tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN June 30, 2010 5:00pm-8:00pm EDT
exemption for themselves. one of the sources of financial instability was derivative traders like a.i.g. did not have the resources to back up their transactions. if we don't require these major swap participants and swap dealers to put more backing behind their swal deals we will only perpetrate this instability. that is not good for these markets and not good for end users. i'm confident that after passing this conference report, we can go home to our constituents and say we have cracked down on wall street and too big to fail firms that caused the financial crisis. with that, i urge my colleagues to support passage of this conference report and reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from oklahoma. . >> i allocate myself three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. lucas: at a time when congress should be focused on economic expansion, the majority brings us this
conference report which will kill jobs and make financial transactions more expensive. last december, this chamber supported a bipartisan effort to bring transparency and regulation to the over-the-counter derivatives markets while allowing for the management of legitimate risk. it recognized that mom and pop shops on main street were not the villains behind the economic collapse. they did not cause the financial crisis and should not be treated as if they did. this reflected the need for commercial end users to lay all risks so they could offer their products as reasonable and stable prices. unfortunately, the senate decided that some industries, only some were worthy of inexpensive risk mitigation. despite the overwhelming bipartisan support, our derivatives language enjoyed during a meeting in the dark of night, our bipartisan language was stripped out. a title that we passed by voice vote was only going to survive
if offered as an amendment. so that's what i and my good friend from new jersey, mr. garrett, did. as the conferees from this chamber, we defended the house position. unfortunately, at dawn last friday our amendment was defeated on a party line vote, stripping away the only protection for end users, american small businesses were told by the majority they would be regulated as though they were wall street. a report released yesterday believes the language changed by the majority could cost u.s. companies $1 trillion in capital liquidity requirements. this isn't money to pay lavish bonuses. this is money to pay salaries, fund research, development and pay construction loans. further analysis of this language concludes that $400 billion will be needed for collateral for business to post with dealer counterparts to cover the exposure of their existing over-the-counter derivatives. it's estimated that another
$370 billion represents the additional credit capacity that companies could need to cover future risk. despite the majority's very arabs appetite for -- vashese appetite for spending, this are big spending amounts. these costs are real, the ability to pay them does not exist. this simply means job losses, therefore concentrating risk. you know, once upon a time this bill was supposed to avoid risk concentration. that was once upon a time. mr. chairman, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from minnesota. mr. peterson: i yield to the gentleman from pennsylvania for a colloquy. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for as
much time as he may consume. >> i rise in support of h.r. 4173. i serve as chairman of the house agriculture subcommittee on conservation, credit, energy and research. as such, we have jurisdictions over institutions of the farm credit system that serve agriculture as well as rural communities across the country. they put in place the revised legislative and regulatory regime that have successfully withstood the test of time and make sure these operations operate safe and sound. mr. holden: they are regulated and examined by and the farm credit administration which has the authority to shut down and liquidate them. they are the only g.s.e. that has a self-funded insurance program in place that was established to not only protect investors in the debt security against loss of their principal and interest but also to protect taxpayers. there are just a few other
reasons that the agriculture committee insisted that the institutions of the farm credit system not be part of the legislation. they were not the cause of the problem, did not utilize tarp funds and did not engage in subprime lending. we have believed that this legislation should not do anything to disrupt this record of success. mr. speaker, i now would like to enter into a colloquy with the chairman of the agriculture committee. mr. chairman, the conference report includes compromised language that requires the commodities future trading commission to consider exempting small banks, farm credit institution systems and credit unions from provisions requiring that all swaps be cleared. we understand that community banks, credit unions did not cause the financial crisis that precipitated this legislation. while the legislation places a special emphasis on institutions with less than $10 billion in assets, my reading of the language is that they should not in any way be salud by the commodities future trading commission as the limit on the size of institution that should be considered for an
exemption. would you concur with that assessment? mr. peterson: yes, i agree. the institutions to be considered for the exemption shall include those with $10 billion or less in assets. it's not a firm standard. some firms could qualify while some with smaller assets may not. the regulators will have maximum flexibility when looking at the risk portfolio for these institutions for consideration of an exemption. mr. holden: i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from oklahoma. mr. lucas: mr. chairman, i now yield to the gentleman from texas who is a very significant participant in both financial services committee and the agriculture committee, mr. neugebauer, two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. neugebauer: mr. chairman, i rise in strong opposition to this conference report. financial regulatory reform is needed, but this 2,300-page bill is the wrong slugs for the taxpayers and it won't help
bills -- capital markets needed to fuel growth and do jobs for our country. if you like the bill after the last few years you are going to love this new financial bill. if you are a consumer who wants fewer choices, higher costs of credit and new fees, this bill has some great deals for you. this bill will vastly expand the powers of the government regulators. those are the same regulators who fell short of the job the first time around and now they are asking us to trust them and they tell us that the outcome will be different next time. but the outcome won't be different because this bill sets a big permanent bailout regime that puts the government in charge of picking winners and losers. if the government says your company is too big and too important to fail, your company gets serious advantages over its competitors, especially your smallest competitors. if the government determines a company should be shut down the government debts to decide how everyone in that business with that company is treated. ignoring the rule of law, just like they did with a.i.g. and
all of the companies behind closed doors. and if those problems weren't serious enough, now they are playing fast and footloose with many. the majority is now taking to unused and unpaid back tarp funds that was supposed to pay down the national debt and doubling the insurance premiums to pay for this $19 billion cost of this bill. american families can't count their income for their paychecks. what kind of accounting is congress using that lets us double count the bill. mr. chairman, bills sometimes have good titles. there is no real financial reform in this bill. i wish there was. i want to vote for real financial reform. but the biggest losers here are the american people. they stay at risk. their choices are going to be limited because now we are going to have a new credit czar to determine what kind of financial products the american people get to look at. if you want real reform, vote against this bill.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from minnesota. mr. peterson: thank you, mr. chairman. i'd like to recognize the gentleman from iowa, mr. boswell, for purpose of a colloquy. the speaker pro tempore: for how much time? patterson patterson for such time as -- mr. peterson: for such time as he may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for such time as he may consume. mr. boswell: i'd like to clarify an important point about one of the exclusions from the definition of swap. the exclusion from the definition of swap for, quote, any sale of a nonfinancial commodity or security for deferred shipment or delivery so long as the transactions intended to be fiscally settled, end of quote. it is intended to be consistent with the ford contract exclusion that is currently in the commodity exchange act and cftc established policy on this subject. physical commodity transactions should be -- should not be regulated as swaps as that term is defined in this legislation.
this is true even if commercial parties agree to, quote, look out to deliver obligations of the ford contract. now, for those who are not familiar with terminology, a bookout is a second agreement between two commercial parties to a ford contract that finds themselves in a delivered chain or circle who agree to settle their delivery blakeses by ex-- obligations by exchanging a net payment since the initial forward contract was ever entered into. bookouts reduce transaction costs that savings consumers money. can the chairman clarify this for me? mr. peterson: the gentleman is correct. my interpretation of exclusionary provision of the definition of swap that you mentioned is that the exclusion would apply to transactions in the party's delivery obligations is booked out, as you described. the fact that the parties may
agree to settle their obligations with a payment based on a price difference through a bookout does not -- does turn a forward contract into a swap. excluding physical forward contracts including bookouts is consistent with the cftc's longstanding view that physical forward contracts in which the parties later agree to book out their delivery obligations for commercial convenience are excluded from this jurisdiction. nothing in this legislation changes that result with respect to commercial forward contracts. mr. boswell: i thank the chairman for the clarification and i yield back. mr. peterson: i thank the gentleman and i think we have no further speakers on our part of the bill so i urge people to support the conference report and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from minnesota yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from oklahoma. mr. lucas: mr. speaker, i yield the remaining two minutes that i have to the ranking member on
the small business administration committee and a very valued member of the agriculture committee, mr. graves of missouri. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. graves: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, everyone agrees it's critical to restrict urel the regulatory side of our nation's financial sector to help prevent future crisis. unfortunately, not only does this conference report fail to achieve the most basic goal, it compreats harmful new hurdles for small businesses. as ranking member of the house small business committee i cannot support this legislation. some of my colleagues are quick to state publicly that small businesses are going to bring us out of this economic downturn yet they turn their backs from small firms and promote policies that hinder their growth. through this legislation, congress is once beginning ignoring the voice of the entrepreneur. the conference report includes a massive new government bureaucracy that supporters claim will take consumers from oversellers of credit. it will affect millions of credit transactions between businesses and their customers.
even if it is credit regulated by institutions, it will raise the cost of credit for small businesses. a further concern is language in the current bill that makes commercial end users who hedge their exposure to risk susceptible to unnecessary capital margin with the use of cash collateral forcing sophisticated end users aside to cover margins will ultimately raise the cost of products purchased by small businesses. given the state of the economy, raising the cost on small businesses is one of the worst things that can be done. the adverse long-term consequence of this legislation is nothing short of startling and at a time when america's small businesses need it most, this bill may seriously restrict their access to capital. in addition, this legislation will negatively affect small business investment companies from allowing regulators to decide whether these institutions can obtain capital from banks. in closing, i strongly urge my colleagues to join me in opposing this ill-conceived conference report. if congress expects small businesses to help turn around the economy, we have to focus on developing legislation that
helps them do just that. mr. speaker, with that i'd yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman's time has expired. who yields -- who seeks recognition to manage the rest of the time for this had bill? the gentleman from alabama is recognized. mr. bachus: i understand we have more time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from alabama has 21 1/4 minutes. the gentleman from massachusetts has 11 minutes. mr. bachus: all right. at this time i yield to the gentleman from new jersey, mr. garrett, who's the ranking member of the capital markets subcommittee for two minutes.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. garrett: thank you, mr. chairman -- mr. speaker, and i thank you, mr. chairman. i rise in opposition to this job killing continuation of a bailout bill. chairman frank said he was astonished in the interpretation that this is a bailout bill. what is even more astonishing is that this is the same chairman who was earlier last session leading the effort in our last bailout bill. and here he is once again leading the effort on this bill for a continuation of bailout. what is even more astonishing than that is here he stands as the author of the bill with a 2,300 pages in front of him holding up and actually reading the bill and he fails to see that this underlying piece of legislation continues to bail out creditors at the expense of u.s. taxpayers. just as we saw with the situation with a.i.g., where the
creditors on wall street and the creditors over in china and such areas as that were bailed out at 100%, we see the same things possibly going forward here in this legislation as well. perhaps that explains to us all why wall street is applauding this bill, because they know that they will continue to see the bailouts that they saw in the past. so it is astonishing to see that we are repeating history. i know the chairman will say, this is not going to happen because there's the opportunity for receivership. but the chairman well knows, as he looks into the bill, that that receivership isn't for a day or two, it's for a year or three or four or five years that we can continue to see american taxpayers putting out their money to bail out these failed risky institutions. you know, it seems that every term that the democrats who wrote this bill chose to endow the same failed regulators who failed to perceive the last crisis with more and more power. at every single turn the democrats chose more government bureaucracy and more government
outreach into our economy. and at every turn the democrats drew up policies that will kill jobs and restrict credit. now, on the one hand this isn't surprising. we've seen this all before, when you think about it, whether it was in the area of cap and trade or in health care proposals, among others we saw before it. on the other hand, it is disappointing that -- mr. bachus: i yield the gentleman an extra minute and a half. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for a minute and a half. mr. garrett: on the other hand it is disappointing when you consider the history of the failed efforts in the area of health care or the failed efforts on the other side in the area of tax -- cap and tax, that they haven't learned by now from their past mistakes. think about it for a moment. think about what we hear when we go back to our districts, that the american people are delivering a strong message to those of us in washington willing to listen. a message saying that they do not want a continuation, mr. chairman, of the failed policies that you brought to the floor in the past with your bailouts of wall street.
the american people say that they do not want to be on the hooks for the hundreds of billions of dollars to bail out institutions on wall street that made bad risks. they want it to end now and they want it ended today. they want less failed government into their lives and into their economy. they don't want institutions that can look at every single transition, -- -- transaction, whether at the a.t.m., that the government can now look down into those transactions, whether it's opening up a credit card county someplace -- account someplace. any transaction whatsoever that you or i make or anyone listening to this speech tonight will be able to make, because bureaucrats, unelected, unaccountable bureaucrats will be able to look into those transactions. they want less failed government overreach into their lives, they want less intrusions into the economy. what you ask them do they want? they simply want more opportunities, opportunities to work and provide for their
families and they want those opportunities without pushing our country into%% greater debt. unfortunately this bill fails on all accounts. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. frank: i yield to my colleague, mr. peterson, for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. peterson: thank you, mr. speaker. i'd like to read into the record a letter mr. frank and i received. as the letter makes clear, we have given the regulators no authority to impose margin requirements on anyone who is not a swap dealer or a major swap participant. while the regulators do have authority over the dealer or m.s.p. side of the transactions, we expect the level of margin required would be minimal. in keeping with the greater capital that such dealers and m.s.p.'s will be required to hold, that margin will be important. however, to ensure that a dealer or a major stock participant
will be capable of meeting their obligations to the end users, i would -- we need to make sure that they have that backing. i would also note that a few if any end users will be major swap participants as we have included positions held for hedging or mitigating commercial risk from being considered as a substantial position under the definition. i would ask chairman frank whether he concurs with my view on the bill. mr. frank: i yield the gentleman 15 more seconds. the gentleman is absolutely right. we do different than others. the end requirements are not on end users, they're only on major swap participants. they're permissive, they're not mandatory and they're going to be done with an appropriate touch. mr. peterson: thank you. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from alabama. mr. bachus: at this time i yield four minutes to the gentleman from california, a senior member of the committee, mr. royce.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for four minutes. mr. royce: thank you, mr. speaker. yesterday a small community banker in ohio by the name of sara walz wrote a letter. she wrote about what she believed will be the end of community banking as we know it. and she notes in her words, going forward we will no longer be able to evaluate loan applications based solely on the credit worthiness of the borrower, we will be making regulation compliance decisions instead of credit decisions. and this gets to the heart of the issue with the underlying legislation that we're discussing. despite the fact that every failed financial firm had some type of federal regulator overseeing it, the answer put
forward in this bill is to give broad, largely undefined powers to those regulators and not, by the way, in the interest of safety and soundness. if the objective was safety and soundness the amendment that i put forward to allow the safety and soundness regulator to overrule the consumer financial protection bureau in cases where safety and soundness was at stake, that would have been upheld. no, that's not the goal here. and to get back to the point that sara makes, her observation is that instead of focusing on providing credit and providing the best possible service to the customers in these small towns that need that credit, these institutions will focus instead their efforts on appeasing the federal government and on appeasing the allies in
congress. why should that give us concern? it should worry us because whether it is striving toward another goal, such as congress' interest in subsidizing housing, and by the way, that's what happened during the housing crisis, or whether it's funneling cash into friendly community activist organizations like acorn, the fact is the closer big government gets to business, the more likely these favors will become the rule instead of the exception. what i don't like about this is the political pull that comes out of it. what i don't like about it is the market discipline being replaced. and i think on a massive scale this bill replaces objectivity with subjectivity. it replaces the market discipline on main street with
political pull in washington. and regulators will now decide which firms will be treated differently and therefore move through the resolution process and which firms should be left to the bankruptcy courts. why would we care about that when terms of these big ferms -- firms having this ability now to have this alternative means of resolution? well, once in the resolution process, the government will have the authority to provide a 100% bailout to which every creditor it favors, while imposing severe losses on other institutions who bought the capacity same bonds. should we be concerned about abuse in this respect? i think so. because this type of bureaucracy -- bureaucratic discretion has led to abuse in the past. we have already seen that abuse in the obama administration's handling of the chrysler bankruptcy last year. secured creditors, typically
entitled to first priority payment under the absolute priority rule, ended up receiving less than the union allies of the administration who held junior creditor claims. the fact that the regulatory reform -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. royce: ensures this kind of favoritism in the future. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. frank: mr. speaker, i yield one minute to the majority leader. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. hoyer: i thank the chairman for yielding and i congratulate the chairman for the extraordinary work he's done. i thank mr. bachus, too, who i think is one of the really responsible leaders in the minority in terms of issues of substance and where there are differences, there are honest differences. mr. speaker, i come to the floor and when i do i hear the portions of the debate,
sometimes not all the debate. i want to make an observation, though, i listened to the gentleman from new jersey and he remarked on what the people were saying. and i think that frankly his remarks reflected the difference in the perspective between both parties. indeed, that perspective has been reflected in my three decades here, under mr. reagan and others who have served as president. and lastly with mr. bush. mr. obama's immediate predecessor. and that perspective was, if the regulator would simply get out of the way things would be fine. mr. royce indicates that the market will take care of things. the market will discipline itself, he said. phil graham said that with respect to the derivatives. unfortunately i voted for that
bill that mr. graham was for, i made a mistake. the market did not discipline itself. in fact, the market took extraordinarily irresponsible steps. what i hear, i tell my friend from new jersey, the people saying is, don't let the big guys trample on us. don't let the big guys put us at great risk. don't let the big guys make decisions that they take the risk and we take the loss. that's what i hear the people saying. and that's what i think this deal is designed to respond to. this week mr. boehner compared reforming wall street to killing an ant with a nuclear weapon. that may sound colorful, but this is the greatest economic
crisis that any of us, and i'm looking around this floor, have experienced in our lifetimes. and i'm closer to experiencing the last one than any of you on the floor. but none of us, even at my stage, were alive during the great depression. so this is the first time that we have experienced such a deep, deep recession. but i will tell you, the eight million americans whose jobs it took away, i think it was -- think -- away think it was a mighty big ant that squashed them and their families or the millions more who saw their savings devastated or the families in every one of our districts who lost their homes. they think to themselves, mr. boehner, that was a mighty big ant that came my way. and not more than half of the
nation's working adults who report that they have been pushed by the recession into, and i quote, unemployment, pay cuts, reduced hours at work or part time jobs, closed quote, according to a research center survey reported in today's washington "post." -- "washington post." some of you may think it was an ant that walked through here, but some of you think it was a pretty big elephant that squashed them and hurt them. i don't mean an elephant in the symbol of your party, respected animal with a long memory, but we have differences. the differences are, as i've said before, that you perceive regulation as harmful. my analogy is, if you take the referee off the football field i
guarantee the split ends are going to leave early and try to get the advantage and the little guys on the field are going to get trampled on by the big guys because there's no referee to say, time out, you broke the rules. this bill is about putting the referee back on the field and saying, obey the rules, do not trample on the little people, don't take risks that you will expect them to pay for. more than half, mr. speaker, more than half of today's families have been affected. there is no way to overstate what happened to them and there's no mistaking the cause of the crisis, the wall street culture of reckless gambling and a culture of regulatory neglect that the last administration wants to return -- perpetuated and some want to return to. i simply think that would be a
mistake. i talk to people in new jersey, they don't like what's happened, they don't it to happen again and this is an effort to make sure that's the case. never again. never again should wall street greed bring such suffering to our country, and never again should washington stand by as that greed manifest itself as irresponsible risk taking a few share of the profits but main street bears the brunt of wall street's bets. now, let me say that i voted for that bill. i was wrong. the gramm bill. we didn't need to regulate derivatives. by the way, there were a number of democrats, leaders who said that as well. and mr. greenspan said it as well. he admitted he made a mistake and he was distressed by that mistake. now, we can't erase that crisis. but we can work to rebuild what we lost as democrats have done
every time we've been supporting job creation, to the recovery act, for cash for clunkers, for tax relief for small businesses. frankly been instructed by the minority party and the other body who have made a high stakes political bet on recovery's failure. that would be a shame. we can also, just as any responsible family would, ensure ourselves against a repeat crisis and protect america's jobs from another devastating collapse. the wall street reform and consumer protection act, which mr. frank and mr. dodd have led to this point, means an end to the irresponsible practices of the big banks. and i want to say the community banks, which i think mr. royce referred to, he's absolutely right. they were not the problem. none of our community banks. they could frankly care if
people paid them back. they were careful people to whom they gave loans could pay them back. it was those that securitized them that put them in these big fancy documents that didn't care if they could pay them back because for the most part they made money on the transaction. not on the long-term responsibility of the debtor. i'm happy that among our financial institutions there are responsible actors who appreciate effective oversight and understand that it stimulates investment, enterprise, entrepreneurship and job creation. why? because people can trust the system, because they know the referees on the field are watching and they know the game can be honest. no one can create an economy without risk nor should it, but this bill will bring accountability on wall street and washington, protect and empower consumers, prevent future meltdowns and not bail out wall street excess. i want to say to my friend that
mentioned we bailed out wall street. how quickly you forget that it was president bush and secretary paulson and ben bernanke, appointed by chair of the federal reserve, that asked for that bill and that your leadership, for the most part, supported and urged its adoption. so with all due respect, it was president bush's administration that asked for that bailout, not democrats. what democrats did when they said there was a crisis acted in a bipartisan way to respond to that crisis. very frankly, i think we precluded a depression. americans have an obligation of responsible borrowing. but financial companies also have a responsibility to make loans fair and transparent. by creating a consumer federal protection bureau we can ensure that both sides live up to that
bargain. the consumer financial protection bureau will strengthen and modernize the oversight of wall street by putting the functions of seven different agencies in one accountable place. it seems to me that that would appeal to people who want not so many proliferation of various agencies crossing one another. in addition, corporations like a.i.g. and lehman brothers, will no longer be able to do the kind of gambles that risk our entire economy and indeed the world. institutions that placed the biggest economic bets will be required to keep capital on hand to meet their obligations should those bills fail and not expect the taxpayers to do that. this bill also reduces the conflicts of interest that allow credit rating agencies to wrongfully declare such institutions in good health long after they were dangerously overloaded. of course, the regulators weren't watching. there was a philosophy, of course, that regulation got in the way.
and it prudently regulates the inherently dangerous derivatives that warren buffett, and i call, weapons of financial mass destruction for the ability to bring down entire economies when bets go bad. should a major firm still find itself on the verge of collapse, this bill insulates the rest of the economy and keeps taxpayers off the hook, off the hook for any future bailouts. mr. speaker, tremendous amount of irresponsibility in washington and on wall street went into the crisis from which we are still struggling to recover. that crisis, of course, started in december, 2007. actually, it started long before that, as i said, in the late 1990's. middle-class family -- families who worked hard paid the price. but there is a consequence even worse -- a failure to learn. we know what greed and neglect can do. no one can plead ignorance.
let's show, mr. speaker, ladies and gentlemen of this house, that we learned something from the crisis. let's keep it were happening again. -- let's keep it from happening again. let me tell you what i hear from my constituents. they want us to stop it from happening again. they're angry about it. i'm angry about it. i'm sure that, ladies and gentlemen on both sides of the aisle, are angry about it. this is an opportunity to ensure to the extent we possibly can that this tragedy to so many millions of families does not happen again. i yield back. i yield to my friend. >> would the gentleman agree to this statement, though, that neither i nor i think anyone on our side of the aisle take the view that we want no regulation, that we are proposing no reform, that
actually we have presented a proposal for reform that we indeed need reform, differing in approach, an approach, we believe, would end the perpetual bailout? mr. garrett: do you think that we have a different perspective? mr. hoyer: will the gentleman yield? mr. garrett: yes. mr. hoyer: i do believe we come from a different place and i do believe that it's accurate to say that all of the republican presidents who have served during the time that i have served have advanced the proposition that regulation at the federal level was overburdensome and that it ought to be reduced. certainly we ought to reduce regulation that is nearly effective and is instrusive to the -- intrusive to the growth of this economy. mr. frank: will the gentleman yield? mr. hoyer: i will in just a second. but with respect to that, i
think what we saw during the last decade was an excessive commitment, as mr. greenspan pointed out, to the proposition , as mr. royce stated, just get out of the way, they will discipline themselves. frankly, the split end that leaves two seconds early because the referee is out on the field is not a bad person. he's trying to get an advantage. that's the difference, i think, between our perspectives. i understand that difference of perspective so i agree with you that we do have a difference of perspective. i believe this strikes the right balance, and i yield to the gentleman. mr. frank: i say to the gentleman from new jersey, i only judge what i see. when the house voted on this bill last december, the minority had certain amendments made in order under the rule. in the end they had the motion to recommit over which they had complete editorial control. the motion to recommit on this version of this bill that passed the house last december
from the minority said no regulation, no reform of regulation. it has one provision. it said kill everything in the bill. it didn't say do it differently. it didn't amend it. it didn't change it. it said do not change anything. do not reform anything except end tarp. which thanks to the senate, we are now doing in this bill. i can only judge what i see. when the gentleman says that, when the minority had a chance to offer their own version of this they offered a version that said no reform, no change, no new regulation, leave the status quo. mr. hoyer: reclaiming my time -- and i will -- i will now leave the stage after a little more than my minute. i will say to my friend that the chairman's answer i think reflects my view of our different perspectives. and i will now yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the
gentleman from alabama. mr. bachus: thank you, mr. speaker. at this time i yield five minutes to the gentleman from texas, mr. hensarling, the ranking member of the financial institutions subcommittee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. hensarling: i thank the gentleman for yielding. mr. speaker, the cause of our financial crisis is really federal policy, that strong arm that facilitated financial institutions to lend money to people to buy homes who couldn't afford to keep them. and people who decided to buy more home than they can afford and now expect their neighbors who didn't to bail them out. mr. speaker, it's not a matter of deregulation. it was a matter of dumb regulation and there was no dumber regulation than that which created the
government-sponsored he want prizes and gave them an affordable housing mission and ended up buying the lion's share of troubled mortgages or ensuring -- insuring the troubled mortgages in the system. again, it wasn't deregulation, it was dumb regulation, and all this bill before us does is perpetuate the same dumb regulation that got us into this financial pickle in the first place. the bill before us doesn't go to the root cause. it leaves the government-sponsored enterprises, which represent among other things the mother of all taxpayer bailouts, $147 billion and counting, $1 trillion of taxpayer money, is left in place. an amendment the republicans offered to reform the government-sponsored enterprises, those are somehow out of order. amendments that would put them
in budget. no, they are somehow out of order. an amendment, there is one little study in it. one study dedicated to the government-sponsored end prices, an amendment that would have ensured the -- enterprises, an amendment that would have ensured to figure out how to make the taxpayer whole, the democrats voted that down. they are even scared of a study that would try to make the taxpayer whole. instead, what does this bill do, mr. speaker? it creates a permanent bailout authority. there is only one reason to have a bailout authority and that's for bailouts. if you want more taxpayer -funded bailouts, this is the bill for you. to paraphrase from a line from the old kevin costner movie "field of dreams," if you build it they will come. the federal government can purchase the assets of failing firms. the federal government can
guarantee the obligations of failing firms. the federal government can take a security interest in the assets of failing firms. this is a bailout authority. the big will get bigger, the small will get smaller, the taxpayer will get poorer. now, i know our friends on the other side of the aisle continue to say, well, the taxpayers' not going to have to pay anything. well, the congressional budget office, headed by a democrat, they seem to differ. i have a copy of their analysis of the bill dated june 28, quote, c.b.o. estimates that enacting the legislation would increase direct spending by $26.9 billion, most of that amount would result from provisions that would establish a program for resolving certain financial firms that are insolvent or in danger of becoming insolvent. now, they're notorious for low balling these estimates but even they say -- even they say that ultimately taxpayers will be called upon for this bailout authority. mr. speaker, the best way to
end taxpayer bailouts of failing firms is to end taxpayer bailouts of failing firms. and that's really the choice presented before us. bankruptcy versus bailouts for failed wall street firms. the democrats obviously choose bailouts. think about it, mr. speaker, this is a job killer, pure and simple, a job killer. it creates a new federal institution to ban and ration consumer credit. the chamber of commerce representing main street, not wall street, estimates this will increase consumer interest 1.6% and fewer than 4.6% jobs will be created. community bankers in my district , if i have no compliance cost and the federal government is going to limit the kind of customized credits i can offer, we will had lose jobs in anderson county, texas. i hear from constituents, small
businessmen, i own a small business, i'm a distributor for a promotional product that comes from suppliers all over the country. without easy, reliable access to that credit, i'm out of business. mr. speaker, again, this is a job killer. i haven't even talked about the huge new expansion of government within this bill. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. hensarling: this should be defeated. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. frank: i yield one minute to the speaker of the house. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. pell pell thank you very much, mr. speaker. i thank -- nancy pelosi thank you very much mr. speaker are, mr. speaker -- the speaker: thank you very much, mr. speaker. as i listen to the debate here, i can't help but remember, and i have a vivid memory of it, a couple of years ago, almost two years ago, september 18, a thursday afternoon, we were
gathered in our office and had just seen a week and a half proceeding, a week and a half to two weeks preceding that day, some unusual events that related to lehman brothers, merrill lynch and then a.i.g. and the said bailout of a.i.g. i called the secretary of the treasury and said, we're meeting here in my office and wondered if we could be helpful in any way in terms of public policy because what we seemed to see coming out from the executive branch is chaos, different responses to different challenges that were not adding up to us, could you, mr. secretary, come to the congress tomorrow and give us a report on what is happening? the secretary said, and i said, could you be here at 9:00
tomorrow morning to tell us what is happening to the markets? secretary said, secretary paulson said, madam speaker, tomorrow morning will be too late. tomorrow morning will be too late. why, mr. secretary, have you not notified congress? why have you not called us sooner? why would it take a call from me to ask you to report to us, to tell us that tomorrow morning will be too late? without going into his response, which i'm happy to do, but in the interest of time i won't now, i then call the secretary, i mean the chairman of the fed, chairman bernanke, and asked him to join the secretary of the treasury at my office later that day. the meeting turns into a meeting
that was half in senate, democrats and republicans, gathered together to hear from the secretary of the treasury the condition of the markets. the secretary who had told us that we couldn't even wait until the next morning described a very, very grim situation. the chairman of the fed who is an expert on the great depression told us that the situation was so grim that if we did not act immediately there would be no economy by monday. this is thursday night. there would be no economy by monday. how could it be? we, the greatest country in the world, with the strongest economy, and that we needed to act immediately. the response from the bush administration was a bailout of
the banks. and a 24-hour, 48-hour period they produced a bill, $700 billion that they asked the congress to pass to bail out the banks. it was necessary to do. because of the recklessness of the bush administration's economic policy, because of the lack of supervision, discipline and regulation, the recklessness on wall street had taken us to the brink of a financial crisis of such magnitude that the chairman said there wouldn't be an economy by monday. took us into deep recession where 8 1/2 million jobs were lost, the people lost their jobs , therefore in many cases their
health insurance, they lost their pensions, they lost their savings, they had to live off savings and lost their investments for their children's education. because of recklessness on wall street, joblessness was rampant on main street. one of the reasons was there was no credit, it's interesting to hear my colleagues talk about the importance of credit to main street, but not one of them voted for the credit, the small business credit bill that passed in this congress about a week ago. but in any event, joblessness, lack of credit, suppressing the entrepreneurial spirit of the united states of america, because there were some, not all, but some on wall street who decided it was ok to privatize the game as long as they were making money and nationalize the
risk, send the bill to the taxpayer. that's why we are here today, to make sure that never happens again, to say to them that the party is not over, and it's interesting to note that in that message not one republican participated when this bill came to the floor originally. and that was the end of last year. years of allowing wall street to do anything it wanted -- beyond lassy fair, to be overleveraged, no transparency, no accountability, produce the most severe financial crisis and economic downturn since the great depression and the american people paid the price. again, eight million jobs, nearly $17 trillion in net worth
disappeared, a record number of foreclosures ravaged our communities and, again, credit disappeared from small business, small businesses. this also had a tremendous impact on construction in our country because of the lack of loans. today i rise with the clear message that the party is over, no longer again will recklessness on wall street cause joblessness on main street. no longer will the risky behavior of the few threaten the financial stability of our families, our businesses and our economy as a whole. the wall street reform and consumer protection act has been appropriately named for chairman dodd and chairman frank and i thank them for their leadership. bringing this legislation before the congress and doing so and bringing this legislation before the congress, chairman frank and
chairman dodd are making history . for decades to come their names will be identified with the stark reforms to protect the economy of our country and the financial and economic security of the american people. i also want to acknowledge chairman collin peterson who carefully negotiated some of the most contention provisions of this legislation, working with chairwoman lincoln on the senate side. all of the democratic conferees, i thank you for your commitment, for making the strongest bill possible and for always putting america's consumers first. today we will follow the lead of those on the committee and act in historic legislation to bring transparency to our financial markets, lowering the leverage that got us into this trouble in the first place, brings tough
oversight to wall street and brings consumer protections to main street and to the american people. by voting yes, we will pass the toughest set of wall street reforms in generations. this comprehensive and far-reaching legislation injects transparency and accountability as it lowers leverage into the financial system run amok under the republican's -- republicans' reckless economic policies. this legislation makes commonsense reforms that end the era of taxpayer bailouts and too bill to face d financial firms -- too big to fail d financial firms. it establishes a new independent agent solely dedicated to protecting americans from anticonsumer abuse. the bill closes the door on predatory lending and regulates payday lenders, it includes provisions to allow us to conduct oversight over the fed,
establishes tough rules for risky financial practices, enhances oversight for credit rating agencies and reins in egregious c.e.o. bonuses by giving shareholders a say on executive pay. it sheds light on the darkest corners of the derivatives market and is fully paid for and how is it paid for? by shutting down the bush era bailout fund known as the tarp and useing the savings for financial -- using the savings for financial reform. each member of this body faces a choice, we've had these choices before, democrats wanted to rein in health insurance companies, the republicans said no. democrats want to rein in big oil, the republicans said no, democrats want to rein in the recklessness of some on wall street, the republicans are saying no. each member of this body will
have a choice, we can place our bet on the side of those on wall street who have gambled with our savings and lost, or we can stand with main street and the middle class. will we preserve a status quo and if this bill were to fail we would be preserving a status quo that has left our economy in a wretched state? or will we guarantee the american people strong reforms and effective vigilance to prevent another financial crisis? how can we possibly resist the change that must happen? how can we forget that the chairman of the fed said if we do not act we will not have an economy by monday? four days from when we were having the conversation. how can we let the status quo
that created that condition to continue? i urge my colleagues to choose on the side of main street, i urge you to build a future of stability and security for america's families, consumers and small businesses. i urge you to vote aye on the dodd-frank wall street reform and consumer protection act. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from alabama. mr. bachus: mr. speaker, at this time i have no other speakers and would like to reserve the balance of my time until the gentleman from massachusetts has no further speakers and is prepared to close. thank you, mr. chairman. i surrender -- yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is -- the gentleman is recognized.
mr. bachus: mr. chairman, i hear two people that i know are leaders of the majority and they each, mr. hoyer and ms. pelosi, and i know they appear to be sincere when they say that never again will the american people be asked to bail out those on wall street who made reckless deals. no longer will the taxpayer be put on the hook. but there's an inconvenient truth here for my democratic friends and that's the clear wording of the bill. i mean, i think the elementary that before we pass legislation that we read it.
and i would not repeat this except my colleagues in the majority continue to say time after time after time that there's no bailout. and there is. there is an a.i.g.-style bailout. now, a.i.g. cannot be saved under this legislation, in fact, we changed -- changed that and we both insisted in a bipartisan way that a.i.g.'s of today will not survive and they will not survive under this bill. a.i.g., under this bill in a bipartisan way, we agreed, they fail. we say we put the a.i.g.'s in bankruptcy and they're resolved that way my democratic colleagues say that a.i.g. will be put -- or an a.i.g.-like failing company will be put in an fdic supervised resolution
authority. mr. frank is correct when he says, wait a minute. wait a minute this only occurs when these firms are being placed in liquidation. they have to -- they're being liquidated. well, now, i agree with him. now, now, is there no bailout of anyone on wall street? well, of course there is. there's a very expensive bailout. the dodd-frank bill promotes in section 204-d 1,-6. go write this down and go and read it. it says the fdic can lend to a failing firm, two, purchase the asset offings a failing firm, three, guarantee the obligations of a failing firm, four, take a security interest in the assets of a failing firm, five, and/or sell the assets the fdic has acquired
from a failing firm. why would you lend a failing firm money sni keep asking that. and the second thing is, where is the bailout fund in this bill? there is no bailout fund in this bill. there's $19 billion that's assessed toward community banks, fdic assessments that are raised about $9 billion. and there's the tarp program that's ended three months sooner than it should be, we're told somehow that because we're not going to start any new programs in that three months, somehow, hocus pocus, saves us about $10 billion and it is hocus pocus because you cannot spend the money on the new programs in this bill and then turn around and suddenly pull out of the hat the same money and give it back to the taxpayer. it doesn't happen. now, also, speaker pelosi may
forget that the -- one of the first signs of trouble was not in september of 2008, but it was in july of 2008 when we suddenly realized fannie and freddie were insolvent and many of our banks, almost all of our banks, had major positions in their shares. why did they have major positions in their shares of fannie and freddie? because the government said if you invest in that, we'll give you a special rating. we'll count it the same as treasuries. and it disappeared overnight. that was in july, not in september. banks took a hit on that. and democrats said at that time, and the bush administration, and the bush administration, we've got -- and secretary paulson, we've got to give $400 billion to fannie and freddie because in 1999, under the clinton administration, you said let's loan to people with poor credit, loan to people without
much of a down payment and republicans and democrats both rush to use this into a source of cheap money and it failed. and republicans said, and still say, and say as this bill is on the floor, wait a minute. you're going to reform these companies before you pour taxpayer dollars in them. and every republican in the house voted no, we will not give them taxpayer money until they're reformed and there's a plan to liquidate them. the chairman says we need to liquidate them. what about fannie and freddie? why aren't we liquidating them? and we're not. the biggest bailout we've had is of fannie and freddie who did we bail out? did we bail out the banks that had shares? no we bailed out the chinese bondholders and sec are retear paulsen said, the chinese may not lend us money. we'll sure need the chinese to
lend us money if this bill passes because there's a derivatives section in here, now, we have a letter that mr. peterson -- chairman peterson produced that says, this doesn't affect end users, but it's a letter. the truth is, we were in conference last week when we fought this out. and we voted for an exemption for end users and the democrats voted against one. and we've been told in the past 48 hours, 72 hours, by groups reich the international swap and derivatives association that this bill will cost businesses $1 trillion. $1 trillion. and that's capital and requirements to raise cash and it doesn't matter whether they trade in derivatives or someone does it for them, someone has to post that capital and that goes through and is an expense for that commercial company. if you take $1 trillion out of the economy suddenly, sure, you
are going to have a crisis like this bill anticipates. and this bill says, if there's such a crisis, that -- chairman frank keeps saying a receiver is appointed, a receiver is appointed. that's right. and that receiver after 30 days is authorized to borrow 90% of the fair value of the failing companies. chairman frank that is $8.5 trillion. that money is not in this bill. there's not even $10 billion in this bill for this type of resolution. you have to go to the banks or you have to go to the financial companies. are you going to get it after the fact? if they're failing, uh howe are they going to pay it i want to close with a positive and a way that the 320 members of this house who took a stand can take a stand in just a few minutes.
collin peterson, chairman peterson, said there's no requirements that end users post margins. and we all agree that if they had to, it would be $1 trillion out of these companies and $1 trillion, according to joe biden, will produce 700,000 to 1347b9 million jobs and will %- produce as many as 200,000 jobs a month. so that's the hit to this economy if this does a i ply to end users system of we have a motion to recommit. first it says there's an exemption on end users. now, you have said that there is one, thuff letter from chairman dodd and blanch lincoln saying there is one. that's half of it. you'd vote for that because you're saying it's in there. secondly, there's the federal audit. and we need, the taxpayers and voters are demanding, and mr.
hoyer, transparency at the fed. they're spending trillions of dollars, committing trillions of dollars let's have this audit of the fed. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. frank: i yield myself as much time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman has 7 3/4 minutes. mr. frank: mr. speaker, to begin, i want to address the members who are concerned that the interchange amendments will unduly affect smaller financial institutions. the interchange amendment wasn't part of the bill here. it was put in by a heavy vote in the senate and the conference process means a compromise there is in that amendment, as senator durbin put it in, an exemption for any fee set big the federal reserve for small institutions. they, then, feared they would be discriminated against so we amended the amendment. with the participation of the senate, obviously.
and there were three provisions that protect smaller institutions, community banks, and credit unions. there's an anti-discrimination provision that says merchants and retailers cannot refuse to accept a debit card on the basis of who issued it, and the federal reserve, the instructions of the federal reserve include making that anti-discrimination work. we can guarantee people we will do it. as the amendment passed the senate, it said the small institutions were exempt but they might have suffered discrimination. they are protected in this bill. that's why the small businesses in illinois have endorsed this bill. i want to talk briefly about what's happened with the tarp. we had the last two republican speakers, one hailed the c.b.o. is an unassailable authority, then the other speaker said it's hocus pocus. it is apparently unassailable hocus pocus, which i don't want to get into at this time.
there's two parts of tarp. the bill does say repayments go to debt relief. there have been substantial repayments from the banks, those go to debt relief and aren't affected by the amendment. what the amendment says is there's still tens of billions of dollars of tarp money that could be committed and the amendment we adopted in conference says, no more. they cannot do that. that's where the savings comes system of the savings comes from not allowing additional tarp spending. you know about the republicans with regard to cutting off tarp, they were for it before they were against it. they used to be against it. i prefer what we had in our provision, to assess the goldman sachs, j.p. morgan chase, mr. paulsen's hedge fund, that's the way we wanted to do it, we couldn't get it through republicans in the senate. first republicans in the senate said don't do it, other republicans then say why did you do it?
i'll make a pledge right now, the economy i chair will bring out a bill that has an assessment on the financial institutions above $50 billion so members who miss it will get a chance to show us they care. we'll bring it there and have that come forward. i don't want to talk a little bit about subprime lending and the partial history we get. the fact is, the republican party controlled the house and the senate from 1995 through 2006. during that period they showed remarkable restraint. as eager as they were to destroy subprime lending, as passionate as they were to reform fannie mae and freddie mac they didn't do it. that's a degree of abstinence unparalleled in political history. they were in charge. whose fault was it? it was my fault. as people said before, people have accused me of being the
secret manipulator of tom delay. if that were the case, you wouldn't have cut taxes for rich people, wouldn't have gone to war in iraq and if he was listening to me, he wouldn't have gone on the dance show. i don't take responsibility for mr. delay. the gentleman from california said he tried in 2005. he had an amendment to the bill of mr. oxley. mr. oxley, the republican chairman of the committee, brought up bill. if no democrat had voted either in committee or on the floor of the house on that bill, it would have worked exact -- it would have looked exactly as it looked. it was a majority of republicans. the gentleman from california, mr. royce, wasn't able to persuade a third of his fellow republicans to vote with him. i'm sorry he wasn't able to do better. i'm not an expert in how to get republicans to vote with him. i can't offer him any help. maybe he can find somebody to teach him how to get better votes among republicans. by the way, i did in 2003 say i
didn't see a problem with fannie mae and freddie mac. in 2004, president bush said to fannie mae and freddie mac, i order you, he had the power and used it, he used it to order them to increase subprime lending purchases. he wasn't alone in that. june 22 article of "the wall street journal" quotes a member to have congress in 2005 in a hearing saying work the advent of subprime lending countless families have now had their first opportunity to buy a home or perhaps be given a second chance. fail once, get it again. the american dream should never be limited to the well off or those consumers fortunate enough to have access to prime rate loans. that's the gentleman from texas, mr. hensarling. mr. bush -- president bush wasn't alone in that. then in 2007, the democrat tax power and we passed a bill for the first time in this house to regulate fannie mae and fred tee p.a.c. secretary paulsen said it
didn't go as far as he'd like but it was a good bill. fannie mae and freddie mac were put into conservatorship. they were the first major institutions to be reformed. we also in this house passed a bill to control subprime lending. the gentleman from alabama had been the chairman of the subcommittee with jurisdiction over subprime lending in those republican years and never produced a bill. he said it was our fault because he wrote a letter, myself, mr. miller of north carolina and we didn't tell him we'd vote for im. i wish i could have it back. i wish i knew i was secretely in charge of the republican agenda. i wish i knew they wouldn't do anything unless i said they could but nobody told me. where were they when i needed thome to be more powerful. the republicans never checked with me as to what they were supposed to do. it's 2007, we did pass such a bill to restrict subprime lending and the wall street journal attacked us. they said it was a
sarbanes-oxley for housing. sarbanes-oxley is about as nasty as you can get for "the wall street journal" and here's what they said about subprime lending in 2007. maybe that's what george bush expanded subprime lending. the "wall street journal" said in 2007, complaining about our will, for all the demonizing about 80% of even subprime loans are being paid on time and another 10% only 30 days behind. most new homeowners are low income families who would otherwise not have qualified for a mortgage. in the name of consumer protection, mr. frank's legislation will ensure that far fewer of these will be issued in the future. unfortunately a couple of years too late. we would limit them. i always wanted to do affordable rental housing which that administration opposed. this bill has the biggest package of increased consume brother texts in the history of america and it doesn't ban
products or ration products, it says there has to be fair dealing this bill says if a fiduciary responsibility of people selling products to individual investors for the first time, gives the s.e.c. the power to do it. reforms -- this bill reforms the system, i hope it is enacted. . the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. pursuant to house resolution 1490, the previous question is ordered. for what purpose does the gentleman from alabama seek recognition? mr. bachus: i have a motion to recommit. the speaker pro tempore: is the gentleman opposed to the conference report? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman qualifies. clerk will report the motion. the clerk: mr. balk cuss of alabama moves to recommit the bill to the conference on the disagreeing to the bill h.r. 4173 and instruct the managers as follows. one, to disagree section 1109 relating to the g.a.o. audit of
the federal reserve facilities of the conference report. two, to insist on section 1254-c relating to audits of the federal reserve. other than paragraph one of section 1254-c of the house bill. three, to insist of the commodity exchange act relating to initial and variation margin as proposed to be added by section 731 of the senate amendment. four, to insist on section 15-f-e-8 relating to initial and variation margin as proposed to be added by section 764 of the senate amendment. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the previous question is ordered on the motion. the question is on adoption of the motion to recommit. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the nos have it. mr. bachus: to avoid hoke cuss poke cuss, i demand the --
hocus, pocus, i demand the yeas and nays mr. frank: parliamentary inquiry, but there was a -- is it the case that there is no debate on the motion to recommit or conference report? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman has the right for no debate. the yeas and nays are requested. those favoring a vote by yeas and nays will rise. a sufficient number having arisen. yeas and nays are ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a 15-minute vote. pursuant to clause 8 and clause 9, this 15-minute vote will be followed by five-minute vote on adoption of the conference report if ordered and motion to suspend the rules on h.r. 4445, if ordered. this is a 15-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute,
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 198 the nays are 229. the motion is not adopted. the question is on adoption of the conference report. those in favor say aae. those opposed, no. mr. frank: mr. speaker, i ask for the yeas and nays. the yeas and nays are requested. those favoring a vote by the yeas and nays will rise. a sufficient number having arisen, yeas and nays are ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
the speaker pro tempore: the unfinished business is on the question of suspending the rules of passing h.r. 4445 which the clerk will report by title. the clerk: union calendar number 245, a bill to amend public law 95-232 to appeal restriction on trading indian land held by indians public although. the speaker pro tempore: the question is will the house pass the bill as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, -- >> mr. speaker.
mr. andrews: on that, i ask for a recorded vote. the speaker pro tempore: a recorded vote is requested. those favoring a recorded vote will rise. a sufficient number having arisen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a five-minute vote. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.] -- [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote, the yeas are 411, the nays are zero, recorded as present, zero. 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed, and without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from california rise? >> mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i send to the desk two privileged reports from the committee on rules for filing under the rule. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the titles. the clerk: report to accompany house resolution 1495, resolution providing for consideration of the bill h.r. 5618 to continue federal unemployment programs and waiving requirement of clause
6-a of rule 13 with respect to consideration of certain resolutions reported from the committee on rules. res. lose accompanying house resolution 1496, waiving requirements of certain resolutions presented by the committee on rules. the speaker pro tempore: referred to the house calendar and ordered printed. take the conversations out of the chamber. into the cloakroom.
the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. members please take conversations off the floor. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, the chair will postpone further proceedings today on motions to suspend the rules on which a recorded vote or the yeas and nays are ordered or on which the vote incurs objection under clause 6 of rule 20678 recorded votes on postponed questions will be taken later. for what purpose does the gentleman from maryland rise? >> mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and concur in the senate treatment h.r. 3360, the cruise vessel security and
safety act of 2010. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill, please. the clerk: h.r. 3360, a bill to amend title 46, united states code to establish requirements to ensure the security and safety of passengers and crew on cruise vessels and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from maryland, mr. cummings, and the gentleman from new jersey, mr. lobiondo, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from maryland. the house will be in order. conversations please be taken off the floor. the chair recognizes the gentleman from maryland. mr. cummings: i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days within which to revise and extend their remarks and to include extraneous material on h.r. 3360.
the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. cummings: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may coon soum. -- consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. cummings: i rise today to urge passage of senate amendments to h.r. 3360 the cruise vessel security and safety act of 2010. the house passed h.r. 3360 on november 17, by a vote of 416-4. on june 10, 2010, the senate passed this legislation with an amendment which is now before us for consideration today. i applaud my distinguished colleague, congresswoman doris matsui, the author of h.r. 3360, for her hard work on this legislation and for her tireless work on behalf of her constituent, ms. lawyeree dishman, and of all victims of crimes on cruise ships. the chairman of the subcommittee on coast guard and maritime transportation, i've
convened two hearings examining the issue of crime on cruise ships. i applaud ms. dishman and so many other victims and family members of victims for testifying before my subcommittee and for their long effort to support the development of legislation that would help ensure no one else is a slim of -- is a victim of a crime on a cruise ship. mr. speaker, may we have order? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is correct, the house is not in order. conversations off the floor, please. the right side of the chamber if they could take their conversations off the floor, please. the gentleman may proceed. mr. cummings: almost all of the nearly 200 cruise vess are els embarking and disembarking
passengers in the u.s. are registered in foreign countries. as a result, when americans step onto a cruise vessel, they are stepping onto a piece of another country's jurisdiction as soon as it leaves u.s. waters. all available statistics show that crime is rare on cruise vessels, but it does happen. therefore h.r. 3366 to improve the safety of cruise vessels by requiring common sense measures to help prevent criminal activity and make sure cruise vessels respond appropriately when crime occurs, including providing proper care for crime victims and securing crime scenes. i believe this bill prere-sponds directly to the problems we examined in our hearings by requiring reasonable alterations in vessel design, equipment and construction standards to increase the physical safety and security of passengers.
for example, h.r. 3360 requires cruise vessels to install peepholes or similar features on cabin doors so passengers can identify who is at their door without having to open the door. it also requires that cruise vessels have railings at least 42 inches high to help prevent passengers from falling overboard. it requires them to have onboard trained medical personnel who can provide treatment to assault victims, collect evidence to support cross prost cushions and administer anti-retroviral medications. this legislation also requires that a store of such medications be maintained on cruise vessels. at this point, mr. speaker, i'd also like to give credit to my colleague on the -- on our subcommittee and committee,
corrine brown, congresswoman brown of florida who fought very hard to make sure that folks who may have been victims of rape had the appropriate personnel oa-- to address their concerns, as did ms. matsui. these provisions are critical to ensuring that those who are victims of sexual assaults have immediate access to state of the art medical care. h.r. 3360 also specifies certain crimes that must be reported to u.s. authorities by any vessel calling on a u.s. port. it requires the government to maintain an internet site that provides a numerical accounting of the reported crimes. such statistics will bing a gated by individual cruise line and cruise lines will be required to maintain a link to the site on their own webpages. the senate amendment made several changes to the legislation passed by the house. some of these changes enhance
the legislation, including the addition of a provision requiring cruise ships to inform passengers of jurisdictional authority applicable to crimes occurring in united states territorial waters, on high seas, and in the countries visited by the vessel. that said, the senate amendment also eliminates a number of reports, unrelated to crime on cruise ships, that have been required by other pieces of legislation to be submitted to the congress by the coast guard. including a report on foreign-flagged vessels calling on u.s. -- calling on the u.s. and a report on coast guard staffing levels in search and rescue centers. i understand that the elimination of these reports was demanded by a few senators ostensibly to offset the cost of implementing safety and security reforms on cruise vessels. i do not believe the measures -- i do not believe that
measures that improve safety and security and particularly measures such as h.r. 3360, which imposes almost all new requirements on the cruise lines themselves, should require offsets, particularly not offsets such as these. that said, enactment of h.r. 3360 will make cruising safer for the millions of americans who travel on cruise vessels each year and i urge all the members of the house to join in passing the senate amendments to h.r. 3360 and i take this moment to thank my ranking member, mr. lobiondo for our bipartisan efforts in seeing that this legislation got to the floor and can be passed. i again commend congresswoman matsui for her dedication to this cause and for her extraordinary work on h.r. 3360 and with that, mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves his time. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized.
mr. lobiondo: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. mr. speaker, the house is considering the senate amendments to h.r. 3360, the cruise ship security and safety act of 2010. i supported patsage of the original bill and intend to support this final version because on the whole, the bill is a significant improvement over legislation considered by the house in the 110th congress. the committee on transportation and train structure has closely examined the factors that are impacting the safety and security of american citizens aboard cruise ships that operate in and out of united states ports. h.r. 3360 makes common sense improvements which will enhance safeguards for passengers during the cruise. while no level of procedural or structural modification can prevent all incidents from occurring, i believe this bill will significantly enhance the capabilities of both passengers and cruise lines in the future.
the bill will also codify an agreement between the f.b.i. and cruise ship lines which will require cruise operators to immediately notify federal law enforcement agencies of major incidents that occur aboard a vessel. i am concerned by one change that was included in the senate bill to expand criminal liability to apply to a wide range of actions under the bill. this goes far beyond what was agreed to in the original house bill and i believe we should review the impacts of this language at ssme point in the future. that being said, the bill will provide additional protections to u.s. passengers and i ask all members to join me in supporting the bill and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves his time the gentleman from maryland. >> i yield to the sponsor of the bill, one lady who has worked very hard on this for years now. mr. cummings: i yield four minutes to the distinguished lady from california, congresswoman matsui.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from california is recognized. ms. matsui: i thank the gentleman from maryland for yielding me time. mr. speaker, i rise in support of the senate amendments to h.r. 3360, the cruise vessel safety and security act, legislation that i introduced and which passed the house by strong bipartisan vote of 416 to four in november of last year. the bill received similar support in the senate which passed with unanimous consent earlier this month. the senate amendment to this legislation are also bipartisan in nature and i urge my colleagues to support the bill before us that will send critical consumer protection language to the president for his consideration. for far too long american families have unknowingly been at risk when embarking on cruise vacations. four years ago one of my constituents, lloyd dishman, wrote to me for help. lloyd was a victim of a sexual
assault while on a cruise vacation. she was given no assistance by the cruise line in properly securing evidence of the assault. no assistance in identifying her attacker, no assistance in prosecuting the crime once back on shore. devastated, she reached out to me and i immediately worked with chairman cummings who committed to me to hold hearings on this issue and began to work on this critical legislation. these hearings made apparent the gross inadequacies of current cruise safety provisions and with ongoing news coverage of rapes on cruise ships, it is clear that this ladies and gentlemensition is -- legislation is both urgent and necessary. my legislation establishes stringent new standards to ensure the safety and security of passengers on cruise vessels. its reforms include requiring that vessel personnel be able to
preserve evidence of crimes committed on these vessels and provide appropriate medical treatment to the victims of sexual assaults. security, safety and accountability must all be strengthened to hold criminals accountable and end the cycle of serious, dangerous crimes aboard cruise ships. i would like to thank both chairman cummings and oberstar for the good work their committees and staff have done on this bill and for their tremendous support in making this bill a reality and i also would like to thank my colleague on the other side of the aisle for their support. this has been a long, difficult road for all cruise victims and their families and believe me, this legislation is truly a result of their courage, their dedication and their conviction to preventing further crimes
from happening. i urge my colleagues to support this important legislation and pave the way for safety of all cruise passengers. and with that i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. >> mr. speaker, i now yield to my colleague from texas, congressman poe, such time as he may dume -- consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. poe: thank you. i appreciate the gentleman for yielding. i rise totally in support of h.r. 3360, the cruise vessel security and safety act of 2009. this legislation passed the house with strong support in november of last year and i am pleased to see it return from the other body as an improved bill ready for final passage. i commend my colleague, ms. matsui of california, who has been relentless as an advocate for protection of the cruise line passengers. mr. speaker, every year cruise line companies carry over 10 million americans to and from american ports. the cruise lines promise
american safety, security, fun and relaxation aboard the ships, but as we have seen, safety is not something the cruise lines are always prepared to guarantee. according to the f.b.i., sexual assault is the leading crime reported and investigated by the agency among crimes that occur on the high seas. in fact, in 2005 a hearing before the committee on government reform, assistance director of criminal investigation of f.b.i. noted that, quote, sexual assaults are the dominant threat to women and mipers -- minors on the high seas. with the majority of these incidences occurring on cruise ships. his statements are backed up by the disturbing frequency of assaults on board these ships. during one six-month period in 2007, the cruise lines reported 41 separate instances of sexual assault to the f.b.i. 19 of which were categorized as rape. there are troubling patterns to
these assaults. in 2007 a "los angeles times" report revealed that over a 32-month period royal caribbean reported over 250 incidents of sexual assault, battery and harassment. but the most startling fact about these cases, almost 40% of these crimes were committed by cruise company employees. in fact, ms. matsui's constituent was sexual assaulted by a cruise ship security guard. she did what she knew what to do which was call her member of congress. when ms. matsui found out about this situation, they did what she needed to do and worked relentlessly with both sides of the body here and make sure that that legislation came to a vote and now final passage. mr. speaker, the frequency of these cases and the overwhelming statistics should not be tolerated. the u.s.-based cruise ship
companies who own and operate foreign flag passenger vessels want to access millions of americans who travel on these ships, they should be required to i.ment simple, proper safety and security improvement it's for -- improvements for all travelers. as a co-chair and founder of the congressional victims rights caucus, i'm proud to support h.r. 3360. this bill will implement necessary safety measures on board cruise ships, including video surveillance and proper documentation of complaints by passengers. most importantly, the law mandates that cruise ship personnel contact both the f.b.i. and the coast guard as soon as a serious crime like homicide, kidnapping and assault are reported by the passengers. this strong legislation will protect the safety of millions of americans and hold law violators accountable for sexual assault on the high seas. no longer will criminals be able to hide on our oceans when they commit crimes against americans. so i urge my colleagues to
support this bill. and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from maryland is recognized. mr. cummings: mr. speaker, we have no additional speakers. i reserve. -- i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. >> we have no additional speakers. i will yield back the balance of our time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from maryland. mr. cummings: in yielding back i will just urge my colleagues to vote in favor of this very, very important piece of legislation that will have far-reaching effects. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the question is will the house suspend the rules and concur in the senate amendments to h.r. 3360. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the senate amendments are agreed to and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table.
for what purpose does the gentleman from maryland seek recognition? mr. cummings: mr. speaker, i hove to -- move to suspend the rules and agree to resolution h. 298, directing the clerk of the house of representatives to make a technical correction in the enrollment of h.r. 3360. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the concurrent resolution. the clerk: house concurrent resolution 289, concurrent resolution directing the clerk of the house of representatives to make a technical correction in the enrollment of h.r. 3360. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from maryland, mr. cummings, and the gentleman from new jersey, mr. lobe beyondow, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from maryland. mr. cummings: thank you very much, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days within which to revise and extends their remarks and to include extraneous material on h.con.res. 289. the speaker pro tempore: without
objection. mr. cummings: mr. speaker, h.con.res. 289 simply corrects a drafting error in the senate amendments to h.r. 3360. specifically the senate amendments intended to combine required coast guard reports on fisheries, enforcement plans, and on efforts to prevent the incursion of foreign fishing vessels into u.s. waters. however, the senate amendment incorrectly referred to section 804 of the coast guard and maritime transportation act of 2004 rather than the act of 2006. which is the correct cite that the coast guard submit biannual reports on the service's progress in detecting and interdicting incursions by foreign fishing vessels into u.s. exclusive economic zones. h.con.res. 289 merely corrects
the legal cite but does not make any other changes to the senate amendments to h.r. 3360. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. robe robe meeb -- mr. loebsack: mr. speaker, this is purely technical, we have no objection. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. mr. cummings: mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the question is, will the house suspend the rules and agree to house concurrent resolution 289. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the concurrent resolution is agreed to and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table.
the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from california seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and agree to resolution h.res. 1321 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 1321, resolution expressing the sense of the house of representatives that the political situation in thailand be solved peacefully and through democratic means. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentlewoman from california, ms. watson, and the gentlewoman from florida, ms. ros-lehtinen, will each control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from california. ms. watson: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on the resolution under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without
objection. ms. watson: mr. speaker, i rise in strong support of this resolution and yield myself as much time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. watson: mr. speaker, i want to thank my good friend, congressman faleomavaega, for introducing this important resolution which calls for a peaceful resolution to the political situation in thailand through democratic means. as we all know, early err this year red shirt protesters -- earlier this year, red shirt protesters occupied the streets ppof bangkok for nine weeks. at first these protests were peaceful, over time, however, clashes between the red shirts and the security forces escalated into urban warfare. by midmay, 89 people in the vast majority of them -- and the vast majority of them civilians have
been killed around around 1,le00 wounded, including a renegade thai general who joined the antigovernment protests. since the outbreak of these protests, the government has made significant strides towards addressing the concerns of the protesters. earlier this month, the prime minister announced that he plans to hold new elections by the end of 2011. his plan called for all parties to join together in upholding the institution of the constitutional monarchy, work towards resolving fundamental problems of social justice, ensure that the media can operate freely, create an independent committee to investigate the street protests
and establish political rules through solicitation of views from all sides. i believe that the prime minister's plan is a positive step towards achieving democratic reconciliation. earlier this month the prime minister survived a vote of no confidence in the parliament over his handling of the protests. demonstrating that there is support for the p.m. to lead the country towards reconciliation. i want to remind my colleagues that thailand is one of the united states' closest friends and most dependable allies. in 1833, we concluded the first treaty with an asian nation when we joined with thailand in the treaty of amity and commerce. in 1954, we forged a military alliance and in 2003, the
united states designated thailand as a major non-nato ally. because of our long history, i believe that we must do everything we can to support reconciliation in island and to convey our sincere hope that thailand continues to prosper with democracy, stability, and the rule of law. that's why i co-sponsored the house resolution, 1321, and i urge all my colleagues to join me in supporting this resolution and moving it toward speedy adoption. mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves. the gentlewoman from florida. ms. ros-lehtinen: i'm proud to yield such time as he may consume to the gentleman from hawaii, mr. dijew, a member --
mr. djou. mr. djou: i'd like to thank the gentlelady and i thank mr. faleomavaega for introducing this resolution. it is with some degree of sadness i rise to speak in support of this resolution. it is my understanding from the house historian's office that i am the first member of the united states congress of thai ancestry. for myself, thailand is not just a place, not just an ally of the united states, it is someplace where my mother was born and raised and most of my mother's side of the family continues to reside. i, of course, speak in strong support of this resolution asking for a peaceful resolution of the conflict an dispute going on currently in thailand. mr. speaker and members, for us
here in this nation, while we%% may have strong disagreements between conservatives and liberals, we ultimately resolve our differences peacefully. right now, what's happen in thailand is saddening, disappointing and something we must all be troubled by. island is an incredible, important ally for the united states and southeast asia. it's been the linchpin of our strategic interests in southeast asia for decades. what i have seen on the streets of bangkok and what my family has witnessed firsthand over the last few months is incredibly disappointing. last month, mr. speaker, my family, when i talked to my suzz kins, it was with both joy and sadtons see what had transpyred in our immediate family. it is with incredible honor and distinction that i was able to
take the oath of office as a member of the united states congress. but my first cousins, who were born and raised in thailand, unfortunately, witnessed firsthand what was happening on the streets of bangkok and saw firsthand the violence going on in the city center. i think it is a reminder to all of us as americans this euniqueness, importance, vitality and the incredible, incredible good fortune we have to call ourselves americans. but it is also what is happening in bangkok that reminds us that we as a nation should lead by example and remind all the peoples of the world of what we can and what we have here in this nation and it doesn't have to always end in violence. mr. speaker, and colleagues, i strongly urge passage of this resolution and hope, on behalf of my family, that the
differences going on right now in thailand, are resolved peacefully. thank you, mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from florida. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume and i'd like to start by thanking the gentleman from hawaii for those insightful words and for his personal commitment and family honor in making sure that we can have a peaceful resolution to this conflict. i also rise in support of this resolution which honors our nation's long-standing alliance with the government and the people of thailand. it also calls for a settlement of the political situation in that country through peaceful and democratic means. the scenes on television screens around the world last month of bangkok burn wrg unnerving to all who wished the thai people well. a two-month political crisis
which killed 88 people and injured more than 1,849 -- more than 1,800 reduced landmark buildings in the thai capital to ashes. the fact that thailand's king has been hospitalized the last several months only added to the sense of urgency over the fragile political situation system of this resolution provides an opportunity to extend best wishes for a speedy recovery to his majesty who celebrated the 60th anniversary of his coronation this past may 5. thailand is the first southeast or east asian nation to have a formal diplomatic agreement with us in the united states. a treaty of amity and commerce was signed with the administration of president andrew jackson in 1833. the offer of a herd of
domesticated elephants by the president thai king's great grandfather, while politely declined by president lincoln as unsuitable for the american climate, has long been cited as an example of the warm and enduring bond between the american and thai people. when the congressional leaders gathered in statuary hall last week to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the outbreak of the korean war, the flag of thailand proudly flew with those of other ally nations behind the speaker's podium. thailand sent a regiment of 1,294 men to that conflict, of which 129, 10%, perished on the korean peninsula. further cooperation with the united states during the vietnam and iraq wars in eastity mor and during a series of refugee crises in southeast
asia has further cemented bilateral ties. cobra gold, the largest multinational military exercise in the world, has brought the united states and the royal they armed forces -- the royal thai armed forces together every year to enhance peace and stability. the growing trade between our two countries has made thailand america's 25th largest goods trading partner, according to statistics provided by the u.s. trade representative system of it is clearly in america's interest for the recent violence to come to an end and that this militarily dependable, economically vibrant ally can move forward toward national reconciliation. hopefully the proposed national reconciliation will lead to a permanent healing of thai
society so that the thai people do not escape from the tiger into the crocodile as the thai saying goes, moving from one crisis to another. this resolution, mr. speaker, calling for an end to violence through peaceful and democratic means and for a rere-dedication to our vital alliance is something members should strongly support, as do i. with that, mr. speaker, we have no further requests for time and i yield back me the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back the balance of her time. the gentlewoman from california is recognized. ms. watson: i have no further requests for time. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: does the gentlewoman yields back? ms. watson: mr. speaker, i yield the balance of my time. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the question is, will the house suspend the rules and agree to house resolution 1321 as
amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the resolution is agreed to and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. ms. watson: mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from california seek recognition? ms. watson: i object to the vote on the grounds that a quorum is not present and make a point of order that a quorum is not present. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20 and the chair's prior announcement, further proceedings on this motion will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from california seek recognition? ms. watson: i move to suspend the rules and agree to resolution h.res. 1405 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 14 o5, congratulating the people of the 17 african nations that in 2010 are marking the 50th
year of their national independence. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentlewoman from california, ms. watson, and the gentlewoman from florida, ms. ros-lehtinen, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from california. ms. watson: i ask unanimous consent for all members to have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on the resolution under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. watson: mr. speaker, i rise in strong support of this resolution and yield myself as much time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. watson: mr. speaker, i want to thank mr. rush for introducing this resolution that recognizes the 50th anniversary of independence for 17 african countries. in the scramble for africa, between 1880 and the first
world war, european countries extended their political and economic rule over the vast territory and resources of africa. the colonizing powers saw this as an opportunity to continue commerce between europe and africa following the end of the slave trade. at the berlin conference of 1884, the european powers carved up africa among themselves to suit their demand for gold, diamonds, minerals and spices. the age of european imperialism ravished the human and natural resources of the african continent. in 1941, president roosevelt introduced the principle of the autonomy of imperial colonies. to prime minister to winston
churchill, and started a debate over british and eventually all european imperialism. in 1957, subsaharan africa's post colonial era began with the independence of ghana. over the following several decades, all other african countries won their independence and joined the international community of sovereign nations. now, resolution congratulates the people of the 17 african nations who celebrate their 50th veer of -- 50th year of national independence in 2010. the american people have benefited greatly from our relations with african nations during the past 50 years. african countries remain among our strongest allies in the
world. we enjoy strong economic and political ties with many african countries and we are the beneficiaries of strong cultural and social ties to africa's people. mr. speaker, i urge all of my colleagues to support this important resolution and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves. the gentlewoman from florida is recognized. ms. ros-lehtinen: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. ros-lehtinen: i rise in support of house resolution 1405, congratulating the people of 17 african nations on 50 years of independence and recognizing the importance of africa to the united states. 50 years ago, 17 african nations threw off the yolk of colonialism -- the yoke of
colonialism and established themselveses as independence nations. unfortunately, the past half century has been anything but peaceful or joyful for all too many of these states. only two of the 17 nations we celebrate today, molly and beni n -- mali and penin are still considered independent. a war in part of the area has claimed millions of lives and spawned some of the worst human rights atrocities known to man. african economies are growing at rates reminiscent of the great asian tigers. citizens are becoming increasingly aware of their rights and demanding a greater stake in their economic and political future, demanding
accountability and driving the big men of africa from office. still in africa, independence has proven to be a necessary but insufficient condition for freedom. at a battlefield in gettysburg, the great be a hamlin condoleezza rice honored the -- be a hamlin condoleezza rice honored the follow -- abraham lincoln honored the fallen by saying, this nation, under god, shall have a new birth of freedom and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth. and so, mr. speaker, on this 50th anniversary of independence, for no less than 17 african nations, we stand in solidarity with the people who won their independence but continue in their struggle for freedom. i urge my colleagues to support
this timely and important resolution. mr. speaker, we have no further requests for time and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back the balance of her time. the gentlewoman from california is recognized. ms. watson: mr. speaker, i will yield as much time as he might consume to representative bobby l. rush of illinois. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois is recognized -- rarb of illinois. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from illinois is recognized -- rush of illinois. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois is recognized. mr. rush: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i'd like to begin by thanking the committee chairman, howard berman, and the chairman payne and my good friend, congresswoman watson. i also thank congresswoman
clarke and congressman royce on their constant leadership on african issues. this year, mr. speaker, 17 african nations are celebrating the anniversary of their independence. 1960 was an important year when the french, british and italian colonies. they won hard-fought victories that led to independence on january 1, a nation of cameroon and -- in 1960 was a nation of mauritania securing its independence from france. the resolution i'm bringing to the floor today will honor the
sacrifices of the fallen fathers of these african nations. little did they know then that the u.s.a. would enter into its nation's permanent history the tribute to the thousands of unsung men and women who gave their lives based on the simple game of freedom and a desire to assert necessities from a nation . we in the u.s. of a know something about that freedom and that determination. chief of all, these visionary african leaders are in cameroon.
in ghana, in senegal, thomas in -- and tanzania. this resolution also commends the social, economic and political progress being made by these nations while acknowledging the associated challenges that they face today. many of these nations have become democracies and are striving to be released from their past oppression.
men and women have worked tirelessly to overcome colonialism, neocolonialism, social adjustments, internal and regional war and their own hurdles. they also face serious changes beyond their control, which has been exacerbated by the global financial crisis, climate change and terrorism. many of the african nations today are becoming economically, politically and strategically important to the united states. our nation simply cannot afford to take that away, we can't afford to mistakenly see africa
as a desperate continent forever in need of charity from our nation. it's something in an intensified effort by china, russia, india, iran and other nations who seek to gain access to africa's vast natural resources. some say we may need africa more than africa needs us and many african nations are beginning to think the same way. both sides are mistaken. we need each other, now we need each other more than ever. it is time to solidify our economic and strategic partnerships. i urge others to support this resolution, commend president
obama for his leadership in making the partnership a reality by signing a binational commission agreement with south africa, with an goal and nigeria -- an goalia and nigeria. a strategic agreement with the entire african union, the white house has announced that president obama will be hosting these 17 african heads of state and a celebration that will mark the 50th anniversary later this summer. and i'd like to take this opportunity to commend our president for calling this summit. i hope an invitation will be
extended to other african nations as well. for investing in africa, the continent and other nations. they are on the cusp of fortune. it is time to revisit our relationship with the continent of africa and to deny society a more comprehensive approach. i would encourage the administration to establish permission that will create human rights groups, the civil society and african governments, financial institutions, the private sector and formulate initiative that is beneficial and coordinated policy framework that advances democracy and
prosperity in africa. it's worth knowing that the u.s. has already taken several steps to underwrite africa's increasing importance. our economy and its recovery are far more dependent on africa than we have acknowledged to date. so, too, is our national security. this celebrates the anniversary of 17 african nations, recognizing that africa is a significant -- and important to the united states. to promote economic wealth. and to alleviate the burden of
poverty that so many in the union continue to face. this is only the first step, mr. speaker, into africa's transition into a normal economy. this step is the right one, it is a long overdue transformation and our approach toward africa and our belief in the african people and in the african cootinent. with that i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentlewoman from california. ms. watson: mr. speaker, i have no further requests for time and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back? does she? does the gentlewoman from california yield back the balance of her time? ms. watson: mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back.
the question is, will the house suspend the rules and agree to house resolution 1405 as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the retslusion is agreed to and without objection the motion to -- resolution is agreed to and without objection the motion to reconsider is is laid on the table. ms. watson: i object to the vote on the grounds that a quorum is not present and i make a point of order that a quorum is not present. . the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20 and the chair's prior announcement, further proceedings on this motion will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from california seek recognition? ms. watson: mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and agree to resolution h.res. 1412 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 1412, resolution congratulating the government of south africa on its first two successful convictions for human trafficking. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the
gentlewoman from california, ms. watson, and the gentlewoman from florida, ms. ros-lehtinen, will each control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from california. ms. watson: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on the resolution under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. watson: mr. speaker, i rise in strong support of this resolution and yield myself as much time as i may consume. i would like to thank the gentleman from new jersey, mr. smith, for introducing this resolution congratulating south africa for its first two successful convictions for human trafficking. these convictions demonstrate south africa's commitment to protecting the vulnerable within its waters. while important progress has
been made, the resolution also urges the government of south africa to take further steps to prevent human trafficking by enacting a more comprehensive and antihuman trafficking law, pursuing its child protection strategy, prioritizing enforcement during the world cup, educating all relevant government officials about the problem and providing rehabilitative care for those who are freed from forced labor in the sex industry. in may of 2004, south africa was awarded the coveted world cup tournament. which is going on there today. recognizing the nexus between major sporting events and crime, major sporting events and crime, particularll prostitution, the