tv [untitled] CSPAN June 4, 2009 9:00pm-9:30pm EDT
unanimous consent that today following legislative business and any special orders heretofore entered into, the following members be permitted to address the house, revise and extend their remarks, and include therein extraneous material. mr. moran, june 11 for five minutes. mr. poe, june 11 for five minutes, mr. jones, june 11 for five minutes. mr. paul, june 9, 10, and 11 for five minutes. and mr. gohmert for today for five minutes. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. . for what purpose does the gentleman from california rise? >> i ask unanimous consent that today following legislative business and any special orders heretofore entered into, that the following members may be permitted to address the house for five minutes and revise and extend their remarks and include them therein. the following members, mr. kostya of california, myself,
ms. giffords of arizona, ms. pingree of minnesota and ms. kaptur of ohio. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. under the speaker's announced policy of january 6, 2009, and under a previous order of the house, the following members are recognized for five minutes each, mr. dingell of michigan. for what purpose does the gentleman from california rise? mr. costa: five minutes, mr. speaker to address the house, i ask unanimous consent. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from california is recognized for five minutes. mr. costa: thank you very much, mr. speaker. i rise this evening to discuss what continues to be a pernicious drought conditions that affect the people of the san joaquin valley. those in my district and my colleagues' district. i hope most of the members and
-- if not all of you recognize we are in extreme drought conditions in san joaquin valley that is affected not only the richest agricultural region in california but the united states as well. a drought caused by mother nature, expanded by numerous judicial issues and legislative changes has very, very much deaf stated the economy of the valley i represent. water is the life blood of the agricultural communities in my district. supplying over $20 billion industry in the san joaquin valley that provides half the nation's fruits and vedgetebles. number two in citrus production, number one in production of wines. the list goes on and on. 300 commodities grown and produced. number one dairy producing state in the nation. sadly if this drought continues, we'll find not only the san joaquin valley but the
entire state of california that is already economically depressed, further set back. today, unfortunately, the national marine fishery service finalized a biological opinion asking for modifications in the central valley project and the state water project that would divert even more water away from the agricultural communities and the san joaquin valleys this biological opinion, i think, on top of the additional reallocations of water could reallocate a significant amount of with water and make a fragile system more difficult to operate. we have a sad situation where communities have 41%, 38%, 34% unemployment. while we have a deep recession facing all parking lots of our country. when you have those kinds of unemployment numbers, they are depression-like circumstances that we are facing.
we have food lines. i have been with my constituents in those food lines. some of the hardest-working people you'll ever meet, that sadly, today, are asking for food. these people would normally be working if the water was there. they would be working to put food on america's dinner table. but they're not today because of this man-made and mother nature combined drought. there are numerous factors that come together to issue this biological opinion. i don't believe the biological assessment supports the biological opinion. it only deals with one of the contributing factors that are cause for the decline in fisheries in the san joaquin delta. what the biological opinion ignores is the presence of
invasive species, striped bass that were planted there, nonnative, in the 1920's. treatment in sewage facilities in sacramento and stockton. which caused it to leak into the san joaquin river system. it would cost $2 billion for the city of sacramento to fix the ammonia problem. we have over 1,600 pumps in the delta that divert water that are unscreened. we have pollution from the surrounding urban areas because they've quadrupdrupeled in area. this ad-- they've quadrupled in area. 23 this drought extends a fourth or fifth year, this will be a greater -- there will be a greater impact. that impacts not only california but the entire nation. we must work together to address the drought crisis in california in the short term
and in the mid term. these fixes include factors that could lead to improving and moving water around. to get water supplies to those who need them to deal with pump schedules and conflicts that arise. to increase the water bank. to ensure that in the next six months or next year and beyond that we do everything possible on the state with the federal government's collaboration to ensure that we deal with just not the fisheries of california but people who lost their jobs and whose lives have been impacted. we have a water system in california that was designed for 20 million people. today we have 38 million people. by the year 2030, it's estimated there may be 15 million people in california. it's -- 50 million people in california. it's time to fix the problems in the proper fashion. mr. speaker, i ask you, that we
submit the rest of the information for the record and i yield e balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. poe of texas is now recognized for five minutes. mr. poe: mr. speaker, saturday, june 6, 2009 will mark the 65th anniversary of the invasion of normandy. operation overload was the code name but most folks know the massive invasion by its military term we call it d-day. we honor the amazing men who stormed the beaches at normandy on that day. utah, sword, gold, juno and omaha beaches were the name of the invasion sites. june 6, 1944 was a wicked day
of weather. the seas were high and the rain came in hard. the sky only broke occasionally for the allied air cover to protect landings. the rangers climbed the cliffs under heavy, brutal german fire. the sand was stained red with the blood of young american warriors and that of our friends, our allies. felix brenham went ashore at the second wave of omaha -- omaha beach as a demolition man he joined the national guard in 1938. he said of his landing, the water was so would have the guys were getting seasick. i saw water spilling up over the sides of our landing crafts. the sea water was splashing in on us from shells bursting and rifles hitting our bolts. i never raised up and looked over to the side of that boat. none of us did. when we got off the landing craft, the water was up to my
knees. of course the tide was rising a foot every 10 minutes and we had to get in quick because high tide would cover up obstacles and the water we used for cover and we would be blown out of the water. they were firing at us from everywhere. when we got to the beach, there were rangers separated from their units filing -- piling in with us at the same time. my team was the first to go over the sea wall and i saw some of my friends die. in my team of 30 men we lost only about five or six of those men. we were lucky, god knows how lucky we were. we went up the hill, then we crossed over omaha beach and eventually made it to a little french town. the day after d-day, i walked up to the beach, went up and down the beach and saw guys lying in the beach who were dead. they were there with their eyes open, their rifles ready. they were solid in their death.
mr. speaker, these brave men who cracked the nazi grip on europe began with the liberation of france 65 years ago. and then from there, they went on to germany. nothing like it has ever been done before in history. over 150,000 allied soldiers hit the beaches during assault landings on the 6th of june. by the fourth of july, over one million joined the invasion force through normandy. it was a miraculous feat from 1944. these young men were from every state and territory in the united states. they were young and hailed from places from the farmland to the big cities. many had never been but a few were miles from home until they went ashore from overseas. they have been called the greatest generation. growing up irk learned my dad, a farm boy, served in the great world war ii as a soldier in europe. he was only 18.
that's all i knew. neither he nor my mom, a war bride, ever said anything about my dad's service, until they went to a certain place. here is that place, mr. speaker. a place called normandy. they went on the 50th anniversary of the d-day landing. when he came back to texas after this grave site visit here in this photograph he started talking about his buddies. those that had lived and those that had died. he talked about the concentration camp he is saw at draw caw and how he nearly froze in the battle of the bulge and much, much more. he claims to be no hero, even though he's my hero. he says the real heroes are buried right here in this cemetery at normandy. his fellow warriors who gave up their youth so our country
could have our future. some today forget the feats of these warriors of world war ii. those world war ii troops went to leb rate but not conquer. they fought for a people they didn't even know in a land they had never seen. they freed an entire continent of europeans from tyranny and wanted absolutely nothing in return. mr. speaker, here are some of those americans that never came home. 9,387, to be exact. still buried in graves in normandy. buried on the cliffs, their white crosses and stars of david shine and glisten in the morning sunshine over omaha and utah beaches. mr. speaker, others are buried in unmarked graves all other europe known only to god. they were great americans and we should always remember them, we will always be proud and we will always be free because of them.
that's just the way it is. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentlewoman from california, ms. woolsey, is now recognized. the gentlewoman -- the gentlewoman from ohio is recognized for five minutes. ms. kaptur: mr. speaker, i rise this evening to remember al william seidman, known to many as bill. among his many life accomplishments he served as chairman of the federal deposit insurance corporation through the recovery of the savings and loans industry following the massive scandals and excesses of the 1980's. he was a patriot, a wry intellect, and a very sharp financial system regulator. sadly, america lost bill in mid may, but his legacies will remain with us for years to come.
beyond his financial expertise he led the effort for the creation of a state college in his home state in the grand rands, michigan, area known as grand valley state university. education is a key indicator of individual success and through the leadership of bill seidman, young and old alike an further their learning and obtain new skills to further their dreams. i can see why this achievement was said to have been one of his proudest. i've had the privilege of working with bill seidman in my own career and i invited him to meet members of congress to engage his experience along with that of bill isaac, another former effective chair of the federal deposit insurance corporation and the paths these two experts could suggest to resolve it and accelerate its resolution. of his major concerns based on a life dedicated to finance and
prudent banking system regulation and performance, bill seidman felt the lack of regulation in the derivatives market including credit default swaps was a severe and continuing problem. he discussed how former federal reserve chair alan greenspan opposed regulating these instruments because they were agreements between sophisticated parties and need not be regulated. seidman strongly disagreed stating he felt that the credit default swaps market was a dismons one -- dishonest one. his words were prophetic. he also felt securitization lay at the heart of the housing crisis because of the way the practice is carried out. he said they take a bunch of mortgage, bundle them up and then sell them off without any connection to the value of what they are selling. he said, and i quote, if you can make money off garbage, go ahead and sell garbage, as long
as you don't have to deal with it later, unquote. both bill seidman and bill isaac really advised america that we needed to fix securitization, including making sure that bankers have real skin in the game. that is, hold on to some of the risk rather than passing it all forward. i couldn't agree more strongly. it's time for a transformation in these instruments and the overall financial system. our members were honored to be discussing such matters with mr. seidman and he had served as fvensrble advisor to four presidents, served as chair of the federal deposit insurance corporation in a most difficult time as he helped steady our economic ship of state and during his tenure one of the nation's largest banking scandals, the savings and loan crisis, unfolded, arising, again out of a housing crisis. under his watch, the fdic, the resolution trust corporation was created to take over
troubled thrifts and resolved. rereorganized -- he reorganized several institutions in the problems of the 1980's. the assets were seized and sold through the resolution trust corporation and the goal of getting the maximum for the assets and reducing taxpayer exposure was primary. still that mess cost over $124 billion to the u.s. taxpayer. stability was established at a great price, but after his tenure rather than congress tightening down on bad behavior and improving financial system regulation, it opened the doors and rewarded bad behavior and carried us to our current sad state of affairs. . america will miss bill. he continued his knowledge and
advice right up until the day we lost him. we thank his family for his hard work and dedication and the lessons he learned and taught us. we need to reread his words and act thoughtfully to solve the current crisis facing our nation. i know he would want that for sure. i extend the sympathies of this congress and our hope for strength to his family in the coming days to endure his loss. to his wife, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. he truly was a great american. our country was strengthened by his wisdom and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. the gentleman from texas, mr. gohmert is recognized for five minutes. mr. gohmert: thank you, mr. speaker. and i very much appreciate my friend, ms. kaptur's comments
and i appreciate her insights. always very valuable and she believes as i do that we are making a big mistake by running up the deficit like crazy. some say, well, it was going on back under the bush administration. yes, it was and it wasn't right then and it's even worse now that it has been multiplied many times. every week, we are running up more of the deficit. it's got to stop. china continues to buy our debt. we just sent the secretary of the treasury over to china to encourage them to keep buying america, buy our debt, because we cannot control ourselves. imagine a parent going into a bank and saying, i need a loan because i can't control my spending. you see my little children over there, i even got some
grandchildren. i'm going to pledge to you that someday, i can't pay it back, but they will. they would take the children away and yet we sent our secretary of treasury to buying our debt because we can't control our spending. we've done things in the last weeks like $25 million we voted for in this chamber to buy land in foreign countries for rare dogs and cats. china has some. we'll borrow that money from chivene china to buy dogs and cats. and we are paying for that with interest while we run up our debt even higher. it makes no sense at all. you know, i went back and did
some looking. i remember pretty good, having been a history major, i loved to follow things as they occurred, because we're told those who fail to learn from history are destinned to repeat it. those who deal -- learn from history will find ways to screw up. we aren't learning from history. but you can look back at the soviet union and we were reminded about that yesterday as ronald reagan's statue was unveiled and it's a great tribute. but as he pushed the missile defense system and the soviets tried to keep up, they were spending up too much money and running up too much debt and people were nervous about loaning the soviet union more debt. do you remember the baltic states started rebeling?
the soviet union would roll in with tanks. they could put it down, but for some reason, they didn't roll in with tanks and supress it like they had in years past. well, it appears there's information indicating that they were needing us to loan them $100 billion, which 20 or so years ago was real money, $100 billion to keep them afloat. and we got them word, yeah, it's your country, but if you roll in with tanks, we aren't going to be able to loan you that money. we owned their fute so we could dictate what they could or couldn't do. does it ring any bells that we keep selling our debt? we can't control the spending. we voted here tonight to spend millions and millions of dollars
to pay people for not working while they are quote, employees, while there are millions and millions of americans chomping at the bit to get back to work and this is what we're passing? you know some believe here in this body that running up the debt is what's going to save the country. and i've been told, look, we don't think we're wrong, but if we were wrong, we could back and fix it. the soviets couldn't fix it. at some point when you know longer own your future, you don't have a future. we owe the people we represent. we owe our own children better than that. let's quit destroying this nation's future. let's quit running up the deficit. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the
gentleman yields back. mr. jones of north carolina. mr. burton of indiana. ms. giffords of arizona. mr. paul of texas. ms. pingree of maine. mr. moran of kansas. under the speaker's announced policy of january 6, 2009, the gentleman from minnesota, is mr. ellison, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the majority leader. mr. ellison: i will claim the hour and we'll get started.
mr. ellison: well, mr. speaker, welcome to the progressive message. this is the hour that the progressive caucus comes forward to offer a progressive vision for america, where we put down markers and we signal to the american people that there is a progressive vision, there is a way forward, and that way forward does include generosity, vision, openness, fairness, sharing, not a vision of fear, not a vision of oh my goodness, what's going to happen, but a vision of saying, you know what? we can include people, we can have peace and a society where people are treated equally and fairly.
a few weeks ago, we had a special order where the premise was why i'm a progressive and we detailed how important it is to take note of the great contributions that progressives have made to america. i want to introduce the ruffle array of leaders we have with us tonight. and i have to start with the co-chair of the progressive caucus, the person who has given more five-minute speeches than anybody ever on the issue of peace including iraq and afghanistan, none other than our own co-chair lynn woolsey. ms. woolsey: i thank you, keith, for your progressive hour. it's a gift to every week -- the progressive hour is a gift to every person that watches us and wants to know what we stand for.
and we have two new women with us tonight. i'm going to stand here and be part of the dialogue, but i think congresswoman hirono and congresswoman schakowsky bring something new and fresh tonight. so i hand back to -- mr. ellison: who would you like to yield to? ms. woolsey: i yield to congresswoman hirono from hawaii. ms. hirono: thank you very much. we are going to be focusing on health care tonight for this hour and i just wanted to share with all of you a little bit of my background, because i know what it's like not to have health care. i came to this country as a immigrant. my mother brought me and my brothers to hawaii, lucky me, and raised us as a single parent. and we didn't have much. and she worked for many years in a job that did not have any
benefits, innovation, no health care. and i remember growing up that migratest fear was that my mother would get sick and if she did, she wouldn't be able to go to work and if she didn't go to work there wouldn't be any money for food or rent. today, in our country, over 45 million people have no health insurance. i know what that's like. our current system does not serve these millions of people, nor does our current system serve those who have health insurance because of rising costs, which have not kept up with wages. our current system also does not serve our businesses well, where employer-based health insurance premiums have nearly doubled since 2000 and continue to rise. we're spending in this country over $2 trillion annually on
health care, with no one happy, certainly the 45 million people without any insurance, certainly not the business community, certainly not those people who literally, many of them, in fact, many individuals who file for bankruptcy in our country do so because of catastrophic health problems and costs. and our current system is spending almost 16% to 18% of the gross domestic product on health insurance. and yet, with this kind of expenditure, are we getting the kind of results you would expect for each of us spending something like $6,000 to $7,000 a year? no. children are likely two times to die as children in spain, portugal or slovania.