tv Public Affairs CSPAN June 26, 2013 1:00pm-5:01pm EDT
because as admiral mullen said, there can be no national security without energy security. let me repeat that. there can be no national security without energy security. let's open up these offshore areas that we have, re-- that we have resources under and let's produce american energy here at home, putting americans to work to provide for our energy needs. i specifically rise to talk about h.r. 1613 which implements the obama administration's own agreement, an agreement signed in cabo by secretary clinton and foreign minister espinoza from mexico say, there are resources under that shared boundary in the gulf of mexico, the boundary shared by the united states and the country of mexico. resources that can be explored and produced to meet our energy needs here at home working with our southern neighbor, mexico, to share those resources and share the revenues and let's do it the right way, let's do it
with american safety standards, american environmental standards that currently apply to american energy companies producing in the gulf of mexico. let's require mexican companies to comply with those standards and share those revenues. this is the right thing. h.r. 1613 will implement that agreement, but it'll do something else, it will remove uncertainty and provide for american competitiveness when you're competing with foreign countries such as mexico, this is the right thing for america. put americans to work, meet our energy needs and meet our national security needs. that's why house republicans have focused on an all of the above, all american energy strategy and these bills are part of that and with that, mr. chairman, i yield back. . the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. hastings: i'm very pleased to yield two minutes to the distinguished gentlewoman from california, my frnd, mrs. capps -- friend, miscaps. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california is
recognized for two minutes. mrs. capps: i thank my colleague for yielding. i rise in strong opposition to this rule and to the underlying bill. the so-called offshore energy and jobs act is nothing more than another old idea that will not become law. we voted on a form of this legislation every year since the majority has been in control of this house, yet the same thing happens every time. it goes absolutely nowhere. so instead of working on new, more sustainable energy ideas, we find ourselves here yet again wasting our time in another misguided, destructive, and unnecessary drilling bill. i'm particularly dismayed that the bill yet again expands drilling in the areas where voters have unequivocally said they don't want it. the 1969 devastating oil spill in santa barbara, california, galvanized our state against any more offshore drilling. that's why california permanently banned new oil and gas leasing in the state waters
they controlled in 1994. this majority, here, which gives lip service to respecting states' rights, has chosen yet again to override the will of voters in my district and my state by mandating immediate oil and gas lease sales off the coast of santa barbara and ventura county despite our well-known, long-standing, bipartisan opposition. later this week i'll be offering an amendment to strike these provisions. i appreciate the rules committee making my amendment in order, but expansion of drilling only scratches the surface of what's wrong with this drill. simply put it's a solution without a problem. drilling both onshore and offshore has been expanding rapidly in recent years, showing no signs of slowing down. last year domestic oil production was higher than it was at the end of the bush administration. and oil production in the united states increased more last year than any point since the inception of the oil industry in 1859. the obama administration has
offered and continues to offer millions of acres of public lands offshore for oil and gas exploration and production. yet despite this expansion, nearly 85% of the -- mr. hastings: i yield the gentlelady an additional 30 seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california is recognized for 30 seconds. mrs. capps: yet despite this expansion of the obama administration, nearly 85% of the offshore acreage already under lease by the oil industry is not producing. instead of giving bad ideas and expanding drilling in areas where voters don't want it, we should be working together on a responsible, clean energy policy for the 21st century. this bill is just more of the same dirty energy policy of the past. i urge my colleagues to reject this rule and reject the underlying bill. i appreciate the extension of time. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from florida reserves. the gentleman from utah. mr. bishop: reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from utah reserves. the gentleman from florida. mr. hastings: thank you very
much, mr. speaker. i'm very pleased to yield 2 1/2 minutes to the distinguished gentleman from oregon, my good friend, mr. defazio. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from oregon is recognized for two minutes. mr. defazio: i thank the gentleman for yielding. i'll have a lot to say about the deficiencies of these two bills over the next two days. but today the republicans are purr propertying two things, lower gas prices and reduce the deficit. they would have us believe this bill would do that. they are saying high gas prices are due to the fact there is not enough offshore oil drilling. nothing could be further from the truth. there's actually a glut of oil in the gulf region. it's all waiting in storage because, oh, the refineries are doing routine maintenance. why? because it's the height of the driving season for the american people, therefore they can gouge the consumers by pretending this is a time we can clean the refinery. it doesn't have anything to do
with oil supplies. it has to do with a lack of refining capacity, artificially manipulated and speculation on wall street. secondly, they say they are addressing the deficit. this is going to provide additional revenues in the future. well, in fact, they are so concerned about the deficit they would not allow an amendment i attempted to offer supported by a number of west coast members, three governors of the western united states, that would have protected the west coast from the mandatory drilling in this drill. they said that might preclude future revenue from future leases that might be let by a future president. and they said we might not get a billion dollars 30 years in the future because of your amendment. however, there is an amendment by the gentleman from louisiana, representative cassidy, who will mandate a diversion of $500 million a year of revenues flowing to the treasury to the gulf states for the next 30
years. yes, we are going to forgo or give up, $15 billion of revenues to the treasury, creating $15 billion more debt and deficit for the american people, but they waive the rules. that doesn't count. this all kind of reminds me a little bit of george orwell the way the republicans cynically manipulate the rules out here. as he said all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others. republican amendments that create debt and deficit are exempt from the rules. and democratic amendments to protect the west coast which does not want this mandatory oil drilling because it might forgo some potential possible future revenues are not made in order. this is not real. this is not an honest process. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida reserves. the gentleman from utah is recognized. mr. bishop: thank you. it's wonderful to realize how the g.a.o. and o.m.b. are not
inaccurate and also how rules that were waived for this rule have been waived for the same reason in prior pieces of legislation. with that i continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from florida. mr. hastings: thank you very much, mr. speaker. if we defeat the previous question i will offer an amendment to this rule that will allow the house to hold a vote on the student loan relief act. if congress doesn't act by july 1, undergraduate students in this nation, all over this nation will see a hike in their student loan interest rates. to discuss our proposal i yield two minutes to my friend, the gentleman from california, mr. miller. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized for two minutes. mr. miller: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. miller: mr. speaker, members of the house, i thank the remarks of the gentleman from florida that we would have an opportunity to vote on the student loan bill to make sure
that we don't do what millions of american students and their families have asked us not to do, and that is they don't want us to double their debt. but unless in the 100 -- in less than 100 hours if we don't get the vote mr. hastings is talking about, in less than 100 hours millions of american college students will see their debt increase because of republican obstructionism. this shouldn't be partisan. it's about doing the right thing on behalf of students and their families across the country. it's a simple choice. we can help students achieve an education, one they can afford and the skills they need to be successful, or we can put more hurdles and increase the authority as they graduate from college. after more than a year of ignoring this issue, a year ago we were in this position and a year ago we voted to keep the student loan rate at 3 3/4 percent and nothing has been
done until recently. then the republicans came up with an idea that was really bad . it was worse than doubling the interest rates on july 1. it was more expensive to the students than doubling the interest rates. it's not a smart solution. it's a terrible solution. it's terrible for students. it's terrible for their families. after a year of ignoring this issue, the republicans foisted this harmful idea on to the house floor. and when the republican bill hit the floor, they refused to allow a vote on a rational plan like the courtney bill that stops this doubling of the interest rates and allows this congress to examine and develop a long-term solution as part of the higher education re-authorization act. but despite trumpeting their plan, the same as president obama's, with the democrats offered president obama's actual plan, they blocked that vote, too. so they won't keep the interest rates from doubling. they won't do a plan they said is just like theirs. and on july 1 --
mr. hastings: additional one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized for an additional minute. mr. miller: on july 1 those interest rates will double on millions of students as they start this school year in august and september. the time for obstruction has passed. it's time to keep the rates low and work on a long-term solution. it's time to stop asking college students and their families to bear an unfair burden of paying down the bush deficits. the republicans have chosen -- the democrats have chosen to stand with the students and families trying to access the american dream. we can do this. millions of families and students have asked us, don't double their debt. yet on july 1 because of the republican obstructionism, that's what's going to happen to these students. it's very unfortunate. it adds an additional $1 is,000 to the four years of college. we should not do that at this time in this economy to these students and families. i thank the gentleman for yielding. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from florida reserves. the gentleman from utah. mr. bishop: it let me reserve
myself a minute here if i could. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for a minute. mr. bishop: i appreciate what has been said even though it has very little to do with the bill that we'll be discussing the next couple weeks. especially as a former teacher i understand significantly what it does to student loans and situations. i understand significantly how three years ago -- it's five years ago now, congress passed legislation that cut the program which helped kids being able to afford their college workable and consolidated our efforts with a program, idea from the 1980's, that was a bad idea now and a bad idea now. unfortunately this house has dealt with this issue. on may 23 of this year we passed a bill that solves this problem and sends it over to the senate. for some reason i feel i'm comfort -- uncomfortable or tired of being held accountable for the senate's inability to actually deal with legislation sent to them that solves
problems and then have to take the responsibility back here. the house has dealt with this issue and we did it in a responsible, reasonable way. the senate has refused to. so often what we found as gridlock here is not necessary between republicans and democrats. we passed a whole lot of bipartisan bills on this floor. between the senate and the house. i wish it were different. we could compel the senate to act responsibly, but the senate has not and the house has. with that i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from florida. mr. hastings: thank you very much, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i'm very pleased to yield 1 1/2 minutes to the distinguished gentleman from iowa, my friend, mr. loebsack. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from iowa is recognized for a minute and a half. mr. loebsack: i do appreciate the gentleman yielding to me. i rise today actually to speak about an issue i think we should be addressing today and at this very moment. with student loan interest rates to rise in only five short days, the time to act is now.
it's unacceptable that we have not yet brought up a bill for a vote that can be passed by both chambers and signed into law. with tuition rising rapidly and far too many families and students struggling to make ends meet, middle class families are finding it more and more difficult to pay for college. when i'm home each weekend in iowa, i hear from countless students and parents who cannot understand why we can't seem to get this done. this should not be a partisan issue. we need to address student loan debt in the interest of our economy. we must prepare students for the kind of good-paying middle class jobs that will drive our economy forward. and we must do so in a way that does not saddle them with a lifetime of debt that prevents them from fully participating in the economy. i could not have gone to college and would not be here where i am today without low-interest student loans and other financial assistance programs that were available to me. it's critical that we get this
done now and now in all capital letters. i'm willing to stay here and work until we get this done. we cannot allow the house to recess and leave our students in the dust to face this rate hike. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from iowa yield back. the gentleman from florida reserves. the gentleman from utah reserves. the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. hastings: mr. speaker, i'm very pleased to yield two minutes to the distinguished gentleman from connecticut, friend of mine, mr. courtney. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for four minutes. mr. courtney: we are four days and counting until by law the interest rate for the subsidized student loan will double from 3.4% to 6.8%. it should be three legislative day, that's how long the house and senate are in session.
and yet we are debating issues which hardly have the same time sensitivity and are tone deaf to what american families are concerned about. 7357b9 million college students use the subsidized stafford loan program. student loan debt is 1.1 trillion, higher than credit card debt, higher than car loan debt, incredibly this deadline is being completely ignored by the majority despite the fact that millions of students are making life decisions as we speak right now as they begin to enroll for next fall's semester. the bill which the house majority passed on may 23, is a bill which tied rates on a variable basis to treasury note which is by the way have been going up like crazy over the last three weeks and which the congressional budget office has analyzed and told us will result in debt costs that will be worse than if congress did
nothing and allowed the rates to double to 6.8% they have solution is obvious. extend the lower rate. my bill, h.r. 1595, the subject of the previous question, has 195 cigna tores for discharge petition, the -- signators for discharge petition. a large number of people in the house are poised to move. it got 51 votes in the senate and the president said he will sign it. if there's any path forward for those 7.5 million student it's h.r. 1595. let's do it, let's act, let's turn this countdown clock off and let's help america's young students afford and pay for a critical need for their future, higher education. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from florida reserves. the gentleman from utah -- mr. bishop: reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida.
mr. hastings: i tell the gentleman from utah i have no further speakers and ask if he has fourth speakers? mr. bishop: other than brilliant verbiage from myself, you got it. mr. hastings: looking forward to the brilliant verbiage, and carrying forth the remainder of my time, i yield myself the remainder of our time, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. hastings: following on from the previous discussion, mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to insert the text of the amendment that has been discussed in the record along with ex-trainus material immediately prior though vote on the previous question. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for 8 1/2 minutes. mr. hastings: i ask my colleagues to vote no and defeat the previous question. i'm tempting to take the 8 1/2 minutes and perhaps not offer as much brilliant verbiage but
at least to add, without hyperbole the can't continuing concern all of us should have. i agree with my friend from utah. when he points to the fact that there has been legislation that has come out of the house of representatives regardless of who was in the majority, and it has gone over to the other body and nothing has transpired. but when the american people look at congress, they are not looking just at the house of representatives or just a at the united states senate, it is all of us. and it is our responsibility here in the house, particularly as the body that has the ways and means committee that generates the financial circumstances of this country that ultimately voted on, it's our responsibility in my judgment to undertake to answer one simple question regarding
this loan thing. why is it that college students are going to be required to have loan obligations that to their loans from 3.4% bank x and bank y can borrow money from each other for little or nothing at all? that does not make any sense. we can't do these children this way in this country and we have an absolute responsibility to all of them to give them the opportunities many of us had, people here in this house who have come here by way of student loans and some of them have had those opportunities, why not give these children that chance? mr. speaker, the most common critiques of the congress have been partisanship and dysfunction. this rule today for these three
bills shows that the speaker and majority leader are perfectly content with that characterization of their work. congress doesn't have to be this way. it wasn't always like this. it wasn't like this when i came here in 1992. it was not like this for the greater portion of a decade after i came here in 1992. instofede appointing budget conferees, instead of passing a farm bill in a bipartisan way, instead of fixing the pending student loan interest rate, instead of replacing the sequester that has demonstrably, all over this nation, hindered our economic recovery and instead of preventing us from yet another game of chicken which we will be doing sometime in the fall over the debt ceiling, we're considering three purely political bills that will only create more partisanship among us and i might add ain't going
nowhere. mr. speaker, congress can and must do better. i urge a no vote on the rule and yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from utah is ecognized. mr. bishop: thank you, mr. speaker. i appreciate the opportunity of being part of a debate that covered a smorgasbord of ideas. let me just respond to several of those that have been presented in the last lead up to the vote on this particular amendment. as i said before, i'm a teacher. i care greatly about education. and i am very frustrated, especially with the way congress has passed and handled the student loan provision. several years ago, while the democrats were in control, trying not to be too partisan but they were in control, we changed the law that dealt with student loans to consolidate that authority within the
federal government. nd by doing so crushed private-state partnership plans that were an excellent avenue for loans that students could use, they could get breaks depending on their repayment habits. it was a marvelous program but it was stopped in an effort to try to consolidate everything here within congress. since that time, we have played silly games of brinksmanship that deal with what the rate should be and what the rate might be. we have a bill that this body passed on may 23, in plenty of time to distinguish this issue, plenty of time for the senate to debate it, amend it, send it back to us, go through regular process if the senate wished to do that, and instead the result is the senate has basically turned their back on the issue and said, we'll let it go over the cliff one more time. you see, it shouldn't have been that way. if we had not changed the policy back when we passed a bill in the previous leadership
of this house, we wouldn't have had this problem in the first place. and what this house tried to do is say, this is a silly approach going in the future. let's come up with a policy toward student loans if we have to consolidate them, if the federal government has to have their control and grasp over the entire thing, and do it in a way that provides some kind of flexibility and some kind of rationalization so it can ebb and flow in the future as the market requires it to do. we passed a bill that allows them not just to double but a bill on the floor that solved the problem. the fact that the senate does not wish to solve the problem is something that i find sad. but we solved the problem and did it in a timely fashion and the great speeches that i heard today and they were very good, their verbiage was better than mine. should be given over in the senate where it can do some good. i also want to talk about a couple of other issues i have heard, these particular bills in this rule.
violate states rights agreement even though the issue at hand son-in-law those waters and coastal waters that are part of the federal reserve, does not talk about state waters whatsoever. we talked a bt in 1613, a poison pill being inserted into that provision, somehow i wish we could go back to the person who inserted that provision in there, it was secretary hillary clinton as part of the negotiations we did as a country with the mexican government and it's lodge ka that that is -- it's logical that that is in there because it gives protection to u.s. countries. if that language wasn't in there, they could be forced to violate federal laws or violate foreign laws and receive severe penalties, i can understand why the secretary of state at the time did negotiate the portion of that that's in there, that's not a poison pill that's what is in the negotiated
settlement. all we are doing with this bill is enacting it, putting it in its place and allowing us to move forward with what has been negotiated on resource areas that straddle international lines. i'm also somewhat frustrated with the statement that we might as well use the leases we currently have. i'm also frustrated because we had a great deal of increase in production of oil and gas and it's all happened on private and state land. i happen to represent a state that has almost 70% of control by the federal government. i have enormous amounts of resource potential in my state but it is controlled by the federal government. so even though areas where private property and states have been able to increase their revenue, bring revenue to their state and increase total amount of petroleum productions we have, my state has seen the exact opposite. if you go on shore to the areas
controlled by this administration, the federal land, the amount of parcels offered by since 2005 are down 88%. the amount of acres offered for development of resources are down 85%. and what is most sad, the amount of revenue produced both to the state and the federal government from onshore development since 2005 is down 99%. a lease is simply not as stated a green light to start drilling. a lease simply says you start the process. part of the problem with the releases both onshore and offshore has been the inability of the federal government to do so in a reasonable fashion. on onshore lease development trst regulation that says it must be done in a six-month period of time to move forward from the initial sale into which the lease is then offered so the company can start its drilling process. and yet in a survey done by
g.a.o., 91% of the time that six-month standard has not been met onshore. part of the bill 2231 is a reorganization of the administrative function that deals with how these leases are developed and how they proceed going forward. by taking a -- by taking one agency which has had a very poor record and dividing it into three with very specific responsibilities, we think we can streamline this process and make sure what we're doing on the outer continental shell san francisco far more organized than what we're doing onshore where we have stalling, delays and a lack of revenue. it was once asked of the chairman of the natural resources committee if he had a better idea to do it. in all due respect, he has a better idea. that better idea, are the two bills before us right now, 2231
and the other bill, 1613. those are good ideas. they will move us forward. they are the things we ought to do to prepare. and i think it's a great rule because it's allowing that and allowing the appropriations bill to come through in an open rule, allowing anyone who has an idea that he or she wishes to bring to the floor, the opportunity to do so. with that, this is a fair rule. it deals with an appropriations process as well as two bills that are good bills that will help people. especially after yesterday's speech, we should have an energy policy in this country aimed at helping middle class americans, not one that simply says, especially if you're poor, freeze in the dark. that's the best thing we're going to be able to do. these bills move us forward. we should vote for them. and with that, having failed at my effort to give you good verbiage, in which case i am sorry you're holding the cane
there, hopefully you are only using that to navigate around the floor and it won't become a weapon in the future, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: both sides have yielded back their time. the question is on ordering the previous question. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair the ayes have it. mr. rangel: mr. speaker, i ask for the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. those favoring a vote by the yeas and nays will rise. a sufficient number having risen, the yeas and nays are ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. pursuant to clause 9 of rule 20, the chair will reduce to five minutes the minute mum time for any electronic vote on the question of -- the minimum time for any electronic vote on the question of resolution. s that 15-minute vote. -- this is a 15-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or
he house will be in order. he house will be in order. for what purpose does the gentlelady from west virginia seek recognition? mrs. capito: mr. speaker, i seek permission to speak out of order for one minute with unanimous consent. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. mrs. capito: thank you, mr. speaker. to my colleagues, tonight is very exciting night for the women of the house. the women's softball team in the house. and really all families across america. for our fifth annual women's softball team. we have -- our game is tonight
at 7:00 at watkins field. i am the co-chair of the -- co-captain of the team with my team colleague from florida, and we have trouble agreeing on a lot of things, but i know everybody in this room today will want us to win because our opponents are the press. so i want to just briefly say thank you to everybody who has been involved with us. we have had a loft great coaches, a lot of outside help. a lot of fun getting to know each other again and even better -- >> mr. speaker, the house is not in order. the speaker pro tempore: the house will come to omplt mrs. capito: i would like to yield time to my co-captain whose -- who hatched this idea and have her talk a little bit about why we are doing this. ms. wasserman schultz: thank you very much to my co-captain, the gentlelady from west virginia and all of our sisters on the
congressional women's softball team. the gentlelady from west virginia is absolutely right. we may not always agree in the boundaries and walls of this room, but i think all of us can agree that we want to defeat the common adversary, that is the press corps. we have been out there for the last few months at 7:00 in the morning, two or three times a week, none of us can believe that we actually all get out there at the crack of dawn to make sure that we can build our skills, build camaraderie, make sure that we come together around a true common purpose. we also thank our adversaries who we will defeat tonight when we take the field and make sure we take the trophy back for the women members. we only won one out of the last four games, but fifth time's a charm. this is the fifth annual game. it happens to coincide with my own five-year anniversary of being a survivor of breast cancer -- thank you.
and the importance of this game is really that we all are focused on raising money for an incredible charity, the young survival coalition. we are headed for record breaking fundraising year and i want to thank the majority whip in particular for making sure that the schedule accommodated everybody coming to the game. this is going to be a fun family event. bring your kids. we have a fun zone and all kinds of food and a great time. we have already sold threefold more than 1,000 tickets before we even get to the door. le come cheer on the women members tonight at 7:00. watkins recreation center, 12th and d southeast. take the eastern market or potomac avenue metro. on to victory for the congressional women's softball team. thank you, mr. speaker. we yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the
gentlelady yields back. without objection, five-minute voting will continue. the question is on adoption of the resolution. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the gentleman from florida. mr. hastings: on that i ask the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. those favoring a vote by the yeas and nays will rise. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. members will please take their conversations off the floor. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from michigan seek recognition? mrs. miller: madam speaker, i ask unanimous consent that the committee on house administration be discharged from further consideration of house resolution 270 and ask for its immediate consideration in
the house. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 270. resolution permitting official photographs of the house of representatives to be taken while the house is in actual session on a date designated by the speaker. the speaker pro tempore: is there objection to the consideration of the resolution? without objection, the resolution is agreed to, and the motion to reconsider is laid upon the table. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from michigan seek recognition? mrs. miller: madam speaker, i send to the desk a privileged report for filing under the rule. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title. the clerk: report to accompany house resolution 277, resolution dismissing the election contest relating to the office of representative from the 9th congressional district of tennessee. the speaker pro tempore: referred to the house calendar and ordered printed. for what purpose does the the gentlewoman from michigan seek recognition 1234 mrs. miller: madam speaker, i call up house resolution 277 and ask unanimous consent for its immediate
consideration in the house. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title. the clerk: house resolution 277. resolution dismissing the election contest relating to the office of representative from the ninth congressional district of tennessee. the speaker pro tempore: is there objection to consideration of the resolution? without objection, the resolution is agreed to, and the motion to reconsider is laid upon the table. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from michigan seek recognition? mrs. miller: madam speaker, i send to the desk a privileged report for filing under the rule. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title. the clerk: report to accompany house resolution 278, resolution dismissing the election contest relating to the office of representative from the 43rd congressional district of california. the speaker pro tempore: referred to the house calendar and ordered printed. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from michigan seek recognition? mrs. miller: madam speaker, i call up house resolution 278 and would ask unanimous consent for
its immediate consideration in the house. the speaker pro tempore: is there objection to consideration of the resolution? the clerk will report the title of the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 278, resolution dismissing the election contest relating to the office of representative from the 43rd congressional district of california. without objection the resolution is agreed to and the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, the chair will postpone further proceedings today on motions to suspend the rules on which a recorded vote or the yeas and nays are ordered or on which the vote incurs objection under clause 6 of rule 20. record votes on postponed questions will be taken later. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from indiana seek recognition? mrs. walorski: madam speaker, i move to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 1864.
the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 1864, a bill to amend title 10, united states code, to require an inspector general investigation of allegations of retalitory personnel actions taken in response to making protected communications regarding sexual assault. the speaker pro tempore: the ouse will be in order. pursuant to the rule, the gentlewoman from indiana, mrs. walorski, and the gentlewoman from california, ms. sanchez, ach will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from indiana. mrs. walorski: madam speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and xtend their remarks and insert extraneous material on the bill under consideration. the speaker pro tempore:
without objection. mrs. walorski: -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. mrs. walorski: madam speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mrs. walorski: thank you, madam speaker. sexual assault in the military is maiming our troops. these aren't my words. they're the words of general raymond odierno, the chief of the army. he likened sexual assault to other threat of our troops downrange. the threat of sexual assault in the military is real. the wounds it inflicts on our service members are also just as real. i introduced h.r. 1864 with my colleague and tireless advocate, congresswoman loretta sanchez. the bill on the floor today is a product of a lot of time and hard work. i remember sitting in the house armed services committee hearing and becoming shocked as i learned firsthand about the widespread abuse at lackland air force base. i remember thinking that our
brave service members deserve so much better and those charged be held accountable. after that hearing i went to work, and the bill we're debating today is a true bipartisan, bicameral reform that gets to the heart of this issue. it does so by addressing the challenges of sexual assault underreporting that's become too common in the military. the pentagon estimates that there were approximately 26,000 victims of sexual assault last year. owever, only roughly 3,600 victims actually filed reports. many individuals don't come forward because they don't have confidence in the military justice system. others don't come forward because they fear reprisal or they believe reporting another service member will negatively impact their own career. this lack of reporting, for whatever reason, demonstrates that we have a real problem. before we can truly understand the scope of sexual assault in
the military and how to best confront it, we have to find a way to encourage more victims to come forward. we have to find a way to empower the victims and restore their faith in the military justice system. that's what this bill does. h.r. 1864 strengthens existing military whistleblower protection and seeks to remove many of the fears and stigmas that deter reporting. the bill requires an inspector general investigation into suspected retaliation in response to allegations of sexual assault. this bill also seeks to help create an environment in the military where victims feel safe to come out of the darkness and to report these crimes of sexual violence. it's reported that 62% of the service members who experienced unwanted sexual contact felt as if they were being retaliated against in one form or another. this is completely unacceptable. troops who've sacrificed so much for the cause of liberty
should not be subject to reprisal after having just been subject to the emotional and physical pain of a sexual crime. h.r. 1864 is good policy, and the urgency of this issue demands that this congress act today. let's be a voice for the countless victims who've already come forward and for the countless more who are still unknown. let's send a clear and resounding message to the department of defense and to those preying on our troops that this type of behavior will no longer be tolerated. i ask my colleagues to do the right thing and join me in supporting this much-needed measure, and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves. the gentlewoman from california is recognized. ms. sanchez: thank you, madam speaker. and i would like to yield myself as much time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. sanchez: madam speaker, i rise in support of h.r. 1864, introduced by my good friend and colleague, mrs. walorski
from indiana, and myself. h.r. 1864 amends title 10 of the united states code to require an inspector general investigation of allegations of retalitory personnel actions taken in response to making protected communications regarding sexual assault. and as the lead democratic sponsor of this measure, i support the effort to protect military whistleblowers against reprisal for disclosing violations of law, for sexual assault and other prohibited sexual misconduct. and as much, i'm pleased that this bill was also put into the national defense authorization act just about 10 days ago on this house floor, but people have asked me why are you bringing this up as a stand-alone bill. and my answer is, you know, last year we finished and approved and got the ndaa signed on the 31st of december
of the year. well, this really cannot wait. this bill cannot wait. we need it today in the military, because the biggest problem we have with respect to sexual assault is that the victims, the people who are being harassed and assaulted are being retaliated against in the workplace, and we do need this. there's no room for misbehavior of any kind that may hinder the readiness, the morale and the safety of our units and i look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure passage of this important language. and thank you, madam speaker, and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from california reserves. the gentlewoman from indiana is recognized. mrs. walorski: thank you, madam speaker. i yield two minutes to my friend and colleague the committee on tactical air and land forces, the gentleman from ohio, mr. turner. the speaker pro tempore: the
gentleman from ohio is recognized for two minutes. mr. turner: thank you, madam speaker. in 2008, maria, a female marine from my community, stepped forward to report a sexual assault from another marine. she was viciously murdered by the accused. her mother, mary, took up the issue of sexual assault in the military, and i have worked with her since 2008 on legislative solutions in trying to change the culture in the military. it's in that that i rise today in support of h.r. 1864, the work of representative sanchez and representative with a lors key, as part of that effort for us to change the culture and provide the tools to victims in the military. the problem in the military with sexual assault is clear, victims feel revictimized by the system and perpetrators feel safe. our efforts legislatively is to change this dynamic where perpetrators feel unsafe so we can rise to the level of preventing sexual assaults and of course rally around victims so they feel safe. last year i had the opportunity to attend a breakfast of the commandant of the marines, home to discuss the issue of sexual
assault in the military. during that breakfast a female marine, lieutenant colonel, spoke up and admitted if she was sexual assaulted she would not report it. the cost in the military is too high. no one should serve in the military and feel they are subject to a crime that they are less secure if they step forward and report it. particularly a crime as heinous as sexual assault. h.r. 1864 will strengthen military whistleblower protection laws by requiring that victims of sexual assault are protected from punishment or reprisal from reporting their attack. through the passage of this bipartisan legislation introduced by congresswoman with a lors key and sanchez, congress -- with a lors key and sanchez -- walorski and sanchez, they need the peace of mind they cannot be punished from reporting a sexual assault. the department of defense indicated through a survey 62% of those who report a sexual assault feel they were punished in the workplace for doing so
by both their superiors and fellow co-workers. this bill will add to that additional protection they can feel safe once they report the crime and as it moves forward through prosecution. i applaud the representatives orski and i ask my colleagues to support it. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from california is recognized. ms. sanchez: madam speaker, i yield 1 1/2 minutes to the gentlelady from new hampshire, ms. kuster, who's been working on this issue quite hard. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from new hampshire is recognized for 1 1/2 minutes. ms. kuster: thank you, madam chair and madam speaker and thank you representatives walorski and sanchez for your friendship and for your leadership on this issue. today i am proud to join my colleagues in passing this bill to strengthen whistleblower protection for those who report sexual assault in the military. this legislation will help ensure that sexual trauma
survivors and others who step forward do not face reprisal for reporting these terrible crimes. i am especially proud that of the 110 bipartisan co-sponsors of this important reform, nearly 50 are members of the freshman class. i know that these new representatives are committed to working across the aisle, making commonsense reforms and getting things done for the american people. this important legislation proves that congress can work together to do the right thing for the american people. and what better issue is there to partner on than strengthening protections for men and women of our armed forces? this critical reform is a great step forward in further protecting our heroes in uniform who take the extra heroic step of coming forward to blow the whistle on military sexual crimes. it has been an honor to work with you all to help build
support for this legislation, and i urge my colleagues to support h.r. 1864 and to continue to work together to end sexual violence in the military. thank you, again, madam speaker, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. the gentlewoman from indiana is recognized. mrs. walorski: thank you, madam speaker. i yield two minutes to my friend and colleague, a member of the committee on armed services, the gentlelady from south dakota, mrs. noem. ms. noem: i thank the gentlelady for yielding. -- mrs. noem: i thank the gentlelady. i am proud to stand up in support of this legislation. the numbers are staggering. 26,000. that's how many military members who were sexually assaulted last year alone and thousands more were unwilling to come forward. research has shown that victims only report roughly 14% of all sexual assaults to law enforcement. many who choose not to come forward may not have the confidence that they'll actually receive justice. they may fear that reporting a fellow service member will result in threats or could
negatively impact their career. a recent d.o.d. report showed that 62% of victims who reported sexual assaults faced some kind of retaliation. that's terrible. this legislation is going to provide safeguards for them and additional protections for victims. by requiring the inspector general investigation into doing any allegations of retalitory actions taken against victims, we're stating that this behavior is unacceptable, it's inexcusable and will no longer be tolerated. this legislation is part of a broader effort to help address the problem. for too long, lawmakers, military officials and civilians have discussed the need to bring an end to sexual assault. this bill is another opportunity to put into action words and to take meaningful steps to address the growing problem. we have a responsibility to ensure adequate protections are in place, and we also have to provide physical and mental support for those victims as well as insist on swift
punishment for those who are responsible. i'm proud that members on both sides of the aisle have worked on this bill as well as other measures that was previously passed as part of the defense authorization act. it is only the start of a process that will change the culture in the military. it will establish a safe environment for all individuals, for service men and women, but we have to continue to do all that we can do to solve this problem. with that i'll yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. the gentlewoman from california is recognized. ms. sanchez: thank you, madam speaker. i now recognize the gentlelady from california, our ranking member for the democrats on the house armed services subcommittee of personnel, mrs. davis, for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from california is recognized for one minute. mrs. davis: thank you, madam speaker. and i certainly want to thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle because i think we've seen how people can come together on a serious issue like this that really does affect our national security. what's so important about this bill is i think it sends a
message. it sends a message to perpetrators, but more than that it sends a message to bystanders that responding to bad behavior is an important and critical thing to do. we can celebrate the good behavior, and i think this is also a way of sending that message, but we're saying that bad behavior will not be tolerated. we see it not just in our armed forces but around the country. just recently a general from australia had a very concise and very strong message to his troops in saying that the standard that you walk past is the standard that you uphold. let's uphold the highest standard. retaliation drives people from not reporting sexual abuse and sexual crimes. we need it to be ok, ok to report because if people are fearing their career, they are
feeling that somehow they are going to be so demoralized by reporting, that's not going to work. this is a good bill. i applaud all my colleagues for supporting it. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from indiana is recognized. mrs. walorski: i yield two minutes to my friend and colleague, the gentlelady from indiana, mrs. brooks . the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from indiana is recognized for two minutes. mrs. brooks : thank you, madam chair. i rise today in support of h.r. 1864, a bill that bolsters existing military whistle blower protection laws. i applaud my fellow hoosier, jackie walorski, and the others from the armed services committee, and this has been done in a bipartisan way. just this past weekend a former u.s. attorney and new member of congress and i spoke to a indiana statewide victim assistance academy, and i shared with them the shocking statistics that they weren't aware of.
that 26,000 members that you have already heard about, members of our military, were assaulted in 2012. that is a 34% increase from 2010. only a fraction of these victims filed reports. and their abusers remain in the military to assault again. why? because for the same reasons that victims in our civilian criminal justice system face, they are afraid. they face fear. and more than 60% of those victims in the military never do report and come forward. but these victims just aren't on our military bases. they come home. and they live in our communities. they may be reserve officers. they may be in our national guards. they are active enlisted officers. and personnel. unless we stop this retaliation that these victims face, fewer and fewer assault victims will come forward and report. and more and more attackers will remain free to commit these
crimes. not just on our bases. these crimes often don't happen just once with one woman or, yes, one man. these will happen again and again. if the assailant and perpetrator is not brought to justice. if we want to end the epidemic of sexual assault in our military, we must ensure these victims come forward to report their assault without fear that they will be victimized again by the institution, the military they have chosen to serve. i urge my colleagues to support this important legislation. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. the gentlewoman from california is recognized. >> madam speaker, may i inquire how much time remains on this side? the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from california has 15 1/2 minutes. and the gentlewoman from indiana has 10 1/2 minutes. ms. sanchez: i reserve the balance of my time. at this point i have no more speakers. maybe you want to go for a
while. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from california reserves. the gentlewoman from indiana is recognized. mrs. walorski: thank you, madam speaker. i yield three minutes to my freshman friend and colleague, the gentleman from illinois, mr. davis. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois is recognized. the gentleman from illinois is recognized for three minutes. mr. davis: thank you, madam speaker. i rise today in support of h.r. 1864. this legislation addresses a serious problem in our military -- sexual assault. today's legislation is absolutely critical for creating an environment where victims feel comfortable enough to report crimes of sexual violence. i'm proud to be a co-sponsor of this important piece of legislation with reports of 26,000 instances of unwanted sexual contact, we must continue to address this unacceptable culture within our military. the lack of reporting of
instances of sexual assault is alarming to say the least. the department of defense estimates that only 14% of victims of sexual abuse actually report assaults. 14%. today i am voting to end this culture. i am voting to encourage the reporting of sexual assault in an environment where our soldiers will not fear for loss of their job. my good friend and my colleague, congresswoman walorski's bill provides protections against retaliation for those that report instances of sexual abecause. because of her bill an investigation must be launched in response to any retaliatory action taken against someone that reports an instance of sexual abuse. as a nation, we have made great strides with women in the military. we need to build upon our efforts to ensure that these women are in an environment where they can feel safe. i have a daughter who is two years away from being eligible
to serve our country in the military. i would like to know if she chose to serve our country she would not be entering the type of culture that currently exists. i support this bill for all of the fathers like me and mothers and wives and kids who send their loved ones to serve in our great military in this great nation. we owe those men and women in uniform who sacrifice so much or this country a culture of respect and security. i know i will be thinking of those victims as i vote today. and for all those that felt their career would be hurt if they were to actually report an instance of sexual assault. i want to thank, again, my friend, my colleague, congresswoman walorski, for allowing me the time to speak and for her leadership on this very important issue. i strongly support this bill and urge my colleagues to vote yes on h.r. 1864, providing
protections to those who report sexual assault in the military. madam speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the the gentlewoman from california. ms. sanchez: reserve, madam speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from indiana is recognized. mrs. walorski: thank you, madam speaker. i yield 3 1/2 minutes to my friend and colleague, the gentlelady from missouri, mrs. wagner. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from missouri is recognized for 3 1/2 minutes. mrs. wagner: i thank the the gentlewoman from indiana for yielding and for her leadership on this particular issue and for the wonderful bipartisan support we have all shown here today. madam speaker, i rise today in support of this legislation that would create a safe reporting environment for military sexual assault victims and would demand accountability from our military leaders. as a mother with a son currently serving in the 101st airborne, i know all too well the many hardships and sacrifices that our military men and women face
while protecting our country. every precious moment i have to be able to call or skype with my son i'm constantly reminded of all the things on his and every other soldier's mind as they are keeping our country safe. so that the rest of us can have peace of mind back here at home. every service member from the army, navy, air force, marines, and coast guard bears such a heavy burden to which we all owe our utmost gratitude, and it infuriates me to think that for many of these young men and women the situation of sexual assault is one of the things they must deal with as they are preparing themselves to face the enemy. sadness with incredible and frustration that i come before you today to speak on the increasing incidents of sexual assault in our military and how very few of those cases end up being reported. for many victims of sexual
assault, the fear of retaliation by other members of the military prevents them from reporting these crimes. and as a result, they must bear the burden of their emotional and physical pain alone and in silence. i stand here today to say that our service members who sacrifice so much for the cause of liberty and put themselves in the line of duty should have absolutely no worries about their own libert -- liberties and whether they face retaliation for reporting crimes committed against them. this legislation would hold the responsible individuals accountable for their actions and would require an inspector general investigation into allegations of retaliatory actions taken against victims who have reported alleged instances of rape, sexual assault, and other forms of sexual misconduct in the military. existing law already provides these whistleblower protections for a member of the armed forces
who reports sexual harassment. and by extending these protections to reporting of more serious crimes of sexual assault, it is not only just common sense but it is simply the right thing to do. it needs to be done now. by doing nothing we are implicitly allowing the continuation of this deplorable rebehavior and allowing those who committed these crimes to go unpunished. not addressing sexual assault in our military threatens to erode our armed forces from within and gives people considering enlisting along with their families even more to worry about as they consider the great responsibility of serving our contry. i am so -- country. i am so proud of my son and the rest of our armed forces and i will do everything to protect the integrity and reputation of our military. this legislation is the first step we can take in fixing this problem and shows that we take these allegations very seriously.
madam speaker, i urge all of my colleagues to vote in favor of this bipartisan bill that will help protect our service members as they protect us. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentlewoman from california continues to reserve. the the gentlewoman from indiana is recognized. mrs. walorski: i yield two minutes to my good friend and colleague, the gentlelady from tennessee, mrs. blackburn. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from tennessee is recognized for two minutes. and the gentlewoman from indiana will have 2 1/2 minutes remaining after this speaker. mrs. blackburn: thank you, madam speaker. i want to express my gratitude to mrs. walorski from indiana for the leadership that she has brought to this issue and for the bipartisan manner in which she and ranking member sanchez have approached this issue to bring together a bill which we can focus on, we can agree on, and we can pass this to address
a problem that does need our attention and our best effort. we have heard about the 26,000 estimated sexual assaults that are taking place in our military each year. now, as we look at those numbers, we have to look at the numbers that are reported. 3,374. those are the number of reports. 3,3p 4. -- 3,374. more stunning is the number of convictions, 238. that is what we have learned from this d.o.d. report. and as we have heard, the reason given for the lack of reporting is because so many fear retaliation and the fact that it would negatively impact their career. 62%, 62% give that as their reason.
i think the scope of the problem is much larger than we know at this point in time, and here is an example. on may 15, police arrested fort campbell's sexual harassment prevention manager on charges involving stalking his ex-wife. it's important to me in my district because fort campbell is in our district. now, if you can't turn to the people who are there to protect, who are you going to go to when you have one of these situations? as a woman and strong supporter of our nation's military, i find it absolutely appalling that any woman who has been the victim of crime should have to fear reporting their perpetrator for fear of retaliation. again, madam speaker, i want to thank the two members who have worked so diligently on this, miss with a lore skirks ms. sanchez, and i yield the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from's time has
expired. the gentlewoman from california is recognized. ms. sanchez: madam speaker, may i inquire how many speakers are left on the other side. just you? ok. then i will take as much time as needed to close out for our side. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from california is recognized. ms. sanchez: madam speaker, the united states military is an institution comprised of men and women who have dedicated their lives to not only defending this country but also upholding the values of this nation. the values of this nation. the values of this nation say, if you go into the workplace, you should be treated equally, you should be treated with respect, and when we have sexual harassment the and sexual assault happening in the workplace, in particular in our military, and when we have someone report and say, hey, this is happening, and then they
re retaliated either because co-workers are afraid to be around them or because higher ups make an example of them in some way, we have to say enough is enough. i think the time to pass this time is now and i thank the gentlelady, the hoosier across in such a working bipartisan manner to get this done, and i know there are so many in the congress who feel very strongly that the sooner we protect the workplace the better off this nation is. and with that i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from california yields back. the gentlewoman from indiana is recognized for 2 1/2 minutes. walswals madam speaker, i yield myself the -- mrs. walorski: madam speaker, i yield michaels the remained --
myself the remainder of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. mrs. walorski: madam speaker, this bill is a place to start, a foundation on which to build. i'm grateful to my colleague, loretta sanchez, for mart nering with me, for her -- partnering with me, for her multiyear commitment. we worked with the staff and the department of defense to craft this legislation. the bill was included along with many other good provisions addressing military sexual assault in the house-passed ndaa a few weeks ago. with over 110 bipartisan co-sponsors, the house has shown we can come together, we can on serious issues and we can get things done. senator klobuchar has introduced a companion piece of legislation in the senate. madam speaker, too many victims have already suffered. these assaults are happening every day. there is no reason to have the ndaa to pass when we have something today. congress must approve
thoughtful reforms combating sexual assault in the military. i'm hopeful this measure passes, that the senate gives it a quick uptake on the bill and we can send it to the president for his signature. i'm asking my colleagues to act today and pass this bill, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from indiana yields back. the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 1864. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended -- mrs. walorski: madam speaker, 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 motion will be postponed.
under the speaker's announced policy of january 3, 2013, the gentleman from north dakota, mr. cramer, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the majority leader. mr. cramer: thank you, mr. chairman, for the opportunity for the next hour to bring to the attention of the house of representatives and to the american people some very important issues pertaining to america's potential to be energy secure. this is an interesting week that we would have this discussion. this is a week when the house committee on the natural resources is bringing forward two bills for consideration that will tear down some of the barriers and remove some of the regulations that have gotten in the way of tapping into the vast resources of oil and gas underneath -- off of our shores. we know that -- we know that
there's been growth in oil and gas development in our country, but not offshore, and yet we know there are vast resources that would be very, very important to america's energy security. at the same time this week, we also have our president who made official his declaration of war against coal. stating once again that fossil fuels are the bad guys somehow. at a time when we're looking to create jobs, create wealth, create opportunity, he puts up yet more barriers to the development of these vast resources of fossil fuels. since coming to congress six months ago, i have heard our president and his allies in this chamber often reference the fact since barack obama was elected president, america's oil and gas production have actually increased. they brag about this increased production and the jobs it creates as though they had something to do with it. well, on behalf of the citizens
of my state of north dakota, let me just say to my friends on the other side of the aisle, you're welcome, because the fact of the matter is that, yes, production of oil and gas in this country is up. it is up except where the federal government is the landlord, because the large reserves under federal lands and offshore resources are going untapped because of democratic opposition to using the incredible opportunity that new technologies have created to get us more jobs, more opportunity and more energy secure. i want to illustrate a point today by reading one sentence from a recently released state personal income growth analysis put out by the united states department of commerce. here's the sentence. it's very profound. "states' personal income growth nged from a minus .2% in south dakota to 12.4% in north
dakota." that's right. two rectangles in the center of the north american map, two dakotas side by side, two states that basically are the same size and land mass, the same size in population, the same climate, the same cultures, they growth vast amounts of food to feed a hungry world. we're similar in nearly every way, and yet the dakotas differ in one significant way and that is my state of north dakota has fossil fuels that south dakota does not have. i point at this distinction because i believe it represents the possibilities of america. it represents what can be done in much of our nation if the federal government would just get out of the way and allow the unleashing of american ingenuity and the development of american energy. instead what we get from our president is more restrictions on the use of fossil fuels and
more fantasizing about unproven, uneconomical, unreliable alternatives. and while billions of tax dollars get wasted, experimenting on whimsical dreams of a carbonless future, american job opportunities are lost and our debt rises. our president continues to pursue an energy policy based on an old model, an old model of resource scarcity rather than on the new reality of resource abundance. according to the institute of energy research, underneath federal land and offshore, that is to say federal oil and gas reserves at today's prices, the united states taxpayer has $128 trillion worth of fossil fuels that we're not tapping into. resource abundance. abundance based on the application of new technologies that's transforming our economy and has us on the path to security.
and north dakota is evidence of what can be done in our country, but there are a lot of other speakers today that have a lot to offer in this discussion and this debate and right now i'd like to yield to my good friend from colorado, mr. gardner. mr. gardner: i thank the gentleman from north dakota. i'm excited about the opportunity we have in this country in a bright energy future. i can think of few areas that held so much promise for job creation, for new opportunity to impact so many areas of our economy than energy, and it really is the energy policies that we're discussing this week that could create over a million jobs around the country and the policies that we continue to pursue in committee meetings, through legislation to help bring a bright energy future to this country. i'm pleased that the gentleman from north dakota is leading today's discussion on energy. you know, i've actually seen in my district the benefits of the bachan development in colorado, 60 miles away from my hometown is a brand new business that located in colorado because of so much activity in north dakota.
they were actually seeing so many people working in north dakota that they moved to colorado to expand their operation because they couldn't find enough people to work in north dakota. so they moved to my district to create jobs, and they're hiring. they're manufacturing. they've bought a manufacturing business because of energy development in north dakota. but the energy success in colorado isn't reliant on other states around us because we have in our state as well. in my district, the fourth congressional district, it is truly an all-of-the-above energy district. not only do we have a coal mine in the fourth congressional district, but we have wind manufacturing, we have wind turbine manufacturing, wind blade manufacturing. we have solar manufacturing. we have biofuels and we have -- in our home to one of the nation's premiere oil and gas plays in the world. in fact in colorado over 100,000 people are directly employed or indirectly employed by the oil and gas people. the average pay of a worker in the oil and gas fields of
colorado is almost $100,000 a year. average pay of almost $100,000 a year with benefits. people are able to stay in their hometowns to have jobs that they never thought were possible just a decade ago. i come from a small town in eastern colorado, 3,000 people. 67 kids graduated in my high school class. when i graduated there were two or three that stayed there to work in our hometown. everybody left because they couldn't find work in that small eastern plains community. but thanks to natural gas development, thanks to the development that's taken place around the state, they're moving back, they're bringing their families back. they're actually finding those high-paying jobs with good health care benefits, and they're building our communities and making stronger places to live for themselves and their families. $10.2 billion in labor contributions as a result of oil and gas development in colorado alone. in weld county, we've seen the impacts firsthand of what it means to have an
all-of-the-above energy policy. just two of the over 30 oil and gas companies that are operating in weld county just last month paid their 2011 property taxes, these two companies paid a combined property tax to weld county alone of $150 million. two checks, $150 million to one county. 40% of that $150 million went to the school districts and the community college. that's money that we're investing into the next generation of work force in this country. that's money that's building a stronger education future for our children. but it's also developing affordable energy opportunities for this country, and so i hope as people participate in this discussion around the united states that they go to twitter and send their suggestions on energy -- on energy affordable with the #affordableenergy. #affordableenergy to participate in the discussion about the future of energy in this country. mr. speaker, i think the
opportunity we have really is today to join a discussion about what we're going to look like as a nation, how to encourage manufacturing, how to encourage new job creation, how to bring companies back to the united states who left because of the cost of doing business they can now afford to do business here because of our energy production and energy opportunities. so join us at #affordableenergy on twitter, and i just appreciate your leadership and the opportunity to be here with you today. mr. cramer: thank you, and thank you for sharing that and for the invitation. i very much appreciate your referencing the cost of energy, affordable energy, after all is the driving factor in many other investment decisions and job opportunities. i think we'll have much more on that as we work through this important hour of discussion. with that i'd like to yield some time to my friend from pennsylvania, mr. rothfus. mr. rothfus: i thank the gentleman from north dakota for yielding, and i thank the gentleman from texas for bringing this important
discussion on energy and jobs. it's just the folks out west who are excited about energy, we in pennsylvania are very excited. in fact i'm from the southwestern part of pennsylvania, and yesterday i was driving through the city of pittsburgh. around the same time president obama was renewing his war on coal from behind a podium in washington, d.c.. our coal miners and steelworkers built pittsburgh. however, if the regime that president obama and the unelected bureaucrats at the e.p.a. that regime that they're planning for the next 20 years, if that regime had been in place in the 19th century, pittsburgh might not have become the great american city that it is today. the regulations introduced yesterday by president obama are only the latest salvo in his war on low-cost american energy. these new regulations will shuttered ore shut coal mines and when they lose
their jobs, we lose people that is vital to our communities and we lose wages and tax revenues critical for supporting local small businesses and schools. these new regulations will also raise energy prices and significantly impact moms and dads sitting around the kitchen table paying their monthly utility bills. long story short, this is a war on the hardworking middle class men and women around the nation. it's a war on good-paying jobs, good-paying american job a war on american opportunity and a war on american prosperity, and it must end. president obama and unelected deral workers must be held accountable for the hardships these acts will have on moms nd dads. any regulation that has a big
enough impact must be voted on in congress. low-cost american energy is a major factor in economic growth and job creation. every business and family uses fuel and eelect trissthism federal government needs a commonsense, straightforward, all-of-the-above energy policy to spur growth and get our economy booming again. the house energy action team is a great group of members dedicated to that goal. coal, wind, natural gas, solar, nuclear, thermal, hide row and oil must all pay a -- play a part in our economy. western pennsylvania offered unparalleled tuns and is benefiting economically thanks to our plentiful nrning resources. the economic ben firts are not limited to the energy sector. lower energy prices would benefit the entire economy. for each new energy job, three more additional new jobs are
create aid cross the economy. these are good-paying americans job -- american jobs. this week the house will consider legislation to create over one million new good-paying american jobs, bring manager domestic energy to the market, redeucing costs for families and businesses and reducing our dependence on foreign oil. president obama and the senate need to get serious about an all of the above energy approach to domestic energy exploration and development so we can grow these jobs. by safely and responsibly developing our nation's natural resources, we can relight our economy and move toward american energy independence. this will improve the quality of life for western pennsylvanians and all americans. i thank the gentleman and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: i thank the gentleman -- mr. cramer: i thank the gentleman and appreciate him raising the topic of coal in pennsylvania, i don't know if anybody noticed but deep in that 21-page declaration of war
on coal or the climate change document, the president talks about another important fossil fuel that pennsylvania is tapping into, and that's gas. and the attack on methane. those who think natural gas will be the next great fuel to replace coal, think again. as soon as they have their way with every coal plant, they'll be after the gas plants as well. we need an all of the above. i want to yield time to the gentleman from new york, mr. reid. mr. reid: i thank the gentleman from north dakota for yielding and bringing this important issue to us today to have a conversation on. i am a firm believer in the all of the above approach to our energy needs of america. making energy in america domestically will lead to us being energy secure. mr. reed: it's about energy independence. it's about dwourpg resources both foss -- it's about developing our rerr resources
oth fossil fuel and other, keeping an eye on the renewables for the long-term so we create a port foal yore of all of the above to ensure that america's national security is taken care of when it comes to energy needs. i have spent a lot of time, being from new york, dealing with the issue of natural gas development and the marcellus shale and utica shale formations and i can share with you many stories from farmers as i went through the northern tier of pennsylvania, just over the boarder from my district in corning, new york, and i remember one story in particular, i went to a farm, a family farm, that i was invited to go to by an individual in my district who was opposed to natural gas development. however, when i arrived at that farm, i met with her father. and i sat at her father's living room table and had a conversation about what this meant to that family farmer. and i can tell you, what i
heard really resonated with me. because what i heard was, you know, i know that my daughter is opposed to this, she's concerned about the impacts on our farm and that type of thing. but i can assure you, i've owned this farm for generations, and i'm going to make sure that my land is protected and it's done right and it's done safely. but what i'm also doing is i'm taking the royalty payment, the cash payment from that resource, and i'm putting her daughter through college. think about that. ladies and gentlemen. across america. we have spent trillions of dollars on the war of poverty, of hardworking taxpayer dollars, try to get people out of poverty and most of the time by educating them. and here you had a gentleman who was going to use a resource that he owned a property right that he owned, and was empowering the next generation with a college education that
that individual did not have to pay for. didn't come out of college with a $50,000 or $70,000 worth of debt. that's a game-changer when it comes to the war on poverty in my opinion. i appreciate the gentleman's comments from before because when we talk about this issue, we also have to look at it from many different aspects. and it's not just about being an economic resource in regards to the resource itself, but being a resource that repowers america. repowers america as i co-chair the manufacturing caucus here in washington, d.c. that gives us the power to start building things here in america again and selling it overseas. that's the america i want to stand for. and if we're going to melt steel, if we're going to have that industrial revolution of the 21st century i believe we can have, we're going to need power sources to do that.
and you can't melt steel, in my opinion, with just windmills and geothermal and solar panels. they have a role in our energy portfolio but you need those fossil fuels that we have been blessed with to come online to provide the power, the utility and the energy to do what needs to be done in order build it here and sell it there. and so i appreciate the gentleman bringing this issue to the forefront and one last point i will stress is i represent the 23rd congressional district in new york, we are going through the process of seeing two main coal-fired prapts be shut down. and i'm hopeful and we're doing our work in dunkirk, new york, and in lansing, new york, to stand for repowering those power generation facilities with the natural gas as the applications are pending in albany but i'll tell you, what i'm concerned about, is if you
shut down those plants and this war on coal that just came out yesterday from the white house if you shut town those plants, my taxpayers that i care about in dunkirk and lansing, are going to see their real property tax bill go up anywhere from 50% to 60%. these are hardworking americans that are already under the burden of a tax burden that comes out of washington, d.c. by way of income taxes, but there's also tax burdens in our states and one of those primary tax burdens is a real property tax bill. i'm hearing from seniors, from people across the district who say, tom, i can't afford it anymore. and you shut down a power plant and you take away that tax base from my people and the remaining taxpayers who most of the time have been there for generations, will see their tax bill they real property tax bill go up 60%. that's thousands of dollars. and in this day and age, when
people are struggling, why would we commit ourselves as a nation to a policy that would put a higher burden on their back. i don't get it. i think we should have an open conversation about doing all of the above, recognize where those energy sources are in the portfolios, and then we join hands, come together, we develop that comprehensive energy policy that we say this is good for america, both short-term, mid-term, and long-term, and let's get it done. and that's where us, on this side, beg our colleagues on the other side to join us in this effort and we want to do it safely. we want to do it responsibly, we respect our environment, but we're going to do it in a commonsense, looking at it from the perspective of hardworking taxpayers of america, not through the lens of bureaucrats in washington, d.c. with that, i yield back my time to the good man from north dakota and i appreciate the
leadership you have exhibited on these issues. mr. cramer: thank you so much. thanks for your stories. i think they illustrate so beautifully the importance of all of the above energy policy that keeps prices low and you know, up with of the things i thought about as you were talking about jobs and the impact, this cascading impact on the war on coal and war on fossil fuels there's a survey every year taken by an area development magazine, site selector survey, and it asks, what are the characteristics, what are the factors you look at when making the determination of where to put a facility or other business. when i was an economic development director the cost of available energy was between 15th and 20th on the list. it's moved up to the top five. our competitive advantage in the global marketplace rests with our ability to keep energy costs low. with that, i yield time to the gentleman from south carolina who has provided real leadership on some of the
issues that we're going to be taking up this week, mr. duncan. mr. duncan: thank you so much. i've stood on the floor many times in my short service in the united states congress to talk about this very topic, american energy indepefpbles we hear terms like, all of the above energy approach and energy spoil, i like to think about all american energy policy. where we utilize american resources to meet our energy needs in this country. one thing i applaud the house republicans and specifically the house energy action team of focusing on are three things. jobs, energy security, and national security. and they go hand in hand. by pursuing an all american energy policy, we're putting americans to work, whether you're talking about building the keystone pipeline or talking about offshore drilling, putting americans to work is what's important. i think about north dakota and an energy-driven economy in
north dakota, your great state and when they give you a job when you get off an airplane up there, that's how many jobs they have available. if you're looking for work, america, go to north dakota. but let me tell you, that's a microcosm of what we could be in this great nation if we truly pursued an energy policy utilizing american resources, putting americans to work. and that's what it's about. that's one thing i think the house energy action team is focused on. the second thing is energy security. you know, lessening our dependence on foreign sources of energy. utilizes the resources we have in this country. god bless the united states of america with the resors we have here, oil, natural gas, and coal. we heard just this week that the obama administration is going to wage a war on coal, not that they haven't already been waging a war on coal, but i think they're waging a war on american energy independence. by utilizing the resources we have in this country, we can lessen our dependence on foreign sources and make certain parts of the world that
seem hostile to american interests not so important. so american energy independence is the second thing and then the third thing, segues right into that. that's national security. in fact, i think it was admiral mull whon said, there is no -- mullen who said there is no national security without energy security. energy security means we do have national security, we can meet our energy needs not to just drive our economy and the engines of our economy but also fuel the engines of our united states defense. putting those airplanes in the air and the ships on the oceans and the tanks on the desert or in the forest, that takes energy. and if we can meet our needs through american resources then we do have true american energy independence. all american energy -- an all-american energy strategy is the right thing for this country. just this week, we're going to take up two very, very important bills. one of them deals with opening up all of the outer continental shelf areas currently offlimits
under the obama administration moratorium, the moratorium george bush lifted, he said we need to be energy independence, we're going to lift the moratorium and open up those areas for more utilization. we're going to do that, off the coast of my state, south carolina, and virginia, and other places we're going to go after the resources we believe to be there, we're going to allow exploration, we're going to allow production and allow revenue sharing back to those states whose economies are struggling now just like the u.s. economy and we're $17 trillion in debt, but our state economies are struggling as well. we can utilize and bring back revenue to the state through revenue sharing. an example is wyoming gets $1 billion a year in revenue sharing from production on federal lands. the gulf coast states get revenue back to those states, south carolina would love to benefit from that as well. the second thing and i'll end with this is, a bill that i have on the floor that i authored that would implement an agreement that was signed by the obama administration,
hillary clinton, secretary clinton at the time, entered into this agreement with foreign minister espinosa of mexico, they said, you know, we have a maritime border a border between the united states and mexico, out in the gulf of mexico, in the waters, and there are resources underneath that border. who owns those resources? does mexico own those? do we own those? we share those. they signed an agreep and said we're going to go after those in the western gap, not near cuba but on the western side, we're going to allow exploration of resources and share the revenues with each country because we are co-owners of those resources. they got this one right with this agreement and we'll implement that because we waited a year on ken salazar -- to department of send us the information and we took the bull by the horns and said we think this is important
to american energy security and we think this is important to do national security and we're going to work with our southern neighbor mexico and develop these resources in that transboundary area with a hydrocarbon agreement and go forward with implementing that. america understands we've got the resources, america understands we can work with mexico and safely, soundly, harvest those resources using american safety standards and regulations standards. it's the right thing for america an that's h.r. 1613, i look forward to passage of that and i thank the gentleman from north dakota for his leadership on and i yield back my time. . mr. cramer: i thank him for his leadership on this coming out of the natural resources committee. d like to speak specifically about some economic opportunity as illustrated from my home state of north dakota just to get a sense of it. north dakota's gross domestic product increased from $34
llion in 2011 to $38.7 billion in 2012. that represents the most significant growth of any state in the country last year. texas is second with a growth rate of 4.8% where the national average during the same time was 2.5%. so it can happen. it happened in my state, because the vast majority of the oil and gas in north dakota is not under federal land. the vast majority, like over 90%, is under private land where the only landowner is the guy that farms and ranches the land, the person whose sustainibility demands good stewardship and we can show how to do it around the country as well as offshore if you just unleash american ingenuity. i suspect that my good friend from kentucky, mr. barr, might have a thing or two to say
about this week's declaration of war on coal. so i yield some time to the gentleman from kentucky, mr. barr. mr. barr: i thank the gentleman, and i appreciate the opportunity to address the president's climate action plan that he unveiled yesterday, and what this really means to my fellow kentuckians and my fellow americans all around this country. as you see from the exhibit right here, this is the quote from the president's climate advisor. "a war on coal is exactly what's needed." while kentuckians and americans all around this country are suffering from high unemployment, thanks in large part due to the 5,700 coal jobs lost over the past two years, yesterday the president of the
united states redeclared the war on coal. we know that a year ago the president, through his new source performance standards regulation, imposed an effective moratorium on coal-fired power plants coming online in the future. yesterday, the president said he wants to apply that moratorium to the existing coal-fired fleet. mr. speaker, my fellow americans, the president's climate action plan reveals a leader of our country who is woefully out of touch with the economic realities facing the american working family. unemployment is still at 7.6% across this country. five consecutive years of unemployment higher than 7.5%. five years in a row where the work force participation rate,
where the percentage of americans who are of working age population or actually in the work force is actually 58%. 58% of all working age people in this country have jobs. that's all. that's 5% below the historic average of 63%, and that number has stayed stubbornly static for the last five years. 12 million americans struggling to find work. wages falling for five consecutive years. three quarters of americans' paychecks are insufficient to get them by each and every week. they're living paycheck to paycheck, and what does this president do? he declares a war, not just on coal, but the working families of america. and worse, he's doing it by making an end run around
congress. he's own democrat-controlled congress in 2009 refused to pass his radical energy rationing scheme, cap and trade, through legislation. so now this president says, well, congress doesn't matter and so i'm going to impose this on the american people through bureaucrats in the executive branch. mr. president, you are not king. the congress of the united states is the law-making body, and the unaccountable, unelected bureaucrats in the executive branch cannot do this without proper statutory authorization. that's why we need the raines in. that's why we need to rein in burdensome regulations. that's why we need to make sure that unelected, bureaucrats in the executive branch don't seek to impose by fiat a regulatory apparatus that commands and controls the american energy future. this is a question about
american energy freedom, a topdown command and control approach versus american energy diversity. the president wants to impose energy rationing, and we say let the american people decide what their energy sources should be. half of all energy production in the united states in 2008 came from coal. 90% of all electricity in my home state of kentucky comes from coal. in 2012, however, only 37% of our electricity comes from coal. and this president wants too take that number down -- wants to take that number down to 0%. so when the president's climate advisor says he wants a war on coal, he means it. and this is what i want to conclude with. this is not just about statistics, about coal jobs lost or energy freedom or the fact that we've lost nine power
units, coal-fired power units in kentucky over the last several years. this is about human beings. this is about people who've lost their jobs. this is about the president of the united states attacking a way of life, and president obama and his administration display a stunning lack of compassion. not once in his remarks yesterday did we hear any recognition, any understanding of the suffering the administration's new proposals will inflict in the communities f central app latchia and -- appalachian, and the communities that have shared a disproportionate share of pain during the past few years. the plan substitutes numbers and theories for flesh and blood. it has a perpetual crisis, justifying one regulation on top of another without any consideration of the costs to real people. how much is enough, mr.
president? where does it all end? by the obama administration's own admission, u.s. carbon emissions fell to the lowest level in two decades. the president of all people should read the statistic and conclude it's time for some breathing room, time to let the coal industry adjust, time to let people recover. but you don't offer breathing room in a war. in yesterday's "new york times," the white house climate advisor said a war on coal is exactly what we need, but this isn't just a war on an entire american industry, it's a war on coal miners and their families. and these coal miners, the 5,700 coal miners who have lost their jobs in eastern kentucky over the last four years under this administration, they depend on those paychecks. their families depend on those
paychecks. they don't have the political clout to attract this president's attention or concern, but they are americans. what a dramatic shift from a half century ago when presidents kennedy and johnson focused so much energy on alleviating poverty in the very same mountain counties the obama administration is now ravaging with these heartless policies. mr. president, if you truly care about people, come to eastern kentucky, see what happens when 70,000 a year -- per year jobs disappear overnight because of unaccountable bureaucrats in washington, d.c. at least give us some consideration of that, and better yet, start working with the coal industry to address climate change concerns and stop trying to kill it. it's time this administration put people ahead of its radical ideology. i yield back.
mr. cramer: thank you. i thank the gentleman from kentucky for his leadership on this important topic on the importance of coal as a major player in our energy fleet. if i could inquire about the balance of time available in the hour. the speaker pro tempore: 24 minutes. mr. cramer: thank you, mr. speaker. i appreciate the gentleman from kentucky speaking on the issue of coal because like oil and gas, coal is also important to north dakota. it's an industry that's been around for decades. in fact, we really learned about energy development in north dakota on coal. we have about 17, a little better than 17,000 folks that are employed either directly in the coal industry or one of the service industries that service the coal industry. it contributes about $3.5 billion in our little state. we've been mining for coal for decades. -- we've been
doing it for years. we generate some of the lowest priced electricity in the country. again, getting to the issue of affordable energy. very important in terms of our competitiveness in the global marketplace. so it's not just about the jobs, as important as those, high-paid jobs i might add, but it's about the competitive edge it gives us with the lower cost -- with the lower cost of electricity. but in north dakota under our beautiful prairies there's an 800-year supply of coal. to wage war on it today and leave 800 years worth of a product that provides wealth and jobs and opportunity and low-cost electricity in the ground makes no sense whatsoever. with that i want to yield some time to my neighbor and good friend who knows a fair bit about the energy industry himself, in fact, i have to admit the bachan was discovered in the state of montana, i recognize mr. daines.
mr. daines: thank you very much. i'm grateful for my good friend from north dakota, kevin cramer, for this time talking about what's really important to the people out in the heartland which sometimes is a very different set of values from what we find here in the beltway of washington. i was also struck by my good friend from kentucky, andy barr, as he shared his comments. it reminds me we are the party, e are the leaders back here -- standing for jobs, for revenues to go to our schools, for tax base, for low-cost energy. this president says one thing but the consequences of his policy is something in a will only ultimately benefit the elite and wealthy in this country instead of the regular working families of this country. i want to thank my friends here today for organizing this special order and bringing attention to the importance of america's energy sector, to our economy and to the daily lives of all americans.
and in montana we know the importance of a robust energy sector, whether it's oil, gas, coal, wind, water, biomass, it's all needed to create jobs and keep energy costs low for the people of our country. in fact, one of my priorities in congress is to fight for the all-of-the-above energy plan that helps grow american jobs, lower energy costs and help us fight for north american energy independence, energy security. unfortunately, president obama does not seem to share this goal. in fact, yesterday when president obama unveiled his latest energy plan, a job-killing agenda that will hurt american jobs and american families and small businesses, after his announcement yesterday, president obama made on mmitment to waging war american energy in a was made crystal clear with his
announcement yesterday. in fact, by imposing further barriers to the construction of the keystone x.l. pipeline and working to severe hinder american coal production, president obama has unveiled a misguided agenda that will only hurt montana and american consumers and cost good-paying montana jobs. montana's energy sector is a huge driver to our state's economy. in fact, our coal mining industry employs over 1,200 workers across our state. montana contains more coal reserves than any other state in america and ranks number six overall in coal production nationwide. it provides critical funding for our schools, we forget about the contributions to our tax base and helping build schools and fund teachers, which comes from the energy industry. development of our coal
reserves produces millions, let me say that again, millions of dollars for montana public education every year. my czar a senior at montana state university, preparing to graduate and go into elementary education in montana. energy production is critical to funding our schools our public schools in montana, as we look down the road. we've also seen tremendous growth from the booming development of the foundation that spreads across eastern montana and western north dakota. oil production in our state has created thousands of good-paying jobs both in the oil fields and also in the service industries that are at the heart of many of our small towns. i would like to have the president come out to eastern montana and see what's happening out there. families are struggling, living month to month, and seing the benefits now of the energy industry as they're now seing a paycheck they can count on looking forward. it's injected millions of dollars into our state's economy and like coal, has
provided millions of dollars in much-needed funding for montana's schools. recent studies show that this oil production accounts if for 40% of increased oil production nationwide and if the keystone x.l. pipeline is built we would be able to move 100,000 barrels of oil, that's montana and north dakota oil, per day from our very own formation. mr. president, i'm in favor for made in america energy. montana's natural resources like coal and oil provide our state and nation with quality american energy, they're helping keep the utility costs low for hardworking american taxpayers. montana gets more than half its power from coal. that helps keep electric rates low. we see some electric cars driving down the highway and i'm not obosed -- opposed to electric cars but we should have a stick thorne back that
says this electric car is likely powered by coal. it's among the lowest energy cost in the nation. not too long ago, traveling around our state, i'm the only member of congress for the state of montana, it's a privilege to represent an entire state, i was in gloss go, montana, meeting with an electric co-op. the norval electric coe-op is expected to supply power for one hofe keystone pump stations. if the keystone pipeline is built it will help norval keep their customers' electric rates stable for the next 10 years. 10 years of no increase. contrast that to if the pipeline is not built, they expect their rates will grow up wards of 40% other the next decade. mr. president, these customers at norval live month to month they live paycheck to paycheck. this is what's happening
american middle class hardworking taxpayers survive is by expanding our energy production, by declaring a war on energy right now, you're declaring a war on american families struggling every month to make ends meet. for most montanans who live on tight budgets, unlike a lot of folks in washington, d.c., and montanans who track where their paycheck is going a 40% increase in utility rates would be devastates. unfortunately, under president obama's agenda that could very well happen. president obama's war on coal would hinder coal production in montana and the jobs that rely on this important industry. it would be a serious blow to montana families and small businesses who rely on coal as a reliable source for affordable electricity. just as bad this job-killing agenda will be imposed through unilateral action, demonstrating the president is more set on achieving his own political goals rather than listening to the will of the
american people or working to create much needed jobs. mr. president, the people of america are focused on paying their bills every month. that's a higher priority to them than your priority, winning an election in 2014. by sidestepping congress and public scrutiny, president obama will set his ageneral ka in motion through costly new regulations and more and more red tape an bureaucratic hoops. these roadblocks won't just hurt the coal industry, as we know, president obama and his advisors seek to do. these regulations will hurt hardworking american taxpayers who rely on american energy chear day. let me be clear. president obama's agenda isn't just a war on coal. this is a war on montana energy, on millionth families, on montana small businesses and it must be stopped. i'll remain steadfast in this fight to stop the president's job-killing agenda and i look forward to working with my colleagues here today on commonsense policies to grow
american energy and help create the good-paying jobs that the american people desperately need. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: i thank the gentleman for his comments and i especially appreciate your reference to the keystone -- mr. cramer: i thank the gentleman for his comments and i especially appreciate your reference to the keystone x.l. pipeline. there was a pipeline built with very little fanfare, i was part of the north dakota public service committee, i sighted the first 220 miles in the united states of the original keystone pipeline. it didn't go anywhere near the bakken, unfortunately, but it did cross 600 landowners' land two. scenic rivers. we put a lot of restrictions on it but with very little fanfare. every land oner willingly signed the contract. there wasn't a single inch of that pipeline in north dakota that had to be condemned to be built. and it was interesting because we have, i think, five or six
pumping stations in the -- in north dakota on the original keystone and the coe-ops were all arguing about -- co-ops were arguing whose territory would it be in because every pumping station was a load equivalent to a city of 10,000 people. that's big-time for the people of north dakota and the people of the united states for those who argue it's not about the united states, the keystone x.l. it is about the united states. so i appreciate you raising that issue. another state that has a lot to lose in the war on coal and a lot to gain by more offshore drilling is virginia and i recognize the gentleman from virginia, mr. griffith. mr. griffith: i thank you for the opportunity to speak on these important issues. it's true that offshore in virginia is something we've been discussing since 2004. what's interesting is a lot of folks who said, you don't want to do that, 2004, it's not going to help gas prices you know why? it'll take seven to 10 years to get it developed. guess what, if we'd started in 2004 drilling off the coast of virginia, we'd be getting that
natural gas and we'd be getting that oil off the coast of virginia right now an it would be creating jobs, creating tax dollars that could go to cools -- schools, roads you name it, whatever the legislature in virginia wanted to spen it on, it could be going to increase the revenues of the united states of america as well and this congress could be debating the expenditure of those funds and what we wanned to do with those moneys. instead, the naysayers keep saying not now, not now. i say to them if not now, when? when are we going to do this? we know it's out there, we know it's a huge resource to the united states and then yesterday, on top of blocking our ability to get from the other side of the state, the natural gas and the oil that is there and that we know is there and we want to get to, the president of the united states declared what i call the war on coal, phase two. he's already been involved in phase one for some time but in his comments yesterday, he made
it clear that he's not going to wait for signs to get us a solution because it's coming. the research that's being done on chemical looping and other ways to use coal cleanly, where you end up with coal ash and carbon dioxide, no sox, no knox, no mercury, coal ash and carbon dioxide and you can repsych they will iron pellets they use. it's a wonderful process. but we have testing left to do on it. it's been working at ohio state university, they're building a fa illle isity in alabama, they'll be doing testing beginning later this year that will end next year on a bigger project than what they did at ohio state but still it's got another phase to go after that. but if we wait just a few years and we do reasonable things now and we wait for science to catch up, we can in fact accomplish what the president wants to accomplish on the environment and not destroy the jobs of southwest virginia,
central appalachian region, all other coal producing states, there's more than 20 other coal producing states and we'll be damaging their economies if we go forward. the president noted in his speech, what you'll hear from the special interest and their allies in congress is that this will kill jobs and crush the economy. well ladies and gentlemen, that's exactly what you'll hear and you know why you're going to hear it? because it's true. and if being a special interest means you have to be one of the people that lost their job in the coal fields of southwest virginia or kentucky or west virginia or any of the other states where jobs have been, we've been losing them monthly we get reports, another 25 here, another 15 there, people who have been laid off in the coal fields and it's not just the coal fields, it's the railroads, the railroads that haul the coal. and it's the people at the manufacturing centers that make the equipment for the mines. and it's the car dealerships that used to sell cars to the
miners who used to have jobs, and let me make something clear, folks. being in the mine is a hard job, no question about it. we want to make sure health concerns are taken into consideration because it does have dangers to it, no question about that. but the workers in those mines are making somewhere between $75,000 and $95,000 a year if you add in their benefits. you take a district like mine, the ninth district of virginia, where the average household income is around $36,000 a year, an you start laying off 15 $75,000 to $95,000 a year job here's with health insurance included, lay off another 25 jobs here, 30 jobs there, you talk about destroying the economy, you're darn right you're going to destroy the economy. if standing up for the special interest of the people who work in the mines, people who work in equipment factories, people who work at the car dealerships, people who work at the restaurants in southwest is
a -- in southwest virginia is a bad thing, i'll keep doing a bad thing because i'll continue to fight for southwest virginia and the jobs in the coal fields. the other thing the president went on later to say, he said this issue didn't used to be partisan, now it's partisan. guess what, the president is wrong. s that bipartisan issue. i'm going to look at the bluefield daily telegraph and read you quotes from my democrat colleagues because it's important for the people of america to know that the president may want to divide, but in the coal fields, we understand exactly what this is going to do to our jobs and to our economy and ultimately to the economy of the united states of america. u.s. representative nick rahall, democrat, west virginia, said obama's climate change plan is misguided and could cost millions of jobs. that's not a republican. that's a democrat. he goes on. the misguided, misinformed, and untenable policy that the president put forth this afternoon puts at risk the
energy security of america and the jobs of millions of our citizens. rahall said, locking away the fuels that power our nation behind ideologically imposed barriers will drive up costs for nearly every business and manner of industry -- industrial activity while driving jobs overseas. households already struggling to make ends meet will see energy bills skyrocket. that's nick rahall, democrat of west virginia. he goes on to say that the administration should be advocating new clean coal technologies as opposed to crippling regulations. isn't that really where the president has been going the whole time? isn't that where he's going. he said in the "san francisco chronicle" interview, 1/17/2008, when i was asked about the issue of coal, under a planned cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket.
nick rahall, households already struggling to make ends meet will see energy bills skyrocket. the president's doing what he said he was going to do. he declared war on coal and now he's going to try to see if he can't finish it by devastating the american economy and the economy of southwest virginia and central ap lash shah, it's not -- appalachia, it's not right. let's look at the science your administration has invested money into, chemical loops may be the way we can both have what we want. i want, and my colleagues want, jobs for america, tax dollars coming in off coal, natural gas, offshore drill, we want to see tax revenues coming in, because we can use that to help americans. we want to help all americans. you want to clean up the environment so do we. we can do it but we have to be reasonable. let's go forward and look at another democrat, that would be mansion.oe
he said, obama's plan will have disastrous consequences for not only the coal industry but also american jobs and the economy. he goes on, the regulations the president wants to force on coal are not feasible. and if it's not feasible, it's not reasonable. it's clear now that the president has declared a war on coal, it's simply unacceptable that one of the key elements of his climate change proposal puts regulations on coal that are completely impossible to meet with existing technology. the fact is clear our own energy department reports that our country will get 37% of our energy from coal until the year 2040. removing coal from our energy mix will have a disastrous consequence for our recovering economy. these policies, these are the words of the senator, a democrat from west virginia, these policies punish, they
punish, american businesses by putting them in a competitive disadvantage with our global competitors and those competitors burn 7/8 of the world's coal and they're not going to stop using coal any time soon. it's only commonsense to use our domestic resources and that includes our coal and senator manchin is exactly right. let me tell you when we burn coal here and create jobs here in the united states of america, as you well know, that means we're not sending those manufacturing jobs overseas to a country, you know, particularly if they're in asia or in some of the emerging economies, they don't have anywhere near the regulations that we have, they don't have the regulations we had in the year 2000 or the year 2005. to comply with. so we can create the goods here, create jobs for americans , create tax dollars which will help us deal with the national debt and deficit problem, we can do all of that here and we
can do it by burning coal more efficiently and cleaner than the countries that we're competing with but instead the president wants to ignore all that, ignore those facts and go forward and say, no, no, no we can't do that. he goes on to say after that, even regardless of what i say whether coal is good or bad, because i'm capping greenhouse gases, coal power plants -- now, listen to this -- there's a comma here, because listen to this because right now he's not singing the same tune. because i'm capping greenhouse gas, comma, coal power plants, comma, you know, natural gas, you name it, whatever the plants were, whatever the industry was, they would have to retrofit their operations, that will cost money. they will pass that money onto
consumers. who are the consumers? who are the consumers? i believe the consumers are the average family out there, the single parent trying to raise children, the elderly, the folks trying to struggle with at $36,000 a year annual household income, the miners and workers in the factories that produce the goods that help the miners do their job who now don't have jobs, they're still going to have that electric bill coming in. you know, it's interesting, the president actually cut in his budget proposal the liheap money which is the program to help those that can't pay their heat bill. -- it he same time we're doesn't make sense. the president's policies don't make sense. i submit to you all that the president needs to rethink this, he needs to look at clean coal technology because that's the winner for american jobs, for american prosperity and for america to go forward into the future leading the way, and i
yield back to my friend and colleague. mr. cramer: thank you so very much for your insights and your experience in this very important industry of coal and all of the things that it supports and support it. i think an appropriate way to sort of wrap this discussion up is to remind folks that while we are advocates for energy development, domestic energy development, american energy production that creates a competitive global advantage in all areas, also good stewards of the environment. let me just close with this. these counties in north dakota that have seven power plants burning coal all got a ratings from the american lung association. and i believe that the same god that created the beauty and splendor of the oceans and the mountains and the prairies and the topsoil put the minerals underneath it and we need to back. and i yield
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. nebs are reminded to address their remarks to the chair. under the speaker's announced policy of january 3, 2013, the gentleman from texas, mr. o'rourke, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the minority leader. mr. o'rourke: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to speak about a place that is very near and dear to my heart, a place that is the source of great beauty, the source of millions of jobs for this country, an economic driver not just for the region that i represent, not just a state in which my district resides, but for this entire country and for that matter this hemisphere. i'm here today to speak about the u.s.-mexico border, and i have the privilege and honor of serving with other members who represent significant sections of the u.s. side of the u.s.-mexico border, we're joined today by susan davis
from california, pete gallego fill money vela -- filemon vela. el paso is home to 800,000 ople and along with ciudad juarez, they have served as the ellis island for mexico and much of latin america. literally millions of immigrants who are now u.s. citizens who are productive members of our communities have passed through the ports of entry in the district i have the honor of representing. and beyond that and beyond the human dimension of what the border produces, the beauty, the wander, the creativity, the culture it develops from there, the border is also an important part of who we are as a country in our past. it's one of the most essential places anywhere in the united
states today as seen by the debate that's taking place in the senate, and it is the future of this country, whether you look at it demographically, whether you look at it economically, whether you look at it culturally or by any other measure, the border is absolutely critical to the united states. i want to talk about a couple of aspects that help to define this critical place that the border holds for this country, and i thought i would start with trade. there are more than six million jobs here in the united states that are dependent on the trade that crosses our pours of entry at our southern -- our ports of entry at our southern ports of entry. more than 100,000 of those jobs are in the district i represent in el paso, texas. the state of texas itself has 400,000 jobs that depend on this trade. more than $300 billion a year flow between our two countries. mexico is the second largest export market for the united
states. we are the largest export market for mexico. and a critical aspect of the trade that comes into the united states from mexico that's very important to remember is that unlike any other trading partner that we have, more than 40% of the value of the trade that comes north from mexico originated in the united states. so we are literally producing together even those things that are imported into the united states from mexico. again, mexico is the source of jobs. it's the source of so many things that are positive to our economy, to our culture and to our communities and all that comes to ahead at the u.s.-mexico border. now, if you're listening to the debate that's taking place right now about comprehensive immigration reform and some of the provisions that have passed out of the senate and some of the commentary that you read in the newspapers or the talking heads that you see on tv, you might not know that. you might instead see the u.s.-mexico border as a source of anxiety, as a threat to this country's security and its
future, as something to be feared, to be locked down, to be secured and to be forgotten. we're here to tell you today that the fax -- facts and the truth and the reality could not be further from the current debate that you're hearing on the public airwaves today. in fact, the community i represent, el paso, texas, is the safest city in the united states, bar none. it was the safest city last year in the united states and the year before that. in fact, for the last 10 years, el paso, texas, has been among the five safest cities anywhere in the united states. but el paso is not alone for its security along the u.s.-mexico border. san diego is the second safest city in the united states. laredo recently ranked at one of the top safest cities of any city in the united states. in fact, if you're on the u.s. side of the u.s.-mexico border, chances are you're safer there than you could be anywhere else in the country. and these benefits do not just
accrue to el paso, to texas and to the borderlands. there are jobs, tens of thousands of jobs, hundreds of thousands of jobs in states throughout the country, billions of dollars of economic growth related to our trade with mexico, not just in texas, arizona, new mexico and california, but montana, florida, ohio, indiana, michigan. again, it's important to emphasize that even that trade coming north from mexico in many cases originated in these other states that are not border states. so one of the messages that we hope that carries from today is that regardless of whether you are in el paso, texas, and understand the border inherently, or if you're in detroit, michigan, you have a vested from in a healthy border. a healthy border equals a healthy u.s. economy. that equals more jobs, more economic growth and more positive factors for the u.s. going forward. so with that introduction of
what it is we hope to cover today, i now want to yield to pete gallego, who by land mass, represents almost a quarter of the state of texas, someone who served in the state legislature, someone who lives and understands the border and can speak to the positive dynamics that we see there. i now yield to pete gallego such time as he may consume. mr. allego: thank you, speaker. i'd like to thank my colleague, congressman o'rourke, my fellow west texan, with whom i share the privilege of representing el paso county, for yielding me this time to talk about some issues that are critical to the border. and i have to say, mr. speaker, at i don't want to use any incendiary rhetoric. don't want to use any flashy
words because frankly i think that the people of this country elected the members of congress ot to cheerlead or use harsh rhetoric or add fuel to the fire but to solve problems. i'd like to talk about some of the challenges that in real terms this congress has the opportunity to make a difference on. the 23rd congressional district, which i have the privilege of representing, runs some 800 miles along the texas-mexico border. it includes five ports of goesa, agle pass, share el paso. no other -- share goesa, el paso. -- saragosa, el paso. the district is both rural and urban and frankly it looks like what the rest of texas will
soon look like because it is evenly split between democrats and republicans. because this district has the largest border with mexico, the policy discussions about border security, about immigration reform, these conversations greatly impact the 23rd districtly. frankly, they impact the entire state of texas. the passage or failure of immigration reform will profoundly affect us all. in texas there are approximately 1.7 million unauthorized immigrants. comprising 6.7% of the state's population. according to a 2006 report from the texas comptroller of public accounts who was a republican officeholder at the time, she indicated in her report the absence of the estimated 1.4 million undocumented immigrants in texas in fiscal year 2005
would have been a loss to our gross state product of $17.7 billion. well, as public servants, as i indicated early on, the weight of our words is rather heavy. i've asked the comptroller to provide the current comptroller to provide an updated study, to shed some light on the current impact that our state has as a result of these undocumented immigrants. the study would ensure that all 38 members of congress from texas and everyone else can have adequate information during what is a very important policy debate. a more recent study from the immigration policy center noted if all unauthorized immigrants were removed from texas, the state would lose $69.3 billion in economic activity. the state would also lose $30.8 billion in gross state product,
nd approximately $403,-- 403,174 jobs. well, after more than two decades, i'm very encouraged that comprehensive immigration reform is clearing hurdles in the senate. i'm hoping that our colleagues in the house will take it up as well as soon as possible. make no mistake, the legislation in the senate, it's not what i would have drafted. those of us on the border know that what we need are more customs and border protection agents at our ports of entry. many jobs in texas, much of our onomy, in fact, is linked to international trade. in fact, more than 50 million americans work for companies that engage in international trade.
that coming from the u.s. department of the treasury. trade with mexico represents one of our biggest economic drivers and pumps billions into our economy every day. every day a billion dollars in cross-border commerce happens between the u.s. and mexico. that equates to some $45 million in commerce for our -- per hour. staffing increases at our ports would decrease wait times at our ports of entry, would increase security and would lead to more effective screening and entry for those who are traveling as well as for imports that are coming into the united states. it is those long lines at our ports of entry that hinder economic development and harm our economy. yes, it is true, no one will argue, that our nation's doorways must be secured. and that our trade and our commerce along the border on which many small and large
businesses depend, must be allowed to move efficiently. i'm hopeful that as debate on the immigration issue continues as we continue our conversations, that we can increase the staffing at c.b.p. a policy move that does in all truth make sense for texas. but as far as the fence is concerned, the border fence, in a time of tight budgets, i have to say that i'm very perplexed as to why congress would spend so much money on an ineffective project. you'd be hard-pressed to find too many texans, particularly those who live and work or have been raised along the border who support the notion of a fence. let me give you a couple of examples and a couple of quotes. the idea that you're going to build a wall from brownsville to el paso is just -- it's ridiculous on its face.
that quote comes from the governor of texas, rick perry, just last year. how about this quote. the border fence is a 19th century solution to a 21st century problem. that quote comes to us from senator john cornyn of texas in 2006. as i said, i'm opposed to the notion of a border fence and would rather we shore up our ports to speed up commerce. a fence isn't something that those of us who represent the border support. but we understand that it is important to bring families out of the shadows. economically, here is what comprehensive immigration reform means to those of us along the border and elsewhere. to each and every one of us. it mean ours deficits will decrease while g.d.p., productivity, investment, and
employment will increase. our country will save over $1 trillion or about a trillion dollars over the next two decades. more than 10 million people just in $459 billion income and payroll taxes during the first 10 years. and over that decade, we will reduce the federal deficit by $197 billion and will add more than $200 billion into the social security trust fund. the decade after that, comprehensive immigration reform will reduce the federal deficit by $700 billion. in texas, all the key players are standing steadfast for immigration reform. it's supported by the chambers of commerce, it's supported by the texas farm bureau, it's supported by labor, and it's supported by public opinion in our state. because it makes economic
sense. my paternal grandfather worked cattle and founded a small family restaurant that launched our family into the middle class. my maternal grandfather built fences across the hardscrabble landscape of far west texas. and today i have the privilege of representing the 23rd district in congress. in this nation, our values teach us that families stick together and that hard work, not circumstances, should shape our future. it really is a country of opportunity. our nation becomes stronger as more people pledge allegiance to our flag and commit themselves fully to our nation and to our economy. i'm hopeful we can move quickly on this, this very important policy matter that greatly impacts not only the 23rd district but the entire state
of texas and frankly our country as a whole. immigration reform is right, the time is right, texans are counting on this. it is significant, if you've ever been in the texas capitol, years ago, our forefathers and foremothers who built that beautiful pink granite building faced the front door in a certain direction. our front door of the state capitol doesn't face north toward washington. our front door faces south, toward mexico. the front door to our nation is govern -- as governor richards used to refer to it, is a very important doorway for trade, for commerce. it's historically significant not only for texas but for the rest of our country. again, immigration reform is right for texas. it's right for america. and it's something that this congress should make sure
happens as soon as possible. with that, depen, mr. speaker, i'm very grateful to congressman o'rorke for yielding me this time and i yield back the balance of my ime. mr. o'rork: i want to thank congressman gayay go for his -- gall -- mr. o'rork: i want to thank congress -- mr. o'rourke: i want to thank congressman gallego for his eloquent upport of this matter. the senate bill, with the group of eight and those who have joined them, are moving forward, i'm happy that we're making progress. what concerns me are some of the provisions that specifically relate to the u.s.-mexico border. you're talking about 600 miles of border fencing and walls that currently exist being ex-panned to more than 1,400
miles of the 2,000-mile border. you're talking about a border patrol force that today is more than 20,000, which is more than double what it was in 2001, being doubled yet again to more than 40,000 and all this for the cost of upwards of $50 billion a year, and as representative gallego pointed out, this is at a time of tight budgets, sequester, railroad deaf -- record deficits and debt, we can't amedical record -- afford to move forward like this. but i will grant propones of this this, there is a certain crude logic. if you have a problem with immigration and a problem with flows northward, then putting walls in place, doubling the border patrol what trolling that line, there's a crude ogic solution, and it is a solution, albeit a 19th century solution to a problem, but it's a problem by all accounts does
not exist. net migration from mexico last year was zero. we had record southbound deporting as, record low northbound apprehensions, we're spending $18 billion a year on border security, twice what we were spending in 2006, as i mentioned before, we more than doubled the size of the border patrol and the boarder is as secure as it has ever been. el paso, the safest city. san diego, the second safest. the u.s. side of the u.s.-mexico boarder is the safest place to be anywhere in the united states today. we had no less authority than the secretary of homeland security say the border is as safe as it has ever been. the head of the border patrol say the border is as safe as it has ever been. by any rational measure, that's not where the problem exists. this next slide, i think in an image and a picture shows you with the problem exists today this slide here represents the
of entry rte port coming back in from juarez. many of those coming north, who are u.s. citizens, who are mexican citizens, who are tourists visiting our region, face these kinds of lines that can last upwards of four hours to enter the u.s. and for those of you who have not been to el paso you may not know, that we, with ciudad juarez are joined at the hip. our street grids join each other, we may wake up in el paso, do business in war rose and come back at the end of the day, we are truly a binational community. and when you choke commerce, commerce that supports tens of thousands of jobs in my community, you're doing a disservice not just to us, because i don't expect the rest of congress to care about the border, necessarily, not just to the state of texas, but
you're doing harm to the national economy. if we need to spend more money if we need to put tighter focus on the border, this is where we need it. instead of more border patrol agents, and those that we have are doing a remarkable job and we stand fully behind them and want to make sure we support them in their current objectives and we can afford to pay them what they're owed which under the sequester we're not doing them today. instead of taxing resources where we already have it covered, let's move the resources to our ports of spri and make sure that we have customs and border protection officers to speed the flow of legitimate travel, trade and ports of entry. that will create jobs not scrust for my district, improve the quality of life not just for el paso and along the border but it will be a net benefit to this country. it will be a benefit that pays back many, many, many times over. now to hear from somebody who also understands the u.s.-mexico border quite well who lives there, who has his
family there, has grown up there, and has done a remarkable job representing the interests of the u.s. border, i'd like to introduce and yield to representative vela from brownsville, texas, such time as he may consume. mr. ve la: mr. speaker, i thank -- mr. vela: mr. speaker i thank mr. o'rork for putting together this special order and i rise in opposition to provisions which condition a pathway to citizenship on the construction of additional border fence. historically our country has criticize the construction of barriers of all time. for instance new york 1987, president reagan stood at the brandenburg gate near the berlin wall and said, mr. gorbachev, tear down this wall. two years later the wall was
demolished, ushering in a new era of economic harmony. as someone who lives on the board for the brownsville, texas, i can state with certainty the argument that construction of additional border fence will stem the flow of undocumented migration and increase border security is flawed for many reasons. first, directing more border fence drives a wedge between border communities which are culturally united. many who live on the u.s. side of the southern board ver family an friends who live on the mexican side and vice versa. the current border fence has come to symbolize divisiveness and serves as a daily reminder of a flawed immigration system. for this reason, residents on both sides of the border oppose the border fence. second, the construction of additional border fence will damage already fragile wildlife and natural resources. bobcats, coyotes, owls, lizards, snakes, all rely on
habitat on both sides of the border. additional fencing will adversely impact these and other animal habitats. their, erecting additional border fence will cost billions of dollars. this money could be more efficiently spent on less intrusive, high tech, border surveillance and economic aid to border communities on the u.s. and mexico. the focus of these provisions ick isguided as it promotes a to a problem rooted in violence and lack of opportunity. since 2006, approximately 71,500 people have been killed as a result of cartel violence in mexico. while mexico's overall economy has performed exceedingly well in the past, recent past, economic conditions along the u.s.-mexico border remain kyntly stagnant. the real solution to reducing the flow of undocumented ámigrant into the couldn't --
development on both sides of the border, thereby providing more economic opportunities for an ever-increasing population. fostering a vibrant border economy will mean that young men and women will have an option other than organized crime to proovide for their families. while this amendment ignores the fundamental cause of illegal immigration into the united states, it also does not account for the deep trade ties between the united states and mexico. as my colleague from texas mentioned, last year alone, the united states greatly benefited from the estimated $500 billion in trade with mexico supporting six million jobs across the united states. trade with mexico even impacted the economy of the -- of alaska and our island state of hawaii. importantly, trade with mexico is critical to the economies of states on the border and those far removed from the mexican border. i'll give a few examples. .
in the state of new hampshire, for instance, the total trade volume between the state of new hampshire and the country of mexico is $1.5 billion. computers and other electronic products amount for $680 million or 72% of new hampshire's total exports to mexico. 28,531 jobs in the state of new hampshire depend on trade with mexico. in the state of new york, the total volume of trade between the united states and -- between the country of mexico and the state of new york is $5.67 billion. new york exports $2.6 billion worth of goods to mexico. 381,238 jobs in new york rely on trade with mexico. mexico ranks among new york's 10 international markets with 384,000 travelers per year. jewelry is one of the largest exports from new york to
mexico, with $500 million in value. in the state of pennsylvania, the total volume of trade between the state of pennsylvania and the country of mexico is $5.59 billion. 249,409 jobs in pennsylvania rely on trade with mexico. primary metal manufacturers are pennsylvania's top sector in exports to mexico. representing 5 $560 million and 2 is -- 21% of the state's total exports to mexico. in addition, $547 million in primary chemicals are exported to mexico. in the south, the state of tennessee, the total trade volume between the state of tennessee and the country of mexico is $7.62 billion. tennessee exports, $381 billion
to mention could 23% of all cotton exported to mexico from the u.s. comes from tennessee. making the state the second largest exporter of cotton to mexico with $256 million in revenue. 85 -- $855 million worth of transportation equipment is exported to mexico from the state of tennessee. 122,085 jobs in tennessee depend on trade with mexico. in the state of alabama, the total volume of trade between the state of alabama and the country of mexico is $2.7 billion. alabama exports $1.72 billion worth of goods to ex mexico -- worth of goods to mexico. transportation equipment is the state's largest export industry to mexico, generating $466 million and representing 27% of the state's exports to mexico. 86,212 jobs in the state of alabama depend on trade with mexico. the total kansas,
trade volume between the state of kansas and the country of mexico is $2.38 billion. the state of kansas exports $1.63 billion in products to mexico. crop production is kansas' strongest industry in terms of exports to mexico, accounting for $588 million in export revenue annually and 37% of total exports to mexico. 11% of aerospace products exported from kansas go to mexico. and mexico is the largest importer of congress and third largest importer of beef from the state of kansas. 59,341 jobs in kansas depend on trade with mexico. clearly all states benefit greatly from trade with mexico. erecting more border fence would shield the robust economic relationship that our country and our states enjoy with that country. rather than constructing new hurdles to trade with mexico, we should be tearing down trade barriers in order to promote and strengthen our relationship
with our neighbor country. thank you, mr. speaker, i yield the rest of my time to mr. o'rourke. mr. o'rourke: want to thank my colleague from the rio grande valley. with the legislation based on emotions instead of facts with the cold, hard truth of our economic interdependence with mexico. we ignore this at our peril and to the peril of millions of jobs in this country, hundreds of billions of dollars of economic opportunity and growth. we welcome the focus and the attention at the u.s.-mexico border but we want those who are watching to see the truth. and the truth is we are a positive dynamic source of jobs and economic opportunity for this hemisphere, for both mexico and most importantly for us in this body, here in the united states. it is my feeling that the wall that exists today, the 600
miles of the 2,000 miles that join the united states and mexico, the 600 miles of fencing today will soon be looked at by a majority of americans in this country as something to be ashame -- ashamed of, as folly that followed the paranoia and the anxiety that we have toward mexico border today. when you think about the cost of this wall, the current wall costs us more than $2.4 billion to build and will cost us another $6.5 billion to maintain for just the next 20 years. why would we then spend more than $16 million per mile for additional walls that will cost us billions of dollars to build over the next five or 10 years and then probably hundreds of millions, if not billions, to remove once we've realized our mistake which i hope is not too far in the future? and if there is fear and anxiety and frustration with mexico, i'd like to know where that's coming from. because it's not coming from the facts and the figures that
we see in el paso and that we see when we look at mexico. mexico is a growing dynamic, vibrant economy. it has millions of people moving in to the middle class. it's modernizing. it's breaking up its monopolies. the country of mexico has more free trade agreements with other chris than any other country on the planet -- countries than any other country on the planet. this is a country that wants to move ahead, that wants to do well for its citizens, that's investing back in itself and is providing opportunity so other people don't seek that opportunity in other countries like the united states. that's thank explains why net migration -- that explains why net migration from mexico to the u.s. was at zero this past year. mexico is not a threat. the u.s.-mexico border should not be a source of anxiety. mexico's a big part of our future and it's a positive source for those things that we want to see happen in this country. and someone who understands that quite well from
representing her district along the u.s.-mexico border in southern california, part of a state by the way that has seen more than a 30% drop in crime over the last 10 years, despite and maybe because of the fact that it borders mexico and has such large immigrant populations, i'm happy now to yield the floor to my colleague, susan davis from california. mrs. davis: thank you very much. and, mr. speaker, i'm very pleased to be here with my colleagues today and i certainly want to thank mr. o'rourke and mr. vela for presenting what we all believe is so critical and so important. it's not just about border communities and border cities. that acknowledge and benefit from our relationship with the border and particularly with the mexican border. t really is the entire state that we're representing and far beyond that. because my colleague
represented how many -- how much trade is done in other states throughout our country. we know it's important to national security. we also know it's important to our economic interest. because that trade fuels our economy, it stimulates our competitiveness and it also reflects our cultural values. those things are critically important and we need to bring those in to the discussion as well. we often talk here in congress about the need to give businesses the certainty that they need. but honestly, look at what's been happening today. the budget standoff and sequestration are doing just the opposite of what our businesses really need. and in fact congress is -- congress' inability to pass legislation is jeopardizing our greatest opportunity right now, which is economic growth and that is our commerce along our borders.
six million u.s. jons de-- jobs depend on trade with mexico. should i say that again? six million u.s. jobs depend on trade with mexico. last year imports from mexico accounted for over half of our two nations' total trade which is about $278 billion. sometimes we can differ slightly on those numbers. but that's about what it is. that trade relies on modern infrastructure, it relies on roads and it relies on ports of entry. -- ports of entry that can accommodate the enormous volume of goods coming through every single day. but what's the reality today? the reality is that our ports of entry are in various states of disarray. because of underfunding for improvement and modernization projects.
our ports do not have the capacity to meet this demand. meaning that often people have to wait up to at least 2 1/2 hours during the day of commerce and trucks up to six. you know, there's an app out there that tells you there's how long of a wait to expect and in san diego, in the district, wait times today, on sunday, at the port of entry, can reach three to four hours and now and then it can even exceed that. the other day i was up early getting ready to board a plane to come into washington from san diego and even at about 5:30 in the morning at the ports of entry the wait was about an hour and 45 minutes. and you know what? they were celebrating the fact that it was only that long.
yet -- you have to come down to the border to see this. i think for folks who don't live on a border like we have in san diego, you can't even imagine how many cars are assembling there. it's pretty spectacular. and you know what? it shouldn't be this way and it doesn't have to be this way. no modern economy can operate under those conditions. no modern economy devotes just $50 million to fund infrastructure projects for ports of entry for our entire nation. think about that. $50 million for all of our ports of entry. what we should be doing is viewing our ports of entry and our borders as assets to our nation. but instead chronic
underfunding has led to wait times that cost our country very day in total productivity loss and tax revenue. it's tremendous. wait times translate to $7.2 billion in output loss and cost us upwards of 62,000 jobs. 62,000 jobs. people who could be working if we could make our ports of entry more efficient. we do have some good news. congress has already authorized infrastructure improvements at the nation's port of entry, including critical phases in san diego. we know that's the busiest land crossing in the world. so that's the good news that congress has authorized that. what's the bad news? the bad news is that congress has refused to provide the funding necessary to break ground.
-- ground on those two additional phases. and you know what? that's just not consistent for what we talk about as needing a border security bill for this nation. the facts -- the fact that that is so underfunded and chaotic by any means suggests that, you know, we don't really think that we need to do the right thing when it comes to border security. so let's place the need where it belongs. it belongs on infrastructure and it belongs in trying to figure out what is it that's going to make a difference for this country? well, certainly funding that border security will help. on the border for ports of entry. if there is one thing that this body should be able to do, that we should be able to come together on, it should be a smart investment that businesses want and workers
need. i can assure you that's what they want and businesses need. so i urge my colleagues to get to work on a budget that supports our nation's ports and our engines of economic growth and place the need for border security where it belongs, and we know that it will help and create the economic engines that we need for our future. thank you so much to my colleagues and i appreciate your bringing us together for this. thank you. mr. o'rourke: thank you, mrs. davis, i appreciate hearing more facts from my colleague about the border. i place that in congress to, again the anxiety and fear that is surrounding much of the border policy that we're hearing from the senate and in
some circles here in the house. and the reason that we are so sensitive to that here on the u.s. side of the u.s.-mexico porder is we bear the brunt of those poll -- border is we bear the brunt of those policies. the enforcement of the cost to our economies, to our way of life, falls to those communities that fall on the u.s. side of the u.s.-mexico border. but what is the source of that anxiety and fear? where does it come from? if i had to characterize it bluntly, i'd say it comes from those who feel that mexican nationals are coming to our country to steal our jobs, take our resources, consume or benefits, and put our country at an economic disadvantage. but fen, if -- but again if we take that and look at the underlying fact well, see a far different picture. the congressional budget office has recently scored a comprehensive immigration
reform proposal from the senate and has found that over the $197 0 years, it will net billion in deficit reduction for the united states, that's a huge positive for this country and that's by the numbers, by a nonpartisan analysis of the facts. the next 10 years following that first decade, it jumps to almost $700 billion in deficit reduction. those are net positives to this country. and even for those immigrants who are here today in an undocumented status, we find that they are net contributors to our economy and to our tax system rather than net beneficiaries in terms of drawing down those benefits and resources. so any way you look at it, any way you cut it, immigration to the united states is positive. and again, the factors that are -- that we see today in mexico lead us to believe that the situation will only get better. mexico is the 14th largest
economy in the world by g.d.p. it's expected to grow from this year to 2016 by almost 5% annually. the lowest unemployment rate in all of latin america is in mexico today and we expect it 2016. as low as 3.5% by if we have net zero mybration from mexico today, i think -- migration from mexico today, i think there's a case to be made that it will be a negative number by 2016. there's no sense in building a thousand miles more of walls, of spending $50 billion and doubling the size of the border patrol for a threat that does not exist. for a problem that does not exist. i think we've illustrate wrd those resources would be better spent to create more jobs, more economic growth, and more positive development for the u.s. economy and for our country. someone who i think has been quite articulate on this issue in the past, especially from his perspective on the
u.s.-mexico border in arizona is representative raul grijalva, i now yield such time as he may consume so he can further illustrate the positive dynamic of the u.s.-mexico border. mr. grijalva: thank you, mr. chairman. let me thank our colleague from for , congressman o'rourke organizing this discussion. a discussion that needs to happen. is discussion that talks about the board for the a full context is drowned out by the , rillness, the overreaction and a rhetoric that sometimes borders or crosses into tai tread and fear. -- into hatred and fear. i represent district three in southern arizona. 300 miles of border between the u.s. and mexico that i happen to have the privilege to
represent. border communities such as nogales, san luis, and others are part of this district that i represent. and i grew up in those border lands. borderlands that share a common history, heritage, and share a common dependency on the economic development and the jobs and the social welfare of those borderlands. that dependency is with our neighbors across the board for the mexico. i want to talk a little bit about looking at this context in very human terms, in very -- in geographical terms, and in historical terms. the discussion on immigration reform when it comes to the issue of security has been about how much more can we do accommodate and in
order to draw more support for a comprehensive immigration reform package. i understand the logic, but i ertainly don't understand at all the overkill and excess. to double the number of border patrol agents without a strategic plan, without accountability for what's been -- for the 18 billion or delsh for the $18 billion or $19 billion spent on the border up to this point, i think it's throwing money, potentially good money after bad. sec of all. look at technology as the answer, we should also be looking at addressing our ports of entry, addressing the very, very need, very real need of understaffing aamong customs agents that are essential both to security and the flow of
goods and services, trade, and economic development. my colleagues have indicated how many jobs depend on this trade. this is the -- second leading trading partner in the world for the united states, mexico is. and we cannot have a border that -- whose sole purpose is to shut down the availability of goods and services and to cripple and constrain the very trade that we need for economic development in this country. many jobs depend on it and certainly the health and well-being of the region depends on it. the excess of security based on the amendment to the legislation in the senate, the overkill as i called it, i think one has to, hen back to discussions that have been before this floor in the past, and that has to do with how much is enough.
i will take a very, very safe et that regardless of how much , how many, and how much money is spent on security along that border, how high the fence is, how long the fence is, that there will still be those who get up on this floor and in the other chamber's floor and demand more. without a plan, without accountability, and without an audit for what's been done at this point. let me discuss the current state of security on the border. largest numbers of deportations. the largest number of detentions. 20,000 border patrol agents on the border, largest number of apprehensions, and the reduction in unauthorized entries into this country. significant reduction. o the plan in place to deter
is, like it or not, working. for us, layer that with additional money, additional personnel, is, i think, to me, pure political symbolism and doesn't really address the issue of security. if you want to address the issue of security, you must deal with the ports of entry, you must fully staff customs, and you must have the very necessary blend on the border of security, trade, economic development, and necessary and important exchange with mexico. two issues. the humanitarian issue in arizona. arizona has been ground zero on the question of immigration and immigrants, beginning with the -- with the state law 1070, which was thrown out by the supreme court, beginning with
various legislative efforts at the state level to make immigrants a target in that state that have been many of them successfully defeated in the courts. t also the flow of drugs should be the point of concentration. the organized crime on both sides of the border, gun running there, drugs coming this way, people smuggling, the abuses associated with that, if there's going to be a security initiative as part of this new comprehensive reform -- immigration reform let's be focused, let's be real and let's address the real problem and the humanitarian crisis. over 6,000 souls have perished in the desert in southern arizona in my district and on the reservation. people dez desperate, people being left there by coyotes, t's a humanitarian crisis.
and the money we're talking about for enforcement does not include rescue, humanitarian relief, it's money that's not addressing the problem. i guarantee you that over a six or 10-year period if 6,000 people had perished in any other part of this world, we would be calling it a human rights and humanitarian crisis. it doesn't get the attention it should but the tragedy continues and with this increased security, people will ook for more desolate areas in which to attempt or to be dropped off by smugglers. and again, the deaths will increase. i suggest that that has to be part of it. oversight in the context of security needs to be part of it. human rights abuses along the border due to the increased militarization has to be part of it. a uniform policy for the use of lethal force has to be part of it. the g.a.o. report on those very
procedures i just mentioned has to be completed and those recommendations that need to be implemented before we continue to talk about giving more money without taking care of the vil rights, due process, and humanitarian crisis we have on the border. we have an opportunity in this congress to finally reform this broken system of immigration. we have an opportunity to do it in a just, humane, fair, and secure way. and as we go forward with the debate in this house, let us hope that the discussion is over facts, that it's rational, that we talk about the human quotient involved in this discussion and that the pandering, fear mongering and divisions that have marked this debate in this house, that the leadership of this house
instructs their members that this is a debate about the future of this country, not the divisions in this country. i want to take time again to thank mr. o'rourke, congressman o'rourke a freshman who has taken a leadership in this issue and in the borderlands and very grateful for the -- for organizing this and i yield back. mr. o'rourke: i thank my colleague from arizona for talking about the moral dimension of this issue and putting a human face on a problem that -- and also the opportunity, the other side of that problem, being the opportunity that we see along the u.s.-mexico border. and to add a little bit to what he said, if you just look at the numbers in terms of northbound apprehensions along our southern border, seven years ago, the average agent apprehended 106 migrants. 106 migrants for every agent
patrolling the line. last year, it was 17. in the el paso sector, it was 3.5. -- the proposal to double the size of the border patrol to the tune of more than $40 billion is a solution in search of a problem but not only that, not only that, not only is it a waste of taxpayer money, it is also going to cause harm and death along the border. last year, 477 people, human beings, died last year trying to cross the southern border. it's the second highest number on record despite historically low migration. as we build these walls and fortify our board er, we push people who are coming here for economic reasons further out into more treacherous, harmful,
and deadly terrain and they're dying. more than 5,000 people have died in this manner over the last 15 years. today, someone is eight times more likely to die crossing than they were 10 years ago. so whether you look at this issue from a moral perspective, what we're doing and proposing in the corker-hoeven amendment to comprehensive immigration reform is wrong. whether you're looking at it from an economic perspective where we have record job growth and creation related to our trade and commerce with mexico, shutting that down and not applying resources to facilitating that trade, is wrong. and when you look at it in terms of good policy and being good stewards of taxpayer money in a time of sequester, in a time of deficits and record debt this proposal is wrong. i do want to say that comprehensive immigration reform is a good thing and we want to see it move forward but let's not attach proposals like this one to it that will do far
more harm than good and may imperil -- imperil its chances to have success in this house and for this country going forward. before i close, i do want to yield to my colleague from the o grande valley, filemon vela, who wants to make sure we are focusing on problems where they truly exist and not where they're cree aed for political purposes, and i yield such time as he may consume to mr. vela. ms. velazquez: in neither chamber or party do we hear -- mr. vela: in neither chamber or party do we hear talk these days that is crucial to the debate. and that is the violence in mexico, both countries have an obligation to ensure that we eliminate that violence. secondly, economic development along the u.s.-mexico border. the mexican economy is doing exceedingly well in central mexico. but along our u.s.-mexico
border we still have a lot to go. and until we address those two things, the violence and the economic conditions along the border, we're going to have a very difficult time solving this entire problem. thank you. i yield. mr. o'rourke: i thank my colleague from texas, and, mr. speaker, i'll conclude by saying that i hope what we have discussed today has been able to illustrate the positive dynamic of the u.s.-mexico border. what we have offered historically to this country, whether it is as the ellis island for much of latin america or the economic growth that we've seen, not just along the border and in border states but for this entire i have, -- but for this entire country, six million jobs depend on commerce and trade along the u.s.-mexico border today. i hope we've also been able to illustrate how harmful policies don't just hurt the u.s.-mexico border, they hurt the rest of this country and our ability to grow this economy and create more jobs.
and the last thing, mr. speaker, i hope we've been able to show a positive way forward, where we can have comprehensive immigration reform, we can respond to concerns about a secure border, but we could to -- but we do so in a way that does not sacrifice our economy, our way of life and our constitution. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. under the speaker's announced policy of january 3, 2013, the chair recognizes the gentleman mr. larson, cut, for 30 minutes. mr. larson: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i seek unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks and introduce extraneous materials as it relates to this special order. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. larson: thank you, mr. speaker. and i believe i'll be joined by my colleague from ohio, mr. ryan, who i will recognize at the appropriate time.
but i wanted to -- we wanted to make this special order this solution-driven legislation. and the need on behalf of the united states congress to come together in a nonpartisan manner and get after the concerns that this nation cares so deeply about. most notably those as they relate to jobs and security and the well-being of the country. this evening, mr. speaker, what if i told you that we could deal with all the rising costs of health care, bring down the ational debt and do so while providing better quality,
coordinated, patient-centered care? there might be some skepticism. what if i further told you that we could do it without raising taxes or cutting medicare? in fact, what if we did it by extending the benefits of medicare? what if i were to tell you, mr. speaker, that the -- this idea germinated with the heritage foundation, a conservative organization dedicated to conservative ideas and was piloted by a republican vernor in a democratic state and served as the basis for what we now call the the a-- call the affordable health care act? the affordable health care act in its final form was something
that not a number of colleagues on the democratic side didn't necessarily prefer. it was not their first choice. number wanted to see, well, single-payer or medicare for all. but that is not what transpired and that is not what is the law of the land, nor is it what is upheld by the supreme court. we need in this body a paradigm shift that will allow us to come together and embrace the ideas that we all agree upon in way that we can move this nation -- in a way that we can move this nation forward. the budget leader in the republican conference is paul ryan. a distinguished gentleman, bright and capable. we agree that health care costs are what are driving our
national debt. there is no doubt about that. statistics will reveal that. further, when it comes to improving patient care, patient outcomes, making sure that we provide for our elderly, making sure that we have a continuum of care for people, that's something that's neither democrat or republican, that's something that is truly american and that we all agree on. where we may disagree but where re-- where we can come together is in recognition of how we get to the solution, solve this problem, instead of these endless taste great, less filling debates that go on in the united states congress. to do so you have to be bolstered by studies. there's no less and this slide
will show than 10 different studies that have been authored by private sector individuals that all point to one thing. $750 billion -- there's $750 billion to $800 billion, let me repeat, that $750 billion to $800 billion annually that's wasted in fraud abuse and inefficiencies. this evening we want to focus on the inefficiencies. noting, of course, the fraud and abuse and waste are very important, have been documented several times on 60 minutes d, and other -- "60 minutes" and other notable sources as well and is certainly is something that will help us in terms of bringing down the costs of health care. which of course solve our problems with the national
debt. health care costs in the united states of america have risen to 18% of our gross domestic product. this next slide will demonstrate clearly that we are way above every other western mocracy and this is what the inefficiencies of a system have produced. a hodgepodge system that is inefficient and driven upwardly in its cost because of the lack of coordinated care and outcomes that suggest a new paradigm shift and people coming together and embracing that which is in the public health care system, that works and does extraordinarily well,
all that's in the realm of science, technology and innovation that we get from the national institute of health and for the center for disease control. that have been taxpayer-funded and produced miraculous opportunities and a better quality of life. and then thirdly, to embrace at with the private sector entrepreneurial efforts to drive inefficiencies out of a system. this chart demonstrates how that can be done and that there is both the profit in doing it for the private sector and the results of lowering that cost for the public sector and an outcome for patients that is centered around wellness, their well-being and their security in the later years of their
life. it's that combination that we believe can work. how do we know that that is so? we're fortunate to see even in this time in politics where there has been disagreement and too much politics around the quality of health care that our citizens rightly deserve, and in our ate sector hospitals, with our doctors, with our surgeons, with our medical devices and with our entrepreneurialship, are coming to embrace the passage of the affordable health care act is in fact a paradigm shift. what do we need to shift to? how do we need to move that forward? the president of the etna based in hartford, connecticut, has said the one thing we have to make sure is this, that we're
not taking away benefits from people who are going to pay for the medical devices, the hospital, the doctors, the insurance and the pharmaceuticals that they all need. e need to enhance that system. economists like clayton christensen have talked at length about how we need to be disruptive in economies and in doing so disruptive in terms of our innovation, with the gee nomic projects at hand and the potential for people to be living well beyond the age of 100, for my children. and for current generations as we all know obviously living longer. there's a need for us to embrace commonsense solutions and not issues that either say, well, we have to drive down the debt at the expense of beneficiaries or that we have
to raise taxes to help the beneficiaries. how about we drive out the inefficiencies within the system, get after the fraud, abuse and the waste and work together as democrats and republicans and achieve the goals that we were sent here to do by both lowering the national debt and securing the future by making sure that there's medicare there for all of our recipients? i think of so many people nearing the age retirement who get trapped in this gap. once you turn 56 you start thinking, is my company going to keep me to age 65? what is going happen to my pension? but most importantly, what is the bridge i'm able to take to get to medicare? and will it be there? there's got to be a resounding yes and the important thing is that there's a path forward to
this. two things that are important to remember, one, that the national debt is real and that we all agree that it has to be addressed and the primary driver is health care. and secondly, that medicare is not an entitlement, it's the insurance that people paid for. it's taken out of your paycheck and that if we drive the inefficiencies out of the system we actually can enhance the medicare system and make it solvent well into the future while paying down our national debt. that should be the focus of the united states congress. it will help the economy. but most of all it will help people in terms of the quality of care that they need.
this is what we hope to achieve in special orders and prevailing upon our colleagues on both sides of the aisle to come together and discuss solutions that will both reduce the debt and preserve the medicare system. a person who understands this better than most, who has made firsthand trips to hospitals, who has written books in fact, or at least a book, as i seek to credit you beyond your authorship, mr. ryan, but certainly someone who understands the importance of coordinating care in such a manner that an enlightened new republic that we are will be able to participate in the wholeness and wellness that can come from this paradigm shift afforded by the affordable care act and where reasonable minds can come together to achieve