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tv   U.S. House of Representatives  CSPAN  November 17, 2011 1:00pm-5:00pm EST

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96,616,000. grants are at $505 million. but we lost some 830 million for community block grants. $1.6 billion below the president's level. that's where we help rebuild communities and jobs. the legal services corporation that i have been supporter of and actively on our local boards, board of director, now has been recused by $348 million but it has been reduced which creates what we call the justice gap. i also am concerned about providing more developmental training for our law enforcement that cover our federal sectors. in particular, i am concerned about the police in the supreme court. and the chief of police there and the concern for the lack of professionalism and the need for training.
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i believe that in the capital police scenario there is an orderly process of the chief, the sergeant of arms and we work wonderfully together with these outstanding men and women. it's a shame for those who have to protect the other body of government, the supreme court, to have individuals who do not recognize i.d.'s, are not professional in their handling of their business, and i will be raising this issue with the department of justice and relating it to the funding which i think is necessary to either provide them with more funding or to put more stringent guidelines in their hiring policies and the way they train people. so i rise today to say that i am glad that we will have the government open and that we have funded agricultural programs, not at the best, we've funded infrastructure, but we can do more. and i believe we should not adhere to any cuts going forward and i hope the supercommittee will not do that. and i yield back my time. i ask for support of the
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underlying bill. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentlelady from north carolina. ms. foxx: thank you, mr. speaker, i'll reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady reserves the balance of her time. the gentlelady from new york. ms. slaughter: may i inquire of my colleague if she has more speakers? ms. foxx: mr. speaker, we do not have more speakers, i do have some more comments that i will make, but i am reserving until a little bit later in the time -- ms. slaughter: i am prepared to close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from new york is recognized. ms. slaughter: thank you, mr. speaker. although i'm encouraged that we were able to reverse some of the most severe cuts proposed, i am disappointed that our budget process has come to this. $100 billion packed with provisions that the house has never considered. and therefore on process i urge a no vote on the rule and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time. the gentlelady from north carolina. ms. foxx: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, the rule before us today allows us to proceed to the general debate of a bill
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that encompasses three major appropriations measures. i want to thank the conferees for their work on this agreement . as we move forward with the debate, we must keep in mind the dire fiscal situation that our country is in and we must continue to work in a fiscally responsible manner. with that i urge my colleagues to vote for this rule, i yield back the balance of my time and move the previous question on the resolution. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the previous question is ordered. the question is on adoption of the resolution. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. ms. slaughter: may i ask the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. all those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this question will be postponed.
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the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, by direction of the committee on rules, i call up house resolution 466 and ask for its immediate consideration. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the resolution. the clerk: house calendar number 91, house resolution 466, resolved that it shall be in order at any time through the legislative day of november 18, 2011, for the speaker to
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entertain motions that the house suspend the rules as though under clause 1 of rule 15, relating to the joint resolution, house joint resolution 2, proposing a balanced budget amendment to the constitution of the united states, debate on such a motion shall be extended to five hours. section 2, the chair may postpone further consideration of a motion considered pursuant to this resolution to such time as may be designated by the speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida, mr. nugent, is recognized for one hour. mr. nugent: mr. speaker, for purposes of debate only, i yield the customary 30 minutes to the gentleman from florida, mr. hastings, and pending which i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. nugent: during consideration of this resolution, all time is yielded for the purpose of debate only. mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. nugent: mr. speaker, i rise today in support of this rule.
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house resolution 466. the rule provides for consideration of what may be the very single most significant piece of legislation that i've had the opportunity to vote on since coming to this body over 10 months ago. this rule is what allows it's house of representatives -- allows the house of representatives to move forward and vote on h.j.res. 2, a balanced budget amendment to the united states constitution. my resolution that we're considering here today suspends the rules and allows the house to vote on h.j.res. 2. i'm sure that some of my colleagues may be concerned we're moving to consider the balanced budget amendment under the suspension of the rules for fear it would somehow limit debate. i agree with them, amending the united states constitution is not to be taken lightly. this is why the rule provides for five hours of debate on this vital issue. because you see, mr. speaker, what we're doing here today is something that should be
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discussed. something that must be discussed. we're fundamentally challenging the way washington works. as you know, it's about time. it's about time we had real conversations about how our nation spends its money. it's about time that we made the federal government budget the way i did when i was a sheriff of a county in florida. it's about time that we balanced the federal check book the way american families -- checkbook the way american families do every day. it's about time. that's what i think and more importantly that's what the majority of the american people think. as a matter of fact, we're here today -- the fact that we're here today is a failure of leadership. for decades washington politicians have kick the can down the road -- kicked the can down the road. choosing deficit spending over fiscal responsibility, choosing frivolous pork projects, wasteful programs and easy answers over making tough decisions and cutting back. the republicans did it when they
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were in power and democrats did it when they were in power too. nobody is blameless in getting us to where we are today. but the days of finger pointing are over. we don't have the luxury of time to look back and play the blame game. we need to move forward and find a solution to get us out of the hole that we're already in. a balanced budget amendment is a vital part of doing just that. yesterday the united states surpassed $15 trillion in debt. let me say that again. we're now $15 trillion in debt. while recognizing this sad landmark, i can't but help think about the fact that this didn't have to be the way it is. in 1997 the house of representatives passed a balanced budget amendment. unfortunately the senate failed to pass this amendment by one vote.
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one vote, mr. speaker. one vote that was separate -- that would separate us from a road of fiscal responsibility to where we are today. so here we go again. 14 years later, having the same debate. i can't understand today -- i can't stand here today without thinking about my three sons, with a debt of $15 trillion, each of my boys owe over $48,000 in debt, in national debt. it means the children and grandchildren of each and every person in this room owes $48,000 to the federal government. $48,000 that they didn't spend, that they didn't ask for and that they were now saddled with from a government of excesses. only one senator stood between where we are now and $15 trillion in debt and where we could have been. so today i stand up in support of this rule and support
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h.j.res. 2. i stand up for my kids, my future grandkids and for all americans who are saddled with that $48,000 in debt, from the day that they're born. i stand up for congress, a second chance. i stand for giving congress a second chance, a chance to get it right this time. unfortunately i understand the democratic leadership is whipping against this. mr. speaker, i don't know how else to say this, this simply baffles me. thanks to the whipping efforts of the democratic leadership, there are members in the house who voted for the balanced budget amendment in 1997 who now say they're going to oppose it. in fact, two members of the democrats' three-person leadership team voted for the 1997 amendment. i've only been here in d.c., like i said, for a little over 10 months, but all of the
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inexplicable things i've seen since coming to congress, this just stumps me more than just about anything else i've seen here. what could these members have been seeing between 1997 and today that makes them say, yeah, you know what? spending is right on target. let's just stick with the status quo. it's dumpfounding. it's often said the definition of insanity is to do the same thing over and over and over again and expect a different outcome. i don't understand how anybody can argue that we can continue to spend the way we do and expect to free ourselves, free ourselves from this monstrous burden of debt. we need to break the cycle. we've got to hold congress' feet to the fire, now and into the future. a balanced budget amendment is the change away from the status quo and back to sanity. i don't think i can say it better than congressman defazio said in his letter to his
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democratic colleagues. when he wrote that, quote, democrats walk away from sincere bipartisan effort, will have let the american electorate down. if any of us walk away from this effort we will have let all americans down. we've been working with -- without a budget, this greatest nation, for over 900 days now. continuing resolutions and debt ceiling increases are not the answer. supercommittees and sequestration is not the answer. enough's enough. today we have a clear choice. whether you want to change the status quo or you don't. either you believe that government must operate responsibly and a balanced budget or you don't. either you want to rescue our nation, ourselves, our children and our children's children from crippling debt or you don't. i'd like to close with the words
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of ronald reagan who once said this, quote, a congressional budget process is neither reliable nor credible. in short, it needs to be fixed. we desperately need the power of a constitutional amendment to help us balance our budget, unquote. now, that is presidential leadership. with that i encourage my colleagues to vote yes on the rule, yes on the underlying legislation and i reserve research -- i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida, mr. hastings. mr. hastings: thank you very much, mr. speaker, and i thank my friend for yielding the time. what we have before us today should not be called the balanced budget amendment, what it should be called is the unbalanced budget amendment. because that is what this bill is. unbalanced. prudent fiscal policies, makes a mockery of congressional
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authority, and does nothing to address the economic struggles of millions of americans. this proposed amendment no more balances the budget than passing legislation to declare the tooth fairy as real. saying it out loud doesn't make it true. what this proposal says instead is that congress needs to enact legislation that balances the budget. it doesn't tell us how to do it, just what we must do. well, if we could do that, mr. speaker, we wouldn't need a constitutional amendment telling us to do it, would we? if congress could enact legislation that balanced the budget it could do that without a constitutional amendment. requiring a balanced budget. merely imposing a mandate within the constitution does not mean that congress will be able to
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fulfill it. with this kind of circular reasoning, we could go back and forth until the next election and never have to spend one more minute on creating jobs to improve the economy. but that is exactly what my colleagues on the other side want. they've been in the majority for nearly a year now in the house of representatives and have failed to put forth any kind of plan to create jobs and improve the well-being of millions of americans. . unless you count reaffirming in god retrust as the national the motto, weakening the environmental protection agency, or watering down gun safety laws, i was here in 1995 when this body passed a balanced budget amendment, and let us not forget that under president clinton and, yes, speaker newt gingrich, we did manage to balance the federal budget and leave a hefty
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surplus for president bush. but then president bush and the republican party squandered that surplus on two wars and people should never forget that. they squandered it on tax cuts for the richest americans. and they squandered it on unpaid for prescription drug benefits leaving a big old doughnut hole we have been talking about ever since. and now the republicans in this body are so extremist that they refuse to consider any tax increases of any kind on even the best of us in america. instead they are leaving it up to the struggling middle class and poor people to bear the burdens of the republican party's free spending ways over the last decade. and i wish i had the time to really lay all of that out. in fact, mr. speaker, the republican party's intransigence makes this
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amendment voting requirement particularly unbalanced. this proposal requires a 2/3 vote, 290 votes, here in the house to pass an increase in the debt ceiling. you know what the definition of insanity is as said by my friend? repeating the same thing over and over and over again and real crazy insanity is just doing it over and over and over and over and over again and expecting the same result. or as ronald reagan put it, there you go again. the republican majority wants to enshrine in the constitution a permanent hostage crisis for our economy. this supermajority requirement for basic economic management will ensure that we will on a regular basis bring our economy to the brink of collapse.
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just look at the republican's performance on the debt ceiling vote. i don't have any confidence that they'll act rationally just because there is a constitutional amendment telling them to do so. that is why this proposal is unbalanced. by mandating so many onerous, supermajority votes, this amendment guarantees permanent gridlock in the budgeting process. and without the inclusion of a general emergency waiver, this amendment imperils our national security. let me repeat that. without the inclusion of a general emergency waiver, this amendment imperils our national security by creating a scenario in which congress cannot agree whether or not to vote on funding for national emergencies such as a military conflict. mr. speaker, this unbalanced proposal does not even include a clear enforcement mechanism.
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i asked about that at the rules committee and i got an answer that i still don't understand. making the balanced budget constitutional requirement means that budget disputes would be solved by america's court system. they have already failed to pass the balanced budget when the power of the purse is our constitutional obligation. how can we expect to pass one when each eafer every provision is also subject to years of litigation? the republican majority wants to hand off our constitutional obligation to the federal courts that will have the power to raise revenue. no less than a authority than judge robert bork made the following statement regarding that. he opposed the balanced budget constitutional amendment declaring, and i quote him, the result would likely be hundreds if not us thats of lawsuits around the country, many of them on inconsistent theories
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and providing inconsistent results. the celebrated late professor archie balanced cox of harvard law school predicted there is a substantial chance, even a strong probability that federal courts all over the country would be drawn into its interpretation and enforcement. and since my friend used president reagan, the former solicitor general to president reagan, professor charles prix, has testified an i quote, the amendment would surely precipitate us into subtle and intricate legal questions and the litigation that would ensue would be gruesome, intrusive, and not at all edified. the former attorney general to president george h.w. bush opined that judicial power could be invoked to address serious and clear-cut
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violations. the republican majority wants to hand off our constitutional obligations to these courts who will then have the power to raise revenue, impose taxes, cut spending, and reform major government programs. well, i guess, if that's the case, we can all just go home now. this body has previously considered balanced budget amendments on numerous occasions. initiated by both democrats and republicans. the majority party has always ensured sufficient floor time for debate and and to allow the majority to offer alternatives. here we are in a situation where the proposal before us was never marked up in committee, never had a hearing, and in fact was drafted late this past thursday night by some mistearous tweaking of h.res. 1 that became h.res. 2, and this version was changed in secret and filed with
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last-minute surprises that fundamentally changed the nature of the legislation and will come upped a procedure that doesn't even allow a motion to recommit. this is no way to amend the constitution. by all means, mr. speaker, if we want to balance the budget, let's not do it on the backs of the hardest hit americans. i don't need a constitutional amendment to tell me that balancing the budget without raising taxes on those of us that are best off in this country is unbalanced. where americans need the federal government to support the economy, republicans are trying to strangle it. where americans need us to put politics aside, republicans are bringing forward legislation written in secret. where americans need this congress to focus on economic issues, republicans are insisting that we vote on god and guns. we don't need to be voting on god, gays, and guns, what we
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need is some guts to tell the american people that, yes, we can do this and we can't wait any longer for them who are waiting for us to create jobs. now the republican majority wants to pass a constitutional amendment to tell us that we have to balance the budget. every year in a way that no individual state or local government or business does. no borrowing, no trust funds, no way to plan for long-term projects like highway construction, national defense, and public schools. this amendment guarantees budgetary gridlock forever. and moves budget decisions to the federal courts not congress. this proposed amendment locks in to the constitution the most far right of the republican party's policies. forcing future generations to reap the pain imposed by callous disregard for the least
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among us, the ones who need the most help. mr. speaker, there are 273 national organizations as of yesterday who oppose h.res. 2, the balanced budget amendment, and it's too olympic to place into the record or to put forward, but some of them among the most celebrated organizations in our country. i also would recommend to the membership an article written by the american constitution society for law and policy, a nonpartisan group, that discusses how unnecessary this particular provision is, and it ends with the following paragraph. the threat of a balanced budget amendment would pose to our constitutional order is unavoidable. congress of course remains free to act a balanced budget if it believes this is sound economic
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policy. it also remains fully equipped to institute effective controls to ensure restraint and balance in the budgeting process. therefore there is no sufficient reason to incur the dramatic risk that the balanced budget amendment would entail for our constitution and our nation. this is not a balanced budget amendment, mr. speaker, but it is an unbalanced one. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from florida, mr. nugent. mr. nugent: i yield such time as he may consume to the gentleman from california, the chairman of the august rules committee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for -- without objection. mr. dreier: mr. speaker, i want to begin by expressing my appreciation to both of my friends from florida who serve on the rules committee. this is a very, very important
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debate. it's a debate that we haven't had since january of 1995, which is the last time that the house of representatives had a vote on the issue of a balanced budget amendment to the u.s. constitution. back in 1995 when we had just won our majority, mr. speaker, i was one of the enthusiastic supporters, one of the 2/3 of the house of representatives who voted in favor of the constitutional amendment requiring a balanced budget. i felt very strongly at the time that as we looked at the fiscal challenges that we as a nation faced that the only thing we could do to achieve a balanced budget would be to have an amendment to the u.s. constitution that would call for that. well, mr. speaker, i have changed my mind. i have changed my mind and i
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will be voting against the constitutional amendment calling for a balanced budget. this is not something that i have done lightly. my friend from spring hill is absolutely right when he said that the imperative of looking at the tough challenge of amending the constitution is something that needs to be addressed. but i'll say i agree with a number of the arguments that were put forward by my friend from fort lauderdale and a lot of the arguments put forward by my friend from spring hill. at the end of the day i concluded that we should not amend the u.s. constitution calling for a balanced budget. i said i changed my mind and i'm reminded of a statement that was made by our former colleague, the mentor of our friend, jeb hensarling, who is working tirelessly to ensure that we get our fiscal house in order with the work of the joint select committee, and his mentor was phil graham, democrat, then a republican,
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served in the house and the senate. and phil graham once said that ours is one job where you can never admit to having learned anything. ours is one job where you can never admit to having learned anything. well, mr. speaker, i believe that i have learned something i'd like to take just a few minutes to explain why it is that i come to the conclusion that i had. i said at the outset that i believed in 1995 when i cast that vote, january of 1995, in favor of the balanced budget amendment to the constitution, that it was the only way that we would be able to achieve a balanced budget. i was wrong. two short years later we balanced the federal budget. we balanced the federal budget and that went on for several years. it went on until 2001. my friend was talking about the fact that we had two wars. we've got to remember, we've got to remember it took
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literally billions and billions of dollars to deal with national security issues like establishing the department of homeland security and many other things that were very, very costly. but what i found, mr. speaker, is that we were able to balance the federal budget without touching that inspired document, the u.s. constitution. now, james madison, james madison in federalist number 58 i believe gave the real description of the power that lies here in the house of representatives. he said the power over the purse is the most complete and effectual weapon that could empower any group of elected representatives of the people. we in this institution, mr. speaker, have the power of the purse. we have the power of the purse and we proved in the late 1990's that we had the will to balance the federal budget.
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without touching that inspired document, the u.s. constitution. and those were the words of james madison in federalist number 58. the power over the purse. the power over the purse is the most complete and effectual weapon that elected representatives have. now, some people point to thomas jefferson who famously in a letter written november 26, 1798, talked about letter this guy, john taylor, he talked about how it was essential for us to have a single amendment to the constitution to call for a balanced budget. it appears thomas jefferson learned something as well because five years later in the term of his presidency, he
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embarked on the largest deficit expenditures to take place since the revolutionary war. it was not a war expenditures. it was not an emergency expenditure. it was the 1803 louisiana purchase. and that was a decision that thomas jefferson made that most of us inferred led to a change in his position from the november 1798 letter that he wrote to john taylor. we look at some of other arguments, my friend from fort lauderdale went from the arguments on the court. i think it's important for us to look at not just that part of it, but we need to look at the enumerated powers provision in the u.s. constitution. i believe that not only can we create as these brilliant jurists said a real problem within the court structure, what we create, mr. speaker, is a transfer of power from the
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first branch to the third branch of government. something that is completely contrary to article 1, section 7 of the u.s. constitution, where the power lies right here in the united states house of representatives. . why? because most have said that if we were to get into these protracted legal battles this could end up in the court and we could have several years from now a court deliberating over a budget that had passed again literally years before. and so as we look at these arguments, mr. speaker, i will tell that you i'll take a backseat to no one when it comes to our commitment to get our fiscal house in order. do i happen to believe that our former colleague, jack kemp, was right when he said we shouldn't worship at the alter of a balanced budget, but we all know that with this $15 trillion figure that my friend from spring hill pointed to, we need to do everything we can to
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reduce that debt and our annual deficit. but it's important for us to focus on economic growth and that's why i congratulate those on the joint select committee who are working on that and i believe that that's something that we need to do. but having a balanced budget does not guarantee job creation and economic growth. yes, of course having a degree of fiscal solvency goes a long way towards generating a climate that can make that happen. but we need to have pro-growth economic policies and fiscal restraint is only one of those tools. and so that's why i believe that as we look at the challenges that lie ahead, i don't want to say to the american people that i'm going to protect you from your future leaders that you're going to elect. the american people deserve the congress that they elect. i personally think they deserve better than some of what we've
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had here over the past several years, right now we all know we've got a 9% approval rating. but the american people could not have representatives that say, we're going to say to you that you can't have the leaders that you elect do what you think is right. maybe there's another louisiana purchase out there. and that decision is something that should be made by leaders. and so i believe in very carefully amending the constitution and i will say that i've always been troubled by some who argue that the level of your commitment to a public policy issue is based only on your willingness to amend the constitution to implement it. well, i think that's silly. i think that's ridiculous. i think that someone can be passionately committed to an issue like saying we shouldn't burn the american flag and yet be willing to say, it shouldn't be enshrined in the u.s. constitution. i feel the same way about the
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issue of a balanced budget. and i'm proud to have voted to bring about these kinds of spending cuts. i'm proud to have done everything possible to try and reduce the size and scope and reach of the federal government and i do think that a lot of work has to be done and my friend from spring hill, again, correctly pointed to the fact that both sides have responsibility for increases in spending. but i think we can come together , i think we can have the will to do this. even if we pass a bald budget amendment to the constitution, we all know very well we're not going to balance the budget overnight with a $15 trillion debt and multi-- now multi-trillion dollar deficits. we're not going to do it overnight but we have to get ourselves on that road and i'm convinced that we can. and i don't think that amending the constitution is going to do anything to help us get there. so, i do support the rule and i think the rule -- by the way i should say to my friend is one that was used when the equal
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rights amendment passed the house of representatives. so the argument to make that somehow having this done under suspension of the rules is not fair, there's going to be five hours of debate, there's going to be an opportunity to do this. i've had the opportunity to say my piece, i know that i'm in the minority in my party. i know that there's not a lot of enthusiastic support on my side, i know there are many democrats who are going to be supporting the amendment to this. so we're going to have a chance to discuss these as we move through today and tomorrow. so i do support the rule and the work of the rules committee. we worked long and hard on this. but at the enof the day i have come to the conclusion -- end of the day i have come to the conclusion that i have. i thank my friend for yielding and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from florida, mr. hastings. mr. hastings: thank you very much, mr. speaker. i wish to compliment the chairman of the rules committee for -- mr. dreier: will the gentleman yield? i don't want to get in any more trouble than i already have. so if the gentleman could withdraw his compliment, i'd appreciate it. mr. hastings: i'm delighted to withdraw the compliment.
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what i wanted you to be able to do since you had become so enlightened about the balanced budget amendment was to be equally enlightened with reference to the rules and allow us a motion to recommit. mr. speaker, if we defeat the previous question i'm going to offer an amendment to the rule to provide that immediately after the house adopts this rule it will bring up h.r. 639. the currency reform for fair trade act, which will help create jobs in the united states by making america manufacture products more attractive to chinese consumers. i at this time am pleased to yield to my good friend from the state of washington, mr. mcdermott, three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from washington voiced for three minutes. -- is recognized for three minutes. without objection, so ordered. mr. mcdermott: mr. speaker, today we have another triumph of the republican public relations
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office. their job is to hide the fact that the select committee of 12 isn't going to get anything done and their members are going home for thanksgiving and they -- what will they talk about? a failure? no, they want to give them something. so this balanced budget amendment, that's why we're out here debating a rule on a job-destroying, poorly thought out amendment to the constitution. this house is considering an amendment to the constitution that did not go through the regular order, is not even the product of any committee debate, it is not -- it has not been an open and thoughtful process. mr. speaker, the job of this congress at this time should be creating jobs. for 11 months the republicans have talked about it but done nothing. now, instead of wasting the people's time with this doomed and irresponsible constitutional amendment, we should deal with this country's serious economic concerns, one of which is the
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chinese currency manipulation and how it hurts american businesses and our workers. it's time for this house to vote on the currency reform act for fair trade. the speaker needs to stop standing in the way of this important legislation, we've been discussing this issue with the government of china for more than eight years. american manufacturers should not be forced to compete against a 28% discount on imports from china, all because of china's predatory currency practices. this legislation will help to provide meaningful relief to u.s. companies and our workers who are injured by the currency manipulation of china. this is a bipartisan measure. the china currency bill passed the house last year with a strong majority of republicans and the majority of the house
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has co-sponsored this bill including 62 republicans. and we can't get it up. the senate has already passed a similar bill with a strong bipartisan vote. the speaker is the one who has his foot on it. because he's got his foot on the rules committee and they won't bring it out. american workers expect every one of us, on both sides of this aisle, to fight against china's predatory trade policies and to fight for american workers. we should be fighting for the american economy rather than pandering to the republican base with this terrible attempt to use the constitution as a partisan playground and a way to hide from the american people that were not doing what they sent us here to do which was to create jobs. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from florida, mr. nugent. mr. nugent: mr. speaker, i yield two minutes to the gentleman
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from south carolina, mr. scott, and a rules committee member. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from south carolina is recognized for two minutes. mr. scott: thank you, sir. let me first thank sheriff nugent from florida. sheriff, you're doing a fantastic job with this rule. i thank you for leading this important debate. i wanted to ask a simple question of my friends who oppose the whole concept of a balanced budget amendment. what makes us, the federal government, any different than the state and local governments who have to abide under a simple balanced budget concept? but more importantly, what makes us any different than the 74% of americans that simply say that balanced budget amendment is in the best interest of the citizens of this country? simply put, washington needs to stop this runaway train of spending. so often, too often even, it
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seems that this town has lost sight of the fact that taxpayer dollars don't just appear from some magical piggy bank but rather are paid by hardworking american families. we have a duty to spend these dollars wisely and unfortunately in this town that simply doesn't happen very often at all. the last three years, the last three years, not the last 30 years, not the last three decades, but the last three years we have seen the largest increase in the debt of this nation, in the history of this nation, and it is very clear, a constitutional amendment is the strongest option we have today to ensure that this doesn't happen again. how can we expect to create a proper environment for job creation when we can't even keep the federal government's checkbook in balance?
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how does the current administration think we can continue to force small businesses to completely revamp their budgets under an onslaught of burdensome regulations while washington does not have to do the same thing? mr. nugent: i yield the gentleman 30 seconds. mr. scott: thank you, sheriff. it simply doesn't make sense. we should get this work done, we should get this fixed today and i will say as a part of the majority making class of 2010, with 86 out of the 87 freshmen on the republican side supporting some form of the balanced budget amendment, we should move forward now. the american people demand it and they should get it. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from florida, mr. hastings. mr. hastings: thank you very much, mr. speaker. my friend on the rules committee, mr. mcgovern, i'm sure has views that are similar
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to mine. i yield to him 3 1/2 minutes at this time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized for 3 1/2 minutes. mr. mcgovern: i thank the gentleman. mr. speaker, my friends on the other side of the aisle claim to be about fiscal prudence, that they're here to get our fiscal house in order. that a balanced budget amendment is the only way to do so. once again, mr. speaker, my friends on the other side of the aisle are wrong. the right way to balance the nation's budget is by making good, solid, smart policy. something the republicans have proven to be incapable of over the past decade. president bush was handed a gift from president bill clinton. he was given a budget surplus. and instead of crafting a smart, long-term fiscal plan he blew it in a couple of big spending sprees in the first few months of his term. with a lot of help from congressional republicans. let me be as clear as i can be. you don't squander a surplus on tax cuts to the rich and you don't sput putt two wars -- don't put two wars on the credit
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card. you certainly don't do those two things at the same time. but that's exactly what the republicans did. and they drove this economy into a ditch with unpaid tax cuts and unpaid wars. and now they want to amend the constitution with a balanced budget amendment. you've got to be kidding. what's worse, the republican leadership has decided to break their transparency pledge, not only are they thumbing their nose at their own rules, they are actually bringing a bill to the floor that has never been read, amended or voted on in a committee. that's right, mr. speaker. despite all their rhetoric, this balanced budget amendment was never marked up in committee and even worse it was changed without a vote before it came to the rules committee. even though there has been no official consideration of this specific bill by the judiciary committee, something this new republican congress promised to do, the sponsor of this bill had the audacity to say that this bill and the changes made in the document were supported by the -- changes made in the dark of night were supported by the committee. these changes actually allow war
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funds to be exempt from the balanced budget amendment. these wars have gone on too long and they should be paid for, they should have been paid for from day one. that's a mistake that we should learn from instead of repeating. we have already spent $1.3 trillion on the wars in iraq and afghanistan. that's $1.3 trillion that's unpaid for, $1.3 trillion on our grandchildrens' credit cards. mr. speaker, i oppose these wars, i want them to end now. but if you support them, the least you could do is pay for them. and yet the republicans are repeating their same mistakes. and i shouldn't be surprised. this is the party that decries government spending but turns to fema with outstretched hands in time of need. this is the party that says the recovery act doesn't work but shows up at ribbon cuttings for projects paid for by the recovery act. and now this is the party that says we should balance the budget but we shouldn't pay for the wars that increase our debt. .
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this is a bad bill being brought up under a bad process. vote no on the rule and no on the bill. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from florida, mr. nugent. mr. nugent: i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida reserves his time. the gentleman from florida, mr. hastings. mr. hastings: mr. speaker, at this time i'm very pleased to yield two minutes to the distinguished gentleman, the ranking member of the committee on ways and means, mr. levin. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. levin: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. levin: mr. hastings has indicated that if we turn down the previous question we will bring up h.r. 639. this is a fact. china's currency manipulation is hurting u.s. businesses and workers. according to a recent study imports from china account for 25% to 50% of the manufacturing jobs we have lost over the past decade. that's one million to two
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million jobs in our trade deficit to china continues to grow. the important factor in this picture is currency manipulation. american manufacturers are forced to compete against an estimated 25% discount on imports from china due to that manipulation. that's on top of china's massive subsidies and other policies. dr. fred burkeson, who heads the peterson institute, says elimination of china's undervalued currency would create a million jobs mainly in manufacturing. and that manipulation is by far the largest protectionist measure adopted by any country since the second world war, probably in all history. meanwhile, the chinese government is pushing production of high-end manufacturing products, that compete head-on with american products, high-tech product,
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wind turbines, automobiles, aircraft, and others. this is a bipartisan measure. a majority of the house, 230 members, have co-sponsored the bill, including 62 republicans. the time has come for action. eight years of talk have yielded meager results. american workers and businesses cannot wait any longer and the u.s. economy cannot wait any longer. the time is now for action. defeat the previous question. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from florida, mr. nugent. mr. nugent: continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida reserves his time. the gentleman from florida, mr. hastings. mr. hastings: would you be kind enough to tell me how much time remains? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida, mr. hastings, has nine minutes remaining. the gentleman from florida, mr. nugent, also has nine minutes remaining. mr. hastings: thank you very much, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i'm very pleased to yield to my good friend, the
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gentlewoman from ohio, ms. kaptur, two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from ohio is recognized for two minutes. ms. kaptur: i thank my colleague, my able colleague from florida, congressman hastings, for yielding and rise in support of congressman's effort here to focus attention on this whole issue of chinese currency manipulation. when congress passed permanent most favored nation status with china over my objection, we were told by supporters of the agreement that trade with china would create jobs. more economic opportunity and trade surpluses for our country. well, if you look at the numbers, you'll see since that was passed what's happened is we've got more and more and more trade deficits every year totaling in 2010 over $273 billion. with chinese currency manipulation, that's almost an inflated number because it would be cut in half, it would be cut substantially, if it
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were marked to their true value not inflated value. china has never opened up its market. that's why we get these huge trade deficits. and they aggressively use government intervention through currency manipulation to rid the markets. we know they are the largest intellectual property thief. they counterfeit their goods. they use industrial policy to promote and protect chinese industries at the expense of american jobs and factories. some call these tactics market leninism because we see state managed capitalism in china locking down on industry after industry. regions like i one i represent in northern ohio have been especially hard hit as production shifted from the coast of the great lakes to the shores of china. we can see this draining of wealth from the united states. last year our trade deficit again was over half a trillion dollars globally, and with china, they had over half of that trade deficit. if you look at the trade data we are on track to send at least as many jobs to china
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this year. you can see that the jobs being shipped to china in every community in this country, even scrap metal is being sent over there, for heaven sake. economists tell us that every billion dollars in trade deficit translates into 14,000 lost american jobs. if we could get the currency manipulation issue solved, we could bring some of those jobs back to this country. it's time for china to play on a level playing field. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentleman from florida, mr. nugent. mr. nugent: mr. speaker, i just want to make sure that everybody that may be watching us at home understands we are talking about a balanced budget amendment. i continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves his time. the gentleman from florida. mr. hastings: i would like my friend to know we also are talking about the previous question which i'm at this time pleased to yield two minutes to the distinguished gentleman, my friend from pennsylvania, for two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized for two minutes. >> thank you, mr. hastings. thank you, mr. speaker.
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i had prepared remarks i'm going to talk about to defeat this previous question so that we could bring the chinese currency manipulation bill to the floor, but we have been talking about this on a weekly basis. we have been talking about it on the floor of the house on a weekly basis. mr. critz: and i think back to 10 months ago when speaker boehner made the statement that the house works best when it's allowed to work its will. we had a bill, this same bill that passed the house last year, overwhelmingly. it passed the senate, similar bill passed the senate earlier this year overwhelmingly. this bill has broad bipartisan support. 62 republicans are co-sponsors of this bill. four months ago i brought a discharge petition which is now just 30 signatures shy of bringing this bill, forcing this bill to the floor. it needs republican help. i'm imploring the speaker to bring this bill to the floor of the house.
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this is so important. as congressman levin said earlier, we are talking about jobs. i did a telephone town hall. the topic of discussion was about jobs. everyone wants to know when are we going to put our heads together and work to get this country back to work. a million jobs. manufacturing jobs. this is an issue that everyone knows about. everyone can agree on. we just want to level the playing field. this is giving this country the teeth it needs to go after countries such as china that manipulate their currency and hurt american manufacturing companies. this is about locking arms with the american public and moving forward. so i urge those republicans, those 62 that are on h.r. 639, anyone can see those names. anyone can call and say, you need to support this bill. you need to support the discharge petition. get on it. let's talk about this. you can't hide behind the speaker any longer.
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we are going to continue this fight day in and day out, week in and week out. i urge defeat of the previous question so that we can talk about jobs for the american people. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida, mr. nugent. mr. nugent: i continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida, mr. hastings. mr. hastings: i'm very pleased to yield at this time to my good friend from texas, ms. jackson lee, two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from texas is recognized for two minutes. ms. jackson lee: i thank the distinguished gentleman from florida. the underlying resolution has to do with the balanced budget amendment which most americans might say, yeah. but this is a deja vu because we debated this so many years ago and was found that a balanced budget amendment for the federal government will not work with all of the restraints and necessaryities of --
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necessities of serving the american people. but mr. critz' bill and the idea of correcting the turncy -- currency manipulation of china will work. will create jobs. the world trade organization cannot help. all the negotiations with china will not help. i would love for them to stand up and be counted in the world family so that we can continue to churn the economy that all of us would benefit from. but as the euro crumbles and possibly the dollar will step in, i oppose the euro many years ago, we've got to get a currency that responds to all of us. decent pay for a decent day's work. that does not happen when you have a manipulation of product cost so that some products are so much cheaper than the ones made by americans. we are not envious, we are not jealous. but this resolution or mr.
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critz's bipartisan effort can move forward if we vote no on the previous question. and then we can begin to help create jobs and we might say to the supercommittee that we thank you for your service, but we can go into 2012 deliberatively and thoughtfully looking at a plan that raises revenue and cuts the areas that does not leave the vulnerable along the highway of despair. i support mr. critz's effort. i want to move beyond the supercommittee and fund this government and create jobs in the way that the people elected us to do. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentleman from florida, mr. nuningent -- nugent. mr. nugent: i continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida, mr. hastings. mr. hastings: at this time i would advise my friend from florida that i'm going to be the last speaker and if he's ready to close, i'll go forward
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doing the same. mr. nugent: yes. mr. hastings: thank you very much. mr. speaker, this unbalanced amendment does not belong in our constitution. it enshrines far right ideology and makes a mockery of congressional authority to set forth the nation's fiscal policy. this hardly belongs in the same company as freedom of speech and the abolition of slavery and a woman's right to vote. this proposal does not balance the budget, it only demands that congress do so, and yet it does not provide a mechanism to enforce that rule. so in a situation of partisan gridlock, the federal budget might very well end up in the courts. this is no way to govern. if this congress could balance the budget, we wouldn't need a constitutional amendment to tell us to do so, but the fact
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remains that the republican majority has steadfastly failed to set forth legislation that will create jobs and grow this economy. given their inflexibility, a balanced budget constitutional amendment hardly seems like the magic wand republicans claim it will be. this congress needs to be serious about the real causes of economic hardship in this country, focusing on god and gays and guns and not having the guts to tell people we are not doing anything to create jobs, that isn't going to keep people in their homes. it isn't going to help americans obtain quality health care and education. these are the critical issues facing our nation. wasting our time and that's exactly what this is, it's going nowhere fast. wasting our time with political gimmicks like an unbalanced constitutional amendment is just that. wasting our time.
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so, mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to insert the text of my amendment to the rule in the record along with stroorl -- extraneous material immediately prior to the vote on the previous question. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. hastings: mr. speaker, i urge my colleagues to vote no and defeat the previous question so we can debate and pass real jobs legislation today. not little old stuff that is appealing to the right ring of the people who are pushing nothing more than symbolism and talking about it being in our united states constitution. i urge a no vote on the rule and i yield back the balance of my time. . the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from florida, mr. nugent. mr. nugent: i want to thank my good friend from florida for a lively debate regarding the issues, though, that has sort of gotten muddled is about a balanced budget amendment, not about anything else as you've
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heard about on the floor. it is about a balanced budget amendment. but just to remind everybody, we talk about jobs, we've done, we've passed over 21 jobs bills that are currently sitting idle in the senate. so i don't know what else you can do except it gets kind of frustrating we are seeing great pieces of legislation -- sending great pieces of legislation over to the senate. mr. hastings: will the gentleman yield? mr. nugent: i gave a lot of time. mr. hastings: i just asked you to yield. if you don't yield, that's all right. i want to know whether or not those 21 jobs bills that 10 of them are regulatory reform? mr. nugent: just trying to close. thank you. you know, we've heard a lot of debate here about a balanced budget amendment, pros and cons. you are going to hear five hours of debate in the very near future about the pros and cons of a balanced budget
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amendment. you know, this congress has done things that are amazing. we used emergency funding to fund the census. now, i know the census probably snuck up on everybody around here so i don't understand -- i understand why you had to use emergency funding to do it. you know, we talk about the clinton years. we talk about budget surpluses and how quickly they disappeared. but remember one thing. part of the clipon surpluses -- clinton surpluses also hallowed out our force which required us to put our service men and women at risk for way too long. some of them having not to -- weren't allowed to retire through stop loss and others have had to serve 15 months in combat positions because we'd hollowed out our force. you know, patrick henry said the constitution is not a tool for the government to -- it's an instrument for the people to
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restrain the government. today we start building upon those restraints. a balanced budget amendment is more of an instrument to check bloated government, a government that wants to be everything to everyone. today we're borrowing 40 cents, 40 cents of every dollar we spend. we're writing checks that we can't cash, hoping future generations will be about -- figure out how to get out of this mess on their own. the spending is just unsustainable. you know, i wasn't happy with the budget control act, but i voted for it simply so we can vote today on a rule to allow us to vote on a balanced budget later this week so we can fundamentally change where we're going. after 10 months in congress, i'm convinced that there are not enough people in washington with the determination, the dedication nor the fortitude to make the tough decisions for the good of this country.
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the constitution has saved us in the past and it can save us in the future. a balanced budget amendment would give americans a reason to believe that more efficiently and effectively than any other proposal i've heard of. one of the things i hear consistently back home is you all have made decisions in congress that have put us so far into debt our unborn children are facing a debt of $48,000 this year for every child who's born this year. how can we stand up and look at people and say, this congress can fix it on its own, how can we look at people in the eye and say, you know what, just give us another chance, we've done so well over the last 30 years? i don't believe that the american people believe that we can do that, and i think that's why they're asking for
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fundamental changes. i think that's why they're asking us to step forward and do the right thing, mr. speaker . not kick the can down the road any more. you know, we have members here, and i have the utmost respect for our chairman and for my good friend from florida, mr. hastings, but i adamantly disagree. i think we've had a change in government because there's a necessary need for a change in government. i think that you can't continue to do the status quo because if we do we're just going to wind up $15 trillion in debt today, $20 trillion in today two years from now. when does it end, mr. speaker? so i encourage my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support this strong, strongly bipartisan legislation, and with that i yield back the balance of my time and i move the previous question on the
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resolution. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the question is on ordering the previous question on the resolution. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. mr. hastings: mr. speaker, i ask for the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. all those in favor of taking this vote by the -- those favoring a vote by the yeas and nays will rise. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. pursuant to clause 8 and clause 9 of rule 20, this 15-minute vote on ordering the previous question will be followed by five-minute votes on the adoption of house resolution 466 if ordered and adoption of house resolution 467. this is a 15-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 243. the nays are 173. motion is agreed to. the question is on adoption of the resolution. those in favor signify by saying aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. >> on that i ask for the yeas
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and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california. mr. dreier: on that i ask for the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. those favoring a vote by the yeas and nays will rise. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are the speaker pro tempore: on
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this vote the yeas are 248. the nays are 169. the resolution is adopted. without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. the unfinished business is the vote on adoption of house resolution 467 on which the yeas and nays were ordered. the clerk will report the title of the resolution. the clerk: house calendar number 92, house resolution 467, resolution providing for consideration of the conference report to accompany the bill h.r. 2112, making appropriations for agriculture, rural development, food and drug administration and related agencies programs for the fiscal year ending september 30, 2012, and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on adoption of the resolution. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of
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representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 262. the nays are 156. the resolution is adopted. without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table.
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the speaker pro tempore: members, please clear the well. for what purpose does the gentleman from kentucky seek recognition? mr. rogers: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five
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legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and include tabular and extraneous material on the conference report to accompany h.r. 2112. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. members please steak their conversations off the floor. -- take their conversations off the floor. for what purpose does the gentleman from kentucky seek recognition? mr. lorges: mr. speaker, pursuant to -- mr. rogers: mr. speaker, pursuant to house resolution 467 agreed to earlier today, i callp the conference report to accompany the bill h.r. 2112, a bill making appropriations for the department of agriculture, commerce, justice, transportation, and housing and urban development and related programs for the fiscal year ending september --
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>> could we have order. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is correct. the house will be in order. the gentleman from kentucky may proceed. mr. rogers: related programs for the fiscal year ending september 0, 2012, and for other purposes, and ask for its immediate consideration. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 2112, an act making appropriations for agriculture, rural development, food and drug administration, and related agencies programs for the fiscal year ending september 30, 2012, and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to house resolution 467, the conference report is considered as read. the gentleman from kentucky, mr. rogers, and the gentleman from washington, mr. dicks, each will control 30 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from kentucky. mr. rogers: mr. speaker, i yield myself five minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. rogers: mr. speaker, i rise today to present the conference report on h.r. -- the fiscal
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year 2012 consolidated and further continuing appropriations act. the house passed h.r. 2012, the bill making appropriations for the departments of agriculture, rural development, food and drug administration, and related agencies on june 16. the bill has since been amended to include the commerce, justice, science, and the transportation, h.u.d. appropriations bills, as well as a continuing resolution to keep the rest of the government operating until december 16. with the help of our ranking member, norm dicks, we successfully negotiated with our senate counterparts to craft this agreement. which is the first appropriations conference report to hit this floor since 2009. this report is the next step in meeting the spending targets set by the budget control act which will save the taxpayers
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billions and help continue the effort to bring the nation's deficit under control. in fact, this bill keeps us on track to cut regular discretionary spending by $98 billion compared to the president's fiscal year request , and some $47 billion below the fiscal 2010 level. when all appropriations work this year is completed, it will be the second year in a row that we have reduced total discretionary spending, a remarkable and historic achievement. yet while we made significant cuts we were also able to fund important priorities such as food and drug safety, federal law enforcement, agricultural and scientific research, trade, infrastructure, and economic growth.
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additionally, we are helping communities, states, businesses, and families deeply affected by a record breaking year of destructive natural disasters and catastrophes. we have scrubbed the information from the agencies, we are able to reduce the disaster spending in this bill by $850 million, compared to the senate passed bill. these funds are only for disaster assistance and do not grow the baseline budgets or the scope of the federal agencies. this bill, mr. speaker, is the next step in breaking the status quo of excessive federal spending that's throwing our budgets out of whack. our house conferees thoroughly examined each and every program and agency to ensure that we are reducing spending wherever possible in this bill, this includes terminating wasteful, poorly planned, and
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controversial programs such as high-speed rail, noaa's climate change office, and the livable communities program. in fact, mr. speaker, we terminated 20 programs for a savings of $456 million. this legislation also reins in executive branch overreach by including several important policy items. these provisions kill job-killing regulations that create economic uncertainty, and limit government involvement in issues of life and liberty. including several provisions protecting human life and the second amendment right to keep and bear arms. finally this legislation includes a continuing resolution that will keep the remainder of the government operating until december 16. allowing us an appropriate amount of time, i think, to finish negotiations on the
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remaining nine appropriations bills so that we will have 2012 out of the way, leaving the appropriations committee clear sailing in january to bring to the floor of the house 12 separate appropriations bills. i'm very pleased that we were able to reach agreement on this bill. it's become all too a rare thing in this congress to come to an agreement such as this, and i'm proud to say that this conference report was approved by all but one of the 38 house and senate conferees from both parties. which all goes to show us we work best when we work together. while there are no doubt items where members might disagree in the bill, there are many achievements in this bill of which we can be justly proud. however we could not have done this without the tremendous help from our ranking member,
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norm dicks, as well as the dedicated conferees on both sides of the aisle from both chambers, chairman wolf, chairman kingston, chairman latham, ranking members farr, fattah, and olver, as well as our dedicated staff have worked tirelessly over the last few weeks to bring this bill to completion, and they have all of our sincere thanks and appreciation for a job well done. i yield myself one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. rogers: i'm proud, mr. speaker, that your appropriations committee is presenting to you the first appropriations conference report since 2009 and the first conference report of this congress. your appropriations committee is working. in closing i strongly urge my colleagues to support this bill. it's vital we pass this bill to prevent a government shutdown, rein in oversellous regulations, and help put our
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budgets -- overzealous regulations, and help put our budgets and our economy on track. i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. dicks: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. dicks: mr. speaker, the appropriations committee -- appropriations bill we will consider today includes within it three bills -- agriculture, commerce, justice, sigh tense, and transportation -- science, and transportation-h.u.d. along with a clean continuing resolution covering the remaining nine bills. the c.r. prevents a government shutdown. it is a simple date change to december 16. no anomalies are added. everything but the date is carried forward from the last c.r. the agreement provides disaster relief of $2.3 billion, including the full amount needed to address the backlog of eligible disaster repairs for highways, roads, and
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bridges, and funds to address agricultural disasters. the conference report also drops controversial riders on dodd-frank, financial reform, women's health, and climate change. the mini bus restores funding cut in the official house bill to nutrition and food safety programs, the conference agreements provide $6.6 billion for the women and infant care program, w.i.c., and n an i crease of 5p 0 over the level and 36 above the senate. at this level w.i.c. can provide for the estimated 700,000 women, children, and infants that would have been turned away under the previous bill. the impact of food prices will still need to be monitored to ensure the program has sufficient funding. the conference report provides $177 million for the commodities supplemental food program, which provides food assistance to particularly
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vulnerable low-income elderly, as well as mothers and young children. at this level the program will avoid dropping the 100,000 applicants as would have been required in the house bill. the conference agreement restores funding to f.d.a., 334 million into the house passed bill to allow implementation of food safety modernization and provides $1 billion for the food safety and inspection service, $332 million over the house level, to maintain the current work force of meat inspectors. the agreement restores funding for the cops program that was zeroed out in the house reported bill. cops grants enable state and local law enforcement agencies to hire and retain police officers, provide equipment to tribal law enforcement agencies, and provide training on community oriented policing. the agreement restores much needed funding for science and innovation much the conference agreement provides $7 billion for the national science foundation, an increase of $173
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million above the f.y. 2011 level in the house reported bill. while we need to be investing much more in basic research at n.s.f., the additional funding in the conference agreement is an important step in the right direction. the conference agreement provides $924 million for the noaa joint polar satellite system while still below the request the conference level will go farther than either the house or senate levels in helping to minimize the anticipated satellite data gaps. the agreement provides funding for nasa's james webb space telescope which the house had zeroed out. the new telescope will be 100 times more powerful than the hubble space telescope, allowing us to see images of the first glows after the big bang. and greatly enhancing our scientific understanding of the universe. finally, the mini bus restores funding for transportation and housing programs.
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the mini bus includes $12 billion more for the house subcommittee bill for the federal aid to highway program, consistent with the annual funding levels assumed in the surface transportation extension act. the bill includes $10.5 bill for transit programs, and $2.5 billion more than earlier bill. the agreement also includes $1.4 billion for amtrak capital and operating grants and deletes onerous language from the house subcommittee passed bill which would have eliminated service on 26 short distance routes, affecting 15 states and more than nine million passengers. the bill includes funding for the tiger grant program which will help advance national and regional transportation projects that will benefit both passenger and freight mobility, as well as create jobs. this bill will create a lot of jobs. the conference agreement provides $45 million in funding for housing counseling assistance. this program provides grant funds to local nonprofit
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agencies for reverse mortgage, rental, home prepurchase, and foreclosure prevention consulate. this program had been eliminated in 2011. the choice neighborhood initiative is funded at 120 million in the conference agreement choices a grant program to revitalize public housing and blighted housing in mixed income neighborhoods. this program provides quality low-income housing while the vast majority of the funds create needed construction jobs. the house subcommittee bill proposed eliminating the program. the inner agency council on homeless thest is gunded at 3.3 million in the agreement. it was also elimb named the house subcommittee bill. the council enhances the federal response to homelessness by coordination between agencies addressing duplicative programs and identifying best practices. the conference agreement provides $75 million for the veterans affairs supportive housing program.
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equal to the president's budgets request. provides long-term housing to homeless veterans. this is an increase of $25 million over the f.y. 2011 level. so i'm not happy with every single element of this, but i haven't seen a bill around here yet that is perfect. but also want to say we did get a good compromise on the legal services corporation, i wish we could do more because there is a justice gap in this country, but i want to commend the chairman and his staff, both the majority staff and the minority staff who i think worked very well together with the other body in reaching resolutions in a very timely way on these three bills. . i want to commend the chairman for bringing six bills. i could make the case that we actually did 18 bills because we had 12 bills in the 11
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omnibus, the h.r. 1, that took us a whole week if you remember, to go through 12 separate bills. so 12 and six is 18, that's a pretty good day for the appropriations committee. and i yield to the chairman. >> the fiscal year 2011 omnibus bill, as you recollect, we had some 500 amendments. mr. rogers: that -- mr. dicks: everybody got a shot. mr. rogers: everybody. mr. dicks: i want to commend the chairman for his commitment to regular order and openness. i hope that next year we can really do all 12 bills, if we can get done this year in september, then we can focus on the 12 bills for next year and hopefully bring them all to the floor so members have a chance to vote. it's important, i think, and i think the fact that so many people wanted to offer an amendment indicates that the membership of the house wants to see an open process and it
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certainly is important for the minority, too, to have an opportunity to offer amendments. so i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from kentucky. mr. rogers: i yield three minutes to the chairman of the commerce justice and science committee, very hardworking chairman, who happens to be a colleague of mine in the class of 1980, the so-called reagan auts. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in support of the conference report which includes 2012 commerce, justice and related agencies act. mr. wolf: i want to thank my colleague and ranking member mr. fattah for his support throughout the process, i want to thank our senate counterparts, senators
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mccullkey and house'. this was a very, very -- and huskie. i also want to thank the staff, stephanie albright, colin samples, scott, as well as tom at my office and derrick knewby and bobboner of the minority staff. we were able to produce a discretionary act while the supercommittee works to control primary spending, the primary driver of our unsustainable debt and reform the tax code. the final c.g.s. bill before the house is $583 million below fiscal year 2011 and 8.5% below the president's request. since republicans assumed the majority, we we reduced spending by more than $11 billion for agencies funding --
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funded in this appropriations bill. the bill provides funding for a variety of critical national priorities. it fully funds the f.b.i. at $8.1 billion to protect the nation from further terrorist attacks. the bill includes increases for national security programs and the investigation of cyberintrusions. it also makes important progress in the fight against the horrible and pervasive crime of human trafficking. human trafficking is spreading through this nation and this funding bill would focus all state and local human trafficking activities. it will require each u.s. attorney to establish a human trafficking task force. the department of commerce, the conflict agreement includes new initiatives to bring jobs back to america. including a job repatriation
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task force and new grant program to enable u.s. companies to bring offshore activities back to economically distressed regions of this nation. it is time for these american companies who have gone to china and mexico to return home. particularly let me say, g.e. who just moved their health care facilities from wisconsin to beijing, should come back to wisconsin. the bill also includes important increases for fundamental scientific research. $7 billion is included for the n.s.f., an increase of $173 million to receive an increase of over 10%. math, science, physics, chemistry, doing the things that make a difference to create jobs. research is a primary driver of innovation growth and job creation. these must be preserved. the conference agreement includes $17.8 billion for
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nasa, including funding above the request for america's next generation of space exploration systems and cutting edge technology. in closing, as other countries are challenging u.s. leadership in space, this includes funding for a comprehensive assessment of nasa's strategic direction to chart a future course that's bold and achieveable. i urge support for the bill and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from washington. mr. dicks: i yield five minutes to the ranking member of the appropriations subcommittee on commerce, justice and science, mr. fattah. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. fattah: i thank the chairman and most importantly i thank my colleague, chairman frank wolf. it's been an -- we've had an opportunity to work through the issues on this bill and he has afforded every courtesy to the minority as we have worked through this. it's been truly a bipartisan
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effort and even though there are things we would make different final calculations on, i think that there's nothing else to be said other than truly this is a product that reflects both input from the majority and the minority and i thank chairman wolf and chairman rogers for the courtesies extended. this is a bill that i believe funds the most important agencies of our government, in terms of securing our citizens and in terps of innovation and advancement and technology and science, in terms of dealing with the challenges of severe weather and dealing with our oceans and the navigation of crafts throughout our waterways,s that bill that is critically important and i'm happy to join with others to urge that the house would favorably consider it. there are a number of things i want to point out. one is the conferees, all of us
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working together were able to agree with an initiative focused on brain research, on neuroscience and we have been able to put together a collaborative effort that i think portends a great deal of progress in terms of addressing brain diseases like alzheimer's and parkinsons, dementia, also dealing with the question of wounded warriors, i had a chance to visit the brain research and repair center over at bethesda. there's much more work to be done. also, for those interested in education, the whole cognitive development. so this is the first of its kind initiative bringing together all of the important agencies of the federal government. i thank chairman wolf and our colleagues and counterparts in the senate for their cooperation around this. also, we were able to increase our efforts in terms of manufacturing and advanced manufacturing, creating a new
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grant program to help bring technology onto the plant floor, manufacturing has to be the basis for long-term prosperity and national security for our country. the investments in science, the national science foundation, is no more -- there's no more important an agency any anywhere in the world and we were able to work to fund it at a level that's appropriate, $7 billion investment in nasa, even though $638 million off of last year's number, when you take out the shuttle cost, it really is a significant statement around a new set of priorities for nasa and investing in particularly space technology at $575 million in the investment in the commercial program knowing with certainty that american private enterprise can help us deal with the ongoing needs in terms
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of lower orbit travel. we have a lot to be thankful for in the bill and most important to me, even though it's a very small number, is the efforts around youth mentoring, our support for the 4,000 boys and girls clubs, and big brothers, big sisters, and other agencies funded in the justice department as a way to divert people from getting engaged in our criminal justice system and the funding for the second chance pam which was renewed in this year's appropriation system of there's a lot more that i could say but i think, needless to say, what is important now is that we move this process forward and there are disappointments, legal services, there'll be another day, we -- as my ranking member said, we're disappointed in the final outcome but we remain committed to trying to find ways as we go forward to make sure that people have access to our court system on civil matters system of i want to thank the ranking member, thank chairman rogers,
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and my colleague, frank wolf, for his great work on this bill and all the staff, both on the majority and minority side. thank you. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: does the gentleman yield back? the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from kentucky. mr. ronellers: i yield three minutes -- mr. rogers: i yield three minutes to the chairman of the transportation and h.u.d. portion of this bill, a very vital part of the bill, he has handled it very, very well, chairman tom latham. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. latham: i thank the gentleman for yielding time and i want to thank him for the great work and also ranking member dicks on the full committee and special thank you to the ranking member on the subcommittee for -- mr. oliver -- olver for all his hard work. we have worked together on this
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bill. i thank the minority and majority staff for all the hard work they put into this. this is a great day for two different reasons. one, we're going to get this bill done today, and number two, it's on the speaker's birthday. this will be his present. i do rise in support of the conference report that is before us today. i urge my colleagues to support it also. i know it doesn't make everyone happy but it represents a compromise and that's what a conference report is all about. overall, the t-h.u.d. division of the agreement contains $55.6 billion in discretionary, a number that's $19.4 billion below the president's request. $19.4 billion below the president's request. the agreement provides $39.9 billion for the annual spending on highways, a number that's been tamed in the last act.
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this provides money for the highway departments to address their needs. the t-h.u.d. division contains many things important to the nation. there are increased funds for f.a.a. certification personnel, the individuals who inspect and stertfi new aircraft to ensure safety and air worthiness. the h.u.d. portion of the t-h.u.d. agreement contains $37.3 billion or about $4.7 billion below the president's request. there's sufficient funding to renew vouchers for individuals and families who were in the program last year. the agreement has sufficient funding to keep veterans' housing on a sound footing and has direct language that requires h.u.d. to review housing utilization rates in iowa and other rural states and the housing challenges facing veterans in those areas.
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under the h.u.d. title, there are funds set aside to help add capacity -- housing capacity in rural states. the subject of housing capacity has long been a concern to states like iowa and a concern to an awful lot of members here in this congress. finally under h.u.d. community development, there's $400 million that can be used for eligible disaster recovery activities in those areas most impacted by the various disasters this year. these are funds that can be used for repair and rebuilding activities. to me, at this point, one of the most important elements of this agreement is funding for highway and community development disaster repairs, these moneys are vitally important for my state and others along the missouri river. states that suffered enormous damage when the missouri river flood came this past year. can i get one more minute? mr. rogers: i yield the gentleman one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized.
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mr. latham: the conference report contains $1.7 billion in disaster money to supplement existing federal, state and local moneys and will be used for repairs and reconstruction. there are areas where state roads are still under water. thus emergency repair funding for highways in this agreement is vital to ensuring that iowa roads and roads in other states are restored to good working conditions. important to the emergency highway repair category contains an agreement is an important waiver that gives the -- waives the timeline of 180 days from the disaster declaration so the states can receive 100% reimbursement. this agreement represents the best we could do under the present circumstances. in the end we had to make some compromises but we also have a number of important victories in this agreement and i would urge all members to support this conference report, i yield
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back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from washington. >> i yield three minutes to the gentleman from massachusetts, the ranking member of the appropriations subcommittee on transportation, housing and urban development, mr. olver. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. olver: mr. speaker, i thank the ranking member for yielding time. i rise in support of this conference report. as ranking member on the transportation and housing subcommittee, i first would like to thank chairman tom latham for working openly with me throughout the process and i congratulate him on bringing his first conference report to the floor. also i would like to thank staff for the majority, the subcommittee clerk, and her excellent staff. and for the minority, cate hallahan and blair anderson. all for their diligence and hard work in making this a better bill.
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mr. speaker, this bill contains elephants with which -- element with which i disagree. i wish cdbg funding was closer to last year's level and i'm disappointed that the bill does not provide funding for the high speed and inner city passenger rail program. both of these programs are in high demand and would contribute significant value to our communities if funded properly. however, this bill is a reasonable compromise that is improved significantly the transportation and h.u.d. portion that was marked up in subcommittee. the agreement ensures the funding for our transportation, infrastructure programs is kept stable, allowing the federal aviation administration to continue modernization of our air traffic control system, providing federal highway administration with funds needed to maintain our highway network, and providing the federal transit administration with sufficient funding to continue to invest, tokespand our
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regional transit systems. i am particularly pleased with -- that the bill provides $1.4 billion for amtrak and removes destructive language that would have halted service along 26 routes in 19 states. annual riders on those routes has increased and a congressionally authorized process is already under way to reduce the praying cost of these services. in addition, the bill provides $1.66 billion for the highway administration's relief program, emergency relief program, in order to eliminate backlog of repairs needed as a result of hurricanes, floods and other natural disasters. as well as $400 million for emergency cdbg funds. i believe we have a responsibility to provide assistance to states that have endured an unanticipated natural disaster without conditioning that assistance on cuts to other programs. lastly i'm pleased that this bill reinstates h.u.d.'s housing
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counseling program, providing $45 million. with foreclosure remates remaining high, the counseling services provided by this program continue to be vital for families who are struggling in the current economy. mr. speaker, this bill is a good product of a bipartisan process and i urge my colleagues to support it. and yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from kentucky. >> mr. speaker, i yield three minutes to the chairman of the agriculture subcommittee, a very important part of this bill, mr. kingston. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minsk -- minutes. mr. kingston: i thank chairman rogers for the time. i've enjoyed working with him and member dicks and our ranking member on the subcommittee, mr. sam farr. we've held 11 hearings and we had probably about 25 hours worth of debate on the floor in which over 50 amendments were offered. this bill is a prime example of
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what can happen when we get back to regular order. it was an open process passed by the subcommittee, full committee and then finally by the house floor. the bill is $350 million below f.y. 2011 in the discretionary portion and $2.5 billion lower than the president's request for f.y. 2012. it is compliant with the budget control act and a step to show both regular order, compromise and moving us towards a balanced budget. i also wanted to point out something, mr. speaker, that the mandatory portion of this bill is tremendous. our discretionary total in agriculture is $19.77 billion. but the mandatory is $116.9 billion. school lunch and breakfast and the snap program are $98.5 billion alone.
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if we do not get control of the mandatory spending, we will never be able to balance the budget. so, i urge all members of congress to be cognizant of that and work in the important authorizing committees to do some of the reform. this bill was successful in eliminating a federal program that goes back to warled war i, the mohair subsidy, and that was a program designed to get more wool for the world war i soldiers' uniforms and ronald reagan famously said, if you don't believe in resurrection, try killing a government program . and yet today the mohair program does get eliminated. we also reduce the b-cap program way which was something that our committee has been very concerned about, the out-of-control spending on it.
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we restrained the cftc with some important bipartisan language regarding user exemptions and cost benefit analysis. and we have urged the f.d.a. to stay on its core missions and we hope that the authorizing committees will look at medical device and drug approval time and transparency so that the f.d.a. can work closer with the providers and the manufactures rather than -- manufacturers rather than in an tag miss it tick point of view -- antagonistic point of view. we've balanced school safety, ag research with the many demands that are out there. we've worked with secretary vilsack, dr. hamburg at f.d.a., and mr. ginsler at the cftc and we've had an open process throughout the year. i urge my colleagues to vote for this and pass this bill, but also wanted to say thank you to the great staff on both sides. martin delgado, the head clerk on the majority side, along with tom o'brien, betsy bina, andrew cooper and ali thigpen and
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martha foley, troy phillips and rochell doornett. with that i yield back. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from washington. mr. dicks: i yield four minutes to the distinguished gentleman from california, the ranking member of the agriculture appropriations subcommittee, mr. farr. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for four minutes. mr. farr: thank you, mr. speaker. and thank you very much for yielding. i want to thank my co-chair, the chair of the committee. we heard from, mr. kingston. we get a -- along very well and it's wonderful to work with him. but i also like to thank the chair of the committee, mr. rogers, and ranking member, mr. dicks, for letting us do our work in a profession al-manar. professional and intellectual manner, which i think is the way we want to have political compromise. and you allowed us to do that work and i think this report is a good report and that's why i'm asking my colleagues to support it. i didn't vote for the original
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bill. but this conference report is much better. and that's why i urge its support. there are many good things about this bill. especially in comparison to the version that originally passed the house last summer. i was very pleased that we were able to go to the senate level for the food and drug administration, which is ancrease of about $334 million over the house bill, because to increase the funding of f.d.a.'s important work on medical countermeasures, that is very important. i mean, medical countermeasures is critical to america's ability to face down biological, radiological and other similar widespread public health threats. without it we'd be vulnerable to germ warfare, that's why i advocate its robust funding. i might add this isn't just science fiction that we see in movies, this is real. and this program is really vital to our future security. in the u.s.a., the department of agriculture, particularly in the domestic food programs, remember, this is the biggest program in america that deals
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with the war on poverty. and it's very good, what we've done in here. this prevents hunger, improves nutrition and grows healthier people in this country. this report actually provides $36 million more than the senate level for the w.i.c., women, infants and children program, it increases $570 million over the house bill for low-weight babies and for those kinds of programs that will grow healthier babies, healthier people in this country. then there's the supplemental nutrition assistance program which we used to call food stamps. many people may not realize it, but the stamp program serves 15% of our fellow americans during these difficult times. 15% of americans, over 40 million americans are now dependent on food stamps. that number is up by $7 million over last year. $7 million people -- seven million people over last year. why? because of the economy's downturn, it's created a lot of hardships for families. that's why the funding level for the snap program is so very,
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very important and why i'm happy that the funding level is a lot more than it was in the original house bill. this is also good news for the working class and distressed families of the united states. then we have a program in the commodities supplemental food program which is also the temporary emergency food assistance program. we've also funded that at a higher level. this is good news because it helps programs, particularly the elderly, who have suffered a debilitating life event like a tornado or a flood or disaster and they need to access food and nutrition outside of their regular system. i'm so glad we're able to beef up these domestic programs for food assistance. then we have the international programs that help our international allies who need food assistance and the food for peace program. there's a well-known mcgovern- dole program which provides donations of agriculture commodities and financial technical assistance for feeding
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nutrition projects in low income countries, countries that suffer from the culture of poverty, which could lead to all kinds of distressed and certainly even to where we have to send in troops to bail out these countries. so this is a good prevention. the conference report gave a lot more than what was in the original house level. there's a lot of good in this conference report, but frankly i have to say that there's one part that i'm really disappointed with. under the dodd-frank program we as it ed to construct regulations to protect consumers. the president asked for enough money to get the new review process up and running. mr. dicks: i yield the gentleman 30 additional seconds. mr. farr: thank you very much for yielding. we didn't give it enough money to do that. and then on the last thing, we dropped some crazy part in this program which i think it's gotten a lot of negative attention this week and deserves it. and that is that we, without any
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discussion or going to the rule, predetermines the new regulations on tomato paste can -- and sodium can be part of the school nutrition program. they didn't consult with us, that's wrong, and it shouldn't be done. but it's a good compromise bill. it means food for americans and certainty for our farmers, it means help for the hungry around the world. i ask my colleagues to support it. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from kentucky. mr. rogers: mr. speaker, i yield two minutes to a very distinguished member of our committee, oklahoma's mr. cole. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. cole: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the gentleman for yielding. there are certainly members on this floor that will are a lot more knowledgeable about this particular piece of legislation than i am. i don't serve on any of the relative subcommittees on appropriation and so they're going to talk about it in more depth and detail than i ever could. but i tell you what and i certainly would be the first to say that we did not have a perfect process. i would have preferred individual bills, i think most
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of us on the appropriations committee would. and we didn't cut as much money as i would have liked to have cut. having said those things, i want to really congratulate our chairman and our ranking member for beginning the process of restoring us to regular order. and i want to commend them for bringing in a bill that spent less money than we spent last year, that has important elements in it, that protects gun rights and gun ownership. and that frankly is a very serious effort to deal in a very responsible way with a large portion of our government and at the same time attack our larger fiscal problems. now, we're going to hear a lot of members over the course of the debate that the bill spent too much money. and others that think that it spent too little money. and others that tell us that it's not perfect in every detail. and i would just remind those individuals on both sides of the aisle, we are the house of representatives. we're not the house of commons. you know, some of our members
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sometimes seem to think that all legislative and all executive authority resides here. it doesn't. our framer set up a very different system. and we deal with the united states senate that's controlled by a different political party and we obviously have a president, our president, but a president of a different political persuasion than the majority of this house. and that necessitates compromise. that necessitates some give and take. i think the process that has been worked, if you will, by the chairman and by the ranking member and by the various subcommittee chairmen and their ranking member counterparts has been a good and productive effort at compromise. and it's achieved real results and it deserves real and will have real and genuine bipartisan support. . i urge passage of this important piece of legislation. i thank the chairman, i thank the committees for their hard work, an let's get back to the business of governing the
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greatest country on the planet. we made a good step here today. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from washington. mr. dicks: i yield three minutes to the distinguished gentleman from massachusetts, the ranking member of the financial services committee, mr. frank. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. frank: i thank the gentleman from washington. i urge members to vote for this bill, although my enthusiasm is tempered. as i contemplate this bill, i think of the words of a former great member of this body, the late john mccormick, who not wanting to offend house rules referred to one of his colleagues as someone whom he held in minimum high regard. that's essentially what i think about this bill. i thank my colleague from massachusetts, mr. olver, for the good work he did on an important provision that means a lot to public housing in massachusetts, i appreciate the
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increase in the f.h.a. being maintained so people who live in areas i represent and in california and elsewhere are not discriminated against. for that i am grateful. but there is a serious flaw in the bill for two areas, or two serious flaws, in one area each. the h.u.d. budget is good in that federalization but severely lacking. i regret the fact that we will be spending more on community development and building important institutions in afghanistan than we are in america. and even more important is the issue that the gentleman from california, mr. farr, mentioned. it is incredible to me that my republican colleagues brought out of their subcommittee a bill that would give the commodities future trading commission less money in the coming year than it got this year. the senate was able to bring it back up to level funding. we are talking about derivative
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regulation, we're talking about a.i.g., weir talking about a dangerously unregulated operation. we are talking about the thing that has us concerned about the extent to which there may be a contagion from europe to america. i think we have a handle on this but -- a handle on this but we would do better if we had more money. we read today about the c.f.z. trying to straighten out the problem. it is imperative we give them a new responsibility because of prior foolish moves by this congress and the president, we had not regulated swaps, a very important new form of derivative. they are a dangerous instrument and they immediate to be regulated. this is a wholly new responsibility for the cftc and the members of the appropriations committee on the republican side would have
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given if they had their way, less by a significant amount for the next year than this year. we got it up to even. but let's be clear. people who do not want to give the cftc any additional money are telling the american people they think it was just fine, what ample i.g. did it was just fine we had these unregulated derivatives, that people were able to accumulate debts far beyond what they can pay. the cftc is also given a specific mandate to deal with speculation. i know there were some on the republican side who think speculation has nothing to do with oil prices and nothing to do with food prices and i think the evidence is clearly to the contrary. people who can tell me these ups and downs of the oil market is purely because of supply and demand, i await for them to describe to me when santa claus arrives. regulating derivatives is an essential part of preventing the problems we ran into a few
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years ago and are trying to prevent. by level funding the cftc and level funding only because our senate colleagues insisted on overcoming a republican effort given less money in the current year than -- coming year than the current year is a terrible act of irresponsibility. i hope that we will be able soon to remedy this but i fear that what you do with this, mr. speaker, in this legislation, is to open us up to the kind of irresponsible, unregulated financial behavior that led to the greatest crisis we've had in so many years. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from kentucky is recognized. mr. rogers: i yield two minutes to the gentleman from texas, a member of the conference committee, mr. carter. the speaker: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. carter: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise as a proud member of this conference committee and of this committee.
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the constitution of the united states gives us instructions that we are to watch our treasury and protect it and make sure that the money we spend out of that treasury is appropriate for the operation of this country. chairman rogers and the three ranking members who have operated in this particular minibus have been very noble in that effort. a commitment was made under the budget control act that we would stay within $1.043 trillion and this first start of finishing this appropriations process will see to it we meet that commitment. chairman ronellers has been very, very distinct and positive that he will meet that commitment and this is the first tep to meeting that commitment. it's important that all know that this is a noble effort. we have funded what is needed and we have given an open process both in subcommittee,
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committee, and on this floor. and by that, we have shown the american people that we are making our promises known, that we are on the route to turning this country around and setting it back on a fiscal track we can sustain. i want to commend all who have been involved in this process, both the ranking members and the chairmen, for they have done noble work to come up with this product and this product is deserving of being supported by every member of this conference and of this entire congress and i urge them to support this noble product that has been a tough fight, but we have accomplished it. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. dicks: i yield one minute to the gentleman from maine, mr. michaud, who i have enjoyed working with on these important issues before our committee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one
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minute. mr. michaud: i thank the gentleman for yielding. i rise in support of a provision in the underlying bill that will move the heaviest trucks traveling in maine off secondary roads and onto the interstate. people in the state of maine already know the benefits of this common sense provision. that's why it has the support of organizations throughout the state of maine such as maine department of transportation, the maine department of public safety, the maine state police, because they know it's safer to have these trucks on the interstate. additionally, letting heavier trucks use the interstate reduces fuel consumption, cuts emissions, reduces travel time, and reduces the competitive disadvantage between maine and the surrounding states that already have a higher truck weight limit on their interstate. so i'd like to thank my colleagues that supported my efforts to ensure that this provision was included in the
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final bill. i would encourage my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support this bill and immaterial to thank the chairman and ranking member for their efforts as well. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from kentucky is recognized. mr. rogers: mr. speaker, could i ask the remaining time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from kentucky has 11 minutes remaining. mr. rogers: and the other side? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts has five and a half minutes remaining. mr. rogers: i thank you. i yield two minutes to the gentleman from ohio, a member of the conference committee, mr. latourette. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. latourette: i thank the chairman for yielding and the recognition. mr. chairman, it's like a breath of fresh air has blown through this chamber. i will tell you what a relief it is, congratulations to chairman rogers an ranking member dicks and the subcommittee chairs and ranking members for getting us to a point that was normal practice
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for the first 12 years i was here, that is we do things like have a subcommittee markup, people get to offer amendments, good amendments, bad amendments, in between amendments but they were thoughts they had. we would debate them, we would discuss them, we would vote on them. same thing happened in the full committee and the floor. we actually had a conference between the house and senate, some people had never been to a conference before, i had members come up to me who are new and we even have some sophomores and jr.s that didn't know what the five-minute rule was for discussion of an amendment on the floor. everybody in this chamber understands that sometimes you win, sometimes you lose but at the end of the day, if you've had a chance to eblings press yourself and articulate -- express yourself and articulate why you feel the way you do and it's accepted and respected by your colleagues, you can feel good about it. i'm particularly proud of the
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piece the subcommittee i'm involved in with mr. latham as the chair and mr. olver as ranking member, what's remarkable is this wasn't a, this is my way or the highway, deal. there were numbers improved in the conference report, for example the highway level. because no one is willing to make the adult decision about what to do with the income stream at the highway trust fund, it was proposed to be a paltry $27 billion. however, through negotiations between the house and senate, it's restored to the authorized level in the extension at $39 billion. the community development block grant program as well is recognized in this conference report as being a valuable source of seed money for local communities to add other money and do good works. something that is popular and unpopular in certain segments of both sides of the aisle, amtrak is receiving the money
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necessary to do their mission. they've done a good job and i urge its passage. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from kentucky is recognized. mr. rogers: i yield two minutes to a member of the conference me, the gentleman from alabama, mr. bonner. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. bonner: i thank the chairman for yielding me two minutes. back home, the american people listen to members of congress talk about things that are historic, things that are important, today we're talking about something that's very important. tomorrow we'll actually be talking about voting on something that truly is historic. but for the moment, let's focus on, as my friend from ohio just mentioned, something that this congress has not seen since 2009, and that's a conference report. that's the american legislative system working, where democrats and republicans, senators and members of the house of representatives, have come together to produce a perfect document, of course not.
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conservatives would like to cut more. liberals would like to spend more. but the fact is that in this conference report, we cut and terminate 20 programs, saving $456 million. it addresses responsibly disaster spending where many states and even more counties and cities have been affected by disasters earlier this year. it contains a c.r. that will run until december 16, at f.y. 2011 levels to allow our committee to complete its work. it also represents an effort, i would argue, mr. speaker, that both house and senate appropriators, democrats and republicans alike, are doing something that's responsible to avoid the plague of a government shutdown, reach an agreement that will put our nation on a more fiscally sustainable path. tomorrow, it will be more historic in nature. yesterday the debt clock ticked over $15 trillion.
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we cannot ignore that threat. and yet tomorrow, we will bring to the house floor an opportunity for something that presidents jefferson and reagan both envisioned, a balanced budget amendment. today, c. -- today's c.r., today's minibus appropriations bill is an important step for the future of this fiscal year and this country we love and serve. tomorrow will be an opportunity for the legacy of future generations not yet born to do something even more bold. i thank the chairman for giving me an opportunity to serve on the conference committee and i urge my colleagues to support the report. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from kentucky is recognized. mr. rogers: i yield two minutes to the gentleman from florida, a member of our committee, mr. diaz-balart. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. diaz-balart: i thank the chairman for this opportunity and i really congratulate the chairman. this is the first time in many
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years, since 2009, that we've actually been on the floor, come to the floor work a conference report. think about that. before, things just kind of came out of the blue. we were forced to deal with them without having the opportunity to see them or going through regular order this would not have happened without the leadership of our chairman, chairman rogers. i cannot thank you enough, sir, for once again bringing the people's house, making it do its work and doing it in a responsible way. i want to commend the ranking member for working hand in hand with the chairman. look, there's no doubt we are on an unsustainable bath of borrowing too much and spending too much. in the past, past appropriations billed were judged to be successful by how much money they were spending. how much more money of taxpayers' we were spending. that's how we felt good, bauds we were spend manager money. that's changed dramatically. this bill actually cuts funding, it actually spends less than the previous year's level.
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so again, a huge step in the right direction. but it also funds the essential s services that the american people are -- essential services that american people depend on. i want to recognize the work of chairman kingston and wolf who have balanced funding for the necessary food safety and other federal law enforcement, for example. but also made some very difficult choices, but necessary choices to reduce spending. i had the privilege of serving on the transportation and housing subcommittee. i want to commend chairman latham for the work that he has devoted on this bill. on the transportation side, this bill prioritizes rail and transit projects that improve and expand existing systems. it funds nextgen to help reduce traffic delays and the federal highway program. it provides sufficient funding to renew every individual and family voucher, for example, and include new oversight reforms at h.u.d., to root out waste and fraud and abuse which is such a huge issue. this conference report prioritizes government spending,
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for vital programs, but it also reduces waste and again puts us on a path that we will not go -- that we will not bankrupt the united states of america. i urge our colleagues to join me in supporting this fine piece of legislation. is it perfect,? no. but it's the best piece of legislation and the only one in many, many years that has actually come to the floor through regular process after an amendmentory process. i commend the chairman and i support it wholeheartedly. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from kentucky is recognized. mr. rogers: mr. speaker, i yield two minutes to the gentleman from mississippi, a member of our committee, the very valued member, mr. donnelly. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from mississippi is recognized for two minute. mr. donnelly: thank you, mr. speaker. thank you, mr. chairman. as a member of this historic freshmen class, we came here committed to cut government spending, because we know that cutting government spending is tied directly to increasing job opportunities in this nation. this bill does something that
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has not happened since world war ii. for the second year in a row we are now on the path to cutting government spending. not by the definition traditionally used by washington, cutting the rate of growth. but by the definition used by the people of america, actually cutting spending. but we also came here to change the way washington does business. president reagan observed, government programs once launched necessary disappear. actually a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on earth. this conference report terminates a total of 20 programs from the federal budget . now, i wish it would have cut more spending, but when i look at the opportunity to cut 20 programs from our federal budget, something that rarely happens in this town, i gladly support this conference report. thank you, mr. chairman, for your work.
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thank you for the ranking member and the minority for working with us to eliminate those 20 programs. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from kentucky is recognized. mr. rogers: mr. speaker, i yield one minute to the gentleman from new hampshire, mr. bass. mr. bass: mr. chairman, i thank you, and, mr. speaker, i rise in support of the conference report which includes the c.j.s. approach bill for fiscal year 2012. and i want to pay special thanks to chairman wolf for his help in working out a very difficult problem. in 2010 a federal prison was built in new hampshire, in my district. however due to lack of funding the facility has sat idle now for a year and a half at significant cost to taxpayers and i applaud the inclusion of report language that urges the bureau of prisons to begin the activation phase of this prison in berlin, new hampshire, and others where construction has been completed but the facilities currently sit idle. additionally i'd like to thank
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the mayor in berlin for his dogged determination and my colleagues on the appropriations committee for their special attention to this very serious problem. once open this prisonland house over 1,000 minimum security and medium security adult male offenders. it will produce over 300 jobs for the region and bring 40 -- $40 million to the local economy. it is a very worth while program. i thank you for being attentive to this issue with me. i urge final passage of the bill and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from kentucky is recognized. mr. rogers: may i inquire the time remaining? the speaker pro tempore: 2 1/2 minutes. mr. rogers: mr. speaker, i'm the remaining speaker on my side. so i would yield to the gentleman. mr. dicks: how much time do i have? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman has 5 1/2 minutes remaining. mr. dicks: i yield myself as much time as i may use. i just want to say that i think this is a bill that we worked hard on, that we worked with the
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other body and i hope that the members will support this bill and i want to remind everybody, this has got the c.r. in it. we got to keep the government open. it's clean. as clean as anyone i've seen. -- any one i've seen. to so -- so i hope that we can pass this bill with a very strong bipartisan vote. i'm urging my colleagues on the democratic side to support this bill. i want to again congratulate the chairman and all our staff for the work that they've done on this bill. it's a good bill. it's not perfect. but it's a lot better than the alternative. and we need to get -- keep moving on these appropriation bills. i hope we can pass the other nine in december and we have to do that. so i yield back my time. the remaining time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from kentucky is recognized. mr. rogers: mr. speaker, i yield myself the balance of the time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. rogers: and i want to say a special thanks to my friend, norm dicks, for being a
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hardworking cooperative, ranking member. we worked together on this bill. and we'll continue to do that. and also to thank the staff. you know, they don't get enough thanks. these are the people that do practically all the work. day and night, weekends included, holidays included. so thank you to all of the staff, majority and minority, for producing this work. let me close, mr. speaker, by emphasizing that this conference report is only the first step toward finishing fiscal 2012. and urge my colleagues to support this conference report. let me also remind our colleagues that there are no earmarks in this bill. a lot of people said, you cannot pass a bill without earmarks. well, this bill has no earmarks. not a one. not a single one. it also reduces dramatically
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federal spending. and when we finish, and i want my colleagues to hear this plainly and clearly, when we finish all 12 bills we will be at $1,043,000,000,000. not a penny more. we will be at $1,04 -- $1,043,000,000,000 as provided by the cap under the budget control act. i guarantee that number. i guarantee that number. hear me. so i urge an aye vote on this first step toward fiscal sanity. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. pursuant to house resolution 467, the previous question is ordered. the question is on adoption of the conference report. pursuant to clause 10 of rule 20, the yeas and nays are ordered.
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those in favor of the conference report will vote aye. those opposed, no. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a 15-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 298, the nays are 121. the conference report is agreed to and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table.
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the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the house will be in order. members take their conversations off the floor.
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the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? seek recognition? for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? mr. smith: mr. speaker, pursuant to house resolution 466, i move to suspend the rules and pass house joint resolution 2 as amended, proposing a balanced budget amendment to the united states constitution. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the joint resolution. the clerk: house joint resolution 2, joint resolution proposing a bald budget amendment to the constitution of the united states. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to house resolution 466, the gentleman from texas, mr. smith, and the gentleman from michigan, mr. conyers, will each control two -- two hours and 30 minutes. the house will be in order. ask members to take their conversations off the floor and out of the well.
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ask members to take their conversations ought -- to take their conversations out of the aisle. the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas. mr. smith: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days within which to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous materials on house joint resolution 2 as amended, currently under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. the gentleman is recognized. mr. smith: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized for as much time as he may consume. but the gentleman will suspend. the house will be in order. i ask members to take their conversations off the floor and out of the well.
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the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. smith: thank you, mr. speaker. americans want the federal government to stop excessive government spending and reduce the federal deficit. the last time the budget was balanced was during a clinton administration, when republicans in congress passed the first balanced budget in over 25 years. meanwhile the federal debt has climbed from less than $400 billion in 1970 to over $15 trillion today. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman will suspend. i'd ask members on the minority side, in the rear of the chamber, to take their conversations off the floor.
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the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. smith: mr. speaker, president obama has set the wrong kind of new record. the national debt has increased faster under his administration than under any other president in history. america cannot continue to run huge federal budget deficits. financing federal overspending through continued borrowing threatens to drown americans in high taxes and heavy debt. and it puts a drag on the economy. the federal government now borrows 42 cents for every $1 it pends. no family, no community, no -- spends. no family, no community, no business, no country can sustain that kind of excessive spending. that is the road to insolvency. unfortunately this kind of bad behavior has gone unchecked for so long that it has become the norm. the federal government has been
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on a decades' long shopping spree, racking up the bills and leaving them for future generations. we need a constitutional mandate to force both the president and congress to adopt annual budgets that spend no more than the government takes in. only a balanced budget constitutional amendment will save us from unending federal deficits. just as both parties have joint responsibility for the deficit, we must jointly take responsibility for controlling the deficit by passing the balanced budget amendment. we came very close to passing this balanced budget amendment in 1995, falling just one vote short in the senate of the required 2/3 majority. in that congress the amendment was supported by congressman hoyer, now minority whip, congressman clyburn, now assistant democratic leader, and senator joseph biden, now vice president. as then senator biden stated in support of the balanced budget
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amendment, quote, in recent decades we have faced the problem that we do not seem to be able to solve. we cannot balance our budget or more correctly we will not, the decision to encumber future generations with financial obligations is one that can rightly be considered among the fundamental choices addressed in the constitution, end quote. congress is way overdue to pass a balanced budget amendment and the american people want it. polls show that 74% are in favor of a balanced budget amendment. it took less than a generation for us to get into this mess, we need a fiscal fix that will now last for generations. if we want to make lasting cuts to federal spending, a constitutional amendment is the only solution. it is our last line of defense against congress' unending desire to overspend and overtax. thomas jefferson believed that, quote, the public debt is the
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greatest of dangers to be feared. jefferson wished, quote, it were possible to obtain a single amendment to our constitution, taking from the federal government the power of borrowing, end quote. it is time that we listened to thomas jefferson and pass the constitutional amendment to end the federal government's continuous deficit spending. we must solve our debt crisis to save the future. i want to thank mr. goodlatte, the gentleman from virginia, for introducing the version of the balanced budget amendment we are considering today, and for his tireless work in support of the amendment. since the 1930's, dozens of proposals offered by both democrats and republicans have called for constitutional amendments to address federal budget deficits. we have the opportunity today to take the first step toward making a balanced budget a reality by passing this legislation. the american people have not
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given congress a blank check. let's demonstrate to the american people that congress can be fiscally responsible and get our economic house in order. borrowing 42 cents for every $1 the government spending and setting a new deficit record is not the road to prosperity. let's put our country first and pass this amendment. mr. speaker, i'll reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas reserves his time. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. . mr. conyers: thank you, mr. speaker. ladies and gentlemen, this balanced budget constitutional amendment is one that surprises me and very little surprises me any more. but for us to be seriously on this day, in this time considering an amendment to the
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constitution of the united states, it would destroy jobs, it will drastically cut social security and medicare gives members of the federal judiciary the right to raise taxes and makes spending decisions for us is relatively shocking to me. and i am very much opposed to it. i wanted to engage my dear friend, the chairman of the committee the exchange of views on this. let's start off the discussion with this reality. this is not 1995. and that's why so many people that supported the amendment then have changed their minds now, and they will explain this as they go along. and i would like now, mr.
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speaker, to yield to the former chairman of the constitution subcommittee, jerry nadler, for as much time as he may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york is recognized for as much time as he may consume. mr. nadler: i thank the gentleman for yielding, mr. speaker. i rise in opposition to this miscombided attempt to amend our -- misguided attempt to amend our constitution. it's bad economic policy and bad constitutional policy. let's start with the basics. when balancing your budget and paying down your debt is important and we did that under president clinton, a balanced budget every year, regardless of the circumstances, even when facing economic crisis, a natural disaster or terrorist threat is economically did you say. we will shackle future generations to one economic policy preference that does not work at all times and in all situations. in general, the economists tell
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us in good times you should have a balanced budget and pay down the debt. in bad times when the rescission increases demand on government and tax revenues fall or an emergency, you need to be able to run a deficit. the nonpartisan economists at macroeconomicses tell us if this were in effect next year it would eliminate 15 million jobs and double the unemployment rate. this would shackle future generations in such situations. one thing we can be sure of, this amendment will devastate the economy, destroy medicaid, medicare and social security, cripple our government's ability to deal with national emergencies to maintain our vital infrastructure ordeal with new challenges as they emerge. -- or deal with new challenges as they emerge. this doesn't allow us to balance the budget the way states or families or businesses do. they are required no more to
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spend this year's income. families borrow money. if they were told you must pay cash, you want to buy a house, pay cash, you want to buy a car, pay cash, they wouldn't have the house, the car, their spending limit will be much lower. statesboro money. states have balanced budget amendments generally but those amendments refer to their operating budgets. they borrow money for their capital budgets to build bridges and roads and high waist -- highways. the budget of the united states doesn't make such distinction. this balanced budget amendment says you can never borrow money. you cannot borrow money to build highways, to make investments, to deal with the economy in a recession. it doesn't make sense. similarly, we collect payroll taxes to pay for social security benefits. we collect gasoline taxes to pay for transportation infrastructure. and we carry over unexpended funds in those trust funds from prior years.
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because they were paid in prior years those revenues would not count. only the expenditures. if you paid $100 in social security taxes in 1960, and drew $100 of benefits in 2011, the deficit would be $100. no matter how much money we have put away for a rainy day we would still be limited to spending no more than that tax revenues. no one in this room balances their budget that way. what happens when you retire and your income drops? do you not touch your savings because it didn't come during that year? of course not. you are not running a deficit when your expenses that year's income plus savings. i know we have a lot of millionaires here but did anyone pay cash for their home? but this amendment enshrines craze rey bookkeeping and distorted policies into our constitution. so all the chatter about states and families balancing their budget is true, it is irrelevant to what this amendment says.
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because it's a constitutional amendment it will give federal judges, the life tenure, the power to cut spending and raise taxes. anyone can bring a lawsuit if the budget doesn't balance, if the estimated receipts in his opinion didn't match the estimated tax revenues. and a judge would have to decide whose revenue and expenditure estimates were correct. and if they were -- if they didn't match in the judge's opinion, the judge would have to decide to increase taxes or to cut expenditures and which expenditures to cut, an unelected judge. how is that possible? it's possible bought of the constitutional amendment. the courts would have the power to enforce it just as the way they do with the rest of the constitution. all revenue measures must originate here. thaws because we are closest to the people, the people's house. this would go as far away from
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that wide decision as you possibly can by giving that power ultimately to the only part of government that is not elected by the people and that is not accountable at the ballot box, the judiciary. the courts could also order reduction in spending. they could slash military spending or social security or eliminate disaster relief. the voters, the congress would be powerless to stop such decisions. is this really someone's idea of constitutional conservatism? this is not limited to a requirement that we balance a budget. it imposes a 3/5 supermajority requirement to raise the debt ceiling. while we considered that in 1995, it never occurred to anyone that any member of congress, much less a majority, would allow the united states to default on its debt. it wasn't just considered crazy, it was considered impossible. today, unfortunately, we live in a different way. this time for the first time in history we nearly defaulted on the full faith and credit of the united states. and for the first time in our
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history saw our credit rating downgraded. and a 3/5 would make it much more difficult. is this balanced budget amendment necessary? we were told that's the only way to force congress to balance a budget. we know that's not true because we balanced the budget under president clinton. we turned in four balanced budgets and ran a surplus. in fact, in 2001, alan greenspan, testifying in favor of president bush's proposed tax cuts, said we had to reduce taxes because we were going to eliminate, pay down the entire national debt in 10 years and that would be a bad thing, he thought, for various reasons. that was the danger, we pay down but president bush and the republican congress turned that record surplus into record deficits in record time. they did it with two huge tax cuts, two unfunded wars, a prescription drug benefit that wasn't paid for and the rejection of the democratic congress' pay-as-you-go rule. it was all done off the books.
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and i heard that it was wild spending by the obama administration that's brought about our $15 trillion national debt. well, the truth of the matter is, if you look at nondefense discretionary spending, everything we do other than defense and social security and medicare and veterans' benefits and interest on the debt, adjusted for population and inflation, it hasn't gone up by a nickel since 2001. defaulting is an irresponsible republican president and an irresponsible republican congress. many of those same republican members who sat quietly when vice president cheney said that deficits don't matter now demand this assault on our founding document instead of doing this through sound fiscal policy. we should not wreck the economy. i urge a no vote and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back his time.
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for what purpose does the gentlelady from north carolina rise? ms. foxx: mr. speaker, i send to the desk a privileged report from the committee of rules for filing under the rule cloifment report to accompany house resolution 470, resolution providing for consideration of the bill h.r. 3094, to amend the national labor relations act with respect to representation hearings and the timing of elections of labor organizations under that act. the speaker pro tempore: referred to the house calendar and ordered printed. ms. foxx: thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? mr. smith: i yield myself 15 second. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. smith: mr. speaker, i just want to say to the gentleman from michigan who spoke earlier that i agree with him. today is not 1995. in fact, the deficit is worse. since 1995 the deficit has tripled. it's gone from $5 trillion to $15 trillion which is all the more reason to support this balanced budget amendment to the constitution. mr. speaker, i yield five
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minutes to my friend and colleague from virginia, mr. goodlatte, who is the sponsor of this resolution. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia is recognized for five minutes. mr. goodlatte: i thank the chairman for yielding. mr. speaker, this chart tells the story. we have had a number of opportunities over the years to pass balanced budget amendments to the united states of the constitution. it's not my idea. it's not a new idea. but as we've gone through time we've managed debt. now, as the chairman just noted, in the last 15 years the debt has tripled. but looking ahead, this chart, which shows the ratio of our debt to our gross domestic product and shows that by 2080 it will be nine times, nine times the total economic output of our economy. indicates that what some on the other side have said simply is
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not the case. congress has not made the tough decisions. we have overpromised the american people, and the fact of the matter is now we need to have something in the constitution that the american people expect and demand of us. and that is a balanced budget amendment. now, we have lots of different balanced budget amendments proposed in this congress. i think 18 i have seen of them thus far. and some ask for more stringent requirements, which i very much like. limiting the ability to balance this budget by putting a heavier burden on the american people through taxes. capping the amount of money that we spend. certainly something that i also think we need to be cognizant of. others have said, let's take certain things off the table like social security or capital spending or disaster spending. this balanced budget amendment, which passed this house with 300 votes, including 72
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democrats, strikes the right balance. it enshrines in our constitution the principle that we should live within our means. but gives future congresses the flexibility to in times of national emergency have some years that are not balanced. that i think is a reality that we have to deal with. but the fact of the matter is that in the last 50 years, since 1961, this congress has balanced the budget of this nation six times in 50 years. it should be the other way around. there are srnl six years in those 50 that were crises which you might say we should not balance the budget this year. but when the gentleman from new york says that in good times we should pay down the debt and in tough times we should borrow, that has not been what has happened because most of those 50 years have been good times.
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now, there's another important point to make here. any amendment to the united states constitution has to by its very nature be bipartisan. it requires a 2/3 majority. and many of my friends on the other side of the aisle have worked very hard to build support on their side of the aisle for this. i especially want to thank peter defazio and jim cooper, but many members, the blue dogs have endorsed this balanced budget amendment. but it is necessary to have a bipartisan approach to this. and you know what? this is a bipartisan problem. there have been republican presidents and democratic presidents, republican congresses and democratic congresses that have contributed to those 44 years when we've run deficits. so now today we come and ask for a bipartisan solution to this problem, a solution that depending upon the poll 75% to 80% of the american people support. congress continues to prove it cannot make the tough decisions
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on its own. the budget has only been balanced six times in 50 years. the american people know what it means to balance their budget. they are surprised that the congress does not have this requirement. state governments do. 49 out of 50 states, most of which have it in their constitutions. local governments have to balance their budgets. families and businesses have to live within their means and they can't go more than a few years without living within their means. . but to run up a $15 trillion debt, which divided by the population of our country means that the average person today owes more in debt based upon their share of the government's debt than they have in personal income, is a disgrace. -- income is a disgrace. this is not only something we should be imposing upon future congresses for economic reasons, this is also a moral issue. this is wrong to. borrow money year after year
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after year, over $1 trillion in each of the last three years, so that today the average dollar spent by the federal government, 42% of it, by far the largest share, is borrowed against our children and grandchildren's future and where does that lead news is it leads us to where europe -- us? it leads us to where europe is. i thank the chairman. this chart shows government debt as a percentage of g.d.p. for five european countries and the united states. spain, portugal, ireland, itsly and greece. when greece first got into their problem last year, they were at 120% of g.d.p. that's what their debt totaled. already just over a year later it's 152% of g.d.p. because their economy is shrinking because of irresponsible -- irresponsibility on the part of their government. the united states just this week
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crossed the 100% line. the united states owes as much in debt as we have, the total economic output of this nation for one year. it is time to put a halt to this and the best way to do it is to enshrine in our constitution a principle we all understand, we all live by, and that is you cannot live like this, you cannot live beyond your means year after year after year. i urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to join this bipartisan effort to enshrine in our constitution a principle sought by the vast majority of the american people and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from michigan. mr. conyers: thank you, mr. speaker. i'm pleased at this time to recognize the minority leader of the house of representatives who ever since she has come to congress has worked drastically to save and build on medicare, social security and to create jobs. nancy pelosi.
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the speaker pro tempore: the minority leader is recognized for one minute. pell pell i thank the gentleman -- ms. pelosi: i thank the gentleman for yielding and his kind words and his great leadership on all the issues that are important to america's working families. mr. speaker, i came to the floor to talk about the balanced budget constitutional amendment but before i get into my comments specifically to the amendment, i want to acknowledge that the distinguished chairman of the committee, mr. smith, has talked about what the deficit was in 1995 and how much bigger it is now. and the distinguished maker of this amendment, resolution today, mr. goodlatte, said about the problem of having such a big national debt. recognizing those two facts, i want to speak about them. first of all, if this were just about talking about how we can reduce the deficit, the best way to do that is job creation. we know that.
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if we want to talk about what happened in the 1990's, we have to reference the fact that under president clinton the debt that was -- that he inherited, the reagan-bush deficit that he inherited, he turned around and the last clinton budgets were in balance or were in surplus. he put us on a trajectory, he and the growth of jobs in our country in the public and largely in the private sector, took us to a path, a trajectory of $5.6 trillion in surplus. along comes president george w. bush and record record time he reversed that. it was the biggest turnaround, fiscal -- this is fiscal turnaround in our nation's history, taking us to over $5 -- a trajectory of over $5 trillion in deficit, an $11 trillion
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turnaround. two unpaid for wars, the c.b.o.'s, the congressional budget office, the nonpartisan congressional budget office, said that was because of two unpaid wars, the bush tax cut, particularly at the high end, which did not create jobs, and a giveaway pharmaceutical bill to the pharmaceutical industry. those were the three main reasons for the big fiscal turnaround and how we got deeply in debt. i don't remember a lot of complaint coming from the republican side of the aisle while president bush was taking us down this path, as mr. goodlatte referenced two paths. well, this is one path that president bush took us down. and so now we have to deal with that. because the deficit is a concern to all of us. we believe that the best way to deal with that is what president clinton did, to have a great economic agenda, to generate jobs, and here we are, 320 days
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of the republican majority -- nearly 320 days of their majority, and they have taken no action on any serious job-creating bills. here we go again debating legislation that will not create jobs, in fact, according to experts, enactment of this proposed amendment to our constitution would destroy 15 million jobs, dubblet unemployment rate -- double the unemployment rate, cause the economy to shrink by 17%. as bruce bartlett, a former economic advisor to president ronald reagan, and president george herbert walker bush, said , recently, even if we were not in an economic crisis and fighting two wars, a rapid cut in spending of the magnitude would unquestionably throw the economy into recession, just as it did in 1937. this legislation is an attack on
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our economy, it is an attack on our seniors. according to the nonpartisan center or budget and policy priorities, it could result in cuts over 10 years, of $750 billion to medicare and $1.2 trillion in cuts to social security. these cuts would be devastating to the 40 million seniors who rely on medicare and social security every day. they're even more draconian than the cuts in the republican budget which repeal the medicare guarantee. in just one week, just one week after our nation celebrated veterans day we are debating potentially cutting $85 billion over the next 10 years from veterans benefits. despite the claims of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle that this is not a clean, balanced -- they claim it
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is a clean, balanced budget amendment. it is not. because this proposed amendment to our constitution will require a supermajority in both chambers of congress to raise the debt limit. it puts the full faith and credit of the united states of america in the hands of a minority. this after we went through all of the stress and strain and uncertainty and downgrading of our credit rating, when we couldn't even get a majority, and now we're thinking of a supermajority vote for the debt limit increase. again, that was never a requirement when president bush was president. that there be a supermajority to raise the debt limit. this amendment promotes further brinkmanship and uncertainty and enshrining supreme ideology into the constitution at a time when
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the americans have been very clear that they expect us to set differences aside and to get to work. it is our duty as members of congress, indeed we take the oath of office to be the elected guardians of our constitution. to protect and defend it. to do no harm to our founding documents. yet if this proposed amendment is adopted, it will have far-reaching and adverse consequences. mr. speaker, as a democratic president, president clinton, who balanced the budget in the 1990's, five of his budgets were in balance or in surplus. we can do it again without harming our constitution, our economy, our seniors or our veterans. we must start by creating jobs and strengthening our economic growth, the key to reducing the deficit. it was interesting to me to hear others on the other side of the aisle talk about our children and our responsibility to them. that's what we said when
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president bush was amassing his deficit, i didn't hear anyone on or side of the aisle talking about that. this is about our constitution. so we owe it to the vision of our founders, the sacrifice of our men and women in uniform, the aspirations of our children, to get our economic and fiscal house in order. this is the exact wrong way to do it. we must reignite the american dream and we have worked to do that. so let's get to work, to create jobs so many more people can achieve the american dream. i urge my colleagues to vote no. and with that i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the time of the gentlelady has expired. the gentleman from texas. mr. smith: mr. speaker, i yield four minutes to the gentleman from arizona, mr. franks, who is the chairman of the constitution subcommittee of the judiciary committee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from arizona is recognized for four minutes. mr. franks: and i thank the gentleman. mr. speaker, all financial budgets will eventually balance.
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the choice faced by those of us in congress is whether we will balance this budget ourselves by the wise policy before us or whether national bankruptcy and financial ruin will do it for us. from the very day that barack obama walked into the white house, he has with breathtaking arrogance absolutely ignored economic and financial reality. it took america the first 216 years of its existence to accumulate the debt that barack obama has accumulated in the first three years of his presidency. he has in those short three years increased our federal debt by over $4 trillion. now, just to put that into perspective, mr. speaker, if all of a sudden a wave of responsibility swept through this chamber and we stopped all deficit spending today and began to pay installments of $1 million every day to pay down
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the over $4 trillion in new debt that barack obama has created in less than three years, it would take us more than 10,000 years to pay that off. and that's if we didn't pay one dime in interest in the process. what you see, mr. speaker, we are not paying mr. obama's debt down at $1 million per day. we are going deeper into debt at more than $4 -- at more than 4,000 times that much every day under mr. obama's own submitted budget and deficit projections. mr. speaker, an unanimous prologue to the vote before us, the national debt surpassed $15 trillion yesterday. mr. speaker, we have already tried mr. obama's way. we have thoroughly tested democrat economics 101. the theory that we can tax and deficit spend ourselves into prosperity or as vice president biden put it, we have to spend money to keep from going
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bankrupt. mr. speaker, that theory has utterly failed. we cannot repeal the laws of mathematics. but now the seminal moment approaches when each of us in this body will have the rare opportunity to cast a single vote that could pull this nation back from the brink of economic cat cliss am. and for the sake of our children and our children's children, i pray that we do the right thing. with that i yield back. mr. conyers: mr. speaker -- the speaker pro tempore: the chair must remind all members that remarks in debate may note had not engage in personalities toward the president. the chair will receive a message. the messenger: mr. speaker, a message from the president of the united states. the secretary: mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: madam secretary. the secretary: i am directed by the president of the united states to deliver to the house of representatives a message in writing.
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the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from -- the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. conyers: thank you, mr. speaker. i'm pleased now to recognize from virginia, the distinguished gentleman, jim moran, for two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia is recognized for two minutes. mr. moran: thank you, mr. chairman. mr. chairman, i have to rise in opposition to this balanced budget amendment. i did vote for a similar measure in 1995, but the events of the last 15 years have brought to mind the axiom, fool me once, your fault, fool me twice, my fault. i could never have imagined back in 1995 the chaos we experienced this summer. despite the fact that beedge -- we only needed to obtain a simple majority vote to raise the debt limit, which we raised 17 times during the reagan administration, that would seem like child's play compared to like child's play compared to what we would have to go throu

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