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tv   House Rules Committee Holds Meeting on Voting Rights and Infrastructure  CSPAN  August 23, 2021 11:02am-4:44pm EDT

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this is betty in south carolina. caller: i don't support nothing he's done. the speaker of the house or the senate, none of them people. they caused every bit of this. they hate donald trump. they just hate donald trump. they changed everything he tried to do. they blame him for everything. host: how do you think the withdrawal would've been different under president trump? caller: he dutton of done what he did. >> it will build on the success of the american rescue plan and put us on a path to transformational investments in our economy and workers. my hope is we can pass this is your quickly and give committees
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in the house and senate the ability to get to work, crafting a bill that will lower cost for families, bring good paying jobs, cut taxes for hard-working americans. next is a chart 4, which will stem the tide of anti-democratic policies and states across the country and protect the path to the ballot box for every single american. 18 states have enacted 30 voter suppression laws this year. the supreme court has even seen chipping away at the voting rights act. this is the kind of systematic assault on the right to vote that our friend and former colleague john lewis spent his life fighting against. john lewis used to say that the vote is precious, almost sacred. it is appalling to many of us that there are people trying to trample all over that we don't
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have a moment to spare. not only must congress act, we have a responsibility to do so. the third is the amendment to the bipartisan infrastructure bill. i've got bridges in my district that are older than most of your states, roads and highways all of this country are crumbling and many are in a state of terrible disrepair. i am glad we have a president who views this issue is more than a slogan. we don't have infrastructure week. we have an infrastructure president. the press -- senate passed a bill. this bill will make our transportation system safer and more reliable, which is good for travelers. when you take this bill together with the american rescue plan and the reconciliation bill getting underway, where implementing once in a generation policies that will change lives for the better.
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housing, clean energy, dealing with the climate crisis, childcare, education, tax cuts for working families. we are showing government can be a force for good, not only as we confront the pandemic, but as we build a stronger future. i'm incredibly proud of that. i appreciate the work this administration and my colleagues on both sides of the capital. let me turn to our ranking member for any comments he wishes to make. >> are hearing today covers three items. i will address the first two jointly, the infrastructure bill and the budget and reconciliation instructions for 2022. as to the first matter, i think we can agree that our colleagues in the senate should be applauded for the bipartisan efforts that produced the infrastructure bill, republicans and has continued to have concerns about the product.
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house republicans had no input on the process that produced this bill. many of the positions are troublesome, the fact that the bill is not fully paid for and will increase the deficit. a fully i partisan process ultimately would produce a better bill. i am greatly disappointed that the house majority has chosen to link the infrastructure bill to an unnecessary democratic budget resolution. the proposed budget for 2022 presenting today isn't really a budget. it is the first step down a road toward producing a $3.5 trillion record -- reconciliation spending bill. the speaker has made it clear that she intends to hold the infrastructure bill hostage until the reconciliation bill passes. we cannot can sitter the
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infrastructure bill until the house passes this spending package with its tax increases and many liberal positions. according to press reports, this will allow for future considerations of the infrastructure bill at some later date when the reconciliation bill is ready to be voted on. that is a sad state of affairs. linking these two bills together, the majority is trying to have its cake and eat it too. this makes a mockery of the legislative process. it is ultimately unfair to members of this body and the american people. i would urge the majority to rethink their plans and allow the process to play out without making one bill as hostage. the third bill for today is the voting rights advancement act. the right to vote is one of the most fundamental rights we have
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as citizens of our great republic. given the importance of this right, it's disappointing that the majority has chosen to bring up a partisan bill that appears to be nothing more than another attempt to federalize all elections. as a former secretary of state, i'm familiar with how important it is for states to oversee and operate their own elections as they've done historically. the bill before us includes provisions that would force all states to subject to procedures to be reviewed by the federal government. this is an unprecedented power grab by washington that would change the character of elections as we know it. i am concerned about the coverage form in the bill. it runs the risk of being over inclusive enforcing more states into the preclearance procedures required by the voting rights act.
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given how important the right to vote is, it's disappointing that the majority has chosen to take a partisan approach. a bipartisan bill to reform the voting rights act and address the supreme court's decision in shelby versus holder would pass with an overwhelming bipartisan majority. the majority has once again insisting on their way or the highway. this congress is turning out to be one of the most unproductive congresses in modern history because the democratic leadership is unwilling to work with republicans or their own rank-and-file members to pass legislation for the good of the american people. the speakers heavy hand has shut down all ideas, democrat and republican alike, except the ones she deems worthy of consideration. members of had enough, that's why you are in the position you are in today. you've heard me say many times the majority needs to decide if
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they are here to make lyrical points or make law. i fear with today's hearing, the majority is showing where their priorities are. with that, i yield back. >> thank you very much. i want to welcome our first panel. to provide testimony on the budget resolution. we are happy that you're here. i recognize the gentle men from kentucky for any statements he wishes to make. >> thank you, mr. chairman. it's an honor to be here once again. the budget resolution before us today represents an inflection point for our nation. we face numerous crises which
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been made worse either covid-19 pandemic and economic fallout. as we recover from both, we can emerge from this as a stronger and more equitable nation. today, we begin another part of that process, the concurrent resolution on the budget provides the framework for congress to achieve this goal. i am honored to present this resolution to you today. in march, i presented the american rescue plan, a bold and aggressive package that provided immediate covid-19 relief and economic support to families and communities. after hundreds of thousands of american lives lost and an economic crisis touching all aspects of society, in a year of uncertainty and hardship, the american rescue plan was a
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turning point against covid-19. americans are returning to work and our economy is growing at its fastest rate in 40 years. we are on a path to a more inclusive recovery because of that legislation. thankfully, there are resources available to respond to this fourth wave of delta variant. i hope the individuals who understand how this is can come to the realization that they only need a shot to protect them and not a ventilator to keep them alive. the a merit rescue plan is making a difference every day. even with this important progress, our work is not done. the plan was targeted to meet the immediate needs created by the pandemic and resulting economic crisis. not to address the serious deficits in our society. before the pandemic, decades of underinvestment in education, housing, health care, and other
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sectors have made it harder for families to make ends meet and for american businesses to compete globally. to ensure stronger and more secure future for our people and our nation, we must close these deficits now. this budget resolution gives us that opportunity. the resolutions instructions provide congress with a $3.5 trillion investment to lower-cost for families, create jobs, cut taxes for hard-working americans. the plans transformational investments will improve our education and child care systems, establish paid family leave, tackle the climate crisis, address the housing crisis, all while making our country more competitive in the global marketplace. to help offset these investments, our plan calls for reforming the tax code to ensure large corporations and the wealthiest americans pay their fair share. no one making $400,000 per year
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or less will see their taxes go up. hard-working americans and families will benefit from much-deserved relief. such as the extended of the child tax credit and others for families and workers enacted in the rescue plan. the plan will finally allow medicare to negotiate the cost of prescription drugs, putting money in the pockets of seniors and saving the government billions of dollars. we cannot afford to miss this opportunity. forecasts from moody's and the national monetary fund but the growth investments in this plan will put our nation on a more responsible path forward, increasing gdp growth and job growth, and improving labor force participation. we know from decades of research that investments in education and economic secured he for families can yield a lifetime of benefits.
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increased wages and reduced crime among others. this resolution already passed by the senate reflects the net investment of the build back better plan as allocated across 13 committees. the budget committee will combine the legislation and prepare it for consideration. the resolution also provides for budget enforcement in 2022 and other necessary technical language. we must act quickly. america not wait any longer. we can no longer afford the cost of neglect and inaction. before i yield the floor, i would like to add a couple of things. one of the things that i am so impressed with by the administration is they have changed the mentality of how we think about the government and
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the problems of the country. for decades and decades, my experience has been would we discussed a problem, whether it was nutrition, housing, whatever it may be, the first question we asked was what can we afford to do? this administration is asking the questions in the right order. the right order are do we need to do for the american people? what do we need to serve them? the second question is how do we resource those needs? it's an important change in thinking. it reflects what i and many others for a long time, we can afford to do whatever the american people need us to do. more importantly, we must do whatever we can to make life better for the american people that is within our capacity. i look forward to taking your questions. >> thank you very much.
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>> thank you mr. chairman and fellow colleagues. it's a pleasure to be with you today. as any family or small business knows, a budget is important. in washington, it is supposed to guide the trajectory of our nation and how to allow the american people to keep congress honest about its spending. unfortunately, the failure by my colleagues on the other to pass a budget has not stopped them from spending. the house is already voted on several spending bills for 2022 without any sort of real budget to guide the process. now, they want us to go backwards. and do a budget where the appropriations process is already well underway. sounds familiar?
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of course it does. this happened earlier in the year. this is exactly how my colleagues abused the budget process back in the spring. how to use 51 votes in the senate to enact a radical agenda no one actually wants. budgeting means coming up with a plan. of course, the budget is not about strengthening the integrity of our nation, nor is it about getting government spending and inflation under control. we know it's not about protecting the integrity of programs our seniors depend on. it certainly does not protect america's working class families. those making less than $400,000 a year from a tax increase.
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it does the opposite. the whole effort is simply to turn this budget into a political tool to unlock the door to at least $3.5 trillion in new spending and taxes and a host of policies which do nothing to fix the crisis that americans are facing. the inflation crisis, the border crisis, the energy crisis, the afghanistan crisis. this budget only makes it worse. my colleagues are using the budget to enact amnesty for millions to expand government controlled health care. to subsidize blue state taxes for the wealthy. to banish low cost traditional
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electricity and provide handouts for wealthy environmentalists who happen to be donors. we are only nine legislative days from the government shutting down. it has been weeks since our debt limit has expired. the only thing the majority party seems to be focused on is how to spend as much as they can in as little time as possible. we cannot in good faith nor the effects that government spending will have on inflation, and the price of goods and services. american families are paying for months. they have argued that inflation is only transitory. meanwhile, prices have continued
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to climb and are on pace to rise to the highest it has since 1981. the american people are being asked to ignore the real pain they are feeling at the moment and hold out for the promise of a better tomorrow. what does that promise look like? more runaway government spending and massive debt that working for class families will be forced to bear if this budget is passed. $68 trillion in spending over 10 years. the highest sustained level in american history. the spending in this budget combined with what has already been spent since the democrats took control of the house of representatives in 2019 equals
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more than the total taxes, more than the total taxes paid by all americans since the founding of this nation. there are $17 trillion in new debt. more than the value of every economy on earth except the united states. this one budget resolution that you presented is more added debt over the next 10 years then the entire economy of every country in the world but the united states. under this budget, it will cost us one trillion just to cover the interest on our debt. more than what we will spend on medicare this year alone. more than our national defense budget at the end of this
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decade. we cannot inflate our way out of inflation. or power and economy on empty promises. the way we move forward together, as one country, is to use the budget to keep congress honest in its spending an hour debt under control to keep america strong. the american people cannot afford this budget. i yield back. >> thank you very much. obviously, i support what is being brought before us. i want to make a couple of points for the record. i enjoy hearing my republican friends say they look forward to working with us. we can't even get an agreement
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to bring suspension bills to the floor. because republicans are having a melt down for whatever reason, we can't get bills that would normally pass unanimously or overwhelming majority to the floor. we tried on the january 6 commission to work in a bipartisan way. we did that person mr. mccarthy assigned a person to negotiate the deal. we supported it. we gave mr. mccarthy everything he wanted and that wasn't enough. i'm tired of the talking point that we look forward to working with you because you don't. i get tired of the talking point of we care about the debt and the deficit. i remember when you passed a tax
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cut mostly for rich people that cost over $2 trillion. none of it was paid for. we have people who don't believe there is a climate crisis. they worked overtime to find ways to block anything that might address that issue. when you talk about government shutdowns, the last big government shut down was when you controlled the house, the senate, and the white house. that's a first. on infrastructure, one of the things joe biden's predecessor said he wanted to do on infrastructure. that might be a place for common ground.
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we had infrastructure weeks. how insulting to the american people. we now have an infrastructure bill. it has bipartisan support in the senate. i expect when it comes to the floor that we there will be some republicans who supported. i will just say one final thing. mr. smith, i enjoy it when you come before the rules committee because it reminds me about the fact that i don't think we have shared values. about what we need to do in this country. i've been home. i assume you've been home as well. my constituents didn't know if they could put food on the table. they were so grateful for the child tax credit. the hunger rate in this country was skyrocketing. now we see statistics where the
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poverty rate is going down. i think that's a good thing. i think government should be there for those who struggle. we need to do something about the climate crisis. we need to do something about our infrastructure and affordable daycare and affordable college education. i just don't think we share the same values. we are going to fight for what we believe in and you can fight for what you believe in and we will see how it all works out. the same old same old tired talking points that get trotted out all the time. it wasn't too long ago when you controlled everything and we saw what you did and didn't do. i think this is the right thing to do. i want this rule past so we can
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get to the infrastructure bill, the physical infrastructure bill, the human infrastructure bill, and protecting the right to vote when that sacred right is under attack. mr. cole? >> before i asked my question let me ask the last congress, we did have the lowest unemployment rate in 50 years. we had the fastest wage growth. -- i think we did do a lot of things that we can be proud of and the people and offended from it. let me start with you. i'm sure you would agree that a flawed process brings you a flawed product.
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the speaker has often been quoted, show me your budget and i will show you your values. when i served on the budget committee with my good friend, we marked up a budget every year i was on the budget committee. did you have any opportunity to market this legislation? >> thank you for the question. to make it simple, when i say we would like to work together, the last budget resolution bypassed the committee and went straight to the floor without a hearing, without any input for my republican colleagues and myself to make any amendments. during an organizational hearing, i asked the chairman if the next budget would have a committee hearing and would be on the floor?
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he said yes. we have went straight to the rules committee. we never have the opportunity to mark up this budget or have a committee hearing in the house budget committee. >> to be absolutely clear, the majority hasn't used a budget? >> that is correct. >> is it fair to say the whole process hasn't been a process to address the trajectory of the nation, but it is minimizing the ability of both parties to provide in foot and has been used to short circuit the delivery process to deliver legislation. >> correct. >> i want to drill down on inflation.
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inflation is already up 7% and it appears to be on track to reach the highest rate since 1981. the so-called american rescue plan injected massive stimulus into the economy. it's an important factor in the rise of inflation. what would the resolution before us today exacerbate or reduce inflation? >> the budget resolution before us will only fuel inflation. economists early on at the beginning of the last budget resolution said our economy did not need additional spending. the democrats passed the 12 $.9 trillion -- $1.9 trillion biden a lot bill.
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they are concerned about their paychecks. by inflation going up 7%, that means the men and women we represent have 7% less in spending. to purchase clothes on their back, food on their table, put gasoline in their cars. this is drastically affecting the real men and women we represent. i think we all want to put a state -- stop to this inflation. even without one more additional dollar worth of spending, we are projected this year of revenue being 12%. that's the highest it's been in eight years.
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why spend another $3.5 trillion? it is reckless spending. we are already on the road to the highest inflation since 1981. wait to see the gasoline on that fire of inflation. it's not going to be good for the people we represent. >> my friends on the other side laid out the consequence of inflation for every single american, it doesn't matter what your income level is. those with the least are hurt the most. is this a tax on every american, whether you have a tax increase or not? if government actions push up the prices of necessities we require, isn't that taxing
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people? >> inflation is a direct tax on every american. >> to follow up on a point you made, those concerns aren't simply partisan. democrats like jason furman and larry summers, have they not expressed the same concerns? >> absolute. we cannot inflate our way out of inflation. >> my democratic colleagues state the legislation will prevent them from raising taxes on those making more than $400,000 year? >> that is not true. there are provisions that shows they will allow the tax cut to expire. that will be tax increases to the people that make less than
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$400,000 a year. the rising cost of inflation is a tax on all americans, even those making less than $400,000 a year. there is nothing that provides that no tax increases to people under $400,000 a year. >> in the instructions, are there any limits on tax increases? >> absolute not. there is a minimum. it is a 1.8 trillion dollars tax increase. it doesn't -- the ceiling could be any amount the committees decide. the minimum is tax increases of the $1.8 trillion. >> my friends make a point out of the reduction in the corporate income tax rate.
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it was signed into law. we saw a cut in the corporate tax rate. did we see a return of businesses to the united states? an increase in jobs? >> the economy grew exponentially after the tax cut and jobs act. it is very alarming that the proposal by the biden administration and the house and senate democrats to increase our taxes on job creators would raise our taxes on job creators, higher than that of communist china. what that does to small manufacturers and businesses in southeast missouri, it basically says you need to fire your employees, closed shop, moved to china. you will be treated better under
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the proposal in this budget resolution. >> is there anything in the budget resolution that would actually move toward paying down the debt? >> absolutely not. it does the opposite. it adds over $17 trillion to the debt over the next 10 years. that is the largest amount of debt over any single budget. the $17 trillion in debt is more debt than the gdp of any country in the world except the united states. >> i've seen the senate budget committee which outlines the assumptions on which the bill is based. it reads like a progressive policy wish list. it ranges from climate change
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which would raise the cost of energy and right to work protections. can you expand on your concerns? >> the policy that is proposed within this budget resolution which leads to the recce eight -- reconciliation bill are fueling all of the crisis that we currently have. whether it's the border crisis, whether it's the energy crisis, whether it's the inflation crisis, whether it's the afghanistan crisis. this budget resolution only makes those worse. for example, dividing millions of amnesty to illegal immigrants, flatlining our defense budget, our defense budget would be the lowest at the end of this budget window then it has been in 80 years. by gdp.
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80 years. we see what's going on in afghanistan, what's going on at the border. when you spend another $3.5 trillion, you talked about the price of goods and services for our constituents. they are going to feel the pain and have less of a paycheck. >> the budget spends money, they are important for what they don't spend money on. you mentioned specifically the lowest percentage of budget spent on defense in 80 years. is there any money to protect the homeland in terms of the southern border or homeland security? >> the speaker said it's a statement of values. when you look at this budget, 0% of an increase to homeland. not one additional dollar for our border.
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we are facing the worst border crisis in decades. it shows the priority. >> i would just echo that. to your point, we live in a dangerous world. the idea we would have an inflation cut in defense spending under this is alarming. particularly given the increasing aggression of the chinese, the russians, iranians, the north koreans. but signal does this send to them? >> we are not investing in our homeland, in our national defense. across the board, everything that is not defense has an average of a 60% increase across the board. that is what is showing the people across the water.
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>> there won't be a lot of republican support for this. i yield back. >> speaker pelosi says budgets are moral documents. as i pointed out in the beginning, we saw food insecurity and hunger rates skyrocket. close to 45 million americans didn't know where their next meal was going to come from. my friends were in charge, they tried to cut snap. i get it. a missile isn't going to feed somebody. we have another crisis we're still dealing with, that is the covid crisis. with all the misinformation by the fda formally approving the pfizer vaccine today. i hope my friends will please spread the word in their
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conference so this misinformation and distortion campaign which has resulted in so many people not getting the vaccine, we are experiencing a resurgence of this virus in large part. i quote the republican governor of alabama, because of the unvaccinated. hopefully, this will help us further be able to end this republican covid crisis. >> thanks. i vow to tone down i rhetoric a little bit after we had some testy hearings at the end of july. i want to thank my friend mr. cole for referring to me as a democratic colleague. not a democrat colleague.
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it's the democratic party. i thank you for that. i want to thank both witnesses. i think you made some interesting arguments. mr. smith, you have had a lot of rhetoric, most of which i don't agree with. i appreciate the tone today. i just wanted to say thank you. obviously, mr. yarmuth is talking about the need for the investments we are going to make under this budget resolution. i will start with a story and turn it to you, mr. yarmuth. my dad had a same. of all the investments that america has made, this gives you the distinction between investments in human infrastructure and capital
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infrastructure. of all the investments that america has made since the beginning of time, the louisiana purchase was second only to the g.i. bill. what he meant by that was we can make capital investments as we will in the infrastructure bill. investments that we need in this country because we have crumbling infrastructure. also to remain competitive with the rest of the world for the next 50 years and provide a good standard of living for all americans. the human infrastructure piece which was in his statement the g.i. bill, it was the greatest investment america has ever made. it's an investment in education, housing, health.
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those things we all need to have a great nation and maintain a great nation. i appreciate the fact that mr. yarmuth your budget considers both the infrastructure, transportation as well as human infrastructure. i know you are preaching to the choir. i would like to have an opportunity to respond to some of the things mr. cole raised and mr. smith brought out. >> thank you. i will say that the misinformation campaign we see across this country continued today. from the dialogue that mr. cole and mr. smith had, some of the things that were erroneous. they were at least deceiving.
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to say we are adding $17 trillion to the debt is outrageously wrong. what we are proposing to do under this legislation is have a gross spending money of $3.5 trillion, which would be offset by some amount. we don't know how much yet. the buy demonstration proposes pain for all of it. that is $35 trillion on average -- $350 billion per year over 10 years. that is 6% more than we would spend otherwise. that's all. for spending 6% more than we would spend without this agenda in passing this budget and the reconciliation legislation, we get childcare, action on climate
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change, housing assistance, universal prekindergarten, one of the most important things we can do. we get two years of free community college. we get senior care. the list goes on and on. it seems to me that is an impressive benefit for spending 5-6% more. but the gentleman from missouri is doing is adding all of the money we've committed to spend over 10 years and pile this on top of it. that's not what we are proposing. that is one of many things misspoken during the dialogue they had. i just want to address the notion of partisanship. the chairman alluded to this early on. i remember when we were doing the affordable care act in 2009. i was on the ways and means committee. we had a meeting with all of the
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members of the ways and means committee. all 45 of us. 26 democrats, 19 republicans. no staff or media. our chairman at the time asked the republicans is there any way -- i will never forget these words -- is there anyway we can write a health care reform bill that any one of you will support. there answer was no. after that, they said we have ideas we would like to see in the bill. if we put those in there, would you vote for? no. we've been here the same number of days. i think it is safe to say that with few exceptions, we have seen no interest, no interest in all in congressional republicans of doing anything about the
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major deficits we face as a society. democrats feel and the chairman alluded to this that government has a role in trying to make life better for citizens when it can. we might want to try to make a little bit easier if we can. whether that concerns health care, education college, early childhood education, housing, making it easier to vote, making it easier to breathe, easier to get childcare, easier to rich child -- retire with dignity, virtually every other issue we discussed in this body, republicans don't want to do anything. nothing. it's not that they want to cooperate, they don't have any ideas to offer.
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they don't have anything to put on the table. it's frustrating. i served in this body in the senate as an aide many years ago. it was a body in which both parties welcomed ideas from the other. both parties had ideas. i worked for a republican center. we were in the minority then. let us give you some ideas. we don't get any of that. we went through eight years of being in the minority where i don't believe other than cutting taxes republicans proposed anything except cutting environmental regulations and trying to get obamacare without any substitutes. dr. burgess and i have been through many of those debates.
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when we say we would love to be bipartisan, it's kind of pointless because there's been no interest indicated. my ranking member mr. smith said we passed the american rescue plan which nobody wanted. that's not what the polling shows. polling shows it is overwhelmingly popular, it benefited millions of people. it pulled children out of poverty, not permanently. we want to do it permanently. the american jobs plan, the american family planet, the by demonstration never called infrastructure. they never called infrastructure. it was the american jobs plan and the american families plan. the notion was creating jobs,
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improving the economy, improving lives. that's what we are trying to do. if there is any interest in republicans in doing any of that, please speak up. or just admit that you don't think the government has any interest in helping to deal with these challenges and we want to improve. there is a lot of focus on deficit and debt. the ranking member said at the beginning families and small businesses. the federal government is not a family and it's not a small business and it's not a local government and it's not a state government. it is the issuer of fiat currency. we have total control of it. we only borrow and spend in our own currency. we can spend whatever we need to spend in the interest of serving the people.
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i have said and mr. cole his said as well -- we heard the forecast of doom and gloom because we were running up the deficit and we were going to crowd everything out. what do you know? we increased the national debt. we doubled it in about 12 years. did any of that happened? is our dollar weakened? is -- are our interest rates higher? they are at historic lows. you can make the case that a lot of people who talk about debt and deficits don't know what they are talking about. we can look to somebody like chairman powell at the fair -- fed who said we have the space to do what we need to do.
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that is what we are proposing to do. we have serious deficits. they are not necessarily financial. they are deficits in our society and we need to do something to get a handle on them. >> i thank you for that. we are investing in people in this budget. we are investing in all the people. that's what i appreciate. let me ask a couple of specific questions. you mentioned the pieces. in colorado, we are getting smoke from the big fires in oregon and california in what should be a pristine bay is nothing but hayes from these giant fires.
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>> let me say, it's not just the fires in the west. we've had the worst flooding in tennessee in history. we have severe storms, central park had the highest rainfall it's ever had it. central park had flooding. we had the worst drought in the west we've ever seen. we are whistling past the graveyard in this country, not tackling climate. we see the impact of climate change every day throughout our country. what this legislation does is it puts an emphasis on electric vehicles, charging stations, green power. these are the things i think are the low hanging fruit that we would want to approach trying to deal with climate.
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the answers -- these are some of the frustrating things. the answers are we only provide 20 percent of the greenhouse gases in the world, why should we do anything? the other 75% aren't doing anything? that's whistling past the graveyard. we are the leading economy in the world. we may not be in years to come. if we don't start working on it and setting an example for the world, i think we can, we are going to fail in dealing with climate. then we have a different kind of world. people say we have already passed the critical point. the point of no return. there are going to be places by the end of the century that will
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be uninhabitable. i have a two-year-old grandson and i worry every day about world i am leaving him. >> this budget does attempt to correct some of that and tackle it head on? >> exactly. >> a comment on the inflation. we have set a 2% inflation, we want to have full employment. that is part of the law of this country. we have seen -- i concur with you. inflation is a concern. deflation is a concern, that's what we saw when we had the highest unemployment since the 30's when covid pedis. we have seen an increase in the cost of toilet paper.
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we have seen macro economics on steroids because of this virus. all sorts of people do the same thing at the same time. we don't have much of this. we saw lumber increase, it shot up like crazy as we came out of this pandemic. we saw it shoot up. it's coming back down. the best estimate by the federal reserve is that we should always be keeping a not i just appreciate mr. yarmuth, tackling this big subject and investing in everyday americans to make their lives better.
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we had this huge spike in rental car. in used car price, up to about 20% of the prices. so we had that very unique situation. lumber was another good example. when the pandemic hit, nobody thought there was going to be a demand for construction. so the lumber yards, one of the things they did they cut back on production. at the same time a lot of people, builders, were actually buying long-term contracts driving the price up. and that turned out to be counter indicated. that didn't work out right. prices were up, now they are way down. they are a little higher before the pandemic but not much. you also had the last couple months' numbers, may, june, july
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compared to may, june, july of 2020, you didn't have them compared to may, june, july of 2019. if you did there would be virtually no inflation. you were comparing them to months when the prices tanked because there wasn't any buying in certain areas. hotels, nobody was going to hotels. nobody was flying planes. people were driving. you had all these depressed months through the economy last spring and those are the numbers that we are comparing them to now. i think you're right, most of the feds looking at this carefully, they are not alarmed yet, but they are being vigilant as they should be and we should be, too. i think to try to make blanket statements that what we are proposing here will drive significant inflation in the economy is totally unjustified. and is not provable by anybody
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at this point. >> thank you, mr. yarmuth, i yield back. chair mcgovern: dr. burgess. mr. burgess: thank you, mr. chairman. by the time it is provable it's very, very difficult to reverse it. you aren't probably old enough to live through the inflation of the jimmy carter years. mr. yarmuth: i'm older than you are, mr. burgess. mr. burgess: it is extremely difficult to reverse that once it becomes embedded in the economy. the amount of federal spending that has already passed within the past year, i guess i would go back to march 27 of 2020, when we passed the cares act, full disclosure, i voted for the cares act. wasn't sure what this pandemic was dealing to us. i haven't voted for any of the other so-called coronavirus response bills since then
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because i have been concerned about the amount of money that we are pushing out into the economy. and when i talk to constituents back home, in fact i talked to a farmer just yesterday who got hey in a place next to mine he said i just need you to know, this count buy fuel. you can't buy pesticides, chemicals. you can't buy materials. everything has gotten not just high in cost, but it's not available. my worry is that we pushed so much money out into the economy so fast not giving the economic engines the chance to begin spinning again and begin doing their work again, we pushed so many dollars out the door that it has had this unintended consequence. if there are some things that
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chip shortage, defies logic, and i get that that's been a problem. but this is a lot more than just chips. this is air filters, oil filters, this is fuel filters. according to the farmer i talked to yesterday. we all know the cost of fuel itself is -- where i live it's about a dollar more for regular unleaded gasoline than it was a year ago. so all of that is going to have an effect. just share with you one of the places where i hear a lot, we are all concerned about the coronavirus. we are all concerned about our hospitals being overtaxed. but one of the problems that they have encountered is they can't keep their personnel. we pushed so much federal money out there that these large hiring conshorea -- core shosha are using to attract --
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consortia are using money from one area to another, offering extremely high rates. i don't blame them at all. but this is a reality of what is happening on the ground and what conditions that we are dealing to our constituents. i think it is something that maybe we ought to hit the pause button for a little while. what happened with the coronavirus. the economy was great. the coronavirus comes on. we have to scramble to try to make sure things don't go so bad so fast that they are not recoverable. we also have an obligation -- we don't do the kind of work -- are you still on ways and means? we certainly do the work in my energy and commerce like we used to do. we don't authorize expenditures. we do emergency -- with all deference to appropriators. we appropriate money and push dollars out the door and tell the agency to do something good with it.
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we don't authorize those expenditures like we used to. as a consequence it's just hard to know whether or not what you're doing is going to have a beneficial or deleterious effect. i know that this bill that we are talking about now, and i don't quite understand all of the political mash nations going on behind the scenes -- machinations going on behind the scenes, this one and another bill, a highway bill, have to go pretty much simultaneously or people aren't going to be in a mind to support one or the other or one without the other. i don't know that. i'm not part of those internal discussions. you brought up the affordable care act this does remind me a lot of what the affordable care act came back over from the senate and not a word can be changed over here in the house. we simply had to rubber stamp
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what the senate sent us. i get that same uneasy feeling here that we are going to have to hit that rubber stamp on the infrastructure bill, perhaps on this budget bill, that there's not the he political -- not the political space to go back and negotiate. there is not the political space to go to a conference committee. it literally is going to pass on a party-line vote. i don't need to remind you that the partisan makeup of both the house and senate is pretty narrow right now. it's on a knife's edge. am i correct on that? that we will not be able to change one order of either bill as it comes -- as it how has come to us from the senate? without risking having to go back and start the whole -- start the whole series over again? mr. yarmuth: with regard to the
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budget resolution, which i presented today, i can't speak to the bipartisan infrastructure legislation or others, but we will actually be writing the legislation here in the house. we have to go first because we -- the bill will contain revenue measures. so we actually will be writing that bill between now and september 15. then debating it on the floor. we not only will have a say what goes in it. we'll create what goes in it. mr. burgess lost -- mr. burgess: up to a point. as i read the bill every part of this deficit neutral reserve. starts out with the chairman of the committee on the budget of the senate may revise the allegations of the committee and appropriate levels in the resolution. every single section wait, the senate is writing the bill. you are a he not writing. mr. yarmuth: we are not writing the resolution. we are writing the legislation that matters.
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we have 13 committees right now working on legislation that implements all the instructions that were provided in this budget resolution. mr. burgess: the chairman of the senate budget committee retains the power to rewrite the allocations of every job and tittle whatever it is you are he going -- you're going to produce? which does not satisfy in any way -- this is supposedly coming out of the greatest deliberative mod body in the world and they have simply abdicated their authority. might be a fine individual. don't know him. i served with him one term here on the house side. we are abdicating all that responsibility to the chairman of the senate budget committee? mr. yarmuth: as you know, dr. burgess, the senate has no margin in terms of part zahn -- they have done their own negotiations and decided what levels of investment they can
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pass. i don't know that bernie sanders is going to have that change. don't change the intruckses. the instructions are what they are. education labor, committee i also serve on, will be responsible for directing legislation to spend $779 billion over 10 years. energy and commerce has a substantial amount of money, $496 billion, to spend as well. that legislation's going to change. i mean is going to be created. we'll vote on it in the house. we may or may not be able to pass it in the house given the partisan margin. the house is going to have a significant say in what the final product that's considered
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by the house and senate. mr. burgess: may i ask the chairman, will the chairman -- ask me a question. i apologize. when i got here a few minutes late, are we doing a single bill for both the reconciliation budget and the highway? a single rule for the highway bill? chair mcgovern: we are going to do a rule for -- we'll deal with the reconciliation bill, the highway bill, and the voting rights act. voting rights is very important given the effort by some states to basically trample on people's rights to vote. all those three things will be in this rule today. mr. burgess: it became very, very difficult to get the fine level of detail that might be required to provide all of those fine things that you suggested at the beginning of your talk. the things we want to do for
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people. mr. yarmuth: i have spoken on a number of occasions that we have to be careful. mr. burgess: reclaim my time. this is the third blunt instrument. let me ask you a question, again i came in on the end of it as far as the taxes are concerned. is this going to raise enough in tax revenue to offset everything that's going to be in front of us? mr. smith: when you look at the budget resolution, it proposes, this is math, it's very simple, what you have before you is a bunch of numbers. and it shows a budget over 10 years. it creates the instructions for the reconciliation bill that's $3.5 trillion of spending. under the budget resolution, which is before you, it proposes a $68 trillion worth of spending, which is record spending in history over a
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10-year period. $68 trillion. and then it has the highest sustained amount of the tax burden in history. even with the high tax burden that's proposed in this budget, you still will have $17 trillion added to the deficit over the 10-year window. because on average, on average at minimum your deficit is $1.6 trillion a year for the next 10 years. and that adds up to $17 trillion. so the math does add up regardless of what the chairman might have said in prior statements. we can use a calculator and figure that one out. so that, even with the tax increases, through the blueprint of the budget resolution, you still have $17 trillion to the deficit, plus you have the
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highest tax burden in the history of the united states. mr. burgess: in spite of all the taxes you're raising, you're ending up with that as the net figure, $17 trillion? mr. smith: $17 trillion that will be added to the debt. c.b.o., c.b.o., congressional budget office, has highlighted numerous items about the effects of debt. the chairman said earlier in his questioning that there's no economist or folks out there that don't see how debt affects people. the c.b.o. said that increasing debt will lower americans' wages $9,000 a year. that's a direct impact of who we represent. c.b.o. said that. c.b.o. also predicts that our national debt will be $133
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trillion by mid century. without additional changes. think about that. mr. burgess: mid century. that's 30 years from now, right? mr. smith: he yep i mr. burgess: the national debt today is -- mr. smith: little less than 29. mr. burgess: what is your projected figure 30 years from now. mr. smith: to add $17 trillion to that 10 years. in 30 years c.b.o. says it's $133 trillion. mr. burgess: because we toss numbers around no one can comprehend that type of numeric value. just can't. mr. smith: every economist will say at our level of debt and spending will lead to a financial crisis. even c.b.o. said that. with rising debt will lead to a
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financial crisis. they couldn't predict when. but they said that it would. mr. burgess: let me ask you a question. the old days we used to do budgets beginning of the year and talk about things in a more normal, rational way. there was always a complaint that we only control what a third of our budget, the discretionary amount of dollars that we spend, are only about a third of what the federal government actually spends because so much is on auto pilot. it strikes me that driving these programs that have been discussed, we are going to increase the amount of money that will be driven on auto pilot, we as members of congress and future members of congress will never actually have the ability to impact. those numbers will be -- will just simply be set somewhere legislatively in entitle spending that will continue to
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-- entitlement spending that will continue. labor-h spending to zero and others you would still be in deficit because there would not be a way to have enough taxes to cover what's on autopilot. in the american rescue plan we increased the amount of dollars going to subsidize in the eventual market, the marketplace insurance policies. one of the big complaints about the affordable care act was people couldn't afford it. and once you got outside the subsidy window it became extremely onerous. we have increased it. the democrats increased that in the american rescue plan, but it was only for a period of two years. i heard you reference you wanted to do more than that.
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that is, of course, adding to the burden of spending that's on autopilot or entitlement spending that already exists. a complinebline that's already high and you are going to make that higher. do i understand that correctly? mr. yarmuth: i think the entire caucus, virtually the entire caucus would like to see the child tax credit made permanent, yes. mr. burgess: child tax credit made permanent. the increased subsidies for people in the affordable care act. used to be a family of four earning about $96,000 a year was outside the window and go no help. now that number's gone up to $250,000. that's earnings for a family of four. that's taking in a lot more people than ever before. all that expires in two years. so something will have to be done. your proposal is to do that now in this budget.
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again, come back to the central point. we are adding dollars to the part of the budget that's on autopilot that future members of congress will not be able to -- they will have no say. those dollars are already spent, already obligated. they are already out the door, if you will. again, conceptionually do i have that correctly? mr. yarmuth: i'd like to note that what you just said is an important aspect to what we are doing. and that is people are worried about the deficit. people worry about the deficit because they think it's some gray cloud hanging over us. when the federal government runs a deficit, who runs the surplus that is created by that deficit? for every deficit, somebody's deficit is somebody else's surplus. that's math n this case it's the
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american people's -- that's math. in this case it's the american people's -- mr. burgess: i'm not sure -- mr. yarmuth: where is this money going? it's not going to everybody but the american people. mr. burgess: on a smaller scale when you run a business -- mr. yarmuth: it's not a business, sir. mr. burgess: you do a capital expenditures, perhaps you go into debt for that capital expenditure. you hope that helps you increase revenues down the road. if you use those dollars simply for -- not simply if you use those dollars for elech trict -- ewleck trick bill, paying your employees, those dollars are gone. they are not there to generate additional revenue for you. again, even bill clinton several years ago -- mr. yarmuth: that allows you to make more money? mr. burgess: bill clinton several years ago said our job
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as a federal government was not simply to consume the bounty of today. i think that conceptually is something we need to pay attention to. we are spending ourselves into a -- painting ourselves into a corner. it will be almost impossible to get out of. mr. chairman, you have been very indulge gent. i yield back. chair mcgovern: mr. raskin. mr. raskin: mr. chairman, thank you very much. i have a few questions to clear up a few things. the first things is i was struck by the argument i heard a few times now by people defending -- what biden inherited from donald trump. what they say is there were good economic figures before covid-19 hits. and that sounds to me like
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saying, herber hoover had the greatest stock market in the history of the country before the stock market brought in the great depression. if you want to take credit or unemployment rate, fine, don't you also have to take credit or blame when it's through the roof? does that make any sense people say the also administration had great figures before everything went to hell in a hand basket. mr. yarmuth: i don't know -- i will say, mr. raskin, you raise an important point. that is actually the growth under the trump administration was actually a temporary percent or .2 higher than it was during the bomb. so -- obama administration. so there is virtually no difference in the performance of the economy under donald trump
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prepandemic as there was under the obama administration. mr. raskin: the pandemic took place during the trump administration. if you are holding a president responsible tore accountable or praiseworthy for things that take place during the administration, you have to be responsible for those things that go wrong, too. crises do happen. as they relate to one's own responsibility. or to things that you inherited. let new ask you this, mr. yarmuth. people on your committee who are denying the existence of climate change? or are they just being silent about it now? there were people invoking all kinds of fake science claiming fraudulent things. now with regard flooding and -- record flooding and record drought and record forest fire, two of my kids are in nevada and
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they basically can go out outside because of smoke inhalation. it is an extremely dangerous situation because of all these climate change related weather calamities taking place. do we still have people who are trying to deny the existence of climate change? or are they just silent at this point and basically letting the other party deal with it? mr. yarmuth: i haven't surveyed any of the members of the committee, not to mention the republican members. i suspect that most of the republican members of the committee will admit that there is -- that climate change is real. that the country is suffering from it. i think there is less agreement as to what extent human behavior is the cause of that. but the most important thing is there doesn't seem to be among
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any republicans i have heard or talked to any sense of urgency about acting on it or any sense of being willing to actually make the kind of fundamental changes like, for instance, encouraging renewable power, electric vehicles, and so forth that we know will have an impact on the emission of global gases. while, again i don't know how they feel personally in terms of their policy responsible it -- response it has been sorely lacking. mr. raskin: one final question for you, mr. yarmuth. i think the public is pretty realistic think ty point about all the rhetoric about deficit and debt. we didn't hear any of that rhetoric during the trump administration when they created -- when they added $2 trillion in deficit because of their tax cut or their biggest
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corporations in the land and totally economically regressive way. it comes down to different philosophies because both parties are willing to make expenditures, but traditionally the g.o.p. has wanted to back the wealthiest on the theory wealth and growth would trickle down to the vast majority of the people, but the democratic party going back to franklin d. roosevelt said we should be investing in the american people from the bottom up. and the rich will undoubtedly be able to take care of themselves. but you need to invest in the needs of the vast majority of the american people. am i right about what you brought forward here is a resolution that allows for investment in the real american society, but in dealing with infrastructure anti-economic determinant that will make everybody prosper together. i just wonder is that a fair approximation of the public philosophy you brought to this task? mr. yarmuth: i think that is an
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approximation. i will relate one story i told hundreds of times but i'll do it again because it seems appropriate here. my brother, who has been very successful in the restaurant business, back in 2008, before then he always voted republican because he wanted to pay last tax. and back in 2008 in the summer during the campaign he said, john, you'll be pleased to know judy is right. judy and i are maxes out barack obama and voteling all democrats. that's wait grate, bob, what was your epiff if i? i finally figured out if nobody can afford barbecue it doesn't matter what my taxes are. that is overwhelm not a fun story, it also had -- that is not only a fun story, it also happens to be true and insightful. that's where we are as a country. when you have the kind of disparity in wealth that we have in this country, and up until
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very recently has been continue getting -- continued to get worse, and so much wealth is concentrated at the top, the idea we can help the american people, the vast majority of the american people, by making life easier for the healthiest people, is something that is almost laughable. those people who back during the reagan conceived the notion of trickle-down economics, david stockton among others have said recently that was a very flawed ideology. it never was valid. it certainly isn't today. yes, the tax cuts that republicans passed in 2017 did not do anything like what they were projected to do in terms of creating vast amounts of new investment in the economy and so forth. most of the money that corporations received to cutting the tax rate from 35% to 21%,
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which by wait they didn't even ask for, that was spent -- by the way they didn't even ask for, that was spent buying back stock and paying dividends. this is a reversal of that philosophy. i think it's long past due that we changed our perspective and said the investments this country needs to make, are in its people not in the beneficiaries of the capitalist system that have done so well. mr. raskin: thank you very much. mr. chairman, i want to close by quoting something i read in the newspaper this morning from our late lost colleague, representative paul mitchell from michigan. who called for constructive bipartisanship before his death. he left the republican party. he became an inddent pent. he said you have to choose whether or not to love people or go through life trying to get
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political gain. it was a call to both sides to engage in bipartisanship and try to find common ground in the interest of serving the people and not just particular interest groups. i yield back. chair mcgovern: thank you. mr. reschenthaler. mr. reschenthaler: thank you, mr. chairman. i appreciate it. in your honor i am sitting here drinking water. chair mcgovern: if you come to worcester, we'll have a parade for you. you have been such a poster for our industry. thank you so much. mr. reschenthaler: sounds good. we'll wait until after. i was going to yield to mr. raskin to see what decade the wallpaper is from. mr. raskin. mr. raskin: i was bottom of the totem poll, i ended up in my
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youngest daughter's room. mr. reschenthaler: sounds good. giving you a hard time. ranking member smith, i know you briefly were discussing the debt ceiling. i wanted to know if you wanted to take a moment to expand on it. or do you feel you exhausted the topic. i wanted to give you the opportunity to expand if you so choose. mr. smith: representative, in regard to the debt ceiling, it expired on july 31. secretary -- the treasury secretary has said that using extraordinary measures that we have until october 1 to address it. so it's definitely an issue that we should be addressing right now along with funding government for the next fiscal year since we only have nine legislative days. that's officially on the calendar, to address both of those. instead we are looking at spending additional dollars that
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don't address either one of those issues or any of the crises that our country is facing right now whether it's the border crisis, inflation crisis, the afghanistan crisis, or the energy crisis. in fact, what we have before us are items that only make those crises hurt the american people even more. mr. reschenthaler: ranking member smith, do you -- from my understand there is a faction of the democratic party that might not vote for this. in your estimate are there the votes to even pass this? i -- hate for you to speculate but yield to see if you have thoughts. mr. smith: that's a great question, representative. no one has the crystal ball. if you read the headlines, especially an op-ed that came out last night from nine moderate democrats, i think that speaker pelosi is still trying to get the votes for this budget resolution. we may just be having this
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hearing and may not actually even vote on the budget resolution this week. because if you do the math, speaker pelosi can only lose four people, and she can't pass it. if you look at the last budget resolution, there were two democrats that voted against it. one voted present. so if you can only lose four, four and there's three democrats that have said under no circumstance will they vote for this budget resolution, she can only lose one more of the 11. we'll see if people based on what they have said publicly in the newspaper falls through. i would say speaker la josi has her work cut out for her whether she can pass this budget resolution. especially to bring forth bernie's budget where it doesn't allow a member of the house to amend it but allow bernie full flexibility to draft the budget for the united states government. i think that that terrifies or
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moderate democrat colleagues that i have been talking with over the last several weeks. mr. reschenthaler: thank, ranking member smith. with that i yield back. chair mcgovern: thank you very much. ms. scanlon. ms. scanlon: thank you, mr. chairman. many of the things we are talking about here with the infrastructure bill or in the proposed budget package, a hugely, hugely popular with the american people. in addition to the infrastructure package if we are going to build back better, we need to pass things like the child tax credit. addressing the economy. and our schools so that everyone can participate in that economy. one of the really popular elements of the american rescue plan is the child tax credit.
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we hope to make it permanent. we need to improve in this country -- a huge number of children in pennsylvania and across the country will live in poverty. in fact deep poverty. can you talk a little bit about the impact of the child tax credit. mr. yarmuth: thank you for the question. i think there has been substantial amount of news coverage on this over the last couple of months. the number of parents whose life has been made much fuller and much more secure because of the child tax credit. i know in the commonwealth of kentucky more than 100,000
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children were lifted out of poverty by that payment. of $300 or $250 depending on the age of the child. again that's only a temporary reprieve for them. expanding that child tax credit as we propose to do in this resolution, we would continue that i think remarkable feat of raising many, many families out of poverty. most importantly providing support for the most innocent of our citizens. these are the children who can't control anything about their lives. the they can't control what their parents' income would be. they can't compare -- they can't control what their parents' initiative will be. we should support them because no one else is. these children are not just human beings. of course they are. we cherish them.
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we should cherish them. but they are also our future. they are the future of our employment base. they are the future of our tax base. and if we don't make sure they have the kind of foundation whether it's educationally or health or otherwise, we are going to be in much serious -- much more serious condition economically a generation from now when they are the workers that we are relying on. there is an enormous benefit to not just those children and families, but to the society as a whole and to our economy. ms. scanlon: the payments coming to people seems to be having a big impact. we have seen data children are less hungry. we are also hearing teag helping moms and dads go back to work because they can get childcare where they couldn't before.
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kids should have a healthy start and good start improves their prospect moving forward. was there anything else you wanted to reply to? mr. yarmuth: i do want to make a comment about the debt ceiling. the debt ceiling is something that only the united states of all the advanced nations in the world has the way we currently have it, there are a couple of other countries that have a debt ceiling, statutory debt ceiling, they have basically a system when they appropriate money that exceeds the -- creates a debt larger than their ceiling it automatically expands. we are the only country in the world that has a debt ceiling that provides the opportunity for us to default on our obligations. we have raised the debt ceiling until -- the last 10 or 15 years, we raised it routinely over the entire history of the debt ceiling, 85, 90 times.
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all it does right now is give members an opportunity for mischief, for trying to get leverage for brinksmanship. that's what we are seeing out of the senate right now and mitch mcdonnell said they are not going to have one republican vote in the senate to raise the debt ceiling. if you think about the outrageousness of that alone, you wonder what planet republicans are living on. the idea that republicans, not one republican in the united states senate, would vote to recognize the obligations of this government. in fact obligations they helped create, they voted for the cares act, many of them did in the senate. now they are not going to pay the debt that they helped to create? it sounds like the donald trump means of doing business is -- has been contagious in the
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republican caucus conference in the senate. we'll see what happens in the house. it's outrageous. i remember back in 2013 when we had the same exact situation we should the government down for five weeks. it was disastrous for the economy. it was disastrous for credibility in government. temperature shook financial markets. we can't afford to do that. the only -- i think we ought to get rid of the debt ceiling. it provides absolutely no benefit. if you look at the history we had it for a long time and what has happened, the initial purpose was to help restrain spending, it hasn't done that. i don't know what the purpose of it is except to give some kind of power of brinksmanship over members of either party to use. i just wish that people would come to their senses and say this is something we have to do. it's nonnegotiable. and it's also something that i think if you vote against
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raising the debt ceiling you have violated your oath of office. ms. scanlon: try to get things done. i'm not happy about the numbers, the debt ceiling, but it being miss used for -- misused for political brinksmanship. a substantial amount of that debt is $1.7 trillion tax giveaways in 2017. thank you. with that i yield back. chair mcgovern: thank you. mrs. fischbach. mrs. fischbach: thank you, mr. chairman. i guess i would just -- i appreciate dr. burgess had brought up the issue as i was looking through about the issues of the provision that is allow the senate budget chair the ability to revise allocations without, and then i believe it was ranking member smith who mentioned that without any house input. we have just handed this
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resolution just hands over that power to change any of those members to the senate budget chair. -- numbers to the senate budget chair. that's a real concern. i'm glad it came out. and folks mentioned it. just ranking member smith, i was just wondering if you talk about some of the common budget practice that is may have been eliminated or had loopholes created in this resolution? mr. smith: in regards to the common budget practices, the fact that it never came to the budget committee, the fact that we never had a hearing on this budget resolution, and the fact that it spends $68 trillion worth of funding and this is the first hearing it's had a in the house of representatives and it's going straight to the floor with no amendments by any democrats or republicans i think that that's a broken process.
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however, it is crafted by bernie sanders, that's why it's bernie's budget. it came from him. he's the one sponsored the legislation. it they didn't even have a hearing in his own committee. that's a problem. mrs. fischbach: thank you, ranking member. i have real concerns about the transparency and about the process. just not the way i am used to dealing with the budget and getting input from the public and input from other members of the legislative body. i have real strong concerns about that. i just wanted, ranking member, to give you the opportunity to add to anything. i know you have been listening very politely to a lot of the questions and the responses. i'm wondering if you had anything else you would like to add. mr. smith: representative, i appreciate that. i will point out that there's been a lot of talk that
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republicans never have items to offer. republican offer items all the time. just in the last couple weeks every member, every republican member of the house budget committee sent a letter to every member of house leadership and senate leadership coming up with variousing budgetary fiscal restraints and reforms prior to the deadline of the debt limit on july 31. we have heard crickets, i can -- crickets from democrats. this is before the deadline. the fact that anyone will say that republicans aren't offering proposals and coming up with ideas, that's clearly false. just because you don't like our ideas or our proposals doesn't mean we are not offering them. unfortunately, the way this congress has been acting, representative, is that bipartisanship only exists if
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you agree with everything that we propose as the ruling party. that is what happens. and that's why there's never been a hearing in the budget committee on this budget resolution is because they don't want us to offer a counter. they don't want us to offer input. they don't want us to represent our 750,000 constituents. they want their vision and they want their command and their control over the lives and livelihoods of all americans. that's how their form of governance is. it's not the form of governance that we all have suggested. so because it's a different belief we are not being bipartisan. just give us the opportunity to present our die eye december instead of just railroading us. mish fish bok: thank you, ranking minority member. -- mrs. fischbach: thank you,
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ranking member. i think this is unfair to the american people the way we are handling this. there is no opportunity for 200-some congresspeople who represent them to have any input. and for them to have any understanding to be able to watch those and to have any understanding of what's going on with this budget. it is just rammed throughout without any kind of input. i appreciate the frustration i hear in your voice on how this is put together. i yield to -- mr. cole: i don't think it's just the republicans shut out. it's almost every member. you don't bring a bill to the committee you shut out every member of that committee, democrat or republican. we have a closed rule, which we will surely v. you shut out every member's ability to add to it. these an institutional problem.
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to bring something of this magnitude without moving it through either budget committee or either chamber and allowing other members that aren't privileged to be on those committees to also participate in some form or fashion, i think it's an institutional failing. i thank the gentlelady for yielding. yielding back. mrs. fischbach: thank you, ranking member. i appreciate that. with that i yield my time. chair mcgovern: thank you. if i could just -- i feel like i want to move from coffee to the beverage of kentucky. the point i think we were trying to make is simply that if there's going to be bipartisanship, there has to be good will and good intentions in trying to craft something. at the end of the day you can get bipartisan support to pass it. that's what we try to do in the january 6 commission. literally giving republicans everything they wanted. and the answer was no. we see what's happening with the
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suspension bills. chip roy, congressman from texas, he says honestly right now for me the next 18 months, our job is to do everything we can to slow all of that down to get to december 2022. not to find common ground to pass bipartisan legislation, but basically to shut everything down so that nothing can be done. people -- goes back to what you said about the affordable care act when charlie wrangle said you had -- charlie rangel said you have ideas. is there any way you goat yes on this? the answer is no. essentially negotiate against yourself. compromise your values. for what? to get a no vote at the end of the day? i think that that's the deal here. look, i said at the beginning i think that the two parties do not share the same values in terms of what is necessary. by wait let me just say this.
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-- by the way. let me just say this. i don't want to go back to the precovid economy. whether it's under trump. i don't want to go back to obama's economy. because that was not acceptable. before covid, 37 million americans were food insecure hungry in the richest country in the history of the world. i'm ashamed of that. we all should be ashamed of that. that's not the economy you want to go back to people working two or three jobs to make ends meet. we want to do better. some of the things in this bill that we are trying to move forward can help. families be whole and be able to earn a decent living. this whole party stuff -- i wanted institution to go become to that -- back to that. we all do. boy, it requires good faith on both sides. i gave you a recent example of something that where we thought
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we had bipartisanship and at the last minute, now we don't. i think -- i think we need to move forward. we'll see where the votes are. mr. cole. mr. cole: thank you, mr. chairman. i don't want to be argumentive. i do want to take exception. give you an example. i was chairman of the labor-h subcommittee we passed -- that's a controversial bill. one of the biggest domestic spending bill we have. it touches on a lot of things important to a lot of members. fringely where we have a lot of different opinions. passed it four times. my then ranking member, now the chair of the full committee, rosa delauro, voted for final passage. two occasions she was chairman we passed it twice. i voted for the final passage. on both those bills. and many of my republican colleagues as well. we did the cares act together during the republican majority. there are a lots of examples. i will also grant you, there are
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situations that are partisan. you made a decision to do that here. we did that on the tax bill to be fair, 2017. we didn't get any democratic buy in or help. this is a sweeping change. this is really big. so i will grant you there is not going to be much bipartisanship here. that was your decision when you decided to go this big in a narrow majority. it's your decision when you strip out all the pro-life protections in appropriations bills that have been there. that's going to turn into a partisan vote. fair enough. if you have the votes to do it, that's what you believe, that's fair. this idea that one side is -- there's never any bipartisanship, that's not just the case. it depends on the issue. this is not one. i would say the same thing. we did five covid relief bills together last year totaling $4 trillion. awful lot of bipartisanship. we did it with a democrat house,
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republican senate. republican president. this year, went so far. you knew there wasn't going to be any republican support. the republicans offered a $600 billion to $800 billion. that used to be a lot of money around here that would have been bipartisan. i'm not happy with the infrastructure bill, but it's a bipartisan bill that came out of the senate with 189 republican votes. -- 19 republican votes. this idea that neither side ever works together or that only one side is partisan just simply doesn't measure up. both sides can be partisan. i think the stakes are high enough. you think the stakes are high enough here, you're going for it, fair enough. don't be surprised when you write a bill no republicans will vote for it and none do. that's why -- frankly, that's why you lippinged the
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infrastructure bill and this bill together because you are beating your own members into submission. your choice. i would say you're risking what could be a big bipartisan infrastructure bill whether i vote for it or not, it clearly has the votes if you put it on the floor it would pass immediately. you have chosen to use it as a weapon against your own members n. my view. -- members, in my view. again we have legitimate differences. i respect those differences. i know we are not going to always agree. i don't see one side or the other, that includes my side, as somehow more or less bipartisan than the other one is. chair mcgovern: i appreciate that. i have nothing but the highest respect for the gentleman. i think when he was chair as tough as things were, things are different today. we are seeing that. i just read you the quote from mr. roy. i could read a dozen other
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quotes from people who have said the same thing. i hear you. at the end of the day, for us this is about investing in people. i'm going to tell you, i don't know how many more years i'm going to be doing this, but the bottom line is that whatever time i have here i want to fight for those who struggle. i'm tired of poor people getting screwed all the time. i say that not just under republican administrations, to be fair, under some democratic add m.s as well. those who struggle -- administrations as well. those who struggle tend to be neglected, fall through the cracks. it has to stop. government is there for anything. it really isn't there to help big corporation. it is there primarily to make sure that nobody falls through the cracks. everybody's respected in this country. in any event i now turn to mr. morelle. mr. morelle: thank you, mr. chairman. i appreciate your comments and
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the comments of the ranking member as well. i'm sure each of us, particularly in this day and age, spend a lot of time thinking about where we are, how we got here as a congress. how we got here as a country given how polarized and challenging this is. i speak for myself, i suspect a lot of people, it saddens us we are so far apart and feels like we can't work together. maybe it's extremes. maybe it's the media. maybe it's social media and mainstream media which has made it harder and harder for people to find common ground. i do dare say, mr. smith, i understand your perspective. from my lived experience here, i have not met the experience of not having people not wanting to work together. when we are talking together in chambers and we are in meetings, when we are hanging out talking to one another, i think there is always this desire to work
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together. somehow it just doesn't make it through. i'm sorry the ranking member isn't here. even when we do seek input in good faith, i think of my good friend who lives just to the east of me, john katko, good faith was trying to get to a deal on a january 6 commission. look what happened, was given the authority to negotiate that, and yet got virtually no votes on his side of the aisle. a handful. i would be unhappy if i were he. i think mr. cole is making the argument that we are punishing our members. i think in some ways members are punished over january 6. i talked to a number of republicans who would have liked to have voted for it. i just -- the whole environment here sort of gotcha and let's look to the next election almost forgetting that there is an american public that's struggling many, many, millions of americans struggling. we are going to talk about who
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is going to be in charge of the house. at some point i don't think the americans care who is in charge of the house. they care about their families at their own house. i care about their house. i'm sure we all do. i was reflecting on projections, we are talking projections here, i'm not sure what the projections were of the tax cut bill in 2017 but added a couple trillion dollars to the deficit. i'm not sure if people would have projected it that way. the people that voted for it, i i want here, i heard a lot of talk about it and i suspect if i went back and looked at some of the comments by my colleagues on the other side of the aisle it would have been rosier than it turned out. reminds me of what truman said. give me a one-handed economists, because an economist says one hand this is, but on the other hand. i think about the c.b.o. and deficits. it's concern. what's the level? what are the constraints? what are the limitations? what are the metrics?
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we never do get much of an answer. what do i fear is when we have these conversations now, reminded me of mark twain who often quoted someone else, figures don't lie, by liars figure. we use data that tends to support our position. i am concerned about the fiscal health of this country. which includes, by the way, not only how much we spend, but how much we tax and whether we are going to tax fairly. whether we are going to have a progressive taxcies tefment income tax system. whether we tax wealth in some small measure to help pay for needed investments. i do think of investments. it's interesting, mr. chairman, you made a great point a number of times that we are not a small business. we are not a family. so using those metrics aren't appropriate. but even still when i think of a small business, you want to expand, you usually don't have the cash available to do it, what do you do?
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you go to the bank if you are a small business. even if you are a larger business or major corporation. you go to the markets whether it's the bond markets. you seek other kinds of financing to continue to make investments that will ultimately help you to grow and to expand. even your home. i don't know-dirnl' sure there are some people blessed to be able to pay for their mortgage or pay for their house with cash. most people go to a bank. when the value of your house grows, maybe you take out a home equity loan. you put in a new furnace because it cuts your energy bill and creates savings. those are what we call investment. we have investments we can make and i think will generate much in the way of the growth of the american public. and many of the things that have been said about can't spend money if we expand the government too much it's going to lead to disaster in the united states, most of which has never happened. in fact, we in many kays, are stronger than ever fngly and around the world, but we have a
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moral obligation, not just fiscal obligations. the chairman's talk about it. the status quo is fine. before the pandemic is fine unless you happen to be poor. unless you happen to be black or brown. unless you happen to live in certain parts of zip codes in this country, then you are basically confined to a life that's multigenerations of poverty, multigenerations of poverty. . you know, it's funny. i was talking to someone about losing my mother-in-law and she left an annuity for my family. god bless her. talking to many of my friends in the black community, they take up basic collections to bury people. they don't have multigenerational wealth. they don't have money passed down from generation to generation. there is a moral crisis in this country which has existed not for decades but for centuries. we have young people dying under
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the weight of college loans. the status quo is -- i don't think it's fine for mr. smith. i don't think it's fine for mr. burgess, mrs. fischbach, or anyone else here in the congress. not sure what we do about it if we're not prepared to make those investments which will make america better. i know we use it as a slogan, build back better, but we really believe that. i don't believe we have necessarily the corner on good ideas but i share other people's frustration that we are not moving, we're not making progress. the status quo is great if you don't live in california with the wildfires and on the coast with rising sea levels. i guess it's ok if you're not a victim of flooding or drought or moving because crops don't grow anymore. this is real crises and people are expecting us to do something about it. we need to push and accelerate
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the advance. i do think about the green new deals. they recognize the changing world that we don't live in 18th century agrarian america anymore. we live in the 21st century global, globally changed at times america. and so i would love to work on making sure our fiscal health -- not necessarily cut the cost of government. that's not necessarily fiscal health. it's measured in many ways and i am not sophisticated enough to know all of them but love to work with other people on them. right now what we have with the political system so polarized, so cal is iified in its polarization we need to move. our vision is to try to move everyone in america and continue to move towards that goal of a more perfect union. and so i'll support the rule. i'll support the bill. i wish this was more bipartisan. i wish our conversations were for fruitful.
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but i wish for a lot of things that may not happen. so i'll deal with what i have in front of me with this rule and i'll yield back, mr. chair. mr. mcgovern: thank you. mr. desaulnier. mr. desaulnier: thank you. mr. morrelle's point, as a small business owner, we used to say you have to spend money to make money and you can do that to pay your bills. this is one of those instances. as the chairman has said -- and thank you, chairman, for your hard work and your diligence that will continue. i look at this budget's level of competitiveness that we haven't spent enough in these areas in the last 40, 50 years. so climate change, mr. chairman, i mention the chinese are adding competitiveness. they are adding charging stations and hydrogen stations a month. the chinese have over a million.
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they knew that they have to act on climate change. but for the economic future, they have to invest in this infrastructure which this budget resolution starts to do in a dramatic way and i think a thoughtful way. on education, i was on the education committee. the rest of the developed world has spent 10% on education in 10 years. the u.s. spent 2%. the u.s. will be last in affordable childcare. dead last. for working women, in particular, working families in 1874, only 14% of women with children had full-time jobs. by 1994, 74%. now it's almost 85%. we have to do what the rest world has done is affordable early education.
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this bill will do that. it's nothing personal. i think it's really important for us to get after. we talked about it in the overright committee is the cost of pharmaceuticals. i take a pill every day. it costs over $100 in the united states. in the e.u., $60 on average. in australia -- when asked a pharmaceutical executive why that was, his honest answer is because we can. that's not fair. to mr. morrelle and the chairman's point, [indiscernible] eisenhower was president. make everybody pay their fair share, wealthy people and corporations. i just want to again thank you, chairman mcgovern, for your leadership on this. i think it's extremely important. it's not paying too much. it's paying too little for these
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important issues. i yield back. mr. mcgovern: thank you very much. ms. ross. ms. ross: thank you, mr. chairman. and thank you, chairman yarmuth and arizona diamondback smith for -- and ranking member smith for being here. this budget resolution represents the biggest investment in our people in a generation. it invests in housing. it invests in health care. it invests in childcare. and for the next generation, it invests in universal pre-k and free community college, which in the 21st century is going to be a game changer for how we work and how the next generation provides for their families. it also puts the full force of government behind climate change. again, an investment in the next generation. the resolution looks to the
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future. yes, it's a statement of our values, but most of the discussion here today has been about the past. i'm concerned about the future. i'm concerned about our children. i'm concerned about their children. and i'm so proud that the house and the senate could agree to put forward a budget resolution that focuses on the future. i will support the rule. i will support this resolution. and mr. chairman, i yield back. mr. mcgovern: thank you. mr. neguse. mr. neguse: thank you, mr. chairman. i'll be brief. one of the benefits of being the newest member of this committee is i get to hear all of the debate before i commence with my remarks. and i think today's debate has been illuminating. however, there's one concern i have which is so much of the discussion has been divorced from the underlying investments that we are poised to make within the build back better
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budget resolution plan that we are debating today. i think it's important for us to bring the debate back to that core, tenet that at the end of the day is the underpinning of why we are here today. ranking member, chairman yarmuth, i want to say thank you for being here. i just will go through a couple of the investments. i guess i'd like to get a better sense of whether you support them or whether you oppose them. so my understanding is that this bill includes a herculean investment, as my colleague, ms. ross, explained in community colleges, making community colleges free for every american. community colleges in colorado, a state i represent, in kentucky, in southeastern missouri, across our country. mr. yarmuth, chairman, do you support that? mr. yarmuth: i totally support that. mr. neguse: mr. smith. mr. smith: we have a process called the a-plus in the state of missouri where you go through
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certain parameters for receiving certain amount of tutoring, community involvement, and academics and you get your junior college paid for. the state of missouri already has a process that they're funding themselves and doing that. i would like to point on the child tax credit -- mr. neguse: i'll get to that. sound like a great program in missouri. boy, would it be wonderful for every other student in the united states of america to be able to access free community college which we're poised to do in this budget resolution bill. this bill includes an expansion for the first time in 55 year a -- of various medicaid benefits specifically vision, so senior citizens can go and buy eyeglasses when they need them, dental benefits so that a senior citizen can go to the dentist, and hearing benefits so they can get a hearing aid. mr. yarmuth, do you support that? mr. yarmuth: totally. i don't know how you, again,
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respond to the growing senior population in the country and so many of whom rely on social security for a significant part of their or all of their income and deny them the ability to have care for the basic senses that allow you to live your live in a dignified and enjoyable way, hearing, dental, and vision. can't see, can't hear, and if you can't eat, then you won't have much of a retirement. yes, very important. mr. neguse: mr. smith. mr. smith: the concern under a fiscal crisis would make the programs that are most valuable depend on, such as social security and chair. when you have $68 trillion worth of reckless spending, that only threatens chair as we know it. and that is a huge concern. we need to make sure that chair does not go insolvent, which is
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already projected in years to come. continuing to expand to an already threatened and insolvent program is a huge concern and we need to fix it before we expand it. mr. neguse: i want to let you finish that answer. so i take it's a no, that you don't support the expansion. mr. smith: chair? an important -- chair is an important program and reckless spending will cause it to go -- go insolvent. mr. neguse: i don't want to describe your views so you are entitled to your views on it. i think you can probably fairly say you oppose expanding chair benefits to include dental, vision, and hearing at this time, that's what you're saying. mr. smith: i want to make sure that reckless spending does not destroy it and this bill does that. mr. neguse: so this budget
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resolution plan includes an expansion of hearing, dental, and vision since the program was enacted in -- 55 years ago. obviously, the american people can judge as to their representative's views on their view on the budget resolution bill. it includes upwards of $18 billion to upgrade various v.a. facilities, is that correct, chairman yarmuth? mr. yarmuth: that's correct. we have a moral obligation to those who sacrificed so much for us and that's an investment that is justified in many ways. but i want to add one thing. when the ranking member refers to $68 billion worth of reckless spending, trillion dollars of reckless spending, he's concluding social security, chair, defense spending, medicaid, and all of the things that this government does. if everything we're doing right now is reckless spending, we're really doing a horrible job and have for a long time.
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mr. neguse: mr. smith, v.a. facilities, $18 billion upgrade? mr. smith: when you talk about reckless spending, when you're giving wealthy subsidies to -- mr. neguse: i think i've done a good job of being respectful. mr. smith: in this spending you're doing an increase of 16 billion across -- 16% across the board. it flatlines our men and women and our troops where it actually will be the lowest it's been in 80 years. that's a concern. and when you're putting a priority that our men and women in uniform, make sure you put a priority but unfortunately this bill does not do that. mr. neguse: so, again, and i think this goes to the point that mr. morrelle was making, the inability of us to respect each other's own views. at the end of the day, the facts are the facts. $18 billion to upgrade v.a. facilities. i was asking whether or not the
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chair and ranking member agrees or disagrees with it. the budget chairman agrees with it. i didn't get an answer out of the ranking member but it's ok. mr. smith: we should not be spending more. mr. neguse: the bottom line -- i won't go through the litany of various investments that these -- that this bill makes, but i think it's important as the american people considers both the debate that this committee is having today and the debate we will have on the floor tonight and tomorrow what is at stake. because i heard a lot of noise around supposed concerns with respect to bipartisanship and various concerns regarding the deficit and very little by way of the specific investments that we are poised to make today if we get this done. finally, i will just say, i was not here in 2017. my colleague -- myself, mr. morrelle, ms. ross, mr. reschenthaler, we're all new to the congress. i must say, i have done my
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homework. and reading about what had happened before i got to congress versus the revisionist history that i heard from some today during the course of today's proceedings, feels like i'm in the twilight zone. in 2017, the republican tax bill was introduced on november 2. seven days later, it passed out of the ways and means committee on a party line vote. seven days after that it passed out of the house of representatives on a party line vote. the senate finance committee passed it the same day. added trillions of dollars to the deficit. and so now hear folks bemoaning the supposed lack of bipartisanship when we're considering both a bipartisan infrastructure deal that garnered the votes of many republicans in the united states senate and a reconciliation bill that ultimately virtually every member of our institution will have an opportunity to shape
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during the reconciliation process, 13 committees, there is not a single person in this room that doesn't serve on one of the committees of jurisdiction that we'll be working up the resolution -- ours is already scheduled. i serve on the house natural resources committee. september 2, republican, democratic members, we will get together. we will have a robust debate about our priorities and where the investments ought to be. we'll negotiate. we will compromise. we'll come up with a finished product. that's what governing is all about. but to hear some of my colleagues on the other side tell it, it's as though none of that is going to happen in the coming weeks when we vote for the resolution today. i'm all for bipartisanship and doing our part to try to reach a consensus. i believe that members are going to be able to have an opportunity to have their say in the coming weeks, but they'll only have that opportunity if we
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pass this rule, enabling the budget resolution to proceed. that's why i'll be supporting it. with that i yield back, mr. chairman. mr. mcgovern: thank you very much. and i appreciate your comments. i want to thank both of you for being here. so while you were talking, my staff kept on texting me saying to me, what the hell did you just say, meaning to me, so i thought it was -- i don't want to see poor people get screwed, if they didn't like the language. but apparently in my attempt to wax eloquently. i don't know how much longer i'm going to be here -- what am i doing? to your point, i'm going nowhere. [laughter] mr. mcgovern: and i expect to be chairman of this committee for a very, very long time. i feel extraordinarily when this reconciliation bill gets passed and the american people gets to see -- let me clear it up. i was waxing philosophical and
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all of a sudden i get in trouble with my communications director like, what the hell are you saying? anyways, do you want to say something? mr. neguse: i was going to say we would miss you. mr. mcgovern: you'd miss me like a toothache. mr. burgess: i don't think you need to worry about the chairmanship position. mr. mcgovern: thank you both for being here. you are dismissed. thank you. all right. so that closes the -- any other members wish to testify on s.con.res. 14? seeing none, i close the hearing on s.con.res. 14. i'd like to welcome our witnesses to provide testimony to the john lewis voting rights advancement act of 2021. chairman nadler and ranking member jordan, we're delighted that you are here. i now recognize the gentleman from new york, chairman nadler, for whatever he wishes to say and feel free to submit your
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testimony, written testimony for the record and summarize it, do whatever you want to do, chairman nadler. mr. nadler: chairman mcgovern and ranking member cole, thank you for inviting me to testify today. h.r. 4, the john r. lewis voting rights advancement act of 2021, is critical legislation that would restore the voting rights act of 1965 to its full strength. it is n urgently needed legislativive response to the onslaught of discriminatory laws in the wake of the supreme court's 2013 decision in shelby county vs. holder which rendered the v.r.a. section 53 clearance regime inoperative. before section 5 became law, state and localities could secure the knowledge that it could take many years before the justice department could successfully challenge them in court if at all. even if one discriminatory law was struck down, jurisdictions
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would enact another to take its place, setting up a game of whack-a-mole. section 35 required states -- section 5 required states and locations against racial and ethnic minority voters to change their voting laws for the justice department for approval or seek a judgment in court prior to taking effect. the supreme court's shelby county decision gutted section 5 by striking down the coverage formula that determined which jurisdictions were subject to preclearance. the court, however, also explicitly invited congress to devise a new coverage formula to meet the, quote, current need, to remedy voting discrimination. over the course of 13 hearings during the last two congresses, the house judicial committee committee has built up a record to show the ongoing need for section 5 preclearance. the house administration committee elections subcommittee
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has conducted numerous hearings and issued a report on the matter. the combined record is clear. in the immediate aftermath of the shelby county decision, several states swiftly passed voter suppression laws, including many state and local jurisdictions that had previously been subject to section 5 preclearance. adding new urgency to this already dire situation is the latest wave of voter suppression laws we've seen in response to the big lie that results of the 2020 presidential election were impacted by widespread voter fraud. according to recent data, 18 states have enacted 30 laws that restrict the right to vote just since the beginning of this year. and nearly 500 other anti-voter bills are pending. furthermore, as states begin the process of redistricting, unless we pass h.r. 4 now, this will be the first redistricting cycle without the voting rights act's preclearance regime in effect
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since its enactment in 1965. without the full protection of the voting rights act, thousands of minority voters could be disenfranchised for the next decade. h.r. 4 is a necessary response to address the critical state of voting rights currently facing our nation. largely similar to the legislation that passed last congress, h.r. 4 retains the core provisions of the prior bill while including additional enhancements to the v.r.a. in response to the bills that occurred in the interim. it is a formula that revised the v.r.a.'s section 5 preclearance. this new formula targets those jurisdictions with a persistent pattern of voting discrimination and the continuously moves forward so that it only covers jurisdictions with a recent record of discrimination. the bill also retains a provision creating a nationwide known practices or practice-based coverage formula to supplement the traditional
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geographic formula if a jurisdiction's minority population meets certain thresholds advantages. the most significant change to h.r. 4 is a new provision to address last month's supreme court decision in burn vich vs. democratic national committee. they announced several so-called guideposts for lower courts to apply when resulting vote -- section 2 of the v.r.a. these guideposts which had no basis in the text and is contrary to congress' intent, it constrains the scope of section 4. h.r. 4 would further clarify the scope of section 2 by creating two tests the courts must apply to determine violation of the statute. one is in redistricting cases and another for vote denial claims such as voter i.d. laws. i also strongly encourage this committee to self-execute my manager'sment which makes certain clarifying changes and
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adds an administrative bailout provision. despite the obvious need for the federal government to respond to the current attack on voting rights nationwide, some have labeled h.r. 4 as a so-called federal takeover of elections. nothing could be further from the truth. as a constitutional matter, neither shelby county nor any other voting rights legislation has din mishs congress's -- diminish's congress's authority under article 1's elections clause. h.r. 4 is named in honor of our late dear colleague john lewis, who, along with many others americans, shared his blood to secure passage of the voting rights act of 1965. at this pivotal moment in our history, when there is a nationwide assault on the right to vote that threatens to disenfranchises minorities across the country, congress
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must swiftly pass this critical legislation to protect our citizens and our democracy. i thank you for your consideration and i look forward to your questions. mr. mcgovern: thank you very much. mr. jordan. mr. jordan: thank you, mr. chairman. thank you to the members of the rules committee. h.r. 4 is a federal control grab. in 1965, congress passed the overrights act to overcome states resistance and barriers that prevents minorities from exercising the right to vote. 2013, shelby county vs. holder had preclearance election laws based on conduct decades ago was an unconstitutional invasion of states' sovereignty. the conditions that originally justified these measures no longer characterize voting approximate in the covered jurisdictions. that's a good thing. it means we made progress. we should be practically be celebrating the amazing challenges what was happening -- the wrong things that were
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happening in the 1960's compared to what is happening today with the voting laws. the congress found if congress drafts a new coverage formula, quote, exceptional conditions must exist to justify the extraordinary departure from the traditional course of relations between the states and the federal government. thankfully, americans of 202 -- america of 2021 is not the america of 1965. these exceptional conditions do not exist. there is no recent record of rampant voter suppression or voter discrimination. in farther, minority -- in fact, minority participation is exceptionally better than in 1965. in the 2020 election, voters were high across all minorities. black voters before the v.r.a. in mississippi with a 6.4%. today -- actually in 2004 -- i'm sure it's higher today. 2004, 76.1%. higher than among white voters
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in the state of mississippi. that's what you call progress. that's a good thing. we should celebrate that. regardless of the data and the supreme court precedent, the democrats still insist that a preclearance regime is necessary. the latest version of h.r. 4 is a federal takeover of elections contrary to the constitution's clear intention. h.r. 4 includes a new coverage formula that would allow a federal court to take over for 10 years if voting rights violations had considered over the last 25 but h.r. 4 takes a novel approach to determining and defining what's a violation. where a state or political subdivision can can wrack up -- rack up without any court judgment. someone just brings a claim, there might be settlement because the state and local jurisdiction that doesn't want to spend taxpayer dollars or whatever to go through a court decision and that will be tallied up. consent decrease, court orders
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and objections by the attorney general will suffice to trigger. it is to allow the democrats' allies at the department of justice to control state election rules in violations of the principles of federalism. h.r. 4 is practice-based coverage provision doubles down on the unconstitutional preclearance formula. this is requiring every state and political subdivision to preclear certain election practices including changes to voter identification requirements and changes to voter registration, maintenance processes with the department of justice. recent poll found 81%, 81% of americans support voter identification laws. democrats still want the department of justice to weigh in on this. additionally, this bill creates a new extraordinary legal standard for courts to grant injunctive relief, related
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actions and impose burdensome voting requirements on states and localities. h.r. 4, as introduced in the 117th congress, includes a rewrite of section 2 of the voting rights act in response to the supreme court's july, 2021 decision. justice alito founding for the court found that equal openness of election procedures remains the touchstone in establishing whether there is a violation of section 2 and he set out a list list of factors of the circumstances review. the drants didn't -- democrats didn't hide the ball in this one. they wrote in h.r. 4 that none could have anything that justice alito laid out. democrats have argued that states have enacted allegedly suppressive voting laws. this is not the case, simply not too. it's easier for eligible americans to vote than ever before in our nation's history. voting remains a fundamental constitutionally protective
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right in this country and democrats wants every citizen to vote in every legal ballot to count but democrats and their allies in this administration wants to politicize the enforcement of the voting rights act. in 2020, we all know about this because it happened in several of our states -- in 2020, state and local governments were tasked of administering elections in a state's manner during a once in a lifetime virus. many states adopted temporary procedures to reduce public concerns sometimes in a matter that i believe violated article 2 of the constitution, despite prominent health officials saying in-person voting is safe. this bill will tell states if they want to return to the election procedures they had just 18 months ago, some cases a year ago, they could face litigation from the justice department. and the same justice department, the den justice department is refusing to say whether it would review the process by which some states adopted the measure in
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the first place. you can only ratchet one day here according to the biden justice department and now we're seeing the biden justice department suing states that are trying to improve election administration by voting integrity measures. the biden justice department is only targeting republican-led states and ignoring democrat-led states. such as biden's home state of delaware that has more restrictive voting laws. these changes in republican-led states do not only enhance election integrity but increase the public's confidence in the election process. this is exactly how our country's voting system was set up to work. states and localities analyzed what work for them in the past election and make changes accordingly. they do not need bureaucrats in washington telling them how they should run their election. mark roberts -- mark robinson
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said this, we need to stop this. the insinuations that somehow the people in washington, d.c., know better than the people in north carolina, you do not, and we will not tolerate it. end of his quote. we need to put an end to the federal power grabs. states are best situated to administer elections in their jurisdictions. i ask them to have an open rule so republicans can amend it to reflect what's on the reality on the ground and i yield back. mr. nadler: mr. chairman, can i comment what was just said? mr. mcgovern: there are questions and then you can comment. how's that? mr. nadler: i just want to say -- mr. mcgovern: question. good. mr. nadler: sorry. mr. mcgovern: anything you want to say in response to that? mr. nadler: yes. i want to say the claim of a federal power grab rings hallow because congress cannot seize power from the states that it already processes. as a constitutional matter,
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neither shelby county or any voting rights legislation has diminish congress's authority that derise from the 14th and 15th amendments, the reconstruction amendments and from article 1's election clause. the reconstruction amendments fundamentally altered relationship between congress and the state. it devised remedies to protect citizens' rights to vote. it establishes that congress itself has the ultimate authority to determine regulations governing the time, place, and manner of elections for the house and senate so any claim we are taking over authority from the states is simply wrong because the constitution gives us that power and has for -- since the beginning. as to the claim h.r. 4 is partisan, this rhetoric is apropos. i would remind my colleagues under republican control re-authorizing the voting rights
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act in 2006 for 25 years. the v.r.a. re-authorization passed 390-23 in the house and by unanimous vote in the senate. president george w. bush signed it into law. and as to the claim that this is a power grab by the biden administration or the biden administration will -- is doing something wrong, h.r. 4 and the underlying voting rights act set out a framework for the justice department under any administration to evaluate laws of voting in certain jurisdictions. it will apply to biden's justice department in exactly the same manner as it will apply to any future president, whether democrat or republican. mr. mcgovern: thank you very much. let me -- let me say something first. i want to ask unanimous consent to insert the statement of administration policy in support of h.r. 4 into the record. without objection, i ask unanimous consent to insert a statement of support of h.r. 4 from representative jackson lee.
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look, i strongly favor this legislation. it was written originally and named after our dear friend and late colleague john lewis who said the right to vote is not just precious, it's sacred, and i really believe that. and we have seen a number of states use baseless fraud claims fueled by the former occupant of the white house to move restrictive voting laws forward. that really are intended at denying certain people the ability to vote, trying to suppress the vote. i look at the craziness that's going on in arizona with this ridiculous -- i don't know what the hell they're doing in
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arizona. it is -- it is beyond the pale -- and i really do believe this is one of these moments where we're either going to stand up and protect our democracy or we're not. so i think this is incredibly important. i never thought that the old issues of 1965 would be the new issues of 2021 but they are. and so, look, i think this is the right thing to do, and i hope it gets a bipartisan vote. let's not tip toe around what is happening in this country right now. and it's really, really scary. so i commend chairman nadler for bringing this to us. i thank ranking member jordan for being here. and i will now yield to the ranking member, mr. cole. mr. cole: thanks very much, mr. chairman. mr. jordan, voting rights act is
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permanent law, isn't it? it doesn't expire? ok. you touched on this. is there any credible record of substantial and sustained voter suppression going on in the country right now that you are aware of? mr. jordan: no. i would argue just the opposite. we're seeing more participation than we've ever seen before. i think we had 150, 250 million voters. percentage-wise, it was close as well. yeah, people are -- the chairman mentioned we need to protect our democracy. i ask a simple question. is it un-democratic to require an i.d. to vote? i don't think so. several bills do it. this bill would make it harder to make you have an i.d. to vote.
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and those states that already have a photo i.d. requirement, they'd have to ask the justice department to make sure it's ok even though it's pattern of law in their state. you're seeing record turnouts in the african-american community, increased turnout in the hispanic american community in our election and that's a good thing. mr. cole: as an old pollster, one of the big challenges for pollster, participation has been going up. pollsters have had that problem. does current law protect americans from voting discrimination, is the law pretty clear? mr. jordan: it's very clear. frankly, that's what we want. if you have something happening that's diminute shing -- diminishing someone's ability to vote, you want the law to handle that and that's a good thing. mr. cole: if an individual voter
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feels discriminated against, can they bring suit? mr. jordan: sure can. mr. cole: under current law, if the department of justice feels as there's some gross violation of rights, can they bring suit against the discriminatory laws? mr. jordan: sure can. mr. cole: so given that, in your view, what's the purpose of the legislation that we're looking at? mr. jordan: to -- i think it's to go after states who are trying to shore up voter registration list to make sure people haven't voted in whatever length of time or passed away or whatever, make sure the voirt registration -- voter registration list is accurate and make sure a voter i.d. -- like our state. when you go to vote you have to show a signature match, show an i.d. there are those in river township b in champagne county, it's a good system. that's what we want. i think it's going to make it tougher for those kind of
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commonsense practices that 81% of the country support to be enacted -- enacted and put in place. we saw when some states tried to reform and upgrade our election law, the attack from the mainstream press and democrats is unfortunate. look, we want everyone that can vote be able to. we want it done in a fair way. mr. cole: no further questions. yield back, mr. chairman. mr. mcgovern: thank you, mr. cole. just a couple thoughts. >> i appreciate you being here. mr. perlmutter: colorado, we have a pretty open system that does really allow individuals, anybody who wants to vote to be able to vote. we made it easy for them. we end up almost every election after election and this is under democrats and democrats having the highest turnout of eligible voters across the country. we were second to minnesota a couple years ago and second to
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oregon a couple years before that. so i think the purpose of this bill -- i've been able to support this before, chairman nadler, and i certain support it again, is to make sure across america anybody who wants to vote can vote. so i don't know if you had any response to some of the comments mr. jordan was just making. if not, i'll pass to dr. burgess. go ahead, sir. mr. nadler: i want to comment. i think he said 81% of the people support a voter i.d. law. there's nothing wrong with a voter i.d. law properly administered and that's what the voting rights act gets at. some states have said you must have a voter i.d. with your name and address. well, in indian reservations there are no addresses. so that is discriminatory. some states have voter i.d. laws that say gun carry permits are
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proper i.d.'s but not state university i.d.'s and that's obviously designed to discriminate certain voters and in favor of others. so this bill takes care of that by subjecting all those like any other voter -- voting law, voting practice to the judgment under the voting rights act. mr. perlmutter: thank you. for me, a person's ability to vote is a say in their own future however they choose to vote. just as a general principle, it should be easier for people to vote, not harder for people to vote, and quite frankly, i've seen over the course of the last 10 months a number of state just making it hard -- states just making it harder which is the wrong direction. so i'll yield to dr. burgess. mr. burgess: thank you.
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ranking member jordan did -- was there a hearing on this version of the bill in your committee? mr. jordan: no. mr. burgess: has it ever come up in a previous congress when you have had a hearing on legislation preclearance requirement from the justice department make that applicable to every state rather than just certain states so that there could be uniformity? mr. jordan: well, i think that's where this is headed. i think -- i understand the premise of your question. that's what they want. any changes any state wants to make to be precleared. that's the direction this legislation wants to go. the federal justice department, federal government to be signing off on any change that states make. if i could, the chairman said he
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wants voting to be as easy as possible. i think we all voting to be as easy as possible as long as it doesn't sacrifice the sfweg rit of the -- integrity of the vote. there are two parts to that. it can't be we want voting to be easy. i want it to be easy as possible without jeopardizing -- voter i.d. they attest they're the person they say they are. well, maybe they are. maybe they aren't. that's why you want a photo i.d. so that's the problem with this. the chairman's home city, you can't go into a restaurant now unless you show an i.d. and show a vaccine passport. you can go to a place -- under the democrat's legislation, i don't have a foet other i.d. -- photo i.d. are you mr. smith? yes, i am mr. smith. ok. you can vote. that's what we want to prevent. mr. burgess: it strikes me -- 1965, my state, texas, entirely
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controlled by democrats, top to bottom. all statewide offices, state legislature, state senate. the problems existed under a democratic regime. and it has been corrected now under subsequent republican administrations. i'll just offer that and yield back. mr. perlmutter: the gentleman yields back. mr. raskin, you're recognized. mr. raskin: -- mr. perlmutter: if you're there. there you are. mr. raskin: thank you, mr. chairman. i'd like to ask a couple questions. [indiscernible] wasn't there an explicit invitation from the supreme court in shelby county
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vs. holder to update their precoverage formula for deciding which jurisdiction will be covered under precoverage? mr. nadler: there was indeed. the shelby county decision in 2013 invalidated section 4 which determined which jurisdictions, which states, political subdivisions of states were subject to preclearance under section 5 on the grounds it was out of date. didn't reflect current data. it specifically invited congress to update -- to update it under revised section 4 which is exactly what this bill does. mr. raskin: and all of that can -- [indiscernible] the voting rights act of 1965 in wiping out a lot of the traditional barriers to focus [indiscernible] and we know, of course, those barriers go all the way back to the end of the
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reconstruction period, literacy tests, character tests, and, you know, polling places, hardships imposed on registering people to vote. the voting rights act got millions more people involved in american politics and got them the right to vote. [indiscernible] basic barriers [indiscernible] in a lot of ways. it makes me think if we got rid of the voting rights act and we didn't update the voting rights act that there would not be some attempt to stifle voting by african-americans and hispanic african-americans and -- hispanic americans and other racial minority groups. mr. nadler: well, there clearly would be. at the time of the shelby county
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decision, which, as we know, stopped the preclearance on the grounds that it wasn't up to date, immediately several states are reimposing voting restrictions that the justice department, under section 5, said were discriminatory. and we know it would happen again. it happened before. we have to update section 4 to prevent that from happening. mr. raskin: in fact, are we not living through a terrible onslaught against voting rights today? there are 400 bills introduced to try to repeal or roll back early voting weekend votings, mail-in voting, the accessibility of absentee ballots and so on? in georgia, elected two
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democrats in the u.s. senate, including the first african-american ever elected senator from georgia, they have a very restrictive anti-voting measure that included making it a crime to pass somebody a bottle of water or a chocolate chip cookie while they're waiting in line to vote. are we not in the midst of a massive effort to try to dismantle voting in this country? mr. nadler: we certainly are. as you said, we've seen over 400 bills introduced in various state legislatures. you mentioned the example in georgia. georgia in fact deliberately reduced the number of polling places in minority areas, thus, creating the long lines which then seeks to make sure you
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can't help someone by giving them a cup of coffee or a doughnut or glass of water while they're waiting in the long lines that the state created by closing the -- by closing the ballot location -- ballot locations. so we've seen a clear pattern in many states. as you mentioned, over 400 bills have been introduced. we have to revitalize the voting act as we were asked to do by the supreme court. mr. raskin: is there a role for congress in the reconstruction amendments in the 14th amendment and the 15th amendment, do we not have the power to implement the meaning of those constitutional amendments, frankly, because people's rights to vote are fundamental, particularly against their own state, because states can't disen-fran dhiez their --
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disenfranchise their own population. [indiscernible] guaranteeing everybody's right to vote? mr. nadler: certainly. we had that right, as you mentioned. as i mentioned before, the reconstruction amendments, 14th and 15th amendments, were designed specifically for that. congress always has that power under the elections clause saying congress can define the time, place, manner of electing to congress. so flagrantly disregarded that after the civil war, the 14th and 15th amendments were added to emphasize the fact and the voting rights act is an act pursuant to those so we clearly have the ability, the constitutional right to do this. mr. raskin: accept the federal law is pair mount -- paramount to state law. i think donald trump brought 61 different cases in federal court and state court to overthrow state election results,
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attacking them as unconstitutional under the federal constitution. now, his claims have no factual validity and legal validity but he was trying to joe throw state -- overthrow state election results up until january 5 when they fought to get congress to nullify the election results from states, is that right? mr. nadler: that is quite correct. mr. raskin: well, mr. chairman, i would just say we not only have the power that mr. nadler says and the right to vindicate the voting rights of all the people. i think we have the obligation to do this as the congress of the united states. i think we got to do everything in our power to protect people's rights to vote against any kind of hostile legislation that they would face at the local, state, or federal level. we have an obligation as an congress under the republican guarantee clause to guarantee the people a republican form of
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government. a representative form of government with everybody having the right to participate on the basis of one person, one vote, as the supreme court said under the 14th amendment cases. so i'm going to support this legislation, and we should do everything in our power to make sure that everybody can vote. i yield back, mr. chairman. mr. perlmutter: thank you, mr. raskin. mr. reschenthaler is now recognized. mr. reschenthaler: thank you, mr. chairman. i appreciate it. i associate my remarks with ranking member jordan's and ranking member cole's and i want to commend ranking member jordan for laying out a strong case and with that, i yield back, mr. chairman. mr. perlmutter: ms. scanlon, you are now recognized. ms. scanlon: thank you, mr. chairman. you know, the right to vote is one of our foundational -- in america and it shouldn't be a bipartisan issue.
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recently, the voting rights act of 1965 is partisan. the passage has been re-authorized five times under both republican and democratic presidents. most recently in july, 2006, under president bush, president george w. bush. it passed overwhelmingly in the house, unanimously in the senate before it was signed by the republican president. in 2014, the supreme court held in shelby v. holder critical parts of the voting rights act would not be enforced because they felt [indiscernible] to justify passage in the first place. as mr. raskin said, they asked congress to update the voting riekts act so it's -- rights act so it's a constitutional function that we are performing here. unfortunately, in the past decade, or december, 2013, we've seen congress refuse to do that.
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in 2013 to 2020, the republican party controlled one of the house's of congress. [indiscernible] in addition, since the last census and redistricting, we've seen republican-led extreme gerrymandering and numerous measures that make it harder for eligible voters to exercise their right to vote. now, not everything will be lucky or unlucky, depending on your view like our state was. republicans, in a recording said, yes we enacted a strict voter i.d. law. all these things so we can win elections. just for power purposes.
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that helps them overturn the law because there was a clear discriminatory intent. [indiscernible] we were lucky to have it got on tape. it's important we update the voting rights act to be able to address voter suppression tactics at the outset. so we don't have to go years, sometimes decades, when people's right to vote has been infringed. you know, it's not that it's changed. it's the republican party has changed. [indiscernible] that's why it's a partisan issue here. chairman nadler, you talked a little bit about what's been done in response to the supreme court decision to hold hearings and update the voting rights act. [indiscernible] can you tell us what's going on in the judicial
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committee? mr. nadler: in the judicial committee, we held 13 hearings on this question. the house administration committee held i think five more hearings. and all on this question in this congress. the hearing record, we created a very lengthy and detailed hearing record. ms. scanlon: thank you. representative raskin and i participated in both of those committees. i think the evidence is robust to support good legislation being put forward. i urge everybody in congress and the general public to support this legislation. i yield back. mr. perlmutter: our representative scanlon yields back. representative fischbach, you're recognized. mrs. fischbach: thank you, mr. chair. just very quickly, chairman
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nadler, you said 13 hearings. and i know -- i may have lost count. but none of them were specifically on this bill. mr. nadler: they were on this bill, yes. in the 116th congress, in addition to this, we passed this bill in the 116th congress. mrs. fischbach: ok. before my time. so i've never been to a hearing that was specifically on this bill. so this congress has never dealt with it, is that the way i'm understanding it? mr. nadler: we held those hearings in the 116th congress, but the bill is substantially the same. mrs. fischbach: ok. so there were many of us that weren't here. and no input on this bill. i just want to clear up -- mr. nadler: you will recall we
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had a hearing last week. mrs. fischbach: on voting rights. not this bill. mr. nadler: on many issues in this bill. mrs. fischbach: mr. chair, chair nadler, i want to make sure i understood exactly because you said 13 hearings and i don't recall one on this bill. mr. jordan: the bill was introduced six days ago. mrs. fischbach: thank you. and ranking member jordan, while i got your attention, you know, i just mentioned we sat through quite a few. there are six in the subcommittee alone i sit on and i'm just wondering, you know, do you feel, ranking member, there is a real need for this bill? i mean, are we seeing there's some dire situation and things you can point to? i know you mentioned it in your opening. mr. jordan: yes. thanks for the question. the chairman just said a few minutes ago that since the shelby -- supreme court's decision in shelby county in 2013, eight years ago, said
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there's been all kind of voter suppression acts. if there have been, they are not working. here's what the chief justice said, black turnout in the most recent election exceeded white voter turnout in the five of the six states originally covered by the voting rights act. previous democratic speakers talked about it, it sure isn't working well, because there are record turnout, as i said, multiple times. the ranking member said it. it's a good thing. so, of course, it hasn't happened. i was also amazed by the previous -- the gentlelady from pennsylvania that said, republicans have engaged in extreme gerrymandering. i almost started laughing because she comes from the state where the state supreme court, controlled by democrats, just overturned the -- we drew all the district in pennsylvania in the middle of the 10-year cycle and yet, she has the nerve to say republicans have been
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engaged in extreme gerrymandering. we all know it. we all had colleagues impacted by that. it's nice to say those things but it's good if it's backed up by facts. if there were voter suppression acts passed in the past years it hasn't turned out well because african-americans, which i said, exceeded white turnout in five of the six states originally covered in the voting rights act. mrs. fischbach: thank you, ranking member. section 3 of the bill, it creates a retrogression provision. i'm wondering if you could speak to that. it seems like the language is very broad and open-ended. mr. jordan: yes. the general concern is this requirement that now to do anything different you have to get an ok from the federal government. it's going to make
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-- i think the focus is on voter i.d. requirements. some of it is this idea that certain states have a pretty strong photo i.d., voter i.d. requirement. that may be in current law. they may have to get the ok from the federal government what they have been doing, have been doing, currently doing. the fourth thing i think is all part of this that concerns me this idea you are going to have this tally. if you have some liberal interest group that sues your state on some concern about the election law and you enter into some kind of settlement, consent degree, that will be counted as a mark against you and going to further as you get so many bad marks we'll call them, you got to have the justice department coming after you as well. that's all part of this concern i think we have with the legislation. not to mention the main point we made which is we are not seeing t there is record turnout amongst all groups in the country.
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mrs. fischbach: there are the provisions with the attorney general and their ability to reach in and before there is even real proof or anything. i don't know fud' like to comment on that. mr. jordan: i guess i said some of that in my previous answer. what often kenches me about, i think i had this in my opening comments, is this idea that for those states -- if you remember when attorney general barr left, he said if your state goes back to the laws prepandemic, precovid, you're fine. go back to the law they had in effect a year ago it had been working fine. never had a problem. no justice department in the obama administration or trump administration said you need to be concerned about it. that was presumed fine. now the garland justice department, biden administration, says you can't do that. if you go back to where you were
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a few months ago, you have to get ok from the federal government. meanwhile, at the same time they are saying that, they are saying we are not going to look at changes you made and whether those adhere to the constitution or may have violated someone's rights. i look at this the simple fact that, madison, wisconsin, went to drop boxes. they decided we are going to have drop boxes during the last election. now if the legislation says no longer going to do that the next election, that could be a concern. the civil rights gigs in the justice department says that will be a violation. that could be a concern when they just did it, the local made that decision. that's the big problem as well that we have with the legislation. mrs. fischbach: before i yield back, ranking member i wanted say if there was anything else you wanted to comment on. i yield back, mr. chair.
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mr. perlmutter: mr. morelle is recognized. mr. morelle: thank you, mr. chairman. that old phrase reading is fundamental. when it comes to government, voting is fundamental it seems to me. listening to the discussion and watch what's happening in this country over the last several months i'm reminded i think it was alice in the looking glass, it's curiouser and curiouser. i think mr. jordan said in his opening dements. this is a democrat power grab. but i do note in georgia and arizona election certified by republicans is still trying to figure out how to overturn the 2020 presidential election. republicans, no fraud discovered. yet there are still legions of people in the republican party who accuse democrats of of a power grab who won't even acknowledge the outcome of the last presidential election.
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i'm astonished. mr. raskin mentioned, i wrote this down, some of the reprisals of people in states who voted for joe biden apparently they weren't supposed to because it's a free and open election, unless, of course, it goes in a way you don't want it to. how it could be a crime to hand someone a bottle of water when they stood in line for three hours to vote when they are trying desperately to exercise their franchise. which is the most fundamental of rights. can't think of anything more fundamental than your right to vote. we don't have a right to vote, we don't have a democrat s we don't have a democracy, we don't have an america. certainly the one i recognize the one i say took as an article faith would be here as a kid. if someone could explain to me the public 308cy value in stopping fraud. do people fraudulently show up in line for hours because they want a bottle of water? is that the fraud?
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is that what we are trying to stop? someone hands you a candy bar or granola bar because they took away polling places and made it almost impossible for you to go to so you stand in line for long hours? that's a crime? this is a disgrace. a disgray. i also find it curiouser and curiouser that mr. jordan, you would use 2020 data on an election participation when you wouldn't even acknowledge the outcome of the same election. mr. jordan: i have acknowledged? mr. morelle: did joe biden win the election? mr. jordan: he's the president of the united states. mr. morelle: that's because we were here while the capitol was being sbieged by thousands of people and stuck around to confirm the results of the electoral college. that's why you acknowledge it. mr. jordan: all i have said is we should look into concerns that lots of voters have. i didn't say he didn't win. we should look into the
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concerns. that's the common sense. mr. morelly: looking concerns is fine. mr. jordan: you guys don't want to do it. we asked for an investigation. you guys said no. mr. morelle: i'll tell you what. i'm frustrated by this, mr. chairman, thank you for your good work on this. i think the most dangerous threat to the united states right now after 2 1/2 centuries -- i was with a group of students the other day. the most amazing thing that's happened in my view of america, although it was amazing act of patriotism for george washington to turn over the presidency after two terms, i think the greatest miracle of american democracy is john adams turning over the keys to thomas jefferson the first time the federalist lost election and there was no violence. no one contested. no one came to the capitol. no one did anything except accept the fact that was the result.
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when we go state astate is not willing to accept election is to try to reframe the electorate. make sure that certain 350e78 -- people don't vote or participate in elections is the most antithetical thing that's happened in this country in 2 1/2 centuries. my father, didn't preach too much, taught me a lot of lessons by example. one thing he always used to say. when you are a winner, be a good winner, don't gloat. when you are a loser, accept the consequences and move on. i think america should learn that. that when it's a level playing field and you compete and we are going to have differences of opinions, we should accept the outcome and be prepared to move on. since it's clearly not happening in parts of this country, i'm going to support this. frankly, i wish my friend, john lewis, were here to see us do this. but time to move forward. with that i yield. mr. jordan: mr. chairman. mr. perlmutter: mr. jordan wants
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to respond. you will be able to respond shortly. mr. jordan: that's fine. he said move on. for four years democrats questioned the results of the 2016 election. as recently as october 2020 hillary clinton said the election was stolen from her in 2016. we are not allowed to say we have concerns we'd like to investigate? they -- for four years -- mr. perlmutter: you made your point. mr. morelle: aside from rhetoric. we weren't conducting audits around the country. you acknowledge that americans accepted. whether we liked the election of donald trump or not. there are a lot of things i don't like. i don't like when the cardinals lose the world series. don't make it to the playoffs, got forbid. don't like it when a lot of things happen. i accept them.
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mr. jordcombran: you didn't accept 2016. mr. morelle: dy accept it, actually. mr. jordan. i have never been on national tv saying i shouldn't accept the results of any election. mr. jordan: i haven't, either. mr. perlmutter: the gentleman's time. please. mr. desaulnier, you are recognized. mr. desaulnier: thank you, mr. chairman. i want to associate myself with mr. morelle's comments. i just agree that equivalency i don't see at all with the proportional it. my perspective. -- proportionality. my perspective. yield back. mr. perlmutter: ms. ross, are you recognized. ms. ross: thank you, mr. chairman. since my home state of north carolina was brought up, i think it's very important for me explain my support for this bill and the need for this bill given the events that have gone all in north carolina. we would say since reconstruction. but certainly -- we could say
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since reconstruction. but certainly since shelby. i want to thank mr. raskin for pointing out that the supreme court invited this congress in shelby to go back and look at the voting rights act, which is exactly what we are doing today. the minute the shelby county decision came down, i was serving in the state legislature, the republican majority passed the, what was called the monster voting suppression law. because it did not have to be precleared for the first time since 1965. and attorneys used section 2 of the voting rights act to bring a lawsuit, which struck down the monster voter suppression law because it targeted african-americans with almost surgical precision. so the monster voter suppression law did not go into place.
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and in north carolina, there has been a hisry over decades and decades -- history over decades and decades of keeping african-americans and other minorities from having their full right to vote through packing and crafting in redistricting. which is why we have the imperative, the imperative of passing this bill before the full redistricting process takes place in this decade. we have a voting rights act in 2010, 2011 that could prevent many of the injustices we saw then. but right now we do not. and right now the threat is grave. i have worked on this issue for decades in north carolina. as a civil rights lawyer and as a democrat of the state
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legislature. i have seen discrimination against racial minorities in the law, and i have seen it at polling places in my district on a regular basis. we need this as soon as possible. i am thrilled that it is named for john lewis. i'm even more thrilled that it is going to impact the rights of all minority populations for decades to come. mr. chairman, i support the underlying bill. i support the rule. we can't pass it a moment too soon. mr. perlmutter: thank you, ms. ross. it just reminds me, mr. sensenbrenner worked with you, mr. nadler, in putting a lot of this stuff together where we tried to respond to shelby and a number of other things in prior years. appreciate. mr. neguse, are you now recognized. mr. neguse: thank you, mr. chairman. it's hard to follow the eloquence of my colleague from north carolina. i couldn't agree more with the
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real urgency that i think she imparted to us with respect to passing this bill. i also have to express my deep dismay about my friend from new york's misgivings about the cardinals given meese a new york guy, i'm confused. in any event, we'll leave that for another day. of course i cannot resist but take debate here, mr. ranking member, whom i serve with on the judiciary committee, i just want to make sure this wasn't -- i hadn't planned on it but nonetheless given your exchange with mr. morelle. on january 12, 2021 article from yahoo! news, during a house rules committee hearing, i was not on the rules committee at this time, on tuesday, representative jim jordan refused to answer a question from james mcgovern about whether president-elect joe biden won the election fairly. are you saying now that president biden did win the election fairly? mr. jordan: i'm saying we should
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investigate and look into it. he has concerns. he's president of the united states. i never disagreed with that. mr. neguse: sounds like i -- any better chance -- mr. ranking minority member, you answered the question. mr. jordan: let me say one thing. mr. neguse: mr. ranking member, again, i asked the question. you gave an answer. we'll leave it at that. i would like to talk a little about the preclearance provision because i guess i was a little confused by the exchange between dr. burgess and yourself, ranking member. so i may have misheard this. is it your contention that this bill would essentially enable every state in the country to be part -- or be subject to the preclearance provision? is that what you're contending? mr. jordan: i think the biden justice department's been clear,
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if you made changes last year due to the virus, if you want to go back to what the law was before those changes, which had been fine by definition, if you want to go back to that, they are not going to allow it unless they give you the thumbs up. unless they give you the ok. that strikes me as -- at the same time as i pointed out a couple times, the changes that were made, if they want to keep those, which i think many of those changes were done in an unconstitution fashion by going around the legislature in those respectives states, they won't give us an answer whether they'll look at that. but if you want to go back to where you were, somehow that's a problem and you have to get ok from meric garland and the justice department. mr. neguse: if you look at the plain text of the preclearance provision, the subject of the bill we are debating today, which is fairly similar to the
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2019 preclearance provision that was adopted as part of the john lewis voting rights act, there is a nonpartisan analysis that's been done as to which states they believe, these individuals, this particular entity, would be subject to the new preclearance provision and which would not. looking at the list here. alaska was once covered by the v.r.a., preclearance provision. alaska would not be covered under this particular piece of legislation. michigan was once covered. wouldn't be covered anymore. south dakota was once covered, wouldn't be covered anymore. oklahoma, i know the ranking member cares a great deal about the right to vote, served as secretary of the state, he can rest assured based upon the preclearance provision that has been adopted as part of this bill, oklahoma wouldn't be subject to the provision. it would not be added. there are some states that would be added.
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on balance my understanding of the legislation, and i suspect there will be more analysis done regarding this particular piece of legislation over the coming months, is that it would be a net zero impact. that is to say the same number of jurisdictions that were subject to preclearance before under the 1965 vetting rights act would be subject today to the -- voting rights act would be subject today to the john lewis voting rights preclearance. there would be different states because of changes in the ways those states have modified their vote, respective voting laws over the course of the ensuing 65 years. i think that carefully calibrated and nuanced approach matters. and it matters for us to be able to make sure that that is gleaned throughout the course of this proceeding. now, to chairman nadler, of course i want to say thank you for your leadership and as a member of the judiciary committee i very much respect the work that he has done, it makes sense that this provision
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is so carefully calibrated because you have taken a great deal of time to craft it. my understanding, chairman nadler, is similar bill was introduced in the 2019 -- excuse me in 2019 during the 116th congress. is that correct? mr. nadler: correct. mr. neguse: there were many hearings. how many hearings were there in 2019 before this bill came to the floor? mr. nadler: it was seven hearings. mr. ma guse: seven hearings. that included not just the house judiciary committee, but the house administration committee. is that correct? mr. nadler: additional hearings. mr. neguse: the bill was reintroduced earlier this prior to its reintroduction, how many hearings within the jerk subcommittee on civil rights? don't serve on that particular subcommittee. mr. nadler: six this year. mr. neguse: that was in addition to hearings held by the house administration committee, is that correct? mr. nadler: yes. mr. neguse: five hearings. i can't think of a bill that's
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been the subject of subcommittee hearings of two committees of jurisdiction before it has come to the rules committee. i think that this is an incredibly, incredibly important bill. the right to vote is sack row sammingt -- sacrosanct. it is the most important right of our constitution. it is the right from which all other rights flow. as john lewis told us, it is the most powerful nonviolent tool that we have. we ought to do everything we can to protect it and secure t that's what we intend to do -- secure it. that's what we intend to do tomorrow when the bill passes the house. i epidemic. mr. perlmutter: i'm going to let the gentleman yield back his time and say that does any other member of the committee wish to ask a question? mr. burgess, i yield to you --
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mr. jord kwan: i appreciate -- mr. jordan: i appreciate that. i disagree where the gentleman from colorado was with which states -- the plain language is clear when it talks about practice base preclearance. top of page 23 of the legislation. each state, look at the heading, determination of states, subject to preclearance, each state in each political subdivision shall a identify any adopted law and gives a list. then says, quote, b, ensure no such cover practices implemented unless or until the state or political subdivision complies with subsection c which means subsection c sends it 209 "the new dodge intermission report." any state who wants to make a change you are going to have to get the ok. the preclearance from the garland department of justice. even if you want to simply go back to where you were one year ago before the virus and go back to that election law, you can't
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do that without going to them. mr. perlmutter: mr. nadler. mr. nadler: i want to point out that two things what mr. jordan is talking about is population based whether it hits a specific trigger in the legislation. it does not mean every state. i also want to point out that he said earlier in opposition to the bill that turnouts are heavy, highest turnout in 2020 as ever. but the -- that may be true. but it's not relevant. the data shows that between 2012 and 2020 the white-black turnout gap grew between 9.2% and 20.9 percentage points across all six states originally coughed by section 5. that shows that section 5 is needed in different jurisdictions as determined by the bill.
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mr. perlmutter: mr. cole. after this we'll move on to the next panel. mr. cole: we will hear -- mr. perlmutter: we will hear from any amendment witnesses on h.r. 4 at the end of today's meeting w that i'd like to thank our witnesses for their testimony. please leave with the stenographer or submit electronically anything you would like inserted in the record. gentlemen, you were now excused. mr. nadler: thank you, mr. chairman. mr. jordan: thank you, mr. chairman.
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chair mcgovern: i would like to welcome witnesses to provide testimony on the senate amendment to h.r. 3684, the infrastructure investment and jobs act. representative malinowski, representative graves, chairman pallone, and ranking member mcmorris rodgers. did i miss anybody? why don't we begin -- recognize either the gentleman from new jersey, representative malinowski. representative malinowski: thank you so much, mr. chairman, ranking member cole, members of the committee. i am so, so happy and proud to be here to testify in support of the infrastructure investment and jobs act. i want to start before getting into the bill by acknowledging
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chairman defazio for his leadership of the t&i committee of which i serve and shepherding the passage of the invest in america act through the committee and through the house earlier this summer. there is not a member of congress in either chamber who knows more about transportation policy. and there's been no stronger advocate for policies and programs that are needed to rebuild this country while reducing asher carbon emissions from the transportation sectors than our chairman. and like him and other members of our chamber, i personally would have favored a process that allowed more input from the house and a final bipartisan bill that incorporated more of the policy provisions that i and my t&i colleagues on both sides of the aisle spent many months working on as part of the invest in america act. i'm so hopeful we'll have additional opportunities to remedy some of those shortcomings, whether through
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the reconciliation process or some other means. with all that said, the bill we are discussing here today doesn't give me or many of us everything that we want, no compromise possibly could. it does, in my considered opinion, give us almost everything that this country desperately needs right now. and let's talk about what we need. we have been talking about this for many, many years. frankly, for generations. there was a time, i think we all have the sense as americans, when we in this country routinely built big and great things. whether it was tunnels and bridges across our great rivers, including the hudson river between new jersey and new york. we need new highways. extraordinary airports and ports that were once the envy of the world. we took pride in what we built. it was a source of our strength not just at home but around the
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world. for years we have been calling our leaders in washington to get serious about replacing that extraordinary turn of the 20th century infrastructure with even more extraordinary turn of the 21st century infrastructure that recognizes the changes in the economy and in the world. including the fact that most of our cars, most of the cars in our highways will be electric vehicles in the next decade. that's what we are going to do with this bill. this is not just dwight eisenhower's and interstate highway system version 98.2 as chairman defazio has often said. and there is not a town in my district that's not going to benefit in some ways. let's talk about what it does. we are going to dot largest dedicated investment in bridge work and replacement and rehabilitation since the construction that have interstate highway system in the 1950's t will help us begin to
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fix the 45,000 bridges in america that are in poor condition. we'll make the largest federal investment in public transit in the history of our country. the largest investment in passenger rail since the creation of amtrak 50 years ago. including enough funding for the all important gateway project. the new railway tunnel under the hudson river between new jersey and new york. it's not only important to people in my state. not only key to making sure that the parents i represent get home in time for dinner with their kids every evening. it's important to ensure the very survival of the most busy rail corridor in the united states and thus to our economy not just in my region. we are going to make the largest ever investment in clean drinking water and wastewater infrastructure. the largest invest n-electric vehicle infrastructure and critically the funding needed to
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build a clean, modern electrical grid. anyone who believes as i do that it is the challenge and opportunity of our age to move america from fossil fuel reliance to clean energy should support this bail because it makes an enormous down payment in that direction. the bill will also ensure that every american has access to high-speed internet. it invests in weatherization programs to bring down americans' weather costs. it funds grants to fema. it helps ensure more transit agent stations across the country are accessible to people with disabilities. i could go on and on and on. all of this is desperately needed by i think all of our constituents. and that is why we have done something else i think really important with this bill and that's to make it bipartisan. how we did it is almost as
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important as what it does. so, yes, america needs the bridges. we need the roads. we need the ports. we need the broadband. we need the electrical power grid. we need all of the brick and mortar that this bill pays for. i think america also desperately needs the proof what's offered in this legislation it's still possible to find common ground in washington. there's still good reason to have faith in our institutions of government and thus a reason to reject those in our politics who want to tear those institutions down. i would argue the bill does almost as much to fix our democracy as it does to fix our bridges and roads. so let's sea seize the opportunity before us. -- let's seize the opportunity before us. i ask all of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support this bipartisan infrastructure bill and underlying rule. thank you so much. chair mcgovern: thank you very much. mr. graves. mr. graves: thank you, mr.
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chairman. mr. chairman, i want to be clear. we need infrastructure. we need infrastructure bill whether that's roads and bridges, traffic solutions, it's flood protection, it's coastal resilience, it's broadband, it's ports and waterways, airports. i imamin the folks in arkansas and tennessee would tell you what happened on interstate 40 there where the bridge got shut down, that didn't affect republicans and democrats differently. the hurricanes and tropical storms pounding the northeast didn't affect republicans and democrats differently. my friend from colorado, the floods he's experienced didn't parties any differently. it's just something that's needed. i spoke two hours with president biden and vice president harris talking to infrastructure and how we get to a bipartisan bill. talking about our concerns, talking about our priorities and had great discussions. multiple follow-up phone calls with the white house staff. mr. chairman, if you go back and look historically at infrastructure bills dating back to 1991 to the ice tea legislation there, were -- ice
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tea situation. t 21 in 19981, 337 yes votes and 80 no votes. in 19 -- 2005 the safetea-lu bill, 417 yes votes. only 9 voted in opposition. only 9. map-21 in 2012, 293 i votes, 127 no. i want to be clear. this was when chairman defazio was in the minority, he voted yes. the fast act in 2015, 372 aye votes to only 54 no votes. this house process that speaker pelosi designed was a failure from the beginning. they abandoned the bipartisanship approach that has been so successful over decades and decades. let me be clear. i serve on the transportation committee. i have watched these markups go on for decades. and this process was unlike any i had ever seen.
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for example, last congress over 148 amendments filed by democrats, when i spoke to them asked them what was going object in this bill, they couldn't tell us, 148 amendments filed in the committee just by committee members, by democrats. of course over 182 amendments filed by republicans that were similarly left out of this legislation. this congress, 177 republican amendments and 58 democrat amendments, and hundreds more on the floor in each instance. this legislation includes failed green new deal policies that have resulted in the opposite of the intended outcomes of the meaning adversely affecting the united states energy security. adversely affected our national security. driving up not down, driving up not down global emissions. and having and adverse impact on energy and adverse impact on the global environment. partisan efforts don't just affect the infrastructure. the partisan efforts don't just
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affect infrastructure, it affects inflation which affects virtually everyone. earlier this year we did a $1.9 trillion package that was designed to be stimulus legislation. every previous bill that we did under the banner of covid was done in a bipartisan manner with strong bipartisan vote, not this one. it was done in a partisan manner that spent $1.9 trillion on top of that we are now talking about $3.5 trillion. on top of that we are talking about $1.2 trillion in this legislation. it increases the cost of all americans and effectively has the impact of reducing the wages because of inflation, which is a hidden tax, which i know violates the president's commitment to not increase taxes on lower and middle income earners. mr. chairman, in 2015 the fast act, legislation that many people sitting right here worked on and voted yes for, the bill
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was $305 billion during the obama-biden administration. it was hailed at the time as historic. let me put that in perspective. $305 billion. just over the past -- during this covid period combined with the $90 billion for transit in this bill, we are talking about more for transit than half of that entire bill. they are talking about over $160 billion in transit. what has been done during the covid period in addition to the $90 billion here. just the $69 billion or $70 previously appropriated we were told that needed to be done because of the essential workers. because of the essential workers. if you do the math that provides $2.8 billion, $2.8 billion uber, lyft rides. $2.8 billion. if i have done the math op that it would allow them 10 rides per week. somewhere between 18 and 20
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months. and trith systems -- transit systems are down ridership. we are putting more money on top of them. we are in covid times. we don't know what this will look like. i remember saying when that $1.9 trillion package was being debated. i said look we don't know if this thing is over. not the time to start spending money. look where we are now. my home state of louisiana, some of the highest surges we have seen nationally. what are we doing? we are putting $90 billion on top of t we don't know the role that transit will play. we are trying to isolate people not put them together. we have people doing 10% to 20% of the work than historically. we are rewarding them with additional funding? i'm not sure this direction makes sense. i'm going to quote someone, you get the point what you do in your own private life. when you can afford -- what you can afford to pay for. you want to make adjustments to
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the tax code, are we still willing to be competitive? can we committee in the global market? that was senator manchin, a democrat senator from west virginia. i never thought i would say this, but i preferred it when the democrats considered representative pelosi to be the radical left and $305 billion was a lot of money. we are talking about $7 trillion in spending. $7 trillion just with the $1.9 trillion. the 3 $5 trillion family package. and this one $1.2 trillion package. back in june president biden suggested these bills being linked. the $3.5 trillion and the infrastructure bill. he said that there needed to be linked together. what happened? within about 15 hours they backtracked because there was bipartisan attacks on t rather than learning from, learning from that mistake the pushback from the american public that was a failed path that american didn't want to see a partisan
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path on infrastructure. what did speaker pelosi do, she doubled down on that strategy rejected by the american people, rejected by the biden white house. rather than learning from those mistakes, we are not considered voting for the budget resolution and bipartisan infrastructure investment in jobs act passed in the house and signed into law. we are firmly opposed to holding the president's infrastructure legislation hostage to reconciliation. i couldn't agree with those statements more, but they are not mine. those are statements from congressman gottheimer, congressman vella, congressman gonzalez, congressman case, congressman costa. and congressman schrader. i couldn't agree with them more. we have roads and bridges crumbling to hold back and use as a political football, i don't understand. congressman goat himer. it's wrong to tie a bill that's
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been completed and passed on a bipartisan way in the senate with a bill that has top line members and no details. congresswoman murphy. we cannot wait. everyone knows time kills deals. congresswoman bourdeaux. proceed ngget house today, a court from today, proceedings in the house today will have no impact. will not support a budget resolution proses is that supports $3.5 trillion. we know where this is going. it's not going anywhere in the senate. we have roads and bridges that are crumbling as congressman gottheimer said. my home state, our coast loss over 2,000 square miles of our coast. that's like wiping the state of rhode island off the map. we have an environmental and ecological crisis. we have a human crisis in terms of sustainability of our communities and economy. we are sitting here fighting over something that historically has not been a partisan battle. what we are seeing right now is a lack of leadership.
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there was a long history of bipartisanship for infrastructure bills. the democrat infrastructure bill this year, 221-201. that doesn't reflect the bipartisan history. last year, 233-188. the reality is the late chairman john dingell was right on when he said, the other party's the opposition. the u.s. senate is the enemy. mr. chairman, we've got a long history of working together. let's develop a bipartisan house position and work to try and ensure that our senators have their say and our house members have their say. we are able to work together to come up with a package. the lack of leadership we are seeing right now results in chairman defazio as has been widely reported with his comments on the sidelines watching the development after bill without his input. i mentioned the 2015 fast act highway bill was called
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historic. democrats have chosen a different type of quote historic in this case. they have chosen to go part zahn for the first time. let me be clear, this is entirely the result of the democrats' decision to go partisan on this legislation. the senate simply has dismissed the house bill, which has relegated all house members to the sidelines. there is not a house position. there is not a respectable house position that's been taken into consideration. mr. chairman, the senate bill does have some good components in it. i'll give them that. they d but we must keep in mind that the investment of taxpayer funds on infrastructure investments only makes sense if there is a federal leftists, federal interest in investment, a perfect criteria. we have written this administration abandon those principles for big, often unquantifiable goals. they are not grounded in statute. i'll say that again.
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that are not grounded in statute. inventing new cry tear yeas that's not deprounded in -- criteria that's not grounded in statute. high high jacked the programs by effectively replacement investment criteria in the law with a justice racial equity and climate change. under the senate bill, they quadrupled the investments in these programs. mr. chairman, i have spent much of my life building infrastructure projects. everything from environmental to roads and bridges. this is a failed approach. you can't quantify or even remotely compare different metrics on those three categories to how you can use other types of costs to benefit returns for those investments. things like save time and traffic, reducing fuel consumption, saving time for those motorists trying to get to school, doctor's appoints, and others. the core has been -- corps has directed to not make any investment to reduce the cost of consumption of conventional
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fuels. what does that mean? in my home state we have flood protection projects, does that mean gas tations and refineries have to be flooded? that's what it appearance the provision means. let me say that again, you can't reduce the cost of consumption of conventional fuels with any corps of engineer dollars. we have always seen gasoline price goes up $1 a gallon to $3.17. what the average american is paying. coming from an energy producing state, let me say that budget criteria another way. the biden administration's policies are intentionally designed to increase the cost of energy for all americans. in closing, mr. chairman, putting infrastructure at risk because of existing highway programs expire at the end of next month, by waiting this long the democrats threaten to not just prevent increase in infrastructure, but those funds
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being cut off. we have a lot of work to do before the end of the fiscal year. we don't have time to do t there was $6 trillion in bipartisan covid relief last year. democrats are pushing $7 trillion, entirely partisan spending this year which translates to over $50,000 per household. is this how their households would like their money spent? has anybody asked them? if we spend a doll eafer single second, it would take well over $200,000 years to spend it. that's -- 200,000 years to spend t that's beyond irresponsible. with so much uncertainty in the world today one thing is certain. we must unite and pass the critical priority to the american people. improving our nation's infrastructure. this is not about party or politics, it's about what's doing right for the country. that's a quote of senator joe manchin. mr. chairman, i urge that we
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re-engage in bipartisan proach the infrastructure that we not link these hills tofplgt we know where this is going to land in the senate. we resume to addressing the true priorities for the american people. yield back. chair mcgovern: thank you. mr. pallone. mr. pallone: thank you, mr. chairman. mr. cole, the other members of the rules committee. i want to discuss the senate infrastructure bill and what i believe is our shared goal to build back better. and the moment presents us with an opportunity to make some major changes andpropel our economy into the next century. the approach laid out in the senate's infrastructure investment and jobs act won't get us there on its own. that's why it must be paired with the budget resolution which together would lay the groundwork for transformational progress of the american people. the senate infrastructure bill before us will create new good-paying jobs to advance our recovery from covid-19. makes useful investments in our electric grid and takes necessary steps to improve the
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critical infrastructure that americans rely on every day, including drinking water and broadband, which are in my committee. unfortunately, it does not do nearly enough on its own to tackle the climate crycy, lower health care costs, or build a better future for american families as envisioned by president biden. it undermines some of our most core environmental statutes such as the national environmental policy act, nepa, moving us backward to fight climate fringe from that perspective. combined with the promise of additional ongs through the budget secyation package. if coy just talk about some of the topics, clean, safe drinking watt certificate a basic community right. right now up to 10 million american households can't trust water coming out of their taps. that's not acceptable. i hope to accomplish more through the budget resolution. the $55 million investment that the bipartisan infrastructure bill makes in clean water is a
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crucial first step and replaces lead service lines but not enough. it has funding to remove toxic pfas chemicals but not enough. the senate bill also includes funding for elk trick vehicle supply infrastructure -- electric vehicle supply infrastructure. this is close to the investment passed by the house invest act, it's a help if you first step. the u.s. market sale of plug-in sales is overwhelm one third the plug-in sales of china. we have to do a better job of keeping pace with our exeators. i'm also grateful to see funding to improve our nation's elech -- electric grid. the senate infrastructure bill makes needed investments in hardening the electric grid against extreme weather events and gives the government new authority to spur the development of transition projects and grid enhancing technologies. the senate bill has also $65 million investment in broadband and that marks the beginning
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after new fight to close the digital divide and ensure every community has access to high speed internet. but access to broadband only half the battle. being able to afford it is the other half. i am pleased the bill makes investments in affordability. i do have real concerns over the changes that the bill would make to decrease the monthly benefit, it does make permanent our affordability program that we set forth earlier this year and that's clearly progress because of the families struggling to access and afford a basic internet connection. i want to say also i'm troubled that this bill gives the department of defense the ability to scuttle the spectrum auctions that the s.e.c. put forward. that's bad policy and decreases the value of the auction unnecessarily. as you can tell, mr. chairman, i'll conclude by this, this bill is far from perfect and i believe we can and must do more. i look forward to working with my colleagues on the budget resolution to finish the job. i think together we can make good on president biden's build
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back better agenda if we combine the infrastructure -- senate infrastructure bill with the budget resolution and the reconciliation that would follow. i appreciate the opportunity to be here today. and would certainly take any questions. thank you. chair mcgovern: thank you very much. mrs. rodgers. mrs. rodgers: thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, ranking member cole. members of the rules committee. i agree on the need to modernize and invest in our nation's infrastructure. the energy and commerce republicans have introduced dozens of bills to do just that. on closing the digital divide, to increasing our energy security and clean energy comploiment. making investments in safe drinking water and making our roadways safer. our solutions accomplished these goals with targeted federal investment that are paired with comprehensive regulatory and
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licensing reforms, respurring private investment. regarding the bill before us today, while there are aspects that we all agree on, unfortunately it falls woefully short. the failures we have when it comes to maimingor investment projects that are expensive and many cases impossible. investments are made in a more coveted way i fear much of the funds authorized will be lost. the congressional budget office has already projected this bill includes unfunded mandates. that will add $250 billion to the deficit. we cannot afford to add to an ongoing biden inflation crisis that has already drastically raised costs on the american people. unless these investments are
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targeted and paired with adequate regulatory reforms, i fear this bill will end up doing more harm than good. for instance, take closing the digital divide. it's a shared goal. federal regulations and unnecessary permitting requirements make it expensive, slow, and difficult to deploy and upgrade broadband. this bill does not target funds for deployment to fully underserved parts of america based off congressionally mandated broadband maps. this is wasting billions of dollars in taxpayer money without truly closing the digital divide. leaving rural americans further behind in the digital economy. moving to securing our energy future. our top priority must be maintaining reliable energy for all americans. energy secure only a year ago.
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today gas prices are up. american energy projects and associated jobs canceled. this administration is asking four countries to produce energy which could be done here by our workers in good-paying jobs. overall, we support policies and programs that maintain and modern .ize our electricity grid and energy system. -- modernize our electricity grid and energy system. but there are portions of this bill pits weather dependent sources like wind and energy at the expense of maintaining a diverse mix of energy sources. we need reliable base load generation. when the wind isn't blowing anti-sun isn't shining. -- and the sun isn't shining. there are serious concerns with supply chains. china controls significant aspects of their supply chain through crit cal elements.
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funding in this case raises questions and places outside emphasis to the detriment of rural areas. forcing costs on ratepayers. even when many americans cannot afford electric vehicles. one of the most glaring things here is also what's not included. just as broadband, this bill is missing solution that is will lift barriers to permitting and licensing so we can build energy infrastructure in this country again. we want to deploy more clean energy and reduce emissions, energy republicans have securing cleaner american energy agenda. this could result in bringing hydropower, natural gas, wind, and solar on line. those are the types of energy and environmental related provision that is should be a part of any bipartisan
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infrastructure bill. lastly, the bill has an overall emphasis on safe drinking water. representative mckinley and i are leading the drinking water for the future act. it provides various safe drinking water programs at reasonable levels, consistent with historic funding levels. some of the drinking water funding levels in this bill are extremely high. and they will duplicate existing programs. we want to continue making investments in drinking water infrastructure. let's do it in a way that will be efficient and actually result in meaningful outcomes. we want to work in bipartisan way to increase safety on our roads. while the inclusion of the auto safety language in this bill have the been fit of bipartisan complication in the senate, are much moreau bust -- much moreau -- much more robust process -- we work in good faith to advance
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safety. our bipartisan committee primarily a democratic draft, for feedback earlier this year. which included a proposal by the majority on autonomous vehicle. in return we received an your honor fair process that skipped committee and ignored our input. the package before us again emits advancing autonomous vehicles with a comprehensive framework. this is a missed opportunity that could have also included many of the safety niche thiffs this legislation seeks to advance. your consideration of this legislation today occurs at a time our international standing is being challenged on multiple fronts. both markets have identified autonomous vehicles as an application of artificial intelligence technology that china wants to dominate. as we continue to be a beacon for innovation and ingenuity, let's not lose america's chance
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to win the future. the security provisions in the bill which continues i believe a misguarded march to the consolidation of all cybersecurity responsibilities at one agency, currently by the biden administration, i believe that's going to weaken an agency's ability to leverage their expertise in cyber preparedness for the specific and unique sectors to best protect our critical infrastructure, it is critical for the agency with the specific expertise to be empowered to protect our critical sector. they need to address $3.5 trillion spending and tax spree this bill is paired with. we are experiencing record levels of inflation. from the groishry store to the gas pump. the -- grocery store to the gas
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pump. the american people are facing higher costs. the budget is being stretched. it's the height of full responsibility to further add to this inflation crisis with a massive increase in federal command and control over our everyday lives. i hope that the majority will abandon this dangerous partisan power play that will raise costs on americans and, unfortunately, devastate our economy even further. thank you. i yield back. chair mcgovern: thank you very much. let me just say that i -- no surprise that i agree with mr. malinowski and with mr. pallone. mrs. rodgers, some of the things you raised i share your concerns . this is not the reconciliation bill we are talking about. that was the panel before. this is not even the house infrastructure bill, which i like better than this.
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this is a bipartisan product that won the support of 19 republicans in the senate. i don't think anybody, at least on the progressive wing of the democratic party, is totally enamored with. we nonetheless understand it's a bipartisan product and represents a significant investment in our infrastructure. and you invoked joe manchin a couple times. i think he helped put this together. if you like all joe manchin says, it would seem to me that you would think that this would be -- i understand, you oppose the senate infrastructure bill, am i correct on that? >> what i oppose is linking them together. that's what i oppose. chair mcgovern: you had a separate vote on the transportation bill. would you vote for the bipartisan transportation bill
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that the senate -- a leets not play games here. chair mcgovern: if the vote comes up, if this is the vote on the -- the senate from bill, with 19 republicans supporting it, do you vote yes on that or no? mr. graves: i want to be very clear. that's not the question as we all know that's being posed because they are being linked together. chair mcgovern: people get to vote on both. senate will have to vote as well. mr. graves: that's right. if the infrastructure bill was held hostage by the reconciliation bill, as is being debated, then -- mr. chair mcgovern:: i assume in a very short period of time we'll resolve the question on both of them. . the bill we're talking about right now, is this bill that passed the senate. again, i'm not saying it's an ok
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bill. there are things in there, quite frankly, that i wish weren't in there. you know, we have to deal with what we have to deal with. the issue is, do you vote for that when it comes up for a vote? mr. graves: that's not the question being posed. mr. mcgovern: that's the question i'm going. mr. graves: the fast act was 305 billion in total. this one is expected to incur $256 billion in debt which is 83% of the entire fast act but at the time was deemed historic. the bill has $90 billion -- mr. mcgovern: i know what's in the bill. mr. graves: it has major problems. mr. mcgovern: i assume that's a no. for me, for all the flaws in this bipartisan product that's come over here, it is nonetheless a major step in the right direction. i come from a state that has
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tough winters. our infrastructure is old. and quite frankly, we've been trying, even when you guys were in charge of the house, the senate, and the white house, to get a meaningful bill passed that would actually help deal with some of these things. the bottom line is that, you know, what we got instead was infrastructure weeks. this is infrastructure. go ahead and talk about infrastructure this week. no, nothing. nothing to help rebuild a bridge. nothing to help with our rail systems. but infrastructure week. this is for some of the flaws in this bill and, again, i believe climate change is real and i wish there was more aggressive investment in that, this is, in my opinion, a significant step in the right direction. i will say senators, you know, came together and did something that everybody said couldn't be done and so i intend to vote for this. again, i -- but that's what we're talking about right now. we're talking about the
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infrastructure bill. and i got to go. so -- [laughter] i'm being called. ok, thank you. i always appreciate your candor and your commitment to the issues. mrs. mcmorris rodgers, i appreciate, you know, your point of view as well. again, i agree with pallone and malinowski and with that i yield to mr. cole. mr. cole: someday, mr. chairman, you'll really surprise us and not agree with them. i'm waiting for that day. first of all, couple of comments. like, most of us, i voted for most of the transportation and infrastructure bills that's come before you in my time in congress, regardless of who happened to be in the majority at that given moment. i think you made that point very well, mr. garrett, in your testimony. i would be less than honest
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saying in looking at this one, i have some concerns about the process that brought it here and that's still carrying it forward. i am some serious concerns about the substance and the financing. i got some concerns about the impact given all the other spending that's going on around it. i'll address those in the questions. as an institutionalist, and i consider myself one, from a house standpoint, we have been just totally sidelined in this whole thing. i have a lot of sympathy for my friend, mr. defazio from oregon, chairman defazio, i should say. this is the biggest infrastructure bill of his career. he worked hard to get to be chairman of the full committee. he hasn't gotten to do very much with this bill. nor have any of the mebs on his -- members on his committee. nor have any members in this house. nor did this go through the public works committee in the senate. this is basically an item about
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10 or 15 senators cooked up, sold to enough senators, and i'm sure it has their priorities taken care of. i'd feel a lot better if the priorities of the members in the house i knew were also addressed in that. i say that, again, not in a partisan sense at all. this is just an institutional objection i would have of the bill as a member of the house. i think we should take long and hard as a body about surrendering that kind of authority. this is a $1.2 trillion spending bill. everybody's going to call it and it is the biggest -- certainly the biggest transportation bill of my career that i've ever seen. i'm in a body where almost nobody has had very much to do with this in a meaningful way. this isn't like, you know, a don young negotiated product where i can assure you, whether you're republican or democrat, there were lots of member involvement back in 2005. i used to joke in the 2005 bill,
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it was crafted in the senate by jim inhofe who i admire and revere and crafted in the house by don young who i admire and fear. but the point is, our side had its share of the input. by that, i mean our side of the rotunda had a share of the input. i don't think that's happening here. i suppose the biggest thing that does concern me -- and this is posed to my democratic colleagues -- why hold up a bipartisan bill that will pass, whether i like it or not, it will pass simply to block mail and browbeat your own members? that's what you're doing in this bill. the majority can have a victory. the administration can have a
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victory. you're using this as a weapon against your own members. that's up to you. that's inside the democratic caucus. i think it's a bad precedent. i have never seen anything like it. to get a $1.2 trillion bill, you got to vote for a $3.5 trillion bill that you may or may not agree with or i won't put that on the floor. even though i know it has the votes. even though i know it's already passed the senate. and even though i know that the president of the united states will sign it any day that we send it to him. that is just mind-blowing to me that we are in that position. so i'm not going to spend a lot of time talking about the bill because it's not a bill, it's a weapon. it's a political weapon that's being used against your own members, in my view. and you're paying fast and loose and i think they learned you of that in the op-ed in "the washington post." you let these things sit around too long, they may not happen. again, what's normally a bipartisan process is apt to be
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a pretty partisan process as long as that particular aspect stays. i'll go to you first, mr. garrett, and ask you -- you've been around as a staff guy. you've been around as a member. you're one of the most thoughtful members in the body. i think both sides can see that. can you give me any acceptable justification for why the majority would refuse to move forward bipartisan infrastructure package that, you know, most of us members will vote for? mr. garrett: thank you, mr. cole. the answer's no. i mean, the answer is obviously no. you're actually jeopardizing the very objective we're trying to achieve. we're trying to prevent another interstate 40 situation in arkansas and tennessee by working together on bipartisan legislation as we've done historically. mr. graves: this entire process was designed to cause
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infrastructure to fail. the cost of the bill, the approach it was taken and not just causing the bill to fail by linking it to the $3.5 trillion expansion of social welfare programs but by doing it this timeline and doing it in a way that completely relegates the house to the cheap seats. there's no justification for this. we said during debate, two bills through the house of representatives last congress and again this congress, the bill is entirely being thrown out. taking ought 435 members, republicans and democrats, and sidelining their priorities in the legislation. no, there's no justification for this. mr. cole: ok, you touched on this in some of your testimony about is this bill really paid for or not. that's a big deal. that was one of the president's commitment on an infrastructure bill, we're going to pay for it. is it paid for, number one? how close is it to being paid
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for, which i suspect is no? mr. graves: it's not paid for, number one. using c.b.o. numbers, which some of them you really need to dig into, but the easy answer is at least 20% of the legislation, according to c.b.o.'s analysis, is not paid for. let me be clear, i mentioned earlier the fast act you remember late 2015. $256 billion were applied to that legislation which was called historic by president obama we would be talking about 83% of that bill. so 83%, $256 billion represents 83% of the legislation not being paid for. this case it's 1/5. there's excessive spending in categories which had a bill would not pass in a prayer in the house of representatives. mr. cole: let me go to mrs. mcmorris rodgers next. you touched in your testimony, madam ranking member, on the
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impact with regard to inflation. really, looking at all these things in terms of how they're linked together. so i'd like to ask you to elaborate a little bit on that. how much inflation do you think will be impacted by this infrastructure bill and certainly by the related items that we're discussing that it's connected to? mrs. rodgers: well, can we are seeing inflation hit our country. consumer prices are going up. over 5% in the last year. we're seeing gas prices that are up over $1. you go to a grocery store, people are seeing it in their pocketbooks. let's be clear, inflation is a tax. it's a tax on us, a tax on families. it means your wages -- garrett mentioned -- garret mentioned this in his testimony, your take-home salaries are less because they don't buy as much.
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we're seeing record high inflation measures. and i'm very concerned about -- last year was $5 trillion in additional spending by the federal government. we're talking another -- almost $5 trillion, $6 trillion in federal government spending. it absolutely drives the price of federal government spending drives inflation. and this is of grave concern to me as well as many others across this country. so i appeal to people, we need to make sure we're living within our means and not getting inflation, runaway inflation going to hurt americans. mr. cole: i think that's a really important point. i mentioned in my opening comment that former secretary treasury -- not just a republican point. that's a larry sommers point. there's a lot of democratic economists that have this same
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fear. you have to look sometimes at things in total context. we spend a lot of money last year on covid relief. i supported all five bills. i thought we were in a national emergency. we needed to do that. i'm proud of the congress doing it in a bipartisan way. those bills passed overwhelmingly. we are not in this situation today and yet we put $1.9 trillion, you know, injected in the economy. we're following it up with a $1.trillion un -- $1.2 trillion unpaid infrastructure bill. if it passes because i guess it doesn't pass unless we get another $3.5 trillion injected in the economy. that's high-risk stuff. i think it will probably get a lot of republicans voting against the infrastructure bill that would otherwise vote for it. simply because it's all linked together and it's being sold that way. at least one of my colleagues
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don't want to be responsible even for the parts they didn't vote for they didn't want their parts misinterpreted. i think the politics here is getting in the way of what could be a big bipartisan win for the country. i mean, whether i like the bill or not, you put it on the floor, you're going to pass it as is. this other way, still probably pass it. i still think there would be republican votes for it certainly. but those numbers will be down a lot lower than they would have otherwise been. i think, again, i've never seen a transportation bill used as a leverage to get something, you know, literally three times its size that is a strictly partisan exercise. so it's going to be a very interesting 48 hours around here. again, i find it tough to use this bill to beat up on members to get them vote for something
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you're afraid they wouldn't vote for on its own merits. there's no other way to explain it. that's the other way it can be justified. or explained. i don't think it really can be justified. with that, thank you for your inindulgence, mr. chairman. i yield back -- thank you for your indulgence, mr. chairman. i yield back. >> i appreciate it, mr. cole. mr. mron and mr. -- mr. pallone and mr. malinowski. >> thank you, mr. pallone, mr. graves, and -- i'm blanking. mr. perlmutter: i was going to call him tom. that was not proper etiquette. mr. malinowski. i'd like you to be able to respond to some of the things the ranking member said, mr. graves said. so let me start with you,
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mr. malinowski. mr. malinowski: thank you. you can call me tom, at least on the baseball field. you know, i -- actually, i agree. i think many of us agree with the ranking member. the house loss in this and we're all kind of tip toeing kind of the dysfunction in the senate because we know it's so incredibly hard to get anything through the senate. you mentioned to get a yield there. it's probably the wise and productive thing for the house to do to accept it and that does disempower us and a lot of us are upset about that. i got to say, i was just -- i was kind of confused by almost everything else. i listened to mr. graves'
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testimony, for example. i wasn't very -- i was trying to figure out is he for it or is he against it, and then it's pretty clear as he went on that he believes that a bill that mitch mcconnell voted for in the united states senate is part of the green new deal approach. that's kind of weird. i heard mrs. mcmorris rodgers say that a bill that was originally drafted in the bipartisan problem solvers caucus with 28 republicans in it that got 19 republican votes, in the senate was a, quote, partisan power play. so little bit confusing. i heard a variety of members on the other side say that this was inflationary, make other criticisms, and then criticize
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democrats for not voting for it right away. which is it? i don't get it. it seems like bipartisanship truly confuses some of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle. this is a bipartisan bill. there is not a single democrat who loves everything in it. we all made compromises. there are things i really wanted in this bill that i think should have been accepted but i think should have been bipartisan that were not. and i'm a little upset about that. i will vote for this bill. i think every democrat pretty much at the end of the day is going to vote for it. and, yes, i understand my republican colleagues are going to oppose a more partisan budget reconciliation bill. that's a given. but these two bills are only linked in their timing potentially. but are you all really going to say to your constituents that you voted against a bill that
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does everything they are demanding, fixing our bridges and roads, railroads and transit and broadband, that creates millions of jobs in america, because there was another bill being voted on the house floor the same way that you disagreed with? i think that's going to be a very hard case to -- for you guys to make to the american people. i mean, if you do, it will be a very easy way for us to wipe out the flaws. thank you. mr. perlmutter: mr. pallone and then i have questions for the panel. mr. pallone: look, i'll be brief. you really have to ask the senators why they proceeded with this. you're right, mr. cole. it didn't go through regular order, obviously. but it wouldn't be accurate to say that members of the house committees had some say. we clearly had on energy and
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commerce were talking to our democratic and to some extent -- and to some extent, also republican counterparts in the senate in trying to put this together. but it didn't go through regular order. i agree with you there. it was clear from the beginning that there were some senators that wanted what i would call an authorization bill which is what this is and wanted to be able to put provisions in the authorization bill and insisted on that as a prelude to their voting for a much larger amount of money in a reconciliation bill and that's what they insisted on. that's why we are where we are and that's why i believe in carrying forward that, that these bills have to go together. that the budget reconciliation needs to go through at the same time as the senate infrastructure or authorization bill.
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best way to put it. mr. perlmutter: mr. graves, hyperbole can sometimes get you in trouble. there were some statements the house didn't get anything they thought in this infrastructure bill. last summer, we passed the moving forward act. and couple of my -- well, i had several major things that i was concerned about. one is a laboratory for the united states geological survey in colorado where the roof literally is ready to fall in on their current laboratory of a couple hundred or more engineers and scientists. the f.d.a. was housed in that same building and they were so worried about it they moved out. this was a building built as part of the remington arms plant in world war ii in colorado. and so we worked very hard to get that provision, new
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laboratory for the usgs in last summer's bill. we brought it up again over time in appropriations bills here. that's the -- that's in the infrastructure bill. this committee has heard me talk about a refund that was due to the regional transportation district for the denver area which it put down a security deposit to get a federal loan backing to build a new union station for all of our light rail, all of our buses, all of that stuff and we paid the regional transportation district paid off the bonds which the federal government had guaranteed back about five or six years ago but still hadn't been refunded their money at $30 million. that's in this infrastructure bill. there's money for dealing with pfas which mr. pallone and this
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committee, we had a number of hearings. i carried bills on eliminating or reducing or mitigating pfas, particularly at a couple military installations that we have in colorado where we've seen that the firefighters have gotten very sick from the foam that's been used. and so there's pfas in here. there's wildfire mitigation, which on the science committee is a very key thing that we're dealing with in colorado -- and colorado's dealing with all the smoke from the california wildfires. we dealt with our own wildfires last summer. thank goodness we haven't been hit with wildfires like we were last year. so a number of things that i've been working on are in the infrastructure bill. ok. and things that i've been working on for a long time made it into this thing. so i -- i don't have the bleak view of it that you sort of projected as you were speaking. i see the coastal stuff in here that obviously louisiana needs.
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you know, at some level or another. this is investment that we're making. ok. these are investments that we're going to make that will last 50 or 100 years and we're doing it at a time when we're borrowing at virtually zero percent interest. mrs. mcmorris rodgers, i'll refer to you. how does a family budget and how does a business budget? well, families and businesses can make investments when they can borrow at a very low cost which is precisely where we are in america today. if we're going to make investments, whether it's in capital, like, you know, fixing the coast of louisiana or dams to mitigate floods in colorado, this is a good time to make that investment because the borrowing is at a reasonable rate. almost nothing.
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and so that's -- i'm very happy. i'd much rather have mr. defazio's bill. i think all of us would. but this is something that is of bipartisan nature. it does invest for the next 50 years. we'll keep our country competitive. it will make life better for many of us. colorado, we got a lot of bridges that need attention. those bridges get that attention in this bill. so i did want to say to you and i'll get to inflation conversation with you, mrs. mcmorris rodgers, but when you went through that litany of bipartisan transportation bills, safety, map act, all under republican houses with votes from democrats to make it very
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bipartisan in nature. i would hope that same thing would happen when a democrat -- when the democrats have a majority that all of you would be supportive of something so needed by america. so just briefly and i'll yield back to the chair. mrs. mcmorris rodgers, i think all of us have concerns about inflation. that's been a talking point that we've heard from you and mr. graves and prior panelists. and from mr. cole. but obviously, we worry about deflation, too, which is what we had last year when covid hit. and so we want to be concerned that our economy be fairly steady. we've seen just in the last month or two whatever inflation is tapering off which is what the federal reserve has predicted. and compared to 2019, you know, our prices are virtually the same.
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we had a big dip in prices in 2020 because of covid. and with the delta variant, we might see that same slowdown of the economy, which nobody wants. but then we would certainly have inflation under control. in fact, we might face deflation. so i think, you know, by having that talking point, you all -- i mean, the republican party may this time next year be right and there is inflation or be very wrong. and i hope that it moderates as the federal reserve has predicted and we already see that occurring, whether it's in lumber. even used cars. housing is starting to taper off. so with that, i talked a lot, and i yield back.
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mr. burgess: i thank the chair. i associate myself with the remarks of ranking member cole. i, too, believe in the infrastructure bill, if this bill we have before us today were brought up on the floor, i don't think i could vote for it because of the significant amount of spending that doesn't really deliver in infrastructure. but still, i understand why people could be -- could vote for it. but, again, it's being weaponized and used as almost wholly inappropriately to force through other legislation, the reconciliation budget, which is a door to all manners of bad ideas. so, anyway, i wanted my ranking member to know i did pay attention when he was speaking and i thought -- i thought he spoke a lot of wisdom. do you want to say something? mr. graves: thank you,
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mr. burgess. i'd really like to respond if that's ok. first of all, mr. malinowski indicated he was confused by my statements and how i was talking about there being a partisan process. when i made those comments, i was making reference to the house infrastructure bill that was entirely a partisan process. i went through and listed out democrat and republican amendments that i'm sure my friend remembers in the committee. ives not conflate -- i was not conflating the bipartisan house bill. when i mentioned green new deal which is all over the house bill that looking at some of those policies have been advocating for this administration have resulted in higher energy prices, less energy security. we're importing more from other countries today. you've seen the biden administration step out and ask opec to increase production. these are flawed strategies. they are not achieving the very goals that this administration are proposed in the green new
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deal try to achieve. i'm very happy that you've been able to achieve some of your wins or some of your priorities in the legislation. really am. it's fantastic. it seems you have bicameral support in that. you talked about the disaster for your lab and the impact on the roof there. we in louisiana last year, we had five hurricanes. five hurricanes that hit southwest louisiana. we had some impacts in my district. the main part was the district just over to the west of us. there's not been a dollar, not one dollar of the recovery funds appropriated by this congress. not a single dollar in their attempts in the house bill. there were attempts in this bill to do it. why should some disasters be partisan? who here has ever represented somebody that in the backdrop of a pandemic had five hurricanes hit them in one single year and
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they don't give them recovery funds? this is crazy what's happening to people. again, i'm really glad that you were able to get that. this is something that shouldn't be partisan. it shouldn't be house or senate, it's something that absolutely should be in there. you mentioned inflation and the deficit. right now $30 trillion. it's going to increase to $35 trillion. right now you're right. interest rates are low. i refinanced my house. i hope you do, too. but you are well aware we are not going to pay back $30 trillion or $35 billion in a few -- $35 trillion for a few years. this will be going on in our grandchildren and great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren. what is the interest rate going to be then? we don't know. this is really dangerous stuff. i tried to say this earlier. i am not opposed to infrastructure investment. i really am not. i am opposed to reckless,
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irresponsible spending. i'd love to be asked this question. i'm not. we're linked $1.2 trillion with a $3.5 trillion bill. if people don't understand my position, let me read again [indiscernible] we will not consider voting for a budget resolution until a bipartisan investment in jobs passes the house and signed into law. we're holding the president's infrastructure hostage to legislation. i entirely associate myself to their comments that i hope are clear to folks. that's where i am. now, this bill -- if this bill is opposed and we're give a fair -- given a fair shot, to make sure it follows the law, i'm going to say no. i don't want to see the years be forced to drive up energy costs to people in the court tell me
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insane, this is totally anti-american. i yield back. mr. burgess: reclaiming my time. [laughter] mr. graves, you did such a good job delineating the prior history of transportation bills and the fact that there was efforts to provide offsets to this transportation bill. but it fell short. $256 billion short of being paid for which you pointed out was 80% of the last transportation bill that was hailed as a great success. just looking through the offsets that are provided courtesy of the congressional budget office, i mean, some of the really pretty intriguing because part of the bill is going to be paid
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for by taking dollars selling off product from the strategic petroleum reserve. but if you look at the line item of the strategic petroleum reserve, you see that actually doesn't occur for quite sometime. and, yet, we're told that in 10 year's time we're not going to be using fossil fuels. so i don't know what kind of market you're going to have for the product you're selling off to the strategic petroleum reserve when you moved to a carbon-free economy. look, i've been around for a little while, too, on the energy and commerce committee. i've seen the offset of spectrum auction, which is a legitimate asset that is owned by the federal government but still the dollars that are realized from an auction of spectrum, you know, sometimes hard to -- it's
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hard to find the tangible results of there. -- of that. you have a big line item here from the delaying the president's rebate rule, president trump's rebate rule which was a proposed rule, never enacted. so delaying a rule that was never enacted gives you a lot of money right away to offset. i'll submit those are not real dollars. they never existed in anyone's universe. and then, of course -- and i favored this. rescission of dollars spent in front of our rescue packages that were funded in excess of what they were needed. i agree that reclaiming that money makes sense. on the other hand, it was deficit spending and it is deficit spending now. i think all of that is to make the point of your point of that $256 billion of not offsets,
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it's much worse -- it's much less offset than what the official numbers of the congressional budget office would indicate. so if we're worried about the $256 billion, i would just submit there's probably a great deal more of that that would not -- would not survive any type of scrutiny. i guess one of the big disappointments of the infrastructure bill is the lack of any streamlining in the regulatory process. when i first came to congress years and years ago, i had a bill called the safety and emergency bill. interstate -- there was a bridge down in south texas that was hit by a barge. right around -- same time around 9/11/01. it was terrible for the people on the island. they found a way to cut through some of the environmental mitigation that otherwise would
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have had to be done with, there was a bridge there, so it's not like you're going to cut the buffalo herd in half again. snails had acclimated to the bridge piers. they got a bridge built in record time. very reasonable cost. i just have never understood why we cannot capture more of that type of urgency about replacing some of these infrastructure projects that are in such -- if they're in tough shape, then, yeah, let's provide some urgency. and to do that would be, in my opinion, streamlining of the nepa process. but mr. graves, if i understand correctly, through all of this bill -- and you're on the transportation committee. there really hasn't been much attention paid to that, has there? mr. graves: no, there has not. i won't eat your time. mr. burgess: thank you. in the rules committee, there's no clock. we can -- this is the close as
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we get to a filibuster. mr. graves: as you know, we have bipartisan legislation called the builder act. the builder act goes through and there's strong support for the bill. it goes through and it takes lessons learned from nepa. you heard secretary chao under the previous administration talk about how now environmental reviews for infrastructure projects on average takes seven years, seven years. mr. burgess, i've been involved in projects where we've been in the nepa process nearly two decades. when you have urgent projects like your bridge -- or another example. hurricane katrina, we built the levies. we did -- levees. we did the nepa process. waived things. you know what, environmental groups were onboard. you know what, i would argue we did more accurate environmental mitigation than under the regular process. we saved time. we saved money. most importantly, we delivered the project that the americans needed, deserved, are and were waiting for. this bill is a missed
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opportunity that takes lessons learned and how these laws have been trashed and heaped on them that had nothing to do with the environment. and it resulted in us spending years and often spending more dollars on preconstruction activities than it is turning dirt into projects. mr. burgess: it's a missed opportunity. i thought it would be time it would receive the proper attention. you're right on the builder act. that's important legislation at some point i hope we get to it. i yield back, mr. chairman. >> thank you, mr. burgess. i ask, mr. raskin, do you have questions, sir? mr. raskin: thank you, mr. chairman. i'll get back to mr. malinowski. i thought he clarified the situation before. i was -- i felt like we were being told to derail a bill
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which the minority members of the committee were opposed to. and we're wondering to what extent, the answer -- [indiscernible] mr. malinowski: i remain somewhat confused. well, maybe not. mr. graves quoted our colleague, representative gottheimer. and, of course, representative gottheimer's position is this bipartisan infrastructure bill is so great for america that we shouldn't even wait another month to pass it. and mr. graves said that he associates himself 100% with representative gottheimer's position. so, again, i assume that representative graves will be voting for the bill. he said it's a terrible,
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socialistic nonsense. i remain somewhat confused. mr. raskin: ok. mr. graves: i never said that. mr. raskin: mr. graves, if i could come back to you. you did say you identify 100% with the writing of mr. gottheimer. do you agree with this is [indiscernible]? mr. graves: mr. raskin, i apologize. you're breaking up a little bit. i didn't get the question. mr. raskin: i was puzzled because you said you identified completely, i think you said 100%, with what mr. gottheimer wrote. and he favors this legislation in trying to get it passed. is that sufficient you are trying to get this legislation passed? mr. graves: yes. thank you, mr. raskin. maybe the internet connection is what's causing problems. i read two quotes from the letter that was written by,
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again, the members that i read their names. and, again, maybe there's an internet connection issue that's causing some miscommunication here. i said that i am firmly on board with their statement in the two sentences that i read. am in one, number two, mr. malinowski, i never called the bipartisan senate bill a socialist piece of garbage. i want to be very clear on that. i'm not sure of the communication. mr. malinowski: i apologize. you do oppose it. again, representative gottheimer wants us to pass this bill. he said the words you associated yourself with that you quoted because 100% because he believes this is a bill we should pass right away. mr. graves: mr. gottheimer also tries to recruit democrat votes in new jersey. i don't do that. he and i may agree on some things. we don't agree on other things.
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again -- mr. malinowski: he tries to recruit republican votes in new jersey. mr. graves: i don't do that, either, because i live in louisiana. i'm not sure why every single position mr. gottheimer and the other eight members of congress have taken have suddenly been adopted by me and your view. i'd urge you to go back and watch the video perhaps when you have a better internet connection and things may be clarified. mr. raskin: ok. i don't think the problem is with my internet connection but let me reclaim my time here. [laughter] mr. malinowski, i heard several members say today that in principle they're not opposed to infrastructure investment. in the last administration, we never got an infrastructure plan to we're moving now. we got something. do you believe this is our best chance in the infrastructure investment we need in broadband, in the roads, in the bridges, in
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transportation? in theory they supported [indiscernible] they won't support the bipartisan legislation which they're urging [indiscernible]? mr. malinowski: i ask support a [indiscernible] i think what the american people are unanimous on, they want a bipartisan infrastructure bill and we got one, finally. all of these years of trying. this is our best chance. overwhelming votes in the united states senate. it would be -- this is going to pass the house. it would certainly be a very interesting display if it only passed with democratic votes after so many republicans in the senate embraced it simply because republican colleagues sincerely disagree with another separate bill that might be voted on at the same time. mr. raskin: well, thank you. mr. chairman, i just want to say, i hope that we do take
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several steps in order to try to convince our colleagues who in principle or support infrastructure that this bipartisan vehicle is going to be the opportunity to move forward and if anything, the presentation today is the importance of taking the time over the next -- try to convince them to get on board. i yield back to you. >> thank you, mr. raskin. i'll ask mr. reschenthaler if he has questions. mr. reschenthaler: thank you, mr. chairman. i appreciate it. my first question would go to ranking member graves. ranking member graves, i'm just curious if you know the exact amount of money that actually goes to rail and transit in the bill? mr. graves: sure. the transit dollars are -- the transit dollars are $90 billion. and the rail -- let's see.
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i want to say $40 billion. excuse me. $66 billion for rail. and $91 billion for transit. which keep in mind it's on top of the $69 billion that was provided for transit during the previous covid packages. mr. reschenthaler: so it was given that we have $69 billion or roughly $70 billion that was already designated for rail and transit that went out there during the covid-19 relief package or collectively in those packages, do you feel this is warranted, do you feel it's necessary? i would yield to you to answer the question. mr. graves: thank you. i'm not aware, congressman reschenthaler, of any instance that an enity is providing 10% or 20% of the work that was previously provided. yet, congress would come in and heap and in this case $160
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billion of money on top of it, that doesn't make much sense to me. and i think if we're talking about spending these precious taxpayer dollars, i think that's not the true priority of americans. americans -- and let's also keep in mind. during covid, we're seeing efforts recommended by dr. fauci and others to separate people, not bring them together, and, of course, that's what transit does. the dollars in this case seem way excessive of what would be needed at this point and not a priority use of the precious american taxpayers that we're charged with trying to manage in this case. mr. reschenthaler: thank you, ranking member graves. i appreciate it. my question is for ranking member mcmorris rodgers. ranking member mcmorris rodgers, you heard we have roughly $91 billion going for transit.
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$91 billion for transit. $66 billion going tore rail. how on top of what we spent on the covid relief package, but focused on this, how is the money going to transit compare to that is going to what is being described as green infrastructure? mrs. rodgers: well, in the green infrastructure, there's nearly $[indiscernible] going to electric vehicles and wanting to encourage the electric stations. from my perspective, we need to be focusing on -- i like some of the revisions around the water treatment systems and making sure we actually are helping, especially the small, rural, some that can't afford it on their own. what is being unleashed in this package i think is what of most
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concerning is that it's tied $2.5 trillion package that really is the huge down payment on the green new deal. so that's where more of our concern lies. mr. reschenthaler: thank you, ranking member mcmorris rodgers. mr. cole: can i ask my friend to yield to me to make a point? mr. reschenthaler: i'll always yield to the ranking member. of course. mr. cole: just for clarity for some of my democratic friends. there's no problems with the bipartisan bill getting republican support. it will get dozens and dozens of votes. your problem is you got a liberal wing in your party that's striking to vote against it unless they get every one of your people to vote for it. please don't worry about the bipartisanship on the infrastructure bill. you had it in the senate. you'll have it here whenever you put it on the floor. but it's part of your party using it as a weapon against
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other members of this party causing a problem. it seems to get lost in the dialogue over bipartisanship on who is voting for the bill. the republican votes are there for the bill. the question is the democratic votes. it's not my time to yield. sorry. yield back. mr. reschenthaler: thank you, ranking member cole. i am not sure who is yielding time but i'll glad to yield to whoever is asking. >> it was very kind. it was the gentleman from colorado who was asking to yield. mr. neguse: a simple question. you keep saying the republicans will vote for the bill. is there any republican member of this committee that will vote for the bill? my understanding is the republican panelists are not going to vote for the bill and i believe -- you can correct me if i'm wrong. there are no republican members -- mr. cole: many are not. it's kind of irrelevant. the question is if there will be
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a bipartisan vote? yes, there is. mr. neguse: i'll yield back to the gentleman. thank you, mr. reschenthaler. mr. reschenthaler: thank you, mr. neguse. with that i'll yield back to the chairman. i appreciate it. mr. perlmutter: thank you. i was trying to figure out who was going to yield to you. >> i think this is a question for my first time in the chair. i'll yield to ms. scanlon. ms. scanlon: thank you, mr. chairman. this is really, really clear. my constituents are excited about this infrastructure bill. does it have everything we want for our areas? no. but it's the nature of legislation, isn't it? we don't all ge everything we -- we don't all get everything we want. mr. malinowski, can you comment on what we can expect from this bill? you are in theed a joining state of new jersey. new jersey, pennsylvania has a
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lot of highways and transit systems that are in rough shape. my impression, the impression of my constituents is, it will do a lot to reduce costs for our businesses and -- constituents and help our businesses. mr. malinowski: we come from a state that they move people and goods entirely. and what this means for the people i represent if they'll get to work easily, more easily. they'll be able to drop off their kids at childcare more easily. they'll be able to get home more frequently in time for winner -- for dinner and it's going to make it easier for all of the businesses in my state that depend on moving goods through our ports and our airports. it's a quality of life issue.
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jobs are incredibly important. this is a quality of life issue for all of my constituents. i come from an area that depends more on mass transit than others. we come from different places. i did hear some of the republican members complaining about the astronomical number spent on this bill. china spent $125 billion on rail in 2019 alone. they're vastly outspending us on clean energy technology and research. it's not the communist party of china likes trees. it's because they want to feed us. they see where the global economy is headed. they wanted to get -- they want to get there first. it mystifies me that any member of congress, republican or
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democrat, would not see that and would not want to match the levels of our greatest adversary. thank you. ms. scanlon: i'd like to match the levels of investment of our allies because we certainly hear from folks throughout europe that they're kind of shocked that the -- shocked to see the transit. in addition to hearing from constituents how much we need the hard infrastructure bill, we can't stop there. because not everyone can participate in the economy with we need to deal with, in particular, childcare. we need to deal with our schools. we need to deal with the many issues that we hope to address in the companion budget bill. i'm looking forward to voting on those and thank you. i'll yield back. mr. morelle: thank you, ms.
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scanlon. now i turn it over to mrs. fischbach. mrs. fischbach: thank you, mr. chair. i guess listening to the discussion and we've gone many, many different directions. i'm just going to be very brief and say, ranking member graves, is there anything you would like to add as we've had all of this discussion? mr. graves: thank you, congresswoman fischbach. this has been an amazing experience. i sit here listening to people tell me i'm saying things i'm not saying. thank god we have video recordings of everything that's been said. i heard -- i think i'm in a dream world. i heard mr. malinowski say, quote, there is one things americans want is a bipartisan infrastructure bill. where were you people from the last two years? where have you been? mr. perlmutter, you said earlier that -- what was that quote? bipartisan votes of highway bills were really important when republicans were in charge as if
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this is something only democrats did. every single one of those -- mr. perlmutter: every single republicans don't -- mr. graves: they were done what's the big four agreement. where the chair of the subcommittees supported that legislation. they started out with bipartisan legislation. in the last two years, we had only partisan bills, only partisan bills. i don't understand this whole thing about where folks appear to be so shocked what's happening right now. this is a failed process that democrats created, that caused us to be in the predicament of adding a $3.5 trillion to a $1.2 trillion that has virtually no house input at all. it's really unfortunate that we're in this situation that we're in right now. lastly, i want to say, ms. mish bach, i heard -- mrs. fischbach, i heard comments about china. i have no single desire, there's not a single bone in my body
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that desires to follow after china. america leads. that's what this country does. you know what, this country right now, energy and climate policy, we're leading ourselves right in the jaws of china and russia. may and june, no russian oil imported. may and june this year, six million and seven million barrels. who makes -- we're leading down a path for energy that entirely plays into their hands instead of using u.s. resources, u.s. assets. this makes no sense at all. i don't follow china. i'll never advocate that we do that. america is the one country in this world that people look up to, that we lead. we innovate ourselves out of problems. we don't follow others. they're awful, communist regimes that depend upon slave and child labor and complete failure of human rights. that's not what we do here in america.
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mrs. fischbach: thank you, ranking member. i'd just like to ask ranking member mcmorris rodgers if there's anything she'd like to add. mrs. rodgers: i thank the gentlelady. i would just -- i would just say that, i, too, really resent us trying to compare what kind of spending we are putting forward with what china is doing. i completely agree that we're the ones that innovate. we need to be doing anything in the united states of america, we need to be getting the regulation out of the way and the permits challenges. it's unacceptable it takes seven years to submit a federal transportation project. we can do better and we must do better. i would like to come back to the spending. the spending question that absolutely is before this congress right now. we are spending -- the combination [indiscernible] the trillions of dollars.
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this record amount of spending in the federal government is causing inflation. the consumer price index rose 7.8% over the 12-month period ending in july. that number was the highest in the last 10 years. consumer prices rose 5.4% in july. someone said that used car prices were flattening out. in washington state, used cars are up 55% in the last year. food prices are up 6.2%. we're 70% higher in our gas prices. inflation should be at zero. i know interest rates are low right now. some say this is a time we should be borrowing all this money at the federal level. we need to recognize that inflation or that interest rates are low is because the federal reserve has been keeping them artificially low. yes, it means we can borrow at a low interest rate. trillions and trillions of
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dollars. but don't fool ourselves. we need to be honest that that is a burden of putting on our children. inflation creates a perverse incentive to borrow. because when inflation is higher than interest rates, then you think, well, inflation is a tax on savings and we know that's a tax on our seniors and children and their future. so, when the government is borrowing money for its own political purposes, and monetary policies that causes inflation, it's really acting in bad faith. we need to take this inflation concern very seriously. i would yield back. >> thank you, ranking member. with that i yield back. >> thank you, mrs. fischbach. just a couple of observations. we are talking about right now the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill.
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i want to focus on this and we are talking about doing investments and innovation. and i don't know if chairman pallone or others want to talk about the clean energy innovations and expenditures that it anticipated in the infrastructure bill. could you just elaborate a little bit on where we are on those issues? mr. pallone: as i mentioned in my opening remarks, there are some major investments here, whether it's in the electricity grid to be updated and linked to renewables through transmission of line upgrades, or as the electric vehicle, the supply chains for electric vehicles and charging stations. there are many provisions with regard to resiliency as well. we have a lot -- you wouldn't get the impression from mr. graves that new jersey and
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louisiana have a lot in common, but we actually do. i'm a big advocate and still known in my district as the army corps guy with the beach replenishment and flood control that went to my district. that's all you'd hear about when you mentioned my name. so there is. but i have to also say that there's not enough. not by any means. if you look at the invest act, for example, let's talk about water. safe drinking water comes under the energy and commerce committee. i think there's about 55 -- $55 billion in this. but in the larger lift america act, or the moving forward act, there was $100 billion. we know we need about $50 billion just to deal with the lead lines and this is this only has about 15. so it would be inadequate. but as i said to mr. cole before, my position here is, maybe i'm getting a little too brach here, but i look --
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bureaucratic here, but i look at this as the authorization bill. there were clearly some senators who wanted to put some authorizing language before they were willing to vote for a much larger reconciliation bill. so what i would envision is that we would build on this and we would add more money for the lead pipes we would add more money for -- to upgrading the grid. and many other things that we could do in a reconciliation bill which is really a money bill, right? so to me it makes sense to say this is a down payment, as my colleague, mr. malinowski, said from new jersey. but it's understood, at least on the part of the senate, certainly on the part of the democratic senators, that they're willing to do more in the reconciliation from a monetary point of view and that's why there was this understanding on the senate that this would move together. remember, they passed the
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infrastructure bill and then one day later they passed the budget resolution. so whether you were democrat or republican, it was understood that these things were moving together. and were not going to be separated. they'd be voted on separately but they would essentially move together. that's the understanding. that's where i'm a little -- you probably noticed i haven't been joining in this debate so much because i think that's understood from the beginning that these were moving together. even though they're having separate votes. i don't think -- some of you may have a problem with that but that is the deal so to speak. mr. morelle: thank you for raising thasm i was going make the same point. there was no question on behalf of the 19 members of the republican senate that they were voting for a bill that would be followed almost immediately by reconciliation. didn't mean they'd have to vote for the second bill, but it was clearly intended and it wasn't a surprise. we passed infrastructure in the senate and then two days after that announced we were going to do reconciliation. they clearly understood, they
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made the decision that they weren't going to support that resolution. and i think that's really what's being talked about. as it relates to and i'm delighted to see my friend, the ranking member come, come back in. question of leveraging how we do legislation has probably been here for the 200-plus years that the congress has been here. it's clearly part of our agenda, try to pass both these things. but we're doing them separately. we're not trying to jam them all onto the same bill and make people vote beyond four things they would not be supportive of. so i feel a little bit like the minority's like the captain in "casablanca." i'm shocked gambling is going on in this establishment. the type of work we're doing is exactly how you often get legislation done. i do also find it interesting for all the complaints about the leadership of the senate that many times in the last congress
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we were reminded that bills that we were doing here would find themselves in the legislative grade yard in the other house so we shouldn't do them because we really need to work together, both houses, get something to the white house for signature. that is exactly what we have managed to work out with our colleagues in the senate. so i think given that, i'm going to continue to support the rule. appreciate all of your work, mr. chairman. and mr. malinowski, and your colleagues in transportation and infrastructure. with that, i think i'm going to yield next to mr. desaulnier. mr. desaulnier: mr. chairman, i dislike your references to culture. "casablanca." today has been more like wwf. i have nothing to add than that observation and i yield back. mr. morelle: thank you for my -- grading me on my cultural
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acknowledgments. ms. ross. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr. chairman -- ms. ross: thank you, mr. chairman. i just want to remind everybody in the room, given our lively coverage, that this underlying bill expands broadband, rebuilds roads and bridges, rebuilds airports, extends rail, and helps water and sewer systems and it will bring our aging infrastructure into the twench. and so many of our communities cannot wait to get it. that's why the public is for it. i'm from a growing community and not only do we have a backlog of needs, but we have new needs in this growing research triangle area. so of course i am for this bill. it positions us for the future.
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finally, this bill creates jobs. good paying jobs. the engineers that graduate from north carolina state university and nca & t university will have jobs for decades designing these bridges and these road systems and everything else. and the folks who graduate from the community colleges are going to have jobs in the skilled trade and then the folks who just paveed the roads going -- paveed the roads are going to have jobs. these are going to be jobs that are not just right now. these are jobs that are going to carry on for decades. when i was in the state legislature, every time we passed a major infrastructure bill, it was a hedge against a recession that was coming down the road. if we don't pass this now, we are giving up an opportunity of a generation. of course i'm for the underlying bill, as is the entire american
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electorate. and for the rule. and if we don't pass the rule, you're not going to get the bill. so i'd advise you to vote for the rule. with that, i yield back. mr. morelle: thank you. i now call on mr. neguse, if you have questions. mr. neguse: thank you, mr. morelle. i'll just be very brief. first with respect to the substance of the bill, echoing comments of my colleague from colorado, mr. perlmutter, in 2020 we had a devastating wildfire season in my state. my district was home to the first and second largest wildfires in the history of colorado. 137 years over the course of our entire state history, the two largest wildfires raging simultaneously in my congressional district, a few mere miles away from each other. we have since been engaged in the recovery process over the course of the last six, seven months, as those fires were finally contained. which has included massive investments in watershed mitigation.
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unfortunately we've experienced flash flooding that has taken the lives of several individuals in my community. as a result of the burn scar and the torrential rains we've received. all of which is to say that the climate crises in my view is at our door step and it's important that we make significant investments to tackle it. i am very appreciative of a number of different investments that are made in this particular piece of legislation. we worked very closely with our senators in colorado's delegation. on, for example, the joint chief's landscape restoration program. critically important to building wildfire resiliency and mitigation into the system and that was included in this bill, in addition to many other bills that we worked on, including the modernization of the grid, electric grid, that chairman pallone spoke about. so i'm very grateful to the panelists, certainly to mr. malinowski, my colleague from the class of 2018. who has offered a clarion call again and again on the need for infrastructure investment. in particular in the northeast. but of course across the entire
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country and in my state of colorado. i also want to say just kind of harkening back to the exchange that was having earlier with the ranking member and my gratitude to mr. rush that willer for yielding me some time, i appreciate mr. graves, the arguments that you're making. i enjoy serving with mr. graves, as he knows, on the select committee on the climate crises. i think that while i disagree with the argument, it's intellectually honest in the sense of having real problems, as you've described, with the bipartisan infrastructure deal. i think that's very different, however, from some of the arguments we've heard over the course of the last six hours since this hearing began. i've heard many of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle talk about the need for bipartisanship. that it's so critically important that we accomplish things on a bipartisan basis, that we find consensus. all of which i agree with and yet here we are with a bipartisan senate bill that attracted the votes of 69
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senators. 19 republicans. the republican minority leader, mitch mcconnell. bill cassidy. senator from louisiana. grassley, senator from iowa. lindsey graham, senator from south carolina. he's a -- these are conservative republican senators. both of them -- [indiscernible] -- as ms. ross has astutely pointed out. 38% of the republican conference in the united states senate voted for this bill. 0% of the republicans on this particular committee are going to vote for this bill. i believe. that's my sense thus far. the reason why i offer that, the reason it is important is -- i'm not offering it in rebuttal to the arguments that you're making, mr. graves. because you're making legitimate arguments regarding the pieces of this bill that you disagree with. i am more offering it in the sense that -- to the extent we are going to talk about bipartisanship, we're on a limit and we have a great opportunity
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to do that here. by supporting this rule and ultimately making sure that this bill gets across the finish line and to the president's desk. for that reason i'll be supporting it. with that, i would yield back the balance of my time. mr. morelle: any members have any other questions? mr. cole: quick point, mr. chairman. to my good friend from colorado. there's four of us. we're hardly a representative example of the president conference. but if you would like us to bring more, we will. [laughter] and i could give you a perfectly representative example of the conference that on this rule will all still vote the same way. but would be with you on infrastructure. mr. morelle: thank you, mr. cole. i'm sure the committee is just the perfect size and perfect distribution too. [laughter] seeing that there are no additional questions, i want to thank our witnesses for their testimony. please leave with the stenographer or submit electronically anything you wish
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inserted into the record. as the song says, you don't have to go home, but you can't stay here. thank you. very, very much. are there any other members who wish to testify on senate amendment to h.r. 3684? seeing none, this closes the hearing on senate amendment to h.r. 3684. now we have additional panels for testimony. i want to welcome our next panel to testify on amendments. that would be our friend, representative sheila jeel of texas -- jackson lee of texas, also joined by and let me welcome back to the committee, our former chair of the committee, mr. pete sessions. welcome gentleman and lady. ms. jackson lee, you have the floor. ms. jackson lee: mr. chairman, thank you so very much.
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let me thank the rules committee for their consistent patience and determination to move the agenda of the united states along. let me also emphasize hopefully that i am welcomed and i knee we have had a lot of testimony on a lot of matters here. but let me frankly say that being more than two decades and a half here in the united states congress, this transportation this infrastructure bill, the invest act, is the largest i've seen and the most comprehensive and the most valid that i've seen in my congressional lifetime. i would imagine there are counties and cities standing in line for broadband, flood leaf, urban transportation, for the right kinds of highways and certainly for a response that we will have ongoing to climate change. so i just want to add my voice and to the ranking member, i'm
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very glad to hear that ultimately there may be a yes vote from you. we've known each fora very long time. i will move quickly to the rule and the combination of the budget reconciliation which i think has to go in the order that the speaker has designed and hope that everyone will vote for the rule. i want to be on record for supporting the construct of the budget resolution, going first to the senate and then the invest act. with that in mind, i want to speak specifically to the rule on h.r. 4 and know that you've had an extensive discussion on that. and i will simply add two or three points before i offer my amendments, as someone who has been here for many of the voter rights re-authorizations and i want to put on the record that every one of them that i've been a part of have had votes right, 98-0 in the senate and over 400 votes in the house. that was the bill that was
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signed by president george w. bush. but 65, 75 and 82, those re-authorizations likewise received huge bipartisan support. so the only thing that i can imagine that has altered this is, of course, the unfortunate big lie and the results of the virginia techs that created -- insurrection that created some 49 states to implement voter suppression laws which unevenly, unfairly and heavily burdened racial minorities, language minorities and others. this bill is crucial. so i first want to take note of the fact that it provides a lookback but with rolling conditions that will allow the idea of fairness to be in place. because it will be a lookback of 25 years, but it will look also at the current provisions or current actions and i think that's very important.
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two other points before i offer my amendments. it will also clear up the case that should not have been ruled in that manner. but it will again put in place the elimination of voter delusion actions that come about through states and local jurisdictions and voter delusion that can come about through the redistricting, headlines in the houston "chronicle" today is how challenging redistricting will be in texas. particularly with the new law and particularly with the increasing numbers in the population that happen to be minority and whether or not districts will be skewed so those minorities will not be able to vote. same thing with the denial votes under circumstances dealing with things like voting i.d. laws. my last point on this that i think is extremely important, will lead to my amendments, is the very sure-footed provision that leads with retrogretion it. will help everyone because it will deal with poor laws that
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actually deny the right to vote. i frankly believe the roting -- voting rights act is to allow everyone the right to vote. but what will be helpful to texas and many other states is that this law will apply to cases where retrogressive voting laws or rules have been enacted already before this particular rule would be in place. that's going to be extremely important because the valiant effort of the texas democratic representatives, obviously was a valiant effort. but it may be that we don't know the future right now, but it may be that legislation like that will pass. we know the georgia bill has already passed and it is retrogressive. so you offer these amendments very quickly and i would suggest to you that these are constitutionally based. and it seems unreasonable in a democratic republican -- republic that such provisions would be allowed in any state.
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my amendment allows for federal judiciary review of any warrants issued for the arrest of a state legislator where state legislator refuses to engage in the safe legislative process due to a reasonably held belief that doing so would infringe on right to vote. amendment 7 inserts a sense of congress, which i would hope, even as this bill is probably going toward a very narrow rendition, in terms of amendments, amendment that would state that a state's power to arrest a duly elected representative of constituency for refusal to engage in a state's legislate prove ses, should be subject to federal judicial review where such elective representative's propose -- elected representative's proposal would result in violations of the constitution of the united states. jackson lee amendment 8, privileges against arrest. any member of a state legislature for any reason, except treason or murder, while
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the legislature of this state is debating or voting on legislation related to redistricting or election practices or legislation relating to the right to vote in federal or state municipal elections, that they would have privileges against arrest. let me just summarize my point. i believe these are constitutionally vested in the 13th, 14th and 15th amendment. these are state actions or fixtures where the actual warrant was signed by the speaker of the state house. it may be like that in other state houses. maybe while members who are doo duly elected and representing their constitnts are stopped in the state and maybe across the nation. when they are trying to establish a quorum, the doors are locked, you must get a permission to leave for a restroom break or go to the office. this is what happens to these members on the floor of the state legislature. in addition, members have had the police officials go to their
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house. obviously frighten their families. because they are exercising the constitutional right. and they also exercise their right to represent their constituents. a texas democratic representative had no intent to violate any law. any other members who would havf they were trying to engage in protect the basic voting rights of all of their constituents, of all americans. and i believe this is a solid re-authorization. in fact, it is comprehensive. i highlight what had i think ars that are important. i would not suggest that the massive part of the bill is not. but i will not take up the time that has already been utilized by those who presented the case. my appreciation to my colleagues, terry sewell, chairman cohen, chairman nadler, great to be an early koh sponsor of the legislation and -- koh sponsor -- co-sponsor of the legislation.
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we've been stymied in this bill since 2013 with the poorly decided shelby case that has put us in this predicament where we have lost a number of seats that duly should have been not gerrymandered to eliminate the right of minorities to be able to express themselves by one vote, one person, and that's what we have suffered. finally, i want to make mention that the s.1 has not been passed in the united states senate and one of the things that's very dangerous that we should be thinking of and i believe that we have some elements in this bill, is to prohibit midterm redistricting which can be very dangerous and that's where hughes a lot of power, when you're able to go in and midterm redistrict. my bill, my amendments address if legislators wanted to fight against that. it addresses that and just for the record, the 18th
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congressional district is a voting rights districtive i've never had a district drawn by the legislature. they've all been drawn by the court. i sit in that kind of district rye now the -- right now because we were not able to get a district that met any standard, that it was a fair district, not to me, but to those who i represent, that they'd have a right to vote. so i thank you. i'd be happy to take questions and obviously i'm enthusiastically supporting the budget reconciliation and think the order of things is the way we should go in order to serve the american people. this is the right way to go and look forward to that process going forward. i thank you for your kindness. i yield back. mr. morelle: thank you for your testimony and again, let me welcome back the committee's former chair, also the gentleman from texas, mr. sessions. mr. sessions: mr. chairman, thank you very much. to mr. cole and my colleague, mr. burgess, who i used to serve with, mr. perlmutter, and also our new members of the committee
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that are here, rules committee became my life for 20 years. serving six years as chairman. i never learned to turn on the microphone. mr. chairman, i join today not in the same ask of the committee today, but i too bring the constitution of the united states with me today. mr. chairman, i'll refresh the committee if i might. the fourth amendment of the united states. the right of the people to be
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secure in their homes -- i'm sorry, their persons, their houses, their papers and effects. against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated and no warrant shall issue but upon probable cause by the oath or affirmation and particular describing the place to be searched and the persons or things to be seized. mr. chairman, today before you is a clause, a part of title 3, s.con.res. 14, which we have begun to learn about from the president of the united states. that i know of, no hearings, no hearings in ways and means, no hearings in financial services, no hearings in congress. but which may include
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prohibiting my amendment, prohibits the internal revenue service from using funds to monitor in-flows and out-flows of deposits or withdrawals of an unspis specified size and financial accounts of american taxpayers. so what brings me here today is a clause that is in s.con.res. 14, title 3, which allows money to be spent where the i.r.s. would come up with the ability to require banks to innumerate those things which are inflows and outflows of people's accounts. presumptively anything they bought, anything that went into an account? we don't really know. except it authorizes in this unspecified language giving them
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that ability to do by federal law. i believe that this is something that would more than require a regular person to understands what's going to happen, but the people of the united states congress. i believe that there should be questions that we should understand clearly what is the fourth amendment? that we should understand, from the internal revenue service, what requirements would they place on -- be placed on a bank? would there be a rip as required by the fourth amendment? would notification need to be made? or would we automatically say to financial institutions, you will report any inflow and outflow of money that comes in bank accounts? we don't know enough about it and i think that that should be something that we should all be concerned with.
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unspecified, unknowledgeable, no hearings, no questions, and yet we recognize we have the fourth amendment to the constitution. so i would ask this committee to please either strike that language or include my amendment here because i think this needs to be a part of a discussion that we understand what we're trying to do. it's tucked in to this bill. thank you, mr. chairman. mr. morelle: thank you, sir. with that, i'll go to mr. cole for questions you might have. mr. cole: thank you very much. i don't have any questions but i'd be remiss not to make a comment or two.
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the fact that this committee operates as civilly as it does and as collegial as it is, itly given -- particularly given the difficult nature of what a lot we deal with, is due almost exclusively to my good friend from texas who set that tone and that tenor here. the fact that the clock is so reracked -- relaxed is also a contribution he made. there are times when we probably wonder if that was a contribution. i knew mr. perlmutter would say something. but you know it always is. no member here is worried about getting cut off. no person who has come to testify is ever worried about being cut off. they all are given the opportunity to make their points and finally, and i can testify to this, having served on the committee when he was not chairman, believe any, we had a lot fewer late night meetings once pete sessions took over. i don't know how he had the
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meetings go longer but sweemed to have fewer of them and had them on a schedule more convenient than the members of this committee, whether you were in the majority or minority. the cooperative. ms. rice: he and -- cooperative relationship he and our late colleague had with one another was a great thing. i believe on the 14th of next month -- mr. sessions: i think the 23rd. mr. cole: 23rd. i was misinformed on the date. the contributions made to this institution in the manner in which he led it and the traditions which he created and continue to operate here. so thank you, my friend. it's very good to have you in front of this committee again.
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thank you, mr. chair. i yield back. mr. morelle: i'll note as the successor to my friend, luis slaughter, i know that she held new high regard as well. although i did think she preferred you as the ranking member than the chair. mr. sessions: i will assure you she preferred that. [laughter] mr. morelle: with that i'll call on mr. perlmutter. thank you. mr. perlmutter: thank you, mr. chair. to my friend, mr. sessions, that section that you read, that's in the budget resolution, right? mr. sessions: it is. mr. perlmutter: before we do the reconciliation bill where it would actually be nut putt into concrete -- will be put into concrete, because it sounds like a suspicious report activity kind of thing to me. mr. sessions: there's no question that i'm sure mr. perlmutter, to answer your question, i'm sure that there might be some reason it would be
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added. my point is that it is very descriptive about what it allows and when in the hands of those who think they've gotten the authorization it's very dangerous. mr. perlmutter: i appreciate the gentleman's concern. i guess what i was going to say is that before that will actually become law, that would direct the banks, it's still got to go through our committee at financial services and through the financial institutions committee. i may be wrong. but i think that it will and i would assure you that we will look closely at that particular language before we do a reconciliation bill. mr. sessions: with great respect, you could have standing on exactly what you suggest. i believe that it being there at all is a problem. i believe it should be forth
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rightly noted by all of us that there are discussions that we routinely have about what we should and should not be voting on. when we see something that could be very flagrant in its assemblage, which is what i believe this is, i think it gives great notice that we should not do that. and so i would ask this committee to do just that. otherwise i'm sure we will show up and say, well, we didn't stop it before, why should we stop it now? and i cannot and you do sit in the majority, you could have questions made, you could have committee hearings, you could do those things. i think it is clearly unconstitutional and without merritt and would ask that we do it now. and i respect the gentleman. as you know, our friendship extends back all the years you have been here. and i don't come up here on a regular basis anymore.
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but i do come up with things that i believe are within the jurisdiction of a member and the constitution and would ask that we respect that. mr. perlmutter: i appreciate the gentleman's comments. i'm just saying that there is, i believe, a back stop, which will be our committee in continual services and the committee that i chair, the financial institutions committee, where we will look at this closely, unless it's amended by your proposal. with that, i yield back. mr. sessions: thank you, sir. mr. morelle: thank you, mr. perlmutter. mr. burgess. mr. burgess: i thank the chair. i think there's -- they're both thoughtful amendments and they awed ought to be included in the rule. mr. morelle: mr. raskin.
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i'm going skip to ms. scanlon. ms. scanlon: i have no further. thank you. mr. morelle: thank you. mr. refresh that willer -- mr.s remain szen that willer --s remain thaler. mr. reschenthaler: thank you. i yield back. mr. morelle: i thank the witnesses for being here. with that, i'll go to mr. deson yaivment no, i'm sorry, mrs. fischbach. mrs. fischbach: that's ok because i do appreciate all of your pop culture references today and you have set the bar very high. i have no questions. i yield back. mr. morelle: terrific. thank you. mr. desaulnier. mr. desaulnier: yes, sir. the beginning of a beautiful relationship. [laughter] mr. morelle: i'm not going to live that one down. miss ross. ms. ross: thank you, mr. chairman. i also want to acknowledge the
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importance of the issues raised by ms. jeel and -- ms. jackson lye, but i have no further questions and i yield back. mr. morelle: mr. neguse. mr. neguse: thank you, mr. chairman. i would simply say i i think both amendments are thoughtful. with respect to the amendment from my colleague on the judiciary committee, the gentlewoman from texas, i'd certainly very much appreciate herrellvateing this critically important issue -- her elevating this critically important issue. with respect to the chairman aemeritus, from the state of texas, i appreciate your articulate description of the amendments, an issue i wasn't aware of. i certainly would like to learn more because based on what you described, i share your concern regarding the particular language that's within the bill. with that, i yield back. mr. morelle: thank you. does any other member of the committee wish to have any other further question asked? ms. jackson lee: if i might before you gavel. i want to put on the record, i'm delighted, i think i spend a lot of time in front of both
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chairwoman slaughter and this committee and chairman sessions and this committee. so certainly a privilege to be here at this one to make sure that i establish for the record that in the instance of having example, because it may be other states that may be engaged in this but for the record the arrest warrants against the texas democratic representatives were civil arrest warrants issued not by a court of any jurisdiction, not by a law enforcement entity, but by the speaker of the texas house. and that's why i think the raising this to a constitutional question is extremely important because it means that it could be a way of denying or diluting votes by way of arrest and intimidation. so i wanted to make sure and hope that my colleagues would consider amendments 6, 7 and 8 on the constitutional premise. i'll close my remarks by reminding us of our friend and
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colleague, john lewis, who indicated that the vote is the most powerful nonviolent change agent in this democratic republican that we have -- republic that we have. i hope that we will see our way to include these amendments but also to pass h.r. 4 in the rule and tomorrow. along with the budget reconciliation and the invest act. he i thank you, mr. chairman, for allowing me. mr. morelle: thank you. i'll ask if there are any further questions? being none, i would like to thank our witnesses for being here this afternoon and you can leave with the stenographer anything that you wish inserted into the record and now i wish you a good day. you're excused. [laughter] are there any members who wish to testify on h.r. 4? seeing none, this closes the hearing on h.r. 4. without objection, the committee stands in recess subject to the
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call of the chair. we hope the recess is not too long and we will give members at least a 30-minute notice before we reconvene. so with that, we are in recess. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2021]
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[inaudible coverage] [inaudible conversation] >> with the house rules committee debating the rules for the budget resolution, restoring provisions of the 1965 voting rights act and the infrastructure package, those
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measures now moved to the house floor. the house is scheduled to come into session this afternoon at 5:00 p.m. eastern to consider the rule for those three pieces of legislation and you can see live coverage of the house here on c-span also at and with the free c-span radio app. right now, here on c-span, the beginning of the rules committee debate from earlier today.