tv Tonight From Washington CSPAN June 9, 2010 8:00pm-11:00pm EDT
democrats financially. but that increase in 2008 is principally because of the tarp bill that a lot of people didn't like. i did not vote for that. i argued very much against it and i have been a strong critic of the bush administration being big spenders. but they were pikers compared to the pelosi congress ever since she's been in charge and even that is just minuscule compared to what's happened over the last 16 or 17 months. >> it seems that president bus was ebenezer scrooge by comparison to what we've got here. this is runaway spending. this is created not just by tarp, not just by the quote jobs bill, where we just dumped all kinds of money onto increasing various govement handouts and things, it wasn't concrete and roads, it was government handout times -- types of thing. this creates the problem which
cre the unemployment and it threatens the economy. if you take a look at where is is going, you start to put it, these seem like a lot of money this one here is $1.4 trilln. what is $1.4 trillion mean? well, put it into context. . here is the comparison. united states, 10.3. greece at 9.4%. greece is in the news and causing a whole lot of trouble in the european union and its deficit as a percentage of g.d.p. is 9.4%. these are not good numbers. it's healthful to compare to -- united kingdom is worst off. if you go debt, this is the larger term, year after year after year, united states is at
99% and you got greece and italy that are worst off than we are. that is not a good sign when we are in third place. this rate of spending just does not work. this is a path -- this is a glide path. i use the analogy of the old -- the guys of world war i that used to fly those airplanes, whatever it was that snoopy. they get in their spiral and head down to the earth and what happened is -- because of lousy economics, we're in essentially a grave yard spiral in economic and you, my friends, know what the solutions are to fix this. and there was a solution to the graveyard spiral. but from a pilot's point of view, their instinct is to pull
the nose up but the counterintuetive thing is to pont the nose down. and there's the same kind of thing in our economy which we have to do or this economy is going to crash. and if you think 10% is bad for unemployment, it can get a whole lot worse. i yield to congresswoman lummis. mrs. lummis: the chart you have up does compare the u.s. to greece, but what is really frightening about that chart is in five years, our debt to g.d.p. will be at 115% where as right now, greece is 115 p, we will be where greece is right now. and that illustrates the type of nose dive that the gentleman said we are in.
mr. akin, could i ask you to put up the chart there that's called "tidal wave of debt." the chart he's going to put up was prominently displayed on numerous occasions in the budget committee where we heard from ben bernanke. they made reference to this chart and it is the trajectory on this chart that dr. bernanke expressed such concern about. if you look at the line of 2010 and follow it through the year 2046, which is thend line of that chart, you see the enormous upward spiral of our debt. this is, of course, part of the unsustainable situation that dr. bernanke was asking us to address. and if we do not, we'll put our
country in terrible financial straits. so we talked about a number of alternatives. one is americanroadmap.org, which is the ranking member of the budget committee, paul ryan, which is very comprehensive. it would have a slow glide path to bring both our deficits and our debt under complete control and do it without raising taxes and do it without affecting the social security or medicare benefits of people over age 55 or 56. the problem is, the longer we wait, the more out of reach that type of strategy becomes because of the enormo crowding out of our budgets that will happen by interest on our national debt. consequently, we need to address the paul ryan proposal sooner
rather than later. even under the paul ryan scenario, when compared to our economy, the budget cannot be balanced and the debt cannot be eliminated until the second half of this century. so it takes over 40 years, given that scenario, to balance the budget and eliminate the debt. however, that's the kind of slow glide path that we have to take with an economy this enemic and does not raise taxes. if we learn anything from the japanese in the 1990's is that you don't raise taxes during a recession. that is what slowed and retarded their growth out of their economic slump. mr. akin: that's a great point. and what you just said -- let's
repeat that -- you don't raise taxes during a recession. what we're going to talk about tonight, there were bad assumptions that are destroying our country and our economy and just killing jobs in america and creating a whole lot of har, but doesn't have -- hardship, but doesn't have to be that way. but we have to follow the principles of economics. and one of those, you got to ease off on the taxes and there is a logical reason. just so people understand the gravity. this is who owns our debt. this debt is created because we are promising benefits to american citizens, all kinds of promises that we're going to give them housing, health care, food, education and all of the stuff that the soviet union also promised their citizens and who is picking up the tab? a lot of foreigners are buying
our debt. foreign holding of american debt was 5% in 1970, that is when i graduated from college. foreign holdings, 1990, goes from 5% to 19% in 20 years. 20 years later, foreign holdings in 2010, 47%. is that healthy? how much longer are the chinese and the other foreign countries going to continue to pay us money that we don't have to pay off american voters just to keep them happy? this is a glide path that will end up in a crash. the gentlelady, congresswoman lummis, has suggested that eastern now, trying to pull this thing out is going to take a number of years. this can't be turned around overnight and this 20-year kind of pattern reflects the fact that what we're talking about is really serious here. but it's still basic economic
principles. mrs. lummis: while you are putting up your next chart. in may of this year, we issued some treasury bonds and the sale was undersubscribed, which means there were not enough countries or individuals who purchased u.s. treasuries, our debt, at the price at which they are being offered. which means that pretty soon, we are going to have to raise the interest rates that we are willing to pay people who purchase our debt. when we have to raise our interest rates, that means that we are paying more in interest on the debt every year. that crowds out private investment from our economy. that makes it more difficult for the private sector to create the jobs that were on this chart
earlier. that is part of the death spiral that we have been talking about. and i yield back. mr. akin: i would like yield time to my good friend from georgia, dr. broun. mr. broun: i like this cartoon that you just put up because this shows what's going on here not only with our debt and health care reform, i call it tax and trade. the president said it was about raising more revenues for the federal government. it's not about the environment at all. what the president has said, he admitted it's not about the environment, revenue, bigger government, central planning from washington, d.c. and then the war tax. they are adding tax after tax and expecting the the chinese to buy our debt. in other words, we are spending our children and grandchildren's
future and credit cards being held by the chinese and something that is totally unsustainable and what it's going to do long-term our children and grandchildren are going to live at a lower standard than they live today. mr. akin: i think you are an optimist. i'm not so sure that our children and grandchildren will live at a lower standard. i'm not sure that this is going to create a more catastrophic kind of crash where the whole credit system of the united states -- if your treasury bill is no longer any good, you have by definition crashed your airplane into the ground that's going to ruin your whole day. you are talking about a crisis unlike anything that we have seen ever in our history. i don't think we should be overly dramatic about it, but this is really serious stuff. and what this cartoon is trying to point out is, there are a
whole series of obama policies and every single one of them is diving the plane faster and faster. there was the wall street bailout and the stimulus. the private job creation is in the dirt and creating all the jobs by hiring government bureaucrats who are paying more than the guys in the private sector. and then you got this cap and trade, cap and tax is what i call it. passed out of the house. i'm an engineer by training. it's supposed to save us from global warming but more big government and taxes. the senate isn't dumb enough to have passed it. and the socialized medicine deal which will break t budget unless they put in enough waiting lines for everybody and enough rationing so it won't break the federal budget. all of these policies are creating those numbers and those graphs that we see.
mr. broun: there is a bull in that china shop that isn't indicated in this cartoon and that's the failure, non-stimulus bill which is a failure. and it's going to be a job killer. everything that this administration, that this leadership in congress today is doing is killing jobs. and it's not doing anything except creating bigger government and creating temporary employees and creating a lot of jobs in washington, d.c. and don't help my state of georgia, your state, california, texas. they are creating a bigger central government that's going to kill our freedom. mr. akin: gentleman, the thing is, you and i are not talking tonight something that is speculative or based on theory. these graphs are ending in 2010.
these are actual numbers. this is what has happened and doesn't work. it didn't work for f.d.r. and not going to work for president obama and others. that's what is happening to employment in the private sector. and the red line, of course, is government and a whole lot of that is these census people running around and snooping around and living who lives in which house and makes you feel we are putting those government jobs on. let's get to the mechanicses because all of this stuff, it's not rocket science but basic economics. i wish they could run lemonade stands so they could understand the basic economics. we had a town hall meeting back my district. maybe, i thought, i'm here too long. so i asked them, if you wanted to kill jobs, what would you do,
what are the job killers? you know what was the top of their list? excessive taxation. this is the connection you were making, gentlelady, a moment ago between the taxes and these jobs going down. and of course, part of of the taxes is to pay for the public sector jobs. what is the connection? why is it taxation just kills the economy? not just any taxation, but particularly taxation on what? on businesses. why? because businesses have to have money in order to add new processes -- come up with new technology, new machines, a new building to do something in. they have to have some money to do, and if you take away the money, they can't create new jobs. the places where jobs are created in america, 80% in america are corporations in medium or small-sized.
a lot of them are mom and pops with five, 10, 20 people. if you tax the people that own the small businesses, you say that guis making $200,000 -- that's what obama said, if you are making $250,000, watch out. of course he wasn't telling the truth, because this tax they were pushing on the global warming deal, you hit the light switch, you get the tax. guess what's that is going to do. i yield to my good friend from georgia. . mr. broun: you're exactly right. not only does excessive taxation kill technology, they can't buy inventory, so they can't sell goods to consumers.
the consumers don't have the money to buy goods and services so it kills the economy. it's very, very simple economics. the thing is, we're going in the wrong direction. we -- you talked about the energy tax that's been proposed that nancy pelosi jammed through the house of representatives here. it's what's called a regressive tax because it's going to hurt people on limited incomes and poor people the most. it's going to make their gasoline prices go up. i've heard many democrats, mr. democrats here on the floor of the house of representatives say they'd like to see gasoline at $10 a gallon. somebody's o-- somebody who's working hard today, trying to make a living, scraping together a living, trying to get by, if their gasoline price goes to $10 a gallon, they' going to be really out of
economic luck. so to speak. mr. akin: how are you going to pay the mortgage payment now? mr. broun: they can't afford the mortgage payment now. some are just barely paying those things. then the energy tax on their electricity, when they flip on the light switch or when they're eating -- when their heating unit comes on, in the north particularly, i live in the south, we're more concerned about air-conditioning. a lot of old people in georgia and florida and all out throughout southeast and throughout southwest are dependent upon air-conditioning just to live. if their elick trissity bill goes sky high the energy tax is going to make it happen. people are going to have a hard time with hype thermia, that means their body temperature
will go up, they'll get dehide ration and people will have a lot of problems. it's going to make a greater impact on the health care system and people will die because of that. it's going to kill jobs too. it's going to be, just like the obamacare is estimated to kill over five million jobs in this country. mr. akin: five million? mr. broun: 5.5 million, to be exact. what it's going to do, it's going to mean that a sll business man or woman who is trying to make a living, they're not going to be able to hire new employees because of obamacare. we've got to repeal and replace oba maw -- obamacare. everything that this congress has done since i've been here three years now, everything, all this has been under nancy pelosi's leadership, everything
done, is going to kill job, kill the economy, and it's going to be killing the future of our children and grandchildren. we've got to stop this. mr. akin: you didn't mention the mitt little, small, detail of the government becoming the master. the government is so big, the government employees are making so much money, it's becoming not the servant but the master. mr. broun: it's going to kill can our freedom. mr. akin: i'm afraid somebody may be watching. there isn't any hope, things are terrible, we are in a big financial mess because we've been doing the wrong policies, i want to take 10 minutes and talk about, wipe the slate clean, let's stop this foolishness and do what we can to fix it. i want to go to my good fend -- mr. broun: can you yield half a second? mr. akin: let's talk about
something positive. mr. broun: i want to remind the gentleman that during our debate over obamacare, we were accused of being the party of no. we are the party of k-n-o-w. we know how to solve this economic downturn. we know how to create jobs. we know how to lower the cost of health care. we know how to create jobs in the private sector instead of big government. we know how, we are fighting to save freedom, to shrink the size of government, get government out of people's way, to run people's lives, we are the party of k-n-o-w. i'm excited about you launching into this, the idea about the solutions that we have and with that, i yield back. mr. akin: i love to talk about the solutions. solutions are about freedom. that's a good word. that's what america has always stood for. that's what we need to talk about for a minute. i want to yield to my good
friend congresswoman lummis. mrs. lummis: the republican study committee has a proposal through jim jordan's subcommittee on the economy that would balance the budget in 10 years. it would cut spending in areas other than homeland security and defense and it does not touch social security. i am one of those who believe that we have to protect our entitlement system by reforming it, rather than by leaving it alone, but let's save that discussion for another day. another proposal, one that i have with represent arive sam johnson of texas, would reduce the size of e federal employment force tough attrition, in other words, every time someone vacates a position, through retirement or other means that position would go into a position pool and only those positions that are
absolutely necessary to sustain the roles of government as contemplated by the constitution would be reclaimed and redeployed into the federal employment force. there are any number of ideas, the paul ryan proposal, the jim jordan proposal, jeb hensarling has a proposal, many that are comprehensive in nation that will provide the glide path to a better economy and do it without raising taxes, so even though you hear frequently that the republicans are being shortsighted in the fact that they do not want to consider tax increases as part of an economic recovery plan, you're correct that most of us don't and the reason we don't is because we know we can recover this economy without raising
taxes and raising taxes will slow our ability to recover and i yield back to the gentleman from missouri. mr. akin: thank you for the insight and wisdom you've shared with us. this is a graph of actually what happens over time and this is -- i was talking about, when you ere flying those old-fashioned airplanes and you wanted to not drive your airplane into the dirt, what you had to do was push the stick forward, to stop the spin. the plane was start to drive. when you had control, you could pull the stick back. that seemed counterintuitive. this one crazy pilot said, i'm going to take my airplane up, i'm going to put it in a graveyard spiral and i have a solution i believe to pull it out of the spiral and live system of he bet his life on his solution. he put it in the graveyard spirl, pushed the stick forward, the plane stabilized then he eased the stick back and the plane pulled out and
all the people go, whoo, that was a gutsy move. that's counterintuitive, when you're out of control going down, the temptation is to jerk the stick up, that's what the democrats are doing, raising taxes, making the situation, turning recession into a depression. what you have to do is learn from the pite pilots before who figur out how to do them. one of those is j.f.k. they didn't learn from him. he was in ea session, he said, less taxes and the economy recovered. then a guy came along by the name of ronald reagan he cut taxes like mad, then along comes bush, cuts taxes, recoverly ry again, we've seen it over and over, this is counterintuitive, why in the world if you cut taxes could the government have more revenue and get the econy going, here's what happens. think about it a little bit like this. say you're king for a day, congressman broun, and you're
allowed to tax loves of bread. you're thinking, now uff been technically trained as a doctor, you're a scientific thinker, you've got loves of bread, how much are you going to tax a loaf of bread, first you think maybe penny, nobody would complain about a tax of a penny of a loaf of bread. you say if i tax it more, i can get more money. maybe they wouldn't pay $10 tax. somewhere between $10 and a penny, there's an optimum tax to tax a loaf of bread to raise money for the government. the same kind of thing goes on on a larger scale. what this guy understood was if you drop taxes, what happens is the economy gets going. when it gets going, there are more transactions so even the lower tax rate will generate more revenue. this is like that airplane, he's dropping taxehere a look at government revenues. government revenues are going up, taxes are down. it seems like making water run
uphill but it's not. when you get the economy going, then a lower tax rate actually generates more money and that's the solution out of this puzzle. let's talk about what is it we have to do. we have to learn, if nothing else. the soviet unionas a philosophy the government is going to give you health care, an education, the government is going to provide for retirement, it's going to give you housing and food and the government is going to do all of that. we ughed. we said, you condition -- that's socialism, communism, socialism doesn't work. yet what are we doing here? the government is going do do health care, going to do using through -- housing and then food stamps for food. it doesn't work. so i think what we understand is the government is going to have to get out of the business of taking care of everybody and get back in the business of
just simply managing the economy, providing for the national defense, and they'll have to push all that decision making down to the ste level and let the states do it. we have to have a good breath of freedom and fresh air instead of the big welfare state, congressman brown. mr. broun: i'm a pilot. you're exactly right about getting out of a death spiral. so we do push the yolk forward to stop the spin, stop the staal to get the airplane flying again. that's exactly what needs to happen. by pushing the stick forward, i introduced my jobs act. the jobs act will jump start the business sector. wit will cut taxes for two year, suspend the capital gains taxes and dividend taxes. it will cut the two lowest income tax brackets down to 10% and 5%. if you think about it, it will
leave dollars in the hands of business, leave dollars in the hands of individuals, it will leave money to stimulate the economy. it will stimulate the economy and create jobs, it's something that will cut taxes instead of raising taxes. what we see here, the leadership here in the house want to raise taxes. our president wants to raise taxes. one thing i want to go back to, something you were talking about when the president said he was going to raise taxes on people who made $250,000 or more, that these are rich people. vast majority of those folks are small business men and women who are filing their sub-s corporations as individual income taxes. that's really not their individual income, it's how much money come into the business, they're not just wealthy people living lavish
ves. they are men and women who are trying to make a living, create jobs and just take care of their families. when we hear, let's tax the rich they need to pay more. actually, what you're taxing people is out of jobs. you're killing the economy, taxing job we need to lower taxes and that's what you're fighting for. i yield back. . mr. akin: we have two choices, one path towards freedom or the solution is g government. we have seen an unusual year and a half. i have been in congress now 10 years. i have never seen a year and a half like this. this is a one heist party rule. republicans vote one way, democrats the other. and they can do whatever they
want and they have. and the solution is always more taxes, more government and more government control. and so on the one hand, you have the rule of the big brother government taking care of things anyou are guaranteed that you can't fail because the government will always be there to bail you out, not just as a big corporation but an individual. the big government will bail you out. but it doesn't work that way. all of human history shows us is that one of the most dangerous things to human beings is big government because big government has killed more human beings than all the wars of history combined. just take communism alone, it has killed more people than all the wars since the time of christ. so this faith in big government is a very, very unlikely thing to put your faith in. the other choice is freedom, the bright light and fresh air
saying go out and do the best you can, you may fall on your face, but get up and try again. we protect life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. mr. broun: whave one minute left. and i just want to say helping poverty is a formula. good paying job. and that's another thing we know. we have to create those good paying jobs and reduce taxes on small businessmen and women so they can create new jobs and continue to fight for freedom. there is a wide gulf between the leadership of the democratic party here and our leadership on our side. socialism on their hand and on our hand, freedom, personal responsibility and we fight for freedom. mr. akin: freedom is a beautiful thing but there are a couple of things. if you want to be free, you have to be responsible as well. you can't assume big brother
government is going to do it for you. if you want to be free, you have to tolerate the fact that other people near you may be successful. you have to suffer with some guy next door who p made a million dollars and maybe you'll feel jealous, but that's freedom. you have to allow people to succeed and you could make a mistake and fail but at least the government won't chain you down with regulations, red tape and drive you in the dirt. i thank you for joining me, congresswoman lummis and congressman broun. the speaker pro tempore: all members areefrained to engage in personalities towards the president. under the speaker's announced policy of january 6, 2009, the chair recognizes the gentleman
the docratic majority leader and others, that it was not anticipated that they would be producing a budget. and this is my 16th year in the congress and i have to say that i know that that has not happened in the previous 15 years that i severed here. and in checking, i'm not aware since the budget act of 1974 was enacted that the house of representatives hasn't put forth and produced a budget. and just like at home, the reason that a budget is important is that it allocates resources and says what you're going to spend on what a and in the case of the government what you're going to overspend and borrow from places like china to finance the deficit and the debt. that's just spending more money this year than we have of about
$1.4 trillion, which is certainly significant. and if you think about that debt, it's not money it's not money borrowed from the guy down the street but institutions on wall street we spent time bailing out rkts but foreign count terrorists, chibe and others. so it is alarming that the announcement was made that we wouldn't be producing or the majority would not be producing a budget. alarming because you wonder, maybe we have been busy here and we haven't had time to get to something as important as the budget. and then after the budget has passed, that leads to what's called the appropriations process where the appropriations committee gets together and determines what we are going to spend on defense and education, what we are going to spend on the environment.
until you have the budget trigger, there is no allocation to the appropriations committee so they can begin their work. it's not a matter of not having a blueprint or budget, it's a matter of not having the spending bills in place. and that, although, again, we are sometimes late in delivering those, it's unusual that we don't start the process with a markup in the subcommittees on appropriations. certainly preparing the bills for floor activity. you know, in thinking about it, the president of the united states, president obama, he is also charged with delivering a budget and i think we all know that president obama has been pretty busy. there is a lot going on. there have been a lot of things happening since he became the president of the united states that required his attention. some have been disasters, some have been financial difficulties, greece going bankrupt, on the other side of
the ocean. even as busy as president obama has been, he discharged his statutory obligatioand delivered to capitolill a budget. you may not be crazy about the budget and think the budget spends too much, but at least he did what he is supposed to do and present a budget and that caused me to sort of examine what it is that we have been doing here in the house of representatives, more correctly, what the majority has decided we should be doing in the house of representatives here since the beginning of the year to determine what it is that we have been busy doing. and it's particularly important to talk about that a little bit because the first 12 years that i served in the congress, i happen to beepublican and more republicans in the house of representatives than there were democrats and so we were the majority party and they determined what came to the floor just like the democratic
majority does today. and we were doing such a bang-up jock, the voters replaced us and made the democratic party the majority party. one of the central themes that the democrats made is that you need to put us in charge because the republican congress is a do-nothing congress. and they indicated that we weren't working full-time. anybody that's been h here knows that is a false argument. but it sold newspapers. it looked good on the talk shows when people were saying, we aren't even working a full week. some of the work is done on the floor and some is done in the committee and to say we weren't here five days a week and going to change all that was an interesting campaign slogan. i got a notice from the majority
leader that we just come back from our work period back in the districts from memorial day. and didn't have any votes on monday. did something called suspensions the last couple of days, together with a bill that we will try to finish up tomorrow, but just gotten an email so we know what our schedule should be and we aren't going to he votes on friy. despite the fact that the republican majority in 2006 was labeled as t do-nothing congress and don't work five days a week, we have a whopping three days of floor activity here in the house of representatives after being at home for memorial day for an irtire week and so i thought to myself, well, maybe we should look to see and we aren't producing a budget and a lot of
other things that haven't been curring, maybe we have been pre-occupied with important matters that needed to be addressed. what i found out was as i asked it, there have been 337 recorded votes on something known as suspensionsnd you know, mr. speaker and just so you know, a suspension is a non-controversial bill and cleared by the majority says to the minimum rilt, we would like to do it on suspension and those are done by agreement. you are suspending the rules and not bringing a bill to the flr pursuant to the regular order. you are bringing it in a way that is debated for 40 minutes. each side gets 20 minutes and then there is a recorded vote if it's requested and rather than the simple majority, it takes 2/3 of those members present voting to pass a suspension. now the interesting thing about
suspensions is that both parties file legislation that become suspensions, but the interesting thing is and there have been many more than the 337 but the 337 that occurred since january of this year were those that actually recorded a vote. so those, 40 minutes of debate, 40 minutes of floor time, plus a 15-minute vote. to be fair, when they put a series of the suspensions in a row, not every suspension geta 15-minute te. some get five-minute votes, but there are members have to come from committee or offices or wherever they happen to be to cast their votes. at least the first vote in the series, it's not unswrush when the clock runs down that the
actual time consumed is closer to half an hour. so just for a rule of thumb, with that sort of back drop, 337 suspensions debated for 40 minutes a piece and each one getting a 15-minute vote. and we'll do the math in a little bit. that is a significant amount of floor time in a congress that's really only here three days a week discussing noncontroversial bills. in looking at the suspensions on this side, first of all, we have named 19 post offices or public buildings and so in each of those instances, a member put forward a piece of legislation and i don't make any observation about that these weren't worthy honors to name a public building after someone or a post office after someone, but 19 times, the majority has put on the floor a
suspension, consumed 40 minutes of time in a debate about whether or not we should well, let's see, for instance, we designated a post office called the roy wilson post office as an example one time this year. that bill was called up and debated for 40 minutes and 15-minute vote. just shy of an hour is consumed naming a post office after mr.âwilson. if you looked up the recorded vote on that, i doubt that anybody who was present that day voted against it. and we just named two post offices earlier this evening, one after ronald reagan and the second one was aft a couple of marines. again both worthy designations but there were no no-votes. so you say to yourself, well,
ok, why did we have to have a recorded vote? why did we have to consume 40 minutes of debate and consume another 15 minutes on a vote when nobody is opposed to it and everybody thought it was a good idea? as a matter of fact, you know, mr. speaker, that you could call up a post office bill and say, i want the post office and wherever this happens to be and wherever it is, i don't know, i want this post office named after mr.âwilson and ask everybody to vote for it and sit down. and then the speaker would say, those in favor say aye., those opposed, no. and the yeas have it because everybody thinks it is a good idea. and i don't know how long it took but lot less than 15 minutes. we named either a public building or a post office in honor of somebody. .
so on over 30 occasions, i think it's 36 occasion we congratulated the -- a university or college in this country for doing something like winning the lacrosse national championship or the -- winning the ncaa basketball tournament. again, all of the young people and all those institutions deserve recognition. and i am not indicating that, for example, that the university of virginia men's soccer team won the 2009 division, ncaa national championship. i know that every parent of every student on that team is extremely proud of his or her son's accomplishment in doing that. but again, if you look up the
recorded vote which was requested by the sponsor of the legislation, nobody voted against it. you have to say to yourself, ok, why does it take 55 minutes in over 30 separate occasions since january of this year to congratulate all of these fine activities that have occurred. i only brought the colleges and universities but in looking at the list, i know we've congratulated, and if i was a golfer, i could tell you, we congratulated the guy who won the masters. we congratulated a nascar race driver for winning his race. all of those are important things. i'm sure when the bills are pass and signed by the president, that makes a nice memento for that school or individual to hang on the wall. when you're not doing other things such as producing a budget or producing a jobs bill, that puts people back to work in this country, you have to ask yourself, why are you so busy taking 55 minutes times 36
to do that? in addition, it sort of randomly in pulling out some of the 337 suspensions that require a vote because the majority asked for a vote that don't have anything to do with schools and don't have anything to do with public buildings, you find that we are allabout congratulating a lot of people who are engaged in certain activities in this country. so h.res. 117, one of the first ones, because 117 is one a low number we supported the goals and ideals of national engineers week. if you look up the vote, you find that everybody here that day voted to commend the fine engineers in this country because they were having a good week. again, the low numbers, 197, we
wanted to commend the trail training -- sail training organization, worthy goals but you have to say when you're not attending to the business of the people of the united states through legislation that makes a difference in their lives and you're making choices about limited flow ti because again we're nohere five days a week, we're here really on an average about three days a week, even though when campaigning to become the majority, they indicated we're going to work five days a week you wonder why that takes 55 minutes when everybody votes for it. a lot of things dealing with education, we indicated that february 1 was going to be national school counselor week. we recognized national robotics week. i'm not sure what that is but i'm sure -- i guess we have a week dedicated to people who make robots. the only robots i've seen are those ones on tv that battle
each other all the time but ain, that takes a lot of smarts to put together a good low rowe bot. we had a week of recognizing school social work week. we support the goals and ideals of national public works week and i guess that means sewers and bridges an things like that, that we felt was necessary to take 55 minutes to say that national works are good things. we thanked vancouver for hosting a witness standerful winter olympics and again when that came to a vote, i don't recall anybody in the house of representatives voting against it. certainly people who saw the olympics thought that that was a nice olympics, the american teams did better than they normally do in the winter olympics. nobody -- i don't -- have any big difficulty with the fact that one of our colleagues sat
down and drafted a resolution to do any one of these 337 things. think the question is, why, unless you're making it appear that you're doing something, would you consume 435 members, all of the wonderful staff that works here, why consume all that time to do these things when instead you could be dealing with things that people are concerned about? so i'm not smart enough to do the math but just for those that may be interested that will read the congressional record if you take out your calculator and indicate 337 for the suspensions where they have required a vote, multiply it by 40 minutes, and then also plultpli 337 times 15 minutes for the votes that occurred,
that will give you the amount of floor time that has been consumed with these suspensions. for instance, we recognize the importance of manufactured and modular housing. i think that's important. i never lived in a modular house but if i did, i'm sure i would think it was a good thing to honor the people that made it so it didn't fall in on me, and we should recognize them. but again, why take an hour on the floor of the greatest deliberative body in the world to congratulate or recognize people in the modular home industry rather than dealing with other things? and let me just talk for a minute about what those other things are. i mentioned the budget. no one around here can recall a time when, since the budget act of 1974, when the house of representatives has not produced a budget.
everybody at home, certainly in my part of the world in ohio, when they sit down and figure out, you know, ok, we're sending the kids to school and it's going to cost this much, the car payment this much, insurance is this much, you have to budget it. if you don't budget it, you run into trouble. the trouble you run into is you either don't know what's going on with your finances or you spend more money than you have. that's certainly the case with the federal government but one way that people that were here long before i got here decided that you could sort of track that and keep an eye on it was to produce a budget. it also, you know, it also is a good tool for our constituents because a lot of concern about how much money is ing spent in this country. however, americans tent to be generous people. americans also recognize the importance of national defense and if you said to my
constituents or any constituents, said, look, we have to spend more money than we're bringing in in tax revenue this is year but here's what we're spending it on, you can look at our budget, then sometimes people would say, well, ok, borrowing money is not a good idea but if we're going to borrow money, at least we understand that you're going to borrow it for, for instance, there's a horrible situation going on in the gulf of mexico with the oil being literally gushing out of the bottom of the ocean. if you've seen the pictures of the wildlife and you recognize that hurricane season is about to hit the gulf and you know, when that water gets stirred up, the damage and oil will spread much further than it has today. a number of people would say, ok, borrowing money is not a great idea, maybe wwould prefer that you go find cuts someplace else to pay for it, but we understand that
emergencies happen and so if you need to spend x millions of dollars to deal with that situation, and then hopefully get it repaid, from b.p. or those responsible for the mess that's been created down there, we think that's ok. but without a budget, we not only deprive members of the congress from understanding where it is we're going fiscally, we also deprive all the people that are paying the bills, the taxpayers of the united states from knowing how the government proposes to spend their money in the next fiscal year. it's a fiscal year, mr. speaker. i know you know this, but i'll indicate it for the record, that the federal government's fiscal year goes october 1 to october 1. these things need to be in in place by october 1, both budget and the appropriations process, the spending process, or else calamitous things happen, the
government shuts down, there's no predictability about how things are going to be spent and it's a mess. and it's certainly not the preferred iway of governing. as a matter of fact, there are a number of statements made by the gentleman who now holds the position of majority leader or chairman of the budget committee who, when they were in the minority party, it was the republicans' job to cobble together a budget and get it pass, which we always did, they indicated in words to the effect that the inability of the failure to create a budget is a failure to govern. words are funny things. just like when you say we should work five days a week, but we work three days a week, but the reason we should say we work five days a week is because other people are bad, that can come back and bite you in the nose. when you make states like the fail wrur to produce a budget is the failure to govern, when you're in the trittcism
business rather then the governing business and all of a sudden, the voters uh put you in charge, and they say, well, we're not even going to try to do a budget. it gets you into trouble. one of the dissatisfactions, one of the many dissatisfactions, and you'r seeing it in election after election across the country is that people think that the federal government are going to stop listening to them and the representatives have stopped listening to them. i happen to think one of the biggest contributors to that is this venomous partisanship that goes back and forth and you know, you have to recognize that, you know, when you're making a statement and you're in the minority, that the failure to produce a budget is a failure to govern, sometimes the dog catches the car. you then are put in a position where it's your job to craft a budget. so what are we to think if you
don't produce a budget i think you're to think that it's a failure to gove. rather than saying that, it would be my preferred path that we would work together, republicans and democrats, just because a democrat has an idea, i don't dismiss it as a bad idea because it came from a democrat. plimyepublican colleague, a lot of them are very bright people, they have good inside and -- good ideas and if they were incorporated into things the depps were up to, perhaps we could have legislation. you know, that's always been how i tried to conduct myself in the 16 years i've been here. the proof is sort of in the pudding "the national journal," a publicati here on capitol hill, looks at how members of congress vote and there was an article abt a month and a half ago that talked about how
voted either for or against the clearly identified initiatives of president obama the most. and so not untypically, you know, the numbers were pretty high on the republican side in opposing some of the things president obama is putting forward. again not surprisingly but the president is a democrat and members of the democratic party voted for his proposals in pretty large amnts. but i was surprised, i think i'm lucky i didn't get a primary from tea party person because that analysis shows that on 65% of the occasions where president obama identified what his goal or priority was, i supported poth because ma. that the a pretty high number. not the highest among republican, i think it was fifth or sixth, but that's what i'm talking about. the way that things work and
the way you govern is when you take the best ideas of a lot of bright people here a lot of good intentioned people here and craft something, maybe you don't get everything you want. i have a -- the only two people that i ever knew, or do know, that were right 100% of the time, were my mother and my fe. and i know that because they both told me they were right 100% of the time. so, again, you have to say to yoself, why -- what are we doing? why are we spending an hour times 337, honoring football teams and lacrosse teams and swimming teams and recognizing the -- what else did we do? .
we expressed condolences to the chatham county courthouse. i don't know what befell them but we took an hour doing that rather than doing other things. what is it that we haven't accomplished and what is it that the american people i think would appreciate it if we got to. my writing is bad and looks like chicken scratch but the first is the budget and we talked enough about the fact that we haven't produced the budget. the 12 years that i sent -- spent on the transportation committee and every six years we have re-authorized the surface transportation bill. it was calledtea-21. and safetea-lu and it expired
last september. now thatlegislation is what funnels billions of dollars to the states so that they can build roads, bridges and make improvements and bike lanes and aside from being a bill that keeps our country exeff, even though we have aix-year bill now, it started in 1956 with dwight eisenhower when he decided we should have a dedicated gasoline tax and build a national highway system. it is unblefble and even if you go beyond commerce, you have to say to yourself, wait a minute, there a big item in national defense. so you would think that that wod be something we would like to take care of. and as a matter of fact, the rule of thumb on the
transportation committee was that for every billion dollars that was expended in that legislation, it created 47,000 500 jobs. we are asking where's the budget. before that, we were asking where are the jobs? and the jobs figures came out last week and there was an uptick in employment. but included in that is that the government has hired 400,000 people to conduct the census. now anybody who is interested can go back and see how many people were hired to conduct the census in 2000. it's an important job, but 400,000 people were hired to conduct the census, counting all the people in the united states of america. when you take the 400,000 government jobs that were created temporarily and again, if you are talking about jobs, a
job to me is something where you can earn a wage, have health care security,ville retirement potentially and the ability through that wage to support yourself and your family. on the long-term basis, very, very few people would consider it to be just a sweetheart job to get a job counting people in the united states and being done and not being employed when you're done with it. when you look at the jobless figures and take out the 40000 people that have been added to conduct the census, jobs are stagnant, hovering between 9% and 10%. and i have been joined by my good friend, mr. mccotter, michigan has been harder hit because of the auto industry. the gentleman from michigan can tell us what that unemployment is.
by recognizing national teachers' day and taking an hour of time to do that, we haven't haven't gotten to the transportation bill. and it's about a year overdue and will be soon, we keep kicking the can down the road and not being done. if your question is, where are the jobs, how can the government assist -- the government doesn't create jobs unless you are a census worker, but how can you give the economy a boost under the administration. we have had stimulus one, one, stimulus two. son of bailout one, two and three and still have around 9%, 10% unemployment around the country. what is significant about the transportation bill is that the people, although the 47,000 and
the wide array of things, people that cook food, people in the uniform business that produce or clean uniforms for the people out building roads and bridge the people that make the orange cones and reflective vests, the bulk of the highway work is done by laborers and engineers and designed by civil engineers, their unemployment rate rkts their unemployment rate isn't % or 10%, depending on what trade you are talking about, the unemployment is between 27% and 40%. so these people who have had jobs -- we aren't talking about people who don't want to work, these people who have had jobs because of the shrinking of the economy and congress's failure
to act on a transportation bill that was due last september -- it's not not like it was last week, it's almost a year late and there's really -- there's no prospects. december pite the really good intentions of jim on or about star of the -- oberstar, chairman of the transportation and infrastructure committee. the leadership of the house said we aren't going to do a transportation bill between now and the election. and the president, secretary of transportation, ray lahood, has indicated that the administration has indicated they want to gon a 18-month listening tour and has no intention of even addressing the
highway bill until march of next year. and at that point, it will be a year and a half late before the bill is even put together. and bills just don't all of a sudden spring up like crocuses. there have to be hearings and amendments anbrought to the floor. so when we are spending an hour times 337 doing things like -- oh, i don't know, support of nag safe digging month. nobody voted against that. but in order to make it look like we were herfive days a week and doing something, we spent an hour both discussing and voting on national safe digging week. i don't know what that is, but i think that's when you go out in your back yard and put in a garden, you should call the
utilities or else you will cut your neighbor's line. again, i'm not aware of any big push by anybody that would condemn national safe digging week and i have never seen a resolution around here that wanted to promote national unsafe digging week. we took an hour, rather than producing a budget so we could figure out where we are in this country instead of borrowing trillions and trillions of dollars. we could have been doing a transportation bill for a sector unlike the 9% or 10%, if you flash back to february of 2009, the president's observation is we have to do this 800 billion of stimulus spending because if we don't unemployment will go above 8%.
the economy is an unpredictable thing and i don't fault the president -- i don't fault the advisers, but can't fault he and his advisers, but that's the case. and unemployment has risen, cresting double digits and not getting betteunless we hire 400,000 people to count people. i would like to yield to the gentleman from michigan and to talk about what is concerning his constituents in michigan. mr. mccotter: you bring up the soar point. we have the highest unemployment rate in the country. we have the longest lasting recession and at present, they are very concerned that only will we not see an immediate
recovery, but another dipdown in the recession with inflation following it due to the massive borrowing by the federal government. this would be akin to the stag flation that michigan experienced which was a very severe blow to the economy and workers that rely on a strong manufacturing base in our country. when you talk about the budget and the transportation bill, these are essential items of the federal government. not being able to bring forward a budget, as the gentleman has rightly pointed out, leaves individuals who could make investments and help grow the economy to feel that the fiscal discipline and fiscal integrity in the united statovernment is absent. this would preclude them from stepping forward in trying to
help grow the economy and help people trying to grow jobs. we talked about transportation in something that is bipartisan. this is not an ideological debate. this is a federal role. we know this starting with abraham lincoln and yet for whatever reason, we have not seen a bill come forward. as the gentleman has pointed out the people of michigan who have been interested are on the listening tour. if you haven't heard them by now, they want jobs. they want the opportunity and want to see the economy grow see the federal government to help facilitate economic growth. as we continue to go through the list of items that the geneman has put forward, we do not s criticize colleagues on what is put in front of them.
people have talked about the resolution or bills. there are constituencies who like them. there are very few individuals, very few individuals who oppose them. but if you look at it like a meal, on the blue charts that the gentleman from ohio has put forward or what i would call the fixins and what is on the light board is the actual meat and potatoes. this congress has to understand there are families worried about their finances and their futures and what next meal they will put on the table or their unemployment runs out or double-dip recession and it is up to this congress not to think that all the fixings are irrelevant but we should put a full meal forward pass them and get us out of the situation we are in.
in a state of 14% unemployment that would be a welcome change that than what we are experiencing now and i yield ck. mr. latourette: i just want to elevate this chart for a minute. two of my favorites that we spent an hour now is h. res. lution 294, designation of national explosive ordnance disposal day. if you live next door to a korean war vet and he smuggled a couple of grenades and has them in his basement, we honor those. but we haven't done a budget or transportation bill, the fact that we have spent an hour of time here coming up with honoring people who dispose of unsafe order neanes is a strange -- order neans and we have been
joined by m tiberi of ohio. people point to the collapse of the subprimearket and we weren't on the ball. you can go back and forth and blame republicans and democrats but the blame game doesn't matter much but the gentleman talked about a second recession. we do know that the mortgages market for -- hold on a second -- commercial property is about to explode. and we have wsh we see it coming and know it's coming and basically what has occurred because of the the difficulties in the economy just as an example, if you were in the real estate business and purchased an office building and it's fully
rented and everybody pays their rent and you bought it for $1 million and today it's not worth $1 million, they are now in the process, the banks who is bailed out again and again and again are now in the process of saying, we can't finance that for $100 million because you owe $600,000 and we know that's coming. but, again, we are passing bills about the safe disposal -- not even safe disposal of hand grenades but a week where they dispose of hand grenades and last one h. res. 1301, supporting the goals and ideals of national train day. and the fifth time i can recall since the democrats came in the majority that we have recognized national train day. i happen to like trains, but how come we spend an hour of time and 337 hours of time having
bills and having votes why everybody votes for them rather than dealing with this commercial mortgage crisis? where's the bill that does that? and what we get instead is inaction and honor a couple more universities for winning a sem meet or can you recalling tournament and not deal with the commercial mortgage crisis and there's the blame game, it's george bush's fault and barack obama's fault. how about rather than honoring trains we take an hour and do something about a crisis that we know is coming and i yield to my friend from ohio. >> i thank the gentleman for organizing this hour today and i think you've really hit on some of the important points. when you look at -- you got to
go back over auto year ago when the stimulus bill was passed by the majority, the speaker said that unemployment wouldn't go above 8%. mr. tiberi: boy, it would be nice to see unemployment at 8% in ohio today, wouldn't it? it would be nice to see unemployment at 8% in my district, it would be nice to see unemployment at 8% in your district and nice to see unemoyment even close to 8% nationally and we don't see that today. in fact, as someoneho has a father back during the last time unemployment was above 8%, in the early 1980's, who lost his job and lost his pension and we lost our health care, it's kind of deja vu all over again. and rather than try to focus on those issues, we've spent a whole lot of time on issues that don't employ people, that don't make a difference in people's lives. maybe they're important but not as important as dealing with the nuts and bolts issues that
you've talked about tonight. and not being in a position to pass a budget, i mean, if you can't budget you can't govern one man said who is now the chairman of the budget committee from south carolina. if you can't budget you can't govern. and since 1974 and maybe you've already said this, since 1974 the house has never passed a budget. and this year the democratic majority is not going to pass a budget in this house of representatives. if you can't pass a budget you can't govern. and by the way, for the six years that i was in the majority here, we didn't have a 78-member majority like the democrats do today, by the way. this is unbelievable. and so when you look at, i was knocking on doors in my district in central ohio on saturday and
americans are mad and they're struggling and they're scared and they're concerned and those who have the ability to expand their businesses and there are some employers, job creators that have the ability, they're frightened. they're frightened. and i don't know if you've talked about this before i came, they're frightened at the prospects of higher taxes. they're frightened at the prospects of more regulation. and so what are they doing? they're kind of retracting and not doing what they could be doing which is creating jobs, obvisly. and rather than being on the floor here to honor somebody -- honoring somebody who is going to be named -- is going to have a courthouse named after him, which might be worthy, l's focus on sthees issues that you've talked -- on these issues that you've talked about that are vitally important. we have an election in five months. and between now and then nobody that i've talked to in central
ohio who's a job creator, who's an trur, who is a risk taker, is willing to take that risk based upon what they see coming out of this congress. so the gentleman from northeastern ohio is correct in saying that it is not the road map that we need to be on to make our economy better in the greatest country in the world. we have too much debt, too much taxes, too much spending and what we need to be doing is just the opposite of what the majority is doing today. i yield back. mr. latourette: i thank the gentleman for that and here are three items, i just want to give credit to somebody who is in the chamber with us. he can't speak because he happens to be the speaker pro tempore. but the gentleman from idaho, mr. nnick, is presiding over the house for this special order, and when you talk about commercial real estate, he's got a plan. he's put together some very bright people to help avert what he sees and what everybody in
this chamber should see, if they don't see, is that we're headed for this big fall off the cliff on commercial real estate that will make the housing market, the residential housing crisis, really -- you're talking about millions and millions of dollars per building. go ahead. mr. tiberi: will the gentleman yield? mr. latourette: i'd be happy to. mr. tiberi: just last week as we were home for the memorial day recess week, it to your point, i convened a meeting -- to your point, i convened a meeting, i'm a recovering realitier, we had real estate folks on the commercial real estate side, we had small businesses, we had building managers, building owners and managers, and bankers in a meeting. and to your point, they said that the commercial real estate market, if congress doesn't deal with this issue soon, is going to make the housing meltdown look like miner league compared
to what could -- my more league compared to what -- minor league compared to what could happen on the commercial real estate side. this is happening very, very soon. and as we deal with the financial regulatory bill that's coming soon, that's in conference committee today, that could actually add to this problem by restraining credit and creating a bigger problem with respect to access to capital, we are really, in this congress today, with the majority, heading for a disaster of epic proportions if we don't deal with this. so i'm pleased that representative minnick is on the case, i'm pleased that you're on the case and i hope that some folks can get to the leadership on the democratic side to actually do something about this before the too late. i yield back. mr. latourette: i thank the gentleman. here are three quick examples of things we haven't done that could, one, make sure we don't
spend more than we're supposed to, two, deal with the sector of the economy work force that is not facing 10% or 13% or 15% unemployment, they're facing 27% to 48% unemployment, and we're not looking forward, as the current resident of the chair, in minnick has, to avert another meltdown for which will again be engaged in a lot of fingerpointing. but the gentlan from ohio, i kn, serves on the ways and means committee and the other side of this is not just what haven't we done in terms of action, but there are a number of things that are set to expire that have to do with job creation and i'll ask the gentleman to address some of those in just a second. t, again, referring to the list, we spent an hour, rather than dealing with these issues or the issues that we're going to talk about in a minute, we spent an hour here in the house of representatives expressing the support of the week of april
18 through april 23 as national assistant principals week. now, you know, a lot of things honoring teachers and school counselors and so on, i don't know what my friends' experiences were, but the assistant principals were where you went to get spanked when i was growing up because you were misbehaving. of all of the people that we honor, i suppose i votefor this as did everybody when the roll was called, but assistant principals, i'm not sure they're up there with everybody else. perhaps the gentleman could yield to the gentleman from ohio to talk about the bush tax cuts. what we're talking about is the tax legislation thawas enacted in 2001 and 2003, characterized by our friends on the other side of the aisle as tax breaks for filthy rich people. maybe you should go through a few of them and then we couldifiedify them -- identify them -- could you identify them. what's about to expire? people are going to pay higher rates on what?
mr. tiberi: i thank the gentleman for yielding on this matter and bringing this up because we spent a lot of hours on issues right behind you that are not life to death issues. just a couple weekts ago we spenlt less than an hour on an issue that deals with tax increases for people who own partnerships. and quite honestly the way majority sold it was, we're going to tax people who are dge fund partners but the reality is, if you look at what the congressional budget office said, going back to your point about commercial real estate, the u.s. conference of mayors expressed grave concern about what the majority democratic party was doing with respect to carried interest and that is, real estate partnerships are the most impacted group and we're going to take their real estate partnership and go from 15% to ordinary income which next year, you just said, based upon the tax cuts expiring, marginal
rates going up, the rate increase in the payroll tax for health care, you're going to see a huge increase in people who invest in our cities, in commercial real estate, at the same timehat this problem is going to occur that you've already explained. you're going to see tax increases from 15% to over 0% for some people. and what -- 40% for some people. and what the dorches of -- conference of mayors understands, not exactly a conservative group by any way shape or form, if you're going to increase taxes on people who invest in our cities, from 15% to over 40%, they're not going to invest in our cities. this is a huge impact even before those tax cuts expire at the end of this year. what will happen next year, as we're going to see capital gains rates go up, we're going to see dividends go up, we're going to see marginal rates go up, close to 40% for the top tax group. we already see in america today,
as the gentleman from northeastern ohio knows, 53% of americans today, before all these tax rates go up, 53% of americans pay federal income tax. 47% of americans don't. and that is going to get worse when these tax cuts expire. so are you close to a situation where you have more people actually in the wagon, pulling the wagon than people pulling the wagon that are in the wagon. this is not a good situation for america. my mom and dad came to america for a better life. for the american dream. for an opportunity. and that is slowly slipping away for so many people under this democratic majority. where it's class warfare every step of the way. and when these tax cuts expire, it's more of that class warfare, the haves versus the have nots. and it's a bad, bad recipe for the future of america if we
continue this class warfare argument, whether the on income, whether it's on capital gains and dividends, whether it's targeting the job creators and the entrepreneurs versus the people in america who aren't. mr. latourette: to the gentleman's point, you mentioned a variety of tax provisions that are set to expire. i want to focus on two, interest and dividends. any senior citizen that's living on a fixed income who receives his or her income as a result of investments that they make and they receive interest aincome, if they're vested in the stock market or -- invested in the stock market or some other fund and get dividends as a result of that, under the current law, what's the rate that that senior pays on his or her interest and dividends? mr. tiberi: 15%. mr. latourette: ok. now, what's going to happen when the majority party indicates that they're not going to take any action, again, they're not on the budget, they're not on the transportation bill, they're not on the commercial real estate side, when they fail to
take action to extend those, senior citizens are paying 15% on the money they earn on interest and dividends, what's their tax rate going to be? mr. tiberi: it will go up 20% and depending on what rate they're on, that marginal rate will go up as well. mr. latourette: ok. so, the interesting thing, this leads to some of my favorite discussions here, are semantics. we are going to hear that, because people who raise taxes repeatedly usually don't get reelected because people aren't real easyy about that, we'll hear, we're not raising anybody's taxes. we are just letting this set of tax rates expire. . . if i made 1 0 bucks and i would have a tough time to the people we represent imichigan and
ohio, how is that not a tax increase? with a straight face, people will come down to the well of this house and say, we aren't raisings anybody's taxes. and i see the gentleman from michigan on his feet. mr. mccotter: i thank the gentleman talking about how the tax increases are going up. that they just simply let the tax expire. this is akin coming upon an accident scene and saying i didn't help the victim i just let them expire. mr. latourette: we have a 1:45 and i yield to my friend from ohio. mr. tiberi: the bottom line is, a lot of people in our state are hurting and people would like a job and a lot of people in michigan would like a job.
looking over the last year, we spent a lot of time on energy, cap and trade, health care and stimulus and the bottom line is ever since we spent that time, more and more people are out of work. we have record unemployment, record unemployment going back to when i was in high school, 1980's, with no end in sight and tax increases coming, spending out of control and we have spending that is higher than i have ever seen than we thought we saw a couple of years ago is minor league compared to the spending today. and all the time we spent on the legislation that you have talked about that is not really important in people's lives is starting to penetrate to the people of ohio and michigan that we need to be tackling these tough issues. how do you tackle these tough issues without passing a budget and that's the bottom line?
mr. latourette: we have people from ohio and michigan and at least each november we don't get along very well, but on this issue, we are united and i appreciate you both participating and mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of our time. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from ohio for a motion. mr. latourette: mr. speaker, i move that the house do now adjourn. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on the motion to adjourn. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the motion is agreed to.aker to
democratic colleagues to join us in supporting this week's winning youcut proposal to reform fannie mae and freddie their key issues on the financial regulation bill. what should we be looking for? >> this is one of the biggest point of contention with this conference committee. the city bill is far tougher on the to limit his market than the house bill is brita the author asks that the senate language is blanche lincoln who won reelection are a bit this week. she won it earlier this week. she will be looking to keep that derivative proposal tough in the senate bill.
>> and a tough version -- house version is not as tough? >> yes. it would require banks to get rid of most of their derivatives. you have to move it into a separately capitalized entity. the idea being the you get these derivatives that carries certain risks away from the banks that have the insured deposits that you and i keep. >> what is the financial industry? what led thehave they been saying? do they want to keep in? >> it has been pretty intense on many parts of it. they are concerned with an amendment that richard durbin successfully attached to the senate bill. it would require the federal reserve to cap the fees that banks charge retailers when you use your credit card at the cash register. that has been of a titular
interests. i did of particular interest. -- that has been of particular interest. it would require companies to hold a lot more capital. it to be a little more exclusive and the type of capital that banks could hold. the house bill does not have any of that language. these are all things that make the banking industry worker do they will have to be ironed o onence it begins. >> he talked about the capital requirement. why is it so important to keep it in? why do they want banks to keep more reserves? >> going into the financial crisis, if they did not have enough capital on hand. it did not have enough for the risks they were taking. i think there is a lot of unity around the bright idea that we need to have banks that hold a lot more capital than they have in years past.
it is basically a cushion against losses. is the likely will be running from the business and turning to the government. >> what do you hear is the time line for completing negotiations? >> that today is the goal. they will start meeting later this week. i did this about two weeks or so to get all the ideas out. it is certainly an ambitious time. the june 26 date is important. it is also when the g-20 will be meeting in toronto. president obama will be traveling there. he will use the leverage to also work with foreign leaders to crack down on their thinking. >> even though countries are meeting behind closed doors, does the administration still get a chance to weigh in with their views? >> certainly.
the administration has been active throughout this process. expectations are that they will continue to make sure their thoughts are with them. >> stephen sloan bring the financial regulation. thank you for joining as. >> thank you. >> in a moment, president obama meets with palestinian authority president to discuss middle east peace. in about 25 minutes, the reading on the gulf oil spill. more about the safety of offshore drilling from can salazar before the senate energy committee. --er >> with the confirmation for elena kagan coming up, c-span
takes you inside the supreme court to see the public places in those rare the scene faces. they are directly from the justices as they provide inside from the court, the building, and the sisters. the supreme court, home to america's highest court at 6:30 p.m. eastern on c-span. >> the middle east peace process with the major topics 1 president obama met with abbas today. they have imposed parted the region. many people were killed last week when israeli soldiers boarded a flotilla. this is five minutes. >> be careful. be careful. before i begin, i know that there is just a vote. i will comment on that separately. i do not want to detract from the topic at hand.
for reporters here interested, i will be making a statement about that after a recession here. i want to thank the president for being here. we just included some very detective -- productive discussions. i commend him for the excellent work that he and the prime minister has been engaged in over the last several years. they were improving the economic situation. he has done so through hard work and dedication id the whole world has noticed the improvements we have seen as a consequence of his administration. there is a lot of work that remains to be done so that we
can create a two-stage solution in the middle east in which we have in israel that is secure and a palestinian people that has their own state and the ability to chart their own destiny. we have just gone through a difficult time in the region. we saw the tragedy with the flotillas, something that i think has drawn attention around the world to the problems in gaza. this part of the security council, we were very clear in condemning that. we've called for a full investigation. it is important that we get all the facts out. when a the situation in gaza feels unsustainable i think we are seeing the banks within
israel recognizing the problems with the status quo. with very extensive discussions about how we could help to promote a better approach to gossip. is really has the right to prevent arms from entering into gaza. it can be used to launch attacks. we also think it is important for us to explore new met its soaking the goods and services and economic development and the ability of people to start their own businesses and to grow the economy and provide opportunity with in gaza. we are going to be working hand in hand to make sure that we come up with a better approach and urged israel to work with all parties involved, egypt, the palestinian authority and the
international community to find a resolution. in the meantime, the night it states which is already the biggest humanitarian aid donor is going to be announcing an additional $400 million in assistance for housing, a school construction business development not only in gaza but in the west bank we think it is important for us to reform -- reaffirm our commitment. what to also discuss is the fact that not only is the status quo unsustainable it is unsustainable. it is time for us to go ahead
and move forward on a two-stage solution that will affirm the needs of is really a system -- and will affirm the need some of palestinian who register for the homeland. we have had very productive proximity talks. senator mitchell -- who is here, i think standing in the back -- has been very active, working with both the palestinians and the israelis to try to start moving this process forward. and i want to thank president abbas for participating in these proximity talks even under some difficult circumstances. he has shown courage and
tenacity in wanting to resolve this issue. and we believe that with israelis and the palestinian authority coming together, making clear that a peaceful, non-violent solution that recognizes both the security needs of israel as well as the legitimate aspirations of palestinians is the right way to go, can yield real progress in the coming months. it's important that we understand the sense of urgency that the palestinian people feel in this process. obviously you've got organizations like hamas that have not recognized israel, have not renounced violence, who are calling for a different approach. and we think it's important that, given president abbas's commitment to a peaceful diplomatic solution to these issues, and i think the desire of people both in israel and palestine -- palestinian territories for a peaceful solution, that we move forward. and the united states is going to put its full weight behind those efforts. i did share with president abbas, in order for us to be successful in these next several months, that both sides have to create an environment, a
climate, that is going to be conducive to an actual breakthrough. and that means on the israeli side, curbing settlement activity and recognizing some of the progress that has been made by the palestinian authority when it comes to issues like security. it means on the palestinian side -- and i was very frank with president abbas that we have to continue to make more progress on both security as well as incitement issues. and if we can over the next several months try to lift up what are the honest and legitimate concerns of both sides and if both palestinians and israelis can recognize that they have a common interest in moving off of what has been this dead end, then i believe
that potentially we can make significant progress before the end of the year. so i just want to let president abbas know that i said when i took office this was an issue that i cared deeply about and i was willing to spend a lot of time and energy and political capital on. that commitment has not wavered. and i think the american people want to see a resolution of this issue that is equitable. we will continue to work side by side with you, as well as the israelis, to resolve this in a way that is good for the children and future generations both in israel and in a future palestine.+ so thank you very much.
] thank you, mr. president. and we, indeed, have just held very important discussions that touched on the political process as well as the very important latest development that happened in gaza. of course we value and deeply appreciate all the efforts of the united states, as well as the effort of president obama, and all the assistance and help for pushing forward the economic and security levels. and we have reached a satisfactory picture of the economic and security levels. yet we are determined to keep pushing forward in our efforts to bring it up to the next level. and i also appreciate the
attention and the determination of president obama in seeing that we push forward the political process as soon as possible. and i assert and i affirm that we will not give up on this endeavor ahead of us, because it is in our interest, it in the interest of israel, in the interest of the world, and also, most of all, in the interest of the united states.
we know that time is of essence, we know that we must not miss this opportunity. we affirm the importance of bringing about peace and security in the region. and i would like to thank president obama for the support that he will give to gaza -- and we have just talked about that now. this is a positive signal of the united states that the united states cares about the suffering of the people in gaza and about the suffering of the palestinian people.
and we also see the need to lift the israeli siege of the palestinian people, the need to open all the crossings, and the need to let building material and humanitarian material and all the necessities go into the palestinian people. and also we appreciate the attention given to the formation of an investigation committee that would investigate what happened in the latest events, the events of what we
call the freedom flotilla, or the freedom fleet. and i say in front of you, mr. president, that we have nothing to do with incitement against israel, and we're not doing that. what we care about is to live in coexistence with israel, in order to bring about the independent palestinian state that will live side by side
with israel in peace and stability. we adopt and we affirm the arab peace initiative that was adopted in summits, in arab summits, as well as in summits held by islamic countries. fifty-seven arab and islamic countries have said that they would recognize israel if israel withdrew from the occupied arab land.
mr. president, we thank you and we express our deep respect for all your efforts, specifically on the peace process and bringing about peace in the middle east. we know the two-state solution you said is a critical interest of the united states. this is a slogan that we are proud of and we will pursue very seriously our efforts in order to bring about peace in the middle east. >> we got time for, i think, two questions. so, on the u.s.side, we're going to call on matt spetalnick of reuters. >> yes, mr. president, i know you're going to be making a statement later on iran, but i
just wondered if -- >> yes, so just don't waste that question on that. >> you're not going to answer anything -- >> i'll do that at the next one. >> okay. did president abbas ask you to take a tougher line with israel over the gaza aid flotilla raid, and will you in fact do so in outright condemnation of israel's actions? and do you support israel's insistence on doing a flotilla investigation on its own, perhaps with some foreign involvement, or are you in favor of the u. n. proposal for a completely independent inquiry? >> well, let me take the second question first. what the u. n. security council called for was a credible, transparent investigation that met international standards.
and we meant what we said, that's what we expect. i think everybody -- people in israel, people in turkey, people within the palestinian territories, certainly people here in the united states -- want to know the facts of this tragedy, what led to it, how can we prevent it in the future. and i think i've said to the israelis directly and certainly my team has communicated the fact that it is in israel's interest to make sure that everybody knows exactly how this happened so that we don't see these kinds of events occurring again. and we expect that the standard that was called for in the u. n. security council to be met. with respect to the issue of taking a tougher line, i think president abbas and i spent most of our time discussing how do we solve the problem. one of the things that we see is that so often rhetoric when it comes to issues in the middle east outstrip actually solving issues. and our conversation was focused on how do we actually
allow more goods, more services into gaza? how do we allow businesses to thrive? how can we get construction moving? how can we put people to work in gaza? the palestinian authority is already doing a number of things inside of gaza, providing employment opportunities, providing assistance to people directly. the united states is already providing assistance. but the status quo that we have is one that is inherently unstable. and i think the israelis have come to recognize that. the question now is how do we create a different framework so that people in gaza can thrive and succeed, so that extremists are isolated as opposed to having an excuse for engaging in violent activities, but also, how do we do it in a way that israel's legitimate security concerns are met. we -- and i think president
abbas agrees with this -- recognize that israel should not have missiles flying out of gaza into its territories. and so there should be a means by which we are able to stop the flow of arms that could endanger israel's security. at the same time, we're doing so in a way that allows the people in gaza to live out their aspirations and their dreams both for themselves and their children. and that's something that we're going to spend a lot of time focusing on. and we've already begun some hard-headed discussions with the israelis in achieving that.
>> i can translate that to you if you want. i just asked him that there is talk that the administration wants to move from proximity talk to direct negotiation, what the palestinian authority wants to see as a condition to move to that stage. and if i may ask you, the european union has proposed opening of the gaza crossing. -- >> we are working in order to make progress. >> i will let my team the the the details in turn held the money will begin to flow. with respect to the broader issue, i think the key here
>> following things into gossip. -- allowing things into gaza. i will be talking to my european counterparts as well as egypt and israel and the palestinian authority. it seems to me that we should be able to take what has been a tragedy and turned it into an opportunity to create a situation where lives in gaza are directly improved. let me make this final point. in the long run, the only real
way to solve this problem is to make sure that we have a palestinian state side-by-side with an israel that is secure. and we are going to be dealing with these short-term problems but we also have to keep our eye on the horizon and recognize the long-term issue has to be focused on. the immediate problems in front of us have to do with the fact that we have not solved the more brought problem. thank you very much. >> and a few moments, it briefing on the oil spill. in a little less than 30 minutes come out more about the safety of offshore oil drilling from energy secretary can salazar testifying before the energy committee. ben bernanke is question about the economy by the house budget committee.
on "washington journal" tomorrow morning, more on the gulf of mexico oil spill. gene taylor has districts on the gulf coast. john grasso will discuss the new health care law. we will be joined by deborah russell of aarp to look at the economic outlook for those over the age of 50. it is live every day on c-span at 7:00 eastern. >> thad allen's daily briefing included the claims process of those affected by the gulf oil spill. it is wonderful to be here and i want to make a couple of quick acknowledgments. you may know this guy behind me. the is the vice-president of the united states, joe biden.
[applause] also have the lieutenant governor of maryland, anthony brown. [applause] we have the mayor of hyattsville. [applause] of course we have to acknowledge the big man here, and he is big. owner of the company, stephen neal. [applause] i want to thank k neal for having us here today and given us eight or to look at all of these trucks. this is a business that has been selling commercial trucks for over 40 years. this company employs workers
from all over the greater washington area. after two years of recession, that caused so much pain and so many communities, this is an example of a company that is starting to see business picked up again. i was talking to steven and he said that rental and lease sales have improved and there is a pent-up demand out there for new equipment and he added workers over the last few months pontiff he says if things keep going well he will add more in the months ahead. we are hearing more and more stores like that all across america. a lot of businesses were hit hard during this downturn. they are starting to hire again. workers who were laid off are starting to get their jobs back. companies that were almost forced to close their doors are making plans to expand and invest in new equipment.
this progress is reflected in the monthly jobs report that we get each month. we received one today. in may, the economy added 431,000 jobs. [applause] this is the fifth month in a row where we have seen job gains. while we recognize that our recovery is still in its early stages and there are going to be ups and downs months ahead. >> we will go to coast guard admiral thad allen talking about the gulf oil spill today. a hearing on offshore drilling regulations.
>> good morning. and the press secretary for the catastrophe command. thank you for joining us. i will give a brief overview of what is going on and we will take questions for about 10 minutes and questions from the phone for about 10 minutes. please state your name and affiliations for your questions. thank you. >> good morning. let me start out with the condition at the wellhead is morning. at the 24 hour period ending midnight, we recovered a little
over 15,000 barrels so we continued to make progress. as far as the relief wells being dug, development 3 which is drilling the first well is at 8,700 feet below the seabed. driller to which is the second well is being drilled. we are moving in noble drilling unit into place which should be there about june 14. add another 10,000 barrel capacity from what is coming out right now in addition to what is right there now. long-term containment, i spoke about getting a more robust package out there to survive heavier weather with a permanent riser mooring. in vessels involved with that are coming including one from the north sea. that will be in the area between the 12th and 15th of june. the other is a production shift that will be in the area around
june 19. they are starting to put together the subsea morning that will put together that riser pipe and tough the discover enterprise is connected by a fixed roster part that goes down to the containment cap. that basically places it in a fixed location anchored to the wellhead. as will be created for long-term containment with a riser pipe anchored to the bottom with a flexible hose that comes to the surface of there is more maneuvering ability for the ships on top. they will be larger ships able to withstand heavier weather with the hurricane season. a lot of activity: on out there. having been down there quite a bit, we are at the time of year with a lot of heat stress. the heat index isn't 110 degrees in some places. there is concern about worker safety and organic compounds rising from the product and the wellhead. a fire fighting vessel was dispatched to put down a water
blanket over the top of the oil that comes up. two major events today. i signed -- as sent out a letter to the ceo of bp regarding claims processing. we are meeting later today with bp officials. that will be a prelude to a series of meetings to focus on the claims process and what can be done to improve them. this is not a competency. there are contractors working claims. we feel it is our responsibility for the oversight role to make sure this is done effectively. that is the reason i signed the letter. i called and discussed it with him personally said he would know what our intent was. if we send out a second letter asking that in the long term containment plans under way and
near term containment plans that bp start building a better redundancies. we are on a learning curve as we have gone through containment strategies down there. we found how the work at those depths. we found sometimes that hydraulic valves may fail and made mincemeat have to be done. we do not want anything to interrupt the product. recovered so we asked for a plan that will build and redundancies and make the integrity of the recovery process better moving forward. that was put into writing to bp. those were the highlights. >> what prompted you to write the letter and getting the ceo on the phone? did you hear something specific we had gone to the first monthly cycle of the individual claims and some of those were intended to be on a cycle where each month a check comes in. it would be paid on a monthly basis. we are unsure if that took hold
and we are checking if we got the performance we want. we wanted data on the claims processing so far so we can make that transparent and understand if there are problems. we did not have the data analyzed and we are being handed reports that there might be some inconsistency in the claims process. once you find out what the problem is, you talk about it. they own the data and we need it. i asked for that and we will move forward to correct any problems. the cr >> it turns out bp had better quality video which they released only after pressure from cockers -- pressure from congress. were you aware of this video in can you explain why it was not
released earlier? was it has to be put on hard drives and brought off the ships. it cannot be transmitted over the internet or through rf frequent is. the head of the team has been working with bp for high-quality video. you only get that by physically removing it from the ship's air moving it to shore. we made a request it was provided to us. they physically cannot get it real time. >> you are happy with it? >> we have what we need. >> do you think you are turning a corner and turns of more oil being taken in? >> i would certainly hope so. until we get the full production numbers down and we are able to completely capet, we are not going to know. we know a bit more each day. that is why i challenge the flow rate technical group to come back and challenge our assumptions.
we will continue to refine the estimates. i will not declare victory on anything until i have absolute numbers. where have all had estimates and some people have been disappointed when they were changed. show me the numbers. >> how would the government be able to take over the claims process from the p? within that do this? >> we are not contemplating that at the moment. we want to know how it is going. what is the data? that way we can have metrics on how effective it is. we have a lot of anecdotal information about how it is going. another issue that is more tricky is loss of business. sometimes that is hard to get a handle on. as the president was told last week, there are some seafood processing plants that have stored a lot of seafood that is frozen. they are still shipping.
we wonder if there is a problem with the business operation. the stopped processing so those people are not working. trying to quantify this claims are more technical and they are in with a different part of the claims processing procedures. we want to understand and know about it because there cannot be a gap. those are some the things we will be looking at. >> i believe secretary salazar said he believes the gulf region will end up being in better condition once everything is done. do you think that is doable? >> i think anybody would say when you have a big problem and you have a massive look at mitigation and rehabilitation following a significant event, it creates an opportunity to deal with systemic issues that were a problem before. half this is certainly the case with some of the coastal erosion with her train bridge a hurricane katrina. if i think the secretary feels
this way. if you go into a massive mitigation or restoration, it might be worthwhile to step back and say what would hit a newly restored gulf look like? can we add to that or start with a higher purpose and see if we cannot add to that. it seems like a legitimate goal to establish. >> the secretary said that will happen. is that something that can happen? it is being discussed. it is a subject of considerable interest. as frustrating as this is for all of us, i think we need to understand whether or not there's an opportunity for us to do something very good on the other side which is where the secretary was going. >> can you add to some clarity to some reports that there might be other breaches and that oil might be percolating from other places? have you heard those reports? >> i have not heard that. one of the concerns during the
top kill was we put a lot of mud down the well bore. it was suppressing the oil from coming up with the oil started to rise when we were down. one reason to not just pop that prevented off is it would create pressure down the well bore and we do not know exactly the condition. these are place that will provide additional pressure at certain places. there is a degree of certainty it would not be addressed. that is important because it somehow oil could get into the formation at some higher level, it could work its way to the surface and you would have an uncontrollable rate. that has been a concern all the way along. there is no indication that has occurred. there have been discussions associated with too much pressure. >> some scientists are saying bp has impeded the ability to do
things. is anything being done to make them give information more easily? >> i am not familiar with the term but if you give me information, to look into it and go back to bp. >> we will take questions from the phone. >> the question calls from rolling stone magazine. >> thank you for taking my call. i have been e-mail in about the $25,000 a barrel estimate it described as a minimum. the government has repeatedly characterized that at a full range of that activity. i am wondering why there is that disconnect. does it not appear that the government is in some ways blowball in the estimate of the amount of oil coming out? i am the government and we are
not low balling. where have many technical experts that came up with to ranges. 12 to 19 and 123 25,000. until we have the data, that is the assumption we are making for duff we are redoubling our efforts to question nos constantly for more accuracy. we are then able to assess production. i can guarantee you that nobody is low balling and anything that works for me. we will give you the honest data that we have and the basis for the assumptions and were that led us? . >> thank you. now that the system is taking 15,000 barrels a day, it does that mean it has reached its capacity? how long did you think it will be before that ship is full and what happens at that point? >> the ship is almost full right now and they are offloading as we speak to shuttle tanker that
will take the oil ashore so they can continue to operate. we think it is capable of up to 18,000 barrels per day production. the mobile drilling unit is capable of another 10,000. that gives us a total capacity of 28,000 in terms of production per day. that is where we continue to be. >> >> thank you. i wonder if you could say when you expect the 72 hour deadline to bp expires and the ships that you mentioned bringing in, how did this fit into that plan? >> can you refresh me on which 72 hour deadline? >> one admiral said 72 hours from the receipt of this letter that you want to see a plan from them that has more robust recovery capabilities and redundancy. >> your question in regard to
the 72-hour deadline? >> when is that deadline taking place? >> i am not sure when they received the letter but it will be approximately three days from now. i can provide a description of the vessels coming out in the course did those partly addressed that question or is that not part of the plan you want to see? >> there are a lot of parts to the plan. what we understand right now is the basic structure for long- term containment is to take a riser pipe and suspend it under the water and up several hundred feet with the more in line, the riser pipe would come up just below the surface. it is a matter of being suspended below the service. there will be a flexible hose from the top of the pipe that would go up to a oil exploration ship that can be converted to
produce oil and natural gas. there will be a second coupling from that ship to a larger total chancre on its way from the north sea. that has significant capacity. it shuttles oil from the north sea oil rigs to scotland. we will basically have a pumping capability at the surface connected by a flexible hose down to the riser that continually off lows tankers. the bottom will go back to the wellhead. we might be able to move from a containment cap to a hard cap which is a way to produce everything coming out which means we could take leakage down to almost zero. >> do you have an estimated capacity for that system? >> i do not have it with me but we can make that available. >> thank you. >> next question comes from npr. >> good morning. the ap is reporting that they
are moving ships into place to flame of the oil and gas as opposed to recover it. is that part of a plan? >> that is the q 4000 that i mentioned before. it can fire off natural gas and the oil, as well. we are concerned that oil to not hit the water. it will be a combination of transferred to oil ashore and firing off oil and natural gas. >> that explains why bp talks about a 5,000 barrel per day capacity. they keep talking about a different device. " it is being retrofitted with a device to do that. they are saying the capacity is as low as 5000 up to 10,000. >> my other question has to do with the flow rate. the test group never did he die with the increase from breaking up the riser pipe. that 20% figure actually comes
from bp engineers and not the flow rate task group. i wonder if you could resolve that confusion. >> my knowledge is that it was the task group but if i misunderstood it i will make a clarification. regardless of the source of it to -- 20%. they will be looking at that again. the group is analyzing that right now. we will have empirical resolution moving forward. >> thank you. >> i was hoping you could address what appears to be a change in the previously stated capacity of the discover enterprise from 15,000 to 18,000 barrels of oil per day. also if you could give a bit more detail about the
retrofitting with this oil burner. i understand it is the same vessel used in the top kill. i am hoping to understand what has happened to it since that event when it comes to working on the containment effort. >> to clarify, you are talking about the discover enterprise for the q 4000. the initial estimates were conservative caucus we did not know how the flow rate would go and equipment would react. it is understood that the maximum rate at optimum efficiency is around 18,000 and about 10,000 for the q 4000 for the clearing system for natural gas and oil. if we will put out those ranges and get more clarity to you. these are things that have never been operated before. the q 4000 is being retrofitted with the equipment to allow it to flare natural gas and petroleum. we will put out exact details on that.
did you explain a bit what that equipment will be? this is an evergreen burner or something else? >> i am not sure i know what the exact name of the company that provides it. basically it is a boom that will be established on that that will allow it to ignite it and fly it off. i do not know the exact trade name but we can provide that. >> i just wanted to get a more clear picture. you said there is a shuttle tanker on route from the north sea. are they already working out there? where do they come from? >> there are a lot of vessels out there. this is a special vessel. if you are continually producing off the production
vessels and transferring that to a shuttle tanker, you have to have really good ability to keep the ship on station. what is different about this is it has a dynamic positioning system. this is a system similar to what the drilling platforms used and what the gps another acoustic inputs and thrusters locked into position with a very small tolerance and not move. this shuttle tanker is being brought in for their capacity and for the pact they have the systems that keep the ship within a very high tolerance of where we wanted to be. >> until its rival, you are able to move some of this oil now? >> exactly. we're offloading the discover enterprise to a smaller tanker. it is fixed. they came alongside. having done this on the water myself over the years, any sort of transfer at sea between surface vessels can the problem that bill -- problematic based
on the sea states. having a higher degree of control to do station keeping is very important. we will increase the fidelity of the system and the ability to do it. the ships are also much larger. one is almost 1,000 feet long. their ability to withstand heavy seas is important for the beginning of the hurricane season. >> last question. >> >> thank you for taking my question. you mentioned that fire-fighting ships are being brought to the scene. have there been any problems with workers be in distress because of the heat conditions? >> i saw the offshore supply vessels spraying water.
you contest that with air testing. there are certain thresholds were there will not allow people to work. one way to reduce that is to put water. the fire fighting vessel will control the voc's and protect worker health. >> the q 4000 has an oil burner. under what circumstances would burn the oil rather than to cover it? maybe that would help explain what that is about. >> we want to control the flow would ever where we can. we are or the firing of natural gas. this allows us to bring production capability in flare the oil off and increase the production rate and not have the oil go into the water in advance of having that more robust package following. if we can get this up to 28,000 barrels per day, that is where we want to be. >> that would indicate you do not have the production capacity and you might not have the capacity to recover all of this oil. >> by next week, we are only at
15 right now. we will be at 28 this week and beyond that when the new system is in place 7 to 10 days beyond that. we are building capacity. once we get the new system in place, they bolt adapt and there will be able to get the oil out and not worry about pressure problems. there will go back and put a cap on it. it will not be containment any more but a cat. there will have to be a transition between the containment cap. thank you. >> thank you, everyone. >> do you know when and where this meeting is today? >> i can find out. 2:00 this the national pollution center in boston.
[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2010] >> now a hearing about offshore oil drilling regulations with ken salazar. he took the stand in front of the oil and natural resources committee for a little more than two hours. ahead and gete go started? the hearing will come to order. the committee will come to order. we are holding the fourth committee hearing in the energy and natural resources committee on the devastating oil spill in the gulf of mexico. as large volumes of oil continue to wreak havoc in the gulf, my thoughts are first with the
people at the forefront of the disaster, the families of those who have lost their lives in the explosion, those who are working day and night to protect the places in the wild life they care about and often their livelihood, as well. i know all americans are thinking of the residents of the gulf region and are grateful to them and to the other responders for their work under these most difficult circumstances. >> it is clear that prior to the explosion of the deepwater horizon raid, neither the companies involved nor the government adequately appreciated were prepared for the risks involved in a deep water drilling operation of this type. results of that failure to properly assess risks and prepare for risks have been disastrous. lives have been lost and livelihoods and way of life of many gulf of mexico residents
has been interrupted and destroyed. the environmental damage has been immense. since bp has so far failed to stop the oil gushing into the gulf of mexico, the extent of the fur road damage was not known. our purpose today is to review your term actions that have been taken and are planned to correct this longstanding failure to properly assess risk and to ensure the safety of this and other ongoing and future energy operations in the outer continental shelf. according to the department of interior, the gulf of mexico has a nearly 7000 active leases on the federal outer continental shelf. 64 percent of which are in deep water. as a result, there are now about 3600 oil and gas related structures in the gulf of mexico. in 2009, a% of all u.s. offshore oil production, 45% of natural
gas production, occurred in water depths in excess of 1,000 feet. the industry had drilled nearly 4000 wells to those deaths. operators drilled about 700 wells that like deepwater horizon are in water depths of 5,000 feet or greater on the outer continental shelf. and 2009, production from the gulf accounted for 31% of domestic oil production and 11% of total domestic natural gas production. offshore operations provided employment estimated at 150,000 jobs. we are all aware of our country's demand for oil. as a result of this accident, we are aware and a way we were not before of the true potential costs of that demand. the challenge for regulators and for congress in enacting
statutory responsibilities and authorities to those regulators is to put up for a permit requirements into place in sharing that this horrible price is not paid again. at the same time, we are reminded that we must continue with renewed vigor to find ways to reduce our dependence on oil for national security, national security and and permit the reasons. it is particularly challenging to do so when we are in the midst of a crisis. investigations are ongoing into the cause of this disaster. we do not have certainty about what happened. the best minds and the country must be focused on stopping this oil leak and cleaning off the affected areas. yet we must make sure as an urgent matter that ongoing operations are safe. we hear today from the secretary of the interior about the administration's actions in this regard. his team has produced a report
on a 30 day timeline to identify near-term safety measures that need to be taken. regulators have acted quickly to impose some of these new safety requirements immediately on ongoing operations. additionally, the administration is taking measures to halt certain operations to ensure their safety while allowing others to continue. we appreciate the effort of the secretary and his work to ensure there is an adequate response to the environmental and safety crisis presented by this accident. we also appreciate his presence here today and look forward to working together with the administration on this urgent goal of ensuring the safety of these operations. let me turn to the senator for her opening remarks. >> thank you. good morning secretary. it has been a couple weeks since you have been before the committee. i believe last time you were here, the oil --
>> we are tired of being dumped on. >> we would ask the mess to please exit the room and allow us to proceed with our hearing. >> as i was saying, it has been several weeks since you have been before the committee. at that time, the oil had not yet reached the shores and marshes of southern louisiana. the couple weeks ago, we have the opportunity along with the chairmen to fly over that spill. i think we all recognize the gravity of the situation and the nightmare it has become for the residents of the gulf region. examining the measures
the interior department has suggested in response to the deep waters bill. we are examining the report on immediate recommendations for improved safety and internment of protection and we also need to discuss the moratorium that the interior department has implemented for some shallow water exploration. there can be no doubt that the public outrage and political pressure has mounted to the government to do more about this worsening situation. we are all sympathetic to those demands. yesterday i had an opportunity to meet with an alaskan who will be testifying this morning and another committee on the hill. speaking on the long term in packs of oil spills on fisheries as we experienced after the exxon valdez. his story is unfortunately very familiar to me and my constituents. our conversation is not just
about the fisheries. it is about the constant struggle in finding a balance between exploration and production of oil which our state depends upon for the majority of the economy. the gulf is certainly faced with the associated trade-offs right now. i am plot the interior department for the report -- the plot of the interior department for the report saying that the energy need is likely to carry expiration into deep water environments and how to it by way of the best practices for sale of drilling operation developed over the years might be adjusted for the unique challenges of drilling so very far under the sea. these are not technical challenges but human challenges, as well. we recognized that can be difficult to regulate without successfully creating a culture both of regulatory and the
industrial level that prioritize safety and in turn, protests from anything like deep water horizon ever happening again. i am sure we will look back at the lessons that have been learned not only from what happened on april 20 but from the various operations and response and we will certainly learn lessons from our policy responses, as well. i think we need to look to the news just yesterday that one of the largest independent offshore operators' announced it is packing up and moving three rigs to foreign waters. i think the question that needs to be asked is is this consequence unintended? is this something we are willing to accept? there is certainly a lot to talk about. i want there to be no effort or expense spirit to bring the well under control and see to it that the victims of this spill are compensated fairly and expeditiously. i am certainly working to make that happen. if we look at the policy moving
forward, i simply reiterate that we carefully consider the impact of this spill on long- term energy policy. we have to get it right. secretary chu said data is being provided about the malfunctioning blowout provider. he says that transparency is not only in the public interest but part of the scientific process. we want to make sure that independence -- i would echo those statements. the public in the scientific committed the and all interested parties can review it. we have a lot of work to do. with that, i appreciate the opportunity and look forward to the comments from the secretary. >> thank you. as the senator says, we welcome you back to the committee, mr.
secretary. your deputy and your counselor, we've all come them, as well. please go ahead with your statement. >> thank you very much. it is always good to come this committee even when we are dealing with difficult challenges. i have prepared a statement. and the interest of having a dialogue with you but i want to focus on a couple of key issues, the first is the status of offshore drilling and the safety program which the president has directed which we are in the process of implementing. the second is the reform that we have underway at the department of interior with respect to minerals management service's and moving forward with efforts
to develop a new organize stationed there. it may be useful at the outset before i speak to this central points to give you a quick overview of what is happening this morning. we are in a position where briard directive of bp relative to making sure that they are doing everything humanly and technologically possible to stop the leak and to fight the oil on the sea and fight the damages as they occur on shore. this morning, the secretary and i had our morning call with bp executives. we were informed that the enterprise vessel that is doing the short term containment is capturing about 15,000 barrels of oil per day. at our insistence, they have moved forward with additional capacity to be able to capture additional amounts of oil and to make sure it the redundancies
are built in overtime so that at the end of the day, as much of the pollution as is leaking will be captured. our goal is to get to the zero pollution emanating from this well. doing in the anteroom to get to the final effort which will be to kill the well so the relief wells are penetrating which are now close to 8,000 feet. the surface of the sea. efforts continue and are continuing in parallel, not in sequence. nothing is being spare to bring this problem under control. at headquarters in houston where i have now spent probably 10 days in the last three or four weeks, the scientists from the united states of america and
several laboratories and others from the nazis geological survey, the department of defense experts are assembled there making sure that the best minds are being brought to focus in on the problem. that is at the direction of the president. let me comment on two of the issues. i know the committee will have many questions on these matters. the deputy secretary has been involved on this effort. we entered a 51 or 52 nonstop. we have not taken a day off like the rest of everybody else. we will work at the same level to get this problem under control and figure out the future with respect to oil and gas in the outer continental shelf. the secretary to the council has been involved in all this energy issues of the department of interior and was one of the key architects of the safety reports submitted to the president at his direction.
he may have answers to some of the questions with respect to the safety report. but to speak to the status of offshore drilling. i think that is something which many of you on this committee are very interested in, wanting to find out where we are. the president, following the deepwater horizon, directed the department of interior to develop safety recommendations within 30 days. the goal is simple. if we are going to move forward with any kind of oil and gas production in the outer continental shelf, it must be done in a safe manner. assumptions that were made about safety in the past are not assumptions that will be made in the future to the extent that offshore drilling will continue. that has to be done in a matter that we can ensure it can be done safely. the multiple recommendations that came out to the president in the report are now in the process of being implemented at the department of the interior.
those recommendations include additional enforcement and safety measures. they include requirements which essentially amounts to a recall of a blowout prevention mechanisms and the recertification of those blowout prevention mechanisms in the outer continental shelf. they include requirements with respect to cementing the casing and the rig safety and an entire host of other safety initiatives. they are being implemented through notices which we implemented yesterday by sending a notice that a fix both deep water and shallow water. there is a panoply of safety measures enhanced from what existed in the past that are already being implemented as we speak secondly, with respect to the status of offshore drilling, i wanted to comment
on the moratorium and what we are doing with respect to shallow water development. with respect to the moratorium that the president and i have put into place, it was our view that we needed to get to the bottom and we needed to find out exactly what it is that happened at the deepwater horizon so as we move forward with any sort of exploration, we can assure the american public and everybody who is watching that it can move forward in a safe way. the president's commission, which will take a look at all of these issues, will have a recommendation based on the president's directive within six months. those recommendations will be incorporated into how we move forward with outer continental shelf drilling. between now and then, it was our view and the president's directive that we press the pause button. it is not the stop button.
it is so that we can make sure that if we move forward for drilling on the outer continental shelf that it can be done in a way that is protective of people and protective of the environment, as well. with respect to the shallow waters which i defund essentially at the 500 foot level, we have allowed those oil and gas production efforts and drilling efforts to move forward if in fact the operators can certify to us they can meet the safety requirements. most operators will be able to give us the requirements that we have imposed on them including certification of the blowout prevention mechanisms and there are cementing procedures working. we wanted to allow shallow waters drilling to move forward if it could be done in a way
that can ensure safety. let me speak to the second point i wanted to cover this morning. that is with respect to the mineral management service and the changes that we are undertaking with in that agency. it is important to reflect back at the work that has gone on with mms over the last 17 months with the department of interior. there has been massive work that has gone on. we imposed ethics requirements on mms that had knocked existed before. we made affix a part of the performance plans of the supervisors within mms. those who were involved with wrongdoing were referred to prosecution or other personnel action with respect to people involved in wrongdoing. our purpose was to change the culture at that agency.
i believe we have made significant progress in moving on that agenda. we also move forward with a whole new agenda with respect to renewable energy recognizing oil and gas is important. we also recognize that there is tremendous opportunity with respect to wind power in the offshore. i yesterday signed an understanding with 10 governors along the atlantic coast because we believe that a very significant amount of the electricity along the eastern seaboard can be generated from wind power off the atlantic. the states along the atlantic coast are very interested and supportive of those initiatives. we move forward with major grenoble agenda within mms. finally, on reform efforts. the plan so we announced at the end of march or a combination of a very significant amount of work.
two different plans have been forward by the administration as well as the 2010 and 2015 plan. the plan that came out was different from what had been proposed. we ended up postponing the leases that have been planned in large part because of the fact that we felt we needed additional science and fill in information with respect to oil response -- oil spill response capabilities. we look at places that needed to be protective -- protected for the long term. we're also looking to make sure that those areas that had the right and the structure had the support and geophysical and permission to allow oil and gas production to move forward. we put that forward with respect to the gulf of mexico.
there are other places on the atlantic. we took the north atlantic off the table from any oil drilling information. we said we would develop additional information so that we can make thoughtful decisions relative to the future. the plan that we can up with is what i consider one of the most significant changes that we came up with. moving ahead, how do we take this very critical function of the department of the interior and organize it in a way so that we can make sure the functions of government are being performed and being performed well. the secretary ordered the dismantling of mms into three components going forward. you all know that mms success by
the sectorial order. there will be a new direction forward in terms of how we move forward. we are separating the revenue collections of mms totally away from that part of the department. mms has historically been located within the assistant secretary's minerals. there are approximately 900 people who work in that part of the department. their job is to go out and collect the money on behalf of the american citizens which they have done in good ways for a long time including an average of $13 billion per year. that comes in the federal treasury from will and gas in most of that coming from the offshore. they do that day in and day out.
the functions of that will be moved fully away from minerals and put over to secretary of policy management appointed by the president and confirmed by the senate. that will be a complete separation of the revenue collections. what we will do with the rest of the agency is provide a bureau of ocean energy management which will have the responsibility for moving forward with lease sales and the environmental analysis and making sure that the resource in the outer continental shelf with respect to conventional energy and renewable energy is being managed in the appropriate way. we will also have state bureau of safety -- environmental and safety compliance. this so be separate from the agency that is responsible for giving out the agency -- giving
out to the leases. that will allow the government to operate independently of the part of the government that will be providing the leases and the planning with respect to the how did we come up with this platform? we have been working on the a reorganization of mms for several months. this plan reflects what just happened in places like the u.k. and norway where after horrific they reorganized the department relative to how they oversee the outer continental shelf. as we move forward with their organization, the chairman and senator and distinguished members of this committee, i want to work closely with you to make sure that the organization that we put into place will ensure the goals that have been articulated by you that we have safety and the environment is a
critical concern of how we move forward with development of ocs. i would be happy to take your questions. >> thank you. let me start to ask about the moratorium that you put into place. you refer to it as pressing the pause button. how does that affect producing wells in the gulf of mexico? are there requirements you are putting on the wells that currently producing, not those being developed, but those that are in production and closed in and operating? >> with respect to the moratorium and its application, we have the moratorium in place including with respect to the 33 deep water drilling operations
that were under way. we have ordered those drilling rigs to continue drilling to the point where they can get to a safe place and secure the well. at that point in time, drilling will stop until we complete the safety reviews and the presidential commission report and we can make the determination of how we move forward. with respect to your question on production, production continues in the gulf of mexico. there has been very little interruption because of the border horizon -- deep water horizon. we continue to do inspections and asked for additional inspectors so that we can continue to inspect those facilities, including those production facilities. >> let me ask, you mentioned the 15,000 barrels per day that were
bp thisd by p -- by p effort. if the question is not how many barrels are captured but how many barrels are not captured. how much oil is there that is continuing to add to the environmental damage and economic damage that the that part of the country is suffering? can you give us any more insight into how large that number is? >> senator, i hope that in the next several days we will have a number that is based on science that includes pressure readings and the vigils of the plume coming out, -- visuals of the plume coming out,