Skip to main content

tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  October 28, 2015 11:00pm-12:01am EDT

11:00 pm
possible. he understood the art of the possible in congressional politics. some major legislation that was enacted during that time was enacted during his civil rights legislation, legislation related to world was in many ways one of the most effective and best known speakers of the house of representatives. we've also had recent speakers who have demonstrated considerable effectiveness. newt gingrich in his early years, particularly first 100 housereally turned the into a real machine, just producing major, major legislation under his leadership, relatively swiftly, which was very impressive. in particular the enactment of healthcare huge feat and the last-minute outcome in large part because of her leadership. we've had speakers -- most at least since the
11:01 pm
1940's, are known for at least producing one major work of legislation but certainly at the top of that list i would have to be sam rayburn. >> what's the speaker's normal interaction with the senate? with the senate? that thet say that president has normal interaction with the senate. who is the speaker is, it varies by which party is in control of the house and is in patrol of control of the senate and percentage of importants of the speaker and senate leadership. there's an expectation that speakers have to have open communication with the leaders can't senate because you get legislation enacted without the senate's approval so to that is some kind of communication or relationship but the degree of closeness that there is between, say, the the senate or senate leaders will vary tremendously who the individual speaker is
11:02 pm
and who the leaders in the senate are. >> matthew green, who have been some of the least effective speakers? effectiveeast speakers. well, good question. there are certainly a host of speakers in the 19th century that didn't serve very doingnd aren't known for very much. and so you could put those on the list. again, keepnted to, our focus on speakers since the 1940's, which is the focus of at speakersoking since the 1940's, i would say the first thing that comes to is probably either carl early, who served in the 1970's, or john mccormick who rayburn andfter served from 1961 until 1970. aey had, for various reasons, more difficult time getting legislation enacted. to some extent they had a more party to work with, the majority party, the majority hadcrats had rebels, it
11:03 pm
folks who wanted to go their own way which makes it hard to enact legislation. they also had personal issues. for example, mccormick, particularly toward the end, he had been waiting to be speaker for many, many years so when he finally got the chance, he was and i heard aty one point that he even presided over the house with an oxygen tank so he didn't necessarily have the fortitude, the to reallyon necessary put in the effort necessary in to get big legislation done. say mccormick and albert were probably lower on the list of those who were effective contemporary speakers. host: how would you grade john boehner? matthew: i hesitate to grade thatboehner to the extent he's still speaker and we see in history that sometimes speakers mosttheir biggest and
11:04 pm
amazing accomplishments for the end of their tenure. have, i think the jury is still out. i would say this about speaker boehner. back in the early 1930's when we john nanceer named gorner, democrat from democrats, president under f.d.r. and he once said speakership is the hardest job in washington and i think that pretty much sums up the experience of john boehner. imagine how much has changed since the 1930's when john nance garner was saying this. job has gottene exponentially for difficult where now supreme court to deal of campaignounts funding, independent groups that are funding sometimes primary members ofagainst your party. you have a 24-hour news cycle. you have a plethora of interest groups. all of those things are putting tremendous pressure on the job of speaker to try to get things done without making too many thate angry and i think
11:05 pm
boehner certainly -- those are challenges to his speakership that with some of the more shall we say members of minded his party right now in the house of representatives that make it for him to count on the party loyalty that's necessary to enact legislation, especially votesou can't get any from the minority party so i boehner has done, in some ways, the best he could he's beene bad hand dealt. host: professor green, members -- speakers are also members of congress. how much attention do they pay to their particular district they become speaker? matthew: this is one of the things i argue in the book, that traditionally people assume that once speakers become speaker, what they're thinking about is want to do, they what their party wants, after all, it's the majority party that decides who the speaker be and while i acknowledge that's true to a large degree in the book, what i also point out
11:06 pm
speakers have done things on behalf of issues and concerns that matter to them personally. and so every once in a while we see speakers pressing for legislation that doesn't seem particularly important to the the house ofy in representatives or even to the president but matters to them personally, whether it's in the speaker boehner, issues like education, which is very important to him personally. further back in the past, nancy pelosi and human rights. john mccormick and catholic education. the energy that the oil and gas industry in texas. sometimesspeakers saying, you know, this matters enough to me that i want to pursue this. and they also do have to think about themselves getting re-elected so in addition to just issues that matter to them there are sometimes things they don't it, it they might put them in danger of losing their seat.'t happened very
11:07 pm
the last speaker to lose re-election was tom foley in 1994 but speakers like other members know that they need to at least be aware of the they could lose re-election so they will pay attention to their districts and that might be particularly important to their own constituents just like any of congress would. host: before tom foley, who was the last speaker who lost election? matthew: it was in the 19th century. name but itmber his had been well over 100 years before foley that the last re-election. host: what makes a good speaker in your view? matthew: what makes a good speaker? a combination's of a number of things. good i'd say, be a listener. speakers have to be good listeners, they have to hear what members are saying. they have to know when a member says something, if they're really meaning had whaty elser if there's something
11:08 pm
going to there so being able to understand what members want and need. is knowing the districts of members of congress so if you have someone in your party saying i can't support you this because my constituents would oppose it, the speaker well,to be able to say, actually, you know, i also understand your district and i that's quite the situation you portray. in other words, being able to persuade members involves knowing members and their districts. obviously persuasion is a third being ablematters, to persuade. but i think in addition to these makes a traits, what good speaker is an understanding that they are, in the end, the entire they're representing the whole house of representatives. president,rs, to the to the senate. so that means sometimes saying to members of congress, you but, i know you want this, if we do it, it's going to make our chamber look bad. it's going to hurt our ability our work and if you don't like it, you know, i understand that but this is my job as
11:09 pm
speaker is to do things help the whole chamber because when we help the whole chamber and help the house of representatives as an institution, fundamentally the american people and helping the country. host: what's the level of interaction historically that a has had with the about the? speakershistorically, have had a fair -- i mean -- ofrly significant degree interaction with presidents. just as speakers needed to have a relationship with the senate to get a bill enacted, they've got to have a relationship with the president that bill signed into law and the president is asn by the american people the person who sets the national agenda, who represents the so it'sat large, and important for speakers to have some relationship with hopefully and positive working relationship. now, that has been a challenge speakers, when they're the opposite party of the president. and we have seen from time to
11:10 pm
time cases where issues have andously divided speakers presidents and even -- if you 1990's, thelate ofeachment proceedings president bill clinton. obviously that creates a huge strain on that relationship. but at the same time there's an understanding that there has to be some avenues of communication. eachey don't talk to other, nothing gets done. president loses but the speaker so the ability to at least talk on the phone once a week, to meet if necessary, those are part of the job of speaker. host: why did you choose to this book? matthew: i chose to write this was -- actually, it experiences i had when i was a congressional aide in the mid 1990's. i worked on capitol hill and i was there during the 1994 election which was the election in which the republicans won control of the house and senate notably the house
11:11 pm
because they hadn't had a majority in the house in 40 years. and i was struck by a number of things in that experience. one was that you could tell the next day walking through the halls of congress what party a people was because either were just overjoyed with huge smiles on their faces or justlooked at if death had passed them over. remarkables quite a experience. and then also watching speaker how he operated as speaker and the forcefulness exercised he leadership, the speed with which he was getting legislation made anreally impression on me and started getting me to think about what whethereakers do and gingrich was an anomaly or one of many speakers who use the office to get things done. so that was the -- kind of the that got me thinking about writing about the speaker. and then later in graduate
11:12 pm
when i'm looking for a topic to write about, i realize that the speakership was something that hadn't been explored very much and i was wasl interested in it and i interested at this point in the end of the gingrich speakership speakership lastert which had just begun so i started doing historical found all these interesting stories about speakers going back to the 1940's and sam rayburn and then i started thinking, well, if matter, we need to really try to understand that. how do we know they matter? when can we say they're actually vote,ng the outcome of a and trying to understand why they do it. is it always because it's their party wants or something else? and based on my research i found something interesting which is speakers not only have made a difference and do make a do things but they sometimes because they think it matters or the district they're representing thinks it matters
11:13 pm
or the president thinks it even if their own party in the house of representatives doesn't continuing matters so basis of thehe book. gingrich's newt speakership have been longer? matthew: historical counter factuals are difficult. it's hard to say if it could have been longer. there was a way in which gingrich had a somewhat similar problem to speaker boehner which new,fairly large group of young members who -- this is not unusual. this.arties have had they come in, they're a little zealous. they have a sense that they know how to fix things. at first that creates tremendous enthusiasm and energy the majorityul to party but invariably that group, getembers of it, starts to disillusioned. they feel the things they got elected on are not being done then they become a challenge for a speaker and this happened albert in the 1970's. this happened in many ways is
11:14 pm
what's happened to speaker boehner but with gingrich he had the same problem so to some difficultwas a situation for anyone, would have been difficult, no matter who the speaker was. there was another more personal aspect to it i would that gingrich was the kind of speaker who believed in kind of being the general, the leader of the troops and the folks would follow and the things i mentioned earlier about of listening and understanding where members are coming from, not necessarily gingrich's strong suit. of that, i think it exacerbaited these tensions the party and it led some republicans to question his ability to lead past the first a of hisof years speakership. hisso those elements of personality, i think made it -- the relatively short nature of his tenure. had he been a different kind of acted differently after the first two years, then possibly we might have seen
11:15 pm
as speakerst longer than we did. host: john boehner recently said shutdown government that he didn't really want to do memberse saw where his were going. matthew: right. and this is an example of the difficulty that boehner personally? is in with a lot of members who have strong views and at that time really believed this was their one source of leverage to outcomest the policy they wanted from president obama was to use the instruments at their disposal like the debt and the budget more generally. so in that respect boehner was doing what a smart is you sees, which where your members are and act accordingly. it's not as easy as people think for speakers to tell members to do what they need to do. aty don't have as many tools
11:16 pm
their disposal as you might countries we other see parliamentary leaders who say if you don't support me, nominated going to be again for office and our speaker doesn't have that kind of power boehner wasxtent speaking truthfully, he had to but there had to do is also a way in which it is part of the job of speaker -- i think his office and the this --ip tried to do try to educate members and explain if we follow path a, this will be very harmful to our party and also harmful to the country and so forth. if we take path b, it will be less harmful. wantn't get everything we if we take path b. we almost path a, certainly won't get what we want and we're going to make andelves and the party congress look bad. not saying it would have been easy to accomplish that or that other speakers, other members of congress could have done a but i think that's what was missing from the equation and led to so much of
11:17 pm
the conflict, the government shutdown last winter was the difficulty of boehner and the team, whether it was inability or just not a possible situation, to get members to understand that the direction that many of them wanted to go i'll add oneic and other thing, an important part equation, the minority party in the house of representatives. if boehner had been able to get avoidof democrats, government shutdown and do something else, this wouldn't have been an issue. past, nothing is -- something like that was possible congress,ay's speaker that's not at their disposal. constrains speakers. they have to get only the votes of their majority party and if mass ofot a critical members of congress in your party who just don't want to go along, you're in real trouble. that hass something made it harder to be speaker
11:18 pm
than ever before. host: what are some of the rewards and punishments that a speaker has at his or her disposal? matthew: so the rewards speakers have -- today's speakers. changed over the rewards supreme court vary enormously. they range from saying i'll oredule a vote for a bill amendment you want to saying you put in a good word for for a committee position and speakers often have a decisive influence on who gets committee so that's a very important power speakers have. speakers can say, i'm going to visit your district and help for you when you're running for re-election. that's an important asset. speakers also have little things, smaller things that people might dismiss but in fact members important to such as saying, well, we're congressionala delegation going to villaraigosa and i cansa -- syria only have three members of congress, would you like to be
11:19 pm
one? is ais something that great incentive. those are some of the rewards that speakers can provide. are alsoand then there punishments which are sort of the reverse of that. you're not going to get the committee position or i'm not going to give you a congressional delegation spot, a spot on the trip. important for those to work that the members care about traditionallynd they do. members of congress care about committee assignments. they care about raising money. what has happened particularly with the boehner speakership is you have a group of members in this party who aren't interested in these things. fore they're not running re-election or they can get plenty of campaign funding from ore outside interest group they say i don't really -- i'm not interested in moving up here in the house of representatives. to stay on the committee i'm on and just do what i want to do. reason thatnother it's been hard, i think, for the bane are speakership, is you
11:20 pm
what youers saying have to offer isn't enough for me. and there is one other benefit tot speakers used to be able provide, which boehner no longer can, and that are these so-called earmarks when specific items can be put in a bill that provide funding for a dam or bridge or road in the district thethe republicans, as minority under speaker pelosi, campaigned on getting rid of these because they argued they abused so they stopped using them but when they stopped using them they now no very important carrot so a member of congress would say my constituents don't bill,e to vote for this what can i do for you? boehner would say i wish i could get you that road you want but i do that. if you can't get me interesting for my constituents, all i have the vote they won't like so i have to vote against you so that's been a problem for the republican leadership in the house of representatives is the lack of this benefit they can provide theirs in exchange for votes. host: how would you rate nancy
11:21 pm
speaker? a matthew: in terms of her effectiveness, the kinds of things she got done, i would rate nancy pelosi very highly. active she was very speaker. else --f for nothing will be known for providing critical support for the passage obama's affordable care act, or obama carry. obama care. when it looked like it would fail at the last minute. relentlessness in taking that job and lobbying members and helping members of congress doneorking to get things is really quite remarkable. jury's still out but if there will be any criticism of the pelosi speakership it be whether or not there was forhigh a price to be paid some of those legislative accomplishments. so in the first two years of the obama white house, the house of under hertives leadership passed a slew of major bills and some became law,
11:22 pm
some did not. but some were tough votes for moderate members of her party -- climate change, votes on obamacare, and those members re-election.lost now, it's not clear if the votes necessarily cost them re-election. but for some of them it may have made the difference. and to the extent that it did, have cost the democrats control of the house of representatives. dilemma that all speakers have which is, do you get major bills passed if it hurts your members' re-election chances or do you protect them in getting re-elected at the expense of getting what you want done? but if the things she accomplished cost the democrats control of the house of representatives and subsequently hindered president obama's then that could be something that would be part of her legacy that would be less positive. host: so people know where you're coming from, professor 1994 whenthe day in the republicanook back the house of representatives, did you have a smile on your face or
11:23 pm
scowl? matthew: it wasn't a scowl but it wasn't a smile, either. i worked for a democrat. and it was -- he was one of the democrats who did not lose. so it was more a sigh of relief, quite frankly, because it was a almost every democrat was in danger of losing. it was one of those wave elections. so it was a bit of shock and relief, i suppose. but then also a bit of intellectual curiosity. now that the republicans have a turn, let's see what happens next. host: what do you teach? matthew: i teach several courses in american politics, an introduction to american politics course. i teach a course on the u.s. congress and for part of that the students play a member of congress and they try to get a bill enacted their house of representatives. and that's a great experience myself students and for if for no other reason than at the end i get to play speaker
11:24 pm
and i have a gavel i get to used calledlso teach a course "power in american politics" about different aspects of power in the united states, power of interest groups, power of congress, power president, power of the people, power of voters. iose are some of the classes teach here. host: why don't speakers traditionally vote on legislation? matthew: speakers traditionally do not vote because it's a legacy of this hybrid position of speaker as i mentioned before. are seen as both a partisan nonpartisanlso a you're notthat means supposed to be taking part in the issues of the day that puts on one side of the question or the other and to the extent that the speaker is supposed to andresiding over the house ensuring everything is done fairly, people might question their ability to do that if they're participating in the vote. traditionally speakers do not participate in the vote. prohibitedhey're not
11:25 pm
but traditionally they do not over timeas changed and in the 1970's speakers started participating more and culminating in gingrich who voted quite a bit and nancy pelosi did, as well. very rarelys very, on the house floor and i think that is in part a reflection of his belief that the speaker needs to move himself or herself debates and conflicts in order to be seen as wholee who really has the house and the interests of the whole house at heart. been talking with catholic university professor book,w green about his "speaker of the house, study of leadership." here's the cover. you're watching book tv on c-span 2. >> next, historian raymond smock the speaker of
11:26 pm
the house and how it's changed over time. [captions performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] >> the constitution requires the house of representatives to choose a speaker. what is the speaker's job? speaker has a big job and it's evolved over 200 years. out as ad constitutional office because the constitution says the house its speaker, they even spelled it 18th century style. choose its speaker and other officers. there were no other duties and it was assumed, since the founders knew all colonialakers from legislatures and from the british parliament going back to the 13th century, what a speaker was. a presidings officer but in our congress, the presidings not only a officer, he quickly became a powerful person because he
11:27 pm
appointed committees and that evolved into, as party systems evolved -- first congresses have organized parties. as a two-party system developed, the leader ofcame the majority party and took on ramifications. the constitution is very silent this, on the powers, the powers of the speaker are what the speaker can make of them. unique part of it. some speakers have exercised where they've even rivaled the presidency in terms of setting the national agenda. those in receipt times but -- recent times but also 100 two powerful republican speakers, thomas joe cannonid and from illinois. figures whowerful set the agenda of the country.
11:28 pm
of first speaker pennsylvania, in the first congress, he simply was a presiding officer. than theid $2 more other members, $6 a day. he got $8 a day. that $8, he said i spent most of it on oyster suppers for the members. he didn't feel like it was much of a bonus. he thought he was losing money the deal. but even mulenburg quickly, as power to appoint committees, found he was elevated above the other members. door to the house chambers behind you, the speaker to succeed thene president after the voip. what does this say about the authority? >> the speaker has great inhority in the constitution that respect. that was changed in 1947 with act which brought
11:29 pm
the speaker up into a higher elected, as the highest officer after the president and vice president. thethen it goes to pore of the pro tem senate after that. if something happens to the president, the speaker is in to succeed. and that was -- that 1947 act effort to look at having someone in line that was an elected official. in the old days, it was the state, so, but since 1947, it's been the speaker. has the job evolved since the time of the founders? before, it mentioned has evolved into something where modernaker today, speakers, their role is to be administrative officers of the house even though they have other officers
11:30 pm
speaker elected but the is where the buck stops in terms of administration of the house. is also the head of his party and if that party is opposite that of the president of the united states, it means rankingis the highest officer of the opposite party. spokesman for the the other party vis-a-vis the president. the speakers are also -- have at powers times have great to bring legislation to the floor. other handled by committees but with the speaker's say so. the agenda.rol the majority party controls the agenda and the speaker is the person that has the final authority.
11:31 pm
speakers >> what qualities make the best speakers? guest:those who understand the the chairman of the committees of the house and tough job to balance all those forces. speakers don't always have complete control of their own caucus. within theisions system. the house runs by the numbers for the most part. majority, youe can push the legislation of the majority party. and control virtually everything that goes on in the house. that's one of the differences house and the senate. the senate, no matter which party is in charge, each senator, there's only 100 of them, has considerable more individual power. but the house runs by numbers so if you're the speaker, you can push the agenda.
11:32 pm
but that comes at a price if you against the best interests of most of your members of your caucus, or sometimes where your to a's in opposition national agenda that is different from your own. tomorrow, the u.s. house votes for the next speaker of the house. republican nominee paul ryan and leader nancy pelosi are the two party's candidates. votesoverage as the house starting at 9:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. accessan has your best to congress with live coverage from capitol hill. closing months of the year, the house and senate have key items to address. on thursday, it's the vote for next speaker of the house. >> i have shown my colleagues what i think success looks like. unify think it takes to and lead and how my family commitments come first. decision inthis
11:33 pm
their hands and should they then with these requests, i am happy and i am willing to get to work. >> that's also the deadline for highway funding bill impacting roads, bridges and mass transit projects across the country. in early november, the nation will reach its debt limit and in governmentemporary funding will expire with a possible government shutdown on the horizon. stay with c-span for live coverage of congress on tv, on radio, and online at wednesday, the house approved a budgetr $80 billion deal, the final vote 266-167. republicans joined all democrats voting yes on the measure which extends the borrow of the u.s. to through march 2017 and avoid shutdown.dget the debate's just over an hour.
11:34 pm
on the further consideration of h.r. 1314 and that i may include tabular material on the same. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. rogers: i rise today to present the house amendment to the senate amendment to h.r. 1314. the bipartisan budget agreement of 2015. an agreement that helps advance this nation's -- this nation toward our goals of fiscal stability, strong national security and entitlement reform. these are goals we've been dvocating for years. first, this agreement prevents the economic damage of a default. which could happen as early as next week.
11:35 pm
by suspending the debt limit through march, 2017. next the agreement includes the first significant reform to ocial security since 1983. by closing loopholes, increasing program integrity and cracking down on fraud. resulting in $16 billion in long term savings. the agreement also finds savings in other mandtory programs, including over $30 billion in medicare entitlement savings. as i've said many, many times before, and i've heard it said many times by others here on the floor, mandatory and entitlement programs are the primary drivingers of our deficits and -- drivers of our deficits and our debt. in fact, we've saved $195 billion on discretionary
11:36 pm
spending in these last four years. in the meantime, the entitlement mandatory side of the budget continues to zoom skyward. reforms to these programs are necessary and overdue. and i hope that this bill today paves the way for additional action in the future. this bill also repeals a flawed provision of the president's health care law. eliminating the automatic enrollment mandate that forces workers into employer-sponsored health care coverage that they may not want or need. finally, in my opinion, most importantly, this agreement provides for a new top line spending -- new top line spending caps for the next two years. this will roll back the harmful automatic meat ax approach of sequestration cuts which gut important federal programs and
11:37 pm
slice the good with the bad, including slicing into our military strength. two-year plan, why is that to so important? well, it provides much-needed certainty to the appropriations process and to the defense department and all the other agencies of the government. certainty, ensuring our ability to make thoughtful, responsible funding decisions over that time. having established agreed-upon top line numbers for both fiscal 2016 and 2017 will allow congress to do its work on behalf of the american people and avoid a harmful government shutdown, or the threat thereof. particularly crucial when it comes to our national security. it provides the pentagon with the certainty needed to plan
11:38 pm
for the future, maintain readiness and provide for our p troops. these adjustments are fully offset by mandatory spending cuts and other savings, not through tax increases, as the administration proposed in its budget submission earlier this year. and these new levels do not undermine our remarkable success in limiting federal discretionary spending. since 2011, as i've said before, we've reduced discretionary spending, that is what we appropriate here on the floor, by $175 billion. and we remain on track to save taxpayers more than $2 trillion if you extrapolate those numbers through 2024. with passage of this important agreement, my committee stands ready, coiled, poised, to implement the details of this deal.
11:39 pm
going line by line through budgets and making the tough but necessary decisions to fund the entire government in a responsible way. we will begin work with our senate counterparts as soon as this bill is signed. we have our eye on the december 11 deadline and it's my goal to complete our appropriations work ahead of that date to avoid any more delays, continuing resolutions, or shutdown showdowns that hurt important federal programs our economy and, coincidentally, the trust of the people in the congress. i want to thank and commend our leaders for their courage, their tenacity, their resolve. and while i know that this deal is not perfect, there are things i would change if i had the chance, the process by which it emerged is less than ideal, i believe still it's in
11:40 pm
the best interest of the country that we move forward with this arrangement. this agreement takes steps in the right direction, from finding savings in our entitlement programs to protecting our economy from a dangerous default to providing for the future of the nation through funding certainty. these are goals that i believe we can all get behind. and so i ask my colleagues to support this bipartisan agreement today. i reserve my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from kentucky reserves. the gentleman from maryland is recognized. mr. van hollen: thank you, madam speaker. i want to start by joining the comments of the chairman of the appropriations committee, mr. rogers, in congratulating all those who came together to iron out their differences and produce this agreement. it is not a perfect agreement. but it is far better than the
11:41 pm
alternative, the alternative which would have produced great damage to the economy, as opposed to this agreement which will help boost economic growth and make important national investments. what a difference a week makes. just last week we had on this floor a bill that would have jeopardized the full faith and credit of the united states. it was a piece of legislation that says, the united states government only has to pay some of its bills. doesn't have to pay all of its bills. that would have been an awfuls pretent that would have put the economy at risk. even worse, it said, well, when we decide which bills we're going to pay, we're going to first pay all the bondholders, like china and the folks on wall street, rather than our soldiers and veterans and the doctors who provide care to our seniors. i'm glad we gotten beyond that, madam speaker. this will ensure the full faith
11:42 pm
and credit of the united states. it will also lift the very damaging sequester caps that ave been put in place. that according to the nonpartisan congressional budget office was going to slow down. we're investing in education, scientific research, transportation and military readiness. i know these decision -- those decisions will be left to mr. rogers and the appropriators and i wish them all the best in making those decisions and hope we come back by mid december with an agreement to go forward and not further strets of -- threats of government shutdown. but this agreement at least provides the room and space to make those important investments. it also prevents a looming 20% cut in social security disability benefits.
11:43 pm
and provides that reassurance to millions of americans who otherwise would have been on the edge. it prevents what would have been a whopping increase in medicare part b premiums for millions of seniors around this country. who would have been stretched extremely thin and probably not been able to make all their payments, whether they were mortgage payments, rent payments or food payments, at the same time they were facing those huge medicare part b premium increases. so that was addressed as well. now, like mr. rogers, there are lots of things i would like to see in this bill that were not but on balance, this is an important step forward. certainly a great improvement over where we were just a week ago and so again, i want to express gratitude to everybody who helped make this possible and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maryland reserves.
11:44 pm
the gentleman from kentucky is recognized. mr. rogers: i yield three minutes to the gentleman from texas, mr. sessions. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. sessions: madam speaker, thank you very much. mr. chairman, thank you. last night in the rules committee, we looked at this bill, talked about it, and -- talked about it and its importance to the nation. first let me say that this is an agreement between the white house and the house. this is an agreement we can move forward on and avoid many destructive things that might happen. not only to the american people and the economy, but really our own credibility. our ability to work together at this very careful time is important that we produce the ability for the american people to see this can happen. now, there's a lot of things i agree and disagree with that are said. first of all, harm the economy,
11:45 pm
good gosh, when you only have 1% g.d.p. growth, the president has already done that with massive tax increases. the president has done that with rules and regulations. and we are trying to make sure that what we're doing in this bill is to stick to the republican plan. what is the republican plan? it has been going into our sixth year that we are going to hold government spending flat and we do that essentially not only with a c.r., which we will do again in a few weeks but through effective use of sequestration. what we have done is been able to take the sequestration dollars and utilize them in such a way that we pull in, as the chairman was speaking about, we're pulling in mandatory spending. we believe after five years of staying flat with government spending that we are in a more dangerous world than ever and
11:46 pm
our military must have more money, our security operations must have more money. so what we're going to do is to look at the entire process, come up with an idea about bringing in more money that funds our security, that funds our military, and offsets that so that we can do this by looking at long-term mandatory spending that will bring in over $170 billion worth of savings over the mirror that we look at. over the time frame that's important for the american people to have confidence that we will not bankrupt this country and that we can continue. now, the bottom line to this whole exercise is, is that what we have done is work together. and working together, we now have a plan to move forward and we will simply go to the next exercise, and that is funding the government for the year.
11:47 pm
the republican plan is simple. we are not going to give this government one extra penny to put us into a bankruptcy circumstance but we are asking also back that the president of the united states give us an opportunity to grow our economy. taxes are too high. we have too many rules and regulations. but the republican party will stick to our plan and that's what we're doing here. i thank the gentleman and the young chairman for the time. i yield back the balance. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from kentucky reserves. the gentleman from maryland is ecognized. mr. van hollen: thank you, madam speaker. i'm pleased to yield three minutes to mr. levin of michigan, a distinguished ranking member of the ways and means committee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. levin: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. levin: first and foremost,
11:48 pm
this bill takes the important step of protecting the full faith and credit of the united states. we will pay our obligations and not only to foreign bondholders, but to our citizens. whether veterans or our children, unlike the republican majority bill last week. it protects millions of seniors from a 50% increase in their monthly medicare part b premiums an spreads out the cost of paying for the fix over a number of years. it ensures that all 11 million americans that rely on social security disability insurance won't see their benefits cut by 20%. it is fiscally responsible, while not undermining our changing the structure of vital programs in any way.
11:49 pm
let me repeat that. it is fiscally responsible while not undermining or changing the structure of vital programs in any way. it ensures in social security a uniform national process for disability valuations. and it closes a loophole used mostly by higher income individuals who receive higher social security benefits than intendd. it regularizes payments to medicare for care given in outpatient facilities. finally, the agreement raises the spending caps for two years for domestic spending. not only for defense priorities as some have earlier proposed. so i just want to repeat that so it's clear. the agreement raises the
11:50 pm
ending caps for two years for both domestic and defense spending. that means we can better fund critical domestic programs that were cut under sequestration, increasing support for education health research, food safety, job trainingand health care for veterans. this was a product of a lot of effort. of members, of staff, and various committees. the leadership. on a bipartisan basis working with the administration. i just want to leave expressing my support and expressing that we will truly have a broad, bipartisan vote for this bill today. i yield back the balance of our time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from maryland reserves. and the gentleman from kentucky
11:51 pm
is recognized. mr. rogers: i yield three minutes to the distinguished chairman of the defense appropriations subcommittee, the gentleman from new jersey, mr. frelinghuysen. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. frelinghuysen: madam chairman, i'll be brief but i rise in support of the agreement before us this afternoon. madam chairman, as my colleagues are aware, the department of defense and the intelligence community have borne the brunt of our efforts to reduce the budget deficit and control our burgeoning national debt. under the budget control act of 2011, roughly half of all the discretionary spend regular duckses were taken from programs in the national security area. my colleagues, 2011 was a different time. security environment has changed significantly. since that time, threats from terrorist groups and nation states have risen dramatically. the security spend regular duckses envisioned four years
11:52 pm
ago seem extremely unwise and dangerous today. in this agreement the department of defense will receive additional resources, badly needed resources. $30 billion this year. and $50 billion next year. but almost more important, this agreement gives the pentagon and our intelligence community predictability, certainty. the ability to organize and plan its activities for two years. it also gives our soldiers and their family a degree of certainty that they will be supported as they do the work of freedom. senior leads of the army, navy, air force and marines and the department itself will now be able to plan as to how they will configure, equip, train, sustain and deploy our forces in the most effective and efficient manner possible. this ability will result in budget savings and a more effective fighting force.
11:53 pm
madam chairman this agreement is by no means perfect. but this agreement does require support because it provides predictable funding for our nation's security at a time of changing and growing -- of change and growth. every member ought to support it. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from maryland is recognized. mr. van hollen: i yield two minutes to mr. cummings from the great state of maryland, the very distinguished ranking member of the oversight and government reform committee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. cummings: thank you for yielding. i rise in support of the bipartisan budget agreement. i'm very encouraged that this agreement includes provisions from my bill, the medicare drug price fairness act which i introduced back on may 18. my legislation requires generic drug manufacturers to provide rebates to medicaid -- to medicaid when they raise prices
11:54 pm
faster than the rate of inflation. my legislation will help americans get life-saving prescriptions they need. it will save $1 billion over 10 years, according to the congressional budget office. just this morning, the nonpartisan kaiser family foundation issued a report citing this issue, the skyrocketing prices of prescription drugs is the number one health care priority for the american people. the report fund that 77% of those surveyed, including democrats, republicans and independents, identified the issue as their top health concern overall. this legislation is a strong and welcome step to help keep drugs affordable, but we must do more. we need to investigate drug companies that are taking advantage of the american people by jacking up their prices just to boost corporate profits and make their executives rich. over the past month, press reports have been filled with almost daily accounts of drug
11:55 pm
company executives trying to justify the obscene price increases while lining their pockets. my colleagues may have heard -- who so-called increased the price of a drug that treats life-threat vening infections from $14 to $750 overnight he called it a great thing for society, end quote. my colleagues may have also heard about michael pearson, the c.e.o. of valiant pharmaceuticals, which increased the price of two drugs used to treat heart failure and hypertension by 512% and 525% on the same day it acquired them. they are obstructing congressional oversight and refusing to provide documents relating to its increases. i'm pleased at the -- to support this budget bill. i urge my colleagues to vote in favor of it. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maryland
11:56 pm
reserves. the gentleman from kentucky is recognized. mr. rogers: i yield three minutes to the distinguished chairman of the house armed services committee, the -- eman from texas, the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is mr. thornberry: we cut our military budget 21% from 2010 to 2014. madam speaker, i think everybody in this body will acknowledge that the world isn't 21% safer today than it was four years ago. if you look around the world, whether it is the growth of isis into more countries or the continued challenge of al qaeda and its various afailiates to syria with historic russian reinsertion today, to china building islands in the south
11:57 pm
pacific, to north korea, to iran , intentionally an agreement it made on its missile testing just after the u.n. ratified the nuclear deal to daily cyberattacks. the world is growing increasingly dangerous and we send men and women who wear the uniform of the united states out to meet that danger. and yet we cut their budget 21% and we saw last week the president of the united states use them as a political bargaining chip to force congress to comply with his domestic agenda. the bottom line for me is that our troops deserve than that and that's the reason i support this bipartisan budget act of 2014. it increases -- it stops the cuts in defense. it increases the money going to our troops, and it prevents them from being used as a bargaining
11:58 pm
chip in the future because it sets the military budget for fiscal year 2016 and fiscal year 2017 so that that is decided they can't be used as leverage for some other agenda. i think that is the sort of stability and predictability they need and they deserve. and i think the great question, madam speaker, is if not this, then what? we know that this budget agreement at least comes close to meeting what the president has asked for on defense and comes close to the congressional budget within $5 billion. that's not enough money to repair the damage that has been done over the past five years, but it's in the ball park. and if we do not approve this budget, then what? then we are back to continuing resolution and sequester, which means the army has said they will need to cut 40,000 troops
11:59 pm
on top of the 70,000 they have already cut. that is a sampling of what not passing this bill could well mean if we go back to c.r.'s and the sequester level. it would be drastic reductions in the military, a much less safe world for the united states and its interests. i believe that deserves our support. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from kentucky reserves and the gentleman from maryland is recognized. mr. van hollen: i agree with the gentleman that the investments in military readiness are important and the investments to help our economy grow to invest in scientific research is important. what the president said to the congress is what the vast majority of the american public believe that it's vital to have a strong national defense, but a strong national defense requires a strong economy and requires an
12:00 am
educated work force and investments in innovation and technology and requires a 21st century infrastructure. so i'm pleased that the president insist we make investments not just in the military, but also vital investments to help the economy grow, grow more jobs, which are estimated to be in the range of 350,000 in 2016 alone. so those are vital investments that also help strengthen america and i'm pleased to yield two minutes to somebody who has been on the front lines of making those important investments for our country, mrs. lowey, the very distinguished ranking member of the appropriations committee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from new york is recognized for two minutes. mrs. lowey: thank you, mr. speaker. as ranking member of the appropriations committee, i rise to support this bipartisan legislation that


info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on