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tv   U.S. House of Representatives  CSPAN  February 1, 2012 10:00am-1:00pm EST

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the few rich have all the money, there's a revolution and the occupy types stormed the palace, take the money, and sent the people abroad as refugees in the united states. host: gideon rose, "foreign affairs" editor, out with its 90th anniversary issue, its special issue, "the clash of ideas." thank you very much for talking to our viewers and joining us this morning. guest: thank you. host: as i said, the house is about to come in session here. working on a number of suspensions. then there is debate today over what is next for our economy with the cbo director testifying on capitol hill. live coverage right now on c- span3 of the latest deficit numbers. conferees for the house and senate are meeting over whether to extend the payroll tax
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holiday for a year. that's another debate. look for our coverage on c- span.org. thanks for watching. the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the chair lays before the house a communication from the speaker. the clerk: the speaker's room, washington, d.c., february 1, 2012. i hereby appoint the honorable chip craff he can -- cravaack to act as speaker pro tempore on this day. signed, john a. boehner, speaker of the house. pursuant to the order of the house of january 12, 2012, the chair will alternate recognition between the two parties with each party limited to one hour and each member other than the majority and minority leaders and minority whip be limited to five minutes each.
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but in no event shall debate continue beyond 11:50 a.m. the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas, mr. poe. mr. poe: the catholic church is being persecuted by this government. our great country was founded on the principle of religious liberty. this right is in the first amendment, and the provisions of the first amendment are listed first because they are the most important. yet, the administration is chipping away at this cornerstone of our society by violating the religious liberty by those who hold fast to certain positions of their faith. in particular, those of the catholic church. the department of health and human services recently announced that religious organizations will be forced to provide their employees with medical insurance that covers free contraceptives and sterilization. while houses of worships are exempt, religious affiliated
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organizations such as hospitals, universities and charities are mandated to comply with this government edich. this goes beyond the basic tenants of the catholic faith, as well as other religions, christians and nonchristians. they are given one year's notice of this government oppression but there will be not enough time for the church to change its core principles. new york archbishop said it best, quote, in effect the president is saying we have to figure out in a year how to change our consciouses. they shouldn't be bullied by any government, especially others. we shouldn't target any religion and make them violate their religious conscience. the government is violating two provisions of the first
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amendment, the preexercise of religion clause and the establishment of recollegeon clause. the government is prohibiting the free exercise of religion because it is punishing catholics for exercising their religious beliefs. government is also violating the establishment clause by establishing a government religion, statism, because government is establishing its own moral standard that must be complied with or else. regardless of where americans stand on the issues of contraception, sterilization or the abortion bill, it should be alarming for those who believe the government should not punish religions or substitute a religious doctrine for citizens. the government should stay out of the business of prers cuting religions. -- persecuting religions. this is completely unacceptable but it is only one example in a long line of new government actions that disregard freedom of consciousness and religious liberty. this comes on the heels of the administration's denial of a
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grant to the united states council of catholic bishops to aid victims of human trafficking. not only have they been awarded this grant in the past but their application has received the highest quality score. mr. speaker, this money is used to help victims from the scourge of human slavery. but the church was denied this grant because the religious convictions do not provide contraceptives or refer women to abortions. apparently under this amferings, in order to aid victims it -- administration, in order to aid victims it is their right to violate religious convictions. this is only two of the recent assaults by our government on religious liberty and conscious. as soon as this administration came into office a proposal was submitted to rescind -- protections for medical professionals who would not violate their conscious by distributing emergency
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contraceptives was rescinded. this was just a glimpse of what was to come in deliberate disregard for the first amendment. this administration's attack on religious liberty is a strike at the core principles of our nation. government is putting basic freedoms in jeopardy and bruising the u.s. constitution. no government should force its citizens to violate their religious beliefs. who would have thought that this nation, founded on religious liberty, would now be engaged in religious persecution against certain citizens and against certain churches? this ought not to be. but that's just the way it is. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from oregon, mr. blumenauer, for five minutes. mr. blumenauer: thank you, mr.
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speaker. americans know that congress is broken, paralyzed by hyperbipartisanship, fierceology and not responding to problems. why does congress not represent that change? well, part of the answer is that's not how we're elected. increasingly we come from districts that are not just red or blue but the colors are brighter, the divisions deeper. how can this be? well, the answer is to be found in hallways and back rooms in state compols all across -- capitols all across america right now. because after the census every 10 years, the great rebalancing occurs to adjust legislative districts to changes in populations. some states will win or lose
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congressional seats. every district in the 43 states that have multimember districts will see some adjustment to balance out changes in growth. but not all voters are equal. some are more, some are less inclined to support the party in power or support a particular incumbent. now, one thing that politicians can all agree upon is that their district should be safer, their party should be favored. the process of redistricting has been refined to a high art with the computer, very sophisticated survey research, a treasure trove of data on voter behavior. in short, the politicians are hard at work picking their voters that -- in a way that will make it harder for voters over the next 10 years to pick
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their politicians. now, exhibit a is a grotesque district that's been created in the state of north carolina, district four currently represented by our colleague, congressman david price, that looks like somebody had just taken an egg and thrown it at the blackboard. but this effort, where a 50/50 state that went for balm, that has a democratic senator -- went for obama, that has a democratic senator and has been at work for republicans in their legislature to try to turn it into a 10-3 advantage for republicans going forward after the next election. but i could have taken an example in illinois where there democrats are sort of reverse engineering their advantages.
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iowa has been the process been driven by an independent agency that draws district without partisan logrolling and simply is referred to the legislature for an up or down vote. this year all four districts in iowa are competitive. one even features two incumbent senior members of congress that are running against each other. there are other bright spots. in california, arizona where voters have determined there will be independent commissions. there are even some hope in florida where there are more constraints on the politicians in the redistricting. but make no mistake. it's not just one party losing when another party takes unfair advantage. in truth, everybody loses. there's less representative behavior in congress. we have districts utterly without integrity. it's hard to represent people
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-- it's hard for people to understand who's representing them, and it shatters local interests. well, most damaging i think is a just reveals a naked power grab that further undermines people's confidence in the political process. well, we shouldn't have to wait decades for reform at the state level, and as we saw in arizona where governor brewer tried to fire the head of the independent redistricting commission because the commission produced some districts that were fair and competitive, not tilted partisan, that these reforms can actually be sabotaged. i am proposing h.r. 3846, to establish a national independent redistricting commission headed by states people, if you will, people who are appointed by legislative leadership like retired judges
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or former presidents, people who would oversee a professional agency like they have in iowa to make sure that we have national uniform standards that are fair, maybe even some competitive districts in there and stop the political log rolling. to prepare a national set of maps that would be subjected to an up or down vote by congress. a lot of this stuff seems beyond our control in the political process. this is something we could do to make it better 10 years from now. i urge my colleagues to look at house bill 3846. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the chair recognizes the gentleman from nevada, mr. heck, for five minutes. mr. heck: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i rise today to honor a great nevadan, chester a. "chet" folk. chet was a member of the greatest generation, born on july 19, 1922, and god called him home on december 31, 2011.
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chet grew up in quakertown, pennsylvania, during the great depression of the 1930's. the hard times forced him to leave school after the 10th grade and to work in an aircraft plant near philadelphia before the united states became involved in world war ii. he enlisted in the united states marine corps in september of 1943, and attended recruit training at paris island, south carolina, and advanced training at camp pendleton, california, and also in hawaii in preparation for one of the war's toughest battles, iwo jima. as a demolition experts with company c of the fifth engineering battalion, chet fought on the frontlines for 36 days. it was an you aful battle, the way we got slaughtered, he said during an 2006 interview. some days you'd make it 100, 200 yards. some days 500 yards. chet was there when the first u.s. flag went up. i was standing there looking up
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when that flag went up and tears ran down my face, he said in another interview. i was just so happy to see that flag that i knew they were not going to push us off or do away with us. i felt so happy. when the war ended, he was sent to japan for seven months of occupational duty before returning to the united states where he received his discharge from the marine corps in may of 1946 as a corporal. he became a nevadan when he moved to las vegas in 1972. in 1986 chet helped find the greater nevada detachment number 1986 of the marine corps league where he served his commandant from 1992 to 1995 and then as chaplain for several years after. he was greatly admired for the marine corps league. mr. folk, survived by his wife of 29 years, martha, his
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daughter, mary, his husband, ed, several nieces and nephews. he will be greatly missed by all. semper fi. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from new york, mr. rangel, for five minutes. mr. rangel: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized. mr. rangel: mr. speaker, i came to this empty chamber to discuss the issues of job and also the unemployment compensation extension as well as taxes. but as i neared the well i heard one of our esteemed members condemning the president for persecuting religion. in a very broad and general way, and then later more specifically in talking about the roman
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catholic church. and it would seem to me that in a place like the united states of america which was fuelly formed on the bay significance of freedom -- basis of freedom of religion that such a serious accusation against the president of these united states should not be to an empty chamber. this is such a serious allegation that it would seem to me that it requires and demands a bipartisan view to see exactly what the church's or religious leaders' complaints are because i have one, too. that is at a time where this country is facing fiscal as well as moral obligation to the most vulnerable people among us, i
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see the battle between the have and have-nots, the 1% and 99%. i hear the disputes as to whether or not the capitalistic system is fair, but i always took the position that the capitalistic system is an invitation of how americans and others can invest and make money. and the question of compassion, the question of taking care of your own, the question of illness and jobs and the social issues of today that it was the congress that had the responsibility to deal with that rather than to be condemning of those moneys who seek to get returns on their investments. having said that, let's take a look to see what issues are biblical and what issues in the morman faith, the muslim faith,
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the buddhist faith, the jewish faith, protestant and catholic it seems to me that throughout every one of these texts there are things that say that we have a responsibility as human beings and god fearing people to protect the vulnerable. it's abundantly clear, even the stories about the good samaritan , it's almost a mandate when someone is sick that we have a responsibility to assist them. and certainly when we talk about jesus christ in matthew where these wealthy people are attempting to get into heaven and they tell jesus that when they -- when jesus tells him he was hungry, thirsty, unclothed, in jail, and that he didn't -- they didn't do anything to assist him. and they said that they don't
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remember jesus ever coming asking for anything. then of course the international world famous biblical expression is that, it wasn't how you treated jesus, the son of god, but it was how you treated the lesser of our brothers and sisters. and i think everyone would agree whether you want to accuse the president of being the food stamp president or saying he wants to bring socialism to the united states, all of that rhetoric doesn't hide the fact that the poorest of the poor now are suffering more than the people that caused this fiscal crisis. and that if we are going to do something about the deficit, we just can't say we got to cut spending. especially when that spending is exactly the people that the spiritual leaders have made vows to protect.
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oh, we don't call it the sick and disabled and uneducated, but we do call it medicaid. we do call it medicare. we do call it social security. we do call it education. and we do call it the ability to get a job so that a person can have not only income to have his family be able to have the dignity and respect it deserves, but also we have to recognize that from an economic point of view it is the people that are in the middle class that are slipping into poverty that makes the difference. so thank you, mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. and i hope that people will give serious thought to the accusation. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. fitzpatrick, for five minutes. mr. fitzpatrick: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i rise today to honor the girl scouts of the
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u.s.a. which will be celebrating its 100th anniversary on march 12, 2012. for 100 years the girl scouts have fostered an environment that has created generations of women with sound character and strong leadership skills. founded by juliette low in savannah, georgia, the first troop consisted of just 18 girl scouts. today there are more than 3.7 million girl scouts and more than 100 councils across our nation. since its start, more than 50 million women have been part of this extraordinary organization. the girl scouts of america teaches young women the importance of leadership and of community service. this past sunday i proudly participated in troop 21292's girl scout gold award ceremony honoring seven young women from bucks county, pennsylvania. it pleases me to recognize these girl scouts for their exceptional accomplishment.
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christine, katherine, charlotte, emily, emily, kimberly, and margaret. these young ladies exemplify courage, confidence, and character, and have made the world a better place which has been the mission of the girl scouts of the u.s.a. for 100 years. mr. speaker, on march 16, 1950, the united states congress chartered the girl scouts of the u.s.a. and today as a member of the united states congress representing pennsylvania's eighth district it's my privilege to congratulate the girl scouts of the u.s.a. as they commemorate 100 years of building girls of courage, confidence, and character who have truly made the world a better place. best wishes for success in the next 100 years. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from illinois, mr. lipinski, for five minutes.
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mr. lipinski: mr. speaker, as a proud graduate of st. joseph grammedar school, as a strong supporter of catholic education, i have again this year introduced a resolution in honor of catholic schools week. the -- to honor the contributions catholic schools make, not only the students who attend them but our entire nation. since 1974 the national catholic education association, united states conference of catholic bishops have provided leadership in planning and organizing catholic schools week. this year it is celebrated from january 29 through february 5. the theme, faith, academic service, celebrates the broad educational experience catholic schools -- school students receive.
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catholic school students are not only focused on academic excellence but also on enriching the spiritual character and moral development of young americans. america's catholic schools produce graduates with the skills and integrity needed by our businesses, governments, and communities, emphasizing a well-rounded education and asserting the values of giving back to the community and helping others. nearly every catholic school has a community service program and the students volunteer half a million hours every year to their parishes and communities. my own decision to pursue a career in teaching and then public service was fostered in part by a dedicated teacher throughout my years in catholic schools. today over two million elementary and secondary students are enrolled in nearly 7,000 catholic schools where these students typically excel. they surpass their piers in math, science, reading, history,
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and geography. the graduation rate for catholic high school students is 99%. and 85% of graduates of these schools attend a four-year college. as we continue to hear disturbing reports about our national test scores, these statistics are truly remarkable and should be commended. notably the success of catholic schools does not depend on selectivity. these academic achievements are realized by students from all walks of life. catholic schools accept nine out of every 10 students who apply, and are highly effective in providing a quality education to students from every social economic group, especially disadvantaged youth and underserved urban communities. over the past 30 years the percentage of minority students enrolled in catholic schools has more than doubled, and today they constitute almost 1/3 of
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all catholic school students. in times of economic hardship, catholic schools provide an affordable alternative to other forms of private education. but in addition to producing well-rounded students, catholic schools save taxpayers billions of dollars each year by lowering the number of students in already overburdened public schools. it is estimated that taxpayers save over $1 billion in students attending catholic schools in the chicago area alone. approximately $20 million nationwide. the importance of these savings is undeniable as we in congress and lawmakers across the country struggle with deficits. i was born and raised and i lived in the chicago archdiocese, home to our most successful catholic school systems in the nation. in my parish at st. skpwron of
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the cross has one of the best schools in the archdiocese. right next door there is also a thriving catholic school system. the focus of this week's catholic schools week, faith, academic, certificate viss, reflects my own catholic education. the knowledge, discipline, desire to serve, and love of learning is instilled in me, enabled me to earn my doctorate and become a teacher before being elected to congress. in recognizing catholic schools week, we pay special tribute to dedicated teachers and administrators who sacrifice so much. in most cases working for less than they could earn elsewhere. i have many fond memories of my teachers, including many nuns who taught me the value much faith, learning, and service. throughout the united states millions of others have similar memories of dedicated sisters, priests, and lay students who gave their hearts and souls to their students.
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this week i had the honor of celebrating catholic schools week at a number of schools, including saint angie school in romeoville, st. michael school in overland park, cardinal bernie school, and my alma mater in chicago. mr. speaker, i ask my colleagues to join me in supporting the outstanding education catholic schools provide to americans across the country as we celebrate catholic schools week. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from california, ms. speier, for five minutes. ms. speier: thank youer -- thank you, mr. speaker. i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. mr. speaker, today i rise quite saddened by the news that the susan g. komen race for the cure
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has made a political decision, a fine nonprofit that i have been associated with for years, i have run in the susan g. komen race for the cure, i have walked in the race for the cure, i have been the m.c. at a number of events locally that they have held. so i have been a big booster of the susan g. komen organization, but not anymore. their announcement yesterday that they are no longer going to fund any organization that is being investigated by a federal, state, or local body means that planned parenthood is no longer going to receive $600,000 a year. now, ironically yesterday the komen organization also announced and with great concern in a statement that the dismal rate of breast cancer screening with women who do not have
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insurance is something like 38.2%. last year the planned parenthood organization was responsible for over 700,000, 700,000 breast cancer screenings for women who are poor. for women who don't have insurance, for women who seek to get the health care they get through planned parenthood. so over the last five years there have been four million breast cancer screenings by plant parenthood. . so what does this mean? well, i guess that susan g. komenes that decided to become a 501-c-4 because no longer did they want to be providing nonprofits, they want to become a political advocacy group. last time i checked, we were
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all presumed innocent until proven guilty. and we look to investigations in the federal judicial branch. we look to investigations by the u.s. attorney or the district attorney. far be it for us to rely on the house of representatives holding a hearing as being emblem atatic of justice because oftentimes it's a political sandbox. now this investigation is one that has been called on by mr. stearns who is the subcommittee chair of energy and commerce on oversight. the hearing has never been held so why would susan g. komen take the remarkable step of saying they are no longer going to fund planned parenthood? i suppose when we review n.i.h. and bring them under some investigation that they will stop funding n.i.h. to the tune of $1 million or suppose that when we have a pharmaceutical
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company that we bring to the hill to ask them questions about a particular activity that they will stop accepting sponsor money from that particular pharmaceutical company. all of you across this country that feel that susan g. komen should stick to what it knows and that is breast cancer research and breast cancer screening and support and promote those activities by organizations that do the research and do the screening. i ask you to call them at 1-877-465-6636 and tell them that you want them to stick to what they know. let's not make this a race to the political bottom. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from california, ms. lee, for five minutes. ms. lee: thank you, mr. speaker. as the founder of the congressional out-of-poverty caucus, i rise today to continue talking about the tide
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of poverty sweeping across this country. americans who are struggling to find work cannot wait. americans whose homes are underwater cannot wait. and the nearly 50 million americans who are living in poverty cannot wait. we must act and we must act now to extend vital unemployment benefits and the temporary payroll tax reduction while our economy continues to recover. we should be coming together now to enact bold programs and policies that provide equal opportunity and equal access for every single american no matter their race, no matter their employment status and no matter their humble beginnings. instead, mr. speaker, unfortunately this tea party-led congress continues to do nothing but distract from the real issue and waste the american people's time. the republican caucus failed to pass a single jobs bill last year, and by the looks of this week's calendar, it looks like
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they might be committed to doing more of the same. this nation cannot afford any more of this do-nothing tea party republican house. instead of passing a jobs bill, republicans in the house today are attacking american families in need. this bill that's coming up today, h.r. 3567, is really a distasteful and misleading bill that tries to make it seem like every low-income family is somehow criminals. nothing can be further from the truth. very few people want to qualify for welfare. they don't want to be distressed enough to meet these qualifications. this is the temporary assistance for needy families act, which is being attacked today. that is what it's called -- actually, it's called tanf.
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tanf recipients are struggling through the most difficult time of their life, and they want nothing more than a good job to support their families. this bill that's coming up again today is really a sad attempt to re-create the ronald reagan-era about the cadillac driving welfare queen. it wasn't true then nor is it true today. tanf benefits do not pay for cadillac to fund lavish lifestyles. mr. speaker, as a single young mother who once relied on food stamps and public assistance during a very difficult period, i am really appalled to see republican politicians attack these families just because they are facing hard times and need a helping hand. tanf benefits keep children in
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homes and in schools. they keep american pam lease from suffering abject poverty. what we should be doing is help these families by creating jobs, by removing these obstacles and barriers and we should be helping them to reignite the american dream, not insulting them which is what this bill does. this congress should be working together to create more opportunity for the long-term unemployed and the millions of americans suffering in poverty. we should extend the unemployment benefits for the chronically unemployed who have hit the 99-week limit, can't apply any more because they're ineligible, and we should be voting, for example, for the bill which congressman scott and myself have written to help those looking for a job and who can't find a job. we have to remember now that there's only one job for every four individuals looking for a
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job. but unfortunately instead of working together to make economic justice, a reality for every american, this republican tea party will waste another year without a jobs bill, without extending any help to the millions of americans in need and without helping american retirees. we should be putting our nation before our party. americans can't wait and neither should this congress. thank you and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the chair declares the house in recess until noon toda
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>> the senate work continues on a bill that would make it illegal for members of congress to trade stongs based on nonpublic information, also known as the stock act. one amendment that could receive consideration would expand the bill's disclosure requirements to some executive branch officials. senate coverage under way on c-span2. coming up at the top of the hour at 11:00 eastern, we'll bring you remarks from president obama who is expected to unveil a plan that would make it easier and more affordable for struggling homeowners to refinance their mortgages. according to the administration over 3.5 million people would be eligible for the program. he'll be speaking at the james lee community center in falls church, virginia. again that's in about 20 minutes here on c-span. until then a briefing that just
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wrapped up. republican leader, speaker boehner, and others, talked about the congressional budget office outlook. they talked about their agenda and also reacted to the results in yesterday's florida primary. >> good morning, everyone. the president's economic policies have failed to improve our economy and in fact have made it worse. house republicans this week are going to continue our focus on getting our economy moving again. the american infrastructure and energy jobs act will be worked on in committee. we hope to have it on the floor in the coming weeks. reform the way we build highways and rebuild highways, and we'll link this to american energy production. the president in his state of the union address called for an all of the above energy strategy. house republicans fully agree.
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we believe that opening up the inner mounlty west and o.c.s. will provide needed revenues to help fund the lee building of our roads -- rebuilding of our roads and bridges. this is all part of our plan for american job creators. we passed 30 bills, 27 are still sitting in the united states senate. it's time for the senate to act and allow the american people the chance to get back to work. >> good morning. until everyday life when something doesn't work most people stop doing it and try something new. well, we know that the president's policies have not helped this economy get back on strong footing. we know they are not working. his policies of stimulus and the radical takeover of health care and the incurns of more debt, these are not working to help people get back to work in this country. and what we have heard yesterday, though, is the white
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house now says that perhaps we should focus on small business. thank you, mr. president. we want you to help us do something for the backbone of this country which are the american small businesses. some of the things that the white house mentioned are the things that we have been talking now for over a year now. like business expensing, like helping business start-up. like trying to address the visa cap issue for foreign workers. all of these are in our plan for america's job creators, all of these things we have been asking the president to join us to help small businesses. so we are very excited about that and hopefully we can get something done. also we need to make sure that we are sending the signal that we are going to get the fiscal house straight here in washington. that we stop spending money we don't have. we've got a bill on the floor today that does that. what it does is says we got to reduce the expenditure having to do with the growth in the number of federal employees. we want to freeze federal employee pay, including our own.
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this is a bill which i think makes sure that we are consistent with what we are expecting of everybody else that we are doing it here in the legislative branch as well. we hope our colleagues on the other side of the aisle will join us in doing that. >> yesterday with the c.b.o. came out with the numbers, this continues to show the policies of this president has failed. first, four years he had the four highest deficits since 1946. today on the floor the democrats are trying to actually block freezing our pay. they are trying to block the ability that we follow through on our pledge to cut our own budget even further than we cutlass time. there is no -- than we cut last time. there is no bigger sign you have to start with yourself. today on the floor they have the opportunity to see the president continue to fail with four $1 trillion deficit -- highest since 1946.
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>> another week, more presidential failures, more house republican jobs bills coming to the floor. not that the american people needed yet one more data point that this president's policies have failed. but as a congressional budget office put out their annual baseline budget report, we now know that president obama is on track to deliver one, two, three, four, $4 trillion deficits in -- four trillion dollar deficits in re. we got to quit spending money we don't have for jobs we never get. that's why as part of the house republican plan for america's job creators we have bills coming to the floor as the other leadership has indicated that would freeze federal pay and in addition two budget process reformed aimed at ensuring that we spend less not tax more in washington. in addition, when you talk to small businesses throughout america they know that the
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president's health care plan is one of the single biggest impediments to job growth. so house republicans will bring the repeal of the class act, a part of the president's health care program that is inhibiting job growth. i heard from the heard small business men in my district, a furniture businessman in garland, texas, if it wasn't for the president's health care plan, its complexity and cost i could start two more companies and hire dozens of people. again, one more week, one more week of presidential failed policies, another week of house republican jobs bills. >> in the president's state of the union he called for an all of the above energy approach and as house republicans we have long supported that approach, yet the president's call for action really begs the question, is his rhetoric matching reality? as we know the president killed the keystone project. the project that has bipartisan support. would create tens of thousands
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of jobs. and the difference in approach between the president and the house republicans i think really points out a fundamental difference in approach as we move forward. the house republicans support the keystone project. we support a keystone economy which is driven by the private sector. where we see innovation and entrepreneurship and a limited role for the federal government. on the other side we seat president supporting a solyndra economy. where the president uses taxpayer dollars to support special interest and pits the winners and losers. as a friend of mine recently pointed out, when the government picks, it seems like the government often picks losers. house republicans support the keystone project. we support a keystone economy. we embrace an all of the above approach to energy and we encourage the president to join us in this effort. >> as chairman hensarling said, we are working to make certain
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that we get the obamacare health care bill off the books. house republicans voted right off the bat to refeel the entire thing. and we continue to bring forward ways to repeal it brick by brick by brick. now this week we will take up the repeal of the class act which is an important step for us to do. this is a classic budget gimmick. and for those of you who read the bill, go to title 8, section 8,001 and 8,002 of the obamacare health care bill and that is where it lays out the class act which is to be there for long-term care. i would encourage you as you read this to just realize we have no example where the federal government has stepped in to make these near-term investments, where it has guilded the long-term savings that some of the theorists
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expect to see. it just doesn't happen. it's time to get the class act off the books. it is not fiscally sustainable. >> good morning, i'm rob woodall, a freshman from georgia's seventh, and i have the pleasure of serving on the budget committee. this budget committee has been working hard. to produce a budget i think america could be proud of and working hard this year on 10 different budget reform process issues. as a freshman it surprised me when i got to washington, d.c., it's the only place you spend $10 this year and $12 next year and call it a spending cut. i don't understand it. american families don't understand t we are bringing a bill to the floor this week on friday that's going to change that. i had the pleasure of introducing that bill. it's called the baseline reform act. what it says is this, when the c.b.o. goes to score what it projects america's spending to be, it should just follow the law. it should follow what congress has done. the current process is to assume that next congress is going to
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spend more than this congress. in fairness, based on past congresses that was probably a good assumption. this congress appropriately $1 trillion in 2010. $1.5 billion in 2011. this congress is on a downward projecktry for spenged and the american people know that. the baseline reform act says no more can you spend $10 this year and $12 next year call it a cut. if you spend $10 this year, spend $10 next year and be honest. i'm so proud of chairman ryan and the leadership for bringing this bill forward. >> speaker boehner, floo. -- in florida newt gingrich ran an ad criticizing governor romney for depriving jewish individuals of $5 kosher mills. the rhetoric got heated. do you agree with that?
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should that rhetoric stop? >> as the gentleman is well aware, i'm not involved myself in this presidential primary race. those who choose to show up and vote in the republican primaries are going to make their decision. i've got a big job to do here along with our leadership team and i'm going to stay focused on my work. >> the president is announcing a proposal today to help underwater homeowners refinance. >> one more time? how many times have we done this? we have done this at least four times where there's some new government program to help homeowners who have trouble with their mortgages. none of these programs have worked. i don't know why anyone would think that this next idea is going to work. and all they have done is delay the clearing of the market. the sooner the market clears, understand where the prices really are, will be the most important thing we can do in order to improve home values
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around the country. >> you can work with the president in any way to actually -- >> i am always opened to working with the president of the united states. we both have a job to do. if it makes economic sense, if it's fiscally responsible certainly i'll take a look at it. >> you are a top leader of the republican party. when you look at the prior primary in florida, how are you as a party leader that a bitter primary what impact will that have on your party? >> i understand people are concerned about how long the primary process is dragging out. i would remind people that president obama and secretary of state hillary clinton had a fight that went through june of 2008. so i think everybody just needs to relax. >> something on where the house republicans are on the payroll tax cut.
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>> i'm expecting a report today from chairman camp who is chairing the conference with the senate. we don't really see any reason why this can't be extended. the house passed a bill that would extend the payroll tax credit for a year. extend unemployment benefits with real reforms. and take care of the so-called dock fix. we pay for it in a reasonable, responsible way, most of the offsets, if you will, come from the president's own budget. so we have done our work. we are in conference and i'm hopeful they can resolve this sooner rather than later. thanks. >> we heard speaker boehner asked about the results from florida yesterday and with that win massachusetts governor mitt romney, former massachusetts governor and all four candidates are back out on the campaign trail gearing up for a number of contesting in the coming week.
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nevada's caucus is on saturday the fourth. the colorado, minnesota, and missouri primaries on the seventh of february. governor romney is in minnesota this afternoon for a rally near minneapolis. meanwhile newt gingrich is in nevada today as is ron paul and rick santorum spending date campaigning in colorado. in about 10 minutes or so we are going to hear from president obama. you heard speaker gingrich -- speaker boehner asked about the expectation the president's going to unveil a plan that would make it easier and more affordable for struggling homeowners to refinance their mortgages. the president will be speaking in falls church, virginia. and we expect to hear him in about 10 minutes or so. we'll take you there live once it starts here on c-span. in the meantime, part of this morning's "washington journal." host: here's "the washington post" this morning. they say eight in 10 florida
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voters identify themselves as republicans. and romney beat his main opponent, former house speaker newt gingrich, among that group, 48% to 34%. two in three veeters say they support the tea party movement. is mitt romney the tea party candidate? guest: he certainly has a lot of tea party support. the idea that will mitt romney is the establishment is kind of crazy. he's the only candidate that hasn't spent most of his life in washington. i see that -- the tea party and a lot of conservatives divided among all the candidates. and the frontrunner whether it be romney or gingrich needs to see what is attractive about ron paul, rick santorum, and to make sure that we create a platform that's going to unite the party. host: are you going to endorse at some point? guest: i don't have any plans to. i'm going to keep my focus on the senate conservatives fund because it doesn't matter who is in the white house, if we have the same senate we do now, we are not going to move the country away from this fiscal
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cliff. host: host: the conservative fund which would be your p.a.c. to help elect -- guest: senateconservatives.com for those who want to help. last cycle we were able to help candidates like marco rubio and pat toomey and rand paul and some folks in the republican party didn't think should be a part of the senate. but they are already making a difference. i think that new blood and the fresh ideas coming in is real important to the republican party. i don't hesitate to say when we had the majority we blew it. so we have to reearn the trust of the american people. host: let me go back to presidential politics. are you not -- explain why are you not endorsing and wouldn't you help propel your agenda being in the senate as well if you were to throw your weight behind one of these candidates? >> you find out how little weight you have when you throw it behind a candidate. found that out. i don't think there are any
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voters waiting for me to tell them how to vote. but the lenching i have is nor with senate can -- leverage i have is more with senate candidates. that's what i am, a senator, i found in this election the people who send $10 and $20 to the senate conservatives fund are very divided about who they think the president should be. and as soon as i weigh in to that, i'm going to ailentate 80% or so of the people that are supporting me. regardless of who i support. i think the best thing i can do for our next president is help deliver a conservative senate majority. host: do you think speaker gingrich could get tea party support? guest: i think he could. i think the tea party is a diverse group of americans and there are thousands of group. this idea there is one tea party, i have heard the tea party's blamed for this or that. it's crazy. it's thousands of citizen groups united mostly around fiscal issues. they are concerned about the spending, the debt, and the growth of government that's impeding the growth of our economy.
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host: did you vote in the south carolina primary? guest: yes, i did. host: you picked your candidate. guest: that's right. host: you are focusing on the senate. let me show you and our viewers the front page of politico this morning about your colleague, senator dick lugar, from top target to tea party pal. are you going to support senator lugar's re-election? guest: i committed to in a republican conference last year i wouldn't get involved in incumbent races. i would focus on challenge races there are 23 democrats up for re-election, and that's where i've got my focus. i'm not running candidates against our incumbents or i'm not working for our incumbents in primaries. host: does senator lugar represent the tea party? guest: i think that's up to the people of indiana to decide. host: you don't sound like you would -- guest: i just don't think you can pigeonhole a tea party view. i think people are going to have to decide for themselves and you
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really can't -- no one can speak for the tea party. and i can't speak for the tea party. host: ok. let me show our viewers the cover of your book, "now or never" talking about the economic collapse of this country. saving america from it. just want to read from the first chapter for our viewers here. says that washington leaders can't understand is the seemingly invincible united states is rapidly approaching an economic iceberg, basic math tells us we can't keep spending more than we are bringing in indefinitely. so let's go to the news yesterday from the congressional budget office about where we are headed with this nation's deficit. here is a column put together by ezra klein and worked with one of the think tank agencies in washington. he says this, george w. bush's major policies increased the debt by more than $5 trillion during his presidency. obama has increased the debt by
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less than $1 trillion. they broke it down. by policy. which contributed to the national debt for both the bush administration and then if you looked at the obama administration from 2009 out to 2017, and obama administration would add less. guest: i don't know where they get those numbers because i have watched -- obamacare alone is going to be $1 trillion. we don't need to put the blame here. the whole point is both parties are to blame. that our country is headed towards an iceberg. we can point fingers all we want. but the bottom line is it's not about party or it's not about ideology. our country on paper is bankrupt already. the only thing that's propping us up is the euro's in worse shape and we are able to print money to buy our own debt, which we have been doing the last two years. so i think that's what really inspired the tea party movement of a couple years ago is
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instinctively americans know we can't keep spending more than we bring in. and the fact that we can't even agree in washington that we need to balance our budget sometime in the next 10 years, we had that vote before christmas and practically every democrat in the house and senate voted against balancing our budget in the next 10 years. and if we can't have that shared goal, then we can't have a reasonable debate about how to do it, whether it's to raise taxes or cut spending. but the point of now or never is i'm saying the politicians in washington, regardless of which party is in charge, are going to bankrupt our country if the american people don't get engaged in the political process this year. because if we stay on this track four more years, we are going to be worse off than greece because on paper we already have more debt relative to the size of our economy than europe does. because europe doesn't have a federal debt like we do. they have what would be individual state debts. we have some of our states close to bankruptcy.
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california is running out of money in march. most of the state pension plans are going bankrupt. we are still spending more this year in washington than we did last year, despite all the hoopla last year and the threats of government shutdown. it's like we got a spending addiction here. the debt is going to destroy our country. i'm saying throw out the political labels. we are all americans now. this is not about ideology. it's about simple math. . host: let me tell you what elmendorf had to say about the other side of the ledger which is if you keep tax cuts in place, here's what he had to say. >> in fiscal year 2013, county effects of extending all of these expiring tax provisions, meaning the 2001 and 2003 and 2009 cuts as well as trying to index the alternative minimum tax depletion, as well as extending the other tax credits and others that have been routinely extended, extending them into 2013 adds about $300
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billion to the deficit in 2013. guest: we can't continue with this tax code because it's killing jobs. it's making it difficult to manufacture in this country and we need to encourage revenues to the government but we can see with -- we've done a lot of projections on just a flat rate tax code. mike pence and i have one that's about 18%. and it just -- millions of jobs flow out of that and you can always say, well, somebody's going to be paying more or somebody's going to be paying less taxes, but if we got a flat rate tax then people won't be locked in a bad job forever. we can improve our economy and opportunity for everyone. but the -- this convoluted tax rate we have now, if we let it expire, we have a 10% rate now, a lot of it is for lower income. they benefit more relative to their income size than those making more money.
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but we do need to get rid of the loopholes, the subsidies. i mean, the crony capitalism where we're throwing money at some companies and not at others. we just need a flat simple tax rate. we can't afford to keep what we got. host: let's get to phone calls here for senator mitchell, a democrat in -- for senator demint, a democrat in chattanooga, tennessee. caller: a couple questions. you guys -- seems like the republican party has been infiltrated, you have your grover norquist, you have your qung guns, you have the tea party -- young guns, you have the tea party, couple others i don't want to mention. i don't know how you guys can come to anything when you have those different pools coming your way. guest: mitch, i am glad you pointed that out. the republican party is really not controlled by any group despite what someone says. folks say wall street. they give more to democrats than we do.
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hollywood, billionaires give more to democrats than we. the tea party doesn't control us. they are a bunch of small groups all over the country. the problem we have in washington now is the democrat party is pretty much controlled by those who are dependent on government and want more government power. that includes the labor bosses, trial lawyers, environmentalists. but we don't have a problem in the republican party of being controlled by any fick group. but we have had problem in the past being consistent to our foundation of limited government. and as already been pointed out during the bush years we increased spending, we increased earmarks. some of those things we've been able to stop. but, yeah, we got problems now, but the problems are not that the deprupes are controlling us -- groups are controlling us. the republican party is really supported by individuals and small businesses, and that's the group i'm calling on to get more involved in this year's election. host: ken on twitter has this for you.
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guest: well, it's been more than 1,000 days since we had a budget in the congress. the senate really won't present one and harry reid said it would be foolish to do that. the reason is when you have to lay out a budget you show your priorities. you show how much money you're going to spend and where you're going to get it and they know that would reveal an intent to raise taxes significantly and to increase spending. the necessary thing to do is to cut spending. a lot of the constituents in the democrat party are union government workers and if we cut anything, even the waste and duplication that the g.a.o. has said we have, tom coburn has done an expose on all the waste, it doesn't hurt any american other than maybe the constituency of government workers who are working in that agency. but we could eliminate a lot of
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spending and duplication without hurting americans. but the drants can't do it just as they can't cross their environmental -- >> all of this event available on our library at c-span.org. we'll take you to falls church, virginia and to president obama. >> hello, everybody. [cheers and applause] >> thank you so much. thank you, everybody. thank you. thank you. thank you. thank you so much. everybody, please have a seat. have a seat. it is great to be back in falls church. [cheers and applause] thank you for having me. you know, last week in my state of the union i laid out my
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blueprint for an economy that's built to last. and i want to assure you i am not going to go over the whole thing again this morning. [laughter] that was a long speech. i am not going to -- i'm not going to repeat the whole thing. but i do want to talk about some of the issues that i discussed last week because the blueprint we put forward was one that focuses on restoring what has always been this country's greatest strengths -- american manufacturing, american energy, skills and education for american workers so that we can compete with anybody around the world in this 21st century economy. and most importantly, the american values of fairness and responsibility.
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fairness and responsibility. [applause] now, we know what happens because we've just seen it. what happened when we stray from those values. we saw what happened over the past decade when we strayed from those values. especially when it comes to the massive housing bubble that burst and hurt so many people. millions of families who did the right and the responsible thing, folks who shopped for a home they could afford, secured a mortgage, made their payments each month, they were hurt badly by the irresponsible actions of other people. who weren't playing by the same rules, weren't taking the same care, weren't acting as
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responsibly. by lenders who sold loans to people who they knew couldn't afford the mortgages and buyers who bought homes they knew they couldn't afford and banks that packaged those mortgages up and traded them to reap phantom profits knowing they were building a house of cards. it was wrong. it was wrong. it triggered the worst economic crisis of our lifetime, and it has been the single biggest drag on our recovery from a terrible recession. you know, crushing debt has kept millions of consumers from spending. a lack of building demand has kept millions of construction workers idle. everybody involved in the home building business, folks who
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make windows, folks who make carpets, they've all been impacted. the challenge is massive in size and in scope because we got a multitrillion-dollar housing industry and economists can tell you how it's affected all sorts of statistics from g.d.p. to consumer confidence. but what's at stake is more than just statistics. it's personal. you know, i've been saying this samake or break moment for the middle class, and this housing crisis struck right at the heart of what it means to be middle class in america. our homes, the place where we invest our nest egg, the place where we raise our family, the place where we plant roots in a
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community, the place where we build memories. it's personal. it affects so much how people feel about their lives, about their communities, about the economy. we need to do everything in our power to repair the damage and make responsible families whole again. everything we can. [applause] now, the truth is it will take more than any of us like for the housing market to fully recover from this crisis. this was a big bubble. and when it burst it had a big effect. home prices started a pretty
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steady decline about five years ago, and government certainly can't fix the entire problem on its own. but it is wrong for anybody to suggest that the best thing to do is to sit and wait for the housing market to hit bottom. [applause] i refuse to accept that and so do the american people. there are more than 10 million homeowners across the country right now who because of an unprecedented decline in home prices that is no fault of their own owe more on their mortgage than their homes are worth. it means tony blair mortgage, your house is -- it means their mortgage, your house is underwater. here in falls church home values have fallen by about a
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quarter from their peak. in places like las vegas, more than half of all homeowners are underwater. more than half. so it's going to take a while for those prices to rise again, but there are actions we can take right now to provide some relief to folks who've been responsible, have done the right thing and are making their payments on time. already thanks to the outstanding work in part of my secretary of housing and urban development, shaun donovan, who is here today -- [applause] yeah, there he is. good-looking guy in the front here. [laughter] the housing plan we launched a couple years ago has helped nearly one million responsible
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homeowners refinance their mortgages and they are saving an average of $300 on their payments each month. $300 which is great. [applause] but i'll be honest, the programs that we put forward haven't worked at the scale that we hoped. not as many people have taken advantage of it as we wanted. mortgage rates are as low as they've been in half a century, and when that happens usually homeowners flock to refinance their mortgages. so a lot of people take advantage of it and save a lot of money, but this time too many families haven't been able to take advantage of the low rates because falling prices locked them out of the market. they were underwater, made it more difficult for them to refinance. then you got all the fees involved in refinancing. a lot of people just said, you know what, even though i'd like to be obviously cutting down my monthly payment, the banks just
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aren't being real encouraging. so last year we took aggressive action that allowed more families to participate, and today we're doing even more. it's the main reason i am here today. [applause] as i indicated at the state of the union last week, i am sending congress a plan that will give every responsible homeowner in america the chance to save about $3,000 a year on their mortgage by refinancing at historically low rates. no more red tape. no more run around from the banks, and a small fee on the
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largest financial institutions will make sure it doesn't add to our deficit. so i want to be clear. this plan like the other actions we've taken will not help the neighbors down the street who bought a house they couldn't afford and then walked away and left a foreclosed home behind. it's not designed for those who've acted irresponsibly, but it can help those who've acted responsibly. it's not going to help those who bought multiple homes just to speculate and flood the house and make a quick -- flipped the house and make a quick buck but it can help those who acted responsibly. what it will do is help millions of homeowners who find themselves trapped under falling home values or wrapped up in red tape. if you're ineligible for refinancing just because you're underwater on your mortgage through no fault of your own,
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this plan changes that. you'll be able to refinance at a lower rate. you'll be able to save hundreds of dollars a month that you can put back in your pocket, or you can choose those savings to rebuild equity in your homes which will help most underwater homeowners come back up for air more quickly. now, to move this part of my plan, we're going to need congress to act. we're going to need congress to act. i hear some mr. murphy:ing in the audience here. -- i hear some murmurring in the audience here. but we are not just going to wait for congress. we are going to keep building the firewall that will prevent the same kinds of abuses that led to this crisis in the first place. so there are things we can do
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administratively that are also going to help responsible homeowners. [applause] already we've set up a special task force. i asked my attorney general to establish to investigate the kind of activity banks took when they packaged and sold risky mortgages and that task force is wrapping up its work as we speak. we're going to keep at it and hold people who broke the law accountable and helped restore confidence in the market. we're going to speed assistance to homeowners and we're going to turn the page on an era of recklessness who hurt so many hardworking americans. [applause]
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today i'm also proposing a homeowners bill of rights. one straightforward set of commonsense rules of the road that every family knows they can count on when they're shopping for a mortgage. no more hidden fees or conflicts of interest. no more getting the runaround when you call about your loan. no more fine print that you use d to get families to take a deal is not as good as the one they should have gotten. new safeguards against inappropriate foreclosures. new options to avoid foreclosure if you've fallen on hardship or run of bad luck. [applause] and a new simple, clear form for new buyers of a home.
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now, think about it. this is the most important purchase a family makes. but how many of you have had to deal with overly implicated mortgage forms and complex terms. i remember when michelle and i bought our first condo and we were both lawyers. [laughter] and we're looking through the forms and kind of holding it out, reading it again. what does this phrase mean? and that's, you know, for two trained lawyers. the forms, the confusion, the potential for abuse is too great. just because the forms were too complicated. this is what a mortgage form
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should look like. this is it. now that our new consumer watchdog agency is finally running at full speed -- [cheers and applause] now that richard cordray is in as the director of the consumer finance protection bureau -- [cheers and applause] they're moving forward on important protections like this new shorter mortgage form. simple, not complicated. informative, not confusing. terms are clear. fees are transparent.
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this, by the way, is what some of the folks in congress are trying to roll back and prevent from happening. i guess they like complicated things that confuse consumers and allow them to be cheated. i prefer actions that are taken to make things simpler and easier to understand for consumers so that they can get the best deal possible. especially on the biggest single investment that most people will ever make. [cheers and applause] americans making a down payment on their dreams shouldn't be terrified by pages and pages of fine print. they should be confident they're making the right decision for their future. there's more that we're announcing today. we're working to turn more foreclosed homes into rental
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houses because as we know, and a lot of families know, that empty house or for sale sign down the block can bring down the price of homes across the neighborhood. we're working to make sure people don't lose their homes just because they lose their jobs. these are steps that can make a concrete difference in people's lives right now. [applause] as i said earlier, no program or policy will solve all the problems in a multitrillion-dollar housing market. the height of the housing bubble reached before it burst, those were unsustainable, and it's going to take time to fully recover. that requires everybody to do their part.
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as much as our economic challenges were born of eroding home values and portfolio values, they were also born of an erosion of some old-fashioned american values. an economy that's built to last, that's on a firm foundation so that middle-class families have a sense of security and those who want to get in the middle class can make it if they're working hard, that demands responsibility from everyone. government must take responsibility for rules that are fair and fairly enforced. [applause] banks and lenders must be held accountable for ending the practices that helped cause this crisis in the first place. [applause]
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and all of us have to take responsibility for our own actions or lack of actions. so -- i urge congress to act, pass this plan, help more families keep their homes, help more neighborhoods remain vibrant, help keep more dreams defended and alive, and i promise you that i'll keep doing everything i can to make the future brighter for this community, for this commonwealth, for this country. thank you, everybody. god bless you. god bless the united states of america. thank you. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012]
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>> you'll be able to see this event in the library. coming up here on c-span in just over half an hour we'll take you live back to the house. on the agenda today, extending the pay freeze for federal workers' salaries and a measure to reduce the budgets of house committees and the maini temperature on the agenda -- main item on the agenda is to repeal part of the health care law, the class act, the obama administration says it won't implement that portion of the law due to a lack of funding. votes later on this afternoon. live coverage of the house at noon here on c-span. and over in the senate, work continues on a bill that would make it illegal for members of congress to trade stocks based on nonpublic information. also known as the stock act. one amendment that could receive consideration would extend the bill's disclosure
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requirements to some executive branch officials. the senate live now on c-span 2. also, "book tv" note, tonight on 7:00, msnbc host dillon -- dylan ratigan. "greedy bastards"! he's live on "book tv" at 7:00 p.m. eastern. part of this morning's "washington journal" program. host: tim ryan, thank you for being here. we'll get to manufacturing and the economy, but i want to begin with overall look of the economy. released yesterday by the congressional budget office on deficit, and this is "the wall street journal" editorial page this morning, $5 trillion and change.
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it has increased the debt by $5 trillion in -- host: what's your reaction? guest: well, i love how they try to blame obama. these numbers is the result of economic policies and deregulation policies of wall street that allowed the housing market to get out of control. we all know how the story ended in 2008, and the stimulus bill and other things that have been done, reduction in revenue, when you have 10% and 15% in some major cities in the united states, reduced revenue, bad economy, a stimulus bill needed to plug that hole, you add that up and that's where we are.
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but to try to somehow blame obama for all this is just politics coming out of "the wall street journal's" editorial. host: they disagree on your take of what happened. has two main causes. guest: you know, that's a complete distortion. i can't believe a newspaper like "the wall street journal" can creditably say things like that. to say that the stimulus bill and the reduction in the payroll taxes had no effect. did it have as much of an
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effect that we wanted? no. i represent youngstown, ohio, one of the poorest cities in the country, no, it hasn't. it has plugged the hole. my opinion from day one was that the stimulus package wasn't big enough. you know, we -- to get one republican vote we had to do $300 million, fix the a.m.t. and do tax cuts to get one republican vote in the senate so there wasn't enough money pumped in the economy. i know that's an unpopular thing to say in some corners but it is economics. it is based on what happened during world war ii and what we needed to do. so the fact that these numbers are parallel to what happened after the great depression, and you're talking about truman, well, it took a while for us to get out of that. so we got to continue these policies, continue to cut the payroll taxes for next year, and allow that money to get back in the economy. but we also need, not to get on a complete rant here, but we also need long-term systemic changes for the economy.
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and i think president obama hit the nail on the head at the state of the union. community college, get kids back to work, more engineers, more investment in research and development, the sciences, n.i.h., national science foundation, jump-starting the economy with a new green revolution. this is the way out. and we stopped investing in the united states. stopped investing in infrastructure. stopped investing in research and development, stopped investing in education, and we are where we are because of those disinvestments over the last 10 years or so. host: and we'll talk more about that. talk about to the -- "the wall street journal." the keynesians --
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host: so in other words would you be in favor of continuing the tax cuts that are in place in order to not damage the economy? guest: well, not for the high-end folks. i think, you know, the buffett rule and what the president's promoting with that i think should happen. and, you know, folks have been doing very, very well. the way the current system is set up is inhumane, what we have going in our country right now and we need to stop and say it's inhumane what some are going through in the united states of america in some of our rural cities and areas. and to think that warren buffett can't contribute a more in order to help pay down the deficit. i have republicans in my district who don't pay that close of attention to the daily workings of congress. why don't you guys raise taxes on those who make more than $1 million a year and i say that's exactly what we're trying to do but you have "the wall street
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journal" editorial page and you have the right-wing caucus of the tea party folks in the house aren't for any of that. not even asking millionaires to pay more. and when you have that bit of a chasm of what pratkble, responsible approaches are versus ideology, when you have that bit of a chasm becomes difficult to find some common ground. host: the tax discussion bringing us to the manufacturing agenda that president obama laid out in his state of the union address. he talked about a minimum tax for multinational companies. here is a piece that was put in "the washington post" talking about howard's take on this tax. he said --
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guest: i think we do need complete tax reform and it needs to be done in a comprehensive way, but clearly there's no partners. i mean, i think president obama wants to sit down and do this but he doesn't have any partners in congress, and i think we look -- go back to the debt ceiling discussion where him and speaker boehner, the president and speaker boehner had a deal worked out for long-term devils reduction. speaker boehner brought it back to the tea party caucus in the house and got the can bash put on it. -- kabash put back on it. if you only have the president of the united states being the only responsible adult in the room trying to get some of this stuff done it becomes very, very difficult. but this is the thing. you have these folks who will jump and talk about, you know, the food stamp president and -- but o god, we responsible couldn't do anything to raise some revenues from the
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wealthiest folks in our country. not even top 1%. sometimes it's the top .1%. host: is there reason that a multinational minimum tax is just politically unrealistic, not going to happen? guest: it's probably not going to happen politically but i think it's a good thing for the president to continue to push because it draws that line in the sand and it makes the republicans continue to do what they've been doing and that's defend wall street and defend the top 1%. i hate to say that because we are all in the 100%. any way we slice this we're all in this together. and having this chasm between the wealthiest and the middle class and the poor is not healthy for our democracy, but at the end of the day i think it's important for voters to know who's asking for basic fairness, who's asking for justice and responsibility and policemen policing wall street and the regulatory markets and who's not. host: there are other items that was included in the president's manufacturing
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agenda. you listed off some of them as we were talking here. again, on the reality front, what can get through congress of what he proposed? guest: well, i would hope that some of the manufacturing policies could get promoted because i think there is a genuine consensus when the cameras are off that these things can get done. when we -- a good example is i have a china currency bill that i've been pushing for eight years now. before the democrats left congress, speaker pelosi brought it to the floor. i think we had 370 votes. it was probably the largest bipartisan vote of the substantive issue that we had in that congress and the republicans currently now won't even bring it up for a vote. you talking about 370 members of the united states congress agreeing on something, that's a good day. now, they won't even bring it up for a vote because they're getting their strings pulled by some of the multinationals. my point is that i think there is some genuine concern for
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manufacturing in the united states and bringing it back, and i hope that we can pick one or two of these things, maybe with tax incentives for retrofitting trucks and buses for natural gas because of the marcellus shale boom that's going on in pennsylvania and ohio and others. that could be a good place to start where we could find some common ground. host: let's get to some phone calls here. tony, you are on the air with congressman tim ryan of ohio. caller: good morning, gretta. good morning, mr. ryan. guest: good morning. caller: i have something to bring up. a 90-year-old woman on social security, she has to buy a pair of tweezers, say, she goes to the store, there's an american-made pair there for $1.49 that's going to last 30 years. and then there's a cheap pair from china, 99 cents. i think most people understand why she buys the 99 cent pair. but just pose that against a hypothetical billionaire from
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new york who owns hotels throughout new york city and atlantic city and he buys furniture for his hotels that he flies the american flag out of. it comes from china 20% cheaper. be an american, be a patriot. pay the extra 20% and feel good about it. and really that's all i got to say. thanks. guest: well, you know, we have lost a lot of manufacturing. i don't think there's many districts that have lost more than mine. i represent northeast ohio, just south of cleveland. akron, youngstown, rovena, the old steel belt. some of these we aren't going to get back. we aren't going to get back the tweezer manufacturer. i think our focus needs to be, how do we make america competitive to make the high-end advanced manufacturing
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products that we can sell to the world, the advanced batteries that the president talked about? and if we're going to do that we need a government that's smart and it's not this all government is bad, all we need to do is make the government small enough to be able to put it in the bathtub and drown it. that kind of independent sidary rhetoric is not healthy to make the kind of investments we need. we need to pump up national institutes of health, make sure everybody in the country gets the community college degree so we have the work force me to fill these new jobs. how do we grow engineers in the united states and provide scholarships for young people to go to these schools? there are all kinds of school reform we need too. but a set of vision. and most of this is going to be in the field of energy. and if we don't wake up and smell the coffee in the country, we are going to fall behind. china is pumping of billions of dollars into alternative energy, renewable energy
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portfolios and the like and we're falling behind. host: do you disagree with the president on the keystone decision? guest: i think what he's doing is fine. clean gas is here in the united states, natural gas. let's convert our economy over. we only have 2% of the world's oil, for god sake. let's get off this idea that we can still run on oil. we can't. can he keep going down this road further and further while china's investing billions of dollars in green technology, windmills, nuclear, you know, clean coal, all of these things. we need to be doing that stuff and get out of this ideology and get our head out of the sand and let's go. we have a generation of young americans who have no clue what they're going to do when they get out of college or they're already out of college and they have $100,000 in debt and have no clue. there's no space race. there's no -- we are going to lead the world in manufacturing. there's no connection. that's why i was so inspired by the president's state of the union because i really thought of all of the candidates you see in the republican primary and what you hear coming from
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the president of the united states. if you are a 25-year-old woman thinking what am i going to do, i have $100,000 in college debt, which one of these votes or which one of these parties is really going to lay out an agenda that i can contribute my talents and skills to? it's the president. by far. and that's what we need to do and that's -- we can't worry about the tweezers. tweezers of manufacturers are gone. how do we do the new generation of manufacturing? host: ohio has lost 3,500 factories over the last 10 years. guest: yeah. i'm not surprised because that's the world i live in every single day. going to these factories, dealing with trade adjustment assistance for the workers. you know, being with these workers as they go through bankruptcy. i've seen too many steel mills close down and manufacturing facilities close down. it's not just the one that closed down. it's the entire supply chain.
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host: i just want to show our viewers manufacturing in ohio by the numbers. home to about 22,000 manufacturing companies. cincinnati ranks sixth for manufacturing jobs. cleveland 10th and columbus 19th in the whole country. leads the nation in production of general-purpose machinery, second in metal working machinery. 16.74% of gross state product is generated by manufacturing. $80 billion annually. 10th in the nation based on percentage. what did youngstown look like before and what does it look like now? guest: there would be steel mills miles long down the mulhoney river. there is old pictures it looks like the town is emptying out because there are thousands and thousands of workers getting out when the whistle blew as people lived all around the steel mill and company towns but neighborhoods like the
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brower hill neighborhood where the italians immigrated and it was a bustling place. it was dirty. the wives were sweeping the floor -- sweeping the porches twice, sometimes three times a day because the soot would come out of the steel mill. so it's a much different world. today young foun is a tale of two cities like many cities. you know, youngstown has a burgeoning tech community. "entrepreneur" magazine says youngstown is one of the top 10 cities to start a business in. we have a business $58,000 doing a lot of business-to-business software, some of the fastest growing companies in the world in education software and green technologies, companies like turning technologies that these tech magazines ranked a few years ago as the fastest tech company. we have general motors invested millions of dollars under governor strickland into the lordstown plant. 4,500 workers were selling the
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chevy cruze. one of the best selling car that general motors has right now. we have huge investments because of our locations with marcellus and utica shale. we have seen huge investments of almost $1 billion for steel companies there. a french company just put about $650 million into a steel mill between youngstown and gerard, ohio, and they make steel tubing for the oil and gas industry. so we have thousands of building trades working in youngstown and you go a few miles away and the other building trades can't find work. it's really a tale of two cities. but my point is and why i get so adamant about the investments in the sciences and in the health is because i'm seeing in akron and in youngstown what these investments lead to. they lead to job creation at the end of the day. and when we pull back those investments, businesses don't thrive, businesses don't partner with them and we have
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no new economy. and we're getting stucked talking about tweezers when we should be talking about high-end battery manufacturing and how that can be done in the united states. and in places like youngstown and the old steel belt, if we had a tax policy that would incentivize converting buses and trucks over to natural gas because of the boom we have, talking about relying on american energy right under our feet, tax incentives to make those new engines and trucks and buses here in the united states in places like youngstown and akron and cleveland, ohio, that's exciting. people want that vision for a bright future. and we're not giving it to them because we're dealing with ideology. host: let me get some more phone calls in here. patricia is a republican. let's look at the unemployment rate nationally compared to ohio as well as u.s. manufacturing jobs in that state. go ahead, patricia. caller: the only one stuck on talking about tweezers is your
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guest there. let me tell you what fair isn't. it isn't fair that half the citizens in america don't pay any income tax at all. i know they pay the other taxes. but so do the people who are working and risking and investing their money. and he doesn't explain that there's a difference between income tax and capital gains tax. and i'm so sick of hearing about warren buffett too. if he wants to give the government some money, go right ahead, warren. go right ahead. host: all right, patricia, let's take your two points. guest: you know, i mean, there's a lot of people in my district who do pay taxes. they would trade places with you, ma'am, in a heartbeat, to have a better situation. there are five people, four, five people looking for every one job that's available. the jobs we've lost in ohio are now being replaced by jobs. you're lucky. you're lucky if they pay half
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as much as the jobs they lost. there are americans -- i know it's convenient and cool to say, oh, these people want to live on the -- i know thousands of people that i have meat over my 10, 12 years in congress and in the state senate, they want a job. they don't want a handout. they don't want to be on the government doll. they want to go to work and they want a job with health care and benefits and a pensions. i'm sick and tired, quite frankly, people trying to paint with a broad brush how the american middle class or most americans don't want to work. i can't remember the last person i met who said, boy, i'm really comfortable. i love being on the government program. there are people who take advantage. there are people in this building, the companies aren't getting maximized, you know, contributions for them as far as their contribution to the work force. but to say most americans are like that i think is demeaning. we have to stop this. the right wing has been funding these groups trying to divide
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us. we saw it in ohio with the collective bargaining. who is union and nonunion? who's white, who's black, who's gay, who's straight? over the last 30 years there are millions of ways to divide us as americans. here we are, divide, not going anywhere, getting beat up by china with manufacturing and other things. there are people that want to work and we need to stop demeaning them and trying to lump them in with the fringe elements of our society. host: ben in warburg, tennessee, you're on the air. caller: yes, the gentleman there -- y'all had the house and senate both for two years and all y'all did was work on the heash and we had 30 million people out of -- health care and we had 30 million people out of work. why instead of playing
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unemployment, why didn't we put them to do work infrastructure? guest: i agree. i was one of the people saying the stimulus bill originally, you know, needed a lot more infrastructure spending in it because the unemployment was in the building trades was about 20%, 25%. infrastructure spending would have gotten a lot of those people back to work. so the stimulus bill did not have enough infrastructure spending and we should have been past the highway bill on top of the stimulus bill which would have gotten people back to work. i agree with you. we need to look at countries like germany and see what they do with a very active work force on how we can keep people in the work force so they don't lose their skills and -- in spite of getting unemployment benefits. keep them at work. maybe have a government partnership with some of these companies i think would probably be the best way to go. so i agree with you. i think infrastructure spending is a good way to get a lot of people back to work. but think about what we're saying here.
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you know, we're talking about government investments in things that need to be done and roads and bridges all across the united states, airports, you know, hopefully high-speed rail one day, but also combined sewer overflow in akron, for example, it's like $1 billion bill for -- to deal with their combined sewer. you know, akron doesn't have that kind of money. we need federal investments and it gets people back to work, raises tax revenue and we're up and running. host: on the spending issue, with the c.b.o. headlines in the papers this morning, here is "the washington times," this is a tweet from joseph ramirez. representative ryan, is the c.b.o. saying spend more now, save later? explain. guest: i think at this point politically having investments coming from the federal government wouldn't even have committee hearing in the house of representatives. i think the most reasonable economists would say in this
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kind of liquidity trap that we're in, you spend now to get us out and then have long-term deficit spending. and i think being the buffett rule, getting some money upfront from that or even in the next 10 years from the top 1% and investing money in infrastructure would be a good thing. but the key is long term. we have to deal with the long-term deficit issue, there's no doubt about it. but if you don't get revenues up, don't get people back to work, you won't have the revenues you need to have long-term deficit reduction. host: the c.b.o. director may provide more clarity in what he was frying to say yesterday. he'll -- trying to say yesterday. he'll be up on capitol hill before the house budget committee, your committee, 10:00 a.m. live coverage on c-span3 this morning. dorothy is a democrat in kansas city, missouri. go ahead, dorothy. caller: thank you, c-span, and thank you, congressman, for trying to do the right thing. i am a democrat and i am also a christian. what i see -- i've been here 66
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years, and what i see going on is hurting the whole country. most people do want to work. there's always going to be some people who don't want to work. when i got out of high school i wanted to work and couldn't find a job. i was a very good student, but what i want to say is keep pressing on. clean energy is the way. guest: thank you. caller: oil is just a way of somebody's pockets getting fat. host: all right, dorothy. guest: she brought up -- when she said -- back in youngstown there used to be steel mill on each side of the road. you could quit your job and walk across the street or down the road and get another one immediately. i mean, that's -- to know you are going to get a good-paying
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job. caller: i was wondering if mr. ryan would please look up in the webster's dictionary the meaning of the word fair. it means that everybody gets treated equal. and i wish you would look that up and quit using the word fair because the rich pay most of the taxes in this country and you know that. if you don't know it you should find out about it, but president obama has spent over $1 billion -- i mean, $1 trillion this year. the numbers came out yesterday. the numbers looked dismal. it looked like we are going to be in a slump until 2018. you know, -- you want to talk about a high-speed rail. i don't want to ride on a train and smell everybody's b.o. i want to have my own car. oil is going to be around for
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at least 100 years before you get alternative energies. you know -- host: ok, eddie, i want to take that last point, oil around for 100 before alternative energies pay off. guest: we have 2% of the world's oil. eddie, if you want to rely on the saudis and middle eastern countries for oil, hey, god bless you. i just don't think that is a good long-term strategy for the united states when we have the innovative, the capacity, the cree atitive to have alternative energy. and global warming, which i am sure you are not concerned with, but many of us are and think this could be a whole new industry for us. but to say we're going to rely on oil from the saudis for the next 100 years i think is really reducing and diminishing america. he talked about fairness. eddie, is it fair that people in the united states of america, the wealthiest country in the world have a sick child
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that can't get adequate health care or affordable health care because of the screwed up health care system we got? is it fair that someone sitting in youngstown or akron, ohio, had to feel the ramifications of a deregulated wall street of people who followed their self-interest right off a cliff and took the entire economy down with it? is that fair? no, that's not fair. fairness is regulating these market and making sure that the bounty and the blessings of america gets spread across for everybody to at least have a modicum of fairness and that means health care, affordable education and, you know, basic standard of living. host: a fellow on twitter says, where the heck is all the gas taxes going? where is it guest: part of it it's not geared for inflation. it gets outpaced almost immediately once a lot of these gas faxes are put on -- taxes are put on and at the end of the day it gets more and more expensive to pave roads and do
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bridges and everything else because of the inflation within the economy. i think we do need to figure out a better way to fund our infrastructure and to get more money in the pot because we've got a lot of needs. but at the end of the day most citizens support taxes on gasoline because they know it's -- they are going to give it at the tank and it's going to go to the roads and you can always see the benefits of it. host: let's go to lancaster, pennsylvania. john, independent. caller: yes, congressman, it's a pleasure to hear you after the last few days of listening to the republican race to the bottom. yes, couple quick ones. are you one of the co-sponsors of the new get money out of politics bill that's circulating in congress? i understand there's about 35 people. guest: yes. caller: in that and then secondly, why don't the democrats get together with the occupy wall street folks more
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vocally and just talk with them and about them? there's goes to be a spring and a summer that's going to rock the united states, and it would behoove you guys to get on their vote. they have a lot more voices than anyone's giving them credit for. guest: i think that's an important point. yes, i am for getting money out of politics. i think that is the number one interrupting factor of the cause of the problems down here in washington, d.c. so getting the money out is, you know, running every two years and having to raise millions and millions of dollars and your eyes come off the ball which is legislation and figuring out how to solve the country's problems. and the occupy movement i think has really been one of the most important movements in my lifetime in politics because they are at the right spot. they are at wall street, and there's a lot of big money folks who have been spending a lot of money over the last 30 years saying the problems in washington, you know, go to
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washington. washington's the problem, not the solution, from reagan on, and at the end of the day there was a bunch of big money people saying, stay away from wall street. let us do what we want. go blame washington. take all your anger and frustration with globalization and the changes in the economy. go blame washington for those problems. and finally, the light bulb went off and there's a lot of people on wall street now doing the occupy movement which i think is really, really important because it has shifted the focus from the tea party ideology of sorts in washington to the real source of the problem, where all the money comes from that funds these ads and funds washington, d.c. is wall street. host: tracy is a democrat in washington, d.c. go ahead, tracy. caller: hi. thank you, congressman, for your efforts and just as the previous caller said to keep us from racing to the bottom. i have a couple of two quick problems. people are against their own needs only because president obama. he has passed the lily
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ledbetter that has allowed people to have equal pay which means these people that are against president obama is going to get equal pay or to their meal counterparts. another thing -- male counterparts. another thing is no one will be denied insurance. i work as a nurse. only the very rich and very poor are able to get adequate health care. so these people who are against the president and his policies are against their own basic health care. i wish the democrats would just go out there and specifically tell people these things because they aren't getting it. thank you very much. guest: i agree. host: can you name me one thing that isn't the fault of the americans? do the dems have no responsibility for this economic mess? guest: there's plenty of responsibility to go around. i think when you look at the fact that president bush was in
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office, the republicans controlled the congress for much of that time and they completely deregulated wall street -- >> all of this available in our video library at c-span.org. the house is gaveling in next. on the items today, a bill that would repeal the class act. part of the health care law which provides long-term health care services. live house coverage now on c-span. karen hallett, the united states army, new york. the chaplain: for those of all faiths who would join me, i ask you to rise. i'm reading from the book of exodus. moses said to the lrd -- lord, you have been telling me lead these people, but you have not let me know who you will send me. teach me your ways so i may know you and continue to find favor with you. remember that this nation is your people. the lord replied, my presence will go with you and i will give you rest.
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then moses said to him, if your presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. how will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? what else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth? and the lord said to moses, i will do the very thing you asked, because i am pleased with you and i know you by name, and then moses said, now, lord, show me your glory, and this, o lord, is our prayer. we do not come seeking your blessing. today, we come seeking you. we invite you to be truly present with us here today, show us your glory, lord that we might be changed and set hard upon the earth once again as a people of faith, a nation that knows you. make your face to shine upon us that we might reflect your grace and grant us your peace, we pray, amen. the speaker: the chair has examined the journal of the last
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day's proceedings and announces to the house his approval thereof. pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1, the journal stands approved. the pledge of alenals will be led by the gentleman from indiana, mr. bucshon. mr. bucshon: please join me in the pledge. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the speaker: without objection the gentleman from new jersey, mr. garrett is recognized for one minute. mr. garrett: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the words of the chaplain who says may we indeed know the lord. mr. speaker, i rise today to recognize chaplain karen hallett on her selection as the 2012 reserve officers association chaplain of the year. she's a resident of vernon, new jersey, which is part of the fifth congressional district. the chaplain enlisted in the
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army in 1983 and completed basic combat training at fort dix, new jersey, she graduated from west point and was commissioned as a second lieutenant in 1988. after that, an after fulfilling her enlistment obligations, she spent 18 years in the civilian sector, successfully managing businesses while remaining engaged in full-time ministry. then in 2009 after completing her masters of divinity degree, she returned to military service as a captain in the united states army reserves. she currently serves as brigades chaplain for the 411 engineer brigade. throughout her more than 20 years of service and missionary work, she has dedicated herself to ministering to the spiritual needs of others, so it is her selflessness and service that exemplify the mandate to esteem others better than ourselves. i thank her for her service and congratulate her on receiving
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recognition as chaplain of the year. i yield back. the speaker: the gentleman yields pack. the chair announces the speaker's appointment pursuant to 10 u.s.c. 4355a and thed orer of the house of january 5, 2011, of the following members of the house to the board of visitors to the united states military academy. the clerk: mr. shimkus of illinois, mr. womack of arkansas. the speaker: pursuant to clause 4 of rule 1, the following enrolled bills were signed by the speaker on friday, january 27, 2012. the clerk: h.r. 3800, to amend the internal revenue code of 1986 to extend the funding and expenditure authority of the airport and airway trust fund, to amend title 49, united states code, to extend the airport program and for other purposes. h.r. 3801, to amend the tariff act of 1930 to clarify the
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definition of aircraft and the offenses penalized under the aviation smuggling provisions under that act and for other purposes. the speaker: the chair will entertain you have to 15 requests from each side of the aisle for one-minute speeches. for what purpose does the gentleman from south carolina rise? will kopelman mr. speaker, i ask -- mr. wilson: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker: without objection, so ordered. mr. wilson: mr. speaker, baker spring of the prestigious heritage foundation recently warned, quote, it is clear that the fiscal year 2013 defense budget will not provide the u.s. military with the resources it needs. even more problematic is that oil reductions to the defense budget are front loaded and therefore will have a significant and immediate implication for readiness, modernization programs and research and development, end of quote. our service members, their families and veterans have dedicated their lives to this country. house republicans understand that in order to keep american families safe we must fight to
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stop these reductions. i look forward to working with house armed services committee chairman buck mckeon to find ways to promote the proven path of peace through strength. in conclusion, god bless our troops and we will never forget september 11 and the global war on terrorism. welcome episscal -- episcopal mcgee for the national prayer service. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from california rise? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. chu: between 1988 and 1990 the armenian population was the target of racially motivated programs in aser buy jean -- aser about a jen. -- azerbajien. though the ethnic cleansing programs occurred more than 20 years, there were atrocious acts of cruelty. we cannot forget them.
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i think that this remains. the president of azerbajen said this is not a frozen conflict and it's not going to be one, unquote. america must remain committed to a peaceful and democratic resolution to the conflict, not one that relives the past. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from indiana rise? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. >> madam speaker, i rise today to commemorate some great news for manufacturing in indiana's eighth congressional district, my home. on january 17, the three millionth vehicle roll off the line at the toyota manufacturing plant in princeton, indiana. approximately 80% of the parties for these vehicles were made here in america within a 300 machine mile radius of the
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plant. these vokes are then shipped and sold -- these vehicles are then shipped and sold across this country thanks fought free trade agreements that congress passed this year. this plant began operations in 1996 and employs 1,499 people. i had the pleasure of meeting many of the princeton team members this past february and i want to commend each of these employees for their hard work and i congratulate them on a work well done. mr. bueshon: -- mr. bucshon: thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia rise? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. >> madam speaker, for those who believe in the mayan end of days and the prophecy of the end of the world in 2012, the fact that our republican friends have finally met a tax cut they don't like surely must be a sign of the apocalypse.
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mr. connolly: they fought tooth and nail opposing the middle class tax cut only relenting to a two-month extension. but the 40 days since then they've ignored every attempt to enact a full year extension. why? perhaps it's primarily a middle class tax cut, saving 160 million americans an average of $1,000 a year and whatever the reason, republican opposition once again threatens to raise taxes on millions of americans, deny unemployment insurance to 2.3 million americans and risk medicare access for 48 million americans. it's long past time the republicans stop putting politics over people and instead extend those tax cuts for 160 million fellow citizens without making americans rate until judgment day. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman
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from utah rise? mr. chaffetz: madam speaker, i ask permission to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. chaffetz: thank you, madam speaker. the numbers are in. once again the federal government is going to achieve an annual deficit of more than $1 trillion. now, how much is $1 trillion? as we throw around that number far too often, if you spend $1 million a day every day it would take you almost 3,000 years to get to $1 trillion. and our federal government is approaching $16 trillion in debt. we're spending more than a little more than $733 million a day in just interest on the debt. we have to change the trajectory. we can no longer borrow and spend the kind of money that we are. please, ladies and gentlemen, we have to have systemic changes. and one of those things that we are going to talk about today is putting a freeze on pay. we have to understand that there are a lot of good federal
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employees out there doing great, great work, but your federal government has more than 450,000 people earning a base pay of at least $100,000. these are going to have to change. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from california rise? mrs. capps: i ask permission to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. mrs. capps: madam speaker, i rise today to urge the republican leadership of the house to bring the stock act to the floor. this commonsense legislation would ensure that members of congress and their staff are not able to profit from nonpublic information obtained through their official duties. president obama has called on congress to pass this bill and it has even advanced in the senate this week with 93 yes votes. meanwhile, the house has not acted on the bill and a markup in december was squashed by the republican leadership. mr. speaker, members of congress needs to play by the
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same rules as everyone else, and our constituents need to have confidence that is the case. right now they don't have a lot of confidence in congress on anything. congressional approval ratings are at record lows, and reports that members could possibly profit from nonpublic information is no doubt one more reason for that. now, we can take a step to address this grab by enacting the stock act. madam speaker, this is the people's house and the america people deserve to know that the men and women they send here are working for them. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. johnson: thank you. every february americans across the country open their hearts to the country's hospitalized veterans by sending valentine cards to v.a. medical centers in conjunction with the
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national salute to hospitalized veterans week. for several years students in our district have participated in the annual valentine's for veterans program as a creative way to thank our men and women in uniform for something we love so much, our freedom. last year 19 area schools in our district participated, and this year i encourage all our schools, families and businesses to take part in making this day special for our nation's veterans. every year i look forward to delivering these cards to the veterans at the dallas v.a. medical center, showing them a texas-sized thank you from our school kids. you should see the look in their eyes when they read our veterans' words of appreciation. after all, they are the true reason we remain the land of the free and the home of the brave. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from rhode island rise? >> unanimous consent to address
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the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. cicilline: i rise to recognize the art museum association. started to promote fine arts and art education in the community, the new port art museum continues to enhance community life as a shared place for the arts and culture. 100 years after its founding, it is without question one of our great museums. it has received full accreditation of the association of museums, the highest recognition of a museum's commitment to accountability, service and excellence in education and stewardship this valuable community resource inspires passion for the arts in rhode island and other locales through arts exhibitions, historicres.er -- preservation and cultural programming. it is a true honor to recognize
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the 100th anniversary of the founding of the new port art museum. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman rise? >> to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. >> thank you, madam speaker. a study showed that the state of illinois will have amassed $400 million in unpaid bills, this one year after a tax hike that they were told would restore fiscal health but instead made it much worse. instead, the c.b.o. reported that the federal budget deficit will once again exceed $1 trillion. s that mind-boggling number and it underlines the need for serious fiscal reform, such as cut, cap and balance we passed last year. mr. hultgren: i would like everyone to learn a lesson from my state of illinois. we need to learn from the
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mistakes they made. despite what some people may believe, we can never tax our way to prosperity. let's heed the warning of the land of lincoln and make the tough decisions needed to break washington's spending adiction. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from maryland rise? >> to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. edwards: we are reminded again of the debacle at the end of the last session, when members on the other side stood in the way of extending tax cuts for 160 million americans and unemployment benefits for millions more. madam speaker, i want to share with you the sentiments of mary hill of maryland, i received a letter from her this week. she's a single mother, construction worker, a member of laborers local 657. she writes she's been out of work for three years, for most of the last three years. in her first year here, she writes, i went through all my savings, as well as my children's savings.
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i went from visions of having my skills, vocations, ethics embraced to receiving food stamps aed me tall card and watching my unemployment run out. i want to work, i need to work, i work every day as a volunteer organizer. my passion is for myself and others to achieve and live the american dream. hard work should be rewarded and it is rewarding. nevertheless, my renlt is due. i owe credit cards and a student loan. i thought i would own a house by now. madam speaker, we have to restore unemployment benefits for millions of americans like mary hill. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from north carolina rise? ms. foxx: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute, madam speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. foxx: the american people are rightfully fed up. the obama presidency has meant only more power for washington and more debt for our children and grandchildren. while the obama economy produces only less confidence for job
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creators and too few jobs for americans. then it comes to fostering job growth, the difference between house republicans and senate democrats for more than a year now has been the difference between action and inaction. following the house republican plan for america's job creators, the house has already passed more than 30 bipartisan jobs bills to restore the freedom and confidence of our nation's job creators to do their job. unfortunately, 27 of these bipartisan jobs bills are still being ignored or blocked in the do-nothing democrat senate. it's time for washington democrats to join our fight, to put americans back to work and get to work enacting those jobs bills. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from california rise? >> to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. >> thank you, madam speaker. madam speaker, we can see that
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vietnam's communist government escalation of crackdowns has targeted the voices of the conscience and vietnamese patriots for exercising their rights of free speech and expression. recently, i received disturbing reports that another youth activist and vietnamese song writer was detained and imprisoned by the vietnamese police. he questioned the conscience of the vietnamese police who have brutally assaulted people at peaceful gatherings. it is time for vietnam to stop these arbitrary arrests and recognize the basic human rights of the individual. i urge my colleagues to co-sponsor house resolution 484,
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calling on the vietnamese government to cease the abuse of vague national security provisions in the vietnamese penal code which are used to justify the detention and abuse of their own citizens. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from new york rise? >> to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. >> madam speaker, earlier this week i had an opportunity to participate in a round table on health care in new york. many innovation leaders from my community were present. my community of buffalo and western new york has been a leader in embracing health care innovations to promote the efficient and cost effective delivery of health care services. mr. higgins: we were recipients of the largest beacon grant for
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eelect treasonic medical records. the nation's first comprehensive cancer center was designated to conduct clinical trial trsfromsing new therapies for using vaccines to bolster the body's ability to fight cancer. this cowl fundamentally change the science of cancer research and treatment. innovation in health care must be sustained by the federal government. today, the national institutes of health rejects nine of 10 applications for prime city -- promising research due to lack of funding. 25 years ago, 25% of the research grant were funded. today it's 8%. the only failure in cancer research is when you quit or are forced to quit through lack of funding. i urge my creags to support fully cancer funding and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from texas rise? >> to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized.
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ms. jackson lee: madam speaker, i continue to wear a yellow ribbon to remind us of the wonderful troops who are able to come home, finally, from iraq. i want to congratulate the city of st. louis that introduced and held the first welcome home the troops from iraq parade on january 28. i look forward to communities around this nation raising up their voices to say thank you to those who worked and dedicated their lives and their commitment to the freedom of this country. that's why, madam speaker, it's so important we do our work, not a minute should we wait to pass the payroll tax extension, unemployment extension and the ability of our seniors to see their doctors with the medicare fix for our doctors. what we say to our soldiers by welcoming them home is all in our acts and deeds how much we treat their relatives, their friends, and extended family members and community. it's time for congress to wait not one minute to extend the american dream to all and provide for this benefit to those who are in need.
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i yield pack. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia rise? >> to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. moran: by the end of last year, the private sector was expanding at 4.5% annualized pace. why, then wasn't economic growth in the most recent quarter even better than the 2.8% that the commerce department reported last week? as a reporter with "the new york times" explained, the answer is because the economy is the combination of private and public sectors. the public sector has been shrinking because of cuts in state and local governments and some federal cuts, especially to the military. the fourth quarter government shrank at an an cruel rate of 4.5%. over the last two year the private sector grew at 3.2% while the government shrank at an annual rate of 1.4% and the
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combined result was economic growth of 2.3%. that's a lot of numbers but the fact is economic growth and employment growth would have been significantly stronger over the last two years without those government cuts and that's why we shouldn't be continuing to discourage federal employment by continuing to freeze their pay as the majority wants to do today and it's why we shouldn't be letting unemployment benefits expire for six million people. it's why we should let the tax cuts expire, a far better alternative than cutting trillions of dollars more in federal spending. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from kentucky rise? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. >> we have heard that government is the source of our problems, government never does anything right, it ought to stop regulating and get out of the way of a free and open society. the authors of a new book called "guns of democracy" have a
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compelling and undeniable point to make. they write there is a not a stable, prosperous democracy on earth without activist government and high progressive taxation. if less were always better then the least regulated economies would be the most successful economies. mr. yarmuth: the opposite is true. if minimalist government works, somalia would be a rich, stable, and secure, and canada would be a hell hole. afghanistan would be a coveted destination and denmark would be like a leper colony. to be fair, the authors say our government is often too slow to react, it has always answers and needs to be more flexible and more effective. we all agree with that. what we need to do is find a way to create a government that is efficient that sets the right direction for our country and then lets the innovative spirit of this country take hold and find the answers to our problems. i yield back.
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the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from new york rise? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. >> thank you, mals. recently, the president of the united states indicated that he will be sending legislation to the congress in order to get america back to work. he also indicated that he would use the pows of the executive branch where there was no cooperation from the congress and what -- in what he was trying to do. mr. rangel: there's an old african saying, when two elephants fight, only the grass gets hurt. i would hope that the leadership in the house and senate takes the president up on some of the offers he has made to educate our young people, to make certain that those people that are about to lose their homes are able to keep them, to see that we get the type of
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incentives from manufacturers that have jobs here rather than overseas. i am certain that those people watch the republican debates were missing one thing. that is jobs. america wants to get back to work. it wants its dignity, it wants its kids to get an education and it wants to restore the middle class. thank you so much, madam speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? >> madam speaker, i rise to file a conference report on h.r. 658, the f.a.a. air transportation and modernization and safety improvement act and accordingly, madam speaker, i do that pursuant to clause 7 of rule 22 and i present a privileged report. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title.
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the clerk: h.r. 658, to amend title 49, united states code, to authorize appropriations for the federal aviation administration for fiscal years 2011 through 2014, to streamline programs, create efficiencies, reduce waste, and improve aviation safety and capacity to provide stable funding for the national aviation system and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: ordered printed. 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 on or which the vote incurs objection under clause 6 of rule 20. recorded votes on postponed questions will be taken later today.
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the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? >> madam speaker, i move that the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 3835. the speaker pro tempore: and the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 3835, a bill to extend the pay limitation for members of congress and federal employees. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from florida, mr. ross, and the gentleman from maryland, mr. cummings, will each control 20 minutes and the chair recognizes the gentleman from florida. mr. ross: thank you, madam speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. ross: and i ask unanimous consent that all members may
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have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and to include extraneous material on the bill under consideration. mr. faleomavaega: without objection, the gentleman is recognized. mr. ross: i rise in support of h.r. 3835, to extend the pay limitation for members of congress and federal employees. our federal employees provide an essential work function for the federal government. they're good people. they do good work and they do good work so long as the federal government functions. we appreciate their service and believe federal employees should be compensated fairly. yet, current federal salaries and benefits are not in line to the marketplace when compared to the work force. they receive generous benefits, pay and job security. there is a four time greater chance of losing your job in the private sector then there is with the federal work force. they provide essential functions. we appreciate their service and believe federal employees should be compensated fully. on monday the cronl budget office released a study compensation was 15% greater for federal employees than private sector employees.
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when they looked up the work of hardworking taxpayers they take home 72% less in benefits it than their government counterparts. these hardworking private sector working taxpayers with some college degree or high school make 32% less than federal employees. those who work hardest to pay taxes are the ones bearing the burden of a bloated federal government. the contrast between federal government and private sector is troubling. with americans unemployed why would we allow automatic raises to occur for workers whose average compensation exceeds $100,000 and for members of congress whose compensation is $174,000? the reality is that the federal government has no incentive or no obligation to reduce salaries in order to be competitive in order to stay in business. we simply raise taxes or we go into more debt and our government continues to borrow. just yesterday the c.b.o. released a report that our
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federal budget deficit will top another $1 trillion. for a fourth straight year in a row. this is unprecedented. it is unsustainable. the president's fiscal commission, a bipartisan commission, the simples-bowles commission, a commission which not -- the simpson had been bowles commission has recommended a three-year freeze on civilian payroll and member pay. in its report, the commissioners reminded us that in time of budget shortfalls all levels of government must trim back. following this advice, the president to his credit did recommend and this congress did freeze federal employee play through 2012. this measure alone saves the federal government $60 billion. as americans continue to sacrifice, we must lead by example. h.r. 3835 continues a temporary freeze on across-the board--- across-the-board annual freezes. they'll continue to receive a
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step increase every three years. 99.9% federal employees eligible for step increase received it. where else can a pay freeze equal 3% increase a year but in washington, d.c.? office of personnel management director barry said there should be no place in the federal government for nonperformers to hide. this chart proves we continue to fund government at a rate well in excess of that given to the private sector. if we want to look for ways to cut, maybe we should look in some of the federal office businesses because six out of every 1,000 federal employees do not receive a 3% increase despite a pay freeze. these step increases which continue under this bill if passed will result in 1,300 -- 1,303 dollars annual salary increase per federal employee. the bill before us today builds on the president's fiscal commission.
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it follows the president's request to freeze federal pay for federal employees. it is consistent with house resolution and mirrors the provisions of the middle has class tax relief and job creation act of 2011, passed by this house last december. opponents of this bill will argue we have -- employees have already done more with less for the last two years. they will claim that supporters of this bill view federal employees as a cost to cut and we want to cut the budget on the backs of federal employees. i disagree with that. we have been fortunate, very fortunate throughout the years to have a very good federal work force, to have talented and hardworking individuals who have chosen public service. however, our appreciation for their service does not bring a mandate to pay them above market rates with little regard to their individual performance. in his march, 2011, report, the pay agent makes up the secretary of labor, the directors of office of management and budget, all appointed by the president, all approved by a democratic-controlled senate. this is what they say -- they
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express serious concern about a process that requires a single percentage adjustment and the pay of all white-collar civilian employees in each locality area, adding to their comments, we believe the underlying model and methodology of estimates pay gap should be re-examined to ensure that the private sector and federal sector pay comparisons are as accurate as possible. there is a reason why the federal pay law has never been implemented as originally enacted. it is based on an outdated, one-size-fits-all model. in testimony, director barry agreed that the federal pay system could use a re-examination and it does not reflect the complexity of the world we live in. study after study has shown when compared to the private sector the federal government on average pays more than required to recruit and retain a skilled work force. paying across the board wages that are higher than market rates with no performance measure -- highly skilled workers such as scientists and
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professionals, as this graph accurately demonstrates. we need to bring these high level professionals to the federal government in comparative with the others. and this bill will allow us to do that. it shows we are out of whack from the private sector. madam speaker, i ask members of the federal employees to show in the sacrifice necessary to help millions suffering under the obama economy and support h.r. 3835. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from maryland. mr. cummings: thank you, madam speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. cummings: i want to stand in strong opposition to the legislation, but i want to yield now to mr. hoyer of maryland for three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maryland is recognized for three minutes. mr. hoyer: i listened to the gentleman's comments. the gentleman is new to the congress and probably doesn't have the background in terms of
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how this developed as to how we pay federal employees. as the sponsor of the federal pay comparblete signed by george bush who worked with president bush's o.m.b. and o.p.m. on this legislation, obviously one of the things we did was to say if the private sector doesn't get an increase the public sector won't get an increase. and we keyed increases to the economic cost index which is all to say that we need to tighten our belts when the private sector tightens their belts which is why i think i caught the gentleman's reference that over the last two years federal employees have in fact received cuts to existing law which will result in a $60 billion savings. i think the gentleman said that. it bears repeating. it's not as if the federal
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employees have tighten their belts. they have. and a point of fact, the pay council to which he referred believes on average the federal employees are in fact behind, not ahead. i'm aware of the c.b.o. report that was just issued. mr. cummings has responded to that. clearly what they said is there is a disparity, and those on the lower end of the scale are doing better. those on the upper end of the scale aren't doing so well. none of them are getting paid as much as the gentleman is who made this speech or that i'm getting. none of them are making as much as we are. now, what we have here is a very clever political effort to have members vote either for their pay or against their pay being adjusted by cost-of-living adjustment. i am going to vote against this bill. but i am for putting on and i
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would hope the unanimous consent request to do so would not be objected to on your side of the aisle. i am for bringing a bill to this bill which would freeze our salaries. i've been for that for the last two years and i have worked in a bipartisan way over the years not to demagogue members and have members get cost-of-living adjustments. the sponsor of this bill, as a matter of fact, is quoted saying how much difficulty he's having supporting his family on this salary. the fact of the matter is we ought to put a bill on this floor and freeze our salaries. federal employees are already contributed $60 billion of benefits to which they otherwise would have been entitled because we for the last two years with my support frozen their salaries at the cost-of-living adjustment. now, ladies and gentlemen, i would hope that the bill that is sponsored by mr. van hollen that there would not be
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objection to an unanimous consent request to bring that bill to the floor so that members could express that, yes, we're prepared to mr. cummings: i yield the gentleman another 30 seconds. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman. but what we should not do is pretend that we're going to balance the budget by undermining middle-class workers, middle-class workers who work for in my opinion the finest country on earth and who give excellent service, extraordinary service to the people of this country and who per capita are much -- are fewer than they were 20 years ago per capita. if the gentleman has time i'll be glad to answer on his time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. hoyer: we ought to have a bill, we ought to pass mr. van hollen's bill, we ought to take this out of the politics and then if i could get another 10 seconds -- mr. cummings: i grant the gentleman another 10 seconds. mr. hoyer: then i tell my friends what we ought to do is pass the big deal.
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we ought to pass a $4 trillion to $6 trillion big deal to get the fiscal house in order of the united states of america. and it ought to include all things on the table, including federal employee pay and benefits, including the military pay and benefits and expenditures and domestic expenditures as well as entitlements. i've said that. we ought not to piecemeal it as this bill reflects. i hope we will support mr. van hollen's bill. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida. mr. ross: thank you, madam speaker. i'd like to recognize my colleague from the great state of north carolina, ms. foxx, for three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from north carolina is recognized for three minutes. ms. foxx: thank you, madam speaker. and i thank my friend from florida for yielding and thank mr. duffy for introducing this bill. as a consistent opponent of automatic pay increases for members of congress, i am pleased to support the bill before us today which would extend the pay freeze for federal employees and members of congress for another year
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through december 31, 2013. with the record shattering budget deficits racked up under the obama administration, immediate action is needed to restrain runaway government increases and do no more harm to hardworking american taxpayers. president obama's liberal democrat enablers in congress attempt to ignore the true solution by suggesting endless tax increases which never have and never will represent the long-term solution to our budget problem. excessive pay is part and par sofle a federal government that's too large and over budget. while the federal government will never be subject to market forces the way the private sector is, fundamental reform of the federal compensation system is needed. the simple truth also is that federal employees are more able to unionize than those in the private sector. according to a report last month, the federal government
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and the private sector differ in the extent to which their workers are influenced by unions which influence employee compensation. about 21% of federal workers are members of unions, compared to only 8% of private workers. as a result, the federal government pays more and has more benefits. it's offensive to unemployed americans struggling to find a job to see unionized federal employees continue to enjoy comparatively high compensation used to pay dues to government unions which spend heavily to elect politicians who promise them concessions. according to the heritage foundation, quote, government unions were the top political spenders outside the two major parties in the 2010 election cycle, end quote. that's why i'm pleased mr. duffy is offering h.r. 3835, which is a modest bill designed to save taxpayers 26.5 million dollars.
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it also freezes the pay of members of the congress which many americans believe is important. i urge my colleagues to support this bill and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maryland. >> i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. -- mr. cummings: our federal employees safeguard our food supply, ensure that seniors receive social security checks and hunt down terrorists like osama bin laden. they carry out each and every federal program. service and nashe -- program, service, and initialtive congress has created. despite the critical nature of the services federal workers provide, the majority believes their pay should be frozen for
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yet another year, that their benefits should be slashed an the size of the federal work force should be slashed even though it is smaller now than it was under presidents reagan and george h.w. bush. federal workers have already made tremendous sacrifices to address the nation's budget deficits. the two-year pay freeze to which they are currently subject will save taxpayers $60 billion. further, federal workers face the possibility of layoffs and furloughs in coming years as automatic spending reductions mandated by the budget control act of 2011 reduce agency budgets for salaries. the only workable solution to our country's budget deficit is a balanced one that includes shared sacrifice, including from the wealthiest among us. to date, however, the republican majority has yet to bring before the house a single bill that will require millionaires and
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billionaires to contribute more toward deficit reduction. instead, they are preoccupied with taking money out of the pockets of middle class public servants. for these reasons, last week, i led 17 members in sending a letter to conferees working on extending the payroll tax cut, urging them to reject any and all measures that would disproportionately harm federal workers. i will continue to oppose any measure that would further cut federal employee pay and benefits. madam speaker, i'm disappointed but not surprised given the way the majority has run the house that we are now considering this bill under regular order. instead, the majority introduced the bill on friday in a pro forma session and is now rushing it to the house floor before any action by appropriate committees can be taken. i'm also dispointed that -- disappointed that this measure was placed on the suspension calendar, thereby blocking any
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amendments to the underlying legislation. finally, i'm disappointed that this bill unfairly links the pay of federal employees to the pay of members of congress. i strongly support mr. van hollen's bill. the merits of pay increases for federal workers should be debated separately from our consideration of pay for member of congress this bill appears to be disingenuous and a disrespectful attack against federal workers and the regularred orer of the house. for these reasons, i strongly urge members to oppose the bill and i call on the house leadership to allow us to consider legislation through regular order that does not punish federal workers in order to score political points. i continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from florida. >> thank you, madam speaker. i yield five minutes to the sponsor of this bill and my distinguished colleague from wisconsin, mr. duffy. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes.
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mr. duffy: i appreciate the gentleman from florida yielding. i think it's porn that we review the history of federal employee pay in the last up under a democrat controlled house, democrat controlled senate and a democrat president. they voted for a two-year payroll freeze for federal employees. they rightly excluded our military. i think everyone in this house agrees our military should get a pay increase. but they wrong -- who they wrongly failed to include in the pay freeze was member of tonk. -- of congress. they didn't include members of congress but every other federal worker they did include. today i brought a bill@floor to extend the pay freeze one more year. in my -- my bill is the exact same bill as the democrats' bill from two years aing -- years ago. the only difference is i carved in members of congress. every member of this house will
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have their pay freeze just just like every other federal worker. that's the right thing to do. that's what should have been done two years ago but was not done. i was here to listen to the gentleman from maryland, the former majority leader, who is outraged he doesn't have an opportunity to singly vote for a pay freeze for members of congress but as majority leader, he had the opportunity to include members of congress in his bill. republicans didn't have a say, it was a democrat house, democrat senate, democrat president. and members of congress were not included. and now to come here today and be outraged and say that the republicans are disingenuous because we have carved in members of congress doesn't hold water. i think it's important to also look at the facts behind federal employees as they are compared to the private sector. the congressional budget office came out an they said that federal employees make 16% more
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on average than the private sector. and at this point, what the democrats are saying is in a very difficult economy, when the private sector, who is really the american taxpayer, the ones who have been forced to take concessions with regard to pay, the ones who have been asked to work less hours to keep their jobs, my friends across the aisle, come to the house floor and say, what we want these american tax payers to do is to not get a pay raise themselves but to pay for a pay increase for federal workers who already make 16% more than they do. that doesn't make sense. that doesn't make sense. i hear a lot of consideration from my friends across the aisle about fairness and parity. i think you should start to use the term fairness today. there should be parity between the preist sector and public sector. i come from central and northern wisconsin. we have a large manufacturing sector in my community. in my district.
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time and time again, there's rules, there's regulations, there's red tape, there's taxes, that attack our way of life that come from washington. attack the way of life of wisconsin. and we bring it up, we talk about it, we complain about it and guess what. my friends across the aisle, they turn a deaf ear to our complaints. but today, tell you we're going to do a one-year extension of a federal employee pay freeze, they are outraged by that, they are listening, they are advocating, they are arguing for more federal pay. come on. use fairness today. use the argument of parity today. this was your bill. this is a one-year extension. the final point, the president's debt commission, the debt commission, simpson-bowles, they said we should have a three-year freeze on federal pay. that's what my bill does. i don't want the argument to be that my friends across the aisle, they don't really care
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about the federal employee pay freeze. that they only care about their own pay freeze. because that is the only difference. the only difference in my bill is that i've included members of congress. this makes sense. let's come together. i think the american people are sick of the partisan bickering. and they would expect that those issues on the left and the issues on the right, that this house could and should fight about. but i think they're sick of common sense issues that come down in thed my that will we should agree on. let's get together, let's pass this bill, let's freeze federal employee salaries for one more year. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maryland. mr. cummings: i yield two minutes to the distinguished gentleman from maryland, mr. van hollen. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. van hollen: inc. the record should be clear that every year that the congress has frozen federal employee pay, we have also frozen congressional pay. what we have not done is tried
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to hold federal employee pay hostage to what we do on congressional pay. we should be very clear that we all on the democratic side support freezing congressional pay in the year 2013. indeed, mr. cummings and i, mr. hoyer and others, have introduced legislation to do just that. it's h.r. 3858. the democratic leadership asked that we bring that up on the suspension calendar today. we were denied that opportunity. and so i now ask unanimous consent that after we complete debate on this bill, we add to today's suspension calendar h.r. 3858 so that we can vote as a body on freezing congressional pay. the speaker pro tempore: is there objection to the gentleman's unanimous consent agreement? >> i do object to the unanimous consent agreement. mr. van hollen: this illustrates the point exactly. we just heard mr. duffy --
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentlemanny suspend. under the guidelines consistently issued by successive speakers of the house rules manual, the chair is constrained not to entertain the gentleman's request unless it is clearedy the bipartisan floor and committee leaderships. mr. van hollen: as i said, we have been denied that opportunity by the republican leadership. i want to be clear, we were denied the opportunity today to have an up or down vote on freezing congressional pay. that's what we should do. and the refusal to allow us to do that demonstrates that what we're really seeing is an effort to use congressional pay as a political weapon to punish all federal employees torque prevent nikolas, cost of living adjustments, for federal employees, otherwise we'd be able to bring up that bill separately. now what we're seeing again is an effort to single out federal employees as scapegoats for the economic problems that they had nothing to do with. they had nothing to do with the meltdown on wall street, they
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had nothing to do with the policies of the previous administration that helped bring our economy to this position. yet what we're seeing today is what we're seing in states where we have governors in wisconsin, we have governors in ohio, we have other mostly republican governors scapegoating public servants in their states and singling them out for -- mr. cummings: i yield the gentleman 30 seconds. mr. van hollen: thank you. singling them out as if they're a problem. federal employees have seen a two-year freeze, that saves $60 billion, federal employees are willing to do their share. the president has asked for a .5% cost of living adjustment, that's still short of the 1.7% cost of living they'll face, so it's time we stop saying to those folks throughout their -- who are out there every day, helping keep our food safe, helping track down osama bin
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laden, other people who have helped protect our borders and do other things that we're going to single them out for unfair treatment as part of the budget. let's take it up as part of the full budget, not single them out the way we're doing here. i thank the speaker and i thank the gentleman. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida. mr. crenshaw: i yield five minutes to the gentleman from utah, mr. chaffetz. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. chaffetz: thank you, i want to thank the gentleman from wisconsin for bringing forward this bill. i want to refer to some facts. we do have good, hardworking federal employees, they're just as patriotic, if not more, as everybody else in our country they work hard and deserve a just compensation but the compensation trajectory we're going forward in this country, madam speaker, is not sustainable, nor is it fair. i was hoping that when the majority leader was addressing us, he would yield to the question. one of the stat he is threw out is that none of these people are earning as much as members of congress. i would point out that, for

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