tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN December 11, 2013 10:00am-9:01pm EST
country. it's essentially been forbidden by law. so we don't know exactly how many guns and who has them but we know that there are tens of millions of hand guns out there and they are the source of the problem both in terms of accidental deaths for children and mass shootings. they're the primary weapon. host: mark follma in, the senior editor at mother jones. a special report on the rise of mass shootings. you can find the reporting on mother jones.com. thank you sir for your time. guest: glad to be with you. host: the house is now in for their legislative session. live coverage here on c-span. t washington, d.c., december 11, 2013. i hereby appoint the honorable john j. duncan jr. 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 3, 2013, the chair will now recognize members from lists submitted by the majority and minority leaders for morning hour ebate. 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 , but in o five minutes no event shall debate continue eyond 11:50 a.m. the chair recognizes the gentleman from north carolina, mr. coble, for five minutes. mr. coble: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, on the 13th of june of this year, i introduced a bill, h.r. 2357, to provide that members must complete 12 years of credible service to become vested into the retirement system. now, i'm not professing to be no expert on pensions, mr. speaker, but five years appears to be very generous, so in my bill i extended that from the
five-year time frame to 12 years. taxpayers subsidize this plan, and i believe by increasing the minimum time frame i think it would obviously result in considerable savings. i have conducted a survey -- no survey to support but that common sense tells me that. in fact, this is a commonsense proposal. for example, mr. speaker, a member of congress now must complete only five years of credible service to become vested. now, i know of no plan other would be one that invested in five years. my bill would have you complete 12 years of service prior to becoming vested. i figure by now i would have -- strike that -- i figure after four, five weeks i would have attracted at least 20, 25
co-sponsors. today i have no co-sponsors. to walk you through how it would work if my plan were adopted, a member of congress must complete not five years but 12 years of service and that can be done through six wo-year house terms or two six-year senate terms or a combination thereof. it's a commonsense proposal. meanwhile, mr. speaker, i will anxiously await the knock on the door for co-sponsors willing to sign up. the welcome mat is out and it's a good proposal and i thank the speaker and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from oregon, mr. lumenauer, for five minutes. mr. blumenauer: thank you, mr. speaker. in the rush to wrap up and go home, there's too much unfinished business, including leaving 2.15 million long-term
unemployed. an attempt to undermine the diplomatic breakthrough with iran, the most encouraging development with that country in 34 years. we would give the hardliners in iran who really hate the preliminary agreement an excuse to walk away. it would be a continuation of 60 years of mismanagement by the united states with our relationship with that proud nation with deep ties to america. the worst thing we did was team with the british to overthrow their democratically elected overnment in 1953 and replaced him with the shah who for 25 years was a repressive dictator. few remember that the iranians helped stabilize afghanistan after we drove the taliban from power. they don't know that the people in tehran had candlelight vigils in sympathy to the
united states after 9/11 where some of the supposed allies of the united states, they were jupe lent in the streets. and -- jubilant in the streets. and for that they had the label of being part of the axis of evil. we must make diplomacy the key. we're mott going to be able to bomb away the knowledge of how to develop nuclear weapons. experts i talked to said they could have made a nuclear bombs years ago if they had really been bent on that creation. torpedoing the agreement will be counterproductive. it risks collapse of sanctions which depend on the chinese, the indians and the japanese not buying iranian oil. if we appear unreasonable we lose international support and we can lose ground. it would undercut president hassan raoux juany -- rouhani who want change.
iranians, people who've been there, testified they like americans. they don't like repressive government, but that support can help reach more than just a nuclear deal. iran is key to solving the nightmare that is syria, prying them back from being -- supporting the insurgents and support for a long-term solution. iran is key to holding iraq together and not having it spin off into civil war and to defeat or at least contain the taliban resurgents in havings. a recent poll showed 57% of the american people public supports the agreement, and when they are given greater detail about what it entails, that support increases to 63%. don't undercut the best chance to reorder the middle east in a third of a century. i think we ought to give diplomacy a chance to succeed for a change.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from california, mr. mcclintock, for five minutes. mr. speaker, a great tragedy is now unfolding across america as we prepare for the new year. millions of americans are losing their health plans. millions more are facing staggering price increases. millions more are having their hours cut back at work or seeing their salaries pare d'back because of obamacare. -- peared back because of obamacare. - pared back because of obamacare. the administration recently held a contest for videos to promote obamacare. its grand prized winner featured this message -- don't
worry about the price tag. don't worry about the price tag? isn't that helpful and compassionate advice to the millions of americans who are struggling through the fifth obamanomics and seeing their premiums doubling or tripling. skip the payment and cough up the extra cash, that's the best this administration can offer? many millions of americans who had health coverage on new year's eve will not have it on new year's day because of obamacare. and what a waste those who actually can sign up. well, according to the government's own numbers, about 2/3 of exchange applicants have been forced into medicaid. that includes many on limited income who've maintained bare bones policies because they are desperately trying to stay out
of medicaid. some have found merely at looking at prices they've ended up trapped in this dreaded welfare program. a major study documents that medicaid patients have worse health outcomes than those without any insurance. and if you doubt that, just see how long it will take you to see a medicaid doctor if you can find one for a bad cold. if you're a part of the 1-3 visitors who escaped this fate, the next problem will be to find any doctor, any doctor, the president of the california medical association said 70% of doctors will not same obamacare patients. that means 30% will be overwhelmed, waiting in life-threatening waiting lines. actual emergencies will go waiting. specialized doctors and facilities will be completely
inaccessible as they opt out of the system. those patients who actually can get an appointment may then discover that there's no record of their policy because the government hasn't been able to connect patients with their new insurers. patients will next face the cold reality of sky high deductibles and co-payments that many will be unable to pay. many hospitals that serve large populations of the poor can only do so because of supplemental payments, but obamacare is phasing those out. some may be forced to close their doors. those obamacare patients fortunate enough to stay well in this brave new world can expect a highly elevated risk f identity theft in what the founder of mcafee security software called this a hacker's dream. in some cases the government has already accidentally released patient's private and medical information.
particularly the young are choosing not to pay inflated prices to subsidize others, we can expect another round of major rate increases next fall of those remaining in the system in order to make up the shortfalls. that is what the new year will bring to our country. now, many of us in the house warned of this coming train wreck, and we tried at least to delay it. for this welsh called arsonnists, terrorists, jihadists and demagogues. ut now those warnings have accurate. this bill has devastated lives of millions of americans. this damage cannot be undone by delaying or tinkering it. it must be repealed with a patient-centered plan, a plan guided by individual freedom of choice and open competition. this will only happen if there's a massive change of heart by the congressional
democrats who imposed this nightmare on our country. now is the time for all americans whose lives have been up ended by their folly, to share their stories with their representatives and pray they can actually change some hearts and change their minds during this holiday season. otherwise i'm afraid that new year's day will be nothing to celebrate. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the time of the gentleman has expired. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from california, mr. schiff, for five minutes. mr. schiff: mr. speaker, when it was first opened in the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, the guantanamo bay prison may have seemed a reasonable stopgap measure as a shock nation marshaled its resources and figured out to to desuppose of detainees. but even in those early days, the problems we were creating with guantanamo's patchwork of military rules and commissions
were readily apparent. since 2002, i've introduced numerous bills and amendments to try to bring guantanamo into conformity with american and international law and to stop it from becoming a jihaddi recruiting tool. but reform of this prison system has been allusive and the progress of bringing detainees to justice has been almost nonexistent. in one of his first acts president barack obama ordered the closing of guantanamo but the congress almost immediately stepped in and erected steps of statutory barriers that prevented the transfers of detainees to the united states and made transfers to other countries extremely difficult. there is a renewed push by the administration to shutter guantanamo for good. the cost of keeping the prison open to our values, to our pocketbook, to our reputation and to our security have become
too great to bear. there are now 164 detainees at guantanamo. 84 of whom have been cleared for transfer to their home country or another country willing to accept them. these detainees should be processed and transferred as soon as security consideration will soon allow. this will leave 80 remained detainees who are roughly split into two groups. the first group, which includes khalid sheik mohamed and other 9/11 bombers, are slated for trial under the military commissions established under the bush administration, these proceedings have been mired in pretrail wrangling and the longer they drag on the less legitimate the overall system appears. meanwhile, our civilian judicial system, which many congressional critics say is not up to the task of handling terrorism cases, have exposed a long line of defendants from richard reid, the shoe bomber, to the underwear bomber and the
times square bomber, all successfully prosecuted in america's civilian courts and none will ever be released again. by lifting its restriction on transferring these detainees to the united states for trial, congress could give the administration the flexibility to transfer many of those now in military commission system to article 3 courts for prosecution. these civilian courts can be more expeditious, more effective and in the eyes of the world more just than military tribunals. the remaining will be the most difficult cases. they are considered too dangerous to release or transfer but who cannot be prosecuted. for some evidence cannot be presented without revealing critical sources of intelligence and methods. others were tortured or some other unlawful means. or others past acts and future dangerousness while not sufficient to prosecute argues
compellingly against any release or transfer. the administration announced over the summer it would begin review of these cases. and as a result, others may be cleared for transfer or prosecution. but it is likely that many, if not most of the detainees in this final category, will remain in american custody. but where? even if we ultimately decide to maintain these detainees in custody, that does not justify continued operation of guantanamo bay. instead, they should be transferred to military or civilian confinement in the united states. an option currently blocked by congress. every day that remains opened, guantanamo bay damages the united states. because there are other better options for prosecution and detention of these inmates, we are not safer for guantanamo's existence. in fact, it makes us more vulnerable by drawing new generations to the jihad. the congress, administration, the military can work together to find a solution that protects our people, even as we maintain our principles and devotion to
the rule of law. the president has indicated that he would like to work with congress to end the guantanamo era. we should take him up on that important challenge. mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. hompson, for five minutes. mr. thompson: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, the food network recently broadcast an episode of their hit reality based cooking television series, "chopped" aspiring teen chefs highlighted their culinary skills and competed for a scholarship that would be put towards a leading culinary school. competition aside, these young chefs are ambassadors of career and technical education programs. they amaze professional judges and made the viewing public second-guess mom's cooking.
as co-chair of the bipartisan career and technical education caucus, which i'm proud to lead with my good friend, congressman jim langevin, from rhode island, i congratulate the food network and "chop" for promoting these young cull culinary professionals. inspiration is like lightning, it doesn't strike in the same place twice. with 2014 quickly approaching, we should do everything in our power in order to support the culinary arts and the entire range of other career and technical education programs that offer aspiring young minds and transitioning adults, a gateway to success and a rapidly evolving and dynamic job market. the future of america deserves as much. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from california, mr. swalwell, for five minutes. mr. swal well --
mr. swalwell: i rise to recognize lawrence livermore national laboratory for its outstanding scientific work anded dedicated scientists who played a role in the effort that was recently awarded the 2013 nobel peace prize. yesterday in oslo norway, the organization for the prohibition of chemical weapons, also known as opcw, received the 2013 nobel peace prize for its work in enforcing the global ban on chemical weapons. the opcw received this prestigious award in part because of the contributions from over 21 scientific laboratories around the world. and that work in different capacities led to identifying and destroying chemical weapons across the world. one of these laboratories is from the 15th congressional district, lawrence livermore national laboratory. over the past 13 years, lawrencelivermore forensic science center has worked closely with them to analyze
samples and test for the possible presence of chemical weapons. the opcw in lawrence livermore laboratory were recognized specifically for actions the lpcw have recently taken in syria to destroy -- identify, destroy, and dismantle the assad regime's chemical weapons that they most rekently used back in august on their own people. i have been a sharp critic of proposed military action in syria. i believed all along that there was a third way. that it was not a false choice between isolationism, not doing anything, and taking military action in syria. and the actions of opcw and the united nations have shown and working in lab budget reconciliation with the lawrence livermore national laboratory that diplomacy can work, we can go into syria, we can identify these dangerous chemical weapons, we can dismantle them and make sure a ruthless dictator can never again use them on his own people.
together the work of opcw and lawrence livermore laboratory has created a safer world, but they recognize that their work will not be complete until the world is free of chemical weapons. i have been a tireless advocate for funding of both lawrence livermore national laboratory ant other laboratory in my district, sandia national laboratory. the work that is being done right now at opcw shows that the work being done at our national laboratories has value and that we cannot continue to chip away at federal funding for our national laboratories. congratulations again to opcw for receiving the nobel peace prize. i'm very proud of the workers, the scientific community, the engineers at lawrence livermore laboratory for your critical work in support of opcw and their efforts. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from new york, mr. reid, for five minutes. mr. reid: thank you, mr. speaker.
mr. speaker, i rise today to highlight a framework i have designed which will begin to address the challenging fiscal issues we face as a nation. this proposal is to deal with the impending debt ceiling crisis that will be coming upon us in february or shortly thereafter. i'm pleased to hear recent news today of a budget agreement dealing with a potential government shutdown resolution that avoids that government by crisis, but we have the debt ceiling issue right behind. and what i have put forth, mr. speaker, is an honest, sincere proposal consisting of three steps to reduce our spending on the federal level, address our nation's broken tax code, and ensure the solvency of social security and medicare. mr. speaker, i outlined the proposal in a letter sent to the president on november 15 of this year. and that letter reads. mr. president, it is time.
as i have expressed before in writing to you and members of your administration, i'm very interested in working with you in a bipartisan manner to implement long-term solutions to america's debt problem. our impending debt crisis and threatens the solvency to social security and medicare must be solved now before they reach catastrophic levels. i urge you to work with congress to achieve a long-term solution. as such i would like to take you up on your public offer to discuss ideas and implement solutions that will no longer force us to govern through crisis, cliffs, or shut down deadlines -- shutdown deadlines. on october 16, 2013, you stated this, quote, i'm eager to work with anybody. democrat or republican, house or senate members on any idea that will grow our economy, create new jobs, strengthen the middle class, and get our fiscal house in order for the long term. to that end i submit the following honest proposal which i truly believe will take a small but significant step
towards governing in a more responsible manner. also i hope in my -- it might change the culture of washington, tk, to an environment where good policy triumphs over politics. as you can see the honest proposal is summarized in a multistep vision and plan as follows. step one. we'll raise the february 7, 2014 debt ceiling limit in an amount equal to the total c.b.o. score of spending reductions, reforms, and removal of waste, fraud, and abuse within government operation that is have already been identified and generally supported on a bipartisan basis. i submit a list of $573 billion of such government reforms and spending reductions so identified in such a bipartisan manner. upon completion of step 1, we'll then move to step 2, and in step 2 what we would propose is that votes in the house and the
senate on their respective visions for comprehensive tax reform and also for reform of our entitlement programs to ensure their solvency for another generation would occur. if those votes occur in the house and senate, there would be an automatic relief of the debt ceiling cap for an additional year. and then we would move to step three, mr. president. and step three would essentially say that if in the house or the senate we enact either one of those long-term solutions to our tax code or to our entitlement crisis with our social security and medicare insolvency coming down on us, we would immediately in step 3 relieve the debt ceiling for an additional two-year period of time. this would mean, mr. president, the debt ceiling restraint would no longer impact your administration as it would be automatically extended beyond the end of your administration's term. i kindly request you review this proposal then meet to discuss
how it can be improved and implemented. to me this is an honest proposal which can put americans first and begin to address the pressing issues of our day. we have a major debt issue that cannot wait any longer. our arcane tax code stifles economic growth and the fiscal health of social security and medicare's worsening beyond control. if we solve these two challenges, we'll place our children and grandchildren in our nation's -- and our nation's finances in a far better position than where they are now projected to be. to me this adheres to a fundamental rule we must pass america on to our next generation in a better condition than which we found her. i look forward to hearing your thoughts and working with you to prevent the dire consequences of failing to address these challenges. mr. speaker, i have yet to receive a response from the president, not even a courtesy response, so i know it was received and not lost in the mail between my office and the longworth building to the white house less than two miles away. i take to the floor today of the
house to have my proposal officially recorded and lay out this framework to get our nation on a path of fiscal sustainability. to get our american fellow citizens back to work by fixing our tax code and solving the entitlement crisis that is impending upon us. with that i ask us to join in this proposal and ask the president to join me in a bipartisan manner to address these concerns. with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. .-- the gentleman's time has expired. members are reminded to address think remarks to the chair and not perceived viewing audience. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. mcgovern, for five minutes. mr. mcgovern: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. on mcgovern: mr. speaker, friday the republican leadership has decided that we will adjourn for the holidays. notwithstanding the fact that we haven't done immigration reform, we haven't passed a jobs bill,
we haven't extended unemployment insurance. they have all decided it's time to go home and enjoy the holidays. on friday we'll all leave and go back to our districts. and the one thing that we will all have in common, democrats and republicans, is we'll go back and we'll enjoy the holidays and we will partake in many celebrations, and the one thing that we will not have to worry about is whether or not we'll have enough to eat. our concern, quite frankly, will be overeating. but the fact is for millions of our fellow citizens, close to 50 million americans, they'll have to worery about whether they'll have enough to eat for them and their families. 50 million people in this country, the richest country in the history of the world, are hungry. 17 million are kids. all kinds of people fall in that category. sadly, close to a million of our veterans are -- rely on food assistance programs because they don't have enough to eat.
mr. speaker, the fact that so many people in the united states of america are hungry is a national disgrace. we should be outraged. there should be outrage in this chamber. there should be a sense of urgency that we need to solve this problem. sin difference and outright hostility to those americans who happen to be poor. the house of representatives recently passed a farm bill to cut the snap program, the supplemental nutrition assistance program, which is designed to make sure people have enough to eat, but they got that program by $40 billion. in the senate version they cut it by $4.5 million million. there's a conference committee going on and press reports that say maybe they'll decide on an $8 billion cut. $8 billion. what does that mean? -- 850,000 hat $850
families in this country will be impacted in a negative way by that cut. 1.7 million people. for those people who would be impacted by that $8 billion cut, it is about a $90 cut per month in the benefit they get. you add this on top of a cut that happened on november 1 of this year, every single person on the snap program received a cut. . that cut that happened on november 1 for an average family of three would be about a $30 cut. you add the $30 to $90 cut, that's $120 cut per month for these families. that's a lot of money. because the fact of the matter is the snap benefit, as it stands, is not overly generous. in fact, i would say it's too stingy. it doesn't provide enough for people to be able to afford
food, never mind nutritious food. people that show up at the food pantries are on the snap program. but to cut people's benefits, average family of three, by about $120 per month, is outrageous. we don't have to worry about -- no one in this chamber has to worry about whether or not they can afford to put food on the table for their families. why aren't we more concerned with the fact that there are so many people in this country who are food insecure and who are outright hungry? we need to do something about this. mr. speaker, you know, i've heard my colleagues say, well, we're not trying to cut people's benefits. all we're trying to do is we're trying to reform the program, we're trying to combat a culture of dependency. when you cut this program that provides food to poor people, what you do is you don't deal with the issue of a culture of dependency. what you do is you make their lives more miserable. the fact of the matter is the
majority of people on snap are children, are senior citizens and are disabled people. of those who can work, a majority of them work. there are people who work full time, full time and still are so poor they qualify for snap assistance. and the response of this congress is going to be to take mayor lives more miserable? i had -- their lives more miserable? i ask my colleagues who support these cuts, is that what you came here for, to make the lives of those vulnerable in this country more miserable? is that the purpose of your service in the united states congress? i mean, give me a break. give me a break. we need to solve these problems. and the fact of the matter is that increasing hunger in america, you know, costs us a great deal. hungry kids don't learn in school. senior citizens who can't afford their food and their medication and take their medication on an empty stomach
end up in our emergency rooms. there's a cost to hunger. in fact, it is more expensive to tolerate the hunger in america than it is to solve the problem. we were elected to solve problems, to lift people up, not put people down. i would just kindly close, mr. speaker, by saying i would urge the white house to get more involved in this issue, get involved in this fight. there are some things worth fighting for. ending poverty, ending hunger in america is worth fighting for. mr. speaker, i urge all my colleagues to reject cuts in the snap program that will increase hunger in america. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from new mexico, mr. lujan, for five minutes. mr. lujan: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. lujan: mr. speaker, to kick off this year's computer
science education week taking place from december 9 to december 15, i had the pleasure of visiting with students at capital high school in santa fe, new mexico. we took part in the global hour of code campaign, organized by computing in the core and code.org that offers introductory coding activities and tutorials. i also engaged with students about the importance of computer science by hosting a panel of industry professionals to highlight how diverse and exciting a career in computer science can truly be. conversations like these can be useful in helping young people towards careers in computer science and stem. in today's world, a degree in computer science translates to high-paying in-demand jobs. at a time when people are struggling to find work, the computer science industry is growing and new mexico is predicted to add 15,360 omputing jobs by 2018.
they learn the language of code in the same way that they learn reading and writing and mathematics. if we are to remain economically competitive and have a highly skilled work force, access to computer science curricula and coding instruction must be a priority. however, nationwide, only one in 10 schools offers computer science and there is a great lack of diversity in those that do. just 4% of students are female and 3% are students of color. in new mexico, only 57 students ok the computer science a.p. exam in 2012. this is the result in part of the fact that new mexico does not offer computer science teacher certifications for middle and high school teachers and is one of the 36 states that does not count computer science courses toward high school graduation requirements for math and science. computer science provides students with a 21st century skill necessary for innovation by teaching design, logical
reasoning and problem solving. yet, too few students have access to this rigorous course work. that's why i co-sponsored h.r. 2536, the computer science education act, that will help ensure that more students have access to computer science education by making it a core academic subject and including computer science teachers in professional development. i urge my colleagues to join me in support of the computer science education week and computer science education act. it is critically important that every student have the opportunity to learn computer science at an early age. when we show them that they have the power to create the next great app, not just use it, i believe we will capture their hearts and minds and foster the next generation of innovators. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from illinois, mr. enyart, for five minutes. mr. enyart: thank you, mr. speaker.
mr. speaker, i rise to honor the memory of one of my constituents, mr. john rednauer. john passed away on december 1, and i had the privilege of attending his funeral service last week. all of us came to honor a man who did so much for southern illinois. john had many titles and most of us knew him as the mayor of decoin, a position he held for 24 years. he was a businessman, a banker, an ironworker. he served for many years in the illinois state police merit board, but none of those title do the man justice. he was one of the most foremost civic leaders in illinois, and he worked tirelessly to improve southern illinois and to create opportunity and jobs for its people. john was a self-made man who rose from humble beginnings, but never forgot where he came from. his passing is the loss to our
region. most of all, it is a loss for his family and today i ask my colleagues to remember the rednauer family, especially john's wife of 61 years, wanda, who was his true partner. southern illinois is a better place because of john rednauer and today i'm proud to honor my friend's memory. mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair now recognizes the gentlewoman from ohio, ms. kaptur, for five minutes. ms. kaptur: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for five minutes and include extraneous material in the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. ms. kaptur: thank you. mr. speaker, the political turmoil in ukraine demands the world's attention. it is now 5:00 p.m. in kiev where protestors in independence square are regrouping after a night of violent clashes with ukrainian security forces. as of now, the security forces have begun to pullback from the
crackdown and despite intimidation and threats of violence, the opposition has created control of the name given to independence square in a clear sign of solidarity with europe. the united states has cited unequivocally with those ukrainians who are demonstrating for an independent ukraine, for their rights to free assembly and free speech under provisions of international law, including the universal declaration of human rights. our secretary of state has called upon the government of ukraine to respect the rights of all people and express disgust of the united states with the use of force against peaceful protestors is unbefitting a democracy. as secretary kerry noted, the right to free assembly is a universal value, not just an american value. the house ukrainian caucus, which i co-chair with mr. levin and mr. gerlach, have expressed the rights of the ukrainian people to exercise their rights to political speech and free assembly.
yes, these are difficult yet hopeful times for ukraine which is trying to find its rightful place among the community of nations despite daunting challenges. the country is gripped by uncertainty which is exacerbating an already difficult economic situation. the current crisis was triggered by the decision of the current political leadership to pursue free trade with ukraine's eastern neighbor, russia, rather than neighbors to the west. the european union. regardless of the police plithcal discord in ukraine, this congress should ask them to settle this peacefully and without violence. ukraine's soils historically have been showered of the precious blood of country men and women at a higher rate than most human beings can imagine. brilliantly recounted blood lands, written by a yale scholar, tells their story. yes, though ukraine's very name means border land, she, too, often has been a blood land. may this not happen now.
ukraine must adapt to embrace a world in which her own independence from interference surpasses any other priority. she should be free to engage all directions, east, west, south and north. without fear of retaliation. . e is a bridge to all nations as the national security advisor to president carter writes in today's "washington times" two decades of independence, of growing pride and rediscovering of ukrainian history and discovering the western neighbors is creating a new mindset. that mindset is not embracing anti-russianism but it is asserting ukraine's own historic identity. he believes the current political change in ukraine is part of an historically significant but political transformation. he believes ukraine and russia, too will eventually orient to the west, and i have ultimate respect in his opinion and pray he is correct.
those of us who love ukraine have longed for the day when it is no longer a prisoner of geography hemmed in between germany and russia but a fwree and willing member of the community -- free and willing member of the community of democratic nations. perhaps one day ukraine will break free of the shackles of domination of the past. perhaps one day ukraine's geographic location will be an asset, not a liability, a day when ukraine looks both east and west and in fact in all four directions. but as we can see from the images coming to us from kiev, the road will not be smooth. we know the future lies with freedom and with drauks and with opportunity, not re-- democracy, and with opportunity and not repression, but it is cold comfort in the streets of ukraine today. the united states congress must stand forth rightly with the liberty-loving people of ukraine during this difficult hour. and the people of ukraine and the people of the united states should be inspired by the words of ukraine's most famous poet
who said, then in your own house you will see true justice, strength and liberty. there is no other such ukraine. mr. speaker, i yield back my remaining time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back the balance of her time. pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the chair declares the house in recess until noon today.
>> so there are both technological and technical assistance ways that we're supporting the elections. certainly areas -- there continue to be areas that concern us. one is the access to women to polling places. i was in afghanistan a month ago and i go to the independent election commission and get an update. they're aware of the problem and they're working to fix it. now, i can't promise you that their solution will be robust in every district of afghanistan, but to be honest, having been engaged there for 12 years, i'm just pleased to see they have an approach of how they're addressing them. they're putting money where the problems are. they are training women
security and they are training women polling place workers and i think we will see an improvement, dramatic improvement over 2009 in that regard. >> thank you. my time's expired. i'm going to go to mr. ted deutch of florida. >> i thank you, mr. chairman. deputy assistant secretary, in a recent foreign affairs peace, a retired general wrote that counterinsurgency strategy failed in afghanistan. would you agree with his assertion that was not successful in afghanistan and if so, why didn't it work? >> i would not agree with that and the reason i say that is we look at the gains that have been made to date in afghanistan since we've arrived there and with the support of 48 coalition nations as well as the afghan security forces, the strides made have been monumental and i think it's too early for anybody to claim that a counterinsurgency effort has failed. they have been consistent in
taking the fight to the enemy through this fighting season. they have done remarkably well. they have adopted the training and tactics that have been provided to them and taught them. their police are stepping up to the plate more and more each day, and quite frankly, the most recent fighting season they had this past summer has given them confidence and skill they've not had in the past. exceeding tainly our expectations and i continue that -- i believe in a will continue for the future. but to say that it's a failure i think is wrong. >> and as you know, many -- excuse me -- many of our this very express clearly, want us to bring home every last u.s. soldier. everyone. so when the department of fense recommends the size of a residual force going forward,
what will you recommend and what will it be after 2014, and finally to the extent you wish to comment, how would you respond to so many americans who just simply think that it's time to bring everyone home? >> sir, understand the position of the american people and i've served in combat myself on three occasions, including a year in afghanistan, so i understand the concerns. what i would say is that our top priority is to prevent the return of al qaeda and any affiliated terrorist groups that can launch attacks on the united states from the country of afghanistan. that's our first and foremost priority, and i think the american people understand that. i can assure you the american military understand that. as far as what the mission will b.s.a., 2014 given a an invitation to remain in
afghanistan by the afghan people is a train, advise and assist mission, to assist the afghan security forces and further developing and advancing their skills and their capabilities into the future so they can assist in providing their own security and ensure regional stability. like any emerging country, any emerging military force or police force, they will require training, assistance and support generally as we provide with many other nations. but our mission after 2014 will be a train, advise and assist mission along with coalition partners who will and have offered to remain there. as the ambassador said, b.s.a. will be critical to that and the afghans are fully aware of that. >> thank you. ambassador dobbins, mr. sampler, if there were to be a negotiated settlement with the taliban, do you believe that the taliban will accept the
provisions of the constitution and if so, would that be sufficient? >> we've laid down three conditions for a successful negotiation with the taliban. that they accept the afghan constitution, that they lay down their arms and they break ties with al qaeda and we'd require all three of those with any solution we'd support. i don't see any early break throughs in the negotiations. in fact, i'm not sure we'll even be negotiating within the next few months. we've made efforts in the past. we're consistent and supportive of a reconciliation process but it takes two to tango. and the taliban, while they've been willing to talk to us, have not been willing to talk to the afghan government and it's the afghans that need to negotiate peace. so i don't predict early advances in this sphere. i would hoped there' be at least some -- there would be at least some procedural steps. we believe reconciliation is the only way the war will end
and the quicker you start the faster you'll get there even if it's going to be a multiyear process. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back. >> thank you, mr. deutch. we go to ileana ros-lehtinen. >> thank you so much, mr. chairman. as i mentioned when we had met with president karzai's -- ar xi, as all delegations that go there, our delegation raised concerns about his neighbor, the iranian regime, the threat that that poses to our interests in the region and mr. kennedy and dr. barrow will probably agree that he dismissed the threat that iran poses no problem at all. but pakistan, that is the real threat to stability for afghanistan, he said. so shouldn't come as a big surprise that this past weekend karzai and the leader of iran, rouhani, announced that agreement of a long-term strategic pact that ranges from political cooperation to economic and security
partnerships, once again, undermining and jeopardizing the u.s.-afghanistan relationship, what is karzai's calculus here? is he trying to hedge his bets by cozying up to iran and being outwardly defiant to the u.s.? what is his thinking, if you can give us some insight to that? and while in afghanistan and during our hearings, i also expressed my concerns about the status of counternarcotics operations in the postdrawdown afghanistan and we've been talking about that this morning. we were told that due to lack of personnel, these u.s.-led counternarcotics operations will be severely limited in scope. the latest numbers indicate this was a record year for poppy cultivation in afghanistan, and this issue of counternarcotics operation is not getting the attention that it rightfully deserves considering that terrorist activities are typically funded through narcotics. if we can't conduct the kind of
operations needed to reduce the poppy production and if we don't have enough manpower now to fight this issue, what are we going to do next year and post-2014 to stop the illicit drug trade that generates over $100 million a year for terrorist groups? and i've been concerned we're allowing the post-2014 residual force size also to be decided politically and that is purely numbers-driven rather than focused only the task and what is needed, what is the mission that still needs to be accomplished in afghanistan. and mr. dumont, you testified that a significant accomplishment since taking the lead is the afghans have been increasingly able to maintain the gains made by our u.s. and coalition forces. and although that may be true now, what about in the postwithdrawal afghanistan when they won't have quite a robust international force in support or possibly with no u.s. presence at all if the president goes with the zero
option when the extremists no longer see us as an impediment to their goals and come to -- against the afghanistan forces in full force, will they be able to sustain those gains, what will happen? and do you predict that the white house, in coordination with the state department, when do you think we will get that troop level number from the white house and the state department? i'll leave it open to all of you. thank you. >> thank you. well, on iran, as the chairman pointed out, iran has provided arms and money to the taliban. it has, however, provided a great deal of more money to the afghan government. it has quite substantial programs. most of them are quite benign in afghanistan. iran has in general a very bad relationship with the taliban.
it almost went to war with them well before we did, but it is hedging its bet and it is hedging it largely as part of the competition with the united states rather than because it has an inherent positive interest in the taliban. karzai has visited iran once or twice a year since he became president 12 years ago. and so i don't attach a special importance to this particular visit. they haven't negotiated an agreement. they simply announced an attention to negotiate an agreement. there is no agreement. >> thank you. let me turn it over to the other two gentlemen. thank you, sir. >> ma'am, i would say first and foremost, we do continue working with afghan counternarcotics police. they've made significant strides in enhancing case management and prosecutions, including the ability to develop evidence, arrests, conduct trials and imprison
those convicted. they do demonstrate a determination, uphold rule of law and they are increasingly resistant to the influences of corruption. several reasons for this, besides the training and assistance they get, they also know that the eyes of contributing nations and donor nations are on them and they understand that that it is important upon them and incumbent upon them to make changes. and they are making achievements in that regard. we work with them also on developing good practices for sharing intelligence with the police forces so they can get at their narcotics trade and they can make strides, but again it's a work in progress and it will require them to assume some responsibility and ownership themselves based on some of the good practices and training that they've received from us and other coalition nations. as far as the n.s.f. continuing to uphold the security gains
that have been made and the future, the groundwork is there for the gains that they've made. >> thank you. >> both as an institution and as a force. >> thank you so much. sorry, out of time. thank you. >> we go now to mr. joseph kennedy from massachusetts. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to thank all of the witnesses for testifying. thank you for your service. as fortunate enough as former chairman ros-lehtinen indicated, to visit afghanistan several months ago and had an extraordinary visit to see the work -- your work and the work of many of the folks you support. so thank you very, very much for all that you do for our country. wanted to speak first, if i could, to representative dobbins, mr. ambassador, if you could focus specifically a program that's come up in a number of meetings i had where constituents were concerned about contractors and translators. so those who have been performing an extraordinary
service to our military and civilian course in both afghanistan and iraq and are now subject to death threats and violence for their affiliated work for us. these are programs both in iraq and afghanistan, my understanding is they've run into some fairly severe challenges. i believe in 2008 under the ndaa, congress created 25,000 visas for iraqis who worked for the government at least for a year. another i think 8,750 were created under the afghan allies protection act of 2009. again, for our afghan allies that worked for the united states in some capacity. can you give me an outline, sir, best that you can, one of, how many afghans are eligible for that program? how many have been processed to date? what that timeline is and what that backlog might be -- the causes to that backlog and what we might do to try to help. >> thank you.
i believe that we were slow in getting this process into gear. and for the first several years, the number of applicants who successfully completed the process was fairly low. over the last year, however, it was significantly accelerated. last year we had 10 times more successful completions than in the previous year. in fact, we are now approaching the legislative limit and the numbers available, and we are looking forward to work with congress to extend our authority to bring in additional people. >> how many more? >> i think 1,600 have been approved over the last year, if i remember the figures correctly. >> how many more, sir, would you recommend or would you be asking help from congress? >> i am not sure. i don't have the figures, but there is in addition to the total number, there is an annual number, and i believe that runs out in march or april
and we'll need to work with congress to get that extended because there will be additional people in the pipeline who would qualify. >> thank you very, very much. mr. dumont, i want to build a little bit off of the chairman's comments, ms. ros-lehtinen's comments about the poppy cultivation. when we were in afghanistan, that was certainly -- the point that was made over and over again. and i just wanted to see if you could outline, give any detail to enforcement strategy or mechanism to try to get that trade under control. are an interagency task force and coordination center can provide intelligence support, training and assistance to the counternarcotics police. they enable the afghans to target narcotics traffickers
and connections with insurging groups. they go after the movements, communications and finances involved in groups -- groups involved in the drug trade. ey are also working to provide support for investigations and for military operations that identify people who are involved in the drug trade, getting at their financesing, getting at their cult -- financing, getting at their cultivation, getting out the deliveries of those illicit drugs. >> thank you, sir. sorry to cut you off. time is limited. mr. sampler, if you could. there is a cultivation for poppy for farmers that are choosing to cultivate poppy for the income they can generate from that. i think that falls under the usaid's auspices. can you give us a brief 30-second outline and how that forecast is going? >> i appreciate you recognize that. the issue with counternarcotics
is not purely of enforcement. we have to provide alternative livelihoods. usaid and the u.s. donors at large is looking for other crops who are either as profitable or -- saffron, for example, is more profitable than poppy. the problem is it's a very, very harsh environment and poppy is a very resilient crop. it does well in afghanistan. furthermore, the traffickers do all the heavy lifting for the growers. until we get it changed for saffron, nuts, this is going to be a difficult and challenging environment for us. . >> mr. kennedy we want to recognize and thank you and mr. barrios' trip there accompanying ileana ros-lehtinen both in terms of the oversight of this committee, but also visiting the troops nafplgt we want to also recognize joe wilson for his recent trip there, but also for his son's service in the u.s. army in afghanistan. mr. wilson, it's your time.
>> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, mr. chairman, for your interest in the security of afghanistan, american security, even prior to 9/11. people need to understand and i want to thank each of you for the difference you are making that indeed the attacks on our country, september 11, 2001, originated out of caves in afghanistan. we should never forget that. that's why i'm grateful for our military service. i have had the opportunity, usaid, i have seen the progress that has occurred. i have been there 12 times. my national guard unit, former it, served there, and led by general livingston. it was the largest troops from south carolina since world war ii, 1,600. they really developed a great affinity for their afghan brothers. we saw that. i appreciate the chairman referencing my youngest son, first lieutenant hunter wilson, returned last thursday from his service this year in afghanistan. so as i talk about military
service, it's quite personal. we are very proud of the 122nd engineer battalion national guard for their service there. i was particularly glad to see representative kennedy raise the issue of the special immigrant visas. i have had two sons serve in iraq. they have actually cooperated in bringing their interpreters back to the united states for opportunity, for security. i'm very grateful. i have had a nephew in the air force down in heritage, served twice in iraq. i know firsthand, indeed again with my sons serving in afghanistan, how the interpreters, civilians working with the american -- and their allies, how important they are. i want to do -- i do want to work with you, and i specifically hope that we'll have an extension agreement or proposal, ambassador, as soon as possible so we can give hope to the people in that country and
thank them. i'm also, though, concerned about iranian weapons in afghanistan. in august, 2010, the treasury department sanctioned two iranian force officers for supplying funds and material to afghan terrorists. that was just one example of iran playing an active role in fueling the conflict in afghanistan. what is the role that iran is playing supporting the afghan terrorists? what groups does iran support and why? >> as i said a little earlier, iran supports both the government and the taliban. its dominant support is to the government and largely benign aid programs -- roads and other things. but it does support, it has provided money and arms to the taliban. the arms and money flows across the pakistani border are much more important than across the iranian border, nevertheless iran is playing both sides of
the house. it's doing that not out of a love for the taliban. they hate the taliban. it's doing it as part of the competition with the united states. and it's an effort to demonstrate to the united states that they could play tough, too, if we got into some kind of military conflict with them. so i think they are hedging their bet, and it's quite unhelpful, but it's not the totality of iran's approach to affling -- afghanistan which with this very important exception has largely, historically, been quite coincident with our own. they were quite helpful in 2001, and as i said they had a significant and largely benign aid program for afghanistan. messer, you give a good meaning to diplomacy. i want to thank you for your service. additionally, i'm concerned about iran sanction violations. in january it was determined by the special inspector general
for afghanistan reconstruction that possibly there had been purchase of fuel for afghan forces in violation of the sanctions. that is that been stopped? what can be done to make sure that the sanctions stay in place? which have been so effective. >> i'm not familiar with the case. i assume this is a dodd -- d.o.d. purchasing issue. i can't give you a quick answer. >> i'm sorry, mr. wilson, i don't have that information, either. i'll have to take that back and get you a response. >> that's very important because we have seen the success of the sanctions bringing pressure on the iranian regime, and i'm still hopeful that in particular that the sanctions have the potential of encouraging a green revolution. the young people of iran deserve to have a better life than what they have now and what their
prospects are. so the sanctions have multiple purposes, but one is to truly assist a positive change in iran. thank you very much for your service. >> thank you. we go now to mr. eliot engel of new york. >> thank you, mr. chairman. let me thank all witnesses, very distinguished witnesses, for coming. thank you for being here. and the three of you have what i consider to be some of the most complex and thankless jobs in the u.s. government. all of us appreciate your service very, very much. i share the frustration of my colleagues about the games that president karzai has been playing. stop the nonsense, i just want to say that. let me ask ambassador to bins and -- to bins -- dobbis and
perhaps mr. sampler can comment. i'd like know what state and usaid here in washington, how you are doing similar planning, what's the timeline in which the afghanistan and pakistan offices at state and usaid are going to return to the bureau of south and central asian affairs and asia bureau. and how are state and a.i.d. planning to address the personnel changes that will occur with these trans-- transitions? >> i wouldn't say at this point we have a firm plan. there is a general intention to look at the current bureaucratic arrangement in the state department in the light of the transition at the end of 2014 when we move from to an assist operation. even then afghanistan slikely to remain difficult enough, tricky enough, and important enough to the united states that you're going to want more than just a
esk officer handling it. i think there could be a closer association with the south asian affairs. and we would probably move to some such arrangement. i think the actual transition is not very complex to make. it's simply changing lines on a -- on an organization chart. it's not as if people are going to have to be fired or recruited. so the fact that we haven't made a decision now a year and some months off doesn't mean we won't be able to make a timely decision. >> thank you. >> ranking member, the only thing i would add is that i think usaid, the bureaucratic changes will be driven by the effects we want to achieve in the agency. my two missions are the largest missions by an order of magnitude that the agency has anywhere in the world. ine if we were folded back into the bureau, it would have to receive particular and unique attention. you ask what we do here in
washington to help the field team work on their resource allocation. i think the single greatest value we add is engaging in the communities of interest here, whether it be your staff or members themselves. the diaspora community, think tank community, we get valuable input and refining of our ideas by engaging in washington and supporting the field in that regard. >> thank you. ambassador, let me ask you this, key element of the economic transition in afghanistan is obviously regional trade. and a key barrier to getting afghan goods to market is the bear yes that exists between pakistan and india. so most afghan goods want to get to indian markets go through iran. i know that india provide pakistan with most favored nation trading status back in 1996. could you provide an update where the pakistani announcement of giving india trade status currently stands? and more general vision of the role and connectivity in the region can have on stabilizing
afghanistan? >> we have raised this with the government of pakistan on several occasions, and indeed with the government of india. specifically the grant of most favored nations. it came up while prime minister sharif was here in washington during a visit a month ago. the pakistanis have indicated their intention is to provide -- grant m.f.n. in indian. the question is one of timing. we have urged it to be done as quickly as possible. they didn't say so but i think they may be waiting until a new indian government takes office. they probably want to do this in the part of a context of other improvements in the relationship. the pakistanis government under the new prime minister has reached out and tried to improve that relationship. the indians for good historical reasons are approaching this very cautiously. they take the prime minister's -- they believe that the prime minister is acting in good faith, but they are skeptical he
can deliver on some of the things that they need if the relationship is going to progress. m.f.n. for india would be a positive step. and indeed a general opening of the border more commerce would also be very helpful to afghanistan as you indicated. for all those reasons we continue to support it. >> thank you. we go now to mr. jeff undercan of district of columbia. -- mr. jeff duncan of south carolina. >> thank you. i would like to take a few minutes to point out some of the taxpayer doll oors that have been sent to afghanistan and spent almost wastefully. i would like to put an article from bloomberg news in the park in the planes weeds after $486 million were spent. these are g-22 aircraft some of which are sitting in the weeds not being used. those are taxpayer dollars spent to purchase those. we also spent somewhere between $25 million and $36 million on a
64,000 square foot unoccupied building in camp leatherneck, which may of 2010 the commanding general, general mills, recommended cancellation of the construction. that was overridden by his superiors. then in may of 2013, the building is still sitting not used. the army regulation 15-6 investigation said we ought to convert that building to a gym initiative yum and spend more money converting it to a movie theater. that was overridden. the building is still sitting unoccupied. thank goodness we didn't spend more money. $230 million in spare parts in an inventory warehouse. there was no good inventory or accountability for those spare parts. these are vehicle parts. an additional $138 million in spare parts were ordered just in october of 2013. i want to commend the work of commongman jason chaffetz of the oversight committee who's been working with the special investigator of afghan reconstruction.
he's identified dual usage and waste and theft in afghanistan. he talked about the expenses of the hospital in kabul where u.s. tax dollars have been wastefully spent. we could go into the bank of kabul fiasco and allocation of dollars there, but infrastructure projects that are all over afghanistan, and there is no oversight. these are around areas that are inaccessible to civilian employees. i would like to point out, i know the panelists are aware of this, but this is the afghan oversight access in 2009. the shaded areas are areas that civilian contractors or u.s. employees have access to in 2009. to do oversight. all in u.s. taxpayer dollars being spent. if i flip over to the projected 2014 oversight areas, you'll notice a stark contrast. i know it's difficult to see but
these gentlemen are aware of this, there are just little dots there. these are areas that u.s. inspectors do not have access to for oversight. these are u.s. taxpayer dollars. how much morony are we going to -- money are we going to continue to spend in afghanistan without proper oversight? that's what it's about. i don't have any questions. i could go through a lot of other examples. i think the american taxpayers that are watching understand their tax doll sars are being spent without a lot of oversight on the part of their government. i'd like to shift gears to ambassador dobbins, i'm interested in the special immigrant visa program and the delays going on there, because congress has recognized the unique dangers faced by iraqi and afghan civilians who work on behalf of the u.s. government by creating programs for these individuals become flaul permanent residents here in the u.s. i have had an example of a
gentleman i met in the kandahar -- the -- yes, the kandahar region of afghanistan about two years ago. he was embedded with the military there and acted as a translator. had taken up weapons to help defend the colleagues of the unit he was working with. and he was definitely threatened by the taliban. his uncle was killed. other family members were threatened. and went through a two-year process where officers from the unit he was embedded with, other folks that knew this gentleman vouched for his service to america there in afghanistan, but yet it took over two years. he was actually issued a visa by the state department, and then it was revoked right before he left. and had to go through months of trying to understand why it was revoked. then it was reissued. i think it was reissued only after congress got involved questioning why. i ask why have there been so ny delays in the after began
s.i.v.'s. >> i think we were slow in the early years to implement this program. over the last year, however, it's accelerated significantly. i think there were 10 times more visas issued this year than a year ago. and in fact we are approaching the limit of the program. we'll run out of numbers shortly and will want to work with congress for an extension of the program since there will be additional people who will qualify if we have additional numbers. on specific cases, i mean we have determined that they did work for the u.s. military. we have to determine that they are under threat. that depends in part where they live. and there are other security related concerns. i can't explain any particular case. i know the case that you're referring to, and within i think two or three weeks, maybe even less, of the visa denial it was then reissued as you indicated. >> i appreciate the assistance on that and got the gentleman here. mr. chairman,dy want to put this
in the record. >> without objection. we go to million berra of california. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you to the witnesses. as has been mentioned previously, i had the opportunity over memorial day to visit afghanistan with congresswoman ros-lehtinen, as well as my colleague, mr. kennedy. when we were there we met some of the most remarkable young men and women in our troops. i do want to praise our troops for meeting every mission and for the wonderful job that they have done. we also have the opportunity to meet with mr. karzai. in that meeting, this is back in may, he unequivocally express add desire to get a p.s.a. done fairly quickly, and at the same time unequivocally said, he has no desire to stand for election again and wanted to see the elections coming up in 2014 take place without any interference. now mr. many, and
karzai is backtracking, i would make the observation that this is -- he happens to be who we have to negotiate with, but he's not someone i would call an honest broker. an easy one to negotiate with. i also had the opportunity to visit india and chat with our allies in india who have made significant investments in afghanistan. over $2 billion investments in infrastructure and others also have had the opportunity to meet with business groups like c.i.i. and major indian multinationals that are interested in making investments and helping fill the void that will occur regardless of whether there is a p.s.a. or not as we start to draw down our own investments ever their major concern is the security situation there. in addition, as i met with the
indian government, indian dignigaries, there's also a very -- dignitaries, there's also a very real concerned that hardened trained jihaddy fighters will start shifting over to the indian-pakistan border which we are already eeing flare ups and increasing instance. given that, maybe this is a question for ambassador dobbins what, can we do, working with india, to, one, continue to maintain an economic structure in afghanistan? again i do worry about as we draw down significant economic resources, as well as working with india on the indian-pakistan border as some these fighters shift over. i'm not sure pakistan has control over these fighters, either. ambassador, your perspective? >> well, we do work closely with india on afghan issues.
i met with the indian foreign secretary yesterday on this, for instance. president karzai is viltsing india later this week -- visiting india later this week. and for a state visit, in fact. india has a significant aid program and significant investments, to the extent probably the greatest contribution india could make, and pakistan can make in afghanistan, is improving their bilateral relationship. improved relationships between india and pakistan will have two effects on afghanistan. one effect is it will greatly increase the access of afghan trade to india via pakistan. but secondly and equally important, it will reduce the competition between the two countries for influence in afghanistan in a way that's often proved highly destabilizing. we have been encouraging both afghanistan -- soarry, both pakistan and india to overcome their differences in kashmir, their differences over afghanistan.
and i think there is some hope with the new pakistani government. of course the indians have elections shortly. but it's an area that we are continuing to press. i don't think that there's any near-term danger of foreign fighters shifting from afghanistan to the border with india, among other things, because unfortunately the war in afghanistan isn't over. but the indian concerns are legitimate. and it's something that we do need to be careful about. america online in your conversation was the pakistani government -- sense the indian government certainly does want to see improved relationships with pakistan as a mechanism of stabilizing south asia as well. do you sense that same desire from the pakistani side? >> i do, and i think the indians
do in regards to the new prime minister and his civilian leadership. in pakistan, traditionally the security sphere has been left largely to the military and they have been largely free of civilian oversight or control. of ast time that type control was exercised he was overthrown. he has to be careful how quickly he moves to assert the civilian control of the military and stronger civilian role in designing and implementing pakistan's national security policy. i think the indians -- he has expressed himself very clearly that pakistan can't be secure unless afghanistan is at peace and relations with india are improved. he's tried to move in both directions. i think the indian government takes him at face value and believes he's sincere. they are a little skeptical that he will prevail in exercising enough influence over the pakistani military. and we'll just have to wait and
see. but we give him a fair chance of being able to do so. among other things because the pakistani military now realized that their biggest threat is internal and they realize that they need the political leadership to take responsibility for the kinds of sometimes harsh measures that will be needed to deal with that internal threat. >> thank you. >> we now go to adam conditions inker of illinois -- kin singer -- ll -- conditions kinsinger. >> thank you for being here and appreciate your service. as the chairman mentioned in his opening remarks, i just came back from afghanistan. afghanistan and pakistan. pakistan is quite a complicated relationship and one that i expect will probably continue to be complicated. ambassador, as you alluded to i believe and i hope that the
pakistanis are starting to understand the taliban is their problem, too. and it's no longer a tool they can use to posture against india wholetever went into that calculus there. the point i want to make from this, the people of afghanistan, there is message that has not gotten out to the united states. the people of afghanistan are good people. the people of afghanistan want to live in freedom. the taliban's approval rating in afghanistan is something like 10%. slightly higher than congress, but it's still about 10%. which means the taliban are not popular in afghanistan. this is a message i don't think has gotten out. karzai, and in karzai's posturing to do whatever it is he calculates he wants to do, we met with him as well, and i got a very different view coming out of the meeting one on one with karzai and what i see in the media. i see a man who says we want the united states to be here. we want a long-term relation shfment for whatever domestic consumption he thinks he's
doing, he's doing more harm than i think he realizes. but they are good folks. i'm hoping we learned our lessons from the complete withdrawal from iraq, which was a terrible mistake, and i think is being shown all over the world as a terrible mistake. i hope we continue to press ahead with getting this b.s.a. done and having a long-term commitment. couple quick points i want to make. as i mentioned the americans don't seat success in afghanistan. i think americans still think there's 150,000 troops marching up and down the hill, engaging in the taliban, and we are taking the brunt of the casualties. the afghan military is losing about 100 soldiers a week. they are taking the fight to the taliban when they find themselves engaged. they don't have the air support that american military has, but they are fighting very bravely. it's a completely different situation than what we saw even two years ago. secondly, so that's what americans think. my concern, i want to put this on the record, i can't think the last time i saw the president of the united states tell the american people why we are in
afghanistan. i can't do that. i believe we are in afghanistan for a good reason. i believe us remaining engaged in afghanistan post-2014 is important. i can't remember the last time i heard the president say that. the president recently, fairly recently, went to afghanistan and did not meet with president karzai. i thought that was an oversight. so there's things along that line. let me get to my questions. we are looking the a residual force, 9,000 to 10,000 american troops and a few more nato troops in that process. what was general allen's recommendation in terms of a residual force? mr. dumont, maybe you can answer that, whoever. >> i'm sorry, congressman. i don't have that number off the top of my head. >> do any of you know what general allen recommended? i believe it was somewhere around 15,000 to 20,000 american troops post-2014? i say that to say i'm concerned that we are going to undershoot the amount of troops we have available in afghanistan to do
both counterterrorism and support. both in building the afghan establishment and government, and also in supporting their troops engaged in the field. i think it would be very unfortunate for 20 years from now for us to read the history books and say that america was 5,000 troops short of being successful in afplgt we visited the prison in afghanistan, and we visited -- i think right now 59 t.c.n.'s in prison. mr. ambassador, do you have any idea what, are we going to do with these t.c.n.'s? the afghans don't want them. i wouldn't, either. now we have to figure out what are we going to do with them as we reach the post-2014. are any of you familiar with that situation and have any ideas for what we do? >> in general we are going to have to do something with them by the end of 2014. some of them will be turned over to the afghan. some will be returned to the country of origin when those countries undertake to deal with
them appropriately. >> let me ask one more question because my time vunning out. now we are into this kind of reduction posture. i think the vast majority of american forces are now focused on withdraw instead of taking the fight the enemy. that's unfortunate. how do you think the offensive went against had a canny -- hakani? do you believe it was completed or do you believe we are leaving too quickly to finish that fight? mr. sampler, start with you? >> i thank you. i really don't have an opinion on the network. i have worked in afghanistan since 2002. they have been there decades before that. i don't have any opinion on -- >> they were gone, though, wasn't it? >> it would. >> mr. dumont? do you have any thoughts? >> it is something, obviously, we take seriously and we follow closely and fight against each day. it is something we remain focused on because it is serious
to us. the afghans understand that as well. >> thank you for being here, mr. chairman. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: thank you. -- ms.ow to miss gabbert gabbard of i hawaii. >> thank you for being here and thanks for your hard work and service, each of you. as we have seen different opinions and different perspectives here today through the committee on the issues in afghanistan. i think these conversations reflect the conversations that we hear when we go back to our districts, we hear in the public about why there is an overwhelming public sentiment to bring all of our troops home is that there seems to be a lack of a clear definition on what our mission is. what is the end state that our troops are trying to accomplish or that we are trying to accomplish there? who is the enemy that threatens the united states in afghanistan? that our troops are fighting against. and when we say we need to
accomplish the mission, what does that even mean? what does that look like? when we look back to why we went there in the first place, osama bin laden is no longer a threat. al qaeda has largely been decimated in afghanistan. we see now, of course, pockets and threats coming from other countries and other regions. from these terrorist networks. and we have also seen that because al qaeda has no allegiance to a specific flag or country, our best and most efficient way to deal with this threat is through. so quick strike force that is we have successfully used in the past with some of these areas. when we look at stability, people talk often about stability in afghanistan as being an end state. we have given many tools, training, infrastructure to the afghan people. the afghan forces. in order to attain this end state, but we also talk about the corruption. the other challenges that exist within the country, the tribal
influences which really lead us to understanding that this stability at the end can only be achieved by the afghan people. i've got three questions that follow kind of this structure. first is, with the bilateral security agreement, what are the next steps at this point given what karzai has said and his posturing in not looking at this until after the afghan elections? and how long do we wait for him to make up his mind on what he wants to do? if eventually the bilateral security agreement is completed and agreed to, the remaining forces that are being projected to stay in afghanistan are -- i have two missions or two purposes from what i have seen and that is to train and assist, and also counterterrorism element. i'm wondering what percentage of that projected -- how those troops are broken up between those two missions?
and lastly, with that contingent that is left in afghanistan, i think the d.s.a. has kind after 10-year timeline. what is the timeline for our u.s. presence there in afghanistan? is it a timeline? if it's not a timeline is it an end state we are trying to achieve and say once this is achieved then there will be no presence? ambassador dobbins, if you could start on the b.s.a. and mr. dumont talk a little bit about our forces there. >> well, we are there to prevent afghanistan from again becoming a country with a government that supports al qaeda and allows it free reign within that country. something the taliban did and which they would do again if they came back to power. the -- we believe that concluding the b.s.a. as soon as possible is necessary to sustain
the large broad 70-nation coalition that supports afghanistan. we believe it will begin to fragment. we believe the afghan people will become increasingly anxious the longer this goes on. but we haven't at this point set a date beyond which we are no longer prepared to wait. we simply believe there is a big cost in wathe and it's a cost going to be paid for by the afghan people. i'll let mr. dumont comment on the relationship between the c.t. elements. in terms of the timeline the assumption is this is going to be a declining presence over time. whatever decision is made for 2015 will be again reviewed in the course of 2015 with the hope that the number can be reduced in 2016, etc. the objective over time is an afghanistan that's capable of securing its territory and population without more than the normal level of external assistance that countries at that level of development receive around the world. >> thank you.
mr. dumont, quickly. >> as you know the train advise and assist nato mission is to assist the afghans to become capable force, reliable c.t. partners so we don't have to do the c.t. that will take place over time. it will be a combined effort for some time i imagine. the percentage of who will do what i don't believe has been worked out yet. it will remain to be seen how quickly the afghans can assume more control for the c.t. fight in their own country and how much assistance support they'll require from donor nations. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. -- we go to million now to the gentleman from florida. >> i want to build on some of the statements made identify by my colleague from hawaii and mr. duncan in regards of the money being spent, how much money we spend. were you talking about $100 million for election, and another $45 million for
equipment for elections. with what gabbard was saying. what is the end game? they'll have a stable government? one that's not wrought with fraud, waste, and abuse? and that will run a country we can be good allies with and trading partners? mr. sampler, if you would. define the end game. what are we looking to gain for success? what would you say that is? >> there's two questions. the larger end game i'll yield to ambassador dobbins for, that's a policy question. with respect to $100 million on elections, of which 45 is a bilateral part. what we are hoping for is an election the afghans are happy with. i get asked the question often what, we doing in afghanistan in the answer i use is nigh own. it's not government polcy, but it's a secure, stable, and democratic afghanistan that governs its population justly and secures its geographic space.
>> how much effective is that ansf right now? are they more effective? are they standing up? do they own the security and the -- it's like they are fighting -- they know it's their responsibility? >> yes, sir, they do. we have transitioned security to them. they are in the lead. they are taking the majority of the casualties. and i venture to say close to 90% of the operations the military is conducting are afghan-led, afghan-conducted, afghan-planned. some other unilateral c.t. missions we do is also in conjunction with them. they do have a press he on it. they are involved in the planning. they are doing the majority of the fighting and taking the majority of the casualties. >> how much of that is based on us being there and our presence there? >> to get them to the point that they are at it's been a long-term effort, obviously. now we are providing -- depending on the level of the unit, for instance, there are
counterterrorism forces, we provide little assistance. we have a presence there but they are skilled, they are capable, and they are take the fight to the incouragent threat. -- insurgent threat. the conventional forces are making strides every day and making great progress. we do have an advising mission with them, but they are in the lead. >> ok. are we looking at some point of being able to pull out al snogget is this going to be another permanent u.s. military base around the world that we have? > i don't envision a permanent presence as you speak about. i think what will depend on is how well progress is made. how well stability in afghanistan is in effect over time and how well regional stability is in effect also. i think it will be a long-term focused effort that will take review over a period of time to assess how well things are progressing and what the enduring threat is to the united
states, if any. >> going back to you, mr. sampler, you're saying the infrastructure is built up and a lot more women are voting, a lot more women are in colleges and school. that's a good thing. is that going to be sustainable without our presence there? is that something they believe in philosophically? or is that just an ideological eling, an ideal of ours that we are instilling upon them in a muslim country? that they won't maintain after we leave? >> congressman, that's a great question. it's not an issue of islam. it's more an issue of afghan society. it is something that they are adapting as their own. that's the only way we'll be resilient is if they make it their own philosophy. >> without our presence. >> without our presence. the afghans appreciate what we have done for them. but the afghans themselves want to reach a point where they are self-sufficient and self-sustaining. not all al gansz see it this way yet. that's the progress we are making. >> we have talked about the
poppy fields. how we need to change the farmers and the whole frougs mechanism so there is a more profitable crop and get away from $100 million in poppies. yet we are giving $100 million for elections. we have talked about that for 25, 30 years. it goes back to 1992, even before that. that's just a way of life. is that realistic that we can change that without just changing the whole dynamics over there as far as the government and structure and all that? and western ideologies? >> congressman, i hate to speak in generalalities, most afghan farmers don't choose because they want to. they would rather grow food it's just not profitable or sustainable. our job at usaid is to make possible for them to make laving off noncriminal activities. >> thank you. >> we now go to lois frankel of florida, representative frankel's son served in afghanistan and iraq. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i did have the privilege of
visiting our troops in afghanistan. our folks from usaid with mr. wilson. i'm glad his son has returned home safely. as has mine. my son also served in usaid. he went back after the marines, he went back to afghanistan. so i thank you-all for your service. i'm grateful for his service and everybody's certificate vifments i still have to say that i remain skeptical of the money we are spending there and the waste and the fraud and all that. but with that said i do have a number of questions. first of all you talk about education and it's heartening to hear about the advancement in education. but specifically i'd like to -- there there -- there is a saying -- i don't know who i'm quothing. a great teacher under a tree is bert than an ignorant one in a new american built school. my first question is, what are the metrics we are using in
terms to assess whether there is success? is it -- are there test scores? is it secular courses? is there any anti-west propaganda being taught? hat's the metric used? if the agreement is reached and we do stay there, do you feel that you have a good understanding among all the agencies which groups are significant threats to the united states and which have goals that are only local? and in terms of the various programs, are we going to see the state department lead on diplomacy, usaid on development, i.c.m. intelligence, or will the military continue to drive those lanes? those are my basic questions.
if you have time i'd like to hear also the answer, again, from some of the others i think ambassador dobbins did answer why we should stay. i'd like to hear the other entlemen's response to that. >> on the education we can measure outputs or outcomes. i'm a proponent of measuring desirable outcofments one of the most positive things in afghanistan in recent years is the figure i cited in my testimony of afghans entering higher education 20% are women. that would be unthinkable a decade ago. because there were no women who had primary or secondary. they won't be rolled back to burkeas or back corner of a compound. in temples outcomes, that's one of the metrics. >> what are they lurning? do you know when they get through the system what they have learned? >> afghanistan has entrance examines for their universities.
i'm not familiar with what they are. i am told by others that they are comparable to other universities in the region. i can get more information. >> let me add one point, twice as many afghans can read and write today as could 10 years ago. that number will go up to three times as many 10 years from now if the kids in school now stay in school. at a basic level literacy is the outcome. >> your other question in terms of western -- anti-western bias in their education. usaid did a $27 million contract with the ministry of education to purchase textbooks. we did have the right to fuse it. they were afghan textbooks, they designed the curriculum. we didn't interfere with that. we were satisfied it was not prejudicial to the united states or the west. >> want to say something about why we're there? >> i appreciate the question of why we are there. i think this is something all of the foreign service officers have to deal with. why am i leaving my family and going to do this?
aim struck given my military time we can do this right or do it again. our hope is that we will be able to create and support a secure, stable, and democratic afghanistan that governs its population justly and secures its geographical space. i i use that quite often with the foreign service officers out and it captures most of the reasons i think we are there. >> ma'am, with respect to the groups we know are a threat to the u.s. and one that is are local, while we have those identified, there is no guarantee that the ones who are focused on local activities will not merge and compile resources and personnel to attack ourselves or other coalition nations. that is of corner because -- concern because some of these groups affiliate they have far-reaching effect than ever intended. >> what about driving the various programs? can somebody answer that? >> i think to be fair i think that there is a division of labor between defense, state,
a.i.d., and the intelligence community at the moment that's pretty clear. the collaboration, i have been in every administration since lyndon johnson's. i think the collaboration among agencies is pretty straightforward and amicable. as good as any administration i have seen. i don't see d.o.d. rolling over the other agencies. i think they are on the diplomatic side, there is quite a differential to the state department and we are to them on the military operations side. >> thank you, mr. chair. >> thank you. we go now to mr. dana rohrabacher of california. > thank you, mr. chairman. don't know where to begin here. how much are we spending annually in afghanistan now? how much is it costing the american taxpayer? nick know? -- anybody know?
somewhat us have different bubts. >> nobody knows the total budget what we are spending in afghanistan? it's a hearing on afghanistan. can i have an estimate? >> i'm sorry, congressman. >> i'll just have to say it's disheartening to have a briefing from our government people who are involved in a project and they can't tell me what -- how much we are spending annually. how many killed and wounded have we suffered in the last 12 months? mr. dumont, would you know that? >> sir, do i not. i'll have to get back to you. >> we don't know what the cost is and we don't even know how many killed and wounded there are and we are supposed to believe that you fellows have a plan that's going to end up in a positive way in afghanistan? holy cow.
>> we do know that the number of afghan soldiers and police killed is 30 times -- >> i have to tell you something. i'm mother interested in knowing how many americans have been killed because the afghans have been killing themselves for centuries. and my father fought in korea, and i remember when he told me, he said, dana, all of our -- these young men who are with me fighting in korea, they would never have believed that we would be there after 50 years. not one of those guys who went to korea to stop the communist takeover would have believed that this meant that we would have been committed for 50 years. we don't know how many are killed and wounded. we don't know what the cost s what will be the cost, you're presenting a plan now, what will be the cost to the united states per year annually after your plan is applied to afghanistan if they accept it?
>> we haven't defined force levels there. i think the rough figure is probably about $1 million per soldier. >> how many soldiers are we asking them, pleading with them to let us send our boys into harm's way? how much -- how many soldiers is the plan to continue with our presence? >> the president hasn't made that decision yet. >> is there a proposal to karzai on that? >> no. >> i heard the number 14,000. is that out of the ballpark? >> if you were talking about a u.s.-nato everybody together figure, that would still probably be somewhat high. karzai in fact has expressed no interest in the size of the residual presence. >> yesterday the secretary of state was here and he was telling me everything's -- what we can't do to make the mullahs
mad. he wasn't putting it that way. i suggested there was a groveling going on. i think we are groveling again. maybe this is the grovel administration. we are groveling to karzai. i know karzai. i have known him for 20 years. we to suggest -- his family, all know what his family's done. they have become filthy rich. and we are dealing with a group there now centered around the karzai click -- clique. drug dealing, skimming of usaid, cronyism at its worst. and we are dealing with pakistan in order to make sure we have a presence there, meaning in afghanistan, and the pakistanis are doing what? we know the pakistanis are behind the i.s.i., who they are financing. we know that they spent money that we end up getting from us
to kill american soldiers. this is insanity. then we have people who want to stay longer? it's time for us to get our butts out of that country. maybe not for their sake, for our sake. we don't even care enough to know how much it's costing or how many killed and wounded we suffered. that should be right on the tip of your tongue because that's a cost to everybody's kid. everybody has got a son there or has to know that our number one priority is that person who we sent over there we care about him enough. but we have some other agenda in afghanistan. i don't see what we are going to accomplish. we are asking what the goals are. if you believe that's accomplishible in afghanistan? i got a bridge to sell you in california. thank you. >> mr. connolly of virginia. > thank you, mr. chairman. let me just say i do think, i
say to the panel, mr. rohrabacher's right. how you can come to a congressional oversight hearing on this subject with your titles and not know how much we are spending every year and not know how many casualties we incur every year, or this last year, i will say to the chairman of this committee it's actually stunning, stunning development. i have been involved in foreign policy hearings and oversight for a long time. like that wouldn't be a question n the tip of one's tongue? put that aside, mr. sampler, what's going to happen to the oversight of a.i.d.'s projects n afghanistan post-2014? are you going to have -- is a.i.d. going to have to pull back from whole geographic chunks of afghanistan for want
of security? >> congressman, thank you for the question. we hope not, but hope is not a plan. in most countries that we work in around the world we rely on host national security forces to provide areas secure enough for us to work. but there is range from what i would call regular aid missions where that's the case to afghanistan. and in between we have cases like pakistan, colombia, south sudan, yemen where we have to come up with creative measures to balance normal operations against conflict operations. in afghanistan post-2014, we ever programs around the country. some will continue to operate. some may have to be adjusted. it will depend on the security situation in the specific microarea as opposed to the countrywide -- >> are there parts of afghanistan where you are operating now that absent something happening you have to plan for a withdrawal or significant curtailment because of want of security?
that clearly the taliban is going to reassert itself in certain sectors of afghanistan? >> congressman, i can't name a specific area, but categorically there mubs. there will be someplace in afghanistan we are working today where a year from now the situation will have changed and we will no longer be able to work. we'll have to readjust and pull back. >> one of the concerns i have when i went to afghanistan in 2009 was the emerging -- of a parallel, unregulated, no oversight stream of development assistance, economic assistance entirely controlled by local commanders, our military commanders on the ground. i think it started out with great intentions but it ballooned. it became fairly substantial.
and it always worried me that it didn't get the attention, say, bilateral aid programs do. taste not really -- it's kind of ad hoc project-ized. it doesn't get the careful scrutiny and evaluation we would normally expect for any normal aid project. what is the status of that funding and the concerns i had in 2009, do you think they have been resolved or addressed in the interim? three of you, sure. >> your concerns in 2009 were not unfounded. commanders emergency response program money was to serve as a stabilization goal. i have been in the military and usaid. i can appreciate the value what they were attempting to do. one of the ways we with our d.o.d. colleagues remedied this is put senior development advisors at each of the regional combative command and embedding usaid officers all the way down.
from 2007, 2008, 2009, to most recent times i think we have addressed this. we no longer see programs that don't have a development eye cast upon them. that doesn't always mean that the programs are what i would consider good long-term development programs. that's not their goal. their goal is to satisfy something that that tactical commander needs at that moment. we tolerate that. we work with them to make sure it integrates even if at the moment it may not be a development with a sound project. it does serve a military goal. >> obviously it's dramatically reduced -- >> i'm sorry, mr. ambassador. >> obviously it's reduced as a result of reduction in u.s. forces, and i would guess as we move to a training advise and assist role, we'll be reduced to zero. whatever the problem was i think it will be resolved in that sense. i do agree with mr. sampler that over time a.i.d. and defense
created a joint mechanism for managing the program that brought developmental considerations to bear on those expenditures. i might just mention in response to your earlier questions about total levels of spending, and casualties, that state and a.i.d. between them spend about $2 billion a year in afghanistan at the moment. it was about double that two years ago. casualties, about 2,100, 2,200 killed in action since the beginning of the conflict and about 20,000 injured. as to the cost of the troops, as i said it's about $1 million a day per troop. we currently have 50,000 troops there, if that was a custom through the year, it would be $50 billion. it will be less than that because we are bringing those troop numbers way down over the next year. >> thank you. i know my time is up. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you.
we go to mr. schneider of illinois. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i thank the witnesses for your time here. also critically for the service you give to our country. i want to we pete what some of the sentiment that's already been shared. he supreme disappointment in president karzai's approval to sign the bilateral security agreement and game playing with it at a time as ambassador dobbins you said, time is of the essence here. it has an ongoing impact. being the last, one of the last to ask questions, ambassador dobbins you mentioned the war in afghanistan is not yet over. mr. sampler you said it most eloquently, we either do it right this time or we do it all over again. and the goal, the reason we have invested so much in blood and treasure, is to eliminate a threat, but also long-term to
make sure we have a stable government that is working for the prosperity of its people and justly and regional security. that's critical. what struck myllysening to that testimony today is that a common thread that you-all touched on. mr. sampler, you said, continued u.s. engagement is critical to afghanistan's stability and protecting the vital interests of our own country. mr. dumont, i think you put it a little differently but it can be a guarantor for securing a democratic afghanistan. but not without continued progress towards developing a sustainable, full, and professional force. i think that requires ongoing support. finally, ambassador, all recognize that without continued international military and economic support, afghanistan risks falling back into civil war. it becomes in some respect a self-fulfilling prophecy. as we sit here in december
looking to a new year, we look forward to next summer and the summer fighting season again. i guess my first question after a long introduction, mr. dumont, maybe you are the one to look to for this what, do you see as the critical success factors if the ansf is going to stand up and successfully make it through next sum earn continue down a path we are hoping to see? >> we will leave this hearing at this point. live coverage continues online at c-span.org. live now to the u.s. house as members are returning for legislative work. five bills on the agenda. we are also hearing that the budget deal will be debated on the house floor tomorrow. live to the house. the speaker: the prayer will be led by our chaplain, father con roy. chaplain conroy: let us pray. gracious god we give you thanks for giving us another day. you have blessed us with all good gifts and with thankful hearts we express our gratitude.
you have created us with opportunities to serve other people in their need, to share together and respect -- in respect and affection and to be faithful in the responsibilities we have been given. in this moment of prayer, please grant to the members of this people's house the gifts of wisdom and discernment that in their words and actions they will do justice, love with mercy, and walk humbly with you. may all that is done this day be for your greater honor and glory, amen. the speaker: the chair has exammed the journal of the last day's proceedings and announces his approval thereof. pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1, the journal stands approve. for what purpose does the gentleman from south carolina rise? mr. wilson: pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1, i demand a vote on the speaker's approval of the journal.
the speaker: the question is on the speaker's approval of the journal. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. mr. wilson: i object to the vote on the grounds that a quorum is not present and make a point of order that a quorum is not appropriate. the speaker: pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20 further proceed option this question will be postponed. the speaker pro tempore: the pledge of allegiance will be led by mr. hultgren. mr. hultgren: 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 of the aisle. for what purpose does the gentleman from illinois rise? mr. hultgren: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker: without objection. mr. hultgren: i rise to recognize computer science education week. on monday i participated in an
international hour of code. p.j., a gene computer genius, helped me write code for angry birds. they organized an important educational event for students eager about coding. if these kids can accomplish what we did in an hour, imagine how far students could go if computer science were more accessible at a younger age. currently software jobs utnumber students 15 to one. coding is not just for computer scientists. fields such as advanced manufacturing require workers skilled in computer science. if i can learn, it shows anyone can learn to code. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back his time. for what purpose does the gentlelady from oregon seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for one
minute. ms. bonamici: mr. speaker, in this holiday season of compassion and giving, we must not forget those who are suffering from the effects of the worst recession to hit our country since the great depression. though the recent news about job creation is cause for optimism and the budget negotiations look promising, there are still too many trying every day to find work to allow them to put food on the table and keep a roof over their head. we must pass an extension of unemployment insurance. unless we take action, millions of americans, thousands of them -- thousands of them oregonians, will see their unemployment insurance benefits nend a few short weeks. benefits are contingent on continued job search. our constituents are search bug if they're still out of work, they're about to lose a lifeline. we can't let that happen. i encourage house leadership to bring a resolution to the floor to continue unemployment insurance for another year. we must act now. this is no time to end assistance to millions of americans who are out of work
through no fault of their own. thank you, mr. speaker, and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back her time. for what purpose does the gentleman from south carolina seek recognition? mr. wilson: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and rhett re-my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. wilson: mr. speaker, people across america are hurting because obamacare is destroying jobs. thousands of residents from north augusta to blithewood in south carolina's second congressional district have appealed for answers because of the difficulties they are facing because of the government health care takeover. kathleen sebelius has failed. i heard from constituents who are applying for a second or third job because their current income won't cover the increased cost of health care. others have shared stories of sticker shock because they paid three times more for the same coverage. concerns have been vindicated by the projecks of job losses by the national federation of independent business because of the health care takeover. we must repeal and replace
obamacare with a patient-centered plan that creates jobs that has long been proposed by congressman dr. tom price and puts health care decisions back in the people's hands. in conclusion, god bless our troops and we will never forget september 11 and the global war on terrorism. congratulations to lieutenant hunter wilson for completing his service in afghanistan. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from illinois seek neck riggs -- recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for one inute. >> last week, we were encouraged by the labor report that sthode economy was adding jobs. the unemployment rate is shrinking and companies are again investing but there is still work to be done. for the 11 million americans without a job, the economy is still in a state of emergency.
when a mom in chicago or a dad in kankakee loses their job, the whole family feels it. ms. kelly: i've met with many people from illinois with impressive qualifications who are weary from the job certainly. they want what we all want. a good job a livable wage, and a congress that will work to create new economic opportunities. but until that is achieved, they're asking for a hand up, not a handout in these tough times. it is for these americans that i urge my colleagues to extend unemployment insurance benefits now. because every citizen deserves support in their pursuit of the american dream. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back her time. for what purpose does the gentlelady from north carolina seek recognition? ms. foxx: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. foxx: thank you, mr. speaker. what we know is this on january 1, millions of americans are scheduled to lose the health insurance plans they liked and wanted to keep.
nowhere near that many have managed to enroll in obamacare. because washington said those plans would be illegal on january 1, health care providers physical followed the law and took steps to cancel millions of plans on schedule. but president obama and secretary sebelius haven't been ready with a functioning alternative and certainly not an affordable altern tiff for the millions of americans who will be without coverage on january 1 because of obamacare no one pant wants to see a situation where fewer americans have coverage but forcing an unready law and unwanted alternatives on the american people might just have unintended consequences system of what's the president's plan? the american people are tired of waiting for clarity for from -- from an administration that keeps waiting in until the last minute to change its mind and announce the next big delay. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. for what purpose does the gentlelady from california seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute
and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. >> thank you, mr. speaker. st year, diabetes cost the u.s. economy $245 billion. that number will only continue to climb unless congress supports critical medical research and treatment initiatives like the special diabetes program. the special diabetes program contributes to the groundbreaking research at the national institute of health. continued investment in this program will bring hope for a cure and a better life to the 26 million americans living with diabetes. the special diabetes program also funds treatment, education, and prevention programs for american indian and alaska native families who are disproportionately affected by diabetes. ms. brownley: we must continue our commitment to fighting this deadly disease without a timely,
multiyear renewal, work that could save hundreds of thousands of lives is put at risk. i urge my colleagues to support legislation to renew the special diabetes program. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back her time. for what purpose does the gentlelady from indiana seek recognition? ask request one minute -- i to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: does the gentlelady ask for unanimous consent? the gentlelady is recognized for ne minute. >> there is still work to do. what are house republicans doing to help? we want to get government out of the way of economic growth. we want to curb the excessive regulations coming out of washington, d.c., we want to protect americans from the harmful effects of obamacare. with so many americans struggling to make ends meet
it's not fair that washington democrats want to force people to pay more for their hone health care. mrs. brooks: what's more, policy cancellations and technical problems have left many americans unsure if they're covered at all. we need real, pro-growth solutions that will create jobs and give all americans a fair shot. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady rom hawaii seek recognition? the gentlelady is recognized. ms. gabbard: thank you, mr. speaker. on nt to commend the work the budget. the end result is not perfect in anyone's eyes but it symbolizes what can be acleveland when two sides come together for the best interests of our country. there's one element of the agreement i'm raising with concern because my state of hawaii has a very unique circumstance.
we have six major islands where people live with no interisland railway new york highway or ferry system that connects each of these islands and people who commute back and forth, people who look for access to health care, have no option other than to fly. and in some cases, this air route is an essential lifeline in each of these areas. in the past -- in the past, congress recognized hawaii's unique situation and exclusive reliance on air travel and we're concerned about the disparty impact of taxes and fees on this air travel in our state. again the budget deal is a solid step in the right direction but we must ensure that the people of hawaii who have no options available to them other than to fly are not unduly burdened with the fee increase. i look forward to being able to address this issue. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from indiana seek recognition? >> i rise and ask unanimous consent to address the house for onemen. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized.
>> thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in strong support of senator bill 1471, the alicea dawn koehl respect for national semierer tirs act. for his workenator on this. the person this is named for was the daughter-in-law of frank and carol koehl. she was tragically murdered and after her killer, an army veteran, committed suicide, he was buried in a national cemetery with military honors despite laws prohibiting such distinction. this bill provides the department of veterans affair tose right to right such wrongs, ensuring our national cemeteries for those who
deserve the honor. my heart gos out to the family of alicia koehl. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from nevada seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. ms. titus: i rise on behalf of the nearly 30,000 unemployed nevadans who risk losing their ben fis if congress fails to act before the end of the year. while our economy has slowly begun to recover from he recession and housing crisis, there are still 1.3 million fewer jobs today than when the recession started six years ago. nearly four million jobless americans have been unemployed for more than 27 weeks. and while a newly unemployed workers has a 20% to 30% chance of getting hired, a long-term unemployed worker has only a one in 10 chance of finding a new job in any given month. cutting off a critical lifeline to those already struggling to make ends meet would be
irresponsible and reckless. causing significant damage to our economic growth and costing our economy nearly 310,000 jobs, including 3,000 in nevada. i'm proud to co-sponsor the emergency unemployment compensation extension act that would extend this vital program and related provisions for another year. so before congress pats itself on the back about a budget deal, let's think of those families truly in need during these holidays and beyond. i yield back. . the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? the gentleman is recognized. >> mr. speaker, as our nation's economy continues to improve, we still need to have a serious discussion about jobs in this country. mr. veasey: as congress will soon debate on whether to extend unemployment benefits for needy americans, we must remember that there are young people that are graduating from high schools in
our country that are not ready to take jobs that are in high demand. for instance, from a article i read in the "wall street journal" last year, an estimated 600,000 skilled, middle class manufacturing jobs went unfilled in this country. that's absolutely unacceptable. much of that can be attributed to kids who are simply unprepared. mr. speaker, improved education must be included if we are serious about rebuilding the middle class in this country. and if we are really serious about looking out for the middle class, we have to do something about raising the minimum wage in this country. any serious discussion about raising the standard of living in our country without addressing these two areas of education and raising the low minimum wage that we have is simply not addressing the issue seriously. mr. speaker, i'm trying to address these issues by having a job fair in my district on friday, january 24, in forth worth. it's -- fort worth. it's efforts like these and many others that will help the middle
class get back on track. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentlelady from kansas seek recognition? >> i seek unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. jenkins: stop talking, start doing. that is what gabriellea miller, a passionate childhood cancer advocate asks of our nation's leaders. as an original co-sponsor of the kids first research act, i encourage my colleagues to honor her request and support this piece of legislation. the bill directs $126 million to fund a new pediatric research initiative at the national institutes of health. these dollars will fund research, clinical trials, and medical advancements aimed at discovering better treatments to help kids fight their battles against childhood diseases. in my state, the university of kansas medical center is making great strides in the fight against pediatric illnesses, including plans for a pediatric blood cancer program, research
to prevent severe behavior disorders in children, and efforts to establish an institute for children's health and development. although gabriellea lost her battle to brain cancer in october, this bill supports programs that will find cures for brave kids like her. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back her time. for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia seek recognition? mr. moran: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. moran: mr. speaker, our lives will go on, but the life of the world community was forever changed by the life of nelson mandela who passed away this week. he chose the principles of truth and reconciliation and democracy and peace through justice to guide his life. he was willing to give his life for those principles. it's unfortunate that the united
states didn't support world sanctions against south africa. i would hope if we had the opportunity to oppose apartheid wherever it it exists throughout the world again, that we would follow the lead of nelson mandela. treating people differently because of their race or their class or their religion is simply wrong. the way that we honor nelson mandela best is to follow his principles. he transformed this world. we have the opportunity now to learn from his life. and to follow his principles. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from colorado seek recognition? >> permission to address the house for one minute. revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, rye rise today in support of computer science education week, a time which
educators, business, policymakers, and communities can come together to celebrate the important role of computer science. mr. polis: in the next 10 years there will be more than one million more computer science jobs than we have students studying computer sciences. we need to address that gap. that's why representative brooks and i introduce add computer science education acts, h.r. 2536, without creating any new federal programs or acquiring any new spending, our bill would allow existing federal funding to support computer science programs, across our schools. this week students across the country can try out computer science by participating in the hour of code. on monday, in my district, students worked with oracle to develop apps to get kids excited about computer science. at boulder, people developed their video games. through the national council of member and technology in my district more than 300 companies are working to increase participation of girls and women in computing. i hope you join me in supporting
computer science education week either by participating in the hour of code or supporting the computer science education act. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from oklahoma seek recognition? >> unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. >> i rise today to wish a happy birthday or happy anniversary to an organization that is actually helping people. mr. lankford: 75 years ago the wagno day act was signed. it's now known as the ability one program. honoring each individual person across our country with unique disabilities to be able to say as a nation we are going to stand with you on that. i believe firmly that every individual evaluates success in a different way, but i think part of how they evaluate success is do they have a great family experience, community of friends around them? are they deep in their own personal faith? do they have work that is meaningful? the ability one program and
what's happening specifically in my state, an organization connected to them, called new view oklahoma. they are helping people have great value and understand that people that are blind and visually impaired can have great success in life. can contribute to society. they are producing products that are sold commercially and to government that are all over the world. in fact, two years ago i was in afghanistan and when we landed, as we got off the back of the aircraft there, there was one of the bright yellow chalks that is uniquely made in oklahoma by people blind and visually impaired. this is a great gift we are doing and i wish them happy anniversary. with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the the -- the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: does the gentleman ask for unanimous consent? mr. schiff: i do. mr. speaker, i rise today to call on speaker boehner to allow passage of the comprehensive immigration reform legislation. it is vital that we approach the issue of immigration with a sense of urgency, a spirit of compassion, and a commitment to
security. most important, reform must provide a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants and allow them to emerge from the shadows. my congressional office is one of the highest volumes of immigration cases in california. and the stories that are shared with me are heartbreaking. i received calls from constituents every day describing the hardships that our broken immigration system has placed on their family and i have heard their pleas for help. the current wait time for many family members to reunite in the united states can be 10 years or more. dreamers who come to the united states as young children and are pursuing a college degree or serving in the military have limited or no career opportunities and they are stuck in endless limbo. our broken immigration system takes a terrible toll on innocent families, local law enforcement, and our economy. we must not further delay action. the time to fix it is now. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from arizona seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from arizona is
recognized. mr. grijalva: thank you, mr. speaker. as members of the house reach their conclusions on the budget deal announced by congressman ryan and senator murray, a deal i might add devoid of any support for the unemployed, real investment in jobs and education, tax reform that produces fairness, and pushing additional burden on federal employees, cost burdens, but it does avoid cuts to social security and medicare. and the republican inspired government shutdown and near default. i want to he remind my colleagues in the house that that same kind of effort, attention, and risk is needed on the issue of comprehensive immigration reform. if we could produce a budget deal through the crisis that we get through, it's time for the house of representatives and republican leadership to step up and produce the same kind of effort, the same kind of attention to one of the most critical domestic issues affecting so many families and communities in this country.
and that is the question of comprehensive immigration reform. so if he we have the fortitude, the risk, compromise on a budget, we should certainly be able to do that for immigration reform. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentlelady from new hampshire seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. >> thank you so much. mr. speaker. the national institute of health has helped make america one of the great engines of biomedical discovery. ms. kuster: n.i.h. funding is critical for n.i.h. to sustain its mission of improving health through scientific breakthroughs and maintain our international leadership. i'm proud that some of the world's best scientific research is taking place right here in new hampshire. in new hampshire, lifesaving research at dartmouth college and u.n.h. is made possible by n.i. hirks grants. unfortunately the first year of
sequestration required n.i.h. to cut 5% of its budget. many of america's young scientists are leaving the u.s. to pursue their research abroad for more stable positions. if the sequestration were to continue for the full 10 years, n.i.h. would lose a staggering $19 billion. and our nation would lose precious time in its race against alzheimer's disease, cancer, autism, hiv-aids, and countless other diseases that cause pain and suffering. i urge congressional leaders to approve robust funding for n.i.h., to reverse the damaging impact of sequestration on research programs. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back her time. for what purpose does the gentlelady from california seek recognition? er does the gentlelady ask for unanimous consent? the gentlelady from california is recognized. mrs. negrete mcleod: thank you, mr. speaker.
mr. speaker, the affordable care act is moving in the right direction and delivering what the law was intended to do. deliver a wider range of medical services to all americans, including improved access to mental health services. the administration announced that $100 million of additional funding would be made available to expand and improve the way americans receive mental health services. according to the california health care foundation, nearly one in six california adults has a mental health need, and approximately one in 20 suffers from a serious mental illness that makes it difficult to carry out major life activities. the rate among children is higher where one in 13 suffers from a mental illness that limits participation on daily activities. while most mental illnesses are treatable, those with mental illness often struggle to get needed treatment if they do not have health insurance that covers mental health services.
starting next year, insurers would not be able to he deny coverage or charge an individual pre-existing to health conditions, including mental illnesses. it would require most health plans to cover recommended preventive services like depression screening for adults, and behavior assistance for children. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the chair lays before the house a communication. the clerk: the honorable the speaker, house of representatives. sir, i wish to resign from my assignments to the house committee on the judiciary, the house committee on natural resources, and house committee on veterans' affairs effective the week of december 9, 2013. my resignation is in order to facilitate my appointment to the house committee on appropriations. thank you for the opportunity. sincerely, mark e. amodei.
the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the resignations are accepted. the chair lays before the house a communication. the clerk: the honorable the speaker, house of representatives. sir, please accept this letter as resignation from my seats on the house committee on agriculture, the house committee on armed services, and the house committee on education and the work force. i thank you for the opportunity to serve on these important committees. i remain committed to supporting my district's unique military, agriculture, and educational interests in my new capacity on the house committee on appropriations. sincerely, martha roby, member of congress. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the resignations are accepted. the chair lays before the house a communication. the clerk: the honorable the speaker, house of representatives. sir, as you are aware, the steering committee acted last week on my request to join the appropriations committee. in order to move on the appropriations committee, i'm writing to resign from my
current committee assignments, including all subcommittees on the science, space, and technology committee. the homeland security committee. and the natural resources committee. i have truly enjoyed my service on these committees. i similarly look forward to serving on the appropriations committee. sincerely, chris stewart. . the speaker pro tempore: without objection the resignations are accepted. for what purpose does the gentlelady from kansas seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, by direction of the house republican conference, i send to the kesk a privileged resolution and is ask for its immediate consideration in the house. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 437, resolved -- ms. jenkins: i ask unanimous consent to dispense with the reading. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. without objection, the resolution is agreed to. without objection, a motion to reconsider is laid on the table.
pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, the chair will postpone fufert proceedings today on motions to suspend the rules on which a recorded vote or the yeas and nays are ordered, or on which the vote incurs objection under clause 6, rule 20. recorded votes on postponed questions will be taken later. for what purpose does the gentleman from oklahoma seek recognition? >> i move to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 2319 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: yube calendar number 207, h.r. 2319 a bill to clarify certain provisions of the native american veterans memorial establishment act of 1994. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from oklahoma, mr. mullin, and the gentleman from arizona, mr. grijalva, will each control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the
gentleman from oklahoma. mr. mullin: i ask unanimous consent that all members may have up to five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include materials on the bill under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. mullin: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for such time as he wishes to consume. mr. mullin: h.r. 2319 is a bill that would continue to recognize all native american, alaskan ative veterans across america. these brave soldiered sacrificed much for their country. as many of my colleagues know, last month, congress award congressional gold medals to code talkers from all over the country, a long overdue recognition for their bravery and valor. they saved countless lives in tworled war i and world war ii by using their native languages.
my bill amends allows the national museum of the american indian more flexability to design and raise funds for a memorial. it is currently set to be constructed inside the museum but with limited space inside the museum, it provides for more fitting tribute. this has received overwhelming support from the national museum of american indians. as one of only two native americans in congress it has been my privilege to work to make -- to make this memorial a reality. i ask for your support of this legislation which was reported by unanimous consent from the committee on natural resources just last week and will require no cost to the american taxpayers. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves his time. the gentleman from arizona is recognized. mr. grijalva: thank you, mr. speaker.
i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. grijalva: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. grijalva: h. reform 2319 authorizes vancouver canucks of -- construction of a native american veterans memorial on the grounds of the native american museum. it is already thored to be built within the museum but planning efforts have identified the need for more space. this bill allows the memorial to be built outside. native americans have a long and proud tradition of military service. navajo code talkers were involve nevered assault the u.s. marines conducted in the pacific from 1942 to 1945. their heroics inspired a hollywood movie. but the proud tradition of native american service goes all the way back to the revolutionary war. since the nation's first americans have fought never u.s. engagement, it's about time we
recognize their service with a national memorial. i cannot think of a better place to commemorate that tradition than on the grounds of the national museum. i also want to take time to thank congressman mullin for his leadership and sponsorship of this legislation overdue and very, very appropriate and historically necessary. we support h.r. 2319, urge its passage and reserve the balance of my time. the speaker: the gentleman from arizona reserves his time the zpwrelt arizona is recognize -- from oklahoma is recognized. mr. mullin: i appreciate the bipartisan support from my colleague from arizona an definitely the support from the other side of the aisle so often is needed inside this house. i would -- at this time i would like to yield as much time as the gentleman may consume from north dakota, mr. kramer. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for as much time as he wishes to consume.
mr. cramer: i want to thank my friend and colleague from oklahoma, my colleague on the natural resources committee with me as well as the indian and alaska native affairs subcommittee. mr. mullin has demonstrated great leadership on this legislation. in north dakota our citizens enlist in the military at a rate four times the national average. much of the credit for this ims preive statistic really belongs to the thousands of our native citizens who have enlisted at very, very high rates, citizens from the turtle mountain band of chip pembings wa. , the ur sioux nations spirit lake nations and other nations who have demonstrated exemplary patriotism in their enlistment. furthermore, they carry out this patriotism with incredible pride, un-- understandable and appropriate pride in the way they participate with their honor and color guards at
veterans affair -- events throughout you are state. this memorial is an important recognition of their sacrifice and service and unique contribution to our society, especially given the history of our nation's birth system of mr. speaker, i encourage all of our colleagues to honor our native veterans by voting yes on this important legislation and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from oklahoma reserves. the gentleman from arizona. mr. grijalva: thank you, mr. speaker. at this point -- i yield as much time as the gentlelady from mp can use, ms. mccollum, co-chair of the native american caucus in the house. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from minnesota is recognized for such time as she wishes to consume. ms. mccollum: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in strong support of the native american veterans' memorial amendments act. native americans have served in the armed forces at higher rates
than any other ethnic group, even while being denied the right to vote and full citizenship in this country. their contributions include 27 recipients of thed me oofl honor and code talkers whose native languages became the unbreakable code, keeping american safe, keeping america strong. a permanent memorial for these brave men and women will ensure that all americans are able to honor and remember their sacrifice. while construction of such a memorial has been authorized since 1994, this bill offers critical amendments to make it a reality. it allows the national museum of the american indian to build a memorial on its grounds and permits the museum to work with the national congress of american indians. this honor is past due for the thousands of native american veterans and service members and their families and i urbling my colleagues to join me -- to join all of us in giving thanks for their service by supporting this bill. with that, i yield back, mr.
speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from arizona reserves. the gentleman from oklahoma. mr. mullin: at this time, i would like to yield as much time as the gentleman from montana may consume, mr. daines. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for as much time as he wishes to use. mr. daines: i want to thank congressman mullin for the work he's done in leading this porn bill and bringing it to the floor as well as the bipartisan support from my distinguished friend and member from arizona, mr. grijalva. as we are bringing something together here that is bipartisan in nature for a very important reason. montana is the proud home of seven federally recognized tribes along with a state-recognized tribe, the little shell. montana's tribes not only represent an important part of montana's history and our heritage, in fact, more than 2,500 montana tribal members are
veterans who serve as true examples of service, of bravery, of patriotism. last month i was blessed with the opportunity to meet with some of those montana veterans, their families, and other tribal members in washington, d.c. far congressional gold medal ceremony honoring the native american code talkers who served in both world wars. in fact, as a special moment, i brought several of those members of the crow tribe, desen doovents the code talkers, to the house floor for a tour after the congress adjourned. here we are werm -- here we were in this great chamber as the members of the tribe presented a blessing in their native language that was helpful in allowing us to win the world wars. this recognition was long overdue and well deserved for these brave and selfless men and women. i think it's important that all
of our native american veterans eceive the honor they deserve. this bill would help a memorial commemorating our native american veterans to be constructed on the national american indian museum grounds here in washington, d.c. this memorial will serve as an important symbol of gratitude for the thousands of native men and women who have fought to keep us free. i hope all members will join me today in supporting this effort to show our native american veterans the appreciation and honor that is most deserved. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from oklahoma reserves. the gentleman from oklahoma is recognized. mr. mullin: thank you, mr. speaker. i have no -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from arizona is recognized. mr. grijalva: i have no further speakers. i want to point out the obvious this legislation is important, its timing is important and the fact that this recognition per
capital for contributions to our nation and military service for native american peoples and tribes across this country is a very important one. it speaks to real loyalty, real love of the land and real love of this nation. i'm proud to be here and to lepped my support to this legislation and to yield back the remainder of our time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back his time. the gentleman from oklahoma is recognized. mr. mullin: i would like to thank my colleague from arizona for his support on this very important piece of legislation. we have no further speakers and at this time we yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from oklahoma yields back his time. the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 2319 as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rule -- the speaker pro tempore: the
gentleman from oklahoma. mr. mullin: on that, i would like to ask for the yeas and nays to be recorded. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. those in favor of taking a vote on the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having risen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause of rule 20, further proceedings on this otion will be postponed. of for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and pass s. 1471. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: senate 1471, an act to authorize the secretary of veterans affairs and secretary of the army to reconsider decisions to interor honor the memory of a person in a national semiererity and for other purposes. the speaker: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from florida, mr. miller, and the gentleman from maine, mr.
michaud, will each control 20 minutes. the gentleman reck -- the gentleman from florida. mr. miller: i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and add any extraneous material in senate 1471. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. miller: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for such time as he wishes to consume. mr. miller: i rise in support of senate 1471, the alicia dawn koehl respect for national semiererities act. it would grant authority to the department of veterans afairs to reconsider the decision to memorialize an individual in situations where it is later discovered that the deceased committed a capital crime. surntly section 2411 of title 38, united states code, prohibits the interment or
memorialization of persons who committed a federal or state capital crime. nonetheless, situations have arisen where the entity, such as a funeral home or the individual charged with scheduling the interment or memorialization of the decedent doesn't know of the crime or does not truthfully report such crime to federal cemetery officials. n situations where the funeral home has no knowledge, v.a. actually lacks statutory authority to reconsider interment or memorialization decisions. simply put, individuals who are buried or memorialized within national cemeteries cannot be disintered on the basis of subsequently received information. mr. speaker s. 1471 would provide this authority to v.a. as well as to the department of
defense in the case of arlington national cemetery. v.a. supports this bill as it would provide the department with the ability to redress interment cases where eligibility is invalidated by information that is learned after a burial. this bill would also specifically direct the secretary of veterans affairs to disinterthe remains of michael lashawn anderson from fort kuster national cemetery as it was mr. anderson who murdered alicia dawn koehl prior to taking his own life. in that case, the funeral home charged with his burial was unaware of the incident, thus they did not properly report the crime and fort custer national cemetery provided a military funeral. the interment of mr. anderson was brought to the attention of the indiana congressional delegation and i want to thank my colleague, mrs. brooks, for
highlighting this tragic incident and offering companion legislation to s. 1471. i also want to thank our colleagues in the senate for addressing this need and for passing senate 1471. i encourage all of my colleagues to support this legislation. at this time, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida reserves his time. the gentleman from maine, mr. michaud is recognized. mr. hi shaud: i yield myself such time as i may consume. thank you, mr. speaker. i support this bill to reconsider the decision to inter individuals at our veterans' national cemetery to include arlington national cemetery. with this legislation, individuals who may have committed a federal or state capital crime but were not convicted by reason of unavailability for trial due to
death or flight to avoid prosecution may be considered for disinternment. being buried in our national cemeteries is one of the highest honors our nation bestows upon veterans and their dependents for their service and sacrifice. this legislation also close as loophole in the current law. currently veterans and their dependents who have been convicted of capital crimes may not be buried in arlington national cemetery or any national cemetery if there is a mistake or they are inappropriately buried in one of the cemeteries, the army and/or v.a. cannot correct that mistake. this legislation would correct this issue and allows the secretaries of the army and the v.a. to reconsider the original internment. and exhume the body for internment elsewhere. thank you, mr. speaker. i urge my colleagues to support this legislation. i reserve the balance of my
time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maine reserves his time. the gentleman from florida. mr. miller: thank you very much, mr. speaker. at this time i yield such time as she may consume, the member who brought this attention -- to our attention and to the full committee, mrs. brooks of indiana. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from indiana is recognized for as much time as she wishes to use. mrs. brooks: thank you, mr. speaker. thank you. i want to thank the distinguished gentleman from florida and the subcommittee chairman, mr. runyan, for bringing up this important piece of legislation today, senate 1471. mr. speaker, during the season of christmas, we seek to surround ourselves with our family and our friends to give thanks for the blessings in our life. but unfortunately one family from my district will be spending yet another christmas season without their wife, without their mothers, without their daughter-in-law because of a senseless act of violence that took place at an apartment complex in indianapolis, indiana, on may 30, 2012.
on that date michael anderson, a deranged army veteran, went on a shooting rampage that took the life of alicia cole who was an apartment management -- apartment complex manager. after taking her life he also severely injured three others. mr. anderson shot alicia 13 times before taking his own life. alicia's killing left a whole in communities throughout indiana. she was not only a mother of two young children and a loving wife, she was a girl scout leader, volunteer of the year at spring mill elementary school, and an active member of her church. paul koehl, alicia's husband, provided testimony to the house veterans' affairs committee that alicia was the glue that held the family together. he continued her motto and life was live, laugh, and love. and that the saying could be found in almost every room of their home. he finally relayed her
contagious opts mism by telling her smile and gentle nature never failed to light up the room. it's no wonner her passing triggered and outpouring of sympathy throughout the state. she was a stabilizing influence which lends a sense of purpose and direction. mr. speaker, you can only imagine the indignation when in the midst of their grief family and friends found out that the killer of alicia was allowed burial in a national cemetery with full military honors. this is in spite of a federal law explicitly forbidding the department of veterans affairs from interring anyone who has commit add capital crime, including those never formally convicted. at the request of alicia's family and friends, senator coats and i began working on this case to rectify the mistake made by our national cemeteries association. the n.c.a. informed us they
lacked the authority to disinter michael anderson or the ability to rectify their horrific mistake if something like this should happen again. mr. speaker, this is unacceptable. i'm outraged not only that the koehl family has had to endure yet another injustice after alicia's life was needlessly cut short, but also our brave service men and women who in some cases who have given the ultimate sacrifice to their nation are buried next to a murderous criminal. the legislation before the house today will simply give the department of veterans affairs the ability to reconsider internment of veterans who lost their privilege of internment in our national cemeteries by committing a capital offense. our nation's cemeteries shouldn't be tarnished because of a legislative tent tsh-technicality and the bill before us will close this loop whole. our bravest men and women should be buried next to fellow heroes and today we can make sure they always are. i'm proud to be a sponsor of the
house version of this bill that garnered the support of all hoosier representatives, and i want to thank them for coming together in a bicameral and bipartisan way to get behind this meaningful and important piece of legislation. i want to encourage all of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle and thank them for coming together and to give closure to the koehl family, restore a sense of honor to our national cemeteries, and improve the protocols so an injustice like this can never happen again. thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from indiana yields back her time. the gentleman from florida reserves. the gentleman from maine. mr. michaud: thank you, mr. speaker. today we can take a meaningful step to ensure that the sanctity of our national cemeteries, these grounds are hollowed for r men and women who fought ed for our men and women who fought so bravely.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida. mr. miller: i, too, encourage or colleagues to join us to support senate 1471. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida yields back his time. the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass senate 1471. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative -- the gentleman from florida. mr. miller: on that i ask for the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. all those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this otion will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition?
>> mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 3212, as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 3212, a bill to ensure compliance with the 1980 hague convention on the civil aspects of international child abduction by conindustries with which the united states enjoys reciprocal obligations to establish procedures for the prompt return of children abducted to other countries, and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from california, mr. royce, and the gentleman from illinois, mr. schneider, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california, mr. royce. mr. royce: thank you, mr. speaker. i'm going to ask that members may have five legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and include any extraneous material in the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. royce: thank you, mr. speaker. i'm going to yield myself such time as i might consume. and, mr. speaker, every year more than 1,000 american
families are confronted with the nightmare of their child being abducted to a foreign country by one parent in violation of legal custody and access rights beyond the reach of u.s. courts, beyond of reach of law enforcement. this illegal break in the tie between the child and the left behind american mother or father is a tragedy and many of us personally have constituents facing these wrenching separations in the family. more than 30 years ago the hague convention on the civil aspects of child abduction was created to provide a simplified mechanism for returning children to their countries of habitual residence so that parental rights are determined by applicable laws rather than by the act of abduction of that child. today the united states has
agreement with 75 hague partner countries, and that has helped to return many american children safely home. but unfortunately agreeing to the hague convention and complying with it are not the same thing. and countries sometimes do not abide by their obligations under that hague convention. in those countries, there is a heightened risk that a child could be kept there with impunity. american parents need to know about this situation, and they need to know that especially before planning or permitting travel to such destinations that this, in fact, could happen, and this bill will strengthen the incentives and the tools that the department of state has, to address these unresolved abduction cases. it will also require the united states to identify and take action concerning countries that
demonstrate a pattern of noncompliance with the obligations to return american children. and its enhanced annual reporting will provide american parents and judges with a clearer picture of actual hague compliance and the risks of nonreturned associated with travel to certain countries. i want to thank the gentleman from new jersey, mr. smith, for his tireless work on behalf of left behind american parents over the last several years. his efforts have kept hope alive for hundreds of other american parents who only want to be reunited with their children. mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california reserves his time. the gentleman from illinois is recognized. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in strong support of h.r. 32112, the sean and david goldman international child production prevention and return act, and i yield myself such time as i may consume. mr. schneider: i'd like to begin
by thanking my colleague on the foreign affairs committee, the gentleman from new jersey, mr. smith, for his dedicated and tireless efforts on this critical issue, making a difference for families. there are few crimes more heartwrenching than child abduction. as a parent myself, i can't imagine the anguish a mother or father goes through when their child is abducted by their partner and taken to another country. these left behind parents currently have little leverage to have their children returned home. they are often at the mercy of foreign courts with different cultural conceptions of custody, and what is or is not in the child's best interest. unfortunately, there are increasing number of international parental child abductions. the state department reported that in 2012 there were 1,144 children abducted from a parent in the united states and taken abroad. the most effective tool the united states has to help return abducted children is the 1980
hague convention on the civil aspects of international child abduction. this treaty creates a global standard and requires signatories to return abducted children to the country of the child's habitual residence for a custody hearing. regrettably there are significant gaps in the famework. it has no enforcement mechanism and 40% of abducted children are taken to nonhague client countries. this leaves far too many parents with no viable options. the purpose of the bill before us is to fill those gaps, providing parents the tools to bring their children home. it encourages the state department to enter into m.o.u.'s with countries that bring them in line with accepted standards and return these children home. in addition, the bill gives the president the power to sanction countries that demonstrate persistent failure in returning abducted children.
monitor lso help progress worldwide by reporting on child abduction cases and on u.s. government efforts to encourage their compliance. sadly international and parent -- sadly international parental child on ducks is an underreported crime which dramatically and traumatically impacts of the lives the children and parents involved. we need to send a message to the world that we take hague compliance and returning abducted children to the united states seriously. this bill takeance important step forward in empowering the president and state department rules. cing the hague i encourage my colleagues to support this legislation. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois reserves. the gentleman from california, mr. royce. mr. royce: i'm going to yield six minutes to the gentleman from new jersey, mr. smith, chairman of the subcommittee on
africa global health, global human rights. let me rephrase that i yield to him such time as he my consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for as much time as he wishes to consume. mr. smith: thank you, mr. speaker, and thank you, mr. royce for your work on this you have been a great friend to parents of abducted children and i also want to thank eliot engel. at a time when there were few bipartisan initiatives, you have ensured that the committee is a bipartisan committee where we work for the gheefed people and work on a global basis for all people, humanitarian issues, human rights, it really has made a difference and thank you for your support in getting this legislation here today. appreciate that very much. mr. speaker, david goldman spent tryingve agonizing years
to rescue his son, sean, from brazil which is a signatory nation, like the united states, to the hague convention. despite his airtight case that demonstrated an egregious example of both child on ducks and wrongful retention, the hague treaty was unavailing in the outcomes in the brazilian courts largely proved infuriating, infirm and ineffective. david goldman had extraordinary legal coup sill in brazil and the united states. his american attorney is a world class expert in child abduction cases. he waged his case by the book. and won judgments in the new jersey courts, yet both sean and david were made to suffer emotional pain for over half a decade as one delaying ploy after another was employed by the abducting parties.
in the end, mr. speaker, because of the father's abiding love for his son and an indomitable will, the goldmans today are united and happy. but the goldmans are an exemption exception in an ever worsening injustice that harms thousands of american children and many more kids worldwide. most cases of parental abduction and wrongful retention have a bad ending. the child or children never return and the left behind parents often -- left behind parent often never sees them again. even if left behind parents are aloud access, the conditions are tightly supervised and of an excruciatingly short duration. over the years, i have had the privilege of meeting many absolutely amazing, dedicated, yet heart broken left behind parents. some of them are here today in this chamber, mr. speaker, up in wage lery, who, as they
an effort on behalf of their abducted children. out of deep love and a commitment to justice, they too, like david goldman, adamantly refuse to quit. tragically, mr. speaker, their stories are often eerily the ame. in the beginning days and weeks post-abduction, they thought the hague treaty and their government would ensure a swift, just, and durable remedy. as the months and years go by, however, the journey of a left-behind parent is filled with unbearable pain. the heartache they ebb dure is severely compounded by the fact that child abductions and wrongful retentions significantly harm children. it hurts children in many ways. especially psychologically. mr. speaker, more than 1,000 international child abductions are reported to the state
department's office on children's issues, also known as the central authority of the united states each and every year. that's just those reported. there are many that are not. between 2000, 2008, and 2012, some 7,000 american children were abducted, according to the department of state. according to the state department as well, about half of those children abducted from the u.s., the countries with which this country has reciprocal obligations under the hague convention, about half of those are returned. in other words the other half are not. where there's no treaty obligation, less than 40% of abduction and access cases are resolved. it's an awful record that congress today can help change. the purpose of h.r. 3212, as amended, the sean and david goldman international child abduction and prevention act of
2013, is to protect children from the harmful effects of child abduction and wrongful retention and assist left-behind parents not only to have access to their children but significantly to enhance the prospects of resolution. my biggest policy takeaway from working on the goldman case, mr. peaker, was the absence of incentives for nations to prioritize resolving parental abduction cases and the complete lack of penalty for ka louse governmental indifference as well as complicity. the goldman act is based on two human rights law the trafficking victims protection act which i authored in the year 2000 and the international religious freedom act, irfa, which was authored by congressman frank wolf. it seeks to hold countries to account by meticulously
monitoring their performance in adjudicating abduction and wrongful retention after vigorous analysis, if a country at its judicial or law enforcement levels demonstrates a pattern of noncooperation, that is to say, persistent failure to facility response lts or failure of any nonhague nation to abide by a memorandum of understanding with the united states the president is empowered to take any number of escalating presidential actions against that nation. again, patterned after the tpba and irfa, the message to all nations and past, present, and ture abduckedors is that the united states is very serious about preventing or resolving child abduction cases. in order to ensure that the administration has maximum flexibility in advancing
solutions, the president is given generous waiver authorities. the bill also encourages the secretary of state to seek opportunities to enter into an m.o.u. with a nonhague convention country, obviously those that are not nonhague could also become a part of it even when they do become one and to establish protocols to identify, locate, and affect wait the return of an -- effectuate the return of an abducted child. inally to ensure more robust accountability and any successful intervention, the bill significantly beefs up reporting. finally, let me just say also, mr. speaker, the bill has been endorsed by the national center for missing and exploited children and i will include in a record a letter from that very august organization in support and the v.f.w. in a letter from robert wallace, executive director of the v.f.w. endorsed
the bill and made it clear, their concern, which is reflected in the text of the birbling about service members deployed abroad who find themselves in the unbelievably horrific position of having a child abducted while they are deployed and not only not having access to but certainly not getting their child back. there are a number of cases i have had at my hearings, we have had four so far, who have testified about during their deemployment in the case of commander tolin, stationed in japan, his daughter was abducted by his now-deceased wife and he has not had access to his daughter in a decade, mr. speaker. a decade. she's now 11 and he has desperately, through the rule of law and by using the process, tried to have access to and reclaim as the only surviving parent, his precious daughter. and he is like so many others. michael elias a combat-injured
iraqi war veteran in like manner, both of his children were abdoesn't and ehe cannot have access to them. i traveled to japan, mr. speaker and with the grandparents we could not even goat see those two wonderful children. that has not go -- that has got to change. this legislation seens to use hague l aspects of the convention to empower that treaty which is very well intentioned but lacks enforcement capability this legislation gives the president the tools and -- adds to those tools in the toolbox to really make return and access to a reality rather than a dream and a hope. i yield back to my distinguished chairman the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from illinois is ecognized. >> i yield to the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. kennedy, such time as he may consume.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for as much time as he wishes to consume. mr. kennedy: i want to thank my colleague from illinois, mr. schneider, for your important work and leadership on this issue. i rise in support of h.r. 3212 and i want to thank and recognize my colleagues on the foreign affairs committee, chairman of the subcommittee, chris smith and chairman of the full committee, mr. royce, for their porn leadership and hard work on this bill. mr. speaker, as a co-spon so far this bill i speak on behalf of all left behind parents and in particular, on behalf of a constituent of mine from newton, massachusetts, colin bower. colin was granted -- granted full custody of his children in 2008. in 2009, the boys' mother unexpectedly took them out of school, boarded a planen,, pled to egypt and has never since returned. through all that time, she has refused to return the children. it has been nearly two years
since colin has spoken with his sons and seen his sons. despite the custody ruling of a court and a subsequent egyptian court order to visit with his children, he's been denid opportunity to see his children time and time againism just got off the phone with colin a few moments ago he recapped the details of his ordeals yet again to me. but i guess in the words that he said most poignantly new york parent should ever have to go through this. between the years of 2008 and 2012, mr. speaker, parents reported more than 4,800 cases of abduction involving more than 7,000 children, according to the state department. currently, 89 countries are party to a hague treaty that provides a legal framework for children who are victims of international abduction. this bill would require the secretary of state to enter into a memorandum of understanding with those countries who have
not signed the hague agreement, creating a mechanism with none exists to try to bring children home safely. additionally, it will provide better reporting to parents and to congress. no parent should have to suffer the unbelievable heartbreak that colin has experienced over the past five years. no child should be torn away from a safe home and loving family because their country didn't have the protections in place to protect them. we can do more to ensure these children find a way home. i ask my colleagues to support this bill and yield back the balance of my time to my colleague from illinois. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts yields back. the gentleman from illinois reserves. the gentleman from california. >> thank you, mr. speaker, i yield two minutes to the gentlelady florida. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for two minutes. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr. speaker, i thank the chairman for the time. i rise in strong support of the sean and david goldman
international child abduction prevention and return act authored by my good friend and colleague mr. chris smith of new jersey. he's been a stalwart supporter of the rights of children and for the left behind parents who all too often feel as though they have been abandoned by their government and have no place to turn to. according to our state department, hundreds of parental transnational child abduction cases occur each year. hundreds. in most of the cases, the left behind parents here in the united states face a tremendous uphill battle with a foreign country's government to return their child, and to make matters worse, they have no recourse. no legal basis to turn to that would compel that foreign government to cooperate with them and return their abducted child to the united states. . the affects that this has on the child and parent are
significant and in many case have unshakeable, life-long consequences. this bill, mr. smith's bill gives hope where there previously was none. it represents an approach to resolving this issue by golfing the government and our president the avenues needed to press the countries that are found to be habitually to be noncompliant to work with the united states in order to resolve these cases. for some countries that refuse to cooperate, it is clear that words are not enough. they must be convinced by action to do the right thing, and this bill sends that very message that the united states will not rest until we bring every wrongfully abducted american child home. too many parents have been separated from their children for far too long with little to no recourse, and we must change that now, mr. speaker. i would like to urge that we not also overlook that in many instances a parent will flee with their child or children internationally in order to escape domestic violence.
too often current u.s. law addressing international child abduction -- actually, if i could have 15 seconds. mr. royce: i ask unanimous consent that the gentlelady have 30 additional seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for 30 seconds. ms. ros-lehtinen: too often current u.s. law addressing child abduction actually facilitates domestic violence and child abuse by forcing the return of a child despite a recognized risk to the child or parent. it is my sincere hope that with mr. smith's bill and my bill to further corrective measures of child abduction laws, that i will soon introduce, will strengthen this measure and we will be able to resolve these issues so the interests of all involved can be addressed and the child's rights can be respected. i thank the chairman, i thank the speaker, i thank the sponsor. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired.
the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from illinois. mr. royce: i'll reserve the right to close, then. the speaker pro tempore: does the gentleman from illinois yield back? yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california. mr. royce: i thank the gentleman for yielding. in closing, let me note again that the tragedy of nternational abduction effects -- affects thousands of children every year in the united states. we heard from multiple members whose constituents are dealing with the nightmare of being illegally separated from their children. our human rights subcommittee ard from several left-behind parents. and h.r. 3212, by mr. smith, is a measured response to this pressing problem, and i want to again thank the gentleman from new jersey for the vision, the perseverance, frankly,
reflected in his bill, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california yields back his time. the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 3212 as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended -- mr. royce: mr. speaker, on that i request the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california equests the yeas and nays. those in favor, say aye -- all those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this motion will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? mr. royce: mr. speaker, i move that the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 1992, the israel qualitative military edge, or q.m.e., enhancement
act, as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. caller: h.r. 1992, a bill to amend the requirements relating to assessment of israel's qualitative military edge over military threats, and for other urposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from california, mr. royce, and the gentleman from illinois, mr. schneider, will each control 20s minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california -- will each control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california, mr. royce. mr. royce: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and add any extraneous material to the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. royce: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized for as much time as he wishes to use. mr. royce: thank you. let me begin by thanking both the gentleman from georgia, mr. collins, and the gentleman from illinois, mr. schneider, for their leadership, for their foresight in authoring this
very important measure. in sheparding this legislation through the committee, i was again reminded of the shared commitment of members of both parties to come together, to promote israel's security. example of bipartisanship at the best, and the united states' commitment to israel rests on the assurance that the u.s., through a combination of foreign military financing, joint cooperative development of weapon systems and other measures, will ensure that israel upholds its qualitative military edge. the standard definition of that is ensuring israel's ability to counter and defeat credible military threats from any individual state or coalition of states or nonstate actors. and with the growing threat to israel throughout the region, from the prospect of a nuclear an to an ascendent hezbollah
and widespread regional instability, israel's retention of its q.m.e. is critical to its existence. i had a chance to see this firsthand in 2006 during the second lebanon war, which i frankly think should be called the hezbollah war. hezbollah was raining down rockets manufactured originally a daily d syria on basis on haifa. when i was in haifa, i watched those rockets come in and they were being aimed at civilian neighborhoods. they were also being aimed at the hospital there. in one trip i took down to the hospital to see the results -- and haifa is a very cosmopolitan city. one third of haifa is israeli jews. another third is arab israelis. another third are drews and other minorities. and the people in that city
faced a constant bombardment for 30 days, and while we were there, we had an opportunity to talk to some of the families, some of the survivors. 600 victims, civilian victims of those attacks in that trauma hospital and they showed us how when those missiles manufactured in iran -- and this was before the invention of the iron dome, so there was no defense to this. they would come into the civilian neighborhoods. 90,000 ball bearings and they would go through the walls, through cars, through shops. this is what led basically to a siege-like setting in which families were underground, but as they would try to come up at some point, they'd be spotted from the other side, from the border. and once again hezbollah would try to hit that family, hit that township. this was what haifa was going through. it is a reminder of the threat that israel needs the best
technology to combat these and other terrorist attacks. it is a relief that now israel does have the iron dome, there is warning, there is the ability of some type of response other than the type of counterbattery work that we saw as they were trying to silence those rockets, which were never silenced, which came in for 30 days. in 2008, congress required the president to assess on an ongoing basis the extent to which israel possesses a qualitative military edge over the threats that are raided against it. those threats are all too real. currently, the assessment is done every four years. currently it focuses only on the conventional military threats to israel, but this bill would require that congress receive that assessment on a timely basis, at least every two years, and
would also require their administration to specify a separate one-time report cyber and asymmetric threats to israel into this overall security assistance framework. and this is very important given the new types of terror -- suicide bombing and the rest of it, and cyberwarfare, that is being developed on either side of the border, from hamas to hezbollah. these provisions will provide congress critical information that requires in a timeless manner to assess israel's security requirements as israel tries to deal with everything from the threat in iran to all of the other terrorist organizations that are proxies for iran. it also sends the right message at the right time to our mutual friends and foes alike, that
the united states and israel stands together. o i strongly support the immediate passage. i thank again mr. schneider and mr. collins for their good work, and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california reserves his time. the gentleman from illinois is recognized. mr. schneider: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in strong support of h.r. 1992, the israel qualitative military edge enhancement act and i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for as much time as he wishes to use. mr. schneider: i want to thank the chairman and the ranking member for working so diligently with my office and congressman doug collins to bring this important legislation before the house floor. i want to personally thank my friend and colleague, mr. collins, for all the work he's done and we have done together to make sure this bill becomes reality. israel stands at historic juncture in a very dangerous
neighborhood. israel must -- must have the capabilities to deal with a broad spectrum of potential conventional and asymmetric threats. with the united states negotiating with iran over its nuclear weapons program, it is vitally important that we continue to give israel the tools necessary, all of the tools necessary to address a growing list of threats. that is why representative collins and i have introduced this important and timely bill to help further safeguard the technological edge israel has in defending herself and safeguarding human life for all of her citizens. this bill expands upon existing requirements that the united states aid israel in developing defense capable systems for safeguarding the israeli homeland against conventional and asymmetrical threats. this has resulted in the highly successful iron dome system, along with continued development of the aero and
sling series of military hardware. despite this capability, israel now faces the threat of regional insecurity with a virtual failed state on its border with syria. thousands, hundreds of thousands of rockets and mortars being stockpiled by hezbollah in lebanon. ongoing robblingt fire from hamas in the gaza strip, increasing terrorist threat in the sinai, and most importantly, the continued threat of iran and its accelerating nuclear program. the u.s. can and must do more to aid israel in addressing all of these threats in a comprehensive way. the bill before us would specifically encourage greater cooperation between israel and the united states in developing new weapons, tactics and procedures that will safeguard them from the growing threats of cyberwarfare and asymmetrical military threats, such as terrorist activities. increasing coordination will allow united states and israel to continue their beneficial
research in intelligence programs to secure a more secure and prosperous region and one that can safeguard human life to the maximum extent possible. by increasing the frequency of assessment from four years to two, the israel qualitative military edge enlancement act will help ensure israel is always prepared to confront constantly evolving conventional and asymmetrical threats. i want to thank the chair and the ranking member for their support on this legislation. i want to thank the other co-sponsors of this bill, including representative collins, for his hard work to hone this bill over the last few months. i'd especially like to thank vernon robinson jr. who worked so diligently with my staff to shepard this bill to the house floor today. i ask my colleagues to strongly join me in support of this important bill, and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves his time. the gentleman from california. mr. royce: well thank you, mr. speaker. we are going to yield four minutes to the gentleman from georgia, mr. collins, a member of the committee on foreign affairs, the author of this bill, and we want to thank him
for being such an active member of our committee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia is recognized for four minutes. mr. collins: thank you, mr. chairman. i do appreciate that and i do appreciate my -- what your staff and others have done, the ranking member, in moving this legislation through and also my good friend from illinois, mr. schneider, in what we have been able to work together. i would be remiss, also, if i did not recognize vernon robinson from my staff, as well, who is with me today who has kept this going while we have worked as well and so i appreciate his work and the rest of our staff in doing so. i introduced h.r. 1992, the israel q.m.e. enhonsment act. it lieus congress to conduct oversight of weapons sales in the mideast. due to instability in the region it's important that the review process be updated to reflect the needs of israel. h.r. 1992 accomplish this is
goal by directing the president to report to congress every two years on israel's qualitative military edge over israel and related weapons sales in the mideast. this is a marked improvement over our current law which only requires such law to be reported every four years. h. reform 1992 also requires the president oissue a report to congress on the criteria issued including cyberand asymmetric threats in the q.m.e. reports. large conventional armies are less likely to mobilize against israel but terrorist groups are a constant threat and i'm concerned about the cyberattacks launched against israel as well as attacks on the security and stability of the peace loving nation. into nedy doctrine came trackties in the yom kippur war. since israel's victory in the
conflict the united states has sworn to ensure israel's qualitative military edge remains strong as surrounding middle eastern countries often ossess quantitative advantage. both nations have provided valuable information that's saved the lives of civilians as well as military personnel. i've recognized the value of this partnership for many years and i'm humble and grateful to be in a position to support this alliance on the floor of the house. america's support for israel should be strong and responsive, their military strength is a vital component promoting strength in the mideast. i am pleased by the steadfast commitment of this body and our leadership have shown in maintaining a vibrant partnership with israel. as the vice chair of the foreign acompares -- foreign affairs subcommittee on africa an the
mideast i am -- i believe it's important to ensure israel can maintain their prosecution. an agreement was reached with iran and the details put israel in a difficult position. many questions remain about iran's continued ability to enrich uranium and the billions of dollars they'll gain in sanctions releaf, questions such as where will these be used and how will the money be used for other attacks such as hezbollah and others in this area. one thing i am certain of, however, the savings won't be spent on any effort advantageous to u.s. or israel. now more than ever, congress must demonstrate its unwavering commitment to strengthen the u.s.-israeli relations during such an unpredictable time in the mideast. this is something that is needed, it is something for our friends -- for our friend, israel, it protechs our interest and israel's interest and with that, i urge support of h.r. 1992 and i yield back my time, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from california
reserves. the gentleman from illinois. mr. schneider: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman. mr. royce: i yield two minutes to the gentlewoman from florida, ms.s are lehtinen. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for two minutes. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the chairman for the time. i rise in strong support of h.r. 1992, the qualitative military edge for israel enhancement act authored by my colleague and the vice chair of our subcommittee on mideast and north africa, mr. collins there is no better time than now, mr. speaker, to pass this bill and send our closest friend and ally the democratic jewish state of israel and the rest of the world a strong message that the united states congress stands resolutely with israel and her right to defend herself. the u.s. and other world leaders lamentably acquiesced and
relented on the iran nuclear deal an offered concessions to the regime in tehran that do nothing to dismantle its nuclear program. even as the negotiations carried on, iran was busy making advancement to its nuclear weapons perhaps. shortly after the deal, iran announced it had made significant progress on its ballistic missile program and just this past weekend, mr. speaker, the regime announced it was moving ahead with testing on more efficient and sophisticated sentry fumes. there could be no mistake for this actions. they all add up to iran continuing down its path of achieving full nuclear weapons program. mr. speaker, we have heard this rhetoric that's been coming out of iran for years now. the regime does not recognize israel's right to exist. it denies the holocaust. it repeats its calls to wipe israel off the map and death to israel is chanted throughout the country. iran is an existential threat to
israel's very existence and now more than ever we need to make sure that israel remains not just one step ahead of those who seek to do her harm but light years ahead. in conclusion, there's no room for error as iran inches closer and closer to having nuclear breakout capability. i urge all my colleagues to support this bipartisan somebody expressing our strong support for israel to have a qualitative military edge. i thank the speaker and i thank the -- i thank my chairman as well as mr. collins the author of the bill. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from florida yields back. the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from illinois. mr. schneider: i continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california. mr. royce: i yield two minutes to mr. roskam, a member of the committee on ways and means. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized mr. roskam: i rise to congratulate my colleagues from georgia and illinois for their work on this matter. it is incredibly important and
as ms. ros-lehtinen mentioned a minute ago, the challenges that israel is facing are incredibly, incredibly significant. the challenges are moving very, very quickly, mr. speaker. there is a storm cloud that is brewing and rather than waiting to recalibrate, this bill says, let's evaluate how israel is doing in terms of a qualitative military advantage, an edge, more frequently. as we know if israel is strong in the mideast, good things happen. if israel is weak in the mideast, good things don't happen. and we have an opportunity now for the house to stand with israel and it was mentioned before by mr. collins a minute ago, it's not just for israel's sake but it's clearly in the best interest of the united states. we have -- there's one democratic ally in the mideast and that's the state of israel,
it is incumbent upon us as a co-equal branch of government to encourage the administration to do the right thing, not scrust from israel's point of view, but from the long-term strategic interests of the united states. i'm a co-sponsor of this legislation, i am pleased that it's being brought under the leadership of chairman royce and his committee to the house floor. i urge its passage and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from yale yields back. the gentleman from california. -- from illinois yields back. the gentleman from california. mr. royce: i yield two minutes to judge poe. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. poe: thank you, mr. speaker. all around israel, things are in tremendous turmoil. to israel's south, egypt is experiencing its worst period of unrest in 50 years. there is no elected government and there won't be until next year. the economy is on a ventilator
in egypt, an it's propped up only by billions of dollars of aid from gulf countries. the muslim brotherhood is openly fighting the interim government with armed mobs. terrorists and vague bonds in he always lawless sigh nye peninsula are -- -- sinai peninsula are only encouraged. terrorists like al qaeda and hezbollah are streaming in out of sight. israel's east, already fragile jordan is being overrun with syrian refugees and infiltrated by terrorists as well. further east, al qaeda is wreaking havoc in iraq and there's more vibles there than at any point since 2008. to the far east, iran is closer than tover obtain agnew clear weapon that could enable it to fulfill its threat to wipe
israel off the map. when i met with prime minister netanyahu two weeks ago he was clear that israel cannot -- -- we cannot accept iran as a nuclear power if israel wants to continue to exist. we not only gave away the farm we gave away the mineral rights as well. we took off our best diplomatic tool, sanctions, off the table. the biggest problem with the deal, it made a peaceful solution more unlikely. with all these threats surrounding it, we need to stand side by side, let the world know our enemies and our friends, that we are allies of israel. they are the u.s.' strongest ally. israel is the only democracy in the region and the only one that respects human rights. it is in their national security interests and our national security interests to ensure israel can defend itself from the ever-changing military
threats. the enemies they have in the neighborhood are enemies to us as well. i support h.r. 1992, the bill will make sure too that israel's enemies do not gain a military advantage over the state of israel. i urge its passage. and that's just the way it is. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas yields back. the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from illinois is recognized. mr. schneider: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker: the gentleman is recognized. mr. schneider: the united states has no more important relationship not just in the region but in the world than the strategic unbreakable alliance with the democratic jewish state of israel. israel's security is our security. israel's security must not in any way be compromised. as has been noted here already, israel lives in a most dangerous neighborhood. her security is dependent on a
clearly demonstrated, permanently sustained qualitative military edge this bill, h.r. 1992, inimproved and enhances our relationship with israel to guarantee her qualitative military edge in a very dangerous neighborhood. i strongly urge all of my colleagues to sport h.r. 1992 and to protect israel's security. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois yields back. the gentleman from california. mr. royce: i yield myself such time as i may consume. in close, let me again stress the importance of the relationship with our ally israel, and let me thank mr. collins for his leadership in authoring this important measure and to thank mr. schneider. i am a co-sponsor of this bill as well and let me say we have especially threats, iran's nuclear program.
this measure, h. reform 1992 is a testament to the american people's enduring commitment to the security of israel and i hope to see it pass today and mr. speaker, i will yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california yields back. the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 1992. as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended. the gentleman from california. mr. royce: mr. speaker, thank you. on that, i request the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. those in favor of taking the vote by the yeas and nays will rise an remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having risen, a recorded vote is ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this motion will be postponed. pursuant to clause 12a of rule
>> the house -- [no audio] the house finishing up debate on a number of suspension bills. votes coming up a little bit later. we'll have coverage when the house resumes here on c-span. the lead house and senate budget negotiators, paul ryan and patty murray, unveiled a bipartisan agreement yesterday that sets out federal spending levels for the next two years. under the terms of that year, deficits are trimmed by $22 billion over 10 years. $63 billion in automatic spending cuts, known as sequester, are replaced through cuts to new federal pension plans and higher airport security fees. the final deal does not include an extension of long-term unemployment benefits which expire for 1.3 million at the end of the year. paul ryan and patty murray
briefed the details at a news conference yesterday. >> obamacare continues to wreak havoc on families, small businesses and our economy. i think when we get to january 1 it will be clear that more americans will have lost their health insurance than will sign up under the new obamacare policies. this is not what the president promised the american people. he promised them they could keep the health plans they liked. turned out not to be true. the president said they could keep the doctors that they've had all these years. that's turned out not to be true as well. it's time for the president to get serious about stopping this law before it wreaks any more
havoc on american families, small businesses and our economy. >> good morning. we've obviously got a very agenda this week in the house, a final week of the session this year. as the speaker said, we still have a lot of concerns as do the american people, about obamacare. zeke emanuel was on tv this weekend saying that when the president said you could keep your health care plan if you like it, what he meant was you could do that just by paying a lot more money. that's how do you it well, that is a broken promise to the american people, and i know we have secretary sebelius coming to the energy and commerce committee this week and i'd be interested to hear the question of why that is now what the president really meant. as you know, the budget chairman is here. he'll discuss the details of the agreement with senator murray. i want to congratulate him on the hard work behind trying to get a deal in this divided
government that we're in. the deal is something that accomplishes deficit reduction, permanent pension reform for government employees and it doesn't raise taxes and it is consistent with republican efforts all along to try and replace the sequester with permanent savings that just make a lot more sense. we also have up on the floor this week gregg harper's mr. miller: kids first research act. gregg harper is one -- gabriella miller kids first reerch act. gregg harper has a child with special needs. he's put this bill forward which essentially provides a choice. do we want to spend taxpayer dollars to pay for political conventions or would we rather put that money towards pediatric medical research which has been woefully unattended to in terms of our research agenda.
gabriella miller is who the bill is named after. if you've not met her parents, her story is quite inspiring. she's a young girl, 10 years old, who actually died about a month ago. she's from loudoun county, virginia. about a year ago she was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumor. and if you've seen anything that she has said and what her parents have indicated is when a child is 9 years old and is diagnosed with inoperable brain cancer, that child becomes an adult pretty quickly. she's a terrific inspiration to all of us. her parents are fighting hard. they've asked to be a part of this process. will be here in the gallery today. hopefully to move the ball forward on cancer research, medical research, especially, for pediatrics. thank you. >> i do want to join in thanking our budget chairman for coming to an agreement. paul ryan, again, shows that in
looking at the numbers, we will reduce the deficit and not raise taxes. it's been a goal of republicans as we continue to move forward since we took the majority. we've lowered spending for the first time since the korean war year over year. and this puts us in a new path to continue that direction. those are the numbers. but when you look on the other side for the president giving his obamacare and you heard the speaker talk, let's look at those numbers. as of today, the administration projected that we'd have 1.3 million americans who would sign up for obamacare. well, only 1/3 have, about 360,000. but the more telling number is the president told us if you had your health plan and you liked it you could keep it. well, more than four million americans have lost their health plan. as we go in this christmas season and new year, more people will have lost their health plan than have signed up or got health care from obamacare. that's why it's time to remove it and change.
>> uncertainty, that's the word i hear more than any other when i'm out and about at home in kansas. uncertainty from more and more regulations, uncertainty about higher taxes, uncertainty about unsustainable debt and the effects on our economy and of course uncertainty about the president's health care law. we had a broken health insurance system to begin with. it needed some fixes, but what the president and the democrats who controlled congress at the time thrust upon us is completely misguided and leaves american families struggling from uncertainty. can i keep my doctor? how much will costs go up? is the website working yet? is my information safe and secure? what is the next delay the president will issue? even volunteer firefighters are now concerned about this law and the impact it will have on the budgets of communities they
serve. towns in my district operate on a very tight budget, and this is not anything that they can accommodate. hardworking americans deserve better. they want fewer government mandates, more flexibility and more certainty. >> i've never been this tall before. to follow on with what congresswoman jenkins was saying, the president's health care law is the wrong solution to address the challenges of health insurance access and affordability. it's the wrong solution for this economy. i have many constituents who've told me the same story that john from ashe county told me. his insurance premiums is going to increase 33%, but his hours at work have been cut. how is he going to pay for his health insurance? that's what he wants to know. furthermore, this is being felt all across north carolina in schools, in community colleges,
universities where substitute teachers, adjunct professor hours are being cut. for them, obamacare is threatening their take-home pay and hurting their career opportunities. and what's next, as congresswoman jenkins said, uncertainty is really facing people out there and they'd like some certainty. they don't know -- they know they're not going to keep their plan. they know they're not going to keep their doctor, but what other problems are they going to have? are we going to hear some answers from secretary sebelius today? we're in the holiday season and families are very concerned about their budgets. they're waiting for clarity in this area also from the administration that keeps waiting until the last minute, changing its mind and announcing the next big delay. we need certainty, and we need a better plan. republicans have that.
thank you. >> we got to find a way to make this divided government work. we feel it's in our interest to do that. we sought a budget agreement that maintained our core principles and found common ground, and we have found common ground with our colleagues on the other side of the aisle over in the senate. and what this budget agreement does is it helps produce more certainty because it stops the potential government shutdown in january and it stops a potential government shutdown in october. we think that's good for the country. at the same time, we wanted to make sure we are taking a step in the right direction for fiscal discipline. look, our budget that we passed here in the house, the republican budget, represents our ultimate goal and our ultimate vision, balance the budget, pay off the debt. but we understand in this divided government we're not going to get everything we want. and so what we want to do is take a step toward that goal, a step in the direction toward
that vision. and by having a budget agreement that does not raise taxes, that does reduce the deficit and produces some certainty and prevents government shutdowns we think is a good agreement. it's also an agreement that gives congress the power of the purse back. for three years we keep passing these continuing resolutions which basically is congress feeding its authority to the executive branch so they set the priorities. that's not right, that's not constitutional. so we reclaim the power of the purse, we make a statement on behalf of deficit reduction, we finally focus on a portion of the budget which has been on autopilot for years that is in need of attention, and we make divided government work. we feel very good at where we are with our members. we know that this budget agreement doesn't come close to achieving what we want to achieve on our ultimate fiscal goals but, again, if we can get a step in the right direction, we're going to take that step and that's why we're doing this. >> couple of questions.
>> mr. speaker. sir, does this mark the end to defund obamacare? >> no, listen, we have voted to repeal obamacare. we want obamacare gone. why? because it's not good for the american people, and they're finding out pretty clearly it's not good for them. >> mr. speaker, under what circumstances, if any, will you accept an extension of unemployment benefits that run out at the end of the month, right around christmastime? >> listen, we've worked all year to get our economy going again and to help produce better jobs and more wages. the when the white house finally called me last friday about extending unemployment benefits, i said that we would clearly consider it as long as it's paid for and as long as there are other efforts that will help get our economy moving once again. i have not seen a plan from the white house that meets those standards. >> mr. speaker, most major conservative groups -- >> you mean the groups that came out and opposed it before
they ever saw it? >> yes, those groups. >> they're using our members and they're using the american people for their own goals. this is ridiculous. listen, if you're for more deficit reduction, you're for this agreement. >> mr. speaker, coming out of the meeting, the democrats' talking point was this deal was better than it was 24 hours ago. does that mean -- does that mean that 24 hours ago it was beater deal for republicans? >> i'm not sure what that means. to be honest with you. so nothing's changed. so this agreement maintains 70% of the sequester in the next year and a half and it preserves 92% of the sequester over the life of the sequester. so here's where we started this agreement. the democrats wanted the sequester to be completely lifted, completely gone. we didn't agree with that. we're maintaining 70% of the sequester, and the $63 billion of sequester relief that we're
providing, half to defense, half to domestic, we're paiding $85 billion in net deficit reduction. we think that's a step in the right direction. we think that preserves fiscal discipline, it keeps the budget caps intact. oh, by the way, it gets bipartisan agreement for sticking with -- with sticking with budget gaps. >> it hasn't changed that much at all? >> no. > last question. >> the long-term unemployment is about double where it was the last time unemployment insurance was ended after a recession. is this the right time -- will this spur the economy -- >> listen, i outlined what i thought it would take to the white house. i have not seen any proposal from them. >> mr. speaker, what do we expect on the floor?
[captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> good morning. we're going to try to move this along this morning because members want to be at the national cathedral this morning for the celebration of the life of nelson mandela, and so i'm going to ask all our members of leadership to try to be as brief as possible so we can yield the rest of the time to chris van hollen, the budget committee ranking member, mr. clyburn, mrs. nita lowey, who is another member of the conference committee. so if i could let them speak on the budget. i'll tell you one thing. some good news, decent news. some 1.2 million people in america have gained health insurance coverage as a result of the affordable care act. the 60,000 under
marketplace having applied directly through the marketplace. and we know that another 1.9 million americans have already started the application process and simply need to choose which option they'd like to have. so some three million americans today we can say will have health security, something they did not have before. . clearly americans want health security and they are signing up for insurance under the affordable care act. like the american people, democrats want to make sure the health security law works. we don't want to shut it down. and so now on the issue of hopefully no more shutdowns, we want to be able to start talking about moving forward on the budget so we can get to the real work of the american people which is creating jobs, raising the minimum wage, and making sure all of us who want to work in america have a chance to get a good job. with that let me yield to our leader -- let me yield now to mr. van hollen and mr. clyburn and mrs. lowey.
>> thank you, mr. becerra. it's great to be here with my colleagues and fellow conferees, mr. clyburn and mrs. lowey. this was a hard fought negotiation, and i want to thank leader pelosi and my fellow conferees for making it clear as recently as 12 to 24 hours ago that the way the agreement was taking shape would absolutely of be acceptable to members the democratic dauks. it's -- caucus. it's now in a form where members have to decide for themselves. speaking individually my view is that it is a small step in the right direction because we are able to restore many of the cuts that would otherwise take place as a result of the sequester. those very deep and immediate cuts. and it especially is good at restoring some of the cuts that would have taken place in important domestic investments
in our kids' education, in science and research, and places like the national institutes of health. law enforcement, and those kind of areas, this will help restore almost 2/3 of the cuts that would have otherwise taken place in fiscal year 2014. and i believe that the way those cuts are paid for is not at all perfect but a lot more equitable than it was 48 hours ago. our caucus will have to look at the details as individuals and obviously we'll be doing that over the next couple days. with that i will yield to mr. clyburn, one of the conferees. >> thank you, mr. van hollen. i am very, very pleased to stand here today in support of this legislation. want to say as mr. van hollen has said yesterday afternoon, i
was very, very ambivalent about where all this was going. but i'm pleased that with mr. van hollen's very, very strong work and the sensitivities of senator murray with whom i have worked on these budget issues before, you remember the supercommittee, it turns out after the committee, and now this effort, third time is in fact the charm. i want to say one thing, though, a lot of lines going out in reference to federal employees. i want to emphasize now that nothing in this agreement affects current federal employees. all of this has to do with federal employees who will be going to work for the government after january 1, 2014.
nothing affects current federal employees. because so many around the district of columbia, i don't want anybody to have any anxieties between now and the conclusion. with that i'd like to yield to mrs. nita lowey. >> thank you very much. as you know many times when we all get here everything has been said but not everybody has said it. i just want to add a few points. number one, as an appropriator since this bill has restored 2/3 of the dollars for appropriations, we will now be able to write appropriation bills. number two, i am not happy with the 2% cut to medicare providers, but it does not go to beneficiaries. number three, i think it is
absolutely urgent that we restore and continue the unemployment insurance benefits. it is absolutely outrageous that we should leave this congress and go home for the holidays when too many people, over a million people, will not be getting their unemployment benefits. so overall i do think it's important that we were able to work together, but i want to make it clear if we get the house back, it will be an even better bill. when it comes to the national institutes of health, education, jobs, the economy we can do better, but i think this is the best that we can do at this point. >> let me ask the leader for a quick comment and our vice chair. >> i want to thank our conferees for their leadership and effectiveness and their opinion is important -- their opinions are important to our caucus. however they are very familiar
with the ticks -- particulars of the legislation and our caucus is just finding all of this out this morning. so they will carefully revute provisions of the proposal and ask questions of our conferees and members will make their decision. i don't know where that will come down because as you know our budget that mr. van hollen and our conferees were putting forth was quite different. it was about growth. it was about investing in infrastructure, short-term growth and long-term growth, investing in early childhood learning. it was about ending the sequester, but doing so in a way that enabled us to support rowth as well as to extend the unemployment benefit -- unemployment insurance. it's absolutely unconscionable that we are -- could possibly even consider leaving washington, d.c., without extending those benefits.
some of you were at our steering policy hearing the other day, a few days ago, and saw the impact it has in the lives of people, work hard, and play by the rules. the work ethic is strong and respected in our country. and people losing jobs through no fault of their own, and in an economy that has people with masters degrees going to entry level jobs just to be able to have someone come to stay in their homes. it's a remarkable thing. you ask why would the republicans just automatically do this? it's our responsibility to do this. perhaps they don't believe in that and that's the fight we have to make. again i thank our conferees for their leadership, their opinions are important to us, members will make their own decisions as to where we go with this, and again we would have preferred something quite different, but
we do recognize the value of coming to a decision so that we can go forward with some clarity on other legislation that we want to see. if we had included immigration, that brings over $150 billion early on, $900 billion over time, could have helped in this budget agreement. if we had closed even a couple of tax loopholes. that was off limits as well. we would not have to go to user fees for t.s.a. or anything on the public employees. i think that our conferees did a really good job in mitigating the damage to the federal employees and holding off even much, much, much bigger cuts for them that the republicans had in mind. so we'll see. we are waiting to hear what the response is from the republicans. our members are now studying this and we do so very carefully as we leave here to go to
celebrate the life and legacy and also register our sadness on the loss of president mandela. we have a large delegation that is still coming home from the funeral in south africa. we look forward to hearing the report on that as well. you'll have to stay tuned to hear just exactly where our caucus will be going on this. >> i want to join the leader in congratulating or at least seeing well-done to our conferees as well. this budget deal i believe on first blush is representative of the values of our overall conference in total, but there are very good aspects to t as we mull through it and go through it, each member will decide how they'll vote on this as the leader has said. but let me say this, i received an email this morning from a very, very good friend of mine who lives on long island. he's been out of work for quite some time. his unemployment is running out
at the end of this month. he's married with children. he just worked out a deal with his -- the bank that holds his mortgage that they will allow for a $25 payment for the next five months. at the end of the five months he has to come up with all of the mortgage payments that will be due. that's the kind of pressure that many americans are facing right now. they are losing their homes. he asked me about food stamps. we have already seen a cut in our food stamps. and this is before the holidays. and he's asking me whether or not as someone who is in the know, whether or not unemployment insurance will be extended. that's a real life and it's a friend of mine. i think we all -- every american in all likelihood has an example of that. what's the answer to him and his family? under the republican-led congress the answer so far has been no.
and unfortunately it looks as though we will leave here this week without addressing unemployment insurance. it's unconscionable and immoral. >> we haven't even seen the finished product. we are hearing this morning that now there may be another amendment joined to it about s.g.r., which are payments to dogs, which is interesting. it's something we should do. but why wouldn't we do unemployment insurance if we are oing that? i'll solidify my thinking on it once we know what we are voting for. i asked the speaker that question yesterday and he told me, yes, we'll have to wait until next year. >> we could allow members to continue to answer questions, but we need to get over to the mandela ceremony. those who wish to stay can
answer your questions. with that we'll close the press conference. thank you very much. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national able satellite corp. 2013] >> the budget deal, you heard members talking about it, is expected to come to the house floor tomorrow. can you see live coverage of that debate here on c-span. the house is recessed right now. they are scheduled to return in a few months, 2:30 eastern. they'll wrap up debate on the final bill on the agenda. both are expected to get under way at 3:00. right now a look at the remarks from the lead house and senate budget negotiators, paul ryan and patty murray on the bipartisan deal agreed to yesterday on federal spending for the next two years. they spoke to reporters for just over 15 minutes.
>> i am happy to report that senator murray and i have reached an agreement. we have been talking all year and this week that hard work of the two of us sitting down and talking to each other all year has paid off. first it started because we passed budgets. and senator murray deserves credit for passing a budget through the senate. that got the ball rolling so that the two of us started talking. and the reason we are here tonight is to explain what we have agreed to. this bill reduces the deficit by $23 billion. and it does not raise taxes. and it cuts spending in a smarter way. from the outset we knew that if we forced each other to compromise on core principle we would get nowhere. that is why we decided to focus on where the common ground is. so that's what we have done. that means to me a budget agreement that reduces the deficit without raising taxes, and replaces some of the
arbitrary across-the-board spending cuts with smarter, permanent reforms that pay for this relief. the house budget reflects our ultimate goals. it balances the budget within 10 years, pays off the debt, but i realize that is not going to pass in this divided government. i see this agreement as a step in the right direction. and divided government, you don't always get what you want. that said, we still can make progress toward our goals. i see this agreement as that kind of progress. it is a step in the right direction. so the arbitrary cuts we make smart targeted reforms. we eliminate waste. we stop sending checks to criminals. we cut corporate welfare. we reform some mandatory programs. and we start to make real reforms to these autopilot programs that driver our debt in the first place. i think this agreement is a clear improvement on the status quo. this agreement makes sure that we don't have the government shut down scenario in january. it makes sure we don't have another government shutdown scenario in october. it makes sure that we don't
lurch from crisis to crisis. it also allows congress to finally exercise the power of the purse. where both from the legislative branch. the constitution says that the legislative branch should exercise the power of the purse. we want to reclaim that from the administration instead of having all of these continuing resolutions. it also shows we can work together to get our government functioning at its very basic levels. that we think is a step in the right direction. that we think gives us some confidence. that brings some normalcy back to our government. i want to take a moment to thank senator murray, she's a tough and honest negotiator. she's fought hard for her principles every step of the way. and i want to commend her for her hard work. all of the summary documents in the legislation will be texted -- placed upon our budget websites by the end of the night. with that i'd like to offer senator murray. >> for far too long here in washington, d.c., compromise has been considered a dirty word,
especially when it comes to the federal budget. over the past few years we have lurched from crisis to crisis and from one cliff to the next. and when one countdown clock was stopped it wasn't too long before the next one got started. that uncertainty was devastating to our fragile economic recovery. the constant crisis cost us billions of dollars in loss of jobs and continued across-the-board cuts from sequestration were forcing our families and communities to pay the price. so i am very proud to stand here today with chairman ryan to announce we have broken through the partisanship and the gridlock and reached a bipartisan budget compromise that will prevent a government shutdown in january. our deal puts jobs and economic growth first by rolling back sequestration's harmful cuts to education and medical research and infrastructure investments and defense jobs for the next two years. now, i know there were some people who thought these cuts
should continue, but i'm glad we increased these key investments and we averted the next round of scheduled cuts to military programs, bases, and defense jobs in our country. this deal builds on the $2 1/2 trillion in deficit reduction we have done since 2011. and continues the precedent that we set in the fiscal cliff deal that sequestration shouldn't be replaced with spending cuts alone. this bipartisan deal will help millions of americans who are wondering if they were going to keep paying the price for d.c. dysfunction. from the workers at our military bases and construction projects who were furloughed or laid off, to the kids who lost their slots in head start programs, to the seniors wondering if they were go to have meals on wheels, to the families praying for halted medical research programs to get back to work on a cure and so much more. because of this deal the budget process can now stop lurching from crisis to crisis. by setting bipartisan spending levels for the next two years,
this deal allows congressional committees to proceed under regular order and give government agencies and the companies that do business with them the certainty they need to hire workers and make investments. this isn't the plan i would have written on my own. i'm pretty sure that chairman ryan wouldn't have written it on his own. and there are obviously differences between our parties when it comes to our budget values and priorities. i was disappointed that we weren't able to close even a single corporate tax loophole. i know many republicans had hoped this would be an opportunity to make some of the kinds of changes to medicare and social security they advocated for. but congressman ryan has setaside our differences. we have made some compromises and we worked together to get something done. we made a conscious decision as chairman ryan said in the time we had to focus on where we can agree and not get bogged down on the larger issues that while important are not going to get
solved right now. we need to acknowledge that our nation has serious long-term fiscal and economic challenges. this deal doesn't address and our budget process has been broken. many people believe that congress is broken. we have spent years scrambling to fix artificial crises while our debt piles up and the economic foundation middle class families have depended on for generation continues to crumble. we have budget deficit that is have improved but they have not disappeared, and we have deficits in education and innovation and infrastructure that continue to widen. we know we need comprehensive tax reform. we need comprehensive immigration reform. there's a lot more for congress to do. so this still doesn't solve all our problems, but i think it is an important step in helping to heal some of the wounds here in congress. to rebuild some trust, and show that we can do something without a crisis right around the corner. and demonstrate the value in making our government work for the people we represent.
so when all this is done, i am very proud to stand with chairman ryan or anyone else who wants to work on this bipartisan foundation to continue addressing our nation's challenges. nothing is easy here, but i know the american people expect nothing less. i want to take a minute to especially thank chairman ryan. he and i do have some major differences. we cheer for a different football team, clearly. we catch different fish. we have some differences on policies, but we agree that our country needs some certainty and we need to show we can work together and i have been very proud to work with him. i also want to thank congressman van hollen who's worked very hard to help make sure this deal reflects the values that he cares a lot about, and all of our budget conference committee, everyone who's been involved on the committee has been very hardworking with us to get to this deal. i'm hopeful now that we can get this bipartisan deal through the house and then the senate and
get home in time for the holidays that i think everybody deserves this year. >> tomorrow morning presumably [inaudible] >> as a conservative i think this is a step in the right direction. what am i getting out of this? more deficit reduction. so the deficit will go down more by passing this than if we did nothing. that's point number one. point number two, there are no tax increases here. point number three, we are finally starting to deal with autopilot spending. that mandatory spending that has not been addressed by congress for years. look, this isn't easy. this is the first divided government budget agreement since 1986. the reason we haven't done a
budget agreement when both houses were controlled by other parties is because it's not easy to do. we know we are not going to get everything we want. she's not going to get everything she wants. >> why would a conservative vote against it? >> i think a curve defensive should vote for it. i expect we'll have a healthy vote in the house republican caucus. we'll go first given our schedules. we'll post this on our website today, this evening, and we intend to bring it to the house floor later on this week. i have every reason to expect great support from our caucus because we are keeping our principles. the key here is nobody had to sacrifice their core principles. our principles are don't raise taxes, reduce the deficit. we also have a lot of concerned members about defense. the next hit in the sequester was going to hit solely on the military. starting in january. a lot of our members were concerned about that. so what we are doing here is providing for some sequester relief for 2014 and 2015.
and we are paying for that with more permanent reforms on the autopilot side of the spending ledger in excess of the sequester relief which results in that deficit reduction. that is a good deal. >> represent an agreement between the two of you versus an agreement you know can get through both chambers. how much vetting have you done? >> i can tell you that i have been in close contact with my leadership and a number of members as we worked through this issue. and ect that chairman ryan my thought will be the same as we leave here tonight which is to talk to everybody about our deal and get the votes. i'm confident we won't have 100% of the house or house. this is -- senate or the house. this is a bipartisan deal. we both had to move to get to where we are today. i think what the american people ought to know is that this congress can work, that people can come together from very
different corners and find common ground, and bring some certainty back to our jobs and our economy. that is what we have continually focused on. >> to the specific question, we have done this in consultation with our leadership team which is in support of this. i consulted with every committee chairman whose jurisdiction is involved in this because this spans, as you imagine, lots of different committee chairmen. this has been a process where the house we have consulted with numerous colleagues to get their ideas, to get their input, feedback, and support. that's why i'm confident about where we stand in the house. >> how much sequester relief is there? >> $63 billion. $85 billion in mandatory savings, $63 billion in sequester relief. that results in about $22.5 billion in deficit reduction. >> that is $45 billion for the first year and the rest in the second year. .12 trillion for f.y.
2014. and $1.14 billion for f.y. 2015. to answer the earlier question, why would a republican support that? the budget that i passed last session with near unanimousity in the house w. most house republicans voting for it, was fighting for 19. the budget number that we fought for in the last session won't be hit until the year 2017 under this agreement. this is why i think house republicans should be supporting his. >> in this -- you will all have the details of this agreement if you don't have it right now, very shortly. one of the most difficult challenges we faced as we worked through this was the issue of federal employees. and congressman ryan and i both have worked on this a lot. he was -- he's a tough
negotiator in case any of you want to know. and started out very high at $20 billion. it is down to $6 billion for federal employees and $6 billion for military. we will have the details out to you shortly. >> the reason those numbers equalize is because we think it's only fair that hardworking taxpayers who pay for the benefits that our federal employees receive be treated fairly as well. we also think it's important that military families as well as nonmilitary families are treated equally and fairly. so what we are asking here is that the people who work for the federal government, and we thank them for their work, they are a hardworking dedicated people that we respect, but we think it's only right and fair that they pay something more towards their pensions just like the hardworking taxpayers that pay for those pensions in the first place. >> i want to add one other part to that. if chairman ryan and i did not reach an agreement, we would be at sequestration level very
shortly, and many of these same people would be facing furloughs, layoffs, and uncertainty. we have brought certainty back to all of those people. >> is there also not an understanding to have a separate vote -- >> that's not part of this agreement. >> the leaders are -- >> that's not part of the agreement. >> there's been a lot of uncertainty in markets. the threatened government shutdown, another government shutdown. what do you think the message is out of this deal to market and the business communities as a whole? or the congress not just now in january but going forward through the rest of the -- >> look, all along i thought it was very important that we do what we can to show that this divided government can work. and by doing this we are showing this divided government can work in a basic functioning levels, which is paying the bills. both republicans and democrats think it's important that congress retains the power of
the purse, and that we set priorities on spending. that's, after all, what the constitution says we should do and what we were elected to do. we are doing this agreement in large part because what that will do is avoid the large government shutdowns. because we are doing a two-year agreement here, we avoid a possible shutdown in january and another possible shutdown in october. we think that provides certainty and stability not just to the markets but the country, to people who deal with the federal government. but more importantly it gives power back to congress to set priorities and spending instead of getting basically a blank check of discretion to the geckive branch of the government. >> the debt ceiling is not dealt with as i understand. what are you going to tell -- >> that's another press conference. >> have you alleviated the uncertainty -- >> i think alleviating government shutdowns alleviates a lot of the uncertainty that's been plaguing this country and capitol. we are doing without having to violate any core principle.
>> you have been a darling of the right. there are a number of right wing groups who have already come out against this plafpblet are you prepared to take all that incoming fire? >> look, as a conservative i deal with the situation as it exists. i deal with the way things are not necessarily the way things i want them to be. i passed three budgets in a row that reflect my priorities and principles and everything i want to accomplish. we are in a divided government. i realize i'm not going to get that. i'm not going to go in the direction i want to go to but i will take a few steps in the right direction. this agreement takes us in the right direction from my perspective for the very reasons i laid out before. this says, let's cut spending in a smarter way, some permanent spending cuts to pay for temporary sequester relief resulting in net deficit reduction without raising taxes. that's fiscal responsibility. that's fiscal conservatism. and it adds a greater stability to the situation. it prevents government shutdowns
which we don't think is anyone's interest. that to me is the right thing to do and that is a conservative looking at the situation it is aking it better. >> a couple of key points to mention on the budget proposal under the terms of the deal. [captioning performed by ational captioning institute] fun tune [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2013] >> a number of sources are saying the bipartisan budget deal is expected to come to the house floor tomorrow. the u.s. house is about to return at 2:30 eastern to finish debate on the one remaining bill on the agenda today. votes are expected at 3:00 p.m. eastern. we'll have live coverage when the house returns here on c-span.
while we wait for members to come back, comments now from u.s. commerce secretary, she talks about the bipartisan budget proposal expected to be brought to the house floor tomorrow. >> regular order is something that's really important and frankly it's very hard to run the government without a budget. it's just running a department how do you know what you can and can't do if you don't have a budget? so this is really positive. i'm hopeful that they can come to a resolution and we can move
forward. >> what does the administration hope could grow from this? > i think if regular order really takes hold, there's so much we have to do. we have a very full growth agenda. whether it's around immigration reform, investment in infrastructure, our trade agenda, there's investment in innovation, in our national manufacturing initiatives. there's so much that we want to get done. and this is a first step. >> last question, on this -- seeing this deal gets passed, it looks like it's going to, come back in 2014, what's going to be different about the relations between the two ends of pennsylvania avenue? >> i think that what we have -- we have a lot we want to get done. i think there is a lot of commonality of purpose. i certainly know during my-different been in office now a little over five months. i have met with over 700
business leaders. what i know they want is in want more certainty -- is they want more certainty from government. and they are quite clear about that. that's an important part of their feeling confident in order to grow, to invest in this country. we know with that happens that's good for job creation. so that's, i think, what's being asked of us. >> we also want to welcome our c-span viewers around the world. c-span's big on front pages. this is a front page of politico about the budget deal being reached. madam speaker, the lead headline in the "wall street journal" today is -- madam secretary, the lead headline in the "wall street journal" today is deal brings a budget. we can get carried away with what this deal means, it's not a big deal. >> what it does, as we were talking about, it evidences that there can be regular order. it means we could then proceed. a budget is a big deal. frankly we have been living far
too long, far before i was involved here, without the kind of budgets and ability to predict. so imagine as a manager, which is where i come from, if you don't know what your budget is, you're not sure what the budget is for a year or two from now, how do you know exactly what you can get done? i do think it's a big deal. >> can you see her remarks in their entirety from this morning at our website, c-span.org. again we are waiting for the u.s. house to return for further debate and then votes at 3:00 p.m. eastern. the house scheduled to return any moment now. we'll have live coverage here on c-span. while we wait a. discussion on the volcker rule dealing with reigning in risky investments -- reining in risky investments by financial institutions. >> what is the volcker rule and why does it matter? >> thanks for having me on. the volcker rule is really a ntral part of the pl
dodd-frank overhaul. what it does is it says that they can't make risky trades with their own money, basically. and basically the idea is banks backed t on federal stuff like deposit insurance and others shouldn't be able to use their own money to make these speculative bets that could get them in trouble. that's the gist of it. this was proposed as part of dodd-frank. why is it being approved now? guest: that's a great question. it's been three years since dodd-frank passed. it took a long time to get this thing finalized. i think there's probably two things important to know about the genesis of the volcker rule. the first thing is that the rule was proposed in 2011, but the proposal included a whole lot of questions about how the rule should work. so like, for example, banks need
to be allowed to buy and sell stocks and bonds and things their clients can buy from them. it's hard to distinguish that from making the money, how do we do that? there were a lot of questions that they had to work through and they got 18,000 comment letters. and some of the letters are hundreds ever pages long. it's a long process. >> that conversation from this morning's "washington journal." see it in its entirety at our website, c-span.org. back live to capitol hill and the u.s. house has returned for further debate. both coming up at 3:00 p.m. upton, and the gentleman from new jersey, mr. pallone, will each control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from michigan. mr. upton: mr. speaker, i'd ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and insert extraneous materials in the record on the bill. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered.
mr. upton: mr. speaker, i would yield myself three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. upton: mr. speaker, i rise today in support of the gabriella miller kids first research act of 2013. h.r. 2019, authored about my colleague, gregg harper, is a bill that will help countless kids and families across the country. it would eliminate taxpayer financing of party conventions, and use these funds instead to expand pediatric research at the n.i.h. common fund, through their common fund. this bill certainly does put kids first. ga bring ella miller was a little warrior in the battle against childhood cancer. at only 10 years of age she had the courage miles beyond her years. a frying pan in a walnut is all
you need to understand a brave outlook on life. when she was diagnosed with brain cancer, she was told that the size of that tumor was about like a walnut. -- then on ga bring ella gabriela traveled with her frying pan crushing walnuts along the way all over the world. that's the kind of courage and outlook on life she had. advancing health research for millions of young patients who suffer from rare and genetic diseases has got to be a priority. while we have made great strides in the country in finding cures and treatments, we certainly have a great amount of work to do, included in this work is pushing for research that is going to help uncover cures for pediatric diseases. in order for clinical trials and other advancements to meet their full potential, adequate resources have got to be directed for pediatric research. the legislation is an example of how much can be accomplished by ending wasteful spending and redirecting those funds towards
national priorities like pediatric research. this effort's going to help families like the kennedys in michigan, my constituents. eric and sarah have two wonderful little girls, brook and briele who have the rare disease called spinal muscular atrophy. these two little angels fighting s.m.a. with the same sunny outlook are decorated little generals in the effort to boost research for rare diseases and serve as an inspiration for every one of us. the sad reality is that it is often difficult to conduct research into rare diseases due to the small number of individuals with those diseases. but we are working to change that. yes, we are. and provide families with greater hope for a cure in advances of treatment. this bill has over 150 co-sponsors. supported by a long list of patient advocacy groups, including autism speaks,
juvenile diabetes research foundation, leukemia and lymphoma society, and fight m.s.a. i wholeheartedly agree with the bill's democratic sponsor, peter welch from vermont who recently said last night, can we just put the battle-axes down for a while and take a step forward? he thinks we can. we need to. so with all of us today, with so many diseases, we need to pass this bill. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan reserves. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. pallone: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. pallone: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in opposition to the bill before us today because it is a disingenuous and empty attempt by the republicans to divert attention from the fact that they have voted to cut research time and time again. so instead they'll stand before the american public with words that they have no action to back up. the national institutes of health serve a vital mission of supporting biomedical research
so that we may better understand and better treat diseases that burden american families. and i stand firmly in favor of supporting n.i.h. research funding, especially as it relates to pediatric research. but let me be very fir for the record here today. h.r. 2019 does not achieve this purpose. this bill which was introduced back in may gone through regular order and come to the committee on energy and commerce for hearings and markup, we would have had the opportunity to discuss and debate the merits of the legislation. but this bill claims to support research on childhood diseases by authorizing, and i know not appropriating, but only authorizing $12.6 million for n.i.h. pediatric research grants through savings from ending the public contribution to the cost of political party nominating conventions. i emphasize that the bill only authorizes funding because i'd like to point out that the appropriations needed to actually make these funds available to n.i.h. would still
be subject to discretionary spending caps of the budget control act and sequestration cuts. now ther alone has cut $1.5 billion out of n.i.h.'s funding in fiscal year 2013. even worse, through the ryan budget the republicans adopted spending allocations for fiscal year 2014 that would make additional cuts to n.i.h. which could result in $.7 billion in cuts in total -- $6.7 billion in cuts in total. so for pediatric research the cuts would amount to $800 million, which is 60 more times than the increase this bill claims to provide. that's why i think the republicans are not making a sincere effort to support n.i.h. research. this is a joke. the best thing, mr. speaker, that we can do to support n.i.h. and research on pediatric diseases is to pass a balanced and constructive budget package and to provide the appropriations committee with a reasonable and realistic amount of funding to work with. until then i would urge my colleagues to oppose this bill
that is nothing but a guise, it's a ruse, it does nothing to ensure we are increasing pediatric cancer research dollars. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey reserves. the gentleman from northern ireland -- michigan is recognized. mr. upton: i yield two minutes to my friend from virginia, member of the appropriations committee, mr. wolf. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia is recognized for two minutes. mr. wolf: i thank the chair and speaker. i rise in support of the legislation i co-sponsored, the kids first research act. i particularly want to thank the bill's sponsors, greg harper, eric cantor, and the gentleman om vermont for honoring my constituent, gay brie ella miller. lou doven county's volunteer of the year. she was a straight a student at loudoun county day school who died on october 26 after a courageous one-year battle with an incomparable brain cancer tumor.
in a short amount of time she achieved many goals. she smarting smashing walnuts foundation which refers to the walnut size tumor in her brain. a childhood cancer foundation. she co-wrote a children's book and received and honorary degree from shenandoah university out in winchester, virginia. last december at her request i wrote to macy's as part of the massive 250,000 letter campaign she organized to benefit the make a wish foundation. she raised a lot of money and more importantly she touched a lot of lives. i'm sure she touched a lot of lives of members who are in this body. the bill before us today will help supplement existing n.i.h. research efforts for childhood cancers and disorders by creating a 10-year pediatric research initiative fund paid for with the remaining presidential election campaign fund. i know, i know her parents, mark and ellen, who are with us here
today, her younger brother, and her family and friends know of the remarkable impact she has had on our community, on our country, and on families that are facing this. i urge hopefully a unanimous vote on this and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. pallone: thank you. i yield to the ranking member of the energy and commerce committee, mr. waxman. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. waxman: i rise reluctantly to oppose this bill, and i irst of all want to express to gabriella miller's family my sincere sympathies. we all want to fund more research to fight pediatric disease. nothing could be more -- a more worthy objective. if only we could reverse the cuts that this house has
adopted under the republican's leadership that n.i.h., the national institutes of health, could make an even greater amount of progress in understanding and treating so many different devastating diseases for children and for others. the -- this bill never was heard in committee. we never had a chance to have witnesses come forward and talk about it or debate how best to achieve the bill's stated goals. that's why many of us think it's more a statement but not a credible proposal. especially when you look at the republican house majority's record on biomedical research funding. it's a dismal one. they wrote and passed a bill which would have significantly cut n.i.h. and reduce the n.i.h. budget by nearly $2
billion in 2013 alone. and now this bill comes along where they claim to provide n.i.h. with about $13 million a year for pediatric research. well, that's a minuscule amount compared to the funding for pediatric research n.i.h. lost due to republican budget cuts and sequestration. now, the way we usually handle n.i.h. is the appropriations committee issues a bill appropriating money for n.i.h.. they can do that. if we increased the money for n.i.h., they could do that. they don't need this bill to increase money for pediatric research. what they need is a higher spending cap, and this bill doesn't bring about a higher spending cap. and then i have concerns i want to express about the way they structured the investments in
pediatric research by funding it through n.i.h. director's common fund. by design that fund is not disease or population-specific, because it gives n.i.h. flexibility to determine funding priorities for each year. it doesn't take into consideration the existing pediatric research initiative, which we strengthened with recent enactment of pediatric esearch network legislation. we have researchers all across the country that echoed the importance of a sustained n.i.h. funding for our nation's health, our economic growth, our global leadership of biomedical research. may i have another minute? mr. pallone: yield an additional minute to mr. waxman. mr. waxman: regrettably, this legislation before us does nothing to truly advance research at n.i.h. if we really had a sincere
commitment to strengthen research at n.i.h., let's work together on a bipartisan basis. let's have hearings on the legislation. let's make sure that we have funding for all the research activities, and i think that we need to find a solution to restore n.i.h. funding rather than purely symbolic legislation. this reminds me of the time when the republicans closed the government. they refused to pass an appropriations bill for the government to function, and then people said, well, what about the parks and they said, well, we'll have a bill to open the parks. what about n.i.h. research? well, we'll do n.i.h. research, but not for the centers of disease control, not for other things. look, if you're going to do the job, do it right, and don't pretend, especially to a family that's agriefed, that you really are doing -- agrieved, that you're really doing
pediatric research when the overall funds are not increased. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from new jersey reserves. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. upton: mr. speaker, i yield myself 30 seconds before i yield to the next speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. upton: mr. speaker, i just want to remind my friends that this is bipartisan legislation, and i congratulate mr. welch for being the lead democratic sponsor. i just wrant to say, too, in terms -- want to say, too, in terms of looking at the money, the bill itself says all amounts in each account maintained for the national committee of a major party or minor party under this section shall be transferred. shall. not may. shall be transferred to a fund in the treasury to be known as the 10-year pediatric research initiative fund, which shall be available only for the purpose provided in section 402-aa-2 of the health public service act and only to the extent and in such amounts as are provided in advanced appropriations act. tell me how to write it
tougher. we did it. i now yield two minutes to the majority whip, mr. mccarthy. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized for two minutes. mr. mccarthy: i thank chairman upton. i rise in support of 2019, named in the memory of a remarkable young lady, gabriella miller. the gabriella miller kids first research act gives pediatric research a shot in the arm through additional targeted funding, funding that is fully offset by reining in taxpayer money of political conventions. the national institutes of health works admirably in distributing important funding on basic medical research. but more can be done for childhood illness. in 2012, only 22% of research was spent on pediatric cases. today's bill helps addresses the need for coordinated research on various childhood diseases, including cancer, autism and childhood diabetes. it helps provide a down payment
to the promise that we have to our next generation, by helping our scientists and researchers find the cures to childhood illness. there is no republican or democrat form of childhood illness, and there is no republican or democrat way to fight it. by working together on this bipartisan bill, we can put our children above the presidential politics of every four years. i want to thank my good friend, congressman gregg harper, congressman peter welch for their work on this legislation. i also want to thank majority leader cantor for his continued leadership on these issues affecting america's families across the country. vote yes on h.r. 2019. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california yields back. the gentleman from michigan reserves. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. pallone: mr. speaker, i yield two minutes to the gentleman from vermont, mr. welch. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from vermont is recognized for two minutes. thank you.
mr. speaker, i support this legislation, but i want to go through the controversy. first of all, the argument about campaign finance reform, this is about taking money away from political conventions, the majority on both sides of the aisle have supported that. number two, there's an argument that this does not restore n.i.h. funding. that is true. that is absolutely true. and we should restore full funding for the national institute of health. passing this bill doesn't stop us from doing that. it may even put us a step forward. third, there's an argument that the money will not get to the intended target because of the way it's designed, but if there is any expression of good faith, it's that the appropriators have made a very
clear indication that they're willing to do everything they possibly can in order to make this happen. fourth, it's limited in its scope and in its funds. that's true, but the fact is it does do something and it takes a step forward. you know, we're having an argument here about whether this is bipartisan or not. we're having an argument about process. but i think if we're candid, we have to acknowledge that as an institution both sides have failed when it comes to an overall comprehensive budget, including for the n.i.h. on august 1 of 2011, this congress voted 269-161 to implement the sequester. in the i told you so brand of argument, i voted against that and i voted against it because in my view, the consequences of that sequester were predictable and foreseeable. these across-the-board cuts from the n.i.h. to the pentagon
made no sense, but that's the box this institution, this house of representatives has put itself in. what we have, in my view, with this bill is an opportunity to lay down the battle ax for just a moment and take a step forward. no one is here, least of all me, where i am being used as a bipartisan face to suggest this does more than it does but what it does do is something good my t can begin a process, hope, that we fail the national institute of health. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. upton: thank you, mr. speaker. at this point i yield one minute to the majority leader cantor. use, mr. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. cantor: i thank the speaker
and i thank the gentleman from michigan. mr. speaker, i rise in support of the gabriella miller kids first research act. i'd also like to thank my colleague, the gentleman from vermont, for his courage in providing bipartisan support, along with some other colleagues, in support of this bill as well as the republican co-sponsors, gregg harper from mississippi. i see tom cole, my colleague from oklahoma, here in this chamber. i also would like to recognize for those colleagues who are here in the chamber, we are joined by gabriella miller's parents in the gallery, ellen and mark miller. i want to thank them for their courage in being here. i want to thank them for their understanding of what goes on on this floor and to not take it in any other way other than we're trying to do what's right. and we're trying to do what's right in terms of delivering on
the legacy of their daughter. now, mr. speaker, gabriella miller, a young girl from virginia, was only 9 years old when she found out she had an inoperable brain tumor the size of a walnut and wasn't given long to live. this fighter diagnosis, gabriella and her family chose to fight and share her dream with others of overcoming childhood disease. gabriella was so determined that she captivated people's hearts at rallies, online with videos, raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for the make a wish foundation and even wrote a book for other children about understanding cancer. she point of order every remaining ounce of her -- she poured every remaining ounce of her life of the hope that they would not have to suffer the same fate. in her last few months,
gabriella left a mark on the world in a will never be forgotten. mr. speaker, there's no question that washington has a spending problem, but the problem is not only that we spend too much but that we're spending taxpayer dollars on the wrong priorities. medical research for children should be a national priority. the first n.i.h. bill i scheduled as majority leader was a bipartisan bill authored by representative cathy mcmorris rodgers and representative lois capps to strengthen pediatric research networks. the president signed the bill into law last month. the bill before us today builds on that legislation by providing some money through the n.i.h. common fund for high-risk, high-reward research
that had the potential to transform pediatric research for children suffering from many different diseases and disorders. for the first time, congress will establish a pediatric research initiative fund that will serve as an accountability mechanism to help ensure that dollars are reaching their intended target. while all of us support the n.i.h., this bill is an opportunity to push the agency to make big discoveries that will improve and ultimately save so many lives. we don't have to accept the status quo as the best we can achieve. yes, the n.i.h. needs taxpayer resources, but it matters how we invest and apply those dollars. now, mr. speaker, some of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle say, this is just a drop in the bucket compared to the sequester cuts.
i agree, the sequester cuts were unfortunately indiscriminant and i and my colleagues have proposed alternatives to them, but let's not let washington politics get in the way of any effort to help these kids. this is one step of many that we should take together. . how many times do we meet parents and families who share their stories and ask for help? i recrenly had the pleasure of meeting gabriella's parents, ellen and mark, and they shared with me her fighting spirit. in one of her last interviews, you can view this online, when asked what she would like to tell our political leaders, she said, quote, stop talking, start doing, we need action. this, mr. speaker, is our opportunity to act.
now, outside of this building, this legislation has tremendous support. he leading children's research hospitals, united for medical research, and over 100 patient advocacy groups support this bill. currently, it leads all other bills on co-sponsor.gov with other 2,500 citizen co-sponsors. now this kind of support is great. but what matters now are the members of this house and how they vote. the question before members today is simple. what is more important -- finding cures for our children? or balloons for party conventions and catering for politicians? the bottom line is this bill is a choice between allocating
moneys for political conventions or pediatric medical research. that's the choice. the bill isn't just about a government agency or taxpayer dollars. it's not about democratic issues or republican issues. it's about a cause, frankly, that should unite each and every one of us, and yes, i would say to my colleague from california, . is is a serious first step it is not everything. to sit here and impugn anyone's motives, much less say something that somehow is a commentary that this isn't constructive toward the plight of the parents ke the millers who are searching for some indication that we can break the political gridlock on an issue like this. i align myself with the comments of my colleague from vermont who
says, can't we just put down the battle axes for something like this? can't we all do that for somebody like gabriella? now gabriella may no longer be with us, but her fight lives on. i ask, mr. speaker, that all of us stand united today and join in this fight. again, i want to thank congressman gregg harper, i want to thank congressman peter welch for introducing this bill, as well as congressman cole of oklahoma and earlier this year, they began the effort to join with so many that have come before to raise awareness for the need for medical research and yes, this time, the need for us to prioritize funding for pediatric research. i'd like to thank gabriella's parents, the millers, who were so brave in their commitment to thevert and realize this is just a first step for being here with
us today and for joining us in this fight. i strongly urge my colleagues to support this bill. yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. all members should be reminded that it is not in order to introduce or bring to the attention of the house occupants of the gallery. the chair will remind all persons in the fwalry that they are here as guests of the house and that any manifestation of approval or disapproval of the proceedings is in violation of the rules. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i yield one minute to the gentleman from tennessee, mr. cohen. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. cohen: thank you, sir. i oppose this legislation because it's window dressing and it's not the big picture. $13 million is less than 1% of
the $1.5 billion sequester cut. less than 1%. the n.i.h. is a research institution, it's our department of defense, it defends us from cancer and heart disease and alzheimer's and aids and diabetes. but it's not being prioritized and it should be the number one priority of this house, keeping americans safe and alive. now the $13 million was picked because that's the amount of money we put into political conventions. it just so happened to fit. we could have picked the f-35 bomber and saved billions of dollars and taken that out which we don't need and put that money which would have made a real difference in research and kids first research, i live in the ty that's the best pediatric cancer research center in the world, they need more than this and kids later will get
alzheimer's and heart disease and in the long run they can only be protected by full funding for n.i.h. i urge full funding for n.i.h., not smoke and mirrors. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan is ecognized. >> i yield three minutes to the sponsor of the bill, mr. harper. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. i want er: mr. speaker, to thank, first of all, congressman peter welch for his hard work on this bill and certainly for leader eric cantor and congressman tom cole. creating a lifetime of hope and opportunity for our most vulnerable kids is more important than subsidizing week-long political pep rallies for the democratic and republican parties. this is high the house must advance h.r. 2019, the gabriella
miller kids first research act a bill that pays for children's medical research with $126 million that the federal government currently sets aside for political conventions. on november 14, 2013, i had the privilege to meet in leader cantor's office with ellen and mark miller. i watched them struggle to come up with the words to express their grief which i saw become steadfast determination to do something special for gabriella by allowing this bill to be named after their precious daughter. i'm wearing the yellow smashing walnuts bracelet they gave me that day. i've watched numerous videos of gabriella where she has made moving and profound statements such as, once you get cancer, you kind of got to be all grown up. and sometimes you have to stop talking and start doing. as the father of a 24-year-old son living with fradge ill
syndrome, i understand the problem families face raising children with special needs but i also understand the value of xpanded and improved medical research. while raising a child with genetic disease can be a struggle, for us it was a blessing, especially with my son ere today. recent scientific research breakthroughs have given hope to so many families, but in order for clinical trials and other advancements to meet their full potential, additional federal research must be directed. mr. speaker, members of both parties have an opportunity to demonstrate the priorities of the body. will it be research for our most vulnerable kids, or will lawmakers vote to continue
funding political party conventions at the taxpayers' expenses? you know, mr. speaker, i've listened to how this has been described by the other side. it's been called a joke. a ruse. a fraud. not credible. window dressing. smoke and mirrors. and to have been told, too, that they, mr. speaker, being referred that the republicans supported sequestration, i guess means that it's been forgotten that our friends on the other side of the aisle, that 95 members of the democratic party voted in favor of sequestration. mr. speaker, let's get our priorities straight. let's vote yes on the gabriella miller kids first research act and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the chair will receive a message. the messenger: mr. speaker, a message from the senate. the secretary: mr. speaker.
snoip madam secretary. the secretary: i have been directed to inform the house that the senate has passed h.r. 3922, to ex-tent the authority court police to extend security to members of the supreme court beyond court grounds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from north carolina is ielded two and a half minutes. >> this is a sad and depressing -- te because there's . price: there's a sad and epressing debate because they're looking to further weaken our campaign finance.
passage of this bill will do nothing to increase federal funding of pediatric disease research. that's why it's so cynical. simply authorizing a new problem will not -- program will not translate into additional funding and the current appropriation -- in the current appropriations environment. if the majority were really serious they wouldn't have passed a budget that makes adequate funding for medical research impossible or perhaps they would actually try to negotiate a comprehensive budget agreement that lifts sequestration once and for all, lifts it from pediatric reserge and many other priorities. now to make matters worse, this bill would make it more difficult to modernize and reinvigorate one they have -- one of the most successful examples of campaign finance reform in our nation's history. the presidential public financing program which has given candidates a viable alternative to private and corporate fundraising for more than three three decadesful i agree with my colleagues from
both parties that paying for presidential nominating conventions is not a wise use of taxpayer dollars but the house majority is concerned about this issue, i'd ask them to schedule a vote on my bill, the empowering citizens act, which would prevent taxpayer dollars from being used for conventions but prevents high dollar special interests from funding conventions. the empowering citizens act would mend, not end, the presidential public financing system, bringing it up to date with campaign realities. it would also establish a voluntary small donor public funding program for congressional campaigns as well as strong rules forbidding coordination between superp.a.c.s and political parties or campaigns. i believe we are at a tipping point in the short history of campaign finance reform in our country. we can either choose to stand by the commonsense reforms that restored america's faith in elections after the watergate scandal or we can choose to cede
control of political campaigns entirely. the wealthy tissue to wealthy corporations and interest groups. the responsible choice is clearism urge my colleagues to oppose this measure in the hope that the republican majority will both get serious about medical research funding and get serious about the oversized influence of millionaires and billionaires and superp.a.c.s in our democracy. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from michigan is reniced. >> i yield one minute to the gentleman from new jersey -- mr. upton: i yield one minute to the gentleman from new jersey, mr. lance, one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. lance: i rise in strong support of the gabriella miller kid first research act my colleagues have told the story of gabriella miller. she was one of the many young people every year to leave this world too early due to disease. to many family -- too many
families share this grief. today we take a step in making a difference in the lives of those struggling with pediatric diseases and disordered -- disorders such as cancer and autism. today congress working together will target taxpayer funding for scientific research and life-saving treatments that can lead to better outcomes and i hope someday a cure. especially during the holiday season, we should be thankful for our many blessings. i am thankful in partner families and advocates whose challenges we may never understand but whose commitment and love for their children is unyielding and inspiring. today we take action in their name. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from michigan reserves. the gentleman from new jersey is ecognized. mr. pallone: can i ask how much
time remains on both sides? the speaker pro tempore: both sides have eight minutes remaining. mr. pallone: i yield one and a half minutes to ms. lowey. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. mrs. lowey: i rise to honor the memory of gabriella miller and her courage and the courage of her parents, but i oppose this hypocritical bill. . i have spent my career fighting to make sure our researchers have every resource to find life-saving treatments and cure. this bill would do nothing to increase investments in medical research. it is unfathomable to me that ose who champion the cuts of $1.55 billion to the n.i.h. now try to authorize with no promise to fund. that cut of $1.55 billion led o a cut of $255 billion to the
national cancer institute and $66 million to the child health institute that funds pediatric research. my heart is with the family of gabriella miller, and my dear friends who lost the little girl of about 6 years old from a childhood cancer, and i'll never forget it. let's work together to truly fund, to appropriate money, not pretend by authorizing. it's a nice thing to do, but we have to vote no on this cynical bill, and i ask today that we join together to increase investments, to increase funding for pediatric research. not support cuts to the national cancer institute, cuts to the national institutes of health.
and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentleman from new jersey reserves. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. upton: mr. speaker, at this point i'll yield three minutes to the gentleman from oklahoma, a member of the appropriations committee and a co-sponsor of bill, mr. cole. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. cole: i want to praise my friend, gregg harper, and my friend, peter welch, who come to this floor for a worthy purpose, and that is to redirect government funding to something that's not particularly important toward something that's very important, medical research for children. the question when you have a worthy goal is always, how do you pay for it? where will you actually get the resources? for many years i brought to this floor legislation that would eliminate public funding for political party conventions and presidential campaigns. -- go into debated a debate ad infinitum.
now, on the political conventions, both political parties this year actually did take the money. i can tell you as a former chief of staff of the republican national committee who put on a convention in 2000, they don't need it. they absolutely do not need it. they can raise all the money they need from private sources just as their nominees raised money from private sources. that bill actually passed this house on multiple occasions with a bipartisan vote. i was prepared to do that again, and i got a call from leader cantor. he said, tom, i know you've been working on this problem for a long time, i know you're concerned about it. what if we redirected that money towards something that is a better purpose, a better use of public dollars? and he mentioned gregg's bill and i couldn't agree with you more. so for someone trying to link it to something that's not connected to, like the sequester, it's simply a modest step in the right direction. it takes money that we know is wasted and puts it to good use.
for those of you who say it can't pass the other body, the other body in the last congress on amendment voted 95-5 to take away public funding of the political conventions. we have a disagreement on presidential campaigns but funding political conventions, really, is more money than directing this money to a more worthy purpose? we are not trying to take it out of the federal budget. i just think that kind of logic defies imagination. this was a good faith effort to do something that ought to bring us together instead of pulling us apart. it's a modest step. i'd be the first to admit that. but let's take the modest step in the right direction, take public dollars that we're now wasting on political conventions, give them to researchers and let them do their work. that's simply a better use of the public purse in a time of limited means. so i urge support from my friends' bill, h.r. 2019, mr. harper and mr. welch. i want to thank leader cantor.
this was his idea of bringing two good ideas together. i think it's a good one. i hope this house embraces it in a bipartisan fashion. i want to thank my friend, the chairman of energy and commerce, for his effort to bring this forward, advance it. with that i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from michigan reserves. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. pallone: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield two minutes to the gentlewoman from connecticut, who is the ranking member of the labor-h.h.s. appropriations subcommittee, ms. delauro. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from connecticut is recognized for two minutes. ms. delauro: i rise in opposition to this so-called ids first research act, which, despite its name, does absolutely nothing to support either kids or pediatric research. this bill does not include a single additional dollar for pediatric research. it just ends another program. it merely suggests this money
should be used to fund n.i.h. if and only if a later appropriations bill calls for it. the money does not automatically go for pediatric research. this is a feel-good messaging bill that plays a bait and switch on american families hoping and praying for research dollars to save their children. this majority wants to pretend that they are supporting medical research when in fact they have continually cut this fundamental priority since 2011. consider the very first bill passed in this house in 2011, h.r. 1. that bill supported all but every epublicans, almost single person of this majority cut $1.6 billion from the
national institutes of health, and most of us who spoke this morning were those who voted to make that cut. the cut is 100 times larger than the $12.6 million increase that this legislation pretends to provide. and because of the deep and reckless sequestration cuts, n.i.h. has been cut by $1.5 billion more. and we don't know whether the budget deal that's being discussed today will put that money back. because of these misguided policies, the national cancer institute has been slashed by $255 million, and the child health institute by $66 million. mr. speaker -- may i have an additional minute? mr. pallone: i yield an additional minute to the gentlewoman. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. ms. delauro: i strongly support investing in medical research. my heart goes out to the miller family. i am a cancer survivor.
one of my proudest accomplishments in this body is working in a bipartisan fashion to double the n.i.h. budget. between 1998 and 2003, we did it then and it's something we need to do again, but this bill, this bill is a sham. and if the majority believes, as i do, that we should increase funding for pediatric research, then let us increase funding for pediatric research. let us not waste time playing games and misleading the american people. and i urge my colleagues to oppose this bill, and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from new jersey reserves. the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. upton: mr. speaker, i'd yield two minutes to the co-sponsor of the bill, mr. collins. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia is recognized for two minutes. mr. collins: thank you, mr. speaker. thank you, mr. chairman. you know, i'm honored today to
add my name to the list of those who support this legislation, h.r. 2019 bears the name of a child whose bravery and wisdom should inspire us all. gabriella miller reminds us the government has the ability and the obligation to strive for the greater good. to protect the innocent, to preserve their future and if we lose sight of that goal, we have failed. in the year that i've been in congress, most of my time has been fighting against bad policies and bad politics, but today is different. today i stand before this body to proclaim we can do something and we can help. the gabriella miller kids first research act priorities pediatric research for children with autism, cancer and other diseases. if you were to ask me what defines doug collins, i'd tell you three times. i'm a man -- three things. i am a father to a daughter who has spina bifida but also enspires -- inspires me to be the person i want to be. she, like gabriella miller, who has overcome, and gabriella miller really won her fight.
my daughter continues. it reminded us that you can help, and when you can help you should. when you can make a difference no matter how small it still matters, it's still worth doing. i'm a freshman here and as previously been said, what amazes me when you take a step forward and putting something productive on the floor and which it makes it at least a small statement and congressman harper brings forth that with others, when you put a small step forward you are brought down to this floor and ridiculed and say it's window dressing, i am sorry, this is not window dressing. it's a step to being the government we're asked. that is putting faith back into a system in which peach lost faith and on the floor today it is no wonder that they've lost faith when a good faith effort is put forward and it is criticized in light of children and research to make other political points. that's what's truly appalling today. that is what's bad.
this is a simple step that was brought forth in good faith. all i'm saying is let's prioritize. i agree with my friends across the aisle. it's time we prioritize our mission. it's time we prioritize our battles here. this is one step forward and i'd encourage my members to support something that actually makes a difference. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from michigan reserves. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. pallone: thank you, mr. speaker. i now yield two minutes to the gentleman from maryland, our democratic whip. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maryland is recognized for two minutes. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for yielding. the gentleman who preceded me said he's a freshman. i've been here for 33 years, for 23 of those years i served on the labor-health-human services appropriations subcommittee. i served under some extraordinary republicans and some extraordinary democrats who chaired that committee.
the ones i served under made sure that the n.i.h. got the sources it needed to investigate, research and try to come up with the cures that ould help the infelixes of mankind from a health perspective. of the sponsors of this bill, 134 of them voted for the ryan budget. the ryan budget, had it been adopted, had it been implemented, would cut the national institutes of health by $6 billion. the budget that we're going to consider will still require eductions in n.i.h. funding. by perhaps as much as 80 times
to 100 times the money that is theoretically in this bill. and by the way, there is no money in this bill. this is an authorization. as i'm sure ms. delauro, who is the ranking member has pointed .ut, it provides no money and many of you perhaps are going to vote for a budget that will cut n.i.h.. but you're going to pass a bill and that's what mr. collins apparently is concerned about, because we're saying this is a facade, a pretense of support. paper will not help pediatric research. money will. investment will. i ask for an additional -- what do you got? mr. pallone: i yield an additional minute to the
gentleman. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. hoyer: to that extent, that is not real. everybody on this floor, i presume, is for children's health, is for pediatric research, is for trying to make sure that our children are healthy and saved from disease and affliction. i presume all of us are for it, but talk is cheap. the ryan budget would have cut $800 million from pediatric research alone. 134 of the sponsors -- excuse me -- yeah, 134 of the sponsors of this bill voted for the ryan budget. so in other words, on one hand you're given theoretically, if there was money available to do this, $11 million for pediatric with this hand.
that's 113 over 10. and $800 million being taken away with this hand. who do you think you're fooling? one more minute. mr. pallone: i'd yield whatever time i have remaining. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman has 30 seconds remaining. mr. hoyer: so let us not fool the public that we're doing something for pediatric research. and i know my friend, mr. upton, has been a supporter for n.i.h. in years past and he's my dear friend and good friend and a good member, but i tell my friend, this bill does not do anything for pediatric research. you'll have an opportunity to vote for pediatric research, vote to get rid of the sequester, vote to invest in the national institutes of health, not to cut it. that will make a difference for pediatric research. i urge the defeat of this bill. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey's time has expired.
the gentleman from michigan. mr. upton: the gentleman from new jersey has no time remaining? i yield myself the remaining time. mr. upton: i appreciate the kind words directed toward me in support of the n.i.h. ry -- i remind those who don't know, i was republican lead with mr. waxman and mr. mccain and mr. wellstone to double the money for the n.i.h., one of the most significant things this congress, i think, has ever done. but i've got to say that i simply don't understand the opposition to this bill. yes i am absolutely supportive of the n.i.h. bill and will continue to do that, and more money. the ryan-murray budget agreement which we'll be voting on tomorrow, i'll be supporting, and it includes programs like the m.i. -- nmple i.h. which i'm told will be inpreesed $23
billion or 2% over the current levels. in today's "the hill," there's an ad, a full-page ad offered by first focus campaign for children. it says thank you for making children your first foe tuss and it lists maybe as many as 80 to 100 members including many of those who speck today against the bill but it says thank you for making children your first focus. that's what this bill is about. it's not just a simple authorization. yes, we do pass those from time to time. this actually directs, the language of the bill says, and i quote, shall be transferred -- shall -- doesn't use the word may, maybe, whatever, shall be transferred to a fund in the treasury to be known as the 10-year pediatric research initiative fund which shall, not may, which shall be available only for the purpose provided in
the public health service act and only to the extent such sums are provided in advance in appropriations acts. we made it pretty tight. the authors of the bill made it pretty tight. tell me how we can make it tighter. mr. hoyer: if the gentleman will yield, i'd be glad to tell him. i'd be glad to make a suggestion. mr. upton: to me, we use shall a number of different times. mr. hoyer: you've got to have none. if you don't have money you can't spend it. mr. upton: the money comes from the milcon ventions. that's the direct offset that's used. all of us cry for these families who lose these beautiful little kids. this bill if it passes, gets enacted, will provide money to help families like gabriel's who ss a -- who -- gabrielle's
whose lost a beautiful little girl. it will work with the n.i.h. i commend mr. cantor and others, the rule we was is you've got to find an justify set when you increase spending. that's what this bill does. it finds an offset that i think many of us cowl accept to actually fund the program and direct the dollars to a fund within the n.i.h. to make sure that it works. that's what we want to have happen. i would urge my colleagues to vote for this bill. yes, it's under suspension. no amendments. we need a 2/3 vote. so i would ask my colleagues to support this bill. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 2019 as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair 2/3 being -- mr. pallone: i ask for a recorded vote. the speaker pro tempore: the -- does the gentleman ask for the
yeas and nays? mr. pallone: yes. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. those foifering a vote by the yeas and nays will rise. a sufficient number having risen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, this 15-minute vote on suspending the rules and passing h.r. 2019 will be followed by five-minute votes on suspending the rules and passing h.r. 2319, senate bill 1471, h.r. 3212 and h.r. 1992. his is a 15-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote, the yeas are 295, the nays are 103. 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. the unfinished business is the vote on the motion of the gentleman from oklahoma, mr. mullin, to suspend the rules and pass h. reform 2319 as amended on which the yeas and nays are
ordered. the clerk will report the title of the lil bill. the clerk: union calendar number 207, h.r. 2319, a bill to clarify certain provisions at o of the native americans veterans' memorial act of 1994678 the speaker pro tempore: members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 398, the nays are zero. 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. h.r. 2019 is ion, amended. the unfinished business is the vote on the motion of the gentleman from florida, mr. miller, to suspend the rules and pass s. 1471 on which the yeas
and nays are ordered the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: senate 1471, an act to authorize the secretary of -- the department of veterans' affairs and secretary of the whether to ider and in a national cemetery for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 398, the nays are one. 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. the unfinished business is the vote on the motion of the gentleman from california, mr. royce, to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 3212 as amended on which the yeas and nays were ordered. the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 321, a bill to ensure compliance with the 1980 haig convention on the civil aspects of international child abduction in countries with which the united states enjoys reciprocal obligations to establish procedures for the prompt return of children abducted to other countries and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill as amended. members will record their votes by electronic device.
this is a five minute d vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 398, the nays are zero. 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. the unfinished business is the vote on the motion of the gentleman from california, mr. royce, to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 1992 as amended on which the yeas and nays are ordered. the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 1992, a bill to amend the requirements relating to assessment of israel's
qualitative military edge over military threats and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill as amended. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a five minute d vote -- this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 399, the nays are zero. 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and without objection the motion to econsider is laid on the table. pir sunt to clause 8 of rule 20, the unfinished by is agreeing on the speaker's approval of the journal which the chair will put de novo. the question is on agreeing to the speaker's approval of the journal. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it and the journal stands approved.
the chair will entertain requests for one-minute speeches. for what purpose does the gentleman from michigan seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute, and i ask for order. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. he house will be in order. the house will be in order. the gentleman is recognized. mr. upton: it is with great pleasure that i rise today to 15 r amo houghton for his years of service on the board of politics.of faith and he is stepping down this week. he and our esteemed colleague
john lewis started the congressional bipartisan civil rights pilgrimage to alabama which in march of next year will celebrate its 14th year. this brings to light the values that faith and politics are determined to instill as it shows attendees thousand rise above narrow partisanship and respond to the quiet call of conscience. my wife amy and i traveled to selma on this pilgrimage and feel it was one of the most moving and humbling experiences of our lives. amo was also responsible for organizing a congressional visit to south africa which resulted in a relationship that lasted for over a deck aid and still strong. as said by nelson mandela, a good head and a good heart are a formidable combination. though the faith and politics institute will miss his spirit and wisdom he brought to the board of directors, his legacy and inspiration will live on as
the honorable amery houghton's emeritus levated to co-chair for life. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> does anyone across the fruited plains think obamacare has been a success? two of its main objectives were to bring down the cost of health care and increase accessibility. mr. kingston: does anyone know anyone whose premium decreased in my 20-year-old daughter's to $207.ent from and talk about accessibility.
5.9 million policies have been canceled? an what do we hear from obama folks about the enrollment? 200,000 people or so they keep the number kind of fuzzy, kind of like unemployment numbers, can't quite tell what they really are but the reality is cancellations are going out about 100 miles an hour and the enrollment is going at about a 20-mile-per-hour pace. obamacare has been a failure. we need to defund it. we need to start all over again. we need to have health care that is patient-centered and market-based, that does in fact bring down the cost of medicine to make it more affordable and more accessible to the american people. the speaker: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentlelady from ohio seek recognition? ms. kaptur: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized.
ms. kaptur: i would like to respond to the gentleman and say, i walked into a pancake breakfast the other day, out of about 1,000 people, a man came up and said, thank you so much for voting for the affordable care act, i just got a plan 10 times better than i ever had. 10 times better he sarkede my wife had a $5,000 deductible, i had a $5,000 deductible, i'm a smaws business person. i now that $1,000 deductible. i have much better coverage, preventive health care is covered. i can't believe how much better my plan is than what i had before. it made me feel so good. we had breakfast together, the pancakes were good, the sausage was great, it made me feel so good because i knew that his business as a shoemaker and his wife as an alterations person in that same business would be protected as they grow older
before they go on to medicare and they have work sod very hard in their lives and they went to the website and guess what? it worked. and so you know what i say across america, there are small business people saying thank you to those in congress who voted for an affordable care act that is working. mr. speaker, i yield back my remaining time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i request unanimous consent to atres the house for one minute and revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. thompson: mr. speaker, i'm proud to support vol fear fire emergency services by co-sponsoring a bill introduced today by pennsylvania congressman lou barlett tark the protecting volunteer firefighters and emergency responsers act. it ensures that volunteers are not downed as full-time employeeses under the affordable care act. because of the nominal fees and that at times given to volunteers and the rate at which
the new definition of full-time is calculated many volunteer companies are concerned about strog provide health coverage for fire fighters or face a penalty. the i.r.s. has been asked to rule on this determination yet congress has not received response. having served as a firefighters and e.m.s. volunteer since 1993, i know as well as anyone how crushing this impact would be for these volunteer organizations. fire department and municipality support for fire and e.m.s. volunteers is important. incentives given to these community volunteers do not change the fact that these are volunteers serving their neighbor sms i encourage my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to join in the commonsense effort by co-sponsoring h. reform 3685. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from maryland seek recognition? >> i ask permission to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, the gentleman
from georgia was right. the train wreck of obamacare continues this week we have three pieces of news. mr. harris: first of all people going to the exchanges told they qualified for medicaid really aren't. they won't find out until probably months past january 1 they won't have insurance. in the state of maryland, 25,000 people got cancellation notices, 3,700 have sind up so far on the obamacare exchange. leaving tens of thousands of marylanders without insurance on january 1. as the gentleman from pennsylvania mentioned, volunteer firefighters are now given a mandate that their volunteer fire companies have to buy insurance for them because now under strange definitions, they're considered employees. mr. speaker, my volunteer firefighters aren't employees. we're going to drive volunteer fire companies out of business this train wreck continues. mr. speaker, americans deserve
better. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. are there any other requests for one-minute speeches? under the speaker's announced policy of january 3, 2013, the gentleman from texas, mr. gohmert is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the majority leader. mr. gohmert: thank you, mr. speaker. i was grateful to hear from my dear friend and i do mean dear friend, i think a great deal of ms. kaptur, glad to hear that somebody has got a good report on the so-called affordable care act. we're continuing to hear sad story after sad story, people continuing to be laid off,
people continuing to be cut from full-time to part-time, people being forced onto food stamps because they just can't make it with the los of income going from full time to part time, the loss of their insurance and as people have now realized across the country, though we were told there were 30 million without insurance, it looks like by next fall, november of next year, that there will probably be many more than that that have lost their insurance even though they liked it and wanted to keep it because as we know, if you like -- insurance, you may not there's a good chance you won't be able to keep it. there's a story from december 11 , four in 10 would rather pay
fine than buy insurance. i'm sure there are people like me, take a look at how much the insurance is going to cost, how much it has skyrocketed, several times more than than what i've been paying if i were going to keep insurance with the deductible now skyrocketing dramatically increasing, under the potential policies, higher than what i have now. nd when i look at the cost several times higher than what i have now and since i'm not i'm ting the subsidy and not paying into the attending physician for that care, we'll be going without insurance. now it's been amazing to me how many in the liberal media, i say
media loosely because they're really in the business of trying to protect this administration, twist stories any way they can to make anyone who objects to something this admferings has done, make them look bad, so i will loosely refer to them as edia, but how they have been aghast that anyone would even consider going without insurance , and it really is a lesson in how far this country has moved in so many ways. i know in the early 1960's, there was no such thing as aid to dependent children that program born out of the best of intentions because deadbeat dads were not, in a small minority of
mericans, different races, different backgrounds, some even well off, were just not assisting financially with children that they had fathered, and so the government wanted to help. so in the mid 1960's, here came the great society, we want to help these people. these poor moms that had to deal with deadbeat dads that wouldn't help. it will help, give them a check for every child they can have out of wedlock. as people that study governments and government assistance can well document, when you pay for an activity, you get more of that activity. so we went from 6% to 7% of children in america being born
without a father in the home to now over 40%, still seems to be heading upward toward 50%, so the united states government in the 1960's, not by what it said, but by where it put its money, decided we'd be a lot better off with more fatherless homes and nobody was saying that and i don't believe anybody intended that result but it's what the ct of paying people for an activity, what they get. you get more of that activity. so we had more children growing up in fatherless homes. but also back but also back in those days, health care was so much cheaper. and it wasn't at the extraordinary level that it is now. .t wasn't nearly as expensive
and even though i was a small child, i didn't know people that had insurance, health insurance. because for so long nobody had health insurance. if you had a problem, you went assessed tor and they you a charge after your visit, after they saw what the doctor did. he would write something down on your chart and when they got it up front and we went to a few different doctors there in my small hometown of mount pleasant, good town, still love it, still great doctors there. in back in those days people my hometown in east texas knew what doctors were charging what for what. i mean, you could actually compare apples and apples when it came to health care. some if you found out
doctor said they're going up on their prices, and another doctor had not gone up on the prices, then you went to the doctor that was cheaper, unless you felt like he wasn't as good. but we had a number of really excellent doctors. and they cared about their parents -- patients. but then eventually you hear of somebody having health insurance and what they did, it was true insurance. a small premium was paid, either monthly, quarterly, semiannually or annually, with a small premium, to ensure against a catastrophe, a dramatic illness, car wreck, something that you could not foresee. you paid a small premium to ensure -- to insure against this
unforeseen event. just in case it happened down the road. because during those days, americans were very independent. americans did not want to go on welfare. most americans did not want to receive government handouts. they felt like it was a matter of pride. and they certainly did not want an insurance company to tell them what doctor they could go to, what hospital they could go to or which hospitals they couldn't go to, which doctors they couldn't go to, which medicines they could not get if the doctor prescribed it. they didn't want an insurance company telling them that if they needed to go to this doctor because he was an expert on this type of treatment that you couldn't go there because it wasn't in your plan. what plan? i'm not the only one that's planning for my life. no insurance company is going to tell me where i can and can't
go. that was the type of independent thought that there was in america. and there were a lot of problems in those days. and i thank god for martin luther king jr. because through his actions and his life and his fforts, through peaceful rotests, some around him got upset and didn't always abide by peace, but the man proclaimed everything needed to be done in peace. because he was an ordained christian minister and he knew those were the teachings of jesus. and because he did what he did, some people say, well, what he d for america was he allowed african-americans to be treated as equals and i would submit to
you, since i was very young, what he did was allow me to grow p and mature in an america where as a young white christian i could treat brothers and sisters like they were brothers and sisters. and i didn't -- it didn't have to matter what color anybody's skin was. they could be judged by the content of their character and not by the color of their skin. that was a great thing for america. but as these great things for toward, as we progressed making america a greater place, with more liberties, more equality, more freedom, at the , really unrelated, but
there was this effort, let's start giving money from the vernment into individuals or individual programs that, though unintended, would make them more dependent upon the government for their lives. and their livelihood. and people quit thinking as independently. oh, well, the government's giving me money so maybe they do get to tell me what i can or can't do with a few things. and then eventually more and more employers had employees saying, hey, i know this other company, their employer is buying health insurance for their employees, that would be helpful because then i wouldn't have to ever worry about, you know, having a terrible accident or some cancer, some terrible disease that would bankrupt my
family. and so more employers started adding health insurance to the benefits. unfortunately it created a system in which the employer owned the insurance policy, instead of the employee. well, the employer was paying for it, so the employer owned it. one of the reforms that many of us were proposing, instead of the catastrophe known as the so-called affordable care act, was that we wanted employees to own their insurance policies. fine and dandy if an employer wanted to pay for insurance, but the employee should own it. so if an employee goes somewhere else, it's still their policy, it's portable, it goes with them. and they still pay the same rates, they aren't jacked up through a cobra plan or something like that.
but somehow along the way we grew more and more dependent on insurance companies to manage our own health care and at the same time, as things like medicare were created, to help those seniors who could not -- o needed help, more and more dependence grew upon the government itself. an the problem with insurance company like the government managing someone's health care is that they get to say what you get and what you don't get in the way of treatment. so, quite an evolution to the point where we are now, where your religious beliefs, under the united states constitution, had been so weakened and so
nullified that now the united government can pass a law like the so-called affordable care act, it's hard for me to just call it the affordable care t because it is so disastrously expensive and unaffordable for so many people, including me now. but the government could say, well, you may believe with all your heart because of your religious convictions that abortion is the murder of a life and being, but we the government now control your health care and you don't have that religious choice anymore. oh, it may be a matter of conscience, it may be that you, without regard for religion, you believe that killing a life and being that could live on its
own, outside the womb, that that would be murder. but we the government now say you have to help pay for that type of murder. even 20 years ago nobody would have believed that we would come to the point where the government could order an merican to pay for the killing of another, albeit an unborn child. i guess it really comes home to me because our first child being born eight to 10 weeks prematurely and holding her in two hands could, have held her in one hand, and kind of did time to time, but usually in those early days you used two .ust because she was so fragile
and just did not want someone i loved so much to risk being harmed. but the doctor there at the hospital in shreveport, where , was very as taken fragile, and the doctor said, look, talk to your child. she knows your voice. her eyes don't work very well knows your voice because she could hear your voice when she was in the womb. and it's very comforting and really gives her a feeling of security to hear your voice. and if you just caress her little arm or little forehead there, while you talk to her, it's such a comfort. she knows you, she can't see you, doesn't know what you look like, but this child has known you from long before she was born. so, talk to her, touch her.
and so, to put my finger down by her hand, so many people have had this happen but when it happens to you it's so special, those tiny little hands would wrap around the end of my finger and just hang on and not let go. she wanted to live. she knew me as the doctor said -- she knew me, as the doctor said, before she was ever born. and it did, as the doctor pointed out later, as he came by, you noticed the monitors, her breathing was still extremely shallow, her lungs were not quite developed. heart rate was still escalated. but they stabilized, as long as she was holding on. he said, she draws security, she . aws life, she draws love
so, in my heart, in my mind, my soul, i know that child knew me before she was born. and i was a comfort to her. my life was -- my wife had to stay in the hospital in tyler for a few days, really emotionally difficult as well as physically, what she'd been through. but now the government would say , though it may absolutely devastate you and break your heart to know of some young girl who wants an abortion and you're going to have to help pay for it , pay for the abortion. i mean, it's just -- even 20 years ago that would have seemed inconceivable that anybody in the united states, any governmental entity, whether it's the executive, legislative
, even ial, would say though they support abortion they're going to make somebody who had religious beliefs fervently against it pay for it. but under obamacare, under the so-called affordable care act that's happened. . some of us, although the president told him we have solutions, we sent word to the white house many times, we have solutionses, and we heard the president -- solutions, and we heard the president say in recent days they don't have any solutions. and i remember him saying those same things back four years ago when obviously it was spoken out of ignorance. i know he didn't intend to deceive anybody. he apparently did not know that there were people who had great alternatives, and for my part,
the bill i proposed, the solution i proposed would return control of people's health care to themselves. if you like medicare and you're a senior, great, stay on medicare. but if you would like a cadillac policy, not a bronze, but a gold-plated, platinum-plated policy, then we say 5,000 r that and now might be an appropriate -- some of the policies i was looking at, $5,000, $6,000 deductible, policies like that makes them a lot cheaper for seniors and then give the seniors the cash for the whole deductible so they wouldn't be out a dime. and i proposed that to representatives of aarp.
they were so gracious, came to my office. i explained it. this will be so awesome for seniors because it means they'll never have to buy another supplemental policy, they'll never have to buy another wrap-around insurance policy and seniors' money is so tight on social security, i mean, it's really tight. i know -- had a family that struggled, but they bought the supplemental policy. won't that be great? i know aarp cares so much about seniors. this will be great. well, we have to look at it. look at it closely. give us more information and we'll look at it. stupid me. i was just too naive. i didn't know aarp made many more times off selling supplemental insurance than they did off membership dues, anything like that. that it was just a cash cow for aarp to sell supplemental insurance. so of course they couldn't afford to say that a policy that just really was a wonderful thing for seniors.
no more out of pocket for deductible, co-pay, this just took care of them and they made their own choices and they had a debit card to pay for their health care all the way through their deductible amount. how could i expect aarp, when they're making hundreds of millions of dollars clear profit off of supplemental policies to say, oh, let's forgo the supplemental policies for the good of seniors, so .bviously they didn't but we can and do have alternatives for health care, reforms that are true reforms that get competition back in health care. how can you have a free market system working in health care if nobody knows what any
procedure, anything really costs? if it's medicine, they know their co-pay. we got to get back to the point where people know what things cost and they have more direct control, and if we get to a place where we're truly helping those that cannot help hemselves and we make it advantageousous for those to put in a health savings account money so they can take care of their own deductible if they're under 65, they're not on medicare and build to that point and then it becomes very clear that most people -- if they start at an early age -- will have so much money in their health savings account that they haven't spent over the years that they will not only want the government telling them what kind of health care they can have, they won't need it. and then for those who are young and chronically ill that will never build an h.s.a.,