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tv   U.S. House of Representatives  CSPAN  October 25, 2011 5:00pm-8:00pm EDT

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times more likely than other men to have perpetrated domestic violence as adults, according to a large survey that has been reported. this is a call to action. let us rededicate ourselves to the goal of ending violence against women and helping heal the lives of domestic violence survivors and their families. no one, no one should have to live in fear in their own home. and we must continue to work to eliminate these acts of violence from our society. nearly 1.3 million women will confront violent acts this year. america's leaders and our nation's families must not let this stand. let us continue to work to end domestic violence and make every home a safe home. i urge my colleagues to stand with us and support the survivors and their families by supporting the programs that
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target this insidious ill of domestic violence. at this time i'm honored to yield to my colleague and friend from houston, texas, as much time as he may consume. mr. poe. mr. poe: i thank the gentleman for yielding and thank you for your leadership on this issue. i appreciate you, congressman green. we've known each other a long time. 30 years ago we both started as young buck lawyers at the harris county courthouse in texas and tried cases against each other, you as a defense lawyer, me as a prosecutor. you continued to work in the defense category until you assumed the role of a judge in houston. and so it's good to see you again and appreciate your leadership on this very important issue. the -- thank you. some people may not know, but judge green and i, we disagree on some political things but on some basic human rights issues, we are very strong advocates
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and work together and i appreciate your civility and ability to work together on important issues such as domestic violence awareness. this is an important issue, mr. speaker. and it's good that we recognize the importance of understanding how domestic violence occurs in our country and how we should recognize the important people that are involved as victims of domestic violence. i, too, remember the days when domestic violence was not a case where the police really got involved. certainly as a former prosecutor, we never saw those cases. society's attitude about domestic violence was, it's not our problem, it's not a crime, it's their problem. it should stay in the family situation. thank goodness after many, many years of that really philosophy in this country and other
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countries who still have that philosophy, in the united states that's not the philosophy of our culture any longer. that in the family situation spouses have legally -- the legal responsibility and the moral responsibility to treat each other with the dignity that they deserve as another human being. the most important person in my life has always been my grandmother. she lived to the age of 99. she told me a lot of things that i understood. she kept it in a simple way. congressman green, you'd be glad to know she did -- she never forgave me for being a republican. she actually said i'm not sure you can go to heaven being a republican. i think she meant it. that's unfortunate. but, anyway, she said something that was true then many years ago that's true today. she said, you never hurt somebody you claim you love.
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and that's true. we should have that attitude in this country, and in family situations, people should not hurt people in that family they claim to love. but it happens. and it happens on a regular basis. congressman green's given a bunch of statistics, especially from our home state of texas where this dastardly crime behind closed doors occur every day in the united states, and we as a society cannot tolerate it and i commend all the various victims rights groups, women's groups who are continuing to make us aware of this problem and how to help solve this problem. you know, the violence against women act is something this congress needs to re-authorize. the voca funding should be re-authorized. violence against crime act.
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this legislation started way back with president reagan. it's a novel idea. here's the way it works, mr. speaker. criminals who go to our federal courts and are convicted of a crime, the federal judge many times will order them to pay into the crime victims fund. that is a fund of money that goes to crime victims and that fund is important for the services that help these victim service groups throughout the country. i understand that today there's almost $6 billion in the crime victims fund. now, let's make it clear. this is not taxpayer money. this is money that criminals pay to help the people they've hurt. it's kind of like paying the rent on the courthouse. make them pay for the crimes they created. and it's a great idea, but
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every year, and not only under this administration but previous administrations, we have the same problem with the bureaucrats. they want to take that money that belongs to crime victims and use it for other purposes. and it doesn't belong to other purposes. and it's our duty as members of congress to make sure that fund is sufficient and the fund goes where it's intended and that's to crime victims, not for some other purpose. even paying off the debt because it doesn't come from taxpayers. after spending 22 years in the criminal bench in houston hearing felonies, everything from stealing to killing, there were a lot of people who came down to the courthouse other than defendants who didn't want to be there. and many of those were crime victims. but they were picked, many of them, spouses, they were picked by someone who claimed they love them and they were hurt. sometimes they never were --
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didn't have the ability to live through the injuries that they sustained. they were murdered by a spouse, and we cannot tolerate that. that's one of the reasons when i got to congress, along with jim costa from california, bipartisan, we started the victims rights caucus, a caucus made up of both sides of the aisle to focus on the importance of crime victims and making sure that we take care of them. there were two situations i'd like to mention. we have not far from here over in maryland a wonderful lady by the name of yvette cade. yvette cade was separated from her husband and she had gone to represent herself in a court of law in maryland and the judge for some reason did not extend the restraining order against her spouse that was supposed to
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stay away from her. and so when that wasn't renewed she is working in a video store and her husband comes in the video store with a jar of gasoline and pours that gasoline over ms. yvette cade and set her on fire, all caught on video. thank goodness for some people in the store who did the best they could to rescue her and put out the fire. and it was and she survived that awful attack on her. now, she's a remarkable woman. she's got a spirit that i just do not understand. even though she was burned over most of her body. and it's a person who claims to love another that caused that crime. and we as a culture need to roach out to people like yvette
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cade. wonderful lady. and make sure not not only are they taken care of but -- there was a little girl, every day as a second grader she would catch the bus. one day the bus pulled in front of her house and she would not get off the bus. she refused to get off the bus. she's hanging on to that seat in front of her, mr. speaker, and the bus driver said, lily, you need to get off the bus. this is your house. she cried. and she finally told the bus driver, i only feel safe when i get on the bus in the morning and during the day, but i'm not safe when i get off the bus. and that's because behind those closed doors in the silence of horror, she and her mother were
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assaulted on a daily basis. thank goodness for that bus driver who intervened and law enforcement got involved and the person was prosecuted. mainly for what he did to his wife, lily's mother. and there's case after case after case that occurs like these, and we need to be constantly aware of this situation. this crime. understand that it's not only a crime but it's a health issue. it's a health issue for americans, for those people that are hurt behind those closed doors. so i commend the gentleman from texas, my friend, mr. green, and also the gentleman from california, mr. costa, the co-sponsor -- the co-chairman of the victims rights caucus for their leadership on this issue. making sure that we keep domestic violence awareness month something that we
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understand and promote and let people know out there in america that we have this tremendous problem, but we're going to stay on top of it and solve this problem. and that's just the way it is. i yield back, mr. speaker. mr. green: i thank the gentleman. at this time i yield to mr. tim scott. i believe he has something that should be called to our attention. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from south carolina rise? mr. scott: mr. speaker, i send to the desk a privileged report from the committee on rules for filing under the rule. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the resolution. the clerk: report to accompany house resolution 448, resolution providing for consideration of the bill h.r. 2576, to amend the internal revenue code of 1986, to modify the calculation of modified adjusted gross income for purposes of determining eligibility for certain health care related programs and
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providing for consideration of the bill h.r. 764, to amend the internal revenue code of 1986, to rerepeal the imposition of 3% withholding on certain payments made by vendors to government entities. the speaker pro tempore: referred to the house calendar and ordered printed. the gentleman from texas may proceed. mr. green: yes, mr. speaker, would you please make me aware of the amount of time that we have left so that i may accord it appropriately? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman has 27 minutes remaining. mr. green: 27 minutes. mr. johnson of georgia is now going to be yield approximately five minutes, mr. johnson. mr. johnson: thank you, mr. green, my colleague from texas, fellow barrister. i myself practiced law for 27 years before cocking -- before becoming a congressman. much was a defense lawyer. and 12 years of that time was
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spent as a magistrate court judge, and so i have an intimate awareness of the domestic violence issues, and there are not many things, mr. speaker, that are more important than our responsibility for job creation in this congress. not many things can transcend that, but certainly this month, domestic violence awareness month is a proper occasion to do that. and so, mr. speaker, i rise in support of domestic violence awareness month. between 1990 and 2005, mr. speaker, firearms were used to
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kill more than 2/3 of spouse and ex-spouse victims of domestic violence. and it's clear that the presence of guns makes domestic violence much more likely to result in death. according to one study, domestic violence assaults involving a firearm are 23 times more likely to result in death than those involving other weapons such as the gas jar, the jar of gas that threatened the life of yvette cain, that my colleague from texas alluded to. most of -- most of these deaths will come from the use of firearms, and unfortunately, mr. speaker, one in four women
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will experience domestic violence in their lifetimes. . we are talking about our mothers, our daughters, our sisters and our friends. their lives, mr. speaker, are at stake. the thing that disturbs me is that the tea party republicans could care less about their lives because their allegiance belongs to the n.r.a. but let me tell you what really scares me, h.r. 822, national right to carry reciprocity act of 2011. the judiciary committee reported this horrific bill out today. every single republican on that committee voted unanimously or
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voted unanimously against every amendment that was posed by democrats to try to make that bill more safe. and then with the final report of the bill out of committee, every single colleague on the other side of the aisle voted to issue that bill out favorably with the exception of one republican. this dangerous bill will allow domestic abusers to carry concealed guns nationwide, making it easier for domestic abusers to follow their victims across state lines. during the judiciary committee markup, i offered an amendment that would have kept concealed weapons out of the hands of
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domestic abusers. this commonsense amendment to protect demresk violence victims was rejected unanimously by the republicans on the judiciary committee. the republicans, the tea party republicans stayed faithful to the n.r.a. could you believe that they rejected amendments to keep concealed handguns out of the hands of sex offenders, suspected terrorists, anyone convicted of selling drugs to a minor and anyone convicted of assaulting or impersonating a law enforcement officer? ladies and gentlemen, although halloween is right around the corner, we are not in the "twilight zone." this is real life and the tea party republicans have sold out the safety of the american public to the n.r.a. it's truly a sad day in america
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when we move such legislation, especially during domestic violence awareness month. thank you, and i yield back. mr. green: i thank the gentleman for his comments. and at this time, i'm honored to bring to the floor a very dear friend from the state of california, who has been an outspoken supporter of all of these bills to help victims of domestic violence, the honorable lynn woolsey. and if i may -- because the chair will not give us any indication has lapsed as each member speaks, i would ask members, all members be conscience of the fact that we have five more members who would like to speak. ms. woolsey: thank you for bringing this special order together and with congressman poe. ok, mr. speaker, every day, millions of americans, the great
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majority of them are women, live in fear of attack. not from a stranger lurking in the bushes or a dark alley, but perhaps even more frightening from the partner with whom they share a home and a bed. domestic violence is an assault on everything that matters in a woman's life, her physical safety, her dignity, self-respect and her job security as well as her capacity to be a good parent. children are directly in the line of fire. too often, they also are physically abused, but mere exposure to the violence can cause behavioral issues ranking from poor academic performance, drug abuse and domestic violence of their very own. the impact, mr. speaker, is huge. billions in health care costs,
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lost economic activity and more. domestic violence is a problem that affects all of us. increased awareness in recent years have made a difference because there was a time when woman trapped in a violent relationship had little recourse and faced a stigma to keep them from getting help. they are not calling 911, but we have to do much more. for example, the family and medical leave act allows employees to take unpaid time off from work after giving birth, adopting a child or to care for a secretary relative. well, i have introduced a bill, the domestic violence leave act h.r. 3151 that expands so workers can cope with domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking. this would give people the time
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they need to seek medical care, legal assistance and heal both physically and emotionly. if we are serious about showing compassion for those who suffered abuse, then we have to give them job flexibility. being punched or raped by your partner is devastating enough. to also lose your income and livelihood as a result is a gross injustice. let's make every month domestic violence awareness month by extending support to men and women who experienced the pain and betrayal of domestic violence. sign on and pass h.r. 3151, my legislation. another is to make sure that we support and re-authorize the violence against women act and all of the programs that that act supports.
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thank you very much. mr. green: i thank you for your words. and i trust that you will continue the fight. you have been an outstanding champion for women's rights. at this time, i'm honored to yield time to the honorable barbara lee, the former chairperson of the c.b.c. and a member of the state of california. and could you give us an indication of how much time is left so we can all be aware? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman has about 19 minutes. mr. green: 19 minutes and about five people left to speak. ms. lee: let me congressmen green and poe. it's critical to speak out against domestic violence and call attention to domestic violence awareness month, but it's extremely important to hear from men and to recognize your leadership on this.
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as someone who understands domestic violence on a deeply personal level, i know how traumatic this experience is and the strong consistent support system needed to emerge as a survivor. i also know from personal experience that domestic violence is not only physical, it is emotional, it is brutal, it is dehumanizing to the batterer and the battered and without strong and enforceable criminal laws, one's life can be shattered and destroyed. and so as a survivor of domestic violence, once elected to the california legislature, i knew i had to do something and i'm so glad to see my colleague who was in the legislature at that time and we harked hard. i wrote california's violence
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against women bill. and signed by a republican governor and again coming to congress now, we worked together in co-sponsoring numerous bills to support victims of domestic violence and prevent domestic violence. we have worked extensively and this is in my home district in oakland which is a safe place, because we know staying in a shelter or working with an advocate significantly reduces the chances that a victim will be abused again and improves the victim's quality of life. a safe place in oakland is oakland's only program for women and children. they provide shelter and supportive services to victims of domestic violence. a safe place has been open for 34 years and held its 10th annual walk against domestic and
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teen dating violence. this walk continues to call attention to the issues of dating and domestic violence in the city of oakland, building vital partnerships with law enforcement, the criminal justice system and faith-based organizations to better serve the community and the region. their programs and services are designated to address the many complicated and i mean, these are complicated issues which affect systems of domestic violence and true blessing to my constituents in my community. it's my hope that we use this month to recommit ourselves to fighting the scourge of violence against women and men. we have made accomplishments over the decades on this issue, but challenges still remain. around the world, one in three women have been beaten, coerced into sex. one in three american women report being physically or sexually abused by a husband or a boyfriend at least once in
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their lives. children who see or hear domestic violence have a greater chance to become victims or perpetrators and more likely to attempt suicide, use drugs and alcohol, run away from home, engage in teenage prostitution and commit other crimes. beyond the cost to children, domestic violence affects the community with as many as half of the victims reporting the loss of a job at least in part due to domestic violence. and so cuts to domestic violence programs should not even be on the table. women make up 70% of the deaths, mind you, deaths caused by intimate partner violence and services and abuse for heterosexual men and those in the lgpt communities are nonexist ence. we must remember for men, women
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and children who are experiencing or who have experienced domestic violence every day must be a day of awareness and a day free from emotional badgering, physical assaults, harrisments and stalking and other violent behavior. thank you again. mr. green: i thank the gentlelady from california and we will yield to another californiaian, the honorable jim costa. and how much time do we have, mr. speaker? the speaker pro tempore: you do have 19 minutes still. i was mistaken earlier. mr. green: thank you very much. i yield to the gentleman. mr. costa: thank you very much, mr. speaker and thank you congressman green and congressman poe to recognize national domestic violence month. while i speak on behalf of all
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of us that we wish, we wish such a day was not necessary to commemorate or such a month, it's important that we educate not only our colleagues, but americans on the tremendous challenges, the difficulties facing americans who are dealing every day with domestic violence. today, all of us stand up for the victims of those crimes, those heinous crimes who too often suffer under the shadows. just last week i visited the central california legal services to announce half a million grant that is to focus on victims of domestic violence in the san joaquin valley. what i saw and what i heard is a reminder of sadly what continues to occur throughout the country, because i have worked with these folks for many years.
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its added burden today with the tough economic times we are living in that strain families, unemployment higher than it should be, unstable economic conditions oftentimes mean higher stress or more events of domestic violence. at the same time, we are reducing the support at the state and federal level to provide for organizations that help these victims of crimes. while more women and men suffer and children, children under domestic violence, less support remains to help them. congressman judge ted poe and i founded the victims' rights caucus in 2006, to be a bipartisan voice for victims' rights in congress. one of the major initiatives that the congress works on is the protection of the violence against women's act, otherwise known as the vawa.
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it was established in 1994 to grant funds for programs to state and local and indian tribal governments. today this fund seeks to encourage the collaboration among law enforcement, judicial personnel and public-private service providers for the victims of domestic and sexual violence. . it addresses the needs of these folks who are victims of sexual and domestic violence that occurs within our communities. this fund has been a source -- much resource because it's been able to provide support for more victims to report domestic violence to the police, often one of the most difficult cases that our local law enforcement agencies deal with on a daily
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basis. it also provides moneys for the rate of nonfatal domestic violence, and this has helped decrease violence in many areas across the country. it also has reduced the amount of acts of crime of killing an intimate partner. last year the decrease was 24%. ultimately these domestic violence cases results in death. although much progress has been made, obviously much more needs to be done. crime victims, as has been said before and i'll say it again, there are our mothers, they are our fathers, they are our brothers, sisters, they are our friends and neighbors. they are people we all know of. they deserve our support. they deserve the vital support to cope during this horrific time periods within our lives. as the national domestic violence month continues, let us all do everything we can to
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encourage folks to attend events, to recognize and honor those who are the vanguard of trying to protect those who are victims of violence. those who good people who are out working in this area like the central california legal services foundation. those who are in law enforcement. those who are in our justice system. those who are in every way working in our communities to help those victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse. only through education and awareness will our communities be able to ultimately someday end this domestic scourge and respond more effectively to those victims. i want to thank congressman green, again, for his efforts and congressman poe and my other colleagues who have spoken so well today. today's special order, let it be a call for all of us to action, to continue advancing the rights of victims across the nation and to protect the violence against women's act. i yield the balance of my time.
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mr. green: i thank the gentleman for his words and at this time we will yield to the gentlelady from texas who is a colleague and we share a common boundary in the state of texas, our districts are adjacent to each other, the honorable sheila jackson lee. ms. jackson lee: let me thank congressman al green and congressman poe for conving us today on such a very important topic that includes the issue of domestic violence in this domestic violence awareness month. the senior member of the judiciary committee, it's been my privileged sadly, however, to have worked on the violence against women's act for a very long time and was an original co-sponsor and author of the re-authorization of that bill some years ago. my initial premise on this day
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that we express our concern is that the laws need to be stronger. and i simply want to acknowledge as we have worked on these issues that domestic violence has not decreased in spite of all the hardworking advocacy groups and places of refuge for the women in our community. i want to acknowledge the houston women's center which i served as a member of the board for a number of years and the great work they do along with many other organizations in the houston area that are refuges for women. but let me cite these numbers to you. the national coalition against domestic violence, 85% of all domestic violence victims are women. and i do want to acknowledge that men suffer domestic violence as well. we are sympathetic and want to include them in fighting against this dastardly deed. it is disturbing that every nine seconds a woman in the united states is assaulted or beaten. more often than not she knows her abuser. the numbers are alarming. between 2000 and 2005 about 63%
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of nonfatal intimate partner victimization against women occurred at home. 9.4% of these attacks were near home. and 11.1% of the abuse occurred at a friend or neighbor's home. the aagreesors were often intimate partners, relatives, friends, acquaintanses and strangers. according to a report by the center of disease control prevention, this violence will result in nearly two million injuries and 1,300 deaths. in texas, 74% of texans know someone who've experienced some form of sexual, verbal abuse. there is great fear. according to the houston area women's center, which as i indicated i served as a member of the board, 142 women were murdered in texas by an abusive partner. the youngest of these victims were only 17 years old and the
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oldest 78. in 2007 the center served over 2,800 survivors of domestic violence and took almost 39,000 calls. as i conclude, i want to just give this brief story of a recent 17-hour attack that occurred in houston which was noted as one of the worst local domestic abuse cases ever. a man's tore turd wife follows years of abuse and this lady never reported it because of her fear of the impact or the abuse or the violence against her four children. while this horrific act was taking place, it was occurring while her 1-year-old daughter was in another room. this 33-year-old woman was violated by this vicious man with a long record of absolute insanity and violence with using a hairspray can and a lighter match and taking a match with that hairspray to her breasts and her genitals.
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right now i stand on this floor in absolute outrage. adrian garcia's liking this to an animal and that he is, rabid dog. the terrible part of this is that he's charged with the assault to a relative. i frankly want him to be charged with a much more heinous act because in many instances when you're charged with this particular action, which the legislature probably thought these were relatives against relatives but this was a heinous act, this gentleman should never see the light of day and there are acts like this around the nation and around the world, by the way, because there is that kind of violence around the world that should never see the light of day. as we continue to work on this, i will continue to advocate funding as i provided funding for our local agencies in houston, and i will continue to champion stronger laws to
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prevent, if i can, in terms of the stronger laws and intervention so that women can have the strength to go to places like the houston area women's center and to save them from this heinous and dastardly act. this woman will be mutilated for life and will have to have reconstructive surgery. again, a can of hairspray and a lighter match for 17 hours while her 1-year-old child remained in the room. let me thank, again, our colleagues for allowing us to come to the floor and, again, let me make a commitment to all of the women out there and those in houston and texas that i will never step away from fighting for you not to suffer this indignity. please, leave the home and go to a refuge like the houston area women center and other places to save your life. i yield back. mr. green: i thank the lady. at this time we will yield to the gentlelady from california, ms. speier, and i would also add this is a colleague that
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served with me on financial services and i found she has been a strong advocate for the rights of women. ms. speier: thank you to my colleague and thank you to the gentleman, mr. green, for hosting this special order on domestic violence. mr. speaker, and i also want to pay my respects to congressman poe for his participation as well. imagine that you were beaten at the hands of your boyfriend or husband. maybe a friend of your child. as you call the police your attacker fled. he doesn't get far before the police catch him and throw him in jail. but days later he is set free. not on bail but with a clean record. and he's angry. more so because he first beat you and now he wants to get revenge because you caused him to be arrested. no, this isn't a scene from a horror movie.
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it is instead a dose of reality from topeka, kansas, where the city council voted earlier this month to repeal the city law against misdemeanor domestic battery. the council claimed that budget woes required this act of public policy cowardess. by repealing this law, topeka sent a clear message to the women, your safety is not a priority. we will not protect you. if you are victimized we will not hold your spouse, former spouse, boyfriend or live-in accountable if they assault you. you are on your own. and this happened in a city where a domestic violence murder occurs every 10 days, a domestic violence incident occurs every 22 minutes, and a person is or i should say was charged with domestic violence every 41 minutes. but no more in topeka, kansas. these are tough times for local
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and state governments. everyone is being asked to do more with less. difficult choices must be made. but let me say this without hesitation. the choices made during difficult times reflect who we are as americans, who we are as human beings and our mutual respect for the law. the topeka decision is another example of how women in this country is becoming second-class citizens or chatteled or even left. we shun our global neighbors who allow violence to occur without repercussions. today as we recognize domestic violence awareness month and the more than one million victims that are terrorized every year, i urge each and every state and locality in our great state -- in great united states to take a stand on what occurred in topeka, kansas. shame on you, toe speaka, kansas. shame on them -- topeka,
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kansas. shame on them for looking at domestic violence that is one of the most reported incidents and one that police are most concerned going out to because more often than not there is violence that is associated with it. for the sake of more than 50 million children that are exposed to violence each year and women who are abused every nine seconds we must recommit ourselves for supporting domestic violence victims. speaking of tough times, domestic violence shelters know a thing or two about pinching pennies. 3/4 of the shelters nationally report losing money from government sources since the recession. and as their belts are tightened, the demands for their services have only increased. for the third straight year, 80% of shelters nationwide are reporting an increase in domestic violence cases. you know, i was always struck when i was in the state legislature there were three times as many animal shelters as there were battered women's
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shelters. it says volumes about where our priorities are in this country. three out of four shelters attributed the rise in violence to financial issues. almost half said those issues included job loss and 42% cited the loss of a house or car. more than half of the shelters also reported that domestic abuse is more violent than it was before the financial crash. studies show that abuse is three times as likely to occur when a couple experiences financial strain. take note. a five-year study reveals when a man experienced two or more periods of unemployment, he was almost three times as likely to abuse his female partner. the irony was topeka's decision is that domestic violence is expensive to the communities where it is more prevalent. and i'm not talking about the cost of prosecution. i'm talking about the $8 billion to $10 billion in loss productivity, medical bills and other costs. in fact, between 1/4 to 1/2 of
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domestic violence victims report they lost a job at least in part due to domestic violence. and if we do not prevent these crimes and pinlize those that commit them -- penalize those that commit them we will pay 10-fold in the years to come. children mimic it later in their lives. we have our work cut out for us, but one thing that defines our nation is the notion that everyone that abuses one, you will be brought to justice. we took a huge and unacceptable step backward in topeka, kansas. in honor of the victims who lost their lives to domestic violence and those who live in fear every day, let us recommit ourselves today to their safety. i yield back and thank you, again, to mr. green. mr. green: i thank the lady and i especially thank the lady for
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citing the statistical information. it's important for our nation and our country to understand that these are real people that are being harmed and that this is not something that occurs in some segments of society. this crosses all lines, economic lines, gender lines, political lines, and it's up to us to have bipartisan efforts to end this. . i'm honored that congressman poe joined us today. we have to get this message back to the communities because indifference allows this to continue. no one should be different. everybody has a duty to report it and condone it. if we do this, we can make this, every person who performs an act of violence in our community. i thank the speaker for the time. one hour is never enough to cover all that we should cover,
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but i'm grateful to the leadership for giving us the one hour that we've had and we yield back the time that i'm sure we do not have. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. under the speaker's announceed policy, the chair recognizes the gentleman from iowa, for 30 minutes. mr. king: it's my honor to address you here on the floor. before i go into the presentation and go into the subject matter that the gentleman from texas has led this special order, a means of discussing victims' rights. and for me, i was caused to re-examine the situation as a victim. i had some heavy equipment that was destroyed by vandals back in the year 1987, and it was in the
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middle of the farm crisis. a lot of that damage was uninsured, but we did catch the perpetrators and a long, long story, it was hundreds of thousands of dollars of damage. i seen myself as a victim who an obligation to assist the prosecution as a citizen and victim should. i remember sitting in the courtroom when they brought up the trial of one of the perpetrators and the bailiff announced to the court, this is the case of the state versus jason martin powell. and i sat there thinking, how is it the state versus the perpetrator? i'm not in this equation. i'm just here as a spectator. and i began to examine what that really means. and what that means is the state and the law enforcement component, in this case the state is the intervenor.
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if you have a grievance with someone and i had a grievance with the people who almost destroyed my business. in the law and order days that might have been settled in a vial ent fashion before the law was established in places like roman or greek law. but as law was established, it was to anature the vigilant component of it and the state intervened. when everything was owned by the state, the subjects inlet's say old western europe, old england, the subjects were the property of the king. the state supplanted the king and subjects and everything they owned were under the ownership of the king. when you see old english common law and transfers into the united states and becomes the state versus jason martin powell, the convicted
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perpetrator, that transfer was if you committed a crime and shot one of the king's deer, if you murdered or assaulted one of the subjects, you were committing a crime against the king. in our society, you are committing a crime against the state. once the state is satisfied that they have established justice, the victim -- doesn't have anything more to say. the victim is not in that equation. my position needs to be developed more, but if the state is going to intervene and the state has to enforce the law and protect the citizens adequately. and when they fail, what's the obligation of the state, they aren't insuring us against violent crime. and all the way around this circle is this, back in those years, i remember a study that was done and that study was --
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it will come to me in a moment, but 1995 study and they put a value on each crime. and i remember that a rape victim, they valued murder around $1 million and rape at $82,000. i can't imagine someone submitting to rape for $82,000 and they put in that study, a criminal loose on the street would commit $444,000 worth of crime in a year. it would cost $20,000 to lock them up and they do $444,000 damage to society in a year and that damage is not compensated. that comes out of crime victims in huge whopping chunks of their lives, security and their property. and so i would just suggest that if the state were liable for all of the damage that's caused by perpetrators, we would have a
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more effective criminal justice system. i'm not advocating that we bring that forward in this congress but a way of looking at this, where the state is the intervenor because the state is the successor to the crown in old english law and a crime committed was a crime against the king because he owned everything. and then we are now the successor philosophy but forgotten this part that victims are paying the price. the state is not paying the price and no longer a -- i thank the gentleman and it sparked that memory and wanted to put that into the record and let you know what i think of crime victims. mr. green: i appreciate you placing things in a proper historical context and greatly appreciated. having taught a class myself in trial simulation, one of the
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things we discussed was the origin of the concept of the state and it evolved to the extent that you called to our attention, but it became a we, the people country. our country is a we, the people country. and sometimes if we substitute for the state we, the people, it becomes the people in many places against a defendant and it is appropriate that the people against the defendant. we as a society have some things that we will not tolerate. and as a result, we have codified laws that carry with them penalties and these penalties have to be imposed so as to maintain an orderly society. i would mention to my friend this, you say $82,000 for rape. i just have to make sure that i go on record saying i agree with you. $82,000, i can't imagine how someone managed to conclude that
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$82,000 was the worth of a person having been raped for that crime itself. i support the notion that we must compensate victims. victims ought to be compensated appropriately, which is one of the reasons why i have supported the violence against women's act because it establishes a fund so victims of crime of this nature can have their perpetrators pay money into this fund to make sure victims are properly compensated. and i thank you and i want to make sure that the people, we, the people are heard and we, the people in the courts of this country can take the necessary steps to prevent, not only to prevent and also to the compensate the victims of these deeds. mr. king: i thank the gentleman from texas for making those points. and we, the people have vested
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our authority in our government and that's how that transfer takes place. i remember clearly the bailiff saying the state versus and that rang my bell. and i looked back through history to understand the root of that. and i would point out also the $82,000 for a rape victim i believe was quantified in this way, loss of work, medical treatment, psychological treatment, that kind of impact that was just simply the economic impact on her life, not the emotional impact and the trauma. but even still to quantify that and the department of justice has quantified crime also with different values and i don't recall them well enough from that chart, but there was a 1992 department of justice study that laid values out. it would be a plus for us, even though pain and suffering and loss of life is immeasurable in a dollar form, if committee
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quantify it, we could understand what crime does to society. there has been a long time since there was a broad study that laid the complete loss of all of the crime in the united states that are committed. i would think it's in the billions of dollars. we accept it because it's a victim here and a victim there. it's not like they are all coming together in one large group, but scattered across our society and the higher level of crime the higher your tolerance has been because of the continueance of that. i wanted to add some words to the sint meant that you have brought to this floor tonight and this congress. mr. green: i thank the gentleman for his comments and i greatly appreciate the time you took from your time to continue elaborate on this. it means a lot to the people that we both represent. and i thank you again. mr. king: i thank the gentleman from texas. i came here to talk about a
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couple of other subject matters, mr. speaker. and the one that's on the front of my mind to address is the missouri river flooding that has taken place all down the missouri river drainage area all summer long. and i think the rest of the country -- hasn't been brought to their attention how bad and how devastating this flood is. you can pick your river in the world and you'll know that every river has flooded in history. that's what they do. that's why we have river bottoms. they are flattened out because of the floods. whether it's the mississippi river flood or missouri river flood or any of the floods -- new jersey floods, for example, and other floods in the northeast part of the united states, they have been devastating. and we have watched on television as we have seen people scramble to get above the water line, sand bag, protect the assets that they have. we watched as the water flooded
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into new orleans several years ago with katrina and the human suffering that went on down there and some of us did what we could. myself, i made four trips down to katrina to try to lend a hand down there and i contributed in some way, and i say in a small way, mr. speaker. but this summer, midwesters, people in kansas, north and south dakota and montana have all suffered from the greatest runoff experienced in recorded history in the missouri river. this greatest runoff has accumulated this way. wasn't particularly dramatic in snow cap in the winter time, not particularly dramatic by march 1 as they measure the snow cap, but several things contribute to the runoff. it's the snow in the mountains all the way up in montana and
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rainfall that takes place there and any dramatic rainfall event. all of those things came together in the perfect storm fashion, late season, significantly higher snow cap up in the mountains and then early spring rains that saturated and became a significant runoff and on top of that, very heavy rainfall event particularly the billings, montana area, where they got eight inches and 10 to 12 inches of rain across a vast area, some of it up to 15 inches in some areas. so the circumstances were, we had all the snow that needed to come down. large, large amount of snow. we had a lot more rain than expected. the ground was saturated and didn't soak in. and that was running off. that had taken place in april and may. and on may 22, the massive rainfall that fell in the
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billings area and around that was unprecedented in its volume, all of that together created a runoff that if you think of it in these terms, the largest experience that they had seen was actually 1997. prior to that was 1881. in 1881, 42 million acre feed of runoff. 42 million acres, all of that volume, if you calculate that volume running into the missouri river. there are six dams that have been built in the upper missouri river, reservoirs created by them and start in montana and down to south dakota and then in the last valve that controls the flow of the missouri river from that point just upstream from sioux city down to st. louis. that's the control valve at
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gavins point. in 1881, 41 million acre feed of runoff in 1997, 60.4 million acre feed of runoff in 2011. 20% more than we ever experienced before. and if you exempt 1997, it was a third more than we had experienced in 1881. . these were designed to protect us from serious downstream flooding in the largest event experienced, that was in 1881. the floods of 1881, the floods in 1943, the floods in 1952, accelerated the construction of the program by 1968, we'd built the six dams, they were operational for the full season of 1968. they were built to protect us from serious downstream
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flooding and they were designed to the design elevations necessary to protect us from the largest flooding events ever. they designed it around the largest flooding ever, 1881. that hasn't changed the master manual, the document that governs how they manage the record, that hasn't changed at all. neither had the lrgest experienced runoff in history, 1881. i have to quantify that. the 49 million acre-feet in 1997 was for the breadth of the year. compress 1881 into several months, i believe four months of runoff, but it was a shorter period of time so the monthly volume of runoff was greater in 1881 than in 1997. so the corps of epping nears that managed this all these years, in 113 years we had not
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seen the kind of runoff we saw in 1881. and -- but it was designed to protect us from the largest runoff ever. this year we have the largest runoff ever and the discharge that priestly coming out of gavin -- that previously coming out of gavins point, to release into the river that goes to st. louis was the largest discharge was 70,000 cubic feet per second. this year, because of the large volume, and the kiss -- the large volume, the discharge became 160,000 cubic feet per second, substantially more than twice as much volume as we'd seen before. it did held together, the system held together very well upstream. here's the problem, mr. speaker. that is that the corps of engineers has determined that this runoff this year is an anomaly. it's a 500-year event. so in a 500-year event they
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wouldn't change their management of the river substantially because they argue it's unlakely it will ever happen again. my response to that is, a year ago, standing here, no one knew we were going to get the runoff and in 2011, the odds of this kind of flood happening that has happened to us in 2011 weren't any greater than they are for the same thing happening next year. and it's the equivalent of the risk for 2012 are the same as they were for 2011 for a runoff of that magnitude for a number of reasons, but the simple one is this. if you flip a coin twice in a row and it comes up tails twice in a row, what are the odds it'll come up tails three times in a row, the third time? this is one of those classic examples of statistics. you might think the odds get to be one in six or something but truthfully the odds are 50-50 the coin will come up tails
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three times in a row. if you flip it and it's tails six times in a row, what are the odds it'll be tails seven times in a row? 50-50. the odds are the same. we don't know about runoff next year, except that because of the damage, we're not as prepared to deal with a runoff of that magnitude as we were coming into 2011. so the risk is greater, even though the odds of it happening next year are the same. no one, no mortal that's looking at 113 years of records and maybe a little more than that, can tell you what a 500-year flood event is. it's not within the capability of mortal man. the reasons are because if you're going to calculate the odds of a 500-year event, you would have to look across several thousand years to try to find a pattern to see if you could make that prediction, how many times did this runoff
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happen in the previous 2,000 years or the previous 3,000 years? 3,000 years would only be six different increments of 500 -year events. would it happen six times over 3,000 years? who knows. we have no records to go by. it's a judgment call made by somebody sitting in an office somewhere, probably in omaha -- in home ha -- omaha, that this is a 500-year event. that they're not going to change their management. this time we got burned really badly, mr. speaker. i want to make the point, to visualize this, this thing that members of congress haven't seen, many of us, the public haven't seen, hardly at all. think in your mind's eye what it looks like to go up theer the northwest corner of iowa, the south dakota border hsu city, iowa, and look at --
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sioux city, iowa, and look at something that was flooded all season long that's a mile and a half wide where normally it's a few hundred feet wide, then go downstream a few miles and it's eight miles wide, then down to omaha, where interstate 68 goes across and it's 11 miles wide. and once it goes through omaha and council bluffs, glenwood, that compressed it down within the levees that miraculously held or we would have had a similar to katrina event where we had several thousand people living below the walter level. if there's a breach in that dike, it's like katrina. but then it widens out again to four, five, six miles wide, into missouri, sam graves can tell you the rest of that story.
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that's watter from hill to hill, water that's not sitting there, stagnant, it's water that's flowing, out in the channel, 11 to 12 miles per hour, against the hillsides say six miles away from the channel, or seven that water is still flowing at four to five miles per hour and 12, 14, 16 feet deep, farm buildings, businesses flooded up to the eves, they're built on the highest piece of ground in the bottom, by the way this water flowing at our or -- four or five miles per hour, dropping sand, debris, not as bad as i thought, but debris, sand over thousands of sakers, some of it six feet deep, drifts of sands, dunes of sand that are 10 or 12 feet deep, the tree that was stood in water for three months, most of them will be dead next year. farms have been destroyed, thousands of acres have been destroyed. that's the magnitude of this flood. we have to put the pieces back together. some people have lost a lot and
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can't be made whole again. there are others that will find a way to put it back together, there's a lot of indecision, that's the nature of floods and we have trouble getting definitive answers to people but if they're under water, june, july, august, into september, if their building sites are surrounded by an ocean and i have boated to the farm sites, flown over it a number of times and they are sitting in the middle of an ocean where it might be five miles to dry land, that's the happy family home where they've invested their future, we can at the minimum, even though -- we have some programs, we have some individual disaster assistance, ag assistance, there's also some public assistance for the public utilities that are there, but there's not enough to put the pieces back together. the least we can do is manage the river system so that this doesn't happen again with a
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similar runoff we have this year. we built the six reservoirs to protect us from the largest runoff ever experienced. now we have the larger runoff, i cannot comprehend how it isn't simply an automatic to lower the water level marginally in the upper reservoirs to have the storage capacity to protect us from this type of runoff. just to do the math on it, the bill i've introduced requires the corps of engineers to manage the river to protect us from serious downstream runoff in the event of the largest runoff in history. all it does in the enis replaces 1881 with 2011 flood year. not particularly complicated. yes, they have to lower some water levels. but if those levels are lowered, the effect of that isn't nearly as dramatic as some of the people described. first there were some, i would
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say some things that alarm people when the corps announced they would lower the water levels 12 feet an that was too much and they couldn't manage the river. it was -- it was 12 feet on the upper three reservoirs, not all six, and that was with 70,000 cubic feet per second at a gavins point, the lowest valve we have there. after a series of question, they did another analysis they raised the flow, the discharge up to 100,000 cubic feet per second an just the adjustment of that in the upper three reservoirs changed the elevation down to six. we should be able to deal with six because historically fort peck has been 7.4 feet below the target elevation. we just lower the target elevation six feet, it's still higher than the average of what fort peck was. that's true of each of the dams in the top three, which is the only ones they wanted to adjust, because they're the
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largest. that's the effect of the bill. it also has the effect of protecting us from flooding, serious flooding, downstream. and i'm asking my colleagues, mr. speaker, to sign on to this bill, particularly those who represent the missouri river bottom area, those of us who have been affected by the flood, those who represent montana, north dakota, south dakota, nebraska, iowa, kansas, an missouri. by the way, all the delegation in iowa, democrats an republicans, have signed on and endorsed the bill. most of nebraska has. a lot of missourians who are affected have. i ask the others, take a look. this isn't complicated. the red herrings that have been drug across the trail have been addressed and corrected and the meeting last night in omaha was, i will say volatile and dynamic with people who have suffered all summer long. they want to make plans on whether to be investing and put their farms back in shape.
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they can't do that unless we give. the assurance we'll manage the river to protect them from downstream flooding. congress has the authority and in fact we have the obligation to set the standards for the corps of engineers. if we fail to do that, they are then whip sawed by all of the litigation that comes of all the special interests. those special interests can be taken care of below the level i'm suggesting and they can have the same level of priorities they had within that. irrigation, barge traffic, electrical generation, recreationation, fishing, all those things can work at that without hardly even noticing it upstream. but you notice it downstream and the billions of dollars that it takes to put this back together from the damage can never be matched by the recreational investment that gos on upstream. they'll have it anyway. it won't be diminished in any appreciable way and we need to
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have the protection. mr. speaker, that's -- i believe that's h.r. 2942. i have trouble remembering that bill number. i could be wrong. but it's the king bill, and i appreciate all those who co-sponsored it. i'm hopeful that the rest of the missouri river representatives will take a look at it. i'm under the understanding that there will be a companion bill introduced in the senate and hopefully it will be bipartisan that will give us more inertia to get this done this fall while there's still time to address this issue, if we fail to do so, this river will be managed for another year the same way it was in this past year. could i inquire as to the amount of time i have left? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman has two minutes. mr. king: thank you, mr. speaker. i will then just conclude this discussion on the river and not address any other subject matter. you know, this congress, we have not as a congress looked at this missouri river issue.
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it's a natural disaster that has been to some degree mitt dwated by the corps of engineers. some of those decisions were awfully tough on a lot of people. and i believe we have an obligation to manage this river system to protect us from serious downstream flooding, to set that priority and to set the levels not a 3.6 million acre feed but to increase the million acre feed, not all that much, but to protect us from serious downstream flooding if the members of congress that represent those areas come together unanimously, we can move a piece of legislation through this congress and i would think we could do it under suspension. it's a no-cost piece of legislation. it is a common sense piece of legislation, it isn't all that tricky though we went through 450 pages of the master manual an it was hard to write but now it's a simple solution to a complex problem. i urge my colleagues to take a look and i would thank all those involved for the public statements last night in omaha and the meetings taking place
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up and down the river. i thank the corps of engineer for their cooperation in getting me accurate data to work with and i look forward to resolving this issue at least for the long-term while we help put people back together on an individual basis in the short-term. with that, mr. speaker, i thank you for your attention and i yield back my time. . the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from ohio, ms. sutton, for 30 minutes. ms. sutton: thank you, mr. speaker. i'm happy to be here on the floor in a way tonight, because it gives me a chance to speak up for so many americans that i have the great privilege to represent from ohio's 13th
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congressional district. the people that i have the honor to serve are hard-working folks, people who want nothing more than a government that works with them and not against them. in recent days, we have seen and frankly for weeks now, we have seen a number of americans out in the street. the occupy wall street movement has grown. it has spread throughout the country. and we still hear some people say that they are confused about what it is that those who are out there protesting, what is their message. well, a few weeks ago, i traveled to wall street and joined the protestors to see what brought them there. and while there are a number of voices, there was one theme that was extraordinarily consistent and really what that theme was is there are so many people out there who are struggling and they are just begging to be heard, heard by those of us who
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come here to represent them. and they want to be heard not just their voices, but they want to see their voices reflected in policies that will improve their lives and their opportunities in this great country. we are a great country because we have a strong middle class. we have upward mobility that allows people who are willing to work hard for that american dream, that if they're willing to work hard, that there will be a chance for them to take care of themselves and their families and find a way to live in a comfortable manner, but that dream is slipping away from so many and so we see them gathered sometimes at these protests and see them when we go home into our communities because we know american families have been suffering under the effects of this recession.
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and at the same time, american families, so many workers and others are suffering, we're seeing some here in this body and beyond the house of representatives, we see them continuing to look out just for those who are at the very top of the heap. and thus comes the phrase, we are the 99% that we hear echoed on wall street and throughout the united states because they want to be recognizeded, they want to be heard, because the top 1%, those who control so much of the wealth and the power in this country, they have a lot of money to speak with. they can speak through campaign contributions, and they do. and they can speak through sometimes secret committees that impact elections and impact policy, and they do, but who will speak for the rest of the
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people, for policies that will make sense to the american people, those who i have the privilege as i said, to represent in ohio, those hard-working folks who just want a job, who just want a fair shake, who just want a fair opportunity. i believe in them. i believe in the american people and i believe if given a chance they will take that chance and climb that ladder of opportunity. that's why we see kids, students out in those protests and see -- they have gone to school, gone to college and now trying to pay off that college debt and there's no job. and instead of being focused on jobs in this body and here we are at the end of october and the republican majority has not brought any jobs agenda forward. what do we hear about? we hear about the need for more deregulation. well, the very thing that brings
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some of those to wall street, the fact that we had deregulation, deregulation, wasn't the college students i spoke of that drove -- drove the economy off the cliff, wasn't head start or our seniors, and yet it's those groups that are being targeted here for cuts instead of those who drove our economy off the cliff. all people want is for everybody to pay a fair share and for people in this country to have the chance for those who are in the middle class to stop getting squeeze and those who aspire to the middle class, to reach for that dream that has served us so well. that is why i come to the floor tonight to speak up for those who are out there who are begging to be heard. not only their words, but to have their words reflected in a
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better way and a better day. i'm honored to see that my colleague, representative tonko, a great leader, a man of great compassion and thoughtfulness, a problem solver, someone who is looking for solutions for the people, because we have the most innovative and capable people in this country, has joined me here tonight. thank you, representative tonko, for being here. mr. tonko: thank you for bringing us together for thoughtful discussion on the house floor. you are right. it's about the american dream, pursuit of the american dream. and i believe what many people across america is espousing is look at the problem from the broadest perspective in order to propose a solution. and if we are going to do an instant snapshot and not deal with the facts at hand, it will
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be wasteful energy and spinning our wheels. look back at how we came to the problem and where we borrowed totally for millionaire, billionaire tax cut, we borrowed from china and saudi arabia to give everyone in that category a tax break. now borrowing has happened throughout the course of government and oftentimes needs that get missed. i would ask what was the good that was bought here and it translates into a loss of 8.2 million jobs. we borrowed from millionaire-billionaire tax cuts from foreign economies to get the result of 8.2 million jobs lost. that's the starting point and this presidency, the obama presidency has been about growing jobs and providing the reforms that are essential and today people are speaking out. they are speaking out about the fundamental unfairness that
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exists out there and they want that transformed into fairness. they know, they acknowledge, we agree, people struggle to find a job. they are struggling as we speak to find a job. they struggle to keep a job. they struggle to make ends meet. this is the fight. this is the concern. it's about empowering the middle class, empowering the purchasing power of the middle class, which serves all income strata tremendously well. if we have a robust middle class, if we have a purchasing power, people then begin to invest and begin to share that with the regional economy, state economy, national economy. it's as plain as that. and people are now connecting the dots. they saw where we went with policies of the past and saw the deep hole that drove us into and now they're saying, we want reform, fundamental reform and it's about providing justice to the middle class.
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and i'm so happy that you're here encouraging this discussion. the dialogue must be carried forth in order to share with the general public to share what happened and what needs to occur now as we go forward. ms. sutton: i thank the gentleman and you put it so very well. and this chart helps us begin with the starting point for what people out there are feeling. they know that something is fundamentally unfair and they know something is very, very out of whack and know that our economy suffered a great recession. they know that they are still suffering a great recession and you know what else they know? they know that wall street has recovered. they know that in 2009, after receiving trillions in taxpayer-funded bailouts the top 38 firms gave payouts to their employees during that great recession and calling on us for
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increased fairness and taking some of this and translating it into opportunity. after all, it was the taxpayers who came to the aid. and so we have with us tonight -- i'm happy to welcome representative john garamendi, a great leader, a guy who understands that we need to create jobs in this country and need to make things in america. representative garamendi, thank you for joining us. mr. garamendi: thank you very much, representative sutton and representative tonko and great to be talking about basic fairness, how is america going to get back on track and create jobs. i did a town hall on wednesday this last week and the subject matter on everybody's mind was the jobs. how are we going to get a job and how am i go go to stay in my home. there is a way to do it. american jobs act that the president proposed -- if that
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had been proposed by anybody else, it may well have passed the senate, but the american jobs act has the ingredients to get americans back to work. just this week -- last week now, the senate took up a couple pieces of the american jobs act, a bill that would put almost 300,000 teachers back in the classroom and 100,000 police and firemen back on the streets to protect us with a one half of 1% on increase in taxes of those who have an adjusted gross income of over $1 million. and the senate republicans killed the bill with a filibuster and didn't allow it to come to a vote. they killed a bill that would have put 400,000 americans back to work in the classroom and on
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the streets, policing and protecting us with firemen. what are they thinking? there is a basic gross unfairness in that that a middle-class teacher lost their job because of the recession, lack of tax revenue at the county or state level. they have lost their job and because the republicans in this senate and in this house refuse to put a little tiny tax on millionaires' income, those people can't go to work. where do you stand in fairness? and this wall street business, o.m.g., text this, folks. the wall street bonuses, you have 2009 on your chart there, ms. sutton, but the wall street bonuses in 2010 and 2011 are even bigger, extraordinary income for wall street while
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teachers cannot get a job, while police and firemen are out of work and protection in our community is not available and the wall street barons are making money and not making loans and doing this by gambling in computerized trading and it's got to stop. this basic unfairness has got to stop. thank you for bringing this to our attention and you wonder what this occupy wall street is about? people know there is something wrong and it's just not right. ms. sutton: you are so right and at a time when all lkted officials across all levels of government should be focused on jobs, the republicans are offering nothing by way of jobs and fixated on protecting millionaires and billionaires and wall street banks that
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helped drive our economy off the cliff and they go after things like medicare that our seniors depend upon and look at cuts for nutrition programs that are so desperately needed. they want to take it out of the hide of our workers. it wasn't our workers who drove our economy off the cliff and frankly they are not part of the problem. getting them back to work, the american people back to work is the key to solving our problem. and they want us focused on jobs. so i'm grateful you are here and i'm glad, representative tonko, you are here to stand up for common sense, for a future that is as great as our past. mr. tonko: before i came to the house three years i served as a president and c.e. oth and saw what small business creation was about from a clean energy perspective and we can grow our
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self-sufficiency for energy supplies by moving towards an innovation model. how does it happen? if not the great majority of job creation in the last decade was done through small business, through the entrepreneur, through an investment in the ideas economy. and you know, if we were going to invest money, should it have been for those tax cuts for those high on the perch or those start-ups that need their investments to grow jobs in the local-regional economy? that's what it is all about and what people have told me in their statements as they gather in communities, they said it's about pursuit of the american dream. and from their perspective it's like the evaporation of the american dream. it is getting away from them. they want to embrace that dream. if they play by the rules, they should expect -- and work hard
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-- they should expect to achieve success and we are taking that away from the middle class. . give them an innovation economy. we drove an economy, as an infant nation, we developed a westward movement and industrial revolution. we developed world with product delivery through the factories across america that pioneering spirit is still alive within us, it's in our d.n.a. now we grow to a new realm of product development and ideas. we are in the midst of a need, globally, for all sorts of inventions and innovation for energy solutions, for health care solutions, for communications. we had the technical wizardry. we have the intellect. we have the intellectual capacity that needs to be embraced by this nation and the house ought to show leadership in that regard. we ought to tap into that
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resource and enable it to be the job manufacturing center across this country. small business, entrepreneurs, innovation economy. moving ideas along to pro toe types to manufactured concepts. that's how you make a down payment and investment in areas that grow tro -- that grow an economy. not this rewarding people simply because they're of an income strata with a tax cut at a time when we need to invest in the innovation economy. you look at the global race on clean energy and innovation, cupries are bulking up in their investment, investing in r&d, in research and development. we are cutting those programs. the advocacy to cut, the president said in his american jobs act proposal, invest in reserge, invest in the small business community, invest in job creation. that's the sort of investment, that's the sort of investment that gets america to the new realm of job creation. the investment that has been
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made to this point has been about investing in tax cuts. that's an order of spending that we cannot endure and we need to go forward with a strong agenda for the middle class. it's been said over and over through the years, no pain, no gain. the middle class is absorbing autopain and they're now questioning, where's the gain. they can't take the pain of over taxation, they can't take the pain of unemployment they can't take the pain of program cuts like medicare. like medicaid. like job creation. research money. these are the painful measures that have been induced their way and they say no. they say emphatically, no, to that. and now they want to know, where are the jobs? they ask the right question. and i'm very proud of the conference in which we serve, the democratic caucus has been about manufacturing, make it in america, jobs agenda, tax fairness, policies that take us
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forward, not backwards. so again, representative sutton, representative garamendi, it's great to add my voice with yours in this house for a legitimate agenda for the middle class. it's about empowering our middle class, the strength of america, the fabric that takes us forward. >> i thank the gentleman for his passion and for his brilliant remarks. you know, there's brilliance in common sense and we know the american people, this is no secret. they get it. that's why they're speaking up. they are standing up for what has always made this country so great. mr. tonko: representative sutton if you'll just yield, i heard you on this floor talking about the plight of ohio workers. i've heard you speak of the sound investment for workers, that it's about empowering the worker, they have a voice in bet tu sutton that shows compassion, care and concern. they have a voice in representative garamendi about
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being smart in our agenda. if we can see it through the eyes of the american worker, people being taxed unfairly because they make money through work and we're taxing differently those who make money on money. it's a different scenario and your advocacy, your passion, your empathy for workers is stated repeatedly from both of you on this floor. that's what should motivate and inspire us. ms. sutton: i hope everybody will take that approach. i thank the jell for his kind words but you know, you're right, the workers can say it better than anybody. when i went to wall street, when i traveled there to stand with those who are standing up for fundamental fairness and opportunity, that's the essence of what it is. i heard from so many people in ohio. and they put it so well. i'll just share a couple of remarks they sent my way. jessie from silver lake, a
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strong working middle class drives the economy, not 25% of the wealth in the upper 1%. in a democracy all votes should have the opportunity to rise. there will always be some with more money and some with less money but this disparity now is disastrous for our future. debbie from avon says, we need to stop corporate greed. the rich are continuing to get wealthier and not pass down opportunities to people who are the most needy in the form of jobs. people want to work for a living. we need the people who are benefiting the most to give people an opportunity by creating jobs. my fear is that we are creating a society where there's strong resentment. alice says, many big companies have not created jobs in the u.s. instead, they've taken many of their jobs to the countries with the cheapest labor, the least regulations and few employee rights. this flies in the face of the republicans' concern that tax on the rich mean fewer jobs.
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on that point, you know every day in the united states we are losing 15 factories and yet here on this house floor, those on the other side of the aisle are content on trying to protect the loopholes that encourage jobs to be shipped overseas. we don't think that's a good idea. we don't think that's good for america. you know, when i pledge allegiance to the floog, i pledge allegiance to the floog of the united states of america. but when multinationals pledge allegiance to the flag, i don't know who they pledge allegiance to. but i think it's really important that people down here stand up for u.s. manufacturing and u.s. workers. close those loopholes that continue to ship our jobs overseas and make some sense, frankly, of our trade policies. we need to crack down on unfair
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trade practices like currency manipulation. we passed that bill through the house last year that would have reined in china's currency manipulation. it's ready to go again. it passed in a bipartisan way. if the speaker of the house would bring it to the floor, we know we will pass it. it would -- it's estimated it would create one million jobs. it would make the difference of a million jobs, it would cost us nothing. and yet, representative garamendi, there you stand with a plaque that is really important because instead of going for those million jobs, what do we have? mr. garamendi: what we have is the republican agenda. they've been in control of the house of representatives since january. more than -- other 10 months now and they have not produced one jobs bill. you were talking about the issue of shipping jobs overseas and it is true. the american tax system prior to december of last year gave a
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tax break of some $15 billion a year to american corporations for every job they shipped overseas. the democrats by a democratic vote passed a law that eliminated that tax break. not one republican voted to eliminate the tax break that american corporations had when they shipped jobs offshore. just so you know where people are in this house. the republicans refused to end a tax break that american corporations had when they offshored jobs. the republican agenda, no jobs. that's their agenda. they talk about cuts every time there's been a cut an there's been numerous cuts. we've been through this for the past 10 months. every cut is somebody's job. they've lost that job. what we need is a different agenda. what we need is the democratic agenda. what we need is a better deal for america. and it's this.
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we'll make it in america. we will build, we will rebuild those parts of the american economy that key ate jobs, solid jobs. you mentioned the china currency bill. yes, it is true. and they say american businesses can't compete. that was directly from our republican colleagues. that's not true. economists say over and over again the american industry can compete on a fair level -- on a fair, level playing field. when china has its currency 25% to 35% cheaper, there's no way we can compete. it's unfair, it's unrealistic, it's got to end. the senate passed that bill. the speaker of this house has refoozed to allow the chinese currency bill to come to the floor for a vote. we passed it last year when the democrats ran the house. this year with the republican, i parently they want to make sure china succeeds and america fails. bring the bill to the floor, mr. speaker. bring the bill to the floor so that we can vote here in this house on the chinese currency
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bill and end the unfairness. if they want to continue, china wants to continue to undervalue its currency, then we'll put a tariff on their goods coming in here and we will have a level playing field. we need a better deal from america. here's the republican deal. no jobs. no jobs. that's what they are about. we're about building jobs in america. we're about making it in america once again. helping our manufacturing sector, creating those middle class jobs and we can do it. with fair tax policy, as mr. tonko has so eloquently explained, and for the manufacturing policies that you have, ms. sutton. thank you so very much for the opportunity to be on the floor with you and to talk about making it in america, rebuilding the american middle class. we can do it. s that great country. ms. sutton: i thank the gentleman, i thank you for laying it out in simple terms. the fact of the matter is we
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can invest in america. we can put people back to work. we do have a long-term deficit we're going to deal with but the biggest deficit we have right now is a deficit of scrobs. and -- of jobs. we have no deficit of work. there's much to be done and we've got a lot of people trying to do it, wanting the chance to do it. we could -- we could build our infrastructure and when we do we can do it with american iron, steel and manufactured goods. mr. garamendi: and the president's proposal, $50 billion. ms. sutton: the president's proposal, to put people back to work. we can't get rid of the long-term deficit unless people go back to work. this is a great country that we have the privilege of serving and we just want to make sure we do right by the country and by the people who we are here to represent. we have heard it before, we know we've heard those out there who say corporations are people. i say people are people. those are the people i'm here
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to support. representative tonko. mr. tonko: representative sutton, i hear people who listen and endorse our concepts but they'll ask, well, how do we afford these investments? the work done here in the house, on the floor, in the united states senate, is all about priorities. it's establish thinking right priorities. i have a bill that would cap, well below the $700,000 we allow for contractors to the u.s. government, to reduce waste. don't go after programs that serve the middle class, invest in job creation, i know we're running out of time. thank you for bringing us together on the house floor. ms. sutton: thank you, representative ton sew -- tonko, thank you, representative garamendi. push back attacks on medicare, we need to stand up for workers and stand up for jobs and we need to stand up and make sure those who have done well in
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america do well by america and wall street and everyone needs to pay their fair share. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields her time. under the speaker's announced policy of january 5, 2011, the chair recognized the gentleman from wisconsin, mr. riffel for 30 minutes. mr. ribble: over the next decade, the federal government is expected to spend $43 trillion. if the supercommittee only cuts $1.2 trillion as required by the budget control act, we reduce federal spending by only 2.7%. if the supercommittee would go big and agrees to cut $4 trillion over 10 years, we are still only cutting the federal
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budget by 9.1%. mechanic, we can do better and we must do better. we cannot continue to spend our nation's future away. my children, my grandchildren, deserve so much better and so much more. i'm proud tonight to stand here with one of my colleagues, the gentleman from oregon, to have a discussion tonight about this very issue. republicans and democrats alike, we believe that we must do more, be more, and be better for the next generation of americans. and with that, i'd like to yield some time to my colleague from oregon. mr. schrader:, it was more common to do this but it shows an opportunity for actually good big picture agreements on what
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we need to do in general although we may disagree in some of the particulars. i would like to point out some of the problems that my colleague from wisconsin alluded to. we have a chart that talks about the amount of money we are borrowing to make our payments. he is right, we are spending way too much. spending $3. trillion, revenues, $2.2 trillion. borrowing 40% of what we spend. you can't do that in your households or small businesses and can't do that and keep our fiscal balance sheets in play. our debt is up to $15 trillion and deficit has been stuck at $1.3 trillion. the projections are even worse. this is the long-term projections given the current rate of spending and level of revenues which are low at this
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point in time. it's a little bit busy, but this is the actual current law budget, and that's the stuff we have to budget and the congressional budget office puts out. but the real budget is what the committee for a responsible budget. that is the long-term debt. that assumes that we aren't going to eliminate all the tax breaks. it assumes that we aren't going to have do crmp s pony up. and do something to keep the alternative minimum tax from affecting americans. this is not a good picture. look at what happened historically. we are in a bad situation at this point in time and there is pretty big historical drivers to this. i would like to switch to a different chart. this chart shows where our revenues and spending have been.
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the top line here is our spending. this blacker line below is our revenues. they have been out of whack forever when we had a democrat president and republican congress were they back in shape, 15 years ago. we have had our revenues probably in the 18.5% range and our expenditures in the 20% range, not great but worse now. 25% in spending and only 14% or 15% in revenues. to emphasize the point my colleague from wisconsin made. we have to get this back under control. i would point out real quick we are to that point and giving away $1 trillion in tax breaks and my colleague has some good points and we have to get this tax code under control. as a small businessman you can't r -- you can't do your own.
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i could do my own taxes. that's impossible these days and shouldn't be that way. let's look -- the other piece of the problem is the entitlement system. people don't want to admit this, particularly people on my side of the aisle and going broke here in the medicare system. bottom blue is social security, and other expenditures and we are busting through with medicare. that's not because of mall feesance and there is waste, fraud and abuse, but there are simple economics here. in 1960, five workers for every one beneficiary. right now only three workers for every beneficiary and in 2035, only two workers for every beneficiary. less money in to take care of more folks. yeah, more folks. back in 1975, had about 25 million beneficiaries, i
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believe, now it's almost 89 million beneficiaries and the cost per medicare recipient has gone through the roof. we are living healthier lives but we are spending, in 1975, $2,000 per medicare enrollee and now it's $18,000. more people, more expensive care, which is good, quality care and less workers to help provide for the benefits adds up to this huge, huge grollingt growth in spending that will be facing us in the next few years unless we get our act together. i would like to turn it back to my colleague from wisconsin who has interesting ideas. mr. ribble: our country is facing a demographics problem. right now our birth rate is getting close to replacement levels and the circumstance that my colleague just showed with medicare and social security spending outstripping our
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ability to pay is in part because of this. we have a declining population. i have a grandson who is eight years old today and when he reaches age 65, 47% of the population will be aged 65 or older and this problem if we don't address it soon will get worse. the sooner we get at it, the better. we need to take a look at all areas of spending and we need to take a look at revenue. my colleague mentioned the need for tax reform and i couldn't agree more. our tax system is notoriously complex, forcing families and employers to spend over six billion hours trying to negotiate our tax code. the u.s. spent $60 billion per year on pharmaceutical r&d which has the potential to save lives.
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i would like to show the american people what our tax code looks like. over 9,000 pages long of fine print. and no one can really understand it. and i want to compare it to something else. this is the united states constitution. when our founders founded our country and they were able to print it out in 30 pages right here and yet today our tax code is almost 10,000 pages. and inside this document are myriad ways that businesses and individuals can find loopholes places to hide and places to basically kind of dictate how they can apply their taxes. our taxes are applied to them. we need to simplify this tax code for sure. and i would challenge the committee as they look at ways to consider removing loopholes, removing tax deductions and
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simplifying this tax code so we can have a tax code that is fairer, simpler and easier for the american people. the idea that we are spending billions of hours to do tax returns. take, for example, my own small business and during my career, i had c corporations, l.l.l.c. corporations. we would pass through to our share holders and employees and pay those taxes at a personal level. it's easier to say well, let's change the tax code for businesses. if we don't change the tax code for every american to make it fairer, easier and simpler, we don't get at the problem. i want to talk about identifying the problem correctly. here in washington, d.c. we might connect the dots but we
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don't often collect the right dots. let me show you a slide that talks about consumer spending. i think the idea is if we discuss consumer spending, most americans would say consumer spending goes down during recessions and therefore we should come up with a tax reform, $200 tax credit so we can boost consumer spending to get our economy going again. if we look at it, each of the dark lines here represent recessions that our country has faced. and we did have in our last recession, a modest drop in consumer spending. if we feel that we have identified the problem in consumer spending, this chart shows that consumer spending is not the problem. it is not the problem. now, did it drop a little bit? it dropped back in two years' time but didn't drop much. if we fix that and consumer
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spending is higher than it was even during the recession. if we tell ourselves that consumer spending is a problem and try to fix it, we aren't identifying what the real problem is. we need to remember what put us into this mess and it was a housing crisis. housing has not come back at all and anything we look at as far as trying to fix our economy, spurring job growth, we need to look at our tax code, the regulatory environment and energy policy and home construction. and those type of things will smur economic growth. those are the type of things we need to focus on that will change the dynamics of the u.s. economy again. and i will turn it back to my colleague again. >> thank you. thank you. yeah, we have to get this economy going again. mr. schrader: everyone is looking for a magic wand from d.c., economic growth -- and my
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colleague has a chart demonstrating that really well. the point being it will take a huge lift and huge push by this committee to go way beyond what anyone has considered this the past. we already passed this budget control act in august that sets some targets for our domestic and defense discretionary spending. but that's only a third of our budget. 2/3 of our budget is the mandatory payments. some of the entitlement programs as well as ag payments as well as other income-stream programs for speaking interest groups. we have to get the payments under control so we get on a trajectory that will make a difference. our people say, let's just cut defense or get rid of the department of education, i'm not sure i agree with all of those ideas out there. certainly, we could reduce in
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both of those departments. but what i have to point out, our current deficit is $1.3 trillion, more than the combined budget of the defense and domestic discretionary programs. so you have to get at the long-term programs and the revenue issues that my colleague and i are talking about to put this country on a different trajectory. how do you get that business to start investing or private enterprise to be part of the economic growth. we may disagree or agree in different ways, but i would point out to my colleagues at the end of the day, it was republicans and democrats that passed the continuing resolution for 2011 and both voted to put the budget control act in play and both voted that the 2012 budget came out the way it was. the media looks at us as huge failures and we could do better, but at the end of the day when the chips are down, we are
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delivering and it's up to the supercommittee to do the same. they are coming up -- as a small businessman, i can't believe i'm saying this, $1.2 trillion or $1.5 trillion. that's a hunk of money. to solve this problem, top economists in this country, think tanks and congressman ryan's work, they have all indicated we have to do much more to change the trajectory of our country's financial future and that is getting close to a $4 trillion change. we made a down payment in 2017 and the committee is charged with doing 12 or 15. they have to get more in savings and revenues to close that gap. we could argue and five different opinions as to how much debt we should hold, what's the right amount of deficit on
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an annual basis but a lot of folks think if we get our debt down without harming the recovery, is the maven question there and get our deficits down to 3% of g.d.p. on an annual basis, we will be in a much better spot, a spot we will not get our credit downgraded by moody's and standard and poors. and this committee has to go way beyond the natural division. everybody's cut is someone else sacred program. i would look at the department of defense a little bit differently, but there are some opportunities in contracting, weapons procurement and i want to protect the men and women on the ground, but this is not enough. we have to look at the biggest cost drivers and that's terribly broken. another idea that's out there that i happen to subscribe that
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and gets horse power is the bowles-simpson approach to tax reform. they talk about changing the tax rates and tax breaks. they get rid of the tax breaks -- get rid of all those tax breaks and reduce everyone's tax rates. we can reduce the tax rates for every single income bracket and still put money on the table to pay down on our debt and keep a couple of programs alive. their proposal reduces on average, the low-income tax rates, 15%. and higher income and corporate income taxes down from 39% to 28% and territorial tax system along with the individual changes as i gee with my colleague, you have to do individual and corporate together or it doesn't work with the reasons he talked about with an s corporation and i'm a small
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businessman and i paid principal on. i didn't see it at my dinner table or my bank account. . . maybe something that goes away after 10 years, something that makes us more competitive, puts on a trend to grow and get businesses to make that investment they're holding off at this stabling of the game. i'll yield back. mr. ribble: i think we think the investment has to come from washington, d.c., but the key is to have private investment. every time private investment goes down, unemployment rises. private investment goes down, unemployment rises. there's a key linchpin to our
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economy, it's related to private investment. companies like mine and my colleague's from oregon, his company -- his company. if we don't modify the tax code and fix the regulatory environment where there's so much uncertainty, if we don't address these things, then businesses are afraid and fearful to invest. that's what we're seeing in the u.s. economy. there's more money sitting on the sidelines than ever. we hear about it every single day. and that fear factor is keeping our economy from moving forward. without prives investment it's difficult to drive unemployment levels lower. we need to drive unemployment levels lower as quickly and as in as fast order as we possibly can to put americans back to work. i agree with your comments about the spending habit, how we have to address the key drivers of our debt, which include both mandatory spending and entitlements like medicare and social security as well as the large discretionary
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spending in defense. it suspect an either-or, it must be a both-and. unfortunately, for some reason, it's difficult for us to get there. every single member represents a different district. their makeup of their districts are different. i come from a district that's agricultural. so farm subsidies and discussions about agriculture, whether it's meat production, whether it's dairy and cheese production, whether it's corn production, play into our nation's deficit and debt. we know that the pie has to get smaller. and at some point we have to be honest with the american people, mr. speaker, that we must begin to reduce the size. that means federal largess has to go down and we must encourage private investment to spur economic growth and get this country moving again. but there are things that are also obstructing it, and that is the idea that sometimes we end up demonizing great ideas, really good ideas, or even we
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demonize ideas that aren't so good. i'll tell you, the way we speak to one another, not just in this chamber but in the media, how we talk to each other in our campaign commercials and what have you, i think destroys confidence. i think it hurts the system. i think it damages debate. i think it keeps good men and women from possibly running for an office like the one i hold here. and we have to somehow, some way, find a way to begin to speak to each other like adults. the things that we teach our children when they go to kindergarten, we could learn here. we have to learn to listen with open ears and see each other in a different light and begin to actually have solid debate about ideas without criticizing the person. without demonizing the individual. and without demonizing the
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idea. let's instead open our debate, open our ears, open our eyes and find solutions so that our children and grandchildren can have a brighter and more prosperous tomorrow. it's part of the reason that my friend and colleague from oregon today and i came to the chamber tonight. that we could have this conversation and demonstrate to the american people that it is possible to treat each other with respect even when we have some disagreement. i think we're drying to -- trying to demonstrate that tonight. >> will the gentleman yields? mr. ribble: i will. mr. schrader: maybe i haven't come to my duty and spoken up with my friends across the aisle, it give the american people who watch c-span or cnn or you name the show, that we're here to have political gain. i think in most places, folks
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can tell what's honest discussion. when i go back home, people are more concerned about just get along. they're past the point, almost, except for the extremes, in criticizing me or the work here. they just want us to start to get along and do what the quelt from wisconsin talks about. work together. recognize you're not going to get all your way. i'm not going to get all my way. your ideas are as valid as mine and me talking to you for another 20 days on the floor won't make you believe that your ideas are wisconsin. what's good for wiffing may not be perfect for oregon or texas or new york but it has a valid point. i think at this point in time it's put up or shut up time. this country is in a world of hurt. not like i've ever seen in my lifetime. i hope never to see this again
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in my lifetime. i've got two young boys at home that are -- one is out of a job, one is trying to get a job, just got out of college. i'm lucky that my other kids have jobs right now. i thank my lucky stars. but it's a tough, tough environment. we don't want to end up like greece, haas the poster child for america to look at in a negative way. greece's debt is 150% of g.d.p. 150%. that country is imploding as we speak. the european union is trying to help them, bail them out. what's going on? actually right now, greece is scaling back its pensions dramatically, increasing property taxes significantly, and cutting income tax exemptions by 40%. that's great, kurt, that should have happened a while ago. here's what they kid a -- did a while ago. they increased tax rit -- rates, raised excise taxes and
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had a reduction, of 15%, in public wages. this is our country's future if we don't take the little steps now. they seem harsh, they seem tough but as my colleague spoke eloquently about, we have to do little things now. everyone's ox has to get gored a little bit, to be fair, but not so much that you end up throwing people out on the streets. we can make our medicare and social security programs stronger. we can have a tax code that's more friendly to small business and makes us more competitive internationally going forward. we have to have the courage to step up and do that. i will stand up with my colleague for wisconsin behind this supercommittee if they go big. if they just kick the can down the road by doing the $1.2 million minimal what i need to do to get out of dodge think, i'll -- thing, i'll be critical. but if they're big and broad thinking and realize their kids and grandkids have a stake in
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this and that the future depends on this, if we don't do this, we'll end up a second tyre country. if we do not come with a $4 trillion comprehensive approach overall, including the $900 billion we already put down, we will be downgraded, i think, by every single major rating agency significantly. china's currency will look a lot more attractive, potentially, than the u.s. collar. if it -- than the u.s. dollar. if it looks like america is headed the way of the european union, business men and women won't want to invest in america, they'll invest in india, china, brazil, maybe even russia. that's not a prospect i want for my kids' future or my country's future. we have a lot at stake in this point in time. failure is not an option. failure is clearly not an option. i think we need to put aside partisanship, look at the big
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picture, not poke each other in the eye. look at the senate the other day, right? the senate, we're coming back from our work period, the senate has two interesting votes. on the surface, both pieces had merit. one was, let's do, in my opinion, anyway. let's do a deal where we help school kids have teachers and we have first responders but they poke the other party in the eye by saying, let's have a millionaire's tax. the next vote is a 3% withholding vote to get the onus of this potential tax off businesses and contractors so they can get back to working without having to pay the government with money they don't have but that's paid for with a 20% cut in discretionary spending, poking the democrats in the eye. that's not what this country should be about. that's an example of how do it wrong.
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i'd like to think this next election, and frankly the future of the country relies on people like my friend here from wisconsin, who are willing to put partisanship aside, take the hits, i'm getting hit back home on my discussions but i'm explaining it to folks, maybe i'm lucky, coming from oregon, folks are willing to listen a little bit. i think most americans are willing to listen if you have smart people like my colleague from wisconsin willing to lay it out for you where it just makes sense. i yield back to my colleague. mr. ribble: i want you to know that my colleague, mr. schrader, and i, together with representative rooney, sent a letter to the super committee. i'd like to read it to the american people. we write to you as a bipartisan group of representatives from across the political spectrum in the belief that the success of your committee is vital to our country's future. we know many, many in washington and around the country don't believe we in
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congress and in your committee can successfully meet this challenge. we can and we must. to exceed all options for mandatory spending and others must be on the table. we know from other bipartisan frameworks that targeted some $4 trillion -- that a total of $4 there will in deficit reduction is necessary to ensure america's fiscal well being. our country needs our honest, bipartisan judgment and our political courage. your committee has been given a unique opportunity and authority to act. we are prepared to support you in this effort. my colleague and i have backed and encourage the supercommittee to go big. to look at $4 trillion of deficit reduction, 9.1%. with eknow we can do that. it does with -- we know we can do that. it does not have to be draconian. i know we can get there. for the last minute or so, my colleague from oregon, any last
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comments? mr. schrader: i want to say it's a pleasure to be on the floor of the united states house of representatives with a friend and colleague willing to put country first. i hope this is the beginning of a good relationship in this body and brings our country out of its worst fiscal crisis since the great depression. i yield back. mr. ribble: thank you very much. mr. speaker, i move that the house do now adjourn. the speaker pro tempore: does the gentleman yield back his time? the question is on the motion to adjourn. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the motion is adopted. accord --
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a bill that requires social security benefits to be included when calculating eligibility for medicaid and for subsidies to purchase health insurance. follow the house live here on c-span when members return tomorrow at noon eastern for legislative business. hank paulson said the whole world will pay a price if china doesn't meet its economic goals. mr. paulson noted that china is not immune to europe's debt cry is sis saying its leaders should pay attention in order to avoid the same fate. >> what's happening in europe is china's second warning bell in as many years. china is just too big an economy and still too dependent
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on exports to ignore what's happening in the early markets whose demand has powered china's growth for so long. and frankly the president -- present crisis should make financial reforms more, not less, urgent for china. china's been able to wall off its financial system in the past, during the asian financial crisis, for example, and again more recently. but can a $6 trillion chinese economy deeply integrated into the global system remain forever immune to what is happening in the $30 trillion economies of europe and the united states? it cannot. >> watch this entire event tonight at 10:00 p.m. eastern on c-span2. here's a look at our prime time schedule on the c-span networks. here on c-span, republican presidential candidate rick perry discussions his tax plan
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with voters in south carolina. on c-span2, testimony on europe's debt crisis and how it could impact the global recovery. and right now on c-span3, fema director talks about post-katrina disaster response legislation and his agency's lack of funding. all these events tonight on the c-span tv networks. congressional budget office director douglas elmendorf testifies tomorrow in front of the joint deficit reduction committee. he's expected to talk about security and nonsecurity discretionary spending. you can see that hearing live wednesday at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span. although this headline proved false, dewey's defeat by harry truman was iconic and he continued to impact political history. this week on "the contenders" follow the career of tom e. dewey, a dominant force in new york state politics, as
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three-time governor and influencing national politics in the elections of dwight eisenhower and richard nixon. "the contenders" live from new york city. friday at 8:00 p.m. eastern on c-span. next, a discussion on the loan guarantee program and the solar company so lind are a. this is 45 minutes. >> "washingt" continues. host: we are joined now by congressman cliff stearns to is been leading the investigation into solyndra. your investigation has been building toward having secretary steven chu come to testify. when will that happen? guest: we are hoping it happens before thanksgiving. we are going to ask the legal counsel for secretary steven
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chu to come forward and explain why and how they supported the roughly half of $1 billion through two private hedge funds. at that point, all the tax payer money was subordinated to these two hedge funds. host: i want to get into how that subordination worked, reports have come up that the energy department has offered steven chu to testify next week, and you and several members of your committee said you wanted to come in s soon as possible, why not take them up on the offer? guest: first of all we are pleased that he wishes to testify. i know some people have less for his resignation, but i think he should be given every opportunity to present his case. of course, it would be under
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oath. he made the decision when he came in, and i think the council he inherited perhaps did not wish to assign some of these documents, or perhaps the council he set up decided to come up with another analysis, but i think we should like to hear from him and give him a fair opportunity to explain his case. but, before we bring him and, it would be nice to have this council, the people that signed the oath, and perhaps the council he inherited. on the last hearing we had been chief financial officer of the treasury department where the checks are cut. they create money, and basically transfer it to the department of energy, and the department of energy gives out this money. it is not a loan guarantee. there is no private, commercial bank involved. essentially, the treasury department is spending the
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money, giving it to a doe , who gives it out to all these companies. that is basically what happened. host: we are talking to congressman cliff stearns of the sixth district of florida. you want to ask questions about solyndra or any other issues give us a call on the democratic line, -- host: congressman, you said some people have called for secretary steven chu's resignation. do you think he needs to resign over this? guest: before i would commit on this i would like to hear from him personally. i think he should be given a fair opportunity to present his case. as you know, one of this council
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has indicated their interpretation of the policy act of 2005 is they could subordinate, so let's hear their side before we make a judgment. host: let's explain the subordination. what do you think actually went wrong? was a law broken? explain the subordination issue that seems to be the crux of the energy and commerce committee's investigation. guest: is one sentence that basically says you cannot subordinate any taxpayer's money. host: we have that sentence from the energy policy act. guest: if you could show that, that would be good. host: this is the section under which this loan was given out under. section 17 02 states -- the
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obligation selby subject to the condition that the obligation is not supported to other financing. guest: white. as it turned up -- right. as it turned out, secretary berner said in his 28 years he is never seen subordination to taxpayer money to outside companies like these two hedge funds. so, we have the chief financial officer of the treasury department categorically saying it has never been done. that is 28 years. now we have this back the by the energy policy act to host: what you are saying is it legally cannot be done? guest: you cannot legally subordinate. host: this is from "business week." the council for the energy department wrote a justification for when this happened, and she broke "-- wrote -- "the
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secretary brought authority to take engines that would protect and maximize the interests of the united states." it is their argument that he could take this step if he thought it was in the best interest of the taxpayers, regardless of what other parts of a law said? guest: we have a constitution and a set of laws. council cannot decide on her own, or her council representatives, what is in the best interest of the united states. you have to follow the law. in this case, she did not care she needed value judgment based on this company -- did not. she made value judgment based on this company -- deere predicted to go bankrupt two years ago. they were pathetic investing. she is taken as one sentenced to you just read and interpreted that the united states'best
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interest is to subordinate taxpayers? that does not make sense. if they have threaded $35 million at risk, why would be in the best -- $335 million at risk, why would it be in the best interest of the united states? host: they are saying this was sort of a bailout at the time, this was in the best interest of time to keep solyndra going for a longer, correct? guest: right, but they had red flags from the office of budget management, from the department of energy, from mary miller when she sent e-mail to the department of energy saying you should go to the department of justice to get a legal roller -- ruling on this. host: mary miller is with? guest: the treasury department. here you have these red flags. secondly you have people in the
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administration that said go to the department of justice to get a ruling, yet this lady went ahead and said in her opinion, it is the best interest to subordinates taxpayers. it does not make sense, and when you read this sentence is clear you cannot do it. host: you have seen something like 78,000 pages of documents. have you found a smoking gun here yet? guest: i think we have. the best thing is to bring in the council, and the secretary of energy, and let them present their case for the american people. if, in the estimation of the american people, he broke the law, then i think that would be clear that there was no justification for what he did. host: of austin is on the democratic line from waldorf, maryland. good morning. are you there, austin? caller: i think this $500
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million is a drop in the bucket. how come you're not investigating the crooks on wall street that brought the country down? if this company had not gone bankrupt and succeeded would you still be investigating them? thank you. guest: if the company does not go bankrupt and is successful, they would not be in the headline. in this case they were a poster child for the administration. the president and vice president were touting it as all of the new green energy they were going to do. that is perhaps the one we looked at first because the president said it was the best and the most advanced example. drawing an analogy to wall street, me and many other people think a lot of things that happened on wall street were wrong, people should have gone to jail, and the commission that looked at it came up with their
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conclusion which is something i do not think the majority of americans agree with. i did not think they're the same things. you're talking about solar manufacturers of panels to create jobs in america and the financial crisis in 2008. my committee does not have jurisdiction over wall street. host: we had your colleague on the investigation on recently to talk about not just the solyndra -- get your reaction. sorry, we will pull them up. guest: you could tell me what she said. host: one of the issues she brought up is that we should investigate all of the doe loans, and that is something you have asked for.
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guest: i have asked for more than one. sun power is one we have seen toyota it turns out most of the jobs will be in mexico -- scene. it turns out most of the jobs will be in mexico. i s for -- i have asked for looking at tesla, which is making these high-end automotive parts that are all electric, cost over one as a thousand dollars. it is a high-end market, and that it cannot go the defeat the distance as a guest car, so we -- they can not go the distance as a gas car, so we have to wonder why we are giving this money to the high density to cars. host: you're talking about the loan program that was started
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in 2005. total money given out was $35.9 billion under three different kinds of programs, solyndra been the 17 05 program, which was $16.2 billion given out. have any of these other companies gone bankrupt? guest: no, but evergreen solar went bankrupt. host: have these been given department of energy loans? guest: these have money from state or federal loan guarantees to develop solar manufacturing, and in all honesty the solar manufacturing markets dropped because of the huge amount of china bringing over here solar panels to flood the market. so, that hurt the american companies. i understand that.
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host: did think the department of energy loan program was a bad idea to begin with? when it was passed there was money put into it to fund projects that may not have worked up. the point, as i understand it, was that some of these projects would not work out, is that correct? guest: there is a possibility date suggested some would not be successful, but they did not think in terms of this amount of money, and also did not realize that a lot of this money was going to manufacturing instead of research and development, which would provide incentives to have spinoff companies. when you log into the market and decide winners and losers -- when you move out into the market and decide winners en barack -- winners and losers, that is the government doing venture capitalism. we did not want to get involved in that.
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host: nicole is in lancaster, california. good morning. caller: good morning. my three comments -- 1, what is intent to do about space junk. how does he fare with quicker, faster, u.s. printing press among the international world? host: a few questions on green energy jobs in general, but is there when you want to take, or do you want to stick with solyndra? guest: the president made a strong case he would turn the country around by using loan guarantees to deal with wind turbines and the manufacture of solar panels. i do not think that is going to happen. when you look at the solar
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panels and wind turbines they're not necessarily economically viable, and at the same time china is doing the same thing with cheap labor. there are no environmental or safety conditions in china. they also have ready access to raw materials. if there is so much regulation in this industry in this country, it is more difficult for american companies to compete. that is why some of these companies are subcontracting manufacturing to finland, for better is, or mexico. the long and short of it is that is an area we would be better off using the technology we have from aerospace and nasa to try to come up with a competitive advantage should we have that the chinese do not, and put that into solar panel manufacturing. if we're going head-to-head, he will be difficult to compete.
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host: this is a column today from "usa today" from the director of the copenhagen consensus center. he writes instead of building factories for the likes of solyndra, money would be much better spent on relatively inexpensive research and development across a vast number of exciting but still-to- expensive ideas is that something you would agree with? guest: absolutely. you just made my case that we would be better off, instead of going out and giving money to these manufacturers of solar panels to put it in research and development and come up with that advantage of that would give us a patented ability to
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compete on. host: does the government have a role in the deployment stage? that seems to be the point from the doe. guest: in america, we believe deployment should be done through the free market because that way the rest becomes not of the government or the taxpayer, but of the company that is taking that risk. they are much better at doing this than the government. secondly, the due diligence as required in the private sector is much more thorough than the united states government can do, particularly the department of energy. they cannot do the due diligence. the point is we should do research and development, come up with a competitive advantage, and use that to go forward. host: a comment from robert on twitter.
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guest: that is what i feel. we are dealing with a communist country. they do not have the environmental safety regulations we do, nor the labor conditions. if america is why do have free trade with a country like that i think we have to be very careful. in this case, i did not favor a huge amount of free trade with china because i was concerned about the irregularities in the agreement. he and adam smith indicated that if you're dealing with the country that does not play fair, you have to react. in many cases, china has not played fair. host: david is from saint louis on the independent line. caller: that brings up the point i wanted to make. i do not know you, your politics with regard to the obama administration, but it looks like you are intending to
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investigate mostly obama administration professionals, when it seems to me that an investigation of the economic warfare being practiced by the people's republic of china -- knowing solyndra's costs, deliberately subsidized it and under cut it to put it out of business. that needs to be investigated, and tarriffs need to be raised in order to keep it from happening again guest: you make two good points. i have jurisdiction on the executive branch. that is what the constitution says. i cannot go into that area of china, or investigate their trade policies. that is not my jurisdiction terror i wish it was. i would certainly bring in -- jurisdiction. i wish it was. i would certainly bring in
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officials to say that china is not playing fair. china is subsidizing their solar manufacturing at $30 billion a year, and giving free land to companies, and flooding the market with cheaply-done solar panels. the consumer looks at a price in this economy with 9.1% of employment and they will buy something that is inexpensive. china is -- unemployment, and it will buy something that is inexpensive. china is doing that. we have seen it happen with televisions from japan, with video recorders, and we lose manufacturing jobs and in the end we lose as a country. i think we need to be realistic that when countries are taking advantage of our free and open society, we have to react. adam smith said the same thing -- we need to protect our companies that are manufacturing with people that are actually continuing to do on
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fair trade practices. so, i think that is very disturbing. host: again, talking with congressman cliff stearns from the north florida district. last week a panel asked the federal government to start the of considering tarr is that something you would support? guest: we should have a hearing and established in american minds that china is doing this, and we should react and say if they continue to do this, we're going to do something. lots of countries react if you take action. in this case, i think the united states should take action if we find out there is an enormous amount of unfair trade practices by china host: back to the
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phones. norwalk, conn., on the democratic line, nicky. caller: congressman, is great to talk to a republican. i want to mix three points, and it will be about the solar situation, but first of all, a 40-year registered democrat, a tea party member, and getting into fights with people over my points of view with defending republicans. once i get over that, i want to make another point. you have not mentioned, or maybe i did not hear right, nancy pelosi's brother-in-law, getting three-quarters of $1 billion. he is an investment firm that is investing in solar reserve, which has another name. that is pretty much it. thank you for letting me make my
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points. it is great talking to you, and i did want to say one more thing, please, guys, get in there, and make sure you have a voter id registration, so that when people go to vote at the polls they have to legally show their legally able to vote. i work in the polls, i see it, and i do not one voter fraud next year. host: on the solar energy? guest: i think he is a bloated -- alluding to what was in the newspaper about nancy pelosi's relative. this is a general statement. i think there is a sense of alarm that we have people who are wealthy donors to the obama administration and to the president for when he ran for president, and bumblers of money seem to be involved with these doe loan guarantees.
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they are investors in the company in which taxpayers' money is placed. that seems troubling. when the white house dump their communications on us about a week and a half ago, we went through e-mail and saw continually people that owned hedge funds that were investing in these solar manufacturing, wind turbine, shall we say, limited partnerships, or in this case, corporations. so, i think it was troubling because throughout this process we continually see these people have access to the white house, the west wing, the inner circle of the white house, asking and questions, and at the same time there are investors in these solar manufacturing companies, and that should be disturbing to the american people.
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host: do you just not believe the white house's argument that the subordination decision to give solyndra in the first place was made by the doe staff members whose job was to cross the numbers? guest: i did not think their own staff thought it was a decent investment. we have e-mail from them the same they were worried about it making cash flow. host: doe staff? guest: doe and omb. host: this is the office of management and budget, who doe has to run the loan through? guest: right. the rance emails, and doe did the same thing, to pare the long
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and short is there is absolutely no reason to some -- same thing. the long and short is there was no reason to subordinate tax payer money. we have e-mail showing there was no way this company was one to make it. we had a senior loan officer, jonathan silver, resign one week after he was under oath. we brought the ceo of solyndra again, and he resigned shortly thereafter after not testifying. host: did you reject that silver's leaving was not belated to this program? guest: it might have been. host: do you believe someone should lose their jobs over this? guest: my experience is people have resigned under an arrangement that does not bring out the truth in what has happened.
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so many people have problems, and in the end they just resigned, and a revision of the fired, and some need to be prosecuted. host: does anyone need to go to jail with solyndra? guest: i did not know if we can say that today, but if solyndra is a prototype and that -- example, then i think we have serious problems with this whole idea of giving tax payer money to manufacturers who are developing solar panels and when turbines. host: congressman cliff stearns from the six district of florida. we will go to carol, on the republican line from michigan. caller: going back to nancy pelosi, do you think it is a coincidence that her brother- yes meet brother-in-law was on the board, and money was going back to california?
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guest: coincidences' a good word. i have seen it time and time again where people bet of supported the president are involved with these investments and also have the id vantage of talking to the white house and try to get them -- also have the advantage of trying to talk to the white house and get them to process these. we have an example of someone pushing the solyndra loan, and at the same time his wife was the legal counsel of solyndra. they ended up giving two $0.5 million to this law firm, and he was in the department of energy pushing cylinder. he then felt uncomfortable, and had an ethical review of the situation, and actually got a written opinion saying he should not be involved in solyndra, he should recuse himself. he said he did, the three days later we have an e-mail that he
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is pushing solyndra. that as an example of people that are intimately tied to the administration, giving the money, actually thinking they have a responsibility to coordinate some of this tax payer money for investments. host: this is an article from " ." host: will we see some of these people come in? guest: this is a good example. mr. speyer had an ethics violation in my opinion. the fact that his wife earned from solyndra, i would like to see that bill. i think it is $2.4 million dollars to be exact.
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i do not think he should be involved. host: are these people we will see come in before steven chu comes in? are you saving him for the last one of these? guest: i think secretary steven chu is perhaps our prime, top- rated witness because we want to demonstrate our opinion that this is against the law -- what they did, the energy policy act, and we want him to explain why they did this. going back to the question we just got, and what you referred to, is if we see these people that were part of this process and we still see them helping the president, you understand that if the president gets reelected they will be back in the process acting -- asking for more money, and i just do nothing that is right.
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host: if you have that question for steven chu, you want to hold off on asking that? guest: i think we will bring him in on short order. my druthers would be to talk to the council. you had mentioned her and others. we talked about her opinion, and try to understand why she made that, and then after we get that, then have secretary steven chu confirm -- does he understand? some of her memos do not go to her. they go to him, so he could claim he was ignorant of for memos, which is really far fetched. when you are doing an investigation and you have this amount of detail, i think you should move systematically and carefully on this and progress in a way you understand all the people, how they made the decisions, and then bring the top guy in last. host: a question on twitter from
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jim. is there an energy source that governmentguest: subsidizing isr word than loan guarantee. that means the free-market goes out and takes a risk and it's the tax benefit. they can be subsidized for the research and development. we do that across this country with universities, and we do it with energy companies, too. we do it in the petroleum industry, but we do not go out and necessarily have venture- capital us like we do to the loan guarantee. an independent from florida. caller: you gave the republican the question, and he did not even ask for them. let me make a statement, and then asked a statement. it is so hypocritical of you to criticize mr. chu, he you not
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only voted for, but gave contributions to our governor and pleaded guilty at stealing $1.7 billion from the taxpayers of the state of florida. the lieutenant governor is right on the verge of being indicted for charging me and you for $375,000 on a building that don't exist. host: can you respond? guest: in this case, he is making the charge that gov. scott had these problems with medicare, and he had all ultimately -- ultimately he did leave the company, and he did have to restore money, but the calller is making that comparison. i have no jurisdiction over the area that the governor was
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involved with. i did not know anything about the governor's position, other than he won the governorship of the state. i'd think he is doing a good job. i think the calller is making the comparison that the people of florida decided they wanted that governor, and wanted gov. scott to be our governor, so i respect the people who voted for him. host: tim, a democrat from morocco, indiana. -- from rockviell, indiana. caller: the united states has the best investigative division in the whole world, and i am kind of wondering why the investigation is being done by politicians, rather than the fbi. they can forward the information to the fbi, but they are the
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ones that do the investigating, especially on the federal level. guest: i think your question is applicable. we are responsible as members of congress to do oversight investigation, which we do. we have that responsibility under the constitution, but the fbi is going to look at them, too. bankrup, twpt, twokrupent days later the fbi raided them. we are trying to understand how the loan guarantees for processed and trying to do understand if the department of energy was small pieces and try to make sure this does not happen again. s and tryingpiecalfiese to make sure this does not happen again.
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host: the treasury department is also watching its own investigation? now as i understand it the government and the oversight committee might be looking into this, too, right? guest: they're looking at the broad sector. host: what have your conversations been with him? or aree lanes blending are yo you clarifying that you will take stalingrad and they will take a broader program? -- take celindra. obviously there is a lot of people looking at this, and in many cases they should continue
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these investigations. host: is there a timing on one of when these will be completed? guest: when we get the secretary, the next up is to try to look at other companies and evaluate them and come up with a broad consensus of what went wrong and try to provide instruction, whether it is legislately or through instruction on how the loan guarantees should be done and out what point should we not be involved with this type of what i say is government and capitalism. host: a question over e-mail -- guest: no, and i think we demonstrated under the bush administration they specifically said they should not go ahead with solyndra.
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i think the bush administration is clear to that. host: but the loan program was part of the 2005 -- guest: that is correct. solyndra itself was not approved by the bush administration. it has specifically declined, and we have the documents that show that. the long and short of it is it was pushed by the obama administration once it came into office. host: ralph is a republican from clayton, new jersey. good morning. caller: good morning. i have two questions. the first question is this solyndra thing. in 2008 they contributed to the democratic party. it also contributed twice as much of republican party. i am a republican. -- it also contributed twice as much to the republican party.
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as long as you keep taking the ateps were taken, i know lot of republicans besides myself that will go democrat. host: are using would like to see these loans continue? caller: i am saying i would like to see the whole jobs act passed so we can prove one way or the other whether it will work. as far as i am concerned, if you do not let it know that it don't work, i am voting democrats. guest: it is true that solyndra lobbied congress and entreated money, which is another are rich to think the taxpayers guarantee top a billion dollars to this company, and then they take some of this money to lobby congress and provide contributions to people in congress, i think is
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wrong. his major point is the proof is in the pudding. let's go forward and if it succeeds, that is one thing. if it fails, the american people will see that is the wrong direction. he is basically saying let the president's job act go forward, and let's see what happens. i understand that, but of course you could do a lot of damage in between. in fact, the jobs act that the president pushed before the senate never got to a vote, because even some of the democrats did not want to vote for it. this is pretty much the whole plan the president proposed, except senator reid added a millionaire's tax. in the end, the jobs bill is dead, and i think many in congress on the senate side and house do not think the president's plan would work. host: salvador is an independent from kentucky. caller: you're talking politics.
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i want to talk about energy. i know something about energy. i worked on the apollo program. as this president came into office and made the remark we can make the transition from fossil fuels to green energy in 10 years because we put a man on the moon in 10 years. we use existing missile technology to put a man on the moon, and we did not technique -- 10 years to get in there. we took 10 years to get him back. we took a capsule with a human being on it and sent it into space. the problem was getting the human being back to earth. this nonsense about green energy is just that, nonsense. host: to you have an estimation of how long it would take? caller: it would take 40 years to get viable energy other than fossil fuels. wind energy and
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have been around for generations in holland. there isnnanels, nothing new about them. you cannot run new york in chicago with solar panels, it cannot be done. guest: you just heard from a physicist. i think he spelled out clearly will take 40 years to transition from fossil fuels to clean energy. what he is saying is in the in between time what we should do is develop the energy we have, the resources we have, whether it is no clear or coal, and if we shoulwe can go to the moon, e should be able to use them cleanly. i think what he is saying is we're kidding ourselves if we think we can transition from fossil fuels to windmills and solar


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