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tv   U.S. House of Representatives  CSPAN  February 29, 2012 10:00am-1:00pm EST

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freedom to cash out. host: we have one last question for you. the house is about to come in. how does proxy impact ceo pay? guest: we will see what the latest round of salaries and bonuses and options are, but it does not mean there will be any effective votes or controls. the six -- system of prosecute votes -- proxy votes is a joke. corporations are not democracies. host: when will we find out ceo pay for 2011? what is your prediction? guest: we will start to see it week in and week out, going forward. we will be seeing proxy virtually every day with companies. host: what are you looking for? guest: i think it will be slightly up this year. it will be up more than it seems
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because the option they get -- the stated value will not tell us what the economic value turns out to be. as the stock market is rising, those options will turn out to be a lot more valuable than the proxy numbers will suggest. host: any movement by the congress or any other agencies that oversee wall street to try to put in any sort our role to dictate ceo pay? guest: the sec has tried to democratize the proxy process, tried to make it easier for shareholders to nominate a director. it should not be just the board that nominates people. shareholders should be able to. they have not gotten very far host: -- very far. host: roger lowenstein, thank you. 29, 2012.
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i hereby appoint the honorable rob woodall 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 california, mr. dreier, for five minutes. mr. dreier: thank you very much, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, what i'm about to announce will not come as much of a surprise, but we all know that this institution has an abysmally low approval rating and the american people are asking for change in congress, and so i'm announcing today
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that i will leave the congress at the end of this year. now, i take the unusual step of announcing it from here in the well of the house because i am a proud institutionalist. i believe that this institution is as great as it has ever been. and, mr. speaker, i announce it from here because between the rules committee upstairs where you serve with me, mr. speaker pro tempore, and this is where the people of california sent me to serve them. as we look at the challenges that lie ahead, they are very, very great. i deliberated over this decision, and i have to say that three years ago i contemplated leaving at the end of that congress, but ultimately made a decision that i wanted to continue to serve through this term. and i wanted to do so in hopes that we would win the majority
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with a goal of pursuing the four-point platform that i have always run on, a free economy, limited government, strong personal freedom. and, mr. speaker, i wanted to work with not just my republican colleagues but my democratic colleagues as well, working in a bipartisan way to accomplish a number of things. first, it was absolutely essential that we do everything to end the course that we had been on that ultimately brought us an 82% increase in nondefense discretionary spending. and i'm happy to say we've turned the corner on that. second, after years of ling -- languishing we were finally able to pass three trade agreements that will create good jobs for union and nonunion workers in this country by virtue of having passed the panama, colombia and south korea free trade agreements. i also believe that it's very
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important for us to recognize as we look at our national security, the notion of people all over the world who are seeking to determine their own futures has created a wonderful opportunity for us and the house democracy partnership, another strong bipartisan organization has just now partnered with its 17th country in central asia to help the legislative bodies strengthen and have the kind of independence and oversight of their executive branch that we have the tendency to take for granted here. and fourth, mr. speaker, i feel very strongly again working in a bipartisan way that it was essential to ensure that both democrats and republicans have the opportunity to have their ideas heard through their amendments on the floor of the house of representatives. now, i do believe, again, mr. speaker, that this is the greatest deliberative body known to man. we have a great deal of work that lies ahead throughout this
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year, but i'm looking forward to following the madisonian directive that members of congress after serving here should go out and live with the laws that passed, and i will say that as passionately as we've been pursuing a pro-growth jobs creating agenda i look forward to doing that myself as i move into the private sector next year. mr. speaker, i will say that i want to express my appreciation. i want to express my appreciation, mr. speaker, to lots of people. of course, the volunteers, family and friends, supporters and the people who offered prayers for our country on a regular basis, and i also want to most important express my appreciation, mr. speaker, to the people of california who back in 1978 when i was 25 years old living in a dorm,
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they gave the nomination for my party and it's been a very, very exciting time. i also want to say, mr. speaker, that i express my appreciation to the very, very dedicated public servants in my office in california and my offices here in washington for their commitment to do the best job possible, to help me represent the people of california. with that i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from oregon, mr. blumenauer, for five minutes. mr. blumenauer: thank you, mr. speaker. yesterday senator olympia snowe announced she wouldn't run for re-election. not that she couldn't win but that she didn't want to. not in this environment. this storied representative will be a loss to the institution here, but it
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doesn't have to be that way, mr. speaker. this week on capitol hill we have friends who've joined us from the public broadcasting community representing television stations across -- public television stations across the country. today, the women's garden club of america are here in force. now, these are people that have an approach that can help us unwind the problems that we have here in congress. public broadcasting is america's voice, and for most of america it's the only locally owned and managed source of news and local interests. it's commercial-free. it's focused on our kids, our culture, our environment. last year amidst the tea party effort to defund public broadcasting, we had a poll that showed 78% of americans wanted the funding to remain the same or be increased.
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2/3 of republicans wanted it to be held steady or increased. now, this year's budget hopefully appears we've dodged that bullet. maybe some people have come to their senses. americans were heard from coast to coast, don't play games with public broadcasting. we got a few holes in the president's budget but i hope we can come together in a bipartisan way, listen to americans, listen to these representatives and do it right. with the women's garden club of america, we have a group primarily women who are focused not just on a fwarden club but a fight for -- garden club but a fight for civic improvement through the connection with nature and through public policy. their position papers on supporting clean air, clean water, climate change, public lands take issues that around
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here get lost in a partisan theological fog and make clear why they're important, how to represent american interests and not the narrow, the theological, the partisan that get us bogged down. mr. speaker, i hope that members will listen to groups like our public broadcasting supporters and the garden club about simple, commonsense approaches to support fundamental american values and get off the partisan merry-go-round. we should listen to them. we should work with them. america will be a better place and so will congress. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from new jersey, mr. lance, for five minutes. mr. lance: thank you very much, mr. speaker.
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i rise today to celebrate the centennial of the birth of first lady patricia nixon. the nixon library in southern california will present a major exhibit about mrs. nixon's life opening march 16. and the national archives in washington will host a forum for her work in april. thelma kathryn ryan was born on the eve of st. patrick's day on march 16, 1912 in nevada, a mining town. her father, william ryan, called her his st. patrick's babe in the morn, so she was called pat within hours of her birth. the ryans moved to southern california for a better life and settled on a small truck farm in arteeshia -- artesia.
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a young person of tremendous courage and determination, mrs. nixon had her heart set on higher education and work continually to secure the necessary funds. she drove an elderly couple to the east coast and worked as an x-ray technician in new york. returning, she graduated magna cum laude. she held part-time jobs on campus and was a department store salesclerk and a hollywood extra, appearing in several motion pictures, including the 1935 film "becky sharp." mrs. nixon taught at at a high school in the late 1930's where she met her husband who had returned to his hometown to practice law after graduating from duke law school. approximate richa ryan and richard nixon were married in 1940, and was true of so many
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couples their age, she worked here at home while her husband served in the military in world war ii as a naval officer in the pacific. mrs. nixon campaigned with her husband as he was elected to the house of representatives in 1946 and 1948. and to the united states senate in 1950. there's a charming photograph of the nixons with their infant daughter, trisha, taking at the tidal basin with the cherry blossoms in bloom in the spring of 1947. julie, their younger daughter, was born the following year. with her husband's election as vice president and dwight eisenhower's office in 1962, she traveled the land. for more than two months in asia and the pacific in 1953 and to south america in 1958 where the couple demonstrated courage in caracas and to the
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soviet union in 1959. mrs. nixon campaigned gal yantly in 1960, returning to private life in california and then new york and proudly held the nixon family bible when richard nixon was inaugurated the 37th president in 1969. during the presidential year the first lady was truly our ambassador of goodwill, being in vietnam and earthquaked ravaged peru in 1970 and china in the groundbreaking trip of 1972. mrs. nixon was responsible for the gift from the chinese of the two giant pandas to the american people. she traveled to more than 80 countries and five continents during her life. as first lady, mrs. nixon encouraged volunteer service, the spirit of people helping people. she added 600 paintings and
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antiques to the white house collection, illuminated the white house at night and opened the white house gardens to the public. mrs. nixon's service to the nation extended over many years. only dolly madison, eleanor roosevelt and hillary clinton, among our first ladies, have served the country as long as patricia nixon. laid to rest in 1993 on the grounds of the nixon library in california, mrs. nixon's grave marker reads, even when people can't speak your language, they can tell if you have love in your heart. patricia ryan nixon had love in her heart and now at her 100th birthday we remember her for her devotion to family, her grace and perseverance and her patriotism to the united states of america. mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. .
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mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from, mr. boswell, for five minutes. without objection. mr. bozz well: mr. speaker, today i stand before the 112th congress to recognize and honor mr. stanley e. peterson for his 40 years of service to the united states as an officer in the united states navy and as a supervisor in the federal bureau of investigation, and as a chief of police in youngstown, ohio. my intention is to enter into the congressional record the true history of this great american patriot. and dismiss the lies and innuendos told by expelled former members dismissed by 10 th congress for his conviction in federal court for taking bribes and kickbacks. stanley e. peterson was the youngest recruit to the federal bureau of investigation under director j. edgar hoover in 1947. like hess fellow special agents,
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he lived his life according to the motto of the f.b.i., fidelity, bravery, integrity, and its core values, rigorous obedience to the constitution of the united states, respect for the dignity of those protected, compassion, fairness, uncompromising personal integrity, and institutional integrity. accountability by accepting responsibility for his actions and decisions, as well as consequences for his actions and decisions. leadership, both personal and professional. he was often called stan, was intelligent, disciplined, legendary investigator, renowned for his likibility and tenacity in his work. with organized crime and its surrogates attacked him, he did not compromise. instead he protected ongoing investigations, remaining loyal to the core values of the f.b.i.
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up to the day he died, december 31, 2001 in des moines, iowa. stanley was born july 24, 1923 in glynco, minnesota. his grandparents and cousins imgianted from sweden before the turn of the century looking for students in the united states. like so many others the peterson family strugulled under the great depression in southern minnesota. his father and honored combat veteran of world war i farmed and drove a delivery truck to keep his family from receiving welfare. his mother taught him humility, honesty, faithfulness, and always do his best. work hard, never quit. and to be charitable. stanley graduated from high school at the age of 16. an adventure rouse, working for a traveling circus as a bookkeeper during the summer
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months, he intended to receive his diploma from college, st. peter, minnesota, but after the attack on pearl harbor, december 7, 1941, he enlisted in the u.s. navy. and was sent to columbia university for mid shipman training. he served in the u.s. navy during world war ii in the pacificar board lst-711, but near the end of the war he was the youngest captain to lst-911. he was selected to join the f.b.i. and married katherine thomas. his first assignment as a special agent was richland, washington, the home of the manhattan project facility. in 1947 it was a federally controlled energy top secret community with restricted access. we markably even their mail was post-marked seattle a void identification.
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-- avoid identification. after one year he was transferred to chicago, then cleveland, and eventually youngstown, ohio, famous for gangland legislations, illegal gambling, and corruption throughout the city government and judicial system. in 1961 the united states attorney general robert kennedy directed j. edgar hoof and department of justice to take action, initiating the war on organized crime. stan peterson became the agent in charge of expanding regional f.b.i. office with direct communication with a director and the attorney general, and during his assignment he received several letters of accommodation for his crime fighting achievements. after an unprecedented 20 years with the same assignment, he was transferred to memphis tennessee a few years before his retirement from the f.b.i. in 1975. a few years later youngstown lawyer asked stanley to become chief of police. this was the first time in the city's history that a chief would be appointed from outside
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of the department. as a matter of fact, the succeeding mayor, based upon peterson's record, asked him to remain as chief, charged him to stamp out corruption both on city streets and within city hall. stan peterson width sthood personal attacks as the former fought crime. as a result of peterson's actions, the county sheriff signed a confession for taking bribes and city workers, judges, and politicians were convicted of federal crimes. in the midst of these events, the local newspaper did not recognize the achievements but rather chose to parrot cacophony from organized crime fighters and their surrogates. after eight years stanley peterson retired as chief of police, eventually was asked to join in the investigation with a former u.s. attorney into monopolies involving the railroad and trucking industry.
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at his funeral he was remembered for his living example of a man who prioritized his life by his dedication and relationship with god, his wife and family. he is remembered today for his integrity and service to our nation. in closing, i'm pleased to note that stan's son, dr. gregory peterson and his beautiful wife, are in the gallery. and i'm happy that dr. peterson is present as we honor and enter into the record of memory and history of this great american patriot, stanley e. peterson. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the chair recognizes the gentleman from michigan, mr. wallburg, for five minutes. mr. walberg: thank you, mr. speaker. with michigan's unemployment rate consistently higher than the national average, i remain committed to thoroughly reviewing the implications of
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burdensome regulations that have the potential to overwhelm my states and country's job creators. a current effort by the department of labor is a new standard being considered by occupational safety and health administration called the injury and illness prevention program, or i2-p2 it will require all employers to, quote, find and fix all hazards in their workplace, even those not otherwise regulated. this regulation could potentially impact every employer covered by osha, unless osha exempts small employers or those with less hazardous workplaces. many employers who voluntarily issued safety and health programs have improved their workplace safety culture, but there are serious problems about this standard that osha has not addressed. the moment this regulation gets issued, safety and health
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programs will go from being a good idea to a legal requirement, which means employers will have to meet osha's standards rather than what works best for them and their employees and what is indicated as best in best practices. osha will have the authority to come in and second-guess an employer about how well they have implemented their program. not surprisingly, then, job creators see the i2-p2 regulation as another osha enforcement tool rather than something that will help them enhance their safety practices. they are not the only ones. a recent land study found that california's i2-p2 regulation which has been in place since 1991 has not prevented, let me say that again, has not prevented workplace fatalities and barely made a dent in total injury prevention. many job creators are worried that osha will double dip on citations, issuing one for a
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hazard and another citation because the safety and health program failed to detect and correct the hazard. talk about double jeopardy. finally, another problem is whether employers will be required to find and fix ergonomics hazards. the clinton administration issued an ergonomics regulation in 2000 that was shot down thankfully by congress. osha will soon hold a small business panel to ask job creators across the country their opinion and insight on i2-p2. i hope the obama administration again its pattern listens to the concerns of these business owners instead of imposing a costly regulation that we have proof will not improve worker safety. imposing a new and costly safety and health program standard will only serve to increase osha enforcement with no visible improvement to worker safety and health. as ronl reagan once said --
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ronald reagan once said, it's not my intention to do away with government, it's rather to make it work for us not over us. to stand by our side not ride on our back. it's my hope we'll remain committed to this principle and ensure that regulations ensure both productivity and job creation and true health and safety of our work force. mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from illinois, mr. gutierrez, for five minutes. mr. gutierrez: as my colleagues know, latino's are america's fastest growing population. so if you a presidential candidate and want to make sure every single latino in america knows you strongly oppose sensible immigration reform, you have to work hard at it. it takes a lot of time and determination. after all, the latino population increased by more than 40% between 2000 and 2010.
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a lot more la teepos, citizens, and a lot more latino voters. a lot of us live in swing states, where about 30% of the population in arizona, 25% in colorado, florida, and nevada. indiana alone has 350,000 latinos, not so many you say, but when you remember the president obama only won indiana by 26,000 votes in 2008, his latino support was the margin of victory, the truth is we are growing everywhere. 1/4, one quarter of all the children in america are latino. 500,000 latinos turn 18 and they all become eligible to vote every year. more than 50 million latinos live in america, knows of them, nine out of 10, nearly nine out of 10 are citizens of the united states. 50 million is a lot of people to keep track of, especially if you want to offend each and every one of them. but that is apparently what mitt
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romney is trying to accomplish. to appeal to the most extreme elements of his party, last week he called arizona, harsh immigration law, a model for america. well, he's partially right. arizona's anti-immigration law is definitively a model. it's just not a model for immigration policy. but it's a model for an awful lot of other things. let's counts them. one, if you are a politician, arizona's law is a model for how to achieve early retirement. state senator russell pierce was an author and lead sponsor of arizona's draconian anti-immigration law. he talked about little else. his constituents weren't pleased, though. so senator pierce because the first state legislator in arizona history, in the history of arizona, to be recalled from office. the biggest backer of mitt romney's immigration model is now unemployed. two, if you want to wreck your
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local economy, arizona law is a model for lost jobs and tax revenue. the purchasing power of latinos in arizona in 2009 was nearly $35 billion. that's right. billion dollars. one study estimated that undocumented immigrants alone paid $443 million in local taxes. another study estimates that arizona would lose nearly 150,000 jobs if all undocumented workers were removed from the state. three, arizona's law is a model for how to energize latino voters. in 2004, george w. bush when running for president received nearly 45% of the latino vote in arizona. that's pretty good. how did anti-immigrant january brewer do for governor in 2010 two years later? more than 70% of the latino voters voted against her. but wait, in 2011 hispanic voter
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mobilization led to the election of two latinos to the phoenix city council for the first time ever represented in that city council. an in danielle's district, latino voter turnout increased fivefold, 500%. four, and i'll stop at four because my time is limited, arizona's law is a model for how to make decent people suffer. alabama, following arizona model, where a judge advised a woman facing demess-i abuse if she sought a restraining order against her abuser husband, she would be asked to prove her immigration status and face deportation while her husband laughed. in both arizona and alabama, citizens and legal immigrants have been harassed and detained because they look suspicious or cannot immediately prove their citizenship. i could go on about the human toll, so let's review. mitt romney's model for america has an author that was kicked
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out of office, means lost jobs and tax revenues for everyone, not just immigrants, has mobilized latino voters and pushed them away from the republican party. . it has good hardworking people, documented and undocumented to live in fear. maybe mitt romney and i have a different model of what it means. maybe he thinks that bernie madoff is a model investment banker or advisor but i think model makes america stronger, more just and fair, something that shows america the way to the future. by that standard arizona's law is a perfect model. it shows america exactly the policy to avoid on immigration and it shows americans exactly the type of candidate to avoid for president of the united states. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the chair recognizes the gentleman from minnesota, mr. cravaack, for five minutes.
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mr. crap ags will be -- lrling mr. crap drling mr. crngsrngsangsvngsangsangscrngsk ngs will be one soldier earned the medal during the closing days of the war. michael was born in 1925 in minnesota, the son of an italian immigrant father who worked in the iron mines. michael was one of nine children and at 18 he was drafted in the united states army. while on april 7, 1954, a month before the war in europe ended, his unit came under heavy fire at a small rural town in germany. he and his fellow soldiers were on the ground. he decided something had to be done and he was a guy that had
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to do it. even though he was a private and not in command, he rose and yelled to the other soldiers that they should lead. they faced savage enemy fire. when he stood up that faith day, he marched forward. he surged towards the germans, firing his submachine gun. he ran toward a tank. bullets clanged off the tank's armor and zipped by his body and he responded to the onslaught of german enemy fire. it was a rough time and i was scared, he said, but i had to do what i had to do. he blasted at one enemy position with such devastating accuracy the medal of honor citation said he killed or wounded 25 german soldiers and silenced their machine gun nest. after this gun jammed, he
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dismounted from the tank and grabbed another submachine gun to continue his assault on foot. when ordered to withdrawal, he stayed behind and carried a wounded soldier over his shoulder through open enemy terrain while mortar rounds pull varized the ground around him. a few weeks later he was approached by two military police officers who escorted him to nearby headquarters. he was informed that he was nominated for the medal of honor which he received on december, 1945, at a white house ceremony. in an interview in 2008, with the 100th infantry association newsletter, he recalled that the good lord was with me during that battle. i could see our guys getting shot. i could see the muzzle flashes of the germans at us. i aimed at them. he died on december 30, at a nursing home facility in duluth, minnesota. he was 86 years old.
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he is survived by his son, al, of hayward, wisconsin, and his daughter in minnesota. in minnesota we have a track record of military excellence. according to the medal honor society, 46 minnesotans have received our nation's highest award for bravery and in the eighth district we honor those who have served. for michael, the medal of honor park in duluth bears his name. we are forever grateful for his service to our great country. thank you. you make us all proud to be americans. may god's peace be with you. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. mcgovern, for five minutes. without objection. mr. mcgovern: mr. speaker, once again the world is standing by silent and passive while the government of sudan wages war on its own people. we have been here before when
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hundreds of thousands of people perished in darfur before the international community finally woke up and took action to try to protect innocent civilians from their own government's brutality. the humanitarian crisis continues in darfur. there is no peace and villagers, refugees and humanitarian personnel still work and live under constant peril of attack. president bashir has expelled many humanitarian workers from darfur, and even today threatens to shut down their life-saving operations. last may we witnessed the ruthless ethnic cleansing by the sudanese people. more than 100,000 people of the dinka indigenous population were forcibly displaced. they fled to south sudan seeking safe haven where they remain today in very, very poor conditions. when sudanese president bashir saw the world was indifferent to this brutal assault, he began military operations in
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june against insurgeants in south kordofan and more importantly against the nubea people. and still the world stood silent. in september khartoum launched another attack on another border. this time the state of blue nile was under siege with attacks of the sudanese army and bombings of civilians. thousands fled to the neighboring countries of ethiopia and south sudan joining the refugees from south kordofan. so they have taken a bloodbath against its own people in the states of south kordofan and blue nile. house-to-house arrests, killings, rape, the mersfulless bombings of innocent civilians. for months khartoum has blocked aid to south kordofan and blue nile. it has not only continued to bomb in those states, it's acrossed the border and bombed
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towns inside south sudan where tens of thousands had hoped to find food and shelter. here are some photos of people in ref you gee camps in south sudan. sala is from the an goalo tribe -- angolo tribe in south kordofan. the government dropped six bombs on her village. this poor woman here grabbed her children and hid in a nearby ditch. after the bombings stopped, sudanese soldiers moved into the village and burned several homes. when they began shooting people, sala ran and hid with her children. the soldiers didn't care if you were an unarmed civilian, a woman or a child. she fled with her children across the border to the yeda refugee camp in south sudan. this woman over here to my far right and her little girl are from the nubea mountains.
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-- nuba mountains. she fled with her husband. both were suffering from malnutrition when they arrived at the refugee camps. they are being subjected to bombing, murder, rape, scorched earth and starvation. this should come to no surprise when the sudanese official wanted by the international criminal court against crimes against humanity in darfur is now the governor of south kordofan. mr. speaker, we are fast approaching the month of march, the point at which the famine early warning systems network, or fuse net, has predicted that south kordofan and blue nile will reach emergency levels of food insecurity. this is just one level short of all-out famine, and yet khartoum still denies food and medical relief to the suffering people of these regions. last week the united nations security council called on the sudanese government and the armed rebels to allow unhindered access for
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humanitarian aid and for both sides to return to talks and cease hostilities. president bashir said no. the united states and the international community, including china, russia and others must increase the pressure on sudan to allow the delivery of aid to the suffering people of south kordofan and blue nile and to reach agreement on a cease-fire. the safety and security of the sudanese people, whether in darfur, south kordofan, blue nile or elsewhere must be our first priority. mr. speaker, we have been silent for too long. i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from south carolina, mr. duncan, for five minutes. mr. duncan: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to recognize an exceptional group of students, teachers and parents of the bell street middle school science owe lip add team which -- olynpiad team which won its
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second consecutive state championship. let me repeat that, 10th science olympiad program. it is one of the premiere science competitions in the nation, providing rigorous standards, face challenges to nearly 6,200 teams in 50 states. science olympiads exposes students to a variety of career choices and gives them an opportunity to meet, participating and practicing scientists as well as the opportunity to have life-changing mentors. science olympiad was began in the 1980's. rosemary wickered, dr. david, a close personal friend and michael mack, they still work
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in the school district in klenon today. michael mack is a member of the faculty at the high school. and david is the superintendent of lawrence county school district 56. both continue to be active event coaches for the incredibly successful bell street science olympiad team. many of the bell street middle school alumni have gone on to become extremely successful in the areas of science and technology. some examples. one is the gentleman, deed rick carter. he was a -- dedrick carter. he was a member who went on to enroll in m.i.t. for college. he later became m.i.t.'s assistant dean for engineering and leakturer in the department of electrical engineering and computer scenes. he's currently the senior advisor to the director of the national science foundation. another one, jared campbell, is
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an alum of the science olympiad team and while competing in middle and high schools, he completed a dock rate degree in science in austin. he was awarded over 25 patents in the area of semiconducting manufacturing technology and today he works for the u.s. company in paris france. when he was asked about his experience with the science olympiad, he said this, not only did they pique my interest in science and math, i competed in new disciplines. looking back i see how important the camaraderie, teamwork and constant desire to excel, along with the examples set by the role models leading the team, it was exceptional in setting the stage for my career in engineering and energy management. i believe this statement sums up how valuable this program is
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to our nation's youth. so finally i'd like to take time to congratulate all the coaches, member of this year's state championship science olympiad team from district 56 is bell street middle school. this includedle mike, stephanie, jay, lawrence, terry, andrew, carol, dalton, zack, jonathan, kyle, bo, nathan, clay, tristan, daniel, luke, jacob, adre, chris, dustin, tara, jewel, olivia, branna, jacob, dylan and bailey. and those are the students, but the teachers and the parents that volunteer need to be singled out as well. i don't have them by name but let them know that we certainly
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appreciate their efforts. these are the future scientists. these are the new innovators coming along. i'm excited at middle school they're challenging these stupets to be the best they can. -- students to be the best they can. so may god continue to bless those students, teachers, parents and may god continue to bless bell street middle school and may god continue to bless america. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from california, ms. woolsey, for five minutes. ms. woolsey: thank you, mr. speaker. . ms. woolsey: mr. speaker, it's february 29, a day that exists only once every four years, yet this is the third february 29, the third leap day, that we have been at war in afghanistan. i have my granddaughter here with me, she's 8 years old. she's not lived in the united states when we were not at war. last week in particular we were
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exposed to the grave dangers and the fundamental flaws of our afghanistan strategy. the week started with the burning, accidentally, of several copies of the koran by u.s. troops. that sparked days of violence, protests throughout the country. angry afghanistans tried to storm u.n. compounds and other western installations. at our largest military base, thousands, including many who work at the base, many who worked at the base gathered to throw rocks and shout death to america. days later came the killing of two nato soldiers, shot in the back of their head while working at their desks inside the afghan interior ministry. the killer was apparently a taliban insurgent who had
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infiltrated the government security forces and penetrated what is supposed to be one of the most secure buildings in kabul. it's clear, mr. speaker, that police officers, the ones that we are supporting and training to keep militants at bay, are losing patience with our continued military occupancy of their country. one of them told "the washington post," and i quote, he said, afghans and the world's muslims should rise against the foreigners. we have no patience left. we will attack the military foreign people, unquote. in response to all of this, general john allen has ordered the removal of all nato personnel from afghan government ministries and in and around kabul. and out in the field some u.s. soldiers have been instructed
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not to engage too directly with afghan security forces. even though the training of these forces is at the heart of our very mission in afghanistan. mr. speaker, can there be any doubt, any doubt given what's happened over the last week or so and the last 10 years that our 10-year military o ok -- occupation is losing, not winning over there? the hearts and the minds of the afghan -- afghanis have been lost to the united states. the amazing thing is there is talk that the recent unrest might delay the withdrawal of our troops from afghanistan. delay the withdrawal of our troops from afghanistan. if anything we need to accelerate that withdrawal. it's this war that is sewing --
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sowing the seeds of resentment and distrust. it is this war that has increased instability and strengthened the insurgency. it's this war that is fraying the partnership and heightened the tensions. so, mr. speaker, what if we engage afghanistan in a different way? peacefully rather than forcibly, not in war. what if we sent at a fraction of the cost, i might add, pennies on the dollar, i might add, what if we sent civilian experts to help rebuild afghanistan and invest in its people? what if we focused on humanitarian aid instead of military aggression? that's the smart security philosophy that i have been advocating for many years now. i'm convinced that such an
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approach would show the way to greater peace, greater security, and prosperity in afghanistan. we can't begin to do this soon enough. despite everything that's happened, not just this past week but over the last decade, the pentagon continues to tell us the afghanistan strategy is sound and it is succeeding. do they think we are not paying attention? it couldn't be clearer that what we are doing isn't working. it's time for smart security, mr. speaker, it's time to bring our troops home, and the time is now. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas, mr. poe, for five minutes. mr. poe: mr. speaker, the country cannot afford the great ruler, his administration, and especially his policies.
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he costs too much, he spends too much, he blames others too much. he violates the constitution too much. he blames george bush too much. he infringes on religious liberty too much. he ignores our border security too much. he divides the people too much. he refuses to assume responsibility too much. he misleads the poor too much. he sues states too much. he refuses to compromise too much. he blames the rich too much. he subsidizes failed green energy projects too much. he encourages people to depend on the government too much. he vilifies capitalism too much. he preaches government intervention too much. he regulates too much. he campaigns too much. he blames businesses too much. he blames george bush too much.
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he taxes too much. he funishes people who pay taxes too much. and he promises free stuff to nontaxpayers too much. he likes the word debt too much. he regulates our lives too much. he likes big government too much. he blames oil companies too much. his budget hurts veterans too much. he likes high gasoline prices too much. he blocks offshore drilling too much. he stone walls domestic energy too much. he gambles taxpayer money on unproven energy projects too much. he sends money to countries who hate us too much. he despises the keystone x.l. pipeline too much. he apologizes for america too much. he blames george bush too much. he cuts benefits to our veterans too much. he blames the tea party too
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much. and he blames congress too much. he preaches america's best days are behind us too much. he blames conservatives too much. he likes the word czar too much. he turns his back on israel too much. he treats our enemies better than our friends too much. he blames our problems on greece too much. he blames our problems on the europeans too much. he ignores individual freedom too much. he's anti-free market too much. he cuts defense spending too much. he infringes on personal liberty too much. he has to have it his way too much. he tramples on state's rights too much. he blames congress too much. he blames george bush too much. and he really, really, really despises texas too much. mr. speaker, we know -- no longer can afford the great rule ir, his administration, and especially his policies. that's just the way it is.
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some the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. thompson, for five minutes. mr. thompson: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i rise -- today i rise to recognize sherry stein ds biser for decades of service to the communities of northwestern pennsylvania. on june 25, 2011, she was elected to a one-year term as president of the ladies auxiliary to the department of pennsylvania veterans of foreign affairs. -- foreign wars, v.f.w. like every task sherry has taken on in her long creered of service, her primary goal as president has been serving others. joining the ladies auxiliary in 1996, she's a life member of aw, illry 1424 in maryville, pennsylvania, which is located in the fifth congressional
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district. outside of the auxiliary, she's worked for 30 years as a licensed practical nurse. she's volunteered her spare time as an emergency medical technician and serves as a board member of a group called experience incorporated, a local organization dedicated to providing services to elderly citizens. albert einstein once said, only a life lived for others is worth living. a model citizen that has committed her life to serving others i believe sherry would agree. thank you for your service, sherry. mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas, mr. olson, for five minutes.
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mr. olson: i thank the speaker. mr. speaker, i rise to give the american people an update on the keystone x.l. pipeline. monday, president obama took the first step to get out of the way in bringing tar sands oil from canada to my home, southeast texas. it's the yellow pipeline here on this chart. the administration agreed to build the first segment from curbing, -- cushing, oklahoma, right here to southeast texas,
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the port of houston and the port of port arthur. in announcing the administration's changed position, white house spokesman jay carney said, this is a quote, moving oil from the midwest to the world class state refineries on the gulf coast will modernize our infrastructure, create jobs, and encourage american energy production. amen. 430 miles down, 1,223 to go. but there is no new oil with this pipeline being built. none. so, houston, we still have a problem. that problem is exploding prices for gasoline. since the day president obama took office, he took office on
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january 20, 2009, since that time gasoline prices have doubled from $1.84 per gallon to over $3.70 per gallon. doubled. this hits texas families hard. if you have a pickup truck with a 24-gallon gas tank and fill it up every two years, that's $90 increase in gas expenses per month. there it goes. the $1,000 every american got by payroll tax cut extension. something we fought for two months here in congress. just throw it away. in a speech in miami our president said that there was, quote, no magic bullet, unquote, to lower gas prices.
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and there's some truth to that statement. the president is limited in what he can do to lower gas prices, but there's a lot a president can do to increase gas prices. unfortunately president obama's policies have put us on a path to the worst summer for gas prices in our country's history. the highest gas prices in our country's history at this time of the year. they are only going to go up. the president had a new jerk reaction to the gulf of mexico, the spill there, he shut the gulf down for nearly a year. that's at least 10 american rigs that left the gulf for overseas, taking american energy with them and american jobs. he chose environmentalists over american unions and american people by putting the keystone
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pipeline in limbo. and a small portion of the 20,000 jobs the full pipeline would have created are going to be kept by this new decision, 4,000 of them, we still have no new oil. 80,000 barrels a day flowing through the keystone x.l. pipeline is not going to happen. we are just basically building another lane on the freeway. . and the most alarming thing to me is the obama administration has spent three years watching iran export terror and developing their own nuclear weapons to destroy israel. and now that the house and senate, followed by the european union, have imposed sanctions over iran because of their nuclear emissions, they are threatening to shut down the strait of hormuz.
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this is a map of the strait of hormuz, and as a former naval aviator who deployed for six months to the region in 1994 and flew low-level missions through the strait, i can tell you that the iranian threat to shet it down is real. very real. -- shut it down is real. very real. it's worse, as you can see, the sea lanes are very closely run. abu mosa is an iranian military base. there's an old saying that a picture is worth 1,000 words, and this is our president as candidate in 2007 at a gas
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station -- in 2008 in indianapolis. what's missing -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. olson: i urge the president to listen to the american people and to fully approve the keystone x.l. pipeline. do it now. put america back in business. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the chair recognizes the gentlelady from north carolina, ms. foxx, for five minutes. ms. foxx: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i know i'm going to repeat some of the things that my colleague from texas has gone over as it relates to energy in our country and the response of the obama administration. but, mr. speaker, these facts bear repeating because the media has been complicit with the obama administration in hiding the facts from the american people about the
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extraordinarily negative impact that the president and his administration have had on the american people as it relates to energy prices. let me say again that on his inauguration day in 2009 the average price of gasoline in this country was $1.84. the average price of gasoline today is $3.73. that is a 102% increase. by spring, the estimates by barrons are that the price of gasoline will be $4.50. this is a tremendous burden on the hardworking american taxpayers. we hear the president and his people in his administration talking about how they want to
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be fair, fair to the middle class. well, what's not fair to hardworking american taxpayers is the president's inability to see how the price of gasoline is hurting those hardworking american taxpayers. one cent increase in the cost of gas equals $1 billion out of our economy and is a $4 million per day cost to consumers. a 50 cent increase in gasoline equals to $70 billion yearly loss to the u.s. economy. and what does it again -- how does it affect the average family? 2009 and 2011. in 2009 it cost them $173 more. in 2010, $281.06.
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2011, $368.09. the republicans have a plan to do something about this but, again, we have to explain to the american people, we are only half of 1/3 of the federal government. we passed five bills in the house to increase energy production from the abundant supply of natural resources we have in this country. mr. speaker, we could be energy independent in this country, but the president and the people who work for him and the senate are stopping us from being that way. we've passed legislation to ensure construction of the keystone pipeline. together with the keystone pipeline and the other bills we passed, we decrease our reliance on middle eastern oil and stabilize gas prices. they create hundreds of thousands of good american jobs and make our nation more securer. but what is the obama administration saying and they're being helped to
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perpetuate these myths by the lame stream media? they claim they are not responsible for the increased prices and that there's nothing they can do, but what they're trying to take credit for previous presidents clinton and bush pro-energy policies. the reason oil production is up today is because of development on private and state land. north dakota alone produced almost 16 million barrels of oil in january, 2011, compared to only a little more than two million in january, 2012, the majority of which is on state and private lands. the obama administration is not opening new offshore areas for energy production. the president and the administration claim to be opening more than 75% of offshore lands for energy exploration. this is absolutely false. the obama administration has
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blocked energy production on federal lands. the obama administration denies the potential of domestic oil production. so everywhere we turn the president and the people who work for him are keeping us from becoming energy independent, and let me give you some quotes from the president. january, 2008, under my plan of cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket. we all remember that. energy secretary steven chu, december, 2008, somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in europe. and another one, mr. chu is called for gradually ramping up gasoline taxes over the next 15 years to coax consumers into buying more efficient cars and living in neighborhoods closer to work. mr. speaker, we, republicans, have a plan. we need the senate to act on that plan. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania,
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mr. murphy, for five minutes. mr. murphy: thank you, mr. speaker. while we are all aware of the debt this country has hanging over our heads, over $15.3 trillion, we have to also be aware of what it takes to grow our way out of this debt, and part of the way growing us out of this debt is by having jobs. yet, there's also another burden hanging over our heads and that is the cost of gasoline to american families which adds to their own personal debt. bear in mind at the last inauguration in 2009, the price of gasoline was $1.83 a gallon. now, it's approaching $4 a gallon. think about what that means to the average family where they're spending a couple thousand dollars more per year for gasoline and no end in sight, as expected, that price will go to well over $4,
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perhaps $5 a gallon in some states in the coming months. it is a burden that families unfortunately have to bear when they find themselves needing to travel to and from work or to and from other important activities and they cannot avoid this, especially in areas where public transportation is weak or not available. now, we have put forth a plan in this house to open up some other areas for drilling for our own oil. it is criticized by some saying it will take too long for oil to get to market and by others saying it wouldn't have that much of a price difference on oil. i beg to differ. four, five years ago when i put forth a bill, a bipartisan bill with many of my colleagues to open up the outer continental shelf for drilling, we had noted at that time the impact it would have on our economy. it's anticipated there is about $8 trillion worth of oil and natural gas off our coast, and that would lead if that was invested in our infrastructure over a million new jobs per
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year over the next few years, and the federal revenue that would come from that over the next 20 years would be about $2.5 trillion to $3.7 trillion. even when you're talking about our national debt, those are large numbers, and if we invest that in america's infrastructure and noting that for every $1 billion we invest it's about 30,000 to 35,000 jobs, that's a lot of jobs and it takes care of our many unemployed and underemployed in this country. well, for those who say it will not lower gas prices, i beg to differ. and certainly there are studies in the past that have been flawed when they look at only the impact of the outer continental shelf and in terms of what that would mean. but i would like to put forth some other numbers that are important, and that is -- excuse me -- not the outer continental shelf but alaska only, that if you open up the outer continental shelf also it has a big impact. right now we import perhaps 60% or more of our oil. some of that comes from canada and mexico, our north american neighbors, but much of that comes from opec nations.
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further, opec stated time and time again they would like oil and gas prices to go up so much that oil is at $200 a barrel. it's critical to their economy. when they get together it includes countries that is not very friendly, too, such as iran and venezuela and other countries which we have defended with our blood and treasure over the years which has cost us more. but look at this in terms of international policy of using our own oil versus opec. in 2011 our trade definite with opec was $1 -- deficit with opec was $127 billion. in 2009 it was $62 billion. and in 2008 the last time we had big oil price jump it was $177 billion. that means we're buying more oil from opec than they're buying of our own goods, but it goes beyond that. there's also the cost of blood. in our first iraq war in desert storm, one army group in my district, was hit by a scud missile and it killed many of those soldiers.
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how do you put a price on that cost of war? and clearly we're battling iraq because they also invaded kuwait and were attempting to control more oil fields in the market. yes, it was about dealing with saddam hussein but, yes, it was also dealing with control of oil. look at what we're doing now with the cost of patrolling the strait of hormuz to patrol the mediterranean and the persian gulf to make sure iran doesn't cut off world oil supplies and cause more problems. look at the lives cost in the iraq war, operation iraqi freedom. 63 pennsylvanians have been killed, including many from my own district whose lives are lost defending our causes in iraq. there's also in pennsylvania 553 wounded, but overall 4,483 died up to 2011 in operation iraqi freedom, americans. pennsylvania has certainly paid a high price on that. but also note between 224,000
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and 258,000 civilians were killed in iraq directly from warfare. no other countries may have paid us back in dollars for what we spent in first desert storm gulf war. we are bearing the costs of operation iraqi freedom and we can never, ever return to the families the lives of their loved ones, their wives and sons and daughters and mothers. let's remember that opening up our own oil fields in america is not just about paying the price for families and what it costs them but also making sure we never know we have to pay again the price of blood and we ought to be doing for that reason and that reason is enough. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the chair declares the house in recess
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>> testifying about veterans programs. he's joined there on the screen. allison the undersecretary for benefits. live on c-span. >> in terms of another v.r. initiative, in terms they don't have the right information. yesterday, not today, yode our colleagues would have had to cycle through 13 different data bases we had to get to that veteran or family member
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survivor the information you needed. today as we deploy this in this critical for our i.t. budget, unified desktop put all 13 data bases worth of that critical information you want to know on one screen. making them much more effective in delivering a good outcome. also built into this is world class call recording, call tracking, data analytics into this package we are using every single day to improve our service in that environment. >> i'm out of time, but if i could just ask as your -- as these things are being implemented, as we are going down the road here, if periodically you could give us on the committee an update as to the progress you are seeing, because i do think there's real hope with the call center. a veteran at least can get somebody who can answer their question, etc. i'd just like to stay abreast of how we are doing.
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>> be very happy to do that, senator. >> thank you very much. >> thank u. madam chairman. i appreciate seeing soogal the folks today. a special thank you, general, to coming to montana. and you, too, thank you very much for being there and listening and hearing. so thank you very, very much. i want to talk a little bit about what senator akaka talked about very quickly. and that is the kind of strategies that the v.a. is using to recruit votes. this is in an area that's much more difficult in my opinion and g.p. is not easy, and that is the need for mental health professionals. we have as you know, you were there when we opened up the facility in helena, and we need -- it's a great facility.
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we don't have staffing at this point in time as far as from a psychiatric standpoint. do you have the adequate flexibility to be able to go out and recruit? and you can go to the secretary or to mr. petsle, to be able to go out and recruit and get folks in? i'm not sure we're there yet. >> thank you, mr. secretary. thank you, senator tester. i am aware of the issues in -- at fort harrison. we have four psychiatric psychiatrist vacancies. in general we can recruit around the country very successfully for psychiatric social workers, for psychiatric nurse clinicians, and for clinical psychologists. the most difficult recruitment for us is the m.d. psychiatrist. we are not unique. this is an issue that all health
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systems around the country face. we are very competitive, however, in terms of wages, in terms of working conditions, and the other kinds of things that are appropriate, needed for recruitment. i think we are in a position to do the best job we can of recruiting. i don't know what we could add right now to the basket, if you will, of things that we have people who want to come to places like helena, which is beauty iful by the way, in an environment where there just aren't that many >> it's been an ongoing problem, particularly in rurearilyas like montana. it's not a problem that bodes well for the veteran who has issues that resolve around -- revolve around mental health. i want to talk about health i.t.
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for a second. we can all agree that advance propes have allowed the v.a. to be more efficient and effective to deliver health care for our veterans. it is my understanding exclusion of health care related i.t. funds puts us in a bind. it's hard to give quality care when you can't make investments in electronic health records, and others, can you speak about this issue and how the inclusion of health care related i.t. funds and advance appropriations could improve the quality of health for our veterans? >> thank you, senator. i would just begin by saying congress provided us a very unique mechanism called the advance appropriation. it's a gift to the v.a. because it gives us opportunity for continuous budgeting every year, submitting two budgets. it gives us two looks at our budget so we submit what we
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understand our best estimate is as a defense appropriation, then we come back a year later and we submit the actual budget. and we can make adjustments. the advance appropriation applies primarily, solely to health care. so dr. petzel has his continuous budget. everyone else is on annual budgeting. under advance propes -- approps we have the budget for medical services, medical compliance and reporting, medical facilities. and what happens is when we have a delay, a c.r., the rest of the budget where i.t. resides, he has his authorization to start building facilities and standing them up, then we have to wait as sometimes happens or more than sometimes a delay until the i.t. budget gets released so that now
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it can catch up to him. in a case last year i think the budget c.r. lasted until april. so pretty significant period. we are a bit off stride here. i'm trying to figure out how we can get this together and link up the authorities you provide along with the budget to do his business and get him the tools that allow him to see patients. there is no separation between medical i.t. and medicine. that's all one treatment discussion. >> i just want to let us know how we can help you be more effective in the i.t. area. i think it's really important in this day and age. and just -- >> can i just very quickly. madam chair, i just adhere. what sometimes happen as happened last year, the i.t. budget is now released in april. and it's a big number because
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it's all i.t. well, really in it you have the paperless system that goes with secretary hickey's operation, and you have medical i.t. that goes with dr. petzel's. i'm just trying to be clear here . the piece i'm concerned about is the medical i.t. so we like decision to do things for veterans in a medical sense along with the tools to be able to do that. what happened last year as sometimes happens, this large i.t. budget gets identified in april and we can now go forward. and assessment is made they can't possibly spend that before the end of the year. so we lose $300 million in the process at a time when we really needed to marry these two things up. he can now not deliver what we
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have already approved a year before. and we are delaying that. i think -- >> timing issue. >> i think there is a mechanism here on both ideas. and would be happy to work with you on it. >> thank you. i want to thank everybody for being here. i will get into the rural cementtary thing, but we'll propose those -- cemetery thing, but we'll propose those questions in writing. >> thank you very much. >> thank you very much. mr. secretary, in 2008, congress passed the rural veterans access to care act. this is a piece of legislation i was involved with in my days in the house. it was signed into law. the program is now referred to as project arch, access, receipt, -- access received closer to home. that legislation set certain criteria if a veteran lived a certain number of miles from an outpatient clinic or from a v.a.
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hospital, the v.a. would provide those services locally using a local physician, local hospital. my legislation was broad in its initial form. it was narrowed by congress to create pilot programs, and the division kansas was in was included as one of those pilots. i expressed my complaint to the v.a. before because when the v.a. then implemented its pilot program, it didn't choose a vision, it chose a community. you took a legislation that created a pilot program and create add pilot program within a pilot program. we have a project ongoing in kansas to demonstrate whether or not this idea works. i would love to hear the report of progress being made but also use this moment as an opportunity to, again, encourage the department to expand this
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pilot so that you can take more than one community. what happens in pratt kansas, which is less than an hour from wichita, is significantly different than what happens in atwood kansas which is five hours from wichita. the access to providers is totally different between those kinds of communities. while i'm concerned pleased a pilot program is ongoing, i'm not certain -- in fact, i'm completely uncertain, say it differently, i'm completely certain the v.a. has not chosen wisely as it has narrowed the project to a very small scope to determine how it works. in that regard, along the same topic of see bobbings, -- see box, we have an ongoing problem similar to mental health mentioned by senator tester. i understand the doctor's testimony about the inability to retain professionals. it's becoming clear to me we have that same problem outside mental health. our ability to retain physicians
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in cboc's across rural kansas and across the country is a huge problem, and more and more we have nurse practitioners, physician assistants that the availability of a physician has become very limited and we have many cbocs now that no physician is generally present. i understand the secretary's testimony about i.t. as a potential solution. we certainly have offered to make certain we do everything as a senate now to provide the v.a. with the resources to provide the necessary personnel. and my assumption is my answer will be very similar to what you told senator tester, it's the same one i hear from vizn folks in kansas. it's not a resource issue. we can pay sufficient amounts of money to attract medical professionals, but we are struggling like everyone else to attract those professionals. i heard that answer for a long time.
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you said it again today, dr. petzel. in some fashion that can't be the final answer. because everybody else is struggling to attract professionals to take care of patients, we cannot afford to allow the v.a. to have the same -- i understand the problem. don't mean to be critical in that sense. there has to be something more than everybody's experiencing this problem. there has to be a path to a solution. >> i'm going to ask dr. petzel to address your question. i would say, senator, we -- rural areas are particularly challenged because of availability. dr. petzel said that. and our tools are really reaching out to -- we want highly qualified, we want talent. and our tools are what we are able to compensate, what we are able to award, recognize, and performance of good people doing
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outstanding work and retaining through bonuses the high quality ones. our tools are limited. but we owe you the best efforts we can to go after that talent and the biggest challenges are in the rural communities. >> mr. secretary, i appreciate your sentence that you owe us that. we understand we owe our veterans that. but i will also tell you that congress, i owe you every tool possible to help you meet that criteria. and the complaint or concern i have is that i'm not being asked to do something to solve the problem. so what i'm asking for is tell us what we can do to provide the assistance so that when we have a hearing six months from now or we are back here next year talking about the budget the answer to whether or not there is a doctor at a cboc is not that -- or that we are meeting the mental health needs of
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veterans particularly in rural areas is not every health care provider, every community, every rural state is having the same struggle we are. help us help you solve this problem. thank you. >> you want to respond quickly? a i'll try to be quick. thank you, senator moran. the m.d. issue first. you are absolutely right. we all have this difficulty in certain rural parts of the country. i would say if you look at our m.d. situation across the whole system, we don't have a recruitment problem. it's very important that we focus on the fact this is rural america. two things we would like to do, one is that we need to expand our tuition reimbursement program to be able to provide a incentive for people to go to rural areas by reimbursing them for their tuition from medical school. the second one was an idea that the secretary had and i don't
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want to get into the details of it, but to do something like the military does with their uniform services medical school, and that is recruit people, pay for their medical education with an obligation to follow to work with us in particular parts of the country. those are two areas that we are trying to explore. >> thank you, senator. i'd just put a little finer point on what dr. petzel said. i thought that if we went into areas, rural areas, and found a highly talented youngster, great potential, and targeted that individual and got them through the college and medical process, that they would be going home. so in the long run we would not be facing the retention bonuses and this kind of thing. you have provided someone for the long term as a solution to that requirement, that community. that's part of the discussion here. >> i appreciate your thoughts.
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please consider me an ally. we can follow up with the arch question at a later time, thank you. >> thank you very much. i also want to echo the same comments that senator moran. i like some of these ideas you just mentioned. i would be anxious to participate. i know one of our hospitals in alaska they actually give a bonus to employees, pretty significant, up to $10,000 to recruit and retain nurses because of the high capacity and need. thank you for offering those ideas. let me also say thank you, secretary, for the two staff you sent up to alaska, i think it was last week or the week before. and chairwoman murray for sending committee staff also. it's important to come up to alaska to understand what rural is all about. i know you have been there. thank you for your visit and your team's visit. it makes a difference to the people there, but also i think opens the eyes to a lot of folks how we have to deliver health care in the most remote rural areas of this country.
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thank you for that commitment. let me, if i can, and i know we have had some conversations, mr. secretary, in regards to the idea of the alaska card and idea of tried to weed through this access issue in parts of the country that have limited access to veterans' care. alaska specifically as you know we talk about the roadless areas. those areas of 80% of the communities of alaska do not have access by road. when we -- i noted your testimony about internet connect and get the mobile van out there. there's no mobile van possible. the mobile van is an error. that's the only way to get it. that's the -- i know we have talked very positive way about how to create this access. i just want to check in with you on kind of update of that. i know we have kind of talked about the quality of care through our indian health services which is -- it's
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superior to so much care that's being given today across the country. it is high quality care. tell me kind of what -- where you think we are at at this point. you have been very responsive. i know we have been badgering you and your team on a pretty regular basis because, as you have seen the veterans, all they want to do is go across the street to an indian service clinic to get their regular checkups as a choice not requirement. if they choose to go to a v.a. hospital clinic, so be it. if it's across the street, let's make that happen because the quality of care is equal or in some cases we would argue better in certain specialties of the v.a. what's your latest on that? >> i think as you and i discussed i think you will recall that we have put in a policy that would allow veterans from alaska to go locally and reduce the amount of veterans having to travel to the lower 48.
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there's a rather robust program under way there. as i describe working with the indian health service to establish the system that would open a lot of processes for -- especially for alaska native veterans. but in the meantime based on my visit to alaska, the alaskan native consortium, medical consortium, we have also established discussions with them and trying to ensure that however the ihs-mou progresses that we are ready to provide health to veterans who are being seen now. >> you feel that's going in the right direction? >> let me turn to dr. petzel since his people were up there. >> thank you, mr. secretary.
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senator begich, i do sympathize with what you talk about in terms of the ruralness of alaska as well as other parts of the country. while we are waiting for the m.o.u. to be finished, alaska is one of two places where we are proceeding with tribal interactions. i hesitate to use the word pilot, to get -- specific agreements within a tribal unit. in alaska i believe it's the southeast alaskan tribal association, and we are progressing in getting some arrangements made. it would be wonderful from my perspective if a veteran could make a choice and access tribal clinics if that was more convenient and the care was successful. we could work out the reimbursement arrangements. that's what we are trying to do in alaska. we have another effort going on in south dakota. >> you feel, i guess, you feel it's moving in the right direction? >> absolutely.
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>> excellent. the last -- i have two quick ones. one is senate bill 914, authorizes a waiver that i have introduced on collection of co-payments for telehealth, telemedicine i guess the general comment is we have about 200 veterans, 100 are already in the program in alaska. i know others across the country. the idea is, especially with mental health services, mental health is a huge winner in a lot of ways, it works very successfully. we have asked that to be waived through this legislation, the co-pay, increases the capacity of telehealth. can either one of you give me a thought, mr. secretary, of supportive -- i know any time you take dollars away, my view is telehealth is a money safer, especially the shortage of mental health services this is a potential way to meld the two problems and create a solution. >> senator, neither dr. petzel or i are just familiar with this legislation.
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if i may i'll provide that for the record. >> that's on senate bill 914. we'll get you some information on it. the last comment if i can, madam chair, if i can just add to my concern, we actually are last call was friday from someone who couldn't get through on the 800 number. it's not old, it's new. i know when i was chair the student loan corporation, one of the things we did because we had a call center, as you can imagine, a lot of people upset when their loan rates changed or didn't get their payment in or whatever, so we had to go through a whole revamping of the system, but the metrics we measured by were on a regular basis reports where we could see where the possibilities are. you mentioned you are going to have or have a system can you see the metrics of success. wait time. call time. hold time, response, all those. i would want to echo what my colleague on the other side said that i would really anxiously want to see that. this is our number one caseload work is around v.a. issues,
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second to that within the v.a. is the 800 number, lack of response or inadequate response, i should say. and that's current not six months ago or a year ago. this is very current and customer service is the name of the game. how to make sure these veterans have the services they need. is that something you can provide sooner or later so i could get a better understanding? >> i'm going to dive into those numbers today. >> very good. thank you. i think the only solution to your issue on the i.t. is your whole department should be a two-year budget process instead of one year and two year, my personal opinion. >> thank you very much. >> thank you, madam chair. i have a couple concerns. the budget request includes operational efficiencies. they are estimated could save $1.2 billion. that's been done in the past. by various administrations.
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last year's budget request also included operational efficiencies of just over $1 billion. in the past g.a.o. has really questioned whether or not those savings has come about. i guess if they don't come about how are you planning for the risk? what's your contingency plan if we don't see $1 billion in savings? >> i'm going to call on dr. petzel to respond to -- since this is -- they looked at his budget for the savings, anticipated savings. but i can tell you that right off the top, $362 million saved because of the -- using a medicare standard pay rate instead of paying the rates we were being charged previously. $200 million in improper
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payments because we reduced those. through the program management accountability program office in i.t., about $200 million in savings because we terminated projects that were not going to deliver. and then about another $100 million first notice of death on which we stop payment on veterans' accounts when they transpired in the past. this has been an issue sometimes as much as $100 million in overpayments. and for the future we are agreed to provide as a minimum $173 million in savings t. reducing waste, in 2012 and 2013. that's part of our effort to get at the savings and efficiencies.
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let me just ask dr. petzel to provide more detail. >> thank you, mr. secretary. senator boozman, the savings -- let's go through a little bit of what went on in 2011. we saved a large amount of money, the g.a.o. reviewed that and we are still actually negotiating with them about what they actually found. the essence is going to be that we indeed can validate the savings we have claimed from the various operational efficiencies. they do have a legitimate criticism about the way we measured things and the granularity of the measurement which we are going to be improving. for 2013 as the secretary mentioned we are going to save a large amount of money in dialysis. we have contracts now or blanket purchase agreements with virtually every dialysis center that we used that are going to save us hundreds of millions of dollars over what we would have expend hd we not been able to do
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that. the medicare rate payment change that occurred with the regulations allowing us to charge -- to collect -- charge medicare rates for both the professional fee and facility fee will save us about $300 million. that's ab-- absolute money we know we would have spent otherwise had we not been able to do that. and in the efficiencies with v. care, again something we can measure easily, it's going to be under $200 million. acquisition fees about $355 million in savings. there's a long list and i'm not going to take the time to go through that, but i'm absolutely confident that we will be able to save this money in d.h.a. >> one last comment here. we are going to look at all of this and look at it hard. i caution us that in the end we have to focus on what makes sense for veterans. i use dialysis for example. we are after the best prices we can get.
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if you just look at that you may be encouraged to outsource all of it. i have argued that dialysis is something we have to retain a handle on. we should do a certain amount, certain portion of it in house. why do i say that? i'm just concerned that if we provide funds and let somebody else take care of dialysis, we ignore what a medical profession is supposed to do and that is as long as we are doing dialysis, we'll have to ask ourselves what causes it. why do we have to do this? what are the things on the front end that allow us to deal with preventing diabetes so that dialysis doesn't become a fact that we have to live with. and i think the medical profession is the best at asking those questions and that's why i think within v.a. we need to retain a piece of that operation. >> very quickly, the president's
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proposed $1 billion in funding for the veterans conservation corps. he anticipates that will create 20,000 jobs for veterans. we all agree there is a lot of backlog in work that needs to be done in the parks and infrastructure and those kind of things. i had the opportunity to be the chairman and then the ranking member on the economic opportunity on the house side and really worked very closely and visited a lot of veterans about their dreams and aspirations, and i have a lot of concern about spending $1 bling in that direction. that is not -- $1 billion in that direction. that is not the kind of direction we were going in the committee i don't believe. like i said i visited lots of veterans and i really don't know, $1 billion is a lot of money. i think that that could be put to good use, but -- for myself i really don't believe that's the direction that we need. i never heard a veteran express
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to me that that's the route they would like to go. and so again i just want to express some real concern in that regard. >> thank you very much, mr. secretary. obviously had a lot of participation by members. we have another panel that needs to present today. i want to give them sufficient time and i have been called to the capitol. i'm going to submit the rest of my questions for the record and any more comments for the secretary? >> madam chairman, i'm going to submit the lengthy set of questions. i would ask his leadership team for a quick response in lieu of asking a second round of questions. these are disturbing trends that i see from the information as we analyze the prior year. v.a. took in 430,000 more claims than were decided. two, appeals that resulted in a decision took 1,123 days to come
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to fruition. that's disturbing. v.a. central office staffing increased 40% since 2008. in that same time frame human resources administration increased 80%. for vi skfment ns created, we envisioned 22, a total of 154 to 220 employees with an annual budget of $27 million. today 21 vzns, roughly $1,340 staff and $165 million annual cost. many of my questions will be referenced to these four areas. and i look forward, dr. petzel, with you and others, to discuss some of the trends that i see that should raise and do raise flags for me and hopefully would raise flags for both of us. thank you.
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>> may i respond? i would be happy to provide details. i like you i'm concerned and watch the growth. there's been growth in the veteran population the last two years we added 800,000 veterans to our enrollment. the v.a. headquarters is 1% of our budget today as it was in 2008. and it's a reflection of accommodating that growth. i'll be happy to provide the details. >> mr. secretary, thank you very much to you and your team for accommodating our committee today. we appreciate that and ask that you answer the questions that will be submitted to you by myself and members of the committee in a timely fashion. with that i would like to invite our second panel to join us today. and as i said i have been called to the capitol so i will introduce the panel. i'll let our first speaker go and i'll be turning the gavel
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over in a very bipartisan way to my colleague, senator burr, not to give you practice but only do it today. appreciate your accommodating me with this. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> if we can keep the room quiet as everybody changes chairs here, i would appreciate it because i'd like to introduce the panel as they are coming up. we are going to be moving now to our second panel. come up and join us and are seated in the appropriate places. i want to especially again if we could have it quiet in the room.
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i want to extend a very, very warm welcome to a friend of mine from washington, bill schreyer, he's the american legion's western region national vice commander. bill, thank you so much for being here today and for coming all the way across the country for the tremendous work you do and for your participation on this panel today. to bring a local perspective that i think is important for all of us to hear. i appreciate that. mr. schreyer is accompanied today by tim tefment. ss, -- tess, we also have witnesses here who are here on behalf of the independent budget, carl blake, the national legislative director and paralyzed veterans of america, jeffrey hall, the assistant national legislative director for the disabled american veterans, raymond kelly, national legislative director for veterans of foreign wars,
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and finally i want to welcome to the fanl, tomorrow tarantino, deputy policy director for iraq and afghanistan veterans of america. we'll begin with mr. schreyer and move down the table in order. the independent budget witnesses will have 15 minutes total. and the american legion in iraq and veterans of america will be given five minutes each. i again apologize to all of you. obviously wheef tremendous participation in this committee hearing has gone longer. i know i and my staff and all the members of the committee will be looking at your testimony. it's extremely important to us and we'll be submitting you questions as well even though we don't have a lot of members present. i especially want to thank senator burr for his accommodating my schedule as well. with that, thank you again. we'll begin with you. >> chairman murray, ranking member burr, members of the committee i'd like to take this opportunity to thank you for the invitation to be here before you today and testify on behalf of the american legion, the
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nation's largest patriot wartime veteran service organization, and about the budgets and president's proposed budget for the department of veterans affairs. the american region legion is grateful for the increase in the budget to deal with the needs of our nation's veterans. for those who have borne the weight of war for this nation, we must always remember that a promise made is a promise that must be kept. we'd like -- we find like-minded allies who recognize the importance and even duty to ensure that we are keeping the promise to america's veterans. chairman murray, you know the importance of holding government to the promise made to our veterans, the american legion in washington state knows how tirelessly you fought for the veterans at the hospital center to ensure that their wounds of war were not being given the short end of the stick in interest of financial savings. the american legion also knows how hard it is for this committee to have fought the v.a. to ensure hard work on passing caregivers act and nottle to narrow -- sorry, matam
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chair, i cannot lost narrow implementation. we are here today because you have shown a willingness to listen to the needs of america's veterans and the fight to make sure that we keep this to the promise. the department of veterans affairs are dedicated to providing earned benefits to those who have served. their president's budgets is ambitious and certainly an increase of size, especially when the government must be seeking ways of saving money. it's a positive step forward for our veterans, the american legion remains concerned there are areas where a lack ever foresight or faulty planning may toledo the v.a. to default on the promise to our veterans. we cannot allow this to happen. one of the greatest shortfalls is proposed budget for major and minor construction. while we are pleased to see the needed projects such as mental health services building in seattle moving forward, when viewed as a whole the construction budget fails to meet the needs of even v.a.'s own internal strategy building
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plan -- strategic building plan. the plan provides v.a. with a 10-year plan to address the most critical infrastructure needs. the american legion was concerned that under the current budget figures it would take close to 40 years for the needs of a 10-year plan to be met. we all heard recently the importance of investment and infrastructure. these are the kind of bills that you pay for now or you pay for later. when flass is given the short end up front, it becomes more extensive at the back. yes, these are serious needs and require billions of dollars in funding and these billions of dollars are those we cannot afford not to spend. we cannot condone veterans to replace -- to be placed in aging facilities not meeting their needs. if we fail to fund construction now, we'll break the promise once again to our veterans. reaching necessary funding levels are not only concerns but must contend with this budget.
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we must look closely to the v.a., it intends to spend their money and make sure it's not based on smoke and mirrors but real money that will be there when veterans need it most and prospects for the collection fund are based on promise the american legion fears that these will not bear fruit in the real world of 2013 setting aside even concerns with the o.i.g. found an ineffective process while cost cutting for the v.a. over $110 million annually in revenue were unable to be collected. that's a great concern with the proposed krein hes in the building amounts. v.a.'s new budget proposes to build budget insurance as preferred provider rate rather than current medicare rate. this changed billing reflects 90% of proposed increase in this area of the budget. frankly this has never been authorized before. and even if authorized, the v.a.
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would be hard presidented to meet these targets. when this fails to generate the necessary revenue, the v.a. will be forced to find savings elsewhere in the budget and of course that means more broken promises to our veterans. finally, we are concerned about the overall budget prospect as a whole in these times of fiscal strife in the government. surely this committee's aware of the pessimism of the american people. regarding the ability of congress to come to terms and pass a complete budget. while we acknowledge that many work tirelessly to break these budget deadlocks surely share the frustration of the people, when we cannot reach these decisions continuing resolutions and half measures make for uncertain planning. while the vast appropriations offers relief, there are still projects that languish waiting for start zathes dates. contracts that linger waiting for approval. of operating budget that the government moves month to month. questions remain about the v.a.'s protection of
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sequestration and whether this too will suffer a across-the-board cut of 2%. despite the protection from previous interpretation of budget crolets. v.a. planners need a stable environment to ensure seamless benefits for the veterans they serve. more importantly american veterans need to see this for themselves. chairman murray, that concludes my report and since we won't be taking questions right now. thank you. and you, senator burr, for allowing me to be here. >> madam chairman, senator burr, on behalf of the co-authorities of the independent budget, pleased to be here today to offer our views on the administration's budget request for fiscal year 2013. the advance appropriation for fiscal year 2014. in the interest of time i'll limit my comments to just a couple of concerns with particular issues that are in the budget request. first let me say up front we certainly appreciate the increase that the administration has provided for in its budget
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request. that being said, we have real concerns as addressed also by the committee members here about the impact of sequestration may have. simply put we find it absurd that more than six months after the budget control act was passed there's still no definitive position on whether or not v.a. programs and particular health care programs are protected from sequestration. i think the committee and all the members of congress have made it clear and i think it's time for a final decision to be made. with regards to some specific issues in the budget request, we echo the concerns that were raised here by members of the committee with regards to medical care collections and the roller coaster ride that's existed in recent years and determining estimates for that. we also agree with the concerns raised about perceived management and program improvement and efish yield back the balance of my timecies -- improvement and efficiencies. probably the largest or single biggest concern we have, however, is with the particular disclosure in the president's
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budget that outlines what they have said is a approximately $3 billion excess in resources that are provided for fiscal year 2012 and about $2 billion in excess resources for fiscal year 2013. this fact sorts of begs the question, how can the administration clearly say that they have $3 billion in excess resources for this fiscal year with only seven months of the fiscal year left to go? we all hear the stories about shortages and staffing and those questions were raised earlier and all these things. it sort of boggles the mind that we suddenly have this excess resources. we are not talking about a small pot of money. we are talking about 5% of the v.a. budget. particularly troubling in light of the fact that the v.a. could potentially face a cut of 2% under sequestration. we would certainly encourage the committee and all the members of congress to really investigate this and get to the bottom of this. this single fact could provide -- pose a bigger problem for the v.a. in its delivery of care
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than any other issue the v.a. is facing in the coming years. this year and the coming years. with regard to fiscal year 2014 the advance appropriation, i would highlight a couple concerns that we have. first with regards to the increase in medical support and compliance, i would point to the fact that it's a pretty substantial increase for 2014. this is not unlike some of the comments you made, senator burr, about the growth in the administrative function within the v.a.h. at the same time the advance appropriation provides for a very substantial decrease in medical facilities. while i understand that some of that is base the assumption these transfer a certain amount of money and f.t.e. from medical facilities into medical services, it also is contingent on a cut -- >> can you continue to watch this hearing online at we'll also have all of it in its entirety later in our program schedule. reminder, too, the house this evening is hosting a dinner for vetance of iraq and afghanistan and their families. we will have conching of that -- coverage of that later on the
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c-span networks. next up the u.s. house gavels in for legislative work. among the items this afternoon the main legislation they'll deal with, a bill dealing with san joaquin valley california water regulation issues. and votes expected throughout the afternoon. live coverage the house now here on c-span.
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the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the prayer will be offered by the guest chaplain, reverend gerald terio, the american legion, shriver, louisiana. the chaplain: let us join together in prayer. most gracious and enabling god, awaken within our hearts and minds the ability to reason and discuss differences so that we may realize reasonable, fair and just solutions to the issues that are before us. allow our legislators to meet the desires of those who support them and at the same time to do what is best for all in our nation. we know that we all must meet the obligations of trust that is placed upon us and we therefore come to you in faith, seeking courage and strength to perform our tasks well. dear god, as i stand here today,
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i am thankful for and ask for your continued blessing on this house as they endeavor to perform their duties. we ask your blessing on our nation and the defenders of our freedoms, both civilian and military. amen. the speaker pro tempore: the chair has examined the journal of the last day's proceedings and announces to the house his approval thereof. pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1, the journal stands approved. >> mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from new jersey seek recognition? >> pursuant to clause 1, rule 1, i demand a vote on agreeing to the speaker's approval of the journal. the speaker pro tempore: the chair will put the question to the journal. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have. it the journal is approved. >> mr. speaker -- the ayes have it. the journal is approved. >> mr. speaker, i object to the vote on the grounds that a quorum is not present and i make a point of order that a quorum is not present.
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the speaker pro tempore: all further proceedings on this question shall be postponed. the pledge of allegiance shall be led by the gentleman from arkansas, mr. crawford. mr. crawford: 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 pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from louisiana, mr. landry, is recognized for one minute. mr. landry: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i rise today to thank our guest chaplain, mr. gerald theriot, for his dedicated life of public service. he is a retired veteran of the united states air force, a linguist specializing in french, vietnamese and korean. he rose through the ranks and retired as a first sergeant
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following his military service. he served his louisiana neighbors in the department of social services. chaplin theriot is a loyal member of american legion post 513 in louisiana where he has served as the vice commander -- commander, historian, service officer and chaplain. he has also served as louisiana's department chaplain since 1997 and on september 1, 2011, he was appointed the national chaplain of the american legion. chaplain theriot is the proud husband of mrs. ethyl theriot of father of four and grandfather of our state's future leaders. on behalf of louisiana's third congressional district and the united states house of representatives, i applaud mr. gerald for his sacrifice and service and commiltment to our country. with that -- commitment to our country. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair will entertain up to 15 further requests for
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one-minute speeches on each side of the aisle. for what purpose does the gentleman from south carolina seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute, revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from south carolina is recognized for one minute. mr. wilson: mr. speaker, in his 2008 campaign during an interview with the san fran chronicle, the president promised -- san francisco chronicle, the president promised energy rates would necessarily skyrocket, end of quote, under his policies. since february of 2009, the price of gas has jumped from $1.92 per gallon to an outrageous $3.72 per gallon. hardworking americans continue to watch as a substantial amount of each paycheck is diverted by rising energy costs, destroying jobs. although the president claims to have changed his policies, his decision to terminate the keystone pipeline project from canada shows that he remains dedicated to his campaign promise. house republicans are focused on helping americans feel relief at
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the pump by supporting legislation that expands supply and allows for the continuation of the keystone pipeline. i urge the president to put party politics aside, work with house republicans to find ways to lower energy costs which is necessary for american families. in conclusion, god bless our troops and we will 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 gentleman seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, it's been over 400 days since the republicans took control of the house of representatives and they still have not put forward a job agenda. instead of focusing on creating new jobs, republicans have been working on a partisan agenda that would end medicare as we know it, protect tax breaks for companies that send jobs overseas and cut jobs including
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550,000 jobs that would be lost in the republican transportation bill. mr. baca: and now prices at the pump are on the rise across the nation. american families are hurting. it's time for republicans to stop political games and work with democrats on an all-of-the-above energy solutions that stop the speculators who are inflating oil prices, extend production tax credits to create over 37,000 new jobs in solar energy, cut $40 billion in tax breaks for oil over the next decade. let's work together on a responsible energy plan to lower gas prices and create new jobs at home. and with that, before i yield back the balance of my time, i would just like to announce that i'm having a woman's health conference next month, march 15. 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 ohio seek rec nix? -- recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute, revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from ohio is recognized for one
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minute. >> mr. speaker, here's the sign at a gas station at the corner of pike street and i-77 in ohio. $3.69 for a gallon of unleaded regular and it's one example of surging gas prices across southeastern ohio. when president obama took office the price for a gallon of gas was $1.86. it's now doubled and some estimate that it will be around $5 by this summer. mr. johnson: this is just one indicator that president obama's energy policies have failed america and are continuing to make our economy worse. he says that he wants an all-of-the-above approach to energy but his actions do right the opposite. in fact, president obama cut oil production on federal lands by 11% last year and he blocked the keystone x.l. pipeline. we can't afford president obama's destructive energy policies anymore. not only will increased energy production lowers proot as i -- the lower the price at gas pump but it will create jobs.
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hardworking americans need both. not more of the same from prome. with that i yield back -- from president obama. with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentlelady from colorado seek recognition? without objection, the gentlelady from colorado is recognized for one minute. ms. degette: mr. speaker, today i rise to announce the inaugural women's health wednesday. starting today and continuing for every wednesday, members of this distinguished body will take to the floor to talk about mammograms, about comprehensive family planning and, yes, even about birth control. mr. speaker, i would like to kick off the first women's health wednesday by reminding everybody this is 2012. not the dark ages. so it amazes me that the debate we've been having lately, both in the house of this -- -- house of this congress and out in the political scene, is about birth control. birth control. 99% of women have used birth control at some point in their
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lives. including 98% of kath limb wick. and -- catholic women. and 1.5 million women in this country rely on birth control for noncontraceptive purposes to treat a variety of medical conditions. the instituted medicine has determine -- the institute of medicine has determined that birth control is a fundamental part of women's preventative care. yet here we are debating about birth control. mr. speaker, over the next coming weeks, we will have many conversations and i'm excited to talk about women's health. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? >> unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, this evening the house will consider h.res. 556, condemning iran for their persecution, imprisonment and sentencing to death of a christian pastor, youcef nadarkhani. pastor youcef has been in prison for 2 1/2 years now under the
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charges of apostsy and condemned to death by hanging. his wife, too, was arrested and democratted to life in prison but later released -- and condemned to life in prison but was later released. hundreds have been imprisoned, many have been executed on trumped up charges. in fact, while the official charges against pastor youcef are apostsy and evangelism, the state media said that he has been charged with rape and extortion. the authorities in iran know that they're violating both their own constitution and the universal declaration of human rights in their treatment of pastor youcef and other minorities. this week the house will call on iran to respect these agreements and to release pastor youcef so that he, his wife and children may practice their religion freely and not according to the dictates of the state. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentlelady from california seek recognition? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlelady from california is recognized for one minute. >> today i'm thinking about the
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99% of american women who have used birth control. today i'm thinking about the 98% of catholic women who have used birth control. birth control is a necessity for many women and it is unfair that women have to pay 68% more for it in out of pocket costs than men because it is not covered by all health insurance plans. it is especially unfair to the women who use birth control pills to save their lives. in fact, these pills have prevented 200,000 ovarian cancers and 100,000 deaths. the nurses, secretaries and janitors who work at religiously affiliated hospitals and universities should not have to pay more for their health care costs and be punished because of where they work. ms. chu: that's not fair. the obama administration's policy changes this and is fair. it's about time that women get a break for all that they do to raise children in this world. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back the
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balance of her time. for what purpose does the gentleman from arkansas seek recognition? >> unanimous consent to address thes whos who -- address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to honor the memory of christine par. although she passed away earlier this month her memory will live on. for nearly four years she was married to her husband and together they built a live and -- life and family in arkansas. they have two children. they were active members of a church. she was a home maker and collector of souvenir spoons, bears and russian stacking doll -- dolls. she also operated a suing business and daycare from her home. she enjoyed anything to do with a needle and thread. i will always remember her and the kindness she shows my family and me. she had a passion for america, she loved people and once she committed herself to a cause, she and al devoted themselves completely and worked tirelessly. mr. crawford: my thoughts and prayers are with her family. i know that kris is now in
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heaven. while her presence will be missed her example will be a guide for her family and friends for years to come. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentlelady from new york seek recognition? >> unanimous consent to speak for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlelady from new york is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to speak about the importance of ensuring coverage for contraceptives and the impact this has on women's health. for centuries important aspects of women's health care have been treated as a political football by advocates on all sides of the issue. in politicians' efforts to score political points, women suffer because a lack of access to coverage. mrs. mccarthy: a lack of reliable information about health care choices. and because many women, it's time to take politics out of women's health. and it's time to ensure that women's health coverage includes full access to contraception. birth control can have significant health care benefits
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for women and their families. it can significantly reduce health care costs. and it's one of the most commonly taken drugs in the united states. we need to stop playing games with people's health. instead, live up to our responsibilities to protect the right of women, to make the health care choices that are right for them and i look forward to working every wednesday to talk about women's health. with that i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from new jersey seek recognition? >> unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from new jersey is recognized for one minute. . mr. wlans: thank you, mr. speaker. today marks the fifth annual rare disease day, a day devoted to bringing attention to the needs of those with rare diseases. there are nearly 7,000 rare diseases. research opportunities remain difficult and approved therapies are scarce despite the fact that rare or orphanned diseases afflict nearly one in 10
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americans. mr. lance: bureaucratic hurdles and a lack of research incentives add to the challenge of those with rare or orphanned diseases, and the organizations that serve them. as co-chairman of the rare disease caucus with my colleague, congressman joseph crowley, i am committed to working in a bipartisan capacity with like-minded members, policy advocates, and families across the nation to increase awareness and education of rare diseaseses. it is through greater awareness we are able to bring hope to those who suffer from rare and/or fanned diseases. thank -- and or fanned diseases. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from california seek recognition? without objection, the gentlelady from california is recognized for one minute. mrs. davis: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i represent san diego, california. which has the dishonor of being home to the highest gas prices in the nation. the most expensive gas in san diego is going for $4.75 a
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gallon and that hurts my constituents. my friends on the other side of the aisle believe the solution is simple, more production means lower prices. however our nation's oil production is the highest it has been in years. and yet so are gas prices. the conclusion? more drilling does not mean lower prices. independent analysis has pointed to wall street speculators as a culprit for the rise in gas prices. mr. speaker, we have heard this story before. wall streeters gaming markets to make big bucks at the expense of consumers. another culprit, there is truly nothing compete against gasoline. prices will go down when there are alternative fuels and real transportation choices to compete with oil. there are two things that congress can do to relieve the pain at the pump, and innovative 21st century approach to our energy problems and we need to tame the speculative markets. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired.
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for what purpose does the gentleman from indiana seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from vin is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, i rise today in support of commonsense policies that will help create jobs. i had the pressure of meeting with one of my constituents, john david of evansville, indiana. he owns a small business, david enterprises, he would like to expand his business but onerous regulations are preventing him from doing it. when i sat down with john to talk about e.p.a. rules such as emission controls, dust regulations, the permitting process for oil refining, and wetlands designations on his property, these regulations he tells me are keeping him from selling his product and services that will allow him to expand his business and hire more employees. instead he spends his time dealing with regulations that increases costs and prehaven't him from expanding. the e.p.a. under this administration should take note of how rules and regulations are hurting job creation. this is unacceptable.
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the house has passed bills to help out john and others like him, but the senate have ignored them. mr. bucshon: there are 20 bills at least we have passed here that we have sent to the senate to help john so he could help his business survive. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from rhode island seek recognition? mr. cicilline: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from rhode island is recognized for one minute. mr. cicilline: mr. speaker, i rise today to honor reach out and read rhode island, a program that works with doctors to encourage young patients and their families to read. in honor of the upcoming read across america day, i wish to recognize the contributions this program makes in my home state where it reaches 35,000 infant to preschool-aged children each year in 44 locations. reach out and read rhode island provides free books through pediatricians offices for children between the ages of six months and five years old. creating a small library for children and emphasizing the
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importance of reading. reach out and read rhode island has to contribute -- helps to distribute 60,000 books each year to young children and their families, working to build a foundation for when a child enters school. reach out receipt rhode island should take great pride in the contributions it makes to our young children. i congratulate them on their success and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from illinois seek recognition? >> request unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from illinois is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. last week i heard from my constituents about the impact rising gas prices are having on their families and on their small businesses. congress must act to protect our skits from even higher gas prices by expanding our nation's domestic energy production. the solution is pretty simple, let's expand american energy production. this will reduce the cost of gas, putting money back in the wallets of every american, it will create the kind of good-paying jobs that so many people need and would help get
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our economy moving again. the house has already passed four bills to expand domestic energy production. it's time for the senate to pass those bills and send them to president obama. so that he can show us whether his commitment to an all of the above energy policy is mere rhetoric. mr. hultgren: creating jobs, saving our constituents money, helping our economy. these should be bipartisan goals and we a cheeve them by expanding american energy production. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentlelady from ohio seek recognition? ms. kaptur: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlelady from ohio is recognized for one minute. ms. kaptur: mr. speaker, first i join with my female colleagues in supporting full health coverage for every single woman in our nation. and i also rise to condemn the actions of syria's assad government which are truly appalling. america and this house should not be sitting silent as thousands of syrian civilians are slaughtered by their
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government. assad is not a man of peace as some in this body have asserted. he is an international war criminal. his blood-stained hands should be shunned the world over. the united nations now believes that over 100 civilians are being murdered daily, including women and children. estimates vary as to how many civilians have been killed since assad's regime launched its brutal crackdown on peaceful demonstrators in syria on the spring of last year. cnn is reporting as many as 9,000 people have been killed in the last year, yet the leadership of this house remains silent. the senate passed a resolution in mid february, why haven't we? i and my colleague, congressman keith ellison, have introduced a resolution identical to the bill that the senate just passed on a bipartisan basis, and i urge my colleagues to speak out against the unspeakable violations that take place every moment doing right is long overdue. let's stop the horrors and mobilize the world to stop the killing.
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i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, i recently had the pleasure of viss illing an outstanding new company in western pennsylvania called cab bot guns. a gun whose believe in american exceptionalism and dedication to uncompromising quality have resulted in a new standard of precision made handguns. can bot guns -- cab bot guns are -- cab yot guns embodies the best of what this nation's finest machinists have to offer and are proof of the enduring prowess of the american dream. these highly prized fryer arms provide a new industry for my district and made in collaboration with penn united technologies, components for the defense, aerospace, and nuclear industries founded 40 years ago by the great innovator and patriot, carl jones. a man whose legacy lives on
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through cabot guns and the strong and shared belief in family, god, and country. and a firm commitment to our second amendment. i thank you, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania yields back. for what purpose does the gentlelady from oregon seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, request unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. >> without objection, the gentlelady from oregon is recognized for one minute. >> thank you. contraceptive coverage is an issue of women's health, access to health care, and affordability that affects our entire health care system. as we deliberate this important issue, its imperative we consider all of the benefits of access to contraceptives, starting with the prevention of unplanned pregnancies. one thing about which we should all agree is we need to reduce the number of abortions. access to con2r5 septemberives play as critical role in that goal, but the benefits don't stop there. contraceptives are often prescribed for certain medical conditions that untreated could
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keep women from work, lead to more serious health problems, or otherwise impact the quality of their lives. these negative consequences are easy to prevent with access to preventive health care which can help with unnecessary costs both intangible and tangible. bonna meachy: unfortunately -- ms. bonamici: women don't have access to health care that includes contraceptives, this is an issue ever access, affordability, and rights of women to receive quality health care. you urge my colleagues to make that their focus. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from indiana seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from indiana is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. hoosiers across northeast indiana pay $3.85 for a gallon of gasoline this morning. gas prices are croket skyrocketing and people in my district are looking for long-term solutions. unfortunately for the past three
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years president obama has rejected serious efforts to promote american energy security. by failing to put forward a responsible energy policy, this administration is making things worse at the pump. in 2008, energy secretary stephen chu said somehow we have to figure out how to boost the price of gasoline to the levels in europe. mr. stutzman: if something doesn't change, hoosiers could see those prices soon. in january, president obama rejected the bipartisan keystone pipeline and blocked the flow of over 800,000 barrels of oil each day. the president's decision does nothing to lower prices or protect us from the uncertainty in the middle east. it's a serious blow to hoosier families already struggling in the real economy. hoosiers deserve a true all-of-the-above approach. the house has already passed five energy bills that are being held up in the senate. it's time to promote real energy security. with that 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 missouri seek
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recognition? >> to address the house for one minute. revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from missouri is recognized for one minute. mr. carnahan: thank you, mr. speaker. today i rise to honor the women's health history month starts tomorrow. this month gives us all the opportunity to recognize the important and glass ceiling shattering work women across the country have done and continue to do. despite the tremendous progress that has been made over the past century, more still needs to be done. in the last 14 months we have seen the rights of women come under attack again and again in this body. though i thoroughly believe in encouraging healthy debate, the attacks we have seen are an affront to the rights of the health of women. that's why i was heartened on the recent compromise on contraceptive care. while i have deep respect for the religious and moral beliefs of all americans, i'm pleased with this compromise because these guidelines increase access
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to contraceptive services for women while respecting religious liberty. this protects the beliefs and health of all american women and families. in the spirit of women's history month, i ask we put an end to this partisan bickering and focus on achieving better women's health. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from utah seek recognition? >> ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from utah is recognized for one minute. mr. chesapeake bay fets: for four -- force mr. chesapeake bay fits: for four consecutive years, president obama has introduce add budget for $1 trillion deficit. never in our history has that happened before. how much is $1 trillion? if you spent $1 million a day. every day, it would take you almost 3,000 years to get to $1 trillion. mr. chesapeake bay fets: -- mr. chaffetz: we are paying more than $333 million a day in
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interest on the national debt. we deficit spend something like $4 billion a day. ladies and gentlemen, we cannot sustain the spending that we have. our nation is going bankrupt. it is imperative that this congress get a grip on its fiscal future and put forward a budget that is responsible and over-the-course of time will actually balance our books and pay off the national debt. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from california seek recognition? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlelady from california is recognized for one minute. mrs. capps: mr. speaker, i rise today in opposition to the extensive attacks made on women's health in recent weeks. we have seen an almost unprecedented number of attacks on women's access to health care, reproductive options, and even prenatal care. from a hearing on women's health that included a panel with no women witnesses, to public statements diminishing the importance of women's access to a full range of preventive health services, to accusations
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that prenatal testing is in some way a pathway to abortion. it has been open season on women's health. this is not acceptable. we need to trust women to know what is best for their families and themselves. and those of us in congress should always have their best interests in mind. women do not deserve to have their health used as a political football. i yield back the balance of my time. . the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. for what purpose does the gentlelady from california seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlelady from california is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. former new york governor, man who saw the dulet in being a legislator and a man of faith, once noted that all religiously based values don't have an a place in our public morality. ms. sanchez: i think my colleagues have forgotten that message in recent days when it comes to women's health. ignoring the important impacts that access to contraceptives can mean for women.
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contrary to what some of my colleagues may believe, contraception is not a cheap, easily accessible solution for all women. an objective nonpartisan panel developed recommendations for con streaptive coverage -- contraceptive coverage paid for by religiously affiliated employers. the obama administration adopted new regulations based on these recommendations. these regulations were not designed to jeopardize anyone's religious freedom. these regulations were designed to protect the health needs of women, period. we should be doing everything possible to support women's health, not attacking women for demanding better health care. thank you, mr. speaker, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. for what purpose does the gentlelady from connecticut seek recognition? without objection, the gentlelady from connecticut is recognized for one minute. ms. delauro: mr. speaker, 25 years ago i was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. i was lucky, had excellent doctors who detected the cancer by chance in stage one.
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i am alive today by the grace of god and by a med -- and biomedical research. many women today are not so lucky. 10 women in the u.s. are diagnosed with a cancer every year. and yet we know that using contraception for a year reduces the risk of ovarian cancer by 10% to 12%. using it for five years reduces that risk by roughly 50%. 26,000 women will die from these terrible cancers each and every year. this is just one of the ways that access to contraception is beneficial to women's health. improved access to birth control is directly linked to declines in maternal and infant mortality. helps to reduce unintended pregnancies. it significantly reduces a woman's risk of cancer. that is why after an impartial and comprehensive review of the scientific data, the institute of medicine made the decision to include contraception among
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covered services under the affordable care act. because contraception is very much a part of women's health, it can help prevent ovarian cancer, it can save women's lives. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentlelady from california seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlelady from california is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, thank you. i rise today in strong opposition to h.r. 1837, the so-called san joaquin river reliability act. this bill should be called the san joaquin river runs dry act. it will literally divert water from fishing and farming communities in california and send it right into the open arms of agri-business. ms. speier: the authors of this bill don't want a sustainable water policy for california. instead they want to overturn a century of california law that protects healthy waterways for fish, crops and drinking supplies. this bill should be called the
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grab act, give rights to agri-business. it represents an unprecedented intrusion on states' water rights by the federal government. this goes beyond california and would effect water policy across the western states -- affect water policy across the western states. taking water from farmers and fisherman struggling to make ends meet -- fishermen struggling to make ends meet is bad for our country. i urge my colleagues to protect states' rights, to support farming and fishing families and vote against this extreme overreach of a bill. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentlelady from texas seek recognition? without objection, the gentlelady from texas is recognized for one minute. ms. jackson lee: yesterday, mr. speaker, i had the privilege of meeting with leaders who treat women as ob-gyn from baylor college of medicine, from st. joseph's hospital in houston, texas, and they acknowledged the importance of access to women's health care. in a hearing in judiciary, ia
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very renowned doctor -- a very renowned doctor indicated that thousands of women are impacted with respect to cervical cancer by having access to contraceptives and to be able to be treated properly. let me be very clear. now with the established compromise, no religious institution will have to pay any money and one of the witnesses who happened to be a bishop said, that's fine. i'm not interfering with what some woman does elsewise. and so why do we have this crisis? we have a settlement and resolve. the protection of religious liberty and the protection of women's rights. may i quickly indicate that just recently i introduced h.r. 83 that has to do with bullying, preventing bullying. with the tragic incidents of the last 48 hours, now three young people dead, it's time again for this house to move again on a bill that deals with best practices, to help our schools understand how to help our children. i look forward to this legislation moving forward and i also look forward to acknowledging that the access to
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women's health saves lives. let's save lives. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the chair lays before the house the following enrolled bill. the clerk: h.r. 347, an act to correct and simplify the drafting of section 1752 relating to restricted buildings or grounds of title 18, united states code. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from utah seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that it shall be in order at any time through the legislative day of march 1, 2012, to consider the house resolution, consider in the house, house resolution 562. mr. bishop: the resolution should be considered as read and the previous question should be considered as ordered and the preamble to adoption without intervening motion or demand for division of the question except one hour of debate equally divided and controlled by the majority leader and minority
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leader or their respective designees. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. bishop: mr. speaker, by direction of the committee on rules i call up house resolution 566 and ask for its immediate consideration. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the resolution. the clerk: house calendar number 115, house resolution 566, 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. 1837, to address certain water-related concerns of the san joaquin river 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 and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the committee on natural resources. after general debate, the bill shall be considered for amendment under the five-minute rule.
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inlew of the amendment in the nature of a -- in lieu of the amendment in the nature of a substitute, 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 112-15. 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 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 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
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amendments are waived. at the conclusion of consideration of the bill for amendments, 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 instruction. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from utah is recognized for one hour. mr. bishop: thank you, mr. speaker. and for purposes of debate only i yield the customary 30 minutes to the gentleman from colorado, mr. polis, pending which i yield myself such time as i may consume. during consideration of this resolution all time yielded is for the purpose of debate only. this resolution provides a structured rule for the consideration of h.r. 1837. it's entitled the sacramento-san
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joaquin water reliability act. this is a bipartisan bill. that came from our committee on a bipartisan vote. and in like manner the rules committee has decided to make this a bipartisan amendment process. because we make in order all amendments filed at the rules which committee which were germane, which complied with the house rules. i think this is a very fair and it's a generous bill, a generous rule to talk about a bill that has support on both sides of the aisle. with that i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. for what purpose does the gentleman from colorado seek recognition? mr. polis: mr. speaker, i thank the gentleman for yielding me the 30 minutes and i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. polis: thank you. i'd like to begin by acknowledging the service of david dreier to this house of
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representatives and to this country. there will be many more opportunities prior to his departure to acknowledge his work for his country. but our chairman today announced that he will be retiring at the end of this session. chairman dreier said, quote, we all know that this institution has a low approval rating and the american people are asking for a change in congress. so i'm announcing today that i will leave congress at the end of the year. i would like to reassure my chairman that the change that the american people had in mind was not in fact his retirement. that will be a tremendous loss to this body. david dreier is a proud constitutionalist, swb -- institutionalist, somebody who has capably served this body, has been a ranking member and now chair of the powerful rules committee and somebody that i've had the opportunity and the privilege to work with on a
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number of bipartisan issues around trade and u.s.-mexico relations. his retirement will be -- constitute the loss of not only a well of knowledge but of a tireless and dedicated and honorable public servant. and hope that he continues to find opportunities to serve the public as he truly has much more to give and is too young to call it quits. and i hope that at the end of this session his retirement from this body will be a new beginning for our chair. i rise today with great concern over this bill's impact on my home state and its number one resource and scarcest resource, water you know, we have an old -- water. you know, we have an old saying in the west that whissky is for drinking and and water is for fighting. i think we're going to see some of that fighting on the floor of the house tonight and i would
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argue that this isn't the appropriate venue to settle intercalifornia disputes that have long been settled through case law and settlements. water fights are long, expensive, tiring, but you know, they've led to an establishment of a workable framework in which states and lobalts have operated for years -- locates have operated for years. mr. speaker -- localities have operated for years. this bill has far-reaching implications for nearly 17 other states including my own state of colorado. this bill would override the century-long legacy whereby the bureau of reclamation respects each state's legal ability to control, appropriate, use and distribute irrigation water. because of this more than several dozen letters from stakeholders in opposition to this legislation, including the nonpartisan western states water council, the states of colorado, wyoming, oregon have all been received by the natural resources committee. mr. speaker, i ask permission to submit to the record a letter in opposition from my own state of colorado.
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in this letter that i submitted to the record for my home state of colorado, our natural resources department wrote, quote, the development of water law in the ar i had west has been a long incremental process including ratification of treaties, negotiation of interstate compacts and litigation before the united states supreme court. to allow this act proceed would throw a monkey wrench in that machinery, end quote. and so today under this rule this house will be considering, with one broad sweeping stroke of the federal legislative brush, numerous unintended consequences that will undo the existing framework, wiping away decades of settled water law, wiping away relative certainty to the detriment of our western states. and to the sole benefit of attorneys. mr. speaker, i know that many of us in this body are concerned about frivolous lawsuits and
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states' rights. anybody who shares my concerns about states' rights and frivolous lawsuits should join me in opposing this bill. this legislation will open up a century of water law to new litigation across the rest -- west. if you ask me, that's a definition of needlessly frivolous lawsuits. this bill imposes federal law, over bipartisan local agreements. in this case reached by the california legislature on the bay delta, all while imposing unintended consequences and burdens on other states. . this bill isn't true to our values of local control. unfortunately, mr. speaker, the committee has refused to address many issues with this bill and how it will impact the west. that's not because the committee was unaware of the problems. the testimony on june second from the resource agency of california reminded us of justice rehnquist's opinion where he wrote the history of the relationship between the
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federal government and the states in the reclamation of the arid lands. western states is both long and involved, but through it runs the consistent threat of purposeful and continued deference to state water law by congress. mr. speaker, this bill does the exact opposite. the western states water council wrote that to express their strong opposition to h.r. 1837 as a quote, unwarranted intrusion on the rights of states to allocate and administer rights the use of state water resources. mr. speaker, this bill would set a dangerous precedent of preempting state water rights, leaving other states vulnerable to this kind of federal infringement and effectively letting representatives from new york, from michigan, from florida, and from texas vote on california water. and i know as a arive from colorado i wouldn't want the shoe on the other foot in having representatives from across the country deciding what we do with our water.
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finally, this bill would erode any efforts in the multistate war to recover salmon species with the impact of locally economy -- local economies and fisheries. it would preempt california state law which is why the california natural resources secretary has written in opposition to this bill and why the california attorney general is also opposed. i encourage my colleagues to join me on a no vote on the rule and underlying legislation and i reserve the balance of my time. >> would the gentleman yield for the colloquy? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman controls the time. mr. polis: i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from utah is recognized. the gentleman from utah is recognized. mr. wish -- mr. beneficiaryon: i recognize the gentleman from california who is the sponsor of this bipartisan piece of legislation to talk about his particular underlying bill. i yield to the gentleman from california. five minutes.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. nunnest: -- mr. nunes: i ask my good friend from colorado to enter into a colloquy with me. the gentleman from colorado and myself work in a bipartisan manner, we are co-chairs of the mexico-u.s. caucus. we have worked hard on that. i would hope that the gentleman from colorado would listen to the debate today. i think after we listen to the debate i understand some of the concerns that he raises, but as mr. bishop pointed out, the rules committee was very gracious to allow all the amendments on the democrat side and republican side to be offered and accepted to be debated here on the floor. and so i would just urge my colleague who we worked together on numerous other issues in this congress together that we find today a way to come together in a bipartisan manner. and hopefully the gentleman from colorado will listen to all the facts as they are presented. mr. speaker, after decades of california water being controlled by the federal
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government, congress can conclude one thing, flushing water into the san francisco bay is not helping to recover species and people are suffering needlessly. we are going to hear a lot from opponents about this bill about science and i want to start right off the bat and make one thing clear, we are supporting sound science with h.r. 1837, and we are rejecting junk science that has long been foisted on the people of california. junk science the federal court has labeled the unlawful work of zell lots. -- zealots it is important to impress upon the house the opponents do not possess scientific high ground as they are all but certain to allege. their experts and the activists masquerading as experts who support them have been biased from the beginning and have molded their work to produce the findings that best suit their radical agenda. we can say this with certainty that this agenda has not improved the fish populations. if that were true, we would not be here today.
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mr. speaker, the u.s. district court has thrown out the biological decisions used to justify the horrible regulation that is cut off water supplies to families throughout california. the court's decision was a shocking indictment of the kind of government operating in america today. when it comes to our environmental laws. the u.s. district court judge said, quote, i have never seen anything like it, unquote. he went on to say that government scientists acted like zealots and attempted to mislead and deceive the court into accepting junk science. these are powerful statements by the federal court and should give anyone who believes in due process, open government, and justice a cause for concern. but the ban -- band has marched on without missing a beat. instead of missing the scientists, the fish and wildlife service gave them an award for outstanding service under pressure. the arrogant disregard for public trust didn't stop there.
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just yesterday the president issued a veto threat, essentially doubling down on the dishonest smear campaign accusing house republicans and i believe many democrats of doing just the sort of thing that his administration has been found guilty of by a federal court. mr. speaker, we are not ignoring the latest science in favor of special interests. we are not the people who are sending zealots into federal court to lie in the defense of junk science. we are not the people rigging regulations to favor a small minority of spint groups. -- special interest groups. the agenda of junk science governing the bay delta is indefensible. just as the federal court has said it's dishonest. congress needs to ask itself, who are these people that come up with these things? who are they? i think the congress will be interested to find out that one of the leaders just weeks ago,
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guy by the name of dr. peter glick, he spent his career trying to dry up farmland and rural communities throughout california, and in fact he even testified before congress to this. but mr. glick is an activist. he's an activist who poses as a scientist. just a few weeks ago he admitted to impersonating another person, and stealing information from a nonprofit. he then mingled that stolen information with a faked memo in an effort to discredit his intellectual critics. radicals like mr. glick lie and they make it their mission to destroy scientists who do not agree with their twisted anti-human views. meanwhile they are used by some in this house and as an excuse to take people's water away, to take their private property rights away, to dry up farmland, and worst of all, to justify human suffering. mr. speaker, people and our nation's breadbasket are
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standing in food lines and they are getting carrots that have been imported from china. their sacrifices have meant nothing to the environment, mr. speaker. mr. bishop: 30 seconds. mr. nunnest -- mr. nunes: fish populations have declined and i think what we will prove today here in the congress is that there is a better path forward and 1837 provides that path forward. i would urge my not only republican colleagues by my democrat colleagues to listen to the evidence and i would urge them to vote for this rule so that we can move on to the debate so that we can finally restore sanity to california's water system. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from utah reserves. the gentleman from colorado is recognized. mr. polis: thank you, mr. speaker. it's my honor to yield three minutes to the gentlewoman from california, a former member of the rules committee, ms. matsui. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california is
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recognized for three minutes. ms. matsui: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the gentleman for yielding me time. mr. speaker, i rise in strong opposition to this rule and to this bill. the issue of water in california has been debated for many decades because it is such a critical issue for our state. as a daughter of a central california valley farmer, i grew up on a farm and i deeply understand the value of and the controversy over water. being able to plan the next growing season is critical for farmers. unless they can count on the water being provided, there is no assurance for their crops. now in northern california we have balanced our water shed, we have provided water for our farms, our cities, our sensitive habitat, in a way so we could have sustainability. but this legislation throws out the ability of the people of california to decide its own
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water future. mr. speaker, any real solution to california's water issues whether need to be crafted with consensus within california not in a partisan manner on the house floor the way h.r. 1837 has been written. this legislation purports to have the support of northern california, but i'm here to tell you that nothing could be further from the truth. my district, the sacramento region as a whole, the five delta counties are among countless others who oppose this bill and the list continues to grow. some of the strong concerns including the loss of the state's right to manage its own water, the decimation of environmental protections for our sacramento san joaquin delta, the ability to manage both the dam and reservoir for the american river. and most importantly the overall instability that this bill will
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create in california. the idea of usurping the rights of states to control their own water is incredibly damaging. not only to sacramento area but to california and even to our country. for those of our colleagues who represent areas outside of california and plan to support the bill because they may not impact your state, i have news for you. this is not just about california. h.r. 1837 will set a precedent that will create a domino effect that it could happen next in utah, colorado, nevada, texas, and so forth. we don't need federal legislation that only creates more problems for an already intractible problem. we cannot afford to give up california's right to control their own water future. the stakes are just too high. i urge my colleagues to strongly
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reject this legislation. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from colorado reserves. the gentleman from utah is recognized. mr. bishop: i had the honor of attending the public hearing with the gentleman from my right to listen to these people and i'm pleased to yield five minutes to the chairman of the subcommittee that worked through this bipartisan bill, mr. mcclintock. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized for five minutes. mr. mcclintock: i thank the gentleman for yielding. mr. speaker, in 2009 and again in 2010 hundreds of billions of gallons of contracted water were expropriated from california farms and instead dumped into the pacific ocean in the name of the delta smelt. this tragic policy followed hundreds of thousands of acres of some of the most fertile and productive farm lapd in america. -- farmland in america. it threw thousands of hardworking families into unemployment. it devastated communities throughout the region. and it created the spectacle of
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unemployed farm workers standing in food lines to receive carrots imported from china in a region that just a short time before it produced much of american grown fruits and vegetables. and it contributed to rising grocery prices families felt far beyond the congressionally created dust bowl of california's central valley. in the last congress the then minority republicans begged and pleaded for hearings to address this catastrophe, the majority turned a deaf ear. last year we returned as the new house majority to take testimony on what could be done to correct this disaster. the result of those hearings is a bill by mr. nunes this bill brings to the floor. this bill restores the water allocations established under the historic bay delta accord in 1994. when that aagreement commanding broad bipartisan support was signed, interior secretary bruce babbitt assured all parties, and i quote, a deal is a deal.
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and if it turns out that there is a need for additional water, it will come at the expense of the federal government. the water diversions shattered that promise. this bill redeems it. the federal central valley project is part of a coordinated operating agreement with the state water project at california's request and consent. the two are inseparable in order to protect the water rights of every californian, this bill brings the full force of federal law to protect those rights so that there is no ambiguity. this protection is earned -- this provision has the support of the northern california water association, representing the water districts that serve the farms and communities and families throughout the areas of origin in california. popes have just said this preempts state water rights. it doesn't preempt state water rights, it speci


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