Skip to main content

tv   U.S. House of Representatives  CSPAN  June 7, 2012 10:00am-12:59pm EDT

10:00 am
host: catherine gallagher with george mason university talking about gangs and the federal response to it. thank you. do not forget, at 10:00 a.m., ben bernanke starting on c- span3 before the joint economic committee to talk about his view of the state of the economy and possibly what the federal reserve might do in response to it. watch that live on c-span3 or listen to it on c-span radio. c-span.org, as well. the house is about to come in. a bill that speaks to repeal certain deals in the health care law. also, to consider a motion to instruct conferees on the highway bill. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012]
10:01 am
the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the chair lays before the house a communication from the speaker. the clerk: the speaker's room, washington, d.c., june 7, 2012. i hereby appoint the honorable joe barton 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 will now recognize the gentleman from michigan, mr. benishek, for five minutes. mr. benishek: mr. speaker, let
10:02 am
it be known that it's an honor and pleasure to pay tribute to clarence sonny shybeck for his extraordinary involvement with an armed guy in vietnam. he served as army specialist four, company b, third battalion, 25th infantry division. on june 6, 1969, while serving as a radio telephone operator as fire support base cook when the base came under intense rocket and mortar attack, specialist shybeck secured his radio and followed the company commander to the defensive perimeter to observe and report
10:03 am
enemy movements. exposing himself to the enemy fire, he assisted in resupplying ammunition to troops in the bunkers. when the enemy blew gaps in the layer defenses and teamped to breach the perimeter, he helped organize and lead a reaction force which beat back the hostile surge. after a battle subsided, he moved with the command group through the combat area to inspect enemy casualties and equipment. as the group searched the area, a wounded enemy soldier threw an anti-tank grenade at the company's commander. specialist shybeck unhesitatingly moved in front of the officer. deflected the armed weapon and picked it up and threw it. the grenade exploded as it left his hand, inflicting severe wounds on him. specialist shybeck's extraordinary heroism were in keeping with the highest traditions of the armed forces and reflect great credit upon
10:04 am
himself, his unit and united states army. clarence sonny shybeck was awarded the distinguished cross in 1969, the second highest military declaration that can be awarded to a member of the united states army. mr. shybeck, however, was unaware that he received this honor until nearly 42 years later when a veterans service officer discovered the citation in his personnel file. clarence shybeck returned to his childhood home of northern michigan after his injuries to take over the family business, evans and son food market. he and his wife christine of 42 years raised three children. on behalf of the citizens of michigan's first district, it's my privilege to recognize clarence shybeck, an american hero, for his service, sacrifice and continued
10:05 am
patriotism. i yield back the remainder of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair would apologize the gentleman for mispronouncing his name. the chair would now recognize the gentleman from washington, mr. mcdermott, for five minutes. mr. mcdermott: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. mcdermott: mr. speaker, earlier this month i introduced the ensuring childcare for working families act to help low-income workers stay in the work force. my bill creates a guarantee of federal childcare assistance for children up to the age of 13 in families with incomes up to 200% of the federal poverty level. this program would be matched with state funds and administered by the state. low-income families and single parents have been bearing the brunt of this recession. they want to work and often can't afford reliable and appropriate childcare so they are forced to either leave
10:06 am
their jobs or to leave their kids in unhealthy or dangerous environments. for many poor people, there simply are no better options. in the 1990's, federal assistance for childcare programs was established to address this very problem. it was created to help low-income families transition from welfare to paychecks. over the years funding for this program has dwindled despite growing demand. the temporary assistance for needy families, the tanf legislation, was passed in 1996 to end welfare as we know it, but we failed to provide the necessary support services to enable poor working families to succeed. one of those services is high-quality childcare. today only one of six children eligible for federal child assistance receives it. 22 states have waiting lists for childcare, and families in
10:07 am
37 states were in worse circumstances in february of 2011 than they were in february of 2010. as the childcare waiting list continues to grow, co-payments rise, eligibility tightens and reimbursement rates stagnate. after three decades of wage stagnation in this country, with paychecks falling, failing to keep up with health care, housing and education, childcare has become an unaffordable necessity for too many americans. a related problem that we also must acknowledge is the gender wage gap. women only earn 77 cents for every every dollar earned by men, according to the census burr bureau, -- bureau, yet women are the primary breadwinners or co-breadwinners of the familiarry. it means less money for food on
10:08 am
the table and everything else that a family needs to survive. two days ago senate republicans blocked a bill introduced by senator barbara murkowski. as president obama said, republicans had once again put partisan politics ahead of women and families. this is wrong. and republican senators ought to explain to their constituents why they did not vote for senator me culls few culls key's bill. let me say, equal pay for equal work is not just a woman's issue. it's a family issue. for millions that depend on their earnings, reliable childcare is vital. it's time to level the playing field for working women. i urge my colleagues to support h.r. 5188 so that all parents, particularly working women,
10:09 am
have the childcare they need to stay on the job. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the chair would now recognize the gentleman from alabama, mr. brooks, for five minutes. mr. brooks: thank you, mr. speaker. today i rise to commend the united states space and rocket center on its upcoming june 15, 30th anniversary of space camp. established in 1982, space camp in huntsville, alabama, is a national leader in informal science, technology, engineering and math education and work force development. space camp uses the leading edge of space flight technology simulation to teach campers real-world concepts and skills which translate into future academic and professional careers for students and teachers. the space camp program provides
10:10 am
an essential public relations and support role to both government and private space programs by inspiring and training america's next generation of explorers, engineers, scientists and leaders. with of ciswith nearly 600 graduates of the program, space camp has a 30-year track record of success and inspiring young people to pursue successful careers, particularly in stem fields. space camp alumni includes nasa mission control directors, nasa scientists, nasa engineers, executives of corporations, state government officials, national news correspondents as well as soldiers and aviators that defend america's freedom every day. graduates of space camp include three nasa astronauts and one astronaut from the european space agency. space camp contributes to the future of american exceptionalism in science, engineering and research by instilling an exciting
10:11 am
life-changing educational experience with values of leadership, teamwork and hard work. space camp's 30th anniversary is the perfect opportunity to recognize their important work and incredible achievements. i congratulate space camp on their 30 years of unparalleled success and wish them well and salute them as they embark on their next 30 years. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair would now recognize the gentlewoman from california, ms. lee, for five minutes. ms. lee: thank you, mr. speaker. as the founder of the congressional out-of-poverty caucus, i rise to continue talking about the crisis of poverty and the ongoing jobs emergency in america today. tea party republicans are blaming the president for our struggling economy and the fact that our economy only gained 69,000 jobs last month. i want to remind my republican colleagues that it was their deregulation, failed economic
10:12 am
policies and two wars that had our nation losing over a million jobs every month when president obama came into office. we were losing over half million jobs every single month. now, they are complaining that democrats have not been quick enough in cleaning up the republicans' mess. the president and a democratic congress helped to stem that tide and now despite every roadblock and republican obstructionism, our economy is growing slowly and jobs are slowly coming back. so i don't understand how anyone can even try to blame the president's economic policies when they have refused to enact any of them. republicans have refused to work with us and to help america's refinance underwater homes, to help protect investors and consumers by implementing the sound regulation of the dodd-frank bill. also, they refuse to pass the
10:13 am
america's jobs act or any sort of jobs plan, quite frankly. in fact, republicans have done everything possible to obstruct every proposal to create jobs at every turn. even though 56% of americans say jobs should be congress' number one priority, republicans have failed to pass even one significant jobs bill. instead, they work to create another false panic about a so-called fiscal cliff if they weren't allowed to immediately extend hundreds of billions of dollars in tax giveaways to the wealthiest 1% of americans. mr. speaker, there are only two real fiscal cliffs that i see. one is the fiscal cliff that will push our entire government over if they can make good on their threats and force our nation into default and shut the government down. the second fiscal cliff is one that republicans are pushing american families over the edge when they cut off, mind you, cut off the emergency extension
10:14 am
of critical unemployment benefits for millions of americans who are struggling to find a job. republicans are telling struggling americans that there is a fiscal cliff if you are out of work. they have to cut off your employment benefits. they're telling struggling americans that there is a fiscal cliff if you are poor and hungry. they have to cut your food stamps. but somehow if you are rich and a defense contractor, republicans make it their business to protect you from facing any cliff or falling off of any cliff. this is not the way forward for our nation. what we need to do right now is to stop pushing families off of fiscal cliffs. we have to support the economy by investing in the american people. we need to get back to growing the middle class by lifting millions of americans out of poverty. mr. speaker, we must pass the
10:15 am
american jobs act. invest in our america's infrastructure and transportation needs, increase job training efforts and strengthen our safety net. safety net programs like the supplemental nutrition assistance program and unemployment insurance just don't support struggling families but they support small businesses all across the country and in every single congressional district regardless of one's party. this congress must ensure that our nation's safety net is a bridge that is strong enough to deliver us all, even the most vulnerable, over these troubled waters. americans are waiting. democrats have been prepared to act and republicans must join us in creating jobs and reigniting the american dream for all. thank you and i yield back. . the speaker pro tempore: the chair now recognizes the gentleman from virginia, mr. goodlatte, for five minutes. mr. goodlatte: i ask unanimous
10:16 am
consent to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. goodlatte: i rise today along with representatives morgueian griffith and robert hurt to honor a world war ii constituent. a community leader and freand, john robert "bob" slaughter. on may 29, 2012, southwest virginia lost one of its great american heroes, a passionate advocate for veterans and a driving force behind the national d-day memorial in bedford. it is only fitting we honor his memory as we mark the 68th anniversary of d-day this week. born on february 3, 1925, in bristol, tennessee, bob's family later moved to roanoke, virginia. in 1941 at the age of 15 he joined the virginia army national guard, company d, 160th infantry 29th division. a short time later the united states was attacked at pearl harbor and entered the war.
10:17 am
on september 27, 1942, the 29th division set sail for england. on d-day, june 6, 1944, bob waded ashore to battle the foes of democrat state omaha beach. he was just 19 years old. his life was forever impacted by the memories of that day. mr. speaker, i have stood on omaha beach in normandy at low tide, which was the circumstances when these brave men landed there on june 6, 1944. the bidth of that beach -- bidth of that beach -- width of that beach, the distance they had to come through machine-gun fire, bombs, and mines is absolutely a remarkable demonstration of the courage of those men to liberate europe. despite being wounded twice in combat following d-day, bob remained in the field until the end of the war in 1945.
10:18 am
after the war, bob returned to roanoke where he had a long career with the roanoke times and world news. he was dedicated to his family and was also active in the community, coaching a basketball team for local youth. bob showed great determination by working to ensure that there was a proper memorial to the countless men who took part in the d-day invasion. on june 6, 1994, the 50th anniversary of d-day, bob walked omaha beach with president bill clinton. on june 6, 2001, bob's dream became a reality when the national d-day memorial in bedford was dedicated by president george w. bush. thanks in large part to his efforts, the national d-day memorial now stands in bedford where it serves as a constant reminder of those who pay the ultimate price to protect the freedoms that we hold so dear. the life of bob slaughter is a true testament to the greatest
10:19 am
generation. we are honored to have known bob and pay tribute to this great man's many contributions. we pray for his family, his wife of 65 years, margaret slaughter, and his two sons, two grandchildren, and two great grandchildren during this difficult time. we join the entire community in mourning the loss of this american hero. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair would now recognize the gentlelady from california, mrs. spiers, for five minutes. mrs. spiers: thank you, mr. speaker. i now come to the floor some 21 times to tell the story of survivors of military sexual assault and the institution and culture that failed them. some would tell you that the military has learned from their mistakes and they are largely now addressing this problem.
10:20 am
the situation i'm describing to you today is happening right now and flies in the face of what we are being told by our military and the members of congress who believes that they have this problem under control. recently a san antonio newspaper began reporting on a scandal at lockland air force base that is growing by the day. so far at least four air force instructors have been charged with sexual misconduct with at least 24 trainees. like many cases of rape and sexual assault, the perpetrators are not denying they engaged in sexual misconduct, they simply contend that the sex was consensual. it comes down to the words of the accused and the accuser. the instructor against the trainee. in the military this usually means the perpetrator gets off or receives a disproportionately small punishment and the victim endures an arduous and
10:21 am
humiliating legal process with no sense of justice at the end. two of the women that have come forward were called over an intercom two days after they graduated from basic training last fall and asked to leave their dorm and to meet their instructors. in a dimly lit supply room, the women said they had sexual relations with their instructors. quote, i was frozen, one of the women said, explaining her mind was racing. i tried to think, both women said failure to follow orders could cause them to be retrained in basic training under the very instructors that assaulted them. while unnerved about the order to leave their dorms, they told themselves it had to be legitimate. so the day they entered the military they have been trained and required to follow the orders of their instructors. even those that didn't make sense. this may be hard for someone in the civilian world to relate to, but it is a constant reality within our armed forces. it is ingrained in our military service men and women to follow the orders of their chain of command and never, ever disobey.
10:22 am
the justice system is also beholden to this chain of command but i'll get to that later. staff sergeant louise walker, military instructor, is charged with sexually -- with violating one woman. staff sergeant greg ba belong is charged with sexual misconduct of two women trainees. staff sergeant pedro is charged with sexual misconduct with one woman. staff sergeant vaguea admitted in a plea-bargain to having sex
10:23 am
with one woman. his 3u7bished? reduction in rank, forefuture of 500 months in pay for four months. after striking the deal with prosecutors, vaguea admitted that he had actually had improper contact with 10 trainees. now, mind you, we are not firing these people, they continue to serve in the military. vaguea is not immune to further prosecution, but his admission of guilt cannot be used against him in future procedures. each victim will have to come forward and the prosecution will have to start from scratch. vaguea will be forced to leave the air force but without a bad conduct discharge. imagine that. without a bad conduct discharge. if the military is as vigilant as they say they are, how could such a repetitive, widespread, and sickening behavior still be occurring? what is being uncovered at lockland flies in the face of what we are being told by our military. is this what zero tolerance means in the military? former air force secretary witten was quoted in the newspaper saying, quote, the age old problem is you are putting very smart, attractive people, marrying age, together in close
10:24 am
quarters. it's a circumstance that is difficult and really requires restraint. sometimes restraint is very difficult. secretary witten doesn't get it. the age old problem in the military is attitude like this. the age old problem in the military is a broken justice system that delivers weak sentences, if any. the age old problem in the military is that nine out of 10 women, staff sergeant vaguea has now admitted to committing sexual misconduct with, has not come forward because they know that the odds of getting justice is slight and the odds of their careers being finished is great. what shapping at lockland air force base should and needs to be a wake-up call. this problem is happening now and it is systemic. victims are still not coming forward because of what keeps happening. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair will now recognize the
10:25 am
gentlelady from tennessee, mrs. black, for five minutes. mrs. black: thank you, mr. speaker. as one of the most outspoken opponents of obamacare, i hope that in the coming weeks the supreme court strikes down this disastrous piece of legislation. but the fact is no matter what the supreme court key sides -- decides about obamacare, it does not change the reality that this law is a horrible policy. in just three short years, obamacare has already resulted in fewer jobs, higher health care costs, and more debt. that's why i have voted more than two dozen times to either defund or repeal obamacare since being elected to congress. for instance, last november, my legislation that closed a loophole in the health care law saved taxpayers $13 billion and was signed into law. today the house will vote on legislation to repeal two of
10:26 am
obamacare's law most egregious job killing taxes in this law. one, the medical device manufacturing tax, and two, the medicine cabinet tax. according to the joint tax committee, the medical device tax increase will take away $29 billion from job creators over the next decade. these higher costs will be passed along to consumers like veterans with prostheses and seniors with pacemakers and hip replacements. this bill will also repeal the medical -- medicine cabinet tax increase which prevents owners of health care savings accounts or h.s.a.'s or flexible savings accounts, f.s.a.'s from using their accounts to purchase nonprescription over-the-counter medications. obamacare's limitation on purchasing over-the-counter medications will result in longer wait times for those who truly need the care, and will also dripe up health care costs.
10:27 am
in addition to repealing these disastrous tax hikes, they allow participants to get back their unused f.s.a. dollars up to $500 as taxable wages in the subsequent year. under current law, any unused balance goes back to the employer and is lost by the employee. and this reform to the f.s.a. accounts rewards rather than penalizes consumers for being healthy and saving their money. before coming to congress, i worked in health care as a registered nurse for more than 40 years, and i have seen firsthand the problems and obstacles the patients and health care providers face. but obamacare is only serving to exasperate the current problem and creates entirely new problems. our health care system desperately needs market-based, and patient centered reform, not a government takeover.
10:28 am
it is critical that the house continue to fight against obamacare until either the supreme court overturns the law in its entirety, or until we have willing partners in the senate and in the white house. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time. the chair will now recognizes the gentleman from michigan, mr. clark, for five minutes. mr. clark: -- mr. clarke: thank you, mr. speaker. as a member of the house committee on homeland security, i'd like to thank our broadcasters for providing free radio and television broadcasting and warnings to our public that protects our families from impending disasters. and to better warn our public in future emergencies, i ask this
10:29 am
congress to consider how we can make local free radio broadcasting available on all of our cell phones. you see, by providing these broadcast warnings through our mobile devices could be the most effective way that we can protect our families when disaster hits. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the chair would now recognizes the gentleman from florida, mr. nugent, for five minutes. mr. nugent: mr. speaker, revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. nugent: mr. speaker, i think we can all agree integrity of our elections are fundamental importance to this democracy. we need to ensure that everyone who is eligible to vote has the ability to vote, and those that are ineligible to vote are stopped from voting in our election.
10:30 am
it is also our responsibility to ensure that this responsibility falls largely on the states to ensure that voters have the right to vote that are eligible to. they do this by making sure that their voter rolls are clean. that their voter rolls are accurate, it's important the states have the ability to do that. in my own state of florida and others throughout this country, the federal government is being asked to help. . the department of homeland security has been unwilling to help those states that need it the most. d.h.s. is denying florida the systematic alienation identification database, or save, as it's commonly referred to. save is the best database for the states to use to cross-reference and cross-check their voter rolls for eligible
10:31 am
or ineligible voters. d.h.s. has been denying access to this database despite its own documents and regulations clearly stating that save for voter registration purposes is one of the permissible uses. that's within their own documents as it relates to the operation of d.h.s. by denying access to save database, dfts is preventing states from ensuring the -- d.h.s. is preventing states from ensuring the best ability that the integrity of our elections are saved and persevered. as we move forward with appropriations for homeland security, i feel we need to acknowledge that d.h.s.'s refusal to meet this basic need and a basic request of our states. d.h.s. is stone walling is not something people of florida deserve, and it certainly isn't something that elected officials should tolerate. mr. speaker, floridians should
10:32 am
not be denied the right to the fairest and most accurate election possible. floridians' votes should not be diminished because of a political maneuvering by a federal agency. no vote should be counted when it's -- when it's cast by someone who is not eligible to vote in the united states, vis-a-vis, they are not a citizen of this country. d.h.s., through their save program, has the ability to pass that information on to states. florida's not the only state that has requested this information from d.h.s. d.h.s. has a, i believe, an ethical responsibility to provide that information because it's contained within their own bylaws and operation procedures within that department of homeland security. and they have just stonewalled the states in regards to them trying to make sure their voter
10:33 am
rolls are the most accurate possible. mr. speaker, i believe that they are doing a disservice to the american public. every vote should count. every vote should count, and d.h.s. should be required to submit the information to the states so they can make sure that their voter rolls are as accurate as possible. and with that i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair would now recognize the gentleman from california, mr. rain shower bacher, for five minutes. mr. rohrabacher: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. rohrabacher: mr. speaker, there are many heroic people among us who have been involved in making our quality of life in america the best the world has ever seen and at the same time uplifting all of humankind. while we oftentimes focus our
10:34 am
gratitude and our adoration on politicians and athletes and movie stars, we need to acknowledge the many innovators, inventors and technology entrepreneurs who have played a significant role in overcoming the many challenges we humans face together, challenges to our health and limitations to our physical well-being. one of the most heroic of these special people is dr. al mann. he flew in b-29's during world war ii and upon his return home, al decided instead of pursuing a career in the armaments industry, which could have been very lucrative, he would dedicate his life to building technologies that would improve the human condition. among his many achievements are the following -- a vast improvement over -- of pacemaker technology which then made that available to so many millions of people whose lives have been changed because of it
10:35 am
and extended because of it. inventing he also was involved in inventing and it was his invention of the pump, a small mechanism that attaches to the body and allows patients to escape some of the worst ravages of diabetes. he perfected the fully implantable coke lahr inplant, an electronic device that provides patients, some of whom have never been able to hear, with the ability to hear sound almost as well as those that can hear, those of us who hear naturally. his latest invention and innovation would allow die betics to receive -- diabetics to receive insulin through an inhaler rather than a syringe. a huge break through that could be so meaningful for so many that are suffering. his achievements ought to serve as an example of the power of
10:36 am
innovation in our country, just as incredible as his inventions themselves, dr. mann accomplished all of this with private funds. and instead of relying on government grants or contracts, dr. mann made the risky investments of his own and those of his investors and when it paid off he reaped the benefits which he then plowed back into more research to help even more people eliminate even more suffering. instead of receiving assistance from his government, dr.mann has instead run into bureaucratic obstacles time and again. as legislators, we have the responsibility to ensure that the federal government's actions at very least do not thwart the heroic innovators such as dr. al mann. for this reason i ask unanimous consent to submit for the congressional record a letter al mann rently penned.
10:37 am
i encourage all of my colleagues to read what he has to say and to take seriously the disturbing observations with our current system. as well as his recommendations on how we can ensure that the incredible potential of human innovation can be and will be brought to play in improving the lives of the american people and people everywhere. the speaker pro tempore: the chair hears no objection to the gentleman's unanimous consent request. so without objection, so ordered. seek no other people seeking recognition, pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the chair declares the house in recess
10:38 am
>> that same bill would allow users to keep up to $500 of unused flexibility spending account funds. we'll have the house live when they return at noon eastern. we are also hoping to take you live to nancy pelosi, the democratic leader, holding a briefing. it's scheduled to get under way in a couple minutes. we hope to have that live for you shortly here on c-span. while we wait for that, part of this morning's "washington journal." host: in an interview with cnbc that started this discussion in the papers and amongst capitol hill about the future of the bush era tax cuts. here's president bill clinton when asked about the tax cuts. here's his reaction. >> i think what it means is thee will have to extend -- they will probably have to put everything off until early next year. that's probably the best thing to do right now. but the republicans don't want
10:39 am
to do that unless he agrees to extend the tax cuts permanently including for upper income people. the real issue is not whether they should be extended for another few months. the real issue is whether the price the republican house will put on that extension is the permanent extension of the tax cuts. which i think is an error. host: president clinton's press secretary put out a statement following that interview, this is the same they put out regarding it. it says that the president does not believe in tax cuts for the wealthiest americans should be extended again. on the republican side working with t. this is stephen diamond this morning in the "washington times" writing about a proposal by the republicans for a one-year wait to see -- to let
10:40 am
election winners decide the tax code -- >> part of this morning's "washington journal," all of that's available in our video library at c-span.org. we'll take you live to the capitol. nancy pelosi and her weekly briefing. >> yesterday i sent a letter to speaker boehner and with a clear message. instead of heading home, we should stay here in the house and pass the middle income tax cuts to help restore stability and certainty for america's families, workers, and businesses. instead of hitting the road, we should pass transportation bill that creates and saves more than two million jobs. instead of going on recess, we should prevent student loan rates from going up and keep college affordable. democrats have a simple request to our republican colleagues. don't run out the clock on the economy. let's work around the clock to create jobs, promote growth, and restore prosperity for the middle class. we call on the speaker to cancel
10:41 am
next week's recess, this is the ninth week-long recess of the year. and to stay in session to address america's top priorities. jobs, economic growth, and the security of the middle class. the president has put his proposals on the table, including passing the transportation bill, which has already passed the senate, and by a strong bipartisan way, republican congress in the house refuses to act. with that i'll be pleased to take any questions. >> are you worried that undercuts your message that bush tax cuts should not pass to those who make more than $1 million? >> i'm not aware that president clinton and larry summers -- putting that aside, i think that
10:42 am
the bush tax cuts only increase the deficit -- for the high end, the bush tax cuts at the high end just increase the deficit, do not create jobs, and they should come to an end. i call upon the speaker to pass middle income tax cuts, freeing us from that stranglehold the highest tax cuts have had on our economy. it >> your california colleague, senator feinstein, the avalanche of leaks on intelligence matters. as someone who served on the intelligence committee, do you have concerns about what these leaks do to national security? what should be done about that? >> i don't know what these leaks are that we are referencing. but i always have concerns about any leaks and what they mean to our national security. the senator and the -- her
10:43 am
colleague and the chair and ranking in the house will be meeting with the head of national intelligence, the director of national intelligence today to better improve the communication between the congress and the white house and that's something that i have always advocated. i don't know what -- i know there have been some articles in the press that have raised some concerns, but i do not know what the specific reference that you are making as to what senator feinstein is talking about. but leaks are not good. loose lips sink ships, that was the sign that was up in the intelligence committee all the time. and our national security depends on our having good intelligence and not having that leaked. >> with all due respect to senator mccain, for anybody to say that a leak -- i don't care party one way or the other, an
10:44 am
intelligence leak is politically motivated. it's really, really a sad statement, of course there shouldn't be leaks if there is an accidental leak. by the way we had an investigation which found that republican senators were the source of the leaks many years ago. probably accidentally, unwittingly, but nonetheless they were the source. to say that an intelligence leak which undermines national security of our country is something that is politically motivated, i just don't -- i can't agree with that. >> 41% of americans still want to overturn the health care law. 27% at least want to get rid of the individual mandates. numbers are not getting better in terms of favorable of the law. why do you think that is? what does that say in terms of the chances the supreme court will strike it down?
10:45 am
>> i'm very proud of the affordable care act. i think that the understanding of it has been jeopardized by misrepresentations that had been put out there relentlessly. largely by the industries that have -- i shouldn't say not benefited, because they all -- everybody benefits from this health care bill, but who claim to have suffered from the bill. here's the thing, the american affordable care act stands there with social security, medicare, health care for all americans as a right not a privilege. it was opposed vigorously by two forces, one, the health insurance industry, and secondly, by anti-government ideologues who do not believe there should be a government role. clean air, clean water, as well as health care in our country.
10:46 am
we don't want our proposal to have any more government than it needs. it's very private sector oriented. it's market oriented, it's about prevention. it's about innovation, it's about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness for the american people because it frees them, unlocks them from a job that they may keep only because of the health benefits to pursue their happiness. if there were no other reason to do the health care reform bill, then the fact that it is -- status quo at the time was financially and fiscally unsustainable for individuals, the rising cost of health care, and uncertainty of what those costs would be for businesses, the same thing. for governments whether it's local government, county government, state government, federal government, unsustainable, the rising cost of health care, and for our
10:47 am
economy because the cost of health care's a competitiveness issue. and our private secretaryor finds it hard to compete globally with this ever increasing uncertain health costs. it was unsustainable. what it did was take -- what it does is take us to a place where we will bend the curve, reduce the cost of health care not only to the federal government but to our economy and to families. that it will improve the quality of care, and that it will increase access and it will do so in a way that's very innovative, about the future, heavy emphasis on prevention and wellness that also reduced costs. children in america all over -- over 80 million people in america have benefited from the health care bill. whether it's ending
10:48 am
discrimination against children because of the pre-existing medical condition, whether it was the wellness prevention once a year checkups that now people, especially our seniors, are getting. whether it's lowering the cost of prescription drugs for seniors by closing the doughnut hole, but i bet you if you want to a pharmacy right now and you saw a senior purchasing pharmaceuticals, prescription drugs, and they know -- those drugs are cheaper now because of the bill, they would not relate it to the affordable care act. so it's not about the bill, it's about the message of it. and again the public was so inoculated against any part of this message about the bill because of the -- those who were trying to defeat it. that -- >> it seems to be --
10:49 am
>> when you have endless money, and money is really a factor in opinion and elections in our country, for example, the other day, in california, we had an initiative, there was an initiative on the ballot that would raise the cost of tax on tobacco, on cigarettes. it was supported by every entity whether it was the lung association or tobacco-free kids, you name it, all of those entities to do the right thing by reducing smoking in our country and what that means to health, and you have the tobacco industry coming in four to one, nearly $50 million versus $12 million. by wait if you are in california and never saw one of those ads on tv, you wouldn't recognize that it was an ad against a tobacco-free kids.
10:50 am
you would think it was undermining the entire economy of our state and sending the money to other states. the misrepresentations, endless money, misrepresenting, suffocate the debate. it's a dangerous thing. >> health care plan. you said that violates their religious freedom. do you support the catholic, the church in the lawsuit -- >> those people have a right to sue, but i don't think they are speaking for the catholic church. there are people in the catholic church, including some of the bishops who have suggested that some of this may be premature.
10:51 am
you know what? i do my religion on sunday in church and i try to go other days of the week. i don't do it at this press conference. >> despite your protestations, it seems democrats and republicans are happy to take the tax issue into the general election. i'm wondering how much you guys are worried or looking at europe being in possible financial fallout, causing you guys to come to the table earlier than the election? >> i think we should be at the table right now on these. i think we should be at the table right now on what might happen in europe. because it would have an impact on us. you can imagine that in addition to an inheriting a near depression from the bush administration, a financial meltdown of global consequences from the bush administration, huge deficits from the bush administration, this
10:52 am
administration also is faced with the crisis in europe, a tsunami in japan, an oil spill in the gulf. many things have happened that have been detrimental to economic growth, and still over four million jobs have been created. but the fact is that we have to be prepared and try to foresee what other possibilities there are out there for better or worse. and i think that we should always be at the table to protect the economic security of our country. but i still think that one of the biggest contributors to the deficit in our country t. especially at the high end where they did not create jobs, and we have said that we are -- president said that in his campaign two years ago because of the depth of the recession we
10:53 am
were in the president, year and a half ago, that they would be continued but they have to come to an end. >> the highway bill what, sort of feedback have you heard about the senate proposal to the house republicans on their offer? and what do you make of harry reid's comments the other day suggesting that leader cantor may not want to do a bill. >> there were three questions. you ok with that? first of all let's just say that the transportation bill that has been -- has passed in the senate enjoys, let's take that word, enjoys strong bipartisan support . and the support of also the president of the united states and the house democrats. on any number of occasions we
10:54 am
have suggested that that should be the bill and let's take a vote on it. a straight up and down vote. we have put it on the floor in terms of previous question, motion to recommit, motions to instruct, all of that. but the republicans will never abandon their leadership on procedure. but on the vote on the bill, i think what mr. hoyer has said, i believe the bill would pass. what are they afraid of? they are afraid of passing a transportation bill that will create -- save more than two million jobs? that puts hundreds of thousands of construction workers back on the job, and you saw by the figures last week, this is the hardest hit industry in last month's job report. so we want -- again, chairwoman boxer and ranking member, i guess they call them vice chair in the senate, inhofe have -- delivered a bill n
10:55 am
the senate but one that accommodates many of the concerns that have been expressed by house republicans as the last place that they can go. if there is a sincere wish to put these create -- save these two million jobs, if there is a sincere wish to help lift up the construction industry, and that has support in the private sector as well as within the congress, then the republicans would bring it up. why would they not bring it up? i think -- i do have to ask senator reid why he said what he said, but i agree with what he said because i think the republicans in the house want to do nothing more than keep passing extensions. maybe they'll do something right before the leaks but it will be too late to create jobs. if they do the extensions, they are using up the trust fund, the transportation -- highway trust fund. they are hurting job creation. in fact people will lose jobs,
10:56 am
and it's just the wrong thing to do. i think again you have to ask senator reid why he said what he said but i think it's right and i think it's wrong the house democrats are holding up this bill. it's just -- the senate fm -- harry reid has come out very strongly against keystone. republicans and some democrats in the house support keystone. take that out. strong views on both sides of the capitol. it isn't part of the transportation bill. that isn't what the bill is about. so they are taking us--an ingredient putting it in the bill, and it's not growing a pearl. thank you-all very much again. we'll see you -- i'm hoping that we stay. the president has put his
10:57 am
initiatives on the table over and over again. it would take us 15 minutes to pass the transportation bill. putting those people back to work. this is irresponsible, it's impure, and it's unfair to america's workers. transportation bill and infrastructure bill is a bill that not only creates jobs right now to build the infrastructure, it does so in a way that is american made. it does so in way that gets people and products to and from market, communication with spreading the word on commerce and our country. it's about our economy in so many different ways in addition to the jobs it would create immediately. thank you all. bye-bye. >> did i tell you it was my 25th anniversary?
10:58 am
[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> wrapping up with house minority leader pi lowsy. she yoinser -- pelosi, she joins her house colleagues when they return this afternoon to repeal certain medical device taxes from the health care law. allow users to keep up to $500 of health flexible spending account funds. the house returns at noon eastern. we'll have live coverage here on c-span. quickly the senate right now voting on moving forward on work on the farm bill. 60 votes are needed. that vote started about 10:30 eastern. could wrap up any moment. you can see it live right now on c-span2. also very quickly, house speaker john boehner will be holding his weekly legislative briefing in about 15 minutes or so. we are planning live coverage of that here on c-span. until then, your comments and phone calls from today's "washington journal."
10:59 am
if the democrats have been that the businessmen and businesswomen. host: host: i agree with bill clinton. don't raise taxes. also it's not extending tax cuts and extending is in quotes. it's raising taxes. new york city, you are next, michael, good morning on our independent line. your thoughts on the bush era tax cuts and if they should be extended? caller: by the way, you have a great show. i'm a senior professor in the m.b.a. program, 400 m.b.a.'s -- host: which university? caller: it's here in manhattan. i'd rather not say because i'm supposed to be independent to my students. host: fair enough, go ahead. caller: the situation is the false premise. germany has the highest tax rate in the world.
11:00 am
they have 5% -- 5.5% unemployment. but here's what we did. two years ago we set up 20 m.b.a.'s to do a study on how to predict unemployment. we came up with a formula, and i'm really stating this for -- for students who are studying business or economics. here's what we came up with. . in 40 years every time oil was under $30 a barrel, you have 5% unmoment. every time you had oil over $60 a barrel, you had 10% unemployment. so -- host: gfer you go any further. how does this relates to tax cuts, if you don't mind? caller: sweden, denmark and
11:01 am
germany has the highest tax rates, and they have 5% unemployment. so the situation is, we're 29th and we have 10% unemployment. host: appreciate the thought this morning. president obama addressed the bush-era tax cuts during statements in california. here's what he had to say. >> his basic idea is, those of us at the top are doing really well, then everybody else presumably will benefit too. and so it's not enough to continue the bush tax cuts. we're going to tack on another $5 trillion worth of tax cuts. and we say we're concerned about the deficit but if we're willing to blow a hole through the deficit like that, the only way to make it up is then to cut out all those things we have done together as a nation to make us stronger. investments in research and development, science, investments in infrastructure,
11:02 am
investments in helping kids go to college. investments in taking care of our veterans. making sure if you're disabled or if you're a poor child or you're a senior citizen that you have a basic baseline where you can live with dignity and respect and get the help that you need. i don't think that's how you grow an economy. host: and president obama from yesterday. facebook is available if you want to give your comments on the bush era tax cuts and if you want them extended. we had 12 comments starting off this program. here are two. it's time to end it now. the extra $6 will not be enough to miss it. host: charlotte, north
11:03 am
carolina, in our discussion about extension of the tax cuts. republican line, john, good morning. caller: yes. thanks for taking my call. i've been sitting here on hold listening to all of the other speakers and listening to president obama talking about how to grow an economy. well, the economy's obviously not growing. if anything it's shrinking, and the reason they say gas is going down is because people aren't traveling as much because of higher unemployment. it's interesting to hear all your guests. you hear a small business woman who is a democrat who understands that higher tax rate will strangle business and it does not help. then you also have a professor from a university who will not disclose which university probably out of fear of retaliation or retribution from the faculty about oil prices and their relation to tax rates. it's interesting to hear but it all boils down to where you are
11:04 am
keynesian or free market economist. host: how would you define yourself? caller: i am a free marketer. i don't borrow on my credit cards to pay down my other debts. that's just ludicrous. host: the tax cuts -- should the tax cuts be in place at the end of the year? caller: i mean, when you put more capital out there in the market for people to invest -- i mean, the poor, the poor are not going to other poorer to get other jobs. they go to capital. if government will get out of the way, just like everybody has said, you know, over the past instead of look at it as the -- we're the socialist regime that can make the socialist dream works, well, we've seen how that works throughout history. if we leave everybody free to their labor, then people will use that fruit to purchase things that they would like to
11:05 am
own and it creates the cycle of stimulus and therefore, you know, they will create more jobs and create more prosperity. host: what's in your opinion been the value of keeping tax cuts where they are, how would you answer that? >> well, i'm -- like your other -- like your other callers said, i'm looking more toward tax reform. toward the flat or other incremental tax instead of our abomination of a tax code and the i.r.s. i mean, you know, i like at the i.r.s. as, you know, just another creation of the socialist movement per president wilson to redistribute wealth to other people. host: and that's john from charlotte, north carolina. 202-737-0002 for republicans. 202-737-0001.
11:06 am
202-628-0205 for independents. karen from "the washington post" has a story this morning. host: the american spectator has a piece by jeffrey lord this morning who worked in the reagan white house as a political director and he writes the piece in relation to the discussion about the tax cuts saying about the clinton era in which bill clinton accepted the fundamental tenants of the reagan consensus
11:07 am
keeping reagan policies in place. host: there are a couple thoughts this morning. we'll get your thoughts on the bush era tax cuts and whether they should be extended. democrats line, michael. caller: yeah, thanks for taking my call. i'm calling in just to say i think it's ridiculous that you'd give big businesses tax breaks that they're going to go out and hire people because you are giving them tax breaks. they are going to go out and hire people whenever they need to hire people regardless whether they're getting a tax break or not. so i think we should get rid of the tax breaks for the rich. i mean, if you listen to congress, they keep talking about cutting entitlements. you know, do the people know what they're talking about when they say that, cutting
11:08 am
entitlements? why should the elderly and people that are less well-off be the only ones that are paying for this? i think the rich need to pay their fair share too. cut those tax breaks. thank you. host: phoenix, arizona, good morning. jerome, independent line. caller: hello. host: hello. caller: yeah, c-span? host: you're on. caller: all right, thank you. host: you are on the air. go ahead. caller: thank you. i just want to say it really depends on what kind of country you want. if we want to have a country that is where the rich take their money and stack it up and just clean out the economy and there's no money floating about, then, yeah, let's go ahead and drop it down to zero. but if we're going to have a
11:09 am
country where the money is flowing and there is money available for people to, you know, to engage in the economy and to buy stuff, then we're going to have to have a tax rate that keeps the money flowing. host: and so that means a lower tax rate? caller: no. we need higher tax rates. the country did very well when the tax rate was higher. it was 50% at one time. it was 70% i think even 90% on the highest income earners at one time. the country did great. we became number one in the world. host: is there a political will to make those type of tax hikes happen? caller: no, sir, there isn't but there ought to be. people ought to think about that. you know, it's a matter of with a kind of economy you want. if you want to have a vibrant economy, you got to keep the
11:10 am
money flowing. host: this is donna off of twitter who adds this this morning saying -- host: couple of stories. this is "the hill." this is stemming from the vote in wisconsin saying josh letterman writing that wisconsin governor scott walker had cemented his status among the fwop's bright, shining stars and put him in line for a primetime speaking slot at the national convention in august, republican national committee chairman reince priebus said wednesday. and paul cain writing in the pages of "the washington post" --
11:11 am
host: republicans must settle on a nominee. paul rights tommy thompson is well-known g.o.p. candidate. host: we'll continue on the calls about the bush era tax cuts if they should be extended or not and you can weigh in on twitter and email and facebook as well. iowa, good morning to dave,
11:12 am
republican line. hello. caller: good morning. host: hi. caller: i'd like to respond, i think the tax rate should go up on probably everybody. if maybe just -- maybe just the rich. and i am not -- i'm not a rich person and i am a business owner. i do construction work, and i hire a lot of people so that person, that guy who says you can't get a job from anybody who's not rich, he doesn't know what he's talking about. and the lady who said that she's a democrat who claims to be a business owner and claims that she's paying 30%, i know she isn't because you can deduct everything. you can deduct right down to zero income if you want to. host: so you're saying even a tax hike necessarily wouldn't impact your business directly? caller: no, it wouldn't. she's not paying 30% on
11:13 am
anything, only her profits. the only thing -- she's not paying 30% on all her revenue. she's only pay 30% or whatever she claims she was paying on her profits. host: sue, whiting, new jersey, sent us an email. this is what it says. host: albuquerque, new mexico. betty, good morning, on our democrats' line. caller: good morning, pedro. so nice to talk to you. golly, i'm trying to figure out what planet most of these people are calling from. with the possible exception of the man from pennsylvania and this last wonderful caller from iowa who really gets it. what part of the bush era tax cuts are -- is one of the factors that created this huge deficit problem to begin with.
11:14 am
why is the memory so short? that and the no accounting for the two wars, no accounting on the books for the bush era tax cuts and lastly no accounting whatsoever for the tinkering of the doughnut hole in medicare. these are the things that got into trouble because none of these things were put on the books while bush was in office. and now poor barack obama suffers the indignity of being blamed for this mess because he is put all of these things on the books. we do not need to extend the bush era tax cuts. corporations right now are more profitable than they ever have been, and they are not hiring because people like myself have no purchasing power. that's what's created the problem. plus, the continuous offshoring of our jobs and no tax liability for doing so. host: do you think that extension of the cuts -- if they were allowed to expire,
11:15 am
would that be a fix-all for the economy or or are other things needed? caller: it will not be a fix-all, guaranteed, but would be a large part of the problem. if they are extended the deficit is only going to get deeper and deeper. host: and that's albuquerque, new mexico, betty on our democrats' line. the reaction this week as far as discussions about tax cuts, the house speaker, john boehner, was asked about it and minority leader mitch mcconnell called for an extension of the tax cuts for at least a year. you probably saw it in the paper. we started this morning on "the washington times." to get reaction, here is speaker boehner and extension on the tax cut. >> you know, last week's jobs report was certainly bad news for the american people. once again shows that the president's economic policies have failed. as a result, it's really important that we provide some certainty to job creators in our country. extending all of the current
11:16 am
tax rates for at least a year is really important if we're going to help job creators gain a little more confidence and put americans back to work. even bill clinton came out for it -- before he was against it, and then larry sommers, at president's former economic advisor, came out in favor of this. we believe it's time to extend all of the cumpt current tax rates because it really will provide certainty for american job creators. host: here's baltimore, maryland, lewis, independent line. hi. caller: yes, i'd like to comment on several things. when you look at the small businesses in many of the urban neighborhoods, especially where i live, these small businesses do not create jobs for the local people. many of the small 7-11's, filling stations are owned by people from different countries. i understand they need to make money and they need to live like everyone else. but once they take over the businesses, they bring in their relatives and it's -- this
11:17 am
continuous flow of people coming in. see, the people from the urban areas are trapped by two things. not only are we affected by outsourcing of our jobs, but we have -- you will hear a term called insourcing. every time we look there's a new group of people from overseas who are taking over the local businesses and creating zero jobs, and then they send their money through western union back home as a source of welfare for the people and their relatives. so we are caught in a triple thing. we are losing money that could be investing in the neighborhoods, and we also are losing jobs because many instances refuse to hire the people. so, no, i'm not in favor of tax cuts for the small businesses, not in my area, because loke a.o.l. people don't own -- local people don't own local businesses.
11:18 am
host: in "the new york times," a story in the national section, this is julia. the headline is -- >> see "washington journal" live at 7:00 eastern. now live to john boehner for his weekly legislative briefing. >> the weekly alligator feeding. feed the alligators without getting bit. good morning, everyone. you know, last week's job numbers are more evidence that president obama's economic policies are standing in the way of real economic growth and standing mountain way of creating more jobs in our country. unemployment's been higher than 8% for more than 40 consecutive months. family wages are stagnant. everything from gasoline to groceries to health care is more expensive.
11:19 am
and half of recent college graduates are either unemployed or underemployed. but instead of working with congress to remove barriers for job creation, the president is at the university of las vegas -- university of nevada-las vegas at a rally talking about the student loan rates. he should be here working with us to ensure that they won't double. instead of our good faith efforts being responded to, all we've heard from the white house is silence. but that's the story of the obama administration. for two years democrats here in congress gave the president everything he wanted, stimulus spending bin g, health care takeover and more -- binge, health care takeover and more. it didn't work. his policies have actually made things worse. now that we're here working to clean up the mess, the president and senate democrats are more interested in gimmicks than they are in real
11:20 am
solutions. you know, this is' no better example than the 30 passed -- house-passed bills that would help create jobs. our plan for american job creators, most of these bills are sitting over in the united states senate. and these bills would expand energy production, eliminate excessive regulations and stop the washington spending binge. they would help create jobs for college graduates who need these jobs to pay off their student loans and they would address the high gas prices that american families are dealing with. today we'll pass another jobs bill, number 31. repealing the president's tax on medical devices. and we are going to keep working to remove barriers, hurting small businesses around the country. you know, one of the biggest challenges small businesses are facing is they have no idea what the tax rates are going to be next year. as a matter of fact, they are looking at a tax increase come january 1.
11:21 am
this would be the largest tax increase in american history. next month the house will pass a bill to extend those current rates for a year. and there's a bipartisan agreement between republicans and top democrats. you've seen all the names out there in the last couple of days. who believe we should extend all of the current tax rates to provide some certainty for small business owners. and it will give congress time to craft reforms that will simplify the code for families and small businesses. we're also committed to fully repealing the president's health care law which is driving up health care costs for small businesses and making it harder for them to hire new workers. and unless the supreme court throws out the entire law, we need to repeal what's left of it. and we need to enact commonsense reforms in a step-by-step manner that will protect the american people's access to the care they need
11:22 am
from the doctor they choose at a lower cost. and we look forward to their ruling. >> mr. speaker, do you agree with senator mccain's call for a special council to invest the classified leaks that have been appearing in newspapers? >> well, i am -- i am concerned about the leaks. and i think the administration should heed the advice of former defense secretary bob gates when after the bin laden raid and a lot of details were coming out, he prompt low went over to the white house and used some colorful language to try to stop any more leaks from occurring. >> if i could follow-up, do you believe that these are all politically motivated? >> i don't know what -- i am not going to apply any motives to this. but when we leak sensitive
11:23 am
data, we disclose methods, we disclose activities that put our intelligence officials and our military in a more dangerous position. it should not -- it should not happen. >> eric holder testified he'd given indication in his opening statement that there were negotiations, talks going on. he thought there could be a mutually acceptable agreement between his side and your side what to do. are there any talks going on there and do you think -- [inaudible] >> there are smug no conversations going on. the department has not -- there are absolutely no conversations going on. the department has not responded to the leadership letter that went down there several weeks ago. the department of justice has not responded to the subpoena
11:24 am
issued by chairman issa, and we are going to do everything we can to hold the department of justice accountable for what did or did not happen with regard to fast and furious. now, it's pretty clear from the evidence that's been laid out that someone at the department either knew or should have known what was happening with regard to fast and furious. but those people need to be held accountable. and secondly, from february 4 on, the department refuses to disclose information with regard to their activities that have gone on. and so we're going to -- we're working closely with the committee, the leadership is, and we will continue to work closely with the committee to try to make sure that the
11:25 am
department of justice complies and answers the questions that have been outlined to them. >> are you closer on a contempt or obligations -- some other sort of action given you don't get the information you needed? >> all options are on the table on what may need to be done to hold the department of justice accountable. >> if the supreme court will break down the health care law, what will republicans do, if anything, before the election to make sure that conditions aren't dropped from roles and make sure his aren't dropped -- kids aren't dropped from their parent's insurance and seniors don't get stuck in the doughnut hole again? >> what we won't do is pass a 2,700-page bill in the middle of the night that nobody has not read. what we won't do is tell the american people that we need to
11:26 am
pass a bill and then read what's in it. we need a commonsense approach to fix the health care system. >> will that happen before the election? >> we have to wait and see what the supreme court does. >> mauble knuckleball giving the stuff she laid out, it will certainly be an uphill climb even if there are popular provisions. are you concerned about how concerned you might be? >> i can't speculate what the court will do or won't do and what we will do. we pleeb in a step-by-step approach, commonsense steps to fix problems in our current system. and so we have to wait and see what the court decides. >> mitt romney said not too long ago that there is the unfinished business after the
11:27 am
election. buy time so the new administration and new congress can deal with it as opposed to having a big lame-duck session. is that a good idea, bad idea? >> i am concerned what will happen at the end of the year. that's why the house removed the sequester with cuts in mandatory spending in a responsible way. that's why the house in the next month will vote to extend the tax rates for a year so businesses have some certainty and nobody knows what the election's going to produce. but it's clear that we're going to have to take some action, whether it's long term or temporary, we're going to have to take some action. and there's -- the idea that we're going to wait to do a year's worth of work in five or six weeks after the election is preposterous. that's why i pressed all year long for the president and senate democrats to move, move
11:28 am
our jobs bills that are over there, move something that replaces the sequester. the president knows and the secretary of defense knows that the sequester would undermine our ability -- our nation's ability to protect the american people with these massive defense cuts. so they ought to be moving. >> mr. speaker. getting back to the aspect of when to deal with these issues, are you worried or are you concerned that the events in spain and greece could become a constageon that would force talks to -- contageon that would force talks? >> well, both sides -- i think downtown a speech a month ago just to hear myself talk, i outlined the problems and outlined my willingness to deal with these issues now. there's no reason to wait until the end of the year.
11:29 am
just because there's an election doesn't mean everything has to stop in washington, d.c. >> are you worried about spending causing or forcing resolutions? >> the problems in europe are serious. it's their recession affecting our economic growth today and i don't see any light at the end of the tunnel. >> chairman mica said -- at what point do you need to start talking about doing this considering how few legislative days you have left to do these negotiations? and also, if the democrats continue to offer provisions that are not including the keystone pipeline, do you see this bill ever passing? >> i have a lot of confidence in the members on the conference. and frankly i believe in a bipartisan way the conference on the highway bill wants to come to a resolution.
11:30 am
so i'm very hopeful that they'll get into serious discussions quick low because if we get up to june 30, i am not interested in some 30-day extension. frankly, i think if we get to june 30, it would be a six-month extension and move this thing out of the political realm that appears to be in at this moment. thanks. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> speaker boehner get a question about the health care law, a bill related to that, a bill seeking to repeal certain medical device taxes. that bill also would allow users to keep up to $500 of unused flexible spending account money. that bill coming up. also they'll finish work on homeland security spending. all of that beginning at noon eastern, about a half-hour from now here on c-span. and the senate, meanwhile, they
11:31 am
have voted a short while ago to move forward on five-year of food and farm bill. that's under way. they voted 90-8 to move forward. follow that debate on our companion network, c-span 2. part of this morning's "washington journal" looking at gangs in america. host: kathryn gallagher, associate professor of law and society. welcome. guest: thank you for having me. host: what is the federal government's responsibility when it comes to gangs in the united states? guest: that's a big question. i think we can talk about it in a number of different ways and it also depends on how we define gangs. host: what's a gang? guest: there are distinct groupings of gangs. i think we'll start with the ones that most of the public feels what they mean by a gang which is either the group of
11:32 am
youthful offenders who are hanging about and unsupervised and unstructured activity and may have some degree of organization and affiliation. so they're the ones who -- suburban folks might be concerned about. and then the government and the public is also concerned about the big scary ones. you know, ones who might have greater level of organization, who might have international ties, who might have a greater sense of organization as it relates to illicit activity. so depends on which group we're talking about, if we're talking about the kids, we're talking about a couple of different groups from the federal government. so i think first and foremost within the federal government is something called the national gang center or youth gang center and this is a partnership between the bureau of justice assistance and the office of juvenile justice and delinkency provision, and they
11:33 am
support -- delinquency provision and they support through the last fiscal year about $2 million grant to a group called the institute for intergovernmental research down in tallahassee. something called the national gang center, and they are responsible for collecting and disseminating information from law enforcement agencies to help localities and the national government -- federal government understand what the scope and size of our problem is. so for the general public and for the newspapers, that's probably where most of the information's coming from. if you are talking about law enforcement that's a different issue. host: does that mean we go to the local level then? guest: law enforcement can be done at any level, local, state and federal and it depends on the type of offense, the concern. whether there's interstate activity, whether there's international activity. so going back again to the south of youthful offender
11:34 am
group, that's very local. we might have sort of big national concern about it but at the end of the day it's a local issue handled locally and so that's so important for localities to know what they mean by what a gang is, what gangs mean to their law enforcement efforts and what support they need. host: according to the f.b.i. gang assessment, categories is -- guest: so the youthful group is neighborhood and local gangs and that's the bulk of sort of the presence of what we think about the youthful groups who are, you know, more low level, more just delinquents hanging out together. the ones you mentioned are the ones much more targeted so there are different branches of the government. so in 2005 congress enacted the national gang intelligence or information center, ngici, i
11:35 am
may get it wrong, but that center is designed to bring together agents from across the spectrum of federal government agencies. so we have bureau of prisons, we have i.c.e. immigration, customs enforcement, we have -- let's see, the d.e.a., drug enforcement agency, fire, tobacco and alcohol. we have people from these groups to come together and bring information together on what they're seeing, to share information, to give estimates of the accounts and to share ideas about how to enforce. and so we can sort of dracotomize. the more 1%, outlaw motorcycle gangs and the ones with the international ties and that's more the focus of this connelly appointed group. -- this congressionally
11:36 am
appointed group. host: the lines are 202-737-0002 for republicans. 202-737-0001 for democrats. 202-628-0205 for independents. you send us sweets at tweethtweeth. and -- you can send us tweets and emails. guest: the concern has been drug trade. whether it's importing and exporting more importing drugs, involvement with cartels, involved with central american organizations, how those movements get into the street and how they recruit members in the u.s. to carry out business. but there have been some efforts to interrupt these networks and one of the things that we're seeing -- sensing
11:37 am
better than we have in the past is diversification of illegal activity that it's not just all drug trade. increasing concern is human trafficking. the sexual exploitation of children. and the use of people, you know, as their commodity and so they use these children, for example, or women -- men as well of an adult age and they engage them in legitimate and illegitimate activity but the aim is to generate a revenue that's structured. i think that's increasingly a concern. so human trafficking, child exploitation, commercial exploitation. so the government has increasingly invested in understanding what is going on in those arenas. and for example we have the institute of medicine has now just embarked on this study. i sit on the board so i'm
11:38 am
familiar, but the aim of that study is to understand what the human trafficking element is for the commercial sexual exploitation. and one of our group members is doing an exhaustive study that can give us some numbers about what's going on with the gangs and how they use young people. and adults as well. host: people light up to talk with you. let's start with north hollywood, california. this is the republican line. eric, good morning. caller: hi, good morning. there is an organization called law enforcement against prohibition which blobes that the fully use of alcohol prohibition, that's what's caused the gang war. what do you say to the drug war has failed, you need to legalize drugs to take the revenue away from the street gangs? host: there is a tweet to that effect that basically says to fund gangs, black market's method. if you defund the black market, crime is lower. guest: that's a big discussion
11:39 am
and well beyond the purview of a 45-minute segment. i will say this. when we use the word war against anything involving our own citizens, involving crime and policing, history tells us it fails. what we see is that suppression techniques, arrest techniques, anything that increases sanctions makes serious offenders out of offenders who may have disbanded on their own, who may have gone out. any time we increase the labeling and the sappingses, we come up with a problem that's more difficult. now, i won't get into legalization issues, but, you know, if markets can be disrupted and especially if markets surrounding things that are somewhat normitive but legal, we know -- look at prohibition, as the caller suggests, you know, we can legalize and then we have a
11:40 am
different problem which is in our case, you know, alcohol overuse which is the number one correlated drug to crime. so we often think of drugs as really scary but it's really in fact alcohol that's our problem with violence. host: baltimore, maryland, nancy, democrats line. caller: hello. i was -- when you made your description of what a gang was or you made a point that it not suburban, in so many words it's other people, lower class. let me ask you a question. what you consider -- mitt romney, the story about him and how he targeted this gay guy and everything and then they held him down like a gang and cut his hair and stuff, would you consider that a gang or the
11:41 am
tea party that's been bashing people or congress that's bullying the public or the police targeting certain people, where do you classify those? guest: this caller makes an excellent point which is what the research world has struggled with. what's a group? is it a group of kids hanging out? and oftentimes a gang is what we want a gang to be. so if you took a very conflict orientation, you could say a gang is whoever we would like to penalize through sanctions and call illegal, but that's a long history in the united states and we saw repeatedly with different ways of immigration, especially over the past century. but i think i want to also address a couple of issues. it is not a suburban issue is one i did not mean to convey. and in fact what the national gang center does show and there are issues with their measurement and the validity, and i won't go deeply into
11:42 am
that, but beyond that there is a significant portion of youth who are in suburban areas. in fact, that's where we've seen the largest growth. and in many ways, perhaps one might say, awareness about gangs has increased because suburbanites are feeling what used to be a them problem is now an us problem. in terms of other people in lower class, if we look at different estimates from different surveys that examine who are identifying as gang members and who police are identifying as gang members are interesting. police overidentify compared to self-reporting people of hispanic origin or who are black or african-american, but if you ask youth themselves, are you a gang affiliated or have you, it's much more equivalent among the groups. and so just looking at how kids
11:43 am
self-identify and law enforcement identifies, there's a gross disparity. kids are much more we and it's all of us and law enforcement's more are these are the problems and the subgroups in which we are seeing the problem. host: the national gang center offered characteristics of gangs is they would commit crimes together that has a name, displace colors or symbols, hangs out together, has a leader. guest: that could be a book club. that is one of the ones they use. it's problematic because you can see there is a lot of subjectivity and so if you go back to the caller's example, is mitt romney in this case of a student who later -- was self-identified as homosexual, tying him down and cutting his hair, is that a gang activity? one of the things that it fails
11:44 am
to meet, according to something the national gang center might say, it has some sustainability over time. whatever he's done here would have to be carried on in subsequent years. host: repeated incidents? guest: repeated incidents and they would also want to have, you know, the name and affiliation, etc., carrying on so that it wasn't an individual activity. so mitt romney, i have no idea. don't even want to touch that except for to say as an example, you know, it's a close one. routinely him going around and doing this activity and they knew that activity would happen five years from them, yeah, sure, it would meet national gang center criteria. host: beach park, illinois. independent line, diane. beach park, illinois, are you there? caller: yeah. host: go ahead.
11:45 am
caller: yes, i was wondering why we cannot declare gang members, especially international, as domestic terrorism instead of making all these expensive things to try and catch them and then we put them in, they pour more gangs in prison, why don't we call it for what it is? i live near chicago, and over memorial day, there were 40 shootings with 10 people dead. we need to do something about the safety of people out here. host: ms. gallagher. guest: ok. the caller's not the first to make a link with terrorism activities. there is a scientific literature more narrative in nature that does explore these relationships between what's the difference between a gang and what's the difference between a terrorist group? usually, and i think the simple
11:46 am
and it's grossly simplified here, is the difference usually gangs are dealing with other gang members, not people who are necessarily innocent bystanders or who are using any means of warfare to achieve their end. now, that doesn't mean that gangs don't hit innocent bystanders. in fact, their number one crime of record is drive-by shootings. and so this particular caller is coming from one of the higher density areas where gangs are more active. and she also mentions the issue of how prison plays a role in the gang situation. so if we look at prison inmates we can see about 20% of youth identify as becoming a gang member in prison for safety and protection measures. there's a similar figure higher in the adult system. and many positives, sorry, that there is a relationship between
11:47 am
being an inmate in the federal prison and it being an incubator for subsequent terrorist activities. we think of terrorist activities as maybe international scope but maybe a lot of this is a lot of domestic terrorism as well. host: rockaway beach, missouri, democrats line, ronnie. didn't push the line. missouri, go ahead. caller: ok. this might be a great program, you know, but i believe it's an overkill. i mean, we have f.b.i. agents, we got police departments, we got attorney generals' office, we have c.i.a.. i mean, we have all these other programs and here we're spending $2 million for somebody to tell us who the gangs are. i mean, these law enforcement officers should already know who their gangs are, and we are
11:48 am
in such an economical financial difficulty i can't even believe we're spending $2 million on a program to tell law enforcement how to do their jobs. guest: well, i think the caller would be very dismayed to know that $2 million is a drop in the bucket here. $2 million this particular group is just $2 million of $32 million they received that particular year from that particular agency. but to deal with the comment, and let me reframe it, are we going about the gang business in a makeshift way, where we put a band-aid here and put some money here and come up with a new initiative? it's very sexy in politics to come up with high tough on crime, but increasingly, especially over the last i'd
11:49 am
say four, five years, especially in the fiscal crisis, we are seeing that politicians are more open and involved on getting smart on these problems. so my estimate is that we'll see lots of these standalone temporary sort of different kinds of responses in what i would hope a rational and fully rerealized approach that deals with -- if we go back to the youth street gang model which people think of as gangs is that these views are disenfranchised. the number of risk factors that they have mean they're susceptible to failing in their future in a myriad of ways. gang membership is the least of our issues with the youth. they are going to be unproductive citizens if we don't work with their communities. and if we go back to what the
11:50 am
caller said about localities, absolutely true. you know, the law enforcement justice -- everything that happens in this country is local. at the end of the day, very local. locally defined responses. and the bottom line is, can you make an argument to support these types of initiatives? and i think the argument, if you were to take the other position, is what they are doing now is sharing information in a way they hadn't done before. i don't think that they're necessarily telling people how to do their job so much as understanding we need to know about the migration and we need to know about how -- what gang activities we're seeing in different areas and how other law enforcement agencies can anticipate what it's going to be. host: in 2010, overall gang membership was 1.4 million. that's according to the national gang center.
11:51 am
one asked what's behind the socioeconomic reasons behind the rise of gangs? guest: well, we can begin with, is this the right number? and i think people at the national gang center would agree that there is going to be a lot of error here. part one is people are more able and willing i think to identify gang membership. the more awareness there is the more identification. so on top of that where the data comes from in these reports is from law enforcement agencies finding information about their gang problem. so first of all, we don't know -- i don't know. as a researcher, i don't know and i'm not convinced necessarily that those are hard and fast figures. but let's for sake of argument assume they are, and the question is if in fact it is true and gang membership has been rising to the 1.4 million level that we're seeing here,
11:52 am
is it tied to our economy and is it going to be tied to a bleak you are future for us? what the research shows, it's not surprising, it's completely a no duh situation. where kids have multiple risk factors, including failure from school, lack of structured parenting, maybe patients are working two jobs, maybe they're unemployed, where there's substance abuse in the house, where they have psychiatric illnesses, where all those things converge and they don't have a safety net and they're economically, you know, disenfranchised, gangs offer, one, a degree of safety to them. and that's one of the number one top reasons. but, two, a form of income. that income might be small and irregular, but, you know, in the absence of jobs, so there are different programs in the
11:53 am
u.s. and different legislation that would suggest what you really want to do with these kids and what has been successful is things like the home boy industries. you know, where you actually get gang members real jobs where they are actually working and not these we'll train you but we'll not employ you. we'll get you skills in prison but nobody will hire you. so that economy has quite a lot to do with this. host: michigan, glen, republican line. shelby township, are you there? let's go to lancaster, pennsylvania, ken, independent line. caller: you know, it's funny. these same conversations have been going on for ages. i'm 58 years old and i heard the same stuff. we know it's a problem. the problem with the government is we've created the prison system and now we privatized it so there's financial gain. talking about the $2 million. hit the nail right on the head.
11:54 am
we don't need any more money. what we need to do is stop. we know that the inner city, and let's say it, black kids, white kids, all the color kids are in trouble that don't have jobs, that don't have parents, that don't have everything. you know, what are they going to do? they'll do what happened over time enmemorial. host: talked about the prison system. guest: that's a wide open issue. for viewers who are unaware, you know, we do have one of the largest prison systems in the world. we have on a given year over six million people in contact with the adult criminal system. four million behind bars. you know, on top of all this, though, we have a couple different things happening which is, one, because of the economic crisis, they're closing prisons. virginia i believe shut down 11
11:55 am
prisons. california was trying to shut down youth prisons but was able to get the political will to do so. in the end. and hopefully that will be revisited and pushed, but the prison industry is substantial and it is a major part of localities, economies as well. so whether or not you believe in incarceration, which is, you know, a relatively recent in terms of, you know, the history of time phenomenon and whether -- there is the reality too that we are shutting prisons and going to the privatization issue, yeah, there are a number of private owned and operated prison systems. and you do and people have questioned the constitutionality of having a
11:56 am
private enterprise inflict state punishment. i can't -- you know, we have to have a rational plan for shutting down prisons. and in california we have an opportunity to do just that. in different states we're seeing that. use prison more wisely in the way it was intended. i ramble here a bit and i apologize, but at the end of the day is prisons -- i think the caller is right. prisons is used as the last resort for the most serious offenders. when they're used that way and not for long periods of time but for shorter periods that are predictable and anticipated, they can be more effective. and it often means we can keep parents in the families with their communities and their children and being productive. host: dorothy on the drates line, cleveland, ohio. caller: good morning, pedro. thanks for taking my call.
11:57 am
what i want to say is most of the problems that we're having dealing with drugs is economical, urban and suburban, but i always hear people talking about the industrial compound. all they do is lock them up. but i don't hear anybody addressing the fact that we never talk about the suppliers. most of the suppliers of these drugs that comes into the inner city and even in the suburbs, they're coming from extensive well-to-do people that have a lot of money. and i don't hear anybody talking about getting the supplier because once you get the suppliers you can eliminate some of the drugs that's going through our cities. host: thanks. guest: well, obviously the u.s. government has put quite a lot of funding initiative in disrupting the supply chain, especially the supply chains that's coming from other countries. the eradication programs that
11:58 am
we've seen, especially in the 1980's and 1990's, globally viewed as somewhat of a failure. now, they have turned around and changed it from sort of a war on suppliers to how do we work with the countries, particularly central american countries, to provide those communities with the support and organization and resources to turn from producing and distributing drugs into more productive communities which aren't supplying drugs to the u.s.? so it's a change intactic which means at the end of the day, again, punitiveness rarely works. war on this or war on that when it comes to social issues rarely works. and in terms of eradication, yeah, there have been efforts and there have been successes but as son as you disrupt this supply chain another one comes along as long as there is a
11:59 am
market for it. host: lafayette, indiana, jerry, independent line, good morning. caller: good morning. ron paul, republican, the prohibition of alcohol, that law went into effect, the murder rate went up 70%. they kept that law for 13%. the murder rate was high until they repealed it. then it went down 70%. the next thing was the libry tarian is they passed the drug laws. the murder rate went up 100%. all you have to do is get rid of those gangs is repeal those drug laws. simple as that. channel 52, fox news, had a program on there that said everything illegal. john was the narrator. he said port gull decriminalized all drugs, all crime dropped dramatically. all usage even dropped dramatically. >> part of this morning's
12:00 pm
"washington journal," see it all of this online on our video library at c-span.org. the house expecting to finish work on the fiscal year 2013 homeland security spending bill. they'll start this afternoon with general speeches, one-minute speeches, then take up the rule for consideration of the legislative branch spending bill which will also cover a bill that seeks to repeal certain medical device taxes. all of that coming up. live now to the house floor here on c-span.
12:01 pm
the speaker: the house will be in order. the prayer will be offered by our chaplain, father conroy. the chair: god of grace and goodness, thank you for giving -- the chaplain: god of grace and goodness, thank you for giving us this day. give our representatives strength that never faulters. may it be their purpose and all of ours to see to the hopes of so many americans that we authenticate the grandeur and glory of the ideals and principles of our democracy with the work we do.
12:02 pm
grant that the men and women of the people's house find the courage and wisdom to work together to forge solutions to together to forge solutions to the many needs of our nation and ease the anxieties of so many. may all that is done this day be for your greater honor and glory, amen. the speaker: the chair has examined the journal of the last day's proceedings and announces to the house his approval thereof. pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1, the journal stands approved. . the pledge of allegiance today will be led by the gentleman from south carolina, mr. wilson. mr. wilson: everyone, including our guests in the gallery, please join in. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the speaker: the chair will entertain up to 15 requests for one-minute speeches on each side.
12:03 pm
for what purpose does the gentleman from south carolina rise? mr. wilson: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker: without objection, so ordered. mr. wilson: mr. speaker, last thursday the pentagon confirmed house and senate republicans' concerns by finally acknowledging that the overseas contingency operations, a fund used to support troops in combat, will be subject to the sequestration cuts. the office of management and budget senior advisor and associate director for communication and strategic planning, kenneth bear, understands if the sequester took effect it would be disastrous for our national security, end of quote. house republicans have been aware of the impact of sequestration will have on our brave men and women serving in uniform and their families. we passed a reconciliation package, legislation that helps programs used to promote the
12:04 pm
president's liberal agenda and used those funds for a strong national defense. i ask my colleagues in the senate to take action immediately and pass this bill. in conclusion, god bless our troops and we will never forget september 11 and the global war on terrorism. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from new jersey rise? mr. sires: to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. sires: the student loan rate is supposed to increase from 3.4% to 6.8%. it will make it extremely difficult for americans to afford to go to college. the cost for a higher education at a public four-year school has almost tripled in the last 17 years. americans now owe more money in tuition than they do in credit cards, according to the consumer protection bureau,
12:05 pm
credit card debt has reached $1 trillion. education is one of the biggest determining factors for learning potentials. those who have bachelors degree earn double the salary of those with high school diplomas. those with associates degree earn 50% more than those with high school dipalomas. i am also a strong supporter of -- diplomas. i am also a strong supporter of pell grants which helps college more affordable. we must put aside partisan differences and work together to preserve pell grants and prevent the student loan rate from doubling on july 1. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from illinois rise? >> request unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized. >> mr. speaker, it is a tough time to be a student in america. the president's health care bill, if not repealed, will
12:06 pm
make school health plans much more expensive. some plans that were $440 a year are going up to $1,600, according to "the wall street journal." many schools will drop coverage altogether because of the costs or because of the president's birth control requirement. students and young adults will go uninsured and pay a fine to the federal government. student loan interest rates is supposed to increase. student loan debt now exceeds crad debt in the households. -- credit card debt in the households. mr. hultgren: no wonder students are moving back in with their parents and more likely to take a part-time job just to make ends meet. these failed policies and the bad economy have pushed young adults into survival mode. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from north carolina seek recognition? >> to address the house for one minute and permission to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore:
12:07 pm
without objection, the gentleman is recognized. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to recognize the work of the national sports health and institute. i am honored to serve on the leadership board. in the united states, 50 million children participate in sports. sports programs teach our children leadership, sportsmanship. they help improve academics and promote fitness and we willness -- and wellness for a lifetime. they are increasingly susceptible to injuries and that's why the institute's work to advance and disseminate the latest research and keeping our kids safe on the field is so critical. mr. mcintyre: on june 1, they met to launch a new call to all youth sports stakeholders in america. and as founder and co-chairman of the congressional youth sports i applaud this effort. we must continue to expand sports and recreation opportunities that promote physical activity, wellness and the health of our children but also always remember that their
12:08 pm
safety must remain paramount. i remain -- i yield the remainder of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania rise? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized. mr. pitts: mr. speaker, the american people have lost $15 million to cronyism. pennsylvania alone have lost $1.4 billion. right now in southern nevada, there's an expensive hole in the ground where there should be a nuclear waste repository. we should be storing dangerous nuclear waste at a single, secure and geological sound location. instead, much of it sits above ground at dozens of sites scattered across the united states. when president obama appointed harry reid's aide, gregory jasko, as nuclear regulatory commission, he shut down yucca mountain against the expressed opinions by congress.
12:09 pm
yesterday, this house overwhelmingly voted to give the n.r.c. an additional $10 million to do their job. no more excuses. do the work so that we know whether yucca mountain is safe. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman'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 and to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlelady is recognized. ms. woolsey: mr. speaker, a strong america future depends on sound stewardship of our oceans. nowhere is the ocean more magnificent and majestic than off the northern california, sonoma county coast. these are some of the most abundant waters on earth, but much of the area is vulnerable to drill, baby, drill enthuse yists. that's why i offered a bill to more than double the size of our existing national marine sanctuary off these coastal areas. giving these waters the permanent protection they need to protect them from oil and
12:10 pm
gas exploration. this legislation is a win-win, pro-environment and pro-economic recovery bill. it is a conservation imperative, and it would provide a boost to our commercial fishing industry and our local tourism industry. in recognition of world oceans day, i urge my colleagues to sign on to my bill, h.r. 192, and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from michigan seek recognition in >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized. >> mr. speaker, as a doctor who's taken care of patients in northern michigan for more than 30 years, i protect the medical innovation act. mr. benishek: it will repeal the job killing tax hike on our medical device manufacturers.
12:11 pm
there are medical device businesses in my district that employ hundreds of people. these job providers should not be punished to pay for president obama's health care law. i'm a doctor, not a tax expert, but i know tax hikes on our job providers will hurt northern michigan's economy. to me it makes no sense to tax medical innovation. if this tax increase is enacted there is little doubt these costs will be passed down to consumers and increase health care costs. mr. speaker, i spent my entire career serving my community as a doctor. i want to see real health care solutions that put patients in control of their care, not the federal government. i believe we need to listen to the american people about the need for real health care reform. i recommend we enact free market reforms like letting people purchase health insurance across state lines, encouraging medical innovation and allowing patients to decide how to spend their health care dollars. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from new york rise? >> to address the house for one
12:12 pm
minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized. mr. higgins: mr. speaker, in the past year, the united states postal service has attempted to close of its facilities across the nation. though many, including the mail processing facility in buffalo have been spared, the process gives me no confidence that the current postal leadership should lead this organization during these challenging times. regarding the proposed closures, postal executives discouraged public engagement, refused to provide information how they reached their ouven contradictory conclusions and dispoliced the idea that they were accountable to this body or to the public. that is why i'm calling on the postal board of governors to proceed with immediate action to replace, to replace postmaster general patrick donahue. mr. speaker, i don't take this action lightly, but i believe we are left with no choice. we must protect the institution
12:13 pm
of the postal service and the people and the business they serve. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from alabama seek recognition? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized. >> mr. speaker, i rise today to applaud the achievements of the air forces involved expendable launch vehicle program and the eelv industry team led by the united launch alliance. mr. brooks: just recently, they placed their 60th consecutive mission into orbit, the best record in the world. u.l.a.'s alabama employees worked tirelessly to produce launch vehicles that are the backbone of america's national defense satellite program. u.l.a.'s success and partnership with the government in achieving ontime delivery and success is a testament to the patriotic bond between the private sector and america's war fighters. u.l.a.'s 100% success record
12:14 pm
makes the challenging test of getting -- task of getting to orbit look easy. they set a standard for mission success that all others aspire to achieve. u.l.a.'s record is a testament to the quality of the eelv program. it is an honor to represent the men and women who work at u.l.a.'s alabama facility. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentlelady from california seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlelady is recognized. ms. lofgren: i rise today to honor and recognize the life and service of travis morgato, who was killed in action on may 23 in the kandahar province of afghanistan. he was 25 years old. travis was the son of joe of san jose and our community was greatly saddened to hear of his passing.
12:15 pm
born in california, he moved to washington with his mother when he was 5. he graduated from the university of california with a degree in civil engineering in 2009 and enlisted in the army determined to serve his country. he deployed to afghanistan on march 20 and was tragically killed while conducting operations in thwart of operation enduring freedom. second lieutenant morgato leaves his mother and stepfather, his father, step mother as well as two younger brothers, a stepsister and a step brother. i would like to extend my gratitude to second lieutenant morgato and his family and i ask my colleagues to join me in honoring his service to his country. he served america well, with courage and honor. i ask all of congress to join me in thanking his family as they grieve in his loss and to express our condolences to all of them and i yield back. . the speaker pro tempore: for
12:16 pm
what purpose does the gentleman from colorado rise? the gentleman is recognized. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to honor and thank colorado state senator bob bacon for his 40 years in the state legislature. after serving six years in the colorado house of representatives and eight years in the colorado senate, he is retiring toup hold the college slayture's commitment to term limits. i had the opportunity to serve alongside senator bacon in the leng slayture and know that coloradans will miss him. mr. gardner: his insight into the classroom and education system helped shape the policies that support colorado students. senator bacon served coloradans well and has a genuine passion to help serve the students and citizens of colorado. we was twice elected to the board of education before he
12:17 pm
served in the state legislature and his commitment and service were honored by the naming of bacon elementary school in fort collins in his honor. i want to thank him for his commitment, his hard work, dedication and selfless nature while serving the constituents of colorado and the students. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from nevada rise? >> to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady veck niced. ms. berkley: i would like to bring to your attention an issue that's important to me and middle class families around the country. the ability for every student in america who so desires to get a college education. my dad was a waiter when i was growing up. on the -- i'm the first person in my family to go to college, with the help of student loans. i know firsthand the invaluable role that student loans play in
12:18 pm
helping nevada's middle class families enable their families to get a college education. that is why i'm so pleased that president obama is visiting my alma mater today, the university of nevada-las vegas. he will call on congress to focus on keeping student loans afordable for nevada's families as we approach the july 1 deadline when student loans will double. mr. speaker, right now, families across the country are sitting around their kitchen tables, anxiously trying -- figuring out how to give their children the opportunity to go to college. they're counting on this congress to stop worrying about protecting wall street's corporations and big oil companies for just a few minutes and help their sons and daughters go to college. i hope that we're up for this challenge and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. for what purpose does -- does the gentlelady from ohio seek recognition?
12:19 pm
without objection, the gentlelady is recognized. ms. kaptur: thank you. mr. speaker, yesterday our nation remembered and commemorated the 68th anniversary of d-day. the world war ii allied invasion of normandy, france, and the beginning of the liberation of europe from the forces of tyranny. 70 years ago, today, i want to commemorate another historic world war ii bat. the battle of midway when the united states navy struck back at imperial japan, turning the tide in the pacific and paving the way toward a great american victory at sea. just six months earlier, japanese planes infamously attacked pearl harbor drawing the united states into that war. yet we mobilized quickly under admiral king and admiralny mits. with the odds against -- admiral nimitz. over four day the japanese lost all four of the large carriers
12:20 pm
that attacked pearl harbor, not to mention a he wasy cruiser, 280 carrier-based aircraft and 1,000 men. the united states lost one carrier, one destroyer and 340 men. today we commemorate this major historic achievement of our navy. we honor the sacrifice of those who fought for us and died for us and we express abiding gratitude for the bravery and dedication of all who fought in this battle in service tour nation and freedom's cause. today, the free world remembers the battle of midway. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from vermont rise? from new york rise? excuse me. the gentleman is recognized. >> thank you. mr. speaker, i've often side i'm -- i've often said i'm truly partisan about one thing, not democrats versus republicans but mets fans versus everyone else in the country. last friday, the mets had something worth saludding. johan santana threw the first
12:21 pm
no-hitter in the history of my beloved -- my beloved new york mets. mr. israel: more important than the no-hitter is the lesson it teaches all american he had surgery that they thought would end his career he didn't give up on himself, he didn't give on new york, he never gave up on his roots in venezuela, didn't give up on the children of venezuela that he supports, didn't give up on the children of 9/11 he supports. it is not the no-hitter that counts, it is the determination and spirit of johan santana. that is what makes me a -- me a baseball fan. that's what makes baseball america's pastime and i'm pleased and proud to salute johan santana and mets fans everywhere. mr. speaker, let's go mets. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from vermont seek recognition?
12:22 pm
mr. welch: to address the house for one minute and revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognize. mr. welch: in three tcharkse interest rates on stafford student loans will double from 3.4% to 6.8%. one of the things we agree on in this congress is low interest rates should be extended. yet we've been unable to get across the goal line. congress needs to find the moral imagination and the will to get this done before july 1. every day we wait, we're imposing an immense amount of anxiety on students, parents, and the economy. take brian from grand aisle he has $100,000 in student loans. he has two daughter, each have $20,000 in defment his third daughter is in school with tuition costs up to $40,000. brian is working 65 hours a week but he can't keep up. he can't even begin to think about retirement. it's not an option.
12:23 pm
he's just trying to get from day to day and afford to keep his daughter in college. mr. speaker, this college has 23 days. we're running out of time. we must act. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from minnesota seek recognition? mrs. bachmann: to address the house. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. mrs. bachmann: as a representative of the great state of minnesota, i stand here in support of my colleague, erik paulsen's bill, to eliminate and repeal the medical device tax on the new obamacare legislation. our state of minnesota is home to over 400 medical device manufacturers. we have over 35,000 people that are employed in this important industry that benefits all of the united states. 35,000 people. that about fills the twins' target stadium. that's a lot of people who potentially could lose job nours home state. i refuse to see a single job
12:24 pm
lost in minnesota or in any of our states in our great country due to the legislation known as obamacare. without repealing the medical device tax, jobs will be lost and also the cost of health care will go up. i urge my colleagues to get behind erik paulsen's important piece of legislation. i know i will. mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. >> big money is corrupting washington and hurting the middle class. and the supreme court decided to open up campaign spending to secret, unlimited donations, possibly even from foreign sources. let's be clear. a handful of corporations and billionaires are trying to buy elections and control of our government. we need new rules to make washington work for the middle
12:25 pm
class. mr. mcnerney: we need to limit political contributions and the public has a right to know who is paying for political ads. because of citizens united, our government is for sale. we need to stand shoulder to shoulder to stop big money from destroirg democracy. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman rise? >> to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> i rise to honor the wynona, minnesota, chamber of commerce on their centennial celebration. at the urblinging of president taft, 100 years ago, the chamber of congress was -- chamber of commerce was formed. even before that, the people of wynona, minnesota, had formed
12:26 pm
their own chamber. since its inception, the wynona area chamber of congress has been working to ensure small business owners had the tools they need to succeed. they also have an you on the future. by offering low cost or free educational programs for microenterprise and business management, it works to ensure future small business owners will continue to have the tools to succeed. i pay tribute to the foresight and leadership, wish the chamber of commerce a happy 100th anniversary and here's to another 100 years of promoting community growth and involvement in wynona, minnesota. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from california rise? >> to address the house for one minute and revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. >> thank you, mr. speaker. the oceans on either side of the united states define this great country and these oceans are in trouble.
12:27 pm
there are so many aspects not understood. it's hard for people to comprehend that they are in trouble. but without the ocean, we wouldn't have the air we breathe or much of the protein we eat. mr. farr: it is our world's largest public trust and it is essential to human life as we know it. it captures one third of our carbon emissions, hosts millions of species and offers limitless recreational and educational opportunities worldwood. yet over a -- yet over 14 billion pounds of trash end up in our ocean and beaches each year. therefore i urge the nation to celebrate national oceans month and honor world oceans day which is tomorrow, by taking advantage of activities of the capitol hill oceans week. this summer, get wet. go to the beach. clean it up. clean up the polluted rivers that flow into our oceans. and get out there and volunteer and learn more about the ocean resources upon which we so undeniably rely and how you can
12:28 pm
work to protect them. thank all those who have come to washington for capitol hill oceans week. we need political friends. the ocean needs political friends. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from the virgin islands seek recognition? mrs. christensen: to address the house for one minute and revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. mrs. christensen: the supreme court overturned two decades of precedent to strike down the ban on corporate expenditures in political campaigns. this allows them to spend unlimited funds when the money comes from a handful of billionaires looking to wield influence and no one has to know where they are. campaign campaigns like the one in wisconsin and others are being bought with that money. romney's secretly funded p.a.c. alone spends $46 million so to the sway your opinion and will continue to spend more. we have to end the influence of
12:29 pm
the credit money of our elections. that's why i'm a co-sponsor they have disclose act which will restore accountability of n our leches. americans want and deserve a more open process. republicans blocked the bill in 2010. the g.o.p. needs to will be to -- listen to americans and bring the disclose act to the floor. the american public has a right to know who is pay for campaign ads they'll be swamped with this election sigel and they need to know sooner rather than later. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from missouri rise? >> to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman veck niced. >> mr. speaker, i rise to support the extension of student loan interest rates. student loans have been an essential tool for many students and families with otherwise wouldn't be able to afford the costs of college tuition. mr. cleaver: however in a few weeks, federal student loan interest rates are set to
12:30 pm
double from 3.4% to 6.8%, making the dream of college more difficult for students and families. we need to act now. it is our responsibility to ensure that all children have the ability to pursue higher education. the cost of attending college has gone up almost 30% in the last 10 years. we cannot afford to ignore struggling students across this nation. in these uncertain economic time well, can can make no greater investment than in education. more and more jobs require some sort of post-secondary education and by 2018, just six years from now, 63% of employment opportunities will demand an education beyond high school. it is pathological partisanship that is preventing us from
12:31 pm
dealing with this important issue. thank you, mr. speaker. . for what purpose does the gentleman rise? >> to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. green: abraham lincoln proclaimed that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth. it was government of the people, by the people, for the people that gave us social security and medicare. but i regret to inform you today, mr. speaker, that government of the people, by the people, for the people is at risk, and it is at risk because there is a new concept that is evolving. it is government of the money, by the money, for the money. it is the notion that he who has the gold rules, changing the golden rule, father. and i want you to know, my dear friends, that if we do nothing we will find ourselves with a new form of government, the republic is at risk. we must do something about government of the money, by the
12:32 pm
money, for the money. the disclose act is one thing that we can do. we must act and pass the disclose act. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from south carolina seek recognition? mr. scott: mr. speaker, by the direction of the committee on rules, i call up house resolution 679 and ask for its immediate consideration. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the resolution. the clerk: house calendar number 136, house resolution 679. resolved, that upon the adoption of this resolution it shall be in order to consider in the house the bill h.r. 436, to amend the internal revenue code of 1986 to repeal the excise tax on medical devices. all points of order against consideration of the bill are waived. in lieu of the amendment in the nature of a substitute recommended by the committee on ways and means now printed in the bill, an amendment in the nature of a substitute consisting of the text of rules committee print 112-23, shall
12:33 pm
be considered as adopted. the bill, as amended, shall be considered as read. all points of order against provisions in the bill, as amended, are waived. the previous question shall be considered as ordered on the bill, as amended, and on any further amendment thereto, to final passage without intervening motion except, one, 90 minutes of debate equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the committee on ways and means, and two, one motion to recommit with or without instructions. section 2, 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. 5882, making appropriations for the legislative branch for the fiscal year ending september 30, 2013, 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
12:34 pm
not exceed one hour equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the committee on appropriations. after general debate the bill shall be considered for amendment under the five-minute rule. the bill shall be considered as read. all points of order against provisions in the bill for failure to comply with clause 2 of rule 21 are waived. no amendment to the bill shall be in order except those printed the report of the committee on rules accompanying this resolution and except pro forma amendments offered at any time by the chair or ranking minority member of the committee on appropriations or their respective designees for the purpose of debate. 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
12:35 pm
division of the question in the house or in the committee of the whole. all points of order against such amendments are waived. at the conclusion of consideration of the bill for amendment the committee shall rise and report the bill to the house with such amendments as may have been adopted. the previous question shall be considered as ordered on the bill and amendments thereto to final passage without intervening motion except one motion to recommit with or without instructions. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from south carolina is recognized for one hour. mr. scott: thank you, sir. for the purpose 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. mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks . the speaker pro tempore: without objection.
12:36 pm
mr. scott: house resolution 679 provides for consideration of h.r. 436, a bill to repeal the 2.3% excise tax on medical devices enacted as part of the president's health care law. it also provides for a structured rule for consideration of h.r. 5882, the legislative branch appropriations act. the legislative branch appropriations rule is typically the only structured rule in the appropriations process, and we are continuing that bipartisan tradition here today. we are voting here today to stand up for more than 423,000 american employees and the health of millions that their work protects. a new $29 billion, $29 billion new tax on medical devices
12:37 pm
passed as part of the president's health care package threatens to stifle innovation in the health care industry. if medical device manufacturers are punished with this new tax, we are all punished. our health is punished. our parents' health are punished. our kids' health are punished. yesterday, i talked with one of my constituents, dan dentson, who owns a medical device company in south carolina. he shared two concrete examples of how this new tax will hurt his company, the health care industry and most importantly it will hurt those in need of medical care. for dan's home health company, the profit margin is about 10%. just 10%. that profit is used to pay their employees, improve technology and expand when it's needed. so if you cut into the -- if you cut into it by 2.3% you're cutting into their ability to create better devices that then provides better care for patients. as dan put it, i can assure you that any additional impact to our cash flow will reduce the
12:38 pm
money available for innovation. dan also talked to me about his fellow medical device companies who make the hoeses for oxygen tanks and -- hoses for oxygen tanks and other guyses which makes life bearable for so many americans. they are absolutely dependent on these devices. and what happens when we add a 2.3% tax to these smaller companies? well, these companies work on a margin of around 3%. so you don't have to be a math major to figure out that when you have a 3% profit margin and
12:39 pm
you have a new 2.3% tax, you are pretty close to zero. you simply cannot afford to run a business in this environment. you certainly cannot start a new business in that environment. we're not only hurting our medical device companies, but we're also discouraging new entrepreneurs and innovators om being able to enter the ring. i thought it was so important to share dan's thoughts today as it shows in clear terms how this new tax will not only affect americans' wallets but it could impact the health of americans throughout this country. if our medical device manufacturers cannot continue to adapt with new and better technologies, our medical care system will slow down right alongside it. because of innovation, life expectency in the united states has increased by more than three years, from 1986 to 2000, and the burden of chronic diseases representing more than 70% of the overall health care costs, has been reduced. this had tax affects devices ranging from cardiac difish
12:40 pm
lators to -- defish lators to artificial joints and the very devices that identify and treat patients in their time of need and even those devices that could save lives. these days, technology is improving every single day. why in the world would we want to put our innovators at a disadvantage? why in the world would we want to take another $29 billion worth of investment out of our future, out of our health care industry and put it in the hands of this government? there's no good answer to these questions and there's no good reason for another new tax. once again, mr. speaker, i rise in support of this rule and the
12:41 pm
underlying legislation. i encourage, i encourage my colleagues to vote yes on the rule and yes on the underlying bill, and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from colorado is recognized. mr. polis: well, thank you. i thank the gentleman for yielding me the customary 30 minutes, and i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. polis: mr. speaker, i rise today in opposition to the rule for the underlying bills, h.r. 436, the protect medical innovation act, and h.r. 5882, the legislative branch appropriations act for 2013. frankly, i'm disappointed that house republicans continue to bring bills under a closed process that restricts debate and discussion and doesn't allow amendments that could improve the underlying legislation and help forge a strong bipartisan majority. mr. speaker, the republicans started this congress with cries to repeal and replace the affordable care act, and yet here we are a year and a half later, this body's voted several times to repeal the
12:42 pm
bill, but we've yet to see any plans to replace it. and here we are again with another bill to repeal the affordable care act. as far as i can tell, my colleagues on the other side of the aisle have not presented a plan to reduce rising health care costs, to provide health insurance to 30 million uninsured americans. if this body and those who advocate repeal the affordable care act, it should be incumbent upon them with a we should replace it with to prevent the rising costs of health care from being an increasing burden on american businesses and american families. the motivations for repealing the affordable care act
12:43 pm
26, including creations of exchanges, seniors throughout the u.s. are already benefiting from the affordable care act's elimination of the medicare prescription drug doughnut hole. in fact, in 2011, over 5.1 million medicare beneficiaries saved over 3.2 billion on prescription drugs, thanks to the affordable care act. and states across the country, including my home state of colorado, are enthusiastically implementing health insurance exchanges in a bipartisan way that will help us reduce health care costs and expand access to high quality affordable health care. so why are we still here talking about repealing the affordable care act instead of focusing on areas that we share common ground? unfortunately, the protect medical innovation act has been brought under a closed process which prohibits members from bringing amendments to this collection of four different bills. if my colleagues made an effort to compromise on health care proposals there might actually be a chance of seeing legislation pass both chambers with broad bipartisan support and signed by the president. this specific bill already has
12:44 pm
a veto threat from the president, and none of my colleagues on our side of the aisle was not consulted paying for this particular set of changes. instead, the republicans have chosen to cobble together three unrelated bills that do three totally different things, along with a very partisan offset with no opportunity to revise these bills, no opportunity for us to do our job as legislators to amend these bills, no opportunity to work, to forge a majority around commonsense proposals that will improve health care and create jobs. let's take a look at what's in this diverse package of bills. now, the original protect medical innovation act, that was the original bill before these three other bills were added and before this payment mechanism was added, would have repealed the excise tax on the manufacture or import of certain medical devices, one of the methods of funding the affordable care act. now, a solid group of members support repealing the tax. in fact, this tax impacts
12:45 pm
companies in my district like zoll systems. i hope we can have a straight up or down vote on this particular provision of this bill. but instead, it's been cobbled together with two unrelated bills and unrelated method of paying for it. similarly, there is solid support of two other pieces of legislation that's contained in this bill. one bill would have repealed the affordable care act's prohibition on using f.h.a.'s and f.s.a.'s to pay for prescription drugs. now, we all have our different opinions about these bills. i personally support f.h.a.'s and f.s.a. purchasing over-the-counter drugs and i think people should be able to spend the money that is left in their f.s.a.'s by the end of the year. otherwise what's the purpose of an f.s.a. it becomes a tax shelter if
12:46 pm
it's not taken to dedicated health. no members of this body will be able to express their support or opposition for any of these bills in particular because they've all been cobbled together into an incoherent mess of a bill which this rule is trying to jam down the throat of this body. we should have brought up the bills one at a time and found a reasonable offset. instead, the plups have chosen to place the burden for paying nor cluster of bills on the backs of middle class american families. now there's a number of alternative ways that we could have paid for these bills. the most obvious one would have been repealing oil and gas subsidies. this was an offset included in the democratic substitute which the majority failed to allow to come up for a vote by this body. that would have provided $32 billion in reductions of oil and gas subsidies over 10 years. making sure that the government doesn't pick winners and losers in the energy space. allowing oil and gas to compete
12:47 pm
on a level playing field for all over energy resources instead of being designated as a recipient of taxpayer money and government subsidies. that particular offset would have not only paid for eliminating the medical device tax but reduced our deficit by $3 billion. today i introduced a bill to repeal the medical device tax and replace lost revenues by eliminating tax loopholes for oil and gas companies. personally i'm supportive of other ways to pay for the medical device tax as well. let's work together to find a way to pay for any changes in the affordable care act that doesn't fall squarely on the back of middle class american families. however, instofede a thoughtful offset, the republicans have chosen to dig into the pockets of low and middle income americans to pay for this bill. so let's look at how this bill would affect american families. according to the joint committee on taxation, it would force 350,000 people to lose their health care insurance. yes, that's 350,000 people less
12:48 pm
that would have health care insurance. now how devastated and misguided is this? let's take an example. let's take a hypothetical family of four in colorado, in ohio, in florida. pennsylvania. let's say they're household income is $36,000 a year. they're working hard to stay in that middle class. it's getting harder and harder. family income, $36,000 a year. father and mother. mother out of work for three years. the total family cost of health care insurance is $12,000. let's say that the mother finds a job, midway through the year. she is able to go back to work and earned an -- earns an additional $36,000 for her family, bringing their earnings to $72,000. they're fighting hard to stay in that middle class, to afford their kids' college education. now, under this bill, at the end of the year that family is sent an additional health care
12:49 pm
bill for $5,160. a tax increase of over $5,000. for that middle class american family. now, that's more likely to make it less of an incentive for that woman to get the extra job. what's the extra incentive to work if the government will stick you with a huge tax bill for trying to support your family. let's take another example a family of four in michigan new york nevada, a four, mother, two young children. let's say the mother doesn't work outside the home, they're earning $36,000 a year. and the family is struck with tragedy. the mother passes on early in the year, leaving the father to support the kids. and he takes a second job. as any good father would do. tries to -- is able to earn an additional $18,000 a year working 40-hour a week job and a 20-hour a week job to put food on the table. that increases their income to
12:50 pm
$54,000 from $36,000 and what does this republican tax increase do? it presents them at the end of the year with an additional $3,300 tax increase. $3,330 tax increase for a father just trying to put food on the table for his kids. we can do better. the bill we are considering today would actually increase the tax hike on families by removing the restriction on the amount that families are required to pay. this has the perverse incentive of discoloneling families from working and taking on on -- taking on additional jobs and working hard to get promote. it takes away the incentive to perform well at your job and get a raise. it encourages people to stay in poverty rather than strive better to do more. it punishes work, plain and simple, and is a huge tax increase on the middle class. if we want to repeal a medical
12:51 pm
device tax, let's discuss how to pay for it. if some people in this body think protecting subsidies for oil and gas companies is more important than getting rid they have -- rid of the medical device tax, let's find another way to do it. unfortunately, this approach before us today isn't a seriously a -- approach to reducing the deficit. it's an approach the president would veto. it puts a burden squarely on the shoulder of working families in this country. it doesn't help get americans back to work. this is based on politics, plain and simple, not on sound economic policies that are good for the middle class, good for the medical device industry and good for america this underlying rule also makes in order the legislative brarge appropriations act for 2013. that is an act that funds congress itself and supporting agencies. in these times of fiscal austerity, everyone, especially members of congress, should be tightening their belts. this bill provides a 1%
12:52 pm
reduction from last year's spending bill. i'm also heartened that it still ensures congressional support agencies have sufficient funding they need to function so we in this body can do our job. -- our job. but even while the house's budget has been cut over 10% over the last 10 years, the house majority has chosen to spend scarce resources to defend the constitutionality of the defense of marriage act which bars gay and lesbian service members, veterans and their spouses from securing the same benefits offered to straight military couples. as president obecause in a determined, the law is indefensible constitutionally. today this body, out of this bill, has spent three quarters of a million dollars of taxpayer money on fancy lawyers defending this discriminatory and offensive law this waste of tax dollars is especially troubling given the recent first circuit decision which found that doma is unconstitutional. mr. speaker, i can't support these underlying rules.
12:53 pm
it's beyond troubling to have a closed rule, not allowing amendments and thoughtful input from members of both parties on four separate pieces of health care legislation that completely shuts out republican ideas and democratic ideas to improve the affordable care act, improve job growth in this country and help get our economy back on track. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from south carolina. >> mr. speaker, i find it interesting that my friend would talk about the health care act when there is $100 billion new taxes on property owners. mr. scott: that's in addition to the $29 billion new tax we're talking about today, in addition to eliminating $500 billion from medicare in order to fund this health care plan. i think the conversation about tax increases is a conversation we can spend a day on and we'd
12:54 pm
be happy to have that conversation. but today we yield two minutes to the gentleman from texas, chairman sessions. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. sessions: thank you very much, mr. speaker. today, once again we're on the floor of the house of representatives with our friends on the other side of the aisle arguing about how we tax the american people. how if we're going to take this tax out, we've got to replace it with another tax. good gosh, aren't energy prices high enough already? why do we want to pass that on to consumers and make gasoline more expensive? it does not make sense. that's why we are here today to repeal a tax. mr. speaker, what is the tax we're talking about? it is a tax on business, on high tech. it is on medical devices that have led -- allowed america to lead the world in solving problems, to give people medical devices, things that will make their life even better. mr. speaker, today, and i'd
12:55 pm
like to ask unanimous consent to allow a letter to be put in the record that i received from -- the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. sessions: from the president and c.e.o. of ostomed he came and met with me at my office and sent me a letter. here's what he said. i believe he represents not just the industry but thousands of people, patients also, who rely on high tech and medical devices that would be without. he said, in addition to challenges with the f.d.a. that already exist and reimbursement, this 2.3% excise tax, which is on gross sales, whether or not a business has any profits or not, will directly impact our ability to create new jobs, invest in research and development, and effectively compete in a global marketplace. further, he says, and i quote, it should be noted that
12:56 pm
osteomed is also aggressively redirecting its business focus to international markets that provide a less cumbersome, less lengthy regulatory pathway with regulations not subject to a medical device tax, immediately saving 2.3%. in the past month, osteomed initiated a search for sales managers which is a marketplace, in china and the mideast to supplement recent managers being hired and -- in korea and italy. mr. speaker, this is not just a tax, it is not just making it more difficult for employers to hire people, but it will stop america's innovativeness to compete in the future. i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from colorado. mr. polis: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield three minutes to the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. altmire. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized.
12:57 pm
mr. altmire: i thank the gentleman. i rise in strong support of the legislation we'll be voting on this afternoon to repeal the $30 billion excise tax on medical device companies and i'm proud to join mr. paulsen in his effort to prevent this misguided tax from taking effect next year. the district i represent in western pennsylvania is home to a numb of medical device companies that have planted their roots in our region. they offer high-paying, quality jobs that are developing innovative devices that are saving lives. one example is zol medical which makes a lightweight, wearable defibrillator that continuously monitors a patient's heart. it allows those with medical conditions to return to daily lives with the peace of mind that they are protected from sudden cardiac arrest. this is the type of innovation we should be encouraging in this country, not penalizing.
12:58 pm
the excise tax is simply misguided policy. the american medical device industry has proven that when given the chance to succeed, it has the ability to produce devices that can better the quality of life for americans and even save lives. the industry is already facing challenges from foreign competitors that have an easier time getting their products to market. we must give the u.s. device manufacturers the opportunity to succeed, not punish them for being innovators and risk losing the incalculable contributions they provide to our economy, the delivery of health care, and quality of life for every american. the rule that we are debating today provides us with a chance to vote to help ensure that the next great medical device, next great medical breakthrough is developed in this country, right here in the united states, and not overseas. i urge my colleagues to support its passage, i thank mr. polis
12:59 pm
for yielding me the time and i yield back the balance of that time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from south carolina. mr. scott: i yield two minutes to the gentleman from florida. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i want to thank my fellow rules committee member for allowing me time to speak. mr. knew yent: this rule brings to the floor a series of health issues i hear about every day from constituents back home. about 46 million americans have either flexible spending accounts or health savings accounts. these are hardworking american families who plan ahead for their health care. they're folks that don't want to be a drain on the health care system. but the federal government has the audacity to look at these funds from these families that have set aside for their health needs and see this as money for the government's taking. we need to be rewarding these people, not seeing them as a revenue source to pay for ac

79 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on