House Session 2012-06-21 (14:08:23-15:38:15)
Articles,  Blog

House Session 2012-06-21 (14:08:23-15:38:15)


TRANSPORTATION, CONSOLIDATES HIGHWAY PROGRAMS, ANY NUMBER OF THINGS, WE CAN AGREE IT’S NOT PERFECT. BUT IT’S THE BEST WE CAN DO AND THE AMERICAN PEOPLE DESERVE IT. THANK YOU. THE
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GENTLEMAN FROM PENNSYLVANIA IS RECOGNIZED.
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I YIELD MYSELF SUCH TIME AS I MAY CONSUME. THE GENTLEMAN IS RECOGNIZED. I APPRECIATE THE PASSION FROM THE GENTLEMAN FROM VIRGINIA. I BELIEVE HE IS A SUPPORTER OF INFRASTRUCTURE AS MANY A, AND I THINK YOU WERE REFERRING TO THE FORMER CHAIRMANNER. I JUST WAS EMAILING BACK AND FORTH TO HIM.
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ARE TRYING TO DO IN THE HOUSE. MUCH AGREEMENT WHAT WE HE SEES THE NEED FOR REFORM AND AS I HAVE BEEN GOING THROUGH THIS PROCESS I CERTAINLY TALK TO HIM ABOUT SOME OF THE THINGS HE WISHED HE WOULD HAVE BEEN ABLE TO ACCOMPLISH AND WHAT WE ARE
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DOING IN THIS BILL ARE THINGS HE’S APPLAUDING. FOR ANY OF YOU DON’T REALIZE THE
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AND STILL CONSULT WITH HIS CHAIRMAN IS STILL ALIVE AND WELL MEMBER OF CONGRESS WHEN I ASK AND WHEN I DON’T ASK, I MIGHT ADD. BUT AGAIN I HAVE TO REMIND MY COLLEAGUES, RESPECT TO WANT TO DO THIS, BUT WHEN YOU HAVE THE MAJORITY, SIX TIMES YOU EXTENDED WITHOUT PASSING A BILL. YOU HAD A MAJORITY OF THE HOUSE AND SENATE AND WHITE HOUSE AND I MIGHT ADD THAT IF YOU WERE TO FOCUS THE STIMULUS BILL ON A INFRASTRUCTURE BILL INSTEAD OF SPENDING IT IN ALL DIFFERENT WAYS THAT DIDN’T HAVE THE KIND OF IMPACT THAT YOU THOUGHT AND IN FACT DEW POINT HAVE MUCH IMPACT AT ALL, I THINK WE SEE A MUCH DIFFERENT ECONOMY TODAY IF WE WERE FOCUSED ON THIS. I KNOW THERE ARE JOBS OUT THERE, JOBS IN CONSTRUCTION AND CONSTRUCTION RELATED BUSINESSES THAT — WHERE WE COULD HELP BY PASSING A BILL. AGAIN JUST TO REMIND MY COLLEAGUES, THE HOUSE AND THE SENATE, CHAIRMAN AND VICE CHAIRMAN, HAVE ISSUED A STATEMENT. WE ARE MOVING IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION TOWARDS A BIPARTISAN, BICAMERAL SOLUTION, NOT JUST A SENATE SOLUTION. AND AGAIN I KNOW THAT THE TWO GENTLEMEN, THE WHIP AND OF COURSE MR. MORAN FROM VIRGINIA, HAVE BEEN GREAT DEFENDERS OF THE HOUSE. FOR US TO JUST GIVE IN TO THE SENATE I DON’T THINK I HAVE EVER SEEN THEM WHEN THEY WERE IN THE MAJORITY JUST HANDING IT OFF TO THE SENATE. I FEEL POSITIVE. AGAIN I SUPPORTED MR. WALZ’ MOTION TO INSTRUCT A FEW DAYS AGO BECAUSE HE SAID GET IN THERE, HAMMER THIS THING OUT, COME UP WITH A BIPARTISAN, BICAMERAL BILL. THAT’S WHY I SUPPORTED THAT. I JUST CAN’T FIND IT TO SUPPORT THIS. I HAVE TO GO AGAINST IT AND URGE MY COLLEAGUES TO VOTE NO ALSO. BACK. THE GENTLEMAN RESERVES HIS TIME. THE GENTLEMAN FROM MARYLAND. MR. SPEAKER, I YIELD
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CONSUME. MYSELF SUCH TIME AS I MAY THE GENTLEMAN IS RECOGNIZED. MR. SPEAKER, I AM A SUPPORTER OF THIS INSTITUTION. I AM A SUPPORTER AS MR. SHUSTER POINTED OUT OF REGULAR ORDER. I DO BELIEVE THAT THE HOUSE HAS A RIGHT AND DUTY AND RESPONSIBILITY TO MAINTAIN ITS
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POSITION. POSITIONS WHEN IT CAN GET TO A LET ME REITERATE SO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE UNDERSTAND, SPEAKER BOEHNER SAID THAT THE HIGHWAY BILL WAS VERY IMPORTANT TO HIM. HE WANTED TO SEE IT REPORTED OUT. THE COMMITTEE ACTED ON A BILL AND NEVER BROUGHT IT TO THE FLOOR. I PAUSE SO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE CAN UNDERSTAND THE HOUSE HAS BEEN UNABLE TO TAKE A POSITION. NOW, MY FRIEND WILL SAY, OH, NO, WE DID PASS A BILL. THAT’S CORRECT. ADMITTEDLY, HOWEVER, FROM
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EVERYBODY’S PERSPECTIVE, IT WAS NOT A FULL BILL. IT WAS A SHELL BILL. IT WAS A SHELL BILL TO GO TO CONFERENCE.
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HAVE SOME PROVISIONS IN THERE? YES, IT DID. IT HAD KEYSTONE IN THERE WHICH WAS CLEARLY UNACCEPTABLE TO THE PRESIDENT IN THE FORM IT WAS OFFERED AND UNACCEPTABLE TO THE SENATE IN THE FORM IT WAS OFFERED. VERY FRANKLY MY FRIEND FROM PENNSYLVANIA TALKS ABOUT HIS DAD, WHO I KNOW IS VERY MUCH ALIVE, AND WAS A VERY GOOD MEMBER OF THIS BODY. AND I WILL SAY THAT WE DID PASS SOME EXTENSIONS. ALL ON A BIPARTISAN FASHION AS YOU WILL KNOW. ALL ON A BIPARTISAN FASHION. THIS WAS NOT DONE IN A BIPARTISAN FASHION.
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WE COULD HAVE FORGED A BILL THAT WOULD HAVE HAD OVERWHELMING SUPPORT IN THIS HOUSE IN MY OPINION. THE REPUBLICAN SIDE OF THE AISLE CHOSE NOT TO DO THAT. I’VE GOT A HUNCH THAT MY FRIEND SITTING IN THE CHAIR, MR. SHUSTER, REGRETS THAT. HE DOESN’T HAVE TO SAY ANYTHING ABOUT THAT, BUT I JUST HAVE A HUMP HE REGRETS THAT. IT. I REGRET IT THAT WE ARE NOT ABLE TO COME TOGETHER AND REASON TOGETHER BUT TAKE HARDLINE POSITIONS AND IF YOU DON’T AGREE WITH ME, IT’S MY WAY OR NO HIGHWAY. THAT’S REGRETTABLE. THE AMERICAN PEOPLE KNOW IT’S REGRETTABLE. I WANT TO TELL MY FRIEND FROM PENNSYLVANIA, IF IT WEREN’T 100 DAYS AGO, AS OF TOMORROW, THAT A BIPARTISAN OVERWHELMINGLY BIPARTISAN BILL WAS PASSED AND IF THIS HOUSE HAD BEEN ABLE TO PASS A REAL HIGHWAY BILL, WE DIDN’T HAVE THAT OPPORTUNITY. THAT BILL WAS NOT BROUGHT TO THE FLOOR. THE GENTLEMAN KNOWS THAT BILL WAS NOT BROUGHT TO THE FLOOR.
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COMMITTEE. IT STILL LANGUISHES IN HIS OR PERHAPS REPORTED OUT AND MAY BE SITTING SOMEPLACE ELSE. THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS, THIS MOTION IS DESIGNED TO SAY TO 1.9 MILLION PEOPLE WHO MAY LOSE THEIR JOBS IF WE DON’T PASS A FRIDAY, IN A CONGRESS THAT HAS BEEN MIRED IN CONFRONTATION AND UNWILLING TO COMPROMISE, AND ANOTHER MILLION PEOPLE WHO WILL HAVE JOB OPPORTUNITIES IF THAT BILL PASSES, IT IS TO SAY LET US ACT. AND WE HAVE A VEHICLE ON WHICH TO ACT. A VEHICLE THAT ENJOYED THE SUPPORT OF ALL DEMOCRATS AND HALF OF THE REPUBLICAN CONFERENCE. IN THE UNITED STATES SENATE. A BILL THAT HAD THE AGREEMENT BETWEEN SENATOR BOXER FROM CALIFORNIA, CORRECTLY I THINK DESCRIBED AS A LIBERAL DEMOCRAT FROM THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA, AND JIM INHOFE CORRECTLY DESCRIBED, I BELIEVE, AS A CONSERVATIVE REPUBLICAN FROM OKLAHOMA.
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AGREEMENT. REACHED I THINK THE GENTLEMAN FROM PENNSYLVANIA IS PROBABLY ABSOLUTELY CORRECT. IT’S NOT A PERFECT BILL. I DON’T KNOW THAT I HAVE EVER VOTED FOR A PERFECT BILL ON THE FLOOR OF THIS HOUSE, AT LEAST
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. ONE I THOUGHT WAS PERFECT. WE COME TOGETHER AND WE COMPROMISE AND EVERYBODY DOESN’T GET WHAT THEY WANT. BECAUSE MAYBE THEIR REGION OR THEIR PEOPLE OR THEIR BUSINESSES OR THEIR CONSUMERS DON’T SEE IT THE SAME WAY MINE DO. WE COMPROMISE. BUT THE SENATE BILL, WHILE IT MAY NOT BE PERFECT, ENJOYED BROAD BIPARTISAN COMPROMISE AND SUPPORT. THEREFORE I THINK IT IS OUR BEST OPPORTUNITY, BECAUSE WE’VE SHOWN IN THIS HOUSE THAT WE HAVE FOR THE LAST SIX MONTHS BEEN UNABLE TO COME TO AN AGREEMENT AND THE REPUBLICAN MAJORITY IN THIS HOUSE HAS BEEN UNABLE TO AGREE AMONG ITSELF TO BRING A FULL BILL TO THE FLOOR. SO, MR. SPEAKER, THAT DOES NOT GIVE MUCH CONFIDENCE NOT ONLY TO NOT MY SIDE OF THE AISLE BUT TO THOSE CONTRACTORS, THOSE CONSTRUCTION WORKERS, THOSE STATES, THOSE COUNTIES, THOSE MUNICIPALITIES WHO KNOW THAT THEY HAVE TO ADDRESS THE TRANSPORTATION CHALLENGES OF THEIR AREAS. IT DOESN’T GIVE THEM MUCH CONFIDENCE. AND I HEARD A LOT ABOUT BUILDING CONFIDENCE. I BELIEVE THAT IF WE PASSED THE SENATE BILL WE WOULD CREATE THOSE JOBS, RETAIN THE 1.9 MILLION JOBS, AND GIVE CONFIDENCE TO OUR ECONOMY AN GROW JOBS — AND GROW JOBS. I HOPE THAT’S WHAT THE OTHER SIDE WANTS TO DO. THEY TALK A LOT ABOUT IT. IMPROVED, OF COURSE, THE ADMINISTRATION MIGHT BE ADVANTAGED AS WELL. I HOPE THAT’S NOT IN THE CONSIDERATION OF ANYBODY THAT CONSIDERS THESE PIECES OF LEGISLATION. AMERICA EXPECTS US TO COME TOGETHER AND REACH AGREEMENT. THE SENATE’S DONE THAT. ON THIS SIDE OF THE AISLE, ON THIS SIDE OF THE CAP TOP WE HAVE NOT — CAPITOL WE HAVE NOT. WE OUGHT TO DO IT. I RESERVE THE BALANCE OF MY TIME. DO YOU YIELD BACK? THE GENTLEMAN YIELDS BACK HIS TIME? SHUSTE — I YIELD BACK THE BALANCE OF MY TIME. THE GENTLEMAN YIELDS BACK. ALL TIME FOR DEBATE HAS EXPIRED. WITHOUT OBJECTION, THE PREVIOUS QUESTION IS ORDERED. THE QUESTION ON THE MOTION TO
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INSTRUCT — IS ON THE MOTION TO INSTRUCT. THOSE IN FAVOR SAY AYE. THOSE OPPOSED, NO. IN THE OPINION OF THE CHAIR, THE NOES HAVE IT. MR. SPEAKER. THAT I ASK FOR A RECORDED VOTE. THE
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GENTLEMAN ASKS FOR THE YEAS AND NAYS. THE YEAS AND NAYS ARE REQUESTED. ALL THOSE IN FAVOR OF TAKING THIS VOTE BY THE YEAS AND NAYS WILL RISE AND REMAIN STANDING UNTIL COUNTED. A SUFFICIENT NUMBER HAVING ARISEN, THE YEAS AND NAYS ARE ORDERED. PURSUANT TO CLAUSE 8 OF RULE 20, FURTHER PROCEEDINGS ON THIS QUESTION WILL BE POSTPONED. FOR WHAT PURPOSE DOES THE GENTLEWOMAN FROM TENNESSEE RISE? MR. SPEAKER, I ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT ALL MEMBERS MAY HAVE FIVE LEGISLATIVE DAYS IN WHICH TO REVISE AND EXTEND THEIR REMARKS AND INCLUDE EXTRANEOUS MATERIAL ON THE TOPIC OF MY SPECIAL ORDER. WITHOUT OBJECTION. MR. SPEAKER, I OFFER A MOTION TO INSTRUCT. THE CLERK WILL REPORT THE MOTION. MOTION TO INSTRUCT CONFEREES ON H.R. 4348 OFFERED BY MRS. BLACK OF TENNESSEE. MRS. BLACK OF TENNESSEE MOVES THAT THE MANAGERS ON THE PART OF THE HOUSE AT THE CONVERSATION ON THE DISAGREEING VOTES OF THE TWO HOUSES ON THE SENATE AMENDMENT TO THE BILL, H.R. 4348, BE INSTRUCTED TO REJECT SECTION 31108 OF THE SENATE AMENDMENT RELATING TO DISTRACTED DRIVING GRANTS. OTHER THAN THE MATTER PROPOSED TO BE INSERTED AS SECTION 411-G OF TITLE 23, UNITED STATES CODE, RELATING TO A DISTRACTED DRIVING STUDY. PURSUANT TO CLAUSE OF RULE 22, THE GENTLEWOMAN FROM — 7 OF RULE 22, THE GENTLEWOMAN FROM TENNESSEE, MRS. BLACK, AND THE GENTLEMAN FROM PENNSYLVANIA, MR.
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ALTMIRE, WILL EACH CONTROL 30 MINUTES. THE CHAIR RECOGNIZES THE GENTLEWOMAN FROM TENNESSEE. THANK YOU, MR. SPEAKER. AND WE BEGAN THE 112TH GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE CONGRESS BY READING THE U.S. CONSTITUTION AS A BODY. AND WE REQUIRE THAT EVERY BILL CITE THE SECTION OF THE CONSTITUTION THAT ALLOWS CONGRESS TO CONSIDER THE LEGISLATION. MY MOTION TO INSTRUCT SIMPLY MAINTAINS THIS DESIRE OF THE HOUSE BY PROTECTING STATES’ RIGHTS UNDER THE 10TH AMENDMENT. THE 10TH AMENDMENT READS, THE POWERS NOT DELEGATED TO THE UNITED STATES BY THE CONSTITUTION NOR PROHIBTSED BY IT TO THE STATES — PROHIBITED BY IT TO THE STATES ARE RESERVED TO THE STATES OR TO THE PEOPLE. AND I BELIEVE THAT THE ISSUE OF LAWS RELATED TO DISTRACTED DRIVING ARE BEST LEFT TO THE STATES. THAT’S WHY AS A STATE SENATOR IN MY HOME STATE OF TENNESSEE I VOTED THREE TIMES FOR DISTRACTED DRIVING LAW ON THE BOOKS TODAY. AS A MOTHER AND A GRANDMOTHER AND A NURSE I STRONGLY, STRONGLY SUPPORT ABSOLUTE SAFETY ON OUR ROADWAYS. I ALSO BELIEVE THAT THERE’S NO ONE IN THIS CHAMBER WHO DOESN’T SUPPORT SAFE DRIVING LAWS. BUT THIS MOTION TO INSTRUCT IS NOT ABOUT SAFETY. IT’S ABOUT THE STATE’S RIGHTS UNDER — STATES’ RIGHTS UNDER THE CONSTITUTION AND STOPPING FEDERAL MANIPULATION OF STATE LAW THROUGH TAXPAYER-FUNDED DISTRACTED DRIVING GRANTS. NOW, THE SENATE PASSED THE HIGHWAY BILL, SENATE BILL 1813, THAT CONTAINS A PROVISION THAT WOULD GRANT THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION SECRETARY RAY LAHOOD $79 MILLION TO ENTICE THE STATES TO ENACT AND ENFORCE FEDERAL DISTRACTED DRIVING LAWS. CURRENTLY SOMETHING THAT 39
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BOOKS. STATES ALREADY HAVE ON THEIR 39 STATES HAVE ALREADY ENACTED THESE LAWS. I BELIEVE THE STATES ARE GREAT LABORATORIES FOR DETERMINING
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WHAT WORKS AND WHAT DOES NOT WORK. AND THAT IS WHY MY MOTION IS TO INSTRUCT. THEY WANT THE STUDY TO BE CONDUCTED ON ALL FORMS OF DISTRACTED DRIVING. THIS HELPS GOVERNMENT AND ALSO THE PUBLIC BETTER UNDERSTAND AND IDENTIFY THE MOST EFFECTIVE METHODS TO ED CAGSE CATE DRIVERS — EDUCATE DRIVERS AND ENHANCE STATES’ UNDERSTANDING OF THESE ISSUES SO THAT THEY, THEY CAN ENACT AND TAILOR LAWS BEST SUITED TO THE INDIVIDUAL NEEDS OF THEIR STATE. I’M OFFERING A MOTION TO INSTRUCT THAT SIMPLY STRIKES THE DISTRACTED DRIVING GRANT FUNDING LANGUAGE CONTAINED IN THE SENATE-PASSED BILL WHILE CALLING FOR A STUDY TO BE CONDUCTED ON ALL FORMS OF DISTRACTED DRIVING. THIS HELPS GOVERNMENT AND THE PUBLIC BETTER UNDERSTAND AND IDENTIFY THE MOST EFFECTIVE METHODS TO EDUCATE THE DRIVERS AND ENHANCE THE STATES’ UNDERSTANDING OF THESE ISSUES SO THEY CAN ENACT AND TAILOR LAWS BEST SUITED TO THE INDIVIDUAL NEEDS OF THEIR STATE. WHAT IS BEST FOR THE STATE OF MASSACHUSETTS MAY NOT BE BEST FOR THE STATE OF MONTANA AND AS THE 10TH AMENDMENT TO OUR CONSTITUTION WAS WRITTEN, THESE
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FOR INDIVIDUAL STATES. NOW, JUST AS WE MUST PROVIDE CERTAINTY TO THE JOB CREATORS, WE MUST PROVIDE CERTAINTY TO STATES ON THE HIGHWAY BILL. THE ONLY WAY TO ACCOMPLISH THIS TASK IS TO ALLOW FOR FOCUSED USE OF TAXPAYER DOLLARS THAT IS PRODUCED IN A MULTIYEAR TRANSPORTATION BILL THAT RESTRICTS THE HIGHWAY FUND TO ITS INTENDED USE. THAT IS BUILDING AND MAINTAINING AMERICANS’ ROADS AND BRIDGES. TAXPAYER DOLLARS ARE SO PRECIOUS THEY SHOULD NOT BE USED ON ANYTHING OTHER THAN THE INTENDED PURPOSE. I URGE MY COLLEAGUES TO PROTECT STATES’ RIGHTS AND SUPPORT MY MOTION TO INSTRUCT. THANK YOU, MR. SPEAKER, AND I RESERVE THE BALANCE OF MY TIME. THE GENTLEWOMAN RESERVES. THE GENTLEMAN FROM PENNSYLVANIA IS RECOGNIZED. MR. SPEAKER, I RISE IN OPPOSITION TO THE MOTION. THE MOTION OFFERED BY THE GENTLEWOMAN FROM TENNESSEE, MRS. BLACK, SEEKS TO ELIMINATE A DISTRACTED DRIVING GRANT PROGRAM INCLUDED IN THE SENATE SURFACE TRANSPORTATION AUTHORIZATION BILL. I OPPOSE THIS MOTION BECAUSE IT IGNORES THE SIGNIFICANT SAFETY HAZARD THAT DISTRACTED DRIVING POSES TO DRIVERS, COMMUTERS, PASSENGERS AND PEDESTRIANS. DISTRACTED DRIVING IS ANY ACTIVITY BEHIND THE WHEEL THAT TAKES A DRIVER’S ATTENTION AWAY FROM THE ROAD. THE RAPID DEVELOPMENT AND EWE BIG WHICH TO US USE OF TECHNOLOGY — AND USE OF TECHNOLOGY SUCH AS CELL PHONES HAS MADE ROUTINE DISTRACTION AN ALMOST COMMONPLACE OCCURRENCE IN EVERY VEHICLE ACROSS AMERICA. ACCORDING TO THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION, IN 2010 MORE THAN 3,000 AMERICANS WERE KILLED IN CRASHES INVOLVING A DISTRACTED DRIVER AND APPROXIMATELY 416,000 ADDITIONAL AMERICANS WERE INJURED. DISTRACTIONS FROM TECHNOLOGY CAN TEXTING, TALKING ON A PHONE OR USING A NAVIGATION SYSTEM OR OTHER AUDIO OR VISUAL EQUIPMENT WHILE IN THE VEHICLE. BUT BECAUSE TEXT MESSAGING REQUIRES VISUAL, MANUAL AND COGNITIVE ATTENTION FROM THE DRIVER ALL AT THE SAME TIME, IT IS BY FAR THE MOST DANGEROUS DISTRACTION. THE WIRELESS ASSOCIATION REPORTED THAT IN JUNE OF 2011 MORE THAN 196 BILLION TEXT MESSAGES WERE SENT OR RECEIVED IN THE UNITED STATES WHICH IS UP NEARLY 50% FROM JUST TWO YEARS AGO OVER THE SAME PERIOD. THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION ALSO REPORTED THAT MORE THAN 100,000 DRIVERS ARE TEXTING AND MORE THAN 600,000 DRIVERS ARE USING CELL PHONES AT ANY GIVEN MOMENT IN TIME. SENDING OR RECEIVING A TEXT TAKES A DRIVER’S ATTENTION FROM THE ROAD FOR AN AVERAGE OF 4.6 SECONDS WHICH WHILE IT MAY NOT SEEM LIKE A LONG TIME, IT’S THE EQUIVALENT OF DRIVINGING — DRIVING THE LENGTH OF AN ENTIRE FOOTBALL FIELD, TAKING THE DRIVINGER’S EYES OFF THE ROAD. IT’S — DRIVER’S EYES OFF THE ROAD. IT’S NOT SURPRISING THAT ACCORDING TO RESEARCH DONE BY VIRGINIA TECH, A TEXTING DRIVER IS 23 TIMES MORE LIKELY TO BE INVOLVED IN A CRASH THAN A NONDISTRACTED DRIVER. THE PROPOSED GRANT PROGRAM IN THE SENATE BILL IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO ADDRESS THE RAPIDLY GROWING PROBLEM OF DISTRACTED DRIVING AND TO EDUCATE THE DRIVING PUBLIC ABOUT THE REAL AND IMMEDIATE DANGERS OF DISTRACTION BEHIND THE WHEEL. AND, MR. SPEAKER, THOUSANDS OF AMERICAN LIVES ARE AT STAKE. AND THESE ARE NOT STATISTICS. THESE ARE PEOPLE LIKE 21-YEAR-OLD KASEY FELDON WHO WAS STRUCK AND KILLED BY A DISTRACTED DRIVER AS SHE CROSSED THE STREET IN OCEAN CITY, NEW JERSEY, IN 2009. IT’S PEOPLE LIKE 56-YEAR-OLD JOHN SLIDING WHO WAS KILLED ON HIS MOTORCYCLE WHEN A TEEN DRIVER TALKING ON HER CELL PHONE MISSED A STOP SIGN IN JUNE, 2007. IT’S PEOPLE LIKE 13-YEAR-OLD MARGE WHO WAS KILLED ON HER SCHOOL BUS WHEN A DISTRACTED DRIVING REAR ENDED THAT BUS IN SEPTEMBER OF 2008. AND ALTHOUGH SOME ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE AISLE ARE SKEPTICAL OF SEEMINGLY EVERY FEDERAL PROGRAM, WE MUST AVOID THE TEMPTATION TO ELIMINATE PROGRAMS WITHOUT CONSIDERING THE REAL IMPACTS THEY HAVE ON THE LIVES OF OUR CONSTITUENTS AND ON COMMUNITIES AYE ALL ACROSS AMERICA — ALL ACROSS AMERICA. AND TO THE POINT THE GENTLEWOMAN, MY FRIEND FROM TENNESSEE, MRS. BLACK, RAISED IN HER OPENING REMARKS, THE DISTRACTED DRIVING GRANT PROGRAM CONTAINED IN THE SENATE BILL IS MERELY AN INCENTIVE PROGRAM, NOT MANDATORY, IT’S AN INCENTIVE FOR STATES TO HAVE ALREADY PASSED LAWS AND HAVE THEM ON THE BOOKS. THEREFORE THERE ARE NO SANCTIONS
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IF STATES DO NOT PASS LAWS OR PARTICIPATE. THERE ARE NO PENALTIES TO NOT PARTICIPATE. SO, MR. SPEAKER, TO PUT IT SIMPLY, THIS MOTION REPRESENTS A GIANT STEP BACKWARDS IN HIGHWAY SAFETY FOR ALL OF AMERICA. I URGE MY COLLEAGUES TO REJECT THIS MOTION TO INSTRUCT AND I RESERVE THE BALANCE OF MY TIME. THE GENTLEMAN RESERVES THE BALANCE OF HIS TIME. THE GENTLEWOMAN FROM TENNESSEE.
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THANK YOU, MR. SPEAKER. AND I’D LIKE TO YIELD FIVE MINUTES TO MR. BISHOP FROM UTAH. THE GENTLEMAN FROM UTAH IS RECOGNIZED FOR FIVE MINUTES. THANK YOU, MR. SPEAKER. AND I THANK THE GENTLELADY FROM TENNESSEE. I GUESS I AS WELL AS OTHERS ARE HERE TODAY TO PLEAD THE 10TH AMENDMENT. YOU SEE, TEXTING WHILE DRIVING IS DANGEROUS AND IT SHOULD BE STOPPED. CARELESS DRIVING OF ANY FORM IS
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DANGEROUS AND IT SHOULD BE STOPPED. AND WE SHOULD BE GRATEFUL FOR EVERY EFFORT TO EDUCATE OUR DRIVERS AS TO THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THIS PARTICULAR EFFORT. BUT THE QUESTION HAS TO BE, ARE THE EFFORTS ONLY TO BE DONE IN THIS PARTICULAR BODY? A DRIVER’S LICENSE IS A STATE CERTIFICATE. DRIVING IS A STATE PRIVILEGE. AND EVEN THOUGH CONGRESS HAS IN THE PAST OVERSTEPPED OUR RESPONSIBILITY IN INVOLVE — IN INVOLVING OURSELVES IN THESE AREA, AND THAT WAS WRONG, THAT’S CERTAINLY NOT JUSTIFICATION FOR CONTINUING THAT PRACTICE. THE COMMERCE CLAUSE DOES NOT NECESSARILY EXPAND TO THIS AREA. THE SENATORS IN THEIR WISDOM HAVE INCLUDED A PROVISION IN THERE DEALING WITH THIS ISSUE. IT’S A NOBLE CONCEPT. IT’S A WORTHY GOAL. THE APPROVAL OR DISAPPROVAL OF TEXTING WHILE DRIVING IS NOT THE ISSUE.
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HAPPEN. THE ISSUE IS NOT SHOULD IT THE ISSUE IS WHO, AT WHICH LEVEL, SHOULD DECIDE IF IT HAPPENS AND WHAT THE CONSEQUENCES SHOULD BE. ISSUE IS, ARE WE THE ONLY ONES WHO HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY OF BREATHING THE AIR OF THE POTOMAC RIVER, THE ONLY ONE SMART ENOUGH TO BE INVOLVED IN THIS ISSUE, THE ONLY ONES COMPASSIONATE ENOUGH TO BE IN THIS ISSUE. I WOULD CONTEND TO YOU THAT THOSE WHO ARE IN OUR STATES ARE EQUALLY COMPETENT TO HANDLE THIS
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. ISSUE. 39 STATES ALREADY OUTLAW TEXTING. 10 OUTLAW ANY HAND-HELD COMMUNICATION. 3 STATES BAN ALL SORTS OF THESE EFFORTS WITH NOVICE DRIVERS. MY STATE OF UTAH HAS MOVED FORWARD IN THIS AREA. NOW THERE IS $79 MILLION TO INCENTIVIZE STATES TO DO WHAT THEY ARE ALREADY DOING. WE TRIED TO PASS A BALANCED BUDGET AMENDMENT ON THIS FLOOR, IT FAILED. I FELT SAD ABOUT THAT. BUT I REALIZED ALSO WE CAN’T ACCOMPLISH THE EXACT SAME GOALS RESPECT FEDERALISM, WHICH OF COURSE WAS REINFORCED IN THE 10TH AMENDMENT. FEDERALISM SIMPLY WOULD REQUIRE THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TO CONCENTRATE ON THE CORE CONSTITUTIONAL RESPONSIBILITIES GIVEN TO US IN THAT DOCUMENT. AND ALLOW THE STATES THE FLEXIBILITY TO SOLVE THE OTHER PROBLEMS. STATES DO NOT HAVE THE KIND OF RESTRICTIONS ESTABLISHED IN THE CONSTITUTION THAT WE HAVE. STATES CAN BE FAR MORE CREATIVE THAN A ONE-SIZE-FITS-ALL PROGRAM FROM WASHINGTON. STATES CAN BE MUCH MORE EFFECTIVE IN THE WAY THEY RUN THEIR PROGRAMS. STATES CAN ACTUALLY APPLY JUSTICE TO UNIQUE CIRCUMSTANCES WITHIN THEIR STATE BORDERS.
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IT CAN NEVER BE ACCOMPLISHED BY WASHINGTON. OUR ONLY ABILITY IS TO MAKE SURE THAT EVERYTHING IS UNIFORM. THE STATES, WE CAN ACCOMPLISH THE SAME GOAL IF WE RESPECT THE AUTHORITY OF STATES. $79 MILLION IS A HIGH PRICE TO PAY FOR THE ARROGANCE THAT ONLY WE HERE IN WASHINGTON CAN DO THINGS WELL. STATES ARE DOING IT. NOT EVERYTHING HAS TO BE ORDAINED, FUNDED, AND CONTROLLED BY THOSE WHO SIT ON THIS FLOOR. THE STATES HAVE EVERY COMPETENCE, EVERY ABILITY. WE SHOULD SUPPORT THE 10TH AMENDMENT AND RECOGNIZE THE STATES SHOULD DO THIS.
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THEY WILL DO A BETTER JOB THAN WE. I YIELD BACK. THE GENTLEMAN YIELDS BACK. THE GENTLEMAN FROM PENNSYLVANIA. WE HAVE NO FURTHER SPEAKERS. I WOULD MAKE THE POINT TO THE —
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I YIELD MYSELF SUCH TIME AS I MAY CONSUME. THE GENTLEMAN IS RECOGNIZED. THE PREVIOUS
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SPEAKER TALKS ABOUT STATES BEING THE INNOVATORS. I CERTAINLY AGREE ON THAT. THIS MOTION THAT WE ARE TALKING ABOUT RIGHT NOW INVOLVES A STATE INCENTIVE PROGRAM WHERE STATES CAN QUALIFY FOR FEDERAL MONEY FOR AN OPTIONAL GRANT THAT THEY MAY CHOOSE TO PARTICIPATE IN OR NOT. CHOOSE TO PARTICIPATE, THEY ARE FREE TO PASS ANY DISTRACTED DRIVER LAWS THEY WISH OR NOT. THERE IS NOTHING IN WHAT IS CONTAINED IN THE SENATE BILL THAT IN ANY WAY INHIBITS OR PROHIBITS OR DISINCENTIVIZES STATES FROM PASSING THEIR OWN DISTRACTED DRIVING LAWS. THEY ARE STILL FREE TO DO WHATEVER THEY WANT TO DO AND GO
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AS FAR OR NOT AS THEY WANT TO GO. ALL THE SENATE LANGUAGE SAYS IS IF STATES CHOOSE TO MEET THE HIGHER FEDERAL STANDARDS, THEY MAY QUALIFY FOR POTENTIAL
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LIMITED GRANT MONEY THAT WILL BE MADE AVAILABLE. NO STATE IS SANCTIONED FOR NOT PARTICIPATING. SO WITH THAT I CONTINUE TO RESERVE THE BALANCE OF MY TIME.
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THE GENTLEMAN RESERVES. THE GENTLELADY FROM TENNESSEE.
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THANK YOU, MR. SPEAKER. NOW I’D LIKE TO YIELD FIVE MINUTES OF MY TIME TO MY GOOD FRIEND AND COLLEAGUE FROM LOUISIANA, MR. SCALISE. THE GENTLEMAN FROM LOUISIANA IS RECOGNIZED FOR FIVE MINUTES.
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THANK YOU, MR. SPEAKER. I WANT TO THANK THE GENTLELADY
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FROM TENNESSEE FOR YIELDING TIME. ALSO FOR BRINGING THIS AMENDMENT FORWARD TO INSTRUCT THE CONFEREES ON THE TRANSPORTATION
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BILL. IF YOU LOOK AT WHAT THE AMENDMENT WITH THE MOTION TO INSTRUCT IS SAYING, IT’S FIRST OF ALL WE RECOGNIZE THAT 39 STATES HAVE ALREADY PUT LAWS ON THE BOOKS TO ADDRESS PROBLEMS WITH DISTRACTED DRIVERS. IT’S A NATIONAL PROBLEM, BUT EVERY STATE, JUST AS THEY HAVE THE RIGHT AND RESPONSIBILITY TO CREATE THEIR OWN LAWS ON ISSUING DRIVERS LICENSES, EACH STATE HAS THEIR OWN AGE REQUIREMENTS, THEIR OWN SPEED LIMIT REQUIREMENTS, EACH STATE HAS TO LOOK AT THE UNIQUE PROBLEMS THAT ARE POSED BY DISTRACTED DRIVERS WITHIN THAT STATE. IN OUR STATE OF LOUISIANA WE
844
00:26:12,000 –>00:26:11,999
DRIVING. HAVE A BAN OP TEXTING WHILE THE LEGISLATURE’S GONE BACK AND FORTH ON WHETHER OR NOT YOU CAN
848
00:26:21,000 –>00:26:20,999
BLUETOOTH OR SPEAKER IN YOUR USE A CELL PHONE WITH A CAR. SO TECHNOLOGY CHANGES AND THE LOCAL STATES HAVE THE ABILITY TO BE FLEXIBLE ENOUGH TO CHANGE LAWS ACCORDINGLY HOW IT BEST SUITS THEIR STATE. ULTIMATELY BY HAVING A $79 MILLION POT OF MONEY THAT WOULD BE UP TO THE SECRETARY OF TRANSPORTATION TO ENFORCE, A FEDERAL DISTRACTED DRIVING LAWS, I THINK IT GETS AWAY FROM THE WHOLE CONCEPT OF THE FACT THAT STATES ARE THE ONES THAT ARE IN CHARGE OF DOING THIS AND THE STATES KNOW BEST WHAT NEEDS TO HAPPEN IN THEIR STATES. DRIVING LAWS IN LOUISIANA ARE A LOT DIFFERENT THAN THEY ARE IN CALIFORNIA OR NEW YORK OR SOMEWHERE ELSE. THAT’S WHAT THE 10TH AMENDMENT’S ALL ABOUT. THAT’S WHY YOU HAVE ELECTED OFFICIALS AT THE STATE AND LOCAL LEVEL TO HANDLE THE PROBLEMS THAT ARE UNIQUE TO EACH AREA. THE FACT THAT YOU HAVE A $79 MILLION POT OF MONEY THAT WOULD ONLY BE PUT INTO THE DISCRETION OF THE SECRETARY OF TRANSPORTATION JUST FOR THIS PURPOSE, INSTEAD OF USING THE $79 MILLION TO BUILD ROADS THROUGHOUT THE COUNTRY OR TO ALLOW THE STATES TO DO WHAT THEY THINK IS BEST TO IMPROVE SAFETY IN OTHER WAYS, THERE ARE MANY THINGS THAT NEED TO BE DONE IN OACH OF OUR STATES TO IMPROVE THE ROADS. IF A STATE HAS DONE A GOOD JOB OF ADDRESSING THEIR TEXTING PROBLEMS AND DISTRACTED DRIVING PROBLEMS AS IT RELATES TO CELL PHONES AND OTHER THINGS, SOMEBODY EATING AND SITTING IN THE CAR, ULTIMATELY THE STATES KNOW BEST WHAT TO DO. IF THEY HAVE MORE FLEXIBILITY
900
00:27:47,000 –>00:27:46,999
WASHINGTON’S MONEY. WITH THE MONEY, THIS SNT THEY ARE PAYING INTO IT. EVERY CITIZEN BACK HOME WHEN
904
00:27:52,000 –>00:27:51,999
TAXES. THEY BUY GASOLINE IS PAYING THIS IS THEIR MONEY. IT’S NOT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT’S MONEY TO SAY $79 MILLION IS ONLY AVAILABLE FOR THE THINGS WE THINK ARE MOST LIKELY TO IMPROVE SAFETY.
912
00:28:04,000 –>00:28:03,999
BETTER. WHEN THE STATES KNOW WHAT’S PEOPLE ON THE FROWNED, PEOPLE PAYING THOSE TAXES KNOW WHAT’S BETTER TO INCREASE SAFETY, YET YOU ARE NOT ALLOWING THEM TO USE THAT MONEY THAT WOULD IMPROVE SAFETY MORE. BY LIMITING THE $79 MILLION TO A FUND THAT THE SECRETARY HIMSELF IN WASHINGTON WOULD GIVE OUT.
923
00:28:23,000 –>00:28:22,999
LET’S LET THE STATES HAVE THAT MONEY BACK. MONEY THEY PAID IN ALREADY AND LET THEM DO WHAT THEY KNOW IS BEST TO INCREASE SAFETY. WHETHER THEY THINK IT’S PUTTING ON ROADS WHERE THE GUARDRAILS ARE BROKEN OFF AND THEY DON’T HAVE THE MONEY TO PUT THAT BACK IN PLACE, OR WHETHER IT’S TO PUT RAILROAD CROSSINGS. WE HAVE SO MANY DEATHS BY PEOPLE WHO CROSS RAILROAD AS WHERE THERE IS NO CROSSING. YET IT’S VERY EXPENSIVE TO BUILD THOSE. STATES WOULD LIKE THE ABILITY TO USE THE MONEY TO INCREASE SAFETY AND STOP THE DEATHS THAT OCCUR SPENDING IT THERE. YET THIS $79 MILLION ISN’T ALLOWED FOR THAT. LET THE STATES DO WHAT THEY KNOW BEST BECAUSE IT’S THEIR MONEY. IT’S THE PEOPLE’S MONEY. IT’S NOT WASHINGTON’S MONEY. SOME WASHINGTON BUREAUCRAT WHO THINKS HE KNOWS BEST HOW TO HANDLE A PROBLEM AT A FEDERAL LEVEL THAT APPLIES TO ALL STATES
953
00:29:08,000 –>00:29:07,999
EVERY STATE. WHEN IT WORKS DIFFERENTLY IN THE CHALLENGES, SAFETY CHALLEPPINGS THAT FACE OUR CITIZENS ARE VERY DIFFERENT IN EACH STATE, ESPECIALLY AS IT RELATES TO DRIVING ON THE ROAD. AGAIN I WANT TO THANK THE GENTLELADY FOR BRINGING THIS MOTION TO INSTRUCT. I SURELY SUPPORT THE MOTION AND ALSO ENCOURAGE EVERYBODY ELSE IN THIS CHAMBER TO SUPPORT IT BECAUSE ULTIMATELY IF YOU GOT $79 MILLION THAT CAN BE MUCH BETTER USED TO INCREASE SAFETY IN OTHER WAYS, WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO CORDON IT OFF AND ONLY ALLOW IT TO BE USED FOR ONE WAY WHEN MAYBE 39 DIFFERENT STATES
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00:29:42,000 –>00:29:41,999
DO IT BETTER. HAVE 39 DIFFERENT IDEAS HOW TO WE CAN LEARN FROM THEM FOR ONCE INSTEAD OF THIS TOP-DOWN
977
00:29:48,000 –>00:29:47,999
APPROACH WHERE WASHINGTON KNOWS BEST. IT CAN BE HANDLED MUCH
980
00:29:52,000 –>00:29:51,999
DIFFERENTLY, BETTER AT THE LOCAL LEVEL. AT THE END IT’S THEIR MONEY. URGE APPROVAL OF THIS MOTION TO I STRUCK AND YIELD BACK THE BALANCE OF MY TIME. THE GENTLEMAN YIELDS BACK THE
988
00:30:01,000 –>00:30:00,999
BALANCE OF HIS TIME. THE GENTLEMAN FROM PENNSYLVANIA.
990
00:30:03,000 –>00:30:02,999
I YIELD MYSELF SUCH TIME AS I MAY CONSUME. I WOULD AGAIN MAKE THE POINT THAT THE PROGRAM IN QUESTION IN NO WAY SANCTIONS, PENALIZES, DISINCENTIVIZES, DISCOURAGES, OR PROHIBITS STATES FROM IN ANY WAY ADDRESSING DRIVER SAFETY. IT IN NO WAY PROHIBITS STATES FROM BEING INNOVATIVE, CREATING NEW TECHNOLOGIES, NEW PROGRAMS, DOING THINGS THAT ARE NOT RECOMMENDED IN THE BILL OR THIS PROGRAM. STATES ARE FREE TO DO WHATEVER THEY WANT TO DO ON THIS ISSUE. SO TO CONTINUALLY POUND AWAY AT THE POINT THAT WE ARE SOMEHOW TAKING AWAY THE ABILITY OF
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INCORRECT. STATES TO BE FLEXIBLE, IS SIMPLY IT’S NOT CONSISTENT WITH THE PROGRAM IN QUESTION. IT’S NOT CONSISTENT WITH THE LANGUAGE OF THE BILL WE ARE DISCUSSING. WITH THAT I WOULD INQUIRE TO MY FRIEND, I HAVE NO MORE SPEAKERS ON OUR SIDE. IS SHE PLEEPED TO CLOSE — PREPARED TO CLOSE? I AM. I YIELD BACK THE BALANCE OF MY TIME AND URGE MY COLLEAGUES TO OPPOSE THE MOTION. THE GENTLEMAN YIELDS BACK. THE GENTLEWOMAN FROM TENNESSEE. THANK YOU, MR. SPEAKER. I YIELD MYSELF SUCH TIME AS I MAY CONSUME. THIS IS A WORTHY GOAL. AS I HAVE ALREADY SAID I’M A NURSE. I’M A GRANDMOTHER. A MOTHER. I WANT SAFETY ON OUR ROADS. I HAVE SERVED IN THE STATE LEGISLATIVE BODY WHERE I HAVE VOTED THREE TIMES ON DISTRACTED DRIVING. DID OUR STUDIES.
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00:31:34,000 –>00:31:33,999
IN THE STATE OF TENNESSEE. WE FOUND WHAT THE PROBLEMS WERE WE WERE ABLE TO PASS LAWS TO MAKE THE ROADS SAFER.
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00:31:45,000 –>00:31:44,999
CARELESS DRIVING OF ANY FORM MUST BE STOPPED. AND I APPLAUD THE PIECE IN THE BILL THAT WILL CREATE MORE STUDY. SO THE STATES CAN HAVE MORE INFORMATION ABOUT JUST WHAT THEY NEED TO CRAFT IN THEIR STATES THAT WILL BE IDENTIFIED AS DISTRACTED DRIVING. OBVIOUSLY DISTRACTED DRIVING DOES NOT JUST MEAN CELL PHONES. IT DOES NOT JUST MEAN TEXTING. THERE ARE OTHER FORMS OF TISS TRACTED DRIVING. A MOTHER TURNING AROUND TO CORRECT HER SMALL CHILD THAT’S SITTING IN THE BACK SEAT. I PERSONALLY HAVE SEEN THOSE KINDS OF ACCIDENTS. SOMEONE REACHING FOR A C.D. TO PUT IN THEIR DISK. I PERSONALLY HAVE SEEN THE DEVASTATION FROM THAT ACTION. THERE ARE MANY FORMS OF DISTRACTED DRIVING. STUDY, THIS STUDY WILL HELP US AND THE STATES AND PUBLIC TO UNDERSTAND WHAT THOSE FORMS ARE. IN MY MOTION THAT IS LEFT IN PLACE. AGAIN WE HAVE TO BE VERY CAUTIOUS ABOUT OUR DOLLARS AND HOW IT IS THAT WE HAND OUR DOLLARS OUT. AND I TALK ABOUT THIS ALMOST AS LEGISLATIVE CANDY. THIS $79 MILLION. — $79 MILLION TO INCENTIVIZE OR ENTICE STATES TO DO SOMETHING AND 39 OF THEM ARE ALREADY DOING SOMETHING RELATED TO DISTRACTED DRIVING. AS A MATTER OF FACT, IF WE TAKE A LOOK AT THIS WHOLE DISCUSSION ON THE TRANSPORTATION BILL, WE
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IS. KNOW HOW PRECIOUS EVERY DOLLAR WE ARE TALKING ABOUT INFRASTRUCTURE, CREATING JOBS. THIS $79 MILLION CAN BE BEST INTENDED PROGRAMS AND THAT IS TO BUILD ROADS AND BRIDGES TO MAKE OUR ROADS SAFER SO WE CAN MAKE SURE OUR ROADS AND INFRASTRUCTURE ARE IN THE BEST SHAPE. STATES ARE ALREADY DOING THIS JOB. WE DON’T NEED TO TAKE $79 MILLION AND HAND IT OUT TO STATES BY USING A CANDY TO GET THEM TO DO WHAT WE WANT THEM TO DO. ABSOLUTELY SAFETY IS THE MAJOR ISSUE. BUT STATES CAN MAKE THAT DECISION. STATES HAVE ENOUGH NOGE TO KNOW — KNOWLEDGE TO KNOW WHAT’S BEST FOR THEIR STATES. AND SO, MR. SPEAKER, I URGE MY COLLEAGUES TO PROTECT STATES’ RIGHTS AND SUPPORT MY MOTION TO
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I STRUCK. THANK YOU. I YIELD BACK THE BALANCE OF MY TIME. THE GENTLEWOMAN YIELDS BACK. ALL TIME FOR DEBATE HAS EXPIRED.
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00:34:24,000 –>00:34:23,999
QUESTION IS ORDERED. WITHOUT OBJECTION, THE PREVIOUS
1131
00:34:26,000 –>00:34:25,999
I STRUCK. THE QUESTION IS ON THE MOTION TO SO MANY AS ARE IN FAVOR SAY AYE. — INSTRUCT.
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00:34:31,000 –>00:34:30,999
AYE. THOSE OPPOSED, NO. OPINION PP, THE AYES HAVE IT. — IN THE OPINION OF THE CHAIR, THE AYES HAVE IT. THE GENTLEMAN FROM PENNSYLVANIA. ON THAT I ASK FOR THE YEAS AND NAYS.
1143
00:34:41,000 –>00:34:40,999
THE YEAS AND NAYS ARE REQUESTED. THOSE FAVORING A VOTE BY THE YEAS AND NAYS WILL RISE. A SUFFICIENT NUMBER HAVING ARISEN, THE YAPED. — THE YEAS AND NAYS ARE ORDERED. PURSUANT TO CLAUSE 8 OF RULE 20. FURTHER PROCEEDINGS ON THIS QUESTION WILL BE POSTPONED. THE CHAIR WILL ENTERTAIN ONE-MINUTE REQUESTS. FOR WHAT PURPOSE DOES THE GENTLEMAN FROM OHIO RISE? MR. SPEAKER, I REQUEST PERMISSION TO ADDRESS THE HOUSE FOR ONE MINUTE. WITHOUT
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OBJECTION, THE GENTLEMAN IS RECOGNIZED. FIRST ENERGY WHICH OPERATES THE NUCLEAR POWER PLANT HAS CONSISTENTLY MISREPRESENTED TO THE PUBLIC STRUCTURAL DEFECTS
1168
00:35:28,000 –>00:35:27,999
IN THE BUILDING THAT SHIELDS ITS REACTOR. CRACKS IN THE CIRCUMFERENCE OF THE SHIELD BUILDING WERE CAUSED BY A SNOWSTORM THAT OCCURRED IN 1978. IN 2002, FIRST ENERGY COVERED UP INFORMATION ABOUT A HOLE IN THE HEAD OF A REACTOR THAT JEOPARDIZED THE SAFETY OF MILLIONS OF PEOPLE FOR WHICH THEY WERE FINED $28 MILLION.
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BLACKOUT. FIRST ENERGY CAUSED THE IN AUGUST OF 2003 WHICH PUT 50 MILLION PEOPLE IN THE DARK BECAUSE THEY WERE TOO CHEAP TO HIRE PEOPLE TO TRIM TREES. CAN THEY BE BELIEVED WHEN THEY CLAIM A SNOWSTORM 34 YEARS AGO CREATED CRACKS THAT APPEAR TODAY? ARE BUILDINGS ALL OVER NORTHERN OHIO FALLING APART TODAY BECAUSE OF THE BLIZZARD OF 1978? OR IS THIS JUST ANOTHER IN A SERIES OF DESPERATE LIES USED TO KEEP A PLANT GOING THAT SHOULD BE EITHER SHUT DOWN OR MASSIVELY REPAIRED. HOW LONG BEFORE FIRST ENERGY’S IS FULLY EXPOSED? ARE THERE FURTHER ONE MINUTES? THE CHAIR LAYS BEFORE THE HOUSE THE FOLLOWING PERSONAL REQUEST. LEAVES OF ABSENCE REQUESTED FOR MR. BISHOP OF NEW YORK FOR TODAY, MS. CLARKE OF NEW YORK FOR TODAY AND MS. JACKSON LEE OF TEXAS FOR TODAY. WITHOUT OBJECTION, THE REQUESTS ARE GRANTED. FOR WHAT PURPOSE DOES THE GENTLEMAN FROM OHIO SEEK RECOGNITION? I ASK UNANIMOUS THE — YES. UNDER THE SPEAKER’S ANNOUNCED POLICY OF JANUARY 5, 2011, THE GENTLEMAN FROM OHIO, MR. KUCINICH, IS RECOGNIZED FOR 60 MINUTES AS THE DESIGNEE FOR THE MINORITY LEADER. I THANK THE GENTLEMAN. I SPOKE HERE A MINUTE AGO ON THE FLOOR OF THE HOUSE CONCERNING MY DEEP AND ABIDING CONCERN ABOUT A NUCLEAR POWER PLANT IN THE STATE OF OHIO CALLED THE DAVIS-BESSY NUCLEAR POWER PLANT. NOW, THIS POWER PLANT, WHEN IT WAS FIRST LICENSED, HAS — FROM THE TIME IT WAS FIRST LICENSED HAS EXPERIENCED A SERIES OF SHUTDOWNS. SO THAT IT — THERE WAS A PERIOD WHERE THE COMPANY THAT ORIGINALLY OWNED IT, THE COMPANIES THAT ORIGINALLY OWNED IT, IT MASSIVE LOSSES — HAD MASSIVE LOSSES BECAUSE THE PLANT WAS NOT UP AND RUNNING. NOW, THEY HAVE SO MANY DIFFICULTIES THAT IT BECAME AN EMBARRASSMENT TO THE NUCLEAR INDUSTRY ITSELF. WE ARE NOW AT A POINT WHERE THIS PLANT IS TRYING TO GET A NEW LICENSE FOR ITS NUCLEAR FACILITY. NOW, THERE ARE OVER 104 NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS IN AMERICA. SOME OF THEM HAVE ACHIEVED RELICENSING.
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‘PLYING. OTHERS ARE IN THE PROCESS OF ONE — APPLYING. ONE OF THE THINGS THAT WE HAVE TO BE CONCERNED ABOUT, BECAUSE WE ARE TALKING ABOUT NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS, IS THE STRUCTURAL PLANT WHICH INCLUDES THE REACTOR, THAT THE STRUCTURAL STABILITY OF THESE PLANTS IS GOING TO BE ENSURED. IN THE CASE OF FIRST ENERGY, THEY HAVE A SHIELD BUILDING WHICH THERE HAVE BEEN QUESTIONS RAISED ABOUT ITS STRUCTURAL STABILITY. UNFORTUNATELY FIRST ENERGY WENT OUT OF ITS WAY TO TELL ONE STORY TO THE NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION AND ANOTHER STORY TO THE PUBLIC. THEY TOLD THE PUBLIC THAT THE CRACKS THAT WERE SEEN IN THE SHIELD BUILDING WERE NOT REALLY SUBSTANTIVE. BUT THEY TOLD THE NUCLEAR REGULATORY COMMISSION ANOTHER STORY. AND IN UNDERSTANDING THAT WE HAVE A LACK OF CANDOR ON THE PART OF A NUCLEAR PERMIT —
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HERE. NUCLEAR REACTOR PERMIT HOLDER WE HAVE TO BE VERY CONCERNED ABOUT THE PUBLIC STATEMENTS, ABOUT THEIR PRIVATE DISCLOSURES AND ABOUT THE IMPLICATIONS FOR RELICENSING. NOW, THIS — THESE CRACKS IN THE SHIELD BUILDING, WHICH ARE IN THE SIR COME FRENS OF THE BUILDING — SIR COME FRANCE OF THE BUILDING, THEY’RE TRYING TO SAY NOW, THEY’RE TELLING THE NUCLEAR REGULAR COMMISSION, THE REASON THESE CRACKS OCCURRED IS BECAUSE THERE WAS THIS BLIZZARD IN 1978 WHERE THE WIND DIRECTION WAS, IF I’M CORRECT, PRIMARILY OUT OF THE SOUTHWEST, THAT THIS IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CRACKS. BUT THE CRACKS ARE AROUND THE WHOLE BUILDING. THEY’RE NOT ABLE TO EXPLAIN THAT. NOR DO WE KNOW WHETHER OR NOT THEIR SISTER REACTORS ON THE OTHER SIDE OF LAKE ERIE AT THE NUCLEAR POWER PLANT HAVE IN FACT BEEN ADEQUATELY INSPECTED TO SEE IF THE SAME
1319
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THEM. WINTER STORM ADVERSELY AFFECTED BECAUSE IF THE WINTER STORM DID NOT ADVERSELY AFFECT THEM, AT THE PERRY PLANT, THEN HOW IS IT THAT YOU HAD CRACKS ONLY AT DAVIS-BESSY AND WHY WERE THE CRACKS AROUND THE BUILDING INSTEAD OF JUST IN ONE AREA WHERE THE WIND WAS DRIVING THE SNOW? THIS COMPANY, FIRST ENERGY, IN 2002 COVERED UP INFORMATION ABOUT A HOLE THEY HAD IN THEIR REACTOR. I WANT TO ASK MY FRIEND FROM MINNESOTA IF HE NEEDS ANY OF NOW. BECAUSE I CAN CONCLUDE. I YIELD TO THE GENTLEMAN FROM MINNESOTA. THE GENTLEMAN FROM MINNESOTA IS RECOGNIZED. I WANT TO THANK THE GENTLEMAN FOR CLAIMING THE TIME. I GUESS I WAS ABOUT FOUR MINUTES BEHIND AND OF COURSE YOU GOT TO BE ON YOUR TOES AROUND HERE. I HAD COME PREPARED TO DO A SPECIAL ORDER. I’M GOING TO SHORTLY YIELD. ASK UNANIMOUS CONSENT THAT THE GENTLEMAN FROM MINNESOTA WOULD
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BE ABLE TO HAVE THE BALANCE OF THE TIME. IF THE GENTLEMAN FROM OHIO WANTS TO, YOU KNOW, YOU KNOW, WE CAN SHARE THE TIME IF YOU’D LIKE. WHAT WOULD BE — I’D ASK THE PARLIAMENTARIAN, WOULD IT BE POSSIBLE FOR ME TO HAVE UNANIMOUS CONSENT TO YIELD THE REMAINDER OF MY TIME TO THE GENTLEMAN FROM MINNESOTA? UNANIMOUS CONSENT IS NOT REQUIRED. UNDER THE SPEAKER’S ANNOUNCED POLICY OF JANUARY 5, 2011, THE GENTLEMAN FROM MINNESOTA WILL
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CONTROL THE REMAINDER OF THE HOUR. OK. I WOULD JUST ASK FOR A MOMENT TO CONCLUDE HERE. YOU KNOW, WHY AM I BRINGING THIS UP ABOUT THE DAVIS-BESSY NUCLEAR POWER PLANT? SHOULDN’T SOME PEOPLE SAY, WELL, WHY SHOULDN’T YOU GIVE FIRST ENERGY THE BENEFIT OF THE DOUBT? THIS IS A COMPANY THAT 10 YEARS AGO COVERED UP INFORMATION ABOUT THE WHOLE — HOLE IN THE HEAD OF A NUCLEAR REACTOR. THEY WERE THIS CLOSE TO HAVING THE — A BREACH, THIS CLOSE, FRACTURE OF AN INCH FROM HAVING A BREACH OF THE REACTOR. THEY PULLED — THEY HAD FILES THAT WERE IN A PHOTO AND FEDERAL INVESTIGATORS WEREN’T GIVEN ACCESS TO THAT. IT ENDED WRUP THIS COMPANY GETS FINED $28 MILLION BECAUSE THEY
1396
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GOVERNMENT. WEREN’T CANDID WITH THE AND COULD HAVE PUT THE PEOPLE OF OHIO AND MICHIGAN AND INDIANA AND CANADA AND THE WATER OF LAKE ERIE IN JEOPARDY. THIS IS THE SAME COMPANY, MANY PEOPLE REMEMBER, PARTICULARLY IN CITIES IN THE EAST, THAT TIME IN AUGUST OF 2003, WHERE ALL THE LIGHTS WENT OUT IN THE EAST. REMEMBER SOME PEOPLE WERE SITTING ON THEIR DOORSTEPS FOR THE FIRST TIME NO CITY LIGHTS, LOOKING UP AT THE STARS, BUT IT WASN’T PARTICULARLY ALL THAT BEAUTIFUL BECAUSE WHAT WAS NOT BEAUTIFUL IS THE FACT THAT THERE WAS THIS MASSIVE LOSS OF POWER ALL OVER AMERICA’S EAST COAST THAT CAME ABOUT BECAUSE OF A SERIES OF TECHNICAL GLITCHES, THE ROOT CAUSE OF WHICH WAS THAT THIS COMPANY, FIRST ENERGY, TRIMMING TREES. BECAUSE THEY DIDN’T WANT TO HIRE THE PEOPLE TO DO IT. NOW, THIS IS THE SAME COMPANY THAT’S TELLING US THE REASON WHY THEY HAVE CRACKS IN A SHIELD BUILDING IS BECAUSE OF A
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BLIZZARD 34 YEARS AGO. HELLO. WE HAVE TO BE VERY CAREFUL BEFORE WE LET A COMPANY THAT OPERATES SO FAST AND LOOSE WITH THE TRUTH BE IN A POSITION TO HAVE A LICENSE TO CONTINUE TO OPERATE THIS NUCLEAR POWER PLANT AND IN THE ALTERNATIVE THEY ARE
1436
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GOING TO HAVE TO MAKE MASSIVE REPAIRS. IF THEY WON’T MAKE THE MASSIVE REPAIRS THEN THE N.R.C. OUGHT TO DO THE RIGHT THING FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AND HAVE THIS SHUT DOWN. I DO NOT WANT TO SEE ANOTHER
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FUKUSHIMA IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. I DO NOT WANT TO SEE THE PEOPLE IN MY DISTRICT AT RISK. I DO NOT WANT TO SEE THE PEOPLE RISK. BECAUSE YOU’VE GOT A COMPANY LIKE FIRST ENERGY OPERATING IN THE SHODDY WAY IN WHICH THEY OPERATE, MISREPRESENTING CONDITIONS TO THE PUBLIC, TELLING THE N.R.C. ONE THING, THE PEOPLE THE OTHER. I CAN PROMISE YOU, MR. SPEAKER, I INTEND TO STAY ON TOP OF THIS. I APPRECIATE THE OPPORTUNITY HERE AND I YIELD THE REMAINDER OF THE TIME TO THE GENTLEMAN FROM MINNESOTA, THE CO-CHAIR OF THE PROGRESSIVE CAUCUS OF THE CONGRESS, A PERSON WHO HAS DONE A LOT TO TAKE THE MESSAGE OF THE PROGRESSIVE CAUCUS ACROSS THIS NATION IN A WAY THAT’S BEEN VERY DYNAMIC, THE HONORABLE KEITH ELLISON. I THANK THE GENTLEMAN. THE
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GENTLEMAN FROM MINNESOTA IS RECOGNIZED.
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I THANK THE SPEAKER. AS I WAS LISTENING TO THE GENTLEMAN FROM OHIO RECITE THE FACTS AND THE DETAILS OF THIS ENERGY SITUATION, I COULDN’T HELP BUT THINK TO MYSELF THAT WE NEED MASSIVE INVESTMENT IN PUBLIC INFRASTRUCTURE IN THIS NATION. IT’S NOT SIMPLY A JOBS ISSUE, THOUGH IT IS A JOBS ISSUE. IT’S ALSO A PUBLIC SAFETY ISSUE. YOU KNOW, THE GENTLEMAN TALKED ABOUT FUKUSHIMA. THAT WAS A CATASTROPHIC EVENT BUT IF WE DON’T TAKE GOOD CARE OF OUR NATION’S INFRASTRUCTURE, CATASTROPHE WILL OCCUR AND I CAN TESTIFY TO THAT BECAUSE I’M FROM MINNESOTA AND IN MY STATE ONLY A FEW YEARS AGO WE SAW OUR BRIDGE FALL INTO THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER, LOST 13 MINNESOTANS, LOST THEIR LIVES, 100 FELL INTO THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER, 65 FEET, SUFFERED SEVERE BACK AND SPINAL INJURIES. INFRASTRUCTURE, FOLKS, IS NOT SIMPLY A JOBS ISSUE. INFRASTRUCTURE IS NOT SIMPLY AN ECONOMIC ISSUE. INFRASTRUCTURE IS ALSO A PUBLIC SAFETY ISSUE AND WE NEED TO MAKE A DEMAND THAT OUR GOVERNMENT FOCUS ON INFRASTRUCTURE INVESTMENT. AT — INVESTMENT AT THIS TIME. MR. SPEAKER, I’M KEITH ELLISON, I’M THE — I’M THE CO-CHAIR OF THE PROGRESSIVE CAUCUS. I HOPE TO BE JOINED IN THIS HOUR BY OTHER MEMBERS OF THE PROGRESSIVE CAUCUS. I THINK SOME MEMBERS OF THE CONGRESSIONAL — THE C.B.C. WILL BE JOINING ME AS WELL TO TALK ABOUT THE SITUATION INVOLVING ATTORNEY GENERAL HOLDER. ABOUT YOU TODAY, MR. SPEAKER, — BUT TODAY, MR. SPEAKER, WE ARE THE PROGRESSIVE CAUCUS. WE COME WITH THE PROGRESSIVE MESSAGE.
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BASICALLY VERY SIMPLE, MR. THE PROGRESSIVE MESSAGE IS SPEAKER. IT’S THE IDEA OF LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL. MR. SPEAKER, YOU KNOW THAT EVERY MORNING WE IN CONGRESS COME DOWN TO THE WELL AND WE’RE VERY HONORED TO SAY THE PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE. AND THE PROGRESSIVE MESSAGE OF THE PROGRESSIVE CAUCUS IS BASICALLY EMBODIED IN THAT PLEDGE. WE PLEDGE ALLEGIANCE TO THE FLAG OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA AND TO THE REPUBLIC FOR WHICH IT STANDS, ONE NATION, UNDER GOD, INDIVISIBLE, WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL. WE’RE INDIVISIBLE. YES, IT’S TRUE WE HAVE DIFFERENT CULTURES, WE COME IN DIFFERENT RELIGIOUS BACKGROUNDS, BUT WE’RE ONE NATION AND, YES, IT’S TRUE THAT
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. IT’S LIBERTY AND JUSTICE FOR ALL
1557
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EVERY — EVERYONE. NO EXCEPTIONS. OLD, YOUNG, BLACK, WHITE LARKS TINOW, ASIAN — WHITE, LA TINOW, ASIAN, PEOPLE BORN IN AMERICA, PEOPLE WHO CAME HERE TO IMMIGRATE, PEOPLE WITH DIFFERENT RELIGIOUS BACKGROUNDS, PEOPLE STRAIGHT, GAY, AMERICANS ARE AMERICANS ARE AMERICANS AND THEY HAVE THE FREEDOM TO BE WHO THEY ARE AND HAVE THE LIBERTY TO PURSUE HAPPINESS AS THEY DEFINE IT AND WITHIN THE LAW AND CONSISTENT WITH THE RIGHTS OF ALL OTHERS. BUT THAT’S WHERE IT ENDS. IT’S THE PROGRESSIVE CAUCUS AND I’M HERE TO TALK ABOUT THE PROGRESSIVE MESSAGE. AND, MR. SPEAKER, OUR EMAIL IS RIGHT DOWN HERE. IT’S CPC.GRIJALVA.HOUSE.GOV. WE ENCOURAGE PEOPLE TO STAY IN TOUCH WITH US, MR. SPEAKER, BECAUSE WE LIKE TO HEAR WHAT THE PEOPLE SAY. LIKE TO HEAR THEIR INSIGHTS, VIEWS, VALUES, WHAT THEY THINK IS IMPORTANT SO WE ENCOURAGE STAY IN TOUCH. THAT’S CPC.GRIJALVA.HOUSE.GOV. THIS IS THE PROGRESSIVE CAUCUS WEBSITE. NOW, MR. SPEAKER, MR. SPEAKER WE’VE BEEN HERE ANOTHER WEEK IN CONGRESS, ANOTHER WEEK WHERE WE HAVE SERIOUS PROBLEMS GOING ON, MR. SPEAKER. WITHIN A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME, A SHORT PERIOD OF TIME, I BELIEVE TODAY’S DATE IS JUNE 21 , WITHIN NINE DAYS, MR. SPEAKER, WHAT WE’RE GOING TO SEE IS STUDENT INTEREST RATES ON STUDENT LOANS DOUBLE. WE’RE GOING TO SEE AN EXPIRATION OF OUR TRANSPORTATION BILL, AND DO YOU THINK, MR. SPEAKER, WE TOOK UP EITHER ONE OF THOSE ISSUES ON THE HOUSE FLOOR TODAY OR YESTERDAY OR ANYTIME SINCE MONDAY, MR. SPEAKER? ABSOLUTELY NOT. WE URGED THE REPUBLICAN MAJORITY TO THINK ABOUT WHAT’S GOING ON WITH THE AMERICAN CLASS. STUDENT LOAN RATES TO DOUBLE ON JULY 1, THIS COULD AFFECT THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF STUDENTS AND YET WE’RE NOT ACTING ON THESE ISSUES AT ALL. THE DEMOCRATS HAVE SAID, YES, ABSOLUTELY. PROGRESSIVES HAVE SAID, YES, ABSOLUTELY, WE CANNOT LET STUDENT LOAN RATES DOUBLE AT A TIME WHEN WE SEE COLLEGES ALL OVER AMERICA EXPERIENCING DOUBLE-DIGIT INCREASES IN TUITION, WHEN STUDENTS — WHEN THE PRICE OF AN EDUCATION HAS GONE SKY HIGH, OUTPACED INFLATION MANY FOLD AND NOW ON JULY — WHEN THE CONGRESS TRIED TO FIX IT, WE’RE GOING TO LET IT GO BACK TO THE BAD OLD DAYS AND LET STUDENT INTEREST — STUDENT LOAN RATES DOUBLE, COSTING STUDENTS PERHAPS AS MUCH AS $1,000 PER YEAR. EVEN THOUGH THE REPUBLICAN MAJORITY AGREED WITH THE RYAN BUDGET WHICH SAID WE SHOULD JUST LET THE STUDENTS HAVE TO THEY THEN SAW THE LIGHT AND CAME BACK AND SAID, WE DON’T WANT IT TO DOUBLE. BUT THEY SAY, WE WANT TO TAKE THE MONEY OUT OF WOMEN’S HEALTH. OF COURSE, WE COULDN’T AGREE WITH THAT. WE CAN’T PIT STUDENTS VERSUS WOMEN. WE CAN’T SAY, WE WANT TO HELP STUDENTS BUT HURT WOMEN AND TAKE AWAY CERVICAL SCREENINGS. WE CAN’T DO THAT. WHAT IF WE ASK THE WEALTHIEST MEMBERS OF OUR SOCIETY, THE WEALTHIEST AMERICANS ASK TO DO MORE AND OUR REPUBLICAN FRIENDS, NO, NEVER CAN WE ASK RICH PEOPLE TO DO A LITTLE BIT MORE. AND SO HERE WE STAND, MR. SPEAKER, A FEW DAYS, NINE DAYS BEFORE STUDENT INTEREST RATES ARE ABOUT TO DOUBLE AND WE SAW NO ACTION ON IT ON THE FLOOR THIS WEEK. THIS IS A HORRIBLE TRAGEDY. THIS IS A SAD SITUATION. YOU KNOW, WE LOST 8,000 CONSTRUCTION JOBS LAST MONTH. CONGRESS STILL HASN’T PASSED A HIGHWAY BILL. HIGHWAY BILL IS COULD YOU TO EXPIRE 10 DAYS FROM NOW, NINE DAYS FROM NOW AND OUR FRIENDS IN THE MAJORITY HAVE NOT ADDRESSED THIS ISSUE. THIS IS A SHAME. IT IS A STAIN AND IT’S A KISS GRACE AND IF YOU HOLD THE MAJORITY IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, YOU HAVE TO FOCUS ON THE NEEDS OF THE PEOPLE AND I HOPE THE PEOPLE ARE PAYING ATTENTION TODAY, MR. SPEAKER, BECAUSE ALL THIS WEEK
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00:56:03,000 –>00:56:02,999
DOUBLE. THOSE STUDENT LOANS ARE DUE TO INTEREST RATES ON STUDENT LOAN RATES ARE DUE TO DOUBLE IN 10 DAYS, AND THE HIGHWAY BILL IS DUE TO EXPIRE IN 10 DAYS BUT WE HAVE NOT TOUCHED THESE ISSUES, THESE KEY ISSUES ON THE HOUSE FLOOR, AND I’M JUST ASKING MY REPUBLICAN MAJORITY FRIENDS WHY WON’T THEY PURSUE A JOBS AGENDA INSTEAD OF THE NO JOBS AGENDA THEY SEEM TO BE PURSUING. OUR PRESIDENT LAID OUT A GREAT JOBS BILL AND YET WE HAVEN’T SEEN ANY ACTION ON IT. LET’S HAVE A VOTE ON IT, MR. SPEAKER, UP OR DOWN WHAT — WHAT ARE THE REPUBLICAN MAJORITY AFRAID OF? DO THEY FEEL THERE ARE A FEW REPUBLICANS WHO WILL JOIN WITH ALL OF THE DEMOCRATS AND PUT AMERICA BACK TO WORK? PUT IT ON THE FLOOR. I THINK THAT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WANT TO VOTE ON JOBS. SO LET ME JUST SAY, MR. SPEAKER, BECAUSE I THINK IT’S SO IMPORTANT. WE HAVE TO RESTATE CERTAIN THINGS. IF YOU JUST TUNED IN, MR. SPEAKER, STUDENT LOAN RATES WILL DOUBLE JULY 1 IF CONGRESS DOES NOTHING. THIS WEEK WE DID NOTHING SO THE CLOCK IS TICKING AND I AM A LITTLE WORRIED, MR. SPEAKER. AFTER LOSING 28,000 CONSTRUCTION JOBS LAST MONTH, CONGRESS HASN’T PASSED A HIGHWAY BILL AND THAT BILL IS DUE TO EXPIRE BECAUSE THE REPUBLICAN MAJORITY WON’T PASS A LONG-TERM TRANSPORTATION BILL. THIS IS A MISTAKE. LEADERSHIP, AND THE AMERICAN PEOPLE SHOULD KNOW ABOUT IT, MR. SPEAKER. BUT, MR. SPEAKER, I KNOW YOU’RE THINKING, WELL, WHAT DID WE DO? IF WE DIDN’T TAKE CARE OF THE ISSUES THAT ARE SO PRESSING WHAT DID THE REPUBLICAN MAJORITY DO THIS WEEK? THEY MUST HAVE DONE SOMETHING BECAUSE WE WERE HERE. WELL, I TELL YOU WHAT THEY DID. WE AUTHORIZED THE KILLING OF SEA LIONS IN THE NORTHWEST. I DON’T THINK THAT’S A KEY ISSUE WE NEED TO FOCUS ON. WE WAIVED 39 ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS WITHIN 100 MILES OF THE BORDER. WE WAIVED — WE WAIVED, SAID DON’T WORRY ABOUT COMPLYING ANY MORE 39 ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS WITHIN 100 MILES OF THE BORDER. IF YOU’RE 100 MILES WITHIN THE BORDER, I GUESS CLEAN AIR AND CLEAN WATER JUST HAPPENED. BUT, OF COURSE, ANY 6-YEAR-OLD KID KNOWS THAT’S NOT TRUE. WHAT ELSE DID WE DO? THIS 100 — THIS AREA WITHIN 100 MILES OF THE BORDER WHERE WAIVED 39 ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS, THIS INCLUDES AREAS IN MINNESOTA WHERE I’M FROM LIKE THE BOUNDARY — THESE ARE BEAUTIFUL, PRISTINE NATIONAL TREASURES AND IN MY OPINION IT’S A SHAME TO SAY THAT ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS WOULD NOT APPLY. THANK GOODNESS THESE BILLS HAVEN’T BEEN TAKEN UP BY THE SENATE BECAUSE THE SENATE CLEARLY KNOWS THIS IS BAD POLICY BUT IT DIDN’T STOP THE REPUBLICAN MAJORITY FROM PUSHING IT BECAUSE THE REPUBLICAN MAJORITY BELIEVES THAT ALL PROBLEMS WILL BE FIXED IF WE DON’T REGULATE INDUSTRY AND IF WE CUT TAXES ON THE VERY WELL-TO-DO. THEY’RE MISTAKEN ABOUT THAT BUT THAT’S WHAT THEY BELIEVE, AND I GIVE THEM CREDIT FOR SAYING IT ALL THE TIME BECAUSE IT GIVES THE AMERICAN PEOPLE A CHANCE TO KNOW WHAT CHOICES THEY HAVE IN FRONT OF THEM.
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SPEAKER? WHAT ELSE ARE WE DOING, MR. WE REQUIRE FEDERAL AGENCIES TO GIVE OIL COMPANIES 25% OF ALL
1801
00:59:29,000 –>00:59:28,999
DRILLING. PUBLIC LANDS THEY NOMINATE FOR I’M GOING TO SAY THAT ONE AGAIN. THE HOUSE MAJORITY, THE HOUSE REPUBLICAN MAJORITY REQUIRED FEDERAL AGENCIES TO GIVE OIL COMPANIES 25% OF ALL PUBLIC LANDS, THAT’S OUR LANDS, MY LANDS, YOUR LANDS, MR. SPEAKER, THEY NOMINATE FOR DRILLING.
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00:59:52,000 –>00:59:51,999
DRILL. THEY USED TO SAY DRILL, BABY, THEY’RE NOT KIDDING ABOUT THAT, EVEN AFTER THE OIL SPILL IN THE GULF, THEY STILL ARE ON THIS THING ABOUT LETTING DRILLING HAPPEN WHENEVER, HOWEVER, WHATEVER THEY WANT. I THINK THAT THERE OUGHT TO BE SOME PUBLIC LANDS THAT OUGHT TO BE PRISTINE AND NICE FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AND YET THE REPUBLICAN MAJORITY PASSED A PROVISION THAT REQUIRED FEDERAL AGENCIES TO GIVE OIL COMPANIES 25% OF ALL PUBLIC LANDS THEY NOMINATE FOR DRILLING. NOW, IF YOU THINK ABOUT THAT, MR. SPEAKER, THINK ABOUT THIS. REGARDLESS OF THE NATURAL BEAUTY, REGARDLESS OF THE ENVIRONMENTAL HARM, REGARDLESS FISHING OR HUNTING DAMAGE, WE WOULD MANDATE THAT BIG OIL GETS 1/4 OF WHATEVER IT WANTS. THAT’S BAD POLICY. BUT YET THAT WAS WHAT WAS PASSED ON THE HOUSE FLOOR THIS WEEK. WHAT ELSE DID THE REPUBLICAN MAJORITY DO THIS WEEK JUST SO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE COULD KNOW? WE WEAKENED THE CLEAN AIR ACT PROVISION. WE REQUIRED THE PEAVERPLET, THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
1849
01:01:05,000 –>01:01:04,999
AGENCY, — E.P.A., THE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY, TO REGULATE MORE. WE HAVE THE ALL-OF-THE-ABOVE STRATEGY. WE WANT OIL, WE WANT WIND, WE WANT BIOMASS, WE WANT ALL THIS, ALL THIS. BUT IF YOU LOOK AT WHAT THEY ACTUALLY PUT ON THE FLOOR AND VOTED THROUGH WITH THE REPUBLICAN MAJORITY, THEY DON’T HAVE AN ALL-OF-THE-ABOVE STRATEGY. THEY HAVE OIL-ABOVE-ALL STRATEGY. OIL ABOVE ALL. THIS THEME, THIS OIL-ABOVE-ALL
1867
01:01:38,000 –>01:01:37,999
STRATEGY WAS QUITE, QUITE UNFORTUNATE. THIS CONGRESS CAN DO BETTER. WE SHOULD BE TAKING ACTION NOW,
1871
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LATE. NOT DELAYING UNTIL IT’S TOO AND I JUST WANT TO SAY, MR. SPEAKER, THIS WEEK AS WE ALL ARE CONCERNED ABOUT STUDENT LOAN INTEREST RATES DOUBLING ON JULY 1, AND WE’RE ALL CONCERNED ABOUT THE EXPIRATION OF THE HIGHWAY BILL, KNOWING THAT WORKERS WILL BE LAID OFF IF THAT HAPPENS, IT’S A SHAME WE DIDN’T ADDRESS THESE CRITICAL ISSUES FACING THE AMERICAN PEOPLE BUT INSTEAD SPEND OUR TIME DECONSTRUCTING ENVIRONMENTAL AND HEALTH PROTECTIONS FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. I’M DISAPPOINTED ABOUT THAT. AND — BUT THAT IS WHAT WE DID. AND I THINK THE AMERICAN PEOPLE HAVE A RIGHT TO KNOW ABOUT IT. SO, MR. SPEAKER, I’M GOING TO TELL THEM ABOUT IT. BUT I’D LIKE TO TALK A LITTLE BIT ABOUT THE — ABOUT WHAT WE’VE BEEN DOING, NOT JUST THIS WEEK AS I JUST HAVE, BUT TALK A LITTLE BIT MORE GLOBALLY ABOUT WHAT WE’VE BEEN DOING THIS WHOLE 112TH CONGRESS BECAUSE THERE IS A THEME UNDENIABLE THAT WE HAVE BEEN PURSUING. THERE’S A THEME THAT WE’VE BEEN WORKING ON, AND AGAIN IT IS CUT TAXES FOR THE WEALTHY, LEAVE TAXES FOR THE MIDDLE CLASS AND CUT REGULATION FOR INDUSTRY. CUT IMPORTANT ENVIRONMENTAL AND HEALTH PROTECTIONS SO THAT INDUSTRY CAN KEEP MORE MONEY SO THEY DON’T SPEND IT ON MAKING
1913
01:03:19,000 –>01:03:18,999
AIR IS CLEAN. SURE THE WATER A CLONE AND THE I’D LIKE TO TALK ABOUT AMERICA’S ENERGY FUTURE BECAUSE THAT’S BEEN A THEME ON THE
1918
01:03:27,000 –>01:03:26,999
AND DOWN. FLOOR, WE HAVE BEEN FIGHTING UP I MENTIONED ABOUT THE WHOLE 112TH CONGRESS, BECAUSE EVEN THOUGH THAT’S BEEN A RECURRING REPUBLICAN THEME, IF YOU ASK THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANT US TO TALK ABOUT, WHAT YOU’LL SEE ON THIS CHART, MR. SPEAKER, IS A QUESTION AND THE QUESTION IS SIMPLE. IT SIMPLY SAYS, DO YOU THINK THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD BE DOING MORE TO HELP IMPROVE THE FINANCIAL SITUATION OF MIDDLE CLASS AMERICANS? SHOULD IT BE DOING LESS, OR DO YOU YOU THINK THE GOVERNMENT IS DOING THE RIGHT AMOUNT TO HELP IMPROVE THE FINANCIAL SITUATION OF MIDDLE CLASS AMERICANS? SO I JUST — AND JUST TO PUT THE QUESTION OUT THERE AGAIN, MR. SPEAKER, BECAUSE I KIND OF WENT BY QUICKLY AND THE TYPE IS KIND OF SMALL. DO YOU THINK THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD BE DOING MORE TO HELP IMPROVE THE FINANCIAL SITUATION OF MIDDLE CLASS AMERICANS, SHOULD IT BE DOING LESS, OR DO YOU THINK THE GOVERNMENT IS DOING THE RIGHT AMOUNT TO HELP IMPROVE THE FINANCIAL SITUATION OF THE MIDDLE CLASS — OF MIDDLE CLASS AMERICANS? WELL, THIS POLL PRETTY RECENT, RIGHT BACK IN APRIL, ONLY A FEW WEEKS AGO, AND WHAT AMERICANS HAVE SAID, MR. SPEAKER, 67% OF THEM SAID DO MORE. 2/3 SAID DO MORE. SO THEY DON’T THINK THE GOVERNMENT IS DOING ENOUGH TO HELP IMPROVE THE FINANCIAL SITUATION OF THE MIDDLE CLASS. AND YOU KNOW WHAT, MR. SPEAKER, THEY’RE RIGHT BECAUSE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE KNOW THAT IF WE WERE TO PASS A HIGHWAY BILL, THAT WOULD HELP THE MIDDLE CLASS. IF WE WOULD HELP COLLEGE AFFORDABILITY, THAT WOULD HELP THE MIDDLE CLASS. IF WE WOULD DO THINGS LIKE INVEST IN OUR NATION’S INFRASTRUCTURE ALTOGETHER, THAT WOULD HELP THE MIDDLE CLASS. IF WE WOULD STOP SELLING OFF PUBLIC LAND, THAT WOULD HELP THE MIDDLE CLASS. IF WE WOULD HELP MAKE SURE THERE WERE SANE AND SENSIBLE AND REASONABLE ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTIONS LIKE THERE ARE BUT THE REPUBLICANS WANT TO GET RID OF, THAT WOULD HELP THE MIDDLE CLASS. BUT THE REPUBLICAN MAJORITY IS — THEIR ARGUMENT IS THAT THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD DO LESS. NOW, THEY SAY SMALLER GOVERNMENT, SMALLER GOVERNMENT. LOWER TAXES, SMALLER GOVERNMENT. THEY SAY IT ALL THE TIME. THEY SAY IT SO MUCH THAT I CAN
1996
01:05:46,000 –>01:05:45,999
LIKE REPEAT THEIR MANTRAS IN MY SLEEP. THEY ARE GREAT AT REPETITION, BUT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE SAY THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD BE DOING MORE TO HELP IMPROVE THE FINANCIAL SITUATION OF MIDDLE CLASS AMERICANS. 2/3 OF THEM THINK SO. SO AS WE CAN’T PASS THE BUFFETT RULE, WE CAN’T GET A — WE CAN’T DO ANYTHING ABOUT STUDENT INTEREST RATES, WE’RE LETTING THE HIGHWAY BILL EXPIRE, 2/3 OF AMERICANS THINK WE SHOULD NOT BE DOING THAT, WE SHOULD BE DOING MORE, NOT LESS, SO THOSE PEOPLE WHO TALK ABOUT SMALLER GOVERNMENT, ALL THAT STUFF, THEY ARE NOT WHERE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE. 15% SAID DO LESS. THAT MUST BE THE KOCH BROTHERS OR SOMETHING LIKE THAT. AND 14% SAY DO THE RIGHT AMOUNT. SO ABOUT 29% SAY DO LESS OR DO NOTHING MORE. AND 3% SAID THEY DIDN’T KNOW. 2/3 SAID THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD BE DOING MORE. AND THEY’RE RIGHT. THEY’RE RIGHT.
2029
01:06:50,000 –>01:06:49,999
MORE. THE GOVERNMENT SHOULD BE DOING SO THAT’S WHY I WANT THAT POINT TO BE IN FRONT AS I DISCUSS THIS
2033
01:06:56,000 –>01:06:55,999
FUTURE. ISSUE OF AMERICA’S ENERGY WE TALKED ABOUT ENERGY TODAY AND I WANT TO DISCUSS THAT A LITTLE BIT MORE. WE NEED AN ENERGY PLAN, MR. SPEAKER, THAT PUTS THE INTERESTS OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE AHEAD OF THE INTERESTS OF BIG OIL. REPUBLICANS SAY THEY WANT
2043
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ALL-OF-THE-ABOVE APPROACH TO ENERGY THEM. SAY THAT ALL THE TIME. — TO ENERGY. THEY SAY THAT ALL THE TIME. GREAT DISCIPLINE ON THEIR PART. BUT THE ONLY THING THEY PRESENTED AS AN OIL ABOVE — IS AN OIL-ABOVE-ALL APPROACH. OIL ABOVE ALL ELSE. OIL ABOVE WIND. OIL ABOVE BIOMASS. ABOVE SOLAR. OIL ABOVE ANYTHING. AND THEY’VE PROVE BE THAT — PROVEN THAT THAT IS THEIR BELIEF BY THE BILLS THAT WE WERE DEALING WITH THIS WEEK. WE SHOULD NEVER MISTAKE THE INTERESTS OF BIG OIL AND THE POLLUTERS FOR THE INTERESTS OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. WE SHOULD ALWAYS UNDERSTAND THAT OIL IS ONE WAY TO POWER OUR COUNTRY AND FOR THE TIME BEING IT’S GOING TO BE A PART OF OUR ENERGY PORTFOLIO. BUT WE SHOULD NOT BE GIVING THEM MASSIVE SUBSIDIES, WE SHOULD NOT BE GIVING THEM MASSIVE SUNS DISWHEN THEY’RE — SUBSIDIES WHEN THEY’RE MAKING RECORD PROFITS. WE SHOULD NOT RELIEVE THEM OF BASIC HEALTH AND SAFETY PROTECTIONS TO MAKE SURE THAT OUR NATURAL WONDERS DON’T GET DESTROYED, OUR WILDLIFE DOESN’T GET DESTROYED, OUR RECREATIONAL INDUSTRIES DON’T GET DESTRID — DESTROYED. THE OIL SPILL IN THE GULF IS STILL FRESH IN MY MIND. AND I’M OUTRAGED, MR. SPEAKER, THAT B.P. WAS ABLE TO WRITE OFF THE COST OF THE CLEANUP. I DON’T THINK ENOUGH AMERICANS KNOW THAT B.P. WAS ALLOWED TO WRITE OFF THE COST OF THE CLEANUP OF THE GULF. IN OTHER WORDS, THEY SIMPLY FORCED THAT COST ON TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, WHICH I THINK IS TERRIBLY UNFORTUNATE. SO THIS WEEK THE REPUBLICANS BROUGHT AN ENERGY BILL TO THE FLOOR THAT SIMPLY CHECKS OFF FROM BIG OIL’S WISH LIST. TO ME IT FELT LIKE IF BIG OIL WAS TO HAVE A BIG WISH LIST, THE REPUBLICANS JUST PLAYED SANTA CLAUS. AND I DON’T THINK THAT’S RIGHT. I THINK WHAT WE SHOULD DO IS RECOGNIZE THE FACT THAT PETROLEUM WILL BE A PART OF OUR ENERGY PORTFOLIO, BUT WE SHOULD MINIMIZE IT, WE SHOULD PROMOTE OTHER SOURCES, GREEN SOURCES OF
2112
01:09:28,000 –>01:09:27,999
CONSERVATION. ENERGY, WIND, SOLAR, BIOMASS, WE SHOULD BE INVESTING IN INNOVATIVE APPROACHES, NOT JUST SUBSIDIZING THE FOSSIL FUEL INDUSTRY AS WE DO TO THE TUNE OF ABOUT 110, — $110 BILLION EVERY 10 YEARS. SO AS I SAID, MR. SPEAKER THIS WEEK REPUBLICANS BROUGHT AN ENERGY BILL TO THE FLOOR THAT SIMPLY CHECKS OFF FROM BIG OIL’S WISH LIST. IT WEAKENS PUBLIC HEALTH PROTECTIONS, IT FORCES ARBITRARY GIVEAWAYS OF PUBLIC LAND, AS I ALREADY MENTIONED. IT PUTS ENERGY DRILLING AHEAD OF ALL OTHER USES OF FEDERAL LAND. THE OIL, GAS AND COAL INDUSTRIES ARE ALREADY GETTING BILLIONS IN CORPORATE WELFARE. THEY WILL RECEIVE AT LEAST 110 — $110 BILLION IN SUBSIDIES OVER THE NEXT 10 YEARS. THESE SUBSIDIES HAVE BEEN WON BY DECADES OF LOBBYING. LOBBYING. THESE SUBSIDIES HAVE NOT BEEN WON BECAUSE WHAT THEY’RE ASKING CONGRESS TO DO IS SUCH A GREAT IDEA. THEY’VE HAD HIGH-PAID LOBBYISTS COME DOWN HERE AND WORK OVER MEMBERS OF CONGRESS TO GIVE THEM WHAT THEY WANTED AND IT HAS ACCUMULATED TO THE TUNE OF ABOUT $110 BILLION A YEAR. SO THEY HAVE A LOT OF POWER AROUND HERE. BUT I THINK THAT WE WOULD NOT BE SERVING THE PUBLIC PROPERLY IF WE JUST TURNED OVER PUBLIC LANDS SO THEY CAN DRILL IN THEM AND SPILL IN THEM AND MAKE ALL THESE MISTAKES THAT WE ULTIMATELY HAVE TO PAY FOR BECAUSE THEY HAVE WON THEMSELVES TAX BREAKS WHICH ALLOW THEM TO WRITE OFF THE COST OF THESE SPILLS. IN 2011 THE OIL, GAS AND COAL INDUSTRY SPENT $167 MILLION LOBBYING THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT. $167 MILLION PAID TO LOBBYISTS BY THE OIL, GAS AND COAL INDUSTRY. NOW, WHY IF THEY’RE RIGHT DO THEY HAVE TO SPEND SO MUCH MONEY
2170
01:11:21,000 –>01:11:20,999
THEY’RE SO RIGHT? TRYING TO CONVINCE CONGRESS THAT I MEAN, IF YOU’VE GOT A GOOD IDEA, WE WOULD BE ABLE TO REVIEW THE BILL AND VOTE YOUR WAY. IF YOU’VE GOT SOMETHING IN THE
2176
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INTERESTS OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. BUT IF YOU HAVE SOMETHING THAT’S FOR THE SPECIAL INTERESTS, WELL, YEAH, YOU KNOW, YOU GOT TO PULL OUT THE GUYS IN THE MONDAY GRAMMED SHIRTS AND THE — MONOGRAMMED SHIRTS AND THE $1,500 SUITS TO TELL THEM WHY WE GOT TO GIVE THEM THIS LOOPHOLE WHICH THEY BY THE WAY, MR. SPEAKER, ALWAYS PROMISE WILL BRING JOBS, BUT RARELY DOES ANYTHING BUT BRING THEM A LOT MORE PROFIT. BUT YOU KNOW WHAT, MR. SPEAKER? THE RENEWABLE ENERGY INDUSTRY ALSO NEEDS INVESTMENT, NOT JUST THE OIL INDUSTRY, WHICH DOESN’T NEED IT. CLEAN ENERGY IS THE FASTEST GROWING JOBS SECTOR IN THE WORLD. AMERICA SHOULD BE LEADING, NOT GETTING LEFT BEHIND. AS THE WORLD IS INVESTING IN NEW ENERGY PRODUCTION METHODS, AMERICA IS INVESTING IN PUTTING FUELS. NOW, ONE — FROM A SCIENTIFICS POINT OF VIEW, MR. SPEAKER, WE CALL THE OIL, COAL AND GAS
2208
01:12:36,000 –>01:12:35,999
INDUSTRIES FOSSIL FUELS. WHY? BECAUSE THESE FUELS ARE BASICALLY DERIVED FROM JUST HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF YEARS WORTH OF TIME GOING BY AND ORGANIC MATTER, TREES FROM A MILLION YEARS AGO AND SO FORTH, THIS IS WHAT IS — THIS IS WHAT FOSSIL FUEL IS MADE FROM. BUT I THINK THERE’S ANOTHER GOOD REASON TO CALL OIL, GAS AND COAL FOSSIL FUELS. IT’S BECAUSE THEY’RE THE OLD WAY OF DOING STUFF.
2223
01:13:07,000 –>01:13:06,999
WE NEED SOME NEW WAYS OF DOING ZUFF.
2225
01:13:09,000 –>01:13:08,999
ENERGY. WE NEED TO INVEST IN CLEAN IF WE WANT TO STAY THE STRONGEST ECONOMY IN THE WORLD, WE NEED TO INVEST IN INDUSTRIES GROWING THE FASTEST. EXPERTS SAY THAT INVESTING IN CLEAN ENERGY GETS MORE BANG FOR THE BUCK, MR. SPEAKER, IN CREATING JOBS IN THE FOSSIL FUEL INDUSTRY. CHARTER HAS SURPASSED THE UNITED STATES IN CLEAN — CHINA HAS
2238
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CLEAN ENERGY INVESTMENT. SURPASSED THE UNITED STATES IN
2240
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CHINA HAS SURPASSED THE UNITED STATES IN CLEAN ENERGY INVESTMENT. SPENDING ALMOST TWICE AS MUCH AS
2244
01:13:39,000 –>01:13:38,999
NOT FAR BEHIND. WE DO AND THE U.K. AND SPAIN ARE ANALYSTS BELIEVE THAT THE DEVELOPING NUCLEAR ENERGY TECHNIQUES LIKE WIND AND SOLAR COULD SUPPORT 20 MILLION JOBS BY
2250
01:13:49,000 –>01:13:48,999
2030 AND TRILLIONS OF DOLLARS IN REVENUE. AND YET THIS WEEK, ON THIS ENERGY BILL WE WERE DEALING WITH, THAT WAS NOT WHAT WE WERE TALKING ABOUT. ON THE LAND BILL WE DEALT WITH,
2257
01:13:58,000 –>01:13:57,999
ABOUT. THAT’S NOT WHAT WE WERE TALKING WE WERE GIVING MORE AND MORE TO THOSE WHO ALREADY HAD TOO MUCH, IN THE OLD INDUSTRY, WHERE WE NEED TO, YES, RECOGNIZE THAT OIL IS GOING TO BE PART OF OUR ENERGY PORTFOLIO, BUT IT SHOULDN’T DOMINATE IT. WE NEED TO INVEST IN NEW ENERGY WHERE THE JOB GROWTH CENTERS
2268
01:14:17,000 –>01:14:16,999
ARE. INVESTING IN CLEAN ENERGY CREATES THREE TIMES AS MANY JOBS AND MORE OPPORTUNITIES OF EVERY PAY GRADE THAN TRADITIONAL ENERGY JOBS. YET THESE ARE SUBSIDIZING — WE’RE SUBSIDIZING THE FOSSIL FUEL INDUSTRY SIX TIMES THE RATE THE RENEWABLE ENERGY INDUSTRY. I OFFER A SIMPLE AMENDMENT — I OFFERED LAST WEEK, MR. SPEAKER, I WENT TO THE RULES COMMITTEE, I HAD MY AMENDMENT, AND I OFFERED A SIMPLE AMENDMENT TO THE REPUBLICAN ENERGY BILL. IT WAS A COMMONSENSE PIECE THAT WAS RULED OUT OF ORDER AND WHEN I SAW SOME OF THE THINGS THAT
2288
01:14:55,000 –>01:14:54,999
SHOCKED. WERE RULED IN ORDER, I WAS
2290
01:14:57,000 –>01:14:56,999
ALL MY AMENDMENT SAID THAT WAS RULED OUT OF ORDER, WE WEREN’T ALLOWED TO DEBATE ON THE FLOOR, IS IT IS THE SENSE OF THE CONGRESS THAT THE FOSSIL FUEL SUBSIDIES SHOULD BE REDUCED TO HELP CONTROL THE BUDGET DEFICIT. NOW, MY FRIENDS IN THE REPUBLICAN MAJORITY ARE FAMOUS FOR HARPING ON THE DEFICIT AND THE DEBT. THEY ALWAYS TALK ABOUT OUR CHILDREN, OUR GRANDCHILDREN. I DON’T KNOW WHERE THEY CAME UP WITH THAT PRAISE BUT IT’S REMARKALBE TO ME THAT YOU CAN GET ALL THEM POLITICIANS TO SAY
2307
01:15:27,000 –>01:15:26,999
EXACTLY THE SAME THING ALL THE TIME. NOT SAYING THAT THERE WAS SOME STUDY GROUP OR POLL, I’M JUST SAYING IT’S A REMARKABLE COINCIDENCE. MY POINT IS, THOUGH, YOU WOULD THINK IF I SAID, HEY, LET’S HAVE THE $110 BILLION WE GIVE EVERY 10 YEARS TO THE FOSSIL FUEL INDUSTRY, LET’S LET THAT BE PART OF DEFICIT REDUCTION, YOU’D THINK THAT MY DEFICIT-HAWK FRIENDSES WOULD BE ALL OVER THAT. BUT UNFORTUNATELY WE WEREN’T EVEN ALLOWED TO DEBATE THAT BECAUSE OF COURSE THAT MIGHT — THAT MIGHT PUT SOME PEOPLE ON THE HOT SEAT. WE ALL WANT TO REDUCE AMERICA’S DEFICIT AND THE PROGRESSIVE CAUCUS INCLUDED, BUT WE WANT TO DO IT IN A WAY THAT PROMOTES GREEN JOBS, REDUCES OUR DEPENDENCY ON FOSSIL FUELS AND HYDROCARBON FUELS AND INCREASES CONSERVATION AND GREEN ENERGY. BUT BY MAINTAINING THESE SUBSIDIES, IT INCREASES THE
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01:16:25,000 –>01:16:24,999
DEFICIT BY $110 BILLION EVERY 10 YEARS. I HOPE MY COLLEAGUES ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE AISLE, ESPECIALLY THE FISCAL CONSERVATIVES, AGREE THAT $110 BILLION IN FOSSIL FUEL SUBSIDIES IS — TO PROFITABLE COMPANIES DOESN’T MAKE ANY SENSE. WE NEED A TRUE ALL-OF-THE-ABOVE STRATEGY AS PRESIDENT OBAMA HAS SAID THAT INVESTS IN CLEAN, RENEWABLE ENERGY, NOT THIS OIL ABOVE ALL BILL THAT WE SAW THIS WEEK. VERY SAD AND UNFORTUNATE. MR. SPEAKER, I’D NOW LIKE TO TURN OUR ATTENTION TO ANOTHER ISSUE WHICH I THINK IS REALLY IMPORTANT AND REALLY WE NEED TO FOCUS SOME ATTENTION ON. AND THAT IS THE ISSUE OF ATTORNEY GENERAL HOLDER. TODAY REPUBLICANS ON THE HOUSE OVERSIGHT AND GOVERNMENT REFORM COMMITTEE VOTED TO HOLD ATTORNEY GENERAL HOLDER IN CONTEMPT OF CONGRESS. THIS WAS A SAD OCCASION BECAUSE ATTORNEY GENERAL HOLDER IS A GREAT AMERICAN AND DESERVES BETTER TREATMENT THAN HE GOT FROM THE REPUBLICAN MAJORITY HOUSE OVERSIGHT AND GOVERNMENT REFORM COMMITTEE. ALONG WITH ALL AMERICANS, I CERTAINLY MOURN THE LOSS OF THE CUSTOMS AND BORDER PROTECTION AGENT, BRIAN TERY. MR. TERRY WAS A PUBLIC SERVANT WHO DESERVED TO BE — TO LIVE HIS LIFE. AND IT IS A HORRIBLE SHAME THAT HE WAS KILLED IN A GUN FIGHT IN ARIZONA, DECEMBER, 2010. WE ALL AGREE THAT THE GUN WALKING POLICY WHICH WAS A POLICY STARTED IN THE BUSH ADMINISTRATION AND THAT ALLOWED THOUSANDS OF GUNS TO BE BOUGHT
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01:18:00,000 –>01:17:59,999
BY WEAPONS TRAFFICKERS SHOULD BE INVESTIGATED. THIS PROGRAM HAS NO SIGNS OF MERIT THAT I CAN SEE AND IT’S TOO BAD. BUT HERE’S THE THING. THIS IS WHY IT’S UNFAIR TO HOLD ATTORNEY GENERAL HOLDER IN CONTEMPT. AS SOON AS HE LEARNED OF THE TACTIC, THIS GUN WALKING THING, ATTORNEY GENERAL HOLDER CONDEMNED THE TACTIC AND ORDER THE INSPECTOR GENERAL TO INVESTIGATE. AND SINCE THEN HE’S TESTIFIED BEFORE CONGRESS SEVEN TIMES AND PROVIDED MORE THAN 6,000 PAGES OF DOCUMENTATION AS ASKED FOR. AT THIS POINT THE GOVERNMENT REFORM AND OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE WAS DEMANDING A DOCUMENT AND THE EXECUTIVE, AS IS THE TRADITION IN EVERY EXPECT — AND EVERY EXECUTIVE SAID, DOCUMENTS THAT ARE BASICALLY CONVERSATIONS BETWEEN A CLIENT AND A LAWYER, AND BASICALLY ARE DELIBERATIVE DOCUMENTS, ARE NOT THE PROPER STUFF FOR DISCLOSURE AND THE PRESIDENT ASSERTED EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE AND WHAT HAPPENS THEN IS THE ATTORNEY GENERAL GETS HIT WITH A CONTEMPT OF CONGRESS. INSTEAD OF WORKING IN GOOD FAITH TO INVESTIGATE WHAT WENT WRONG, IT APPEARS THAT REPUBLICANS ON THE COMMITTEE AN MAYBE NEXT WEEK ON HOUSE FLOOR HAVE USED THIS STRATEGY FOR POLITICAL GAIN. EVEN AFTER ATTORNEY GENERAL HOLDER PROVIDED 6,000 PAGES OF DOCUMENTS TO CONGRESS, HOUSE REPUBLICANS SUBPOENAED HIGHLY SENSITIVE DOCUMENTS INCLUDING PHOTOGRAPHS OF CRIME SCENES AND REPORTS ON A CONFIDENTIAL INFORMANT IN ORDER TO SCORE PARTISAN POLITICAL POINTS. THIS IS A MISUSE OF THE GAVEL. AND LAST WEEK THEY WILL TELL — THEY WITH HELD FUNDING FOR OUR NATION’S LAW ENFORCEMENT OPERATIONS IN RETALIATION. WE SHOULD NOT WITHHOLD FUNDING FROM OUR NATION’S LAW ENFORCEMENT OPERATIONS SIMPLY TO SCORE POLITICAL POINTS. THIS IS A MISTAKE, IT IS WRONG AND I JUST HOPE, MR. SPEAKER, THAT THERE’S NO ONE IN NEED OF LAW ENFORCEMENT RESOURCES THAT DOESN’T GET THEM BECAUSE OF THIS SPAT THAT THE CHAIR OF THE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE HAS GOING ON WITH ATTORNEY GENERAL HOLDER. IT’S LETTING — THERE’S AN AFRICAN PROVERB, MR. SPEAKER, THAT I THINK YOU MIGHT APPRECIATE AND IT SAYS, WHEN THE ELEPHANTS FIGHT, ONLY THE GRASS GETS TRAMPLED. AND SO WHEN THE CHAIR OF THE OVERSIGHT COMMITTEE WANTS TO FIGHT WITH THE ATTORNEY GENERAL, ONLY REGULAR PEOPLE WHO NEED LAW ENFORCEMENT RESOURCES SUFFER. AND SO I’M SAD THAT THAT HAPPENED AND I HOPE TODAY THAT WE CAN ABANDON THIS TIME OF WITCH HUNTS. LAST TIME — I MEAN, THE REPUBLICANS WENT AFTER PRESIDENT CLINTON A FEW YEARS AGO. IT DIDN’T HELP THEM. THEY IMPEACHED HIM BUT COULDN’T CON V.I.N. VICT HIM. TOOK UP A — CONVICT HIM. TOOK UP A LOT OF TIME. CLEARLY WERE NOT ABLE TO FOCUS ON THE NEEDS OF THE COUNTRY AND I HOPE THAT THEY LEARNED A LESSON AND REFOCUS ON THINGS LIKE INTEREST RATES ON STUDENT LOANS, THAT’S GETTING READY TO
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01:21:08,000 –>01:21:07,999
BILL. GO UP, AND THE TRANSPORTATION THESE ARE THINGS WE NEED TO FOCUS ON. NOT THIS POLITICAL STUFF THEY’RE TRYING TO USE TO POSITION THEMSELVES FOR THE ELECTION. THAT’S ALL I WANT TO SAY ABOUT THAT FOR NOW, MR. SPEAKER. YOU KNOW, I WANT TO TALK A LITTLE BIT ALSO, TO CHANGE THE SUBJECT, MR. SPEAKER, ABOUT MONEY AND POLITICS. THE PROGRESSIVE CAUCUS PASSED A SOMETHING CALLED RESOLUTION WEEK AND THIS IS WHEN MUNICIPALITIES, CITY COUNCILS ALL ACROSS AMERICA PASSED RESOLUTIONS ASKING CONGRESS TO INITIATE A PROCESS TO OVERTURN CITIZENS UNITED VERSUS THE FEDERAL ELECTIONS COMMISSION. NOW, THE CITIZENS UNITED VERSUS THE FEDERAL ELECTIONS COMMISSION BASICALLY CAME TO THE CONCLUSION THAT MONEY WAS SPEECH AND CORPORATIONS WERE PEOPLE. CORPORATIONS ARE NOT PEOPLE, THEY DON’T — I’VE NEVER SEEN A CORPORATION PUT ON A UNIFORM AND GO TO WAR. THEY’VE BEEN CONTRACTORS, BUT THEY’RE NOT PEOPLE WHO GO RISK THEIR LIVES. THEY DON’T HAVE CHILDREN. THEY DON’T RAISE FAMILIES. CORPORATIONS HAVE LIMITED LIABILITY. THEY ARE DESIGNED TO DO ONE THING AND ONE THING ONLY, MAKE MONEY FOR ITS OWNERS. SAID THAT CORPORATIONS IS A PERSON AND PERSONS HAVE THE RIGHT TO FREEDOM OF SPEECH AND SO ANY MONEY THEY WANT TO PUT ON ANY CAMPAIGN THEY CAN. AND WHAT THIS HAS DONE IS REALLY TURNED OUR ELECTIONS INTO AUCTIONS. AND THE HIGHEST BIDDER WINS. THIS IS A SHAME. WE NEED TO OVERTURN CITIZENS UNITED. BUT THE PROGRESSIVE CAUCUS WAS HONORED TO BE PART OF RESOLUTIONS WEEK WHEN WE SAW OFFICIALS PASSING RESOLUTIONS ACROSS AMERICAN CITIES ASKING
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01:23:07,000 –>01:23:06,999
CONGRESS TO OVERTURN CITIZENS UNITED. IF WE’RE GOING TO GET A CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT OVERTURNING CITIZENS UNITED WE NEED AN AWESOME PUBLIC DISPLAY, AWESOME AMOUNT OF COMMUNITY RISING UP AND DEMANDING THAT THIS HAPPEN AND THIS WEEK — LAST WEEK WE SAW CITIES DO IT. VERY HONORED THAT MINNEAPOLIS PASSED A RESOLUTION CALLING FOR THE OVERTURN OF CITIZENS UNITED. ALSO HONORED THAT THE CITY OF ST. PAUL PASSED A RESOLUTION OVERTURNING CITIZENS UNITED. DULUTH SEVERAL MONTHS AGO. ALSO, NEW YORK, LOS ANGELES, CHICAGO IS CONSIDERING A BILL,
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01:23:48,000 –>01:23:47,999
AND THERE ARE MANY, MANY, MANY MORE. OVER 1,600 ELECTED PUBLIC OFFICIALS, BOTH LOCAL, STATE AND FEDERAL HAVE JOINED TOGETHER AND SAID THIS IS BAD LEGISLATION. AND I WAS VERY HONORED THAT THE PROGRESSIVE CAUCUS WAS A PART OF IT. BY ORGANIZING FROM THE GROUND UP WE CAN RESTORE DRAUKS TO THE PEOPLE, FOR THE — DEMOCRACY TO THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE AND BY THE PEOPLE.
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01:24:14,000 –>01:24:13,999
AND SEVERAL MEMBERS OF CONGRESS HAVE INTRODUCED CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS TO OVERTURN CITIZENS UNITED. MR. SPEAKER, AS YOU MAY KNOW, THE TRADITIONAL METHOD TO GET A
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01:24:24,000 –>01:24:23,999
AGAIN, THERE ARE NOW 7 CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT, AND, CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS, WE NEED ONE MORE TO OVERTURN CITIZENS UNITED, CONGRESS WILL PASS SOMETHING AND THEN THEY’LL SEND IT THE TO THE STATES AND THEN 2/3 OF THE STATES NEED TO PASS IT AND THEN THE PRESIDENT SIGN IT AND THEN IT’S CHANGED. THE PROCESS, HOWEVER, NEEDS TO BE WELL SUPPORTED BY THE PUBLIC, AND SO WE HAVE TRIED TO START THIS GRASSROOTS MOVEMENT JOINING WITH OTHER LEADERS LIKE MOVE TO AMEND AND OTHERS TO SEE CITIZENS UNITED OVERTURNED. WE HAVE 12 MEMBERS OF CONGRESS THAT INTRODUCED BILLS TO HAVE AN OVERTURNING OF THE CITIZENS UNITED AND I AM VERY EXCITED WE ARE PARTNERING WITH CITY OFFICIALS WHO IS VERY HONORED TO REPRESENT 12 CITIES IN MY DISTRICT, ALL GREAT PUBLIC SERVANTS THERE AND HOPE WE CAN WORK TOGETHER TO SAY THAT MONEY SHOULD NOT OVERWHELM THE POLITICAL PROCESS. MR. SPEAKER, ONE CITY OFFICIAL SAID, LOOK, YOU KNOW, PEOPLE MAY THINK THIS IS SOME BIG
2615
01:25:34,000 –>01:25:33,999
NATIONAL ISSUE BUT THINK ABOUT THIS. IF A WEALTHY INDIVIDUAL WANTS TO HAVE A DEVELOPMENT IN A PARTICULAR PART OF TOWN WHERE THE CITY COUNCIL SAYS, YOU KNOW WHAT, THIS IS ZONED POUR PARKS OR RESIDENTIAL OR WHATEVER, IT’S NOT APPROPRIATE TO GO HERE, A WEALTHY INDIVIDUAL COULD SIMPLY DUMP AS MUCH MONEY THEY WANT TO IN A CITY RACE TO THE OPPONENT AND GIVE MONEY TO THE OPPONENT OF THE PEOPLE OPPOSING THIS PROJECT AND THEN BASICALLY BUY OUT THE CITY COUNCIL. SO THIS IS SOMETHING THAT LOCAL OFFICIALS ARE CORRECTLY CONCERNED ABOUT. THE BOTTOM LINE IS WE HAVE TO MOVE FORWARD AND I’M PROUD THAT THE PROGRESSIVE CAULKS IS PART OF THIS EFFORT — CAUCUS IS PART OF THIS EFFORT. THE WORK WE DID LAST WEEK I THOUGHT WAS GREAT. THE PROGRESSIVE CAUCUS HAS COME UP WITH AN IMPORTANT DECLARATION. SINCE WE HAVE ALL THESE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS, I THINK 12 OF THEM, WE HAD TO COME IN UNITY, SOME KIND OF WAY. WHAT WE DECIDED TO DO WAS THIS, ALL JOIN ON A DECLARATION AND THE DECLARATION SAYS THIS, MR. SPEAKER. WE DECLARE OUR SUPPORT FOR AMENDING THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES TO RESTORE THE RIGHTS OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE UNDERMINED BY CITIZENS UNITED AND RELATED CASES TO
2660
01:27:08,000 –>01:27:07,999
NATION. PROTECT THE INTEGRITY OF OUR AND SO THAT’S WHAT THE DECLARATION SAYS. OVER 1,600 ELECTED OFFICIALS, TWO STATE LEGISLATURES, MORE THAN 150 CITIES AND TOWNS ALL CALLING FOR REPEAL AND OVERTURNING OF CITIZENS UNITED. AND IF I COULD MAKE JUST AN EXAMPLE, WE’VE SEEN OUTSIDE SPENDING ON CAMPAIGNS UP 1,600% SINCE CITIZENS UNITED CAME IN. UP 1,600% SINCE CITIZENS UNITED. AND QUITE FRANKLY IT’S REALLY SOMETHING. IT’S GONE CRAZY AND WE HAVE TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT. BUT I THINK IT’S IMPORTANT AND YOU MIGHT BE THINKING, MR. SPEAKER, WELL, WHAT DO WE DO BETWEEN NOW AND WHEN WE PASS THE CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENT? WHEN THING WE COULD DO TODAY IS PASS THE DISCLOSE ACT. THIS IS A PIECE OF LEGISLATION BY REPRESENTATIVE CHRIS VAN HOLLEN, VERY DIE MADAMIC LEADER, A GENTLEMAN FROM MARYLAND, AND IT REQUIRES — VERY DYNAMIC LEADER, A GENTLEMAN FROM MARYLAND, AND IT HAS WHERE YOU HAVE A SITUATION WHERE SOME BILLIONAIRE TAKES THEIR PERSONAL MONEY, DUMPS IT IN THE SUPERPAC AND THE SUPERPAC SPENDS THE MONEY AND WE DON’T KNOW WHO IS SPENDING THE MONEY. UNDER THE DISCLOSE ACT WE FIND
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01:28:36,000 –>01:28:35,999
OUT THE IDENTITY OF SOME OF THOSE PEOPLE. BY THE WAY, SOME OF THE MONEY WE ARE CREEPING INTO AMERICAN ELECTIONS VERY WELL COULD BE MONEY FROM FOREIGN SOURCES. SENATOR MCCAIN VERY CORRECTLY POINTED OUT THAT THERE’S ONE WEALTHY INDIVIDUAL WHO HAS BEEN PUTTING A LOT OF MONEY INTO ELECTION CAMPAIGNS AND IS A BILLIONAIRE AND OWNS A CASINO IN CHINA AND IS GETTING — HE’S USING HIS WEALTH TO INFLUENCE AMERICAN ELECTIONS. SO THAT’S FOREIGN MONEY IF THAT’S THE WAY IT IS. THE THING IS WE DO NOT WANT PEOPLE OUTSIDE THE UNITED STATES TRYING TO SHAPE THE ELECTIONS IN OUR COUNTRY. AND SO THIS IS THE THING WE ARE MOVING FORWARD. OVERTURN CITIZENS UNITED. AMEND AND DISCLOSE. AMEND THE CONSTITUTION AND DISCLOSE SECRET DONORS. AND I CLOSE ON THIS, MR. SPEAKER — I CLOSE THIS SECTION ON THIS POINT. CORPORATIONS ARE NOT PEOPLE AND DEMOCRACY SHOULD NEVER EVER BE FOR SALE. MR. SPEAKER, HOW MUCH TIME DO I HAVE? THE
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01:29:44,000 –>01:29:43,999
GENTLEMAN HAS 11 MINUTES REMAINING. WITH THESE LAST 11 MINUTES, I WOULD LIKE TO TAKE JUST A FEW MINUTES TO TALK ABOUT THIS COLLEGE LOAN ISSUE.

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