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tv   U.S. House of Representatives  CSPAN  November 29, 2011 5:00pm-8:00pm EST

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have been within the primary jurisdiction of the house committee on education and work force and i expect that members of our committee will have an opportunity to weigh in on that bill before it moves forward. mr. speaker, this is endorsed by a large coalition of labor unions and retiree groups. i ask unanimous consent to insert in the record letters from the american academy of physicians assistances, the american association of nurse ans the the tists, the american nurse association, and the national association of clinical nurse specialists and five other amazing groups. in closing, i'd like to thank -- the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. woolsey: thank you. i'd like to thank chairman klein, ranking member walberg, i mean chairman walberg, ranking member miller, and --
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for their work on this legislation. it has been truly a gift to work in a bipartisan manner. thank you, mr. walberg. the speaker pro tempore: does the gentlewoman yield back the balance of her time? ms. woolsey: i ask unanimous consent at this time that all members have five legislative days to insert extraneous materials. i believe we have members of our -- the speaker pro tempore: without objection. does the gentlewoman wish to reserve the balance of her time? ms. woolsey: i will reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i ask for unanimous consent to submit for the record a manager's joint statement of legislative intent. this statement reflects the views of chairman klein, mr. miller, ms. woolsey, and myself, regarding key aspects of the bill. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. walwal i have no additional speakers at this time i continue to reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentlewoman from california. ms. woolsey: i urge my colleagues to support h.r. 2465
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and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back her time. the gentleman from michigan. mr. walburg: thank you, mr. speaker. let me close by acknowledging the bipartisan effort that went into crafting the legislate -- legislation as my ranking member of the subcommittee, ms. woolsey, has already stated. it was a bipartisan effort that worked toward a very satisfactory, even more so, a necessary conclusion. as well as bringing the bill before the house today. i'd like to express my gratitude to the chairman, ranking member of the education and work force committee, congressman john klein, and george miller, for their work and the work of their staff on this important legislation. i'd also recognize the hard work of the staffs of our work force protection subcommittee, both congresswoman woolsey's and mine, in this effort as well.
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the committee on which we are privileged to serve brings together individuals from very difficult walks of life and with very difficult views on how to fix the problems facing this great nation. but i'm encouraged that we've been able to work together on this legislation, demonstrating our shared commitment to serve american workers and taxpayers. i urge my colleagues to support the federal workers compensation modernization and improvement act and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 2465 as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the chair declares the house in recess until approximately
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>> i do not intend to practice law. i might show up for a gay rights case, but my intention would be to do some combination of teaching and lecturing. >> after 16 terms in the house of representatives, barney frank
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will step down next year. watch his retirement announcement as well as 1,000 appearances online at the crmp span video library. it's washington, your way. >> coming up in 25 minutes, a debate or tax policy and deficit reduction at the american enterprise institute. that's coming up live at 5:30 eastern and that will be here on c-span. senate majority leader harry reid will cotcht to work until the payroll tax is extended and this briefing from earlier today
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is just about 10 minutes. >> today and every day, we have tax experts hotel us how important it is that we don't let middle-class families be hit with $1,000 a year tax hike that they would get next year if we don't extend the parme tax measure that is now law in our country. a man who worked for barclays capital and said quote, we are watching the parblee tax extension and the signals as to whether we get that extension because if we don't, our growth forecast frankly will be down from about 2.5% in quarter one to 1%, it's that big, end of quote. we heard the same message from
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across the political spectrum, all saying the same thing, do not take money out of the pockets of the middle class in these tough economic times. and we are listening. democrats are listening. senator casey introduced legislation to extend the payroll tax cut saving the averaged middle-class family about $1,000 500 a year. as we heard yesterday from senator mcconnell and heard from senator kyl they are not in favor of extending a payroll tax holiday that has worked so well. republicans know that taxes on middle class is the wrong thing to do. that's why in the past they have always supported it. just last congress, senator kyl said, not what he said on sunday, quote, you can do
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something to stimulate job creation and something like reducing the payroll tax would accomplish that. senator mcconnell said, quote, the payroll tax cut would put a lot of money back in the hands of businesses and in the hands of individuals. so the reason for the republicans' change of heart obviously is simple. as senator mcconnell has said his most important goal to defeat president obama. they will stop at nothing to achieve that goal even if it means hitting the middle class with $1,000 tax increase. questions? [inaudible question] >> i'm sorry, say that again. [inaudible question]
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>> what i have said in my caucus and i'm saying to each of you here, if someone has a proposal about reducing the deficit, the debt, here's my suggestion. put it in bill form in writing, not all these happy statements think can be done. i'm stunned by the gang of six that we hear so much about. remember, the thursday before we went out, i got a letter from 36 or 38 republicans, three of them were crapo, coburn and chandler saying we aren't going to raise any taxes. so i say put it in bill form and have it scored. bring it to me and i'll look at it but other than that it's just happy talk. >> as you said it's so important
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to extend the payroll tax cut and expand the payroll tax cut, if it is so important, why have a pay-for attached to it that you know the republicans are opposed. why not go for a different pay-for up front to reach a compromise to push it through? >> the only place in america that people don't want a fair system are the republicans in the senate. republicans outside the senate think the rich should share some of the burdens. remember, what we are asking is that not millionaires but people who make more than $1 million a year pay a tax on money they make over $1 million. this is a 3.25% tax that people who make more than $1 million. we don't tax the first million. we think it's fair and the american people think it's fair
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and the only people who don't think it's fair are the republicans in the senate. >> senator schumer said on sunday spoke to you and finding other ways to extend the payroll tax extension. >> i would be the last to put words in his mouth, but i would say this, we are going to continue working until we get the payroll tax extended. pardon me? [inaudible question] >> question on he had comments? [inaudible question] >> well, i know what the law is in this country and that law took effect in late july of this year, where we had an agreement and that was put into the form
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of a law that's now the law in this country that said how much money we were going to spend this year and how much money we could have for disaster relief. that's what we are going by. i don't know what fantasy that somebody is having about changing the law. we aren't going to change. we have already done that. >> following up on that point, what is your plan to bring some sort of an omnibus package or spending bill to the floor and is there anything else that you need to get done before leaving at the end of december? >> there are a lot of things we need to get done. i'll rattle off most of them. we are going to have a balanced budget vote, can you imagine that? that will be good. that's the law. the debate time will be pretty brief. we will have a number of
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nominations and s.g.r., which is a program that's not for the doctors. it's for people who are on medicare. but we have to do that. the doctors and the patients need to be taken care of. we need to get that done. we have -- i talked to everyone here about how important economists believe about extending the payroll tax that's the law now, extending that. and improving it, actually. but the other thing they say, there are two things that we can do to maintain a growth in our economy, number one is the payroll tax and number two is extending unemployment benefits. we have all these tax extenders from sales tax to television tax credit. there are lots of things and we are going to do our utmost to get those done before the end of the year. i'm sure i forgot a few things.
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>> the spectrum bill by senator rockefeller, will that be done this year? >> don't tell him that, but no. >> how about the highway re-authorization. >> that is the first of february. i have a meeting with the speaker leader this week and we'll get a better feel -- i'll get a better feel from him as to what the house wants to do and what we can work on together. >> the balanced budget amendment, have you made any decisions on what type of a vote you will have? >> two, whatever senator mcconnell wants and one that senator udall has worked on. >> do you support a straight, clean extension of the tax cut? >> clean? i'll make a decision. thanks everybody.
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[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> senator reid mentioned the udall amendment to the defense authorization bill. the vote was happening and the vote was 61-37 against that amendment. after senator reid, senator mitch mcconnell spoke to reporters about payroll tax cut and legislation on the 2012 defense programs, the defense authorization bill. senate minority leader and others spoke to reporters for about 10 minutes. >> good afternoon, everyone. two points, number one, we are going to have a vote later this week on another temporary measure to lower the payroll tax
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for year but paid for with a permanent tax increase on many small businesses. in all likelihood we will agree to continue the current payroll tax relief for another year, but we believe it should be paid for. senate republicans will offer an alternative that would pay for it. i believe house republicans later will produce a similar bill that is paid for and at the end of the day, i think the house will insist that as we extend this payroll tax relief for individuals only for another year, that it be paid for in an acceptable way that does not adversely impact job creation at a time when we are either in a recession or at a time when it looks like we are in a recession.
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the biggest issue on the senate floor will be the issue of the detainee treatment question. we have a number of members who have been deeply involved in this. no one knows more than that ng senator graham and i have asked him to explain to strip the detainee language that senator graham helped craft. >> before i make a statement, i would like to recognize carl levin. carl is doing something difficult, and standing up for visions that he believes are making the country safer against his own pearlt's objections. i remember the objections and other things that i wanted to do with senator mccain. carl levin is represented the armed services committee in the way that we all would like to view it, bipartisan. the provisions that are being
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questioned on the floor passed 25-1, bipartisan support. here's what we are trying to do. america is about to become a safer place. 10 years ago, we were attacked by al qaeda. the congress authorized the use of military force saying you could go after these guys, detain them under the law and they are a military threat. al qaeda is not a criminal organization. al qaeda is a military threat to this nation. 10 years later, the congress is reaffirming that authority. there are 48 people at guantanamo bay who have been held for years as enemy combatants without criminal trials. they have available for a review where a federal judge will hear their claim that they aren't an enemy combatant. the government has to prove by a preponderance of the evidence that he is a member of al qaeda and acted in a hostile manner. you can detain enemy prisoners
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and question them without providing them lawyers or criminal proceedings. we are fighting a war, not crime. 1031, which i with wrote in conjunction with the administration has the congress on record saying under the law of war you can hold someone indefinitely and the due process that will be afforded is a federal court hearing in a habeas venue. 103 , remember the christmas day bomber with the mir and -- miranda warning was read. many of us believe when an attack occurs, what we have done in 1032 is that there will be a presumption of military custody for limited class of cases, involving al qaeda members or affiliated groups engaged in a hostile act. if you meet that definition, you will be presumed under military
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custody because under that custody regime you could be held and interrogated about what were you doing, are there other attacks coming, why did you join al qaeda. under domestic criminal law you cannot hold anyone without presenting them a lawyer. under the provision of 10312 american citizens are exempt. but here's what we decided to do as a body today. america is part of the battlefield. we firmly believe the war is coming back home. we are no longer going to have an absurd result if you are planning an attack on the united states, we can blow you or put you in a military prison but if you make it to america you get miranda rights and go to court. that is an absurd result and never been known before. during world war inch i, we had the ability to hold people who
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were involved in sabotaged efforts. we are reasserting the law and will get a bipartisan vote, reaffirm the fact that if you join al qaeda no matter where you attack us you could be held indefinitely without trial because you are a military threat and not a common criminal and never be let go unless it is clear that you're not dangerous. 48 people at guantanamo bay are being held and given an annual review as to whether they should be held. we need to stop this catch and release program. when it comes to people caught on the homeland, stop the absurd practice of ought matically providing them a lawyer and reading them miranda rights because we aren't worried about the prosecution, we are worried about what they know and what they're up to in terms of future
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attacks. so this provision, these two provisions codify what has been the law of the land for decades and will provide clarity in the future. this is something we should have done a long time ago and to carl levin who has made the articulate case, i want to thank you on behalf of the american people by not abandonning common sense. these two provisions are necessary for our national security and my good friend senator udall is trying to gut them. and i'll end with this thought. he said that allowing the military to hold someone captured on the homeland is a violation of the posse comitatus act. the question for the country is questioning a member, a law
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enforcement function. our military should be involved in tracking al qaeda members down here and abroad and the idea that if they get here, all of a sudden they are a criminal organization and not a military threat is absurd. the fact that someone would suggest that our military has no authority to deal with an al qaeda member caught on our homeland is the ultimate statement that we're not at war. we're at war and our military needs to protect us abroad and at home. >> take a couple of questions. >> senator kyle have said tax cuts pay for themselves. >> with this $15 trillion debt we now have bigger than our economy, we need to be paying for a measure like this that's
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temporary and i think in the end, we will pay for it and offer an alternative to the one that's being proposed in the senate, which as i indicated, would have a permanent tax increase on a very, very large number of small businesses in order to pay for a temporary tax relief for those currently getting relief under the payroll tax reduction of a year ago. we will offer a different way to pay for it and i think at the end of the day, there is a lot of sentiment in our conference, clearly a majority sentiment to continuing the payroll tax relief, but we believe with this kind of deficit, we ought to pay for it. >> i have never said that all tax cuts always pay for themselves and i don't think this one will. >> can you say what the pay-for is? >> the vote will be later this
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week. >> we aren't going to let you know right now. [inaudible question] >> we will be discussing between the house and senate ways to deal with both continuation of the payroll tax reduction and unemployment insurance extension before the end of the year and in the end, it will have to be worked out in a joint negotiation between a democratic senate and a republican house. [inaudible question] >> udall amendment failed earlier today on the senate floor. coming up shortly, we will take you over to the american enterprise institute to hear from americans for tax reform and a columnist with the "new york times" and will be debating tax policy and deficit reduction live in a couple of minutes. ahead of that, we will take you to the white house where president obama met with the
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prime minister of netherlands. this is about five minutes. >> welcome to the prime minister and his delegation to the white house. part of the reason we wanted to make this meeting happen is because we have no stronger ally than the netherlands. they consistently punch above their weight on a whole range of issues related to global security. the prime minister has been a strong supporter of nato as was his predecessor and we have been able to work together on a whole host of issues. they have made enormous contribution to afghanistan. they made very important contribution to libya on anti-pier asy, on a -- anti- piresy. the net they are lands is
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supportive of our joint security and we are grateful. in addition, despite the fact that the netherlands doesn't have a huge population, they are one of our most portrayeding partners. the economic relationship between our two countries is deep and broad. we are one of the largest investors in the netherlands. the netherlands is one of the largest investors in the united states. so given both of our interests in promoting commerce, growth and jobs, it is very important that we coordinate with the netherlands. on that score, obviously, we are both concerned about the situation in the euro zone in which the netherlands has a very significant voice and i'm going to be interested in hearing from his views as to how this issue gets resolved because i said yesterday during my meeting
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yesterday, we have a very deep interest in the united states in making sure that that process is resolved so we can continue to grow our economy and put people back to work here at home. in addition, we will be talking about a wide range of global issues from the middle east to the situation in iran where we both share a deep commitment to making sure that iran abides by its international obligations, including in the nuclear area. on that score, i think it's important for me to note that all of us are deeply disturbed by the crashing of the english embassy, the embassy of the united kingdom in iran. that kind of behavior is not acceptable and i urge the iranian government to hold though are responsible to task. they have the responsibility to
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protect diplomatic outposts. that is a basic international obligation that all countries need to observe and for rioters to overrun the embassy and set it on fire is an indication that the iranian government is not taking its international obligations seriously and we are deeply concerned about that situation and we expect to see some sort of definitive action some time very quickly. overall, i'm pleased to say that the relationship between our two countries is extremely strong and reflected not only in the relationship between our governments but the people-to-people contacts and i'm hoping that i have an opportunity at some point during my presidency to visit the netherlands because all reports are that it is beautiful and the people are wonderful and i look forward to enjoying some dutch
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hospital atlanta soon. >> i'm glad to be here and meet with you, president obama, and would like to welcome you to the netherlands. the relationship between our countries are very strong and goes back a long time and i came to the united states basically to discuss three issues, jobs, jobs and jobs and jobs. and those are did issues to discuss. our economic ties, 625,000 americans are at work today because of our investment in the u.s. and our trade relationship and the total investment of the u.s. and netherlands is more than the u.s. investment in brazil, russia, india and china combined and i believe we can work very hard to have this job
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engine grow more powerful. we will discuss the euro zone and it is my intext to keep it intact and keep it intact and fight a debt crisis and get job growth going again in uren union which is vital for our own future. thirdly, we'll discuss, no doubt the upcoming summit in chicago next year and our transatlantic alliance and of course the situation in arab region wra we pull on the same side and working on progress. >> thank you very much, everybody. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
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>> and we take you live to the american enterprise institute in washington. norquist who heads americans for tax reform and a "new york times" columnist will take part of a debate, just about a week since the joint deficit reduction committee failed to come to an agreement and will be talking about tax policy, deficit reduction and also about the tax protection pledge by the americans for tax reform. that's the promise by elected leaders and candidates not to raise taxes, a promise that has been signed by many house republicans and senate republicans as well. this should get under way shortly. we will return to the house when they gavel back in for votes at 6:30 eastern. several votes ahead including one on a bill that will allow more foreign-skilled workers.
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and the senate continues debate on the 2012 defense authorization bill and that's live now on c-span 2 ep.
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>> the senate is in this evening and continue debate on the 2012
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defense authorization bill. senator mark udall's amendment, failed to move forward. the vote against it was 37-61. the senate continues in session this evening and live on c-span2 and house comes back at 6:30 on a number of bills they debated earlier, and that will be here on c-span.
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>> good afternoon everyone.
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i'm a research fellow here at the american enterprise institute and moderator of tonight's event. we are here for a debate between grover norquist and ross duty hat of the "new york times." this event is a timely event as we hear many discussion in washington about tax policy and budget policy. i want to be clear about a fact underlying the american enterprise institute. here, we strive not to chase headlines but develop policy ideas to make future headlines. this event is very timely, but i don't want anyone to think that we put this together in haste after all the headlines that have been surrounding this topic. the discussions of this event date back to july -- no.
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no. no. july indeed. prior to the debt limit debate and the construction of the supercommittee, failure of the supercommittee and senator kerry calling norquist the 13th member of the supercommittee. i'm always surprised by that comment. let me set up the topic a little bit in terms of budget and economics perspective, not in a political context and then i'll introduce our two speakers and then i'll be on our way. just the setting of what landscape looks like from an economic perspective. deficit last year ran 9% of u.s. g.d.p. or $1.3 trillion. under a continuation of current policy, the deficit is expected
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to hover near 4% of g.d.p. over the following decade. federal tax revenues in the last fiscal year were 15% of g.d.p. which is relatively low by historical record, but scheduled to climb under current law to 21% of g.d.p. by 20121. under a plausible alternative baseline proposal described by the congressional budget office, the clumelative deficit could reach $11 trillion although one thing we know from budget projections they are highly uncertain. furthermore, failure to extend the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts along with an a.m.t. patch would mean tax increases of $4 trillion in the next decade. add the 80 or so other tax
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provisions and it would be $760 billion on top. looking at the long-term c.b.o. projects if tax revenues remain stable and spending is not reduced, the debt to g.d.p. ratio will explode to 190% of our economy's annual production by the year 2035. this picture i'm painting about the budget, taxes and spending, even though our discussions here tonight is about the tax pledge, not the deficit pledge. let me focus directly on the taxpayer pledge and i'm going to call up the first slide here, which is the text of the pledge. i'm not going to read -- i will read. i will oppose any and all efforts to increase the marginal
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income tax rates for individuals and/or businesses and two, oppose any net reduction or elimination of deductions or credits unless matched dollar for dollar by further reducing tax rates. this pledge was created in 1986 and today, 238 members of the house, 41 senators and a majority of the house ways and means committee have signed the pledge. only six house republicans have not signed and two current house democrats have signed. clearly, this is a pledge that has had significant influence in both the political and legislative process since it was first established in 1986. just quickly turning to the two speakers that we have, let me introduce grover and ross. grover is the president of americans for tax reform, well known taxpayer advocacy group
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that he found in 1985. the coalition oppose higher tax rates at the federal, state and local level and a.t.r. is the organizer of taxpayer protection pledge. in addition, grover is known for having a sense of humor. he placed third in the comedy fundraiser washington's funniest celebrity last year -- last year? i think that was two years ago. my research indicates that the next washington's funniest celebrity event is tomorrow. at the im prov. ross joined the "new york times" as an op ed columnist in 2009
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and was the senior editor at the "atlantic" and author of two books and third book under way as well as being the film critic for "national review." personally, i will say ross is an excellent writer and perhaps, we will find out if he can make a funny joke. here are the rules. each of our participants will be allotted five minutes to make an opening statement. after that, they will be allotted five minutes to make rebuttal. that will take us 20 minutes into the game, at which point we'll go to questions and answers. there will be questions from the audience as well as questions from twitter and so if you are joining us either with your blackberry here in the audience or on c-span and want participate, i encourage you to
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submit your questions on twitter. you need a hash tag and that is aei. with that, if there are no questions from either side, grover gets the first five minutes. there is a bell that will ring, which means stop talking and we'll take it from there. thanks very much. >> when myths play miniature golf, do they know? [laughter] >> taxpayer protection pledge was founded, written in 1986 and the purpose of it was to help us pass the tax reform act and people were worried that tax reform would be a trojan horse for tax increase.
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reagan said i will veto a tax increase but we got quite a number of congressmen and senators to make that commitment and going into the 1986 election we elected 100 republicans in the house and 20 in the senate who had taken the pledge. then in 1988, all the republican candidates for president signed the taxpayer protection pledge, which as you noted, is a written pledge by a candidate or elected official, saying to the american people, not to me that i will not raise your taxes, no net tax increase. they may do any number of foolish things but will not raise your taxes. bush took the pledge in 1988 except for dole. dole won in iowa and was to be the likely debate and dupont made the pledge and said the rest of us made this commitment and dole reacted as if he was a
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vampire and someone toss add cross into his lamp and he lost new hampshire and bush won the primaries. bush was losing 17 points to dukakis until he said read my lips, no new taxes and that was going well until 1990's and the two smartest men said it would be ok to raise taxes and he raised taxes and threw away a quite successful presidency and lost in 1992 because he raised taxes. he managed the collapse of the soviet union and pushed iraq out of kuwait. he had a very successful presidency with the one hole in the bottom of the boat. then in 1994, because the republicans watched bush win by taking the pledge and lose when he broke the pledge, people
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realized what the power of the pledge was and what the pledge does is allows an elected official to credibly commit that he or she will not raise your taxes. politicians have been lying to people. if you let me take over your province, i won't raise your races. senator warner, when he was running for governor, he lied and he screwed the people of virginia with a big tax increase. but interestingly, warner wouldn't sign the pledge. he always planned to lie to the people of virginia and always planned to raise their taxes, it didn't bother him, but he wouldn't sign it. asking people to sign it, makes the difference and slows them down. the other piece is the credit built was increased. when bush took it, broke it and lost because the american voters look and say, you know, this
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congressman or senator says he won't raids my taxes and he has put it in writing and the last day who did that and broke his pledge threw away a perfectly good administration and presidency. i think this senator or congressman or this guy running for congress or senate would not take the pledge unless he meant to keep it. what the pledge does because it's simple and one sentence, it allows you to commit not to raise taxes and this has had tremendous impact. starting with the 1994 election, we got within the republican party and we wept from having an individual commitment to a party-wide commitment. the republican party is one that will not raise your taxes. in 1994, we got to the percentages of candidates running, 99.9% of candidates running in primaries in congress
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and senate took the pledge and 1994, majority have signed the pledge and held that ever since with the exception that the two election cycles that the democrats won in 2006. this has allowed the republicans to take the house and allowed them to take the house back in 2010. had republicans sat down and cooperated with obama in having only 70% socialism on government-run health care in return for putting fingerprints on a tax increase, the republicans wouldn't have won in 2010. one, it makes it easy for voters to vote for an individual candidate to makes the commitment and now have all but six guys in the house and seffvn in the senate. "the hill" newspaper did an interview where they asked the 14 guys who haven't taken the pledge. one of them said, oh, i didn't
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sign? only one said i'm open to tax increases. frank wolf is open to a tax increase. and everybody else said i haven't signed the pledge but it's because of some particular reason and have committed not to raise taxes. the pledge has helped people communicate to the american people on taxes and changed the nature of the republican party and the success of the modern republican party. >> that five minutes is brutal and i will speak quickly and slow down. thank you to grover for agreeing to do this. the case i hope to make to you today is the taxpayer protection pledge failed. in the 25 years it has been a feature of conservative politics, it has not proven itself an effective means of defending the long-term interests of the american
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taxpayer. i disagree with some of the details but grover makes an excellent case for its political effectiveness and has contributed to short-term tax rates being lower. but the american taxpayer is not liable for his tax bill but for the obligation that the government incurs yesterday, today and tomorrow. it is true that the growth that low tax rates encourage can roll over small deficits from year to year. but even the most ardent supply sider has to agree at a certain point to spend is to tax and for the last three decades republican politicians have evaded that reality and the taxpayers' pledge has done little or nothing to punish them as a result of that evasion and that is in the statistics that were quoted in the beginning. if you go back to the period when the pledge became basically
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a rite of passage, federal spending was $2 trillion in 2010 dollars. in 2008, before the obama spending kicked in, it was $3 trillion. in the 1990's, $5 trillion. spending did decline as a percentage of g.d.p. during some of the years that the pledge existed and suggests if you are interested in reducing government's claim on the taxpayer you should vote for us on one end of the ticket and a democrat on the other end. whenever republicans had a working majority, tax rates may go down but spending has gone up. sometimes these increases are resisted by pledge takers, but overall the choices of republican politicians, pledge-taking republican pledge takers with taxpayer protections have steadily increased the long-term liabilities of the
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american people. and by making low taxes alone rather than smaller government, the defining litmus test, the pledge has created the problem that existed today, a government we can't afford and a public conditioned to believe they could have a huge entitlement state without paying for it. that has led some observers in a recent piece to go suggest that a single-minded focus on tax rates may increase government spending because a low tax approach allows americans to receive a dollar in government services while only paying 60 cents. i don't think you have to go to that conclusion to be skeptical of the pledge but have to recognize it hasn't achieved the goals that grover has set out for us. and we are no closer to his lopsided quote of a government
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small enough to drown in a bathtub. a.t.r. stands for a system in which quote, taxes are simpler, flatter, more visible and lower than they are today. one goal, lower rates, at least temporarily has been achieved at the expense of the broader picture. between 1981 go and 2010, number of tax breaks, loopholes has increased by 86%. diss portions represented 4.7%, up from 4.8% and as we saw in the ethanol tax credit once the distortions are in the code it's impossible to remove them because that is scored as a tax increase by a.t.r. there are two cases for a pledge and i have one minute left, but all these difficulties are temporary, right? eventually by holding the line of tax increases and branding
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the republicans as the peat of no taxes permanently the pledge will deliver the kind of majority capable of cutting spending and cleaning up the tax code without messy compromises, the question is when will that day arrive. if in 2013, romney, mcconnell and ryan succeed and defend it against the democrat counterattack i will return and admit that grover's optimism was more founded about my pessimism. but that is relatively unlikely and the second case for the pledge even if that never arrives, the alternative is worse because you can never trust any deal that combination spending cuts and tax increases no matter how it seems and it is necessary to follow reagan's tax deals and george w. bush in which taxes rose and spending didn't go down as advertised. that is the stronger argument
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and i will explain that in my follow-up to. >> i'm use todd this argument and sure, the pledge has made it difficult to raise taxes and during the republican when republicans had power and taxes have not raised. since 1990, no republican has voted for an income tax increase. during the period where we had one body, republican and pledge taker and one president, we went from 9 when the democrats all together raised taxes to 2009, 16 years when the democrats again raised taxes without a republican vote for those clinton and the obama tax increases. 16-year period without a tax increase happening. now the argument that the tax
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pledge doesn't solve all the world's problems and doesn't solve the spending problem, an interesting one. but without the pledge, without the commitment not to raise taxes, you never have a conversation about spending restraint. as long as taxes are on the table, even a little bit, the democrats look at the possibility and in 1982 dollar tax increase, $3 of spending restraint. taxes are raised and not only does spending not go down, it actually went up rather than down adjusted for inflation. the spending cuts disappeared and all that was left in taxes. in 1990, bush was a cheaper date, $of imaginary spending cuts and spending went up, not down as a result of it. tax increases are what elected officials do rather than govern,
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rather than make decisions. it's even clearer when you look at the state level and the pledge in california why the governor can't raise taxes and turn it directly into greece, we have the republicans all but two guys taking a pledge and the reason why they are able to close a $3 billion overspending problem in pennsylvania with the governor as he took the pledge and said i'm not raising taxes and we dropped spending $3 billion. . florida, $3 billion. the pledge takers at the state level have done an incredibly good job of taking the pledge and bringing spending down in a year that should have been the year of tax increases because of the end of the stimulus spending, the $800 billion that basically subsidized state and
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local government unionized employment. that ended this last year. and you did see tax increases in maryland, connecticut and in illinois, the three states completely run by d's where there aren't enough pledge takers to do anything. so the argument that it isn't -- it doesn't do spending completely, it gets you into a conversation of spending and helped us with a tea party movement to do that. i would argue that it's put the republican party within striking distance of getting exactly the kind of control you need. the republican party will run the house for the next decade because of their no tax increase position, because they got themselves elected, because the pledge takers and the tax issue helped us elect state legislators in pennsylvania and ohio and indiana and wisconsin, michigan, which do the redistricting and all those lovely states and guarantee that the republicans leave. pulling data on that, i recommend barney frank as exhibit a. barney frank would not walk away from power. is he walking away from 10 years
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in the minority. that's why he's leaving. we have a republican house for roughly a decade absent some tsunami and now in the senate 23 d's are up, 10 r's, the 10 r's with the possible exception of massachusetts are in fine shape for getting re-elected. massachusetts i think will still win but if the top race, 23 d's, we will have a republican majority and if you look at 14 where there are 20 d's out and 13 republicans have -- republicans, half the 20 d's are in republican states. all the r's are in safe districts. you're looking close to get 60 votes in the house, 60% of the senate as well as the republican house. now, we play for the presidency, the republican president who commits not to raise taxes has a shot of winning, a republican party that says, well, we might raise taxes, we might not, has no way to communicate to the independent nonaligned voters. republicans will trust the republican candidate. democrats will vote against a republican candidate. talking about speaking to the
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nonaligned voters, that's where the credibility of the pledge comes in. and why any effort to water it down, what if we made this exception here and that exception here? what if we were the party that would mostly not raise your taxes? you know, you might be able to sell that to somebody from canada who has been voting for republicans forever down through the generations, you can't sell that to the independent, nonaligned voter. so both in terms of building the republican party to a position where it can govern and making it capable of governing, the pledge has played a useful role in both of those. >> so, just to i suppose finish where i left off, i think, you know, the points that grover raises about past deals are clearly cautionary tales for conservatives. but it is also not at all the case that there has never been a successful fiscal consolidation in which small tax increases were traded for large spending
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cuts. rather exactly that template has been the model for most of the successful fiscal consolidations in the western world over the last 20 or 30 years. according to again a.e.i.'s system, the most successful fiscal retremplingments, the one that -- retrenchments, the one that actually took and intended to keep countries out of death spirals and so on averaged 85% spending cuts to 15% tax increases. to me that sounds like a victory. to grove tier probably sounds like a sellout. but if it sounds remotely like a victory to you, i think it's worth considering that if european and canadian conservatives, let me repeat that, if european and canadian conservatives can hold their liberal counterparts in parliament to those kind of bargains, are we really supposed to believe that american conservatives in a more center-right and tax diverse countries are incapable of making a successful deal? it seems very unlikely to me and it seems in the end that saying
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that no conservative friendly deal is ever possible is a counsel of despair, particularly given the nature of america's constitutional system which in the end, for excellent conservative reasons, tends to be biased towards compromise, con slation and bargains -- conciliations and bargains that advance slowly rather than achieving things sweepingly and all at once. and i think, you know, again, as i said, depending on, you know, the scenario that grover spins out, i think, is very appealing to a lot of republicans and, you know, i think there's very good reason to think that the republican position in 2013 will be stronger than the republican position in 2011 and it's also possible that that was reason enough to reject out of hand some of the deal making that was floated both by the supercommittee and previously by speaker boehner and president obama. but the idea that the
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republicans will achieve a level of power and a permanence of power that, again, will enable them to achieve a durable 100-0 lashe yo in dealing with the -- 100-0 ratio in dealing with the things of this country is unlikely. i came of age politically in the mid 1990's. i realized i was a republican in 1996 when i realized i was supporting bob dole and figured if i could support him i must too have to bite the bullet and settle for republican. but coming of age in that period, we all heard similar promises and we heard similar promises from the man sharing the stage with me today. and i don't think that it is a.p.r.'s fault, you know, american politics is a vast and complicated system. the collapse of the republican majority in 2006 and 2008 was not, i agree, because the party had failed to raise taxes in that period. it had other causes. and other consequences. but overall you cannot, you
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cannot as a policymaker, as opposed to an activist, expect to achieve a kind of durable political settlement in which you never have to cut deals with the opposition party. and if you take that attitude, you risk ending up with situations where the opposition party takes power and you get much worse deals than you otherwise would have achieved and the risk for opponents of tax increases right now is that we have all kinds of tax increases at the federal level scheduled to go into effect and it is possible that mitt romney will be president of the united states in 2013 but it's also possible that barack obama will be president of the united states. and this is something in every election cycle that conservatives have to keep in mind and the goal of conservative public policy is not merely designing pledges that stand the best chance of helping republicans win the next election, it is actually achieving the best interests of the american taxpayer in periods when democrats are in power as well as republicans and in times
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of crisis as well as in times of economic opportunity. finally, i guess i have more time this time. that's exciting. i think i would also, you know, i think that grover dramatically overestimates the sort of single issue impact of the tax pledge on american elections. i think if you go back, whether it was bush in 1992 or obama in 2008, but then the democrats lost it in 2010, there are a host of factors at work and if you look at what independent voters think about tax increases, if you look at sort of the polling on these issues, there are actually real political dangers for the republican party in being perceived as a party that will never compromise on any tax increase awe and you can see this in the debate over the debt ceiling limit where barack obama's poll limits went down but republican poll numbers went down even more and that knowledge explains why in the supercommittee negotiations
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republicans actually made an offer to the democrats that violated the taxpayer protection pledge, but that improved the republican bargaining position and i suspect improved their political standing. there you have it. >> thank you both. >> we've now heard from both sides. eloquently, i think. and we're ready to turn to the audience participation portion of this evening. >> that sounds terrifying. >> we're going to have written questions, cards are being handed out. if you want to ask the question, raise your hand. we've got londs -- lots of hands up. those cards are coming around and we will collect them back and i will read them as well as on twitter and again the hash tack is -- hash tag is there and you can participate from home as well.
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while we do that, let me just quickly throw out a couple of just short not so philosophical questions, a couple thoughts that occurred to me as i was listening. for grover and the head, be glad to let ross respond. couple just random things, i think, perhaps. one is, grover, knowing now what you know versus where the world was in 1985 and how this process has evolved, swrue changed the wording at all of the pledge? it strikes me, and i'm admittedly a tax economist, a little bit narrow. we talked about income taxes, not all taxes, marginal rates, not all taxes. any changes that you wish -- >> the pledge at the state was no net tax increase period. the good news is it's generally accepted by candidates for office. so it hasn't actually been a challenge there. what i was trying to get at was the concern that rates, focusing on the income tax, you could either raise taxes by increasing
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rates or by broadening the base, and in 1982 that was the tax increase that reagan got suckered into. that was all broadening the base, didn't raise rates but it was damaging to the economy and it broadened the base and made the 1986 tax reform so much worse off. imagine how much better tax reform we could have gotten in 1986 if we hadn't given away tens of billions of dollars in deductions and credits to the appropriators to spend. so the point of the pledge is not simply to protect against tax increases, it also protects, it makes it possible to have tax reform. the american people would not elect tax reform if they think i think it's a trojan horse for tax increase and if you give away credits to spend, then when you get back to tax reform, you have nothing to do. you can't take the rates down. so the tax reform package is -- the tax pledge is the best defense against spending increases.
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it's imperfect but we know every time we've raised taxes they spend every dollar plus so the idea that there's some alternative of let's raise taxes and not spend the money is a unicorn. >> let me ask you one other and then, ross, i'll be happy to yield to you. as ross noted, he referenced efforts in western europe and conservatives in other parts of the world. you've obviously been very successful on the state and local level. is the pledge going global? is there any effort or consideration? >> you phrased a lot of your remarks not between conservatives and liberals but between democrats and republicans. and does that effect the ability to be utilized more broadly? >> sure. two things. one, i put the pledge forward for anybody to use. i'm very happy when democrats make the commitment and if the democrat party was the party that wouldn't raise your taxes, i'd be working with them. there's not a partisan thing except one of the parties want less taxes and lower spending. that also gets to the question
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of how you do compromises. you can't have compromise. let's see. we passed -- we, the republicans in the house, passed the ryan budget. cuts $6 trillion over the next decade. then this summer we -- the republicans agreed with obama to cut $2.5 trillion. that was a compromise. we didn't get the $6 trillion we wanted, we got the $2.5 trillion we wanted. what happened? we had already taken tax increases completely off the table and what happened? $2.5 trillion in spending restraint. the previous two times that we put tax increases on the table, no spending restraint at all. so we have some examples. this isn't fury. we know it -- theory. we know we have to put tax increases on the table, you take tax increases off the table, $2.5 trillion on spending restraint and we wrestled a powerful president to the ground there. but this whole idea of the partisan thing, i'll use in some cases republican, when i may be should say conservative or free
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market but that's because during the lifesometime of ronald reagan, we moved away from this situation where being a republican just told you somebody was born north of the mason-dixon line and every fight in the old days was bipartisan because in the 1950's and 1960's and 1970's, the linl democrats and republicans would fight the conservative democrats and republicans and everything was bipartisan. and things were also -- everything was a exro miles. nixon wanted to increase spending a lot and the democrats wanted to increase spending a real lot. so we compromised between a lot and a real lot. now we have two parties that reagan helped sort out where if you're for limbed government, you're republican, and if you're not for limited government you're a democrat and there are no d's that vote against tax increases. none. none. none. not any. and there are almost no r's who vote for a tax increase. as a matter of fact, hasn't been one since 1990. so the two parties are going in opposite directions and if somebody wants to go east and somebody wants to go west, what's your compromise? there's no compromise. we want bigger, we want smaller
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government, they want bigger, what's the compromise? somebody wins, somebody loses and this last fight this year, the one we're in the middle of, because the republicans held to their no tax increase position, we won, they lost. and everybody's going, i don't know if we like this. should we do this again? were you paying atext? -- attention? in 2011 you got, go, what's the difference? we took tax increases off the table. that's the difference. >> ross, if you want to comment. >> no. i think that -- one point i'd make is that i think that it is important to remember the historical context in which the pledge was created. i think that historical context made a stronger case for the pledge than the context we're living in today and i agree with grover's description of partisan politics at that point. and i think that the transformation of american politics that he describes has,
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you know, overall been a victory for conservatism. there's just this nagging problem of the fact that conservatives keep cutting taxes without cutting spending and that nagging problem has sort of blown up into a, you know, sort of world historical challenge facing the united states over the next 15 or 20 years. but i think that it's telling in this regard, grover started out doing battle with, let's say, -- he started out doing battle with real rockefeller republicans. real -- not moderate republicans, but liberal republicans. people who were in the republican party but would be in the democratic party today. and in those fights, you know, and in that fiscal context he was right. and he drew a lot of important lights -- line notice sand and the people he worked withdrew a lot of important lines in the sand but it's telling that he's moved from having those kinds of
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fights to having fights where he is basically accusing tomko burn and -- who is not linls -- liberals or moderates by any reasonable definition of the turn of being sellouts and ryanows. that fundamental shift tells you about the larger shift in american politics and the fact that people like coburn are responding to the reality of 25 or 30 years with a taxes first, spending second republican approach to politics and i think that the taxpayer protection pledge hasn't caught up. >> one second. if we're going to throw the coburn stuff out, i did have handouts here that i want to make sure everybody gets because we can't go through everything but it walks through the coburn drama and how we had to work with the republican leadership and the conservatives in the senate to get him surrounded and defeat his effort to try to get us to vote for a tax increase when we could have had a cheerful vote to get rid of the
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ethanol mandate but coburn supports the ethanol mandate. so the idea that he is a free market guy, a critic the ethanol mandate is not true. he went on the floor and said, i'm for the mandate. my bill will do nothing to stop the mandate. nothing will change. the stupid ethanol mandate stays. so we had to walk through all of this thing because he was trying to get the republicans to vote for a tiny increase because his agenda was ads 2 trillion tax increase which is what the simpson-bowles people put forth and what sadly coburn at least temporarily endorsed and the entire republicans in the senate and the guys in the house had to talk him -- walk him back out of that and beat him on the subject but we got through the whole drama there. it's unfortunate but he's not being a conservative in that standpoint, he was for government regulation and a $2 trillion tax increase. not a few taxes here or there. >> he's not here to defend himself, we'll stop there. >> i'm quoting him. >> the handouts have been distributed. we're going to turn now to a few questions, i've got a stack of
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questions that came from the audience. i want to thank you for those and you can keep writing and keep twittering to aidebate. we'll pull up there as well. let me pull two together here. these are both to grover but i do want to give ross a chance to comment on both of them after grover answers. grover, you frequently claim that the pledge is not between you and the legislators but rather between the voters and the legislators. in fact, you said that earlier this evening. however, on issues like applying sales taxes to online retailers, you and a.t.r. get to decide what is and is not a tax increase. doesn't that mean that the pledge is actually to you and not to our voters? >> no. this usually is not a challenge. very few times do people wonder, i wonder if this changes, again, the pledge is made by an elected official to the voters. at the state level, those of who you live in washington, d.c.,
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have seen all the full page ads put out by the shopping center owners that say, help us raise taxes $23 billion, pass the bill to tax online saving. i think the people are arguing that it's a $23 billion tax increase for the advocates of the bill. i really don't have to step in and have a conversation about that. the advocates of taxing the internet sales say it's a $23 billion tax increase. i presume they probably have done the math. >> i agree. >> good. all right. you buy stuff on amazon. as do i. there are a couple of questions here about the definition of the pledge and including one that says, have you ever thought about a no new increase in debt pledge? which balancing the budget is equally important as no new tax increases? and let me add my own to that question, any thoughts more broadly about the concept of pledges beyond the scope of taxes? there are a few others out there, should everyone have a
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pledge? >> this is a very interesting question and, you know, we started the pledge as way to get tax reform passed. realized it was a way for candidates to communicate their position credibly, with credibility with voters. then realized it was the way to brand the republican party, as the party that wouldn't raise taxes, which helps you elect entire legislative bodies across the country. and it's been very helpful both in 1994 when it was a major issue and in 2010 and the number of pledge takers keeps growing. so the pledge has been very powerful and then people say, well, tax pledge, great, what about spending pledge? and my answer is, fine, write it. i would love to help you on this, write it. don't spend more than $1.2 trillion. except with inflation and growth of the economy, well, then $1.4 trillion, then $1.5 trillion. how would you -- i'm not opposed to a spending pledge but remember congress is set up where everybody touches the ball but nobody touches it last and the spending going to this committee and most of the guys
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in congress say, i voted against most of the spending and they kind of did except the bill passed, right? and the spending happened. so the way it's designed, almost on purpose, to make it impossible to figure out who's responsible for the spending, if we could come up with a mechanism, i think rather than a pledge, we need to term limit membership on the appropriations committee. so if you're an appropriator for six years and know more as poe opposed to somebody comes to washington, they make them an appropriator and take the r off their jersey and put a big a on their jersey, and they cease to be part of the modern conservative party, it's a very dangerous thing. but if you're only there for six years, i don't think it's thoroughly corrupting. so that's my best suggestion on reining in spending with a rule change other than have the tea party yelling at everybody and that's made some progress. >> could you craft the words for a no spending increase pledge? >> no. i mean, i think that the overall
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point is true. that it's hard, you know, i mean, and a.p.r.s a tried to do this -- a.p.r. has tried to do this. you can come up with ways. but it is, it's absolutely much trickier than the beautiful simplicity of the taxpayers' protection pledge. i'm just not, again, persuaded that that beautiful simplicity has actually led to real taxpayer protection, over the life of, you know, over the life of the united states fiscal picture in the early 21st century. i would add that i think, you know, the effectiveness of the pledge overall to -- too depends on the political context. at the state level, you have bald budget amendments, right, which tends to place an actual -- it doesn't place a cap on spending but creates a further constraint. and in states that are dominated by the republican party, i think the combination of balanced budget amendments and taxpayer
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protection pledges has been wonderful for the cause of small government. in states where the republican party does not dominate and shows few signs of dominating in the future like california, it's just -- i mean, you could argue that the taxpayer protection pledge has prevented california from going the way of greece but i think many people who live and work in california would argue that california's headed that way regardless and that -- i think, you know, i suppose the big difference of opinion here is that i think that an enormous enough gap between outlays and revenues becomes more dangerous in the long run than a modest tax increase and i think based on his view of american politics, i think grover disagrees. but that is to say, i think that california today is in a more dire position than the united states was in the clinton era when tax rates were higher than
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they are today. so that's sort of the core of my skepticism about the effectiveness of the pledge. >> ok. we've got time to -- for a couple more questions. this question comes from the audience. the bush tax cuts are scheduled to expire in a year and rates are scheduled to go up. if a pledge signer votes for a tax reform a year from now and the bush tax cuts expire in which rates are lower than they would otherwise be but the tax -- but higher than they are now, is that a pledge violation? if you understand what i'm saying. >> if they've already expired and then or if they vote for them before they expire? >> we've got baseline -- >> i know. i hesitate to get into hypotheticals. if you went to the american people and say, let me tell you what i'm voting on and what's about to happen, if they looked you in the eye and said, you're
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raising my tax, then the answer is, you have a problem. so rather than -- i got in trouble with the "the washington post" having this conversation about what if the tax latches and if nobody was there to vote, did anyone break the pledge, so i'm not getting into hypotheticals but again, look, the answer is, if you go to the american people and say, this is what we're doing and they think it's a tax increase then you have a problem and i can't get you out of trouble. so you need to take a look at what common sense tells people. >> ok. let's put aside the idea of imaginary spending cuts for a moment. as you were describing earlier. if there was a real package of spending cuts -- >> a real unicorn? oh, good. i'm sorry, this is the 73rd time i've heard this argument. >> i'm listening with baited breath. >> for the audience i'll finish, if there was a real spending cuts to tax increases, at a
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ratio of 100-1, we know from the debate a few months ago, candidates said they were at 10-1, at 100-1, isn't that better than nothing? >> and i prefer purple unicorns to gold unicorns. the democratic senate, this is why the whole toomey thing, why didn't i get worked up about toomey's thing, which could have been, depending on what you do, because the democrats told him, they met with him at night, they said, that's intriguing and then the next morning they laughed at him and told him, no way and we'll have to have $1 trillion of tax increases and i ran into senator kerry in the halls, you need to help us work on this. i said, what is it you're interested in? he said, all we need is the trillion dollars in higher taxes and this rate stuff isn't going anywhere. so all of toomey's faptsy, the democrats were not part of. this was toomey's personal theory about what would be cool and i wasn't uncool but when you're off but yourself imagining what unicorns might
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look like and -- but the democrats won't let you have a unicorn and obama's sitting at the white house running a campaign of class hatred and envy and greed as his campaign slowing an, he's not going to be cutting -- slogan, he's not going to be cutting tax rates to $20%, -- 20%, so these questions , wouldn't that be cool, yeah, i suppose that would be really cool. but if we come back to planet earth for a moment, that's not an option. >> isn't that just -- i mean, doesn't that just leave us -- lead us into a pit of despair? [laughter] >> no. >> it requires us -- then the salvation of american fiscal policy requires us to, one, imagine the democratic party largely disappearing as a force in national life, or alternatively, the republicans passing sweeping legislation that i'm, let's say moderately skeptical about its popularity,
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and then enforcing. it i would ask in part, what makes you, if spending -- if real spending cuts are a unicorn when there is bipartisan support for them, why are they real when there's partisan support for them? what makes you -- you talked bds 2.5 trillion as a victory for conservatism, i don't mean to sound like ron paul here, but why do you think that's real? if introducing the virus of a, you know, tiny tax increase corrupts the host of projected spending cuts, why do spending cuts happen when there isn't a tax increase? >> when you put a tax increase on the table and they talk about spending cuts, spending cuts get taken back. what if you have a 100-1 ratio, what, when we start the conversation, 100-1 ratio? when you look at simpson-bowles, they're all 3-1 and 4-1 and the bill turns down. the tax increases grow and grow and grow and the spending cuts become further and further away and not a single democrat has actually endorsed any of simpson-bowles. the president introduced his
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bill a couple of weeks after simpson-bowles and none of it was in it. the idea that the president is anxious to sign simpson-bowles or is open to any of that is counterfactual. now, the democrats -- ok, if harry bird, harry bird, how about harry reid, if harry reid, harry reid were harry bird, we'd be somewhere. big bird. if harry reid got together with the democrats in the senate and passed a bill that did all the things that people like to imagine the modern democratic party is capable of, the fant sifts believe that the modern democratic party is capable of, then we'd have something to look at. bring me a bill, bring me a bill. pass something that -- [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> we're heading over to the house for a series of three votes.
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and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill as amended. >> mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman rise? >> i ask for a roll call vote. the speaker pro tempore: does the gentleman ask for the yeas and nays. >> the yeas -- yes. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas an nays are requested. those favoring a vote by the yeas and nays will rise.
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a sufficient number having risen, the yeas and nays are order. 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 389, the nays are 15. 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. the unfinished business is the vote on the motion of the gentleman from utah, mr. chaffetz, to suspend the rules
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and pass h.r. 2192 on which the yeas and nays are ordered. the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: union calendar number 172, h.r. 21 2, a bill to exempt for an additional four-year period from an application of the means test assumption of abuse qualifying members of the armed forces and national guard who, after september 11, 2001, are called to active duty or to perform a homeland defense activity for not less than 90 days. the speaker pro tempore: the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill? members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a fife-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 406, the nays are one.
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the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 407, the nays are one. 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. the unfinished business is the vote on the motion of the gentleman from minnesota, mr. cravaack, to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 1801 as amended on which the yeas and nays are ordered. the clerk will report the title
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of the bill. the clerk: union calendar number 182, h.r. 1801, a bill to amend title 49, united states code, to provide for expedited security screenings for members of the armed forces. the speaker pro tempore: the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill as amended. 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 404, the nays are zero. 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, the unfinish thed business is the question on agreeing -- the unfinished business is the question on agreeing to the speaker as i 'prolve of the journal which the chair should put de novo. the question is on agreeing to the speaker's approval of the
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journal. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the journal stands approved. the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order.
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the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order, please move your conversations off the floor. the house will be in order. please move your conversations off of the floor.
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the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the house will be in order. the chair is ready to entertain one-minutes. for what purpose does the gentleman from colorado rise? >> revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the house will be in order. >> thank you, mr. speaker.
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i rise today to honor navy intelligence specialist seaman anthony who serves our country with great oner -- honor and proud. he's been awarded the joint achievement medal for his achievements during operation awedsy dawn. he serves as united states africa command target branch analyst from february of april, 2011, providing indepth analysis of libyan targets. during this time he provided over 25% of the electronic target folders writ bin the united states african command and expertly managed classification down grading dissemination of over 248 targets. mr. tipton: additionally as a remote terminal security officer, he managed new accounts for 15 temporarily assigned duty personnel, allowing them to provide immediate support for the mission. the seaman graduated from mount rose high school in mount rose,
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colorado, in 2009. before enlisting in the united states navy. for his critical contributions to the success of operation awedsy dawn, he's been presented with the joint service achievement medal and is an example to the citizens of colorado and to the united states of america. mr. speaker, it is an honor to recognize intelligence specialist seaman anthony t. shmatls. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from texas rise? ms. jackson lee: the house is not in order. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is correct, the house is not in order. please take your conversations off the floor of the house. would members at the rear of
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the chamber take your conversations off the floor of the house. without objection, the gentlewoman from texas is recognized for one minute. ms. jackson lee: i thank the speaker very much. what i like about the university of houston is one, many of their campuses are in the 18th congressional district but they believe a university, as they seek tyre one status, is best when they support academic excellence and of course athletic excellence. i'm pleased today to show this picture of u-h students standing in line -- u of h students standing in line for the championship game that the cougars have managed to have a 12-0 season and now are the conference u.s.a. west division champions and will play their championship game at robertson stadium with one of their
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opponents. we're excited about cougars, we're cougar red, we think the coach for not being interested in where he gos next year but focused on the kids and the championship. coach kevin -- you are the best. to the leadership of the university of houston and the students, i want to stay on -- to say on the floor of the house, we're all red about this, and thank you for being a fine institution that cares about the student is ready to have outreach to young people. they are going to play on saturday. go, cue gars, it's going to be a great day. er yield back. the speaker pro tempore: please direct all comments to the chair, not to the viewing audience. for what purpose does the gentleman from minnesota rise? >> to address the house for one
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minute and revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. november is national alzheimer's disease awareness month. as this month coming to a -- comes to a close, i want to draw attention to the alzheimer's breakthrough act. with over five million americans suffering from this degenerative disease of the brain, alzheimer's is the sixth leading cause of death in the united states. it's prnt to work to find a cure to ease the suffering of those who are affected as well as their families. mr. paulsen: the alzheimer's breakthrough act would encourage public-private partnerships and help them pursue the development of alzheimer's treatments. as a co-sponsor of this legislation, i do ask my colleagues whether you have a loved one affected by this disease or not to sign on as a co-sponsor of this legislation so we can find a cure to this terrible disease. i yield back.
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the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia rise? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, i thank you for the time. we've just gotten back from thanksgiving, a uniquely american holiday. we are grateful for the blessings we have, blessings that come both from god the father and blessings that come from having won the birth lottery and being born an american. as i watch the challenges going on around the globe, i look at the challenges in europe, i look at the challenges in africa, i look at the challenges in asia, we need to be proud. mr. woodall: we need to be proud of american exceptionalism. we need to focus on those things that exist here and here alone, mr. speaker, in the coming weeks with the challenges we are going to face. let us not look to nations around the world and see how they are doing it. let's look to the values and
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principles that have made this country great for over 200 years and let's double down on those. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: are there any further requests for one minutes? the chair lays before the house the following personal requests. the clerk: leave of absence requested for ms. sutton of ohio for today. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the request is granted. under the speaker's announced spoil of january 5, 2011, the gentleman from california, mr. garamendi is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the minority leader.
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mr. garamendi: mr. speaker, it's good to be back and i hope along with all my colleagues, i hope all my colleagues had as enjoyable a thanksgiving as i did with my family and with our constituents back in our district. we have much to be thankful for. after all, this is america. this has always been the place of dreams. this is america, it's always been the place where people found opportunity. where whatever they wanted to do, they could achieve it. and it's still that america today. but it's up to us in the third
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year of this recession to restore the american dream. and there are ways we can do it. and tonight, together with my colleagues who will soon be joining me, we'll talk about various ways in which the democrats in this house will, and have, made numerous propose ols -- proposals to restore the american dream. i was out in the district for five of the days we were gone, talking to people, and many of them, in fact, one fellow who has a book binding company, 85 years old, about to retire and turn that company over to his employees, was talking about the enormous strength of this nation. he was sharing the story of himself an his employees and the way in which they came here, many struggled from very bad situations in other countries. but they came here with optimism. they came here with a true
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belief that in america you can make it if you follow the rules, if you work hard, you can make it. you can have a good life. you can take care of your family. unfortunately for all too many americans, that's not the case today. so restoring the american dream is our task. we can do it. the president more than two months ago proposed the american jobs act. a proposal that would put two million or three million americans back to work immediately. tonight on the other side of this nation's capital, the u.s. senate is debating a portion of that american jobs act. a portion of it that is a very, very significant tax cut for men and women that are working. their social security payments would be reduced by 50%. no longer would they pay 6.2% of their wage into the social security fund, they would pay 3.1%. and for their employers, the
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same reduction. providing a very powerful incentive for individuals to have money in their pockets about $1,500 a year. money in their pockets so that they could participate in buying gifts for their children. as we look to christmas, we know there are many, many americans that are not going to be able to do that. mr. speaker, it's time for us in this house to follow the lead of the president. and to give every american worker, 98% of americans, a very significant tax reduction. $1,500 by reducing that social security tax. and for their employers, the same. up to, if their employers are up to $50 million of payroll they can reduce by 50% their social security tax. so that that employer has more money to hire people that debate is going on in the u.s. senate today. unfortunately, here in this
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house, we have not been able to even take up that issue. we should. because it's part of what we must do to put americans back to work. to give them a break. now joining me in this discussion tonight as we talk about restoring the american dream and about the things we can do to make that happen is my colleague from the great state of new york, we have often been here, we call ourselveses the east-west team. and mr. tonko, good to see you back. i hope you had as good a thanksgiving as i did. i'm sure you worked as hard in your district as i did during those days system of please share with us and welcome back. mr. tonko: thank you, representative garamendi, and thank you for leading us in an hour of discussion a dialogue that's most critical to the economic viability, the economic comeback of america's middle class. you talk about some of these incentives that would be addressed through a payroll tax deduction. it's all about empowering our
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middle class. enhancing their purchasing power. enabling us to enhance that demand out there for products that then obviously translates into job growth because with more demand upon manufacturers in this country, with more consumer confidence, with absolute increase in purchasing power, there will be a positive outcome. there's no denying that unemployment is driving the deficit. and if we can turn that around if we can invest in ways that enhance the middle class, that's good for all strata, all income strata in this nation. what's been lost in the lonlic here for the majority is that the empowerment of the middle class stands to produce gains for everybody. and with we saw what happened in the buildup before our entry here into the house. in the period of the recession. it was all about borrowing,
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totally, the money that was necessary to spend on a tax cut for millionaires and billionaires. some would suggest those are the job creators. but what happened was, we realized 8.2 million jobs lost. so that didn't work. we ought not go back an revisit that formula because it was not a formula for success. what we need here is to bring about the long overdue empowerment of the middle class and it is working families across this country that need that assistance today and by the way, it works for every -- in everybody's favor. so that's what we're promoting. it's good to start off with that discussion. because as we move forward, investments are what it's about. investing our way to prosperity, investing our way to opportunity, investing our way to a stronger tomorrow, for all hers. it's not going to come by cutting into situations that relieve the liability. the responsibility of those who have been most profitable here.
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that didn't work. that is not going to be the formula for a comeback for most americans. what we need is to be sensivetive to the investment in education, higher education in sounder tax policy, reforms of tax policy, and certainly investment and research. as we invest in research, that equals jobs. and that's still the highest priority of america's general public out there. we need jobs and the dignity of work is what ought to be front an center for the work we do here in public policy format and resource advocacy, to go forward and herald the need of the middle class. mr. garamendi: thank you so much. the experiences we have as we return to our district and talk to our constituents and share with our family, these are the stories of life, these are the stories of real americans, not that we're not real, we've got a special task as their representatives, to represent them here. and they do want jobs, they
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want to go back to work. we know many of them are unable to find jobs. the american jobs act did have in addition to the tax issues i just talked about, there was another provision that i must say, we actually got something done just before the thanksgiving recess and that was for the veterans. this was part of the president's proposal that actually did become law and what he wanted to do and we agreed with him was to give veterans those men and women that are out there fighting for this country in iraq an afghanistan and even way back into the vietnam war and the first gulf war, give those veterans a chance for a job. and there's a very special tax provision that's totally paid for, not borrowed, that we voted out of here so employers got a tax credit, a reduction in their tacks for every veteran they hired, $5,600 for an unemployed veteran or $9,600
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for a disabled veteran. i'm very, very pleased we were able to do that for the veterans. that's one very important slice of the american public that is facing unemployment, but there are many, many more. if i could just pick up for a second on a couple of words you said you talked about investment. in the american jobs act, there's a very, very important investment, and you mentioned it. it's the education investment. the president oproposed that we spend about $30 billion to keep teachers in the classroom now so that our kids would be able to continue to learn. that's the future and if they miss a year of learning, they're going to be behind the rest of their lives and so he proposed that, it's still out there, still open, hasn't had a chance to come forward yet but we'll see. maybe we can get that one done. a critical investment in your children. what's more important than our children? mr. tonko: representative garamendi, as you talk about
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that, the loss in any given year, where a student may lose the opportunity in the classroom because of these cuts that are significant to education, that is one measurement, but let me suggest another. we see an aggressive investment going on around the world in emerging powers out there that are nations competing with us in that global marketplace, clean energy, innovation, and ideas economy. an ideas economy is a robust opportunity for a sophisticated nation like hours, but it requires commitment, commitment to investment. investment in education. we take that intellectual capacity and we make it work. we did that in the space race of the 1960's. president kennedy, rather youthful president in his time, offered a challenge to america, offered a challenge in a way that enabled us to invest in research that enabled us to win the global race on space. that was an unleashing of technology, an all -- in all
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told sectors of the economy and from every perspective of quality of life that was enhanced by the investments that were made. mr. garamendi: mr. tonko, we're going to interrupt our dialogue here for a few moments. i recognize our colleague from the rules committee has some work that needs to be carried out. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia rise? >> mr. speaker, i send to the desk a privileged report from the committee on rules for filing under the rule. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title. the clerk: republican to accompany house resolution 477, resolution providing for consideration of the bill h.r. 3463, to reduce federal spending and the deficit by terminating taxpayer financing of presidential election campaigns and party conventions and by terminating the election assistance commission, providing for consideration of the bill h.r. 527, to amend the chapter 6 of title 5, united states code, commonly known as the regulatory flexibility act, to assure complete analysis of potential
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impacts on small entities of rules and for other purposes. and providing for consideration of the bill h.r. 3010, to reform the process by which federal agencies analyze and formulate new regulations and guidance documents. the speaker pro tempore: referred to the house calendar and ordered printed. mr. woodall: i thank my friend for yielding. mr. garamendi: i thank our colleague from georgia for bringing forth these pieces of legislation. i won't comment on them now but i will a little later as to whether -- we'll just let it go. talk about it tomorrow. thank you very much. mr. tonko, you were talking about the need for investment and indeed in the area of education and research, critical functions, i do want to stay with that subject for a while but i noticed our colleague from the great state of ohio has joined us, mrs. betty sutton. thank you very much for being with us this evening. i know that you, too, had a family and a constituency to
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work with this last week. so please share with us your thoughts. ms. sutton: well, i thank the gentleman, representative garamendi, you've just done a tremendous job in leading the way, showing the american people, because we all know that things don't have to be the way that they are. we all know that we can invest in the things that have always made our country strong, things like education, that we know not home strengthens the individual but is key to the success of our future. investing in policies that will enable us to make it in america, and when we talk about america it in america, representative garamendi, and, representative tonko, i know that we're often talking about manufacturing and coming from ohio, manufacturing of course is not just a part of our past and our history, it's a strong part of what is going to make us successful in the future. and i will tell you, i'm excited because in the coming days i'll be introducing a number of bills that are all related to how we
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can strengthen u.s. manufacturing and bolster u.s. manufacturing for our workers and our productivity right here in the united states. so, i'm grateful to be down here with you and i can just tell you, i went out and i talked to our folks and there is a growing belief that there is a better way, there's a comprehensive understanding that things have not been fair. that the deck has been stacked. and that there's still those here who are trying to protect the wealthiest and the most privileged at the expense of the others. and that's why i'm so grateful to have the chance to be here and fight alongside you and representative tonko and others and representative jackson lee has joined us here from texas. because in the last election we heard over and over again, oftentimes that refrain of, people don't want a government on their back. and i agree and i know you do too that people don't want a government on their back. but they do want a government on
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their side. and that's what we're here to make sure that they get, because that is not what they're getting with the republican legislator as it exists today -- legislature as it exists today. so, carry on, representative garamendi, and count me in as somebody who supports in those investments in education and in making it in america. mr. garamendi: indeed you carried many pieces of legislation. i liked your one, what is it, don't flush america down the drain? having to do with rebuilding our sanitation systems here in the united states. ms. sutton: representative garamendi, if you'll yield just a moment. the name of the bill, just to set the record very clear is, stop american jobs from going down the drain act. and the whole point of that bill is that when we are building our infrastructure, our water and sewer systems, as you point out, that really need to be built in this country and of course it would put people to work, it would help our communities, spur our economy and if we do it
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using u.s.-manufactured goods and iron and steel which is what the bill would require, then we put even more people to work while we're strengthening our communities. so, yes, stop american jobs from going down the drain act. mr. garamendi: i appreciate your correction of my characterization of the bill. but it nonetheless was a great piece of legislation and it's part of the make it in america agenda. using our tax money, in this case to build the sanitation systems, the water systems, and requiring that that money be used to buy american-made equipment. i have a bill that would do the same thing for solar, wind programs, wind turbines, solar, as well as for trains, buses and the like. it's our tax money, use it to buy american-made equipment. that's part of the democratic agenda. and it works. i can give some examples a little later. i don't want to take up too much time but i do want to thank you because there's nobody working harder in this entire capitol building, democrat, republican
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or the senate, than you are in rebuilding the manufacturing center of america. the great state of ohio. now, texas is a little far from ohio, but you've got a few things going for you in texas, too, don't you? let me introduce and bring to our colloquy here sheila jackson lee. thank you for joining us once again. it's good to be back from thanksgiving, where we were with our constituents and our families. ms. jackson lee: it's a delight to have been here with the gentlelady from ohio. we worked together closely. the gentleman from new york. i always want to ask him how his fair constituents are dealing, they had some serious mountains to climb, if you will, with their recent hurricane, a very unusual set of circumstances. we join together to allow those communities to come back, wouldn't that be a perfect investment of rebuilding infrastructure? mr. garamendi, let me thank you for your longstanding history of putting things back together. i'm not going to call you the
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humpty dumty man. let me share some anecdotal uniqueness to this question of make it in america. i hope everybody had a wonderful thanksgiving. it's a special holiday where we find time to say thanks. i heard that the gentleman from new york might have been given a ham, made in america. and i know that the people who receive the ham were grateful for it. i had the opportunity to work with those, we had over 800 turkeys made in america, to be able to give to to seniors and family -- to be able to give to seniors and family. the joy of course was in the giving but more importantly it was a product that we made from start to finish. yes, it's food. as we went down the aisles of the many grocery stores, since those were the highlights of that season, eating, people were buying goods in most instances that were made in america. and they bought them. and then of course that famous
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friday that we can now tuot to be the best friday -- tout to be the best friday over a number of years. $52 billion was spent by americans in many instances on the electronic goods that were made in america. steve jobs is no longer with us, but he created that infrastructure of technology and software and the sophistication of pretty things that many americans went to buy. some $7 billion over 2010 and the studies indicated that americans were buying first for themselves, those electronic items that they wanted to have for this holiday season. as i begin to look at legislation, to talk about jobs, i'm going to try to make the energy industry a little bit more friendly and we'll be introducing legislation that talks about creating jobs in that industry but working in the
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environmental aspect of it. fixing the coast line, for example, as you well know we have suffered through hurricane rita, katrina, ike and the deterioration of the coast line. so somebody wants to stop us from going down the drain, i want to stop us from a disappearing coast line. i want you to have the beautiful beaches, whether it is in the alabamas and louisiana and texas, the floridas of the world, those coast lines have been deteriorating. we can find work or individuals can have work in fixing the beautiful coast lines, even in south carolina, i know that the gentleman wants the coast line to be fixed. so there is not a lack of opportunity to fix work. just heard my good friend from massachusetts in the rules committee indicate that there are bridges in the state of massachusetts, my good friend, mr. mcgovern, that are older in some states and that they need to be fixed and that would be a sharing of the wealth, to many, many different districts and
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states, if we were to engage as the president wanted us to do to look at how we do the infrastructure. but make it in america is happening, right now in the carolinas, a young lady is bringing her company back from sri lanka and she is using the textile industry, i don't have its full name but it begins with mitt, using the textile industry to now make her product. so i came today to say that i have hope, i'm an optimist, and many of the economists that we've been listening to, jesse sachs, for example, have indicated that we worry too much about the deficit and the debt. not to ignore it. but we really should be worrying about investing in america, rebuilding make it in america, investing in infrastructure, creating jobs. and americans will do what they did on last friday, the date was november 26, i believe, it might have been, last friday, 25, last
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friday and they went out and bought goods, by and large, made in america. let's do more of that, let's have the incentives that they need and by the way let's add the small business component to it. we had the buy a small business on saturday, these small businesses are in america. and if you support a small business you support one or two or three or four employees. so, i am grateful, as i said, i'm going to do this coast line bill, i can see just eons of person being put to work, i can see moneys going into reduce the deficit, we'll join that with the drain, if you will, the infrastructure for our sewage and wastewater, comes under homeland security, by the way, and we have to protect that. security issues are also the infrastructure of security, provides jobs as well. i want to close on this note which it sounds as if it's not tied in but it is. it really is tied in. we have in the thanksgiving
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backdrop was the acknowledgment, i'm not going to call it failure, of the supercommittee that they could not complete their task. let me -- on the record, iverb said it in public settings, thank the colleague that accepted the challenge. but i want to say to my colleagues, let us not be nonoptimistic. let us not be unhappy or disappointed or sad. frankly the job of the congress is to formulate the vision going forward on the behalf of the american people. let me tell you why i see we have been given an opportunity. some people only talk about defense. i talk about 46 million americans that are on snap. here's our chance. we can take the works of a jeffrey sachs, we can take the work of a mr. spens who talks about infrastructure investment, we can find this long-term cuts of $1 trillion leaving out medicare and social security and medicaid and we can find them in
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a way that talks about bush tax cuts but has a thoughtful way of looking at tax reform and then we can put our vision forward that includes making it in america. my friends, we make defense products in america. i don't want to be a war promoter, i want our troops home, but i believe in military preparedness. those are jobs. we have a year to do it. we can throw off the shackles of partisanship and thoughtfully put forward a legislative initiative which the president will not veto if there is a plan that includes revenue -- excuse me, deficit reduction. don't be afraid of doing our job. so, i'm willing to say we have been given an opportunity, just like my cugers are being given an opportunity for a championship this coming weekend at the university of houston, which will by the way create a lot of revenue with folks coming from all over. but we have been given an opportunity and i am glad we're here on the floor to point out
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that it is not the end but it is the beginning, i simply ask that there be friends on the other side of the aisle that will join us in revenue, job creation, deficit reduction, revenue, job creation, we can pass these bills, we can join the senate, we can do the payroll tax relief for a little bit and the unemployment, but we can create jobs and thank the gentleman for allowing me to participate with him, excited about the legislation that my colleagues have, know i've worked with tonko for all that he has done in the legislative initiative and also you, so thank you so very much and with that i yield back to the gentleman with great optimism. mr. garamendi: thank you very much, you are always on top of the issues and you are always very, very correct, sheila jackson lee, thank you for the enormous amount of work you've done for your constituents. you mentioned your -- the super
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committee, everybody said it was a failure and they did not achieve the goal set out. however the public needs to know that the legislation that set up the super committee, reduced the deficit of the united states by $2.1 trillion. a $2.1 trillion reduction in the deficit and in the legislation that established the super committee, $1 trillion is already going into place. the other $1.2 trillion was the specific task of the super committee to try to figure out if there was a better way to make the cuts. or adding revenue. they were up able to put the revenue together but the cuts remain. those are going to go forward. you're quite correct, ms. lee, it -- ms. johnson lee, excuse me. that it will -- we do have the next 13 months to figure out, almost 14 months, to figure out a better way, maybe it's
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revenue, less cuts, maybe it's a little different cuts that are currently across the board in the defense department as well as the discretionary funding, but we have a chance to do that. we have time to do that. so it's not all rost. the deficit has been reduced. now we need to do it in a smarter way, one that promotes american jobs, puts people to work and creates more jobs and manufacturing in america. mr. tonko, you come from a state that really started the great american industrial revolution and an area in which it actually began, the upper hudson river valley. why don't we carry on our conversation here. you were talking about research, take it wherever you'd like to go. mr. tonko: sure. absolutely. let me respond to the absolute clear focus that our friend, the gentlewoman from texas, representative for the strength
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of texas, representative jackson lee is constantly talking about the opportunities to make it in america. but she cited also the flood damage in my district, the mohawk valley of upstate no. sometimes we -- of upstate new york. sometimes we sit around and try to count the effect of infrastructure fur our job growth and there are different ways to express the economic development quotient related to infrastructure. the traditional roads and bridges but then broadband and our grid system for our electric utilities. what role does it play? sometimes the best expression is tone when that is taken from you. and when roads and bridges were washed away. we saw immediately what the effect was on the regional economy. and therefore the state economy and then we're all connected,
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one to another, that the national economy hurts through the rah vadges of flood waters that impacted this district, some would say with 500-year storm impact. what did that mean? it meant you couldn't haul milk that was processed, produced on these farms. you couldn't ship products being manufactured. it stopped the economic viability of a district. of a region. so it's important for us to look at those bridges that measure in deficient form. we need to make certain we have state of the art infrastructure. broadband. we began to talk about this with the space race of the 1960's. we unleashed untold amounts of investment in technology that enabled us to stretch opportunity here, think of the rotary phone and now moved all the way up to what is a changing telephone by the week.
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and that all happened because of an investment in the intellect of this nation system of the intellectual capacity of this nation has been an inspiration to not only this country, but to folks around the world where the quality of life was raised simply by the inventive qualities of american workers. and so that's what we're calling for here. the democrats of the house of representatives believe in investing in the worker, in research, research equals jobs. research equals opportunities. the intellectual capacity that was developed here, i'm told by the most recent former energy minister of denmark, influenced the turn around of thinking in denmark, where they changed their economy, changed innovative outcomes, inspired by patents from the united states of america. we have that intellect. we talk about manufacturing as
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a base. we lost -- saw the exodus of manufacturing jobs to the millions, to the millions. still perminged highest on the list for manufacturing job bus if we allowed that trend where we were disinterested, paid no attention to manufacturing and agriculture if we allowed that to continue, we kill sink as an economy. what we need to do is bring the focus back to manufacturing to agriculture. the focus was totally on the service economy and more narrowly to the financial services. we know what happened. mr. garamendi: would the gentleman pause for a moment. mr. tonko: absolutely. ms. jackson lee: you are saying something so inspirational. i want to say, one, we are still the greatest and largest economic engine in the world, in spite of china, in spite of russia, in spite of india, our good friends. still percolating along. second, when we've had our
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difficulties in the past, there have been recessions in the 1950's, post-world war ii, on into our good friend both former president ford and carter, as you well know, for those who read history books, we had some moments. the reason we are in troubled waters, that people can't seem to comprehend, we never had a ewe roe. we never had europe in the state that it is presently in. when the markets were troubled on monday, was it monday? even post, i think monday they percolated but when they were troubled, they were looking at europe. so if we get obsessed with other than what you're saying about how we can get back in the game at the peak we want to be, we don't take in the great picture. that great picture is our markets are not necessarily troubled, we need to do better, we need to create jobs, but
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they are international markets and they are troubled by the ewe roe. what i was saying, let's understand that so we can do our business here in the united states an focus on the american people. tend to the markets, but go ahead and invest and realize that the markets are interrelated. we can overcome that by doing exactly what the gentleman from new york has said, make it in america. mr. garamendi: ms. jackson lee, you talked about investments and about the international aspects of our economy, and mr. tonko, you were so correct when you talk about what happens when those infrastructures are not there. now in the american jobs act, which we ought to be working on and passing, there is $50 billion over and above the ongoing money, this is new money, additional money, that would be immediately available to restore the coastal areas they have united states, rebuild the infrastructure in those areas that have been hard
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hit by the floods of this year, to improve the 100-year-old plus bridges in america, those are all things that we need to move our economy. we talked earlier, ms. sutton from ohio, about the sanitation and water systems, each and every one of these should be framed in such a way as to create american jobs. not just the construction jobs, but the rest of the story, which is the concrete, the steel, the bolt the bumps, all those things that go into the infrastructure can and should be american made. if we have a policy. now on the floor here, three weeks ago, we were talking about this, and our colleague from illinois, ms. janikowski -- ms. schakowsky, brought
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something to the floor that blew me away. she brought a document prepeared in 1788, by george washington. it was a manufacturing policy for america. he told hamilton, who was then the secretary of the treasury, to go out and develop eight steps for an american manufacturing policy. so this is not new in america, folks. we need a manufacturing policy in america, we call it make it in america. it's a tax policy. educational policy. an infrastructure policy. it is an international trade policy where we don't give it away but we require fair trade, not free trade, fair trade. these are american manufacturing policies of today. thank you, george washington, for setting us on the course we need to continue with. mr. tonko: absolutely. i hear in your statement the wisdom of sound planning. we need that. for government to be smart and efficient, which is the call by
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the general public, we want smart investment from our government. ask any competitor out there in the global economy, they are competing against industries that are being co-invested in by their native lands. there are co-investments in government and the private sector and we are moving in the other direction. a couple of things come to mine here. i participated this past weekend in small business saturday. and the spirit i detected was the leap of faith. sound leap of faith by many small business leaders. who said, i want to offer a service, i'm going to put my creative genius to work. i'm going to make my commitment to community a response here that's tangible. i saw a lot of belief in the american public, belief in the american system, and it offers a warm and fuzzy, cozy, personalized relationship. people come in, they are known when they walk into a shop.
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they see the creative flair introduced into that small business. i also see more technical savvy qualities that technically savvy qualities, that are engaged in in the district i represent with a lot of startups, incubators. again, another leap of good faith but needing an investment, a co-partnering, a partnering with government, especially in a very tenuous economy, where there's still a lot of guesswork and we need to be there to remove some of that risk. that is so critically important. you know, representative gare men tee, you mentioned earlier, that my district is the donor district to the erie canal, barge canal, triggered an industrial revolution. these milltowns given birth to by the canal became the epicenters of industry and innovation. milltowns that had blue collar
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workers coming up with tremendously clever ideas. for people to throw up their arms and say, manufacturing then is what it was, it was our greatness, it's gone today. nothing could be further from the truth. what is the challenge today to a sophisticated society like the american society is that while we have a number of product lines we developed through our decades of manufacturing, the challenge to a sophisticated society is build the products that are in demand today and if we believe that every product that's ever required by society has been conceived and engineered and designed and manufactured then the story is over. but, we believe like so many of us do believe, that we can be the by wi sards of those new products, and we develop it by investing in ideas, investing in research. then we build those products


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