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tv   [untitled]  CSPAN  June 16, 2009 2:30pm-3:00pm EDT

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the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 414, the nays are zero. 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed, without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. the unfinished business is the question on suspending the rules and passing h.r. 403 which the
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clerk will report by title. the clerk: h.r. 403, a bill to provide housing assistance for very low income veterans. the speaker pro tempore: the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed -- mr. weiner: mr. speaker, on that i request a recorded vote. the speaker pro tempore: a recorded vote is requested. those favoring a recorded vote will rise. a sufficient number having arisen a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this will be 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.]
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the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 213, t are suspended, the bill is passed and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. the house will be in order. for what purpose does the gentleman from new york rise? >> mr. speaker, by direction of the committee on rules, i call up house resolution 545 and ask for its immediate consideration. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the resolution. the clerk: house calendar number 73, house resolution 545, resolved that upon adoption of this resolution it shall be in order to consider the conference report to accompany the bill h.r. 2346, making supplemental appropriations for the fiscal year ending september 30, 2009, and for other purposes.
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all points of order against the conference report and against its consideration are waived. the conference report shall be considered as read. section 2, the chair may postpone further consideration of the conference report to such time as may be designated by the speaker. the speaker pro tempore: members please take their conversations off the floor. the house will be in order. the gentleman from new york is recognized for one hour. mr. arcuri: for purpose of debate only, i yield the customary 30 minutes to the gentleman from california, mr. dreier. all time yielded during consideration of the rule is for debate only. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. arcuri: i also ask unanimous consent that all members be given five legislative days
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during which to revise and extend their remarks on house resolution 545. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. arcuri: mr. speaker, h.res. 545 provides for consideration of the supplemental conference report legislation that supports our military in the field in both iraq and afghanistan. this spending plan provides our troops with everything they will need during the remainder of this fiscal year and the president has said this will be the last supplemental spending request he will send to congress. i hope this will be the case. i along with a majority of my colleagues share the president's goal of winding down the war in iraq and leaving behind an iraq run by iraqis. this conference report takes a step toward that goal by providing for the training and security forces, economic development and development operations. we're also looking to secure afghanistan and this conference report provides for training of afghan security forces and counterinsurgency members in -- measures in bordering pakistan. although there are no deadlines
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or timelines in this conference report, i think we share in the desire to have troops wrap up their missions abroad and return home to their families. it's my hope that we will see the beginning of that troop drawdown this year. this report also provides for a few key domestic economic priorities like the cash for clunkers program which will allow americans to trade in old vehicles for new ones with higher fuel efficiency. this conference report also includes $1.5 billion for response to swine flu pandemic to help state and local governments, but also to fund global efforts to track, contain and slow down the spread of this flu. although it is not perfect legislation, it provides some essential funding and i will support it and urge my colleagues to do the same. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from california. mr. dreier: thank you very much,
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mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i might consume, ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. dreier: and let me begin by thanking my friend for yielding me the customary 30 minutes and i have to say that it's with extreme disappointment and sadness that i rise in opposition to this rule having been very supportive of it when we had just a few weeks ago. the underlying measure of the supplemental appropriations bill that's supposed to fund our troops began auspiciously as a wonderfully bipartisan effort. in fact, when the house first considered the funding measure last month, republicans were very proud to have what was our first opportunity, mr. speaker, our first opportunity of this 111th congress, to consider a major bill that had been developed in a bipartisan way. i noted on that occasion that the president's call for bipartisan action had previously
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been completely thwarted by the democratic majority and frankly the record proves that could be the case, but finally -- to be the case, but finally, finally when it came to funding our troops, when it came to the issue of funding our troops, even the democratic leadership that had thwarted efforts to follow the obama directive for bipartisanship, we had concluded that they weren't about to politicize the process of funding our troops. . the bill we considered last month was not perfect, it did accomplish the key issue at hand. adequately providing for the protection and welfare of our troops, and, mr. speaker, as i said, we were very proud to do it in a bipartisan way. something the president wants. something the american people want. and frankly it's something that i believe a majority of democrats and republicans in this house want, but unfortunately the democratic leadership does not seem to have
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that same goal. now the democratic leadership is unfortunately back to what has very unfortunately been determined to be business as usual which is considering a measure that should have been as depoliticized as possible considering it in an extraordinarily partisan way. the conference report before us actually cuts troop funding in order to pay for billions of dollars in additional nontroop, nonemergency spending. this includes $5 billion for the international monetary fund in order to provide additional global bailouts. any country, any country, mr. speaker, can apply for this money so there's nothing to ensure that the united states taxpayer dollars don't go to countries like iran or venezuela. the question of whether to provide this new i.m.f. fund something a controversial one and it may end up being a right
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decision, but it's one that should be fully debated not airdropped into a conference report. again, whatever the outcome of that debate on i.m.f. funding, it is clearly something that should not be considered as emergency funding. it should be part of the regular appropriations process, which we are in the midst of right now. where tough decisions are made, priorities are set, and a proposal to send $5 billion to the international monetary fund can be weighed against other priorities that members of this house may have like transportation funding or some other issue that it may be determined through the deliberative process is a higher priority. mr. speaker, our military is on the verge of running out of money. we all know that. that frankly is why we are here. the resources needed for our troops to conduct their mission
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and return home safely are nearly depleted. this the issue of troop fund something a true emergency. this is what this supplemental appropriations bill is all about. to protect and support the men and women in harm's way, defending our country. the democratic leadership instead chose to cut troop funding and load this bill up with other controversial, very controversial funding that does not support our troops. republicans made it clear that we could not support a troop funding bill that does not in fact fully fund our troops. so the leadership on the other side of the aisle found itself in a dilemma. they had lost republican support with their partisanship, their controversial programs, and their cuts for troop funding. so what could they do? how could they win the votes necessary to pass this conference report?
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the obvious solution would have been to return to bipartisanship. that's what the president of the united states has called for. it's what the american people want. and it's what i believe a majority of democrats and republicans in this house would like, but instead the democratic leadership chose to push the contents of this bill as far to the left as they possibly could in the hopes of picking up support from the fringes of their own party. having left the middle ground, the fringe was the only place left to go. so how did they appeal to the very, very extreme left? first, they watered-down language regarding moving terrorists to u.s. soil from guantanamo bay. while republicans had supported much stronger language to ensure no terrorists ever moved or set free on american soil, the original language would at least have required consultation with congress and slowed the process down until we could act
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definitively to ensure the protection of our communities. but inexpolitic economyably as democrats, republicans, and -- inexplicably, as democrats, republicans, have voiced their outrage about terrorists foningsly released on american soil, today's conference report further weakens the already weakened language. it leaves our neighborhoods even more vulnerable to the movement of gtmo terrorists. furthermore, the democratic leadership removed protections to ensure that information that could put our troops in danger would not be released. many on the far left oppose these protections, so the democratic leadership bartered for their support of this bill by stripping them out completely. without those protections in place, our troops in the field will be subject to even greater harm. this was the price the democratic leadership paid in order to negotiate with the far
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left rather than return to bipartisanship and common sense that had guided earlier debates on this funding bill. to see just how far out of the mainstream this approach is, mr. speaker, look no further than the vote on the motion to instruct conferees that we had just this past friday. it was a republican motion which handily passed the house by a vote of 267-152. mr. speaker, by a vote of 267 -152 this house called for a clean bill that restores full funding for the troops and keeps in place the protections to prevent the release of information that could potentially endanger our troops. that strong bipartisan vote just this past friday in favor of this motion indicates how much support in this house there is for a clean, bipartisan, full troop funding bill.
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for those of us who naively thought the funding of our troops was the one issue, the one issue, mr. speaker, that could not be politicized, this is a very, very sobering moment. clearly the democratic leadership cannot help themselves. even when bipartisanship would be the easy choice, they were compelled to move in the exact opposite direction. so, mr. speaker, i urge my colleagues to reject this rule, demand a clean troop funding bill, one that fully provides the resources they need, one that is stripped of all extraneous, controversial nonemergency funding and one that includes full protections for american communities as well as our troops in the field. with that i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from new york. mr. arcuri: thank you, mr. speaker. i would just like to point out that this bill does provide for the troops and it provides very well for our troops because that is the most important thing that
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we as members of congress can do. it provides $1.9 billion more than requested for mraps and 2.5 billion above the president's request for u.s. troops. that's the rind of things that we need to do as a congress to make sure our troops are provided for. mr. speaker, with that i would like to yield two minutes to the gentleman from ohio, mr. kucinich. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from ohio is recognized for two minutes. mr. kucinich: i have a question to my friends and that is how do we support the troops by keeping them in a war that's based on lies? how do we support the troops by keeping them in another war which keeps expanding and they are getting shot at on all sides? how do we support the troops by festering a war on the afghan border with pakistan and put them in even more peril because they don't have the support? how do we support the troops? we support them by bringing them home. that's what we should be
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appropriating money for not to keep them there. beyond that isn't it interesting, we've got another $80 billion here for war. but we don't have money to keep people in their homes because there are still $13 million americans losing their homes. we don't have money for the 50 million americans that don't have health care. we don't have money to save jobs. we don't have money to save our steel mills and auto plants. what we have is we have money for war. support the troops indeed. america has to start taking care of things here at home. and we can't do it by continuing to support wars that are based on lies. the democrats took control of the congress based on opposition to the war. we should be opposing to this war instead of deferring to the president. we have the constitutional obligation under article 1, section 8 of the constitution to decide whether war should continue or not. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from new york reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from california. mr. dreier: i yield myself 30 second to respond to my friend
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from youthica -- utica who made it clear that he believes troop fund something a priority. yet this measure reduces by $4.7 billion the level of troop funding that we had in the bipartisan bill passed just last month and transfers it to the i.m.f. so in fact this measure does cut troop funding. with that, mr. speaker, i'm happy to yield two minutes to the very distinguished gentleman from california, the new ranking member, the ranking member of the committee on armed services, mr. mckeon. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized for two minutes. mr. dreier: mr. speaker, you know what, since he's the new ranking member of the committee on armed services i think he deserves an additional minute, i yield three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized for three minutes. mr. mckeon: thank you, mr. speaker. i want to thank my good friend from california, mr. dreier, for yielding the time. as ranking member on armed services, i rise in opposition to this rule and to the war supplemental conference report for one simple reason -- it will endanger our troops in harm's
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way. compared with a clean troop funding bill that passed the house with bipartisan support in may, this package cuts $4.7 billion from defense we passed at that time to create room for $105 billion global bailout loan program. what should be a clean military funding bill has become a means for the president's promise to provide more foreign aid to the international monetary fund. those funds will eventually make their way to countries that are less than friendly to the united states at the expense of programs to support our troops. and even more disturbing is the decision by conferees to reject a motion offered by republicans to prohibit release of detainee photos that could exacerbate tensions in the very regions our troops are fighting. mr. speaker, let me read to you a statement about those photos by general petraeus, commander of the u.s. forces throughout the middle east.
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i quote, the release of images depicting u.s. service men mistreating detainees in iraq and afghanistan or that could be construed as depicting mistreatment would likely deal a particularly hard blow to u.s. centcom and u.s. interagency counterinsurgency neverts these key nations, as well as further endanger the lives of u.s. soldiers, marines, airmen, sailors, civilians, and contractors presently serving there, end quote. general petraeus is correct. we should stand with our troops in the field and prohibit release of these photos. we should not leave it in the hands of aclu lawyers or at the mercy of activist judges. i urge my colleagues to reject this package and insist that it is brought back immediately with senator lieberman's and graham's language to prohibit release of of these photos. finally, the senate-passed troop bill included language prohibiting release or transfer
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of guantanamo bay detainees to u.s. soil. unfortunately this conference report does not prohibit the transfer or release of detainees after october 1 of this year. this is a huge mistake. i fear we are already beginning to open pandora's box. we have already begun importing terrorists. these guantanamo detainees are trained to foment dissent among americans and we should do everything possible to keep them away from our local military bases and our prisons. again i urge my colleagues to vote no on this rule and the conference report so we can quickly make these necessary changes to protect our troops in the field and bring back a clean troop funding bill. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from new york. mr. arcuri: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield three minutes to the gentleman from michigan, mr. levin. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan is recognized for three minutes. mr. levin: i ask unanimous
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consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. levin: i want to talk about a clearly necessary provision in this bill. the fleet modernization provision. but i do want to say just two mings briefly. comment on what has been said here by the minority. i really think that they are looking for reasons to vote no, no matter how illegitimate they are. regarding this issue of the release of photos, the president has said and i quote, i will continue to take every legal and administrative remedy available to me to ensure that d.o.d. detainee photographs are not released, end of quote. secondly on the i.m.f., a commitment was made at the g-20. in this carries out the u.s. commitment. it is not


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