House Session 2011-07-13 (09:59:51-10:52:59)
Articles,  Blog

House Session 2011-07-13 (09:59:51-10:52:59)


CONGRESSIONAL LEADERS WITH A FOUR OF THOSE NEGOTIATIONS. LIVE COVERAGE ON THE C-SPAN NETWORKS AND C-SPAN RADIO. HAVE A GOOD DAY.
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NATIONAL CAPTIONING INSTITUTE] [CAPTIONING PERFORMED BY [CAPTIONS COPYRIGHT NATIONAL CABLE SATELLITE CORP. 2011] [CAPTIONING MADE POSSIBLE BY THE NATIONAL CAPTIONING INSTITUTE, INC., IN COOPERATION
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REPRESENTATIVES. WITH THE UNITED STATES HOUSE OF ANY USE OF THE CLOSED-CAPTIONED COVERAGE OF THE HOUSE PROCEEDINGS FOR POLITICAL OR COMMERCIAL PURPOSES IS EXPRESSLY PROHIBITED BY THE U.S. HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.] THE HOUSE WILL NOW BE IN ORDER. THE CHAIR LAYS BEFORE THE HOUSE A COMMUNICATION FROM THE SPEAKER. THE SPEAKER’S ROOM, WASHINGTON, D.C., JULY 13, 2011. I HEREBY APPOINT THE HONORABLE RENEE L. ELLMERS TO ACT AS
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. SPEAKER PRO TEMPORE ON THIS DAY SIGNED JOHN A. BOEHNER, SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES.
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EXCUSE ME. PURSUANT TO THE ORDER OF THE HOUSE OF JANUARY 5, 2011, THE CHAIR WILL NOW RECOGNIZE MEMBERS FROM LISTS SUBMITTED BY THE MAJORITY AND MINORITY
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. LEADERS FOR MORNING HOUR DEBATE THE CHAIR WILL ALTERNATE RECOGNITION BETWEEN THE PARTIES WITH EACH PARTY LIMITED TO ONE
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HOUR AND EACH MEMBER OTHER THAN THE MAJORITY AND MINORITY LEADERS AND THE MINORITY WHIP LIMITED TO FIVE MINUTES EACH BUT IN NO EVENT SHALL DEBATE CONTINUE BEYOND 11:50 A.M. THE CHAIR RECOGNIZES THE GENTLEMAN FROM OHIO, MR. KUCINICH, FOR FIVE MINUTES. THREE MONTHS AGO 276 EXPERTS ON SOCIAL SECURITY, THE FEDERAL BUDGET OR THE ECONOMY WROTE TO PRESIDENT OBAMA, QUOTE, TO CORRECT A COMMONLY HELD MISCONCEPTION THAT SOCIAL SECURITY SOMEHOW CONTRIBUTES TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT’S DEFICIT, UNQUOTE. DESPITE THE FACT THAT SOCIAL SECURITY HAS A $2.6 TRILLION SURPLUS AND CAN PAY 100% OF ITS BENEFITS THROUGH 2037 WITHOUT ANY CUTS OR TAX INCREASES, PRESIDENT OBAMA DECLARED YESTERDAY THAT SOCIAL SECURITY CHECKS MAY NOT GO OUT AFTER AUGUST 2. PRESUMABLY UNLESS THERE’S A DEAL ON THE FEDERAL DEFICIT WHICH HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH SOCIAL SECURITY. ACCORDING TO TODAY’S “WASHINGTON POST,” 15 YEARS AGO CONGRESS PASSED LAWS WHICH STATED SOCIAL SECURITY DID NOT COUNT AGAINST THE DEBT LIMIT AND GAVE TREASURY CLEAR AUTHORITY TO USE SOCIAL SECURITY TRUST FUNDS TO PAY BENEFITS AND ADMINISTRATION EXPENSES IN THE EVENT A DEBT CEILING IS REACHED. A FAKE SOCIAL SECURITY CRISIS WILL DO MOG TO SOLVE A REAL DEBT CRISIS, WILL UNDERMINE THE
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AND WILL CREATE UNNECESSARY PUBLIC’S FAITH IN GOVERNMENT ANXIETY AMONG OUR ELDERLY. STOP PLAYING POLITICAL GAMES WITH SOCIAL SECURITY. I YIELD BACK. THE CHAIR RECOGNIZES THE GENTLEMAN FROM CALIFORNIA, MR. DENHAM, FOR FIVE MINUTES. THANK YOU, MADAM SPEAKER. WITH THE JUNE NATIONAL UNEMPLOYMENT RATE AT 9.2% AND CONSISTENT DOUBLE DIGIT UNEMPLOYMENT IN MY DISTRICT, WE MUST GET AMERICANS BACK TO WORK. JUNE MARKS 29 CONSECUTIVE MONTHS WHERE WE’VE HAD UNEMPLOYMENT AT OR ABOVE 8%. AVERAGING 9.5% DURING THAT TIME. UNEMPLOYMENT HASN’T BEEN ABOVE 8% FOR THAT LENGTH OF TIME SINCE THE GREAT DEPRESSION. WE GOT TO START UTILIZING THE POLICIES THAT WILL GET AMERICANS BACK TO WORK. WE NEED TO MAKE SURE THAT WE ARE REDUCING THE REGULATIONS AND HAVING THE ECONOMIC POLICIES TO GET AMERICANS WILLING TO TAKE THE RISK, THE RISK TO GO OUT AND BORROW MONEY TO START A BUSINESS, WILLING TO TAKE THE RISK TO NOT ONLY HIRE EMPLOYEES BUT ACTUALLY TO MAKE SURE THAT THEY ARE WILLING TO HAVE THAT LONG-TERM EMPLOYMENT, MAKING SURE THEY HAVE THE PROMISE TO THAT EMPLOYEE THAT THEY’RE GOING TO BE ABLE TO CONTINUE THAT JOB ON. WE GOT TO GET AMERICANS THE — GIVE AMERICANS THE OPPORTUNITY TO TAKE THE GREAT RISK IN OUR ECONOMY. WE ALSO NEED TO UNLEASH THE
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STRENGTH OF OUR NATION BY UTILIZING OUR NATURAL RESOURCES. HERE’S THE GREATEST OPPORTUNITY WE HAVE AS A NATION TO GET AMERICANS BACK TO WORK IS BY UTILIZING OUR OWN NATURAL RESOURCES. IN MY AREA WHERE WE GOT DOUBLE DIGIT UNEMPLOYMENT WE HAVE WATER SHORTAGE THAT CAUSES OUR AGRICULTURE TO LEAVE LAND FALLOW, LEAVING THOUSANDS UNPLANNED PARENTHOOD. BY GETTING THE WATER FLOWING AGAIN, WE CANNOT ONLY GET — IF WE DON’T USE THE NATURAL RESOURCES WE HAVE IN OUR FORESTS, IF WE DON’T MANAGE OUR TIMBER HARVESTING PLAN, NOT ONLY WILL WE SEE THE LACK OF EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES BUT WE’LL SEE DEVASTATION. WE’LL SEE FIRES BECAUSE THE FORESTS WILL MANAGE THEMSELVES IF WE DON’T MANAGE THE FORESTS FOR THEM. WE NEED TO MAKE SURE THAT AS WE’RE LOOKING ACROSS THE NATION OUR OIL RESERVES. BETWEEN OUR OIL, OUR NATURAL GAS, OUR SHALE RESERVES, WE HAVE THE LARGEST RESOURCES IN THE WORLD. WE JUST GOT TO BE WILLING TO TAP INTO THEM. WE NEED TO SHORTEN THE TIME ON PERMITS. WE NEED TO REDUCE THE REGULATION SO WE CAN ACTUALLY GO IN AND GET THE OIL SO WE’RE NOT DEPENDENT ON OTHER NATIONS. THESE AREN’T REPUBLICAN JOBS. THESE ARE NOT DEMOCRATIC JOBS. THESE ARE AMERICAN JOBS THAT WE GOT TO GO OUT, STAND STRONG ON CUTTING THE REGULATION, ON GETTING THE RIGHT ECONOMIC POLICIES, GETTING THE PERMITS MOVING AGAIN SO WE CAN ACTUALLY UTILIZE OUR NATURAL GAS, UTILIZE OUR OIL, UTILIZE OUR OIL SHALE SO WE ARE NOT RELYING ON OTHER NATIONS, RELYING ON OUR TIMBER HARVESTING AND UTILIZING OUR WATER SO WE CAN GET AGRICULTURE MOVING AGAIN. LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, WE GOT A JOB TO DO HERE IN CONGRESS. WE GOT TO GET THE AMERICAN JOBS MOVING AGAIN. THAT’S GOING TO BE UTILIZING OUR NATURAL RESOURCES AND GETTING AMERICANS WILLING TO TAKE THE RISK ON OUR ECONOMY, WILLING TO INVEST, WILLING TO BORROW MONEY TO START A NEW BUSINESS AND WILLING TO GO OUT THERE AND PROMISE A NEW EMPLOYEE NOT ONLY THAT THEY’LL HAVE A JOB BUT A LONG-TERM JOB. WE HAVE THE POWER TO DO THAT HERE IN CONGRESS. WE NEED TO HAVE THE WILL. MADAM CHAIR, I YIELD BACK. THE CHAIR RECOGNIZES THE GENTLEMAN FROM ILLINOIS, MR. GUTIERREZ, FOR FIVE MINUTES. MADAM SPEAKER, I RISE TODAY TO HONOR A TOWERING FIGURE IN PUERTO RICAN HISTORY AND CULTURE. PUERTO RICO AND THE WORLD LOST A PIONEERING AND LEADING SCHOLAR LAST WEEK WITH THE PASSING OF DONE RICARDO ALEGRIA. HIS STUDY OF THE HISTORY AND CULTURE OF THE INDIANS OF PUERTO RICO WAS GROUNDBREAKING WORK. BY HELPING PUERTO RICANS TO UNDERSTAND THE AFRICAN AND EUROPEAN HERITAGE AS WELL AS MANY OTHER IMPORTANT ASPECTS OF PUERTO RICAN HISTORY AND CULTURE, DON RICARDO HELPED US BETTER UNDERSTAND WHO WE ARE, WHERE WE CAME FROM AND WHAT BEING PUERTO RICAN REALLY MEANS. HE’S NOT ONLY A SCHOLAR TO HELP PUERTO RICANS UNDERSTANDING OUR HISTORY, HE WAS A DETERMINED AND PROUD MAN THAT REFUSED TO LET OUR CULTURE FORGOTTEN AND DESTROYED. HE WAS PART OF THE INSTITUTE OF PUERTO RICAN CULTURE AND MANY OTHER RESEARCH, CULTURAL AND OTHER INSTITUTIONS. IN THIS ROLE HE WAS A WARRIOR DEFENDING OUR CULTURAL HERITAGE. IT’S NOT AN EXAGGERATION TO SAY WITHOUT HIS LEADERSHIP AND TENACITY THE OLD BUILDINGS OF SAN JUAN WHICH ARE LOVED BY PUERTO RICANS AND VISITED BY MILLIONS AROUND THE WORLD WOULD NOT BE STANDING TODAY. HE WANTED TO MAKE SURE THAT THE HISTORICAL SIGNIFICANCE WAS UNDERSTOOD BY ALL. HE MADE US BE PROUD TO BE PUERTO RICAN. HE EMBRACED WHAT MAKES PUERTO RICANS UNIQUE AND UNDERSTOOD WE HAVE OUR OWN IDENTITY AND NEVER RUN AWAY FROM IT, WE SHOULD CELEBRATE IT. WITHOUT QUESTION, HE LOVED OUR PEOPLE AND OUR HISTORY. I OFFER DON RICARDO ALEGRIA MY THANKS AND HIS DEDICATION TO PUERTO RICO, HIS LEADERSHIP FOR THE PEOPLE AND THE WAY WE ELEVATED OUR HISTORY. AT THIS TIME OF CRISIS IN PUERTO RICO, THOUGH THAT SEEM TO FORGET THE TRAITS THAT MAKE OUR ISLAND OUR ISLAND AND MAKE OUR HISTORY OUR HISTORY, DON RICARDO WAS VERY SUPPORTIVE OF MY WORK IN CONGRESS. THE INSPIRATION OF TOWERING PUERTO RICAN FIGURES LIKE DON RICARDO MOTIVATE ME TO DENOUNCE THE ATTACKS ON THE CIVIL AND HUMAN RIGHTS OF PUERTO RICANS. THESE ATTACKS COME FROM THE SAME QUARTER DON RICARDO FOUGHT ALL HIS LIFE. THEY SEEK TO DESTROY THE NATIONAL CULTURE AND ISLAND OF PUERTO RICO AND THEY HAVE NOT SUCCEEDED AND NEVER SUCCEED BECAUSE THERE WILL ALWAYS BE PUERTO RICANS LIKE DON RICARDO STANDING DEFIANTLY AND PROUDLY IN THEIR WAY. THIS FACT WAS DRIVEN HOME IN CONGRESS JUST YESTERDAY, MR. SPEAKER. AT A WELL-INTENDED BRIEFING CONDUCTED BY THE ACLU, THE NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR PUERTO RICAN LATINO POLICY AND THE LEGAL DEFENSE AND EDUCATION FUND, AS PART OF THEIR BRIEFING, THESE ORGANIZATIONS SHOWED A VIDEO DEPICTING SOME OF THE MANY THEMES OF VIOLENCE BY THE POLICE OF PUERTO RICO AGAINST UNARMED AND PEACEFUL PROTESTORS. I HAVE SEEN THIS VIDEO AND I AM CERTAIN THAT MANY MEMBERS THAT SEE THESE IMAGES WOULD BE MOVED TO INDIG NATION AND ACTION, THAT THESE THINGS HAPPEN UNDER THE AMERICAN FLAG AND THESE ABUSES ARE COMMITTED AGAINST AMERICAN CITIZENS IS SIMPLY SHAMEFUL. IF ANY OF MY COLLEAGUES SAW THESE IMAGES, I AM SURE THEY WOULD FEEL THE SAME THING I FELT WHEN I SAW THEM. MR. SPEAKER, IT’S OUT OF MY DEEP CONCERN FOR THE PEOPLE OF PUERTO RICO THAT I WISH TO INFORM MY COLLEAGUES THAT I HAVE SENT A LETTER TODAY TO THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, ERIC HOLDER.
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RELEASE OF ANY AND ALL THIS LETTER REQUESTS THE DOCUMENTS AND INFORMATION REGARDING CONTACTS BY OFFICIALS OR REPRESENTATIVES AND LOBBYISTS OF THE GOVERNMENT OF PUERTO RICO WITH THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AND THEIR CIVIL RIGHTS DIVISION INTO THE VERY SERIOUS ALLEGATIONS OF SYSTEMATIC POLICE BRUTALITY IN PUERTO RICO, AN INVESTIGATION
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I HAVE REQUESTED THIS THAT IS OVER TWO YEARS OLD. INFORMATION UNDER THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT BECAUSE PUBLIC REPORTS ALLEGE THAT THE GOVERNMENT OF PUERTO RICO IS USING ITS WELL-PAID, TOP WASHINGTON LOBBYISTS AND OTHER RESOURCES TO THWART THE RELEASE OF THE JUSTICE REPORT. IT IS BASED ON A LOBBYING DISCLOSURE FORM THAT DOES NOT GIVE DETAIL ON EXACTLY WHAT THE LOBBYISTS ARE DOING FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF PUERTO RICO. GIVEN THE RECENT HISTORY OF THE RULING PARTY OF PUERTO RICO IN WORKING IN SECRECY, THESE REPORTS HAVE RAISED SERIOUS DOUBTS IN MY MIND. MR. SPEAKER, I WANT TO MAKE IT CLEAR, WHILE THERE MAY NOT BE TRANSPARENT OF GOVERNMENT IN PUERTO RICO OR FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT THERE, AS FAR AS THE GOVERNMENT IS CONCERNED, THE SECRECY AND THE IMPUNITY OF THE REGIME IN PUERTO RICO ENDS HERE. THANK YOU, MR. SPEAKER. THE CHAIR RECOGNIZES THE GENTLEMAN FROM ILLINOIS, MR. KINZINGER, FOR FIVE MINUTES. WELL, THANK YOU, MADAM SPEAKER. LAST FRIDAY, SOMETHING ACTUALLY VERY GREAT HAPPENED. WISCONSIN BAMED THE 49TH STATE IN THE UNION TO APPROVE CONCEAL CARRY. WELL, THAT MEANS THAT LEAVES MY HOME STATE, ILLINOIS, AS THE LAST STATE TO RECOGNIZE THAT CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT TO CONCEAL CARRY. THE ACTION TAKEN BY GOVERNOR SCOTT WALKER WAS A MAJOR STEP FOR WISCONSIN BUT THE STATE OF ILLINOIS REMAINS THE ONLY STATE IN THE NATION TO PROHIBIT CONCEAL CARRY AND DENY LAW-ABIDING CITIZENS RIGHTS TO PROTECT THEMSELVES OR THEIR FAMILY. THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES AND 44 STATES COMMON LAW AND LAWS OF ALL 50 STATES RECOGNIZE THE RIGHT TO USE ARMS IN SELF-DEFENSE. THE SUPREME COURT CASE, BEARD VS. THE UNITED STATES, APPROVED THE COMMON LAW RULE THAT A PERSON MAY REPEAL FORCE BY FORCE IN SELF-DEFENSE AND CONCLUDED WHEN ATTACKED A PERSON IS ENTITLED TO STAND HIS GROUND AND MEET ANY ATTACK MADE UPON HIM WITH A DEADLY WEAPON. IN 2008, SUPREME COURT RULED IN DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA VS. HELLER THAT THE INHERENT RIGHT OF SELF-DEFENSE HAS BEEN CENTRAL TO THE SECOND AMENDMENT RIGHT. AND THAT THE AMENDMENT PROTECTS THE INDIVIDUAL RIGHT TO POSSESS AND CARRY WEAPONS IN CASE OF CONFRONTATION. RIGHT TO CARRY LAWS HAVE PROVEN TO BE EFFECTIVE. SINCE 1991 THROUGH 2009, 23 STATES HAVE ADOPTED THE RIGHT TO CARRY AND VIOLENT CRIME RATES HAVE DECLINED 43%. THIS ALL COMES ON THE HEELS OF A FIVE-FOLD INCREASE IN THE NUMBER OF SHALL CONCEAL CARRY CASE SINCE 1986 TO 2006. ALONG WITH THIS, SINCE THE 1980’S, WHEN CONCEALED CARRY ISSUES STARTED, THE NUMBER OF PERMIT HOLDERS IS ESTIMATED TO HAVE RAISE FROM ONE MILLION TO SIX MILLION PEOPLE. OF MAJOR NOTE, MURDER HAS DECLINED 49%. ALSO, THE CITY WITH THE HIGHEST GUN HOMICIDE RATE IN THE NATION, WASHINGTON, D.C., HAPPENS TO ALSO HAVE THE STRICTEST GUN CONTROL. THE LOWEST RATE OF GUN HOMICIDE IS IN THE NATION OF UTAH WHICH HAS SOME OF THE MOST LIBERAL POLICIES WHEN IT COMES TO CONCEAL CARRY. ACCORDING TO THE F.B.I., THE TOTAL NUMBER OF VIOLENT CRIME AND MURDER DROPPED 6% DURING THE FIRST PART OF 2011. GUN ADVOCATES ARE IN DISBELIEF OVER THESE NUMBERS. AND THIS NATION, NOT ONLY GOING THROUGH AN ECONOMIC DOWNTURN, HAVE SEEN THIS. THE NUMBER OF BACKGROUND CHECKS BROKE RECORD LEVELS, MORE THAN 14 MILLION, LAST YEAR ALONE. THAT’S A 55% INCREASE IN FIREARMS PURCHASES IN JUST FOUR YEARS, BUT IT HAS NOT EVEN LED REMOTELY CLOSE TO THE DOOM AND GLOOM AND HALF OCK BEING DONE BY ANTI-GUN ACTIVISTS. NATIONAL CRIME VICTIMIZATION SURVEY CONCLUDED THAT ROBBERY AND ASSAULT VICTIM WHO USE A GUN TO RESIST WILL BE LESS LIKELY TO ATTACK OR SUFFER AN INJURY THAN THOSE WHO USE ANY OTHER METHODS OF SELF-PROTECTION OR THOSE WHO DID NOT RESIST AT ALL. UNFORTUNATELY, IN MY HOME STATE IN ILLINOIS, GOVERNOR QUINN DETERMINED WHAT IS BEST FOR ILLINOIS. REARG THAN LISTENING TO THE VOICE OF THE ILLINOIS CONSTITUENCY, QUINN MADE DESPERATE 11TH HOUR PHONE CALL TO SWAY DEMOCRATIC COLLEAGUES TO HIS SIDE AND BLOCK CONCEAL CARRY IN ILLINOIS. HE KNOWS BETTER THAN 49 OTHER STATES AND HE KNOWS BETTER THAN TOP LAW ENFORCEMENT ORGANIZATIONS LIKE THE ILLINOIS STATE CHIEFS OF POLICE, CHICAGO POLICE LIEUTENANTS ASSOCIATION AND CHICAGO POLICE SERGEANTS ASSOCIATION. QUINN DOESN’T GET IT BUT 49 OTHER STATES DO AND SO DO I WHICH IS WHY I AM A PROUD CO-SPONSOR OF H.R. 822, THE NATIONAL RIGHT TO CARRY RECIPROCITY ACT OF 2011 WHICH WAS INTRODUCED BY MY COLLEAGUE,
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FLORIDA. REPRESENTATIVE CLIFF STEARNS OF THIS ALLOWS ANY PERSON WITH A STATE ISSUED CONCEAL TO CARRY IN EVERY OTHER STATE. THEIR STATES WILL APPLY. IN ILLINOIS, I REFUSE TO DENY VISITORS THE RIGHT TO CARRY WEAPONS WHEN THEY ARE SO
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. AUTHORIZED TO DO SO. WE MUST ALLOW LAW-ABIDINGING CITIZENS TO OWN AND BEAR ARMS. WE MUST RESTORE, DEFEND, AND PRESERVE THIS CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT AT ALL GOVERNMENT LEVELS. I YIELD BACK. THE CHAIR RECOGNIZES THE GENTLEMAN FROM WASHINGTON, MR. MCDERMOTT, FOR FIVE MINUTES. I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO REVISE AND EXTEND MY REMARKS.
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WITHOUT OBJECTION. MADAM SPEAKER, OVER THE PAST SEVERAL WEEKS WE HAVE BEEN DEBATING WAYS TO REDUCE THE FEDERAL DEFICIT. REPUBLICANS HAVE SAID THAT EVERYTHING IS ON THE TABLE AND
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JUST ISN’T TRUE. THAT NOTHING IS SACRED, BUT THAT THE REPUBLICANS REFUSE TO CUT TAX GIVE AWAYS TO THE WEALTHY AND SPECIAL INTERESTS IN THIS COUNTRY, AND WHEN IT COMES TO DISCUSSING THE MERITS OF CONTINUING OUR EFFORTS IN AFGHANISTAN, THE REPUBLICANS CLAMOR TO DEFEND IT DESPITE OUR FISCAL MESS. I WANT TO REMIND MY REPUBLICAN FRIENDS THE SITUATION WE ARE IN NOW IS NOT NEW. THROUGHOUT HISTORY FROM ROME TO THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE TO THE SOVIET UNION THE OVER EXTENSION OF MILITARY AND PROTRACTED STRUGGLES IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES HAS CRIPPLED EMPIRES. SOME HISTORIANS HAVE CREDITED RONALD REAGAN FOR THE SOVIET UNION’S COLLAPSE BUT WHAT REALLY BANKRUPTED THE SOVIET UNION WAS ITS WARS, JUST LIKE US, THEY PAID A CRUSHING PRICE BOTH FINANCIALLY AND MORALLY IN AFGHANISTAN. OVEREXTENDING GEOPOLITICALLY COMES AT A COST OVER TIME IN ANY NATION THAT THINKS OTHERWISE IS SETTING ITSELF UP TO REPEAT THE MISTAKES OF THE PAST. AS OF TODAY, THE UNITED STATES HAS SPENT MORE THAN 2 1/2 TIMES THE PERCENTAGE OF G.D.P. ON AFGHANISTAN THAT THE — THAN THE SOVIET UNION SPENT ON ITS G.D.P. DURING ITS NINE-YEAR WAR IN AFGHANISTAN. PUBLIC POLLS ARE CLEAR, AMERICANS KNOW THE COST OF THE WAR IN AFGHANISTAN IS UNSUSTAINABLE AND WANT US TO WITHDRAW AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. WHEN IT COMES TO CUTTING BACK ON SUPPORT FOR THE NEEDIEST AMERICANS, WE CAN’T SEEM TO FACE THE URGENT REALITY THAT THE MONEY THAT WE SPEND ABROAD NEEDS TO BE SPENT HERE AT HOME. THE FINANCIAL FACTS TELL THE STORY, TAXPAYERS IN MY DISTRICT IN SEATTLE HAVE SPENT $1.1 TRILLION — BILLION FOR AFGHANISTAN WAR TO DATE. THINK ABOUT THAT. ONE CITY, $1.1 BILLION. FOR THE SAME AMOUNT OF MONEY WE COULD PROVIDE HEALTH CARE FOR 700,000 CHILDREN FROM LOW-INCOME FAMILIES OR PUT 125,000 KIDS IN HEAD START OR HEALTH CARE FOR 150,000 MORE VETERANS. IMAGINE HOW DIFFERENT IT WOULD BE IF STATES LIKE WISCONSIN WHICH FACES A $3.6 BILLION BUDGET DEFICIT DID NOT HAVE TO BEAR THE COST OF THE WAR IN AFGHANISTAN. SO THE QUESTION BEFORE US IS SIMPLE, WHAT IS OUR PRIORITY? FIGHTING A WAR WITH NO END? OR INVESTING IN THE AMERICAN PEOPLE?
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COUNTRY WE ARE. THE ANSWER LIES IN WHAT KIND OF WHAT LEGACY WE LEAVE BEHIND TO OUR CHILDREN AND OUR GRANDCHILDREN. AND TRANSCENDING POLITICAL DECISIONS TOWARD A COMMON COMMITMENT TO MAKE AMERICA STRONG AGAIN. AMERICA WILL CEASE TO BE A WORLD POWER IF WE FAIL TO SUPPORT THE
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DOMESTIC FOUNDATIONS OF OUR NATION. YET THE HOUSE THAT DOES NOT EVEN BLINK AS IT APPROVES A $650 BILLION DEFENSE BUDGET LAST FRIDAY. WHILE THE REPUBLICANS WERE CUTTING ANY SPENDING THAT HELPS PEOPLE, THEY DIDN’T SO MUCH AS FLINCH AS THEY THREW HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS INTO THE
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BOTTOMLESS PIT OF THE DEFENSE BUDGET. WE NEED TO STOP SEEING THE WORLD THROUGH THE LENS OF CONSTANT THREAT AND FOSTER A SENSE OF THE COMMON GOOD. AND SHARED RESPONSIBILITY. THAT NOT OUR MILITARY FOOTPRINT, IS WHAT WILL ADVANCE OUR INTERESTS IN THE WORLD AND MAKE US CONFIDENT AGAIN. IN A NATIONAL POLL CONDUCTED LAST YEAR, 47% OF AMERICANS RATED CHINA’S ECONOMY AS THE STRONGEST ECONOMY IN THE WORLD. OUR CRUMBLING ROADS REFLECT OUR CRUMBLING SELF-CONFIDENCE. OUR NATIONAL PRIORITY, PROSPERITY, IS VITAL TO OUR NATIONAL SECURITY AND THAT IS WHY I BELIEVE GETTING OUT OF AFGHANISTAN MUST BE THE CENTER OF RAISING AND REDUCING OUR DEFICIT. ANYTHING SHORT OF THAT WOULD IGNORE THE FISCAL REALITY AND THE WILL OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE TO END THE AFGHANISTAN WAR. WE HAVE A CHOICE BEFORE US. CONTINUE THE WAR AND CONTINUE DOWNHILL, OR STOP THE WAR AND START UP THE HILL TO REGAIN WHAT WE HAVE LOST OVER THE LAST FEW YEARS. I YIELD BACK THE BALANCE OF MY TIME. THE CHAIR RECOGNIZES THE GENTLEMAN FROM SOUTH CAROLINA, MR. WILSON, FOR FIVE MINUTES. THANK YOU, MADAM SPEAKER. MADAM SPEAKER, BEFORE I BEGIN I’D LIKE TO JOIN WITH MY COLLEAGUE, CONGRESSMAN ADAM KINZINGER, AND CONGRATULATE THE PEOPLE OF WISCONSIN ON PASSING A CONCEALED WEAPONS BILL. I THINK THEY’LL FIND AS WE HAVE FOUND IN SOUTH CAROLINA THAT HAVING A CONCEALED CARRY PERMIT, WE CALL IT THE LAW-ABIDING CITIZEN SELF-DEFENSE ACT, THAT THE CONSEQUENCE OF THIS, A NUMBER OF YEARS AGO NOW, HAS BEEN A REDUCTION IN CRIME. AND IN FACT MANY OF THE PEOPLE WHO AS I WAS A FLOOR LEADER IN THE STATE SENATE TO PROPOSE THE CONCEALED CARRY LAW, SO MANY OTHER PEOPLE WHO OPPOSED IT, AND THEY OPPOSED IT THINKING THEY WERE DOING IT CORRECTLY, HAVE SUBSEQUENTLY TOLD ME THAT THEY REALLY ARE THRILLED THAT NOW IT HAS PASSED. THAT IT INDEED HAS PROMOTED A REDUCTION IN CRIME IN OUR STATE. AND I KNOW THE SAME WILL BE TRUE IN WISCONSIN AND POSSIBLY ONE DAY IN ILLINOIS. MADAM SPEAKER, TIME IS RUNNING OUT FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. WITH JUST WEEKS TO GO BEFORE OUR COUNTRY DEFAULTS ON ITS DEBTS, LIBERALS IN CONGRESS CONTINUE TO
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ROADBLOCK ANY PROGRESS ON REAL SPENDING CUTS. THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WANT TO SEE SPENDING REFORMS. THE ADMINISTRATION CAN CUT OTHER FEDERAL SPENDING BEFORE IT ALLOWS A DEFAULT ON THE U.S. DEBT. AMERICANS UNDERSTAND THAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IS BURDENING FUTURE GENERATIONS WITH DEBT BY BORROWING OVER 40 CLENTS OF — CENTS OF EVERY DOLLAR IT SPENDS. SENIOR CITIZENS ARE AT RISK WITH THE VALUE OF THE DOLLAR IN QUESTION. AMERICANS WANT TO SEE MEANINGFUL SPENDING REFORM.
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GAMES. LIBERALS WANT TO PLAY POLITICAL REPUBLICANS HAVE BEEN TRYING TO LEAD ON SPENDING REFORM. FROM THE MOMENT THIS NEW CONGRESS HAS BEEN IN SESSION, HOUSE REPUBLICANS HAVE PASSED NUMEROUS BILLS THAT CUT SPENDING, CURB GOVERNMENT GROWTH, AND ENCOURAGE JOB GROWTH FOR AMERICAN FAMILIES. THE LATEST NEWS ON THE DEBT LIMIT TALK SHOWS YET AGAIN HOW OUT-OF-TOUCH THIS CURRENT ADMINISTRATION IS WITH THE
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AMERICAN PEOPLE. CUT THE SPENDING. DO NOT IMPOSE NEW TAXES WHICH WILL KILL JOBS WHICH NEED TO BE DEVELOPED BY SMALL BUSINESSES. IN CONCLUSION, GOD BLESS OUR TROOPS, AND WE WILL NEVER FORGET SEPTEMBER 11 AND THE GLOBAL WAR ON TERRORISM. MADAM CHAIR, I YIELD THE BALANCE OF MY TIME. THE CHAIR RECOGNIZES THE GENTLEMAN FROM PUERTO RICO, MR. PIERRE
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LUISY — PIERLUISI FOR FIVE MINUTES. I RISE THIS MORNING TO DISCUSS THE ISSUE OF FEDERAL SUPPORT FOR HEALTH CARE IN PUERTO RICO AND THE OTHER TERRITORIES. THIS IS A STORY OF UNPRECEDENTED PROGRESS, BUT IT IS ALSO A CHRONICLE OF CONTINUING CHALLENGES. WHILE THE TREATMENT OF THE TERRITORIES ON THEIR FEDERAL HEALTH CARE PROGRAMS HAVE SUBSTANTIALLY IMPROVED IN RECENT YEARS, SERIOUS DISPARITIES STILL REMAIN. THE CONSEQUENCE OF THIS INEQUALITY IS NOT DIFFICULT TO DISCERN. LAST MONTH A STUDY FOUND THAT PATIENTS AT HOSPITALS IN THE TERRITORIES FAIRED SIGNIFICANTLY WORSE THAN PATIENTS AT HOSPITALS IN THE STATES. THE STUDY CITED FUNDING DISPARITIES UNDER MEDICAID AND MEDICARE ALONG WITH THE TERRITORIES’ LACK OF VOTING REPRESENTATION IN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AS LIKELY CAUSES FOR THIS DISCREPANCY. THIS ARTICLE CONCLUDED THAT ELIMINATING THE SUBSTANTIALLY QUALITY GAP IN THE U.S. TERRITORIES SHOULD BE A NATIONAL PRIORITY. CONSIDER MEDICAID WHICH HELPS OUR MOST VULNERABLE CITIZENS. MEDICAID HAS ALWAYS OPERATED DIFFERENTLY IN THE TERRITORIES. THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT PAYS AT LEAST 50% OF THE PROGRAMS’ COST IN THE WEALTHIEST STATES AND UPWARDS OF 80% IN THE POOREST STATES. BY CONTRAST, FEDERAL LAW IMPOSES AN ANNUAL CAP ON FUNDING IN THE TERRITORIES. HISTORICALLY PUERTO RICO’S CAP WAS SO LOW THAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT PAID LESS THAN 20% OF MEDICAID COSTS ON THE ISLAND IN ANY GIVEN YEAR. INADEQUATE, TOTAL FUNDING HAVE MADE IT DIFFICULT FOR PUERTO RICO TO PROVIDE QUALITY HEALTH CARE TO ITS LOW-INCOME POPULATION. IF THE PURPOSE OF THIS POLICY WAS TO SAVE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT MONEY, IT WAS SHORTSIGHTED. BETWEEN 2005 AND 2009 OVER 300,000 PUERTO RICAN RESIDENTS MOVED TO THE STATES. MANY WERE MEN AND WOMEN OF LIMITED MEANS WHO UPON YOU MIGRATING IMMEDIATELY BECAME ELIGIBLE FOR FULL BENEFITS UNDER MEDICAID AND OTHER FEDERAL PROGRAMS. THE LAST CONGRESS MY FELLOW DELEGATES AND I FOUGHT HARD TO ENSURE OUR CONSTITUENTS WERE TREATED IN AN EQUITABLE MANNER IN THE AFFORDABLE HEALTH CARE ACT. UNDER THE LAW, FUNDING FOR PUERTO RICO’S MEDICAID PROGRAM WILL TRIPLE OVER THE NEXT DECADE. THOUGH IT IS FAR LESS THAN PUERTO RICO WOULD RECEIVE IF TREATED LIKE A STATE, THIS INCREASED FUNDING DOES REPRESENT A SIGNIFICANT STEP TOWARDS PARITY. BUT THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT DID NOT ELIMINATE SERIOUS DISPARATES FACING MY CONSTITUENTS. FOR EXAMPLE, PUERTO RICO’S STILL SUBJECT TO UNEQUAL TREATMENT UNDER MEDICARE. ALTHOUGH ISLAND RESIDENTS PAY THE SAME PAYROLL TAXES AS THEIR FELLOW CITIZENS IN THE STATES, ILL-CONCEIVED FEDERAL FORMULAS PROVIDE LOWER MEDICAID REIMBURSEMENT TO PUERTO RICO HOSPITALS. DESPITE THE PRESSING NEED TO CORRECT ALL THESE DISPARITIES, I KNOW THAT TO LEGISLATE EFFECTIVELY YOU MUST CHOOSE YOUR BATTLES WISELY, ESPECIALLY IN A FISCAL CLIMATE AS CHALLENGING AS THE ONE OUR COUNTRY FACES TODAY. THEREFORE, I HAVE INTRODUCED THREE HEALTH BILLS THAT WOULD CORRECT THIS UNPRINCIPLED INEQUALITY AND DO SO IN A FISCALLY RESPONSIBLE WAY. THE FIRST BILL ATTENDS THE HIGH TECH ACT WHICH PROVIDES PAYMENTS TO DOCTORS AND HOSPITALS THAT BECOME USERS OF ELECTRONIC HEALTH RECORDS. THE ACT INADVERTENTLY EXCLUDE THE PUERTO RICO FROM THE MEDICARE PAYMENT AND MY BUDGET NEUTRAL BILL WOULD INCLUDE THEM. MY SECOND BILL WHICH HAS BIPARTISAN SUPPORT WOULD MODIFY A UNIQUE FEDERAL LAW THAT MAKES IT MORE DIFFICULT FOR PUERTO RICO SENIORS TO ENROLL IN MEDICARE PART B AND WOULD REDUCE THE PENALTIES FOR LATE ENROLLMENT. AND MY THIRD BILL WOULD MAKE IT POSSIBLE FOR TERRITORY MEDICAID PROGRAMS TO COVER BREAST AND CERVICAL CANCER TREATMENTS BY VOICING FEDERAL CONTRIBUTIONS FOR THOSE SERVICES OUTSIDE THE ANNUAL CAP. SO, I HAVE FILED THIS THREE-COST CONSCIOUS BILLS TO ADDRESS SOME OF THE DISPARITIES WE ARE FACING AND I HOPE TO HAVE THE SUPPORT OF MY COLLEAGUES WHEN THE TIME COMES TO CONSIDER THEM. NOW, A WORD ABOUT THE CURRENT STATE OF AFFAIRS IN PUERTO RICO. I REPRESENT PUERTO RICO IN THIS CONGRESS, AND IF WE ARE GOING TO BE TALKING ABOUT A CRISIS IN PUERTO RICO, I’LL TELL YOU ABOUT A CRISIS IN PUERTO RICO. IT IS THE HIGH INCIDENCE OF VIOLENT CRIME THAT IS TIED TO THE DRUG TRAFFICKING THAT IS HAPPENING IN THE CARIBBEAN. AND I FOR ONE AM DOING SOMETHING PRODUCTIVE. I’M SEEKING ADDITIONAL RESOURCES BECAUSE IT IS IN THE INTEREST OF BOTH THE UNITED STATES AS A COUNTRY, AS A WHOLE AND PUERTO RICO TO INCREASE THE PRESENCE OF FEDERAL LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS IN PUERTO RICO. WHILE I WANT CIVIL RIGHTS TO BE PROTECTED OVER AMERICA, WHAT I AM DOING IS SUPPORTING THE ONGOING INVESTIGATION OF THE DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, BUT I AM NOT DENIGRATING THE INTEGRITY OF THOSE WHO PUT THEIR LIVES AT RISK TO DEFEND THE SAFETY OF OUR CITIZENRY. THANK YOU.
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I YIELD BACK THE BALANCE OF MY TIME. THE CHAIR RECOGNIZES THE GENTLEMAN FROM LOUISIANA, MR. FLEMING, FOR FIVE MINUTES. THANK YOU, MADAM SPEAKER. MADAM SPEAKER, I RISE TODAY TO MOURN THE LOSS OF TWO LOUISIANA SOLDIERS FROM FORT POPE WHO RECENTLY DIED IN LOW GAR — LOGAR PROVINCE IN AFGHANISTAN
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DURING OPERATION ENDURING FREEDOM. STAFF SERGEANT MICHAEL GARCIA AND SERGEANT CHRISTOPHER SUTHERLAND MADE THE ULTIMATE SACRIFICE BY GIVING THEIR LIVES
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. IN SERVICE TO THIS NATION. IT WAS AT THIS POINT THAT IT’S IMPORTANT DECISION INVOLVING THE DEFENSE OF OUR NATION BECOMES MOST PERSONAL. INSTEAD OF THINKING IN ABSTRACT TERMS LIKE CASUALTY, WEAPONS, EQUIPMENT, WE ARE CONFRONTED WITH THE REALITY THAT THESE ARE NOT JUST SOLDIERS. THEY ARE IN FACT OUR FRIENDS, OUR NEIGHBORS, OUR SONS, FATHERS, BROTHERS. STAFF SERGEANT GARCIA AND SERGEANT SOUTHERLAND REPRESENTED THE VERY BEST AMERICA HAS TO OFFER. THEIR CONTRIBUTIONS SERVES AS AN ENDURING REMINDER THAT THE FREEDOMS AND LIBERTIES WE HOLD SO DEAR ARE AFFORDED TO US ONLY BY THOSE WHO WEAR THE UNIFORM AND LOVED ONES WHO SUPPORT THEM. LET US PAUSE TODAY TO REMEMBER THE SACRIFICE THESE BRAVE SOLDIERS MADE ON BEHALF OF THIS GREAT NATION. AND WITH THAT I YIELD BACK. THE CHAIR RECOGNIZES THE GENTLEMAN FROM VIRGINIA, MR. CONNOLLY, FOR FIVE MINUTES. MADAM SPEAKER, WE’RE TWO SHORT WEEKS AWAY FROM DEFAULTING ON AMERICAN DEBT WHICH WOULD DEVASTATE OUR ECONOMY AND PLUNGE THIS COUNTRY, IF NOT THE GLOBAL ECONOMY, INTO A STEEP RECESSION. WE’RE ENGAGED IN THREE OVERSEAS WARS AS PART OF THE BROADER STRUGGLE TO DEFEAT TERRORISM. CENTURY OLD YOU A TO BE RASSIES ARE CRUMBLING IN THE MIDDLE EAST. EXTREME DROUGHT IS HURTING TEXAS AND OKLAHOMA WHILE FLOODS OF BIBLICAL PROPORTIONS INUNDATE THE UPPER MIDWEST. UNPRECEDENTED TORNADOES HAVE KILLED HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE IN MISSOURI, ALABAMA AND VIRGINIA WHILE THE MELTING OF GLACIERS AND POLAR ICE. MEANWHILE, OUR ECONOMY STAGNATES WITH LACK OF ANY GROWTH. IN RESPONSE TO THESE EXOWE TENSION THREATS AT HOME AND AND ABROAD, THE REPUBLICANS HAVE BROAD FORTH A BILL A BAN ON INCANDESCENT LIGHT BULBS SIGNED BY A REPUBLICAN PRESIDENT, PRESIDENT BUSH. THAT’S RIGHT, LIGHT BULBS. CONSORES OF INTERNET HEARSAY ARE AWARE OF THE TEA PARTY CONSPIRACY THEORISTS SAY THAT PRESIDENT OBAMA IS TRYING TO OUTLAW THE INCAN — INCANDESCENT LIGHT BULB. FROM PHILLIPS TO JOHNSON CONTROLS ACTUALLY SUPPORT THE LIGHT BULB EFFICIENCY STANDARD BECAUSE THEY PROVIDE A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE OVER FOREIGN MANUFACTURERS WHO PRODUCE SHODDY, LIGHT-INEFFICIENT BULBS. WHO KNEW THAT THE TEA PARTY CONTAINED SO MANY SYMPATHIZERS WHO HIDDEN THEIR AGENDA INSIDE THE FOLDS OF THE DON’T THREAD ON ME FLAG. SOME ARE TAXED ENOUGH ALREADY. IT HAS LEFT THESE ZELLESTS WITH EXTRA DISPOSABLE INCOME AND THEY WANT TO SPEND IT ON INEFFICIENT LIGHT BULBS. IN FACT, REPEAL OF THE LIGHT BULB STANDARDS WOULD GIVE AMERICANS THE LIBERTY TO SPEND $85 EXTRA PER YEAR ON LIGHT BULBS TO PRODUCE NO ADDITIONAL LIGHT. IT’S HARD TO UNDERSTAND HOW IDEOLOGUES IN THIS HOUSE CAN SUGGEST OPPOSING $85 PER YEAR ON THEIR CONSTITUENTS IN ORDER TO BUY LIGHT BULBS WHICH CONSUME MORE ELECTRICITY THAN NECESSARY. THOSE WHO ARE BAFFLED BY REPUBLICAN SUPPORT FOR THIS NEW INCANDESCENT LIGHT BULB TAX MUST LOOK TO THE PAST FEW
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THE REPUBLICAN COLLEAGUES YEARS. DEVIATED SO FAR FROM CONSERVATION THAT IT NOW SUPPORTS LEGISLATION THAT WOULD HAVE AIR AND WATER IMPUNITY. THE BULB ACT, WHICH WE DEALT WITH LIGHT — LAST NIGHT, AND RETROAGREESES TO THE TIME OF THOMAS EDISON AND THE INVENTION OF THE LIGHT BULB. THEY MUST REALLY MEAN IT WHEN THEY CALL THEMSELVES ORIGINALISTS. THIS ENTIRE SITUATION WOULD BE HUMOROUS, BUT FOR THE GRAVITY OF THE THREAT OUR NATION FACES — FROM CLIMATE CHANGE TO THE DEBT PUZZLE OR THE OPPORTUNITIES THAT WE WILL FORGO IN THE MIDDLE EAST BECAUSE OF THE ATTACK ON LIGHT BULBS. I YIELD BACK. THE CHAIR RECOGNIZES THE GENTLEMAN
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FIVE MINUTES. FROM TENNESSEE, MR. DUNCAN, FOR MADAM SPEAKER, I REQUEST PERMISSION TO ADDRESS THE HOUSE AND TO REVISE AND EXTEND MY REMARKS. WITHOUT OBJECTION. MADAM SPEAKER, THERE IS MUCH DISCUSSION THESE DAYS ABOUT ETHANOL AND FOR FAR TOO LONG THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS BEEN SUBSIDIZING ETHANOL PRODUCTION IN A VERY BIG WAY. THREE YEARS AGO “TIME” MAGAZINE CALLED ETHANOL ANOTHER ENERGY BIOFUEL THE CLEAN ENERGY SCAM. YET, THREE YEARS LATER WE ARE DUMPING MORE MONEY THAN EVER INTO THE PROGRAM. IT IS TIME TO ADMIT THAT THE ETHANOL PROGRAM HAS BEEN A FAILURE. A STUDY MENTIONED IN THE RECENT COLUMN IN “THE WASHINGTON TIMES” SAID THAT OUR ETHANOL POLICIES NOT CHANGE WOULD COST AMERICAN CONSUMERS MORE THAN $500 BILLION IN THE 10 YEARS FROM 2008 TO 2017. ACCORDING TO “TIME” MAGAZINE, THE BIOFUEL BOOM IS DOING THE EXACT OPPOSITE OF WHAT IT WAS INTENDED TO DO. THE ARTICLE CALLS CORN ETHANOL ENVIRONMENTALLY DISASTROUS. WE WENT HEAVILY INTO ETHANOL BECAUSE IT WAS SUPPOSED TO BE GOOD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT. THE VERY POWERFUL ENVIRONMENTAL LOBBY PUSHED HARD ON THIS. NOW, WE HAVE FOUND THAT IT HAS DONE MORE HARM THAN GOOD. EVEN TO THE ENVIRONMENT. THIS JUST GOES TO SHOW THAT WHEN SOMEONE SAYS SOMETHING IS GOOD FOR THE ENVIRONMENT IT IS USUALLY BECAUSE THEY ARE GOING TO MAKE MONEY OFF OF IT OR GOING TO INCREASE CONTRIBUTIONS TO THEIR ORGANIZATION. I HAVE AN EVEN THE GREATER CONCERN THAT HITS HOME WITH EVERY AMERICAN. THE ETHANOL PROGRAM IS AN ECONOMIC DISASTER. WE WERE PROMISED THAT USING ETHANOL TO FUEL CARS WOULD REDUCE GAS PRICES. WE WERE TOLD IT WOULD REDUCE
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IF YOU LOOK AT THE SITUATION OUR DEPENDENCE ON FOREIGN OIL. TODAY, GAS PRICES ARE CLOSE TO $4 A GALLON OR EVEN HIGHER IN SOME PLACES, AND WE ARE STILL AT THE MERCY OF FOREIGN PRODUCERS TO SUPPLY MOST OF OUR
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OIL. THE ONLY THING THE ETHANOL PROGRAM HAS DONE IS RAISE THE PRICE OF GROCERIES. HARDWORKING AMERICANS ARE PAYING MORE FOR MILK, NEEDS AND EVERYDAY ITEMS THEY NEED FROM THE GROCERY STORE. THIS IS BECAUSE THE PRICE OF CORN HAS DOUBLED IN LESS THAN TWO YEARS. IN 2009, CORN COST $3.30 A BUSHEL. TODAY IT COST ROUGHLY $7 A BUSHEL. WHEN THE PRICE OF CORN INCREASES IT CAUSES A CHAIN REACTION. CORN IS USED TO FEED LIVESTOCK WHICH INCREASES THE PRICE OF BEEF AND DAIRY PRODUCTS. CORN SYRUP IS FOUND IN EVERYTHING FROM CEREAL TO SALAD DRESSING. NEARLY EVERYTHING AT THE GROCERY STORE COSTS MORE TODAY THAN IT DID JUST ONE YEAR AGO. TO TURN CORN INTO ETHANOL IT FAKES DIESEL FUEL TO RUN THE MACHINES, FERTILIZER AND MONTHS OF HARD WORK FROM FARMERS. A STUDY BY CORNELL UNIVERSITY ESTIMATES THAT IT COST $4.50 TO PRODUCE ONE GALLON OF ETHANOL. A GALLON OF PURE ETHANOL HAS ONLY ABOUT 2/3 THE ENERGY OF A GALLON OF GASOLINE. YET, A LOT OF THINGS WE TEND TO DO IN — LIKE A LOT OF THINGS WE TEND TO DO HERE IN WASHINGTON, THE COST IS TOO HIGH AND AVERAGE AMERICANS ARE THE ONES PAYING FOR IT. IN 2010 THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT SPENT NEARLY $8 BILLION TO SUBSIDIZE ETHANOL PROGRAM. THAT NUMBER IS PROBABLY CLOSER TO $12 BILLION WHEN YOU COUNT
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GOVERNMENTS. MONEY FROM STATE AND LOCAL THE BOTTOM LINE IS CORN SHOULD BE USED TO FUEL OUR BODIES, NOT OUR CARS. I’D LIKE TO TAKE A MOMENT TO TELL BUT A FRIEND OF MINE, HARRY. HARRY IS THE OWNER OF HIS FARM COMPANY. THE FAMILY STARTED THIS COMPANY IN 1937 AND IS ONE OF THE GREAT SMALL BUSINESS SUCCESS STORIES IN MY DISTRICT. HOWEVER, IN 2010, THE SAUSAGE FARM LOST MONEY FOR THE FIRST TIME. THEY ARE NOW LOSING MONEY EVERY MONTH. THEY ARE NOT LOSING MONEY BECAUSE ALL OF A SUDDEN THEY ARE NO LONGER A GREAT COMPANY. THEY ARE LOSING MONEY BECAUSE
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FAR TOO HIGH. THE COST OF RAW MATERIALS IS INSTEAD OF PAYING 35 CENTS A POUND FOR HOGS LIKE THEY DID IN 2009, THEY PAY MORE THAN 50 CENTS A POUND, MORE THAN 40% INCREASE IN JUST TWO YEARS. 40% INCREASE IN TWO YEARS. TO KEEP UP MEAT PRODUCERS LIKE WAMPLER, THEY ARE FORCED TO RAISE PRICES IN THE GROCERY STORE. THE STUDY I MENTIONED EARLIER BY CORNELL ESTIMATED THAT IN 2009 ONE-THIRD OF U.S. CORN WAS USED TO MAKE ETHANOL. THAT IS A LOT OF CORN, BUT IT ONLY REDUCED AMERICA’S OIL CONSUMPTION BY 1.4%. IN FACT, IF WE WERE TO TAKE ALL OF THE CORN PRODUCED AND TURN IT INTO ETHANOL, IT WOULD REPLACE 4% OIL CONSUMPTION.
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IN THIS COUNTRY AND AROUND THE WORLD WE ARE DESTROYING FORESTS, WETLANDS AND GRASSLANDS TO MAKE ROOM TO PLANT MORE CORN. THE PROGRAM DOESN’T MAKE SENSE FOR THE ECONOMY OR THE ENVIRONMENT, EVEN THOUGH IT WAS FORCED ON US PRIMARILY BY VIRMALISTS. A LOT OF POLITICIANS ARE AFRAID TO ADMIT THE ETHANOL PROGRAM WAS A MISTAKE BECAUSE THEY ARE AFRAID TO DEFEND THE FARM LOBBY AND ANYONE CONSIDERING RUNNING FOR PRESIDENT MAY BE AFRAID TO OFFEND CORN FARMERS IN IOWA. BUT, MADAM SPEAKER, WE CAN NO LONGER AFFORD TO WASTE MONEY ON THIS PROGRAM THAT DOES NOT WORK. THANK YOU, MADAM SPEAKER. THE GENTLEWOMAN FROM THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, MS. NORTON, FOR FIVE MINUTES. THANK YOU, MADAM SPEAKER. I COME TO THE FLOOR TO ALERT MEMBERS WHO INTERFERE WITH THE LOCAL FUNDS OF A LOCAL JURISDICTION NOT YOUR OWN. IN THIS CASE THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. THIS YEAR IT WILL BE
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DISTRICT. HIGHLIGHTED IN YOUR OWN THE DEBT LIMIT DISCUSSION SPOTLIGHT DIFFERENCES, BUT ONE IDEA ALWAYS HAS ENJOYED THE BROADEST SUPPORT IN THIS COUNTRY AND IN THIS HOUSE. THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT DOES NOT INTERFERE WITH LOCAL MATTERS, ESPECIALLY LOCAL FUPPEDS UNDER NOT RAISED BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT — FUNDS NOT RAISED BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. IT BECAME CLEAR THAT THERE WERE SOME MATTERS OF OVERARCHING CONCERN THAT COULD BE ARBITRATED ONLY BY A TRUE NATIONAL GOVERNMENT BUT THEY WERE AT GREAT PAINS TO RESERVE MAXIMUM FREEDOM AT THE LOCAL LEVEL WHERE PEOPLE LIVE. NOTHING IS MORE LOCAL THAN LOCAL FUNDS A JURISDICTION RAISES ON ITS OWN BY LOCAL TAXPAYERS. YOU RAISE THE FUNDS, YOU GET TO SAY HOW THEY WILL BE SPENT. THE PRINCIPLE APRICE TO ALL. NO SECOND-CLASS CITIZENS ON LOCAL MATTERS, ESPECIALLY LOCAL FUNDS, AND THAT INCLUDES THE 600,000 RESIDENTS OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA. CONGRESS CEDED ITS POWER TO RUN THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA IN 1973 WHEN IT PASSED THE HOME RULE ACT. IT STILL APPROVES THE D.C. BUDGET BUT IT DOES NOT CHANGE
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MEMBERS OF CONGRESS THAT BUDGET. UNACCOUNTABLE TO THE ELECTORATE OF THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA HAVE NO RIGHT TO USE THE BUDGET PROCESS TO DIRECT SPENDING AWAY FROM MATTERS THAT MAY BE CONTROVERSIAL TO YOU BUT NOT TO OUR OWN LOCAL JURISDICTION. THAT IS TEA PARTY DOCTRINE, THAT IS A PRINCIPLE OF THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY. LICENSE WAS TAKEN TO PUT CONTROVERSIAL ATTACHMENTS ON THE 2011 BUDGET DEAL, AND THE WORLD WATCHED AS THE ENTIRE EXECUTIVE AND LEGISLATIVE BRANCH OF A LOCAL GOVERNMENT HERE WERE ARRESTED IN AN ACT OF CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE. THIS TIME A COALITION OF NATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS WITH MILLIONS OF MEMBERS ARE TAKING PREVENTATIVE ACTION, AND I QUOTE FROM A LETTER ALL OF YOU SHALL RECEIVE. SHOULD LAWMAKERS CONTINUE TO ADVANCE ATTACKS ON D.C.’S ATONOMY WE WILL MAKE SURE THAT EVERY MEMBER IN EVERY DISTRICT KNOW HOW THEIR REPRESENTATIVES ARE SPENDING THEIR TIME IN
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AFFAIRS OF D.C. RESIDENTS WASHINGTON, MEDDLING IN THE RATHER THAN FOCUSING ON THE NATION’S PRESSING BUSINESS. MEDDLE WITH D.C. LOCAL FUNDS, WE WILL PULL THE COVERS OFF IN YOUR OWN DISTRICTS.
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CONGRESS THIS YEAR, DON’T TREAD ON D.C. THANK YOU, MAMENTS. I YIELD BACK THE REMAINDER OF MY TIME. THE CHAIR RECOGNIZES THE GENTLEMAN FROM GEORGIA, MR. BROUN, FOR FIVE MINUTES. THANK YOU, MADAM SPEAKER. THIS DEBT CEILING IS STARTING TO FEEL LIKE DEJA VU. IF YOU THINK BACK TO 1990, PRESIDENT GEORGE HERBERT WALKER BUSH AGREED TO $2 IN SPENDING CUTS FOR EVERY $1 IN TAX HIKES. HE AGREED TO THIS WITH THE CONGRESSIONAL DEMOCRATS, BUT THAT’S NOT WHAT ENDED UP HAPPENING. ALL OF THE DEMOCRATS’ TAX HIKES WENT INTO EFFECT, BUT THE PROMISED SPENDING CUTS NEVER MATERIALIZED. WE CANNOT FALL FOR THIS TRICK AGAIN, AND THAT’S THE SAME TRICK THAT WE SEE FROM THE PEOPLE ON THE OTHER SIDE, MY DEMOCRATIC COLLEAGUES AND THE PRESIDENT. HIGH TAXES DO NOT LEAD TO MORE GOVERNMENT REVENUE. WE’VE SEEN PROOF OF THIS IN YEARS PAST. INSTEAD OF RAISING TAXES, LET’S LEAVE MONEY IN THE HANDS OF SMALL BUSINESSES, JOB CREATORS
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MORE JOBS MEANS MORE REVENUE SO THEY CAN CREATE JOBS.
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. AND LESS DEFICIT. HIGHER TAXES MEANS MORE PEOPLE OUT OF WORK AN HIGHER DEBT. IN FACT PRESIDENT OBAMA ADMITTED IN 2009 THAT, QUOTE, THE LAST THING THAT YOU WANT TO DO IN THE MIDDLE OF A RECESSION IS TO RAISE TAXES, UNQUOTE. IN THE PAST LIBERALS IN CONGRESS HAVE ADAMANTLY SPOKEN OUT IN OPPOSITION TO DEBT CEILING INCREASES. THIS SENATOR OBAMA SAID IN 2006 THAT, QUOTE, A DEBT LIMIT INCREASE WAS A SIGN OF LEADERSHIP FAILURE, UNQUOTE. I COULD NOT AGREE MORE. IT’S A TIME FOR LAWMAKERS TO STOP TALKING OUT OF BOTH SIDES OF THEIR MOUTHS AND DO WHAT IS BEST FOR THE ECONOMY, FOR OUR NATION, AND THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. OVER THE LAST 10 YEARS WE HAVE
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. RAISED THE DEBT CEILING 16 TIMES IT HASN’T WORKED. AND NOW WE ARE AT THE END OF THAT ROAD. WE NEED TO TRY SOMETHING NEW SO THAT WE CAN GET STARTED ACTUALLY PAYING DOWN OUR ENORMOUS DEBT. WE MUST GET OUR COUNTRY ON AN ECONOMICALLY VIABLE COURSE AND
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CREATE JOBS IN THE PRIVATE SECTOR. THAT’S WHY I HAVE INTRODUCED H.R. 2409, THE DEBT CEILING REDUCTION ACT, WHICH WOULD LOWER THE DEBT CEILING TO $13 TRILLION. AND THAT WOULD FORCE POLITICIANS IN WASHINGTON TO MAKE THE CUTS TO OUR BUDGET THAT OUR ECONOMY SO DESPERATELY NEEDS AND START FIGURING OUT HOW TO PAY OFF THIS UNSUSTAINABLE DEBT THAT WE HAVE CREATED. MR. SPEAKER, MADAM SPEAKER, I HOPE THAT MY COLLEAGUES ON BOTH SIDES OF THE AISLE WILL CO-SPONSOR AND SUPPORT THIS LEGISLATION. IT’S A GREAT WAY TO BOTH CREATE
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ECONOMY. JOBS AND TO CREATE A STRONG I YIELD BACK. THE CHAIR RECOGNIZES THE GENTLEWOMAN FROM TEXAS, MS. JACKSON LEE, FOR FIVE MINUTES. THANK YOU VERY MUCH, MADAM SPEAKER. AND I WISH TO THIS MORNING RAISE CONCERNS THAT ARE INTERNATIONAL AND DOMESTIC. I RISE TODAY TO ASK THE QUESTION WHEN WILL DR. ASSAD, THE PRESIDENT OF SYRIA, BEGIN TO ACT IN A MANNER THAT RESPECTS THE HUMAN DIGNITY OF THE PEOPLE OF SYRIA? IT IS A TRAGEDY TO WATCH AS THE — TO SEE ONE COUNTRY THAT, ONE, HAD HOPED WOULD REALIZE THAT A CIVILIZED GOVERNMENT RESPECTS THE DIGNITY OF ITS PEOPLE. SYRIAN AMERICANS ARE CRYING OUT AND REACHING OUT TO MEMBERS OF CONGRESS AND LEADERS ACROSS THE NATION TO ATTACK THIS HORRIFIC VIOLENCE THAT IS OCCURRING IN SYRIA. THE MUTILATION OF A 13-YEAR-OLD BOY, THE SLAUGHTER OF INDIVIDUALS IN THE STREET, AND SEEMINGLY THE ABSOLUTE ARROGANCE OF THE PRESIDENT OF THIS NATION. MANY OF US HAVE THOUGHT THAT DR. ASSAD, THE SON OF THE FORMER PRESIDENT, WOULD RECOGNIZE THAT THE 21ST CENTURY DOES NOT IN ANY WAY TOLERATE THE KIND OF ABUSIVE AND OPPRESSIVE LEADERSHIP THAT HAS OCCURRED IN THE PAST. AND THAT IT IS HIGH TIME FOR THE LEADERSHIP TO BE VESTED IN THE PEOPLE. NOW, WE KNOW THAT THERE HAVE BEEN A CONSTANT TENSION AND BRUTALITY AS IT RELATES TO ISRAEL AND THE BORDER AND HEZBOLLAH. SOMETHING THAT HAS TO BE ADDRESSED AND THAT I HAVE CRIED OUT OVER AND OVER THAT THE DOMINANCE OF HEZBOLLAH AND SYRIA MUST CEASE AS WELL FOR ANY ENTITY THAT DOES NOT RECOGNIZE THE EXISTENCE OF ANY OTHER STATE, NO MATTER WHAT THE STATE, AND IN THIS INSTANCE ISRAEL IS AN ABSOLUTE ABOMINATION. BUT NOW IN AMERICAN VERNACULAR THEY ADDED INSULT TO INJURY, KILLING THEIR PEOPLE, BLOOD IN THE STREETS, IGNORING THE NATIONAL CALLS. SO I’M GRATIFIED FOR THE STANCE THAT WE HAVE TAKEN AND I WANT IT TO BE A STRONGER STANCE, A STRONGER POSITION. HOW DARE YOU ATTACK THE UNITED STATES EMBASSY. HOW DARE YOU VIOLATE INTERNATIONAL LAW THAT ALLOWS SOVEREIGN NATIONS TO EXIST PEACEFULLY IN SOVEREIGN NATIONS. HOW DARE YOU CONFRONT THE UNITED STATES FLAG, UNITED STATES MILITARY. HOW DARE YOU VIOLATE THE HUMAN DIGNITY OF YOUR PEOPLE. SO I’M CALLING UPON WORLD LEADERS AND THE UNITED NATIONS AND ALL OF THOSE WHO HAVE THE RESPONSIBILITY OF ADHERING TO THE HUMAN RIGHTS FOR ALL PEOPLE, TO DENOUNCE THE ACTIONS OF PRESIDENT ASSAD, DENOUNCE THE ACTIONS OF THOSE VIOLENT AND ABUSIVE PEOPLE IN THE STREETS WHO ARE KILLING THEIR OWN PEOPLE. AND LISTEN TO SYRIAN AMERICANS WHO HAVE ASKED FOR A PEACEFUL RESOLUTION. NO, WE ARE NOT CALLING FOR WAR. TRAGEDIES IN YEMEN WHERE THE PRESIDENT REFUSES TO STEP DOWN. THE CONFLICTS IN LIBYA WHERE THE PRESIDENT REFUSES TO STEP DOWN. DIFFICULTIES IN EGYPT. AND ON AND ON AND ON. BUT FOR THE PEOPLE OF THAT REGION, WE SHOULD TAKE HEART IN AMERICA THAT THEY HAVE ATTEMPTED TO CREATE A DEMOCRATIC COMMUNITY AND NATION OF STATES. THE ARAB LEAGUE NEEDS TO SPEAK AND WE NEED TO DENOUNCE THE PRESIDENT AND ASK HIM, OF SYRIA, TO STEP DOWN. THAT LEADS ME TO AMERICA’S ROLE, MADAM SPEAKER, IN THIS CRISIS THAT HAS NOW BEEN MADE BY OUR REPUBLICAN FRIENDS. TO MY COLLEAGUES, AMERICA IS NOT BROKE. WE ARE NOT IN THE SAME POSTURE OF SOME OF OUR EUROPEAN FRIENDS, BUT WE ARE IN THE RIDICULOUS POSTURE BECAUSE THERE IS NO WAY IN THE WORLD THAT FAMILIES WHO ARE TRYING TO MAKE ENDS MEET DON’T ALSO ATTEMPT TO SEEK REVENUES, A NEW JOB, OR A RAISE, OR MULTIPLE JOBS, HOW MANY OF OUR FAMILIES ARE DOING THAT? NO, WE ARE NOT RAISING TAXES ON THE MIDDLE CLASS, WE ARE IN FACT TRYING TO ESTABLISH A QUALITY OF LIFE FOR THE MIDDLE CLASS IN PROTECTING SOCIAL SECURITY AND MEDICAID AND MEDICARE. DON’T LAUGH AT THOSE. THOSE ARE INFRASTRUCTURE THAT
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HAS ALLOWED SENIOR CITIZENS TO LIVE. IT HAS ALLOWED OUR 4079S TO STAY OPEN — HOSPITALS TO STAY OPEN, OUR DOCTORS TO WORK. YET WE HAVE IN THE OTHER BODY AN INDIVIDUAL WHO HAS A LUDICROUS PROPOSAL, ABSOLUTELY ABSURD. IT’S NOT GOING TO GIVE ANYBODY ANY RELIEF. LET THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES SIGN OFF ON THE DEBT CEILING. WE HAVEN’T EVEN TESTED WHETHER THAT IS CONSTITUTIONAL. IN FACT, WE DON’T KNOW IF THE DEBT CEILING ITSELF IS CONSTITUTIONAL. AND SO I AM ARGUING AND BEGGING FOR — THE GENTLELADY’S TIME HAS EXPIRED. OF LEADERS OF CONSCIOUSNESS TO SIT DOWN AND WORK ON WE HALF — BEHALF OF THE
1613
00:52:35,000 –>00:52:34,999
AMERICAN PEOPLE. RAISE THE DEBT CEILING.
1615
00:52:37,000 –>00:52:36,999
I YIELD BACK. STOP THE FOOLISHNESS. PURSUANT TO CLAUSE 12-A OF RULE 1, THE CHAIR DECLARES THE HOUSE IN RECESS UNTIL 12:00 NOON

One Comment

  • ariuszarim

    I think Kucinich might run against the pres. This is the second time he's bashed the pres in a speech, in the last few weeks.

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