tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN May 8, 2012 10:00am-1:00pm EDT
famous mr. vince lombardi, coach of the green bay packers? host: thank you. our viewers never disappointed. guest: i am not a relative of the great vince lombardi. there is an issue there. host: thank you, domenico lombardi, the global economy senior fellow from brookings. thank you for being part of the "washington journal" this morning. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012]
american economy, save energy, reduce emissions and benefit so many people from those who manufacture to those who sell and service to the people who operate and, yes, america's customers of the -- the customers of america's fleet of trucks. everybody benefits and we end up with a highway trust fund that is more stable and predictable over time. i sincerely hope this is a provision that can find its way into law this year. whatever the legislative vehicle, we ought to make the vehicles in america's fleet less expensive and more efficient. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. meehan, for five minutes. mr. meehan: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i rise today in
celebration of national teacher day and to say thank you to those many who dedicate themselves to the education of our children, and i suspect there is not a person in this body that can't think of a -- think of a teacher. i think of two performing well schools in my district. i had the opportunity to visit one of them. the willis tree elementary school and the other is the coburn elementary school. and both of those schools are recognized because they have been named national blue ribbon schools for 2011. yesterday, while visiting the willis tree elementary school and talking with the children and the bright faces, but the attention from the kids really rivetted me as well because they were really listening.
i spoke with the amazing educators, staff and students at this blue ribbon ceremony. now the blue ribbon is one of the most prestigious awards that our nation gives to educational excellence and rose tree elementary was certainly most deserving because they attained 100% proficiency in science for three consecutive years. i got a chance to visit some of the classrooms and to watch and to see how they engage the children, not just in the science but once again develop the creativity so that the kids were using the lessons that they learned in practical ways. in 2010, the school was also ranked number one in pennsylvania in writing. and i want to focus on that as much, too, because i was impressed not only with the reading level but the fact that the kids were listening, compre -- comprehending and then
re-expressing themselves. the schools led by karen, one of seven principals in the entire country to receive national recognition for her commitment to educating children by overcoming challenging circumstances. i commend her and all of the 2012 recipients. i encourage the communities of brookhaven and media to join me in recognition of their blue ribbon schools and further, mr. speaker, i call on all americans to take some time today to thank a teacher for making the difference in their lives. mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from virginia, mr. connolly, for five minutes. mr. connolly: mere, -- mr. speaker, america has been a nation of diverse cultures but when faced with disasters we come together in recognition of our shared values.
from world war ii to 9/11 to hurricane katrina, americans came together when needed. that's why it's so sad to see house republicans draft a budget resolution bill that carries dangerous implications for millions of americans and fundamentally erode our shared values. of course, this is nothing more than political theater because authorization for budget reconciliation has to pass both the house and senate which it hasn't. but that hasn't stopped the house republican majority from trying to deem it to be so. therefore, the republican majority has directed six house committees to use this reconciliation ruse to find drastic and damaging investment cuts, not to reduce the deficit, mind you, but to prevent any cut in military spending which they originally agreed to and to give the richest 1% yet another big tax cut. last year congress agreed in a
bipartisan fashion after the majority brought us to the brink of default to cut $2.1 trillion from federal deficits, establishing automatic cuts designed to be universally painful, to encourage us to reach an agreement on a long-term deficit reduction proposal that more equitablely spreads the burden. a bipartisan majority of the supercommittee, including every senate republican, did come up with such a plan to put everything on the table -- spending cuts, entitlement reform, but it needed a supermajority. and sadly every republican house member on that committee voted no. which leaves us where we are today. facing damaging automatic cuts to defense and nondefense spending but republican reconciliation ruses won't stop the automatic cuts to the nation's seniors and disadvantaged. it doubles down on the pain. the republican reconciliation ruse literally takes food out of the mouths of needy children
and senior citizens. it eliminates social services block grants, providing assistance to states and localities across the nation to serve millions of disadvantaged americans. it ends the meals on wheels program for 1.7 million seniors. it guts the supplemental nutrition assistance program, formally known as food stamps, that serves 46 million of americans every month. 1.8 million people would lose the most basic of assistance. in addition, 300,000 low-income children lose their free and reduced lunches at school. this reconciliation ruse once again singles out federal employees but ever more sacrifices. federal workers already contribute $68 billion to deficit reduction through pay phrase and recent changes to their retirement system. the ryan budget demands an additional three-year pay freeze. the new proposal goes further
and cuts paychecks by 5% to shift more of the burden to employees. this draconian measure would add another $79.8 billion in the sacrifice put on the backs of federal workers, more than double the $75 billion they already made. the reconciliation ruse actually will increase health care costs for millions of american families. it eliminates tax credits that help lower income families to afford health insurance premiums. 350,000 people will actually lose their health insurance with their plan. of course, mr. speaker, the one glaring omission in the republican reconciliation ruse is not surprisingly revenue. while millions of lower and middle-income familiar please are being forced to sacrifice, what do the republicans ask for the wealthiest 1%? nothing. over the last four years, oil and gas companies made a profit of $290 billion. private companies should make profits. it's a good thing. but in that same time frame,
they lobby to keep the $16 billion in tax breaks, representing less than 6% of their profits, but it would sure make sure a lot of hungry kids go to food with bellies at night. the ryan budget would cut the tax bracket from 20% to 12%. who are they? those making more than $388,000 a year. they are offered a new christmas present early. just for them. mr. speaker, it's time to call the republican budget plan what it is, an attack on american values. how else do you explain shifting the burden for partisan priorities entirelyly to the middle class and those less fortunate? that's never been an american family. i urge my colleagues to reject this ruse, to reject the reconciliation process and work toward a comprehensive and
responsible and bipartisan deficit agreement. reflective of our nation's values. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from illinois, mr. shimkus, for five minutes. mr. shimkus: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for five minutes. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. shimkus: thank you, mr. speaker. . before i talk about yucca mountain, let me respond to my colleague from virginia. since 2002 food stamps have increased 267% in this reconciliation bill about cut i think about 3%. again since 2002 food stamps have increased 267%. the senate has not passed a budget in three years, so it's very difficult to admonish the house on the budget process when the senate still has yet to pass a budget. and what we are really concerned about is the hallowing out of -- hollowing out of our military
force. if the sequestration goes on as planned we'll have the smallest force we have had in this country we have seen since the air force was enacted. the smallest navy since 1915, and huge increase in our standing force. that's what the debate is about and i look forward to having that chance on the floor. as the chairman of the environment and economy subcommittee, one of my jurisdictional responsibility is, is high-level nuclear waste. i've come to the floor numerous times to explain to you, mr. speaker, the various locations we store high-level nuclear waste and compare it to where by law we should. by law we should based upon the 1982 nuclear waste policy act an amendment in 1987, we should be storing it in a mountain underneath a mountain in a desert. let's compare that location to a place in perry, ohio. perry, ohio, has 452 metric tons
of uranium of spent fuel on site. versus zero at yucca mountain. the waste is stored above ground in pools and casks, the waste would be stored in yucca mountain 1,000 feet underground. the waste at perry would be 12 feet above the ground water. at yucca mountain it would be 1,000 feet above the water table. and at perry it is located on lake erie, 35 miles from cleveland. where yucca mountain the waste is 100 miles from the colorado river and probably 100-some-odd miles from las vegas, nevada. clearly in a comparison and contrast, if you want a safe and secure location, also we also own the land around yucca mountain, clearly it's easy to determine that yucca mountain is a much safer place than on one of our great lakes.
so then i talk about how the senators addressed this in their past because the reason why we are not moving forward on yucca mountain is majority leader reid has stopped it along with president obama. well, senator brown when he was a house member voted for yucca mountain in 2002. so did senator portman. both are senators from the state of ohio right now. senator mitch mcconnell has stated and so he supports yucca mountain when it comes to nuclear energy we have seen this administration abandon plans and millions in taxpayer dollars before without much consideration of the consequences. take for example unwillingness to follow through on the nuclear storage site, yucca. we have already spent about $15 million at yucca mountain and leader mcconnell is addressing that issue. senator paul so far has been silent. we hope that he comes out with a stated position. so what does that do to our tally of where senators are?
and we reached over the 50 vote mark based upon our analysis of past statements and past votes. with 51 senators who would vote yes. that would be a simple majority if the senate moved by majority standards. 19who are undecided. senator paul is our recent add. and 20 who identify based on their past statements having voted no or have made statements in opposition to yucca mountain. why is this important? it's important because we spent over -- almost three decades now trying to find a safe, secure location to store high-level nuclear waste. with the japanese event of last year, fukushima, and the debate on containment vessels and high-level nuclear waste, it is time now to move public policy, the other body needs to impress
upon leader reid that it is imperative for this country to have a centralized location. and these 51 and hopefully more that we will identify in the next couple weeks will have close to if not a 60-seat identification to say it could stop a filibuster, it could stop the majority leader, and it can move to do what we all know is in our best interest to finally gather up in one centralized location our high-level nuclear waste. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentlelady from texas, ms. johnson, for five minutes. ms. johnson: i request unanimous consent to address the house for five minutes. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. johnson: thank you very much, mr. speaker. allow me to say happy teacher's day to every teacher. and also to also say that it's an honor and privilege to offer a resolution recognizing
national nurses week which is may 6 through the 12th. this year's theme is, nurses caring, leading, advocating. since 1994 national nurses week has served as an opportunity to recognize nurses for their hard work, patience, and service. as well as their contributions to improving our nation's health care system. throughout my career as a registered nurse, i have had no better privilege than to provide health care than to those who courageously served our country. as a former chief psych at trick nurse at the medical center in dallas, i know firsthand the importance of providing quality care to those coming home from the war. through joining forces a health care and treatment program for military personnel, which was recently launched by the obama administration, more than 500
nursing schools and 150 nursing organizations will work together to meet the unique health care needs of service men and women, veterans, and their families. nurses provide invaluable service on a daily basis in settings such as hospitals, clinics, schools, workplaces, correctional facilities, and through their service in the military and during natural disasters. with over three million strong, nurses comprise the largest sector of the health care work force and year after year nurses are voted the most trust the of all -- trusted of all professionals. for the 13th time in 13 years -- 12th time in 13 years nurses ranked first in a gallup survey for honesty and ethical standards in 2011. while our country shifts towards a nationwide focus of prevention, i believe it is the
nurse who should stand at the forefront of this reformation. mr. speaker, nurses save lives, provide critical care, and advocate on behalf of their patients 52 weeks a year. they deserve more than one week of recognition for their tireless work within health care. but i want to thank my many congressional colleagues who co-sponsored this bill honoring nurses. my colleagues, congresswoman lois capps, and congresswoman carolyn mccarthy, are also nurses. they have worked with me on this resolution and they are champions of nursing profession. this week remember to thank a nurse for the admirable and selfish contributions they make to our community. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california, ms. woolsey, for five minutes. ms. woolsey: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, the president of
the united states traveled to afghanistan last week to sign the strategic partnership agreement with president karzai. and while this agreement is intended to signal the beginning of the end of the afghanistan war, instead it looks -- it actually looks like it could block the united states into a military commitment for years to come. the agreement calls for our armed forces to be involved beyond 2014 in the training, eequipping, and advising, and sustaining of afghan security forces. so that afghanistan can combat terrorism and secure and defend itself against internal and external threats. the irony in that statement, mr. speaker, is rich. when are we going to realize that the internal threats facing afghanistan gather more strength with every day that american boots are on the ground?
insurgents are energized and animated. they bolstered their regrumet and increased their numbers because of their resentment over a u.s. military occupation that is now in its 11th year. 11th year. we will not bring stability to afghanistan until we fundamentally alter our bilateral relationship to emphasize peaceful, civil engagement over military engagement. the good thing about the strategic partnership agreement, however, is that it does include provisions relating to democracy promotion, economic development, and assisting the afghans reform their governing institutions. these programs need to be the center peace of our afghan strategy along with major investments in development and across the board. the war is -- the war won't
truly wind down until the white house commits. i mean commits to spend more on diplomacy, more on development and reconstruction than they are spending on the military occupation. because we need a dramatic shift in resources. more to rebuild afghan infrastructure, more to fight poverty, more to reduce infant more tality, more to send children, especially girls, to school. as long as we maintain all their military presence in afghanistan, as long as fighting is the focal point of our relationship, we'll be preventing and we will be undermining the important humanitarian work that needs to be done. mr. speaker, investing in afghan people is not just the right thing to do because of our common humanity, it's the smart
thing to do from the standpoint of our national security objective. that's why i call my plan smart security. it needs to be implemented not just in afghanistan but other unstable parts of the world where terrorism poses a great threat. thomas friedman of the "new york times" is onboard with the principles behind smart security. in a call last week he talked about $13 million in scholarship programs for lebanese students is doing a lot more to advance our values in that country than $1.3 billion in military aid to egypt. he quotes a school teacher in jordan who talks about how the former is for making people and the latter for killing people. what is the point of our engagement, mr. speaker, with the rest of the world to make people or to kill people. that's a very important question
for us to remember. as friedman puts it, so how about we stop being stupid? how about we stop sending planes and tanks to a country where half the women and a quarter of the men can't read and start sending scholarships instead? how about we stop being stupid, mr. speaker? how about we make a shift to a smart security approach and that we make that shift now and that shift begins with bringing our troops home. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentlelady from north carolina, ms. fox, for five minutes. ms. foxx: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to highlight an example of how private sector businesses grow and contribute
to our society when they are not suffocated by unnecessarily high taxes. and to disspell a myth that our colleagues continue to perpetuate about energy taxes. on april 24, the "wall street journal" ran an article calling apple incorporated, quote, the most valuable company in the world. and am i happy about that? am i happy about apple's success? you bet, i am, and so are most people in the united states. later that week on april 28 "the new york times" write a similar article that reported on apple's creative but legal tax strategy that saves them billions in tax payments each year. the "times" article reported that quote, the company paid cash taxes of $3.3 billion around the world on its reported profits of $34.2 billion last
year, a tax rate of 9.8%. comparatively wal-mart paid a tax rate of 24%. when apple was asked for comments on their exceptionally low tax rate, they responded, quote, by focusing on innovation we have created entirely new products and industries and more than 500,000 jobs for u.s. workers from the people who create components for our products to the people who deliver them to our customers, end quote. they also mentioned, quote, in the first half of fiscal year 2012 our u.s. operations have generated almost $5 billion in federal and state income taxes. . apple's experiences are instructive to us, mr. speaker. first, the federal tax code is too complicated. it allows only the largest companies who can afford to hire tax code interpreters to
benefit from lower taxes. we should simplify the tax code by closing the loopholes and lower rates across the board to boost american competitiveness for all companies, large and small. both history and apple's experience underscores how increasing taxes without a comprehensive reform has never and will never have a sustainable long-term strategy for any budgetary problems. on the contrary, cutting taxes does create economic growth which fuels federal revenue windfalls for reducing the deficit. these lessons should be applied to the entire tax code. instead of increasing taxes on american energy producers we should focus on simplifying the federal code to encourage the development of domestic energy resources which in turn bolsters employment opportunities here at home. again, am i pleased about
apple's success? absolutely. but we never hear from our democrat friends about the low tax rates paid by companies like apple. however, they attack domestic energy producers and ignore the simple truth that it is the american people who actually own these companies and benefit from the respective profits that they make. according to the american petroleum institute, mutual funds and other firms hold almost 30% of oil stocks. pension funds hold 27%. individual investors hold 23%. 14% is held in individual retirement accounts. other institutional investments hold 5% and corporate management holds just 1.5%. despite what liberal democrats would have you believe, increasing domestic energy production not only helps lower prices and produce jobs, it
also helps boost stocks, mutual funds, i.r.a.'s and pension funds owned by millions of americans. democrats constantly talk about sdeeze to oil companies -- subsidies to oil companies and energy companies. our energy companies don't receive any subsidies. that is a myth that they perpetuate. sew lindh are a got a subsidy -- solindra got a subsidies. not the traditional energy companies. it's time that we as government officials get out of the way. instead of increasing the bureaucracy and red tape, we need to focus on creating an environment for american private sector businesses to better compete in the global marketplace and give back to local communities in the form of jobs rather than sending more money to the federal government. and with that, mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the chair declares the house
and therefore the cost. >> to share my overall about the solvency of the fha? >> i certainly continue to focus very heavily, as we talk about the last hearing on holt series of steps. -- as well as published a new rule on the identification that will be important in terms of protecting the fund. i do think we are taking a broad series of steps that are necessary and important. >> the report states that fhaa capital ratio was only 0.24%. how quickly do you plan to increase fha capital?
above the 2%? i think we've talked about this before. capital is probably the best way to ensure that fha does not need to bail out the taxpayers. few think that a 2% capital requirement is adequate? we are a long way from 2% to protect the taxpayers from bailing out the fha in the future. >> lester, it projected that the capital ratio would return to 2% by 2015. since that time, we both had close to $1 billion in recoveries for the mortgage servicing settlement. and significantly increased premiums. i do not have a prediction beyond what was -- what they said last year. we will wait to see what they say this year in terms of the modeling. we have taken a number of steps since then that would accelerate the return to the 2% ratio.
would point out that cdo did score the receipts for fha close to $10 billion for next year. $1.8 billion higher than the administration's estimates. clearly the new loans that we are adding -- >> you believe that would be adequately capitalized? >> i think given the way that our reserves are projected and calculated, it is quite different from the way that the just that.ctor do i i do not think it is an apples to apples comparison. we are evaluating this given the lessons that we've learned through this crisis. 2% ist going to sit adequate. it is something worth discussing
with the committee. typically, the reserves that banks are holding our against a much shorter window of losses. this role differences that i think foreign fortune to look at when thinking about comparing 2% to stress tests -- absolutely. >> one more question. deborah lucas at mit, in conjunction with the congressional budget, she released a paper in september wrote of last year that models the effects of expanding a large scale mortgage refinancing program. this paper discusses the negative economic impact that could result from losses taken by investors. are you familiar with this
paper? do you dispute its findings? pressly of model and the net benefits that the fed and other economists that of looked at this to calculate in the lost investorsayments to as part of this. even though there are, as you've said, losses to be taken by investors, there are significant net benefit from role to the economy from those. >> senator? >> thank you. you mention in your testimony about lenders in the program reports that farmers are saving as much as $2,500 per year which as you point out is the
equivalent of -- track to build and increased competition in the heart refinance market by making it an easier for lenders or not currently servicing at one to compete for the business. >> there's no question that you would both increase the savings to families that are already planning to refinance. he would make additional homeowners eligible or make it economical to refinance. so it has both benefits. increasing benefits for those refinancing, as well as expanding the pool of the families to expect to refinance. >> to of any sense of how many additional individuals, how many additional could borrow? >> just looking at the
appraisals, we are talking about hundreds of dollars for those far worse. when you add to that, some of the fees, for example above water farmers who may already be refinancing, you're looking at adding hundreds, as many as $1,000 a year in potential savings. with the reactions we have announced that go into effect on june 11 for the fha borrowers, the fees alone we expect to do -- be about $1,000 a year in lower costs. >> that is really significant. if i have been catching the roof that has been making in my home, i now have the wherewithal to replace it. that protect the value. and my correct, mr. secretary,
fha making further changes in the draft would actually save the money because of reduced the faults want homeowner's mortgage payments are lowered? >> allah bair modeling suggests that there would be significant savings. i think chris manor, a professor at columbia, he testified about specific numbers that he expected that exceeded $20 billion. our expectations are somewhat lower than his. but still, you are talking about substantial sums that could be saved from lower defaults. >> was astounded that the resulting profits for as much as 27 billion. what is your lower range of that range -- we are talking about significant saving taxpayers
money. the acquistion and hemp, do you -- the other question i have -- policies implemented by the sge's are decreasing effectiveness of this and robbing homeowners with lower interest rates? we've tried to address this. i am wondering how you view those? >> there is no question that while many of those barriers to greater competition, they were removed. your bill targets the critical remaining barriers. i will give you one example of what is happening. because servicers who currently serviced the loan and already have all the data for the gse system is to refinance.
they only have to do the verbal confirmation of employment in order to proceed and advance. other servicers who want to compete to refinance the loan still have got to go through a full underwriting and those systems, including, for example, getting a full w2 and the documentation. including in come. those are things where the risk already exists. we think they do not just makes sense here. they've already been removed for the existing servicer, we ought to go the next step and make sure that there's competition. gloria estimated that the potential was to save as much as $15,000 per borrower by increasing the competition there. on the refinancing of these. >> one final comment come in at the panel, we of six witnesses
representing a wide range of views. there was in an enem the risk is there. it was not necessary. actually, it added an obstacle towards refinancing. it was interesting to hear them have the same deal as well. >> thank you for your testimony. it was indicative of the secretary that i've grown to know and expect. i appreciate the way of coming to talk about these bills and the way you have. i might not agree with every comment, but i appreciate the testimony. mr. chairman, i contended that senator mendez -- it was a good hearing. for what it is worth, i think there are some redeeming qualities to the bill. there are some things that i think certainly need to be
changed. mr. chairman, what i am hearing, are rumors that some of these bills make this trip to the floor and not come through the committee. think you can see by the at -- committee attendance, many things can happen by consequence, with not dealt with a technical corrections bill, i think people on both sides of the aisle would like to see happen. not dealt with gses. i'm pleading with you to not let a bill that could receive some bipartisan support, go to the floor and turn into something that is not that. i hope the chairman will not let the rumors we are hearing become reality. by allowing any of these bills go directly to the floor. i do want to get back to the secretary. i know you spent a lot of time on the settlement. i think one of the things it is coming out right now, and i
think we sort of saw this on the front end, but the servicers, the big banks that so many folks have been most upset with -- the big banks have the ability to get 45 cents and credit towards this $26 billion settlement for every dollar that they have of private investors money. i think investors believe our others 401k's and investment vehicles. we want to see the private sector back and the business. but this settlement has -- most of the people live talked with. they of no control. they have invested in the securities. the servicers collect candidly done many of the not so good things in this arena. they actually get credit by using someone else's money here
and wonder if you've had a much push back. i am sure that you have. they've said that they did not have a seat at the table. knowing your background, that surprised me. >> there are key issues here in terms of the complexity of how you get progress on these loans. it was very important to us as we went to the settlement that we were clear that any of those rates down to that happened on those loans needed to be present value positive. that means, that is actually -- they would be a benefit. this is one of the points we been in discussion about. we went back based on those concerns and we got the servicers to agree to use a standard model. the model for what we call 2mp,
i think that was come in their view, substantially better than what we have had before. we continue to hear some specific concerns about that model. we are working with them to improve it. the fundamental idea is -- i agree with you. the investor should not be taking the waters. -- the losses. but prince reactions that can happen, that bush should go forward. as you know, i might agree that it is a fundamental problem that we have that second leaves have stood in the way of more progress. we did require significant write-downs on the second liens. we are talking to the investors if there are further steps we could take to go beyond that that would be satisfactory.
on the other hand, what i do not think we should do is allow there were no when the rules of the road about how to handle them. we tried to create rules that would force the reductions of the second liens. here in refinancing we of blunders tatarstan in -- we have lenders that are standing in the way. one of the key provisions and this bill would be to remove some of those final barriers that second liens are providing. this is a real issue. the problem is, had we create rules after the fact? there will never be perfect. we can continue to revise those. i do not think this except -- acceptable is to say that we will not help homeowners and not
make progress on those, simply because it is the and enemy of the good. >> i look forward to looking at the details of the second lien part of the bill but it looks like the servicers are the second lienholders? >> exactly right. question the second lien be distinguished first? why do we give any credit to a second lane. when you're writing down even a penny of the first lane? >> there are cases where what you are talking about is a first lein that may be delinquent. and another that is current. ideally speaking, lein priority would say that the second takes all of the loss on that. the problem is, there is no law,
there is no requirement that says that. we cannot, as the government imposes that, unless there was legislation or something. >> i think the issue is, i agree that we are not in a perfect place. on the other hand, we cannot wait for a perfect -- >> i've understand. i appreciate the point of view. i would say to the senator, i do not know if i can speak directly to him, thank you so much, i think this is something that we ought to look at. really, what is happening, the servicers come in many cases, they have a second lien, the mortgage holder is paying more. what we have really done as a nation is allowed any home- equity that used to exist, most of it is gone now, we used to use it as an atm machine. we created a huge problem. i hope that in this legislation,
by the time it gets to the floor, that we will absolutely, totally extinguish 100% any second mortgage before we allow one penny of first mortgage to go away. that is the way a second lien works. i hope we will clarify that. again, this is to the benefit of the servicers, who by the way, they helped create this. having the second aline's have the same priorities as first leins. qualified mortgage -- and that has got to be troubling you, knowing your background, knowing the way the consumer agency is looking at a qualified mortgage. basically, trying to determine if there's going to be a safe harbor for people who are originating loans of a check all of the boxes and they in essence have made a valid loan. they are looking at something called the vulnerable
presumption which allows some years down the road to come back on originators. it seems to me that is a huge problem down the road as it relates to gain credit to liable borrowers. does that trouble you? what i am not an expert in that the specifics this -- the hard test for a complete removal of any liability on safe harbor. my understanding is, i think this is true of a number of the lenders, the clearing house banks and others looking at this, as important as whether it is a rebuttal of presumption or safe harbor come is how right to the test is under the presumption. if we could get to a standard where there is a very clear bright line, that could satisfy
most of the concerns that i hear about whether there would be continuing to be liquidity available. it is not the same as safe harbor, but i think it is just as important of an issue to be looking at is just the difference between a safe harbor verses we bottle of presumption. >> senator? >> thank you for your testimony. and more importantly, your work on these many strategies to try to help address the challenge of refinancing. i appreciated your comments about the rebuilding of equity strategy, the administration's advocacy for a way that families can choose between refinancing to lower the monthly costs, or refinancing to get themselves out of the position of being under water and an expedited manner. the statistics on the analysis
that shows that half of families same paymenth the sav would be out of underwater and five years. that is a powerful observation to bring to this. i am pleased to be able to introduce the act in order to try to capture this concept and see if we can take it forward in the senate. i wanted to turn to the non-fha non-gse challenge of families a better under water. under the fha strategy, one of the challenges we have run into, the hundred 50% at home about a restriction. i'm not sure if you have observation on at this. the different ways that we can overcome this hurdle. >> can you be more specific? the 115%?
>> mike understanding, and if i have this correct, they are not allowed to extend the government guarantee for loans that are more than 115% under water. thereby, we either need to, i'm not sure this regulatory or statutory -- >> to be clear, we have made a refinancing alternatives available for borrowers where their combined value is below 115%. even for those, the first selena would need to be below 96.5%. -- the first lein. what we are proposing to do under this broadbased proposal is to allow up to 140% loan to
value, with the clear view that any loan that is deeply under water would have to be written down substantially to get within those parameters. and to create a separate fund in order to make sure that we protect the mmi fund. those of the key pieces of the legislation that would be required. >> i appreciate that, that separate fund. how do you put the money into that trust? one strategy is an insurance fee. another possibility is a fee of
some sort. utilizing a transfer fee as a voluntary opt-in for companies that hold mortgages that are underwater recognizing there is substantial risks that they pay risk transfer fee. in laying this out over four years, -- 40 years, if you have and you throw in the risk transfer fee, you end up with solvency. it is now zero risk because dramatic things can happen. an extension of the federal government fee and this has
struck me that a lot of these conversations hit the rocks on the notion that there is some risk. we took enormous risk as a nation in helping out major financial institutions and in helping out the auto markets. it is reasonable that we take modest risks starting with spreadsheets that say we will make money. the upside of helping millions of families be out from under water is a huge upside risk. we have to get the conversation away from saying there is a zero risk. >> you have made an essential point. we did propose a way to pay for
this broader base refinancing but we are open to look at other ideas like the one you propose or an additional fee on these loans. there's a number of ways we would like to work with the committee. you have hit on the key point. there is no question that by refinancing these loans into fha loans that there is some additional risk that we add because of that transfer. how do we minimize that risk? by focusing on current loans that need additional underwriting criteria and by lowering those costs, these are safe loans to begin with.
we are offsetting any expected losses that might come. none of that calculates exactly what you are talking about. there is enormous potential upside if we can move house prices a few percentage points to this broad-based refinancing. the benefits and the broader lift the economy would have are potentially enormous. the benefits of doing this we believe substantially outweigh any potential risk and we're tried -- we want to work with the committee to find as many ways to offset the risk as possible. >> thank you, mr. secretary. i look forward to continuing to work with members of the committee and the administration
on that issue. >> thank you. >> secretary donovan, thank you for your testimony this morning. i have the utmost confidence -- i think he will do it nice job as the monitor of the global source salomon area -- salomon ettlement area. identifying 200,000 customers who may qualify for principal reduction program. can you discuss where we are and some of the progress that is being made? >> a obsolete and thank you for your support of joe smith --
absolutely. not only have -- is another report that bank of america has begun mailing 200,000 letters to borrowers -- they're a bad principle reductions that have been delivered to families as a result of the settlements. many families were being evaluated for other types of modification our able to get principal reductions. it is not a huge number. there are thousands of families that have benefited and hundreds of thousands that are getting these letters and not just from bank of america. the other critical piece is implementation has begun around the servicing standards that were in the settlement. the first deadline for implementation of the most
critical pieces of the servicing standards is coming up and we would be happy to get you a detailed timeline of when those standards go into effect. we're encouraged by the pace with which implementation is moving. >> can you give us the parameters? >> it really varies by location. california, nevada, those principal reductions are exceeding $100,000 per homeowner. if carolina, in the range of $50,000, on average. but these are substantial changes for these families. not just the principal reduction happens but demonstrated ability for the family to pay and to
remain in that home for a least 90 days. because the family to a sustainable level that will keep them in their home long-term. >> thank you. we want to be supportive of what the department and the fha are doing to ensure the long time viability of the insurance program. we've spoken about how to strengthen the enforcement authorities of fha. can you talk about some of the changes the fha would like to see? >> this is critical and there are two major changes. we're working with your colleagues in the house to be able to get this legislation through. we came very close last year as part of our budget.
clarify our ability to hold the to-- we issued a rule that makes clear the standards that we have for indemnification. there are certain types of loans and lenders but we don't have the authority to do that. we have a somewhat perverse provision in the way that we can force that allows us to go after lenders for regional or local violations based on their track records compared to other lenders in those areas. we cannot disqualify entire company in nationally. that does not make any sense and we would like to have that clarified. there are other smaller provisions. we have smaller lenders that
today cannot originated loans under their own name unless they have the full ability to issue ginny mae securities and other stats. we have a lot of smaller lenders in the dakotas and other areas where they want that ability and we think that makes perfect sense and that would be included in the legislation, as well. it is something that i think you'd be interested in. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> we will go through a brief second round. is there a time frame within which any -- are losing the opportunity to improve the market if these changes are delayed?
>> this is why -- you perhaps heard the president mentioned the importance of this issue as one of his top legislative priorities. he will be in nevada on friday at will talk specifically about the importance of expanding refinancing. there's an urgency because interest rates today are the lowest level they have ever been for a 30-year mortgage. i think all expectations are this window of record low interest rates may not last a time.icant pudu of tipoint of interest -- low interest rates are typically one of the most beneficial things on it macroeconomic level to boost the
economy but we're not seeing today the full benefit of these record low interest rates that we should be seeing. the most bipartisan way that we can increase the boost to the economy of these interest rates is to quickly get these proposals enacted. that's something that we can all agree on and move with real speed in getting these done. >> senator shelton. >> there was a dialogue about first liens and mortgages and the impact on that. deal with fha and gse, there been a lot of proposals by the administration to deal with that. the basic property laws -- you
got a first lien and a second lien. if the value of the first lien goes down, then the value of the second lien would go up. >> certainly. generally speaking. >> the property values are there. you have a first lien. fannie and freddie had a first mortgage and you had a $50,000 second mortgage. and if you lowered the first
lien, wouldn't it follow that the value -- assuming the property was worth so and so -- the value of the second lien would be enhanced? >> if there were not be a requirement. >> do you know of any requirement? >> we have implemented that requirement in the settlement. >> explain what you mean. if you deal with the first mortgage, you do not deal with the second mortgage. >> exactly. this is a real issue. i think we have learned our lesson. these are the kinds of things we
have to have clear rules on. if you write down a first, you have to write down a second. these things need to be implemented. the problem is there were no rules except when you get to foreclosure. in foreclosure, you have to write off the second loan first. we did not have rules for the road of what happens with the modification, particularly in a world with the first lien is current. for half of the underwater loans, there is no second. the issue is clear. >> basic property law.
>> in foreclosure. we should have had rules of the road. we shouldn't get fooled again. >> to not get fooled three times -- do not get fooled three times. we can throw up our hands and say we cannot do anything because there were not rules of the road. we try to create them. investors may think they are not perfect. we have made this a priority. you have to write off the second lien at least as much of the first.
>> i can see the rationale in negotiating with a lender has a mortgage on a house that is precarious and could be for coast -- and could be foreclosed. the one to avoid a lender -- they're not in the housing business -- they want to avoid a lender. a lot of my concern is, we do not want the taxpayer to take the hit. if we could see a lot of the owners of second mortgage securities could -- there could be a back door bailout and we do not want to do that. >> we do not.
i think we should work on a provision that we could include in the legislation that would focus on second liens. >> how would you do that? >> we could require any server icer -- we could require that if they controlled the second -- there would have to write down the second, as well. we could do something like that. >> you cannot make them do with it -- do you want to make it mandatory? >> here's the issue. what you have oftentimes is a first lien holder with a servicer and the second is
controlled by a third party. even if they write down on the first is beneficial, are going to cut off your nose to spite your face? that is the problem with not having these rules. you can basically blocked whether it is 8 refinancing or principal reduction even if the principal reduction it is good for the first lien holder. that's the dilemma we are in. we have tried to break that by putting in place rules and we could do that in the case that we're talking about with the universal refinancing proposal. >> i want to go back to the gse's for a minute.
what would concerned some of us would takehe gse's the hit. the taxpayer is holding the gse. you see what i'm getting at? >> because any write-downs will be done to the program, their requirements for the second liens would apply to that. any institution choosing to write down a first would have to write down the second as well. we have a way to deal with that particular issue. there is more evidence that for deeply underwater loans, those principal reductions benefits the taxpayer. we think it is important to move
forward where there is evidence that these are net present value positive. the benefit the hallmark and the taxpayer, as well. >> do you think we'll have a million foreclosures this year and next year? >> the number of foreclosures is down substantially. last year there were less than a million foreclosures. we are on track to be lower than that this year. we have seen a slight increase following the servicing sentiments but i substantial job. >> california, nevada, florida -- those are the big -- >> we have seen significant
improvements in california and arizona. 80% reduction of foreclosures in nevada. florida is a judicial state. we have not seen as much improvement. the timeline for foreclosures is much longer in florida. it has tended to be -- the effects of these foreclosures have lasted longer. more families have the ability to stay in the home. >> i have a last question. the proposal has been adopted -- menendez-boxer. how many additional homeowners do you estimate would be helped by the menendez-boxer
legislation that are not already being helped? >> these kinds of predictions where you have a voluntary program are particularly hard to make. i will not give the a specific number. i will tell you a range. at the high-end, christopher mayer thought it could increase refinances by close 12 millioin. n. our expectations are lower. some say as low as a million. we think that's probably too low. owner would home be able to benefit. we do not think all of them
under the criteria that were laid out -- >> how do you get them to do that? interest rates are at historic lows. the best thing anybody could do was to lower their house payments from 5.5% to 3.6%. that would put money in their pocket every month. they can refinance without penalty. >> they are not allowed to to refinance. they may be above water on the first lien but have a second lien that makes it impossible for them to refinance. this would allow that family to be able to refinance. they may be able to refinance
but the costs are too high. they may need an appraisal. whoever holds their current loan, they can charge them very high fees. as much as $15,000 in additional costs because there was not competition between servicers. we're trying to remove those barriers. that would take a family who says it doesn't make sense to spend $50,000 extra to refinance, or the eight men have that -- or they might not have it. >> what would the $15,000 be for? >> appraisals, additional fees
being charged by that servicer for the refinancing. there's a range of those fees. we can do tell them for you. >> your comment about the window of opportunity that exists with low interest rates -- i want to accentuate that. i recall many years ago i was involved in a project called project down payment. that was an effort to put together a matching down payment fund to help stabilize a low- income areas in portland. it took us two years to raise the funds at home prices went from $60,000 to over $1
00,000, and we missed the window of opportunity. i want to turn back to the issue about how to help homeowners who do not have gse-guaranteed loans. so many families, and to talk to my team about the challenges they are facing. i feel like it is 8 lottery -- a lottery. if family really knows -- a family rarely knows and we don't know whether we look up in the data base. "sorry, your stock with no program -- you are stuck with no program."
in the proposal outlined by the administration -- i don't think you have a name on a it. the additional strategy -- the you envision this in terms of refinancing of first mortgages or first and seconds to gather in how the write-downs would occur? >> let me echo your point. this is not just an issue of the economic benefits that broad- based refinance it would have for families, neighborhoods, the economy overall and for the taxpayer through improvements to the performance loans. this is about fundamental fairness. anytime you talk to a homeowner,
it is rare they would know what type of loan they have. it seems inherently unfair. a family is doing all the right things, paying their loan despite whatever challenges they may have, cannot benefit simply because they have a different kind of loan. one issue is the importance of fairness. in terms of the question that you ask in addition to that -- >> first and second mortgage -- >> that is an area where you would be open to working with the committee to specifically add some language to the legislation on that.
we have done that in the other efforts and i do think it is important where a servicer has control over a second lien, that there would be a requirement not just that it right down the first lien but that there were be a requirement on the second laneien, as well. >> we are wrestling with it looking backwards. we should fix it looking forward. >> it is not a reason to not move forward. half of all the loans under water don't have that second lien. opportunityge outside of the second lien program to make problems. >> in the modeling that we have
laid out to try to understand whether a fund would remain solvent, a huge issue is the% of families that in the first couple of years essentially default either strategically or financially, lose their job or cannot make payments. at that point will get extended the federal guarantee. it is offsetting through insurance or risk transfer fee. that leads to a conversation about what type of restrictions there are on a family in the first few years after the government picks up this guaranteed. do you put in place a rule that says, first you cannot
basically walk away from this. yougal requirement, ifyo will. normally the issue of recourse is determined at a state level. some states have recourse and some do not. recourse serves as a fact that may reduce the number of folks that say, "our circumstances have changed. we want to move across town and we will walk away from this house and we are going to reant" >> what i would say is that those are particular issues where we have a family that may be delinquent or where there is significant principal reduction happening.
that is the right focus in those types of situations. what we're talking about is families who are current and where they are not getting principal reduction through the refinancing itself. there may be a decision by the lender to reduce the balance, but they still have a significant payment. these are families that are paying and are current on their loans. we did not see a need to go beyond that given that these families are responsible and have been doing the right thing and paying and are not getting a substantial principal reduction .oathing140 lt
to give them an incentive to be responsible on reducing their principal balance. the power of these low interest rates is such that anyone who is below 125 loan to value can get back above water in just a few years. if they are choosing to use those savings to shorten their term and be able to reduce principal faster, they are giving themselves a light at the end of the tunnel which makes it less likely for them to default. on the investor side, there is some concern that these down to a coming
low interest rate -- investors have been generally supportive of these efforts. will we see a continuous cycle of refinancing? once you refinance to this porker low level, you will not see a refinanced and that loan quickly. that is a protection for investors and we have been open to doing. >> i take your point about this for families being current. many families who bought these homes in 2006, 2007 before the bubble was at its height -- they have been making payments from four to 10 years or sometimes longer. they have children this to the
deepest point of this recession and they have good credit. walking away does have a cost in terms of impairing their credit. this has led to this conversation i've had with a number of housing experts and analysts about the assumptions of how many folks would default per year in that situation. the key risk is in the first couple of years, as we wrestle with the exposure of the u.s. government. this issue over recourse was one idea that has been raised. thank you for your testimony. i join you in considering this is something we should be working on a day and night until we can put in place for families and the economy. >> i like to thank secretary down a novan.
this committee will continue -- this will require a multifaceted approach and i look forward to working with my colleagues to continue that effort. with that, this hearing is adjourned. >> thank you. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> a reminder, you'll be able to see the beginning of this hearing on our website in the video library at c-span.org.
former senator rick santorum is endorsing mitt romney for the republican presidential nomination. he sent out a late night e-mail to supporters saying -- today it primaries are underweight in north carolina, indiana, and west virginia. voters are choosing between dick lugar and his republican challenger, richard murdock. more coverage tonight as senator lugar reacts to the results. a plan for highway and mass transit programs. this is their first meeting. you can see the opening discussion live on c-span3 at
3:00 p.m. eastern. this week, the ceremony and pageantry of the state opening of parliament. parliament's official opening was usually held towards the end of the year. it is been moved to the spring. queen elizabeth will outline the government's priorities for the upcoming year. live coverage begins at 5:00 p.m. eastern on c-span2. north carolina voters go to the polls to cast ballots on congressional presidential primaries but they are voting on an amendment to ban gay marriage. "washington journal talk to
official about that and we'll show you as much as we can until the house gavels back in at noon eastern. is deputy executive director of the national gay and lesbian task force and joins us to talk about same-sex marriage and civil unions in america. welcome to the program. guest: thank you for having me. host: thank you for coming. there seems to be a little bit of disconnect or confusion coming from the white house regarding the official administration stance on gay marriage. there was the statement by vice-president joe biden on sunday on "meet virginia" -- "meet the press" and now it's getting walked back. what are your thoughts about that and what it says about the support the administration is or is not offering regarding same-sex marriage in the united states? guest: first of all, i think we need to be thankful and appreciative of joe biden of doing what he seems to do often which is say what he feels and he clearly spoke with clarity
and distinct about his comfort with this issue. and -- distinction about his comfort with this issue. it's important for the american people to see. i'm glad about that. i think that's wonderful. i don't know about the stepping back. i also would like to say that this administration has really been probably the most supportive lgbt administration in the history of our country, in fact, one could say that obama has done better than all other presidents combined on our issue. this is still the administration that has supported us more than any other. host: yesterday, white house press secretary jay carney addressed this during the white house briefing. we're going to show our viewers and listeners what they had to say and we'll get a reaction from you.
>> the president was asked this and said his personal views are evolving the president does have significant support in the lgbt community and that's because of his unparalleled regard in support of the rights including the right to repeal successfully don't-ask, don't-tell. it includes signing hate crime legislations that includes lgbt persons. it includes ensuring hospitals on -- and i could go on. host: what do you take it when jay carney says that the president's views are evolving? guest: well, you know, he's not there yet, obviously. he's not willing to come out and say what i think we all believe his records have demonstrated which is that the supports us but, you know, there's something about this notion of evolving. until we actually hear the words, a lot of us will not be
satisfied, frankly. so we'll continue to push the president to come forward and understand that frankly, a lot of people do take a long time to come out and say that they're for same-sex marriage. i think of mild mother and other family members over time has become more and more supportive as they see the humanness of who we are as people and hopefully, the president can come forward and show leadership and help others like my mother and others around the country who are just regular american people see that it's really ok to stand up and say what you believe in and feel comfortable standing in those shoes. host: we want to show our viewers the numbers from the latest gallup poll with the question should same-sex marriage be legally valid? and it's pretty much a split down the middle. 50% say it should be valid, 48% say it should not be valid. as this discussion moves along, what do you think it's going to take to get the numbers to go up
, over 50% being valid? and is that something that really, that the government needs to be involved in? or is that more of a social issue? guest: well, i mean, those are a lot of questions in one, rob. host: sorry. guest: but i do think it's important for our leader to show some leadership and help to move the country forward on this very important issue. i mean the reality is social issues, economic issues, these things are not very much disconnected in our country. so the reality is that the president saying that he believes strongly in the rights of all people, that he believes in fairness, that he supports our commitment to each other, our love for one another is a very important step in our movement toward building a country where all people are treated fairly. and that's really what we're talking about here. so i do think these things are connected and it's very important for our leadership. it's not so much that we're talking about every single
government worker are talking about this issue because that's where i got stuck when you said the government should or should not be. the president has to step up. the president has to be the one to move us forward in a leadership whole role and say listen, our country is full of diversity and that every single person in this country deserves a fair shake. every single person deserves the same fairness as anyone else and all he is talking about is the fairness and the importance of making sure that lgbt people have the same rights and responsibilities as we've heard the president say before. because people talk about marriage as you're getting a gift, right? but i'm sure many of the viewers know that there are a lot of responsibilities that come along with marriage so it's stepping up to the plate and being a full member of our society and i think he's right to say that. host: our responsibility is to get our viewers and listeners involved and they can do that by calling us. the number is 202-730002 for
republicans -- you can also reach us by any one of three electronic social media. our first call for darlene nipper, deputy executive director of the national gay and lesbian task force comes from dellaville, illinois. randall on our line for republicans. randall, you're on the "washington journal." caller: hi. host: hi. caller: i want to say this. i agree that everybody, you know, that the right to have happiness is our constitution. ok, starting with that. but no special -- no special deals, no, you know, don't, you know, expect to have anything going more out there. is that ok with you? guest: absolutely. i think that the caller makes an
important point that these are not -- this is not about people getting anything unique or special. what we're talking about is having a level playing field. so right now, people are not receiving the same opportunities to live their lives fully as other people. so i would agree with the caller on that note that it's important for us all to have a level playing field. host: next up is shirley on our line for democrats calling from manhattan, new york this morning. go ahead, shirley. caller: yes. i believe in equal rights for everybody. marriage is i believe between a man and a woman. and if you really believe so many blame they're christian, then if you go to the bible, you know, it says man should not lay with man, woman should not lay with woman. it's your choice. do whatever you want. but you cannot multiply and i
think you are affecting our children because you are confusing them. live your life -- host: how are they being confused? caller: because they grow up thinking two mommies is right, two daddies is right and it's wrong. so don't say you're a christian, you know, if you cannot go by the bible. i realize this is the 21st century, but come on. don't respect our morals and our values of this country. host: darlene nipper. guest: i think shirley has some points that are of interest to me because i do believe that the church has the opportunity to continue to teach its -- this is not about that and i do believe that marriage, marriage itself, not civil unions, not domestic partnerships although those are steps in the right direction and we all appreciate those are important, but marriage is about
leveling the playing field. it's really about us all being us having the ability to live the full life. people don't understand that there are more than a thousand rights and benefits and responsibilities that come along with marriage that people don't quite understand. so they get stuck on these notions of general concept of civil union because it's just not marriage. the reality is that these benefits are critically important. this is an important institution in our society and why shouldn't any person in our society who is law-abiding and a full participant have the opportunity to marry like anyone else? host: what is the difference between civil unions and marriage? guest: the difference is that marriage, again, has a full bevy of rights and it's huge. it's more than about the rights. i think what people are alluding
to when they talk about a difference is this sense that somehow, the civil union is going to cover just the law. and what people really -- and in some respects, that's true but it's usually a limited version of the law and that's the part that people don't understand. so if you want marriage, you get the whole kid and caboodle. you get the entire breadth of the -- breadth of the law. there's nothing different and for the earlier caller, nothing special. nothing unique. nothing special. just what everyone has has. host: our next call comes from wallboard, maryland, on airline for independence. >caller: i hope i could do this with the compassion and love
this needs to be done with. it is wrong to be a homosexual not because i say so or because the government says so. it is wrong because god says it is wrong. it is not only not common sense as a way to have two men or two women together but it is god saying it is wrong. you need to get back to your bible. need to listen to what god has to say about your life. said earlier this morning, you cut a gentleman off who was trying to explain that what spiritual effects are and what are physical. you did not want to hear the truth. we need to do what god wants us to do and then there need to jesus christ. that is what our country is in the shape is in now and with compassion i say to you, change, ma'am, because what you do is wrong, thank you. guest: this is something that a lot of people have issues with. i was on a show on sunday and talked about this.
the biggest role that i have and other ministers to have in our community is to help people walk in the spiritual life and determine what choices they need to make for their own humanity and recognize what is valid and important to them and there are many, many things in the bible that the bible clearly states is wrong or sinful and yet somehow this becomes a single point that so many people focus on. i understand that people have their own views and beliefs. i get -- i think they get the opportunity and the right to have those. host: let's get back to the phone calls with florida, good morning. caller: good morning, i have a question -- she says she wants
to be equal to everybody. they have been minister is in the military that have been told not to preach against sin or or homosexuality which is a sin according to the bible. there have been preachers and the pulpit and churches that have been told not to precess. if she wants equal rights to everybody, let's give equal rights to everybody. let the ministers preach the bible. let's let the minister do what is right. host: we will leave it there. guest: a lot of ministers preach exactly what they believe. item think anybody can argue with that. nothing in what we are talking about is in restricting the minister's ability to preach whatever they preach at the pulpit. this is not what marriage
equality is about. it has nothing to do with ministers preaching what they want to. that is not with this issue is about. host: let's talk more about the politics and public policy. in north carolina today, it is election day and the polls open at 6:30 a.m. and one of the things on the ballot is the issue, amendment 1 . it says is a constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage and civil unions. this is big in north carolina. they are also the host of the democratic national convention in the fall. were your thoughts about north carolina? guest: it is unfortunate we have such a far-reaching amendment on
the ballot today. the people of north carolina will cast their votes today and we will find out shortly what that will mean. the fact that that measure is an attempt to ban marriage equality and goes as far as to say that even civil unions, really demonstrates a level of concern for us because it is so far reaching. i look to north carolina to see what happens and how the people vote on these issues but the reality is we continue to get this kind of vitriol from our opponents who just want to say no equality for lgbt people and will go so far as to enact laws -- they don't care of those laws affect other people such as on
married heterosexual couples or single mothers. they want to make sure we don't have a level playing field that they don't mind what happens to everyone alelse. we will see what happens in north carolina. i'm hopeful they will vote in favor our rights. host: this a tweet -- guest: president obama has a record that is clear. it cannot be defeated just in debate. mitt romney can say what he will do but we are all clear that the
president has a record he can stand on. he has been the president who has done the most for the lgbt community in the history of this country so there is commitment to equality. i don't think it is a special set of rights. these are the issues of our time. this president clearly is committed to equality for lgbt people and for all americans. i think the record is clear. host: back to the telephones -- we're talking with diane nipper. our next call comes from land on our time from democrats -- on our line from democrats. caller: i have a concern -- i have a problem with the fact that we are mixing up -- i think politics and religion are two separate and i think they are strong and i believe in the
separation of church and state and have a problem with people telling people what to believe and how to believe. if same-sex marriage is an issue, i think maybe we need to look at the tax code. based on the previous phone calls, a lot of this is focused on religion and i don't think religion is the issue here. it is a very private the leg. -- is a very private thing. if you want to convince somebody that maybe they can go to church if they wanted. we have a whole bunch of religions in the world but i don't think that as a factor. we have to accept people the way they are and move forward. i agree with the
college. host: let's move on to florida and our line for independence. caller: caller: i am sick ofse religious people saying same-sex marriage is not right. there are so many divorces. they talk about abortion, name me one day a couple that ever had an abortion. thank you very much. guest: thank-you, again, very balance point that the caller is making. these issues are very personal
to people. our spiritual beliefs and what we have been taught in our religious institutions are very personal and challenging issues for us in terms of how we want to live. i think both callers make a very valid point which is to step back and look at the level playing field and ask ourselves - is it ok for people to be treated fairly? is it ok for all americans to be included in the fabric of our society? is it ok for all americans to have the same opportunities to live a full and productive life in our society? that is all we are talking about. i am not talking about changing anyone's spiritual of views or making the church do anything in particular. i am talking about marriage and sometimes people forget that the institution of marriage exists
already in our society. we are not creating anything new. government and religion are already together in the institution of marriage. host: >> "washington journal" online anytime. the u.s. house is about to gavel in. a bill provides money in discretionary spending, a 3% decrease for this year. the senate voting on whether to move forward on a bill to keep federal student loan rates at 3.4%, that is live on c-span 2. conroy. chaplain conroy: let us pray. eternal god, we give you thanks for giving us another day. we thank you once again that we
can come before you and ask guidance for the men and women of this assembly. send your spirit of wisdom as they enter into a difficult week, to consider the appropriations needed for so many agencies charged with administering the various functions of government. so -- serving the citizens of the united states. please keep all the members of this congress and all who work for the people's house in good health, that they might faithfully fulfill the great responsibility given them by the people of this great nation. bless us this day and every day, may all that is done here this day be for your greater honor and glory, amen. the speaker: the chair has examined the journal of the last day's proceedings and announces to the house his approval thereof. pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1, the journal stands approved. for what purpose does the
gentleman from pennsylvania rise? >> mr. speaker, pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1, i demand a vote on agreeing to the speaker's approval of the journal. the speaker pro tempore: the -- the speaker: the question is on agreeing to the speaker's approval of the journal. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the journal is approved. >> mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i -- the speaker: the gentleman from pennsylvania. >> mr. speaker, i demand the yeas and nays. the speaker: the yeas and nays are requested. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this question are postponed. the gentleman from pennsylvania will lead the house in the pledge of allegiance. >> mr. speaker, i ask the guests in the gallery to please join us in saying 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: the chair will entertain up to 15 requests for one-minute speeches on each
side. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania rise? without objection. mr. pitts: mr. speaker, on the back of today's "wall street journal", which i have in my hands, is featured a shocking story about pills coming from china containing human flesh. south korean authorities intercepted tens of thousands of cap sewells and confirms that they were composed of ground-up pieces of aborted fetuses and marketed as stamina boosters. this horror again reiterates why we should be concerned with pharmaceuticals coming from mainland china. these human flesh capsules are both abhorrent and a threat to health, possibly containing superbacteria. it is revolting to discover that there are individuals in china who will attempt to pass off such an abomination as medicine. the "journal" goes on to note that it was just last month that regulators cracked down on pills from china containing high amounts of chromium, a known
carcinogen. today's grim news reminds us to be vigilant in protecting the safety of our drug supply chain and to carefully monitor health products coming from china. these pills are a terrible affront to human dignity and a serious danger to health. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from rhode island rise? mr. cicilline: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. cicilline: mr. speaker, unless congress acts, millions of students will see their student loan interest rates 3.4% to 6.8% on july 1 of this year. this issue is important to students, parents, teachers and businesses all across my home state of rhode island. it will result in more than 43,000 students paying more than $34 million in additional interest costs. we must act on this issue. but some in this chamber have put partisanship ahead of good
public policy and proposed extending these rates by cutting funding for preventative health care. today the -- we're voting on a bill that would extend low interest student loans by closing a tax loophole. i'd like to especially thank our state's senior senator for his leadership in highlighting this issue on the senate side and making sure that congress acts in the best interest of working families and i urge my colleagues in the house to reconsider their course of action and to not propose a false choice between the welfare of our young people and public health. we owe it to our young people to ensure that we prevent these rates from doubling, i thank the speaker and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from maryland rise? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute, revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. bartlett: thank you. i rise today to urge my colleagues to join me in saluting the 150th heritage celebration which is now known
as the great frederick fair of frederick county, maryland, and i've been attending it for 50 years, it will take place may 19 and 20. our civil war influence outbreaks were among the events which precluded consecutive exhibitions since the inception of the first fair with competitions and exhibitions of livestock and other entries organized by the frederick county agricultural society in 1821. the first such event was entitled the cattle show and fair and was held on may 23 and 24 in 1822 as george colleaguer's task earn. today the frederick county agricultural society still exists with 250 life members. the next venture was the farmers club organized on november 22, 1849, which then held an exhibition where the maryland school for the deaf now stands on october 12 to 14, 1853. the present site of the fair was purchased in the early 1900's', construction began with the grandstand in 1911 which is
still used today. the great frederick fair is a testament to the ongoing contributions of farmers to the economy and civic life of frederick county, maryland. it's the best fair in maryland. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from california rise? >> permission to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: so ordered. >> mr. speaker, i've been a member of congress for almost a year now and in that time i don't think anyone would accuse me of not trying to be bipartisan. ms. hahn: i enjoy my republican friends, i like working together to get things done. but bipartisanship does not equal silence. and budgets are a reflection of our values and the republican reconciliation budget bill coming to the floor this week runs contrary to everything i believe in. the republican budget makes
drastic cuts to schools, to health care, to investment in our children's future and it also guts valuable programs like the meals on wheels for our seniors. yet it does not ask for a single contribution from the wealthiest among us, nor the most profitable corporations in the world. being a friend means being able to tell them when they're wrong. and to my republican friends, this budget doesn't reflect who we are as a nation. it's wrong. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: who seeks recognition? for what purpose does the gentleman -- so ordered. >> mr. speaker, in a devastating trend, the center for disease control is calling a public health epidemic, prescription
drug death rates in the united states have more than tripled. more than tripled since 1990 in. in a strange twist of fate, addictive prescription painkillers are killing our children. causing a lifetime of pain for grief-stricken parents. mr. higgins: this week the parents of michael david israel join other parents on capitol hill to call for changes, to prevent these tragedies. the centers for disease control is recommending the implementation of prescription drug monitoring programs. state-run electronic databases used to track the dispensing of controlled drugs to patients. states must move quickly to implement this technology and the federal government should support this commonsense transition to electronic medical records. avi and julie israel and other parents in washington this week have shown amazing strength, despite unthinkable sorrow. their pain will never be relieved but we have an obligation to move quickly, to save the michaels of the world. i yield back the balance of my
time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from connecticut? without objection, so ordered. mr. courtney: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, on july 2 we will celebrate the 150th anniversary of president abraham lincoln's signing of the memorial act, a federal mandate for every state to establish a land grant college. what an inspiring example, in the darkest days of the civil war, we have leaders who understood that making college a national priority was too important to be ignored. sadly the day before that anniversary, july 1, 53 days from today, we will break faith with that when interest rates double from 3.4% to 6.8%. for three months i have put forth a bipartisan bill with over 150 co-sponsors to permanently fix this problem, yet all we have gotten from the
republican leadership is a band-aid bill that is a dead letter. cynically wiping out a fund to prevent cancer, heart disease and diabetes to pay for only one year of student loan relief. sorry, mr. speaker, the american people are smarter than that, they want a real bill paid for fairly that helps students, not fearful pop tigses. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from ohio rise? without objection, so ordered. ms. kaptur: thank you. mr. speaker, right now student loan debt is higher than credit card debt for the first time in history. college costs are growing each year, forcing students to take out more loans to get the same education. an education that gives them the key to the middle class. and the republican response -- play political games that could result in interest rate hikes from 3.4% to 6.8% on july 1 for student loans affecting over seven million students.
making the average graduate pay an additional $1,000 in interest payments each year if rates are allowed to double. ohio student as i loan will end up paying nearly $300 million in extra interest payments over the next year. recent graduates have high unemployment rates and are the least prepared to deal with these increased payments. but house republicans are content to plunge them deep floor debt while fighting for more tax breaks for millionaires, too many of whom pay at lower rateness that the middle class. it's time for republicans to come to the table and compromise. it seems logical that congress would not stand in the way of making college more affordable by doubling the interest rate of college loans. the republican party in this house is not acting logically. what a crime -- crying shame. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from wisconsin rise? ms. norton: address the house for one minute, revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. ms. norton: mr. speaker, when
the president alerted the country that student loan interest rates would double july 1, our republican friends called it a fake controversy. they always intended to take care of it. why then was it nowhere to be found in the republican-ryan budget? why do they want to pay for it with the parents and grandparents' health care of the class of 2012? this year's graduates will graduate into an employment rate for their age group that is twice the national average. keeping their loan rates low should be this session's no-brainer. if student loan rates go to 6.8% , they will be paying above mortgage rates for many. treasury is lending at virtually zero. congress has not given a class of 2012 a jobs bill.
one graduation gift we can give them is their 3.4% interest rate . the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from california rise? >> unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. sanchez: mr. speaker, i rise in recognition of national teacher appreciation day. let us honor all of those teachers for their passion and dedication to educating america's future. today i'd like to recognize mrs. pam cray, a resident of the district that i get to represent who has dedicated her life to education. before launching her anaheim union high school district career as an administrator, for 25 years she thought at all levels in the anaheim city school district. mrs. cray has said that the
single most important thing we can do for our students is create a place for high levels of learning that is safe, caring, and focused on developing the academic and social skills that they can take to whatever their goals and dreams may be. in addition to serving as principal, she also serves the community of anaheim and/or rang county. she's an active member of the anaheim police chief's advisory board, the cops for kids board, and the youth leadership of america. she has received numerous awards throughout the years. mrs. cray will be retiring at the end of this academic year as principal from the very school where she attended as a teenager. i encourage everyone to thank their teachers today. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from rhode island seek recognition? mr. langevin: permission to
address the house and revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. langevin: mr. speaker, democrats are committed to reducing the deficit in a balanced way. in contrast the republicans will bring up a bill this week that breaks our bipartisan agreement, erasing the hard work on both sides to reach a compromise. this was the agreement that resulted in us raising the debt ceiling that put in place the supercommittee that could have reached a more balanced approach to budgeting, both revenues and budget cuts, but my republican colleagues rejected increased revenues that were needed. this simply wasn't a gentleman's agreement that was arrived at as a result of it. that's going to put in place see quester, this compromise was signed into law as a pledge to each other and the nation to work together to solve our most challenging issues. the republicans are reneging on that agreement. they decided cutting the programs which would help my constituents to put food on the tables and send children to college is the right approach.
they decided denying house coverage to thousands of americans is better than repealing tax cut to millionaires. they decided that going into the hole is more important than working with democrats. democrats have a plan to put our fiscal house to put in order. it's been 500 days since the g.o.p. took over. we are still waiting for theirs. i urge them to work with us. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from maryland rise? ms. edwards: i ask permission to address the house for one minute. revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. ms. edwards: once again republicans are going to pass a budget reconciliation to give tax breaks to the wealthiest americans, big oil, and companies that ship american jobs overseas. in the center on budget and policy priorities says that this tea party budget that gives away $3 trillion would provide those making over $1 million a year with an average tax cut of $394,000 a year. how do the republicans pay for
this little bonus? that's right, mr. speaker, they do it by ending the medicare guarantee, by balancing their budget on the backs of the middle class, and america's most vulnerable, our seniors, women, and children. it means that 326,000 women will lose breast cancer screenings. 300,000 fewer children will be without health insurance. and 1.7 million seniors are going to go without meal on wheels. this tea party budget is an embarrassment. i have to tell you we can all do better. democrats know that because we support a balanced approach that creates jobs and expands opportunities. republicans ought to know better. actually, mr. speaker, they ought to do better by honoring the american people. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from hawaii rise? >> i request unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. ms. hanabusa: mr. speaker, the senate is now debating the stafford loan, or the student loan bill. their version. their version is better because
their version pays for it by closing loopholes, big tax loopholes. it requires us to now look at what the house passed. we paid for a one-year extension by repealing the preventive health care provision. what does that mean? it means that women and children will suffer. for my state, mr. speaker, it meant that the state preventive grants will be gone, and that's what we need to prevent heart attacks. to address the concerns of particularly women and children and those who are in need. but what does it mean when we let this interest rate go up? for me it's 16, 681 students. average loans of $4,000-plus dollars, total in the state of 67-million-plus. this will be an additional $16
million to them. mr. speaker, we can do better. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from kentucky rise? mr. yarmuth: request permission to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. yarmuth: mr. speaker, most of us remember a teacher who made us look at the world a little differently, introduced us to a new idea, or changed the way we thought. for me that teacher was betty miles. for two years in high school in louisville, my english teacher introduced me to an entire universe of thought and language and i am forever grateful. across the country millions of people like betty are introducing young americans to new concepts that will stick with them for a lifetime. their work is critical for our most fundamental national interest to build and maintain a strong and vibrant economy and remain at the forefront of global innovation and ideas. and their daily sacrifices on behalf of growing generations are nothing short of heroic. much in the way teachers change the lives of their students,
their voices also shaped debate in washington. as we consider the future of public education in this country, we must also continue to hear from those on the ground to better address the challenges facing our school systems. mr. speaker, today on national teacher day, i encourage everyone to not only thank their teachers but to ask them this essential question, how can we do better? i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from new jersey rise? >> to address the house for one minute, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. pallone: thank you, mr. speaker. if we don't act within the next 53 days, what we are going to see is the student loan interest rate double from 3.4% to 6.8% for more than 7.5 million students. and i understand that basically that means that a student will rack up an additional $1,000 in debt each year that the student interest rate stayed at the 3%
-- at the 7% instead of the 3%. the fact of the matter is we have to do something about this. now, you know, i had last week during our district office week, i went to rutgers university, mr. speaker, and i met with the students. they were in the middle of their final exams. they reject outright this republican idea we should take money from women's or children's health care from the prevention fund to pay for this. there's got to be a better way of doing it that we must approach on a bipartisan basis, but i heard the story that rutgers about the students and how much debt, crushing debt they had. not only those who were -- had the debt from their undergraduate days but also many students who have to go on to graduate school or law school or medical school and accumulate more debt. we need to address this problem immediately with regard to the student interest rate. we've got to keep it low. but we also have to address the larger issue of college affordability over the long-term. there has to be more money for student loans and grants.
college affordability is something we need to address in a major way, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia rise? mr. woodall: by direction of the committee on rules, i call up house resolution 643 and ask for its immediate consideration. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the resolution. the clerk: house calendar number 129, house resolution 643. resolved, that at any time after the adoption of this resolution the speaker may, pursuant to clause 2-b of rule 18 declare the house resolved into the committee of the whole house on the state of the union for consideration of the bill h.r. 5326, making appropriations for the departments of commerce and justice, science and related agencies for the fiscal year ending september 30, 2013, and for other purposes. the first reading of the bill shall be dispensed with. all points of order against consideration of the bill are
waived. general debate shall be confined to the bill and not exceed one hour equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the committee on appropriations. after general debate, the bill shall be considered for amendment under the five-minute rule. points of order against provisions of the bill for failure to comply with clause 2 of rule 21 are waived. during consideration of the bill for amendment, the chair of the committee of the whole may accord priority and recognition on the basis of whether the member offering an amendment has caused it to be printed in the portion of the congressional record designated for that purpose in clause 8 of rule 18. amendments so printed shall be considered as read. when the committee rises and reports the bill back to the house with a recommendation that the bill do pass, the previous question shall be considered as ordered on the bill and amendments thereto to final passage without intervening motion except one motion to recommit with or without
instructions. section 2, house resolution 614 is amended and section 2-a by inserting, in the allocations of spending authority printed in tables 11 and 12 of house report 112-421, shall be considered for all purposes in the house to be the allocations under section 302-a of the congressional budget act of 1974 before the period. section 3, the requirement of clause 6-a of rule 13 for a 2/3 vote to consider a report from the committee on rules on the same day it is presented to the house is waived with respect to any resolution reported on may 10, 2012, providing for consideration or disposition of any measure reported by the committee on the budget relating to section 201 of house concurrent resolution 12. -- 112. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia is recognized for one hour.
mr. woodall: thank you, mr. speaker. i'm pleased to be joined by my colleague, mr. hastings, from florida, and i'd like to yield the gentleman for the purpose of debate only the customary 30 minutes. the speaker pro tempore: so ordered. mr. woodall: pending which time, mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. and all time yielded today is for the purpose of debate only. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. woodall: thank you, mr. speaker. i always look around when i hear the reading clerk reading the rule because i can't tell if folks are glossing over or excited about it like i am. if you paid close attention to the reading clerk this morning, mr. speaker, you are excited about it. you are excited about it because we are here to do the first appropriations bill of the f.y. 2013 cycle. mr. speaker, as you know there's about 2/3 of the budget that is the mandatory spending. that budget that gets spent whether the congress shows up to work or not it's money borrowed from our children and goes out the door. this 1/3 of the budget, discretionary spending side, is
the part that doesn't go out the door unless the house comes together and passes a bill, send it to the senate, get the senate to pass the bill, gean to the president's desk for significant. this is a first of those bills that we are going to have a chance to do in this congress. and as we began the year last year, we are going to begin the year this year with an open rule . mr. speaker, as you know an open rule allows any member of this body to bring any idea that they have and offer it as an amendment to the underlying bill. you don't have to be a high-ranging republican to get an am -- high-ranking republican to get an amendment to this bill a. senior democrat to get an amendment to this bill, you just have to be a representative of constituents back home. and you can show up on this floor and have a say. this is going to be congress at its best, mr. speaker. when you hear it read, it sounds like a lot of legalistic mumbo jumbo, but when you see it in
action, it is this house as our founding fathers intended this house to be. this is house resolution 643, mr. speaker, and it is an open rule for consideration of h.r. 5326, the f.y. 2013 commerce, justice, state appropriations bill. last year, mr. speaker, we only got through 6.5 of the appropriations bills in this house before it became apparent the process was going to break down and we went to a mini bus to finish the deal. but we considered 350 amendment s, 350 different ideas, mr. speaker, 350 lines that came from the body right here that said we have a better way than what the committee has reported to us. this is a special day as my colleague from florida knows because this appropriations bill passed out of subcommittee by a voice vote. a voice vote, democrats, republicans came together in
subcommittee, passed this bill, sent it on to full committee, where again, mr. speaker, democrats and republicans came together to pass out of full committee this bill on a voice vote and now we bring it to the house floor today, goodness knows we may be able to pass this rule on a voice vote i say to my colleague from florida, perhaps the underlying legislation as well. this is the house working. -- working as the folks back home intended the house to work. . now, this is funding for the commerce department. mr. speaker. all of those programs intended to grow jobs in this country, to promote trade in this country, this is the bill that funds the justice department. funds our u.s. marshals, funds our f.b.i., funds those parts of our society that we know need special attention. in these difficult times. this is a bill that funds nasa, mr. speaker. this is a bill that funds the national science foundation.
this is a bill that funds the u.s. trade representative. and the international trade commission. mr. speaker, i'll quote the subcommittee chairman, frank wolf, who said, this legislation builds on significant spending reductions achieved in last year's bill while continuing to preserve core priorities. those priorities continue to be job creation, fighting crime and terrorism, with a focus on cybersecurity, and boosting u.s. competitiveness through smart investments in science. this bill makes job creation a priority by maintaining and expanding manufacturing and job repatriation initiatives. mr. speaker, these are tough times. i don't know if you've seen all the young people out -- outside this chamber today, mr. speaker, folks in town with their schools, folks in town visiting washington, d.c. you know, 40 cents of out of every $1 that this pame cher -- chamber spends, mr. speaker we
borrow from those children. we heard lots of one-minutes this morning about the student loan program. every penny that goes out the door is a penny that we borrowed from the next generation of americans. this bill, passed out of subcommittee and full committee on a voice vote, represents a 1% reduction from the president's request in this title. 1%. a lot of folks in this body would like to see more than 1%. i suspect we'll have amendments on this floor during this wonderful open amendment process that will in fact try to change that number, to be greater than 1%. but what folks came together to say is, these are priorities for this country. these are important funding priorities that only the national and the federal government can do. so i want to fund those in a responsibility way that both folks -- focuses on not borrowing from the next generation, but still maintaining important core priorities that i think we'll
all agree are important to the federal government. mr. speaker, with that i'd like to reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the chair -- for what purpose does the gentleman from florida rise? mr. hastings: mr. speaker, i've been yielded time graciously by my friend and i'm prepared to use that time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. hastings: i yield myself such time as i may consume and again i thank my friend and colleague, there woodall, for yielding me the customary 30 minutes. i also appreciated his comments about the fact that we are borrowing from the next generation. i gather that the previous generation borrowed from us. i don't know when the borrowing stops, but at least that seems to be the way of the world until
we get to a point where we can be self-sustaining as rightly we should be. this rule provides for consideration of commerce, justice, science, appropriations for fiscal year 2013. many of my republican colleagues have been patting themselves on the back for the open rule associated with this bill. and they claim that this effort demonstrates transparency and their commitment to regular order. putting aside from the moment -- for the moment whether a single open rule in 304 days for an open legislation process, the fact is that now the republicans are using this rule to correct a
mistake they made in their previous effort to deem and pass the ryan budget. it seems, mr. speaker, that the deem and pass didn't work the first time around and it was supposed to break the spending agreement made by my friend in the republican party, in the budget control act, but they bungled that effort a couple of weeks ago and now have to try to go back on their word. seems to me that if you're going to break an agreement that you made in good faith, you ought to get it right the first time. doing this twice just calls attention to what little regard there is for bipartisan cooperation and agreement and i heard my colleague, mr. woodall, comment about this coming out of the subcommittee and the
committee, by voice vote, and there is no disagreement in that regard. and i guess to some that is to be a commendable effort. but he also suggested that we may very well, if we were to choose, carry this on voice vote, i would disabuse him of that notion, that is not going to happen. the deem and pass was wrong the first time around and it's still wrong the second time around and shouldn't have been placed in here and it will be wrong the third, fourth and however many more times around their law in spite of open rules, if you put it in in it, until the republicans have repudiated every last promise they made. if breaking the budget control act agreement wasn't enough, the republican majority's also using this rule to silence members on the upcoming reconciliation legislation being considered by this body later this week. rather than using regular order
and i stick a tack in that to compliment my colleague on the rules committee who does believe and has made it manifestly clear that he believes in regular order. but rather than using regular order to debate the merits of breaking their promises, republicans are imposing martial law to prevent members from properly considering the legislation and having their say. forcing same-day contribution, that's what we mean when we say martial law, of the legislation simply reinforces the majority's intent to use this legislation for partisan gains. instead of working with democrats on a bipartisan process, republicans want to jeopardize funding for essential government programs so they can
both go back on their agreement and force the house to consider the legislation sight unseen. this is an unfortunate situation because democrats would have been pleased to support this open rule had the republicans followed regular order. democrats would support this rule. and i for one would argue that we should do so by voice if it had been that way and if the budget committee democrats end up taking the entire three days that they are entitled to under the rule of the house before they finish their views, we could consider the reconciliation bill on monday instead of thursday. this is no way to run a budget process. and no way to conduct the business of the house. i'd be amused at the republicans' failed efforts here, mr. speaker, except that i'm dismayed to point out that millions of a americans depend
on the programs considered under the appropriations process. an agreement was made with the budget control act and under the agreement the republicans promised certain levels of funding for essential programs. that funding is now in jeopardy because the majority wants to spend time trying to go back on what they promised. let me remind this body that the house and senate both passed the budget control act. the senate has not passed the ryan budget. and deeming and passing does nothing but force this body, as i say all the time, to pretend that the budget as offered is in effect. as i said in the rules committee, when the republicans tried to do in the first time
around, if we're going to pass legislation that pretends things exist, then i guess we don't need either the senate or the president of the united states, so we can just pretend that the laws have passed when in fact they have not. i don't have my copy of "i'm just a bill" and my colleague wasn't here when i read it in committee at one point in time, but i'm pretty sure it doesn't mention that the way to pass legislation is to first pass one agreement and then try twice to pretend it never happened. i don't know what that looks like in the cartoon version but probably less like schoolhouse rock and more like wile e. coyote falling straight off a cliff. if we're going to get out of the business of reality and into the business of pretending, let's just pretend that every american
has a job. every student can go to college. and that no child goes to bed hungry. let's pretend that the billions we wasted on unnecessary wars were instead actually invested right here in the united states of america. let's pretend that thanksgiving is in june and christmas is in july and the election season is over and the deficit is gone. and since we've now pretended that everything is fine in our great country, let's go tell all of the unemployed,ed middle class, the hungry and the poor, that their problems aren't real, or better yet, let's just pretend those people don't exist because that's exactly what i believe the majority's budget does. rather than using the power of the federal budget to lead this country into a new era of economic growth, republicans want to cut taxes for those that
are wealthy among us, including those of us that serve in the house of representatives, cut services for everyone else and then feel the like -- feel like they've set the country on the right track. instead of spending our time debating the merits of the appropriations legislation before us, we're again trying to convince the majority to stick with the promises they made in the first place, rather than uniting in bipartisan fashion to support an open and transparent legislative process, republicans are using partisan gimmickry to silence debate. rather than debating this legislation under the budget control act we have to debate whether the republican majority should even have to keep their promises. and rather than considering whether the inadequate levels of funding in this legislation, particularly in certain arenas, let me use one, in the cuts
program, that i thought it was wrong when democrats cut that program and i think it's wrong now that republicans are talking about less money for a program that all of us know is desperately needed in our various communities. we have to consider doing more for struggling americans and we have to consider whether we ought to be cutting even more, as my colleagues would have it. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. mr. woodall: mr. speaker -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia is recognized. mr. woodall: i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. woodall: thank you. mr. speaker, i tell you, i don't actually prepare remarks when i come down here to sit opposite my friend from florida, because i always know his opening statement is going to be that line by line by line that reminds me of absolutely everything that i want to say.
and in generally speaking it reminds me of everything i'm proud of it and it's sometimes things my friend from florida wishes had not happened. you know, folks asked me back home, mr. speaker, i'm a freshman here, they said, what you have learned in your first term in congress? and i said, what i have learned is that when you watch the house floor on c-span, it looks like theater and what i've learned is that the comments from my friends on the other side of the aisle, it's not theater at all. it is heartfelt belief in absolutely every word that comes out of their mouth. and that's constructive because if it were theater, we could go into a dark back room somewhere and try to sort it out around the edges. but when it's heartfelt belief about what direction we ought to take this country, it requires the full open hearing that we get here on the house floor. mr. speaker, i don't know if you were here for the deem and pass of the budget several cog congresses ago, before i was elected, but the gentleman's absolutely right.
deeming a budget as being passed by both houses of congress is a terrible way to run this institution. he is absolutely right. now, i'm proud that he and i did not shirk our responsibilities. we passed a budget here in this house. under yet another open process, we asked any member, any member of this house that had an idea about what the budget ought to look like in this country, to bring that budget to the floor of this house and we'd have a vote and a debate on it. and we did. and we passed a budget here in the house of representatives. now sadly our friends on the senate side have chosen for the third year in a row not to pass a budget and i would say again, those areas on which we agree, mr. speaker, the gentleman's absolutely right. in the absence of actually having a budget that has passed the senate, and not just because they haven't passed one, mr. speaker, but because they have said affirmatively and apparently with some pride they do not plan on passing a budget, so what's the responsible body here on the other side of the capitol supposed to do?
. well, what we said is we we need to move forward with our appropriations process so we are going to move forward under the budget that has passed this entire u.s. house of representatives. the truth is we did that in the rule a couple weeks back and we got it wrong. you would think, mr. speaker, this is not the first time we have had to make up for the senate's mistakes, you'd think as often as we had to take up for those folks we would have figured out how to do it right. sadly, we didn't get it quite right and i hope we get in the habit of passing a budget over there, bringing a budget to conference, and having a budget that controls all of capitol hill. in an effort to make up for what's not happening there, we did absolutely in this rule that's before us today, mr. speaker, specify that the caps that we created, the 435 of us created in the budget that we passed, will be the caps that regulate the activity that the 435 of us engage in for the rest of the year. ile welcome the senate to join in that debate.
to be fair to my colleague from florida, we just see the budget control act differently. i think we both voted for the budget control act last fall. i viewed it as budget caps. in fact, if you open up the legislation, it says budgetary caps. when i read the word caps, mr. speaker, what i see is you can't spend any more of that. i was never under any illusion that i was obligated to spend absolutely all of it. candidly i think that's one of the issues we have here in this body, mr. speaker. you may hear other speakers come down here today on the other side of the aisle who believe exactly that. because we signed an agreement with the president that we would not spend a penny more than $1.47 trillion this year, we are now in fact obligate the to spend every single penny of that $1.47 trillion. as we talked about, 40 cents out of every dollar we spend in this town, mr. speaker, is borrowed.
borrowed from our children, grandchildren. 40 cents out of every dollar is money that we do not have but we are borrowing against the next generation's prosperity to spend on our priorities today. my friend from florida brings up the cops program. the cop's program a neat program. provides dollars to local law enforcement agencies to help them succeed in their local law enforcement mission. but the secret we don't talk about, mr. speaker, is my community back home takes all the tax money out of their pocket, they send it to washington, d.c. we don't have access to any money in my part of the world. my little seventh district there in northeast georgia. there is no money we get back. we didn't send in to begin with. we can prioritize those local priorities locally, we can control those outcomes locally. 40 cents out of every dollar we are borrowing. not one budget, i mentioned earlier, mr. speaker, in this
open process we allowed every member of congress to bring any budget they wanted to to the house floor for debate and consideration, not one of those budgets, not one balanced next year. not one. not one budget. some of the brightest leaders i hope our nation has to offer, mr. speaker, sit here in these chairs and body and not one of them had a proposal for how to right this ship next year, not one. and so the question is, what, do we just quit trying? do we just quit trying, mr. speaker? do we just concede the economic security of this nation is just going to drip, drip, drip away with deficit spending year after year after year? are we going to concede to the 50% increase in the public debt that's occurred over the last four years? is this the way it's going to be? is that a pattern that's going to continue? here's the good news. i have heartfelt feelings on that issue. my friend from florida has heartfelt feelings on that issue. and the rule that we from the rules committee, mr. speaker, my colleague from florida and i,
have brought to the floor today is going to open up that debate so that absolutely every member can have passions and feelings heard on this issue. one more point of pride, mr. speaker, i do like coming down here on open rule days, what we don't talk about sometimes from that budget control act is that those caps, that $1.47 trillion i mentioned earlier, the most that we could possibly spend, that's only good from october 1 to the first week in january, because that same agreement said in the failure of the joint select committee last fall to act, i will tell you it was quite the failure, the failure of that committee to act was going to lead to 8% across the board reductions in every single account that we are talking about here on the floor today. 8% across the board reductions.
what our budget does and what our caps do is recognize that failure, mr. speaker. recognize that the house of representatives on that joint select committee, the senate representatives on that joint select committee, they did not come to agreement on deficit reduction. and thus those caps, those 8% across the board reductions are barreling down the road towards this institution, mr. speaker, and picking up speed every day. we can either tell the american people that all is well and let's go ahead and spend the maximum amount possible, but watch out, here come those congressional record -- across-the-board cuts that nobody planned for or we could do the responsible thing and the responsible thing is to plan for that contingency. i say, mr. speaker, it's almost a certainty we are not going to find a way around those across-the-board cuts, but we can find a way around it with the budget that this institution passed. with the numbers this institution passed, we can
replace those revenues, replace that spending that was going to be saved on across-the-board cuts with targeted cuts. targeted cuts to programs that we in this body agree on. mr. speaker, i didn't come to this body to do across-the-board cuts. there's good spending and bad spending. i didn't come to this body to use the meat axe to go after everything. i came by to set priorities that my constituents sent me her to set, far from being an abomination of the process, this house passed budget, this house reconciliation bill that's coming at the end of this week, and, yes, this first appropriation bill, the f.y. 2013 cycle, it's the way this process is supposed to be done. i rise in strong support of this rule, mr. speaker, and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves his time. the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. hastings: mr. speaker, i yield myself time and yield to
my friend from california. if we defeat the previous question, i'm going to offer an amendment to the rule to make sure that we bring up mr. tierney's -- from massachusetts' bill to prevent a doubling of student loan interest rates fully paid for by repealing tax give aways -- give aways for big oil companies. to discuss our amendment to the rule, i'm very pleased at this time to yield two minutes to the distinguished gentleman from california, the ranking member of the education committee, mr. miller. mr. miller: i thank the gentleman from florida for yielding. mr. speaker, i rise today in opposition to this rule. this rule provides for consideration of commerce, justice appropriations, but it adds some extraneous matters, things like martial law and reconciliation. if we are going to consider other matters in this rule, we ought to be allowed, as the
gentleman from florida states, to be able to consider the question of doubling of the interest rates of student loans. the house democrats months ago asked for this action to be taken so that interest rates would not double on students this july 1. doubling from 3.4% to 6.8%, and will calls for bipartisanship were met with silence and silence and silence for months. all of a sudden the republicans in congress started to understand this issue when president obama took it to the parents and students of this country and explained to them what was at stake. two weeks ago the republicans surprised us with a bill on the floor where they said they all now agree with it even though they voted against it two weeks earlier, they agreed there shouldn't be a doubling of the student loan rates. then what they decided to do, they decided not doubling of the student loan rates they gave the house a choice where they would take it out on women's health, denying women to early screening for breast cancer, cervical
cancer, newborn infants for literal screening for birth defects. that's how they decided they would pay for it. we tried to offer a democratic alternative. mr. alternative of massachusetts' legislation that would have taken away the unjustified, unfair tax breaks to the largest oil companies in the country. at a time of record profits and use some of that money to pay for the -- for making sure that the interest rates don't double. the republicans wouldn't allow us to offer that. today what we are trying to do is to defeat the previous question so we'll be able to offer the democratic substitute which would keep the interest rates from doubling, pay for it by taking away the unfair tax cuts to largest oil companies and not do what the republicans did is to say you can have your student loan subsidy, but you are going to have to take it out of the hide of newborn infants, children's immunization, and the preventive care -- mr. hastings: an additional minute. mr. miller: and early screening
for women with cervical and breast cancer. we know that that decision, that early screening is a matter of life and death for those women. that was of no matter to republicans. and now we see today a recent poll out that suggests over half of the country supports the student loans not doubling, paying for it in the manner in which the republicans did as opposed to 30% of the country that think the republicans are on the right track in going after women's health, children's health, children's immunization. i would hope that we would defeat the previous question. mr. hastings will be allowed to move to consider the legislation by mr. tierney. and we can put this issue to rest and families and students who are now sitting around trying to figure out how they are going to pay for the college education of their children who have just been accepted to college or continue in college, they can do that with the peace of mind knowing that interest rates won't double on july 1. i thank the gentleman for yielding. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia is recognized. mr. woodall: thank you, mr.
speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. i have just gotten the sad news that our friends on the senate side hadn't just stuck it to us by not passing a budget this year, and didn't just stick it to us by not passing a budget this year, but just stuck it to us one more time by failing to move forward on the student loan legislation there. i don't know what to do down here, mr. speaker. on the one hand my colleagues say, rightfully so, that they don't want us just running on our own down here, doing our own thing all the time pretending as if the senate doesn't exist. on the other hand, we are done with the student loan issue. we preserved rates at the current levels, and the senate can't get its work done. i don't know what more we can do. folks are prepared to go over a vigil outside the chambers, put me on your invitation list. i'll go with you and see what we can do to shake things up. those six-year term limits are not quite as effective at motivating action as the two-year limits on the house
side. mr. speaker, this bill before us today is actually about student loans. you might not believe that listening to the last speaker, but it's about the commerce department. it's about the justice department. it's about science funding in this body. the good news is we are going to be able to deal with these issues one by one by one. i came to this chamber, mr. speaker, wanting to move away from the 2000-page bills i have seen in past congresses. i came to this chamber wanting to deal with one issue at the time. wanting to deal with things so you didn't vote for all or nothing but vote for the individual items that you actually believed in and vote against those items you don't believe in. that's the process we have today. this is the first of a dozen different bills that are going to come down through this chamber where folks will be able to offer amendments line item by line item. if i didn't say it before, mr. speaker, i want to say it now, that's actually what can happen here. this isn't a take it or leave it proposition today. this rule, which again i can't
take all the credit for, i was actually tied up in the reconciliation markup yesterday. my friend from florida was actually as responsible as anyone for bringing a bill, a rule to the floor that would allow every single line of the underlying bill to be considered by the 435 folks in this chamber. as you know, mr. speaker, you have a subcommittee and that's a small group of folks who know a lot about the issue on which they work. the commerce, justice, science, subcommittee over there. then you have a full committee. the full committee has a lot of really smart people who know a lot. the appropriations committee, full appropriations committee, of course they both passed it out by a voice vote. but if you're like me, mr. speaker, if you serve on the budget committee and the rules committee, you never get a say in appropriations spending. a lot of really smart guys on that subcommittee, a lot of smart men on that full committee, what about my say? what about the 920,000 people that i represent,