tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN March 29, 2011 5:00pm-8:00pm EDT
banks? $20 billion to $30 billion. >> is that the amount in the hamp program? >> yes. >> thank you for the update. >> ishmael reed is on "booktv." known for his books "airing dirty laundry," "another day at the front." join our three-hour conversation for ishamel reed on c-span 2 and watch previous "in depth" programs at c-span.org where you can find the entire schedule. every weekend experience american hevert on c-span3. it's 48 hours of people and events tell the american story. hear first had been person accounts from people who seave
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health problems. this against with testimony from a witness who is diagnosed with brain cancer when he was 18. >> thank you, chairman boxer. i would also like to thank ranking member james inhofe and my great senator, mike crapo, for taking on the issue of childhood cancer and cancer clusters and what they mean to our public health. i would also like to thank all of the senators on the environment and public works committee for allowing me to address some of these issues today. and i'm so very proud to be able to state that i am here today as a witness for both the majority and minority committee members. most of you do not know me
other that i am associated with s-76, also known as trevor's law. my hope is that by the end of my testimony you will not obviously know me but you will remember me as a voice of every child in this great nation. as you've been told, i was diagnosed with brain cancer at the age of 13. until that time i was thriving in mccaul, a small town nestled on the banks of a glacial banks of the beautiful mountains of idaho. i really had a fairy tale life in pear dice. but the care-free days of my childhood changed abruptly and dramatically after my cancer diagnosis. like a of snap of the fingers, i was robbed of my childhood and my innocence. i was thrown into the anti-septic world of hospitals and eight-hour brain surgery
followed by 14 grueling months of radiation and chemo therapy treatment. unfortunately, i was not the only kid in my town with this pernicious disease. in the same year that i was diagnosed, there were four other cases of brain cancer diagnosed. there were a high number of cancers diagnosed before i became ill. what happened in my town continually repeats itself throughout our nation year in and year out. . two classrooms full are being diagnosed with
cancer is the second leading cause of death in children. many of us young cancer survivors will face chronic health challenges resulting from the heroic medical measures used to save our lives. children who have had cancer often experience confusion and embarrassment as they try to return to a so-called normal life and are dealing with the physical side effects related to their cancer and treatment. i can attest to that. several years ago, when cancer struck me, i fought so hard for my life. i had countless needle pricks, blood transfusions, vomitting and physical therapy so i could live to see the sun rise and the
snow fall. i'm so grateful to be alive. still, the aftermath from the cancer treatments that i have endured have affected me in many of the serving ways. every morning i wake up with the ringing in my ear, which never stops. i have trouble with my memory and i may never be able to have children on my own. how ironic that i fought so hard to save my own life, yet now, i may never be able to give life. and senators, i'm considered one of the success stories. although there has been a significant increase in the cure rate of childhood cancer, children still are getting sick at an increasingly steady rate. in small towns throughout our country, possible cancer
clusters exist. parents are trying to get authorities to investigate these clusters and to discern what caused the disease patterns. scientists and health activists say that the government's current response to disease clusters ranges from piecemeal to nonexistent. some people are told that their small populations render them statistically insignificant. there's nothing insignificant about even one child diagnosed with cancer and then dying of that cancer without ever knowing why. trevor's law seeks to rectify that by allowing people in small communities to have their voices heard and concerns validated about the environmental impact on their children's health.
environmental toxin exposure is insidious in all instances, yet it affects our children in greater proportion than adults. children are more vulnerable to chemical toxins than adults because they have faster me tab limb and less immune systems. we are seeing more brain tumors in four year old s and ovarian in add less ept girls and cancer in adolescent boys. these cancers are rising rapidly, children do not drink, smoke or have stressful jobs. we therefore cannot evoke lifestyle explanation. there are no good links that we know of. we are beginning to recognize that not only prenatal life but adolescent life is a time of
great vulnerability to cancer-causing chemicals when the connection between health and the environment becomes even more important. toxins migrate through geographical boundaries. cancer spares no ethnic group, no socioeconomic group nor any geographical area. in its wake, we are left with the burden of extreme personal and social loss. i would also like to stress that cancer does not only attack the victim. it greatly impacts every member of the family. siblings often experience concern, fear, jealousy, guilt, resentment and feelings of abandonment which can last long-term. relationships between family
members can become tense, there can be stress on a marriage and oftentimes a family breaks up. i vowed that if i survived, i would dedicate my life to helping other children with cancer who otherwise would never be heard. i truly believe that i have been given a second chance at life to convey to you the urgency and importance of addressing the proliferation of childhood cancer clusters and the message of reporting them. for the children, i strongly encourage your support for trevor's law. in closing, i would ask you to consider how much your child or grandchild's life and well-being are worth to you. and while you're doing that, please close your eyes for a brief moment and imagine a world
without children. thank you. >> thank you. we have such a fighter for people who did nothing wrong and suffered and i'm welcoming you and trevor. you touched our hearts deeply and i thank you. >> distinguished members of this committee, thank you for the opportunity to testify today. as an environmental and consumer advocate i respond to requests for help in ground water contamination complaints in all 50 states. i work on investigations in california, texas, florida, michigan, new york, new jersey,
alabama, louisiana, illinois, mississippi and missouri. i'm a proud mother of three wonderful children, two of whom are presently serving their country as soldiers in the united states army, one currently deployed in afghanistan. each month, i receive over 40,000 visitors to my web site, thousands of whom report issues arranging from environmental pollution, cancer and disease, worker injury and illness and more. these people make up whole communities that are witnessing firsthand the harmful effects that exposures to chemicals have had on them. these communities, both large and small and in every corner of the united states are sending out an s.o.s. from small farming towns like cameron, new jersey, to small desert towns like midland, texas to the forgotten
town in led wood missouri or mining towns where the hills are large and play on them. as the children wave it is startling to see the palms of their hands gray soaked in lead dust and unfortunately yet again in california, this is becoming an all too common occurrence. it would appear most of these communities are under siege by one form of pollution or another. protecting the health of our families and our children should be our top priorities for us all, yet the system for investigating, responding and reporting these concerns is inadequate. this is why i strongly support s. 76, the strengthening protection for children and communities from disease cluster act, also known as trevor's law, in honor of this brave young man.
trevor's law will bolster federal efforts to assist communities that are impacted by potential disease clusters and identify sources of environmental pollutants and toxin substances suspected of causing numerous cancers and other vad versus health effects. according to the c.d.c. in 2011, one in three people will develop cancer in his or her lifetime, one in three. as an advocate, i have reached the conclusion there is too many cancers in this country and not enough answers and that is what these communities, who reach out to me are trying to do, get answers to the most basic questions. why is my child, who was perfectly healthy, now sick with leukemia. why does my daughter have a brain tumor at the age of 10? why is the same thing happening
to my neighbors' kids. hundreds of mothers and fathers ask me these questions every week. today i would like to show with you a map over here to my left that i have put together over the past six months of communities that have come to me with concerns of what they believe and they are seeing to be excessive cancers in their neighborhoods and communities. there is 534 dots on this map today and what makes me sad is i still have hundreds that i have yet to position on the map. the statistics appear to be alarming. these are mothers reporting to me, six children on the same block with leukemia. these are mothers reporting to me 15 children within blocks of one another who have cancers. in some instances, it is nurses reporting to mothers the large numbers of pediatric cancers
they are seeing in certain communities. this work is being done ad hoc by concerned citizens. we must gather data from the field and act. we must develop national strategies for identifying actionable action. we must take a combined approach to the battle against disease of our own making. when i talk about this issue, i think of my son, who is fighting a war in afghanistan. if i were suddenly to find myself in the field of conflict, it would not matter how credentialed i was. environmentalists or u.s. senator, i would take my lead from those who had been on the ground. make no mistake, i feel as if we are in a war here at home. in this battle, we look to you as our commander. on that map, those constituents,
your troops, they are sending you a message but we're not listening. while the map is not scientific, it does show firsthand experiences in providing us the data that we need. they are reporting to me for help, because they are concerned that the pollution in their towns is what's making them and their children sick. i will continue to work diligently to gather information and report what it is that they are seeing. this map, i believe, begs us all to do so. we must listen and learn from what these people in the affected communities are telling us. we can't just sit back in the safety of our off offices and our own homes and hear these stories and think that isn't possible. the reports say it can't happen. i'm here to tell you today, they do happen and they are happening.
in april, 2010, the president's council declared that the number of cancers caused by toxic chemicals is grossly underestimated and warns that americans face harm from the largely unregulated chemicals that contaminate our air and water. i was born and raised in a very simple, beautiful lifestyle in kansas. i happen to be raised by a very strong republican and military man who actually worked for industry and the united states government as an engineer. he is the very personal person that taught me the value of clean water, good land, good health and the respect of one another. it always amuses me when someone believes that i have a certain party affiliation. i find it disturbing assume that
the environmental activist is anti-business. i thought growing up caring for the environment and public health was the conservative thing to do. i have later learned, it's just the right thing to do. we all need to come together on this issue, republicans, democrats, independents, businesses and communities. we need government, business and affected communities to join as one for the betterment of the whole and begin to clean up our messes. we should ask no more of ourselves than we ask of our children. we need to work together to find solutions and learn what i believe my children and countless other children who serve our country are teaching us. we must protect, nurture and defend what we love and cherish the most. our families, our health, our
land, our water and our very environment. chairman boxer and senators here today, i thank you for the opportunity to share this map with you and be a part of this presentation. and i do thank you for your tireless efforts to help make our environment a better place to live. >> thank you so much. and this map is really unbelievable that people called you and didn't have another place to go and you should feel really proud of your record in the past and that america feels comfortable inletting you know this. but that's what we are trying to work on is make it easier for people to report these to us and therefore we can then take the whole community and bring together state, local community, individuals and get to the bottom of these clusters of
these disease clusters, some of which are not relating to the environment and many of them are. doctor, welcome. >> i thank you very much chairman boxer and members, present on the committee, i appreciate the opportunity to testify today. i want to make a friendly correction, chairman boxer, to your opening statement. i, too, am a california native, so there is a certain imbalance on this panel. i was raised in torrance, california and my bachelors and masters degrees at the university of california at davis. that's a few years ago. subsequently earned a masters and doctorate from harvard and i sometimes regret i was not able to move back. >> well, that's the thing, we miss you. you've left us for virginia and
can't forgive you for that. >> my parents sometimes feel the same way. my background is an analyst and economies, risk analyst and i want to point out that although my tenure is spent as an economist in the office of management and budget normally would make people think a point of view of someone like me, i want to point out that i sheparded through o.m.b.'s convoluted process, the human assessment survey almost 20 years ago now. it was the biggest attempt to get real world representative data on environmental exposure and i'm proud to have gotten it through. 40 papers have been published because of this project and i'm
happy to have played a schmoll role in that. with that small introduction, i want to raise a couple of questions here. my written testimony covers a number of scientific and technical issues but i wish to focus on four of them right now. first, how is the term disease defined? without a clear definition of disease, almost anything could be included within it. we have experience with this problem. the term adverse health effect is used hundreds of times in the federal law, but it is either defined or not defined at all. this creates a number of problems for us in attempting to be responsive. s. 76 does not include the definition of disease either. uses the term adverse effect but like existing law, does not
define it. how is the term disease cluster defined? it is both sensitive and selective. sensitivity is to ensure that we miss very few real cases what are called false negatives. select activity is to minimize the number of random cases to incorrectly something as a disease clusters. false negatives are costly and we don't want to miss, but false positives are costly, too and create significant fear and anxiety and may lead to the closure of parks, schools and drinking water wells. they depress the market value of people's homes. this creates a serious problem for sciencists who are investigating or would be investigating petitions alleging the disease cluster. the less sensitive the definition, the greater will be the proportion of investigations that have come up dry because
there isn't anything defined. when scientists come up dry, people are more angry than relieved. their trust in government is damaged sometimes beyond repair. the conventional definition and definition in s. 76, has really good sensitivity but really poor select activity. it is very unlikely to miss a disease cluster which means it has a false rate of negatives. it is likely to misclassify random of cases and means it has a high rate of false positives. in my written testimony, i have showed the detentional definition results in majority of random cases of diseased. and in my example, 27% of fixed geographical dones have greater than expected the number of cases and they would be
legislatively deemed to be a disease cluster. my data randomly generated, meaning all my data were false positives and does not mean it be longs to disease cluster and searching for environmental linkages that do not exist. that takes resources away from trying to understand real disease clusters. my third concern, how is the term potential cause of disease cluster defined? the definition in s. 76 narrow and in other respects very broad. it is narrow because it focuses on anything subject to regulation by e.p.a. it is broad because it demands no scientific evidence. a chemical is a potential cause just by being present. no event is required. the chemical causing disease or exposure to the chemical
occurred and no evidence is occurred for that relationship. in short, the problem is the definition does not follow the scientific risk assessment. finally, i'm worried about the possibility of subordinating science in law and politics. when congress attempts to legislate science, science is compromised. that science would be compromised especially to me in the way e.p.a. would be directed by its risk assessments in a health protective way. this is not science. and it damages the credibility and integrity of risk assessments. scientists should never be told what conclusion to reach and invited to conduct research in order to support it. to be credible, risks must be estimated objectively. this is a core scientific value and responsible scientists will not participate if values are compromised.
thank you again. >> i look forward to responding to your critique. we welcome the senior science tft. >> thank you, chairman boxer and members of the committee, good morning. i'm a practicing physician and a senior scientist at the natural resources defense council and director of the occupational and environmental medicine residencey program at the university of california at san francisco. most health professionals at some point in their career encounter a disease cluster and disease clusters is excess of one or more illnesses such as cancers, birth defects in a particular workplace or community over a period of time. and these disease clusters are frightening for communities and often frustrating for scientists
because at least in the past, there were limited tools for understanding in solving them. disease clusters also hold the potential, especially with the new scientific tools of today that are emerging as we move forward. these disease clusters may unlock some of the mysteries of chronic disease, including birth dell effects and cancer. when i was a clinical fellow at harvard, i learned about a cancer cluster in woburn, massachusetts. 12 children in that small town got leukemia over a period of a few years and most of them lived on one street in a certain section of town. that cluster, like many, was not discovered by a state or federal agency or scientist but discovered by community members who recognized each other when
they were sitting waiting in the waiting room at the dana farber cancer institute and this provided a key clue because the first time the chemical t.c.e. was linked with cancer in humans and abundance of science since that time has confirmed that link. so that cluster provided a clue that helped science move forward. this senate committee held a field hearing in april, 2001 in a town in nevada, where within two years, 11 children were diagnosed with leukemia. scientists published a paper calculating that a cluster of this magnitude would occur in the united states by pure chance, about once every 22,000 years. like woburn, that cluster
provided clues. testing revealed that almost 80% of community members had urinary tungsten levels. it was not previously thought to be car sin know againic. the same metal showed up in sierra visita, arizona, another childhood community affected by a cluster. those two findings triggered a study by the national toxicology program which is ongoing today and which may advance the science and help protect public health. although it's really difficult to conclusively proved what caused any specific disease cluster, what i want to say to you today is that we can gather
invaluable clues and hints from these tragic events and those can then help us solve the mystery of chronic disease. there have been links between different cancers. and to name a few examples. all of these chemicals are well known to be dangerous to humans and one of them has actually been banned. all of the chemicals i have mentioned fall into the toxic substances control act and still in widespread use today. my colleagues and i just released an issue paper documenting 42 disease clusters in 13 states that have been confirmed by investigations, by state or federal investigations. this issue paper is attached to my written testimony.
and we found examples such as brain cancers in children and adults at the acreage in west palm beach, florida, which was brought to the attention of this committee by senator nelson. birth defects in california, with 20 babies born over less than two years and two children with birth defects in a town of only 1,500 people. there are numerous other examples including the well known cluster of male breast cancer and childhood cancer and birth defects in camp lejeune in north carolina, where 60 marines who lived on that base have male breast cancer. almost impossible that that could occur by chance alone and deserves urgent attention. some of the much needed tools to solve disease clusters are found in s. 76, the legislation known
to me as trevor's law. this legislation would direct and fund federal agencies to swiftly assist state and local officials to investigate community concerns about disease clusters and their causes, but it would create interest consistent science-based guidelines for a systemic approach to disease clusters. they would be developed in collaboration between e.p.a., the centers for disease control, the national institute of environmental health sciences and national institutes of health. and they would address these issues of statistical significance that are so often so difficult in disease clusters. this bill would set up local advisory committees to improve outreach and involvement of community members. this is essential to build trust within the community, but also
to learn from the community because it's often community members who have pointed out the critical clues to unlocking these clusters. the other thing that s. 76 would do is encourage powerful tools and annual lit call chemistry techniques that could screen for chemicals in people. so i'm thinking today of the residents, many of the communities that are affected by confirmed disease clusters and the hundreds of communities where residents are self-identifying clusters in looking for help. these people have suffered through illness and uncertainty and through hope and loss and fought for answers in most cases have not received them but not too late for these communities and others like them. we have the scientific tools and
opportunity to improve our approach to disease clusters so the communities get the support they need and the answers they seek. thank you. >> thank you very much. each of us will have five minutes to question. and so, i would ask you to keep your answers brief to get to all of you. i wanted to say to doctor, page seven of our bill, we do use a definition of how a disease is defined. and it is defined exactly the way the national institutes of health define disease, word for word. and then we even add an extra paragraph about the fact that if science improves and there is a better way to do it, we will do it. i do feel comfortable but i'm happy to work with you if you think we can make it better. the other thing is that you point out we force the e.p.a. to
look at all the various pollutants but i want you to point out. we don't exclude anything like again etics, we say they have to include these because if they don't, we'll never know the answer. i appreciate your criticism and minority witness today but that differs from trevor. would you be willing to work with us? trevor you have testified before that your family has had difficulties in the past with the tumor registry when asking for an investigation. you had problems as a family into looking into this cancer cluster which is why we wrote this bill. could you place the importance on government agencies on all levels involving family and
communities in a cancer investigation. >> thank you for your chair, chairman boxer. i believe that the citizens and communities want to look to their government for answers and when they have questions about what is in their surrounding environment, they would like somewhere to go to talk where they are not told that they are statistically insignificant. and which is what we were told and that even if the data we had proves correct that our town was too small to warrant a study. and so i think strengthening the coordination and accountability of federal, state and local agencies is key to creating that line of communication.
>> of course, that's what we're doing here. we are bringing together, i think, a more effective way to respond by including the community so there is no frustration out there and you get the answers. your testimony emphasizes the importance of ensuring accountability and transparency when government agencies investigate potential disease clusters. what are the main benefits of the people who are stricken with illness and other people in their community from increased transparency and accountability as we look at these clusters? >> i think it's clearly important at a deep level to have the community involved. as trevor indicated and what he was just saying. communities try to reach out to agencies, local agencies, state and/or federal and oftentimes treated as a statistic and aren't heard and want to be a
part of the process. i think they are distrusting as a community. they want to look to agencies. they believe they are the ones overseeing them and when they find out something has slid through the cracks, it begins a distrust process. for them to be part of the process with the companies and their agencies, it re-establishes trust because when you don't have that, we aren't finding out the information we need to know from them when i'm in these communities, you got to get to know them and they will provide you with information that will give you more answers so we can begin to find a solution. it's very important that they be able to work with you and don't feel that they have been able to do that. >> how many people have contacted you for that map that you showed us before? >> thousands. >> could somebody hold up that map so senators who weren't here
could look at it. this is a map that was put together, calls to her, because she's famous and known for going after these problems and i would say, this is a rhetorical question but this is ok. don't you think this indicates that people are frustrated. unbelievable to me they would call you, someone in the private sector rather than the e.p.a. or n.i.h. does this indicate a level of frustration out there that people feel they don't feel they are being heard? >> that's why i started this map. again, over 40,000 emails that i track to my web site each month. what happened for me eight months ago is i kept seeing from communities, we are concerned we are seeing too many cancers and that becomes a flag for me when i have not one community but 100
telling me the same thing so i started to map it. and they are frustrated and want some answers and not everything that when we look into it will be related to an environmental issue. in some instances it could clearly be and may be overseeing it because these people don't just wake up and learn of their friend with cancer or neighbor and get to know each other in the hospital and don't realize they are neighbors within the same blocks. they are very, very frustrated and they are trying to find a way to reach out and they don't say wow, we should call c.d.c. or the national institutes of health to report this. 80% of the people in their emails who have created this map have said we don't know where else to go. >> the boxer-crapo bill is
something we can get it done quickly through the committee. >> i found your testimony incredibly informtive and compelling and i thank you for making the effort to be here and with us. you referred to your mother's experience when she went to the the local cancer registry to raise concerns about a potential disease cluster and was told that basically your town was tool small to warrant an analysis and your case was statistically insignificant. could you comment a little further about that, about what did you do next after you had that experience? >> thank you, senator crapo. what we did was fortunately we were able to take it upon
ourselves to get a proper scientist to conduct studies on a personal level to find out some answers and start the ball rolling to see if there were, indeed problems in our community. >> did you get assistance from any governmental agencies, whether it be the federal, state or local government in finding that scientist to help you? >> we did not, no. >> and the next question i was going to ask you, you have cailted in your testimony you found that the government's response was nonexistent. you did have a formal government direction to turn to where
coordination was occurring. >> yes, and that's where the statement comes from is from our experience and being told that we were significantly insignificant. >> thank you. and erin, you indicate that the c.d.c.'s agency for toxic disease registry, you indicate that you think that the atsdr has challenges in identifying and responding to disease clusters, could you clarify that. >> 20 years and being out in the field with these communities and i talk to them and as they are trying to track whether there are clusters and we inquire them if stsdr has been there, they have indicated that agency has made no effort to come in and find out what's happening. one thing that i think is really
important that we think might be some flaw in how we are identifying these is these registries and these groups don't come in and watch the movement of where these people are going. many, many times. if we find out we live in a contaminated community and fortunate to do so, we move. now we have lost track of where these people have gone. and when people come down with cancer, they report it to the state in which they reside and don't report it to the state where they're from. we could be missing hundreds, if not thousands of people because we can't track their movements in a geographic location. that's very important. in dealing with these communities and atsdr which are out there to track registries, they aren't there. it's frustrating for them and
that's yes voices aren't heard. >> doctor, could you comment from the scientific perspective how we deal with this issue when you have a small town where we all recognize -- you have small numbers, what do you do to deal with this problem? >> trevor's experience is something i'm not familiar with. but the term statistical significance should normally be used only after an analysis has already been done when data has been collected. it's not something that should be said of anything or anyone before data has been collected. it's an odd thing to imagine. i do believe that the terminology, which is normal in classical statistics is deeply offensive to a lot of people,
because they understand the term insignificance to mean that they are insignificant. this problem probably could be addressed if the scientists applied a different set of tools. it takes away from some of that. it is probably superior tools than classical methods for the nature of the problem at hand. but they understand all that. that's just a case of scientists communicating in their own jargon in ways that the nonsciencists don't fully understand. they could be far more sensitive about it. >> i see my time is expired. >> trevor, you said something in your commentary and we appreciate appreciate you being here and you said you are glad to be alive and we are glad you are alive.
i'm a professional grandfather and i have 10 grandchildren and i know what i want for them and so far the conditions that they run into are relatively mild when compared to cancer. and one of the things i find so disturbing is that in this place of contemplation and legislation, we off enhear sympathy for those who are afflicted with cancer and other threatening diseases, but somehow or other, we separate the heart from the mind here because we'll get sbeer and talk about costs and waste it cost to save a child's life. doesn't matter what the cost is. isn't a family in the world who could -- wouldn't dispose of all of their assets to save a
grandchild or a child's life. and i have been fortunate enough to be involved in some cancer research. dr. solomon, did you ever hear of the jimmy fund, prominent massachusetts situation. was that also in woburn, massachusetts? >> jimmy anderson was one of the first children diagnosed in massachusetts and he unfortunately passed away. >> do you know a physician named landrigan. >> yes, from mount sign a hospital. >> good friend of mine and supports the legislation that i propose and that is to find out where these chemicals are being interviews -- introduesed in the product. i appreciate the fact that you
are here to sound the alarm and let people that no one is exempt. we do a lot in this committee of hours, environment committee led by senator boxer, to protect children's health and that includes clean air and includes getting rid of toxins and toxic materials coming out of smoke stacks and that kind of thing. but i wonder, do you see communities rising up and saying, that company, x, y, z company dumped their waste here and they should pay the price that cleanup demands? do we ever identify, the companies that say, ok, you've done it and fouled the air, fouled the water, violated our
children's health, is that ever brought to the attention? because i think it would be a good idea. i ran a business before i came here and the regulatory -- what did you call your company -- regulatory checkbook. i ran a company called a.d.p. and i have been fortunate enough to be able to respond to the early deaths of my father, 43, my uncle in the same family, 52, grandfather, 56, all from cancer who worked in the silk mills in pat ter son, new jersey. and when the chance came along, i was able to help start a
cancer research fall silt and supported -- do you know dr. jim holland? >> i know the name, yes. >> he did so much in childhood leukemia. i have several questions that i would like to put to you, but in keeping some time discipline here which is not easy for a senator, i would ask you this, dr. solomon, the investigation into unusually high cancer rates in toms river, new jersey, languished because the new jersey cancer registry was outdated when the investigation began. looking at the bill proposed by senator boxer, the disease cluster bill, wouldn't that have a good effect on situations like this, like the toms river identity and evaluate disease
clusters more quickly? we have to get ahead of the curve on this. and i think it would be a terrific thing if we can move it . i have proposed a piece of legislation which i mentioned here that we would like to see all chemicals that go into the product that are then circulated throughout our world identified as being safe for children's health before it goes into the product so we then don't have to look at like we do with toxic reform law, which said we should investigate chemicals. and seep what kind of harm they bring. we investigated 200 chemicals out of 80,000, 80,000 and it's not good to -- good idea to have
e.p.a. searching for those things that are at fault as opposed to jumping on the band wagon, getting this done before and i would plead with you, be in touch with your senators and make sure they understand the problems they have had. trevor, you are a soldier in this battle. we are proud of you. >> thank you for pointing out the boxer-crapo bill does with the problem after the fact. nothing in this bill is going to prevent cancer clusters, if one occurs, let's have a way to respond and tell our communities to the best we can what are the probable causes of this. first of all, -- most of all to protect other people and also to resolve their questions. but what senator lautenberg is talking about is a new way to make sure that before the chemicals are introduced, even
more chemicals that the burden changes so that the person -- the company, person or the group who wants to introduce the chemical must prove it's safe before introduction. that is a very different and important move and i, of course, will support you 100%. but these are different approaches to the same issue, but they are come le men tear. senator boozman, thank you for being here. >> this is a very important problem and i guess it's one because of the nature of communication being so much easier now and the ability top perhaps keep track of things, so much easier, it is something we can address. . i believe very strongly we need to deal with the problem. i believe some of the things we have in place, the registry
program evidently is not doing a good job and also i guess i'm concerned that we're talking about it being under e.p.a. as opposed to -- i guess my question would be, why not the c.d.c. or n.i.h. or f.d.a.? all these groups have things that they're involved in in a similar way. we're talking a lot about cancer, cancer is a devastating disease, there's lots of neuromuscular diseases again that are associated with this sort of thing. i'd like for you all to talk about that a little bit. to me there's no excuse, if we've got a registry problem, we need to get it fixed. that would help a great deal. we might need to revamp that. there's lots of diseases now that we need to be following that we're not following so we can do a much better job of that. i do have concerns also about perhaps duplication and maybe there's a better way to do this the some of the agencies that
are set up really to investigate because along with this, you have these clusters, but the cluster might be something, you know, that we're eating not enough of or too much of or you know, besides the environmental concerns that have been raised. soy appreciate the testimony. i think it's very, very helpful. your written testimony, i got to look at it last night, i do appreciate it, and again it's something that we very definitely need to work on. don't misunderstand, i'm committed to helping, but i just want to make sure that we're doing this right and that we don't have, you know, more duplication in spending our resources in a way that we really could get very, very aggressive and hold those accountable that are already doing this and get them to do a better job. does anybody want to comment? yes, ma'am. >> i will.
you brought up a couple of points i want to hit upon that i have found interesting in dealing with all of these communities in their reporting to me. there doesn't appear to be any, like, national peoples registry where they can report what, more often than not if someone has cancer, what i've learned from this community, their doctors do the reporting they don't get to do the reporting which is why i think they started to bring information to me. one phenomena i'm seeing out there in this facebook world we're living in now, emails coming through people through facebook who have found their old high school mate bus they have been dispersed throughout the world and once they're stitched back together, they're learning they all have cancer, similar types of cancer and were able to pinpoint them back to one location. so i know there's many agencies out there that are involved but there isn't one in particular
that reportsed on compiles the data coming from the actual people and the actual sources as this map would kind of indicate. so they need a specific place to report to, not just c.d.c. but somewhere where they can go and report their actual cancer and indicate where they're from, not necessarily where they currently reside. so being able to possibly share all the data because i don't know what exists that the c.d.c. or e.p.a. or anybody else does or doesn't have about certain communs but to be able to open the doors and share that data between local, state, and agencies to see what you have and be able to start putting stuff like this on top of it to see what we're missing because they're not reporting it to your agencies who are supposedly making the reports. the information is getting lost. >> i agree. i think, again, the sharing of
data, and as you say, we're in a facebook age that does make it so much easier. ms. solomon. >> your points, senator, are very important. the problems with tracking diseases in this country are quite serious. the cancer registries have -- have gaps in many states and many diseases that are very important, especially some diseases that appear to be rising such as parkinson's disease, are really not tracked at all. so that is an important and related somebody. but i also wanted to speak about this issue of duplication because it's a tricky issue because in my view coordination of resources is very, very important. and making sure that the appropriate expertise is deployed to address thee
clusters have also very important. and up until now, the fact that it's really been atsdr or the states who have responded to clusters means that not all the necessary resources are at the table, especially some of the environmental sampling approaches. in addition, when we were involved in researching our report on disease clusters, we contacted the atsdr, which is housed at c.d.c., assuming that they would be tracking disease clusters and could tell us where the disease clusters are. they told us that not only do they not track disease clusters and have no information about where they're located, they told us furthermore that they are no longer investigating disease clusters. and so we said, well, if that's the case, who is? and they said, this is the role of states and local governments .
those entities don't have the knowledge and skills. so that's why legislation like this will bring all of those resources together. >> thank you. i don't want to get gaveled on but i think the point that you make about coordination is a good one and again i guess i just have to look further to see if the c.d.c. is not doing that, you know, should they be the lead agency doing it versus the e.p.a.? see what i'm saying? the other thing, madam chair is, and again, this is something we really need to look at in thence that we're really concerned -- in the sense that we're really concerned about spending money because the federal government doesn't have it, but this type of thing, improving the registries, getting these things under control would save a tremendous amount of money. so that's, i think, a point we need to make. i yield back. thank you. >> senator, thank you so much for coming and michael and i are hopeful you'll join us, i
hope you'll look at this bill. i want to answer your one critique but also mention that i really agree with you on the cost and i ask unanimous consent to put into the record this report from cancer facts and figures done by the american cancer society. they say about 1,529,000 plus new cancer cases are expected to be diagnosed in 2010, this does not include noninvasive cancer or -- and it also doesn't include skin cancers. so -- and then later on, they talk about the cost in here and it just is mind-boggling. what are the costs? the n.i.h. estimates overall cost of cancer in 2010 at $263.8 billion. that's $102. billion for direct medical costs, $220 billion for indirect morbidity costs, lost
productivity, and $140 billion for mortality cost, cost of lost productivity due to premature death. i think if your bill -- if our bill moves forward and we get to the bottom of this, say we go into a place and find there's no connection to the environment, and that's -- they may find it. they found it in several cases in california. all right. we tried. it's really genetics. if they find out there's something in the soil or the air or the water, that we can fix, now you're going to prevent a lot of cancers from happening. i think our bill at the end of the day, it calls for efficiency as we move forward. i wanted to talk about why e.p.a. i think it's a fair question. this bill isn't an e.p.a. bill. it says that all the agencies are going to coordinate. the reason we said e.p.a. is, if they find it is an environmental issue, it is
e.p.a. that has the ability to deal with air, water and soil. that -- the others, c.d.c. doesn't. they will find out what the cause is but they can't move to fix it. so we wanted to give the agency that could fix the problem if there is a problem, the lead so that this is -- this isn't just an exercise. it actually has follow-through. but if you are concerned about this, if you want this spelled out, let us work together because i've got to say this. trevor knows this. he made the point that he's both a minority witness and majority witness. in these days when we have so much rancor, i would hope we could come together around this very simple idea. if there's something troubling you or bothering you, you want to work with us in a positive way, that would be fine. we want to get this out. we want to move this we want to show america that we're not happy to see erin brockovich, who is a -- you're an attorney, now,?
no. you never did that. she's an attorney by osmosis. an activist and advocate for communities. people are calling her because they are frustrated with our response. i would also put in the record an acknowledgment here, the california e.p.a. and the department of public health express their appreciation to the u.s. e.p.a. for providing important technical consultation as they looked at causes of birth defects in california. now the jury is out. we don't know whether this is a cancer cluster due to environment or something else, but i think the e.p.a. can be very effective and it's nice to get this comment from my state so i wanted to put that in the record. so i guess -- and i have to say, this was written in december of 2010. so this was before jerry ransic
took over, this was written by arnold schwarzenegger. i think it's important that this is a bipartisan thank you. i would like to give you the last comment of the kay, trevor, from the panel. if there's one thing you could tell senator boozman because he missed your testimony, if you could sum up why you support the boxer-cray poe bill, if you could look -- boxer-crepo bill if you could look him in the eye and sum it up, that would be wonderful. >> thank you, senator, for being here. i've known many children who have lost their lives and lost limbs to cancer and it's heart breaking to see that and i think that's why we're all here today. to do what we can as chair boxer said, if there is a problem that we address that. and i would also like to say
that the medical community tumor registry, the c.d.c., are overburdened with data and i think that this would streamline and consolidate the process. that's it. thank you. >> thank you very much. well, i want to say thank you to this entire panel, all of you, you've just helped us enormously. >> madam chair? can i say one thing. >> of course. >> gep, i guess what i was thinking, the british navy, they had a problem in the old days because their sailors were developing scurvy system of they were able to discover that that was from lack of getting vegetables when -- when they were on board, or fruits. so i guess what i would like is a situation where when we have a problem in a cluster,
regardless of the disease, that when we go and investigate, we investigate and figure out the cause, which, you know if the e.p.a. came out and again, i'm not slamming the e.p.a. at all but you tend to think in terms of your training and whatever, and they establish that the paint on the boat was good, the decking was good and there was no environmental cause in that way, then we wouldn't have discovered that people needed to be eat manager fruits. so i guess that's my only concern, is where we're going and what agency. >> this is what i'm trying to say, we include every agency. >> they need to coordinate. >> that's the whole point of the bill. it's the entire response is coordinated. it includes the e.p.a., the atsdr, the n.i.h., the c.d.c., everybody is involved and in
addition, we pull in the state apparatus, we pull in the local city, county, your exactly right. you don't send in the e.p.a. that's not what our bill does. our bill says, weir going to coordinate this response so everything that you said is what we do. and it's high time we did it because i don't want to see a private citizen getting calls because there's no faith in the government right now. because we're just not coordinated. so i hope you'll take a look at this and i think you'll like what you see. again, if you have -- if you want us to make it more clear, we'll make it more clear. i want to thank so much this panel. you have been excellent witnesses. and i look forward to the day that we pass trevor's law out of this committee and bring it down to the floor, we have everyone support -- everyone's support and we move it through. trevor you know, life takes so many twists and turns and it's
a mystery why. but clearly your life took a twist and a turn in a way that has given you the power to communicate your story and the empathy and compassion that you bring to this and frankly your common sense side as well. it's extraordinary. and just thank you, you know. you could have gone on with your world and put this behind you and said, you know, wow, i dealt with this in my life but i'm closing that chapter. what you are doing is so enormously helpful. we are so grateful an your senator is so proud of you and we thank you and we stand adjourned.
>> earlier today, the u.s. house debated a bill that would terminate the home affordable modification pramp -- program, the hamp program. votes on that coming up in under 15 minutes, that will be live here on c-span. while we wait for the house to come back, we take you to the senate side earlier today during the party lunches of harry reid, the democratic leader spoke to reporters
briefly about the ongoing negotiations on 2011 federal spending as well as u.s. policy in libya. this is about five minutes. >> the only question i have is why are the republicans atrade to negotiate this agreement on this c.r.? we've come to the table with two detailed proposals to cut tens of billions of dollars and in the process protect american jobs. our latest proposal is at $70 billion. that's $6 billion away from the proposal the republicans have, which is $76 billion. these numbers are clearly in the same barbg yet republicans have stopped walking, in fact, they're walking the other direction. they continue -- if they continue the possess they would not have to ask me questions through a blog or press conference.
my office is right here. so why are they afraid? are they afraid to tell the extreme tea party members of their caucus that they're trying to find common depround with democrats? is that -- does that somehow embarrass them? there are reasonable republicans in the house who want to see us reach compromise. we know that from the last vote. but they seem to be afraid to anger a small, extreme minority in their party that's willing to shut down the government, put the economy at the risk of killing at least 700,000 jobs. republicans need to decide which is worse,ing anering their tea party base or shutting down the government and threatening our fragile economy even more. the recovery right now is fragile, a shutdown would make it really bad. i can only speak for my democrats when i say we're ready to find common ground and
we can't negotiate with ourselves, but that's what we've had to do the last two days. >> can you explain the $70 billion? >> that's our number. that's the number the white house and i have come up with. that's the number we're willing to sit down and talk to republicans about. we want to know what their number is. it was originally $76 billion. we want to see what they do to get to their $76 billion. we'll show them what we do to get to our $70 billion. >> $70 billion cut in one baseline? >> we're both working from the same baseline. we're at $51 billion, this would be another $19 billion. >> [inaudible] >> other than extremely good. >> house republicans said they would be willing to go to a lower number if you accepted some of the policy riders are you open to that? >> we're happy to look at the policy riders. there aren't many of them that
-- excite me. but we're willing to look at them, in fact, we're looking at some of the policy riders. >> in relation to military activity in libya -- >> we're having a briefing tomorrow at 5:00, classified briefing. secretary clinton, secretary gates and admiral mullen. i've told my caucus, come loaded with all your questions, ask questions in this classified setting and then if you want to do more, legislatively you're entitled to do that. the war powers act, we believe is valid, is very clear, setting forth timelines that i read to my caucus today. >> [inaudible] >> the question is can we expect a vote on the 1099 repeal? hopefully this afternoon. we hope to get the e.p.a. done in the morning. >> why are you holding those votes?
>> why am i holding the votes? because people offered amendments. that's why i'm holding the vote. >> [inaudible] >> i'm not sure that's true. >> isn't part of the offer entitlements? >> we have a good break down. it doesn't all come from the domestic discretionary side. >> you feel democrats have had several steps toward republicans, is that the end for you? >> i think we're far more than halfway. their proposal was $76 billion, we're at $70 billion. that's very close. >> is that your last offer to the republicans? >> i'm not in the last offer business.
i've been around here too long to do that. one last question. >> do you need to have an agreement in order to be able to pass the bill prior to the current c.r. expiring, do you think that's possible? >> it expires a week from friday. we've got loads of time. but without trying to be cute here, time is running out. it takes a while to get things done because hoe house has to get a rule and notice and then over here it's difficult for us to get a bill up sometimes. time is becoming very, very important. >> will the amendment of mcconnel go first? >> we don't have the order yet. >> harry reid from mid afternoon today. ahead of his comments, reporters heard from mitch mcconnel and others about spending discussions, nuclear
energy policy, it's 15 minute or so, we'll show you what we can until the house comes in for their votes at 6:30. >> as everyone know the discussions are ongoing to try to reach an agreement on a final continuing resolution to the balance of this fiscal year. one thing that's not particularly helpful in reaching an agreement are some of the comments on the other side. just to give you an example, "the new york times" says that our colleague, senator schumer, said, quote, i always use the word extreme. that is what the caucus instructed me to use this week. that's really not helpful. if we're trying to reach an agreement here. howard dean, former chairman of the democratic national committee, says he's rooting
for a shutdown. he said, if i was head of the d.n.c., i would be quietly rooting for it, said dean, speaking on a "national journal" insider conference panel tuesday. i know who's going to get blamed, we've been down this road before. i bring that up only to make the point that the discussions that are going on between the two majorities and the two -- in the two houses presumably are in good faith, trying to reach a conclusion. they're ongoing and we hope we'll be table do that sometime in the very near future. >> just to mention one thing, when i was home back last week, in addition to the spending issues, which people are still focused on and in my state also the need for the private sector to create more jobs, the other thing that came up frequently, maybe it's a little bit special to my state, i don't know, but the price of gasoline, which doubled since president obama
has been in office is a matter of great concern, probably because of the distances people have to drive back there. but everybody that i talked to was asking the same question, why doesn't the president grant these permits so folks can drill either in shallow water or deep water in the gulf of mexico? an whatever happened to exploration in the state of alaska and so on? in other words, wondering what the policy, the energy policy of this president is when he goes down to brazil and brags about a $2 billion loan that we helped the brazilians get for their deepwater exploration and yet at the same time won't grant permits here in the united states. it's perplexing to my constituents and perplexing to me. we need an energy policy that takes advantage of the enormous resources we have here in the united states. >> senator kyl indicated with $4 gasoline prices looming, the
attention of most americans is turning to the price of energy. i appreciate the president's attitude during the japan nuclear crisis in terms of calls for lessons about safety for our own nuclear plants and our need to continue with nuclear power because it provides safe, clean electricity. but in the address that the president plans to make tomorrow on energy, i hope what he says is that we need to find more american energy, use less energy, save money and create jobs. we do that by exploring for more american oil offshore on federal lands and in alaska, by exploring for more natural gas. we have a 00-year supply of natural gas, we can be self-sufficient, and by research for clean energy that is low cost. i hope the president will abandon his high tax energy
plan that drives jobs overseas looking for cheap energy and join us in working for a low cost clean energy plan that makes us more independent and creates jobs. >> i think as the leader pointed out by the comments the democrats are making, they really aren't serious ability solving our country's fiscal problems. and, you know, the president has been missing in action, the democrat leadership here in the congress has been missing in action. we know what the house republicans have put forward, we've had votes on that over here but they don't seem serious about it. if you look at the vote we're going to have tomorrow, i think you're going to find out who's serious, too, about creating jobs. swreel a vote on preventing the e.p.a. from moving forward with regulations that would impose huge new costs on businesses, agriculture, on the people trying to get this economy growing again. obviously the democrats are
going to try to put up a couple of political cover votes but the real vote will be whether or not we are serious ability reining in runaway government agencies that continue to look for ways that make it more difficult and more costly to do business in this country. all these will lead to higher energy rates, whether it's electricity or fuel, you've heard my colleagues talk about that. they know, they figured it out, i hope the democrats in washington, d.c. will soon figure out as well that the americans mean business. they are serious about getting spening and debt under control and putting policies in place to grow the economy and create jobs an everything coming out washington, d.c. these days, coming out of the administration and this congress, kills jobs and makes it more difficult and more costly to do business. >> families all around this country are feeling the pain at the pump. for families raising kids and dealing with bills an paying
the mortgage, this absolutely affects their quality of life. i come from a big energy state, wyoming, and we talked about energy security for our country, environmental stewardship which we do very well there, as well as economic growth. and what i see coming out of this administration raises the cost of energy. we want to make energy as clean as we can, as fast as we can and do it in a way that doesn't raise costs for american families. when the president goes to brazil and says, we want to be one of their best customers, it generates the "washington post" headline of drill, brazil, drill, and to me that's just importing energy and exporting american jobs and that's not what the american people want. >> just a couple of questions. >> you thought the president needed to answer a couple of questions in his speech on libya. i woppeder if you feel like he answered the questions, if not, why not, and is there a role
right now for congress to play? >> i think secretary clinton and secretary gates are coming up tomorrow and it will be an opportunity to follow up further on what's happening in the last 24 hours in libya. and with the questions. so president's remarks were a step in the right direction, didn't answer every question but we'll continue to pose those to secretary clinton and secretary gates tomorrow. what is the ultimate outcome? what's the desired outcome? for example. if your policy isn't regime change, what is our policy? >> can you imagine any kind of u.s. role in events in syria, military intervention or humanitarian intervention? >> i don't hear anybody calling for that. we obviously feel badly for the syrian people that they've been
subjected to this kind of regime for all these years, 40 or 50 years, but with so much tu multithroughout the middle east, we don't -- i don't think we have a single policy that fits neatly every single country. they're all different. >> on the c.r., senate democrats an the white house are advancing another $20 billion in cuts. does that represent an overall level that you would find acceptable? or in the vicinity of a level that would be ok? >> we want to reach a final agreement for this year and i think there's widespread agreement on that. and the discussions are ongoing. i heard a question here about -- >> the -- if all three proposals fall short -- [inaudible]
>> well, it is ripe for decision. the e.p.a. is seeking to regulate greenhouse gases and as several of my colleagues mentioned, as a result of that, have an extraordinarily adverse impact on the economy, they're going forward. i can't think of a better time for senators to be on record as to how they feel about that. and the final thing i would say is, i think the reason we haven't had this vote for a while is because they've had to hustle to come up with enough votes to defeat it. maybe they will but it will be an opportunity for everybody to go on record so folks at home will know how senators feel about this massive overregulation which is going to have an extraordinarily adverse impact on our economy. >> we take you now live back to the house for votes on a bill that's going to enthe treasury department's home affordable
modification coverage. live coverage of the house now on c-span. for what purpose does the gentleman from utah seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i send to the desk a privileged report from the committee on rules for filing under the rule. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the resolution. the clerk: report to accompany house resolution 186, resolution providing for consideration of the bill 471 to re-authorize the d.c. opportunity scholarship program and for other purpo pur >> ordered to the house calendar and ordered printed. >> e the speaker pro tempore: the chair declares the house in the committee of the whole house in the state of the union for further considerion of h.r. 839, will the gentleman from texas, mr. poe, kindly resume
the chair: the house is in the committee of the whole house on the state of the union for further consideration of h.r. 839, whi the clerk will report by title. the clerk: a bill to amend the emergency stablization act of 2008 to terminate the authority of the secretary of the treasury to provide new assistance under the home affordable modification program by providing assistance to homeowners who offered to participate in the program either on a trial or permanent basis. the chair: when the committee of the whole house rose earlier today, amendment number 9, printed of part a of house report 112-34offered by the gelewoman from california, ms. loretta sanchez has been sposed of. pursuant to clause 6, rule 18, proceedings will now resume on those amendments printed in part a of house report 112-34 on which further proceedings were postponed in the following
authorized to correct section numbers and cross references and to make such other technical and conforming changes that may be necessary to reflect the actions of the house in amending the bill to include striking paragraph one on page five, line 16 and inserting in lieu thereafter paragraph 8. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. bachus: thank you. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from alabama rise? mr. bachus: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that h.r. 1148 be re-referred primarily to the committee on financial services and additionally to the committees on agriculture, home administration, judiciary, ethics and rules. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. bachus: thank you.
honor of the 10th annual celebration of tarten day on ellis island. tart season the definitive symbol of scotland. no other fabric or pattern is so steeped in tradition. in the past 10 years, it has promoted scottish heritage. heritage and culture under the leadership and guidance of the clan curie society, one of the largest scottish heritage organizations in the united states. this year the clan curie society will be unveiling a new american tar tan, the ellis island tarten, in honor of national tarten day on april 6. mr. lance: the american tarten's fabric is steeped in colors that represent the experiences of all of those who have traveled to the united states over the last century in search of the american dream. the tarten blue illustrates the great atlantic ocean, the copper green in honor of the statue of liberty, red signifying the bricks of the historic buildings on ellis island, and the gold
representing america's golden door, walked through by millions as they look to this new land as the land of opportunity. i ask all of my colleagues to join me in honoring and congratulating mr. bob curie and the entire clan curie society for the unveiling of this american tarten, the ellis island tarten, and for their years of hard work honoring and recognizing the contributions that scotts and -- scotts and scottish americans have made to our great nation. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? >> to address the house for one minute, revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> mr. speaker, i am proud to represent the entire city of mount vernon, new york, and today i rise to congratulate the mount vernon knight's high school basketball team for winning the new york state federation tournament of champions class a.a.
they beat chrysler king from new york city, the winner of last year's championship, 84-78, in overtime on sunday. mr. engel: hyne led his team with 14 of his 31 points in the fourth quarter and overtime to earn m.v.p. honors as mount vernon won its fifth state federation title in program history. congratulations also to coach bob on his fourth championship. his team won their last 10 games and snapped a 12-game winning streak of chrysler king. mount vernon showed its grit and determination by coming back after being down 20-11 after one quarter and 33-28 at the half. the knights took the lead with less than one minute in regulation and never trailed after that. other high scores for mount vernon were samuels, 21 points, and cousins with 12. mount vernon representing the public high school athletic association in westchester county got to the title game with a 70-63 win over boys and girls high school of new york city in saturday's semifinal
round. congratulations to these players and their coach. while march madness has gripped the rest of the nation, in mount vernon we are very proud of our knights. i'm sure these champions have a bright future and will look proudly at their accomplishments in the years to come. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? mr. poe: request permission to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. poe: mr. speaker, the middle east is in turmoil. citizens are in revolt and are ousting their dictators. one of the worst rulers is gaddafi in libya. gaddafi is so bad the president has involved the united states military in support of the rebels there. however, secretary of defense gates has stated our national security interest is not at risk in libya. so why are we there? it seems to me this war's being waked under a new doctrine of humanity. in other words, the united states will now decide when to drop bombs on another country in the name of humanity when a ruler we don't like acts against
humanity. this fuzzy emotional doctrine ultimately gives a president the unilateral ability to intervene militarily anywhere the president doesn't like the way a foreign ruler treats his people. the president needs to clarify this doctrine of war in the name of humanity. what constitutional authority gives the president the right to enter another country's civil war when our national security is not at risk? america needs some answers. and that's just the way it is. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from louisiana seek recognition? >> ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> mr. speaker, with regard to the kinetic military action in libya, it appears the tail is wagging the dog. the president first says we won't go, but gaddafi must.
mr. fleming: then he says we must go, but not gaddafi. he consults the arab league before his own congress and then telegraphs to the enemy our mission limitations, yet does not clearly define the mission or goals to the american people. then he bombs people and calls it a humanitarian act. i'm sorry, mr. speaker, i don't understand this new value system the president is asking us to accept. let me suggest instead that our president and future -- in future conflicts consult the american people and congress first, then build a coalition, then lead that coalition with a clearly defined mission, taking nothing off the table. rather than being pressured into action by other world leaders. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, request unanimous consent to address the house for one minute, and to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection.
mr. thompson: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to congratulate penn state university on the 20th anniversary of the undergraduate exhibition. last year the house passed house resolution 1654, a measure expressing support for the designation of the week of april 1 1, 2011, as undergraduate research week. this week recognizes the importance of undergraduate research that encourages colleges and universities, businesses and other organizations to recognize the occasion. it is fitting that this week coincides with penn state's 20th undergraduate exhibition scheduled april 12 and 13. penn state's undergraduate exhibition communicates and celebrates these same priorities that research and development of critical thinking are fundamental to american competitiveness and our successed a a -- as a nation. penn state continues to thrive as one of the top research universities in the country. it is through programs such as the undergraduate exhibition which encourages participation of undergraduate students in research and creative endeavors. i congratulate the students, teachers and staff at penn state
for their tireless pursuit of knowledge and creativity. thank you, mr. speaker, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from arkansas seek recognition? >> request unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to request that arkansas house resolution 1014 recently passed on february 24 of this year by the arkansas house of representatives be included in the congressional record. fish hatcheries are vital components of the economy in north central arkansas. they provide vital fish not only to arkansas' waterways but to arkansas' neighbors as well and they help draw sportsmen and outdoor enthusiasts from all over the world. thank you, mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia rise? >> speak on h.r. 76. the speaker pro tempore: without objection.
>> thank you, mr. speaker. and, ladies and gentlemen, i rise today to speak about h.r. 872 and i was pleased to see this bill pass the agriculture committee with a bipartisan vote . not one single objection, ladies and gentlemen, i want you to think about that, not one objection from a democrat or a republican in the agriculture committee. it what baffles me that we as congress have to waste floor time to help the e.p.a. understand that they're creating regulations that they themselves do not understand. mr. speaker, the e.p.a. already requires pesticide permits from every farmer, rancher, forest manager, state agency, city, county municipality, water districts, golf courses, just to name a few of those that they require permits from. if we do not enact h.r. 872 the e.p.a. will then require an additional clean water act permit for pesticides, i will again add, mr. speaker, that many of these permits are already redundant as pesticide applications are already highly regulated. mr. scott: we all care about the
environment, these e.p.a. regulations fail the commonsense test, mr. speaker. that agency's on a regulatory path to destruction of our economy, they're destroying our jobs and they must be reined in. mr. speaker, perhaps we need a permit for the e.p.a., for the e.p.a. that says that the e.p.a. must understand a rule before they pass that rule. thank you, mr. speaker, and i yield thewoman. -- the well. the speaker pro tempore: the chair lays before the house the following personal requests. the clerk: leaves of absence requested for mr. frelinghuysen of nnl for today and the balance of the week, and mr. rangel of new york for today. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the requests are granted. under the speaker's announced policy of january 5, 2011, the gentleman from texas, mr. carter, is recognized for 60
minutes as the designee of the majority leader. mr. carter: thank you, mr. speaker. well, we just -- once again i want to talk about the fact that the regulators are kind of like the fox watching the hen house. they just overreach everywhere. and we just heard an example that have actually, mr. austin was just up here talking about what was going won this pesticide. we'll talk about that a little bit today. i've been trying for the last, i don't know, six or eight, i guess it's months now, to talk about some of the regulations that are being opposed by people and you see these regulations and you see had how onerous they are on both the large and small
businesses and then we sit around and wonder why we're teetering around 9% unemployment in this country. it's because not only do folks have to wonder about onerous taxes, folks have to worry about, are we going to spend ourselves into the poor house? folks have to wonder about $1.65 trillion deficit this year. they worry about all those things, they worry with about how their children and grandchildren are going to pay off this massive accumulation of debt in this country that's coming down as a result of the policies of the last congress, the democrat-led congress, and the obama administration. and then you take that and you tack on top of that the executive branch's regulations that they're putting on people, many of which are so onerous and make so little sense that quite honestly you wonder what's going on. we've got a lot of things that
have been going on and we've got some tools that we're using to get rid of those things and the tool that i've been talking about is using the congressional review act to challenge some of these things and we'll talk a little bit about that. but first let's just go back and talk a little bit about what others are doing right now. first off, tomorrow morning i'm going to drop a bill and this is kind of a nuclear weapon, if you will, of fighting regulations. because of the continuous and onslaught of regulations that seem to be designed to cause unemployment rather than to help with unemployment, i think it's time we just put a big old hold on the regulatory agencies and on the regulatory agencies and tell them that unless