tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN January 19, 2011 5:00pm-8:00pm EST
of the democratic congressional campaign committee, mr. israel of new york. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. israel: mr. speaker, i rise to oppose this bill. this vote establishes who you're for. are you for insurance company profits or are you for the middle class. i'm for hanna of bay shore long island. she had multiple surgeries and a kidney transplant before the age of 12. at 12 years old, her insurance company told her she reached her annual cap and would not pay for additional treatment. thanks to the the affordable care act, she was able to get on her parents' insurance at an affordable rate with no lifetime caps. this health care act was for hannah watson. people are saying, i don't have a disease, why should i care. she did not choose to have that
disease. nobody makes that choice. it helped her, her neighbors, it helped others. why would you want to look at her and say we are repealing those protections? i'm for another constituent. katherine had breast cancer and after she was recovering from breast cancer, her insurance company told her it was a pre-existing condition and no longer would pay for her treatment. i hear people say, why should i care? i'm not katherine, i don't have breast cancer. one out of nine women in america have breast cancer. you know someone who has breast cancer. why would you say to them, that consumer protection is repealed. you are on your own. finally, mr. speaker, i understand the notion that this is not a perfect bill and there are things we can improve. my friends on the republican side are in the majority and if they can think of ways to improve it, we should work with them. this is not improving it, but repealing it, but repealing
every word of it, repealing every vowel of it, consumer protection of it, for every one of us, hannah and katherine, all americans with pre-existing conditions and ought not be repealed. i thank the gentleman and i yield back. . mr. can spore texas i yield -- mr. cantor: i yield one and a half minutes to the gentleman from texas. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. >> i believe this health care -- mr. sessions: i believe this health care bill will do for health care what the jobs bill did for jobs. it says it will have quality health care and affordable health care. the only problem is it does not
increase quality and does not save a dime on health care costs. what is known as obamacare will end up costing every single american more in health care premiums and in taxes to pay for the $1,2 -- for the $1.2 trillion health care law. it's about mandate, it's cuts to medicare, job losses, deficit spending and new federal bureaucracies. the reality is that we cannot pay for health care entitlements we have, much less a new government takeover of health care that adds trillions of dollars to our existing liabilities, driving up costs even further and putting the federal government in charge of health care decision making. the path to greater choice for patients and lower costs all must be part of an answer that is about repealing this costly health care bill.
i support the repeal today and will vote tomorrow for the resolution to replace it with a promise of real solutions. mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from south carolina. mr. clyburn: may i inquire as to the time remaining? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from south carolina has 4 1/2 minutes remaining. the majority leader has 2 1/2 minutes remaining. mr. clyburn: thank you mr. speaker, i yield the balance of the time to the democratic whip, mr. hoyer of maryland. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for yielding and i rise in opposition to this bill to repeal. last year, we enacted a reform bill to make it easier for small businesses to cover their employees, to take important steps to bring down costs to stop insurance companies' abuses that bankrupt sick americans and deny them coverage. we acted in the face of a crisis.
a cost crisis which saw premiums more than double over the last decade. a coverage crisis which saw more than 40 million americans without health care insurance. and a fiscal crisis which saw the cost of health care driving our country deeper and deeper into the red. a constituent of mine from southern maryland recently wrote to thank us for health reform that now lets her carry her 21-year-old daughter on her insurance. but she wrote that something else was also inspired her to support this piece of legislation. seeing, and i quote, a lot of other people who are hardworking, honest people, who were going bankrupt because of unexpected medical expenses. those were the stories we had in mind last year when we passed the health reform law and today, as we fight to protect it.
nonpartisan observers tell us that it will reduce the rise in premiums from millions covering 95% of americans and contribute to reducing our deficit. the opponents of health care reform have spent more than a year painting it in apocalyptic terms but they can't erase the history that proves that bringing afordable care to all americans has long been the goal of both parties. just yesterday, former senate majority leader bill frist, a republican, said, and i quote, the affordable care act is the law of the land, the fundamental platform on which all future efforts to make that system better will be based. that was senate republican leader of the senate bill frist from tennessee, one of the great
medical practitioners in this country a doctor. in 2008, senator john mccain said this, quote, we should have available and affordable health care to every american citizen. there's been no alternative offered to accomplish that objective. in 2006, when signing a state bill remarkably similar to affordable care act, governor mitt romney, republican, leading candidate for president of the united states and the republican party said this, of that bill, almost exactly like this one, quote, an achievement like this comes around once in a generation. well, our republican colleagues in congress failed to take action on health care during a decade of doubling premiums and mounting debt, congress acted last year. now my republican friends have come to the floor with a plan to put insurance companies back in charge of american health care.
and to strip americans of their hard-won freedom to make health choices for themselves. once again, families would face insurance companies' unfair caps on their coverage or find their coverage canceled altogether. once again, insurance companies could discriminate against children with disabilities and pregnant women. once again, prescription drug costs for our seniors will go up. and once again, small businesses will be without any help to cover their employees in a world of skyrocketing premiums. there's no arguing with the facts. repeal would cost our economy as many as $400,000 per job, not withstanding the rhetoric on the other side. they would be lost under the burden of crushing health care costs and repeal would pile up over $1.2 trillion of additional debt on our children over the next two decades. i urge my colleagues, preserve
america's freedoms to control their own care. join together to protect the system that meets the objectives set by generations of american presidents. president truman, kennedy, johnson, nixon, ford, carter, george h.w. bush, clinton and george w. bush as well as president obama oppose this repeal bill. the speaker pro tempore: all time of the gentleman from south carolina has expired. the majority leader. mr. cantor: i yield myself the remaining time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. cantor: mr. speaker, america did not become great by accident. we are a great country because we continue to strive toward the protection and expansion of individual liberties in a way that people cannot find anywhere else in the world. our system of free enterprise inspires people to pursue opportunity, to take
responsibility for their lives, and to achieve success. yet for the past two years, congress and the administration have pushed an agenda that moves america in the opposite direction by eroding individual freedoms. it's part of a philosophy premised upon government. siphoning more money, control, and power out of the private sector. and the health care bill we seek to appeal -- repeal today is the tip of the spear. mr. speaker, let's make something clear. both parties care deeply about health care. likewise, republicans have rejected the status quo. we simply disagree with our counterparts on the other side of the aisle that excessive government regulation and sweeping mandates on individuals and businesses are the right way
to go about affecting reforms americans want. the construct of this bill is fundamentally unworkable. instead of preserving the doctor-patient relationship, this legislation we seek to repeal is rooted in having federal bureaucrats come between patients and their doctors, limiting choices. if you go back to the health care debate last congress, the president, then speaker pelosi, and leader reid often spoke of two goals. one, we should strive to lower costs. and two, if americans like the health insurance coverage they had, they should be able to keep it. mr. speaker, we believe in the aftermath of this bill's passage these goals have not and cannot be met. therefore, doesn't it stand to
reason that we must repeal this bill? and begin an honest debate about a better way forward. of all the most disingenuous myths in this town, perhaps the biggest is the notion that repealing the health care bill will increase the deficit. let's remember here, we are adding an open-ended entitlement. the new law is riddled with budget gimmicks that double count savings, offset six years of benefits with 10 years of tax increases, and rely on cuts to medicare and tax increases to fund a new entitlement. the nonpartisan congressional budget office works hard to provide accurate accounting. it is only able to score the legislation put in front of them. even if it includes budget gimmicks and fiscal shell games designed to hide its true costs.
the reality is that this trillion-dollar new government entitlement will lead to a one size fits all cure and put our country and our states on a path to bankruptcy. at a time when we need to do everything in our power to encourage job creation, the health care bill hangs around the necks of businesses and serves as a barrier to job creation. mr. speaker, if we want to deliver real results, the right way to go about health care reform is to lower costs and improve access. that is why after the house passes this repeal of obama care, we will begin a two-step process of first, conducting oversight of the law and the impact it's had on our economy and our health care system, and two, beginning work on a new vision to improve health care without bankrupting our country and taking away the health care
that most americans want and like. this majority is dedicated to achieving results for the american people. as we've said before, mr. speaker, we are a cut and grow congress. we will cut spending and job destroying regulation and grow private sector jobs and the economy. repealing last year's health care law is a critical step. mr. speaker, we can do better. we will do better. and i urge my colleagues to support repeal and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. all time for debate has expired. pursuant to house resolution 26, the previous question is ordered on the bill as amended. the question is on engrossment and third reading of the bill. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. third reading. the clerk: a bill to repeal the job-killing health care law and health care-related provisions in the health care and education reconciliation act of 2010.
the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from new jersey seek recognition? >> i have at the desk a motion to recommit. the speaker pro tempore: is the gentleman opposed to the bill? >> i am. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman qualifies. the clerk will report the motion? for what purpose does the majority leader rise? mr. cantor: i reserve a point of order. the speaker pro tempore: the point of order of recognized. the clerk will report. the clerk: mr. andrews -- report back to the house with the following amendment, add to the end the following new section, section 3, health care repeal shall not take effect unless a majority of members of the u.s. house of representatives and the a majority of the u.s. senators waive hebp benefits, section 2, including the repeal of the patient protection and affordable care act, public law 111-148, shall not take effect unless and until the director of the office of personnel
management certifies to the congress that a majority of the members of the house of representatives and a majority of the members of the senate have as of the date that is 30 days after the date of initial passage of this act in the respective house voluntarily and permanently withdrawn from any participation and waive all rights of to participate as such a member in the federally funded federal employees health benefits program under chapter 89 of title 5 united states code , effective with the first month after such a date of execution of withdrawal and waiver. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from new jersey for five minutes in support of his motion. >> i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore:
without objection. >> we should begin by speaking speaker can't pelosi for leading us through an important bait in such an hour in our country's history, a moment of consequence. one of the consequences this debate is we did not debate what is on the minds of the american people which is unemployment. mr. andrews: and 15 million of our neighbors being unemployed. having said that there's lots of consequences to the repeal bill and members should be aware of each one of them. if a woman with breast cancer or a man with diabetes loses his job or her job and tries to get another job, under the law that's in effect, the insurance company can't deny them coverage or charge them more for it because of their preexisting condition. this bill repeals that protection. it makes it legal for the insurance company to say we're sorry, we're not going to sell
you health insurance because you don't have -- because you have breast cancer. we're sorry, we're going to raise your premiums five fold because you have diabetes. these are serious, unwelcomed consequences. another consequence of serving in this institution is we are the people's house. we are the elected people closest to the people and therefore we're expected to most understand the shoes in which they walk every day. many of us say these things at our town meetings. i've heard this from republicans, from democrats, from tea party members, from independents. congress should live by the same rules it imposes on everyone else. i don't think you can go to a district in this country people wouldn't embrace that idea. indeed, on the website of our speaker, from the last term in the congress in his biography, you can read the following, it refers to the congressional
accountability act, which i'm quoting requires congress to live under the same rules and regulations as the rest of the nation. bears the unmistakable imprint of speaker boehner's drive to reform the house. live under the same rules and regulations as the rest of the nation. so this motion to recommit says the following. in the spirit of that principle, members who support the repeal should live with its consequence. this rerepeal will become effective when the majority of this house and the majority of the other body are dismissed from membership in the federal employee's program the taxpayers fund for the members of the house. there are serious consequences of this bill. we believe that repealing it is
unfair and wrong. , just plain wrong. but it would be more plain wrong for those who support the repeal to live by a different standard. i would say to the members, the next time you're in a town meeting, the next time you encounter your constituents in your district and they say don't you agree that if you agree to impose a certain set of rules on me, that those same set of rules should apply to you. this will be the answer to their question. if you vote no, you're saying that the repeal that denies preexisting conditions to others doesn't apply to you. if you vote no, you say that the repeal that doesn't let insurance companies pose a lifetime cap on your constituents benefits imposes no cap on your benefits. if you believe that the
consequences of our actions should be visited upon those we represent equally and on ourselves as well, then your vote should be yes. in the spirit of the people's house, in the spirit of walking in the shoes of those we're here to represent, the right vote on this motion to recommit is yes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back his time. the majority leader wish to continue to reserve a point of order? mr. cantor: no, mr. speaker, i withdraw my reservation. the speaker pro tempore: four does the gentleman rise? mr. cantor: to respond to the motion to recommit. thank you, mr. speaker. i reserve the balance of my time. in begins to respond to the minority's motion to recommit, all i can say is this is an attempt to derail the appeal of the obamacare bill, without question.
the depositing of this motion to recommit and the substance of that recommit is almost inexplicable if one could be deemed to be offering a legitimate policy proposal. the notion that somehow the repeal position that the majority has taken -- frankly the majority of the american people desire, the notion that that is somehow connected with denying a better way forward, again, is inexplicable and i think again, mr. speaker, i would say it is not a serious attempt to add towards how we get to a better way in health care. now, the question before this body is simple, do you support the new health care law? yes or no? the motion to recommit is simply an effort to protect obamacare from being repealed,
period. if you think the new health care law will improve the way health care is delivered in the u.s., then support the motion to recommit. but if you believe, as most americans do, that the new health care law will put america on the wrong path, that the open entitlement line of the new law will contribute to putting us on a path to bankruptcy, that the policies in the law will deny patients access to the care that they want and need, and if you believe that the new law will increase health care costs, not lower them, that the new law is generating great uncertainty for our businesses, hurting our economy, that the new law is unconstitutional, then vote against the motion to recommit. voting against the motion to recommit is a vote to repeal the health care law, and i urge its defeat. mr. speaker, i yield back the
the republican conference, i offer a privileged resolution and ask for its immediate consideration. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the current resolution. the clerk will report the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 42, resolved the following named members be and are hereby elected to the following -- mr. hensarling: i ask unanimous consent the resolution be considered as read and printed in the record. the speaker pro tempore: is there objection? without objection, so ordered. without objection, the curengs and a motion to reconsider is -- the concurrent resolution and a motion to reconsider it is laid on the payable -- table. for what purpose does the gentlelady from florida rise? >> i ask that the house adjourn and meet at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered.
the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to 4-c of house resolution 5 of the 112th congress and the order of the house of january 5, 2011, the chair reannounces the reappointment of the following individuals to serve as governing board of the office of congressional ethics. the clerk: nominated by the speaker with the concurrence of the minority leader, mr. porter j. goss, chairman, mr. egan iii, ms. alison r.b. hey ward, nominated by the minority leader for the concurrence of the speaker, mr. david scaggs of colorado, co-chairman. mrs. burke of california, ms. english of arizona subject to 1-b, 6-b.
the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from michigan rise? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> i ask for unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized. the gentleman will suspend for just a second. the chair requests that the house come to order. >> thank you. i recently received a phone call from my childhood friend who told me he needed a place to stay. he was homeless. homeless because he was a diabetic. because he couldn't afford to pay for his hospital bills, he was put out of his home, he was evicted. homeless because he was middle aged and couldn't find an insurance company to provide him with coverage he could afford. i'm asking the american people
to contact the u.s. senate, to let them know that this repeal of the health care reform law cannot stand. mr. clarke: our american people need this protection. the very nature of health insurance is to spread the risk, the more people that are insured, the lower cost of health insurance for all of us. we've got to maintain the health reform law. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. dd clark the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia rise? >> address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized, without objection. >> mr. speaker, thank you. many members on the democratic side of the aisle when we were considering health care reform wanted a public option where the federal government would run it. mr. moran: it would ultimately save hundreds of billions of dollars more and in fact it would not be subject to the
profit incentive of private insurance companies. but we decided ultimately not to do that. what we did is to decide to model our health care reform after the federal employees' health benefits plan. where private insurance firms provide the coverage, you sign up for it, you have competition. we have competition, now nationally and within the states. but it's modeled after what we ourselves provided for ourselves as members of congress. and now the majority of the members of congress, both democrat and republican, have this plan for themselves. we just had a recommittle motion where -- recommital motion where we have the opportunity to say if you vote against this plan for your constituent, then you ought to decline it for yourselves. the vast majority of members took it for themselves but declined to provide it for their constituents. that's hypocrisy, mr. chairman. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired.
for what purpose does the gentlelady from california seek recognition? ms. woolsey: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that today following legislative business and any special orders heretofore entered into, the following members may be permitted to address the house for five minutes, to revise and extend their remarks and include therein extraneous material. mr. mcdermott, washington. mr. al green, texas. mrs. christensen, virgin islands. ms. woolsey, california. ms. kaptur, ohio. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. for what purpose does the gentleman from indiana rise? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that today following legislative business and any special orders heretofore entered into, the following members may be permitted to
address the house, revise and extend their remarks and include therein extraneous material. mr. poe, january 26, five minutes. mr. jones, january 26, five minutes. mr. fortenberry, today, five minutes. mr. pence, today, five minutes. mr. tom graves, today, five minutes. mr. mcclintock, today, five minutes. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered.
the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. under the speaker's announced policy of january 5, 2011, and under a previous order of the house, the following members are recognized for five minutes each. the gentleman from washington, mr. mcdermott. for what purpose does the gentleman from california rise? >> to take mr. mcdermott's place. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california has unanimous con sent to take the time from the gentleman from washington. is there -- consent to take the time from the gentleman from washington. is there objection? without objection, the gentleman from california is recognized for five minutes. mr. garamendi: thank you, mr. speaker, and, members. yesterday we lost a great american, a great hero. sergeant shriver died. my wife, patty, and i were honored to call sergeant our friend. he was a great mentor to both of us.
our lives were shaped, inspired, improved by his extraordinary talent and vision when he built the peace corps. we had the awesome experience to join the peace corps in its third year and to be assigned to ethiopia. were it not for his leadership, this iconic and pure american program would never exist. shriver became our close friend as the years went by. with each meeting our love for sarg grew. as did our respect for his endless enthusiasm and desire to improve the status of all. in the 1990's patty had the opportunity to work closely with shriver, to spread the peace corps to eastern europe, asia and south africa. his enthusiasm once again motivated americans to join the peace corps and serve men, women and children in every part of the globe. america and the world will miss
this compassionate and talented man. patty and i send our prayers and condolences to his family and we will personally miss this amazing individual. with that i yield back, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. under a previous order of the house, the gentleman from texas, mr. poe, is recognized for five minutes. for what purpose does the gentleman from north carolina rise? >> mr. speaker, i ask that i might speak. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from north carolina is recognized in place of the gentleman from texas. mr. jones: mr. speaker, last night i stood here and spoke about my experience visiting bethesda naval hospital and seeing the broken bodies of our country's young men and women. after that visit i was very pleased to see an article this morning about grover norquist speaking out and encouraging fellow conservatives to speak out against the war in afghanistan. the article is from the "huffington post" on january 12 and one citizen in particular
came to my mind. norquist also suggested that many prominent conservatives privately hold the view that the war in afghanistan should end quickly. it is time for them to speak out publicly, mr. speaker. we need to become more engaged in the issue and make our feelings known. mr. speaker, i have mentioned before that a retired military general has been my advisor on afghanistan for the past year. i'd like to share two points that he made in a recent email. the first point he made is, and i quote, what is the end state we are looking to achieve? what are the measures of effectiveness? what is our exit strategy? same old questions, no answers. the second point that the general made in his email to me , what do we say to the mother and father, to the wife or the last soldier or marine killed to support a corrupt government and corrupt leader in a war that cannot be won? mr. speaker, i'm going to repeat that very quickly.
from the retired general, what do we say to the mother and father, to the wife of the last soldier, marine killed to support a corrupt government and corrupt leader and war that cannot be won? these are valid pointed that we must think about. it is time that congress and the american people look at what is really going on and what war really means. i would like to thank prominent conservative grover norquist for speaking out on afghanistan . i hope this inspires others to do the same. history has shown that we cannot fix afghanistan. it is our best interest to learn from history, what it is trying to teach us, that no country has ever concurred afghanistan. mr. speaker, i have beside me the pain of war, a broken body. it's a young soldier who has lost both legs and an arm and
has young wife taking him into a room in a wheelchair. this party of mine, which i'm very proud to be a republican, needs to learn and again i want to thank grover norquist for speaking out and saying to conservatives, stop sending our boys and girls over there to come back with broken bodies or to come back in a coffin. it is time to end the war in afghanistan. it is time for mr. obama to keep his word to the american people and that is to bring them out in july of 2011. mr. speaker, before closing, i would like to say as i always do, god, please continue to bless our men and women in uniform. god, please in your loving arms hold the families who have given a child dying in afghanistan and iraq. god, please bless the house and senate that we will do what is right in your eyes for your people. god, please give strength, wisdom and courage to the president of the united states, that he will do what is right for your people. and, god, three times i will ask, please, please, please, god, continue to bless america.
i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from california rise? >> 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 title. the clerk: report to accompany house resolution 38. resolution to reduce spending through a transition to nonsecurity spending at fiscal year 2008 levels. the speaker pro tempore: referred to the house calendar and ordered printed. the clerk will report the next resolution. the clerk: report to accompany house resolution 43, resolution providing for consideration of the resolution to reduce spending through a transition to nonsecurity spending at fiscal year 2008 levels. the speaker pro tempore: referred to the house calendar and ordered printed. under a previous order of the house, the gentleman from texas, mr. green, is recognized for five minutes. mr. green: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, it has been written many centuries ago that
if we know the truth, the truth will set us free. the truth is, mr. speaker, that repeal of the current health care law means that we will reinstate conditions that existed prior to the repeal. the truth is that prior to the law that we currently have we were spending $2.5 trillion a year on health care. that's $79,000 a second. that's -- 17.6% of g.d.p. the truth is that if we had continued at that pace we would spend by 2018 $4.4 trillion per year. more than 20% of g.d.p. $139,000 per second.
the truth is that health care was going to bankrupt this country. c.b.o. has estimated that this bill that currently passed and is in place now and is law, the health care bill that's law, saves about $1 trillion over a 20-year period. more than $1 trillion, to be more appropriate. this bill, if it becomes law, will reinstate the past that we have tried to overcome. this bill will bring about about -- bring back, reinstate pre-existing conditions. and, as has been said, and for edification purposes, pregnancy is a pre-existing condition. this bill will reinstate the
doughnut hole that we've been trying to close, to help seniors with their pharmaceuticals. this bill will reinstate kicking children off of the policies that they're on now with their parents until they're 26 years of age. this bill will reinstate a condition wherein approximately 45,000 persons per year were dying from a lack of insurance. that's one person every 12 minutes. this bill will take us back in my state to six million persons being uninsured, without the possibility of having insurance. will take us back to 1.1 million persons in harris county, texas, being uninsured. 20% of the children in the state of texas are uninsured. this bill will take us back to a time and a place that we tried to escape.
and i thank god that this repeal will not become law. because i believe that this bill, if is becomes law, will hurt too many people. and there are some i have actually heard say, it would be good for it to become law because then people could understand the pain that this bill will invoke. i don't agree. i do not agree because i don't want people to suffer unnecessarily. i believe we do have a duty to be our brother's keeper. and by the way, it's easy to be your brother's keeper when you don't have to keep your brother. it is difficult to do the right thing, to make sure that every
american has health care. in a country wherein we will take the bank robber who is harmed in the process of robbing a bank and give him aid and comfort, in a country wherein we will give our enemies in mortal kombat aid and comfort if they should become wounded. in a country wherein we will give the person on death row who is to meet his maker next week aid and comfort if he gets sick this week and then send him to meet his maker next week. in this country, the richest country in the world, if we can give aid and comfort to the bank robber, if we can give aid and comfort for the -- to the mortal enemy of this country, if we can give aid and comfort to those on death row, we can give aid and comfort to those who are among the least, the last, and the lost. i believe that we've made a
mistake today. this is why i voted against repeal. thank you and i yield back, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas, mr. paul, for five minutes. mr. paul: thank you, mr. speaker,. mr. speaker,, i am pleased the constitution has received a lot of attention in recent weeks thanks to the tea party movement. it goes without saying that members of congress should have read the constitution many times and we should continue to study it. citing the particular clause of the constitution authorizes newly introduced legislation is a reasonable suggestion, yet in reality it will do little to restrain unconstitutional growth of federal government. we've had such rules in the past and no benefit came of it. the laws that are passed reflect the preferences of those in charge who promote their personal agenda. for too long that agenda has expanded government at the expense of personal liberty
regardless of which party was in charge. generally this trend was supported by voters who rewarded most members of congress with re-election. for many of us, this expansion of government clearly violated the constitution, yet it was always argued that the program somehow conformed to that living document. by misinterpreting the general welfare clause, the interstate commerce clause and the proper and necessary clause, they've taken every expansion of the federal government and misinterpreted it. congress also misinterpreted the 14th amendment and legislated it as though it repealed the 10th apartment. sadly congress -- 10th amendment. sadly congress has abdicated its prerogatives and responsibilities to the executive branch over the decades. too many people in and out of congress grew up being taught the constitution was malleable. this has allowed legislative and judicial ability to make
the constitution a modern, living document. though the authors allowed for flexibility through the amendment process, this process has been ignored for the sake of speed and convenience. as a result, the constitution now has little meaning since most members pay only lip service when taking their oath to a bath. i am encouraged by a growing grassroots interest in the constitution especially among the younger generation. i'm glad congress is becoming aware of it. our constitution should be viewed as law and members of congress should be expected to follow the rule of law. but a document is just that, and it is only as good as the character of those who represent us and promise to obey it. distorted interpretations come easy when the goal is opposite of what the original authors intended on what the plain text provides. true liberty is not our goal, persistent efforts to rationalize misinterpretations
and circumvent the constitution will continue. without men and women of character in congress, respect for the rule of law and the love of liberty, the constitution becomes but a worthless piece of paper. celebrating the constitution without this understanding will do nothing to restore the greatness of america. simply, praising the document distracts from the need for members to gain the courage to resist special interests, political self interests with emergency needs in times of crisis, fear of economic myth and the temptation to seek security over liberty while ignoring personal responsibility and self-reliance. providing instruction in the constitution for staff and members begs the question, who will be the teacher? i wonder, will this welcomed renewed interest in the constitution lead to a healthy, reassessment of all our policies? will there be no more wars without an actual congressional declaration? will the federal reserve act
be repealed? will only gold and silver be called legal tender? will we end all the constitutional federal departments including the department of energy, education, agriculture, commerce, health and human services, homeland security, and labor? will the patriot act be repealed and all the warrantless searches stopped? will t.s.a. be restrained or abolished? will the i.r.s. unconstitutional collection powers end? will executive and judicial quasiexecutive powers be ended? will we end the federal war on drugs? will we end the federal government's involvement in medicare? will we end all the government's illusionary programs? will we ban trials without due process and assassinations? will we end our foreign policy of invasion and occupation? for americans to once again become the standard for a free society, our love of liberty and desire for peace must far
surpass any public display of fidelity to the constitution. we must first look to strong moral character, respect for the rule of law, and an understanding of the proper role of government in a free society. and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: thank you. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california, mr. farr, for five minutes. mr. farr: thank you very much, mr. speaker. i rise tonight very sadly to talk a little bit about one of the greatest americans of our generation, a true american hero in my respect is sergeant shriver. i really have to say i'm also very upset the republican leadership wouldn't allow for a moment of silence in today's session for such a distinguished american. i rise today in honor of his
life and legacy. i got to meet sergeant shriver when i was a peace corps trainee? 1963. about 22 years old in a small little town in new mexico, questin, new mexico, and was in awe as a trainee i could meet the first director of the peace corps. he embodied the relentless service of america that makes it great. he will forever hold a special place in our country's history. i remember the vitality and spirit he had that drove me to want to be more voluntary in the peace corps and no one knew what they did because they hadn't come home yet and really was a risk and adventure, and really not sure is this the best thing to do? yet i look back in pride and admiration what a privilege it was to serve under his
leadership. the pass corps, sergeant shriver took president kennedy's vision and optimism and built it to one of america's best institutions. after three years of director of the agency, the peace corps had more than 6,500 volunteers serving in nearly 50 developing countries. and he once told me the story that in those days, with the president's own budgeting, they were able to place peace corps volunteers in latin america and africa before congress ever got around to authorizing the program. and these volunteers showed the world the true american values of peace, prosperity, and opportunity that had been eclipsed by the cold war. over the past 50 years through war and conflict, sarge's foundational work of the peace corps has enabled volunteers to short world a hopeful, uplifting side of america that reflects our fundamental values of service and tolerance.
today sarge's legacy lives on in a quarter million americans who served as peace corps volunteers in 139 countries around the world. all in the name of peace and goodwill. beyond the peace corps, sergeant shriver was actively engaged in civic society. he served as ambassador to france, leader of the war on poverty, the first director of the office of economic opportunity, which began the head start program which began vista, volunteers in service to america. and as a vice-presidential candidate. his touch can be found on some of our nation's finest efforts, including the special olympics and racial integration. but above all, sarge's devotion to public service was beyond approach. and like his wife eunice who really started the special olympics, and i might add that the special olympics is now in
more countries than is the peace corps. i can't think of two couple -- a married couple in america who have done more worldwide than eunice shriver and sergeant shriver to help people in need. i'll always hold my special memories of sharing peace corps stories with sergeant shriver, or sarge as we called him, at various events that honored the agency we both got to speak. in one of my most significant moments of my life was the privilege of being presented with the peace corps public service award in 2006 by sergeant shriver. to all that knew him, sergeant shriver was a man of tremendous heart and vision who leaves behind a living legacy of service and hope. that legacy of public service lives on in the lives of his children. their mother died in define --
in 2009 but today we have daughter maria who is the first lady of california. we have their four other children, son robert shriver of santa monica who is an activist in california, former maryland delegate marge shriver of bethesda, maryland. tim parish shriver of chevy chase, both involved in special olympics, and anthony paul shriver of miami. most of all, they have 19 children. i'd like without objection to enter material in the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. farr: thank you. the speaker pro tempore: mr. burton from indiana. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from florida rise? ms. ros-lehtinen: i ask unanimous consent to -- the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlewoman from florida is recognized for five minutes. ms. ros-lehtinen: i thank the speaker for the time and i rise tonight to recognize a great organization that has helped so
many disabled individuals, the walk-about foundation. this terrific organization was founded by siblings luis and carolina bunster. 16 years ago when he was 18 years old, luis was in a car accident that left him paralyzed from the chest down. he wasn't going to allow this tragedy to define him or limit his ability to lead a full life. just a few months after his accident, luis moved to south florida and enroamed at my alma mater, the university of miami. soon after luis started driving again and began to live on his own. leading an active lifestyle which included being an avid swimmer, luis took advantage of the university of miami extensive and accessible facilities. however, during a trip to the connecticut ymca a couple of years ago, luis could not
access the indoor swimming pool so luis and carolina decided to take action and not only did they promote awareness of paralysis and disabilities in this community but also made the connecticut ymca accessible for all the disabled. out of this victory, the walk-about foundation was born. the walk-about foundation's mission is twofold. first, to actively pursue a cure for paralysis by helping fund research programs, and second, to provide wheelchairs to those who cannot afford one. what makes the walk about foundation singular ises i drive to make sure that disable -- singular is its drive to make sure that disabled individuals can lead full and active lives. this is due to lisa's character and unyielding belief that people should not be victims of their circumstances. the walk about foundation has
not limited its services and generosity to just our nation. last month the foundation provided 200 wheelchairs to hatey. in addition to the 4 hub -- haiti. in addition to the 400 they had already donated last year. as someone who has seen the devastation and the human tragedy that has befallen the poor island nation of haiti since last year's tragic earthquake, i know the impact and benefit that the efforts of lisa will bring to help the lives of so many disabled individuals in haiti. they have also provided 100 wheelchairs to the dominican republic. these wheelchairs will go to children, teenagers and adults afflicted by paralysis, polio, muscular dystrophy as well as amplities. i commend lisa and their walk about foundation for all that they do. they are truly an inspiration for all. thank you, mr. speaker.
and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: thank you. the chair recognizes mrs. driften -- kristen -- mrs. christensen for five minutes. mrs. christensen: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, for everyone who has been listening to the dialogue and debate around health care reform, i want to make something crystal clear. regardless of the vote in the house, health care reform was not repealed today. and despite what some may be projecting and promising, all of us on both sides of the aisle know that this is true. we also know that the next step in the larger plan to repeal health care reform will involve directing committees with jurisdiction to revisit the health care reform law. now, this is going to be a process that includes meaningful hearings and honest dialogue about how to strengthen and bolster, not dismantle and obliterate health care reform, then i would support that strategy. it would allows us to work together to build on the many successes that the patient protection and affordable care act has already demonstrated, successes for our children, our
seniors, the poor and the already insured. that was the kind of process that led to the development and passage of the patient protection and affordable care act. but to be honest, that was then. and i do not believe that such a process will occur this time because those calling for repeal don't seem to be interested in socially, fiscally and medically sound public health strategies to solve our nation's public health problems. instead, the supporters of repeal have been steadfast in their efforts to minimize and even downplay the devastating step backward that h.r. d mean, not only for our nation's most vulnerable residents, our children and our seniors, but also for small businesses, the middle class, rural and low income populations and the financial as well as the fiscal health -- physical health of our nation. and so i urge not only my colleagues here but every american who wants a healthier and stronger tomorrow to be
engaged in and to be alert because the real health care reform repeal efforts begin not with this vote but in the months ahead. all of us, every one in this country, the insured and the uninsured, have too much at stake to sit on the sidelines and remain silent. we know there's an appropriations strategy to ensure that the health care freedoms and the act are not adequately or appropriately funded, making their implementation an utter impocket. we can't let that happen. we know that efforts are under way that will allow the chairman of the budget committee to set spending limits on his own, without committee consensus and clearly without a fair transparent and democratic process. this is an assault on our democracy. finally we also know that all of the harsh realities that will -- that repeal will mean to millions of americans and their families. they will not be highlighted or even mentioned. for example, those calling for repeal won't admit that the repeal would mean more uninsured americans. 54 million uninsured by --
uninsured by 2019. those calling for repeal don't admit that repeal means an increase in the number of american families who have filed bankruptcy, lose their homes and suffer other financial hardships. those calling for repeal will never admit that repeal means a loss of jobs, a loss of jobs, increased unemployment and an increase in the deficit even though they know as we do that without health care reform the federal deficit will explode by $143 billion over the next three years and more than a whopping $1 trillion over the next two decades. those calling for repeal won't admit that it will mean in health disparities that leave minorities and low income and rural americans in poorer health and more likely to die prematurely from preventable causes. a recent study found that eliminating racial and ethnic disparities would have reduced the medical care expenditures by $229.4 billion in just four years. and finally, those calling for
repeal don't admit that repeal literally could be a death sentence for thousands of innocent americans every year. a recent i.o.m. study suggested that more than 15,000 deaths per year could happen just because insurance was taken away. so repeal did not take place today. but the assault on our rights, our freedoms, our democracy, as well as our very lives are on the line in the planned committee process, the budgetary slice and a targeted appropriations process. so let's not find ourselves repenting for the silence of good people. thank you and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: mr. dreier from california. for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia rise? >> address the house for five minutes, revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from georgia is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. speaker. what a great day for america. a victory for the american people. you know, last november the american people loudly demanded
the repeal of obamacare and today the house cliffered. earlier today i outline -- delivered. earlier today i outlined why the american people were so opposed to this legislation and so tonight i would remind my colleagues on left as to why they rejected obamacare. mr. graves: it was the employee mandate and the mandates on individuals that tax, penalize and punish americans who choose not to opt into a government-approved health care system. maybe it was the $569 billion in new taxes or the $2.6 trillion cost, $700 billion in deficit spending over the first 10 years when this law is fully implemented and who knows what after that. but more importantly it violated our constitution and personal liberties. so earlier today i asked my friends and folks back in the district who follow us on facebook, georgians i work for and represent, i ask that they respond to us how the
legislation has already impacted them. already impacted them today. so we got a few of those responses and, mr. speaker, i thought i would share some of those. from north georgia, elizabeth said her health insurance premiums have already almost doubled. jimmy in north jnl said his health care premium is certainly more expensive. brian said his health insurance just went up by at least 8% and the cost of his mother's medicaid part d coverage has doubled. b.j. in calhoun, the health insurance agent said premiums have risen and companies he represents are reducing or eliminating commissions. and then there's jeremy in ringo. he was going to expand his bits this year but he was forced to put those plans on hold because of the costly and burdensome 1099 tax filing requirements that were required under obamacare. it's because of these americans that we not only repeal obamacare today, but tomorrow we will also vote on a house resolution, directing the committees of jurisdiction to
begin working on legislation through a transparent process, open to the american people, that will embody free market principles that under many circumstances will foster economic growth in private sector job creation. lower health care premiums through increased competition and choice, insure patient -- ensure patients have the opportunity to keep a health care plan if they like it, reform the medical liability system to reduce unnecessary and wasteful health care spending, remove barriers that prohibit health care plans from being purchased across state lines, provide the states greater flexibility to administer the medicaid programs and more importantly it will be policy that empowers americans with options instead of the mandates coming from the federal government. and above all, our reforms will not infringe upon individual liberties. so, mr. speaker, i want to thank those tonight who on facebook responded to us in helping us start that round two of the obamacare debate.
today we voted to repeal, tomorrow we begin the work to replace with free market solutions. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from california for five minutes. ms. woolsey: thank you, mr. speaker. earlier this week, mr. speaker, we recognized the 82nd birthday of dr. martin luther king jr. perhaps the greatest moral and spiritual leader in our nation's history. each of us in our own way reflected on dr. king's teaching and his message had more relevance than ever in light of the tragic shootings in tucson. it's a sign of progress that a man whose ideas were considered revolutionary during his life has achieved mainstream iconic status in death. but as we all share his legacy
there is a very real danger that some people will in a self-serving way, distort king's vision to justify the very policies he gave his life opposing. in fact, department of defense general council jay johnson has a bizarre unsettling interpretation of dr. king's dreams. in a speech last week, mr. jones suggested that this great agitator for peace would have endorsed the war in afghanistan. and i quote him, he said, if dr. king were alive today he would recognize that our nation's military should not and cannot lay down its arms and leave the american people vulnerable to terrorist attacks. mr. speaker, this strikes me as a presumption white house and manipulative distortion of
everything dr. king represented. he was fierce, he was resolute in his opposition to the vietnam war. he was a courageous, controversial stand that cost him friends and allies. he believed nothing as strongly as the idea that nonviolence was the only route to social change. he left little ambiguity about his feelings on war. he said, the chain reaction of evil wars producing more wars must be broken. dr. king once said, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation. i don't know how you get much clearer than that, mr. speaker. violence, he preached, is a descending spiral, begetting the very things it seeks to
destroy. through violence you may murder the hater but you do not murder the hate. in fact, violence merely increases hate, returning violence for violence, multiplies violence. mr. speaker, we've seen exactly this in our misguided struggle to defeat terrorism through warfare. killing one taliban or al qaeda insurgent, emboldens the movements and simply creates more terrorists. dr. king added that, a nation that continues to spend more money on military defense than our programs of social uplift is approaching a spiritual death. these are the words we ought to reflect on as we continue a debate about federal budget priorities. far from supporting the war in afghanistan, i believe dr. king would be much more likely to
embrace the principles of the smart security platform that i've spoken of from this podium many, many times. it cause for cooperation, not conquest. dialogue, not destruction. engagement, not invasion. it pursues the goal of global peace and security by focusing on our community and common humanity. it is an agenda that respects human rights, that seeks to empower and lift up the poor people of the world instead of dropping bombs on their villages and on their communities. mr. speaker, mr. jones of the pentagon couldn't be more wrong about the lessons of martin luther king's life. i have every confidence that were he alive today, dr. king would join me in a loud and unmistakable call to bring our troops home. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: ms. foxx, north carolina. for what purpose does the
gentleman from california rise? >> unanimous consent to address the house for five minutes, revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from california is recognized for five minutes. mr. dreier: mr. speaker, last month the economist comported western leaders to more openly and consistently criticize russia for its sham democracy, its brutal treatment of human rights activists and political dissidents and its utter disregard for the rule of law. it was a challenge that should be taken seriously. our approach to russia has been characterized by a failure to be both sufficiently pragmatic and sufficiently idealistic statement. russia is a key player we must engage. that's undeniable and is a permanent member of the security council. it is a key actor in any international effort to contain
iran's nuclear ambitions. it it exerts great influence in regions such as central -- -- keeping our engagement with russia as instructive as possible is essential to pursuing our vital securities. in our commitment to promote democracy around the globe and condemn those who brutally oppressive. we must stand up for human rights and rules of law especially when they're undermined by major international players. we must not remain silent when journalists and activists are killed or savagely beaten with impunity and political prisonners face years of jail time. the new guilty verdict imposed on kyle kordokovsky makes it
sound like the crime punishment is opposition to putin. days after the verdict was handed down, opposition leader and foreign prime minister boris nebsov was arrested for participating in a peaceful rally. he committed the grave offense of expressing support for the protection of constitutional rights and condemning the sham cord cough ski -- sham kordookofsky's imprisonment. today georgia remains under threat today. in our relationship with moscow, we must learn to balance the twin imperatives of effective engagement and criticism of gross miscarriages of justice. this will only become more essential in the context of the
coming debate on russia's entry into the world trade organization. russia has moved closer than ever to's creeding into the w.t.o. we will need to have a full and robust debate on this issue. we will need to ensure pmtr is not granted until we have confirmed russia has fulfilled the basic obligations the w.t.o. membership demands. if those obligations are met, my view is the w.t.o. accession would be a very positive step forward. bringing russia into a rules-based trading system would bind moscow to the rule of law. it would create consequences and enforcement mechanisms for failure to live by its commitments. w.t.o. membership is by no means a panacea, particularly,
particularly for symptoms as deeply flaw -- systems as deeply flawed as russia's but will be a significant step in the right direction. not only will it impose the rule of law in russia's trading relationships, it would demonstrate that even moscow recognizes the value of international rules of fairness. this should serve as a reminder that their presumed indifference to our criticism is no excuse for failing to voice that criticism. we need to engage with russia but russia also needs to engage with us. we cannot shy away from taking a public stand against increasingly brutal oppression at the hands of those with whom we have important negotiations. neither can we lose sight of the fact supporting the rule of law is not just about promoting american ideals. one of the most important lessons of the last decade is the democracy strengthening is as firmly grounded in real politic as steeped in high,
lofty minded ideals. if our moral clarity helps strengthen advocates in russia, we will further our strategic goals in the long run. a less corrupt, less autocratic regime in moscow will result in a better international partner, as vladimir kosamersa has written, defending the rule of law is not just our right but our duty. last week vladimir wrote that statutes of the organization for security and cooperation in europe to both which the u.s. and russia are party make this clear, the statutes state, and i quote, issues relating to human rights, fundamental freedoms, democracy, and the rule of law are of international concern. it is absolutely imperative, mr. speaker, we do everything that we can to strengthen this relationship but pursue the rule of law. with that i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the chair recognizes the
gentlelady from ohio for five minutes. >> before all the pomp and circumstance of tonight's state dinner honoring hu jintao, a closed door meeting took place between president obama, the chinese president, and the powerbrokers from some of the largest global corporations that seem to create more jobs outside this country than inside it. ms. kaptur: : steve ballmer of microsoft, jim mcmurray of boeing, david reubenstein of the carlisle group, aaron coleman, the c.e.o. of dupont and many wall street bankers showed up, john thornton of hsbc holdings and lloyd blank, the chief executive officer of goldman sachs. where have we heard about them before? whose imprudent firm are responsible for the economic meltdown the rest of america is trying to dig out of as we
speak tonight. too often these international corporations and mega banks have taken america's ingenuity and hard work that were built with so much effort and shipped them overseas, destroying american jobs and ballooning our half trillion dollar trade deficit. china remains a communist country, and it is a command and control economy as described as market leninism, not free enterprise. yes, china's people should be able to develop their land and their economy and improve their lives. they surely need it. but their growth should not come at the expense of american jobs, and our businesses and our workers. the moment has arrived to deal with china as the great economic power that it is. and proceed on the basis of reciprocity. if a treaty that affects our companies one way, we'll treat
them the same way. if they exclude our investment and our imports, we'll exclude their investments and their imports. we should give them the exact same deal as they give us. that is the golden rule of trade. while we wish china well, we must defend the interests of jobs in our country and even more, the highest political ideals to which we aspire and our highest calling is freedom. it is not a coincidence that america's trade deficit with communist china has ballooned since china entered the world trade organization in 2009. the trade -- in 2001. the trade deficit for 2010 with china and the united states is $253 bellion, a 1/4 of a trillion dollars. since 2001, jobs in our country in manufacturing decreased by 25%. and according to the u.s. department of commerce, for every billion dollars of trade
deficit we maintain, 5,405 american jobs are lost. this means in 2010 alone, over a million -- over 1.4 million jobs were lost in our country attributable just to our trade deficit with china. this is a major factor in the weakness our economy is suffering. china consistently disregards international trade laws. she manipulates had her currency and does nothing to protect intellectual property. of all the products seized at the u.s. border for infringement of intellectual property rights in 2009, 79% were from china. communist china's illegal subsidies and no-interest loans to chinese companies put american firms at serious competitive disadvantage. in fact, there's a new 15-year tax holiday for solar companies and a major firm in massachusetts just announced it's closing its doors and going to china.
dumping of products like steel pipe cripple the american steel industry. and earlier today the white house announced it will purchase 200 boeing aircraft. isn't that convenient? a few airplanes. it's great to hear but positive press releases will for one-time purchases will do nothing to erase the $253 billion deficit that grows with china every year. holding china accountable and creating an environment where communist china's best interests is to follow international trade laws to protect intellectual property rights, to stop illegal subsidies and no interest loans to chinese companies and further work to create a level playing field for all is in the hands of both the obama administration, the new majority in this house and our colleagues in the senate. congress and the administration must stand up, most importantly for freedom and the rule of law. for american businesses and our workers and our economy to prosper, we have to hold
communist china accountable to the golden rule. and that means reciprocity, not market leninism. mr. speaker, i yield back my remaining time. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from california, mr. mcclintock, for five minutes. mr. mcclintock: thank you, mr. speaker. the department of interior announced yesterday which perfectly illustrates the irrationality to our approach to water issues. california's precipitation this season has gone off the charts. statewide snow water content is 198% of normal. the all-important northern sierra snow pack is 174% of normal. this is not only a wet year, it is one of the wettest years on record. yet yesterday we have this announcement from the department of the interior that despite a nearly unprecedented
abundance of water, the bureau of reclamation will only guarantee delivery of 45% of the central valley of california's contracted water supply south of the delta. this is the same percentage they received last year that had barely average rainfall. this is a crucial importance to the entire nation since the central valley of california is one of the largest producers of our nation's food supply. california produces half of the u.s. grown fruits and nuts and vegetables on the nation's grocery shelves and the prices you pay are directly affected by the california harvest. the deliberate decision by this administration in 2009 and 2010 to diverse hundreds of billions of gallons of water away from the central valley destroyed a quarter million acres of the most productive farmland in america. it threw tens of thousands of families in unemployment and
affected grocery prices across the country. at the time the administration blamed a mild drought but never explained why a drought justified their decision to pour 200 billion gallons of water that we did have directly in the pacific ocean. a national world of drought means you're more careful not to waste the water you have. of course the real reason for this irrational property is they were indulging the american environmental left's cause a with 3-inch minnow called the delta smelt, diversing precious water from the delta smelt habitat considered more important than producing the food that feeds the country and preserving the jobs that produce the food. but that issue is now moot. this year we have nearly twice the normal water supply at this point in the season and yet the department of interior will allow less than half of the normal water deliveries to california's central valley agriculture south of the delta.
the difference comes to 1.1 million acre-feet of water. 1.1 million acre-feet. now, consider this, since december 1, the central valley project has released 1.4 million ache irfeet, more water in the pacific ocean, than they did just last year. let me repeat that. at the same time this administration is denying california central valley agriculture 1.1 million acre-feet of their rightfully contracted water during one of the wettest years on record. it is dumping 1.4 million acre-feet of additional water into the pacific ocean. mr. speaker, this is insane. they lament, water, water everywhere but not a drop to drink has become the policy of this administration. the american people did not invest billions of dollars into
federal water projects so that water can be dumped into the ocean to please environmental extremists. this policy may have been shared by the previous congress but it won't be tolerated by the new majority nor by the american people. there was a time when the principle objective of the federal water policy was to assure an abundance of water to support a growing population and a flourishing economy. but in recent years, the radical and retrograde ideology took root in our public policy that abandoned abundance as the object of our water policy and replaced it with the government rationing of government-created shortages. . i cannot imagine a more disturbing analogy of this at work than the announcement yesterday by the department of interior. even faced with a superabundance of water they're determined to create and then to ration water shortages.
the american people expect better and they deserve better. they deserve a government debt caded to restoring -- dedicated to restoring jobs and prosperity in abundance, all of which is well within our reach if we would simply reverse the folly that was on full display with yesterday's announcement. ironically this announcement came on the same day in this president announced his regulatory agencies. it appears the department of the interior missed that memo. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: mr. fortenberry, nebraska. the gentleman is recognized for five minutes.
mr. fortenberry: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, at the outset, let me stress the importance of managing our complex relationship with china in a manner that honorses the transcendent principles that define america's national purpose and our identity. tonight president obama, perhaps as we speak, and president hue jintao will toast one another just blocks from here at the white house in an official state dinner. while appropriate for heads of state, we must remember that untold thousands in china continue to suffer horrific tortures for exercising their right to self-expression. beijing's ruthless treatment of democracy activists and their families, internet freedom advocates, religious minorities and women and families
victimized by a callous policy of coerced abortion and forced sterilization must continue to make us uncomfortable, even as dinner is served. nobel prize winner whose photo is right here languishes in prison right now as his wife and family members remain under house arrest. and how many more people suffer in silence, people who have disappeared into the vast network of gulags that no human being, much less any animal should ever have to see or experience. mr. speaker, we must continue to press these points, to remain deserving you have our own identity as a nation, founded on freedom of religion, a nation that embraces freedom of speech and justice and free and fair commerce as worthy foundation for prosperity in
future generations. our china policy should reflect these transcendent and universal principles. on the economic front, nearly $2 trillion of debt and a bilateral trade deficit approaching $300 billion also pose weighty concerns. we must challenge china to abandon its embrace of unbridled americaen tillis much -- mercantilism which contribute to this staggering imbalance. china must know that global responsibility and accountability are inseparable. we must, mr. speaker, also look ourselves in the eye and order our own fiscal affairs, revived stagnant manufacturing industry, refurbish our industrial base and take responsibility for our economic future. we need to look closely at our willingness to place profits over principle and to point the finger of blame at china while
perpetuating our own economic dysfunction. with regard to the future of civilization itself, china is modernizing its nuclear arsenal , china is giving cover to north korea's nuclear policeman. -- program. china trades withran and china has controversial plans to break with international precedent and build nuclear reacters in pakistan. just last week in a show of its ever-expanding projection of power, china extended a new stealth fighter aircraft. what kind of world are our children and our allies in the pacific standing to inherit? either the united states nor china can afford to allow six decades of peace and security to slip through our fingers. mr. speaker, do i want a good relationship with china? yes. absolutely. but we have a responsibility to work together, to shape our complex relationship with that country. to seek meaningful progress on
the tough issues, to acknowledge the positive elements of china's extraordinary culture and past civilization. however we must do so without shrinking outright affronts to our principles and white washing threats to international security. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: mr. pence, indiana. under the speaker's announced policy of january 5, 2011, the gentleman from vermont, mr. welch, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the minority leader. mr. welch: thank you, mr. speaker. we appreciate the time for this special order of one hour to discuss the repeal of health care. and this legislation that was passed today is the triumph of the republican victory in the election. and the republicans ran on a campaign platform of repealing
obamacare as it was called and vilified and today accomplished that goal. obamacare became a villfication of health care, really a caricature of what was in the bill. it became a million different bad things to a million different people. but the moment the campaign is over and the partisan political points have been put on the board, each of us who has been elected, republican or democrat, has the responsibility to use our office to make pragmatic progress for the american people. and the purpose of our special order tonight is to explain in concrete detail what the american people lost and will lose if the repeal is ultimately successful. we have a number of my colleagues here to join us and to start it off for us is the -- one of the senior members of the energy and commerce committee, a leader in health care reform and elements of the
health care reform that have broad, bipartisan support, representative eshoo from california. i yield such time as she may consume. ms. eshoo: i thank my colleague for organizing this this evening. and i rise to talk to whomever tuned in this evening, to tell some stories. i think stories are really what relates more than anything else what is going on in the lives of our constituents and the american people. i want to take people back several years. it was 1996, i was a fairly new member of the energy and commerce committee and after having had meetings in my district with people in the disabled community i learned something that i didn't know. and i shared it with many other
members of congress. they were not aware of it. i don't think the general public was aware of it. and it was the following. and that is that buried in the fine print of insurance policies, in this case health insurance policies, was a cap on lifetime limits of benefits. now that doesn't sound too menacing to begin with, but just think if any one of us, god forbid, were in a horrible automobile accident. we have seen what has happened to our colleagues in tucson. and the bills that are attended to that kind of high-end of health care. certainly people in the disabled community understood this very well. and so the more i probed, the
more i learned. meanwhile the actor, a wonderful, optimistic and superb actor, christopher reeves, had endured a terrible, terrible accident. i think everyone remembers that. and they remember his -- the courageous battles that he waged not only for more research to be invested in in our country, but the hope that stem cell research held, but he also understood this whole issue of limits in an insurance policy on total benefits that would be paid for by the insurance company. and so it was at that time, 1996, that i introduced legislation to lift the lifetime limit on the caps, on
the ceilings, in health insurance policies. that effort has been going on since 1996. in 2010 the democrats saw fit to place that legislation into the health reform bill that has become law. and so today the law of the land, right now, january 19, 2011, at 7:10 p.m., eastern standard time, no one has a limit on their benefits in their life insurance policy. so if someone is in a terrible accident, that won't be held against them. if someone has a chronic illness, a chronic illness with cancer, with whatever one might
name, that will not be held against them. and i tell this story because we've heard some tall taylors. some tall taylors about -- teals. some tall teals about what the health care legislation, now the law contained. more than anything else what the legislation is about is addressing what happens to people in their day to day d lives. -- day to day lives. the stories that our constituents have told us. i want to tell you another story. this is from elaine, from the town of los altos, california in my district. this is what she wrote to me. quote, this is the first time i've ever written to any government representative on any topic in my 50 years of existence. elaine was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2006. it's a disease that we're all
all too familiar with. one in eight women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. and elaine wrote, quote, normally when i feel that a service provider is price gouging or in any way treating me unfairly i take my business elsewhere. this is what i did with my auto insurance and this is how market forces are supposed to work. unquote. but elaine couldn't do that because so few insurers would even take her. most of them would not go near her. the health insurance market in my view, in so many of my constituents' view, has really failed our country. we believe in markets. we believe in strong markets. we believe in competitive markets. but we don't believe that a market should be part of crushing human beings in terms
of the rules that they write. elaine saw her rates increase by 94% over a 13-month period. let me repeat this. elaine saw her rates increase by 94% over a 13-month period. what member of congress can endure this? and i have to say that for those that have fought the hardest against this bill, now the law, are taking their health care coverage from the government. as a government employee. now, i'm proud to be part of my government. i'll never run away from that. i'm proud of my -- what i do, i'm proud of my profession, i always want to be uplifting to it. but i don't think that there's room for hypocrisy in this.
these are great needs. yes, members of congress have health insurance coverage and the way we designed the bill was so that the american people could get what we have. to get what we have. look and listen to what elaine is saying. elaine's gross income increased only 4% as her insurance rates increased by 94% over a 13-month period. i don't think that this is sustainable. not for any working person in this country, not for any community and certainly not for our nation and our national economy. health care represents a major sector of our national economy. fand we don't do something -- and if we don't do something as we did about the rising, spiraling costs and the effect that it has on families and
individuals, really tearing them apart and bringing them to their knees financially, so i'm very proud of the vote that i cast on behalf of my constituents. was the bill complicated? absolutely. for those who say it was a long bill, they've voted for plenty of trade bills around here and the trade bills are 4,000 pages. i wonder if they've read that. but this one, this one lands in the middle of a family. so that they don't have to panic at night or the cap on the benefits if they are in a terrible accident like christopher reeves, god bless his soul, or elaine, in my district, that told her story to me. elaine's health is not a commodity that can be bought or sold on the open market. she doesn't have the option to
go without health insurance if prices get too high. for elaine, this is an issue of life or death. so today i found it to be a rather sad day, that any member of congress can stand on this floor and with a sense of glee say, we are going to repeal the progress that america made. for the first time in the history of our country, the congress passed comprehensive health insurance reform for every single american. that to me is a great source of pride. i think it is to elaine. and i think if christopher reeve were here, he'd say bravo as well. thank you to mr. welch and all my colleagues that cared so much on this and worked so hard on this and will work to defend
this. it is for the american people. i think they deserve to be rewarded. they work hard, they play by the rules, no one should be crushed by unfair rules. so i yield back my time. thank you. thank you very much. mr. welch: i thank the gentlelady from california. the story that congresswoman eshoo told is making very real what the consequences are of taking away from families benefits that they have and depend on. just a quick story about vermont to make it again real. a woman by the name of donna from plainfield, vermont, hard-working person, she and her husband both work, their young son graduated from school, got an entry level job that paid $8 or $9 an hour which is the case with most entry level jobs. it came out health care. that child was no longer eligible to stay on his parents' policy. and they were doing all they could to pay their bills, health care is expensive. they couldn't afford to buy a
separate policy for their son. and most the time that works out but sometimes it doesn't and it didn't in this case. their son had a car accident, $20,000 in medical bills. they're still paying those bills off. when we passed the health care bill that included the provision that sons and daughters who are starting out in life taking that first job, usually without health care, but learning job skills, fiscal discipline, personal responsibility, the worst -- the bill we passed allows those kids to stay on our policies until age 26. it makes an enormous amount of sense in what peace of mind is provided. that assurance to donna relieved her and her husband and their son about the anxiety of whether they'd have the health care they needed in an event of an accident. the action today by this congress, led by the new
majority, takes away from donna and her husband and her son their access to affordable health care. it didn't need to be done. and the question i think all of us have to ask is why? you know, there are elements of the health care bill that are imperfect. let's improve them. there are elements that are very controversial, the individual mandate, it's controversial and we have to acknowledge it. i supported it, and i'll tell you why, i believe if everybody is going to have access to health care and the vast majority of this country believe that's the case, then all of us should share in the responsibility of paying for it. 's on the ability to pay. that's why i supported the individual mandate because folks who don't have insurance don't go forever without having the need for health care services. and most states are like vermont, somebody gets hit by a truck, the rescue squad shows up and they take that person to the hospital and the hospital may inquire about insurance but
they don't condition providing full and extensive care on whether that person has insurance or doesn't. and that cost gets shifted on to the taxpayer. that cost gets shifted on to those who do have insurance in the form of higher premiums. so this is real what happens. the consequences to families are real. i'd like to yield to the member from new york, also a leader on health care, congresswoman clark. thank you for joining us tonight. ms. clarke: thank you, peter welsh. mr. speaker, i find it so interesting that here we are in the new 112th congress and in the wealthiest nation on the planet, where nearly 50 million americans still lack health care insurance. 13.5% of which are new yorkers. last year alone, new york
city's hospitals spent $1.2 billion in charity costs. you see, in a city like new york, we're going to make sure that at the moment that people are most vulnerable, in an emergency, they're able to receive health care. but it costs us $1.2 billion in charity costs. tranlically, people who are -- tragically, people who are uninsured or underinsured often have to go without the vital health care services they need simply because they can't afford it. every american has a human right to adequate, physical, and mental health care. and i believe that government has a responsibility to assist its citizens in securing quality health care. that's why i've been such a fervent supporter of the patient protection affordable care act which passed the 111th
congress because it does just that. it insures that americans have access to quality health care and it makes sure that we begin an enlightened process of preventative care, which is the least expensive way of us being able to meet our health care needs. you know, repealing this bill would mean that insurance companies will once again be able to drop coverage for people when they're ill, exactly when they need that coverage the most. it will mean that kids with preexisting conditions will be denied coverage once again. it will mean that insurance companies will again be able to impose devastating annual and lifetime caps and it would mean that young people will no longer be able to stay on their parents' plan until the able of 26.
-- age of 26. it would mean pregnant women would be denied coverage splimple because they're pregnant since pregnancy is considered a preexisting condition and therefore a basis for the denial of coverage. and finally, our seniors who super-- who will be thrown into the medicare part d doughnut hole which the health care reform law would close by 2020. you know, with all that has been discussed about the virtues of health care reform, all that is already being implemented and apart -- and a part of the health care packages of constituents in my district, people are recognizing how earth-shaking and groundbreaking this legislation has been. i'd like to share with you a letter that i received from one
of my constituents in the 11th congressional district and his name is jonathan. he says, congresswoman clarbg -- congresswoman clarke, i'm a two-time cancer >> survivor and am worried about being denied coverage because of my condition. i'm not comfortable corporations under the old rules would have considered me unprofitable. i think it's a disgrace that this problem has existed in our country. i for one will move to canada or elsewhere if health care reform is repealed and if i ever have a recurrence of my cancer. meanwhile, i think it's every american's responsibility not to allow other people with preexisting conditions to be denied coverage. you see, jonathan is not just thinking about himself. he recognizes that, like himself, there are millions of americans across this country
who may not have options of mobility to leave the country to seek health care, but who need this legislation to go into full effect. and that's what we are here discussing today, the essence of what this legislation means for americans across this nation. the one thing about health care insurance, you often don't know what you need until you need it. and because there are individuals in our civil society, and many have referred to them as the invincibles, young people who, you know, have -- are young, vital, physically fit, one tends to look after their health care after the fact. well, we want to do a paradigm shift in this nation where it
brings down the cost of health care insurance. that means that every year we go through an annual physical. we know how our body is operating and we are clear on that. and if by chance we develop disease or we're in a catastrophic accident of some sort, we have the coverage that will not allow us to go into bankruptcy. that's all that any family could truly ask for. and that's what we congratulate the last congress on accomplishing. what was displayed here today really was not forward leaning or forward thinking and it's our hope that the senate won't even take this up. because right now we're hearing from seniors who are saying already we're looking forward to the support we can get for the prescription drugs we need
to address our chronic disease. so as jonathan noted in his letter to me, this repeal would once again allow big insurance companies who are only focused on profitability to deny coverage to him. and so many others with preexisting conditions. i don't think we're going to allow jonathan to be punished and denied coverage simply because he's a cancer survivor. and that's what repealing this health care law would do. so i want to thank my colleagues for promoting this special order today and making sure that our voices are heard and the voices of our constituents are heard who are really in favor of this legislation, this law of the land, actually, going into full maturity. because as this law matures, more and more americans will be covered, their families will be
more secure, and we will be all the more healthier for it as a civil society. i want to thank the gentleman from vermont, peter welsh, for anchoring this -- peter welch, for anchoring this special order this evening and yield back to peter for the rest of the special order. mr. welsh: i want to thank the member from -- mr. welch: i want to thank the gentlelady from new york. you talked about preexisting conditions. there was an article in "the washington post" today that said about 65% of americans have preexisting conditions. so if the insurance companies are able to deny people coverage on that basis, it's a tremendous business model for them. they insure folks who are healthy. that's great for the shareholders but doesn't do much for most of us, the majority of americans who have a preexisting condition. so thank you for focusing on that real provision in the bill. i'm going to yield in a moment
to the member from maryland. we've got a number of members here so maybe we with be interactive. but one of the things i was going to ask you is on this question of preventative care, when we were considering this bill, i called tom heubner who is a member of the rutland regional medical center. and he had a lot of reservations and decided on balance it was good. one of the things he said very specifically was that the free preventative care for seniors is absolutely essential. it was essential to their good health and it was essential for bending the cost curve because folks do not come in if they don't have a way to pay for it. . that was him telling me about the population. whatever your remarks are, the gentleman from maryland, i'm wondering if that's consist went experiences you've had in your district.
mr. edwards: i thank the gentleman. i think that's right. you look at how many things can be prevented if only people were able to get their preventive care. today what we did in this house, what the majority did in this house is so sad. taking away the ability of senior citizens to go in for an annual checkup and make that early discovery and diagnosis of diabetes. or hypertension. or any of the markers doctor markers for those chronic illnesses that if treed -- -- markers for those chronic illnesses that if treated early could save us money, all of those seniors a lot of grief, and really be good for the system. and so i think -- when i think about what we did today, i think in the millions of americans all across this country who everyday are discovering a new benefit that's now available to them because of the new health care law. and i think it's important for us to remind the american public that the affordable care
act isn't a bill, it isn't an idea, it's not a proposal. it's the law. and today the law is that if you are up to age 26, that you can zay on your parents' -- that you can stay on your parents' health insurance plan. the law of the land today is that if you are a senior and you're paying out of pobblingtd -- out-of-pocket costs to the thousands of dollars for your prescription drugs, that those drugs that fall in that prescription drug doughnut hole , you'll receive a 50% discount on those drugs. the law of the land is that you can't be excluded for pre-depifting conditions. -- pre-existing conditions. now the gentleman from vermont talked about pre-existing conditions, as did the gentlewoman from california, and it's so simple. almost not a one of us without a pre-existing condition. well the law of the land, despite the sadness that happened in this house today, is that if you have a pre-existing condition and you
are under age 18 that you will actually be able to receive health care benefits, insurance for that, and as we go through implementation, that you will be able to, whatever your age, in a pre-existing condition, you won't be excluded from receiving your health care. the law of the land today is that small bigses receive a tax credit -- businesses receive a tax credit for providing health care to their employees. 35% last year when the law was started, 50% this year. that's the law of the land. and so i think -- i'm glad to be here with our colleagues and i don't want to overplay the sadness that happened in this house today. because there was a lot of business about taking care of campaign promises and meeting artificial goals. but the fact is that last year we passed the health care law, it's being implemented right
now and that's the law of the land. and thank goodness for the millions of people all across this country that have the security in knowing that not only do they have access to quality, affordable health care but that that applies all across this country and with that -- >> would the gentlelady yield on that point? ms. edwards: i will. >> a lot of people look at this through the lens of their personal experience and maybe some say, i've got health insurance, i like my health insurance, i don't have a pre-existing condition. mr. weiner: why should i care about those people that do? well, i think you understand this but i think many of our republican colleagues don't. we wind up paying as citizens one way or the other. we had a while ago this h1n1 flu outbreak. if someone has the choice and health insurance coverage that allows them to go get a regular checkup and get doctor screenings and get perhaps medication, given the idea of what they should do to treat that, is it better or worse
than that they don't have insurance and they get on the bus in the morning and they wind up at a hospital emergency room and take you and your kids with them? the fact is it's not whether we're going to pay for health care, it's how we do it most efficiently. and my republican colleagues don't seem to understand this very basic idea that they talk about, you know, we should have choice. nobody choses to be born with cystic fibrosis. no one chooses to have a child that's born with asthma. i don't care how much you believe in the free market, when god strikes you with those afflictions and you need care, the only question then becomes, how do we provide that care that's most efficient? right now if people don't have insurance and they fall down or they get hit by a bus, god forbid, and they don't have the ability to pay, it's not as if there is some magical force out there that absorbs those costs. we wind up paying it. everyone who has a health insurance policy ends up paying it. we in new york and
congresswoman clarke made the point about new york, we pay $8 billion in additional taxes so it's just a matter of how we do it and it comes down to a very simple idea. it's less expensive to give people a subsidy so they can buy insurance than it is to pay for them in emergency room. it's just cheaper that way. so it's just a matter of how we choose to do it and i think when you point out the fairness and the decency as americans that we have when we provide the care, it's also doing a favor for everyone that has insurance. and every taxpayer in this country. so even if you don't buy into the idea that we should be altruistic and we fundamentally believe, i believe this is the fundamental difference between the parties, we don't believe you can get too far ahead as a country when you have so many people without health insurance. we don't believe you fundamentally can. more people taking time off of work, every product we buy has more cost because of our health care failures. that's the difference between we believe those things out of a sense of compassion. but even if you look at the economic bottom line, you should want to provide people with preventive care. it makes the most sense.
it saves us money. it saves every american that has insurance money. i want to thank you for pointing those things out. ms. edwards: i thank the gentleman. i'm going to finish up here because i know that we have other members who want to speak on this really important issue. and i just want to say in closing, today i began with a story of a young woman who's very close to me. her name is any. any is such a -- annie is such a delight. in spring she was diagnosed with leukemia. she'll be 28 years old in february. and when she was dlinged -- diagnosed, fortunately she had health insurance. but what she realized had and her family realized right away is that very quickly as she was approaching trying to get a bone marrow transplant and all of the attend ant costs that are associated with that, is that without the change that we made in the health care law, she would actually, maybe her parents would have to give up their retirement funds, maybe they would have to sacrifice
their home because they wanted to save their daughter's life, because she would have bumped up against those lifetime limits. and so what we did in the 111th congress in passing a health care law is we said to young people like 28-year-old annie that we're committed to making sure that she has the ability to take care of her health and to save her life. that's what this is about. it's about real people, it's about their lives and it's about our obligation that we have to one another. and with that i would yield. and i thank the gentleman for organizing us this evening. mr. welch: i thank the gentlewoman from maryland. may i inquire as to the amount of time available? the speaker pro tempore: 28 minutes. mr. welch: ok. thank you. in order that we can allow all members to speak, i'm going to yield five minutes to my colleague from texas, but if
there is any inquiries for -- by members who are present and want to engage in a dialogue, i encourage you to do that. i yield five minutes to my colleague. ms. jackson lee: i thank the gentleman from vermont and i'm very pleased to have heard my good friend from new york,, and friends, good friend from maryland, i hope that this is a comforting special order. because even as we speak, i think it is enormously important because people look at this and they saw debate and they saw a vote and now we're hear on the floor of the house. i want them to know that this bill is the law of the land. and what we're trying to explain he potential devastation of that bill being repealed. the good news is that this was a payback to those who voted for my good friends on the other side of the aisle, republicans, and we understand that. but lives are involved, to the
distinguished gentleman from vermont, lives are actually involved. so i just have a few points that i want to characterize this debate as. and to give people comfort that we're still fighting for this law, this law is in place, and right now the elimination of lifetime caps, you canll, some million of them, beginning in january, 2011, will begin receiving savings on prevent care services, you can still use this. this 50% discount, if anybody had an earful for the seniors rugs. i want them to know the law is still in place. i know there was a debate on the floor of the house. i know there was a vote. but it s that democrats put up an able fight but more know that our president will be working to preserve the law that exists. that's very important.
by the name of ed, first name ed, who is a chronic victim or a chronic disease person who has a chronic disease, i might say, eemtheelia. told v away from you, but i can assure you, you had lifetime caps. and what about the young woman and her son that came to m meet whatever they called me, we had insurance, we went to a doctor for a physical for my son who had to get a physical half-baked insurance anymore. so i quickly want to do this, mr. welch. i want to -- there was a big discussion about the constitutionality of this bill. and i got into another b onith
insurance. this is a medicare patient or someone who is using medicaid. the medicare, excuse me. it indicates that she spent the week of new year's of 2008 in an emergency room, then confined to a home for weeks because she developed pneumonia. she says she has never been so sick in her life. but the good news was in 2008 she had a government-run health care provision, medicare, program that allowed her te treated. her very words, for a time i was so sick i was afraid i was going to die. then i was so sick i was afraid i wouldn't and i was miserable. though she's a senior, this government-run program allowed her to get care and she didn't die. and sometimes pneumonia, everyone knows, is not anything why my friendsen -- on the other side of the aisle are plain -- why my friends on the other side of the aisle have been complaining about a
government-run program, this has not been ruled unconstitutional and it's been in place since 1965. when they make the argument and it's frightening our seniors who are listening this vote do we not have it? you have medicare. we're enhancing medicare, we're making it solvent. let me just conclude with this. this is probably not readable but this is my state ceat the nation. we are obviously a growing this is not a democratic texas department of insurance, and i only say that to say other states are doing the same. moneys n states, to ease the burden of health care. so i don't know what my friends on the other side of s the ates now, when people have no more lifetime caps, when y insurance because of the issue bills or a number of federal
provisions and we have not seen them overturned. we haven't seen medicare overturned. but there's another element that i think i hope that those who are now in the courts on this bill, and it is a course to make a determinatn responding to a campaign or promise they made, but i think they'd have to look at the question of the 14th amendment and equal prti either can only pay a certain amount and get a locale ber insurance and be taken advantage of or does it mean that small businesses who would like to provide insurance for their employees don't have a right to some form of equal protection of the law? we thought about that. that's what this bill does. it helps equalize access to health care, quality health care. the fifth amendment clearly states that no one can deprive of you -- deprive you of life
or liberty or property. there are a lot of provisions that i think are meritorious in any argument to suggest that this is an unconstitutional act that we did. we equalized the having a bump of items we can comment on. i thank the gentleman for but every state is bepping. every district is benefiting, and how my against actual direct benefit where the people in their state are jumping for joy because this bill is in place and it is the law of the land. it let it be very clear, it is the law of the land. and i yield back to the gentleman. mr. welch: i thank the gentlelady. the example you gave of texas where the authorities who have responsibility for health care are pushing ahead to take advantage of the provisions that will allow them to do their job better even as we're having this debate about repealing and unwinding but not replacing. i mean, the point is it you want to improve something, you know, that's our job.
let's dot.t we're hearing now, real-world stories about thant to keep them. may i inquire to the time available? the speaker pro tempore: 19 minutes. mr. welch: i'm going to yield to the gentleman from connecticut who has played a major role, especially in making this financing of this doublely taxing folks who are ou s work on seniors, the gentleman from connecticut, mr. courtney. mr. courtney: i want to focus on a strong pro-employer provision. we heard a lot on the floor about job killing health care laws. the fact of it is since president obama signed the law in march, a million private sector jobs have been created in the country and would contrast that to the day he was
sworn into office in january of 2009 where the u.s. economy lost 800,000 jobs in one month alone, so clearly the simple databases, this claim really doesn't pass the tests of the facts. but one of the pro employer measures texas is participating in along with the other 49 states is a provision called the early retiree reinsurance program. again, in 1986, over 60% of america's employers had a retiree health insurance plan so people hitting ageate employ of reinsurance plans we have for terrorism insurance, flood insurance, the nuclear energy industry. again, these are types of property and casualty coverage which would never be written in the country if the government did not act as a backstop. we set up a similar fund and basically opened the doors to employers in america who again had employers or employees over
the age of 55. what have we g.e., general dynamics, coca-cola, pepsi, at&t, comcast, ford, g.m., walgreen's . again, the list goes on and on. again, all 50 states have enrolled if their state employee health plans, including states that are suing the federal government to try and blow this law to smithereens. and the fact of the matter is that this is -- they're voting with their feet in terms of whether or not this is a good law or not. if this was not a good program they wouldn't enroll in it but they understand stabilizing early retiree health benefits is a way of making sure people who are 55 years old and who are teaching and police officers are working in corporate america are going to retire and that will create elacticity in the legal market so young americans can fill those positions. this is even truer in termsf physical labor occupations and again, labors, iron workers
have all signed up for this reinsurance program. again, it's a way of stabilizing 55-65-year-old americans' health benefits and creating more opportunities for younger americans so that people will follow that natural path of retiring. when you take that measure and combine it with the small business tax credit, $40 billion of tax relief for employers, this is a pro-jobs, pro-employer law. and again, a quick example. i was in a roundtable in health care in my district. there was a family doctor that was there talking about the new medicare changes and how excited she was about, you know, getting tools to better serve her clients. she's like god, i'm health plan. it's like $14,000 a year for four or five employees. i said did you check out the small business tax credit, the small business what? so she went on that tax calculator at small
businessmajority.org and called me back days later and will save $4,000 on her health insurance premium because of that tax credit. by passing this law today, the republican majority waves the taxes of small businesses all across america at exactly the same time that today they are figuring out their tax returns for 2010. i was a small employer before i came to congress a short time ago. that's what you do in january and february, you start pulling your papers together to do your taxes and they just voted today to blow up that tax credit to help the real job creators in america's economy. mr. welch: just a quick point. number one -- ms. jackson lee: number one, in texas we have a very complicated retirement program for teachers. but number one, and i would just say in closing, state
legislatures are beginning to go back to their capitals to understand how they're going to face these enormous deficits. i can't understand why we are burdening now states by this vote with extra responsibility when they're all in crisis. the bill we have saves jobs, creates jobs, and provides benefits for people who need it and states who are in trouble. mr. courty: i'm glad you mentioned teachers because we begin a great dica's schools, the one thing i think everybody agrees is getting young teachers who understand technology. mr. courtney: who are enthusiastic, that young students can identify with a little better than the older teachers in the classroom. we want them in the classrooms. older teachers who are afraid they're going to lose their benefits if they retire are going to continue to work for their benefits. and this fund, this reinsurance fund is a way of trying to loosen the labor market and get new blood all across -- in
occupations all across our company. thanks, mr. welch, for your great presentation. mr. welch: i thank the gentleman from connecticut. as i listen, it's a good news-bad news story. the good news is businesses, large businesses and small, that have fish -- that have fiduciary responsibilities to their employees have sharp pencils to figure out what makes the best sense for them and they're signing up for this and that's an indication they kicked the tires and come to the conclusion that this is good for business. the bad news is we apparently have done a pretty lousy job explaining this to the american people. and it's gotten obscured with the epitaph of, quote, obamacare. when you peel away the specifics of this, and you providedive, the businesses that have to make -- and you provided an example, the businesses that have to make a hard-nose decision, they want to do the right thing for their company but decided this is the
prudent, fiscal way. i yield to the senior member of the appropriations committee and one of the members who is always the voice of conviction and conscious in this institution, mr. moran. mr. moran: i thank my very good friend from vermont for yielding to me and i thank my colleagues for participating in this discussion. there are so many things that are hard to understand regard to what occurred today. republican majority tells us that jobs are their first priority. this will generate aboutrod the country, we're told, and we can identify where they occur. and so we won't create those jobs, particularly in the health care professions. we're told that in other -- another high priority, of course, is to reduce the budget
deficit. nonpartisan congressional budget office tells us that this will save more than a trillion dollars. with an emphasis on preventative care, by getting people out of the most expensive emergency care and into a doctor's office and much more efficient delivery of care. but nevertheless, we won't save that money, we won't create those jobs. one of the fascinating things is that we're told by -- i'm told by many of my friends on the republican side that they actually agree in elinating the insurance to deny people due to preexisting conditions. it's just that they're opposed to the individual mandate because it's unconstitutional. the fact is you can't have one without the other. imagine how our car insurance system would work. you have to have car insurance but there's no mandate. so just wait until you get into
a crash, then go to the hospital, go to your insurance company. they're going to have to pay it out. i guess they think that's the way the health insurance system would work. wait until you get sick, wait until you have an accident, go to your insurance company, get your insurance company, they'll pay for it. obviously they won't pay for it because every insurance company would go out of business. so if you had preexisting conditions without an individual mandate, then it's the federal government that would have to provide health care to everyone when they get sick or when they had an accident because certainly no private insurance company would ever think of putting themselves in that position. so you can't have one without the other. it doesn't make sense. but to my very good friend from vermont who gave us the opportunity to share a few comments tonight after this historic vote, the thing that troubles me the most that i can't get my mind around is
that before we took that vote to repeal health care reform, every single republican member of this congress voted to say i want my federal employees' health benefits plan, i want my insurance coverage, and then they went ahead and every single one of them of coverage to their constituents. that's what the recommital was. i don't know how many of them read it. they're always complaining well, we didn't have a chance to read it. well, it was as simple as could be. if you're going to vote against providing health insurance coverage for your constituents, then don't take it for yourself because it's basically the same plan. but every single one of us, old and new members alike, voted to give themselves that very plan
that they then turned around and voted against for making available to their constituents. so this may have been one of the hypocritical days in the history of the united states congress. i don't know how they explain it. i don't know how i would explain it if i had to go back home. sorry about that. i took care of myself in one vote, the very first vote of this brand-new congress, and then i voted to do just the opposite for you on the very next vote. boy, we're off to a veryfriend the opportunity to share that with the american people. thank you. mr. welch: i thank the gentleman from virginia and i yield now to mr. tonko who has been listening to his constituents in the albany region, and hearing from them