tv [untitled] CSPAN June 16, 2009 5:30pm-6:00pm EDT
most of his initiatives and tell our soviet adversaries that we were going to invest in the security of our country. i think in doing so they decided they couldn't compete. . remember the responsibility of speaker gingrich when he said in 1998, we have an obligation to work with the international monetary fund. this is not a partisan issue, but i suggest it has been made to oppose this bill to try to embarrass democrats, quite frankly, that we can't pass funding. we can and we will. and i urge you to join us. i urge you to forget the
partisan rhetoric. i urge you to think of ronald reagan and george bush and the second george bush and newt gingrich and so many other republican leaders that i won't take the time to quote, who said that this is a critical component of our security apparatus. we did not have it in our bill, but we know how the legislative process works. the other body, particularly when it does so by 2/3 vote, adds legislation. the president of the united states believes that's good legislation and very frankly i believe that's good legislation and many in this house do as well. would we have added it? we didn't. but it's here. do not use this addition by the united states senate as a reason to say i can't vote for what 80% of this bill does, support those young men and women, as i said,
some not so young, deployed abroad in the defense of freedom and the furtherance of our security. i will tell you, my friends, on numerous occasions, as most of you know who have served with me, i have put my card in the slot or come to this well or raised my voice on behalf of republican president who sought to further the security of this country. i'm proud of those votes and i'm proud of that voice. i ask you to join me today to support our troops. to support our national security . to support propping up countries who will be the repositories of economies that will further the ability of terrorists to recruit in countries that find themselves without jobs, without
economic opportunity for their young people and have them turn and be recruited by those who would undermine their lives, recruit them as terrorists. so i urge each one of my colleagues, this is a vote for america. for its interests and its troops . do not delude yourselves, but this is not a vote to support the troops. 80%-plus of this bill is about american servicemen and women in harm's way. stand up for them. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the majority leader yields back. the gentleman from california. mr. lewis: i yield two minutes to my colleague from indiana, mr. burton. mr. burton: mr. speaker, i have great respect for the majority
leader and he's very eloquent at the microphone, but he forgot to mention a couple of things that i think the american people would like to know. 80% of this bill is helping the troops, but this is a war supplemental. 100% should be helping our troops. in addition to that, he did not mention that this is a 22% reduction from what was in the supplemental last year. so we're actually cutting the funding to the troops by 22% over what we did last year and just expanding our operation into afghanistan. the people ought to get the whole picture, and the whole picture is that this is a war supplemental and it's being cut over what we spent last year for the same type of legislation. now, he mentioned the international monetary fund, the $5 billion for that. this is a war supplemental and not an i.m.f. bill. it will create additional
loaning capability and a few of the countries that will benefit from this with special drawing rights are people who are not our friends, venezuela, iran, yemen, syria, zimbabwe and burma. i would never admonish the majority leader because he's a great man, but let's get the facts out there and not just part of them. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from wisconsin. the gentleman continues to reserve. the gentleman from california. mr. lewis: i yield two minutes to the the gentleman from indiana, mr. pence. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. pence: ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. pence: thank you, mr. speaker. and i thank the distinguished ranking member of the appropriations committee for yielding. i rise in reluctant opposition to the military supplemental bill that's before the congress
today. i was pleased to join many of my democratic colleagues in supporting the bipartisan military supplemental bill that passed this house earlier in this congress. it seems to me when it comes to providing our soldiers with the resources they need to get the job done and come home safe, it's the right time to set aside politics as usual, the partisan divide and go forward to the best of our abilities on a united front, and we did that. but i cannot support this military supplemental bill today. i see it as a disservice to the taxpayers of this country and disservice to the brave men and women who defend us every day. you know, in the midst of difficult times, it's easy to forget we are a nation at war and go to politics and spending as usual. with american soldiers in harm's way, we must never falter to make sure those soldiers have everything they need to get the job done and come home safely. but emergency war funding bills should be about emergency war
funding. this legislation, which includes $108 billion in loan authorizations for a global bailout for the international monetary fund at a time when this government has run up a $2 trillion annual deficit, i believe does a disservice to taxpayers and to those that defend us. passing a $108 billion global bailout on the backs of our soldiers is just not right. i urge my colleagues to oppose this conference report, stand with our troops, stand with the american taxpayer, stand against one more bailout. let's reject this bill tonight and come right back to this floor here tomorrow and bring a clean emergency war funding bill in a bipartisan fashion back into the legislative process. it's time for us to reject this legislation. reject the changes that were made in the united states senate. and get our soldiers the
resources they need and do it in a way that serves the broadest possible interests of the american taxpayer. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from wisconsin continues to reserve. the gentleman from california. mr. lewis: i yield two minutes to mr. mccotter, a member of our leadership. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan is recognized for two minutes. mr. mccotter: i thank the gentleman. i rise in opposition to the conference report. precisely because it is about our troops. the bill that left this chamber with broad bipartisan support was 100% about our troops. and it is precisely now why it is only 80% about our troops and should not allow that 20% reduction die lute us. i had the opportunity to read that the treasury department had
said that $10 billion in loan guarantees to auto manufacturing suppliers was a nonstarter. i come here tonight. i hear we have $108 billion for the i.m.f. this isn't only about our troops but about the hard men and working women that put money into the federal government not only to defend our country and make sure it's here when they get back. the $108 billion to the i.m.f., i didn't hear anyone losing their job or being asked to take a reduction in their health care benefits. i did not see anyone lose anything from the i.m.f. to underwriting by the u.s. taxpayers, but i did, i did see back home in detroit for $85 billion, i saw people lose their jobs. i saw retirees lose health care benefits. i saw dealerships closed and i
was told this was necessary. i was told by this administration, we have to be careful not to put money in the sink hole. this is about equity. when those troops come home and could home to midwest and my michigan, i will look them in the eye and say as long as i have been here, i have supported and defended our troops, but i made sure when you came home you came back to the american opportunities. and as to the future the majority leader talked about, i don't have to speculate. let me read you a quote, if people tell you we can't afford to invest in education, health care or fighting poverty, remind them we are spending $10 billion in iraq and -- i ask for 30 additional seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. lewis: i'm proud to yield to the gentleman an additional minute. mr. mccotter: we are spending $10 billion in iraq and if we can spend that much money in iraq, we can spend it in cincinnati, ohio and big cities
and small towns and every corner in this country. that was candidate barack obama. i would never take money from our troops for domestic spending but if you are going to add $108 billion to fund a conference report for our troops, then spend it here in the united states, spend it on the men and women who support our troops every day and their families so they stay employed. do not send it to the i.m.f. i oppose this bill. 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: i'm proud to yield two minutes to my colleague, mr. gohmert of texas. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. gohmert: thank you, mr. speaker. it was a proud moment for us to be able to come together in a bipartisan fashion and support the supplemental here in the house as put together in the house for the troops.
but to add this mess that's coming down here from the conference that the senate stuck in, over $100 billion to the i.m.f.. i mean, they're loaning money that they get from us that we're going to have to borrow from china to give to countries who hate us and would love to see us go away. that makes no sense. if we're going to add this additional burden onto the american taxpayer, which is going to work counter to the troops who are out there putting their lives at risk, why not just bring them home and not pay our enemies all that extra money and call it a wash? if we're going to give money that we're going to have to borrow from the chinese, let's
just call it a wash, bring our troops home instead of funding our enemies. that's ridiculous. we should not go there. let's stop this and get back to the good bill we had in the hoe before. with that, 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: how much time doesor side have? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman has eight minutes remaining. mr. lewis: i have only one speaker remaining. and you would be the person to close? well, i have to reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california reserves the balance of his time. and the gentleman from wisconsin -- mr. obey: mr. speaker, i understand we have the right to close and we only have one
remaining speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman continues to reserve. the gentleman from california. who seeks recognition? mr. lewis: as i indicated, i have one additional speaker, but as long as you're giving me all this flexibility, let me just mention that as we began this process on this bill, both my chairman and i were very pleased by the fact that it was broadly-based bipartisan support of giving support to our troops that is fundamental to our success in the middle east. to have that package now come back from conference in the shape of being a bill that has reduced the president's request for troop funding by approximately $4.7 billion and in turn, has a cost factor of some $5 billion for the i.m.f. is most disconcerting to this member. and i may have two additional
speakers, since my colleague is standing. i would be happy, mr. speaker, to -- mr. nunes: i have a question for the gentleman. and i know you're from california and we have talked a lot about this issue with the water issue in california, mr. lewis. and because this bill is going to go to the president and become law. this is one of the last opportunities to actually make law and get pumping levels back up to historic levels so we can provide water not only to san joaquin valley but los angeles and san diego. could we amend this bill and get something changed here so it could go to obama's desk? mr. lewis: the gentleman is asking a very important question and i will try to be straightforward. this is a conference report which both the senate and the house have come together. but there isn't any question that the gentleman has raised his concerns about water in central california at a level that has gotten the entire
country's attention. if there was anyway i could amend this package, the desperate need to get the pumps going and get water to our crops and farmlands in the central valley, i would do so. but i'm unable to help. mr. nunes: i would hope the gentleman would yield again. as we go through the appropriations process and i know you have been helping to get the point across, that we have long food lines, 20% unemployment, these are very serious issues and i would hope that your committee will be helpful. mr. lewis: as we go through our hearings, i might mention to and in just a few days ahead, we will be addressing agricultural problems and the funding programs for the 2010 year. we will do everything we can to help the gentleman. i very much appreciate his inquiry.
mr. speaker, i do have one additional speaker and i'm very proud to yield one minute to the republican leader, mr. boehner. . the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from ohio is recognized. mr. boehner: mr. speaker and my colleagues, i said earlier this year that when the president does what we think is the right thing for the american people that he'll have no stronger allies than house republicans. we believe that the president has a responsible strategy in iraq and in afghanistan, and we in fact have supported him. when this troop funding bill left the house it left with a broad bipartisan majority. and as this bill is now considered after a conference with the senate there are a couple of very troubling parts of this bill. first and foremost, the addition of a $108 billion line of credit for the international monetary fund i think is
unnecessary in this bill. and it's unnecessary because to ask our troops to carry money for a global bailout, frankly, i think it's unfair. this -- you know, there's only about $80 billion in this bill for our troops and here we're asking him to spend $30 billion more to carry this global bailout. i have to tell you what, we may have enough money in the united states to solve our economic problems, but i'll guarantee you we don't have enough money to solve the world's economic problem. and when we think about the fact that we don't have $108 billion to loan to the i.m.f., so what's going to happen here? the united states is going to go to china, we're going to borrow $108 billion and we're going to give it to the i.m.f. and they're going to give it to the countries most of whom don't like us very much. i would suspect that most of my constituents would say this is a bad deal.
boehner, we expect you to vote no. and trust me, i am going to vote no. but the fact is it doesn't belong in this bill. the issue should be debated on its own and should be voted up or down on its own. and the second issue was that the senate included language in their bill that would have protected these photos of detainees from being released. general petraeus and odierno and others said that the release of these photos will endanger our troops. i believe it will cripple the ability of our intelligence officials to do their job. and yet while it was supported in this house last week with another broad bipartisan vote, the language isn't in the bill. it's been taken out at the demands of the fringe left. and so i would suggest to my colleagues that this is not a bill that i can support. i want to do everything i can
to help our troops. they're doing a marvelous job on our behalf in helping keep americans safe. but to load this bill up with this kind of political gamesmanship is not what the american people expect of their congress. and so i would ask my colleagues, stand up and say no to this bill, let's bring back the broad bipartisan majority that passed the first bill and take care of our troops the right way. this is not the answer, though. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the minority leader yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from california has four minutes remaining. the gentleman from wisconsin has 28 minutes remaining. mr. lewis: mr. speaker, i believe that the chairman plans to close and will be the last speaker on that side. then i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from wisconsin. mr. obey: mr. speaker, i yield myself the balance of the time.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. obey: mr. speaker, as i noted at the beginning of the debate, this item represents last year's leftover business. it is the last item of last year's leftover business. we have been mired in a war for over seven years. the president previous to this one has continually minimized the cost of that war by financing it on the installment plan. he instead of providing a full estimate of a yearly cost to the war he would ask to fund that war in six-month increments. and when he left office there was still one six-month increment left to go that was not yet paid for left over from his watch. and so this bill today in the process of supporting the president's policies of trying to wind down that war is
providing the remaining funding for this fiscal year to help accomplish that. in addition, this new president is trying to change the way that that war has been breaking in afghanistan and by necessity pakistan, which is integrally tied to the afghanistan situation. and what he is trying to do is through a combination of military action, political action and diplomacy is trying to change the mix and gradually extraindicate ourselves from that conflict and stabilize that region politically in the process. i doubt that that will succeed. but this president having inherited a god-awful mess,
both at home and abroad, has the right to try to fix the situation. that's what the american people in part elected him to do. and so this bill provides the financing to do that. and, yes, it added some other items that were not in the bill when it left the house. it did add funding for the i.m.f. about which our friends on the other side of the aisle roundly complained. but i would point out in 1999 the last time i believe that we voted on this the majority party then, our friends on the other side of the aisle, added i.m.f. funding to the transportation bill. and 162 republicans voted for it. i find it interesting that today with a new president they decline to provide that support. we also added something else.
under the g.i. bill education proposal that the congress passed last year, it had one remaining gap which needed to be filled. that legislation said that if you serve your country in the military, a sufficient length of time, you could then obtain education benefits. and if you did not use them yourself you could convert them to the use of your spouse or your children. this bill closes a gap because the one thing that that bill did not do last year was to enable a combat veteran who was killed in combat, to make that same transfer of education benefits to a spouse or children. this bill provides that expanded benefit for our fighting men and women.
it was not in the bill when it left the house. it is now. if you vote against this bill that's one of the provisions you'll be voting against. we also have additional money for military hospitals that the administration did not request. we have additional help for the auto industry. i didn't think that was a federal offense to try to provide some assistance to that industry. and, yes, we have a significant amount of additional funding for pandemic flu. now, we tried to put that money initially in the original economic recovery package. we did put it in when the bill left the house. it went to the senate and we were laughed at. people said, oh, what does flu have to do with the economy and with jobs? well, mexico found out when they had to shut down their entire economy for two weeks
because of the turmoil in that country with the flu. it is now estimated that as many as 1/3 of americans will be hit by that flu. this bill has billions of additional dollars to try to meet that challenge, and i would submit to you that the average american family has a greater chance of being hit by that flu has he does to be hit by any terrorist presently ensconsed in guantanamo. now we're also told that the i.m.f. funding is bad because it borrows money in order to give to other countries. you know, this is a tough reality. we have to participate in the
world, and when the world economy becomes shaky, we have a responsibility towerselves to try to stabilize that world economic situation. and that is one of the roles that the i.m.f. tries to play. it certainly does it imperfectly. and i have had many arguments with them in the past. but to say that our contribution to the i.m.f. has not benefited us is to be ignoreant of history and to be ignoreant of how the -- ignoran of history and to be ignorant of how the world works. we created the i.m.f. after world war ii. why? because we saw what led up to world war ii. we saw the world's financial system collapse in the 1930's as a result. in germany, hitler came to power and 50 million people
died. we kind of like to avoid that this time, and so we're trying to do is to provide the president with all the troops he needs internationally to defend our economic stability and to stabilize the economy of our trading partners because our economy does not function, and we do not create sufficient jobs in this economy unless we help create economic conditions in other countries so they can buy our goods. that's why we do it. it's called enlightened self-interest. in addition, it's been suggested that somehow money in -- that we appropriate to the i.m.f. is going to go to iran. well, let me tell you something, mr. speaker. iran has not had a loan from the i.m.f. since 1962, and under this legislation, the united states representative at the i.m.f. is required to oppose any loan or assistance
to countries such as iran that have been designated by the secretary of state as a state sponsor of terrorism. the united states can effectively block loans that it opposes. we've got by far the largest block of votes of any single member. and i doubt very seriously that the i.m.f. is going to approve any loan that we don't approve of. one other thing. we've been told that somehow the president is endangering national security because he has not allowed the congress to pass the lieberman amendment with respect to the release of those pictures. the fact is the president sent the conferees a letter and made quite clear, he made quite clear that he will do clear that he will do everything in his power to