tv Public Affairs CSPAN December 18, 2012 10:00am-1:00pm EST
guest: right now, you have the principal actors who have been given the authority to negotiate on behalf of all of their members. house speaker of the house, john boehner is representing the house in these negotiations and then he will take the deal back to the full house and legislation will be introduced in the house that encapsulates whatever agreement they come off with and hope to get the votes to put it through. but it will initiate in the house as budgets do. for more information ssis.org. i appreciate your time. that does it for today's "washington journal." will be back tomorrow. the live coverage of the house of representatives live on c- span.
the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the chair lays before the house a communication from the speaker. the clerk: the speaker's room, washington, d.c., december 18, 2012. i hereby appoint the honorable nan s. hayworth to act as speaker pro tempore on this day. signed, john a. boehner, speaker of the house of representatives. the speaker pro tempore: the house will receive a message. the messenger: madam speaker, a message from the senate. the secretary: madam speaker. i have been directed by the house -- sflat that the house
that the senate has passed a bill in which the concurrence of the house is requested. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the order of the house of january 17, 2012, the chair will now recognize members from lists submitted by the majority and minority leaders for morning hour debate. the chair will alternate recognition between the parties with each party limited to one hour and each member other than the majority and minority leaders and the minority whip limited to five minutes each, but in no event shall debate continue beyond 11:50 a.m. the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas, mr. poe, for five minutes. mr. poe: madam speaker, there
is nothing more americana than the image of happy children at school during the christmas season. that week that norman rockwell picture was stolen. here are 23 of the 26 victims that were murdered that day. we should know their photographs. we should know their names. they were chase kowalski, 7 years of age. james mattioli, 6. jack pinto, 6. carolyn previdi, 6. avielle richman, 6. benjamin, wheeler, 6 years of
here are the names of the teachers. dawn hochsprung, avenlg 27. anne marie murphy, age 52. lauren rousseau, 30. mary sherlach, 56. rachel davino, age 49. madam speaker, these were real people, real victims, real children and real pictures of newtown, connecticut. the people of connecticut can relate to these victims of the assault and all americans can relate to some extent this crime that's occurred. at this elementary school.
madam speaker, i have four kids and 10 grandkids, three of my daughters are teachers by profession. my wife is a first grade elementary school teacher. and no parent, no parent ever wants to bury their child. they just don't want to do that. we never want our children to die in their youth. like these children did. so, madam speaker, we mourn with the families of connecticut. we must honor the victims in our prayers and in our words and ask the good lord to bless them, their families, the people of connecticut and yes, our country. and that's just the way it is. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the chair recognizes the gentleman from oregon, mr. blumenauer, for five minutes.
mr. blumenauer: the mall shooting that might have been worse and ended in newtown, connecticut, where it's impossible to imagine that it was worse. it's part of an ongoing pattern of carnage because we lose one life to gun violence every 20 minutes, every hour, every day. the mass murders reclaiming my time page gets the country's attention, but the same total loss of life at sandy hook happens more than twice every day all year long. this is personal for me, not just because the mall shooter was in my district, but i had a high school friend who was killed with a random freak drive-by shooting, my brother took his life with a handgun as a young man. i supported gun provisions at the state and federal level at every opportunity. it might be different now. not just because the horrific image of parade of funerals for
children, i submit mayor bloomberg's advocacy for gun safety and mayors who brare the brunt of the gun violence. i welcome the president's leadership and will support any reform that he advances. but i would urge my colleagues to read the columns in the "sunday times" by my fellow oregon ann, nick, and another in "washington post." they demonstrate, we know what works. there are examples around the work. even in america with lax weak gun protections there are in fact some regulations in some places and they make a difference. let's treat gun violence like any public health crisis which i would say losing 30,000 lives a year would qualify as a crisis. we need to treat it like the threat to public health and
families that it is, treat a gun like any other consumer product. this is how we slash the death rate. enforcement and education. for guns it starts when congress stops being intimidated by the extremists and then just do what the majority of gun owners agree we should do. we new the assault weapon ban which maybe we'll introduce under the leadership of our dear friend and colleague, care lynn mccarthy. close the gun show loophole. for starters, things that n.r.a. members agree with. let's care as much about real guns as we do about toy gun consumer protection. to start us down the road of making our children safer by treating children's gun safety
like their auto safety. all the air bags, anti-drunk driving campaigns, child seats, driver education, careful licensing, it slashed the accident rate but it didn't eliminate them altogether. we can't imagine a world without these protections for our families. let's see if we can imagine a world where our children are safer from gun violence. and then make it happen. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. murphy, for five minutes. mr. murphy: madam speaker, i rise today with a heavy heart, to honor petty officer nicholas , a person who sacrificed his
life in the most honorable of ways, to protect and save the life of another human being. his life was a testament to the core values of the united states navy, honor, courage and commitment. on december 9, twelve, pet -- 2012, the petty officer rescued ar kidnapped american doctor from the taliban near kabul. a veteran of the iraq war and a decorated navy seal, the petty officer died during critical injuries sustained on the successful mission to save the life of dr. joseph. a grateful nation grieves for him and his family. he strived for excellence, madam speaker. as a norwin high school
student, peers described him as diligent and driven, always aware he would someday serve his country. he was a dedicated student and a wrestler. he consistently challenged himself to pursue excellence in everything he did. such dedication to one's country was also carried on by him. that is truly remarkable but it's also expected of a navy seal. among many commodations, he was awarded the bronze star, the joint service commendation medal and the marine corps commendation for service during combat. and now the purple heart. the bible reminds us that there is no greater love than to lay down one's life for one's friend. through his incredible
sacrifice, he not only exhibited his great love of country but his unwavering affection for his brothers and sisters. a verse added, it is fitting to recall now. it goes on to say, and when at length the course is run, the work for home and country done of all the souls that sailed, let not one life in thee have failed. hear from heaven a sailor's cry and grant eternal life on i. today we all bid him fare wind. may he rest in peace and may the lord keep him and his family in his loving hands.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. the chair recognizes the gentleman from illinois, mr. quigley, for five minutes. mr. quigley: thank you, madam speaker. albert einstein once said the world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil but because of those who look on and do nothing. madam speaker, we have looked on and done nothing. we in this body, we in this congress, we in this government have done nothing. not protecting the lives of innocent children gunned down in connecticut last friday. nothing to protect people killed each day by guns across america. nothing to stop the epidemic of senseless gun violence that plague not only our major cities like new york and chicago, but countless small towns throughout our nation,
towns with names like newtown, aurora, tucson, dekalb, blacksburg and littleton. in the years i have been a member of this body, this house has not held a single hearing, not one to address gun violence. while over 30,000 americans die each year from gun violence, over 400 lives have been lost by gun violence in my hometown of chicago, people are dying every day. . we in this body are afraid to talk about it. the time has come for us to stop listening to the gun lobby and start listening to the american people. the fact is the majority of americans gun owning and not, desire commonsense, reasonable gun regulation. congress must no longer stand in the way of reasonable legislation, instead we must
champion it. the american people want to see background checks required on all firearm purchases instead of the fractions of sales that get done today. 408% of u.s. gun sales are by private sellers who are not required to perform background checks. you can be a three-time convicted felon, a serial domestic abuser, severely mentally ill, or even on a terrorist watch list and still go to a gun show or go on the internet and buy whatever gun you want. the american people want to strengthen their bases to prevent the mentally ill from buying gun. but over a million disqualifying mental health records are still missing from states. 10 states have failed to flag a single person as mentally ill. and 17 states list less than 100 people. miles per hour people want to see assault weapons bans
reinstated and large capacity ammunition clps banned to keep dangerous ammunition out of the hands of mad men. let's face it. when you put a 30-round clip in an assault weapon, you are not protecting your home. you are not hunting deer, you are hunting people. we have hid from this fight for too long. for too long we have used politics and the second amendment to cover up our lack of action. yes, the supreme court affirmed we have a right to bear arms, but in that same ruling the court made clear that right is not unlimited. we do not, as justice scalia put it, have an unlimited right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever for whatever purpose. our individual right to bear arms is limited by a right among others to keep our children safe. any of those children could have been one of ours and for 20 parents, it was. we may not be able to stop every crime, we know that no single law or set of laws can prevent every act of senseless violence
in our society, but we have the ability and the no-how to prevent many of them. we must simply find the courage. we can no longer be bystanders to injustice. we cannot continue to look on and do nothing. as shakespeare said, the fault lies not within our stars but in ourselves. we must act. thank you. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. the chair recognizes the gentleman from washington, mr. mcdermott, for five minutes. mr. mcdermott: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. mcdermott: madam speaker, the bible says that by their deeds ye shall know them. and this congress should pay heed to that message. this week we are mourning 20 children, buried in newtown, connecticut, the president is
right when he says, we have seen this too many times before and since then. about this time 24 years ago i was sworn into the congress. two weeks later five children were killed and 29 wounded in the stockton, california, schoolyard at the cleveland elementary school. you would have thought that we would have acted. bills were put in. it took us until 1993, four years, to pass the gun -- assault weapon ban. courageous legislators stood up and said enough is enough. but hearings and all went on and on, about military-style weapons that should be banned.
anybody knows you don't hunt with a banana clip with 30 shells in it or 30 bullets in it. that's not hunting. that's not what you use at a gun range. and that you should not be able -- we know we shouldn't be able to buy a gun if you have a record or serious mental illness. you would think those things that were common sense would become law. they became law in 1993, and there was a pushback from the national rifle association that said, well, all right. you can pass this. but put a 10-year sunset on it. why do you put a sunset on an assault weapon ban? but we did. the fight was led by a courageous lawmaker who was willing to stand up, take the chance of having the n.r.a. come
down on him, name is pete stark. pete stark led the fight in the house. dianne feinstein led the fight in the senate. he pushed and pushed and pushed and butt the bill in again and again and again and finally got it through. now, a few days he'll cast his last vote in the house. i'm going to miss him. we need courageous legislators like that. what we didn't have 10 years later were courageous legislators. when the ban came to an end in 19 -- 2004, the house was in different hands, politics had changed, 9/11 had happened, and everybody said, what's the problem? we don't need this ban anymore. it is very clear that there are some things we can do, that is things like the weapon ban, but
the real difficult part for us is to have a discussion about violence in our society. one of my old friends in afghanistan told me you can tell a country by what the national game s ours used to be baseball. it's hard to believe that baseball is national game anymore when you look at sun night football and realize how we glorify violence. go into a game store and look at the games that we buy for our kids at christmas. games that make it possible for you to sit and kill people hour after hour after hour sitting alone by a computer. violence on television, we have managed to get some of it down before 8:00 at night when kids are still up. but we struggle because we are
always in a free enterprise society you can do anything you want. well, we run the risk of having the difficulties we have here today. the other thing we have to think about is the whole question of how we deal with the mentally ill. back in 1996 there was an act that passed in california, made it almost impossible to put anybody in a locked facility unless they were intimately going to kill somebody or kill themselves or gravely disabled was the term. we made it very hard to deal with these kinds of cases. and privacy rules and all this, we have added on over time has made it even more difficult. but it is clear that we as a society have to face the fact that there are some people who need help. this mother was looking for it. we must act in this house.
the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes gentleman from illinois, mr. dold, for five minutes. mr. dold: thank you, madam speaker. madam speaker, the tragedy in newtown, connecticut, highlights an issue that i think so often in this chamber actually we talk about things that separate us. things that we have political battles and fights over, unfortunately on friday a tragedy in connecticut taking the lives of far too many. 20 children is a tragedy that knows no political boundaries. these are children that had their entire lives in front of them. on friday, like many of us here, we were back at home in our districts and after hearing the
news many of us went to our schools to pick up our children. to hug them just a little bit longer. this is a tranldy, madam speaker -- tragedy, madam speaker, and frankly it highlights a number of issues that many of us have talked on the floor today. it's about mentally ill, it's about what we can do as a country to make sure that, yes, we have a second amendment, and many of us here in this chamber, madam speaker, are gun owners, but i do believe that we are all for responsible gun ownership. and i do believe that there are reasonable restrictions that can be put in place. but today, madam speaker, it's not about that for us, today i rise because america's hurting. the country is looking for answers. answers that i'm not so sure
will come immediately. as we look at the pictures of these first graders, these kindergartners, and ask why. those answers won't come today. those answers might not come next week. what we do know is that our job, our basic function is to make sure that we try to provide an environment throughout our country where people can achieve their dreams t that ought to be something that, again, is not a republican idea or democrat idea. that's an american ideal and american dream. a very sick individual robbed 20 children, six adults of their american dream. i'd like to think that they are
in a better place today. i take some solace in my faith that i don't understand the grand plan. that the good lord does. but what i will say is that we all believe that this was a senseless killing and tragedy. i hope we can learn from it. i hope those in newtown, connecticut, feel the warmth of the nation that is sending their thoughts and prayers to them, this day, especially as we look forward to the holidays in front of us we will all say a special prayer for those that have been lost so needlessly in this act. i hope our country can come together. i hope we can focus on the american dream and the opportunity for all children and all americans going forward. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. the chair recognizes thea.
oregon, mr. defazio, for five minutes. mr. defazio: i speak on the floor today, the republicans are in conference with speaker boehner, talking about and getting an update on the so-called fiscal cliff negotiations. now, there seems to have been some progress. a number of us are opposed to the idea of already reducing further the already inadequate cola granted to seniors on social security, but in some other areas there does seem to have been meaningful progress. i was particularly pleased to hear that the white house is insisting that infrastructure investments needs to be part of this negotiation. a third of our deficit, 1/3 is due to chronic high unemployment in the united states of america. if you put people back to work, a third of the deficit goes
away. what if we put them to work rebuilding our crumbling infrastructure, 150,000 bridges that america needs substantial repair or replacement, 40% of the pavement on the national highway system doesn't just need resurfacing, it needs to be dug up, it needs new roadbed, and there is a $70 billion backlog on transit systems in this country replacing worn, outmoded equipment, those are manufacturing jobs, engineering jobs, jobs not on in construction but in many other areas and they spill over into small business and the general economy. we also need to build an efficient 21st century infrastructure, but but 27,000 jobs for every $1 billion we investment. --invest. historically we haven't borrowed money to make these investments. we have paid for our
infrastructure with fees and taxes, principally the gas tax, but others, but the federal gas tax hasn't changed since 1993. in 1993 you paid $1.11 for a gallon of gas, and 18.4 cents went to build our national infrastructure. this last year in my district people paid over $4.40 for a gallon of gas, and 18.4 cents went to rebuild our crumbling infrastructure. we have lost more than a third of the purchasing power of the highway trust fund just due to inflation. . we want to thread water over the next 10 years, we will borrow another $110 billion. will that happen in deficit-obsessed washington, d.c.? not likely. does that mean quicker deterioration of our infrastructure, fore go jobs? probably not. if we simply indexed the
existing federal gas tax set in 1993 at 18.4 cents to highway costs, cons construction, inflation and improved fleet fuel economy so you don't lose ground because people purchase less gas, we could over the next decade save $128 billion, deficit reduction, and have an additional increment on top of that to begin to catch up with the huge backlog in our crumbling infrastructure in this country and then put millions of people back to work. it seems a very sensible solution. deficit reduction, jobs and sound infrastructure. i hope those on the other side of the aisle will be receptive to the proposal for the white house for this needed investment. this is not the stupid stimulus bill. many things were not well
spent. 4% of that money, 4% went to infrastructure investment. over 40% went to stupid tax cuts that didn't put anybody back to work. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from california, ms. lee, for five minutes. ms. lee: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for five minutes. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. lee: i grieve with the entire newtown communities and those who lost loved ones last friday. we mourn the 26, 26 innocent lives, including those 20 children who have been lost in this unimaginable tragedy. let me also just acknowledge the quick action of the brave law enforcement and first responders who prevented additional loss of life. words cannot express my deep sorrow. but as a mother and as a grandmother, i join the country
in my district in extending my condolences to every family and the entire community touched by this unspeakable tragedy. this must stop. as president obama said, we cannot accept that this violence visits children year after year is somehow the price of freedom. no more excuses, madam speaker. no more kicking the can down the road. not one more innocent life, not one more in chicago, not one more in oakland, not one more in any town in any city in any school in any theater or in any place of worship or in any mall or in any of our neighborhoods. we have an obligation to our children to ensure that newtown marks a turning point that made us finally say enough is enough. my district unfortunately knows
these weapons of war oh so well where too many innocent children continue to be killed in these war zones. we have come together to build an america where our children do not have to live in fear and where they do have a future. madam speaker, we need to take some serious action that includes gun safety by banning the high capacity magazine, expanding the 24-hour gun background check, closing the gun show loophole and reinstituting the assault weapons ban immediately. this of course includes ending violence in our homes in our streets and in our community. by seeking input from young people, community stakeholders, the faith community and others, we must identify the root causes of this country's more than 16,000 homicides a year. this includes recognizing gun violence as a critical public
health crisis and continue to support a comprehensive violence prevention plan. we also, i heard many say this over and over again, we also really focused on making mental health care widely accessible and affordable. as a psychiatric social worker and someone who founded a community mental health center when the psychiatric facility was beginning to shut down, i understand firsthand why we look at how we have to help people struggling with mental illness and make serious progress in treatment and reduce the stigma associated with seeking help. and all of this, of course, is going to take resources. nowhere do we know this more in my own congressional district in oakland where we know the impact of budget cuts on violence and crime. we cannot allow any cuts to medicare and medicaid that might prevent families from
getting the psychiatric health and support they need. how else can we look at our children and grandchildren this holiday season if we don't move as a nation to finally address this violence that threatens the very core of our country? in the coming weeks, all of us must work with president obama, senator feinstein, congresswoman carolyn mccarthy, congressman bobby scott and all of our colleagues to be brave and to be bold enough to pass measures that ensure gun safety and the comprehensive solutions to ensure that our children have a future in a peaceful nation. madam speaker, we can and we must do all of these things and more so that we can prevent tragedies like this from ever happening again. on behalf of all of my constituents, let me express once again our thoughts and our prayers for all knows impacted by this tragedy in newtown and the entire state of connecticut.
thank you, madam speaker, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from ohio for five minutes. >> thank you, madam speaker. madam speaker it is with great sorrow that i rise to address the senseless murders that took place in newtown, connecticut, this past friday. ms. fudge: mass shootings are always difficult to bear. this is one is exceptionally disturbing due to the loss of so many children and those who tried to protect them. the massacre that occurred at sandy hook elementary school will forever be embeded in our memory as will the photos of 20 children as young as 5 years of age, who perished in that school, a place that should be
safe, a school. these innocent children will never have the opportunity to enjoy their teenage years, to go to a prom or have families of their own. we owe a debt of gratitude to the teachers who lost their lives trying to shield the children from this senseless crime. i stand here today unable to make sense of what is a completely incomprehensible situation. we may never know what compelled the shooter in this tragedy to use such high-powered weapons to inflict pain on so many innocent people, but what we do know is that these kinds of crimes are on the rise in our society. gun violence and the culture associated with it has become so prevalent that now our babies can't even go to school without fear of being gunned down in their classrooms. we've seen this kind of violence on a college campus in
blacksburg, at a high school in columbine, and now at an elementary school in newtown. since 1982 there have been more than 60 mass murders carried out with firearms across this country. in the last five years alone, we have had 19 mass shootings. that's a rate of more than one every four months. these are alarming numbers and we as a nation must be willing to do something about it. there have been called by some for meaningful action, but i implore my colleagues that what we really need is immediate action. the issue of eradicating gun violence is ripe and we must act now. the first thing we must do is ban assault weapons of all types. their only purpose is to kill the largest amount of people in the shortest amount of time. tragically, the newtown shooter used a military-style weapon to perform his evil deeds.
weapons with the ability to carry out such deadly force do not belong on our streets. i challenge anyone to justify the use of these weapons anywhere but on the battlefield for which they were made. people say there is an absolute right to bear arms. i disagree. there is reasonable restriction. i have a right to leave my home without being shot. people have the right to worship their god without being massacred. the children of sandy hook elementary had the absolute right to go to school without being gunned down. no one sent their child to school expecting they won't come home. i understand there are many factors that contribute to this unfore give act of violence -- forgiveable act of violence but we must start somewhere. it's time we have a serious and deliberate conversation about a comprehensive national gun policy in a eliminates loopholes in the laws and
requires uniform background checks, enforcing current laws is not getting the job done. we must do more to ensure that our citizens feel safe and secure in their homes, schools, movie theaters, shopping malls and neighborhoods. we cannot wait for another tucson, aurora, oak creek or newtown massacre. we must take action now. i ask my colleagues where do you stand. whose side are you on? i am on the side of every man, woman and child killed. who in this house can be against commonsense gun safety regulations? anyone who is is on the wrong side. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from hawaii, ms. hirono, for five minutes. ms. hirono: i stand here today to give tribute to my friend,
who is our senior senator, our country's senior senator, daniel inouye. with your passing, my friend, i tell you that no one can fill your shoes. in hawaii we say there are three economic joggers in our state, tourism, defense and senator inouye. and it's true. his work and his unselfishness in serving his state and country are unparalleled. he served our country during war at a time when people who looked like him were not considered american citizens. he did it and served our country honorably sand with respect. with incredible strength and character. he did it because he believed in our -- in what our country should and could be. make our country great. our country above service. our country about our children and our future.
our country, honorable. his personal legacy and my home state of hawaii could and will never be matched. never. hawaii will never be able to thank senator inouye for his service and what he's done for us. it is too great to put into words and it cannot be done in a five-minute tribute. but what i want to give my thanks to senator inouye for is bigger than all of us. for his commitment to serve and protect our brave men and women who fight for our country, for his dedication and willingness to work in a bipartisan fashion, for standing up for the ideals of freedom and justice that our country was founded upon, for always standing up for our proud heritage in hawaii. senator inouye was, as so many have recognized, a genuine patriot, a uniquely proud
american, a man and a leader always true to his word. senator inouye was also an architect and a builder. half a century ago he had an architect vision of the hawaii we inherit from him today. over his many decades of service he displayed a builder's skill, pouring the foundation of the modern and vibrant hawaii that we inherit from him today. that is his legacy. and so the greatest tribute we can pay senator inouye is to acquire his vision to apply his skills and build on the remarkable foundation he laid for us. i know this is a tribute that i will pay to my friend. i know this is a tribute that the people will pay to senator inouye. hawaii drew incredible strength through the life and service of
daniel inouye, and it is that very strength, strength of purpose, strength of character that will keep hawaii and our country strong for years to come. the senator inouye i knew and loved and we all knew, loved and respected would expect this of us and we will not let him down. i yield back. . the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from virginia, mr. connolly, for five minutes. mr. connolly: now it's newtown. 20 innocent and their six teachers. more tears, more burials. but will we heed its meaning? will we break the gun lobby that has held us to a psychosis that has left us number and paralyzed with each passing tragedy? i think so.
first step in any recovery program, admit the problem. we have too many weapons with too much ammunition that is unregulated, unchecked, and unjustified. we need to restore rigorous background checks to keep dangerous weapons away from criminals and the mentally ill. we need to close the gun show loophole. we need to facilitate data base sharing among law enforcement agencies, federal, state, and local. next step, limit access to weapons of mass killings. no hunter needs an uzi, no citizen needs an assault-style weapon for self-defense, no other civilized society has allowed the argument that any restriction of any kind is a direct assault in our personal liberty, except us. next, require registration and stiff penalties for failure to secure dangerous weapons in the
home or workplace while banning their presence in a select number of public places such as churches, police stations, mental health facilities, recreation and youth centers, government buildings, and oh, yes, schools. the gun lobby has bullied and intimidated us for too long. reasonable gun control measures like those just listed provide for public safety, they don't threaten in. the lobby wants to fall back on trite man trass that unfortunately have proved all too effective in silencing any meaningful public debate heretofore. guns don't kill, people do. any restrictions real or imagined contravenes my second amendment rights to bear arms. oh, really? even justice scalia in writing his unprecedented and deeply flawed opinion acknowledged that it did not preclude reasonable gun control measures. even scalia has had to admit in
his interpretation of the second amendment, he cannot answer whether the constitution envisioned a universal right to possess rocket launchers, r.p.g.'s, stinger missiles, or military assault weapons in our homes. that is the logical fallacy and folly of the argument of unrestricted rights to bear arms without limit. its proponents allow for no check on this right in the constitution, even the first amendment has limitations, so does this one. we have been lulled into passivity and fatalism with the tactics of the gun lobby and extreme right wing allies at a terrible cost. each year guns kill almost 10 times the number of americans lost on that tragic day in 9/11, and each year we face another massacre, aurora, tucson, virginia tech, and now newtown.
time for our outrage to return us to action and reshape this gun culture. it is in our hands. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from the district of columbia, ms. norton, for five minutes. ms. norton: thank you, madam speaker. as we end the 112th congress, we are faced with two crises. cliff ryecies and now a gun crisis, a mental health crisis that comes to us from newtown, connecticut. when you consider that this is a congress which has not been able to handle even modern issues much less crises, one begins to wonder whether we will evoke to
what is required of any person who is a member of the united states congress. this morning, i come for something less than a crisis for the country, easier, much easier to solve. i am calling on the defense authorization conference committee to solve a simple noncrisis problem. a problem, though, that casts shame on our treatment of our active duty military, our veterans, and their families. thanks to chairman buck mckeon and ranking member adam smith, the defense authorization bill contains a simple provision. that provision says that when
you raise the flags of the 50 states at military ceremonies, if you're raising or displaying the flags of 50 states, you must also display the flag of the district of columbia and the five territories. the territories and the district have always served disproportionately in war. but what we are asking today that the house bill provides is the simple respect that any -- anyone who wears the uniform, any family member of that active military person or veteran is entitled to, i thank the house
for recognizing that in some matters all of us are certainly equal. we are all equal in according respect for members of our military. i have spoken with senator levin, the chair of the defense authorization committee, enhe -- and he is for it. i have spoken to the white house at the highest level and i have asked them to simply recede to the house provision. in the past for reasons that escape us all, the senate has removed this provision when the house last here put it in the defense authorization bill. it will be impossible to remove this provision if the members -- senate who are responsible for doing so could have heard from our veterans who went to speak
to the staff of senator mccain and senator levin and told them their experience. a colonel who said when he was welcomed home from the gulf war, the flag of every state was raised but not the flag of the district of columbia. the mother who wrote me, tommy rucker, to say that she and the father went to her graduation, of her son, from navy boot camp, full of pride, and as each graduate's name was called, the flag was raised, but no flag for jonathan rucker when his name was called. colonel rucker's son, who came back three times from war, combat zone, in iraq, and each and every time the flag of the district of columbia has not raised. and so my colleagues from the territories have come forward with equally heartbreaking stories. this, my friends of the house of
representatives, you can solve, you can solve this very day and my colleagues in the other body need only follow your lead. the defense department some months ago issued a memorandum that said that the flag -- raising the flags, they should be done at the discretion of the commander. well, it wasn't a commander's discretion that our young men and women volunteered to risk their lives for their country. and would, would such a memorandum have been put forward to say that the commander could decide whether to honor the flag of virginia or maryland to take my neighbors, closest neighbors, when their veterans came home, what is the difference between their veterans who have gone to war and the veterans of the district of columbia? there are very few ways to honor our veterans.
we honor foreign dignigaries. i'm about to finish. we honor foreign dignigaries by raising their flag. the least we can do is to honor our own military, our veterans, and their families by raising the flags of their home states. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman's time has expired. the chair recognizes the gentleman from michigan, mr. curson, for five minutes. mr. curson: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for five minutes. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. curson: thank you. my thanks to the chair. today i rise to recognize mrs. carolyn coleman, executive secretary to the secretary treasurer of the international union u.a.w., on her retirement. as a member of congress, it is both my privilege and honor to recognize mrs. coleman for her many years of service and her contributions which have enriched and strengthened our communities.
mrs. coleman brings a lifetime of experience to her current position to the united auto workers, a career which began in july of 1967 in the u.a.w.'s women's department. carolyn's skill and knowledge led her to be selected to premiere assignments. she directly assisted many great union leaders in their important work. including u.a.w. vice president's dick shoemaker, and carl raveson, as well as u.a.w. president owen bieber, and treasurer dennis rayhams, her current supervisor. her work is impeccable. her advice valued. and her friendship treasured. carolyn was one of the many unsung heroes of the labor movement. she was never the one who gained headlines for making fiery speeches that inspired the masses or received credit for major agreements that have lifted so many working families into the prosperous middle
class, but behind the scenes she contributed to both. for 45 years carolyn coleman reported to work for the united auto workers with one simple goal in mind, to do her very best work for the working people have a better life. mrs. coleman believed in her community and has shown a commitment which has exceeded the years of her tenure with the u.a.w. a long time member of hartford memorial, she has long been actively volunteering in numerous ministries of her church, as well as being a member of the redhead club. she has volunteered her time in a broad away of capacities and community activities. in addition to her service to the community, mrs. coleman is the proud mother to two daughters and a son, lisa, tanya, and jimmy. the proud grandmother to six grandchildren, and two great grandchildren. i ask that my colleagues join me
today to honor miss carolyn coleman for her dedicated service to working men and women. i join with many others who have been blessed to have worked beside her and have benefited from her labors to wish her many more years of health, happiness, and productive service to our community. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the chair declares the house in recess until
we all know that every income tax is going to pay higher rates come january the first unless congress acts. many to pack as many taxpayers as we can. affectn b would taxpayers who make $1 million or less. i hope we can reach an agreement that would reduce spending. i think it would be better for our country and having a backup plan and moving down that path is the course of action for us. >> good morning.
i think all four hearts and prayers --all of our hearts and prayers are with the families in newtown, connecticut, grieving the loss of their children and loved ones. we remain committed to try to minimize the impact on hard- working families and small businesses in this country as far as tax increases are concerned. we look to find the answer on the spending issue here in washington. the president has not come to or he needs to be in order for us to push through a bill that begins to address the problem. we are now discussing an alternative plan. thank you.
>> we have been trying to make sure we didn't go off this fiscal cliff. at the same time, put america on a different path. the speaker felt maybe he was negotiating with himself after plan after plan and the president stayed silent. we heard nothing but silence. today we have to go to plan b. we want to make sure we do not call off the cliff and that we keep an economy where jobs can be created. we have to remember where we are in the situation. we are two months into a new
fiscal year. we are $292 billion in debt. revenues are up by 10%, $30 billion. the sad reality is spending is up 16%, $87 billion. that is where the problem lies. an america that can create jobs. >> the clock continues to tick and we're days from the anend of the year. the best gift we can give is an agreement. give certainty to our small
business owners said they can pursue that innovation and prove to the american people that we can get our job done. that is the best christmas gift and i'm confident that we can get it done. is our moment. now we ask the president to join us in that effort. >> republicans have gone above and beyond to work with the president and democrats to negotiate this deal and americans can no longer afford to have for cake and eat it, too. our debt is growing faster than our economy. tax revenue will be eaten up by medicare, medicaid, social security, and the interest on
our debt. national security will have to be furnished with borrowed money. the president did not support a plan that would address our long-term spending problem. we cannot afford for the american people to keep struggling. spending cuts are required at this time. americans deserve a solution. the president should meet us halfway. >> what is your definition of a balanced deal? >> most people would agree that that is balanced. >> does it have to be exactly -- balanced't have a
plant when the president is calling for $1.3 trillion in revenue. >> the nation is still in mourning. what kind of effect will that have? blasting the country wants to see is a long drawn-out battle. >> this is a difficult time for americans. we continue to have hope that we can reach an agreement. it is not a time to put americans through more stress. would plan b mean -- which to incorporate any of that into the legislation?
>> we continue to look at how we would address those issues as we put this bill together. dealing with the issue of the alternative minimum tax and with the debt tax be part of the bill would bring to the floor. we would not deal with the sequester. >> how close we say the present cross plan ident's plan? >> i would put a trillion dollars of revenue on the table if he would put a trillion dollars of spending on the table. >> how adamant that medicare eligibility age needs to be part of this?
some people think this is an arbitrary cut. >> there are a lot of issues on the table. that issue has been on and off the table. it is an issue for discussion. it is an issue if congress were to do tax reform, that issue will certainly be open to debate in that context. thanks. >> speaker john boehner and house republican leaders, the briefing within the hour. bills coming up to date under suspension including one that deals with small business development. connecticut centers are speaking about the shootings in newtown,
connecticut. her lieberman -- senator lieberman is on the floor. they will swear and patrick leahy and that will be on c- span2. they are do not off the floor in the old senate chamber. his intention to submit a plan over $1those earning million a year. the president had offered a level of $400,000 late yesterday. releasing a office statement saying the planned will not protect middle class families because they
cannot pass both congress -- both houses of congress. democrats wrapped up their news conference moments ago. john larson and xavier becerra and others talking about the fiscal cliff and also the shootings in connecticut. >> good morning. this is the democratic causes and we're proud of our members and the unity expressed and the solidarity with the citizens of newtown, connecticut, and for those children and adults that lost their lives last friday. there was a lot of discussion and we have seen far too much
violence and loss of life, and it seems to have intensified. the feeling of this caucus is i believe the feeling around this country -- enough is enough. we heard from chris murphy, senator-elect and the current representative from newtown talking about the community and how it is responded, this quintessential new england small town as the president of the united states has said has been inspirational in terms of how they have dealt with this tragedy, from everything from the first responders arriving on the scene to the teachers and administrators and the way that
they executed a plan that saved children's lives and those valiant who put themselves in the way of the assassin to save the lives of children. we are resolved in our caucus that the time to act is now and that we know taking no action is to be complicit to a future event. we announce today that we will have a task force that will serve to coordinate all of our efforts. we know that this is a comprehensive issue. we know that it is not just restrictions that need to be placed on guns but also the
issues of mental illness, the culture of violence, and youth violence specifically. members of our caucus from carolyn mccarthy to grace napolitano to bobby scott and countless others who have been working on these issues for years, we are going to address this in a comprehensive way. mike thompson step today and we have tapped him to lead this effort in court nation. a hunter, a vietnam veteran, a wounded vietnam veteran who spoke both from his heart and also with the common-sense practical measures that he has become noted for in his service
in congress in the ways and means committee and the large respect that the members of the caucus have for him. we will have mike address this issue. mike? >> thank you, mr. chairman and thank you all for being here. what happened in connecticut similar to what is happening everyplace else, there has been done violence and it is rotten to the court and it has to stop. we have to address all the issues that play into what happened in connecticut. i am a gun owner and a hunter.
i have been one for as long as i can remember. i was trained with an assault weapon when i was in the army and i was given one went i went to vietnam. i carry that rifle until i was wounded in vietnam. i do not see that changing. i know that this is not a war on guns. gun owners and hunters have every right to own legitimate guns for legitimate purposes. we are not going to take law abiding citizens' gun away from thems. i also know that our communities
and neighborhoods and society receive no benefit from military-type weapons on the streets or assault clips in the hands of anyone. we will bring about sensible gun laws. this is not new. you cannot own fully automatic shotns or soawed-off guns. there are restrictions. we to make sure our children and our community is as safe as we can possibly making it and i've been asked to coordinate the effort. >> the unanimity in our caucus
in everybody that spoke who's experienced whether it be columbine or aurora or in portland or in connecticut, our caucus remains united in this effort. for those of us in connecticut, it was especially heartening to see the reaction and the commitment. our caucus as we plan to have another caucus this afternoon, as we learn about the details of what the president's reaction will be. we remain united behind our president and his efforts on the front of ending the culture of
violence that has permeated this country and the necessity for a long discussion, a deep dialogue over protecting our children and also his efforts to bring fiscal sanity to this process and prevent us from reaching are going over this fiscal cliff. we stand united behind our president and we will be meeting later this afternoon. i would like to have the vice chair and chair-elect of the caucus, xavier becerra. >> i applaud you for all the work you have done to try to address the needs of all the victims and their families. i share in the comments of my colleague and friend from
california and what he has said and he will be a great leader on this issue. as much as the words have been important, we hope they have been somewhat soothing. you can express anything to satisfy yourself and the families of the victims. it has been important would try to communicate all of the families that are victims today and all the people in connecticut trying to help these families. we all stand with them. those words must be followed by deeds. we must act. we're looking for it to work under the leadership of mike thompson.
we have a lot to do. we're thankful the president has said something must be done. we will have our words fall by deeds. than the yield to the vice-chair in lacelect. >> thank you, xavier. all three of my children were born while i have been a member of congress. i have a little guy that is 7 years old. yesterday i learned of a boy named ben wheeler who rides from times square to citi field. i love the seven line as well and so did my kids.
saw in that face my own little boy. for all of us, that has to strike home. it did for me and my family. unique in the you innocence that was lost. with little children, they were taken and it brings all of us to this table. inaction would be nicollette and would be complicit -- inaction would be neglect and complicit. we should protect whomever we
can. we cannot protect everyone from all evil. there are steps we can take reasonably. my in-laws are from montana. people enjoy the ability to hunt. i have never done it myself. i understand the meaning of that for my in-laws and for so many people of this country. reasonable steps can be taken to insure the safety of our children in particular can be safeguarded. i thank mike and our republican colleagues who will stand with us as well. i appreciate them taking the action. >> i want to commend our
colleague chris murphy who addressed the caucus today and led our resolution on the floor last evening and has been on the scene throughout these last several days. i want to commend senator limit fall and lieberman -- and meeting with the families --said her blumenthal -- senator bill lumenthal. the police officers in newtown and the small village of sandy hook. all they have pulled together and provided inspiration for all of us. the governor of the state of connecticut has been incredible
. sunday evening he said with winter approaching, he will forever think of these children when gentles knows it begin to fall -- when gentle snows begin to fall as individuals know snowfalls. he went to talk about the spring and how newtown and sandy hook and the state of connecticut will recover and the flowers will come up and we will think of these children again. but they will always be in our memory. we have a special responsibility as elected members of congress. pen in pad, writing what you do
during your moment of service in the united states congress. it is time for the congress to act. i am proud of mike taking on this responsibility and the coronation and the short and long-term efforts. we will act. and with that we will take questions. >> speaker boehner has a plan to keep taxes low for those earning under $1 million a year. and that type of plan gain any support from house democrats? >> which plan is that one? speaker boehner has a difficult tasks.
we do not know the details o plan b, or whenever plan c might be. we hope it is a process that yields success but we have little details and an awful lot suggestions. our understanding is the speaker's plans have been rejected by his own conference. we will be meeting later. we will wait to hear what our president continues to say in unifying us and the country and we will meet later to discuss tit. it is hard to, not knowing the details -- it is hard to comment not knowing the details.
we think the president has been operating in good faith. we understand that is what he continues to do. we have rob neighbors in our caucus -- rob nabors. he is on his way back to the white house. they need to discuss what has transpired with the speaker and the republican conference, which we do not know all the details either. >> a change in the cpi. >> we didn't get into that kind of discussion. plan are't a concrete details before the caucus. all of you can surmise what
people in the caucus have had to say about that. until there is a proposal that people will vote on, it seems like a moving target. comment on. can an >> in the abstract -- >> that is more than in the abstract. we are not going to comment on that. the nation is in a difficult spot. we expect our leaders to step up. the president continues to step up. but we see resistance. we understand the difficulty that john boehner has with the more recalcitrant members of this caucus.
we continue to stand with the president. the proposal has to accomplish the goals that he has outlined. we have not seen the kind of response from the other side. should said there have no not be changes in social security. >> that is right. >> do you see resistance to possible changes in the cpi? >> the president has tried to make it clear he will try to come up with a plan that would be balanced and would address our deficits and still let us move forward to create jobs. many of us have faith the president if he strikes a deal
will do was a plan that we can vote on that would provide the fairness and the balance. what the actual elements would be is unclear. social security has never contributed a single penny to the deficits and the debt that we face. u.s. americans who have paid taxes into the social security system when those benefits, to ask them to take a cut in their benefits to cover the cost of deficits caused by bush tax cuts that work and paid for or to pay for two wars, doesn't make sense to me. we hope the republicans will cease their push to cut benefits through a change in the
eligibility age for medicare beneficiaries, for the change they are requested on social security whether it is the consumer price index change on the kocola. we would like this to be a fair and balanced approach. the republicans in the house have rejected the run speaker's proposal at this stage. it seems like the real negotiation and fight is among republicans. >> we have said this every week that we have been here since we returned. we have a bill in front of us that we can pass and has been passed by the united states sent. nate. the middle class should not have to endure a tax hike when we
have a bill that is ready to go and has the support of democrats and i believe republicans in the house who will join with us on this issue. it is the right thing to do on behalf of the middle class. these events that transpired in connecticut and here to demonstrate there is a responsibility on us to act. we have jobs bills that would put the country back to work. these are things we all agree on. democrats and republicans share an interest in making sure the entire middle class and even millionaires get a $250,000 tax break. those are things we agree on. let's resolve these for the
people of this country and the middle class and put the country back to work and deal with these issues in a way we know we can come together. >> we will leave this briefing and take a live outside the capital. david cicilline is speaking and will be joined by the head of the brady campaign. the news conference just getting under way. >> i like to introduce and thank the president of the brady campaign, dan gross. >> thank you, representative david cicilline. i'm president of the brady campaign and the brady center to prevent gun violence. this event today is not about any organization or any group of
organizations. it is about the voices that you will hear today from the people who have been touched by gun violence and everybody in america that wants to live in a safer nation. i would like to have everybody here to introduce themselves and tell you why they are here. >> my name is theresa hoover. my son was killed in the aurora theater shooting. >> my son was 27 and he died in the aurora on july 20. in addition, he saved his girlfriend.
>> my name is karen. my son was killed in the aurora the shooting in july. he was 24 years old and he saved his girlfriend. >> my name is jessica. my cousin was 26 to shoulder jonathan -- 26-year-old jonathan that was killed in aurora. >> our daughter jessica was killed and aurora on july 20 of this year. >> my sister was in the aurora shooting and she was 23 years
old. i am her cousin. today with my wife in memory of our 19-year-old daughter who lost a life in the rampage shooting 12 years ago in nevada city, california. >> i am here today on behalf of my family in memory of my mother who was shot and killed in 2005 on memorial day in thousand oaks, california. >> my name is geraldine hill. my sister was killed off duty in michigan in october of 1994.
>> i am here because my son was murdered may 10, 2007, in crowded ellealibi, on a bus. >> my sister was a freshman at virginia tech. she was only 18 years old. >> my father was a professor and taught civil engineering at virginia tech and he was killed on april 16, 2007. >> my name is john woods. my girlfriend was killed that virginia tech.
>> i was shot four times at virginia tech and survive. i'm here for the 32 that did not. son'm from chicago and my was murdered on church grounds while coming outside of the church. i am pleading for our leaders to help us. >> i am here on behalf of my daughter who was murdered on march 30, 2010, on south capitol street. she was 16 years old and my only child, with an ak-47. >> i can hear from phoenix, arizona. i lost my son seven years ago. thank you -- i came here from
phoenix, arizona. here to give a voice to my baby sister who was killed when she was 15 in salt lake city. >> my daughter was killed in salt lake city. i was also seriously injured in 2007. >> my name is peter reed. my daughter mary was shot and killed in french class on the campus of for the attack on april 16, 2007 -- on the campus
of virginia tech. >> my little brother was riddled with bullets on september 8, 2001, in sacramento, california. >> i am the father of daniel who was killed in the massacre at columbine high school. >> my name is paul wilson. my beautiful wife of 26 years was cowardly shot and killed in california october 12, 2011.
>> i am father of a boy who miraculously survived the shooting. he was in the line of fire. i'm here not to represent the entire town. i'm here on my own accord. >> the town he is talking about is newtown, connecticut. mr. anybody else that has a story they want to share? i come to this issue through personal experience. my younger brother was shot at the observation deck of the empire state building. i want to point out today there
will be 32 more families that know the pain and horror you have heard today. we pay a lot of attention to these mass shootings. we also have to be aware that this happens in our nation every day. as a nation, we're better than this. i want to thank you for coming and what we are confident is a momentous day in the history of this issue. we have people from all over the country. we are here because we love our children, our husbands, our wives, our brothers, and our sisters. we mourn them and we wish they had not been shot. this is a testament to our love
for them. we are here because we love our country. we are better than this as a nation. aurora,re from tucson, virginia tech, and newtown, connecticut. we know that the market is greater than those awful moments. we envision an america that is known as the nation that solves this terrible gun violence academic once and for all. we can do this. they say friday's mass shooting changed everything, and it has. it is a tipping point. senators have shifted their position.
republican television commentator said sandy hook changed everything. president obama said we cannot tolerate this any more. friday changed everything. for me was the shooting in 1997 that changed everything. that is when my brother was shot and our dear friend was killed. for others it was any of the places you just heard. for some it was sandy hook elementary school in newtown. for jim and sarah brady, a day in 1981 changed everything when jim a stand behind the armed guards but was still struck by gun violence. that the change everything -- that did change everything.
every day in america, everything changes for hundreds more families. every year in america, 100,000 americans are shot, 30,000 of them fatally. 40% of gun sales take place without a background check. no questions asked. felons and domestic producers can easily get guns. 74% of nra members support closing this whole. we need a sustained, thoughtful,
national conversation about solutions to air gun violence epidemic. a conversation that is respectful of the second amendment but cognizant of the risks dunst post to our families and neighborhoods, like in the cases you heard about today. none of these policies have anything to do with second amendment rights. this is the conversation the american public wants to have. those who own guns and those who do not, we are speaking out, based on one simple idea. we are better than this. we are here to make our voices heard. the voices of everyone that just
want to live in a safer nation. we will take that message to the halls of congress and directly to the white house. we are not going away until america's gun policies to truly change and that we do everything we can to protect our children and our communities. we have shown that we are better than this. thank you for being here and thanks to all of you who share your stories and to have the courage. tom, who willm share some additional thoughts. tom? >> thank you, dan. i'm here today wearing my sons
shoes. there are the issues he was wearing in 1999 when he was done down at columbine high school. it is amazing we have the same size shoes. he was a member of the debate team. i now where his shoes in the great debate. we had that debate in the year after columbine. legislators refuse to close the loophole so we took it to the people. people close the gun show loophole. that same night, but closed it 60% to 40%. americans will step up when there elected officials do not.
we cannot put every measure before a vote. we have to be able to count on our elected officials to do that for us. it would be easy to be discouraged after 13 years of this activity. easy to be discouraged. but i cannot be, because i have hope and these people have hope that we can do something to change it. these people refused to be statistics. they want to be the stories of ordinary americans. they have been through hell and back and the do not wanted to happen to the rest of you. they are ordinary people that were thrown into an
extraordinary tragedy. they didn't ask to be thrown into that like so many others that dan mentioned. it happens to so many people. we are not here to ask for your pity. we're asking to share our stories with few. these stories could be your stories. it could be any one of you. it could be your story. the people here today have not given up hope despite the tragedy that has befallen them. they refuse to listen and to accept that message of hopelessness that we have been hearing so often in america. "there is nothing you can do about this."
"you can keep guns away from criminals." that's not what america is about. that is not the america i grew up in. we can have hope for change. we will not accept those excuses. the folks here are here to ask for that conversation. we know that silence and inaction can be deadly. and in fact it has been. like most americans, we are saying that enough is enough. we are better than this. it's time to talk and time to act. thank you. >> thank you, tom. eidt "adit "aveto add
maria" over these remarks. this notion of a debate. the conversation at the american public wants to have is not a debate. this is something most americans agree on. the only place in this country where this is a heated political debate, the only place is in that building behind us. there is a disconnect between what the american public wants and what the elected officials are doing about it. we're confident that this
tragedy will shine such a spotlight on that disconnect that our elected officials are going to do the right thing and join the conversation. that's what we're asking for today. i like to introduce two of my heroes.eroeer >> good morning. i'm going to talk about jessica, my daughter, and how she died. this should have and could have been fixed and long, long time ago. when to the movies with her best friend who was visiting from texas. they sat down in what should been a relaxed evening and all hell broke loose.
when the bullets started flying, her friend pushed her to the ground where she was first hit in the leg. he tried his best to stop the flow of blood and protect her when a bullet went flying through the seat that should have protected her and hit her in her head. that horrendous scene replays in my head over and over again, as it does for every other member of our aurora family. brent, who was with my daughter, was composed enough. the bullets stopped flying, he removed himself to the railing
of the theater. he took his cell phone and called me to let me know that my daughter had been murdered. that is a hero. congress, the senate, and our president have an opportunity to be a hero as well and stop the bloodshed. it is sad that it has taken 20 young lives to have this conversation began in earnest. we hope that there are positive changes that come from this. tom mentioned that this could happen to any of us, and it can. don't fool yourself. and you're no longer safe to go to a church or go to the movies or enter a school, there is something horribly wrong with
our society. we need to make those changes and we need to make sure that this never happens again in our country. thank you. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> thank you, sandy, for continuing to have the courage to share your story. andre toto introduce share his story. >> there are two parts to my story. one part happen to my son. he went to school in the morning on the bus.
and then when he was a class from helper, he was sent from his classroom to turn in a tendon sheaths to the princip als -- to turn in attendance sheets to the principal's office. they heard gunshots. he said he heard bullets passing by. he is a kid. does he know? but the bullets were there. these wonderful kids were saved by the bravery of the wonderful teacher, which we will forever
be thankful for. she pulled them in her own classroom and barricaded the door. they were saved. unfortunately, for many families in our town, that's not true. i cannot describe what i feel about that. if we could rewind the reality and prevent what happened, i would give anything to do woit. now my story. for many years, i watched was happening in this country. i am an immigrant and have been here for 22 years.
i held these beliefs. america -- is part of american history that americans have a history with guns. they know how to keep them safe and responsible, the gun owners. our politicians will do whenever they can to make sure our kids are safe. and to know every time something like columbine, virginia tech, or aurora were happening, i would avert my highs and i will still think that something will be done. but all those buildings were shattered on friday. now i think we'll need to speak
up. and i say "we all." many of you, everyone thinks that we need to make the society safer. let's make it safer for our kids. and let's stop the partisan divisions. that is why i decided to step forward. i was not asked to do so. i'm not sure how members of my own town feel about that. i did not talk to many people right now. i try not to watch tv or listen
to the radio. everybody i talked to thinks that the change should be done. let's get money out of politics and act in the interest of people. this is a beautiful country. let's make it back to the country it was, safe for kids. >> this briefing continues live on our website. arily toke you moment terse the house floor. is is the senate side of the u.s. capitol with the flags to what have staff -staff.
you can follow the senate debate on c-span2. the house is coming in. f the last day's proceedings and announces to the house his approval thereof. pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1 the journal stands approved. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania rise? >> mr. speaker, pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1, i call for a vote on the speaker's approval of the journal. the speaker: the question is on agreeing to the speaker's approval of the journal. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the ayes have it. the journal is approved. the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. altmire: mr. speaker, i object to the vote on the grounds that a quorum is not present and i make a point of order that a quorum is not present. the speaker: pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this question are postponed. the pledge of allegiance today will be led by the gentleman from oregon, mr. walden. mr. walden: i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands,
one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the speaker: this is the day for the private cal der and without objection the private calendar will be called after one-minute speeches today. the chair will entertain up to 15 requests for one-minute speeches. for what purpose does the gentleman from south carolina rise? mr. wilson: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker: without objection, so ordered. mr. wilson: mr. speaker, last friday's massacre at sandy hook elementary school in newtown, connecticut, was heartbreaking. americans are devastated as reports emerge detailing how a deranged individual murdered 20 innocent children, six heroic faculty members, and his mother before turning the gun on himself. as a husband to a former school teacher, a father, a grandfather and an american, my
thoughts and prayers are with the teachers, families, children and first responders involved in last friday's school shooting. our hearts go out to the newtown community as we mourn this kind of senseless horrific violence has no place in american society. as the elected officials, it's our responsibility to make sure work is done to prevent these types of devastating events ever happening again. i appreciate the rotary club of newtown for its efforts to assist the victims of the sandy hook school tragedy, their families and those in the newtown community who have been affected. the speaker pro tempore: who seeks recognition? the gentleman from new jersey, for what purpose? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized. mr. sires: mr. speaker, today we mourn newtown, connecticut,
and the sandy hook elementary community. my thoughts and prayers go out to the victims of this horrendous tragedy and their families. on friday, 27 people, including children, had their future stolen from them as a result of another sense of act of violence. my heart breaks for their loved ones and the community of newtown. unfortunately, this is the fourth mass shooting that our nation has endured in as many years. this tragedy in particular hits home for millions of parents across america because victims were elementary school. children who were expected to be in a safe and secure environment. we must begin to have a meaningful discussion, not only on gun control, but the security of our schools as well as the access to mental health care services. while one bill won't work, congress must use to work to improve the safety of our citizens. i'd like to conclude by honoring our teachers, those
day in and day out nurture our children and in this circumstance gave their lives. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from oregon wish to be recognized? mr. walden: to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. walden: mr. speaker, over two weeks ago i came to the floor and asked for answers from the department of labor on behalf of oregon farmers. yesterday i did get a letter from the secretary, which i appreciated, but it was not answering our questions. it was congratulating me on my reserve the balance of my time election. 122 days ago, nearly every member of the oregon delegation, republicans and democrats, wrote the labor secretary after hearing reports of so-called hot goods enforcement tactics that didn't ship berries. one farmer was told that a shipment was on hold because the inspector said it was impossible for an individual picker to pick as much as records showed. but to lift it, the farm was
suppose to pay fines and back wages requiring the farm to, quote, waive further findings of fact without getting an explanation of alleged violations. the farm was left the point of paying the fine or allowing a few hundred thousands of parishable produce to spoil. in the end, the farm had little choice but to pay the $170,000, sign the consent judgment so that the fruit could be shipped. in light of these and other complaints, our delegation asked the department for detail on its policies and procedures for making these decisions. 122 days later we've yet to get an answer. that's not right. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from illinois seek recognition? ms. schakowsky: to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. schakowsky: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today because i just don't get this discussion about the fiscal cliff. republicans are saying that in
order to raise faxes on the very wealthiest americans and actually buy historically small -- by historically small amount, that the price that has to be paid is to ask the poorest adult americans to pay more. that is to reduce social security and medicare benefits. i don't get the equivalency that is being asked for. the richest to pay a bit more and the price to be that the poor, the poorest have to pay more. seniors in this country have a median income of just $22,000 a year. that means half of all seniors are below that. they also spend an average right now of $4,500 a year on health care costs out of their own pockets. and so i think that we have to change the debate here and there's a parable in the bible that makes this point. when you ask a person with one
coat to give up that coat, it's not the same as asking someone with 10 coats to donate one to the cause. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from florida -- ms. ros-lehtinen: to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise to call attention to the plight of united states marine veteran john hammer, who has been unjustly jailed in a mexican prison since august. john is an american hero and a patriot. after tours in both iraq and afghanistan, including time in fallujah, john began to suffer from posttraumatic stress syndrome. in order to help cope with ptsd, john and a friend embarked upon a surfing trip to costa rica. however, when john went to mexico, he was arrested after receiving inaccurate information from our own customs and border patrol agents. john has been languishing in
his own personal hell. he was beaten by other inmates. his parents were being extorted and he's been chained to his bed. i'm asking my fellow members of congress to join me and over 50 of our colleagues to urge our state department and mexican authorities to resolve this matter immediately and bring john hammer home for christmas. please call our congressional office to sign these important letters. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek to be recognized? mr. altmire: to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. altmire: mr. speaker, as both parties continue to negotiate over the looming fiscal cliff, congress is presented with a real opportunity to pass long-term agree hencive deficit reduction plans -- comprehensive deficit reduction plans. we can't let this opportunity pass us by. of course this is not the first time that congress has tried to shove this challenge, but it's vital that we learn from our past failures. we have to check our partisan talking points at the door and put everything on the negotiating table.
this time let's work from the middle out to build a bipartisan consensus instead of searching for solutions at the ideological extremes. this time let's listen to the vast majority of americans who occupy the middle ground and who want congress to enact a bipartisan solution, a bipartisan solution that would help restore the public's confidence in congress while reassuring the nervous financial markets. and most important, it would secure a lasting economic future for our country, the american people deserve nothing less. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman seek to be recognized? >> i seek unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. -time the gentleman from kansas is recognized. >> mr. speaker, we must remember america is exceptional. and the entrepreneurial spirit and innovative drive of our small business owners is what makes the american engine hum. mr. yoder: 2/3 of these jobs are by men and women who risk capital, give time and effort and take risk to grow their
business. we call this the american dream. when we place too many obstacles, it stiffles their ability to grow, hinders the ability to hire employees and slowing our economic recovery. as we discuss and debate the fiscal cliff deadline that's quickly approaching, we must keep in mind this american dream. our policy should focus on how our nation creates jobs and the economy grows. it's the drive and determination of the american people that makes the united states the most prosperous nation the world has ever seen. now is our time to unite around sound pro-growth, pro-job creation policies. mr. speaker, let's create long-term certainty when it comes to taxes and regulations. let's reduce spending and rein in the national debt. let's help our nation restore the american dream. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady seek to be recognized? >> request unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. bonamici: thank you, mr. speaker.
mr. speaker, our constituents across this great nation are looking to congress for leadership. here we are back in washington this week still in negotiations to find a compromise to avert this so-called fiscal cliff. the year end is fast approaching. before last friday, almost every conversation i had with my neighbors back in oregon centered on this question. what will happen after january 1? how much will taxes increase if congress, as is too often the case, is paralyzed by gridlock to act? my constituents found common ground in expressing this simple view, that the middle-class families and those who are struggling have done enough to bear the brunt of the country's economic difficulties and should not be asked to pay more. to see people coming together to ask their legislators what is right what is balanced and what is responsible encouraged me we might reach some solution. so i'm here today, mr. speaker, to ask that we all join
together to do what my constituents and your constituents and all of our constituents have asked us to do. we must find consensus and allow tax rates on most americans to remain as they are so our communities and businesses can move forward with certainty and faith in their government to work together and do what's right for our constituents. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from kentucky is recognized. >> i rise to talk about potential deadly consequences if the f.d.a. fails to act, on january 1 our streets could be flooded with cheap crushable prescription drugs ripe for abuse and misuse. after oxy cotin came on the
market -- oxycontin came on the market 15 years ago, deaths devastated entire towns in my region of appalachian kentucky before spreading like wildfires to big cities and suburban communities across the country. mr. rogers: by crushing these 12-hour delay pain pills, abusers can experience a euphoric and sometimes deadly high, but today the f.d.a. has an opportunity to keep these crushable pills out of our children's reach. . no generic pill should come to market without these life-saving features. the f.d.a. must take the necessary steps to keep us from careening off this pain pill cliff. i yield back.
the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california is recognized. ms. hahn: thank you, mr. speaker. we've been to this place before. before the gut-churning horror and sadness of the killings at the elementary school in newtown, there was a movie theater in aurora. a college campus in virginia. a high school in columbine. on friday i couldn't stop thinking about my own grandson who's 6 and a fist grader at a school in colorado. how much grief is enough? i think this grief is enough. we need to reinstate the assault weapon ban. we need to ban high-capacity clips. we need more thorough background checks and we need to offer more mental health services. but a life taken with a handgun is no less of a tragedy. a mother does not suffer less
knowing that her child's life was extinguished with a gun that did not have a 30-round clip. guns kill people. they need to be a lot harder to buy. we need to do a lot more to get them off our streets. this is our time, colleagues. this is our time. we need to pass bold, necessary, overdue gun control legislation. if we do not, this will happen again. mr. baca: thank you, mr. speaker. i -- mrs. bachmann: thank you, mr. speaker. on november 29, officer tommy decker was tragically killed in the line of duty and he was only 31 years old.
officer decker served with distinction. in six years at the police department he received no less than six commendations and letters of appreciation. he touched so many lives in his distinguished career. the overwhelming outpouring of community love and support at the funeral where there were over 3,000 police cars was an amazing sight to behold and i was privileged to be there. in honor of officer decker's service, i'm proud to join with all minnesota's colleagues to introduce legislation to rename his hometown post office the officer tommy decker memorial post office and we hope to complete that soon. and though he is no longer with us, officer decker's example of unparalleled courage and compassion lives on and i pray that his four young children will grow up to know just how much their father meant to the people of minnesota. and what a remarkable hero and example he was to us all. i yield back.
the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady seek recognition? >> to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks and include material in the record. mr. speaker, in our continuing effort to turn the tragic events at newtown to high purpose, i include in the record today two articles from the "u.s.a. today" d newspaper, one entitled, a boy lost in the shadows, and another , newtown puts mental services in spotlight. ms. kaptur: these articles remind me of a conversation i had a few years ago with a caring, grade school teacher from my own district who became quite frustrated with the local school system's inability to help her manage the behavior of a child in her elementary classroom. after repeated attempts that took three years, and let me emphasize three years, the teacher was able to have the child referred to behavioral specialists and placed in a more appropriate learning environment. as a society we seem to lack the methods to identify troubled youth and put them on a proper
path early to healing. too often a child is left floundering due to collective inabilities to help them find a constructive path forward. many of our local boards of education often are not properly equipped to identify and assist children who are uncivil or are completely alienated in their surroundings. mr. speaker, i was very pleased to have the president's announcement the other night of a commission to be formed to look into what is happening across our country and i hope that we provide a national forum to listen to those voices among us who grapple with these human challenges every day. i yield back my remaining time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman seek recognition? the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. >> mr. speaker, i rise first to offer my deepest condolences to the families of the victims in the recent sandy hook elementary tragedy.
in addition i add my voice to the outcry of my colleagues, constituents and americans around the nation, to call for action against gun violence in this country. mr. payne: this connecticut tragedy was the 30th mass murder in the u.s. since 1999, columbine -- 1999 columbine incident. but mass murders only represent a small portion of the gun violence in america. in my hometown of newark, new jersey, 348 shootings and 9 deaths occurred last -- 93 deaths occurred last year as a result of gun violence. unfortunately it's too late to save these victims. but it's not too late to prevent the next attack. the ban on certain types of guns, specifically assault weapons, and carnage clips, and piercing armor bullets undoubtedly would help. with stricter gun laws to save lives. now is the time for action.
i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentlelady seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute, revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from colorado is recognized. ms. degette: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, last friday 20 beautiful children and their loving teachers were shot by a deranged man with an assault rifle that had a high-capacity magazine. the time has come for us to have a national conversation about this. about the mental health, about the community issues, about school safety and about these types of weapons. now, we know we're never going to be able to stop a disturbed individual from going into a school or a movie theater or a shopping mall to do harm. but we can slow them down. we don't have to give them so
many bullets and high-capacity clips, that they can shoot 26 people in 10 minutes. multiple times. we can take those away. and that will give them a fighting chance. by limiting those clips we can save lives. and we can start right now by doing that, mr. speaker. there's a bill, congresswoman maloney and i -- or congresswoman mccarthy and congresswoman maloney and i are sponsoring this bill. we can pass this bill this week on a bipartisan basis and we can tell the moms and dads of america that it's a first step to keeping their kids safe. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady seek to be recognized? >> unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentlelady from washington. mr. delahunt: we have an opportunity -- ms. delbene: we have an opportunity to create jobs and reduce our deficit, but only if we're willing to do it together and take a balanced approach.
failing to do so will hurt millions of families and create unnecessary uncertainty for small businesses. we will be hurting families like blaine and genie parks whom i met with last weekend at their home in redmond, washington. blaine is a truck driver and genie works at an elementary school. blaine also owns a small fishing guide company. they told me how worried they are about higher taxes and cuts to programs they count on, like our schools. they work hard, pay their fair share and for them a tax hike would make it harder for them to make ends meet. it would hurt blaine's business and prevent them from taking care of basic things like simple repairs to their home. i hope that the next time i see the parks family, i'll be able to say that congress came together, saved them from a tax hike and got our economy back on track. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman seek recognition? the gentleman from georgia is
recognized. mr. johnson: thank you. on behalf of the citizens of the fourth congressional district of georgia, i wish to extend our condolences to the people of the great state of connecticut. please know that you are in our thoughts and prayers. mr. speaker, unless this congress acts, taxes will go up on the middle class by $2,200 starting in january, 2013. it's time -- as time is waisted, tax cuts for 9 -- wasted, tax cuts for 98% of americans are being held hostage to give more tax breaks to the wealthy. it's ridiculous to hold the whole nation hostage to protect the top 2% of americans and it's equally -- it's more egregious to continue offering plans that would balance the budget on the backs of the middle class. i ask my friends on the other side of the aisle to extend the middle class tax cuts, sending the american people a hopeful message of compromise during
this holiday season. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentlelady seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from florida is recognized. ms. brown: thank you, mr. speaker. social security has nothing to do with the debt problems that we're facing now. the seniors and disabled should not be held hostage by the republicans. their only priority in this debate is to protect american's wealthiest citizens. under former president bush, our nation financed two wars on the credit card and senior citizens should not be collateral damage. we lost trillions of dollars through irresponsible tax cuts and let's be clear, tax cuts are the same as spending when it comes to the deficit. and now the republican party's proposed solution is to make up the difference from taking money
from seniors. that is unacceptable. i am from florida, home of mr. pepper and if he were here he would be furious that a program developed to keep seniors out of poverty has been jeopardized by tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? the gentleman is recognized. mr. green: thank you, mr. chairman. the old adage, live and let live, is not enough. we now must live and help live. we have persons who will be severely impacted by the fiscal cliff if we don't take action. fema may lose as much as $878 million and this would go to persons who are victims of disasters. persons who receive rental assistance may lose as much as
$2.3 billion in help. it is not enough to live and allow others to live. we have to live and help others to have a better quality of life. let's avert and avoid the fiscal disaster. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from colorado seek to be recognized? >> permission to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. mr. perlmutter: thank you, mr. speaker. we've heard about it already, friday was a terrible day in america. terrible day in connecticut. and i represent the city of aurora, colorado, so we had a terrible day on july 20 in colorado where 12 people were killed and 58 were injured through assault weapons and these assault clips, these high-capacity clips. we've had numerous people killed at a sikh temple since then and shots were fired in a shopping center in oregon just last week.
assault weapons, assault clips, we must manage these things. the old saying is guns don't kill people, people kill people. well, crazy people with guns kill people. and we've got to start handling this so that we protect our children, our seniors, our shoppers, our church goers. this is something that we need to tackle now, mr. speaker. i appreciate the opportunity to speak about this. it is time to tackle these assault clips and assault weapons that have done such terrible damage to our kids and our people and with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. this is the day for the call of the private calendar. the clerk will call the bill on the calendar. the clerk: private calendar number 7, senate 285, an act for relief of superi chekowiki. the speaker pro tempore: is there objection? without objection, the bill is read a third time and passed and
the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. this concludes the call of the private calendar. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, the chair will postpone further proceedings today on motions to suspend the rules on which a recorded vote or the yeas and nays are ordered. or on which the vote incurs objection under clause 6 of rule 20. record votes on postponed questions will be taken later. . for what purpose does the gentleman from ohio seek recognition? >> i move to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 6504. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: a bill to to amend the small business investment act of 1958 to provide for increased limitations on leverage for multiple licenses under common control, and for other purposes.
the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from ohio, mr. chabot, and the gentlewoman from new york, ms. velazquez, will each control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from ohio. mr. chabot: thank you, mr. speaker. i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on the bill under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. chabot: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. chabot: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today in support of h.r. 6504, the small business investment company modernization act of 2012. this is a bipartisan bill. i sblow deuced along with representatives renee ellmers and representative cicilline that would increase the leverage of families of sbir funds from $225 million to $350 million. i introduced this legislation because -- excuse me -- the need for increasing small
business access to capital is something universally agreed upon. in this legislation -- and this legislation does exactly that. specifically this bill will increase investments to small businesses by $500 million per year without requiring an appropriation. in addition to having bipartisan member support, this bill has the support of the small business investor alliance, the association that represents sbic's and other sbir investors as well as the u.s. chamber of commerce, the world's largest business organization. additionally, the obama administration recommended this provision as a part of the president's startup america initiative. the small business investment company program was created in 1958 and provides leverage to highly regulated private investors. these private investment funds are called small business investment companies or sbic's for shore. they raise capital from institutions like banks and
pension funds and they also borrow federal capital to invest in our country's most promising small businesses. as required by law, 100% of the money is invested in american companies. small businesses need capital to grow and create jobs to support our local and regional economies. sbics have invested in over 110,000 small businesses since the creation of this program. 23% of the investments are made in the manufacturing sector of our economy, and 18% of the investments are made in the transportation sector. the manufacturing economy is very important to my state in particular in ohio and we need to continue committing to this. in the past six years, ohio's businesses have benefited from an investment of over $307 million from sbics. last year, representatives from one of the sbic funds in ohio testified before the house small business committee about the benefits of the sbic
program and in support of the legislation we have in front of us here today. north creek mezzanine, which is located in cincinnati, ohio, has successfully invested in five companies since it became an sbic a little more than three years ago. north creek understands the importance of supporting successful managers through this program. it's important for my colleagues to know that this bill does not cost the taxpayers money, nor does it increase the risk of the program. the sbic deventure program will remain a zero subsidy program. that means that the sbics that participate must pay an upfront fee to cover any losses. it's good public policy like this that allows companies to grow and access capital at no cost to taxpayers. this legislation assists proven fund managers, mike north creek mezzanine, as i mentioned before, that have a track record of success that allows
access to additional funds that they can then use to assist small businesses. we have here a bill that increases the leverage to $350 million for successful investors. the s.b.a., the small business administration, will continue to determine whether funds receive additional leverage after meeting certain licensor requirements. investment decisions will be made by proven private sector fund managers, not the s.b.a., thus ensuring that the amount of new capital used by this bill will go to qualified small business investors. h.r. 6045 is the perfect gift this christmas season as it is the gift that keeps on giving. the increase in the flow of capital to small businesses will have a ripple effect throughout the economy as businesses will expand, create jobs and invest in research and development. congress can take an important step in getting the capital to businesses that need it the
most. i would urge my colleagues to vote for h.r. 6504 on the floor today, and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentlelady from new york is recognized. ms. velazquez: thank you, mr. speaker. i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks and i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. velazquez: i want to take this opportunity to thank the gentleman from ohio for his work on this issue. since 1958, the sbic program has been an integral part of s.b.a.'s mission to provide small businesses with capital and create jobs. to date, the program has invested million $63 billion in more than 110,000 u.s. companies. in fact, some of the nation's most successful corporations, including apple, fedex and costco, received early stage financing from sbic. the key to the program's success is leveraging federal
funds to increase the amount of private capital invested in promising startup companies. access to capital is the lifeblood of every small business. after the 2008 financial crisis, traditional credit markets -- the amount quickly outpays the program's capacity, requiring a significant increase in the leverage caps to keep up under the american recovery and reinvestment cap, the leverage cap under sbic funds nearly doubled to $225 million. as a result, the program experienced unprecedented growth, setting a record in 2012 with over $2.5 billion in equity financing made, an 85% increase from 2010. this success has pushed many
sbic licenses against a new leverage cap, reducing the flow of compap to worthy small businesses. as you know, the goal of the sbic program is to fill the gap between the ability of venture capital and the need of small businesses in startup and grow. although this bill only addresses the need of some in the sbic community, it will send -- it will get additional equity capital flowing. as the economy continues its recovery, every dollar invested in small businesses will be important. i urge my colleagues to support this bill, and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves the balance of her time. the chair recognizes representative chabot. mr. chabot: thank you, mr. speaker. i have no additional speakers at this time so i continue to reserve the balance of the time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. who seeks recognition?
ms. velazquez: mr. chairman -- mr. speaker, i yield two minutes to the gentleman from rhode island, mr. cicilline. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from new york yields two minutes to the gentleman from rhode island. the gentleman from rhode island is recognized. mr. cicilline: thank you. and i thank the gentlelady for her courtesy. i thank my republican colleagues, congressman chabot and congresswoman ellmers, for working across the aisle and introducing the small business investment company modernization act. small businesses is the most effective job creator, faced the brunt of the financial crisis. we have the sbic program, and today's bill will help give the sbic program a lealty and robust public-private partnership, providing important capital to small businesses in my home state of rhode island and across this country. the sbic program leverages
private investment to provide greater capital to small businesses. since its creation in 1958, the sbic program has promoted more than $62.6 billion in financial assistance, made more than 164,000 investments in small businesses. in the past two years, sbic supported more than 130,000 jobs. in the past six years, sbics have invested more than $68 billion in rhode island small businesses, including over $40 million in fiscal year 2011 alone. h.r. 6504 is a commonsense, bipartisan measure that raises the amount of leverage that a group of commonly held, sound and successful small business investment companies refer to as a family of funds, can access. the small business investor alliance estimates that increase the leverage limit from $225 million to $350 million, which is the -- would facilitate approximately $500 million in a -- new small
business investment. this doesn't require an appropriation. the bill is supported by the chamber of commerce. i'm proud to support my colleagues across the aisle to support the bill which will enhance this public-private partnership and the flow of investment to promising small businesses. i thank the gentlelady and yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from ohio. mr. chabot: thank you, mr. speaker. i would ask the gentlelady if she has additional speakers. ms. velazquez: i don't. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time. the gentleman from ohio. mr. chabot: i ask my colleagues to support the small business modernization act of 2012, and i would yield back the balance of our time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 6504. those in favor say aye. any opposed, say no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill -- the gentleman from ohio. mr. chabot: mr. chairman, i
object to the vote on the grounds that a quorum is not present and i make a point of order that a quorum is not present. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on the motion will be suspended. the chair lays before the house an enrolled bill. the clerk: h.r. 6116, an act to amend the revised organic act of the virgin islands to provide for direct review of the united states supreme court of decisions of the virgin islands supreme court and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from florida seek recognize fligs? -- recognition? ms. ros-lehtinen: mr. speaker, i would like to call up the bill h.r. 3783 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: does
the gentlelady move to suspend the rules and pass the bill? ms. ros-lehtinen: yes, sir, i do. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 3783, an act to provide for a comprehensive strategy to counter iran's growing hostile presence and activity in the western hemisphere and for other purposes, senate amendment. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentlewoman from florida, ms. ros-lehtinen, and the gentleman from new jersey, mr. sires, will each control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlelady from florida. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you very much, mr. speaker. i move that the house suspend the rules and agree to h.r. 3783, as amended. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentlelady is recognized. ms. ros-lehtinen: i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and to insert extraneous material onto the record on this measure. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr. speaker. i'd like to yield myself such
time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. ros-lehtinen: i appreciate it. mr. speaker, i rise in strong support today of h.r. 3783, as amended, the counter iran in the western hemisphere act of 2012, a bill introduced by my good friend from south carolina and a member of our foreign affairs committee, mr. duncan, who is here with us. in september, the house acted and passed the duncan bill overwhelmingly, and last week the senate further reiterated its strong bipartisan and bicameral support for the bill and the need to address iran's increased presence in the western hemisphere. in february, the committee on foreign affairs held a hearing entitled ahmadinejad's tour of tyrants and iran's agenda in the western hemisphere in order to examine the growing threat posed by iran and its proxies to the u.s. national security interests in the western hemisphere, a threat that first
became evident 18 years ago with the deadly assault on the jewish community center in buenos aries. 18 years ago diplomats partnered with hezbollah, a foreign terrorist organization, to carry out the attack. since then, tehran has only increased its subversive actions as well as their diplomatic and economic relations with radical regimes in latin america. iran's ahmadinejad made two trips to latin america this year in an attempt to garner support from his fellow tyrants, the castro brothers in cuba, ortega in nicaragua with a, chavez in venezuela, and morales in bolivia. the iranian deputy foreign minister finished a similar tour around latin america seeking support for a nuclear iran. .
iran continues to expand its influence throughout the region, opening more embassies and more cultural centers in bolivia, ecuador, nicaragua, colombia, chile and uruguay, in addition to its existing diplomatic missions in cuba, argentina, brazil, mexico and venezuela. according to a u.s. intelligence analyst, these diplomatic missions are simply fronts for iran to carry out its nefarious activities in the region and a potential platform to increase the presence of operatives, a designated foreign terrorist organization and an arm of iran's revolutionary guard. iran is not only an enemy of the united states but also that of our allies. in the recent conflict between israel and the palestinians, the iranian regime had time and again displayed its brazen
disregard for peace by wanting to resupply the hamas terrorist organization in lebanon to continue their deadly rocket barrage on our greatest ally, the democratic jewish state of israel. once -- one state sponsor of terrorism after another continues to receive the royal treatment from these tie ran thes of latin america -- these tyrants of latin america. last month syria's deputy foreign minister also visited the regimes of venezuela, cuba, knick rag washington and ecuador -- nicaragua and ecuador. assad, a close ally of the iranian regime, and an enabler for their hezbollah branch, may be seeking political asylum in one of these countries as the situation in syria continues to rapidly deteriorate. mr. speaker, we cannot allow these violent actors a safe haven to conduct their evil schemes and the presence of these individuals only reaffirms the significant threat posed by
iran and its proxies to the united states and to the hemisphere. h.r. 3783 requires that the secretary of state outline a u.s. governmentwide strategy to combat the aggressive actions of iran and its proxies such as hezbollah in the western hemisphere toward a comprehensive policy stance that protects the security interests of the united states. we must do everything we can to isolate iran and its proxies from sources of financial assistance in the hemisphere as well as prevent entities from possibly helping iran to evade sanctions. we must ensure that the u.s. is actively monitoring this threat and takes appropriate steps to counter the iranian regime's agenda in our hemisphere. i strongly support passage of this legislation and i look forward to the president signing it into law. with that, mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the
gentlelady reserves the balance of her time. the chair will clarify that the pending motion is a motion to suspend the rules and concur in the senate amendment to h.r. 3783. the gentleman from new jersey, mr. sires, is recognized. mr. sires: mr. speaker, i rise in support of h.r. 3783, as amended by the senate, and i yield myself as much time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. sires: i want to thank the congresswoman for all her hard work on this issue. the underlying bill, h.r. 3783, has already been passed by the house. and for that reason i will only briefly summarize the bill and then move to explain the senate amendment. this legislation authorizes $1 million for the state department to generate an assessment of the threat posed to our country by iran's growing presence and hogs till activity in the western -- and hostile activity in the western hemisphere, as well as a
strategy to address that threat. as many of our colleagues reminded us during the house consideration of the bill, the issue could not be more present. to iran's pursuit of a nuclear weapons capability, its continued support of international terrorism and its abuse of basic human rights require the united states to maintain extreme vigilance in countering these. thanks to the leadership of this congress and the obama administration, more pressure has been placed on the iranian regime than ever before. by now -- but now is not the time to let down our guard. in a show of defines to the u.s., ahmadinejad has made six trips to our hemisphere. although it is unclear that he has put anything of real value on the table, it is important that the u.s. government continues to closely monitor the effectiveness of these iranian efforts. including attempts to gain support for circumventing international sanctions. iran was complicit in the
horrific bombings of the israeli embassy and the jewish community center in buenos aires, argentina. in the first half of the 1990's. and we have evidence of iran's increasing willingness to conduct an attack on u.s. soil. such as the discovery this year of a terroristed iranian plot to assassinate the saudi ambassador here in washington. it is clear that iran's behavior causes a clear and obvious danger tos i own people ands i -- to its own people and its neighbors and its growing presence closer to our shores also deserves closer attention. h.r. 3783 makes clear that we must continue to monitor this situation closely and provide resources necessary to ensure that the efforts of various u.s. government agencies are coordinated and clearly focused. the amendment adopted by the senate provides that the strategy generated by the administration may be submitted in classified form but shall
include an undallasified -- unclassified summary of policy commendations. this modified the original formulation which provided that the strategy be unclassified, but with a classified addition. i earn my colleagues to support -- i urge my colleagues to support this amended legislation and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentlelady from florida is recognized. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you, mr. speaker. i'm so honored to yield three minutes to the author of this legislation, the gentleman from south carolina, mr. duncan. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from south carolina is recognized. mr. duncan: thank you, mr. speaker. and let me just first off say how proudly -- how proud we are that the governor of south carolina appointed one of our colleagues, tim scott, to the united states senate yesterday and we wish him well. i want to thank madam chairman for her leadership on this issue and her leadership on the foreign affairs committee. i also want to thank chairman royce, the new chairman of foreign affairs committee, for his leadership on this, as this
bill came through the t.n.t. subcommittee. i want to thank the folks on the other side of the aisle that worked with us in a bipartisan fashion to pass this unanimously through the committee, passed the house unanimously, and i thank the senate for taking up this very important issue. and furthermore i want to thank chairman mike mccaul, the new chairman of homeland security committee, for yielding -- leading a could he dell specifically focused on this issue this past summer to south america. we're all aware of the iranian threat or their proxies' activity here in this hemisphere. whether it's the thwarted assassination attempt last year where the operatives of the iranian revolutionary guard were trying to use mexican drug cartel connections to enter the united states, to assassinate the ambassador from saudi arabia , or we're aware of hezbollah recently being revealed that hezbollah had a terrorist training camp or a training camp
of some origin in nicaragua, here in this hemisphere. last week the iranian deputy foreign minister for europe and the americas visited cuba, venezuela, bolivia and uruguay. this follows the iranian president mahmoud ahmadinejad's frequent trips to the region. most recently iranian naval commanders have expressed their intent to extend iran's maritime presence into the atlantic ocean, closer to the coastlines of the u.s. with this piece of legislation, we seek to protect u.s. citizens from threats from iran and defend american interests and assets here in this hemisphere. it requires the secretary of state to conduct an assessment and develop a coordinated and targeted strategy working together with our allies and partners here in the region to address iran's growing hostile presence and activity in the western hemisphere. with this it establishes a strong u.s. posture, policy and most importantly a relationship with latin american countries. it requires a plan to define and
outline the president's activities, operations of iran, the revolutionary guard, the force, hezbollah or any of their proxy organizations or transnational criminal organizations linked to iran that may be present here. we require a plan to protect u.s. interests and assets here in the western hemisphere including our embassies, consulates, businesses, energy pipelines and cultural organizations, including threats to u.s. allies. iran's actions here in our neighborhood represent a real threat to our safety and security and i urge my colleagues to concur with the senate amendment so that this legislation may pass the house and be sent to the president of the united states desk. and with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from new jersey seek recognition? mr. sires: i have no further speakers and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields his time back. the gentlelady is recognized. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you very much, mr. speaker. to wrap up our side of the
aisle, i'd like to yield such time as he may consume to the incoming chairman of our foreign affairs committee, the esteemed gentleman from california, mr. royce, who is currently the chairman of the subcommittee on terrorism, nonproliferation and trade. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. royce: i thank the gentlelady for yielding. i'd just like to begin by thanking jeff duncan and his staff as well for their good work on this legislation. but i would remind the members in terms of iranian activity in this hemisphere, we think what first comes to mind is the attack in the 1990's in argentina, but more recently hezbollah has penetrated our borders and one example i would give to you is a man trained by iranian intelligence. he paid a bribe in order to get to mexico from beirut. once in mexico he paid a second bribe, this time to a cartel
group in order to have himself inserted in a special compartment in the back of a car. the reason is he important is because it was his brother who was in charge for security in israel and during the hezbollah war, and i was there at the time, i saw those missiles that were ordered launched by hezbollah into a town that was under attack. there were some 600 casualties in that hospital trarp a direct result of those iranian and syrian missiles that were being fired on the hospital. frankly it was one of the targets. but fired on that town, fired on the residential sections of that city. so the brother was caught coming into the united states, actually was caught up i think near detroit. he's now serving time. there were some 50 other hezbollah operatives who were
also discovered here. and when you go through the background of his training in terror, in terms of weapons, and in terms of the capabilities that iranian intelligence gave him, you begin to realize why our intelligence officials are so concerned about iran's attempts to penetrate here. look at iran's attempt last year to to say sass nate the saudi ambassador on u.s. soil, using the mexican drug cartel. that's the latest example of the threat. i've had many ambassadors tell me that they dined in that same restaurant and you saw the commentary, that they were willing to accept their deaths as collateral damage. to the bombing in order to killed saudi ambassador. these are the designs of hezbollah. and this is the problem with iran.
many believe that countries close to iran, that iran is courting in this hemisphere, they're doing it because they're trying to help them beat back these sanctions. the sanctions bill which chairman ileana ros-lehtinen and i will be meeting on this afternoon. this is an attempt of iran to extends their authority and try to convince those would-be allies that they should help them avoid these sanctions. well, i'll just quote our d.n.i., our director of national intelligence. he told us the dangerous activities of iran and hezbollah so near our borders demand a whole of government strategy beginning with an interagency review to understand and assess the transnational multi-faceted nature of this problem, and to mobilize friendly governments to respond. we're concerned that the administration is not doing that. that's why in this legislation