tv [untitled] CSPAN June 16, 2009 5:00pm-5:30pm EDT
>> mr. speaker -- the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title. the clerk: report to accompany h.r. making appropriations for homeland security for 2010 and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: referred to the union calendar and ordered printed. pursuant to clause 1 of rule 21, all points of order are reserved. the house will be in order. members, please care the well and the aisles. take your conversations off the floor.
members, please take their conversations off the floor. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from wisconsin rise? mr. obey: mr. speaker, pursuant to house resolution 545, i call up the comps report on the bill h.r. 2346 and ask for its immediate consideration. the clerk: h.r. 2346 an act making supplemental proippingses for the fiscal year september 30, 2009 and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: the conference report is considered read. the gentleman from wisconsin, mr. obey and the gentleman from california, mr. lewis, each will control 30 minutes.
members, please take your conversations off the floor. the chair recognizes the gentleman from wisconsin. mr. obey: i yield myself one minute the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. obey: mr. speaker, this is the last of last year's business . we have a huge amount of work that we have to do before the age recess. we have to pass all 12 appropriation bills. we have to make time on the schedule for health care reform, for the military authorization bill, for historic climate change legislation. we need to get -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman will suspend. the gentleman from wisconsin deserves to be heard. the gentleman may proceed.
mr. obey: as i was about to say, mr. speaker, i just think we ought to get on with it and everybody understands what's in this bill. the soon we get on with it, the sooner we get on with this year's business. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from california. mr. lewis: i yield myself so much time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. lewis: i have -- mr. obey: the house is not in order. the speaker pro tempore: members, please take your conversations off the floor. the gentleman from california. mr. lewis: thank you, mr. speaker, i'm very pleased that we appear to be returning to regular order on preapingses bills as we deal with this emergency supplemental that's before us. however, i must confess to being disappointed at the turn this final product has taken in
recent days as compared to where we began with our original house-passed bill. the majority has chosen to go to the high dollar level for every account in this conference report except as it relates to the primary purpose of the legislation, the critical troop funding in the department of defense and military construction accounts. my understanding of the final conference agreement is that it cuts the house level for d.o.d. and milcon by $4.6 billion. more disconcerting, the final package includes $5 billion for i.m.f. funding that was not part of the original house package. this $5 billion for foreign aid will secure a whopping $108 billion in loans. in essence, the i.m.f. is funded at a level almost $30 billion --
mr. obey: the house is still not in order on the democratic side the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is correct. members on the majority side, please take your conversations off the floor. the gentleman from california. mr. lewis: i thank the speaker. i must say this is such an important message, piece of legislation, i think it's important that our constituents as well as our colleagues pay careful attention to this debate. in essence, in this package, the i.m.f. is funded at a level almost $30 billion more than what is provided for our troops, which supposedly was what this bill was all about. what began as a troop funding bill has become a means of fulfilling the president's promise to provide more i.m.f. funding or foreign aid for international bailouts. if that isn't bad enough, the conference agreement also includes $1 billion in emergency
spending for the cash for clunkers program that was not a part of either the house or the senate package, nor was it requested by the president. i understand the conferees have dropped the graham-leiberman-mccain language regarding the release of detainee photos. the conferees have what occurred down language relating to the release or transfer of detainees at guantanamo bay. this is an issue that is and will continue to be of great concern to many of us as well as the american people. just last week, the president approved having a guantanamo detainee transferred to new york city and ordered the release and transfer of four uighurs to bermuda. the president appears to be racing to move these detainees
to their new homes before congress can act substantively on the issue of closing guantanamo. during last week's conference meeting, mr. young, ms. granger and i offered several amendments. the first offered by ms. granger sought approval of the senate provision prohibiting the release of detainee photos. the second motion offered by mr. young insisted upon the higher house funding level for d.o.d. and milcon spending in this conference agreement. and the third motion, which i offered, insisted upon agreeing to section 202a and section 315 of the senate bill prohibiting the transferor release of guantanamo detainees. all three amendments were defeated in a party-line vote by the house conferees. as i prepare to close, let me make one additional point. much has been made about the
total cost of this emergency supplemental. i note for the record that the final conference agreement is $106 billion, which is $14 billion more than the president's request, $9 billion more than the house-passed bill and $15 billion more than the senate-passed level. again, we have increased funding for everything in this bill except for the troops. arguments have maintaining some level of fiscal responsibility certainly ring hollow when we lard up the troop funding people to support aid for hostile governments and cash for cars past their prime. this is a troubling pattern that is being repeated in many of our funding bills this year. in closing, mr. speaker, it's a shame that a process that began in a spirit of bipartisanship has concluded in such a partisan manner. we began as a united bipartisan house seeking to support our troops, but have ended this
process by apiecing the very members who oppose this emergency funding in the first place. i strongly support our troops, but cannot and will not support an international bailout for hostile regimes disguised as a troop funding bill. mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from wisconsin. mr. obey: i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material in the conference report to accompany h.r. 2346. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. obey: i yield myself 30 seconds. i would note in light of the gentleman's comments on the i.m.f., in 1999, the last time we voted on it, the i.m.f. funding was attached to the transportation bill and 162 republicans voted for it. they didn't seem to have any problem at that time. and i find it interesting that today with a different president, they do.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from california. mr. lewis: i yield two minutes to the the gentleman from texas, mr. conaway. mr. conaway: distinguished chair of the committee said we know what's in this bill. we know what's not in this bill. conferees ignored the specific instructions of a bipartisan vote to include instructions to protect the detainee photos of alleged abuses that went on in our custody. mr. speaker, this protection of these photos requires a legislative fix in my view. i don't believe the president has full authority to stand against the judicial branch. so we need to protect these photos from release. even the court has recognized the validity of the claims of harm that would come from release of these photos whether it's recruitment of jihadists. and also perhaps squell much the
growing protests in iran if we release these photos showing this abuse. think back to the cartoon that was released in the danish paper that insulted muhammad and the overreaction to that cartoon. think what the release of these photos would do to our relationships. the military leadership, general petraeus, both oppose the release of these photos. they persuaded president obama to change and they oppose the release of these photos. it will serve no good purpose. and i'm disappointed that the conferees did not include the instructions that we gave them to protect these photos from disclosure and i urge my colleagues to oppose this supplemental and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from wisconsin reserves. the gentleman from california. mr. lewis: i'm pleased to yield three minutes to the the gentleman from virginia, the
finest that virginia has ever produced. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia is recognized for three minutes. mr. cantor:. i rise in opposition to this bill. america has the best military in the world. i think all of us who have traveled and have seen the commitment of our armed forces are overwhelmed by their patriotism. the success of our military has much to do with the character and the courage of the men and women in uniform who fight every single day for our freedom. and what we can do as members of this congress to speak to that courage and that commitment on a part of those men and women is to stand up and to remove politics from bills affecting
their ability to execute on their mission to protect us. and mr. speaker, we can pass a bipartisan bill. this house has shown several weeks ago, we passed a bill with a 368-60 vote. clearly, a bipartisan bill sending the message that this congress stood for our troops and nothing got in the way. unfortunately, mr. speaker, we now find a conference report that will make its way to this house that is vastly different from the bill approved in a bipartisan way. number one, mr. speaker, the provisions in the conference report that will make its way to this floor seemed to put the rights of terrorists before the security of america cans --
americans. . when we see that this body wants to somehow remove language prohibiting the transfer of detainees at guantanamo bay to u.s. soil. when this house allows for that transfer, what that says is we are willing to take on untold risks at the expense of the security of the people that our troops are trying to protect. next, mr. speaker, we have seen the conferees take out language that would prohibit the release of photographs that we no will endanger the lives of our troops. our commander on the ground in iraq, general owed yare know was very clear -- odierno was very clear in his admonition a
few weeks ago, our troops will be in greater harm's way and specific units will have enhanced danger immediately if these photographs are allowed to be released. and i know that the majority says that we got protections that the white house will stand up and not allow for their release, but at the end of the day we have the ability to stop it and to act now. i ask for 30 seconds. mr. lewis: i yield one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. cantor: and i ask that this house stand up, act now and make sure that these photos don't make their way to brochures for recruitment of al qaeda or make their way on to internet sites to help attract more terrorists in the fight against our troops. lastly, mr. speaker, to burden our troops with $108 billion of a loan guarantee to a global bailout is not putting our troops first. that's putting politics before our troops, and that's unacceptable to the american
people. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from wisconsin continues to reserve his time. the gentleman from california. mr. lewis: mr. speaker, i yield two minutes to the gentleman from new jersey, mr. frelinghuysen, a member of the defense subcommittee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey is recognized for two minutes. mr. frelinghuysen: i thank the gentleman for yielding and i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. frelinghuysen: if the defense portion of this supplemental was considered as a standalone legislation it would receive my support and the majority of those on this side of the aisle. we recognize that we need to provide our deployed men and women all volunteers with the funding and resources they need to commit to their ongoing missions in iraq and afghanistan. but, unfortunately, the majority has added items to this measure totally unrelated to these wars. first, the much-debated i.m.f. provision which interestingly enough allows our country drawing rights for the first time in the history of the i.m.f.
secondly, the majority stripped language in this bill that would prevented release of photographs of detainees, thus endangers u.s. citizens and members of our own armed forces overseas. thirdly, the majority inserted water downed language on the closing of guantanamo bay allowing these dangerous prisoners to be brought to the u.s. for a trial 45 days after the obama administration submit certain paperwork to congress. these all represent reasons to vote no to send this legislation back to the drawing board and to cam back with a straightforward bill that supports our troops. but my colleagues, i want to use this time to talk about the direction of our national security funding, our defense spending. if you believe the administration this will be the last supplemental appropriations bill to fund our operations in afghanistan and iraq. even though our forces will remain in iraq for a significant number of years and our efforts in afghanistan are just now ramping up. the administration says it's
putting such costs for future soldier needs into the base appropriations bill. however, it doesn't take a green eye shade to determine that the administration's request, combined with a rate of inflation, essentially adds up to no growth. we're standing still, we're threading water, and in a world where the north koreans threaten conventional nuclear war, russia is becoming more resurgeant and aggressive and china is rapidly increasing its aggressiveness. for these reasons i rise to oppose this conference report. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from wisconsin continues to reserve his time. the gentleman from california. mr. lewis: mr. speaker, could i please check and see how much time there is on each side? the speakepro tempore: the gentleman from california has 17 1/2 minutes remaining. and the gentleman from wisconsin has 29 minutes remaining. the gentleman from california. mr. lewis: mr. speaker, i yield
three minutes to tom cole, one of the fabulous new members on our side of the appropriations committee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from oklahoma is recognized for three minutes. mr. cole: i thank the gentleman for yielding and thank him for his generous praise. mr. speaker, i rise today in opposition to this conference report, and i do that with a heavy heart, quite frankly. when this measure was initially before us i supported it enthusiastically. and in my remarks i praised the president. i thought he made a tough decision and deserved bipartisan support. i praised the majority because they had brought us, i think, a very good and finally crafted bill. and frankly, i was proud of the minority because we stepped up unconditionally, supported the president, provided the votes that he needed to win and make a difference, to have not just a bipartisan majority of the republican votes that put us in the majority. i felt like we dealt with the president and the administration in good faith. frankly, i don't think since that point that faith has been
reciprocated. over the course of the process, as this legislation has moved through, i.m.f. funding has been added. it scores at $5 but it's considerable a greater amount of money that will be deployed. we've had the issues of photos of detainees. there's been no effort to negotiate with our side of the aisle that did have the votes needed to pass the original bill without condition. and frankly it's almost as if there was an assumption on the other side that we would either roll over or blackmailed or bullied in supporting the bill simply because of the military funding in it. and i wonder whether or not in retrospect it was worth losing, literally, dozens and dozens of republicans that were prepared to support this bill in a bipartisan fashion in order to add these other measures, which could have frankly been brought to the floor on their own. so i am forced to urge the rejection of this conference report.
i would hope that we could restore the military funding that was taken out. i would hope that we could strip the unrelated i.m.f. funding. and i would hope we could practice once again the bipartisanship that led to such an overwhelming success in the original bill. and if we go back to that method i think the president and the administration will be able to rely on continued bipartisan support and the tough decisions they have to make going forward. with that i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from wisconsin. mr. obey: i yield one minute to the distinguished majority leader. the speaker pro tempore: the majority leader is recognized. mr. hoyer: i thank the chairman for yielding. and i rise in strong support of this legislation. 80% or more of this bill is to support the young men and women and some not so young whom we have sent in harm's way in
iraq, afghanistan to confront terrorism. we passed that bill. we passed it with 368 votes. it then went to the senate, and the senate amended the bill and added additional funding for the i.m.f., the international monetary fund. that did not squeak by on some partisan vote. in fact, more than 2/3 of the senators voting on that issue, including approximately 25% of the republicans voting on that issue voted to include the i.m.f. why? because like ronald reagan president george bush in the 1990 -- because like ronald reagan, president george bush
in the 1990's, president george bush in 2008, they believed the i.m.f. itself was an important asset in the seeking of security by the united states of america. now, we didn't put it in that bill, but it's supported by 2/3 of the united states senate, supported by the president of the united states who when he met with the g-20 pledged to play our part in trying to bring the security that this country so -- has paid so dearly to achieve. our shares is approximately 20% . the other members of the g-20, 19 nations will be putting up 80%. why? because they too believe this is enhancing the security of their countries and also what they think it does is to lift up the poorest nations of the
world. not iran, who's not gotten any money since 1994. not hezbollah. no discussions with them. the united states would clearly weigh in to stop such funding, properly so. so we have a bill that seeks security and peace and it's two-prong now, not one. and i suggest to you that it is my belief that if it were a republican president asking for this that this bill would pass with some 368 votes again. why? because democrats would join in the republican president's
request as we have in the past and say this is for america's security, for international security, and we'll support it. now, this bill does some other things. we have a pandemic flu, swine flu, h-1-n-1 flu that is now at a level that the world health organization says is 41 years historically in the context. and the administration said because of that we need additional funds for flu vaccines. we didn't have that in our bill. clearly there's not a member in this house that doesn't want to take care of the health of our people. i might say although he doesn't carry a lot of weight on our side of the aisle that jim leach has strongly endorsed this effort for the same reason that ronald reagan, whom we
honored just the other day, just the other day we heard so many people say what a great leader ronald reagan was. i want to quote ronald reagan for you if i can find it real quickly. ronald reagan said this. the i.m.f. is the linchpin of the international financial system. that's ronald reagan. he went on to say, i have an unbreakable commitment to increased funding for i.m.f. that's not a democrat. that is a conservative leader that you revere. who led this country and was strongly supported by this country. and i want you to know that i and i want you to know that i supported ronald rageon on most
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