tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN April 21, 2010 5:00pm-8:00pm EDT
them faithful to the ideals of the state that was established 62 years ago. i feel this commitment every time i visit israel and see the dedication to improving the jewish homeland. since its founding 62 years ago, israel has become a modern state, a beacon of democracy and a hub of technological advancement. and the world has benefited from israel's contributions. israel is the world's largest per capita use of solar water heaters in their homes. israel will be launching the world's first electric car network throughout the country, reducing their dependence on foreign oil and serving as a model to the rest of the world. israel's experience on the front lines of terrorism have allowed them to use their first responder skills when humanitarian crises occur around the world, not just in israel. a few months ago, israel dispatched a team to haiti setting up a field hospital, delivering medical care and
saving lives and first ones on the ground. they have taken painful steps towards peace, making sacrifices towards reaching a agreement with its neighbors. they are under constant threat from rocket attacks from gaza and from the words of a dictator in iran, from a buildup of weapons on its northern border, from a campaign to delegitimatize israel on the irnl stage. while the threats -- international stage. while the threats grow and strengthen, so must our resolve to confront them. i'm a supporter of a strong u.s.-israel relationship. we are stronger together through our friendship. we are safer together through our cooperation and in this uncertain world, the united states and israel need each other. on this israeli independence day, i acknowledge the brave men
and women and their families who have sacrificed so much for the jewish homeland and i look forward when israel can celebrate independence in peace and security. mr. speaker, i yield back. . i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. westmoreland of georgia. for what purpose does the gentleman rise? mr. westmoreland: to address the house for five minutes. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. westmoreland: thank you, mr. speaker. it's with a heavy heart and humble spirit that i come together to this people's house, to this floor of the people's house to honor an american hero. mr. speaker, first lieutenant robert collins answered his nation's call to duty after graduating from west point military academy in 2008. and earlier this month he made the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of his fellow
countrymen. lieutenant collins was deployed to iraq only last fall and was based with his unit in the northern part of the country. lieutenant collins recently wrote that he was working to improve security conditions and the quality of life of the iraqi people. in this year's national elections in iraq, his platoon helped provide security for a free and fair election process, and i know that he took great pride in that. he was a man willing and ready to serve his country. as a dedicated soldier, he wanted to help spread far and wide the same freedom we love and cherish here in the united states. lieutenant collins's willingless to help others -- a graduate of sandy creek high school, he was well respected among his peers. in fact, one former classmate wrote that collins was compassionate and at the same
time had a great sense of humor that could not be matched. robert would always be there for people when they needed help. his parents, deacon and sharon, are both retired lieutenant colonels. they proudly serve our nation and they proudly supported their son's decision to serve our country. while we honor lieutenant collins, we should also think of deacon and sharon. lieutenant collins was also blessed to have nicole, his fiancee and childhood sweetheart. last week, lieutenant collins came home to georgia for the last time. in his community -- and his community came out to honor him. from local veterans to ordinary citizens, the procession route was lined with people waving american flags and paying their great respect to this hero. one gentleman summed it up best when he said, i am a patriot. anyone who gives up their life for my freedom, well, this is the least i could do. today, i stand here to honor
first lieutenant robert collins because it was the least i could do. he stood for me and all americans by serving and sacrificing to our nation and he's an american heeo, and i want to thank him -- hero, and i want to thank him from me and my family. i want to thank his loving parents for the sacrifice they've given to this great nation. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back the floor. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. mr. engel of new york. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from california rise? >> to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. chu: 62 years -- 52 years ago on monday, the state of israel was born and on that day many did not believe israel could withstand the impending struggle and remain a beacon of hope and direction for the world. despite decades of terror and threats to its existence, the nation still stands today proud and defiant to those who would wish her harm.
62 years ago, just minutes after david announced the establishment of a home for the jewish people, the united states was the first nation to recognize its independence. our unwavering support for the security and prosperity of israel continues to this day because of the core ideals our two countries share. ideas of perseverance, democracy and innovation. i am proud to stand here today to congratulate the state and people of israel on the anniversary of their independence and to pledge that we will continue to work together to achieve global security, peace and prosperity. thank you and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. mr. israel of new york. for what purpose does the gentleman from florida rise? >> i ask unanimous consent to speak out of order and address the house for five minutes. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. wasserman schultz: mr. speaker, i rise today to recognize the 62nd anniversary
of the independence of the state of israel and to talk about the unbreakable bond between our two nations. on may 14, 1948, the state of israel declared sovereignty and independence as the homeland for the jewish people. with little resources and seemingly insurmountable obstacles, israel has became a thriving democracy and has made worldwide innovations in technology and environmental innovations. despite this progress, israel continues to face threats from iran, hamas and hezbollah. this was strikingly clear when i led a congressional delegation to israel this past january. meeting after meeting we heard from strong and resilient israelis who have lived their lives under the constant showering of rockets and continued suicide bombing attacks. put simply, we would not allow our government to stand idly by as hundreds of rockets and mortars came crashing down on the heads of our steps, and we
cannot expect israel to stand idly by either. i believe they have an obligation to protect its citizens and i firmly stand by this right and this obligation. israel's commitment to democracy, freedom of religion and human rights is a testament to the world views of the united states. we face the same threats in an unstable region. but above all we share a deep commitment to stand by each other and face the challenges ahead. one of those challenges that we face together was the devastating earthquake in haiti. i commend the efforts and generosity of the israeli people who worked on the ground in haiti, the state of of israel and the israeli people for the earthquake relief in haiti. israel has been a key partner, ally and friend of the united states, and i look forward to our continued work together based on these shared values. before i close, i'd like to take a moment to recognize the jewish community of south florida where i call my home.
these inspiring men and women continue to work tirelessly with me so we can be sure the jewish state of israel is secure and prosperous. and it is with them in mind that i say these next three words with great tuesday, passion and resolve. -- gratitude, passion and resolve. the nation of israel lives. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time. ms. schakowsky is recognized. ms. schakowsky: mr. speaker, i rise to honor the -- excuse me -- mr. speaker, i rise to honor the 62nd anniversary of the founding of the jewish state of israel. israel has weathered decades of war and terrorism, but it remains a thriving democracy and america's closest friend and ally in the middle east. as a very young child, i remember the immense pride and
joy my family felt when the jewish state became a reality. i had the privilege of traveling once again to israel earlier this month, and again i was struck by the resilience, the courage and innovation of the israeli people as well as their pride and the beautifully lush country they have built in the desert. i thought about my childhood again and the number of times that i had safe my nickels and dimes to buy trees and tree certificates that we used for birthdays and anniversaries to plant trees in israel and to turn that desert and make it bloom. no longer -- israel today is a leader in technology and energy and scientific innovation, including medical innovations. it is also the only democratic state in the middle east, and
our steadfast friend and ally and partner. today, we mark the 62nd anniversary of the state of israel and celebrate the unbreakable bond between our two countries. the unbreakable bond between our two countries. 62 years after the united states became the first country to recognize the new state of israel we still share common dreams and continue to strengthen our critical relationship. just minutes after the declaration of the founding of the state of israel president harry truman recognized that country and it began a 62 year-long commitment, nonpartisan, bipartisan, universal throughout our country recognizing the importance of our relationship with the state of israel. and i believe that this congress of the united states maintains that dedication and will forevermore.
thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. mr. rothman of new jersey. mr. weiner of new york. >> i ask unanimous consent to claim the time. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. etheridge: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i rise today to celebrate the 62nd anniversary of the founding of the state of israel and join with the israeli people in honoring the country's founders and making this great achievement and its successes. on may 14, 1948, israel's founders declared that the country would be not only a jewish state but also a democratic one where all citizens, regardless of religion, ethnicity, race or gender would live in peace with equal civil rights. since that day americans have stood side by side with israel to form a strong bond of
friendship. even as we celebrate we also look forward to the next 62 years and beyond. mr. speaker, i'd like to again congratulate the israeli government, its people and others on this the 62nd year of independence. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. mr. markey of massachusetts. ms. schwartz of pennsylvania. mr. schiff of california. ms. loretta sanchez of california. mr. marshall of georgia. mr. garamendi of california. mr. quigley of illinois. mr. smith of washington. ms. woolsey of california. mr. defazio of oregon. ms. kaptur of oregon.
excuse me. of ohio. under the speaker's announced policy of january 6, 2009, the gentleman from missouri, mr. akin, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the minority leader. mr. akin: thank you, mr. speaker. it's a treat to join you and my colleagues once again this evening and talk about a subject that has been troublesome to all of us for some number of months now. that is the state of the economy, the problem with unemployment and the various causes and factors that caused some of the tremendous level of distress economically which we've been experiencing. and sometimes it's helpful as we weigh into a rather broad
subject about jobs and the economy, it's good to take a look back a little bit and see what we can learn from some of the lessons of history and how we got into the mess in the first place. some of the first rather troubling signs of the condition which brought on the recession go back to september 11, 2003, as recorded by "the new york times," not exactly a republican or conservative oracle. the particular news article here says there's a new agency proposed to oversee freddie mac and fannie mae. this is being proposed by the bush administration and it says that today recommended the most significant regulatory overhaul in the housing finance industry since the savings and loan crisis a decade ago.
apparently we didn't learn a lot from the savings and loan crisis but the bush administration was trying. they were requesting to congress that there be an overhaul of freddie and fannie because they saw problems coming. why was that? because freddie and fannie had had a few billion dollars here and there they couldn't account for. things weren't going so well for them. so this is back in september 11, 2003, in the middle of the bush administration. bush asking for greater authority to oversee freddie and fannie. what was the result of that request? well, the result of the request was that the republicans in the house passed legislation to do that and sent it to the senate. at that time, we have the congressional democrats weighing in. at that time, the democrats were -- democrats were in the minority in the house and we had now chairman, he wasn't at that time, but he's now
chairman barney frank in the "new york times," same article, september 11, 2003. this is what barney frank says. these two entities, fannie mae and freddie mac are not face anything kind of financial crisis. now this is a democrat that's supposed to know what's going on with fannie and freddie. he's chairman of that committee, the committee that looks over these things. he says they're not face anything financial crisis. the more people exaggerate these problems, her the more pressure is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing. well, it's always easy to look back in hindsight. hindsight, people say is "20/20." -- is 20/20. congressman franks was not just somewhat wrong, he was way wrong. he said we're going to roll the dice and make sure anyone who wants a home len can get it. here he says there's no real
problem with fannie and freddie. we find out there is a big problem with freddie and fannie. the republicans, seeing this coming, passed a bill in the house. when you pass a bill in the house you send it to the senate. now people are much more aware today as to how things work in the senate. it's not sufficient in the senate to have a majority of votes. there are 100 senators, you'd think, well if you get 50-plus votes, you ought to be able to pass something in the senate. the senate is a weird place, that's not how it works. it takes 60 votes in the senate to bring it up for a vote. once you bring it up far vote, you can pass it with 50-plus votes. the republicans passed this bill to regulate fannie and freddie. went to the senate, it died over there with a lot of other bills the republicans in the house passed. it died because it did not have 60 votes. why did it not?
the republican had 50-something senators and they needed five of six democrats to go along. none of the democrats went along with further regulation of freddie and fannie so the bill died in the senate. freddie and fannie cruise along happily through the night no concern about icebergs or bad weather ahead. as we see and as we saw come to grief. then require a major federal bailout to try to protect them. what freddie and fannie had been doing was this for many years before this even before 2003, there had been federal policies saying that you have to, the different banks and different cities have to give loans to people even though it may seem like the job that they have or the place where they want to buy a house is not a good bet, financially. in other words, what you're saying to people is, yeah you don't have too good a job, we're not sure you can pay this loan off, but the federal
government was demanding that banks make these loans to people who were what the banks would call poor risks. so we have more and more of these banks. over time, freddie and fannie had carried some loans that were bad risks over time and particularly under clinton's last year, those percentages were kicked up, forcing freddie and fannie effectively, because these loans all ended in freddie and fannie, to accept more and more loans that were marginal. now for a time period through the bush years, things worked pretty well because house prices, housing prices, as a lot of people remember, really started to go up. in fact, when i came down here as a congressman in 2001, and i take a look back at about 2006 or 2007, i'm kicking myself, i'm saying, what was wrong with me? i must be really stupid because if i bought a house when i first came to congress, it would be worth twice as much
now because housing prices were shooting up because all kinds of people were dumping money into the liquidity that had been created, being dumped in this housing market. what happened. as long as the housing market gos up, up, up, people think it's a good deal. we don't have too big a problem. all of a sudden, pop, the bubble bursts, housing prices start to come down. now all these lousy loans are coming home to roost. the loans by wall street were chopped up in all sorts of little pieces, packaged up with all kinds of other loans and sold all over the world system of this created one whale of an economic mess. what was the start of it? the start of it was the fact that we had these liberal programs trying to suspend the rules of mathematics, saying you have to make loans to people who can't afford to pay their loans and you can keep doing it and doing it and nobody will have to pay.
guess who had to pay? you got it, the u.s. taxpayer had to pay. we have chairman barney franks, now in -- barney frank now in charge of fixing this problem. fannie and freddie were not facing any kind of financial crisis. the more people exaggerate these problem the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we'll see in terms of affordable housing. he was wrong and now his job is to try to fix it. now we have an economic mess on our hands and we're starting to have problems with the economy. we'll get into what happened next in a minute. this is a regular whodunit, i hope you'll stay seated and ready to go. i have my good friend from louisiana joining me. steve, please. mr. scalise: i know we continue to have this conversation and talked about this months ago back when the original bill came through to do this stimulus package and president
o-- president obama said he had to spend more money to get the ball back on track. i know you're getting ready to talk about henry morgenthau, the commerce secretary under president roosevelt, he warned that wouldn't help and it didn't work then and it won't work now. new we've got a permanent bailout bill from chairman frank who was defending fannie and freddie, and chris dodd, they've got a bill that has a permanent bailout fun fund and they tax a lot of banks that didn't have anything to do with this mess in the first place. this bill will not only create a permanent bailout fund and enshrine the concept of too big to fail, it's going to hurt the local banks that didn't do anything wrong and now they're going to be at a disadvantage, it's going to be harder for them to get loans to small
businesses and middle class families who are trying to get by. now they actually create a two-tyre system that favors big wall street fat cats that help create this problem that are now permanently too big to fail and get a permanent bailout fund at the expense of our local banks who didn't do anything wrong and played by the rules. it's frustrating when you see this bill moving through. it lets the s.e.c. off the hook for their failures to actually do their squob as regulators when they let bernie madoff off and they had a guy in south louisiana, stanford, the report came out the f.c.c. knew about this in the 1990's, and did nothing. the f.c.c. has been derelict in their responsibility, so they are going to create a new federal agency to do the job the s.e.c. should have done and didn't do. we need to hold them
responsible instead of trying to blame somebody else and punishing our local banks making it harder for them. mr. akin: as i hear you speak, i'm reminded that i probably didn't do you justice introducing you because to some degree, you're an economic wizard, because you stood here on the floor a year ago, just before we were going to pass the cap and tax bill, and actually, i guess i'm thinking about, i called it the porkulous bill, some called it the spend louse bill and you told on -- the spendulous bill and you told on this floor, this is on nationally recorded for anyone who wants to look at it, you said that stimulus bill is not going to work. now, the democrats were saying, if you don't pass the stimulus bill, you're going to have more than 8% unemployment. so you guys better pass the
stimulus bill and you stood here on this floor, i remember you doing it, saying, it won't work. well, now, a year and a couple of months later, you're a regular economic genius. you saw it wouldn't work, you understood the principle of why it wouldn't work. they went ahead on a one-party rule without any republican support, passed the bill we knew wouldn't work and now it hasn't worked. now we've got over 10% unemployment and they said if you don't pass the bill, you'll have 8%. i wish we had just stuck with 8%, i suppose but at $700 billion of supposedly stimulus. now we do have the chief of staff for the president, a former member here of the house, who said that every time one of these economic crises comes along, you've got to milk it for everything you can get. they loaded into this $700 billion bill all kinds of expansions of welfare and a --
all kinds of government programs and hiring a bunch of people by the federal government and of course it wasn't going to work. you didn't have to be an economic genes you, though you are. all you really had to do was read a little bit of history. mr. scalise: if my friend would yield. you're too generous in your praise. i don't think it's being an economic wiz as being a -- being an economic whiz as being a student of history. you don't have to reinvent the wheel. our country has sick lingly gone through good times and bad. typical recession lasts about 18 months. our country was in a recession, it was starting to taper off. we were in the 7357b9% unemployment rate, which was too high but the president was saying, you've got to pass the $787 billion stimulus bill or else unemployment might go over 8%. basically they said it won't go
over 8% if you pass the bill. that's never worked before, it's only created more problems and sure enough, just like history has always shown, just as we predicted over a year ago, twhain spent all that mungroing the size of the federal government, not creating jobs in the private sector, it created more problems to the point where unemployment is hovering close to 10%. mr. akin: what amazes me, congressman is if you look, the average guy in america that runs a family, ok, there's all these families all over the place, all over america, how many of them would be dumb enough to think when they're in hard economic times that what they're going to do is increase their level of spending. they're going to go out and spend a lot of money in order to make the fact of the hard economic times better. i don't think there are that many dumb people in this country that believe something like that. yet somehow or other a majority
of legislature -- legislators in the federal government fell for that scam. i think a lot of people people fall for something because they want to. not because it makes any logical or rational sense. these weren't the only legislators that have been sucked in. you go back to the days of f.d.r., there was a recession going, and he managed to come up with just the right policies to turn it into the great depression because he wasn't any genius in economic matters system of at the end of eight years of the federal government spending money like mad, his secretary of treasury morgenthau comes back to the house and makes a statement. we have tried spending money. i guess we've heard this before. we're spending more than we ever spent. they spent nothing compared to what we're spending. and it doesn't work. i say after eight years of the administration we have just as much unemployment as when we started and enormous debt to boot.
now this obviously proves we learned nothing from history. certainly democrats learned nothing from history. that's exactly what we just did a year ago. we spent $787 billion, wasn't even good old keynesian stuff, hydroplant, it wasn't building big shippers in navy putting people back to work with the government getting manufacturing jobs, no, it's all this, more food stamps, welfare checks, this kind of stuff, more big government proposals, bailouts for states that haven't managed their budgets responsibly. here we go. you said, gentleman, this isn't going to work. you knew because morgenthau told us, the democrat who worked for f.d.r. told us, and we tried it again and it still didn't work. that's how we got started. then after that, of course, we introduce some other factors in the economy, which just like f.d.r., we're going to take a bad situation and make it worse.
i love these cartoons. now give me one good reason why you're not hiring. we see the president here talking to some guy that owns the china shop. he's got a couple of bulls coming in the door, health care reform, cap and tax, and the war tax. so we've got all these taxes and these bulls are coming in and this guy is a little concerned about hiring these bulls to help his his china shop. here we go, we're starting to get into the first part of last year, we're seeing unemployment going up, we're seeing the solution is government spending, and things have not gotten a whole lot better. i yield to my friend. mr. scalise: if you don't learn from history then you're doomed to repeat it. it seems we're repeating history now. what's frustrating is really starting back in january of last year, over a year ago with the american -- what the american people said, what many of us in congress said back then was, we need to be focused
-- focusing on creating jobs and getting the economy back on track. in fact there are tried and true ways of doing that that have been proven every time. it has been tried and one sure of getting the economy going again and cutting taxes. mr. akin: wait a minute. you just cussed on the floor of the house. i didn't think you were allowed to say that horrible word, cutting taxes. oh, no. you are going to get accused of a hate crime, gentleman, if you keep that up. mr. scalise: and i know president obama and speaker pelosi and her liberal lieutenants doesn't like the concept of cutting taxes. and they said cutting taxes created this problem. when know groups like fannie mae and freddie mac going out and giving loobs to people who had no -- loans to people who had no ability to pay. you can go back to john f. kennedy and ronald reagan. when they cut taxes federal revenues grew because the economy got going again. people were spending money much
wiser than government spends money but they were spending money to create jobs. and jobs were being created and the economy got going again because taxes were cut. and those tax cuts yielded in more revenues coming into the government. mr. akin: i'd like to slow you down just a minute because you are smarter than this stuff. you don't realize it but you are and what you're saying is historically accurate. i'd like to take that apart, slow it down just a little bit so people can see the logic of why this works the way it does. because what we know from henry morguen thaw, if nothing else, -- morgenthau, if nothing else the democrats refuse to learn from republicans. they don't like the answer that morguen thaw said -- morguen -- morgenthau said.
john f. kennedy said if you back off the taxes you can get the economy going again. how does that work? it leaves more money out there for small businesses to hire more people. and if small businesses have more money to invest, they invest in a new machine tool and they invest in their own business. and those people then as they invest create jobs. this isn't rocket science. this is something that j.f.k. understood. ronald reagan cut taxes and the economy grew and bush did the same thing. but here's sort of a weird thing and they call that supply-side economics, you know? democrats call it trickle down economics. whatever you want to call it it works. but the thing that strikes me is logically how is it because it seems like you're making water run uphill. what you're saying is the federal government will lower their tax rate and yet they're going to get more money back. that seems counterintuitive.
so i'm thinking about it like, congressman scalise, let's say you're king for the day and the only thing you can tax is loafs of bread. you say, how much tax can i put on one loaf of bread? and you say if i put a penny on it nobody's going to notice and i can collect a penny on all these loafs of bread that are sold. and then you say, hey, what if i put five bucks on the loaf of bread? then i'll really get a lot of money anytime somebody buys a loaf of bread. well, maybe people won't buy as much bread if you pay five bucks' hit to buy bread. then you go back in your mind and say, common sense says there's some optimum tax on that loaf of bread where you can get the most possible money. if you go too high you get less money for the government. if you go too low you left money on the table. so there's some sort of optimum point. i think that's what ronald
reagan and the other presidents understood. that when you tax the economy too much it basically drives it into the ground which is exactly what's going on here. and so that what you're saying about the fact that we dropped taxes and that helps get the economy going, that's the logic of it. you actually drop the taxes and you get more money into the government. so the result was we drop taxes and what we saw was the government got a whole lot more money and we started to pay off the debt. i thought it would be god to take that a part, try to explain the logic of it. what you're saying is historically right but it seems odd that the government drops more taxes and they get more money back. mr. scalise: if the gentleman will yield? mr. akin: i do yield. mr. scalise: history can teach us good lessons and bad lessons. there have been good things and bad things. clearly during the depression that was a bad time in our nation but there were telltale signs and things that
government did that made things worse and we should be learning from and folks in this congress have not learned. there are good things that happened over the years just when president reagan cut taxes and you saw this robust take off for over 20 years. and job creation that no one's ever seen in the world. and yet that is another part of history that's not being followed, that we ought to follow. and congress over its time has spent more money than it's taken in too and that's another lesson that needs to be learned in history. and surely folks in congress can learn from that. i think what's so frustrating to people across the country, they've made it clear that we want to focus on jobs and get the economy back on track. and that's something i want to focus on too. but what they've seen is just the opposites. policies like this health care bill that will run jobs out and these other policies that you talked about. and then this permanent bank bailout fund that is moving through congress. it's a top priority of the president. and the american people are
saying once again enough already. we don't want any more bailouts. they didn't like the first one. we voted against that first bailout because we knew it would fail and it failed and so here the president is again not learning from history but repeating the mistakes of history by trying to create this permanent bailout fund and establishing more of this concept of too big to fail. i yield back. mr. akin: yeah, that permanent bailout concept, isn't that a dangerous kind of thing? because what we've seen is more and more of the government wanting to get into all these different businesses. and that certainly is a scary kind of thing. now, the other thing we're seeing a whole lot of which is making people tremendousry frustrated and angry is we hear one thing being said and something opposite being done. here are the words of the president. "the true engine of job creation in this country will always be america's businesses. but government can create the conditions necessary for businesses to expand and hire new workers." this statement is completely
true. unlike a lot of statements that are made, this statement is completely true. the true engine for job creation in this country will always be america's businesses. let's put a little bit sharper point on it. what businesses? well, 80% of the jobs in america go -- come from what are called small businesses or businesses with 500 or fewer employees. so the businesses with 500 or fewer employees in america hire 80% of the jobs in america. now, the true engine of job creation in this country will always be america, as we say, smaller businesses, but we can hire and expand and hire new workers. that is true. it can create conditions which allow the small businesses to prosper and hire a lot of people. the president is right in this.
the conditions can be created. well, what are those conditions? well, let's take a look at it. does it mean $2 trillion in tax increases over 10 years? no, it sure doesn't. what happens when the government takes a whole lot of tax money out of the economy? it's taking it out of the pockets of the people who own the small businesses. guess what tax category the people who are running those small businesses, guess what tax category they're in? they're in the exact bracket that president obama said he wants to tax. people making over $250,000. oh, people say my goodness, if somebody is making $250,000 they ought to pay a little bit more taxes. fine. keep taxing them. what happens? if you keep taxing these guys they won't invest in their businesses. if they don't invest in their businesses, where are the jobs going to come from? you can't happen -- have it both ways, and yet it seems the
administration wants to say we got to create the right conditions and they're doing precisely the things that destroy jobs in america, worst of which is excessive taxation on the people that own the small businesses. and so that's certainly the wrong thing to do. it's creating the exact wrong conditions. it is driving unemployment, making it even worse, which is what f.d.r. did to take a recession and magically turn it into the great depression. one of the pieces of legislation that the president in his last state of the union urged members of congress to support, the job-killing cap and tax legislation. what's this? well, this is a tax on energy. well, wasn't there a promise that said unless you make $250,000 we are not going to raise taxes? yeah, unless you flip a light switch and then you're going to get taxed because he's pushing a tax on energy. everything uses energy, particularly small businesses. so if you put this cap and tax
bill into place here, you're doing another thing that makes it harder for creating jobs. that's why this cartoonist got a lot of truth in it that says this health care, the cap and tax, these things are destructive to jobs. new taxes on employers who don't offer government health insurance plan. of course, the new socialized medicine bill is going to be brutal in terms of creating unemployment because what are you doing? you're first of all trying to balance the cost of giving everybody cadillac health care and you're going to try and balance that on the back of small business owners. what are they going to do? they're going to say, headaches i don't want any more employees than i can possibly have because i have to buy health insurance to all of them and it's terribly expensive. so i am going to work my employees as many hours i can just to make sure i don't have a single employee more than what i need. so you're creating a tremendous economic pressure to get rid of jobs by passing the socialized
medicine bill. so let's take a look, standing back a little further. what is it? what are the things that are killing jobs? because obviously something's killing jobs in america. what are the different factors that are killing jobs? well, here's a whole list of them. if you want to kill jobs, this is just the thing to do and this is what the administration's been doing for a year and a half. this isn't rocket science. this is very common sense. it's about as common sense as the lemonade stand. the first thing is economic uncertainty. if you're a small businessman and you don't have a clue what the government's going to do to you next, what are you going to do? in missouri we call it hunkering down. you don't make decisions. you don't hire people. you don't buy expensive new machine tools. you hunker down when there's economic uncertainty. and so that's first of all when you have things out there such as cap and tax which is going to tax energy, you have a new socialized medicine bill which
nobody understands how it's going to be implemented, but we know it's loaded with taxes. they have everything under the sun in there. they even have wheelchair taxes. i don't know what the poor mind thought about wheelchair taxing, maybe that should be a hate crime. i don't know. economic uncertainty, this is a job killer. you want a steady economic climate if you want to keep jobs running forward. consumption reduction, that's just talking about the economy slowing down. when you have the economy slowing down it hurts everybody just as a rise in tide floats boat. you end up sitting on the rocks. so the poor economy also is a job killer. excessive taxation is probably, probably the biggest factor which is going to kill jobs. and that's why it is that the democrats should have learned from j.f.k. i don't expect them to learn anything from ronald reagan but they could learn from j.f.k. he did the same thing that
ronald reagan did which is cut taxes so the small businessman can create jobs. but instead what wf' been doing is tax after tax after tax. all these new taxes, what does it do to the guy that owns the business? well, to start with, he doesn't hire anybody. to start with, he reduces any kind of expansion to his business, but after a while, just like your body, if you keep cutting off your food, pretty soon you start to get skinnier and skinnier and eventually guess what happens to that little business? it goes out of business, and now there is no longer a little engine there to create jobs because that business is gone and that's what f.d.r. did. he drove the taxes so hard that the businesses started to shut down from excessive taxation. in a temporary sense, the business just doesn't hire. in a longer term siege what happens is the business goes bankrupt and now there are no -- there's no one there to start to create the jobs in the first place.
excessive taxation is deadly as a job killer. insufficient liquidity is another problem that seems complicated but it makes a lot of sense. if you own a small business, one thing you have to have is liquidity. you have to have money to be able to borrow to get going on different projects. there's a company in my district out in the st. louis area call aeroventor, kind of coming from the word invention. one of their latest inventions is something that people who live in the midwest would be tickled to know there's a use for, pig manure. when you get out in the country and you smell something that smells funny you know you're near a hog farm. pig manure is not something people go out of their way to obtain. it's considered low value and
something you'd just as soon not smell. innoventor found a way to take pig ma sure, put it in a pressure cooker, and they break it down into something sort of like the oil that comes out of the ground, which they found they can wruse to make asphalt with. what do you need to make this business go? it's not as pretty as making lemonade but you're going to create furnaces, electric furnaces with pressure and containers that makes this stuff you can turn into asphalt and we have a section of road in the st. louis area paved with asphalt made from, you got it, pig manure. but you've got to have money to build the equipment to do this. where do you get the money from? you get loans from banks. a lot of small businessmen,
they'll a three-year or six-year loan and they'll have to pay a good interest rate for it. small businesses can make a mistake and go bankrupt. they get a loan from the banks and the local banks underwrite the small businesses and as they convert big manure to asphalt, you'll see people getting hired. the trouble, though, is you've got to have liquidity and so what has the administration done in order to make it so banks have liquidity. they started one way with the crack cocaine of the federal system, that is they release tons of money into the -- they used to call it printing money so the high level and the big banks, there's lots and lots of easy money created by the federal government, usually they creates bubbles and they blow up. what happens is that easy money is not coming down through the arteries to the small businesses because the banking regulators are so tough with small business, the small businesses are afraid to loan
any money system of now you've got guys that are -- that have imagination that would be creating jobs because there's insufficient liquidity. now they're being choked out this particular innovator has found maybe a way around it to get some money but a lot of problems in this liquidity area. what's the biggest culprit? probably excessive taxation. the second biggest may be this, all these things factor into the 10% unemployment. excessive government spending is a job killer but it does it sort of slowly and on a rebound. it's not a direct effect. what happens is when the government spends too much money, then the problem is, there isn't the liquidity in the economy and the money is not invested in the businesses, there are they don't create jobs. that's how that works. of course, excessive government mandates and red tape. obviously if you're a small business person and you've got
to fill out pages and pages and reams of red tape which small businessmen have to do in america that takes away from your efficiency. if you've got a big company, you've got a couple of bureaucrats that are experts at every red -- every kind of red tape that comes along, you can get some efficiency but for small businesses, red tape is a real, real job killer. so that's another thing we don't want. so now, you take a look at the logic of where jobs come from and what you don't want to be doing and you take a look at what we're doing, you're saying, hey, congressman akin, you're creating a perfect storm. about everything that creates unemployment, you're doing it all. and we have a statement from the president saying, hey, i understand, he says, i understand that the government, the government can create the conditions necessary for businesses to expand and hire new workers. he understands that principle.
yet we're doing everything wrong. everything he's told us to do is going to effect after the jobs system of what are some of these little treasures? first of all, health care reform we just passed. boy is this a humdinger. i've been here 10 years, i hate to admit how old i am. i've been here 10 years, i've seen some lousy bills in my day, but this socialized medicine we just passed is two or three times worse than any other bill i've ever seen. this is going to have terrible consequence for unemployment and just hammering small businesses. and it's going to create not only that, of course, it'll create lousy health care. it'll probably bust the federal budget but i'm mostly on the subject of what are we doing about jobs? and this thing here is a job killer. this is a real job killer. you're going to basically, just like we were talking with congressman scalise, what we're doing is the federal government wants to take everything over. this is taking over a sixth of the economy.
the government is just going to take over health care. it's not a matter of ticksing what's broken in health care, it's a matter of scrapping it and having the government take it over, not instantly but over time. they call it cap and trade, it's really cap and tax, this is the energy tax the house passed, people were so mad about it, that was where they had 300 pages of amendments passed at 3:00 in the morning and the bill was here on the floor, there wasn't a copy of the bill, the house passed it, people got so mad that the senate refused to take it up. this is a big tax on energy. of course that's not a good thing for small businesses. you've got other miscellaneous taxes coming, many of them associated with this health care reform. that's where some of those taxes are coming from. so we're doing, we're really doing all the wrong things and it shouldn't surprise us we're getting problems with unemployment. obviously, there are other problems that are going on too.
pretcy serious ones. i'd like to talk a little bit about some of these other taxes. these are tax increases. tax increases. this is really fine print, isn't it? 16 of them on this sheet. if congress takes no action, these are tax increases we're taking a look at. in 2010. and so what happens when you increase taxs? businessmen don't have the money to invest in companies and you pull the economy down. is that all we've got? oh, no. you've got to remember, we've got 2011 coming. these are tax increases if congress takes no action in 2011. look at that. another whole bunch of these. the marginal income tax rates
will increase as follows. these are not small things. these are big deals. the 35% bracket will increase to 39.6%. the 33% bracket will increase to 36%. every one of these, the 10% bracket will increase to 15%. the 25% is going to go to 28%. all the marginal tax increases on everybody's income taxes are going to go up. if the congress doesn't take any action. this is 2011. this is 2010 down here. look at all these taxes. do we have a -- having a tax -- we're having a tax party, aren't we. it's going to give a tax to the -- to our economy. dividends will no longer be taxed at the capital gains rate for individuals, thereby increasing the double taxation and dividends as much as 164%. guess who -- what kind of people have these dividends and have money invested in these things. people who own small
businesses, of course. so you're going to tax those people, guess what's going to happen. they're not going to expand the business. you got it. the personal capital gains tax will increase to 20% and 10% from 15% and 5%. and the child tax will decrease. so the standard deduction for couples, all these things, more and more tax increases if congress -- is that it? oh, no. no. there are more tax increases too if congress, 2012, adoption of a tax credit will decrease from $13,000 to $5,000. the credit for electric drive motorcycles, plug-in electric vehicles will expire. is this the right direction? no. of course it's not the right direction. what we're doing is we're doing precisely what you would do if you're trying to crash the economy. now let's talk a little bit, i don't have charts on this. i want to talk a little bit
about what's happening on the spending side. is it because there are just so many demands on the federal government that we just have to just keep spending money on all these things? is it that the federal government is getting so expensive? well, let's take a look if you go back to president bush. he was criticized for spending and the republicans who were with him, myself included, were criticized for spending too much money. and you know what, that criticism was just. we spent too much money. in 2008, that was the worst year in terms of bush spending too much money. he had a deficit that year of about $450 billion. that's too much deficit. as you take a look at a that, you say, by goly, i don't know how much $450 billion is. that's a little outside of my normal family budget. one way to look at it is as a percent of our overall gross domestic product.
and the g.d.p. and that's 3.1%. about common for a lot of presidents in various years to have a deficit at about 3% or so. that's not uncommon. and that was his worst year, 2008, under a pelosi congress. so the democrats were running this institution, yet president bush and the white house, worst deficit. what happened in 2009? that deficit under president obama went from $450 billion to $1.4 trillion. that is more than three times bush's worst deficit spending. in 2009. so how does that relate to gross domestic product? well, instead of 3.1%, it jumped up to 9.9% of gross domestic product. that's the highest level of deficit since world war ii.
that was 2010. what do you think 2011 is going to be like? you've got it right. 2011 is worse. it takes it other 10% of g.d.p. so we're spending tons of money. that's part of the reason for these tax increases, but the tax increases aren't beginning to take db to be able to keep up with our high level of federal spending. so what you've got now is when the federal government spends $1, 41 cents of that dollar they're spending is borrowed money. it's not the federal dollar. so they spend $1, but 41% of it is boar reed. what would happen if the american family ran its budget that way? that you could go out and spend $1, but you didn't have $1, you only had 59 cents. that's -- i just can't imagine us putting ourselves into that kind of situation system of a
whole lot of americans, not necessarily just republicans, there's a whole lot of americans saying, this has got to stop. this is not the way to run a company. the president said something truthful here. he said something truthful he said the true engine of job creation in this country will be america's businesses, but government can create the conditions necessary for business to expand and hire workers. what he forgot to add was, governments can also create conditions to put people in the poorhouse, drive every job out of this country and put america's finances in a horrible mess. we can also do that. and that's what we're doing. it's time for people to start pulling the alarm button and saying, enough of this stuff. i'm joined by my good friend congressman gohmert of texas. i hope you'll rescue me, i'm starting to get a little hot under the collar. mr. gohmert: i appreciate the gentleman yielding.
the other alternative of getting hot under the collar is just to have your heart broken. and after this health care bill passed, part of it is anger, when you go through and read these provisions like i'm afraid so many people did not do. you know the impact it's going to have. and, you know, aarp got their deal negotiated, you find that in different places, the big pharmaceuticals got their deal negotiated, the insurance companies got something in there in a number of places. you just see it and you say, who in the world was negotiating for the people of america? everybody else was getting their deals, unions got their deals, but when you went through this, you knew who it was going to hurt. on the one hand we had people across the aisle saying they're going to help the working poor.
if you read the bill, knew what it was going to do. you can't increase that amount of taxes just as my friend from missouri was talking about, you can't increase taxes like that and not cause some people to lose jobs. or have their income cut. or have their salaries cut which means cut income. people that were going to be laid off, i talked to other people who say because that passed they are winding down their business. and their people will be out of work at the end. it will take probably a year and a half. one fella was telling me this weekend. so you know people are losing their jobs and how devastated that is to lose injure job -- your job, a career is gone. because somebody got overzealous here and passed bills with increased taxes. the working point -- the working poor didn't get the help they
were looking for. if you make 133% or less of the poverty level, oh, yeah, those were the people they were going torrell help with this, they're going to get ultimately shoved into medicaid that so many doctors aren't even taking anymore. walgreen's doesn't want to take any more prescriptions. that's not going to help the people in america. it doesn't help them to lose their jobs. it just is heartbreaking to see what is happening to people now. because of this poorly conceived health care bill. i yield back to my friend. mr. akin: you know, sometimes we use words and you're talking about being heart broken because you can connect the policy with how it's going to hurt people. mr. gohmert: already has hurt them. mr. akin: sometimes you say people losing jobs and sometimes i think it's helpful to put a picture in your mind. and when i think about losing
jobs, i think of -- and maybe this is one of my worst fears. i picture a house and a family that's not in the house and a big sofa sitting on a sidewalk next to a garbage can for all of the possessions of this family has been dumped out of the house because they cannot live there anymore. and that's what happens when you don't have a job. you know, as a guy i grew up in the era where the guy makes the income and provides for his family. that's what our job is to do. and i think there's a lot of americans, a lot of american men that are real american and they care about their family and they carry that pressure quietly. they don't complain about it but in the back of their mind they're thinking about, someday i might not have a job and i don't ever want to get in a position where i'm sitting on that sofa on a sidewalk with my family saying, where are we
going to go next? and a lot of people feel that pressure and what we're doing is we're basically dumping people out of their homes. and how do you call it -- another thing i don't get is how do you call it compassion to give a family a loan that they can't afford to pay for a house and then they get kicked out of their house? i'm hearing liberals saying they're compassionate. there isn't anything compassionate about that, it seems to me. we're destroying the economy through bad economics and the thing beer seeing is -- thing we're seeing is, when you destroy the quality of health care you're talking about people dying. and that's the reason why this is so frustrating. i yield to my friend from texas. mr. gohmert: you're exactly right. the last person i heard from is a woman who's losing her job. it's heartbreaking because there was no need for these people to lose their jobs. had over four million people
lose their jobs since the so-called stimulus was passed and now you're going to -- we passed a health care bill and under the guise of ensuring 30 million more, you know -- insuring 30 million more, you know, i'm hearing now this past week, this past weekend, people, they've been told that because ultimately the boss is going to have a choice between $2,000 per employee or paying for the cadillac health care that the government's going to provide or require rather, they're going to drop the health insurance. so it seems pretty clear, there's going to be a lot more than 30 million people that lose their insurance because of the added taxes that are put in here. oh, and i love the provision dubbed by helping the working poor.
if you are not able to afford the level of insurance required by this bill and by the federal government then, and i guess that's the 15 people that are on this board that's going to make all these great determinations for everybody's health care that the president will appoint, but if you can't afford that level of insurance then we're going to help you. we're going to tax you an additional 2.5% on your income. an additional income tax for the working poor that can't -- and as i had somebody tell me two days ago, if i could afford the insurance i'd buy it. i can't. now i'm going to get hit with an extra income tax on top of that? because people are finding out, employers are finding out, they're either going to let people go, cut their salaries, cut back the work force. it's just so unnecessary and yet
this thing got rammed through and real people are now hurting because of the thoughtlessness of this congress. mr. akin: you know, the thing that was interesting to me about december of last year, there's a guy who is one cool businessman. he's a c.e.o. of emerson electric which is not a big household name to a lot of people but emerson is a gigantic manufacturing company. headquartered in st. louis and with operations in countries all over the globe. and this guy, a little bit, i won't say it was a rant, but he was fired up. he said, look, i think i know something about job creation and he went back over the record of that company and all of the jobs that had been created and how profitable they were and what they were doing in manufacturing, they have all kinds of, you know, really high-tech kinds of things like the electronic controls that
control different businesses and huge complicated process industry and things like that, a lot of very sophisticated stuff and they have all of these jobs they've created through all these years. so this guy is c.e.o. of this place. he's come up through the ranks, he's an engineer. he knows what it takes to make a company work. he says, i'll tell you what, with what's being done in this country, i can guarantee you, we won't be creating jobs in america, we'll create jobs, we're going to create them in foreign countries because the foreign countries aren't doing this crazy stuff and we can put the jobs there and make a decent profit. but essentially what he's saying is the u.s. government is forcing us not to make jobs and to do all our job creation overseas. that's a tragedy. that's a tragedy. and he was shook up about it. he was upset about it. because he's an american. he loves his country. he wants the jobs to stay here. but, no, we're going to do this
socialized medicine gig which has never worked in any country in the world. at a minimum we could learn from the former soviet union. they had the theory that the government should provide you a job and health care and an education and food and a place to live. yeah. that's what their theory was. it didn't work wort a crud. and the soviet union -- work worth a crud. and the soviet union collapsed. so what are we doing? the government is going to provide you now with education and food and housing and health care, of course. yeah. i yield. mr. gohmert: and of course we know where that all led. ultimately it led to the soviet union borrowing money, printing money as fast as they could, and then ultimately coming to the day of reckoning when they realized, we can't borrow enough, we can't print enough and they have to announce, we're out of business as a country,
all of these states that made up the ussr, they're on their own. we're out of business. we can't borrow enough, we can't print enough. and you know another tragedy out of this health care bill, not in terms of human suffering, but still a tragedy, was the media and the light that was cast on the media through this bill. because you think back through years both democratic presidents and republican presidents, i don't recall in my lifetime the media being so oblivious to truth. i can't imagine under george w. bush, bill clinton, george h.w. bush, ronald reagan, carter, ford, nixon, going on back, i can't imagine the media ever allowing any governmental entity to stand up and say, we are
going to save 1.-- $1.3 trillion with this bill starting 11 years from now. and going 20 years from now. obviously for the next 10 years we're going to cut medicare $500 billion and we're going to raise taxes by $500 billion. we're going to do this for 10 years and then that will pay for six years of health care and the mainstream media didn't utter a whimper. i just can't imagine the media letting that go without saying, excuse me, did you say it won't start saving money until 11 years from now? when you're gone and out of office. but this is what we've come to. the media just let it go. mr. akin: the thing that got me was, think of the logic, they have to come up with a bill and they want to come underneath $1 trillion. so how do they do it? what they do is they say, we're going to tax people over 10 years, but we're only going to
start the benefits of the bill four years into that, so in other words we're only going to do benefits for six years, but we're going to taxer to 10 years and -- tax for 10 years and therefore it comes out to be less than $1 trillion. it such bizarre math, it's laughable. you know, if you said, i'm going to start a lemonade stand and the first four years i'm going to collect money for lemonade and then i'll start giving people lemonade at the end of the fourth year in order to make this thing come out, people would say, you're crazy, you know? they'd say, this is bizarre. i don't know why -- the other deal that was cut for the insurance companies, i mean, i just can't imagine why that didn't get more attention, you know, you're a doctor and i'm a sick patient and you and i talk together about the fact, todd, you need to get your appendix out or something like that, and an insurance company comes in and they're going to second guess it. well, if you make the wrong decision, you get sued, as the
doctor. but now here's a deal, you can make a decision, i make a decision, the insurance company comes in and says, oh, you don't need your appendix out and i drop dead and my wife says, well, the insurance company made a medical decision, they said he shouldn't get his appendix out, i want to sue the insurance company, check the fine print, can't sue them. you can sue your doctor, but whether the insurance company makes a -- when the insurance company makes a health care decision, they have no liability whatsoever. now, why would the national media not pick up on something like that? we ought to talk about something cheerful. we've only got a couple more minutes to go. one thing that's cheerful to me to think about is repealing this piece of junk. that's what -- that would make me happy. if we could repeal this piece of junk and we could go into health care and systemically fix the things that need to be fixed. that would be a very positive thing and it would put the economy on track. i yield to my friend. mr. gohmert: just very quickly, not only should we repeal it
completely, but all these wonderful alternatives we have ought to be in the same bill. not only are we ripping out this bad bill, but here, fixes the system. we got those bills, we just couldn't get them to the floor. mr. akin: you had some of those bills the and hat off to you because in spite of the fact that the president said we didn't have any bills and later on he claimed that he'd read all of our bills which seems hard to -- mr. gohmert: if i might, c.b.o. sat on them since last summer and wouldn't even give as you score. shame on them. mr. akin: yeah. well, you had a number of the bills and, mr. speaker, i thank you for allowing us to just talk about unemployment and what's going on with the economy. the speaker pro tempore: under the speaker's announced policy of january 6, 2009, the gentleman from new york, mr. tonko, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the majority leader. mr. tonko: thank you, mr. speaker. this evening we're going to be
speaking about those advancements in public policy terms that allow us to go forward with a very meaningful agenda, to continually responds as an american public to the dynamics of earth day. . it is hard to imagine that it takes us back to 1970 when we first ushered in earth day. a time when americans were working to focus on the stewardship that is our responsibility to grow a stronger environment, a better environmental response, to enable us to improve outcomes out there, outcomes such as the air that we breathe. obviously as stewards of the environment we have the responsibility, yes, to enhance the outcome in the present but it also much more relevantly speaks to what we will do for
future generations. . . efforts on improving the quality of air we breathe and efforts to improve the water that we drink are two of those driving forces that have ushered in this celebration annually of earth day, where we recommit each and every year to continue the efforts to grow the progressive agenda. and four decades later-plus, we know that the climate crisis that gripped this nation are real. we know that the efforts toll address our planet in peril are absolutely critical. and that we have experienced now the challenges that behoove us to move forward as a nation and a world to respond to not only
those challenges but to see it also as opportunities waiting out there for all of us, because as we'll discuss in the ensuing hour, there are those benefits that come with embracing this clean energy economy, this clean energy thinking, the gene energy thinking, that will -- green energy thinking, that will allow us to shape the job market of the future and requires us to prepare the skillsets that will be required and establish jobs not yet appearing on the radar that will enable us to move forward with this innovation economy that will, i think, speak to energy security for us as americans to energy independence, and therefore to national security, which is a looming dynamic out there that often dimes is not discussed. so, mr. speaker, with your
permission, we are going to talk about some of those things that really were embraced, those items embraced by democratic leadership. democratic leadership on this house and the hill in washington and now in the white house with the new administration, speaking to the empowerment that can come to this nation yes, with the results that can be achieved, but also with the corresponding opportunities that are packaged into the outcomes that we will enjoy. our country has been moving in a new direction i believe in the last couple of years, understanding that there are a number of benefits that can come to all of us, all sectors of this country. and there are ways to speak to middle-income americans, working families from coast to coast, in a way that provides positive change for them at home, issues that allow us to launch this clean energy economy that will create millions of jobs
associated with that sort of thinking. these are jobs that i would possible it, will not be out-- posit, will not be outsourced, be here in the united states, again be the masters of our destiny, that will allow us to be the architects of new efforts of enduesing all sorts of beneficial -- inducing all sorts of been official programs that will allow us to showcase the american pine near spirit. i represent a district in upstate new york that was the birth place to the westward movement. my district houses the confluence of two historic water channels, the mohawk river and the hudson river and the confluence of those two rivers is the edge of that westward
movement that created new york city and then gave birth to communities that then became the centers of invention and innovation that created the pathway to a westward movement that developed not only new york as a state but the entire country as a nation and then impacted with its discoveries the quality of life of people around the world. that same pioneer spirit that drove the industrial revolution and that drove the energy revolution can be that inspiration that allows us to move forward in a way that -- creates the green revolution that represents the spirit of earth day that as i said started four decades ago, over 40 years ago when the first celebration occurred. we also, in embracing this sort
of agenda, will enable us to lower energy costs for american businesses and american house holds. people have learned through these very difficult economic times that we need to be able to control those costs. we'll talk a bit tonight, i imagine, about a smart grid, smart meters, smart thermostat,, all of which put control and provide opportunity for america's large consumers, big and small households. all of us. lowering those energy costs, which sometimes can be a very significant price to pay. they can be a significant wedge of a business, pie chart, for cost of that particular business or a particular industry. and it also can be a very
painful and growing wedge of the household pie chart for their finances, especially for some of our lower income families, working families, that when impacted with these growing energy costs are paying more and more of their household income, diss proportionately represented for their households, compared to other households that may be living in situations that don't extract as much pain, require as much pain for those energy costs in other families. with this agenda of progress, will allow us to reduce that growing dependence on foreign imports, fossil-based fuels, that are still a heavy reliance, that dependence on foreign oil that oftentimes is associated
with unstable, yes, but more critically, unfriendly nations to american -- america as a country and certainly leaders of our country that have had difficult times with those unfriendly nations. we continue to move forward with this dependency on that foreign import of oil. and then finally, the opportunity to speak in meaningful measure about reducing our carbon pollution that is now causing climate change, global warming, that increasing carbon footprint that threatens the nation's environment and the global environment. so these benefits that can be realized simply through eninvestment of resources, through the development of public policy, through the resolve of taking on an agenda that can grow a positive outcome
and provide an optimistic flavor for all of us in this nation are doable items and should be committed to with a strong sense of resolve as we celebrate earth day tomorrow on april 22, across this country. americans cannot afford, mr. speaker, to return to some of the failed policies of the past, where people have associated a partnership as a tradition with big oil. big oil has been demanding of us to continually send those billions of dollars that i made mention of, overseas for foreign oil. it's putting dictators, who perhaps tolerate terrorism or more dreadfully, engineer that terrorism in ways that put them in charge of our energy supplies. that should be a no-brainer. that should be a challenge to
all of us to escape the woes of that sort of dependency and enable us to be in charge of our energy decisions and energy resources and supplies. also, we are lavishing those subsidies on oil companies who have been earning continually throughout -- especially in recent history, record profits, record profits that should behoove us to reformulate our thinking and move us forward in a way that doesn't have us furthering our dependence on foreign imports of oil, but rather escaping the crippling impact that this expensive and dirty and dangerous 19th century thinking as it relates to fuel sources continues to bear on the outcomes for so many americans. so i believe on earth day, we should step back, recommit as we
move forward, to go forward with this green thinking, this greener thinking of outcomes that can be very real in our lives here as americans and one that enables us to commit with a degree of passion, a high degree of passion to r&d, research and development, basic reserve, universities, private sector, to continue to build upon those active qualities that can be reached to in terms of energy efficiency issues, in terms of retrofits for homes and businesses that enable us to look at not just the supply side of the equation but to reach over to the other side, the demand outcome and the demand side of the equation is one that can find us prospering simply by
addressing a reduction in the amount of energy supplies that we utilize. energy supplies that are meaningful and energy supplies that should be seen accompanied by a strong commitment, a resolve, to address energy efficiencies as a fuel of choice. that energy efficiency outcome should be a high priority of fuels to which we reach. it should be seen as that quantity out there, that commodity that is mined and drilled just as we actively mine for coal and drill for oil. and we should do the mining and drilling operation with energy efficiency, our fuel of choice, to reduce that mountain of electric trons that is dependent upon. we can deal with that by moving forward with opportunities in research and development and
certainly in practical outlay of resources where we measure up by retrofitting our businesses, our communities, our households with energy efficiency. let me speak to some practical measures that are very much akin to the 21st congressional district that i represent in upstate new york. while i served in the state legislature for many years, for 25 years, just shy of 25 years in the new york state assembly, served as energy chair for the last 15 years, we have put together some experiments that would provide for a greener thinking of energy policy. what we had done in our efforts was to, for example, work with threatened economies, the ag economy. i happen to represent a number of agricultural-related
industries and businesses within upstate new york. excuse me. chief amongst them was the dairy sector, a sector that till this day is always threatened by an inappropriate response for the pricing mechanism that is required to enable our dairy farmers to be justly responded to for the hard work, 24/7, that they do at their business oftentimes family-business related that brings food to the table. in order to respond to that agenda where their cost of production were not met by the price of milk that was delivered to them for the produce, for the product they delivered to the market, we set upon a course, an agenda to respond in favorable and sensible measure to our dairy farmers. we put together a commitment with the partnership with energy
service companies with the new york state development and energy authority, with farm organizations, local utilities and the state of the of new york that it would apply towards this experiment. we were able to reach out to the farming community and we got two volunteer farms to enter into a demonstration project. and here they are dealing with milk as a commodity that is a perishable product that is highly regulated and deals with the pumping and cooling process, that deals with many energies issues that are unique. they can't go off-peak. milking process is one governed by nature, not by human decision to go on-peak and off-peak. we addressed their concerns.
came forward with with a retrofit that representsed reduction in the amount of energy supplies that were required at that farm without addressing the tariff rate that they were charged, simply by reducing the amount of electrons required, we were able to reduce their cost of production significantly simply by energy terms. that is one small example in one sector of one important industry in upstate new york, throughout new york state and a meaningful, meaningful industry because they are dealing with nutritional needs and placing those nutrition needs on on on on on the -- onto the dinner tables of this country. . that is inspiration to all of us
and certainly for just the dairy sector it was inspiration to then reach out and do much of a larger program with time where we dealt with about 70 farms that were equally surprised with their outcomes that came with energy efficiency prailings -- operations that enabled us to have a much stronger outcome. the response of that the result of all of that is -- the response of that, the result of all that is now people are expanding through the public service commission some greater opportunities that perhaps would allow for statewide programs to take hold. the point of mentioning this, mr. speaker, is that we have it within our grasp, we certainly have it within our intellectual, to make these -- intellect, to make these sorts of success stories more and more relevant, more and more visible and more and more numerous across the industry types and business types of our state and our country. i think it's important for us to
see that as an investment that is very sound. we need, no matter what the supply mix, no matter where the power and how the power's generated and hopefully we move toward an american self sufficiency, growing self -- self-sufficiency, growing self-sufficiency, no matter what that mix, we need to be less glutinous in the usage. i think we can, i think we will and it takes that resolve to move forward and provide the incentives, provide the focus, provide the terms of legislation that will take us to that new era of innovation within the energy cycle. in 2009 this very house was a leader as it passed clean energy jobs legislation. that reduced at the same time carbon emissions in this country. the carbon emissions that would be reduced by some 17% by the year 020.
a significant amount of im-- 2020. a significant amount of improvement there, keeping america number one in terms of making our country a world leader in new energy technologies. a new leader in making certain that we preserve our american manufacturing base -- base. while protecting consumers. and i think some of the multifaceted qualities of the outcomes of the driving forces to do a number of these formats for reform sometimes are underestimated and not clearly communicated to the consuming public. to those around this country who are looking for job creation, especially as we recover from this very long and deep and painful recession. it is important for us to be the masters of this comeback of the american economy. the way we do it and do it best is to make certain that we advance the notions of
progressive reforms that will enable us to create jobs not yet as i made mention on the radar and put together a responsiveness to the energy needs of people of this country. through the recovery act of 2009, much talked about, often times much focused on and perhaps misinforming what really happened, our nation made in that recovery act an historic, an historic investment in job creation, investments that would lead to a clean, more vibrant energy future and it's estimated that we can create with those dollars more than 700,000 jobs. nearly doubling our renewable efforts here in this country for electricity and saving consumers on an ongoing annual basis. making certain that operating costs at home, operating costs at businesses and industries,
are reduced simply by putting together a solidness of mix of energy opportunities within that recovery act of 2009. again, if we're moving with smart grids, smart meters, smart thermostats, better controlled destiny and more architected opportunity to be creative in our usage, to look off-peak and to move to issues like advanced battery manufacturing which is lynch pin to taking us to a new era of energy, we can do it. it takes leadership, it takes focus, it takes incentives that take us down this new pathway that is greener than the past and in a way that looks in a new direction, that really embraces what still happens in this country. we are robust in our patent development. we are strong in our higher ed investments. we are strong in our incubator programs, in our r&d
opportunities. we need simply to then deploy those success stories that have been prototyped and tested and then advanced somehow -- advance somehow an agenda that partners with the angel network and with the venture capital community, the success stories that can then be translated through deployment into the commercialization networks, the business creation that is essential that then translates to the outpouring of jobs that are then available to americans as we securityize that effort, as we grow -- securitize that effort, as we grow our energy independence and grow our security as not only consumers but generators of the energy supplies that we require. in 2009 this house also passed the clean energy jobs legislation that reduced those carbon emissions, as i said, by some 17%. but also in 2007, before my time here, because i entered in this
past term as a freshman, congress enacted a landmark energy law that would increase vehicle fuel efficiency for the first time in more than three decades. so that the outcome would be 35 miles per gallon, a much more efficient outcome for the industry in this country. and that threshold year of 2020 would be the benchmark. so that by 2020 we would be achieving 35 miles per gallon, a very much increased and improved upon measurement for fuel efficiency in our auto fleets in this country. these are actions that respond to and underscore the historic commitment to a clean, homegrown american agenda. and i think that those biofuels that we've embraced through renewables, with wind and solar, the efforts of geothermal as energy supplies and advanced
vehicle technology are just the beginning of progress, the exploration of new frontiers, new pioneer efforts to take us to this new realm of energy creation and energy responsiveness. i think that with the american clean energy and security act of 2009, it was a landmark opportunity for us to now debate in this house the merits of moving forward with an investment in greener thinking. the historic legislation to launch a new and clean energy economy holds great potential. these again are jobs that will not be offshore. they will not be outsore so -- outsourced. we will be working to create 1.7 million american jobs with this measure and would help to reduce, again, that dangerous dependence on foreign supplies.
so much so that we reduce that dangerous dependence on foreign oil by some five million barrels per day, keeping energy costs low for americans and protecting again american consumers from the ravages of cost and price controls that have gone beyond their pocketbook. the impact of all of this is done without any increase to the deficit, which i believe is a very strong outcome for all of us. you know, we talk about the advancements, we talk about scientists, we talk about technology and engineering. it is important for all of us to understand that there's great potential here in growing the jobs as we address the progressive agenda. and there are those who have led the discussion, led the debate because of their experience as scientists, as those who have
been there, they understand the value added of these technical related fields and professions. they know the potential, they know the commitment, they know the passion that these professionals embrace to change our thinking, to bring to us a newer, higher realm of outcome that is within our grasp. we have seen it through the decades, we have seen it in a way that has inspired progress for the entire world, well beyond the boundaries of this country. we need to bring back that sort of commitment, that sort of encouragement that enabled all of to us work -- enables all of us to work together as a society. one of those outspoken voices, speaking with a fullness, with a depth, comes from scientists like rush holt, representative holt who represents a congressional district in new jersey. and it has been his passion, it has been his advocacy as we
dealt with situations, with policy like aces, the american clean energy and security act, issues like the american recovery and reinvestment act, which again did historically large down payment to take us to this new thinking. it's been people like representative rush holt that have delivered and brought to us this discussion and have forged a positive outcome. and tonight we're pleased to be joined by representative holt as he adds his voice to tonight's discussion, celebrating earth day tomorrow in a way that takes us to this green energy economy, this innovation economy. representative holt, it's great to have you join us. mr. holt: well, i thank my friend from new york. if he would yield, i'd be pleased to contribute to -- mr. tonko: i'd be most happy to yield. mr. holt: remembering 40 years ago, you and i are old enough to remember when tens of millions of americans joined together in
what was at the time a very visionary, a very visionary day, earth day. where wisconsin senator gaylord nelson, drawing from wisconsin's own leopold, who had developed an ethic of the land, and he said that earth day is a -- is dramatic evidence of a broad new national concern that cuts across generations and ideologies. our goal is not just an environment of clean air and water and scenic beauty. the object is an environment of decency, quality and mutual respect for other human beings and lifpking creatures. it was really very visionary, but what resulted from that were specific bills, solid legislation, that have -- that -- these bills that have moved the country along. so it is not just soft headed,
warm hearted embracing of the wilderness, it was a scientific engineering expertise brought to cleaning up the land and water and since earth day in 1970, laws have been passed such as the national environmental protection act, the clean air act, the endangered species act, to mention a few. and earth day is no longer just a day. this ethic has been taken to heart and we continue to move along with the solid science-based efforts to preserve our environment. now, certainly the number one insult to planet earth is the way we produce and use energy. and my friend from new york has been talking about not only the
costs, the costs facing us, which are in dollars and lives, in not -- if we do not confront the problems created by the way we produce and use energy. . it is not just the average rise in temperature or a few inches or few feet, tropical diseases appearing where they haven't appeared before. and we see that happening now. and it is not just that we lose the scene erie of glaciers in the mountains, but we lose groundwater, we lose habitat for those things that we depend on
for our well-being. we need comprehensive energy reform to stop using dirty fuels. it is fortunate that the efforts to deal with the dirty fuels could also relieve our trade imbalanceance, could also contribute to our -- imbalance, could also contribute to our less dependence on fossil fuels and could not only save us money but make us money. mr. tonko: if you would yield. just recently, you triggered a thought, just recently my district hosted the only stop in new york state of the operation-free tour. as you know it is a bus tourl being conducted by veterans for american power and they are
doing a coast-to-coast tour and it was so impressive. we inviet vited veterans from world war ii, korean war, vietnam conflict and up to the present day and they have committed uniform and fought on foreign soils in defense of this nation. and very impressive, very impressive visits by these folks. at our stop in new york, they had three supposepersons. one veteran from the state of arkansas, who has done two tours as a marine of duty in iraq. and spoke to the crowd. we had a veteran from the state of wisconsin. she drove truck with the army in iraq. and then finally a veteran from the state of new hampshire, who
as an army officer did a tour of duty in iraq and a tour of duty in afghanistan and now at yale law school. each of these veterans spoke of the wisdom, no-brainer as we might call it, of moving to energy independence for americans, energy security. they witnessed the outright destruction of troops, the threats to the troops, the supreme sacrifice made simply by forcing the taliban that they believe are fed by the treasuries of these unfriendly nations to which we feed over $400 billion a year, unstable, but more importantly unfriendly governments to the u.s., using those dollars to work against our operations for freedom-loving people around the world. and they also spoke to -- and
it's what your comments triggered. they spoke to the concerns for global warming, climate change and they said this is an issue of national security. beyond our domestic programming for energy security, energy independence, it's a national security issue, because what they believe is happening is with drought, flouds, famine, you are creating the perfect storm that finds people weakened by famine and less competition, it's a breeding ground for terrorist activity. and the veterans who were there, many of them who fought in the second world war and said what an interesting way to approach the issue and they were impacted by the thought process that was inspired by each of these three veterans, recent veterans to the
honor roll of american history. these two men and one woman spoke in very relevant terms about what our energy policy can mean to our troops and to the goals of our military into the future. and it just makes so much sense from a national security, energy independence, energy security concept and perspective if we move forward with clean energy thinking and innovation economy that can be inspired by that thinking. and i think that their comments were very relevant to today's eastbound of celebration of earth day. mr. holt: as my friend points out, the way we are producing and using energy not only costs lives and dollars through the climate change, but it exascerbates our security
problem. and by addressing the energy problems, we will, indeed, increase our national security, saving lives and if we make a commitment to investing in reliable energy solutions for the united states, the united states, the historic leader in innovation in the world, the country whose economy has been built on invention and innovation consider lead the world and benefit economically big time through the -- addressing these energy problems, through new clean, sustainable energy, starting first with the low-hanging fruit of efficiency of wind and geothermal and other readily available sources, moving on to
things, some of which are not developed, but with the american powers of innovation, we can master these things and sell them to the rest of the world. so the advantages in addressing the energy problem are not just an arhode islanding catastrophe, it is -- an avoiding catastrophe, it is to have an economic and positive futetur. waste is never good economics. and the united states' attitude towards energy is -- there is a lot of low-hanging fruit to be gained and money to be saved that way and then a lot of money to be earned through innovative solutions to the problem. mr. tonko: i certainly think this move to innovation, which can be a job growth factor, if
that is being denied because of an association of partnership with big oil industries out there as an industry with big oil companies, then that is a detrimental outcome. that is one that really needs to be exposed for what it is, to continue with tradition, to continue with that comfortable cozy relationship, to be able to do the subsidies and power those traditional sources in a way that has been advocated because there are friendships out there. people enjoy that partnership continuing, that needs to be -- that needs to be refocused and brought to the attention of the american public to the consuming public. and i think the innovation that can be inspired here and it's part of the value a added that i believe you bring to this house, representative holt.
i have been with you in many discussions and i enjoy your passionate plea to invest in research and development, basic research. you're absolutely right. when we do that, we need to see r&d investments relative to economic development and job growth. they aren't just made from investments, but developing sound jobs and good paying outcomes. and you talk about the innovation. one of the impacts out there of the american recovery and reinvestment act, one of the stalwart efforts with r&d investments is to look at the battery as the linchpin and takes us to that new era and we have seen many of these opportunities, investments made over the last couple of months through the recovery act into the lithium ion advanced battery production and the concept of
some of the sodium-based. in my area in ge, these are the cornerstone, the building block to the future if we develop that mastery of innovation in the battery concept, we then unleash untold stories of success in the energy-related areas. >> the lithium-ion battery is a good example. in the bill known as the stimulus bill, there is a significant investment infer development and manufacturing for lithium-ion batteries and we are well on our way to capturing a third or more of the world market in producing these lithium batteries, where previously we had a small tiny
percent of the production. and so it shows that with the commitment, we really can move ahead. we really can earn a large part of the world market. that's just one example. we can do the same thing in building technologies and do the same thing in transportation technology. we can do the same thing in electricity generation and on and on and on. in fact, we have led the world in technologies for electricity generation, whether it be nuclear or combined cycle turbines. but that is now based on an unsustainable fossil-fuel model, the way we have developed electricity generation in the united states. mr. tonko: there is such a
couming here. if we can -- coupling here. if we can focus that the majority embraces, pushes the way of small businesses. so many of these entrepreneurial efforts, the innovation that is drive yench by these whiz-kid ideas are inspired by prototyping and need to commit to deploying these to the commercial efforts. we were involved in a demonstration of kinetic hydro and developing the river to create energy with the movement of water and relying on the tur but lens. we disassembled that demo and sent it to the labs in colorado and found out that the blade design, the fin design, the gear
box, made those improvements and now there is expectation that perhaps 1,100 megawhat thes of power can be developed through water. these are opportunities that are growing jobs out there and can respond in much more environmentally friendly outcomes for our energy needs and energy needs around the world and the pioneer spirit should not be denied. our thinking is far removed from that partnership that was, i think, hurtful to us where we are relying on the oil industries. this majority has said, look, let's make that break and go into a new energy arena. and look at newsweek and "business week," they are talking about the wonderful growth because of the recovery act and the stimulus bill that you talked of. that is providing a lot of
reform for growth, change and recovery and at the same time, we are responding to the needs of our energy and environment and that needs to be recognized on the eastbound of this earth day and we can -- eve of this earth day and we can take encouragement and as a scientist and committee gear we can -- and engineer, we can continue to push with batteries. and i think you want to share something. mr. holt: i wan to talk about another aspect of earth day. over the years now, the same level of hard-headed analysis that we are beginning to bring to the energy problem has been brought to ecology, the relationship between life forms and the environment and earth day is not only about protecting
the planet's atmosphere. one of the lessons of the last 40 or 50 years now is that we are a seamless web and that protection of wildlife is not just fores thetics or humane -- aesthetics. it is protecting the whole environment. it is important for human quality of life as well. and i wanted to talk about wildlife because today i introduced legislation with my colleague and former sustainable energy coalition member polis. this will create and protect wildlife corridors.
they are connected strips of land that -- in which a wide range of animals can migrate, can propagate, one professor called it sidewalks for animals. they are necessary for every state. and as we have paved america and dissected and cut it up with roads, we found that we moved wildlife into smaller and smaller spaces where it is now unsustainable. so these corridors will help support the economy of hunting and wildlife watching but it will also keep the web of life intact. fment.
. our bill would provide grants to federal agencies, state and local governments, nonprofits and corporations, for creating these essential wildlife corridors. and the department of agriculture, the department of the interior, the department of transportation are all part of this. and dozens and dozens of organizations that study and that advocate for environmental protection have endorsed this. i commend it to my colleagues and i hope we can move along with that so that it will be law by next earth day. mr. tonko: i think the interesting, as you pointed out this whole earth day celebration covers a multitude of needs, but a multitude of opportunities that transcends a number of -- just -- travels over so many dynamics out there.
from agriculture to wildlife to the ecosystem to water supplies, water usage, air quality, environment, energy requirements and needs. and all of that brought into a exillation of a bigger picture, a -- compilation, a bigger -- of a bigger picture that enables us to have these measured outcomes, all while creating job opportunities and developing a strategy that places the environment in the hands of next generations in a much better outcome than we inherited. and that is acting with responsibility. it's acting with tremendous engagement, in issues that are so co-related and so important to the outcomes here. not just in these united states but around the world. and as a leader in the world i think it's important for us to show by example and to teach by
this sort of flavor and provide the inspiration that will lead to progress around the world. you know, you talk about the impacts that are made with the wildlife and with the ecosystem that you just described, with perhaps a threatening situation out there had, with growing -- with lesser area of space available. the same is true in our ag economy, when we look at opportunities that need to respond to agscape around the country. we need to be able to partner with our friends in agriculture that enables them to deal with their concerns in a way that is transitioned into an opportunity. and just recently we announced in the last several months the opportunity for yet another grant that is going to part of the state university of new york system and they're an ag and tech campus. they're working on a biowaste to bioenergy project that will enable them to create a fuel
source and enable us to keep our water streams cleaner, reduce our dependency on landfills and enable us to go forward and respond to an energy supply in terms of a newly formulated gas that is part and parcel to this. they start talking about what this demo means to the outcome and where you can overlay this opportunity on several municipalities out there and there's absolutely opportunity for our troops. when you look at how you're developing this fuel supply, you can avoid transportation through war zones, that is very, very dangerous. i mean, in talking to this veteran who was part of operation free, who traveled to my district to speak on behalf of veterans for american power, she spoke of the danger zone when she drove truck through some of these enemy territories that are responded to with situations like this, with new developments that come our way. so there are ample and -- ample needs that are addressed simply
in very academic terms that are science and tech application. i serve on the science and technology committee, it's a wonderful assignment, to be able to witness day in and day out what is happening to the auspices of that committee in a way that builds progress based on the investment and research. and that r&d opportunity for this country, the willingness for us to produce those investments that then translate into success stories that then further translate into business opportunities and job growth are what it's all about. and it's a recommitment to that agenda on this eve of earth day that i think is so essential and so much a framework of what's driving this majority in the house of representatives to build that new day, that new outcome and working with the new administration to take what was placed on the back burner, when you think of that recovery act, when you think of what was taken from that back burner in terms
of smart grids, smart thermostats, small meters, investments in renewables and r&d, in battery development, in energy efficiency opportunities, along with broadband for our communities and wiring for a new day for our neighborhoods that are perhaps distressed and for areas that are very remote or very rural. these are ample opportunities that should have been embraced a long time ago. but we're breaking away from some of that dependency on those big industries that were the tail wagging the dog and allowing us to step up. mr. holt: and we call these green because they're sustainable. mr. tonko: exactly. mr. holt: stripping the environment without replenishment is not sustainable. ultimately we will fail, we will perish. if that's the way we're going to approach our globe, we must -- we must do it differently if we're going to prevail. and with earth day 30 years ago,
now 40 years ago -- mr. tonko: goes by quickly. mr. holt: we had that vision. we had that vision of a sustainable earth and a number of things have followed. now the time to really regenerate that vision and in all of these areas of energy, of agriculture, of transportation, of wildlife management, of oceanography. we need to bring the hard science to bear in ways that -- to make our use and our place on the planet sustainable. that's part of the name of this caucus we have here, the sustainable energy and environmental caucus. because, as i said before, waste
is never good economics. and stripping things without replenishment will only leave us with a bare earth. mr. tonko: both you and i have seen the merit that's brought for the to provide that green outspokenness and to work with our partners in government, to make certain that we respond to their perhaps district concerns or some of the efforts of folks to hold your back, talk through it and policy through it. we're visited today also by one of the co-chairs of that awesome coalition, mr. inslee, from the state of washington, who is yet another outspoken voice for green thinking here in the house of representatives. welcome, representative inslee, to sort of bring to us a close on our discussion about earth day tomorrow. mr. inslee: i appreciate an opportunity, thanks for carrying the load here. i just want to in closing note
tomorrow, the actress sigourney weaver will be hosting a movie, a documentary called "acid test" and it's a very interesting movie with some very disturbing news about our oceans. and that is that our oceans are becoming more acidic and what this movie discloses, our oceans are actually 30% more acidic than they were before we started to burn coal and oil in the industrial age. and the way this works, the way this movie that she narrates, carbon goes up out of our smokestacks, out of our tail pipes, goes into the atmosphere, then falls into the ocean, goes into solution in the ocean and increases acidic conditions. i don't think probably many people know that our oceans are becoming more acidic. and the concern, of course, is that when you change the acidity level of the ocean, what it does
to life forms. and we had a doctor who, she showed us some type lapse photography of what happens when you put a shell like a clam shell in ocean water that will be as acidic as our oceans will be by the end of the century and it essentially melts and what we're finding is the oceans are becoming so acidic that if this trend continues it will actually dissolve little creatures that form calcium cash nate shells. shells are made out of calcium carbonate. they make a shell. and this isn't just crabs or clams or oysters or coral, it's the little creatures that form 40% of the bottom of the food chain in the oceans. of course it's the bottom. and the evidence is showing that
this may prevent these creatures from having a healthy ability to make their body form. so the long and short of it is that the actress wro gave us "alien" tomorrow will be showing in congress a movie think a think is may be at least as equally as scary as "alien" because this acidification of the oceans that's caused by carbon pollution has already possibly disrupted some life forms. in the state of washington we haven't been able to grow a baby oyster for two years in our oyster industry. and we're not sure yet whether that's because of an infection process or because of acidification or both. but it's an example of the kind of thing that can happen if we don't stop ocean acidification. so, the point i want to make tonight is, the u.s. senate is now considering a bill to deal with carbon pollution that will also jump start the economy by creating thousands of green collar jobs. but to succeed in both those
things they need some limitation on the amount of carbon pollution that's going into the atmosphere. and they need that because that's the only way we're going to compete with china, to drive investment in these clean collar jobs. but also because it's the only way we're going to keep our oceans from becoming, you know, fatally acidic for large, you know, parts of the biosphere. we get a lot of our human protein from the oceans. i think it's 10% or 20% of the human protein comes out of the oceans. so i i'm hopeful that they will do this -- so i'm hopeful that they will do this and i hope too they know they need some limitation on carbon pollution. we have a way to do that right now. they've been ordered by the courts to do this. and we're going to either have a good carbon pollution protection system in this bill or we have the e.p.a. do it. we think the bet father congress designs it. mr. tonko: absolutely. mr. inslee: but if congress does not design it, the e.p.a. is
going to do it. and we're not going to vote for bills that do not solve this problem that would strip the e.p.a. of their authority to solve this problem. so we need the senate to step up to the plate, have some system to reduce carbon pollution so that we can move forward, and i want to thank mr. tonko for his leadership here tonight. mr. tonko: thank you, chairman inslee, and thank you for your leadership with the sustainable energy and environment coalition. now, i think as we reference our comments this evening to earth day as a celebration tomorrow, we think back to 1970 and it was about the commitment to a better outcome, to addressing business that needed to be accomplished. tonight we resolve that it's about unfinished business but, yes, about untold opportunity. and we can accomplish both by continuing our commitments to a much stronger development and responsiveness to our environment which comes also through policy including energy. so, mr. speaker, we thank you this evening for the opportunity
to share the thoughts of the majority here and it's onward with progressive policy to be sensitive to those next generations that will inherit from us the outstanding work we can do if we come in. the speaker pro tempore: under the speaker's announced policy of january 6, 2009, the chair recognizes the gentleman from new jersey, mr. smith. mr. smith: we come here today to celebrate a life well lived. i yield to my colleague leonard lance for such time as he may consume. mr. lance: thank you, congressman smith. i join several of my colleagues to pay tribute to robert d. franks a former nublinge member of the house of representatives -- a former new jersey member of the house of representatives, whose compassion rightfully earned him praise and respect from both sides of the aisle he died
>> thank you for your powerful testimonial. mr. smith: for bob's surviving wife fran and their three daughters, his mother june and sister judy, this is a tragic season of excruciating loss. he was a politician's politician in the best sense of that concept. he was husband, father, son, and brother first. nothing compared for his love for and devotion to his family. for everyone who has ever had the privilege of knowing him and calling him friend, bob epitomized noble public service. he was honest, hardworking, extraordinarily effective and absolutely determined to make a positive difference for his constituents, our state, and the nation.
an indomitable optimist, bob was ever gracious and stubbornly -- and always kind to all, even those with whom he disagree. he treated all with respect, civility and empathy. i know my colleagues on the floor today will attest to the fact that bob franks was enthusiastic almost to a fault and always greeted you with a great big smile, firm handshake and warm greeting. a reflection of his great big heart. he usually left any conversation with bob, well, smiling. bob franks devoted 21 years of his life to elective public service, 23 years in the new jersey state assembly,ing ayears as the member of congress and served eight years as chairman. in both trenton and washington he was a consistent powerful voice for limited government and reduced taxes. he was elected twice by his peers to serve as conference leader. among notable achievements, he
wrote the state law creating the transportation trust fund. in congress, he served with distinction as chairman of the economic development, public buildings and hazardous materials and pipeline subcommittee. a master strategist he worked hard and passed welfare reform and ensured our military was second to none. as co-chair of the ex-comploited children's caucus, he helped win passage of legislation to protect children from internet predators. a true friend of law enforcement, bob took the lead in 1998 and won passage of a congressional resolution demanding the clinton administration undertake the extradition of cop killer jo an chesimar, a fugitive who fled
to cuba after being convicted of murdering a state troop for the may 1973. he helped create the bipartisan northeast-midwest congressional coalition to maximize both regions' political clout in congress and played the leading role in promoting fair electrical power in new jersey. as my colleague, leonard lance, noted a moment ago he ran for the united states senate he lost. he ran for governor and lost that too. you would never know that from talking to bob. he was always upbeat and very positive. after leaving the hill, bob served as president of the health care initiative of new jersey a trade association for the research-based pharmaceutical and medical technology industry in the state of new jersey. mr. speaker, at the sacred heart in new jersey, governor chris isaak tee was joined in
moving re-- chris isaak tee was joined -- chris christie was joined by other people, including the three godfathers to bob and fran's kids. govern chrisie spoke eloquently -- christie spoke eloquently and told them bob franks' life was grand and glorious and as fran and his daughters know better than anyone, what bob cared most about was family. whether we were talking about politics or business, because it was something he knew full well the demands of a public life, the demands of a private life, and the rewards of paying attention to both. governor christie went on to say bob franks was enthusiastic in everything i saw him do. whether rooting for indianapolis colts, something i still don't understand from a guy from new jersey, whether it
was some of the deepest and most significant policy issues that have faced our country over the last 25 years, or whether it was counseling and encouraging even the smallest of potential leaders of our state, always enthusiastic, bob franks. the governor went on to say, the loss each of us feel from bob's death is significant in the life of our state, significant in the life of our country, because he served so ably and so well. in the end, i think that's what we all hope for out of our public officials, that they care deeply, that they think deeply, and that they act passionately with the ability to inspire. he checked all the boxes. governor corzine said in brief part, that this was a celebration of a great life a very good man, someone that all of us, as you have heard, believed in, learned from, and grew from, a man of credible character, condition, courage, but probably the most defining
thing any of us can say about bob is he's a man who loved he loved politics, loved all his friends, the folks who are here, most of all, most notably he loved his family. governor tom kean said politics for bob was an honorable profession, which meant responsibility and opportunity for achievement and adventure. after all, he said, what's the point of living if not to make this world of ours a little bit better place. bob did that, he cared about that. we were all better people for having known bob he went on. i think of his cheerfulness and his enthusiasm. today, governor kane conclude -- governor kean concluded, i envy the angels. governor christine todd whitman said those who are good at the rough and tumble politics are
either good at the fear fighting part of it or they're policy wonks. bob was both. he was a fierce partisan, he was a republican, he never made it personal, he knew it was about doing right by the people of the state, that's what made him such a special person. our former budget committee chairman here in the house who is godfather to one of bob and fran's children sums it up well when he said, our friendship was forged in the battles of trying to improve america. that's what it's all about. it was never about politics. it was always about what we could do to make the world a better place for our children and their children. i don't think i've met a more insightful man than bob franks, he went on. he could look at something everybody else saw and see it differently. he could see twists in it. he could take advantage of it and move the ball forward how about his cutting edge humor, the former budget chairman
said. always cutting edge humor, no matter where you were. sometimes he was good at gallows humor, when there was not even a speck of light shining in a room, he'd make us all laugh. he'd remove the pressure. he'd have a little quip and get us all belly laughing. it would happen even when there was no humor in sight. on loyalty, john said, you know, as the kids say, you got my back? bob franks had your back he didn't care if you were republican or democrat a liberal or conservative, didn't mean anything. when you were his friend he had your back. john concluded, i like to call him a fox hole guy. and i measure people are they a foxhole guy. in other words, can i get into a foxhole in this guy in the middle of the worst battle you can imagine and i know not only would he not jump out of that foxhole to run in preserve of himself but he was would jump
out of that foxhole and fight to help you. he was a great foxhole guy he said. he said, in all the years i've known him, i never heard him say a bad thing about anybody. i know several in our delegation can back that up 100%. finally, he said, he left the world a better place. there's no question, bob franks left new jersey he left the nation, and the world, a better place, and we will deeply miss him. i'd like to yield to my good friend and colleague, mr. frelinghuysen. mr. frelinghuysen: last saturday morning, i joined the new jersey family at the cathedral basilica of the sacred heart in newark as we honored the life of congressman bob franks and considerated his wife fran and their three young daughters. as others did last saturday, i rose in tribute to our longtime friend and colleague, bob
franks. new jersey is a better place to live, work, and raise a family because for nearly his entire adult life, bob franks selflessly served our beloved state. it was a pleasure to serve with him for many years in the new jersey state assembly in trenton and then in the -- in this very chamber in the house of representatives. from those shared experiences, and there were many, i know the people of new jersey are lost an energetic and intelligent advocate and i have lost a dear and trusted friend. it's a tragic fact of life that many of us in new england have spent a great deal of time -- new jersey have spent a great deal of time of late talking about bob franks. i'm struck that in those conversations, certain common themes occur. bob franks was authentic. he was patriotic. he was keen. bob franks was always optimistic. he was astute in every way. he was humorous.
he was honorable. a true son of new jersey. bob franks always built others up, mentored to young people, always encouraging them to enter public service. bob franks was trusted, never gave his word and would never break his word, never would break his word. he was always warm and sincere. he absolutely loved politics and even in the rough and -- and even in this rough and tumble world, he always had a good word for men and women in the political arena, whether they were republicans or democrats or none of the above. bob franks was tireless with unbridled enthuse yass much. you were lucky to be -- enthusiasm. you were lucky to be on his team or side. that broad trade mark smile, a good and decent -- trademark smile, a good and decent man, love for his family first and
foremost. that's why we were all shocked 12 days ago when the news came that god had called him home at such a young age. mr. speaker, bob franks loved public service. he loved the new jersey assembly and his service in congress. he loved his family, our nation, new jersey and his constituents in that order. and he loved all these things with a passion that exceeded the most energetic enthusiast. i will never forget his work ethic, his valuable service and his enduring friendship. we've lost a great man who stood for principles and who lived a life of which we could all learn. may the tributes and prayers of so many of our colleagues here today be a source of strength to his wife and their daughters. our hearts break along with theirs. but our memories will always remain bright. and when we recall that
trademark smile, we will long remember this favorite son of new jersey. bobby franks. i yield back the balance of my time and thank the gentleman for the time. mr. smith: i thank my good friend for his very eloquent statement. and we will all miss bobby franks and, mr. speaker, i do ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days in which to revigse and -- revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on the subject of my special order. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. smith: and i yield back. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. does the gentleman have a motion. mr. smith: i motion that the house do now adjourn. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on the motion to adjourn. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the motion is agreed to. accordingly the house stands adjourned until 10:00
debate, friday at 9:00 p.m. eastern, also on c-span. book tv is live this weekend from the l.a. times festival of books with talk radio's tammie bruce. it takes a pillage author, "beyond fundamentalism's reza aslan. coverage starts saturday and sunday at 1:00 p.m. eastern. follow the authors and panel discussions live all weekend on c-span 2. get the whole schedule at book tv -- booktv.org. >> c-span, our public affairs content is available on television, radio and online and you can also connect with us on twitter, facebook and youtube and sign up for our schedule alert emails at c-span.org. >> now, continues in u.s. national parks and the future of conservation. the national parks director
joining us earlier today on "washington journal." the just under 45 minutes. is jonathan jarvis, director for the national park service. what is the condition of the national parks? guest: thank you for having me. this week is national park week. we have waived all the fees and have invited folks to reacquaint themselves with the national park system. host: remind us of the breatdth of the national park system. often, there are places that we would not even think about. guest: that is right. there are hundreds of locations. we often think about places like the grand canyon, but there are places like the home of martin luther king, the national mall is a national park. in every state, except delaware,
there are units of the national park system. host: climate change is an issue that is coming up more and more frequently. guest: absolutely. we are already seeing the effects of climate change in places like glacier national park, where they are receiving. according to science, we expect that within 22 years or so there could be no glaciers. we are seeing more intense fires in the sierras, invasion of exotic plant species, and the movement of wildlife to places where they had never been before. host: give us some history. president roosevelt established the idea of a national park system. how has your mission changed and what is your overriding goal? guest: i think this country
needs the national park system more today than ever. we have an increasingly sedentary society that is more and more disconnected with nature. kids spending very little time upside. there are concerns about what we call cultural literacy, and understanding of the american history. so national park provide the perfect opportunity to reconnect with nature as well as to learn about the full american story. host: where is your budget this year and heading into 2011? guest: everyone knows that the economy is tough. like everyone else, we are tightening our own belt as well. our fiscal 2011 budget, we reduced a bit from fy10. we got significant investment of recovery act funds as well to take on a lot of the make this
backlog in the system. host: you testified before congress a couple of months ago, i have your testimony when you were speaking before one of the house committees, some things that will be increased and others that will be decreased. guest: we try to strike a good balance between park operations. we are distributed at 392 units, we are open all year. we want to make sure basic operations are provided for the american public when they come to their parks. so we shifted some of our funding from construction. frankly, we had gotten a significant investment from the recovery act. host: you commented in your testimony there would be an increase of $53 million to cover
some of the endangered treasured landscape around the nation. the idea is to increase capacity and increase to richard programs, as well as enhancing security at national icons. guest: what that means is at about 100 parts, each park has requested for fiscal 2011 an increase in basic operations. they will have some money to hire seasonal rangers, perhaps provide better seasonal maintenance. to run a national park, like yellowstone, yosemite, it is really like running a small city. they take care of the roads, trails, waste water, trash, law enforcement, the visitor center, and then it has partners who run concessions and hotel
services. it is like renting a small city with a transient population every day. that requires basic operations. we looked across the country and which parts needed the best reinvestment, and that is why those 100 are poised to get funding. host: some of the budget cuts include programs to the save america treasure grant, can you translate what some of these mean? guest: these are grant programs that have been created over last 10 years, funding from the national park service billing out. these are brick and mortar-type of conservation efforts, national registry efforts. these were given to highlight historical communities and to help them with tourism and
advertising, recognition that they are part of the american story. because of the budget, we have to cut back on those grants. host: frank on the independence line. new mexico. caller: i wanted to ask mr. jarvis if he could kindly clear up some confusion between the national park service and forest service. the park service does a good job but the forest service, forests are dying all over the country. the current method of operation of allowing everything to go green and following the nature conservancy to set policy has created a fire trap in the national forests and the introduction of the the wolfwols
making multiple use, which is what it was designed for. guest: thank you for the question. if i could clarify a little bit, teddy roosevelt, sort of the founding father of land management of the country divided up forest service into the department of agriculture, the park service in the interior. so we work for different secretaries. our missions some overlap but they are distinctly different. the national park service is a mission to preserve these places for the enjoyment of present and future generations. as opposed to the forest service, as you indicated, as a multiple use mission. they provide fiber and timber for the country, protection of watersheds. they also have wilderness.
they provide a wide range of recreation. they also allow oil and gas. so their mission, in many ways, is more complicated, and they have a much broader constituency seeking to do a variety of things. in many ways, it is more challenging to strike that balance on the forest service land and within the park service, where we have a more limited agenda for how these places are managed. host: democratic caller. william in san francisco. caller: the president authorized support for our national parks. i wonder if you support the idea of being able to carry weapons in our parks? are you aware of any provisions
of coming in the park service's? guest: in terms of the weapons, in february, the president signed into law a statute that allows individuals to carry firearms into all units of the national parks system, in compliance with state law. so far, it has been fine. we have not had any incidents. it has been a smooth transition to provide for the opportunity for citizens to be in compliance with state law and to travel in our national parks. in terms of privatization within our national park system, we already have the private sector very much involved in the management through our concessionaires. there are approximately 90
concessionaires to operate and provide food and service, lunging, guide service, a wide range of services that are not appropriate for the federal sector to provide but are certainly necessary and appropriate to the operations of national parks. that is about a billion dollar business, so that is a great partnership between the public and private sector. host: our guest is the director for the national park service. also, you were the superintendent of mount rainier , craters of the moon national monument, and you have also worked on the national mall. coming through the organization, does this give you a perspective of what the different parts have to offer?
guest: absolutely. i worked for the park service for 34 years. coming with that background gives me insight to the date to day operations of the parks. particularly, communities around parks. dealing with a particular issue that may come up here in washington, i have, at least an affinity, for those issues, and i know who to call to get to the core of those issues. host: utah. dave on the independent line. caller: good morning. two questions. first, i do not believe you made the ken burns' cut, but if i
remember, there is a small national park in northern california. i think it is a national park, if i am not mistaken. the second part of my question is the blatant attempt to lobby to keep the national park service away from cedar breaks monument. if you could, please. guest: i am not familiar with that place in california that you mentioned. it might be a state park. sometimes there is confusion about like tahoe in northern california, but that is managed by the u.s. forest service. i am not familiar of any place, having served as the regional director in california, having responsibility for those parks, and having passed tests to name them all, there is not one that i am not aware of. and there is no move to change
cedar breaks. host: how would that be significant to him, to anyone else watching the progress of this issue? guest: since the start of the national park system, we have grown, from the teddy roosevelt days, to 392 units in the system. there is sort of an appetite for parks in the country because we believe the national park system is an extraordinary institution. ken burns called it one of the best american concepts. he described it as a declaration of independence laid on the land. anyone, regardless of their and it -- ethnicity or background can stand on the edge of the grand canyon.
so there is an appetite to bring land into the national park system. we are pretty well recognized as a good steward of those lands. and there is an economic benefit to it as well. for every dollar invested in the park system, there is about a $4 return into the economy. much of that is realized in the local economies as well. but the park service is prohibited from proposing any new units. we can only do that at the request of congress. at times, there are requests to study new areas. then we submit those studies to congress for action. host: pennsylvania. robert on the independent line. good morning. caller: in the dakotas, not
rushmore -- mount rushmore -- near there, there was in the indian sculpture that they're working on. guest: that is a private sculpture that they are working on. i cannot remember who it is. caller: it is so interesting. i am hoping to make it out that way this year. i think you have the best job in the united states. guest: thank you. i think so, too, at times. host: don on the democrat's line. san antonio.
caller: i want to follow up on this gun issue. whether it is a state park or national park, the national park is supposed to be a respite. it is supposed to be a place where we can get away from people who had aggressive behavior. now we have allowed people to bring guns into the parks, especially national parks. and i am sure the national park service is not designed to be gun toters, you are naturalists, and i cannot believe that you are being subject to this. guest: the law was changed as an amendment to a rider on the
telecommunications bill. we are actively implementing the law. we still believe our national parks are in place for peaceful respite, a place to get away from the hustle and bustle of society, have the experience to have a quiet time with nature and one's family and friends. we do not believe that this changes that. host: the economy has been tight. funding is pretty much full study into the next year. how can americans contribute to what the priorities of the park service should be? guest: on friday, the president was at the department of the interior and launched what is called the great american outdoors. a new web site has been set up.
is an interactive web site that allows the public to provide some input to the future of the national park system, as well as to the broad concept of conservation. it is also our intent to go on the road with this conversation, to have a series of listening sessions around the country to engage the american public about what they think the future of conservation, historic preservation, and my proprietary interest, the national parks service, what it should be. host: pittsburg, kansas. don on the independent line. caller: i have a question about the original criticism of the -- what was called the high and dry situation. providing better protections through the ecosystems in th
yellowstone. people build their condos, vacation homes, and then there are all sorts of new requirement for fire safety. any comment on that? guest: it is a great question. when teddy roosevelt invested early in the system, the american public did not really live as distributed across the country as they are today. increasingly today, homeowners and small communities have expanded across the plains and into the west. there is any increasing concern over the wild land-urban interface. we are all working closely together with the states, particularly as it relates to
wildfires, concerned with homeowners who live in that interface between wild lands where wildfire is a concern, as well as protecting their homes and lives. over 70% of the american landscape is owned by private individuals. private individuals can be good stewards of the land as well. so this initiative that we discussed is about going out there and learning, who a month to the ranchers and farmers, who is doing a good job managing their land. just yesterday i was in georgia talking to the park staff, as well as adjacent landowners, as to how they work together to protect the wallewater quality e
chattahoochee. that is a good example of this kind of partnership so that we can maintain these systems, particularly in light of climate change and these questions on the future. host: a tweet on twitter -- guest: the great smoky national park is prohibited from having an entrance fee. as far as i know, there is no plan to change that. host: charles, a republican in mississippi. caller: mr. jarvis, first of all, thank you for the wonderful job that you do. host: talk about the national
mall. how many visitors come? there has also been talk about replacing the grass on the mall? guest: absolutely. the mall is suffering from the tragedy of the commons. it is the front lawn of america. it is the place where millions and millions of visitors come, not only from our country, but from around the world. it should be a center of pride for the country. if you have looked at the grass out there, the open walkaways are pretty hammered, frankly. so we have been combing through a process over the past several years, just completing the public comment period, and we are looking not at changing the form of the mall, but that its
designed to handle the literally thousands of activities. it is also by the wa, by the wat amendment site. that is important and we need to accommodate that, but the mall was never really designed for that. remember, this is a bill that was put on top of a swamp. it is not very resilient. it is going to take a significant investment for us to basically rebuild the mall in a way that can withstand these uses. we are not intend on taking people off of the mall. we want them to be there, but we we want them to be there, but we need to make it more resilienct.