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tv   U.S. House of Representatives  CSPAN  November 30, 2011 10:00am-1:00pm EST

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trained up to do the maintenance on the robots or to do the other jobs that are still going to remain. relatively high employment in japan has figured out how to do that. host: what is the trade-off? guest: there is not an even trade-off on jobs. our economy is open and free and we based our economic on free trade, we will adapt and, on top. that is the new conclusion we ought to come to. this huge underclass issue, the left-behinds, all these people with their stories are finding it almost impossible to get reemployed -- this is a phenomenon that we need to address. we can assume the recovery will bring us back to where we were.
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the phenomenon in my article is much too deep. i going to the same discussion in a book i wrote. i think this expresses a lot of the anger among ordinary americans who see themselves as part of the left-behind portion. host: are you optimistic? guest: look at what politicians are talking about in washington. it is not terribly encouraging. host: with the occupy wall street movement -- guest: at least the message is getting back to washington that there is something else which should be discussing besides cutting the size of government.
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the search turned to military is about dealing with this huge unemployment and long-term unemployment problem. host: has the occupy wall street mess it coalesced around this message -- message call las. guest: what they are upset about is very real. host: what is the next step for the final step? guest: i think that the effect that they need to have to change the economic discussion -- we have to get away from the simplistic nostrums, the kind of things we've been hearing for30 30 years. let's talk in real terms about the impact that they have on our economy and our disappearing middle class and let's do
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something for the middle class. let's talk about a much larger retraining program, one that brings industry in this par tnerrs and tries to set up programs that will match new jobs with the right kind of training. we don't have the kind of template right now. we to bring out in the open. host: michael hirsh, twice a thank you so much. on, d.c., nov 2011. i hereby appoint the honorable mo brooks to act as speaker pro tempore on this day. signed, john a. boehner, speaker of the house of representatives. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the order of the house of january 5, 2011, the chair will now recognize members from lists submitted by the majority and minority leaders for morning hour debate.
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the chair will alternate recognition between the parties with each party limited to one hour and each member other than the majority and minority leaders and the minority whip limited to five minutes each but in no event shall debate continue beyond 11:50 a.m. the chair recognizes the gentleman from south carolina, mr. duncan, for five minutes. mr. duncan: thank you, mr. speaker. this past weekend i joined millions of americans in celebrating thanksgiving with friends and family. as americans each of us has so much to be thankful for this holiday season. america is the greatest, most free country in the history of the world. as a nation we can do anything we set out to accomplish. we built the world's most free and successful republic right here in america. we've used innovation to cure
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disease, fight hunger and spread the message of freedom all across the globe. we've changed the way societies interact by inventing things like the telephone, the automobile and the airplane. we've built some of the finest schools, universities in the history of the planet. we changed our world for the better but none of it would have been possible without the grace and blessing of our almighty god. that's why i was both surprised and disappointed that president obama failed to make a single references to god during his thst address to the nation. -- thanksgiving address to the nation. since the president has a history of doing this sort of thing, i don't think it's an oversight. perhaps it's his attempt to being politically correct. there's no excuse for once again leaving out the one whom our foundations rest. what did the founding fathers say in the declaration of independence?
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our rights come directly from god. as the apostle paul said, in everything give thanks for this is the will of god in christ jesus for you. we should never pass up an opportunity to thank the lord for the blessings he's bestowed on this great nation. i know political correctness looms over this country more than ever before. there's a lot of pressure within elements within our society who censors god. leaving god out of our schools, classrooms. no praying before graduation and athletic events and some shopping malls would rather play music about santa claus. praying and giving thanks to god was the example set for us by the first settlers who came
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to america for religious freedom. times were tough for them. they endured bitterly cold winters, food shortages and plagues. the early settlers faced insurmountable odds, but they thrived leading to the formation of this great nation. general george washington, who went on to become our first president, was known for frequently stopping whatever he was doing and getting down on one knee to seek guidance from the lord and to praise him for the blessings that were given his troops. here in this building there is a chapel where members of congress can go to pray for this country. in that chapel there is a beautiful stained glass window depicting our first president, george washington, in his colonial uniform frozen kneeling in prayer. that chapel should be a reminder for all of us that our country's faith should be nothing to hide but rather something to embrace and protect and that image of george washington in prayer should be a reminder that our
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leaders need to seek wisdom of the lord whenever possible. for the past several weeks, former heisman trophy winner tim tebow has come under fire, facing criticism from sports commentators and even some of his own teammates. tim tebow gave the following response to reporters, a response i believe perfectly explains how our country should recognize god. quarterback tebow said this, if you're married and you really love your wife, is it good enough only to say to your wife, i love her, the day you get married or should you tell her every single day when you wake up and every opportunity? my relationship with jesus christ is the most important thing in my life so every time i get the opportunity to tell him i love him or give him the opportunity to shout him out on national tv i am going to take that opportunity. so as i look -- and so i look the relationship i have with him that i want to give him the
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honor and tpwhrory anytime i have the opportunity. tim tebow's brave comments are an excellent reminder that we need to look for every opportunity to thank the lord for our blessings of liberties that he's bestowed on this great country. may god forgive this nation of its since, may he overlook the times we forget to thank him for his gifts and may people turn to him for guidance and salvation and may he continue to bless the united states of america. mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from oregon, mr. blumenauer, for five minutes. mr. blumenauer: thank you, mr. speaker. it's a sign of maturity to be able to retain two different but related concepts in your head at the same time. for instance, taxes should not be raised on the majority of working americans while the
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economy is in this very difficult situation, but a little more can reasonably be paid by those who are extremely well-off. the simple fact is that our economy and our families cannot afford to take the economic hit that is poised to pull to pull $100 billion out of the economy with the expiration of the 2% payroll tax holiday that's scheduled to expire this year. there is currently a proposal that's being debated in the other body that i hope will have the opportunity to vote on here to be able to extend and expand the payroll tax cut and pay for it. under this proposal employees would receive a 50% additional cut in the payroll tax, cutting it essentially in half, and
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employers would have a slight reduction in the payroll tax that they pay on their employees up to the first 3.1% of payroll -- excuse me -- $5 million of payroll. this would help 98% of businesses but not give unnecessary giveaways to large and profitable organizations. and most important, it would prevent the typical family from suffering a significant increase in their taxes while the economy is still fragile. this proposal would give the average family $1,500 a year extra to spend. you would think that people ought to be able to correlate those two concepts. the way that this would be
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financed is a small surtax on not just rich but superrich people. these are folks who make over $1 million a year and they would just pay the surtax on that amount that they earn over the $1 million threshold. it's far less than the 1% that we are hearing argued about. they would still pay lower bush tax-era rates on the first $1 million and those that have extensive investment income which most of them do would still benefit from those lower rates. unfortunately we have people here that are caught up in an ideology that trumps concern for the economy and the typical american family. it was this refusal to consider a balanced approach that is supported by the vast majority of the public that led to the
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collapse of the so-called supercommittee. americans were and are ready for action that is bold, big and balanced and fair. now, we actually can start on the road to recovery by just going on autopilot. the default that is set up that will let the bush-era tax cuts expire, unless congress done something, and moving towards automatic sequestration will actually solve most of the deficit problem that we face just by doing nothing. but we can do better. we can adjust, we can craft, we can focus it to get the most benefit and we can start with a modest adjustment. i'd hope my colleagues will not let the worship of the top .1 of the economic pyramid trump
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concerns for the rest of the working families and the american economy. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from alabama, mr. brooks, for five minutes. mr. brooks: thank you, mr. speaker. oslam lives in alabama's fifth congressional district. he is a father who loves and cares very much about his son. at his request, let me share with you and the american people the plight of his son, hamash kahn. mr. kahn is an american citizen who, thanks to the obama administration and the united states government, has been wrongfully held for over a year and a half in pakistan prisons without indictment for a specific crime or trial. this is hamash kahn's story.
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he's lived in america since he was 10 years old. he earned a bachelor's and two masters degree from georgia southern university, following graduation, mr. kahn worked for citibank in pakistan. in 2003 the musharraf government had him lead the bank. unfortunately, the musharraf government fell in 2008. as is often is the case in the world, a new government regime means that appointees of the last regime has trouble. in kahn's case, the new government issued an arrest warrant on suspicion of corruption and corrupt practices. let me emphasize that point. . on suspicion of corruption and corrupt practices. fearing reprisals, he feared pakistan for his home, america. thereafter, pakistan sought
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extradition of mr. kahn pursuant to the arrest warrant for suspicion of corruption and corrupt practices. let me be clear on this point. three parties are involved in this tragedy. a new pakistani regime, president obama and the united states government, and kahn, an american citizen. the united states had to decide whom to support. pakistan or an american citizen. the obama administration chose pakistan over its own american citizen. mr. speaker, it would be wonderful to know why the obama administration made that decision. in any event, on december 10, 2009, mr. kahn was arrested by united states marshals in his office in washington, d.c., and held without bond for five months. remarkably, persons in mr. kahn's position are barred from fully defending themselves at extradition hearings. for example, mr. kahn was barred from presenting evidence to impeach the allegations against him. mr. kahn fought extradition
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until it became clear that the severe evidentiary limitations may it impossible for him to defend himself. on may 13, 2010, the united states government forcefully handed mr. kahn over to pakistani authorities at john f. kennedy airport in new york. he was bound in handcuffs and leg chains. with the obama administration's administration's historic act, he became the first american citizen every extradited to pakistan. the one concession the united states state department received from the new pakistani regime was a promise mr. kahn would be fairly treated under pakistani law. while anyone hearing the story can suspect political motivations for the prosecution of mr. kahn by pakistani authorities, i am not in a position to make a judgment on that issue. but i am in a position to make a judgment about our united states government and its responsibility to protect american citizens. whether he is innocent or guilty
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of the charges by pakistani authorities, kahn has not been served justice. under pakistani law, after arrest for suspicion, pakistan's national accountability bureau can hold a person for up to three months, three months without braille. within that -- without bail. within that three months pakistan's national accountability bureau must either indict a held person for specific crimes for trial or order his release. yet it is now over 18 months since kahn became the first american citizen extradited to pakistan. for those 18 months mr. kahn has been held without bail, without indictment, and without trial. mr. kahn lives in a six foot by six foot prison cell in pakistan i. -- pakistan. i pray the american state department did not anticipate he would be held indefinitely without indictment or trial when they forcefully bounded and shackled and american citizen and gave him to pakistan.
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therefore, mr. speaker, i enter this statement on the congressional record. it is time for america's state department to use whatever influence is necessary and proper to cause pakistan to treat mr. kahn in accordance with pakistan's own law and with international treaty obligations. justice cannot be served an american citizen in any other way. mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from illinois, mr. jackson, for five minutes. mr. jackson: who says, mr. speaker, the government can't create jobs? the greatest need of the american people today is jobs, but the question before them is this -- who is responsible and how should jobs be created? democrats, republicans, and independents, liberals, moderates, and conservatives all agree that the private sector is the primary source of jobs. however, with 9% official unemployment, the reality is it's much higher, and 25 million americans either unemployed, underemployed, is self-evident that the private sector has not supplied enough jobs and either
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cannot or will not create enough full-time jobs today to employ the 25 million people who need them. so what do we do? throw our hands up and say nothing can be done, congress? democrats generally believe in priming the pump, through deficit spending if necessary, to create jobs and stimulate the economy in order to put the overall economy back on track during these times when the private sector has obviously failed us. in the past, many republicans have generally agreed, but this current tea party republican party all of whom have a government job and employ government staffs, don't agree and generally argues the government can't create jobs. really? president franklin delano roosevelt, we are reminded in the book "the new deal, a modern history reveals a different truth" which is the source of the following information. f. drge r. was sworn into office on march 4, 1933. he came up with the idea himself of a civilian conservation corps on march 13.
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the first jobs program of the new deal. he presented his idea to white house aide raymond moly on march 14. an idea he had just come up with the night before. the idea, mr. speaker, was to put platoons of young unemployed men to work in the forest and national parks. that very afternoon a memo an skelton bill went out to the fourth secretaries that would be involved in implementing the c.c.c. plan, labor, agriculture, ickes, war, the first interdisciplinary agency of the new deal. the next day march 15, the four secretaries returned a joint response proposing a wider relief program encompassing not only a civilian conservation corps, but a public works program and grant and aid to the states and municipalities for relief. on march 21, f.d.r. sent a message to congress involving, among other things, his idea of a c.c.c. in his message he observed that the more important, more
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important than the material gains will be the moral and spiritual value of such work. we can take a vast army of these unemployed. congress debated and passed the civilian conservation corps program in eight days on march 29. by early april, the c.c.c. was opened for business. the first registered was 19-year-old rizzo of new york who arrived on april 7 at an army recruiting station in a cab with three of his friends. he belonged to a family of 13 whose father had not worked in three years. so how did these government created jobs work out? the average enrollee signed up at an age of 18 1/2. stayed for nine months. six months with the minimum tour. two years, the maximum. and gained up to 30 pounds during his term. thanks to three square meals a day served up by the army quarter masters as fuel for daily labor. the program ramped up quickly, by july there were 1,300 camps housing 275,000 enrollees. already working vigorously on
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projects that would rank among the most notable legacy of the new deal, before the c.c.c. ending and the war mobilization in 1942, they built 125,000 miles of road. 46,000 bridges. more than 300,000 dams to check erosion. it planted more than three billion trees and strung 89,000 miles of telephone wire. the camps instilled in many of these young men the concept of an american identity. no doubt the camaraderie was fostered by shared resentment of the marshal regiment, the rising of the bugler's call, the mandate to keep their bunk and foot lockers in order. the heeding of senior officers without discussion. and mr. speaker, i can only imagine that today these army quarter masters would demand that our young men pull up their pants. the army, too, experienced valuable as the war secretary confided to perkins a year into the program, his officers corps
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had had to learn to govern men by leadership, explanation and diplomacy rather than just discipline. the knowledge, mr. speaker, is priceless. the c.c.c. would serve as the model for national service programs of a later era such as the peace corps, amar'e corps, and vista. -- amar'e corps, and vista. there ---amar'ea corps and vista. it was something you could take pride in. there wasn't a lot of pride available in those days. among the new deal programs the c.c.c. would inspire almost universal affection even more so, mr. speaker, than social security. mr. speaker, the federal government can create jobs. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from maryland, mr. bartlett, for two minutes. mr. bartlett: thank you, mr. speaker. on november 18, ron smith, a respected and beloved baltimore
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area radio talk show host, on wbal, as well as a columnist for the baltimore sunday, announced his retirement -- "baltimore sun," announced his retirement after 26 years because of his diagnosis of inoperable pancreatic cancer and impending death. i ask all of my colleagues to join me along with thousands of loyal listeners and readers who have expressed their deep appreciation and admiration for ron smith. ron unfailingly contributed a voice of reason. with unmatched candor while providing a forum for civil and vigorous debate about politics and policy that is sorely needed everywhere in america. i feel privileged to have been a guest a number of times on ron's show on wbal. it was always equally a pleasure and challenge to meet ron's high standards.
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ron is a true conservative in the classical and historical meaning of the term. with equal enthusiasm and utmost respect, ron asked tough questions of guests and callers, and dissected the arguments of liberal elites. democrats and republicans and others who called themselves conservatives. from a vast knowledge of both history and government, ron smith shared and we in maryland were most privileged to benefit from a succinct and persuasive dialogue and introduction to liberty and reason. thank you, ron. godspeed. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from illinois, ms. schakowsky, for five minutes. ms. schakowsky: while many hours have been spent by this body debating the wars in iraq and afghanistan, far too little time
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has been devoted to the united states' growing dependence on private military contractors. the weapon carrying for-profit security companies, mercenaries, who have become integral and counterproductive actors in the war effort. i believe that increased reliance on higher guns to provide security in conflict zones undermines our policy objectives and i'm not alone. in 2007, then defense secretary robert gates stated that the mission of many security contractors was, quote, at cross-purposes to our larger mission in iraq, unquote. we should be concerned. private contractors don't wear the damage of the united states. they answer to a corporation not a uniform commander. our government doesn't even know how many contract personnel we have hired because legal jurisdiction remains murky. we may lack the ability to prrkt contractors for alleged -- prosecute contractors for
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alleged violations committed overseas. we need to end our reliance on security contractors in conflict zones. since 2007 i introduced the stop outsourcing security act to phase out the use of for-profit contractors from mission critical tasks, including security, intelligence, and interrogation in conflict areas. the s.o.s. bill builds on legislation i have introduced since 2001, including the andean region contract or accountability act to prohibit military contracting in columbia and neighboring nations. while the problem applies to other private contractors, there is one company that has become synonymous with misconduct. blackwater. operating under a culture of recklessness created by its founder, eric prince, blackwater employees have been implicated in a wide range of alleged misconduct since 2004, from shooting and killing civilians to gun running. five former blackwater compengtiffs, including its former president, were indicted
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in 2010 for weapons charges. the company agreed to a $42 million administrative settlement with the state department for 288 alleged violations of the arms export control act and international traffic and arms regulations. at least seven civil suits for alleged abuses by black water personnel in iraq have been settled. and legal action is still pending against four blackwater guards accused of massacring 17 civilians in baghdad's square in 2007. further the iraqi government, our ally, has repeatedly asked that blackwater be out ofed, leaving the united states state department to refuse to renew the company's contract in 2009. in short, blackwater, now renamed z, has been the center of controversy for years, in congressional committees, the press, and among members of the military. yet the company has received over $1.25 billion in taxpayer money. recently mr. prince has launched a video game, called blackwater,
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glorifying the discredited company he started. now he's adopted another heavy-handed tactic. attempted intimidation of a member of congress. last month a letter from his attorney was hand delivered to my congressional office. i am entering the letter in the congressional record. it accuses me of defamatory statements, characterizes my efforts to urge investigations into prince as a violation of congressional power, and describes possible legal action if i persist. . i come to the floor today to speak out against policies and entities that i believe are damaging to our nation. i want to make it clear to mr. prince that i will not stop working to end our reliance on private security contractors or to investigate any and all allegations of misconduct. i want to make it clear to the military men and women who have shared their concerns that they are endangered by the behavior
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of hired guns employed by black water-like companies, that i will keep speaking out to protect our mission and our brave troops from risk. and i want to tell the families of the men and women who have been killed in incidents involving blackwater and other such companies that i will continue to push for full investigations and whenever appropriate criminal charges. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: members are recognized -- reminded to direct their remarks to the chair. not to anyone personally. the chair recognizes the gentleman from north carolina, mr. miller, for five minutes. mr. miller: thank you, mr. speaker. around the world the rights of workers to organize and bargain collectively through a representative of their choosing with their employer over wages and benefits and conditions of employment is recognized as an important human right and as a hallmark of democratic societies.
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but in the united states those rights have been under assault by some politicians and by some employers who want to return the clock back three quarters of a century. when workers want to join a union here and bargain collectively with their employer, too many employers intentionally delay and delay, abusing the legal system that denies the employees their rights. i rise in support of the proposed national labor relations board rule to streamline and modernize union election procedures, an important and overdue step to restore fairness to our inefficient and outdated system that has allowed too many abuses. the new nlrb rule will give employers less opportunity to interfere legally with organizing drives. the rule also allows smaller groups of workers to form unions. under the current system,
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employers willing to break the law have many opportunities to delay a union election, stretching out the time period when they can intimidate and coerce workers all in violation of the law. the rule is to allow their free choice, to be represented by a union. streamlining nrlb elections is a long overdue and small step to assure workers have the right to speak through one voice through a representative of their choosing. mr. speaker, we've heard the only republican member of the nlrb board, nlrb is threatening to resign, specifically denying the board to -- to deny the board the quorum to perform the duty the laws places upon them. republicans in this congress have now tried to defund the
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nlrb, to take away the nlrb's ability to put sanctions on employers who violate the law. and now they are trying to shut the board down altogether by abusing the other bodies and block any new appointments to the board and by having a republican member resign specifically to deny the necessary quorum to act. and today we are considering the so-called work force democracy and fairness act, and despite that orwellian name, the bill is intended to deny workers the right to unionize without delay and litigation -- to deny those rights through delay and litigation and by allowing employers to decide which employees which workers to vote on whether or not there is a union or not, to stuff the ballot box. under this bill, to add new workers to the union that will
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be -- that will decide whether to have a union or not. under the bill there would be a waiting period if there is an election dispute, whether it's well-grounded or frivolous, a waiting period for pre-election hearing, a waiting period for them to receive the contact list. and the only goal for that, for those waiting periods is delay. the arbitrary waiting periods assure that election will be delayed, and nowhere is there any assurance that the election will really be held. my republican colleagues blame frivolous lawsuits for many of the ills of our country, but this bill will reward frivolous lawsuits by providing more time for employers to find fault, real or fabricated, by the election process and by blocking the nlrb's current rule which will allow elections to move ahead before the complaints are resolved. this bill would allow employers to use litigation, frivolous or
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legitimate, to block elections. finally, this bill would allow employers to stuff the ballot box with a radical rewrite of our labor law so that the employer would decide which employees, which workers get to vote. they can add employees who were never engaged in the organizing drive and they keep -- can keep the list of voters of the workers eligible to vote from the -- those in support of a union until just before the election. american workers deserve the same rights that we urge around the world for workers. the right to form a union, the right to speak with one voice and bargain with their employer. so our workers can win better wages and benefits and rebuild the american middle class. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from virginia, mr. connolly, for five minutes. mr. connolly: mr. speaker, the
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economy received an early holiday gift this past week when black friday and cybermonday shopping figures outperformed expectations. however, we still face significant challenges. unemployment remains too high and global markets are showing signs of instability. both of which are the lingering effects of the great recession. casting a grim shadow over all of our actions is the fact that some members of this body still persist in ignoring the public and letting ideology standing in the way of striking a reasonable balance to tame our national debt and grow the economy. of note is the recent report released by the nonpartisan congressional budget office showing that the recovery act we passed two years ago has been a significant success in an otherwise gloomy economic picture. according to the c.b.o., the
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recovery act increased g.d.p. growth by up to 1.9% in the third quarter of this year, a quarter in which we had 2% growth. that's an extraordinary impact. thanks to that recovery act, 2.4 million people, according to c.b.o., now have a job, and the overall unemployment rate was 1.3% lower than it otherwise would have been if we had done nothing, as my friends on the other side of the aisle, wanted us to do. according to c.b.o.'s in depth analysis, the recovery act will continue to have a significant impact on the economy. c.b.o. found it will continue to drive g.d.p. growth next year adding 1% to the economy and will further increase employment by one million jobs. after opposing any stimulus action in the worst of economic contraction in the last 80 years, the republicans actually criticize the recovery act now
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for the fact it didn't do enough. that speaks less to the merits of the recovery act, i suggest, than it does about the magnitude of the great recession. and it is extraordinary chutzpah from the other side to just say no and now criticize the recovery act from being inadequate. the great recession was in fact the nation's worst economic collapse in 80 years. what began in the subprime housing market quickly spread throughout the financial industry threatening economic ruin. at its height, more than 700,000 americans were losing their jobs every single month. millions more lost their homes through foreclosures. the great recession was already one of the -- america's worst before president obama was ever signed -- sworn into office, and during that economic -- we had to pass the recovery act on
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a party line vote, i'm sad to say. many of my colleagues talks about the failure, rather than acknowledging that it's actually a function of the severity of the recession. and failing to acknowledge their own supine darwinian response to it. they thame claim that as the economic turmoil, which began in 2007, raged all around us, americans would have been better served had congress simply done nothing and hoped for the best. and now as the linger effects of that recession continue to hold back a robust recovery, they continue to defy reasonable bipartisan attempts to put people back to work and get our country moving again. the recovery act cut taxes for 95% of all americans, both families and small businesses. it kept thousands of teachers, police officers and firefighters on the job. recovery act dollars funded highways and transit improvements in every state, putting hundreds of thousands
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in the depressed construction industry back to work. there was a time, mr. speaker when cutting taxes and investing in infrastructure was a bipartisan endeavor and had broad bipartisan support as well as republican support. but there's still time for redumpings. the president's american jobs -- redemption. the president's american jobs act allows another opportunity for our republican friends to support democrats and economic recovery. the american jobs act provides incentives for companies, large and small, to hire additional workers. it cuts taxes on every working american in order to spur economic demand. it provides support for southerly needed infrastructure investments to repair roadways and schools. it builds on the success of the recovery act we passed two years ago. there are 2.4 million americans, mr. speaker, with jobs today because we took action two years ago. with 14 million more waiting, we can't afford now to do nothing. we must act, and i yield back.
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the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas, mr. poe, for five minutes. mr. poe: mr. speaker, this week pakistani prime said that there will be no more business as usual with the united states. i couldn't agree more. the united states shouldn't be doing business as usual with our unfaithful ally, pakistan. since 2002 we have given pakistan over $14 billion in so-called security-related aid and over $6 billion in economic-related aid. the american people have not gotten their money's worth. pakistan seems to be the benedict arnold nation in the list of countries we call allies. they have proven to be deceptive, deceitful and a danger to the united states. here's some of the evidence -- in may of this year, navy seals discovered osama bin laden living the high life in a mansion right in the back yard
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of the pakistani military community. but pakistan claims they had no word of the world's most wanted terrorist who was living right under their noses. this is questionable at best. mr. speaker, that dog just won't hunt. since then, the more we learn about pakistan the worse it gets. shortly after that raid, pakistan also arrested c.i.a. informants in pakistan that led the united states to capture or take out osama bin laden. pakistan has tried also to cheat the united states in filing bogus reimbursement claims for allegedly going after militants. 40% of these claims have been rejected by our government. there is more. pakistan tipped off terrorists making i.e.d.'s not once but twice in june of 2011 after we gave them intel on the bomb-making factory and asked pakistan to go after them.
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c.i.a. director leon panetta asserted that pakistan has not done enough to bring osama bin laden to justice saying now there is total mistrust between the united states and pakistan. meanwhile, pakistan is chumming up to the chinese. it sounds to me like pakistan is playing both sides on the war on terror. this so-called ally takes billions of dollars in u.s. aid while at the same time supporting the militants who attack us. according to admiral mike mullen, the pakistani government supported the groups who were behind the september 11 truck bombing attack in eastern afghanistan that wounded more than 70 u.s. and nato troops. so based on this evidence, i have introduced legislation to freeze all u.s. aid to pack -- pakistan. by sending aid to pakistan, we are funding the enemies and
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undermining our efforts in the whole region. in the past week, relations between american and pakistani officials have further deteriorated. saturday, nato and afghan forces near the border in pakistan in afghanistan came under attack from pakistani fire and responded in self-defense. 24 pakistani soldiers were killed. but pakistan says it was nato who fired the first shot. of course, we cannot believe what pakistan says. they will lie when the truth is obvious. . the facts will eventually come out. but hatred for america is still on an all-time high in pakistan. this week on tv americans have seen pakistanis burning american flags and cursing our nation. and just today in politico we have this lovely photograph of pakistani women proclaiming down with the u.s.a. pakistan leaders are continuing to vilify the united states on one hand and on the other hand
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take our money. most importantly, crucial nato supply routes have been cut off by pakistan. stopping supplies from getting to our troops in afghanistan. monday, 300 trucks full of supplies were turned away at the border. pakistan has cut off supplies to our troops, now it's time we cut off money to pakistan. pakistan has made it painfully obvious they will continue their policy of dangerous, dishonest deceit by pretending to be our ally in the war on terror while simultaneously giving a wink and nod to extremism. by continuing to provide aid to pakistan, we are funding the enemy, endangering americans, and undermining our efforts. seven in 10 americans believe we need to stop or decrease foreign aid to pakistan. after all, it is their money. we should stop foreign aid to pakistan until we know whose side they are on. we don't need to pay them to hate us, they'll do it for free,
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mr. speaker. maybe we shouldn't pay them at all. and that's just the way it is. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from kentucky, mr. connolly, for five minutes. mr. courtney: thank you, mr. speaker. it's been two months since the occupy wall street movement has spread across this country, and despite attempts to marginalize it, parody it, sometimes suppress it, the fact is one message has come through loud and clear. particularly from young americans who have participated in this grassroots movement across the country which is the spiraling cost of college is smothering opportunity for thousands and millions of young americans all across america. yesterday the secretary of education, arnie duncan, presented a -- arne duncan, presented a speech in nevada which starkly presented the challenge we face as a nation. taved the average student loan debt for graduating students is $25,000. that's the average. there are again millions of
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students who are graduating with six-figure debt. in an economy like the one that they are facing today, this is really an obstacle which will probably burden them for the rest of their lives. and as we are seeing in polls, the cost of college now is discouraging younger americans, high school age americans, from even considering the possibility of pursuing a higher education degree. first of all, let's be very clear here, the value of higher education is still, despite some critics, indisputable. if you look at the unploint rate today, 9% across the board in terms of our country, the fact of the matter is those who have pursued high school and above have much lower rates of unemployment today than those who have been unable to reach those training levels and education levels. nationally today the graduation rate of the u.s. has now fallen to 12th internationally. back in the 1980's, the college
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board, the organization which tracks graduation rates across the globe, determined that we were number one in the world in terms of college graduation rates. yet today in 2011 we are 12th. if anybody thinks that that is a situation which bodes well for our ability to compete internationally going into the future, then frankly they are not paying attention in terms of where the high value jobs of the future are. they are, in fact, in the hard sciences. they are in fact in areas of critical work force needs which as baby boomers retire in growing numbers across this country, we must have if we are going to continue to be a great nation. now, let's look at what's happening here in washington. i think one of the reasons why young people are going into the streets of this country is the fact that we have a congress which is not only out of touch in terms of listening and responding to this. in fact, they want to take us backwards. when i first came to congress in 2007, a new democratic majority moved swiftly to pass the kohl
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ledge cost reduction act which was an effort to try and boost the pell grant program, which is the workhorse of higher education affordability, a program which basically have been level funded for six prior years despite the fact that higher education cost has gone up 40%. we passed the college cost reduction act which infused new funding into the pell grant program. we cut the interest rates for the stafford student loan program from 6.4% to 3.2%, and we paid for every single penny of those expenditures by cutting the bank subsidies which were basically sucking federal dollars away from families and students who need that critical help. last year we passed the student aid and fiscal responsibility act, again with a democratic majority, which provides for a cap in terms of loan repayments, 15% of your gross -- discretionary income, and excuses loan repayments after 25 years under the stafford student loan program. i was pleased that president obama, again just a month or so
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ago, acted to increase the benefit of that program by limiting the discretionary income payments to 10% of income and lowering the forgiveness date to 20 years from 25 years. this is an administration which gets it. this is an administration which understands what middle class families with children who want to improve themselves and compete in their futures need that kind of assistance. what did this republican congress do? we had a ryan budget last april which gutted, butchered the pell grant program and would take us back to 2008 levels. so, for example, in connecticut where i come from, the yuff of connecticut would have seen its pell grant revenue from 2008, which was about $8 billion going into the university of connecticut, would have been cut from where it is today which is $12 billion in annual pell grant revenue. $4 million cut to the university of connecticut and the grant level for students, the maximum award would have been cut from
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$4,500 a year to roughly $3,000 a year. that is closing the doors of opportunity to millions of americans. that's what the ryan budget values and that's what its sligs was at a time when our country was in crisis in terms of needing skilled, qualified workers to deal with the future challenges. the choice is clear and for those who care about spiraling education costs, the democratic agenda is the one that is on your side. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from georgia, mr. woodall, for five minutes. mr. woodall: i thank the speaker for the time. i'm happy to be down here this morning. i off come down here with something on my mind, mr. speaker, and invariably one of my colleagues says something that inspires me even more than what i had on my mind when i came down. and that's the case this morning. my colleague who was here right before me said the value of higher education in terms of future earnings is undisputable.
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the value of higher education, mr. speaker, in terms of future earnings is undisputable. and then went on to talk about all the federal programs that provide money so that people can seek higher education. my question is, mr. speaker, if the value is undisputable, why do we have to pay people to do it? if the value is undisputable, why do we have to pay people to do it? that's what happens in this chamber too often, mr. speaker. i think back to 1787, the passing of the constitution. the constitution as conservative as it is in terms of preserving individual liberties, would not have passed, would not have been ratified, without the addition of the bill of rights. our founding fathers were so concerned about a federal government trying to do too much that the colonies would not ratify the constitution in the
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absence of the bill of rights. the bill of rights which sole purpose is to protect individual liberties. mr. speaker, as i look around at what makes america great, it's never something that comes out of this united states house of representatives. it's something that comes out of a family next door back home. it's something that comes out of a community back home. it's something that comes out of individual liberty and freedom back home. and my job as a representative of 900,000 folks in the great state of georgia, is to protect the liberties from the natural inclination that exists in this body to think they have all the right answers. we talk about higher education, mr. speaker, and the great state of georgia we have what's called the hope scholarship program. it's funded by lottery money. i would have voted against the lottery, but the lottery won anyway, and now it funds higher education for all georgians, a huge job creation tool.
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folks want to come and relocate their business to georgia because they know kids with an accomplished high school record will be able to go to college for free. that's a state initiative, mr. speaker. we are not going to pass a national lottery up here and try to provide free college education for everybody. that's not the right answer. the right answer is to have states, to have those communities exercise those freedoms and implement their ideas back home. when i was growing up, it didn't occur to me at the time, how meaningful it would be, but there used to be a cliche when something was really hard you say it takes an act of congress to solve it. have you heard of that cliche, mr. speaker? it takes an act of congress to solve that because the problem is so hard it's hard to pass something in congress. it's hard to get an act of congress, yet every time we make a mistake, mr. speaker, in the name of trying to do good, in the name of trying to have the best idea, in the name of trying to tell everybody in america if only they'll do what we tell them to do, they will be happyier every time we make a
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mistake, it literally takes an act of congress to fix it. mr. speaker, we are not in charge of providing happiness to america. we are in charge of preserving americans' freedoms so that they can find their own happiness. mr. speaker, there are lots of countries on this planet. that do not share the freedoms that we have. there is only one country on this planet that protects individual liberty and freedom as we do. when we talk about the direction of america, mr. speaker, we have to decide are we going to protect those things that have always made this country great, individual liberty and individual freedom, or are we going to go the way of the rest of the world which is looking to a central government that thinks it has all the right answers? mr. speaker, they had it right in the summer of 1787, i hope we get it right here in this congress. i thank you for the time. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from california, ms. woolsey, for five minutes.
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ms. woolsey: mr. speaker, over the weekend nato air strikes killed at least 24 pakistani soldiers in a tragic friendly fire i.n.s. pent that has once again elevated tensions between the -- incident that has once again elevated tensions between the u.s. and pakistan. regardless who is at fault whether our sources were acting in self-defense or had legitimate reason to believe they were firing on insurgents, the pakistan government is furious and the bilateral relationshipple is facing a grave crisis. pakistan said they are cutting off supply routes into afghanistan. they have said they will no longer participate in a critically important international conference in germany next week. a conference that will help chart afghan's future. and this episode is fanning flames of anti-american sentiment in a country whose people are already hostile.
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in the last few days we have seen public demonstrations of pakistanis burning the u.s. flag and shouting, whoever is a friend of america is a traitor of the land. clearly, mr. speaker, instead of winning the hearts and minds we are giving terrorists a recruitment tool. pakistan has not always been the most reliable partner, but they are an ally and let's not forget a nuclear power. with whom we share important mutual interests. we need their cooperation if there is going to be political reconciliation and long-term stability in neighboring afghanistan. this incident leads me to believe very strongly, more strongly than ever as a matter of fact, that we must redeploy our troops out of afghanistan. we have very difficult diplomatic work to do there. work that is being complicated
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and not facilitated by our military presence. after more than 10 years of failed war that is undermining our security interests, it's time to change our role in the region. from one of military occupier to one of constructive partner. pan stack and afghanistan are the first places we could be implementing the smart security strategy we talked about, something -- i talked about so many times from this very spot. while it's true that we send enormous amounts of foreign aid to pakistan, the overwhelming majority of it goes to the military with very little trickling down to the people. we could, instead, spend more to boost pakistan's literacy rates. more investment and key infrastructure projects are the growth of civil society or life changing humanitarian efforts to give one specific example,
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pakistan is one of four countries on earth, and afghanistan is one of the others, that hasn't completely eradicated polio. for pennies on the dollar compared to our military expenditures, we can help provide the vaccinations that would eliminate this dire public threat. . perhaps then we can change that 11% have a favorable view of the united states. perhaps instead of destabilizing influences of 100,000 troops on the ground we can build a stronger relationship built on trust, one that empowers the pakistani people with a humanitarian surge instead of a military surge. mr. speaker, it's time for smart security and it starts with bringing our troops home. i yield back.
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the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentlelady from california, ms. lee, for five minutes. ms. lee: thank you, mr. speaker. as a founding co-chair of both the congressional out-of-poverty caucus and the congressional hiv-aids caucus, i rise today to draw attention once again to the ongoing crisis of poverty in america. and today i also want to draw particular attention to the impact of poverty on our national fight to stop h.i.v. and aids. mr. speaker, december 1 is world aids day, and this year marks 30 years after the first discovery of aids cases. the united states and the hiv-aids community globally have made tremendous progress in our collective response to this domestic and global crisis. we have reduced the stigmas surrounding the disease and strengthened education and outreach activities which continue to prevent millions of new cases of h.i.v. worldwide.
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the scientific community has improved the treatment of h.i.v. and aids with therapies and recent breakthroughs have revolutionized the way we think about aids. we have come a long way in our battle against aids. contracting h.i.v. no longer has to be a death sentence. but we have much more work to do. not everyone who is h.i.v. positive has access to these life-saving therapies. for the one in three americans who are poor or near poor, h.i.v. can still be the same death sentence that it was during the reagan presidency. today, nearly one in five americans with h.i.v. do not even know their status and only about half of americans who do know their status are receiving the treatment that they need. for the 100 million americans either in poverty or living on the edge of poverty, much more must be done. access to drug cocktails, high-quality health care, housing and healthy foods that
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are all critical for people living with h.i.v. are out of the reach for far too many. mr. speaker, 30 years later we continue to shortchange h.i.v. efforts and poverty-stricken communities. we fail to include women, outreach and treatment and we lack the resources for communities of color. this is just simply unconscionable. women of color and young gay and bisexual men still severe the most burden of h.i.v. in the united states. african-americans represent approximately 14% of the united states population but accounted for an estimated 44% of new infections in 2009. and we know the numbers that -- are on the rise in hispanic communities and asian pacific communities as well. these rates of infection is not something that has happened in isolation. people of color continue to
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face higher rates of unemployment, incarceration, poverty and near poverty than their white counterparts. we can and we must do much better than this. we must do more for those who are disproportionately impacted by h.i.v. and aids both here in america and around the world. we must provide the science-based comprehensive sex education that helps prevent the spread of diseases, and we must grow past old fierce and engage all communities -- fears and engage all community stakeholders surrounding the treatment of this disease. we must repeal laws that legalize and promote discrimination and hate. we must support and expand programs which provide critical support for people living with h.i.v. and aids and immediately, mind you, immediately extend treatment to the households -- excuse me -- to the thousands of americans on the waiting list for life-saving drugs and, of
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course, we must fully implement the national hiv-aids strategy and support medicaid expansion under the affordable care act. these policies are critical to next steps in the fight to stop this terrible disease. and we must protect the fraction of 1% of the federal budget directed to our global aids program through pepfar and the u.s. global fund. failing to support these programs would have dramatic national security and diplomatic implications for the united states. not to mention the humanitarian disaster that would occur. that is why last week i was very proud to be joined by over 100 members of congress in seeking appropriations of at least $5.25 billion for the pepfar program and $1.5 billion for global fund to fight aids, tuberculosis and malaria. mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to enter this letter
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into the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. lee: finally, mr. speaker, thank you. i was part of the removal of the travel ban. so let me encourage all the members to help in the worldwide fight against h.i.v. and aids. our global leadership will never be more -- this promising moment which we could move forward or we could go backwards. so i hope every member will join our bipartisan 60-plus members of the hiv-aids bipartisan caucus. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the chair declares the house in recess until the
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>> limit debate and amendments and on c-span3 today watch live coverage now. the hearing looking at state taxation of online shopping. all of that today on c-span networks. next up we'll take you to the u.s. capitol where a while ago house speaker john boehner and other republican leaders held a briefing on the republicans' agenda. about 10 minutes. >> american families and small
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businesses continue to struggle in this difficult economy. the house has 20 bills that would help create a better environment for job creation in our country, and they are sitting in the united states senate. all part of our plan to help america's job creators, get americans back to work. we are going to pass three more bills this week that will be going over to the senate. and we are calling on the senate to allow for consideration of these bills, they are good solid, pieces of legislation, all passed with bipartisan support, and they deserve the consideration of the united states senate. >> as we just returned from the thanksgiving recess, i think people came together to give thanks for the blessings in their life, but the people of this country remain frustrated as to where the job creation is, frustrated about their economic future. and as the speaker just indicated, i don't blame them
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for being frustrated because we continue to work in the house to try and find ways that we can help the job creation in this country. we have four bills up this week. we passed one yesterday, three more for the remainder of the week. and by the end of this week there will be 25 bills sitting in the senate, 25 bills sitting in the senate that harry reid refuses to take up that actually will help people get back to work in this country. and so, listen, we want to continue to try and find ways that we can agree. there are a lot of discussions going on in this building about how we are going to get out of here over the next 2 1/2 weeks. and i think if we focus on the areas that we can agree on, setaside those areas that have provided the most consternation and have eluded any kind of resolution, any kind of grand deal that we have been after has eluded us, so let's try and work incrementally towards a conclusion to this session that can benefit all americans, because we republicans do care
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about people that are out of work. we don't want to raise taxes on anybody. we want to provide the help to the physicians and providers and health care arena in this country. and we want to make sure this country has a sound national defense policy. >> winston churchill said you can always count on americans to do what's right after they exhausted every other option. one thing we found in the senate they continue to hold up an opportunity. the short time left within this year to actually move. when you find in the house what the republicans have done since taking over within the last year, from opening up the house, from moving bills in an open process, and sending them over to the senate. we have cut spending and we have job creation that unshackles what's been holding us back. if you look at what democrats in the house have done, 17 have decided to retire. that is a big number.
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why have they decided? because they know the policy is what the americans are looking for. job creation and accountability in government. if harry reid continues to hold and not allow a vote, i think he will come to the same outcome that the house dems have already come to. >> last week our fellow countrymen paused to give thanks. unfortunately in the obama economy millions could not give thanks for being employed. as our republican leader said, we have 20 different jobs bills that are now stacked up in the united states senate by the end of the week the number will be 25. so the house republican conference, jobs are job number one. we have ended the thanksgiving holiday. christmas is around the corner. senator reid, a great christmas gift you could give to the
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american people is to allow these jobs bills to be passed. >> for the last two years we were promised a recovery summer and it never happened. what we are calling for now is a recovery holiday. and it would happen by unleshing the private sector. as has been mentioned there are 20 bills, 20 jobs bills currently in the senate. by the end of this week there will be 25 jobs bills. let's start getting americans back to by unleashing the private sector, by passing these bills, getting them on president obama's desk, and having a recovery holiday for america. >> one of those 25 bills that will no doubt be stacked up cord wood in the senate is the work force and democracy fairness act. the american economy, the american workplace, is under assault, i believe, by the national labor relations board. the president's board has
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launched an assault on employers' free speech and employees' free choice. so we have a bill that will be up on the floor today that will make sure that employers have an opportunity to put their legal team together, make their case, employers will have an opportunity to talk to employees, employees will be given at least 35 days to make one of the most important decisions in their work life wouldn't to form a union, it will protect employees' privacy, and it will prevent union organizers from breaking up workplace and creating a myriad of microunions, bargaining units. this is an opportunity to bring more certainty, more confidence to the workplace, it's going to pass big. we are going to move it over to the senate, and i would encourage senator reid to take this up and move it forward for america. >> house republicans remain focused on helping small,
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medium, and large businesses do what they do best and that's create jobs. and ill tar heel you as a member of the education and work force committee i have been tracking what the obama administration's national labor relations board has been doing to hurt people every single day. ambush elections represent a sweeping policy change and we can't afford to bring that kind of certainty uncertainty into the environment and affect job creators. i'll be supporting this bill today because it's pro-growth, it's pro-jobs, and it brings certainty. and lord knows our country needs that right now. >> speaker boehner, on the tax cut, the millionaires -- clearly unacceptable to republicans. how important is extending the payroll tax cut by the end of the year? if it is important, how should it be paid for? >> we have made clear all fall that we are interested in working with the president to find common ground on his jobs plan. and there are a number of pieces
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of his jobs plan and our jobs plan that have, in fact, been passed by both houses and signed into law. and we are going to continue to seek common ground on this issue. there is no debate, though, about whether these extensions alt to be paid for. the president -- ought to be paid for. the president's called for them to be paid for. democrats have called for them to be paid for. so if in fact we can find common ground on these extensions, i think you can take to the bank the fact that they will be paid for. >> speaker boehner, lindsey graham, a republican said, quote, 15 bills come interesting the house, no one ever heard of, including me, is probably not the best marketing plan. there is a lot of consternation amongst members of your conference that perhaps your job -- will you switch up your approach at all? >> we are going to continue to do the right thing for the american people. these jobs bills that we have moved all year long will, in
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fact, help create a better environment for job creation. i think if those bills start to come to the floor of the united states senate, all the senators aware of it. >> do you think, this is the first time you-all have been on camera since last week. do you think voters in 2012 should hold members accountable for the supercommittee failure to address the deficit? >> listen, i have great respect for our members on the supercommittee. jeb hensarling i think did a great job co-chairing this, along with patty murray. but dave camp and fred upton, two of our members. i know how hard all of the members of the supercommittee worked. both democrats and republicans. the fact is it's unfortunate they weren't able to come to agreement. understand this, there is going $1. trillion of further cuts -- $1.2 trillion of further cuts to meet our commitment. i think having the sequester in
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place to ensure that we are going to get our spending problem under control is a good thing. but i would prefer, and i think all of our members would prefer, that we do this in a more responsible way. so i'm never going to give up on making the changes necessary to get our deficit and our debt under control because if we don't, the future for our kids and grandkids will be bleak. >> fundamental issue that caused them to fail, especially when they talk about that they were close to an agreement, especially on apparently corporate tax rate. do you see any way they can move -- we can move some of those individual things forward? >> if you look at what happened with the supercommittee, it's not a whole lot different than what happened in the conversations between president obama and myself and senator reid and senator mcconnell and myself later in the summer. there's going to be a balance to this if it's going to happen. the fact is is that both of our views of what is balance still
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have room between us. the fact is we've got to find more common ground if we are going to be successful. but i'll say this one more time. we have no choice but to deal with our deficit and our debt problems or we'll be looking at an economy that will be a lot worse than this. fun one fun two -- >> speaker bane earn his house colleagues get to work legislatively at noon eastern today. they'll finish work on a bill that changes rules for unionizing the workplace. it's in response to proposed national labor relations board rules and adds waiting time and
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a number of steps to be taken before vote on unionizing. follow the house live beginning at noon here on c-span. news conference from just a short while ago own capitol hill. it's about 20 minutes. >> good morning, everyone. thanks for coming. i want to thank senator mccaskill for joining me today and for her leadership and the great work she's done on this issue. it's almost exactly one year ago that she and i joined forces, we wrote an op-ed in the "usa today," urging the adoption of a moratorium on earmarks by both of our respective parties.
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fortunately we had a number of colleagues that joined in this effort and both parties did, in fact, adopt such a moratorium. much to their credit. our purpose today is to announce that we are going to introduce a bill together and the bill would make a ban on earmarks permanent and it would do so in a fashion that closes the loophole that allows the ban to be circumvented today. i think this is very, very important for a number of reasons. one is there is an effort under way to go back to earmarking as usual. as it used to be. and i think that would be a disaster for our country and for our congress, and we intend to do our very best to prevent that. and it's important we do it for a number of reasons. the most obvious of which is we can't afford to waste money this way. we have staggering deficits. we have completely unsustainable debt. we are on a fiscal trajectory
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that can only lead to disaster if we don't change this path. well, by 2010 over the course of the previous 15 years, earmarking has tripled and gone up to $33 billion. now, i'll acknowledge that $33 billion itself doesn't put us on a sustainable fiscal path, but we've got to start somewhere. and this is a good place to start. it's a really important place to start. in fact, i would argue there is no better place to start because among other things this is a badly flawed process, earmarking that is. it's a process that is designed and exists for the purpose of circumventing the kind of scrutiny and attention and competitive bidding that spending of taxpayer dollars should always be subject to. and worst of all, in my view, earmarks became currency that was used to buy votes. there is an unwritten rule but it was pretty well enforced that somebody asked for an earmark in a bill and they got their earmark, they were obligated to
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vote for that bill regardless of how bloated it was, or how wasteful it was. this should be completely unacceptable in an era where we are running trillion dollar deficits. my goodness. so i think maybe the most important thing about this to have a permanent ban on earmarks is an effort to change the culture of congress. i think we've got to change the culture from a congress that historically has been all about seeing how much money can i spend to one that's focused on how much money can we save? so that we can restore fiscal discipline, put ourself on a sustainable fiscal path, and ensure the promising future that we can have if we get our fiscal house in order. that is our mission today and senator mccaskill, again, thank you very much for your leadership in this effort and joining me. >> thank you very much. it is great to be here with senator toomey today working on a permanent ban on earmarks. i did not campaign against earmarks in 2005 and 2006.
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frankly i didn't really understand how the process until i got here. and when i got here and it was beginning -- people were beginning to explain it to me, i said this isn't right. i'm not going to do this. i'm not going to participate in this process. no one could tell me who was making the decisions as to who got how much. no one could tell me how that process occurred. i know there were papers being passed around. i know that there was some kind of effort to make people think at home that someone else was picking the winners and losers so the individual members wouldn't have to be the one responsible for picking winners and losers from all the people flooding their offices wanting these handouts. i know certain members got a lot more than other members. and there was no explanation for that. as a government auditor to this
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job, made me realize that something was amiss in the way this place spent money. i said i'm not doing it. and at the time there were only two democrats in the united states senate that didn't participate in earmarking and there were only a handful of republicans. and, frankly, most people looked at us like we were tilting at windmills. literally it almost felt like some of the senior appropriators were patting me on the head. oh, sure, claire, you don't like earmarks, you are making a big mistake. they are never going anywhere. fast forward. thanks to senator toomey and others who have arrived here and the american people getting more educated about this, we have now made an effort to stop earmarking which is a good thing, but frankly i watch every day as people try to get around it. i was shocked when i saw the house armed services committee put in the defense authorization bill hundreds of earmarks. now they claim they weren't
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earmarks, if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck, it's a duck. these were earmarks, no question about t we'll have more information on our effort to look at that problem in the coming weeks. but it's clear to me that there are many people around here that want to get back to business as usual in terms of the earmarking process. that's why this legislation is necessary. to put into the budget act that earmarks are prohibited and to allow an enforcement mechanism on the floor of the senate if anyone tries. and i will close with this and then we'll take questions. i have many memorable moments from my first year in the united states senate. one of the most memorable is when i filed an amendment on the floor of the senate to pull nancy pelosi's earmarks out of the farm bill that had been slipped into the farm bill in the dead of night in conference. called an airdropped earmark. and i put this amendment on the floor of the senate and it was
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very awkward. because the members, leaders of my party were aghast that i would take on the secret earmark in an open amendment process on the floor of the senate. and they were even more upset when i almost passed the amendment. one of my colleagues came to me red faced on the floor and said ugly things at that moment. it was shocking to me that it was so controversial that i had done that. but it told me a lot about how this place worked. and why it is important to be independent and strong and stand up for a process that is fair based on merit and has the taxpayers' interest at the top of the list. so i think this legislation will go a long way towards changing that culture, changing the quid pro quo of the earmark world, and get us back to a merit-based process where every dime we spend of taxpayer money is spent competitively and based on merit
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not on how powerful you are, who you know, or how long you have been here. we'll be happy to take questions. >> last year, the two-year rate failed on the senate floor, do you have any reason to think you could get this passed now? a we'll, i think it's going to be hard with all the emphasis right now on fiscal responsibility and all of us focused on bringing down spending, i think to vote against a moratorium on earmarking right now would be a very dangerous vote. i think it would be an i don't get it vote. one of those votes that tells the american people that truly washington is really out of touch. i think everybody is feeling pretty endangered regardless of party in washington right now because we sense the frustration of the american people about the dysfunction of this place. i think has the whip cream and cherry on top of a dysfunction
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sundae if people had the nerve to vote against the permanent end to earmarks. >> if you look at the freshmen members of the senate and compare how they would be likely to vote to how their predecessors would have been likely to vote or did vote in the previous congress, i think you can see there's probably quite a pick up in the number of votes and as senator mccaskill points out there is no question there is a much greater appreciation for the importance of fiscal discipline now than probably there's ever been. >> is there any indication the leaders support bringing this to a vote? >> i would say no. >> i would say i haven't had that conversation with the leadership on our side. i intend to. but i haven't had that conversation. so i just can't speak to the question at this point. >> both of our leaders are former appropriators. >> senator, one thing i'm a little confused about is what
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senator -- senator or lawmaker does if there is a project that needs to be funded or a need that's not being looked at or taken care of by the administration, how do you about getting a project like that funded if you have that need? >> you are getting at what i think is one of the most bogus arguments made in favor of earmarks. and that is we know bert than the bureaucrats. well, most of the money that's being stolen for earmarking is coming out of grants and formula programs that are decided at the state level. if you look at, for example, in the earmarking that has been done in the criminal justice area, we have birn grants, we have -- byrne grants, violence women, that money goes to blocks to the states and the states allow a competitive process to dole that money out. when someone decides in washington to take money from that program for their own
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project, for sheriff smith's new patrol car, all he's doing is stealing from a competitive process that occurs at the states. so what we need to do with federal money is there are programs that need to be addressed whether it's water need or road need or bridge need, this money needs to go to the state and allow the local stakeholders through the process of hearings and their own determination to determine what is the best use of the moppy within their states. that's how we do it around here except for this relatively modern practice of rob interesting those funds in order to fund pet projects based on a lobbyist's ability to get to you or who you know and what committee you serve on and so forth. this doesn't stop local decisions about where federal money goes. it just stops individual members of congress from being able to put the fairy dust in the backroom. >> you don't think there were
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any legitimate earmarks, legitimate needs -- >> no question there have been great projects funded by earmarks. i'm not here to say these projects are not worthy. i'm saying the process by which it was done is so flawed that we need to make sure we end that process. these projects could get fund throughout a merit based competition. look at water projects. missouri, we have all these water needs, i have folks here from missouri. we had huge flooding this year. you can't earmark for repair, what's going to happen? missouri will compete, and instead of north dakota and utah getting all the money because that's the chairman and ranking of that appropriations committee, it's going to be based on need and guess who has a lot of need? a state where both the missouri and mississippi come together where we have flooding is a constant problem in our state. on merit, missouri will do just fine. as it should. it shouldn't be just because the chairman of the subcommittee gets to pull all that money out because they are the chairman of the subcommittee. >> as the senator from missouri
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you don't feel like you should have any role in that process? >> i should fight the money gets the to missouri and allow the people of missouri to prioritize it. >> if i could add something, i think what our responsibility is to make sure we have a properly designed process here. one that is honest, transparent, one that is merit based. we should fight and sometimes we'll argue and disagree and sometimes we'll agree about what the criteria ought to be and maybe what the formula ought to be that allocates it among the states. that's perfectly reasonable and legitimate and in a system like that the projects with the most merit will get funded. that's the way it ought to work. transparently, with the rule-based system, but not one where an individual member gets to have his or her way in darkness without any scrutiny and without being subject to a competitive process. >> question on the defense side, you mentioned that you were looking into the earmarks in the house armed services markup. and wanted to see if you provide
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a little more description exactly what you are looking into. secondly, if you eliminate earmarks, how do you prevent lobbyists from simply going to the pentagon and fund their projects and even less transparent process? >> i think what you have to do as a member of the armed services committee, you have ask the kind of questions of the pentagon i have been trying to ask over the last five years, and that is why are you doing this contract, why isn't wasn't this contract competitive? looking into a.n.c.'s. there is a variety of way that is congress can have oversight of the executive branch and how they spend money. and we need to ramp all that up and we need to be serious and significant overseers as it relates to the way money is spent. as to the house armed services committee, it was a massive attempt, there was a slush fund created and members were allowed to offer amendments to use that slush fund for their pet
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projects. they tried to say it was going to be competitive. well, if you look at it closely, it doesn't pass the smell test. we have been trying to analyze it in a very detailed manner and we'll have a report coming out on the weeks to come. >> let me add one other thing. i agree about the importance of congressional scrutiny and what the executive is doing. that needs to be better, frankly. that's an ongoing challenge. but let's earmarks exploded in the fashion that they did because members of congress are uniquely innocented. they have an insensitive that the bureaucracy doesn't v that is get that big media slash when they walk down with the oversized check and say i'm the guy that brought you this big pile of money and i'm responsible for this and therefore the implicit message is you ought to support me in my next re-election campaign. the guy at the pentagon desk has no incentive to do that sort of
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thing. that's why i think we have seen members of congress who have asked for bridges to nowhere and teapot museums and cowgirl hall of fames and superchristmas trees tore whatever it was. these things came -- or whatever it was. these things came from members of congress because they thought they would be some kind of political reward for that. >> do you find living a unique challenge now with the ongoing effort of deficit reduction, do you find pressure is greater for members because there is a smaller pot from which choose? senator toomey, can you give us any idea have the supercommittee addressed earmarks? >> i don't think we spent a great deal of time focusing on earmarks in the superecommittee for a variety of reasons. one there was a moratorium in place. two, most of us were trying to find ways to address the more of the mandatory spending side of the equation. different part of the budget. >> senator mccaskill, similar
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related. speaking ever earmarks from the swhouser white house, you have asked for a vee view of the contract between h.h.s. and a company called sega over the smallpox. why did you ask for that? >> it was a no-bid contract over $250 million. that's always going to get my attention. >> do you feel because some very large democratic supporters of the white house, ron pearlman, andy stern are involved with that company this has the impression of political pal? >> i'm not going to comment about people drawing conclusions about the appearances of this contract. i want to get into the facts and that is how did this become a no-bid contract? was it justified as a no-bid contract? overall i think we need to begin asking policy questions about the kind of money we are spending on developing drugs where the united states government is the only customer. and if we are spending a lot of money developing those drugs for the united states, it's going to
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be the only customer, why is it the stockholders get all the profit if we are the ones putting up a significant portion of the development money. when in fact the state becomes the customer. the policy issues around this writ large. mass inations of contracts. -- mazenations -- machinations of contracts. i'm looking at the policy of no-bid contracts in this arena and looking at the facts of it. i think it is way too early to speculate as to whether or not there was -- we have to figure out first was this the only company that has a drug? that kind of removes any problem that there was an appearance of trying to help out somebody that had given money to the president. >> a final question. have you made any determination that this smallpox treatment was even necessary or needed by this government? >> first of all i'm not going to be somebody that has the expertise to make that determination. but we obviously are gathering
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all the information surrounding this, including the justification for the purchase of this drug in the first place. and what documentation was out there that supported the need for this. this plan was done back in 2007. the bush administration, as to what kind of stockpiles we needed for a bioterror threat in this contry. and my predecessor has done a lot of work on this subject, senator talent, as the co-chairman of the bioterrorist task force along with senator graham from florida. they have worked very hard looking at whether or not our country is greeped for the threat of terrorism in the form of a biological weapon. i think you have to go back and look at the history of this and why this came about. and it was that recommendation back in 2007 that drove the purchase of this particular drug. so we are going to be taking a
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look at all that. >> i'm curious how exactly your bill is going to prevent some of the things you seem to make an end-run around, the moratorium this year. >> well, i think there are a couple of ways in which it makes it much more difficult to circumvent the ban in our bill. specifically individual senators become empowered with making deet significance about whether an earmark is an earmark in our bill as opposed to the arrangement in which the chairman or leadership can decide whether something should be considered an earmark. secondly, our bill established a 67-vote point of order. if a senator believes that there is an earmark that is prohibited, he or she can raise that point of order. it's not subject to the opinion of any other member of the senate at that point. that point of order can be introduced. and that is a 67-vote threshold to allow the earmark to remain in the bill. that's a high threshold. i think that combination makes
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it very likely that we would be able to sustain the objection and therefore prevent the earmark in the first place. which is the goal. >> sounds like one senator can think of anything as an earmark -- >> no. precisely defined in the bill. there is a very precise definition. it's not subjective. and the parliamentarian would ensure that the senator who raised the point of order was invoking the bill properly. >> thank you develop. -- thank you very much. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] >> u.s. returns in 20 minutes. a bill that would overturn a proposed rule on how union elections are conducted in workplaces. live coverage here on c-span. the senate's in today on c-span two, they have been debating the defense department programs and policy bill and a vote is under way there to limit debate and amendments and c-span capitol
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hill producer andy tweets so far about eight u.s. senators are voting against proceeding with the bill. they include senators coburn, rand paul. on c-span2. on c-span3 a hearing on state taxation of online shopping. ahead of the house coming in at noon, a discussion on that unionization bill from today's "washington journal." host: congressman, you have been deeply involved in this effort as a member of the education and work force subcommittee on work force protections. this is a controversial rule that's being voted on. can you first explain what the rule is? >> actually it's not in the nlrb it's in the u.s. congress. this is a bill that will be brought up on the floor, 3094, the republicans call it the work force democracy and fairness act. we call it the election
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prevention act. what the bill does is basically say that there has to be a minimum of at least 35 days before an election can be called at a site. now, that's the minimum time. currently there is no specific amount of time of 35 days. what it will do, of course, and the purpose is simply to delay the elections of the -- that unit. what it would do is to give the employer an advantage by making different allegations to the nlrb, once again those cases would have to be heard and therefore you will have an
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extended period of time where actually the businesses can weed out those who they think are union leaders in the first place. host: one of the reasons why republicans brought up this bill on the floor is because of a rule that was proposed by the national labor relations board and that there is going to be a vote on this rule today to shorten the amount of time that happens between the filing of employees wanting to have an union and actual election, correct? guest: yes that's correct. the board is down to its minimum numbers at the current time. it needs to have a certain number of members, i think there are five members, they need to have at least three to function. so there is a move to try -- i was focusing on the legislation that it was brought up at the labor committee we had a hearing. it was voted unanimously by the democrats to oppose it to the
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person. and so this is the legislation that's coming up on the floor and that's to usurp what nlrb is attempting to do today. host: why is this regulation needed by the nlrb? are there not enough unions being formed? there's too much delays? do you have percentages about the amount of time that it takes between union elections and -- unions filing for an election and actual election? >> what's happened repeatedly the employee has the upper hand. they have control over where materials are posted. the republicans say, well, the nlrb can tell you the reasons that you can vote. that's true. and they say they don't say very much about the benefits of the company. believe me, i have not been to a
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site where the company has not made clear why you should not be in the union. as a matter of fact in one very large case, and i won't name the company, but i visited the site myself and there was anti-labor material in company areas that could only be opened by key by the company. in other words they had anti-labor material locked in that couldn't be disruptive or destroyed or -- and was illegal because the company is not supposed to have work site places that they control in order to prevent the union. now, if they allow the union to put their material in this same place, that would be one thing. but it was strictly anti-union material. host: again we are talking about new jersey congressman,
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democratic congressman don payne on the subcommittee on work force protections. if you want to join in the conversation on labor unions. the new rules that are coming up both on the house floor and international labor relations board. give us a call on the democratic line 202-737-001. on the republican line 202-737-0002. on the independent line, 202-608 -- congressman there's been a lot of criticism staying on the rule and the national labor relations board that this is essentially to create a quicky elections for unions. that it gives the union members -- union folks a lot of time to talk to employees about forming a union, but then springs the election on the employers. this is some criticism that came up in the "wall street journal" yesterday. it says this is big labor's version of speed dating and no wonder. union membership is down to some 7% of the private work force and falling. workers want to join unions as
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they see what has happened to the competitiveness of union dominated industries. labor's response is to raid the rules so companies have little time and fewer resources to educate workers about the risks posed by unions. when unions couldn't get a card check bill banning secret ballot elections through a democratic congress, they turn to the nlrb for this and other dirty work. want to get your response. guest: i think that there has been union bashing ever since -- for the last 15 or 20 years. very serious union bashing. we have seen in states for example, in ohio, we recently saw governor kasich mush through -- push through legislation through the legislature which of course was rescinded by over two to one vote in ohio. we see what happened in wisconsin with governor walker. now they are in the process of getting the requisite number of signatures that are needed to
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have a recall vote. i think that unions have been treated unfairly. first of all, because of job stagnation and because of worldwide competition, the employer has a very strong hand. that's why, one, you see virtually no strikes even though the number of union jobs continue to decrease. the businesses have a tremendous advantage. i mean there's no question about it. that's why i'm shocked that they are panicking on a move to simply try to have speedy elections. the other thing that was mentioned is that there is a way that the employer has a way of categorizing workers. and they can take workers and sort of gerrymander them like they used to do in congress until new laws are preventing
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gerrymandering in any states with a commission and so for the tot. they can say we have a new category and you are not in it anymore. are you in a category over here you know nothing about. this is one of the concerns we have seen as businesses have attempted to kind of muddy the brackets where workers fit. host: that's included in the legislation that's on the house floor today? here's an article from the "washington times" today talking about the legislation coming up. g.o.p. seeks to head off nlrb rules. would speed up organizing process and allow mup tipple unions. is -- multiple unions. is that the gerrymandering? guest: exactly. what they would do is have various unions competing in the same workplace being more confusing, pitting people against each other. there that should be therefore a common cause. there are a number of manipulation that is are included in this new
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legislation. and that's what the nlrb is trying to head off. host: louis a democrat from evansville, indiana. good. -- good morning. caller: i'm sure he talks to people on the other side of the aisle. i don't understand the republican philosophy. business, there's all kinds of business associations. they support republicans. they give money to the chamber of commerce. they lobby. i think their chamber of commerce gives more money on elections than any group. what i want to know is how come if a business can do that, it's all right. but if individuals want to join a union to get a better deal, they are labeled as being anti-american or socialist? guest: you are absolutely right. as a matter of fact the new supreme court ruling indicated that businesses can actually fund elections unlimited. won't even have to tell the
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names of the donors. there's going to be a tremendous advantage for pro-business, pro-republican candidates in the presidential and in the senate and house races. it's unbelievable that the supreme court ruled that way. before a company could not use company funds for a political campaign. it had to come out of individuals' pockets. they did well enough then, believe me. now can you actually take operating expenses and -- now you can actually take operating expenses and use it for political campaigns. host: north carolina, randy a republican. good morning. caller: good morning. yes, i would like to get the congressman's opinion on why it's fair for -- in the northern states or union states, to keep a qualified person from being employed if he does not want to be a part of the union?
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i know in right to work states like north carolina you can decide not to join the union and you can still work for a company that is unionized. in the northern states, if you are not willing to be a part of the union, you cannot get a job with a union company. that does not seem american to me. i'll take the answer offline. guest: i'm not sure that that's true. when a person goes for employment, they are well aware of what that company has to offer. they know what the salaries are, what the categories are. whether it is a union shop or not. when a person goes to apply for a job, they usually tend to take on all of the obligations and responsibilities that that particular company provides. and if it happens to be a union operation, then members will benefit.
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let me tell you one other thing, many people who are not unionized benefit from unions. i just introduced a resolution that commended organized labor. because what happens is that where there are not unionized workers, the companies that are competing against a unionized company tends to really give basically the same benefits that they -- that the union workers get. and so unions really it's really where all shifts are lifted by that rising tide. host: congressman there's been concerns staying on the national labor relations board, that's going to happen about 2:30 today, about the way that this vote has been called. the democratic chairman, democratic appointed chairman of the national labor relations
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board has called this vote and has noted that he needs to call it before the end of the year because the national labor relations board might lose its ear democratic member or is going to, craig becker, he's a recess appointment and his appointment ends this year. the one lone republican on the board has threatened to step down for how this election has been called. i want to read you, this is a letter that brian hayes, a republican member of the board, wrote in his criticism about how this vote has come up. this is a november 18th letter to the work force committee. he said in my sense the notice of proposed rule making i criticize the majority's use after rule making process that is owe passion, exclusionairly, and adversarial.
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concern that the national labor relations board is looking heavy-handed or political in this vote that's happening today? guest: i think that the reality is that if the vote is not taken today, the nlrb is going to almost be ineffective. and so i don't look at it as being a political vote. i look at it as being a vote that will be needed for the board to continue to move forward. there have been all kinds of refusals. we have more judges positions opened because the republicans in the senate will not confirm persons for the positions. we have more vacancies because of the -- in the u.s. senate one person can object. they don't have to say who they are.
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they just put a hold on it. so we have seen the stagnation of government where in order to get anything passed you need to get 60 votes plus in order to pass anything in the senate. that's not going to happen. it's not going to happen now, next year, or in the future. i think senate is digging it self into a very deep hole where they are going to be ineffective. whoever is in charge of the senate because of the way -- it used to be major bills that the so-called cloture would be called and the filibuster would be brought. civil rights bills, things of that nigh ture. today in the senate you simply need 60 votes just to pass anything. and that is really what is the paralysis in this nation. so i encourage the nlrb to move forward so that it can continue to operate because it will be defunct if it does not get the rule passed before the end of the year. host: your thoughts on brian,
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republican member of the board, we have a picture here. threatening to resign before this vote today to essentially deny the national labor relations board its quorum. your colleague, george miller, recently questioned his motives for doing that. whether he had already talked to business abouts a job after the national labor relations board. guest: there's no question that if he resigns before the vote is taken, strictly you are talking of accusing the nlrb to be political. i think it would be more political than that. his resignation will prevent the board from moving forward if he resigns before the meeting today. so there is into question that he is working on behalf of the republican party and people who favor union bashing unions and keeping unions limited. as we mentioned already, only 7% now. and i listen to your show often and i hear one of the previous members of congress this morning, say that unemployment
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is bad because it keeps people from wanting to have a job. the congressional black caucus had five job fairs throughout the country this summer. the first one i went to was in cleveland. people lined up outside the university there, cleveland state i believe it was, at 4:00 in the morning. we had 15,000, 20,000 people standing in line all day to fill out an application for a job. i don't know where this notion comes that people don't want to work. that people would prefer to have unemployment than to have a job. it's ludicrous. host: back to the phones. again we are with congressman don payne from new jersey. david, independent from burlington, wisconsin. good morning. caller: good morning. thanks for taking my call. thank you for c-span. great program. congressman is exactly right. this is lunacy why you would say unemployment is there so people can get a free ticket is
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absolutely insane. but being from wisconsin and seeing what has happened since ronald reagan fired the a.t.c. workers, this is an outrageous attack on workers and workers' rights. this is what it's all about. it's not about whether a worker should decide whether or not they want to join a union making a wisconsin a right to work state. that's not what this is about. this is about destroying unions and unionism, period. anything else would be more clearer than that. host: do you support the efforts to recall your governor out there? caller: absolutely. host: have you signed the petition? caller: absolutely. this is an incredible, outrageous, blatant attack on workers. let me make this point. the u.s. congress while not an organized union, does negotiate
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their own wages, their own pensions, their own benefit package, and i might add that -- >> just a bit the house will begin debate on that bill dealing with unions and the workplace. you can watch that conversation online in our video library at of the the house is gaveling in next for that bill and more. they'll also set debate rules to be considered this week in eliminating federal funds for presidential campaigns and curbing federal regulations. the senate meanwhile continues debate on the defense department programs and policy bill after approving cloture agreeing to limit debate and amendments, the bill 88 in favor, 12 against, the senate debate continues. follow that on c-span two. the house live now here on c-span. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2011] the speaker: the house will be in order. the prayer will be offered by
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our guest chaplain, the reverend jay pharrell, cape coral united methodist church, cape coral, florida. the chaplain: let us pray. heavenly father, your word says from those to whom much is given, much will be demanded. we offer our gratitude for the blessings of freedom you have given our nation. you have indeed blessed us with much. we pray that you continue to remind us that america has been blessed to be a blessing to others. grant the members of this house of representatives your wisdom and grace to provide leadership at home and around the world. help our country to continue to be a light to everyone by pointing all people to the true freedom and justice that an only come from you. as we enter this season of hope, please bless this congress and all your leaders with the guidance to make decisions filled with your
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love. god, please continue to bless america and please help america to bless you. we ask these things in the name of your son, jesus christ, amen. the speaker: the chair has examined the journal of the last day's proceedings and announces to the house his approval thereof. pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1, the journal stands approved. the pledge of allegiance will be led by the gentleman from illinois, mr. holtman. mr. holtman: please join me in reaffirming our allegiance to this great nation. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the speaker: the chair will entertain up to 15 requests for one-minute 1350e67s. for what purpose does the gentleman from south carolina rise? >> request permission to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker: without objection, ordered.
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mr. wilson: mr. speaker, in june, the national labor relations board proposed a new rule to accelerate the process for unionization. union workers would be forced into memberships without having a reasonable time for managers to fully explain the advantages and disadvantages of membership. this afternoon, under the leadership of education and work force chairman john kline, congress will vote on the work force democracy and fairness act, legislation that limits the nlrb's ability to deny employers and workers the rights to a free election, a right granted to every american by the laws of our country. it is time for the president's national labor relations board to stop focusing on policies that trample over the rights of american workers. i encourage my colleagues to vote in favor of the bill today and reaffirm the protections workers and job creators have received for decades. in conclusion, god bless our troops and we will never forget
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september 11 and the global war on terrorism. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from new york rise? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. >> madam speaker, i rise in opposition to legislation that will hinder the rights of american workers. there are several junctures in the union certification process in which an election can be delayed through unnecessary litigation. in june, the national labor relations board announced reforms to hold elections in a fair and timely manner this will address more reforms to delay elections indefinitely. mr. higgins: i often cite the history of cooperative labor relations as one of western new york's strength. but the record shows some will use every loophole to prevent
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workers voting on whether to bargain collectively. the national labor relations board rules will close those loopholes and allow elections to proceed. we should allow the reforms to stand and instead focus on creating jobs and getting our economy moving in the right direction. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the speaker of the house, mr. boehner. the speaker: madam speaker, an attack on one who serves is an attack on all who serve. i don't think i fully understood the meaning of those words until last january's senseless assault on our fellow citizens and our most fundamental responsibilities. this house responded in prayer and solidarity, reminding the world that no act of violence could silence the sacred dialogue of democracy. it is in that same spirit that later today we will gather here to honor gabe zimmerman, the
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first congressional staffer to give his life in the line of duty. and god willing, the last. like every member of this body, i took an oath to uphold and defend our constitution, and he di-- and he died while well and faithly discharging his duties. i think it is fitting and appropriate to honor gabe zimmerman with a permanent memorial in the united states capitol. i extend the sympathy of the whole house to his family. let us honor gabe's memory in this institution. later today, i would ask the house to support the resolution and with that, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from new york rise? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized.
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>> thank you, madam speaker. last week, like millions of americans across this country, my family and i gave thanks for our blessings, our nation's freedom and for the food on our table provided by the hard working farmers of our country and from my district. now i ask my colleagues to join me in giving thanks for our farmers who make this great harvest possible. america's farms are the best in the world. our food is safer, higher in quality and more efficiently grown than any other country. the labor and innovation of america's farmers put food on the tables of not just families here at home but across the world. as our farmers bring their goods to market in the 21st century economy, they expect to have a 21st century government that will help, not hinder their business. ms. hochul: that's whey i callen the secretary of labor to submit applications for guest workers online. new york farmers are
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increasingly relying on this to find the legal help they need. i was shocked to learn that one of my onion farms had to mail almost 20 pounds of paperwork to the federal government in order to participate in the program. there must be a better way. an online application program would save money for farmers and taxpayers and i urge the secretary of labor to swiftly implement this program. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from illinois rise? >> request permission to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. >> thank you, madam speaker. recently a constituent of mine wrote to me and asked what is going on in washington? she said her husband a small business owner, is taxed so hard that money is tight and as a result they cannot grow their business. and she said if we cannot grow, we cannot create new jobs. i want to know what you are doing for job growth. mr. hultgren: again, a good question. the answer is simple. we need pro growth, pro jobs
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policies. the house has passed more than 20 bills that do just that through low taxes, reasonable regulation, less spending and smaller, less intrusive federal government. these are common sense bills, most of them passed with bipartisan support. where are these bills now? languishing in the do-nothing senate. to my constituent, and to many others who share her concern, my simple response is, we in the house have acted, now it's time for the senate to do the same. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from connecticut rise? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. >> madam speaker, 25 million people dead around the world. 14 million orphan children on the continent of africa alone. madam speaker, this is part of the toll that the human race has borne since the terrible scourge of h.i.v. aids began its work a decade -- a jeb
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ration ago. mr. himes: i rise today to commemorate the brothers, sisters, friends, and children we have lost to this disease. i rise to commemorate the struggle of the 33 million people around the world who are living with this terrible disease today and i rise to celebrate the new and real possibility that we could end aids in this generation. madam speaker, this government funded the peb favre fight that brought hope and health to millions around the world and funned the research that allows us to say today that we could end aids. as we do the hard work of balancing the budget, let's do what we need to do to end this disease and make sure that future world aids days are all about celebration. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? mr. poe: i request permission to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. poe: madam speaker, in one month, every home in america must be lit with special $3
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government-approved light bulb. the 75 cent incandescent light bulb, thomas edison's greatest invention, will be banned by the government. the federal government's anti-consumer choice law leaves america's no other option but to use a harmful, mercury-filled product. also it's a job ill canner. it ended a manufacturing industry that went back to the days of thomas edison and shipped most of those jobs overseas. primarily to china. isn't that lovely. also where does the federal government have the constitutional authority to force anybody to buy anything, from health care insurance to a box of doughnuts or even a light bulb? it's time for the bureaucrats to quit forcibly micromanaging america, let americans choose how to light their own homes. otherwise, we will have to turn out the lights, the party is over, even for thomas edison's light bulb. and that's just the way it is. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for
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what purpose does the gentleman from california rise? >> to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. >> madam speaker work the unemployment above 13% and home foreclosures at a record level, families in my congressional district are hurting. mr. baca: i state, they are hurting. now if congress does not act soon, these struggling families will face a $1,000 tax increase, a $1,000 tax increase. and why are families facing this deadline? because the republicans refuse, and i state, the republicans refuse to ask those making more than $1 million a year to contribute their fair share. the republicans' obsession with extending the bush tax for the ultra rich has led to the failures of the super committee. we all know the bush tax cuts were a horrible failure.
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they didn't produce jobs here in the united states, they didn't create any new jobs. they dug us into a $15 trillion debt and now the republicans want to permanently extend this madness. it can't just be my way or the highway. let's stop the gridlock. let's pass a jobs bill. let's work together on a balanced budget. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from michigan rise? >> i rise to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. >> i rise today with a twinge of sadness in my heart as a pay tribute to fred meier, one of america's most entrepreneurial spirits who passed away this week just shy of his 92nd birthday. he was born in greenville, michigan in 1919 and was known as the father of the superstore his innovation and entrepreneurship will live on
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in his meier groastry stores with over 200 stars -- stores in five different states. he'll be remembered in west michigan for his philanthropy, friendship and care of the community he lived in. he and his wife gave back and invested millions in their community. despite deprowing one of the most successful businesses in the country and revolutionizing the rere-tail model, he remained a typical west michigan down-to-earth person who remarked, money is only a tool and money doesn't buy happyness. he knew what was important and kept that in the forefront. friends, family a strong relationship with his neighbors and community and the thing he loved to do the most was hand out purple cow cards, free ice cream cards in -- to kids in his stores. again, i rise to pay tribute to him, his family and the innovation an entrepreneurial legacy he leaves behind. mr. meier, you will be missed
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but you will not be forgotten. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from rhode island rise? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. >> at a time when so many rhode islanders and americans are out of work, we need to do everything we can to provide assistance to families while individuals continue to look for work. the federal emergency unemployment insurance is a critical part of our safety net that supports families in difficult times. mr. cicilline: mr. constituents have contacted my office explaining the impact on their families of not extending unemployment benefits, like estella a single mother laid off from work who now relies on unemployment benefits to support herself and her son. she's looking for work and is currently participating in a job training program to improve her skills and enhance her ability to find a job. without unemployment benefit she is would not be able to support her household and pay her bills. if the emergency federal
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unemployment benefits program is not extended at the end of this year, it will be devastating to her and thousands of other meshes. these americans who worked hard throughout their lifes should not be sacrificed on the altar of partisan politics. congress must stop playing washington-style political games with the fate of these families and act now to provide security to unemployed workers and their families while they look for jobs. i thank you and yield back the balance of my time. . the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from yip is recognized. -- indiana is recognized. >> i rise today to express my extreme disappoint with the recent h.h.s. desession to deny indiana sensible waiver request that lou our states to ease into the new rule that requires insurers selling policies to individuals to dedicate 80% to medical care. this decision was made on the basis that insurers doing business in indiana were deemed profitable enough.
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c.m.s. claimed no provider would be forced to leave because of the denial of such a waiver. it was the very specter of unsurrounding the president's health care law that resulted in the five providers leaving the market this summer. the providers from our state and denial of this waiver will limit competition and push prices higher. let this serve as a warning to other states, creative and consumer-driven solutions to meet our citizens' medical needs will be disproportionately harmed under the president's denial of these waivers. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from nevada rise? ms. berkley: i ask to address the house for one minute. revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. berkley: thank you. madam speaker, nevada's middle income families have borne the brunt of the economic catastrophe that has devastated our state. we need to create jobs and get our economy moving again. what we don't need is a middle class tax hike. but that's exactly what some of our colleagues in the united
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states senate are proposing as they consider whether to extend and expand the payroll tax cut this week. this should be a no-brainer. opposition to the middle class tax cut act of 2011 is a vote to raise taxes on middle income families and nevada and across the country. this would be devastating for a state like nevada. the middle class tax cut act would cut taxes for 1.2 million nevadans and 50,000 small businesses across the state. what does that mean? it means the average nevadan keeps $1,600 in their pocket. it means $1,000 tax hike on nevada families is prevented. and it means that nevada's small businesses have more money to create jobs. but instead of wholesale support for this commonsense measure, we are getting excuses and roadblocks. it's time for action. let's pass this bill. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from new jersey rise? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized.
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mr. holt: as the president has designated this month as national family caregivers' month, i rise to give honor and recognize the tens of millions of americans and millions of new jerseyans who provide loving care for family members and friends living with disabilities and illnesses. care giving is not easy. the caregivers themselves face physical and mental health complications. some are working with almost unbelievable endurance. some of these caregivers are part of the sandwich generation. providing care for their children as well as their parents. there are economic costs as well. u.s. employers estimate the cost to be about $34 billion a year in lost productivity. i look forward to working with my colleagues here in congress to provide caregivers with the help they need. respite care, a re-authorized older americans act, tax credits, just because the class act will not be implemented does not mean the need to provide care will go away.
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we have work to do. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from california rise? the gentlelady is recognized. mrs. capps: i rise to urge you to bring legislation today to extend and expand the payroll tax cut. if congress fails to extend the payroll tax cut, the average american family will pay $1,000 more in taxes next year. countless families in my district are still struggling to stay afloat. they can't afford to lose $1,000 in income next year. extending and expanding the payroll tax cut is not just the right thing to do for our families on the central coast of california, it's the right thing to do for our economy. leading nonpartisan economists estimate letting the payroll tax expire would cost the economy, 400,000 jobs by the end of next year. such tremendous job loss would be devastating to our struggling economy and to american families. extending the payroll tax cuts should have bipartisan support
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with all the anti-tax legislation taken by our colleagues across the ime you would think this is a no-brainer. more than half of the republican conference voted for the payroll tax last december. madam speaker, let's extend the payroll tax cut now. it's a win for the middle. it's a win for small businesses. and it's a win for our economy. i yield. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from missouri rise? the gentleman is recognized. mr. clay: thank you, madam speaker of the the attempt to incriminate, discourage, or prevent certain people from voting has a long and notorious history. unfortunately voter suppression isn't just a part of our past. it's a current event. southern states use tactics such as literacy tests and poll taxes to deny african-americans, native americans, and poor immigrants their right to vote. while civil rights achievements
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in the 1960's did away with these tactics, the strategy continues. the old ways have been replaced with voter i.d. laws, outrageous registration requirements, dishonest inactive voter lists, unfair purging ever voter rolls. disinformation campaigns, and unlawful disenfranchisement. with anyone's right to voters threatened, we are all threatened. we need to stop these blatant attempts to deny american citizens the right to vote. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from texas rise? the gentlelady is recognized. ms. jackson lee: madam speaker, i'm delighted to join my colleague, congressman clay, before i do that let me rise as well to express my support for the gabe zimmerman legislation we will address today and pay
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tribute to his bravery and loss. we come to the floor today as partners with many in this congress against voter intimidation and to speak on behalf of the congressional black caucus to collaborate with many friends across the caucuses and across the interest of the democratic caucus and certainly we hope to include our friends on the other side of the aisle. since the 2010 election, over 40 states have implemented voter i.d., voter suppression laws. madam speaker, we are not against knowing who is voting. but we are against the turning back the block of what the voting rights act attempted to do some 40-plus years ago. when before that time poll tax was utilized or asking those from the african-american community how many jelly beans were in a jar. just recently i sent a letter to the u.s. attorneys office regarding voter intimidation and voter oppression. we rise today to say that we
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will stand against such oppression and ask the justice department to not clear voter i.d. laws. with that i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from new york rise? >> i would like to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. rangel: at a time that government is held in such low esteem, it's time that we all really say to each other that we all love america and we respect america, and all over the world people are just trying to get here. recently we talked about in god we trust. and the question is whether god's going to continue to trust us because the fact is that one of the things that makes our country different is that people don't come here to become rich. they come here to be respected. and that is what we have learned no matter whether it's jew or gentile or morman, every
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religion emphasizes the fact that we have a moral obligation to take care of those people that are vulnerable. whether it's our kids, old folks, and sick people. we don't talk that way in the house. we talk about medicare, education, medicare, swst, but all of those things including the opportunity to have a job makes america what it's supposed to be. it's the hope for the future that our kids will have a better opportunity than we did. let's say god bless america. let's work and make certain we do all that we can do. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from hawaii rise? >> i request unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. hanabusa: madam speaker, let's not forget. we talk about the great depression and how close we have come to it. and let's recognize and realize what we as a country did then. we passed the social security act of 1935. let's also not forget that part of that is the protection of not only our seniors but also of
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those who are unemployed through no fault of their own. that is what we are looking at. madam speaker, we must recognize that it is time to extend that unemployment or it is going to cost our economy $30 billion and we are going to also aeffect a million people. madam speaker, let's also recognize what makes us a great country. it is not our military might. what makes us a great country is compassion. it is the fact that we have defined ourselves by how we treat our people. let's never forget that. it is time to be compassionate, madam speaker. it is time for us to extend the unemployment insurance. thank you, madam speaker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from kentucky rise? mr. yarmuth: request permission to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. yarmuth: about one year ago republicans were insisting that before we do anything to help unemployed americans we had to guarantee tax rates for the
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richest of the rich we made at the lowiers level in 50 years. before doing anything to help those who were struggling, they demanded we give more to those who were hurting the least. but that was just the beginning. now they are resisting a tax cut that would give american families an average of $1,000 per year. these are the same families which have seen their incomes drop by $6,000 in just the last two years. republicans are putting more and more money into the pockets of millionaires and taking it out of the pockets of american families. they have gone from simply not helping working americans to actively making it harder for them to get by. these are not the priorities of the american people. i urge my colleagues to support the extension of the payroll tax cut and stand up for this commonsense policy that will help millions of american families. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from new jersey rise?
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mr. payne: to address the house for one minute. revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. payne: madam speaker, i rise today to urge my republican colleagues to move fast and join forces to extend the unemployment insurance and payroll tax cuts. now more than ever most republicans are content with cutting off the unemployment insurance and raising taxes on millions of middle class americans while refusing to raise taxes on the richest 1%. the unemployment rate for the month of october in my congressional district in new jersey are between 9% and 10% which is above the national average. if congress does not act by the end of this year, 2.2 million unemployed workers, including my constituents, will lose their unemployment insurance benefits by february, 2012. while times could not be any tougher, republicans also refuse to extend the payroll tax holiday cut enacted earlier this
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year that gave virtually all working americans a much needed tax cut. failing to extend the payroll tax cut will strip over $120 billion from the pockets of consumers. we must act now and extend the unemployment insurance and payroll tax cuts. yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from california rise? the gentlelady is recognized. ms. chu: dawn, a single mother of two spends every day being looking for a job. after 20 years working she was laid off in july and now the only thing paying her heat and electricity bills, the only thing putting food on the table, is her hoddest unemployment benefit. in just 35 days and counting, her safety net will be pulled away if congress fails to act. if we don't extend emergency unemployment benefits when they expire, by mid february, 2.1 million americans will have their benefits cut off. and by the end of the year, six
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million will be without this critical lifeline. today one out of every 11 americans is out of work. congress has never allowed unemployment benefits to expire when unemployment was this high for this long. we should not start now. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, the chair will postpone further proceedings today on motion to suspend the rules on which a recorded vote or the yeas and nays are ordered, or on which the vote occurs -- incurs objection under clause 6 of rule 20. any record the vote on the postponed question will be taken later. . for what purpose does the gentleman from tennessee seek recognition? >> i move to suspend the rules and pass house resolution 364. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title. the clerk: house resolution 364, designating room h.v.c.
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215 of the capitol visitor center as the gabriel zimmerman meeting room. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman will have 0 minutes. mr. fleischmann: i ask that all members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks on the legislation. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. fleischmann: house resolution 364 would designate room h.v.c. 215 of the capitol visitor center as the gabrielle zimmerman meeting room this resolution has broad bipartisan support with 367 co-sponsors. on january 8, 2011, this
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country and this bdy suffered a horrendous tragedy. on that day, congresswoman giffords was hosting a congress on the corner gathering at a local supermarket where she met and conversed directly with constituents. during that event, a gunman shot and killed six people while critically wound 13g others, including congresswoman giffords. i am heartened to hear of the amazing progress the congresswoman is making in her recovery and our prayers go out to her and her family. sadly, on that day, six people lost their lives. among the dead were a 6-year-old girl, chief judge john rowe of the united states district court of arizona, and congressman -- congresswoman giffords' director of community outreach gabriel zimmerman.
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earlier this yearing, we honored chief judge rowe in naming a courthouse after him. today, we honor congresswoman giffords' staffer gabriel zimmerman. gabe zimmerman was only 30 years old and engaged to be married when he was killed. he graduated from the university of california at santa cruz in 2002. in 2006, received a master's degree in social work from arizona state university. prior to joining congresswoman giffords' staff, he worked as a social workers assisting troubled youth. gabe zimmerman began his congressional career in 2007 as a constituent service supervisor for then newly-elected congresswoman giffords. in that role, he supervised her constituent services, operation -- and worked directly with the
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people of arizona's eighth congressional district. he was later promoted to director of community outreach where he organized hundreds of events to coordinate jut reach to constituents. as the first congressional staffer to be murdered in the performance of his official duties, this resolution seeks to honor gabe zimmerman's ultimate sacrifice to the citizens of our -- of arizona. this is also a gesture of sincerest gratitude from the members of the chamber who rely on their dedicated staff to help them serve the citizens of this nation. i support the passage of this resolution and urge my colleagues to do the same. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from the district of columbia. ms. norton: madam speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. norton: i want to commend
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representative wasserman schultz and the 267 bipartisan co-sponsors of house resolution 364. i recognize, madam speaker that this is an unprecedented bill, but the bill commemorates an unprecedented act. the sack -- sacrifice of life of the staffer of one of our members, representative -- one of our members who herself is still recovering from that tragedy, representative gabe rell giffords. -- gabrielle giffords. we do not often have opportunity to speak on the floor of the house of our staff, whose duties are performed almost entirely behind the scenes. the tragedy in arizona does remind us that staffers are often exposed as much as members. -- as members to harm and are
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in harm's way. therefore, i think it entirely appropriate that we commemorate this loss of life first in the -- this loss of life, the first in the history of congress, my bynaming a room after gabriel zimmerman in our visitor's center and i ask that my remarks be put in the record and that there be unanimous consent that the bill be managed by its sponsor, representative gabbie giffords. i'm sorry. representative wasserman schultz. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlelady from florida will control the time. ms. wasserman schultz: thank you. madam speaker, i yield such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. wasserman schultz: i rise today to offer house resolution 364, designating h.v.c. 215 of the capitol visitors center as
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the gabriel zimmerman meeting room. on january 8, in tucson, arizona, tragedy struck this country in a shooting that shocked our nation ander to through the fabric of the congressional community. six people died that horrific day, including gabriel zimmerman a congressional staffer for our friend and colleague representative gabrielle giffords of arizona's eighth congressional district. now less than a year after this horrible day, it is fitting that the united states house of representatives, through passage of this resolution, properly honor the sacrifice and service of one of our own. gabe zimmerman served as community outreach director for congresswoman giffords. he was perfectly suited for this position, as anyone who knew him would tell you. that's because working as community outreach director married two great passions in his life, his drive to help individuals and a firm conviction that america's government needed to be open, accessible, and responsive to every american.
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ask any member of congress here what is one of the most valuable positions in their office, and they'll tell you it is our constituent outreach director. they listen each and every day to the concerns of our constituents, their problems, their suggestions, their complaints and then they work to help them. the hours are long. nights and weekends at home with family or out with friends are often sacrificed to attend community meetings. each and every one of us have staff members working for us who show such dedication and the hallways of the capitol have echoed for two centuries with the hurried footsteps of congressional staffers serving the american people this resolution designating the gabriel zimmerman meeting room is not put forward to mark gabe's death but rather to recognize his commitment in life to making other's lives better. ask those who knew him and they will tell you gabe had a way about him that invited conversation. he could walk into any room and find a way to connect to people.
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he often put in extra hours and was often known to pay out of his own pocket for poor constituent's bus fare. gabe's dedication an cheerfulness had a profound effect on those with whom he came in contact. days after the shooting, well after dark, a gentleman came to representative giffords' tucson office, tears in his eyes, visibly shaking he explained that days before, gabe had taken the time sit down with him an even though he came in late in the day, he listened to him, treated him like human being and made it clear he was going to help him. the gentleman couldn't believe that such a good person had been taken so young. among his colleagues in tucson, gabe was profoundly well like. they told me when i visitted after the shooting that gabe was always excited to come into work and that he cherished the ability to work for a member of congress and for one he so admired. his co-workers kidingly called him prince charming because he was always there for them,
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always ready to come to their rescue. in representative giffords, gabe found someone for whom he cared deeply as a mentor, as his boss, as a friend and as a member of congress who shared his passion for selflessly helping others. while representative giffords counted on him to be her eyes an ears in the district, her husband mark says she looked at him as a younger brother. tragically, this loyal, determined, talented public servant, someone who was a true apostle of our representative democracy, unknowingly also made the ultimate sacrifice for his country. gabe zimmerman is the first congressional staffer in the history of this institution to be killed while carrying out his official duties. it is in this historical and hallowed moment that we vote on this resolution to name the congressional meeting room currently known as h.v.c. 215 the gabriel zimmerman room. as those of us who work on the
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hill know well, h.v.c. 215 is frequently used for staff meetings of every variety. i can think of no met better way to memorialize dwabe's sacrifice than to have this meeting place carry his name. over the past four months, a bipartisan group of 400 of our colleagues, 402 to be exact, have signed on to this resolution in solidarity as co-sponsors of the resolution honoring gabe's sacrifice. this makes this resolution among just a select few pieces of legislation in history to have garnered such broad support in the house of representatives. with this vote, we honor the life of gabe zimmerman and also recognize all congressional staffs working in every corner of our great nation for their dedication to congress and the american people. from now on, each time we enter the gabriel zimmerman meeting room, let us be remined of gabe and the service and sacrifice of every congressional staffer. i urge my colleagues to join me in support of house resolution
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364 and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady reserves. the gentleman from tennessee. mr. fleischmann: madam speaker, i wish to yield three minutes to the gentleman from arizona, mr. is week ert who co-authored this important resolution. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. is week ert: thank you -- mr. is week ert: thank you -- mr. schweike trmbings: thank you. i rise in support of this resolution. as a member of congress, each of us consider you are our staff more than employees. we work with them. they represent our districts. but they are part of our team. they are part of our family. and they're also the voice, the eyes and ears in our communities. they solve problems and they work very long hours. often, and i particularly feel
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bad about this, we often forget to say thank you to those saffers -- staffers. today we say thunge gabriel zimmerman who is truly one of these dedicated staffers. he had a great reputation of being one of the most caring individuals you could possibly ever meet. and after receiving his master's degree at arizona state university, a fine institution, he chose to give back to arizona and give back to the community in southern arizona. making our state a better place. but on the morning of january 8 , he had organized a congresswoman on the corner meeting outside tucson. so constituents could talk and
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meet with congresswoman gabrielle giffords. representing that saturday morning in southern arizona was what democracy is all about. it is democracy at its finest. then the unimaginable happened. gabe zimmerman is the first congressional staffer to lose his life in the service of this house. today, we honor gabriel's talents, the compassion, and the wonderful things he did for arizona, for southern arizona, for the community, and naming something as simple as a room will never be enough for his sacrifice, but it is the right thing to do, for gabe, for the thing he is did for arizona, the thing he is did for tucson, and also for this congressional family. and think about this. 100 years from now, there'll be a young staffer getting their
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first tour of this body, building, and they're going to, in that tour, come across the gabriel zimmerman room and when they read about it, they're going to understand the sacrifice that he gave just like so many members here give, but gabriel gave the ultimate sacrifice, his love and his talent for this body and for this family. madam speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from arizona yields back. the gentlelady from florida. . ms. wasserman schultz: thank you. it's now my privilege to yield two minutes to a good friend of congresswoman giffords and a wonderful representative of the great state of arizona, mr. grijalva. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from arizona is
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recognized for two minutes. mr. grijalva: thank you very much. i rise in support of house resolution 364 which enshrines the meeting room in the visitors center in the name of gabe zimmerman. my colleagues have retold the tragedy that happened in tucson in january. the death, the injuries, and as we recover from that trauma, led by the courage and strength of congresswoman giffords, this moment is an important moment as we commemorate sacrifice and honor the service of gabe zimmerman. i want to quote from what -- a statement that his mom made, emily, at a press conference on july 20. it is right to honor gabe here at the capitol where congress is charged with responding to the needs of those people who stood in that line at that grocery store, to all americans by grafting our nation's laws. while he was the first
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congressional staff person in the united states history to be killed in the line of duty, it's not his death but his work and his ideals that should be recognized here. ideals shared by thousands of congressional staff people over hundreds of years of this nation's history. gabe thought a lot about and guard a lot about the importance of civic engagement in an open and civil society. that concept, that goal, which is a cornerstone of our democracy, can be remembered in this room along with the idealistic young man who died. i think his mom said it best. so as we honor gabe, we honor those staff people that work for us, that will make -- sometimes make us look better than we are. to those staff people that work for us that sometimes have to deal with the controversies that we create. and doing -- in doing so they extend service and support to the people that we represent. no finer example than gabe
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zimmerman and i'm honored to support this resolution and honored to be from a community that can -- that gabe was from. thank you so much. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from tennessee. >> i wish to yield one minute to the gentleman from arizona, mr. gosar. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from arizona is recognized for one minute. mr. gosar: i stand here today with my colleagues to support the dedication of a meeting room in the capitol visitor center to gabe zimmerman, a man known for speaking to bring healthy political discourse through civil service. i would first like to reaffirm my condolences to gabe's family and loved ones for their loss. he will be missed. both a devoted congressional aide and community leader, gabe served congresswoman gabby giffords' district with a smile and willingness to go above and beyond in assisting both his office and his fellow citizens. with an extroverted personality and deep concern for others'
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well-being, congresswoman giffords has noted that zimmerman became the go-to person for constituents in the district. he was what you call back home, good people. we can all appreciate and learn from gabe that representing our citizens means going beyond what is asked of us to assist them. gabe zimmerman lived this mantra day by day. it is with great respect that i support this bill to dedicate this place of meeting to honor a man who lost his life through a senseless act of violence. i join the arizona delegation in hoping his sacrifice and the principles of his public service are remembered and honored by all those that seek to make our nation a better place. i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back of the the gentlelady from florida. ms. wasserman schultz: it's my privilege to yield three minutes to the distinguished gentleman from maryland, mr. hoyer. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maryland is recognized for three minutes. mr. hoyer: i thank my friend, debbie wasserman schultz, one of gabby giffords' closest friends. acknowledge the presence of her
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extraordinary staffer, gabby giffords' leader on her staff. who herself lost a valued member of her staff and gabby's staff. madam speaker, all of us who serve in this house know that we could not do the work we do without the help of our extraordinarily able and highly motivated staff. they work long hours. with pay below their counterparts in the executive branch and the private sector. many are young. in their 20's and 30's. with an energy and passion for public service that give us all great hope for the future. gabe zimmerman was one of those passionate and dedicated staffers. who loved his job, who loved his
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fellow staffers, and who loved his congresswoman. he was working for a beloved friend and colleague of all of ours, congresswoman gabby giffords. gabe zimmerman was a bridge between the congresswoman and individuals and constituent groups in her district. fostering and expanding each day the most important relationships a member of congress maintains. with their constituents. with the people who have entrusted them with the responsibility of representing them in this great body. gabe zimmerman was the first congressional staffer as has been said a number of times in history to lose his life in the line of duty. in 222 years of history of this body. he lost his life protecting,
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promoting, and defending democratcy. gabe zimmerman was not the object of attack but a victim. along with six others of a zphessic terrorist intent on assassinating congresswoman -- domestic terrorist intent on assassinating congresswoman giffords and randomly killing people participating in one of democracy's most basic activities, the discussion between constituents and their representative. members of my own staff, and i'm sure the members of the staffs of every member here, were profoundly shaken by this event. realizing that it could have been them or indeed any staffer participating with their member in any public or even private event. it is entirely fitting, therefore, that we rename in his
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memory a room where every day members and our staffs come together to further the representation of the american people. every day when we enter that room we will remember gabe zimmerman. gabe zimmerman died while serving his country. and we honor him for that service. but let me say to every staffer who serves with us. by doing so we honor you as well. your contributions and the contributions of all staff who like gabe strive to make this country a better one for all americans. we send to gabe's parents our deepest sympathy for a loss that
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cannot be compensated, but tell them that we share their extraordinary pride in this american hero. and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from tennessee. mr. fleischmann: madam speaker, i wish to yield two minutes to the gentleman from arizona, mr. quail -- quayle. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from arizona is recognized for two minutes. mr. quayle: i thank the gentleman for yielding. madam speaker, i rise today in support of house resolution 364, which will name hvc-215 after gabe zimmerman. january 8, 2011, was a dark day in our country history. six of our citizens lost their lives and congresswoman giffords were severely injured during a senseless act of violence. there is nothing this house can do to ease the pain of the families and friends who lost loved ones that day. for them tucson's painful memories may not be fully received. but what we can do is continue
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to honor those we lost. gabe zimmerman, christina taylor green, john roll, dorothy morris, phyllis schneck, and dough lan stoodard and make sure they are never forgotten. the loss of gabe zimmerman affected this body deeply. we all know staffers like gabe, tireless public servants who work long hours and weekends for modest pay. congressional office wouldn't be able to function without people like gabe. and yet they rarely receive the credit they deserve. shortly after the shooting, gabe's friends c.j. told the "los angeles times" about a visit he and gabe made to the lincoln memorial. he said, quote, when we went to the lincoln memorial on a cold, damp january morning the wind whipped through the place and it was freezing cold, but gabe had to read every single word of the gettysburg address, he put his all into his work. he put his all into his life, end quote. madam speaker, gabe's life was
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cut too short, but his life will be forever honored. and years from now when young interns and staffers visit hvc-215, they will be reminded by gabe zimmerman's story of his fashion, his service to his state, and country, and the example that he set. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from florida. ms. wasserman schultz: thank you, madam speaker. it's now my privilege to yield two minutes to a close friend of congresswoman giffords and someone who he has stood by, the gentleman from washington, mr. smith. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from washington is recognized for two minutes. mr. smith: thank you, madam speaker. i thank the leadership of this house, both democrat and republican, and all the co-sponsors for bringing this resolution before us and honoring gabe zimmerman by naming a room in the capitol visitors center after him. i can think of nobody who better personified the idea of public service than gabe zimmerman. a lot of people get involved in politics for a lot of different reasons, but i think the base reason that we all should want
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to be involved in it is to represent people. and when you read the stories about gabe and the service that he did, even before he worked for congresswoman giffords, you can see someone who truly understood what it meant to be a representative. gabe made so much of his life about caring for other people. and there can be no higher calling. in naming this room after him, we have a permanent reminder to everybody who comes through this capitol about what this place is all about. it's about serving our people. it's about public service. and on the base fundamental level, gabe understood that to do his job right, to represent his district, to represent this country, he needed to make sure that everybody in his district believed that they had a voice in congress. and that's not an easy thing to do. we represent, gosh, 7ped hundred,000 people. but there -- 700,000 people, but there was nobody who gabe wouldn't reach out to and listen to. i have no doubt there are thousands if not tens of thousands of people who have a better appreciation, who believe
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more in their government, because of the work that gabe zimmerman did. that's something that we need to be permanently reminded of. by naming this room after him we will offer that opportunity to everybody who comes to this capitol. i also think it is reflective on congresswoman giffords as well. gabe worked for gabby because he believed in her and believed in what she was doing. and she, too, personifies that notion that we are here to represent people. all of them. whether we agree with them or not. it's not just a matter of taking the once we agree with. you have to fight almost extra hard for the ones you don't agree with because that's what makes representative democracy work. believing in this country. congresswoman giffords and her staff do that as well as any group of people that i have ever encountered. and it's fitting that we honor gabe. we offer our condolences to his parents. the encouragement that he has personified that this institution is all about. we will never forget that. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from tennessee. mr. fleischmann: madam speaker,
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may i inquire as to how much time i have remaining? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from tennessee has 10 1/2 minutes remaining. the gentlelady from florida has 6 1/2 minutes remaining. the gentleman from tennessee. mr. fleischmann: thank you, madam speaker. madam speaker, i wish to yield one minute to the gentleman from arizona, mr. franks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from arizona is recognized for one minute. mr. franks: madam speaker, it's hard to add to all of the things that have been said today about gabe zimmerman, but i identify with each one of them. i would simply say to you, though, i never met gabe. i did have the privilege to meet his lovely, precious family. and it was clear to me that everyone who knew gabe loved him. if they knew him well, they loved him more. his selfless spirit of service is an inspiration to all of us and also a reminder of how short our time here may be. so, madam chairman, i want to


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