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tv   HLN News  HLN  October 1, 2009 12:00pm-4:59pm EDT

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pace of job creation in the clean energy sector would slow to a crawl or even stop altogether. these are the reasons why today's conference report is so important. in the field of energy, the conference report fulfills congress' promise to chart a new path for national energy policy. . start a clean energy development and perform basic scientific research. it devotes millions of dollars to solar energy development, advanced vehicle technologies, energy-efficient buildings and biofuels that can be grown right here at home. we create domestic jobs and also take steps towards becoming energy independent. we recognize this fact in the energy and commerce committee when we wrote the american clean energy and security act which is
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why i'm cleezed to see these provisions part of today's conference report. this -- i'm pleased to see these provisions part of today's conference report. this is for potentially high reward activities like fusion energy, biological research. future generations will look back at these investments and thank us for having the foresight to recognize that, one, generations long-term research is future generation's short-term gain. many of my colleagues will be satisfied to know that the conference report also devotes resources to fossil fuel-based energy that can provide a boost to our energy independence efforts in relatively short order. $2 million is provided for -- $672 million is provided for research and development including natural gas recovery and unconventional petroleum research activities.
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this research will benefit independent petroleum producers and could also help make our country more energy independent for the short term. also to that end, the conference report takes the responsible approach toward nuclear energy by investing in fuel cycle research and development. by providing more than $700 million for nuclear energy, the conferees made the pragmatic calculation that nuclear lr part of our energy mix in the short term. but no matter how or electricity is generated, one challenge we face is delivering it effectively to its destination. for this reason the conference report provides more than $100 million to modernize and security our national electricity grid. by tripling the amount of funding for grid connected energy storbling and cyberstorage the conferees have recognized how closely or energy
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policy is tied to our national security. the energy portion of this conference report is only half the story though, mr. speaker. for my district and for people living in floodplains across the country, this energy and water conference report is a major victory. funding for the army corps of engineers is increased over both 2009 levels and over the president's request for a total of $5.4 billion. for my constituents, this funding can be a matter of life and death. my district is where the sacramento and american rivers converge. as a result, sacramento is the most at-risk city for major flooding in the united states. more than 440,000 people, 110,000 structures, the capital of the state of california and also $58 billion are at risk from flooding in my district alone. nearly $9 million in this conference report will reinforce
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levees along the american and sacramento rivers to keep these national assets safe and dry. for all of sacramento this means safer homes, more secure schools, better protected community centers and a higher quality of life. according to the american society of civil engineers, federal levees currently provide a 6-1 return on flood damage is prevented when compared to initial building costs. but the flood protection funding in this conference agreement is more than just dollars and cents, mr. speaker. when i go home and walk along the sacramento river and when i look at the houses and schools and parks that sit behind the levees, i'm reminded of how vital the energy and water bill is. in many parts of the country, it can mean the difference between a thriving city and a disaster area. flood protection is a regional undertaking, though. floodwaters do not stop and start based on congressional district boundaries.
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that is why i'm pleased that the conference report contains more than $60 million to improve the ability of folsom dam to protect my constituents who live below it. this money will also help the joint federal project to provide greater efficiency in managing flood storage in the reservoir. around the whole country, from sacramento to the mississippi river delta, from rural ohio to the bronx river basin, this conference agreement protects our communities by investing in our aging infrastructure. and when we rebuild our infrastructure, we rebuild our economy. the infrastructure funding in this conference report before us today will continue this pattern of creating jobs while investing in public safety. for that reason i strongly support the rule and the underlying conference report, and i urge my colleagues to do the same. mr. speaker, again, i want to thank mr. obey and the appropriations committee for its hard work on this conference
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agreement, and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves her time. the gentleman from texas. mr. sessions: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i want to thank the gentlewoman from california, my friend, for yielding me the time. and i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. sessions: mr. speaker, i rise in opposition to this closed rule. once again, a closed rule coming out of the rules committee, and the process that brought this bill to the floor. our friends on the other side of the aisle shut down the appropriations process by placing extremely restricted rule on every single appropriations bill that have come to the floor of the house this year. chairman obey set an arbitrary timeline to finish the fiscal year 2010 spending bills, which has forced the democrat rules committee to limit every republican and democrat's chance
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to offer an amendment on the floor. why? for what reason? there are hundreds of good amendments which were offered by all of my colleagues which were rejected in this unprecedented fashion. now that this house has finished all of the appropriations bills, you would think that my friends on the other side of the aisle would allow for an appropriate time and an appropriate process for consideration of the conference reports. not just come to this house floor but for members to be heard from and for us to go back to a process which this house was used to in its precedent for so many years. but, no. last night the conference report was filed after 6:00, i believe 6:17, and the rules committee met at 7:15 to report out a rule for floor consideration. my democrat colleagues in the
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committee waived the house rule that requires a three-deleover of conference reports and scheduled the bill on the floor first thing this morning. additionally, just last week, this house voted to adopt a motion to instruct that stated that the conference report, a bill that we are discussing on the floor here today, should be available online in a searchable format for at least 48 hours before it's voted on. well, mr. speaker, forget the three-day rule. forget the 48-hour motion to instruct. that this house was given just less than 24 hours to review the conference report and its changes. i don't know when my democrat colleagues will allow for the open and honest and ethical congress that they once called for but we're on the floor once
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again saying we met the deadline that chairman obey wanted, can we get back to a normal process now? a normal process that's not good for republicans and not just for our democratic members but good for this house to follow. mr. speaker, today we are discussing the energy and water appropriations conference report for fiscal year 2010. today, it is my intention to focus on the increase in spending over last year's level and the initiatives that the democrat majority continues to pursue that has only killed jobs and led to record deficits. this administration and this democratic congress promised the american public jobs, economic growth, economic recovery, health care, a cleaner
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environment, better education, and just a wonderful, wonderful life all contained within their appropriations bills. and the list goes on and on with other promises. yet, the only thing up to now that they really have accomplished is record deficits, record spending, and record unemployment numbers all across america. the fiscal year 2010 energy and water appropriations conference report provides $33.5 billion in total funding, which is hundreds of billions of dollars above last year's level. and then is in addition to the $58.7 billion provided in fiscal year 2009 emergency funding just from a few months before.
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mostly from the stimulus bill we have seen massive government spending. and this bill does not represent any commitment to fiscal sustainability. more promises, more spending, more deficit, more record unemployment. mr. speaker, the obama administration promised america if congress passed the stimulus bill that unemployment would not go beyond 8%, that it would create and save millions of jobs . here we are eight months later with a record 9.7 unemployment rate, the highest in 26 years. and more than two million americans have lost their jobs since the passage of the $1.2
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trillion stimulus employment plan. this summer when discussing the stimulus vice president biden said the obama administration, and i quote, misread how bad the economy was. even though as a candidate for president and vice president, both of them had been all over the country. they had seen firsthand exactly the circumstances the country was in. the obama administration got it wrong. they got it wrong when it came to the stimulus, and the american people know they got it wrong also. and the american people can no longer afford this democrat-controlled house, senate and white house, and we've got to start getting it right, not guessing and getting it wrong.
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spending hundreds of millions of dollars more in addition to the $58 billion additional spending this year is not a way to fix the problem. in june of this year, my friends on the other side of the aisle passed a cap and trade bill that will raise prices on energy, goods and services, and every single hardworking american across the country will pay that price. in my home state of texas, the average household can expect to may more than $1,100 a year extra as a result of that legislation. additionally, this legislation could ultimately kill over 1.38 million jobs that are in the manufacturing sector of this economy. that's 1.38 million more jobs.
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mr. speaker, sometime this month, the democratic controlled house wants to pass sweeping health care reform that will effectively it will diminish employer-based insurance market and forces 114 million americans into a government-run program. this $1.2 trillion package raises taxes, once again. raises taxes once again, raises taxes once again which is what this democratic-controlled congress is about. raises $1.2 trillion on taxes on individuals and small businesses that do not participate in the government plan. and $00 billion which -- $800 billion which the president talks about will need to help
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this massive government takeover private sector jobs being lost in america. in july, the congressional budget office director stated that the democratic health care proposal, quote, significantly expands the federal responsibility for health care costs. mr. speaker, i thought that the goal of health reform was to bring costs down for americans, not to increase the cost further america toward bankruptcy and the cost of $4.7 -- 4.7 to 5.5 million more free enterprise system jobs. by the way, those jobs are not in washington, d.c. . the american people know that you cannot spend what you don't have. and that's exactly what we are
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doing here today with the democratic majority. earlier this month the treasury department released a statement reporting that the federal budget deficit reached a record $1.378 trillion and that the national debt reached $11.8 trillion. by the end of august. this means that since 2007 this democratic congress has increased the federal deficit by $1.217 trillion and increased the national debt by over $3 trillion. what a record. in closing, mr. speaker, i will continue to point out that our friends on the other side of the aisle should not tax and spend not only this country but also hardworking families into a
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further economic recession. my democratic colleagues need to get a handle on the out-of-control spending which they dogged us repeatedly about when we were in the majority at far lesser levels. rising unemployments and record deficit can not be remedied with massive increases in spending by uncle sam. huge energy and health care costs that raise taxes and kill jobs is not what our economy needs right now. americans need a balance. they need to listen to what is happening in washington only to see that washington is the problem not the answer. americans are are tightening their belts because they get it. congress should be doing the same thing.
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mr. speaker, we have talked today about the process. we have talked today about spending. and we have talked about the overall agenda of this democratic majority that is about taxing. it is about spending. it is about record unemployments rather than working on the things that the american people, the people back home, who sent us here to do our job, are working on. i encourage a no vote on this rule and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas reserves his time. the gentlewoman from california. ms. matsui: mr. speaker, i want to remind my colleague on the other side of the aisle that we are not debating the american clean energy and security act or the health care reform bill. we are dealing today with a conference report for energy and water development. and i must say that this is a bill, a conference report, that
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has strong bipartisan support. and as far as job creation, this is about infrastructure. spending on public safety projects that will save jobs across america. as i said before, smart investment. the type of smart investment the american people want this congress to be making at this difficult point in our history. our nation's levees are crumbling and we are putting public health at risk because of things like that. this is the time to invest in infrastructure like this. so with that i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves. the gentleman from texas. mr. sessions: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, the thought process here in washington is that we can solve all the problems. that our country has, just trust washington. i think now more than ever we are seeing at the end of this year that the leadership in
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washington, d.c., the bills that are on this floor devotes -- the votes which we take virtually every single time, every single vote is about more taxes, more spending, more rules and regulations that are thrown to the american people with this package about how great this is for the american people. and yet what happens is is that members of congress, lots of them in our body on both sides, go back home and they listen to the american people. and they listen to the american people talk what i think is a lot of common sense. common sense about how to fix our health care. how to fix our spending. how to fix the unemployment. how to encourage manufacturing rather than deleting it.
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and then they look up and see where the political agenda of the democratic party in the three biggest political bills that represent the democratic party will lose almost 10 million jobs in this country. and the political agenda of the democratic party, one which this body is barely -- barreling down that pathway to meet and match has resulted in disaster for people back home. so the republican party will continue to come to washington and be faithful after listening and we will go to our committees and we will throw our ideas on the floor and ask the committees vote on them. we will continue to have members that come to the rules committee that seek time, permission to
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speak about ideas that will better the bills. and yet we find that in these instances before the rules committee it really doesn't matter. it doesn't matter not just for republicans but it really doesn't matter to a democrat, either. they will block the best ideas that come from the heartland. mr. speaker, this is not a way to continue. we are once again coming to the floor as i have done all year and my colleagues, david dreier, lincoln diaz-balart, and virginia foxx, as we explain the rules and explain the rules committee what is happening, receiving a bill at 3:00 in the morning, getting a bill as we did last night one hour before the meeting. not even following the rules from a resolution we had just the week before about online availability of bills. mr. speaker, no wonder the american people are up in arms
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and insisting that members of congress read the bill first. but every single member of this body is given a chance every single time to say, i disagree with the direction that the democratic leadership is taking us. we need to read the bills. we need to take the ideas from people in the heartland through their representatives in committees, and up in the rules committee, and make these in order. and follow a process that the american people, if they were sitting in, would say, why not take more time? why not understand the bill? why not cut spending? why not make some commonsense directional issues happen in this congress? this leadership, these bills continue to follow a process
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that the american people are questioning. we'll continue coming to the floorer and politely on behalf of people back home saying that we would hopep we would go back to regular processes instead of setting a new record every time for closed rules. i think it's important. i think it's important. and we'll keep coming to the floor and we will dutifully keep speaking up and we will make sure that we are properly representing those people who are talking about better process, better direction, and doing the things that will work. mr. speaker, it's my understanding that the gentlewoman does not have any additional speakers. and she has now confirmed that. with that understanding, i would like to thank the gentlewoman for yielding the time. i would like to yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentlewoman from california.
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ms. matsui: mr. speaker, i yield myself the remainder of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. matsui: the rule before us today is a fair rule that is aligned with the customary practice of the house for rules governing debate on conference reports. after numerous hearings and constructed negotiations with the senate, the appropriations committee has crafted an important and balanced bill. it invests in new technology, scientific research, and conservation efforts that are critical to long-term health of our economy and our planet. most importantly from my district this legislation increases funding for the army corps of engineers and the bureau of reclamation. every dollar is crucial for my constituents in sacramento as we work to improve our water infrastructure as i know it is to all my colleagues in the house have similar bills. i want to thank chairman obey and chairman pastor for recognizing how critical this
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funding is to all of us. we rely upon it to fortify our levees, raise our dams, and keep our communities safe and dry. this bill also looks to the future by investing in the development of a new smart grid to ensure electricity delivery and energy reliability. and it makes a strong commitment to renewable energy and scientific research. mr. speaker, i urge a yes vote on the previous question and on the rule. i yield back the balance of my time. and i move the previous question on the resolution. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back her time. all time having expired, without objection, the previous question is ordered. the question is on adoption of the resolution. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the resolution is agreed to. the gentlewoman from california. ms. matsui: i demand the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. those favoring a vote by the yeas and nays will rise. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device.
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pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, this 15-minute vote on adoption of house resolution 788 will be followed by five-minute votes on motions to suspend the rules on h.res. 692 and h.con.res. 151. this is a 15-minute vote. @@:vzvh
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vote the yeas are 234 the nays are 181. the resolution is adopted. without objection the motion to reconsider is laid upon the table. the unfinished business is the vote on the motion of the gentleman from new jersey, mr. pallone, to suspend the rules and agree to house resolution 692, on which the yeas and nays were ordered. the clerk will report the title of the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 692, resolution supporting the goals and ideals of tay-sachs awareness month. the speaker pro tempore: the question is, will the house suspend the rules and agree to the resolution.
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members will record their votes by electronic device. for this five-minute vote, by electronic device.:v:vzvt#hdt'sv
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the speaker pro tempore: on this the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 408. the nays are zero, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the voting having responded in the affirmative --
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the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 415, the nays are zero. 2/3 having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the resolution is agreed to and without objection a motion to reconsider is laid on the table. the unfinished business is the vote on the motion of the gentleman from california, mr. berman, to suspend the rules and agree to house concurrent resolution 151, as amended, on which the yeas and nays were ordered. the clerk will report the title of the concurrent resolution. the clerk: house concurrent resolution 151, concurrent resolution expressing the sense of congress that china release democratic activist lio xiaobo from imbriggsment. -- imprisonment. the speaker pro tempore: the question is will the house question is will the house
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the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 410, the nays are one. 2/3 having responded in the affirmative, the concurrent resolution is agreed to and without objection a motion to reconsider is laid on the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from arizona rise? mr. grijalva: mr. speaker, pursuant to house resolution 789, i call up the conference report on the bill h.r. 3183. and ask for its immediate consideration. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 3183, an act making appropriations for energy and water development and related agencies for the fiscal year ending september 30, 2010, and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to house resolution 788, the conference report is considered as read. the gentleman from arizona, mr. pastor, and the gentleman from
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new jersey, mr. frelinghuysen, each will control 30 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from arizona. mr. pastor: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include tabular and extraneous material on the conference report to accompany h.r. 3183. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. the gentleman will please suspend. the gentleman may proceed. mr. pastor: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. pastor: mr. speaker, i am pleased to present to the house today the conference report on h.r. 3183, the energy and water development appropriation act for fiscal year 2010. the conference agreement before us is a good one and it merits the support of all the members of the house. the agencies and the programs under the jurisdiction of energy
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and water development contributes to solving many of the most pressing challenges facing our country, including strengthening and maintaining our water infrastructure, advancing u.s. scientific leadership, combating global climate change, renewable and cleaner energy technology, and providing security against nuclear threats. i believe the conference agreement provides the strong support for these agencies and programs. the total amount of funding included in the energy and water conference agreement is $35.5 billion. this constitutes an increase of $204 million from the enactment level of fiscal year 2009. while the conference agreement is below the budget request, the primary reason for this difference is the congressional budget office score of the department of energy's budget. the conference agreement provides $571 million above the
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budget request in programs to further critical water and energy production and related goals. mr. speaker, i want to thank my counterpart, byron dorgan and the ranking senator. i want to extend my appreciation to my ranking member, the honorable frelinghuysen of new jersey for his extraordinary cooperation and insight. i truly value his support and his advice, and that of all the members of our energy and water subcommittee. i believe we are all proud of this bipartisan product. mr. speaker, before i conclude, i would like to thank the staff for their help in shepherding this bill through the house with conference with the senate. the subcommittee staff includes tonya, robert, joseph, james,
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casey and our detainee from the corps of engineers, lauren. i also want to thank richard patrick of my staff and rob lair and kevin jones of the minority staff. and nancy fox and kathryn haslet of mr. frelinghuysen's staff. mr. speaker, i urge the unanimous support of the house for the adoption of this conference report, and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from new jersey. mr. faleomavaega: -- mr. frelinghuysen: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in support of the conference agreement for h.r. 3183. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. frelinghuysen: i'd like to thank vice chairman pastor for his friendship and leadership. it's been a good working partnership. i'd like to thank all the staff on the subcommittee as well as in my office and his for their
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dedication and hard work. on the majority side, john, clerk, joe levin, bob wednesday al, lauren. on the minority, rob blair, kevin jones. and katie and nancy. and from mr. pastor's staff, mr. patrick. all these individuals worked tirelessly to put together the product before us which meets the needs of every congressional district in the nation. mr. chairman, the conference agreement totals $33.465 billion, which is $928 million below the president's request, and $167 million, .6% above the 2000 enacted level. however, the conference agreement was preceded by the american recovery and reen investment act, and other -- reinvestment act and other stimulus appropriations for the fiscal year 2009, which gave more than $58 billion to new
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agencies under the jurisdiction. in fact, nearly $39 billion of alone went to the department of energy. while the growth of the fiscal year 2000 regular appropriations this conference report is minimal, the department of energy is going to have a difficult time spending and accounting for all the new money it's received. however, mr. chairman, in general this conference agreement is reasonable and balanced. i do want to highlight one area which i have significant concerns, the future of nuclear power. in this country and what happens when political science trumps sound science. during the republican motion to recommit, the house energy and water bill, my colleagues from idaho, mr. simpson, spoke about the perils of the president's plan to terminate our nuclear waste management plan at yucca mountain. my biggest disagreement with this conference report is we were not able to overcome
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senator reid's influence and consequencely the disposal plan is barely on life support. the amount of funding in this plan to continue the yucca mountain license application is now half of what has requested, further delaying the progress on the establishment of a national nuclear waste disposal sight. what will result of the -- be of this decision? spent nuclear fuel and radioactive waste is being stored on site at 121 locations across 39 states. their our states, our constituents. i am sure the fuel is safe where it is today, but i know many of our constituents want it stored somewhere where the environment will not be affected and where the material will be kept safely. the president and the majority leader's decision in the senate will ensure that the fuel stays where it is for at least 15 or 20 years with each site bearing
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all the major costs and responsibilities for management and security of the waste material. second, their plan will rob our country of potential jobs and tax revenue. these jobs range from p.h.c.'s in physics to pipe fillers to plumbers. power plants can sustain 700 permanent jobs while new plants generate as many as 2,200 construction jobs. the application for 26 new plants, that's at least 60,000 jobs at stake. i don't understand how the president can push for an economic revitalization and reduce carbon emissions while gutting the single technology which will help accomplish both of those goals. our constituents need these jobs and the clean power source that they create. third, killing yucca mountain would bring billions of dollars of liability against the federal
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government. anywhere from $11 billion to $22 billion. this is money which the federal government owes industry because we failed to live up to our responsibilities. we've signed contracts with these companies to take the waste off their hands and because of the political arrangement between the white house and the senate leader, we have failed. taxpayers and rate payers must now carry that burden for the foreseeable future -- foreseeable future. these are facts. last week the nuclear regulatory commission had a vote that basically denies the go-ahead for the construction of new nuclear power plants. because of the administration's plans to terminate yucca mountain. those 54,000 jobs i mentioned earlier, they're on hold. the nuclear waste in our district is still there and not going anywhere. the billions of liabilities that our children will have to pay,
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well, that's another few billion on top of the current $1.6 trillion deficit. the one right side of the conference agreement is we were able to keep a licensed application alive but just barely. until the american public wakes up to the pitfalls of this political arrangement between the white house and the senate leader, we'll all have to bear the cost. with that said, mr. chairman, i'd like to thank vice chairman pastor for his leadership and friendship. overall this is a great conference agreement and i tend to support it and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from arizona. mr. pastor: i wish to yield two minutes to the gentlelady from florida. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from florida is recognized for two minutes. was was thank you, mr. speaker. i -- ms. wasserman schultz: thank you, mr. speaker.
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i rise today in support of this bill. this bill commits $180 million in federal funding for critical everglades restoration projects. following the administration request and the house-funded levels, it represents a firm commitment from this congress. to be clear, we must move boldly forward in saving this unique national treasure. time is our enemy and we have delayed too long. in 2000 congress authorized the comprehensive everglades restoration plan as a state-federal partnership to restore the ailing river of grass. however to date the state has outspent the federal government by more than two to one. finally, after eight years of inaction, we are beginning to meet our commitment and i can't thank chairman pastor and chairman obey enough for their steadfast support of funding to restore the pristine florida everglades to its once pristine state. with funding in the 2009 bill, the recovery and re-investment act as well, and now in the f.y. 2010 legislation.
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chairman obey and chairman visclosky and chairman pastor, your leadership on this effort will not be forgotten. it will preserve a national treasure for years and years to come so my children and my children's children can enjoy the florida everglades. today's bill is a positive step forward for the everglade and i hope it will spur further action in the next fiscal year. thank you and yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back the balance of her time. the gentleman from new jersey. mr. frelinghuysen: mr. chairman, i'm pleased to yield four minutes to the gentleman from tennessee, mr. wamp. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from tennessee is recognized. mr. wamp: i thank the chairman and i thank the ranking member and the speaker. it's my 15th year here. i've been on this committee for 13 years and i inherited a district that is really heavinny in this bill. the committee has been incredibly good through the years to recognize the needed investments in science, energy research, national security and environmental management and yet again this conference report recognizes those critical
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priorities on behalf of our country and i'm grateful for that. but much like paul revere, i've come to the committee, the subcommittee, the house again today to say we have a huge problem on the tennessee river. we began construction of the replacement lock a few years ago. the coffer dam is complete. inside this coffer dam we will dry out the tennessee river in the next few months to test that the coffer dam works. the coffer dam is about the size of this entire building, the capitol building, in the middle of the tennessee river. we're ready now to begin pouring the foundation in the middle of the river to replace the lock. the current lock will close. i just had the briefing today from the court. yesterday at the conference committee, closing this out, and i signed a conference report, i offered an amendment to put language and up to $14 million in the bill it make sure we can move the project forward. it failed. on a 10 to eight vote.
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i appreciate lincoln davis, the only member of the majority, for voting yes. everyone in the minority voted yes. this is a critical problem. i say to the administration, you only made a $1 million funding request. it's not sufficient to move it along. the current lock will close. the corps just briefed us again today. they cannot keep it open. it will be the largest inland waterway system in the history of our country to close. the current lock was set to close in 2014. we're not building the lock yet. we've prepared, the coffer dam is complete, kentucky lock only got $1 million but their stimulus money allowed them to start construction. we could not. i made this case at the subcommittee, the full committee, on the house floor, mr. pastor helped it. we put $14 million in and just like happens in this place, somehow by the time we got to the conference meeting it was taken back out. we tried to restore it
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yesterday, change of support went down virtual party lines. i'm telling you, we got a problem, we need help. and it's not me, it's the entire eastern system. it's the largest inland waterway system in the country. it is going to close. we got to do something. please, to the committee, to the senate, to the house, both parties, administration, when there's an emergency supplemental, let's get together ahead of time, fix the inner waterway trust fund problem. this is a crisis for all the inner waterway systems and the first big failure will be the lock unless we exert the leadership that we're elected to do. it's a can that's been kicked down the road too long. i plead with you on behalf of the constituents, not just in my district, not just my state, but in the entire eastern part of our country. from peoria to south georgia, will you have truck loads of cargo and goods, 150,000 a year,
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added 18-wheelers to carry the cargo that goes through this lock and it is about to close. because we're not doing our job. that's the truth. and i hate it. and i've done my best, but i am only one. i need help. our people need help. our country needs help. we need leadership. let's keep the lock open. if there's an emergency supplemental that moves, we need to step up and fix this problem before the 2011 cycle. i'm going to do everything i can. i've been here long enough to know how to cooperate, how to get it done and sometimes how to keep the train from going any further until the right things are done. that's not a warning, i need your help. that's a plea. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from arizona. mr. pastor: mr. chairman, this is the first time i've done this bill and i have to tell you that one of the lessons i learned is
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that the inland waterway is of great value to our country and we have not paid attention to it. i would agree with my colleague that if the problem -- that it's a problem that we need to solve, the inland waterway trust fund is the vehicle which would construct and maintain the lock. but at this point we haven't been able to solve that problem. and the gentleman is right, we did help him here in the house when we passed this bill but i have to tell him with great regret that in the conference we found very little support from the senate in this particular lock and in working out the conference bill we had to go back to the $1 million. i'd like to yield three minutes to my colleague from texas, mr. edwards. the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentleman from texas is recognized for three minutes. mr. edwards: mr. speaker, this bipartisan bill will greatly improve our nation's water infrastructure, robustly fund vital energy research and help protect our nation from the threat of nuclear terrorism. the bottom line is that it will create jobs, strengthen our economy and protect our nation. the bill provides $5.4 billion to the u.s. army corps of engineers to address our nation's vitally important water infrastructure needs. it moves us forward in funding the construction and maintenance of our nation's ports and navigational waterways which are crucial to our economy and international trade. h.r. 3183 also makes great stridse in protecting our communities from natural disasters by providing $2 billion for flood production earths -- protection efforts. money is included for the department of energy's efforts to decrease our reliance on foreign sources of oil and increase our investment in technologies that use energy
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more efficiently and to expand energy sources right here at home. while providing $2.2 billion for research in energy efficiency and renewable energy efforts such as solar, wind, biofuels and hydrogen, this bill also invests in conventional energy sources by providing $787 million for nuclear energy research and $672 million for fossil energy research. mr. speaker, there's no more important mission for our country or this congress than preventing nuclear weapons from falling into the hands of terrorists and this bill provides $2.1 billion for our nation's nuclear nonproliferation efforts at home and abroad. why? to keep the american family safe. our nation's community and national economy and security are strengthened by this bill which is why i urge all my colleagues, republicans and
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democrats alike, to support it. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from new jersey. mr. frelinghuysen: mr. chairman, i'm pleased to yield three minutes to a member of our committee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. >> i thank the gentleman. mr. speaker, the conference report that we're considering today addresses a number of issues affecting the international and water infrastructure of our country. however, when it comes to outgoing -- ongoing water crises in california, the conference report comes up short. the ongoing water cry is sniss california has exasperated the economic downturn up and down my state. statewide the unemployment rate has risenen to more than 12%. regional unemployment has now reached 20% in the valley. with some communities, unemployment now over 40%. california water crisis as a result of a severe drought condition on top of imposed pumping restrictions that were placed on our state's critical infrastructure.
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while the conference report roadways -- provides some funding for california's mid and long-term management resource projects, many of the projects are years away from completion and will not provide any assistance to californians that are suffering today. many of the most effective communities have made it clear they are not lookinging for a handout. they want their water and jobs back. during the markup of this bill in the appropriations committee i offered an amendment to do just that by ending the federally imposed pumping restrictions. sadly, most of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle rejected my amendment and voted to protect the three-inch fish instead of protecting jobs and the people of california. similar efforts by my colleague, mr. nunes, have been rebuffed by the democratic majority. the fact remains that the flaws and shortcummings of the endangered species act have tied the hands of judges and water resource planners, creating a manmade drought that is killing jobs, destroying livelihoods and hurting families in california.
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i realize this issue should be addressed by the authorizing committee but if the democratic leadership will not force the committee of jurisdiction to act, the members of the minority have no other option. if this congress and this administration fail to take bold steps necessary to address this crisis in the near future, the people of california will know exactly who is responsible for the mounting job losses and economic suffering. thank you, mr. chairman. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from arizona. mr. pastor: mr. speaker, when we were doing this bill and in fact when this bill was on the floor we assisted to the best of our ability in terms of providing authorization and also money and in some cases we waived matching restrictions so that we would have both the authority and the financial resources to deal with the problem.
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the what the previous speaker has asked us to do was to waive the environmental impact statement that was required and we did not have the ability to do it, and the authorized -- authorizers in committee did not allow us to do it. we did try and it was kept in the conference to provide the authorization and the financial resources to continue in a short term deal with the water shortages in central california. at this moment i'd like to yield three minutes to my friend and a member of the subcommittee, mr. salazar. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from colorado is recognized for three minutes. mr. sal stpwhrar: thank you, mr. speaker. and -- mr. salazar: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to support what i consider to be my best legislative accomplishments since i came to congress in 2004. but let me first say how important the investments we are
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making in this bill are. nearly $2.5 billion for renewable energies. i especially want to point out the $225 million included for the solar energy. the third congressional district of colorado already has some of the largest solar farms in the world and my constituents are already recognizing the very benefits of solar industry. the $1.3 billion included for the department of interior and the bureau of reclamation are so vitally important to the western united states. as other speakers have mentioned, water continues to be a damper to the livelihood of many westerners, and this investment in our nation's water infrastructure from dams, canales, treatment plants and rural water projects -- canals, treatment plants and rural water projects is important for them as they face crisis after crisis from colorado all the way to california. this bill included several desperately needed thrars for
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rural water projects in california. the $1.75 million for the jackson gulf rehabilitation, $600,000 for the plator reservoir in the san luis valley will help to improve these rural water districts. lastly and most importantly, i want to thank the chairman and ranking member and all the staff of the subcommittee for taking a step that has not been taken for 50 years. the arkansas conduits go back to 1962 when president kennedy signed the authorization by congress which was part of the arkansas project which included the construction of lake pueblo. the end project was the result. this is the best news that i've heard in a long time, said bob rallings, aphid fighter for
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water rights in colorado. i am proud to say to the people of southeastern colorado you will no longer have to wait for clean, drinking water. clean drinking water is on the way. i want to thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from new jersey. mr. frelinghuysen: mr. speaker, i'm pleased to yield three minutes to the gentleman from florida, mr. rooney. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida is recognized for three minutes. mr. rooney: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today in support of the energy and water appropriations bill. this bill contains support for various projects in my district that will help with the continued restoration and preservation in the south florida ecosystem. i'm pleased for the funding of the hoover dike. this is undergoing a massive rehabilitation project that will continue to ensure the help okeechobee, bell glades, and the surrounding communities. however, while i'm grateful for the committee for their support
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of these projects, i must express my great disappointment with the senate for stripping out most of the vital construction funding for the indian river lagoon. this project was originally authorized in the 2007 water resources development act as a component of the comprehensive everglades restoration plan. while some in the up upper body argue that the indian river lagoon was a new start and therefore not deserving of undering, i argue it's not a new -- not a new start as it is a component of the overall ongoing everglades restoration project. by cutting a majority of its vital funding, we are only kicking the can further down the road for not getting this vital project started. it's time for the federal government to live up to its financial commitment to this project. my only hope is now that the lagoon will receive funds, however minimal. our colleagues in the senate will now agree that this is not
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a new start and, therefore, deserves to be fully funded next year. every year that goes by, however, without adequate funding, further damages are -- our fragile ecosystem there in the indian river lagoon makes recovery that much harder. i'd like to thank my fellow florida colleagues, especially congresswoman wasserman schultz, for their tireless work and support on these projects and for the house in including it in the original house bill. i look forward to continuing the good work that we started. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from arizona. mr. pastor: in response to the comment from my friend from florida, all new starts in this bill, and there were few, and the everglades got two, we have the number of 100,000, but that was -- that significant any find that new start is available for this project.
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by designating the new start for the everglades, that means that recovery money can be used now for the purpose that you spoke about. secondly, the corps will now be able to reprogram money that's now designated as new start, can reprogram money to continue the efforts on this lagoon. and so we thought that the new start was not a cutback in money but was a vehicle that will make more money available so that the everglades program could go forward. so that's how we attempted to solve this problem and hopefully that will be the result. mr. speaker, at this time i'd like to yield three minutes to the distinguished chairman of transportation, mr. olver. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. olver: mr. speaker, i'm
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proud to stand here today in support of the 2010 energy and water appropriations conference report. i'd like to thank chairman pastor and ranking member frelinghuysen for their great work on this legislation, and i praise them for their cooperation and bipartisanship. because of their work and the excellent work of our subcommittee staff, we have before us this comprehensive, fair and targeted bill that makes significant investments in our country's future and in the goal of achieving energy independence. they have been able to do this with only a slight increase of $200 million over last year's funding level. yet, these investments will build on the success of the american reinvestment and recovery act in developing a clean energy economy and creating more american jobs. i am particularly grateful that this bill increases by over 10% the funding for the department of energy's energy efficiency and renewable energy program. this program funded at $2.2 billion invests in producing cleaner and more efficient
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energy technologies to produce inexpensive energy pro domestic sources. included -- for domestic sources. included is the vast amount of solar energy that's reaching the earth every day. $311 million to improve vehicle and battery technology. and $200 million for research into improving energy efficiency in commercial and residential buildings which currently consume about 40% of our nation's total energy usage. as a scientist, i'm pleased to see $4.9 billion for the office of sciences basic and applied science research program. such investments are critical to mape take america's place as the leader in the world economy. additionally, this legislation supports president obama's historic commitment to nuclear nonproliferation by providing $2 billion for securing vulnerable
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nuclear material. this will protect americans from the risk of nuclear material falling into terrorist hands by securing stockpiles in the former soviet union. the money will also improve our ability to stock nuclear and radiological materials from being smuggled into the u.s. again, i strongly support this bipartisan legislation, and i urge my colleagues to vote yes on final passage, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from new jersey. mr. frelinghuysen: mr. speaker, i'm pleased to yield two minutes to the gentleman from louisiana, mr. scalise. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from louisiana is recognized for two minutes. mr. scalise: i want to thank the gentleman from new jersey for yielding. mr. speaker, i rise in opposition to this conference report. there was language in this bill that was stripped in the conference report that would have directed the corps of engineers to pursue a much safer level of flood protection for the new orleans region. our entire delegation, republicans and democrats, were unanimous in support of the
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language that was in the bill in the conference report stripped out that language which would have directed the corps to pursue a much safer option than the one they're currently pursuing. if we haven't learned anything from the lessons of katrina is that the federal levees that failed us before cannot be rebuilt the same way they were. there's too much taxpayer money at stake for us to get this wrong. we would supported the option to make sure that the corps gets it right. for all the money that's being spent as opposed to the route they're going right now. option 2-a, which we wanted the corps to do, is known as pump to the river. according to the report, pump to the river, option 2-a, that's being thrown out by this conference report, is more advantageousous than the one they're pursuing. it's more operationally more effective than the one the corps' pursuing. it provides greater reliability and most importantly, it further reduces the risk of flooding. that's the option that our entire state delegation, that
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our governor's office, that the people back home, the city of new orleans, the people of jefferson parish supports. we should support the risk of flooding after what we saw happened after hurricane katrina. and that language that was in the bill is now being stripped out by this conference report. we need to learn from the lessons of katrina, and it's time this administration stop paying lip service to our flood protection needs and actually put its money where its mouth is and do the right thing as opposed to making the same mistakes that were made in the past. we can't afford to let them go forward with building and options that by their own admission is much less reliable and protecting the people of new orleans from future flooding. so i rise in opposition and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from arizona. mr. pastor: mr. speaker, in response, i have to tell you that the conferees on the house side, the manager -- the house
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managers were united on this front as well as the chairman of the owe body's committee. and we felt that -- the other body's committee. and we felt that the alternative that was desired did not provide additional protection, and it would have delayed the permanent protection of new orleans by anywhere from 18 to 36 months which we thought was too long a period of time to keep new orleans unprotected. and the cost, we believe, it would have been $3 billion to $4 billion more. and for that reason we felt in fairness that we should continue with the program that the corps has for new orleans. at this time, mr. chairman, i'd like to yield three minutes to the distinguished member of the subcommittee, mr. berry. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from arkansas is
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recognized for three minutes. mr. berry: i thank the gentleman from arizona, and i certainly thank him for his leadership in getting this bill to this point. i appreciate the ranking member and the good work that they have both done in a very fair and nonpartisan way to serve this country and also the staff of the energy and water subcommittee. and what a magnificent job they have done. this is a very special bill to the first congressional district of arkansas. it makes continued investment in our flood protection ability, in the operations and maintenance of our flood protection system. it adds money for construction where construction is needed, for investigations where investigations are needed, and more study needs to be done.
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the department of energy is -- has moved forward with the appropriations in this bill. we tried to do what we can to improve the solar energy research, the biofuels research, vehicle technology research, hydrogen technology, energy efficient buildings, industrial technologies and weatherization grants. all of these things are an investment in the future of this country and our ability to reduce our dependence on foreign oil and that's what the committee had in mind and i think our leadership has done a great job with all these things. we also make a serious investment in electricity delivery and reliability. in the area of science and the base uck sciences we have made another serious investment and i
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think that this is the kind of thing that the appropriations committee was created for, was to make these decisions, make the necessary investments in the future of this country and continue to build our infrastructure, protect our people and provide the opportunity for us to be successful and i urge passage of this bill. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from new jersey. mr. frelinghuysen: i'd like to yield three minutes to the gentleman from georgia, mr. deal. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia is recognized for three minutes. mr. deal: i thank the gentleman for yielding. i rise today, unfortunately, in opposition to this conference report. and i want to point out to this body that something has been added in the original version from the other body. it injects itself into something that i don't think this house wants to be involved in. and that is the water wars
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between alabama, florida and georgia. unfortunately there is language here that directs the corps of engineers to calculate critical yields on the two mainly basins that flow through my state of georgia and, in particular, involve the basins themselves and the reservoirs. now, i do not think that the gentleman who is handling this bill or the republican gentleman who is handling this bill has any intention of having this inject itself into a controversy that has been going on for decades in the federal courts and is still currently under appeal as a result of the latest decision. now the affect of this is -- effect of this is one of two things. it will either be used and since it directs the corps of engineers to within 120 days to calculate critical yields of the
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two major river basins, it will will either be used for purposes of the ongoing litigation or it will be used as an argument for why human consumption should not be considered in the resolution of this issue between the three states or among the three states. now, to spend corps dollars calculating something that does not take into account the right of people to drink the water that is in their state is unrealistic and is a true waste of federal must. i find it quite ironic that the gentleman who injected this language into this bill just a couple years ago was injecting language that directed the corps not to do these kinds of studies. isn't it ironic how all of a sudden the positions have flip flopped? now, if you do not think that
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this is an issue that involves the so-called water wars, i would invite you to look at the press release for the gentleman who is claiming credit for injecting this in it and it's referred to as the water wars amendment. i would hope that this body would not see fit to get involved in a fight that is going to be resolved hopefully by agreement of the governors of the three states. my governor has initiated an effort to try to resume those negotiations and we have had as a response from at least the state of alabama, we're hopeful that the state of florida will respond accordingly, this issue ultimately, i think, will be resolved by the governors reaching a conclusion and then bringing that conclusion to this body and to the other body and ask us to incorporate it into the laws of this country. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from arizona.
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mr. pastor: mr. speaker, in reference to mr. deal, it's our understanding that, that's right, the language in this conference requires two studies to determine the critical yield of the federal projects. but we don't know, first of all, what the outcomes are going to be, so we don't know that while we're having these studies. we don't want to get into the water wars and we don't think a the consumption issue is an issue that would be part of the study. but the report is -- well, the report language and this administration could do what it wants with the corps of engineers. and at this time i'd leeland to -- like to yield two minutes to the gentleman from georgia. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia is recognized for two minutes. mr. scott: thank you very much, mr. speaker. i come down to concur with mr. dean of california.
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the water situation in our state of georgia is dire. it's a very delicate situation. we are working towards a very, very good response for the people of georgia and for our entire region. we've just had the court ruling, it's very sensitive there. our major concern, and, again, this is with great respect to the chairman, he just spoke and we concur with that at well, but we need to be very careful that there is no language in the reporting language or in any of the studies that removes or the words for human consumption for water because if the manuals are not constructed with the measurement by using water that is used for human con simmings, that shoots right into our bull's eye. because that's why in metro thrapt, in the area where the point of discussion is, we use
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that water for human consumption. so we're very sensitive to anything that would disallow that. we are working with the governors of both florida and alabama jointly with our gorner of georgia to come to a conclusion, as you all may or may not know. the judge, when he ruled in his decision, declared it would be here in congress that we would have to at some point re-authorize the water use of lakely near in that region for human consumption. so this language would make it very difficult for us. we certainly want to concur with that, i concur with mr. deal and the folks in georgia and respectfully hope that our words will be taken within the spirit of understanding that we are delivering those wars and i thank the chairman for yielding.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from new jersey. flell mr. frelinghuysen: i'm pleased to yield to the gentleman from georgia. mr. westmoreland: i thank the gentleman for yielding and wait to stand with my colleagues about this language that was put in the conference committee report and i'm looking at the press release now. conference committee ado not shelby water wars in midland. i just want to give warning to some other members of this. not only would the judge's ruling about the basins, it also mentions that because this drinking water was nonauthorized and who would have ever thought that we'd have to authorize the ability for humans to have drinking water out of their water source? it also is going to affect 17 other states with approximately 42 corps impoundments in their state.
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if they don't believe that this will not be used as a test case in a model for others to file suit with the endangered species act or whatever, for people taking unauthorized drinking water out of those water sources, they are very much confused. this bill needs to be defeated. this conference report needs to be defeated. we need to go back to conference, we need to get this language out. and i hope that other members of this body who have these empowerments located in their state understand the consequences of what this language could have to them if this conference committee report is passed in this body. he goes to the president's desk for signing. if you don't believe this isn't going to be brought up in some of these court cases, you're just fooling yourself. so i would like for -- to to ask other members of this body to join me and my colleagues in voting against the conference report and with that i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from arizona. mr. pastor: mr. chairman, i want to clear that the corps was going to do these studies and defeating this conference report is not going to stop the corps from doing these studies and i commit to my gentleman from georgia that we will work with him because we don't believe that the consumption of water by the residents of atlanta or georgia should play a role in determining -- should be a factor in these studies and i would like to yield three minutes to my colleague. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from ohio voiced for three minutes. >> i thank the gentleman. i'd like to also thank the ranking men -- member. this is a good conference report, this is a good piece of legislation. i think there are some sound investments here. i wish some were more but i think given the stimulus and everything we are moving in the right direction.
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we send about $750 billion a year to oil producing countries. a couple years ago the department of defense spent about $115 billion escorting big oil ships in and out of the persian gulf. so we've got to get away from our dependency on foreign oil, we've got to get afrom our dependency on these foreign countries that get us in all these political entanglements. the investments that are made here on solar energy, 225 -- $225 million, biofuels, vehicle technology, hydrogen technology, energy efficient buildings, for those of us who represent manufacturing states in the midwest, this green economy is opportunity for us. we have manufacturing, we have great research and development institutions. this is an opportunity for us to revive the middle class in the united states of america through these green jobs. and there was a report that was just done for the midwest governor's meeting that's coming up and it says regional report endorses clean energy economy
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for the midwest. midwestern states should use their abundant natural resources and manufacturing base to build an economy based on clean energy. and we have the opportunity to do that if. if we continue to in-- do that if we continue to invest into research development, especially coal, and one point i'd like to say, i hope next year, mr. chairman, that we can continue to push these energy hubs. secretary chu has made it a top priority. they're modeled after the old bell laboratories where the research can be -- a variety of different universities that are going to be involved in the research, they're going to be able to collaborate and focus on the technologies that are working, not focusing on just getting money so you can have a budget for next year. so i hope as we continue to move we continue to push these energy hubs are going to be nothing but opportunity for us to get into the commercialization and continue to create jobs. again, this is a good piece of legislation. wayen the to thank the chairman and the staff.
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i know a lot of work went into it and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from new jersey. mr. frelinghuysen: reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: reserves his time. the gentleman from arizona. mr. pastor: at this time i'd leak to -- like to yield two minutes to the gentleman from pennsylvania. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized for two minutes. >> thank you. i'd like to thank the chairman and the ranking member and the professional staff of the committee. just a wonderful job has been done, i think, dealing with and grappling with a whole set of issues but in this 3 $33.5 billion conference report, there are some very significant investments and priorities, $2.2 billion in energy efficiency and renewable energy, solar to biofuels and hydrogen, weatherization grants and we are very, very pleased that they were able to produce that as part of this conference report but i also want to say that on the nuclear side, a continuing investment by the committee,
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some $787 million on a whole range of very important efforts related to nuclear energy so they can be safe and environmentally useful to us to continue to expand the loan guarantee program and also through a number of other investments that are being made in the conference report. and to deal with the president's commitment on nuclear nonproliferation, when the weapons side, a $2 billion plus $1 billion investment. i think that congressman pascrell who has led this effort and the staff have done a great job. we had, i think a group process in negotiations with the senate in our conference committee which wrapped up yesterday and i encourage the house to report this and i thank my good friend from new jersey who served as the ranking member and has done an extraordinary job. this has been a bipartisan effort and a bipartisan work
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product think a think moves the country's priorities forward in terms of energy and energy efficiency and i recommend it to the house. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from new jersey. mr. frelinghuysen: reserve. the speaker pro tempore: continues to reserve his time. the gentleman from arizona. mr. pastor: mr. speaker, i yield a minute to the gentleman from california. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized for one minute. >> thank you very much, mr. speaker. i rise today in support of the energy and water conference report. by now i suspect all of the members of the house understand the drought crisis affecting california. particularly in the heart of the san joaquin valley. a large part of my district. if this drop continues a fourth, fifth year, it could impact the entire state of california. among many of the items in this conference report are two amendments that congressman cardoza and i have been fighting hard on behalf of our farmers, farm workers and farm communities who are at ground
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zero as it relates to this crisis. communities 30% and 40% unemployment, the most difficult situation they've ever faced. in july we offered amendments to bring drought he relief to the san joaquin valley for providing funding for two projects. both of these projects were on the back burners for year. they should have been already implemented. this administration's moving forward to put these under construction next year. the second amendment addresses impediments to transfers. transfers are critical during drought conditions, both regulatory and that by mother nature. this gives the bureau of reclamation the flexibility needed to facilitate them. much more needs to be done. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman is recognized for an additional 30 seconds. mr. costa: i thank the gentleman. this gives the flexibility for the bureau of reclamation to facilitate these water transfers. this year we transferred water that was a critical lifeline.
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much more needs to be done. i urge my colleagues to support these two amendments in this conference report and i thank the gentleman from arizona for his support in these efforts. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from new jersey. mr. frelinghuysen: i'm prepared to yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from arizona. . mr. pastor: i urge my colleagues to support it. i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. pursuant to house resolution 788, the previous question is ordered. the question is on adoption of the conference report. pursuant to clause 10 of rule 20, the chains yanse are ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. 15-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly #" $tte't
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the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 308 and the nays are 114. the conference report is adopted. without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. the house will be in order. members, please take your conversations off the floor. the house will be in order. the unfinished business is the question on suspending the rules and agreeing to house resolution 731 which the clerk will report by title. the clerk: house resolution 731, resolution expressing the sense of the house of representatives that the employees of the department of homeland security, their partners at all levels of government, and the millions of emergency response providers and
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law enforcement agents nationwide should be commended for their dedicated service on the nation's front lines in the war against acts of terrorism. the speaker pro tempore: the question is, will the house suspend the rules and agree to the resolution. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the resolution is agreed to and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. the house will be in order.
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the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia rise? mr. cantor: mr. speaker, i ask to address the house for one minute for the purpose of inquiring about next week's schedule. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. cantor:00 thank you --
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mr. cantor: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield to the gentleman from maryland, the majority leader, for the purpose of announcing next week's schedule. mr. hoyer: on monday the house will not be in session. on tuesday the house will meet at 12:30 p.m. for morning hour debate and 2:00 p.m. for ledge business with votes postponed until 6:30. on wednesday and thursday the house will meet at 10:00 a.m. for legislative business and friday there are no votes expected. we will consider several bills unsuspension of the rules. complete list of suspension bills as is the custom will be announced by the close of business tomorrow. in addition to the suspension bills we will consider h.r. 2442, the bear area -- bay area water recycling program expansion act of 2009. the conference report on h.r. 2997, the agriculture, rural development, food and drug administration related agencieses appropriations act of 2010. and the conference report on h.r. 28972, the department of homeland security appropriations
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act of 2010. i yield back. mr. cantor: i thank the gentleman. mr. speaker, i'd ask the gentleman if we could turn the discussion of health care as the gentleman knows he and i have had discussions this week, perhaps i think a discussion that could yield the ability for us to work together. on the things we agree on in health care, obviously the divide is great when talking about any type of move towards a government takeover of health care. but he and i have spoken about maybe there are some areas of agreement. he and i also talked about the fact that we could meet together and discuss that and i look forward to hearing from him or his office to schedule that. and along those lines i'd like to ask the gentleman what he expect the schedule to be
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towards bringing a health care bill to the floor of this house? i yield. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for yielding. first of all let me say that as far as i know we have no premise we want to pursue of government takeover of health care. we don't believe what's being proposed does that any more than medicare from our perspective was a takeover of the health care system. having said that we are working as you know on, as the press is reporting, on seeing what alternatives are available. there are three committee bills that have been reported out of the energy and commerce committee. full markups, ways and means committee. and the education and labor committee. as you know they different in part so there are now
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discussions to how you meld those bills together with the theory and intention of being offering a bill from those three. we would expect the rules committee at some point in time to affect that objective as has been done in the past. our expectation is that we will do that within the time frame we are able to do it. that is to say there is not a resolution how that is accomplished so we don't have a time frame. we haven't set a time frame. we'll do it when it's possible to put forward. lastly i would say to the gentleman he and i talked earlier this week as we pointed out and i look forward to sitting down with him next week to see if there are areas where we can agree. if there are, we'd like to do that. i think the gentleman has expressed his desire to do so as
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well. on the other hand as we know there are areas of substantial disagreement. it's certainly not our view we can start over again. it is our view that this matter has had over 90 hearings over the last couple of years. that we have had over 2,000 town meetings on this and we have been really at this for about over a year now with very substantial discussions during the presidential campaign from all the candidates on both sides of the aisle as to the fact that health care reform was necessary and we believe the overwhelming majority of american people believe that. obviously the details are the critical issue and i look forward to pursuing discussions next week with the gentleman. mr. cantor: i thank the gentleman. mr. speaker, i ask the gentleman further as to the timing of a bill. i understand that he's indicated
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that there is no resolution as to exactly when a bill would come to the floor. mr. hoyer: if the gentleman would yield. mr. cantor: i yield. mr. hoyer: i do not expect a bill to be on the floor within the next two weeks if that's what the gentleman's asking. i think we'll have time to have discussions. mr. cantor: i thank the gentleman. because i was going to ask about the speaker's commitment prior. so i thank the gentleman from that. if i could, mr. speaker, -- i yield. mr. hoyer: i thank probably to complete the answer, the speaker and i are both committed to giving substantial notice not only of the bill when a bill is put together but also of any manager's amendment which may affect the resolution between the three committee documents. it is our expectation that there would be at least 72 hours for either the bill and the manager's amendment or if they are separate, 72 hours for each. i yield back. mr. cantor: i thank the
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gentleman. mr. speaker, as to the scheduling of a bill dealing with sanctions on iran, we have had discussions together on the floor and elsewhere regarding the iran refined petroleum sanctions act. mr. speaker, i say to the gentleman now in particular i think the time is of the essence that we act because as we have seen over the last 10 days iran revealing its secret enrichment program indicating yet again that the regime in that country refuses to comply with international law or the will of the world community. so it is my sense that we should and we can work together on this issue. the gentleman had indicated last time we were engaged in a colloquy that he was going to meet with chairman berman of the foreign affairs committee about moving that bill and bringing it to the floor. so i would ask the gentleman if
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he could tell us when we could expect that bill to come to the floor. i yield. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for yielding. since i made that representation i have in fact met with both not only mr. berman, the chairman of the foreign affairs committee, but also mr. frank, the chairman of the financial services committee. as the gentleman knows there are two sanctions bills, one is the chairman frank's bill which passed the house overwhelmingly last year and provides authority to state and local governments to divest their assets from any company that invests $20 million or more in iran's energy sector. that is not as consequential as mr. berman's bill. mr. berman's bill as you know requires any foreign energy that is sell refined petroleum to iran or otherwise assist such sales to be banned from doing business in the united states. obviously that has real teeth to it. as the gentleman also knows
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october 1 there are discussions underway with iran for the first time in a long time. furthermore, significantly, the administration is working with our allies, certainly with -- as the gentleman know was britain and france, but also engaged with germany as well. and discussions with russia and with china. members of the p-5 plus one essentially. members of the security council plus germany on how we might respond to what the world has viewed as a violation of u.n. resolutions and what iran has been doing. the gentleman and i share a view that iran's process is unacceptable. that iran's pursuing of nuclear
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armed capability, weapons capability is unacceptable and dangerous to the region and to the international community. the administration shares that view. and therefore with respect to mr. berman's resolution, he is in contact with the -- we are in contact with the administration and mr. berman is prepared to bring that forward at a time when based upon whatever may occur in the next week, don't want to put a time frame on it, week or two, that might indicate that we could get a broader international toughening of sanctions that now exist with the agreement, particularly of russia, as you know president has made some strong statements and the findings there and what he believes to be iran's failure to keep the world informed and
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concerned about what iran is doing which was a positive sign. but with those considerations in mind, i know that mr. berman is very focused on this and ready to bring a resolution to the floor at a time he believes is consistent with the administration's trying to attain with the international community the strongest possible sanctions, internationally, as well as our own sanctions. mr. cantor: i thank the gentleman. i would only add that i believe speaking for our conference here indicating that it's not necessarily what we would do in terms of trying to wait for china and russia to move the bill, i'm not saying the gentleman said that, but it sounded as if we've got to wait until there is some collective agreement on the world stage in order for congress to act. the gentleman and i have agreed for a long time now, we in this country believe very strongly of standing up against the regime
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in iran. it has impact on our allies across that region of the world and particularly for us here at home. so i would encourage the gentleman by telling him that our side stands ready to want to help with moving that bill. mr. hoyer: if the gentleman would yield. i appreciate that. i am confident that as the gentleman points out that we will move ahead in a bipartisan and overwhelming fashion on this bill. but i want to make it very clear, we don't have to wait for anybody. having said that the judgment of the chairman in concert with the administration is that we do want to see what developments occur in the very near term. i think that's what i meant. hopefully that's what i said. the gentleman's accurate. we don't have to wait, certainly for russia or china, or for anybody else to take the action we deem to be appropriate. i yield back. mr. cantor: i thank the
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gentleman. as the gentleman knows there is a very important debate occurring in our country right now regarding our position towards the commitment we have made in afghanistan. and it's clear that the republicans believe as aim sure the gentleman does that this congress must be devoting attention to this important issue as it relates to the national security of the united states and our interests in that arena as well as abroad. and i'd like to ask the gentleman, mr. speaker, whether he in his leadership will call on general mcchrystal to testify before congress as soon as possible. i note as the gentleman well knows that chairman skelton has been reported to have made such a request of his leadership. i yield. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for yielding. as the gentleman probably knows, i have also indicated i thought general mcchrystal should come to the congress and testify not only before the committees but perhaps brief a bipartisan session.
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i don't mean an address, but bipartisan briefing. either in the armed services committee or on the floor here or in the auditorium. i think that's appropriate. as the gentleman knows, the president has been involved in very extensive consultation with the cabinet members that deal with the national security issues. including chairman of the joint chiefs, admiral mcmullen, including general jones, the national security advisor, secretary clinton, vice president, and others who are dealing with this issue. as you know there has been no specific request directed to the congress at this point in time. either by general mcchrystal, secretary gates, or the president. . specific plans that they believe we ought to pursue.
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but i think that everyone shares the conviction that this is a critical issue in which the congress is going to deal and that general mcchrystal who is the commander on the ground in afghanistan needs to come before the congress and give us his best judgment as to how we can be successful. i yield back. mr. cantor: i thank the gentleman and i know it's just been reported that in the senate there was an amendment offered by senator mccain on this very point requiring there to be some testimony by general mcchrystal before congress and i'm told that that amendment went down on a party line vote. so i would just tell the gentleman again that our side believes it's very he important, as i know he does, in terms of our national security and congress' role that general mcchrystal be before us so that we can be informed and conduct
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our constitutional duty as such. so i thank the gentleman on that. if i could, mr. speaker, turn to the question of jobs. we have a running debate, the gentleman and i, and others, as to the effectiveness of the stimulus bill. and as we all know back in january it was reported that that bill would arrest the rising unemployment. in fact, the goal would set that unemployment wouldn't reach beyond 8.5%. we know in this country now we are at about -- just under 10% unemployment nationally. and i feel very strongly, mr. speaker, that we should be focusing on this economy while we're trying to deal with so many other issues. and it has been some time now where we have missed the opportunity on this floor to bring up bills that have to do with job creation. and if we look at some of the
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evidence of the stimulus bill, it is the contention of our side that that bill has not fulfilled its mission. we can go through any list of expenditures that we have noted in the press and elsewhere where you have $2.8 million to fight forest fires in the district of columbia. you have $3.4 million to help trurtles cross the road in florida. these are the kind of items that frankly robbed the confidence of the public or robbed the public of their confidence in what we do. so i would ask the gentleman, is there any effort, is there any hope that we may perhaps have some constructive debate around the rest of the stimulus money and perhaps orient that toward job creation, sustainable job creation, and growth in the economy? because after all, i think that's what all of us are after and i yield. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman and he's correct, we do have a
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different perspective on this. of course the gentleman supported economic policies in 2001 and 2003 that, of course, produced the worst job performance of any administration since herbert hoover. $3.depsh 3.1 million jobs in the last 14 months of the bush administration were lost. lost an average of 680,000 jobs during the last three months of the administration. president obama was faced with. we acted decisively and boldly, in my opinion, the president -- under the president's leadership. and the point of fact, we reduced the average of some 660,000 in the last three months of the bush administration, over the last three months, 350,000, and only 216,000 jobs lost. i say only. that relates to 741,000 jobs
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lost the last month of the bush administration. that's a half a million less jobs. it's not where we want to be. but it is certainly a lot better. many economists in our party and in your party estimate that we have over a million jobs more than we would have had had we not passed the recovery and re-investment act. there's been a 1.3% rise in consumer spending in august, was the biggest increase since 2.8% surge in october of 2001. the labor department released a report last week showing that during the previous week the number of newly laid off workers seeking unemployment benefits fell for the third straight week. evidence that layoffs are continuing, easing the earlier stages of the economic recovery.
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without going into a lot more statistics, we do have a substantive difference as to whether or not our economy is getting better. the good us in -- the good news is from my perspective, most economists agree with us, that we bottomed out, we're starting to come up, we're going to have unemployment figures tomorrow, that will be announced, hopefully they're down even further. the stock market, i will tell my friend, in the recovery and re-investment he think hasn't worked is up from about 7,200 up to about 9,700. i will tell you, every american who opens their 401-k or retirement plan thinks that progress has been made. i know i do when i open mine. i'm very pleased to see that. we do differ. we differ not only on the success of the economic plan that was pursued for eight years, that led to the deepest recession that we've had in 75 years, but the gentleman stands and asks me a question about
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adopting more of those policies. with all due respect, my friend, we didn't think those policies were going to work, we don't think they did work and in fact the policies that your party voted against to a person in 1993 produced exactly the opposite results. high employment, low deficits and in fact a net surplus at the end of the eight years of the clinton administration and a reduction in spending which you doubled in terms of percentage, 3.5% under the clinton years and 7% under the president bush years. so, yes, we have a difference of opinion. we think we have pursue vigorously policies to create jobs, create economic stability, create growth in our economy and we think it's working. mr. cantor: i thank the gentleman. i would respond that i nor most of our conference was here in 1993 on that vote.
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i would simply say to the gentleman as he knows on a stimulus debate and on down through the rest, cap and trade, the health care, the budget debate, the proposals that we are offering is such as he roughers to in the economic arena are not the same policies. we've had proffered an agenda which speaks to small businesses . and, mr. speaker, i would say, i don't think it is necessarily a constructive route to take for us to say who was worse because none of us, as the gentleman suggests, like the fact that we've lost 2 1/2 million jobs in the last eight months and if you ask the small business people in our districts if they think things are better, i think there's pretty much unanimity that small businesses are having a problem keeping the lights on, maintaining payroll. something's amiss. we have got to be focusing on how we can expand the
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opportunity for those small businesses to grow again, it's very central to the idea of getting the capital market straight, getting our fiscal house in order. i'm very troubled by the bills that are coming alongy the financial services committee, the consumer financial protection agency, yet more attempts by the majority to impose the will of washington on the entrepreneurs across this country, restricting ultimately their ability to act as credit. you know, we do have differences, mr. speaker. i'm just hopeful that we can find a way to work together to promote jobs. with that, mr. speaker, i thank the gentleman very much for his time and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from maryland rise? mr. hoyer: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that when the house adjourns today it adjourn to meet at 10:00 a.m. tomorrow and further when the house adjourns on that day it adjourn to meet at 12:30 p.m. on tuesday, october 6, 2009, for
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morning hour debate. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the chair will entertain one-minute requests. for what purpose does the gentleman from kentucky rise? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. yarmuth: mr. speaker, we just had a question raised as to the effectiveness of the stimulus package in creating jobs. well, i know that mr. cantor from virginia tries to criticize the package for not being productive but you can't convince the members of my district of that. in my district alone, according to the school district, 150 teaching jobs were saved, we are beginning construction on a new facility for our transit system, putting 80 new jobs on the street. most importantly we have announcement from g.e., general electric, appliance park they
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are moving a unit back from china, building revolutionary environmentally advanced water heaters, creating more than 400 new jobs in my district. that's the result of stimulus money being used for an incentive and finally we've seen housing gains for the first time in a year, 10% in both july and august, due to the first-time home buyers credit that was part that have stimulus package. so when the american people wonder whether that stimulus package, which is still in its infant stages, 20%, most of the money's gone out, you can look at louisville, kentucky, and i'll give you evidence that the stimulus package is working, creating jobs. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from montana rise? >> address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. rahall: mr. speaker, -- mr. rehberg: mr. speaker, the g.i. bill pace for the education
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of the brave men and women who served in the name of freedom. montana has some of the best colleges and universities in the country but for some returning soldiers, a traditional campus isn't the best fit. the post-9/11 g.i. bill provided flexibility for soldiers who wanted to take advantage of the benefit. currently five of the 10 colleges with the highest veteran population are colleges that are entirely online or have significant online course loads. while veterans may receive funds to pay for tuition, fees and books, distance learners are ineligible for living expenses. i've introduced the veterans distance educations benefit act which reimburses soldiers' living expenses so they can focus on their education. i encourage my colleagues to join me in sponsoring this important legislation so we can get it passed quickly. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentlelady from florida, for what purpose does the gentlelady from florida rise? ms. wasserman schultz: revise and extend my remarks.
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the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. wasserman schultz: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today because it has been more than 100 days since my friend and colleague, representative roadway blunt, the point man for the republican plan said, i guarantee you we will provide you with a bill. even louis republican governor urged his party tuesday to work with democrats to offer health care solutions. the time to act on health insurance reform is now. we must act to offer the choice of affordable quality health care to all americans, putting you and your doctor, not the insurance companies, in charge of your health care while we reduce the burden of ballooning health care costs on american families, businesses and our fiscal future. no is not a solution. saying you support reform with no evidence of that support and no plan just doesn't cut it. continuing to say no to reform leaves tens of millions of americans without health insurance and 45,000 americans
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die every year because of this. our friends on the other side of the aisle can't run away from the fact that they have no plan. the time to act on health insurance reform is now. thank you, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from tennessee rise? >> request permission to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. duncan: one of the leading world environmentalist wrote theeth these words, today coal accounts for almost half of the plant's electricity including half the power consumed in the united states. it keeps hospitals and core infrastructure running for vast warmth and light in winter and makes life-saving air conditioning available in summer. in china and india where coal accounts for more than 80% of power generation, it has helped to lift hundreds of millions of people out of poverty. there's no doubt that coal is causing environmental damage that we need to stop but a clumsy radical halt to our coal use which is what promises of drafting carbon cuts require,
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mean depriving billions of people from the path of prosperity. that's him continuing it to quote. to put it bluntly, despite their good intentions, the activists, lobbyists and politicians making a last ditch push for hugely expensive carbon cut promises could easily end up doing hundreds of times more damage to the planet than coal ever could, unquote. i wish we would heed those words of this environmentalist. because if we cut back on coal we're going to hurt millions of poor people in the process. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from tennessee rise? >> address the house for one minute, revise and ebs tend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. >> thank you, mr. speaker. this week in congress -- this weekend congress will be ending and i had some interesting experiences to relate. in transportation committee today we had a hearing in one of our former members, now the secretary of transportation, ray lahood, republican member from illinois, secretary lahood reported to the committee that the arra is working, that much of the money has been spent or
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utilized in plans by fake government and there's lot of employment been made on building of roads and bridges and airports improvements and rail programs around the country. that people are going back to work. i also have an opportunitn tuesday to go to the nat institutes of health for a briefing. president obama announced that $5 billion has been spent on cancer research through n.i.h. i offered an amendment to the aara in the house for a $10 billion improvement. that didn't make it to the house but a similar proposal made it to the senate, and it will be interesting to see where those moneys are creating jobs and finding cures for cancers and other catastrophic illness like parkinson's, dwibetsdibtse and alzheimer's. the aara is working. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from louisiana rise? mr. cao: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the
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house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. cao: mr. speaker, for many immigrant families like mine, the struggle to preserve our culture and heritage and to contribute to the rich fabric of our nation is at center stage. we make ensure that our children speak their native language and are familiar with our customs and traditions. one of the tools most often used is multimedia through which cultural traditions is exhibited. in the vietnamese community, music videos and videos are distributed throughout the -- music videos are distributed throughout the united states. unfortunately, organizations that produce these cultural expressions are being forced to close their doors due to significant financial losses from copy wright infringements both here and abroad. often these organizations have smaller means and cannot survive this stuff.
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today, i call upon my colleagues in congress to join me in tough oversight of the federal agencies responsible for prosecuting copy right infringements because enforcing these laws is critical for survival of our cultural diversity. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentlelady from connecticut rise? ms. delauro: to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. ms. delauro: we have been crafting legislation that will bring much-needed health insurance reform to the american people. health insurance premiums are spiraling out of control. many americans are being priced out of health insurance. while democrats have debated the best way to produce a reform package that will cut costs, ensure quality and affordability, our colleagues across the aisle have been playing hooky with their responsibility to the american public. it's been over 100 days now since congressman blunt told us
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his party will be offering an alternative health reform bill. we've heard nothing yet. representative cantor recently suggested to a constituent that she find, quote, charity care for an unemployed family care in need of surgery. find a charity? is that the full extent of republican health care reform? so i ask again, where is the g.o.p. plan for health insurance reform? or is it just to maintain the status quo? i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back the balance of her time. for what purpose does the gentleman rise? >> to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized. >> i rise today to praise the bunny walk being held in pennsylvania. it's being sponsored by the downsyndrome society. it is a resource for families with a child with down syndrome and for those expecting a child with down syndrome. the goal is to educate friends,
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families and even communities that individuals with down syndrome are energetic, loving people that play, work and go to school like the west of us -- rest of us. on their website they have, for example, half of all down syndrome children go to mainstream school classes. one out of every five play a musical instrument and three out of five know how to use the computer. now, i'm a member of the down syndrome caucus that will improve down syndrome research and promote public policies that will enhance the quality of life for those with down syndrome. the center county down syndrome society helps to educate those with down syndrome and they deserve to be commended. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from california rise? mr. lungren: to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks.
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the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. lungren: mr. speaker, the laws of the united states says stand for all. no one is above the law. whether it's the criminal laws or the extra tradition laws. that's -- extradition laws. that's why i ponder some of the elites in hollywood are now telling us that roman polanski should not be subject to the laws of the united states, the state of california or the international law that recognizes extradition. what is it that suggests that fame excuses criminal conduct? what is it that allows some people in our society to say, a rape is not really a rape? or to suggest that because someone is a great film director that, therefore, they ought not to be brought to the barf justice? 30-some years ago in the state of california, a crime was committed. 30 years ago someone admitted to that crime, and 30-some years
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ago that person did not show up when his sentence was to be given to him, and now it is time for the laws of the state of california, the united states and international law to be followed. mr. polanski should come home, and he should meet his justice. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. gohmert: thank you, mr. speaker. we know that in the 1960's and 1970's we committed our troops to vietnam. but we found out at the end of the war after two weeks of constant carpet bombing of hanoi when sam johnson was leaving the hanoi hilton he was told, you silly americans, if you kept bombing us for one more week like that we would have to surrender unconditionally. the message of vietnam should be, either commit 100% or get
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out. don't leave people out there to die without full commitment. now, we have people on the left saying, get out of afghanistan now. we have people on the right saying, do whatever it takes to win. and i'm here to say, mr. speaker, the president should not keep going on talk shows and going around the world while he has a report suggesting what to do. he needs to commit 100% to the war in afghanistan, give them everything they need or get out now. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? mr. gohmert: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that today following legislative business and any special orders heretofore entered into the following members may be permitted to address the house, revise and extend their remarks and include therein extraneous
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material. mr. forbes today for five minutes. mr. broun today for five minutes. mr. poe october 8 for five minutes. mr. jones october 8 for five minutes. mr. wolf today for five minutes. mr. burton october 6, 7 and 8 for five minutes. mr. pence today for five minutes. and mr. gohmert october 6, 7 and 8 for five minutes. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. for what purpose does the gentlelady from california rise? mrs. capps: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that today following legislative business and any special orders heretofore entered into the following members may be permitted to address the house for five minutes, to revise and extend their remarks, and to include therein extraneous material. ms. woolsey from california for five minutes. mrs. capps from california for five minutes. ms. kaptur from ohio for five minutes. mr. schiff from california for five minutes. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mrs. capps: thank you. the speaker pro tempore: under
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the speaker's announced policy of january 6, 2009, and under a previous order of the house, the following members are recognized for five minutes each. ms. woolsey of california. ms. woolsey: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, president obama has often said that america must restore its moral leadership in the world. he took a very important step last week when he spoke at the united nations. in his speech, the president called for a new era of engagement and diplomacy. he called for international cooperation to address such critically important issues as nuclear nonproliferation, climate change and economic recovery. he also spoke about banning the use of torture and his decision to close guantanamo as examples of america's new desire to abide by the rule of law. i welcome the president's words. they show that president obama
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is committed to peace and human rights. those are the foundations of moral leadership. but now the president is facing the greatest test of his moral leadership as he reviews his leadership in afghanistan. the generals are urging him to pour in more troops. i'm sure there are others who are telling him to escalate the fighting just so he can look tough on terrorism. but as the president makes his next decisions about afghanistan, i would urge him to make the tough choices. i would urge him to base his decisionmaking on the following facts -- the american people do not believe the war in afghanistan is worth fighting and want to drawdown the number of troops there. sending in more troops will cause the afghan people to see us as occupiers, and history has told us that the afghan people
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always resist foreign occupation and always sked. -- succeed. america cannot afford to pour billions of dollars more into an occupation when we are going through the worse economic crisis in the past 70 years. we cannot in good conscience ask our brave troops to take more casualties without a clear mission, and we don't have one. we cannot ask our military families to continue to sacrifice when they have already suffered so very much. and finally, we have no exit strategy. after the disaster of iraq, the american people will not stand for another endless foreign occupation, one that will cost many lives and not make our country any safer. afghanistan is a difficult problem, but the president still has good options. he can order the pentagon to
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develop a troop redeployment plan and a timetable for withdrawal. at the same time, he can be bold and shift to a new mission that will be far more likely to succeed because it will actually have the support of the afghan people. this new mission in afghanistan would include economic development, education, infrastructure, humanitarian assistance, better governance and improve local policing and intelligence to hunt down extremists. this is what the afghan people want from america so that they can have hope for a better future and reject violent extremism. mr. speaker, president obama deserves credit for reviewing his decision to send more troops earlier than was expected. he's showing political courage and he's showing an open mind by
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considering other alternatives. i urge him to choose a new course, one that will make our country proud and the world a much safer place. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time. mr. poe from texas. mrs. capps from california. the gentlelady is recognized for five minutes. mrs. capps: mr. speaker, for 50 years we have been trying to come up with a better way to deliver health care. despite the differences of opinion over how to achieve this goal, we've really come along further than we've ever have before. we all agree we need to put an end to insurance companies' most egregious practices. we need to lower the cost of health care for everyone. we need to better incentivize preventive and primary care. these are all accomplished by the bill that's now passed out of our three house committees. of course, it's much more interesting for the media to
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talk about the few areas where disagreements still exists rather than the accomplishments we have made so far. but the legislation before us means so much more security for america's hardworking families. right now when you lose your job it could mean your entire family loses access to health insurance. and if you are unfortunate enough to have a pre-existing condition, which in some states could be defined as having been the victim of domestic violence, then you may not qualify for any affordable health insurance coverage. worse yet, when you buy health insurance on and the individual market, there's a team of people ready to comb through your records to find a reason to drop you if you're ever diagnosed with a condition that's costly to treat. now, a few states have protections against these practices, but don't we agree that all americans deserve access to these protections? ironically, my colleagues on the other side of the aisle have often touted a supposed solution to our health care troubles by you a lao insurers to sell across state lines. if anything, their proposal
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would essentially allow insurance companies to continue the very worse practices because insurers would simply begin a race to the bottom. they would move their operations to whichever state affords the least consumer protections and sell those policies across state lines. i'm especially concerned because i come from california, a state with some of the strongest consumer protections from health insurance company abuses. here are some examples. california law requires insurers cover a minimum stay in the hospital after a mastectomy. our neighboring state of nevada and arizona do not. california law requires the patients have the right to appeal at the significances by insurance companies and receive an external review. idaho and mississippi do not. and california has stricter laws defining what may and may not qualify as a pre-existing condition. in florida and georgia there are no defineable conditions that insurers may classify as pre-existing which means that a pre-existing condition could mean pretty much anything. so to my friends on the other
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side of the aisle who believe that selling insurance across state lines will solve all of our problems, i remind you that your suggestions will do just the opposite. it will strip vital consumer protections that exist for our patients now at a time when our interest needs to be conincreasing consumer protection for american families. we also agree we need to lower costs. i'm very heartened by provisions in this bill that will achieve the goal. for seniors we're taking immediate steps to lower their prescription drug costs. since the rollout of medicare part d, my constituents and seniors across the country have begged for relief from the doughnut hole. the doughnut hole is the period of time during which you pay an insurance company to not cover the cost of your medication. i've objected to this policy from day one. under our plan, seniors will see relief immediately as we -- immediately. prescription drugs will be available at deep discounts and eventually the doughnut hole will disappear completely.
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this is the relief america's seniors need and we all agree they deserve it. we'll also introduce a public option to compete with private insurers. currently, private insurers have every reason to increase costs for consumers to line their pockets with greater profits. why? because there's no competition no one else in the market offering a choice. but the public option will bring greater choice to consumers in the individual insurance market. once that happen, premiums will become more affordable as insurers compete for customers and insurance companies will be enticed to treat consumers better. we can also agree we need to do a better job of improving preventive care and giving people more tools they need to be responsible for their health and well-being. as a public helt nurse, i spent decades educating people about
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the importance of adopting healthy habits but too many people in this couldn't arery don't have access to primary care and never see a health professional until an otherwise preventable disease has appeared. this does away with co-pays for preventive service, reimburses primary care and makes smart investments in community-based wellness and prevention programs. i urge my colleagues to join me in enthusiastically supporting h.r. 3200, supporting these principles on which we all agree. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back mr. jones of north carolina. for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia rise? >> to address the house for five minutes. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. >> i want to talk about an
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issue dealing with national security. cnn reported that the security situation in yemen hasdi tieror rated. earlier this week, "time" magazine reported that 2/3 of the company is out of government control and al qaeda is turning the laws will mountain area of yemen into a new staging area. u.s. counterterrorism officials believe that al qaeda's presence in yemen threatens to turn the country with into a dangerous place for plotting attacks. al qaeda in yemen attacked the u.s. embassy with vehicle bombs, killing 10 guards and civilians. at that time, -- since that time, al qaeda's posture in yemen has grown stronger. al qaeda in the arabian peninsula has resulted.
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we've seen the consequence of these developments. last august, a yes, ma'amny al qaeda group detonated a bomb to try to assassinate the prince he pretended to be an al qaeda defector. an article i'm submitting from the record from reuters, at least one detainee from guantanamo bay has been released to yemen and at least 26 others have been cleared to return according to a list at the detention facility posted in arabic and pashtu. what kind of policy is this that detainees, some who killed american citizens have a list of those who are being released but not one member of congress
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or the american people know anything about it and are kept in the dark? most of these detainees were captured in afghanistan and pakistan in 2001 and 2002. they spent eight years living aamong the most dangerous terrorists in the world, including khalidshake -- khalil -- khalid sheikh muhammad, who killed daniel parole. eric holder and the administration are prepared to release perhaps a third of the detainees to yemen, a dangerously unstable couldn't arery that's clearly unprepared to accept and monitor and rehabilitate these ke detainees, given that more than 15% of detainees have returned to terrorism this release will have a dangerous consequence for the american people. it's not yobbed the -- beyond the imagination that there'll
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be an article in the paper several months from now that somebody from guantanamo, from yemen, released by eric holder, goes back to yemen and kills an american citizen or is involved in a terrorist attack. this release is concerning. as our state department noted in 2008 reports on terrorism, quote, the security situation in yemen deteriorated significantly other the past year as al qaeda and yemen increased attacks against western and yemeni government institutions. what is eric holder and the justice department, what are they thinking about? surely there must be a better solution, one that won't release detainees from guantanamo who are involved in activity against the american military, who have served time with khalid sheikh muhammad, to send them back to yemen. earlier today i wrote to
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attorney general eric holder that no additional detainees be released to yemen or unstable countries. the deadline for closing guantanamo bay is no excuse to release detainees to couldn'tries unprepared to take responsibility for them. this release requires due diligence. it cannot be undone. while we may have a difference of opinion as to how best to deal with guantanamo bay, i think, i hope, we can all agree that a rush release of terrorist detainees, salespeople who served with khalid chic muhammad, should not be released back into yemen when it is so destabilized. what are they thinking? i urge members of congress to have hearings and for eric holder to cease and desist any detainees returning back to yemen. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentleman yields back. ms. kaptur. mr. burton. mr. schiff. mr. forbes. mr. brown. mr. pence.
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the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia rise? >> to address the house for five minutes and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. broun: thank you, mr. speaker.
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counterterrorism officials have warned mass transit systems around the country to increase patrols after they discovered that a group of individuals within the united states were allegedly planning to detonate backpack bombs aboard new york city trains. in the past month, we have once again been reminded that terrorists are still targeting u.s. mass transit systems and other major landmarks. we have to continue to be proactive against those seeking to do us harm and minimize our vulnerabilities. especially vulnerabilities on u.s. soil. i'd like to discuss one continuing threat that needs to be addressed. in 2002, 2003, and 2004, personnel from iran a designated state sponsor of terrorism, were caught photographing and videotaping the new york city subway and other popular landmarks.
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i ask my colleagues and the american people to think about why iranian personnel would photograph and videotape the new york subway system and other popular sites. i'm referring to individuals from state sponsors of terrorism that are here with diplomatic immunity. supposedly in the united states for official business at the united nations. let me be clear. personnel from a state sponsor of terrorism have been caught on numerous occasions spying. what do you think they intended to do with that information, the videotapes and photos? these are not our friends. a few, but not all, of these individuals were expelled by the u.s. department of state. between 2004 and 2009 the state department issued over 8,600 visas to delegates and
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representatives from countries designated as state sponsors of terrorism. through the 1947 united nations headquarters act, the united states is required to allow diplomats and personnel into the united states for official business at the united nations headquarters complex in new york city, including personnel from countries who ootherwise would be ineligible for u.s. visas. we can't afford to take these threats lightly. the purpose of hundreds of individuals with diplomatic immunity from countries designated as state sponsors of terrorism is an overwhelming and expensive task but u.s. counterterrorism and counterintelligence resources. the u.s. national counterterrorism executive from 2003 to 2006 put it well when she said, quote, while the f.b.i., by far the premier
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counterterrorism agency, is responsible for all counterterrorism in the united states, it lacks the manpower, resources, training and public support to venture into the complex ground of analyzing the vast presence to identify intelligence operations embedded therein, end quote. the counterintelligence prab is not one of sheer numbers though by any measure there are more terrorism than we have personnel to address them. historically, embassies and other diplomatic establishments within the united states have served as a hub for foreign intelligence activities because of the operational security that they afford, unquote. while are we helping state sponsors of terrorism gather intelligence information within the united states? when and where will we draw the line if we can't stop these people from coming to the
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united states, at least what we can do is limit their access to our country by dramatically limiting the radius of personnel from state sponsors of terrorism are permitted to travel. congressman dan boren and i introduced h.r. 4611, the limitations act, limiting the number of miles of international terrorist sponsors, limiting personnel from state sponsors of terrorist to a half mile radius of the u.n. complex. that's more than enough space for them to obtain lodging, food and other necessities and will be an easier and more cost effective use of u.s. counterterrorism and counterintelligence resources as well as the new york police department. the f.b.i.'s top two priorities are to number one, protect the united states from a terrorist attack, and number two, protect the united states against foreign intelligence operations in espionage.
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when it comes to state sponsors of terrorism with diplomatic immunity in our country, it is past time to make the f.b.i.'s job a little easier. i urge my colleagues to co-sponsor the limits act and restrict access of state sponsored -- state sponsors of terrorism on u.s. soil. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. spouns, the gentleman from georgia, mr. beginning -- under the speaker's announced policy of january 6, 2009, the gentleman from georgia, mr. gingrey, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the minority leader. mr. gingrey: mr. speaker, i thank you, and, of course, i thank my leadership for allowing me to take this special order hour to discuss what has certainly become the most important issue that's going on
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in this congress in these last couple of months and that is the issue of health care reform or as the democratic leadership has rephrased that now and the president himself reform of our health insurance industry rather than reform of our health care system. but we're going to spend a little time, mr. speaker, talking about where we are in regards to this and what are some of the alternatives and particularly from our side of the aisle, we're often criticized, i think unjustly by being the party of opposition without having any sufficient alternative ideas to present. in other words, the accusation of being the party of no. my colleague from georgia, mr. speaker, is here with me on the floor today, this afternoon, and he and i laugh about that a
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little bit. we both agree, yeah, we're the party of know, it's spelled k-n-o-w. mr. speaker, i'd like to take this opportunity to share with our colleagues on both sides of the aisle just what it is we do know and what are some of those suggestions in regards to health care reform or indeed health insurance reform that the minority, loyal minority wants to present, wants to make sure that our president who said his door is wide open, he is -- as he spoke to the nation from right here, from your seat, mr. speaker a couple weeks ago saying, look, if anybody, whether it's a republican party or doctors out across the nation or some of the many men and women who attended these town hall meetings throughout the month of august, if you got ideas, bring them to me. my door is always open. certainly we have tried to do that, mr. speaker, in the way of
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writing letters, making calls to his staff and to say to the president, we do have some good ideas, mr. president. in fact, just today within the last hour and a half, a group of physicians from across this country, they call themselves the million man march group were here out on the mall talking about this very issue and bringing ideas. yes, there were some physician members of the house with them to speak to the group that had assembled, but, you know, it's a grassroots effort and there are lots of ideas, mr. speaker, mr. president, mr. majority leader. i say to ms. pelosi, the speaker of the house, and to senator reid, the senate majority leader, we have got lots of good ideas and we want to have an
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opportunity to be heard. and that's what we're going to take this next 45 minutes or so to talk about some of these ideas. and my friend from georgia is not only a colleague here and a fellow georgian but also a fellow physician. and while i specialize, mr. speaker, in ob-gyn, dr. broun, dr. paul broun from athens, georgia, his specialty is family medicine, primary care. and you talk about someone whose voice needs to be heard, and i hope the president will also acknowledge the fact that dr. broun has great ideas. i want to yield to him right now and let's hear some of these ideas as we colloquy back and forth. dr. broun, thank you for being with me. i'd like to yield to you right now. mr. broun: dr. gingrey, thanks very much for yielding to me. i went down to the park where all these physicians were, and i
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know dr. gingrey, and our colleague, dr. tom price, also from georgia, was at that same meeting with the physicians. this was a group of physicians from all over the country that are very concerned about obamacare, about the direct that they perceive that the congress is going. and they see the h.r. 3200, the obamacare bill here in the u.s. house, as well as the bill that max baxus has over in the -- ba -- max bachus has over there in the senate and how they can deliver surgery and prescriptions and the procedures that they need to -- the tests that they need. i know they're exactly right. mr. speaker, when i was down there i spoke to those physicians and i told them that they and their patients around
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this country are what's going to stop this steam roll of socialized medicine that's going on in the house of representatives. what i reminded them is if we can generate enough grassroots support all over this country to ask particularly the leadership here in the house and the senate as well as the president to open up this process, to listen to all of the second opinions that dr. gingrey and others are putting forward. i know you are going to talk a little while tonight about your health care bill of rights and the 10 prescriptions for healthy americans, and i applaud you, dr. gingrey, for bringing this forward. but the only thing that's going to slow down this process of the federal government taking over the health care system is we the people, the constitution of the united states starts out with three very powerful words, we, the people. it's supposed to be -- up here we're supposed to be represented not as rulers and we, the people, needs to stand up
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saying, whoa, this is an issue that's too important to rush through. we should not have any deadlines. the speaker's talking about trying to get a bill on the president's desk and the president is also about getting the bill done before thanksgiving. this is a bill too important to rush it. that's what we in republicans are trying to do, offer a second opinion. actually, we have many opinions that republicans have introduced, and, dr. gingrey, you've been very instrumental in fostering the idea of health information technology and digitalizing the electronic medical records and that sort of thing which would help save money. we have to find a way to lower the cost. in my private practice of general medicine, i couldn't afford to buy health information technology for my patients. and we got to lower the cost of that. we got to lower the cost nor everything in health care -- for everything in health care, and republicans have many ideas. i, as well as you and other people on our side want to see us open the process so that all
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the ideas are put on the table. and unfortunately the president nor speaker pels are allowing that -- speaker pelosi are allowing that happen. people should say, no to obamacare, let's put all these ideas on the table, let's discuss them, find ways to lower the cost of health care without creating a big federal debt, which the obamacare, h.r. 3200, will do. the president said it wouldn't, but that was not true. he also said that it would not give free health care to illegal aliens and that is not true. a lot of things that he said that night were not true. in fact, the only person who said the truth that night in that speech was joe wilson, our dear colleague from south carolina. the thing is the american people are in charge, and that's what i told the doctors, dr. gingrey, when i was down there, mr. speaker, that the physicians in this country and everybody who's concerned about where we're going on in health care, and particularly the elderly, need
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to say no to this h.r. 3200, which is going to be disastrous for everybody, and let us open up the process and in a bipartisan way, in a bicameral way let the house and the senate together, let's find some common sense, market base solutions to lower the costs for health care. and let the doctor-patient relationship know how health care will be done. the obamacare will put a government bureaucrat between the doctor and the patient. let's find ways of lowering the cost of medicine in the drugstore. let's find ways of doing the things that makes sense economically without stealing our grandchildren's future. we can do that. we can do that in a bipartisan way if the leader of this house and the leader of the senate would just open it up and let us do so. and, dr. gingrey, i applaud your effort because you've been right
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on the forefront, been a leader in this process of trying to offer second opinions. you've been here week after week as well as many others. there are a lot of physicians in the house that's been here week after week offering second opinions. republicans are the party of k-n-o-w. we know how to solve the health care financial crisis here in america. we know how to solve the energy problems in america, make america energy independent without having this huge energy tax that cap and trade -- i call it cap and tax bill -- will put on the poor and the elderly, those on limited incomes which will really be hurt by that energy bill. we know how to stimulate the economy, without bailing out wall street. we need to bail out main street. so we are the party of know, and we got -- i think it's 10
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physicians and medical personnel part of the republican doctors caucus, and we are offering many second opinions, really. and so dr. gingrey, i applaud your effort. i applaud everything that you're doing. you're the chairman of the house doctors caucus on the republican side, and i am honored to be one of your two co-chairmen on that group. the american people need to know there are alternatives besides the obamacare bill, and the american people need to stand up and say, let's do this in a bipartisan way. let's stop all the partisanship and the bickering and the discord and all the things that are going on in this country and let's do it so that people can manage their own health care along with their doctors. so, dr. gingrey, i yield back and thank you for what you're doing. mr. gingrey: dr. broun, reclaiming my time. i think dr. brown mentioned some
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things we need to elaborate on. he mentioned two things. he mentioned the need for electronic medical records. and he mentioned, also, the need for medical liability reform. these are two things, mr. speaker, these are two things that the president has said. in fact, in his speech to the nation a couple weeks ago from this chamber he mentioned both things. of course, there is money set aside in the stimulus package, american recovery act of 2009, toward electronic medical records. but, mr. speaker, what physicians know, what maybe a lot of members of congress don't know, don't have any really way of knowing is what are the impedments -- impediments to practicing medicine and to getting fully integrated in
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electronic medical records system even though they realize, doctors realize that it would save time, it would save money. most importantly, though, it would save lives in regards to electronic medical records. it's something that's very expensive. it's like trying to, you know, your old jalopy car is falling apart and you need a new copy -- let's make that analogous, record keeping charts where charts are falling out all over the place and you can't find things in a timely manner when the patient comes in, that's the old car. the new car would be a laptop or a notebook computer that you go into the exam room or go over to the emergency room and you got it and with a punch of a key, mr. speaker, you have that entire record of the patient. maybe the patient happens to be a patient of an associate or partner that you're covering
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for. but that information is there and it's accurate. well, that's the new car. and unfortunately the cost of the new car, the sticker shock, a lot of times it's going to keep people driving the old jalopy that's polluting the nation and putting people at risk, in this case, patients at risk. and so i've introduced a bill two years in a row, three years in a row, i think, mr. speaker, that would incentivize even a small country doctor, maybe he's got a partner or she's got a partner or two, but it's a small group and they're seeing 75, 80 patients a day each -- they can't afford to come up with $30,000, $40,000 per doctor to purchase an electronic medical record system, a computer, the hardware, the software, the maintenance program. they know, they're convinced over a period of time that it's the thing to do and that
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eventually it would pay for itself, but, by golly, they just can't afford that front-end sticker shock. so mr. speaker, we continue to introduce h.r. 1087 that would give them a break under the tax code. let them, no free grant, necessarily, but let them write off the expense in the first year to help them be able to do what, mr. president, and what the majority party and the minority party and all the doctors in the house and the two in the senate agree we need to do, fully integrate electronic medical records by 2013. that's an area in which we have full agreement. the rand corporation, and i really, mr. speaker, i really studied this, i follow this, i
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go to the meetings on an annual basis and speak to that group, the health information management system services. it's an organization of people that are in this industry in this business, and i know that -- i know from talking with them that we're talking man $150 billion a year savings because you cut down on medical errors, on duplication of not ordering very, very expensive things like cat scans, m.r.i.'s, even more importantly, not making the mistake of prescribing a medication that would be contrary to the patient's health based on other medications i have this or conditions they're suffering from, so this is something we could safe a lot of money. you talk about $120 billion a year, mr. speaker, maybe if we did that, maybe if we did that, then we wouldn't have to try to pay for this health care reform
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or is it health insurance re form, by taking $500 billion out of the medicare system and literally gutting medicare advantage, a choice of fully 20% of our seniors, some 10 million of the 45 million medicare recipients choose medicare advantage because for them, it's better. you know, they're able to go in, have an annual physical, they're able to have a lot of screening procedures done that are covered under medicare advantage that are not covered under your typical medicare fee for service. there is a followup program usually provided by the insurance companies that offer medicare advantage where, within a few days of your appointment, a nurse, a nurse practitioner or a doctor herself, mr. speaker, will call
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the patient and make sure that they got that prescription filled, that they're not having any side effects. this is -- we keep saying what we need to go to a whole new paradigm that word has become kind of trite, but a whole new paradigm where we incentivize a health care team -- our health care teams to provide wellness rather than just treat illness. it is a more compassionate way to deliver health care, but it also is going to save lives and save money, for me to look at this -- these bills that are out there, whether it's this 1,200 page bill i have behind me, h.r. 3200, that has been passed by three committees in the house, mainly by the committee i sit on, energy and commerce, we're going to reform
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the health care system by gutting medicare of $500 billion over 10 years, mr. speaker, i heard someone say, i believe it was an official of the aarp, suggest that, well, you know, this is just a little cut in medicare. $500 billion with a b is a lot of money. even for washington, d.c.. but when you look at what we spend every year on medicare, i think in 2008, the total expenditure for medicare was about $480 billion, well if you cut that $500 billion over 10 year, do the math, mr. speaker. it's fairly simple. we're not all math majors, but this is arithmetic, this is not calculus. that's something like a 13% or 14% cut every year in the medicare plan. actually, it's a 10% cut but it
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cuts medicare advantage about 17% a year. 10% is a lot, if you don't believe it, ask those who are among that group of unemployeed in this country right now. those 10% that are without a job. for them it's 100%. it's not a recession, it's a depression. it's both, you know a depression mentally and physically and actually. so we can do these things, like electronic medical records, and we could save a lot of money. we don't have to gut medicare or raise taxes $800 billion or $900 billion and further cause small business men and women to lay people off or not hire new employees because, you know, they just can't afford to. golly, how many jobs has it been, mr. speaker, since we passed the economic stimulus package that was going to save the country back in february? i think we've lost two million jobs since then. we've had that bill, the
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unemployment rate was 7%? 7.5%? now it's 10%. we've got real problem here's in river city, it's not just the need to reform our health care system. we need to put people back to work. i heard someone say, well, someone, i heard the president of the united states say, we're in a crisis, we're losing 14,000 people every day, 14,000 people are losing their health insurance. well, mr. speaker, the reason for that is because they're losing their jobs. you know. i think they're concerned, yes, they have a concern about health insurance. but they also have a great concern about feeding their children and clothing them and providing shelter for their families. and then of course let's make sure that they get affordable
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health insurance. but you know, again, it's all about priorities and i think that we can do this, and i think we can do it without spending $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years or $2.5 trillion over the next 15 years, and running up an additional at least $250 billion worth of red ink and long-term debt. we can do it by adopting electronic medical records. we also can save, mr. speaker, a tremendous amount of money by medical malpractice reform, medical liblet reform. the president has acknowledged it. he said it to the a.m.a. at their annual meeting in his hometown of chicago back in june he said it again right from this dais two weeks ago when he spoke to the nation. he's acknowledged the need he has said, if you've got an idea
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or -- on either one of these thing, medical records, medical liability reform, my door is open, i want you to call me. i want you to come see me. well, we are trying. we will continue to try. i believe the president, i take him at his word. i'm going to be patient on this. hope springs eternal. because we do, it's not just me, but members on both sides of the aisle, not justify sigs members, but -- not just physician members, but all members. they need to be listened to in the amendment process we went through when we marked up h.r. 3200, why was every republican amendment rejected? and why was it done almost completely along party lines? that's something the american people, mr. speaker, want us to get away from. they want us to cooperate. it's fine for the president to
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say if you don't agree with him, that you're just bickering and complaining and griping and being untruthful. you know, there's no truth by the president of the united states or the -- no corner on truth by the president of the united states or the majority party. let's all be truthful. if we disagree that doesn't mean one side is being, shall we say, a serial disingenuous person, rather than using more inflammatory language. no, it's a fair and honest difference of opinion and if we come together and share those differences of opinion and pick the best of both, then we come up with, i think, a bill that the american people can accept. then you'll have, mr. speaker, these town hall meetings, people all across this country, whether they be of the
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democratic or republican persuasion or independent voters, whether they're young or old, african-american or asian, it doesn't matter. they're united states folks, they're hard working, and they want and deserve we, their representatives, to do it in a way that helps them. that we're not constantly in gridlock up here. so, mr. speaker, my opportunity today to talk about some of these things is heart felt, and it's a commitment, and i know my colleagues on both sides of the aisle feel the same way. we're going to work toward this solution. i particularly wanted to talk about a second opinion that i have. we talk about that a lot in medicine, about getting a second opinion and how important it is that maybe the first opinion is not the best opinion.
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maybe it is. but oftentimes, a second or third opinion, you need that. you need that. so the second opinion that i want to talk to my colleagues about today, mr. speaker, is what i call a health care bill of rights. or to put it another way, 10 prescriptions for a healthy america. this is a bill that i introduced just today, and it's h.r. 3700. now h.r. 3200, here it is. it's 1,100 pages. the chairman of the -- mr. speaker, the chairman of the house judiciary committee, been a member of this body for a long time, he still looks young and healthy to me, thank god, but he's been up here a long time, and he's an attorney, that's his profession.
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he's not a doctor, he's a lawyer. he told somebody that questioned him about whether or not he'd read the whole bill he said, i don't know. i need two lawyers to help me read it. and he is a member of the majority party and an attorney himself and i think been a member of this body at least 35 years. that's the problem with bills like this. now my colleagues, i want to hold up for you h.r. 3400. h.r. 3400 is a bill that dr. tom price is the original author, dr. price on our side , oropedic surgeon, chairman of the republican study committee, and many of us, including myself, co-sponsored h.r. 3200, well it's a little bit. -- it's a little bill. it's maybe looks like about 260 pages.
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instead of 1,200 pages. and it does many things in a way that is economically sound, that brings down the cost of health care, that makes health care affordable and accessible so that individuals can own their policy and the marketplace works and we don't have any government takeover in this bill. i want to commend my colleagues to go online, get a copy of this bill, read the summary, read the cliff notes, whatever, and understand that this is just one of i would say three or four republican bills, alternatives to h.r. 3200, or the health bill that's come out of the senate, the health committee, health education labor and pension committee. that was chaired by senator dodd, chris dodd, in the
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absence of senator kennedy while he was struggling with his illness. but this is a good bill, and i think the president needs to look at it and needs to consider it and keep that door wide open. but what i'm going to talk about in regard to h.r. 3700, it's really a statement of principles. but it's a bill, and as i say, we just introduced it today, mr. speaker. i have it on a little card. almost like a contract. we call it 10 prescriptions for healthy america. or the health care bill of rights. similar to the contract with america of maybe 15 years ago that people can put in their front pocket and they can pull it out and they can look at it. but i am going to take a little time to go through some of the principles in this bill, because i think this is important.
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i think this is a guideline for whatever we ultimately adopt. and let's go through some of these posters, mr. speaker. the number one principle of this health care bill of rights is to say this, and it does in the bill, there will be no government-run health care plan. that's what the american people are saying. they do not want a canadian-style system or a u.k. system or any system where the federal government interferes and makes decisions and tells the doctor and the patient that you're going to have to do it this way. it's my way or the highway. we don't want that. the american people don't want it. and they said it loud and clear during the august recess. so, number one in this health
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bill of rights is, no government-run health care system. the second item in the bill of rights is no cuts to medicare. mr. speaker, i've already talked about it a little bit and the 5 $-- and the $500 billion. it's like a cut to the hospice program. i think we all know what the hospice program. when people are terminally ill, in the days, months, weeks of their lives, we are going to cut that program to provide access to health care for 5% of the population, many of whom prefer not to have the health insurance. and we're going to end up forcing them. no cuts to medicare. medicare needs to be sured up, it needs to be improved. on a medicare advantage program, you cannot go and get an annual
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physical examination. you can when you first turn 65 and get on medicare. that's called an entry-level physical exam. but you're 65. how about when you're 68 or 72 and you absolutely on an annual basis need a physical examination? it's so important to make sure nothing has happened. and yet a lot of seniors don't go and get a physical because it's not paid for. and they're on a fixed income. for goodness sakes, there's no increase cola for social security. how are they going to pay for these things? yet, instead of solving that problem and putting more into medicare, we're going to take $500 billion out of it. it makes no sense. so under this health care bill of rights, no bill h.r. 3700 no cuts to medicare. and no new deficit spending. you know, the president said, mr. speaker, and he said it very
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clearly, i will not sign any bill that adds one dime to the deficit. i think i'm quoting him word for word. well, mr. president, you'll like my bill because it says no new deficit spending. we can do this without any additional deficit spending. my colleagues, look at h.r. 3400. you'll see it can be done without adding to the debt and spending into red ink. my colleagues, number four is a good one and it's important to people across this country. number four on the health care bill of rights, no new taxes. no new taxes.
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these bills, whether we're talking about h.r. 3200, the house bill, or the bill that's coming through the senate, they're new tax taxes all over the place. the joint committee on taxation has tested that, a bipartisan group. the congressional budget office has attested to that. they work for us and their director is chosen by the majority party. indeed, by the speaker of the house. and you ask the question -- are there new taxes in here? absolutely. there's going to be a tax on every insurance policy. the senate bill that's coming along that's being marked up this week and maybe next week as well, taxing -- some health insurance policies, 40%. well, you put a 40% excise tax
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on these insurance policies, who pays that? i fwaurnt you the premiums go up. -- i guarantee you the premiums go up and john q. citizen that's not making $250,000 a year -- the president promised when he was campaigning that when he became president, if he became president and, of course, he did, nobody making less than $250,000 a year would see any increase in their taxes, not one dime. just like he said there would be not one dime of deficit spending for this health care -- oh, excuse me -- health insurance reform. so no new taxes. h.r. 3400, no new taxes. fifth thing on the group of 10, no rationing of health care. now, this is the -- this may be one of the biggest concerns, mr. speaker, that our citizens have
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and as a former physician, ob-gyn doctor for 30 years, people worry about this. if we had this public plan, this public option that the government competing with the private marketplace as h.r. 3200 calls for and the speaker and all three of the chairmen of the committees of jurisdiction, mr. rangel, mr. waxman, mr. miller, they all want a strong government hand to really ultimately squeeze out the private marketplace. and what happens is -- this is not just phil gingrey predicting this, mr. speaker. this is the lewing group, a well-respected group, that says within three to four years probably 100 million people
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today that gets health insurance through their employer and they're happy with it, they will end up losing that because the employee will be in a position that it will be cheap -- the employer will be in a position that it will be cheaper for them to pay a fine and have them go into the government plan. so much for the president's plan , if you like what you have you can keep it, until you can't. you know, this is something that i think that we need to hold the president's feet to the fire and say, looks, let's promise the american people that they can truly keep what they have if they like it. so you get in a situation where everybody's on the government plan, well, that's when you get to the business of rationing when maybe the party in power has made a pledge of no new taxes, not going to raise taxes and yet you got all these additional people, millions of
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people, maybe 100 million that have morphed off their employer plan into the government plan and we can't pay for all of them. so how are you going to do it? you're going to have to raise taxes, you're going to have to cut reimbursement to the providers, to our rural hospitals who have a dispours portionate share of the -- disproportionate share of the poor, and so you are going to lower reimbursement to them. and finally, you're going to say to the patient, you know what, we would love to be able to fix your hip but you're 85 years old and we just can't afford it and you're just going to have to take a little advil or aspirin -- oh, by the way, we will pay for a walker and an alarm that you can wear on your belt if you happen to fall. but we're not going to fix your hip or replace your knee. that's rationing.
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that happens in other countries that have government-run, single payer systems and that's what would happen here unless my bill passes and it says no ration of care. number six on the health care bill of rights, no individual or employer mandate to provide or have health insurance. now, look, colleagues, mr. speaker, of course i want employers to continue to provide that health insurance benefit for their employees. i think that's something that people have come over the last, what, 75 years in this country to expect a decent job includes health care coverage for you and hopefully your family and that your employer pays the bigger percentage of that. and the amount you have to pay is a smaller amount.
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and i want employers to do that, to provide that benefit and not windle away of how much they pay versus how much their employee has to pay. and i would encourage every person in this country, every adult who is working, whether they're 21 years old or 72 years old to have health insurance. i think it's important, especially to have catastrophic coverage. even if you think you're 10 feet tall and bulletproof and you're 26 years old and you don't smoke, you don't drink alcohol, you exercise on a regular basis, nobody in your family has ever suffered from cancer or heart disease, and your grandparents and great grandparents lived to be 100 years old and you think, i don't need this. i can't afford it for one thing. i'm paying for a car, i'm paying for rent on an apartment, i have
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$125,000 worth of student loans with interest that i'm trying to pay off, i can't afford this. and then you convince them, yeah, but, you know, what if you get hit by a truck? what if all of a sudden you have a person that comes down with insulin-dependent diabetes or high blood pressure or heart disease and, you know, you're not covered? so at least purchase an insurance policy, health insurance policy that gives you catastrophic coverage in the event of a catastrophe. in the halls of the hospitals i worked in, we used to refer those as parendaplasties. and it could, motor vehicle accident. go ahead and have that coverage. go ahead and get a health insurance policy where you have that high deductible and pay $3,000 or $4,000 out of your own
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pocket before insurance kicks in. but, you know, we want to make sure and encourage people to at least do that. this bill, the big one, the big fat one, h.r. 3200 actually allows the government to say, no, that's not good enough. you got to mandate. you have to have health insurance that -- this high -deductedible, low-premium that you can afford that gives you that catastrophic coverage, we are not going to cover that as health insurance. and so we're going to mandate that you have coverage and we are going to mandate that you have high premium that you can't afford and you're probably not eligible for medicaid or some safety net program or government subsidy. and yet we're going to hold a gun to these people's head and say, mr. speaker, you have to have health insurance and if you don't the i.r.s. is going to fine you $25,000 and you could be charged with a misdemeanor
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and spend a year in jail. my colleagues, is that -- is that america? i mean, you know, i try to always keep a copy of the constitution in my pocket, and sure enough, here it is, the constitution of the united states. you go to the glossary, you are not going to find anything about mandatory health care. no. you are going to talk about the bill of rights and freedom of speech and press and religion. there's nothing in here about forcing people in this country against their will even though it's good public policy for them to have health insurance, and we would encourage and we would try to provide as we do in h.r. 3400, the 250-page bill, to help them be able to get an affordable -- but to force them to buy something they can't afford, no.
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so number six in health care bill of rights, no individual or employer mandate. just encourage them. and help them to be able to do that. number seven, and this is what created all the controversy, didn't it, mr. speaker, when the president was right here giving yet again a fantastic speech, as he always does and talked about, you know, made the comment that in his health care reform plan that no illegal immigrant would be eligible for any government subsidy and then the comment was made and, you know the rest of the story? but truth in fact is that -- and that's reason for number seven, no taxpayer funded coverage for illegal immigrants.
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in my bill, h.r. 3700, no taxpayer funded coverage for illegal immigrants. i think the president realized, though, as he made that speech here a couple of weeks ago, and maybe his cracker jack staff told him, mr. president, there is this problem in the bill where it doesn't make people verify who they are. they don't have to show a photo i.d. or a social security number to attest that truly they are here in this country legally. and if you don't require that, as we do by the way, mr. speaker, in programs like medicaid and the schip program, if we don't require that in this new reform bill you're going to have -- let me tell you, that's just -- might as well point an electromagnet to the southern border and say, come on, hey, have we got a deal for you.
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we've got a great education system, we've got a great health care system, the best in the world. you too can enjoy that. no, the american people don't want it, i don't want it. nobody in this chamber should want it. so, no taxpayer funded coverage for illegal immigrants. number seven. now, the last three items in this health care bill of rights, we've spent a little time here, mr. speaker, talking about what, in my bill, would prohibity in any health care insurance reform and now i want to talk about the next three items, eight, nine and 10, which would assure that we have in any health care reform bill or health insurance reform. and number eight, in the -- and the president has been very firm on this and i agree with him completely, the democratic majority has been very firm on
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this and i agree with them completely, pre-existing condition coverage. insurance companies would not be allowed to deny coverage to people because of pre-existing conditions. and that can take two shakes, mr. speaker. it can be like saying, no, sorry, you know, you you've got high blood pressure or you've got diabetes or you've had a coronary bypass and we're not going to offer you insurance. you're just not insurable. you're too big a risk for us. or we can say, yeah, we'll cover you, we're a great, good company and want to get some good p.r. out of this, but oh, by the way, your premium's going to be four times standard rate. well, that's pretty much a denial, too. people cabinet afford that -- can't afford that. so number eight is very
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important. pre-existing condition coverage. you know, you think about somebody that -- i talk about young people and wanting to encourage them to have health insurance. let's say you are 19 years old straight out of high school and have your first job or 25 years old right out of college or graduate school, have your first job and you're one of those people that's in good health, you think, gee, you know, i'd rather just kind of go bare and pay my own way and i'll put money aside each month in an escrow account, have a special savings account and i'll save this money and when i need it, hopefully i won't, maybe i'll have an annual physical and spend $175, but i'm not going to get sick because i'm taking care of myself, i'm not like a lot of people who show no personal responsibility in regard to their own health and so, you know, they really don't want to
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spend $400, $500, $600 a month paying a premium when they're not using it. but they do it anyway. they do it anyway. and they work for a company for 20 years and for the first 15 they're paying that same premium that everybody else pace, they have to because of federal law -- pays, they have to because of federal law, they're paying those premiums yet the insurance company isn't having to pay out any claims for them but during that time all of a sudden they get a little skin cancer that has to be removed or maybe they have a little chest pain and it turns out they have some coronary blockage or their blood pressure goes up and, you know, here they've been paying and all of a sudden we get an economy like we have today and they lose their job and then they try to get insurance after cobra runs out, if they're even eligible,
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and let's say that runs out and then they -- they're out of luck. they can't -- mr. speaker, they can't get -- that's not fair, that's absolutely unfair and i would say under number eight to the insurance companies, you need to cover that person for the rest of their life or at least until they go on medicare and you need to cover them at standard rates because you have made a really good profit off of them and now when they need you, you should not be allowed to abandon them. well these are the kind of things that we could agree on and i think we do. and quite honestly, mr. speaker, i think the insurance industry, the health insurance industry, they're ready to do that. they have already made commitments and they're ready to do that. and these are some of the things that we can do and that's number eight in my health care bill of rights. the ninth thing, we've already talked about a little bit, medical liability reform. there are a lot of different ideas out there, not just mine,
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although i've introduced a bill every year since i've been here for the last seven years calling on certain specific things. i won't get into the details today, mr. speaker, but it's called the health act and it's a fair bill that guarantees that patients that get injured by a health care provider or hospital , they're practicing below the standards of care for that community, they just messed up, that patients do not lose their right to a redress of their grievances, to be compensated for their lost wages and for any health care that they need for the rest of their lives, quite honestly. in some cases you're talking about a compensation or a judgment in the millions of dollars.
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so we don't deny that. what we try and do is cut down on frivolous lawsuits so that doctors are not spending so much time worrying about this and running up the cost of health care for everybody else by ordering needless cover-your-back tests that in some cases could be downright detrimental to the health of the patient and so many doctors in high-risk specialties at a fairly young age, before they turn 50, they give it up, they stop delivering babies, they won't go to the emergency room. surely the president means what he says when at least he promises pilot projects on medical liability reform. please, mr. president, please, it could save $120 billion a year, would you not have to tax people, the small business men and women $800 billion and cause
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to us lose more jobs and you wouldn't have to gut medicare if you'll do these things. and number 10 and this is the last in the list of the 10 prescriptions for healthy america on the health care bill of rights, h.r. 3700, the promise to reduce health care costs. why should we do anything if it doesn't bring down the cost? and so far, mr. speaker, the congressional budget office has just said repeatedly it doesn't want this bill, h.r. 3200, no matter how you slice it and compare it to the one out of the labor committee and you shake it all around and let it come through the rules committee, it doesn't bring down the cost. in fact, it bends the curve in the wrong direction. so my bill would assure that we reduce health care costs. h.r. 3400 does that.
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dr. coburn's bill says he's partnered with mr. ryan of wisconsin. that bill brings down the cost of health care. so that's my pledge. that's the bill that i wanted to talk about today to my colleagues, mr. speaker, and i hope that they will look at it. you know, i carry this around in my pocket and, colleagues, you can go to and look for the health care bill of rights, the 10 prescriptions for a healthy america. that's what we talked about here over this last hour, almost an hour, and i commend it to my colleagues and i welcome their ideas, my door's open, just as the president said his door's open, he welcomes our ideas. this is sharing.
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it's a bipartisan thing. yes, sleats stop bickering and get the job done -- let's stop bickering and get the job done. i thank you for the time, mr. speaker, and i now yield back. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back his time. under the speaker's announced policy -- the gentleman from iowa, mr. king, is recognized for 60 minutes. mr. king: thank you, mr. speaker. i appreciate the privilege and honor of addressing you here on the floor of the house of representatives and i also appreciate the opportunity to listen to my good friend and colleague, dr. gingrey, from georgia. i think he was actually putting
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on a few words per minute than he usually does. this is a fashion subject matter for him and the bill he's introduced and the foundation that he's laid, i think, is an excellent rebuttal to the statement that was made earlier in the five-minutes -- five minutes by the gentlelady from california who said, republicans, where is your plan on health care? well, we have many, many plans on health care and we have many, many ideas on how to address this and they are consistent. they're consistent with human freedom and the instincts, the humanity, they're consistent with the marketplace, consistent with the foundation of what has made this a great country. and on the other side of the aisle they seem to be consistent with managed economies and managed societies, the kind of societies that have always failed, the kind of societies that have drained away human ambition and put countries -- the entire nationality in a position where i believe it was ronald reagan that said, in the
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soviet union, they pretend to pay people and in the soviet union people pretend to work. there's something about human nature that we understand over here on this side of the aisle and we want the best out of all of us and so i take us back to the broader structure of what has been delivered here on the house. there's really only one bill out here that has passed out of committee and is before the american people as a subject matter to be discussed. and that is here in the house, h.r. 3200, and i have first, mr. speaker, a diagram of previous bill that came now the 1993 and 1994 that was known in many ways as hillarycare and so i have an observation here that i will post.
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this, mr. speaker, is the flow chart of hillarycare. this is out of the archives of the "the new york times." and it also is very close to, it not identical, to the flow chart that was on the wall of my office in the 1990's. this was the flow chart that was laid out when the previous attempt to take over the health care -- for the government to take over the american health care system was made. here on this floor, a few feet behind where i stand now, at the time president clinton came to the floor, september 22, 1993, and he did the unprecedented thing, he asked to address a joint session in congress to speak of a subject matter that wasn't about war, that was the unprecedented component of it, but it was about the federal government taking over 100% of the health insurance and health care delivery system in the united states of america. it was a huge reach.
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it's something that mobilized the american people in opposition. there were -- there were good reports on president clinton's speech immediately after he gave it because he like our current president had an ability and retains that ability to be a compelling speaker. and to move people with the force of his words, not necessarily the force of ideas, but the tone and the force of the words of themselves. so president clinton and the aftermath of that september 22, 1993 speech right here to this joint session of congress his numbers moved and it looked like he had perhaps broken the dam and there was going to be a national health care act that would transform and take over the entire health insurance industry and the health care of the united states. as we look on that 15 years ago we know how that came out. and that was there was a pushback across the land. i don't know if we used that
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expression in those days but i recall harry louise and i recall senator phil gramm right down at the end of the hallway and the doors you are facing stood on the floor of the united states senate said this national health care act will pass over my dead cold political body. and we thought his political body would be cold and dead and we would have hillarycare in america. it didn't take 15 years to find the result of that, mr. speaker, because the american people rejected the idea that the freedom that they had to purchase their own health insurance and the freedom that they had to make many of their own decisions with their doctor in the marketplace would be taken away and it would be government run and government owned. this is the flow chart, and i will submit as we look at these stacks of bills and an
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1,100-page bill and h.r. 3200, the bill that's passed out of committees, and it's waiting to come to the floor of the house, you can't understand that language. i don't care how good a lawyer you are, if you don't have diagrams. and you have to look at the flow chart and track through the diagrams to find out what the language does, draw some pictures, so to speak. and even then i believe it's impossible for a single individual to analyze this legislation and be able to predict the pitfalls that are created by the language. there are many. this was enough to scare the living daylights of the american people and even me. this flow chart was one of the significant components that drove me to take time away from my private business, the construction business that i started in 1975. and, mr. speaker, i seldom tell the story about that background, but i think for the sake of those who are listening and we all want to evaluate the background of the people that are making recommendations for all 306 million americans.
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for me, mr. speaker, i grew up in a lower, middle-class family. my father was a law enforcement worker. manager of the state police radio station. middle level management. he had pressure from the governor on down and then he had pressure underneath him. great reverence for the rule of law. a profound work ethic that something had to be going on all the time and you had to constantly make progress. no business background. by 1975, mr. speaker, i had concluded that if i were to control my destiny it didn't pay for me to sit back and wait for the government to send me a check, the eagle wasn't going to fly for steve king unless i did something to make the nest and get the eggs laid and hatch those eggs. i had to take care of my own destiny. and so one day in june of 1975 i decided that i didn't have a lot of alternative, but one of those was to take a risk and a chance and start a business. and i decided it was the best
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alternative. and so by august of that year i had borrowed 100% and gone out and bought a bulldozer and that was the business. it was a foundation of the business. i don't know how many 100 pounds of welding rods i made on that machine and how much repair work i did just to put it out on the job for the first hour. by the way, it broke down again in the first half a day. and back to the shop it went. and i had to tear it completely down, rebuild it again and try again. many of us that have started businesses got knocked down over and over again, picked ourselves up again and in the process of doing that were forced to learn their components of running a business. and anybody that started out with -- i'll say for me it was a negative net worth and a highly capital intensive business and had to meet payroll and meet the government regulations. and by the way back then we had account. i had 43 government agencies that regulated my business.
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i had to answer to 43 government agencies. and if any one of them stepped in and declared me to be out of compliance they could levy me a fine or shut me down. government was then the biggest fear that i had when i started a business. i wasn't worried so much about whether i could do the work or i could repair the machines or whether i could drive the truck. i wasn't even so worried about whether i could market the service that i had decided to provide. all of those things were going to take time and effort and all of those skills had to be improved upon, but the most concerned to me was how could i possibly meet all of the government regulations? i don't even know. and there wasn't one go-to point that anyone starting a business could go to to find out, what would be the nature of that regulation, if you just stacked it all up, stacked up all the regulations of the 43 agencies that regulated me at the time,
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if i had known that that would have completely scared me out of business before i went into business. i lay the background, mr. speaker, that i met payroll for over 28 years. over 1,400 consecutive weeks. and i paid myself last, if, at all, and paid my employees first and then i fed the kids. but we got through those years and we had our ups and our downs. and i would never characterize it as a magnificent success except that being a business owner, a founder and a manager had laid the groundwork for me to understand the components of the other businesses in the country and gave me the tools that i had the flexibility to raise my family in a fashion that i thought was far more constructive than it might have been if someone else were telling me when and where i was going to show up to work. and it also gave me a burning desire to try to clear some of the path for others that might want to do the same thing. so regulation has always been, i'll say in the last couple of
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generations, anyway, the number one concern of a business. what will government not do for us but what will government do to us? and so this was 1975 when i began. and we had our ups and downs, mr. speaker. i barely got in a position that i was even there to be a target of the farm crisis in the 1980's, but i went through all of that and many of us got hammered flat over and over again and got back up. and some of my neighbors didn't make it. and some of them, their spirit was destroyed even though they made it. those were tough years. and the floods in 1993 and the other experiences along the way that i could chart on my financial statements, the ups and downs all was triggered with some kind of event. but the experience of dealing with government and the experience of having to be my own accountant, mechanic, truck driver, my own sales manager, my own human resources manager, my own equipment operator, sometimes my shovel operator,
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sometimes the wrench operator, sometimes just the person who was the soup intendent that steers -- the superintendent that steers everyone else, that's when you are the least businessy. i went through all of that. and i had to deal with lawyers and insurance men and also, of course, our bankers. all of that laid a background and i think a knowledge base that's been so very useful here in public life. but of all of the things that i mentioned, the one that's concerned me the most from the beginning and the greatest impediment to people who might be entrepreneurs that want to establish and found a business are government regulations. and this -- this spiderweb of government regulations that are created by the -- by hillarycare was enough -- didn't scare me out of business because it didn't pass over phil gramm's dead political body.
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i think it was enough to scare the living daylights out of the american people. they killed hillarycare. now we have the modern era. fast forward 15 years, mr. speaker. the previous chart, mr. speaker, was black and white. this was tsh this is in full living technicolor. this is the -- excuse me, this is the 2009 version, the most recent of a government takeover of the health care industry. and i mean, mr. speaker, the health insurance industry and the health care delivery industry in america. the 17.5% of our -- of our nation's economy, and this flow chart with this full color is scarier yet. and i don't mean that it's scarier by functionality because
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marginally it at least leaves the opportunity for health insurance companies to survive for a while. excuse me. but, mr. speaker, it certainly sets the scene for the destruction of every private health insurance company in the united states and the elimination potentially of every health insurance policy in the united states. in fact, h.r. 3200 compels that every health insurance policy within five years be approved by the health choices administration commissioner. this bill sets up a new health choices czar. they call him a commissioner because americans are full up to here with czars. but this is the health choices
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administration commissioner, and i don't know if he's a czar. i don't know if he's a commissioner. i don't know if he's the come i czar. i've called him the commiczarissioner. the private insurers, everything white on here are existing. those in color are newly created agencies, departments and functionalitys. 1,300 private health insurance companies. it sounds like a big number. some of those companies have different names. but, mr. speaker, 1,300 health insurance companies here and 100,000 potential -- i'll say existing policy variations here, the traditional health insurance plans would all have to be qualified by this new come czarringser -- come i
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czarringser -- come czar he shall -- commiczarissioner. so everyone would have five years to be approved by the new health commiczarissioner. it would set up a commission that would write new regulations. the commission to be named later, to write regulations that would be named later, that would control the destiny of 1,300 health insurance companies and 100,000 health insurance policy varieties, options that the american people have. all of that would have to jump through the hoops to be created later after the legislation is passed for people to be appointed later including the health choices czar
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commiczarissioner. don't worry, you get to keep it. you notice he had to change the language when he stood here and gave his address to the joint session of congress. i believe that was september 8. that's within a day at least, mr. speaker. and his language changed to actually be nothing in this bill will force you to give up your doctor or your health insurance policy. i don't know if that's true because something in this bill may force companies to go out of business and may force your health insurance policy and it may discourage your doctor to the point where he decides he wants to go drive a tex cab like they -- drive a taxi cab in cuba. you will get in the backseat of a 1954 chevy and the guy behind the wheel might very well be a doctor. they have a lot of doctors in cuba. it just pays better to drive the taxi cab.
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and so this reach that we have of taking the private insurance company of 1,300 and force 100,000 policies to go through new regulations to be written, and we know that there are going to be fewer than 100,000 policy operators so people will lose their policy. i hope the president, mr. speaker, turns on c-span and understands what i'm saying. you can't say it any more, mr. president. if anything like this passes, people will lose their policies, and they're likely to lose their doctor. and you haven't told the speaker of the house that she can't support something like this if she's going to be consistent. with the intent of the language she used herself. so, mr. speaker, i'll submit this. this -- the recharacterization needs to revert back to the language of the bill. we needs to understand what happens when bureaucrats make decisions. and by the way, we sometimes need to listen to the people on the other side of the aisle. they're for single payer government takeover. 100 or more of them have signed a litter that they would vote
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against a health care bill that would not -- the quote is a public option. mr. speaker, public option is the government optionment it is a government takeover of the health care industry eventually. and by the way, this is the purple circle of the 100,000, it won't be 100,000 but those that are left of the original 100,000 policies and the 1,300 companies. this purple circle, that will be the private sector that actually meets the regulations after five years. fewer companies, fewer policies, we don't know how many but we do know this, the government then would produce a public health plan. that's the second purple circle here. they would be under this health insurance exchange. so envision that. it may be an internet site you go to that has a series of bureaucrats that make recommendations, evaluate policies and let you look at the government option versus the private sector option. but this public health plan,
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this government option, has to be set up with federal taxpayer dollars. you can't start an insurance company without capital. where's it going to come from? the american taxpayer. and where does our money come from now? after it's long past burned through the tax revenue of the 2009 fiscal year? it comes from the chinese and saudis. we're borrowing money from foreign countries. we're borrowing money to buy things from them and now we'd be borrowing money to start up a health insurance company. it would be national debt money, billions, that would be the capital foundation to set up an insurance company so that there would be conceivably 1,301 health insurance companies. one more company. the president's view was, we need more competition in the health insurance industry so 1,300 companies is not enough. set up a federal company. that will be the difference. and we will follow money and put billions into it and now this
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enterprise, this federal enterprise that is in direct competition with the private companies, has to succeed. well, if it can't sell policies, it can't succeed. so how does the government go about doing this? well, they set the premiums low enough and the benefits competitive enough that they can get people to buy the policies. otherwise they're an irrelevant entity. so i guess you'd say that's fine except we need to understand this, the regulations that would be written for the government plan would be regulations that are written so the government plan can compete with all of these private plans. which means that the regulations will be written to favor the government plan. and the premiums the government would charge will be premiums that are designed to be competitive and i'm going to say, likely cheaper than can be offered in the private sector. so the result of that will be that either we're going to have to subsidize the government plan health insurance company or
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we're going to have to regulate these businesses, these private sector once out of business. it's how government operates. we have several models that we can look at. the simplest and most stark of them all is the federal flood insurance program. if you want to know, mr. speaker, how health insurance will go if we have the government option, we had a government option on federal flood insurance in 1968. this congress passed legislation that established the federal flood insurance program. we have property and casualty insurance companies in the private sector that sold flood insurance. but when the government got involved they set new premiums and new regulations and they still couldn't crack into the market well enough and so then they passed a regulation that required that a real estate loan through a national bank had to include flood insurance. when they put that mandate on, the national banks required that flood insurance be purchased, where from? the federal government with premiums set by the federal government and today it is
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impossible to buy flood insurance in america from anyone other than the national flood insurance plan. because the federal government has squeezed out all of the competition. and the federal government owns the entire territory. we have today, i say we, the federal government has a monopoly on flood insurance and their operation is pretty wobbly because their $19.2 billion in the red. that's billion with a b, mr. speaker. the flood insurance, national flood insurance premiums, don't reflect the risk. they pushed out all the competition, lowered the premiums and now what are we doing as a result? we're developing more and more real estate in flood plains. because the premiums for the flood insurance are cheaper than the risk. and so people can do that and we make -- we create more risk accordingly. the markets, mr. speaker, can restrain and bring about rational decisions. bureaucrats make mistakes over and over again. that's the federal flood insurance.
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that's what will happen to this federal health insurance if it should get passed. in addition we have the school loan program. which 25 years ago was completely private. private lending institutions set up the school loan program. but today, thanks to some very liberal members of congress, it looks like the steps have been taken that within a very short period of time will squeeze out what is left of the private school loan program, the school loan program, where i will predict that within five years from today, if there isn't a dramatic difference in the elections that are taking place in this country, there will be nothing but government student loans, there will be no private student loans. this is a country that was built on free enterprise. this is a proud and independent people that we have and we are. and we're slowly settling into dependence. we've handed over the private sector flood insurance and by the way in the state of florida they have state hurricane insurance now that owns that
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market because they decided government could do it better than the private sector. and over and over again we give up our freedom and we forget about the underpinnings of american exceptionalism and the markets and personal responsibility and i heard the gentleman from ohio say last night, i believe it was, that if you get sick, you can -- you may have to go into bankruptcy to pay your bills. is that freedom? well, yeah. actually, this is a country that if you're going to have freedom you have to be willing to take some risks. you have to have the freedom to succeed. and you have to have the freedom to fail. now i'm all about and many of us are about reaching out to our neighbors and our friends and we don't want people that have been responsible to have to pay a consequence because they happen to be very misfortunate but by the same token, i don't want to take away the personal responsibility from the american people. i want -- i remember when jimmy
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carter was running for president, he said this profound thing, for jimmy carter this was a profound thing, he said, the people that work should live better than those that don't. i don't know whether he actually lived by that or set policies by that but i remember when he said that because it caught my attention. this was maybe 1976 or. so the people who work should live better than those who don't. the people who step up and take responsibility should have a modicum of benefits for taking that responsibility but the effort on the democratic side of the aisle seems to be, take all the responsibility away from the people because i think they disease represent the -- disease respect the -- the disrespect -- they disrespect the ability, the education, the intellect and the core values that we have as american people. we can rise above anything. mr. speaker, we're not a regular people here in america. we're americans. we're not just the extension of europe.
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that was the base of our original population. we're far different than that. we're a people that -- we're the recipients of all the best that came from western civilization. but we've got all the cream of the crop from every civilization, the vitality that it took, the dreams that it took to be able to get on a ship and find a way to barter your way for passage or pay the passage to come across. my great-grandfather multiple times over came over in 1757 from england and he served as an indentered servant and paid off his passage. he was the father of 17 kids and their dreams were realized and multiple generations are that way. that's part of what is the core of who it is to be an american. it is not a normal regular thing. we're not just an extension of europe or any other country. we have a special vitality. it's hard to get here. you have to have a dream to come here. the people that didn't have a
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dream stayed home in their own country and some of them sat back and didn't work and didn't compel and many came here for religious freedom and maybe came here for economic freedom and many more came here for religious and economic freedom. that beacon of the statute of -- statue of liberty was in the minds of the american people and an inspiration for the world long before the statue was put up at ellis island. and so we are a unique people that have relied upon this freedom and our vitality has been an inspiration for the world and if we sit here in this congress and we begin to erode these freedoms one after another after another and trade them off for a dependency and if we take this false call that somehow we can push the expenses for this, the debt for this, off onto the succeeding generations, what moral standard would anyone have to make a declaration to the little kids growing up in america and those children not born that we, our generation and
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our time, have somehow a right to put them in debt in the first place? and, secondly, to put them in debt because we want to give everybody in america not health care, not health care, because everybody in america has access to health care, the argument is, we want to give everybody in america a health insurance policy created by the government. think how this works. this single payer national health care plan which is the goal of the president of the united states, the goal of the speaker of the house, the goal of the leadership here and i know that there's reference made to the chairman of the judiciary committee, mr. conyers, i went back and told a bill that he introduced in 1981, that's a while back, 28 years ago, i know mr. gingrey referenced him in his earlier speech, but i read the bill. that bill i read. it was about 167 pages. it sets up a united states health services department, an agency, and it says in there that every human being, every
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person in the united states, legal and illegal, whatever their status might be, what whatever their proclivities might be has a right to quality, timely, respectful health care. a right to this in 1981. pretty astonishing to read that. now, you can have that concept, i guess, and that is the concept of the chairman, but to follow this thing along, he also declares that -- and everybody has a right to this health care, legal and illegal, but in addition, all health care workers will be salaried employees. so he sets up a national company to manage all the health care in america and no worker can be there working off of fee for service, the brilliant surgens that are creating new ways to save lives and improve the quality of lives and new surgical techniques and new equipment, they don't have to be
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paid at the end of the month just like the person who is, let me say, maintaining the bills. it takes away the incentive. they've forgotten completely about the difference between being an american and being a regular dependent soul in a social democrat think? western europe, for example. we've got to remember, we're americans, we're a distinct group of people. that kind of idea of socialized medicine is a -- to freedom loving people and if we bargain it away it's never to be retained again. not in this generation, not in any other. there's a lot at stake here and i'll conclude and go over to the gentleman from missouri. there's a lot at stake here. the future of america is at stake and it's not just this national health care act. it is the socialized medicine that lies underneath it, it is cap and trade which pushes our industry to india and china, it's the comprehensive amnesty policy that they're preparing to deliver, all of this wrapped up,
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any combination of these three should become law, they'll try to ram the rest of them through, and that, mr. speaker, sounds to me like the end of american freedom and i will stand and fight it every step of the way, as will my friend from missouri, mr. akin, whom i'd be very happy to yield to. mr. akin: it's a pleasure to be able to join my good friend and as you talk a little bit about freedom, you have spoken in somewhat general terms. about the affects of the government taking over paying the doctors and what that would do. but i'd like to get a little bit more into the details because i think we have to remember the results of what that freedom has done in the area of medicine. the level of innovation that has occurred in medicine in a free society such as ours is just incredible. and it is america that drives all of these new developments of various drugs. it is america that's driving all of these things like lacer surgery for eye. we see examples now of something
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that was considered very risky, strange procedure, wasn't covered by insurance companies, called lacic surgery for your eye, which now is tremendously common. my wife had some 10 years ago. and her vision was terrible. it's much better than mine now because of the fact we had this innovation. we have innovation in terms of


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