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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  July 15, 2014 10:00am-12:01pm EDT

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but the direct to consumer programs i would refer to my s host: dan iannicola, thanks for your time this morning. our focus now will come in to matters of the house. that's it for our program today. another program comes your way tomorrow morning at 7:00. see you then. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute] the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the chair lays before the house a communication from the speaker.
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the clerk: the speaker's room, shington, d.c., july 15, 2014. i hereby appoint the honorable robert pittinger to act as speaker pro tempore on this day. signed, john a. boehner, speaker of the house of representatives. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the order of the house of january 7, 2014, the chair will now recognize members from lists submitted by the majority and minority leaders for morning hour ebate. the chair will alternate recognition between the parties with each party limited to one hour and each member other than the majority and minority leaders and the minority whip each, to five minutes but in no event shall debate continue beyond 11:50 a.m. the chair recognizes the gentleman from oregon, mr. lumenauer, for five minutes. mr. blumenauer: thank you, mr. speaker. last wednesday i joined several of my colleagues and hundreds
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of people in the congressional auditorium to watch a gripping new film, "the interpreters" by vice news about american failure to protect afghans who helped our soldiers as guides, interpreters and drivers. their lives are now at risk as a result of their brave service and our failure to act. for almost a decade i've been battling to have the united states honor these obligations by effectively implementing a special immigrant visa program authorized by congress. for a while we were battling the bureaucracy itself which issued an embarrassing total of 32 visas for all of 2012. to help save the poor souls trapped in a bureaucratic hell. since the beginning of the year, this bureaucratic logjam has broken and we've been able to raise it to 4,000 a month but with that progress has come troubling news. congress set the cap on these
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visas artificially low. only 3,000 for the entire fiscal year, and these visas are effectively gone now. they're used up. it's not theoretical. we have 6,000 afghan applicants in the pipeline right now, and more who are looking for relief and safety. recently secretary kerry in a powerful opinion piece in "the l.a. times" noted this challenge and called on congress to act and raise the cap. with each day that passes, as so vividly illustrated by vice media's gripping documentary, these people whose lives and those of their families are left to the tender mercies of the taliban seeking revenge and setting an example. one case just caught myy, the plight of mohammed is typical. his father was murdered. his toddler brother was abducted because of his special service to the united states without a special immigrant
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visas, he's -- visa, he's next on the list to be kidnapped, tortured, perhaps beheaded. as secretary kerry pointed out, the way a country winds down a war in a farahway place and stand for those who risked safety in the fight sends a powerful message to the world that's soon not forgotten. secretary kerry as withdrawal proceeds, the united states is in danger of sending a wrong message to interpreters and others who put their lives on the line to help our troops and diplomats do their job. this is why this is so urgent. remember how we brought the iraqi special immigrant visa program back to life last october in the middle of impossible circumstances during the government shutdown. there was bipartisan support with leader cantor, leader hoyer, chairman goodlatte, tulsi gabbard, adam kinzinger. a number of leaders sprung to
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action. we need that same bipartisan support and urgency for the afghan visa program. as soon as possible, congress must authorize at least 1,000 additional visas for this fiscal year to get us through these next critical months. it's the moral obligation of every member of congress, not to just co-sponsor h.r. 4594, the bipartisan afghan allies protection act that i've introduced with my friend and colleague adam kinzinger and senators mccain and she houston in the senate. we -- sheheen in the senate. as congressman kinzinger pointed out, it doesn't matter where you stand with the iraq war. it's where we stand in keeping our commitments. innocent lives are at stake. american honor is on the line and our future actions could be compromised if people don't trust us. it's our duty to save the lives of those who risk so much to
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help us when we needed them. they need us to co-sponsor h.r. 4594, to protect innocent lives and american honor. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from north carolina, mr. jones, for five minutes. mr. jones: mr. speaker, thank you very much. i'm on the floor today because i believe that congress must put an end to the waste of american lives and taxpayers' dollars overseas. recently president obama requested $500 million to train and arm syrian rebels. in his editorial, and i quote, congress can stop obama's rampup to war, pat buchanan made an excellent point saying, before congress takes up his proposal, both houses should demand that obama explain exactly where he gets this constitutional authority to plunge us into what the president himself calls somebody else's civil war.
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buchanan goes on to comment. syria has not attacked us, syria does not threaten us. why are we joining a jihad to overthrow the syrian government? mr. speaker, iraq is another country in which america has become involved to the detriment of our best interests. a former commandant of the marine corps, who's been my advisor for the past six years, stated in a recent email to me and i quote, we should not put boots on the ground. he went on to say that the situation in iraq is a middle east issue that needs a middle east solution, not more american troops. unfortunately there are currently 750 american boots on the ground in iraq with authorization from the president for up to 770 in the future. as our involvement in iraq escalates, i'm reminded of another important point made by pat buchanan. it is astonishing that
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republicans who threaten to impeach obama for uesurpg authority at home remains -- urping authority at home, he marches us back into syria and iraq. deny obama anted to to take us into syria. now obama will take us into two middle east wars on his own authority. greg neubahl wrote an inciteful editorial for "time" entitled "why iraq was a mistake." from 2000 to 2002, the general was the director of operations for the joint chief of staff and describing himself as a witness and therefore a party to the actions that led us to the invasion of iraq and unnecessary war.
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in closing, i'd like to quote a paragraph regarding the distortion of intelligence that drew america into the iraq war in the first place. d i quote, in 1971, the rock group, the who, released an anti-war anthem titled, "won't get fooled again." to us its lyrics has a feeling that we will never stand by quietly while those ignoreant about and casual about war mismanage the conduct of it. and i further quote the general. never again we thought would our military senior leaders remain silent as american troops were marched off to an ill-conceived engagement. it's 35 years later and the judgment is in. the who had it wrong. we have been fooled again. that's a sad, sad word, we have been fooled again.
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mr. speaker, we in congress have the responsibility based on the constitution to never get fooled again, but too many times we do not uphold our constitutional rights. mr. speaker, i believe the words of pat buchanan and greg nebahl articulate the many reasons that no president should bypass congress and the constitution to send our military into combat. mr. speaker, before closing i have beside me a photograph from the greensboro news record and here we go again in setting up our men and women in uniform in a foreign country that could be killed. this poster, mr. speaker, as you can probably see, is a group of army soldiers bringing a flag-draped coffin off of a plane. plies, god, don't let us forget that those in uniform are your children and we must protect them by meeting our constitutional responsibility. and with that, mr. speaker, i'll ask god to please bless
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our men and women in uniform, to please bless the families of our men and women in uniform and god to please continue to bless america and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from illinois, mr. quigley, for five minutes. mr. quigley: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today in strong support of summer food security programs for america's children because unlike congress, hunger doesn't take a summer vacation. today in the united states, food insecurity is persistent and rampant. we are one of the richest and most powerful nations in the world. yet, one in five american households with children experience food insecurity each year. any american suffering from hunger is caused for concern, but it's especially troubling to think that so many children lying in bed at night are struggling because they are hungry. most that don't get adequate
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sustenance at home get free or reduced rate during the school year. in fact, 21 million children nationwide rely on free or reduced price meals during the school year. 825,000 of those children are from my state of illinois. while we've worked hard to ensure our children are fed during the school year, we often overlook the fact that many of these same children lack access to these meals during the summer months. of the many children who receive free or reduced price lunches during the school year, only 14% currently access meals during the summer. this is why the usda summer food service program is so important. as members of congress, it is imperative that we support and promote these programs so families who need help during the summer months can take advantage of them. recently i had the opportunity to visit a summer food service program in my district with the greater chicago food depository and no kid hungry illinois.
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i was able to see firsthand how the program is benefiting children in illinois and across the country. these programs are working and making a positive difference for our local families. take, for example, the story of maria and her husband from chicago heights. maria works part time at a laundry mat where her husband works full time in a lumberyard. these two hardworking americans are doing all they can to provide for their children, but times are still tough and food is getting more and more expensive. to help pick up the slack, maria and her children visit the lunch bus. the lunch bus is a great program that not only provides lunch for low-income children during the summer but also provides a safe place for those children to play and meet other kids. there are families all over america like maria's family that work hard every day to provide for their children. but oftentimes despite their hard work, difficult
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circumstances cause them to come just short. we in this congress have a responsibility to stand up for these hardworking families and to ensure no child in america goes to bed hungry. that's why i'm a proud co-sponsor of the bipartisan summer meals act, which will expand the usda summer nutrition program to help more children across this country access quality meals during the summer months. rather than slashing these funds, we need to focus on positive steps we can take to end hunger across the country. the best way we can reduce the amount of federal government spending on food nutrition programs is by supporting legislation that creates jobs and helps families earn a living wage. moving forward, it is incumbent on all of us to promote summer food nutrition programs in our districts and to ensure that healthy, hungry-free kids act, which expires next year, is re-authorized at sufficient levels. as i said, mr. speaker, hunger
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does not take a summer break and neither should we when it comes to taking care of america's children. i will do all i can and make sure these children have access to nutritious meals all year round and i ask inside colleagues on both sides of the aisle to do the same. thank you and i yield back. . the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. thompson, for five minutes. mr. thompson: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, in a dramatic shift from just a short time ago, the united states is reducing its dependence on foreign source of energy and has the opportunity to become a major force in the international energy market. it's being made possible through the development of our domestic energy resources, namely the expansion of unconventional resources such as shale gas and oil. through remarkable innovation, the u.s. has been able to access oil and gas from shell formations previously
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inaccessible or uneconomical to produce. as a result, we have quickly moved from energy dependence and weaker footing to energy abundance and strategy -- strategic leverage. at a time the economy has not recovered at an acceptable pace, gas production in a particular area, such as the shale in pennsylvania, provide a key source of economic relief and job creation. as a result of the marcellus, pennsylvanians and americans across the country are benefiting from lower heating costs. businesses are able to produce goods more efficiently. and manufacturers are looking to relocate to the united states to create products, support economic expansion, and grow jobs that were previously headed overseas. mr. speaker, if we are to sustain the same level of growth and expansion, policymakers must make smart choices for the future so we support rather than hinder this opportunity. to start, we must continue to expand gas utilization domestically.
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the marcellus shale, for example, has changed where in the united states gas is transported and utilized and how it is transport interested region to region. this reconfiguration requires new infrastructure, including pipelines for transmission and transport, and new processing facilities, and this all requires long-term planning and investment. additionally, because domestic production of natural gas is far surpassing u.s. demand, most economists agree a modest expansion of natural gas exports would serve to stabilize domestic prices and supply. which is critical to sustaining the rapid growth in the industry we have witnessed. furthermore, each gas export terminal is a multibillion dollar investment that creates construction jobs, in addition to the more permanent positions within the natural gas value chain. that means jobs for steel workers, turbine manufacturers, pipe fitters, and others which will help communities across the country. given the situation in the ukraine and events in the middle east, we are reminded that our
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energy resources can also provide significant geopolitical benefits. exporting even a small amount of these plentiful resource overseas for our allies will strengthen not only our domestic economy but national security. president obama, secretary of state kerry, and leaders of the european union have clearly stated that additional global supplies of natural gas will benefit europe and strategic partners. for this reason i'm happy to say the house passed h.r. 6, demetsic prosperity and global freedom act. this bipartisan bill will streamline the permitting process for natural gas exports. in february, 2014, the united states department of commerce reported that our national trade ficit for 2013 improved by $63.1 billion in comparison to 2012. however despite this improvement, figures for month of april show exports are increasing and decreasing. as a trult the trade deficit is now at a two-year high. with the u.s. department of
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commerce having acknowledged that increased petroleum exports are a key factor that can contribute to lower trade deficit t. makes perfect sense to allow additional l.n.g. exports to refurther reduce the trade deficit. in addition to its economic and international benefits, natural gas will significantly lower our carbon emissions, which decreased by 3.8% last year, down to 1994 levels, according to government data. mr. speaker, the united states needs a smart energy policy that enables the citizens to continue receiving the ben abundance low-cost energy, and also want to utilize these resources as a tool, strategic leverage to improve our environment and shape international events to the benefits of america and its allies. mr. speaker, we have made a smart and strategic decision in the house with the passage of-h 6. let's continue to advance similar policies to further leverage the many benefits of our demessenk energy resources. let's do it for the good of the american people and our nation's strategic competitiveness in the
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world. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from wisconsin, for ive minutes. ms. moore: thank you so much he, mr. speaker. i rise today in support of the export-import bank. the official being export credit agency of the united states of america. mr. speaker, it is so frustrating to see this normally bipartisan effort to support the american economy get hijacked. i would bet, mr. speaker, that this bill could pass on suspension, that 2/3 of this house will be willing to re-authorize the ex-im bank if we were to put it on a vote on this floor. no, instead we are forced once again to yield to a minority of the majority, the tea party, anch demands decapitation of
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economic development and jobs creator giant. the united states of america's export-import bank. why is this? is it because the bank doesn't work? no. it is an example of house government effectively can partner with the private sector. the bank puts u.s. exporters on equal footings with foreign competitors as foreign export aid and bridges the gap in the private market. the reality is is that in the global marketplace, our competitors are aggressively using their export bank. milwaukee, wisconsin, my district, is still a very much manufacturing economy. second in the nation, relying on this sector. and every day workers in milwaukee compete against foreign workers with ex-- extensive and aggressive foreign
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export credit agency backing. today the united states export-import bank supports an estimated 205,000 export related jobs in the united states. , w, my fellow republicans wisconsin colleagues, not long ago, representatives ryan and representative sensenbrenner, urged bank financing because, quote, all steps should be taken to reinvigorate the economy and bring jobs to the united states, unquote. with higher than average unemployment in milwaukee, the need for the bank has not changed. not only does the bank support jobs, but it makes a profit from its operation and pays funds back to the u.s. taxpayers, $5 billion since 1990. now, opponents don't acknowledge that. still they call for gimmick accounting, or as my c.p.a. and
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tax attorney colleague, representative sherman calls it, quote, fairy tale value accounting. further, opponents claim that the bank exclusively helps big corporations, yet 90% of the bank's activities helps small business, and that number is on the rise. tool and dye in milwaukee, company you never heard of because it's not big. in fact, reports show failure to re-authorize the bank hurts small and medium businesses the most. i hear delta testify against the ex-im bank and hypocritically turns around and uses foreign export credit agencies for their fleet. by the way, delta would qualify to use more foreign export credit to buy foreign made airbus aircrafts if congress does not re-authorize the export bank. for real, for real, colleagues.
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do any of us believe that delta will turn down foreign support to buy an airbus plane or plane from the chinese? come on now, i have a bridge to sell you. opponents also say the bank only supports to prevent exports. exactly, theback's mission is limited. it does not compete with private financing. the export bank's fees are igher than u.s. bank fees. it is not in competition. it works in concert with banks here in the united states. this is further proof that the bank is working. however, that 2% still supports a lot of economic activity in milwaukee. when i'm back in my district, unions and businesses large and small are hand in hand saying re-authorize the export-import bank. we use the rhetoric of jobs an awful lot around here in congress. now is the time to take a powerful stand for u.s. jobs and
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u.s. workers. actions speak louder than words. i urge my colleagues to support the re-authorization of the export-import bank. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from new york, for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. speaker. mr. grim: it's with a heavy heart but also a swelling of pride that i rise before this house today to honor the memory, the memory and heroic sacrifice of one of fdny's bravest, lieutenant gordon "matt" embliss. a veteran staten island fireman with 14 years of distinguished service tragically gave his life this past fourth of july weekend. he was attempting to rescue ictims trapped in a horrific
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blaze in brooklyn. the lieutenant leaves behind a devoted wife and two beautiful girls. he's new york's first firefighter to fall in the line of duty since 2012. while a family and community mourn the excruciating loss of one of their finest native sons, one of their most dedicated protectors, lieutenant ambliss is a testament to the uncommon courage and sacrifice at the fdny re of the entire family and the dangers they face in keeping america's greatest city safe every day. he died after searching the 19th floor of a burning brooklyn housing complex, determined to leave no innocent victim behind as the flames spread rapidly from floor to floor.
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undaunted by the danger that would have melted the courage of most any man, matt faced it, undeterred, head on. so i join all of my constituents in brooklyn, in staten island, and all new yorkers, in acknowledging the immense debt of gratitude we all owe to matt and his brothers in the fdny who put our safety above their own day in and day out. while standing among those honoring lieutenant ambliss at his funeral on staten island last week, i was humbled by the valor, the incredible valor, of matt's actions. we watched as matt's brothers in uniform, especially the beach boys of ladder 81 in staten island, and the hooper street gang of ladder 19 in brooklyn, paid their final respects to the fallen hero. seeing firsthand the mixture of
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strength and despair on their ces, i saw matt's wife and their beautiful daughters. this was a very stark reminder that not only do we owe the enormous debt of gratitude to fallen heroes like matt, but also to the loving families that bear the immeasurable sacrifice right along with them. when our nation was viciously fdny d on 9/11, 343 firefighters gave their lives. since then 18 more, including matt, have fallen in the line of duty. each loss while a weight on our hearts adds yet another angel to that storied brotherhood of heroes. i ask all of my colleagues to join me in the remembrance and
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commemoration of a true american hero in every sense of the word. may god bless lieutenant ambliss, may i bring comfort to his young family. may he protect all our brave fdny fire firets, and may the noble sacrifice enshrined in matt's memory never be forgotten. and to you, nanette, please know that you, gia, and gabby are in my thoughts, in my prayers, and my heart is broken for your enormous loss. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from massachusetts, clark --e -- ms. ms. clark: thank you very much, mr. speaker. harry truman famously said, if you want a friend in washington,
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get a dog. i can tell you that many of our nation's animal shelters and rescue groups would be more than happy to introduce you to a new friend. between five and seven million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year, and the hardworking individuals at these shelters and rescues try to make sure that each of these animals makes its way to a forever home. . i have been fortunate that i have had rescue dogs. as a girl it was scotty and daisy. as a newlywed, my husband and i adopted samantha and walter. and as a family we welcomed bison into our family. i want to honor the hard work of volunteers and staff at animal shelters and rescue groups across the nation. and i encourage my colleagues
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to join me today at this year's paws for celebration event on capitol hill. this event, sponsored by the aspca, and hosted by the congressional animal protection caucus, will feature adoptable dogs and cats from shelters and rescues from around the washington, d.c., area. it will be a great opportunity for members of congress to take a moment and thank the shelter and rescue community for their hard work and dedication to our nation's homeless pets. and who knows, you might even find that friend in washington you've been looking for. thank you, mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. perry, for five minutes. mr. perry: thank you, mr. speaker. 400 rocket attacks from gaza in the past three weeks, mr.
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speaker. israel's made several attempts to diffuse the issue and the situation. this is how hamas responded. we will not agree to quiet in exchange for quiet. if israel does not agree to our demands, i expect we will continue this battle. can you imagine that? demands from hamas that israel not respond, not respond to rocket attacks. that's the only way you will get quiet for quiet. between israel and hamas. now we all know where this recent exchange started on june 12, the abduction, subsequent murder of three veili teenagers, suspected -- by three i veily teenagers, suspect -- by israeli teenagers, suspected by hamas. there is a difference between how both sides act from the israeli prime minister, i
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condemn the murder of a palestinian youth in jerusalem. murder riots, incitement, vigilanteism, they have no place in our democracy. israel quickly tracked down and arrested the teens' suspected murderers, tracked them down and is prosecuting them. what is the response from hamas? what is the like response? in response they launched nearly 400 rockets at israel since june 14, for a month this has been going on. into their population centers. not into military targets, mr. speaker, but population centers. now, last week i attended a briefing with israeli ambassador ron durhammer to discuss the ongoing situation in gaza and one thing i found interesting is all the members that were there from israel had on their phones an application which sounded an air raid siren
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every time it sounded in israel and we scarcely got through the briefing because they were continually going off all around the room and i imagine myself in my hometown hunkered down in my basement against a rocket attack. no civilization should live this way. interestingly enough, we viewed surveillance video of hamas members using their own people as human shields. the israelis actually send a warning shot. this is the building we're going to hit. this is where you're making rockets and we're going to attack it next. you'd think that people would run from the people knowing it's going to be blown up. they send people to the building. i'll remind everybody the responsibility for civilian casualties when those civilians are used as human shields lies with the party that deliberately places them at risk. namely, hamas. understand, they are placing their launch sites and their factories next to mosques, next to churches, next to hospitals,
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next to schools. the plan is, their intent is to make sure when israel responds, responds to an attack that there are maximum casualties of civilians so that americans will think that the israelis are bad, that the narrative is that israelis are using an unmeasured response, response. but remember it is a response, mr. speaker. no other country faces daily rocket attacks against its civilians nor would any -- nor should any other nation tolerate such violence. and we strongly condemn the continued rocket fire into israel and the deliberate targeting again, mr. speaker, of citizens. now, this can all end. president mahmoud abbas can nounce the hamas unity government. how do we ever get to peace when their unified government
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is with terrorists? the palestinian terrorists have fired hundreds of missiles and project aisles at the population centers in israel, and just recently rejected the cease-fire negotiated by egypt. i mean what is it that they want? we know what they want. they want israel obliterated from the map, mr. speaker. for our administration who has at times been with israel but not enough times, i would urge them, instead of calling on restraint for israel, asking israel to restrain. they're responding, mr. speaker, to attacks on their civilian population. instead of asking them to restrain, demand the p.a. renounce hamas and start supporting israel and give them the necessary resources to meet this threat. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back.
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the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from, ms. jackson lee, for five minutes. ms. jackson lee: i thank the speaker. mr. speaker, good morning. i rise today to talk about children and to talk about children around the world, here at home, and i guess what's most on many americans' minds because of the visuals that they've seen, unaccompanied children coming into my state, the state of texas. i was down at the border some weeks ago, maybe just two weeks ago, and i looked at the reality of what many people see on television. and what i looked at was impoverished, frightened children, 12 years and under,
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hildren with diapers, children who were frightened and without their parents. in addition, i saw the lovingness of volunteers from catholic charities to save the children to many residents in the border community reaching out and helping. now we are about to engage on a debate based upon the president's recommendation on what they need to humanely treat these children. frankly, i believe that many in america have gotten the wrong information through various excerpts and commentary that have been made by people that are uninformed. i'm very glad in houston on this past weekend we had over 80 religious leaders from all denominations, communities, people who drove into houston from counties way beyond houston all standing up and acknowledging their commitment
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to the humane treatment of children. they were from diverse backgrounds. they were ethnically diverse and racially diverse, as i said, religiously diverse. ministers like dr. haynes, dr. colefield, pastors from faith temple, i believe, in polk county, if i have it correct. and individuals from the united methodist church, catholic charities, episcopal church, people who are in the midst of ramadan from the muslim faith, all ready to help these children. that is the america we all know. it's said over the years to bring me your forlorne. that is the same america that can stand alongside a jordan who is taking thousands upon thousands of syrians or turkey who is taking thousands upon
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thousands of syrians, not the america who listens to the fierce and wrong information about disease. these children are medically checked but if you will check the documents you'll find that in spite of the poverty, el salvador, honduras and guatemala immunized at least 90% to 95% of their children but yet we double check and immunize again. so i think it's important to understand that this law that has in actuality been at the center point of my friends on the other side of the aisle wanting to change, with the introduction now, the humane law is a law that should stay in place and that we should give children of any country, contiguous and noncontiguous at least due process rights because these are children who in actuality have fled violence or human trafficking or sex trafficking and they are sometimes unable to articulate that in a short period of time,
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they need counsel and they need courts that understand. to rush through the decision, to have a court make a decision in 72 hours is absolutely absurd and impossible. to only increase immigration judges by 40, i've introduced h.r. 4940 that introduces immigration judges by 70. they at this point immigration udges have 1,660 cases per court versus the district court which has less than 500 cases and they're overwhelmed. there's no way you can process these children presently, and the expedited proceedings are not going to work. where is our claim to due process for these children? look forward to working deliberatively -- however, they are in a deportation process. they are not just here to stay. putting them in a humane
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condition, debunking the myth of disease and having these children go and find that these children will appear in court by having lawyers and enforcing the border with a border security bill, h.r. 1417, that this house and this house leadership refuses to put on the floor of the house, was passed almost two years ago. if you want border security, pass the border security bill that we have written. finally, mr. speaker, i want to care about american children, the violence must stop. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. ms. jackson lee: those being shot by guns across america and stop the gun violence, we need a martial plan for the children who are being shot by guns, care for children all over the world. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the chair declares the house in recess until noon today.
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implementing the health care law as well as another that blocks a dc law decriminalizing marijuana possession. off the floor over on the senate side is sub committing investigating commit efforts, that hearing getting under way at 2:30 eastern. president obama is in washington today: research and technology program.
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he's tall about highway funding coming up today, this morning and look for coverage later today on the c-span network. on the highway bill the house rule's committee met. the measure provides $11 billion to fund projects through the end of may next year. monday's meeting was just under an hour. rules committee will come to order. thank you very much for joining us today for a very important meeting of the rules committee, where we're going to meet to consider hr-5021 the highway and transportation funding act of 2014. current estimates indicate the highway trust fund will run dry sometime this month. allowing this to happen would dramatically impact our nation's federal highways program, severely limit our ability to fund construction projects
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necessary to ensuring that america and our economy can continue to remain competitive, and, of course, we need to worry about getting the job done for america's economic and commerce marketplace to make sure that we stay up with their vibrancy to have a good infrastructure. the legislation before us today provides the resources necessary to keep the trust fund solvent. through may 31st 2015. and while i'm sure that everyone here would like to see more permanent solution, including the young chairman of the transportation committee mr. schuster, this proposal, however, avoids a problem where we don't reach a deal in to avert -- end of the year crisis. so what we believe we're going to have today is a more comprehensive solution and i want to thank dave camp who is
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chairman of the ways and means committee for being here today and for chairman schuster who have done a lot of work on this effort. i know that we are joined today by other members of the democrat party, including our delegate eleanor norton holmes from washington, d.c., who is the ranking member of the committee on highways and transit. and also government reform and also earl blumenauer, who i see every morning as he has ridden his bike in to the united states capitol knowing that he still needs safe roads and bridges to accomplish that, who's a member of the budget committee, also. so i want to thank each of you for being here today, and i have three quick announcements. first of all, we have intern program, team sessions. we have two important college interns, both graduates, first of southern methodist university
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savannah stevens. savannah, thank you for being here. and jillian quigley, a graduate of amherst, i want to thank them both for taking time to come to the rules committee. and lastly my baby son nicolas who is joining us first time to see his dad do the rules committee chairmanship, so i told him, don't yawn on tv, and get off that darn blackberry, or i-thing. he reminded me it's an i-5 dad, and i said okay. want to thank everybody for being here. i'd like to yield to the gentleman from massachusetts for any opening statement. >> welcome everybody here. and i will forego an opening statement and get right to the testimony. >> i thank the gentleman. i think that's a strong and clear message that what we want to do is get our work done today. with that said i would defer first to the gentleman from michigan, the chairman of the ways and means is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. at the end of this month states across the country will be forced to put construction
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projects on hold if congress cannot address the highway trust fund. at risk are hundreds of thousands of jobs in the construction industry at a time when millions of americans are packing their bags to take a vacation or just traveling to work. we must ensure that the roads, bridges and highways they travel on are modernized and safe. the bill before us would provide enough funding to get us through may 31 -- 2015. this legislation is the only package with all provisions having a proven history of getting big bipartisan votes in both the house and the senate. and last week passed through the ways and means committee by a bipartisan voice vote. both pension smoothing and custom users fees are included in the senate finance committee bill and those have been voted on and approved by the senate already this year. the leaking underground storage tanks transfer is identical in the house and senate bills. over the past few weeks, we've been working with our counterparts on the senate finance committee to address this matter in a bipartisan, bicameral way, it's important to
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note that the senate proposal now also reflects the need for a ten-month fix. while there is also bipartisan bicameral agreement that we need a long-term solution to the highway trust fund, it is my hope that ten months gets congress enough time to act. some of our -- that we need to go shorter to go longer. that is the bill should only get us through december 31 of this year. i think that's a mistake. as i noted the finance committee agrees. these are policies everyone is familiar with. they're policies that will provide the funding we need and they're the only policies that will pass both the house and the senate in time to fund our highways after the end of this month. i would urge everyone to keep an eye on that goal, finding an immediate fix to keep transportation projects going in the bill before us does just that. thank you. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. i appreciate not only your feedback but your hard work on this effort, and to keep us as we've spoken about earlier, right on target getting work done as quickly as possible. like to next welcome the gentleman from pennsylvania, the
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young chairman of the transportation committee. i know mr. chairman you've been hard at work for a long time but you also come with a view of having a father who has walked down this pathway with you, and i knew your dad. know your dad, bill, and i want you to know that i intend to tell him how proud we are of the job you're continuing to do for the people of this great nation, caring about their roads and bridges wherever they might be across the united states. the gentleman is recognized at this time. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i appreciate those kind words, and i'll pass them along to bud. >> i intend to tell him myself. >> i appreciate that. it's probably better he'll tell me something i didn't do right in this bill probably. but that's okay. want to thank mr. chairman and the members of the committee. we have the opportunity to appear here today for hr-5021 the highway transportation funding act of 2014.
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the highway transportation funding act of 2014 extends federal service transportation programs and shares the solvency of the highway trust fund through may as chairman camp pointed out. hr-5021 is a clean extension of the surface transportation programs and continues map 21 reforms. we have an immediate and critical need to address the solvency of the trust fund and extend the current surface transportation law. this bill does that in a responsible way and with policies that previously received strong bipartisan and bicameral support. if congress fails to act as the chairman once again mentioned, there will be thousands of projects across this country, hundreds of thousands of jobs will be in jeopardy if we don't do this. the legislation provides that much needed certainty and stability of the states. this bill in no way precludes congress from continuing to work on a long-term funding solution and reauthorization bill which remains a top priority. however this legislation is a responsible solution at this
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time and assures that we don't play politics with these programs. enables us to continue to making improvements to our system. i appreciate chairman camp's attention to this pressing issue as well as his commitment to addressing the highway trust fund. due to the urgency of this legislation i request the committee on rules grant a closed rule that waives any necessary points of order against consideration of the bill. >> mr. chairman, thank you very much. delighted that you're here and obviously as with all four of you, anything that you have in writing whether be entered for the record without ox and i thank you very much for your solid and quick statement. ms. holmes norton, welcome to the rules committee. i'm delighted you're here. i'm sure as you and mr. blumenauer know your presence at this committee is not only appreciated and respected but we count on you to come forth with your ideas. you remember not only an important part of this country,
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the district of columbia but you also represent your party the democratic party and your ideas and we're delighted that you're here. we'll tell you this committee is intensely interested in the issue that hand and your ideas will work. >> thank you very much. very much appreciate the opportunity to say a few words, and i summarize my remarks and simply introduce them for the record. i'm very pleased to be before your committee this time with a truly bipartisan bill and i want to thank the chairman to my right for working to the to make sure that this bill the committee who works on this bill works in truly bipartisan fashion, and very much appreciate the way this was done in our own committee with mr. shuster and also mr. camp's committee. i am the ranking member of the surface transportation bill. mr. rayhall who is the ranking
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member of the full committee wouldn't be here and i'm placed to be here in his place and i am overjoyed that this bill is coming forward and i want to thank you for bringing this bill forward. not at the last minute but providing some certainty, especially now that you cannot do a long-term bill because the congress isn't quite ready for that yet. rationing has already started and you can imagine that the states and localities when rationing which means that they're already not getting the full amounts because nobody knew what would happen in the congress, that this bill is very, very welcome. obviously, not only on mr. chairman, but all of us who are sitting at this table would have preferred a long-term bill with the certainty every single district, there's no member that is not affected by this bill. and i don't think that there are many bills that come before you that have the effect that this bill would have, the short-term extension does not allow them to big into the backlog, and that
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would not because it only enables them to keep going but it at least enables them to keep going and looking bankruptcy in the face for the highway trust fund was so unacceptable that everyone has gotten together and done the right thing. i would just like to say a word the chairman had both asked for a closed bill. i'd like to reinforce that. look, on a sort-term, we authorization of this kind truly we can get a closed bill. if the chairman had asked for it, i noticed that there are two amendments that have been found and i just want to indicate to you, mr. chairman, that that would be unfair to the entire house. because, the notice was given -- there was no notice given that this bill was open for amendments. there's one bill that's technical, and the other is -- actually have findings. if beam had noticed that they could have come forwards with amendments we would have had others to do so. since there was no indication that amendments would be
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considered i ask you to do as the chairman has asked and to approve the bill that they have requested. mr. chairman, this is not a bill we would have wanted. but it's the kind of bill that brings the house together on both sides. and i am deeply grateful for you for that. and for the chairmen who are with me and the ranking member, as well. thank you mr. chairman. >> thank you very much for your not only support of the bill, but speaking and attributes that we all understand. and that is the importance of bringing this bill right now on time to the floor where we can get this done and work to the. mr. blumenauer welcome, we're delighted that you're here. a couple of members showed up as soon as we heard your name mentioned. so you're very popular here at the rules committee. >> and i appreciate your courtesy. i agree with the statement that
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you opened the hearing with. about how important it is, your preference for permanent solution. and avert a year-end crisis. i'm going to offer a slightly different perspective on that. taking slight exception with my friends who i respect. and this is an area that i personally have been deeply involved with since i reluctantly left the transportation infrastructure where i had the honor and privilege of serving both with bill shuster and his father bud when he was chair. i made the transition to ways and means and volunteered to be on budget because i'm deeply concerned about infrastructure and finance. and the fact that we are in trouble. my concern with what's being offered today and the way we in the ways and means committee all the democrats supported an amendment i had which was as the chairman mentioned a moment ago,
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is to bring about long-term support by shortening the duration. because i'm afraid what you are considering, and what the committee ill-advisedly advanced is going to make the chaos, the uncertainty, it's going to make it permanent, not just this congress and next congress, but as one of the stakeholders said walking out of our hearing last week, may 2015 might as well be may 2017. because, there's no pressure to finish the job. it's not going to be easier in may. it's going to be harder. we've known about this for months. that's why every member of the democrats on the house ways and means committee asked for a hearing at the beginning of the year on transportation and finance. i've been making poor chairman camp's life miserable kind of bothering him about this for
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months. in 79 days, this bill expires. and we've all known that. and we've known that there was not enough money to get through even september 30th for months. and now we're walking in with a maybe a week or two, and as mr. norton pointed out, there have already been a summer slowdown. states are pulling back because of uncertainty because of what's going on. there's been no resolution of this fund in question which is exactly the same as we had in 2003. it was -- it's been tying us in knots since our last six-year reauthorization which i was pleased to play a small part as a committee member with chairman bud schuster, and ranking member where we went toe to toe with speaker gingrich you may recall and the clinton administration and were able to extract the 4.3
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cent gas tax increase which was the last gas tax increase, but it was for deficit reduction. and we were able to transfer that to the highway trust fund and get a fully funded six-year bill. and since then, we've been walking around in circles. the stake holders are united and unanimous that america's falling apart, and it's falling behind, and we need to stop abaiting our responsibilities to fess up. now there are different approaches. you may hear from one of my colleagues, who's interested in devolution. there's a republican bill that would cut the transportation funding down to i think 3.7 cents, and turn this back as an unfunded mandate to the states and let them do what they will. the republican budget is kind of a status quo slow decline.
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if enacted it would have no new transportation projects until october 1st, 2015. and there would be a ten-year reduction of 30% of highway. and that's maybe what some people want. but that ought to be debated openly and honestly. others have ideas for raising revenue. i think we would be well served to be able to resolve this so that the transportation committee can come forward with a six-year bill. that they know what they got. is it 3.7 cents? is it the slow decline, the 30% reduction? is it maybe running with more revenue? but unless and until we answer that question, i don't know how the difficult job that the chairman of the tni committee has and the ranking member and the subcommittee how they're ever going to be able to do their job if they don't have the details.
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now, kicking this can down the road to may 31st is kind of interesting. because the funding issue does not get less complex. it doesn't get cheaper. and the politics don't get any easier. i don't know which party is going to control the senate next time but it's going to be an evenly, narrowly divided senate. and half the senate will be running for president, if they haven't already. and to think that in the other body, that they're magically in a couple of months going to be able to solve the funding conundrum and be able to work to give the committees of jurisdiction -- and my heart goes out, i still feel like i'm a member of the alumni association. i follow the committee. i respect the work. i respect what's going on with ranking member bitter and
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barbara boxer but this is not going to get easier next year. what is very likely going to mean is that we will continue the pattern. we, since 2003, we have had 21 short-term extensions. and not one six-year bill. mr. chairman, i respectfully request that we think about, that you consider allowing me to offer my amendment which would shorten the phase of the money until the end of the year. and that we actually roll up our sleeves and get to work. that we have hearings on ways and means about what the funding conundrum is and decide one way or not. that we not break for summer recess with this unresolved. i'm going to be talking about this from portland, maine to portland, oregon. i'm happy to stop by in
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washington, d.c. in august. i don't think we should break for reelections and leave communities with uncertainty that's going to last for years. and it's within our power to do this. i have great respect for our chairman and our friend mr. shuster, and the chairman of the tni committee, the partnership that i serve with a number of our democratic colleagues on the committee. there is a vast array of people from the u.s. chamber of commerce to the afl-cio, local governments, governors, contractors, who are in accord. and by the way, they don't support kicking this into the next congress. the chamber of commerce, for example, had a statement before we voted saying they don't support sliding it on, they want an address now.
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i agree with the chamber of commerce and the afl-cio and a wide range of other stake holders we need to get down to business now, we should not adjourn this congress without having resolved this long-term funding, and giving people the certainty of the federal partnership, or if some had their way, maybe there is no federal partnership. and if that's going to be the case they ought to find out sooner rather than later. mr. chairman i deeply appreciate your courtesy in permitting me to appear. i have some additional views that i would like to submit on behalf of ranking member levin and myself. >> without objection we'll include that. >> thank you very much. >> mr. blumenauer thank you very much for your words. i would say to all four of you who are here, thank you not only for taking your time to be here today, i do recognize that there are people who offer a different viewpoint. i will tell you i agree with the mark that the committee has given us here. i want to agree with not only
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mr. camp for his hard work, ms. norton holmes, because -- and mr. shuster, because i believe that what needs to happen is we need to get what we can get done when we can do it. it may or may not be easier for us to do it now or later. but we can achieve it here today. and i believe that it's important for washington, d.c. to have certainty as to what we're going to do. and it's great back home in dallas, texas. so i'm glad that we're doing this. i thank all four of you, except my expression of thanks and i defer. >> thank you mr. chairman, i appreciate it. i'd like to take a very brief point of personal privilege and introduce a guest i have this evening. i have a teacher in congress,
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this is my ninth year of doing it, bring one or two teachers from my district for about ten days to washington to shadow me, and learn more about how we do our business, and give that person an opportunity to do some individual research and my 2014 teacher in congress is here tonight. michael mccullough back there. he's a reacher at r.j. reynolds high school in win stan sigh lem and today is his first day here in the capitol. and i invited him to come over to see the rules committee in action. keep that in mind, guys. he's going to go back and talk with impressionable minds about what goes on in congress. thank you mr. chairman for allowing me -- >> yield for just one comment. michael you better put on your track shoes. she's tough to keep up with. >> and i don't have any
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questions either, and i thank our colleagues for being here this afternoon. to make the presentation, and i know this is -- these are very important issues, so thank you all very much. >> ms. slaughter? >> thank you, mr. chairman. and i want to say welcome to our guests. we're happy to have you. this is known as the committee where legislation goes to die. so it's not a bad place for it to start because you won't see much while you're here. anyway, i would rather do what we're doing today, gentlemen. both of you know i've got great affection for you and the good work that you do. i haven't heard from anybody in my state without giving a few months to plant something in a state where they're just doing a survey on bridges. almost all of them are nearly dysfunctional, it's going to help. i think mr. blumenauer is exactly right. i remember the days when the most bipartisan bill in the house of representatives was
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transportation. and it really is, i think the fact that we can't seem to muster getting a transportation bill for us speaks very poorly of us. but as i said, i'm not -- this is not even half a loaf, this is a camera and a page, and i guess that an important. i'm having a lot of platitudes today. but there you are. i'm not happy with this bill. and i doubt any of the four of you are, either. but thank you very much. >> the gentlewoman yields back here time. thank you very much. mr. bishop? >> thank you, first of all mr. mccullough, i was a high school teacher before i came to congress. we're 0 for 2. this is sad, sorry. thank you for what you're trying to do here. i appreciate what you've done here. one of the other things that i found was extrooply helpful when i was in state legislature is we
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had an ending date and the ending date forced us to make decisions which were never great decisions but we had to because in that search for the perfect solution, it ain't out there. but thank you for what you've done. i appreciate your efforts. yield back. >> mr. mcgovern. >> the chair -- policy on the bill. >> without objection. by the way, does he know what it says? >> yeah, it -- you want me to read it to you? >> well, no i just ask -- >> he's okay with it i think. so we're okay. >> it's all right. >> it's kind of hard to -- >> yeah, but he would prefer a long-term fix to this bill. i always want to associate myself with miss slaughter. you know, this -- this is kicking the can down the road and i'm not sure a deadline creates any more pressure. it just means we might do another short-term, another short-term, another short-term. i was on the transportation committee, mr. shuster, when your father was the chairman. i was there with mr. blumenauer, and i was really proud to
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support a truly bipartisan transportation bill. and part of the problem you guys are going to have is the people that make up your conference. some of who have signed pledges to vote no new revenues. who just hate government in every form that exists. and don't understand that in order to fix our roads and our bridges and our aging infrastructure, you're going to have to find a funding mechanism. this is just a suggestion. but if you guys are still in the majority, after november, i pray that you're not, but in case you are, i hope that you will -- you might want to revisit this issue of earmarking. because i think one of the reasons why we were able to pass a transportation bill when your dad was the chairman overwhelmingly, and overrode a presidential veto was because every member had some skin in the game. they actually were able to see where this funding would go in their district and how it would
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make a difference. so i know that there's probably not fashionable to talk about at this particular point, but in thinking of ways to come to a long-term solution to get people to buy in, i mean that may be something we might want to revisit. but this should be a long-term bill. it's not. it is what it is. and we look forward to seeing it on the floor. i yield back my time. >> gentleman from oklahoma is recognized. >> just a couple of quick points because i agree very much with what my colleague had to say although for somewhat different political reasons. i think your position is correct, earmarking would be helpful here. i remember the days because i know my district better frankly than people at the transportation -- we could literally take care of an overpass or put an overpass in where five people had died and we could relieve, and the inability to do that. it just, i think is a sad consequence of -- of you know, politicizing the earmark process that both parties tended to do. i do think thank the gentlemen
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for their good work. i know this has been a very difficult reach out. i know all of us would prefer a long-term solution. nobody more than the two of you. and i remain confident at the appropriate time, mr. shuster, you'll get us there. unfortunately we're leaving you on the wrong side of the river, mr. chairman, as we discussed before. i always reminding moses didn't make it to the promised land, either. and dave camp isn't going to make it to the next congress and we're going to be poorer for that frankly. but appreciate your good work. look forward to supporting it, and urge you, as you both continue forward to continue that search for the elusive permanent solution. i agree with my good friend, mr. blumenauer, we need to find one where we can plan over multiyear period, and put the -- put the transportation infrastructure of the country on sounder footing. with that i yield back. >> gentleman yields back. thank you very much. judge hastings, you're recognized. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. and i thank our presenters,
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especially. first mr. chairman would like to call for an open rule on a matter of this magnitude. and i certainly believe that the very least that we should make the amendments of our members, republican and democrat, who come to the committee, in order in this instance, and specifically our support of mr. blumenauer's amendment which i really do believe deserves our ample discussion, and i hope that the committee does not shut us out from having an opportunity to discuss such an important matter for the future. of this country. in essence what you've done is, and i think we all know this, you allow for six months of
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spending to be paid for over a period of six years. over a period of ten years. and when all is said and done the pension's smoothing and i think i'm the first person to mention it's been identified that way. i don't think it's going to go smoothly at all if all of the pension funds find themselves in a position where we have to use the pension guarantee to fund them, then we could wind up losing money if this became our only solution. understanding that there's a year, 2015. but i think it amounts to not the committee. i think you all do what you can. i heard mr. camp loud and clear regarding it being bicameral. i appreciate that. i appreciate his efforts also on trying to assure that we do what's necessary on tax reform. but obviously, this particular
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113th congress isn't about that business at this point. one thing i know is this. americans don't want their roads in disrepair. and i live here, in ms. holmes norton's area, and i can tell you, there are very few places that have as many needs when it comes to fixing just potholes alone, unless some of the roads i drive on in florida rival it on occasion. but people don't want their roads in disrepair. and they don't want their bridges falling down. and the 435-plus six of us ought to have the courage, and that's what it amounts to, to stand up and say what's needed. one of the things that's desperately needed, and i go on record now and have in my constituency, is a gas tax increase. and i believe that that is one way that we can address this problem.
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and i call it just pure, unadulterated cowardice on behalf of all of us in congress for not being able to stand up. i yield back the balance. >> gentleman yields back his time. i appreciate the gentleman's recomments and respect his ideas. gentleman from georgia is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i happen to agree with mr. hastings. i think there's a better path forward. since we have chairman shuster here i'm not going to do any hand wringing about this temporary solution. i'm going to do hand wringing about that big five-year proposal you brought last time and i don't know why it's this time that folks don't have any courage and this time why kicking the can is down the road. it was last time when he brought a proposal with no earmarks. brought a proposal some folks thought spent too much and some folks thought spent too little. some folks thought it reformed too much and some folks thought it reformed too little. some folks thought it was too long and some thought it was too short. i don't know what path we're going to follow if we're not going to get together and pass something like that, chairman
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camp has tremendous courage bringing forward a fundamental tax reform bill that he knew would be met with the perfect, being the enemy of the good, and you did that same thing on transportation and how quickly you forget when you took over at that committee you made every effort so we would never have to have a day like today, and you led, and the congress did not follow you. and that is on us. that is not on your committee and i'm grateful to you for your efforts in that way. i look forward to your having one more opportunity and i hope we're better followers next time around. that i yield back. >> thank you very much. mr. polis last week we celebrated the birth of your baby. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i was apprised of a warm reception the committee gave to little cora, and i hope to bring her by next week. so i very much look forward to that. it's my understanding we're meeting four times this week. so if one of those is a late night meeting you might, in fact see me -- >> i'll see what i can do about
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it. gentleman is recognized. >> thank you. i thank the folks for the testimony, and in my opinion, we need to do a longer-term fix. i think that the gas tax, which is a reasonable funding mechanism for transportation is effectively a user fee, is a reasonable way of doing it. there's other approaches to user fees that i've heard about, and i think the issue with many of them is they might be very elegant economically but people worry about their impact on people's privacy. and those are very legitimate concerns, as well. and while the gas tax isn't a perfect proxy, it seems to be one that the american people can live with as opposed to other proposals that would have impacts on their privacy, knowing where their cars are going, and taxing their miles. i know my constituents would certainly react very negatively to that. so this is a very short-term discussion here.
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as we go forward i would encourage everybody to look to the gas tax and see if we can find a way to more permanently ensure that we can have adequate investment in infrastructure and i'm happy to yield back. >> thank you very much. gentleman from louisville, texas, dr. burgess is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i'll just take ownership as being part of the problem ten years ago. i bought a hybrid vehicle. i did that because i wanted the feeling of moral superiority that you have when you drive a hybrid. but the fact of the matter is, with 50 miles to a gallon i'm only contributing a half of what i used to contribute to building highways. now, i do think that some point we're going to have to address the flexibility that we give the states. and the fact that the state like texas, which desperately needs to be building infrastructure, there's a 20% diversion to rail. there's a 10% diversion to enhancements. maybe we need to look at those
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numbers again. but we do need to give the states the flexibility that they need to be able to deal with the problems that are at hand. mr. cole referenced earmarks. i would just say that i think the states may be better arbitrators of what they need than us here at the federal level. but i do appreciate the work that everyone's put into this. i was part of the transportation committee that produced the last six-year bill. in spite of all the difficulty it did work okay. and we'll probably need to review that six-year bill again because of the certainty that people need when they're undertaking these very, very large projects that congress is not just funding from one month to the next. but i thank you for doing the work and for getting us this bill today, and look forward to supporting it on the floor. i yield back. >> thank you very much. chairman shuster i want to thank you. you've taken a lot of humorous jabs today. and some serious jabs.
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but, i believe that every single member, as you alluded to earlier, as well as ms. eleanor holmes norton stated that it's in all of our best interests to get this work done. it's in all of our best interests to come to some agreement. as a texan, as a member of the donor state there are a lot of things we may or may not like about this. but i would remind us that we are americans, and that we try and work together and solve our problems through not only rule of law, but this opportunity to work together with members of congress from all across this country. so i am delighted that, in fact, you have succeeded in rounding us up and getting us to do that. i note that we've had one member that has just appeared, and i did not know if any member seeks additional time. i want to thank this panel. anything you have in writing if you'll leave for us we'll put that in the record. this panel is now -- gentleman
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does seek time. for one minute. >> 30 seconds. >> gentleman is recognized for a minute. [ inaudible ] >> one sentence i hope people pay careful attention to. congress should work to pass long-term reauthorization bill well before the expiration date set forth in hr-5021. >> and i really concur with the gentleman, also, and that's what we're here to try and do today. ahead of time. wish i was an on-time delivery but not everybody can be u.p.s. thank you very much. this panel is excused. we now call the gentleman from new jersey, mr. garrett, we're delighted that mr. garrett is here. evidently he's going to be recognized to speak on the amendment that may be from the gentleman from oklahoma, from langford. mr. garrett we're delighted not
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only that you join us but anything you have in writing will be entered into the record. and if the gentleman will make sure that microphone is on, and i know you're trying to clean up, and the gentleman is recognized. >> so, i thank the chairman. i'll be brief. as i was sitting back there coming in late listen to some of the comments, as far as the problems that we see going forward and the underlying legislation, i don't know why the thought comes to mind the statement i think it was from dickinson from pennsylvania who said, mr. bishop knows the line, we are about to brave the storm in a skiff made of paper. in this case the storm is frying to fund transportation needs and the skiff as mr. hastings points out is a skiff made of debt, paper being paid for over a longer period of time than we're
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actually going to use the dollars. the numbers i won't go into them. you probably had it from the prior panel that we're spending more money on these programs than is being generated through the federal fuels tax. to the tune of $350 billion since '08, and i don't come to you with any panacea on the federal angle of paying for this. but i do hearken the words of dr. burgess of saying that at some point in time we need to giving the states more flexibility. to the point that mr. cole raised with regard to, he sees firsthand experience apparently where states couldn't do things in a timely manner because of federal problems. so how do we do this? my understanding there might be another amendment, maybe already came here before, graves amendment or what have you to take a look at this issue. i would suggest that we have looked at this issue for some period of time. in fact we voted on this with a number of pieces of legislation
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repeatedly and that is to allow the states to have flexibility now, if they so want it, not compel them to. for those states who do not want to have the flexibility, they can continue to have the federal government tell them exactly what to do. and so this is a joint effort by mr. langford and myself to provide that flexibility in two different mechanisms. and to give the u.s. department of transportation the options of limiting it to just the number of states that they deem as appropriate so it will not be a burden on the system. but that's in a short -- in a nutshell. i've raised this question every year that i served on the budget committee for the 12 years i've served on the budget committee when i've had the secretaries of transportation come before my committee, whether it's republican or democrat, i would often ask them, can you tell me what exactly is the needs on route 519 in sussex county? and they of course said where is 519 in sussex county. i said, see, well that's a major
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road to us. but here in washington no one knows exactly what it is. yet washington is telling us how to grade it, how to put up guardrails, and how to do the rest. gosh, i think we have county engineers who are trained enough, smart enough, and gosh darn it, they liked enough that they would be able to handle this job without the government doing it. and if a state so opted to opt out of the system, we should be able to do so. so that's all the legislation does, it's been around for awhile. and i would ask that this committee give it the most serious consideration that i think it deserves. >> gentleman yields back his time. thank you very much. i could not agree more with what you said, the challenge will come to how we apply this. but i want to thank the gentleman. i have believed for a long period of time that states, and the closer we get decision making to people that those people should be empowered to make those decisions.
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and i have disagreed with mechanisms that we've done around here for quite some time, where we did on and off ramps as opposed to highways. but such is our lot. thank you very much. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i have no questions. >> no questions. is there anyone that seeks time on the democrat side? >> is there anyone on the republican -- gentleman from utah is recognized. >> it's the major need of the road curb and gutter. is the major need of the road curb and gutter. >> curb and gutter? >> yeah. never mind i'll talk to you about this later. i appreciate you bringing this up. >> he's been with the financial services committee. >> right. >> i'm not going anywhere. i'm done. i yield back. >> gentleman yields back. gentleman from oklahoma,
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chairman is recognized. >> just ask you quickly, self-defense for my friend mr. burgess the earmarks were requested by my state transportation department. they couldn't get them from the federal government, they had to write them in to law. they then matched appropriately and that's how we got there. so your solution would be an elegant way around this and we could just let people, as you point out, locally know what they're doing actually take the money that they're paying here, remove the fee from the middle man, and actually go ahead and do it. and you could let people that want to spend a large portion of their transportation dollars for museums, or more bike trails or -- they could do that. but, the rest of us that would prefer to spend them on roads and highways could probably do that, too. so, i don't know that we'll be able to do it here. but i certainly like your idea. >> gentleman yields back his time. gentleman from louisville,
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texas, gentleman is not seeking time. gentleman from georgia. >> mr. chairman, i just wanted to say folks talk about this idea as being around for a long, long time. i don't think this idea this idea has been around for a long, long time. i don't think this idea has been around a long, long time. i take a look at what mr. garrett has brought as a pilot project. i think this is very, very different. i don't think if i looked -- you can tell me if i'm wrong, mr. garrett. i don't think you have interest, belief that the right system forward for america as it relates to funding transportation is to have some short term pilot projects for a few states. i think you know exactly what the long-term solution is for america and this is a huge departure from let's do and put it in statute and make it happen, to let's just try it a little bit and prove the concept. am i mistaken about that? >> no. when i came here 12 years ago, i was given firm assurances from the leadership at the time of the chairmen of the committee they would work with me on the broader idea you suggested.
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12 years later, leadership has changed and some people have changed but i'm getting the same assurances, so i thought i would take a pilot program, being that is the more reasonable common sense middle of the road team player sort of way to do it. we'll see what the results are. >> that is a big deal. i would ask my democratic colleagues, if you sense that is the same big deal that i do. mr. blumenauer knows what he'd want to do with that state flexibility and something very different than what i'd want to do with that state flexibility. we're worried about whether the federal highway system is maintained, whether or not our major arteries, do they move commerce around? but to have someone of mr. garrett's conservative credentials come forward and say, you know what, maybe folks aren't ready to go all the way. let's just try it, and let's just try it in they places that want to try it and oregon is going to try it differently than oregon is going to try it.
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i view that as a huge olive bank and path forward we didn't have when mr. shuster brought his five-year proposal last time. can i ask my friends, do you think i'm making something out of nothing, or do you view that as the same pretty big deal in terms of a new and different way forward? >> i think you're a little bit more excited than i am, but let me say you guys are in charge. you can make whatever you want. i would talk to the people over there. >> well, i -- i'm just tremendously optimistic about what that means for us going forward, and it doesn't happen without 12 years of work in the background to have the credibility to lead on that issue. and i thank you for using your credibility to do that. >> thanks a lot. i appreciate it. >> i yield back. >> gentleman yields back his time. i want to thank the gentleman for coming up here. i know you had to sit and wait. i hope we were worth your time. i know you were worth our time.
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if you have anything writing, if you'll leave that there for the stenographer, i appreciate it very much. and gentleman's now dismissed. thank you very much. i will now be -- chair will now be in receivable motion. this closes the hearing portion of hr-5021, the highway and transportation funding act of 2014. and the gentlewoman from north carolina is recognized. >> mr. chairman, before i make the motion, i do need to make one more introduction, if i could. i was so focused on mr. mccu mccullough, i did not mention an intern i have with me today, emanuel who is here. he's interning in our office this summer. i'm delighted he's here also. i move the committee grant hr-5 021 of closed rule.
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one-hour debate, equally divided among the chairs and ranking minority members of the committee on transportation infrastructure. committee on ways & means. all points of order against consideration. the rule provides the amendment and the nature of the substitute recommended by the committee on ways & means is modified by the amendment printed in the rules and committee report should be considered as adopted and the bill as amended should be considered as read. the rule was all points of order against provisions in the bill as amended. the rule provides one motion to recommit with or without instructions. >> refer to the gentleman from orlando, florida, for discussion. gentleman's recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. this rule provides for the consideration of a stop gap highway bill under a closed amendment process. it's pretty straightforward. evenly divides the debate time
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between the committee on information infrastructure and ways & means. the rule is self-executing for two amendments. one by mr. shuster making a hand full of technical changes, the other by mr. graves adding some findings. this is a very straightforward rule. i urge the support of this rule. >> i thank the gentleman for his explanation. the committee is now open for amendment or discussion. gentlewoman from new york is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. chairman, i have an amendment to the rule. i rule the committee make an order and give the necessary waivers for an amendment by mr., representative blumenauer, number four, that would express that the house enact a long term transportation authorization through at least 2020. the amendment provides funding to the highway trust fund adequate to ensure financing of surface transportation projects through the period necessary to enact such a policy. i think given the space, the
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information infrastructure in the united states, we should make that an order, let the house decide whether they want to add that or not. >> i appreciate the gentlewoman for her amendment. is there discussion? i would advise the committee, i believe what the gentlewoman has said, it carries not only merit, but a lot of common sense. however, it should be noted that the united states senate, which is headed up by her party, originally moved their bill to the end of the year, and the big push was get it to the end of the year and mr. shuster found a way to push it further out and to make it a longer enacting bill into next year. and i believe that what the gentlewoman's after, while to 2020 is an attribute that we did not make, but that until the middle of the year be until the end of the year -- the end of this year.
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i am in favor of voting against the amendment from the gentlewoman. further discussion? seen none. the vote will be on the amendment by the gentlewoman from new york. those in favor, aye. no? >> roll call, please. >> nos have it. the roll call vote. >> miss foxx? miss foxx, no. mr. bishop, no. mr. cole, mr. cole, no. mr. woodall, no. mr. webster, no. mr. burgess, no. miss slaughter. >> aye. >> miss slaughter, aye. mr. mcgovern? aye. mr. hastings, aye. mr. polis, aye. mr. chairman, no. report the total. >> four ayes, seven nays . >> amendment is not agreed too. gentleman from florida. >> yes, thank you, mr. chairman.
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vy an amendment to the rule. i rule the committee grant hr-5021 an older rule so all members have opportunity to offer amendments to the bill on the floor. >> you've now heard the amendment by the gentleman. gentleman's recognized. >> limited discussion. not only does the underlying field violate cut goal and section 302-f of the congressional budget act, but now the majority has chair pier picked certain amendments they wanted to and closed all process for the rest of the amendments. i made the appeal that all of the amendments of those who came here should be made an order and i certainly am disappointed that mr. blumenauer's amendments are not needed. the committee is going to accept amendments, a clean extension, why not open the process to all members? members should be allowed to
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improve this bill on the house floor out in the open instead of having these decisions be made by just a few people, and that's what happened here behind closed door. >> you've now heard the discussion from the gentleman from florida. further discussion on the amendment? seen none. the vote will now be on the hastings amendment. those in favor, signify by saying aye. opposed, no. nos have it. gentleman asked the roll call vote. >> miss foxx? >> no. >> miss foxx, no. mr. bishop, no. mr. cole, no. mr. woodall, no. mr. nugent, mr. webster. mr. webster, no. mr. burgess. mr. burgess, no. miss slaughter. >> aye. >> miss slaughter, aye. mr. mcgovern, aye. mr. hastings. >> yes. >> mr. hastings, aye. mr. chairman.
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>> no. >> mr. chairman, no. >> reports the total. >> four ayes, seven nos. >> amendment not agreed to. further amendment or discussion? seen none. vote will be on the motion from the gentlewoman from north carolina, vase chairman of the committee. those in favor, signify by saying aye. those opposed no. the ayes have it. the ayes have it. the gentleman from orlando, florida, mr. webster, will be handling this for republicans. mr. polis will be handling this for democrats. the next rules committee meeting is scheduled for 3:00 on tomorrow, on the charitable extenders package. i want to thank the important visitors that we had today. up to and inlutiewdinluting our in congress. thank you very much. this is a distinct pleasure, not only to know mr. foxx brings
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teachers who she speaks about on a regular basis to the capitol, but you joined us in the rules committee. certainly emanuel, if that is his name. one of his interns. and have ssavannah and juliana, to thank you for taking time to be us with today. we have now completed our work for the day, and this ends our hearing. the house returns at noon eastern today with work this afternoon on the short-term stern
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sterngs -- extension of the highway trust fund. house law makers taking up a bill that would permanently ban states from applying sales tax on internet access. they will work on a spending bill. the white house issued a veto threat to the measure expressing opposition that blocks irs funds from implementing the health care law as well as another that blocks the dc law decriminalizing marijuana possession. what is the funding level in the legislation and what areas of the federal government does it fund?
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>> the level is 21.3 total. they are looking at funding fcc and the small business administration. >> you mentioned that the bill includes spending for the internal revenue service. how have the recent congressional investigations into the irs affected what is in the bill? >> a lot. basically there are probably a good handful of writes taking aim at the irs. they specifically prohibit funding going towards things lie targeting people for their first amendment rights. but they have cut the ultimate irs funding level in this bill is 10.95 billion which is a $341 million increase. and it's one point $5 billion less than the president requested. already the irs is seeing funding levels dwindling.
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the last time it increased was in fiscal year 2010. there's the new tax evasion law, the foreign accounts tax compliance act and the federal health care overall where they have 40 new provisions to implement this year. the irs is frustrated with its strained resources. in addition to cutting money there are several riders in here saying things like you can't use funding to destroy e-mail >> in your story you write about some of the bills other policy writers, including decriminalizing marijuana in washington, d.c. tell us about this >> this would prohibit decriminalizing marijuana in washington, d.c. dr. harris says the funds cannot go toward any law that would either legal lies or reduce penalties for the
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possession of marijuana. this leads to a lot of concerns in the markup of the bill. democrats accused republicans of being hypocrites. when it comes to dc provisions, democrats have sort of accused republicans of legislating through spending votes. in this case it's not clear exactly what the harris amendment would do once enacted. but it did pass, republicans passed it, it was a party line vote >> norton is a delegate from the district of colombia also weighted on this. why is she opposing it? >> i think as sort of an infringement on dc's ability to govern itself. they routinely come up with these bills. so there's always the fight offer an abortion provision, banning federal funds going
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towards abortions in dc. and i think it's just she routinely sees this as kind of congress over stepping it's bounds >> what are some of the other key issues and amendments you'll be looking for during the debate? >> well the fcc gets a funding cut and democrats are opposed to this. jose serano on the appropriates committee basically said republicans are asking for another financial crisis. there were cuts from president obama's request. it does continue at current level but the fcc argues that it needs more money as it has to implement the overall. and there are provisions actually included in the bill that would require new reporting requirements for dodd frank and some of the derivatives provisions. and anything no -- to do with
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dc is always a flash point. there will be a lot of fire works on the floor i'm sure. the irs, it doesn't look like democrats are really protesting the riders on the irs, but they may offer amendments to try and increase the funding. >> katie , you can follow her o twitter. katie, appreciate your time. thank you. >> again later today the house will resusm work on the financial services bill. the house in shortly at noon eastern time on the short-term extension of the highway trust funds which expires next month. off the floor on the senate side today subcommittee investigates cyber crime including the use of bot nets.
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while we wait for the house at noon eastern time, part of the influx of children crossing the border from today's "washington journal." >> could you give a personal take of being from the part of the country you are when it comes to immigration and parlaying it especially when it comes to the border. >> certainly california is a border states that has a much higher immigrant population. i'm also married to a first generation porto reuuerto rican
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immigrant. coming from a community and state level our immigration system is broken. now the whole world or whole nation is looking at america, what are we going to do with this problem? >> the president asking for almost $4 billion to address what is going on. what do you think of the figure and do you support it? >> well it's a figure that is grown very, very quickly. the president initially came out and said it was going to be a $2 billion number. we need an appropriation. this is an emergency condition. it's a crisis. these are contention centers that are popping up all over the nation on military bases, kids being housed in gymnasiums is
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not an appropriate approach. we need an appropriation that not only deals with this in a humane way but we also secure our border in the same round. i think we are going to see a bill shortly -- >> i think the biggest thing that should be funding is the courts. right now that's the smallest amount of funding in this overall bill. i think it takes it to 65 million which would be enough for 55000 by the administration's numbers, if we have 160000 coming in we need to beef up our courts much more than that. they are sending people back in the communities saying please show back up in the next couple of years does not work. i think the american public is going to be outraged as this crisis continues on. we to have resolve it quickly >> where does speaker boehner
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stand on immigration reform? >> he has been very supportive. he knows this is something we have got to get done. but he's going to do it in a respectful and mindful manner. i'm somebody who has been pushing. i want to see top to bottom reform so i'm pushing very hard not only on first securing our border but we have to have it verified. we have to talk about the 11 and a half million that have gone through our schools and grown in our community and consider themselves americans but do not have a way to work >> what should be done about them then, the ones currently here? >> i think there's multiple different solutions. i've got the enlist act, for example. i serve my country proudly, i serve with immigrants we have also had immigrants serving in our military. why wouldn't we let them in the
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school system that can meet the background check. if it helps to bolster our national defense why wouldn't we allow them to serve? there's no better way to show your face and commitment to a country than to serve in our military >> where is the enlist act going? >> right now we have a ton of co sponsors both sides of the aisle. in this whole debate with border serve and border protection we hope we will get the enlist act passed. it' it's a multi generational problem. >> do those better your prospects now that he's majority
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leader? >> timing, timing and the fact that there's no deadline. this place operates with deadlines. the farm bill that came up there was a dairy clip that came up in it. we always hear about the fiscal cliff. there's no deadline with immigration which is why it's been pushed out for three decades both by republican and democrat. we are starting the debate. people realize this is a crisis and because we have a border surge there's a date for this problem. i think that helps break the wedge the talk about all these other issues and engage the american public in talking about it as well >> when you say the other issues you means those here that are not supposed to be here. sometimes amnesty gets tagged to that. when you hear that term what do you think? >> when i hear amnesty i think of a freebie, somebody that gives you a free pass. there's nothing like that in any of the bills we are seeing right now.
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we need to have something that is very strong that, follows the rule of law that has a process and a procedure. even hr 15 which is widely debated around the hill here has a 13-year pathway that has several safeguards you've got to jump through during that 13 years so you're still following at the back of the line. it just you've got to come to realization there's not going to be a self-deportation, there aren't going to be tons of buses that start picking people up. if we have this situation that's been here for 30 years, why not resolve it. in the washington times, senator rubio, saying the immigration bill would not stop based on the problem we have today >> the border protection bill, we have to secure the border, we have to have metrics and measurements to ensure to the american public it's secure before we move through any of
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the other measures. part of the challenge for republicans is the president might implement different pieces of the law with out measuring the border first. the border is absolutely secured. in fact he chastised republicans during elections on how secure the border was. it's obvious it's not secure today. it's going to take into change not only the 20 an -- 2008 law. you can put in some of those measures. we also don't have a situation where border patrol can patrol our entire southern border. just having the ability. in texas they have got millions of acres of interior and
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department of forestry property that border patrol cannot go into. the easiest place to go through is where they are not patrolling. >> jeff dun den hem is with us until 8:30. if you live in the border state, your perspective on 202-585-3883. this is pat on our republican line. go ahead, you're on with the representative caller: we have a facility at guantanamo bay where we housed
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refugees years ago. why can't we house the children there. the children could be released from guantanamo when their parents pay for airfare to take them home. host: thank you for the question. first of all i don't know that i want al-qaeda or the taliban that are in guantanamo as the best daycare for these kids that are coming across. you know i think we have got to deal with the crisis in a very humane way. certainly housing them in our military bases maybe a short-term solution but 160000 is such a huge number that guantanamo can only handle a small percentage of that. in california, we have a naval base holding 400. they're going between 400 an 1000 better different military
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installation and now trying the reach out beyond military installations because those are inadequate going to churches or colleges. and the fundamental responsibility i think of the federal government first of all i think the president needs to send a very strong message very quickly. it should have happened already, just to say look we are going to send your residents back to you. we will work with you to handle this in a human way but we can't justin to have this influx coming across our border. the president should also be working with mexico to make sure they're southern border is secure because in the past they have had much stronger policies but in 2008 they changed their policys to give people a two week period obtaining their visa. our partner just like we have a partner with canada, mexico should be working with us as
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well. we have to appropriate the funds necessary and stop this surge once and for all. the immigration bills we have seen would not stop this problem so we have got to have a separate bill that deals with not only the 2008 law that was passed but also making sure our border is secure >> where do you see the request going legislatively? >> it's hard to say whether it will go up or down. so i would expect the fund level to go down but again i think it's depends on everything else in this bill. right now i think the courts is far too low and we want to see the border properly dollars that they are going to where the border properly is going where it needs to go >> hello, wayne, good morning >> i hear all the time, secure
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the border but yet nobody -- "washington journal" live every day. we leave this recorded portion now has the house is about to return for a legislatestive business. work this afternoon on this short-term extension of the highway trust fund which expires next month. house law makers also taking up a bill that would permanently ban states from applying a sales tax on internet access. live coverage of the house on c-span. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute] t house will be in order. the prayer will be offered by our guest chaplain, reverend


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