tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN July 22, 2009 5:00pm-8:00pm EDT
only the osce but his compliment to me and the work that i've done that could not have been done but for the extraordinary work that he and others that are members of the csce, referred to as the helsinki commission here in washington, undertake. chris has been the special representative on a subject of vital concern to the world and that is, human trafficking and he has no peer, not only in this institution, but in the 56 participating states, he is fully recognized in that regard. . mr. speaker, i rise in great honor of the osce. my good friend, majority leader, steny hoyer and i introduced h.res. 654 with 16 other colleagues to recognize the contributions of a unique partnerpship of the osce which
engages algeria, egypt, israel, jordan, morocco, and tunisia in supporting security and stability in the mediterranean region. i truly like to thank my friends on the committee on foreign affairs, especially chairman howard berman and ranking member elian yab ros-lehtinen, and subcommittee chairs, gary ackerman, robert wexler, donald payne, bill delahunt, and mr. faleomavaega. as well as ranking members chris smith and dana rohrabacher, who all supported this resolution and demonstrated the pivotal political importance of positive partnerships with north africa and the middle east. mr. speaker, it's also my pleasure to welcome representatives of these states to washington, d.c., for the commission on security and cooperation in europe's mediterranean partners. as i speak, a reception is ongoing being hosted by the speaker of the house for these
members who are here for this seminar. i thank our speaker as well. high level delegation from all over the mediterranean partner countries are participating in this seminar, along with the president of the osce parliamentary assembly, representatives of the greek chairmanship of the osce in office, and other osce participating states, including, chris, can stick stand -- cassic stand has representatives here. mr. speaker, for the past several years i served as parliamentary assembly special representative for mediterranean affairs and it's through this work that i sought along with others to enhance the long-standing relationship between the osce participating states and the mediterranean partners. in the interest of time, i would ask unanimous consent that my full statement be made a part of the record, but i would point out since 1975 much has been
accomplished. however, much more needs to be done. the commission seminar seeks to support these efforts and reprioritize the potential of this essential partnership. mr. speaker, i thank my friends again for their support and urge my colleagues to vote for h.res. 654 to truly sustain vital diplomatic instruments and partnerships which bring greater stability and prosperity to our world and our -- i renew again my unanimous consent that my full statement be made part of the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman's statement will appeared in the record. so ordered. the gentleman from new jersey. mr. smith: we reserve the balance of our time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. klein: reserve the balance of our time. mr. smith: do i yield back the balance of our time. -- i do yield back the balance of our time. the gentleman from florida, mr. klein. mr. klein: thank you, mr. speaker. i have no further requests for time. i yield back the balance of my
time. the speaker pro tempore: the question is, will the house suspend the rules and agree to house resolution 654. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the resolution is agreed to, and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid upon the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from florida rise? mr. klein: mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and agree to h.res. 538 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 538, resolution supporting olympic day on june 23 , 2009, and encouraging the international olympic committee to select chi, illinois, as the host city for the 2016 olympic and paraolympic games. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from florida, mr. klein, and the gentleman from new jersey, mr. smith, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the
gentleman from florida. mr. klein: thank you, mr. speaker. i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on the bill under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. klein: mr. speaker, i rise in strong support of this legislation and yield myself as much time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for as much time as he may consume. mr. klein: thank you, mr. speaker. let me begin by thanking the gentlelady from illinois, ms. schakowsky, for introducing this resolution supporting olympic day and encouraging the international olympic committee to select chicago as the host city for the 2016 olympic and paralympic games. h.res. 538 provides an opportunity for the house to celebrate the olympic ideal of peace through sport and recognize olympic day, the founding anniversary of the modern olympic games. for over a century the modern olympic games have brought together athletes from around the world in the process -- in
the process has helped forge countless relationships bound by friendship, solidarity, and fair play. olympic day promotes the olympic ideal by encouraging the teaching of olympic history, health, arts, culture to students across the country. it also encourages a new generation of american athletes to take part in olympic and paralympic sports. it is only fitting we also urge the international olympic committee to support the city of chicago's bid to host the 2016 olympic and paralympic games. last year the i.o.c. named chicago as one of the finalist cities to host the games and the winning city will be selected this october. hosting the 2016 games would bring significant benefits to chicago, one of our nation's truly world class cities, and would provide an excellent opportunity for american athletes to compete in the
summer olympic and paralympic games in front of a home crowd for the first time since 1996. i congratulate the gentlelady from illinois for her tireless efforts, along with the other members of the delegation torques promote their city's bid to host the 2016 summer games and to urge my colleagues to support this resolution. mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from new jersey, mr. smith, is recognized. mr. smith: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. smith: i rise in support of h.res. 538, supporting olympic day and encouraging the international olympics committee to select chicago ill, -- chicago, illinois, for the 2016 olympic games. i congratulate my good friend and colleague, ms. schakowsky, for sponsoring this, bringing it to the floor today. i think it sends a clear message to the solidarity that we have this this be the venue for the 2016 olympic games. last month the world observed the 61st annual olympic day. a celebration commemorating the
creation of the international olympics committee. olympic day was first observed in 1948. 54 years after the founding of the international olympic committee. as the only annual worldwide event of the olympic movement, olympic day is a fitting tribute to the ideals of the olympic charter. these are to create and i quote, a way of life based on the joy of effort, educational valu of good example, and respect for universal fundamental ethical principles, and to, quote, play sport at the service of the harmonious development of man, and i would add woman, and a view towards promoting a peaceful society concerned with the preservation of human dignity. the theme of this year's olympic day is, move, learn, and discover. and it was celebrated last month with the 22ed in annual olympic day one run sponsored in various locations around the world by over 150 national olympic committees. this resolution also encourages the selection of chicago
illinois as the host city for the 2016 olympic and paralympic games. selected in april of 2007 as the united states bid city for the summer olympics in 2016, chicago is a thriving example of our nation's harptland, its urban vitality, and remarkable diversity. the contributions ever international sport, personal fitness, and international understanding deserve our recognition. i thank again my distinguished colleague from illinois for introducing this resolution which deserves our unanimous support. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. klein: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield two minutes to the gentlelady from illinois, one of the sponsors of the bill. a great fan of chicago and red ready to go. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from chicago is recognized. ms. schakowsky: i thank the gentleman. mr. speaker, i rise today in support of house resolution 538,
a bipartisan resolution i introduced to express the support of the house of representatives for the city of chicago's bid to host the summer olympics in 2016. mr. speaker, in the summer of 2016, athletes from all over the world will come together to compete in the modern olympiad. a series of games that has represented peace and hope since it first began more than 100 years ago. in april, 2007, chicago was selected by the united states olympic committee as the one and only united states bid city and on june 4, 2008, the international olympic committee named chicago as one of the four finalists to host the 31st olympiad. i can't think of any better place to host these games. on the edge of the great lakes, chicago boasts a magnificent skyline and a diverse population that prides itself not only on its history, but on what it will -- what will be achieved in the
future. chicago has overcome adversity to rise up as the crown jewel of the midwest, embracing hard work and hospitality as a cornerstone value. the united states and the white house have each taken unprecedented steps to express support for the 2016 olympics to be hosted in chicago. mayor richard daly has organized an incredible group of civic and political and business leaders in support of our bid, and it is my hope that my colleagues in the house will join in this cause by supporting this important resolution. the bipartisan resolution recognizes june 23 as olympic day and supports the city -- of chicago's bid to host the 2016 summer olympics. i realize that that day has passed, but i think that when we join together to support this resolution, we will be expressing our support for our great city of chicago. i strongly urge my colleagues to support it. i yield back the balance of my
time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. does the gentleman roifer the balance of his time? mr. klein: i reserve. mr. smith: i yield such time as he may consume to the gentleman from illinois, mr. shimkus. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois, is recognized. mr. shimkus: i'm just standing to commend my colleague, congresswoman schakowsky, for this great effort and reaffirm the fact that this is a true bipartisan support from the illinois delegation and more importantly not just bipartisan, but the entire illinois delegation both upstate and downstate. sometimes our state is very large like many other states. so we have our differences regionial. but this is one where we are truly united and we signea letter in support. we see the benefits to show off not just the state of illinois, but the great city of chicago. the city that does work. we invite the world community there and the rest of the state during this. and we hope we are very
successful in landing eventually the olympics. it will be great for the country. it will be great for the state of illinois. it will be great for the city of chicago. i want to commend my colleague and yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. klein: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield two minutes to the gentleman from illinois, mr. jackson. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois is recognized. mr. jackson: mr. speaker, i rise in strong support of h.res. 538, a resolution supporting chicago, my hometown's bid to host the summer olympics and paralympics in 2016 and congratulate congresswoman schakowsky for rallying the congress behind this effort. chicago is an ideal host for these games. since the world's fair in chicago in 1893, the city and its people have been internationally recognized for hosting magnificent events. with world class museums, outstanding restaurants, numerous accommodations, the city would profound a resounding, welcome, hardy embrace, and ideal environmental to host olympic athletes and
visitors from around the world. they are also known for their passion for sports. the world famous chicago bulls, chicago bears, chi blackhawks, the chicago cubs, and chicago white sox. furthermore the olympic games will bring many needed jobs. chicago 2016 has worked with more than 75 community groups to ensure opportunities in construction, procurement, and jobs will be shared by everybody. the games will create the equivalent of 315,000 full-time jobs for at least one year and generate $7 billion in wages. chicago's bed uses existing facilities, lake 23r07b9, and parks so no residents will be displaced as a result of construction related to the games. the new permanent venues proposed would serve communities after the games providing sports facilities, pools, tennis courts, and recreational spaces in our parks. the international olympic committee will make a decision on october 3. i can't think of a better way for the house to support chicago's bid and america's bid
than voting for this resolution. i urge my colleagues to vote aye. i yield back the balance of my time. i thank the gentleman for yielding. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from florida reserves the balance of his time. mr. smith: we have no further speakers. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from florida. mr. klein: mr. speaker, i have no further requests for time. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the question is will the house suspend the rules and agree to house resolution 538 as amended. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the -- the gentleman from new jersey. mr. smith: i object to the vote on the grounds a quorum is not present and make a point of order a quorum is not present. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20 and the chair's prior announcement, further proceedings on this motion will be postponed. . for what purpose does the
gentleman from florida rise? mr. klein: mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and agree to the resolution, h.res. 285. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 285, resolution congratulating the people of the republic of lithuania on the 1,000th anniversary of lithuania and celebrating the rich history of lithuania. the spker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from florida, mr. klein, and the gentleman from new jersey, mr. smith, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from florida. mr. klein: thank you, mr. speaker. and i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on the resolution under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. klein: mr. speaker, i rise to support h.res. 285 which recognizes the 1,000-year anniversary of lithuania and yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. klein: i wish to thank my good friend from illinois, mr. shimkus, for introducing this
legislation. it allows the house to add its voice to the senate's in congratulating the lithuanian people on this momentous occasion. in the year 1009, the name lithuania appeared in european records in a german manuscript and the gentleman from illinois would note that a number of us democrats and republicans were in lithuania earlier this year and had the opportunity to meet with the government, talk about the history and it was a great opportunity. since that time, the country has had a long and distinguished history. the state of lithuania was established by duke in 1236. he had his official coronation as king in a date that was still celebrated as a national holiday in lithuania. but the end of the 14th century, lithuania had become the largest country in europe. on february 16, 1918, lithuania was established as a sovereign and democratic state. on june, 1940, lithuania, along with its baltic neighbors, was
forcibly incorporate rated into the soviet union. on march 11, 1990, lithuania became the first soviet republic to declare its independence. lithuania has since become an active member of the international community, helping to strengthen euro-atlantic relations through its participation in nato and the european union. lithuanias a helped secure peace and stability through its many contributions to international and civilian military operations in afghanistan, iraq and the balkans. lithuania has also been a strong ally of the united states as our countries marked 85 years of continuous diplomatic relations in 2007. the subject of lithuanian-american relations came up during our recent participation in the transatlantic legislators dialogue. members of congress felt it was important to urge lithuania to enact property restitution laws in order to bring some sense of justice and closure to the families of victims of the holocaust and i look forward to working with our colleagues in
lithuania to resolve this issue. this will surely continue to strengthen our relationship. while we americans celebrate our national independence on july fourth, the people of lithuania commemorated their day of statehood on july 6. it is therefore appropriate that the house passes a resolution to congratulate lithuania on its 1,000th anniversary and reaffirm the close ties between our peoples and countries. mr. speaker, i strongly support this resolution and urge my colleagues to do the same and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from new jersey. mr. smith: mr. speaker, i yield such time as he may consume to the gentleman from illinois, mr. shimkus, the author of the resolution. the chair: the gentleman from -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois is recognized for as much time as he may consume. mr. shimkus: revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. shimkus: thank you, mr. speaker.
mr. speaker, i come to the floor humbly as a fourth generation immigrant family of lithuania. of course, i like many americans today are really a heinz 57 mutt, also having german ancestry and irish ancestry and we think some american indian ancestry, but shimkus is ethnically lithuanian. so i always kid and joke that it's only in washington, d.c., that you automatically become an expert in the region of the world based on the ethnicity of your last name. but it's a labor of love that i've taken and hence i bring this resolution to the floor to place lithuania in the spotlight. before i do that, i want to read a letter from three friends and former leaders of the balance tack countries and -- baltic countries and 22 total leaders. a former president of the republic of lithuania, former president of the republic of lat via and the former prime
minister of estonia. i'm not going to read the whole letter but i'm going to highlight a few sections and then i'm going to transition to state why resolutions like this are important because sometimes we go, oh, why did we do these resolutions? and i think the letter that they've written highlights the importance of us continuing to mention our friends and allies and talk about the strengths of the relationships. this letter's about three pages long, but i've just highlighted a few short snippets in each one. they write, again, these are 22 leaders of not just the baltic areas but the central and eastern european democracies, most of these are now no longer in public service, but are former leaders. they say, 20 years after the end of the cold war, however, we see that central and eastern european countries are no longer at the heart of american foreign policy. americans have largely stopped worrying about -- now that's
positive about some of our successes, but it also raises concerns. there's a growing sense of nervousness in the region. nato today seems weaker than when we joined. they also say that the reasons deeper integration in the e.u., of course, welcome and should not necessarily lead to a weakening of the transatlantic relationship. also stated is there are fewer and fewer leaders who emerged from the revolutions of 1989 who experienced washington's key role in securing our democratic transition and anchoring our countries in nato and the e.u. a new generation of leaders is emerging who do not have these memories and follow a more realistic policy. i think that's important for to us understand. these countries fought for freedom but the leaders who fought for freedom are now leaving power. and this new generation needs -- needs to be reminded of the
strength of the u.s. relationship to the former captain nations from eastern european countries. they also in here talk about, we welcome the reset but there's also nervous innocence our capitals. our region suffered when the united states succumbed to realism at yalta and it benefited when the united states usedity power to fight for principle. and that's what i hope we continue to do. we believe this is a time both for the united states and europe -- need to reinvest in that transatlantic relationship. so i appreciate the committee allowing the resolution to come to the floor because this is another way in which he can can -- we can talk about the important relationship that we have. the resolution itself talks about the thousand years which they're celebrating in lithuania, the thousand year when is the name lithuania first appeared in written documents.
lithuania was around before that but that makes us look like little kids here in the united states. but hence the world is much older than our great constitutional republic. there's a lot of whereases in here. whereas under the cover of the pact on june 17, 1940, lat via, estonia and lithuania were incorporate rated in a the soviet union in -- incorporated into the soviet union. another whereas, lithuania and full responsible member of the united nations, an organization for security and corporation in europe -- cooperation in europe. full partners, full voting partners and full participants in the defense organization known as nato and the article five guarantees to both themselves and other nato countries. they are -- another whereas, whereas contributing to
international civilian and military operations in afghanistan, iraq, bosnia, kosovo and georgia, which are all important aspects that they have stepped up to the plate to be part of this commitment to securing democracy and freedom and the war on terror. so we as a country get a chance through this resolution to congratulate the people of the republic of lithuania for this historical timeframe. we commend the government of lithuania for their commitment to democracy, freedom, the rule of law and being allies in the campaigns that we in connection with our treaty obligations and the greatest organization that's kept peace and stability that the world has known which is nato, their role in that. and we want to continue to recognize that this relationship is strong now and we'll do all
we can in our part to make it strong in the future and i thank my colleague from florida -- and i this my colleague from florida mentioned all these challenges weefpk addressed and we'll continue to work on those so that our relationship becomes stronger in a world where democracy and freedom needs to flourish for people to live the lifestyles that they will grow and flourish individually and i thank the committee for bringing -- bringing this, allowing this to the floor and i thank congressman smith for allowing me this time and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman fromy illinois yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from new jersey reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from florida. mr. klein: reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida reserves his time and has the right to close. the gentleman from new jersey. mr. smith: i yield myself such time as i may consume. i rise in strong support of my friend and colleague's resolution celebrating the rich history of lithuania. i was recently back in lithuania
just a couple of weeks ago, mr. speaker, for the july meeting of the parliamentary assembly of the organization for security and cooperation in europe and saw once again the beautiful city of vilnius, a city with a historic history and -- but more important than the city and its physical attractiveness is the people themselves, the kindness, the generosity and a goodness and a goodness which is truly remarkable. the lithuanians as we know were occupied, they were often called a captive nation, one of the baltic captive nations. in 1940 they were brought into the soviet union by force. a grave injustice that this congress has never recognized and thankfully now since 1990 they were the first of the so-called soviet republics to declare its independence. since securing their independence from the soviet union the lithuanians have won the world's admiration by making lithuania a free country that truly respects fundamental human rights. the lithuanian government conducts democratic and fair elections, respects the rule of law and the lithuania economy is
free. mr. speaker, the united states owes lithuania a debt of gratitude. while the united states did not free lithuania from soviet domination, they did that themselves, lithuania has recognized the common values it shares with the united states and has deployed its soldiers to do duty alongside ours in afghanistan, iraq, bossny' area, kosovo, as well as in georgia. let me also point out that back in the early 1990's, i was part of a delegation led by steny hoyer, when the soviets looked like they were about to take over the parliament and rush it with the black berets, several of us traveled to vilnius to be there, to be in solidarity with the president who was under siege and the belief was that if sufficient numbers of parliamentarians were there as witnesses, it might have a chilling affect on soviet ambitions and they might not storm that parliament. what we found in vilnius were
people who were literally praying night and day, people outside the parliament, saying roseries, offering up prayers, and hopefully acting as shields themselves to the soviet aggression. i'll never forget visiting a tv tower that had been attacked by the soviets. there were candles burning where people dropped as they were fired upon by soviet troops. but they were still there in defines, standing up to this world power that was seeking to crush them. one of the incidents that i'll never forget, don ridder, one of our members of the house, who was then the ranking member of the osce or the csce, stepped across the line and there was a soviet tank there at the tv tower, which all of a sudden began turning toward him and several of us who were there said, don, you better step across. this is truly a volatile situation and nothing came of
it. but, again, the lithuanians were there protesting against tyranny and the domination that was coming out of moscow, but did so with such class and such courage that it was truly inspiring. our delegation was matched by delegations from poland and other countries, recently emerging democracies, and they, too, were saying, we're not going to stand idly by and watch this great people conquered once again, conquered but never really conquered in their hearts and minds so i again want to thank mr. shimkus for bringing this to the floor of this congress, thank my friends on the other side of the aisle for posting it for debate in consideration. again, this says to the people of lithuania, you're a tremendous people, we recognize and admire your goodness and your courage because you certainly demonstrated it under fire. and i yealed yield. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from florida is recognized.
. the speaker pro tempore: the other gentleman yielded back. mr. klein: if there are no other speakers, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: yet is will the house suspend the rules and agree to house resolution 285. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. mr. smith: i object to the vote on the grounds a quorum is not present, make a point of order a quorum is not present. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman will suspend. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules -- the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. smith: i object to the vote on the grounds that a quorum is not present and make a point of order a quorum is not present. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20 and the chair's prior announcement, further proceedings on this motion will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentleman from florida rise? mr. klein: mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and agree to h.r. 151. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 1511, a bill to amend the torture victims relief act of 1998 to authorize appropriations to provide assistance for domestic and foreign programs and centers for
the treatment of victims of torture, and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from florida, mr. klein, and the gentleman from new jersey, mr. smith, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from florida. mr. klein: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on the bill under consideration. in addition i ask that the exchange of letters between the committee on energy and commerce and the committee on foreign affairs relating to that bill be be printed in the congressional record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. klein: mr. speaker, i rise in strong support of this legislation and yield myself as much time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. klein: i would like to thank the distinguished ranking member of the africa and global health subcommittee, my friend, chris smith, for his long-standing leadership in the fight against torture and i'm proud to stand with him unequivocally in this crucial human rights fight. i would also like to thank the
distinguished chairman of the committee on energy and commerce, chairman waxman from california, and the distinguished ranking member on the committee, mr. barton, from texas, for their excellent collaboration had -- in bringing this important piece of legislation expeditiously to the house floor. mr. speaker, the underlying legislation which we are re-authorizing today, the torture victims relief act of 1998, is the practical expression of our deeply held values. americans abhor and condemn the use of torture wherever it may occur. including at the hands of our own citizens. this bill demonstrates the commitment of the united states to stand squarely with the victims of this barbaric and illegal practice not only fighting against the use of torture but also providing hope and relief to those who survive it wherever and whoever they may be. mr. speaker, according to amnesty international over 117 countries around the world still engage in torture.
amidst allegations of our own government's possible involvement in torture, president obama and the american people have reaffirmed our policy that the united states will not torture. an estimated 500,000 foreign torture survivors reside in the united states and over 100 million may exist worldwide. the personal ramifications of torture are beyond the realm of our comprehension. torture leaves no victim unscarred. it shapes the remainder of lives. while physical wounds may ultimately heal, torture survivors need ongoing psycho social services and therapy to cope with the posttraumatic stress that afflicts them daily. recovering from torture is a long-term process. it can take years before torture survivors can once again feel emotionally comfortable in society. more than 200 treatment programs operate internationally to provide crucial medical,
psychological, and social services to torture survivors. the legislation before us supports international programs through grants which are administered by the united states agency for international development, usaid, through its victims, torture fund, otherwise known as vtf. h.r. 1511 authorizes $12 million for each of fiscal years 2010 and 2011 for this important purpose. in the united states the center for victims of torture in minnesota was the first multidisciplined treatment center of its kind in the united states and the third torture victims treatment program in the world. currently there are 25 programs for the treatment of survivors of torture operating in the united states, most of them financially assisted through the office of research -- office of refugee resettlement of the department of health and human services. h.r. 1511 makes a critical
investment in this crucial work. in addition, this legislation authorizes critical funds for the united states' contribution to the multilateral u.n. voluntary fund for victims of torture. through the united nations mechanism, the unvf supports torture treatment certainties all over the world, including within the united states. mr. speaker, the funds authorize the legislation before the house are urgently needed and i strongly support this legislation and urge my colleagues to do the same. mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. smith: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. smith: i thank my friend and colleague for his kind remarks and for his strong support for there are humanitarian legislation. it's deeply appreciated. mr. speaker, many americans and perhaps not a few members of congress may be shocked to learn that nationwide there are an estimated 500,000 torture
survivors in the united states, men and women who came in most cases to the u.s. as refugees. worldwide it's impossible to recount the numbers, but the numbers are in the several million. as chairman of the human rights subcommittee in prior congresses, we put together large number of hearings on the issue of torture and numerous torture survivors testified at those hearings about the paralyzing scars from the physical as well as psychological wounds of torture that remain for years and usually for a lifetime. i'm happy to say that chairman mcgovern of the tom lantos congressional human rights commission under the able leadership of hands -- hans, thank you, for having that hearing recently where we heard again about the need for this kind of approach but also the horror that these people had faced in the ongoing scars they endure. their painful memories make it all too clear that torture impacts not only the individual
victims but as we know now the families themselves. families who have to deal mostly with posttraumatic stress disorder which man fests itself with such agony in the lives of these people. mr. speaker, in 1998, congress took an historic step towards attempting to repair the broken lives of torture victims with the passage of the torture victims relief act of 1998. i was a prime sponsor of this legislation and subsequent re-authorizations. despite all of those efforts, however, there continues to be an enormous need and i would submit an escalating need for us to reach out to the victims of torture who oftentimes have no other recourse for their suffering. over the years as i said and now to current day with the tom lantos commission, we have had hearings with torture victims from the soviet bloc, africa, asia, as well as central and south america. one of those witnesses at the
hearings was mr. shakor, founder of the human watch liberia and survivor of torture in liberia. he testified to the brutal physical treatment, including the use of electrical shocks and psychological abuse that he suffered at the hands of the regime of charles taylor. he was finally released from prison with the help of the united states embassy in liberia. he fled to the u.s. and was admitted to the bellevue hospital program for survivors of torture where he received medical and psychiatric care. evidentiary support for his asylum application, and eventually assistance in finding employment with the federal reserve bank of new york. he concluded his testimony at the hearing stating that, i quote, mine is a story like so many other individuals around the country cared for by the torture treatment centers funded by the torture victims relief act. i know from my fellow torture
victims, went on, now living in the u.s., that the need for more services is enormous. i urge you to do whatever you can to increase funding for the centers doing this important work. for survivors of torture, this is truly a matter of life and death. it is to help people like mr. sacor that i and so many others, 26 co-sponsors who bring this bill today, including jim oberstar, who has been leader for so many years on these issues. there are organizations in minnesota, new jersey, florida, all over the country doing heroic work and assisting refugees within our own country such as the international institute of new jersey that need funding that would be authorized under this legislation. to help individuals overcome the scars of torture so that they can finally at long last integrate successfully into our society. the institute in message message for example provides ref few geese, refugee resettlement
services in new jersey that include medical care, english language training, housing employment, vocational referrals, mental health counsel, and social adjustment services. the benefits of such programs far outweigh any cost. it's an investment in people who have been harmed in most cases by despotic regimes. h.r. 1511 has three components. the domestic aspect is designed to ensure that particular attention is given to torture victims in regions within the u.s. that have significant immigrant and refugee populations. the measure authorizes $25 million for each fiscal year 2010 and 2011 to the department of health and human services to assist domestic treatment centers. there are over 20 programs in 15 states assisted by the department of health and human services. their office of refugee resettlement. in addition to direct assistance to survivors of torture and their families, many of these centers are also engaged in
training mainstream organizations and personnel in this specialized treatment that is required for torture victims. the department of health has said that over 3,200 individuals were assisted during the six-month period in 2006 to 2007 and the primary countries of origin of grant beneficiaries included cameroon, ethiopia, iran, congo, iraq, sudan, and togo. it is important, mr. speaker, that the united states also express concrete concern for victims overseas. h.r. 1511 twhrfer authorizes $12 million for fiscal years 2010 and 2011 for foreign treatment centers and programs administered through usaid's victims of torture fund. the funding is intended to give particular emphasis to supporting centers and programs abroad in emerging democracies and in post conflict environments. i would note parenthetically as
i travel on human rights missions abroad, mr. speaker, i often visit those centers and the good work that's being done to help people like in bucharest where the legacy of the brutal tyrant of romania, people are being assisted who spent time suffering torture under his secrete police. lastly, mr. speaker, the measure encourages international cooperation and awareness of this issue by authorizing $12 million to the u.n. voluntary fund for torture victims. the type of humanitarian assistance provided by organization that receive grants from the fund, including organizations in the u.s., consist mainly of, again, psychological, medical, social, and legal assistance. i hope my colleagues can support this legislation and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. klein: mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. mr. smith: therefore, we have no further requests for time. i yield back.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman have yielded back. the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 1511. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed, and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid upon the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from florida rise? mr. klein: mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and agree to h.res. 5 19. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 519, resolution expressing appreciation to the people and government of canada for their long history of friendship and cooperation with the people and government of the united states and congratulating canada as it celebrates canada day. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from florida, mr. klein, and the gentleman from new jersey, mr. smith, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from florida. mr. klein: thank you, mr. speaker. i ask unanimous consent that all
members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on the bill under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. klein: mr. speaker, i rise in strong support of this legislation and i yield myself such time as i may consume. . let me begin by thanking the gentleman from michigan, bart stupak, for introducing this resolution and his steadfast leadership in support of a strong u.s.-canada relationship. h.res. 519 congratulates the canadian people and their government on canada day, the anniversary of the establishment of the union of the british north american provinces in a federation called canada. it also expresses the appreciation of both the people and the government of the united states for the longstanding cooperation and shared hift which with their canadian counterparts. this provides an important opportunity for all americans to recognize the common ideals and
beliefs that unite our two nations economically, socially and politically. canada's sacrifices in afghanistan are only the latest example of the strong bond between our two nations. since their initial employment in 2002, canadian troops have worked tirelessly to maintain security and rebuild in afghanistan, particularly in kandahar province. canada has also been a leader in the global effort to promote a solution to worldwide carbon reduction and issue -- an issue which affects us all and draws us even closer together as nations that share a common border. canada's plan to reduce carbon emissions and their work through the united natis framework on climate change has been a significant step in the right direction. the recent negotiations that took place between canada and the united states concerning the water quality in the great lakes region further solidified the bond between us. as we must work collectively to improve the condition of that
shared natural resource. my district in south florida benefits from a strong u.s.-canadian relationship. canada is florida's top trading partner and florida's number one source of inbound tourism. according to a recent canadian government study, the canada-florida relationship is responsible for 432,000 direct and indirect jobs in florida representing 5.4% of all florida's employment. this resolution advances the continued partnership that the united states hopes to maintain with the canadian people and their government. and i would like to extend my personal congratulations and gratitude to the canadian people and would urge all of my colleagues to do the same by supporting h.res. 519. mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. smith: mr. speaker, i yield as much time as i may consume.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. smith: i rise in strong support of house resolution 519, happy to be one of the co-sponsors but it was introduced by my good friend and colleague, bart stupak, expressing appreciation to canada for its long history of friendship with the united states and congratulating canada on its celebration of canada day. canada day, otherwise known as canada's birthday, celebrates the 1867 enactment of the british north america act which united canada as a con federation of four provinces. one of our closest friends and ally, i'd like to thank the people of canada and their government for their friendship and steadfast support of this country over many, many years. the relationship between the u.s. and canada is among the closest and most extensive in the world. our two countries maintain the world's largest trading relationship, exchanging the equivalent of $1.5 billion in goods each day. canada's the single largest foreign supplier of energy to the u.s., including oil, uranium, natural gas and electricity.
in 2008 the u.s. imported energy from canada worth $111 billion. and every day about 300,000 people cross our shared border. we have fought against tyranny on the same side in both the first and second world wars, for freedom and peace and threats to the international security. when the u.s. was faced with the horrors of 9/11, canada, who also lost lives in the attack, stood by our side. in afghanistan, canada is our key nato ally and leading contributor of combat forces to the alliances' international security force. the friendship and partnership between the countries is warm and enduring and this resolution tries to recognize that. so i thank mr. stupak for authoring it and reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from florida. mr. klein: reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance
of his time. the gentleman from new jersey. mr. smith: i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from florida. mr. klein: mr. speaker, just one minute of time just to close. thank you, mr. speaker. and again i would like to thank mr. stupak, also having grown up in cleveland, ohio, and right over the border from canada, had the opportunity to spend many great years visiting. also would like to acknowledge the consul general from miami, marcy grossman who had the opportunity to swrift recently before she left to return. but, again, this is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate our two countries on this special canada day. and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the question is will the house suspend the rules and agree to house resolution 519. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended -- the gentleman is recognized. mr. smith: i object to the vote on the grounds that a quorum is not present and i make a point of order that a quorum is not present. the speaker pro tempore: further
that today following legislative business and any special orders here to for entered into, the following members may be permitted -- permitted to address the house, revise and extends their remarks and include therein extraneous material. mr. poe, july 28 and 29, five minutes each. mr. jones, july 29, five minutes. mr. goodlatte, today, for five minutes. mr. bilirakis today for five minutes and mr. moran, july 27, 28, 29, for five minutes each. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. for what purpose does the gentleman from florida rise? mr. klein: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that today following legislative business and any special orders heretofore entered into, the following members maybe pir missed to address the house for five minutes, include any extraneous material. mr. larson from connecticut for five minutes, mr. towns from new york for five minutes, mr. -- ms. woolsey from california for five minutes, mr. salazar from
california, for five minutes, mr. sablan, a member for five minutes, mr. grayson from florida for five minutes, mr. courtney from connecticut for five minutes, ms. kaptur from ohio for five minutes, mr. defazio from oregon for five minutes. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. under the speaker's announced policy of january 6, 2009, and under a previous order of the house, the following members are recognized for five minutes each. mr. larson of connecticut. for what purpose does the gentleman from new york rise? >> mr. speaker, to ask unanimous consent to speak out of order. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. >> i would like to recognize a great educator who passed away just a few days ago. this man was a tremendous leader.
he was the principle of boys and girls high school in brooklyn, a gentleman by the name of frank mickens. frank mickens really, really provided the leadership that we need so desperately today and he did it with grace. he would insist that his students worry neck ties and of course the board of education and people were very concerned about the fact that they said he was not following the rules and regulations of the board of education. but frank's argument was that if a youngster had on a shirt and a tie his behavior would be different. and that they would be more eager to learn and of course frank proved everybody that it was right what he was saying. he proved to everybody that this made sense. he also said that if a youngster was in a suit and tie that they
would not be too interested in gang and gang life because gangs would wear colors and all of that and that if a youngster did not have a tie, frank mickens provided a tie. he had a closet with shirts and ties and all of that in it to make certain that youngsters who came to school did not have to worry about whether they had a tie or not because he would provide it for them. you know, it was so interesting because when he took over boys and girls high school, it was viewed as one of the worst schools in the city of new york and i remember on many occasions how people would -- parents would come to me and say, help me to make certain that my child does not have to attend boys and girls high school. and i remember one family in particular where she came to me to try to make certain that her daughter did not attend the high school. and then just a matter of a few years later, after frank mickens turned the school around and, of
course, everybody wanted their children to be to boys and girls, then there were no seitz available and she said to me -- seats available and she said to me, i want you to be able to get my son into boys and girls high school. it was the same lady who did not want her child to go, want her older child to go to boys and girls. now she was tighting -- fighting to get her son into boys and girls. that points out in the terms of leadership that frank provided. he did not always go by the guidelines and the rules and regulations of the education board but the point was that they could not say that he was not affective. and of course he was also effective as a coach. he coached boys and girls high school and as the coach of boys and girls high school he won the city championship and of course that was a very exciting time for school, they had not done that in many, many years. he was a natural educato
he had the ability to pull teachers together, to get them to work extra hours and to do all kinds of things to make certain that the youngsters were able to learn. he had the youngsters from that school going to some of the best colleges and universities in the nation. this was a school that people basically had written off, but now they were going to all the top schools because of the point that these teachers were working very closely with frank to make sure that boys and girls high school was one of the top schools in the city of new york. we're going to miss frank because he was considered the person that motivated everybody, got things done, was able to get scholarships for his young students and he was respected in the neighborhood. people would come to him looking for leadership, looking for advice and all of that and of course he's going to be missed because frank truly made a
difference and i would say that i am just so happy that i had an opportunity to know him and to work with him and to live during his lifetime. frank, we will miss you, but i tell you, your work is something that will live on and on and on. you were truly a leader. you provided educational leadership in a way that will never, never, never be forgotten. so let me say to your family that i know that they will miss frank dealer as well, but here again, i think we can be proud of the fact that the legacy that frank leaves and the life that he lived is something we should never, never forget. so i would say to all the people not only in brooklyn but throughout this nation, we should commit ourselves and to try to be the kind of educational leader that frank mickens was. on that note, mr. speaker, i
yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from -- mr. jones from north carolina? mr. jones: i ask unanimous consent that i might speak for five minutes. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. . mr. jones: i stood on the floor to express my thanks to the united states marine corps to the late major breaux and grober. on april 18, these men were the marine pilots of an osprey that crashed in a's as. the mishap occurred during a training mission as part of a test phase to determine the aircraft's operational suitability for the marine corps. 17 other marines were killed in the crash. from that day until today, i have worked with many aviation experts in the corps and outside the corps who helped me reach
the conclusion that these pilots were not at fault for the crash. over the past nine years, many times both on tv and in the print media, inaccurate reports have spread misinformation by faulting the pilots and calling the crash as pilot error. that's why it's so important to set the record straight. so in 2009 i was -- i asked the marine corps to include in the official military personnel files of lieutenant colonel breaux and major gruber a memo which exonerates them from any responsibility for the mishap. the memo includes 17 facts regarding the crash which were developed based on my review of official investigations and public records as well as extensive discussions with aviation experts. the evidence shows that the fact -- fatal fact in the crash was the aircraft's lack of a vortex
warning system and the pilot's lack of critical training regarding the extreme dangers of v.r.s. onset in the osprey. mr. speaker, lieutenant kohl member breaux and major gruber and their families are dishonored by the assertions that the aircrew were at fault for this fatal crash. that's why i'm grateful that the marine corps has accepted the relevance of these facts and on february 20 of 2009 they included my memo in the personnel files of these two marines. to finally bring this tragedy to a conclusion and to remove the stigma that has been unfairly attached to these two pilots, i have written the navy to ask that they do the same thing as the marine corps did in doing the right thing. by including this memo in the official safety investigation report of this mishap, mr. speaker i ask unanimous consent to submit for the record my letter to rear admiral a.j.
johnson dated june 11, 2009, which includes my request and the 17 facts about the crash. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. jones: thank you, sir. as of this afternoon i am very disappointed to say that i still have not received a response to this letter. again, mr. speaker, the letter was dated june 11, 2009. my request to the navy is simple and the facts have not been disputed. with just over a week until the house adjourns for the august district work period, i will have to consider pursuing other options if the navy fails to approve my request. if necessary, i will ask that the crash investigation be reopened and i will take legislative action to clear the names of these two pilots. mr. speaker, i sincerely hope that the navy will follow the example of the marine corps and help properly honor the sacrifice of these pilots who bravely gave their lives in service to this country. and with that, mr. speaker, as i
do frequently, i will ask god to please bless our men and women in uniform in afghanistan and iraq. i will ask god to bless the families of our men and women in uniform. i will ask god in his loving arms to hold the families who have given a child dying for freedom in afghanistan or iraq. and, mr. speaker, as i do in closing three times, will i ask god, please, god, please, god, please, god, continue to bless america. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. mr. poe from texas is recognized for five minutes. ms. woolsey from california is recognized for five minutes. without objection. ms. kaptur: mr. speaker, our whole economy has been in trouble for a long ty. we can no longer look at
foreclosure rates but ignore our trade deficit or discuss high gas prices without mentioning the billions spent on wall street. and the growing u.s. debt that results from an economy not in charge of itself. mr. speaker, the health of our economy is not just one number. like wall street profits. it's not just our budget deficit. there are so many more aspects to our economy that weigh heavily on how prosperous america could be. those aspects include having grown more depend inter-- dependent year after year on foreign products. this first chart shows since the 1970's how deeply into debt we have fallen in terms of more imports coming into our country than exports. year after year. for so much of what drives this economy, 3/4 of a trillion dollars more imports in here
than are exports now. more foreign imports into the united states means less u.s. jobs. more of our exsports out mean more jobs here. our trade deficit has been driven up to nearly 5% of what's called the gross domestic product, a shocking number by any measure, by this growing dependence on foreign goods, starting with oil. which consumes over half of this deficit and bad trade deals. in fact, when you look at this chart, it's hard to imagine that almost half a trillion dollars is related to imports of energy. with high gas prices and bad trade deals have come growing legions of the unemployed with climbing rates higher and higher. there's been a steady pattern of this deepening crisis over the last several years. in fact, it's interesting to look at this chart which shows the relationpship between
unemployment, ridesing oil prices, and unemployment -- rising oil prices and unemployment. going back to the 1970's with the first embargo of oil from the middle east we saw a huge peak in price and then a huge peak in unemployment. the same is true in every succeeding decade in the 1980 's, 1990's, and certainly now. there's been a steady pattern of this deepening crisis over the last 20 years. in 1993 when nafta was rammed through this congress, they said it would create jobs. it did just the reverse. there's been a huge net job loss for our country. in the late 1990 's when they passed pntr for china, they said that will create more jobs here. no, it did the reverse net. more jobs were outsourced. at home in places like toledo, ohio, 15.6% of our people are officially unemployed as
foreclosures continue, deep huge payouts to wall street continue and 12% of our housing stock foreclosed. the gap between the super super rich and rest of us is getting wider all the time. and those numbers threaten the future of our republic. at a recent job fair in toledo, unemployed workers were able to post video resumes courtesy of local television stations. one man, a c.d.l. licensed truck driver in his early 60's said he was looking for anything. and i quote, even something in fast food. we don't look for a work ethic in our area. we look for jobs. but with so many outsourced jobs from televisions to clothing to automotive to call centers, american consumers are abdicating their buying power abroad. and losing millions of jobs. unemployment benefits are starting to run out. food pantries are seeing record increases and people are getting desperate. the wealth disparity grows larger every day.
don wrote in the capital times in madison, wisconsin, the 400 richest americans who now own more than the bottom 150 million americans increased their net worth by $700 billion during the eight years of the bush administration. i think one can ask, isn't that enough? are they filled up yet? in 2005 the top 1% claimed a quarter of our national income. and the top 10% of earners in this country took fully half of the entire national income. it's even worse now. the superrich taking the largest share of our national income since, are you ready for this, since 1928, the year before the great depression started, the wealth gap. and yet we are listening to the super, superrich whining because we want them to pay for a health care system that will help make our nation competitive in the global marketplace so we can recapture some of the lost jobs.
we can't fix our country by simply fixing things on wall street for those who are superrich or pandering to the complaints of the richest of the rich. or the wall street bankers that have outsourced so many of these jobs. that's how we got here in the first place. we need to fix this country by reducing our trade deficit, cutting our dependence on foreign oil, helping hardworking americans who are doing their best to make ends meet, and who want to work. and putting our accounts back in order. listen to the over 250 million americans not just the top few who are asking us to make america, all of us, rich again as a result of our hard work. it's time our people have earned it. mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. mr. burton from indiana is recognized for five minutes. mr. burton: mr. speaker, i ask
unanimous consent to address the house for five minutes and to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. burton: there's been an awful lot of misinformation about the democrat health care proposal, mr. speaker. i'd like to take a couple minutes tonight to talk to my colleagues about what's really happening and what will happen if this bill becomes law. according to the luen group there will be 114 million americans who could lose their current coverage under the bill, according to this organization. 4.7 million is the number of jobs that could be lost as a result of taxes on businesses that cannot afford to provide health care insurance coverage according to model developed by the council of economic advisors. $818 billion in total new taxes on individuals who cannot afford health care coverage and employers who cannot afford to
provide coverage that meet the federal bureaucrat standards. $1.2 trillion in new federal spending in the next 10 years and some believe it will be as much as $3 trillion. and then there's 33 entitlement programs the bill creates, expands, or extends in an increase from where we are right now. this is the organizational chart of the health care plan the democrats are proposing. the white spots are new agencies that will be created or will be added to the plan. and it's going to be a real maze for americans to go through in order to get health care. it will result in my opinion, and most people's opinion, who studied this in rationing of health care and additional cost to the taxpayers of this country to the tune of between $1 trillion and $3 trillion over a decade. i just want to quote some of the things that have been -- some of the things that have been said by our leaders over the past few
days about this plan. yesterday, yesterday president obama when he was talking about this said that this bill will not add to the deficit. he said, i will not sign a bill that adds to the deficit, period. that's a direct quote from the president yesterday. according to the congressional budget office the house bill, this bill, will add $239 billion to the deficit. so either the congressional budget office or the president is wrong. because it is going to add to the deficit according to c.b.o. representative charlie rangel, one of my good friends here in the congress, was commenting on president obama and speaker pelosi by saying he thought they were moving too fast. he was overheard to say yesterday, or day before yesterday, no one wants to tell the speaker that she's moving too fast and they darn sure don't want to tell the president. he was on his way to a closed
door meeting about this because there's an awful lot of concern about this bill even among democrats. speaker pelosi and her front page interview in "usa today" said, quote, many members think that there's more to be squeezed from the hospitals, the pharmaceutical companies, and the dogs. -- docs. squeeze them. i hope all of those institutions are listening. joe biden, the vice president, said, we are going to go bankrupt as a nation. he warned as an event in virginia last week. he continued, people, when i say that, they look at me and say, what are you talking about, joe? you're telling me we have to go spend money to keep from going bankrupt? he says, yes. we do have to spend more money to keep from going bankrupt. that's something that is new to me. i never heard you could spend your way out of bankruptcy. and the white house chief of staff, rahm emanuel, told "the new york times" that owe manna intends to use tonight's press conference, that's going to happen this evening, and he's going to say at the press
conference it's going to be a six-month report card and he's going to at the time american people i'm going to talk about how we rescued the economy from the worst recession and that we are moving forward with our legislative agenda. . if they rescued us from the worst recession i would like to explain to the american people we are reaching 10% unemployment when they said i it wouldn't go above 8% and we are looking at trillions of dollars of additional spending. tonight, i hope everybody watches the president and listens to him, but i hope they ask themselves, are things better today than they were six months ago when he took office or worse, because he's going to tell you everything's coming up roses. and with that, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. mr. salazar .
for what purpose does the gentleman from florida rise? does the gentleman make a unanimous consent request? >> request unanimous consent to speak out of order. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. klein: mr. speaker, i rise to commend my colleagues for passing h.r. 1933, the child is missing alert and recovery center act. i introduced this bipartisan legislation with my good friend from texas, mr. gohmert, who is the distinguished ranking member of the crime and subcommittee and former texas state judge. i should also thank the distinguished chairman and ranking member of the judiciary committee, mr. conyers of michigan and mr. smith of texas and mr. scott, the chairman of the crime subcommittee, for their leadership in moving h.r. 1933 out of committee and to the floor. mr. speaker, h.r. 1933 will expand the widely praysed a child is missing, nonprofit
organization into a national program with regional septemberers under the department of justice. it would accomplish the expansion through annual grants in the amount of $5 million from 2010 through 2015. the funds would allow the purchase of future technologies and techniques, centralized and onsite training and for the distribution of information to federal, state and local law enforcement agencies on the best ways to utilize the around-the-clock services provided by a child is missing, alert and recovery center. currently a child is missing is the only program of its kind that assists in all missing cases involving abduction, children who are lost, wanderor run away or adults who suffer from alzheimer's or dimentia. when a person is reported missing, a hiled is missing
utilizes the latest technology to place 1,000 emergency telephone calls every 60 seconds to residents and businesses in the area. it works in concert with the amber alert system which you see on the highways on the billboards or radio announcements also known as the silver alert and has the support of law enforcement agencies all over the country. a child is missing also fills the critical gap in time in the most dangerous cases. although the amber alert has been an extremely successful program, there is still a crucial void in time when a child is first reported missing and when an amber alert is activated. in cases of criminal abduction, which can be issued three to five hours later. this critical period of time can be the difference between whether a child lives or dies. recently, a washington state attorney general's office study showed that among cases involving children abducted and
murdered, 74% were slain in the first three hours. so the first hours, the first minutes are critical. and to the extent we can alert people in the local area by this telephone system to businesses and residences, we can get information and the information about the potential child or abductor to the law enforcement as quick as possible. adding to the problem is the resource and manpower limitations facing many local law enforcement agencies. more than half of these offices have 25 fewer officers and average cost can cost up to $400,000. it is a great fiscal burden during these difficult times. a child is missing helps to fill the critical gap as well to complement the amber alert. we have heard this over and over again from law enforcement agencies that have received this. the real issue is not enough communities have access to the
program. the founder of a child is missing, in florida, has done a remarkable job spreading the program to all 50 states, says we will bring this program to every community but there needs to be the leverage and minor amount of resources that can help make it do so and that's what h.r. 1933 does. it has broad bipartisan support in congress. i counted on sponsors from all over the united states. on the senate side, companion legislation was introduced by two senators. because we are so proud of this great effort, we understand that children are not democrats or republicans. they are americans and they are our children and our responsibility. and their protection requires all of us to work together to do what's best for their continued safety. as a result of all this, i appreciate the support we've got and i urge my colleagues to support h.r. 1933. and i yield back the balance of
my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. mr. carter of texas. for what purpose does the gentleman fromize? mr. carter: address the house for five minutes and revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. carter: thank you, mr. speaker. jobs, jobs, jobs. americans are asking where are the jobs. with the unemployment rate at 9.7%, democrats continue to push job-killing bills, first cap and tax and now a plan to socialize health care. we all agree our health care system is clearly in need of reform. health care costs too much. families and individuals are seeing their premiums rise and businesses are having to drop or significantly reduce their coverage to make ends meet. employees are wondering why their plan no longer covers things like dental or vision. the answer is, the costs are forcing employers to reduce
coverage. however, the democrat government control health care bill actually makes things worse. non-partisan congressional budget office says it will raise prices even higher and increase taxes. the democrats' health care bill also hurts the quality of health care, cuts thousands of jobs and deficient states state economies. just too many problems with the democrat health bill to use the five-minute speech, so i will focus on one job-killing section, section 1156, which would be the death of physician-owned hospitals. they are a huge job creator and a medical innovator in texas and throughout the country. texas has more existing and planned physician hospitals than any other state. to be exact, texas has 50
physician-owned hospitals that provide 22,000 jobs and contribute $2.3 billion to texas' economy annually. let me repeat, this little provision in the democrat -government health plan, kills tens of thousands of jobs, tens of millions of tax dollars and over $1 billion of economic activity in the state. section 1156 becomes law, 104 physician-owned hospitals currently under construction would be lost. this would cost the people of texas, 20,000 jobs and $5 billion in investment. constituents in my district are letting me know how devastating this provision is for texas. hospitals like the hart hospital in austin, rated number one for heart attacks, would not be able to build new hospitals and could only expand after going through
several layers of bureaucracies. this is one small portion of the democrat government-run plan and it kills jobs and others kill jobs. in a poll of 5,000 of my constituents, 82% oppose the democrat plan. nationwide, polling indicates the majority of americans are opposed to the democrat plan. let's listen to our constituents and defeat this government-run takeover of our health care. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. mr. buchanan of florida. mr. sablan. for what purpose does gentleman rise? mr. sablan: revise and extend my remarks.
the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. sablan: mr. speaker, i rise to honor one of the northern mariana islands finest individuals, thomas camucho. he is the first bishop of the diocese, commonwealth of the northern mariana islands. born on september 18, 1933, the bishop was ordained a priest in 1961 and given the title of m onsignor. he was installed as bishop the same time the northern mariana islands became a separate jurisdiction from the ar dieo sees of guam. as a bishop to the catholic of the northern mariana.
he is looked upon by the people as a compassionate pastor, humble servant and concerned teacher to his flock. he finished translating the books of the new testament, making the word of god available to the northern marianas and to guam. he is working on the books of the old testament. he has commissioned to translate the bible into the indigenous language. he is a strong spiritual leader and compassionate father who tries to address the needs of his people. he founded various commissions that up to the present time provide invaluable service to the people. there is a social service provider under the diocese.
it provides youth and family counseling, emergency food and family assistance, hotline and outreach assistance to victims of crime. founded on may 5, 1980, it serves thousands of residents. moreover, in the early 1990's, through the bishop's leadership, he has maintained a human rights advocacy office. it was instrumental in protecting the rights of foreign workers and upholding the church's social teachings. the office was closed in the late 1990's. over the years, the bishop has guided the faithful in facing major community issues by releasing letters on casino gambling, substance abuse, abortion and impact on individual and family values. the editor for the local newspaper described the bishop
as, and i quote, the island's most trusted, most refered and most beloved figure and representative of the one holy and catholic church. he is the conscience of the island, end of quote. in october of 2008, the northern mariana council to the humanities gave the bishop its lifetime achievement award for his efforts in preserving the language. having resigned last year as required by the law of the church, the bishop is now waiting fothe pope's appointment of our next bishop, pastor and friend. 48 years a priest and now 24 years as a bishop, bishop and the people of the islands will have to look back at the years
and hear the masters say, well done, good and trustworthy servant, you have shown your trust and i will trust you gaiter and join your master's happiness, matthew chapter 21. god knows greater things beyond what the bishop has attained. only god knows. thank you, mr. speaker. and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. mr. moran of kansas. mr. grayson of florida. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from arizona rise? >> address the house for five minutes, revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentlelady is recognized for five minutes. ms. giffords: i rise today to
talk about the most important domestic policy issue that faces our country and that is the reforming of our health care system, the great debate that this country is having right now. before coming to the united states congress, i served as a state legislator both in the house and senate in the state of ors, so i had a chance to hear from people all over from tombstone up to flagstaff about the challenges they face in health care. . before being a legislator, i was the c.e.o. of my family's business. unlike many of my competitors, i offered health care upon hire, but for year after year i saw double-digit increases when it came to paying for our insurance premiums. we weren't a very large company, but i thought it was important to provide those health care benefits. it was probably detrimental to the company, but i thought that was really critical. we see right now in the united
states as a country that we spend too much for health care per cap tafment we spend well more than any other country. -- per capita. we spend well more than any other contry. we have probably 20 million additional americans that are underinsured, and millions and millions every day that worry that the insurance they have won't cover them. that it won't be enough. nationwide premiums have doubled in the last nine years which have basically increased three times faster than the real wages across the united states. now, i represent arizona's eighth congressional district and it's unique because it's burdened in different way from other parts of the contry. this is a border district. a large of the amount of geography is rural. it's hard to get physicians or nurses to go out there. many parts of the district are low income. we also have fewer doctors per capita than other parts of the
country. from 2001 to 2006, the out-of-pocket expenses in my district went up by 32% and in 2008 there were 950 health care related personal bankruptcies in my district. so we cannot continue to perpetuate the status quo. the time for health care reform is right now. arizonans need reform that's going to protect us from being denied coverage based on a pre-existing health care condition they might have. arizonans need reform that guarantees care even if we lose our job or if we move or if our spouse loses his or her job. arizonans need reform that fosters competition which is critical to our free market system. across the insurance companies and delivers us the customers, the consumers the lowest cost and the best service available. arizonans need reform that puts
the power of health care decisions back into the hands of the patient and back into the hands of their physicians. reform is not an option and most americans simply know that. as the health care legislation is being crafted and being discussed right now, we know that it has to be done responsibly. we know we need to pay for it. we can't continue to put today's expenses on to the shoulders of our children and grandchildren. it is also critical that americans know that if you like your plan, you can keep your plan. you should be able to make sure that your costs go down and not go up like they are continuing to do. there are savings to be had in our current system. we all know that. so we have to focus on squeezing those costs, every drop. we can do this and we must do this. so it's really time to make sure not that we do it fast, but that we do it right, because our economy's at stake.
our children, our grandchildren, and americans' prosperity is at stake right now with this health reform issue. thank you, mr. speaker, for the time and for my constituents back home, the importance they know that we are going to work to make sure we get this health care legislation right. i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. mr. goodlatte of virginia. >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for five minutes and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. goodlatte: last week democratic leaders in congress introduced the america's affordable health choices act, which sets the tone for a washington takeover of the health care system, one defined by federal regulation, mandates, a myriad of new big government programs, and a significant increase in federal spending. a recent poll which was released at the beginning of july indicates that americans by margin of two to one think a government takeover of health
care would be a bad thing. unfortunately the democratic leadership is not listening to the american people and they are pushing legislation which only offers more of what is wrong with the current system. at least two different independent analyses of the house democrats' health care legislation estimate that more than 100 million americans would lose their current health care coverage. in addition to losing their health insurance, americans are going to lose control over their health care decisions. under the democrats' vision, washington would have ultimate control over what is best for patients, what treatments are acceptable, and how long patients wait for needed care. additionally, this misguided health care legislation is estimated to cost the federal government as much as $1.5 trillion. in fact, congressional budget office director, douglas
elmandorf, testified before the health ways and means committee that the coverage proposals in this legislation would expand federal spending on health care to a significant decree. he went on to say that in c.b.o.'s analysis so far, they didn't see other provisions in the legislation reducing federal health spending by a corresponding degree. to pay for this massive new government expansion, the legislation contains $820 billion in new job-killing tax increases imposed on certain income filers, a majority of whom are small businesses. even while the country remains in a serious recession. struggling middle class families need jobs, and small business can not afford to hire more workers while paying higher taxes. it's simple. people want to focus on creating jobs, not raising taxes. for this reason the national retail federation, which represents the employers of one
in five american workers, the national federation of independent business, which represents over 350,000 small and independent businesses, the united states chamber of commerce, and the national association of manufacturers all strongly oppose the current health care reform legislation. rather than creating a massive government managed health care bureaucracy that will dictate medical decisions from washington, we should be concentrating our efforts on making health care more affordable for all americans and giving them the freedom to choose the health care and health insurance plans that best fit their needs. some important first steps toward real health care reform include creating health insurance tax credits, which will increase the affordability of health care for those who do not have access to employer-based health insurance. expanding health savings accounts, creating association health plans which allow employers to ban together to
purchase insurance coverage at lower rates for their employees. medical malpractice reform which would discourage the practice of defensive medicine. and encouraging the establishment of a nationwide health information technology network which can reduce medical errors, save time, monny, and most importantly save lives. while we can all agree our current health care system is flawed, there are many different ideas about how to fix it. republicans have solution that is will empower patients with choices -- solutions that will empower patients with choices, and protect and preserve the doctor-patient relationship. the most important principles in health care reform are holding down costs and preserving consumer choices. we already spend far more per person than any other country in the world. reform must mean using the health care dollars we now spend in a smarter, more effective way. we should be preserving and enhancing the ability of people to choose the plans that are
tailored to their needs and doctors they trust to guide them. not putting more power in the hands of washington bureaucrats. mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. mr. courtney of connecticut. mr. courtney: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i also rise tonight to discuss the issue of health care. again we just heard remarks which are part of a campaign really to try and, i believe, i say this respectfully, mislead and scare people about what it is the committees of this congress are taking up and deliberating on. i'm on one of those committees, the education and labor committee, what my message would be here tonight is that americans should not be alarmed. in fact they should kneel reassured about the fact -- feel reassured about the fact we are finally in a serious way trying to address a broken system. i know it's broken. i come from the state of connecticut. earlier this week on monday there was a hearing at the state
of connecticut department of insurance where blue cross, blue shield came in asking for a 32% rate increase for its individual health insurance policies they sell in the state of connecticut. that's the status quo. that's the so-called patient driven health care system that we have right now. 32% increase. you can't blame that on barack obama, you can't blame that on a government controlled system. that's the marketplace that exists today. it is bankrupting individuals and families at alarming rate. 12,000 americans a day are losing their health insurance. with the bill that we are offering and as part of this effort, which the president will be talking about tonight, is a way of trying to control those costs and to try to create some sort of stable system for individuals and american families. let me give you an example. for a single woman working at a convenience store earning about $25,000 a year, if she went out today before the 32% rate
increase that blue cross is asking for and tried to buy an individual insurance policy in connecticut, it would be $381.22 a month for premium through the blue cross plan. it has a $1,500 deductible, $20 and $30 co-pays for primary care and specialist physicians respectively, and annual prescription drug benefit of only $500. the bill that we are working on which the -- was reported out by the education and labor committee on friday for an individual who is earning $25,000 a year, their monthly premium would be $158. less than 50% of what an individual was paying today. that's without some kind of outrageous skyrocketing premium increase which blue cross is asking for today under our broken system. how do you do this? the answer is very simple. members of congress can answer it better than anybody because they should just look in the mirror and see the system that we have today for members of
congress. we are part of, we have the opportunity to be part of a purchasing exchange. a purchasing allowance which allows millions of federal employees across the country to spread risk, to spread cost, and to offer a broader range ever choices, private plans which members of congress have that opportunity to pick from. and that moderates, it stabilizes the cost of the system and allows the system to operate without these harsh pre-existing exclusions which if a person has a heart condition or diabetic condition which today in the individual market completely and totally excludes them from buying insurance at all. now, if you ask your member of congress about their health insurance plan and the cost of increase which took place over the last year, you could ask a member from ohio where the minority leader comes from and what it would show is that there was increases from 2008 to 2009 of only $10 a month for many of
the plans. one of the ohio plans which were offered to members of congress actually reduced its monthly payment. this is because it's just a basic market principle. that is what the democratic plan is proposing for all americans which is that we will create a large purchasing exchange which will spread risk, which will protect individuals from pre-existing condition exclusions and which will moderate and stabilize premium costs so that you would not face the 32% rate increases that insurance companies like blue cross are asking for here back home in my state, the state of connecticut. we also add a public option as one of the choices that can be selected by americans who participate in this purchasing exchange. private plans and a public option as a way of keeping the system honest and making sure that we get every efficiency possible. but no one has to choose that public option and no provider, no doctor, hospital has to
participate in it. you would think from the descriptions on the other side that people are going to be marched at gun point into a government plan. the opposite is completely true. there will be open choice, there will be private plans that will be offered under that purchasing exchange, and it will again allow people the benefits of spreading risk and spreading cost just like members of congress have today. every taxpayer and every citizen of this country should ask that question of their member when the time comes to vote, are you prepared to stand up and vote for a plan which will give us what we give you? i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. bilirakis from florida. mr. bilirakis: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for five minutes. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. bilirakis: mr. speaker, i rise today to recall a anniversary for the past 35 years has been plagued. it has plagued the cypriot and hellenic communities as well as all freedom loving people.
mr. speaker, even though the tragic events of the turkish invasion took place so long ago on july 20, 1974, the pain and suffering is still felt because the division of the invasion still exists, unfortunately. this week is a time for this body to solemnly remember the turkish military invasion of the island of cyprus. . to mourn those who lost their lives in the invasion and condemn the ongoing turkish occupation. on july 20, 1974 in violation of the international law turkey invaded cyprus and captured the northern part of the island cyprus territory. as a result of the turkish invasion and occupation, 160,000 greeks, 70% of the population were forcibly expeled from their
homes. 5,000 greeks were killed and more than 1,400 greek cypriots and remain missing and their fate is still unknown. as a result of the invasion and occupation, they were forcibly divided along ethnic lines and remain so to this day. the united nations has adopted numerous resolutions which reflect the condemnation of turkey's invasion. the european court of human rights has found the government of turkey responsible for gross and systemic violations of human rights in cyprus. cypriots should have the right to return to their homes and the illegal settlers who were transported from turkey to the occupied parts of cyprus should relinkish property to the
rightful owners. 35 years is too along for the people to endure occupation and division. negotiations that began with the president and the turkish cypriot leader have provided some measure of hope. negotiations are moving forward. the key to a successful outcome of the negotiating process and re-unification remains. a solution cannot be reached without turkey's full and constructive cooperation. it is essential that turkey exhibit the necessary political will that would enable the negotiations between the two communities in cyprus to move forward. a solution must come from the cypriots themselves and must serve the interests of the cypriots. secretary clinton promised me that the administration would
support a solution of the cyprus problem and specifically a communal federation. the united nations should publicly support the process and reunification of the island as a communal and zoneal federation. let's hope the people won't have to suffer another year longer and hope that cyprus will be a unified nation where they can all live together in peace. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. mr. defazio of oregon. under the speaker's afounsed policy of january 6, -- announced policy of january 6, 2009, mr. murphy is recognized as the designee of the majority leader.
mr. murphy: we are here for the next 60 minutes to talk about the need to get health care, affordable, accessible health care for all americans. but i would like to yield to my good friend from ohio to share with us some exciting news about his home district. mr. ryan: in young town -- youngstown, ohio, we have had debates about different issues. and one of the issues that i have been pushing and a lot of issues, reinvestment back into the midwest, steel, rubber and industrial cities, to invest in the new technologies and we have been doing that in youngstown, ohio, great business to business software there and recently in the latest issue of "entrepreneur" magazine, you may or may not be able to read here, the 10 best cities to start a
business and down here, youngstown, ohio. so we're in there with some major metro rears across the country who have been doing great things, but in youngstown, ohio, we're emerging, i think from years and years of steel making into advanced manufacturing and business to business software. the gentlelady from maryland, this is the best issue of "entrepreneur" magazine they have ever put out. i commend to you this issue and read with gait excitement as we have. we have a local convention center there that's doing great and they are doing tremendous, great shows. downtown living. it's happening, like a lot of cities in connecticut that are making comebacks. i want to plug this. mr. costa runs it.
michael broderick ran the company who is highlighted in here and look forward to our health care discussion as well so these small businesses can prosper, because we have a sane health policy going here in the united states. mr. murphy: you can read about the shiney object of the month. mr. ryan: good issue. the issue. they may wrap it up and say we will never have a better shoe than the one we just issued, so we're done. mr. murphy: congratulations, mr. ryan on a very well deserved accolade. in some way, it's a good thing about what we're going to talk about tonight, which is the need for this congress to pass health care reform that revitalizes our economy, that cuts the cost of providing health care to
employees for the thousands of businesses in youngstown, ohio, in connecticut, maryland that are right now struggling to match revenue with expenditures and a cut for millions of americans who don't have it and need it. cut the cost of health care for the federal government which now is about to bankrupt itself through major increases every year in the amount of money we have to put out for health care. listen, families in my district -- they didn't figure out that this economy was in trouble when the banks did and the investment houses did last october and november. they knew this economy was in crisis long before that when they saw their wages stay flat over the last 10 years, while their employer heaped more and more of the cost of health care on their backs. they figured out that this economy was in trouble when they
showed up to get an m.r.i. and were charged a $200. they found out the economy was in trouble when they went to get health insurance in the new state they moved into and found out that because their daughter had a complicated pre-existing condition that they were ininsureable and were going to bear the full cost of care. the health care costs in this country, whether for individuals or businesses have been weighing this economy for way too long. and this health care conversation we're having today, this bill that we hope to pass that we're going to talk a little bit about over the course of the next hour is certainly about getting health care out to the people that don't have it, in the country that is the richest and most powerful in the world. there is no reason why some little kid goes to bed at night sick because his mom can't get him to a doctor. that is not right. this is beyond the moral
considerations of conscience for a country that doesn't provide health care for those kids, this is about economic revite lization, realizing we will be at a competitive disadvantage so long as we have a health care system that costs twice as much as every other health care system. and what we need to talk about is yes, the cost of the bill we are proposing and the cuts that are in the bill and what that means, but we will talk about the cost of doing nothing. and we will talk about the cost of the republican proposal, which is to sit on our hands for another 10 years and let this health care system spiral out of control for families and businesses. we cannot afford, as an economy, to continue to allow health care costs to strangle us. it is a tough issue to take on and the reason why congress hasn't passed it in 30 years. there are a lot of special interests involved.
but for families and businesses in youngstown, in new york, connecticut and maryland, this is the right thing to do and right time to do it. i hope over the course of the next hour, we will talk about the need for health care reform and lk a little bit about the specifics and going to push back not on the myths that have been created on the other side, but the outright fabrication that have come from our pundits and other side of the aisle and try to clear the record as to what this means for our constituents. so with that, let me welcome my friend from maryland, representative edwards for joining us here this evening for this special order hour. ms. edwards: thank you to my colleagues, because i think there is probably no more important issue to talk about than health care and not for us, but for the american people. i thought about it for a bit and
before i came into the congress, i started out in 2000 working at a small nonprofit and they paid my health care and the cost was $12,000 per employee. when i was elected to congress and came in 2008, the cost for me and my son, same network was about $20,000. and that's true for people across the country, that premiums have skyrocketed about 114% over a decade. and i think that if you think about people's wages, whether they work for a small or large employer or self-employed, there are few among us whose salaries have skyrocketed to 114% in the same time frame. and that's what we are talking about with health care. i know that we often speak a lot about those who are uninsured. and clearly the moral imperative for us to insure the 47 million
to 50 million people who don't have any health care coverage at all is really important. but tonight, i want to spend some time actually talking about the 250 million people or so who have health care coverage. and sometimes it's inadequate and sometimes it doesn't meet the need when the time comes and then other times, the premiums and deductibles are going up, the co-payments are going up, out-of-pocket costs are going up and what has an affordable plan has become unaffordable. it is unsustainable. we think about what it means to be sick as an individual and what it means to have a family member who's sick. well, there is something that is really sick, and it's our health care system. it's really sick. it's on its last leg. and it's our job to do some
truth telling about this system and to let the american people know that we really do have a plan that is going to lower costs, that is going to make health care really affordable for ordinary americans, that is going to ensure that if you have coverage and you like it, you can keep it. and if you want to have other choices, you can have those, too. and the government is not going to be out there choosing your doctor. you get to choose your doctor. you will have a system in which if you have an illness and my father had kidney disease, he wouldn't be able to be turned down by and insurance company, because he had a pre-existing condition. there are some insurance companies that turn women down because they define domestic violence as a pre-existing condition. this is unacceptable. and so i think for the american
people, we are creating a plan that is indeed, fiscally responsible. it is the moral imperative to do what's right by the american people. and we know that the kind of investments and prevention and community health in ensuring that we take care of primary practice, we will, in fact, achieve the kind of goals we set out for the american people and invest in that competitiveness that we talk about all the time for the 21st century. so i'm excited to be with my colleagues this evening because we have a path ahead of us and it's a difficult one. and putting it off is not going to make it less difficult. and those people who don't want reform at all will try to say anything or do anything to kill reform. and we can't let that happen for the american people. and with that, i yield to my colleague from connecticut. mr. murphy: thank you,
representative edwards and you're exactly right. there are a lot of forces of no here and not the first time we have seen it. when we tried to free this country on foreign oil, there were representatives in this who said no. two years ago, forget health care reform in the way we are talking about today, a couple of years ago, we tried to extend health coverage to four million more kids, poor kids out there who deserve a chance to get healthy, two feet and learn and we couldn't give it to them. so there are a lot of people in this house who are against any change. . >> would the gentleman yield? we tried to provide 10 million kids through the state children's health insurance program and president bush vetoed it twice with the support of a lot of people who come to this floor tonight and
are fabricating things about this bill. talking about, we're going to cover illegal aliens and you know, this is a government-run operation that we're tiing to promote here. we're trying to drive small business out. this bill doesn't even start until 2013. what we pass, no matter what it is, doesn't get implemented until 2013. there's no coverage for illegal immigrants in this bill. that's why it doesn't cover everyone, it covers only 97% of folks here. there may be argument about that. but the fact is, there is institutional support to undermine and sabotage health care reform. someone is going to win and someone is going to lose. who has been winning have been the big insurance companies, the people who like the system just the way it is, and the people who have been losing are the men and women and children
that the gentlelady from maryland was speaking about a few minutes ago. so, yeah, this is a big fight. this is a pretty big deal we're having. but the scare tactics, and it's funny, because our friends on the other side of the aisle, they're like a stable full of one-trick ponies, if there's not fear coming out to scare you to make you so afraid of what's happening, but the problem they have now is everyone is already afraid. everyone is already scared, everyone is anxious about their kid in the middle of the night, if something happen, they've got to go to the emergency room because they don't have the kind of coverage we want to provide here. so they can keep coming with the fear, but what we want to do is provide a little hope for the american people and some sanity and this chart itself shows it. we pay twice as much per person for health care in the united states than they do in france or germany or in canada and we
have a lower life expectancy and we continue to spend more and more and more and more and not reap the benefits of it. we don't spend the money in the right areas. we need to put the money in the front end so we have prevention and stop a lot of problems from happening in the first place. if you look in the united states from 1995 until 2006 we had an 83% increase in health care spending. public, private, all of health care, all together, 83.64% increase in health care spending. that is not sustainable. it goes on the backs of the small businesses, on the backs of the individuals. we can't continue to do it system of with that, i would be happy to yield to my friend from california.
>> i thank the gentleman from ohio. mr. speaker, i send to the desk a privileged report from the committee on rules for filing under the rule. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the resolution. the clerk: report to accompany house resolution 669, resolution providing for consideration of the bill h.r. 3288, making appropriations for the departments of transportation and housing and urban development and related agencies for the fiscal year ending september 30, 2010 and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: referred to the house calendar and ordered printed. >> thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from connecticut. mr. murphy: i want to welcome to the floor, our good friend from new york, representative tonko, who has been a great proponent of trying to get more
people in his insured and lower costs for the folks as well. mr. tonko: thank you, representative murphy. thank you for bringing us together in what is a good exchange so we can exchange for the sake of the american public the facts on a situation that finds us meeting a wonderful challenge that can pull us to a new day for health consumers in this country. with the leadership of president obama and the leadership in the house and the speaker here in the house of representatives and the respective chairs, we're now developing that dialogue that has long -- that is long overdue that needs to speak to the dignity of health care for each and every individual in this country. i listen to the statements made by my friend representative edwards about those who are insured today. what is startling is to look at the business community and understand that in the last 15 years, we went from a statistic where 61% of our small
businesses offered employee health care coverage. today that number has dropped below 40%. some 38% of our small businesses offer that. it's not that they've grown less compassionate or less sensitive to those needs, they simply cannot afford the system. so a plan that embraces universal insurance reform, that sharpens the pencil for our consumers that drives the bottom line, bargain, whereby it is affordable, where there's an exchange developed, where there is a plan, a customer a consumer choice plan that will be act ewe warily -- washte warily sound will -- actuaryly sound will compete in that private market. that separate consumer choice plan will be sustained by
premium, not government taxes, it will be a plan modeled in a way to compete. i believe effectively, so as to produce a market-driven outcome that's far better than what we see today. the cost of providing health care insurance by our business community is said to be about $430 billion today. in 10 years, doing nothing, we all know that that's been projected to grow to $880 billion. we can't afford that. the plan of inaction is unacceptable. and you're right, representative murphy, when you talk about some of the similarities in the energy debate. there are those in this house that want to feed that discussion with facts. there are others who are happy to play with fiction. and that fiction has denied progress. you know, just this week, we celebrated the 40th anniversary of the apollo mission, of landing a person on the moon,
being able to invest as a nation because of a boldness of vision. where the boldness of vision here that we're now asked to respond to is about providing quality health care with reduced costs and equal access for everyone. with this exchange, there's the potential of having groups migrate toward that opportunity in areas of need in elements of need where 10 or fewer employee firms can join up. then moving to 20 or more. then moving to that universal system where we grow this opportunity to provide universal coverage. that is an important part of the equation. it also impacts our state governments and our federal government when people talk about tax, they say, cut that budget. we can take $56 billion today of health care coverage that is provided for those who are uncompensated, $56 billion paid for by federal and state sources so as to allow for the care for those who simply do
not have a plan. we can avoid all of that. this is called preventive maintenance. we offer prevention in these plans we provide incentives to encourage people to move into preventive models, preventive model this is a will provide for outstanding benefits. this is a great opportunity to reform a system that has long been asking for reform. and we do it in a way that's consumer friendly, consumer driven, government stays out of the equation as was made mention. they're not going to choose. government is not going to choose your doctor. there are plan this is a empower our families and respond in a way that won't penalize them for catastrophic care, won't penalize them for chronic condition, won't penalize them based on age and will take care of our children that shows us to be the compassionate nation i believe we are.
this is also a way to be economically sound in moving forward with health care delivery so our businesses can compete in the global marketplace, not strapped with the burdens of this system, but we do take what's good ability the american system, keep it in place and reform those elements that need to be reformed. it's a great opportunity for us to do academically sound work and i applaud the efforts of leaders in town that are doing this with their eyes wide open, with their heart in the right place and with the boldness of vision they're sharing with the american public. mr. murphy: i think if the democrats had introduced a one-page bill that was a nice, pretty picture of a flower, the republicans would have claimed it was socialist medicine. it didn't matter, right? it doesn't matter what's in the bill. the -- a lot of our friends, not all of our friends, but a lot of our friends on the other side will scream government-run medicine and socialist
medicine. their pollsters have told them, we got a 28-page memo from the top republican pollster, who says if you want to kill health care reform, shout government-run, government takeover, our friends on the other side of the aisle and those outside this house that want to stop health care reform, who have never read the bill who decided to shout some slow begans to stop it. mr. tonko: you're right, the issues of energy reform, energy security, health care reform, cannot be resolved or determined by sound bites, by bumper sticker slogan, by billboards. they need to be done in a way that establishes a healthy dialogue, academically driven, and where facts rule and fiction is set aside. what i'm proud of is that the majority here is approach -- has approached the situation in a way that allows us to push forward a very, very strong bit of reforms including those in the insurance industry.
mr. murphy: let me ask representative pingree from maine, somebody i knew about long before she got here as a tireless advocate across the country is and in her home state of maine for health care. thank you for joining us. ms. pingree: thank you for convening us all here on the floor to counter some of what we hear on the other side. this would be the worst thing we could ever do, what's wrong with this, i'm glad to be here for a while to talk about what's right about this. you mentioned i've been working on this for a little while. i often tell people, i may be a freshman in congress, i am truly one of the freshmen and proud to be here but i've been working on this since i was first elected to the state legislature in 1992, which was also a year we thought we were running on health care when we promised the american public to do something about this. what is most significant about talking about the issue now and
i have held forums of doctors, business peevepl, individuals with health care, individuals who can't afford health care, everybody across the spectrum, when i first ran in 1992, i would sit down with a group of doctors in my home county and they would say to me, keep your hands off, you know, medicine, don't want socialized medicine, leave this alone. when i meet with the doctors today they say, how soon are you going to fix this system. they tell me, we can't work anymore. we can't provide our patients with the care they need. this will be surprising but they took a poll of doctors in maine. we're not a completely liberal state. we've got two republican united states senators, but our doctors said with a 50% margin, that they wanted single-payer health care now. we're not voting on single payer today. we are working on a bill that's an excellent bill, but that just shows you how far the medical profession has come. doctors, nurses, alternative providers, and certainly my
chambers of commerce they don't say to me, keep your hands off medicine. they say how soon are you going to do this? they say, we can't afford to cover the costs of employees, and they want. to they aren't trying to run away from the bill. they're saying with costs going up, with a limited number of providers, we cannot afford to be in the system anymore. recent figures in maine show if you have health care insurance and you all may have mentioned this before i came into the room if you have health insurance today, $1,200 of your payments are going to a cost shift. you're already paying a tax if you have health care coverage. you know, one other thing i want to say and then get back into the die willing, but my good friend from -- into the dialogue, but my good friend from new york mentioned the challenges of being a state legislator and states are struggling under the weight of trying to cover the uninsured, charity care in hospital, unfortunate to have a daughter -- i'm fortunate to have a
daughter who is a speaker of the house in the state of maine, every time she could pick up the phone and call me, shed said, mom, when are you guys in washington going to send money back to our state. i'm from one of those state this is a has valiantly tried health care reform. we have many of the insurance reforms we're talking about in this bill but they don't go far enough. you can't count on the insurance companies just to do it out of the goodness of their heart. we've tried it all in our state. states are struggling under the weight of this. we need a federal plan, just like the bill we are working on today, it's an excellent piece of legislation and a very good start and i'm excited to be here with my colleagues tonight, thank you. mr. murphy: it's amazing to me how we can all represent districts as different as they may be who are all struggling with the same problem. you know, there are uninsured folks in every single one of our districts, whether they be affluent districts or poorer
districts, african-american districts, caucasian districts -- districts, whatever it may be. and the fact that some of the members of this house come with no solution at all, no answer for their thousands if not tens of thousands of constituents who don't have health care, their families who who are amongst the 50% of bankruptcies that are caused by health care cost, we can have a constructive debate as to what the solution is, but the debate right now is just unbelievable to a lot of us that are hearing these stories. >> we do have a chart of the republican plan. you may be able to see it from where are you but it is a series of question marks with arrows pointing in all kinds of different directions because they've had no plan. so it becomes very easy to come down here and be critical and scare people about, you know, what the democrats want to do, but the one key statistic that everyone needs to remember is
from 1995 to 2006 there was, per person, a $3,000 increase in health care spending per individual in the united states of america. an 85% increase under the do-nothing plan. and our people did not elect us to come down here and just continue to let problems compound and compound and compound. we're trying to do something. and i think when you look at, you know, we all know the problems and we all have the uninsured in our communities, we all have the underinsured in our communities, we all have in my district, almost 1,600 families go bankrupt just because of health care. 1,600. and how do you go back and say, well, you know, we couldn't really get the political misle to push something through -- muss toll push something through, how do you tell families this in america today? and with all the changes going on in the economy, i earlier
showed communities converting from industry to high-tech businesses, there's a lot of unseemly transitioning going on here from people who have worked in the auto industry and the steel industry that eventually will get retrained and may eventually work their way into a newer part of the economy, hopefully the green economy that we try to deal -- tried to deal with a couple of weeks ago, but shouldn't we say in america you at least have some basic level of health care? you at least don't have to worry about that as you go about getting retrained or your kids are in college or your kids are? school? and when you look at -- or your kids are in school? and when you look at what you would save, if we spent on health care at the level that france spends, ok, we would save $805 billion a year. that's how much we would save. and we could take a portion of that savings, which is what we want to do, which is how we're
paying for half of this to begin with, savings in medicaid and medicare, and put it on the front end so we have preventative care, that's why these other countries are saving money, because people don't end up in an emergency room costing us hundreds of thousands of dollars. they have some card that they can go or some plan that they can go and get a prescription. that is common sense. that is basic common sense. and our plan is very uniquely american. it takes the best of what happens around our states and our communities, blends them together and makes them work. by driving down costs, focusing on prevention and making sure if something happens to you and you have heart disease and you lose your coverage and then you try to go to another insurance company or another plan, we say, whoa, you got heart disease, sorry, you can't come in here, cancer, sorry, too bad, can't come in. that's not right.
so what we're saying is, everyone will be covered. everyone. and we have the -- a lot of the money within the current system that we have now to do it and, you know, when you look at the statistics in all of our own districts, with the doughnut hole and a lot of other things, this bill's going to be in the best interest at the end of the day for businesses in the united states of america, they're going to have a more healthy, more productive work force and quite frankly when you talk to some of these and i just want to share one story, i was at a wedding last weekend talking to someone who employs about 150 beam but he was also a provider, he does equipment and different services. so he sees this from both sides. his insurance rates went up over the past five years 42%. so the insurance companies were making more money off him. but on the provider side, he got the goose egg for any increase. so he felt the insurance
companies raise his rates on his 150 employs but -- employees but they didn't say, ok, here's a little more reimbursement for you. they squeeze the providers, they increase your rates, they make a lot of money. at the expense and on the backs of a lot of the american people. i yield to my friend from maryland. >> you raise an interesting point and it has to do with with what small employers need, small businesses. i know i have them in my congressional district out in maryland and when i talk to the barber shop owners and the small i.t. firms and the engineering firms, they want to be able to provide health care for their employers but you're right, they're being squeezed and the irony is that because they're so small they have no capacity to negotiate with these big insurers. and so their rates, if they do choose to provide health care, those premiums actually really, really go up in comparison to
even premiums for the larger employers. and so we've created a system here where there's actually -- there are disincentives for the smaller employers to provide health care for their employees, despite the fact that they want to. now, what a it that we do in this plan -- what is it that we do in this plan to go at lowering those costs? one of those things, it's really important to me and i know important to so many people in my congressional district and in my state is providing a robust public plan that really is going to drive competition. and i'm often amazed because the same people who argued for the free market when it comes to talking about a robust public plan option that competes in the marketplace on a level playing field with a doctor network, those same folks actually don't want competition. and so i say bring on the competition. bring on the competition with a robust public plan that relies on a recognized provider network
and that makes sure that reimbursement rates really reflect care delivery so we can bring in more patients and then compet on a level playing field. i think that in fact will bring down costs for all of us who are insured, our premiums, our deductible it's, our co-pays, all of those out of pocket costs that really burden average families and for our small businesses, we give them some options. folks talk all the time about choice. i want to talk about the choice that people don't have right now under the current system. they don't have, you know, if you have an employer that just has a set plan, whether it's good or not, you don't have a choice. you may be in a plan where your doctor's not part of that network. you don't have a choice. so there are a lot of things that you don't get to choose about and guess what? we actually are now opening up a
system that provides average consumers with far greater choices than they have under the current system. so i think it's actually an exciting time for the american people. i think that, you know, when the all said and done, the naysayers will be out there trying to beat this plan down, but i know that there's not a single person in my congressional district who doesn't have a horror story to tell about their insurer, about their neighbor, about a family member, about the potential loss of a home or a bankruptcy. because this system is so broken. and in the future, whether it is, you know, five years down the line or 10 years down the line, we'll have a story to tell about healthier people because we've invested in prevention, we'll have a story to tell that's about small businesses who can provide the insurance that they want to their -- and coverage that they want to their employees, and will have a story to tell about the american people who aren't enduring the ever skyrocketing cost of health care and with that i'd yield to my good friend from new york, mr. tonko. mr. tonko: thank you, representative edwards. you know, you talk about the
choice that empowers the consumer. empowers families and children across the country. but there's also continuity that is important. you know, as we look at this recession that this administration has inherited, as they struggle with it, you know, we've been told, go to washington and fix the health care system, go to washington and provide for energy security and green up our thinking and, oh, yes, don't forget, fix the economy. well, in order to fix the economy the health care situation is a key ingredient in the equation for success. so, just why do we need to do that? well, since this recession began, which may be one of the most devastating economic crises faced in our given lifetime, four million additional americans have lost insurance. and the stats are indicating that some 11,000 people per day, workers per day, are losing insurance coverage. so the continuity in the
equation, in the outcome is an essential ingredient. because when people lose a job or if they even choose to change a job for better opportunities or relocating as a family, they'll have opportunity to continue in a system. that's key, that's critical. and, again, not held back if their in the midst of catastrophic illness or have some sort of pre-existing conditions. those sort of factors are incredible. and when we're fixing the economy, again, we need to hold off that $880 billion balloon to which we'll expand in 10 years that the business community will pay if it tries to keep its insurance coverage for its employees. that's a huge catastrophe waiting to happen. and so this is about prevention and this is about choice. it's about continuity. and it's about utilizing our resources.
the $2.4 trillion that we are historically willing to invest in a system can be used in a better way. otherwise that $2.4 billion turns to $4.4 billion in just a matter of a decade. unacceptable. mr. murphy: will the gentleman yield? mr. tonko: i yield. mr. murphy: i want to talk more about this issue of choice. half the states in this country, there's one insurer that controls 50% or more of the market. in about 75% of the states there are two insurers that control 75% of the market. as representative edwards pointed out, for a lot of employees, they only have one option to begin with, even if their employer offers them insurance. i mean, this mythology that we got some really competitive marketplace out there is just that. mythology. i think about my small employers in connecticut. they just got notice about two weeks ago that the big gorilla in the room in our state, blue
cross-blue shield, is going to increase their rates, get this, this year, by 32%, a one-year increase for individuals in and small employers of 32%. well, those small employers are going to look at medicare, which this year will increase its costs by about 3%. they'll look at the health care plan that we're all on, the federal employees health care plan, which is going to raise its rates by 3% or 4%, some of the plans in our network are actually lowering costs this year. and they're going to scratch their heads when they hear the republicans saying that they shouldn't have the option to buy into a publicly sponsored plan. and they're going to say to themselves, what kind of choice is that for me? if all i can do is stay on a plan that's going to raise my rates 30% and these members of congress are on a plan whose rate of increase is 10 times lower, i want that choice, i want to be able to buy into that and that's what it is, choice. listen, we can talk about a lot of myths, a lot of fabrications
that come from the republican side, but one of them is this, this notion that anyone is going to be forced on to a particular health care plan by the democrats' plan that we hope will get some republican votes in the end, just isn't true. we are simply saying to people that you get to keep the coverage you want, but if you want to go onto a cheaper plan that might be sponsored by the government, you have the option to do that. there's absolutely nothing in this bill that forces not a single person in this country to make that choice. and i'm going to tell you, faced with a 30% increase in connecticut there are going to be tens if not hundreds of thousands of people if my sta who are going to be clamoring to get access to the same kind of health care that member of congress have if it can save them some money. ms. pingree: will the gentleman yield? mr. murphy: absolutely. ms. pingree: it's interesting, i just want to talk about this point for a minute. i was doing a statewide radio talk show and i got the question i think a lot of us get when we
talk about the public plan and i agree with you about this issue of choice. two insurance companies control 88% of the market in my state and one of them is controlling 78% of the market. weefpk tried all sort of alternatives and insurance companies don't want to participate. so, you're right there is no choice. a lot of states are faced with the same kind of increases. somebody asked me, how are you going to make sure there's a level playing field? is this going to be fair to insurance companies? and i kind of blew my top. said, wait a minute, it's not my job to support insurance companies that are declaring 32% increases or 15% increases. it's not my job to make sure insurance companies can pay c.e.o.'s huge salaries. the it's my job to make sure everybody in my state and in this country has access to affordable health care, that hospitals can keep operating, that doctors can keep seeing patients, it's not my job to make sure insurance companies make huge profits, it's my job to make sure that everybody has access to health care and the reason we have a public plan, as my colleagues have so eloquently
stated, is so that there is some choice in competition out there and isn't that what we're here for? when people say to us, government should act more like a business, well, that's what we're doing. we're trying to create a more businesslike atmosphere out there so there really is choice and competition. i just want to reiterate a couple of interesting facts and then turn it back to my colleagues, you know, looking at some of the numbers in my own state and i know week of all been doing this, it's really fascinating, i think a lot of people don't know how amazing this bill can be if and when we get it bassed and i believe we will soon. in my district alone there are 87 seniors in the district who are hitting the doughnut hole and forced to pay full drug costs. you understand this plan we're going to do something about that doughnut hole. that's a huge difference in our state. the legislation also cuts brand name costs in the doughnut hole. this is a huge change for all of us and for many seniors who are already struggling. in my district in 2008, there
were 690 health care-related bankruptcies. how many times do we hear a story about somebody who put their health care bills on the credit card and can't afford to get by anymore because they couldn't pay for health care costs? this bill will not only provide health insurance with almost every american, but will cap your annual out of pocket cost at $10,000 a year. it's going to make a huge difference. we're talking about thing this is a people will feel in the economy in their daily lives. if we want to talk about, as many of my colleagues have said, something to do about the economy, what would make it a lot better, in my state it would be lowering the cost of health care, making sure everyone has access, that's what we're about to do mr. ryan: we hear a lot about this run your government like a business and that's exactly what we're trying to do here, make a decision, as we look at the facts as they're presented
to us, look at the coosts of going up 84% over the last 10 or 12 year, a businessperson looking at this would say, huh, we wait until someone gets really, really sick, then we provide universal health care, as a opposed to saying, as a businessperson if i spent a little bit of money up here on the front end we would save all this money on the back end. you look at the hospitals, whether they're in the city or in the rural communities, that spend enormous amounts on charity care. somebody's paying for that. we're paying for that. taxpayers are paying for that already. that's the problem here. everyone says, well why are you asking the rich to pay for it, the top 1% we're going to ask to pay a surcharge? the rich are already paying for it. they're already paying because these people don't have health care, so they show up in the emergency room and get public
money to help the hospital. so the hospitals don't go belly up. what we're trying to say, with a business mind, let's put a little bit of money up here, give this person preventive care, make sure they get a prescription instead of end up in the emergency room a week later and cost everybody $100,000 or $200,000. let's make sure off mammogram instead of you end up in the hospital with cancer. 0 make sure you get cervical screenings so you don't end up in the hospital. that's what frustrates the american people, they say, get your act together, get this done. more choice with a public option and the public option will then, as it competes, will drive costs down. blue cross/blue shield will not be able to get away, when there's a public option out there, they will not be able to get away with a 32% increase. it won't happen.
people will flock somewhere else. so inherently, this public option will drive down the cost of health care. again, the idea of doing nothing which basically has been the case over the past 10 or 15 years, saying we hope this all just goes away and we hope the free market works, has led to a 85% increase from 1995 to 2006 per person. almost $3,000 increase. we can't sustain that. we are going to build the political coalition here and exercise the political muscle necessary to make sure that our small businesses who can thrive under this plan get the kind of benefits they deserve. the people, the increase in productivity will increase too. mr. murphy: i want to add a statistic here, you mentioned about how public option will provide competition. there have been critics of the bill, proponents of the do-nothing strategy, who have
said, well, you know if you have the public option, it's going to mean these people are going to lose private insurance and private insurers will go out of business. we have this thing here in congress called the congressional budget office. you know what, sometimes we like it, sometimes we don't because you know, they play it pretty straight. they're nonpartisan they provide analysis of the bills we do and they've said it pretty clear on this issue of whether or not people are going to lose their private health care insurance. they actually show that over the course of this bill, over the 10 years of this bill -- that this bill will be in implementation, more people will be insured through their employers at the end of the 10-year period than when we started. two million more people will be insured through their employer than when this bill started. and they also show that the price of insurance is going to come down over time. so yeah, there are going to be people who will choose the public option. but what will really happen is
everybody's insurance will get less costly and more employers will be able to provide to employees because the costs have been brought down. with that, i'm so glad our good friend from new mexico has joined us on the floor, a member who has been a champion in his district for affordable health care. >> i'll tell you to my colleagues here on the floor, as i was sitting in the office, watching what was taking place, we have been looking at some letters sent to my office. story after story, whether it's in writing, by email, or by phone in person as we talk to our friends in the district, the concern this is a we have of those that have insurance but maybe, when the bill comes in and they see the denial on there, they wonder, i was paying into the system, i was working hard, i was paying my bill, i thought i had coverage, i went to go see the doctor because i was sick, then they get a rejection letter. denial after denial, something
that's not being talked a lot today and as some of those that are opposed to health care reform, the public option, the legislation that we're working on, aren't talking about, are some of the protections in this legislation to even those that have coverage today. as we've been talking about this and advocating for a strong public option to provide choice for patients out there, for those that are so in need of good care today, the other element of this is if they like the coverage they have, they can keep it. one problem is how insurance companies are denying claims one after another. this whole idea and this notion that government's going to get in the way of people from being able to make decisions about their health care with their physician couldn't be more wrong. the problem that exists today is the bureaucrats that are in place today within some of the insurance companies that review these claims, one at a time, they're not your physician but they get this submital from a
doctor and say, should we provide coverage or not and they reject the letter. before i came to congress, i was part of a commission that had the state superintendent of insurance, where the state regulatory reforms took place. we had the responsibility of trying -- having to work with patients to look at some denials. i'll share one story with you. one young lady i ran into, she said, ben, don't you do something with insurance? i explained, yes, i did, what's going on? her and her husband were trying to have a baby. they were not having much luck. think had a 1-year-old son but weren't having much luck. think went to the doctor and the doctor diagnosed them and said, there may be something wrong here. it turns out what they diagnosed her with was related to something that wasn't included in her coverage. they were trying to make the tie there saying, we diagnosed you with this illness about two years ago. but now that you're trying to have a son to grow your family and live the american dream in their home that they just
purchased, the insurance company said, well, we're not going to cover this as a matter of fact, you have to go back and pay two years, two years of bills that we've been treating you for. the family was in dire need because when they sent this when they tried to pay this bill, they were going to have to sell the home, be out on the street no telling what was going to happen to them. it turns out the insurance company wrongfully denied this claim. how many more millions of people are out there who have coverage today that are getting those claims denied? one of the strong elements of this piece of legislation is the consumer protections built in. it's important that we talk about those. because as we talk about building a strong public option and providing protection and extending coverage and lowering costs, it's important that those who have coverage today will get protections they deserve. those opposed to this legislation aren't talking about these protections.
people across the united states, people in my district, they want coverage and need coverage and they're crying out every day. it's about time we start listening to them. that's why i have to come down to my colleagues, my good friends visiting to the american people about the importance of this legislation we're working on. as we advocate for lower costs, for squeezing what we can out of the system to make sure we're looking out for the yen welfare of the american people and providing consumer protections americans deserve. with that, i yield back. it's an honor to be here with you, we'll continue working day in and day out to advocate for the well being of the american people. health care reform is what we need. mr. murphy: something mr. ryan must have galvanized folks, we're getting a crowd down here. we have a few minutes left, i want to yield to my good friend from virginia to kick in to help end our discussion. >> i was listening to important consideration about the choice we're going to give to patients
under this plan, but i want to talk about the choice we're giving to doctors. because i come from a camly of pediatricians and the thing i hear over and over again from our primary care doctors in particular is that they will prescribe something to their patient and be told by the insurance company that it's not all right. we have insurance companies invading this relationship between the doctor and the patient. so many people who got into medicine because they wanted to make people well or better yet, prevent them getting sick in the first place, but they get zero reimbursement in many cases for doing the very preventive medicine we should be encouraging. so when my sister takes a call late at night from a patient who is sick or thinks to follow up a couple of weeks later to make sure someone has been doing whatever routine she prescribed to them. she gets reimbursed zero for that. we are bankrupting our primary care doctors for doing the very things they got into medicine to do, to cake -- to take care of people.
to protect that relationship, insurance companies not standing there at every moment between the doctor and patient. mr. murphy -- mr. ryan: one of the major endorsements is the a.m.a., the american medical association has endorsed this bill. go back 40 or 50 years when we tried to do something, they put theky bosh on it. talk about health care reform in the early 1990's, doctors didn't want anything to do with. i yield to my friend. >> i want to go back -- mr. tonko: i want to go back to something you said. there's another sense i want to underscore, that of economic justice. when you see since 2000 that the premiums have more than doubled on average for working families in this country and the salaries -- salaries have stayed on a flat line, there's a need for us to step in and fix a broken system. when 60% of bankruptcies in
this country are due to medical cost we need to step in and do something. representative murphy, i want to thank you for bringing us together so we can share together with the american public our messages of enhancing quality of services, reducing costs and providing access for everyone as we move forward in this health care discussion and reform. thank you so very much, representative. ms. edwards: i want to say before we get out of this, we've been about clearing up the mythology about what is and is not in our health care bill. one of those myths has to do with our seniors. so mr. speaker, i want to say to all of our seniors, across this country, that we're protecting you. that we're going to make sure we phase in completely by filling in that doughnut hole that has left you covering the brunt of your costs for prescription drugs. we're going eto eliminate co-payments and deductibles for
preventive service under medicare and limit cost sharing requirements and medicare advantage plans to the amount charged for the same services in traditional medicare coverage. this is important for our seniors. we're going to improve low-income subsidy programs in medicare by increasing asset limits for program this is a help medicare beneficiaries pay premiums and cost sharings. let's be reason with the american people and especially the senior, don't let them scare you out of supporting this plan. this is a good plan for seniors and for middle income family, it's a good plan for people who have insurance and it surely is a good plan for all of those who don't. with that, i'll yield. mr. murphy: let me just close our hour here with a quick story. a guy came to me at one of the supermarket office hours i hold, he's a wallpaper hanger, he lost his job and he's got diabetes, can't afford his
medication and he's just waiting for the day when he gets so sick he'll end up in the emergency room, cost his family a fortune, go into bankruptcy and have their lives forever altered. we've got to have an answer for that guy and his family and over the course of the next weeks and months, it's time for this congress to step up to the plate and get health care for this country. mr. ryan: in i could add one thing so the american people as they hear this debate can -- we can provide a little context. every time our friends on the other side sold something to the american people over the last, when they were in charge, it was fear-based. you know, it was fear, we have to implement this policy here's the fear, we have to implement this policy. here's the fear, we have to implement this policy so the only play in their playbook they have is to try to scare the american people and now they're trying to do it again. government-run, big government-run health care plan. not true. you're going to lose your choice.
not true. you'll have more choices. everyone is going to be forced, 100 million people forced into a public option, that's not true. even the c.b.o., which is nonpartisan said, maybe 10 million people will access the public option, there'll be an increase in employer-based, all these things aren't true. i think it's important as we close out to say, when you hear the fear you know some bad policy is tracking behind it. i yield back to my friend from connecticut. mr. murphy: we'll be back here as soon as we can to push forward. i yield back the plans of our time. the speaker pro tempore: under the speak ears announced policy of january 6, 2009, the gentleman from missouri plrning akin, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the minority leader.
mr. akin: thank you, mr. speaker. it's a pleasure to be able to join you tonight and my colleagues and friends to talk about some things that are of tremendous significance to us here in this country. and in order to do our discussion tonight, i'm going to back up just a little bit and answer an interesting question. that was about, i guess it was about four weeks ago, three weeks ago, and it was a situation that occurred here on the floor of the u.s. congress. if you go back from the day that we actually voted on the bill, what's going on was that at 3:00 in the morning we had an 1,100-page bill called cap and tax or cap and trade, it was the
largest tax increase in the history of our country. and that bill was going to be coming up for a vote. well, at 3:00 in the morning, a major committee that was influencing that legislation, at 3:00 in the morning passed a 300-page amendment to this 1,100-page bill. now, this amendment was not just one amendment but it was a whole series of amendments that went into the bill. so starting at 3:00 or whenever the staff got here, they started to put each page of those 300-page amendments into the bill as we were just finishing the debate and going to vote on the bill. so before we even voted on the bill, the question was asked, do we have a copy of the bill that we're going to be voting on? and the funny thing was, we're supposed to have a copy here on the floor before you vote on a bill and there wasn't any copy here. in fact, the clerk was still turning the pages trying to get these 300 pages passed in the dark of night into the bill and then of course there was the
thing was rushed forward and was voted almost a straight party line vote. and so, and it was the largest tax increase in the history of our country but it also had a lot of other component parts which were very onerous. for instance, it put the federal government basically into the building code business, telling local communities that, for instance, if you have a garage, you've got to have an outlet for your electrical car. so it was very intrusive from a red tape point of view. but the question that -- the reason that i wanted to introduce our discussion on health care tonight in this context is, why in the world would the u.s. congress be voting 300-page amendments into a bill at 3:00 in the morning and we don't even have a copy on the floor and rush it to a vote? now, to an average person, an average american that would seem like not much transparency, not much time for people to read 1,400 pages of bill and no know what they're voting -- know and
they're voting on. so why would you do something like that? the lodge sick simple. if people don't know what's in the big, it's easier to get them to vote for it. it's not a very honest or fair tactic but that's what we do on this floor over the last six months. that's what's been going onds and that's what the attempt is going to be on this great big bill of basically taking 20% of the u.s. economy, that is the entire medical sector, and putting it under government control. this is a very, very big change in america. you wanted change, boy, when you see 20% of our economy going to be run by bureaucrats in washington, d.c., i guarantee you there's change. and this bill, we've been talking about it for a certain number of weeks, but the same idea, people don't want to you really know what's inside the bill and so we're going to talk a little bit about what is in the bill. now, on the surface, and i've been joined by a doctor from louisiana, fantastic guy, a medical doctor, he knows something about medicine, he spent his life providing medical
care, we're going to get right to him in a minute, have a great discussion here on the floor tonight. but what i'd like to do is to say to begin with that on the surface, this looks like a pretty good deal. what's being promised here? first of all, you're going to get free health insurance and free health care. free health insurance, free health care. well, that sounds pretty good. ok, what else are we going to get? well, i just heard democrats on the television this morning saying any kind of health insurance you have now you get to keep it. so if you've got something you like, don't worry, you can keep what you've got. can keep it the way you have it but there are other people who are going to benefit from this so you can get free health insurance but also keep what you have and also the other thing about this proposal is it's going to save money. in fact we've heard the president say, if you pass this it's going to help us get the economy going and get jobs going and help america get going because of the fact it's going to save so much money. well, i suppose if those three
things were true, everybody would be for it. the fact of the matter is, an awful lot of people are not for this bill because those things are not all what they appear to be on the surface. so let's take a look, first of all, at the free health insurance question and also the fact that you're going to save money. one of the things when government starts to do things, particularly stuff that they're not very good at doing, when the government starts to do too much, we notice these things happen. first of all, it gets expensive. you have a lot of bureaucracy and rationing. you also have an inefficient allocation of resources. we've seen this and many other major departments of government and you see degraded quality. now do we have any evidence to suggest that what the democrats are saying, that this is so efficient, it's going to save money and it's going to be free and you can keep what you have, is there any evidence to suggest otherwise? well, there certainly is. but this is something to think about. if health care is expensive now,
just wait until it's free. we have joining us on the floor tonight a doctor that i have come to respect deeply from louisiana, dr. fleming, i'd like to yield to dr. fleming a moment or two. i'd like to talk a little bit about these claims. is this an efficient way to be running medicine and what's your impression about these claims that this is going to be something where you get to keep whatever care you have? mr. fleming: well, i thank my friend, mr. akin. and as you know, i have been a family physician for 33 years. i've also been in the private business segment apart from my medical practice for over 30 years. and i've come to learn both inside and outside of health care, looking from the outside in and from the inside out that government does just what you suggest. it tends to bloat things, it has difficulty dealing with the inefficiencies in the system and
i'll just give you one quick example that i deal with every day in my medical practice and i do still practice and that is take medicare, for instance. in a government system like that, if there is fraud or abuse or waste going on, the government has to throw out a wide net, a very expensive net, it has to put a lot of resources in to catch a few people doing very egregious things and maybe doing a little bit to them, maybe a few months or a couple of years in jail. mr. akin: for instance, would things like medicaid, you always hear about a tremendous fraud level in medicaid, what that be an example of what you're talking about? mr. fleming: absolutely. the reason is it's so stremmeds is because only a scratch of it is only detected. mr. akin: so people get away with a lot of fraud in medicaid and that runs the cost up to make it less efficient. mr. fleming: no question about it. mr. akin: do you have other examples? mr. fleming: to compare that to private industry, if you take a private organization, let's say a health maintenance
organization, mayo clinic, which is has been in the headlines lately, or kaiser,hey track their providers very closely and if they're going off the scale it doesn't matter whether they are doing something illegal or not, if they're just simply overusing or in some cases underusing or inappropriately using or doing things that are not within what we consider a good standard of care, then they're going to be re-educated or they're going to be terminated, you don't have to go through all of the expense to get very few people and really get very poor results. mr. akin: how many people get busted for medicaid fraud? does that happen a lot? mr. fleming: i don't have a number on that but i think it's a handful. mr. akin: very small number. mr. fleming: very small number compared to the literally billions of dollars each year that medicaid and medicare fraud occur. mr. akin: another thing we could take a look at, because this is an assertion that we're hearing the president make, that this thing is going to help our economy, and yet the congressional budget office took a look at the first bill that
the democrats trotted out here and they were looking at $2 trillion. now that's spending $2 trillion, it's hard to make a case that that's going to save money because we're not spending those $2 trillion right now. and yet they're saying this is going to be $2 trillion. well, they went back to the drawing board, came back and with a little hoe cuss poe cuss and taking some money from some other places they got it down to $1 trillion but that doesn't seem like that's spending less. it's $1 trillion more than we're spending right now, is that correct? mr. fleming: absolutely. and where they found the savings was to deeply gut medicare which is already underfunded. mr. akin: so they're going to take the money out of medicare in order to make it look like it's not really $2 trillion it's more like $1 trillion. mr. fleming: yes. mr. akin: ok. that big tax -- cap and tax bill that we just passed which was the biggest tax increase in the history of our country was only about $780 billion something. so that's less than $1 trillion. so that huge tax increase won't be enough to pay for the system,
i suppose? mr. fleming: that's correct. mr. akin: the other thing is, it's not like we're flying without instruments on this course that we're taking. because various states have tried to do what the democrats are proposing. it's not new, it's just new to do it at the whole federal level. various states have tried it. tennessee was one, massachusetts is the other. we've got some of the results right here in this chart about what happened in massachusetts. in 2006 massachusetts required universal health care coverage, which is what's being proposed here by the democrats, much like the current democrat plan. people were required to purchase specific levels of coverage. now what was the result of doing that? it's not like this is new. this is something we tried. health care costs were up 42% since 2006. not like that's going to save any money. that's where that $2 trillion is talking about. this is very, very expensive.
health care access is down. that is patients had to wait almost 70 days to see a doctor in boston and so are those the kind of results that we want? now health care costs are 133% of the national average. so this jacked the cost of health care by 1/3 over what it was before. so the not like it hasn't been tried. what we're doing is nationalizing a failure. now the results in tennessee were not much better. doctor, do you recall that? mr. fleming: if the gentleman would yield for a moment, it's very interesting that the democrats claim that we need a government-run system to compete with the private system to drive costs down. but if you dig into that, what you find out is just the opposite is happening today. medicare, medicaid and in the case of tenncare was putting tremendous pressure on the private insurers and making their costs go up. so the first thing we can ever