tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN September 9, 2009 1:00pm-5:00pm EDT
yorkers and three californians i know we speak for everyone across this country when we underscore how important it is to recognize this one of the most tragic days in our nation's history. . there are other things that have come from this. representative king is the former chairman of the homeland security committee which was established in the aftermath of september 11. as we sit here prepared to mark the 8th anniversary, i think it's important to note that another good thing has emerged and that is the fact that while most predicted that within a matter of months and certainly years, we would have another terrorist attack on u.s. soil. and it's due to the work of peter king and lots of other people in this institution in the executive branch and around
the country that has ensured that we have not to this point and we hope and pray that this rig lance will continue and we will never have another attack like we saw on september 11, 2001. and we also need to use this resolution, mr. speaker, to remind ourselves that we still live in a very, very dangerous world. there are people who would like to do us in. we know that. we find it out on a daily basis and we see it in tragic terrorist attacks that take place in other parts of the globe. and so i join, mr. speaker, with my colleagues in strong support of the efforts that ms. matsui and mr. king and others have put forth on this resolution in hopes that this will be a learning experience and as mr. engel mentioned the fact that december 7, 1941 was a date for past generations, we all
remember the history of december 7, 1941 and similarly we hope that this resolution will ensure that future generations will never forget what happened on september 11 of 2001. and i thank my friend for yielding. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from new york. mr. towns: let me, mr. speaker, i would like to join my colleagues in saying that this was a day that i will never ever forget. as i stood and i watched the second plane hit and then i realized that this was a day that we would never ever forget. i also want to recognize those firefighters and those police officers and people who came from all over the nation to help us at that time, i mean new
yorkers. and that's something we cannot forget. people just packed up, came to help us clean up. and i never seen people work together the way they worked during the crisis of september 11. so i think it's only fitting that we stop and we recognize the great work of those volunteers. and i want to thank congresswoman matsui and congressman peter king for sponsoring this resolution. i remember a gentleman by the name of al walden who served in the congress with us who was a judge and his office was in the building that caught on fire, the first building. and i recall standing out here talking to him as we are looking at the problems and the smoke coming from the building. and as we heard the fire trucks
and the volunteers running to help each other and that's the day i will never ever forget. i remember getting a call indicating that fireman glassco, who was a very good friend was a good friend. i mean i can just go down the list calling the roll of all these people that lost their lives on that day. but i can't help from thinking about the togetherness that came from this and how people said let's do everything we can to assist the people in new york. i want to thank from all over this land for doing that. and of course, i have no other speakers. if the gentleman from california is prepared to yield back, i'm prepared to do so as well. the speaker pro tempore: the
gentleman reserves the balance of his time.? mr. towns: i reserve my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california. mr. bilbray: mr. speaker, i appreciate the chairman's words and let me just say, december 7, 1941 was brought up earlier. and my father's birthday was december, 1941 -- was in december 7 and he was stationed at pearl harbor in 1941. and i think the big slogan we have heard about december 7 is never again shall we not be prepared to avoid this. i guess the goal we need to say is never again with 9/11. how many of us around this country, especially if you ask those in new york, how many thought that flight schools in florida or california was going to affect their lives. most new yorkers would probably say, it doesn't affect me. i guess how many people around
this country would think that if virginia gave drivers' licenses to people who were not legally in the country would think, does it matter? no, it doesn't matter. 9/11 has proven anything that happens in the united states would have a major impact at corners across this country. i have to say that we do talk about what happened in new york. we can identify where the pentagon was hit. sadly, i don't think most of us could point out where in a field in pennsylvania the heroes of that flight perished. in that field, somewhere in pennsylvania, there were the heroes who chose to stop an act of terrorism dead in its tracks. and i think every member of congress, when we tour the
capitol and walk into the capitol, every member of congress should remember those heroes who perished in that field in pennsylvania because, mr. speaker, we stand here today and we have the privilege of showing our constituents this structure to representative government, the capitol. we stand today proudly because these heroes were willing to give it all to protect the capitol of the united states. as far as i know, we were the next one on-line. and so as we stand here today in recognizing the sacrifice of the heroes and loss of 9/11, we should remember every day that a member of congress or the president has the privilege of serving the public in this building, in this temple of representative government that
we ought to thank those heroes for preserving for us the rights for us to be able to represent them here in this structure. without that heroism, not only would this structure not be here, but many of us who will vote on this resolution today. so i ask that we support this resolution. i ask that we remember what it's about and that we remember that the only way to make sure that it doesn't happen again is to take the time to do the right thing, learn from the mistakes of 9/11 and make sure we don't forget the mistakes of 9/11 so that we never repeat the tragedy of 9/11. i reserve -- gentleman ready? i would yield back. at this time, i'm ready to yield my time back to the chair. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from new york. mr. towns: mr. speaker, how much
time do i have? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman has 10 minutes. mr. towns: let me make a statement and i would be prepared to yield back. again, i want the gentleman from california, peter king, the gentlewoman matsui and congressman engel for his participation. and i would like to your knowledge my colleagues to join me in remembering september 11 as the ideal opportunity to going to giving back to our nation. and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the question is will the house suspend the rules and agree to house resolution 718. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the resolution is agreed to. the gentleman from new york. mr. towns: i ask for the yeas and nays -- no, don't worry about it. i withdraw it.
the speaker pro tempore: the resolution is agreed to. and without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from new york rise? mr. towns: mr. speaker, i move that the house suspend the rules and agree to house resolution 724. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report title of the resolution. the clerk: resolution honoring the first responders paying tribute to the victims of the southern california wildfires and mourning the loss of firefighter tedmund hall and firefighter specialist arnaldo arnie quinones. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from new york, mr. towns and the gentleman from california, mr. bilbray, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from new york. mr. towns: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days in which to revise and
extend their remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. towns: i now recognize the gentleman from california for five minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized for five minutes. mr. schiff: at the onset, mr. speaker, i want to thank the chairman for moving this resolution so ex pe dishously and in time of a memorial service that will be conducted at dodger stadium this saturday. i rise in support of legislation i have introduced with congressman david dreier. honoring the first responders to the recent california wildfires and paying tribute to those who helped and mourning the loss of firefighter captain tedmund ted hall and firefighter specialist arnaldo quinones who died while fighting the station fire. these courageous men who made the ultimate sacrifice for
family, friends and greater community deserve our recognition and have earned our undying gratitude. it is, i suppose, fitting, mr. speaker, that we take up this resolution following the september 11 resolution when we think of september 11, in addition to the terrible tragedy and loss of so many innocent lives, we think of the bravery of the emergency responders who while others were rushing out of those collapsing buildings, they were rushing in. similarly in california, 3,000 miles away from the site of that terrible tragedy, we once again see firefighters rushing in while others are rushing out. and none could ex emapplyfy this courage and this call to service more than specialist quinones and captain hall. our thoughts today go out to the families of these brave men.
and with this resolution we honor their lives and highlight the contributions of thousands of other personnel who helped fight these massive wildfires which have burned thousands of public and private acres, destroyed and damaged homes and forced the evacuation of thousands of families. the weather conditions in california have been mixed. at times, the weather has been still and the wind has been still but caused smoke to accumluate and hamper emergency aircraft. at other times the winds have fanned the flames. low humidity and high temperatures have also contribute todd the heat of the blaze. to the point where the governor of california proclaimed a state of emergency in several counties. the station fire ignited by arson began on august 26 and burned more than 160,000 acres of public lands and private
property in l.a. county and angeles forest where it continues to burn including 200 structures and homes. it is one of the largest fires in modern california history and the largest wildfire in the history of los angeles county as far as we can tell. the station fire continues to threaten 7,000 structures in the national forest and nearby communities like glendale, pasadena, little rock, and others. 800 fire personnel and 800 fire engines and helicopters and fix-winged aircraft have been deployed statewide to assist in friferinge efforts. the commitment and heroism exhibited by firefighters have saved countless lives, homes and businesses. we also recognize the additional emergency personnel such as law
enforcement and medical personnel who have coordinated with firefighters and performed beyond the call of duty in the preservation and protection of human lives. we recognize hundreds of volunteers who gave their time to help ensure that evacuees are sheltered, clothed and fed during this traumatic event. i visited some shelters, meeting with volunteers from the red cross, one, a glendale police officer worked a full day in uniform as a police officer and came out in the evening to volunteer at the shelter to make sure that people had a place to sleep. it's people like this, brafle serving the community that are such an inspiration to us and give us confidence that we will finally get this fire put out. so i want to join with my colleague again, david dreier. wed the chance to visit the command center and speak with the fire chief and incident
commander and see the incredible coordination of federal, state and local resources and had the chance to see not only acres and acres of burned frofert land and homes that have been destroyed and devastated. and we wanted to introduce this resolution today to acknowledge all the people that have come together to fight these fires and pledge our commitment to make sure that the federal government continues to be a good partner and once again, i urge support for this resolution. and i yield back the balance of my time. . i want to yield to the co-author of this resolution, mr. dreier. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. without objection. mr. dreier: mr. speaker, let me thank my friend for yielding. i want to thank my partner for dealing with this wide range of issues that have affected the
los angeles area, mr. schiff. it is true that we are in the midst of, mr. speaker, we are in the midst of what is the largest recorded fire in the history of los angeles county. and it has been a difficult time. it started a little tiny area above la canada-flintridge, we saw the local, county and state officials come together as so often is the case to deal with this tragedy, and we were also able to see and continue at this moment, mr. speaker, to see one of the unique capabilities shown by california because of the fact that we regularly deal with fire. that being the unified command. under captain mike deet rick,
the -- dietrich, we've seen the 8,000, the number mentioned by my colleague, mr. schiff, come from near and far to join together under this unified command to prosecute this fire which as of right now has burned over 160,000 acres. now, to put this in context, mr. speaker, the angeles national forest is made up of 650,000 acres, and it is the number one most utilized national park in the united states of america. why? because of its proximity in the los angeles basin. and in excess of 160,000 acres have burned at this point, and it's about 60% contained, and it's hope that full containment will take around the 15th of this month, meaning sometime next week. and so this is a problem with which we have dealt for a long
period of time, and obviously we'll continue to face. and we all know, mr. speaker, that fires are a national if i number none. -- if i number none. but when we see lives and property threatened, it is essential that we do everything that we can to put forward priority number one and that is the protection, first of life and then of property. we also know that as mr. schiff has said we have tragically lost two courageous firefighters, and having just gone through, as mr. schiff said, the resolution dealing with september 11 and the loss of those firefighters, we're reminded again of the courage of these individuals. just before getting on to the airplane at l.a.x. yesterday, mr. speaker, i had a lengthy conversation with lori barrios, who is the sister of captain
ted hall, and she talked about the sacrifice that their family has made. i should say with towns here, she jokingly said we are like a new york fire family and she quoted her brother, who at a reunion that they had just recently said i am not a hero. i am just an average guy doing the job that i love. and that i believe really is the vision and goal that many firefighters have. they're not selfish. they very much want to make sure that they can ensure the safety of people and property. and mr. schiff talked about the
glendale officer who was in uniform in day and night. these people are so talented. captain ted hall was working to save lives and property. and specialest arnie quinn jeoness is the other. and i -- quinones is the other. and i know he's a constituent of mr. mckeeon, and mr. berman, his area has been impacted. mr. sherman as well. mr. lewis, mr. baca. this has had an impact all over the southern california area. but the unique tragedy here in the case of mr. quinones is that his wife, lori, is expected a child in two weeks. and so as we look at the two lives that have been lost, mr.
quinones passed away before his child was born. it expresses the frew jilt that these people engage in. mr. speaker, i'd like to share a little bit more of the conversation that i had with captain hall's sister. she referred to her family being firefighters for i guess now generations, and she talked about their respect and reverence for the environment. she said that her father would always say when they were out hiking, they would put the pinecone back exactly where it was because that is god's gift to us. she had a wonderful reverence for the environment. but, mr. speaker, there is no way that i can stand here and articulate the emotion -- the emotion that captain hall's
sister, lori barrios, shared with me when she insisted that we pursue a balanced policy when it deals with the preservation of our environment. she went so far as to say that there are obviously steps that could have been taken that could have diminished the magnitude of this fire. again, i can't speak as strongly as she, but i do believe that it is absolutely pursue in that balanced approach of dealing with fires. one of the challenges has been with the fact that with 160 acres burning, think, as mr. schiff said, what has happened to the air quality in the area. well, i think that controlled burns and taking steps to ensure that fires do not spread
is essential. and the great team in los angeles county, led by the fire chief, p. michael friedman, and the county of los angeles and these great cities that we're privileged to represent, it makes it very, very clear that we want to take those preemptive steps to ensure that while we'll always face fires in the future we can diminish the level of damage that we have seen in the past 10 days in southern california. we mourn the loss of two heroes, captain ted hall and specialist arnie quinones. and we continue to recognize the continued sacrifice at that at this moment is going on in southern california to do everything they possibly can to
get this fire under control and in the names of arnie quinones and ted hall, mr. speaker, i hope very much that we will do everything that we can to ensure that all levels of government and individuals take steps to make sure that we don't have the kind of tragedy through which we're going at this moment. and with that i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from new york. mr. towns: i'd like to know if the gentleman has any other speakers, because if not -- >> i just have a close -- just to close. mr. towns: i reserve the balance of my time and allow him to close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california. >> mr. speaker, i'd like to thank everyone for the cooperative effort here. sadly, mr. speaker, recently we've talked a lot about heroes.
and too often i think we miss -- we mix up heroes and victims. and i think we got to remind ourselves that when we talk about ted hall and arnie quinones, we're talking about true heroes. victims are individuals who are at the wrong place at the wrong time, and paid the ultimate price. heroes are individuals who put themselves in the situation and willfully put themselves at the wrong place and wrong time and caught and paid the ultimate price. there's a huge difference between a hero and a victim. today, i think with this resolution, we are not only recognizing the men and women that are out fighting the fires today, but we recognize all of the heroes, the individuals who are fighting the fires in the person of mr. hall and mr. quinones as being the heroes who chose to serve their community and put themselves in harm's way as a service. and with this resolution i think we do them honor and respect, not only to the two
individuals but to everyone who chooses to put themselves in harm's way to protect others. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from new york. mr. towns: i'd also like to associate myself with the remarks made by the gentleman from california by saying that, yes, they're truly real heroes, no question about it. again, i'd like to urge my colleagues to join me in paying tribute to the first responders fighting the extrawildfires. i tell you that that -- fighting the california wildfires. i tell you that's been something i've watched. and seeing people come around an issue, i think that's something we ought to all pause and say thank you. and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is will the house suspend the rules and agree to house resolution 724. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the resolution is
agreed to, without objection a motion to reconsider is laid on the table. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from california rise? >> mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and ask the house to agree to h.res. 722. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 722, resolution expressing the sense of the house of representatives regarding the terrorist attacks launched against the united states on september 11, 2001. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from california, mr. berman, and the gentlelady from florida, ms. ros-lehtinen, each will control 20 minutes.
the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. berman: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous materials on the resolution under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. berman: mr. speaker, i rise in strong support of this resolution, and i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. berman: mr. speaker, this resolution pays homage to the lives lost on september 11, 2001, and recognize the -- recognizes the anniversary as not only a time of solemn commemoration but also a demonstration of america's great resolve in combating terrorism. it extends our enduring and deepest condolences to the friends, families and loved ones of the innocent victims. and recognizes the heroism of u.s. service men and women who defend our country today. it honors the nation's first
responders and others whose valiant efforts did credit to their country on that horrible day and who continue to help keep us safe. and it expresses gratitude to the leaders and citizens of other countries who assisted, supported and stood by the united states in the aftermath of the attacks. in america's modern and fragmented society, collective memories are few. but each of us remembers where we were on 9/11 when we heard the news. we remember the days of unity that followed when we acted together to protect this country from those who were determined to bring us to our knees. we remember the efforts that congress, the executive branch and the american people have made since then to protect our nation from a real and an ongoing threat. and even though eight years have passed, we must remember that al qaeda, while under pressure everywhere, remains a serious threat to the united
states. the very al qaeda leadership responsible for ordering the attacks on september 11 continues to rally those who would do us harm and along with its taliban allies seeks to defeat our troops in afghanistan. . this is when we must stand together to recall a moment when trarts targeted america's strengths. our very foundations were under attack and we will carry on the fight against extremists who seek to do us harm. in this battle, the global realities of the 21st century require that we use not only our military, but all of the tools available to us, economic, financial, diplomatic and cultural resources to promote a better alternative to extremism and to protect our national security. mr. speaker, none of us will forget what happened eight years ago.
we will always remember the victims of 9/11 and the loved ones who survived them. we will always honor the first responders who lost their lives that day and those in uniform at home and abroad who risk their lives today and every day to defend america. we will continue to promote our founding principles of freedom and aqult and ensure that the lives lost in pursuit of our ideals are never forgotten. mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentlelady from florida. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. ros-lehtinen: mr. speaker, it has been eight years since our country and the entire world stopped and looked on helplessly as the slaughter of innocence at the hands of al qaeda unfolded before our eyes. although we watched in safety, our fears and hopes were without
warning forced to fight for our lives. it is a true miracle that so many escaped destruction, but we will forever mourn the thousands who perished on that terrible day. our sorrow, however deep, cannot match those -- cannot match those whose loved ones were taken away on 9/11. we will always share a part of it. the passage of years has not smoothed the deep impressions that we will bear for the rest of our lives. but as americans, it is not in our nature to resign ourselves to helplessness, even when facing seemingly impossible challenges. instead, we rally and focus our minds and efforts on meeting and overcoming the threats that we face. we have always done so and we have always won. if there's anything useful that we can take away from this
tragedy, it is the unmistakeable warning we have been given of the unseen dangers that we face in this new century. from that, a clarity of vision and a new understanding of the world has emerged. over the past eight years, we have come to know our enemies. we have learned that their hatred of us, success and freedom is too deep to be changed by concessions and appeals to reason. we now grasp the magnitude of the threat and it is a global one. other countries have come under attack and so can no longer deceive themselves that once again this is a men ace for the united states to handle alone while they stand safely on the sidelines. we have uncovered their hiding places in caves, in villages, in deserts, in cities, in jungles, in back alies, in nations far away, as well as right here in
our own homeland. but it would be a mistake if our successes lead us to believe that the danger has passed. we have seen destruction descend from clear and sunny skies and know that it can happen again. to hope that our enemies will abandon their mission, to relax our watch is to invite destruction. president lincoln said that those who are responsible for our nation's course, which includes the members of this body, cannot escape history. we have a responsibility to do all in our power to ensure that our country is secure and that america's promise for the world that generations have labored and fought for and died to protect remain whole and unbounded. how we meet this reality will repeatedly test our national character. we are right to remember and mourn those men, women and children who died on that day so
sharply eached in our minds that it seems like yesterday. but this tragedy must be redeemed by a new understanding of our duty to our beloved country and to our fellow citizens. and what it is to be an american. as long as we draw breath, we will remember those who asking nothing other than to live their lives in peace were brutally murdered by men without conscience or mercy. let those who remain be steadfast, be courageous and live lives worthy of their great sacrifice and thereby honor their memory. with that, mr. speaker, i would like to reserve the balance of our time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady reserves her time. the gentleman from california. mr. berman: i'm pleased to yield three minutes to the distinguished chairman of the house armed services committee,
mr. skeleton. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. cancel cancel -- mr. skelton: >> mr. speaker, eight years ago on september 11, 2001, this chairman beer was empty, the capitol was evacuated, the pentagon was burning, the twin towers in new york lay crumbled and almost 3,000 of our citizens were dead. we can never forget them and we should never forget what we owe them. today, we will once again mourn the families and those who have fallen and we express our deepest sympathy to their friends and loved ones. this is only right. but it's not enough. we owe it to the victims, to their loved ones, to the survivors, to ourselves to make sure who carried out this awful
attack are brought to justice and ensure that they can never again attack and kill our people here at home. for too long, the war in afghanistan was the forgotten war. only recently have we refocused our attention on the war on al qaeda and the taliban who shelter them as they carried out their plot to murder thousands of americans. we cannot -- we can debate the best way to prosecute the fight against al qaeda and taliban. for our part, the president has proposed a strategy on afghanistan, with which i gee. we cannot walk away from the fight and allow the memory of this horrific event to be forgotten and can't forget how important it is to bring those to justice. afghanistan brings clear and compelling dangers. the taliban will once control afghanistan and permit their al
qaeda terrorist allies to operate from there. failure means we let down those who died on 9/11. we can and we should consider how best to prosecute the war in afghanistan. it's not a simple war. it's not an easy war, but for the first time, we have a real strategy and for the first time, we are providing the resources needed for the fight. we have a new commander who is breathing new life into our effort and we must show that we have resolve. together, our men and women in uniform, the time and resources they need to show progress in the fight against enemies who carried this and supported the attacks of 9/11. america was attacked on 9/11 by a ruthless, callous enemy and we cannot forget that and walk away from the war in afghanistan
against them. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentlelady from florida. ms. ros-lehtinen: i yield one minute to mr. boehner, our respected republican leader. mr. boehner: let me thank my colleagues for yielding and for this resolution that's on the floor. all of us will remember, i think quite clearly where we were on the morning of september 11, 2001. i think all of us will remember the victims of this heinous act that occurred that day. while we today remember those victims and remember their families and we remember the first responders who put their lives in danger as well, i think we need to resolve that we will
never forget of those who perpetrated that attack. and vow that we will continue to go after them. i want to associate myself with the remarks of the the gentleman from missouri, chairman of the armed services committee, who understands quite clearly that if we walk away from our efforts in afghanistan, the taliban will once again be in control, providing safe haven for those who perpetrated these attacks. and while it's been now eight years since that attack, our enemies are still out there, still attempting to injury americans, kill americans both here and abroad. and i think it's critically important that we as a nation never forget what happened on
9/11 and vow what many of us believe is important that our number one job is to provide safety and security to the american people. and so i thank my colleagues for their resolution that's on the floor and honor those who gave their lives on 9/11 and think of their families and the first responders who continue to suffer today. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from california. mr. berman: mr. speaker, i'm pleased to yield two minutes to a member of our committee, the distinguished member from new york, mr. engel. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. engel: i thank the chairman for yielding to me and i rise in strong support of his resolution and i want to reiterate some of the things i said before with mr. towns. when i go back to new york every week and look at the skyline of new york, it will never be the same.
the world trade center is no longer there. as much as that pains me, it pales in comparison that we lost 3,000 people that day and each and every one of those lives is precious and what september 11 means to me, it means to me what the previous generation talked about on december 7. president roosevelt said during december 7, 1941, pearl harbor that that was a day of infamiliary. to us, september 11, 2001 will always be a day of infammy. it showed the best in people as well as the worst of people, the terrorists who attacked us showed the worst. but the first responders and the people from all parts of the country who came to save people's lives, that's the best in people. i want to mention that the new york delegation has been fighting for a health bill,
which would ensure that those who were first responders and others who came as volunteers at the world trade center, that their health needs should be taken care of by this country and there are people who live in all 50 states. mr. speaker, as we commemorate and mourn the lives that were lost at the world trade center at the pentagon and shanksville, pennsylvania and many people in my district that were killed as well as all districts in new york, we have to redouble our efforts to fight terrorism. but i want to say that i was very, very proud that day to be an american and proud to be a new yorker, because the way the people of new york responded was exemplary. so every day we hear of more and more people that we find out were lost at the world trade center. i hope we pass this unanimously and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time.
the gentlelady from florida. ms. ros-lehtinen: i'm pleased to yield two minutes to the the gentleman from indiana, mr. pence, chairman of our republican conference. mr. pence: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. pence: let me rise in gratitude to the majority leader, mr. hoyer and minority leader, mr. boehner, for bringing this important resolution to the floor, bringing a bipartisan resolution to the floor is perhaps the best way to commemorate the bipartisanship that followed the extraordinary event of eight years ago this friday. i was here on capitol hill that day, as my colleagues were. it was just as pretty a day as it is today. and the shock and horror of the images on the television screens, the smoke rising from the pentagon still is with me
today and informs my service in this building, as it does all of our colleagues. but let me say, today's resolution is important because as the old book says, we are to mourn with those who mourn and grieve with those who grieve and we are to pave the debts of honor and gratitude that are owed. this resolution remembers those that were lost that day. and this nation should never forget the lives that were lost at the pentagon, in the heart of our great city of new york or in a field in pennsylvania. so we remember them today. and we think of their families. but we rise to pay a debt of gratitude to all those who rushed in when others were rushing out, who filled recruiting offices, who put on the uniform of the united states and went in and confronted this terror where it all began. and let us, as we grieve and as we mourn and remember and pay
debts of gratitude, let us also resolve to continue to do all we can to maintain that bipartisan commitment that began on that very day and continues to this day to make sure that our nation and our soldiers and those who protect us at home and abroad have the resources that they need to get the job done and come home safe. with that, i yield back. . the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from new york, mr. ackerman, will control the remainder of the time. the gentleman is recognized. mr. ackerman: thank you, mr. speaker. it's my pleasure to yield to the majority leader of the house. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. hoyer: i thank the distinguished chairman and gentleman from new york. i thank mr. pence for his remarks. on many days on this floor we -- it's a place for heated debate. and that is, of course, as it should be.
that's what our founders intended. but at this moment, as mr. pence, the chairman of the republican conference pointed out, and as i will point out as the majority leader on democratic side, there are no democrats or republicans on this floor because we joined to remember and mourn the attack on america. not on democrats or republicans but on america and on its values and on what it stands for throughout the world, freedom and justice. september 11, 2001, was a day of grief and of shock, of fear, of anger, but today it can and must be something more. a day to rededicate ourselves with memory and with service to the ideals that make our nation great. as i said earlier, freedom, pluralism, quality, rule of law, justice. those no less than our buildings and our citizens were the targets of the 9/11
terrorists. and though buildings crumbled and the dead are lost to us, it's in our power to see our ideals remain strong and unscathed. so on this eighth anniversary, along with the republican leader, mr. boehner, i was proud to introduce the resolution marking september 11 as a day of remembrance but also a day of resolve. so many conflicting emotions marked this day. grief for nearly 3,000 men and women and children murdered. heart felt sympathy for those who loved and lost them. an unspeakable pride in the first responders, firemen, policemen, medical personnel who served and indeed sacrificed on that day. among the 3,000, 343
firefighters, 37 port authority officers and 23 police officers who died serving their fellow citizens as they ran into dangers. jaws not away from them. alongside them i understand the passengers of the united flight 93, ordinary americans who discovered their extraordinary heroism at a moment of crisis and who quite possibly saved this building, this chamber and the capitol dome from ruins. it is my own view that that was the target of this third plane, to strike down that dome which here in america and throughout the world is a symbol of freedom and pleuralism and and, yes, democracy. we also remember the cyst sacrifices of our troops -- remember the sacrifices of our troops, not only those who lost their lives under our flag, but
those who make the everyday sacrifice of separation from family and home. not all of us is called to serve as heroically, but in a number of small acts to our community, we can emulate our services in both ways large and small. that -- that is our resolve today. and along with it we take the lesson of our vulnerability to heart. we commit ourselves to defending america from whatever threats may confront it. with all of our military force, all of our diplomatic skill and all of the power of our moral example. our lives are limited, but we have in our keeping the ideals and truths that have animated our nation since its founding. and that we trust will outlive us. outlive all of us to light the lives of our children and grandchildren and as a great
grandfather, let me say for generations to come. they have lived through war, through economic crisis and through the gravest attacks. now while they are in our keeping let us defend them, serve them, live for them and pass them down unharmed and undamaged. all that, my fellow colleagues, on behalf of the 300 million people who have sent 435 of us here to represent their views and their aspirations, their courage and their commitment, let us again resolve today. may we hold it for tomorrow and every day thereafter. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentlelady from florida. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you,
mr. speaker. i'd like to yield three minutes to the gentleman from new york, mr. king, the ranking member of the committee on homeland security who lost so many of his constituents that day on 9/11. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. king: i thank the gentlelady from florida for yielding, mr. speaker. i am proud to rise in support of this resolution. at the outset will he me commend leader hoyer and minority leader boehner and showing the bipartisan that is so essential. mr. speaker, september 11 is not just history. it's real. it's with us every day. as the ranking member, ms. ros-lehtinen said, i lost approximately 150 friends, constituents and neighbors on september 11. that's true of almost the downstate delegation from new york. in fact, i can't drive throughout my district without seeing sign after sign, street signs commemorating the police officers and firefighters who were killed on that day. it's a tragedy that continues today in those families, with their friends and their neighbors. but it's also an ongoing threat
against the united states of america. the attack on september 11 did not end on september 11. the fact is we have an enemy of islamic terrorism, al qaeda, which threatens us throughout the world and indeed here in our own country. in new york alone, there was going to be attacks against the brooklyn bridge, against the synagogues in riverdale, in the north bronx. so these are issues -- these are tsh this is a threat which is ongoing and it's real. we always have to keep our defenses up and we have to thank the men and women of our armed forces who are fighting throughout the world, the men and women of our intelligence agencies, the men and women of the state and local police departments in new york, the new york city police department, nassau county police department, suffolk county police department, there are more than 1,000 police officers dedicated to fighting terrorism in counterterrorism units. again, it's daily, daily effort. as the ranking member of the homeland security committee, i'm aware of many of the threats we have stopped.
and we -- and realize again how the enemy is never going to stop and we can't let our guard down. also, in the interest of bipartisanship, i believe we should give president bush credit for setting up the international level of cooperation with so many countries throughout the world and also breaking down bare areas within our own intelligence agencies and requiring them to share information with local police departments. it's not -- it's not because of luck that we have not been attacked in eight years. on september 12, 2001, no one would have thought we would have gone eight years without being attacked the way we were on that horrible day on september 11. and also in the interest of bipartisanship, it's important for us as republicans to stay with president obama and his policy in afghanistan which is the continuation which we began against the taliban and al qaeda after the attacks on september 11. this issue of international terrorism is too important to allow us to be divided by partisan politics. we came together as a nation on september 11 and the days after. it's important that we stay together. this, as president kennedy said
in 1961, it's going to be a long twilight struggle. we won that cold war and we are going to win this war. we are going to prevail if we stand together as one, stand together as a nation and realize that our enemy steampting to destroy us. if we stand together as one with our allies and our forces here in this country we can never be defeated. with that i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from new york. mr. ackerman: i yield myself three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. ackerman: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in strong support of the resolution and commend the majority leader and the minority leader for their good work. we have before us an excellent memorial resolution. it's succinct, strong and truly expresses what i truly believe to be the position of the entire house. as we consider this resolution, i'd suggest that every member take a minute to close their eyes, if they're in their offices, turn off the chattering of the television or the -- their staff and try to
think back to september, 2001. it really was eight years ago. remember how beautiful a day that that was. perfect. clear, crisp september day with a cloudless sky. remember where you were when you heard that our nation was under attack, when you first saw those awful images of the towers gushing black smoke and the pentagon in flames. remember the thousands of our fellow americans who perished in the world trade center and at the pentagon. remember the inconceivable heroism of the first responders who rushed into the flames and the chaos in order to save others. remember the defiant courage of the passengers on united flight 93 who lost their lives but probably saved the most glorious symbol of our democracy in the world, the u.s. capitol, and many, many who were working here on that
day. remember our shock and fury. remember our national unity and the feeling of common purpose. remember how the whole world stood with us and shared our outrage and our agony. these memories are available to all of us if we take but that one moment. we all experienced these events and all that is needed is to take the moment, to set aside a little bit of time and let it all come back. why? is it a morbid fascination with catastrophe? is it merely to justify some policy or expenditure? i would suggest two other reasons. first, the memory is what we owe to those who were so unjustly murdered. we cannot bring them back, and we cannot give meaning to the horrific act that took them from us. but we can remember then as our fellow americans, as people whose lives were connected to thousands of our fellow citizens who still mourn them to this very day.
second, i think we should take the moment to ponder the last eight years. what have we done in response to that day? what have we learned? what do we still owe to those who died? and what we have used their deaths to justify? have we made the world a safer place? have we made our homeland more secure? will the next generation of americans face more or less danger because of our actions? each of us will still have our own answers to these questions, just as each one of us remembers that awful day uniquely. i yield myself another 15 seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for additional 15 seconds. mr. ackerman: and this great nation which gives each person complete freedom, thought, belief and expression in which the govern choose who will govern them, the meaning of 9/11 and the consequences of that terrible, terrible, terrible day remain for us to decide each man and woman for themselves.
all it takes is that moment to remember. the speaker pro tempore: does the gentleman reserve his time? mr. ackerman: reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from florida. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr. speaker. i'd like to yield two minutes to the gentleman from indiana, mr. burton, the ranking member of the committee on the middle east and south asia. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. burton: i'd like to say to my colleague from mr. ackerman, i really appreciate your remarks and they were right on the money. i heard a lot of my colleagues say we should remember those who sacrificed their lives on september 11. and i think that's fitting and proper. but one of the things i don't want to ever happen again is a repeat of 9/11. and for the past eight years we have had not had another attack due in very large part to the homeland security people and to the c.i.a. and to the f.b.i. we have intercepted information
from terrorists, and we've been able to prevent additional attacks because of the work they've done. and i think it's improper for us today while we're remembering those who sacrificed their lives on that day, the firemen, the people in those planes, i think it's -- we'd be remiss if we didn't think about the future and be concerned about that never happening again. and right now the justice department of the united states is investigating the c.i.a. and those people have been involved in stopping terrorist activity by going after the terrorists and making them give us information that would stop an additional terrorist attack. and today, they are under scrutiny, and some of them may be prosecuted for doing their job. and i think that's improper. everybody in america owes our intelligence agencies a debt of gratitude and homeland security a debt of gratitude for protecting this country for the last eight years. and if we don't want to see another 9/11 and none of us do and there have been some
prevented like the one in california that was going to take place, if we don't want to ever see that again, we must support the intelligence agencies who are stopping the terrorists. and right now with the attack that's taking place by the justice department on the c.i.a., only discourages those who do their job to protect this country from doing their job. if you're a c.i.a. agent today and you know the justice department is watching every single thing you do in trying to stop a terrorist attack, are you going to want to -- can i have 30 seconds? ms. ros-lehtinen: i yield 30 seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. burton: are you going to want to take the risk of being prosecuted because you're going after a terrorist to make him give you information that will stop another terrorist attack? we're demoralizing our intelligence agencies by doing this right now. it may be unintentional. i don't know. but we certainly should not be doing it. they were doing their job. if you don't agree with waterboarding or whatever it was, ok. but that's something that's in
the past. we shouldn't discourage our intelligence agencies from doing their job now. we want to protect every single american from another terrorist attack. and the way to do it is certainly not by attacking our intelligence people. . mr. ackerman: i yield a minute to the gentleman, mr. sires. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. sires: mr. speaker, i rise today in support of the resolution expressing the sense of the house regarding the terrorist attacks launched against the united states on september 11, 2001. as the district i represent sits across from downtown manhattan, my constituents and i faced with constant visual reminder of that day's tragic event. as time passes we must continue to commemorate this sad day. we will remember the innocent lives that were lost, the heroes that emerge interested this disaster, and we'll remember how this day will forever change our lives. as new generations grow older,
we must pass on the lessons of this day and the significance to our country. for eight years we have mourned the lives lost. we have worked at home and abroad to protect our great nation, its people, and the ideals it represents. i am pleased to join my colleagues in remembering this significant day and recognize how it continues to affect all our lives. i thank my colleagues for introducing this resolution. i yield back the balance of my time. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from florida. ms. ros-lehtinen: i'd like to yield two minutes to the gentleman from texas, mr. mccaul. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized for two minutes. mr. mccaul: i thank the gentlelady. mr. speaker, today we rise as americans first and foremost to remember, to remember the victims of 9/11, 3,000 americans were killed on that day, to remember the fallen heroes, the firefighters, police officers who rescued so many lives and
some gave the ultimate sacrifice. i remember watching on the television on 9/11 with my daughter as a second airplane flew into the building, she said, daddy, why did that airplane fly into the building? by the time the second one hit we all knew that this was no accident. this was an intentional act of terrorism, an act of war against the united states. i was a counterterrorism prosecutor in the justice department. we saw many warning signs. the embassies in africa, u.s.s. cole, 1993 world trade center, ramzi yousef who almost brought the world trade center down that day. when they arrested him, many of you may not know this, they found baby dolls stuffed with chemical explosives he continue end to take on airplanes, part of the plot to blow up 12 airplanes simultaneously. the evil genius, his uncle, sikh
muhammad, master mind of 9/11, who to this day the information we obtained from him saved american lives. the most chilling experience hi as a member of congress was to see muhammad in prison down in guantanamo. the man who was responsible for killing 3,000 americans. as a 9/11 commission said, the only way we will ultimately prevail in this twilight struggle is through good intelligence. we cannot tie the hands of the intelligence community. we cannot threaten them with prosecution. we cannot have a global justice policy that marne dieses terrorists -- ma randizes terrorists when the first words you say to them is you have the right to remain silent. how in the world will we get good intelligence with that policy? if i could close with a f.b.i. agent's quote before 9/11, someday someone will die and the public will not understand why we were not more effective at throwing every resource -- 15 more seconds.
ms. ros-lehtinen: an additional 30 seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized for 30 seconds. mr. mccaul: thank you. he said someday someone will die and the public will not understand why we were not more effective at throwing every resource we had at certain problems, especially since the biggest threat to us now, osama bin laden, is now getting the most protection. we will never forget that day. we can never make the same mistake again. we owe that to the victims and heroes of 9/11. it is our most solemn obligation to first and foremost protect and defend the american people w that i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from new york. mr. ackerman: i'm pleased to yield one minute to the gentleman from new york, mr. mcmahon. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york is recognized for one minute. mr. mcmahon: thank you. i rise today in strong support of house resolution 722, and to honor all those who were murdered or injured in the terrorist attacks of september 11. as we honor that day, we are reminded on that day we saw the worst in humanity and the best
in humanity. let us focus on the best. because when i think of that day i think of people like one of the more than 300 people from my district who lost their life that day, like steven, a devoted husband and father of five who served as a member of the new york city fire department. steven was on his way home from a tour of duty that ended at 9:00 that morning when he was on the bridge and heard the call what had happened. he turned his private vehicle around and drove back to the brooklyn battery tunnel, took all his gear out, put it on, because of traffic he couldn't get through, ran back through that tunnel to the world trade center where he joined his brothers from the fire department and others. rescued tens of thousands but lost their lives. each september since that day steven's family anti-people of new york city honor his memory and bravery with a 5-k race nonal known as the tunnel to tower race honoring their lives. we honor them. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentlewoman from florida.
ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr. speaker. i'm pleased to yield two minutes to the gentleman from new jersey, mr. frelinghuysen, an esteemed member of the committee on appropriations who also lost constituents that day. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. frelinghuysen: i thank the gentlewoman for yielding to me. i rise in support of the resolution and ask unanimous consent to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. frelinghuysen: eight years ago have passed since tragedy struck our nation. in lower manhattan, pennsylvania, and across the river at the pentagon. more than 3,000 of our fellow americans lost their lives. the events that have day remain etched in our memory. of that loss 700 victims came from new jersey, many from my congressional district, many more from new york, other states, and 80 nations. for those of us who had this tragedy hit so close close to home, i know that each september 11 brings with it a great deal of sorrow. later this week all of us will have the honor of attending a
number of 9/11 remembrances. especially in new jersey the home of so many good people who died. as well as to honor those who sought to save them, our first responders. my constituents remember that day every day, that day dawned like most days in new jersey bright and clear. crowded train stations in the morning taking people across the hudson to lower manhattan. parking lots packed with cars as they are most mornings. that evening, however, the scene was far different. trains weren't full, cars remained your honor claimed in parking lots, and many families were left wondering what had happened to their loved ones. a single day that changed how each of us would think for the rest of our lives. at one of those small train stations there is a tree at whose base is a plaque inscribed, we shall never forget our friends and neighbors who road the rails with us that morning but did not return with us that night. that remarkable, pointian
quotation. we will never forget those victims, we will never forget those who sought to save them. at the pentagon, in pennsylvania and in lower manhattan. their bravery will never be forgotten. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from new york. mr. ackerman: i'm pleased to yield one minute to the gentlelady from texas, ms. sheila jackson lee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from texas is recognized for one minute. ms. jackson lee: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. ms. jackson lee: i thank the distinguished gentleman from new york and the distinguished gentlelady from florida. this is a duty that we do not relish but that we obligate ourselves to be able to be reminded of the lost souls of september 11, 2001. it changed the innocence of
america but yet we stood tall as we mourned with these families from far and wide that we are america that believes in justice and civil liberties and, yes, the bill of rights. the homeland security effort was born during that time. i began to serve on the select committee and now the homeland security committee. the work we do every day should be silent work, but it is work to ensure that the nation's airlines and airports, train stations and railroads and mass transit and everywhere we go protects the american people. it is a world that stands up against terrorism but understands that america can be a friend. so today as we come together as a congress, as we did those few years ago, and stood on the front steps singing god bless america, i rise today to tell those families we will never forget them, and it is our obligation to be diligent, to be responsive, and to be remembered. god bless america. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the
gentlelady's time has expired. the gentlewoman from florida reserves the balance of her time. the gentleman from new york. mr. ackerman: mr. speaker, i'm privileged to yield one minute to the gentleman from ohio, mr. kucinich. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from ohio is recognized for one minute. mr. kucinich: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. for a statement from september 11, 2001, to be entered into the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. kucinich: i rise in support of the resolution. it's important we remember 9/11, those innocent who lost their lives, those who put their lives at risk while saving lives, and those who survived to grieve the loss of irrepoliceable loved ones. we have a responsibility to remember 9/11. it would be good, too, for us to remember the course of action our nation embarked upon as a consequence of 9/11. we have a right, duty to defend ourselves. in the name of 9/11 war was waged against the people of iraq who had nothing to do with 9/11. at this point let us remember our troops, too, and their fices -- sacrifices since 9/11 and the over 1 million innocent civilian casualties never where who also
paid a price because of 9/11. we should never forget 9/11 and we should never forget the truth. in our grief we know the truth is our ultimate defense. the truth is our security. it's the truth which sets us free and the truth which keeps us free. god bless america. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentlewoman from florida continues to reserve. the gentleman from new york. mr. ackerman: thank you, mr. speaker. could i request of the gentlewoman from florida if she has the time and would be willing to lend us one of her minutes? ms. ros-lehtinen: yes, we would be more than happy to do so. we were waiting to see if some of the speakers who had reserved time would show up, but since they are not here yet, we would be more than pleased to give you some of our time. mr. ackerman: thank you so much. if someone shows up and you need the time i would be happy to make a unanimous consent
request. it's my pleasure to recognize the gentleman from new jersey, mr. pascrell, for two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey is recognized -- the gentleman from new jersey is recognized for one minute and 45 seconds. mr. pascrell: thank you, mr. speaker, and thank you, mr. chairman. and thank you, madam chair lady. . i rise as this congress commemorates one of the most horrific day in our nation's history, that day being september 11, 2001. so many of us in new jersey and new york lost our friends, our loved ones, acquaintanses and people we never met before. it's difficult to believe that it was almost eight years to the day when our nation was attacked by foreign terrorists who claimed almost 3,000 lives, including 411 of our nation's
bravest first responders. as a member of the homeland security committee, i am proud of the steps that we've taken since that faithful day to make the american people safer, but or work is far from complete. this is a mission we as public servants can never stop striving to achieve. i'm also proud that earlier this year we passed the aptly named edward m. kennedy serve america act which will designate september 11 as the first annual national day of service and remembrance. on september 11, more so than any other day of the year, we should come together as americans and find new ways to save our nation and hopely that will spill over to the days after. so as i say to all of you that many of the wounds of that faithful day will heal over time, that we will never forget the heroism we witnessed, the
lessons we learned, the redemption the american people earned for their own strength. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. pascrell: and so we pray this never happens again. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentlewoman from florida continues to reserve the balance of her time. the gentleman from new york. mr. ackerman: i yield myself 10 seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york's recognized for 10 seconds. mr. ackerman: we have no further additional members, so if the gentlewoman would like to close, we'll wait on the speaker if she chooses to close as well. ms. ros-lehtinen: you need an additional minute? how much time do we have, mr. speaker? the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from florida has two minutes remaining. and the gentleman from new york has three minutes remaining. mr. ackerman: mr. speaker, i yield myself two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york's recognized for two minutes. mr. ackerman: mr. speaker, the
day after that horrific event, i was back in new york. i went to the piers where the people were waiting to claim bodies and hear of missing loved ones. there was a gentleman before this huge wall where people had posted pictures of relatives that were missing, and there was one gentleman standing there, was close to midnight, all by himself in traditional orthodox jewish gash with a long black -- garb with a long black coat standing in front of a picture that looked remarkably like him and he just stood there stoned face and i just went over and stood next to him as one of the firemen called him to my attention. and he said without turning away from the picture that he was looking at on the wall of the missing person, he said, that was my brother. he's gone. he called me moments before the building collapsed. he said he knew what was happening but he would not leave his workplace. he worked in a station next to
a young man from puerto rico who was sitting in a wheelchair and who was frightened. and he said, my brother told me i will not let him stay here to die alone. and they were holding hands when his brother hung up the phone. that was the kind of bravery we saw from americans, all kinds of americans on that faithful day. let us remember them and the sacrifice they made. mr. speaker, i'd like to yield the balance of my time to the speaker of the house, ms. pelosi. i would yield back first to the distinguished gentlewoman from florida. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york reserves the balance of his time. the gentlewoman from florida. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr. speaker. i'd like to yield myself the remainder of our time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from new york is
recognized. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you. i thank my good friend from new york and the chairman, mr. berman, and hoyer, and mr. boehner for this resolution before. mr. speaker, before we talk about -- when we talk about the 9/11 attacks on our nation, we must also recall that it was an attack on our way of life. it was an attack on what we stand for, on what we represent. what is it we represent? freedom, democracy, liberty. these are the values that distinguish our nation, our people from our attackers, the belief in freedom, the belief in democracy, the belief in liberty. and as we recall this somber anniversary and this resolution before us, let us honor the memory of those whom we lost, the murdered, for it was a crime, and the heroism of our public servants, our first responders, our ordinary fellow citizens who were so
extraordinary that day who discovered the extraordinary courage of self-sacrifice on behalf of their fellow citizens. some of whom they had never met, including many of us in this building. and let us resolve that 9/11 will not just be an anniversary that we commemorate with an interesting and touching ceremony, but that 9/11 is really a symbol of what america is about, how we dealt with that struggle, how we dealt with that devastation, how we dealt with that sorrow and what we said we would do as a people, that we would not let this attack go unanswered. and to frame the events of that day as they should be framed, as freedom versus oppression, as tolerance versus hatred, as incitement versus
understanding. and this is what we fight for to this day, for freedom, for tolerance, to make sure that we can -- not just recall the days of 9/11 but also honor the memory and what they stood for. and with that, mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. the gentleman from new york. mr. ackerman: mr. speaker, i'm pleased to yield 30 seconds to the gentlewoman from new york, ms. clarke. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from new york's recognized for 30 seconds. ms. clarke: thank you very much, mr. speaker. i rise today to add my voice to those who have spoken in support of this bipartisan 9/11 resolution, h.res. 722, and i'd ask unanimous consent that my remarks be added to the record, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. ms. clarke: thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york. mr. ackerman: i thank the speaker and i thank the distinguished the gentlelady
from new york for -- the distinguished gentlelady from florida and yield the balance of our time to the distinguished speaker of the house to close the debate, ms. pelosi. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from california, the speaker of the house, is recognized. the speaker: i thank the gentleman for yielding and i thank congressman ackerman and congresswoman ros-lehtinen for bringing this bill to the floor. when we talk about this subject, mr. speaker, we are treading on sacred ground, a ground we never thaw we would see in our country. but as congresswoman ros-lehtinen said, it has defined us, how we dealt with it and how we carry on after it. one of the goals of terrorists is to instill fear. so not only do they take lives and destroy a community, try to
destroy a community, they also instill fear as to how we will act upon the challenges that we have as we go forward. that did not happen with 9/11. the american people rallied in a way that moved all doubt that we would not suffer that consequence. but it's the families of 9/11 who made the biggest sacrifice that's self-evident. but when they turned their grief into action, working with the 9/11 commission to help ensure that this doesn't happen again, they did a great service to our country. in just a few moments in the capitol we will unveil a marker of bravery to recall the sacrifice, in particular, of the men and women on flight 93 who died in rural pennsylvania to honor -- we gather to honor
their families who will be with us. and this is the day that they have chosen for that, and to ensure that we never forget their heroic deeds, their bravery and the sacrifices of those individuals. they made a decision in that flight not to fly into washington, d.c. perhaps into this capitol. again, it is to those families that we owe so much, whether it was in rural pennsylvania, in the pentagon, or in new york at the twin towers. following that ceremony, we will go to staff wear hall where leaders of both parties and both sides of congress will recognize the heroes of 9/11, the firefighters and first responders, the rescue workers and all who perished on flight 93, in the pentagon and the world trade center on that terrible morning. it is in their names that we
mark this day. it is in the memory of those who died that we in the words of this resolution renew our devotion to the you universal ideals that make this -- to the universal ideals that make this nation great, freedom, pluralism, equality and the rule of law. it is in their voices -- it is their voices that remind us not just of the images of destruction and dispair but of the unity we all felt in the wake of the attacks and of our common humanity and shared strength, of our potential to move forward as one community, one nation. when we take inspiration from the memories of the heroes of 9/11, may this resolution rekindle the spirit of service and sacrifice among all americans. may god continue to bless the united states of america. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: all time for debate having expired, the question is will the house
suspend the rules and agree to house resolution 722. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the affirmative -- mr. ackerman: mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the rules are suspended -- for what purpose does the gentleman from new york rise? mr. ackerman: mr. speaker, i call for the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: all those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20 and the chair's prior announcement, further proceedings on this motion will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentleman from colorado rise? >> mr. speaker, i send to the desk a prirchinged report from the committee -- privileged report from the committee on rules for filing under the rule. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title. the clerk: report to accompany house resolution 726, resolution providing for consideration of the bill h.r.
965, to amend the chesapeake bay initiative act of 1998, to provide for the continuing authorization of the chesapeake bay gateways and watertrails network. the speaker pro tempore: referred to the house calendar and ordered printed. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, proceedings will resume on motions to suspend the rules previously postponed. the votes will be taken in the following order -- house resolution 447 by the yeas and nays, h.r. 2097 by the yeas and nays, h.r. 2498 by the yeas and nays, house resolution 722 by the yeas and nays. the first electronic vote will be conducted as a 15-minute vote. remaining electronic votes will be conducted as five-minute votes. the unfinished business is the vote on the motion of the gentleman from new york, mr. tonko, to suspend the rules and agree to house resolution 447
on which the yeas and nays were ordered. the clerk will report the title of the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 447, resolution recognizing the remarkable contributions of the american council of engineering companies for its 100 years of service to the engineering industry and the nation. the speaker pro tempore: the question is will the house suspensuspend the rules and agr the resolution. members will record their votes by electronic device. this will be a 15-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 420, the nays are zero. 2/3 having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the resolution is agreed to and without objection a motion to reconsider is laid on the table. the speaker: the house will come to order. the chair would ask all present
the speaker pro tempore: the unfinished business is the vote on the motion of the gentleman from north carolina, mr. watt, to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 2097 on which the yeas and nays were ordered. the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 2097, a bill to require the secretary of the treasury to mint coins in commemoration of the bicentennial of the writing of the star-spangled banner, and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, five-minute voting will continue. the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill. members will record their votes by electronic device. this will be a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation
are 1. 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed. and without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. the unfinished business is the vote on the motion of the the gentlewoman from district of columbia, ms. norton, to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 2498 on which the yeas and nays are ordered. the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: house calendar number 92, h.r. 2498, a bill to designate the federal building located at 844 north rush street in chicago, illinois as the william o. lipinski federal building. the speaker pro tempore: the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house
motion to reconsider is laid on the table. the unfinished business is the vote on the motion of the the gentleman from california, mr. berman, to suspend the rules and agree to house resolution 722, on which the yeas and nays are ordered. the clerk will report the title of the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 722, resolution expressing the sense of the house of representatives the terrorist attacks on september 11, 2001. the speaker pro tempore: the question is, will the house suspend the rules and agree to the resolution. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a five-fint vote. -- five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.] remember
the victims of this heinous act that occurred that day. while we today remember those victims and remember their families and we remember the first responders who put their lives in danger as well, i think we need to resolve that we will never forget of those who perpetrated that attack. and vow that we will continue to go after them. i want to associate myself with the remarks of the the gentleman from missouri, chairman of the armed services committee, who understands quite clearly that if we walk away from our efforts
in afghanistan, the taliban will once again be in control, providing safe haven for those who perpetrated these attacks. and while it's been now eight years since that attack, our enemies are still out there, still attempting to injury americans, kill americans both here and abroad. and i think it's critically important that we as a nation never forget what happened on 9/11 and vow what many of us believe is important that our number one job is to provide safety and security to the american people. and so i thank my colleagues for their resolution that's on the floor and honor those who gave their lives on 9/11 and think of
nays the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 416, the nays are zero. the motion is agreed to and without objection a motion to reconsider is laid on the table. the chair lays before the house a communication. the clerk: the honorable the speaker, house of representatives, madam, per suent to the permission in clawed 2-h of rule 2, the clerk received the following message from the secretary of the senate at 8:27 p.m., that the senate passed without amendment, h.r. 3435. with best wishes i am, signed
sincerely, lorraine c. miller, clerk of the house. the speaker pro tempore: the chair lays before the house a communication. the clerk: the honorable the speaker, house of representatives, ma'am, per suent to the permission granted in clause 2-h of rule 2 of the rules of the u.s. house of representatives, the clerk received the following message from the secretary of the senate on august 7, 2009, at 9:16 a.m., that the senate passed with an amendment, h.r. 1016, that the senate passed with amendment h.r. 2016. board of directors of the nicky neland toxic research center. with best wishes i am, signed sincerely, lorraine c. miller, clerk of the house. the speaker pro tempore: the chair lays before the house a communication. the clerk: the honorable the speaker, house of representatives, madam, pursuant to the permission granted in clause 2-h of rule 2 of the rules of the u.s. house
of representatives, the clerk received the following message from the secretary of the senate on august 7, 2009, at 12:52 p.m. appointments, advisory committee on student financial assistance. with best wishes i am, signed sincerely, lorraine c. miller, clerk of the house. the speaker pro tempore: after consultation among the speaker and the majority and minority leaders and with their consent, the chair announces that when the two houses meet tonight in joint session to hear an address by the president of the united states, only the doors immediately opposite the speaker and those immediately to her left and right will be open. no one will be allowed on the floor of the house who does not have the privilege of the floor of the house due to the large attendance that is anticipated, the rule regarding the privilege of the floor must be strictly enforced. children of members will not be permitted on the floor. the cooperation of all members is requested. the practice of reserving seats
prior to the joint session by plaquered will not be allowed. members may reserve their seats only by physical presence following the security sweep of the chamber. pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the chair declares the house in recess until approximately 7:35 p.m. for the purpose of receiving in joint session the
>> we you live for a congressional 9/11 remembrance ceremony. >> you used the powerful moment to move a person from pride and a.m. bishon, to find a new level of understanding and compassion for one's neighbors with all their troubling imperfections. once your gift of new-found freedom is revealed within us, we become fit instruments to serve others reflecting your
own goodness and justice for another generation and for years to come. amen. >> ladies and gentlemen, the republican leader of the united states house of representatives, the honorable john boehner. >> to the victims, to their families and to the first responders who were there that day, we will never forget. and to those who perpetrated this heinous act, we will never forget. >> today will mark the instance trampled between fear and memory.
eight years ago, we saw fear come out of the clear blue sky. we saw monday youments of our power and our pride turn to dust in an instant. we felt in one day the terrible cruelty and terrible beauty out of selfless sacrifice. now the wounds of grief and shock are scarred over. now we can say grief and shock as if they were only words perhaps. but on that day, they were more real than words can now express. and in eight years we have dulled our grief for an hour for an instant we call it back, deliberately we call it back today. pain fades, but today we feel
it back to stay with us for this hour and much longer. we remember and in the face of such inhuman evil, our memory keeps us human. we hear the voices of those we loved and lost. we feel their presence. and we come here again and say these words, not because fear or pain compel us, but because we choose to. we imagine our done destroyed, but for the men and women who saved us, we give our thoughts to the dead in new york, in arlington and in pennsylvania. and to those who lost their lives under our flag across the world in each year since and to those who loved them and love them still, this is an hour for
reopening wounds and however much it stings will do so again and again as long as memory lasts. the american writer once reflected on soldiers who had seen death and his words hold true for us as well. and i quote the author, that they cannot forget, that they do not forget, that they never allow themselves to heal completely is their way of expressing their love for friends who have perished and they will not change, because they have become what they have become to keep the fallen alive. as the minority leader said, we will never frget. >> ladies and gentlemen, the republican leader of the united states senate, the honorable
mitch mcconnell. >> it's an honor to be here today with family members of the brave heroes of flight 3 whose -- 93 whose important place will be memorialized here in the capitol. we will never forget their sacrifice nor the sack cry ties of so many others on that sad day. in the life of a nation, some moments are worth remembering. others are impossible to forget. september 11, 2001 is both. with each passing year, the day becomes more distant, but the memories do not. some remember a warm smile a last good-bye, a wave from the departure gate, the color of a dress or a tie.
others remember hearing about a friend or the friend of a friend and contemplating the horrible details. and all of us remember exactly where we were the moment we realized what had happened and exactly what we did on that day eight years ago. for many of us here, we did the same thing we're doing now. we came together here at the capitol to show our solidarity with one another, with the victims and with the rest of the nation stunned, but not silenced by the face of evil. our hearts were broken, but our spirits were not. and united in purpose, we resolved to confront those who had done these things, even as we comforted the families and the friends of those to whom they were done.
eight years later, that confrontation continues. brave americans are still inspired by the sacrifices of the victims of 9/11. today, we also honor them. we will never forget those who died on september 11, 2001. those whose lives ended in a flash or those who gave their lives that day so that others might live. all of these people hold a permanent place in our hearts and in the story of our nation. that story is still unfolding, but we know the theme. it's the same today as it always was. ordinary men and women pursuing their dreams. coming together in moments of crisis with the kind of heroism and sacrifice that people will speak of for centuries.
today, we remember the men and women of 9/11, knowing that they will never be forgotten. >> ladies and gentlemen, majority leader of the united states senate, the honorable harry reid. >> this anniversary that we remember this week has no parallel in our lifetime. we lost more loved ones on that one morning than many mornings that have gone that day. we still mourn. we still hurt. but we still hope. we still stand tall. and we still marvel at the heroism that we witness odd that day. ours is a nation started, settled and strengthened by heroes. and when tested as a nation, defended by heroes, those who answer the call of duty and those who are called without
notice. some wake up every morning and know they may have to run into a burning building, while everyone else runs out. some wake up every morning and know they may have to sacrifice their own life so a fellow soldier can wake up the next morning and know the same. and some, like those on flight 93, wake up as passengers, travelers, sons and daughters, and choose to become heroes, only in the last moments. though we grieve, we are also grateful for them. though they leave us too soon, they leave us with a legacy of bravery we can't fathom, one for which we can't fully thank them. we revere those who died so many others may live. we stand in a building that might not be here but for those heroes and we know what it means to be thankful.
>> ladies and gentlemen, the speaker of the united states house of representatives, the honorable nancy pelosi. >> just a few moments ago, we unveiled a plaque in the heart of the u.s. capitol to commemorate the heroes of 9/11, the men and women of flight 93. their families are standing by our side today and i would like to recognize these mothers, fathers, sons and daughters, brothers and sisters for keeping the memory of those heroes alive. [applause]
>> it is a humbling experience as it always is when we tread on the sacred ground of 9/11. for those of us who were engaged in a profession that is based on words and speaking, we find our inadequacies, because words aren't adequate to express the gratitude, respect, the debt that we have to all of these families. now we gather to honor all of the heroes of that fateful day eight years ago. the firefighters and first responders and rescue workers and all who perished trying to save others. we remember those who refuse todd leave their co-workers behind, whose lives were cut short during the unforgettable horror of that clear morning. we recall our men and women in
uniform fighting for our values, protecting our nation, making enormous sacrifices so that our children can know safety and security. and of course, we honor those who lost their lives on september 11. it is in their names that we mark this day. it is in their memory that we pledge to never forget this unspeakable tragedy. it is in their silenced voices that guide us, that inspire us, that echo in our hearts each time we stand on the steps of the capitol and sing the words of "god bless america," weather permitting. bound by clear memories of destruction and despair, americans forget about our differences and embrace our shared heritage. in the tragedy, we found unity, in the ashes, we rallied around a common cause. in the fallen towers, we
located the strength to carry on. in the darkness of that day, we saw the light of a brighter future. we express our deepest sympathy to the families of the victims who remain the conscience of our efforts to keep the memories of the fallen alive. and so today, we do this, gathered inside with the threat of rain. but as we did many years ago in september of 2001, we will close by singing "god bless america" because good truly did bless america in the lives and courage of the heroes of 9/11. we commit ourselves to help our first responders through health needs that linger to this day and provide them with the resources they need to respond to future emergencies. may god bless the memories of all of the heroes of 9/11. and now may god continue to bless the united states of
america. and let us now have a moment of silence in memory of all who were lost on 9/11. >> ladies and gentlemen, reverend barry black will now deliver the benediction. >> let us pray. lord god all mighty, creator and sustainer of the universe, as we again approach another anniversary of a tragedy that united this nation, accept our thanksgiving for your
sustaining providence. may our gratitude motivate us to strive for unity and to develop a greater awareness of the trag i will nature of our lives. lord continue to comfort those for whom the date september 11 rekindles a sense of sadness and loss. console those whose lives are imprinted with the shocking images of that season of distress. lord inspire our citizens to incline their hearts to you in prayer, that your continuing
merries may always sustain us. may we recommit ourselves to the noble principles upon which our nation was founded. in the days to come, do for us and this land we love exceedingly, abundantly above all that we can ask or imagine according to your power working in and through us. we pray in your sovereign name. amen. >> and now ladies and gentlemen please join the united states marine band in the singing of "god bless america".
[♪ "amazing grace"] snoor >> the house and senate meet tonight in a joint session to hear president obama speak on health care. white house officials say the president will quote, answer all the major questions on the issue, including how to pay for the millions of uninsured americans. our live coverage begins at 7:30 eastern and the speech at
8:00 p.m. with republican reaction from louisiana congressman charles boustany, tonight on c-span. >> as the debate over health care continues, c-span's health care hub is a key resource. go online and follow the latest tweets, videos and watch the latest events, town hall meetings and share your thoughts with your own citizen video, including video from any town halls you have gone to. and there is more at c-span.org /health care. >> we'll focus on health care today ahead of the president's speech tonight at 8:00. our coverage getting under way at 7:30 eastern time with a preview program. the president's speech at 8:00, followed by the republican response and then your reaction by phone and twitter. bipartisan group of negotiators from the senate finance committee trying to find a
caucus. a number of members of the house and senate leadership talking about the president's health care address tonight. but now on c-span, a preview of the president's speech before a joint session of congress from today's "washington journal." journal" continues. host: we welcome the white house correspondent for "time" magazine. how did the speech come together? guest: there was a debate after the august recess on when should the debate -- president take charge and control of the debate, which really ran away after the august break. initially when the president returned from martha's vineyard, a number of aids were suggesting that the speech be delayed a
week because we had the september 11 anniversary and the anniversary of the lehman brothers collapse coming up. but the president himself said i want to go right away, as soon as congress is back. the goal is to reclaim the middle ground here, which is what has been lost. host: you wrote "this is what barack obama does -- guest: in the last six weeks we have had six or so town halls that the president has done. a lot live on television. he has done a number of press
conference as prime time, including in july. going back to the same moves, thinking his own communication skills can take him over the hump. there is a question whether there are diminishing returns, whether the american people at some point will get tired of the president and his major addresses. host: you conclude with this point -- guest: there are two tracks -- one is the legislative track. the other is public support.
over all this we have seen a diminishment of public support among those people on the center of the political spectrum. this is targeted to those voters in the hopes it will give political cover for a compromise in the senate, which looks increasingly likely over recent days. >> one of those democratic senators, ben nelson, from nebraska, saying don't look to me to be one of the 60. guest: on sunday he said he may be amenable to the trigger on the public option. he has never been a big fan of this. he is a former insurance commissioner. he comes from the industry. he is very skeptical of the government role in health insurance. i think the problem with covering from the outside these internal investigations, you take these clues. one looks positive and negative and you can get scattered. it i think we will find out in the next two or three weeks whether the senate -- senate
can, with a deal. they really want to get 60. it is not clear how the math works out. if they don't, it is clear the white house used reconciliation, which is 51. host: who is working on the speech? guest: it has been going in the white house a number of different -- among the number of different aides. the key people will look it over, in addition to his speech writers are the communications director, david axelrod, political adviser, and robert gibbs. host: what do you think we will hear from the republican response? guest: so far they have taken a pretty hard line. use all that over august where the republican national committee released a seniors bill of rights, mentioning this idea of death panels or said something like that that would ration care for the elderly.
the republican caucus has set up a fact check system. they will live blog the speech. i think you will see from the bulk of republicans, sort of predictable disappointed responses afterward. the republicans that matter at this point, though, are very few. talking about people like olympia snowe and susan collins, who may be enough to get to 60. at this point, we are not going for an 88-vote majority in the senate. the republicans that matter are just those few swing votes in the senate right now. host: all the cable news network's gehring it live and broadcast caring it live, except fox. guest: they have a cable network -- and cw will be doing "americas next top model." i think they did the last
couple. the business decision is obvious -- it is better to make money on ads and then to give an hour to prime time right as the fall season is coming out. and the fox audience skews incredibly conservative and is less interested. and fox has the advantage of having two channels. they can go with the news network and people who want to watch it on fox can walk in there and people who don't . . do you think as we move forward with nbc say we will stick to entertainment and put our news on msnbc? guest: i guess it could. but the nbc network, like fox news is conservative, nbc is doing more toward liberal audiences. you saw that actually in the coverage of the ted kennedy death. fox didn't like it up that much, because for their audience it
was not a momentous occasion. for an snb say, and the extent nbc covered it -- msnbc, and the extent nbc covered, it is pretty much catering the demographics. host: monique is joining us from washington, d.c. caller: thank you cable companies for c-span. i want to make a short comment and ask a question. i want president obama to literally break down why we need a public option for those who haven't gotten it yet. because i have. i am a united states postal employees. i have been for the past several years. my employer has paid over $60,000 in health-care benefits for myself, including the $33 i paid biweekly. for the past seven years my medical bills totalled $13,000.
where is the rest of the money? this is what i think president obama is trying to get to the american people. the insurance companies are literally breaking us down. they are breaking down. so, please -- my american brothers and sisters, we have to tackle this issue. guest: i would just say, i think the president will agree with you that there has been a communications problem. he will mention the public plan tonight. he will make another big push. it is increasingly unlikely he will get a clean public plan. it looks like a charter mechanism will be built in, only if insurance companies -- private insurance companies don't perform to a certain level, the public option will be put in place. there is misunderstanding -- the public option as it is being talked about is really just for people who are in the individual market and to don't have insurance now and are not in serious poverty. medicaid would be expanded to cover those who are very low
income. the people who are already getting insurance from employers will continue. it will not be initially -- depending on how it is written -- pushing to some sort of public plan are really have the option of going to public plan because they continue to take it from their employer. we are talking about a pretty narrow segment of the population who don't have health insurance now or have trouble getting it. host: jay is joining us from the independent line from las vegas. caller: one quick question. my first question is, i am, as you know, from a republican state. right now the governor or senator are not caring about the children who are suffering, as far as health care and education. i really think president obama was very smart to kind of tie
those two together because they are important. our kids need to be well to go to school and they need to be having some type of good education so that they can -- i hate to say it like this, the people of the republican party are trying to segregate us here in this state, literally by brown and black and other nationalities that are open to president obama. he is our president and people need to respect that fact. host: you are calling from nevada, home state of the senate democratic leader who is up for reelection next year and already a target by nrnc. caller: i understand that they are hard on him.
with my question, though, i wanted to know what can he do to really get into the republican party's mindset right now? guest: you point it is something that is a real issue. republicans as a party and as a bloc decided to not support this effort and use this as a way to really dig into president obama's initial promises of being able to bring the country together and move beyond politics as usual. the president has been a struggle this summer to fulfil the promises. the flip side is that there is real -- there could be real liability because health care reform, broadly spoken, the broad principles, is rather popular across the country. use all polls in 50% to 6% range -- you solaw the polls.
what looks like a loser now could be a winner in next fall if it is past. and house members that would against it could find themselves defending their vote against dumping that people are excited about. host: we have seen this story develop over the last 24 hours. from time.com -- i want to continue on your point. but how would that work? guest: one of the big guy lemmas is how to pay for this. the president said he wanted to be revenue neutral -- one of the big dilemmas. it would have to be paid for by a tax.
this proposal saying those spending a lot of money tax- free through their employers on health insurance plans -- not basic plans, but provides more coverage -- should not be getting a tax benefit. we can collect it back. by taking a back, we will raise revenues. host: you went on to say -- who would provide the coverage, who would help them pay for it, and if you don't get coverage, who would make sure those fines are implemented? guest: this is the biggest, most important part of reform. because it is complicated, it has gotten lost. under the max baucus plan and what the house proposed in the senate health committee proposed, there will be an expansion of medicaid for lowest income. 100 and betty 3% roughly -- we did not know exactly -- 133%
roughly of the party level will be covered under an existing public plan, such as medicaid. the question is, what they do about the people who are not extremely poor but who can't right now afford health insurance in the private marketplace? for that group, the government will start off on subsidies. the debate between max baucus' committee and others is how much money is the government willing to lay out. right now the plan, as it has been released, for instance, up to 300% to poverty, $66,000 for a family of four, would get government help, if you are making more you would not get the same subsidies you would get if the house plan rules. they have subsidies up to 400% of party. the key is the idea that all americans would have to get
health insurance. there would be a penalty if you don't. there are exemptions if you can't afford it. almost all will be private health insurance but health insurance would become like count -- car insurance now. if your own a car you have to get insurance and here are the options. host: guest is@@@@@@ )tã swapland. good morning. caller: good morning. host: we're getting echo because you have the volume up. if you could turn it down, go ahead with your question. we'll hear you much better. caller: i have a question, just one question, what -- [inaudible] guest: the republicans have issued a number of principles. there are a number of ideas. for instance, they would like to move away from the current
system which is an employer-based system for most people so that tax credits would go directly to individuals. to individuals and they would be able to buy insurance on the private marketplace as individuals. they have also said they want to reduce certain rules that don't allow insurance to be sold across state lines, thinking that by breaking down state lines you would have a lot of -- better competition, and therefore from a low or prices. there isn't a piece of legislation, though. there are these principles, proposals. there is not a piece of legislation that has been developed along these lines. one of the interesting things about health care which makes it different from the early 1990's when clinton's efforts failed is that over the last four or five years, there was a pretty broad consensus built among large businesses, insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, labor unions, a
number of interest groups in d.c. about how we can deal with in broad strokes health care reform. most of those reforms, contained in all of these different packages, don't adopt those conservative principles that republicans have been pushing. host: joseph is joining us on the republican line from jamestown. caller: thank you for taking my call and thank you for c-span. i would like to make a comment and i will hang up and listen to your response to that. i'm a republican. i registered as one when i was old enough to register, 30 years ago, and that is because i believed in government but i also believed in a small government and i did not believe in government waste. at the time during the carter administration about the was a lot of government waste and nonsense. however, i have stood out in the cold and north carolina and elected obama solely -- not
solely but primarily to promote his health-care reform. what i would like to say to my fellow republicans out there who are befuddle or afraid is that this whole step toward a public option -- if you will allow week -- may, i will try to make it quick. it is our president's effort to fill in the final gatt of people who do not -- do not have insurance. guest: that is true. but it is in part also to know that his president has said and his advisers said that the public option, although it is something they want to see, is a relatively small part of health care reform. this group we are talking about, individuals who don't have insurance right now, would be able to get health care under private insurance subsidies from all of the plans, everything passed under the other committees. what the debate over the public option is that in addition to an exchange that allows people to go to a variety of insurance
companies to get health care with government subsidies, one of those choices would be public option. it is not as if president obama is saying right now that all of the people who are uninsured would now be covered by a government insurance option. there is a lot of fine print. so depending on how the public insurance option is written it could be something that expand over time. but right now it is still a relatively minor point. you will see tonight with the president speaks in will again say this is important because it will keep private insurance companies competitive, put pressure on their ability to make outsize profits but not in the end going to be in a great deal. host: kurt from newark, ohio with michael scherer. caller: why do you think the government can do this when they cannot even take care of our american indians on a reservation? they had 100 years. they ran out of money in june to even cover these people.
how do you think they can handle one sixth of our gross product. this is bs. guest: i am not going defendant anyway the u.s. government has handled native american issues of the years. there is no doubt the government has been a great failure in a number of areas. that said, -- so there is a risk, here. that said, though, is significant percentage of the american populace and right now are essentially getting their health care through government insurance options. there is a va, and medicaid, and people are generally not satisfied -- not dissatisfied. this is not creating a massive new entitlement -- public program as much as giving federal tax subsidies to individuals so they can buy private insurance.
right now we are not being a leader, we are being dividers. thank you. guest: certainly true that our system of government is sort of a full free speech zone in which it gets really ugly and often and may be more ugly more often in recent years than it has an a long time. i think the president and his aides in the white house will say it just comes with the territory. we are going to try to work our way through it. again, it will come down too rigid, people will watch the speech, what do they think of the president's -- it will come down to -- how many people will watch the speech? this is something one now, this is not something as cares me, this is not something that will take away my medicare or lead to the nile or rationing. is this something that will have to -- help the country?
host: two final point. one of our regular viewers saying have you seen the support needed to answer the reconciliation process with the health care bill? and very quickly, explain that verses cloture. guest: generally in the senate you need 60 votes to get anything done. 41 senators can block most anything from happening. there is an exception called reconciliation that was built into the process that could get things done with just a bare majority, 51. it is an option the president could use. they don't want to. host: why? guest: they want it sabine not as devices -- divisive as it would be under reconciliation. under reconciliation you can devise rules and pass up most of the reform hundred. you would have a breakdown of any idea of bipartisan unity. the other problem is you can only deal in a reconciliation with things that affect the budget.
you can't get all health care reform put through in one bill. part will have to be set aside and another fight where you still need 60 votes. just much more complicated and ugly process. it is something the white house has reserved for an option but right now it is very clear they are still trying hard to get the 60 votes to get this done without reconciliation. politico host: question, what is reported -- host: political question, what is reported, one of democrat said he will not support the plan that includes a public option and then the progressive caucus -- i don't want to give the impression that i'm so flexible that and willing to compromise away meaningful reform, but the says that there may be a variety of ways of getting there. guest: i was at the white house yesterday and harry reid and nancy pelosi met with the present -- president.
we asked nancy pelosi, very supportive of the public option, about the public option. she says, we want this in here. i asked, what about the trigger and the other compromises? she said, that is the legislative process. there is room for negotiation. no one is showing their hands saying this is what i am willing to give up. but i don't think not having a hear president obama speak on health care. white house officials say the president will answer all the major questions on the issue including how to pay for covering the millions of uninsured americans. our live coverage begins at 7:30 eastern. the speech is scheduled for 8:00 and republican reaction by louisiana congressman charles boustany follows. that's tonight here on c-span.
as the debate over health care continues, c-span's health care hub is a key resource. go online, follow the latest tweets, video ads and links. watch the latest events including town hall meetings and share your thoughts on the issue with your own citizen video, including video from any town halls you've gone to. and there's more. at c-span.org/healthcare. senate finance committee chairman max bachus of montana gave an update on the committee's health care bill earlier today. the senator promised to deliver a bill next week with a markup scheduled for the following week. he also said the final version will not have a public option because he does not believe it would pass a full senate vote. his remarks are six minutes. >> i just met with my finance committee colleagues and laid out a path for moving forward. i will wut out a chairman's mark early to mid next week.
the finance committee forward to mark up on health care reform the week after next. this is our moment. we have spent many weeks and months on this crucial issue and now is the time to move forward. >> >> is that a bipartisan mark? >> i very much hope and i expect it will be some republicans when i issue the mark next week and when we go to markup the following week. my door's open irrespective, i'm going to move forward anyway. we have to move forward. i told grassley that just about an hour ago. i mentioned that to other key senators a short while ago so we will have a mark and we'll put on a mark next week and very much hope and do expect republicans will be onboard.
i don't how many. but if there are not any i'm going to move forward in any event. >> how close will it be -- >> does that mean there's one more week to go for the bipartisan talks? >> it means there's quite a bit of time left for bipartisan support. that is, i very much hope and expect to find some number of republicans to be on the mark. but then question go to markup, that's the following week and there's still plenty of time for anyone to join at markup. maybe a republican senator might offer an amendment in order to support the bill. it's hard to say. but the main point is, it's really two fold. one, i'm moving forward. we're going to have the markup in about a week and very much look forward to having some republicans participating. >> what do you think you'll be marking up? is the door still open to a
public option coming into -- >> i'll probably put down a mark that's somewhat similar to the proposal that i issued late saturday night, sunday morning. fairly similar to that because i think that is close to a measure that will pass both the committee and the senate. i'm not about to put in provisions are so problematic that it cannot pass the full finance committee or senate. so the answer is, it will be fairly close, there will be some adjustments. it sounds like no public option. >> it will be pretty close to what -- >> did you get suggestions this morning by 10:00 from some of the republicans? >> yes. some submitted proposals. they all did. all the others did give me some ideas. we're going to meet this afternoon, our group of six, to go over those changes.
sorry? >> [inaudible] are you disappointed that you came out here to say we're moving forward with the -- with or without republicans instead of saying we have a deal with republicans? >> no, no, no. i'm not disappointed at all. why? because i know that you almost have to wait until the last instant before things tend to break for everybody. we've all invested so much time and effort in this, i know that some of my republican colleague -- colleagues very much want to be a part of this. they want to be and they know and i know there's still time. there's still time between now and when we vote on the final bill that's marked up in a couple of weeks. so, no, there are a lot of sayings, different languages, different ways of saying it, last inch of darkness, darkest before the dawn. i do expect there will be -- some will come onboard later
and earlier is better than later but -- so i'm not worried about it. >> where will the trigger come into play? >> it's interesting, i read a lot about the trigger in the immediate yad and i don't hear much about trigger in the discussions. a trigger has not come up in discussions either with the group of six or with my democratic colleagues. >> has anything changed -- has anything changed your think on whether or not there are votes before the public option? >> i think frankly with increasing conviction that a public option cannot pass the senate. as different as each day goes by and talking it to senators, private statements and public statements and some statements are over the side of the capitol, it's more and more in my view, and i could be wrong, but it's my belief that the public option cannot pass.
[inaudible] >> you can give a flavor of some of the things -- >> the very interesting. the questions are mostly around the edges. i mean, there's no show stopper, there's no big policy change. just concerns, how does this work, how does that work still? you know, we haven't met since august recess. some facts are forgotten and there's been some changes in the proposal that have to be better understood. so this has been the case frankly for most of the last couple months, that it just -- no show stoppers, no big policy issues. more just kind of work around, how does this work, that kind of thing. >> what are the suggestions they gave you, they didn't have big policy changes? >> there are some. there are a couple -- there are a couple, three. i think at this point it's best to keep that within our group.
>> thanks everybody. >> we're moving ahead. thank you. >> thank you, senator. >> and now, house democratic leaders discuss the ongoing health negotiations within their party. we hear comments from house democratic caucus chairman john larson and caucus vice chairmen becerra. the about 15 minutes. >> we want to thank you for your patience. i'm john larson, chairman of the democratic caucus. i'm proud to be joined by our vice chair, mr. becerra. we just had a terrific caucus. an opportunity for the members who have returned from conducting more than 1,027 town hearings, but bound and determined to make sure that, a, they will not be intimidated by any outside force, any
status quo and just say no group is not intimidating this caucus. member after member who got up and talked about what happened to their district came away affirming the fact that america is not for the status quo, it's for the reform and change that is about to come. we're pleased this evening that the president is going to address a joint -- the joint house and senate gathering and understand that he will lead the way in terms of moving this agenda forward. but to hear people like leonard boswell, who went out -- went into this session saying, i don't believe i can be for a public option, talking about, strongly about how now he's convinced after talking to his people about a public option, to hear mike doyle, a former insurance agent, talking about the fact that insurance rates are going up by 38%, 39%, in
his district and people are coming to the commonsense conclusions that once they've dealt with all the misinformation and flat out lies in many circumstances, then now it's time for the truth to unfold. i believe that the president will be that truth deliverer this evening. and that this democratic caucus will come together and pass a bill and put it on the president's desk. javier. >> mr. hareman, vice chair of the democratic caucus here in the house. it was a wonderful turnout of numbers, just about every seat was taken, and they have asked that we do another caucus meeting. we're going to do it tomorrow morning because it seeps like people got refueled in august, whether they did town hall after town hall or not, looks like members are ready to get to work and looking forward to what the president has to say. the defenders of the status
quo, those who say, do nothing, that do-nothing crowd, is bankrupting this country. health care costs are rising astronomically. americans by the thousands will lose their insurance today and so it was gratifying to see members ready to go to work. to a person, we're looking forward to what the president has to say, but clearly failure is not an option here and people are ready to get something done with the leadership of the president of the united states, barack obama. >> he also remembers, i think it was unanimous in concluding that as the president stated all along, there's three pillars here, all tied to the economy. there isn't a member who didn't come back from this break that didn't hear about the economy. look, we understand that a lot of the pentup anxiety and fear that exists out there is because of this economy. but as the president said, you know, we passed energy, we
become less energy dependent, we create new jobs there, we have health information technology, we pass health care, we have an education system that's second to none, then we've got the three pillars to have the economic growth. and there was wide applause for making sure that we passed and get through representative oberstar's bill on infrastructure, to get everybody back to work. so there's a very positive feeling emanating from our caucus, a can-do spirit that we believe will guide us through this month of september and into october. >> mr. larsen, you talked about refueling, re-energizing people but there are a lot of folks in there who are shell shocked. they came into these meetings, worried about getting re-elected, they're worried about what they heard in these meetings and tell us about what -- >> even though members, even members like frank kratovil who said he was hung in effigy, who
said that it was very difficult going when the other group -- when the other side was entirely organized, entirely working against him, and now most of that being debunked in terms of the death panels and a number of the other issues that have sbn out there. but what frank came awhich with saying was, you know, what he came to the conclusion after doing hearing after hearing after hearing and most of our members are going back to do more hearings, because they're getting the opportunity to educate the public ander to them to hear the truth and when they do that, as frank kratovil said, they're often for the public option. kratovil, a blue dog, is someone who we certainly didn't have in a public option column, nor did we have boswell. but it's the experience of going out there and where the creation of real competition can exist. in economic opportunity, and actually the ability to drive down the cost of coverage by
making sure that we have competition out there had. >> ask frank kratovil if he thinks we should do health care reform. a guy who was hung in effigy, a guy who had a number of town hall meets, ask him how he came back in september to congress to deal with health care reform. i think you'll get your respens. >> i spoke to him 15 minutes ago and he said the public option is one thing and the cost is another thing. >> it is. that's why we're having a caucus tomorrow. listen, people came back, there are a number of concerns about small businessmen and small business in general that have to be clarified, a number of issues as you heard the speaker outlining yesterday, that we still have to come together as we meld these three bills but we're coming together with the spirit of cooperation and not only the spirit of cooperation, the spirit of can-do, because we know the importance of getting this job done. this is not -- some have said this is about the obama presidency or about the congress, this is about the
american people. and story after story after story that members got up to address were about fellow americans and the problems that they were going through. whether it's a child with autism, whether it's a spouse with lupus, whether the someone who's become a quad are a pliegic or someone whose insurance has skyrocketted out of sight. that's what we heard from our caucus. that's why we truly believe that we're united in our effort to bring everybody together. we may not be in complete unison yet but we are definitely in harmony in terms of where we have to go. >> what's your sense of the percentage of the caucus that supports the public option as it is in h.r. 3200? say the energy and commerce version. and also ask you address the issue of -- [inaudible] >> bachus' proposal didn't come up, the senate was discussed. we feel that the senate will do what the senate does. we don't have any sway over
there or -- and clearly no say. but what we can do is effect waite the outcome here -- effectuate the outcome here in the house. there was no hand raising in terms of who's for a public option or who's not. but it was a general experience that people had and the willingness to sit down and drill down, you know, and everyone uses the president's line. if there's a better option, let's put it on the table. if there's other ideas, let's put it on the table. and you know what? there are other members who put ideas on the table. so we'll drill down further in our opportunity to make sure that we come up with the best bill that brings the democratic caucus and has the votes to be taken to the floor of the house. >> do you agree with the majority who said yesterday that could you pass a health care reform bill out of the house that does not include a public option? >> what majority leader hoyer said is that he favors the
public option, that he's working hard for the public option, but that if a public option at the end of the day was not, if it comes back from conference, and it's not in there, does he think that would be a bad bill? no, because of a lot of the 85% of the good things that exist in the bill. that's what majority leader hoyer said. he clarified that again at the caucus. >> do you agree with that? >> with his characterization of it? i think there's a lot of good things in the bill. i favor a public option. >> speaker pelosi seemed to contradict him last night when she said -- >> she did not contradict him. they have said that they -- well, i was in the room also. he i think i heard them all say that they are both, congressman hoyer, congressman clyburn and speaker pelosi, all said, which are all in unison on the public option. >> she said it was essential to pass the house. do you believe it's essential to pass the house? >> i believe it is. >> you want to give consumers a
choice, if you want to bring down costs, you take a look at what the congressional budget office has told us and giving people a choice between what exists today in the current system with the private insurance industry and by providing an option like medicare that 48 million americans rely on today, giving americans that choice helps promote competition, it helps drive down costs and the c.b.o. told us it's in the hundreds of billions of dollars. so if you want reform, you've got to offer consumers choice. you want reform, you've got to bring down the cost. you want to bring down the cost and give people choice, you got to have a public option. >> what are your thoughts about the trigger option as a possible compromise? >> you need to start off talking about reform. and many of us believe that there will be consensus in the house democratic caucus on with
a reform means. we had a tremendous caucus meeting where any number of members asked questions and just like the three committees came out with a bill that while not the same in each committee, in 85% of its composition, they are all the same, i think what you're going to find is that we'll be able to come together on a bill that includes a public option which i don't believe will include a trigger mechanism. i will speak personally and just say, a trigger to what? and i think if you want reform, you don't trigger reform and you include it from the beginning. if you really want to keep costs down, if you want to give consumers choice, you don't tell them they'll get the choice once there's a trigger, you'll get the reduction in cost once there's a trigger, i believe you have to have it from the beginning. >> thank you. >> we're joined by our majority whip. >> i don't have anything to add to that. might say, i think there are a
-- a lot of people have looked at, you know, we've got four different public options, one in the senate, three different once in the house -- ones in the house. in addition to that, i think that people have been applying terminology to various aspects of the public option. i for one have said time and time again that i believe that if you got three years between the time that you expect the president to sign the deal and the time that it is to be implemented, the bill calls for implementation in 2013. the question is, what are we doing in that three-year period? can we do things in that three-year period that will not just talk about designing what the public options are or what the exchange will look like, but can we have things taking place during that three-year
period that will serve as pilot programs, demonstration programs, that will give us some data upon which to design and implement the exchange? and so i feel very strongly that we can have or we should have some pilot programs. if you look at the document released yesterday by the senate finance committee, they allow for pilots to be used in that program for certain parts of it. and so i would love to see pilots being developed in other parts of the program as well. because i think that those of us who feel very strongly, that data can be gotten from these kinds of pilots, we're not afraid of them. >> thank you.
>> thank you very much. >> -- public option, that what you're -- >> the public option in pilot programs prior to the implementation date so we'll have good, solid data upon which to design the exchange. >> thank you. >> thank you. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp 2009] >> from the u.s. capitol earlier today, it's just over 10 minutes. >> good morning. our members are back in town after having been at home with the people that they represent over the month of august. think it's very clear that the members of the republican conference final strongly that the public has awakened, that the wind is at our back,
primarily because of the fierce debate over the president's health care plan. tonight we're going to see the president address the nation in a joint session. clearly the hurtle is very high -- hurdle is very high for president obama. his task is going to be to convince the american people that the propose allege of a government option doesn't -- proposal of a government option doesn't mean a government replacement of the health care system as we know it. and i think secondly the test will include his being able to convince members as well as the public that a government -- expanded government control can save money. it can save the taxpayer dollars money. because i think into you tifflet most americans believe -- into youtively most americans believe -- intuitively most americans believe that more government
means more rationing, more forced discrimination on the basis of gender and age. what it really is, i think, for us as republicans in the house is an opportunity, hopefully, for us to see our president willing to start to focus on areas that we can agree on and not just focus on the areas that guide us. we all understand -- divide us. we all understand, we can rally around solutions how to do pre-existing conditions, we can do things about making sure that if somebody loses their job they don't necessarily lose their health care. instead of trying to insist that government replacement or government competition is all that we should be about. we're hoping also that the premium is put on getting it right, not just getting it done now. i think that does reflect where the american people are as well. >> good morning.
i had a great opportunity in august. i held 11 town halls and heard from my constituents, listened to what they had to say, and time and again they said that putting a government bureaucracy on top of an insurance bureaucracy is not a way to fix health care. they also related to me that they felt engaging in the public deception of public option is not a way to fix health care. they've also talked about spending more money is not going to fix it. what they want to see from us is spending less and actually addressing the problems that exist. the high costs, the restrictions to access, the insurance market reform. what they do not want is $800 billion in new taxes to pay for a program that they do not
want. looking forward to hearing what the president has to say tonight, hope that he is going to agree to start over in a bipartisan manner. >> i held seven town hall meetings across the state of indiana and after a five-week august recess, the american people have spoken. and house republicans reflected this morning, among one another, about what we heard. what i heard were two things. number one, the american people want to see this government take action to lower the cost of health insurance to working families and small businesses and to lower the cost of health care in the long-term. and number two, the american people don't want the federal government to create a government-run insurance plan that will lead to a government takeover of our health care economy paid for with $800 billion in higher taxes. as the president comes into the well of the congress tonight we
hope that the president will not so much speak to the american people as demonstrate that he and his party have been listening to the american people. our hope is that the president tonight will set aside the insistence of many in his party on the creation of a new government-run insurance plan and that he will embrace a number of the republican proposals that we've been advancing for months and in some cases years. why shouldn't the american people be able to purchase health insurance the way that members of congress and federal employees can across state lines? why shouldn't this federal government take on the issue of medical malpractice reform and end the extraordinary costs of runaway jury awards? tonight the president has an extraordinary opportunity to lead this nation, to strike a truly bipartisan stance, to
reject the ideas that the american people have rejected and to embrace the ideas that the american people are prepared to embrace. health care reform, build on bringing real competition and real choice to our private insurance economy is the key. we wish the president well, we look forward to his remarks this evening. >> thanks, mike. we welcome the president to the capitol tonight and we look forward to hearing what he has to say. but a question i have is, has the president been listening to the american people? i think the american people have made it pretty clear that they don't really want another lecture, they want a new plan. they understand that we have a good system, that works well for many people. everybody understands that we've got problems in the current system that can be addressed. but to replace the entire current system with a big government-run plan is not what the american people want, certainly isn't what i want.
tonight dr. boustany, one of our colleagues from louisiana, will be giving our response to the president's address and outlining some of those bipartisan reforms that we can't agree on. and i think the american people are saying, stop. hit the reset button. let's start to do this in a bipartisan way to make the current system work better. let's not throw out the baby with the bath water and replace it with some big government-run plan. questions? >> -- [inaudible] coming together to discuss these bipartisan proposals -- >> i think the ball is in the president's court. our leadership hasn't been to the white house since late april or early may to have a conversation with the president. and the president, it's not
hard to bring the leaders down to the white house in a bipartisan way and begin to talk about the kind of reforms that can be enacted that we can do in a bipartisan way. >> where are the areas of agreement that you think that you can move forward on with the president? >> i think when it comes to medical malpractice reform, it's an important cost driver in our current system. and it's not just medical malpractice reform in and of itself. it's the defensive medicine that doctors practice. secondly, i don't see any reason why we couldn't have medicare, medicaid and every insurance company locked up in a room on a commission to come together with one set of forms for reimbursement. it would seem $-- save us $40 billion to $50 billion a year within the current system. i think that the portability of insurance is critically important. i think helping those with
pre-existing conditions is important. and i believe that the working poor who are out there doing the right thing every day but can't afford health insurance, we can find some of the savings in the current system to help those have better access to high quality health insurance. >> one thing think a heard in some town hall meetings, i went to a few town hall meetings, was the fact that nobody knows what's in the republican plan, there is not one cohesive single plan out there. i know members have been saying, we have various plans but the people i've talked to are saying, well, we don't know what we're supposed to support because we don't have an h.r. 3200 that we can -- >> listen, we have a number of plans offered by our republican colleagues in the house and senate. just like the democrats have a number of plans offered by themselves in both the house and? the. and this process that we've been going through is
important. our members went home in august and they listened and as they listened i think it became clear what the american people are demanding and what they're not and clearly what they're not demanding and don't want is this big government takeover. i think our plans to make the current system work better are what the american people are asking for. >> -- one single plan -- [inaudible] >> the president supposedly is going to endorse a public option but not necessarily draw a line, not necessarily say it has to be in a health care bill. if he does that tonight, how significant would that be towards the bipartisan deal? >> there's been a lot of focus on the government option in the plan that a lot of democrats are supporting. but let's understand, it's not the only bitter pill in their plan. they've a mandate on every employer to offer insurance and if they don't, there's a big tax. at a time when we're trying to
create jobs, it will -- this will make it more difficult to create jobs, probably cost our economy jobs. this $3,le00 is being proposed in one of the democrat plans on individuals if you don't buy health insurance is another nonstarter. so there are -- it really is time to just stop, hit the reset button, and sit down in a bipartisan way and begin to deal with what we can deal with to make our current health care system work better. thanks. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp 2009] >> house and senate meet tonight in a joint session to hear president obama speak on health care. white house officials saying that the president will answer all the major questions on the issue including how to pay for covering the millions of uninsured americans. our live coverage starts at 7:30 eastern time. the speech is scheduled for 8:00. then the republican response by
louisiana congressman charles boustany and your reaction by phone and twitter. that's all tonight here on c-span. as the debate over health care continues, c-span's health care hub is a key resource. go online, follow the latest tweets, video ads and links. watch the latest events including town hall meetings and share your thoughts on the issue with your own citizen video, including video from any town halls you've gone to. and there's more. at c-span.org/healthcare. now to the u.s. senate park where republican members of congress were presented with a health care petition opposing the public option. the petition sponsored by the national center for policy analysis and salem radio network. this is 40 minutes. >> ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon. i'm chairman of the national center for policy analysis and
on behalf of more than 1.3 million americans who signed the petition, i am very proud to be a part of delivering to the congress of the united states, free our health care now petition, the largest public -- policy petition ever delivered to the congress, we believe. the role the ncpa has played in this petition is to educate the public on issues of health care he form. you see here the 15 boxes that have the 1.3 million signed petitions in them. they are the voices of well informed and very patriotic americans. they're a diverse group of people. some are part of a network of obama supporters who now oppose the president's approach to health care. others are part of various disease networks, including cancer patients and survivors. still more are senior citizen
who are worried about cuts in medicare and the closing of their private medicare insurance plans. an enormous number of americans are concerned about their health care. whatever their principle concern, the signers of free our health care now petition share a common belief that congress should not increase the role of government in their health care decisions. these americans do want health care reform but as the petition they seened states, they want reform that has four elements. they want the right to choose any doctor and any health insurance plan. they want access to treatment without delay or even more important, without denial. fairness, the same tax breaks that people get in business should come to people who want health care. and finally, responsibility
control over our own health care decisions, talking it to our doctors, talking to our families and making the decisions that are the best for each of us. these elements are not radical nor are the people who support them. on the 61,000 pages contained in these wonderful boxes are the names of individuals who members of congress should not forget as they prepare to vote on legislation on the nation's health care reform. doris from north baltimore, ohio, is a senior citizen worried about her future as she told us when she signed her ballot and i'm quoting, i'm 81, i have had heart surgery, i have crippling arthritis but i'm not on my death bed yet, closed quote. she collected signatures for the petitions, many from her friends and she said given her medical history, i would be sentenced to death by the health plan. nancy from north arlington, new jersey, is a cancer survivor
worried about her care. at 60 she's actively employed but as she wrote, i'm absolutely terrified that if my cancer comes back i will not get treatment under a government-run health care plan . lorraine from hugo, tick, was born in canada, lived there 40 years and she is now a proud american citizen. she worries, though, about the quality of care of a government-run health care system. what it's going to provide. if it's going to provide enough. as she said, and again i quote, i love this country and pray that socialized medicine never comes to this place. i have seen how destructive it can be. well, as a former canada resident, she certainly did see that problem. unfortunately in their attempts to participate in the domestic democratic process, americans like doris and nancy and lorraine have been maligned by politicians and they've been
criticized by the press. they've been described as angry protesters, town hall moms, no less than the leader of the house of representatives has called them unamerican. they are not unamerican. and they will not be stopped. because they are interested in getting a better system and keeping it under our own control. so today is their day. today is the day that the congress is going to hear their voice, a voice from 1.3 million americans that say, free our health care now. now i'm pleased to introduce mike gallagher of the salem radio network. mike has been with us from the very beginning back in late may. seems a long time ago but because of mike the free our health care now petition reached its first goal of 50,000 signatures. we thought we had done very well and maybe it wasn't going to get better but of course we've come a long way.
since passing that goal, mike and the mike gallagher show have communicated relentlessly, educating thousands of americans and encouraging them to voice their concerns about health care. without mike, the free our health care now petition would not be what it is today and i'm pleased to have him make some remarks. mike. >> thank you, i appreciate it. thank you. this is a terrific day for american voices because talk radio has played a big role in fighting back and we decided as the summer began that this could be the summer of the american voice and the summer when millions of americans would be heard and to collect 1.3 million-plus signatures over a couple of months' time is a pretty extraordinary achievement to get people to sign a petition that says no to the way the democrats had envisioned their version of health care reform. so we fought hard and we collected lots of signatures and interviewed a lot of people and threw my-