tv Politics Public Policy Today CSPAN January 7, 2015 1:00pm-3:01pm EST
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 this. we can -- if it takes a day, so
be it. if it takes a week who cares? we ought to do this the right way. i think i would hope that we could all agree on that if not on the substance of the underlying bill, at least on the process to which we bring it to the floor. with that, i will yield back my time. >> i thank the gentleman very much. i stated earlier we live in glass houses up here. the gentleman is making a good point. i would like to retort that in the 110th congress when mrs. slaughter was chairman the congress in the first year of the majority, the rules package had a consideration of five measures. not a hearing. not about the substance. the original day the rules package five measures. in the 111th congress the same. they were in the original package, not in the individual
hearing. six for six right in there. you know we all live in glass houses. i'm not trying to call anybody's bluff. just remember, you are trying to get your work done, too. >> and we can argue -- if this is about you do it so we're going do it -- >> that's not what i'm trying to say. >> that's fine. what i tried to do and what we're trying to suggest is that maybe at the beginning of this new year we change the nature of the way we do business. if the answer is you don't want do it fine. but the fact of the matter is that there is no reason at all for this to be brought up under a closed rule. we could do it in a day. we could do it in two days. you have 57 new members. we could debate whether it was the right or wrong thing to do when the democrats did it. i'm suggesting that maybe -- >> gentleman yield. >> i will. what i'm suggesting is that we all should do, democrats and republicans, is try to approach things differently. we might get more done, we might actually have bills that have
enough bipartisan support where you might get the white house to sign a few bills. if the issue is just sending things to the whitehouse so they can veto it we can score political points close the system up and it's business as usual, fine. i think it's a missed opportunity. but i think that's the direction we're going. it troubles me very much. i yield. >> thank you very much. we are doing things differently. we didn't put it into the rules package. we held a hearing. we put a notice out. we had other members on a bipartisan basis. we have been here a couple hours. we're not running things through in a package. we're doing a rule. we're taking the time. we even welcomed mr. palone today. he feels very welcome here. we welcome mr. courtney mr. levin. i made sure that we were aware of what we were doing. we're trying to have a discussion. and we are going to do things differently. i think it's better.
i thank the gentleman. >> with respect, i would say -- i would prefer a little less welcoming and a little bit more opportunity to be able to deliberate. >> well -- >> so, as i understand it, the rule we're going to report out will mean that if i have an idea on a way to improve this bill on the issue of safety or protecting water or any number of things, that i will not have that opportunity to be able to bring that to the house floor and debate it. given the fact that we have new members, i don't think it's a radical idea to suggest that we try it. we're not. it is what it is. i yield back my time. >> i thank the gentleman. you know it goes back to where we were an hour ago. what your team argued is that we should tell you ahead of time that we're going to have a closed rule so you didn't have to waste your time to come up here. i think that's a darn -- i don't
think that's a darn bad idea. >> you guys don't decide -- >> i'm making i statement. i don't think we ought to do that. i'm delighted you are here, frank. and i think you have a chance -- you know what? it may or may not matter to some people. but it matters to me. i i think it matters to some people. i hope it matters to you. >> nobody suggested that he not be welcome. >> i don't think that at all. i think -- >> that's not what the point was. it was to say that for a lot of members who come up here and wait hours to offer amendments, they ought to have the opportunity to decide whether it's worth their time. >> i hope it was worth his time to be here. you are always welcome up here. >> thank you. >> gentleman from florida seek recognition? >> yes, thank you. >> the ya isgentleman is recognized. >> thank you and our presenters. i perceive and i believe that
these men are two friends of mine here in congress. i'm deeply appreciative of them all the time. i'm hopeful of mr. cramer getting to know you better. on this subject, i would echo the sentiments of my good friend. it does appear just listening to you -- this is the second time i've had that opportunity -- that you certainly do know your subject. and i, for one, am appreciative of members who make their presentations in a manner that is not abrasive but makes it in a persuasive manner from the perspective that you hold. i also would like to borrow from my good friend from oklahoma
mr. cole a notion of something that i believe he and i would be able to work on right away. and i've done some initial work on it. understanding that the price of oil today -- i'm not a petroleum expert. i don't have any stock. i used to tell people the only stock i have was in over-the-counter, and that was groceries. i'm not in the market. i don't understand truly the spot market and how oil is transmitted. but in a general way i do. but it would seem to me while prices are low now whatever our, meaning american oil reserve is it should either be if it is not already maximized, it certainly should be
maximized. if the potential exists and if legislation is required to increase the maximum amount of our oil reserve, it would seem this would bet perfect time to do it. because we probably have about a six-month or one year window before that price is going to go back up. regrettably, not in my lifetime, i won't see the full thrust of alternative energy, all of us that are advocating that it's going to be a 20, 25 30 year process before you will really see a lot of solar and thermal and wind and things like that. they are in progress. we are not getting there fast enough for me. let me also put on the table an area that i have a measure of expertise. i don't agree with the notion of
requiring the litigation to be held in the circuit court here in d.c. article three courts were set up for a reason. among them was to ensure that litigants would be able to access to the court. insofar as the efficiency is concerned, if it's an in area that requires expedition, the courts are fully in a position to do that whether it's at the district court level or at the circuit court level. when appropriate. i might add, there's no assurance because it's in the d.c. circuit court that it's going to be done rapidly either. it depends on a given day on a given issue as to whether or not it would even be deserving of going to the supreme court as it were. i do have a question. that is, following on my friend from oklahoma, when he pointed out i had writ on my notes that
i wanted to ask how much of the pipeline has already been built. then i heard the discussion on that. i do have an american question on that. that is, do any of you know whether the steel that has been utilized in the building of the pipeline is american steel? >> the gentleman yield? >> yes. it certainly is. it's american steel, american products. >> then that all goes well for your position. let me get to a stickier subject. i too have friends in canada. i served with a senator. i served with in an organization for security and cooperation in europe. i served with the former defense minister and foreign minister of canada.
but we are making this sound like this is a canadian thing. when the argument is made about it won't cost an american taxpayer anything to build this while i agree, then that suggests to me that the canadian friends are private investors. it's ironic that they are never talked about. the who they are. they are not all canadian. some of them are american. i'm not grudgeful of folk who had great genetic accidents and abilities as a result thereof. but the fact of the matter is that some people that are involved in trans-canada they are givers to canadian
parliament under their particular structure and givers to some of us as well. >> does the gentleman yield? >> yes. >> by way of information -- i should double-check. i'm almost certain trans-canada is an american company. it's based in the united states. >> and investors -- >> as my friend knows there's a considerable cross border investment between ken dacanada and the united states. >> i stay away from pointing out -- i have read the articles as to who owns. you know? i'm not uptight about that. i do have a concern the national security argument, i could flip it. if we were in other areas, for example, putin just shut down one. he was getting ready to run across kazakhstan. no one satisfied me yet if this is so good for america, then why isn't canada running it through
their own territory, which would be their option if by chance it does not ever lift here fully operative, then they will wind up doing it in canada. but i don't want to belabor the point. there are several other areas i too am concerned as ms. slaughter pointed out. there will be spills. there will be concerns. i'm not sure what the nebraska litigation is contemplate inging. i hesitate because so many people on the negative side of the endangered species argument, i don't know whether there are any contemplated here or need to be. so i will be listening. i do want to end withúy!c just a moment of humor. we spend our time here with the
keystone pipeline. and there's a beer brewery in belgium that is running a beer pipeline two miles outside the area. he wanted to keep the family business manufacturing it where it is. i would rather be at the end of their pipeline than at the end of this one. that's all. i yield. >> the gentleman yields back his time. i know we have been here a long time. i would ask the gentleman from colorado if he seeks recognition. the gentleman is recognized. >> where does the financing coming from? >> if i might, quite honestly i don't know where it comes from except i suspect it comes from the shareholders and the administration -- the executives of trans-canada, which i believe
is a canadian company, not american. >> i recently read a report. i haven't seen this disputed. that shows that the majority of the tar sands, require a price of $95 a barrel and other 10% require a price of $75 per barrel. given that the price of oil is lower than that, is there any evidence that this would move forward as a construction project even if the president or congress were to approve it? >> well, i guess -- first of all, that's not germane to this bill obviously because it's not our decision to make whether they build it or don't build it. our decision is to -- is whether it's in the nation's interest should they build it. if it's not in the nation's interest they shouldn't build it. the reality is the investors will make that decision. there's nothing that precludes this from going forward based on
the financing of the development of the crude oil. >> there's plenty of theoretical projects. i hope we wouldn't waste congress's time with a project that isn't likely to occur. hopefully there can be evidence presented on the floor about whether there is a viable project and whether anybody is -- >> they haven't withdrawn the application. >> the market will determine that. with the low oil prices, it's not good for the steel industry. u.s. steel in pittsburgh announced eliminating 400, 500 jobs in ohio and texas because the market is not there for the pipe that goes to ground to explore for this. the market will -- nobody is withdrawing. i haven't heard anything at this point. >> again from the evidence i have seen here and the reports, there's nobody that wants to pay to build this pipeline we are talking about. i don't know -- >> then we could all win. >> i don't know why we're talking about it. maybe it's a little deja vu. it had been talked about when it
was $110 a barrel. perhaps it was more relevant. >> there's no taxpayer money going into this. this is private who will decide whether they will spend it or not. >> is there any private people that actually want to build this pipeline? again, for this to be a topic of serious debate it would be nice to have evidence that somebody wants to build a pipeline as opposed to a phantom pipeline. yield back. >> i have never heard a stronger argument for the cart coming from the horse. the chicken or the egg. you are not always sure. this is the cart before the horse. dr. burgess? >> thank you. you are correct, we have observed a lot of things on this. i do feel it's important to reiterate that part of the this pipeline from oklahoma to texas is built. people have put up with the pipeline being built in their backyard. it's waiting for the rest of the connection. my personal feeling is they
waited long enough. i will be happy to talk about this a lot tomorrow. yield back my time. >> thank you very much. mr. stivers? >> thank you. i appreciate you recognizing me. i appreciate the members for being here. i think this is a national security and an energy security issue for america. to the point that the gentleman from colorado made, we don't know what the price of oil will be tomorrow. but what we know is there a pending application. i think this -- it's a good opportunity for us to start to create a national energy policy which we desperately need in this country and we need secure trait trading partners with whom we agree on international issues. we buy a lot of oil from venezuela and other countries we don't agree with on many things. i don't know why we wouldn't want to buy our oil from a country we have agreed with since the french and indian war. i feel very comfortable with this. i want to thank you for all being here. i think there were great
exchanges of ideas. i think this is a great idea that needs to move forward. i appreciate the gentleman from north dakota for all his efforts on it. >> thank you very much. welcome to the committee. mr. collins. >> i appreciate it. i appreciate being recognized and being here on the committee and being a part of this. one of the things that was discussed -- one of my colleagues from across the dias was this issue of process. i do believe this is a committee of process. but this is also an issue in the congress of process. how much more process does this need? how many more times do we need to practice on the field when the jobs money invested -- it is sort of interesting that i believe that there was no interest in pipeline that would not be an interest in the permit. i think the idea it was going to get built or not is really not a concern because we're still here. the people keep coming back for this. the issue -- it's amazing to me
when we continue this conversation about moving it -- let's move it by train, by other -- the least safest way we're arguing for, i had a professor at georgia tech who her only argument was, well there's other ways in the environment we're scared -- you are arguing to move it by non-environmental friendly way when you can look more toward a pipeline? that's the part that i struggle with. i wanted to say at this moment to say, the one thing that shows process here is regulatory burden in this country. i know we're going to talk a lot about that. regulatory process, i am not one that says there should be no regulatory function of government, state local or federal. but there has to be reasonable regulatory burden. this is an example of just a massive bungling. for my class, it comes with our class, it's good to see him here, his expertise has been
acknowledged from the other side. it's refreshing, especially on this issue to hear. the concerns on both sides. there are valid concerns. but there are valid concerns that democrats and republicans agree this is a good idea. it's time to put this on the floor. >> thank you very much. as a young boy, i remember study ing ing. i read a lot about the out of doors and things. i learned about the people that were behind that and the gentleman's name is wade phillips who gave the boy scouts of america. he had a saying that went like this. take all the time you need and make a quick decision. take all the time you need. well, i think we need to make -- i think we have taken all the time we need. now let's make a quick decision. i think that's what we're trying to do today. i want to thank you for being before the committee today. i hope your time was well worth it. mr. chairman, i know you are busy.
mr. cramer, you enjoyed this way too much. we understood that. thank you very much. this now closes the hearing portion of hr-37 save america workers act of 2015 and hr-3, the keystone pipeline act. >> mr. chairman i move the committee grant hr-3, the keystone pipeline act a closed rule. the rule provides one hour debate equally divided. the rule waves all points of order against consideration of the bill. the rule provides that the bill shall be considered as read. the rule waves all points of order against provisions in the bill. the rule provides one motion to recommit. section two of the rule provides for consideration of hr-30 the save american workers act of
2015 under a closed rule the rule provides one hour of debate equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the committee on ways and means. it rules all points of order against consideration of the bill. the rule provides that the bill shall be considered as read. the rule waves all points of order against provisions in the bill. the rule provides one motion to recommit. >> is there discussion or amendment to that? gentleman from colorado. >> mr. chairman amendment i move to give the necessary waivers. this amendment would increase the number of full-time employees exempted and increase it from 30 to 49 employees to provide for a more rounded and pro-business way of accomplishing i think some of the goals of the deficit busting version that we otherwise would face. >> further discussion? the vote will be on the
amendment from the gentleman from colorado. those in favor signify. those opposed. nos have it. further amendment. see none. the vote will be on the motion from the gentle woman from north carolina. those in favor signify. those opposed. the eyes s >> ms. fox. mr. cole. mr. woodall. mr. burgess. mr. stivers. mr kol mr. collins. ms. slaughter. mr. mcgovern. mr. hastings. mr. polis. mr. chairman. >> that would make it e, i, o.
>> the motion is agreed to. the gentleman from texas from the energy and commerce committee will be handling this for the republicans. mr. polis for the democrats. i want to thank not only the staff, the new staff and welcome them but also all the people including our great stenographers who have taken a lot of time out of their day to be with us today. this finishes the work for us for the day. i want to thank everybody for being here. this closes the hearing.
>> the house rules committee holding its organizational meeting today for the 114th congress members also working on rules for the keystone xl pipeline legislation and a bill that would redefine what constitutes full-time employment under the affordable care act. the keystone xl pipeline bill scheduled to be on the floor this friday with a vote expected next week in the senate. josh earnest says that the president will veto the bill to approve the keystone xl pipeline, which is expected to pass congress next week. coming up we will reair a portion of today's house rules committee meeting.
a couple of programming updates coming up at 2:00, eastern on our website, french president will be speaking to the nation of france on today's terror attack in paris. that's live on our website at 2:00 p.m. eastern time. later on at 3:45 eastern here on c-span3, president obama will be in michigan where he will address auto workers at a ford assembly plant. his remarks live here on c-span3. up until then, we reair a portion of today's house rules committee meeting beginning with discussion on the rules for the bill changing the definition of full-time employment under the affordable care act. >> i would like to welcome our new rules committee and our distinguished guests who we will have before us today.
some we will recognize. others we will recognize them with a beard. in this case -- two of the members who are here today have obviously been deer hunting. i'm sure that they will be welcome and recognized by this committee. first of all, i would like to note that hr-3 would approve the application of the keystone pipeline. the pipeline as we have been told publically would create 20,000 jobs directly as well as tens of thousands of jobs indirectly. it would 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.
we would ensure that that further moving forward of the two great nations would happen. consumers also would i think get a better deal by gaining access to reliable source of energy. and we have seen the last few weeks exactly how the free market, when allowed 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. this is an example where i believe government has gonen in the way of the efficient that can happen. the american people have waited for six years for this to happen. six years. this new congress is prepared to act. i believe we also have 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 an agreement and move it
to the president's desk. the american people want and need regular energy that copmes from neighbors as opposed to some who use the money we use for reasons that we do not agree with. second bill hr-30 provides congress with an opportunity to project jobs. 40-hour workweek and there are 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 legislation will protect workers. i want to thank certainly chairman paul ryan, the gentleman from wisconsin, who will welcome my dallas cowboys this weekend. i have been 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, they think. >> 1967, you were not very nice to my cowboys. >> that's right. >> also we have other people who will be here, including the gentleman who are here and prepared to give testimony. i would defer to any opening statement that the minority may make at this time. does mr. mcgovern seek that time? >> i just for the sake of time, i ask unanimous consent that the remarks that i made in opposition to these measures several times last year be xeroxed and submitted to the record. i yield back my time. >> without objection the gentleman's comments will be included and certainly a crack member of the staff is here and able to do that with our stenographer. they will be in the notes. i want to thank the gentleman, mr. levin. welcome back to the rules committee. we're delighted that you are
here. mr. ryan, mr. young, both of you have an opportunity to not only speak forthrightly about the thoughts and ideas that you have but we are delighted that you are here. and i would defer -- it's my understanding that this is the gentleman from indiana's bill. i would refer -- defer to the gentleman first to author that bill. the gentleman is recognized. >> thank you. great to be here. i would yield to the chairman of the ways and means committee with your permission. >> no problem at all. i want to make sure that both of you have -- >> appreciate the chair -- 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 i have to get to as well. >> i recognize that. i know you have been waiting. >> without objection, anything that you have -- >> it's his bill. >> the gentleman is recognized. >> thank you. first of all, the first firm
step in the ladder of opportunity, a full-time job. and for too many americans this step is moving out of reach. one of the reasons why it's moving out of reach is because of the affordable care act. right now, the law says that every large employer must give health insurance to its full-time employees. it defines full-time as 30 hours or more. what's happening? well, businesses are culting workers' hours. they are keeping them below 30 hours to avoid the penalty. what's more, community colleges are cutting professors' hours. they have to cut class offering. every single one of us have had stories from employers in the districts, have i had dozens, where they are telling us about in preparation for this mandate they are cutting their workers from full-time down to part-time. we call them 29ers. it's something used by employers, knocking people down to 29 hours. this is running through our economy and it's depriving
people of all who need it the most this letter of economic opportunity, getting 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? by and large they are young people in low-wage jobs. probably their first jobs. one study says over half of them have at most a high school degree. these are the people who are just getting started in life. who need the extra hours. who want to move up this ladder of opportunity. the affordable care act is holding them down. that's why we're here today. this bill changes can the law's definition of full-time back to 40 hours a week. the way that most people define full-time, the way that decades of employment practice have defined full-time. that way businesses will no longer fear letting their employees work a full week. that way people can get the experience that they need. that way we can get people working again to build a healthy economy. we just think this is really a
no brainer to helping make sure that people can get full-time work they need and to prevent this trend. it hasn't kicked in yet. to prevent this trend from occurring where we are knocking people out of full-time work down to 29 hours. it's something that's happening throughout this economy. it's depriving people who need this economic opportunity. i ask the committee for the full consideration. i apologize, but i have to attend other business. i would like to turn over my time to the author of the bill a member of the ways and means committee, mr. young. >> thank you very much. without objection, we will allow mr. ryan, who has been here for a good bit of time to go ahead and go and attend to his duties. i want to thank you very much. did you have anything in writing that you wanted to leave for the committee? >> yes. >> without objection. thank you very much. i the gentleman is now excused from the committee. the author of the bill, mr. young, you are now recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman.
i don't pretend that i might improve upon the opening statement of the chairman. i think he summarized the legislation. i would be happy to take questions from members of this committee. i yield back. >> thank you very much. mr. levin, welcome. we're delighted that you are here today. the gentleman is recognized. >> thank you. happy new year. >> to you too sir. >> a few new members of the committee. a few have been around. glad to join you again. i really -- i want to talk about the substance. i just want to say a word about the atmosphere around here. there's been a lot of talk about finding common ground, about working together. and i think that is useful language language.
the problem is the test isn't the words, but the test is 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 statement of administration policy. but it's not new.
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. this doesn't save american workers. it hurts american workers. the administration starts off by saying, the administration strongly opposes house passage of hr-30 the save american workers act you because it would 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 as many people are working 40 hours than 30. so if you move the requirement from 30 to 40 essentially, what you are 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 offed administration policy. but they refer to that analysis of some months ago. this is the new one that has just been issued. and i quote from it. specifically, if hr-30 were enacted, it says was enacted cbo and join tax estimate that in the years after 2015 insurance coverage would change in the following ways relative to cbo's current line 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 would be uninsured. that means more or less, 500,000 additional people would become uninsured. and it continues. cbo and joint tax estimate that hr-30 would result in net budgetary cost to the federal government of $53.2 billion over 2015 to 2025. that projected increase in federal deficits over the 11-year period consists of 31.8 billion net reduction in revenues and a 21.4 billion net increase in direct spending.
you know, to call this what it does is really kind of 1984ish. and it's interesting that it's not only so-called progressive or liberal who talk about this but also conservatives. i want to just read comments in the national review by a conservative. this article is popular with house republicans. he says in quotes, putting the cutoff for the employer mandate at 40 hours would likely put far, far more people at risk of having their hours cut than leaving it at 30 hours. that would make for worse affect on workers and the economy.
so by setting the definition lower, obamacare's architecture trying to mitigate the damaging affects of the employer mandate some and by setting it higher republicans would be worsening these affects. and then the article goes on to quote bill crystal. i quote, i don't see why republicans should be taking the lead in an alleged fix of obamacare that i'm sure won't 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 increasing the deficit by $53.2 billion. so you are hurting workers. you are creating more part-time employment. and urineyou are you are increasing the deficit. that's a double or triple whammy. if you don't like aca, do as you have tried to many times just attack it directly r. 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 are determined to stay on this course. you are going to bring up this bill i guess because some within your ranks 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 were ever to pass would be vetoed. 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 but it's a mistake. i yield back. >> mr. courtney welcome. i'm sorry as you walked in i should have tried to get your attention. we're delighted that you are here today. i don't know how many times you have 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 are here to talk about. we're very delighted that you
are here. your ideas are important to us. anything that you have in writing that you wish to enter into the record will, without objection, be accepted. if i could get you to pull that microphone closer to you. the green light i think it is should be on. the gentleman is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. as a member who has been here eight years i haven't had a chance over the last -- >> we hope you do well enough to be invieted back. >> i have appeared a couple times. to all of you i am in awe of your endurance. this say tough committee. this is tough work. thank you for the welcome into the ranking members as well. i have an amendment which was distributed according to your rules earlier today. i will submit an additional document as part of my remarks here. >> that will be fine. >> the amendment i think is focused on what i think is the good advice of the congressional research service in terms of dealing with this issue. in a nutshell, 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 that there's a cliff. the way the senate designed this employer mandate it is exempted small employers up to 49 in terms of any tax or requirement to provide health insurance. when you hire the 50th employee then you are taxed for 20 employees. that's a cliff. i mean it's undeniably a cliff of the those who supported it or argued that was the better design will say it was to create an incentive for the employer to provide health insurance. there's no question that that's not a marginal incremental phase-in of a tax. it's a cliff. mr. young's bill, which i think he is 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. my opinion, unfortunately, just shifts the cliff from 30 hours
to 40 hours, but it leaves the cliff intact. my amendment, frankly, addresses the cliff itself by increasing the exemption to 50 employees in a firm so when that 51st employee is hired you are only taxed for one worker and that sbhooth smooths out the tax burden the senate created when they designed the bill. again, i have a letter which i brought with me here today, the small business majority endorses this measure because they i think understand that, in fact that's the problem that's here. in fact, yesterday, when we voted to do the hiring gore heroes, if you look at what we voted on there, we actually added an exemption to the calculation of the 49 employees. we added veterans who get their benefits through tricare and va system, totally appropriate piece of legislation which probably everybody in the room here voted for.
that is instructive because it points to the fact that that is 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 40 hours than 30 hours is absolutely on target. by the way the congressional research service when they did their analysis back in april made precisely that point. if i could just again very briefly read that excerpt on that point which august 6th report. change the cutoff from 30 hours per week to 40 hours per week would not eliminate the incentive for workers to shift more workers part-time status and provide a greater incentive for firms no to the offer health insurance to their employees. again, the were is because as sandy pointed out, more people in this country that work closer to 40 hours a week than 30 hours
a week. my amendment i think is really a good faith attempt to try to deal with this issue which the small business majority agrees with. to address problem which is the incentive, which the cliff creates, yesterday, we abortionly 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 would be happen i do leave with the clerk and distribute to the members and get your favorable consideration. with that, i yield back. >> thank you bar being here. that is important. and 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 what you believe and perhaps bring issues and ideas that we might not have heard, if you did not appear. the information, leave it for us, as mr. young comes before the committee and brings his ideas, too i want to thank you for being this. and my first question would be to the gentleman, mr. young. we have heard about impact of people. i read a good bit of your information as i was preparing today. can you provide clarification about the realism. pact? >> i can indeed. and it -- wonderful to be here with my esteemed colleagues and i particularly thank mr. portnoy 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.
we have heard people hearing about their hours dropped substitute teachers,age junt professor, cafeteria workers, small business employees, so forth. a couple of clarifications with respect to facts that were presented. less than 500,000 insured persons, according to what was additional people -- will be uninsured according to cbo according to this, yet at a cost of roughly $55 billion in foregone wages.
and whether this is a well-targeted provision for less than 500,000 individuals who can become insured. i would invite my colleagues to work together in a bipartisan way so that we can insure that demo graphic in a more cost effective, sustainable way. another thing i think bears emphasizing is the different nature of someone who is working between, say, 30 hours and 34.4 hours, which is the current average workweek in this country and people above that threshold particularly our full-time employees as has about traditionally understood, 40 hours or more per week. the service sector over the past eight years has averaged between -- actually 32.9 hours and 33.4 hours. and these individuals could lose five to ten hours per week to
get them under that 30-hour threshold. that really eats into the wages the take home pay of this demo graphic. 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 respect 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. i think that bears remembering as well. in the end, we are talking about hourly workers here. this is an issue of bareness 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 up intended in a bipartisan way. we passed this bill with 18 democrats supporting out of the house last congress. my hope is that in this new era of bipartisanship as i hope it will be, others will join people like congressman lapin ski who worked with me on this language and we can pass it not only out of the house you out of the senate and i hope the president will reconsider his visceral opposition to improving our nation's health care laws. i yield back. >> could i just comment? >> certainly.
[ inaudible ] i'm sorry. it isn't wages. the 55 55.3 billion dollars 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 has 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. and essentially, what cbo and joint tax are saying in their estimates, there's nothing partisan about this, that a million fewer people will enroll in employment-paced 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. so essentially, as this aims to help part-time workers this legislation would create hundreds of thousands more. that's the basis of this estimate. it's undeniable. unless you want to challenge what cbo and joint tax have said. not the administration. it's these non-partisan entities. and you've got to answer this. >> gentleman yield, i would be happy to. >> yeah. >> i think you pointed to you the a very important distinction between the foredone 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 foredone wages because there would be becames that would otherwise be enjoyed by that group of individuals. let's say zero, however, is enjoyed by the employees under this scenario. let's say $53 approximately in additional employer mandate taxes are imposed upon -- >> 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 -- will now get insurance through the exchange many of them with subsidies or through 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. >> gentleman yield briefly?
i would indicate that if any member of congress is under the misimpression that there has opinion no discernible impact in the number of part-time employment in this country, i think they need to be spending more time in their districts. >> no one's saying that >> community colleges, universities, hourly workers and so forth. we all acknowledge this is a problem. and -- >> let me just take back my -- whose ever time. that suspect what i'm saying. so let fwho one -- and that's not the administration -- they are not saying this. what they are saying is according to data from the bureau of labor statistics since aca became law, more than 90% of the increase nefrn ployment has been full-time jobs and said there is no evidence that this has caused a road shift to part-time work today. >> the employer map date isn't -- wasn't fully implemented until january 1st.
so perhaps that's why robust evidence hasn't been collected. >> okay. well then -- [ inaudible ] >> you know you string together enough anecdotes my esteemed colleague, and you start to discertain 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. misters slaughter? >> thank you, ms. fox. mr. young, i know you were working very hard, i do think we see a pattern, i don't think there's any question about it the pattern is to nibble to death the affordable care act. 7% of employed people are part time. 7%. there's been no increase in that. in fact, been a 2% drop. and all these experts have said
to us that pie doing this, you would create more part-time worker because employees would cut their threshold to 39% which would be more. and i have just been reminded if i may, unanimous concept to put the administration's statement into policy into the record. without objection. >> thank you. administration is pretty clear on this that you know, 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 opinion full-time jobs. so, i appreciate you working really hard to find a solution here but i don't think we have a problem. we are not seeing any increase in part time. in fact people who work part time who wanted full-time jobs immediately after the recession, that part has dropped 2% since the recession's been relieved that the economy is doing fairly
well. so, i appreciate mr. levin's statements here and not -- it's not something we are making up. these are experts who have done this. and bureau of labor statistics i think we have all been following them most of our lives and what they are 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, madam 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. [ laughter ] up here, wither pretty used to seeing them, but we are not used to seeing the bills get to the president's desk, unlike 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 has 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 2013 was delayed. and so although the employer mandate began january 1 of this year, most people are unaware of it becauser in 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 folk count fact that this time next year, you've got a big 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 comes. interesting so much of the feedback we have received have been from larger institutions that have the personnel to look at the regulatory environment and the legal environment. i have heard from back in my own district indiana university, ivy tech community college, the largest community college system in the country. i have 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 affect, how much this is going to impact them. and i think what responsible legislators do is when we have a car racing off a cliff we don't wait until we go off that cliff before we make a course correction. so, this is indeed an analogous situation and so we are trying to brie efrpt it and again, relieve the pain that will be felt by so many more hourly
workers before it goes -- as it goes fully into effect. >> i'm required or requested to give -- to hold force on what is coming around the corner with the affordable care act small businesses in my district and i always start every discussion off and people take it as a joke, but it's not a joke it's -- if you haven't sought professional help, you need to do so and 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. and mr. levin, during the discord, all the discussion of the affordable care act the past couple of years at one point the owns was made that the 40-hour workweek was the backbone of the middle class. was that a fair statement?
i think the country benefited from his philosophical approach. i think mr. young is doing good service to that by preventing us from harming it further. i want to thank mr. courtney for bringing his amendment. it make a lot of sense. i hope the committee looks on it gave play. i will yield back my time. >> gentleman yields back. mr. mcgovern? >> thank you, dr. fox. look, if the goal of this whole exercise today is to get the president to exercise his veto pen, then fine. we will go through that ordeal. but what an incredible waste of time and energy. what an incredible waste of taxpayer dollars if that's all we are trying to do here is set up confrontations. you know i mean, i mean you don't -- i always tell people, document have to agree on everything to agree on something. there may be some things that we can agree on working in a bipartisan way to try to you know address some of the concerns that we all have but i mean, i just -- the idea that
the first two bills we are bringing up were bills that have already elicited a veto threat before most committees have been constituted, i just think we can 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 are kind of -- this is the way we are beginning here. there are issues with the affordable care act. i think there are some reasonable anticipates out there and maybe we can come to some sort of agreement on that. i don't think this is the way to start. i don't know, mr. young, whether you are here arguing for an open rule or not but my expectation is that we are going to have two closed rules. so, good ideas or ideas that are worth debating are not going to
be considered. and so whether it is mr. courtney's initiative. i'm sure some other people have solutions here as well but again, we don't have a committee system set up yet to deliberate. we have all these new members which we are all talking about and we are gonna have two closed rules. i'm just not sure that's the right way to begin. so, i respect everybody's point of view here it's just that if indeed we are all serious about trying to have a legislative year in which we accomplish things i'm not sure this is the pest way to begin. so with that i thank you for being here appreciate it i yield back my time. >> thank you, mr. mcgovern. mr. woodall? no? mr. hastings? mr. polls? >> yeah, i just wanted to comment that it's, you know, a
new congress and i was hoping we could start off with some new ideas and fresh ideas rather than the 50-something repeal of obamacare. particularly concerned about this because it increases the deficit by over $40 billion. i hope that this isn't the tone for this congress, just repeating everything we did last congress again and again. not only is it monotonous, but it's a waste of taxpayer money and it's one of the reasons that this institution is held in such low esteem. yield back.
thank you very much, want to welcome our second panel. [ inaudible ] thank you very much for coming and seeing our brand-new team. you will notice that we have -- can't see it now [ inaudible ] today, we are going to move now to the hr-30 save american workers act of 2015. keystone pipeline, the number of thousands of jobs and consumers who would benefit in. hr-3, the keystone xl pipeline. obviously, i note that we have two gentlemen with us care very much about this bill and one who
has concerns about it from energy and commerce mr. pollone. mr. chairman i'm going to defer to you first, we are gonna have you open without objection anything that any three of you have in writing will be entered into the record. the gentleman, mr. shuster, is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman thank you for having me here to discuss the rule for consideration for hr-3 to approve the key stone pipeline act. it is based on the cassidy keystone bill which passed the house in the last session 252-161. it is the most extensively studied and vetted pipeline in the history of the country and know the arguments made by potboth sides on this project. pipe lines are an seeps part of our energy transportation infrastructure. they are the energy lifelines that power nearly all our daily activities. pipelines supply more than to thirds of the energy used in the united states. key stone will be a critical addition to this extensive network, increasing our nation's supply of oil, helping to reduce
the cost of oil. the state department completed its final supplemental environmental impact statement a year ago however there has still been no action by the administration on the pipeline. there have only about excuses and the most recent of which is pending legislation the state of nebraska. however, hr-3 takes that into account and allows for the rerouting in that state. there is simply no further reason to delay this important project, especially given the numerous benefits it will provide our nation. the pipeline will be a tremendous boone 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 43,000 jobs and 2 billion in employee earnings. while some say these are only temporary jobs, keep in mind that all infrastructure construction jobs are temporary. in fact we have a list of unions that are very supportive of this. the teamsters have endorsed it.
international brotherhood of electrical workers, labors international union of america the operating engineers and united association of the plumbing and pipe fitting industry, 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 it will add to the economy of $3.1 billion in construction contracts, materials and support service. further, it will help to keep the prices of oil low, which puts money back into the pockets of working americans and then they could 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. this provides more ones to expand the north american energy renaissance occurring. this project will also be safe it includes 95 special mitigation measures including 57 recommended by the department of transport 'tis to prevent
spills and make this the safest pipeline ever built. and i look forward to working with all of you to move hr-3 through the congress w that i yield back my time. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. i appreciate you being here and for your suss september discussions. this is not your first time to be here on this issue and we are glad that you are. mr. pollone, welcome. we are delighted that you are back at the committee works and energy and commerce committee and the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and thank you to the members of the committee and good to see some tube in members of the committee. all 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. and 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 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 a substantive argument. in terms of the process argument, i think this bill should be considered under regular order by the committees of jurisdiction. we should hold hearings and mark judges and when the bill is brought to the floor, it should be considered under a rule that allows for amendments rather than a closed rule. now, you know, we have -- we mentioned the new members of the rules committee, a lot of new members in the house i don't know how many i think 60, deserve the right to provide input on this proposal and all members reserve the right -- legislation to approve the pipeline. just right now, the nebraska -- and 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 on a bill with the floor without going through committee and hearings we don't know what the route is going to be because
the court in nebraska hasn't made the decision yet. i know the chairman mentioned oil prices. at one point, i think you did earlier. and, you know, this should not be perceived as a bill and again, i'm not trying to put words in your mouth but there are some out there who are saying, oh this is so important because of oil prices and you know, somehow it's gop nah reducenna reduce oil prices. u.s. oil production has skyrocketed. my concern and the concern of many of us is if you go ahead with this bill which deems approval of the pipeline, basically says we don't have to go through the environmental process, you want to weigh the fact there doesn't appear to be positive benefit to this bill in terms of oil production and oil prices versus the fact that now we have this very dirty tar sand
supplied oil, if you will that is gonna have major -- a major impact on the environment and green house gases. now, just to give you some statistic here canada projects that its greenhouse gas emissions will grow pie 25% between 2005 and 2020 and that emission from tar sands production will be the single largest contributory that emissions growth accounting for about a 44% increase. and all studies estimate that shifting from conventional oil to tar sands fuel substantially increases lifecycle green house gas emissions. now, i know that the president and all of us are concerned about green house gases. the president, both internationally and domestically, has put forward various proposals to try to reduce green house emissions but the problem is still growing. it's not you know, we are trying to make it less of a problem, but it is still a huge problem. so, we shouldn't be, in my. , and i know so many democrats
agree, we shouldn't be increasing these tar sands production of oil, which has a major negative impact on the environment at the same time when we don't really have a problem about oil supplies and oil prices at the all time low. we haven't decided on the route of the pipeline. why are we pushing that automatic 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 north, mr. chairman. so basically, you know my opinion is and i will conclude that we don't need tar sands because of the carbon pollution that comes from it. we have our own sources of oil. we are using less oil because our cars are more efficient much the pipeline isn't going to help lower gas prices or enhance energy security or fight climate change. for all these reasons, i oppose the bill and request the committee grant an open rule allowing amendments to be offered. >> thank you for being here and taking time today. good to see you. i hope you have a good new year. >> you, too. >> mr. cramer welcome. previously when you have been with us, you have been on the resources committee, i don't know if you still are, but also a member now of the energy and commerce committee. >> i am, thank you, mr.
chairman. and i am the prime sponsor of the bill. >> that is what i was going to same we are delighted that you are here and the gentleman is recognized. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman, members of the committee. and 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 public service commission and carried the pipeline portfolio when we cited the only that will keystone pipeline through north dakota 217 miles 600 landowners, green field of -- if they had hired a way to find a worse route she would have failed them, and yet we sited it after the presidential permit was signed. we voted it after. that's common, that the permit would be signed by the president prior to the routing actually taking place pause 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 the geologists didn't know or you know the archaeologist and so the routing of a pipeline doesn't happen prior to the presidential approval. i just want to make that point. i also appreciate the gentleman's point about price. the issue of price at the pump. thighs arguments are built on a false promise somehow oil sands wouldn't be developed apart from the united states. whether they are developed is not our call. what is our call is are we gonna approve a process of transporting it that benefits the united states workforce. le 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 green house gas emissions than putting in a pipeline to the gulf coast. putting it on trains has a lot of negative impacts beyond even the green house gas emissions. house gas emissions. putting it on trucks is more. we studied this in north dakota. that is a compelling reason to approve more pipelines. the difference in moving oil pie 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 par lbarrel. one of the negotiated deals between the states of north dakota and montana in support of this process, 2301 days ago, with transcanada, was at least 100,000 barrels per day of capacity would be reserved for
back and crude. we now move 71% of back and crude by rail. all seen the challenges with rail. safe city a major one but 71% clogs a transportation system that is equipped and frankly required to move food to hungry people commodities to markets, around the world. so that 100,000 barrels per day of capacity freed up off of our railroads is ten trains a week of moving food rather than oil. i'm for trains, all the above transportation is important, but 71% is an inappropriate i think, imbalance. and so for those reasons, 2301 days is long enough for both -- for the president and congress, we know plenty about this issue and i appreciate the opportunity and encourage a good rule that moves the pill forward expeditious labor day gets it
passed hopefully at this week. >> mr. cramer, thank you very much. look, we are all products of our environment, where we're from or our background. i remember when i was in high school and we had the 1973 oil empark go. we were held hostage by people who had something that we not only wanted but needed. it was the life blood, energy was the lifeblood of america pack then and i don't think we've gotten a long way from that yet. as much time and teching no 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 are going to ruin everything about alaska. the caribou loved it by the way. and the pipeline works and like everything else they are
diminishing, once you begin taking something out, perhaps you're into a diminishing circumstance. i think this is common sense for jobs much 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 some people who we don't necessarily know 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. and he said we want to stick with you 'cause we think you are gonna get this done. we think it was the right thing to do. mrs. fox? >> thank you, mr. chairman, i have no questions. >> the gentlewoman yields back her time. the gentle woman from new york is recognize. >> thank you, mr. chairman. first let me ask you now the
consent to put the administration policy in the record. >> without objection. >> let me just quote from thr 3 conflicts with long-standing executive branch procedures regarding the authority of the president. events a thorough consideration of complex issues that could bear on u.s. national interests, including serious security safety environmental and other ramifications. if presented to the president, his senior advisers would recommend that he veto the bill. now, i want to welcome you gentlemen and ask what will happen if this were to pass and a nebraska court would then rule that it cannot be used -- will not be able to cross nebraska, the pipeline? >> sure. so, nothing in this bill supersedes nebraska or any other local jurisdiction. >> but that would kill it would it not? >> oh -- >> go across nebraska at least? >> at some point, just as the original keystone pipeline is and i think it's an important
point, important question and frankly, if i was routing the pipeline, it wouldn't go through nebraska where it's going through. i suggested a much more politically palatable route several years ago to transcanada but they chose a shorter one. that said, i think that the supreme court will determine whether that route is appropriate or not, but they will find a route either through nebraska or around nebraska i suppose at some point. but the presidential permit is not based on any individual state's routing. the presidential permit is simply -- determines that you can cross the international border and there's no -- there's no argument of we are it would cross the international border. well, i understand that you're north dakota. >> yes, ma'am. >> that because of the fracking and drilling there, that you can now see your state from space. >> well, you raise a very -- >> new wrinkle, i suppose, that you weren't planning on? >> well, i will tell you that you raise a very important point and another very strong reason why we need even more pipeline
construction because what you're seeing from space is the flaring of natural gas which is a secondary product from the oil. and the holdup, especially on public and tribal lands in permitting gathering lines for that natural gas has resulted in the very up fortunate outcome of burning the gas into the atmosphere and all the green house gases with it without adding any value to that gas. so, another good reason why we need more pipelines, not fewer. >> i'm very much aware of nebraska's concerns, the aquifer that covers most of the midwest, which really makes it possible for the midwest to be the breadbasket for the united states could be destroyed if there were spills from that pip line. >> again i'm very familiar as well with the overall aquifer and it is -- it has become sort of the main area to try to avoid and it does cover much of member, which is again why i think a different route might have been better. that said, there are lots -- i mean, thousands, i'm sure the
chairman know how many millions of miles of oil andand other petroleum product pipe lines there are underneath the earth and there are safeguards in place, should there be a leak should there be an accident. i will 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 and they -- all the alarms worked the way they were supposed to work, shutoff valves work the way they were supposed to work, the berms held the oil where it is supposed to be held and they fixed it all in very fast fashion, did a great job of coming in and helping. so, the -- >> damage the water supply? >> it did not. it did not. and this bill this pipeline in particular is the latest greatest, state of the article, as the chairman's testimony referenced, they have met over 50 specific recommendations pie the department of state and the department of transportation result of the eis process. so, could an accident happen? sure, but the safe guards are
there to prevent it from being worse than it could be. >> have you -- i'm a great friend of canadian parliament as well. >> oh yes. >> new york is, of course, very closely involved with them. and they feel pause the price of oil has fallen so steeply might not find it practical to build this pipeline? >> i think the low praise of oil is more a reason to build it because of the margins -- the margins lost in high price will require them to move it as efficiently and as economically fees play as possible and pipelines are the most efficient as well as the safest with a i to move the oil. >> i'm not sure how safe they are. i must tell you, i'm not cop vinced at all about that. >> sure. sure. >> nor the fact that if it is completed, it will only need 35 employees plus that 15 contractors to run it. but the major fact for us is that we are just simply being used as a 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 in the united states. >> well, as a matter of fact, it certainly passes from the united states the northern border to the refineries, by the way, all of those employers at the refiners are u.s. employees. all of the restaurants and the jobs question, you know could you say 15 or 30 or 50 or 42,000 as the state department states but our economy is empty 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, put vast majority of this won't necessarily be exported and nor, pie the way, do i have a real problem with exporting i think we ought to do more of it pricemakers, not price takers. the chairman would like to address that issue as well. >> to the question, there's 2.6 million miles of pipe line in the united states today. it is by far the safest mode of transportation especially moving the oils and some of the
hazard douse material. so as mr. cramer said, we should be building more pipelines, not less. the statistics show that you have a greater chance of being hurt, being hit pie lightning than you do being affected negatively by a pipe line. now, i've -- i thought about offering a bill to outlaw lightning strikes, but you know, that doesn't happen. the only way you can say there's not going to be any pipeline accidents is have no pipelines. and then we are going to have all kinds of other problems. so, it's very safe. this pipeline is,z mr. cramer pointed out, the safest pipeline ever built in the history of the world probably. >> i think we have to weigh the question of whether or not he want to be a conduit to get oil from canada to the rest of the world and with risk of what we might do with pollution. but there's one other thing in the legislation that 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 and tell me why many people find it
too difficult get here or pay the price of d.c. lawyers to be able to -- >> feel felt they should come through the d.c. court and end up in the supreme court, that's the -- >> just a matter to get there quickly, huh? >> well, to not get there quickly, to get there -- >> be in the same town with the supreme court, so just run across the street with it? okay. >> also to your point about moving oil through the united states, other parts of the world, you know there's venezuela out there and russia today. we ought to be helping the world by getting oil to other parts of world. we are. we should do more of it. dastardly things he is doing in that part of the world. >> not here to debate lifting the export ban of course on crude oil but right now, our drop in price, the oil drop in price is i think a clear demonstration of our vulnerability yet to opec and quite frankly their ability to overis up blind drop the price comes with the very real
understanding that 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 want to quote a couple other specific things. green house gas emissions from rail are 1.8 times that of pipelines. trucks, 2.9 times that of pipelines transportation and spills from truck transportation are three to four times the rate of spills from pipelines. so, again, if it's the committee, the environment we are looking out for and safety pipelines are the way to go we want to be brycemakers, no the price takers, stabilize price while stabilizing supply and i think is a good way to do it. as well as ensure a good trade relationship with our best friends in the world, canadians. and i appreciate your interest with canadian parliament. >> a better name. >> i'm colt chair along with -- and i'm going to miss bill owens
on the northern border caucus and meeting with the ambassador next week. this is so important to our relationship. >> i hope not pause rob meriweather is one of my best friends and he understands i'm on the wrong side for him, the right side for my constituents and everybody else. >> depends whose side you are looking at. >> indeed much mr. pallone, you want to say something? >> i listened to the questions and comments that you posedz and responses by the republican colleagues. the point i'm making here, going back to 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 -- simply need more time to study this, the jury's out. after listening to the debate back and forth here today i'm more convinced than ever that 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 -- more study.
>> in court. exactly. so i think the very debate that you brought up here, ms. slaughter, is very -- supports the reason why we should be moving forward here. this is something that is not -- that the congress shouldn't be acting on without further hearings and new session, without, you know, 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, shouldn't be handled in this way. thank you. >> if i could have a response to my colleague. we have had 15 hearings in the congress over the past couple of years on this very issue. this will be the tenth time it will be on the there are debated on the house floor. so i just the opposite 22,300 -- that's like six years, isn't it? like six years we have been studying this. the time has come. again, i listen to my republican colleague here making arguments that i hear my democratic colleagues making all the time on the there are, jobs, energy
safety, so i just don't understand. >> let me just throw one thing out for you, microbiologist by training, a masters in public health and i know you can't survive more than four days without water. >> yeah. >> and anything i think that has potential to destroy drinking water in the united states which is one of the reasons we fight so hard to take care of the great lakes right? pause it's 20% of the planet's fresh water. and i just -- it just seems to me that we really need to wait until certainly the court acts and find out what we are 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 the 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 signed that said a decision has to be made within 60 days unless the president deems that it is not in the nation's interest. and i want to read a beautiful piece -- >> if he had don't you? >> not they've read. i want to read a beautiful piece that -- about the nation's interests and this is a quote. it says "increases -- this pipeline increases the diversity of available supplies among the united states worldwide crude oil sources in a time of considerable political tension in 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 but i'm going to jump to the point. this quote, as much as i would like to take credit from it comes directly from president obama's presidential permit in
2009 of the an bridge alberta clipper pipeline that carries the very same oil sands through the country of the united states through parts of north dakota i sited it as well. his same arguments are more relevant today for the nation's interests than they were then, 2301 days i think is -- >> i don't see them the same way given the fact that we are almost energy sufficient here. thank you. >> thank you. >> the gentle woman yields back. >> appreciate the conversation. >> further discussion. the gentleman from oklahoma is recognized. >> first of all, delighted that my friend only north dakota is carrying this bill pause i don't think there's anybody with better become ground and more practical experience in actually 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 the expertise. a couple points i want to make. and for -- why is the president involved in this decision at all? >> well, that's great question and the reason the president's involved in it at all is because
it's crossing the international bored and therefore it requires a presidential permit. >> so otherwise, he would not be involved at all? >> that's correct. >> and part of this pipeline already been built? >> it has. in fact, portion from oklahoma to the gulf coast of the refiners themselves. >> and did the president actually go down there ben they opened that pipeline and hold a press vehement sell operating it? >> he did, in fact. >> now, the thought -- may have slipped their minds at the white house as well. and are there any american-owned pipelines going through this country of canada? >> i suspect there are. >> 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 our friends? and 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 gore canada to be able to
run a pipe lynn through america? >> i think we understate the importance of this pipeline project and these deliberations to our relationship with our friends in canada. >> i have no doubt about it. 'cause i have had multiple conversations with people in canada. and the hypocrisy that they see of us running oil through their -- which they have no objection to, and cooperate in, and then refusing them the same opportunity, you know that is -- you know 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. now, i look at the states through which the pipeline runs and i happen to look at where the support for the pipeline is and 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 delighteded that people from other parts of the country are worried about our water or
our environment, but you know, we are really capable of making those decisions all by ourselves. and indeed most of these states do it on a routine basis, as my friend pointed out that's what you did for ten years, were make these kind of decisions for the state of north dakota. that agencies actually right. that's why the presidential permit is confined tole point of crossing -- the crossing the boreder and the nation's interests. after that it is up to every local jurisdiction and by the way, not just states, it gets right down to the township level, right down to the individual land up ir. all of that jurisdiction is preserved in this bill. and anyway, so you're exactly right. we can look out for ourselves. that's fine. >> and my friend has considerable experience, pack ground, i know, and so does my friend from pennsylvania i'm sure my friend from new jersey may well. but with canada as a country, is it an environmentally sophisticated and advanced
country? do canadians care about their environment? >> that is one of the other ironies we don't talk about very often, if anything in fact, the new premier of alberta ran his whole campaign he recently got elected on on environmental protection. it is his number one platform plank. he was elected. and he is coming in a couple of 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 both 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 double care about its environment. this is one of the most advanced countries in the world one of the best friends this country has had in a -- you know, we fought together in defense of freedom all over the world. it's the largest, longest, unguarded border in the world.
i mean it's a remarkable friend and neighbor to the united states of america. and it's making a -- i mean i would be looking gosh, when you needed help moving alaskan crude across the entire length of our country, we recognized you were a good friend, this was a pretty important thing. we worked with you. now, trying to do precisely the same thing in a way my friend points out increase the energy security of the united states, will create jobs in the united states it's not as if they make the decision, they can't run a pipe line in another direction across their territory and sell this all some place else, creating no jobs down in texas. >> very important point. i just might say, understanding that we are a political body and that's real and that the president has political considerations, that's real. and i'm sympathetic to that, i think we all understand that. and why, in 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, you know five years, let's look at it this way. let's provide the president both the political muscle feels the need, political cover to do this jointly. as a nation of the people's representatives and allow, and take some of that extra political burden off of him and do it together. i think we don't view things sometimes. sometimes we shy away from political realities. political realities are you know, why we're here. it's okay. i don't think we should apologize for them. let's just find a way to get it done. >> sometimes issues become symbolic. the substance on this is so breathtakingly clear. you know. again, half this pipeline is built. we run pipelines across canada. we -- this you know, the transportation of oil by train and truck is compared to pipeline is night and day safer and cheaper and better. we've got billions of dollars
worth of pipeline in this country running every which way. and this is one of those issues that in my view the environmental community has made into a symbolic issue. frankly, my view of the arctic wildlife preserve is in many occasions. it's breathtakingly stupid not to do this. and that's where the frustration comes. and it's breathtakingly unfair to one of our best friends and neighbors who has never treated us this way. and yet, we're doing it to them. so i want to commend my friend for carrying the legislation and moving it along. and i think, you know, there's a reason why this when the american people ask about this and you were kind enough to stay on substance. but, you know, 60 odd percent favor, 20% oppose. because look at it well, it's jobs, energy security, kind of fair to our friends. and for my friends who are 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, and the oil business -- and i've learned this over a lifetime, you know what goes up will come down and will go back up again. and 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 at a round table and had a group of suggestions. what could we do to lower the price? well, you need to develop the arctic, you know natural reserves. well, we can't do that politically. well, you need to build keystone because that'll help, you know, oil's a global commodity. and when it goes on the global market are whether we're using it, or not, it brings down the price -- well we can't do that, politically -- well, you need to do some drilling offshore and open up some -- well, we can't do that. and finally this guy looks at me
and drills in oklahoma. he p doesn't drill in any of these places. and he said, well, the next time you go to washington and all of these people were local producers. and i said, why don't you ask those people in congress how rich they would like us all to be. 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, you know, none of this stuff helps us. but if you want to constrict the supply and make everybody around the table a multi multimillionaire, go right ahead. we're trying to help you solve a problem for the country. that's what you guys are doing in this legislation. and this is very counterproductive to stop. so thank you. sorry, mr. chairman, i was on my high horse. this is one of those few issues that punches all of my republican buttons. yield back. >> mr. chairman, thank you very much. >> thank you.
just very briefly. i appreciate everybody being here today. and you know, let me say i love canada, too. and -- and you know, and i, but you know what, i think there are people like myself and others who have concerns about this pipeline, whether those concerns are based on substance. you don't have to agree with it. but the fact of the matter is people have some concerns. which brings me to the point i want to make here. and as this is a process committee, all right. pointed out we have a number of new members. i think 52 new members that get elected. committees haven't been constituted yet, hearings haven't happened. yes, you had hearings in the past, fine, and if you want to move forward with this, at least open the process up. you know allow some of these 52 members to have an opportunity to be able to you know, bring some suggestions to the floor. i mean, maybe there are some
you know, issues that we might be able to find some bipartisan consensus on that might address some of the 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 close role and say take it or leave it knowing the president's going to veto it, it just seems to me there has to be a better way to start the session off. and just finally, look. you know, we're at the beginning of a session. we're not at the end of a session. you can't say, we've got to go home for the holidays. we don't have any more time left or this is a must-pass bill by the end of tomorrow otherwise the whole world's going to 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, you know. and have a more open process. and i hope in a bipartisan way you will all suggest to the
members of the rules committee that you pdon't bring a close rule on this to the floor that we have a process that is much more open and allows all members to have an opportunity to debate this. we can -- if it takes a day, so be it. if it takes a week, who cares. we ought to do this the right way, and i think i would hope that we could all agree on that, if not on the substance of the underlying bill, at least on the process in which we bring it to the floor. and with that, mr. chairman, i will yield back my time. >> i thank the gentleman very much. by the way i stated earlier we live in glass houses up here. and the gentleman's making a good point. i'd like to retort in the 110th congress when mrs. slaughter was chairman, the congress in their first year of the majority, the rules package had a consideration of five measures. not a hearing. not about the substance,
original rules package, and the 11th congress, same thing. they were in the original package not in the individual hearing, 6 for 6 right in there. again, we all live in glass houses. >> mr. chairman -- >> i'm not trying to call anyone's bluff. but just remember, you're trying to get your work done too. >> yeah, and we can argue. if this is all going to be about you did it so we're going to do it. >> that's not what i'm trying to say. >> if that's what it is that's fine. what i tried to do earlier today and we're trying to suggest that maybe, you know, at the beginning of this new year we change -- we changed the nature of the way we do business. if the answer is you don't want to do it, fine. but the fact of the matter is that there is no reason at all for this to be brought up under a closed rule. and we could do it in a day, we could do it in two days. but you have 57 new members and, you know we could debate whether it was the right or wrong thing to do when the democrats did it you know.
i'm suggesting that maybe -- >> gentleman yield. >> i will in one second. what i'm suggesting is what we should all do, democrats and republicans, try to approach things differently. we might get more done. we might actually have bills that have you know enough bipartisan support where you might get the white house to sign a few bills. but if the issue is just sending things to the white house so they can veto it we could score political points and we're going to close the system up and business as usual, fine. i think it's a missed opportunity. but i think that's the direction we're going and it troubles me very much. >> as a matter of fact, we are doing things differently. we didn't put it into the rules package. we held a hearing. we put a notice out. we had other members on a bipartisan basis. we've been here a couple hours. we're not running things through in a package. we're doing a rule. we're taking the time. we even welcome mr. pallone
today. we welcome mr. courtney, mr. levin. i made sure that we were aware of what we were doing, we're trying to have a discussion, and we are going to do things differently. and i think it's better. i thank the gentleman. >> with respect, mr. chairman. i would just say -- i -- i would prefer a little less welcoming and a little bit more opportunity to be able to deliberate on the house floor. and so i mean, as i understand it, the rule we're going to report out will mean that if i have an idea on a way to improve this bill on the issue of safety or protecting water or any number of things that i will not have that opportunity to be able to bring that to the house floor or debate it. and i think given the fact that we have all of these new members members i don't think it's a radical idea to suggest that we try it. we're not -- it is what it is. and i yield back my time. >> i thank the gentleman. and kind of goes back to over
about an hour ago. mr. palone. we should tell you ahead of time we should have a closed rule so you didn't have to waste your time to come up here. i think that's a darn -- i think that's a darn bad idea. >> no, my understanding is that you guys don't decide -- >> i'm making a statement to the gentleman, that's where we were going to come. and i don't think we ought to do that. i'm delighted that you're here, frank. and i think you have having a chance -- well you know it may or may not matter to some people. but it matters to me and i think it matters to people and i hope it matters to you. mr. chairman. >> nobody suggested that he not be welcome. >> i don't think that at all. i think that -- >> that's not what the point of the number was. it was simply to say that for a lot of members who come up here and wait hours to offer amendments when we know in advance it ought to be a closed rule, ought to have the opportunity to decide whether it's worth