tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN May 9, 2012 1:00pm-5:00pm EDT
with every billion dollars of exports they say 7,200 jobs are created. this is a jobs bill. when we talk about jobs and the economy, this is the time. i urge my colleagues to support it. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from new york. mrs. mccarthy: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield one minute to the gentleman from michigan and ranking member of the ways and means committee, -- >> the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from michigan is recognized for one minute. without objection. . mr. levin: i urge a yes vote. "the wall street journal" calls for the passage of ex-im bank. i'm not sure why they pick on the french. but the house republicans have been agonizing about acting, export powerhouses like china have been dramatically increasing their export financing programs. over the past year, china issued four times the amount invested by the u.s. and china's not alone. germany, france and india all
provided at least seven times more export assistance as the share of g.d.p. than the u.s. the rigged attitude of the "wall street journal" is that if the other side rigs the field of competition, you should do nothing. they believe that those will only hurt themselves if they act and it will all work out in the wash for you in the end. the problem is that in the meanwhile, you drowneded. i urge a yes vote -- you drown. i urge a yes vote. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california. mr. miller: i'm pleased to yield two minutes to my good friend from california, mr. campbell. mr. camp: there's some people believe -- mr. campbell: there's some people who believe that all program government programs are good and all program government programs are bad. you should look at a program and look at it and determine if it's
constitutional, is it cost effective and does it work? the ex-im bank is all three and i'd like to make five quick points on that. first of all, it is clearly a federal responsibility to facilitate exports, something clearly enumerated in the federal papers by -- federalist papers. in a perfect world perhaps we wouldn't do this but in a perfect world we wouldn't have to have airport security but we do for obvious reasons and we have to have this because lots of other country does and we will not be competing on a level playing field where we lose a lot of exports if we don't have this facility available for american companies exporting goods. third, it doesn't -- hasn't cost the taxpayer any money. it's actually made $3.7 billion for the fax pair. we're talking about programs here that cost the taxpayers money. this hasn't, it doesn't, and it won't. and that is something that should be clear. fourth, i know there's nothing wrong with big businesses but many people and in america we normally reward success, we celebrate success and a big business is successful.
but the fact is that 87% of the transactions from ex-im bank are to small businesses. if you were to see the roughly dozen businesses in my district that have access to ex-im bank loans for exports, none of you would heard of any of them because they're very small business and those people are benefiting from this and, third, ex-im bank loans support roughly 300,000 u.s. jobs that produce those goods that are exported under these loans. in this day, when we are looking for jobs in this country, these are 300,000 jobs supported by a bank that doesn't cost the taxpayer any money, that returns money to the taxpayer, and is clearly part of original intent. we should vote for this bill. i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from new york. mrs. mccarthy: thank you. i yield one minute to the gentleman from washington and ranking member of the appropriations committee, mr. dicks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from washington is recognized for one minute. mr. dicks: i thank my friend for yielding to me. i want to associate with myself -- associate myself with mr. campbell's very accurate
comments. let me begin by extending my deepest thanks to one of my best friends, the majority whip, minority whip, mr. hoyer, for his tireless efforts to reach an agreement with the majority on this bill. and i also appreciate the work of the majority leader, mr. cantor, on this bill. without their personal commitment, time and effort to this bill, i do not believe that we would be here today to pass this important ledge slailings. which would have been -- legislation. which would have been an absolute disaster for the economy of the united states. i have been a supporter of the export-import bank since i arrived in congress in 1977. simply put, the ex-im bank supports the sales of american-made products overseas when private finances is not available. -- financing is not available. according to the ex-im bank's 2011 annual report, the bank supported $32.7 billion in exports last year, over 288,000 american jobs. many of these jobs are in the pacific northwest and in my congressional district.
i ask unanimous consent to put -- and add additional information. the important point srk let's vote for this bill. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentleman from california. mr. miller: i'm pleased to yield one minute to the distinguish mad jort leader, the gentleman from virginia, mr. cantor. the chair: the gentleman from virginia is recognized for one minute. mr. cantor: i thank the speaker and i thank the gentleman from california. mr. speaker, i rise today to speak in favor of h.r. 2072, securing american jobs through export act of 2011. make no mistake, i am no fan of government subsidies. export subsidies distort the free market and global trade. and in a perfect world, the ex-im bank, along with its counterparts in europe, asia and elsewhere, would not exist. but like any other barrier for trade, the best way to level the playing field and open up
markets is to negotiate -- is through negotiation. our country has long had a policy to negotiate and end -- an end to barriers which prevent the free flow of goods and services. and now, mr. speaker, for the first time with this bill it will be u.s. policy to initiate and pursue negotiations to end government export subsidies. this is not just a worth while goal, it is actually an achievable one. now, i know some suggest that we shouldn't negotiate and that we should just shutter the export-import bank right now, that we shouldn't pass the bill. but i would tell my colleagues that i believe that amounts to unilateral disarmament. american businesses and american workers would suffer from unfair competition with subsidized foreign competitors. this bill with these reforms offers a better way.
as important as ensuring that we do not unilaterally disarm american business, is bringing strong necessary reforms to the export-import bank to protect american taxpayers is equally important. i'm pleased to say that this bill accomplishes both. the bill requires ex-im bank to keep their default rate below 2% . if the bank's default rate exceeds 2% access to any additional capital is shut off. while corrective action to bring the default rate below 2% would be instituted. if the ex-im bank fails to fix the problem within six months, an audit will be conducted by an independent third party to recommend both to congress and the treasury secretary necessary fixes. the legislation, mr. speaker, includes numerous other reforms including risk management review, business plans and an ty
solyndra provision to protect -- anti-solyndra provision to protect taxpayer. in urging support of this bipartisan legislation i'd like to recognize two colleagues in particular, gary miller, the gentleman from california, and steny hoyer, the democratic whip from maryland. their hard work helped produce a bill that helps american business while also protecting american taxpayers. i urge passage of this bill and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from new york. mrs. mccarthy: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield 1 1/2 minutes to the gentlelady from and my colleague from new york, mrs. maloney. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from new york is recognized for 1 1/2 minutes. mrs. maloney: i thank my great friend and colleague from the great state of new york for yielding me the time and for her leadership in so many important
areas before this congress. and i rice in strong support of the -- rise in strong support of the export-import bank re-authorization act. i would also like to commend the democratic whip, the distinguished leader, steny hoyer, for working with the other side of the aisle to bring this bill to the floor today with a three-year re-authorization and an increase in the ex-im bank's exposure cap. i hope that we'll see more types of cooperation on important legislation on both sides of the aisle as we have seen on this bill. the ex-im bank has provided $32.7 billion in financing and supported 290,000 jobs across our great country. 80% of those companies that were supported were small businesses and at no additional cost to the taxpayer. it is critical to america and critical to districts such as mine in new york. the bank has financed $1.7 billion in export sales in my district alone and $4.4 billion in the state of new york over
the past five years. and the bank supports 128 firms in my district, either directly or indirectly. these are jobs for my constituents and it is critically important that we re-authorize this bank before its charter expires at the end of the month. some important changes and improvements have been made to the bill over the past few weeks that will strengthen taxpayer protection provisions and which will enhance transparency at the bank. so i commend my colleagues and i urge support for this bill, i hope we see more examples of bipartisan support on important projects as we are seeing today. i yield back the balance of my time and i thank my colleague for yielding. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california. mr. miller: i'm pleased to yield one minute to my good friend, a conservative voice in congress, my good friend, the gentleman from california, mr. mcclintock. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized for one minute. mr. mcclintock: mr. speaker, this program dragoons american
taxpayers into subsidizing loans to foreign companies, making it cheaper for them to buy products from politically favored american companies which in turn them use those products to compete against less favored american companies. past beneficiaries include such outstanding enterprises as solyndra and enron. since 2007 almost half of its money goes to that plucky little upstart called boeing. air india got $5 billion to purchase boeing aircraft, allowing them to undercut american carriers like delta with their own tax money. now, we're told we need this to compete with other nations that do the same thing. mr. speaker, if other nations want to impoverish themselves in this manner, we don't need to imitate them. we're told this doesn't cost the taxpayers money. the last few years this turned a profit. well, that's what they told us about fannie mae and freddie mac until they blew up in our face. legitimate companies have plenty of access to private capital,
they don't need these subsidies. the illegitimate ones shouldn't be propped up with the hard-earned dollars of working tax-paying americans. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from new york. mrs. mccarthy: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield one minute to my colleague and the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. fattah. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized for one minute. mr. fattah: thank you and i thank the gentlelady. i want to commend steny hoyer and eric cantor, the majority leader, for their work on this. i rise as a long-time supporter of ex-im bank and particularly just in the last few months they've done over $17 billion in sales, financing some $14 billion, no tax dollars involved. i'd like to commend the work of the vice president, wanda felton , and also a graph harvard business school, helping -- a graduate of harvard business school, helping to lead this
agency. they're doing tens of millions of transactions with companies in my district and they're doing billions across the country. 129,000 jobs just in the last 11 months, supported through this agency. this is an important vote. i thank the bipartisan leadership of the congress for bringing this agreement to move forward and re-authorize ex-im bank and i yield back the balance of my time. to the gentleman from idaho. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california. mr. miller: i'm pleased to yield one minute to the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. kelly. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized for one minute. mr. kelly: i thank the gentleman. in a perfect world we wouldn't be having this discussion. in my office i have a really attractive little snow globe that is very nice. you turn it upside down and the snow drifts down on this beautiful little scene in washington. and it would be nice if the global economy worked that way but actually we're in a global economy that you better be able to swim with the sharks and have the same set of teeth that they have. so when we talk about the ex-im bank and the advantages of what we're trying to put together for
our companies, for our companies, we're asking these people, we're urging them and we're encouraging them to make capital investments, to go out and hire people, to expand their markets and then we're saying, we're going to send you into battle but by the way, you're not going to have the same tools and the same weapons that other people have. so this is such a commonsense approach to what we're facing and again i say, in a snow globe world, in -- it would be wonderful to sit back, everybody would play by the rules and we could compete on an equal basis with everybody. that's not the way it works. we know what we need to do and if we're going to create jobs, if we're going to move this economy, if we're going to do the things we need to do to create the revenues we need to create to fund this wonderful government of ours, then we have to look at this ex-im bill and pass it. thank you, sir. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from new york. mrs. mccarthy: mr. speaker, i would like to remind everybody in the fourth congressional district in california, 752 -- $752 million in financing support came from the
export-import bank. with that i would reserve my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves the balance of her time. the gentleman from california has 1 1/2 minutes remaining. the gentlewoman from new york has three minutes remaining. mr. miller: we have the right to close, i believe. i would be happy to yield to the gentlelady. we have 1 1/2 minutes on our side? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman has 1 1/2 minutes remaining. the gentlewoman from new york has three minutes remaining. mr. miller: unless she'd like to yield me some of her time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from new york. mrs. mccarthy: thank you, mr. chairman, mr. miller. i want to say how wonderful it has been working with you and certainly your staff. over the last past year we have worked together and i think that's a great example for the rest of this chamber, to be very honest with you. we certainly care about this bill passionately. i think it's important for the american people, it comes back to american jobs.
that's what it is. i think a majority of members in this congress will see that. that's something that's important for our workers, our companies to be able to have the ability to compete with those countries that are doing exporting. we need to stand behind our businesses. we need to stand behind certainly our workers. so with that, mr. speaker, i thank again everybody that has been certainly involved in this and with that i yield back the balance of my time. mr. miller: will the gentlelady yield me the balance of her time? mrs. mccarthy: i'm sorry. i ask unanimous consent that these letters in support of the export-import bank re-authorization into the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mrs. mccarthy: with that i yield back the balance of my time. mr. miller: i thank the gentlelady. you talk about the people on our staff. the senior policy director of
the subcommittee has done a good job. aaron, ross, susan, alex, neal have all worked very, very hard. on the minority side, i'd like to thank you for georgia. she's been incredible in this whole process. daniel, kirk. kelly and john and legislative counsel, jim. there's a lot that's been said about this bill here. ex-im bank's default rate is less than 1.5%. there is no lender out there that has that stellar record. we put additional funds in here for green technology because ex-im writes their own loans. we've created additional funds for them so they can increase their underwriting ability to make sure they are making good, good, safe loans. ex-im bank makes money for the taxpayers and they've done a great job. we have an opportunity in this
country to create jobs. we can yield those jobs to china. we can yield those jobs to germany, france, to other countries who want to take jobs from this country, or we can make sure that american companies, large and small, has an opportunity to compete. when they compete they create jobs. and guess what, through that process they make money for the taxpayers because they give it back to the treasury. that's a win-win for everybody. the oversight in this bill -- and i want to thank majority leader, eric cantor, for working on this bill. it is a safe toogs. with that i ask for -- it's a safe institution. with that i ask for an aye vote and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 2072 as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the affirmative -- mr. miller: ask for the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: all those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counted.
a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this question will be postponed. the chair lays before the house the following enrolled bill. the clerk: senate 1302, an act to authorize the administrator of general services to convey a parcel of real property in tracy, california, to the city of tracy. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from florida rise? ms. ros-lehtinen: mr. speaker, i ask that the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 4133, as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 4133, a bill to express the sense of congress regarding the united states-israel strategic relationship to direct the president to submit to congress reports on the united states' actions to enhance this relationship and to assist the dissents of israel and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentlewoman from florida, ms. ros-lehtinen, and the gentleman from california, mr. berman,
each will control 30 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from florida. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you very much, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you very much, mr. speaker. i rise in strong support of the united states-israel enhanced security cooperation act of 2012 of which i am an original co-sponsor, and i thank the distinguished majority leader and minority whip for sponsoring this important legislation. the democratic jewish state of israel is our closest and most important ally. we share the same interests. we share the same values and lamentably, we share the same threats. today, 64 years after israel's founding, these same shared threats to both of our nations are stark and they are growing. particularly the threat posed by the iranian regime which continues racing toward nuclear weapons capabilities and by
iran's partner in crime, the assad regime in syria. israel continues to face the danger of iranian sponsored violent extremists including hamas and hezbollah, which continue to expand their capabilities to threaten israeli citizens and their infrastructure with tens of thousands of rockets, mortars and missiles. as a result of our shared commitment, the united states and israel have worked together to advance technologies and policies to keep both of our countries safe and secure. israel's proximity to the iran-syria-hamas-hezbollah eliminates any room for error in their defense capabilities. we are here today to reaffirm our unequivocal support for israel's right to defend herself, and even beyond affirming israel's right to defend herself, we aim to
expand israel's ability to protect her citizens against the dangers to which they are subjected to day after day. this bill expresses the sense of congress that our country should support an increase to the totality of our bilateral security relations, from joint missile defense systems, intelligence cooperation, military exercises between the united states and israel, to increasing air force training as well as providing increased excess defense articles and munitions to israel. this legislation also seeks to counter the israel bashing that has become commonplace in international forum such as the united nations. the united states must not allow israel to be isolated and demonized in international organization and must work together to withdrawal u.s. participation in and funding
from organizations that do so. this legislation also extends the authority to provide loan guarantees to the israeli government that provides a jewish state with a cushion of support in times of need at no cost to the american taxpayer. as the united states and israel work together to stop the challenges posed by the iranian and syrian regimes and by violent extremists like hezbollah and hamas, the u.s.-israel enhanced security cooperation act, the bill before us today, marks the triumph that we have achieved through our existing cooperation and advances our alliance to new levels. i want to again thank my colleagues from both sides of the aisle for their strong support for this measure and with that, mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves the balance of her time. the gentleman from california.
mr. berman: thank you, mr. speaker. and i rise in strong support of h.r. 4133, the united states-israel enhanced security cooperation act of 2012. i yield myself three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. berman: i'd like to thank my friends, the majority leader, mr. cantor, and minority whip hoyer for bringing this important bill to the floor. their cooperation on this legislation is an outstanding example of congress' bipartisan support for the u.s.-israel relationship. mr. speaker, since its founding, israel has faced enumerable challenges to its survival, by the serious threats it faces today are unprecedented. only weeks ago a massive barrage of rockets was fired from gaza at israeli population centers by islamic jihadists and other terrorists. but unlike other incidents where they targeted israel, the missile, funded in part by the united states, changed the
rules of the game. in fact, iron dome intercepted a remarkable 90% of the incoming rockets aimed at once defenseless population centers. currently there are only three iron dome batteries operational in israel with two more on the way but needed to protect israel's nearly eight million citizens. i'm pleased to say that that h.r. 4133 incorporates language by the iron dome support act bipartisan legislation that the chair and i recently introduced and which now has nearly 90 co-sponsors expressing support for providing israel assistance to produce iron dome batteries. the bill also pledges to assist israel with their ongoing efforts to forge a peaceful, negotiated settlement of the israeli-palestine conflict that results in two states living side by side in peace and security. despite all the obstacles toward achieving this goal, we can't give up trying as peace
is profoundly in israel's strategic interest. i applaud prime minister's netanyahu's willingness to negotiate anywhere anytime. the palestinians should take him up on that offer instead of pursuing a campaign to delegitimize israel at the u.n. and elsewhere. mr. speaker, perhaps the greatest threat to both american and israeli security today is that posed by iran yeas nuclear weapons program. i -- iran's nuclear weapons program. i hope this can be solved diplomatically. as we all know, only pressure from the united states and our allies has any chance of persuading iran to give up its quest for nuclear arms. this bill makes clear that the u.s. congress will continue to help israel meet the iranian threat. gaza-based terrorism, the israeli-palestinian conflict, the iranian nuclear program are not the only threats faced by israel. recent events in egypt and
syria, hamas and hezbollah, requests vigilance from danger from them. this bill supports israel's qualitative military edge against any possible combination of regional threats. i yield myself 30 additional seconds. and reinforcing that commitment to israel's security, this bill extends for four years a loan guarantee program for israel that was initiated in 2003 and extension based on legislation that chairman ros-lehtinen and i introduced in march. mr. speaker, our relationship with our ally israel is one of the most important and closest that we have with any nation in the world. we face many of the same threats and we share the same values. israel's defense minister recently said he could hardly remember a better period of u.s. support and cooperation and common u.s.-israel
strategic understanding than the current one. passage of this bill will help ensure that this cooperation continues into the future, encourage all of my colleagues to support the legislation and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from florida. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr. speaker. i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and extraneous material on the measure before -- under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. ros-lehtinen: and with that, mr. speaker, i'm so pleased to yield three minutes to the gentleman from ohio, mr. chabot, who has the honor of chairing our foreign affairs subcommittee on the middle east and south asia. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from ohio is recognized for three minutes. mr. chabot: i thank the chairwoman for yielding time to me. she is doing an exemplary job of chairing the foreign affairs committee and we thank her for that. i rise in strong support of this resolution. as we approach the 64th anniversary of israel's declaration of independence, we must confront the unfortunate
reality that all is not well in the middle east. just over a year and a half ago, a street vendor set off a wave of popular revolution which continues to shake the region's core foundations. and although i hoped that the so-called arab spring will usher democracy and human rights into a region where both have been exceptions rather than the rule, a year and a half in, the picture's starting to look, let's face it, bleak. times like this make us especially aware of who our friends are, and i'm proud to support this and any resolution which strengthens the united states-israel relationship. for 64 years, the bonds of friendship between our two countries reinforced by both shared interests and shared values have remained strong and continue to grow stronger. today, israel faces unprecedented threats to its
security, some of which, like the iranian nuclear program, have loomed on the horizon for sometime, and some, like the current regional instability that we've seen, are relatively new. at this time of heightened danger and profound change, it is incumbent upon us to do everything in our power to help to secure israel. it's our strongest ally in the region, has been for many years, and will continue to be in the future. the administration is fond of trumpeting its undying support for israel as vice president biden did just yesterday. but the proof of the pudding is in the eating. if the administration is truly serious about israel's security, it can start by stating loudly and clearly that it will not allow iran to acquire a nuclear weapons capability, not just the weapon, but the capability to produce one. that would be far more
meaningful than another of the dozens of generic statements we frequently read about in the newspapers. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the chair would remind members not to transit the well while a member sunday recognition. the chair -- member is under recognition. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. berman: i'm pleased to yield to my friend from new york, mr. israel, two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. israel: i thank my friend from california. mr. speaker, i am very proud to have worked on both sides of the aisle in the leadership of advancing u.s.-israely relations. proud of what i have done on a bipartisan basis, to maintain israel's qualitative military edge. proud of taking a tough line on iran, proud of the meeting that i convened with the distinguished gentlewoman from florida just several weeks ago, with united against a nuclear iran, a bipartisan meeting.
with the group united against nuclear iran. to make sure that we're taking the toughest actions possible, with all the tools in our tool box against a nuclear iran. proud to have called publicly for the arrest of the ma mad man ahmadinejad on charges of inciting genocide. proud yet to have joined with -- proud yesterday to have joined with mrs. lowey and the gentleman from florida, mr. deutch, in calling for an investigation of whether u.s. taxpayer dollars have been used towards the palestine investment fund. and today very proud to rise in support of the u.s.-israel enhanced security cooperation act. mr. speaker, sometimes fundamentals get lost in the shuffle. here are the fundamentals. israel is the most important ally we have in the world. israel is the most important ally that we have in the world in the most dangerous region of the world. and the bonds between israel and
the united states are unshabeble, can never be minimized -- unshakable, can never be minimized, can never be weakened for as long as both sides of the aisle continue to work side by side to advance that partnership. of all the things we do here, one of the things i'm most proud of is our bipartisan support for israel and we will continue in that spirit. not only because a strong israel is critical but because a strong israel means a more secure america. i thank the gentleman, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from florida. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr. speaker. i'm pleased to yield three minutes to the gentleman from texas, judge poe, a member of our committee on foreign affairs and the committee on judiciary. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. poe: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the gentlewoman for yielding. mr. speaker, america's support for israel is not new. thomas jefferson, benjamin franklin both warned of the -- wanted the likeness of moses leading the children of israel
as the seal for america. in fact, in the center of this chamber, in the relief portrait that is directly in front of me looking down on this house is the portrait of the great lawgiver moses. john adams wrote that he really wished the jews had an independent nation. so in 1948 when israel finally became a modern independent jewish state, the united states recognized israel in just 11 minutes. today our support for israel cannot waiver. it cannot wane and we cannot grow weary in proclaiming the absolute right of israel to defend itself. israel's interests are america's interests. they are on the front lines against terrorists like hezbollah and hamas. they are surrounded by nations that do not like them and israel is opposed to the tiny tyrant from the desert, ahmadinejad, in his pursuit of nuclear destruction of israel. our troops trained together and
our cooperation in developing military technology has saved israeli and american lives. the united states has no greater ally in the middle east than the nation of israel. the united states must let the world know that israel has the absolute right to be left alone. so i support this suspension and urge its passage. and that's just the way it is. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california. mr. berman: thank you, mr. speaker. i'm very pleased to yield three minutes to the very distinguished member of the foreign affairs committee, the ranking member of the western hemisphere subcommittee, on a resolution that does not affect -- well, it does affect the western hemisphere because it affects us. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york is recognized for three minutes. >> i thank the gentleman from
california. and i rise in strong support of this resolution. i want our colleagues to hear what's been going on here on the house floor. at a time when congress has been derided as nothing -- not being able to get its act together, when they say democrats and republicans can't agree on anything, when people say that congress doesn't know how to work together and meet in the middle, what are we hearing? we're hearing democrats and republicans alike expressing strong bipartisan support for israel, expressing strong bipartisan support for the u.s.-israel relationship. mr. engel: we know that the united states and israel have so much in common. we have common feelings of democracy, we have common more ayes, we have common -- morals, we have common people who understand what democracy is all about. israel's the only democracy in the middle east, the only democracy in the middle east and faces threats from terrorist groups like hezbollah and hamas. israel is willing to sit down and negotiate with the
palestinians, with no preconditions. prime minister netanyahu has said that many, many times and he's been rebuffed by the palestinians who want all kinds of preconditions before they'll even sit down and talk with israel. and of course iran looms large. iran must never be allowed to have a nuclear weapon. iran is not only a threat to wipe israel off the face of the earth, as that lunatic ahmadinejad has said, but iran is a threat to the west, to the united states, and to nato as well. so what are we doing here this afternoon? we're rising in strong support of h.r. 4133, the united states-israel enhanced security cooperation act. this important bill reaffirms that congress stands shoulder to shoulder with israel as it faces numerous challenges in the weeks and month it's ahead. it restates -- months ahead. it restates u.s. policy that we must help israel preserve its qualitative military edge. it increases military and civilian security cooperation
between our two nations, in order to prevent iran from achieving nuclear weapons capability. and it supports the negotiated settlement of the israeli-palestinian conflict based on a two-state solution. and it encourages israel's neighbors to recognize the jewish state. and israel must be recognized as a jewish state. as importantly though i think this bill also shows, that even as partisan runs through congress, support for israel remains bipartisan. democrats and republicans are here on the floor together saying that we need to support the u.s.-israel relationship and defending israel's inherent right to self-defense. with more than 2/3 of congress co-sponsoring this legislation, i think the message to israel's detractors is clear. the united states will stand with the jewish state for now and forever. i thank you, mr. speaker, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from florida. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr. speaker. what an honor it is to yield one minute to our esteemed majority
leader, mr. cantor, the co-author of this important legislation. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia is recognized for one minute. mr. cantor: i thank the speaker and i thank the gentlelady from florida. mr. speaker, today the house will vote on a bipartisan u.s.-israel enhanced security cooperation act. this bill reaffirms israel's right to defend itself against threats and puts the congress on record about america's longstanding commitment to the u.s.-israel strategic relationship, a unique and special relationship founded on shared interests and shared democratic values. my friend, democratic whip steny hoyer, and i introduced this legislation to ensure that during a time of such instability threats to israeli and american security will be answered with strength and resolve. unfortunately even during periods of calm, israel lives in a tough neighborhood and because our national interests are so often linked, israel is often at
frontlines of responding to threats to both of our security. this is true when it comes to a shared fight against radical islamist terrorism and it's certainly true when it comes to iran. this bill reiterates that our investment in israel's security is an investment in our own security. i want to thank mr. hoyer as well as chairman ros-lehtinen and ranking member howard berman who joined us in drafting this legislation. i thank them for their hard work and for their steadfast leadership as defend, of our great ally in the middle east -- defenders of our great ally in the middle east. the strong bipartisan support for this bill speaks to the importance and the urgency with which we must address and enhance israel's ability to defend itself during a period of profound transition and instability. mr. speaker, nearly 300 members of both parties have sponsored this bill and we hope to have many more in the final count. the house has always demonstrated a bipartisan
commitment to the u.s.-israel relationship and today we say again, we refuse to send mixed messages when it comes to america's support for israel. today we demonstrate congressional support for important steps to make israel and america more secure. among other things the bill encourages the president to provide additional assistance to support u.s.-israel joint missile defense efforts such as iron dome, david sling and arrow. allocate additional weaponry ammunitions to the foreign deployed u.s. stockpile located in israel. strengthen multilateral efforts to prevent weapon smuggling in the gaza and to protect against terrorism from the peninsula. expand already close intelligence cooperation between the u.s. and israel. protect israel's qualitative military edge and ensure that israel remains the preeminent military power in the region. lobby against and veto the outrageous parade of one-sided
anti-israel resolutions at the united nations every year. the bill also extends the longstanding loan guarantee program for israel, recognizing its perfect record of repaying its loans on time and in full. mr. speaker, this could be a very hot summer in the middle east. egypt is likely to elect an islamist government. while we all hope egypt's new government keeps the peace that it's held for 30 years, the future is uncertain. syria's consumed by civil war, with a vicious dictator backed by iran and hezbollah murdering his own citizens, fueling sectarian tensions and giving rise to radicalism. iran continues its decades long effort to acquire a nukeler weapons capability. sanction -- nuclear weapons capability. sanctions may be hurting iran's economy but iran's leaders remain we hadded to pursue their dangerous goal -- weded to pursue their dangerous -- wedde
to pursue their dangerous -- wedded to pursue their dangerous goals. the united states and israel share an important strategic goal. preventing iran from acquiring a nuclear weapons capability and combating its terrorist proxies. mr. speaker, this bill recognizes the profound threats the u.s. and israel face in the region and reiterates our commitment to standing side by side with israel during this pivotal and dangerous period of transition and instability and i urge its passage. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california. mr. berman: mr. speaker, i'm very pleased to yield to the other co-sponsor -- main co-sponsor of this legislation, our democratic whip, a leader for so many years on the issue of the u.s.-israel relationship, mr. hoyer of maryland.
mr. hoyer: i thank my friend, mr. berman -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for four minutes. mr. hoyer: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank my friend for yielding. i have known mr. berman for almost half a century. he has been an extraordinary leader, as a young person, as chairman of this committee, as ranking member on this committee. and i want to thank him for his leadership on this issue. he has been instrumental. i want to thank my dear friend in whose district i used to live so many years ago, ileana ros-lehtinen, the chairman of the foreign relations committee, foreign affairs committee. thank her for her leadership and her commitment. she's been a stalwart. mr. speaker, the time when there's great disagreement on a number of important issues, we are reminded today that democrats and republicans stand together when it comes to supporting our friend and ally israel. i am proud to be a lead co-sponsor of the u.s.-israel
enhanced security cooperation act. along with my friend, the republican leader, mr. cantor, who just spoke. this bill enshrines in law the deeper military and security cooperation that the obama administration has forged with israel and made a very high priority. president obama's predecessor, president bush, responsible for forging and continuing that relationship as were his predecessors. today with greater uncertainty in the middle east and the continued pursuit of nuclear weapons by iran, close security cooperation between the united states and israel has never been more important. i visited israel 12 times and i have seen firsthand how israelis have achieved so much with so little. investment in israel's security and israel's success yield real benefits to the united states through shared intelligence, technological exchange and trade, investments in israel also strengthen our security
because our countries share not just values but strategic interests. including preventing iran from building nuclear weapons. iran, as we know, has been a destabilized force in a volatile part of the world closely linked to energy supplies and where our military troops are stationed. in response, this administration has coordinated with our european allies to impose the strongest sanctions iran has ever faced. this bill will enable even closer military and security ties with israel so we can further deter iran from developing nuclear weapons capabilities and work together, work together to create and to combat terrorism that threatens both of our countries. i want to recognize in particular the hard work of my friend and colleague, as i said earlier, howard berman, the ranking sdrat on the foreign affairs committee. he and ileana ros-lehtinen have been a real team, real partners
in this effort. as i and mr. cantor have been. mr. berman has been instrumental in securing funding for the iron dome, anti-missile defense system, that was jointly developed and will be deployed on israel's borders to help against short-range missiles. thousands of those missiles. aziz real continue's its pursuit of secured peace, we in congress will continue to stand together in support of israel and in recognition of the values and ideals our countries share. this resolution in part is so that there will be clarity, that there will be no confusion. there needs to be a clear understanding of all those who would threaten israel that the united states stands with her because it is in our, the united states, security interest to do so and because
it is morally and ethically the right thing to do as well. we all hope for two states living side by side peacefully with families secured, that they can raise their children in a future that will bring peace and prosperity and tranquility in a troubled neighborhood of the world. i urge my colleagues to enthusiastically support this resolution and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from florida. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr. speaker. i'm pleased to yield two minutes to the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. kelly, an esteemed member of our committee on foreign affairs. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized for two minutes. mr. kelly: i thank the gentlelady. i rise in strong support of the resolution. having the opportunity to visit israel last summer, netanyahu said it best when he said in this region of the world we are
you and you are us. we not only share the same value systems, we share the same beliefs and the same threats that israel faces, not just from time to time but every day. it is absolutely critical for this partnership that we have, the relationship between the united states and israel to go forward, and the message needs to come from this house that from today and forevermore the united states will always be standing strong with israel, standing with israel in every issue and in a neighborhood that israel exists in, the most dangerous and unstable area in the world today. it is absolutely critical that we reaffirm our relationship with israel and our support for israel. the iron dome is actually the most critical piece of defense that israel has. it protects it from a neighborhood that wishes to destroy it and annihilate it. so i thank the gentlelady for allowing me to come before you and i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the
gentleman from california. mr. berman: mr. speaker, i have no more requests for time and reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentlelady from florida. ms. ros-lehtinen: i thank my good friend from california. we just have a few more speakers. i'm so pleased to yield two minutes to the gentleman from pennsylvania, dr. murphy, a member of the committee on energy and commerce. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized for two minutes. mr. murphy: thank you, mr. speaker. israel is our friend and our ally. israel is an island of democracy that supports freedom and religious tolerance, where christian churches, a mosque and a synagogue can be on the same streets. in neighboring countries, christians are not permitted to have their religion supported. israel supports creativity and economic development. iran is committed to developing nuclear weapons and the
missiles to deliver them. israel is fighting terrorist groups like hamas and hezbollah and has suffered real attack and the threat to future attacks of tens of thousands of rockets that will rain down upon their people. israel needs and has every right to support iron dome, the air missiles to defend themselves from these very real threats. israel has been there for us during times of threat and times of peace and we will be there for them. israel has been a partner in medical, scientific and technological enovations. they have stood with us to fight against terrorist threats against us and our freedom-loving nations. there are several facts we must recognize and support. israel has a right to defend itself. we will stand firm with them. we will not turn a deaf ear to the anti-semitic language and those nations who speak it. we cannot and will mott be part of the dangerous indifference of nations and peoples to say it is not our problem.
we will not be a part of the denial among those who refuse to see the hay -- hatred of threat from syria, lebanon and other nations. we will support prime minister netanyahu's call with a two-state solution. so let's support h.r. 4133 and when we say never again we mean it because the cost of pacifyity, the cost of doing nothing is far too expensive in life and money. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from florida. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr. speaker. i'm pleased to yield two minutes to the gentleman from south carolina, mr. duncan, who's a member of our foreign affairs committee and also homeland security and natural resources committee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from south carolina is recognized for two minutes. mr. duncan: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the chairwoman for giving me this opportunity to talk about the reason the united states should stand with israel. you know, i brought my oldest son who is in the gallery today. his name's graham. i wanted him to hear, and
people of his generation to hear and understand that america stand with israel, that we were there at the beginning of the foundation of that nation. we understand the threats that exist in the world today, that when you have an ally, you never abandon the ally. you never try to change that ally to meet your vision of the world. you stand with them unconditionally. america stands with israel in the defense of that nation. we stand with israel in the prosperity of that nation. we stand with israel in the good times, the bad times. we've been there from the beginning and we will be there today and we will be there tomorrow. it's important for this generation to understand america plays a very vital role , standing with someone who
stood with us time and time again. may god continue to bless america and may god continue to bless the state of israel. and with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: members are reminded they are not to refer to guests in the gallery. the gentlelady from florida. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr. speaker. i'm proud to yield three minutes to the gentleman from new jersey, mr. smith, the chairman of the foreign affairs subcommittee on africa, global health and human rights. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey is recognized for three minutes. mr. smith: i thank the distinguished chairlady of our committee on defense of israel and to my good friend and colleague, mr. berman. the two of these -- these two individuals work so hard every day for the peace and security of israel and i just congratulate them. and also to eric cantor, the author, along with the distinguished the gentlelady and mr. berman and mr. hoyer for bringing before the house the united states-israel enhanced security cooperation act of 2012. this bill reaffirms and
modernizes u.s. commitment to and cooperation with our great friend and ally, israel. this is a must-pass bill because our commitment is and it must be perceived to be unequivocal. i would say because of the dangerous and escalating threats, including genocide, facing israel today, we must reiterate today unanimously in this body our support for the nation of israel. freedom house's annual report on the world, which assesses political and civil liberties of nearly every nation in the world, showed us that israel is surrounded by nations that profoundly disrespect the political and civil liberties of their own citizens, often using torture and all kinds of means of hate against their own people and, of course, they lament that hate toward israel. this includes iran, syria, many
in the gaza that have human rights records that are among the worst in the world. as we all know, some of israel's neighbors openly questions israel's right to exist, and iran's anti-semitic leader, ahmadinejad, has repeatedly threaten to wipe israel off the face of the earth. i will note that iran is a signer of the genocide convention and has been since 19 -- has ratified it back in 1956. where is the united nations, especially those who enforce the genocide convention when those kinds of barbaric statements are made by the likes of ahmadinejad? with this bill, mr. speaker, the united states underscores and reiterates our unshakeable commitment to israel. with this bill the u.s. reaffirms in word and in deed our commitment to the defense of the jewish state. specifically the bill enhances israel's ability to defend itself.
superior deterrence remains among the best guarantors of peace and that has certainly been the case in the middle east. israel's military superiority was unclear soon after it was created, soon after israel became a state in the eyes of its enemies, israel was tested repeatedly with war. of course, israel won those wars decisively. since then israel's military superiority has been clear and compelling. so in response, israel's enemies have relied on the tactics of a bully and a coward, especially with the use of terrorism. they have attacked the gaza rockets, the flotilla and israel's task has been to overcome. again, this bill -- and i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks -- the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. smith: provides clear commitment by the united states to our great friend and ally, the state of israel. i yield back. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you. thank you, mr. speaker. -- mr. smith.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california. the gentleman from california. mr. berman: very pleased to yield a minute to my friend from texas. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized for one minute. mr. green: thank you. i thank the chairman. i thank the ranking member and i thank all who will support this piece of legislation. this is but a reaffirmation of our support to our ally, israel. i think that it gives us an opportunity to make it clear that israel has the complete support of the united states of america. israel has been one of the beacons of democracy in the neighborhood. it does have elections. it does have opportunities for a government to change, and these are the kinds of things that we value in this country.
the right of people to make a difference in their own lives. but aside from this, we have a duty when one country has been threatened with complete elimination to do what we can to prevent this. i think that this is a part of that prevention that will help make a difference. i thank you, mr. chairman, and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from florida. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield two minutes to the gentleman from texas, mr. gohmert, a member of the judiciary and natural resources committees. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized for two minutes. mr. gohmert: thank you, mr. speaker, and thank you, madam chair. i appreciate the wonderful work our chair has done, the work with the ranking member on this issue. it is critical that the world know how united this congress is behind our ally, israel. it's in history.
it's the truth that when a nation's enemies see their strongest ally turning against them, that is when their enemies move against that nation. we saw a couple years ago when this administration voted with israel's enemies to require that israel vote -- disclose certain of its weapons. it was shortly after that that a flotilla challenged the blockade at the gaza strip. . that's how it works when a nation's enemies see an ally that may be turning against a nation, they mover against that nation. this is what is so important that we show the world that when it comes to this issue we may bicker pack and forth about all kinds of things -- back and forth about all kinds ever things, but when it comes to support for israel, the analogy could be applicable here. that it is a miner's canary.
that when israel is under attack it's a he potential attack on all of the rest of those who love liberty as well. i agree with mr. hoyer, our friend from maryland, when he says israel's enemies need to know that when it comes to support for israel we have solidarity and complete support for our friend. israel's enemies need to know that. the world needs to know that. and i'm very grateful for leadership on both sides in making that clear to the world and to israel's enemies. with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas yields back his time. the gentleman from california. mr. berman: madam speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. berman: we have had a group of speakers come down to the floor, including the majority leader, the democratic whip, the chair of the committee, and a number of other members to talk
about our solidarity with israel, the u.s.-israel relationship, the bipartisan nature of it. the implication which i heard in the last speaker that this is not a view shared by this administration. i just want to rise and indicate how long such an implication is. the president of the united states has indicated that these bonds are unbreakable. he has raised the level of security, cooperation, intelligence sharing to unprecedented high levels between the united states and israel. he is leading the international effort to get iran to abandon its nuclear weapons program. he has stood with israel in the
wake of the report, in the wake of efforts in the human rights commission to demonize and delegitimatize israel and in the context of viewing resolutions which unfairly single out israel on a number of issues. any implication to the contrary is unfounded and seeks to undercut the very bipartisan nature of the support that is so essential to this relationship. with that i yield back-- ms. ros-lehtinen: if i could reserve the right to close. mr. berman clon: i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from florida. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you so much, madam speaker. i yield myself the remaining time. i thank my good friend from california, mr. berman, for his leadership role in bringing this bill to the floor today. i thank our majority leader, mr.
cantor, as well as the minority whip, mr. hoyer. this bill before us, madam speaker, the united states-israel enhanced security cooperation act is an important one. it sends a clear signal and a clear message throughout the world to our friends and to our enemies that the united states stands foursquare with our indispensable ally, the democratic jewish state of israel. this bill is a reaffirmation of our staunch commitment to israel's security, its right to self-defense, and its right to exist. it is a testament to our friendship with israel that has served us so well for the last 64 years, and will continue to serve us well for many generations to come. and it is a pledge that the united states and israel continuing to work together will address the challenges to our common security so that we can ensure a safe, prosperous, and free future for both of our
nations. and with that, madam speaker, i'm pleased to yield back the balance of our time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time. the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 4133 as amended. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules -- the gentlelady from florida. ms. ros-lehtinen: on that i request the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. all those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this question will be postponed. the gentlelady from florida. ms. ros-lehtinen: i ask unanimous consent that when the house adjourns today it adjourn to meet at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20,
proceedings are resume on motions to suspend the rules previously postponed and votes will be taken in the following order. h.r. 2072 by the yeas and nays. h.r. 4133, by the yeas and nays. the first electronic vote will be conducted as a 15-minute vote. the remaining electronic vote will be conducted as five-minute vote. the unfinished business is on the vote -- is the vote on the motion of the gentleman from california, mr. miller, to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 2072, as amended, on which the yeas and nays are ordered. the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 2072, a bill to re-authorize the export-import bank of the united states, and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill as amended. members will record their votes by electronic device. this will be a 15-minute vote. a 15-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 330. the nays are 93. 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed, and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid upon the table. the unfinished business is the vote on the motion of the the gentlewoman from florida, ms. ros-lehtinen, to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 4133, as
amended, on which the yeas and nays are ordered. the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 4133, a bill to express the sense of congress regarding the united states-israel strategic relationship to direct the president to submit to congress reports on united states' actions to enhance this relationship and to assist in the defense of israel, and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill as amended. members will record their votes by electronic device. this will be a five-minute vote. a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
the house will be in order. members, please vacate the well. for what purpose does the gentleman from north carolina rise? >> i ask unanimous consent that the committee on the judiciary be discharged from further consideration of h.r. 4967, and ask for its immediate consideration in the house. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 4967, a bill to prevent the termination of the temporary office of bankruptcy judges in certain judicial districts. the speaker pro tempore: is
there objection to the consideration of the bill? without objection, the bill is engrossed, read a third time, passed, and the motion to reconsider is laid upon the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia rise? mr. wolf: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on h.r. 5326, and that i may include tabular material on the same. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. for what purpose does the gentleman from utah rise? mr. chaffetz: mr. speaker, i have an amendment at the desk. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman will suspend. pursuant to house resolution 643 and rule 18, the chair declares the house in the committee of the whole house on the state of the union for the further consideration of h.r. 5326. will the gentlelady from michigan, mrs. miller, kindly resume the chair.
the chair: the house is in the committee of the whole house on the state of the union for further consideration of h.r. 5326, which the clerk will report by title. the clerk: a bill 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 chair: when the committee of the whole rose earlier the amendment offered by mr. southerland had been disposed off and the bill had been read through page 101 line 10. the gentleman from utah. mr. chaffetz: i have an amendment at the desk. the house is not in order. the chair: the gentleman is correct. the house is not in order. the house will be in order. the house will come to order.
the committee will be in order. the gentleman from utah. mr. chaffetz: thank you, madam chair. the amendment that we offer today -- the chair: the gentleman will suspend. the clerk will report the amendment. the clerk: amendment offered by mr. chaffetz of utah. at the end of the bill before the short title insert the following, section, none of the funds made available by this act may be used in contravention of paragraph 1, 2, or 3 of section 1001-a of title 18 united states code. the chair: the gentleman from utah for five minutes. mr. chaffetz: thank you, madam chair. one of the concerns we have is the investigation of fast and furious. we have to remember that unfortunately we all ask our border patrol agents op patrol serving this nation, he was killed with weapons that were distributed under a program called fast and furious. this is a sad case of government
gone amuck, making terrible, awful, deadly decisions. the administration knowingly and willingly allowing guns to walk from gun shops contrary to what u.s. law is, allowing nearly 2,000 weapons to be released out knowing these weapons would be given to the cartels. the drug cartels. knowing giving these guns to these very in various -- nefarious characters where we hope they would pop up and find out who is using these guns. there are tragic deaths and consequences to what happened. what should be totally unacceptable on both sides of the aisle is the idea and notion that the department of justice would knowingly and willfully lie to congress. senator grassley has presented the department of justice a letter directly to attorney general holder and attorney general holder -- madam chair, the house is not in order. the chair: the gentleman is correct. the house is not in order. the committee will be in order. members are advised to take
their conversation off the floor. members and staff are advised to take their conversation off the floor. and the committee will be in order. the gentleman from utah. mr. chaffetz: senator grassley directly gave to attorney general holder concern expressed in a letter that there were guns locking. it's a term, an expression saying we allow people to come in under straw purchasing, which is illegal, it's to buy guns for weapons for somebody else. despite what the a.t.f. and department of justice were doing, they allowed these purchases to happen in the gun shops and let out in the greater arizona area and allowed these guns to walk. the consequences have been absolutely tragic. we have a dead border patrol agent. the mexican government estimates 300 people died in mix con. very few of these guns have
been recovered. there will be crimes committed with these weapons in all likelihood for years to come. what is totally and wholly unacceptable, i think to this body and the integrity, despite republicans and democrats, that the department of justice would knowingly and willfully present a letter back to congress on february 4 that was so inaccurate, it was so wrong and essentially they lied to congress and it took months and months and months to get to the point where they finally to to re-send that letter, where they had to admit that this was a fundamentally flawed program at its very core. now, we've been seeking documents. we've been seeking information. we've issued subpoenas. we've been patient beyond belief. but we've mostly been stone wallwalled. that information has not been -- stonewalled. that information hat not been forthcoming. what that information says is they will not be able to use federal funds, taxpayer dollars to knowingly, willfully skirt the law and lie to congress.
now, on february 4, i want to remind members, february 4, 2011, the department of justice lied to congress about the tactics used in fast and furious by claiming federal authorities make, quote, every effort to interdict weapons that have been purchased and prevent their transfer to mexico, end quote. and they deny that they facilitated the illegal sale of guns to mexican drug cartels. the department of justice withdrew the february letter because it was filled with misleading, fictitous and false statements. the fast and furious was, quote, fundamentally flawed operations. what we're saying is you should not be able to use taxpayer funds to knowingly and willfully subvert congress. you can't lie to congress and use taxpayer dollars to do it. sure that can be bipartisan in its approach. all we ask is for the truth. in fact, there was more that a dozen, in fact, more than two dozen members of the democratic
party serving in congress who sent a letter to the white house expressing the idea and the notion that the administration should be open and fort right in providing this information to -- forth right in providing this information to congress. it has not been accurate. in fact, it was a lie. as we look to brian terry who served this country, we owe it to him and to his family to get to the truth of what happened in fast and furious. and no taxpayer dollars should ever be used to knowingly, willfully lie to congress. ws as a body, as an institution, deserve to get to the bottom of this. we have not had all these answers. and on march 25, march 25 of 2011, president obama stood before in an interview and told the world they would hold somebody responsible, that eric holder wasn't responsible for this and that they would hold somebody responsible and make sure it doesn't happen again. to date, madam chair woman,
that has not happened. in fact, some got a promotion and a bonus. we need to make sure it never, ever happens again. i ask members to support this amendment. we should do so in a bipartisan way and yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. fattah: i rise to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. fattah: there's nothing in the gentleman's amendment that i think anyone could disagree with. the amendment doesn't speak about attorney general holder. it doesn't speak about any particular matter that's been referenced in the comments on the floor. it just says that you can't use dollars as provided under this act to give misinformation to the congress. i think every member should support this. i think, however, i want to -- i think many members would
separate themselves from these accusations that are baseless. in fact, they've been investigated and there's no evidence that the attorney general provided any misinformation to the congress. in fact, he's testified seven times. he's provided thousands of documents, and what we do know is that this congress under republican control and a republican administration started endeavors to track illegal guns that were very similar to the operation that's been referred to and some of those guns fell into the wrong hands. but to attack federal law enforcement that's trying to catch bad guys who are operating sting operations, even when they go poorly, i think is just the wrong place for federal lawmakers to be. i'm in support of federal law enforcement and even if their policies and in this particular way were wrong and they've been corrected, once the attorney general knew about it, he stopped it.
everyone in the line of responsibility here have been removed. so when the gentleman suggests on the floor that no one has lost their job, that's entirely inaccurate. i do want to make this point. we should be in support of federal law enforcement. we should support them and to attack career a.t.f. agents who are risking their lives trying to catch bad guys along the border i think is the wrong way for us to proceed just because we want to go at this administration. now, if there's an election and there is a change in presidency, the other side will get a chance to name an attorney general. under our constitution, the toshe general serves at the pleasure of the president and the president made it clear that attorney general holder and i think in many people's minds, one of the best that ever served in this position,
and regardless of what you think about the political appointees in the department, to attack career a.t.f. agents for doing their job while they risk their lives on behalf of american citizens i think is the wrong thing to do. but i support the amendment. there's nothing in this amendment at all connected to these baseless allegations. none of which have been proved and i think it's wrong to come to the house, say they lied to the congress, when in fact there's nothing in the record that suggests that whatsoever. so with that i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from virginia. mr. wolf: i move to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. wolf: i rise in support of the amendment. i think accuracy and truthfulness is essential in any oversight process and the amendment requires the justice department and all federal agencies funded by this bill provide only forthright and
truthful representations to congress. with that i ask for an aye vote and yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from california. >> i move to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, madam chairwoman. i was not going to talk about fast and furious. mr. gowdy: i will not stand here while insinuationses are leveled. i worked for the donell d.o.j. for six years. i worked with a.t.f. for 16 years. i'll put the respect that i have for federal law enforcement and federal prosecutors up against anybody in this body. it may well be that the documents we haven't gotten clear all the senior d.o.j. officials. how will we possibly know that if he continues to withhold documents? so, madam chairwoman, let me ask this -- to the average
citizen who gets a grand jury subpoena or a subpoena for documents or to compel the presidents, what would happen if they ignored it? madam chairwoman, what happened if you got a jury summons and you decided you weren't going to show up? what would happen to the average citizen if they got a subpoena from the congressional committee and they just decided to ignore it? and their defense was, well, we gave you some documents. there are 70,000-something documents that the inspector general has. we have 1/12 of that. there are entire categories of documents that we do not have. we do not have a single email from the attorney general of the united states after february 14, 2011. i want you to ask yourself how many emails you have sent and received today. and the number is zero from february 4, 2011, until present
and congressman chaffetz is exactly right. there was a demonstrably false letter sent to a member of congress, and then the department of justice, that i actually value its reputation. we have to have a department of justice that people will respect, but the department of justice took the unpress kented -- unprecedented step of having to withdraw a letter sent to a member of congress because it was demonstrably false. on february 4, 2011, the department of justice on department of justice letterhead mails a demonstrably false letterhead denying a tactic called gun walking on the very same day the criminal chief of the department of justice of the united states of america is in mexico advocating for the tactic of gun walking. and somehow we can't ask the department of justice to tell
us who knew what when, and the gentleman on the other side of the aisle, madam chairwoman said everyone has been punished. madam chairwoman, no one has been punished. there hasn't been a demotion. there hasn't been a firing. there hasn't been a sanction. there hasn't been a frowny face on a performance evaluation. there's been nothing. so i want to say what i said yesterday, madam chairwoman. this is not just snore -- not just another appointment in someone's cabinet. this is not another appointee. this is the attorney general. this is the department of justice. if they cannot comply with a lawfully executed subpoena then there should be sanctions just like there would be for me or you. so i urge support for representative chaffetz's amendment.
the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. mr. gowdy: yes, madam. the chair: the gentleman from texas. >> move to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman from texas is recognized for five minutes. >> thank madam chairman. i rise in support of this amendment because i'm seeing what i consider to be an alarming trend in government right now. we have hairy in fast and furious, the department of justice failing to cooperate with multiple committees of this congress. mr. farenthold: right now as we speak there is an oversight meeting over the waste and abuse of dollars warehousing security equipment in dallas, texas. we are sitting here today while whistleblowers who are trying to do what's right for this government being retaliated against. families, like agent brian terry, who was a victim of the fast and furious scandal, agent
jamie zapata who was killed in mexico, and the families of many mexican citizens who were killed as a result of these gun running operations with these weapons. this is an alarming trend in government that we have to put a stop to. we do not need to be financing government agencies. our employees, the people's employees. we do not need to be paying them to stall, to lie, to mislead. it is absolutely unacceptable. in the private sector when an employee acts this way, we have a real quick solution. we quit paying them and we fire them. unfortunately, it's a little more complicated here in the government. especially when you get to a cabinet level official. yes, we have our remedies, we have cob tempt of congress, we have -- we have content of congress, we have criminal prosecution, and in the case of a cabinet level position like mr. holder it could get to impeachment depending on what we find out. the constitution provides the ultimate remedy there.
there is the lifeblood of the federal bureaucracy is money. we have got to cut off the money to the employees like eric holder who stonewalled at best and lie more likely. we need government officials who own up to their mistakes. you know, my colleague here, mr. gowdy, was talking about the fact there's not a single email after a certain date from mr. holder. i'd like to remind the chair and the american people that what gets you in this country nine times out of 10 is the cover-up. the american people are willing to live with the mistake, but they are not willing to live with a liar. and this amendment cuts off funding to the liars in our federal government. so i urge my colleagues to support this bill and i yield back the remainder of my time. >> madam chair, i rise to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. >> you know, i'm from arizona
and i am proud to rise in support of this amendment because no other state has suffered the consequences like we have in arizona and will continue to. mr. schweikert: let's look at the ramifications of what transpired here. we didn't allow guns to walk. we didn't know where they were. mr. gosar: and we still don't know where they are and yet arizona will suffer the consequences of those guns on our side of the border. and let's take a look at the other aspect. what about the mexican people? where is the outcry? where is the justice? here we had the hispanic people who have lost over 300 people to this -- to this impropriety and it was oversight by the federal government and the department of justice. this is outrageous. i am glad that what we are doing is defunding this aspect, to make sure we know what is right and wrong and hold people accountable for the coverup that occurs. but think about it.
have we ever seen something of this atrocity? we actually overstepped the oversight and sovereignty of the mexican government. what we need is we need answers. the american people need the answers, the folks from arizona need the answers and we want to make sure that those who are accountable are held perfectly to that standard like everybody else. yes, we have not seen the documentation. they've said we've seen the documentation and everybody's been held accountable. that's wrong, absolutely wrong. take it from somebody from arizona who's had to live under this department of justice. we want to make sure that we have accountability. and last but not least, what about the brian kerry familiar? when we look at the oversight of this egregious operation, did it have to take the life of a brave soldier? that's what it took to even come to this situation. it cannot be repeated. absolutely it cannot be
repeated. and i'm glad that my colleague has offered this amendment to make sure that we do not give funding for those in the department of justice and if they do, they're held to the letter of the law. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from south carolina. for what purpose does the gentleman rise? >> move to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. >> i yield time to the gentleman from utah. the chair: the gentleman from utah is recognized. >> i want to quote president obama in his first remarks as president of the united states. mr. chaffetz: he said, quote, transparency in the rule of law will be the touchstones of this presidency. i also hold myself as president to a new standard of openness. but the mere fact that you have the legal power to keep something secret does not mean you should always use it. the freedom of information act is perhaps the most powerful instrument we have in making our government honest and transparent. and holding it accountable. and i expect members of my administration, not simply to live up to the letter, but also the spirit of the law.
the government should not keep information confidential merely because public officials might be embarrassed by disclosure, because errors and failures might be revealed or because of speculative or abstract fears, end quote. this country should be embarrassed by what's happening in fast and furious. my challenge to members on both sides of the aisle is to stand up and have the integrity to say that we have a dead u.s. agent, we have a department of justice that lied to congress. where are the guts in this body to stand up and say, we're not going to put up with that? we're going to demand these documents be provided to the congress. we know because the inspector general within the department of justice has said they have 80,000 documents, they've given congress about 7,000 of those documents. this is the test of principle. this is the test of integrity. and when you can't stand up and take on your own party, that's a lack of guts. this congress has got to stand up for itself. and demand that these documents
be released. i would encourage members bond both -- on both sides of the aisle, at the very least, vote for this amendment. i can't imagine any reason why anybody would deny the passage of this amendment. we're not going to allow taxpayer dollars to be used to lie to congress. unfortunately we have been lied to. that's the reason why we have to do this amendment. it's embarrassing that you have to even get to this point. but, madam chair, brian terry's family expected the integrity of -- expected, the integrity of this body demands and we cannot rest until we get to the bottom of that. regardless whether it's republican or democrat. you can make the case that part of this started with president bush. we don't know what's in these documents. but the separation of powers, it's imperative that we get to the bottom of this and that we hold people accountable. not just the lowest level of people down at the a.t.f. they've been dismissed. they've been harassed. thank goodness for those whistleblowers who stood up and did the right thing. but the senior level, the senior
people in the department of justice, they have not been held accountable. president obama said in these remarks that he would. march 5, he went on univision and promised that they would. it has not happened. and if we get stonewalling on the other side of the aisle, without your support, we will do a disservice to this country, we will do a disservice to this body and we will not get to the truth. and i promise you, when that becomes a republican president, i will stand with you and demand the openness and transparency that this body deserves. i've done it, i've challenged my own party. have the guts, have the fortitude to do the right thing. i urge passage of this amendment. i appreciate chairman issa, representative gowdy, mr. gosar, mr. farne that -- farenthold, there's so many people in this body. i appreciate my colleagues from south carolina who are passionate about this issue. i encourage all members to vote in favor of this amendment and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields
back the balance of his time. >> i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the question is on the amendment from the gentleman from utah. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. mr. chaffetz: i ask for the yeas and nays. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from utah will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentleman from massachusetts rise? >> i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: clerk will report the -- report the amendment. the clerk: amendment offered by mr. teerny of massachusetts. at the end of the bill, before the short title, insert the following new section, section for department of justice, state and local law enforcement assistance for the john r. justice prosecutors and defenders program as authorized by the first section, 3001 of title 1 of the omnibus crime control and safe streets act of 1968, 42, u.s.c., 3797-cc-21.
relating to loan repayment for prosecutors and public defenders, there is hereby appropriated in the amount otherwise provided by this act for national aeronautics and space administration and science, for mar's next decade is hereby redutied by $10 million. the chair: the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized for five minutes. >> -- mr. tierney: thank you. this bipartisan amendment is offered with mr. gowdy of south carolina. it provides very clearly $10 million for the john r. justice student loan repayment program. it's unfortunate that we know many law school student graduates accept jobs as prosecutors and public defenders but they don't stay on the job very long because the compensation is at such a low level and their debt burden from college, from law school, is so high they end up leaving and going on to more lucrative pastures on that because the private firms obviously have more resources to recruit and retain than do public defenders
and district attorneys offices around the country. oftentimes the students tell me they'd like to stay in these offices, obviously the district attorneys repeat to us on a regular basis that they have such a difficult time training people and getting them to stay so they can do a good job. both public defenders and district attorneys, people on both sides of any particular case, understand the importance of how our judicial system works, that it's fair, that everybody had the level of representation that makes our system work and be respected around the world on that. this would allow the tool of loan forgiveness for those district attorneys on that and those public defenders so that they can get people to stay at least three years so, the training just doesn't get turn around and gone to waste, it allows people to stay on, use their experience and make the system work better. i believe that it's a good idea, it has worked in the past for federal agencies, the executive branch attorneys, has demonstrated great success in their recruitment and retention. and when this aspect was funded,
just a couple of years ago, 1,647 prosecutors and 1,226 public defenders across the country received assistance under the program's 2010 allocation and that in turn is a claim by all of the people involved as having made a tremendous difference in the ability to have their offices function at the high level necessary. now, this is a difficult time. if we're going to take this money and appropriate it in this fashion we unfortunately have to find those resources somewhere else. we have recommended an offset with a modest reduction to the mars next decade program. that mars next decade program will still get over $100 million more in the bill than it otherwise would have gotten. the house report notes a concern that there's a question about whether or not the mars next decade program is actually -- has actually accomplished one of the requirements of getting a sample and reporting it and so there's even language in the bill that puts off any expenditure of these moneys until such a report is made to
the national research council and they're allowed to move forward. the $150 million that is in the mars next decade budget is still a sizable amount more than what was in the president's request and still allows the program to move forward. i think it's a tradeoff that's fair and i think mr. gowdy agrees with me. that program will still march on, will still have $78 million more than the president requested but if we don't do anything, the john r. justice program will have nothing. district attorneys and public defenders, our court systems across the nation won't have the ability to have well-trained people being recruited and retained in making our system work. so that's the premise here and, madam chairwoman, we ask that our colleagues support this amendment and with that i reserve the balance of my time. i can't do that. i yield to my -- the chair: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from south carolina rise? >> move to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes.
>> thank you, madam chairwoman. my mother was a victims advocate in a prosecutors office when i was growing up and -- prosecutor's office when i was growing up and she would come home and lament the fact that defendants could pick any lawyer they wanted to defend them but the victims of crime were stuck with the district attorney. mr. gowdy: and her message to me, the lesson she was trying to impress on me, is that con victims have a right to a good attorney, too. you fast forward a couple of years, i went to law school, i became a district attorney, i tried to hire people to come help me do a good job for con victims. i was hiring primarily at that time young female prosecutors, cindy, jenny, susan, many of whom had up to $70,000 of student loan debt, could have and should have gone into
private practice and paid the loans back and made a lot of money. but something within them wanted to stand up for rape victims and criminal domestic violence victims and child sexual assault victims so they sacrificed the lure of private practice to come do public service. madam chairwoman, it is not without irony that the program that my friend from massachusetts speaks of is named after a man named john r. justice. who was a solicitor, a district attorney in south carolina, represented the poorest solicitor judicial circuit in the state. understaffed, overworked. he used to tell me that he was just sticking his fingers in the holes of the damned to try to -- dam to try to keep the water from coming through. but solicitor justice, god rest his soul, had a vision of trying to encourage people to want to do something as noble as be a
prosecutor in south carolina. so whereas i usually stand up and i talk about cutting this and cutting that, law and order, prosecution, respect for the rule of law are core functions of government. and as much money as we spend on other programs, surely to goodness we can find a little bit of money to help relieve the student loan obligations of women and men who are prosecuting while they're sitting across the table from criminal defense attorneys who make five and seven and 10 times their salary. surely we can do that and surely we can give the victims of crime as good a lawyer as the defendants of crime get and i would urge my colleagues to give very serious crucial to the john r. justice -- contribution to
the john r. justice -- consideration to this. the chair: for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia rise? the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. wolf: maybe when we go to conference, last year this had $4 million. so in a tight budget year, when the ryan budget comes and the other budget comes, we're actually increasing this from $4 million to $10 million. which i think would be every other program would ju just say, i don't quite -- would just say, i don't quite understand. the senate put in $4 million and -- and maybe, i don't know, we can talk as we go, move on, the committee took great pains and i was looking to see if mr. schiff was here or mr. culberson was here. this was part of a delicate compromise with regard to the mars program and the committee took pains to ensure that nasa science funding reflected the planetary science priorities and goals of the national academy of
science, including development of sample return mission to mars . and to take this out of that, when it was so difficult, i think would be a mistake. such mission would represent an unprecedented scientific undertaking, enable the next fundamental advance in mars science and ensure that america's undisputed leadership in mars exploration remains unchanged. this is the imaginary part of the space program, two weeks ago when the shuttle flew over washington, and this building, literally everyone went outside to look at it. this is one of the imagine in a tive and creative things for -- imaginative and creative things for america to be number one in space. so i will tell the gentleman, i would hope we would vote it down, particularly $4 million last year, senate $4 million, the senate has $781 million more money in allocation than we had and for us to jump this up, when
other programs have been severely hit. so i don't know how mr. fattah would feel. i hope we could vote this down, particularly since it takes it from mars. and i'd give the gentleman as we move ahead and see that we could do it but not take it from mars. with that i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. fattah: i rise to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. fattah: i join my colleague, the chairman. i appreciate the offering on the amendment. however, i'm opposed to the offset. we have a need to have loan forgiveness for public servants. both in terms of law enforcement and prosecutors, but teachers, police officers. you can go through a whole range. in fact, embodied in the reconciliation act that carried the affordable health care act, we created a loan fore givens for public servants that will
-- loan forgiveness for public servants that will start in 2014. i hope we will have an opportunity to work together on this because i do think if we have $4 million last year that we can continue to find additional resources as we go to conference. we have hamstrung by lower allocation which means some of the things that members may be interested in are going to have a low funding level as this bill leaves the house but a high funding level as it leaves conference. it's part of the process. i appreciate the amendment. i hope the gentleman will consider working with me and the chairman as we go forward if your desire is to actually find resources for this important endeavor. thank you. the chair: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from california rise? >> madam chair, i move to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman is
recognized for five minutes. mr. schiff: i rise in strong opposition to the amendment and urge my colleague to withdraw the amendment and work with us on this issue. as a former u.s. assistant district attorney, i have great respect and support for loan forgiveness programs of this nature. it's an absolute worthwhile cause. the mars program was devastated by the administration's budget. this is one of the crown jewels of plan tear science. in fact, the whole planetary budget was enormously -- well, it was disamated by the administration in its proposal and thankfully through the work of the chairman and the ranking member the planetary science budget has been restored and part of what has been taken out of the mars program has been restored. nonetheless, mars program was cut by hundreds of millions, and we have a long way to go to have a healthy mars program. as we speak, one of the most
difficult missions ever undertaken, the mars science lab is on its way to the martian surface. this will be path breaking in terms of its scientific return. this is an area where we are second to none in the world. no one else has the skills to enter the martian atmosphere, descend and land on mars. that is an incredible talent pool that can make that possible. and at a time when we have to go hat in hand to the russians to get a ride to the space station but we are still the unquestioned leader in planetary science with the mars program leading the way, we do not need to decimate the mars program any further. thanks to the work of chairman wolf and ranking member fattah, we are on the path to restoring this great program so that we can continue on a road that we're on where we're want liesingly close now to finding
the building blocks of life on another planet. and in is what is at stake. so while i sympathize with the desire of the gentleman from massachusetts to plus up the program that he supports, and i support it too, the offset would be devastating. devastating to the brilliant people that work in this area, devastating to all those around the country that love planetary science and will be watching breathlessly on august 5 as curiousity lands on the martian surface and sends back new information about one of our neighbors in the solar system. so i urge a no vote on the amendment. i urge us to continue to push the envelope of our understanding of the universe and we just simply cannot choose this as an offset, such a valuable national treasure as the mars program and with that i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from new jersey. >> i move to strike the
requisite number of words. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. >> and i yield to my friend from massachusetts. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. tierney: i think it's reprehensible, actually, that the majority has chosen to go with the ryan budget numbers over the agreement that was reached last august, and i think it's put the chairman and the ranking member and members of that committee in a terrible position. we can see it just by the juxtaposition by two programs here that i think people have merit on this aspect. so as much as taking $10 million from the amount of money that otherwise would have gone to the mars program would leave them $10 million less they would have had but $78 million more than otherwise was in there, doing nothing with respect to this motion would leave our justice program with zero dollars in the house budget. so i'm thinking we take a vote here. if we pass i hope the committee will work with the senate to bring the mars program back to where people want it to be. if it doesn't pass i'm hoping
people think there's merit to our district attorneys and our public defenders are having some money in their accounts so they can have good, qualified people moving our justice system forward and we'll take care of that in conference. one way or the other, we need to know that taking a program and putting to down to sdemrour at a time when our justice -- zero at a time when our justice system is crying out to have tools to work properly, as well as saying it's essential, maybe having a debate on this issue and talking about it will make sure we get the programs we need to get to the funding we need to do so we can move both of these things. either way this motion goes, i hope if we win in this case that we argue strongly to hold that number in the conference and have the mars program. should this motion not prevail, then i hope that our chairman and our ranking member and others will work out in conference to make sure that the justice program is not
reduced to zero. i heard people think it's a good program and that we move forward and we fund is to that the system can work the way it was intended to work. i'll yield to my colleague if he has any further remarks to make otherwise -- the chair: the gentleman from new jersey controls the time. >> i yield to the gentleman. the chair: the gentleman from south carolina is recognized. mr. gowdy: madam chairwoman, i say in times of prosperity we should be having conversations about the size and scope of government and of course you have to have it in times of austerity. i just view the criminal justice system, law enforcement, prosecutors as a core function of government. whether it's state government or federal government. and we won't incentivize good people to pursue student loans as well as go into private practice where they can make money. i've lived it. i've seen what it can do to our
office. i hope my colleagues will give favorable consideration to it. if not i take the chairman and ranking member at their word that they'll give a look at the appropriate time and with that i'd yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the question is on the -- the gentleman from new jersey. the gentleman from new jersey's time. mr. holt: i yield back my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back his time. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from massachusetts. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the noes have it. the amendment is not agreed to. mr. tierney: i request the yeas and nays. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from massachusetts shall be postponed. for what purpose does the gentleman from california rise? >> i move to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. >> madam chairman, i rise today to engage in a colloquy on nasa's commercial space crew program. the chairman has shown great leadership on space and science
issues and he and i have often worked together on many areas in which we totally agree. mr. rohrabacher: and he's a great friend, but this report, the report of this bill contains some very strong language about nasa's commercial crew program, and i admittedly have some concerns about that language. i believe it makes a flawed comparison between commercial crew program partners and the energy firm of solyndra. in addition, it requires an immediate downselect to a single program partner which i do not believe is the best path to move forward. that being said, i do understand and agree with many of the chairman's concerns that i know were underlined in this language. for example, nasa has not shared a clear, comprehensive management plan for the
program, despite repeated requests. instead, they have made inconsistent and confusing statements about the program's purpose, timeline, design, cost and procurement methods. although the committee has defined one possible management approach in response to these concerns, i hope that we will be able to discuss some alternative approaches that both address the management problems within nasa and allow the achievement of the agreed upon goals of the pral -- program. with that in mind i'm willing to work with nasa to help come up with a new plan that will do just that, and i would be pleased to work with the chairman on these issues in order to go forward. and at this time i yield to my good friend, the gentleman from virginia, chairman of the c.g.s. subcommittee. the chair: the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. wolf: i thank mr. rohrabacher for recognizing me. i want to thank mr. rohrabacher for yielding and raise the
number of concerns that people have about this program. i believe despite our differences and they really may not be that much of a difference, we share a common goal of having access to the space station in the most fastest and cost-effective manner. we want to get there for as fast as we can for as low as we can so we can utilize that space station that costs $100 million. i know the gentleman is a staunch supporter of commercial space flight. if the gentleman believes he can get nasa to come up with a clear and more reasonable plan, you know, we want to work with him. we look forward to discussing results as we move forward with the process. we will work together. i yield back. mr. rohrabacher: let me note that both of us are committed to make sure this country is never dependent on a chinese rocket system to launch either commercial or government satellites or to reach the
space station. thank you very much, mr. chairman. the chair: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from tennessee rise? mrs. blackburn: i have an amendment at the desk. the clerk: an amendment offered by mrs. blackburn of tennessee. at the end of the bill before the short title, insert the following -- section. none of the funds made available by this act may be used to defend against any action challenging, one, any provision of public law 111-148 or any provision of title 1 or subtitle b of title 2 of public law 111-152. or two, any amendment to a provision of law made by any provision described in paragraph 1. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized for five minutes. mrs. blackburn: thank you, madam chairman. this is a very straightforward amendment. what it says is that you cannot use taxpayer funds to defend obamacare, pi packa, the affordable care act -- pa packa, the affordable -- ppaca,
the affordable care act. if you look at the may 9 gallup poll this is what you find in that poll. 72% of all americans believe this law is unconstitutional. they want to see this law off the books. and that includes 56% of democrats, 94% of republicans that are polled. so, madam chairwoman, what we find is individuals saying we don't like this, we don't want it on the books. we hope the supreme court finds it unconstitutional. indeed, many of us feel that it will be found to be unconstitutional, and what we're doing is saying to the department of justice, you cannot use taxpayer funds to defend this law.
we know that is the right step to take because it is important that we defend and prevent d.o.j. activism. certainly you have heard members stand on this floor today and talk about the activism that exists in that department, so taxpayer funds should not be used to defend this law. now some of you may feel like you've heard this before and indeed you have. the republican study committee has brought this idea before previously as we have had continuing resolutions. we feel that it is appropriate, this is not a bill the american people have wanted, it is a law that is too expensive to afford, indeed, we have seen that as we've reviewed appropriations, as we're looking at health and human services, as we're looking at c.m.s. and what we're saying to d.o.j. is, you cannot use taxpayer money to defend this law.
we do not want our taxpayer funds to become a legal defense fund for obamacare. so, it is a very simple amendment, it is a total of eight lines long. i urge individuals to support the blackburn amendment and to prohibit d.o.j. from using taxpayer funds. with that i yield back. the chair: the gentlewoman yields back the balance of her time. the gentleman from california. >> i rise in opposition to the amendment and move to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. >> madam chair, i'm not sure that i understand the basis of the amendment that we should -- amendment, that we should defund the justice department from any effort to defend the law if the polling indicates that it is unpopular at the moment. the polling on the health care reform law has varied since its enactment. at times it has enjoyed majority support, at times it has enjoyed minority support. mr. schiff: almost entirely
throughout the period since its passage, if you ask people whether they support the components of the health care reform law, americans overwhelmingly say that they do. but nonetheless, is this really the basis that we want to make, whether we can defend the constitutionality of a law, that is what do the polls say? if so, then perhaps we ought to broaden the gentlewoman's amendment to say that whenever a law is unpopular in the country we should refuse to allow the justice department to support its constitutionality. in fact, many of the laws that we pass here are not always popular. sometimes they're the right thing to do and sometimes they're the hard thing to do. i would imagine that some of the decisions that we make on the debt ceiling and other things, if we put them to a poll, would be very unpopular but noms necessary. -- are unnecessary.
we have a justice department that studies the constitutionality of laws to determine in their best judgment whether something is consistent with the constitution and i don't think we want to be in the business of telling the justice department not to defend a law because of what a particular poll might say and with that i urge a no vote on the amendment and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from iowa. >> thank you. i move to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. king: thank you, madam chair. in listening to the presentation by the gentlelady from tennessee and rebuttal by the gentleman from california, i'd make the point that it isn't only the supreme court that makes a decision on constitutionality. we all take an oath to uphold the constitution here in this congress and the executive branch and also in the federal court system. and when you go through the process of constitutional determination, we do allow the supreme court as a public and a
people to make that decision. we do so under marbury and it's something over a couple of centuries old. but in the final analysis of the balance of powers, in the end it's the people that decide what's constitutional, not the supreme court. and i say that because we have the authority here in this congress to control funding. as the gentlelady from tennessee has in her amendment that comes out, and there's a reason for that. we have many debates on constitutionality here in this congress, on this floor. it's our obligation to do that, it's our constitutional obligation to do so. and this discussion about obamacare and its unconstitutionality has gone well beyond the chambers here. many of us raised these issues two years and a month or so ago about the unconstitutionality of obamacare. we now see at least 26 states have brought suit. it is before the supreme court to be decided. tens of billions of good money has already been thrown after a bad policy and an unconstitutional policy and now we're on the cusp of getting a
word from the supreme court. but whether or not the supreme court finds obamacare unconstitutional, i believe they will, at least under the individual mandate -- mandate, and i think they will throw it all out, but in either case this congress will continue to weigh in on constitutionality, on viability, on affordability and on the policy itself. and the things that we do as the majority of this house of representatives are entirely within the pro vince of the constitution, to cut -- province of the constitution, to cut off all funding. this amendment cuts off the funding to enforce obamacare. there's much of that that's unfolding today. this is a strong message to send and i'm not suggesting we send it to the court. i want the court to have an independent decision on the language and -- in obamacare itself. but this is a message to the american people, that this congress also has a voice. we have a voice on constitutionality, we have a voice on policy, we have a voice on affordability.
and it's unaffordable, it's unconstitutional and it's bad policy, it's an unconstitutional takings of american liberty. this amendment at least suspends good money going after bad policy. i strongly endorse the gentlelady from tennessee's amendment and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from california. >> strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. >> i'd like to yield my time to my colleague. the chair: the gentleman from california is recognized, mr. schiff. mr. schiff: i thank the gentleman for yielding and i'll be very brief. i just want to say that i concur with my colleague's points to a point. as my colleague acknowledges, we take an oath to defend the constitution. the administration, executive branch, also takeses an oath to defend the constitution -- takes an oath to defend the constitution. effectively what this amendment would do is say, we are going to defund the justice department's ability to undertake and fulfill
its oath to defend the constitution. if the justice department disagrees with some members of congress about what their oath to the constitution requires, we are going to defund their ability to follow through. i don't think that's really where we want to be. because plainly the justice department feels the law is constitutional, they believe it's their obligation to uphold the constitution and to say that we're going to defund their ability to follow through on that, i don't think that is a good policy and on that basis as well i would urge a no vote. it's not my time to yield. >> i'd yield. mr. king: i thank the gentleman for yielding. i make a brief point that executive branch has made a decision not to defend doma which is the law of the land. so that's a discretion that apparently we would concede to the executive branch of government, not to defend doma. but not accepting an think the sis of it which is -- antithesis
of it which is the blackburn amendment. >> i appreciate that. that's absolutely correct. mr. schiff: if the justice department determines in its view, just as you and i must, that something is constitutional and must be defended or something is unconstitutional and cannot be defended, then we have to follow through with those obligations. but i don't think it's our position to defund the justice department when in the good faith execution of its oath to uphold the constitution it is defending a law that this congress has passed. and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from california yield back his time? >> the worst form of democracy is to take away the ability for it to work. thanks bad amendment and i hope we oppose it. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from new york. >> i move to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. >> i just walked in on the middle of this amendment but it's very similar to an amendment we took up last night. and it's equally wrongheaded. aside from the fact that it's
almost irrelevant. this amendment as i read it says that none of the funds may be used to defend challenges to the affordable care act by the justice department. aside from the fact that none of the funs are going to be used because the argument's already been heard by the supreme court, it's past tens, -- tense, the court is going to disease one way or another, this eem -- decide one way or another, this seems a little late. but putting that aside, therefore they're not going to spend any more money doing that, the court will decide if it's constitutional or not constitutional. mr. nadler: the argument already occurred, the money's already been spent. but putting that aside, what this says in effect is congress passed a law, any law that congress passes has a presumption of constitutionality. and this says that the justice department shall not defend the constitutionality of a law duly passed by congress because a
subsequent congress doesn't agree. if the subsequent congress doesn't agree with what the previous congress does, we should repeal the law. and then there'd be nothing to defend. but if you don't have the votes to repeal the law, and on the merits i would oppose repealing the law, obviously, but if you don't have the votes to repeal the law, don't say that the justice department shouldn't defend the constitutionality of the law passed by congress if that law is challenged in court. now, in marbury vs. madison, the courts said, it is distinctly the job of the judiciary to decide what the law is. it's our job in congress to decide to pass the law, it's executive's duty to faithfully execute the law, it's the judiciary's duty to say what the law is and whether it's constitutional because they have to defend the constitution and if we pass a law, they have to decide whether it meets the
constitution or not. it's the executive's duty to execute the law. and part of executing the law is defending the constitution as the executive sees it. so the up to the justice department to argue in court, to defend the constitutionality of a law if it thinks it is constitutional, and to oppose the constitutionality of the law if it thinks it's unconstitutional. now, here you're saying they shouldn't -- the justice department shouldn't argue and we shouldn't give it funds to argue to defend the constitutionality of the law. we're going to have another amendment in a little while by mr. huelskamp that says the justice department may not use any funds to oppose the constitutionality of a different law, the defense of marriage act, passed 15 years ago. it is up to the justice department and the executive to decide in their opinion what is their duty in terms of their duty to faithfully execute the law. that's their constitutional mandate. and if it's their duty to argue
for the constitutionality of the law, they must. to argue against it, they must do that, too. we can and in fact the house has , in the doma case, i don't support this, i don't agree with it, but we're within our rights to hire outside counsel to argue against the justice department on the constitutionality of that law. and we have the right to do that. but to use the power of the purse, to attempt to use the power of the purse to deny the executive branch its ability to do its job, which is to defend the constitution as it sees it, by arguing for or against the constitutionality of a bill in the court is wrong. it's a violation of the separation of powers and it's an abrogation of their responsibility. and it's also -- it also hurts the function of the court to decide on constitutionality, because the court is owed and needs the opinion of the executive and for that matter
the opinion of congress if it differs. so this amendment, regardless of the merits of the bill which i supported and voted for, which i think is a good bill, regardless of the merits of doma which i oppose and think is unconstitutional, but the argument in both cases is the same. we shouldn't be telling and certainly not using the power of the purse to say that the justice department may not argue for this position because we don't agree with it or for that position because we don't agree with it. if we don't agree with it, change the law. that's our job. the jupt department -- the justice department should argue its opinion of constitutionality and the court must decide in the end. that's our system. we shouldn't tamper with it. thank you, i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from pennsylvania. >> i rise to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. >> i just wanted to enlighten the house on one small matter. mr. fattah: we've had a number of votes on repealing the affordable care act and the like. there's no possibility that the president's going to sign this bill if this amendment was in there. and -- so we're spending a lot
of time. but the election will come in november, there will be an opportunity for the country to sort some of these issues out but as for this appropriations bill, what we're trying to do is fund needed law enforcement activities and relation -- in relationship to the justice department which principle duty is to protect our country since post-9/11 in terms of terrorism. i was out at the terrorist screening center, i met with the f.b.i. director and other officials from the department. it's important that we pass this appropriations bill on time and that -- and i thank the house leadership for scheduling it. this amendment is not going to be a part of this law no matter the result of the vote here today. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentlewoman from california. >> thank you, i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: we have the gentlelady from tennessee's amendment pending.
the question is on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from tennessee. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the amendment is agreed to. >> i ask -- mrs. blackburn: i ask for a recorded vote. the chair: further proceedings and the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from tennessee will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from california rise? >> thank you, again, madam chair. ms. lee: i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will -- would the gentleman please send your amendment to the desk? the chair: the clerk will
report the amendment. the clerk: an amendment offered by ms. lee of california. insert the following -- section, the amount made available for this act for department of justice, oriented policing services programs and the amount specified under such heading for grants section 1701 of title 1 of the omnibus crime control and safe streets act of 1968, 42, u.s.c., 3796-dd. for the hiring and rehiring of additional career law enforcement officers under part q of such title, it is hereby increased by and the total of amounts made available by this act that are not required to be made available by a provision of law are hereby reduced by $177,087,000. the chair: the gentlewoman from california is recognized. does the gentleman from virginia seek recognition? mr. wolf: i reserve a point of order on the gentlelady's amendment. the chair: the point of order
is reserved. the gentlelady from california is recognized for five minutes. ms. lee: i intend to withdraw this amendment at the end of my presentation. the chair: the gentlewoman is recognized for five minutes. ms. lee: i want to first thank ranking member fatah for his tremendous -- fattah for his tremendous leadership on this subcommittee and talk about what this amendment would have done which of course would have increased funding for the community oriented policing services, better known as cops, to the funding level and the president's fiscal 2013 budget which is $257 million. but i want to thank congressman fattah for his leadership, because we have talked and hopefully as this bill moves forward we can look at what we can do in conference to get closer to this level. the cops funding level was $217
million, 76%, actually, below the president's request. so while we were able to restore some of that critically needed funding with the amendment that was passed last night, it is totally, mind you, totally insufficient. it's insufficient because of the highly -- the fact that the highly successful cops hiring program is vital to increasing the number of community police officers on our streets. not only will we have fewer officers protecting our citizens now but these cuts will result in officers with less training who are less prepared to address the violent crimes threatening our community. and we simply can't afford to let that happen. we cannot afford to let that happen. oakland, my hometown, like so many communities across this country, they're already struggling to contain violent crimes. and cops has really been a lifeline for public safety. it has worked. as a member of the appropriations committee, i
know that we are facing a challenging fiscal situation which the -- with the current allocations under the republican budget. but slashing the cops hiring program even as state and local budgets struggle to make ends meet is a perfect example of the -- of being penny-wise and pound foolish. the cops program is active in every one of our districts. democratic and republican district. madam chair, let me say by supporting our law enforcement should not be a partisan issue. our cops deserve better. so i look forward once again to working with our ranking member fattah and others to increase funding to the cops program as this bill moves to conference. we need to increase it, at least to $257 million, which is what my amendment would have done. so thank you, again, to our ranking member and the members of the appropriations committee and the staff for their hard
work in bringing this bill to the floor. the chair: the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. fattah: i rise to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five words -- five minutes. mr. fattah: since president clinton initiated the cops program, there's been a tendency for it to be partisan -- for these partisan fights around it. the truth of the matter is there is nothing partisan about cops in your community. all the communities throughout our country, no matter their voting patterns or prediction of voting patterns, rely on police officers for their safety. the congress, this congress under the republican president and republicans in the house and senate have spent billions on policing in iraq. we have just seen president obama make commitments in afghanistan for security services and reaching well into the next decade. here in america we should be at least willing to support police on our streets.
i want to assure the the gentlelady -- assure the gentlelady from oakland, i visited her communities. i know that the chairman of the subcommittee wants to see more cops on the beat, but we have a tif allocation. we are hopeful and i think with some degree of certainty that we will be able to increase the resources put into this area. this is not partisan. this is a program that works. every single year the crime rate has went down since it's been implemented in cities where this has been implemented. so i thank the gentlelady for her offering of the amendment and for her willingness to withdraw it. i thank the chairman for reserving rather than acting on his point of order. thank you and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time.
does the gentlewoman from california seek to withdraw her amendment? ms. lee: yes, madam chair, yes, i intend to withdraw. the chair: is there objection? with no objection, so ordered. the amendment is withdrawn. for what purpose does the delegate from guam rise? ms. bordallo: i thank you. i rise to strike the last word. the chair: the gentlewoman is recognized for five minutes. ms. bordallo: thank you, madam chairman. coral reefs are some of the most important ecosystems in the united states, providing environmental and economic benefits to our communities. coral reefs provide almost $2 billion in local income and over 70,000 jobs for neighboring communities. coral reefs provide ecosystem
services valued at over $8 billion. these vital natural resources, however, are facing a multitude of threats. the impacts of which are little understood. noaa works in partnership with external partners across the united states to provide the opportunity for scientists from academic institutions to work in collaboration with noaa and other partners to address a wide variety of threats. now, these partnerships allow for better understanding of local impacts, leading to local management decisions that account for unique social, economic and cultural priorities. i do appreciate the committee's support for $24 million in funding for coral reef programs in noaa, and i ask that you'll work with the senate to maintain funding for noaa's important coral reef programs, including coral research. i yield to the gentleman from virginia as much time as the
gentleman may consume for the purpose of continuing this colloquy. the chair: the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. wolf: i thank the gentlelady from guam for raising this important matter. we will work with the senate to ensure that funding for these important programs, including coral research arc tifts is sufficiently maintained. -- activities is sufficiently maintained. ms. bordallo: reclaiming my time. again, i thank the gentleman for deciding that he'll work with the senate to make sure that funding for these important programs will be sufficiently maintained, and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlewoman yields back. who seeks recognition? for what purpose does the gentleman from south carolina rise? >> madam chairman, i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will -- the gentleman has two amendments, can you specify it? which amendment are you --
>> number 301. the chair: number 301. the clerk will designate the amendment. the chair: amendment number 8 printed in the congressional record offered by mr. duncan of south carolina. the chair: the gentleman from south carolina is recognized for five minutes. mr. duncan: thank you, madam chairman. you know the right to a secret ballot shall be sacred in america and i stand in unison with my friends from south dakota, utah and arizona in defunding the n.l.r.'s ability to sue states over the right to a secret ballot. for decades we have seen a sharp decline in private sector labor unions while government employee labor unions have used the political process to expand. in order to curb the recent -- the taxpayer funded voice for labor, the national labor relations board have enacted over the time union-friendly policies simply because right
to work states like south carolina allow employees to decide for themselves whether or not they wish to join labor unions. the nlrb's latest attempt involves suing two states, arizona and south dakota. and intimidating several other states because they protect the secret ballot prosest in union labor elections. 80% of south karolinaans voted 80% to -- carolinaians voted 80%. these are the protections that nlrb bureaucrats are attacking today. this is not only an attack on our states' rights but also on the secret ballot election process that allows workers to vote their conscience without fear of union retaliation. my amendment does not eliminate the nlrb or strip away all of their funding. even though they probably deserve exactly that after two years of abusing businesses, including boeing in my home
state. rather, my amendment simply protects the states whose citizens have spoken on this issue by stopping the nlrb lawsuit against those states. i urge my colleagues to stand up for workers' rights, stand up for the rights of voters in our states who have spoken and stand up for the rights of our states themselves. support this amendment and with that i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back his time. the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. fattah: i rise to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. fattah: i'm opposed to the idea that in a country of law as we want to deny the opportunity for issues to be raised in a court of law. that's how we settle matters in our nation, and i think it sets the example for the rest of the world. so this consistent attempt that we see here now whether on the affordable care act or on other issues, to deny funds for the department of justice for -- on
behalf of the executive branch to bring issues before a court of law, i think flies in the face of the american idea. i oppose the amendment, and i release the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from south carolina. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the amendment is agreed to. mr. duncan: i ask for a roll call vote, madam speaker. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from south carolina will be postponed. the question -- for what purpose does the gentleman from arizona rise? >> i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will report the amendment. the clerk: an amendment offered by mr. quayle of arizona. at the end of the bill before the short title insert the following -- section 542.
none of the funds made available by this act may be used to implement, administer or enforce the equal employment opportunity commission enforcement guidance number 915.002 concerning consideration of arrests and conviction records in employment decisions. the chair: the gentleman from arizona is recognized for five minutes. mr. quayle: thank you, madam chair. madam chairman, i'm offering this amendment with my good friends and colleagues, mr. scalise, mr. stearns and mr. woodall and who would block the new enforcement guidance that limits employers' ability to look at criminal records in their hiring decisions by prohibiting the use of funds by implementation of this guidance. now, madam chair, it seems like every day, whether it be an agencies or a commission, they come out with some new rule or guidance that really puts burdens on our small businesses and companies that are actually trying to expand and hire new workers. now, this guidance is particularly troubling because it sets up a lose-lose
situation for our small businesses in my home state of arizona and across the country. you see, these businesses are going to have two choices. one, they can either not actually go through with a criminal background check which would open them up for a claim of negligent hiring if a worker actually goes and commits a crime on the premiseses or they're going to open themselves up for litigation from the federal government, from the d.o.j., because they believe their objective use of actual the criminal background check is going to actually have an impact. now, i don't think that's the choice that our businesses should be given. they have to have a different choice, a choice that allows them to expand, allows them to hire more workers and allows them to put forth the proper procedures so they know they're hiring people that are not going to be -- have criminal
activity. now, the reason this one thing came to my attention is i spoke to a constituent of mine who owns a hotel in my district. and he says, look, i have to have criminal background checks for my employees because some of them are going into rooms of the guests to clean, to check on things. and they have valuables there. now, if i don't do a criminal background check and they actually go in and steal something and they did have a burglary wrap against them or a robbery rap, these are the things that they would get sued for for neglect hiring. so this amendment makes sure that no funds will be used to implement this new guidance. and it is especially important to do because the eeoc has recently been very, veryly tinls and there have been two recent federal court cases that actually smacked down some of the eeoc's claims for a frivolous lawsuit and gave back millions of dollars to these
companies who were charged by the eeoc. so this is why this amendment is important. this is actually going to get rid of some of the burdens and some of the uncertainties that are placed upon our businesses and i think this is a time to do it. we don't need to put any more burdens on companies that want to expand and hire because if you're going to put this into place and enforce it, you're actually going to just lead to people not hiring because you're going to set them up for failure. so i urge my colleagues to support this amendment and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania rise? mr. fattah: i rise to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. fattah: as best as i'm able to determine, this is a bipartisan vote of the equal opportunity employment commission. just saying that there should be reasonableness in the process of looking at this question.
we have a lot of young people who get themselves involved in circumstances young, at early points in their lives, but we do want them to be gainful, employed, productive citizens in our various states. but nonetheless this is a matter that has been litigated in various courts and to some degree i think it's helped to bring a more commonsense approach to this process. but here again, to deny funds for the lawyers of the federal government to be able to hammer these mat -- handle these matters in a court of law, i don't believe that's the appropriate way to go. so i stand in opposition to this amendment and i stand for the notion that we should be trying to re-engage people in productive lives, in employment, reunite them with their families and build stronger communities and i think that's the purpose of much of the work that we're doing related to re-entry. so i thank you and i yield back.
the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from colorado, for what purpose do you rise? >> strike the last word. the chair: you're recognized for five minutes. >> i would like to yield my teef -- my time to the gentleman from arizona. mr. quayle: i thank the gentleman for yielding. do i agree with the gentleman from pennsylvania, that we need to have -- we need make sure that we are allowing people to get good jobs and that's the biggest problem that i have with this guidance. is that when you're setting up other companies, where they have a lose-lose proposition of whether they're going to either have the possibility of litigation from the federal government or the possibility of litigation because they have a negligent hiring, you're setting up a situation where they just won't hire. they won't hire anybody. because they're not going to want to put themselves in that situation. and the other thing that we've been seeing is that this got a
lot of concern from the appropriations committee in the senate as well. saying that we have to look and make sure that there are knows these unintended consequences where we're going to be putting up businesses to fail and that we're actually putting on these burdens that are not going to let companies expand, they're not going to let companies hire and these are the sorts of things that continue to put this uncertainty in our -- in the private sector and it seems day in and day out the federal government does this. whether it's an agency or commission. and that's why i think this is a very important amendment and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from colorado yields back? >> thank you, i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from arizona. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it app the amendment
is agreed to. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? >> i rise to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. >> ma'am dare chair, i rise today -- madam chair, i rise today to engage in a colloquy with the chairman of the commerce, justice, science committee, regarding nasa's protection systems and atmospheric re-action materials testing facilities. in 2011 nasa maded decision to close the testing facilities at the johnson space center. mr. olson: in order to consolidate testing in a single nasa location. however, serious concerns were raised at high levels in nasa and industry about the detrimental affects this consolidation will have --
effects this consolidation will have on nasa's testing capability, its ability to contain unique assets and its ability to develop nasa's system, including the owe ryan, and commercial vehicles which all require certification of their thermal protection systems. madam chair, nasa said that the proposed consolidation will reduce costs while maintaining safety and mission assurance. however, i believe that nasa has unduly fast tracked this decision and overlooked safety concerns, cost issues and program testing needs. i've asked nasa to suspend its work on closing testing, pending a thorough review of those concerns. such as investigations by the nasaa inspector general and the united states safety advisory panel. host: that this review will
ensure that -- i hope that this review will ensure that nasa doesn't make a shortsighted and regretful decision. i thank chairman wolf for the opportunity to raise these concerns today and my colleague from texas, mr. green. mr. green: i thank my colleague for yielding me time. i thank him for his tireless dedication to maintaining our nation's manned space flight capabilities. for many years we worked together. i represent part of houston and we're proud of the johnson space center. the work that is accomplish there had, the advances our nation in space, the mission control training and testing. one such testing facility ensures that the material on the outside of the vehicles re-entering our atmosphere can with stand the heat that is created. it's a critical capability if we ever want to send humans in space again. the joint johnson space center facility is being closed by nasa. i believe the decision's premature. we've received documentation indicating the experts within
nasa from their own office of safety and mission assurance believe that the closure would negatively impact the safety and diminish national in-house testing capabilityless. confronted with tough questions on this, nasa has decided to move on with their plans. they're unwilling to delay it and further study it. chairman wolf, i'm asking for your help as we're crobted with the nasa that's pushing ahead, despite our inquiries, and despite their own internal disagreements. thost not just a local issue. i'm afraid that the closure of johnson space center would undermine our nation's space program and i appreciate any assistance you could provide us. mr. wolf: if the gentleman would yield. mr. olson: reclaiming my time. i now yield to mr. wolf. mr. wolf: thank you. i want to thank both of you for your commitment to safety and mission success at nasa. this is an issue that they have been active on for a while now and they have raised a number of
significant questions and we will be happy to work with both of your office to ensure that these questions are answered and that a decision making on nasa's facility promotes safe and effective management. and so we'll work with both of you to do that. i yield back. mr. olson: thank you. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from new jersey rise? >> thank you. i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will report the amendment. the clerk: amendment offered by mr. garrett of new jersey, at the end of the bill, before the short title, insert the following, section, none of the funds made available by this act may be used by the department of justice to be a party to a single or mull ty state court settlement for -- mull ty state court settlement -- multistate court settlement.
the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. garrett: i thank the chair. earlier this year the obama administration and the state attorney general entered into a so-called multistate mortgage settlement process, in a final settlement with some of the nation's largest servicers. what the administration stated is that the settlement would require the servicers to use their own money to help people, to help pay out overextended hoir homebuyers, basically. unfortunately this settlement went a lot further than that. in that settlement people who were purely investors in mortgage-backed securities were also negatively affected by it as well. you might say literally taking money from them or stealing money from them through this process. you see, these private ininvestors, they did absolutely nothing wrong whatsoever. but now they also are on the hook of having to pay upwards to billions of dollars to again bail out some people who made some bad decisions and wrong investments.
now, i do very much sympathize with people, individuals, homebuyers, who were hard-hit by the recession and i understand what the intention of this settlement process was. but there's no reason whatsoever why private investors who fund our mortgage market in this country should have their private contracts broken and their money basically taken from them. see, they in this process were deliberately left out entirely of the administration's negotiations on the mortgage settlement. they did not have a seat at the table when the decision was made as to who would foot the bill. basically, private contracts in the process were broken, people, investors didn't have a chance to stop it, they didn't have a say. now, who are these invests that are i'm talking about here? they're state retirement systems, they're 401-k plans, their public pension plans, they're private pension plans, they're insurance company
annuities. what i'm talking about is basic everyday people that comprise the majority of american retirees across this country. so in addition to the d.o.j. taking this action and this practice without the investors being present, this is another example of private contract rights having been broken and fifth amendment due process rights having been broken as well. now, this is all in the past. what we're doing here is going forward, but past action, if it is able to be continued, would put a hesitancy, if you will, would encourage investors to step back from the mortgage market and say, you know, there's really a new political risk here, if i'm going to invest in mortgages anymore. if i'm going to buy a mortgage or bond or what have you. and they will step back from doing so. and that will hurt everyone. that will hurt you and i, that will hurt your neighbors who want to get a mortgage in the future because there will not be
investers who want tolet lend the money and that -- to lend the money and that will drive up borrowing and the cost of buying a home and that is something we don't want to do here. so having the government basically taking money out of pension funds, taking money from retirees is not something that we should allow to occur, to go forward, and that basically is what our amendment tries to do. prohibit the d.o.j. from keeping these people from being at the table on any further settlement negotiations like this. with that i would yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. fattah: i rise to strike the last word. the chair: you're recognized for five minutes. mr. fattah: i think the house would be useful to understand that dozens and dozens, in fact the majority, bipartisan attorney generals across the country filed litigation against mortgage investors who had in their view improperly led to
millions of foreclosures throughout the country. as we saw the housing market collapse. this was joined in by the obama administration, a settlement emerged. that settlement this week led to, for instance, for 200,000 homeowners to have their principals reduced this week. but this is actions that have taken place all across the country, over multiple steps, and millions of families will benefit. the gentleman's amendment says that the people who invested in the mortgages -- mortgage-backed securities, these are the entities that then hire the servicers, the servicers who were found to have violated the law by improperly conducting their affairs, so they settled with democrats and republicans -- democrat and republican attorney generals across the country in a $25 million-plus -- billion-plus settlement, that is trying to right a wrong.
this amendment says, well, somehow you can't hold the people who are the investors liable for their agent, the servicers. the agents who artificially signed people's names through documents and on and on and on, i won't recount the activities, because i think they're noun known well, but more importantly they really harm the entire housing market in our nation. the attempt here to separate out those who are seeking a fortune off the misfortune of others, from those who acted on their behalf, is wrongheaded. i think the amendment should be voted down. this, unlike many others, is not a partisan matter. this is something that was done by a republican attorney general across, in our state, and democratic attorneys general. and the joining in of it by the department of justice and the obama administration was icing
on the take. but i think the point here is that this is an activity of our state governments and there's no reason why we should be using the process here on an appropriations bill to interfere in it and i'm not at all certain that this would not have impact because there are still other issues that are being proceeded in terms of banks in this regard, this was just the largest banks in the country. i think this amendment could have impact and could harm the efforts of homeowners in our states to seek redress. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the question is on the amendment -- for what purpose does the gentleman from arizona rise? >> madam chair, i'd like to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. >> with that, i yield to my chairman from new jersey. the chair: i --
>> i appreciate the yield and i'll just be very brief. i appreciate the efforts, we're not questioning that at all. mr. garrett it's: interesting the analogy you make about the servicers being agents of investors. but remember who the investors are, the pensions in your district, the retire yeses in your district who went through a mutual fund or other fund bought an investment, a bond or what have you, that was in mortgage-backed securities. now, yes, a third party if you will, a third party, the servicers, made some bad decisions in this but the way this works is, the way it works is, the state attorneys and the d.o.j. went after who? basically the four or five
largest banks, about 20% of the industry, figuring they would be the best target to go after. fine. narrow down who you're going to go after. now give in it their discretion which mortgages they're going to write down. which ones am i going to help out through bailing out the home buyers. yes, a large percentage of those are on their own book bus some of them are not on their own books. some of them are servicers for other investors out there. so which ones do you think the banks will look at first as far as taking a haircut from? something that's in their own portfolio? something that is going to be negative to them? or something that's out there, extraneous, out to maybe one of your own pension funds out there i would gather that most likely they'll go outside of their own business financial decision and go outside and say, let's look at some of these other investors instead. that's what we're trying to
protect. at the end of the day, it's a very simple thick. if this were to go forward, really, all you want to make sure is that those people, innocent and otherwise, to be able to have a seat at the table and make sure that their rights and interests are protected as well. with that, i yield back to the gentleman. >> i yield back to you. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from new jersey. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the amendment is agreed to. >> madam speaker, i request a recorded vote. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from new jersey will be postponed. for what purpose does the
gentleman from arizona rise? >> madam chairman, i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will read the amendment. the clerk will report the amendment. the clerk: amendment offered by mr. schweikert of arizona, at the end of the bill, before the short title, insert the following, none of the funds made visible in this act may be used by the department of justice against any state for a state law requiring voter identification. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. schweikert: madam chairwoman, i think all of us in the body are noticing a theme on many of the limitation
amendments. being someone who comes from arizona, there's a reason we've been actually applauding many of these amendments. we feel as a state, and now i'm realize manage other states have the same issue, we feel we're at-battle with our own justice department. how many times has arizona now been sued by this justice department? so this became one of those occasions where we understand texas and other states are now being sued by the justice department because of voter i.d. laws. all right. i'm tired of this. i think the american people are tired of there being this battle between the federal government suing our states and costing the residents, the citizens of our states these litigation costs. so how do you stand up and create limitations? this became our opportunity to tell the justice department, saying, uh-uh, go after bad
guys, stop suing our states. if there's a bad act in requiring an i.d. to vote in a state, fine, you still have private rights of action. but in this case, i had a staffer in the back telling me the story, i hope i don't screw this up too much, but apparently a couple of weeks ago, there was a young man who walked into a polling place and was able to get general holder's, our attorney general's, ballot by just saying i'm eric holder, i'm here to vote. does anyone understand how absurdly ironic this is? when considering you can't go in and visit the attorney general in his office without a photo i.d. so i can't go visit him at his office but i can walk in and get his pal lot? look, if you believe in the sanctity of the voting box, if you want the american people to believe in your election and be willing to accept when there's changes of power, which happens
all the time, you've got to also have that faith, the faith that those elections were clean and proper, but also that those who were supposed to vote were the ones who were allowed to vote. and that's, madam chairman, that's why i stand here and offer this amendment. with that, i yield back my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from iowa. >> i move to strike the last word. thank you, madam chair. i rise in support of the schweikert amendment. as i listened to his presentation, it takes me back to the year 2000 when i asked the fee -- watched the fees as a coe take place in florida and the recount that took police there. mr. king: at the time i was chair of the iowa state senate government committee, it was our job to make -- it was my job to make sure iowa wasn't a florida in a recount like that. i went through 37 days when almost every waking minute i was looking into voter and
election fraud. it really brought my attention to it, to the point where every day i carry an acorn in my pocket to remind me that free, fair, legitimate elections are what we need to have, it's the bedrock for this constitutional republic. the constitution is the foundation but legitimate elections and the perception of legitimate elections are what that rests upon. we've watched and there's more and more election fraud, promoted by acorn that brought this to the public's eye, this is something i've been on now into my 12th year. as i look at -- and as i brought legislation in the state forward to legitimize the elections that were in question, i asked that we have -- we made sure our voter registration lists were free of duplicates, deceased and felons and require a photo i.d. the gentleman has put together a list of what you need a photo i.d. for.
since he yielded back the balance of his time, i'll pick some things off his sheet, madam chair that is this, you can't get a package from a post office, general delivery box, without showing a picture i.d. in the cities. i can in my hometown. you can't purchase a handgun, tobacco or liquor without a picture i.d. i can't get a beer in chicago without a picture i.t. or open a bank account or get on a passenger plane or get a ticket to amtrak or rent a car or return merchandise for a refund or sell scrap metal in a junkyard or purchase police uniforms in california, i've never tried that one, can't be treated in many doctors' offices or be admitted to the a hospital unless it's an emergency without a picture i.d., get a bank loan, a cell phone, teaching license or enter a major university, enroll as a student or a library card in many libraries or enter military forts, check into major hotel chain, rent a
truck from u-haul or as the gentleman from arizona said, you can't visit eric holder. without a picture i.d. pretty astonishing. this morning, in hearing before the judiciary committee, the director of the f.b.i., director mueller, i asked him the question, if he had heard of the incident of the early 20's young caucasian male that walked into the polling place in virginia and asked for attorney general eric holder's ballot? and he just gave the name and identified the idreas and they tried to hand him the ballot, he said, i need to go get my ballot, they said, you don't need an i.d., here's the ballot. it didn't ooccur to that worker that this 20-something caucasian male wasn't a
60-something-year-old black male whose face everyone should have seen by name. the director of the f.b.i. said under oath he hadn't heard of this case that twice was brought before the judiciary committee and the video was run, it's a matter of record in the judiciary committee, within the last month, madam chair. there's things that you can't do, there's things that you can't do and you can't get a beer in chicago without a picture i.d., you can't vote in hugo chavez's venezuela without a picture i.d. it's about time the united states of america we allowed the states to clean up our election laws and kept the department of justice out of the business of interfering with the justice delivered by the states of the united states of america. i yield back me balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania rise? >> i move to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. fattah: let me say a couple of things. our country managed to limp along for a few hundred years,
we're the leading nation in the world, the wealthiest nation in the world, the number one superpower, i don't know how we got here with all these imperfections in our voting system but we will try to go forward. this notion that voter i.d.'s, for instance in the state of texas, you have a concealed weapons permit by the state, that's good, you can vote with it. if you have a state i.d. from the state university, that's not good. in our state of pennsylvania, we've got 30 different types of i.d.'s that you can and can't use. the republican governors and legislatures through the our country this year have all come to the same conclusion. it's like a consensus that all of a sudden, what america really needs is picture i.d.'s for people to go vote. i would suspect that when this is over with, after people vote for the president, there's going to be some regret. i think that in many areas of our country, where the people
who cast votes on behalf of the g.o.p., that they're going -- that there are going to be senior citizens like, let me give you an example, my own mother, 80 years old, never driven a car, she's not traveled outside the country, she has no active passport or anything. she doesn't have a picture i.d., doesn't need one. we'll make sure she has one, and i believe that when we get to the final analysis here that there will be more interference in voting in places that don't have the same level of access to what the states have required you to do, and i think that would be unfortunate. it's not the way for the leading democracy in the world to operate. those who have promoted these laws and stand in support of them, i believe this will be a point in their career that they'll look back on and wonder
how it is they got on such -- the wrong side of history. i'm opposed to this amendment, which is another limiting amendment, limiting access to the courts for lawyers on behalf of our government, trying to -- trying to protect citizens' right to vote in states where governors have decided now you need a picture to go present yourself to cast a ballot. thank you and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yield back. . the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. >> i'm proud of my colleague from arizona for bringing up this amendment and i'm tired of the department of justice dictating to the states. about it's time that we embellished in the support of states to help us with this. i want to remind our colleagues, if it's good enough for us, here's my card in order to vote, it should be good enough for the rest of the united states. what we do in congress we should do for the rest of the country and this is where it starts.
you know, there are so many things that we can talk about. but it's about time that we stop suing states and i think this is a great amendment. rewarding good behavior instead of rewarding bad behavior. and give our department of justice some outlines on what good behavior is because i think they've lost their way and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from arizona. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the amendment agreed to. mr. fattah: madam chair, on that i request a recorded vote. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from arizona will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? mr. poe: i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will read the amendment.
will the gentleman specify which amendment you,? you have two at the dess d.c. amendment? you have two at the desk. mr. poe: one by myself, mr. gowdy, mr. king, mr. scalise and mr. landry. the chair: thank you. the clerk will report. the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 14 printed in the congressional record offered by mr. poe of texas. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. poe: madam speaker, my colleagues and i, congressman goudy, congressman king, congressman scalise and congressman landryry, have produced an amendment to prohibit funds from going to the census bureau to enforce a criminal penalty thathes imposed on people who choose not to
complete the american community survey. the american community survey is not the same as the annual or every 10-year census that isry required by the u.s. constitution. the census of course is conducted every 10 years to count the population and includes basically 10 questions. the american community survey is a different survey handled by the census bureau that has 48 questions that's sent to 250,000 people every month or three million americans a year. the questions that it ask have nothing to do with national security but it asks specific and in my opinion intrusive questions to determine federal funding for certain areas, plus businesses use these answers to the question to make business decisions on locating or not locating in certain parts of the united states. i don't argue the benefit of the overall purpose of the american community survey, my concern is
that it's intrusive and does the federal government really have the right to ask certain questions? there are 48, i'm not going to go through all of them, however i'd like unanimous consent to put into the record the american community survey. the chair: the request will be put into the record. mr. poe: three questions i'd like to mention, however. one of them is, does your home have a flush toilet? or do you or any member of your household have a second mortgage or home equity loan? the third question i wanted to mention was, the person filling out the form is asked this question, because of a physical, mental or emotional condition, does a person in the residence have serious difficulty concentrating, remembering or making decisions? now, does the federal government really need this information? should the federal government really obtain this information? this intrusive information from
citizens? if americans want to complete the american community survey, fill it out, give it to the census bureau, fine. but they shouldn't be required to do so with the threat of a fine. i've heard from many people not only in texas but all over the country that they are concerned when people come from the census bureau or subcontractors to have them fill out this questionaire. they start, these people from the census bureau are contracted by them, they start with phone calls, first there's one a week, and then many times there's one every day. in one particular case i had an individual who is a single mother with a young child, said the census bureau worker started coming to her house, sitting out in the front of her house waiting for her to come in. and then when she's in the residence, the worker is peeking through the window to see if she's in there. knocking on the door to have her come to the door to answer the
american community survey. now, does that really need to take place in the united states to just get a 48-question survey filled out? i don't think so. the means to get this information does not justify the result. and if people don't want to complete the survey, they shouldn't be required under our law by penalty of a fine to do so. i hope that we do in this country as the canadians have done. they've made this type of information voluntary. they still obtain the information from people who want to voluntarily give the information, as smart as the census bureau is about collecting information, they can certainly do this without having to go door to door, 250,000 people every quarter or every month to do this. figure out new innovative ways to obtain this information voluntarily. maybe talk to some of the polling agency that have specific information about all kinds of polls in the united states.
to obtain the information with the result to be for businesses to use and for federal funding to be going into those areas. this amendment simply says there will be no penalty for people who refuse to fill out the survey and with that i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania rise? mr. fattah: i rise to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. fattah: my colleague, the gentleman from texas was here -- i was here with him in 2005. in fact, we had a president from texas. this survey was done then. it was done in the same identical way. in fact, this would be the first time that we would act in a way contrary to our constitutional responsibilities. it's important to note that this is a authorized activity of the census bureau, not just the -- directly related to our constitutional responsibilities
but also title 13 of the u.s. code and it has been judged in numerous courts to be appropriate. it is important for congress and for our government to be able to act in ways, in terms of public policy, that we have information. i'm trying to figure out what's different now than 2005. in fact, the development of this survey and these questions happened even prior to this administration. so i'm trying to figure out exactly why we're here today and what it is that we're trying to accomplish and why we want to create suspicion about the fact that we need to have information about the population. like the question about, you know, toilets that flush or things like that. we do this with the william challenge grant which was set up under the bush administration in looking at developing countries and looking at some of the challenges toward the population and wouldn't we want to know about the state of our own
communities? i wonder why we're here, i do know one thing, i'm going to vote against this. i a-- i'm sure the gentleman has some reason why this was ok before and now it's not ok. and the house will work its will on it. but i oppose it. i'd be glad to yield, yes. mr. poe: to answer your questions specifically, i am not arguing the point that this information is not valuable for businesses and for the federal government for funding in certain areas. my issue and the concern that has arisen since i have been in congress is that people feel that they should not be forced to participate in the american community survey. this is not the census. this is a different complete document. sure, authorized by congress, but maybe congress needs to back up and say, people should be allowed to opt out and not be required to fill out the survey. and let the census bureau -- mr. fattah: reclaiming my time. maybe congress will and you've offered us an opportunity to do so.
and you point out that canada, i guess you're recommending their system, the way they do things, but for our purposes, the country seems to have run pretty well by getting the census data, having a capability of understanding what the rural needs maybe, what the transportation needs maybe, understanding what the conditions in american families so that we can set appropriate public policy. if you think we can do that better being in the dark in terms of this data, the census bill says even though they enforce the fine, they know absent a requirement they will get less data back. so i would yield back the balance of my time. i know the gentleman is attempting to help our country. i'm just not clear exactly how this does it. thank you. the chair: the gentleman yields backment for what purpose does the gentleman from iowa rise? mr. king: i move to strike the last word. the chair: recognized for five
minutes. mr. king: thank you, madam chair. i rise in support of the poe amendment and i thank the gentleman from for texas for bringing it -- the gentleman from texas for bringing it. just to clarify some of the history. this is the questionnaire that apparently has replaced the need for what was the census long form. for years -- the census of course is directed by the constitution every 10 years and that's why we're going through redistricting now and all of the primaries that take place across the country. but since 1940, from 1940 fll the year 2000 we also had the long form that was part of the census questions. some people got the long form, some got the short form. this questionnaire came along and replaced the long form so the perception was that it actually was a census question, the replacement for the long form, but it really is not. of course the american community survey. and i agree with the gentleman from texas. if a government is going to be so intrusive that they're going to issue a 24-page packet of questions that's got 48
questions in it, some of them very, very intrusive. just names, age, gender, race, income, physical, emotional health, that must have been the one where you have to answer the question on whether you're having trouble concentrating or making decisions, your family status, details of your residence, that might be the one about whether you have a flush toilet or not, and intimate personal habits, i'm having trouble concentrating on whether actually i have one. but i'm thinking that when one gets one of these in the mail and you're looking at some place between -- i know it's not been enforced but they don't know that when he this get the questionnaires. somewhere between a $100 fine and the $5,000 fine from the information i have, that's pretty draconian just to get information from an american people that volunteer on a daily basis by the tens of millions and contribute billions of dollars in charity, we can find enough americans to fill out this survey and give the
government the information that they need. yes, i'd yield. mr. fattah: there's some 309 million americans and some 200,000 will be getting this form, right? mr. king: 250,000 is the number i have. mr. fattah: so it's an opportunity for a sampling. and as politicians we know what sampling is all about. it is to take from a smaller group of people information that you can then extrapolate and make broader judgments about, right? so if you're only asking less than 1% of 1%, the notion that this is some intrusive governmental activity i think -- ring ring -- mr. king: reclaiming my time, i would make the point, madam chair, i'd make the point that if it's less than 1% of the population, it certainly is it's far less than 1% of the population, we can find that many volunteers that will fill this out, voluntarily. send to me, i'll fill it out voluntarily. but when you tell me you're going to come in and fine me for
it, that's too intrucive and these questions are personal enough that people should be able to say, i don't want to share that information with my federal government. i want that to go into a database that might possibly get transferred across into other people's information. i think it's important to have the information, but it's important that people have freedom and liberty and we do not have an intrusive federal government that would impose a fine on people if they didn't let the information come out about whether they had a flush toilet and whether they could concentrate on whether they had it and whether they used it. that seems to be part of the census. we can at least reduce some of these questions down here. mr. fattah: will the gentleman yield? mr. king: i'd yield. mr. fattah: obviously it will be a different population if one was asked to volunteer versus one slectsed through a random sample. i yield back your time. mr. king: i reclaim and i recognize that. but i think that we get better information from volunteers than we do people that are coerced. they may well not fill out this survey accurately if they think they're doing so under penalty of law. thank you, madam chair, and i yield back the balance of my time.
the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from south carolina rise? >> move to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. gowdy: if the government wants to ask you if off flush toilet, they can ask that, but should they be able to fine you for not answering? and it is of very little comfort to us that the government has seen fit to not enforce that fine. to threaten somebody with the administration of a fine and never carry through on it sounds eerily similar, to me, madam chairwoman, to blackmail. what's the purpose of putting it on there if you're never going to enforce it? and if you can do it to 250,000 this time, what's to keep you from doing tite 0 -- to 500,000 next time. the purpose of the census is to
apportion the several congressional districts. so what do you need to know to do that? how many people of voting age are in a household, you need to know race so you can comport with constitutional provisions, you may very well need to know the gender of the people in the home so you can comport with constitutional provisions but you don't need to know anything beyond that. what i find ironic -- we had a subcommittee on this -- subcommittee hearing on this, madam chairwoman, what i find ironic and i never got an answer, is this. you don't have to vote. government can't do a single, solitary thing to you if you don't vote. they can't fine you, they can't put you in jail, but somehow or another they can, you fail to fill out the dumont that apportions the congressional districts so you can vote. that is tortured logic.
i would say this, in conclusion, madam chairwoman, you want to ask about anything other than how many people live here, race, and sex, it's none of the government's business. and that's just the way it is. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from texas. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the amendment is agreed to. mr. gowdy: madam chairwoman -- the chair: does the gentleman from south carolina seek recognition? mr. gowdy: no, ma'am, i apologize.
the chair: does anyone seek recognition? the gentleman from florida. for what purpose does he rise? >> thank you, madam chair, i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will read the amendment. the clerk: amendment offered by mr. webster of florida. at the end of the bill before the short title insert the following, section, none of the funds made available in this act may be used to conduct a survey conducted by the secretary of commerce commonly referred to as the american community survey. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. webster: thank you, madam chair. the amendment offered here by
myself and mr. lankford is simple. it prohibits taxpayer funds from being used to conduct the intrusive, unconstitutional american community survey. in addition to the constitutionally mandated census, the census bureau conducts a numb of other surveys, one is the american community survey, which costs $2.4 billion to administer. some of the questions, which have already been gone over, the american community survey contains have been routinely criticized as invasions of privatecism as a citizen who has normal expectations of what is private and what is not private, i share that criticism. for example, the survey asks respondents to detail their emotional condition, it wants to know what time they left for work and how long it took them to get home. it wants to know if they have difficulty dressing or need to go shopping or have difficulty,
as has been said before, concentrating or remembering or making decisions. failure to comply with this survey and turn over this personal information is punishable by up to a $5,000 fine. given the substance abusive nature of some of these questions, which are mandatory for americans to answer under penalty of law, it would seem that these questions hardly fit the scope of what was intended or required by the constitution. what does the constitution require? article 1, section 2, calls for enumeration every 10 years. the actual enumeration shall be made within three years after the first meeting of congress of the united states and within 10 subsequent -- and with subsequent term of 10 years. as you can see, there's no point -- at no point does the constitution require me to tell the census bureau whether i have difficulty concentrating or whether or not i can climb stairs. given the nation's current
fiscal situation, it is entirely appropriate to eliminate the survey as a taxpayer funded activity of the u.s. government. the american taxpayers agree. i sponsored the majority leader's youcut program this past week and eliminating the american community survey was overwhelmingly the winner when the citizens were polled what federal spending they would cut. we need to ask ourselves whether this survey is worth $2.4 billion. we'll continue -- will continueation of this survey bankrupt the nation itself? not hardly but as has been said before, the old saying is a billion here a billion there and all of a sudden we're talking about a lot of money. why would we even pass a cybersecurity bill when we are using 5,979 government agents to collect sensitive
information from our citizens at taxpayer expense. this is an inpreept use of taxpayer dollars and the very picture of what is wrong with d.c. i have here the questionnaire, at least it would be the questionnaire if daniel webster and sandra and david and brent and jordan and elizabeth and john and victoria were all questioned. this is the size of that questionnaire. this is what we would have to fill out. this is what would be punishable by law if we did not fill it out. what would you think about some of these others you read about in the newspaper, the dug garr family that have 20 children, what would they do? it would be three or four time this is size and it would be required by law to fill it out. this survey is inappropriate for taxpayer dollars. it's a definition of the breach of personal privacy and the picture of what's wrong in washington, d.c. it's unconstitutional. i urge my colleagues to vote
yes on the webster-lankword -- lankford amendment and prohibit funds from being used to conduct this american community survey. i yield back my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the secret from oklahoma rise? pennsylvania, i'm sorry. excuse me sir. >> i rise to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. fattah: first we had an amendment we can't have a feign that's every enforced now an amendment that says you can't do the survey at all. we've been doing surveys in the long form since 1790 as a nation. it's critically important. let me give you a for instance. the gentleman who just spoke mitigating circumstance good friend from florida, who served as speaker and leader in the -- in both the house and senate there respectively, we're spending $200 billion a year on alzheimer's alone. there are various forms of
dementia, as our population has aged, pennsylvania being the second state in the country in terms of aging population, it's important for us to know if, unlike what was stated, the survey doesn't ask you, if you are forgetting things, but whether there are people in your home that might be suffering. it's prnt from a health perspective because it will guide our efforts, i'm leading an effort to brain research now to try to help us think through how we can develop more appropriate efforts to head off this challenge but the idea we don't want to ask 250,000 citizens to plan better for the 300 million, the idea that filling out a piece of painer is too much to be asked for for your country to help create a better union, i think citizens would welcome, in fact, the reason why you don't have to find anyone, people do fill out
the form. we know something with a certainty, the idea that we're going to lead the great -- leave the greatest country in the world with less information about the condition of communities and of our families and that we're going to do that appropriately defies logic. it's intellectually dishonest. now we have done this survey for a very long time as a country. i suspect we'll continue to do it. but for whatever reason we're here today debating this, i welcome the debate and at least from -- for myself and my caucus, we stand in opposition. >> would the gentleman yield? mr. fattah: i'd be glad to yield. mr. dicks: as i understand it, the american communities survey is authorized by law and has been upheld by the courts. the a.c.s. is authorized under title 13 u.s. code, the census act, on numerous occasion the courts have judged that the constitution gives congress the authority to collect data on
targetistics of the population in the census. as early as 1870, the supreme court characterized as unquestionable the power of congress to require both an enumeration and the collection of data in the census. is that your understanding? mr. fattah: that's my understanding. reclaiming my time, any members who are going to run in a competitive race without doing any polling, i assume they'll be voting for this for those who want information, i think that in order to make good decisions, the government needs this information. i yield back the balance of my type. the chair: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from oklahoma rise? mr. lankford: i move to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. lankford: here's this wonderful thing that would occur, you'd get a pact in the mail, begin reading through the pack and and say, is this real?
or is this someone trying to scam my information? then you call some office to find it's really true this is not the long form that came to your mailbox, this is the american community survey. what just landed in your mailbox, you refuse to answer it, someone will call you and call on you and call you. this is not the long form of the census that's gathering basic information. this is incredibly personal information. if we can ask these questions as a federal government, it begs the issue of what questions can we not ask of someone from the federal government? because the federal government does not have the authority to walk into every house in america and ask any question they want to ask about any private activity. while it's been upheld we can do the long form, this is distinctly different than the long form and this is new. this is something that just transitioned in the last couple of yearsism get all kinds of calls in my office say, what is
this? and why are you asking for this? three quick things on it. i think this is incredibly inappropriate because it asks way too much personal information on it. second of all, i think it's incredibly inefficient. this form, this form costs the federal government $67 per person. that fills it out. now, i can assure you, i've heard a lot of people talking about polling data and about doing surveys. i don't know of anyone in politics, anyone in america that pays $67 per survey that is filled out other than the federal government. $67. i will yield as soon as i finish up i'd be glad to have a colloquy about it. this is incredibly inefficient in the way we're gathering it. there are cheaper ways to gather, much of this information is already publicly available anyway. it just doesn't connect toyota an individual person. the third thing, it's incredibly invasive. let