tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN June 9, 2010 5:00pm-8:00pm EDT
on financial services for consideration of the house bill and senate amendment and difications committed to conference, messrs. frank, kanjorski, ms. waters, mrs. maloney, messrs. gutierrez, watt, meeks of new york, moore of kansas, ms. kilroy, messrs. peters, bachus, royce, mrs. biggert, mrs. capito, messrs. hensarling and garrett of new jersey. from the committee on agriculture for consideration of subtitles a and b of title 1, sections 1303, 1609, 1702, 1703, title 3 except sections 3301 and 3302, sections 4205-c, 4804-b-8-b, 5008 and 7509 of the house bill and section 102 subtitle a of title 1, sections
406, 604-h, title 7, title 8, sections 983, 989-e, 1027-j, 1088-a-8, 1098 and 1099 of the senate amendment and modifications committed to conference, messrs. peterson, boswell and lucas. from the committee on energy and commerce f consideration of sections 3009, 3102-a-2, 4001, 4002, 4101-0118, 4202, 4204 through 4210, 4314, 4401 through 4403, 4410, 4501 through 4509, 4601 through 4606,815, 4901.
in that portion of section 8002-a-3 by adds a new stion 313-d to title 13, united states code, of the house bill and that portion of section 502-a-3 which adds a new section 313-d to title 31, united states code, section 722-e, 1001, 1002, 1011 through 1018, 1021 through 1024, 1027 through 1029, 1031 through 1034, 1036, 1037, 1041, 1042, 1048, 1051 through 58, 1061 through 6 modifications committed to conference messrs. waxman, rush and barton of texas.
767, 809-f, 922, 924, 929-b, 932, 991-b-5, c-2-3 and c-3-h. 1024, 1042, 1044-a, 1046-a, 1047, 1051 through 1058, 1063, 1090, 1095, 1096, 1098, 1151-b and 1156-b of the senate amendment. messrs. conyers, berman and smith of texas. from the committee on oversight and government reform for consideration of sections 1000-a, 1007, 1103-d, 1212,
1064, 1152 and 11-a and b of the senate amendment and modifications committed to conference. messrs. towns, cummings and issa. from the committee on small business for consideration of secretaries 1071 -- sections of 1071 and 74, ms. velazquez, messrs. shuler and graves. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from california rise? ms. waters: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks on h.r. 5072 and to insert extraneous material thereon. e speaker pro tempore: without objection. pursuant to house resolution 1424 and rule 18, the chair
declares the house in the committee of the whole house on the state of the union for the consideration of h.r. 5072. the chair appoints the gentlewoman from illinois, mrs. halvorson, to preside over the committee of the whole. the chair: the house is in the committee of the whole house on the state of the union for the consideration of h.r. 5072 by the clerk will report by title. the clerk: h.r. a bill to improve the financial safety and soundness of the f.h.a. mortgage insurance program. the chair: pursuant to the rule, the bill is considered as read the first time. the gentlewoman from california, ms. waters, and the gentlewoman from west virginia, mrs. capito, each will control 30 minutes.
the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from california. ms. waters: madam chair, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: the gentlewoman is recognized. mswaters: thank you very much. madam chair woman, i stand in strong -- chairwoman, i stand in strong support of 5072, the f.h.a. reform act of 2010. this bill is the product of three hearings on f.h.a. in the past six months and bipartisan work with the ranking member of the subcommittee on housing and community opportunity, congresswoman capito. in fact, this bill contains most of the provisions congresswoman capito included in her bill on f.h.a. introduced earlier this year. moreover, i am proud to say that this bill passed out of the financial services committee on a simple voice vote back in april. the f.h.a. reform act is
critical, timely and important for households across the country. the act will enable the f.h.a. to respond to the current housing and economic crises and continue its mission of providing homeownership opportunities to millions of americans. and we know that now more than ever preserving this mission is critical. as the private market has contracted, f.h.a. has stepped into the void and injected much-needed credit into our mortgage system. increasingly, it is the only option available for american homebuyers with less than a 20% down payment. f.h.a. insurance has been particularly importt for minority communities, low-income families and first-time homebuyers. the bill would provide f.h.a. with more flexibility to adjust their annual mortgage insurance premium. as i understand it, if f.h.a.
limits the premium increase to .90%, as commissioner stevens has indicated, new borrowers will see their monthly payments rise by about $42 a month. while i am reluctant to providing f.h.a. more flexibility, i believe that this provision is needed to keep f.h.a. financially healthy. we have also taken steps to ensure that f.h.a. requirements are not excessively onerous for homebuyers. secondly, this bill provides f.h.a. with the authority to crack down on lenders that use fraud or misrepresentation or don't originate or underwrite loans in accordance with f.h.a. guidelines. f.h.a. has already taken steps to increase its lender enforcement activities and the provisions included in this bill will empower them to continue to root out the bad actors while preserving the program for the lenders that
follow the rules. thirdly, this bill empowers f.h.a. to improve their internal controls that improve data tracking, risk management and reporting to the public and to congress. this includes improving monitoring of early defaults and claims, tracking mortgage information by loan servicers, providing f.h.a. with the ability to contract out for additional credit risk analysis, require mortgages to report -- mortgagees to report to f.h.a. when they stop buying loans from other morgagees and requiring a study on f.h.a. it creates a new deputy assistant secretary at f.h.a. for risk management and regulatory affairs. i believe the bill in front of us food is critical for ensuring a strong future for f.h.a., and i request my colleagues' support, and i reserve the balance of my time.
the chair: the gentlewoman reserves. the gentlewoman from west virginia is recognized. mrs. capito: thank you, madam chair. i'd like to yield myself such time as i may consume. i would like to thank the chairwoman, chairwoman waters and the chairman of the full committee, chairman frank and ranking member bachus for their good, hard work on this legislation. as i am an original co-sponsor of this legislation, i rise in full support of h.r. 5072, the f.h.a. reform act of 2010. it amends the national using act to include enforcement in premium changes to the f.h.a. single family mortgage insurance program that will improve the insurance funds, financial condition and enhance certain enforcement tools to protect against fraudulent or poorly underwritten and insured loans. the bill incorporates a majority of the provisions in a bill that i introduced, h.r. 4811, the f.h.a. safety and soundness and taxpayer protection act. h.r. 4811, my bill, went
further than the proposals put forth by the administration. my legislation included some additional enforcement, fiscal and risk assessment tools necessary to adequately administer the program, detect fraud and abuse, strengthen underwriting standards and protect the taxpayer. i appreciate chairman frank and chairwom waters their willingness to clue the additional provisiones that were part of my bill which i believe made h.r. 5072 a stronger bill and one that is more able to address the pressing challenges before the f.h.a. today. i would also like to thank secretary donovan of h.u.d. and commissioner stevens of the f.h.a. for testifying before our committee but also for working with me and my staff and the majority staff to formulate what i think is a very good bill. the f.h.a. was established by the national home act of 1934
to protect lending institutions and stimulate the building industry. prior to the creation of f.h.a., home mortgages did not exceed 50% of the home value and did not extend past the fifth year. a the end of five year, mortgages had to be paid or renegotiated. but during the great depression, lenders were unable or unwilling to renegotiate loans that came due. borrowers lost their homes and lenders lost money because property values declined significantly. the f.h.a. program was established to provide stability and liquidity in the market. its creation fostered the 30-year mortgage product and led to standardized mortgage instruments. once again, f.h.a. has played a big role in the market. as they scaled back their -- the f.h.a. has increased its share of the single family mortgage market from less than
5% to more than 30%. but increased delinquencies and foreclosures have had a detrental effect on the health of the f.h.a. program. a report published in 2009 showed the capital reserve ratio for the mutual mortgage insurance fund, the mmif, dropped below the congressionally mandated threshold of 2% to a less than expected .53%. a serious red flag. the actuarial review also indicated the economic value of the f.h.a. declined over 75% from last year to 2.7 -- to $2.73 billion. in light of these facts trks essential that congress and the f.h.a. enact reforms to ensure that a bailout of f.h.a. is not and will not be necessary. the provisions of the bill are an important step to supervise and monitor the f.h.a. program
and adequately assess risk. as the chairwoman has said of course the many important provisions included, h.r. 5072 has authorized the f.h.a. to increase annual insuran premiums. the program is intended to be self-funded. proceeds from the premiums paid by the homeowners for the f.h.a. guarantee are used to operate the program and pay the losses when loans default. the ability to increase annual premiums will allow h.u.d. the ability to raise annual premiums above the .55% cap, allowing them to more adequately price for risk and build up its reserve ratio which has fallen below the congressionally mandated level. the indemocratnyity provisions will allow h.u. to secretry
bution against unscrupulous lenders who make loans they never should have made. it gives h.u.d. the tools they need to raise the premiums so they can begin the process o putting the f.h.a. program back on the road to a program that has an adequate reserve ratio and enough program for a program to run in a safe and sound manner. let me be clear, h.r. 5072 is not a pan see yasm the department and the -- is not a panacea. we must be ever-vigilant to ensure that the program is operated in a way that the tax payer is protected. recent reports that fannie mae and freddie mac are responsible for 100% of the new mortgage origination, which means exposure of the taxpayer continues to grow day by day. that's why it is still and has been imperative that reform of fannie mae and freddie mac be part of any regulatory reform
in the system. they were a big part they have -- of the problem and must be part of the solution. there are numerous issues being debated such as retention, qualified mortgages, derivatives, hedge funds and the list goes on that could have significant implications for the future of the mortgage market as well as direction for the reform of fannie and freddie. before us today, h.r. 5072, this bill we are considering today is extremely important because it provides the administration with the ability to increase the premiums which will improve f.h.a.'s current financial situation and prevent the need for taxpayer bailouts. i urge my colleagues to support h.r. 5072 and i'd like to reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlewoman reserves the balance of her time. the gentlewoman from california is recognized. ms. lee: i'd like to reserve the balance of my time
the chair: the gentlewoman. >> i'd like to recognize the gentleman from new york. the chair: i thank my friend from west virginia for yielding. i rise in support to the f.h.a. reform act of 2010. this legislation before us today clearly takes important steps toward restoring stability into our housing market. mr. lee: i sharehe frustration that i hear from m constituents in west new york who have been responsible homeowners but who are increasingly paying the price for the inadquacy of fraud and abuse throughout the mortgage system. no one, no business, and no person, should be able to take risks without having the acceptance of consequences. we've all seen the consequences of the actions taken by irresponsible lending practices and congress has rightfully looked at outdated mortgage structures to ensure responsible homeowners have
access to safe and affordable mortgages without forcing them to pay for the irresponsibility of others. earlier this year, i joined my friend from new jersey, mr. adler, in introducing h r. 3146, the 21st century f.h.a. housing act which took much of what we have learned from past f.h.a. shortages to ensure they don't happen again. i'm pleased that the bill before us today does this as well and includes many of the reforms we had proposed last year. h.r. 5078 will help ensure the f.h.a. will be a stabilizing force in the market and support responsible home ownership. given that f.h.a. is now one of the primary facilitators of mortgage financing, it's absolutely necessary we get this reform right. f.h.a. must have the resources it needs to oversee mortgages and ensure that no bad actors are allowed to function in the marketplace.
we need a responsive, efficient, and capable f.h.a. to help ensure that owning a home remains part of the american dream. i believe the bill before us today will help keep that dream alive. i urge my colleagues to support the passage and i yield back the balance of my time. thank you. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentlewoman from california is recognized. >> i have no further speakers. does the gentlelady have further speakers? mrs. capito: i'm prepared to close. the chair: the gentlewoman from west virginia is recognized. mrs. capitoi reiterate that this bill has my support. it passed out of the committee by voice vote, it was carefull i think we did a good job meeting each other halfway on ceain issues we might have had disagreement on and i look forward to the passage of this bill and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlewoman yields back.
the gentlewoman from california is recognized. ms. waters: thank you very much, madachair. i would simply like to close by thanks mrs. capito for all of the work she put into this legislation and the cooperation that she gave to me and her staff to my staff. this is a good bill. the differences have been worked out between both sides of the aisle. we worked hard to make sure that we maintained f.h.a. but we keep a close watch on it that in fact we give it flexibility but at the same time, ensure the continuity and the consistency of f.h.a. that should be there to provide the guarantees for our citizens that so desperately need them. with that, madam chair, i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlewoman yields back the balance of her time.
for what purpose does the gentlewoman from california rise? ms. waters: i move th the committee rise. the chair: the question is on the motion that the committee rise. those in for say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the motion is adopted. accordingly, the committee rises. the speaker pro tempore: madam chair? the chair: the committee of the whole house on the state of the union has had under consideration h.r. 5072, directs me to report that it has come to no resolution thereon. 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 h.r. 5072 and has
come to no resolution thereon. the speaker pro tempore: the chair will entertain requests for one-minutes. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from florida rise? annapolis consent to address the house -- ms. ros-lehtinen: unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognize. ms. ros-lehtinen: yesterday it was announced oil may be spreading through the ocean in layers. this is anything but a recent revelation, except to b.p. i sent a letter last month to examine the amounts of oil suspended in the water column below the ocean's surface.
yet until yesterday, officials failed to acknowledge what many in the scientific community were already saying that under water oil plumes are possible and they pose a tremendous threat. my congressional district is home to a variety of ecosystems, coral reefs, mangroves, sea grass beds and many species of fish. noaa and b.p. must do a better job of examining the damage of crude oil and dispersants at al depths. my constituents demand we utilize all available resources. get this right before the disaster becomes even worse. the speaker pro tempore: are there any further requests for one minutes?
for what purpose does the gentlewoman from florida rise? ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, madam speaker. i ask annapolis consent that all members have five legislative days to revise and tend the remarks and include extraneous material on the motion to instruct on h.r. 4173. the speaker pro tempore: wiout objection. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, madam speaker. i ask annapolis consent also 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 thereon extraneous materials. mr. moran, june 16, for five minutes. mr. poe, june 16, for five minutes. mr. jones, june 16, for five minutes. mr. diaz-balart, lincoln, today, june 10, for five minutes. dr. gingrey, today for five minutes. mr. rather balker today for fivminutes. thank you, madam speaker.
the speaker pro tempore: without objection. for what purpose does the gentleman from california rise? >> i ask annapolis consent that today following legislative business and any special orders heretofore entered into, the following members of the house may be permitted to address the house for five minutes and revise and extend their remarks. ms. bush mr. holt for five minus, mr. schiff for five minutes, ms. richardson for five minutes and mr. schiff for five minutes. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. woolsey of california. >> i request unanimous consent to speak out of order. the speaker pro tempore: without objectn, the gentleman from california will take ms. woolsey's -- oh,
excuse me. under the speaker's -- the gentleman will suspend. under the speaker's announced policy of january 6, 2009, and under a previoused orer of the house the following members are recognized for five minutes. the gentleman from california is recognized for five minutes. >> madam speaker, the small flotilla of ships ignited a firestorm around the world. foreign commentators who look askance at the jewish state in the best of times condemned the raid in the stroest of terms, attempting to cast it as another example of israel's supposed slide toward south african-style apartheid or even fascism. here and in israel itself, the reaction reflected a deeper understanding of the broad spectrum of threats confronting israel. mr. schiff: the execution of the raid itself was criticized at some quarters but there remains
a fundamental understanding of the underlying conditions that gave rise to the blockade of gaza and the realization that those conditions persist and as long as gaza remains under the control of hamas, there can be no lasting peace between israel and the palestinians. hamas have repeatedly refused to announce terror, to a buy -- abide by agreements and recognize israel's right to exist. they've used gaza's impoverished population as human shields in their war of attrition with israel and have subordinated their people's needs to the quest for rockets and other weapons. two days ago israeli forces intercepted an armed squad of five terrorists wearing diving suits and apparently on their way to attack israeli targets. madam speaker, there can be no doubt that these dangerous -- these are dangerous times for israel and that america must stand by the middle east's only democracy in its quest for peace and security. despite four rounds of u.n. sanctions, including today's passage of tighter finance curbs
and extended arms embargo, iran has not been detered in its quest to develop nuclear weapons. while this latest round of sanctions is a welcome step, there is deep skepticism that president ahmadinejad and the hard-lining clerics can be persuaded from the current course. iran armed with a bomb would be a catastrophe, destabilizing the middle east and triggering an arms race in the region. president obama and secretary of state clinton have done a great serve to israel, to the great middle east and to the cause of international peace and security through the efforts to forge a consensus in the security council and offer them my personal thanks. but even as we applaud today's sanctions vote, we must redouble our efforts to prevent tehran from acquiring nuclear weapons and i look forward to further diplomatic and unilateral initiatives to convince tehran that the cost of continuing on this reckless path are greater than in the perceived benefit. hezbollah, the militia political
party created in lebanon, has rearmed in the aftermath of the 2006 war with israel. its arsenal of short-range missiles has reportey been augmented by long-range scuds which can reach targets throughout israel. the scuds, believed to be supplied by syria, augment hezbollah's existing stockpile of up to 40,000 rockets stored in underground bunkers in southern lebanon. turkey, which had been israel's strongest muslim majority ally and important mediator between jerusalem and arab capitals, has in recent months become hostile to israel. in addition to hosting the organizers of the gazflotilla, turkey has said it would reduce military and trade ties and put off discussions of energy products -- projects includin natural g and freshwater shipments. last year the prime minister accused israel of being a greater violator of human rights than the sudan and today turkey was one of only two votes against new rounds of sanctions against iran in the security
council. the broad-based international campaign to delegitimatize israel. the university campuses have been divided by divestment campaigns and there ha been academic and economic boycotts of israel in europe. and many israelis are wary of traveling to several european countries. the great majority of the world's people alive today were not born-year-old well after world war ii and did not bear witnesto the holocaust. they did not watch as thousands of jewish refugees desperate to start a new life in palestine after the war were prevented from entering the country by britain. they did not witness the miracle of israel's bth in 1948 and the immediate invasion of the new state by five arab armies. for more than six decades, this country has stood by israel. we have admiredity pluck, its ingenuity and its dedication to democratic principles despite all the threats it faces. while there has always been a strategic dimension to the u.s.-israel alliance, the relationship has been rooted in
our shared values. madam speaker, 17 years ago on t occasion of the signing of the oslo accords, the late prime minister spoke movingly of his germany. he's said, weefpk come from jerusalem, the capital of the jewish people. we've come from an anguished and grieving land. we've come from a people, a home, a family that has not known a single year, not a single month in which mothers have not wepfor their sons. we have come to try and put an end to the hostilities so that our ildren and our children's children will no longer have to experience the painful costf war, violence and terror. we have come to secure their lives and to ease the sorrow and painful memories of the past. to hope and pray for peace. we share the prime minister's sorrow. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. schiff: and to the people of israel, we say, merk is -- america is with us -- with you. i yield back. the spker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? mr. poe: unanimous could be sent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized. mr. poe: mr. speaker, sara
carter at the washington examir reports the mexican government has opened up a satellite cons lar office in california. it will be housed at the island's country club. cat lynna bay is a postcard picture of the lifestyle of the rich and famous but the island has a long history of drug smuggling and human trafficking. the office is not there to help people come to the united states legally. but the mexican government is giving out i.d. cards to illegals. these cards are used by illegals in the united states to get credit, open bank accounts and get this, receive federally funded housing on the island. the mexican government is an accomplice to the unlawful entry by these illegals and is further he ezz evidence of the willful arrogance of mexico he to violate immigration laws i.c.e. officers said mexican officials asked them to temporarily halt enforcement of u.s. immigration laws only the -- on the island. isn't that special? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. poe: that's just the way it is.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. ms. baldwin of wisconsin. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from new york rise? >> i ask unanimous consent to claim the time. the speaker pro tempore: without objection,he gentlewoman from new york is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and i appreciate the time. i want to talk tonight about, obviously, some of the issues that are on everybody's mind on what happened last week with israel. this is a premeditated attack intended to provoke a response and purposely initiate a violent confrontation. we know that those on the flotilla had terrorist ties to hamas and to iran and that israel warned the boats that they were in violation of a lawful blockade and offered them safe harbor. mrs. mccarthy: where all the humanitarian aid would be delivered to gaza. it's trike trying -- striking how quick the world looked to blame israel for this incident. but as the details have emerged,
it has become clear that israel military attempted to resolve the situation peacefully and in accordance withnternational law. i fully support israel and their right to keep its people safe. it's my sincere hope that this incident will not deter our country and the international community from the need to continue to -- for thneed to continue to support israel, recognize its right to exist and take the steps required to advance the peace process. israel is our longstanding ally and friend of the united states. and we should continue to do whatever we can to support israel and ensure that international challenges to security are revolved quickly and peacefully. these israel service members were beaten and stabbed for just trying to escort the sthoip port. those onboard the ship were trying to help a recognized terrorist group, hamas, and iran
has offered to escort future flotillas. iran is a threat not just to the united states or israel but the world. and is a real threat against global safety. we cannot just sit and watch iran stir this pot up anymore. iran has vowed to eliminate israel he. we as united states should stay together to make sure that israel, the true democracy in the middle east, has that opportunity to protect its land. mr. chairman, it's always a terrible thing when there's loss of life. but it's more terrible when other democracies start to condemn a further democracy. israel has the right to protect itself and its citizens. we in the united states would have done the same thing. we in the united states have come back to protect our citizens.
with that i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time. for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia rise? >> to address the house for one minute, revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. gingrey: mr. speaker, i applaud the high school baseball team for reaching their first ever class a state championship series. i'm a proud graduate of st. thomas and augusta, georgia, and under coach denney leonard. so i was particularly thrilled to hear the success that they enjoyed this season. the coach did a terrific job getting his team to the championship. they surpassed all expectations, they were not forecasted to make it past the second round of the tournament. so i know the coach must be especially proud with the team's march to the state finals. the fighting irish took down walker in a competitive three-game semifinal series and then they advanced to the championship to face westland, the defending state champions. they gave it all they had but unfortunately came up a little
short. nevertheless, they have a very young team so there's not a doubt in my mind that they will be back next year, ever stronger, even stronger and more competitive. congratulations on your hard work, accomplishes and great season. go irish and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman's time has expired. mr. holt of new jersey. mr. burton of indiana. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? without objection, the gentleman from texas is recognized for five minutes. mr. poe: thank you, mr. speaker. the moratorium on deep water offshore drilling will prevent drilli in the gulf of mexico for the next six months or longer. and why do we have the moratorium? what is the purpose? when we have a plane crash, as
big a disaster as that might be, we don't ose down the entire airline industry for six nths but now we want to close down the drilling offshore for six months. what is the reason? the six-month moratorium on drilli will be another economic catastrophe for the united states. six months is a long time in the drilling business. these wells can't start and stop overnight. anither do the support industries. mr. speaker, this chart right here shows the coasts of texas and louisiana and in this chart, out in the gulf of mexico, are about 4,000 offshore rills -- rigs. these 4,000 rigs will not be allowed to drill based upon the administration's moratorium for the next six months. all of these yellow dots represent a drilling rig that's offshore. and they go about 75 miles to 150 miles off the texas-louisiana coast, not counting those off of mississippi and alabama. some companies are already
moving workers to brazil and the middle east because of this absurdity of a moratorium. texas and louisiana will lose an estimated 22- 20,000 to 30,000 jobs just in this industry, not counting the related industries onshore. the people who supply those rigs, the food, the transportation, communications, goods and service, all of those jobs will be gone if these rigs are not allowed to drill. and the longer the uncertainty continues heren america, the worse it will get. and there's no guarantee these jobs will ever come back. that's not only a threat to our economy, the a threat to national security. that means the united states will now import more oil from countries that don't like us. like the middle east and venezuela and now china and russia, two of our buddies, are going to drill off the coast of cuba with venezuela and vietnam. isn't that a lovely experience? the loss of our domestic source of oil in the gulf of mexico will make us further dependent on foreign oil and increase
energy costs to all americans. and that will also increase tanker traffic bringing that oil in to the gulf of mexico. there have been 16 large international oil spills over the -- over 30 million gallons and only three of those have been from offshore drilling rigs. the rest have been from oil tankers bringing oil from one place to another. so, we need to put in a proactive plan in place so we can getter -- better deal with accidents in the gulf of mexico. it took nine days for the administration to make remarks about the pact of the deep water explosion and for d.h.s. to declare the spill a national significance. there was no clear chain of command for who was in control of the disaster. there doesn't seem to be any plan. there should have been a plan in place immediately to respond and that's the government's responsibility. some say it was the coast guard, others say it was the e.p.a. it's still somewhat of a mystery
who's supposed to be in charge and who was supposed to be in control of the cleanup and the containment when the explosion occurred. it took 37 days to attempt the top kill procedure. why so long? we don't know the answer yet. the majority of the pollution is a result of the delay, not the explosion. i repeat, the majority of the pollution as a result of the delay and not the explosion itself. now government is overreacting to the aftermath and making the economic impact worse by prohibiting the drilling of these other 4,000 wells. the moratorium could end up being a worse economic problem than the accident itself. it's the second disaster now in the gulf of mexico. the e.p.a. was created in 1970 to address industrial pollution. and they have somewhat of a history of overreacting and overregulating and the bottom line is they're driving and have driven american manufacturing jobs to other countries. we cann allow this to happen
again with offshore drilling. as much as we need to use all alternative sources of energy, right now our economy runs on fossil fuels and that's not going to really change any time soon. so we either have to import more oil or we have to allow these rigs to drill. america doesn't yet run on wind mills and moon beams. we need a plan for future disasters to include who's in charge of stopping the leak, who's in charge of containment of the oil spill and who's in charge of the cleanup. . the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. ms. kaptur of ohio. mr. jones of north carolina. without objection, the gentleman from florida is recognized for five minutes.
>> permission to revise and extend. mr. diaz-balart: i spoke with one of the most important and respected leaders of the pro-democracy movement in cuba. from his house. i always learn when i speak to him, he conveyed to me some facts that should be known by my colleagues. fact, there are not 200 political prisoners in cuba. there are thousands of political prisoners in cuba. as amnesty international admit nd one of its published reports, the dictatorships uses sents for so-called crimes for contempt against authority and dangerousness, criminal charges to deny, hide the political status of prisoners of conscience.
fact, various pro-democracy leaders and political prisoners are on hunger strikes as we speak in cuba. most well known is the hunger strike being carried by the peaceful pro-democracy leader, a psychologist and journalists who demands the release of the most grateful ill prisoners to their homes. but there are others engaged in hunger strikes and their efforts need to be know as well. a former political prisoner is on a hunger strike and the following prisoners are engaged in hunger strikes at this moment , morales, avila and soeno. . fact, there are many prisoners that are grateful ill that are not on a list. [speaking spanish]
>> this is a great leadeand one of my heroes. before being released from prison, he spent 17 years as a political prisoner. he and his wife, also photographed here, have been dained, harassed, spat upon and beaten enumerable times since his release in 2007 from prison. but antunesever gives up. he has a new blog, i won't shut up, i won't leave. i not only learned mr. speaker when i'm able to speak to him, i receive strength from his courage, patience and devotion for his freedom. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. ms. richardson of california. mr. moran of kansas.
for what purpose does the gentleman from ohio rise? without objection, the gentleman from ohio is recognized for five minutes. mr. latta: mr. speaker, i rise today with a heavy heart to remember the five constituents fr my district who were killed this weekend as a severe thunderstorm whichroduced two tornadoes swept across my district which left destruction and devastation. mary waters and her son and ted kronz and twothers died during the storm. on sunday, i rode with the sheriff and the chief of police to get a first-hand view of the devastation left behind by these tornadoes. during these visits, i spoke with my residents who survived the storm and heard them relate their miracle tales of survival. i want to recognize the 2010
graduating class of lake high school in wood county for their stedfast will and character in the wake of this deadly storm. one of the tornadoes hit lake high school destroying the school. this happened only hours before the senior class of 110 students were scheduled to hold their commencement ceremony sunday afternoon and sadly the class value dick torian lost her father during that storm. the true character, compassion and strength come through in times like the. as the surrounding communities ha stepped in to help whatever ways possible during the recovery effort. the local chapter of the red cross and other volunteer organizations were on the ground to lend their support. the local elected officials and administrators of the counties should be commended for their organization, leadership during these trying times. their quick response to help those in need has held the community together during this
time. also want to commend other communities in the area. like the city of northwood who helped by letting the lake township police use its communications headquarts after the lake town inspect -- township was sbroid. there were three police cruisers to the township. why? because the lake township lost six of their cars during the storm. yesterday, i sent a letter to president obama requesting that wood and fulton counties be declared federal disaster areas as soon as possible. this will be important for the counties so they may have access to as many resources as possible during the recovery effort this afternoon, governor strick land is asking for a federal declaration of assist tans --
assistance and i thank him for it. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. mr. defazio of oregon. mr. gingrey of georgia. mr. gingrey: i would like to address the house for five minutes. after 49 years of dedicated service, coach kenneth carter is retiring from his position from the health department and tennis coach from marietta high sool. coach carter has been a dedicated educator and role model for sports teams in the marietta school district for as long as i remember. he coached football, basketball, track and most memberbly tennis, one state championship and nine regional chps. he received the georgia tennis coach of the year award and was inducted with the 1985 tennis team into the marietta high school hall of fame.
prior to his career with marietta city cools, ken carter worked for the atlanta ymca teachi and training children. he drove a bus back and forth from the y making sure that underprivileged kids had access to the facility. coach carter has always sid that behavior is the number one problem with youth and the training he gave at the ymca taught kids how to be both good athletes and good people. it was here that he met the reverend martin luther king junior. king went tohe ymca often to swim and carter would listen to his stories about civil rights issues. coach carter said working with king was a source of personal inspiration and many life lessons. coach carter has been active with his church and served as a superintendent of sunday school for 22 years. his dedication and selfless
attitude are well known as coh carter has been recognized as the outstanding man of the year, teacher of the year and has also received an outstanding service award. congratulations, coach carter, on your retirement. and thank you for everything you have given to marietta school system. mr. speaker, with that, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia yields back. mr. rohrabacher of california. mr. rohrabacher: ask to address theous -- the house and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tem: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. rohrabacher: recently, israeli military personnel intercepted ships headed towards gaza. world out cry has been deafening and also been misplaced. the israelis have been portrayed as committing violence in order to prevent food and humanitarian
supplies from rching women and children in the crowded palestinian community of gaza. yes, that would certainly be an outrage if that was going on. but the actions taken by israel are aimed only at preventing rockets from being shot into israel, not denying food or medine to the palestinians. the image in the public's mind is totally distorted and what the world needs to do is take a closer look at what's being presented to them, even al gentleman zera, the arabic tv news station could not block out the reality of so-called peace activists who were really thugs attacking israeli soldiers with lead pipes and they are seen refraining using their weapons watching them being beaten and
lying on the ground, their lives in danger. who first initiated violence if not in question, even al-jazerra could not hide that fact. photos of the wounded and dead activists, after they had started beating to death israeli soldiers and thus force was being used to protect these soldiers lives, well, only these pictures of wounded and dead so-called peace activists were highlighted in reports of this incident. this distortion is intended to deceive the people of the world. the so-called activists created the violence that erupted when the flotilla was intercepted for inspection. now some will say that those
pipe-wielding thugs were justified because the israelis should never have stopped and interdicted those ships aimed at giving humanitarian supplies to the people of gaza. well, why was that inspection necessary? never stop asking that basic question. why was it necessary for that inspection? they weren't stopping the supplies. they were simply inspecting the cargoo. why are the israelis insisting on inspecting the ships go to go gaza? because palestinian territory is being used to launch thousands of rockets and artillery at civilian communities in israel from gaza. now, the purpose of the flotilla was not to put food and humanitarian aid in the hands of women and children. that would have happened anyway. the israelis wanted to inspect
this and let the food and humanitarian supplies go forward. no, that wasn't the purpose. the purpose was to prevent israel from stopping the missile attacks on israeli women and children by preventing israel from interdicting weapons' shipments into gaza with those humanitarian aid as a cover. no. these missile attacks from gaza are by anybody's definition a terrorist attack. if the palestinians want food and humanitarian supplies and -- end the rocket attacks. israel would be very happy if that happened to let any food and humanitarian aid go into gaza and this isn't an unreasonable demand on the part of the israelis to inspect the cargoos in order to ensure they aren't being used to cover up the shipment of weapons that are being used to kill israeli
citizens. israel has a right to take a look at what you're shipping into your country to make sure you aren't shipping in those items that are necessary to shoot these things into israel and kill women and children. so in reality, the so-called peace activists weren't victims but hostile and seeking more killing in the form of not only killing israeli soldiers trying to inspect their ships, but killing more israeli civilians through rocket attacks. they are not just killing innocent people. they are undermining any chance for peace and reconciliation between the palestinian people and the israeli people. no. those so-called peace activists were the villains in this situation and the troopers who tried to inspect to see that rockets weren't being smuggled in, they were the heroes of the
day. the world needs to seek truth and ignore the distort picture they are being presented. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. . under the speaker's announced policy of january 6, 2009, the gentleman from new york, mr. weiner, is designated as the majority leader. mr. weiner: thank you, mr. speaker. i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days to revise and extends their remarks and include extraneous material on the special order that i and leader hoyer will be conducting for the convening hour. the spker pro tempore: without objection. mr. weiner: wean mr. speaker, and my colleague, in the overnight hours of may 31, about 10 days ago, news broke that we now have become very familiarwork the previous spker referred to it, several of my colleagues have come to the floor this evening to talk about it, where a flotilla coming from tuey was
intercepted as part of the effort of the state of israel to defend a blockade that was set up. i want to spend the next hour talking a little bit about that boat and how to progressed, where it came from and why and perhaps importantly drill into a little bit the idea of what the blockade is all aut and what the history was. it is impossible to fully understand this issue only looking at it from the point of israeli naval officers climbing onboard a ship and saying, ok, i think i understand the story because i see that picture. that would no more be the truth than to watch the closing scene of "can is a blanka" sand say, ok, i understand what happened in this movie. any time there's loss of life, any time you have military officers, commabbedows climbing on a boat, something is broken down, something has failed. but what i don't think is fully understood and still to this day isn't understood at capitals around the world is who initiated this thing and why it was initiated.
make no mistake about it, my colleagues, as leader hoyer will be mentioning when he he arrives here shortly, the condemn nation that rang around the world against israel is almost a default position in european and arab capitals of the world. there's almost no surprise. it is also true that those ry same quarters are the ones who criticized the united states at just about every opportunity and many of those same places you also see far too much joyous chest beating any time somethi like this goes down with the united states or israel are involved. it was undoubtedly unfortunate that it occurred. but it didn't happen by accident. if you look at the history of this incident, it actually started not on may 31, when the soldiers -- whenhe sailors climbed aboard that boat, but it started on may 17, a couple of weeks earlier. what happened then? what happened then was the israeli government got wind of the idea that this flotilla was
leaving from cyprus, turkey, and said, look, understand that there is a blockade around gaza that controls what can get inside of gaza, for obvious reasons that i'll into further later, but frankly to stop weapons from going into gaza because it is weapons and missiles that have come in to the gaza strip which is controlled by the terrorist organization hamas that have been used to terroze israelis. terrorize to the magnitu of about 10,000 rockets have left from gaza since israel left it in 2007 and gaza was -- and gaza was controlled by hamas. so they say we have an internationally recognized blockade that's been supported by both the bush and obama administration to prevent ships from coming in without their having -- without having their goods in-- inspected. so what the israeli government did was reach out internationally to the sponsors of this boat and the people on this boat and say, look, you're
welcome to ring bring your supplies here -- bring your supplies here to gaza, do i need to yield? mr. speaker need me to yield? the speaker pro tempore: the chair will receive a message. the messenger: mr. speaker, a message from the president of the united states. the secretary: mr. speaker.the speaker pro tempore: ms. secretary.the secretary: i'm directed by the president of the united states to deliver to the house of representatives a message in writing. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york may resume. mr. weiner: it was on may 31 that this boat was intercepted off the coast of gaza. but it was may 17 that israel said, look, if you are interested in bringing humanitarian aid to gaza, you are welcome to do it, all you have to do is bring it into our this -- into right here, we'll look at the goods, make sure there's nothing dangerous in therand then we'll allow it to be escorted into gaza via truck. that's not an unusual occurrence. in fact, 11 -- as of this morning, 11,972 trucks during
this period of time the blockade has been in effect, have been he is courted -- escorted in just such a ways. the not unusual for humanitarian aid to come into gaza, despite much of the rhetoric we've heard from the international community, israel facilitates it through a process. the people on those boats, this humanitarian boat that theoretically was trying to bring humanitarian aid to gaza said, no, we are going to take this flotilla of boats and we're going to go into the teeth of this blockade. they were reportedly warned repeatedly and no one has disputed that. they were warned, look, a blockade is essentially a military thing. it is the same type of thing we use in our blocke of cuba. it's a recognized blockade because if you think about it, there aren't a lot of ways if you look at the map here, this little stretch of land is what we're talking about, it borders israel on some sides, egypt, which is a participant in the blockade, they support and help support the blockade that israel
has, is the idea of this huge coast here has been used in the past, particularly by the nation of iran, to import weapons in. but instead this humanitarian ship, which was no humanitarian ship as we later learned, this humanitarian ship said, no, we're going to keep going. now, i ask you, ladies and gentlemen, when none of us have naval officers in this chamber, actually, congressman sestak is a naval officer and i don't see him here today, but when it comes to enforcing a blockade, you don't have a lot of tools in your quiver. now, there are some ways that you can debilitate a boat, that you can stop its roters from turning by essentially jamming it up from waters underneeths. that was done with one, two, three, four, five of the other boat us that didn't hear about in the newspaper. but those boats were stopped using efforts of the military in israel to stop them in the st peaceful way possible. now, if a boat is coming into a blockade and it might pose a
threat to israel or to the united states, i mean, you can very easily change the names of the countries and say, a boat was coming from yemen to the united states and it's coming in and it wants to cruise down -- it wants to cruise down into the east river. of course the united states would not let that and the coast guard would say, you're going to stop right here soe can inspect what's on this boat and if they kept going, certainly we would not say, oh, that's ok. every step necessary would be taken to stop them. well, that's kind of what happened here. what effectively happened was this boat said, we're not going to stop and they said, we're going to leave the israelis with no opportunity except to board the boats. that's what created the conflict. israel did not create the conflict. they were essentially in a defensive posture saying, this is the line, don't cross it and we're going to give you every opportunity before you reach the line to avert this conflict. the people on the boat chose not
to. they wanted this conflict. they wanted this conflict. they did not want to deliver humanitarian aid. they wand this conflict. well, once the conflict was upon the israelis, i think by just about any definition of restraint, the israelis used restraint. they climbed aboard with quite literally paint guns on thir shoulders to use when they landed. the only arms they had were side arms for the personal protection of these guys and when they lowered themsves down on the boat, they were set upon by these humanitarian peace activists, i say with my tongue firmly in cheek. they were set upon with knives. they were set upon with steel poles. they were set upon with bullets. they were magazines and casings on the boat that did not match any of the israeli side arms. it was tragic that that happened. it was sad that it happened. but it was almost entirely the decision of the people on that
boat. now, i say almost entirely because that boat did not just appear out of the eithe it didn't just appearer, it didn't just appear out of thin air, it had support from the worst enemies of peace in th region and the worst enemies quite literally not only of israel but of the united states as well. and i mean, turkey, reapran, hamas, these are not entities that were looking for some peaceful resolution here. remember, to once again to reiterate, here in the gaza strip, when elections were held in israel, israel does not any longer occupy the west bank or gaza. they left. they left it to the people, to the palestinian people. this part here, the west bank, is run by the paman authority. many of my colleagues know mahmoud abbas was here in washington today and met with the president. this is a place that's had a great deal of economic growth,
there's been a reduction in the amount of violence coming out of the west bank. there's still problems a i still think it is outrageous that we provide any aid to them, but putting that aside for a moment, in this area here, not the palestinian authority or fattah, but hamas, the terrorist organization hamas that is funded by iran, that gets their weapons from iran, and is a declared state of warith israel, has said they don't support a two-state solution, they support a no state of israel solution. no who it is that has been supporting that? actually it's not egypt here. they have been working very hard to enforce the border that they have here and help to enforce the embargo. but it's basically iran. iran has been exporting terror not only here by the way, butless up here, to hezbollah, to nasrallah in lebanon through their agent, syria, but that is why the blockade exists. it's not just because israel wants conflict.
quite the opposite. it's to try to prevent a centrally -- essential i a war going on here with more and more rockets and armaments coming onshore. so, when this embargo is enforced, it's not only protecting the people of israel, it's protecting the united states because this is a way that iran wants to set up essentially what is an agent of their own in the middle east. that's what they want. so the boat unfortunately was -- when the israelis boarded the boat they were set upon. the sailors were beaten. they were stabbed and shot as i said. and when the dust settles, we had an opportunity, as all the world did, to see what was on that boat. let me tell what you the humanitarian aid was that was on that boat. 100 units of metal rods of various lengths, well, i'm sure that was going to feed a lot of children.
200 knives of various sizes. 150 militarytyle and turkish-produced self-defense vests. military style. seven electric saws. 100 pipe wrenches, 50 wooden clubs, 20 axes, a telescopic sight for a gun, four units of four night vision going -- goggles, 100 diving light, 150 head lamps and of course boxes and boxes and boxes of propaganda and tapes, all of them in turkish. now, if there was a true interest on the part of this boat of providing food or aid to the people of gaza, i believe they had an opportunity, obviously, to go and drive it in. they did not want that. so what is the correct response of the united states and the world community when confronted with these facts? well, we have a couple of things.
first of all, we should understand that even if we're the last country on earth that understands the facts that i've beenly aing out here, even if we're the last -- been laying out here, even if we're the last country on earth that understands the importance of israel's role in the region and how they are set upon in a similar way that the united states was on september 11, except the difference is, they have that every day, we should stand with israel, even if we're the last country on earth saying it, we should say, look, the facts are the facts here. as much as which we'd like to say, hey, turkey's a player for peace here, no, they were a player for war here. and as much as we might like to say, you know what? boy i wish everyone would get along that that region, the israel who's now sitting at the bargaining table for peace and the palestinians who are refusing to do so. but i think, my colleagues, we also have to consider something else and that is our relationship with some of the players who are behind us. let's consider turkey. this would not have happened
would it not for the nation of turkey taking the role that they did. they funded the ship, they provided international cover, the turkish foundation for human rights and freedoms and humanitarian relief, i.h.h., as it's known in turkey, has been linked to hamas and they helped to fund this. the turkish government just today voted ainst sanctions on iran because, hey, this is apparently an agent, a country that they would like to be an agent for. and for a lot of time, you know, we kind of wship at the alter of the merate muslim state, the moderate arab states that, you know what, we kind of hope that they're there to be for peace but it's not unlike a child wanting to see a unicorn. it would be great if it happened but we have to realize the facts are the facts and nato membership for turkey has to be called into question here. .
whose side is turkey going to be on. if they were a sponsor for peace and not have cases of knives on board but cases of baby food because we want to help the people of gaza. and we have to realize something else and i want to yield to some of my colleagues. we have to realize that the default position of europe and arab capitals of the world is aginst israel. we can't allow that to be the determinant of how our foreign policy is prosecuted. there is a terrorist state that controls gaza right now. there is a terrorist state that if they could, they would destroy the united states of america. and they are starting with israel. either of my colleagues, the gentleman from connecticut has been a great leader on this issue. >> i thank the gentleman from
new york for his treatment of the facts. and mr. himes: one of the most disheartening aspects for -- of the flotilla situation was the facts set aside by much of the world and instead prejudice was allowed to emerge, a prejudice against our ally, israel and we learned that the facts are a good deal more complicated than we were led to beeve initially. this was a flotilla with more than one agenda, a flotilla with a clear intention of provoking the kind of response that was ultimately provoked. and make no mistake, there isn't a person in this chamber or anywhere else that isn't saddened by loss of life. i would like to step back from the facts that mr. wiener did a good job in articulating, to
larger issues that cannot be lost in our relationship with the state of israel. the best way i can encapsulate, israel for the united states, is family. we speak of a special relationship with great britain. we have at least a special relationship with the nation of israel. it is a relationship of family. in some cases, very literally. in other cases and for this nation as a whole, we are family because we share so many values, some of the values that are incorporated into this building and into our documents, our judeo-christian values anwe owe a debt of israel -- gratitude to israel. and something that is all too often forgotten, we have the
economic similarity, all three of these things make israel family. and we can't lose sight of this as investigations are undertaken, we can't lose track of that underlying fact, especially in a world where our family is at risk. and this room is full of fathers and mothers and we know what that means. i went to israel and saw how close and how severe the risk of hamas, an entity dedicated to the destruction of the state of israel, how that is not abstract. that is barely an arms' length away. hezbollah, another entity sponsored by iran and iran itself, not far away and help bent on the creation of weapons of mass destruction and leaving absolutely no ambiguity about
what it would do with those weapons of mass destruction. i'm not saying that any of that changes the facts that my colleague from new york has laid on the table that will be investigated and will be considered, but will probably be most interestingly and comprehensively investigated by israel herself but we cannot any more than we lose loyalty to our sons and daughters, our cousins, brothers, sisters, spouses forget that we are talking about family and that when family is at risk, we lean in to our family and we remind the world that there is a reason why israel is part of our family. a reason of values, a reason of democracy and reason we stand here today to remind the world that israel is our family. i yield back to the gentleman. mr. weiner: i appreciate the gentleman's leadership and to put it in context, this is a
tiny town. in the period of time since gaza has been controlled by hamas, there have been 6,066 rockets fired from that area. 4,434 mortars. and i ask my colleagues to envision your town and the district that you represent, envision this ci from being under that type of barrage from a specific place. do you think a blockade would be an excessive step to take? it's particularly important that leader hoyer asked us to gather today to make these points. and before i yield to anyone else, i want to yield to the majority leader of the house of representatives, steny hoyer. mr. hoyer: i thank my friend for yielding. i thank my friend for leading this effort at my request. and i thank those who have
joined in in raising our voice to defend actions that really need no defense, actions that any nation on earth would take if it were similarly threatened, period. any nation on earth. mr. speaker, in the early morning hours of monday, may 31, israel naval forces intercepted six ships, carrying mostly turkish demonstrators attempting to bre the blockade of the gaza strip. there was no confusion. that's what they said they were going to do. israel gave them notice two weeks prior to this. so there was no confusion about what was happening. five of the six ship complied with the requests. the largest of them, however,
refused. clearly bent on violent confrontation as it was boarded by israeli defense forces. as they knew they would be, there was no confusion. these i.d.f. troops were violently attacked with knives, clubs and weapons. in five of the six in this flotilla, there was no violence. there was something in common on all of those ships, i.d.f. forces were on all of those ships. but five of those ships, knowing full well that the blockade would not be allowed to be breached, offered no violent resistance. at the end of the skirmish on the ship, seven members of the i.d.f. suffered injuries, including gunshot wounds, head
trauma and nine demonstrators on the ship had been killed. no one wanted that result. i think not even those who were committing the violence on on the i.d.f. forces wanted that. but once violence is initiated, one cannot predict the outcome. those deaths are tragic. the events leading up to them deserve a full and scrupulous investigation. but this much, ladies and gentlemen, is clear. to call the passengers of the ship nonviolent peace activists would be a victory for propoganda, not for fact. peace activists don't launch attacks with knives and guns and certainly do so while chanting slogans, calling for the death
of jews as an al gentleman zero -- al-jazerra broadcast showed the chants from this ship, kill the jews. how much we lament those deaths, the fact that it was an organized, violent assault and they responded in self-defense, as we would expect any of our own forces to do wherever they may be sent to defend our country. unfortunately, but not surprisingly, this has renewed international condemnation for israel's blockade from gaza. from countries, i suggest to my colleagues, that would do exactly the same thing. i cannot believe there's a country in europe, in asia, in
africa, in south america or on the north american continent that would not say that if you breach this blockade that we have in place for our own security, we will confront you and stop you. but that blockade exists for a reason. to keep weapons out of the hands of hamas, a terrorist organization dicated to the destruction of israel and to random attacks on israeli civilians. mr. wiener has been pointing out the map. probably most of us on this floor have be to the town. some of us have been in the gym that is an armed camp where is the only safe place for the children to play. some have been with me.
the attack on israeli civilians has continued without abatement. i don't mean that it hasn't lessened from time to time, but never has there been a time when israelis felt that the violence was concluded, because hamas has made it clear that it will not conclude. hamas dedicated to the destruction of the israel and the random attacks on israeli civilians. the blockade was launched with the cooperation of israel's neighbor egypt when hamas staged a violent coup to expel its political rivals and seize total control. who was it? palestinians. the elected leadership of the palestinian authority. and the blockade could end today, my friends, if hamas
recognized israel's right to exist as is the principle of the united nations, gave up its commitment to murdering civilians and released the israeli soldier it holds captive. to the extent that life is hard to those in gaza, the prime cause is the terrorist organization that keeps them hostage, holds power through violence and monday plieses the food and hue manner -- humanitarian supplies across the border. my colleagues, pay close attention to this point. indeed, it is hamas, not israel, that is currently preventing the hue -- humanitarian goods from grazza. not the blockade.
but hamas. finally, the united states should and will resist all one-sided attempts to condemn israel at the united nations. the u.n., a body committed by its charter to universal rights has been sadly fixated on singling israel out for condemnation. the only democratic nation in that region ofhe world that recognizes human rights and we see the supreme court of israel saying time after time, you cannot do that, government. that is a nation of laws. yet, it has bn singled out for condemnation, as much more serious crimes and cises have gone unaddressed throughout the world. the bias record extends beyond
the 1975 resolution. the u.n. general assembly has convened an emergency special session 10 times, 10 times, not, i would suggest to you when the north koreans killed obviously 46 individuals in their ship of south korea in south korean waters. six of the times they met, out of 10, have focused on one small nation, israel. while no emergency session was ever held on the genocide in rwanda, not held on the ethnic cleansing in the balkans, not held on genocide in sudan. . the u.n. conference against
racism neglected racism around the world to again single out almost exclusively israel and zionism. the u.n. human rights council whose members include saudi arabia, china and cuba, has only one permanent topic on its official agenda. i've mentioned three genocides that have occurred. they're not on that agenda. israel. even secretary general kofi annan criticized the human rights council for its, and i quote, disproportion focus on violations by israel. should israel comply with international law and the values of the international community? yes. does it? yes. yes, it does. and like every nation, however, it enjoys the right to self-defense. this troubled history is exactly why i'm skeptical that the
united nations will treat israel justly now. what happened needs a real investigation. not one colored by years of one-sided bias. mr. speaker, despite what happened last monday, the fundamentals of this conflict remain just as they were the day before. the overwhelming majority of israelis want to live in peace. with the palestinians side by snide two states. so i believe do most palestinians. but the extremism and hate of groups like hamas stands in the way. in my view, mr. speaker, there were those on those ships who sought this confrontation, again, not for the purposes of humanitarian relief, but for propaganda. and for putting israel at risk from those who wish its destruction. it is not a secret wish, it is
an articulated wish. all the world knows the intent of hamas, to destroy israel and remove jews from the middle east. because they say so. let us not be confused, mr. speaker, finding a way to peace is fiercely difficult. it should not be made more difficult by those who see more propaganda value than human values in these lost lives and i thank my friend from new york for leading this special order that is so important so that our voices are heard here and around the world as it relates to our commitment to the sovereignty, security and safety of israel. and i yield back the balance of my time. mr. weiner: i thank him and before the majority leaves the floor, i think on behalf of all of us in this institution, long before you were the majority leader here, there is hard to think of member of the united
states congress in maybe any time in the 62-year history of israel that had a stronger sense of commitment tohe u.s.-israeli regulationship than you. whether it was leading this body in our condemn nation of the report, a one-sided docunt produced by t united nations, leading this institution in support of israel and in fact for the united states during the gaza war. it is important that final note that you made about who hamas is, they are an enemy of israel for sure. but they're also an outpost for iran. we have something very strong in common with israel beyond just our common sense of democracy and culture. we have the common enemy, that when this boat was traveling, it was traveling essentially doing the bidding of iran and we have to recognize that israel is on the front line of what is essentially a threat to us. i want to thank you on behalf of all of us who fight all the time for that united states and israel relationship close, for
all you've done. mr. hoyer: i thank you. mr. weiner: it is also important that we recognize something else that the majority leader said about the use of human shields on that boat. there were probably some people on that boat who were completely without malice, although most of the loudest voices made it very clear that all of them that we heard seemed to want nothing more than conflict and more than having israel wiped from the face of the earth. but remember when there was the war in gaza, the war in lebanon, th onehing consistent about the agents of iran, that they all do, these terrorist organizations, they're always using humashields. they're putting civilians a putting weapons in the neighborhoods of civilians all the time. does the gentleman from new york need to resume the chair? let me yield to him very briefly because i think he has to resume the job of speaker pro tempore. the gentleman from new york, i'll be glad to yield to you briefly. >> i thank the gentleman from new york and i thank the gentleman from florida for his graciousness. mr. speaker, i want to address
exactly what the gentleman from new york was talking about and that's iran's involvement and what we can do about it. indeed, it has been since 2007 that israel, along with egypt, has instituted this blockade to stop individuals from smuggling weapons. over the course of the blockade, as we've already talked about, israeli defense portions have diverted numerous ships without ins debit. nobody ever wishes for fatalities or injuries to occ during the enforcement of a blockade but the fundamental thing to understand is that israel has the same right to self-defense as any country. mr. maffei: days before the incident, israel notified turkey and other governments participating that it would not allow flotillas to reach the blockade at gaza and as mr. weiner indicated, humanitarian aid was allowed to be offloaded in the port. i am confident that the israeli government will conduct a full and credible investigation regarding this incident. and it is imperative that we draw on the special relationship that endures between the united states and israel and continue
to stand by our a. but i'm even more concn -- our ally. but i'm even more concerned that the media circus surrounding this incident may distract us from the real threat that iran continues to pose not just to israel, not even just to its neighbors, but to the entire world including the united states. the blockade was largely due to iran's continued efforts to smuggle weapons. and we must keep an eye on that. now, in fact the u.n. security council acally passed a resolution today, resolution 1929, which imposes new sanctions against iran because of its suspected nuclear weapon program. the revolutionary guard and other investments. the resolution does expand on three previous sanctions on iran, by strengthening existing measures and breaking ground in several new areas but the majority leader said about the united nations is correct. we must always be skeptical about their resolutions. so the fact that even the united
nations is now passing this resolution should indicate a strong message about how dangerous iran continues to be. it is increasingly important that the united states stand with the state of israel and impose even stronger sanctions than the u.n. has. a nuclear capable iran poses a major threat to the entire world, by combining a nuclear weapon with the current missile program, tehran would be capable of targeting american troops and its allies throughout the middle east and beyond. iran is one of the world's leading sponsors of terrorism and continues to spout antismetic rhetoric regarding the state of israel. president obama has stated all options should remain on the table for dealing with iran, however, cuently tough sanctions are strictly enforced remain the best option to try to persuade rab's leaders to do away that their nuclear program. both chambers of the 111th cofpk have already passed iran sanction legislation. currently the conference committee has been workinging on reconciling these different bills.
the legislation would increase pressure on iran by restricting their ability to purchase refined petroleum products. despite being one of the largest producers of crude oil in the world, they lack refining capability to meetity own domestic needs for gasoline. i believe only a consistent and appropriately tough sanctions policy will give the level of pressure on the current state of iran that has any chance of persuading iran to drop its nuclear ambitions. the refusal of iran to accept the existence of the state of israel helped lead to the unrest in gaza which helped lead to this incident. the u.n. security resolution is a good step but america has an obligation to lead and not just follow. the ally thank the gentleman from new york for his indulgence. mr. weiner: i thank the gentleman from florida, would be glad to yield to you. >> thank you very much. the question that was raised by critics of israel for the past week is, why is israel intercepting ships on the so-called high seas 100 miles from its own shore? and the answer can be summed up
in one simple phrase, self-defense. grace grace that simple phrase explain what is we saw -- mr. grayson: that simple phrase explain what is we saw and israel's continuing need to protect itself. over 1,000 rockets have been fired from gaza into the territory of israel, 1,000 rockets. imagine what we would do if 1,000 rockets were fired into san diego. imagine what we'd do i1,000 rockets were fired into seattle or into detroit or any other border area. in the case of israel, one million people live within rocket range of gaza. and those one million people have been living through hell for yires, with a 15-secon warning, a 15-second warning to seek shelter when the rocket attacks begin. and you as a result of that, 13 israelis have died, but it's inflicted huge harm on the people who live within rocket range in south israel. 1/3 of all the children in south israel suffer from post traumatic stress syndrome.
again, imagine what we would do to stop such attacks if they were directed against us. that's the fundamental reason why israel feels obliged, the israeli military feels obliged to do what it needs to do to protectity citizens. these ships were not in any way interfered with because they were carrying humanitarian aid. these ships were interfered with for one reason and one reason only, that's because they could have been carrying missiles and rockets and things that can be made into missiles and rockets. it's the fundamental duty of the israeli military to protect the people of israel. just as it's a fundamental duty of our military to protect us. what they did what was they needed to do to ensure the safety of their own people and honestly, in the same circumstances we would have done the same thing. thank you very much, i yield back. mr. weiner: i would say to the gentleman, i would think, i would actually argue that the military of israel used such restraint, i mean, frankly, there aren't too many ways to stop a boat. one of the ways is to fire upon.
that's not -- they chose to put their own sailors in jeopardy, although there should have been no reason to believe that they would be on a humanitarian boat. why would anyone expect that someone who board as humanitarian aid ship to be set upon? and to some degree, the media has to be on notice that there is some responsibility to report the context of this thing as well, not just the end. when you see a sailor being tossed overboard, you know, i didn't seem like a very humanitarian act and it was a shameful display by reuters, they recently published a photograph of the soldier, the sailor, the israeli soldier and sailor on the ground and they cropped out the guy standing next to him withhe knife to explain where all that blood came from. the knife was held by someone on this humanitarian aid ship. o one knows these facts better than jerrold nadler from new york. mr. nadler: thank you and i thank you for organizing this special order. it has been absolutely galling to watch the hypocrisy directed
-- and the fury, the undeserved fury, directed at israel for taking steps in its own self-defense. the so-called freedom flotilla which went to break the blockade of gaza had to be intercepted. israel and egypt have been blockading gaza. they've been blockading it not of humanitarian materials, thousands and thousands of tons of humanitarian materials and food and supplies go through the check points into gaza every month. by truck. but ships can carry anything. israel has stopped ships on the high seas carrying rockets to gaza. when they were challenges, the israeli government urged the turks not to allow this flotilla to sail the way it was, and the chinese by the way had this right, the chinese press a day or two before the flotilla was
intercepted, printed the headline, "turkey challenges israel." not israel challenges turkey. turkey challenges israel by sending these ships, knowing that the goal was to break the blockade, not to deliver humanitarian aid. when the israelis made clear to the people onboard the ships that if you land, we will send all the materials straight through to gaza, september for any weapons we find -- accept for any weapons we find. the head of the organization sponsoring it said, no, we're not interested in delivering humanitarian aid. mr. weiner: can i ask the gentleman to yield -- to yield? that's right here. it's not like they were being diversitied far off. mr. nadler: 12 miles, to be precise. they said, no, the aim is to bleak the -- break the blockade. now, a lot of people, a lot of countries are saying, the president of france, how dare they intercept ships on the high seas. this is piracy, said the prime minister of turkey.
well, the law is very clear. if you are fighting someone and israel's fighting hamas, hamas controls the territory and has eclared war on israel and said that war will not stop until israel is destroyed, there might be a ceefire from time to time, but this war must continue until israel's destroyed, as far as hamas is concerned, then you're subject to blockade, that's a tactic of war. and in a blockade you can board the ship, you can in fact sink the ship if that's the only way to enforce the blockade, in international waters as long as it's clear that it's going to a blockaded area. and that's from the u.s. naval commander's handbook. but why was this being done? because, we are told, they have to break the blockade, why do they have to break the blockade? because the overalissue is that we must end the israeli occupation. this is the real sin. this is why so many people think that israe is wrong, because they must end the occupation. people forget how the occupation started.
the occupation of gaza and the west bank started when israel resisted a war of aggression aimed at its extermination in 1967. but we forget history. history started five years ago. israel offered to end the occupation. there's a problem. who do you give the land to? israel has experience here. israel withdrew from lebanon in 2006 and the u.n. said we'll send peacekeeping troops and they'll enforce the rule to prevent rockets and arms. what happened? there are 40,000 missile in the possession of hezbollah because the peace keepers stand aside and the -- and israel learned she cannot depend on the u.n. or anybody to defend her. israel withdrew in 2005 and left behind agricultural
establishments and other things. what happened? hamas took over, turned it into a rocket launching pad against israel. over 10,000 rockets have been launched against israel. >> will the gentleman yield? this piece of real -- mr. weiner: this piece of real estate about the size of new jersey has a terrorist agent in the south, a terrorist agent here in lebanon, andbollah controls this area and a terrorist agent here in syria which once upon a time controlled the mountain top overlooking the country. what the gentleman is describing, terrorists, terrorists, terrorists, all in support of the enemy the united states, iran. mr. nadler: but israel want tones the occupation and be left in peace. israel offered in camp david in 2000 and in 2001 at another
talk, they said we'll withdraw from the entire gaza strip, we'll withdraw from 97% of the west bank, we'll give land swaps to the palestinians to make it equivalent to 100% of the acreage and we'll share jerusalem but in return they've got to agree that the war is over. they wouldn't agree. and they start toad first intifada. the prime minister renewed the offer in 2008 but they will not agree to end of claims or demilitarization. that's the real issue. if they'd agree to that, if the palestinians would agree that the west bank cannot be used if they gave it back, that the west bank would not be used as a rocket launching pad that israel could live in peace if she withdrew that deal could be made and it could be made. it's been offered and until the palestinians are willing to live in peace and willing to
talk about it, the pa stillians won't even talk to the israels now, only the americans. until they're willing to talk and make that agreement, the occupation will continue. >> the gentleman makeance excellent point. the gentleman from virginia is an expert on these issues as well. it's important to thauns just today, mahmoud abbas was in to, i'm going to yield to the gentleman from virginia but before that -- the speaker pro tempore: if the gentleman from new york will suspend. the chair will receive a message. the secretary: mr. speaker, a message from the senate. the secretary: mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: madam speaker. the secretary: i have been directed to inform the house the senate has passed s. 743, to enhance the liability trust fund for the deepwater hozon oil spill in which the concurrence of the house is requested.
the speaker pro tempore: thank you. the gentleman from new york. mr. weiner: i yield to the gentleman fromirginia to pick up on these points. >> i'd like to thank the gentleman from new york for laying out the points very concisely. as someone who spent a significant amount of time myself in israel and the surrounding countries, i want to restate the bond of security, our friendship gives us peace of mind know that we'll always have each other's support in one of the most volatile res of the world. i maintain the right for israel to exist and protect herself as the loan bastion of democracy in the region, israel is the closest ally against terrorist group and i'm committed to seeing the friendship continue. the recent loss of life off the coast of gaza is distressing. however, it is troubling that many have rushed to judgment while failing to recognize the serious security challenges israel faces every day,
necessitating the gaza blockade. as my colleague has mentioned tonight, hamas trifflets in gaza launch frequent rocket attacks directed at israeli towns that too often take the lives of innocent civilians and as our majority leader said earlier this evening, in deribing a trip that i joined him on last summer, israeli children are forced to hide in concrete bunkers in order to have a safe place to play. hamas makes relentless efforts to import into gaza through any means possible the parts for deadly rockets, complicating the efforts to allow humanitarian aid to enter gaza. lasting peace between the israelis and palestinians requires that israel can assure the safety of its population against terrorist threats and that's why i introduced and helped pass h.r. 5327, the missile defense authorization and support act. it will allow israel to build
two iron dome missile defense batteries that will help protect israeli citizens living in cities like sterot who have been terrorized by indiscriminate rocket and mortar attacks on their homes. it will help advance the cause of peace by supporting israel's ability to defend civilian areas from civilian attacks, creating the necessary space for a successful peace process. i want to thank my colleague from new york for his leadership. >> you are exactly right. hour cooperation with the state of israel has never been higher in terms of military intelligence. one of the forces for that is a member of the appropriations commite a powerful committee who recently lid a delegation to the middle east, debbie wasserman schultz, the house knows no stronger advocate for the u.s.-israel relationship than her, i yield to her at
this time. ms. wasserman schultz: it was an absolute pleasure to join you on the trip to israel in january where we learned quite a bit about the progress of the peace process and it has been noted by a number of our colleagues this evening that we cannot allow, in spite of all the recent controversy, which is unclear to me why a country that is defending its borders, its territory and people, is controversial, but that we could not allow it to take our focus off the threat of a nuclear-armed iran. one of the things that's unbelievable to me, mr. wiener, has been the criticism and the questions, the questions that have been thrown at israel, first that they, supposedly boarded this flotilla of ships in internationawaters as if they didn't have the right to do that. that this is a legal blockade there isn't any disputing that.
that they are well within their rights and understandably defending their borders and their people because what country, what country would not make sure that items coming in from a ship to an area that is run by a hostile terrorist organization would not be checked to make sure that they are the genuine humanitarian aid that the people bringing the goods in se that it is. that's simply common sense. and i would think that the citizens of any nation would expect nothing less than their gsh from their governments. the orr criticism i've heard during the week is smu the eople of gaza, and -- and no one denies there is suffering that's gone on in ga savage the people of gaza went through a war, they continue to be ruled by a terrorist organization and so as a result, they are
definitely suffering, but it's important to note that over the last 18 months, israel has allowed a steady flow of humanitarian aid and food to go to the people of gaza. one million tons of humanitarian aid, to be specific, have been allowed into gaza over the last few months, the equivalent of one ton of aid per man, woman, and child in food and materials, living in gaza today. >> i would point out, that -- mr. weiner: i would point out, the same exact offer was made to this flotilla. even before it had left port, the -- they said go right here, we'll take a look at what you have, we'll escort it into gaza for you. ms. wasserman schultz: and a few days later, an irish ship, the rachel corey, was offered the same thing to take their goods and they were also challenging the blockade, yet had a very different response and were boarded, accepted the
boarding and accepted travel to the port there and had their goods offload the point is that israel cannot be expected to stand idly by and allow for goods to be flowing unchecked without making sure that there aren't hostile intentions behind those goods and as israel continues to face unjust criticism on the world stage, the united states must continue and will continue to support our friend, ally, and partner, and i'm so proud to stand with my colleagues today, you have a tragic situation that occurred but we cannot forget that this blockade exists because hamas, the ruling party of gaza, is a terrorist organization with the sworn goal to destroy the jewish state a blockad supported by both israel and egypt as a means to stop the smuggling of illegal materials to hamas. i'm so pleased that you have organized this special order
hour this evening and look forward to continuing this discussion. mr. weiner: i thank the gentlelady and as someone who represents south florida, if a boat came toward the coast, it came from yemen, it had people on it chanting death to floridians and it wouldn't stop when the military offered it an opportunity to, we would certainly not as americans expect to say, ok, we'll see what happens when it reaches shore. you're exactly right the the legality of stopping it in international waters. the next person i'll yield to is the gentlewoman from pennsylvania, who was fighting to strengthen this relationship. mrs. dahlkemper: i thank you for giving us the opportunity to speak in support of one of
the nation's closest allies, israel. -- ms. schwartz: it is apparent that the organizers of the six -- of the flotilla intentionally sought to confront israeli security forces to and defy the embargo of gaza established by israel and egypt. the organizers, the activists as they call them rerksjected means offered by israel that's been talked about tonight to deliver humanitarian aid used by internationally accepted organizations, including the red cross, repeatedly to get that aid to gaza. the resuing altercation and loss of life could have been avoided had the organizes of the flotilla agreed to the repeated offers to dock at one of their ports and allow the overland transfer of humanitarian aid to gaza. israel has the right to defend and protect herself, the
blockade exists because it needs to prevent arms being smuggled to gaza and protect the citizens of israel who have been subject to thousands of rocket attacks. hamas, which is recognized internationally as an enemy of israel and a terrorist organization, has as its mission the destruction of the state of israel and it continues to be a threat to the safety and security of the residents of israel. the loss of life is tragic but there's no question that the organizers of the flotilla were clearlyntent on provoking a military response rather than delivering humanitarian aid, otherwise they would have worked with israel to transfer supplies to gaza. you heard already that humanitarian aid is already shifted to israel. i see there are others who want to speak. let me conclude by say, i am proud to stand with my colleagues in support of israel and the right that she has to defend and protect herself. we will continue to work toward peace and security for israel.
mr. weiner: i thank the gentlelady and of course the most important supporter for israel in this institution is the chairwoman -- the gentlelady from new york. >> i thank the gentleman for providing critical details of exactly what happened. let there be no doubt in anyone's mind, israel has the right to defend herself and the responsibility to protect her citizens from hamas, which denies israel's right to exist and rains rockets down on its citizens. while israel reviews the flotilla incident and continues the best way to implement ea the gaza blockade we must not forget that failure to prevent weapons and other materials from reach hag mas would be a dereliction of israel's most basic responsibility to its people. i stand firmly in support of israel's right to self-defense and i am committed to
maintaining israel's qualitative military edge, so she can continue to defend her citizens. as the blame israel first crowd continues to attack our democratially israel over a host of challenges in the middle east, i am reminded of a simple yet powerful concept, words matter. the inflammatory rhetoric surrounding events inhe middle east in recent weeks and months only begets more hostility, discourages efforts toward a lasting peace agreement, which the people of israel, the people of the west bank, the people of gaza deserve and these words can incite those encouraging violence against israel. the administration focused today on humanitarian and development -- an additional minute by annapolis consent? to strengthen the palestinian authority so -- the speaker pro tempore: the house policy does not allow extensions of the special
order. mrs.lowey: excuse me? the speaker pro tempore: the speaker's announced policy does not allow extensions of special orders. the chair lays before the house a communication. the clerk: to the congress of the united states, pursuant to the authority invested in me by section 902-b-2 of the foreign relations authorization act, fiscal years 1990 and 1991, public law 101-246, and as president of the united states, i herebyeport to the congress that it is in the national interest of the united states to terminate the suspensions under section 902-a-3 of the act with respect to the issuance of perm yent munitions export licenses, for exports to the people's republic of china, in so far as such restrictions pertain to the
light scanner 32 system used for gene mutation geno typing for individual cancer treatment. licensing requirements remain in place for these exports and require review on a case by case basis by the united states government. signed, barack obama, the white house. the speaker pro tempore: referred to the committee on foreign afrs and ordered printed. under the speaker's announced policy of january 6, 2009, the gentleman from missouri, mr. akin, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the minority leader. mr. akin: thank you, mr. speaker. i would now yield three minutes to -- or two minutes over here. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman may not yield blocks of time but you may yield. mr. akin: do i yield the floor. mrs. lowey: i thank the geneman and i'm going to complete my statement and i appreciate your generosity. as the blame israel first crowd continues to attack our democratic ally, israel, over a host of challenges in the middle east, i am reminded of a simple yet powerful concept, words
matter. the inflammatory rhetoric surrounding events in the middle east in recent weeks and months only begets more hostility, discourages efforts toward a lasting peace agreement, which the people of israel, the people of the west bk, the people of gaza deserve and can insight those encouraging violence against israel. the administration focused today on humanitarian and development assistance to strengthen the palestinian authority so it can serve as a viable partner in peace to israel. but they must make clear to all the palestinian people that their security and prosperous future, and we've seen an 11% growth in the west bank, depends on rejecting hamas, recognizing israel and working with the international community and israel to achieve a two-state solution. despite the current tense environment, some positive steps were taken to improve israel's
security as well as bolster u.s. international security interests. iran-s -- continues to ba threat to israel, the region and the world. i'm pleased of today's agreement by the u.n. securi council to impose multilateral sanctions on iran, will hold the regime accountable for its reckless pursuit of nuclear weapons and i look forward to congress finalizing strong bilateral sanctions and urge european partners and other responsible countries to do the se. we must continue to strongly support the u.s.-israeli partnership which provides invaluable benefits to both of our countries' national securities. i yield back. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from missouri controls the time. mr. akin: i'd yield to my good friend. >> thank you. i thank the gentleman and i'll be brief. i risen support of everything that my colleagues have said.
the u.s.-israel relationship is a special relationship and it's a relationship that needs to be strengthened. mr. engel: the united states is israel's only true friend. in fact, when you look at the united natio or the so-called human rights council in the united nations, it's really a kangaroo cou stacked up against israel. no wonder israel doesn't accept what the so-called international body says about th because they can never do anything right. they're always condemn nod matter what they try, no matter what they do. my colleagues have pointed out that israel, like every other sovereign nation, has the right to defend itself, that israel has at least twice seized large catches of arms aboard iranian ships bound for hamas and hezblah and a blockade is an important security measures when employed in the face of hostility, such as that directed by hamas against israel. hamas doesn't recognize israel's right to exist, has vowed to
destroy israel, won't abide by any agreements that have been signed by israel in the previous palestinian governments and so israel has to make sure that traste tax don't come -- terrorist attacks don't come from gaza into israel as they have for such a long time. as my colleagues have pointed out, israel had offered to inexpect the -- inspect the flotlas and let all the humanitarian aid on the flotillas go to gaza but these people on the flotilla were obviously not interested in delivering humanitarian aid. they were interested in provoking a violent reaction with israel. so i just want to stand in support of the u.-israel relationship, a strong relationship, israel is our best friend and ally in the middle east, and hopefully soon there will be a solution to the israeli-palestinian conflict, two states, side by side, living in peace and harmony. a palestinian state and an israeli jewish state and that is something that we all strive to
work for. i want to thank mr. weiner for organizing this, i want to thank mr. hoyer, our majority leader, for always being a stalwart, i want to thank mr. akin for giving us the opporunity to speak. when it comes to israel, this congress is united with strong bipartisan support and we're gointo keep it that way. thank you. i yield back. mr. akin: i thank the gentleman. i think you're articulate and i think that that's accurate to say, there is a good bipartisan sentiment that, you know, when a small nation is trying to defend itself, we've always stood for people and the basic principle of people being allowed to be free and have some self-determination as to how they're going to rule their own country and be free from the fear of terrorists, that's something that americans can really agree on. i appreciate your taking time on that subject and also my good friend from new york, taking the time to organize the hour, very good job, thank you. mr. weiner: if the gentleman wouldield. mr. akin: i do yield.
mr. weiner: thanks to you. i don't know if they have c-span in israel but sometimes it's ease hey for that little country to feel beset on all sides. we share the same common sense that they do, that they're victims of terror and i want to thank you. which disagree on a lot in this place and you're going to spend the next hour or so pointing out some of those places but there's some areas that have broad bipartisan support and israel is one of those things. i want to thank you for being at the forefront of that. mr. akin: thank you very much, gentlemen, and thank you for the leadership you've shone tonight. mr. engel: thank you. mr. akin: i'd now change gears here and get onto another subject. we're dealing with some weighty topics tonight. the previous was of course international relations. the other is closer to home and it's really the question of the economy. the democrats' management of the economy, what should be done with the economy, how does that affect jobs and how does that affect all of our lives? and, you ow, i guess that sounds like kind of a boring subject in some ways. but on the other hand, it so
much influences and affects every single person in our country that i guess we have to put up with a little bit of talk about economics just to make sure that we're not destroying our country, destroying our jobs and putting our grandchildren into debt. and so, the whole topic of economics and jobs can be a little per flex flexing but it esn't have to be -- perplexing but it doesn't have to be. i do apologize ahead of time that i am by training an engineer and someone uns said that engineers shouldn't be allowed in political office. perhaps because they're too logical or whatever the reasons are. but i do think it's important to back up just a little bit, say where we are here in the economy, and how we got to where we're going and what mistakes have been made. i'm not one to want to just criticize and not offer solutions. so i'm going to try to do that. i'm going to try to draw some practical applications as we wrap up in a while.
what we should be doing, what policies should be changed, what does america have to do to pull ourselves out of the economic nose divehat we're currently in? it's not a graveyard spiral. there were days in the early days of airplanes that when a pilot got -- pulled his airplane up into a stall, fell over backwards, he would get into a graveyard spiral and the pilot would grab the stick of the airplane, pull it back violently to try to get the nose of the airplane to pull off from the groned ground and the airplane would keep spiraling down and crash into the ground. it ruined the pilot's to whole day. our economy -- the pilot's whole day. our economy may be in a graveyard spiral but there's thing we can do to present from crashing but we're going to have to do that and do it soon. so that's what i want to take a look at. i want to back up just a little bit to the days of -- back at this super conservative oracle, "the new york times." this is september 11, 2003. this is the beginning, really the beginning of president
bush's presidency. and he goes to the "the new york times" and this is september 11, but it's not 2001, it's 2003, and it says here, this is the article, the bush administration today recommended the most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago. that's interesting. president bush was saying in 2003, we've got to take a look at this finance industry and the overhaul of this housing finance industry. and under the plan disclosed at a congressional hearing today, a new agency would be created within the treasury department to assume supervision of fannie mae and freddie mac, the government-responsed companies that are the two largest players in the mortgage lending industry. interesting. this is way before the savings and loan -- i mean, way before the mortgagebacked security thing hit the fan, the whole
stock market crashes, all that sort of stuff. this is way before that. so, president bush, he's saying, ok, let's regulate these because they're out of control. they've lost $1 billn or something, they thought, that's not pocket change. here's the president asking for this authority and what do we have from then in the minority, we had this from representative frank. he says, these two entities, fannie mae and freddie mac, are not facing any kind of financial crisis. the more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we'll see in terms of affordable housing. now, people who know freddie and fannie know that these guys were big players here in on the hill. they had lobbyists that were terribly effective, went around and districted a whole lot of noun a lot of people and they didn't want anybody playing in the deal they had going and so what happened here? well, what happened was the house, at that time in
republican control, passed a bill to regulate freddie and fannie. it went to the senate and what do you think happened to it? this knows days republicans had majority in -- in those days the republicans had a majority in the senate but didn't have the 60 votes necessary for cloture so the bill was killed by democrats in the senate. freddie and fannie continued on their merry way and all of a sudden a number of years later what other people had seen, bush had seen years before was going to happen, it happened. and we had this great big crisis start. now, that was all connected with acorn, the organization that was pushing banks to make loans that normally a bank wouldn't make because the people that the loans are going to be made to couldn't afford to pay them. soe started going on this track of passing out loans to people that couldn't afford to pay them and every time we sold one of those loans, somebody made some money. and what did it do with all those bad loans? they dumped them all on freddie and fannie and as you know, you keep doing something like this, pretty soon the music's going to stop and there are going to be
people without chairs. that's what happened in the savings and loan problem. now, what's going to be the solution? well, we're going to talk a little bit about that. and where we're going with the economy, what we need to be doing, i'm joined now in the chamber by a good friend of mine, dr. paul broun, from the atlanta, georgia, area, if i recall properly. not atlanta, a similar part of georgia. mr. broun: athens and augusta, my two major cities. mr. akin: i yield to the gentleman. i don't know what you think about atlanta. so i won't say anything about that. my good friend from georgia, congressman and dr. broun, please join us. mr. broun: i hope the american people pay attention to your explanation because it's been democrats all along who fought any reform of freddie and fannie. freddie and fannie were right in the middle of the cause of the financial downturn we've seen today.
just today we've voted on trying to name conferees to the financial services -- a committee of conferees from the house and senate to talk about financial reform, we tried to bring freddie and fannie into the fold but democrats across the board have rejected from 2003 up to today to solve the problem. when off fire going, you want to try to find out the source of the fire and put out the source of the problem. i'm a medical doctor. when you have a medical problem going on, you try to find the source of the problem. if you have a cancer, you want to not just deal with the symptoms of the cancer or even the metaasis, the spread of the cancer but the primary tumor an get it out if you can. freddie and fannie are the source of the problem and
democrats across the board have resisted from 2003 all the way to today the efforts that republicans have made to try to cut out this cancer. of freddie and fannie. mr. akin: you're using some doctors analogies, it paints a vivid picture. but there's a problem with fannie and fred tcheesm problem is, you don't get something for nothing. i'm an engineer. if it isn't there, it isn't there. we're using freddie and fannie to make loans to a certain number of people who can't afford to pay them and then that means where is the money going to come from in mr. broun: taxpayers. mr. akin: that's the point. is it the job of the american public bail out people who make irresponsible loans? how about people who get loans, make the mortgage payment, do everything by the book and they
get hammered because somebody el didn't do it that way? is there any sense of fairness in this? what we're doing is creating an incentive for people to do the wrong thing to take a loan they can't afford to pay they put more stress on their own family economically, how is that compassionate, by the way, when you're the dad supposedly providing for your family and you're in danger every month of the mortgage payment and they're going to put you and the kids and the sew zoe fa out on the sidewalk. that's what these policies on fred tee and fannie are doing. we need to reform freddie and fannie and we're in the willing to do that. i want to jump forward, past freddie and fannie, we've got the trouble with wall street starting to melt down we do the big bailout of wall street and then the center point of the democrat's plan was the stimulus package. the idea was, they saw unemployment starting to go up,
the economy was p, this is a great opportunity for us to spend money on all the things we want to spend money on. so they spent $800 billion which is a whole lot of money, on this stimulus package and the idea was if we spent enough mone it will get the economy going again, in spite of fixing freddie and fannie. what do you think about that eory that if the government spends tons of money, it's going to somehow get the economy going. a lot of people believe that. i yield to my frnd. >> i thank you for yielding this has been described as keynesian economics, which means bigger vernment spending, more borrow, you've got a great quote there, henry morgenthau, f.d.r.'s treasury secretary, during the great depression, made this great quote, it says, we've just -- as much unemployment -- we have just as much unemployment as when we started this massive
government spending and enormous debt to boot. that's exactly what we're doing. the american people know, most american people know, not all, but most american people know that socialism never has worked, never will work but this is a socialistic, this type of philosophy of bigger government, central control from whatever the capital is we saw it in the soviet union, it's what stalin put up there in the soviet union. in fact, f.d.r. said -- sent his lieutenants to russia back during that period of time when the great depression started early on in the roosevelt presidency, se his lieutenants to look at what stalin was doing because they thought this was the greatest thing in the world. and we need to put that kind of policy here. that's exactly what is going ton right now with the leadership. they may as well send their
lieutenant, they should go back and look at history, what stalin did an understand from history that it doesn't work. it will notnd cannot. mr. akin: i appreciate your jumping a little bit ahead. you anticipated where i'm going. the question is, there have been some assumptions made by the democrats about the economy and the question is, are those assumptions any good or not? and one of the things that history does tell us is we should learn something from it. f.d.r.'s treasury secretary henry morgenthau, after trying it for eight year, trurning a recession into the great depression, we consider the greatest depression we had, they spent tons of federal money but at least they spent it on concrete, great big dams and roads and building projects. of course the $800 billion we spent wasn't spent on a lot of stuff, it was more government giveaways. we're joined by my good friend congresswoman lewis, bide delighted if you could jump into the conversation here ,
we're focusing on the economy, what assumptions than done that are wrong and what do we need to get it fixed and straighten things out? ms. lewis: i thank the gentlemafor his courtesy to the previous group -- mrs. lummis: i thank the gentleman r his courtesy to the previous group, allowing them to act nong the importance of our ally there is. one of the issues we have to adss as we address this economic downturn we are in is the role of the federal government in exacerbating the problem. as we all know, federal employment and private sector employment are not the same thing. a private sector job pays for other people's jobs through taxes, whereas a public sector job consumes more than it pays in taxes. so it's important that we watch the relationship and the growth of federal jobs versus the decline in private jobs.
this first chart that i have shows the federal government employment and how it's changed in the past number of years. i'd like to point out that years 2002, 2003, four, 2005, and 2006, where federal government employment was relatively flat. in fact, almost flat as a pancake. then we get into the pelosi congress d it's going up markedly with the year010 here on the end of this chart showing you that we're getting back to levels that are unprecedented since republicans took over control of congress in 1995. i also want to illustrate what has happened to private sector employment during this time period this chart compared private sector employment to public sector employment, or government employment. the red line government
employment and the more flat line of the red line illustrates once again those years that were relatively stable, 2003, 2004, 2005, and 2006. then the pelosi congress took effect and here the government employment begins to shoot up. the scary part of this chart is the blue line is what's happening to private sector employment. it has crested and tn from the pelosi congress on, declined dramatically. these are the years of the pelosi congress. when private sector employment plummets, the ability to pay for your family plummets, unemployment payments go up, those are coming out of the public sector. tax clecks go down. the number of jobs, of course, s declined dramatically. this is an illustration of
what's happened to our economy. unless we get this number under control, we're in trouble. and among the things that i oppose, that the majority party here in congress is pursuing is tax increases on the employer class. the employer class includes those small businesses all over the country that are employing less than 50 employees, that are unable to borrow money because of the constraints on capital that you addressed earlier, mr. akin and all of these create the wnward spiral that we are seeing. in order to get out of that spiral, we have to make dramatic changes in our tax policy, our spending policy, our overall economic policy, in relation to other countries and in relation to the amount of
debt that we are issuing. and i yield back. mr. broun: i wanted to put those two things 100% talking about, mr. akin, the great depression and the government spending and the unemployment didn't go up and what mrs. lummis just so very capably showed us about government jobs going up, during the depression, though, as she just said, there was a lot of spending on infrastructure during that period of time. it did not take care of the unemployment if you look at the unemployment rate during the great depression, it stayed relatively flat, it went up and down some but it stayed up for a bit, then fell way off. in spite of all the big government spending and all the spending on infrastructure, back then, though, under the roosevelt administration they created the w.p.a. and c.c.c.
camps and things like that and put people on government welfare to work building all that infrastructure. now we're paying people to not work. mr. akin: it's gotten even worse, hasn't it? mr. broun: it has. mr. akin: t charts you chose actually have a relationship to each other which you alluded to the mechanics of what that connection is. that is, when the government creates a job by hiring somebody, it does create a job. the problem is, it kills two other jobs in the private sector. so you think to yourself, hey if we have unemployment, let's, for the temporary sense, get the government to spend some money, hire a bunch of people, that will take care of the problem in the short-term, maybe the economy will rebound an maybe the government will shrink and more private sector jobs come along. no so. what happens is this when the government creates jobs it spends more money, takes money away from tremendous the private sector and drives the
number of private jobs down. what you've shown is an illustration and an example of failed economic policy. it's a failed economic policy which we should have known from henry morgenthau that it wasn't any good and one going to work he said, look, we've tried spending money. we're spending more than we've ever spent before and it doesn't work. we're doing it again. eight years of the admferings, we've just as much unemployment as when we started and enormous debt to boot. what are we doing now? we're repeating the same foolish policy. here it is. nobody wants to look at this graph. this is deficit under the democrat budgets. i'm a republican and i'll admit we spent too much money when president bush was president. it wasn't as bad as it could have been. people didn't know how bad it could be. now we do. take a look at that the very worst year of present bush's spending was when in the pelosi congress here in 2008, that was
his highest amount of deficit in a given year. that's 1/3 of what it was under obama the next year and this is even more so. mr. broun: will the gentleman yield? mr. akin: i do yield. mr. broun: i want to put perspective on 2008, that's when the president's chief economic advisor, i guess, the treasury secretary, told him the sky was falling and we needed to pass the toxic assets releaf program, tarp that man republicans voteded against. i didn't buy the democratic treasury secretary under a republican president, that's what hank paul zen is, he's a wall street insider, wall street believes in big government, that's the reason they support democrats,