Skip to main content

tv   U.S. House of Representatives  CSPAN  December 15, 2011 1:00pm-5:00pm EST

1:00 pm
reporting that congressional leaders expressed optimism today that agreement was near on extending this year's payroll tax cut, renewing unemployment benefits and averting a federal shutdown. we'll keep you posted on that. we'll have live house coverage at 1:00. and more next about the congressional agenda from this morning's "washington journal." host: as far as avenue, possibly how you might get that deal done, could you speculate on that? guest: sure. there is broad agreement on the hill that we need to extend the payroll tax cut. that we need to get unemployment insurance done.
1:01 pm
by agreement those things need to get done. doctors need to get paid through medicare. the plight is over how to pay for this. you have been talking about this on your show. my sense is again we'll see this go to the last minute, but my sense is there's been negotiation these going to hopefully lead to a deal this weekend. host: you don't foresee congress coming back as part of a short-term to keep the government functioning? guest: it's a possibility. but again the issues here on this particular vote are less contentious as they usually are. most people on the hill will tell you we should extend the payroll tax cut. this is something the republicans stood for a tax cut. at least on the house side they are cragging their feet and putting in all sorts of things like the pipeline, to get their right wingers onboard. it feels like we are on a trajectory to get it done. host: as part of the story we are hearing this morning from the associated press about the potential dropping of surtax on millionaires. where are we on that?
1:02 pm
guest: hard to know most of that action is the senate, democratic senate proposed that. the house republicans have said, and this has been their message for the last year, flat out, absolutely not. and the interesting thing there is that it's sort of the tea party wing of the republican party saying that. they are driving the agenda within the republican caucus right now. speaker boehner has to listen to that. i know the democrats get accused of caving on this issue, but at the end of the day the house majority, republicans, for them not to nonstarter, and if it's a nonstarter to the majority in the house it's hard to make it go anywhere. host: the democrats as far as a political strategy, and you have been accused to caving s. there truth to that? guest: i'll tell you how this democrat thinks about it. first of all more and more it is becoming apparent that the republicans today stand for one thing and one thing only which is protecting the financial interests of the very wealthiest people in this country. look, i represent a very affluent district. it's not that i ever engage in
1:03 pm
class warfare. we have a national project here that is a brutal national project to get our fiscal house in order. everybody will come to the table. the pentagon will be asked to make some painful cuts. democrats like me are going to vote for some things that are going to break our hearts. reducing the discretionary spending, things like education. if we are going to take that pain, if we are going to go into this negotiation and saying everybody sacrifices, it is morally untenable to say that the very most fortunate people in this country get a pass. that's not what this country is about. eventually we'll get there. host: jim himes with us. our guest, the representative from connecticut. if you want to ask questions about these current issues before congress, 202-737-0002 the line you call for republicans. 202-737-0001 for democrats. and independent, 202-638-0205.
1:04 pm
can you send email at journal at and message on twitter at c-span wj. about what about these stories we have heard about a potential end run sequestration against the defense budget? guest: i have been one of those members in congress very vocal about the fact for congress to say we are going to set up these automatic cuts that kick in if the supercommittee fails, the supercommittee fails, oh, and then when the supercommittee fails, we are not going to take our beating. talk about a way to send a significant isal to the world and to the markets and everybody else that this institution is not serious. that would be the way to do it. the nice thing about the see quester cuts, it's not nice about them because they'll hit everybody hard, is they kick in a year from now when the 2001 and 2003 bush tax cuts expire. think about that month. a year from today you have those tax cuts expiring, you have those see questionsers kicking in, i would suggest to you, that
1:05 pm
month, that month on december, the other side of the presidential leaks, that's a month i think where you can have a real negotiation because if that negotiation fails, some tough things happen. host: first call, waterbury, connecticut, is the call for our guest on the democrats line. this is dan, representative jim himes. good morning. caller: good morning, how you doing? guest: how you doing? caller: i'm from waterbury, we are a neighbor. guest: ok. caller: now this is actually going to the fiscal year type deal. with student debt so high, why don't you guys pick a fight over the law in 2005 making it illegal to claim bank receipts on private lending banks, because that's killing your young students right now. the education. you get an easy loan you cannot pay for. why don't you pick a fight, republicans, on that and see
1:06 pm
where that goes. guest: thanks, dan. you raised an important issue. very important issue that actually nobody is talking about these days. if you look at student loans, the default rate on student loans today is incredibly high. kids are graduate interesting college with tougher time than ever before. getting jobs. carrying all this debt. and so i agree with you. we need to find ways to make it easier for kids who can't find a job to defer those interest payments, put it out a little bit until they can find a job. make it easier for people, frankly, to get student loans so they can go to school and get the skills they need. you make a broader point that is important. there are two areas that are debt that americans carry that in a bankruptcy scenario they can't alter. student loans someone of them. the other is mortgages. a lot of people will tell you the fact that you can't change the principal amount of your mortgage is one of the reasons we are still in a real mess in the housing arena. you make a very good point.
1:07 pm
your suggestion is one that congress should be looking at. host: joseph on twitter says, representative himes, what is the problem with keystone? i don't get it. guest: well, the problem with keystone is not so much within keystone itself. we should have a vibrant debate about the keystone pipeline. the fact of the matter is i would so much rather be buying oil from canada than from saudi arabia. and the fact is we need oil. i'd love to say next week we'll be all solar and wind. that is not true. the issue with keystone is that it was just thrown in to this must-pass legislation. i mentioned this earlier before. that john boehner couldn't get his guys to sign on to what we all agree should be done on unemployment insurance and payroll taxes, so he threw them a bunch of bones, keystone pipeline, reducing air quality regulations, taking out money out of the health care reform. that's not the way to have that debate. the way to have that debate is to say, this is a good debate, right, i see this every day in my office. people come in and say i don't want keystone, i don't want
1:08 pm
tracking, i don't want nuclear, or import oil, in the back of my mind i have to be polite to people. how much do you like the electricity you use? we need to have debate. i'm not going to tell you keystone is wrong and off the table. i am going to tell you that there are serious issues around climate change, how fast we are moving away from oil. i want to have that discussion and do that thinking. not be told i have to vote on this in 12 hours. host: part of the concern the president pushed the decision for keystone until after next year's elections? guest: that's part of the concern. that's certainly going to keep that issue live for another year or so. but again let's have that discussion. and particularly when it comes to energy. we are going to use a lot of energy. we have to be practical in thinking about where it's going to come from. there is no spot where it's going to come from that's going to make us feel good whether it's tracking or saudi arabia or -- fraking or saudi arabia or whatever. host: the problem the president has with where the pipeline
1:09 pm
lies? guest: i do. that's one critical factor. i have a very good voting record. i believe profoundly it is the responsibility of us as parents to hand our kids a world that is not polluted and destroyed. so, yes. look, this is a technical problem. the united states is darn good at solving technical problems. so can we build a pipeline that is safe? of course we can. let's make sure if we build it, we build a safe pipeline so we are not in the world we are in with the deepwater horizon where we have a fire and destroying the economies in the gulf and killing people. we can do it right if we do it right. host: republicans in the house say if you start this project fast, you start creating jobs. is there a debate about how many jobs created? guest: not much of a debate. transcanada, basically said there are a couple thousand jobs in building it. that makes sense. there are jobs there. they said that there's 50 or 60 permanent jobs. i'm not going to get in their face and tell them there aren't jobs.
1:10 pm
don't try to tell me it's 20,000 or 30,000 jobs or whatever fantasy number. here in this town any time you talk about anything you have to talk about jobs. that's right. an awful lot of americans without jobs, but they are wildly exaggerating the jobs that are going to come out of and stay as part of this 350eu7line. host: kelly republican line for jim himes. caller: hi, i want to make a comment that the wealthiest people are the people who make good decision was their money and work hard and create jobs. if we keep taxing them. they weren't given the money. taking their money, they are not going to create jobs. guest: well, that's partly right. look, i voted to extend the tax cuts last december because i think in a situation of economic uncertainty you don't raise taxes on frankly anybody. now, hopefully we are not always in a world of economic uncertainty. but let's remember the other side of this.
1:11 pm
this idea that our wealthiest people create the jobs because they all went to job creation school and they wakep in the morning and say i'm going to create a bunch of jobs. why do they create jobs? they create jobs, it's not just them, it's the pizza place down the street, the guy who runs a drugstore. he's not making $1 million. they create jobs because there are people in their stores buying pizza and buying things. this is where the economists will tell you it's about the demand as much as it is about giving people millionaires more cash flow. if the middle class is not in the pizza place buying pizza or drugstore buying shampoo, i don't care how long you went to job creation school for millionaires you are not going to create jobs. yeah, let's be thoughtful about tax policy but also remember as long as the middle class is flat on its back, people aren't going to create jobs. host: another call from baltimore. don, independent line, go ahead. caller: good morning, mr. himes. i have a comment about the wealth of the millionaires.
1:12 pm
i think this is a solution. it's simple. it's a compromise. all they have to do is say show me where you created x amount of jobs, if not, we are taxing the money you are sitting on. does that sound reasonable? guest: well, don, we should always look for facts around who is creating jobs and how. let's change up the discussion a little bit here. what we shouldn't be doing in this country is vilifying success, right. and the president's right about this. and unfortunately there is a lot of rhetoric out there vilifying success. somebody is not bad because they made a lot of money. my point is this, i'm going to say two things about it. one, as i said before, we have a massive national project to get our fiscal house in order, to get our budget balanced and reduce our debt. and do not tell me that we are going to ask people in the city of bridgeport, a very poor city i represent, to go with a little bit less heating aid, do not tell me that the pentagon, leon panetta, secretary of defense
1:13 pm
saying the cuts are catastrophic, we are going to make all of these cuts and sacrifices, but we are going to take this very fortunate group of people and say, you get a pass. that's all i'm saying f we think that the only solution and sometimes listening to the rhetoric you might think some people believe this, the only solution is to quote-unquote, tax the wealthiest, that's part of it, but that is not the only solution. this is a much bigger problem than that and the point that i'm making is simply that that -- asking the very most fortunate people many of whom i represent to come to the table and participate in this great and difficult national project is the right thing to do. host: chicago, good morning to karen, democrats' line. caller: good morning. how you doing? host: go ahead. caller: this is representative himes, i need to ask a couple of questions. why is it that when the republicans come up with an idea be it bad or bad, they all come out in a group. they stand together. there's no crack in the party.
1:14 pm
but when the democrats -- when the president, and it's been for the last three years i noticed that, when the president comes out and puts something on the table, and when he look around, you guys are nowhere around. in the house, in the senate. why can't you-all, if you believe, and you are really democrats, why can't you-all stand with this president? i mean, come out and get his back. he cannot run this country by himself. he's only as good as his party, the senate, and the representatives. why you-all can't come out and stand with the man? i don't understand that. why is that so hard? host: we'll let our guest answer. guest: i'm not sure what you're getting at. i have been here for three years and look back at particular in the first two years when the president first took office. the democrats on capitol hill stood with him to get the dodd-frank financial regulatory bill done. they stood him with to get lily ledbetter, a bill to help women get paid the same as men get paid for the same work. they stood with him on the
1:15 pm
economic recovery act. they stood with him on health care reform. by the way an awful lot didn't come back to washington because they stood with the president on those issues. so i'm not sure i agree with the premise of your question. you do ask a question interesting question. it always seems like democrats are here and there. will rogers said it best, i don't belong to an organized political party. i'm a democrat. i actually would tell you that i think that's the strength of the democratic party. all you need to do is go on c-span and look at the floor. the democratic party is a very, very diverse group of people. you will see black, white, women, man, gay, straight -- >> we'll breakway from the journal. reminding you live every day at 7:00 a.m. eastern. the house returning for legislative work next. taking up a bill to extend welfare benefits through 2012. live coverage here on c-span. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011]
1:16 pm
the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, the chair will postpone further proceedings today on motions to suspend the rules on which a recorded vote or the yeas and nays are ordered, around which the vote is objected to under clause 6 of rule 20. recorded votes on postponed questions will be taken later. for what purpose does the gentleman from minnesota rise? >> mr. speaker, i vote to suspend the rules. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the bill. the clerk: h.r. 3659, a vote to reauthorize the program for temporary assistance for needy families for fiscal year 2012 and further purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from minnesota, mr. paulson, and the gentleman from texas, mr. dog get, will each control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from minnesota.
1:17 pm
mr. paulson: i ask unanimous consent that all members have 35 days which to revise and extend their remarks, including extraneous consent. i yield myself as much time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. paulson: i rise today in support of h.r. 365, legislation to extend temporary assistance for needy families and related programs through the end of this fiscal year, as well as to ensure that these funds are spent appropriately. before describing the legislation in greater detail, i note that these same provisions will already approved, the middle class tax relief and job creation act of tuesday of this week. given some of the uncertainty about some of that legislation, it makes sense to ensure that the program continues to assist families past december 31, when its current authorization expires. that's the first and most important thing that this bill will do.
1:18 pm
the tanner program has been generally successful as reducing welfare dependents and encouraging work. this success is partly evidenced by the fact that since it began in nix, tannif kids through 56% of june of this year. a key reason is because it's designed to promote and also support work. unfortunately, it's one of the only anti-poverty programs that actually does so. focusing on helping people from government checks to paychecks. especially given that the focus and the fact that this program helps so many single parents with children, we need to continue tannif so low-income parents have the dignity of working and supporting their family. but we also can't stop there. extending tannif will help us with the opportunity to help long-term solutions to some of the problems revealed in a subcommittee hearing earlier this year, such as making sure that work requirements apply in all the cases that they should. in discussing this issue with geoff davis, i know that that remains a key focus of the human
1:19 pm
resources subcommittee agenda in the coming year. aside from extending tannif and related programs, this bill contains two important and bipartisan provisions. first it requires that state supplies certain date of standards they use when administering benefits and reporting data to the federal government. this will help ensure that states have reliable data to use in matching within tannif and across other programs to ensure the right people are receiving the right benefits. unfortunately today, that is not always the case. the absence of such data standards undermines program integrity and results in the waste of taxpayer funds and that needs to end. this is identical to provisions affecting child welfare programs signed into law by the president in september as part of the child and family services improvement and innovation act. i know subcommittee chairman
1:20 pm
davis and mr. dog get have worked together throughout the year on this effort. the second program encloses what some have dubbed the strip club loophole. this loophole currently allows individuals to access to access a.t.m.'s at strip clubs, liquor clubs and casinos. this ensures that all states will take the necessary steps to end this practice, which has been highlighted in news programs across the country. some states have already implemented policies to close this loophole, ensure welfare benefits are spent to help children and families. this bill ensures that all states take action to close this loophole. i note this policy is the same as introduced by senators hatch and baucus. it has strong bipartisan support in the other body as well. i continuing funding for tanf,
1:21 pm
it does not add one penny to the deficit. it continues tanf for nine months while making nided changes to improve program integrity. more does need to be done to further improve tanf, especially on how it helps parents go and get to work. this legislation will also help that process of reform to continue into next year, while ensuring that important tanf benefits remain available beyond their current december 31 expiration. i want to thank representative geoff davis, the chairman of the ways and means subcommittee on human resources for his work on this issue, as well as mr. schock for the measures to bring this forward to the house today. i ask all my colleagues to support it and pass it. i do reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. will you take all conversations off the floor, please? the gentleman from texas, for what purpose do you rise? >> i rise in support of this measure. i rise in reluctant support of the pleasure, asking for its
1:22 pm
approval, because without approval, a federal funding for direct assistance to needy families will expire on new year's eve. my reluctance, and i yield myself such time as i need. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. >> my reluctant is on the incompleteness of this. in september, republicans declined to extend this necessary funding for more than three months. now they extend it only for another nine months, ensuring that during the hype of the 2012 campaign season next year, they'll have the opportunity to blame the poor for whatever questionable anecdote arises in the meantime. this reduces the ability to plan and to reform. it assures that direct assistance to our most vulnerable neighbors will just barely hold on. it postpones meaningful action
1:23 pm
while responding to the census bureau report that many americans were poorer in 2010 than any recent time. in my home county in the capital of the state of texas, the percentage of children living in poverty grew from 18.3% in 2011 to 24.5 in 2010. almost one in every four children in our area impoverished. today's bill is incomplete in terms of coverage. an important part of the 1996 reform of the welfare law, a reform that i personally septembered, an important part is omitted today. the tanf supplemental grants. these are funds that are allocated to help those states like texas that were negatively affected by the federal formula in place at the time. without any good explanation or justification, republicans allowed this initiative to expire last summer.
1:24 pm
and they continue to do so today. this means that a state government in texas that is largely indifferent to the needs of its poor citizens has even less capacity to respond to those needs. because of this deliberate and unjustified omission, texas loses $500 million, and together with 16 other states, they lose a total of $3 billion over the next decade. this is money that will not be there to assist struggling families and to promote work. termination of these grants is really a breech of the agreement of 15 years ago as a part of welfare reform. but as we pass this bill, a few points that need to be noted that are positive in nature. first is the one my colleague referred to, a bipartisan legislation that i have worked on with chairman geoff davis. it is designed to assure that health and human services does
1:25 pm
have common data points, so that we ferret out any waste and abuse among programs, and help eligible americans receive the assistance to which they're entitled. this has already been incorporated into the child welfare legislation. that was also approved from our subcommittee on a bipartisan basis and has been signed into law. a second provision that is described as program integrity certainly does sound good in speeches and it probably does address a problem noted in las vegas and a few other areas, that for speech purposes has been described as the so called strip show loophole. i'm in favor of closing every loophole that takes public money that needs to go to needy children and reverts it for some other purpose, whether it's at a strip club or it is a pharmaceutical manufacturer who has milked medicaid and medicare for millions of dollars.
1:26 pm
earlier this week, we heard from tanf administrators across the country, republicans and democrats, questioning this provision, and we know that it is also the subject of a study by the government accountability office. i think that we need to ensure no dollars are wasted here, and i certainly wouldn't let this newly added provision slow up a must-pass piece of legislation to assure that the temporary assistance for needy family program is continued until next september. with that, i would reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from minnesota? mr. paulson: mr. speaker, i'd like to yield two minutes from the gentleman from louisiana. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. >> i want to thank the gentleman from minnesota for yielding time to me. mr. speaker, i rise in support of the welfare integrity and data improvement act. i want to thank chairman davis for his work on this as well as
1:27 pm
ranking member dog get. but i also want to express my deep appreciation for the inclusion of my bill, the welfare integrity now, or w.i.n., in this important legislation. as chairman of the ways and means sub committee on oversight, i am determined to continue to fight waste, fraud, abuse on behalf of the taxpayer. this legislation ensures that taxpayer dollars in this program are being used in the manner that they are intended to be used. that is to help those that need it most. the abuse of funds on e.b.t. cards has to stop. prohibiting welfare funds on e.b.t. cards from being accessible in strip clubs, liquor stores and casinos, my bill h.r. 3567 seeks to prevent the fraudulent misuse of funds in the tanf system.
1:28 pm
families across america will continue to receive their necessary assistance that they need during this very tough economic times. the w.i.n. for children and families act also holds states accountable by not complying with this provision. i am pleased that the provision has been included in this bill and i urge my colleagues to vote yes on this bill. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from texas? mr. paulsen: mr. speaker, at this time, i would yield three minutes to the distinguished member of this subcommittee, mr. mcdermott of washington. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. without objection. mr. mcdermott: mr. speaker, i rise in support of this bill. we surely need to ensure that the tanf program does not expire, which is the basic purpose of this extend.
1:29 pm
but it would be -- we would be remiss if we didn't say that the status quo falls short of what is needed in these difficult times. nearly one out of every two americans -- more than one out of every two americans is scraping by in poverty or with very low income. talking about people below 44,000. the people who are just barely making it with a family of four in this country. that's what the census bureau found when they used the new supplemental poverty measure based on legislation i proposed in the congress. that means about 150 americans are struggling to get by. the response to this epidemic of suffering from republicans, and just two days ago on this floor, suggests we need to cut off unemployment benefits to millions of americans.
1:30 pm
now, imagine yourself in the middle class, and there are a lot of people who think they're in the middle class. and what that means when somebody says we're going to make it harder for you to get unemployment when you need it. it's morally wrong. and it's terrible economic policy. we need to follow a much stiffer path, one that focuses on reforming programs so that they better respond to americans in need. . i was here when we did the reform in 1996. 1996 this country was growing like a bat. we were really making money and anybody could find a job if they were willing to go in and ask. that is not the situation today. this welfare program is not meeting the needs of what's going on out there. now, if you watch television recently, you could have seen the -- on 60 minutes families living in cars.
1:31 pm
now, how do you get to a car? well, first you lose your job. then you get unemployment insurance. you lose your health care, too, by the way, when you lose your job. and then your unemployment insurance runs out. you got 99 weeks of that, and it's gone. where are you now? well, um, still got the house. you have been paying for that. and now your house is in foreclosure. and the next thing you know you're living in the car. now, we've got thousands of people in this country who are in that circumstance. they are increasingly exhausting -- taking all their money out of their i.r.a., all the money out of their pension plan, every single dime they got is gone and they are losing their house and all they have if they are a usual family is food stamps.
1:32 pm
that's what we offer them. in the richest country in the world, one in two people are in poverty or near it and we are offering them food stamps. and saying go find a job. when there are four people looking for every job out there. may i have an additional minute? mr. doggett: i yield the gentleman an additional minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. mcdermott: only one out of every five poor children in america receives any direct assistance from this program we are talking about today. those few who do get help receive very little. as more and more people lose their unemployment benefits, this hole in the tanf safety net is getting bigger and bigger and bigger, and we ought to start repairing that hole rather than ignoring it as it grows. we are crushing the middle class in this country with our social policy at this point. the data shows that our social safety networks and that the real problem is that we don't fund it. and we haven't kept it up to date with what the modernend economy is doing. people used to go unemployed and
1:33 pm
then in a while the job came back. jobs are not coming back anymore. technology is changing. i support extending tanf, but today's bill is a band-aid of underfunding an outdated policy that hasn't kept up with the policies, struggling americans are facing every day. we must do better by the middle class in this country or occupy wall street is going to be everywhere. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from minnesota. mr. paulsen: mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from texas. mr. doggett: thank you, mr. speaker. i may have one additional speaker if she makes it in time, but let me close on this note. mr. speaker, at this time of year we have largely a norman rockwell picture of american families gathered around the christmas table with their turkey and their christmas tree lit and their gifts.
1:34 pm
and that is the story of millions of american families. but it's not the story of many as well. i have seen those families first hand. i have seen them when they line up on a saturday morning two doors down from my house in east austin at the ollie vet baptist helping hand in need of help. i saw it last saturday in southeast austin in dove springs at the recreation center where parents were lined up for blocks to get their children one toy for christmas. and i have seen it across the south and westside of san antonio, good families, hardworking people, caught up in the worst recession since the great depression. they face great challenges. and our safety net in this country remains in tatters. my concern is that this bill today does so little to address that tattered safety net which is increasingly more whole than
1:35 pm
net. these families, we see the statistics, 38% growth over three years in the recession on homelessness. we see it in threadbare cup boards, in church pantries, and food centers across the country. we see it in the report yesterday in the "new york times" that in 37 states families are worse off in terms of childcare. i see my colleague arriving from wisconsin who i know shares many of these concerns about the unmet needs of those families who won't be fortunate enough to look like a norman rockwell painting this christmas. i want to yield her at this time two additional minutes to discuss the challenges that we face for some of our most vulnerable neighbors. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for two minutes. ms. moore: thank you so much, mr. doggett. thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in opposition to h.r.
1:36 pm
3659. this bill was drafted, it was taken out of 360-page tax extendsers bill and -- extenders bill and essentially the authors of this bill have brought it up so that they could just have another kick at poor people. one of the -- the bill sort of suggests that people who are poor are very low moral character and they can't be trusted to use their e.b.t. cards in liquor stores or casinos. so therefore we need to make some restrictions on how they can use e.b.t. cards. but before we start kicking poor people yet another time, i just want to remind people of data that was just released today to indicate that one half of all
1:37 pm
americans are poor. and they find themselves eligible for benefits under this electronic benefit transfer card. earlier this week congressman john lewis and i attempted to strike this language from the bill with no success. the provision that blocks e.b.t. cards from being used in liquor stores, casinos, and strip clubs doesn't consider a couple of things. it doesn't consider the tremendous cost that this will be to financial institutions who will have to reconfigure their cards. it also will not consider the distance that many americans, 23 million americans, live in so-called food deserts where where there is not access to a grocery store or e.b.t. machine within walking distance. i'd like to submit this report
1:38 pm
for the record. i just want to mention before i close, mr. speaker, just one personal experience that i had just this last week. the gentleman yield 30 seconds to tell my story? the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for 30 seconds. ms. moore: my sister, one of my sisters, on her way to the hospital this morning, back to the hospital, suffering an aneurysm, and because of didn't have access to a vehicle i went and purchased the last meal i gave her before i journeyed back to washington, d.c. i bought her 100% orange juice from a liquor store that was within walking distance of my home. and so it may be an unintended consequence, but this is just a mean-spirited effort to once again kick poor people who are now half of all americans one more time. with that i yield back the balance of my time.
1:39 pm
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from minnesota. mr. paulsen: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for as much time as he may consume. mr. paulsen: i want to thank the gentleman for raising the issue of tanf recipients can access their benefits in a variety of locations. the bill we are considering here on the floor today requires states to block access to welfare benefits in casinos, liquor stores, and strip clubs as we talked about. however we do understand, we understand that some grocery stores, convenience stores, and local markets may also sell groceries and alcohol or have gambling machines as well. that's why there is an exception in the bill to provide exactly for the concerns the gentlewoman from wisconsin raised. with that i reserve the balance of my time. mr. doggett: i thank the gentleman. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas. mr. doggett: while i think it would have been better to wait for a full report from the government accountability office. i support those program integrity provisions and yield a minute to the gentleman from illinois. the speaker pro tempore: the
1:40 pm
gentleman from illinois is recognized for one minute. mr. davis: thank you very much, mr. chairman. i want to thank mr. doggett for yielding. i rise in support of the extension of this legislative activity. i want to be associated as closely as possible with the comments made by my colleague from texas who seemed to have his hand on the pulse of where we need to go, what we need to do, and the unfortunate delays that we have experienced. so i thank mr. doggett for his leadership. i am in favor of extending this legislation and would yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from texas. mr. doggett: mr. speaker, in closing i would just yield myself such time as i consume to say that i'm pleased that we are moving forward to assure this program at least until the end of next september.
1:41 pm
but there remains much work to do. many of our neighbors in great need at the present time, many supported by churches, community nonprofits, and the like, valuable service, a time of charity at christmas when we all care about those who are the least among us. but just caring in that fashion is not sufficient given the extents of the problem. we need a stronger safety net with reference to health care, childcare, the support that is offered through the temporary assistance for needy families program. and to help those, yes, climb up with their boots but those who lack bootstraps to assist them as well. that should be the goal of our vision as we address the needs of the many impoverished people in this country. unfortunately poor people have the least voice in this congress. their voice is not heard to the extent that some of those who
1:42 pm
have vested interest here in limousines and lobbyists are heard. but we need to speak up for them and this is one of those rare opportunities to be able to do so and say that this congress has acted but acted in a modest, limited incomplete and inadequate way. we would not hold up that little bit of help but there is so much more that needs to be done. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from minnesota. mr. paulsen: mr. speaker, in closing this legislation, again, it continues, tanf and related programs for an additional nine months. it's going to run out on december 31. while making both needed and also bipartisan reforms and changes that are going to improve program integrity. i appreciate the comments of all the members here on the floor today who joined us in support of the bill. i look forward to working with them to continue to improve how tanf helps adults work and also
1:43 pm
become self-sufficient in the months ahead. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. all time for debate has expired. the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 3659. those in favor say aye. the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 3659, 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 upon the table. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, proceedings will resume on the
1:44 pm
questions previously postponed. votes are taken in the following order. approving the journal. h.r. 886. h.r. 2719, and h.r. 443. the first electronic vote will be conducted as a 15-minute vote. remaining electronic votes will be conducted as five-minute votes. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, the unfinished business is the question on agreeing to the speaker's approval of the journal on which the yeas and nays were ordered. the question is on agreeing to the speaker's approval of the journal. 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
1:45 pm
1:46 pm
1:47 pm
1:48 pm
1:49 pm
1:50 pm
1:51 pm
1:52 pm
1:53 pm
1:54 pm
1:55 pm
1:56 pm
1:57 pm
1:58 pm
1:59 pm
2:00 pm
2:01 pm
2:02 pm
2:03 pm
2:04 pm
2:05 pm
2:06 pm
2:07 pm
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 330. the nays are 83. and present is two. the journal stands approved.
2:08 pm
for what purpose does the gentleman from michigan rise? the house will be in order. the house will be in order. the house will be in order. for what purpose does the chairman of the house intelligence committee rise? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to speak out of order for the purpose of making an announcement. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman deserves to be heard. without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. rogers: thank you, mr. speaker. i wish to announce to all members of the house that the senate has passed h.r. 1892 --
2:09 pm
the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is correct. the house is not in order. please take your conversations off the floor. please take your conversations off the floor. don't make me call any names. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. rogers: thank you, mr. speaker. the senate has passed h.r. 1892, the intelligence authorization act for fiscal year 2012. with amendment. including amendments to the classified schedule of authorization and classified annex. it's my understanding the house will consider the senate amendment to the bill tomorrow by suspension of the rules. the committee on rules has posted the legislative text of the senate amendment on line for review by all members. mr. speaker, in addition, the amendment -- amended classified schedule of authorizations and
2:10 pm
classified annex accompanying the bill are available for review by all members at the offices of the permanent select committee on intelligence in room hvc 304 of the capital visstal center at any time. the committee office will be opened during regular business hours for the convenience -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman will suspend. the house will please be in order. the gentleman continue. mr. rogers: the committee will always be opened during regular business hours for the convenience of any member who wishes to review the classified material prior to its consideration in the house. i recommend that members wishing to review the classified annex contact the committee's director of security to arrange a time for that viewing. this will assure the availability of committee staff to assist members who desire any assistance during the review of these classified materials. it is important that members keep in mind the requirements of clause 13 of house rule 23 which only permits access to
2:11 pm
classified information by those members of the house who have signed the oath and met the requirements provided for in the rule. with that i thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. without objection, five-minute voting will continue. the unfinished business is the question on the suspend the rules and passing h.r. 886 as amended. which the clerk will report by title. the clerk: h.r. 886, a bill to require the secretary of the treasury to mint coins in commemoration of the 225th anniversary of the establishment of the nation's first federal law enformente agency, united states marshal -- enforcement agency, the united states marshal service. the speaker pro tempore: the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill as amended. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded
2:12 pm
in the affirmative -- >> mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from arkansas. >> as the sponsor of h.r. 886, respectfully i ask for a recorded vote. the speaker pro tempore: a recorded vote is requested. those favoring a recorded vote will rise. a sufficient number having arisen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this will be 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.]
2:13 pm
2:14 pm
2:15 pm
2:16 pm
2:17 pm
2:18 pm
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 412. the nays is one. present is one. 2/3 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.
2:19 pm
the unfinished business is the question on suspending the rules and passing h.r. 2719 which the clerk will report by title. the clerk: union calendar number 219, h.r. 2719, a bill to ensure public access to the summit of rattlesnake mountain in the hanford reach national monument for educational, recreational, historical, scientific, cultural and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill. as many as those that are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the affirmative -- for what purpose does the gentleman from washington rise? mr. hastings: mr. speaker, i ask for a recorded vote. the speaker pro tempore: a recorded vote is requested. those favoring a recorded vote will rise.
2:20 pm
a sufficient number having arisen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. and 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.]
2:21 pm
2:22 pm
2:23 pm
2:24 pm
2:25 pm
2:26 pm
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 416. the nays are zero. 2/3 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 question on suspending the rules and passing h.r. 443, as amended, which the clerk will report by title. the clerk: union calendar number 216, h.r. 443, a bill to provide for the conveyance of certain property from the united states to the maniilaq association located in kotzebue, alaska. the speaker pro tempore: the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no.
2:27 pm
in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the affirmative -- for what purpose does the gentleman from washington rise? mr. hastings: mr. speaker, i ask for a recorded vote. the speaker pro tempore: a recorded vote is requested. those favoring a recorded vote will rise. a sufficient number having arisen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. and 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.]
2:28 pm
2:29 pm
2:30 pm
2:31 pm
2:32 pm
2:33 pm
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 407. the nays are four. 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 upon the table.
2:34 pm
2:35 pm
the speaker pro tempore: the chair lays before the house the following personal requests. the clerk: leaves of absence requested for mr. danny davis of illinois for thursday, december 15, after 2:00 p.m. and ms. eddie bernice johnson of texas for today and friday, december 16. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the requests are granted. the chair will entertain one-minute requests. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? >> request permission to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: permission granted. mr. poe: mr. speaker, while walking home from school an innocent 7-year-old girl was abducted and assaulted. thankfully the girl was found because of the -- but because of the trauma she experienced she was not able to tell the police what happened to her, but with
2:36 pm
the help of the children's assessment center, the expertise they had at the center, and child centered approach, she was able to disclose her experience and the perpetrator was caught, arrested, and sent to jail. the children's assessment center in my hometown of houston, texas, has served over 50,000 children since 2000. under the leadership of the executive director. the children's advocacy center like the one in houston provide a place for the evaluation and treatment of abused children in a safe and friendly environment. housing experts in various fields so the young victims are not retraumatized by the system. as a former prosecutor and judge i have seen firsthand the damage caused by sexual assault on children. i commend the children assessment center in houston and the children advocacy centers throughout the country for their work in healing children and their families. and that's just the way it is. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from new york rise?
2:37 pm
without objection. the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> i rise today to address the most critical global challenge that we face. mr. israel: and that is the threat of a nuclear armed iran. a nuclear armed iran is not only an exy tension threat to our closies ally, the state of israel, but poses grave danger to our nation and allies around the globe. the u.s. must use all available options to show the world that we have a clear, concise, and muscular policy to prevent iran from obtaining nuclear weapons. let me be clear here. containment is not an option. prevention is the best option. this week congress passed additional sanction measures and it's imperative the administration use all the tools at our disposal to keep pressure on the iranian regime. we need to make it clear to the iranians and others around the globe that when we say it is unacceptable for iran to develop a nuclear weapon, we mean it. we must make clear that when we say that all options are on the table, we mean it.
2:38 pm
we should not be sending signals that suggest otherwise. our commitment to prevention is critical. there should be no misunderstanding, no ambiguity about the united states resolve to prevent iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon. i thank the speaker. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: are there further one-minute requests? for what purpose does the gentleman from missouri rise? >> to address the house for one minute. revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. carnahan: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to honor the memory of a remarkable st. louis businesswoman and friend, katherine anderson. katherine was the c.e.o. of andy seasoning, a small st. louis family business that grew to be a nationwide success. katherine and her husband started the business in 1981 in the heart of st. louis and after her husband's death in 1996, she
2:39 pm
left her job in the city government to focus her full-time efforts on growing the company. she embodied all the characteristics of a successful business owner. her dedication, perseverance, and hard work paid off. andy seasoning employs over 40 st. louisans, and its products are around the country. it's small businesses like these that allow a region to compete and flourish. special people like katherine that have made a mark on st. louis and beyond. she will be greatly missed. but through her sons, lawrence, michael, and roy, the rest of her family, her inspiration and influence and legacy will live on. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from illinois rise? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlelady is recognized for one minutes. ms. schakowsky: as of today the war in iraq is over. this is a monumental day on
2:40 pm
which we mussel brown-waite the service and sacrifice of the -- must announce the service and sacrifice of the americans who died there along with tens of thousands of iraqis. we welcome our heroes home and pledge to honor their service with the care and benefits they deserve. for them i wear this yellow robin. i congratulate the -- ribbon. i congratulate the activists who worked to bring our troops home and i thank the illinois state senator who on october 2, 2002, stood before a crowd in chicago said, quote i oppose a rash war. a war that distracts us from the rise of the uninsured, a rise in the poverty rate, a drop in the median income, unquote. that state senator was barack obama nine years ago. later as a candidate for president he promised to end the war in iraq, a promise fulfilled today. welcome home, troops. and thank you, mr. president. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for
2:41 pm
what purpose does the gentlelady from north carolina rise? ms. foxx: permission to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlelady is recognized for one minute. ms. foxx: thank you, mr. speaker. this week i learned of a recent audit of north carolina's medicaid billing system. normally i don't bring up state issues like this before the house, but it turned out that this isn't just a state issue. north carolina's currently upgrading its medicaid billing system and agreed to pay a contractor $265 million to make the upgrades. but surprise, surprise, the upgrade will end up costing $495 million, nearly twice as much. who cares? that's a problem for north carolina taxpayers, right? not so fast. it turns out that the federal government is expected to pick up 90% of the tab for this new system. that means all taxpayers, including north carolina taxpayers, will be shelling out an extra $200 million to cover for the north carolina department of health and human service's incompetence and inability to keep a lid on costs.
2:42 pm
making matters worse this department went so far as to give itself an a grade for managing the upgrade program. mr. speaker, i doubt taxpayers will give the folks at the north carolina department of health and human services an a for flushing $200 million of their money down the toilet. this is a classic example of how government bureaucracies view federal taxpayer dollars as manna from heaven. this money is not manna from heaven. it's taken directly out of the pockets of hardworking taxpayers from across the nation. when taxpayers hear stories like this, they wonder why they even pay taxes in the first place. it's no wonder they give big government a failing grade. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yield backs. are there further one-minute requests? are there any further one-minute requests? for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania rise? >> mr. speaker, request unanimous consent to address the house for one minute, revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is
2:43 pm
recognized for one minute. mr. thompson: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to recognize and celebrate bill brates day, which is today, december 15, 2011. the bill of rights was created to ensure a level of limited government. a parchment barrier was the way many of our founding fathers described documents such as the constitution and its first 10 amendments, the bill of rights. our founders viewed them as an essential guarantee on our freedoms. these documents would serve as a barrier to an oppressive government, preventing such horses from overpowering its citizenry. our pounders also knew that such documents weren't worth the parchment written on unless a citizenry knew of their worth. for the protections offered, knew a all citizens must understand the content. that's why we celebrate bill of rights dade. for each of us to better understand our bill of rights and to know that without them liberty cannot prosper. thank you, mr. speaker.
2:44 pm
i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. are there any further requests for one minutes? any further requests? under the speaker's announced policy of january 5, 2011, the gentleman from nebraska, mr. terry, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the majority leader. mr. terry: thank you, mr. speaker. at this time we are going to discuss energy, security, american jobs, and keystone x.l. pipeline. i'd like to yield at this time for as much time as he may consume the chairman emeritus of the energy and commerce committee, mr. joe barton of texas. mr. barton: i thank the distinguished gentleman from nebraska, would ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. barton: thank you. mr. speaker, we are here today to discuss a project that's of utmost importance to the american people.
2:45 pm
as the gentleman from nebraska just mentioned it's called the keystone x.l. pipeline. it is a proposal to extend an existing pipeline that starts in canada, comes down through the midwestern parts of the united states into oklahoma. the proposal is to extend that pipeline to the gulf coast, to texas and louisiana. why is this important to every american? simply because we use lots of energy in america and we do not produce as much as we use. so we have to import some of the energy. a lot of the energy we use comes from oil. and the keystone pipeline, if built, would bring crude oil that starts up in canada down through the midwest to the gulf coast where we have about 50% of united states refining capacity. this is a good deal because, number one, canada is an ally.
2:46 pm
we are importing quite a bit of oil right now from venezuela who has a government dictator, mr. chavez, who is somewhat hostile to the united states. . we are importing oil from the middle east. it is unstable in terms of the political stability. and so if we could get more energy from north america, from canada, that would be a good thing for us. this pipeline will create in the construction phase, the gentleman from nebraska would know the exact number but somewhere between 20,000 and 30,000 jobs, i believe. and in production we think up to 100,000 jobs would be created here in the united states. it would make us more secure. i mean, when you just look at the facts of it, you have to ponder why anybody would be opposed to it.
2:47 pm
i'm puzzled why my friends on the democratic side of the aisle are opposed to it. the state department, under the leadership of hillary clinton, endorsed the pipeline. they did an impact statement that said it was positive. at one point in time it looked like it was going to get approval and move through. the environmental groups came to washington last fall, they surrounded the white house, they protested against president obama and unfortunately, in my opinion, the president decided to delay a decision until after the election which is why we're here today. in what we call the jobs bill that passed the house two days ago, there is a provision that requires a decision be made on keystone i believe within 60 days of enactment of the bill if the president signs it. the president has said he would
2:48 pm
veto that bill which shows that while he said back in the fall that he wanted to delay a decision, apparently he opposes it so he opposes jobs, he opposes energy security for the united states which is an odd platform, in my opinion, to run on in a presidential election campaign, but it's a free country and if the president wants to go down that trail he has the right to do that. so i believe that keystone is a good idea. in my congressional district down in texas there are numerous pipelines, there are oil pipelines, natural gas pipelines, gasoline refined product pipelines, water pipelines. we have never had any major problems with those pipelines on an environmental standpoint. the keystone pipeline would be built using the absolute latest in technology with the latest in safety, inspections, maintenance.
2:49 pm
it just seems to me -- i cannot imagine why we would oppose it, so i am in strong support of it. i want to thank mr. terry for his leadership on this issue. he has introduced bills. he has worked tirelessly in committee. he's worked tirelessly on the floor here. and as i said, i hope we get this done, but i am in very strong support. i want to thank him for his leadership, and i also want to thank congressman carter for his leadership. he's here today, and he's worked very diligently on the keystone pipeline too. with that i thank the gentleman for his time and i would yield back. mr. terry: thank you, mr. barton. now at this time i'd like to yield as much time as he may consume to the other gentleman from texas, judge carter. mr. carter: i thank you, mr. chairman, and thank you for all of your hard work on this issue. this is an issue that's important to the united states of america. it's just that simple.
2:50 pm
that you don't have this kind of opportunity in the economic environment that we have in this country very often. we have a country that has been in the worst unemployment, rampant unemployment and the worst number of quarters of bad unemployment figures since the great depression, and here we have our canadian neighbors to the north with this keystone x.l. pipeline that's proposed to stretch 1,700 miles, cost $7 billion to construct, over a two-year period, and create hundreds -- 100,000 or more jobs for americans. and this is paid for. this is other people's money. we're not asking the federal government to spend more stimulus money on this energy project as it did on the famous solyndra project in california. we're asking just to approve
2:51 pm
this pipeline. now, the reason i'm here to talk is because starting at age 16 until i graduated from law school, every summer of my life i worked on pipelines. now, i was not the engineer. i was the guy with the shovel. i dug the ditches and i cut the grass and operated on the survey crew and i gauged the gauges and i did all the various things. i've done them in the state of texas, in the state of louisiana, and i actually was on a pipeline that stretched from northern holland to belgium in europe, worked one summer. so i personally know the pipeline business from the bottom end. these are great jobs. even the guy that wheels the shovel has a great job, a great paying jobs.
2:52 pm
that's why i did these jobs, to help pay my way through school. i found them to be very professional organizations and i worked for five different companies. so i am as they say an old pipeliner. now, this project is a no-brainer. we are sitting here. we created an energy department in this country during the carter administration, i believe, and i can be corrected on that, that purpose was to wean us off middle eastern oil. now, our neighbors, our first cousins up in canada, have found oil up there. they're willing to have us do the refining process for them. they laid their part of the pipeline and the infrastructure in the north, and their major participants coming in this pipeline coming south to bring this crude down to the southern
2:53 pm
major refinery area in this country so it can be refined into products we use every day, products we depend on every day. an estimated 100,000 jobs will be created by this pipeline, and you know, i'm not sure they know how to estimate pipeline jobs because there's so much more than that the american public wouldn't understand about the construction of a pipeline. there are going to be roads built. there are going to be fences built. there's -- things that you never would even relate to the pipeline business are required to get the labor and the materials to the various locations on the construction of this pipeline. and so every state this passes through in this country is going to be a state where they are going to benefit from good-paying jobs. these people that argue these are temporary jobs, this is a two-year project, and these are the kind of jobs that american
2:54 pm
folks, they pray for. these are the ones that the unemployed people of this country are on their knees every night asking to come to their town so they could have a good-paying job, a job that will support their families, and out of these construction projects can come other things that are related to the maintenance of the pipeline. this is a plus, plus, plus opportunity for american workers. and here we are at a time when the number one issue in the united states is putting americans back to work. we have all this stuff but it all comes back that we don't get our country back on track until we put the americans back to work. and quite honestly, the attention paid in the past has not been successful. this is a guaranteed successful job-creating project. we have track records to prove it. you can look back on the
2:55 pm
history of pipelines and they have all -- these construction programs have always been part of prosperity wherever they go. now, this is not a labor versus management issue. five major labor unions have endorsed this project and have signed project labor agreements with transcanada pipeline. over 20,000 construction jobs will be directly created to install the line. the top labor -- on top of that labor required to put this in the ground, tens of thousands of more jobs will be created as refineries expand, both in texas and in louisiana, to refine this and out of the whole project the estimate is clear it will be 100,000 jobs or more. now, where's the downside? we hear there are some environmental issues being raised and talks about going through the great state of nebraska, mr. terry's state, and some people are opposing it
2:56 pm
on environmental reasons but if you put the pipelines going east and west of this country, i haven't counted them, but i would say half of them pass through the state of nebraska. and they've been in it for years and there has never been an environmental problem to the state of nebraska. if you look at the texas -- the pipeline map of the state of texas and louisiana, it's a -- it looks like a spiderweb of pipelines. you never hear of major pipeline disasters in our state. pipelines are the safest and most economical way of transporting petroleum and other products. with 9% for the first time in a long time, we just recently dropped below 9% in unemployment, not much below, and much of it is probably going back up above 9% after the holiday temporary employment is over.
2:57 pm
when we're sitting here with above 9% unemployment, why in the world wouldn't we want to join with our neighbors, our friends and those people who have been our friends forever, the canadians, take the resource that they are properly capturing in their part of the world and willing to share down here for the refined products sand build this pipeline and build prosperity right down the middle of the country, where's the downside? mr. speaker, i join my friend, lee terry of nebraska, in supporting of the keystone x.l. pipeline. it is a plus for america and more importantly it's a plus for the working men and women of this country and it's another step towards energy independence in north america. and with that i will yield back my time and i thank my friend, lee terry, for allowing me to participate in this discussion.
2:58 pm
mr. terry: thank you, mr. carter. i do appreciate your insight and your support. let me take this opportunity. we've had two speakers already that talked in support of the keystone pipeline. now, let me give kind of the tutorial of what we're talking about. it's a 1,700-mile pipeline from the oil sands of alberta coming down through montana, south dakota, nebraska, kansas, and as our two previous speakers said, then down into southern -- southwest texas -- southeast texas, louisiana, where most of the refineries are. it will break off at different points in kansas and then also to the east to other refineries , but there's very few refineries in the midwest so
2:59 pm
most of the refineries that will then refine this into a variety of fuels, mostly for our automobiles, then diesel and aviation fuel as well. it will produce 700,000 barrels per day once it's built. what does that mean to us by way of energy security? well, first of all, we import on a daily basis almost 900,000 barrels of oil per day from venezuela. so this one pipeline, starting in canada, ending in texas, would nearly offset 100% of what we import to this country from venezuela. our reliance on opec oil, our major opec exporter to us is
3:00 pm
saudi arabia where they export around 1.2 million barrels per day. now, when this is fully built and the oil sands are really humming, they think they can get up to 1.1 million per day through this pipeline. . that then would nearly offset what we have to buy from saudi arabia. we use about 19 million barrels per day in the united states. we produce domesticly within the united states about 8 1/2, flirting with 9 now with the finds in north dakota. so if we can import from just miles over the canadian border,
3:01 pm
we go a long way to making us more secure. now, in a different hour we can maybe talk about other resources we can use in transportation fuels so we can be 100% secure, not relying on foreign countries, especially like venezuela. but when we talk about what is on the minds of most americans, and that's jobs, yes, the unemployment rate has finally dipped below 9%. of course, you've got to put an asterisk, because 300,000 of that in the last month were just people that were chronically unemployed and have given up and are no longer counted. so the reality that we saw in a recent poll, i think it may have been gallup, said that the real unemployment rate is somewhere around 11%. they want to see congress do
3:02 pm
something to create jobs. they want to see us stop bickering about things, probably liceystone pipeline -- like keystone pipeline, that seemed to be a no-brainer. so, let's talk about the jobs. obviously in a 1,700-mile pipeline, you will need a lot of labor to build that, especially within the two-year timeframe that they have now. so all estimates, except for produced by the environmental extremists that are in opposition, done by a cornell university professor that says it won't create any jobs. and besides, if it did, they're temporary and dirty. the logic befuddles me, because all construction jobs are temporary, so obviously you
3:03 pm
don't like construction jobs. it's the only thing i can think of. we don't count construction jobs. well, as mentioned by judge carter, there's labor agreements, the people that will -- this 20,000 that's estimated to be the direct jobs, those people that are directly working on the pipeline, from teamsters to earth movers to sheet metal workers to pipe fitters to laborers to the electricians that will build all the electronics for the pump stations along the way. this will create 20,000 jobs. and that's just -- we heard from judge carter, that doesn't count the spin-offs that occur in the refinery expansions, the extra jobs that will be needed to handle the extra oil in the
3:04 pm
refineries, the suppliers. in fact, there's a business just south of my district in auburn, nebraska, that makes parts for oil refineries. they will have increased orders in people going back to work. it was interesting, just yesterday, there was an article online from a fox affiliate in little rock, arkansas, who had to lay off 500 people. why? they make pipes, they make pipelines. and they are the fabricator of metal into the pipelines. they have an order for transcanadian pipeline for this project. because this has been stalled out and they don't need to fill an order because there's no
3:05 pm
order to fill yet, they've laid off 500 people. they are projecting that unless this gets started, that they will have to lay off more people and it will probably be within the next week that they are going to lay off a few hundred more people. think of that, being laid off, laid off your job on the eve of christmas. so these folks that say there's no jobs created, tell that to the 500 and maybe the 800 total that are laid off just at one pipeline making facility in arkansas, that their jobs are worthless. so we don't care if they're laid off. that's the message that i hear from those that are opposing this pipeline because it's providing hide -- hydro carbons and they want to just flip the
3:06 pm
switch. so let's talk about this pipeline. i want to rebut some of the arguments that i've heard lately. number one is that we're rushing it. we're rushing this pipeline. well, number one, this pipeline application was filed three years, three months ago. the average time it takes to permit a pipeline, transcontinental coming over our border, has been around 18 months. so we're double the time. more than double the time that it usually takes. why? well, because the environmentalists, the far left of the environmental movement, have raised environmental concerns, mostly due to the fact that it's a heavy crude that
3:07 pm
will come in from canada, which surprises me because venezuela is an equally heavy crude, but somehow that's ok. ok with some, not with me. so, to engineer this pipeline, what the pipeline company has to do is provide with their application an environmental study, and they have decided that since there's environmental concerns that they are going to over-engineer this pipeline. they will -- in sensitive areas like coming through nebraska where it would cross the sand hills, but our governor has talked them into moving it off of that sensitive ecosystem in
3:08 pm
the sand hills. but probably when they move it over 50 miles to the east in nebraska, they will double case it. they said they put it then in cement. another item that is over-engineered above and beyond pipeline standards is pump stations. why are pump stations necessary? well, you've got to pump it through the pipeline. even though it goes north to south, you still need pressure in there to move it. the pump stations usually are several hundred -- a couple hundred miles apart. they have agreed to put more pump stations in. why is that important? well, it is the way they determine if there's a leak. so by moving the pump stations closer, they can in a more timely fashion determine if there's a leak. also, they have promised in areas where there's water and sensitivity, that they will put
3:09 pm
employees permanently in that area. that is unique to any pipeline in the united states. the unwritten standard of the industry is if there's a decrease in pressure, they get there within four to five hours. this pipeline has not only moved the pump stations closer so they can read it earlier in time that there's a drop in pressure, i.e. in a leak. but that they will have somebody close enough that they could be there within one hour. five times better than the national unwritten standard. so the fact that this will cause environmental harm is just wrong. other than the fact that it's an oil and it's going to be refined and there will be carbon emissions from that. but the point i want to make is the refineries in the united
3:10 pm
states are state of the art in pollution technologies. all refineries in the united states, in refining oil to our fuel, emits far less carbon in that process than any other refineries around the world. so i would ask the environmentalists that are opposing this, that maybe send the oil over to china, why wouldn't you want it refined where it's going to emit the least amount of carbon in the manufacturing process? now, because of the long delay, i introduced a bill in the springtime to set a deadline of november 1. the environmental studies had already been done. the supplemental environmental study on top of the first one
3:11 pm
was already done and was just sitting there. so we set a date, we meaning some of my friends on committee like mr. sullivan from oklahoma, picked apple arbitrary -- picked an arbitrary date. well, not too ashtray. time to go through it, time for public comment. that would be november 1. we passed that bill in the house. we sent it to the senate and harry reid refused to bring it up on the floor. during that time, the state department said that's unnecessary because we're on track to have the decision made on this pipeline by december 31. by december 31. and they first told us that march 15. and i'll read you from a u.s.
3:12 pm
department of state diplomacy in action, march 15, 2011, says the u.s. department of state expects to make a decision on whether to grant or deny the permit before the end of 2011. april 15, 2011. they also state publicly and to our committee the u.s. department of state expects to make a decision on whether to grant or deny the permit by the end of 2011. so march they say that, april they say that. and then after we pass, after this house passes with overwhelming support, bipartisan support, nearly 50 democrats joining us, the state department
3:13 pm
says -- and here's their memo to us. and it says, we don't need to have a bill to permit the keystone x.l. crude oil pipeline by november 1, 2011. the bill is unnecessary because the state department has been working diligently to complete the permit decision process for the keystone x.l. pipeline and has publicly committed to reaching a decision before december 31, 2011. they are diligently working. july 25, diligently working, and will have the decision by december 31. this is important. why? because the president of the united states just two days ago
3:14 pm
stood up and said if i have to sign a bill with keystone pipeline in it, you are rushing us and maybe forcing the state department to deny it because they don't have enough time. bull. their own documents from april, march, july have said they've been working diligently. and will have the decision. and by the way, if the keystone bill is passed, it passed out of the house overwhelmingly two days ago, it's sitting over in the senate with the unemployment insurance bill and a myriad of other bills that have been put together. so really, from what they've told us already, they are already ready. they can make a decision right now.
3:15 pm
they've been studying it since april. they're done. they know what the decision is. you know why the president said that? and this is what's probably most disappointing to me. politics. yeah. election year politics. the environmentalists have made statements like this is where the president can get his environmental mojo back if he denies the permit. . that's what one environmental group said. they challenged them to kill this pipeline. the issue is the president does not want to make a decision between his environmental groups that flat told him -- this is a quote, a direct quote that's been published in "the
3:16 pm
wall street journal," "the washington post" and many other newspapers, they told him we will not mobilize our environmentalists in the 2012 election if you approve this pipeline. amazingly it was only days after that threat was made to the president that he decided that he will not make a decision until after the election. folks, politics, energy politics is now causing layoffs in arkansas right before the holidays. there's people sitting in my union halls in omaha, nebraska, ready to go to work, but the president says i'm not even going to tell you if you're going to work on this until
3:17 pm
2013. mr. president, i respectfully ask that you act on this permit, put aside election-year politics, make a decision on the merits of this project, listen to your agencies. the state department shows this route is the most environmentally safe route. this will employ 20,000 people secondary, tertiary jobs. if we start using all of our resources in the united states, we can employ millions. let's do the right thing for this country. i want to ask my friend from tulsa, oklahoma, the vice chairman of the energy and
3:18 pm
power subcommittee, if he would brief us on his feelings about keystone pipeline. >> thank you, congressman terry. and i just want to thank you so much for all you've done. i've seen you work in the committee, get this through the committee process. you've been tenacious and i thank you. i thank you for getting this through the house floor, and now getting it across the finish line which is really what we need to do. and i thank you, along with the tens of thousands of people that want to thank you as well that will have a job. mr. sullivan: like you said, it's creating jobs. and we talk about creating jobs here in america and politicians really don't do it but we have a chance to do something. and these aren't -- these aren't government jobs. these aren't census takers or i.r.s. agents, these are private sector jobs. so i thank you, congressman terry, for all that you've done
3:19 pm
creating those jobs. and another thing, too, that this does is it lessens our dependence on opec oil. i'm tired as well as many other people sending $1 billion or more every single day to foreign countries to subsidize their economies and their nations at the expense of our own and it's a national security issue as well. this keystone pipeline really creates jobs. keystone is the largest infrastructure project ready for construction in the u.s. and is privately funded. requiring no spending. the $7 billion construction will create products. keystone pipeline will create, as my friend said 20,000 jobs and will support hundreds of thousands of jobs in the coming years. more than 1,400 companies
3:20 pm
across the u.s. sell their products and services for oil sand work. keystone x.l. will lead to more economic activity. canada is the united states' number one trading partner. in 2010, two-way trade and goods and services between the u.s. and canada was more than $640 billion each day. $1.7 billion worth of goods and services traversed the u.s.-canadian border. it will boost national security. canada is the most reliable and secure oil supplier for the -- for americans outside the u.s. the real foreign alternative to oil sands are from volatile nations like venezuela. keystone x.l. will encourage greater oil production in the balkan areas of north dakota and montana. trade with canada complements an all-of-the-above domestic energy strategy, more domestic oil, more alternative fuels and
3:21 pm
more auto innovation. global demand for oil will continue to increase dramatically, meaning that the oil sands will be produced. the question is whether americans will directly benefit or if the oil will be exported to asia or even -- asia, primarily china. canada is one of america's top allies in meeting security threats around the world. oil sands production is a major economic engine for canada and the government supports keystone x.l. america's foreign policy must not be dictated by e.p.a. which opposes the keystone x.l. pipeline. and like congressman lee terry said, the obama administration puts electropolitics ahead of national security interests by putting off a decision of keystone x.l. until after the elections. that is crazy. the state department conducted more than three years of
3:22 pm
rigorous analysis and was widely expected to approve keystone x.l. by the end of this year before the white house came under environmentalist pressures. the obama administration has put environmentalists ahead of american workers. as one example, keystone x.l. is supported by several major unions. united association of journeymen and apprentice of plumbing and pipe fitters industries of the u.s. in canada, international union operators and engineers, laborers international union of america, international brotherhood of teamsters, international brotherhood of electrical workers, building construction and trade department, afl-cio. now, this is one of the best christmas gifts we could give the american people by creating jobs and lessening our dependence on foreign oil and stop sending $1 billion every single day to foreign countries. again, i want to thank congressman lee terry for all
3:23 pm
the work he's done on this and thank you. mr. terry: thank you, mr. sullivan, and i appreciate your support on this issue. at this time i'd like to recognize the gentleman from illinois, one of the new phenoms on our energy and commerce committee, mr. kinzinger. mr. kinzinger: i thank the gentleman from nebraska, mr. terry, and listening to the words of the gentleman from oklahoma, very well-spoken. you know, i often ask, what are the top issues? what are the top things americans are concerned with right now? obviously number one is jobs. number two is jobs and the economy. i hear people talk a lot about energy in the 11th district of illinois. so we have jobs, economy, energy. and i also hear some people talk about they're concerned with the national defense. you know, amazingly to me, when you look at jobs, international defense, there's one thing we
3:24 pm
can do which is going to address all of those concerns and it would address them now. and that is the keystone pipeline. i actually sent a letter the other day, mr. speaker, to my colleague in illinois, senator dick durbin. he's the whip over in the senate, and i asked him and i asked the senate to just, you know what, let's have an up or down vote on the keystone pipeline. let's stop the parliamentary parlor tricks and have an up or down vote on the keystone pipeline. you know, the interesting thing is they are not going to do it right now because they're afraid it might pass, because i think it would. the american people desperately need jobs, so let me ask you specifically, what does this mean for the midwest? for the midwest we are talking about 20,000 construction jobs. we're talking for the country about 800,000 barrels of oil a day from our friends to the
3:25 pm
north, and that means less oil from places like middle east, venezuela and nigeria. $5.2 billion in property taxes to state and local governments that are basically bankrupt today. and how much will this cost the taxpayers? any guess? the answer is zero. this is free. in fact, it saves the taxpayers a lot of money because ultimately fuel is going to be more secure. middle-class families are now on notice that the president and harry reid want to reject a payroll tax cut extext leaked to private sector construction projects. we passed a payroll tax cut extension just a couple days ago in this house. we found a way to pay for it so we're not robbing the social security fund. and we also are talking about the real job creation opportunity that we have in the keystone pipeline, and amazingly the president said
3:26 pm
no. probably because he wants to help his base. i think a year and a half to two years, that's a long time. this process is upwards of 39 months now, and the thing we hear from the administration is we need another year to make sure we do this correctly. are we in a -- i mean -- are we in an era in this country where it takes four, five years, 10 years to approve projects? and then we wonder why we're not able to keep on the frontlines of innovation and the frontlines of energy production and security. this is an example of that. ladies and gentlemen, i strongly believe in national security and the national defense of this country and the best way we can do that is to have energy security here at home. here at home. production of our own energy is great. we have to do that.
3:27 pm
that has to be the priority. but in the meantime i'd sure rather have 800,000 barrels of oil a day from canada than having to import that much oil from places in the middle east that don't like us. this makes sense. so we talk about getting people back to work. this is a shot in the arm right now. it's a shot in the arm today. this has bipartisan support. in isn't a republican thing. this isn't a democrat thing. frankly, this is a bipartisan, american jobs act, this keystone pipeline. but politics has infected this process. so all i would ask is for senator durbin in this letter i sent him, for senator harry reid, please just bring the keystone pipeline up for a vote. let's extend the payroll tax cut and make sure we're paying for it and not taking it away from social security. these are all very good opportunities to get america back to work. so with that i want to say thank you to the gentleman from
3:28 pm
nebraska for the opportunity to talk about this very important jobs creation opportunity for the american people, and i yield back. mr. terry: i thank you for your support for this effort for american jobs. at this time i'd like to recognize another one of our freshman phenoms on the energy and commerce committee from virginia, morgan griffith. mr. griffith: and i appreciate that. i'm not sure about phenom but i'm very proud to be on the energy and commerce committee. for those who are watching this who aren't familiar with my district i represent southwest virginia. it's a big energy-producing region of the state of virginia, and in virginia we understand that we should use our own resources to create jobs. so i come here today for jobs to be created in the united states, not in virginia directly, but in another part of this great nation because the issues are often the same, and for some reason this
3:29 pm
administration is standing in the way of the creation of jobs in the energy industry. in virginia we have asked repeatedly to be able to drill off our coast in order to find oil and natural gas. we want to use our resources to create jobs. we started this in virginia asking for this back in 2004. at that time we had democrat governors and they blocked our efforts to send this to the federal government. later, having a change of heart, one of the governors decided that they -- as they were on their way out to the door, that they would send the request forward. but to this date the president has not realized that we can create jobs. but our jobs, unlike the jobs in nebraska and other parts of the united states affected by
3:30 pm
keystone, they would be several years down the road. what we have here is the nation's best shovel-ready project. in reality it's ready to go. and while it's not american oil, it's canadian oil. and one would have to believe that the canadians don't care about their environment to be opposed to this pipeline. . one would have to believe that the president of the united states would prefer to see the oil from canada going to china. one would have to believe that the president of the united states would prefer for us to buy oil from other nations like venezuela and some nations that don't care for us one iota, than to do this pipeline. one would have to believe that for some reason, we want to be dependent, and this president wants us to be dependent on other nations who don't care for us, who don't appreciate our
3:31 pm
democratic republican form of government and who don't understand that jobs and the economy are a driving concern. something that we must -- that we must pay attention to and that we must do it now. and here we have thousands of jobs, thousands of jobs. we've heard the number 20,000. those are direct jobs. you can multiply that number out beyond and beyond. and they're being stopped. and if you are an energy producer and you see something that makes as much sense as the keystone pipeline being stopped dead in its tracks because a president doesn't want to make a decision until next year, and maybe the next year after that, you have to believe that it's not worth investing here in the united states for energy concerns. i had a fellow come up to me recently back home. he said, morgan, i want to tell
3:32 pm
you something. showed me the article he found. he said i've always invested in american energy. that's where i've always put my money. he said, but right now, the situation is so uncertain. and this was before we knew the president was going to delay this very reasonable project, the keystone pipeline. he said i'm now investing in southern africa, i believe it was australians, south africans, and brazilians working on a project many mozambique. he said i didn't want to do it, but i don't know what choice i have when you look at what is coming out of the administration when they don't want us to invest in american energy. so, ladies and gentlemen, i have to tell you i came here today, this does not directly affect me district, but it does affect my country and i care deeply about my country. our country needs jobs. we need affordable energy.
3:33 pm
keystone pipeline helps us both have jobs and affordable energy. and that is why it's important for every person in the united states to understand that we must have the keystone pipeline, and the sooner we start, the sooner those jobs occur and the sooner we get more oil supply that's not from our adversaries in the world, the people who would like to see the united states torn down, but from our friend canada, who understands that together we can build a more prosperous north america. ladies and gentlemen, with that, i would like the yield back to the gentleman from nebraska. mr. terry: i thank you, gentleman from virginia. so i'd like to just take the last couple minutes to close here. what we have is a $7 billion infrastructure project for the
3:34 pm
united states of america that will immediately employ 20,000 workers. it's a two-year-plus project. it will add -- that's not even counting the spin-off jobs to support and to expand the refineries, the permanent jobs that will be created there. so i ask the people that are watching here today and the american public to let congress know, to let the president know, that it's important to you that we create jobs in america. this project, when approved, would start the next day. moving ground, employing people. let's do that. let's get america back to work. let's help create american jobs.
3:35 pm
i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: under the speaker's announced policy of january 5, 2011, the chair recognizes mr. gohmert, the gentleman from texas, for 30 minutes. mr. gohmert: thank you, mr.
3:36 pm
speaker. so much going on these days. we have the responsibility of reining in spending. we will just simply live up to it. we know that our friends at the other end of the hall, the majority in the senate want to spend, want to tax more, not interested in making serious cuts. it's rather amazing that this president could come into office and speaker pelosi and leader reid could bump up the spending by a trillion dollars, and when it becomes apparent to the whole world, not just the u.s., but the whole world that we've got to rein back in that extra trillion they begin to spend, not only do they not want to cut that extra trillion that is bankrupting us, but they want to add taxes on americans so that
3:37 pm
they can justify even more spending. it shouldn't work that way. we're running a deficit. we have been for a number of years. and to have speaker pelosi take over this chamber and take $160 billion deficit, which we shouldn't have run when republicans had the house in 2006, and parlay that into 10 times more deficit spending, is just unfathomable. but it has happened and it's got to stop. we owe that to future generations. at the same time, we also know -- and i think joel rosenberg referred to it in his book "inside the revolution," that saab -- osama bin laden didn't just rejoice in the killing of
3:38 pm
americans on 9/11. he actually said that one of the great things about 9/11 from osama bin laden's standpoint was that they spent maybe half a million dollars in setting up an carrying out the 9/11 murders. but that also, they were costing the united states billions and billions of dollars and it may run into trillions of dollars. but we have to defend ourselves. we have to keep with our commitment and our constitutional duty to provide for the common defense. so not only do we have the responsibility of trying to regain some maturity as a congress in controlling our spending and not doing further damage to the economy by rewarding the -- as the
3:39 pm
president called them, the fat cats on wall street, those people that gave to his campaign by a four-to-one margin, the executives on wall street and their families. four-to-one democrat over republican. it's time to quit bailing out people who got themselves into those messes. we should never have done it for wall street. we should not have done it for the auto makers. if we had had a real payroll tax holiday, holiday meaning you don't do something, i can't imagine having a school holiday and you only get 2% of the day off. i know kids that went to school with me growing up would never have considered a 2% holiday a real holiday. the president's payroll tax holiday at 2% is going to go forward. we passed that out of the house. unless the senate under harry reid killed the bill and don't allow that payroll tax cut to
3:40 pm
continue. but it's not a holiday. a real payroll tax holiday would have been to do what i proposed three years ago. art laffer said it would have been the best stimulus we could have done at the time. that's the genius behind ronald reagan's economic policies in the early 1980's. but that would have been to say you know, you earned the money, you're going to keep it for at least a couple months in your own paycheck. and then you decide which car dealer, which car manufacturer you want to bail out by deciding what car you're going to buy with the extra money you've gotten in your paycheck. that would have been a great thing to do. instead, we had a presidential administration decide who they wanted to bail out, how they wanted to bail them out. we had a secret society set up
3:41 pm
by the president in the white house decide which dealers, how many dealers were going to have to be shut down, and we ended up having the unthinkable occur, a violation of the constitution, and that is a federal taking of property, a federal order to take property without any due process, without any remuneration. people even have borrowed money to buy dealerships. they still owed the banks for the money they borrowed to pay for those dealerships. and yet we had an administration that says close them. it's amazing, i understand most of those that were ordered closed were republican, which started feeding into the belief that we had croney capitalism going on. if you were friends of the president, you were going to do
3:42 pm
well. if you weren't, you could lose your business without any remuneration, without any due process. and then we have an administration now that is in office in the executive branch. they've filled the positions in the justice department, the top positions in the intelligence department, the state department. they're running things from the executive branch. and they know, they've read the 9/11 commission report. certainly hope they have. and it's interesting if we look back and see what the 9/11 commission said. it was a very bipartisan report. some things i didn't terribly agree with. but i knew that the people who wrote the report were doing the very best they could and doing
3:43 pm
the best to the best of their beliefs. they had to account for how 9/11 came about. how we had 3,000-plus people killed. the worst attack on american soil in our history. how that came about. and they did the study. and they found out all of the people that were involved crying out. they were people who believed that their religion required them or encouraged them to kill innocent people, and that somehow they would be rewarded in paradise for killing innocent people. that they have taken their religion, this small percentage of islammists, that they actually believe that there is a
3:44 pm
sbod -- god entity out there that will reward the devastation and killing of innocent people. so the 9/11 did a very candid report. and when you take a look at the things in that report and compare them to what this administration has done in the last three years to whitewash that part of history, to completely distort what really happened on 9/11, to blind -- as one of our officers has said, to blind our own law enforcement intelligence justice people so they cannot see the enemy who has declared war on us, blind those that we have called upon to risk their life to protect us. blind them from really seeing the risks and really being able to predict what will happen.
3:45 pm
it is staggering. we've got blind leading blind. and i don't think it's any better depicted than in just a numerical analysis from the 9/11 commission. so i have a poster here. . and, of course, as this writing says, the terminology is important in defining our goals as well as removing roadblocks in the hearts and minds. the 9/11 commission identifies islamic terrorism as a threat. the muslim public affairs
3:46 pm
commission recommends that the u.s. government find other terminology. the o.i.c., the organization of all the islamic states, all 57 states, islamic states in the world, that organization came up with a term called iklamaphobia, the word islamafobe, so if anybody bothers to do the research and find out that there is a small percentage of muslims, a small percentage of muslims who are radicals and who believe the koran directs them to destroy israel and to destroy the united states, then let's label them islamaphobe. even though they make clear, as i have repeatedly, we have muslim people in our military.
3:47 pm
we have the vast majority of muslims are peace-loving people . nonetheless, people like me who would bother to point out this small percentage who destroy our way of life and get in position to do that, we're islamaphobes. this is from all 57 states. that's been their directive. scare people, intimidate people so they will not speak the truth. it's unbelievable because if the o.i.c. really wanted to help themselves, they could show the world that they were about piece, not about hatred, not about killing innocent people, by encouraging people to recognize it is only a small percentage of islamists who
3:48 pm
believe that they need to destroy israel and to destroy the united states. but instead, they try to intimidate, try to name call and amazingly, though, they have been very effective with this administration. if this administration had thoughts of clearly speaking truth, then they would not hesitate to call a shovel a shovel, to call things just as they are, but instead this administration has blinded those in the state department, in the intelligence department, in the justice department so that they don't really understand the enemy, cannot understand the enemy until the enemy, those who declare war on
3:49 pm
us, can be accurately identified. so you look at the 9/11 commission report. there's three times that violent extremism is referred to in the 9/11 commission report. but that has to be considered in light of the other things in the 9/11 commission report because also in the 9/11 commission report there are 39 references to the enemy. well, for those of us who have been in the military service, there was never a question the enemy were those who wanted to destroy us, to kill us, and it's very easy to understand when a group calling themselves islamists, calling themselves jihadists, want to kill everybody who does not believe as they do, they're the enemy. not that difficult to understand. but in this administration,
3:50 pm
these are bad words because in the 9/11 commission report, 126 times the word jihad is used. well, under this administration you got the f.b.i. counterterrorism lexicon. those are the words that are used to train our f.b.i. they're used to train our intelligence, used to train law enforcement, and one of the things the federal government does is also train local law enforcement. so many local law enforcement make the journey here. federal law enforcement as well as local, state law enforcement make the journey to washington, d.c., make the journey to federal facilities to have federal officers instruct them and teach them about different issues that are threats to our country. and so it's important that people be properly educated
3:51 pm
about the threat. and yet under this administration, forget what the 9/11 commission report saw as the real threat, there's 29 times that violent extremism could be found in the f.b.i. counterterrorism lexicon, nine times it can be found in the national intelligence strategy from 2009 that lays out our strategy as to how we're going to face and defeat the enemy that's declared war on us, wants to destroy us. the 39 times the 9/11 commission report referred to enemy, the f.b.i. counterterrorism lexicon and national intelligence strategy from this administration thinks the word enemy perhaps may hurt those who want to kill us feelings. you know, because they want to kill us, let's not hurt their
3:52 pm
feelings by calling them the enemy. that probably was some of the thinking behind changing -- we had an actual bill that changed the military commission act of 2006, done in 2009 under speaker pelosi and leader reid, they were afraid the term enemy combatant might offend those who want to cut off our heads, blow us up, nuke us and they didn't want to offend them but here again the word enemy is hard to replace so they left the word enemy in there but softened it up by instead of calling them enemy combatant, changed the wording of the military commission act so now it's unprivileged alien enemy belligerent. hopefully those who want to cut off our heads and blow up our -- nuke our flakes will feel better about those -- nation
3:53 pm
will feel better by those they want to kill by softening the language. the 9/11 commission report refers 126 times to jihad. clearly that's what we're facing. jihadists who want to commit jihad which is a holy war the way these people see it against those of us who they see as infidels. they reference, as khalid sheikh mohammed does, in his own pleading in the 9/11cation, they reference a provision in the koran that says they're justified in killing those who would combine any entity with allah because allah gives no permission to combine him. so if anyone thinks that there is a holy trinity, which is the words that start off the treaty of paris, 1783 with great
3:54 pm
britain, find it over at the state department, a huge printing, the first words are in big, bold type, in the name of the most holy and undivided trinity. that's how our treaty that recognized this country started. well, according to those jihadists, islamic jihadists who are at holy war with us, that document itself is a declaration that we are infidels and need to be destroyed. yet, under this administration the f.b.i.'s not being taught what jihad means. it's eliminated from the lexicon. it's eliminated from the national intelligence strategy in this administration. and even the word muslim that's found 145 times in the 9/11 report, because you could not do an assessment of 9/11 attack without discussing muslim islam
3:55 pm
and, yes, it was only a small tiny percentage of muslims who believe this way. thank god for that. but let's don't kid ourselves that they believe that their holy muslims when they came and killed 30,000-plus people on 9/11. and not only do -- does this administration, as it white washed, completely eliminated the word muslim from our lexicon, from our strategy, but the word islam mentioned 322 times in the 9/11 commission report by these bipartisan people who were concerned, like we all were after 9/11, in a we might lose this country, that people might nuke us, they might destroy washington, new york, chicago, area down near houston where 70% of our oil is refined, there were places we were afraid we would get hit and we would not have energy,
3:56 pm
we would not have a government, we would not have commerce, our seats of commerce. and that's when the 9/11 commission report came out because they knew they had to be honest and candid in their assessment whether we agree or disagree with their findings, they were working in the best of good faith in trying to make their assessment. that's why they used these terms as many times as they did. 322 times. and it's not islam. it's not the 1.5 billion people who proclaim islam as their religion, their way of life. it's a small percentage. but how can we expect to defeat the enemy that's declared war on us unless we recognize who they are? there are a number of other references. muslim brotherhood is a national organization that is working toward an international caliphate and the holy land
3:57 pm
foundation trial down there in dallas, five defendants, 125 counts. it was about the muslim brotherhood and the holy land foundation, the palestine committees that were raising money and certainly giving some to some charities and they could point to those and say, look, we gave money to charities but they were funneling money to hamas, they were funneling money to terrorists. that's against the law. these islamic jihadists nut cases consider themselves religious in what they were doing in killing so many innocent people. there are 36 times al qaeda is referenced in the 9/11 commission report, but in the f.b.i. counterterrorism lexicon, zero.
3:58 pm
national intelligence strategy, one time. shari'ah law was referenced twice in the 9/11 commission report. it's not even mentioned. how can we win a war declared by others upon us unless we can recognize our enemy? and this administration has done everything -- not everything -- but so much that it can to blind us so we can't see our enemy and there's nothing more vivid than to see the complete eradication of the terminology that would allow our people to recognize their enemy. there's not even a reference to hamas. hamas is a terrorist organization. we've recognized them as a terrorist organization. they're responsible for killing innocent people, and yet in the new lexicon we're not even telling people who are being
3:59 pm
trained to defend us about hamas. how are we expecting to win a war like that? not one of our making, not one we want but one declared on us unless we're willing to recognize those who are at war with us and recognize their motivation. these folks are extremely predictable if you understand their mindset, if you understand how they take provisions in the koran and twist them and what they believe with them. unless you can study that and understand that, you can never say, as general paton did after he defeated ramal, as he stood up looking over the devastation that his tankers had caused and he said, romal, and he used a little colorful language, i read your book. we're preventing, however,
4:00 pm
nowadays, our law enforcement, our intelligence, state department from reading the book of those who have put books together and studied books in trying to create a way to wipe out the little satan israel, zionism, and the great satan of the united states of america. we in this body, those at the other end of this hall and the senate took an oath. . and unless an oath means nothing, we have a duty to perform. and i've come to know very personally some with whom i heartily ever agree -- i hardly ever agree on political issues on those on the other side of the aisle, but i've come to know their hearts. and gotten to be good friends. and i know people on both sides of the aisle here, who with all
4:01 pm
their heart want to live up to their oath and do the right thing. but no matter which side of the aisle we're on, or if we don't even care about aisles, it is critical that historically for a nation to survive it must recognize those who have sworn to the destruction of that nation and are doing everything they can to gather the means to do that. and if i might ask, mr. speaker, how much time remains? thank you, mr. speaker. we have a private -- if i could get the poster on that. this is a young man, private abdul, who did an interview --
4:02 pm
thank you. who did an interview on al jazeera. he was seen on al jazeera. we had people in our administration intelligence and who saw him on al jazeera basically laying out and of course this news program was done in arabic, it was not done in english. you listen to the program on youtube you can hear some of the things that private abdul said, but he made clear, hey, i'm a muslim, i cannot deploy. same things that major hasan said before he went and killed 13 of our military at fort hood and another which was the unborn child of one of our pregnant service members. he made clear, just like private abdul, i can't both deploy and be a muslim. i will have to go kill americans, i can do that without
4:03 pm
violating my religion, at least in their beliefs, but i cannot be deployed into a muslim country because of the risk i might kill a muslim without that muslim meeting or that person that i killed meeting one of the requirements to be allowed to be killed. and therefore that would send me to -- basically to hell. so i can't do that. but it's ok to kill americans. this justice department ought to be getting these words back in its lexicon. our intelligence should get them back in their lexicon. so that when you have a private go on al jazeera and say these things, that our intelligence and our justice department are allowed to put that in a memo and say this guy has sworn that he cannot go to a muslim country and therefore he's better off killing our own soldiers than he is being deployed. we need to recognize when people
4:04 pm
are saying they're going to have to kill us. but instead, even though he was seen on al jazeera and it was clear he was setting things up just like major hasan did, the only reason that people were not killed by the bombs he was wanting to create and he was buying material to produce was because a local gun dealer got suspicious and reported him. not because the intelligence or justice department acted on seeing this private putting himself in major hasan's same pattern. heck, we've got another, if i could see that other poster, we got another soldier in uniform who's been on al jazeera. and yet now because of the changed lexicon, people are not
4:05 pm
able to properly pursue this kind of problem. so that one of our own soldiers starts defaming our own military and using the o.i.c. term that islamophobia is evident within the military. the overwhelming sense of islamophobia was present in the u.s. military. it's time that this administration wakes up and if it's not willing to wake up, this congress must wake it up. that's why the founders created three separate branches and created two houses within this branch, so that they hoped that there would be adequate responses to threats, they hoped that it would be difficult to pass laws that would hurt the country. their hope was that they were setting up a system that would protect itself. but until we take the blinders
4:06 pm
off those who are sworn to protect us, we're in some big trouble, or as folks as fort benning where i served for four years used to say, we'll be in some deep kimshi. with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. under the speaker's announced policy of january 5, 2011, the chair recognizes the gentlelady from the district of columbia, ms. norton, for 30 minutes.
4:07 pm
ms. norton: thank you, madam speaker. i rise to claim a half hour to speak about a possible set of events that will i think astound the american people. most by now would agree that a shutdown of the government is a very bad idea. even more so, a shutdown of the government is a worse idea for the american people. but if you want to hear the worst of the worst, i would say by far it is shutting down the government of a local government . which is not involved in your national fight.
4:08 pm
that is what could happen. as the 112th congress closes out and leaves its signature on american history. the district's local budget raised in the city, a budget larger than the budget of some states, thanks to the taxpayers of the city, nevertheless has become to be approved by the congress. it was approved by the district of columbia months ago. even approved by the financial service committee months ago. but here it sits. because most of the appropriations have not been approved by the congress of the united states. no wonder the district of columbia residents have informed our office that they will be here tomorrow to speak for themselves. madam speaker, taxation without
4:09 pm
representation is bad enough, it was considered so outrageous that our forefathers went to war over this very notion. but taxation without representation followed by confiscation of a local government's judgment on how it ought to spend its own money is an american and should be unis he -- is un-american and should be unacceptable anywhere in the world, except authortarian governments. so here i am again. i was on the floor just a few months ago on this very same issue. and doesn't it say everything about this congress this year, the republicans have had a year to learn since they took control and they are very slow learners.
4:10 pm
because for the third time we face a possible government shutdown. and we face the possible shutdown of a local government that is not in this fight and has passed its own local balanced budget. no forward movement, no forward movement for the district of columbia and no forward movement for the country. we are embroiled in the same fights because one side, my friends on the other side of the aisle, have decided that a legislative body is one in which one side takes all. the whole notion that we come from diverse and different parts of the country and will have to find a meeting of the minds on issue after issue has fled from
4:11 pm
this chamber. so we see it not only with respect to my district caught in this fight, a fight not of its making, a fight from which it cannot extricate itself, a fight which it cannot negotiate itself from, we see this happening as if there were no past history to inform us not to do this again. we don't know if we'll be home for christmas. we don't know if the government will be shut down. we don't know if there will be a payroll tax holiday, desperately needed by everybody who works. in the district and in the united states. and we don't know whether there will be unemployment insurance for everybody who doesn't work and can't find a job and that is one person for -- for every one
4:12 pm
person looking for a job today, this congress, this country now has -- for every one person, for every -- let me get this right. because this is quite astounding. for every four people looking for a job today, there is one opening. that of course is because you have to do two things when you find yourself in the predicament that the president found himself , when he entered the white house. you have to find a way to grow your economy, with some revenue on the near end side, and you got to find a way to cut yourself out of what you have been left. of course the other side understands the cutting part. they don't care, apparently, if the economy goes down the drain
4:13 pm
because they are about to recess without ever having come before this chamber with a jobs bill. this republican congress has no major legislation to show for a year's worth of work. it has been all on side issues and one of those side issues has been the district of columbia into whose business it has no business entering. taking the city's vote, the vote that the city had in the committee of the whole, on the very first day as the first item of business. by disapproving the rule. and then piling on with a set of amendments designed to intrude on the city's right to govern itself and to spend its own local funds as every local government does, as those who
4:14 pm
elect it locally have insisted. so i have had -- yesterday to call the district of the mayor of columbia once again and say, i don't see any way out of a possible closedown for the district of columbia if the federal government closes down and while he found it unbelievable, after the congress now has the lowest rating in memory, that they would even consider a closedown, nevertheless he's got to take the actions of preparations that the government takes and is now taking when a closedown becomes a possibility. the home rule act gave the district control over its local laws and its local funds. with the caveat that they would pass through here and pass by. that's literally what it is. a pass-by in the congress.
4:15 pm
this has become more than a pass-by. it's become an occasion to encumber the district of columbia with the views and the laws of members of congress, not elected from the district of columbia, not responsible to the district of columbia. so the do-nothing 112th congress has no major bill to its credit, no signature to take home, but it does leave an infamous signature that it was able to bully a medium-sized city in america because of some leftover jurisdiction over its local affairs. no wonder there is palpable
4:16 pm
harm to the residents of this city. if you have the right to bully, they argue just like the bully in the school-yard, they've got to bully. but i come to the floor this evening to say that we will never let an occasion where you intrude on our rights as american citizens go by without calling you on it. we may go down but we'll go down fighting. we will not go silently into the night. once again, on a controversial issue, the house has insisted that the district be forbid ton spend its own local funds on abortion services for local women. for local women in the district of columbia. the operative word here is
4:17 pm
local. over and over again i will say local. local money, local women, no business of the congress. i can understand the strong feelings on this issue. indeed, i respect them. what i do not respect is your superimposing your strong feeling on a jurisdiction not your own, on a jurisdiction over which you have no moral jurisdiction. and so, despite the district's own view that our most vulnerable women need the same access to all reproductive services as other jurisdictions have, even if they have to spend their own local money and they do, hundreds of them do, even if you are willing to spend your own local money, we're not going to let your
4:18 pm
spend your own local money. these people on the other side of the aisle, these tea party people who came here talking about federalism, have been the first to violate the first principle of federalism. we're not here talking about local laws alone, my friends. we are talking about local money. money raised in the district of columbia. not a penny of it from this chamber. by what rights do you tell us anything about how to spend that money, particularly when that money is spent legally and constitutionally. how do you square that with your tea party principles?
4:19 pm
they tried on another issue as well. we were able to salvage that one. for 10 years, this congress kept the district from spending its own local funds. on needle exchange programs used all over the country, albeit with local funds because over and over again, in test after test, it has been found that well-run needle exchange programs keep people from spreading h.i.v. and aids. in big cities, where there are drug addicts, you will find that as many as a third of those who contact this -- who
4:20 pm
contract this virus do so through needles, someone who has the virus then has relations with someone who doesn't but doesn't know they have the virus and quickly the virus is spread. it is important to note that every health organization and every scientific organization has recommended needle exchange programs as a way to control aids and they've done so based on the scientific evidence. down the road, our sister city, baltimore, a much poorer city, has a better h.i.v.-aids rate than the district of columbia because baltimore has been spending its own local funds the way most big cities have for needle exchange now for decades. because we were a decade without the ability to do that because somebody in this chamber decided they did not
4:21 pm
want us to do that, they took the lives of -- they took the lives of residents of the district of columbia and actively participated in the spread of the virus. who are they to tell us in our jurisdiction how we must attend to the health of our own local residents? what do they know about it, by what rights do they come to the mandate? regardless of the consequences, to tell us or any other jurisdiction what must be done or what we must do. the word -- does the word democracy fall out of the english language when it comes to the people who live in the nation's capitol? how do we put it back in?
4:22 pm
does the mayor of the city, does the entire city council have to keep being arrested in order to make the point with this picture sent all around the world showing what a lie democracy can be in our country? well if the 112th congress didn't learn that you don't raise taxes on the middle class , if they didn't learn that those who are unemployed should have unemployment insurance, i don't know why i expect them to learn how they should treat the 600,000 residents who live in the district of columbia. i see that i've been joined on the floor by a good friend and colleague and i want to thank mr. ellison for coming to the floor and ask him, and yield teem to him at this time. mr. elson: let me thank the -- mr. ellison: let me thank the
4:23 pm
gentlelady from washington, d.c. the message i have is short. it's based on a deprupe of young people who visited me in my office today, all from washington, d.c. they are on a hunger strike, have not eaten any solid food for eight days. i promised them that i would not eat either, starting tonight, and will not eat for 24 hours in solidarity with their struggle. they asked me to read a statement, and here it is, i will be as quick as i can be. ms. norton: take your time. mr. ellison: occupy the d.c. vote. d.c. needs representation, fast. occupy the vote. since its inception, our capitol has been handicapped from responding to the will of its citizens despite paying tax
4:24 pm
toths federal government and sending citizens to fathe and die in every war, washingtonians have had no vote in congress and had to seek approval from people they did not elect on all legislative and budgetary matters. in other words, the so-called capital of the free world is america's most disenfranchised jurisdiction. more than 200 years after the american revolution, taxation without representation, is still alive and well in our nation's capital. washingtonians pay a higher per capital federal income tax than any state yet we have no say in how the congress spends that money. it is true that there was a time long ago when the capital had few residents outside of legislators and first federal workers who maintained representation in their home states. but d.c. now has 600,000 taxed yet voiceless citizens. not a senator to hear them at the hart building, no voting representative in the house to
4:25 pm
stand for their concerns. paced on the founding principles of our -- based on the founding principles of our nation, we demand that washington, d.c. have the long overdue freedoms of, first, full budgetary autonomy. congress is burdened by its responsibility to the rest of the country yet d.c. can't spend its own tax dollars without approval from congress. we urge congress to pass the bill by representative issa to let d.c. take corral of -- control of its own budget. this would free time for congress to attend to national issues while giving d.c. the local democracy fitch to every other american. full, legislative autonomy. eliminate the requirement to the congressional review of new district laws. this adds bureaucratic inefficiency to the processes
4:26 pm
of both congress and d.c. government. we urge congress to pass district of columbia lennell slative autonomy act of 2011, h reform 506. full representation and voting rights in congress. the people of d.c. do not have a vote in the house or senate this deprives more than 600,000 americans of empowered voice in the national legislature. this has allowed members of congress who were not elected by the people of the district of columbia to impose policies upon citizens of of d.c. that are not supported by the people. we urge congress to pass h.r. 266, the district of columbia equal representation act of 2011. politicians have attached riders related to abortion funding and gun ownership to pass bills that would expand democracy for d.c. residents. these divert the dialogue from democratic representation an further disenfranchise washingtonians. we nand that any riders hied
4:27 pm
above be listed separately. until d.c. realizes democracy as stipulated above, we will follow the examples of alice paul, gandhi and others and refuse all food and consume only water in continuous hunger strike. we fast here in the open in mcfearson square with a 24-hour live video stream at occupy democracy for d.c. is not a political issue but a moral issue, not an issue of left or right but of representation and democracy. we call on president obama, house oversight committee chairman issa, and the u.s. congress to show real leadership and give the capitol of -- capital of this great country the voting representation and democracy it deserves in solidarity with
4:28 pm
washington, d.c. and people's democratic movements the world over. signed adrian, joe, pam, and kelly. i only read what they asked me to readism commend their struggle and will deny myself all food, all water for 24 hours, starting tonight in solidarity with their struggle. i thank the gentlelady for her time. ms. norton: i can't thank the gentleman enough for coming to the floor. first of all in solidarity to have read and in solidarity with the hunger strikers themselves. i think mr. ellison's coming to the floor says to the district of columbia that i am not alone here. dollar hundreds of members like mr. ellison, for whom the issue of full democracy for the district of columbia is a priority issue. so here's a member who is from
4:29 pm
the midwest, from minnesota, who takes the time because the hunger strikers have visited his office, they have visited my office as well, they are young people doing something on their own, no one would have said to anyone else, you ought to go on a hunger strike. but it does show you the desperation that many in our city feel, that among us are some who in order to call attention to this injustice in our country have now taken to something beyond civil disobedience. to the ultimate kind of sacrifice, when they give up food, now, for as many as eight days. depen, i want you to know that -- again, i want you to know that this is nothing that they
4:30 pm
are inspired to do pause i asked them to do it, any more than i asked the residents of the d.c. district of columbia, the mayor and members of the city council to be arrested. what you have seen in the 112th congress is spontaneous reaction from officials and residents of the district of columbia to spontaneous injustice from this house. importantly, in what mr. ellison read, was the necessary of budget awe topmy. the most -- autonomy. the most immediate answer to -- to the predicament we find ourselves in, is the failure of congress to acknowledge that our local budget has no business in this house. i am very pleased that one member, the chairman of the house government oversight and
4:31 pm
reform committee, had the district before it in the form of several of our public officials. and listen closely to their testimony. their testimony and the testimony of witnesses called by the majority of republicans went something like this. that the district of columbia's finances and its budget are in better shape than those of virtually any jurisdiction in the united states. then witnesses from both sides said that the district does incur significant problems and those problems result from the fact that the district has to do its budget twice. first for itself and then the
4:32 pm
congress does its budget again. as a result, the bond holders charge the residents of the district of columbia a premium because congress requires the district's budget to come here. well, what does the congress do with the district's budget when it comes here? well, it certainly wouldn't tamper with the budget that has been put together by calling subcommittees, hearing endless hours of testimony, then calling committees, then with gives and takes from members of the council. congress doesn't feel itself confident to do that. so what congress does is to essentially pass the budget as it is and use the fact that the budget is here for its own purposes and against the interests of the residents of the district of columbia. it uses it to affix amendments known as riders to keep the
4:33 pm
district from doing what the district wants to do with its own local funds. i'm not here talking about what the district wants to do with federal funds. it's what the district wants to do with its own local funds. and in order to make sure that the district gets the point, the district gets shut down if the federal government decides to shut down. the very threat of a shutdown has repercussions for the district's finances, for those who hold its bonds, for those who hold its contracts no city can afford that and certainly not the district of columbia. as a result, this situation has not only driven our own people to civil disobedience, it has driven them to follow the example of gandhi who in order
4:34 pm
when things got bad enough, if you saw the movie "gandhi", would simply stop eating. and people would beg him to eat and he would stop eating and people would say, you must eat, you're more valuable if you are alive and he would not eat because he was trying to shame the british government into bringing democracy to india. and he succeeded and has been of course the great icon of civil disobedience of various kinds. but who would expect that public officials would have to engage in civil disobedience here? who would ever think that a hunger strike would be necessary in the united states of america? not for some radical principle
4:35 pm
but for the first principle, for the principle upon which this country was founded. if it's our money, we get to decide what to do with our money, king george, yes, and king kong. may i inquire how much time i have -- king congress. may i inquire how much time i have remaining? the speaker pro tempore: one minute. ms. norton: there is an answer to this and i thank mr. issa for proposing a budget autonomy bill himself that mirrors my own budget autonomy bill, with some differences, to be sure, in deference to the congress. but this is a chairman of a committee who listened to the district, listened to witnesses, understood the harm imposed on the district, not only the shutdown, not only, of course, the amendments, but he was particularly impressed by the
4:36 pm
harm it does to the finances of a city that has done the right thing by its own finances. as we contemplate what will happen in the next few hours, we ought to find a way to do two things if we do nothing else. make sure that the district's budget passes as the district would have it, not as any member of this house would have it and that the abortion amendment is gone. anled and, finally, that under -- and, finally, that under those circumstances, whatever happens to the federal government, under no circumstances should the government of a local jurisdiction, your nation's capital, be shut down. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. for what purpose does the gentlewoman seek recognition? ms. norton: madam speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material
4:37 pm
on the subject of the special order by mr. terry of nebraska as well as on the subject of the special order by ms. norton of the district of columbia. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the house will stand in recess subject to the call >> molly hooper from "hthe hill"
4:38 pm
joins us. what did they decide? >> until now, the house and senate conferees had been working for six weeks to get to a point where they could reach an agreement on funding the remaining nine spending bills for 2012. that happened last week. senate majority leader harry reid, to gain political leverage for a separate piece of legislation, the payroll tax cut extender, the unemployment extender bill, said he would not have democrats on the conference committee signed it. if he did not have the conferees signing a conference report, then neither house can take up. what that meant is the house republicans were at the whim -- they were in a holding pattern
4:39 pm
to pass this bill, which must pass by friday, because the funding expires on friday. what house republicans decided to do last night, they had a conference very late, almost two hours, and decided to go ahead and introduce essentially the same bill, as the conference report is, a deal that was struck by democrats and republicans on the house and senate side. they will introduce that and likely to get up on friday. >> is a plan of the republicans to pass this think solely with republican votes? >> that is basically what the republicans wanted to find out last night. speaker boehner berliner today said he anticipates having bipartisan support, which is true. we have heard democrats who have crossed the line before.
4:40 pm
also at some democratic appropriators who worked on this package say they would be interested in voting for it. republicans cannot count on that. given what happened the last minibus several weeks ago, with democrats carrying that vote, that means there is a lot of pressure on boehner to get those votes. >> does this mean the republican plan -- is this going to come on the house on friday? >> yes. >> what can you tell us of the payroll tax extension package that pass earlier this week, but then they tried to bring it up in the senate? >> that is the question of the hour at of the rest of the day, it seems. at this point, it sounds like from what boehner said at a press conference, it sends -- it's like last night's meeting
4:41 pm
at the white house with senator reid and the president and other high-ranking senators, they are to the point now where they are going to be talking with senator mcconnell, the minority leader in the senate, and try to figure out a way to move forward. senate democrats said it would drop their insistence on paying for the payroll tax extension with a surtax on millionaires. they said they would drop that. again, as the speaker said today, harry reid did not have the votes to pass that anyway, given that the senate tried on previous occasions to do so and he was not able to muster the 60 boats. now it is in the senate's court and it seems the republicans in the stomach -- in the senate and republicans and democrats are working together. >> molly hooper is covering this
4:42 pm
hill."at bile reported that lawmakers were renegotiating the spending bill to keep the government operating be on the weekend, according to a congressional aide. reuters reports lawmakers and white house are trying to hash out a policy that the democrats oppose. those measures include restricted travel to cuba. we will keep you posted. in the senate, they have pass the defense operational bill. they're working on a judicial nomination vote underwrite. nancy pelosi said democrats are willing to negotiate when it comes to pass the legislation that will extend the payroll tax
4:43 pm
cut and unemployment insurance. this runs about 15 minutes. >> good morning, everyone. bmi good morning. >> today is a special day, one that we have looked forward to for a very long time. it marks the ending of a war in iraq. secretary panetta official took down the flag and all had full responsibility over to the iraqi people and their government. this act, because the bravery of our troops, and the leadership of the president, we are able to say the war in iraq is over. our troops are coming home. they're coming home for the holidays their families. the president promised to end the war in iraq responsibly, promise made, promises kept. 150,000 troops were in iraq when
4:44 pm
the president office. that number will now be reduced to just a couple thousand. as we mark the end of the war, we want to take our troops and their families for their service and sacrifice to our country. we honor the nearly 4500 americans who made the ultimate sacrifice in iraq and the tens of thousands of our service people who were wounded there. it was a great honor for me to preside on two previous congresses come over sessions of congress is, which did more for our veterans that any initiatives since the g.i. bill was pass in 1944. the command to our troops at to their families is not one that ends when their service ends in the military war ends when they come home. it is a commitment that we have
4:45 pm
made to them, not during their service, and not just during their lives, but forever, to their family and to their memory. when we are at war, the military says on the battlefield bead will leave no soldier defined -- behind. when the come home, which will leave no veterans behind. christmas is 10 days away. the president and democrats in congress have been very clear -- we are not going home without enacting a payroll tax cuts for america's working families and extended unemployment insurance for millions of americans. the payroll tax cut that the president proposed will put $5,000 in the pockets of 160 million americans -- $1,500 in
4:46 pm
the pockets of 160 million americans. this will have a macro economic impact. in will make a difference t 600,000 jobs our economy. in opposing a payroll tax cut, republicans have reluctantly pass to the house a bill that was doomed from the start. it has the seeds of its own destruction there. the best analogy i can use, it is like someone saying to her fiance, yes, i will finally marry, but i could only do that on iterate 30. that date is never coming. -- on february 30. that date is never coming.
4:47 pm
again, diminished proposal for the payroll tax cut and the unemployment insurance. i did the republican bill, 1 million americans -- the difference between the present's bill and the republican bill is 3 million people losing unemployment insurance. again, this is important because this is about the safety net, not just for these individuals, but for our economic system that in times of unemployment we have a safety net. that is important again, a safety net for individuals, but a safety net for the economy, and again, this money, when received, is immediately spent, is urgently needed, and in just the man into the economy, create jobs. if the republicans would make
4:48 pm
the decision that they want to get some results we can find areas of agreement. we're doing so. it is important to note that it is a decision that the republicans are late coming to the table to make. in fact, we are all haunted by senator mcconnell st. the single most important thing we want to achieve is for president obama to be a one-term president. the single most important thing we want to achieve is for president obama -- not the thing will -- not the single most important to grow our economy, to educate our children got to keep our country safe, the most important thing is to make the
4:49 pm
president a one-term president. we understand politics and campaign time is a time when we feel that our candidate for office, for president. that is supposed to make a fight. but to decide not to create jobs, to make that comment, that is irresponsible. if and when they make a decision, it is not hard to get werehere too there, willing to do what is necessary. some of that is beginning to take, because the american people know the president and the democrats in congress made this panel tax cut to offer republicans to handle, so they went from no, but we will put it in our bill, but only on february 30, meaning it is not a sincere effort. let's get real. let's have a real payroll tax
4:50 pm
cut, $1,500 in the pockets of americans, who are preparing for christmas, hanukkah, to make ends meet, and to be able to have a christmas holiday and toys for their children. with that, i am pleased to take any questions. >> what did democrats want to pay for this thing with? republicans have pass something that has pay-fors. >> what do you call the republican pay-fors? you mean the senate, where there is a 10% cut in pay for federal employees? the point is i think it's a sign of cooperation and willingness to remove obstacles to having an agreement by saying that is something that you cannot agree to.
4:51 pm
i take that as progress. as you know, which the 60-vote requirement, this is something that is going to have to be worked out, something that can get 60 votes in the senate. i have confidence in the majority leader's ability to get that happen. >> you and other democrats have been struggling with the fact that you want wealthier americans to pay for the middle- class tax cut. are you disappointed that americans are giving up on that? >> it is still something to be considered. this is not the last bill to be pass. the issue of fairness at every economic level, we should be paying their fair share. to create jobs, educate our children, having a good retirement for our children,
4:52 pm
having safe neighborhoods, our national security secured in a sound way, but we all have to take responsibility for that. the negotiant should not be something that is -- because the timetable has been pushed to the limit. i think fairness in our tax code and implementation of the tax cut will always be part of how we go forward. >> [unintelligible] how would democrats react to that? >> if they don't, they will not be getting any cooperation from us. this is another exacerbating crisis. let's make matters worse. every time we had a little set- to from time to time, that's
4:53 pm
have something that lets make matters worse, instead of trying to come to a place where we have a global agreement on how we get a tax cut of $1,500 to 160 million americans, have unemployment benefits for those who are out of work, through no fault of their own, and meet our preparations requirements at the end of the year. >> what you put the odds of the government shut down? >> i hope there will not be one. it is only a decision that republicans have to make that they want to avoid a shutdown by coming to the table and coming to their senses about what is fair, to get the job done, to get results for the american people instead of creating a crisis. >> are you supportive of the
4:54 pm
idea that the short-term cr get pass on friday? >> we do not have an agreement, shut down the governor. the people have an idea about what will work and that the republicans will yield on a point, because so far what they have done is put this suggestion of a bill on the table up get the illusion that the payroll tax cut, but has impediments to its enactment. that's have we -- let's hope we have negotiations in the senate, so if we do not have that, we will have to have a short term. i hope it will not be necessary. by the time we leave this room,
4:55 pm
we should have good news. >> you said there should be no cuts to social security, but one of the trustees said that extending the payroll tax cut will eventually a major step toward moving social security from the worker, attrition program to more like a welfare program. do you think the pair wrote tax cut extension would hurt the program? >> one person may have said that. another said an extension would not have the impact, would not hurt social security. i think one more year in an economy of this kind, again, with the funds, $1,500 that are put in the pockets of people who need to spend it, will inject demand into the economy, create jobs, result in more people who are paying into the social
4:56 pm
security system. one more year will not do damage, and you had some people who said one thing, and there are different opinions. i think the preponderance of the evidence is that this will not hurt social security if it goes on for one more year. >> [unintelligible] >> there are a number of objections to the bill, but a more in question -- and more important question is for the white house. we have made great progress, our operators, working together to eliminate some of the horrific suggestions that the republicans have put forth, but they could not stand the test of daylight. so they had to back off them. again, our caucus supports the president if he wants to veto
4:57 pm
the bill, because of some of the provisions in their. we will not be voting for a bill that has been. thank you all very much. happy holidays to you. i hope this is the last time i say this to you. thank you. [laughter] >> we do, too. >> a briefing from nancy pelosi this afternoon. this afternoon, the house and senate have begun final negotiations on a $1 trillion omnibus. hal rogers said talks are underway and things are looking up. he said he is hopeful that appropriaters will sign the conference report, too. this will continue to fund the government through 2012.
4:58 pm
the speaker's briefing is about 10 minutes. >> good morning, everyone. this week the house pass a bipartisan bill to extend payroll tax relief and to help create new jobs in our country. this bill has everything that republicans want in its, certainly not. democrats did not get everything they wanted either. that is how a divided government works. at the same time about everything in the house-passed bill has bipartisan support, that unemployment insurance, insuring that seniors still have access to their doctors, a bipartisan solution. common-sense measure to halt
4:59 pm
job-destroying boiler legislations. our bill is fully paid for, a bipartisan i did, and even the offsets. 90% of the offsets are based on ideas of the president. there is a provision that eliminates the taxpayer-funded benefit for millionaires and billionaires. again, a bipartisan idea that is in this bill. there is a provision to allow businesses to expense new equipment and other capital purchases. this was in the president's jobs planned. a provision speeding up keystone pipeline project will begin thousands of new jobs in our economy. that is supported by the assistant democratic leader, jim


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on