Skip to main content

tv   Public Affairs  CSPAN  July 31, 2013 5:00pm-8:01pm EDT

5:00 pm
mr. royce, detailed a moment ago is something that we're oncerned about but we have a circumstance that this legislation does not acknowledge and that is that the iranian people had a choice between candidates and they selected the candidate who decided to reject extremism and actually campaigned on the basis of moderation. why not at least -- at least , il mr. rahani has a chance engage in diplomacy to reach the goals that mr. royce has dentified. he promised to prosue a, quote, policy reconciliation and peace. ell, obviously we don't have blasts. we don't but why don't we wait and see?
5:01 pm
why aren't we at least curious to find out whether or not president rahani wants to pursue this course of peace? it's what we want. it's negotiated settlement. why are we slapping his hand down when apparently the arraignian people are willing to support a candidate who's willing to extend the hand? "the new york times" agrees. it says, quote, while sanctions are an important element of policy, this moment could harm rather than advance the chances for a negotiated deal with iran. in fact, secretary of state john kerry warned that additional sanctions at this moment might undermine diplomatic efforts. the fact of the matter is, why do we want to strengthen the hand of extremists who will say to him see, you thought you could work with them. we were right all along. i say they're wrong. i say let's accept the olive
5:02 pm
branch of the iranian people who selected a more moderate candidate. i ask unanimous consent to submit this document to the record. foreign ran yeas minister seems as an olive branch to the united states. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. ellison: and so let me also acknowledge for introduction to the record this letter dated july 19 by 130 members of basis on a bipartisan to say president obama pursued negotiations in this window of time when we have a president who won on a basis of extending a hand for negotiation. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. the gentleman is recognized. mr. ellison: we can do this when we come back after at , st mr. rohani is confirmed inaugurated into the presidency of iran.
5:03 pm
o with that i will reserve time, i do have a number of speakers just in case we're ready for that. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from minnesota reserves his time. the gentleman from new york is recognized for 10 minutes. the gentleman from new york is recognized for three minutes. mr. engel: i rise in support of h.r. 850, the nuclear iran prevention act. it's been a pleasure to work with chairman royce to craft this bipartisan legislation, which by the way passed unanimously in the foreign affairs committee. every republican, every democrat voted yes on this. it now has 370 co-sponsors. we share the goal of preventing a nuclear capable iran and i could not ask for a better partner than mr. royce in this effort. mr. speaker, i think all of us agree that a nuclear capable iran would pose a grave threat to the u.s., a threat to our allies in the region and a threat to the future of the
5:04 pm
global nonproliferation regime. and all of us are aware that iran has violated numerous u.n. security council resolutions and repeatedly blocked iaea investors. after many years of deceit and stonewalling by the iranian regime, i continue to hold out hope we can achieve a peaceful resolution of the iranian nuclear crisis through diplomatic means. but time is growing short. according to the iaea, iran is installing advanced centrifuges to enhance more uranium and continues to build a water reactor that could produce plutonium. we must not allow the iranians to plate same old game, engage in endless negotiations with no results while continuing to advance the nuclear program. that's why we must continue to pursue a two-track approach to iran, one that incorporates both pleasure and negotiation. the legislation before us today will significantly ratchet up the pressure and hopefully give our diplomats the needs to
5:05 pm
persuade iran that the only way is to end its nuclear weapons. other thing is that it cuts iran's exports by another 1 million barrels of oil a day, and strengthens existing sanctions by authorizing the president to restrict significant commercial trade with iran. in addition, the bill seeks to deny the iranian regime hard currency by enhancing efforts to cut of a iran's access to euros. finally, the legislation imposes new sanctions against iranian shipping imports and expands existing sanctions against iranian human rights violators. some of my colleagues say we should delay sanctions until the new president takes office. i respectfully disagree. i know they share the goal of preventing a nuclear capable iran but i believe we should take a different approach. our efforts to impose new sanctions should not be based on the iranian political calendar.
5:06 pm
the paramount consideration should be the iranian nuclear clock, the amount of time it will take iran to achieve a nuclear weapon's capability. i have no reason to believe that the results of the recent iranian election will fundamentally alter iran's current course. the unelected supreme leader, the ayatollah, remains the one true decision maker. and the president-elect rohani who was deceiving the international community when he served as iran's chief nuclear negotiator made clear during the campaign that he supports iran's nuclear app bigses. i yield myself 30 seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for 130ekds. mr. engel: if rohani has the authority to make a bold gesture, like suspending enrichment, he has the small window of opportunity before this bill becomes law. i think all of us would welcome such a gesture but i'm not holding my breath. in closing i'd like to reiterate by strengthening sanctions we're not calling for an end of diplomacy. after many years of fruitless
5:07 pm
negotiations, it's clear that talks will only succeed if the regime feels pressure to change course, and that's what we're trying to accomplish with this legislation today. i look forward to working with chairman royce to ensure that the strongest possible sanctions are enacted into law and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from minnesota is recognized. mr. ellison: mr. speaker, i recognize congressman price from the state of north carolina for three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from north carolina is recognized for three minutes. . price: mr. speaker, i rise in reluctant opposition to this measure before us today. i supported the repeated rounds of sanctions that congress has already enacted. i supported them because of the threat of a nuclear armed iran and because of the intransigence in defiance of the international community. these sanctions have brought the iranian economy to its knees. they have yet to produce
5:08 pm
meaningful concessions by the iranian government. i've thus remained open to the authority of additional sanctions. as part of a broader strategy to induce the iranian government to change its course. but the bill before us today could not come as a -- come at a worse time. hassan rouhani, elected on promise of openness despite resuppression and intimidation by the iranian regime trying to eny him that election. since the election, dr. rouhani have made overtures to the promising greater transparency and confidence building measures. he reportedly intends to appoint as his foreign minister a seasoned diplomat who favors closer ties to the west. now, let's be clear. we don't know whether rouhani
5:09 pm
continues to follow on these promises. we don't know if he'll overcome the hard liners. we do know that history counsels us to be cautious about the prospects of change in iran and the actions will surely speak louder than his words. but to rush through a new round of sanctions before the new president has even taken office could slam the window of opportunity shut before we even have a chance to test whether it is genuine. a recent letter to the president signed by a selected group of diplomats and military fficials, including joseph horr, has warned that further sanctions could, quote, empower hardliners within the iranian government who are opposed to nuclear concessions. at the expense of those seeking to shift policy in a more moderate direction. moreover, by removing the president's authority to relax sanctions on countries that are
5:10 pm
cooperating with our strategy toward iran, this bill s shattering the unprecedented international coalition which we have worked so hard to build. and thus making sanctions less effective than they are at this moment. some argue we should not be concerned about the house passing this bill. it will be sometime, they say, before the senate follows with an improved bill and longer still before the new sanctions take effect. i must say that's not a very compelling argument for rushing this bill to the floor right now. why not act when welcome assess the diplomatic prospects more accurately? mr. speaker, i'll take a backseat to no one when it comes to my concern about the threat posed by a nuclear iran, to our ally israel, to the broader middle east and to the united states. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. price: i believe we must double our efforts -- may i have one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for --
5:11 pm
mr. ellison: yield the gentleman an additional minute. mr. price: i'll yield to no one about my concerns about these matters. i believe we must redouble our efforts to secure an enforceable agreement that assures iran does not acquire a nuclear weapon, but sanctions alone are not a strategy. in order to be effective, they must be integrated into a broader strategy that brings all other elements of american power to bear on the challenge. the administration's working hard to advance such a strategy. with unprecedented cooperation from our international partners. to induce tegy fails the new iranian government to change its course, then new sanctions may indeed be warranted. but to pass them now only underscores, undercuts our nation's strategic objectives. i urge my colleagues to oppose this ill-timed bill, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from north carolina yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from minnesota reserves. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. royce: i yield one minute,
5:12 pm
mr. speaker, to the gentleman from virginia, the esteemed majority leader, mr. cantor. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia is recognized for one minute. mr. cantor: i thank the speaker. mr. speaker, i rise today in support of the nuclear iran prevention act. i want to commend the gentleman from california, chairman of the foreign affairs committee, and his leadership in bringing this bill to the floor. i'd also like to commend congressman engel for his leadership in working through this issue bringing forward this piece of legislation. the authoritarian regime in iran is a brutal theocracy that suppresses dissent at home and sponsors terrorism and chaos abroad. for years our state department has listed iran as the world's leading state sponsor of terrorism, and many americans have lost their lives at the hands of iranian-backed killers. in a bid to establish regional
5:13 pm
dominance, iran foments instability in neighboring countries and is a co-belligerent in assad's war against the syrian people. and despite rhetoric that may lead some to a contrary conclusion, this sat nature of a regime that continues its headlong effort to acquire nuclear weapons capability. like all americans, i want to see iran abandon its nuclear aspirations through peaceful negotiations, but its leaders must understand the path they are on now will only lead to more condemnation and pressure. considering that iran continues to flagrantly violate numerous u.n. security council resolutions that call for the suspension of its nuclear enrichment program while denying inspectors access to
5:14 pm
suspected nuclear sites, it is clear that iran has negotiated gain and again in bad faith. america's policies must be based on facts and not some hope about a new government perhaps in iran that somehow will change the nature of the clerical regime in tehran. we must respond to iran's policies and behavior, not to its rhetoric. this act will strengthen the sanctions already in place and provide the president with new economic tools to pressure iran to change course before it is too late. strengthening these measures will help our diplomatic efforts to encourage tehran to become a responsible member of the international community and once and for all abandon its pursuit of nuclear weapons. again, i want to thank the gentleman from california, the
5:15 pm
gentleman from new york and the rest of the foreign affairs committee for their hard work on this issue, and i urge my colleagues to support this legislation. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia yields back. the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from minnesota is recognized. mr. ellison: can i inquire as to the time remaining? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from minnesota has 12 1/2 minutes remaining. the gentleman from new york has 6 1/2 minutes remaining. and the gentleman from california has five minutes remaining. . the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia is recognized for three minutes. mr. moran: i thank the gentleman from minnesota, my friend. mr. speaker, 29 prominent policy makers and experts who understand iran and international relations includes former centcom commander, ambassador tom pickering.
5:16 pm
stated in a letter to president obama just two weeks ago, i quote, no further sanctions should be imposed or considered at this time. 131 bipartisan representatives also urged the president to test the opportunity presented by iran's recent election. to avoid actions that could delegitimatize the democratic election that just took place in iran. because the fact is that the iranian people rejected the very clerical government that we have all opposed. that has been defined by hostile actions against the united states. in fact, when mr. rouhani was
5:17 pm
running, the people of iran knew he was a former nuclear negotiator and he promised greater nuclear transparency and to pursue, in his words, peace and reconciliation, with the outside world. isn't that just what we are looking for? i can't imagine we are looking for another war of choice, that we want to escalate the rhetoric. this is the best opportunity we've had in at least eight years, if not more. why throw that away? now, some will say what we do in the house doesn't really matter. the senate isn't going to do anything. but that is a nuance we may understand why the house is acting, but the rest of the world doesn't likely understand what is going on here. this bill empowers the very
5:18 pm
hardliners that are the problem. iranian people are extraordinarily diverse. in fact, they used to be america's best friend in the muslim world. and they just rejected a government that represented all the things we opposed. and they did it democraticically. and i can't imagine we have to operate in such a vacuum, that we are going to continue to impose sanctions and take away the president's ability to exercise leverage in his negotiations, that, in fact, we are going to lay it on even further by taking away the exemption for necessary food and medicine. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for an additional 30 seconds. mr. moran: this is destructive,
5:19 pm
because it punishes the iranian problem d we have no punishing the hardliners and the people in the military. they don't represent our values. but we want the iranian people to seize democracy, to represent our values, to enter into negotiations. we've combot to be able to bring about a more peaceful and productive world. i would strongly urge this house, hold off, let the new president at least be inaugurated, let him at least take over and see what we can do. let's not act prematurely and destructively. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. royce: i yield one minute to the gentleman from ohio, speaker of the house. the speaker: let me thank my colleague from the chairman and
5:20 pm
his whole committee for their hard work on this issue and ecial thanks to the chairman emeritus, my colleague from florida, ms. ros-lehtinen, on whose efforts we are building on today. i also want to thank the committee chairs and the members who have worked so hard to get is bill to the floor stood today. i rise in support of the h.r. 850. this recognizes a stark truth and that iran is a global menace and this bill empowers the president to act decisively to address it. we know iran is the world's most aggressive sponsor of terrorism, extending into syria, lebanon, and into our hemisphere. iran is attempting to build nuclear weapons capability in
5:21 pm
defiance of the u.n. security council and iaea and the supreme leaders remain committed to the destruction of israel, one of our dearest allies. the united states especially, this congress, has a duty to respond to iran's actions, not its rhetoric. so this bill seeks to reduce iran's oil exports by one million barrels a day which would be a 2/3 reduction from its current levels. we are also looking to target human rights violators and close loopholes to access foreign currency and give the president the authority to restrict significant commercial trade with iran. these strong and targeted sanctions will ensure that the administration has both the political and the economic tools to deal with this regime. because the american people are not interested in allowing iran another shot in running out the clock in goirks while our march
5:22 pm
is towards developing a breakout nuclear capability. i cast my vote for this measure and i urge my house colleagues to join me. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. engel: it's my pleasure now to yield a minute and a half to the minority whip, mr. hoyer of maryland. the chair: the gentleman is ecognized for 1 1/2 minutes. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for yielding. rise in support of this legislation. but also thank my friend, keith ellison, for his perspective on this and i want to speak to that. i thank chairman royce and ranking member engel for their leadership on this bill. the most dangerous threat to eace is that posed by iran's
5:23 pm
race to nuclear weapons that no one can afford to risk, including our troops in the region. the security council resolutions, iran has refused to heed the warnings and continued along a path toward the bomb, choosing isolation every integration. we are here today to talk about how to stop iran's pursuit. as a government, we have many tools to use. diplomacy is one and diplomacy must continue. indeed, many feel the time is ripe to test president-elect's rouhani's sincerityy. but he must turn his positive talk of a policy of reconciliation and peace into action. we should welcome and pursue his willingness to come to the table to negotiate and delay has been
5:24 pm
too long for us not to pursue concurrent approaches. that tool of economic pressure, which is working, should also be pursued additionally. that is why i support this resolution. hopefully, negotiations will prove successful. and such pressure -- may i have a minute and a half? the chair: the gentleman is recognized for an additional minute. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman. hopefully negotiations will prove successful and such pressure can be moderated or removed. he promise todd ease the burden of sanctions on the iranian people and he won. we would welcome a second victory for him and the united nations in seeing that objective realized. i support today's bill because i believe a robust sanctions regime could help iran to abandon its pursuit of the bomb and end its support for
5:25 pm
terrorist groups. president-elect rouhani is uniquely positioned to show leadership and achieve early success in his new administration. however, our skepticism about the iranian leadership action in the past has been more than justified. but we must nevertheless continue to work for resolution of this challenging issue. engaging president-elect rouhani in our quest is appropriate. but these sanctions are also appropriate, and therefore, i rise in their support and thank mr. engel and mr. royce for their leadership and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from minnesota reserves. who seeks recognition? the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. engel: at this time, i yield one minute to mr. sherman of
5:26 pm
california, the ranking member of the foreign affairs subcommittee on terrorism. the chair: the gentleman from california is recognized for one minute. mr. sherman: i thank the gentleman for yielding. in february i joined with our ranking member and chairman and others in introducing this legislation which passed our committee unanimously. congress needs to act now because while we go on summer break, new faster centrifuges ill be spinning 24/7, 365. we are seeing iran as we have seen in hearings before our committee, evade the current sanctions. so if we are going to keep the sanctions enforced, we need the legislation to plug the loopholes they are exploiting. two facts remain unchanged by the iranian elections. their program to create nuclear weapons continues and the supreme leader is making the
5:27 pm
decisions. our committee adopted many and on those who sell them, dissident supressing technology. those who oppose this bill and y why iran needs suppressing technology. let's pass this bill. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york reserves the balance of his time. who seeks recognition? the gentleman from minnesota is recognized. mr. ellison: the gentleman from oregon, mr. blumenauer for three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. blumenauer: we have heard on the floor that we shouldn't base our diplomacy on the iranian
5:28 pm
political calendar. i agree. but we shouldn't base our diplomacy and our foreign policy based on our political calendar. recently, we have enacted the st effective crippling economic sanctions against iran ever. and it was done by the hard work of the administration supported by congress to be able to mobilize an unprecedented coalition of people who agreed with us, but they wanted to prevent iran from having nuclear weapons and sending that signal. but sadly, sadly, you can forget rouhani.sident-elect this weekend's president obama to pull the rug out from underneath the newly elected
5:29 pm
moderate candidate, he's not my guy, not yours, but the choice was a signal by the iranian people. and think about the future tools. are you really going to be able to ratchet up these sanctions much more dramatically? you expect china and japan are going to follow that path? and if they work about the dislocations to the american economy and the global economy, moving this oil off the market. i think people ought to consider that. ultimately, the only solution is a diplomatic solution to try and work this through. we aren't going to go to war and nuclear bomb them. we aren't going to occupy iran. you know, it's ironic. until very recently, maybe still, iran is the only country in the middle east that had a positive view of americans. despite the fact that we helped
5:30 pm
the british overthrow their popularly president in 1953 and install the shah as a dictator to rule over them. i think there is a possibility that that recent election makes a difference in iran, i hope it does. but one way to guarantee that it doesn't is to tell the iranian people that, we don't care what you do. we are going to ratchet up the sanctions and undercut the new guy and we are going to tell you we are going down this path. it ought to be based on facts, reason. let these sanctions work. don't undercut our president and the ability to be flexible if there is some daylight. don't poke the iranian people in the eye and ignore the sorry history weave's had of fume
5:31 pm
bling the relationship with that country. thank you, and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the current time, the gentleman from new york has four minutes remaining. the gentleman from minnesota has five minutes remaining and the gentleman from california has four minutes remaining. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. engel: it's my pleasure to recognize for one minute, the democratic leader, ms. pelosi. sm. . . ms. pelosi: mr. speaker, i rise today to reiterate my strong believe in basic -- one of the basic objectives of u.s. foreign policy is to build a world free of nuclear weapons. i applauded president jimmy carter at his inauguration in
5:32 pm
1977 on a cold january day. i saluted president reagan when he made his visit to iceland and the commitment that all of our presidents have made, including president obama, on this. one of the pillars of our foreign policy must be to end the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. in fact, to get rid of them. our actions must be clear and our commitment must be unwavering. it must be to continue this policy of the united states, to prevent any country from developing a nuclear weapons capability. that's why i offer my support for this bill today, the nuclear iran prevention act. this legislation recognizes that an iran with a nuclear weapon would be an urgent threat to regional security and
5:33 pm
to global security and therefore to the security of the united states of america. this measure builds on progress made in 2010 when we enacted the comprehensive iran sanctions accountibility investment act. that law imposed sanctions to companies that sell iran technology, services and know how and materials for its energy sector. it was the strongest iran sanctions legislation ever to pass by the congress, but we must do more. with president obama's strong, clear and effective leadership, with broad bipartisan backing for a comprehensive strategy to halt iran's nuclear production, we're seeing action. iran's oil is coming off the market. iran's partners are cutting off ties, trade, business and commerce. that's the way we should get
5:34 pm
this done, with economic sanctions. in short, iran is feeling the bite of our sanctions, but we must keep the pressure on. iran's nuclear pursuits must continue. they refuse to change their pursuits in policies. their neighbors feel the threat of the regime's declarations and actions. so our message must remain firm. iran must suspend uranium enrichment, return to the negotiating table and abandon its reckless pursuit of nuclear weapons. now, i appreciate and i have the highest respect for the gentleman, mr. mcgovern, and others who support the resolution, mr. ellison, who support the -- who are opposing the resolution have a different idea. and i think as we weigh the equities, as i say, with all due respect to that approach, which i think is a reasonable one, if we were dealing with a
5:35 pm
reasonable country with a reasonable leadership, but we are not. but we are not. i know that the proximity to israel is a cause for concern for israel, our partner in the middle, and a concern for those of us who value the israel-u.s. relationship. israel has proximity, but we all have the problem. we all have the problem. if iran were to get farther in the development of a nuclear weapon, who else would want one in the region? what message does that send at our resolve to arrive a world free of nuclear weapons? so anyway, i hope we can -- as our colleagues say, a new do all these g to things, i happen to think no matter who is in power in iran at it would probably not
5:36 pm
aabandon a nuclear weapon, calling it one for civilian use and i hope it is true. but i do really think it's important for us, because we have this -- to make this opportunity, i hope that all of the inauguration of a new president, talks with the u.s. and the european allies and all the rest can bear fruit. we can only that those reports prove true. we hope there is an agreement to put an end to iran's pursuit of nuclear weapons and advances the cause of peace and security in the middle east and around the world. until that day comes, congress must continue to apply pressure. we must pursue all avenues of diplomacy and international leadership. again, what are the pillars of our foreign policy? to promote our economy, creation of jobs by promoting
5:37 pm
exports. that's only economic -- export our values, commitment to freedom and democracy throughout the world and what does that mean? to protect the american people, our national security, an important part of that pillar of our foreign policy is to rid the world of weapons of mass destruction and make sure that we're not adding countries to that club. and so for that reason we must pursue -- we must prevent a nuclear armed iran. let's do it diplomatically. let's do it with economic sanctions. let's do it by encouraging dialogue, engagement and the rest. but let's do that engagement from strength. i urge a yes vote on the resolution. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from california yields back the balance of her time. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. royce: mr. speaker, i yield one minute to the gentlelady from florida, the chairman
5:38 pm
emeritus of the foreign affairs committee and author of the previous iran sanctions legislation. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from florida is recognized for one minute. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr. speaker. a nuclear iran is one of our biggest national security threats, and the number one exowe sention threat to the -- exowe tension threat to the jewish state of israel. we cannot allow iran, a designated sponsor of terrorism, to reach breakout capability. the obama administration should not be mistaken. the iranian regime does not want peace. it still wants to wipe israel off the map. they must produce low-enrich uranium by next year. iran has offered to agree to a credit facility to buy oil products to help keep assad's murderous regime afloat. iran fights longside assad's orces, brutally slaughtering forces. row the ultimate decision maker
5:39 pm
in this oppressive regime remains the ayatollah humaney who has a hatred -- could he mainy who has a -- khomeini who as a hatred of us. this is a commonsense provision. this is a strong bill and i urge all of my colleagues to fully support its passage. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from minnesota is recognized. mr. ellison: mr. speaker, we -- i yield two minutes to the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. mcgovern. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized for two minutes. mr. mcgovern: mr. speaker, i want to thank chairman royce and ranking member engel and incredible respect for the democratic leaders and the republican leaders who have spoken in favor of this bill. but i must rise in opposition to h.r. 850. this sunday on august 4, iran will inaugurate a new
5:40 pm
president, hassan raoux hasy. it is a moment -- rouhani. it is a moment that has secretary of defense hagel and the international community an opportunity to re-engage with concern, most importantly the capacity to develop and launch a nuclear weapon. this may be a very small window of opportunity for a fresh start on dialogue and action on the future of a nuclear iran. it may be short lived depending on how iran's new president views this moment, but it is a time when i for one want to support the white house, the state department and the pentagon's ability to move forward our relationship and dialogue with iran on this most serious matter. it is not the moment for congress to increase and expand the level of u.s. sanctions against iran. we have plenty of sanctions right now against iran. if for some reason we need to increase even further the pressure against iran and its new president, then we have the time to do so. it does not need to be done before the new eye rain yab
5:41 pm
president even -- iranian president even takes office. we have time to weigh his sincerity and more importantly his actions with the international community in the weeks and months to o-- come. if not, then the current onerous regimen of sanctions can be increased. but now is not the time to undermine u.s. diplomacy before it even has a chance to take shape. like all my house colleagues on both sides of the aisle, i am skeptical that president-elect rouhani will change the course, but i'm willing to give him a chance. i'm willing to give secretary kerry a chance. if nothing changes then we can revisit this bill or others at a later date, but not now. not now. i ask my colleagues to join me and vote against this untimely consideration of this bill. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from minnesota reserves. the gentleman from new york is
5:42 pm
recognized. mr. engel: at this time i'd like to yield for a unanimous consent statement, the gentleman from florida, mr. hastings. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. hastings: i thank the gentleman. i ask unanimous consent to insert extraneous material into the record and to be in support of the measure that's being offered. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. the gentleman from new york reserves. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. royce: yes, mr. speaker. i yield one minute to the gentleman from new jersey, mr. smith, chairman of the subcommittee on africa, global health and global human rights. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey is recognized for one minute. mr. smith: i thank the chair. mr. speaker, first of all, let thank chairman royce and to elliot engel for his good cooperation on this important bill. the iranian government is estimated to be a little more than a year away from developing nuclear weapons, an
5:43 pm
unprecedented and unacceptable threat. iran's repeated threats to annihilate israel is unconscionable and institute a direct and public incitement to commit genocide. in violation of article 3 of the 1948 genocide convention. iran's supreme leader khomeini, speaks of israel as a cancerous tumor, calls for annihilation and destruction of the israel state and tel aviv and haifa. rouhmani to ct move iran's nuclear program forward is proved to be a moderate yet last year referred to israel as the great zionist satan. this bill dramatically ramps up sanctions pushed by congresswoman ros-lehtinen last congress not only to pressure iran to negotiate but also to mitigate iran's emerging capability to launch the genocidal war against israel it
5:44 pm
has been threatening for years. this is a bipartisan bill and it sends a clear, unmistakable message to iran that we mean business. those loopholes need to be closed, and iran needs to be told that we're not -- we want the sanctions to work. this tightens those loopholes and moves us in that direction. i yield back to the gentleman. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from minnesota is recognized. mr. ellison: i will recognize the gentleman from washington state, dr. mcdermott, for three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from washington is ecognized for three minutes. without objection, so ordered. the gentleman from washington is recognized for three minutes. mr. mcdermott: mr. speaker, i'm standing here asking what's the rush. the iranian president is being sworn in in four days. for the first time in years, there is a moderate elected as
5:45 pm
head of iran who promises us progress on the issues that are of most concern to us. i'm not a blind optimist, and i have no illusions about the nature of iran's government. i understand one election won't ensure us peace but it could mean the change we need to see what it looks like. . experts, including the commander in chief of the central command warned that more sanctions right now will quote, undercut the new president and his pledged plan of moderation. gives ammunition to the hardliners who will operate against him. so the timing of this bill could not be worse from a foreign policy perspective. in addition, members have not had a chance to fully review the bill than what was different when it was marked up from the
5:46 pm
foreign affairs committee. it was marked up a few days ago and many members who originally co-sponsored the original bill are not aware of the changes. we sent a letter asking them to delay consideration until after september. we could come back after our vacation and deal with this if it's really needed. it doesn't have to happen now. except because we are going out on friday. passing this legislation would support the hardliners' claims that we have no intention of negotiating. we hit the president before he even sits down in the chair. it's a dangerous sign to send and limits our ability to find a diplomatic solution on nuclear arms in iran. there is no public support in this country for another war. we have seen this movie before. we put sanctions on iraq. i saw them squeeze them for 10
5:47 pm
years. the world organization said 500,000 iraqi kids died because we cut off medicine and food and other essentials to the iraq community. did it end in a change? no. we went to war with them. and if you think that this is going to squeeze and bring us to war and you think that what happened in iraq is going to happen here, remember, we're 11 years in iraq. and we do not have a stable democracy today. we have a government that's about to collapse. mall acky is not what we think we can do by squeezing people and you are squeezing iranian children today. iranians cannot buy medicine on the world market and pay because we have cut off all the banking connections everywhere so there is no way for them to slip money through the banking system to pay for medicine for kids.
5:48 pm
we should delay this vote. vote no. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from minnesota's time has expired. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. engel: i yield 30 seconds to the gentleman from illinois, one .f our good new members mr. schneider: thank you, mr. speaker. preventing iran from acquiring a one of nuclear weapon is the paramount issues of our time. we will continue this important work to contain the threat. it seeks to expand the instruments and implementing targeted sanctions against the iranian government and providing flexibility to relieve undue burden on the population of iran. i want to thank the chairman,
5:49 pm
ranking member and the committee for working diligently on this bill and thank the members for joining me in support of this bill. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from new york reserves. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. royce: i yield 30 seconds to the gentleman from from texas. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for 30 seconds. mr. poe: this new so-called president of iran is no different than ahmadinejad. he is slick and has lied to the united states in the past. he is not even in charge of iran. the eye tolla is in charge and is still calling the shots and is determined, determined to get nuclear weapons and eliminate israel and then the united states. and then what? are we going to say oops, we made a mistake. we need these sanctions and need a regime change.
5:50 pm
this ayatolla has hezbollah running all over the world. we need to pass this legislation. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. engel: -- mr. ellison: i seek to introduce an article that iran is seeking to introduce talks. mr. engel: i'm pleased to yield 30 seconds to the gentleman from texas, mr. green. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. green: with all the various positions put forth, i support h.r. 850, a copy of which i happen to have in my hand, page 38, line 11 which deals with the exceptions for the sale of agricultural commodities, food,
5:51 pm
medicine and medical devices. i want to bring some clarity. with global security at risk, i don't think we can take the risk. we can proceed with diplomacy and sanctions at the same time. i support h.r. 850 and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from california. who seeks recognition. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. royce: i ask unanimous consent to enter into the record a joint statement by myself and the gentleman from arkansas, mr. cotton, who helped this legislation, and i yield 30 seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. . the gentleman from arkansas is recognized for 30 seconds. r. cotton: rouhani is no moderate. he was part of the ka bmp al in iran and led to the crackdown on students in iran. he has bragged about receiving
5:52 pm
nuclear respectors and called state. zionist iran isn't looking for a chance to get to yes in negotiation. they are looking to give you a pretext to get to no on this legislation. stand strong and vote yes to sanction iran and stop their nuclear weapons capabilities. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. royce: i reserve the right to close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york. mr. engel: i yield to the gentleman from florida, mr. deutch. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida is recognized for 1 1/2 minutes. mr. deutch: i thank the gentlemen for working so hard to get this bill through the house. the legislation before us takes a significant step forward to prevent the iranian regime to acquire nuclear weapons.
5:53 pm
this legislation will continue our efforts to financially squeeze the regime by reducing iran's oil exports and its ability to access foreign currency all of this while ensuring that humanitarian aid will continue to flo. this is not to cut off medicine for children. this bill recognizes that despite the outcome, the iranian people are living under a regime that brutally represses democratic ideals and imposes sanctions on those who aid human rights. to my friends who argue this is the wrong time, i ask you to consider this. president-elect rouhani is scheduled to be sworn in four days. relief will only come when the supreme leader decides to relinkish the nuclear weapons program. now is the time to let his
5:54 pm
actions speak louder than his words. let him tell the supreme leader that the united states house of representatives has passed new devastating sanctions and the only way to relief is a egotiated program. sanctions and diplomacy, now is not the time to give up on either. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from new york is recognized for 30 seconds. mr. engel: thank you. we have to look at things as they really are and not what we wish them to be. we don't have to time to wait. centrifuges are spinning and iran is getting closer to having a nuclear weapon. by waiting, we are aiding and abetting that. mr. rouhani, he is no moderate. moderates were not allowed to run in this election. he may be the hard core. he is a hardliner and deceived
5:55 pm
the international community when he served as iran's chief nuclear negotiator and made clear that he supports iran's nuclear ambitions. this is a bipartisan bill and we have over 370 co-sponsor. i urge my colleagues to vote yes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. royce: the centrifuges are spinning and it is mr. rouhani as chief negotiator, who met the international community with delay, with more centrifuges, more missiles, more stonewalling. and as my colleagues have pointed out during that campaign, he as handpicked candidates, one of eight, because reformers to run, not allowed who said, who boasted about how
5:56 pm
as chief negotiator in iran didn't suspend enrichment but instead completed the program. now this is the individual who when he chaired iran's national security council between 1989 and 2005 was at the table when iran masterminded the 1994 ombing of the jewish center in he attacked the students in 1999 and crushed them in his words, crushed them monumentally. hundreds tortured. many, many killed. this is the nature of that man. do not misunderstand his intentions. that's why we need this legislation. the speaker pro tempore: the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 850 as amended.
5:57 pm
those in favor say aye. thope. in the opinion of the -- those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair -- the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. royce: i request the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. those in favor of taking this vote will rise and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8, rule 20, further proceedings on this motion will be postponed. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, proceedings will resume on motions to suspend the rules previously postponed. h.r. 1911, by the yeas and nays. h.r. 850 by the yeas and nays. the first electronic vote will be conducted as a 15-minute vote. remaining votes will be conducted as five-minute votes. the unfinished business is the
5:58 pm
vote on the motion by mr. kline and concur in the senate amendment on which the yeas and nays are ordered. the clerk: h.r. 1911, an act to amend the higher education act to establish interest rates for new loans made on and after july 1, 2013 and convene the advisory committee to conduct a study on improvements to post-secondary education at transparency at the federal level and for other purposes. senate amendment. the speaker pro tempore: the question is will the house suspend the rules and concur in the senate amendment. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a 15-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of epresentatives.]
5:59 pm
6:00 pm
6:01 pm
6:02 pm
6:03 pm
6:04 pm
6:05 pm
6:06 pm
6:07 pm
6:08 pm
6:09 pm
6:10 pm
6:11 pm
6:12 pm
6:13 pm
6:14 pm
6:15 pm
6:16 pm
6:17 pm
6:18 pm
6:19 pm
6:20 pm
6:21 pm
6:22 pm
the speaker pro tempore: the yeas are 392, the nays are 91. 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the senate amendment is agreed to and without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on
6:23 pm
the table. members, please take your seats. the chair will resume when all embers have taken their seats. the members in the back of the chamber, please take your seats. will the gentleman from florida suspend your conversation in the middle of the aisle.
6:24 pm
the chair would like to reiterate the announcement of the february 26, 2013, concerning proper attire on the loor of the house. the house will be in order. members should wear appropriate business attire during all sittings of the house, however brief their appearance may be on the floor. this standard applies even when a member is entering the chamber only to vote by electronic device or by a card in the well. members are reminded of the unique tradition and dignity of the house that sets it apart from other institutions and other workplaces. the chair expresses its gratitude for those members who
6:25 pm
meet the standard, especially those who have had to change long time personal customs or traditions to do so. and the chair would appreciate all members' attention to this atter. the unfinished business is the vote on the motion of the gentleman from california, mr. royce, to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 850 as amended on which the yeas and nays are ordered. the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 850, a bill to impose additional human rights and economic and financial sanctions with respect to iran and for other purposes. the speaker: the question is ill the house suspend the bill rules and pass the bill as amended. this is a five-minute vote.
6:26 pm
[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.]
6:27 pm
6:28 pm
6:29 pm
6:30 pm
6:31 pm
6:32 pm
6:33 pm
6:34 pm
6:35 pm
6:36 pm
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 400, the nays are 20. one recorded as present. 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from kentucky seek rec fission? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks
6:37 pm
and to include extraneous material on h.r. 1582. the speaker pro tempore: without bjection, it is ordered. the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. members, please take your conversations off the floor.
6:38 pm
the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to house resolution 315 and rule 18, the chair declares the house in the committee of the whole of the house on the state of the union of the consideration of h.r. 1582. the chair appoints the gentlewoman from florida to preside over the committee of the whole. the chair: the louis is in the committee of the whole house on the -- the house is in the committee of the whole house on
6:39 pm
the state of the union for the consideration of h.r. 1582 by the clerk will report by title. the clerk: a bill to protect consumers by prohibiting the administrator of the environmental protection agency from promulgating as final certain energy-related rules that are estimated to cost more than $1 billion and will cause significant adverse effects to the economy. the chair: pursuant to the rule, the bill is considered read the first time. the gentleman from kentucky, mr. whitfield, and the gentleman from california, mr. waxman, each will control 30 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from kentucky. mr. whitfield: madam chairman, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the chair: without objection. mr. whitfield: this evening we will be debating h.r. 1582, the energy consumer's relief act of 2013, authored by the distinguished gentleman from louisiana, dr. cassidy, a member of the energy and commerce committee.
6:40 pm
madam chairman, one of the major issues that the american people face today is a slow growth in its economy. our economy has been sluggish for some time. the last quarter of 2012, the first quarter of 2013, gross domestic product grew by less than 2%. and in the last 15 quarters, our growth of our economy in america has been the slowest since world war ii. so we need to do everything in this country to promote economic looks at this bill the impact of regulations as obstacles to economic growth. i want to just read a few of the regulations that have been e.p.a. since january,
6:41 pm
2009. greenhouse gas regulations for cars, and these are e.p.a. numbers, it costs $52 billion. greenhouse gas standards for $144 2017, 2025, 144 -- billion. greenhouse gas standards for trucks, $8 billion. tility mag, $9.6 billion annually. border mac, i could go on and on but i think that that shows that the cost of some of these regulations present serious obstacles to economic growth. so the legislation that we consider tonight is simply a commonsense approach, a way to review the impact of energy-related regulations and -- at the environmental protection agency. al and all this legislation does is -- and all this legislation does is this -- the
6:42 pm
administrator of the environmental protection agency y not promulgate as final an energy-related rule that is estimated to cost more than $1 billion unless, one, they make a report to congress setting out what the regulation does and, number two, the secretary of energy, working with the federal energy regulatory commission and the administrator of the energy information administration, and the secretary of commerce, and the small business administration, will look at these regulations and look at the impact on consumer energy cost, the impact on employment, the impact on economic growth and the department of energy certainly has the expertise to analyze these kinds of figures. and if the secretary determines that it will be harmful to
6:43 pm
economic growth, then they -- the secretary cual stop the regulation from taking effect. now, the good news is at that point the e.p.a. could go back and redo the process. but i can tell you from my personal experience of working with people in my district who are affected by regulations every day, most people genuinely believe that there's not anything wrong by having other government agencies review the impact of the cost of regulations on the economy, on jobs, on the price of fuel. and that's precisely what dr. cassidy's bill does and i think it's a commonsense approach, something that the american people need as additional protections and with that i would like to reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from kentucky reserves. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. waxman: madam chair, i yield
6:44 pm
myself such time as i may consume. the chair: without objection, the gentleman is recognized. mr. waxman: this republican bill onsimply a disguise to solve e.p.a. rules that protect human, health and the environment. that's why the white house has said that the president would veto this bill if it got to him. last congress this house, under republican leadership, they know how to dress but they don't know how to legislate. the republicans voted over 300 times to roll back environmental laws. nearly half of these votes were efforts to block e.p.a. rules. the house voted to block e.p.a. standards for mercury, a serious toxin, and other air pollutants that are similarly poisonous from power plants and incinerators. the house voted to strip e.p.a. of authority to set water quality standards. the house even voted to overturn
6:45 pm
e.p.a.'s scientific finding that carbon pollution endangers health and the environment. the problem that the republicans face is if the public doesn't want more air and water pollution, they don't support these efforts. they are attacks on public health standards that protect our kids and our seniors, the public doesn't want to weaken the clean air act or the clean water act or the safe drinking water act. the public supports our bedrock environmental laws. it should come as no surprise that these efforts became law. they all died in the senate. now, house republicans are trying a new approach. rather than blocking e.p.a.
6:46 pm
action directly, they want to give another agency veto power over e.p.a. rules. under this bill, if the department of energy determines that a rule proposed by e.p.a. would cause any, quote, significant adverse effects to the economy, end quote, e.p.a. would be blocked from finalizing the rule. this bill would set a terrible precedent. t would give d.o.e. the veto power over e.p.a. where do we stop? are we going to give the department of commerce veto over the state department? r the i.r.s. a veto over the f.d.a.? this kind of thinking would mean that our government would be so dysfunctional that the whole
6:47 pm
government would look like the congress of the united states. even if d.o.e. does not veto an e.p.a. rule, the extensive analysis required under the bill could delay e.p.a. rules for years, which means more air pollution, more asthma for our kids. more danger to our planet. we have an obligation to our children and future generations to protect our atmosphere while there is still time. we need to be acting faster, not putting on the brakes to benefit the big polluters. this is a costly bill. the congressional budget office says that the price tag for all the reviews and the reports required under this legislation would be $35 million over five years. this is money that we don't have to spend, especially since the d.o.e. reviews will simply be
6:48 pm
duplicative of exhaustive analysis already done by the e.p.a. and while e.p.a. is acting, they can give them their point of view. and consider this point, at the same time that the house republicans are telling d.o.e. to undertake exhaustive analysis of e.p.a. rules, they are slashing d.o.e.'s budget. d.o.e. could end up with no resources to do these reviews. statutory deadlines to issue e.p.a. health standards would be replaced with indefinite delay. this bill is a recipe for making the federal agencies dysfunctional. no one should want that. let me give you the example the kind of public health standard this bill is designed to block. during the committee markup, the chairman of the energy and power subcommittee argued that this legislation is needed because he
6:49 pm
was not satisfied with e.p.a.'s nalysis of the mercury and air toxic rule. he wasn't satisfied. e.p.a. did their whole analysis. they got the costs and benefits. it was all quantified. every year e.p.a. standards will help reduce mercury pollution and prevent premature deaths, deliver up to $90 billion in benefits to the nation. this individual member wasn't satisfied. it's a tremendous success story that will deliver up to $9 in benefits for every $1 spent. that is what e.p.a. was proposing to do. no member of congress, no other department should stop those kinds of regulations from being put in place. the fact that this rule is the poster child for the kind of public health rule this
6:50 pm
legislation is designed to block shows just how misguided this legislation truly is. this bill is deeply flawed. it is an assault on public health and environmental protections. i urge all members to oppose this latest republican attempt to gut our nation's cornstone environmental laws which were adopted by bipartisan votes. now republicans, in a bipartisan way, are trying to make sure those laws do not work to protect public health and the envirlte. madam chair, i reserve. the chair: the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from kentucky. mr. whitfield: i might say with all due respect to my friend from california, he is exactly correct. i was not satisfied with mulet mack, but primarilyly because e.p.a. misled the american people. publicly, they were always
6:51 pm
talking about the mercury reductions and the benefits would come from mercury reductions and yet at the hearing, e.p.a.'s analysis showed that the benefits were not there for mercury reductions but particular ate matter reductions. i might make one other brief comment. we were talking about the money involved in the department of energy in implementing this bill. and at the end of fiscal year 2012, the department of energy excessr $2.36 billion in carryover balances. i would like to yield to dr. cassidy, the author of this bill, for five minutes. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. cassidy: i thank the chairman for their hard work in preparing this important legislation and bringing to the house floor, which by the way, passed the committee with
6:52 pm
bipartisan support. currently, millions of americans are unemployed or underemployed. millions more did left the labor force entirely and the economy struggles to recover. it is particularly tru among blue collar workers who have een employed in mining manufacturing and construction. and those three are related. the mining, the bringing of resources from underneath the ground fuels energy-intensive manufacturing enterprises which goes on to make steel, use the steel to construct pipelines or make steel pipes and then construct the pipeline. it is an energy-intensetive economy that brings good jobs with good benefits to blue collar workers. i have no clue what the folks on he other side of the aisle are hostile.
6:53 pm
the e.p.a. has been advancing an expansive regulatory assault on the production, distribution of affordable and reliable energy. now, by the way, current regulations don't change. it doesn't roll back anything. this is only about prospective regulations. so it doesn't concern about the clean water act and clean air act. those regulations remain the same. numerous new regulations have created uncertainty, contributing to an unprecedented number of power plants shutdowns and destroying blue-collar jobs and increasing energy costs and raising concern regarding electrical grid reliability. although the e.p.a. attributes large public health benefits to billion dollar regulations, their scientific analysis has been sharply criticized with one public health official saying their method of analysis is misleading to public policy analysis. the national academy of science
6:54 pm
saying the conclusions were not justified by the methodology or the research that was presented. now, we are using faulty research to justify the destruction of blue-collar jobs. i don't know why anybody wouldn't want to be for this, but there are some are not. there are concerns that the e.p.a. ignored the public health costs in the job losses. i'm a doc. i know when someone loses their job, their health suffers. there is a researcher, currently an associate professor of economics at ucla who testified lifejob losses can lead to expectancy. this isn't a parent or worker, but it's their children as well. and it is so well documented and folks are casual about the job
6:55 pm
losses that e.p.a. regulation brings about. now when energy becomes expensive or unreliable, public health is threatened, as that research shows. all we're asking for here is accountability and transparency to determine the full impact of e.p.a.'s major energy-related regulations, the impact it will have on jobs, and our nation's economy. f the benefit jouth weighs the cost the rule goes forward, if the costs jouth weighs the benefit, let's stick up for the blue-collar worker so they don't have to go to government dependency. o.m.b. has previously put a hold on e.p.a. rules and e.p.a. has the right to put a hold on army corps of engineer rulings. agencies are accountable to one another. all we ask is that the e.p.a. be
6:56 pm
accountable to the department of energy and if you will, to the american people. this rule requires if the energy rules are appropriately reviewed by the secretary of energy, consulting with the other relevant agencies to determine whether the proposed rules will cause significant adverse effects to the economy, if this review takes place and does not uthhskwlouth -- outweigh the benefits, it ensures that they are given appropriate consideration. it is important to note again, nothing in the legislation prevents consideration of both costs and benefits in the proposed rule and an independent and thorough review with expertise in economic analysis is merely a check, merely a call for e.p.a. to be transparent, which they have not been in the past. the bill would protect consumers
6:57 pm
by providing additional oversight -- i ask for 15 seconds. the bill protects consumers from gher energy prices and oversight on e.p.a.'s more expensive rules that regulate the use of energy, most importantly, it protects blue-collar jobs by an overzealous bureaucrat who decides that they want to do and don't wish to be transparent about it, it is ok to destroy blue-collar jobs. i urge all members to support thr bill and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from kentucky reserves. the gentleman from california. mr. waxman: i yield five minutes to the ranking member of the subcommittee from which this bill emerged, the gentleman from illinois, mr. rush. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes.
6:58 pm
mr. rush: i thank the gentleman for yielding and i rise today in strong opposition to this horrendous bill, h.r. 1582. mr. speaker, although this bill is called the energy and consumers relief act, a more appropriate title would be the shamelessly blocking public health protection act. and while the gentleman from louisiana and rest of my republican colleagues may attempt to fool the american people into thinking this is some kind of a jobs bill, the fact of the matter is, as a republican leadership admitted on national television a few days ago, the majority party is not interested in working on legislation to address the real
6:59 pm
problems that american families face, but rather they are more concerned with trying to overturn and undo any and all of the initiatives that the president has already accomplished. whatever president obama has the republicans want to undo. so, madam speaker, while the majority party proudly wears the one of the leaders of congresses othing of all times, we are here today yet again spending valuable time ,ebating yet another rhetorical
7:00 pm
nevergless bill that will ever become law, instead of working on real problems that confront the american people. mr. speaker, i'm here today to ay enough is enough. let us get back to the business of governing by working on legislation to put americans back to work and to get our economy running at full steam once again for the benefit of all the american people. instead, madam speaker, we are here debating a bill that we on the my colleagues other side of the aisle know, a bill that is dead on arrival in
7:01 pm
the senate. e to its radical and extreme positions. . make no mistake about it, this bill isn't about making the government more open, more accountable to the american people. in fact, the opposite is true. this bill is simply and solely about blocking the e.p.a. from finalizing rules that will make our air and our water cleaner and help avert catastrophic climate change. madam speaker, this bill has many problems but its most egregious flaw is that it gives the department of energy an unprecedented veto over the most important e.p.a. rules to protect human health and to
7:02 pm
protect our nation's environment. madam speaker, the e.p.a. regulations most likely to be delayed, most likely to be destroyed by this legislation have tremendous benefits for human health and the environment , including money saved on energy bills and at the gas ofp, reductions in emissions toxic pollutants that cause cancer and development delays in children, hospitalizations that would be averted, prevention of asthma attacks and premature deaths, all of which provide real benefits to the american people, real people. madam speaker, the title of this bill is the energy consumers
7:03 pm
relief act, but yet the majority prevented me from -- 30 secretaries, please. mr. waxman: i yield the gentleman an additional 30 seconds. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for 30 seconds. mr. rush: but yet the majority prevented me from offering an amendment that simply stated that the e.p.a. rules could not blocked if they resulted in consumers saving money at the gas pump. so if the purpose of this bill was truly to provide relief to consumers, then allowing my amendment would have been simply a no-brainer. mr. speaker, you can fool some of the people some of the time but you cannot fool all the people all the time. enough is enough. let us get back to considering real legislation. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from kentucky is recognized.
7:04 pm
mr. wittman: -- mr. whitfield: i would like to remind everyone once again that this legislation applies only to energy-related regulations that exceed $1 billion. that's all that it applies to. at this time i would like to yield three minutes to the distinguished gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. rothfus. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. rothfus: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the chair: without objection. mr. rothfus: i rise in support of the energy consumers relief act. this commonsense legislation will protect workers, families, all businesses and manufacturers by providing for more rigorous oversight and public disclosure of expensive and job-killing e.p.a. regulations. yesterday president obama's new e.p.a. administrator demonstrated how out of touch she is by denying that regulations have an impact on jobs.
7:05 pm
she is quoted as saying, can we stop talking about environmental regulations killing jobs? please? at least for one day? well, we'll stop talking about it when they stop rob pping us of the jobs -- robbing us of the jobs that support our communities. within the last month, regulations have cost another 300 jobs in western pennsylvania. the damage brought by these regulations extends far yonled the individual families affected -- beyond the individual families affected. they hurt the surrounding communities where these moms and dads live, work and send their kids to school. they increase the cost of energy, which is a direct cost on families and businesses, and it is especially painful for seniors and others who live on fixed incomes. i urge my colleagues to vote for this legislation that will protect workers, families and businesses from higher electricity prices, less reliable energy and more lost jobs. i yield back the balance of my time.
7:06 pm
mr. whitfield: i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from kentucky reserves. the gentleman from california. mr. waxman: madam chair, i am now pleased to yield three minutes to the gentleman from new york, mr. tonko, who is the ranking member of the subcommittee called energy and the environment. the chair: the gentleman from new york is recognized for three minutes. mr. tonko: thank you, madam chair. and thank you, ranking member waxman. for the opportunity to share some thoughts on this legislation. h.r. 1582 is yet another attempt to block the environmental protection agency from fulfilling its mission, that is to protect public health and our environment. the bill is premised on the false notion that protection of public health and the environment comes at the price of jobs. simply it does not. h.r. 1582 is not about transparency or fairness. the bill creates a burdensome and duplicative requirement for analysis by the department of energy, designed to block e.p.a. from moving forward to address
7:07 pm
climate change. the people stands in the way of policy -- standing in the way of policy to address climate change are willing to subject us to ever-increasing costs, costs of natural disasters, damaged infrastructure and the loss of lives and livelihoods. why? to preserve our dependence on a fossil fuel-only energy economy. proposed regulations are analyzed and reviewed now under multiple laws and multiple executive orders. rules in the federal register consume more page numbers now due to the requirements for additional analyses and documentation under the paperwork reduction act, the unfunded mandates act, the regulatory flexibility act and multiple executive orders. these additional analyses, studies and peer reviews have repeatedly shown that e.p.a.'s rules are justified and deliver many more benefits to people's health and our environment than
7:08 pm
costs to business. if and when they do not, either the rule does not go forward or opponents can have their day in court. h.r. 1582 pits one department against another. the secretary of the department of energy should not have veto power over regulations that e.p.a. is empowered by law to issue. there are ample opportunities for interagency consultation during the rule making process. regulations to improve our air quality and address other pollution problems have been opposed over the years with the threat that controlling pollution would bankrupt our industries and our economy. that has not happened. we have managed to create a cleaner, healthier environment for our people and have a robust dynamic recovery. h.r. 1582 is designed to hamstring the e.p.a. and
7:09 pm
continue to delay action on the looming serious challenge of climate change. we can and must do better. we have the innovative capacity to meet these challenges. the only thing lacking is political will. political will to move forward. this nation did not become great by denying and avoiding challenges. avoiding this problem will only increase costs and risk across the nation. i oppose h.r. 158 and i urge my colleagues -- 1582 and i urge my colleagues to do the same. with that i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from kentucky is recognized. mr. whitfield: madam chairman, may i ask how much time's remaining for each side? the chair: the gentleman from kentucky has 18 minutes remaining. the gentleman from california as 15 minutes remaining. mr. whitfield: at this time i'd reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from kentucky reserves. the gentleman from california. mr. waxman: madam chair, at this time i'd like to yield three minutes to the gentleman from new york, a very important
7:10 pm
member of our full committee, for -- i said three minutes, yes. the chair: the gentleman from new york is recognized for three minutes. >> thank you, madam chair. i rise in strong opposition to this bill. as far as i'm concerned, this is just another attack on the e.p.a.. some of my colleagues have spent hundreds of hours this session attacking the e.p.a. may i remind them that congress set up the e.p.a. to regulate dangerous and toxic substances in order to keep our air and water clean. we must continue to support the e.p.a. in this task. who would not want clean air and clean water? i think the e.p.a. does a fine job in protecting us. mr. engel: my district is one of the highest -- has one of the highest asthma rates in the country. it's one of the reasons that i've championed clean energy and argued for strong e.p.a. rules to protect our children. if this bill had been law already, e.p.a. could have been delayed or blocked from finalizing the mercury and air toxic standards, which set emissions limits for new coal
7:11 pm
and oil-fired power plants for mercury and other toxic air pollutants. why would anyone want to block the e.p.a. from doing that? the e.p.a. estimates that these new standards will save up to 11,000 lives and prevent 130,000 asthma attacks. that's good enough for me. there are many, many reasons to continue to support the e.p.a.. this bill unfortunately does not do that. so i urge my colleagues to oppose this bill and support the e.p.a. in a goal we should all hare of protecting our air and water and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from kentucky. mr. whitfield: reserve the balance of my time. the chair: continues to reserve. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. waxman: madam speaker, may i inquire of the manager of the bill, we only have one more speaker on our side. how about you? mr. whitfield: we have no other speakers. i'll be closing and so -- mr. waxman: so, under those circumstances, i'd like to yield to myself and then you will
7:12 pm
close on the bill. the chair: the gentleman from california is recognized. it waxman: madam speaker, was a claim from one of the supporters of this bill that e.p.a.'s using faulty science to justify its rules. in fact, the proponents of this bill are using faulty examples to try to justify this ridiculous bill. for example, the gentleman from louisiana's chief example of a faulty e.p.a. rule is what he refers to as a from a maled hide rule -- ferre maled hide rule. in fact this isn't a rule. it's unrelated to the energy-related rules that are the subject of this bill. do want to point out that
7:13 pm
pollution control regulations create jobs because they create clean technologies that the whole world wants. the proponents of this bill claim they're worried about jobs and the unemployment -- and the unemployed. i think they're crying crocodile tears. the republicans are for the sequestration, which is costing hundreds of thousands of jobs. they are threatening the u.s. with default. they're against food stamps for people who don't have jobs. and don't have food to eat. give me a break. they're not trying to save jobs. they're trying to save some of these big polluting industries that have to pay to reduce their pollution. now, we've heard that this bill is going to provide more checks and balances. because e.p.a. will then have its rules reviewed by the department of energy.
7:14 pm
but e.p.a. rules go through a very extensive interagency process. other agencies, including the department of energy, can make their views known to e.p.a.. the office of management and budget already has the ability to have any concerns addressed before they allow e.p.a. rules to go forward. these rules go through months or even years of scrutiny before they are issued. but this bill creates a new unchecked authority for the department of energy to veto public health rules. that's a terrible idea. why would we give one agency the unchecked authority to block another agency's rules? there's plenty of checks and balances in the existing law. and then we hear the argument, well, this bill is really about
7:15 pm
transparency. ecause somebody else should be overseeing e.p.a. rule making. but in fact, this bill will do the opposite. the bill creates a duplicative and confused regulatory process for e.p.a. rules. after e.p.a.'s done its analysis, they've weighed the risks and the costs and the benefits, they've heard from people who are claiming the costs are too high, they've heard from people claiming the benefits are not enough, whatever the claims are, they valuate those claims. based often on science. according to the nonpartisan congressional budget office, we let the e.p.a. review these regulations again from scratch, axpayers will pay $35 billion.
7:16 pm
gives gives e.p.a. -- .o.e. veto power over rules. there's no checks and balances when d.o.e. does that. they won't hear from the public. they're not equipped to evaluate the scientific health benefits. they're looking at the cost. it's a skewed d.o.e. analysis. this bill is not about transparency. we were told this is not over any simple rules. it's only over the expensive ones. regulations that'll cost over $1 billion. $1 billion. $1 billion over a year? $1 billion over 10 years? $1 billion over to years? there's no definition of that. they say $1 billion.
7:17 pm
ok. but that could then be used to stop a rule that's far less than what people think it would cost. and of course the benefits have to outweigh the costs before the rule could be issued by e.p.a. i want to give a good example of regulations that would be stopped by this legislation. e.p.a. and the department of transportation worked together on tail pipe standards and fuel efficiency rules for automobiles and other motor vehicles. there are huge benefits. they help consumers save money at the pump. when off car that runs on more miles per gallon, you're saving money. you're also protecting the environment because we're not burning as much carbon. under the rules, by 2025, americans will be able to
7:18 pm
travel twice as far on a gallon of gas which will save consumers thousands of dollars. but that rule won't go into now t because the d.o.e. has to get involved. transportation and e.p.a. are proposing rules over their jurisdiction, over transportation and over air pollution. and so these rules which could lead for consumers to see gasoline at the pump drop by over $1 a gallon could be held up. and even though these rules are all supported by the major auto companies, including ford, g.m., and chrysler, these rules will cut u.s. emigs in carbon and pollution by $6 billion but this bill could prevent e.p.a. from adopting new vehicle rules that will save consumers even more money and continue to
7:19 pm
address the threat of climate change. this is a very, very bad bill. it doesn't make sense. and i urge my colleagues to vote against it and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the -- the chair: the gentleman yields back his time. the gentleman from kentucky is recognized. >> thank you, madam chair. once again i want to thank dr. cassidy for authoring this bill and bringing it to the house floor. mr. whitfield: i would like to remind everyone that e.p.a. has made great strides. we all recognize the improvements that have been made in our air quality, water quality, particulate matter, etc. as a matter of fact, cardon dioxide emissions are the lowest they've been in 20 years here in america. and yet i would say that e.p.a. is not the holy grail.
7:20 pm
e.p.a. does make mistakes. and i would like to just read a couple of comments from some witnesses who testified over the last year at the energy and commerce committee or energy and power subcommittee. dr. peter volberg, former member of the harvard school of public health, testified, there are major questions about e.p.a.'s forecast of serious health effects caused by small increments in particulate matter levels. e.p.a.'s statistical approach is frouth with numerous assumptions and uncertainties. dr. tony cox of the colorado school of public health testified, the use of statistical associations to address causal questions about healthesques of regulations is not only technically incorrect but as practiced by e.p.a. and
7:21 pm
others, is also highly misleading to policymakers. and then dr. ann smith, an economist with nera economic consulting talked about the uncertainties and the statistical models used by e.p.a. have serious flaws. at o all we are saying is a time when the economy is struggling, particularly now, and when e.p.a. is the most aggressive it has been in recent memory, as a matter of fact, even though our co2 emissions are down to the lowest level in 20 year, america is the only country in the world where you cannot build a new coal-fired power plant. all this legislation does is says, if e.p.a. comes up with a
7:22 pm
new regulation, energy related, costs over $1 billion, they've got to make a report to congress. then the secretary of energy working with the secretary of commerce and the small business squad mrgs and the energy -- business administration, the energy information agency, they will look and say, what is the impact of this regulation upon the cost of energy. the cost of gasoline. the cost of electricity. hat is the impact on causing jobs to be lost? or a plant maybe not to be built and a job will be lost or a plant will close? and so it's not dictating anything, it's the cabinet members of the same administration simply reviewing all of the evidence, doing its own analysis, and then deciding that if it has significant impact on the economy, then they can rule that the
7:23 pm
regulation will not take effect, at which point, the e.p.a. can go back, make some adjustments, and redo it. o i think it's a good piece of legislation that provides additional transparency and additional review of the regulation, the impact on the economy, the impact on jobs, the impact on prices, and what is wrong with that? what is wrong with the congress getting a report back from the agency and let the other department heads in the government review it? that's all this legislation is about. and with that, i would urge members to support this legislation and i would yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from kentucky yields back the balance of his time. all time for general debate has expired. pursuant to the rule, the bill shall be considered for amendment under the five-minute
7:24 pm
rule. in lieu of the amendment in the nature of a substitute recommended by the committee on energy and commerce printed -- printed in the bill it shall be in order to consider as an origin bill an amendment in the nature of a substitute consisting of the text of rule committees print 113-19. the chair: that amendment in the nature of a substitute shall be considered as read. no amendment to that amendment in the nature of a substitute shall be in order except those printed in part b of house report 113-174. each such amendment may be offered only in the order printed in the report, may be offered only by a member designated in the report, shall be considered read, shall be debatable for the time specified in the report, equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent and shall not be subject to amendment and shall not be subject to demand for division of the question. it is now in order to consider
7:25 pm
amendment number one printed in part b of house report 113-174. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> madam chair, i have the amendment under the rule. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number one, printed in part b of house report 113-174, offered by mr. waxman of california. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 315, the gentleman from california, mr. waxman and the a member opposed each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. waxman: madam chair mitigating circumstance colleagues, anyone listening to this debate. under this bill if d.o.e. determines that a rule by the environmental protection agency would cause any significant adverse effects to the economy, e.p.a. would be permanently blocked from finalizing that rule. that's a pretty broad assault
7:26 pm
on the rules that e.p.a. might issue because e.p.a. rules are to protect public health and the environment. so if this bill became law, a lot of clean air, clean water protections would be at risk. and the terms in the bill are so expansive and vague that nearly every major public health proposed rule could be delayed and would be affected. because d.o.e. is not going do -- is not going to do this extensive analysis. my amendment is straightforward. it eliminates the bizarre provision in this bill that gives the secretary of energy the unprecedented authority to effectively veto public health rules. it makes no sense for d.o.e. to veto an e.p.a. public health rule, especially since the veto would be based on d.o.e.'s analysis of the economic impact
7:27 pm
which is a -- by its terms, a macroeconomic analysis. what is this going to do to the economy? if this rule go into effect? did anybody ever think the d.o.e. does not do that kind of analysis? perhaps they should have had the department of treasury to do a max ro economic evaluation, they do things like that. but instead, the authors of the bill want d.o.e. to do it. all right. outside the d.o.e.'s area of expertise. this, i think, one a terrible precedent. time and time again, congress has turned to the e.p.a. to trust the agency with the mission of protecting our air and watter from pollution. the department of energy should not have the power to veto the public health protections that congress required in the clean air act or the clean water act or other bedrock environmental laws. the d.o.e. veto is inconsistent
7:28 pm
with the stated purpose of this bill because the other side on this bill thinks d.o.e. ought to do an independent analysis. we would concede it. let d.o.e. do an independent analysis. but don't let it stop the rule rom going into effect. e.p.a.'s analysis before they issued their proposed regulation goes through an interagency process. d.o.e. can intervene, the office of management and budget can review it and hold up the regulation. so let the regulation go forward and let d.o.e. do its additional analysis, but don't let that analysis lead to paralysis if we're talking about affecting the public health in this country. the amendment would stop veto of an e.p.a. regulation by
7:29 pm
d.o.e. it does not stop the department of energy from doing its analysis. but it would stop them from, while they're ding the analysis particularly, hold up a regulation and then leave it to them exclusively to decide that they're going to veto the regulation based on a different kind of analysis than one would expect with just a look at the benefits, to look at the cost and make sure the benefits are , in -- more of a benefit dollars and cents even, put a price on life, that's what we're talking about, put a price on a kid's asthma, that's what we're talking about. but if e.p.a. tries to do that analysis it has to show its regulation is going to be more economically beneficial than the cost of the regulation.
7:30 pm
and of course you can imagine when they look at costs and benefits, the costs are always overstated. i've seen that in all the years i've been here and i've been here for decades, the costs are always overstated by the polluting corporation that doesn't want to have to take the steps to reduce their pollution. and e.p.a., here's what they have to say, that they do their own analysis of the cost to do the regulation system of i would urge support for this amendment. leave the bill, if you want it, but don't give that veto power to d.o.e. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from kentucky sec reek in addition? mr. whitfield: i rise in opposition to the gentleman's amendment. the clerk: i -- chip the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. whitfield: thank you. this would strike the provisions
7:31 pm
preventing e.p.a. from finalizing rules that this energy secretary determines will cause significant adverse effects to the economy. and that's precisely why i respectfully oppose the gentleman's amendment. all of the debate this afternoon s focused on how e.p.a. is focused totally on health benefits. and health benefits are vitally important. we recognize that. i think i also pointed out from experts that e.p.a. makes mistakes. in their benefit and analysis, in their cost analysis, when they look at cost, and so once again, what we're trying to do with the cassidy bill is look at health, yes. but, what is the impact on jobs? what is the impact on those families who lose a job because of the regulation? what is the impact on the children of the family who loses
7:32 pm
the job because of the regulation? what is the effect on their ability to provide the needs for their family, their health insurance, their food and so forth? so, all we're saying is that the secretary of energy in the same cabinet as the administrator of the e.p.a. would head up an analysis to review the e.p.a. rule that exceeds $1 billion and effects energy alone and if they decide that it will have significant adverse impact on the economy, then they can stop it. and by the way, under the legislation, the e.p.a. would also have to give a report to congress on the impact on energy , cost, how much will they go up on gasoline, on electricity? how many jobs will be lost, how many jobs will be created. so, when we have a struggling
7:33 pm
economy, the last thing we want to do is to create additional obstacles that really are not necessary at a time when you can do other things and protect health also. so, with that i would respectfully oppose the gentleman's amendment and ask that members vote against the gentleman's amendment and i would yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from kentucky yields back the balance of his time. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from california. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the noes have it. the amendment is not agreed to. mr. waxman: madam chair. the chair: the gentleman from california. mr. waxman: i demand a roll call vote on the amendment. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from california will e postponed. the chair understands that amendment number 2 will not be offered.
7:34 pm
it is now in order to consider amendment number 3 printed in 174. b of house report 113- for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia seek recognition? mr. connolly: i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 3 printed in part b of house report 113-174 offered by mr. connolly of virginia. the chair: pursuant to house resolution 315, the gentleman from virginia, mr. connolly, and a member opposed each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from virginia. mr. connolly: i thank the chair. and at this time i am pleased to recognize my co-author of this amendment, mr. kildee from michigan, for 2 1/2 minutes. the chair: the gentleman from michigan is recognized for 2 1/2 minutes. mr. kildee: thank you, madam chair, and thank you to my friend, mr. connolly, for his leadership and for work on this amendment with me. i represent nearly 100 miles of great lakes shoreline. when i ran for congress i made a commitment to my constituents in
7:35 pm
the fifth district that i would fight every day to create jobs, to strengthen the economy and to protect our precious water resources. our amendment would do just that. in michigan we know the value well of clean water, because we are surrounded by the largest bodies of surface freshwater on earth. the great lakes. as a kid, i spent many summer weekends with my family at a city camp ground, a lake front city that i now have the privilege of representing in congress. our amendment would protect our precious waters from pollution. without our amendment, today's legislation would put the safety of great lakes, of our lakes and waterways, in jeopardy. history has repeatedly taught us what polluters will do if left unregulated. week of seen disastrous oil spills, including the end bridge oil spill in michigan, that threatened our state and our nation's natural resources.
7:36 pm
i will not sit idly by and allow the very rules that protect , ins like those in michigan my district, to be tossed aside for political expediency. this bill is written, would give the e.p.a. -- would give the department of energy unprecedented power to veto e.p.a. rules that protect public health, save lives and protect the great lakes. our amendment would prevent the d.o.e. from being age to veto rules that regulate -- being able to veto rules that regulate air or water quality. i've heard a lot of discussion about jobs. michigan's great lakes are an economic asset for my state, supporting a million and a half jobs and pumping over $62 billion into our economy. these jobs in michigan's recreational economy depend on clean water for fishing, for swimming, for drinking. we must protect them from pollution and harm. today's legislation is clearly
7:37 pm
misguided and fails to provide the necessary tools to protect our nation's critical natural resources. republicans in committee have already voted to decrease funding for the great lakes restoration initiative by almost 80%, something that i strongly oppose, and now they want to make it easier for polluters to poison our waters. i will fight these bad proposals every day i'm in congress. i urge my colleagues to support our commonsense amendment to protect the great lakes and protect our natural waterways. i yield back. thank you. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from kentucky is recognized. for what purpose does? mr. whitfield: thank you, madam chairman. i rise in opposition to the gentleman's amendment. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. whitfield: i would say, first of all, with all due respect, that certainly we have pollute of trying to additionally the waterways that the gentleman referred to in michigan. and i rise to oppose his
7:38 pm
amendment simply because he would say that this legislation would not apply to any rule that relates to air quality or water quality. so this amendment would exclude virtually all e.p.a. rules from the transparency and interagency review requirements of the act. and i would just summarize once again, we're talking about energy-related rules that exceed $1 billion. we know that the e.p.a. looks closely at health benefits, health impacts and we certainly favor that. but that's not the only thing that should be examined. and that's what this legislation is about. the secretary of energy, with other cabinet officials in the obama administration, would look at the impact of the regulation on the cost of electricity, the cost of gasoline, how many jobs might be lost, how many jobs might be created, would it have
7:39 pm
significant adverse impact to the economy as a whole, and i would think that everyone would ay, if it does, particularly with the slow economic growth we have today, the last 15 quarters have been the slowest since world war ii and the last quarter of 2012, the first quarter of 2013, gross domestic product increased less than 2%. so we need to do -- take special attention, provide special attention to the impact that regulations may have on creating job loss and the impact on those families that lose those jobs and that's what the gentleman's legislation is all about and i know the gentleman rose with the very best of intentions but i would respectfully oppose his amendment and ask members to defeat his amendment and with that i would yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from kentucky yields back the balance of his time.
7:40 pm
the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. connolly: i thank the chair. i rise to join my colleague, mr. kildee from michigan, in offering what i think is a commonsense amendment that protects public health and safety. i didn't think it was possible, madam chair, but this bill may actually be worse than the anti-regulatory legislation republicans rammed through the last congress. the house majority calls this latest version the energy nsumers relief act, an orwellian name if there ever was one. deceptively titled, as congress has from recess, but the title does not reflect reality. this bill would more aptly be blocking public health protections act. shamefully this is another attempt by the majority to gut public health and safety protections so they can give more handouts to big energy producers. many of which of course have
7:41 pm
financed the majority in this house. not only does this bill block or delay the e.p.a. from finalizing rules, madam chairman, to reduce pollution that threatens the air we breathe and the water we drink, it also gives unprecedented power, as the distinguished ranking member of the committee pointed out, to the department of energy to veto e.p.a. rules. nonsensical, nonsensical, and a non sequitur if there ever was one. we know rules already in place like the mercury and air toxic standards that effectively regulate carcinogens, neurotoxins, smog and soot pollution, prevent up to 11,000 premature deaths. 4,00 heart attacks and 130,000 asthma attacks every year. so i ask my colleagues, why are we trying to prevent proven protections on public health? our amendment will continue to put public health first by
7:42 pm
ensuring that e.p.a. retains that authority to implement the vital safeguards that protect air and water quality, that previous generations in this house, on a bipartisan basis, believe were necessary and important to protect the public we serve. with that i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from kentucky is recognized. mr. whitfield: i move that the committee do now rise. the chair: the gentleman will suspend. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from virginia. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the noes have it. the amendment is not agreed to. the gentleman from virginia. mr. connolly: thank you, madam chair. on that matter i would ask a recorded vote -- request a recorded vote. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from virginia will be postponed.
7:43 pm
for what purpose does the gentleman from kentucky seek recognition? mr. whitfield: madam chair, i move now that the committee do now rise. the chair: the question is on the motion that the committee rise. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the motion is adopted. accordingly the committee rises. the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. madam chair. the chair: mr. speaker, the committee of the whole house on the state of the union, having had under consideration h.r. 1582, direct mess to report that it has come to no resolution thereon. the speaker pro tempore: the chair of the committee of the whole house on the state of the union reports that the committee
7:44 pm
has had under consideration h.r. 1582 and has come to no resolution thereon. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, the chair will postpone further proceedings today on the 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. the recorded votes on postponed questions will be taken later. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> madam speaker, you i move the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 1897 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the resolution. the clerk: h.r. 1897, a bill to promote freedom and democracy in
7:45 pm
vietnam. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from california, mr. royce, and the gentleman from new york, mr. engel, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. royce: madam speaker, i'm consent sk unanimous that all members may have five elective days to revise and extend their remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. royce: thank you very much, madam speaker. and i'm going to yield myself such time as i might consume and this bill, which we rise in support of, h.r. 1897, is the vietnam human rights act of 2013, and it is authored by the chairman of the africa global human rights and health ubcommittee. i thought i would just take a moment and as a prelude talk about the efforts mr. smith has put over the years, not just to
7:46 pm
the issue of human right bus in particular, identifying those ost at risk. identifying those who are held captive in prison and taking the personal effort to go and try to visit them in these horrible conditions which they find themselves in. i remember him saying to me once, can you imagine what it is like for someone who is a prisoner, a prisoner because he attempts to speak out for some modicum of free speech or for religious liberty, and he finds himself there in confinement, not knowing when they open that door, when they come for you, what they might do to you next. not knowing what type of torture might be applied. it takes a strong constitution for a member of this house year after year after year to continue to go to bat for those
7:47 pm
who are held in captivity, hose who are subject to show trials and then disappear. part of his efforts have been to pass this particular legislation because he's concerned with the magnitude of what is happening in vietnam but also what he has seen in his own eyes with respect to some of those victims. over the year the foreign affairs committee has held many hearings on this subject and if these hearings have had one consistent theme, it's the deterioration of human rights and i think this is the thing we really find most regrettable, that at a time when we hoped that vietnam might change its policies, it actually has regressed and we've heard from the witnesses f the use of the government by government agents, by militias,
7:48 pm
some call them thug, who use everything from electric batons prods, to beat those who are demonstrating in vietnam. and who are in the process of speaking up for religious liberty or speaking up for the rights of free speech. and now it's gotten to the point that any young person who dares to blog those words, freedom of speech, those words, democracy, anyone who publishes material promoting democracy or criticizing totalitarian rule faces so many years in jail, it is so disproportionate, it is so ridiculous, to put a young person in jail for six or seven years because they blog on democracy but the thing that i
7:49 pm
think chris smith and i and others here, eliot engel, find so objectionable, is the physical abuse they are also subject to in confinement. so as we say, religious freedom is also under attack with reedom of speech, residents of some places have suffered severe violence, i've seen the consequences of the beatings with batons and electric rods in a may assault at the hands of vietnamese government officials and again this was because the pa riggsers attempted to protect their historic catholic cemetery from seizure by the government. e have over 350 christians who believe -- remain in prison for their beliefs and other groups. when i was in vietnam i talked to the leads of the unified buddhist church of vietnam who
7:50 pm
was under house arrest, and the lead over the -- of another buddhist group. he has subsequently been beaten so badly i don't think he can carry on a conversation today. another group of buddhists faced severe persecution from the government, the communist government there. what brings us here tonight is vietnam has taken steps backwards as we heard from the witnesses who testified before our committee in the first six weeks of this year, 40 dissidents have been convicted in show trials, more than all of last year, that's how bad things are deteriorating. that means that the communist vernment is not only eclipsing their past bad performance but paradoxcally, the government is also actively pursuing a seat on the u.n. human rights council. that is why we need to take
7:51 pm
this step and why passage of the vietnam human rights act is so important. and why we've got to use what leverage we have. and part of that leverage is nonhumanitarian u.s. assistance to vietnam. and we do that unless the vietnamese government improves its respect for human rights to meet spessfid requirements. let's send a message to that regime that the status quo is unacceptable. this bill does that. i strongly urge its passage and once again, i strongly commend and thank its author for his perseverance on this issue. i will reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. smith: madam speaker, i yield myself -- mr. engel: madam speaker, i yield myself such time as i
7:52 pm
might consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. engel: i'd like to thank the sponsor of this legislation, mr. smith of new jersey, an thank the chairman of the committee, mr. royce, for their leadership in advocating for human rights in vietnam. despite a move to a more open economy, rights for the people of vietnam remain curtailed. just last week, the president hosted the leader of vietnam for a visit. he urged the vote mana meeze leader to respect freedom of religion, freedom of speech and freedom of assembly. i sat next to one of the vietnam ministers at that luncheon and urged the same thing to him as well. as the united states and vietnam build a closer and more cooperative relationship, we must continue to be candid in calling for human rights for
7:53 pm
the vietnamese people. i remember the vietnam war as i know many of my colleagues do and it seems a bit strange that the united states and vietnam are in many ways alied and working together. that's fine. but human rights is so important to us and it's not something we can just sweep under the rug this legislation, the vietnam human rights act of 2013, takes a step in the right direction by prohibiting an increase in nonhumanitarian assistance to vietnam above fiscal year 2012 levels unless the government of vietnam makes significant progress on human rights issues. the bill makes it clear to vietnam that the only factor limiting usaid is positive action by the vietnamese government on political and human rights. the vietnamese government has an important choice, will it protect human rights and provide religious freedom to its citizens or shirk those
7:54 pm
responsibilities and foresake the closer relationship it wants with the united states. i would like to see a closer relationship with vietnam but we have principles and the vietnamese have to respect those principles. we respect them, they need to respect us. i urge my colleagues to support this legislation. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york reserves. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. royce: i yield such time as he may consume to mr. smith, chairman of the foreign affairs committee on africa, global rights an international organizations and the author of this ill be. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. smith: thank you, mr. chairman, thank you madam chair as well. i want to thank you for your kind remarks but also for moving this legislation very swiftly through the full committee along with eliot engel's full support and the chairwoman emeritus, ileana ros-lehtinen, thank you for
7:55 pm
your steadfast support for human rights, now presiding over this session. mr. chairman, i want to thank you for being a champion on behalf of the dissident the bloggers, the religious dissidents, who suffer daily beatings at the hands of an increasingly absurd and worsening dictatorship. vietnam is in a race to the bottom with some of the dictatorships around the world including cuba, including china, somalia, and other places where people's human rights are systematically trashed by the reyeems. i do rise -- i do ask respectfully that members support the vietnam human rights act of 2013678 the purpose of this bipartisan legislation is simple. to send a clear, strong, and compelling message to the increasingly repressive communist regime in pow for the vietnam that says that the united states is serious about combating human rights abuse in
7:56 pm
vietnam. underscoring the worsening situation in vietnam, john sifton of human rights watch testified at a hearing that i chaired and noted that in the first few months of 2013, more people have been convicted in political trials as in the whole of last year. and that has only gotten worse as each week passes in vietnam. reporters without borders have put out their number, there's t least 35 netizens, bloggers, journalists who write online who have been incarcerated by this dictatorship. i'll never forget one particular trip to vietnam, i sung, the wife of dr. he was imprisoned, he went on u.s. embassy hanoi, took an
7:57 pm
essay on what is democracy, translated it and sent it out online and for that got a multiyear sentence in jail. i met with his wife who lived in great fear they would go after her as well and certainly when i had dinner with her one night, sitting as far away as chairman rice at the next table at a hotel were three bully boys from the -- three thugs from the secret police of vietnam, very, very visibly standing up and taking pictures to let us know they were watching. of course i took their picture as well but that's kind of intimidation campaign this wonderful wife of a dissident was experiencing. the boat people s.o.s. suggests there are well over 625 political prisoners and religious prisoners as we meet here tonight who are suffering an of course that number often goes up. one might be let out two more incarcerated. by this dictatorship.
7:58 pm
madam speaker, h.r. 1893 -- 1897 is designed to promote the development of freedom and democracy in vietnam. it will bring much-needed scrutiny to a seriously deteriorating situation. it stipulates the united states can increase nonhumanitarian aid to vietnam above 2012 levels only if they can certify they have made substantial progress in establishing a democracy and promoting human rights including releasing political and religious freedoms, repealing laws that riminalize peaceful dissent, -- there's an enormous amount of racism in vietnam, taking all appropriate steps including the prosecution of government officials who end -- to end government complicity in that nefarious practice called human trafficking. there are also other very clear
7:59 pm
benchmarks articulated in the legislation. mr. speaker, now, mr. speaker, there's been a change at the chair, in the last four months alone on april 11 and june 4, i've held two more congressional hearings on this deteriorating situation. we heard stories about individuals and groups being persecuted in a variety of ways. their testimony confirmed that religious, political, and ethnic persecution has worsened and there is complicity by leadership, by the people who are in the government of vietnam in human trafficking. the u.s. commission for international religious freedom in 2013 in their report noted, the government of vietnam continues to expand kohl over all religious activities, severely restricting independent religious practice and to repress individuals and religious groups it views as challenging their authority. the commission says very candidly, vietnam ought to be a
8:00 pm
country of particular concern. c.p.c. designation pursuant to the international religious freedom act of 199 . unfortunately, that was removed by president bush, a misguided move on his part, in 2006, when it was thought that the bilateral trade agreement and the permanent normal trading relations might lead to a matriculation from dictatorship to democracy, things have gotten worse since this government got this trade rights have uman suffered and real casualties have endured unspeakable hardships. mr. chairman, on several trips met, as has have chairman royce and other members and i know when you meet these people you are forever moved. courageous leaders who struggle, sacrifice, and endure, numbing hardships including torture, to promote fundamental human rights in

34 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on