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tv   U.S. House of Representatives  CSPAN  February 17, 2011 10:00am-1:00pm EST

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the chair: the committee will be in order.
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for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? mr. young: i rise for the purpose of a colloquy with myself and the gentleman from missouri, mr. akin. the chair: does the gentleman move to strike the last word? mr. young: yes. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. young: i yield to mr. akin. mr. akin:00 thank you -- mr. akin: thank you, mr. chairman. the goal of this colloquy is to clarify language for funds provided for the e.f.v. and research development test and evaluation, navy section of the bill. it's my understanding that the accompanying table states that $145 million of the funds provided for the e.v. -- e.f.v.
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determiner didges may be released only in demonstration activities upon certification by the secretary. mr. chairman, is that the language -- the chair: the committee is not in order. the gentleman may proceed. mr. akin: thank you, mr. speaker. it's my understanding that the accompanying table states that $145 million of the funds provided for the e.f.v. termination liability may be released only for use in system development and demonstration activities upon certification by the secretary. mr. chairman, is that the language included in the report accompanying this bill? mr. young: mr. chairman, the gentleman is correct. the language which is included in the explanatory tables provides $145 million for
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termination liability or for continued system development and demonstration if certified by the secretary. mr. akin: mr. chairman, my concern is that the department of defense may interpret this language as direction from congress to terminate e.f.v. in this year regardless of any recommendations made by congress during debate on the fiscal year 2012 budget. no matter how this issue is resolved by congress in fiscal year 2012, orderly conclusion of the fiscal career 2011 activities that are already under contract and well under way is essential for the nation to get a usable product for its $3 billion investment. my reading of this language is that it provides sufficient flexibility for the department to continue through s.b.d. and
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we encourage the department to do just that. is the intent of the committee to provide sufficient flexibility for the department to continue the activities related to the e.f.v.? mr. young: i say to the gentleman, mr. chairman, it is the intent of the committee to provide that flexibility. in fact, it is my hope that the department exercises this flexibility to finish the activities and get something usable for the $3 billion investment that we have already made. here's the unique opportunity for a win-win situation. the marines want to cancel a program and they would normally pay $145 million termination fee. here's an opportunity and we believe the contractors agreeable to forgo the paying of the $145 million to them but use that money to continue to -- the
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program so we at least get something for the $3 billion that we have already appropriated. i might expand on the colloquy, one of the problems that we have in our defense budgeting is that we too often start a program, spend a lot of money on it, and then decide to terminate it. and we get little or nothing for what we already did. i believe it is important for the department to have this flexibility. as they negotiate the remaining activities for the fiscal year. it is my hope that the department be able to reach an agreement which would provide for an orderly conclusion of the fiscal year 2011 activities and ensure the marine corps is able to harvest the advances in technology and beneficial equipment from the program. should the program not be continued. mr. akin: mr. chairman, i would
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appreciate a commitment from you to work together on the issue. the appropriations committee and the armed services committee as we consider the fiscal 2012 defense budget. the congress must ensure that marines have the equipment they need to successfully accomplish the missions they are asked to perform, and that includes amphibious assault. mr. chairman, i appreciate your willingness to work on this and i think that what we are doing is -- we got $3 billion already invested, and as you say it doesn't make sense to waste that investment, especially when you are talking about a very small amount of money to finish up, and it does -- it leaves us the flexibility to take a really good look at how do we accomplish that critical mission of moving marines from the ocean to the shore. i appreciate your working on this colloquy and agreeing to where we are going. mr. young: the gentleman knows he and i are on the same page on
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this issue. we want to get something for the money we have already spent. we think this is a good way out. i would be happy to yield -- >> i strike the requisite number of words. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. dicks: i want to ask the chairman a question. as i understand it if we can add $34 million to the funding, we can get all the testing completed. and not have to pay termination costs. under the contract. so it seems to me you can make a case that this is the most cost-effective thing to do. that's at least what i understood. is that the gentleman's understanding? should we get the marine corps up here to explain this or somebody? mr. young: if the gentleman would yield. my understanding is the $34 million would be to complete the research and the development of the program and to develop a new innovations through this
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particular vehicle. mr. dicks: i think that's a wise course. i look forward to working with the gentleman on this. mr. young: yield back. the chair: for what purpose does the gentleman from washington seek recognition? mr. reichert: i move to strike the last word, mr. speaker. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. reichert: i want to engage in a colloquy with my colleague from florida, the chairman of the house defense appropriations committee. i stand today to support wounded warrior rehabilitation programs that support our brave military men and women who have sacrificed parts of their body for our freedom. men and women who have sacrificed so much that today we can stand here on this floor and offer our remarks. these programs provide lifesaving, live changing
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rehabilitation services to thousands of injured service men and women. we must keep our promises to our troops and veterans consistent with the pledge to america which allows exceptions related to government funding so that we can honor our commitment to those who have served. we all know in this chamber that we can never repay what our military men and women have sacrificed for us and for our freedom. witnessed today by mr. johnson's presence at the chair and recognition of our troops who served. these programs are a small way to support those who have sacrificed so much to keep us safe and free. mr. chairman and ranking member dicks, as you begin the difficult task of reviewing the fiscal year 2012 budget, i ask that you consider the needs and the well-being of our injured
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service men and women. i hope we can work together to ensure that these types of rehabilitation programs for wounded warriors are given fair consideration during that process. mr. speaker, i now yield to mr. langevin. mr. langevin: i thank the gentleman for yielding. mr. chairman, i'd also like to highlight the success of the wounded warrior rehabilitation program. spefpkly those who choose community partnerships to provide injured military personnel with an opportunity to engage in sports activities. these programs illustrate the power of supports activities to help wounded warriors return to a healthy and active lifestyle. today thousands of injured service members from iraq and afghanistan conflict have been fitted from these programs as somebody who participated in the first rounded warrior game
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competition last may. wounded warrior rehabilitation program are located at major d.o.d. medical treatment facilities, veterans facilities, and the communities around the country where our service members live. wounded warriors as we all know, ladies and gentlemen, are heroes for serving our country. and important role models to so many people in our community. we greatly appreciate their service, their sacrifices, and their leadership. with that i yield to the ranking member of the appropriations committee, mr. dicks. mr. dicks: i appreciate the opportunity to speak on this issue. wounded warrior ridges -- rehabilitation programs that have worked with national and community organization vs. provided substantial support for injured members of our armed forces to participate in physical activity as an important aspect of their rehabilitation. research shows that daily physical activity enhances
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wounded warriors' confidence, achievements, and quality of life. these programs are essential and i would like to work with my colleague in the upcoming year to ensure those programs will continue. i yield to mr. young. the chair: the gentleman from washington controls the time. mr. reichert: i yield to mr. young. mr. young: mr. chairman, i want to congratulate and thank the gentleman from washington for bringing this matter before the house today. it is something that mr. dicks and i have worked with ever since these wars began. something that we cannot overlook, something that is extremely, extremely serious, a major debt that we owe to the men and women who serve our country as war fighters. so i would say again to the gentleman, mr. reichert, from washington, thank you very much for bringing this matter before the house today. mr. reichert: i thank you, mr. chairman. i thank the ranking member. look forward to working with mr.
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langevin and both of you in making sure that our veterans, our wounded veterans returning home are rehabilitated, are counseled, receive the medical care and encouragement they need to continue a fruitful life. mr. dicks: would the gentleman yield? mr. reichert: yes. mr. dicks: i think we have got to solve this problem. this is very unfair that this one program -- this is a national program in every sense of the word. we have got to either get it authorized or do whatever we have to do to make this possible. i look forward to working with you to achieve that. mr. reichert: i thank the gentleman from washington and i look forward to working with you. i appreciate your enthusiasm and passion. i know all of us in this body would support this issue once we get it solved. thank you. i yield back. the chair: the chair recognizes the gentlelady from missouri. mrs. emerson: i move to strike the last word to enter into a
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colloquy with mr. broun of georgia. the chair: the gentlelady is recognized for five minutes. mrs. emerson: thank you, mr. chair. mr. broun: i rise today to enter into a colloquy with my friend and distinguished chairwoman of the appropriations subcommittee on financial services and general government. i thank -- i'd like to thank you, madam chairman, as well as chairman rogers and your respective staffs for all your hard work. i appreciate your willingness to work with me and my staff on this issue. i planned on offering my amendment, number 264, that would have prevented any funding in this act to be used for vacant federal properties. however it's drafted, this language would have had serious unintended consequences. we see those sorts of things around here a lot, don't we? i'd like to take this opportunity to clarify the intent behind my amendment. and how it highlights an increasingly larger problem. according to the center report on questionable spending,
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roughly $25 billion is spent annually to maintain vacant or unused federal properties. my goal is to close off that spigot of federal waste. unfortunately my amendment as drafted would have inadvertently prevented basic security or the ability to respond to an emergency situation, such as a broken pipe or others. that being said, even with the current funds, we have numerous vacant federal buildings crumbling all across our nation. the veterans administration alone spends $170 million a year off on buildings that they would rather sell were congress not stand in the way. a good example is those at the center in augusta, georgia, i represent. if we intend to tackle our difficult problems, we cannot continue to punt on the simple ones. it is outrageous that hundreds of billions of dollars have been wasted on unused buildings.
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sitting for over a decade waiting for renovation funding. we need to sell what isn't absolutely necessary. in the meantime stop burning dollars on the maintenance of buildings going to waste. the problem with these buildings is symbolic of the federal government as a whole. so large and bloated that some are lost in limbo. decaying and sapping valuable resources. we have redundant agencies and regulations lost in the bloat, just like these biddings -- buildings. again if we hope to make headway on the critical budget issues that we face as a nation, we must begin with these smaller commonsense changes. i hope that my colleagues will allow me to work on this issue with them during the process and the upcoming 2012 appropriations cycle. i just request from the chairman i hope that you will work with me. we've got many vacant unused federal properties all over this country that we need to stop
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funding. we need to sell these and reduce the debt by the funds that we do. i'd like to ask the chairman of the subcommittee if she'll be glad, eager to work with me on this issue. . >> the gentleman raises a critical issue that there are examples of all over the country and we're more than willing to work with you on a continuing basis. you'll be happy to note that we've cut $1.7 billion from the building fund in the continuing resolution. mrs. emerson: we've got a lot more work to do and as we prepare the fy-2012 spending bill, i think we'll find more examples. i want to thank you so much for your dedication to finding all the waste that we have in the federal budget. mr. broun: thank you, and i
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yield back. the chair: the gentlelady from california. ms. woolsey: i move to strike the last word. the chair: the gentlelady is recognized for five minutes. ms. woolsey: i offer amendment number 189 printed in the congressional record -- the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 189 printed in the congressional record offered by ms. woolsey of california. the chair: the gentlelady from california is recognized for five minutes. the gentleman from kentucky. >> i reserve a point of order on the gentlelady's amendment. the chair: the gentlelady from california. ms. woolsey: mr. chairman, this amendment would eliminate the v-22 osprey aircraft and expeditionary fighting vehicle. for years the pentagon has been throwing billions at weapons systems that don't work and don't keep us safe. weapons systems that are on absolute in the post-cold war
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era. weapons systems that are not giving us bang for our buck. the v-33 -- v-22 osprey is a lemon. it makes defense contractors rich but doesn't make our military strong. it has a notoriously bad safety record, having kill 30d of our own people in training exercises and a deadly v-22 crash in afghanistan was claimed as a victory by the taliban. billions over budget for a weapons system that's killing our own people. not a good deal for the taxpayers, to say the least. the g.a.o. has noted that this plane has trouble flying over 8,000 feet or in extreme heat. it also has problems carrying troops, transporting cargo and operating in high threat environments. a combat plane that can't operate in high threat environments? is there anything the osprey can do? actually, can it deliver mail?
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the president's deficit commission recently recommended that we stop writing blank checks for the osprey. so did another top official who more than 20 years ago said, anded i quote him, given the risk we face from the military standpoint, the v-22 is at the bottom of the list and for that reason, i decided to terminate it, unquote. that's not a prominent democrat speaking, mr. speaker. mr. chairman. that's a former secretary of defense named dick cheney. the marine corps expeditionary fighting vehicle would provide almost as much savings, between $8 billion and $9 billion over the next decade. the president's proposed budget pulls the plug on the system which is more than 14 years behind schedule and has also experienced major cost overruns. according to the task force, on a unified security budget, the
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e.f.v. breaks down on average every eight hours and has trouble steering in water. shouldn't we be worried about an amphibious vehicle that doesn't steer well in watt her would you spend billions of dollars on a family car that breaks down every eight hours and doesn't steer well? and besides, even if the e.f.v. ran like a dream, when was the last time we needed to launch an attack by sea? once again, we're developing weapons for enis -- enemies that no longer exist. with spending cut fever having hit capitol hill, you would think these wasteful systems would be among the very first on the chopping block. but naturally, my colleagues on the other side of the aisle would rather scale back the very things keeping people safe and strong. police on the street, investments in innovation and infrastructure and n.i.h. research, assistance from head start to pell grant, i say we go in a different direction.
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if we're serious about restoring fiscal discipline, vote the f-22 osprey and the e.f.v. must go. i yield back. the chair: this does the gentleman from kentucky continue to reserve his point of order? >> i withdraw the reservation on the point of order. the chair: the gentleman from washington. mr. dicks: we have already had a straight up or down vote on the osprey and resoundingly supported it here in the committee. on the expeditionary fighting vehicle, there's a decision been made by the secretary, the secretary of the navy to end this program. what we're trying to do is do it in a way that finishes the research with additional $34 million and avoids termination
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liability. so i urge a no on this vote, amendment, and i'll yield to my friend from florida, the chairman, if you have any comment on this. mr. young: i rise in opposition to the amendment. we just had a very good colloquy on the issue of the e.f.v. and we think we have a lution here that's good for the taxpayer, is good for the marine corps, and is good for the marines. here's an opportunity to get something for the $3 billion we've already spent on this program. i must be opposed to that. on the v-22 -- on the v-22, we've already voted on that earlier -- in the earlier procedures on the bill. the v-22 did have some developmental problems years ago. it's the most effective weapon being used in afghanistan. because of the high mountains,
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because of the high altitudes, because of the weather, the v-22 is the vehicle of choice to move our war fighters from where they are to where they have to be. i would hope that the vote would be the same on this amendment as it was earlier then the v-22 and that's to defeat it. here's an airplane, the marines use this v-22 in afghanistan on a regular basis because it has the capability that the c.h.-46 -- that the ch-46 does not have. it has the ability tore altitude, for speed, it is an outstanding aircraft today. i thank the gentleman for yielding. mr. dicks: we have a vote on the amendment. the chair: the question is on the amendment offered by the gentlelady from california. those in favor say aye. podsepose. -- those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the noes have it. ms. woolsey: mr. chairman, with
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that i ask for a recorded vote. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentlelady from california will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentleman from alabama seek recognition. >> to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. >> i would like to turn to my colleague, chirme mica of the transportation committee with an amendment he mazz. mr. mica: mr. speaker, mr. aderholt, thank you for recognizing me and also giving me this opportunity to speak on my amendment which in consultation with you, mr. chairman, i will withdraw and not offer. that is amendment, i believe it's number 543, as printed. mr. aderholt, first i want to thank you for your pledge to
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continue to work with your subcommittee and our full committee in your rigorous oversight of how the transportation security administration is spending our scarce resources. unfrment, the t.s.a. bureaucracy has mushroomed since 9/11 from a work force of 16,500 to 62,000 employees today. t.s.a. has -- and the purpose of my amendment is my concern about the growth and administrative overhead, huge numbers of personnel. t.s.a. has more employees than the department of state, the department of education and labor and housing and urban development combined. t.s.a. headquarters, listen to this, t.s.a. headquarters
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within a few miles of where we're standing has 3,776, latest count, administrative bureaucrats employed, 27% are supervisors of them. the average pay of these 3,700-plus bureaucrats here is $105,000 on average. having helped create t.s.a. in the aftermath of 9/11, i can tell you we never intended to support this kind of bureaucracy. now listen to this. if you think the bureaucracy in washington is bad, there are 9,233 nonscreener employees at the airports across the country. there are only 400 airports in the program. that's 20 bureaucrats per airport on average. this agency is totally out of control. and in addition, in the 2012 budget, they've asked for 3,300
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more positions. in its nearly 10 years since creation, mr. chairman, t.s.a. still lacks the institutional capacity to become a performance-driven organization. on january 28, t.s.a. shut down the most successful screening program we have. we set up two models. both with federal supervision. one using private contractors. every positive initiative we've ever gotten from t.s.a. came from those programs and they shut it down. in addition, one week later, they granted collective bargaining rights to t.s.a. workers. it's time that we dramatically reform t.s.a., cut its massive administrative bureaucracy, and i'll work with you, my cuts were not as surgical as maybe
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they immediate to be but we'll work with you to improve this mission. my goal is less bureaucracy and we direct t.s.a. to its important security mission. finally, the failure of t.s.a. put this is nation at risk. read the g.a.o. reports with total failure of the spot program, the behavior recognition program. get the classified briefings on the failure of the advanced technology that went -- they went out and bought half a billion dollars' worth of equipment, spent another half a billion to install it and the failure is dramatic. you can read that, as members of congress. the failure of the pat down program. everyone is getting pat down, you think that's helpful? i implore members to get a classified briefing and see, again, the results of that failure. the failure of the -- to have even a pilot identification. eight years ago, six years ago, i asked for pilot
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identification that's durable, not something that looked like it came out of a cracker jack boxing with a pilot's photograph on it and biometric measure. after spending millions of dollars, t.s.a. gave us a card, the only pilots on it are will burr and orville right. the biometric measure is a total fill your. any credit card you have in your wallet has better capability than what they produced. it's failure after failure and they put us at risk and i thank you for offering to work with me to make the necessary changes. the chair: the gentleman's time -- the gentleman from alabama's time has expired. the gentleman from kentucky. >> i move to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. >> i yield to the chair. mr. aderholt: mr. mica, i completely understand your
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desire to push t.s.a. to meet its mission in a cost effective manner. we have placed a number of provisions within the c.r. that constrain t.s. ample spending to put a cap on the number of screeners t.s.a. may hire in fy-2011. in addition we included a strong oversight provision requiring them to report on their efforts to incorporate more advanced technology into the check points. let me add our subcommittee fully intends to review all of t.s.a.'s security management practices as we prepare for the fy-2012 homeland bill. i plan to carry forward and expand the oversight we began with the c.r. within the fy-2012 bill and i'd like to work closely with you in your committee in an effort as we move forward to try to address these concerns that you shared with us this morning. . we want to strike a balance
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between security in this nation an make sure we have appropriate oversight. i appreciate you calling attention to these issues that you mentioned this morning, and i can assure you our committee will work with you in trying to work toward making -- doing a better job at oversight for t.s.a. and making sure we do have the security we need for this country. i yield back. mr. rogers: if the gentleman would stand by a moment. when we first stood up t.s.a., i chaired that subcommittee. we put a limit on the number of employees that t.s.a. could have. they first wanted i think it was 30,000 people. we said no. they interup to 35,000, then 40,000, then they went to 43,000, and i said, time-out. so we put a limit on the number of t.s.a. employees that were allowed alt 44 -- at 44,000. that cap stayed in place until
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2006 when the other party gained control of this body. the cap came off and mr. mica, i don't know the number total, i think it's in the 60's. mr. mica: if the gentleman would yield. 62,000 of which we have 3,770 administrative personnel in washington, d.c., and another 9,000, over9,000 administrative personnel in nonscreening positions across the country. mr. rogers: we heard your statement. we are up to 62,000 now. and it's way too much. let me ask the chairman, how many -- is there a cap now reinstated in this bill for t.s.a. employees? i yield. mr. aderholt: we have a cap of 46,000. mr. rogers: they can't go above 46,000. and there is 62.
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there will be some reductions, is that correct? mr. aderholt: absolutely doing that, yes, sir. mr. rogers: thank you. mr. chairman, i want to congratulate mr. mica, chairman mica, and chairman aderholt, who are working together to rein in this organization that's almost gone beyond belief. so that we can get some discipline and some savings in this organization. i don't know about you, but the airports i go through, there are way too many t.s.a. employees just standing around. just standing around. making conversation with each other. that's ok, but we are overstaffed at t.s.a. this bill gets us back to within some degree of reason. mr. aderholt: let me clarify, the 46,000 is the number of screeners that is capped right
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now. but let me assure you we will continue to monitor that to make sure that your concerns, when you were chairman of this subcommittee and chairman of the transportation committee concerns are addressed, and i appreciate both your input this morning. we look forward to working with both of you. mr. rogers: thank you. yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from indiana. for what purpose do you seek recognition? mr. burton: move to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. burton: real quickly, i support everything that my colleagues just said, but i want to deviate a little bit and talk about something real quickly that needs to be discussed. we have sent two or three letters to the president, congressman poe, congressman royce, and i, and others regarding our southern border. we just had two d.e.a. agents attacked, one was killed. 70, 80 miles into arizona there are signs telling american people don't go south of this because of the danger.
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this is in america. we have drug dealers sitting in spy sites in the united states monitoring the border from the u.s. side to make sure that they can bring their drugs across and bring people across in their vans and other ways. it is a real problem. now, we sent 17,000 people down to the gulf when the oil spill took place. we sent over 1,400 national guard people down and not even near the border in many cases, and we have a terrible problem. farmers and people are scared to death to go along the 1,980-mile border between us and mexico. and the president has ignored letter after letter after letter that would deal with this problem. and i would just say to the administration, if they were listening, let's get on with protecting that southern border. it's a war zone. and people are afraid, scared to death down there, and they are being killed. and bullets are coming across the border.
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i just like to say that, i'd like to take this opportunity to encourage the administration to really get on with protecting our southern border. i'll be happy to yield. mr. dicks: i agree with the gentleman. i have been down there on the southern border. i would point out, though, that yesterday we killed the national drug intelligence center. which is used by the justice department to try and target the people coming across. i mean this -- this was a justice department program that your side killed it. mr. burton: if i may reclaim my time. sending national guard troops down there en masse to protect that border until it's completely secure along with the border patrol agents will do the job. the cut yesterday would not affect this kind of an approach solving the problem. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from new jersey. does the gentleman move to strike the last word?
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mr. lobe: yes. thank you, mr. speaker. i rise to engage the chairman of the subcommittee, mr. latham, in a colloquy. as the gentleman knows, i believe the implementation of the next generation of air traffic control is a very necessary and critical step in bringing our aviation system into the 21st century. the nation's aviation transportation network is currently based on an outdated, outmoded decades old land-based radar system. our yell phones have better capability than our air traffic control system. the next generation of air traffic control reflects an approach to move forward while making our aviation system much safer, much more efficient, and much more cost-effective by moving it to a satellite-based system that will benefit all americans. once fully implemented, the next generation system will reduce
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flight delays, saving americans billions of dollars in lost productivity, aircraft will be able to operate more efficiently, resulting in less fuel consumption. congestion in some of our nation's busiest airports will be significantly reduced, freeing up much needed airspace to accommodate growth in the aviation sector. i'm proud most of the work being done to validate the f.a.a.'s next generation of air traffic control is being done at the federal aviation administration technical center in my district in new jersey. that will help develop this and implement it. that is why i rise today. while i strongly support the houses' effort to reduce -- house's effort to reduce wasteful government spending, i'm also very concerned about programs that could be affected unintendedly. this measure includes a slight reduction in the f.a.a.'s facilities and equipment account, an account which could provide some of the funding for the work associated with
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nextgen. can the gentleman assure me this reduction will not negatively impact the critical work taking place on the next generation ever air traffic control? mr. latham: if the gentleman would yield. i appreciate the gentleman yielding. i, too, share his commitment to nextgen and believe this program is essential to achieving the much needed improvements in our aviation system. the committee has consulted with the f.a.a., we believe that these modest savings will be beneficial to the taxpayers while providing the f.a.a. with the funds necessary to continue to do the important work in bringing nextgen to fruition. i yield back. mr. lobiondo: i thank you, mr. latham, for sharing that information and your commitment to the next generation of air traffic control and look forward to continuing to work with you and the committee and this body to see that accomplished. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from
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new jersey yield back his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia seek recognition? mr. wolf: strike the requisite number of words. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. mr. wolf: i had an amendment to create which has now been ruled out of order, to create an afghanistan-pakistan study group. the war in afghanistan has been going on for 10 years. the first person killed in afghanistan was from my congressional district, michael spahn. i was the author of the iraq study group. we got baker an -- and hamilton in a bipartisan way to come together to look at the war. i have asked the administration to do something and quite frankly when i read the book, "obama's war" it was depressing because it almost looks like they are approaching this on basically political ways, political means. the war has now been going on for 10 years. 10 years. and quite frankly i think not only has the administration
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failed, the congress has failed. so what i hope to do is to add an appropriate -- at an appropriate time offer an amendment to create an afghanistan-pakistan study group modeled after the iraq study group and put on people like sam nunn, former chairman of the house armed services committee, duncan hunter, ryan crocker who was our former ambassador to iraq who supports this concept. general jack keane the author of the surge. the head of the commandant of the marine corps. general zinni, commandant of the marine corps. iraq skelton, former chairman of the house armed services committee, to see are we fighting this war the right way? are we doing the right thing? and i believe, i believe we need fresh eyes on the target. and when you look at and reobama's war, you can see there are -- read obama's war, you can
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see there are no fresh eyes on the target. we owe it, we owe it to the men and women that are fighting in afghanistan and dealing with this issue to make sure that we are doing everything possible, and i don't know what the answer is, everything possible to make sure that we are doing what we should do as a nation. with that, i hope when there is an opportunity i can offer this amendment because i don't think the amendment -- the administration is going to do this by executive order. we can adopt this because we owe it to our fighting men. with that i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentlelady from new york seek recognition? >> from missouri. i rise to enter a colloquy from the gentleman from florida. i stand today -- the chair: does the gentlelady from missouri seek to strike the last word? mrs. hartzler: yes. the chair: the gentlelady is recognized for five minutes. mrs. hartzler: i rise with the
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colloquy with the gentleman from florida. i stand today to support our brave military men and women and their families who sacrifice in the service of freedom. mr. chairman, can you assure me that this bill will not in any way harm or put to risk our troops? mr. young: would the gentleman yield? mrs. hartzler: y. -- yes. mr. young: i thank the gentlelady for raising the question. it's something we should discuss more and more the fact we have an obligation to our troops, war fighters, and veterans. i would say mr. dicks and i have worked long and hard to come up with the savings that we were instructed to come up with without, and i can guarantee the gentlelady, we did not create any -- anything that would have an adverse effect on our war fighters. would not have an adverse effect on our nation's readiness. would not have an adverse effect on their training and preparation for war. so i say to the gentlelady, i
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share her very strong commitment and i thank her for her strong commitment. and our subcommittee has the same strong commitment. i a sure her. mrs. hartzler: thank you, mr. chairman. as you know in our constitution one of the few things we are supposed to do here is to provide for the common defense. i know i'm committed to doing that and i know you're committed to doing that. yet we have this continuing resolution. so that's certainly makes me feel more confident in our efforts that our troops are being watched out for and their families. i thank you for that commitment. will you continue to promise to work with me through this coming year to move forward to ensure that our troops and their families are supplied with all that they need? mr. young: i can. i would like to say we look forward to working with you during this congress as we do what it is you want us to do. mrs. hartzler: thank you very much for your commit. i look forward to it. with that i yield back. the chair: the gentlelady from
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missouri yields back her time. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you, mr. speaker. if an effort to help my constituents understand, the country understand, even my -- all us to understand the scale of the problem we face, it's important i think to think of the expenses, the obligations the federal government in terms of our own budget. mr. culberson: if we in our own lives take our income, you've got to calculate your income and your expenses and things you got to pay first is the mortgage. you have to pay the -- you have to make sure the expenses of your home are paid first. in the same way the federal government must pay the expenses of the mandatory programs like medicare, medicaid, social security, the interest on the national debt, our obligation to our veterans, those programs must be paid first. we bring in about $2.2 trillion in revenue every year from all sources. .
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we must pay the federal government, the federal government must pay to our veterans, to the mandatory spending programs, those programs cost about $2.3 trillion. therefore, the way to think about the scale of the problem we face is to analyze it in terms of when do we as a nation run out of cash and have to start borrowing? when is national credit card day? and in analyzing that, i discovered that we actually don't have a national credit card day. at the stroke of midnight on the first day of the fiscal year, the united states government is already boar -- has already borrowed $105 million. tax freedom day occurs in maye, far too late in the year, when we begin to work for ourselves and no longer are working to pay taxes but as a nation we begin to borrow money, we've already borrowed $105 million at the stroke of midnight that must be paid off by our kids.
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and the scale of the problem therefore is far larger than the appropriations bill we face here today and we in this new majority were elected by the nation to begin to deal with the terrible burden of the debt, the terrible burden of these unfunded liabilities that our children and grandchildren are going to pay. for the first time in history, we have, our predecessors in this congress, our predecessors in the white house and this president have loaded our children up with an unparalleled, unprecedented level of debt that we today in this debate on this appropriations bill are beginning to deal with. the $100 billion cuts that we're making here today will allow us to stop borrowing for about five days. we'll get out to say, friday, before we have to stop -- before we have to start borrowing money. the scale of the problem is so huge that if we think of it in terms of when, as a nation, we have to start borrowing money,
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when is national credit card moment, then we, i think, can help explain to the public the urgency of getting spending under control, of cutting back everywhere we can, focusing the nation on its core functions under the constitution, we in this new majority are committed to restoring the constitutional limits on our federal government, restoring the 10th amendment, restoring individual liberty wherever we can and in so doing, as thomas jefferson liked to say if you apply the constitution, the knot will untie itself. no matter what the problem is mr. jefferson liked to point out if we simply apply the constitution, the knot will untie itself. what lies ahead of us if we do not deal with this problem? not only of the spending year to year, but we've got to put some, we've got to really dramatically deal with the fraud, waste, and abuse in our social welfare programs to begin to deal with them,
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realistically, both parties, republicans and democrats, and in controlling the explosive growth of the entitlement programs and looking at the history of the roman empire, mr. speaker, we see that at the end of the roman empire, one writer of the period went so far as to suggest that those who lived off the treasury and the roman empire were more numerous than those paying into it. at the end of the -- end of the empire it was -- under diocletian and constantine, the roman empire taxed citizens more heavily, regulated their lives in every detail, the roman empire became a coerce i have, omni present organization that subdued individuals and levied all interests to one over-arching goal, the survival of the state. we as a nation have got to deal with the scale of the spending thsh edebt, the unfunded liabilities being passed on to our kids, or if we're not
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careful, the united states will follow the roman empire in devaluing our currency, in the level of debt, something that -- a scale that can't be repaid. you saw it toward the end of the roman empire where taxation became so heavy that it consumed all the resources of the state and in conclusion, mr. speaker, i point out that the -- at the end of the roman empire, people were so -- the -- one writer of the period pointed out that it was actually very common for romans who were taxed so heavily, who were crushed and so overwhelmed with bureaucracy that they actually welcomed the invaders who were talking -- taking over the roman empire. it's a decisive moment in american history, mr. speaker, we in the new majority, this constitutional conservative majority are bringing these amendments. i can -- i thank mr. rodgers for bringing this bill to the floor. the largest cuts seen in annual
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spending and we as a nation are at a turning point and i'm convince wed timely are beginning to deal with this problem when we get spending urn control. thank you and i yield back my time. the chair: for what purpose does the gentleman from oklahoma rise? >> i move to strike the last word and offer an amendment, number 208. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 208, printed in the congressional record, offered by mr. cole of oklahoma. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. cole: thank you, mr. chairman. mr. chairman, this is a simple amendment, it's on an issue we voted on as recently as three weeks ago. very simply put, my amendment prohibits the use of funds under the -- this act to administer or carry out any of the activities for the presidential election campaign fund or to transfer public dollars to political conventions under chapter 96 of the internal revenue code. just three weeks ago, this house passed h.r. 359, which
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eliminated taxpayer financing from presidential election campaigns and political party conventions. this bill passed by a vote of 239-160 under a modified open rule. if signed into law, it will save $617 million over 10 years. mr. chairman, today's amendment is a down payment on that goal. c.b.o. scored this amendment as saving $38 million in budgetary authority and $40 million in outlays for fiscal year 2011. we all know on this floor we need to cut spening. mr. chairman, we can start today by canceling political welfare for politicians and political party conventions. this is an easy amendment that i urge all members to support and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? >> strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes.
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>> i rise in opposition to this amendment. it's -- mr. serrano: this was created after watergate. it was created with the understanding that we needed to must've more and more to a situation where folks with a lot of money would not go around controlling our elections. the gentleman calls it political welfare for presidential candidates, but in fact, without this, it is totally in the hands of people making donations. whereas here, it is the average american citizen who gets a chance to donate to this campaign. and so we know that a lot of the amendments that will come up today are to directed not necessarily at issues that i believe, and many of us believe are directed at who is the
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resident of the white house right now. we have an election coming up in 2012 and i think some would rather have an open ended, private contribution situation where a lot of very wealthy people in this country control the giving to elections. so i ealy think that this is an amendment that is -- that sounds like a savings but it isn't. it is part of many amendments we will see today that strike at this particular president and at the white house and at the expenses that have to do with the president of the united states. i would hope that folks understand, first of all, why this was created, why it's been important, why presidential candidates accept this kind of funding, but most importantly, why it allows the american taxpayers the ability, the ability to decide if he or she
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wants to participate in having something to do with how the election gets funded. no one is forced to do this. this is just an opportunity for the average american to participate. so i really hope that in a bipartisan fashion people turn this down and reject this amendment. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentlelady from missouri rise? >> i move to strike the last word, mr. chairman. the chair: the gentlelady is recognized for five minutes. mrs. emerson: i oppose this amendment because i like the public contributions to political campaigns. i think that the president of the united states today showed the best example of people all around the country of every
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financial means to contribute to his campaign. friends of my children did $5 a month, or offered $10, i mean, that's the most incredible show of involvement that i've seen in my life. and so to say that it would be against this president, i think is just not fair. ial think that this amendment adds on the good work done by mr. cole and our leader's office with the youcut bill, h.r. 359, and according to the c.b.o., this amendment will actually save $38 million and $38 million is $38 million and quite frankly, we're looking to save as many tax dollars as possible so mr. chairman, i would strongly support this amendment and i yield back. the chair: the gentlelady yields back. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from oklahoma. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no.
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in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. >> mr. speaker. i'd like a recorded vote on that. the chair: does the gentleman ask for a recorded vote? >> i do. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from oklahoma will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentleman from north carolina rise? >> mr. chairman, i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: will the gentleman specify the number of the amendment? >> number 514, mr. chairman. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 514, printed in the congressional record, offered by mr. price of north carolina. the chair: the gentleman from north carolina is recognized for five minutes.
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mr. price: i move to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. price: h.r. 1 provided no funding in 2011 for firefighter hiring grants also known as safer grants. a reduction of $420 million. fortunately, yesterday, the house resoundingly overturned that ill-advised move and abandoned -- and adopted an 5e789 by mr. pascrell to restore the funding. my colleagues should be aware that funding is only part of the problem with this bill when it comes to the safer program. the underlying bill also neglects to maintain provisions enacted in fiscal years 2009 and 2010 that allowed fire departments to use these grants to rehire laid off firefighters and to prevent others from being laid off in the first place. the law traditionally permits safer grants only to be used to hire new staff that provision makes sense when our economy is
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booming and local governments are in a position to hire new workers. but when the recovery is still fragile and local budgets are actually contracting and workers are being laid off, fema needs the flexibility to use these grants to keep firefighters from being cut off in the first place. after all, the purpose of the safer program is to help maintain a safe level of fire staffing across the country. according to the firefighter organizations, over 5,000 firefighter jobs have been lost since 2008 and another 5,200 are currently at risk. right now, the safety of our communities is being jeopardized by potential and actual layoffs of public safety personnel more so than because of a reluctance to hire new personnel. this amendment also continues provisions from 2009 and 2010 that waive certain budgetary requirements, local fire departments have to fulfill in order to receive a frant.
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these include not allowing a fire department's overall fwounlt drop below a certain level, not reducing staff over a number of years even if budgets continue to suffer and providing local matching funds. again, these provisions are fine when local coffers are healthy but we all know how strapped our cities and counties are right now. and these requirements quite frankly are impossible for many of them to meet. so mr. chairman, if we don't pass this amendment and waive these provisions, the fire organizations tell me that very few departments will be able to apply for funds. the burden of these requirements is simply too much right now, the result will be more firefighters layoffs, fewer rehires and a less prepared country. when colleagues are weighing this amendment, i encourage you to consider the intent of the safer program, ensuring we have a safe level of staffing of our nation's preeminent first responders, firefighters and ensuring that our communities have workable options for
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keeping their fire fighting staffs at full strength. we've already overwhelmingly supported funding for firefighter jobs by adding funding back to the safer program. if you really support these jobs, you should vote to allow these funds to be used in the best way possible to keep the firefighters on staff. and with that i yield back. the chair: for what purpose does the gentleman from alabama rise? >> mr. speaker, i rise in opposition to this amendment. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. >> yesterday the house of representatives voted to add $510 million to assistance to firefighter grants. by devastating the department of homeland security's developing science and technology programs. mr. aderholt: it's only prudent that we use this money in a very responsible manner. by forcing the local communities to comply with the original intent of the safer programs, by sharing in the cost of hiring their personnel, by creating new
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jobs and by committing to retain newly hired firefighters. and today -- in today's lean economy, we cannot use precious taxpayer money to subsidize a local responsibility. at this time i would like to yield to the past chairman of this subcommittee on homeland security and the new chairman of the committee on appropriations, chairman rogers. mr. rogers: i thank the chairman for yielding and thank him for the great work he's doing chairing this subcommittee in the house. as chairman aderholt has said, safer was originally authorized for the purpose of increasing the number of new firefighters in local communities. a hand up, not handout. safer was not intended to rehire or retain firefighters. and certainly was not intended to serve as an operating subsidy for what is unquestionably a
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municipal, local responsibility. the federal fire prevention and control act contains very specific requirements that local communities have to meet in order to obtain funds. however, the democrats waived many of these requirements in fiscal 2009 and then again in 2010. when initially proposed by the democrats in 2009, then chairman price, my friend, acknowledged that these waivers were just a short-term, temporary effort that would expire at the end of fiscal 2010. yet here we are today, debating the continuation of a subsidy that our country simply cannot afford. under these costly waivers there are no controls, no salary limits, no local commitments. these proposed waivers totally undermine the original purpose and intent of the safer program,
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by forcing the taxpayers to subsidize the everyday operating ex presences of -- expenses of local first responders, taking over, in essence, the funding of the local firemen. given our nation's dire fiscal situation, we must take a stand, that it is not the federal government's job to bail out every municipal budget or to serve as the fire marshall for every city and town across the country. i want to thank the subcommittee chairman for yielding and i strongly urge my colleagues to support fiscal discipline and vote no on this amendment. i thank the gentleman. mr. aderholt: i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from north carolina. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no.
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in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the amendment is agreed to the gentleman from alabama is -- agreed to. the gentleman from alabama is recognized. mr. aderholt: i ask for a recorded vote. the chair: further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from north carolina will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentleman from oregon rise? >> mr. speaker, i move to strike the last word and i have an amendment at the desk. which i would -- the chair: the gentleman will specify the number of his amendment. mr. walden: the one related to network neutrality. do we have that amendment number? 404. the chair: does the gentleman off the amendment 404? mr. walden: yes, i do. the chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 404 printed in the congressional record offered pli mr. walden of oregon -- by mr. walden of
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oregon. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. walden: thank you, mr. speaker. i'm offering this amendment on behalf of my energy and commerce committee colleague, mr. stearns, as well as mr. terry and chairman upton and my appropriations colleagues, mrs. emerson, mr. diaz-balart and mr. graves of georgia. we all want an open and thriving internet and that internet exists today. consumers can access anything they want with the click of a mouse thanks to our historical hands-off approach, changing direction now will only harm innovation and the economy. i'm bringing up this funds limitation today to prevent the federal communications commission from spending funds to implement its network neutrality rules regarding the internet. it is a stop-gap measure while we work toward pag -- passing a more permanent solution. our resolution of disapproval which would nullify the rules themselves and i would encourage everyone who cares about keeping the government out of the business of running the internet to co-sponsor that resolution. before we even get into the harm
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the network neutrality rules would cause, it's important to realize the f.c.c.'s underlying theory of authority would allow the commission to regulate any interstate communication service on barely more than a whim and without any additional input from the congress. in essence the f.c.c. argues it can regulate anything if in its opinion doing so would encourage broadband deployment. i'm relieved, however, that the f.c.c. declined under its new authority to regulate coffee shops and bookstores, airlines and other entities. now, this, of course, means the f.c.c. believes that if it had not so declined it would have subjected wi-fi in coffee shops and bookstores to government management. if left unchallenged. this claim of authority would allow the f.c.c. to regulate any matter it discussed in the national broadband plan, recall that the f.c.c. concluded that consumers' concerns over privacy are deterring broadband. does that mean the f.c.c. can regulate internet privacy? the national broadband plan also
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addresses i.t. and distance learning, smart grid, smart homes, smart transportation. account f.c.c. regulate all these matters too in the name of promoting broadband? under the f.c.c.'s rationale, its authority is only bounded by its imagination. the internet started as a defense agency project to connect computers at research facilities. it did not become the explosive driver of communications and economic growth it is today until it was opened up to free enterprise to participate on and the america's entrepreneurs and innovators did what they do best. they grew jobs and created new technology. as early as the 1970's the f.c.c. took a hands-off approach to data services. f.c.c. chairman reaffirmed this approach during the clinton administration. in rebuffing requests to regulate cable internet access service, the chairman explained, the fertile fields of innovation across the communication sector
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and around the country are blooming from the because we've take an deregulatory competitive approach to our communications structure, especially the internet. there's no crisis warranting departure from this approach. most everything that the order discusses is either an unsubstantiated allegation or speculation of future harm. the f.c.c. even contests that it's done no market analysis. it only selectively applied the rules to broadband providers, shielding web companies. if the mere threat of internet discrimination is such a concern and if the f.c.c. has done no analysis to demonstrate why one company has more market power than another, why would discrimination by companies like google or skipe be any more acceptable than discrimination by companies like at&t or comcast? instead of promoting competition -- competition, such picking of winners and losers will stifle the internet's phenomenal growth, hurting the economy. section 230, the communications
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act, may bes it the policy of the united states to, quote, preserve the vibrant and vibrant free market unfettered by federal or state regulations. statutory statements of policy are not grants of regulatory authority but they can help delineate the contours that have authority. in light of congress' statutory pronouncement that internet regulation is disfavored, the f.c.c.'s theory of regulation by bank shot stretches too far. at bottom this is little more than an end run around the d.c. circuit court's april 2010 ruling in the comcast case that the f.c.c. failed to show it had authority to regulate network management. therefore i urge your support of this amendment as well as your support of h.j.res. 37, our resolution of disapproval. and i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from new york rise? >> strike the last word.
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the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. >> i rise in opposition to this amendment. it shouldn't surprise me by now but it's amazing how folks will continue to get up during the day, during the year, during the next two years, and support the big guys against the little guy. mr. serrano: so the f.c.c. rules and rules in a way that protects and keeps the internet open for all of us and we should remember that. it issued an order providing for a version of net neutrality, it allows the f.c.c. to regulate how internet service providers manage access to content, requires certain transparency from the providers about their policy and requires reasonable management of traffic on their networks. now, all of a sudden there's such a reaction to simply setting some rules. while we all use the internet, there are still many parts of this new service behavior that
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have not been looked at and where it allows some folks to just overrun other people and if there was ever a decision made by the f.c.c. that's in favor of the consumer, this is one of them. so of course we will try to scale it back. but there are other issues here. i am a member of the appropriations committee and as such i think it's the greatest committee and most important committee in the history of man and womankind. but i know that there are times that even we should not take up an issue that belongs to people who are much more qualified and have the time to sit down and look at it carefully. and when i say qualified, i know it scares a lot of people, we're all quay qualified. but there are some people who -- we're all qualified. but there are some people who pay a lot of attention to this on a daily basis. we have folks who have done a lot of work and my first feeling here is that this should be left to the authorizing committees to
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continue to work on. in fact, they've been holding hearings and doing that kind of work. one of the great virtues of the internet is its openness, the ability of so many people to connect with so many other people without interference from companies providing a service. the f.c.c. has been the guardian of that openness and needs authority to continue to do so. the internet has become more and more important in our lives. and we need to allow the f.c.c. to play an appropriate role in making sure that it continues to remain accessible to everyone as a level playing field. the f.c.c.'s ability to address other internet policy concerns such as privacy, accommodation for people with disabilities, is also at stake. now, for members who are on the floor who may be new to congress , let me just alert you to something. you're going to see amendments today and during this congress telling the f.c.c. not to get
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involved. then you're going to see some issues come back that haven't been around for a few years about certain personalities on radio and tv and you're going to see the same folks who are saying, telling the f.c.c. to stay out of it, telling them to get into it and control what those folks say on radio and tv. and that's going to create a big debate once again. so, we have to be careful what we wish for. we want less involvement, more involvement, we should be consistent. lastly, i really believe that this should be left to the authorizers to continue to work on, a ruling by the f.c.c. should be respected at this point and i urge a no vote on this amendment. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentlelady from missouri -- a member of the promingses de--- missouri, a member of the appropriations committee, rise? the gentlelady is recognized for five minutes.
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mrs. emerson: i rise on this. i feel very strongly that in spite of what my friend on the other side of the aisle said with regard to the authorizers doing their work, because they are doing a great job, but the fact of the matter is, as usual, the regulators have swept in again and -- or at least moving well past the authority that congress provides to agencies and particularly to this agency, they've run in with a sweeping regulation that if we don't do something today about it they will put small businesses like one in my district, which is a family-owned business, a husband and wife who own a small company, who will be devastated by this regulation and the fact is that it's our responsibility to legislate and the regulators should follow the legislation
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that we write and we pass and get signed into law, not created on their own. certainly, this is very, very important for us as appropriators as a result of the f.c.c.'s overstepping, we have to get involved, so i would urge a yes vote on this amendment. i yield become. the chair: the gentlelady yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from florida rise? >> strike the requisite number of words. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. >> thank you. the gentleman from new york has indicated this is the big guys against the little guys. he's got it wrong. if the government steps in and regulates the internet, then the little guy, theup start company won't have a chance. mr. stearns: any time the government stipulates regulations, it hurts the little guys. the big guys can handle regulations, handle the legal forms and the politics of it. but the little guy has no chance. so this really is trying to
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help the little guy. the other point is, as the gentlelady pointed out from the appropriations committee, the f.c.c. doesn't have the jurisdiction this belongs in congress. so really, this amendment in a larger sense is trying to prevent the f.c.c. from regulating the internet and i think all of us agree that one of the bright spots of this economy has been the technology sector. yet for some reason, the f.c.c. has decided to step in and overstep its bounds and apply perhaps 19th century legislation, they would like to put this into title 2, in the rotary telephone service, instead of title 1, the information technology service, but they tried to compromise by putting something into title 1, but they have a process that's open to putting it into title 2, so they created a chill in the economy buzz a -- because a lot of manufacturers and people putting down broad band see
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this chill because they see the f.c.c. considering regulating the internet under title 2 instead of information services, so uncertainty is created in the market. i think this amendment is simple. it says that the f.c.c. does not have the jurisdiction. in a larger sense, it says that we don't need the government to step in with regulation. at this point, the chairman of the energy and commerce committee, let me offer the gentleman time. >> i rise in strong support of this amendment, offered by my friend, mr. walden, mr. stearns and others on the appropriations committee. there's an old adage if it ain't broke, don't fix it. the internet is not broken. it's working. creating jobs. look at all the devices that are out there, whether it be ipods, iphones, glackberries, cell phones, look at all the things that are working. mr. upton: we don't need regulations on the internet.
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i think it was george will that said most americans think that the government doesn't work so well and the internet does. why are we allowing the f.c.c. then to regulate the internet. it makes no sense. this amendment denies funds to the f.c.c. to implement this order. it's a good amendment. i like to think it would be bipartisan. i support the authors that are offering this and i yield back my time. mr. bilirakis: -- mr. stearns: i will say it's not appropriate for them to make these rules on a whim without any input from congress and this would allow the f.c.c. to do anything, anything it could allege to promote broad band under their jurisdiction which they don't have. congress must stop the f.c.c., this amendment will do that by preventing any money to be used to implement its rule.
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i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from california. >> i rise in opposition to the proposal. the chair: does the gentleman move to strike the last word? mr. waxman: yes. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. waxman: thank you very much for recognizing me. this amendment is bad policy. it would overturn a decision by the f.c.c. enacted last december that would protect the internet from those who might interfere with the ability of consumers to access whatever they want. mr. upton simply said a minute ago a lot of jobs are created by the internet. well that's why we shouldn't stop the f.c.c. the most vibrant sector of our economy today is our internet economy. u.s. companies like google, facebook, amazon, ebay, are leading the world in
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innovation. and they all urge the f.c.c. to protect and open the internet -- protect an open internet buzz common sense baseline rules are critical to ensuring that the internet remain ascii engine of economic growth, innovation and global competitiveness. in fact, these high tech and high growth companies urge the f.c.c. to adopt even stronger rules than it did. contrary to the hyperventilated rhetoric from the majority, the f.c.c. rules do not regulate the internet. they do not grant the government the power to turn off the internet. do not determine what content is appropriate for users to access. their goal is just the opposite. they prevent internet gate keepers like verizon from deciding what content their subscribers can access. but the f.c.c. rules were a
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very light touch regulation. it's notable that the at&t, comcast and time warner, three of the nation's largest network operators, support these rules. as at&t's c.e.o. stated, we didn't get everything we wanted, i wanted no regulation. but we ended at a place where we have a line of sight and we know we can commit to investments, end quote. and major wall street investment analysts have concluded that the f.c.c.'s open internet order removed any regulatory overhang for telecom and cable companies and reflected a light touch version of regulations that will not hinder innovation or growth. now, what is at stake here is those who are offering this amendment to stop the f.c.c. from doing what it has ordered
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want the people who carry the internet to be able to restrict the access for consumers and creators who have used the internet for such great success. and that would be a serious mistake. we had a broad, diverse coalition of more than 120 organizations, including public interest groups, religious leaders, technology association, labor unions, internet companies, small businesses, wrote to us strongly opposing the republican efforts to block the open internet regulations. they argue that overturning the regulations would eliminate the f.c.c.'s ability to protect innovation, speech, and commerce on broad band platforms. if we stop the f.c.c. from regulating, well, then we leave the status quo which means that those who deliver the internet into our home could start regulating themselves.
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the american people, i think, would be against this. they want us to stop this relitigation of f.c.c.'s sensible internet rules. we should be working together in a bipartisan solution to expand broadband access and create tomorrow's economic opportunities. the f.c.c. took landmark a action to preserve the open internet. let us not roll back the clock. -- roll back the clock and stop those regulations by f.c.c. to preserve the open internet from being put into place. do i still have time, mr. chairman? the chair: the gentleman has 30 seconds. mr. waxman: i urge opposition to this effort and i want to say that this does not save any money, this proposal will not cut costs. this is not only about policy and the high tech, high growth companies have urged the f.c.c. to adopt these rules.
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we shouldn't use the appropriations process to make this effort to stop the f.c.c. from doing its job. i yield back my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia rise? >> i move to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. kingston: i'm here today in support of this amendment and i want to thank those who have been work -- mr. graves: i want to thank those who have working on this and it gets complicated sometimes when you have elected officials get up and start talking about broadband and internet and f.c.c. let's make it simple. government control means uniformity, regulation, fees, inspections, and yes, compliance. think, just think, if those words had existed since the 1990's with the internet.
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we wouldn't know one thing about broadband, let alone a tweet. the internet's free marketplace is defined by fierce competition and that competition is trans-- has transformed this world with innovation, investment and what we need most of all right now, jobs. it's possible that the most intelligent and bipartisan policy that washington has had thus far has been to leave the internet virtually untouched by the federal government and regulators and the result, internet-based industries have complourished and employed a generation of americans. let's be clear today there is no net neutrality crisis. the speed and depth of the internet as we know it today came from consumer choice and competition. consumers have successfully picked those winners and losers, not government, and they've done it without the
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f.c.c.'s help. imagine that. consider the choice in rate plans, various points of access, a and demand for openness and accessibility. a service provider that restricts access would do so at their own peril and to the prosperity of their competitors system of after all the life-changing inknow vase, the accidental billionaires, president obama's revolutionary e campaign, after all the ground breaking technology that has defined this age of the internet, we must ask that question, why? why would unelected bureaucrats at the f.c.c. want to take over and feel good about this internet takeover right now with their new rules and policies keeping things neutral being their claim? let me tell you three words come to mind to me today and that is trojan horse virus. so mr. chairman, let's pass this amendment today and let's install some anti-virus
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protection for americans in the internet. i yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from florida, a member of the appropriations committee, rise? >> strike the last word, mr. chairman. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. diaz-balart: i want to really echo what the gentleman from georgia just did here on the floor of the house he brought some common sense to this debate. everybody has some talking points and their little notes and they're reading them and trying to confuse the issue, let's take a step back if we might, mr. chairman. let's just ask a very simple question. a very simple question. can somebody name an area in this country or in the world that has had more innovation that has blossomed more, that has opened up communications and connected people more in our country or anywhere in the world in the last decade than the internet?
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anybody can name it? anything? no. it's impossible. think about what's happened. the internet was even actually given credit for bringing down, helping bring down the government of egypt. it's allowed people to see the atrocities in iran. it's allowed things like facebook and twitter and iphones to blossom. it's given access to millions of people and it has created millions of jobs. so what is the answer, then, for that incredible blossoming? for something that has revolutionized the way we communicate? that the world communicates? what is now the answer of the federal government? we keep talking about, you know, about letters. it's the federal government. what is the answer of the federal government? to deal with that unprecedented blossoming of innovation, of imagination, of job creation? oh, mr. chairman, the federal government now has to regulate.
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why? because it's too much innovation. the prices have dropped too much. it's too much imagination. it's too positive. and therefore the federal government must step in because the federal government can do it so much better. the federal government has all the answers. mr. chairman, a little bit of common sense. i'm talking to my colleagues here but also to the american people. if you believe and think about 10 years ago, if you believe that the federal government, if it's in charge if it would have been in charge, would have been -- would have done a better job in blossoming this innovation, this job creation, and then you have to be with our friends on the other side of the aisle, you then should support federal government intervening, taking care of, regulating the internet. but if you believe that that miracle of innovation took place because of individuals, of people with imagination, and because the government got out
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of its way, you would support this amendment. i yield back, mr. chairman. the chair: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from massachusetts rise? -- rise? >> i rise to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. >> i think a little bit of telecommunications history would be appropriate at this juncture. first of all, just let me explain that at&t and the regional bell companies had nothing to do with the invention of the internet. in fact, they were asked by the federal government in 1966 if they wanted the contract to build the network that would operate simultaneously with the long lines network across the country and at&t and bell south and verizon all said, no, we don't want to build the packet
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switch network. give it to someone else. mr. markey: and so they did. they gave it to a tiny company up in massachusetts which built the internet across the country, designed it, without any of the bell operating companies. and back in the 1960's and the 1970's when people said to at&t and said to remember verizon and pack bell, -- and verizon, how about letting people go out and buy another phone, here's what at&t and bell south said, they said, if you allow someone to buy another phone other than a black rotary dial phone, it could destroy the entire phone system of our country. back in the 1970's and early 1980's, when there were new companies called m.c.i. and sprint that wanted to provide competing long distance service, remember, up until the mid 1980's, whenever grandma called from california, people would
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run to the phone saying, run, it's long distance, it costs $1 a minute. that was at&t. that was the bell system across our country. no competition, no incentive to introduce innovation, no incentive to lower prices, no incentive to make the consumer the king. and then along comes the 1990's and 2000. we hear on the floor of congress -- we here on the floor of congress said, we must introduce competition. this system, this at&t, this bell south, verizon, pack bell system, it does not innovation -- innovate. not one home in america had broadband in february of 1996 when we passed the telecom act here. we had to order it. there were no broadband users in america in any home as we passed the bill. and so what we tried to do is to induce darwinian,
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paranoia-inducing competition. what did the broadband barons seek to accomplish? as the private sector they want to quash competition. they don't ever and they never will invent a google and amazon and ebay. they will never invent any of these thousands of smaller companies which are the engine of economic growth in our country. which leads to our ability to export these products. verizon's not going to invent anything new. what they want to do is squeeze the competitors, price them out of the market so that they can maintain a monopoly across the country. that's what this debate is all about. that's what the f.c.c. rules are saying. they're saying that the new steve jobs, the new bill gates, the new larry page in the garage somewhere, and there are thousands of them across the country, must be able to get into the marketplace to create
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these new jobs without having to be tipped upside down and having every last cent poured out of their pockets to pay these large companies. that's what this debate is all about. it's about whether or not we want vigorous competition in the marketplace. those who are opposed to the open network, those who are opposed to giving every competitor equal access with the biggest broadband beau heemolingt, that's what this bede-bait is about. they're covering it as though the government is really trying to control the internet. not so. they are siding with the broadband barons against the thousands of companies who are out there, who have reinvented telecommunications and information delivery in our country and across the planet just in 14 years, after the bell system had 100 years to do so and had invented every single technology. they had invented them all but they had had no incentive to
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deploy those new technologies because they had a monopoly. that's what the debate is about. you vote for this amendment, to give control by the broadband barons over the internet once again, then you will see an inevitable decline in innovation , in investment, in the private sector, in the new products, the new technology, the new application, these new devices which are basically invented by hundreds and thousands of smaller companies in our country. that's the choice you have. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. markey: vote no on this amendment that shuts down the internet. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentlelady from california rise? >> i rise to strike the last word. the chair: the gentlelady is recognized for five minutes. >> i thank the chairman. this is such a fascinating debate that's taking place here on the floor today.
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and i think that any one that considers themselves -- anyone that considers themselves connected in the country, and i'm not talking about being connected to wealth, but connectivity in terms of communications, i hope you're tuned in. ms. eshoo: because this is a consideration about preserving the open internet and broadband industry practices. now, i don't know how many of you have spoken to your kids, but i have to tell you, if you've had a conversation with any young person in your family, and don't remember what the average age is of congress, but talk to young people in your district and i want to tell you, they will say over and over and over and over again, the way they spoke to the f.c.c., over
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two million people contacting the f.c.c., over 90% of them saying, leave the internet alone. leave it alone. leave it open. leave it accessible to everyone. in just over five years $250 billion has been invested by the venture capital community which makes its home in my congressional district. and i have to tell you, i think if you took this amendment to silicon valley, when you go out there, and i know you travel out there, the next time, go there for an internet 101 series. not for fundraising, but go listen to people there. that's where the innovators are. and i have the privilege of representing them. they want an open, free, accessible internet.
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i think that your disdain for government is spilling over onto the internet. and i would caution you to pull up the emergency brake on it. because if -- because if in fact corporations get their way instead of consumers and there is any blockage of content or where consumers have to pay more because corporations are in control instead of consumers, there's going to be a revolution in the country. i would not fool around with an open, accessible internet. you are barking up the wrong tree. you really are. this is a big mistake. so you want to hate the government, you want to try and hurt agencies that carry out what the congress does? that's where your party is.
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that's where your disdain lies. but i think this is a march to folly. i don't know if you so fully, if you really fully appreciated the internet and what it represents and what it has done, not only for the people of our country but for people around the world, you wouldn't go near this. you wouldn't go near this. have you suggested to anyone in at that hire square in cairo that you were doing this -- tahrir square in cairo that you were doing this, i think they'd laugh a lot of people off the floor of the house of representatives. this is so wrong-headed and it says to me that you don't get it. that you simply don't get it. without some clear rules of the road, and believe me, what the f.c.c. did is so light.
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i thought that they could have done and should have done more. large corporations carve up the internet into fast and slow lanes, charging a toll for content and blocking innovators from entering the information superhighway, you know what? i want to be at your town hall meeting when you have to explain that to your constituents. they will have your heads for that. they will. they will. this will supersede any other issue. so, my friends, anyone that considers themselves in the know , in the beginning of the second decade of the 21st century, let's not turn the hands of the clock back. let's be on the side of innovators who weighed in at the f.c.c. and i as the ranking member placed all of those letters of support, representing
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hundreds of organizations in our country, all the way from the catholic conference of bishops in our country to tech net. vote against this. this is a bad, ill-informed amendment. the chair: for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania rise? >> move to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. >> mr. speaker, i rise in opposition to the walden amendment. mr. speaker, the f.c.c.'s open internet order brings certainty and clarity to a debate that has raged on for almost a decade, allowing internet service providers, as well as edge and content providers, to fully focus on broadband investment, innovation and other pressing business matters. in fact, broadband providers like at&t, time warner and comcast have all expressed support for the rules and indicated that the f.c.c. has achieved a balance result.
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mr. doyle: wall street investment analysts have also concluded that the f.c.c.'s open internet order removed any regulatory overhang for telecom and cable companies and reflected a light touch version of regulation that will not hinder growth in innovation. at the end of the day, the f.c.c.'s rules simply maintain the status quo principles that most broadband providers already embrace. the rules preserve a number of existing business models for broadband providers to pursue as well as paving the way for new innovative offerings. contrary to the claims by opponents of the f.c.c., these high-level rules of the road do not allow the agency to micromanage broadband providers. they balance clarity with flexibility. and they don't require broadband providers to seek permission from the commission before deploying a network management practice. in fact, the rules specifically recognize the unique network
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management challenges across different platforms and afford broadband providers the latitude they need to manage their networks efficiently. some opponents of the f.c.c. argue that we don't need any rules in this area because any trust laws -- antitrust laws are sufficient. but antitrust remedies occur after harm occurs. these rules in contrast allow companies and innovators regular certainty, a key component that allows business to thrive. mr. speaker, the f.c.c.'s open internet rules are just these three simple promises. one, to consumers that we can visit any website we want using any service we want on any device we want. two, for innovators, that they can create new tools without getting permission from the government or the company that the consumers use to get online. and, three, that we provide a cop on beat, to make sure that both sides are doing what 'r


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