or any agency with greater power with unchecked and will -- with checked and limited authority that the founding fathers wanted as a firewall against tyranny. i do want to spend a few minutes talking about those who make up the intelligence community and day in and day out work to
protect us all. i have found the men and women who work in our nation's intelligence agencies to be hard-working, dedicated professionals. patriot to make real sacrifices to serve their country. i believe they ought to be able to do their job secure in the knowledge that there is strong public support for everything they are doing. unfortunately, that cannot happen when senior officials from across the government mislead the public about the government's surveillance authority area let's be clear. the public was not just kept in the dark about the patriot act and other secret authorities. .he public was actively misled i pointed out several instances in the past where senior officials made misleading statements to the public and congress about the types of surveillance they conduct on the public, and i would like to
just hope this on several of the most significant examples. , senior justice department officials have told the congress and the public that the patriot act business record authority, the authority used to collect the phone records of millions of law- abiding americans, is analogous to a grand jury subpoena. they say it is analogous to a grand jury subpoena. that statement is exceptionally misleading. it certainly strains the word analogous beyond the breaking point. it is certainly true both authorities can be used to collect a wide variety of records, but the patriot act has been secretly interpreted to permit ongoing, bulk collection. this makes that authority very different from regular grand jury subpoena authority.
i'm sure there are some lawyers here. after the speech over, come up and tell me if you ever see a grand jury subpoena that allows government on an ongoing basis to collect the records of millions of ordinary americans. no one has ever seen a subpoena like that because there aren't any. this incredibly misleading analogy has been made by more than one official on more than one occasion and often as a part of actual testimony to the united states congress. the official who served four years as the justice department's top authority on criminal surveillance recently told the wall street journal what he really thinks about this. " said and i quote here -- for such a broad class of
records in a criminal investigation, he or she would he laughed out of court." defenders of this deception and said members congress have the ability to get the full story of what the government is doing on a classified basis. complain whenn't officials make misleading statements even in a congressional hearing. this is an absurd argument. sure, members of congress could get the full story in a classified setting, but that does not excuse the act as of half-truths and misleading being made on the public record. when did it become all right in america for government officials public statements and private statements to differ so fundamentally? the answer it is -- the answer is it's not all right and it's indicative of a much archer culture of misinformation that goes beyond the congressional
hearing room and into the public conversation writ large area for example, last spring, the director of the national security agency spoke at the american enterprise institute. when he said publicly, we don't hold data on u.s. citizens, that statement sounds reassuring. but of course, the american people now know that it is false. in fact, it one of the most false statements ever made about domestic surveillance. later that same year at the annual hackers conference, you probably all know it as devcon, the same director says the government does not collect dossiers on millions of americans. i have served in the intelligence committee for more than a dozen years and i don't or didat a dossier meant
at the time in that context. i do know that americans not familiar with classified lingo would probably hear that statement and think there was no bulk collection of the personal information of hundreds of millions of law-abiding americans taking place at that time. i wrote to the director asking for clarification. we asked whether the nsa collects any type of data at all on millions or hundreds of millions of americans. even though the director of the nsa was the one who actually raised this issue in public, intelligence officials declined to give us a straight answer. a few months ago, i made the judgment that i would not be responsibly carrying out my
oversight powers if i didn't toss intelligence officials clarify what the nsa pasta rector said repeatedly about data collection. i decided it was necessary to put the questions to the director of national intelligence. i had my staff send to the actual question over a day in advance so the director would be prepared to answer. , unfortunately, so the answer is no, the nsa does not collect data on millions of americans. after the hearing, had my staff call the director's office on a secure line and urged them to correct the record. but disappointingly, his office decided to let this inaccurate my office made it clear in my staff said clearly this is wrong and it's unacceptable to leave the
american people misled. i continued to warn the public about the problem of secret surveillance law over the following weeks until the june disclosure. -- even after those disclosures, there's been an effort to exaggerate the effect of the phone records collection program. one way they do it is conflated with the collection of internet communications under section 702 of the fisa statute. this election which involves the -- thecomputer program prism computer program has real value. i was able to get the executive branch to declassify the fact that the fisa court had ruled on at least one occasion that this collection violated the fourth amendment in a way that affected an undisclosed number of americans. the court also said the
government had violated the spirit of the law as well. i certainly think section 702 needs stronger protection for the privacy of law-abiding americans. i think those reductions could be added without losing the value of the statute and the collection. seen any, i haven't indication that the bulk phone records program yielded any unique intelligence that was not also available to governments through less intrusive means. when government officials refer to these programs collectively, and we have seen that on a number of occasions, and say that programs provide unique intelligence without pointing out that one program is doing all the work and the other one is basically along for the ride, in my judgment, that is also a misleading statement.
statements made about section 702, the prism program and its collection as well. last month, i wrote to the director and said the official errors and antains significant error that makes the protection of the privacy of our people saw much stronger than they actually are. the next day, the fact she was taken down from the front page of the nsa website. would the misleading fact sheet still be up there if senator udall and i did not wish to take down question mark given what it took to correct the misleading statements of the director of national intelligence and the agency, that may well be the case. walked you through our secret law and the secret court that authorizes secret surveillance, the obvious question is what is next to mark what is going to be done
about it? a few weeks ago, more than a quarter of the united states senate wrote to the director of national intelligence demanding public answers to additional questions about the use of the government's surveillance authority. it has been two months since the disclosure by mr. snowden and the signers of this letter, including key members of the senate leadership and committee chairs in the senate with decades of experience, we made it clear that a quarter of the senate is not going to accept any more stonewalling or misleading statements. that patriot act reform legislation has also been introduced. the centerpiece of this effort would require the government show a demonstrated link to terrorism or espionage before collect ink americans personal information. senators also proposed legislation that would ensure the legal analysis of secret court opinions is declassified in a responsible matter --
responsible manner. i'm collaborating with my colleagues to bring openness, accountability and the benefits of an adversarial process to the anachronistic operation of the most secret court in america. and myportantly, i colleagues are making it clear that we are going to keep the public debate alive. we have exposed misleading statements, we are holding officials accountable, and we are showing liberty and security are not mutually exclusive. transparency is and openness is starting to put some points on the board and make some progress. many of you are aware that the nsa had a bulk e-mail records program that was similar to the bulk phone records program.
this operated under section 214 of the patriot act known as the registered provision until recently. senator udall and i were very concerned that this row graham had a significant impact on the privacy rights and liberties of our people and we spent much of the crashing -- pressing intelligence community to show actual evidence of its effectiveness. it turned out they were unable to do so and the statements that have been made about this program to both congress and the courts has significantly double e-mail records program and its effectiveness. the program was shut down that same year. that was a big win for all who care about privacy and civil liberties. senator udall and i wish we could have told you about it at the time, but at least you know there was an effort that we
think contribute into a significant step forward. more recently, when the annual intelligence authorization bill was going through the committee last year, it included a number of revisions meant to stop leaks, but would have been disastrous for the public right to know. among other things, it would have restricted former government officials to talk to the press even about unclassified foreign-policy matters. it would have prohibited intelligence agencies for making anyone outside of a few high-level officials available for background briefings, again even on unclassified basis. these revisions were intended to stop leaks. i am certainly against leaks as well, but it is clear they would have significantly encroach on the first amendment and led to a less well informed public debate on foreign-policy and national security matters. went anti-leak provisions
through the committee process in secret and the bill was agreed to by a vote of 14 to one. you probably get a sense that i posted. the bill then made its way to the senate floor. at time, i and everyone else didn't even know how bad and flawed the bill was because in the course of the committees consideration, we couldn't talk to anybody on the outside. i knew it was flawed and took away peoples pension rights. those things just leapt out at me. you the bill came out, still had actually passed the bill, it was eviscerated by all concerned regardless of political party to the point where people who had been supporters wouldn't even articlese to op-ed another opinion pieces their views. andt a hold on the bill
within a matter of weeks, all of this overly broad language that would restrict the public's aght to know was removed area few months later, we were able to get the official justice opinions laying out what the government believes the rules are for the targeted killings of americans. this is the drones issue. these documents on killing americans were not even being shared with numbers of congress on a classified basis, let alone being used to have a debate with the american people. , i'veaid it before repeated it here at the center, i believe every american has the right to know when the government is allowed to kill someone. a number of us on the committee fought publicly and privately to get these documents, to use whatever procedural opportunities were available,
and eventually we got those thisents and established is the kind of oversight that needs to be conducted. and then, we have been looking those documents over and working on a strategy that would allow the pertinent portion of those documents to be made public. i don't take a backseat to anybody when it comes to protecting genuinely sensitive national security information. and i have already told you i think government agencies need to conduct secret operations area that they should not rely on secret laws, they should not rely on secret courts, and that is why i think now we are at a truly unique time in our countries constitutional history.
dramatic changes in the nature of warfare and the definition of courtttlefield and they are counter to everything the founding fathers imagine and those forces together make for a combustible mix. at this point, i usually conclude with mentioning ben franklin. i often joke we ought to have a ben franklin caucus in the senate. he always said and i mangle it up a little bit, but it's good enough for government work -- anybody who gives up liberty for security really doesn't deserve either. that is certainly true. but today, i thought a different rounding father would be appropriate for wrapping up. james madison, the father of our constitution, says the accumulation of executive, judicial and legislative powers into the hands of any faction is
the very definition of tyranny. madison went on to assure the nation that the constitution protected us from that fate. by allowingtoday is the executive to secretly follow a secret interpretation of the law under the supervision of a secret, nonadversarial court and occasional secret congressional hearings, how close are we coming to james madison's very definition of tyranny? i believe we are allowing our country to drift a lot closer than we should and if we don't take this opportunity to change course now, we and all americans will live to regret it. thank you very much. [applause]
>> i know the senator's schedule, he has to get back to the hill. that was a fine statement and there were many important ideas embodied and obviously a lot of work went together. we will do two or three questions because we know he has got to get back. for thoseke to note watching on c-span as well as our video streaming that our chairman, john podesta's statement and senator wyden's statement will be on the website. i want to knowledge the center for american progress is presenting a paper adapting the future of intelligence gathering written by our colleague, peter joule, and that is also
available on the website as well. willng time is tight, we take two or three questions. i want to thank you for coming and thank you for an excellent statement. let's go right there to the second row to start us out. >> i'm with fox news. senator, i was hoping you could weigh in on the effort in the house, specifically the amendment that would go after these surveillance programs through the funding mechanism as an amendment to the appropriations bill. >> i have not seen what the congressman is actually proposing, but the fact that this has made it to the floor of the house of representatives is unquestionably good. it is another step as i have outlined in the march to a real debate. we would not have had that 78 weeks ago.
-- seven or eight weeks ago. as i tried to outline this morning, just chipping away, day after day, trying to make our case. now, as of late last night, this date is going to be on the floor of the house of representatives and later today, we are going to see members of congress start debating the real issues. i assume very early on that they are going to start a discussion about what i call a false choice where you can either have your security or your liberty. as you heard me described in root canal-like detail, that is not the case. when elected officials do their job, we can do both. the fact that this is on the floor of the house of representatives later today is unquestionably very good for the cause we are outlining. >> thank you.
let me go to the center there. please identify yourself. .> my name is russell i'm just a student here and interested in all of this. >> you are not just a student. we are glad you are here. >> thank you. i'm glad to be here with you. you brought up the franklin quote trade the department of homeland security does data mining from some publications and they have stated they have adopted the notion of balancing privacy against other values because that results in a zero- sum outcome and privacy is often diminished at the expense of security. what can we do about the department of homeland security and the nsa? >> are you quoting from an official homeland security document question mark >> yes. >> it diminishes the importance of privacy? >> it's a footnote in the fairness information practice of rentable.
>> thank god there are students out there who read footnotes. [laughter] john from my office is going to be getting a footnote from you in three or four minutes and we will be following that up. i am stunned there would be a government document that formally as a matter of agency policy unravels what the founding fathers were seeking to do. we will follow that up. >> i know we have some reporters here and i want to make sure we are inclusive. international investor. thank you for those remarks. thatoncerned should we be this information collected by private or even government sources could be used to influence members of congress,
certainly people in the business community question mark it is very valuable information to know when someone is a candidate whatng for office, fundraising activities they are involved in. are you fearful of a future where this kind of information can be parsed in a way that supports those who support the intelligence agencies and fights those who oppose it? inthere are plenty of ways which you could envision how this would be used. i want to unpack an argument that is made on the other side. we are not listening to anybody. we are not considering the content of a specific call. to a humant amounts relationship database.
if you know, for example, that someone called a psychiatrist three times in the last ready six hours, twice after midnight, that tells you a lot about an individual and that can have enormous ramifications. it can certainly have ramifications in terms of employment. i can envision a whole host of them. meta-data which is essentially data about data, is not a big deal is simply not consistent with how you can extrapolate about people and their lives just by looking at who they call and where they call from. >> we are going to take two more. the gentleman in the front and the gentleman in the back. >> earlier, you said edward snowden revealed some of the
programs that were in existence. we know that the court rulings are secret, but are there still actually surveillance and data gathering programs that have not been disclosed which you feel the public would or should be alarmed about? >> that of course is classified .nd i can't get into it what i will tell you is when you unpack the language of patriot act authority, the authority of the government is essentially limitless. i can't talk about how it is actually used because that is classified, but i can tell you that the authority is essentially a modeless. essentially limitless. at black with computer
communications association. i think this is a very important speech and i hope everyone recognizes how important it is. everything you've talked about is very much on the mark. one item that was in mentioned -- the importance of the internet to our world is phenomenal. is this tool for freedom for people to communicate, for democracy, and the u.s. government's ability to be a credible advocate in the international arena for an open and free internet has been undermined because of these programs. i think that's part of the equation which i would like to think the administration didn't consider that risk when making some of their decisions. hopefully there will not be one. you made some great references to founding fathers. and i
would like to suggest you are the paul revere warning that the surveillance state is coming. inc. you. >> thank you for the bouquet and i will make as a ok contest because your group does wonderful work. what i wanted to do this morning was to say if our generation at this unique time in american history doesn't take ,hese surveillance authorities the programs and practices we've learned a lot about and find a way to show we can secure both our liberty and our public safety, i think we are going to regret it because we do in fact have always expanding, on the present surveillance state. just these smartphones that everybody's got in their pockets.
i'm grateful that not everybody read there's a lot of talking. thank you. as a trackingsed system for everybody in this room, 24/seven. the government has asserted it has the authority to do significant cell phone tracking. i'm going to authority. this is a unique time in our constitutional history. for all the great work you and the center have done, i very much appreciate this row graham , and hope -- this program i hope all who are listening and what has begun, highlighted by the fact that house will be starting debate in a few hours, is giving us momentum. that ever ond these kinds of issues and could
not come at a more appropriate confluence of the digital technologies we have been talking about. ask everybody for having me. -- thanks everybody for having me. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> one of the reporters covering the talk today is a political writer who tweet ron wyden calls the nsa amendment art of the march to a real debate post- snowden. that amendment is part of the defense spending bill for 2014. the associated press writing about that this morning says that tea party conservatives and liberal democrats are backing an amendment to the $598 million
defense bill that would end the nsa's authority under the patriot act, preventing the government agency from collecting records unless an individual is under investigation. the ap writes that measure along with another to cut off funds for the nsa drew criticism from leaders of the senate diligence committee who argued the surveillance programs have helped disrupt numerous attempted terrorist attacks. a statement came out earlier today from senators feinstein and chambliss of the intelligence committee. the house will be gaveling in here in about 18 minutes or so at noon eastern to begin consideration for the rules governing two bills, the defense spending bill for 2014 and the transportation and hud bill. the rules committee allowed 100 amendments to be offered to the defense bill, including those nsa data collection amendments and an amendment that would block military aid to syrian rebels and the egyptian military. we'll have live coverage of the
house here on c-span. todaydiciary committee holds a committee on immigration. they are considering how to deal with children brought to the u.s. illegally. president obama last year issued an executive order allowing hundreds of thousands of so- called dreamers to stay in the country. the order came after a bill called the dream act failed to pass in the last congress. we'll have live coverage of that hearing on our companion network, c-span3. the president is at the white house today welcoming the ncaa champions the louisville cardinals. this week, the president will begin a two-month series of speeches across the country focusing on the economy and jobs grade speaking tomorrow at knox college in illinois and at the university of central missouri. . role of the first lady lady, she becomes the chief confidant.
she's the only one in the world he can trust great he unloads to her and talks to her. they have all done that. they are all strong women. they accompany a strong man to where he was. i would say that is their main role is confidant to the president. >> our original series "first ladies influence and image" looks at first ladies from martha washington to ida mckinley. it's weeknights in august at 9:00 p.m. eastern. >> the house gavels in in about 15 minutes to begin consideration of the rules for spending bills for defense and transportation, housing and urban development. until then, part of this morning's "washington journal" and a conversation on the latest
investigation into the irs. host: we want to welcome back hetrick mchenry. let's talk about the irs targeting of conservative groups. chairman darrell issa has been critical of what the irs was doing. is the doj fully cooperating? guest: the doj has not been fully cooperative. they've done a yeoman's task of doing the audit, but that's not an investigation. it is simply seeing what is there in terms of documents and not asking mes second, third and fourth questions that you need to ask. we have an ongoing investigation as well as in the
ways and means committee in the house. we are not getting the cooperation we need from the department of justice and it doesn't appear they are taking an aggressive stance on getting to the bottom of this. we are not sure why, but many of us have the thought process that perhaps politics was at play as with theen at play obama administration department of justice since the very beginning. what is in your arsenal to make the doj cooperate and take the next step? guest: making sure we keep pushing and getting the documents we need from the irs. get to the bottom of the documents we currently have we are working through at the staff level, and continue the interviews that we have. we have a significant number of interviews just in the last three or four weeks for the oversight and government reform committee. we have a lot of work to do ourselves and i think as we
start getting real production and getting to the heart of the matter, i think the department of justice will get on the stick and follow. heard in the weeks of this investigation and hearings have continued and s areal -- and democrat saying liberal groups were also looked at and conservatives are not talking about that. through the investigation, you have found out that this really was in ohio, in the cincinnati office, that people in washington were not only aware, nor did they give the order for cincinnati to be doing this. is thathat we do know lois lerner was involved and the office of legal counsel was informed. what we do not know is if the chief counsel knew about this. our hearing last week, what we ane to find out was
individual overseeing this case that had 30 or 40 years of experience was replaced with a buddy who was very junior and very new to the irs and he questioned the removal and question his superiors about his removal from these cases. we don't know where that call came from. washington was in fact informed. the question was where difficult come from? we have not gotten to the bottom of that yet. what we are dealing with and what chairman issa is dealing with is, elijah cummings, who is very capable at a strong partisan in his own right, he declared a couple of weeks ago, about a month ago, that this case was closed. it is difficult to then say we are not complying with liberal groups that were targeted. thes very clear that
dramatic, vast majority of these cases were targeted to tea party or will write -- leaning groups -- or right-leaning groups. especially when we talk about the affordableof care act or obamacare. >> who is william wilkins and what role did he play in this? i don't have the fast answer. host: the headline is conservative groups amend their lawsuit against the irs. house oversight and government reform -- thatrs said last week wilkins was never involved in the process.
again, we are finding out new things everyday day in this investigation. there is a lot we don't know and this is new information. , in termsuestion is of our document request, the e- our interviews say the same thing that has been written in the newspaper. let's get to the bottom of that. this case is far from closed and it's going to take some actual time to get the documents commensurate with conclusions when you have folks jumping to that conclusion without strong facts, we need to make sure that is in fact the case. >> is it worth the time and resources spent so far? absolutely. especially when you have the american people looking at this agency, the irs, and believing they are politically motivated. the truth is i don't want the
conclusion to be this is a political motivation. the conclusion i would like to find is presidential appointees were not involved and the conclusion i would like to find is this was just a mistake. as we are building up the documents and going through them, we are finding something very different, which is deeply concerning. theyamerican people think should live in fear of their government, that's a very disturbing and problematic thing. i would like the conclusion of this case to be one of mismanagement rather than analysis. so far, we've got a lot more to do and lois lerner, back to that point, has a long-running history in washington, a lot of connections, and she has said
she will not talk. fear of incriminating herself. that raises some questions to this member of congress. hear from colors. a democratic color from madison, wisconsin. congressman mchenry, you guys -- this is comical. you are blatantly going after the president of the united states. your party is a joke. you're not getting any work done for the american people at all. downou can do is vote healthcare law, which i actually have turned about and i agree with that part. you spend more money on hearings then you do helping the american people and the problem i have is we could use smaller
government if we had ethical businessmen. we don't. guest: it's a fair point. if we had a better run government, people can have a better level of trust. a better run government would cost less. it sounds like you actually think the idea of pairing down this massive government in washington is important. in that regard, i would say you have a lot to agree with with republicans. the fact is, and house of representatives, we are driving good policy. when you talk about simply voting down the president's health care plan, i think history will prove us right. i voted against the president's health care plan, not because i didn't think we needed health care reform, we sincerely do. but the fact of the matter is
the plan we are living under as law of the land is a equally flawed piece of legislation. in-house, just last week, we produced two separate votes. one agreeing with the president's plan to delay the business mandate under obamacare. but we also went the second step trade rather than simply agreeing with the president to leave the obligation on delayedals, we also for one year the implementation of the individual mandate. i want a full repeal of obamacare. but in the meantime, if we can simply delay the pain for another year, that is a unofficial thing when we are talking about our economy and the choppy job starts we have had and uncertain times to the
point where the president is even giving another speech on the economy again today. we are trying to find areas where we can work with the president. about a month ago in the house, we produced a student loan bill trade rather than allowing student loan rates to go up dramatically, we put in place some reforms to the program, not enough in my opinion, but some reforms. we will have a bipartisan agreement with the senate and the senate produced a bill last week on this. my hope is within the next week or two, you could have a bill on the president desk that fixes student loans for a couple of years. so those are two examples. when you talk about taxes and spending and obamacare, we're just going to have major differences between the conservative conservative approach in this administration's liberal approach. is from the
"baltimore sun" -- you can claim up to half of the coverage. is that a good thing? guest: sure. when you have a complex law that's 2000 pages long, you can get something right. but the reason why they have these subsidies in there is done withat they've the mandatory minimum insurance program was increase the cost for the average american. we are seeing this state-by- state right now that this idea if you like your plan, you could keep it. it's simply not working out that way. you are seeing the minimum plans change and air being
raised significantly. not that i disagree with more options or the idea that you have a computer exchange of information. it's a beneficial thing as well for price discovery reasons. but what it is doing is in states across this nation, for the basic plan, you are a doubling of rates. some states and some individuals are seeing rates go up 400% and that is deeply disturbing. it's what i'm concerned about is the affordability of healthcare, not simply this question of subsidies. host: chuck is next from dayton, ohio. a republican color. i'm a republican but i'm very embarrassed about the way we handle things. when are we going to start doing work question mark you guys complain and cry about everything, but you're not doing any work.
get some things done for the american public. thank you. thank you. i hear this a lot. thank you for your concern. i agreed to run for this position and i don't cry about it. you don't hear complaints or me. we in fact do work. i know that's not a popular thing to say, that work gets done by politicians, but we are working hard to come up with better outcomes. i didn't get an opportunity to ask you this -- do you want us to simply submit to the president, to his plan for taxes and spending, for healthcare and his view of national defense, or do you want us to articulate a conservative's edition and find compromise where we can, which is principled compromise? that means i don't go counter to
my principal just to get a deal done. simply a vote to raise the taxes because the president wants it or nationalize health care and the president has done, those are things i will not comply with. is holdare trying to do the administration to account and you look them on important policy matters, like student loans for example, on areas where we can get agreement. that's what i am trying to be about area . .
the speaker: the house will be in order. the prayer will be offered today by our guest chaplain, dr. shane alexander, north crest church of christ in texas. the chaplain: lord, our lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth? when we consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, who are we that you are mindful of us? what is this country that it might know your blessings? yet you have blessed this land and this government for the people and by the people. for these representatives who exercise the people's will, may they be also representatives of your will. may they speak their consciouses -- consciences and their convictions and stand up for what they and their constituents believe. but give them courage also to speak truth to power and to seek justice for the victims of
violence, oppression and poverty. please bless the proceedings of this legislative body today, that through them your will might be exercised here on earth as it is in heaven. may your unfailing love be with us, lord. ow and forever more, amen. the speaker: the chair has examined the journal of the last day's proceedings and announces to the house his approval thereof. pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1, the journal stands approved. the pledge of allegiance today will be lead by the gentlelady from nevada, mrs. tie tulls. -- ms. titus. ms. titus: thank you, mr. speaker. will you join me in the pledge of allegiance? i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it ands, one nation, under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
the speaker: without objection, the gentleman from texas, mr. poe, is recognized for one minute. mr. poe: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute, revise and extend my remarks. the speaker: without objection. mr. poe: mr. speaker, the united states house of representatives is honored today to have dr. shane alexander of majea, texas, as the guest chaplain. he's the minister of the rtheast church of christ and has previously preached in other texas cities. e has been a resident chaplain in lieuville, kentucky, as well. he and his wife, kara, met at abilene christian university where both received numerous degrees. master's and.a., a a doctorate. they have three children, elizabeth, payton and he will vie. they're all here today, along with shane's parents and my wife. dr. alexander is active in the community from coaching the girls softball team and boy's t-ball to furthering the
spiritual growth in central texas. r. alexander enhanced his life by marrying kara, also dr. alexander, who is a professor at baylor university. i say enhanced his life, because his wife, kara, is one of my four children and shane is my son-in-law. we welcome them all to the united states house of representatives today. and that's just the way it is. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the chair will now entertain 15 further requests for one-minute speeches on each side of the aisle. for what purpose does the gentlelady from north carolina seek recognition? ms. foxx: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlelady from north carolina is recognized for one minute. ms. foxx: thank you, mr. speaker. the white house this week is dusting off the old talking points on jobs and the economy. hopefully they will undergo a few revisions. the president should strike all references to stimulus because
that certainly hasn't worked to create jobs. tax increases, e.p.a. regulations and any claims that obamacare will spur job growth should also be removed. practical experience tells us empty asategies are as the promises used to sell them. today's "the washington post" includes a sobering enindictment of the president's economic handling thus far. quote, the only part of the obama economy that has flourished because of obama policy is wall street. what about main street? what about small businesses? what about working families? working families want affordable health care. working families don't want the government regulating their jobs out of existence just because washington looks down on their industry. house republicans have a plan for the economy that defends working families. the white house should consider our ideas. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired -- the gentlelady's time has expired. for what purpose does the
gentlelady from nevada seek recognition? without objection, the gentlelady from nevada is recognized for one minute. ms. titus: mr. speaker, i rise in sadness today to mark the 39th anniversary of the illegal cyprus. nvasion of on july 20, 1974, turkish troops invaded and began an unjust occupation of areas in northern cyprus. thousands of cypriotes were forced to leave homes where their families had lived for hundreds of years. and within just a few weeks, the turks had uprooted centuries of culture, religion and community. over the years since then, theture kirk forces have committed -- the turkish forces have committed atrocities and destroyed priceless relics, acts condemned by the european commission for human rights. so i am proud to stand today with my fellow members as we join together almost four decades after the illegal and immoral occupation of cyprus to call once again on turky to act
now and end the -- turkey to act now and end the occupation. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time. for what purpose does the gentleman from indiana seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman from indiana is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. last week's $19 billion bankruptcy by the city of etroit should serve as a wake-up call for every american. chicago, with a reported $19 billion unfunded pension liability and los angeles with an estimated $30 billion in debt, may not be far behind. each of these communities practiced the failed tax and spend policies of president obama and the left. mr. messer: while many progressive policies sound great in theory, both history and current events show these policies don't work in practice. as margaret thatcher said,
decades ago, the problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money. we do it better in indiana. it's not always easy, but hoosier leaders balance budgets and live within their means. to build a better future, our country needs to follow that example and not detroit's. thank you, mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? >> seek permission to address the house, unanimous consent, for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i note that the gallery is filled with students and their families. due to this house's failure to produce realistic, bipartisan legislation, the interest rate of college loans has doubled from 3.4% to 6.8%. for more than 7.4 million
students. we know investing in education is an investment in our nation's future and in our nation's economic strength. mr. cartwright: now actinging kes $1,000 per year out of graduates' pockets. $1,000 not going to savings, not going to buying new cars, not going to buying new homes. and at this time of historically low interest rates, it just doesn't make any sense for us to further burden our youth. i call on congress to keep our rates low so today's youth can prosper like their parents and their grandparents did as well. and, mr. speaker, with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. members are reminded to not make reference to guests in the gallery. for what purpose does the gentleman from south carolina seek recognition? mr. wilson: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute, revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from south carolina is recognized for one minute. mr. wilson: mr. speaker, tomorrow the president will venture back on the campaign trail to explain his failed
economic policies. for months we have heard the president talk about infringing upon our second amendment rights, defending his administration from scandals and promoting his unworkable, unaffordable care act. a crucial issue has not been addressed -- creating jobs. as more dismal reports expose the sad reality of our weak economy, it is clear he is attempting damage control. house republicans have been focused on growing our economy for years. last congress we passed over 40 job-creating pieces of legislation. this year we voted to repeal obama crare and approve the would e pipeline which create jobs and give small businesses the certainty to begin hiring. i appreciate teaparty.net promoting the truth. actions speak louder than words. it's time for the president to work with house republicans to put american families back to work. in conclusion, god bless our troops and we will never forget september 11 and the global war on terrorism.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentlelady from california seek recognition? without objection, the gentlelady from california is recognized for one minute. ms. hahn: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to recognize and pay tribute to the life and legacy of lillian kawasaki, a veteran public servant and tireless environmental advocate who passed away sadly at the age of 62 last week. i had the honor of working with lillian during my time on the los angeles city council, on our nation's port and ensuring that it grew green and helped to prove that we can have clean air and good jobs at the same time. an environmental scientist by training, she was the first asian american to head the los angeles department of environmental affairs. and successfully led the water replenishment district of southern california in its efforts to protect our air and water quality from pollution and
contamination. her devoted leadership and unyielding commitment to public service and the people who live and work in los angeles was simply remarkable and will be sorely missed. we've lost a dear friend, she was my colleague, she was a gracious, tireless woman who was a role model to all of us who truly strive to make a difference in this earth as long as we live. we'll miss you, lillian. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time. for what purpose does the gentleman from montana seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman from montana is recognized for one minute. >> montanans tell me every day about compliance costs. mr. daines: in fact, one montanan said, you know, the e.p.a. must stand for the employment prevention agency. the e.p.a.'s out-of-control regulatory overreach costs hardworking american taxpayers
billions of dollars and thousands of jobs every year and all too often is put into place with a lack of oversite or public input. the energy consumers relief act is an important step in making the e.p.a. accountable to the american people. this bill blocks the implementation of rules that harm the economy and ensure that before the e.p.a. finalizes any rule costing more than $1 billion, it informs congress of the rule's impact on the economy and on energy prices. another important bill, the coal reuse and management act, brings much-needed regulatory certainty to job creators and helps keep energy costs low by taking the power out of the e.p.a.'s hands and returning it to the states where it belongs. these commonsense proposals will help keep energy costs low for american families, protect thousands of good-paying jobs and ultimately ensure the e.p.a.'s accountable to the american people. thank you and i yield my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired.
for what purpose does the gentleman from colorado seek recognition? does the gentleman seek unanimous consent? without objection, the gentleman from colorado is recognized for one minute. mr. perlmutter: thank you, mr. speaker. good afternoon. we're in this together. we're not on our own. we're in this together. that's how americans think. we're in this together. party that the tea ideology that's running the republican majority would have us revert to sometime before the civil war. when we're on our own. we're not in this together. they'd love to turn the clock back. as far as it can go. example -- let's have interest rates rise on our students, forget about making sure that the best investment we could do in our students, we keep those interest rates low. let's talk about the farm bill. couldn't get it passed except let's jettison a whole bunch of people whose nutrition is serious to all of us. forget about food stamps, people have gotten rich overnight. let's get rid of those things. energy and the environment, let's forget about the environment and let's forget
about the sun, the wind and biofuels, just focus only on gas and coal. those have got to be part of it. but let's forget about things that have happened newlyy. we're in this together. abe happen lincoln said of the people, by the people, for the people. we're working for the people, we need to remember we're all in this together. mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from arizona seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i rise today to recognize a brave arizonan. robert davies from golden valley, arizona, truly met the definition of hero by coming to the aid of his elderly neighbor. mr. davies and his fellow neighbor responded to a neighbor whose home was on fire, saving the 92-year-old woman stuck inside. mr. davies risked his own safety by jumping through a broken window into the smoke and pulling the woman into position near the window where
she could breathe. receiving help from an off-duty fireman who arrived on the scene, mr. davies was able to lift the woman through the window. mr. gosar: he says this was something anybody else would have done, but he actually did it. while i appreciate his humility, i thank him for his display of bravery and courage in the face of danger. i am pleased to recognize mr. robert davies today before this great body for his act of heroism. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia seek recognition? >> to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman seek unanimous consent? mr. johnson: i do. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from georgia is recognized for one minute. mr. johnson: thank you, mr. speaker. as a member of the safe climate caucus, i want to urge my colleagues not to bury their heads in the sand. wake up. climate change is real and it's already affecting the earth in profound ways. the scientific consensus is clear. human activity is closing our plan -- causing our planet to
warm to dangerous levels. scientists agree that higher temperatures are rising -- raising sea levels, and driving severe weather patterns that threaten our economy and our way of life. unpredictable and destructive weather patterns are making it harder for farmers to grow crops while rising sea levels threaten our coastal cities and beaches from sea to shining sea. here in congress the majority refuses to even acknowledge that we have a problem, while the rest of the world seems to derstand that it's the moral imperative of our time. i urge my colleagues to put politics aside, listen to the science, and come together and begin to help prevent the worst effects of climate change. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from michigan seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from michigan is recognized for one minute.
>> thank you, mr. speaker. for the 89% of employers in america with fewer than 20 employees, there is an ever-present fear that they may be sanged or even put out of business for a violation of any one of the seemingly endless array of federal regulations. the protect small business jobs act offers a simple direction, if found to be in violation of a federal regulation, a business is given a six-month grace period to correct the problem. mr. bentivolio: if the problem is corrected at the end of the grace period, the sanction is waived. this way no business is permitted to ignore regulations on an ongoing basis, but small companies are given a chance to become client without -- become compliant without being hit by devastating fines. i urge my colleagues to support this commonsense approach to regulatory relief and pass the protect small business jobs act. thank you. i yield back my time.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentlelady from kansas seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlelady from kansas is recognized for one minute. police jenkins: across the world, people live in fear of government persecution every day. a leader of the baha'i religion used to advocate for gender equality and universal education in iran. in 2008, he was arrested on false charges for propaganda against the iranian regime, and illegally establishing a baha'i school. when he completes his 20-year sentence, his 16-year-old son will be a 31-year-old man. another man had his business shut down after chinese officials accused him of preaching christianity. he now faces 15 years in a chinese prison and can only speak to his wife every couple months.
state sponsored religious persecution will not be tolerated by the international community, and today i join the defending freedoms project to call for the release of all prisoners of conscience. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from kansas seek recognition? >> seek unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> mr. speaker, i rise today to celebrate an american hero, a true public servant in every sense of the word and a ma'am whom kansans are proud to share the sun flower state as home. mr. yoder: senator bob dole celebrated his 90th birthday yesterday and spent his entire life giving to make his country a better place for future generations. after courageously serving his country in world war ii, he continued to fight for the future of his country by serving in the congress, senate, and republican presidential nominee. like many americans i have been
inspired by his exceptional leadership, encouraging and quick e perment, his wit, and endless and selfless giving for his fellowman. mr. speaker, as we wish senator bob dole a happy birthday, we look ahead to many happy years with our great friend and a bright future in america because of the work and ideals he's personified and qualities he's instilled in so very many of us. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from massachusetts seek recognition? mr. mcgovern: to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. mcgovern: mr. speaker, i, too, have wanted to join my colleague, mr. yoder, in honoring bob dole on his 90th birthday. i want to call my colleagues' attention to the fact that senator dole was really quite an extraordinary man and quite a legislator. he understood the importance of bipartisanship, and he reached across the aisle and worked with senator george mcgovern on strengthening our anti-hunger
social safety net. they made food stamps a better program. they championed w.i.c. they channed school meals. and at a time -- championed school meals. and at a time when some of my colleagues are talking about destroying that bipartisan consensus, it is important to remember that senator dole led the way in a bipartisan way to help the least among us. i want to wish him a happy birthday and many, many more. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? mr. poe: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from texas is recognized for one minute. mr. poe: mr. speaker, the need for more homegrown american energy has never been greater. at home our economy is still in a state of stagnation. nearly 12 million of our fellow americans are out of work. it's even higher among returning veterans from afghanistan and iraq. a broad volatile situation continue to erupt aurned the world. we need an all of the above, all american energy strategy
not more red tape out of washington, d.c. more energy, more american energy means lower energy costs for americans and for all people in the united states. that means more money left in our pockets. more american energy means a stronger economy as our energy sector is allowed to grow and expand, and simply put, more american energy means more american jobs, period. mr. speaker, we can take care of -- when we take care of ourselves, we can make middle eastern politics tur toil and energy irrelevant. that's just the way it is. -- turmoil and energy irrelevant. that's just the way it is. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. is borrowing with regard to how the average family pays for college. it was also noted that it varies considerably in terms of
cost. engineering between $25,000. what's notable is the starting salaries for a number of majors so low that students cannot pay back their loans. what's also noteworthy is the cost of the actual tuition itself. since the 1970's when data first began to be gathered, college tuition cost vs. gone p $1,120% while invasion has gone up a little over 200%. as we are talking about the cost of colleges, it is important, mr. speaker, we also call upon colleges themselves to be responsible for trimming costs and for guidance counselors and colleges to look how they are advising students to move forward in their careers. to be saddled with a great deal of debt for which they can't repay because they simply are not in a major they can earn money, or the colleges who spend so much on a number of amenities have little to do with education is an important part of this argument. i hope the universities would themselves look at how they can trim their costs instead of continuing to raise tuition on
the students faced with a lifelong burden. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, by direction of the committee on rules, i call up house resolution 312 and ask for its immediate consideration. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the resolution. the clerk: house calendar number 46, house resolution 312. resolved, that at any time after the adoption of this resolution, the speaker may, pursuant to clause 2-b of rule 18, declare the house resolved into the committee of the whole house on the state of the union for consideration of the bill h.r. 2397, making appropriations for the department of defense for fiscal year ending september 30, 2014, and for other purposes. the first reading of the bill shall be dispensed with. all points of order against consideration of the bill are waived. general debate shall be confined to the bill and shall not exceed one hour equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the committee on
appropriations. after general debate, the bill shall be considered for amendment under the five-minute rule. the bill shall be considered as read through page 157, line 2. points of order of order against provisions in the bill for failure to comply with clause 2 of rule 21 are waived. c, no amendment shall be in order except those printed in the report of the committee on rules accompanying this resolution. the amendment described in section 2 of this resolution, and amendments en bloc described in section 3 of this resolution. all points of order against amendments printed in the report of the committee on rules and against amendments en bloc described in section 3 of this resolution are waived. c, each amendment printed in the report of the committee on rules shall be considered only in the order printed in the report, maybe offered only by a member designated in the report, shall be considered as read, shall be debatable for the time specified in the report equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent, may be withdrawn by the proponent at any time
before action thereon, shall be not subject to amendment, and shall not be subject to demand for division of the question in the house or in the committee of the whole. section 2, after disposition of the amendments printed in the report of the committee on rules accompanying this resolution, an amendment en bloc described in section 3 of this resolution, it shall be in order for the chair of the committee on appropriations for his designee to offer an amendment reducing funding levels in the fill. section 3, it shall be in order at any time for the chair of the committee on appropriations or his designee to offer amendments en bloc consisting of amendments printed in the report of the committee on rules accompanying this esolution not earlier disposed of. amendments en bloc offered pursuant to this section shall be considered as read, shall be debatable for 20 minutes equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the committee on appropriations or their respective designees, shall not be subject to amendment, and shall not be subject to demand for division
of the question in the house or in the committee of the whole. the original proponent of an amendment included in such amendments en bloc may be insert a statement in the across-the-board immediate -- congressional record immediately before the disposition of the amendments en bloc. section 4, after the conclusion of consideration of the bill for amendment, there shall be in order a final period of general debate which shall not exceed 10 minutes equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the committee on appropriations. section 5, when the committee rises and reports the bill back to the house with a recommendation that the bill do pass, the previous question shall be considered as ordered on the bill and amendments thereto to final passage without intervening motion except one motion to recommit, with or without instructions. section 6, at any time after the adoption of this resolution the speaker may, pursuant to clause 2-b of rule 18, declare the house resolved into the committee of the whole house on
the state of the union for consideration of the bill, h.r. 2610, making appropriations for the departments of transportation and housing and urban development and related agencies for the fiscal year ending september 30, 2014, and for other purposes. the first reading of the bill shall be dispensed with. all points of order against consideration of the bill are waived. general debate shall be confined to the bill and shall not exceed one hour equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the committee on appropriations. after general debate, the bill shall be considered for amendment under the five-minute rule. points of order against provisions in the bill for failure to comply with clause 2 of rule 21 are waived. during consideration of the bill for amendment, the chair of the committee on rules -- the chair of the committee of the whole may accord priority and recognition on the basis of whether the member offering an amendment has caused it to be printed in the portion of the congressional record designated for that purpose in clause 8 of
rule 18. amendments so printed shall be considered as read. when the committee rises and reports the bill back to the house with a recommendation that the bill do pass, the previous question shall be considered as ordered on the bill and amendments thereto to final passage without intervening motion except one motion to recommit with or without instructions. . the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida is recognized for one hour. >> for the purpose of debate only, i yield the customary 30 minutes to mr. mcgovern pending which i yield myself as much time as i may consume. mr. nugent: during consideration of this resolution, all time yielded is for debate only. mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. nugent: mr. speaker, house resolution 312 provides the house consideration of two separate pieces of legislation. first of these bills, h.r. 2610, which is the appropriations bill
to fund the department of transportation, housing and urban development and other federal agencies. the second bill, h.r. 2397, which is the bill that funds our military and our national security programs for the next year. in perfect honesty, i don't think this is a perfect rule. but i know it's the right rule for what we're doing today. when i came to the rules committee as a freshman a little over 2 1/2 years ago, one of the problems -- promises not only to the house but to the american people was that we were going to return to regular order. we're going to make sure the house worked in an open and transparent process. we promised the american people they would see what is happening in the house, read bills before they came to the floor for a vote. we promised that all members would have the opportunity to amend and improve legislation. we also said we're going to have an open amendment process on appropriation bills. the rule provides for a true open rule on transportation, housing and urban development
appropriations bill, however, we're also taking up the defense funding bill under a structured rule. and while it may not be ideal when i look at the alternatives, i know that the structured rule is the best way forward. as members of the house of representatives, we have a duty to fulfill our core mission of the federal government. i can't think of a single function of government more inherently federal in nature than providing for the common defense of this great nation. at a time when our troops are stretched too thin, the department of defense has been cut repeatedly in the last few years. and the pentagon's now facing sequestration head-en-- head-on. we we cannot let the new fiscal year go on without passing a defense appropriations bill. there isn't anybody in this house who is more concerned about our nation's involvement in egypt or syria or more upset about the allegations of n.s.a. spying on american citizens than i am. however, we cannot let these issues prevent us from beginning to debate on a bill that ensures
the military has its funds that it needs to get the job done. so the choice is between a structured rule and never getting the defense appropriation bill passed or a structured rule vs. passing a defense appropriation bill that actually makes our nation less safe than we are today and i will vote for a structured rule every time. it doesn't mean i think it's a perfect process. but the alternative is unconscionable. the department of funds already is bearing the burden of half of the sequestration cuts which in conjunction with cuts they already sustained will completely hollow out our military. we need this defense appropriations bill if we're going to restore flexibility to our military. and that's an issue that must come to the floor. even if it's under a structured process. so i come here today with a compromise. far and away the vast majority of amendments offered to the rules committee on h.r. 2397 will be allowed on the house
floor. our philosophy when considering amendments really is as simple as this. if it would have been allowed under an open rule, it will be allowed under this rule. there are only three exceptions to that general rule of thumb. those exceptions were amendments dealing with egypt, syria and the n.s.a. and even then these issues are in no way being swept under the rug. i wouldn't stand for that, i wouldn't allow it. the rule provides for ex tended debate time on -- extended debate time on amendments involving both syria and egypt. it provides debate on two amendments, giving it the issue of n.s.a., including one amendment that i personally offered. my amendment would strike a balance between making sure our government has all the necessary tools to keep our citizens safe while protecting american civil liberties. both the n.s.a. amendments will get extended debate time. total of structure rule allows
debates on 100 amendments. 100. comparison to the defense appropriations act of fiscal year 2010, also came up under a structured rule. back then, however, only 16 amendments made it to the house floor. as i said, it's not a perfect world and i wish we didn't need to deal with choosing between unlimited debate on these issues and making sure that our troops have the tools they need to protect themselves and our nation. but that's the nature of the world we live in today. and when it comes down to, it the defense appropriations bill isn't the right place to have some of these debates. i'm downright furious over what n.s.a. has been doing and the more i learn about the programs, the more outraged i get as it relates to trampling on our rights as citizens of this great nation. but to try to change these programs on a d.o.d. appropriations bill, where we can't legislate, isn't the right way about going about fixing
something that's broken. and i'll be the first one to say that we need to have a long and serious discussion and debate about the current law as it stands. and frankly it seems to me that we need to fix that law. clearly. that's why i'm a co-sponsor of a stand-alone legislation to do just that. in fact, it has been impossible to make real substantive changes by amending this bill. appropriation amendments are blunt tools. if there ever was an issue that needed thoughtfulness and if i necessary, it's when we're looking at programs that are used to keep our nation and its citizens safe. so today i offer you an open rule, the rule for the transportation appropriations bill and one that is as close to open as we can get while still ensuring the house votes on and hopefully passes a bill this week that keeps our troops funded, a pentagon open and our citizens safe from harm.
it's not perfect but it's as good as we can get in an imperfect world. and i'm proud to bring it today to the floor of this house. i encourage my colleagues to vote yes on the rule and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida reserves. the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. mr. mcgovern: thank you, mr. speaker. i want to thank the gentleman from florida, my friend, mr. knew jents, for yielding me the customary 30 minutes, and i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks and i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized. mr. mcgovern: mr. speaker, we're here today to consider one rule for two appropriations bills. the department of defense appropriations bill and the transportation, housing and urban development appropriations bill. and while the t-h.u.d. bill will be considered under an open rule, that is if it's ever considered in this house at all, the defense appropriations bill is another story. that's because the f.y. 2014 defense appropriation bill is not an open rule. this bill is structured. many good amendments were
denied. the rules committee cherry-picked amendments that could be considered and prevented many germane amendments from being considered today. in fact, mr. speaker, last month speaker boehner tuoted rules for appropriations bills but now just one month later, this tea party-run house is limiting debate on the defense bill just to avoid taking some tough votes. my colleague said that they made exceptions and limited amendments with regard to egypt, syria and the nnsa. those were the only three areas that they made exceptions. those are the three most important areas before us. those are the things that our constituents want to make sure that we are debating and deliberating on. let me note just one area where where this ea structured rule prohibblets having a robust debate on a critical issue. namely the debate on the need for greater transparency on collection of telephone and email records from people who are not under any suspicion or
investigation whatsoever. i'm grateful that a couple of amendments were made in order on the subject. but they were only given 15 minutes of debate apiece. that's it. this is a pretty big issue. you know, we all want to provide our law enforcement officials with the tools that they need to safeguard our country from potential terrorist attacks. but we also want to protect the basic rights and liberties guaranteed to all americans from unwanted and unwarranted searches and invasion of privacy by government agencies. issues of transparency, accountability and oversight are critical duties and responsibilities not just of the executive branch, but of congress. who is providing the necessary oversight of all this massive data collection? who is watching the watchers? isn't it time for congress to take a serious review of how the law is being implemented, how it is touching and affecting all americans, and whether any of those laws and their implementation now require
changes? i for one welcome such a debate. which i hope will incur at least in a limited fashion on the amendments that were made in order under the structured rule. i believe a far better debate would have occurred under an open rule where all members would have voiced their concerns and outlined proposals for change. regrettably this will not happen under the time restrictions of the structured rule. turning to the t-hud appropriations bill, i'm disappointed and concerned with the committee's proposed funding level for the community development block grant program. known as cdbg. $3.071 cuts cdbg from billion in 2014 to -- 2013 to $1.637 billion in f.y. 2014, almost bringing it to a historic low in terms of funding. cdgb funding fundses are working in enableds throughout our country and this proposed reduction will negatively impact local economies and economic
development projects all over the country. and i ask unanimous consent, mr. speaker, to insert into the record a bipartisan letter signed by 101 members of the house of representatives expressing support for effective cdbg funding levels. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. mcgovern: if this bill is considered by this body before the end of the fiscal year, i hope there will be an attempt to restore funding for this critically important program. as for the department of defense appropriations bill, everyone in this house on both sides of the aisle support our men and women in uniform. we want to make sure that they have the equipment, the training nd the logistical support they need to carry out their duties and missions. and that they have peace of mind, that their families are being taken care of when they're deployed to perilous places abroad. we want the most effective and efficient modern military in the world. there is no argument and no debate over these priorities in this house. however, that doesn't mean we should just throw money at the
pentagon. which is infamous for wasting tens of billions of taxpayer dollars each and every year for as long as i can remember. and these -- in these tough budget times, we need to be smart with our money and that includes with our defense dollars. i strongly believe that we could make better choices if the republican majority would recognize that we need to negotiate a balanced approach to our national budget in order to get rid of the harsh and indiscriminant cuts caused by sequestration. i appeal to them, to appoint covenees so we can begin -- he conferees so we can begin negotiations with the senate on the budget. i thought that was a priority for the house republican leadership. but clearly i was wrong. as they have led budget negotiations -- let budget negotiations languish for months. in the absence of a balanced approach for the budget which would have provided greater clarity to our defense priorities, i have several concerns about the fiscal year 2014 defense appropriations bill. first, the bill neither reflects
the current levels of defense spending that are the result of the current sequestration, nor do they reflect the next rounds of potential sequestration cuts that will go into effect for f.y. 2014. this would be easier to understand if the republican majority showed any inclination to go to conference with the senate on the budget resolution or return to serious negotiations with the white house on an overarching budget agreement. but the republican leadership has stated clearly time and again that it will not negotiate a balanced and comprehensive solution to resolve our overall budget spending, revenues and deficit issues. while critical domestic priorities are facing deep cuts in other appropriations bills, and the appropriations committee is demandsing sequestration cuts be included in these bills, the defense bill sails on through relatively untouched. in reality, it's those painful and draconian cuts in the other appropriations bills that allow this defense bill to emerge relatively unscathed.
so let me share with my house colleagues a few words from the statement of administration policy on the defense appropriations bill. let me quote, enacting h.r. 2397, while adhering to the overall spending limits in the house budget's top line discretionary level for fiscal year 2014, would hurt our economy and require draconian cuts to middle class priorities. these cuts could result in hundreds of thousands of low-income children losing access to head start programs. tens of thousands of children with disabilities losing federal funding for their special education needs for their teachers and aides. thousands of federal agents who cannot enforce drug laws, combat violent crime and apprehend fugitives, and thousands of scientists without federal grants that could slow research for cures and hurt america's economic competitiveness. the statement goes on to say,
and quote, unless this bill passes, the congress in the context of an overall budget framework that supports our recovery and enables sufficient investments in education, infrastructure, innovation and national security for our economy to compete in the future, the president's senior advisors would recommend that he veto h.r. 2397 and any other legislation that implements the house republicans' budgets framework, end quote. mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to insert the record on the statement administration policy on h.r. 2397. finally this bill not only continues funding for the war in afghanistan, it actually increases the overseas contingency operation account, adding $5 billion more above e pentagon's request for a total of $85.8 billion. now, let me see if i understand this correctly, mr. speaker. during the time period when the united states is significantly reducing the size of our forces
in afghanistan, and when we are withdrawing from the war, this $5.1 billion adds to the account, above and beyond what the pentagon asked for. that's simply crazy, mr. speaker. maybe those extra billions will pay the 70-plus million dollar exit tax that afghanistan is demanding of the united states to pull out our military equipment. that's not fuzzy math, mr. speaker. that -- the word for that is extortion. my colleague from vermont, mr. welch, had an amendment that said the american taxpayers are not going to pay this exportion demanding.zai is his amendment wasn't even made in order. it was germane but not even made in order. and while i appreciate the language in the bill that none of these funds could be used for president karzai's personal benefit since we found out earlier this year he was lining his pockets from a u.s. taxpayer dollar slush fund, it
certainly won't stop karzai's government from squeezing every last dollar it can from the united states to carry out the military draw down over the next 15 months. mr. speaker, i am sick and i am tired of asking our brave service men and women to fight and die for this corrupt government. and while i hope to be surprised, i really have little faith that next year's parliamentary and presidential elections in afghanistan will be free and fair, let alone usher in a new order committed to eliminating corruption and cronyism. i'm sick and tired of u.s. tax dollars being wasted in afghanistan on military headquarters that will never be used, only to see them built and torn down. i'm sick and tired of building roads to nowhere or having our convoys to pay a tax to transport troops and much needed supplies to provinces outside of kabul. in brief, just like the overwhelming majority of the american people, i want to see this war brought to an end and our troops safely home reunited with their families and loved ones and contributing to their
home communities right here in the united states. let us be clear, mr. speaker, the $85.8 billion total for the o.c.o. account is still designated, quote, emergency funding. and that means it is all put on the national credit card. not a penny of the hundreds of billions of dollars for this war has ever been paid for or offset or balanced with revenues from someplace else in the national budget. we certainly do not need to add even more billions to the o.c.o. account. what we need to do is to end this war as quickly as possible and bring our troops home. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts reserves. the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. nugent: i yield three minutes to the gentleman from new jersey, mr. frelinghuysen. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey is recognized for three minutes. mr. frelinghuysen: i thank the gentleman for the time and i rise in support of his rule and the underlying department of defense appropriations bill for fiscal year 2014. first of all i congratulate my chairman, mr. rogers, and also
defense chairman, mr. young, as well as mr. visclosky and mrs. lowey for their hard work and leadership in getting this legislation forward. mr. chairman, as we are all keenly aware the budget of the department of defense is under see career stress. we are already seeing the effects of the president's budget cuts and the sequester on military readiness. to fight our armed forces must be staffed and trained to operate under dangerous, complex, and uncertain conditions often with little no warning. it requires the right personnel useling the right equipment and training. but if this teaches us anything, it teaches us the future is highly unpredictable. unanticipated events often catch us by surprise. we constantly ask our military to be prepared for any contingency. yet today we have burdened them with new levels of budgetary uncertainty. ham prgmodernization, planning, and training. mr. chairman, our men and women in uniform need this defense appropriations process to move
forward. we should not force them to contemplate another inefficient continuing resolution on top of additional crippling sequester cuts. that's what will happen if this house cannot find a way to pass this important legislation. more delay, more uncertainty, diminished readiness, more risk for the men and women we ask to go in harm's way. this is a perfect rule. structured rule, abslutly not. the committee always prefers open rules and regular orders. at the same time, i urge my colleagues to support this rule and the underlying bill that we can work with the senate to fulfill our most basic mission under the constitution. to provide for the common defense. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from florida reserves. the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. mr. mcgovern: let me remind my colleagues again why these are tough budgetary times.
this defense bill is being treated differently than appropriations bills that actually fund needs right here in the united states. i remind my colleagues that national defense also includes what happens here in the united states, whether people have housing. whether people have food. whether or not people have good health care. whether or not we have good roads and good bridges. whether or not we have jobs. all these domestic needs are being ignored. they are being obliterated by he republican numbers in the appropriations process. mr. speaker, at this point i would like to yield two minutes to the gentleman from vermont, mr. welch. mr. welch: i thank the gentleman. thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the gentleman. i also thank my colleague from florida. i appreciate the courtesy that he rules committee extended to mr. gibson and me last evening when we offered our amendment on syria. in my moment here is to discuss this fundamental question about whether america is going to be taking a military action in
syria without any congressional debate. we have a responsibility under the constitution, article 1, section 8, clause 11 gives congress the power to declare war and raise and support the armed forces. my colleague from florida rightly said that we have an obligation to support the military men and women. they will do anything that we ask of them to do. but this is the moment when we face our responsibility or shirk it to give them a policy worthy of their willingness to sacrifice. and the idea that we would take military action in arming the syrian rebels is military action, it's intended very specifically to take down the overnment of syria, and i want us to go, but i don't want this congress to back into a policy,
stumble ahead, where we find ourselves engaged in military conflict where we haven't even met our basic responsibility to have a debate about it. we have to decide are we going to be men and women of congress? are we going to do our jobs? are we going to be congress men and women, or are we going to be cowards? it is the cowards' path to avoid taking responsibility for a momentous decision that we know at this moment is upon us. vote yes or vote no. but to have no debate? to actually once again stumble into a military action have we learned nothing from iran -- iraq and afghanistan? iraq right now is supporting assad. it's supporting iran. afghanistan is now after 11 years ripping us off -- 30 more seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. welch: ripping us off as we try to bring our material home.
does anybody on either side of the aisle support this? why don't we have a debate? i admire speaker boehner for saying he wants to have this house work its will. i say, speaker boehner, give us a vote. let us debate. let us meet our responsibility. there will be men and women that will go into harm's way, stumble ahead, because we did not stand up and take responsibility. we are accountable to the people who elect us. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from massachusetts reserves. the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. nugent: i yield three minutes to the gentleman from utah -- i'm sorry, four minutes to the gentleman from utah, mr. bishop. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida is recognized for four minutes. i'm soarry, utah. mr. utah: i appreciate the gentleman from florida, thank you, mr. speaker. i have the privilege of serving on both the armed services committee, as well as the caucus. our u.s. military has its own
defense repair and spend capabilities precisely because the government needs to guarantee that soldiers in the field will be sustained and supported in times of war. they will guarantee that needed equipment will be there in working order when and where it is needed. because their lives and our freedom depends on it. that's why i object to the current furlough policy of some of our d.o.d. civilian workers. i have great sympathy for the department of defense. unlike every other budget in the federal government, they did not receive an increase of appropriations before sequestration. in fact, the military's the only area where in this administration they received two cuts in their funding before sequestration hit, which was the third cut. our defense has been hit disproportionately because of sequestration. the department of defense's approach is to have everyone sharing in the burden or the pain of it. that is actually a political decision and i don't use that in a pejorative sense. but congress has to understand
the work of our sector for a decade, passing 129 and 124-72 which deal with working capital fund. we have five such working capital funds. these are resolving funds that are self-sustaining, which means, by law, if you have a workload and you have the funds, then these employees should not be thrown under the bus with a farr low. it is silly to think that -- furlough. it is silly to think that the funds are there but the workload would be sitting in depots and the technicians and mechanics would be forced to take off without pay. it will increase our delay and cost. the furlough working fund that funds employees does not save the government money but it hurts delay. the gentleman from oklahoma will have an opportunity which i hope the house takes seriously which will look at the working capital funds and realize the unique situation they have within our system and hopefully solve this problem forward in the future.
it has been said that we have a foreign policy for which we will fund. actually the book i read the foreign policy for which we will pay for. i didn't want to nend a preposition. our foreign policy is funded here in the defense department appropriation. this is what gives us the flexibility diplomatically to do things, not now, but five years from now and 10 years from now and 15 years from now. we are truly looking at our future with this particular fund, and it must be taken seriously. we are living since the cold war ended in a much more, much more less secure world than we were while we were in the cold war. not just because what is being done by a traditional adversaries in russia and china, but in third world countries which use the technology to create what is called technological class trowphobia as their efforts are now -- claustrophobia as their efforts are now pressed together and we have to respond. there are many issues in this bill which help us move forward not only in the defense of our
military but foreign policy opportunities. there are few amendments out there that actually do harm to that. i hope we look at it very carefully. it is a well crafted rule with a whole lot of amendments, perhaps far too many amendments made in order, and it will provide for a logical debate. i hope when we come out of it we realize the significance of this not just funding our military but also funding our diplomatic future. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from utah yields back. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgop: -- mr. mcgovern: i want to yield myself as much time as i may consume. i want to build on something mr. welch said on the floor. as somebody who was here when the afghanistan war began, when the iraq war began, i believe that both of those wars were unnecessary. we ended up getting osama bin laden not in afghanistan with 100,000 troops, but with a small, well-trained group of naval seals in pakistan. this notion that somehow our
strength can only be measured by the number of troops we have overseas or the number of weapons that we send overseases think is crazy. i think the -- overseas i think is crazy. i think the amendments we have spent on these wars have added to our debt have weakened our security. i think the fact we lost so many incredibly brave men and women to these conflicts is a tragedy. what the gentleman from vermont raised was the issue that i think is on a ott of our constituents' minds, what is going to happen in syria? and the real problem with this rule, mr. speaker, could be seen in the debate surrounding syria. there is some who don't believe we should get involved. and others like senator mccain, leading the republicans over in the senate, saying we ought to do more. we ought to get more involved in syria. yet this rule denies any real substantive debate on one of the most important issues facing our military. the republicans despite making
100 amendments in order, the rule makes only one amendment on syria, and that amendment simply reiterates current law. despite the shear number of amendments made in order, the republican leadership ducked a real important debate when it comes to syria. i hope that a few years down the road we don't look back on the fact that we avoided a debate on syria and express regret. we get sucked into this war without a real debate. that's what we're here for. when people say, these are tough issues, i'm sorry, we can't duck every tough issue. maybe that's been a problem with our overseas policies, that we haven't talked about what needs to be done, we haven't debated these issues. we've gotten involved in wars that we found are more complicated than originally thought. there's nothing wrong with debate. it is incredibly important and in the people's house of representatives, we ought to have a debate on this iss