tv Politics Public Policy Today CSPAN January 7, 2015 11:00am-1:01pm EST
signify by saying aye. those who have no? noes have it. noes have it. the gentlewoman asked for a recorded vote. >> miss fox? >> no. >> miss fox, no. >> mr. cole no. mr. burgess. mr. burgess no. mr. collins. mr. collins no. miss slaughter? >> aye. >> miss slaughter, aye. mr. hastings. mr. hastings aye. mr. chairman? >> mr. chairman, no. >> four ayes seven nays. >> further discussion. >> i have one designated amendment number two. my amendment says if we're going to let so many members break the rules of the the house. we soub transparent about how often you do it.
and of the 181 waivers granted by this committee last congress, 175 of them were republicans. that's 97% republicans. three 3% democrats. again in the last congress, democrats had to abide by the rules. the republicans did not. i have an amendment to try to eliminate big tax breaks for big oil companies. and every time i've tried to get a vote on it, on an energy bill i've been told, sorry the tax rule says you can only do this -- you can only do that on a tax bill. then when i offer it on a tax bill, sorry. it's a farce. and i think the majority is hiding behind the rules to keep members from voting on anything you don't like.
i have an old fashioned definition of rules. i was taught when you have rules you're supposed to follow them. and given the number of waivers that this committee has provided to get around the rules, i think we taught to be transparent about that. my hope is, the same with the previous amendment, if you're required to report these things then maybe you might think twice about doing it so often. or maybe more balanced in how you do it. so this isn't about whether democrats did it when they were in charge versus republicans. it's simply again we're trying to change the nature of the way we do business around here. to have a more open and transparent process so no matter who is in charge members have a chance to participate more and have good, constructive ideas and going back to what speaker boehner promised, to have every good idea, have the ability to
be debated and voted on before the full house. so i would urge my colleagues to vote aye on this. >> further discussion? >> mr. chairman? >> gentleman from oklahoma. >> again, just to point out number one. it's specified. that was not done. my friend will go back and object. when they were in the majority they used the blanket waiver repeatedly. they have most of the republican bills to get to floor. i was on the committee years ago in the majority. i lost my seat when we moved to minority, appropriately so. our number of spots was reduced. and i was up here a number of times. and i always got a warm reception from my colleagues but i never got any amendments
approved. not one. that's partly the nature of being in the majority of this particular institution. that's our rules. so i think number one, we're transparent about it. number two, we do report the number of waivers annually. we tally them in there. that's public data. we do offer much more specificity than we have in the past. and again, this seems to me work that's pretty difficult. if my friends want to make the point, again they've got access to the same information we do. they have a superb staff. those statistics are readily available. again, i just don't see any need for this particular amendment, with all due respect to my friends. >> i appreciate the gentleman's comments. but we're trying to make it easier for the general public to know what goes on in the committee and for r the general public to have a cumulative number, they would have to read every committee report and go through countless pages to try to figure that out. again, i'm sorry. i guess my point here is and you know this is a question for
all of us you know whether or not we're satisfied with with the process that we have been operating under. whether we're satisfied with business as usual. whether important ideas get logged. whether there's time for the most dlib rative process that i think most members thought they could get when they came here. whether we're fine with that, or whether we want to mooufz to a different approach. pi guess what we're trying to say is maybe it's time to try things differently. i would argue with you some of these bills that dieded in the united states senate, that you sign all the time you know maybe if we had a more open process over here on some of those bills where members could have more opportunity to debate some of their ideas and amend the bills, we might have come up with more compromises that might have actually had a chance in the senate. in any event, again, this is about whether you want a more
open process, transparent process, whether you believe the public should have easy access to the numbers or not. i think we should vote yes on this. >> with all due respect reclaiming my time, my friend. again, i would make the point, number one i think i'll make a prediction now which am usually shy about doing. i think a lot more bills will get hurt in the united states senate. i think it's under new management. we'll see a very different approach. and i think it's all good. >> let me say here. >> let me finish my point. i'll be happy to yield back time to you just shortly. but we do keep records of these things. we do make them available. we have been more transparent on waivers and more specific with anybody else. my friends keep track of this as they should. as perfectly is their right to do this anyway. so again, i just fail to see the need to create more paperwork,
to create more time spent, and i just don't see the necessity of it. so with that i certainly yield to. >> first of all, it makes no time and i can't imagine being this a burden on anybody. but secondly, he expects it will be a lot easier to get the republican bills you know heard on the senate side. i have no doubt about that. the question is whether or not we're going to accomplish anything. and for that, i think you need a more open process where there's more give and take between the the two priorities where democrats have a voice, because whether you like it or not, we have a democratic president. so it's not going to be my way or the highway. >> to the gentleman's point, it's fair to note i did not vote for the president but i
certainly respect the president of the united states and understand he won the elections fair and square. he represents the majority of people in terms of having won the popular vote. twice in a row by the way. first time anybody has done that since eisenhower broken 50%. i respect that a great deal. i would also point out for the record, on most compromises that have come here i voted for them. quite often in the minority. i don't recall my friends when they were in the majority ever putting a bill on the floor that a majority of their members opposed. i've seen our speaker in working through this committee do that multiple times. speaker did that on violence against women act. he did that on sandy relief. he did it on reopening the government. with all due respect to my friends, i don't think they could point to anything remotely similar in terms of trying to work across the aisle. i think the speaker has tried to do that. but at the end of the day, this seems unnecessarily redundant.
and again, the statistics are readily available anyway. and i don't recall us disputing the accuracy when you point something out. again, i respect your staff every bit as much as i respect our staff on our side of the isle. >> i guess, i don't understand what the big deal is. and just stating the fact. and secondly, before we throw too many bouquets at the speaker on the violence against women act and hurricane sandy issue you know, any kind of compromise came after the leadership torpedoed those bills. but look if you don't want to
vote for this but again, i think if we're trying to change the nay of this process and we want something more open, then this is not a big deal. it's just simply reporting the facts. >> with all due respect to my friends, if it's not a big deal, it's not a big deal. i don't know why we need to do it. if the leadership, whoever is in the majority want to veto something. i've seen my friends do it. ours is capable, too. those were efforts where the speaker was trying to solve a problem in a bipartisan fashion. and i was very happy, quite frankly, to work with my friends who supported that legislation. and look forward to having other opportunities to do that going forward. but in this case with all due respect to my friend i don't think it's a necessary amendment. >> further discussion.
>> i would add a couple of pieces. one is on a regular, regular regular basis we had republicans and democrats bring bills to us in particular with appropriations, where both the members, republicans and democrats were in favor of the legislation. they're closed rule with that. republicans and democrats before they came here back in the committee process work together, worked out the differences. included the ideas. and then i remember being on the floor when we kept count, the same way you're talking about taking count. and every time i did a rule i would say this is your 23rd closed rule. mrs. slaughter. mr. hastings. judge hastings does those same things so the puck lig is aware of that on a rule by rule basis. i think we've discussed this enough. i now call the the vote.
those in favor of the amendment signify by saying aye. those opposed say no. no nos have it. >> miss fox? >> no. >> miss fox, no. mr. cole? mr. cole, no. mr. burgess? mr. burgess, no. mr. stivers? no. mr. mcgovern aye. mr. hastings? mr. hastings, aye. mr. chairman? >> no. >> mr. chairman, no. >> the the motion is not agreed to. amendment is not agreed to. >> chairman i have an amendment designated number three but before i proceed i would like to, and i'm sure it must have been done already. i'll welcome two new members to the rules committee.
mr. stivers and mr. collins. this is like the hotel california song. there's only one way in and no way out. and you still have time. trust me. >> gentleman, yield. >> two or three months, you'll say, was that right? >> gentleman, yield? >> have you been talking to mrs. fox? >> no, i have not. >> i hear this from mrs. fox four or five times a day. but certainly with mr. collins coming on as chaplain and with our house chaplain here i would just have him know there are going to be a lot of times when i'm going to remind him about
matthew. the amendment is requireded to notify the house when we will consider legislation under a closed rule. right now what we do is notify everyone when we're going to restrict a rule. i pulled up one energy act that we dealt with back in june. and we notified members that they had to submit a searchable copy and there would be restrictions. if we do this when there's going to be a restriction it seems to me if the committee anticipated a closed rule why not let members know this so that they don't waste time thinking that the amendment process is one
where they can give consideration. why not let them know up front? and as an addendum to this. and this is for the good of the order, meaning congress, but more specifically the office of the parliamentarian and the office of legislative council. i learned yesterday that one member most of us would know that we see often found 44 pieces of legislation on yesterday. that's a member's prerogative. but i have not, other than sought additional space for them when we were in the majority meaning the legislative staff, and being vitally concerned about them as well as those people that do the reporting for us here. it would seem as a practical matter that we would encourage members to try to be as serious as possible and not burden that
office with a plethora of amendments that are going nowhere fast. and under that, it would seem to me that we would be very wise if we were to allow, when we were going to have a closed rule that we let members know that. i might add it will take the birthday off of us. we were here in this committee as much or more than other committees. and sometimes we are here. most of us know there's going to be a closed rule. and people come up here with stacks of amendments, and we are hearing them, and it's time consuming, and it's also hurtful. and i also make my additional appeal about being cognizant of the fact that the members that serve on this committee, at some point, when their amendments are germane and reasonable, should
be given some priority consideration so that their ideas might be heard. you know i like being here with all of you but i think this is an efficiency mechanism that will benefit us and the institution and i would at this time yield. >> further discussion? >> i want to thank the gentleman for his ideas. i think i operate off a different mechanism, and that is that i have encouraged republicans and democrats to come to this committee to express their ideas. and a good number of the issues that we handle on a regular basis are tax related. they're tax related when our friends the democrats are in charge. they're the same with republicans. and those, if you do not carefully understand that and i know you do and i do, but not every member does, you get into the tax code.
so that's why another reason we have closed rules. but the facts of the case are real simple, and that is i would like for people even to not know necessarily interested. i think that i'm interested. i think that the gentleman knows me. he knows i'm willing to listen to people. sometimes people on my committee say i listen to -- allow too much content. but i don't think it's good to say don't come. and i think that would be a don't come, we're not open for business. and so i don't chastise the gentleman at all. i think his ideas are sound. i just have a different perspective. and i respect the gentleman. and the gentleman knows because you've come further with me and i've come with you out over these years, and really developed a great friendship and part of it is over listening to each other.
further discussion? see none. excuse me. sorry. >> i think the gentleman has a good amendment here. i don't think he was suggesting that people should be dissuaded from coming here. people want to come here and sit here for hours to wait to testify, that's their right to do. some people come here and sit for hours when it's already predetermined to be closeded role, but they don't know about it. they have other things to do. but people come here thinking that, you know, everything is under level. that no decision has been made, when a decision has been made, and they spend the entire day here. we do it because it's our job. i think what the gentleman is saying here, if people want to come, they can come here, but they might not come here and waste an entire day if they know there's no chance of making their amendment in order to begin with. so i think it's a common sense amendment that the gentleman has offered. >> gentleman makes a good point in support of the gentleman from florida. i appreciate the further
discussion. seeing none, the vote now will be on the gentleman's amendment in florida, those in favor signify by saying aye. those opposed, no. the nos have it. gentleman asks for a recorded vote. >> mrs. fox? >> no. >> mr. cole? >> no. >> mr. woodall? >> no. >> mr. burgess? >> no. >> mr. stivers? >> no. >> mr. stivers? no. >> mr. mcgovern? >> aye. >> mr. mcgovern, aye. mr. chairman no. >> mr. chairman no. >> four yays. seven nays. gentleman from colorado is recognized. >> thank you. i have an amendment designated number five. this amendment would essentially establish a single subject rule. it's a bipart sachb bill over
have this committee has original jurisdiction, which we're hoping to incorporate into the rule. i feel it's the wurn of the reasons the rom has lost confidence in congress. you have differences. many state legislatures including our own in colorado function under the single function rule. 41 states do. it works jufs fine. it provides for more transparency and accountability. and i think the members of those legislative bodies appreciate it. they can actually be for or against something rath than in the same billion have a million things in unrelated areas. there's really no reason members shouldn't be able to know a bill is true to its title and prevent writers completely unrelated in
content from being in the same bill. in fact, i think this practice has only contributed to gridlock and inaction. i hope the sentiments of this bipartisan bill can be incorporated into our rules so that we can have a single subject rule here in the rules committee. and i urge the committee to adopt my amendment. >> yield back. >> further discussion? >> i appreciate and respect the gentleman for what he said. and you know, i -- i -- if i take it at face value, exactly what you said, i would agree with you also. except a bill is a bill and a rule is a rule. and it is not uncommon, as a matter of fact, we're getting ready if in a few minutes to do exactly what you said we should not do. and that is we're going to have one rule so that we can debate this on the floor, and we're
going to have two separate subjects. both of those subjects were provided information to members in the appropriate time. they were on our website. they are two distinctly different subjects. bills, but under one rule. and i do respect what the gentleman is saying. i'm not saying there's a philosophical difference with what i believe except we're trying to notice members. we're trying to make sure the american people and the public have a chance to see them on the website, two distinctly different issues. we are not taking and putting them together except at the rule. so i do respect the gentleman very much. >> the only change this amendment would make is there would have to be two rules reported out. one for each, would allow members to make these on each rule. other than making one decision. >> and you and i have been on the floor enough.
and we run through speakers. we're done in 15 to 20 minutes normally. not unusual. we're now going to put two subjects together. one rule. >> we've now discussed this. i think every member understands the gravity of what we're talking about. the vote will be in. those in favor signify by saying ayes. nos have it. >> recorded vote. >> miss fox? >> no. mr. cole? >> mr. cole, no. mr.woodall, no. mr. stivers no. mr. collins, no. miss slaughter, aye. mr. mcgovern aye. mr. hastings aye. mr. chairman, no. >> four yayayes.
seven nays. >> i have an amendment number four. we know how much it costs whether it careen ls or decreases the deficit. we propose a version of the rule change before. we know the cost of bills before we send them forward here in the rules committee. the recent will require the cbo and joint committee to use dynamic scoring. which many economists are skeptical about. and we'll know. many of us feel less about the fiscal condition of the future regard to it. and this amendment will require any measure that we take up to have a cbo score based on sound predictable factors that the economists can agree on.
and it just doesn't happen mr. chair. we've had those, the benefit of those in many other bills as well. the more information we get the better certainly. but to have the baseline score for any bill that the house considers is an important information and data point that i think members on both sides of the aisle will want to know. and i hope the committee will adopt my amendment. i move back. >> gentleman from georgia is recognized. >> i'm thinking back to mr. mcgovern's comments which is we have the rules, we ought to follow them. about how we will score bills in the institution. and this amendment would begin to change that. i don't dispute the gentleman's premise that we ought to have scores before this committee considers bills. what we have seen generally in the name of trying to find the
kind of partisan agreement the coming together that the members are asking for is that happens a t the last minute. sometimes we can't have that score in this committee. but we do have the score by the time it comes to the floor the next day. i would hope that the chairman would agree with the gentleman from colorado that we ought to do everything we can to get scores here to the degree that they are available. if they are not available i have never in fi mour years seen that as an effort to -- the oufs numbers but rath an issue of timing. the chairman of the budget committee is from the the great state of georgia. he's going to do everything he can to get moving forward. while i support the gentleman's premise, i would be opposed to handcuffing the proceedings of this committee by putting this into the committee rules. then i yield back. >> further discussion. seeing none the vote will now
be on this amendment. those in favor signify by saying aye. those opposed, no. yes man has role call vote. miss fox. no. mr. cole, no. mr. woodall, no. mr. burgess, no. mr. stivers, no. mr. miss slaughter, aye. mr. mcgovern aye. mr. hastings, aye. mr. polis aye. mr. chairman, no. >> the amendment is not agreed to. further amendment order of discussion. seeing none this moves us to the notion at hand to the gentlewoman from north carolina. those in favor of the gentlewoman's motion signify by saying aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. gentleman asked for role call
vote. >> aye. >> miss cole, aye. mr. woodall, aye. mr. burgess, aye. mr. stivers aye. mr. collins, aye. miss slaughter no. mr. mcgovern, no. mr. hastings no. mr. polis, no. mr. chairman? >> aye. >> mr. chairman, aye. >> clerk will report the total. >> seven ayes. four nays. without objection, moes to rekor is laid on the table. we now proceed with the vice chair, clause 2d of rule 11. house provide a vice chair to act on my behalf during temporary absence. i'm sorry?
the gentlewoman from kentucky can be called whatever she wants. >> ranking member. >> all right. pursuant to that i designate the gentlewoman the honorable virginia fox frf grandfather committee. it's now a sub committee for the 114th congress. a motion from the gentlewoman from grandfather community north carolina. mrs. fox. >> thank you, mr. chairman. pursuant to rule 5c of the rules committee, i move each of the two subcommittees during the 114th congress shall be composed of five majority members and two minority members. >> you've now heard the motion. is there discussion or amendment to that? seeing none, the chair will now have a vote on that. those in favor signify by saying aye?
those opposed, no.d to. the ratio will be 5-2. and we are now moving forward. with the next section, i've not been able to consult with mrs. slaughter on the composition. i'm not going to get into that now. we will have a discussion about your choices. i promise i will come on bended knee to you. and will have as we do as we meet. and i want them to know we're not doing that at this time but we will get that done. the objection committee on both the minority committee is improved. and without objection, committee staff is authorized to make
technical changes during the duration of the 114th congress. without objection the organizational meeting is now adjourned. we are now going to consider hr-30. and hr-3. the keystone xl pipeline act. so we will move from the organizational part to the task at hand today. save american workers act of 2015 and hr-3. keystone xl pipeline. good morning. and i would like to wm our newed guests who we will have before us today of some we will recognize. others we will recognize them with a beard. two, two of the members who are
here today have obviously been deer hunting. and i'm sure that they will be welcome and recognized by this committee. first of all i would like to note hr-3 would approve the application of the keystone pipe lin. it would create 20,000 jobs directly, as well of tens of thousands of jobs indirectly. it would also inject more than $7 billion into our economy. it would further allow us a closer relationship with our dear friends from the north the canadians. we would be providing goods and services back and forth, a trade of money and material, product from canada. our relationship with canada, i believe, is very important and we would ensure that further moving forward.
consumers also would get a better deal by gaining access to reliable source of energy, and we've seen the last few weeks exactly how the free market provides consumers, including families with an opportunity to have a product at a better price that's available to them so that they are not being gouged at the pump. and this is another example where government is in the way of the efficiency that happens. the american people have waiteded six years for this to happen. this new congress is prepared to act. i believe we also have a new partner. new management as the gentleman from oklahoma referred to in the senate. i think we can get this passed by the house by the senate, and come to any agreement, disagreement, move it to the president's desk. the american people want and need regular energy that comes from neighbors as opposed to
some who may be newsing the money that we use for reasons that we do not agree with. second bill, hr-30 provides the new congress with an opportunity to protect jobs. 40-hour workweek, and 2.6 million working class americans in danger of losing wages as a direct result of president obama's 30-hour workweek contained within the affordable care act. this will help restore the 40-hour workweek, protect workers. i want to thank chairman paul ryan, gentleman from wisconsin, who will welcome my dallas cowboys to lambeau field this weekend. i've been real careful not to shoot my mouth off to the young chairman. but i hope that we have better weather than we did in 1967. >> it's going to warm up to 18. >> 1967 you were not very nice to my cowboys with the weather. >> that's right. >> and also we have other people
who will be here including mr. young and certainly mr. levin. who are here and prepared to give the testimony. and i would defer to any opening statement that the minority may make at this time. >> mr. chairman, for the sake of time i ask unanimous consent that the remarks that i made in opposition to these measures several times be xeroxed and submitted for the record. >> without objection, the gentleman's comments will be included and member of the staff is able to do that with our stenographer and they will be in the notes. i want to thank the gentleman. and welcome back to the rules committee. we're delighted that you're here. mr. ryan, mr. young. you haven opportunity to not
only speak forthrightly about the thoughts and opportunity that you have. but we are delighted that you're here. and i would defer, it's my understanding that this is the gentleman from indiana's bill. i would refer to the gentleman first to author that bill. gentleman is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. great to be here. i would yield to the chairman of the weighs and means committee with your permission. >> no problem at all. i want to make sure that both of you have -- >> appreciate that. what i would like to do, if it's okay with the chairman, is just do an opening statement. i have ways and means pending business to get to as well. >> without objection, anything you have. >> gentleman it's his bill. he's a member of the ways and means committee. >> thank you chairman. first of all, the first firm step on the ladder opportunity it's a full-time job. and for too many americans this step is moving out of reach and one of the reasons is because of
the affordable care act. right now the law says every large employer must give health insurance to the full-time employees, and it defines full-time as 30 hours or more. so what's happening? well businesses are cutting workers' hours. they're keeping them below 30 hours to avoid a penalty. what's more, community colleges are cutting professor hours so they had to cut class offerings. every one of us have had stories. i've had dozens telling us about in preparation for this man did, they're cutting their workers from full time to part time. we call them 29 ers. it's something used by employers these days knocking people down to 29 hours. this is running through our economy, and it is depriveing people of all who need it this most, this opportunity to get a full-time job. i couldn't think of a worse way to support working families.
taking opportunities away from them. who are the people who are most at risk with this rule? well, by and large they are young people in low-wage jobs. probably their first jobs. one steady says over half of them have at most a high school degree. these are the people just getting started in life who need those extra hours. who want to move up this ladder of opportunity. and the affordable care act is holding them down. that's why we're here today. this bill changes the law's definition of full time back to 40 hours a week. the way most people define full time. the way decades of employment practice has employed full time. that way businesses will no longer fear letting employees work 40 hours a week. that way people can get the experience they need. they can get people working again to build a healthy economy. we think it's really a no brainer, to helping make sure that people can get the full-time work they need and to prevent a trend. and the employer mandate hasn't
kickeded in yet. to prevent a trend from occurring where we are noinging people out of full-time work, down to 29 hours. it's something happening people out of the economy. depriving for those who need the economic opportunity. i apologize. i have to leave to attend other business. i would like to turn over my time to the author thof the bill, mr. young from indiana. >> mr. ryan thank you very much. without objection we're going to allow mr. ryan, who has been here for a good bit of time to go ahead and go and attend his duties. did you have anything that you wanted to leave for the committee in writing? without objection. thank you very much. i thank the gentleman. the gentleman is now excused from the committee. gentleman, the author of the bill mr. young, you're now recognized. >> thank you mr. chairman. i don't intend to improve upon the opening statement of the chairman. i think he well summarizeded the legislation. i would be happy to take
questions from members of the committee. i yield back. >> thank you very much. mr. levin, welcome. we're delighted you're here today. the gentleman is recognizeded. thank you. happy new year. >> and you too sir. >> a few new members of the committee. a few have been around. glad to join you again. i really want to talk about the substance substance. i wus just want to say a word about the atmosphere here. there's been a lot of talk about common ground, about working together, and i think that is useful language. the problem is the test isn't the words, but the tests are the actions taken. in bringing up this bill
tomorrow is contradictory to the notion that our objective is to seek common ground. what this bill does instead of seeking common ground on this issue essentially, it's adopting a scorched earth approach. you all know if this bill were ever to pass, it would be vetoed. you know that. and the president today, the white house has issued a new same of administration policy but it's not new chlt. and the end of it says, and this isn't just advisers saying it. if the president were presented with hr-30 he would veto it.
the administration policy sets out why. so let me talk about the substance, though i think it's also important to remember the words that have been put forth these last 24 hours about trying to find common ground. this goes in the opposite direction. if this doesn't save american workers. it hurts american workers. the administration starts off by saying the administration strongly opposes house passing of hr30, the save american workers act because it would significantly increase the deficit, reduce the number of americans with employer-based health insurance coverage and create incentives for employers to shift their employees to
part-time work causing the problem it intends to solve. and that's because five or six times a many people are working 40 hours rather than 30. if you move the requirement from 30 to 40, essentially what you're doing is creating an incentive for more people to be shifted to part-time work. and that's why we also have today the new statement. from the congressional budget office. so let me just read a few portions of it. the administration policy refers to it in the statement of
administration policy, but they refer to that analysis of some months ago this is the new one just been issueded. and i quote from it. specifically if hr30 was enacted. it since was enacted cbo and joint text estimate in the years after 2015, insurance coverage would change in the following ways, relative to cbo's current projections. roughly one million fewer people would enroll in employment based coverage. between 500,000 and 1 million people more people, would obtain coverage through an exchange medicaid or chip. and fewer than 500,000
additional people will be insured. that means 500,000 additional people would be insured and it continues. cbo and joint tax estimate that hr-30 would result in net budgetary cost to the government of $53.2 billion over 2015 to 2025. and that projected increase in federal deficits over the 11-year period consistents of a $21.4 billion net increase in direct spending. you know to call this what it does is really kind of 1984ish.
it's interesting, this not only so-called progressives or liberals who talk about this, but also conservatives and i want to just read comments in the national review by a conservative. popular with house republicans. he says in quotes putting the cutoff for the employer mandate would likely put far, far more people at risk of having their hours cut than leaving at 30 hours. that would make for a worse effect on workers and the economy. so by setting the definition lower, obamacare's architects are trying to mitigate the
damaging effects of the employer mandate, and by setting it higher employers would worsen the effects. and then the article goes onto quote bill crystal. i quote i don't see why republicans should take the lead in an alleged fix of obamacare that i'm sure want to improve it anyway. so what this bill essentially will do is create more part-time employees. will create more people who have no insurance whatsoever. and would have more people go into the exchange to receive insurance or receive insurance through medicaid and chip. thereby, according to this new analysis, increasing the deficit by $53.2 billion.
so you're hurting workers. you're creating more part-time employment. and you're increasing the deficit. that's a double or triple whammy. if you don't like aca, do as you try to many times just attack it directly. the statistics indicate that aca is working. it isn't working perfectly but it's working in important ways for millions of people who have never had health insurance. of all ages. so i guess you're determined to stay on this course.
you're going to bring up this bill. i guess because some within your ranks would like it. would like it. but i just want to close by emphasizing, the thought was we would start this congress on a different foot. instead of people essentially, some would say, kicking each other around. i don't think that's quite accurate. there are issues involved. but still, instead of trying to find common ground tomorrow you bring up this bill. it's going to have strong, strong democratic opposition. if it ever were to pass, would be vetoed. and the veto would be sustained. it would be sustained.
so, why are you doing it? when you hurt workers and you hurt the deficit. i don't know what it will take to dissuade you. i'm afraid and this is sad, nothing. but it's a mistake. i yield back. >> gentleman yeedields back his time. mr. courtney, i'm sorry as you walked in, i should have tried to get you to your table. we're delighted you're here today. i don't know how many times you've been up here over the last 15 or 18 years. probably not very often. so i want to make sure that today we recognize you. you have open content that you're here to talk about. we're very delighted that you're here. your ideas are important to us. anything that you have in writing thaw wish to enter into the record without objection will be accepted. if i could get you to pull that
microphone closer to you, the green light, i think it is should be. >> thank you, mr. chairman. as member who's only been here eight years, i haven't had a chance -- >> we hope you do well enough to get invited back. >> thank you. i have appeared a couple of times. to all of you, i'm sort of in awe of your endurance. this is a tough committee and tough work. so, thank you for the welcome and to the ranking member as well. mr. charnlgs i have an amendment which was distributed according to your rules earlier today. and i do -- i will submit an additional document as part of my remarks here. >> that will be fine. >> the amendment is focused on what i think is the good advice of the congressional research service in terms of dealing with this issue. and in a nutshell you know the problem that i think exists in terms of this cutoff, in terms of the employer mandate is not the definition of 30 hours versus 40 hours, but the fact there's a cliff. the way the senate designed this
employer mandate is it exempted small employers up to 49 in terms of any tax or requirement to provide health insurance. but when you hire the 50th impe you're employee, you're taxed for 20 employees. that's the cliff. it's undeniable. those that supported it said it was to create an incentive for the employer to provide health insurance, but there's no question that's not sort of a marginal incremental phase-in of attacks. it is a cliff. mr. young's bill which again i think he's trying to address some concerns that i think all of us have heard from employers both in the public and private sector regarding this issue, in my opinion, unfortunately shifts the cliff from 30 to 40 hours. my amendment address the cliff itself by increasing the
exemption to 50 employees in a firm so that when that 51st employee is hired that you're only taxed for one worker. and that smooths out the tax burden the senate created when they designed the bill. i have a letter i brought with me. the small business association endorse this is measure because i think they understand that, in fact, that's the problem. in fact, yesterday when we voted to do the hiring for heroes, if you look at what we voted on there, we actually added an exemption to the calculation of the 49 employees. we added veteran who is get their benefits through tricare and va system. a totally appropriate piece of legislation which probably everybody here in the room voted for. that is instrublgttive. that's the issue employers
needed help with. not the definition between 30 and 40. again, i think sandy's recitation of the analysis that shows that really there's a higher cluster of employees around 30 compared to 40 is on target. the congressional research when they did their analysis back in april, made precisely that point. if i could again briefly read the excerpts on that point, which again this is august 6th report here. and i'm going to find it here. shift more workers to part-time status and could provide a greater incentive for firms not to offer health insurance to their employees. again the reason, as sandy point out, the analysis shows there's more people in this country that work closer to 40 hours a week than 30 hours a week. again, my amendment, i think is really a good faith attempt to try and deal with this issue, which the small business majority agrees with. to really address what is the real problem, which is the
incentive, in which the cliff creates. which we partially fixed for veterans. i think we should go the whole hog and exempt out the first 49 employees in all firms, which would create a true small business exemption from the law's requirements. again, i have the letter from the small business majority which i'd be happy to leave with the clerk and distribute to the members and hopefully get your favorable consideration. with that, i yield back. >> mr. courtney, thank you very much. in fact, you being here is important. we had a discussion earlier, about an hour ago, about how important it is for you to come to the committee notwithstanding how we might deal with this issue. for you to come forth, for you to speak forthrightly and bring issues and ideas that we might not have heard. so, i would like to reinforce how important it is for you to
be here, how important it is for to you bring the data and information, for you to leave it for us, just as mr. young comes as a member of the committee and understands these things and brings his ideas, too. i want to thank you for doing this. my first question would be to the gentleman mr. young. we've heard about impact and how many people. i've read a good bit of your information as i was preparing for today. can you clarify or offer any clarification to things that have been discussed today about the real impact? >> i can, indeed. it's wonderful to be here with my esteemed colleagues. and i particularly thank mr. courtney for offering what i think are intended to be constructive suggestions about how we can improve our nation's health care laws in a bipartisan way. i think any characterization of proposals to try and improve our nation's health care laws in a bipartisan way is as the statement of administration
policy has put it to stop fighting old political battles. i think that's the wrong way to look at this. these are serious policy issues impacting our constituents. as mr. courtney indicated, we've all heard stories about people having their hours dropped, whether they're substitute teachers, adjunct professors small business employees, cafeteria workers and so forth. a couple clarifications with respect to facts that were presented. less than 5,000 insured persons, according to what was -- additional people will be uninsured, according to cbo, according to this, yet the cost of roughly $55 billion in foregone wages. so, i haven't done the math. i'll allow my colleagues to dot math, a little division there, and indicate whether this is a well-targeted provision for that less than 500,000 individuals who can become insured.
i would invite my colleagues to work together in a bipartisan way so we can ensure demographic and cost effective sustainable way. another thing i think bears emphasizing is the different nature of someone who's working between, say 30 hours and 34.4 hours, which is the current average work week in this country. and people above that threshold particularly, are full-time employees as has been traditionally understood 40 hours or more per week. the service sector over the past eight years has averaged between -- actually it's 32.9 hours and 33.4 hours. and these individuals could lose 5 to 10 hours per week to get them under that 30-hour threshold. that really eats into the wages, the takehome pay of this demographic.
in contrast people working over 40 hours the claim that more of them don't have health insurance than people working between 34 and 39 hours implies that employers aren't currently offering health insurance to that group of individuals. whereas, in fact, 88% of full-time workers are eligible for health insurance. and the number one reason why some of those individuals do not have health insurance is they decline it when offered by the employer. so, i think that bears remembering. as well. in the end we're talking about hourly workers here. this is an issue of fairness. a word we hear a lot about around here. this is not politics. it is unfair that we have developed a national health care system that will finance the health care for some hard working americans at the expense
in hours and wages of other hard working americans. it's fundamentally unfair. irrespective of cbo numbers and so forth. we need to correct that anomaly, which i believe was unintended. in a bipartisan way. we pass this bill with 18 democrats supporting out of the house last congress. my hope is in this new era of bipartisanship, as i hope it will be others will join. people like congressman lapinski, we can pass it not only out of house but of the senate. i hope the president will consider his visceral opposition to improving our nation's health care laws. i yield back. >> can i just comment? >> certainly.
>> i'm sorry. it isn't wages. the 5 -- $53.2 billion is essentially the cost of doing this. and let me just read in terms of the impact on part-time from the administration's -- statement of administration policy. while the administration appreciates the concerns that result from the current 30-hour definition of full-time work there's no evidence that this is caused a broad shift to part-time work today. according to data from the bureau of labor statistics since the affordable care act became law, more than 90% of the increase in employment has been in full-time jobs. and over that time, the economy has added 10.8 million private
sector jobs. further by moving the threshold to 40 hours, this legislation would cause the problem it claims to solve by greatly increasing the number of workers for whom employers may have an incentive to reduce hours to avoid the requirement. essentially what cbo and joint tax are saying in their estimate, and there's nothing partisan about this, that a million fewer people will enroll in employment-based coverage. and a number of these people will be shifted to medicaid or c.h.i.p. or the exchange. and 500 million more or less would be uninsured. the assumption is that moving this to 40 will create more part-time workers than is true today.
as this ames to help part-time workers, this would create hundreds of thousands of more. that's the basis of this estimate. it's undeniable, unless you want to challenge what cbo and joint tax have said. it's not administration. it's these nonpartisan entities. you've got to answer this. >> the gentleman yield? i'd be happy to. >> i think you pointed out a very important distinction between the foregone wages and the $53.2 billion estimated by cbo to be foregone in terms of revenue associated with the employer mandate tax. some of that will, no doubt, the gentleman will perhaps, concede
some of that $53.2 billion would result in foregone wages because they would be wages otherwise enjoyed by that group of individuals. let's say zero, however, is enjoyed by the employees under this scenario. let's say 53 $billion in additional employer mandate taxes are imposed upon -- >> they're not all taxes, though. >> are imposed upon. $53.2 billion in additional taxes employed upon our businesses to insure less than 500,000 individuals. is that an efficient way to insure that group of individuals? >> it's because you misstate what joint tax is saying. what they're saying is that some of this shift will go to taxpayers in this country because people will now be
people will get insurance through the exchange many with subsidies or medicaid or c.h.i.p. so, this bill shifts a lot -- billions of dollars to taxpayers in this country. while likely increasing more part-time workers. so, what you're doing because there is some impact, though there's no evidence of any major impact from the 30 you're shifting to 40 creating more part-time people without insurance, or with insurance which is through exchanges and medicaid, which has some help from taxpayers. that's what you're doing. that's exactly -- you can't read this any other way. >> the gentleman yield briefly? i would indicate that if a member of congress is under the misinterpretation that there has
been no discernible impact in the number of part-time employment in this country i think they need to be spending more time in their district. >> no one is saying that. >> colleges universities, hourly workers, so forth. we all acknowledge this is a problem. >> let me just take back -- whose ever time. that isn't what i'm taking. let no one -- that's not what the administration -- they're not saying that. they're saying from the bureau of data and statistics more than 90% increase in employment has been full-time jobs. they say there's no evidence this has caused a broad shift to part-time work today. >> the employer mandate wasn't fully implemented until january 1st so perhaps that's why robust evidence hasn't been collected. >> well, then -- >> you know, you string together enough anecdotes my esteemed
colleague, and you start to discern a pattern. and we have seen a pattern in every congressional district in this country of people who can least afford to lose wages and earnings, lose them on account of this 30-hour provision. i yield back. >> thank you, mr. cole. mrs. slaughter. >> thank you, ms. foxx. mr. young, i know you're working hard, but i think we see a pattern. there's no question. the pattern is to nibble to death the affordable care act. 70% of people are employed are part-time. there's been a 2% drop, in fact.
and i have just been reminded if i may, i ask you now, to put the administration's statement of policy into the record. >> without objection. >> thank you. the administration is pretty clear on this that we know the president said he would veto it, but more than 90% of the increase in employment since this act became law, more than 90% have been full-time jobs. i appreciate you working very hard to find a solution here, but i don't think we have a problem. we're not seeing any increase in part-time. in fact, people who work part-time who wanted full-time jobs after the recession, that part has dropped 2% since the recession has been relieved and the economy is doing fairly well. so i appreciate mr. levin's statements here. and it's not something we're making up. these are experts who have done
this. and bureau of labor statistics, i think we've all been following them most of our lives and what they're doing. so, i appreciate you being here and what you've done, mr. courtney. >> thank you. >> but this, to me, is just the 54th time to try to kill this health care bill. thank you. >> dr. burgess. >> thank you madame chairwoman. mr. young, thank you for -- not just for bringing this bill forward, first of all, congratulations on collecting the first veto threat of the new congress. up here, we're pretty used to seeing them, but we're not used to seeing the bills get to the president's desk. like mr. levin i look forward to the fact that the president now gets to participate in this process. i think it has been a shame that he's been deprived of the opportunity to exercise his veto pen. we will, indeed get to see what the administration is made of. one of the reasons i really want
to thank you is you're right the employer mandate on the 2nd of july of -- employer mandate began january 1st this year, most people are unaware of it because they're not really required to do anything until next year. what they are to be doing this year is to be keeping the data, to be keeping the employment records. but so many people are unaware of what even is required because the rules and regulations coming through the department of treasury are still in the process. so, you have done a very valuable service indirectly by requiring people to focus on the fact that this time next year, you got a bunch of trouble to deal with. and if you're not writing it down this year then heaven help you running your small business. >> i thank the gentleman for his comments. it's interesting that so much of the feedback we've received have
been from larger institutions that have the personnel to look at the regulatory environment and the legal environment. i've heard from -- back in my own district indiana university, ivy tech community college, largest community college system in the country. i've heard from major restaurant chains and so forth. it's the small businesses that you mentioned that will discover this year, as the employer mandate goes into effect how much this is going to effect them. i think what responsible legislators do as we have a car racing off a cliff, we don't wait until we go off that cliff before we make a course correction. and so this is, indeed, an analogous situation. we're trying preempt it and relieve the pain that will be felt by so many more hourly workers before it goes -- as it goes fully into effect. >> well, i'm required -- or
requested to give the whole forth what's going around the corner with small businesses in my district. i always start every discussion off and people take it as a joke, but it's not a joke. if you haven't sought professional help, you need to do so. particularly, you're right for the smaller business, who is not cognizant of the record keeping requirements that are in effect right now and that will affect them in a big way in a year. mr. levin during all the discussion of the affordable care act in the past couple of years, at one point the observation was made that the 40-hour work week was the backbone of the middle class. was that a fair statement? >> i think it is. but that is not -- that's what this -- this legislation masks. this isn't about the 40-hour week, about maintaining it -- >> let me ask a further question. >> it will diminish the 40-hour
week for people. >> your state,fy recall correctly, it was probably about 100 years ago, your state was the actual instigator ornish ator of the 40-hour work week, was it not? >> true. but this legislation is going to reduce the number of people who have 40 hours. >> and without this legislation you reduce the number of people who have 30. >> because there's an incentive -- >> there's an irreducible minimum which people are no longer incentivized to work. your state proudly can acknowledge they were -- henry ford and his assembly line is where the 40-hour work week.yñ he recognized that it's important for people not to be at work all the time. and provide a living wage at 40 hours. and i think the country benefitted from his philosophical approach. i think mr. young is doing good service to that by preventing us from harming it further. i just want to thank
mr. courtney for bringing his amendment. it makes a lot of sense. i hope the committee looks on it favorably. i yield back my time. >> the gentleman yields back. mr. mcgovern. >> thank you dr. foxx. if the goal of the wholer is size today is to get the president to exercise his veto pen, then, fine we'll go through that ordeal. what an incredible waste of time and energy. what an incredible waste of taxpayer dollars if that's all we're trying to do here is set up confrontations. you know i mean, i always tell people, you don't have to agree on everything to agree on something. there may be some things we can agree on working in a bipartisan way to address some of the concerns we all have, but i mean i just -- the idea that the first two bills we're bringing up were bills that have already illicited a veto threat before most committees have been
constituted, i think we could probably accomplish a lot more throughout the year if maybe we try to begin with something we all could agree on. maybe get in the habit of agreeing -- of coming together on things. so, i regret that we're kind of -- this is the way we're beginning here. and -- again, i -- you know there are some legitimate issues with the affordable care act. and i think there are some reasonable answers we could come to some sort of agreement. i don't know, mr. young f you're here arguing for an open rule or not, but my expectation is we're going to have two rules. so, good ideas or ideas that are worth debating are not going to be considered. and so whether it's mr. courtney's initiative, or i'm sure other people have solutions here as well. gut again
but again, we don't have a committee system set up yet to deliberate. we have all these new members which we're all talking about. and we're going to have two close rules -- i'm just not sure that's the right way to begin. i respect everybody's point of view here. it's just that if indeed we're all serious about trying to have a legislative year in which we accomplish things, i'm not sure this is the best way to begin. and so with that i thank you for being here. appreciate it. i yield back my time. >> thank you, mr. mcgovern. mr. woodall. mr. hastings. mr. pollis. >> yeah i just wanted to comment that it's you know a new congress. i was hoping we could start off with some new ideas and frsh ideas rather than the
50-something repeal of obamacare. particularly concerned about this because it increasing the deficit by over $40 billion. i hope this isn't the tone for this congress, repeat everything we did last congress again and again. not only is it mow nont nous it's a waste of taxpayer money and one of the reasons this institution is held in such loews steam. yield back. >> collins?
from georgia who has joined the committee. mr. chairman thank you very much for taking time to do this today. today we're going to move now to the hr-30, save american workers act of 2015. excuse me. we're moving to keystone pipeline which is saving building america workers thousands of jobs and the consumers who would benefit therein. hr-3 keystone xl pipeline. obviously, i note that we have two gentlemen that are with us who care very much about this by and one who has concerns about it from energy and commerce committee, mr. polon. we'll have you open to anything. anything you had in writing will be entered into the record.
mr. schuster is recognized. >> thank you for having me here to discuss the consideration of the rule hr-3 to approve the keystone pipeline act. it's based on the cassidy pipeline bill. the keystone pipeline is the most extensively studied and vetted pipeline in the history of the country. we know the arguments that have been made by both sides on this project. pipelines are an essential part of our energy transportation fran structure. they are the energy life lines that power nearly all our daily activities. in fact, pipelines supply more than two-thirds of the energy used in the united states. keystone will be a critical addition to this extensive network, increasing our nation's supply of oil, helping reduce the cost of oil. the state department concluded its final supplemental environmental impact statement a year ago however there has still been no act on the administration of the pipeline. there have only been excuses. the most recent of which is
pending litigation in the state of nebraska. however, hr-3 takes that into account and allows for rerouting in that state. there is no reason to further delay this important project, especially given the numerous benefits it will supply our nation. it will be a tremendous boon to the economic development and one that doesn't require a single federal dollar. the very nature of infrastructure improvement creates jobs. and keystone is no exception. the project will produce over 42,000 jobs and $2 billion in employee earnings. some say these are only temporary jobs, keep in mind all infrastructure jobs are temporary. in fact, we have a list of unions that are very supportive of this. the team sterz have endorsed it international brotherhood of electrical workers, labor operating engineers and the united association of journeymen and apprentices of plumbers and pipefitting in united states and canada. this has significant union backing. i hope my colleagues on the
other side of the aisle will take that into consideration. it's jobs. all infrastructure jobs are temporary. this pipeline is no exception but it will add to the economy of $3.1 billion in construction contracts, materials and support services. further, it will help to keep the price of oil low which puts money back into the pockets of working americans. and then they can take those dollars and buy new washing machines or new cars or home improvements. so, this will help the economy and will have significant long-term job creation. further, this provides more opportunities to expand the current north american energy renaissance which is occurring. this project will also be safe. it includes 95 special mitigation measures, including 57 recommended by the department of transportation to prevent spills and make this the safest pipeline ever built. i look forward to working with all of you to move hr-3 through the congress. with that i yield back my time. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. i appreciate you being here.
and for your suck sixty discussions. this is not your first time to be here on this issue. we're glad you are. mr. polone we're delighted you're back. the man from new jersey is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you to the members of the committee. it's good see some new members of the committee. although this is a new congress the keystone approval bill before us is not new. the house considered this legislation in november. less than two months ago under an emergency rule. just like last time, the republican majority will send the bill to the house floor without any committee process and probably without any opportunity for members to offer amendments. i know you haven't necessarily decided that yet, but that's my fear. my main -- i really want to make two points here, mr. chairman and members, and that is that as a process amendment and then a substantive -- i mean, a process argument and then a substantive argument. in terms of the process argument, i think this bill should be considered under regular order by the committee's
jurisdiction. we should hold hearings and mark-ups. when the bill is brought to the floor -- i don't know exactly. i think over 60 who i think deserve the right to provide input on this proposal. and all members reserve the right to consider relevant new information on legislation to approve the pipeline. right now the nebraska -- i just use this as an example. the nebraska supreme court has yet to rule on the route of the pipeline. so, how do we even, you know, deal with a bill on the floor without going through committee and hearings where we don't even know what the route is going to be? because the court in nebraska hasn't made that decision yet. now, i know that the chairman mentioned oil prices at one point, i think you did earlier. and, you know, this should not be perceived as a bill -- gerngs i'm not trying to put words in your mouth but there are some
out there who are saying, this is so important because of oil prices. you know, somehow it's going to reduce oil prices. and, you know, we all know oil prices fell to the lowest level in five years just this week. u.s. production of oil has skyrocketed. i'm asking you from -- getting away from the process into the substance, my concern and the concern of many of us is, that if you just had a bill which deems approval of the pipeline, basically says, we don't have to go through the environmental process, then i want to weigh the fact there doesn't appear to be any real positive benefit to this bill in terms of oil production or oil prices versus the fact we have this very dirty tar sand supplied oil if you will, that is going to have major -- a major impact on the environment and greenhouse gases. just to give you some statistic here canada projects its
greenhouse gas emissions will grow by 25% between 2005 and 2020 and that emissions from tar sands production will be the single largest contributor to that emissions growth accounting for about a 44% increase. all studies estimate shifting from conventional oil to tar sands fuel substantially increases life cycle greenhouse gas emissions. i know the president and all of us are concerned about greenhouse gases. the president both internationally and domestically has -- but the problem is still growing. it's not -- you know, we're trying to make it less of a problem but it's still a huge problem. so we shouldn't be, in my opinion, and i know so many democrats agree, we shouldn't be increasing these tar sands productions of oil, which has a major impact -- negative impact on the environment at the same time when we don't really have a
problem with oil supplies and oil prices at the all time low. but beyond, that the bill grants basically -- deems the pipeline approval without any need to go through the federal regulatory process, environmental process environmental protections, if you will, that apply to every other construction project in the country. the president has said, i still need some time to decide whether this is in the national interest. we have a court out there that still hasn't decide on the route of the pipeline. so, why are we pushing this, you know, automatic deeming approval of this thing with all these concerns out there? i think that it really makes no sense, you know, if you weigh these things back and forth, mr. chairman. and so basically you know my opinion is, and i'll conclude, we don't need tar sands because of the carbon pollution that comes from it. we have our own sources of oil.
we're using less oil, our cars are more efficient. it isn't going to help lower gas -- allowing amendments to be offered. thank you. >> thank you very much. i appreciate your consciousness not only being here and taking time to be a witness today, but also it's good -- i hope you're going to have a good new year. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i am the prime sponsor of the bill. >> and that is what i was going to say. we're delighted you're here. i too appreciate the issues raised in opposition to the bill
and have some sympathies toward them. i think it's important to -- for the committee to understand that prior to coming to congress, i spent ten years on the north dakota commission and carried the pipeline portfolio when we cited the original keystone pipeline through north dakota, 217 miles, 600 land owners, green field. and yet that -- yet we cited is-t -- we cited it after the president's -- presidential permit was signed. we routed it after. that's common that the permit would be signed by the president prior to the routing actually taking place because routing takes place not just in a hearing in advance, but it takes place literally as you're building the pipeline oftentimes because you come across things you didn't know were there, that the geologists didn't know or that the archaeologists and so the routing of -- you know, of a
pipeline doesn't happen prior to the presidential approval. i want to make that point. i appreciate the gentleman's point about price and the issue of price at the pump. that said, oil -- first of all we have to understand that this is -- these arguments are built on a false premise that somehow the oil sands aren't going to be developed apart from the united states. whether they're developed or not is not our call. what is our call is are we going to approve a process of transporting it that benefits the united states workforce, the united states economy and, frankly, the environment? frankly, the environment. putting it on -- putting tar sands -- oil sands on barges and shipping it to china clearly has a greater negative impact on the climate and on greenhouse gas emissions than putting in a pipeline to the gulf coast. putting it on trains. has a lot of negative impacts.
trucks, many more. we've you studied this greatly in north dakota. from an environmental standpoint, it's better. with regard to the price of the oil, that is a compelling reason to approve more pipelines. the difference in moving oil by train versus a pipeline is a difference of $10. now, that -- you have that margin -- you have a little bit of wiggle room at $100 a barrel. you have none at $50 a barrel or $40 a barrel. the other thing we haven't talked about is one of the negotiated deals between the state of north dakota and montana in support of this process, 2301 days ago with trans-canada is that at least by rail. we have seen the challenges with
rail. all the above transportation. 71% is an inappropriate i think, imbalance. for those reasons, for president and congress, who know plenty about this issue. i appreciate the opportunity and encourage a good role that moves the bill forward expeditiously and gets it past hopefully yet this week. >> mr. kramer, thank you very much. we're all products of our environment, where we're from or our background. i remember when i was in high school and when we had the 1973
oil embargo. we were held hostage by people who had something that we not only wanted but needed. it was the life blood -- energy was the life blood of america back then. and i don't think we've gotten a long way from that yet. as much time and technology and opportunity that comes around we still need to have resources that are energy related. i remember when the big discussion was going on about alaska. and there are certainly people who said, oh, they're going to ruin everything about alaska. the caribou loved it by the way. the pipeline works. once you begin taking something out, perhaps you're into a diminishing circumstance. i think this is common sense for jobs. i think it's common sense for safety. i think it's common sense to
say, if we don't take our friends up on it somebody else is going to. we should quit giving so much money that we have to to some people we don't necessarily would -- how they would use that money. the canadians are dear friends of ours. they are loyal to the united states and i think this is a great new relationship that we would have with the canadians. i met with a member of their parliament lately a few weeks ago. he said, we want to stick with you because we think you're going to get this done. we think it's the right thing to do. mrs. foxx? >> thank you mr. chairman. i have no questions. >> gentlemenwoman yields her time back. >> thank you mr. chairman. let me ask you to put the administration policy in the record. >> no objection. >> let me quote from it. hr-3 conflicts with long-standing executive branch
procedures. complex issues that could bear on u.s. national interests, including serious security, safety and environmental and other ramifications. senior advisers would recommend he veto the bill. ask what will happen if this were to even pass in a nebraska court would then rule that it cannot be used -- will not be able to cross nebraska. >> sure. so nothing in this bill supercedes nebraska or any other jurisdiction. >> that would -- you need to go across nebraska? >> at some point just as the original keystone pipeline. i think it's an important point, important question, and frankly i wouldn't have the pipeline go through nebraska, where it's going through. i suggested a much more.
>> well, i understand that. you're in north dakota. because of the fracing and drilling there that you can see your state in space. >> a fairly new wrinkle, i suppose, you weren't planning on. >> i will tell you, you raised a very important point and another reason -- gathering lines for that natural gas has resulted in
the very unfortunate outcome of bringing gas into the atmosphere and all the greenhouse gases with it without adding any value to that gas. another good reason we need more pipeline, not fewer. >> i'm very much aware of nebraska's concerns that the ak aqua for that covers the united states. >> i'm familiar with the ogallala aquafor it does cover much of nebraska which is why a different route might have been better. that said, there are lots -- i mean, thousands -- i'm sure the chairman would know exactly how many millions of miles of oil and gas and other petroleum product pipelines there are underneath the earth. there are safeguards in place should there be a leak, an accident. i'll tell you a story about the original keystone pipeline.
early on after it was running, there was a problem at one of the pumping stations that created a leak. all the alarms worked the way they were supposed to work. the shutoff valves worked, the berms held the oil where this-t was to be held and they fixed it all in -- they did a great job coming in and helping. >> did it damage the water supply? >> it did. >> this pipeline in particular is the latest, greatest state of the art as the chairman's testimony referenced they have met over 50 specific recommendations by the department of state -- department of transportation as a result of the eis process. so, could it actually happen? yes. but the safeguards are there to prevent it from happening. >> i'm a great friend of the canadian parliament as well. >> yes. >> new york is of course, closely involved with them. >> sure.
and i've been hearing rumors that they think because the price of oil has fallen so steeply, they may not find it practical to build this pipeline. are you -- >> actually i think the low price of oil is more reason to build it because of the margins -- the margin lost in high price will require them to move it as efficiently and as economically feesably as possible and pipelines are by far, the most efficient as well the safest way to move the oil. >> i'm not sure how safe they are. i must tell you. i'm not convinced at all about that. >> sure. nor the fact that if it is completed, it will only need 35 employees, plus about 15 contractors to run it. but the major fact for us is that we're simply being used as at pass through. most of this oil, they want to get to the houston refineries and then put it on tankers and go elsewhere in the world, but not the united states. >> as a matter of fact, it certainly passes through the united states, obviously and from the northern border to the
refineries, which are -- by the way, all those employees at the refiners are u.s. employees. all of the restaurants and -- the jobs queshgs you know, can you say 15 or 30 or 15 or 42000 as the state department states but our economy is build on all kinds of jobs all kinds of levels, permanent, temporary and otherwise but with regard to the export of the refined product, that is allowed by law, but the vast majority of this won't necessarily be exported. nor, by the way, do i have a real problem with exporting. i think we should be price makers, not price takers. >> i would like to say to the question, 2.6 million miles of pipeline in the united states today. it is by far the safest mode of transportation, especially moving the oils and some of the hazardous materials. so as mr. krarmer said, we should be building more pipe lines, not less. the statistics show that you have a greater chance of being hurt -- of being hit by
lightning than negatively affected by oil spill. the only way can you say there won't be any pipeline accidents is have no pipelines. then we'll have all kinds of other problems. it's very safe. it's going to be the safest pipeline ever built in the history of the world probably. >> well, i think we have to weigh the question if we want to be the conduit to get oil from canada to the rest of the world with the risk of what we might do with solution. one other thing in the legislation i need you to explain to me and that is all claims against that pipeline have to be filed in the d.c. circuit court of appeals. will you tell me why that is? many people find it too difficult to get here on to pay the price of d.c. lawyers? >> we felt they should come from the d.c. court and ended up in the supreme court. that's the typical route. >> a matter to get there
quickly? >> to not get there quickly -- >> i mean, in the same town with the supreme court so just run across the street with it? >> and also to your point about moving oil through the united states and other parts of the world, there's venezuela russia today. we ought to be helping the world by getting oil to other parts of the world. >> we are. >> i understand we're doing great exporting job out there. >> the things he's doing in that part of the world. >> i would also add to that and we're not here to debate lifting the export ban on crude oil right now our drop in price the oil drop in price is i think, a clear demonstration of our vulnerability to opec. quite frankly their ability to oversupply and drop the price comes with the very real understanding they have the same ability to shrink supply and spike the price. and the more north american energy security we can have, the better. i just to want quote a couple of specific things. greenhouse gas emissions from rail are 1.8 times that of
pipelines. trucks 2.9 times that of pipeline transportation. and spills from truck transportation are 3 to 4 times the rate of spills from pipelines. again, if it's the economy, pipelines are definitely the way to go. and we want to be pricemakers, not pricetakers. stabilize price while stabilizing -- this is the way to do it as well as ensure a good trade relationship with our best friends in the world. the canadians. i appreciate your interest with canadians. a co-share along with -- i'm going to miss bill owens tremendously and his leadership on the northern border caucus. in fact, i'm meeting with the ambassador next week. this is so important to our relationship. >> i hope not because rob meriwether is one of my best friends and he understands i'm on the wrong side for him, the
right side for my constituents and everyone else. you wanted to say something? >> i listened to the questions and comments you posed and responses by republican colleagues and the point i'm really making here, going by the process again, you know, the president has basically said, because of the state department's concerns, as well as the state of nebraska's concerns that we should -- we simply need more time to study this. the jury is out. listening to the debate back and forth here today i'm more convinced than ever that's the case. so the point i'm trying to make here again is that, you know why are we deeming this approved. this is something that needs more study -- >> the court. >> i think the very debate you brought up here is very -- supports the reason why we shouldn't be moving forward here. this is something that is not --
that the congress shouldn't be acting on without further hearings and a new session without the -- getting rid of the president's ability to say whether this is in the national interest ignoring what the supreme court of nebraska -- we shouldn't be doing these things. they shouldn't be handles in this way. thank you. >> if i could respond to my colleague. we've had 15 hearings in the congress on this very issue. this will be the tenth time it will be debated on the house floor. just the opposite. 2,300 -- that's like six years, isn't it? it's like six years we've been studying this. the time has come. again, i listen to my republican colleague here making arguments i hear democratic colleagues making all the time on the floor. jobs, energy, safety. i just don't understand. >> let me just throw one thing out for you. microbiologist by training master in public health. know you can't survive more than four days without water.
anything that has the potential to destroy drinking water in the united states, which is one of the reasons we fight so hard to take care of great lakes, right? because that's 20% of the planet's freshwater. and i just -- it just seems to me that -- that we really need to wait until certainly the court acts and find out what we're going to do, but i do agree with the president's action and happy -- i really want to see -- >> well, with regard if i might, mr. chairman to the process, understanding this is 2,301st day since the application was made. and this issue of the nation's interest really is the president's decision but this body in december of 2011 passed a bill unanimously that passed the senate unanimously that the president himself signed that said, a decision has to be made within 60 days unless the president deems it's not in the
nation's interest. >> i think he has, don't you? >> well, not that i've -- i want to read a beautiful piece that -- about the nation's interest. this is a quote. it says, increases -- this pipeline increases the diversity of available splidz among the united states worldwide, crude oil sources in a time of considerable political tension and other major oil producing countries and regions, shortens the transportation pathway for crude oil supplies and increases crude oil supplies from a major opec producer. canada is a stable and reliable ally and trading partner of the united states. it goes on like that for a few more lines. i'm going to jump to the point. this quote as much as i'd like to take credit for it comes directly from president obama's presidential permit in 2009 of the alberta clipper pipeline that carries the very same oil sands through the country of the united states, through parts of north dakota. i cited it as well. his same arguments are more relevant today for the nation's interest than they were 2301
days, i think, is -- >> i don't see them the same way, given the fact we are almost energy sufficient here. thank you. appreciate the conversation. >> further discussion with the gentleman from oklahoma is recognized. >> first i'm delighted that my friend from north dakota is carrying this bill because i don't think there's anybody with better background and more practical experience in doing this. but coming from a state that also thinks pipelines are sort of a good thing, and, you know, i appreciate the advocacy and expertise. a couple points i want to make. you know, why is the president involved in this decision at all? >> that's a great question. the reason the president is involved because it's crossing the international border therefore, it requires a presidential permit. >> otherwise, he would not be involved at all? >> that's correct. >> is part of this pipeline already been built? >> it has. in fact, the portion from oklahoma to the -- to the gulf
coast to the refiners themselves. >> did the president actually go down there when they opened that pipeline and hold a press event celebrating it? >> he did, in fact.fact. >> it may have slipped their minds at the white house as well. isn't there something called the alaskan pipeline where we move oil all the way from alaska to the lower 48? which helps keep the price low for all friends? so it's okay for america to run a pipeline the entire length of canada, with their consent and their support, but it's wrong for canada to be able to run a pipeline through america? >> i think we understate the importance of this pipeline project and these deliberations to our relationship with our friends. >> have i noi have no doubt about
it. have i had conversations with people in canada. the hypocrisy of they see of us running oil through -- they have no objection to. and cooperated in. then refusing them the same opportunity. that is -- you want to call about the united states projecting a bad image and conducting a double standard in the world, this is one of them. i look at the states through which the pipeline runs, and i happen to look at where the support for the pipeline is it's amazing to me how almost every representative and senator in the state where the pipeline actually runs is in favor of it. there's almost no opposition. so i'm delighted that people from other parts of the country are worried about our water or our environment. but we're really capable of making those decisions by ourselves. most of the states do it on a routine basis as my friend pointed out, that's what you did for ten years make these
decisions for the state of north dakota. >> that's exactly right. that's why the presidential permit is confined to the point of crossing -- crossing the border and the nation's interest. after that it's up to every local jurisdiction. not just states. it's down to the township, to the individual landowner. all of that jurisdiction is preserved in this bill. anyway, you are exactly right. we can look out for ourselves. >> my friend has considerable experience and background i know and so does my friend from pennsylvania. i'm sure my friend from new jersey may well as well with canada as a country. is it an environmentally sophisticated and advanced country country? do canadians care about their environment? if anything, in fact the new premiere of alberta ran his campaign that he recently got
elected on on environmental protection. it's his number one platform plank. he was elected. and he is coming in a couple weeks to washington to hopefully get this thing over the line. >> if i were living on the other side of the border i would be mystified and i must say irritated that my country was regarded -- a country like canada as a sort of third rate, third world country that doesn't care about its environment. i mean, this is one of the most advanced countries in the world. it's one of the best friends this country has had in -- we fought together in defense of freedom all over the world. it's the largest unguarded border in the world. it's a remarkable friend and neighbor to the united states of america. it's making -- gosh, when you needed help moving alaskan crude across the entire length of our
country, we recognized you're a good friend. this is an important thing. we worked with you. now when they try to do the same thing, in a way that as my friend points out will increase the energy security of the united states, will create jobs in the united states, it's not as if if they make the decision they can't run a pipeline in another direction across the territory and sell this all some place else creating no jobs down in texas. >> it's an important point. i might say, understanding that we are a political body and that's real. the president has political considerations. that's real. i'm sympathetic to that. i think we all understand that. getting back to process and why this process in lieu of the presidential permit which the president could have signed any time in the last five years, let's look at this this way. let's provide the president the political muscle and if he feels the need political cover to do
this jointly. as a nation of the people's representatives and allow -- take some of that extra political burden off of him and do it together. i think we don't view things sometimes -- we shy away from political realities. political realities are why we're here. it's okay. i don't think we should apologize for them. let's find a way to get it done. >> sometimes issues become symbolic. the substance on this is so breathtakingly clear you know. half this pipeline is built. we run pipelines across canada. the transportation of oil by train and truck as compared to pipeline is night and day, safer and cheaper and better. we have got billions of dollars worth of pipeline in this country running every which way. this is one of those issues that in my view the environmental community has made into a symbolic issue. it's my view as the arctic wild
life preserve is in many cases. it's just breathtakingly stupid not to do this. that's where the frustration comes from. it's unfair to one of our best friends and neighbors who has never treated us this way. yet, we're doing it to them. i want to commend my friend for carrying the legislation and moving it along. there's a reason why this -- when the american people are asked about this and you were kind enough to stay on substance, but 60-odd favor, 20-odd oppose. it's jobs, energy security it's fair to our friends. for my friends reveling in the low price of oil, which in my chairman and my part of the world is not always the best news, we're delighted you have it. but i will tell you this. the oil business, i've learned this over a lifetime, you know what goes up will come down and will go back up again.
if you don't keep drilling and building infrastructure now, then i can assure you, you can expect higher oil prices later. i had a friend of mine once who is in the business and we were having -- at a round table. we had a group of suggestions. what could we do to lower the price? you need to develop the arctic natural reserve. well, we can't do that politically. you need to build keystone because that -- oil is a global commodity. when it goes on the global market, whether we use it or not, it brings down the price. we can't do that politically. well, you need to do drilling offshore and open up -- we can't do that. finally this guy looks at -- he drills in oklahoma. he doesn't drill in any of these places. he said the next time you go to washington -- all these people rr local producers. he said why don't you ask those people in congress how rich they would like us all to be because
every time they do this, they lower the supply globally and they increase the price domestically. none of us are going to make any money out of this suggestion. we're all local, independent producers. we don't drill offshore. we're not drilling in alaska. none of this helps us. but if you want to constrict the supply and make everybody around the table a multi-millionaire, go ahead. we're trying to help you solve a problem for the country. that's what you guys are doing in this legislation. this is very counterproductive to stop. thank you. sorry, mr. chairman. i was on my high horse. this is an issue that punches all my republican buttons. yield back. >> thank you very much. do you seek recognition? >> thank you. very briefly, i appreciate everybody being here today. i love canada, too.
>> prove it. >> but you know what? i think there are people like myself and others who have concerns about this pipeline whether those concern are based on substance. you don't have to agree. the fact of the matter is, people have concerns. which brings me to the point i want to make here. this is a process committee. we have a number of new members. i think 52 new members. committees haven't been constituted yet. hearings haven't happened. you had hearings in the past. fine. if you really want to move forward with this, at least open the process up. allow some of these 52 members to have an opportunity to be able to bring some suggestions to the floor. maybe there is some issues that we might be able to find some bipartisan consensus on that might address environmental issues or some of the safety issues or the issue of the protection of water. but the idea that we're going to
go to the floor with potentially a closed rule and say, take it or leave it, knowing the president will veto it it just seems to me that there has to be a better way to start the session off. finally, look, we're at the beginning of a session. you can't say, we got to go home for holidays, so we don't have time left. or this is a must-pass bill by the end of tomorrow, otherwise the whole world will come to an end. the fact of the matter is, we have an opportunity at the beginning of this session to respect the new members who have come in, democrats and republicans, and have a more open process. i hope in a bipartisan way that you will all suggest to the members of the rules committee that you don't bring a closed rule on this to the floor, that we have a process that is much more open and that allows all members to have an opportunity to debate