tv U.S. Senate CSPAN December 12, 2011 5:00pm-8:00pm EST
political distinction. it's the record of a dedicated, qualified, experienced and engaged american diplomat, a 15-month record that brought our nations together and pursued our interest. what more could we ask? what more should we ask? so, having so having said that, because of my strong belief that ambassador aponte is fully qualified thor that post, during the last several months i worked with senator kerry to find a way despite committee precedent to allow additional republicans on the foreign relations committee to review the ambassador's f.b.i. file. as a result, not one but two republicans -- my colleague and friend from florida, mr. rubio, and the senator from south carolina, mr. demint -- were able to review her file. since the concern had been not having access to the file, we presumed that once they were reviewed, they would lift their objections and allow a vote on her nomination.
why? because there is nothing in that file that would indicate otherwise. but we were wrong. it wasn't about the file. that appeared to be just a delay dactic. the opposition to ms. aponte's nomination turned out to be one thing and one thing only, and that's politics. a good-faith effort to provide full access to information and address concerns about ms. aponte was summarily dismissed. at her nomination hearing in november, republican members of the committee raised a new concern, an editorial penned by ambassador aponte on tolerance and nonviolence during gay pride month in june. republicans decried it as disregarding salvadoran culture and questioned her motives for writing the editorial, despite the fact that the editorial was a result of a cable edict to all embassies from the state department urging missions to write editorials during these events. the true irony of this trumped-up allegation is that
the editorial, which republicans assert -- quote -- "stirred controversy and was rebuked throughout latin america, mirrored a may 2010 decree by salvadoran president funes prohibiting discrimination by the government of el salvador based on sexual orientation." so let's be honest. there's no question about ambassador aponte's qualifications or performance on the job or about whether an editorial on tolerance is grounds for sack an ambassador. this is just another republican dog-and-pony show to undermine the president's policy objectives and attack a qualified democratic nominee to an essential post. when the facts, when the files, when there is nothing that corroborated the vicious allegations about ms. aponte's pasts, those on the other side argue that her editorial on the elimination of prejudice was the basis for their opposition. when they learned that the government of el salvador itself supports this review, republicans again changed their
tune. four weeks after her november 29 nomination hearing on the eve of the foreign relations business committee meeting, these members decried that they wanted to attack -- decided, i should say, they wanted to attack from a different angle. they called for a new classified hearing to vet her nomination, to permit questions to f.b.i. and diplomatic security investigators about whether they had been subjected to political interference when determining ambassador aponte's eligibility for a security clearance. i find it appalling that members of the chamber would suggest without evidence that professional f.b.i. and diplomatic security members would bend to political pressure or that any administration would apply such pressure risking u.s. national security on behalf of any person. those members knew the content and timing of their request would make it impossible to fulfill. and to his credit, the chairman of the committee, senator kerry, over the last several weeks has nonetheless sought to resolve the situation and in fact there has been an offer made to
senator demint to go over the whole essence of the background of the diplomatic security clearance. mr. president, the shifting basis of the opposition to ambassador aponte reveals to me at least that the motive for this opposition is pure partisan politics driven by pure partisan interests, fueled by pure partisan desire to disrail an administration nominee for the sake of derailment alone. without any regard to the consequences for american foreign policy or for the nation. i have seen this ambassador. she has succeeded beyond anybody's wildest expectations in a country that is -- that has dramatically turned the course of events in the way we want to see it. i urge my colleagues to support do aponte's nomination. i urming them to put partisan politics aside, recognize the benefits to america's security and foreign policy interests that her tenure as delivered and ado you ambassador aponte to continue serving our nation.
with that, mr. president, i yield the floor and yeemed bag to the chairman any time that i may not have used. mr. demint: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from south carolina. mr. demint: thank you, mr. president. i rise today to express my opposition to the nomination of mary carmen aponte to be ambassador to e el salvador. her nomination has been opposed twice for good reason. i'd like to clarify some facts. several have voiced concerns about senate republicans supposed obstruction when it comes to president obama's nominees. but most of his nominees have not even been contested. in fact, since obama has been predz, the senate has confirmed 1,1986 his nomination only a small praks of these nominees have been so controversial that
they have been blocked by the as a member of the senate, take the senate's constitutional duty to provide advice and consent to the president's nominees seriously. while the overwhelming majority of nominees are easily confirmed, some do rise to such a level that further debate and scrutiny are required by the u.s. senate. ms. aponte is one of these nominees. this is not the first time the senate has considered confirming ms. aponte for an ambassadorship. she was first nominated by former president clinton in 1998 to be the ambassador of -- to the dominican republic. at the time, senator jesse helms, who was chairman of the foreign relations committee, learned of possible background issues and concerns by investigators relating to ms. aponte's ties to cuban intelligence. primarily, the question centered around 129-year romantic
relationship with a montana targeted as part of an f.b.i. counterintelligence investigation and aiming allegedly worked for cuba's spy agency. a high-rank cuban defector claimed that cuban intelligence tried to reviewt ms. aponte. rather than discuss her past relationship, ms. aponte withdrew her nomination and it was filled by someone else. vauntsly ms. aponte was given a top security clearance by the state department despite what some have described serious objections from career officials. when president obama nominated ms. aponte in march of 2010 to be ambassador to el salvador, republicans asked for more information to address the allegations that had been -- that had previously surfaced. namely, information about the scope of the 1998 investigation including an update to that file. second, information about the
cuban defector that was handled by the c.e.a. who publicly alleged that cuban intelligence had attempted to recruit ms. aponte through her longtime live-in boyfriend. and, three, information about the f.b.i.'s counterintelligence investigation that led to ms. aponte's refusal to take a lie detecter test in 1994 as requested by the f.b.i. serious questions, honest questions. instead of allowing senators to access that information and alleviate our concerns, president obama went around the senate and granted ms. aponte a recess appointment in august of 2010. for nearly a year and a half, republicans have been continually denied access to ms. aponte's full f.b.i. record and other information as the obama administration has rebuffed our requests related to ms. aponte's past.
shortly after ms. aponte was first nominated by president obama, i along with four other members of the senate foreign relations committee wrote a letter to secretary of state hillary clinton to ask for her snns? obtaining this information. that same month, all eight republican members of the committee wrote to senate foreign reels committee chairman john kerry stating that committee members had not received requested information needed to fully vet the nominee. let me remind everyone, we never received that information. ms. aponte was recess appointed by the obama administration later this summer. we have continued our efforts to work with the administration to get access to this information. chairman kerry was able to convince the white house to allow me to see a summary of the diplomatic security background investigation. however, that summary did not address the fundamental questions that have arisen, and that summary left me with more
questions than answers. so committee republicans wrote another letter to chairman kerry about our concerns last month. in the letter we said, and i quote, "we recognize the need to balance highly sensitive materials during the confirmation process. however, we believe that in this particular case, the scope of the background review was not appropriately complete." we went on to say, and i quote, "the background vim that was provided was based on an updated investigation but it did not encompass numerous allegations that the initial background investigation in 1998 was tainted by political interference. news reports and other sources allege that ms. aponte received security clearance despite objections from career officials due to outside pressure. however, these allegations and the circumstances surrounding them were not part of the current background investigation. without additional information, senators had no way of
determining the validity of media stories and rumors that have been circulating about this nominee's past. we also asked for a closed hearing due to these lingering issues. we wrote, and i quote, "we believe that the circumstances warrant additional committee review in the form of a closed hearing. a closed hearing would allow senators to review and discuss the classified and sensitive data relevant to the nomination and discuss the unresolved issues with investigators and relevant intelligence community officials. as the issue involved both a high-ranking cuban defector and f.b.i. counterintelligence investigations, closed hearings would be the most beneficial format available to the committee to rectify the deficiency of information provided." senator kerry declined to hold a closed briefly and wrote a letter back that said, "in my view, the process we have
followed with regard to ms. aponte's nomination has aforwarded -- afforded committee members ample time to consider his nomination and secure answers to any relevant questions." he also said, "we should all be in a position now to debate ms. aponte's nomination on its merits." senator kerry then offered 0 work with my office further to get answers from the administration. i believe he did work in good faith with our office, but in the end the white house once again denied our request for information. while i agree with senator kerry that there has been ample time spent on ms. aponte's nomination, we still lack critical information. the senate cannot in good faith confirm a nominee who has repeatedly refused to answer simple, necessary questions related to her past. in addition to questions about her past, ms. aponte's current judgment is also in question. in her recess-appointed capacity as ambassador to el salvador,
ms. aponte that is enflamed tensions in the very country where she should be imriewflg diplomatic relations. her decision to publish an opinion piece hostile to the culture of el salvadoran presents even more doubts about her fitness for the job. this op-ed upset a large number of community and pro-life groups in el salvador who were insulted by ms. poo aponte's rhetoric. a coalition of more than three dozen groups have since written the senate asking its members to oppose ms. aponte's confirmation. i quote from their letter in which they wrote, "we respectfully request that ms. aponte be removed from post as soon as possible so that el salvador may enjoy the benefits of having a person as a government representative of your noble country." meanwhile, republicans on the senate foreign relations committee are still trying to get access to information about ms. aponte's past. two days ago the white house again denied senators the right to be briefed or review
information relevant to this nomination. senators should not be forced to vote son a nominee without a complete understanding of her background. we urge to join us and vote against cloture. i thank you, mr. president, and reserve the balance of the republican time. and how much time is left? the presiding officer: 10 seconds. mr. demint: that's pretty good timing. thank you, i yield back. kerr. mr. kerry: mr. president, i yield four minutes to the senator from connecticut. mr. lieberman: i thank the chair and thank my friend from massachusetts. mr. president, i rise to speak in support of the nomination of norm eisen to be ambassador to the czech republic. i know norman in a very personal capacity so i feel very strongly about this nomination. since i was fortunate to be elected to the united states senate and came to washington, i joined a synagogue in georgetown
and norm eisen and his wife and children are members so i got to know them in a totally nonpolitical, nondiplomatic way, and based on that, i start with a real appreciation of this as a fine, honorable public spirited man. he happened to have gone to law school with president obama. and i think as a result of that, the president knew him, asked him to be the ethics counsel in the white house in the first years of the administration. i think anybody you talk to about his -- or most anybody you talk to about his peformance in that job would say that he did an excellent job. he was demanding ethically and intellectually. his honor and his quest to have the government and those who serve in government act in an honorable way is very high. when there was a vacancy in the position of ambassador to the czech republic, president obama asked norm eisen if he would
serve. and the president did something that really had a lot of meaning to it, apart from norman's quite considerable resume and private attorney and successful, highly regarded, very effective, norm eisen is the child of survivors of the holocaust. his mother was actually born in the czech republic. so what a remarkable moment for president obama to ask him to return to the country from which his family was essentially chased, and some worse, as the ambassador of the greatest country in the world, the super power, the united states of america. in that position as ambassador. so now we have a record that he's got. before there was a problem about the nomination raised by senator grassley at that time. so he has a recess appointment. but now he's been there and he's done an extraordinary job. i know from conversations with
people in prague that he is very, very highly regarded by the leadership of the czech republic. an extraordinary bipartisan group of foreign policy experts have endorsed his confirmation. it would actually be extremely disruptive if we did not confirm norm eisen in terms of our relations, diplomatic, economic, security relations with the czech republic which are so important. i think if you were considering this nomination and put the various arguments on the scales of justice, on one side you have a record of public service, of honor, of great family values, of intellectual excellence, of belief in public service, of a great record now in the time he's been in prague as our ambassador. on the other side, you have a question about how norman, while
he was in the white house as ethics counsel handled the case of this one individual, inspector general at the korpbgs for national and -- at the corporation for national and community service. i've been over this in great detail, in in the homeland security we oversee i.g.'s. we simply, with respect to senator grassley, who has been very thorough and fair about this and is probably the leading protector and defender of the i.g.'s in the senate, in the matter that bothers him, there was a misunderstanding. there was not, in my opinion, after looking at this very thoroughly, an intentional act of deceit. there was a misunderstanding. ambassador eisen has now apologized for that misunderstanding, stating unintentionally an inaccuracy. on one side of the scales of
justice, you have all these extraordinary positives. and on the other a question raised about this one case that he handled which some say, senator grassley and others working for him say was deceitful. ambassador eisen says it was a misunderstanding for which he apologizes. to me, it is not only in the interest of the united states, but also in the interest of fairness and justice with which we'd like to believe we conduct our proceedings here, that the senate today across party lines confirm the nomination of norm eisen to be ambassador to the czech republic. i thank the chair and yield the floor. mr. kerry: i thank the senator from connecticut. i yield two minutes to the senator from new hampshire. poeup the senator from new hampshire. mrs. shaheen: i rise to speak on the confirmation of norm eisen.
in a year, ambassador eisen has proven to be a strong advocated for the united states -- a strong advocate for the united states. he brought renewed focus to our defense relations with the czech republic, resulting in expansion of our bilateral and nato military cooperation, and the czech republic increased its troop contribution in afghanistan and strongly supported international efforts on iran, and the u.s. policy on israel with the e.u. and the united nations during his tenure. as chair of the senate foreign relations subcommittee on european affairs, i had the privilege of chairing both of ambassador eisen's nomination hearings. throughout the nomination process, he has demonstrated a strong understanding of the complexities of our relationship with the czech republic, a drive to fully represent american interests and values, and really a special humility in having the opportunity to represent the united states.
so, i would hope that all of our colleagues in the senate this evening will join us in supporting norm eisen to be the ambassador to the czech republic. thank you, mr. president. mr. kerry: mr. president, i thank the senator from new hampshire. the presiding officer: the senator from massachusetts. mr. kerry: mr. president, i thank the senator from new hampshire very much. i know she cut her time a little bit because we're getting towards the end of these comments with respect to the nominees and to the vote. likewise, i haven't said anything about either nominee, and i want to say a couple of words about each if i can. and i want to specifically answer a couple of points made by the senator from south carolina with respect to mari aponte. first of all, with respect to norm eisen, he has been an extraordinarily effective ambassador for the united states in terms of our relationship
with the czech republic. and he has, by everybody's measure, he has deepened that partnership on key national security interests. he's been a key supporter of american economic interests. he has aggressively backed the westinghouse company's pursuit of a $27 billion contract to construct nuclear reactors in the czech republic. and that would mean thousands of jobs here in the united states. the chamber of commerce has called him one of the most effective ambassadors to hold this post. he has assisted the czech government with its plans to develop the center for nuclear safety in prague. he has been an eloquent advocate of urging prague to retain the 600 soldiers that they have sent from the czech republic to afghanistan, making it one of our most supportive nato allies. he has supported the czech
government's efforts to pool defense resources with neighbors. and he has supported and enhanced the czech efforts to establish a nato center of excellence for helicopters. finally, mr. president, he has enthusiastically supported the czech leadership's efforts to promote the stabilization and democratization of six states between the e.u. and russia, ukraine, georgia, belarus, armenia, monthly dole have -- moldova, and azerbaijan. i think in every respect ambassador eisen earned the respect of the senate. he understands the culture of the czech republic. he speaks the language, which is a critical asset for our ambassadors in any country, in any part of the world. and as was mentioned by the senator from connecticut, he is the son of a holocaust survivor from the former czechoslovakia. and believe me, he understands
the history of that part of the world and of that country in a very personal way. i might also comment that the country's leaders trust him. national review this week said that his efforts have been publicly recognized by innumerable czech officials, including the leading trans atlantacist, prime minister nachas and the foreign minister. i hope our colleagues today will recognize that he is exactly the right person that we need in prague at this time. now let me speak, if i may, to ambassador aponte. i would hate to see the united states senate take this good person and make her a part of the political back and forth
that has consumed this city and to deny her the right to the full appointment as ambassador, given the outstanding job that she has done in that capacity. among her accomplishments -- i mean, let's talk about the accomplishments, rather than talk about something from 1990 that, frankly, has been vetted several times not just by the committees in her appointments, but by the professionals in the national security establishment of the united states who have three times -- not once but three times -- given her national security clearances at the highest level. it seems to me that we should recognize that she has done a spectacular job of negotiating an agreement with the salvadoran government to open a new jointly funded electronic monitoring center to fight transnational crime.
she's helped secure the deployment of salvadoran troops to afghanistan. the only country in south america and latin america to be doing so. and i think that is no small accomplishment. it is clear that she has gained the respect of the salvadoran government. the foreign relations committee has received many letters in support of her nomination, including one signed by eight former foreign ministers and 18 members of the salvadoran congress. now we heard the senator from south carolina a few moments ago say that he wanted somehow to get additional information. well, mr. president, i respect, and i think the senator from south carolina knows this because i've bent over backwards to try to help provide that information. the first time she was nominated, two members of our committee were permitted to look at the tpa*b report -- look at the f.b.i. report and we designated senator menendez and senator barrasso and they looked
at it, and there was nothing in it that struck either of them as restraining people from being able to vote for her. then she had a recess appointment because senator demint at that time objected to the nomination. and subsequently, with this nomination now, we again were appointing two people to go see the f.b.i. record. and on this occasion we bent the rules, and both senator rubio and senator demint were allowed to go look at the f.b.i. record. subsequent to that, we went through a process of trying to schedule the nomination. senator lugar and i had agreed that we would try to do so. so senator demint reviewed the background file on november 3. senator rubio reviewed it on november 7. her nomination hearing was held on november 8.
and her nomination was put on the agenda for november 15 committee business meeting. the day of that business meeting -- not before it. the day of the meeting i received a request that her nomination be held over until the next business meeting. i honored that request, and indeed we held it over. that same day i sent a letter to the members in the foreign relations committee saying the next business meeting would be rescheduled for two weeks later which was the tuesday after thanksgiving, november 29. then late in the thanksgiving recess, i receive a letter asking that it be deferred indefinitely. the stated reason was to permit the committee to hold a closed-door hearing at which we could examine whether the f.b.i. properly conducted its investigation relating to misaponte not for her nomination now, not for her nomination a
few months ago or last year, but looking into what the f.b.i. did or didn't do in the 1990's. now i understand that everybody's busy. we all have a lot to do around here. but to wait until the 11th hour to ask for a hearing of that sort is, frankly, puzzling. and carrying out an investigation of the f.b.i. is no small matter. to suggest that on the several occasions that she has received a top secret clearance, somehow the f.b.i. or the c.i.a. or some other entity in our intelligence community bent under political pressure is insulting to them. and believe me, mr. president, if that were true, we would have been reading about it on the front pages of "the washington post" or the "new york times" or all the papers a long time ago. so, let me recap. the background file was reviewed on november 3.
no request for a closed hearing, not during the november 8 nomination hearing was there a request for a closed hearing. not in the written request on november 15 for a holdover was there a request for a closed hearing. and even after the foreign relations committee voted out this nomination, i bent over backwards to try to help senator demint be able to get the answers to his questions, and the white house said that they would make available to him a briefing at the time of his choosing. i have now received a letter from the white house director of legislative affairs. i ask that it be placed in the record. that request was never responded to. the presiding officer: without objection. and the senator's time has expired. mr. kerry: i thank the chair. i'd simply say that, you know, fair is fair around here, and i don't think that this nominee
should be the victim of a long delay process. she has done the job well. she deserves to be sent back. and i hope colleagues will not filibuster her nomination today. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the clerk will report the motion to invoke cloture. the clerk: cloture motion, we the undersigned senators in accordance with the provisions of rule 22 of the standing rules of the senate hereby move to bring to a close the debate on the nomination of norman l. eisen of the district of columbia to be ambassador to the czech republic, signed by 17 senators. the presiding officer: by unanimous consent, the mandatory quorum call has been waived. the question is is it the sense of the senate that debate on the nomination of norman l. eisen of the district of columbia to be ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary of the united states to the czech republic shall be brought to a close. the yeas and nays are mandatory. under the rule, the clerk will call the roll. mr. kerry: mr. president, i
would simply ask unanimous consent before the clerk calls the roll, that before the aponte vote, there be two minutes equally divided of debate. the presiding officer: is there objection? seeing none, without any objection, it is granted. mr. kerry: i thank the chair. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. vote:
the presiding officer: are there any senators wishing to vote or change their vote? if not, on this vote, the yeas are 70, the nays are 16. three-fifths of the senators duly chosen and sworn having voted in the affirmative, the motion is agreed to. the presiding officer: under the previous order, the question occurs on the nomination. mr. kerry: were the yeas and nays ordered? i would ask we have a voice vote. the presiding officer: the question is on the nomination. all those in favor signify by saying aye. opposed? the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the nomination is confirmed. there will now be two minutes of debate prior to the next vote. mr. kerry: mr. president, may we have order. the presiding officer: order in the senate. please take your conversations outside.
order in the senate. mr. kerry: mr. president, i yield one minute to the senator from new jersey, senator menendez. the presiding officer: without objection. the senator from new jersey. mr. menendez: mr. president? the presiding officer: can we have order, please. the presiding officer: the senator from new jersey. mr. menendez: mr. president, mari carmen aponte is an excellently qualified latina who's being politically discriminated against despite a record accomplishment for the united states in el salvador which is universally recognized as extraordinary, from getting salvadoran troops to fight alongside with us, the only latin american country to do so, to creating a new monitoring center to fight transnational crime. to suggest that the f.b.i. and
diplomatic security would give her not one but two top-secret clearances that were not merited is the ultimate insult to those agencies. simply -- it is simply wrong to use alleged nameless, faceless accusers to falsely impugn her reputation. i urge my colleagues to allow an up-or-down vote on her nomination and to vote for cloture so we can get to that vote to put this qualified latina to continue to work on behalf of the united states in el salvador, as she has successfully done. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: who yields the time? mr. demint: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from south carolina. mr. demint: all of us regret when there is a situation where one of us has to oppose a nomination of a president. and 1,198 nominations have gone through without being contested here, but this is one that rises to the level of concern.
republicans have been asking questions about this nominee for months. in fact, much longer than that. going back to why she refused to take a lie detector test, why she withdrew her name when she was first nominated for ambassador under clinton, and why the files have not been properly updated. we have asked the white house for just private meetings with the f.b.i. and c.i.a., with -- to give us updated knowledge of what happened in this circumstances so that we could make a good decision, but there was never an offer to do that. we had offers of low-level folks to come talk to us, only to me, not to republicans on the committee. but there are enough questions here for honest answers and we have not gotten them. i encourage my colleagues to vote against this nomination. the presiding officer: the senator's time has expired. mr. demint: thank you. mr. kerry: mr. president, do we have any time left? the presiding officer: no time left, sir.
under the previous order, the clerk will report the motion to invoke cloture. the clerk: cloture motion. we, the undersigned senators in accordance with the provisions of rule 22 of the standing rules of the senate, hereby move to bring to a close the debate on the nomination of mari carmen aponte of the district of columbia to be the ambassador of the republic of el salvador. signed by 17 senators. the presiding officer: by unanimous consent, the mandatory quorum call has been waived. the question is, is it the sense of the senate that debate on the nomination of mari carmen aponte of the district of columbia to be ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary poplenipotentiad states of america to the republic of el salvador shall be brought to a close? the yeas and nays are manned may urn the rule. the clerk will call the roll. -- the yeas and nays are mandatory under the rule. the clerk will call the roll. vote:
the presiding officer: are there any senators in the chamber wishing to vote or change their vote? if not, this vote, the yeas are 39,es nays are 37. three-fifths of the senators duly chosen and sworn not having voted in the affirmative, the motion is not agreed to. mr. reid: #eu enter a motion to reconsider the vote by which cloture was not ip voked. the presiding officer: motion is entered. the senator from texas. there will be order. mrs. hutchison: mr. president, i come to the floor today to discuss and pass the risk-based security screening for members of the armed forces act. how many times have you been at an airport screening line, you're getting ready to go through the machines that are going to determine that you're safe to travel, and standing right there in the line is a man or woman in their military fighting gear, their camouflage and their combat boots, and
they're having to take off their combat boots, many times in their two-week r & r period between their stints in afghanistan or iraq, and you think, oh, my gosh, i mean, that is just unbelievable that our military people who are putting their lives on the line, who are sacrificing so much are having to go through a procedure that just doesn't have a commonsense feel about it? so, last week senator rockefeller, senator burr, and i introduced senate bill 1954, the risk-based security screening for members of the armed forces act. the bill was a modification of the house companion bill that was recently passed by representative cavatt from minnesota in a unanimous decision by the house.
and it requires the t.s.a., the transportation security agency, to create a system to speed members of our uniformed services through airport security. i would also like to thank senators lieberman and collins for their input on this piece of legislation. we've all worked hard to move this bill through quickly, and it is the house bill that we will be taking up very shortly, with the modifications that i have mentioned. the bill establishes a time line for the transportation security administration and the department of defense together to develop and implement a program to establish expedited security screening procedures for military personnel and their families. i think we can all agree that our military men and women make sacrifices for our nation every day. the least we can do is try to make their lives a little easier
when they travel around the country they defend. i think they have earned the right to at least go to the head of the line or have some kind of trusted passenger status. our armed forces are comprised of over 1.4 million brave men and women. they are stationed at more than 6 thour thousand military bases worldwide. for all the hardships they endure, i think they deserve to be at the front of line in some kind of procedure that expedites their security clearance. airports, airlines and t.s.a.'s recognize this issue, and they want to reduce the delays. currently t.s.a. uses the same screening protocols for all passengers. but t.s.a. has indicated that it would like to improve the process and move forward to risk-based screening procedures. they certainly have my support, and i know many members, if not
an overwhelming majority in congress, to do that. mr. pistol, the head of the transportation security administration, has testified before our commerce committee about the risk-based screening procedures that they are trying to put in place that will give them a better opportunity to target people that are more at risk or more under suspicion while letting frequent fliers and people in the military go through on an expedited basis. i would say the first identifiable group to get risk-based screening processes should be those who are fighting this war, those with boots on the ground. members of our military and their families traveling on orders and in uniform should benefit from these new rules. in a time of limited resources, the establishment of procedures to expedite the screening of a pool of travelers who are most
certainly are trusted travelers would better allow the t.s.a. to focus their attention on areas of real threat. earlier this year the house passed congressman karvatz's bill unanimously just a couple of weeks ago, and i hope our quick and unanimous action will allow the house to quickly reconsider the modified measure and get the bill signed into law as soon as possible. as we are going into this traveling season, we've been through thanksgiving and we're now approaching christmas, the bill is not going to be implemented by this season. they can't do it in two weeks. but surely by the next holiday season, our trusted travelers, the members of our military and their families, will be able to have this expedited procedure. and i hope that as they are traveling in this year's rush through the processes to get home to their loved ones that
they will know that we are working on something that will make their lives easier and expedite their travel while they are home on leave fighting the war that is protecting our freedom and our way of life. so, mr. president, i ask unanimous consent -- the presiding officer: under the previous order, the president will be immediately notified of the senate's action in executive session. mrs. hutchison: mr. president, i would ask -- the presiding officer: the senate will resume legislative. mrs. hutchison: did we move into legislative? the presiding officer: yes, we did. mrs. hutchison: yes, thank you. i ask unanimous consent the committee of commerce be removed from further consideration of h.r. 1801 and the senate proceed to its immediate consideration. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: h.r. 1801 an act to
amend the united states code to provide for expedited security screenings for members of the armed forces. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding to the measure? without objection, the senate will proceed. mrs. hutchison: i ask unanimous consent that the amendment at the desk be agreed to and i urge passage of the bill as amended. the presiding officer: without objection, the amendment is agreed to. all in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the bill as amended is passed. mrs. hutchison: thank you. i ask consent that the motion to reconsider be laid upon the table and any statements relating to the measure appear at the appropriate place in the record as if read. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. hutchison: mr. president, i thank you, and i'm very pleased that we have been able to expedite this bill for the
expedited travel procedures for our military personnel. the t.s.a. will have about 180 days working with the department of defense to get procedures in place to do this. and i just hope that our military people, wherever they are in the world, know how much america appreciates their service, and we know they are fighting for our way of life to prevail for our children and future generations. thank you, mr. president, and i yield the floor. mr. brown: mr. president? sproeup the senator from ohio. mr. brown: i -- the presiding officer: the senator from ohio. mr. brown: i echo the words of the senior senator from texas in support of our men and women who might be home on leave, might be sent somewhere else to active duty and i echo her words, that's the least we can do. i thank the gentlelady from texas. i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to a period of morning business until 7:30 p.m. with senators permitted to speak therein for up to ten minutes each. the presiding officer: without
objection. mr. brown: thank you, mr. president. ten years ago this month -- ten years ago actually tomorrow, i believe, this -- the people's republic of china officially joined the world trade organization. american businesses, we were told, would gain new access to chinese markets through the removal of trade barriers through increased transparency, through more stringent protection of intellectual property rights. china promised to follow the rule of law, to reform its legal system, and in turn would gain new access to global markets. at the time it joined the world trade organization, china made a number of promises. chinese leaders pledged to reduce trade barriers and open up markets. they promised to increase transparency, protect intellectual property rights and reform their legal system. supporters of the people's republic of china, including a
strong majority, unfortunately, of members of this body and in the house of representatives, other supporters of the people's republic of china were most of america's, almost all of america's largest corporate c.e.o.'s argued that the w.t.o. membership would bring human rights and freedom and the rule of law to china. ten years later we see a very different picture, a picture that a number of members of the house in those days and some members of the senate and some opponents to allowing china into the world trade organization, we have seen something very different. american workers have seen millions of jobs shipped to china. factories in places like youngstown and charleston and huntington and dayton have moved to wuhan and shihan and shanghai
with final products sold to the united states. the business plan of a number of corporations is to shut down production in mansfield, ohio, and in zanesville, ohio, and move that production to beijing or shihan, china, set up companies there and ship products back to the united states. to my knowledge, never in history has there been a country where such a huge number of companies would set up that business plan. think about that. shut down production in the country where you're located, shut down production, laying off workers who have made you a successful company, shut down -- hurt a community by closing down that plant, doing terrible damage to the schools, to the police departments, to the city services and all that, and move your production to another country because you can work there more cheaply and sell products back to the united states. to my knowledge, never in
world -- i could be mistaken about this but nobody has ever shown me otherwise. to my knowledge, never in world history has that been the business plan for so many companies. american manufacturers that stay here have been undermined by a flood of cheap chinese imports priced artificially low. when a large corporation moves to china, so often that corporation's supply chains, a tool and die maker, machine shop, small manufacturer that makes components that sell to the larger companies, they don't have the wherewithal to follow them to china, so they lose one of their biggest customers. so those american manufacturers that stay here have been then undermined by a flood of cheap chinese imports priced artificially low. some of those chinese imports came from american companies that moved overseas to china. chinese citizens so often face poor work conditions, continual human rights violations. a nobel peace prize winner is
languishing in prison. the big winner is the multinational corporations here that have outsourced jobs. and the other big winner is the communist government and the apareparachix they enriched. the big winners are large corporations that have outsourced jobs to china and the chinese communist party which appear to be their allies in this and the high ranking officials that benefit from this. so while american companies that stay here and american workers are following world trade organization rules intended to provide a common set of law to ensure a level playing field for global trade, the chinese are gaming the system. it's clear china doesn't live up to its promises, doesn't live up to the unrealistic expectations of its supporters.
far from becoming freer, the chinese people are burdened with limited traoeuts basic free -- rights to basic freedoms. i can't count the number of c.e.o.'s that i saw walk the halls of congress and say if we pass pntr, we're going to see freedom. all this capitalism in china, all these jobs in china are going to bring freedom, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly in china. no. it's enriched the country of china, to be sure. it's especially though enriched the communist party, enriched the people's liberation army, enriched some of the capitalists in china and this chinese party system. it's getting worse from the harsh crackdown on human rights lawyers to the brutal policies in tibet that led to a recent wave of self-emulation, imagine the depth of feeling and passion and hopelessness and anger at an oppressive government that
people who have such strong feelings would actually set themselves on fire in protest from the crackdown on human rights lawyers to the brutal policies in tibet, the china communist party shows no sign of easing its grip on the chinese people. not only did their membership, their joining the w.t.o., not bring freedom and democracy to china, it didn't bring fair trade either. chinese's flouted w.t.o. rules, china gamed the system to its advantage. while china has chose ton comply with some w.t.o. rules, overall the list of violations is a long one. rampant intellectual property theft, massive subsidies for china's exports, hoarding of raw materials, china refuseed to commit to the w.t.o.'s agreement on government procurement. i've stood here, as you've seen, mr. president, in your time in the senate, i've stood here arguing for made in america language so that when taxpayer dollars are spent buying products, that those products
should be made in america, paid for by u.s. taxpayers. i've heard conservative washington politicians defending -- defending china for all intents and purposes saying, no, that would create a trade war even though china won't sign on to an agreement on government procurement, which is exactly what their made in china policy is all about. these violations not only show china's lack of respect for the rule of law, they also cost american jobs. they also help -- they also tend to stymie our economic growth. american intellectual property intensive firms have lost billions in property rights violations with those same firms reporting better enforcement, better intellectual property enforcement could lead to almost one million new jobs. some of the worst hit companies in my state struggling to compete against a country that manipulates its currency. given our country's well-founded
fear of retaliation by chinese regulators, we in government must give voice to their concern. let me explore that for a minutes. when we have launched typically a labor union in the u.s. will launch a trade -- a petition or a trade complaint, if you will, alleging violation by china of trade rules, often the american company or those workers are unwilling to join that petition. why? because they do business in china, and they know that china will exert some kind of -- will in some cases exert some kind of revenge, exact some kind of revenge against them. so our companies aren't willing to stand up to the chinese because they know what the chinese will do when they're doing business in china. so it's up to us, as those companies' representatives, as those workers' representatives, as those communities' representatives, to stand up. the most damaging of china's --
probably the most damaging of china's violations is its continual manipulation of currency. by holding down the value to boost exports china built the largest trading surplus in history to the detriment of the u.s. the senate fought back this fall by passion the currency exchange rate oversight reform act, legislation i authored with a bipartisan group of senators. senator snowe from maine a republican; senator schumer from new york city a democrat; senator sessions of alabama -- i'm sorry -- a republican; senator stabenow of michigan, a democrat; senator casey of pennsylvania, a democrat; and several others. this bill was the largest bipartisan bill that passed the senate this year. it passed with 63 votes. joined, in fact, by the junior senator from my state, senator portman, former trade representative in the bush
administration, voted for this bill. this bill would crack down on china currency manipulation. come together to put american jobs and american workers first. as i said, it represented the largest bipartisan jobs bill passed this session of congress. currency manipulation provides an unfair subsidy to chinese exports, of up to 40%, according to some economists. almost all economists agree it's at least 25%. fred berkston, a fairly conservative economist for the peterson institute, has asserted that china's intervention in currency markets and other subsidies they have provided makes up the most -- he said most protectionist policy of any major country since world war ii. american politicians and american c.e.o.'s are always afraid of standing up to the chinese, they say protectionists or they say it looks like we're starting a trade war.
well, when fred berkston, who is a mainstream economist, what he says china does is the most protectionist policy that any country has done since world war ii, it's time we stood up and forced them to play fair. that's not a trade war. in fact, the trade wars come from china. china has waged a trade war against the united states of america for ten years. that's why we have seen our budget deficit grow from barely double figures a decade ago with china to upwards of almost -- more than a half billion dollars a day, day in, day out, seven days a week. additionally, american manufacturers seeking to sell their product to china -- which is our nation's fastest growing export market -- are hit with the same percentage of what amounts to an unfair tariff. here is what happened. if a company in brunswick, ohio, wants to sell products in china, they -- they are hit with a 25%, maybe larger, currency tax currency tariff, so their product costs 25% more at least.
when a chinese company wants to sell in to brunswick, ohio, and a product in brunswick, ohio, competing with that company, they get a 25% bonus, 25% advantage. hardly a way to practice fair trade. a report released this fall estimates our trade deficit with china exacerbated by china's currency manipulation, has caused the loss of 2.8 million american jobs in the past ten years, with two-thirds of the lost jobs in the manufacturing industry. the presiding officer, when he goes to altoona, when he goes to bethlehem, if he had come to dayton or come to toledo and could see the kind of damage this trade policy has done to manufacturing -- all of our problems in manufacturing are of course because of our relationship with china and because they game the system, but millions of jobs in this country have had a direct -- have been lost, have been undermined because of china's gaming the system. president bush -- the first president bush said a billion dollar trade deficit or surplus is equivalent to 13,000 jobs.
so when we have a greater than $200 billion, persistent, year in, year out trade deficit with china, that means we sell $200 billion worth of goods -- fewer goods to them than they sell to us. just do the math. if it's 13,000 jobs per million dollar budget deficit, you know what it's doing to us. addressing currency manipulation through the trade remedies included in our bill with senator snowe and senator casey and schumer and graham and burr and -- graham and hagan and many others, that legislation would provide relief immediately to american job creators. a report released earlier this year showed that addressing currency manipulation would support the creation and retention of more than two million american jobs without requiring any government spending. that's why this is such an important jobs bill, because it's not -- it's not spending
any taxpayer dollars. it's just saying level the playing field for our companies dealing with china and our workers. after years of china gaining the benefits of w.t.o. membership without adhering to its rules -- remember, they promised they would go under the rule of law ten years ago this week when they joined the w.t.o., but after years of china gaming the membership of w.t.o. membership without adhering to its -- or gaining the benefit of w.t.o. membership without adhering to its rules, it's time the administration acted in our nation's interest. the house should pass our bill, the senate should pass it, the president should sign it. american workers, american manufacturers can compete with anyone, but they can't compete on a playing field that's far from level as long as we continue to let china do what it wants without repercussions. over the last ten years, mr. president, china sidestepped and reshaped the w.t.o. to benefit china at our expense. that's not competing. that's cheating. we must act now while we still have a chance.
the presiding officer: the majority leader. mr. reid:. mr. reid: i ask unanimous consent that the call of the quorum be terminated. officer without objection. reid i ask unanimous consent pursuant to the budget control act of 2011, following morning business on tuesday, december 13, the judiciary committee be discharged from further consideration of the following joint resolution proposing a balanced budget amendment. the senate proceed to their consideration en bloc, s.j. res. 10, s.j. res. 24. fusht, that both joint resolutions be amend as follows so they can play with the budget control act. "joint resolution proposing a balanced budget amendment to the constitution of the united states." that there be up to eight mors of debate on the joint resolutions to running concurrently during tuesday's session. equally divided between the leaders or their designees whvment the senate resumes consideration of the joint resolutions on wednesday, december 14, there be up to 10 minutes of debate equally divided between the leaders that
are other designees. they vote first on s.j. res. 24, secondly, on s.j. res. 10. there be no amendments, motions, or points of order to either joints. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: i ask that we now first read a bill that's at the desk. the presiding officer: the clerk will read the tight for the first time. the clerk: ajt to establish a temporary prohibition against any ambient national air quality and so forth and for other purposes *78 h. mr. reid: i think i may have made a grammatical air. i ask for a second reading in order to plaits bill on the calendar under the provision of rule 146789 i object to my own q. the presiding officer: objection having been heard. mr. reid: i ask -- the presiding officer: the bill will receive its second reading on the next legislative day. mr. reid: i apologize for my
rudeness, mr. president. i ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes its business today, t. the senate adjourned until 3:00 a.m. tomorrow morning. the journal of proceedings be approved to date be approved, the time tort taboo leaders be reserved for their use later in the daism the senate be in morning business period for two hours. senators permitted to speak up to ten minutes each, with the time equally divided between not leaderred or their designees. following morning business, the senate proceed to the consideration of s.j. res. 10, s.j. 24, under the previous order. further, the senate recess from 12:30 until 2:15 p.m. to allow for our weekly caucus meetings. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. reid: if ness no further business, mr. president, i ask that we adjourn under the previous order. the presiding officer: the senate stands adjourned until 10:00 a.m. tomorrow.
and we are live now on capitol hill. the house rules committee is debating a republican measure that would extend payroll tax cuts and also reduce the maximum weeks of unemployment benefits. >> we are in fact talking about the middle class. unfortunately the other side is simply not listening. >> thank you very much. we very much appreciate it and look forward to considering your bill before tomorrow.
our next witness is the gentleman from georgia, mr. johnson. and i saw ms. jackson lee here. i would invite her to the table if she is planning to testify. >> [inaudible] >> okay. please proceed and without objection, your prepared remarks, mr. johnson, will be in the record and we welcome your summary. >> [inaudible] and ranking member for allowing me to speak today on h.r. 3630. my amendment to this legislation on the oppose this misguided bill and jim shocked that the republicans would tie the extension of the payroll tax cut that is desperately needed by
the nation's struggling middle class to the big oil interest, and i also object to the misnomer in the title of this bill should be instead of the middle class tax relief and job creation act, it should be the middle class reduction act. h.r. 3630, the so-called middle class tax relief and job creation act, would mandate that the president exarate the approval of the keystone xl pipeline. this pipeline will increase pollution and low-income and minority communities that are already suffering devastating health outcomes from dirty air.
the state department has submitted the to field a fireman colin that statements that it do not include a satisfactory increase air pollution don't come as a result of the pipelines operation. the tarsands crude -- >> thank you for your time, mr. chairman. >> thank you. of thought tarsands crude that would be transported through the keystone xl pipeline as more toxic and acidic than other types of crude. there hasn't been a thorough study completed on the house the transport of the tar sands crude would increase air pollution along the pipeline. it is highly troubling that the construction of the pipeline which would transport 900,000 barrels of crude daily should take place before such a
study is ever done. communities surrounding the oil refineries there would be transporting of the tar sands crude through this proposed pipeline are already exposed to dirty air. approval of the keystone pipeline will only make it worse. in port arthur texas, where crude oil from the pipeline will be processed, over a quarter of the population is below the poverty line. high rates of asthma, respiratory disease and cancer exist in the western part of the city where the most impoverished citizens live. we have a responsibility to the american people to properly assess what risks the construction of this pipeline may pose to their health. it would be irresponsible to sweep the concerns under the rug just to rush the project to the
finish line as a political payoff for the coke brothers. we are a -- we are responsible to the nation's citizens to properly assess what risks the construction of the pipeline may pose to their health. for this reason i am requesting for a study to be completed on the health impact of increased air pollution in communities surrounding the refineries that will transport the diluted through the proposed keystone xl pipeline. air pollution knows no political boundaries. if you share my commitment to safeguarding american health, i ask that you need my amendment in order that would allow for such a study to be done before we make any decision on the pipeline construction, and i might add that the president
would be commended to approve the pipeline before it has even been cited, much less an opportunity to do in environmental impact study. you don't know where to do it until the thing is site. with that i will reserve the balance of the time i might have. >> mr. chairman, think you very much to the members of the rules committee. i understand that you have in essence held over for the courtesy extended to us. i also recognize we will not be in regular order and that amendments are questionable and probably non-expectant but i believe this is such an important step that we are making this afternoon as we were home in our district i cannot tell you the people that have come up to us and i imagine it
has happened in the district no matter their a party affiliation. as a background and then i will go through the amendments i proposed in order to participate in regular order. i think that you are aware if we do not pass the payroll tax 400,000 jobs will be lost, 160 million people will be left without relief command post $1,400 will be denied to hard-working americans. then of course the unemployment insurance, 3.2 million people pulled out of poverty by the existence of the unemployment insurance if we do not extend 700,000 jobs will be lost. let me associate myself with mr. levin and say that it is only accurate to declare the unemployment provision that he has offered as an emergency. it is an emergency. lives are in jeopardy. 6 million people will not have the ability to pay rent or mortgage or food or the necessities of life. i don't know how we can stand
against that. i support him as well and my amendment joined with his which was taking the language on the payroll tax is one of the amendments the tax on the top 1% which compares to hundred thousand with 160 million people for my language had 2013 for ten years but joined with mr. levin on his language and then the medicare fix i met with a group of doctors, joined them for the holiday, the constituents in my district and these are the individuals that serve poor patients and are dependent on medicaid and medicare and i think it is reasonable to address the medicare fix in the way that has been addressed on savings. i notice has been controversy all but with a carried interest in the the question of the transfer of income to capital gains to some of the financial transactions, and i would offer
that as a suggestion for deliberation when we are in regular order. i associate myself as well with mr. hastings. he offered a very thoughtful point about the keystone pipeline and only in regular order i believe that we could come to some understanding we could come to that view. one of my amendment would have stricken the issue of drug testing not because i am prodrug plano drugs require treatment under the current law states are not allowed to deny unemployment insurance for reasons than other on-the-job misconduct or money from part-time work. we are giving a major policy fix in them on a regular order. it is noted that testing costs about $25,000, currently 15 million people going through the system as unemployment is granted in a weekly increments. where's the money coming to test persons for drug use and how do we know these are not six people?
they're receiving unemployment insurance, drug requirement is burdened with states on the verge of bankruptcy or going to be able to afford that? it has come to my attention as well that this legislation may in fact increase the deficit and the debt and i don't know whether we have an accurate assessment from the cbo to determine whether that is the case. i offer an amendment on behalf of myself, representative cleaver and towns of the congressional caucus. this will allow the secretary of labor to determine if this bill will have a disproportionate impact on persons who are age 55 and older, sound tax policy is grounded in the principal of equity and efficiency from congressional budget office estimates changes to medicare under the republican budget plan will triple the cost for the beneficiary by 2013 and increase the cost for current recipients including the 2.9 million people in texas receive medicare in 2010. the bill includes medicare taxes, medicare changes without regular order, and i can't
imagine that we are not impacted negatively. my other amendment on behalf of the congressional black caucus i offered on behalf of myself, representative cui friend towns this amendment if we are out of regular order an act of 1990 to authorize the secretary of labor to make grants to the national urban league with the practice of operating the urban jobs program through the local national urban league affiliates and brings a for 100 years of community-based experience. african-american unemployment is double-digit and pressing success delivering work force development services especially to under served youth of all evil rather than accusing young people who are poorer than having no role model they should eliminate janitors from their work position and therefore do janitorial work i think this would be more constructive. i heard an explanation from our former friend, the good speaker or let me clarify a statement in my newspaper but me clarify but indicated in the old days you
said people working in a grocery stores and working on the lawn etc., etc., and i will tell you the children in our community want summer jobs. we did have a summer jobs program that was in essence eliminated in the last summer recess for these young people i worked in curse restores and the post office of the number of jobs and i believe this amendment by the congressional black caucus in the name of myself, representative cleaver and talents will be constructive to legislation that proceeds the regular order. we must address the unemployment for individuals 18 to 24 in the urban area. mr. chairman, let me conclude my remarks i did this rather quickly, but i believe that we all have a commitment to doing the right thing and i would argue vigorously that we are in trouble if we are to receive with legislation that does not look holistically at this problem. unemployment -- >> thank you very much for being here and thank the both of you for being here.
i have no questions. mr. sessions. >> i have no questions at this time. >> [inaudible] connect mr. bishop. >> i ask unanimous consent put in the record a statement by congressman john lewis and -- >> without objection both statements. >> and colleagues i support their amendments. you know, on -- we've heard a lot from the other side about the pay forms. it's interesting to note no one is paying for the bush tax cuts. paying for the wars. i'm all for making sure the social security trust fund is whole. we should be able to come to some agreement and this should have been an easy thing for us to do. the same way the unemployment insurance. one more thing on the keystone xl. there is a process in place, and for us for whatever reason to
say to hell with the process and we are going to make these decisions regardless of the environmental the impact and other things to think about good policy. so i support your amendments and i hope they are made in order. >> mr. mcgovern if i might say as i recollect what may not say that it states to my memory social security is solvent pretty much and 23 come 2035. i'm concerned about social security as well. i don't believe in frightening seniors that this brief payroll tax cut would be in essence the death knell for social security's. we are fighters to preserve social security. >> i wish we would have the same passion on the tax cut. >> mr. hastings? mr. space? >> thank you. >> that will conclude the hearing, and we -- the chair will be in receipt of the motion.
>> i move the committee to grant h.r. three to the job creation act of 2011 a closed rule it provides 90 minutes of debate equally divided by the chair and a ranking member on the ways and means all points of order against consideration of the bill. the rule provides the amendment printed in the committee shall be considered as adopted and the bill as said it should be considered as read it has all points of order against the provisions in the bill as amended and finally it provides one motion to recommit with or without instructions. >> it has been the case under both democratic and republican majority measure emerging from the ways and means committee has considered under close rule process as we all know we are nearing the end of the session and in light of that we need to move this measure to the senate. we don't want to see the
expiration under the payroll tax holiday or the benefits for those who were unemployed and we of course want to put into place the job-creating opportunities for the keystone pipeline to proceed. under this measure come under this rule, we will have 90 minutes of debate and members will have an opportunity to offer an alternative to the motion to recommit which as members know, always provided when we were in the minority ourselves and with that i will see if there are any amendments to the rule spec i have an amendment mr. chair. despite the fact we've done this in the past and the close rule because the national interest and what we're doing here
the notion is not agreed to. let me explain we do have the one because of a typo that existed in the bill the was introduced on friday. we do make an order and execute the amendment which is amendment number six. are there any other amendments and the rule? >> if i may because again the same reason i gave previously, the incredible interest in what we are going to do here as to whether or not people will be able to stay in their homes and pay their bills. i would like to move that we change the the date time to three hours. the importance of this bill requires that kind of -- >> let me just say i would urge the no vote on this amendment in light of the fact that we've made it 50 per cent increase in what would have been the normal allotted time of an hour of debate it clearly these are
issues that have been and will continue to be discussed. we have other items and so i am going to encourage the no vote accepting 90 minutes of debate. i should say that will mean we have two and a half hours of the date and will have the honor of debate on this measure when considering the rule. >> could i respond, mr. chair? given the fact that this is a closed rule, and again, it's one of the most important things we have taken up this year. the interest is in tents, but i would recommend a yes vote on him this that we could get people who will not have an opportunity to could talk on the bill. >> all in favor say aye. [roll call]
[roll call] the clerk will report the total. the notion is not agreed to. spike in the nature of the substitute offered by mr. levin of michigan or his designee i urge my colleagues to vote yes and that's the one thing requested. again this is a 369 page bill that was presented on friday but was referred to 12 out of 21 committees that would have no hearing space terrapin no markups, there's lots of changes small and large that are in this bill from things we've done previously and again this does
everything from not just the payroll tax and the dhaka fix with unemployment insurance all the way think they do with unemployment insurance and an unfair way there are things on the act and a bunch of other things that i think deserve more attention to the minimum i would hope my colleagues would vote yes and allowing mr. love and the right to offer a substitute as he so chooses. >> the gentleman will have that right which will be made in order under this. >> there is a difference between the motion to recommit and the substitute the gentleman asked specifically . espinel there will be opportunity, the vote occurs on the mcgovern amendment those in favor will say ayes and those opposed, novak. the clerk will call the roll. [roll call]
the amendment is not agreed to. >> i did ask for and request to view the time to address the subject that you and i had a discussion regarding. in addition to that you said mr. sherman that this emerged this measure emerged from the ways and means committee i guess it did when i asked mr. kemp questions he took exception that it came from the committee and said that he couldn't ask the question because it didn't come from his committee so i guess it emerged on mysteriously here. we have a deadline of ilya or
deadline is. you are acting early in this week with the deadline i hope in the senate which as we all know is going to reject the measure acts equally not with our imperatives but aren't required. >> i want to say to you when you say something you have to know what you are really talking about and i have made statements and sure many members have that when correction is required we come back and offer those corrections. you said to me that this was the same measure that passed the house of representatives. i told you that was not. >> and you were right. >> i want to make sure that we
understand the distinction and i appreciate the chair. i would like to introduce into the record the major provisions of h.r. 1938 and the distinctions offered in 3630. -- before mr. hastings. let me respond to your advice, and i was told they were identical. let me outline for the members the difference the house passed the keystone required the president of the united states to make a decision by november november 1st. senator lugar a provision which is included says 60 days after enactment there is a date change. november 1st to 60 days after enactment. also the house passed a bill that went through the department of energy. the lugar measure which is in this goes through the department of state so those are the two differences. i was wrong. i was wrong when i said if i could complete my statement
thank you very much. i was wrong when i said this was identical to the house-passed provision and the gentleman was right when he said that it wasn't. and i just outlined these differences that are in the measure senator lugar has offered. >> i'm happy to recognize my friend. >> i don't want to prolong the there are more than two provisions that are different and i won't bother to go into great detail in that regard. >> the vote occurs on a motion of the gentleman from dallas. those in favor will say ayes. those opposed conceded. in the opinion the ayes has it. the clerk will call the roll. [roll call]
>> the house rules committee has been debating what extend payroll tax cuts, deily cuts on medicare payments for two years averaging some maximum unemployment benefits from 99 weeks to somewhere between 53 to 59 weeks. the vote by the full house is expected to marland the legislation. >> secretary of state hillary clinton and british foreign secretary william hague held a joint news conference today after their bilateral meeting at the state department. topics included u.s. british relations, the debt crisis in europe and the troop withdrawals in iraq
>> good afternoon. but the again welcome the foreign secretary to washington and to the state department. it is a special pleasure to see him at the end of the year in which we cooperated so closely and constructively together. we've had a very robust shared calendar as we've tackled these global challenges of releasing all day. in this entire year it seems and we've met many previous occasions both bilaterally and then threw a multitude of multilateral engagements, so it's good to review and look forward at the time of the year. we will be meeting again. we've already concluded numerous times in the first half of next
year, and obviously we have a lot to talk about. whenever we do meet. meeting today reflected a wide array of shared concerns and challenges including the economic crisis in europe, the embassy attack on the u.k. and the sea in iran, the transition and afghanistan, the situation in pakistan, the involving situations in burma, north africa, the middle east, the balkans and so much more. we lost track of all of the matters we went over today. we naturally discussed the decisions regarding your's debt crisis, and as we have said many times, the great stake in the resolution we support efforts to enact pro-growth reforms and we will continue to work closely with our european partners. we discussed the ongoing efforts to press the government in its international obligations.
the attack on the british embassy was an affront not only to the british people but to the international community. the government's duty to protect diplomatic lives and property and we expect the government of iran to do that both inside and outside iran. that is why we strongly supported the u.n. general assembly resolution, deploring the plot to assassinate the saudi ambassadors here in washington, and we are working together on additional sanctions, and the great work that the foreign minister and the government of u.k. have done without the iea ebay to express nearly unanimous concern about iran's nuclear program. afghanistan was a big part of the discussion to the following up on our meeting this and the meeting in brussels at nato.
the british and american men and women of our armed forces have literally stood and fought side by side and have reversed the taliban moment on the battlefield and our diplomats and development experts have likewise stood shoulder to shoulder to try to help the people of afghanistan realize a better future. as we talk about transitioning security we looked very clearly at the goal set at the lisbon summit, this transition is a new phase of support for afghanistan, not the end of our commitment, and we will stay very closely connected as we move through this period as well i welcome the news the foreign secretary will be going to burma. i think we have a real opportunity for sustained diplomacy to test the new government and to work to words
the resolution of outstanding problems that prevent that country from achieving its rightful place in the nation for the 21st century and there is a very clear path forward if they wish to follow it. we of course discuss the middle east and in particular syria. we've worked closely together to increase the pressure on the regime. we welcome the recent action by the arab league and i met with members of the opposition last week. we encourage other arab leaders to meet with them as well and continue our support for peaceful protests and reform inside syria and compared notes on the parliamentary elections in egypt. the egyptian people are justifiably proud to begin the process of choosing their new
leaders. we urge the egyptian authorities to ensure that free and fair voting continues through the next election round and that there would be a steady transition toward a new civilian government. and at the same time we call upon the peaceful protesters and holding those accountable for previous incidents of violence. this is just a snapshot and for again foreign secretary, welcome back to washington. >> thank you very much. ladies and gentlemen is a great pleasure. our goal is to be here in washington with secretary clinton. the united states of america is closest and indispensable ally in the foreign policy, and as ever we've had a great meeting in mind as we discussed this very broad range of talent that we face. as everyone knows, we