tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN February 8, 2012 10:00am-1:00pm EST
going to sears to start considering bombing now. they give the stations a few months. that is the first thing to look for to. the second thing is that if iran surprises the world by testing a nuclear weapon, do you suddenly see the saudis surprise the world by testing a weapon of their own? to the charges and a nuclear program and be deweaponized? if iran gets to the point where they have a weapon, what the saudi arabia do? host: who are our allies? guest: israel, for the most part. did not want to see the americans do it. they can benefit from the attack without getting their own skin in the game. someone who makes you feel like they genuinely see a threat. host: yochi dreazen with the "national journal." thank you so much for your time.
gton, d.c., february 8, 2012. i hereby appoint the honorable daniel webster 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 17, 2012, the chair will now recognize members from lists submitted by the majority and minority leaders for morning hour debate . 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 massachusetts, mr. mcgovern, for five minutes. mr. mcgovern: mr. speaker, congress and the american people need to hear the truth about afghanistan. it is impossible for us to make
thoughtful, rational decision on policy if we don't receive straight, accurate information about the situation on the ground, and we have no right to keep our brave service men and women in harm's way day after day, week after week based on a steady diet of rosy statements that tells us everything is going well, progress is being made, conditions are improving and victory is at hand. on january 18 i had the privilege of sitting down with u.s. army lieutenant colonel daniel davis for a special briefing on his assessment of the situation on the ground in afghanistan. he had recently submitted reports in both classified and unclassified versions to superiors at the pentagon. i was joined at that briefing by my colleagues, congressman walter jones and john garamendi and we were not only impressed with lieutenant davis' character but information and analysis he shared with us. simply put, the situation in afghanistan does not reflect the optimistic statements we repeatedly hear from high military officials and
commanders on a regular basis. this week a great deal of what lieutenant colonel davis told us has appeared in the media in an article he wrote for the armed forces journal, the nation's oldest independent military magazine, and in "the new york times." lieutenant colonel davis talks about the difficulties of training the afghan police and military, the challenges facing our own troops to establish sustainable security zones, the rampant corruption and the great discrepancy between the military's positive public statements and the classified material that contradicts such claims. the briefing with danny davis comes close on the heels of a number of articles that appeared toward the end of last year about the more pessimistic conclusions found in the most recent intelligence estimate on afghanistan. according to the press, the current n.i.e. in afghanistan recognizes that u.s. policy has not achieved the objectives outlined by the president. that instead it casts doubt on
assertions of progress made by the u.s. government and military leaders. no one likes to hear bad news, mr. speaker, but we do need to hear the unvarnished truth. we need accurate information in order to get what is going on in the ground in afghanistan. we need to know the challenges faced by our troops and our diplomatic workers and humanitarian workers every day. the amount of unclassified information available to the american public, the media and public officials continues to shrink. ironically, one week after being briefed by davis, congressman walter jones and i sent a letter on january 12 to the president asking him to declassify and release the 211 n.i.e. on afghanistan. we are still waiting for a response to that request. mr. speaker, the u.s. has spent hundreds of billions of dollars on military operations in afghanistan. over 5,500 americans were wounded or killed in
afghanistan last year alone. over the course of a decade, tens of thousands have come home. many will carry for a lifetime the unseen scars of posttraumatic stress or traumatic brain injury. like soldiers everywhere they replace an unsympathetic battlefield. they do what is expected of them and do it with courage and determination. the majority of americans want a safe and orderly withdrawal from afghanistan as quickly as possible. i want every single one of our troops home and reunited with their families and loved ones as soon as humanly possible. i want them to be able to leave safely and in a manner that generates confidence in what the next day will bring for afghanistan and the region. on february 1, the administration announced that it will end u.s. combat operations in afghanistan at the end of next year. this is welcomed news. to ensure that that timeline is met and to ensure that our policies and priorities paved the way for successful transition, we need to know now what the real conditions are on the ground.
we can only do that with a clear-eyed, hard-eyed assessment of what's going on in afghanistan. an unclassified version of colonel davis' report can be found at www.afghanreport.com. i encourage all my house colleagues to read it. i encourage them to meet with lieutenant davis for a briefing. i encourage my colleagues to ask the president to declassify the 2011 n.i.e. on afghanistan and i ask the pentagon public affairs office to stop stalling and formally approve colonel davis' report. too often over the last decade we have been misled about the wars in iraq and afghanistan. too often congress has made decisions based on false information and too many of our brave service men and women have lost their lives. this must change. america needs and deserves the truth. i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from michigan, mr. mccotter, for five minutes.
mr. mccotter: thank you, mr. speaker. we've recently seep an ad that played during the super bowl that is referred to as the halftime ad. it has caused much discussion in this country. much of it focusing on the political dimension, the attempt to sell cars that are made in my hometown of detroit. now first, mr. speaker, i must admit that i disagree with the premise of the ad, that it is halftime in america. for logically we would then have to conclude that the free rep rick in which we in-- republic in which we inhabit will expire at the end of its 500th birthday. i don't want to say that it has any timeline whatsoever. but what i do wholeheartedly concur with is the fact that american manufacturing, especially our auto industry, is starting to revive, and as
it does will continue to form a critical engine of any economic recovery we have and will form the basis of ensuring that our american economy leads the world. yet, despite this nation's recovery, we must continue to watch the horizon for any dangers that may loom to our industrial base here at home. one of these is the attempt of our strong ally japan to join the transpacific partnership initiative. currently the united states, chile, sing a-- singapore, vietnam, is trying to ensure the free flow of goods, including automobiles amongst our nations. japan wishes to form -- wishes to enter in this partnership which is formed. unfortunately the time is not right for japan, like communist
china, continues to manipulate currency, continues to put up nontariff trade entry barriers and until japan has restructured and reformed itself, their entry into this organization, to this initiative can only slow the progress and have a detriment a.m. impact on our manufacturing -- detrimental impact on our manufacturing base. so i encourage all who understand the importance, not those of us who were born and bred in what was once known as the arsenal of democracy to understand the importance of manufacturing, i ask this administration and i ask all those involved in this initiative to ask japan to do the right thing before they join us at the table and embark upon a greater period of prosperity for our nations. and finally, mr. speaker, i would just like to point out as i did when the obamacare legislation on health care was passed, so this is what change
looks like. as an irish catholic, i remind my co-religionists and all americans that no government can come between you and your conscience and the -- your creed. what we're seeing now is the cesspool of the religion whereby which your true religion was tolerated as song as it was subservient to the state. that is not what this nation is about. it is a clear violation of your constitutional right to freely exercise your religion. there is no debate. there is nothing to be worked out. this odious regulation must be withdrawn. less this administration or those who support it go back on their word to protect and defend your rights under that
said constitution and as a practical matter, the less myth that little not enforce their morality onto you. mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from california, mr. garamendi. five minutes. mr. garamendi: thank you, mr. speaker. i stand here today to speak about the afghanistan war. i commend president obama's administration for the steps it has taken to bring the longest war in our nation's history to a close. last week defense secretary pennetta said that by mid or later part of 2013 we'll be able to make a transition from a combat role to a training, advice and assistance role. i urge the administration to fulfill this aspiration and bring our troops home to their families. they have sacrificed enough. the afghanistan war began as a
war of necessity after the horrific september 11 attacks, we september our troops to eliminate al qaeda and their leaders and destroy their training camps to prevent a future terrorist afact. our troops carried out this mission with extraordinary courage and dedication. osama bin laden was driven out of afghanistan and he is now dead. furthermore, intelligence community affirms that al qaeda is virtually extwingished from afghanistan, yet the war -- extinguished from afghanistan, yet the war still looms. our troops in afghanistan are no longer fighting terrorists who pose a threat to the united states. they are now fighting a domestic afghanistan faction and defending a corrupt and inept afghanistan government. our service members are dying in another country's civil war. this has become a war of
choice. i repeatly met with lieutenant colonel danny davis who described to me what a civil war looks like on the ground. he has served two combat deployments in afghanistan and has traveled throughout the country talking to u.s. troops stationed all over. a recent evaluation of colonel davis reads, his maturity, tenacity and judgment can be counted on in every -- in even the hardest situations and his devotion to missions accomplished is unmatched by his peers. now, this is what colonel davis has described what he has observed. what i saw bore no resemblance to the rosy official statements about u.s. military leaders about conditions on the ground. entering this deployment, i was sincerely hoping to learn that the claims were true, that conditions in afghanistan were improving. instead, i witnessed the absence of success on virtually every level. i saw the incredible
difficulties of any military force that would have to pacify even a single area in any of those provinces. i heard many stories about how insurgents controlled virtually every piece of land beyond the eye shot of a u.s. or international security assistant force base. i saw little to no evidence that the local governments were able to provide for the basic needs of the people. some of the afghan civilians i talked with said the people didn't want to be connected to a predatory or incapable local government. from time to time i observed afghan security forces colluding with the insurgency. colonel davis' candid testimony reinforced my own conviction that there is no military solution to the conflict in afghanistan, only the prospect of continued shedding of american blood in a war that is not ours to fight. only through negotiated
political sentiment among the afghan factions, not through an open ended u.s. military presence could afghanistan become a stable and developing country. america faces new threats now. more than $1 trillion spent on two wars over the course of a decade, undermining our financial stability and take away much-needed funds for american jobs and investments at home. the obama administration has shown courageous leadership in eliminating osama bin laden. they have also shown leadership in bringing the war in iraq to an end and planning to ensure that u.s. military commitment in afghanistan is not an open-ended one. as president obama clearly stated in his speech on the drawdown plan last year, we need to focus on nation building at home. i agree. . i stromingly support ending u.s. operations in afghanistan and bringing our troops home by mid
2013 if not sooner. it's us, the 435 members of this body, the united states congress, that can choose when this war ends. i yield back, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from north carolina, mr. jones, for five minutes. mr. jones: mr. speaker, thank you very much. i join my friend from california who just spoke and my friend from massachusetts who spoke before him, mr. garamendi and mr. mcgovern. i joined in that meeting with kohl -- lieutenant colonel davis and he's a very brave man. in fact if any of my colleagues would like to read the article in "the new york times" on monday, the title is "afghan war , an officer and a whistleblower" with a sub title of a solo campaign to tell the truth truth. as my true friends who have just
spoken, the truth does matter. our lord and savior jesus christ spoke the truth and it's time we in congress demand the truth on this war in afghanistan. i think colonel davis is doing this country a tremendous favor by trying to say, congress, ask the right questions. stop listening to those who keep telling you that training the afghan soldiers and the after began to be policemen is going well. i'm on the armed services committee, i have been hearing that for 10 years. you can teach a monkey to ride a bicycle sooner than 10 years. how many more young men and women have to give their legs and their arms? last week i had a marine general in my office and a navy admiral. and we -- after we talked about the issues impacting the eastern north carolina where we have three bases, we got into this war on afghanistan.
i was telling them that the broken bodies i have seen at walter reed and bethesda, which now have been consolidated to walter reed at bethesda, and i'll be there next tuesday, i was telling them about seeing four young men that have no body parts below their waist. they would have died in vietnam. medical technology has advanced to the point that a young man or young woman can live with half a body. nothing below the waist. the admiral told me of seeing a young man that he visited has no arms or legs. no arms or legs? and he's living. uncle sam, you've got a tremendous responsibility to take care of these heroes for the next 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 years. and this congress can't even balance the budget. no veteran from these two wars
should ever be told that your check did not come in this month because uncle sam cannot pay his bills. mr. speaker, before closing these two little girls beside me on this poster, their father, sergeant baldiff, from camp lejeune was sent to afghanistan with colonel palmer from cherry point marine air station to train afghans to be policemen. he emailed his wife, amy, the night before he died, and said, i don't trust them. i don't trust them. i don't trust any of them. the next night a trainee stood up at a dinner and shot and killed the colonel and the sergeant. to my friends who have spoken and my friends who are speaking after me, we must demand that this congress awaken from its sleep on afghanistan. the american people are ready to
bring our troops home. we don't need to wait until 2013, 2014, 2015. we need to say to the president, start the progress this fall. it will take a year to bring them home if you announce you are going to bring them home this year, it will take a year before they come home. these two little girls are standing at their father's grave at arlington cemetery. how many children have cried and how many children have felt pain and how many babies will never know their father or their mother? to my colleagues on the other side and my colleagues on this side, let's come together. let's end the war in afghanistan. karzai is a crook. afghanistan's history said no great nation will ever conquer afghanistan. so as i close, mr. speaker, as always, i ask god to please
bless our men and women in uniform. i ask god to please bless the families of our men and women in uniform. i ask god in his loving arms to hold the families who have given a child dying for freedom in afghanistan and iraq. i ask god to bless the house and senate we will do what is right in the eyes of god for american people. and i ask god to please bless the president that he will do what is right in the eyes of god for the american people. i close by asking three times, god please, god please, god please continue to bless america. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from new york, mr. towns, for five minutes. mr. towns: thank you, mr. speaker. recently i met jill wood, from my district in brooklyn. i was very moved by this meeting as she described the struggles of her son who is diagnosed with
a rare genetic disease. before we met, i was not familiar with this particular disease. but she touched my heart to hear about her child's courage every day he has to overcome physical disabilities that make it almost impossible for him to complete a very simpletask. -- simple task that we complete with ease. i was inspired by the strength of their family and the bond that they share. i have long been a strong advocate for rare disease research and development. in fact, this is why i am working with my colleague from florida, congressman stearns, on h.r. 3737, the ultraact, this bill would codify the flexibility the f.d.a. needs to encourage development of treatment for rare diseases like
an felipeo syndrome. it is our duty as members of the united states congress to come together and support measures that aid the rare disease community. imagine, being inflicted with the disease your physician has never heard of and has no idea how to treat it. can you imagine the devastation this would cause to your family? we must provide the national institute of health with additional funding to support the important research for orphan and rare diseases. we must also give flexibility and support the f.d.a. to help the agency bring potential cures and treatments to the market much sooner. how long must we wait and continue to suffer until lifesaving treatments are available?
near 30 million americans are affected by 7,000 rare diseases. we must do everything in our power to support education, advocacy, research, and patient assistance to bring this number down. imagine, the families out there watching, their loved ones suffer because we have not yet provided enough support for this cause. we are a great nation of innovation, but that innovation and drive only goes so far without the proper support coming from the government. our constituents need to know that we hear their needs and that as their elected officials we are determined to make available the resources that will support them. the next time i speak to a family affected by rare diseases, i want to be able to look them in the eyes and tell
them that we have helped, that we made available the means necessary to support lifesaving research and development. we care and we will do everything in our power to ensure that everyone has the chance to live full, healthy, and prosperous lives. thank you for bringing this to my attention. i urge my colleagues to support the ultraact and increase funding for rare disease research and development. it is so important that we do everything possible to be able to bring the numbers down. on that note, mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas, mr. poe, for five minutes. mr. poe: mr. speaker, request unanimous consent to address the house for five minutes, revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. poe: mr. speaker, recently
in one of new york's neighborhoods gunshots rang out. one of nypd's finest, police officer kevin brennan, quickly responded to the call. when he arrived at the scene with his partners they recognized a familiar face, it was outlaw gang member, luis "baby" ortiz. brennan gave the suspect a chance to turn himself over to the police by yelling, stop, police. but ortiz took off running in the darkness of the night. officer brennan cornered ortiz in the hallway, rather than give up he shot officer brennan point-blank in the head. ortiz was trying to flea the scene of the shooting so -- flee the scene of the shooting so fast he ran out of one of his shoes and left it at the crime scene. the police commissioner said he may have tried to fire a second shot into officer brennan's head. obviously ortiz has a total
disrespect for human life. when police officers michael burrbridge and christopher mastorus arrived and found officer brennan, he was lying in a pool of his own blood left to die. but officer brennan, miraculously survived this attack. the outlaw was captured when baby was brought to court, he made a mockery of the judicial system. waiving at the cameras asking them to take his photograph while blowing kisses to his family. his family, too, showed disdain for the justice system and the police by yelling obscenities to the police and banging their hands and fists on a police cruiser that led ortiz back to the jailhouse. on ortiz second appearance in the court, the courtroom was packed with a sea of blue. nypd had come to support their wounded fellow officer. disturbing but not surprising this would-be assassin has been arrested 14 times in his just 21
years of a lifetime of crime and lawless, worthless existence. his crimes have included drugs, assault, and armed robbery. yet he has walked free every time beating the system. one more detail worth noting, the weapon used to shoot officer brennan was the same one used in a new year's day murder in new york. coincidence? probably not. officer brennan, a six-year veteran of nypd is married and has a young baby daughter. mr. speaker, my other life i was a prosecutor and a criminal court judge in texas, i had been privileged to meet a lot of texas police officers and other officers in the united states. i have had the opportunity to meet many new york police officers when i go to new york to do presentations and trainings. and after we get through the language barrier, i found them to be a remarkable bunch of dedicated crime fighters. officer brennan and thousands of
his comrades throughout america wear the blue uniform of the law every day. they pin the shield and badge over their chest, over their heart, as a symbol of their duty to defend the people against outlaws like ortiz. they are the last strand of wire in the fence between the fox and the chickens. and they are all that separate the lawful citizens from the lawful bandits. they go into dangerous areas of our cities looking for drug dealers, child molesters, wife beaters, robbers, bandits, and other street terrorists that would do the rest of us harm. they deserve our respect, our admiration, and our appreciation. we thank the good lord for people like officer brennan and the others of nypd blue. as for baby, it's past time that baby met the long arm of justice. he's looking at doing 40 years behind bars in the do rye hotel. our society cannot allow street
trash like ortiz to get away and week havoc in their neighborhoods. after all, mr. speaker, we have too many gangsters doing dirty deeds, too much corruption, and crime in the streets. a man has to answer for the wicked things he's done because justice is the one thing you should always find. may it be swift and harsh because justice is what we do in this country. and that's just the way it is. . the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from illinois, mr. gutierrez, for five minutes. mr. gutierrez: i have to admit that when newt gingrich first used the phrase the food stamp president i was outraged but then i started looking at the facts, did i my home work. i crunched the numbers and i have to admit that food stamp president might be on target. i think we might have to be willing to speak the truth even when the truth may hurt. so i come to the floor with
facts and figuring all backed up because i know that newt gingrich wouldn't have it any other way. so let's learn about the food stamp president. here's the fact. it clearly shows that the food stamp president increased spending on food stamps by more than $19 billion. let me repeat that. under the food stamp president, the u.s. increased its spending on food stamps by more than $19 billion. that's a b. the source, the u.s. department of agriculture. here's fact number two. under the food stamp president, the number of people using the food stamp program increased by 11 million people. the source, the usda. here's fact number three. even the amount of the benefit has increased under the food stamp president. the amount for benefit increased $27 per recipient. not much, you say.
the increase per benefit is the largest increase that occurred under any president in the last 30 years. pretty dramatic, huh. and the source of that, the usda. republicans and democrats, let's all get together, review, numbers don't lie. under the food stamp president, spending increased by more than $19 billion. the number of people using the program increased by 1 million people, and the -- 11 million people and the amount of the benefit increased not seen in historic years. and here we have it, the food stamp president of the united states. here it is, george w. bush, the food stamp president. we spent more money, had more recipients and gave each recipient more money for food. now, i know some of are you are saying, luis, you are not being
fair. aren't there other food stamp presidents out there? yeah. spending increased by more than $9 billion. the number of recipients increased by seven million and the amount of the benefit increased by $17. yep. let's show them who it is. george herbert walker bush was also the food stamp president. see, it runs in the family. food stamp president sr. and food stamp president jr. it's a rampant disease that makes them want to feed poor people, hungry, poor people. i have to confess. i support the food staffer program. i think that snap, the supplemental nutrition assistance program, to call it by its actual name, and not something that newt gingrich think is politically punchy, serves as an important purpose. the purpose is largely to prevent children and old people from going hungry.
snap doesn't provide them with some fancy perk with some out-of-control free-stanning program. it provides kids and old people with food. you of can't reduce food stamps at tiffany's which might be another reason why newt gingrich thinks it's so bad. but i think that americans want their people not to go hungry. and just in case i'm wrong. if newt gingrich meant a food stamp president other than the one named george bush, i want to thank barack obama today because he's also invested in snap. he's invested in nutrition for america's most vulnerable. and here's another fact. the last one i'll make today, mr. speaker. and this one's for newt gingrich. just in case, just in case his food stamp president name calling was designed to make a political point, then he wasn't quite so willing to come out and say of the recipients whose
race we know, 22% of snap recipients are black. 34% are white. because hunger knows no race or religion or age or political party. hunger is colorblind, mr. gingrich. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from michigan, mr. walberg, for five minutes. mr. walberg: thank you, mr. speaker. during a district work period i had a chance to catch up with my constituents in michigan's seventh district. people invited me in their facilities, eagerly to talk about their economic climate as well as what is done to promote growth. these conversations went into coffee shops and restaurants. but whether i was being given a tour by the owner of a manufacturing plant or having a
cup of coffee with an engineer, a similar theme kept cropping up. people are worried about excessive big government regulations. in particular, how they impose unreasonable costs on businesses, create uncertainty and in turn affect job growth. this time many of my constituents expressed outrage over a new youth agricultural labor rule program. the department of labor proposed regulations to restrict the types of activities young people can participate in. while the rule includes an exemption for children on nonincorporated farms owned by their parents, it could prevent kids from working on incorporated farms owned by their parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles and close neighbors. even on such extended family farms, children under the age of 16 may be banned working with animals or in specified farm situations while those
under the age of 18 would be prohibited from any job, and i quote, involving farm product raw materials. that could come to mean any job involving grain elevators, feed lots, stock yards, livestock exchanges and livestock auctions. if carried any further, the rule may end up barring kids from selling animals at their local 4-h fairs. this is nanny statism. my kids were all in 4-h and one of the best memories we have together were at these events. it was a positive experience for my son and daughter as well as every other child i know who got involved. besides the life lessons learned, responsibility, hard work and self-sufficiency, children often used the sell from the animals for their college funds. this rule would not only hurt their ability to find a job now but also hurt their future.
in addition to participating in 4-h farce pairs -- 4-h fairs, my kids worked on a farm. my son ran over a mail back with a duly. he had to replace it himself and with money out of his own pocket. farmers depend on young people to take on these extra jobs so they can focus on the bigger picture. parents depend upon their children to work on the family farm not only to help out but instill a love of farming at a young age to keep their family farm going. and lastly, young people themselves depend on these jobs as a source of income and a way to pay for college. there are often fewer job opportunities in rural areas and if we impose more rules about what jobs young people can take, what have we gained? i'll always stand behind regulations that genuinely protect the worker, especially
when those workers are children. but when government bureaucrats are regulating in what capacity a young person can work on a farm, then it's clear they have overstepped their boundaries. it's time to fix the flawed and broken regulatory system that allows such rules to slip through the cracks. and, mr. speaker, related, it's also a time to push back on big government's attack on our freedom to choose and our constitutional liberties. the recent assaults on our religious rights of conscience and the separation of powers by this administration must be defeated. kids on the farm and in the city deserve the rich future that our constitution and americans exceptionalism can provide. this will then be a nation that god can truly continue to bless and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from indiana, mr. carson, for five minutes. mr. carson: i ask permission to
address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. carson: mr. speaker, i rise to congratulate the great city of indianapolis, my hometown, for doing an outstanding job as host of super bowl 46. on sunday two teams played an incredible game, but i believe that the events leading up to kickoff, organized by countless community organizations, good corporate citizens, committed public leaders and thousands of volunteers were as impressive as any play on the field. they enjoyed free trade festivities of the super bowl village and a record 265,000 fans visited the nfl experience to test their passing and kicking skills and to meet their favorite players.
indianapolis had reviews about their downtown amenities and famed hoosier hospitality. but this success, mr. speaker, did not stop with the blocks surrounding lucas oil stadium. with commissioner goodell and the nfl's assistance, i am confident that the impact of the super bowl will last far longer than memories of that final hail mary pass. indianapolis, it embarked on an unprecedented effort to rebuild one of its hardest hit areas. even before the recession hit, indianapolis' near east side, a patchwork of neighborhoods just outside of downtown, led the nation in foreclosures and families were too often rattled by violent crime. but today, thanks to relentless efforts by community residents and with the super bowl as its springboard, indianapolis' near east side has been rejuvenated.
it has been given new life through housing developments, like the st. clair senior apartments, commonwealth apartments and building a living legacy housing initiative. these new housing options will help seniors and low-income families stay in the community they love and access the services they rely on. like the john bonner community center and people's health and dental center. they will help the homeless find a new start and men and women locate near their employers. on super bowl weekend, we also saw the grand opening of the chase near east side legacy center which includes the area's only fitness center now offering low rates. this will be home to the youth education town, a facility that will provide classes to students of all ages through grade national, local not for profits. while other host cities broke
down on projects, indianapolis spent ours opening doors for these new facilities. collectively, the near east side redevelopment effort serves as a model not only for what can be achieved throughout indianapolis but across this great nation. just a few years ago, the near east side and all of indianapolis was suffering the worst of the economic downturn. we had some of the nation's highest unemployment foreclosures and bankruptcy rates, but today our unemployment rate is near the national average and getting better. our critics counted us out many times but this weekend showed that we are a modern city. mr. speaker, this weekend indianapolis showcased why it is america's best kept secret. it showed that we are a prime destination for conventions and big events and have some of the best sports facilities anywhere. mr. speaker, it is with great pride that i ask my colleagues to join me in congratulating indianapolis, indiana, and all
of those who worked so hard to make this event a huge success. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from minnesota, mr. cravaack, for five minutes. mr. cravaack: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for five minutes and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. cravaack: mr. speaker, i'll be brief because my message is clear and concise. mr. speaker, i rise today out of grave concern for the most recent assault on our religious freedom, the first amendment and our freedom of conscience. the u.s. health and human services asked religious institutions to pay for contraceptives, sterilization and morning after abortizations for their employees is directly contrary to the principles of the catholic faith. let us ensure we do not confuse the issue here. this is a direct attack against religious liberty for all religions.
but forcing catholic schools, hospitals, catholic charities to comply with a federal mandate that violates the core core moral commitment of protecting the lives of the unborn is unconscionable. this act threatens to sabotage the very foundations of our first amendment rights and our religious liberties. continually chipping away at our basic constitutional freedoms that set the foundation of this great country sends us down a very slippery slope to further government overreach and intrusion into our individual lives. . this must stop and we as americans must stop it. with that, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentlelady from california, ms. lee, for five minutes. ms. lee: thank you, mr. speaker. first, let me thank my colleagues, congressman mcgovern, jones, woolsey, waters, and honda for their
efforts to bring the war in afghanistan to a swift and safe end. mr. speaker, i'm here this morning to remind my colleagues that there is no military solution in afghanistan. it is time to bring our troops home and make sure that we leave no permanent military bases. and while many and a growing number of my colleagues have come to this conclusion, there are still those who claim that afghanistan is going well and that we should stay there indefinitely. well, we are gathered here this morning to give some real and important insight into the reality that -- insight into the reality that nothing could be further from the truth. we are here to discuss important revelations brought to light by colonel davis. he has served this country for over a quarter century and has received praise from his commanders for his maturity, determination, and judgment. he recently made the brave decision to release an
unclassified account of the war in afghanistan after witnessing the huge gap between what the american public was being told about progress in afghanistan and the dismal situation on the ground. declassifying the national intelligence estimate on afghanistan is a necessary step so that our policy is based on accurate information. mr. speaker, i would like to submit this article made by -- written by colonel davis into the congressional record, published this past sunday in the armed forces journal. may i insert this? the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. lee: in this article, and i quote, colonel davis asked, how many more nen must die in support of a mission that is not succeeding and behind an array of more than seven years of optimistic statements by united states seenor leaders in afghanistan? no one expects our leaders to always have a successful plan, but we do expect and the men and
women i must add who do the living, fighting, and dying deserve to have our leaders tell us the truth about what's going on. mr. speaker, the american people deserve to know the truth. after spending the past decade on failed military strategies, which have cost us over $450 billion in direct funding. and the costs of others have been even greater in injuries, lives lost, and the trillions of dollars we will need to spend in long-term care for our veterans, including hospitals, clinics, job training, posttraumatic stress disorder treatment, housing assistance, and homeless services, but we must spend these resources for our veterans. the american people, though, are sick and tired of these endless wars. fully 2/3 of americans support ending combat operations in afghanistan in 2013 and three out of four americans favor a speedy withdrawal of all united states troops out of oofing. -- afghanistan.
we are set to spend an additional $88 billion, mind you, $88 billion in afghanistan over the next year while domestic cuts in education, health care, roads, and bridges, and other essential byors are sacrificed. we cannot afford an indefinite stay in afghanistan. we need to ask what we have to show for the past decade of war. instead of a stable democracy, we have a broken state which is completely, completely dependent on foreign countries for its budget, with rampant corruption and widespread violence. for the fifth straight year civilian casualties, civilian casualties, rose in afghanistan. in fact, 2011 was a record year for afghan civilians killed. 3,021 afghan children and women and men were caught in the crossfire between an insurgency and the heavy presence of nato troops. the reality on the ground in afghanistan stands in stark
contrast to the steady report of progress we have been hearing from those who seek to maintain a military presence in afghanistan in 2014 and beyond. it's time to bring our troops home from afghanistan, not in 2014, not next year, but right now. congress authorized the use of force in 2011, which i voted against, because it gave the president, any president, a blank check to use force any time, any place, anywhere in the world for any period of time. we should have had a debate 10 years ago when congress failed to consider the implications of giving the pentagon a blank check in the rush to war. mr. speaker, i want to thank colonel davis for his courage in risking his career to speak out to try to let the american people and their elected representatives understand the true risks we are taking in afghanistan. to understand what is at stake in afghanistan, i again call on
the pentagon to declassify the national intelligence estimate on afghanistan so that we can have an informed discussion moving forward. it is time to bring our young men and women home. they have performed valiantly, with incredible courage, and have done everything we have asked them to do. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from maryland, mr. harris, for five minutes. mr. harris: mr. speaker, once again we are reminded why we need to repeal the president's affordable care act, which most americans know as obamacare. mr. speaker, a majority of americans already understand how harmful obamacare will be to american health care, especially to the millions of seniors on medicare who will have that program cut by $500 billion if we don't repeal it. but two weeks ago the latest administration rule implementing obamacare was announced by the secretary of health. and that rule would impose the latest mandate. this time a mandate on all
religious institutions to provide government mandated coverage for drugs and surgery that is contrary to the beliefs of those religions. the greatest uproar was the catholic church over the rule that would force catholic institutions to pay the full cost of all government mandated drugs and procedures that. would include sterilization and abortion causing drugs. that mandate would put those institutions in the position of either paying the full cost of those drugs and procedures that violate their beliefs, or paying a government fine. i repeat, it would end up being a government imposed fine to practice your religious beliefs. with the administration using the broad mandates of obamacare to impose those fines. but the religious intimidation by the administration didn't stop there. when the archbishop for the military services wrote a letter to -- about this new mandate to his diocese to be read at sunday services, the u.s. army chief of chaplains, a recent obama
appointee, ordered his chaplain corps not to read the letter at those sunday services. mr. speaker, you know that those services are attended not only by the military but by family and d.o.d. employees, and this order was a clear violation of first amendment guarantee not only of the freedom of religion but the freedom of speech. let me read from the letter and you'll see why the administration was so concerned. dear brothers and sisters in christ, it is imperative that i call to your attention an alarming and serious matter that negatively impacts the church and the united states directly and the strikes at the fundamental right to religious liberty for all citizens of any faith. the federal government, which claims to be of, by, and for the people, has dealt a heavy blow to almost a quarter of those people, the catholic population, and to the millions more who are served by the catholic faithful. it is a blow to a freedom that you have fought to defend and for which you have seen your buddies fall in battle. the u.s. department of health
and human services announced that almost all employers, including catholic employers, will be forced to offer their employees health coverage and include sterilization, abortion inducing drugs, and contraception. almost all health insurers will be forced to include those services in the policies they write and almost all individuals will be forced to buy that coverage as part of their policies. in so ruling, the administration has cast aside the first amendment to the constitution of the united states. denying to catholics our nation's first and most fundamental freedom, that of religious liberty. as a result, unless the rule is overturned, we catholics will be compelled to choose between violating our consciouses or dropping our health care coverage for our employees. we cannot, we will not comply with this unjust law. people of faith cannot be made second class citizens. we already joined by brothers an sisters of all faith and many others of good will in this important effort to regain our religious freedom. our parents and grandparents did
not come to these shores to help build america's cities and towns, infrastructure, and institutions, enterprise and culture only to have their posterity stripped of their god-given rights. mr. speaker, after protest chief of chaplains finally allowed most of the letter to be read but ordered that the line, we cannot, we will not comply with this law, still not be read. mr. speaker, now you can see why the "wall street journal," not usually a paper nor comments on religious matters, found this issue so compelling that today's lead editorial deals with it under the headline, obamacare's great awakening, with a highlight line, h.h.s. tells religious believers to go to hell and the public notices. yes, mr. speaker, the public noticed. let me just read the opening of that editorial. the political furor over president obama's birth control mandate continues to crow even among those for whom contraception poses no moral qualms. and one needent be a theologian
to understand why. the country is being exposed to the raw political control that is the core of the obama health care plan and americans are seeing clearly for the first time how this will violate pluralism and liberty. mr. speaker, in the last few days a stratgist in the president's campaign, not the second herself or administration official, has suggested that, well, maybe something can be done. really, mr. speaker? are we leaving dealing with first amendment rights violations to campaign staff for resolution? this latest controversy has given us yet, mr. speaker, another reason to repeal obamacare, a bill forced on america by the last congress and this administration. given the obvious willingness of regulators to force their value system on all americans regardless of religious belief, the editorial comes to the right conclusion, and i quote, religious liberty wouldn't be protected until obamacare is repealed. mr. speaker, the time for repeal is now. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentlelady
from california, ms. woolsey, for five minutes. ms. woolsey: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, several reserve chair -- federal reserve chair, ben bermanny, testified on capitol hill last week and warned us that deficit reduction should be a top priority. and that current spending projections are unsustainable. in response the gentleman from wisconsin who chairs the budget committee said that we needed to get our fiscal house in order. otherwise it's going to get ugly pretty fast. to him i would say, it's already ugly. it's really ugly for 13 million americans who woke up this morning without a job to go to. and it would be uglier still if we embraced his vision of a shredded safety net and a voucher program that ends medicare as we know it. here's what i find distressing
and disturbing particularly. for my colleagues in the majority, every other sentence about out of their mouths is about reducing federal spending. and yet the programs they want to cut are the very ones that are keeping working families afloat. they never seem to aim their axe at the part of the budget that has shot through the roof the last 10 years and now eats up more than half of our discretionary spending. i'm talking, of course, about the pentagon budget. it doesn't make any sense that the military industrial complex has gotten a virtually blank check while important domestic programs and also important civilian international programs, that promote national security, look for change in the couch in order to survive. if we are in belt tightening mode, then we should all be in
belt tightening mode. but if there are federal dollars available, and there certainly are, i want to know why we can't make strong investments in the food stamps program, head start, or pell grants. if there is enough money to give the pentagon a staggering $700 billion-plus a year, i want to know why we can't make relatively modest but meaningful investments in paid family leave or early childhood education. the good news is that the president of the united states gets it. with the support of the joint chiefs of staff he is taking a strong first step towards putting the brakes on run away defense spending. but i think we need to do more and we need to be much bolder. when we spend more on definance in the next 10 nations combined, clearly our priorities are out
of whack. the gold war has been over for 20 years -- cold war has been over for 20 years, and yet we still have tens of thousands of troops stationed in europe. this makes no sense at all. something else that doesn't make sense, our presence in afghanistan. and it's not just the peace and justice folks who are calling for the end of this misguided adventure, lieutenant colonel daniel l. davis, army brass, is asking how many more men must die in support of a mission that is not succeeding. . he goes on to say, you can spend all kinds of stuff but you can't spend the fact that more and more men are getting blown up every year. mr. speaker, what we need is a fundamental overhaul in the way we think about protecting america. we need to be smarter about national security. smart security means replacing weapon systems with
humanitarian aid and humanitarian development. it means a civilian surge instead of a military surge. it means peaceful diplomacy instead of military devastation. it means lifting up and empowering innocent afghan people instead of occupying their country and perpetrating a war that has killed them by the thousands. this smart security approach is not only the better way to protect our interests and to keep our country safer. it comes at a fraction of the cost of what we're spending. mr. speaker, for the sake of our national conscience, also for our natural treasury, it's time to do the smart thing and bring our troops home. don't ask me, ask colonel daniel davis.
i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from illinois, mr. dold, for five minutes. mr. dold: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. dold: mr. speaker, small businesses are reluctant to expand today. with so much economic uncertainty, our local job creators don't know if they can afford the risk of hiring a new worker. as a small business owner myself, i know the pressures of meeting a budget and a payroll and for me i employ 100 people and for me that's 100 families. i have to make sure that i can ensure that we can provide health care insurance and other benefits before it's time to hire new workers. mr. speaker, there is 29 million small businesses in our nation. here in this body i believe our goal has to be to create an environment that enables those small businesses to have the
confidence to be able to grow and thrive, to be able to add that one new worker and think about where we'd be at that point in time, mr. speaker. 29 million businesses across the nation all hiring just one worker. we'd have a different problem on our hands. the partisan rhetoric and the lack of progress in washington is hindering businesses from hiring more people. but i do believe that we can come together and tackle some of these problems. washington has to stop viewing legislation through a political lens and start viewing it through the eyes of the american people. one area we can agree upon is the payroll tax extension. the house voted at the end of the year to extend it for an additional year. the president has asked that we extend it for a year. the holdup is yet again in the united states senate. senator harry reid would rather play political games with this important measure and now some members are asking for a
two-month extension. mr. speaker, i say enough is enough. we need to extend this tax holiday for the entire year. small businesses don't have the luxury of hoping that we'll get it right. so let's come together today and pass the year-long extension in both the house and the senate. let's give hardworking american taxpayers the relief that they need. mr. speaker, new regulations are also hindering small businesses from expanding. with hundreds of pages of new regulations in the president's health care law, hundreds of rules that have still yet to be written in financial services with regard to dodd-frank are hindering the financial services industry. small businesses do not know what new rules are coming next, and thus they can't prepare for the future, and job growth remains at best uncertain. but we can and must find common ground on regulations. no one's arguing for the end of
regulation, mr. speaker. what we need is smart regulations. it's vitally important that we have clean water, safe working environments and rules to protect families' investments. even the president has called for smarter regulations and repealing burdensome regulations that are around this nation. we can repeal burdensome regulations that are nothing more than red tape and barriers for job creators and we can replace them with smart regulations that truly make our country better and give job creators the certainty they need to grow and thrive. finally, mr. speaker, we must stop the enormous deficit spending that's going on right here in washington, d.c. this next year, mr. speaker, we're faced with another trillion-dollar deficit. if my business, my small business back in illinois ran the way the government runs i'd be out of business inside of the month. it's time we in washington rein in this out-of-control
spending. we cannot ask hardworking american families all across the country to live within their means, but then turn around and allow washington to take their hard-earned money and spend it without consequences. it's time that we pass a budget that puts our country on a viable economic path forward. when we do this it will signal to the rest of the world that we are serious about our economic health and thus we'll be able to empower job creators to invest here at home, to create jobs right here in our local communities. mr. speaker, i am optimistic about the future. i'm optimistic that we can do this, that we can come together . spurring our economy and talking about growth isn't a republican idea or a democratic idea, but it is certainly an american idea. it's time that we put people before politics and progress before partisanship. it's time for us to work
together today for the future of our country and get america back to work. with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from wisconsin, ms. moore, for five minutes. ms. moore: thank you, mr. speaker. i ask permission to address the house for five minutes, to revise and extend my remarks and put extraneous material into the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. moore: thank you. mr. speaker, i'm here today to be a voice for the millions of women and men who are celebrating the recent decision by the secretary of health and human services regarding requiring all businesses and corporations to provide birth control insurance coverage, a life-saving benefit for women, millions of women. under this new rule, virtually all women would have access to birth control coverage without a co-pay through their
employer's health plan. if you listen to the political pundits in this town, you will come to the conclusion that people do not support the obama administration's decision that people of faith are en route to the white house, prepare to storm it because of this decision. but if you talk to the average american, you will realize that there is absolutely overwhelming support for the decision on the birth control benefit. this support crosses party lines as well as religious affiliation. in fact, a poll released just yesterday found that roughly 6-10 catholics support requiring their employers to provide employees with health care plans that cover contraceptives. let's be clear. this decision represents a respectful balance between religious persons and
institutions and individual freedom. it is very important to clarify that the law contains an exemption for religious institutions. what that means that approximately 335,000 churches or houses of worship can choose not to provide birth control coverages for their employees. so if you're the secretary at the church or if you are employed by the archdiocese, they do not have to provide birth control coverage for their employees. the health and human services was important for them to carve out this exception in respect of separating church and state concerns. we are not requiring catholic churches to go out and buy contraceptive coverage for all in spite of what you have heard over tv.
but this rule does require that religiously affiliated universities and hospitals, which is operating as large businesses and employ and serve a diverse array of people would have to follow the same rules as other businesses. this is the part that keeps getting lost in the debate. the sole purposes of these institutions is not to offer people a place of refuge and worship. it is not a place for people of faith to go to gather in fellowship and worship. the purpose of these institutions is to provide health care. it is to provide an education. football teams for their clients or for their students. no one is trying to take away religious freedom but rather, this ruling preserves personal freedom. the concept of separation of
church and state protects these 335,000 places of worship, but the concept of separation of church and state does not mean that a church can use their bully pulpit to separate millions of women from critical health care benefits. just imagine that women on average spend 30 years attempting to prevent pregnancy. just think about what it means for the health of a woman, the health of her family to give birth or try dying for 13 years, and i understand that some people are worried and protective of their religious freedom, in part because they are being misled by what this h.h.s. ruling actually does. but i also worry that some people in the faith community are being exploited and used to
create a diversion. another fact that people keep ignoring is that many religiously affiliated houses and universities already provide birth control to their employees through their insurance packages. i mean, it's standard at many of these workplaces. this is a nonissue for many catholic and religiously affiliated colleges and universities already. and we're not talking about just a few workers. we're talking about millions of secretaries, janitorial staffs, nurses' aides, lab teching of many different beliefs, some of no beliefs. so i would hope that we would not try to use religious bullying to deprive millions of women of critical vital health care. with that i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the
chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. barletta, for five minutes. mr. barletta: mr. speaker, a few weeks ago president obama stood in this very chamber and spoke about the need for fairness. fairness, he said, is an american value. yet, the president and his administration are blatantly ignoring one of the most basic of american values, the freedom of religion. i'm referring to a decision by the obama administration to force catholic employers to provide insurance that includes coverage for sterilization, abortion inducing drugs and contraception. catholic employers who fail to provide that insurance coverage could be fined $2,000 per employee per year. and the obama administration will force catholics to buy
insurance coverage that includes coverage for services that many of them find morally wrong. for many catholics, this requirement violates their core beliefs about the sanctity of life of the unborn. the health care law that is forcing catholics to put their government ahead of their god includes a religious conscience exemption. it allows people with certain religious objections to opt out , and some religious groups have been allowed to opt out. but catholics have been denied an opt out. instead, the obama administration is forcing catholics to violate their religious conscience. this is not the united states of america that i know. religious tolerance has been a bedrock principle of the american government for almost 240 years. it's one of the reasons why the united states came to exist in
the first place. the first amendment states that americans have the right to religious freedom. religious freedom isn't just the ability to believe and worship as we see fit. it's also our right to keep our beliefs from being imposed on us. the federal government has respected those rights by being sensitive by creating tolerant policies regarding our military service, our tax policies and even our airport screenings. . american catholics are not asking for special rights. we are asking for equal rights. i'm proudly pro-life and i will stand here to defend the rights of the unborn. but this is isn't about abortion. this isn't a question of when life begins. this is about the fundamental rights of all americans as spelled out in our founding documents. and this decision by the obama
administration is a devastating blow against the freedom of religion. it's one thing for the federal government to try to take over our health care system, and we can all debate the merits of such legislation. but i think we can all agree, no matter on what side of the aisle we stand, that the right to freely express our religious beliefs and more importantly not have other beliefs forced upon us is a core value of this country. it is nonnegotiable. people of all faiths should be outraged by this decision. if this administration can trample over the beliefs and rights of the american catholics, those of other religions should ask, are we next? yesterday i read in the "new york times" that legal scholars say the american constitution is
old and outdated. that it isn't for a modern world. now as this administration ignores our most treasured values, no religious values, but american values, our constitution could not be morel vant. the first words of the american bill of rights are, congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. they are first and they are first for a reason. the united states of america has long been a place of religious freedom. it's one of the things that separates us from foreign countries. just as the federal government should not endorse a religion, it should not punish a religion. all religions must be treated equally. they must be respected. that's the american way. today catholics all across the united states feel like
outsiders. they feel like their government has betrayed them. catholic leaders, including three bishops that lead catholics in my district, have clearly said they cannot and will not comply with this unjust decision by the obama administration. no one should have to choose between their god and their government. no one, especially a government founded on religious freedom, should force them to. the decision by this administration to make catholics violate their most basic principles is a violation of the most basic american principle. i strongly condemn the obama administration for this outrage joust overreach of federal authority and -- overreach of federal authority and rescind this unfair, un-american policy. if the obama administration can takeway this most basic american value for 80 million catholics, who is necessary? i yield back. -- who is next? i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from mississippi, mr. harper, for five minutes.
mr. harper: thank you, mr. speaker. yesterday in an effort to create american jobs and move an energy supply from a friendly trading partner to the united states gulf coast, the house energy and commerce committee favorably reported h.r. 3548 to the full house. h.r. 3548, the north american energy access act, would end the waiting game that has lasted for over three years by pushing forward approval of the keystone x.l. pipeline. in his state of the union speech two weeks ago, the president promised to significantly expand production of oil and natural gas from offshore and onshore public lands. unfortunately, but not surprisingly, he never mentioned his decision to reject the keystone x.l. pipeline. while the president's comments about expanding oil and gas production in the u.s. were welcomed news to many, i'm not sure how many people took his pledge seriously given his
decision on keystone x.l. i am hopeful that the president will follow through on expanding production. i just wish he would have helped our country reduce our dependence on middle earn oil while creating tens -- eastern oil while creating tens of thousands of jobs here in america by approving the pipeline application. the president's excuse for not approving the pipeline application was he didn't have enough time. radical environmentalists say that tar sands crude is the dirtiest of all and they talk as if that's something foreign, something new. mr. speaker, i'd like to point your attention to a friday, february 3, 2012 article on the front page of the national journal, an article that i believe shows the fallacies and the arguments against the pipeline. the article states that despite environmental opposition, the obama administration administration has approved a controversial oil sands pipeline. the article refers to an oil sands pipeline approved by the administration over two years
ago. on august 20, 2009, secretary of state clinton approved a 1,000-mile pipeline with the capacity to carry 800,000 barrels of oil from canada's oil sands to wisconsin. mr. speaker, if a pipeline that closely mirrors that of the proposed keystone x.l. was good enough for the president in august of 2009, why is the keystone x.l. pipeline not good enough for him in an election year? if time and the environment were reasons to deny keystone x.l. in january, 2012, they should have had the same reasons to deny the canada-wisconsin pipeline in 2009. keystone x.l. is a shovel ready construction project that doesn't need a stimulus bill to get it started. estimates show that the project could create 20,000 construction jobs immediately and could transport more than one million barrels of oil per day from canada and the shell formation
in north dakota and montana to gulf coast refineries. with the ability to transport that amount of friendly oil from our largest trading partner and neighbor to the north, canada, as well as domestic oil, and with the ability to create an additional estimated 100,000 jobs over the lifetime of the pipeline, it's no wonder why the american public supports keystone x.l. at a time when unemployment and prices at the pump are high and new predictions say gasoline could top $4 this year, it's no wonder that the american public was disappointed in the president's decision. in a recent installment of the united technologies national journal congressional connection poll, americans surveyed were asked, supporters of the pipeline say will ease america's dependence on mideast oil and create jobs. opponents fear the environmental impact of building a pipeline. what about you? do you support or oppose building the keystone x.l. pipeline?
64% of the respondents favored the construction of keystone x.l., and only 22% were opposed. mr. speaker, keystone x.l. makes sense. it means jobs, energy security, and satisfaction for the american public. the president made a political decision to pander to his extreme environmentalist supporters in a campaign year instead of listening to the majority of the american public, and that was unfortunate. i think that house republicans are making it well-known that the fight for keystone x.l. is not over. support in the house to move the pipeline forward has been bipartisan, very public, and very well received by the american people. as of yesterday that support has produced a bill to push keystone x.l. forward. i look forward to continuing my commitment to jobs, energy security, and the building of keystone x.l. pipeline. and i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentlelady
from texas, ms. jackson lee, for five minutes. ms. jackson lee: i ask unanimous consent to address the house. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. jackson lee: thank you very much, mr. speaker. -- mr. speaker, for giving us an opportunity to share on some enormously crucial human catastrophes that are occurring around the world. i'm challenging all of my colleagues and those who would listen, that sometimes we are, in fact, through peaceful means, our brothers and sisters' keeper. first as we have seen the asending -- ascending violence occur in syria, a nation state that i have visited, blood shed that has included the loss of women and children, hearing news
reports where citizens of syria are begging for someone to do something. it is almost as if you came out of your house and stood by as your neighbor's house burned. we know in america many try to get a garden hose, others call 9-1-1, but they do something because of the horror of what they are seeing. and constantly our media airwaves are being beat with the sounds of gunshot, smoke, and devastation in the steadfast refusal of dr. assad to step down. his first representation was that these were al qaeda and terrorists and we need to listen to him. and there is a general respect for the sovereignty of a nation. and i'm not one pushing the immediate attack by the united
states, the american people have spoken on their consciousness, our soldiers and their treasure are precious. but just as i was with a number of our men and women this past saturday who have been to iraq or afghanistan or preparing to go elsewhere, our soldiers are always prepared to defend the needs of people who cannot help themselves. but i call upon today the recognition that the united nations has to fix itself. for as a consensus was coming together for the right approach, possibly u.n. troops to maintain the peace as was done in places on the continent of africa, who raises their selfish voice? two countries, china and russia. veto the consensus of many to try and help these people who are in need.
children, women, dying in the streets. not able to live in peace. so i believe that those who had an idea need to go back to the security council, they need to make sure that we know that the u.n. is the entity that it was crafted to be in the late 1940's. the voice of reason. the ability to step in. and they need to pressure these two, in essence, outlanders, those who want to stand out of the circle of care just because of selfish reasons of oil. to get out of the way. or be part of the team. i believe it is important as well for as we look at libya and its quietness now, working quietly to try and restructure, many people fought against that. i was delighted to be with a number of my colleagues, the first members of the united states congress, to go stand in front of the libyan embassy and say that gaddafi must go.
sometimes you have to step out of the circle of comfort. i ask syrian americans stand up and be heard. go to the united states ns and ask your countrymen be saved. let us here your voices. likewise i ask for egyptian americans. we have been allies with egypt for a long time and i'm trying to understab the tension -- understand the tension or confusion between government. about my point is this is a government to government issue. let my people go. let the americans go. you can find no basis that they have intently, with intent, done anything that deserves that they are, one, indicted, and two, cannot travel out of the egyptian boundaries. i call upon egyptian americans to rise up and be heard for our alliance is better than a few americans. and i take british shoe with republican presidential politics
trying to claim -- i take issue with republican presidential politics trying to claim this is an issue with iran. let us make no political statements about this. these are americans. we want them out. we want them out now. but the idea is that there must be some responsible leadership in egypt to recognize that spoiling or ending the alliance between egypt and the united states is not worth this petty action. so i ask for syrian americans and egyptian americans, go to my website, sheila jackson lee, let me know what you want to do and how you're going to support the efforts of making peace or having peace in syria and saving our fellow americans in egypt. now is the time. it is no time for languishing in pier -- fear. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. thompson,
for five minutes. mr. thompson: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, last month we heard some productive talk from the president during his state of the union address. his acknowledgment that we need increased domestic production of oil and natural gas was quite promising. or maybe his commitment, and i quote, to fight obstruction with action. you know, those type of words are always welcomed in this chamber, but unfortunately the president's action or lack thereof continue to fall short of the rhetoric. mr. speaker, there continues to be a great divide between the words and the speech the president delivers and his actual actions or leadership. despite a pledged commitment to enter the security, this administration has worked at counterattempts at making
america's energy future more. the development of the keystone x.l. which has the potential to create thousands of jobs and add to our energy security is just the latest example. between the energy resources that will be provided by a constructive, completed keystone x.l. pipeline and the natural gas fields in the united states that are in production right now, we could set off the valve of dependency on middle east oil. in the house we've advanced dozens of bills to expand domestic resource production and encourage new job creation almost all of which have been denied consideration by the senate. with any hope, the president will meet his commitment to fight obstruction with action by calling on the senate to work with the house on these important initiatives. with almost two million more americans out of work since taking office, the american people are looking for more
than just talk. mr. speaker, the american people are looking for things that they've not seen in washington. leadership by the president and action by the senate. and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the chair declares the house in recess until
>> the senate is not in session today so the democrats can hold their annual day-long conference which sets the adividenda for the year. president obama is scheduled to address the conference this afternoon. it's being held at washington national baseball stadium here in d.c. republicans meanwhile are holding closed door meetings on capitol hill. we expect some comments from republican leaders. we'll have those later in our schedule. when they return on thursday, the senate's expected to begin consideration of a surface transportation bill that sets out programs for the next two years. off the floor this morning, over on c-span2, just covering the beginning of a hearing on the benefits and safety concerns of using g.p.s. technology in the aviation industry. deputy administration secretary is testifying. that's live now on c-span2. it's also at c-span.org. three g.o.p. races yesterday, rick santorum won them all.
his campaign tweets this morning that last night was a very good night for campaign. three states, three wins. he won the missouri primary, winning 55% of the vote. the colorado caucuses winning 40% there. and the minnesota caucuses winning 45% there. this morning on "washington journal" we got the low down on the results from last night and what it means going forward. host: tomorrow, let's go right to colorado. what happened in that state? why was rick santorum able to win? caller: i think it's interesting in colorado. this is a state where mitt romney was seen as the prohibitive favorite. his campaign had scheduled his only appearance of the nighttime was supposed to be a victory rally there in colorado last night. he won over 60% of the vote there in 2008. he had campaigned there a little bit and had purchased some media
time on the radio. he was definitely seen as the favorite. i think what you see in these caucus contests they are normally driven by the most conservative voters. and i think that that was a huge boon for rick santorum last night. he campaigned -- give santorum credit, when the other candidates were in florida over the past week, he was here. you saw again that rick santorum has a lot of appeal among the conservative base but that conservative base continues to struggle with the idea of accepting mitt romney as their standard-bearer. i think those things are kind of coalesced last night and rick santorum emerged with this surprising win. a state mitt romney was seen as the favorite. host: when you move on to minnesota, and mitt romney comes in third in that state. rick santorum takes it with 45%. ron paul second with 27%. mitt romney, 17. and the former speaker was 11%.
what does that say? guest: again, mitt romney won minnesota in 2008. certainly everything you have read from the local papers in minnesota over the last week or so has said how those caucuses like colorado are driven by the conservative grassroots activist types. and mitt romney was not expected to win minnesota. but i do think that you look at the margins, really the story here, not that mitt romney loss but rather he lost by a lot. and that rick santorum ran away with that race. it's rather remarkable. and mitt romney is one of his top surrogates on the campaign is former governor of minnesota, tim pawlenty, and he was out there this week saying, well, it should be close. i think we'll have a lot of these guys have lunch together. he was doing everything in his power to lower the expectations for governor romney in the state of minnesota by saying that, well, it's probably going to be a close race. i don't want to go out on a limb here. it wasn't a close race.
governor romney lost in a landslide. i think that again these contests are driven by the most conservative voters. these are the voters that mitt romney needs to energize. at some point he has to deal with. he continues to be unable to do that. host: moving on to missouri where newt gingrich is not on the ballot. rick santorum comes in with 55%. rit mom any, 25%. ron paul with 12%. talk a little about missouri. overall are these states in a general leaks, i know these are caucuses with conservative voters, but in a general election, what does it say about rick santorum's win in states that have been sometimes purple, sometimes swing states? >> i think that's a big part of his message and has been a big part of rick santorum's campaign is that he won election time after time in a state in pennsylvania that is a traditional swing state and recent history kind of much more democratic. he's a guy who can go into those key swing states in ohio and missouri and even michigan, he
said, and he can compete in those states and the general election against president obama. i think rick santorum's victory in missouri was, i think it comes with an as terrific because of the fact that it wasn't a real primary. that it was kind of a glorified straw poll, if you will, in the sense that missouri's delegates will be dold out later at district and state conventions. i think there is something to the fact that rick santorum has been aching for a one-on-one shot at mitt romney. that's what he got in missouri. you just mentioned speaker gingrich was not on the bat local in missouri. with santorum you saw him kind of get some ribbing from the media a week ago when he left florida and went to missouri. he was holding events there. why would you be in missouri? they are not awarding delegates. it's not a real contest. people were kind of mocking him for that. i think you have to give rick santorum credit. he saw an opportunity there at
least in the media narrative in the minds of some voters to go head to head with mitt romney and he beat him by 30 points. i think in terms of momentum that's a major win. can he go out and say listen, i took on mitt romney. i won. and going forward that's going to help him raise money and it's going to help his message that he's the conservative attorney who cannot only beat mitt romney but beat president obama come november. host: that brings us to our facebook question that we asked our viewers last night. rick santorum sweeps tonight. can he win the republican nomination, 109 people said yes. and 109 people said no. when it comes to, as you said, money, maybe this will give him a boost on that. but does he have the organization and infrastructure that mitt romney has put in place to continue on all the way? and win the nomination? guest: that's tough. no one has the infrastructure
and organization that mitt romney does any of those candidates, any of his rivals on the republican side will acknowledge that. i think that what governor romney certainly has working in his favor is when you take a long view of the primary calendar, as we have done for months, that he kind of has this series of firewalls set up. his campaign did not expect to win iowa, but they had new hampshire. they didn't expect to win south carolina, but they had florida and nevada right behind. now, these three contests last night that we saw in missouri and minnesota and colorado, it's important to remember, greta, that even as recreptly as 24 hours ago these were viewed as unimportant. they were called beauty contests. these nonbinding nominating contests. while it's certainly important for rick santorum in terms of momentum and fundraising and kind of that media narrative he is gaining and positioning himself as the conservative attorney to -- alternative to mitt romney, the two really big
contests in february and the end of the month are very friendly to mitt romney. arizona, where there is a sizable mormon population and where governor romney has a pretty good campaign apparatus, and also in michigan on that same day where governor romney was born and raised and he won that state going away in 2008. so i think that for rick santorum you are going to see him put a lot of time, energy, and run a shoot straight traditional campaign in those two states. you are also going to see rick santorum focus on some of the supertuesday states, especially a state like ohio which we discussed earlier where rick santorum thinks his blue collar appeal and background as the grandson of coal miners, that can play well in michigan as well as ohio. so i think you'll see him put a lot of emphasis on those states. certainly in terms of organization, moving forward, it's very difficult for any of the candidates to try to compete with mitt romney in terms of money and terms of organization in those states. but rick santorum certainly is going to get a big fundraising
boost out of last night and that's his best hope going forward. host: tim alberta, thank you for your time this morning. guest: thank you for having me. >> just want to let you know that "washington journal" poll, can rick santorum win the nomination? still going on. you can log on to our facebook page, facebook.com slash c-span. cast your vote. three events in texas today. that state's primary is on april 3. rick santorum, mitt romney, and ron paul all gave speeches after the polls closed last night. can you view the mitt romney and ron paul speeches online in our video library, c-span.org. rick santorum, meanwhile, winning 55% of the vote in the missouri primary. he spoke to supporters at the st. charles convention centers in st. charles, missouri, for about 15 minutes. this took place before the colorado caucus results had been announced.
to always thank, first off let me thank god for giving us the grace to be able to persevere through the dog days and blessing us and blessing our family. my wife, karen here, what a rock. what a rock through these last few weeks. we have had -- we have had more drama than any family really needs. and she has just been an amazing rock and a great blessing to me. i just want to thank you in particular, my sweet girl. thank you. i want to thank my kids, the two who are here, elizabeth and john, and all the kids listening at home. i'll be home in a couple days. it's been a while. i just want a particular little note to my bela, who i know is watching me, and looking at her daddy. loif you, sweetie. thank you so much for getting healthy.
your votes today were not just heard loud and wide across the state of missouri and minnesota, but they were heard loud and louder all across this country. and particularly in a place that i suspect may be in massachusetts they were heard particularly loud tonight. tonight was not just a victory for us. but tonight was a victory for the voices of our party, conservatives and tea party people, who are out there every single day in the vineyards building the conservative movement in this country, building the base of the republican party, and building a voice for freedom in this land. thank you.
there's probably another person who maybe is listening to your cheers here tonight also. and that might be a 1600 pennsylvania avenue, you better start listening. [cheers and applause] then again i wouldn't be surprised if he isn't listening. why would you think he would be listening now? has he ever listened to the voice of america before? no. why? because he thinks he knows better. he thinks he's smarter than you. he thinks he's someone who is a privileged person who should be able to rule over all of you. but we have a different message for him. he's someone who, well, let's just go look at the record. if you look at when it came to the wall street bailouts, did
the president of the united states listen to you when it came to bailing out the big banks? why? because he thought he just knew better. he and his friends on wall street knew better than what was good for this country. when it came to the problems that were being confronted on obamacare, when the health care system in this country, did president obama when he was pushing forward his radical health care ideas listen to the american people? >> no. >> why? because he thinks he knows better. how to run your lives and manage your health care. when it comes to the environment, did the president of the united states listen to the american people or did he push a radical cap and trade agenda that would crush the energy and manufacturing sector of the economy? did he listen to you? >> no. >> no, because he thinks he knows better. ladies and gentlemen, we need a president who listens to the american people.
when the majority of americans oppose these radical ideas and they speak loudly against them, we need a president who listens to them. here's the problem. the problem is in this republican field you have been listening. tonight the voters of america, the voters here in missouri, the voters in minnesota, and i'm hopeful the voters in colorado, right? [cheers and applause] i hope you have been listening to our message because if you listen to our message and you found out that on those issues health care, the environment, cap and trade, and on the wall street bailouts, mitt romney has the same positions as barack obama. and in fact, would not be the best person to come up and fight for your voices for freedom in america.
[cheers and applause] ladies and gentlemen, i don't stand here to claim to be the conservative alternative to mitt romney. i stand here to be the conservative alternative to barack obama. [cheers and applause] , tonight we had an opportunity to see what a campaign looks like when one candidate isn't
outspent five or 10 to one by negative ads impugning their integrity and distorting the record. this is a more accurate representation, frankly, of what the fall race will look like. governor romney's greatest attribute is, well, i've got the most money and best organization. well, he's not going to have the most money and best organization in the fall, is he? no, we are going to have to have someone who has other attributes to commend themself to the people of america. someone who can get up and make sharp contrasts with president obama. someone who can point to the failed record of this administration and say that barack obama needs to be replaced in the oval office. [cheers and applause] people have asked me, what is
the secret? why are you doing so well? is it your jobs message? and, yes, we have a great jobs message. talking about everywhere we go, particularly here in the industrial heartland of missouri, where they still make things here in missouri, by the way. [cheers and applause] the message of as the "wall street journal" called our economicland. supply side economics for the working man is resonating in minnesota and here in missouri and across this country. and you see that when you have a republican out there talking about growth and talking about growth for everybody, right -- [cheers and applause] that americans respond. because i do care about not 99% or 95%, i care about the very rich and the very poor. i care about the 100% of
america. [cheers and applause] the real message, the message that we have been taking across this country and here in missouri, is a message of what's at stake in this election. this is the most important election in your lifetime. this is an election we have seen it so evident just here in the last week, this is an election fundamentally about the kind of country you are going to hand off to your children and grandchildren. whether they are going to have the level of freedom and opportunity that you have. and we have a president of the united states, as i mentioned, who is someone who believes he knows better. that we need to accumulate more power in washington, d.c., for the elite in our country to be able to govern you because you are incapable of liberty.
that you are incapable of freedom. that's what this president believes. and i under-- and americans understand that there is a great, great deal at stake. if this president is re-elected and we don't have a nominee that can make this case and not be compromised on the biggest issues of the day but can make the case to the american public, that this is about the founders' freedom. this is about a country that believes in god-given rights and a constitution that is limited to protection those rights. [cheers and applause] the president does not believe that. the president over the last two years -- few years has tried to
tell you that he, in fact, the government can give you rights. the government can take care of you and provide four. they can give you the right to health care like in obamacare. look what happens when the government gives you rights. when the government gives you rights, unlike when god gives you rights, the government ca take them away. when government gives you rights the government can tell you how to exercise those rights. and we saw that just in the last week with a group of people, a small group of people, just catholics in the united states of america -- [cheers and applause] who were told you have a right to health care. but you will have the health care that we tell you you have to give your people whether it is against the teachings of your
church or not. i never thought as a first generation american whose parents and grandparents loved freedom and came here because they didn't want the government telling them what to believe and how to believe it, that we had a first amendment that actually stood for freedom of conscious, that we had a president of the united states who would roll over that and impose his secular values on the people of this country. and it's worse than that. when one of the catholic bishops tried to communicate that through army chaplains, the obama administration said no, you can't do that. no, because your language is seditious and they made them change the language of a letter from a bishop to his people.
ladies and gentlemen, freedom is at stake in this election. we need to be the voice for freedom. [cheers and applause] in that founding document, the declaration of independence, tend of that document, those founders signed their names. the last clause of that document says we pledge our lives, our fortunes, and sacred honor. ladies and gentlemen, every generation of americans doesn't create freedom but they have in many respects a harder job. they have to maintain freedom. you're charged tonight, you're charged tonight here in missouri because we are not done yet with you here in missouri. you got a caucus coming up next month.
go out and pledge, pledge, no, not your lives, maybe your fortune. ricksantorum.com is the website. but your honor. the honor that you stand on on the backs and shoulders of your ancestors, the people here in st. louis, the people here in missouri, the people across this country who sacrificed for this country for the freedoms we have. america's honor, your honor, is at stake. go out and preserve the greatest country in the history of the world. thank you all and god bless. [cheers and applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012]
>> shouldn't your president have the highest moral and ethical standards and be an example to our children and young people in this country? ask yourself that question, please. shouldn't his life make him a role model for your future children? shouldn't anyone you elect to this office always keep his promises? >> past candidates campaign for president, we look back at 14 men who ran for office and lost. go to our website c-span.org/contenders to see video of the contenders who had a lasting impact on american politics. >> do they not have the right to protest and revolt against a government that they feel does not serve their interest? who appointed us to sacrifice the lives of young americans trying to weigh in on the side of a government that represents perhaps 15% of the people of lebanon and has little or no apparent support from the other 85%? >> c-span.org/thecontenders.
>> my most important point on who should be the conservative republican leader is, we can't tell them. it would be bert if a month before the election we announce we were running for president. i mean, the media's obsessive desoir to know who is your leader? is it michael field, rush limbaugh? glen beck? they want us to tell them who our leader is so they can ferociously fixate on that person and destroy him or her. >> this year's conservative political action conference begins thursday and c-span will cover their events through the weekend. watch past speakers online at the c-span video lie brarery, archived and searchable at c-span.org/videolibrary. >> the u.s. house gaveling in next. they'll take up a bill that would give the president the line-item veto authority, allowing him to propose cuts to
any spending bill within 45 days of signing. the senate's not in session today. democrats are holding their policy retreat in the nation's capital. republican senators have meetings on capitol hill. the senate back tomorrow with work ahead this week on the surface transportation bill. live coverage of the senate when they return tomorrow on c-span2. now to the house here on c-span.
the speaker: the house will be in order. the prayer today will be offered by our guest chaplain, reverend david anderson from the faith baptist church in sarasota, florida. the chaplain: our gracious heavily father, we come before you with thanksgiving and praise, for your protection on and blessings on our nation. we thank you for your mercy, grace and forgiveness, of our national transgressions and we trust to you lead us into righteousness. we ask you tone able the men and women of the house of representatives to faithfully carry out their duties and the purposes of your will. empower them with wisdom, currently and compassion, grant them the character to with stand the temptations of power and privilege and bring them wise counselors and friends to help them do what is right. give them wisdom and make them true statements. we ask to you bless their families and shelter them from the political fallout of unpopular decisions and fill their homes with love, hope and faith. restore our nation's historic
faith that we might pray, god bless america, with integrity. we ask that these things in the name of our lord and savior, gee suft christ. amen -- gee suft christ. amen -- jesus christ, amen. the speaker: pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1, the journal stands approved. the pledge of allegiance today will be led by the gentleman from new york, mr. higgins. mr. higgins: 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: without objection, the gentleman from florida, mr. buchanan, is recognized for one minute. mr. buchanan: mr. speaker, it's my privilege this morning to welcome a very good friend to the halls of congress, pastor
david anderson is a great spiritual leader in sarasota, florida, who gave the morning prayer. he has more than 35 years of pastor al experience as a baptist minister. and for the past two decades he has served the faith baptist church of sarasota located in the heart of my district. that is where my wife, sandy, and i first met the pastor five years ago. he is devoted to his family and helping other people in our community. he has made himself a beloved member of our community. i commend pastor anderson for his longstanding service to our community and to our nation. it is my honor today to welcome here to the house of representatives. the speaker pro tempore: the chair will entertain up to 15 further requests for one-minute speeches on each side of the aisle. for what purpose does the gentleman from ohio rise?
>> i ask unanimous consent to address the house. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the speaker: my colleagues, in recent days americans of every faith and political persuasion have mobilized in objection to a rule put forward by the obama administration that constitutes an unambiguous attack on religious freedom in our country. this rule would require faith-based employers including catholic charities, schools, universities and hospitals to provide services they believe are immoral. those services include sterilization and abortion -inducing drugs, devices and contraception. in an -- in imposing this requirement, the federal government has drifted dangerously beyond its constitutional boundaries, encoaching -- encroaching on religious freedom in a man that are affects millions of americans and harms some of our nation's most vital institutions. if the president does not reverse the department's attack
on religious freedom, then the congress, acting on behalf of the american people, and the constitution, that we're sworn to uphold and defend, must. the house will approach this matter fairly and deliberately through regular order and appropriate legislative channels. because it has primary jurisdiction on the issues involved, the energy and commerce committee is taking the lead on the legislative process that will be necessary to enact an effective and appropriate solution. chairman upton convened a hearing late last year and began laying the groundwork for legislative action when this flawed rule was first proposed. i welcome his efforts to consider all possible options as his committee proceeds with its efforts. this attack by the federal government on religious freedom in our country must not stand and will not stand. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from new york rise? without objection.
>> mr. speaker, the great lakes are our largest source of freshwater in the world and they also support vital shipping and recreation jobs. fishery alone accounts for $7 billion in annual economic activity. but the great lakes face a very real threat from the asian carp which are progressing from the mississippi river to the illinois river and nearing lake michigan. if this invasive species enterses the lakes it could designate great lakes fishing and recreation. mr. higgins: last month the great lakes commission released a report recommending the construction of a barrier to separate the mississippi river from lake michigan in order to protect the lakes from the asian carp. i join my colleagues from the great lakes task force in sending a letter to the army corps of engineers asking them to consider this report as a study into the best ways to keep the asian carp out of the great lakes basin. mr. speaker, the asian carp have not yet entered the lakes but there is a very real threat for
concerns of scientists that the conditions of lake erie are perfect to support this species of fish. it is essential to our economy and our environment that we all work together to protect and restore this underappreciated asset. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia rise? without objection. >> madam speaker, i rise in strong objection to the president's decision to require employers to provide insurance coverage for services which clearly violate their religious convictions. many american employers are deeply offended and object to being forced by the administration to pay for contraceptives, sterilization and abortion-inducing drugs to their employees. this is an egregious violation of the first amendment which protects religious freedom. preventing government intrusion into the faith and religious conviction of americans is precisely why our founders
embedded religious freedom into the first amendment. mr. rigell: this is not a slight to the constitution, it is an assault. the white house has said that adequate exemptions have been made. but this is simply not so. so i stand with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle and in both houses of congress defending the right of conscience, our constitution and the right of all americans to exercise their religious beliefs freely without intrusion from the federal government. i call on the administration to reverse this decision today. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from california rise? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> madam speaker, it's been 400 days since the republicans took control of the house of representatives and we still have no bills designed to create jobs in america. now the republican political gamentse are bringing us to a -- games are bringing us to a brink of yet another crisis. if congress does not act by the end of the month, 160 million
american million americans will see tax increases. millions more will lose their unemployment benefits and seniors across the nation will have access to their doctors put at risk by cuts to medicare payments. the american people deserve better. mr. baca: families need unemployment benefits and payroll taxes cut to put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads. let's do the right thing, let's end the tax break for millionaires, billionaires and work to strengthen the middle class. we can't wait for another last-minute fix. let's extend the payroll tax cut, unemployment benefits and the medicare doc fix today. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from new york rise? without objection. >> thank you, madam speaker. this past week i had the privilege of visiting fire machine systems in patterson, new york, in our beautiful hudson valley district 19.
30 years in hudson valley making the big machines that make components for manufacturers around the world. local employer, loads of potential, being held back by nearly every aspect of federal policy. ms. hayworth: trade, environment, education, financial services and health care all burdening this great local business. but the number one problem that mr. fire would like us to fix here in the federal government is the federal deficit. so as we approach our work this year, i will keep this vividly in mind. we must have sympathy, respect and a sense of awe for our hardworking, hard-pressed taxpayers and job creators. they are the true engine, not the federal government. they are the true engine of growth and the ultimate purchaser and securer of our liberties. and i yield back. thank you, madam speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from maine rise? ms. pingree: address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. pingree: thank you. thank you, madam speaker.
madam speaker, last month i submitted comments to the consumer product finance protection bureau about the rising problem of student loan debt. i've heard from many people in my state, students, former students, parents, who are struggling to pay back student loans. we're asking our students to take on more debt than ever. and in this weak economy, it's hard for many to make monthly rising payments. there has to be a better way. private student loans are part of the problem. they are one of the riskiest ways to pay for college, often with uncapped variable interest rates that hit those who are least able to afford them the hardest. but the federal student loan system also needs reform. currently borrowers are paying an interest rate of up to 8% while homeowners refinancing their mortgages are often paying less than half of that. there is no reason that students and their parents should pay so much for more something that is as basic and essential as education. madam speaker, an affordable education should be a right for every family in america.
i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from south carolina rise? mr. wilson: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute, revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. wilson: madam speaker, last wednesday the house passed the fiscal responsibility and retirement security act of 2011. a bill which repeals a new program and the government health care takeover bill. during the health care debate, the president and congressional liberals said this program would save taxpayers $80 billion. however now internal evidence reveals that the administration was aware that the program was, quote, a recipe for disaster. the 2,700-page obama bill was rammed through congress, just like cash for clunkers. the president and his liberal colleagues included unworkable programs into an unpopular bill to gain enough votes for
passage. the class program is yet another example of how this administration supports programs that are political gimmicks as identified by bill walker as being a free ticket but no show. in conclusion, god bless our troops and we'll never forget september 11 and the global war on terrorism. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from illinois rise? ms. schakowsky: i ask permission to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. schakowsky: unless congress acts, emergency unemployment benefits will run out on february 23 for three million americans. we simply can't let that happen. congress has never before allowed benefits to expire when unemployment is higher than 7.2%. and with more than three applicants for every job opening, we must not turn our backs on americans who want to work, are trying to work, but simply can't find a job. we shouldn't demean them either by asking them to jump through hurdles to get unemployment insurance benefits that they've already paid for like drug testing or going back to high school after decades in the work force.
our economy is improving thanks to the policies of this administration, but we have more to do. we need to extend unemployment benefits. it's good for american families and it's good for america. every dollar spent on u.i. benefits increases economic activity by $2. that increases gross domestic product and creates jobs and creates a stronger economy that works for everyone. history has taught us and economists warn us about the dangers of prematurely pulling the plug on policies that work. let's extend a full year of unemployment insurance benefits. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia rise? >> ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute, revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. broun: madam speaker, i rise today to urge my colleagues to support a bill that i recently introduced. it's h.r. 3883. the budget or bust anth. my legislation would -- act. my legislation would force the
house and senate to pass a budget or else their salaries would be held hostage until they do. it's been 1,015 days since the senate last passed a budget. that's 1,015 days this congress has shirked one of its most basic responsibilities and they shouldn't be getting paid for their irresponsibility. next week we'll see the president roll out his budget for 2013 which is not part of his constitutional job description. the budget or bust act would restore the power of the purse to its rightful owner which the founding fathers specifically gave to congress. not to the president. . congress should decide how to spend the taxpayer doll's an the president should implement the budget and policy congress puts forward. i urge my colleagues to support my budget or bust act so that washington is finally forced to pass a budget and live within its means like the rest of
america does. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from california rise. without objection. >> thank you, madam speaker. the deadline against to pass an extension ever unemployment benefits is fast approaching. ms. hahn: last week the numbers came out our economy is on the mend but we still have a long way to go. unemployment benefits put money into the economy and serve as a lifeline for the millions of americans who through no fault of their own have lost their job and cannot find work. these are benefits that have been earned through years of hard work. they aren't give aways. if my friends on the other side of the aisle don't extend these benefits, 2.8 million americans, including 491,000 californians, will lose their lifeline. throwing their families into further despair and hampering
our economic recovery. we can't let this happen. let's work together and pass these extensions of unemployment benefits for one full year. thank you. i yield my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from north carolina rise. ms. foxx: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. foxx: thank you, madam speaker. the facts don't lie. president obama's policies have failed the american people and are making the economy worse. since the president took office, unemployment has been above 8% for 36 months, gas prices have doubled, the number of americans having to rely on food stamps has climbed to an all-time high, while the number of new business start-ups has dropped to a 17-year low. our national debt has reached $15 trillion, greater than our entire economy, and just last week the c.b.o. projected that 2012 will bring us our fourth trillion dollar deficit in a row. because the president cannot run on his record he's regrettably
turned to the politics of envy and division. house republicans have a plan for america's job creators to help turn this economy around. it's time for the president and senate democrats to stop blocking our jobs bill and help us put americans back to work. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: gentlewoman. for what purpose does the gentleman from -- the gentlewoman from. for what purpose does the gentleman from connecticut rise? without objection. mr. himes: madam speaker, this piece of paper will never be the same. no matter how much you try, you can't remove the marks that are left behind. the paper may not have ripped, but once the damage is done the scars remain. i saw this idea object the website of a new organization formed in ridgefield, connecticut, students against internet discrimination, or s.i.d. formed in response to anonymous bullies at richfield high school using twitter to attack other kids behind the wall of a none minimumity.
cyberbullying, kids using internet to attack other kids, is a growing problem. so if you -- a senior decided to create an outlet joob line to get students to speak ut and speak up. she started a facebook group for richfield students to counter the action of the bullies. within 48 hours it had 1,000 concerned students and adults who wanted to show that bullies has no place in our schools. i commend the students behind the students against internet discrimination and the entire community of support behind this growing movement. for every bully out there, there are hundreds of adults and other students who will support this effort and offer help. seek out -- join a group like s.i.d. and join the practice of -- stop the practice of cyberbullying. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from arizona rise. without objection. >> madam speaker, a couple weeks ago the president was in florida
announce add new tourism initiatives with a particular focus on increasing business to u.s. natural treasures. mr. quayle, unfortunately, once again his rhetoric doesn't match his actions. the national park service is considering new regulations to be implemented by the f.a.a. that would further restrict air tours above grand canyon national park in an attempt to reduce aviation noise. if implemented these regulations would devastate the grand canyon air tourism industry that is wons for $1 o 4.3 million in economic activity. it would reduce the industry's employment by 10%. flight operations would go down 14.7%. and passenger volume would drop nearly 12.8%. the grand canyon is a national treasure to us all, but 70% of the park is already off limits to flights and the industry has already invested millions in quiet technology. this is yet another example of the administration's consistently inconsistent policies. the administration must stop needless regulations that will
destroy jobs. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from new jersey rise. >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. holt: madam speaker, let's put this in the category of actions have consequences. last year the city of trenton was forced to lay off nearly 1/3 of its uniformed law officers. my state's capital now has the same number of police officers on the rolls as it did in 1932. the city had hoped to reduce the number of layoffs through a grant from the community oriented policing services, the cops program. that grant would have allowed trenton to hire back 18 officers. unfortunately because congress failed to fund properly the cops program, trenton got no money to rehire laid off officers. in the last year almost 150 people have been shot within the city of trenton, compared with
only 60 the year before. street robberies, aggravated assaults, and burglaries are up alarmingly. trentons tell me these trends are continuing. clearly we need more money to hire police, we need it now before more americans lose their lives and suffer injury and property loss. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania rise. mr. pitts: permission to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. pints: madam speaker, the first mon in february every year is supposed to be the day the president releases his budget, but this year the budget was delayed a week. last year the budget was delayed a week also. the release date for the budget has been the same for decades, yet this administration seems to be incapable of completing their work on time. back when i was a high school teacher, turning in your work a week or two late meant you failed. now is no time to fail on budgetary matters. not when we are $15 trillion in debt and have deficits every
year of more than $1 trillion. the senate hasn't passed a budget in more than 1,000 days. we need a realistic plan to get our country back on track. when the house put forward a plan last year, it was met with an attack that the nonpartisan politifact called the lie of the year. the federal budget affects every american, especially those looking for jobs. right now uncertainty abounds and employers wonder whether destructive taxes will hold back growth. let's get back on a sound fiscal track. let's end the uncertainty. let's do our work. let's pass a budget on time this year. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. 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: without objection. mr. cicilline: madam speaker, i rise today to honor and recognize the contributions made by the hardworking men and women at the raytheon company. every day the innovators strife to develop new technologies to defend our country and ensure the safety of our men and women in uniform. a defense research firm employs
75,000 employees around the country. their accomplishments were honored during aviation week annual program excellence awards for its work to develop combat system software for the next generation of surface combat ships, the d.d.g. 1,000. aviation week awarded them top honors in the category of system level production. raytheon's employees should take pride in the contributions they are making to our local economy and to ensuring the continued strength of the united states navy. i congratulate raytheon on their impressive achievements and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from new york rise? without objection. >> thank you, madam speaker. i rise today as a pro-life catholic and as an american. deeply concerned with the administration's ruling as part of the health care law to require the catholic church, christian, and other religious affiliated organizations to offer health insurance that
covers contraceptives and sterilizations even though it's clearly in violation of their beliefs and the fundamental teachings of the church. i stand with cardinal degig gnat timothy dolan, when he said in effect the president is saying we have a year to figure out how to violate our consciouses and turn our backs on thousands of years of church teachings. mr. grim: -- mr. grimm: religious liberty has been son -- sown into the fib rick of our -- it's the first right mentioned in the bill of rights. they challenge the conscious and reproductive lights of the catholic church or any other religion will not and should not be tolerated and i urge the president to reconsider this rule and restore the church's religious freedom. with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from california rise. >> unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection.
ms. sanchez: madam speaker, i rise today to urge my republican colleagues to end the games and to give certainty back to the american people. right before the holidays my republican colleagues threatened to raise taxes on the middle class because the small but very loud minority in their conference wanted to prove a point. now we are back at it again. they want to prevent a $1,500 from being in the hands of the middle class. my fellow democrats and i want to keep money in the hands of hardworking americans by supporting the extension of the payroll tax holiday. because we cannot afford to take more risks with the income of 160 million working americans. in fact, the no jobs agenda of the republican conference has pushed to continue tax cuts for the wealthiest of americans
while not giving breaks to working americans and the middle class. i ask my colleagues on the other side of the aisle if they will please come to the table for a strong and working middle class of america. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from tennessee rise. mrs. blackburn: to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mrs. blackburn: thank you, madam speaker. i think that there are a million americans today, many of the americans catholics, who listened intently to the debate that took place on the obamacare bill. and they weren't really sure about it. but they kept hanging on to a couple things. if you like what you have, you can keep it, is what the president said. they have found out that's not the way it turned out. well, when it came to all the guidelines that were coming from h.h.s., don't worry about these, they'll never be mandates, they are going to be guidelines. they are there for information and instruction. well, that didn't come about
either because what has happened is now the catholic organizations in schools and hospitals are being mandated by the federal government to violate their religious beliefs and to meet the federal mandate of providing contraceptives, abortion services, sterilization services, all in the name of a health care policy. this is something that needs to be reversed. i stand with the millions of americans who are fighting this mandate. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. for what purpose does the the gentlewoman from hawaii rise. without objection. ms. hanabusa: thank you, madam speaker. madam speaker, our constituents are saying, here they go again. don't they get anything right? what they are talking about is the fact that payroll tax,
extension of unemployment, and the extension of the s.g.r. that's all coming up again. again. after the fiasco of last december you would have thought we learned our lesson. look at what the payroll tax means. 160 million will risk and lose and have about a $1,500 tax increase. for those in hawaii, 700,000 will suffer, 1,120 a year reduction. what are we doing? the s.g.r. will increase the cost to our elderly 27% reduction to their doctors. we call it in hawaii, acupunas, those are very important to us. instead the focus seems to be how do we keep money for the ultrarich? that 1%. think about it. the middle class can use the $1,120 in hawaii.
let's do it right. thank you, madam speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from new york rise. mr. rangel: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. rangel: i think i have some good news. most americans believe that when the congress does not do what it wants to happen that they can wait until election day and then they remind us that we didn't -- we let them down. . certainly i remember when this unemployment compensation and the holiday for taxpayers as well as the payment of our doctors was coming on a couple years ago and it was almost christmas time. and democrats really thought that because of republican majority and because they just felt that unemployed people getting compensation, that they wouldn't look for work, or that they weren't paying enough taxes or that they didn't want to deal
with the question of the doctors, but still after all of this battle, when the american people spoke up, they didn't wait until election day. they got on the phone. they called their house members, republicans and democrats. they called everybody to say that they could not afford a sharp increase in their payroll deductions. and so do it again, because it really works. you got to get these -- you're going to get all these extension, all you have to do is demand and call that you get what you deserve. thank you, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from massachusetts rise? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. markey: madam speaker, america's nuclear weapons budget is locked into a cold war time machine. it doesn't reflect our 21st century security needs. it makes no sense. it is insane. it's insane to spend $10 billion
building new plants to make uranium and plutonium for new nuclear bombs when we're cutting our nuclear arsenal and the plants we have now work just fine. it's insane that we're going to spend $84 billion for up to 14 new nuclear submarines when just one submarine with 96 nuclear bombs onboard can blow up every major city in iran, china and north korea. it's an insane strategy but it's mesh's current plan -- america's current plan and that's why we need a sane approach to our nuclear weapons budget. today i am introducing the sane act, the smarter approach to nuclear expenditures act, with 34 of my colleagues. the sane act cuts $100 billion in spending over the next 10 years on outdated, wasteful nuclear weapons programs over the next 10 years. let's cut new nuclear weapons, not the poor, the sick, the
children and the elderly of our country. support and co-sponsor the sane act. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from new york rise? >> address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> thank you, madam speaker. madam speaker, today we find ourselves in the unfortunate familiar position of running out the clock on the american people . the republican majority seems to have no problem moving heaven and earth to preserve tax cuts for the wealthiest americans. mr. clarke: however they seem to allow -- ms. clarke: however they seem to allow taxes to rise for the working poor and the middle class. the majority's orthodoxy that tax cuts solve every problem seed seem not to extend to -- seem not to extend to those who need it the most. this tax hypocrisy has not goth gone unnoticed by the american people. madam speaker, the 112th
congress has not passed one job-creating bill in the face of this stubbornly high unemployment. and instead of addressing the job crisis, they are continuing their assault on the unemployed by threatening to cut off aid to those who would rather have a job in the first place. i urge the majority to put aside election year politics and pass a long-term payroll tax extension and extend unemployment benefits, especially in light of their failure to address the need for more job opportunities and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from arizona rise? without objection. >> thank you very much, madam chair. the clock is ticking and republicans are playing games and people are hurting. mr. grijalva: republicans care more, their singular goal is to defeat obama in november rather than help people that are hurting and help the middle class. this latest chapter on the
extension of unemployment benefit adds to already sore i had and sad story. last december republicans threatened to lay off over one million americans by refusing to extend unemployment benefits. house republicans are now pushing a plan that would reduce unemployment benefits for three million americans who lost their jobs through no fault of their own. this is a plan as wrong, it's wrong for the middle class, it's wrong for people that are trying to find jobs. it is time that the republican majority brought a real jobs plan to this floor that will create real jobs and put the american people to work. when they're working, our economy is fine. when they're working our small businesses are fine. rather than acknowledge these facts and these realities, republicans in congress seem intent on blaming the unemployed for unemployment. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from california rise? >> address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection.
mr. lungren: madam speaker, just a couple of weeks ago this administration announced a position that a amounts to an assault on religious liberty in this country. their narrow definition of what constitutes religious action, religious belief and whether or not the federal government can cause you to take actions against your own conscience is a serious matter that ought not to be determined by the friday release of a decision made by the secretary of health and human services. this is an issue that goes beyond the catholic church and catholic institution. it goes to the essence of the first amendment protections contained in the constitution with respect to religious freedom. we better understand exactly how important this issue is and we had better understand how it has
to be addressed directly and cannot be compromised by saying we're not going to take away your religious liberty for a year. that is not a compromise. that is a form of political extortion. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from florida rise? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> madam speaker, even as we stand here today the centrifuges continue to spin in iran and their illicit nuclear weapons program forges ahead yet they are more isolated today than they have ever been. mr. deutch: i commend president obama for his executive order, freezing the assets of the central bank of iran and making it impossible to do business both with iran and with the united states. i thank our asian allies for reducing purchases of crude oil and slashing trade with iran and i commend our european allies as
well for banning the import of iran an crude. the iranian economy is in shambles as a result of these international efforts, its currency is plummeting, inflation is skyrocketing. i urge my colleagues, our friends across the way in the senate, to pass tighter sanctions still to tighten the economics into on the ayatollahs and to -- economics into -- economic noose on the ayatollahs and we must stand with the iranian people, even as their human rights are crushed by the revolutionary guard in their quest for democracy, we stand with them. our efforts are paying off, madam speaker, we cannot let up. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. all time for one-minutes has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia rise? >> madam speaker, by direction of the committee on rules, i call up house resolution 540 and ask for its immediate consideration. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the
resolution. the clerk: house calendar 111, house resolution 540, resolved that at any time after the adoption of this resolution the speaker may, pursuant to clause 2-b of rule 18, declare the house resolved into the committee of the whole house on the state of the union for consideration of the bill h.r. 3521, to amend the congressional budget and empoundment control act of 1974, to provide for legislative line item d veto to expedite revisions and for other purposes. the first reading of the bill shall be dispensed with. all points of order against consideration of the bill are waived. general debate shall be confined to the bill and shall not exceed one hour equally divided among and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the committee on the budget and representative simpson of idaho or his designee. after general debate the bill shall be considered for amendment under the five-minute rule. in lieu of the amendments recommended by the committees on the budget and rules now printed in the bill, it shall be in
order to consider as an original bill for the purpose of amendment under the five-minute rule an amendment in the nature of a substitute consisting of the text of the rules committee print 112-12. that amendment in the nature of a substitute shall be considered as read. all points of order against that amendment in the nature of a substitute are waived. no amendment to that amendment in the nature of a substitute shall be in order except those printed in the report of the committee on rules, accompanying this resolution. each such amendment may be offered only in the order printed in the report, may be offered by -- only by a member designated in the report, shall be considered as read, shall be debatable for the time specified in the report equally divided and controlled by the promontana pand an opponent -- proponent and an opponent. shall not be subject to amendment and shall not be subject to a demand for division of the question in the house or in the committee of the whole. all points of order against such amendments are waived. at the conclusion of
consideration of the bill for amendment, the committee shall rise and report the bill to the house with such amendments as may have been adopted. any member may demand a separate vote in the house on any amendment adopted in the committee of the whole to the bill or to the amendment in the nature of a substitute made in order as original text. the previous question shall be considered as ordered on the bill and amendments thereto to final passage without intervening motion except one motion to recommit with or without instructions. section 2, it shall be in order at any time on the legislative day of february 9, 2012, for the speaker to entertain motions that the house suspend the rules as though under clause 1-c of rule 15 relating to a measure addressing securities trading based on nonpublic information. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia is recognized for one hour. mr. woodall: thank you, madam speaker. i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without
objection. mr. woodall: and, madam speaker, for the purposes of debate only, i'd like to yield the customary 30 minutes to my good friend from colorado, mr. polis, pending which i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. woodall: i'm pleased to be down here with you today, madam speaker. because what we have an opportunity to do with this rule is bring another in a series of 10 fundamental reforms to the congressional budgeting process. today house resolution 540 provides a structured rule for consideration of h.r. 3521, the expedited line-item veto in rescissions act. and yet again today with this rule we have made in order every single amendment by either republicans or democrats that was germane to the underlying legislation to give us an opportunity to make this bill better. now, this, to be fair, madam speaker, h.r. 3421 another example of bipartisanship. this house.
it was introduced and sponsored by both the republican chairman of the budget committee, paul ryan, and the democratic ranking member, mr. ran shol -- van hollen. another opportunity of things that we can do here in this new congress to bring common sense to our budgeting process. it's a bipartisan attempt, madam speaker, to provide both congress and the president with all of the tools necessary to get our fiscal challenges under control and it exemplifies what can happen here in this body when we're willing to listen to folks back home and come together to try to make a difference here in congress. in the 111th congress, madam speaker, nondefense discretionary spending was increased by almost 25%. this congress, this body, working with the senate, increased nondefense
discretionary spending by almost 25%. now, if your constituents are like mine, madam speaker, have they had that budget around their family dinner table, they could have found some items that they could have done without. in exchange for not putting their children and their grandchildren further and further and further in the hole, further and further and further under the mountain of debt that this country has run up, they do have found some things to -- they could have found some things to cut. now, congress in the past has tried to pass a line-item veto. line-item vetos that i would have opposed had i been in congress, madam speaker, because they transferred our authority, our authority here in the u.s. house of representatives to the executive branch. i'm opposed to that. what we have today is not that process of davis old, not that process that has been tossed out by the supreme court as a vietation of our house prerogatives, but what we have
today is an expedited rescissions process that allows the president of the united states to go through those budget bills, those appropriations bills, those funding bills to say, when i see this it doesn't pass the smell test, let me give the congress one more shot at it. sends it back to capitol hill where we accept it or reject it in its entirety. . i confess, madam speaker, i'm not thrilled about involving this president in budgeting decisions any more than is absolutely necessary, but given the nature of our challenges, it's not about this president or the previous president or the next president, it's about the american people. it's about what are we going to do to fulfill our responsibilities to keep america strong. this is one of those bills, madam speaker, that will provide another arrow in the quiver of fiscal responsibility to this nation. and i believe it's one whose time has come.
yesterday we saw another bill in this budget reform process. last week we saw two other bills in this budget reform process. each coming to the floor, madam speaker, in as open and honest a process as we can to bring the american people into this budget process to make congress' budget process as open and honest as it can be. as a proud member of the rules committee, madam speaker, and of the budget committee, i am here today in strong support of this rule and in strong support of the underlying resolution. with that i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from colorado. mr. polis: thank you, madam speaker. i thank my colleague from georgia for yielding me the customary 30 minutes. i yield myself such time as i may consume. i rise today in opposition to this structured rule. this is yet another example of this congress' remarkable
ability to take commonsense measures and churn them through partisan posturing into measures that not only put in jeopardy broad bipartisan support from this moddy, but significantly weaken them and reduce the quality of the work product for the american people. this rule that we are debating does two things, will have the opportunity -- we'll have the opportunity in a moment to talk about the expedited line item veetyote -- veto and rescissions act, an underlying bill i strongly support, one that would empower the president of the united states to use the line-item veto on unnecessary expenditures to help reduce our deficit subject to an en masse approval vote of the ups congress. it fundamentally addresses some of the constitutional flaws with a broad line-item veto which has been attempted in the past that many governors currently wield.
so it's, i think, a good faith effort by both sides, to come to something that the american people think are common sense. congress should not be able to force the president to spend money in areas that are unnecessary, that are earmarks, that are special -- special interest expenditures, the president can highlight those, bring them back to congress, subject to an up or down vote. the bigger problem with this rule is the other component of this rule which not only prevents members from offering amendments that would strengthen the stock act, a very significant piece of reform legislation offered by mr. walz and my rules committee colleague and ranking member member, lieu seize slaughter, which i proudly co-sponsor, this bill, the stock act, has been subject to a lot of media attention of late. it would ban insider trading in congress. again a commonsense approach and something that i think has broad
if not universal support on both sides of the aisle. but a little bit of history of how we got here and why this particular rule many on our side and i myself see it as an attempt to water down many of the critical provisions of the stock act and make it less meaningful in responding to the public outrage about perceived behaviors that can occur both among the members and the staff on this body as well as in the executive side of government. this bill has been introduced, the stock act, by representative slaughter for six years now. i have been a co-sponsor since last year. and it has rapidly picked up co-sponsors in the last year, including close to 100 co-sponsors from the other side of the aisle. it's a strong bipartisan piece of legislation with strong support. first this bill, the stock act, was blocked by the majority leader. now it's being rewritten behind
closed doors and without the imput of mr. walz or ms. slaughter. we don't know what this so-called stock act will contain. we have reason to believe it will water down a number of provisions of the stock act. it's my understanding that at least die -- the version of the stock act released last night removed the requirement that political intelligence firms register as lobbyists. now, what are political intelligence firms? they are firms that are hired by those who have -- do financial transactions and effectively bet on stocks going up or down, hedge funds, etc., would hire these political information firms to try to figure out using their connections what members of congress and just as importantly committee staff and staff members are thinking and timing with regarding to hearings and the introductions of bills. now, in an open system obviously
discussion among people is certainly fine, but the issue is whether they have to register as lobbyists. lobby-is have a registration process that critically include who their clients are to provide visibility and transparency into who their clients are. political intelligence firms do not need to register under current law. they would be required to register under the stock act but under the version, the weakening of the stock act, that leader cantor posted to the website, they would no longer be required to register. in fact, specifically, from the web paming of a political intelligence firm, it says they relish this ability to operate in secrecy. quoting from their website it says, quote, providing the service for clients who do not want their interest or issue publicly known. end quote. so again, there is this, i think, commonsense loophole that the american people are outraged over that allows people to avoid registering as lobbyists who are
in the business of developing relationships with members and their staffs for the purposes of seeking inside information for financial gains. and i would strongly recommend that any serious stock act include a registration requirement around political intelligence firms. we also won't have the opportunity in the house as the senate did to make the stock act stronger and to strengthen the bill through the amendment process. under this particular version of this rule that we are debating, there will be zero, zero amendments allowed. no amendments from republicans, and no amendments from democrats to strengthen the stock act. now, even the senate, which is hardly known for its legislative efficiency, was able to consider amendments and get the bill done and passed because of its bipartisan support. we should do so in the house. under an open process or even a controlled process, 10, 15, 20
amendments. i know members across both sides of the aisle have ideas about how to reduce the perceived inequities and conflicts of interest that exist both among members and appointees and on the executive side of government. we owe nothing less to the american people. so i am terribly disappointed that this rule will not allow for any strengthening of the stock act and quite to the contrary, actually deals it a severe weakening blow by removing political intelligence. furthermore, we don't know at this point what exactly will be in this stock act that potentially could be under consideration tomorrow. contrary to the promise that the republican majority made to the american people about having time to read bills, it's my understanding that an initial version was posted last night. it's my understanding the subsequent version, weakening the stock act, was posted just
an hour ago which i don't think any of us have had the opportunity to read. we fear that this could be changed again and yet under this rule, this congress could be called on to act on this tomorrow to vote on this tomorrow with no opportunity to strengthen the bill, no opportunity to prevent the watering down of the bill by the majority leader of this body which is occurring behind closed doors as we speak. now, again, while i cannot support the rule for those reasons i want to also discuss one of the underlying bills that this rule will which to the -- bring to the house which is the expedited line-item veto and rescission act. this is an important step all be it -- albeit a small step, towards the cause of deficit reduction and eliminating the wasteful spending and earmarks that have too often been the hallmark of this congress and past congresses. now, members on both sides of
the aisle have disagreements about this bill. when you have a bill that impacts legislative prerogative, that's likely to be the case. i know some are concerned about constitutionality generally of line-item veto bills. i believe that this bill was carefully crafted to take into account those valid constitutional arguments about the separation of powers and the prerogative of the legislative branch. this legislation strikes the correct balance between the framers' intent to place the power of the purse in the hands of congress, which retains under this bill the ability to approve or disapprove of any presidential line-item veto, with the need to cut out wasteful spending from biggie backs -- that piggy backs on much larger must-pass legislation whether it's an omnibus or appropriations bill. we know that this body has been unable to produce cleaner, leaner spending bills. and i think it can be a constructive step to enlist the
help of the president of the united states in removing unnecessary and indefensible pork from spending bills. i would also add that this bill is a welcomed change from many of the other so-called budget reform bills that have been brought forward by the house budget committee. the house budget committee has brought forward bills to pretend that inflation doesn't exist. they brought forward bills to have funny scoring, trick scoring, dynamic scoring rather than the usual objective process of the congressional budget office. but you can't pretend the deficit away. you can't pretend the deficit away by assuming there is no inflation. you can't pretend the deficit away by putting in whacky numbers that are whatever you feel like based on your biases. so this bill really is the first budget bill that is a constructive step toward actually controlling spending. something that i have off heard members of both parties pay lip service to, but this body has
done relatively little to address that noble goal of balancing our bunt. -- budget. however there is a lot more to do. i have always maintained as have many on my side of the aisle that rather than talking about balancing the budget, rather than talking about what we want to do, and rather than trying to change the rules, let's balance the budget. the super committee had an opportunity to do that with a balanced approach. the president of the united states has called for a balanced approach to balance the budget. the president of the united states has convened the simpson-bowles commission to outline specific plans around any budget deficit and returning our nation to fiscal responsibility. that bill from the simpson-bowles commission, there's been no bills taken up by this body that would fundamentally address the very real budget problems that we face. to be clear, we cannot simply pass this expedited line-item veto rescission act and say problem solved, game over, let's go home. a constructive step towards balancing our budget, yes, but a small step.
a baby step. a potential step in the right direction, but one that by no means should get congress out of the responsibility of acting responsibly in a balanced manner to balance our budget, right our fiscal ship, ensure the long-term integrity of social security and medicare, and balance our budget deficit. we need to use a balanced approach to budget challenges. the approach needs to be comprehensive and bipartisan. i would like to maintain some hope and optimism that perhaps the expedited line-item veto and rescission act would be a small first step towards a larger collaboration between the two parties to tackle the issues of the day. while not in and of itself, the real progress we need to actually solve the bunt item -- budget item, this act will assist lawmakers in targeting wasteful government spending. unlike previous atefments at a line-item veto that have been ruled unconstitutional, the expedited line item veto and rescissions act respects the careful system of checks and
balances that our framers established. under this bill, the president can highlight unjustified government spending that's wasteful and the president can then identify those items but it has to come back to congress to affirmatively approve by majority any cancellation of expenditures in those areas. let them be debated and defended on their merits rather than slipped in to 1,000-page bills in the dark of night. further, the president's withholding authority is limited. the president can only hold back on spending for 45 days. after the appropriations bill has been enacted. i think this bill can be a step towards putting our nation on a path towards fiscal discipline and balanced budget. i am aware there are those on both sides for constitutional or legislative prerogative reasons feel differently than i do. but i think a yes vote on the underlying bil