tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN May 6, 2010 1:00pm-5:00pm EDT
, communicationings workers, laborers, utility workers, american federation of teachers, the list goes on and on on both sides. this is the kind of program that the united states should be thinking about at the point which night after night we see this oil spill down in the gulf, because it once again reminds us that the united states only has 2% of the oil reserves of the world. . so what we do in this legislation is create the program that provides rebates to homeowners to jump start manufacturing, retail, the construction industry, focusing upon using technology, manufactured in america work high standards of efficiency that will improve each home.
i yield myself one additional minute. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. markey: and by doing so, we say to our country that we're going to turn to our own people. that when america has a plan, america wins. and this is part of a plan. it's part of a plan to end this dependence upon imported oil. we just can't have half of our trade deficit coming from the purchase of oil from countries that we should not be purchasing it from. we need a plan. this bill is part of that plan. this bill is part of the plan that says that we're -- we are going to end business as usual. what are the countries we're going to use? we'll use companies like whirlpool, companies all across our country that manufacture these items. that are 20%, 30%, 40%, more
efficient than anything that people have in their homes who are going to become part of this program. i will yeeled myself one additional minute. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. markey: the result of this will be that we will see a concomitant reduction in energy bills, importation of energy, and in the -- kind of the sense that america has that we're losing control of our ability to control our own energy agenda. so i at this point reserve the balance of my time. i seek recognition to recognize the gentleman from oregon, mr. blumenauer, for one minute. the chair: does the gentleman from michigan continue to reserve? the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. mr. markey: i yield one minute to the gentleman from oregon,
mr. blumenauer. the chair: the gentleman from oregon is recognized for one minute. mr. mum naur: i appreciate the gentleman's courtesy and his leadership this bill is perfectly timed to help american families increase efficiency in their home and key ate jobs for those in the construction industry which has beenest terribly -- especially hard hit by the reseg. i'm pleased that the bill includes incentives for states to include programs where utilities make loans to consumers to make upgrades and repay the costs on their utility bill. this is an important tool. it's especially important in the pacific northwest which has pledged to meet 85% of our future energy demand with energy efficiency. the northwest has recognized not only that energy efficient is carbon-free but it costs less than half as much as new power plants. this bill will provide our region with the tools we need to meet our ambitious targets for a low-carbon, energy-efficient future to
revite liz the economy and protect the planet. i look forward to supporting this in action. the chair: the gentleman's time has expire. the gentleman from michigan continues to reserve. the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. mr. markey: would the chair inform us as to which side completes the debate? what is thed or over completion of debate? the chair: the gentleman from massachusetts has the right to close. mr. markey: i do not see any other speakers, it would be my intent to close debate so i ask for the minority to be recognized. the chair: the gentleman from massachusetts reserves. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. upton: thank you, madam speaker. i yield myself the balance of our time. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. upton: i do want to thank the majority for working with a number of republicans in the committee. the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. markey and mr. waxman and mr. welch worked
with me on allowing home builders to be certified for the work something we thought was very important. they worked with mr. shadegg on an amendment to make sure that tankless water heaters were included, something we know is very valuable in the process. with mr. shimkus on geothermal. three amendments that all of us on both sides of the aisle strongly supported. we welcomed that good work. and to a degree, we also worked on clearing up one of the major objections from the start and that was the original legislation that talked about such sums which as we calculated was going to be up to $23 billion. that objection was looked at and we were able to reduce it significantly but it is still $6.6 billion in terms of what that cap may be over the next two years and if you look at
the talking points that are out there, we're talking about 168,000 jobs and if you divide that by the $6.6 billion, you come out to about $39,000 a job . that's too much. mr. latta worked in good faith from the time the full committee ended the markup to try to get an amendment to sunset the act so legislation would have a negative effect on the federal budget receive sit -- deficit. he was led to believe that amendment might be in order. despite the assurances of some on the committee, it appears as if the rule committees denied that amendment. we'll have a chance. that amendment a as i understand it, will be part of our motion to recommit and hopefully that motion to recommit with that provision will be included, which is why mr. latta spoke earlier in support of that amendment but the real problem for many of us
on our side is that this is really a duplicative program, going back to the department of energy stimulus funding, and after a year of that, remember, that was adopted in february of 2009, after a year, the money in that stimulus bill, there were promises, in fact, that was going to create 87,000 jobs. a year later, february of this year, it looked as though only about 10% of that 87,000 figure was recognized, or about 8,500 jobs, not the 87,000, but remember as part of the stimulus, they had to be job ready, must be money had to go out the door as quickly as can be. a year later, we're still only 10% of the jobs promised. far short of that number. now, we have the a $1.5 trillion deficit this year. a lot of us on our side think we should be taking the time to go through every program, every
program in that budget, look at where we might be able to find some savings. go page by page. the taxpayers deserve no less, enough is enough, this is a $6.6 billion new program entrusted to the department of energy, which, after a year could only deliver 10% of what they were promising in the stimulus bill from last year. so our view on this side, many of us say, without the latta amendment, to make sure that in fact there is not an impact on the deficit, we would ask members to vote no. with that, madam speaker, i yield the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields. the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. mr. markey: i am the concluding speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. markey: i thank the chair.
let me summarize. home star is a two-year energy efficiency program that will save $9.2 billion in consumer energy costs, create or save 168,000 jobs when our country desperately needs an increase in the number of people who are working, and inkeys -- increase energy independence across the nation by sending a signal we're going to use new technologies, more efficient technologies to back up that oil we import. home stars silver program is juan-year program to provide rebates for energy efficient materials and installation. it will jump start manufacturing, retail, and construction jobs. home star's gold star program is a two-year program that allows homeowners to receive rebates for making their homes at least 20% more energy efficient. that includes any measure
approved through an energy audit. gold star does not pick winners and losers. we just want the most efficient technology to be used to reduce energy consumption in our country. finally, home star offers an energy efficiency loan program. this program will offer low interest loans to help offset a household's 50% share of energy retrofit costs. again, an all-star cast of supporters. you won't see this very often in congress this year. the national association of manufacturers. the u.s. chamber of commerce, the national association of home builders, partnered with the steelworkers, with the communication workers work the laborers, the utility workers, the transit unions, the sheet metal workers, this is what america needs if we're going to put our country back to work again.
we should embrace this in a bipartisan fashion so that we can create a plan for our country to reduce energy consumption while we use american workers to accomplish this goal. so with that, madam chair, i have completed my statement in this opening part of the debate and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields. all time for general debate has expire. pursuant to the rule, the amendment in the nature of a substitute printed in the bill shall be considered as an original bill for the purpose of amendment under the five-minute rule and shall be considered read. no amendment to the committee amendment is in order except those presented in -- printed in house report 111-475. each amendment may be offered only in the order printed in the report by a member designated in the report, shall be considered read, shall be debatable for the time specified in the report, equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an
opponent. shall not be subject to amendment and shall not be subject to demand for division of the question. it is now in order to consider amendment number one printed in house re-- house report 111-475. for what purpose does the gentleman from massachusetts seek recognition? mr. markey: madam chair, i, as the designee of mr. waxman, rise to offer an amendment. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number one, printed in house report 111-475, offered by mr. markey of massachusetts. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 1329, the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. markey, and a member opposed, each will control o10 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. markey: thank you, madam chair. chairman waxman's amendment strengthens the core functions
of home star to save energy, create jobs, and save consumers money. our highlight -- i'll highlight just a few of the provisions in the amendment. the amendment offers additional rebates for super efficient air conditioners and furnaces. it requires rebating a gators under home star to be entirely employed in the united states. and it includes rebates for storm windows and doors. the technical changes to the amendment have streamlined the effectiveness of the program. for example, the amendment includes a provision to ensure coordination between existing state energy efficiency programs and home star. i think that charnle waxman's amendment improves significantly the bill, i think it contributes to our overall goals, and i think -- i ask that the amendment be accepted by the house and at this point,
i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. barton: thank you, madam speaker. we oppose the manager's amendment. it is a good faith attempt to try to perfect some of the anomalies that are -- the chair: will the gentleman suspend? the gentleman is recognized in opposition for 10 minutes. mr. barton: thank you. i'll be happy to be recognized in opposition for 10 minutes. we do oppose the manager's amendment, madam speaker. it's fairly long-winded, it's fairly complicated because when the government starts to intervene in the marketplace, it has to intervene more and
more pervasively to try to handle all the various things that normally the hidden hand of the market to quote adam smith, would correct or take care of. so if you support the underlying bill, you should support the manager's amendment because it is trying to correct the problems that the -- that those that support it have seen in the underlying bill. if you don't support the manager's amendment which i do not, you should oppose the waxman amendment, because here's a program, again which is spending $6.6 billion, or at least is authorizing the spending of $6.6 billion, which we don't have, which has no pay-for, and which the department of energy has a $5 billion program currently on the books that has been appropriated that they've not yet handed out the money so we oppose the waxman -- chairman waxman's manager's amendment and ask for a no vote. with that, i reserve the
balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. mr. markey: i thank the chair. i yield two minutes to the gentlelady from arizona, ms. giffords. the chair: the gentlelady from arizona is recognized for two minutes. ms. giffords: i rise to support the home start energy retrofit act. it saves fuel, electricity and it helps americans to save money. however, embracing energy efficiency at nome is not just energy or -- home is not just about energy or money. it makes homes actually better places to live in. i support this bill because it creates jobs, jobs in all 50 states and a priority of this congress. whether you live in sunny arizona, like myself, or icy alaska, people will use their local installers to make these upgrades to their homes. i'd like to thank the committee for accepting my amendment, which directs the secretary of energy to provide need-based
programs to get gold star certification. we need to grow a work force that can implement these programs in every state and in any home. the scholarships made possible by my amendment will allow these individuals looking for jobs to get the training they needs so americans can fully realize the benefits of the home star program. training a new generation of skilled workers is a smart investment that will pay dividends in the future. this bill is about jobs, it's also about training the smart work force and it's about saving resources and money for american families at this critical time. that is why i'm so proud to support the home start energy retrofit act. thank you, madam speaker. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlewoman yields. the gentleman from texas. mr. barton: we have no further speaks on this amendment. we request a no vote. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from texas yields. the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. mr. markey: i yield two minutes to the gentleman from missouri,
mr. carnahan. the chair: the gentleman from missouri is recognized for two minutes. mr. carnahan: thank you, madam speaker. i want to thank chairman markey for his leadership and all the others involved in this legislation, the home start energy retrofit act of 2010, and also in particular, representative welch and the other sponsors of the bill that have really led this effort. this is a bill that will help in this tough recession that our country has been going through but also providing incentives to help generate our economy, to get it moving again, and doing it in ways that are smart. smart by providing incentives to encourage homeowners make their homes more energy efficient, by providing upfront rebates for home energy savings investments, such as improved insulation, to upgrade the hvac systems, energy-efficient windows. these are green jobs that can't be outsourced or sent overseas. and most of the products that
will be used will be used by small businesses here that manufacture those products and goods here in this country. it is going to help grow our economy, it's going to help grow green jobs, it's also going to help as we look at making our environment a better place for all of us going forward,. i strongly support it and support the manager's amendment and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields. the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. mr. markey: madam chair, i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from massachusetts. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the amendment is agreed to. it is now in order to consider amendment number 2 printed in
house report 111-475. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? mr. barton: madam speaker, i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 2 printed in house report 111-475 offered by mr. barton of texas. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 1329, the gentleman from texas, mr. barton, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas. mr. barton: thank you, madam speaker. this amendment is fairly straightforward. it would strike section 111-g, which provides that funds repaid by eligible participants may be used to provide loans to additional participants under the home star efficiency home loan program. under the pending legislation, if people were to get a loan and use that loan when that loan was paid back the funds that are paid back could then be relent.
my amendment would strike the relending provision so that as the funds are paid back, they would go to the treasury, hopefully for deficit reduction. since 111 is carved out of the sunset section 112-i, this loan program could potentially go on forever with money that is repaid continually being lond out to new recipients. so we could create under this section 111-g, if we don't accept the barton amendment or a perpetual program in effect a new self-funded sbimed program. this bill is built as a two-year temporary program. the provision in 111-g is contrary to the two-year sunset provision of the overall bill. so i would hope that we would accept this amendment, and with that i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. mr. markey: thank you, madam
chair. i yield myself two minutes. the chair: is the gentleman rising in opposition? mr. markey: yes, i rise in opposition. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. markey: and i recognize myself for two of those five minutes. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. markey: people, madam chair, want to save money on their energy bills, but not everyone can afford the upfront costs of an energy retrofit. what the home star energy efficiency loan program is designed to do is to help those people participate in the home star program. the loan program is also meant to provide a sustainable source of loan funds for years of future energy retrofits across a broad geographic and economic
spectrum. the program will reach out to low-income households that would greatly benefit from reduced energy bills. now, if the barton amendment is passed, it would severely limit the number of people who could participate in home star. without long-term opportunities for efficiency loans, many low-income households will literally be left out in the cold. home star will incentivize energy-efficient retrofits. it also also make those retrofits -- it must also make those retrofits a reality. i urge my colleagues to vote no on the barton amendment, and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. barton: thank you, and i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: the gentleman is
recognized. mr. barton: as always, madam chair woman, i'm deeply moved by my friend from massachusetts' eloquent words. the problem is nothing he said really directly relates to the barton amendment. we're not striking the loan program. we're not changing the authorization level. we're not saying that low-income homeowners that wish to use the program cannot borrow funds under this bill if it becomes a law. what we are saying is, once they borrow the funds, once they spend it in the proper fashion and it is repaid, the repaid funds will go towards deficit reduction. you would think that they'd be willing to accept a small barton amendment that simply says if the program is ever funded and if it towelly is implemented, as people use it and pay the money back, that money goes to pay the poor taxpayers back who have labored long and hard to pay the taxes
that make the program possible in the first place. again, i'm deeply moved by my friend from texas, but i hope that he's moved by my remarks and change his -- change his position and support my amendment. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. mr. markey: i yield myself whatever time is remaining. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for 3 1/2 minutes. mr. markey: i thank the gentlelady -- i thank the chair. the barton amendment would eliminate the revolving part of the loan section which requires the money to be dedicated, again, to energy efficiency after it is repaid. unfortunately, this would limit the ability of the middle class to take advantage of the home star program and invest in
energy efficiency in the future. if adopted, the amendment would create a black hole. it leaves unanswered the question of what to do with hundreds of millions of taxpayers' dollars that will be repaid in the coming years. i am concerned that this amendment is not only countered to the goals of the program but it would leave it vulnerable because of the lack of precision with which the actual impact of this amendment would have on the operation of the program in the future. and so i continue to urge my colleagues to oppose this amendment, and i continue to reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. barton: may i inquire as to how much time i have remaining. the chair: the gentleman from texas has two minutes remaining.
mr. barton: two minutes. the chair: and the gentleman from massachusetts also has two minutes remaining. mr. barton: then i would yield myself two minutes. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. barton: well, my esteemed colleague from massachusetts is at least talking about my amendment now. that's progress. he used the term black hole. i'm sure he knows, since scientists at m.i.t. in his home state, have investigated black holes extensively that there is mounting evidence that the universe could not exist without black holes. so i think it would be appropriate in this bill to put at least one black hole in it because it would enhance the viability of the overall program. again, we are trying to protect the taxpayers who are putting up the money, are the loan officers who are sending the money to the u.s. treasury in terms of government bonds to pay for this program. we are not attempting to change the loan program. we think the loan program
itself is an excellent idea. if you're going to have this type of a program we simply want to protect the taxpayers and also point out, once again, that the underlying bill is a two-year bill. we don't want a self-perpetuating loan program that would take on the form of an entitlement. so vote for the barton black hole amendment and let's put some limitation on taxpayer liability. and with that i'm going to reserve what little time, if any, i have left. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. mr. markey: i thank the chair. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. markey: and that is only to make the point that the way in which the amendment is drafted is that it is just a classic motion to strike. and in striking it eliminates everything within the
subsection that exists without substituting any additional instructions. and so the metaphor of a black hole just refers to what is the legislative result of having just a strike section without also additional language in order to substitute for what the intent would be to ensure that the money is then used in a way that does not lead to the law of unintended consequences being invoked. so, again, we're very concerned here about this amendment. we know what the program is as it's constructed inside the legislation. we know that it has been historically very successful model that's been used in other laws. the clean water act was used as a revolving loan fund to -- and
the safe water drinking water act was used using this model over the last 15 years. so, again, my hope would be that members would reject the barton amendment, and i yield -- and i continue to reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from texas. mr. barton: how much time do i have? the chair: the gentleman has 30 seconds. mr. barton: i yield myself the final 30 seconds. only my friend from massachusetts could fill bust for the a five-minute time-limited debate. those last comments, as far as i can tell, to the extent they were substantive, were absolutely true. we do eliminate subsection g, and that's all we eliminate. that's the section that creates the reloan provision. he is right about that.
i think he is misinformed about the rest of his comments and would hope he would support the elimination of one little subsection g. vote yes on the barton amendment. the chair: the gentleman from massachusetts is recognize. mr. markey: how much time? the chair: the gentleman has 30 seconds remaining. mr. markey: i yield myself those 30 seconds in order to, again, make the point that this program is central to our ability to ensure that the home star program will work, that there will be a demockryity tyization of access to the -- demockeryityization of access to the capital which is necessary and we believe it will have the impact of ensure that more and more and more americans will become aware of it, use this funding mechanism and create this technological
revolution which we need for energy efficiency in our country. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the question son the amendment offered by the gentleman from texas. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. mr. barton: on that, i request the yeas and nays. -- mr. markey: on that, i request the ethe yeas and mays. mr. barton: fair woman for calling the vote. the chair: pursuant to the rule, further proceedings on the amendment will be postponed. it is now in order to consider amendment number three printed in house report 111-475. for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia seek recognition? >> i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment.
the clerk: helicopter aurm three, offered by mr. nye of virginia. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 1329, the gentleman from virginia, mr. nye, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from virginia. mr. nye: madam chair, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. nye: i rise to offer a common sense yet important amendment to the energy start retrofit act that will provide much-needed savings for our military families. i represent one of the highest concentrations of veterans and service member anywhere in the country. under the bill, homeowners, renters, and contractors will be able to claim a credit for home energy efficiency upgrades and high energy appliances such as air conditioners and water heaters. my amendment will add armed forces exchanges to the list of qualified entities to provide
these instantly to service members and veterans. many family members and service members shop at base exchanges because they're a one-stop shop, providing them easy access to the great benefits in this bill is a simple and common sense way to make their day-to-day duties more hassle free. madam speaker, we should do all we can to support our military families because often it's the family who was the toughest job because really they're doing two jobs, being strong and supportive for their husband or wife overseas, and also taking care of the family back home and the household finances. save theaming few hundred dollars a year if not more can -- saving them a few hundred dollars a year if not more can really boost their finances and this will make that easier. i'd like to thank congressman welch and chairman waxman and chairman markey for bringing this to fruition this act will go a long way to promoting energy efficiency throughout
the country and i hope anymy colleague wills join me in supporting the bill and the amendment. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. for what purpose does the gentleman rise? mr. barton: i rise to thank the gentlelady for calling that last vote fairly. our side has no objection to this amendment and i yield back the balance of my time. mr. nye: i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from virginia. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it, the amendment is agreed. to -- is agreed to. it is now in order to consider amendment number four printed in house report 111-475. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? >> i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number
four printed in house report 111-475, offered by mr. burgess of texas. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 1329, the gentleman from texas, mr. burgess, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas. mr. burgess: i thank the chair for the recognition this amendment is relatively simple in construct but the -- the issue is an important one. the issue is cost savings. in our country. this amendment would strike the $12 million designated for advertising that will be paid for by the federal government. let's be honest. energy efficiency sells itself. if consumers see lower bill they use less electricity. it's inherently incentivized. the major manufacturers and retails of the products listed in this bill know how to sell their wares. they have commercials on television that i see home in
my district every week. you can do it we can help. they've been doing it for years. the environmental protection agency does not need to spend money on advertising when these retailers are doing everything they can to get people in their store. they know how to market energy star rebate, why would this be different. if they think -- if members think constituents are not -- don't believe their constituents are aware, they can spread the word themselves. they can post it on facebook or twitter or mention it at their town halls. texas had a similar program for appliances and it sold out within the first hour without spending money on advertising. we are overspending to the point of bankrupting this country and now not only do we want to spend federal dollars
to help people buy water heaters, but we're going to spend federal money to sell water heaters to those same people. under the silver star program, $12 million for advertising could be put to other purposes. for example, it could provide 8,000 extra rebates for atick insulation, new rebates for energy efficient doors, 45,000 extra rebates for new natural gas tanks, rebates for window film installation. if the goal is to make america more efficient, let's not begin by wasting $12 million to buy advertising. it's a no-brainer. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. for what purpose does the gentleman from massachusetts seek recognition? mr. markey: i rise in opposition to the amendment. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes.
mr. markey: i yield myself two minutes at this time. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. markey: a philosopher once asked if a tree falls in the middle of a forest, and there's no one around, does that tree make a sound? very deep, profound, philosophical question. mr. burgess' amendment raises a similar question. if there's a great energy efficiency program and people don't know about it, will it help to actually increase energy efficiency? the answer to that question, i think i know the answer. it is no. we need actually to have a plan to spread the word about home star to achieve the best results. now i do agree that lowe's and home depot will have a stake in getting the word out. but the truth is that those large chains aren't the only
companies that are going to be part of this program. the local hardware stores are as well. and so we need to create a balance here where we ensure that people in rural america, people might have a hardware store right down the street from them, understand they can go there as well. so that we make this program as accessible as possible, as successful as possible, in this telescoped time frame that the program will be in existence. and so, in a modern american capitalist culture, we know that advertising is the central means by which consumers learn about good products. and the gentleman from texas, i'm sure, is an educated consumers, -- consumer, especially about this program. he knows a lot about it. but there will be millions and
millions of americans who will not, unless we augment what lowe's and home depot might spend on their advertising program -- the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. markey: i yield myself an additional 30 seconds. the chair: the gentleman is, rereck niced. mr. markey: we should augment what lowe's and home depot and other large chain stores do to ensure that the other tens of thousands of haul small stores across the country that will also be able to participate will also have consumers understand that that's where they can go. i think it will dramatically enhance the atractiveness and success of the program and as a result i would urge a no vote on the burgess amendment and at this point, i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman's time has expire. the gentleman from texas is recognized. the gentleman from texas, mr. burgess, is recognized. mr. burgess: i yield to the
other gentleman from texas as much time as he may consume. mr. barton: i'm not going to consume a lot of time. i want to say this is a $12 million advertising campaign for free government money or loans at very low interest rates. bees don't need directions to find where the flowers are that they're going to pollinate to get the honey, go back to the hive. bank robbers don't need directions on how to find the bank where the money is. homeowners and contractors that qualify under this program don't need a $12 million program to find out where and how to get the money. as dr. burgess pointed out, they will be immediately on the internet and at the various websites, the toll free hotline numbers and all the other things, finding out how and where and what the requirements are. if all else fails, they can
call congressman markey's office and he'll be happy to provide them with free assistance and if his office is overloaded, since mine is right next door, i will put them on a waiting list and get back to them within five to 10 years. so i support the burgess amendment and would hope that we would adopt it. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields. the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. mr. markey: could the chair inform us as to how much time remains on both sides? the chair: the gentleman from massachusetts has 2 1/2 minutes, and the gentleman from texas, mr. burgess, has one minute remaining. mr. markey: i will yield myself as much time as i have remaining and complete debate. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. markey: i thank the chair. again, this amendment will make it very difficult for millions
of americans and thousands of small stores across the country to be able to fully participate in the program. it will put a limit on how ultimately success and democratic access to this funding and opportunities that we are creating in this legislation. so, i would urge a no vote on the burgess amendment so that those smaller, main street hardware stores all across the country have the same ability to have it known that their stores are available to participate in the home star program in the same way we can be sure that lowe's and home depot, using their incredible advertising capacity, are going to let the public know they can go there as well. i think if we have that balance, this program will be very successful. so with that, i urge the
committee of the whole to vote no on the burgess amendment and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields. the gentleman from texas, mr. burgess is recognized. mr. burgess: look, this bill is not funded. it's an authorization bill. it depends on appropriations. there's no pay-for put forward. it's going nowhere. let's be honest with ourselves and save that $12 million for the american taxpayer. do we really believe that home depot, lowe's and even your neighborhood hardware store are not going to at least put a sign in the window that these new appliances are available and there's federal money to help you put them in your home? people are already attuned to these giveaways from the federal government. let's not continue to enable these programs to waste money from the federal treasury when we literally have no money left to spend. i urge a yes vote on the amendment a no vote on the
underlying bill. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields. the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. the gentleman has yielded back. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from texas. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the noes have it. the amendment is -- mr. burgess: madam speaker, i request the yeas and nays. the chair: the gentleman requests a recorded vote. pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from texas will be postponed. it is now in order to consider amendment number 5 printed in house report 111-475. for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? mr. deutch: madam chair, i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk will designate the amendment amendment number -- the clerk will designate the
amendment. the clerk: amendment number 5 printed in house report 111-475 offered by mr. deutch from florida. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 1329, the gentleman from florida, mr. deutch, and a member opposed, will each control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from florida. mr. deutch: thank you, madam chair. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. deutch: madam chair, the home start energy retrofit act is an important bill that will create jobs, lower energy bills and eliminate greenhouse gas emissions. i'm pleased to support a bill that encourages consumers to consider more energy-efficient option when retrofitting or repairing existing appliances or systems. residents of south florida and other disaster-prone regions no far too well the process of home repair as my home constituents have had to replace roofs and windows after powerful and damaging storms. the underlying bill offers rebates for renovations, and my amendment will still apply if a natural disaster removes or
destroys existing equipment. if a repair is required as a result of a hurricane or other natural disaster, the repair may no longer involve existing equipment and therefore be inellvibble for a rebate. we should ensure that it is our policy to have the most energy-efficient equipment. that is the purpose of this amendment. the amendment is limited in scope and will not alter the intent of the underlying bill. it will only apply to federally declared disaster areas and only extend eligibility to an appliance or system destroyed by the disaster. for example, if a hurricane takes off a roof, this amendment will ensure that the homeowner still has access to a rebate for purchasing an energy-efficient roof even though there is no longer a roof to retrofit. fire season just began in california. hurricane season is right around the corner. we ought to be mindful of the challenges faced by americans who live in regions vulnerable to natural disasters. this amendment ensures that a south florida family can rebuild to a higher energy
efficiency standard after a disaster and does not have to wonder why they don't receive the same tax incentive offered to any other homeowner who chooses to ren vates their homes. i want to commepped mr. welch, chairman markey for this legislation and for accepting this amendment. i respect flee request that my colleagues support this commonsense amendment and the underlying bill -- i respectfully request that my colleagues support this commonsense amendment and the underlying bill. the chair: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? mr. barton: i rise in support of the deutch amendment. the chair: without objection, the gentleman is recognized. mr. barton: the minority is prepared to accept the deutch amendment and would encourage the majority in the same amendment to limit their remarks so that all members may spend the evening at home in their district with their loved
ones. we support the deutch amendment. and yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields. the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. deutch: thank you, madam chairman. i appreciate the comments and the support, and i ask that my colleagues all support this amendment and i i yield to. the chair: the gentleman yields. -- mr. deutch: i ask that my colleagues all support this amendment and i i yield to. the chair: the gentleman yields. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. without objection, the amendment is agreed to. it is now in order to consider amendment number 6 printed in house report 111-475. for what purpose does the gentleman from arizona rise? mr. flake: i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 6 printed in house report 111-475 offered by mr. flake of arizona. the chair: pursuant to house
resolution 1329, the gentleman from arizona, mr. flake, and a member opposed, will each control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from arizona. mr. flake: this is similar to the amendments i used in other bills. it is that none of these amendments can be earmarked by members of congress. we're often told that we are not planned to earmark this money but we have seen in the past that many of the grant programs or other moneys that are authorized are later earmarked. with, for example, the emergency operation center in a fema bill, 60% of the funds in the bill were earmarked. we can't have this, madam chair. we simply, if we're going to authorize a program, if we're going to say that moneys are available for specific purposes, we shouldn't come in later and simply take that money through all those accounts through earmarking. these amendments have been accepted in the past by the majority, and i hope that this one will be as well. i reserve the balance of my
time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. does the gentleman from massachusetts seek recognition? mr. markey: yes. i rise in support of this amendment. the chair: without objection. the gentleman is recognized. mr. markey: excuse me. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. markey: i support the gentleman's amendment. home star must be funded at a level that would save or create 168,000 jobs, save energy in three million homes and save consumers $9.2 billion over the next decade. these savings will not be realized if the authorization is decreased through earmarks. i urge my colleagues to support the flake amendment, and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields. the gentleman from arizona is recognized. mr. flake: i thank the gentleman for accepting this amendment. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields.
the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from arizona. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the amendment is agreed to. it is now in order to consider amendment number 7 printed in house report 111-475. for what purpose does the gentleman from new jersey seek recognition? mr. garrett: i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 7 printed in house report 111-475 offered by mr. garrett of new jersey. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 1329, the gentleman from new jersey, mr. garrett, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from new jersey. mr. garrett: i thank the chair. you know, last year "the washington post" ran a story tiled "energy cause generating light bulb solution." and it is being employed by local governments and local
utilities here in d.c. and many of those programs sounds like a lot like the programs being created here. one began offering customers home energy audits for free if they simply installed power-saving energy-efficient light bulbs in the program. one person said this, it was a d.c. resident, elizabeth fox, she was thrilled to get a lengthy free audit of 100-year-old drafty house she lived in the northwest. she said we have a written report we kept referring back to while we were renovating the third floor of the house. with the new insulation of superefficiency washers and driers, still her home heating bill stayed around $500. with the third floor now in use for the first time ever because of all these efficiencies, our
energy bills actually stayed exactly the same. so the article raises two important questions for us today. the first question is, if a state and local government and local power companies have already taken the initiative to create these programs on a local level on their own, why are we creating a redundant here at the federal level to do the same thing? now, think about it. no doubt local companies and governments know to much greater extent to us in congress creating these energy efficiencies really work. and the article makes a much broader point and this is it. we lower the cost of using energy and unsurprisingly this also increases the demand for the energy. this has been documented way back since 1865 and no one's ever refuted it. and this is pointed out in this washington on which further proceedings were postponed article when she put in all -- pointed out in this "washington post" article.
and this chart points it out. since 1991 to 2005, energy consumption of major appliances, each they use, actually has been going down, down, down for air-conditioners, dish washers and clothes washers the like. and the per capita electricity consumption has been going up. when you get these appliances that are more efficient, you use them and at a longer period of time. you know, if you try to achieve energy efficiency on the demand side of the equation, as this legislation would do, we also have to be successful at addressing the ply side. and that's why i approach -- on the supply side. and that's why i approach the all of the above when it comes to energy policy. you know, the democrat majority may continue to rewrite the laws in this country. one thing they have not been able to figure out how to do is rewrite the laws of economics. so needless to say, i remain
skeptical about the benefits of this bill. that's why i'm opposing an addition to this bill. basically a little study by the g.a.o. conducted audit of the program to find out one way or the other if the programs created by this bill really work. my amendment would direct the g.a.o. to do a couple of things. do a study over the next two years to find out the following -- how much money, really, have we saved after we spent all this money for efficiency? how much energy was really saved by all this? and finally, putting those together, whether the savings exceeded the cost of implementing this program. you know, when you consider the claims by the proponents of this legislation that this bill will save money, will save energy, create thousands of jobs, i hope they won't object to this additional study here. by the time that $1 trillion of deficits in this country as far as the eye can see, at the very least the american taxpayer should know if his or her dollars are being spent efficiently. and with that i reserve the balance of my time.
the chair: the gentleman reserves. for what purpose does the gentleman from massachusetts seek recognition? mr. markey: i seek recognition in support of the amendment. the chair: without objection. mr. markey: i thank the gentlelady and i yield myself two minutes for that purpose. i support the gentleman's amendment. the gentleman is seeking to have the g.a.o. determine if the silver and gold star programs are cost-effective. we believe that those programs will save consumers $9.2 billion over the next 10 years. we do believe it will create 168,000 jobs, saved or created. and we do believe that it will in fact save the electricity equivalent to four 300 megawatt
cool-fired plants from ever having to be built in this country. home star is designed to be cost efficient, and so i believe that we'll find the program to be very successful, but we don't object to a g.a.o. study on the manner -- on the matter. and i would at this point just express my support for the amendment and yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. garrett: i appreciate the gentleman's acceptance of it. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from new jersey. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the amendment is agreed to. it is now in order to consider amendment number 8 printed in
house report 111-475. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from minnesota seek recognition? mrs. bachmann: madam speaker, i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 8 printed in house report 111-475 offered by mrs. bachmann of minnesota. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 1329, the gentlewoman from minnesota, mrs. bachmann, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from minnesota. mr. bachus: -- mrs. bachmann: thank you, madam speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: the gentlewoman is recognized. mrs. bachmann: madam speaker, today i rise in support of the bachmann amendment. my amendment is founded on the principle that congress have a certain if i dishary duty and -- fiduciary duty and responsibility that taxpayer dollars are not wasted on ineffectual and inefficient programs.
my amendment would require the department of energy's inspector general to independently report to congress on incidents of waste, fraud and abuse occurring in programs created by this bill. further, the inspector general will be required to include recommendations to prevent additional waste, fraud and abuse. and i would direct our attention, madam speaker, to the poster that is to my left, and this is a phony project that was sent by the government accounting office to the department of energy for the purpose of determining whether or not the department of energy would actually certify this project and, yes, it is actually a feather duster that had been taped to a space heater. . unfortunately the department of energy did certify this project for the energy star program. my amendment, the bachmann amendment, would require the inspector general's report be submitted by july 1 of 2012, and
as such congress would have the opportunity to re-evaluate the programs in this act and correct them as necessary and utilizing congressional budget office estimates, this amendment could enable the effective oversight of over 1.2 billion united states taxpayer dollars. madam speaker, in order to improve government accountability and to restore a measure of fiscal integrity in washington, i would urge my colleagues to join me in supporting this amendment and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlewoman reserves. for what purpose does the gentleman from massachusetts seek recognition? mr. markey: i rise in support of the bachmann amendment. the chair: without objection. mr. markey: i yield myself two minutes. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. markey: i thank the chair. for nearly 20 years the energy star program has been raising awareness about energy efficiency and helping consumers
reduce their energy bills. and i share my colleagues' astonishment at the march g.a.o. report that showed how easy it was to obtain energy star certification for products that didn't even exist. we need to do all we can to restore the integrity of the energy star program. i want to assure all of the members that we have common cause in achieving that goal. but i also similarly want a sure all members that no similar danger exists for waste and fraud in the home star program. as opposed to the energy star program. first, only real, proven energy saving technologies are included in home star. a group of technical experts
provided extensive input to establish a specific list of silver star products. second, in contrast to energy star, which relied on self-certification of products, self-certification, the home star program uses an independent , third party quality assurance process to ensure that work is performed as promised. finally, home star relies on a professional and certified work force to install energy efficiency measures. under silver star, contractors must be licensed, insured, and warranted. under gold star contractors must be certified by the building performance institute and other reputable organizations. we must ensure that home star livings up to its promises.
i encourage my colleagues to defend the quality assurance and -- i yield myself one additional minute. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. markey: i encourage my colleagues to defend the bill's quality assurance and certification provisions to guarantee that this program creates jobs and saves energy as entitled -- intended. i support the amendment of the gentlelady. i think it will add a reinforcement to a program which we have already constructed that ensures that the kind of fraud that might be found in other kinds of programs are not in fact created in this program. so i urge an aye vote on the amendment of the gentlelady. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. the gentlewoman from minnesota is recognized. mrs. bachmann: i thank the gentleman from massachusetts for his support of my amendment. and i appreciate that and urge
my colleagues also to support the amendment as well. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlewoman yields. the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. mr. markey: i yield back the balance of my time. and encourage members to vote aye on the bachmann amendment. the chair: the gentleman yields. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from minnesota. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the amendment is agreed to. pursuant to -- pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, proceed also now resume on those amendments printed in house report 111-475, on which further proceedings were postponed in the following order. amendment number 2 by mr. barton
of texas. amendment number 4 by mr. burgess of texas. the chair will reduce to five minutes the time for any electronic vote after the first vote in this series. the unfinished business is the request for recorded vote on amendment number 2 printed in house report 111-475 by the gentleman from texas, mr. barton, on which further proceedings were postponed and on which the ayes prevailed by voice vote. the clerk will redesignate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 2 printed in house report number 111-475, offered by mr. barton of texas. the chair: a recorded vote has been requested. those in support of the request for recorded vote will rise and be counted. a sufficient number having arisen, a recorded vote is ordered. 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 prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.] yeas
are 180. the nays are 237. the amendment is not agreed to. the unfinished business is the request for recorded vote on amendment number 4 printed in house report 111-475 by the gentleman from florida, mr. burgess, on which proceedings were postponed and on which the noes prevailed by voice vote. the clerk will redesignated the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 4 printed in house report number 111-475 offered by mr. burgess of texas. the chair: a recorded vote has been requested. those in support of the request for recorded vote will rise and be counted. a sufficient number having arisen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this will be a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the
are 190. the nays are 228. the amendment is not agreed to. the question is on the committee amendment in the nature of a substitute as amended. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the amendment is adopted. accordingly under the rules the committee risings. committee risings. -- rises. the speaker pro tempore: madam chair. the chair: the committee of the whole on the state of the union
has had under consideration h.r. 5019 and pursuant to house resolution i report the bill back to the house with amendments adopted in the committee of the whole. the speaker pro tempore: the chair of the committee of the whole house on the state of the union reports that the committee has had under consideration the bill h.r. 5019 and pursuant to house resolution 1329 reports the bill back to the house with an amendment adopted in the committee of the whole. under the rule the previous question is ordered. the question is on adoption of the committee amendment in the nature of a substitute as amended. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the amendment is adopted. the question is object engrossment and third reading of the bill. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. third reading.
the clerk: a bill to provide for the establishment of the home star retrofit rebate program and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? mr. barton: i have a motion to recommit at the desk. the speaker pro tempore: is the gentleman opposed to the bill? mr. barton: in it's current form i am. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas qualifies. the clerk will report the motion. the clerk: mr. barton of texas moves to recommit the bill h.r. 5019 to the committee on energy and commerce with instructions to report the same back to the house forthwith with the following amendments. mr. barton: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to dispense with the reading of the motion to recommit. a i'll object.
mr. speaker, i reserve a point of order. the speaker pro tempore: a point of order is reserved. the clerk will read. the clerk: page 6, line 3 three 6, strike paragraph 1 and redesignate the subsequent paragraphs accordingly. page 11, line 24, through age 12, line 1, strike notice of and all that follows through the amount an insert notice of the amendment. page 12, line 2, insert own the home eners behalf after apply for. page 12, line 5, strike and. page 12, like 6 and 7 strike subparagraph b. page 12 lines 8 and 9, redesignate paragraphs 6 and 7 and paragraphs 7 andle respectively. page 12 after line 7 insert the following new paragraph, 6, certifying that no employee has been convicted of or pleaded guilty to the crime of molestation or any other form of sexual assault. page 12, strike line 112 and insert 110.
income threshold, homeowners with a gross annual household income of more than $250,000 shall not be eligible for a rebate under this title. page 21, lines 14 through 16, strike participating contractors and vendors to reimburse those contractors and vendors for discounts provided to homeowners and insert to homeowners to reimburse the homeowners for work provided by participating contractors and vendors. . strike to participating contractors and vendors. to reimbursement for discounts provided to the owner of the home for the retrofit home and insert to reimburse the homeowners for work by participating contractors and vendors. page 35, line 24 through page 36, line 1, strike as a function of the discount of contractor or a vendor provides to the homeowner for the installed measures. page 39, lines 12 and 13, strike discount from a
contractor or vendor for which a redate is provided under subsection a and insert rebate. page 4 , lines 6 through 8, strike accredited contractors or vendors to reimburse discounts and insert to home ownsers to reimburse the homeowners by participated in accredited contractors and vendors. strike discount from contractor or vendor for which a rebate is provided under this section and insert rebate. page 49, lines 16 and 17, strike secretary and all that follows through may and insert secretary may. page 49, lines 18 and 20, redesignate clauses i and 2 as subparagraphs a and b respectively. page 39, line 22, strike and and insert a period. page 49, line 23 through page 50, line 3, strike subparagraph b. page 50, after line 3, insert
the following new subsection, g, exclusion. for purposes of this section, energy saving measures shall not include the installation or inclusion of pool heater. page 52, line 11, strike and. page 52, lines 12 through 22, strike clause 4. page 53, line 16, strike 112 and insert 110. page 58, lines 6 through 16, strike 109. page 58, line 17, redesignate line section 17 and line 9. strike section 111. page 65, line 17, redesignate section 112 as section 110. page 65, line 19, describe subsection j and insert subsection i. insert and after the semi colon. page 66, strike subparagraph d. redesignate subparagraph e as
subparagraph d. page 67, lines 1 through 3, strike paragraph 2. page 67, line 4, redesignate paragraph 3 as paragraph 2. redesignate paragraphs 4 and five as paragraphs 3 and 4 respectively. page 64, strike subsection 3-b-b and insert subsection 32-b. redesignate the subsequent subsections accordingly. 71, line 1, strike subsections b, d and e and insert subsections b and d. page 71, lines 13 and 14, strike -- the speaker pro tempore: -- mr. barton: mr. speaker, the house is not in order. members should be paying attention to the motion to recommit. the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order.
the clerk will read. the clerk: strike subsections b, d and e and insert subsections b and d. page 72, line 8, strike 110 and 111 and insert 109. page 72, after line 13, insert the following new subsection -- j. administrative expense prohibition. no funds provide under this title shall be used to conduct travel or gambling or gaming establishments in connection with official duties related to this title. and at the end of the bill add the following new title. title 3, deficit neutrality. section 301 sunset. the provisions of this action shall be suspended and shall not apply if this act will have a negative net effect on the national budget deficit of the united states. the speaker pro tempore: the point of order is reserved. the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. barton: i thank the distinguished speaker. now that the members know exactly what's in the motion to recommit, i'm sure you all listened to every word that the clerk read, let me explain it
in texas terms. very quickly. before i yield to mr. latta. the first thing the motion to recommit would do is sunset the legislation if it has a negative effect on the budget deficit. mr. latta will speak on that in a second. and it would change the pending bill so that the money would go to the homeowner instead of to the contractor. we think this would be more efficient and less susceptible to fraud. it strikes the $12 million e.p.a. public information campaign which was the purpose of the burgess amendment, which was defeated earlier. it strikes the $324 million home star energy efficiency loan program. it would exclude pool heaters from the gold star program. if people have enough money to have a home swimming pool in their back yard, they probably don't need a government program for a home swimming pool
heater. it would disqualify participation by homeowners with a gross annual income of over $250,000. as president obama has pointed out, if you make more than $250,000, you're doing pretty well. it would require qualified contractors to certify that no employee they employ has been convicted of a crime of child molestation, rape or any form of sexual assault. and finally, it would prohibit any use of the home star funds for folks on government business traveling to areas where there are establishments for gaming. with that i would yield to my good friend from ohio, mr. latta, for him to tailback a little bit more about his specific deficit reduction amendment. mr. latta: i thank the gentleman for yielding. mr. speaker, i rise today in support of the motion to recommit for h.r. 5019. as i stated earlier during the
floor debate, i have very serious concerns that my amendment regarding deficit neutrality was not accepted through the rules process. the majority has not allowed the debate to occur regarding this budget deficit issue. this n.p.r. will ensure this act is sunsetted if the legislation has a negative net effect on the budget deficit. i feel that if this new program is important enough to be authorized it should be important for us to find a way to pay for it. i'm concerned that the majority could not give any assurance that this bill will indeed be paid for without increasing the deficit. while i support the incentives to help provide energy efficiency, i'm very concerned about the $6.6 billion price tag of this legislation. at a time when we are in a nat deficit crisis, it is now appropriate to add $6.6 billion in spending to the deficit. as a congress, we absolutely must stop the excess of spending. obama has submitted his fwreer 2011 budget proposal for a
record $2 trillion. it has a $2 trillion tax increase over the next 10 years and projected record deficits. this proposal will double our nation's debt in five years and triple it in 10 years for fiscal 2008 levels. c.b.o. has stated that under current spending -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman will suspend. can invest some order in the house? -- can we have some order in the house? mr. latta: i thank the speaker. c.b.o. stated that under current levels, in 2020, they'll pay interest on the national debt and by 2020 there will be a $20 trillion. this simply is not the time for a new $6.6 billion government program. that is why i offered the amendment for the legislation regarding the national deficit and why i urge you to support the motion to recommit. it ensures fiscal responsibility and ensures taxpayer dollars will be spent
wisely. i urge a yes vote on the motion to recommit. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman has one minute. mr. barton: and i have to use that before the majority speaks, is that correct? the speaker pro tempore: that is correct. mr. barton: thank you, sir. the substantive parts of the motion to recommit is pretty straightforward. it would sunset the legislation if it has a negative effect on the budget deficit. it would change the rebate mechanisms so the rebates go to the homeowner and not to the contractor. this would limit fraud and abuse. it strikes the $is it billion e.p.a. public information campaign. as i pointed out in my floor statement, bees know where the honey is, teenage boys know where the teenage girls is. the public will know how to get this money. finally, it strikes the home star energy efficiency loan practice. we already have record defaults
in the home mortgage industry. we don't need to be leveraging that any more. with that i would ask for a yes vote on the motion to recommit, and i would yield the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? mr. waxman: in opposition to the motion to recommit. the speaker pro tempore: does the gentleman withkragh his reservation? mr. waxman: i withdraw my point of order, my reservation. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. waxman: mr. chairman and my colleagues. this bill is modeled on a law that worked. we called it the cash for clunkers bill. it encouraged people to buy cars. it produced more jobs. it produced energy efficiency as newer cars that were purchased were less polluting than the older ones. and the bill we had before us is one that is strongly supported by a coalition of the national association of manufacturers, the environmentalists and the chamber of commerce. so what does this motion to
recommit do? it undermines the basic structure of the bill. it eliminates the rebates to contractors. it eliminates the loan program. it eliminates the public education campaign. it creates burdensome procedures for consumers to claim rebates. and it creates burdensome income thresholds as well. now, we have worked hand in hand with the contractors, the n.a.m., the chamber and others to craft this bill. this motion to recommit is a good thing to vote for if you're against the bill. but otherwise it's filled with a lot of gimmicks. for example, it says no funds provided under this title shall be used for the purposes of conducting travel to gambling or gaming establishments in connection with official duties related to the title. what is that all about? it was just thrown in.
there is no issue that was raised. it was just thrown in there. if you believe that this bill makes sense because it will provide employment to construction workers, it will make homes more energy efficient, it will save families billions of dollars on their energy bill. if you think that's important, because the construction industry has the highest unemployment rate of any sector in the nation, one in four are unemployed, stand with the chamber, the n.a.m., your local hardware stores, your local contractors, businesses and vote against this motion to recommit and vote for final passage. mr. -- >> if the gentleman will yield? mr. waxman: i'd like to yield to the author of the legislation, the gentleman from vermont, the balance of my time. i'm sorry, i do not have extra time, so i have to yield my
time. mr. barton: i have an answer. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from vermont -- mr. welch: may i inquire as to how much time we have? mr. welch: may i inquire -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california has 2 1/2 minutes remaining. and we will have order first in the back of the chambers, please. the gentleman from vermont. mr. welch: thank you, mr. speaker. we have a common goal here and that is to put the 25% of construction workers who are out of work back to work. home star helps them do that. to help homeowners who want to save energy and save on their fuel bills, to do that this bill accomplishes that. and we want jobs in america. 90% of all the materials that go into refitting and insulating homes are manufactured in the united states of america, a common goal. this is a good bill.
and, mr. speaker, i want to acknowledge that it is a better bill because of the active contributions and participation of our colleagues on the other side. i can name numerous additions. mr. barton, thank you, for the specific sunsets so that we can kick the tires after two years. mr. shadegg, electric, tankless, hot water heaters are in this bill because of you. mr. shimkus, geothermal heat pumps. mr. buyer, you included a study so we can learn from the success of this program. and i want to thank, of course, mr. ehlers who understands that less is more. the less energy we use, the better. the difficulty with this motion to recommission is -- to recommit is all the work done on your side will kill the bill. what makes sense and why the former governor of michigan like this is so much is it is simple. a homeowner who wants to
retrofit, insulate his or her home, all they have to do is go to the contractor. they don't have to hasle with paperwork and government. that's the reason why we designed it this way. to make it easy for people to use and contractors to use. we have a chance. -- we have a chance in this legislation to take a practical step to move to use less energy rather than more. whether you're from a coal state, a nuclear state a hide roe state, that's a good thing -- a hydro state, that's a good thing. we have red districts and blue districts but we've got carpenters, plumbers, and others out of work in both. we've got manufacturers in this country that have capacity that want to put people back to work in their communities and we can do it with this legislation. i urge a no vote on this motion to recommit and take that step together in building this country and this economy. thank you.
the speaker pro tempore: all time has expired. without objection, the previous question is ordered on the motion to recommit. the question is on the motion to recommit. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the noes have it. mr. barton: on that, i request the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. those favoring a vote by the yeas and nays will rise. a sufficient number having risen, the yeas and nays are ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. pursuant to clause 9 of rule 20, the chair will reduce to five minutes the minimum time for any electronic vote on the question of passage. 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. eitt$o)h$pi $gu"s
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 346, the nays are 68. with zero answering present. the motion is adopted and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from california rise? >> mr. speaker, pursuant to the instructions of the house, in the motion to recommit, i report h.r. 5019 back to the house with an amendment. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the amendment. the clerk: an amendment offered by mr. waxman of california. mr. waxman: i ask unanimous consent that the amendment be considered as read. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the question is on adoption of the amendment. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayest have it. the question is on engrossment and third reading.
those in favor say aye. those opposed, no the ayes have it. the clerk will report -- third reading. the clerk: the speaker pro tempore: those in favor please say aye, those opposed, no. >> i ask for the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. those favoring a vote by the yeas and nays will rise. a sufficient number having risen, the yeas and nays are ordered. !s +
objection, a motion to to the reconsider is laid on the table. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from connecticut rise? >> madam speaker, by the direction of the democratic caucus, i offer a privileged resolution and ask for its immediate consideration. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 1334, resolved, that the following named members be and are hereby elected to the following standing -- >> madam speaker, i ask unanimous consent that the resolution be considered as read and ordered printed in the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the
the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia rise? mr. cantor: madam speaker, i ask to address the house for one minute for the purpose of inquiring about next week's schedule. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. cantor: thank you, madam speaker. i yield to the gentleman from maryland, the majority leader, for the purpose of announcing next week's schedule. mr. hoyer: on tuesday the house will meet at 12:30 p.m. for work mohr and 2:00 p.m. for legislative business. on wednesday and thursday, the house will meet at 10:00 a.m. for legislative business. and on friday no votes are expected. we'll consider several bills
under suspension of the rules. a complete list of suspension bills will be announced of close of business tomorrow. in addition, we will consider h.r. 5116, the america competes act. i yield back. mr. cantor: i thank the gentleman. madam speaker, and i notice that the gentleman from maryland, the majority leader, did not mention the budget or the afghan-iraq supplemental for next week's schedule. and i know that in my last week's colloquy, the majority leader, the gentleman from maryland, stated that he would consider these two items as soon as possible. so i'd ask the gentleman if he has an update about floor considerations for either the budget resolution or the supplemental bill for afghanistan and iraq, and i yield. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for yielding. we are still working on the budget. we'll hopefully bring that forward when it is ready. obviously when the budget committee considers it.
as it relates to the afghan-pakistan supplemental, the president requested, as you know, approximately $33 billion in his budget at the beginning of the year. the department of defense says that the money that they have will be depleted sometime this summer. it's important, obviously, therefore, that we move soon and i hope to do that. i would hope that when we move this bill forward that we will see bipartisan support for it. obviously to support our troops in harm's way, carrying out a policy that i know, as the gentleman has observed before, the republican whip himself and others have indicated they're supportive of the president's policy in afghanistan, and this money for afghanistan and pakistan will fund those efforts. and i'm hopeful when we do bring it forward we will have bipartisan support for that
piece of legislation, and i yield back. mr. cantor: just to clarify, madam speaker, does the gentleman expect either these items to come to the floor prior to the memorial day recess, and i yield? mr. hoyer: i'm hopeful that that will be the case, yes. mr. cantor: i thank the gentleman. i've asked the gentleman, madam speaker, does he expect the -- when does he expect the tax extender bill to come to the floor? i know that chairman levin has alluded to it coming to the floor anytime within the next two weeks. and i would further ask the gentleman, madam speaker, does he expect that to be a one or two-year extension, and i yield? mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for yielding. the committee has not acted, so i cannot answer the second question, per se, on the one or two years. i will tell the gentleman that it is still my expectation, as chairman levin said, that that bill, the jobs bill with the
extenders in it will come forward within the next two weeks. chairman bachus and chairman levin are discussing that bill. i'm hopeful that they will reach agreement and can reach agreement on a bipartisan basis in the house and in the senate, and we are working toward that end. we believe it will be an important bill for business, an important bill for job growth, and an important bill to extend some of those items that as you know, the gentleman, some of them will expire in terms of authorization either by the end of this month or by the second of june. i yield back. mr. cantor: i thank the gentleman for that. i would inquire, further, madam speaker, about the gentleman -- i don't know if i'm asking, madam speaker, whether it's his sense or preference about the length of the extension and whether we can expect or he would expect there will be a one or two-year extension, and
i yield. mr. hoyer: well, i prefer we do it for a longer period of time than one year. two years would be acceptable. however, the problem, of course, is paying for things. as the gentleman knows when these bills were considered, one of the things that the minority did with their m.t.r. is to include more spending in and strike the pay-fors, which exacerbated the bill to about a tune of about $100 billion. so i think the committee is dealing with what they can pay for and there will be some things, obviously, we have accepted as emergencies caused by the severe economic downturn , but i think the timing -- the length of time will probably be dictated by the issue of how we pay for things. mr. cantor: i thank the gentleman.
i would reiterate, madam speaker, to the gentleman that the republicans stand ready to work with him in terms of trying to live up to expectations that families across the country is having to live up to which is to work in a fiscally responsible manner on a budget blueprint for the year and how muchful that congress can deliver on that prior to the memorial daybreak. and with nothing further, madam speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. mr. hoyer: madam speaker. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from maryland rise? mr. hoyer: madam speaker, i ask unanimous consent that when the house adjourns today ited a jurp to meet at -- adjourn to meet at 10:00 a.m. tomorrow. and further when the house adjourns on that day it adjourn to meet on tuesday at 12:30 p.m. for morning hour. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered.
the chair will entertain one-minute requests. without objection. mr. kirk: madam speaker, today's volatility in the market teaches us two lessons. first, our treasury secretary and our president must advance a new international economic stabilization plan based on tremendous cuts in european government spending. over 60% of greece's g.d.p. is in the public sector. with debts rising to 100% of national income, their ability to repay their debt was inevitably going to collapse. spain, portugal and italy may be next. their debts total trillions, not hundreds of millions. our u.s. financial system and our stock market depends on what i would call a new international fiscal
conservativism that cuts spending and deficit financing. today also teaches us another lesson. the very debts that crippled europe and shook our stock market are coming to america. fueled by the irresponsible spending of this congress. we need to cut federal spending now to reassure markets and assure that america's children will never have to ask this question -- who will bail out america? the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from california rise? >> to speak to the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. chu: mr. speaker, earlier this week i introduced a bill to ensure that scarce federal resources provide for the national school lunch program and the school breakfast program are spent to provide nutritious meals to our children. every day more than 30 million students receive meals through these programs. in this recession, more and more families are relying on schools to feed their children at least one healthy meal every
school day. at the same time, these programs are facing increased costs. unfortunately, some school districts that were charged for the administrative costs associated with implementing these important nutrition programs, this means less money to feed children. that's why i introduced the national school lunch protection act of 2010 to ensure that federal money for school meals actually goes towards feeding our needy children. specifically, this bill requires a federal study to see what school district are charging the federal government to complement these programs. armed with this information, the -- to implement these programs. armed with this information, they will help to protect these important school programs. once passed, this bill will prevent government waste and hope feed more hungry children. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from ohio rise? >> ask to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. >> mr. speaker, as we turn on
the news networks and we listen about the oil spill in the gulf, the american people want to know, how could this happen? as americans read the news about this particular oil platform having had problems over several years and how equipment meant to prevent an oil spill malfunctioned, they want to now, where was the enforcement of safety regulations to prevent this disaster? the obama administration and congressional democrats have called for an energy policy that includes more drilling. americans are concerned, however, that if the administration can't manage this current crisis how can we manage even more drilling? i agree with most americans that we need an all-of-the-above energy plan that will reduce our dependence on foreign oil. however, the american people expect answers from this administration. how did this happen? how should this have been prevented? and why was there a delay in the administration providing a response to this disaster? and what will the administration do now? our nation awaits these
answers. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: are there any other one-minute requests? the chair lays before the house the following personal requests. the clerk: leaves of absence requested for mrs. mccull om of minnesota for today and mr. boehner for today. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the requests are granted. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? mr. poe: madam speaker, i ask unanimous consent that today following legislative business and any special orders heretofore entered into, the following members may be permitted to address the house, revise and extend their remarks and include therein extraneous material. mr. jones for may 13, myself, in poe, for may 13, dr. gingrey for
today, mr. burton for may 11, 12 and 13, mr. moran for may 13, dr. paul for may 12 and 13. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. for what purpose does the gentlelady from california rise? ms. woolsey: madam speaker, i ask unanimous consent that today following legislative business and any special orders heretofore entered into the following members may be permitted to address the house for five minutes, to revise and extend their remarks and to include therein extraneous material. ms. woolsey, california, mr. klein, florida, ms. kaptur, ohio, mr. defazio, oregon, mr. schiff, california. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. under the speaker's announced policy of january 6, 2009, and under a previous order of the house, the following members are recognized for five minutes each.
ms. woolsey. ms. woolsey: madam speaker, every american was troubled to learn about the attempted terrorist bombing in times square last weekend. but we should all be heartened and we should all be proud of the swift action by the law enforcement authorities to apprehend the suspect. by all accounts, the system worked seamlessly. new york city police worked in tandem with the f.b.i., customs and border patrol. the department of homeland security and other agencies -- patrol, the department of homeland security and other agencies and the man was in custky on monday. he was read his miranda rights and continues to cooperate and there's reason to believe he can provide valuable intelligence that will allow us to detain other terrorists. everything by the books. no extra legal coercion. rule of law and the constitution upheld. this is the way to combat
terrorism, madam speaker. you'll recall that the notion of counterterrorism is primarily a law of enforcement operations has often been met by ridicule on the other side of the aisle. this isn't police work, they said, this is war. well, we've now had 8 1/2 years of war and in addition to costing us thousands of american lives and hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars, it has not made terrorism go away. if anything, it has animated and emboldened the people who want to harm america. and as people have watched their home countries invaded and their communities destroyed at the hands of the u.s. -- u.s. military, they've become prime recruits for terrorist networks. the bottom line is that our current strategy isn't antiterrorism strategy at all. by its very nature it's spawning
more terrorists than it's killing or detaining. what if we took just a fraction of our war budget and used it to make our domestic counterterrorism infrastructure that much stronger? and what if we took another fraction and launched a smart security strategy that emphasized peaceful civilian humanitarian outreach instead of military occupation? because contrary, madam speaker, to the assessment of our previous president, it appears that fighting them here is exactly the way to go. fighting them there, on the other hand, leads to an endless cycle of violence, recrimination and hatred. we all owe a debt of gratitude to every one who played a role in the successful arrest of the times square bomber. now let's give them even more tools, resources and support. let's bring the troops home,
make the work of our talented law enforcement personnel the focal point of our struggle against terrorism. with that, madam speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. mr. moran of texas. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? without objection. mr. poe: thank you, madam speaker. today is the national day of prayer. it's the day of the year that is proclaimed that we honor how prayer, how religion has affected our culture as a nation. every day in this very house we start with a prayer. down the hallway in the united states senate every day the u.s. senate starts with a prayer. and then we have the pledge of allegiance.
the supreme court has ruled that it is constitutional for us, the senate and all state legislatures to start every day with a prayer. and so it is throughout the country. we have the national day of prayer today but it has a long history of prayer or a long history of establishment here in the united states where we recognize this very important day. many congresses and presidents have proclaimed days of prayer and fasting throughout our nation's history. from washington all the way to madison and all the way through world war ii, presidents set aside days of national prayer. in 1952, 58 years ago, a bill proclaiming an annual national day of prayer was unanimously passed by the house and the senate and signed into law by president truman. it's not often in our history that everything passes this house and the senate by unanimous consent.
the new law required the president to select a day for national prayer every year. in 1988 the day was fixed by congress as the first thursday in may of each year. and that law was signed by president ronald reagan. nobody is forced to pray on the national day of prayer. however, we now have a federal judge who has ruled that the national day of prayer is unconstitution allege. even though this day is set -- unconstitutional. even though this day is set aside. thanksgiving was set aside by president george washington to honor the almighty and give prayer and thanksgiving for our history. and for the work that the lord played in our very existence. most people are surprised to learn the united states capitol, this building, was the place
where church services were held for a number of years. in fact, before congress even started assembling here we had church services, before then. but yet a national day of prayer has been ruled by a federal judge to be unconstitutional. here's what the first amendment says, madam speaker, it says congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. the first amendment was written by james madison, the author of the u.s. constitution. in fact, he's the author of the first 10 amendments. james madison set in stone proclaims, congress shall make no law establishing -- respecting the establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. probably james madison knew more about the first amendment than anybody else since he was the author. yet in 1813, president madison
proclaimed a national day of prayer. it's ironic that the author of the first amendment knew more about the first amendment than anybody else, certainly federal judge wloss live today, proclaims a national day of prayer and yet today we have a federal judge saying, it's unconstitutional based upon the first amendment. how ironic. federal judges obviously, this particular federal judge, forgot about the free exercise of religion part. that's why the national day of prayer is so important. the federal government sets aside one day of year that honors the first amendment. people may pray, they don't have to pray. but it recognizes how important prayer is in our culture. it enshrines in the public conscious the fact that americans have the right to the free exercise of religious beliefs. you know, in god we trust, madam speaker, is above the american flag behind you. it is the national mottow of the
united states, that in god we trust. ours is not a secular nation. it was founded on religious principles. so i ask this federal judge, what's next? you going to try to abolish thanksgiving and christmas as national holidays? madam speaker, the national day of prayer is not only a good idea, it is constitutionally legal, whether secular, antireligious federal judges like it or not. and that's just the way it is. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. mr. klein of florida. mr. jones of north carolina. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? >> madam speaker, i request to get my five minutes at this time. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman may proceed. mr. paul: thank you, madam speaker. i rise today to talk a bit about our economy and the marketplace which, if anybody has observed, is in shambles. a couple of years ago we had a financial crisis, basically a bit of problems in debt with the
financial institutions, the banks and a lot of cooperations -- corporations. and that was a rather hectic period of time but i think what we're moving into now is much, much more serious and what i see happening is that this is not a financial problem as much as a currency problem. everybody knows there are major problems in greece right now because of the debt load that they have and they cannot finance and nobody's there at the moment to bail them out. but a lot has -- a lot has been happening. and i've been interested in this subject for a long time. as a matter of fact, in 1971, with the breakdown of brenton woods agreement, i became fascinated with economics and politics. at that time there was a devaluation of the dollar of 3.8% and it was very, very big news and that's when the dollar was connected to gold and there was a devaluation against gold. and this was a major event and ushered in a major amount of
inflation in the 1970's. and yet this process continues. as a matter of fact, the breakdown in 1971 opened up the doors to massive inflation and that's what we have been doing for 35, 40 years, of inflating the currency, creating many and multiple financial bubbles which have burst and have given us a great deal of trouble. but a currency crisis is much worse because people lose confidence in the dollar. now, i have talked a lot about the value of the dollar and somebody might wonder exactly why i would come today and talk about a concern i have for the value of the dollar because if you look at the dollar, the dollar is a haven, the dollar has been going up sharply in terms of other international currencies. and they would say that this is a haven, it's still strong, people are buying our treasury bills. but i still argue the case that there is a currency crisis going on. because if you look at the one true money, the one money that has existed for 6,000 years, that outlasts all the paper money and all the fee and currency and that is gold and it
doesn't look very good and the sending a signal that a lot of inflation lurks in the future. in the past several years, maybe even 10 or 15 years, the dollar and the gold relationship depended on gold acting as a commodity, it moved with the stock market, it moved with commodity prices. but no longer. instead of the gold going down when the stocks went down, instead of the gold going down when the commodities go down, instead of the gold going down when the dollar goes up, all of a sudden people are resorting to putting dollars and other currencies in gold. this is sending a signal that the confidence is being lost in the entire monetary system. and the dollar, of course, is the reserve currency of the world and therefore a very significant event. but there are even other statistics to suggest that we're in for a lot more inflation.
if we look at what has happened to producer prices in the past 12 months, we find out that producer prices have already moved up significantly. for instance, finish consumer goods are up 8.2% in the last 12 months. finnish consumer goods, excluding food, are up 8.3%. finished energy goods are up 20%. now, that doesn't -- that has not yet affected the consumer price index, but in the months to come, the producer prices will move into the consumer products so we can expect a lot more inflation. now, the way we get in this trouble is due to accepting some notions about money that are false. we have believed since 1971 that there should be no linkage of our money to anything sound as the constitution mandates. there should be no linkage of the dollar to gold or silver, which then gives the congress the leeway of spending
endlessly, deficits don't matter, we can tax and we can borrow, but if we still don't have enough money, we can depend on the federal reserve just to print the money. now, that has lasted for a long time and we've been getting away with it, but the market is more powerful than the central bank and the politicians. the market usually rules and they come and say, the money isn't worth what it used to be and there's too much malinvestments, too much debt, and therefore the correction must occur. this happened with the financial situation. there had to be a correction, the bubble burst and there's some adjustments. but everything that we have done over these past several years and even over the last several decades has always been the resort to more inflation, print more money, spend more money, which only produces a problem that delays the inevitable. but i am afraid -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. paul: we must do something about it. .
the speaker pro tempore: mr. defazio of oregon. mr. burton, indiana. mr. schiff, california. mr. franks, arizona. ms. kaptur, ohio. mr. gingrey, georgia. under the speaker's announced policy of january 6, 2009, the gentleman from minnesota, mr. ellison, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the majority leader. mr. ellison: let me thank the speaker for recognizing me. i have some documents i have to get my hands on. so i'm going to go over there and get them right now.
mr. ellison: my name is keith ellison and i'm here to claim this hour on behalf of the progressive caucus to deliver the progressive message. the progressive congressional caucus is a group of this united states congress who believe in the essentials of america. ideas like fairness, equality. we are the people who stand up consistently for civil rights, human rights. we believe that issues like color, national origin, gender should not be a barrier for
people to fully participate in the american dream. the progressive caucus consistently stands up for the rights of the working class, the people who labor every day to make this country run. we are talking about economic justice. we are talking about true health care reform. many of our members were on the universal single-payer health care bill and the public option debate as it carried forward. the progressive caucus is consistently arguing to say that humanity and as americans, we can live in harmony with the earth and respect the environment. when you think about the progressive caucus, madam speaker, the idea is that there is a body of folks in the congress who believe in fairness, equality, equal opportunity, equal justice, peace, and believe the united states should put its diplomatic foot first and its development foot first and should always,
always, always seek to be a force of peace in the world. members of the progressive caucus called for the united states to get out of iraq and identified iraq as not the right policy for the united states. many of us continue to make the demand for peace and say that the proportion of development aid should outweigh the military footprint in afghanistan and not the reverse. this is the progressive caucus. i'm proud to be a vice-chair and present the idea of the progressive message tonight. the message is when we come down to the house floor and talk about the values of the progressive caucus, what we're working on, what we're doing and what is important. so the people who watch c-span and tune into us know the thoughts and ideas of the progressive caucus and know that there is a progressive voice within the caucus. very, very important. tonight, our topic is the
economy. what else? the economy is what people are focused on with the dramatic unemployment rate, high unemployment rate hovering in the neighborhood of 10% in places around this country. 9.7%. some states have some with higher and some with lower, but everyone is considered about jobs for the american people. today, we are talking about wall street reform, which is good for main street, meaning that many folks are thinking, you know, what does wall street have to do with me? i own a barber shop on main street. i own a mechanics street on main street. i work for the factory on the other side of the community. i'm not a player on wall street or trade in stocks. why am i worried about it? and the reason is that the progressive message tonight is that people who live on main street, people who are the teachers, firefighters, police officers, the small business
owners, people who work hard every day and make this country function need to plug into what's happening with this wall street reform because it's going on now in the congress and the interests of us all are at stake. now, this idea of wall street reform will be the topic tonight and the main idea is wall street reform is good for main street. main street needs to be plugged into what is happening. and who can blame people for not knowing what's going on with this wall street reform. we hear terms like credit default swaps and derivatives and collateral debt obligations and things like this, rating agencies, too big to fail. all this kind of stuff are things that the american people are trying to get clear because folks who don't watch this stuff every day, folks who aren't c-span junkies, they are raising their kids, going to work, may
not know to plug in because this has a lot to do with how people's lives are going to be led and lot to do with the well-being, economic opportunity and things like that. so we're going to talk about that tonight, madam speaker and really let you know that we will be focusing hard on this issue of wall street reform and being good for main street. we want folks to absorb this message and so we will be talking about it tonight. now, the fact is is that if you have any doubt about whether wall street reform is important, maybe you thought to yourself, well, you know, i'm not sure it's something that i need to be concerned about, let me just say that, you know, you can sometimes know how important a topic is by how vigorously other people are fighting against it. you may not know the ins and
outs of health care reform but when people were spending $14 million a day to stop health care reform, you know there are people with big bucks and big stakes in the game who thought the status quo was good for them even if reform was good for us. this same scenario is being played out with financial reform and i want to start out about wall street reform, not talking about the bill, but i will talk about the bill or what led us to that crisis, because i will talk about that, too. but what are the people of america up against and how it is that people are trying to stop it. wall street reform -- wall street is spending billions to kill reform. look it up. in 2009, the financial industry spent $465 million lobbying in washington. how much was spent lobbying
washington for school lunches for poor kids? how much was spent on trying to get america out of iraq and afghanistan? how much was spent on trying to make sure that the college kids could get into college and have an affordable college education for themselves and their families. how much was spent on these things? $465 million for lobbying washington? that's something, folks. that's putting down a pretty penny to make sure that the interest of the industry is put up before members of congress. $1.4 million a day lobbying congress. not as much as health care reform, but a substantial pretty penny per day lobbying congress. $1 million per member of congress. so, look, if, in 2009, $465 million was spent lobbying washington, then there are 435
of us, there is more than $1 million, if you divide it by the number of people in congress. what's the point of this chart? the point is to say that folks who don't want real reform in the area of financial services are putting their money down to try and stop it and deploying lobbyists to convince members of congress that their interests are the ones that need to be first, not those of the american people. $3.9 billion in the last decade. that's a lot of money. and employed nearly 2,000 lobbyists, 1,726 washington lobbyists. i'm not hard on lobbyists. i think it's an honorable profession and help congress understand issues. but every member can tell you, a lobbyist does not come in to persuade you to do something other than that -- the people
who pay them. they are paid to do a certain thing to convince members of congress to do a certain thing. not always a bad thing but it will serve the interests of the people who are sending them there and sometimes it's not in line with what the american people want. when we stand up for consumer protections, we are trying to stop bailouts ever again. we are trying to make surthat there is real justice and accountability when it comes to the too big to fail firms. there are a lot of folks who want to have it their way, but we are trying to push for reform. and the american people need to know that and that if they don't pay attention to this debate, they -- may be sorry that they didn't so i encourage you to stay on top and be focused on what's going on. let me talk about what financial
reform means. what does it actually mean? it means policing wall street, making sure that wall street abides by the rules. wall street does a lot of good for this economy. it takes people who have money to invest and units it with people who need money to capitalize and capitalize their companies. it takes people who want to invest with companies who have some old ideas and new ideas and get together and fund and finance their company. it's a good idea, it's fine, but sometimes it gets out of control. i have knives in my house and they are useful for cutting vegetables, but they are dangerous and we need rules because there are powerful consequences on people. it means policing wall street and ending bailouts. president obama stood in this room not too long ago when he
did his state of the union speech, he said one thing's for sure whether you voted for the bailout or not, everybody, everybody hated the bailout. he was right on the money. i will tell you that i believe our economy was in ruin and on the brink of ruin back in november and december of 2008 and i voted for the bailout. i didn't want to. i had to be convinced that it was necessary to do. you should know that much of the money has been recouped and being recouped every day and the president is proposing a tax on these large financial firms to make sure we get our money back, but this is one of things you didn't want to do but you had to do. like if a friend said, i need you to drive me home because i drank too much, you don't want to have to do that, but you have to do it. it's something that you don't want to do, but you do because you are put in that difficult
situation. we want to end the bank bailouts. we want to stablize the economy. this economy, because of this financial trouble created by the lack -- by deregulation, by tax cuts for the wealthy, by not minding the store, we want to create stability in this economy, so people can plan, so they can invest, so they can pursue careers and have real economic growth sustained over the long-term. it's about stablizing the economy. it's about saying, you know what, the economy, you might be able to make retirement plans. the economy is going to be stable and strong and put some money away because you will be able to afford college. stablizing the economy, yes, you should start that business because there will be a stable economy for you to participate in. so that's what stablizing the economy is all about. and also, we got to stop
gambling with worker pensions. workers work hard. they work hard their whole lives to make goods and services for people in the united states. they work hard and put money into their pensions year after year after year and when they get 65 years old, they shouldn't have to worry that people are gambling with their money on wall street and have gambled it away. wall street reform is about stopping gambling with worker pensions. it's about worker pensions, people who want to retire, people who work hard and earn the privilege to retire, people who have blazed the trail for all of us younger people and when they get 65, they ought to be able to take their retirement. this is what wall street reform is all about. this is what we are trying to do and this is what the purpose is. we don't want to punish the average person. we want to see the economy grow and businesses invest, be competitive and successful, but
there has got to be rules of the road so everybody can be careful. cars, two,000 pounds of steel going fast, can hurt you. they can hurt you, and we need rules and we have state troopers out there. and wall street reform means policing wall street, ending bank bailouts, stablizing the economy and stop gambling with worker pensions. that's what this is all about. i'm going to return to this board in a moment. but before i do, i would like to get up here and put this document that i led up with because i want to elaborate on it again. . but i'd just like to say just a few specifics. the fact is that, you know, is that there's a lot of people who are former members of congress who are here. at least 70 former members of
congress employed by the financial services industry, at least 70 former members of congress here to try to convince their former colleagues that what the industry's perspective is on wall street reform. nearly half of the 150 former members that reported lobbying in 2009. so, let me just say, about 150 former members who might be working on anything from energy to forestry, about half of them are working on wall street reform. that's a big deal. people should know that. in total, about 125 former aides and lawmakers are now working on financial firms. so not just former members of congress doing it, their aides were working on this stuff, too, they're hired to convince their former colleagues to do what wall street wants to do. and of these industries'
revolving door lob yifts, 19 are former members who served on the senate banking or house financial services committee. so they're getting people who are on the committee who know the most about this stuff to persuade their colleagues about what the interests of the industry is, not the american people. at least 33 additional lobbyists were staffers as i mentioned before and you should know that in congress one of the most influential people around are staffers. people know the member of congress, their name is on the lawn sign, they have commercials during campaign season with themselves featured in those commercials and sometimes local communities know who the members of congress are. you may not know the staffer but i guarantee you one thing, stafferers who are devoted to working on a subject -- staffers who are devoted to working on a subject to help the member of congress often know more about the subject than the member of congress. that's a fact. many of them are hired to work, former aides and staffers, are hired to work on this as well. you know, one of the former members is the former speaker of
the house, dennis hastert, who is working for the industry. another one is senate majority leader and g.o.p. presidential nominee bob dole. another is former senate majority leader trent lott. another is former house majority leader dick army and dick gephardt. former appropriations chairman bob livingston, former ways and means chair bill thomas. so they don't have the lightweaths and the people who are only here for a few weeks. they have the big heavy hitters here to try to persuade members of congress, with their former colleagues, that the bill needs to reflect what wall street wants. that's why we're here tonight, madam speaker, talking about wall street reform, who is involved, whose interests are at stake. mostly the american peoples' interests are at stake and the american people need to get a chance to get well versed on what this bill is all about. and i'm going to be talking about that in a moment until i
get to a few more fun facts that i'd like to share with people. the fact is that u.s. chamber of commerce spent about $3 million on advertising, including commercials slamming the creation of a federal consumer protection agency, that's very unfortunate. why would any good lender who's trying to offer a fair, a good product at a fair price be attacking consumer protection? i thought the customer was always right and you wanted to make sure the customer was happy so you'd get return business. why would anybody be afraid of a consumer protection agency that's going to look out for consumers? as a matter of fact, i would think industry would be happy about that. the fact is, though, a lot of mishandling of consumers happened. i'll talk about that in a moment as well. and that's why we need a consumer protection agency. but it's very, very interesting that some of these folks want to stop that. the national automobile dealers association, and i'm a big fan of automobile dealers, but the
fact is they contributed $3 million to federal candidates in 2008 election cycle, encouraging dealers to make hundreds of cause to house members and to secure an exemption from the cfpa. the hedge fund lobby, calls it self the managed funds association, doubledity spending during the last three months of 2009, according to data released. and so the managed fund association which is the hedge fund lobby strategically sprippingled more than a million around washington and the fourth quarter compared to just $520,000, a little more than half spent during the same period in 2008. and the fact is, $25 million has been spent on tv ads about wall street and financial reforms since january. you probably saw some of them yourself. so with that, we know what we're up against, we know what we're dealing with. wall street reform is necessary, wall street itself is galvanized
and fighting hard back to try to protect its interests. its interests, not the american publics' interests. and so it's important to talk to the american people at this point about what really is in financial reform. what is financial reform -- what does financial reform contain? what is it about? what's in there? that's the question. and the answer is simply this, wall street reform is a simple solution to a conflict problem and it simply addresses the worst problems associated with the financial -- the financial breakdown of the last few years. so, let me just talk about -- talk about the bill, what it's about, and some of the key features that we'll see with financial reform. so, financial reform quite simply addresses certain
elements of the financial system and addresses them to make sure that they don't go haywire and harm consumers. the first thick i want to talk about the -- thing i want to talk about the consumer financial products agency. the consumer financial products agency, madam speaker. one more time, the consumer financial products agency, madam speaker, with what i want to talk about right now -- is what i want to talk about right now. what this is is an agency which collects the power of seven other agencies and concentrates it into one agency and says to that one agency, it is your job to protect the american consumer from dangerous financial products like predatory loans and like predatory credit cards and predatory payday lenders and people who would basically rob you of your middle class lifestyle. that's the job of them. they have basically three things they work on.
the consumer financial products agency has essentially three powers that it can exert and the not passed yet but many of us are working hard on it. it has basically three powers. one power it has, it has the power to do examinations, to say to a financial firm, hey, we want to look over what you're doing to make sure you're doing it fairly. they have that power to knock on the door and say, are you doing the right thing? yes, they do. and if you're doing the right thing, you have little to worry about. but if you're selling financial products that are dangerous to consumers you might have to worry. the other power that they have is enforcement. where there are rules, whether it's truth in lending or some other law or act which is designed to protect consumers, this agency has the power to go in and say, you are selling a product where the terms and conditions are tricky and confusing and you cannot do that anymore. let me give you an example. let's just say i went and got a
credit card and i had a 30-page contract associated with that credit card. and in that contract, you know, i can't read it. it's all legal ease, it's too difficult to -- legal he's, it's too difficult to understand. i'm a lawyer by trade, i practiced law 16 years before i got this job, and i have looked through some of these credit card contracts and can't make heads or tails of them. i know a lot of people who get credit cards say, you know what? we're trusting that somebody somewhere is making sure that i'm getting a fair truct -- product. well, that someone, if we pass this bill, will be the consumer financial products agency. and rather than taking the real information that you need which is the real interest rate you're going to pay, the time you have to pay, the fees that might be associated with -- if you have a default, meaning that you're late on your credit card, and putting them on, you know, way in the back of the credit card application, hidden up behind a bunch of legalese so we can say,
we told them, because sometimes it's not that they didn't tell you, it's that they drown you with so much information you can't make heads or tails of this thing. the consumer products financial agency would have the power to say, no, you have to state the terms and conditions on one page in a clear way so that people can make a decision about whether they really want your product or not and that they can know exactly what they're getting themselves in for. so, that's the enforcement power, the consumer financial products agency will have that power as well. and then another power they have will be something called rule making. when congress passes laws, sometimes there's a lot of space between the laws. what i mean by that is, the law will say generally, make sure that interest rates are reasonable. make sure that the date on which a payment is due is clearly stated.
well, the rueling that the federal agency may have the four say more exactly what is required. so the rules are important and the financial products agency will have rule making ability, too. so the fact is, they will be able to enforce the laws that exist, promulgate rules to protect consumers and do examinations to make sure people are doing what they're supposed to do. now some people might say, examinations, that might be kind of intrusive. well, let me ask you this question, if somebody was was doing an examination on bernie madoff, wouldn't that have been a good thing? if someone had said, let me see what's going on, let me tell you, today's too intrusive examination might be tomorrow's salvation of the financial system. so, it's a good thing. now, the consumer financial products agency, it will be the agency that's there to look out after consumers. right now we have it all spread
out, the fed has a little bit of responsibility, the office of supervision has a little responsibility, the control of currency has a little bit of responsibility and there's about seven agencies, the f.t.c., the federal trade commission, has a little bit of responsibility, and it's all spread out. so what happens when mom says to her five kids, clean the kitchen? and then she comes back from where she's going and the kitchen's still dirty? all of them say, i thought the other one was going to do it. that's how these things work, when you have dispersed responsibility, you have dispersed action. so the best thing to do is say, i want you to do it specifically on this date. that way you accountability. so we're going to take all this responsibility for consumer protection and take it from all these agencies and put it into one and also let me tell you, some people have said, don't you think that the consumer protection should remain under
the federal reserve bank? well, that's where most of it is now. and you know what? they didn't do a good job. they were late on everything. they were slow on everything. in 1994, and i bet some people watching this broadcast right now, madam speaker, are -- were not even born in 1994, the congress passed the law that said, federal reserve bank, you can pass -- you can enforce the law and protect consumers from tricky terms and conditions in mortgage lending. you can do something about tricky terms and conditions in mortgage lending. and you know what exactly the fed did about it? nothing. they didn't do anything. they did almost nothing. as a matter of fact, it was 2006 and 2007 when they issued guidance on mortgage lending and the terms and conditions that we now know as predatory lending.
it was even after that that they came with some guidance on the issue of credit cards. so, the federal reserve was given the power, they didn't use it, and we should take it from them. in my view it's important to focus on this issue because the federal reserve already has its hands full dealing with monetary policies. the federal reserve bank has a few important things they have to do. they have to control the money supply and make sure that the economy is not -- has enough liquidity so that people can get loans and gain capital for their businesses and so forth, and it also has the responsibility to make sure that the economy doesn't overheat and have inflation. . i don't think it's the right idea to be under consumer
protection. so consumer protection is important all on its own and somebody whose job it is to focus on consumer protection. and so that is one of the key features and one of the most important things for that the financial services bill will protect. let me also move on to talk about another key feature of the financial -- of the financial reform bill. imagine putting an end to too big to fail firms. now, if a bank or a financial firm or bank holding company is too big to fail, then if they get themselves in trouble, then all of us have to dig into the taxpayers' money, to, what? bail them out. so any firm that is too big to fail is too big to exist.
any firm that is too big to fail and have to deal with what happens when you make bad decisions in the marketplace, shouldn't be around. but sometimes we have to bail out -- we had to bail out these firms. why? because if they fail, they have all kinds of creditors, banks who they open money. and if they can't pay those folks, those people who may have borrowed money can't people the people they owe. and if we just allowed them to fail, it would have set off a ripple effect throughout the economy and would be on the proportion of a great depression. it wouldn't have been responsible to let banks fail. we know the one bank that did fail, lay man brothers caused -- lehman brothers caused catastrophic problems. even in my state, their
investment board lost 58 million from lehman brothers failing. if we have a too big to fail system, that means that the big banks can engage in hazardous, risky behavior, because they know at the end of the day the american taxpayer is going to ride in to the rescue for them. and this is bad for the economy and everybody else. the other thing with too big to fail, it's not fair to smaller players in the market who provide choice, who provide competition and who live by the decisions that they make because some firms that are too big to fail, then some other firms are too small to save. is that fair? if i'm a huge bank like stibank and i make poor decisions and i start suffering the
consequences, then i'm going to get saved. then a community bank in minneapolis makes bad decisions, they get dissolved. that is what fdic is for, the federal deposit insurance corporation. we can't be in this situation. if we're going to have a mixed economy where we have government regulation and a free market together, we can't have a system where being big and making improper decisions and risky decisions, which costs your business its solvency, you are going to get bailed out, but the smaller ones will have to suffer and suffer to market disciplines. this too big to fail, we have to do something about it. and what financial reform does is say, ok, we're going to have a resolution fund, a resolution fund. what is a resolution fund?
a resolution fund is to resolve, is to close down, shut down, chop up and sell off and end a firm that is connected to a too big to fail firm, but has done things that are risky and if they were to fall, they wouldn't be able to meet their creditor obligations and their creditors wouldn't meet their obligations and we would have a collapse in the system. so what we say is, look, these big firms have got to pay into a fund on the front end, which then, if one of them fails, they have to -- that one will be the one to pay creditors so the whole market doesn't fall, not the american taxpayer. it's very similar to how the federal deposit insurance corporation works right now. i think the fdic, if you have
money in a bank, you are insured up to $250,000 of your money. you know if this bank goes down, you're not, because it's fdic. now, the fdic if the bank goes down, the depositor is not going to go down because we have the fdic. what if a big bank goes down and they owe money all around and if they can't pay the people who they owe and they can't pay the people who they owe and next thing you know, the whole economy is going down. those people will be paid out of a fund that will then chop them up and pay the creditors and they will be done and over with. some people argue that there should be a fund after the bank has failed, after there has been a too big to fail fall. that's not a good idea because if a large bank fails, it's going to have an impact on the market and drive the market down
and we will be trying to collect money from people who didn't mess up after they have less money and i think that's a huge mistake. but that is another point of view people have been sharing. the fact is, we need to have an anti-bailout fund, which is a fund that calls for resolution of the large firms when they make big mistakes and don't do the right thing that they should do for the depositors, for their shareholders or for anybody else. and so, we talked a little bit about too big to fail. now, let's talk about mortgage reform and predatory lending. where did the whole problem start? it started in the consumer sector and the consumer sector is where we need to address our energy. the mortgage reform and anti-predatory lending section of this bill is to stop those
practices. might shock americans to know that despite 2.8 million foreclosureses last year, congress has yet to pass an anti-predatory lending bill. my state of minnesota has, but congress has not passed such a bill. that would be part of the final reform as well. there would be tough new rules on risky practices, practices like, if you buy a mortgage, no doc and low doc loans. they just loan you the money and may not get documentation, may not get proper information before they loan you the money. these days, credit is tight and people can't remember when money was flowing so freely. why would somebody lend somebody money unless they knew somebody was going to pay it back. they would take that mortgage, a
documentation, paper, and they would sell that paper and that would be securityized on the secondary market. if i know i can sell you a mortgage today and then take that stream of income that's supposed to come my way because i have loaned you this money and then sell it to somebody else, i don't have to worry. it's almost like as long as you're not the guy without a chair when the music stops, you just keep going around in that game of musical chairs. we have rules to stop this practice to make sure that these risky practices don't continue. we are go to go have rules in this wall street reform to curtail excessive speculation in derivatives and growing use of unregulated credit default swaps. i'm going to talk about that in a little while, but i want to talk about mortgage reform. we're going to require
investment advisers to act for the benefit of the client under the law, exercising the highest care involved. i have been joined by my friend from florida, alan grayson. so i yield to the gentleman. mr. grayson: i would like to speak to the lectern. can we switch places? mr. ellison: fine, come on down. mr. grayson: i thank the
gentleman for yielding his time temporarily and bringing the important subject of the day which is financial reform in america. i thank the gentleman for this opportunity to talk about one of the key elements in the house bill and senate bill, which is auditing the federal reserve and i want to congratulate the gentleman. in fact, everyone in america, because you now own a hotel chain. congratulations. it's this one right here. you own the red roof inn. i know what you're thinking. you are thinking that's funny, i don't remember buying the red roof inn but the federal reserve has done it for you. they have seen to it that you have the pleasure of ownership of this chain of hotels that extends from sea to shining sea. you, america, you are now the owners of the red roof inn chain. congratulations. let me explain to you how that
happened. deep in the midst of history, going all the way back to 2007, a foreign company decided they wanted to do a leverage buyout of the red roof inn chain and turned to wall street and wall street in its ability came up with the money, half a billion dollars to do that. and part of that money, $186 million, came from entities that were formed strictly for the purpose of providing money so that somebody could end up controlling the red roof inn from the people who originally owned it. these foreigners were able to come up with the financing to buy the red roof inn. at that time, who was going to come up with the money, $186 million. the answer was, wall street was going to find some sucker, some fool, that would be willing to take $186 million out of his or her pocket and put it into the
pookts of the management company's foreign owners. an earthquake hit wall street and handed this liability off to john q. public. and this financial hurricane that hit wall street prevented them from executing on their plan. they had to find some way to come up with somebody, some sucker, who would take over liability for this $186 million loan secured only by this modest hotel chain of limited profitability. being suckered by foreign owners. and they looked around and at this point, bear stearns was responsible for this and they looked and looked a looked and tried to find someone silly enough to stick this $186 million liability to and beern stearns itself went kaput taken
over by j.p. morgan. they stepped in. the federal reserve arranged that j.p. morgan could take over bear stearns, but there were some liabilities that were so awful that j.p. morgan wouldn't take them over even though the federal reserve was stuck with the liability for the great majority of those assets. and among those assets, the absolute dead loser assets, the assets that nobody in their right mind would want, the assets that were so terrible that j.p. morgan wouldn't take them from bear stearns' pocket, from bear stearns' dead pocket even though the federal reserve was willing to pay, among those assets was the red roof inn. and who ended up with that? the federal reserve. that's right. the federal reserve bank, you know that organization that dictates the money supply in