tv House Rules Committee Holds Meeting on Voting Rights and Infrastructure CSPAN August 24, 2021 3:45am-7:00am EDT
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 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. 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. 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 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 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. 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 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 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 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 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 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. 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 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. >> 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? 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. 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 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 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 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 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 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 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. 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 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 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. 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? 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. 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. 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. 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 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 $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. 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 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 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. 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. 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. >> 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 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. 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 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. 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. 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 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 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 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. 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. 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, 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. 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. 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. >> 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. 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 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. 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
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 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 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 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 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 -- 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. 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 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 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. 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 -- 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. 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. 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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%, 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 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 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 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 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 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. 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 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. 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. 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. 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 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 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 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. 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 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 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, 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. 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 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. -- 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 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 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, 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 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 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 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 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 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? 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? 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 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 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 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. 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. 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. 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 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 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 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 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, 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 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 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. 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 biden justice department is refusing to say whether it would review the process by which some states adopted the measure in 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 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 h.r.is a federal power grab rings hallow because congress cannot seize power from the states that it already processes. as a constitutional matter, 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 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. 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 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 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. 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 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 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 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 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. 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 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 -- 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, 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 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. 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. 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. 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 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 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 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 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 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 -- 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. 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 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. 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. 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? 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 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. 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 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. 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 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. 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 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
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