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tv   Tonight From Washington  CSPAN  May 18, 2010 8:00pm-11:00pm EDT

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in iran. so it's important that the united states take the lead by coming up with a very strong bill that will put sanctions on iran that they will really realize will stop them economically if they don't stop their nuclear development program. this is probably going to be one of the last chances we're going to have to stop a nuclear program in iran that's going to develop a nuclear weapon and cause a major, major war and proliferation of nuclear weapons throughout the middle east. this is a very important time not only for them in the middle east, israel and our allies, but it's a big important time for the united states and all of our allies in europe. we can't let a terrorist state like iran get a nuclear weapon and that's why we need to pass a very, very strong iran sanctions bill and we need to do it right away. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: ms. kaptur of ohio. mr. moran of kansas.
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>> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to speak out of order. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, you may proceed. mr. burgess: thank you, plaintiff's exhibit. i rise to recognize members of the denton county delegation visiting here in washington this week. they understand that what goes on here in washington affect theirs local community this trip they make every two years is a very important one. over the next several days, they'll meet with members of leadership here in congress, senators and representatives from texas and across the country and in addition will find time to visit soldiers at walter reed army medical center. i'm pleased to welcome people from businesses in denton county as well as denton county
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local officials here to the nation's capitol. mr. speaker, ski unanimous consent to submit the names of the denton county delegation for the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. burgess: i thank the speaker and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: mr. defazio of oregon. mr. grayson of florida. under the speaker's announced policy of january 6, 2009, the gentlewoman from florida, ms. wasserman schultz, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the majority leader. ms. wasserman schultz: thank you, mr. speaker. tonight and beginning each week we will begin the week talking about the accomplishments of the president -- of both president obama as well as the
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democratic leadership in the legislature. the efforts of the democratic caucus over the last year and a half, particularly since president obama was sworn in have truly been remarkable. both the efforts have been remarkable, but also the accomplishments. i think it's important that we continue to talk to the american people about those accomplishments, particularly when compared to some of the commentary that's out there in the media because from watching some news programs, one would think that we were all here in the chamber sitting in our chairs fast asleep as opposed to working and keeping our heads down and being very focused and being under the leadership of president obama who makes sure we can turn the absolute nightmare we were handed by the former bush administration into the new
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direction that we talked about and that the american people elected us to take this country in. so tonight, my colleagues and i are going to spend some time outlining those accomplishments but i think it's important and instructive to first look at where we were, and then talk about where we are now. so that's some of what we're going to do this evening. if you look back to january of 2009, which was the month, mr. tonko that president obama was sworn in, during that month, the economy was yet again bleeding 700,000-plus jobs. i think we have a chart here i can use to illustrate that. but i think the most illustrative example of where
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we were versus where we are today is this chart. if you look back, this chart begins in december of 2007. you can see through the end of the bush administration, mr. speaker, that the economy was steadily getting worse. we were bleeding jobs. by the time president obama took office in january of 2009, we literally were at 700,000-plus jobs lost. and that continued all the way up until february of 2009 with the passage of the american economic recovery act. now i've heard a lot of ma larkey in the news -- of malarkey in the news media out there, particularly a lot from our fends on the other side of the aisle, about the supposed absence of job creation that the recovery act generated. well the numbers don't lie, mr. speaker. if you look at the direction
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that job creation has gone in, and our economic recovery has begun, you look at the blue line beginning in february of 2009 with the passage of the recovery act and you progress all the way up, where we were losing month by month, fewer and fewer jobs, and we talked about how any job losses are unacceptable until we reached the most recent month in april and i think this chart, the numbers are even better, mr. altmire, than we have on this chart. this chart shows it up through march where we added 167,000 jobs. in april, mrs. dahlkemper we added 290,000 jobs in april. the vast majority of those were private sector jobs. we do know we have some census jobs that are temporary, but the point is, as a direct result of the american recovery and reinvestment act, we are
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moving in the right direction and beginning to turn the economy around. i think it's incredibly important that we show the american people the results of our policies. mr. altmire, i'd be happy to yield to you. mr. altmire: i appreciate the gentlewoman yielding her time. it's wonderful to have the opportunity to be here tonight and talk about the action this is congress has taken on the economy. i had a town meeting almost a year ago to the day, it was at the end of april in 2009 and there were a lot of folks there complaining about the vote for the recovery act, thstimulus bill and i said to them at that time, look, i'll make a deal with you. how about we have this discussion today but we also have this discussion a year from now. why don't we reconvene and have a discussion about what has happened over the past year. so i would invite anyone who wants to have that discussion in this chamber or across the country, let's take a walk down memory lane and as the yom
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talked about, let's take a look at where we were at the end of april in 2009. the six-month period ending at the end of april of 2009 resulted in an average monthly loss of over 600,000 jobs per month, every month, for that six-month period. for that same six-month period, ending at the end of april, 2010, we have averaged over 100,000 jobs gained. including 290,000 jobs created in the month of april alone. the stock market bottomed out in the middle of march, 2009, at 6500. today, a little more than a year later, we're at 10,500. gross domestic product, the first quarter of 2009 was minus 6.
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by the end of 2009 it was plus six, the largest calendar year turn around in 30 years in this country and we've now had three consecutive months of positive growth. so the job market is exploding. gross domestic product will now likely -- we're now likely in our fourth straight quarter of positive growth. the stock market has done quite well. you might say, what does that mat her if you have a 401k in this country, if you have a retirement plan as many people do in this chamber and certainly in our districts, we care about that and that's something our constituents care about and some other numbers i took down before i came down here, the consumer confidence level rose in april reaching its highest level since september of 2008. the consumer spending is up for the sixth straight month, surpassing the pre-recession levels. manufacturing activity
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increased for the ninth straight month. what i say to the gentlewoman from florida and my colleagues from pennsylvania and new york is, all of that happened almost like precision clockwork at exactly the time that the recovery act bill psed. that turn-around. the gentlewoman i'm sure will show the chart again later and other charts that are similar. these numbers started to turn around exactly at the time the recovery act began to take effect. another issue we're going to talk about tonight as was reported in the national media very recently with tax day having just passed is we had the lowest tax rate in this country in the past 60 years. it hasn't been since 1950 that the tax burden to the individual has been lower in this country because we in this congress as part of the recovery act cut taxes for all
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americans. all these things didn't happen by accident. they happened because this congress took a very difficult vote at a very important time for this country and the success is there for everyone to see. i'm proud to have cast that vote and i'm proud to talk about it. i yield now to my colleague from pennsylvania, mrs. dahlkemper. mrs. dahlkemper: i thank the gentleman for yielding and i thank the congresswoman, my friend from florida, for bringing us together tonight to talk about the positive signs in our country that come from the poolcies enacted in this congress over the past 17 months after i came to -- the past 17 months, after i came to congress. this is just, i think, a great graph to show. you were talking ability in 2009, first quarter, we saw a drop, 6.4% in g.d.p., just over
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six points there, that was prior to the president taking over and us just coming into our 111th congress and here were the policies we've enacted. this shows the first quarter of -- i'm sorry, the fourth quart over 2004. i'm sorry, fourth quarter of 2009. trying to read upside down here. almost six points increased. you can see the change in g.d.p. in the final years of the bush administration to the first year in the obama administration and the 111th congress. very stark numbers here showing the difference. i think one of the most exciting thgs i've seen is the manufacturing increases. you mentioned that, mr. altmire, the fact that we're seeing manufacturing increase in this country, the large education 10-month gain since 1997. i think there are so many of us here who believe we've got to be making things in this
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country from western pennsylvania, my colleague and i -- and certainly from new york state and i'm sure from florida too, we come from a manufacturing base. a base that hired many people and gave them a good living wang and produced great product here in the united states. we really have slipped when you look at the global economy in terms of our manufacturing base and so to see those manufacturing numbers returning and growing stronger to me is very, very encouraging. 290,000 jobs, as we mentioned, created in april. certainly a small portion of those from the census, but it is estimated 231,000 of those were created in the private sector. looking back over the eight years of the bush administration, only one million jobs created over the eight years. burg the president -- during president clinton's eight year, 22 million jobs were created. so far this year, we've created
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500,000 jobs. one million in the bush administration, 500,000 so far this year. new for all of us, losing jobs is not good. too many people are still out of work. but i see positive signs at really show the policies we enacted, particularly since the american recovery and reinvestment act have moved our country into a positive direction for those who have been out there struggling and what i think is so exciting is the can-do attitude of the american businesses and the american people that when times are tough, the american people find a way through this and we end up being stronger, more productive, more innovativemark creative, we diversify and we find a way to get through this and the can-do attitude americans have has worked well along with the policies we had here in congress in the last year and a half moving this country from losing hundreds of thousands of jobs every month to gaining hundreds of
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thousands of jobs. the g.d.p. levels that were dropping significantly are now on the rise and now i'd like to yield to my good friend, also a fellow freshman here in the congress, mr. tonko. mr. tonko: thank you, representative dahlkemper and thank you, representative wasserman schultz, for bringing us together this evening to share the facts and just the facts which i think is an important bit of exchange and messaging that needs to be done with the american public. if you don't believe what you're hearing here because perhaps you've been swayed by some very gloom and doom news info that's been coming your way, take the word from "fortune" magazine of april 16 of this year. on april 16, "fortune" magazine reported that we have taken a sharp u-turn in the past couple of months and there are better days for american businesses and workers just around the corner. . the
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leadership of this house and the president, working together, we have enabled a focus on working families in this country and it's that sort of priority that has been established here in the house of representatives working with the administration to make certain we crawl out of this economic recession, the bush recession that gripped this nation, brought this country to her knees economically and people have said we will give you the keys and put you in charge and there is a spirit of optimism that is being expressed in consumer data that's being recorded in the past several months where there is a spring upwards. as representative wasserman schultz pointed out that downward line of the v was under
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the bush recession and as we swing upwards, that upward straight line of the v, that talks about the comeback, the comeback. it is talking about a story of the past where under the clinton administration, 22 million jobs were created. and under the bush administration, one million. one million. so there's a stark difference there. and the policies that are being initiated here under the watch of president obama and the leadership of this house has produced a track already that if it's taken out over the next eight months for a year's worth of data, we will surpass in one year eight yeast' worth of information during the bush administration. and eight million jobs lost, that goes beyond what the great depression produced for this
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country. i think that the spirit of optimism is driving the comeback and perhaps why that optimism spoke to those numbers of new sale homes, the new home sales, the home sales in march alone rose by 27%. a record month-to-month increase that goes back 47 years. so it's that sort of consumer confidence, the optimism, as you alluded to, representative dahlkemper, a growth in the manufacturing activity out there, which is extremely valuable. we see ourselves as a nation that produces and responds to the needs of consumers out there, any nation that wants to stay strong needs to grow its manufacturing sector. we are seeing that happen. so many of the indicators are suggesting that we are on that comeback trail. we are hoping it is a straight line comeback.
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we don't want any other form at other than a straight line. as we go forward and continue to invest and that's the right word, invest in the american workers and businesses where we have not aligned and put the highest priority value to wall street banks, to credit card companies, to the insurance industry, to all of these efforts and bill oil companies, we have put our focus and priorities with american families, job creation and retention. and the numbers are there. the proof in the pudding here is that sound policies that turned the thinking around to pull us out of the economic woes and we can trail it and the data speaks for itself. this is a great opportunity to exchange the facts and nothing but the facts and allow people to understand that we are climbing upwards with the spirit of optimism and confidence that is being marked by so many measurements out there that is
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to the good. ms. wasserman schultz: i appreciate your comments. i know the folks listening to you as well. and mr. speaker -- madam speaker,, let me stand appropriately corrected, i think one of the important facts that we need to talk about as well is the stark reality is that we are in a election year and our constituents are going to have a choice. elections present a choice. and we have the opportunity to present the choice that the american people are going to make decisions on. they can go back to the ways of the last eight years prior to president obama's inauguration to which the tax-cutting policy in america was focused on the wealthiest few and the middle class was left out. there was absolutely no focus on making sure that middle-class
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tax cuts and job creations, targeted tax cuts and job creation would be focused on the middle class. i served in the minority and majority during the bush administration and i can tell you that in neither two-year period was there any discussion of how to get the middle class back to work, how to get small business -- small business was never discussed under the bush administration or the republican leadership. their focus was big business, corporate interests as we saw with the collapse of wall street and as a result, the collapse of our economy. and now, as president obama said, we have come in, president obama was inaugurated and he's trying to clean up the mess he was handed, the republicans refuse to even to grab a mop. he is here mopping away and not only do they refuse to grab a
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mop, to quote president obama, but they also criticize the way he's holding the mop. that to me is well, it's not -- nothing short of braisen behavior. there is an expression for it but on the house floor, i won't use that expression. and another important point, mr. tonko, that can't be overlooked, i come from a state that does not have a manufacturing base. we are a service state's economy, and a tourist economy and our economy was focused and dependent upon housing. we had a tremendous bubble in florida and it burst and because it has not rebounded as the rest of the economy, we are struggling with a high unemployment rate. and you will hear our friends on the other side of the aisle talk
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about, well, you can talk about all this fabulous job creation but the unemployment rate still went up last month. it's important to understand that the unemployment rate picked up is because you have 800,000 people who began looking for work again who had taken themselves out of the process because it was hopeless, because it was absolutely no chance of a recovery in their mind and that they looked for a job, in their mind, it would have been pointless. so in an odd way, it's actually a good thing in the short-term that the unemployment rate ticks up a little bit because the unemployment rate has been lower because of the people who have not been looking for work and now, as mr. altmire noted, u.s. consumer confidence in april reached its highest level since september of 2008. increase in g.d.p., pending home
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sales, all of these economic indicators are moving dramatically in the right direction and as a result, we will begin to ramp up our progress and i'm very exrited and i want to talk about, besides the recovery act, the other things that we have been doing to really put small businesses back in the black, make sure that they can have an opportunity to make hiring decisions and add to their workforce. with that, if the gentleman from new mexico is ready. i'm pleased to be joined by mr. heinrich of new mexico. mr. heinrich: i wanted to return to where we were a couple of years ago when several of us who are joining you here tonight were running for congress for the very first time. mr. tonko, from new york, another mechanical engineer, has only been around here for 14 months, 16 months now, and ms.
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dahlkemper, the gentlelady from pennsylvania, we didn'tun on passing the recovery act. nun of us went to congress because we were hoping to pass a recovery act. we did what was necessary to be responsible to clean up the mess that we were left with. and take the example of how the united states and this congress has responded to this recession versus how a country like japan when it got into its last recession responded. they did too little too late and left with a decade of job-killing recession, a decade of reduced tax revenues, when their competitiveness in the world was dramatically reduced because they weren't willing to stand up and to lead and do what was right. so we passed the recovery act. and when you want to look back at history and judge what happened with this recovery act, as a mechanical engineer, rather
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than just listening to the rhetoric, i think it's critical to look at the data and as you have shown here tonight -- well, let's take the stock market, for example. this graph shows what has happened with our investment over the end of the bush administration and the beginning of the obama administration and the leadership that this congress showed. and it's incredibly important to realize that this isn't about wall street. this is about the people in my home state of new mexico who are relying on their investments for their retirement. they are about the people who have their retirement accounts tied up in investments and their
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annual and monthly incomes, whether or not they get to do anything besides pay the mortgage is dependent on the value in those accounts and we saw a decline that took real wealth out of the pockets of people all across this country. as trillions of dollars of wealth literally disappeared in a matter of months from our constituents. and after the recovery act was passed and the many other pieces of legislation that we passed to try and recover this economy, we have seen an increase in that value that you just can't argue with the data between 10,000 and 11,000 in the dow. mrs. dahlkemper: would the gentleman yield? mr. heinrich: absolutely. mrs. dahlkemper: the facts is what we're talking about tonight and i want to quote from
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"business week" and this is a quote from chief economist from moody's. when you take it all together, the response was massive, unprecedented and ultimately successful and that's what we are showing by the numbers tonight. even the obama critics, like the assistant treasurer for economic policy under george bush acknowledged that the white house policies have been successful. the economic policies including the stimulus, which i like to call the recovery bill, have helped move the economy in the right direction. so the facts we are showing here tonight -- i yield back. mr. heinrich: i think that's a perfect example. you know facts are stubborn things. and when you show the graphs, they don't lie. they tell the story of an economy out of control and how we have been able to turn it around and move it back in the
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right direction. and i think when you talk about the recovery act, it's important to realize that an enormous portion of the recovery act was about taxes as well. and if you look at the rhetoric versus the data on the whole issue of taxes, you see a very different story than the one you might hear in some of the national media or see at a tea party rally. the "usa today" recently talked about how mr. tonko, if you would be so kind as to hold this up, headline, tax bills in 2009 at the lowest level since 1950. we passed an enormous tax relief package as part of the recovery act so people would have the hard-earned dollars in their pockets and put them to work in our nation. and look at how much support we had to do that from our
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colleagues on the other side of the aisle, it was nonexist tant. and look at the work we did for the home buyer tax credit which was absolutely critical to bringing back our housing market and construction jobs in this country -- i met a man named julian gomez and he lost his job because of this recession and back today at new life homes, building homes in albuquerque because of the financing that the recovery act made possible. so i think it's credibly important that we look at the facts versus the rhetoric. . ms. wasserman schultz: does our friend recall how many of our friends on the other side of the aisle voted for the recovery act? mr. heinrich: i think it was none. ms. wasserman schultz: and that was the recovery act that gave
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98% of americans a tax cut. the same one that created a situation where we have the lowest, as you said, the lowest tax bills, the lowest tax rates since 1950. the one that created a situation where the triangle mr. tonko referred to a few minutes ago, anabled us to go from bleeding 170,000 jobs to gaining almost 300,000 jobs in this last month. so we on our side of the aisle created, conceived, passed, and president obama signed the recovery act into law and our friends on the other side of the aisle said no. that right? mr. heinrich: i believe you're absolutely correct. ms. wasserman shulingts: ok, i just wanted to -- ms. wasserman
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shuls: ok, i just wanted to make sure that was correct. mr. tonko, did you have something to add? mr. tonko: i wonder if they had continued to rule the outcome? we probably would have hit the great depression level. so i think the effort here is to bring in, it's not like we're excluding people from being part of this solution. but obviously, if we're not getting support from the other side, we're going to continue to move forward with progressive policies and reform. i think what is inspiring is this nation is replete in her history of people responding in the toughest times, responding with their greatest sense of courage and determination at a time when we have faced some of our toughest struggles. we saw that happen in the depression.
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we saw a president lead this nation out of that depression and bring people back to work and invest, invest in a way that grew up to a stronger level than when the economic crisis began. when we look at this, i believe that that history of this nation, our history, speaks to us in very bold and noble measure to continue to pursue to invest in a way that will create a stronger outcome and we'll put together an organized structure, progressive policies that will address and plan our future for this economic recovery. i represent the district that is the home of the erie canal. that canal is a series, a necklace, i like to call it, of milltowns. they were given birth to by the creation of the erie canal, but it showcases -- and my point of mentioning it here, it
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showcases the pioneer spirit in the d.n.a. of americans where milltowns became the centers of innovation. it gave birth to a westward movement that built this nation and continues to allow us to express our manufacturing prowess. this package, the stimulus package is vested in america, in her workers in her small businesses, that was mentioned earlier nrbling a way that is now turning the picture around. it's that u-turn of which "fortune" magazine speaks, wrote about on april 16 of this year, that we are seeing a brighter day. it's around the corner for business and workers . in the toughest times we have shown our best outcomes. we have come together in a way that allows us to be constructive and instructive on how we're going to crawl out of a mess. the important thing is to please join in the effort, don't thwart the effort, don't
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deny or diminish it. i see what we try to do with america competes, to allow us to compete effectively with china, and what do we have? we have an effort to diminish or deny that progress. so join us in constructive efforts, join us in building the collusion, but do not deny american workers for generations out the sort of solutions that will enable us to be our best in the toughest times. that's what we're seeing here. the numbers are she -- showing it. we're on a comeback. it's interesting how history is repeating herself, where we have this administration proving they're going to invest, invest in technology, invest in broadband, communication, hard-wiring of communities that are rural or impoverished, as an inner city neighborhood, allowing us to invest in smart meters, smart
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thermostats. >> will the gentleman yield? mr. tonko: it's important. mr. heinrich: i know the gentleman knows a lot about this, and when we passed the recovery act we made the single biggest investment in changing our economy to a clean energy economy ever in the history of this country. i saw it directly, i went to a company called k-tech at the science and tech park in my district and they're using recovery act grants to figure out now ways to store energy and to seam together a new grid that includes putting renewable into the system. knew neek -- unique story devices. and we can put people back to work in those new energy jobs.
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ms. wasserman schultz: i thank the gentlemen. i think it's important to stress the choices that we have in front of us. the american people have chisses -- choices over the next few months about the direction they wan to go, whether they want to continue to go in the direction that the job creation chart we just had up showed, whether they want to continue to go in the direction of the tax rate chart that mr. heinrich just had or whether they want to go back this direction, this direction shows us the history of presidents and the deficit situation that the united states has been in under each president. so if you look at president reagan, under president reagan we had a $1.4 trillion deficit. under president bush 41, we had a $3.3 trillion deficit. by the end of his presidency.
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then, president clinton was in office for eight years and finished his second term with $5.6 trillion surplus. a record surplus, which we handeded over to president bush 43, who in a very short period of time handed off to president obama an $11.5 trillion deficit. that's because his focus was not on targeted tax cuts for the middle class, not on creating jobs and weah for small business, not on making sure we could focus on educational opportunities for our nation's young people and focusing on investments and innovation and technology and energy and particularly alternative energy. those weren't the focus of the bush administration. their focus was on the wealthiest americans, the whole notion of trickle down which didn't work with under president reagan and clearly, as you can see, as big a red
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box as we're looking at here on the chart, didn't work under the bush administration either. so the choice that the american people will have is to go back to big red boxes like this one and continue to bleed jobs, bleed money and move in the wrong direction or under president obama and the democratic congress, continue to focus on job creation, on opportunities for young people, on investments in alternative energy, on weaning ourselves off our dependence on foreign oil, what's going on ithe gulf of mexico today doesn't prove we need to do that, i don't know what would. but those are the choices the american people have. our friends on the other side of the aisle have choices too, mr. tonko. they have choices and they've repeatedly made them. they've repeatedly showed which side they're on. they've showed that they are not on the sign -- on the side
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of the american worker struggling to get back to work and find a job. they've shown they're only interested in coming back to power and it's all, unfortunately, sadly, my observation is that that is the only thing that they care about is winning elections and focusing on power. their agenda, it's tough to identify because other than siding with wall street, with big banks work big corporations and the wealthy elite in this country, that's really the only side i have been -- sign i have -- side i have seen they appear to be on. their voting records demonstrate that. i think we have a stark choice to the american people are going to be able to make come november. >> absolutely. thank you again for bringing us together this evening. it's a pleasure to join with our colleagues to share these
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regional observations because it's happening across the couldn't canry. yesterday, i was at a community i represent, a small town, a small city that is utilizing recovery act noun produce photovoltaic, to install, i should say, photovoltaic panels at their senior center, at the firehouse and to improve energy efficiency at city hall. this translates to $65,000 of savings per year. who does this affect? it's property tax reduction by creating jobs and innovation. that's the buethoif investments made here. it's not about special interests. it's not about going to the big oil companies and the big wall street banks and going to the insurance industry and the like. it is a reform package that talks about long overdue investments. my gosh, we look at china and
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her investment in a clean energy economy and if we don't understand we need to be in this global race to win it, we understan i hope we show it here in this leadership in the majority, the democratic majority in the house, that we understand, by ou actions, that whoever win this is global race on clean energy becomes the kingpin of the global economy. the exporters of energy innovation and select. those are jobs that will glow -- and intellect. these are jobs that will grow like we saw other job crease groh two decades ago. mr. heinrich: i think you're painting this picture of contrast and leadership and the important question is, whose side are you on? and our colleagues on the other side are busy protecting b.p. and making sure we have a b.p. bailout to make sure their
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damage cap doesn't get raised and this we're passing legislation like the recovery act in energy efficiency to make us more energy independent as a nation. i remember in asking whose side am i on, i spent some time at a gentleman's home a couple of months ago whose house is being retrofitted with some of these recovery act loans to put insulation in the roof, to have high-efficiency appliances and for someone who is low income, fixed income, in their retirement they literally see that gives them economic y freedom and independence for the first time. we're standing up for homeowners like that retirees. people who have worked their whole life but throwing away huge amounts of money every month in their energy bills and our colleagues on the other side are standing up for corporations like b.p.
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mr. tonko: when i spoke of the small town, the small city, we shared the good news with yesterday, the city in albany county in upstate new york, it's being repeated over and over again with municipalities in this country. then you put it into the business sector and the improvements they're making with the improvements and you talk about households where they have weatherization programs to create stronger energy environments within which to live. no family should be asked to live in poor energy environments, they're wasteful. it's wasteful in terms of energy supply and dollars expended. when we look at the track record here, we're looking at, talk about whose side are you on? we're looking at over hall a million job crease ated since december, 84% of which were in the private sector category. when we look at tax relief, we're not talking about just
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the upper income strata that the situation for the bush administration but now we're talking about 98% of americans getting a relief to the point where tax bills are at their lowest level since 1950. so we're talking about a whole different approach a different attitude and embracing the bigger landscape, the peoplescape of america, where the masses are brought into consideration and the priority is with the working families. main street and side streets come before that wall street situation. wall street's elects reness created main street joblessness. that thinking is over that huge red block pointed to by representative wasserman schultz is now a situation that meant two wars offbudget, it meant a doughnut hole given to the insurance industry in the
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medicare program area, it meant all sorts of, you know, tax cuts to the few in society. that was economic stagnation. now this swing upward didn't just happen, it took straightforward thinking, laser sharp focus, it took sensitivity to those bearing the brunt here. . ms. wasserman schultz: i want to focus on results. the facts -- we have been talking about the facts tonight and we have been talking about the impact and result of democratic policies, the policies of the democratic congress, the policies of the democratic president, president obama and the results that have occurred. and this chart shows the direction that we continue to go in. if you look at the red and the
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very ugly red end of the chart, that is an indication of where we were in terms of household wealth under the bush administration. and if you look through those years, we had household wealth that dramatically, dramatically declined. i mean so much so that people were in dire shape. we had an economy that was reeling, spiraling downward, deficits that were exploding. remember from a president who was habbed handed a record surplus and that is the mess that president obama found himself in. the additional mess that he found himself in was a plummetting statistic of household wealth. if you look at the progress we have made and the direction that household wealth is going in now as evidenced by the chart on the right side of the chart, you
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have an indicator that since the recovery act took effect, we have gained nearly 30% back of household wealth that was lost under the bush administration. $5 trillion in house homed wealth compared to -- house hold wealth compared to $17 trillion. we have gained $5 trillion of that back. mr. tonko: 18 months' worth. what the representative is pointing to in the red is 18 months' worth of activity. $17 trillion. that's $1 trillion per month. ms. wasserman schultz: we talk about choice. this is a starker choice as we can illustrate. we could go back to policies that got us into this in the first place and give the keys back to the people who drove us
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off the ditch or we can hold onto the keys that we got from them in 2008 and continue to drive this economy in the direction that the american people want us to go. phone mr. tonko: the decline didn't happy overnight. there were months of activity that did not respond favorably to the needs of americans and particularly the small business community. the huge climb backward of 30% recaptured, 5 plus trillion, maybe $6 trillion at this point is a comeback in a few short months. this is the start of a comeback and certainly not good enough. we want more. we want more good news, but to keep the direction afloat, to
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keep the momentum rising means to allow for the progress to continue. and i believe it's very obvious that with the control here in congress and in the white house, there is a serious desire and design to produce this comeback that was so desperately needed and in a way that is remarkly sound in investing in issues and areas of activity that were back burner for far too long. they held back progress. and not only are we producing jobs, producing relief, strengthening confidence, growing the economy, we shall doing it with an investment with future outcomes where we are dealing with cutting-edge technologies in basic research, job creation, trade, this is the full spectrum. this is the beauty of this
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innovation economy. but at least there is leadership that this is what needs to be done, in fact, impacting favorably the outcomes here. mr. heinrich: as you mentioned, we have a long ways to go. we are just getting started to rebuild after eight years of disastrous policies, the recession since we haven't since the great depression. if we continue to grow these job numbers, like we saw in march and april, if that trend could continue for the rest of 2010, we could see more jobs created in 2010 than the entire bush administration, the entire eight years of the bush administration and that's where we need to be headed as a nation. we need to keep seeing that line of wealth in the average american family going up, up, up, not going down the way it did during the bush administration and it is about that contrast of responsible
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leadership versus policies that continue to put our nation at a competitive disadvantage, not only our families, but versus countries around the world. ms. wasserman schultz: we are joined by the gentleman from ohio. he might still be getting organized. i wanted to focus a little bit. the american recovery and reinvestment act is the jewel in the crown. the lynch pin to the beginning of our economic recovery. but that's not all type thing. we had the recovery act, which gave us a huge boost, but we also passed and continue to propose numerous pieces of legislation designed to focus on different aspects of the economy, small business, the energy sector, technology and innovation, making sure we cover
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as many basis as we can, because we know there are so many potential gaps in the economy and you don't want to leave anybody behind. so in addition to the recovery act, madam speaker, we also passed the worker home ownership and business assistance act, which was legislation that expanded that first time home buyer tax credit and gave people an opportunity to purchase a home when they had been unable to buy that home. mr. heinrich: how many of our colleagues pitched in on the other side of the aisle and said we are going to support that tax relief? ms. wasserman schultz: i'm glad you asked. approximately 93% of republicans voted against that legislation. mr. heinrich: just 7% actually said we're going to be part of the solution? ms. wasserman schultz: it's about choices. the american people have a choice.
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very stark choice. they can side with the people who voted 93% with wall street and big corporations and continuing to pad their bottom line or they can vote with the middle class and make sure we can continue to boost small business and get our economy moving again and put folks back to work. it is a stark contrast with a very clear choice. i yield to the the gentleman from ohio. mr. boccieri: i thank the gentlelady from florida to talk about jobs and the economy and what the democratic caucus has done to put our country back on track. i applaud all my members being here. there is one thing that i hear over and over again is that we need to be the producers of wealth. we need to build things here, not just move wealth. and it's important we focus on putting our country back on track, creating jobs that cannot be outsourced, investing in the
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green economy, investing in the infrastructure that's going to make our country energy independent, not only for the jobs it will create, but for the matter of national security. this congress has done lightning speed with great work to try to put that message and drive that message home in midwest states like ohio. and let me just say, the fruits of what we have been try to sow for the last several months here, you hear from the just say no crowd, we know what they are against, but what are they for? are for putting people back to work in ohio, putting our nation on the path to security, less dependence on foreign oil? we want them to join us because these answers aren't democrat or republican, they are american answers. if you are trying to score
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political points, if you don't believe you should bet against america and americans, then join us, because we want to put our country back on track. great things are happening in ohio. we are starting to see the rebirth of our manufacturing sector after consecutive quarters of job loss and stagnant economy. when we took over, i remind my colleagues, when we took over in 2009, in the 111th congress, we were facing exploding deficits, $3.5 trillion was handed off, two unfunded undeclared wars, an economy in free fall, greed on wall street and banking crisis, there was a lot of work that this congress had to try and get our arms around. but what we have been able to do is put our country back on track. nine consecutive months of manufacturing growth, the best in the last six years. that's a strong message. while we still need to do some
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work and we have a lot of work to do, this economy is growing again. you don't hear this on the consecutive talk radio shows or cable shows, but this is the reality of what the congress has been dealing with. one democratic president in the last 20 years and we had a $5.6 trillion surplus that was turned into $11 trillion deficit by the previous administration. you don't hear that talked about. you don't hear about the fact that we were handed a $3.5 trillion deficit just coming into office in 2009. but that is the facts and that is the reality. i want to tell you we are beginning to grow this economy and beginning to put people back to work. in my district, a shaving company is adding new jobs in ashland, ohio. in my hometown, alliance, adding
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new jobs. textiles in worcester, who makes drive trains for luke manufacturing, expanding, $440 million. they ended up bringing back 200 workers. these are real jobs that affect real families in our communities. those are the things we have been fighting for and we want you to join us. to the just say no crowd, join us, we need you. mr. tonko: representtive is right on point. it adds to the messaging out there, those critics who want to resort to phantom statistics, but when you look out what is happening out there, these bits of facts that we are sharing this evening are all recorded. they are documented and it's that sort of facts not fiction that will rule and guide the
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policies as we go forward. the fact that factory orders have increased by the largest amount in more than nine years is encouraging news. it's back to the point that you made about people wanting to produce, they want to create and manufacture in this nation. and the fact that these factory orders are up beyond limits from nine years back in recordkeeping is encouraging news. it tells us there is confidence, there is optimism that is ruling the day and that the turnaround, that huge u-turn is becoming more and more real. car sales, rising by 20%. that is so important to a region like that of representative boccieri. upstate new york, directly linked to that auto economy and to the industry. so a 20% rise in sales for
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automobiles is an important step that we have to look at. so, again, the repeated message here this evening and again, representative, thank you for bringing us together. 9 -- the tone, this wonderful opportunity to continue along the path of progress or the reverse is to hand over the keys that drove the car into the ditch and pulling the car out of the ditch took quite an effort and took a while. we're not where we want to be yet, but we are certainly moving forward and upward that is taking us to a new plateau and doing it in a way that is investing in american workers, american business, in away that allows us to compete more effectively in the global marketplace. that is a multiple of good in embracing the policies that been
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established and put into place and working. the proof is in the pudding. only 9 facts. that is what we need to share here. forget the scare tactics and doom and gloom and embrace it with the spirit of optimism and with that tremendously characteric sense of pioneer spirit. generations have been about creating new jobs and discovering new opportunities. we want a space race. we need to enter into bottledly and do what we can with this clean energy race that is global also. hine --. mr. hine wick: there's nothing bush mr. heinrich: there's nothing more important that jobs, we've
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seen our stock market recover, we've seen housing starts come back and those kinds of indicators, but what really matters to the american people is jobs and that precipitous decline we saw in the run up to the horrible re-- horrible recession and the irresponsible activity we saw with housing marks and wall street and with the new rules put in place by this congress to jump start real jobs, where we design it in the united states, build it in the united states, install it in the united states and we put more people back to work and watching that line go up and up to where now we're finally adding jobs at the kind of rates we need to recover. mr. wasserman schultz: we want to talk --
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ms. wasserman schultz: we want to talk about the choices we have over the next week an months. the choices the american people have continue to go in the direction where we're nurturing our economy and helping it or the direction the other side of the aisle will take us, that's a very stark contrast we'll be taking over the weeks and months. >> under the peeker's announced policy of january 6, 2009, mr. carter, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the minority leader.
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mr. carter: thank you, madam speaker. i thank you for allowing me to take this hour. i've been coming up here on the first day of each week that we're back in session and talking about the rule of law. and how the rule of law needs to apply to those of us who served here in congress, those who served in the administration, and that it is the glue that holds our society together and if we in turn are
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going to circumvent the rules of law, then we, in fact, are chipping away at the very founding aof american culture. today we're going to shift gears a little bit because -- we've talked a lot about what's going on up here and some folks that have had some problems following the rules. i don't think we've ever seen a more glaring example of the violation of the rule of law and the failure to enforce the law is what is happening on the southern borders of the united states. you see right here on may 17, 2010, rea clear politics, threat on the border with mexico, possible terrorist entering the u.s. it's a picture of people climbing over a barrier a strange-looking barrier, to be
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honest with you. it's got a big hole in the middle of it, i don't understand exactly what it is. but we've had an issue and those of us who have been in this congress for a while have been very concerned and i, in particular, have been very concerned about this situation down on the texas-mexico border, the new mexican, arizona, and californian mexico border. i want to go back with you for a while to when i first went with parts of the homeland security subcommittee, appropriaons committee to look at the border between texas and mexico we made trips, we've gone up and down that border. i happened to be on the one in my home state, i went with my colleague on the other side of the aisle, henry cuellar, noun to nuevo laredo mexico across the border. and we talked with the border
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patrol about their issues and that was way back in, i believe, in 2004, maybe 2005. and i sat out in the dark with a border patrolman along the banks of the rio grande with his surveillance equipment and it was in the summertime, no i take it back, it was in the wintertime. it doesn't get real cold in that part of texas. cool would be the world. not a whole lot colder than it is right now outside in washington, d.c. and he and i watched, i think it was two miles in either direction, of the border. right there, right next to what i would call the city. right across the road was the housing project or apartment where hundreds of people were walking in the streets.
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it was 10:00 at night and there were people everywhere. i talked to him about the illegal crossings coming into this country, the danger and it was a dangerous place. in fact, while we were on the bridge at nuevo laredo and -- or between there and laredo, john culberson picked up a flattened bullet head slug, if you will, from a, probably a nine millimeter or something like that, flattened out when it hit the bridge, the international bridge between mexico and the united states. he carries it around in his pocket with him now to remind people this is dangerous business our border patrol is dealing with down there. since that time, international drug cartels have moved to the border of the united states and they are fighting a border war
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just a stone's throw from the places where american citizens live up and down the border from brownsville all the way across to san diego. to tijuana. the crime will take your breath away. i spent 20 years in the judiciary. many of my colleagues did the same. i've seen lots of crime, tried lots of cases involving horrible situations. but while we were down there with that trip to -- with that trip to -- -- with my friend henry cuellar we saw pictures in the newspaper of a woman who was the wife of a police official in laredo who had been kidnapped and burned alive.
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she had been set down in a business chair, very much like these ladies sitting over here take do you think the minutes, the recording of this deal, sat in that chair, had three tires full of gasoline shoved down around her body, then she'd been set on fire and burned up alive. as a threat to the police department in laredo to either get in line with what the criminal element in nuevo laredo wanted to do or suffer the consequences. since that time, that was a shocking thing, i carried that back up here and showed our committee members, some of them were ill from looking at it. i pointed out this is a lawless society we have created on this border. now, i have a theory and i think my theory is based on some pretty good police discoveries we have made over
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the past 25 years in police work. during the time when they cleaned up new york city and made it a safer place to be. they discovered, the police chief the mayor, at that time, rudy giuliani, that a bad criminal environment breeds crime. so if you have a neighborhood where there are old junk cars falling apart in the yard, there's trash in the front yard they haven't taken stuff off their stoop, there's windows broken out, there's a neighborhood with no pride and therefore the criminal element breeds in that neighborhood. but if you go in and get the criminal element out of there, get the criminality of the environment out of there, the neighborhood improves. and you put a beat cop there that allows them to know that
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the law enforcement is there for them, law enforcement is involved. then the public can feel confident and they start to take care of their neighborhood and in turn make the crime move elsewhere. so they cleaned up new york city with that basic theory. went back to the old walk-the-beat cop theory that came out of the 19th century. now, why do i mention that? people say to me, why do you think the cartels who were in colombia and other parts of the country, why did they come down and settle along the border of the southern parts of this country? and i thought about it a lot. and it came to me that, you know what? lawlessness breeds lawlessness system of what have we created,
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what world are we creating on the border when we weren't enforcing some basic tenets of the law. we have laws that say you can't come into this country except legally and millions of people, whether for a good purpose or bad, many, many for good purpose, i'm not saying it's not, just for a job, but they were breaking our laws. they were coming into this country. where was this community of lawlessness along the mexican border. that community of lawlessness which was just sneaking people and people sneaking into the country and sneaking people into the country, so, as many will tell you just to get a job to feed their families, of course there was a few criminal elements, and then a little more criminal elements and all of a sudden we have estimates of four to five drug cartels from central and south america fighting a drug war from
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brownsville to tijuana. from matamoros to tijuana on the other side of the border. people very killed in that war across the border. mexico has brought in every kind of resource they can bring in to try to stop this. it's out of control and bleeding across the border into my state and the other states that border mexico. we are having a great conversation today in our country about a law that was passed by the state of arizona. and i would argue the state of arizona, that law has a real clear message to the federal government. you know what, we've been waiting 10 to 15 years for anybody to realize how bad this is. now, back in 2004 and 2005, when we were there, we were beefing up border patrol, we
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were pouring homeland security money into building 600-something-odd miles of fence. we were going to -- we had resources that were dedicated to trying to stop this flood, but the flood was still come bug they were doing the best they could. they were catching a million, million and a half a day, but the estimate was for every one that got caught, 10 got across. there were many reasons and faults could you lay upon that, employers were hiring these people and maybe they shouldn't, we didn't have a good identification system for people who know whether or not somebody was an illegal alien in this country and the argument goes on and on. but the reality was, we were creating a lawless border. and that lawlessness drew in organized crime in the form of these cartels and those cartels are slaughtering people, fighting it out in the streets,
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gunfire sometimes is as prevalent in the border towns across the river from texas as they are in iraq or afghanistan. and just recently 35 people were killed in a shootout in juarez, across the border from el paso. in one day. now, in -- and some of those, many of those were federal officers of the mexican federal police force and the army. but you say, well, but what's that got to do with us? phoenix, arizona, one of the places where a lot of folks up north go to get some warm weather in the wintertime. a really wonderful town. i've been there, it's a great town. it remind us of a cross between the west of new mexico and the
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west of california blending together there. it was a laid back group of people, they enjoyed life, but now tey're the kidnap capital of the united states. and it's not americans kidnapping americans. it's illegal people coming across our border and starting a big business of kidnapping people. they kidnap them, they hold them for ransom. and if they don't get the ransom on time, they send them a hand or an arm and ultimately maybe a head of their loved one to let them know they didn't pay the money and that's what happened to their loved one. we don't live with that kind of horror in this country, b there it is right there in phoenix, arizona. and that means that this lawlessness that exists on the border of this country, the southern border of this country, is bleeding over into the united
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states. and we have got to do something about it. so the arizona folks, they wrote themselves a law. and they basically said, they basically defined some stuff that federal officers have had the ability to do for some time. and they talked about the fact that if washington is not going to do something, we're going to do something to try to find out who these people are that are coming across our border illegally. and this debate has become -- we have international people talking to us, we have the nations talking about a law in arizona. i want to throw something out and i see my fred rob bishop from utah is here, i'm happy to have my colleague and classmate, we came in here together, to be here to join me tonight. it pleases me to no end. but i want to just start off this conversation by pointing out something that lamar smith that serves on the judiciary
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committee told to a group of us last week, a statistic that he produced which is very eye-opening. we are criticized by the united nations, we are criticized by china, we are being criticized by russia, we are being criticized by e.u. countries over there about our horrible immigration policy. over the past year we have brought in legally, through the legal process into this country, over one million immigrants. and by the way, that number and more have been going on for just about as far as you can look back in time and see in this country. one million came in last year, more than one million, 1,200,000, something like that. you say, why do i mention that? what's the big deal about that number? i got news for you, my
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colleagues, here it is, that number equals more immigration than all the rest of the world combined. so these people that are criticizing the united states and our citizens who are acting like that we should look to some others as example, there are no other great examples of people who welcome immigrants but the united states. because the united states by itself welcomes more than all the rest of the world put together. now that ought to make us stop looking at ourselves as evil people. we through a legal process bring in more immigrants to our country and welcome them to be law-abiding citizens and come here and help make our country what it's always been, the great melting pot of america. and we do it legally. and they wait their turn, they get in line, they fill out the paperwork, they pay the fees, they do all that it takes to get
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here legally and they are legal immigrants and the more -- and more of them than all the rest of the world has combined in their countries added together. with that as our prems that i we are not evil people, -- premise that we are not evil people, we are people who care about immigrants, i'd like to yield such time as my friend from utah would like to spend in discussing this matter. mr. bishop: i thank -- mr. bishop: i thank the gentleman from texas for introducing this issue and yielding the time. madam speaker and the gentleman from texas, i think there are three terms i want to kind of emphasize over and over because it is the crux of the concern we have on our southern border. once again, it is illegal drugs, the bulk of the illegal drugs coming into this country are coming over on federal lands in our southern border. the second one is human trafficking. and all the violence, especially the violence against women, that is inassumed with that concept
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of human trafficking coming across our border. and the fact that we have gaping holes in our border security which is almost an open invitation for potential terrorists to come into this country. now, same issue, i want to be made very clear, of our southern boarder is a secure in our northern border. but for the purposes of discussion today, i want to talk about the southern border and those three concepts. illegal drugs, human trafficking and potential terrorists coming into this country. because the bottom line is, madam speaker, border patrol is working. they're doing a great job. they are successful in urban areas which means that most of the illegal traffic, drug cartels, the human traffickers, potential terrorists, are now coming in rural areas along our southern border because simply it is much easier. you can look at this map from california to el paso, texas, everything that is colored is land owned by the federal
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government. over 40% of the land along our southern border is federal land. and 4.3 million acres of that federal land is in wilderness category. this is the area in which we are having the illegal drugs and the human traffickers and potential terrorists coming because flat out it is easier to do that. and it's easier simply because our own department of interior which controls this land to a lesser extent -- land, to the lesser extent the forest service, has simply placed as their number one policy for control of the land, realizing our protecting endangered species and wilderness categories. which simply means they are looking at the law very literally and basically hiding behind it. in one of the documents sent by the interior department it says, federal agencies are demanded to comply with the variety of land use laws and compliance with that law, in meaning wilderness and endangered species, both insulates those entities and agencies from legal liability.
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now, what we're asking people to do is simpl what i think should be common sense. but unfortunately the interior department and to a lesser extent the forest service don't use common sense. they're hidding -- hiding behind legal niceties. we realize the homeland security which is in control of our border patrol gets this point. i was reading in the paper just today of a farm in vermont that is now under potential threat of eminent domain by the homeland security to take it over to beef up our border security along the north. which is so ironic because in the south that same entity that wants to beef up security in vermont is prohibited by another agency of government to do so. it is ironic because, as you see in this picture, this is part of the federal land we have in the south and you can see there are vehicle barriers that are placed in this land. i want you to know those vehicle barriers are not to stop the drug cartels from coming in or
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the human traffickers. those barriers are to protect against the border patrol from driving into endangered species area and wilderness dess pace in. -- designation. it is to stop us from doing our jobs. once again, i'm trying to emphasize again, we're talking about the illegal drugs coming in here, the violence in human trafficking and pot tension -- potential -- and the potential of terrorists coming into our land. one of the entities along our southern border, i read this in the paper on sunday, it's the brown piece if you can see it in arizona, i hope i pronounce it properly, the tribe in arizona, roughly about 70 miles of that border, recently participated for the first time, their tribe of police and the f.b.i., on saturday of last week, with the largest drug enforcement operation in this nation and the largest -- i'm sorry, largest drug enforcement operation in tribal history. what they said when they raided
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homes to stop illegal drugs from coming in that no longer is the tribe satisfied with having a corridor for the drug cartel coming into this country through tribal land. they were setting down a marker that the tribe was going to enforce the border against illegal drugs coming into this country which is the exact same thing, the message that should be sent out that unfortunately the federal government isn't. the department of interior, forest service are not sending that same message out. instead, as was mentioned by the gentleman from texas, department of interior is holding homeland security for hostage, demanding money. now, this is one of those strange coincidences that congress appropriates money both to interior and to homedland security and then all of a sudden we -- homeland security and then all of a sudden we find negotiations between the two, interior demanding mitigation fees from homeland security, it's all coming from the same pot. common sense would say we work that out ahead of time. but since 2007 at least $9 million have gone from homeland
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security over to the interior as mitigation fees. and apparently they have agreed to $50 million to do more than that. to try and protect these wilderness designations against incursion by border patrol, because of all the damage they may do. look, this is where the irony takes place. this is the wilderness we are trying to protect by keeping border patrol out. the trash you see in here was not made by americans visiting this wilderness area, it was not made by the board par petroleum trying to protect the border -- border patrol trying to protect the border and security, it was made by the illegal drug cartels and, once again, the human traffickers coming through and leaving the litter behind. in our effort to protect the land we are destroying the very land we are trying to protect and once again this is just flat out not common sense. if i could give you some quotes from secretary napolitano, letters she sent out at one
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time. she said, one of the issues affecting the efficacy of the board par petroleum operations within wilderness is the prohibition against mccanncal conveyance. border patrol regularly depends on these conveyances and the removal of such advantage is detrimental to the abity to accomplish national security missions. while the border patrol recognizes the importance in value of wilderness area designations, they can have a significant impact on border patrol operations in border areas. for example, it may be inadvisable for an officer safety to wait for the arrival of horses to pursue -- pour pursuit purposes -- for pursuit purposes. one of the major challenges in deploying our technology to remote locations along the boarder is ensuring compliance with environmental regulations. environmental regulations may be subject to varied interpretations based on what level of the agency or the organization is involved.
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the removal of cross border violators from public lands is a value to the environment as well as the mission to land managers. that's what we should be doing. here's also where the human element comes in here. 2002, park ranger chris eagle was shot and killed while in the line of duty while pursuing a member of the drug cartel who was crossed into the u.s. border illegally through one of those areas. 2008, border patrol agent luising a which lar crilled -- killed in the line of duty after being intentionally hit by a vehicle that had illegally crossed into the united states through federal lands again. rob crins, a long time pioneer, down in the arizona area, this is an elderly gentleman who just had his back hughesed and one hip replacement replaced with another. he was murdered along with his dog. once again, by a member of the drug cartel who came across on
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federal lands which prohibits the border patrol from going into those lands because of endangered species and when the murderer took place he went -- murder took place he went a long route going back to mexico going once again through those exact same lands that are not open to the border security. for example, i showed you the picture of the barricades. well, this is the area in which the murderer entered this country and exited the country. those barricades are not to stop the drug cartels and the murderers from coming in, those stop the border patrol from having mechanical access to these particular areas. the family sent out a release that said, the disregard -- the pleas for our community have fallen on deaf ears, and we have paid the price for their negligence in securing our
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borderlands this family testified before congress in 2007. these are the words they told congress at that time. the border patrol should not be excluded nor should the national security of the united states be sacrificed in order to create a wilderness area that is not even roadless, as required by law. it has almost produced a state of war on drugs. there are break ins, high speed chases, fatal and nonfatal shootings. the pristine areas of the proposed wilderness areas have already been trash. drug smugglers should not take precedence over honest, hardworking people whose livelihood is damaged. they estimate $6.2 million damages. they said we are in fear of our lives and safety and that of our family and friends.
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we have been refused legal protection for our property and our lives when dealing with border issues and illegals, we are the victims. mr. crents is no longer here, once again because we put a higher priority on the sacred ness on the wilderness land than we did on controlling the boarder to stop the drug cartels, the human traffickers and the potential terrorists. a couple of weeks ago, once again a deputy was wounded on wilderness land where he was forced to leave his vehicle and walk into the wilderness area by the rules of how we handled this land where he walked into an ambush again. he lives but was wounded for it. we have an area called the oregon pipe national monument,
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one of these those fiats we did so well with, 2/3 of those -- 2/3 of that is off limits to americans because we don't control it, drug cartels control it. we are giving up sovereignty of the united states to bad guys. these are drug runners. these are human traffickers. these are people who create violence of unspeakable levels against women at all times. these are the potential terrorists. we, because of our inaction, are giving up vast stretches of american property to the drug cartel so that not even americans can go into these national monuments. there is no common sense. no rational person would ever say this should be our policy. but indeed, we have come to that particular policy. i am very disgusted with our secretary of the interior who talks very good about this issue but has yet to change the policies and people are getting shot and killed down there.
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y mentioned the years law. i think it's a law proposed by the ranking republican on both judiciary and homeland security and national security, or national resources and the -- and myself, who is the ranking member on the public lands subcommittee. if we were to have that land, if we were to have that policy, it would have eliminated a great deal of the fear and anxiety that was the primary motivation of this particular law. if people realize that the priority of this congress is to secure the border to stop the bad people from coming in, to stop the drug runners and the human traffickers, and that's what we should be doing. both houses of congress have recognize thasmed the senate added language to an
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appropriations bill that said, despite our other rules, border security and the securing of our border will be the highest priority on our southern bored. it was passed in the senate. stripped in committee before it came to the floor and therefore was not added to our law. we here in the house took another bill, on a motion to recommit, added almost exactly the same language, it passed overwhelmingly here in the house, it sits in the senate going no. where both sides recognize this should be the policy but as yet we have not acted on it. we issued four challenges to secretary salazar, i'd like to reissue the challenges. in the interior adopt's policy having border pal pa troll having to ask permission to
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access areas. two, realize the land is being damaged by drug runners. three, stop impeding access to the areas and stop blocking mitigation funds from homeland security. those should be done administratively today. if we could do that, we would know that we would put a great dent on the illegal drugs that are destroying this country. the illegal violence that is taking place on that order. and the potential terrorists. we have gaping holes in our southern border and ironically enough in our northern border that need to be stopped by saying our number one goal in southern borders is to stop the illegal activity by securing the border. after that, after that then we
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can move on to other issues. but if a nation is going to be sovereign, we must control all our land and our border and there is nothing that should stop us from doing it. common sense is not the rule today. i yield back to the gentleman from texas. mr. carter: thank you for that explanation, i learned a lot from that explanation. one of the thicks i was curious about and should ask is these vehicle barriers that they've kept talking about were part of the fence, they weren't building a fence but they were building vehicle barriers where vehicles couldn't get back in there and it was my impression from what i learned from law enforcement that vehicles weren't the problem, that it was foot traffic that's the problem. now i learn the vehicle barriers kept law enforcement's
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vehicles out. mr. bishop: some of the barriers that us to be used and are now surplus because a bigger fence is in place have been put into other areas and it's an be barrier to stop american theansd border patrol from going into road areas in these particular areas. it is not necessary for us to have a fixed fence along the entire border. but where we do not have a fixed fence, we need to have the electronic device necessary for monitoring that area. especially in the hilly areas that makes more sense. the problem is, if once again you have identified wilderness characteristics in that land, you may not put recording devices on wilderness land. therefore the border patrol is forced to move their recording devices area which creates huge gaps in security.
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that's what we're trying to say. there's nothing wrong with trying to protect the wilderness, trying to protect engaged species but first of all, we have to stop the drug, we have to stop human trafficking, we have to close these gaping holes for potential terrorists coming in here. if we can't do that, the wilderness characteristic has no meaning no value to it. that has to be our number one priority. common sense tells you that. that's why i'm proud that on the bill we have, representative king from homeland security, representative smith from judiciary, representative hastings from resources, join together along with 40 other co-sponsors to try to push this through again and make it clear that what we're doing is what common people would say is the right thing to do. i yield back. mr. carter: i think common sense is more in short supply on this place than any place else on earth. if we had more common sense, it would make sense. you mentioned something i don't like to use shock value when
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talking to the american citizens but they ought to know when we say lawlessness on the board, you mentioned something that is a horrible thing. the -- with all your imagination think about this. these are monuments to women who have been brought across the border from the other side of the border and then the people who brought them rape them before they move on and they hang their undergarments on the tree as a monument to that rape. and our folks who patrol the border call those rape trees. now, if that doesn't get your attention about lawlessness, i don't know what's going. to -- what's going to. when i learned about that, and then i learned -- i talked to a man from rock springs, which a pretty darn good ways from the
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border in texas. the interesting thing is if you looked at the map that mr. bishop put up there, you didn't see any federal lands in texas, texas is the only state that entered the union retaining its public lands. but it even makes for more problems for us, too, because all the land along the rio grande river in texas belongs to texas. ranches and farmers and so forth. when you start dealing with barriers, that creates a bigger problem in some ways by -- because these folks, you have to -- it's their private land, you have to deal with them system of whatever duh yao do, the issues of our law, they stay in the way. but putting up barriers to interfere with the law, the enforcement of the law, i think is aiding and abetting criminal activity. but then, i wouldn't mind taking it to a jury, but i think it would be an interesting argument. but the tissue the stories that
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you just related to me, john culberson, another member from texas, related he had seen in new mexico and arizona a lookout post established in the indian reservations and in the public lands where these are places where they sit up there and look for the border patrol so they can radio back and bring people across in various areas. it's like they own that it's like that's their ranchero, it's their place on the border. we are having our country invaded. and it's bad enough to talk about people coming over, all these poor people coming over to get a job. true, absolutely. great folks are coming over to try to get a job. but we could do better, we could figure out a way to get them here without the lawlessness on the border. if you're not going to defend your country, what good are you, what good is this place if
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you're not going to defend the country. our land, they're invading land that belongs to the united states of america. my lord, we ought to be able to defend that land. i yield back to my friend. mr. bishop: if i could amplify that point in some small degree and once again, as the gentleman from texas recognized, there's only one national park along the texas side. everything else which is an added benefit because texas now cooperates a whole lot easier than unfortunately some of the federal agencies do from new mexico through to the pacific coast. but you're right, there are within these drug cartel, they do have lookout spot, night vision, they have all the equipment necessary as they now are engaged in a war amongst themselves. the deputy who was recently shot was the 12th shooting that took place in this area.
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the bulk of those shootings are not necessarily against americans but cartel versus car sell. the difference was, this is the first one that got hit with one of these shootings and what's more illustrative of this situation, as this deputy was brought into an ambush and the rancher down there who was doing nothing more than traveling on his land in a cart because he didn't have the ability to move freely. in the past, drug cartels when approached would disappear. what we're finding out now is there's a change in attitude. all of a sudden they're not running away they stood their ground and shot the rancher and shot his dog. they stood their ground and leuered the deputy into an ambush and shot him. there's a change in attitude taking place there as the gentleman from texas said,s that change that's not taking place in mexico, which would be bad bad enough. this is taking place in the
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united states. and still the federal government does not change its policies and procedures to combat that. we seem as if there are land managers who are satisfied with making sure that the other -- that drug cartels control our territory. in oregon pipe national monument, indeed the land manager down there seemed to be more concerned about the fact that the border patrol was, instead of doing a y to back up and go around was going in a circular pattern on the land than he was about the fact that 2/3 of his land was controlled by drug cartels and americans can't go there unless they have an armed escort. it is amazing that we as part of our publicity to attract people to go to public lands we tell them, you can't go here. that seems like a bizarre concept and it doesn't define sovereignty as i thought sovereignty was defined. i yield back to the gentleman.
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mr. carter: here's another thing. you know, we're talking about the rural areas which, you know, one time when we were having a hearing in homeland security we were talking about helicopters and we were talking about drones. and many people were asking about them. so i asked them, ok, now, there's at least some people -- we have duncan hunter at that time who was saying, we not only need a double fence for the entire border but we need a high speed highway in between it so the border patrol could respond quickly. and so i asked this guy about these helicopters. i said, ok, what do you use these hements for? he said, well, we -- these helicopters for? he said, well, we go out and spot these large groups of immigrants crossing into arizona and new mexico and some in california. and i said, oh, so if our electronic equipment gives you a signal that there's something there you go out there and you swoop down? no, no, no we don't swoop down.
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we check to see if they have adequate water and food supplies and if they don't, we drop them water and food supplies so they don't die in the desert. well, that's very compassionate. but now i hear from my friend from rock springs who was talking about sitting on his back porch of his ranch looking down into a -- sort of a drawdown behind his place and his wife said, look there. it looks like 20 illegals crossing our property. go and run them off. and he said, mama, wait a minute. he picked up his binoculars and he looked and he saw that at least both front of that line of folks had automatic weapons over their shoulder and the two end of the line had automatic weapons over their shoulder and all of them had large backpacks on their back, obviously carrying drugs and he said, mama, you don't issue those
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people off, they kill you. we'll call the border patrol, hopefully they'll do something about it. he called them. they didn't get there. they tried. but they didn't get there. they were too far away. but here's something from juarez, right across -- this was may 18, 2010, tuesday, may 18. that's pretty current. 25 people have been killed over this weekend in drug-related violence in the mexican border city of juarez. among those slain were 30 federal police personnel including three officers who had been engaged in controlling the ever-increasing spate of violence in the north mexican city. juarez is now the world's murder capital with near 1,000 murders recorded since january, 2010.
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this city lying close to the border with texas of the united states has witnessed a surge of violence in recent times over control of the key drug smuggling routes to the u.s. between rival gangs. that's a clip out of the newspaper. that's the day before yesterday. right? or today. that's yesterday. yeah. that's today. mr. bishop: today. mr. carter: that's today's newspaper. that's about this last weekend. now, we can't stand still and let this happen on our border. we are sending soldiers into harm's way in places around the world to stop violence and 23,000 people have died across the border, a place where, by the way, at least from texas'
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standpoint, many of us call -- used to be one of the places that we daily loved to visit. we have friends that we know across the border. in my lifetime i've been across that border more than 100 times, probably more than 500 times. and although there were places you didn't want to go over there, there still was -- they were still sister cities. people forget that el paso-haursezz a city of almost three million people -- juarez is a city of almost three million people. it's a huge metropolitan area. that's a big city over there across the border and look at the violence that took place this weekend. we see the shows on television with the gangs shooting at each other but they're happening across the border from major cities like el paso. i yield back. mr. bishop: i appreciate that and i understand, we do have some sensitivity to the issues that are taking place in mexico
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and i am proud that the mexican government is starting to crack down on the illegal drug cartels on their side of the border. and it is a violence that is spilling over in some respects we don't have the ability to control that. but where do have the ability to control and once again i have to go back to the fact that our land policy is now the prime -- the prime area in which t violence is taking place and where the drug cartels are trying to go, where we do have the ability to control it is simply wrong for us not to do that. it's wrong for us to have any other national priority than securing our southern border for the safety of our people. and once again what we are talking about is the worst kinds of people we want to keep out of here. we're not talking about stopping, as you mentioned very early on, stopping all immigration into this country. there are certain kinds of entrepreneurial spirits we want to have in this nation. the drug cartels are not that
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person. the human traffickers are not that person. those who are bringing in potential prostitutes are not that. those that are actually doing the rape treats with the monuments to unthinkable violence, those are not the kind we're after. and the potential of the terrorists carrying a bomb or any other kind of device is now something that we must have as upper most in our consideration. and that's why when we have the opportunity at least to establish policy and procedures on the federal level that deal specifically with federal land it is just flat out wrong of us not to insist that we do that. and we're not. mr. carter: if the gentleman will yield. a question. when america takes -- retains or takes public land, aren't we as a body of americans stewards that have land for this nation? isn't it our job to take care of
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the property that we --rom the -- that the federal government has? isn't that the job of the interior department, to be a steward, a good steward of that land, to make sure that land, it thrives and it is safe and it is a part of the body politic of the whole country's ownership? now, how can they possibly think that it's the good well-being of the american pop us will to have our land, that we own as a body politic, full of drug dealers, rapists and prostitute smugglers? why in the world won't they open the roads up to our law enforcement to go in thrand stop this? mr. bishop: the gentleman, if i may, asked a pertinent question. a two-part question. first i wish the federal government didn't own quite so much land. i'd be happier with that. but if they have to take control
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of that land they have to take control of that land. in deference to some within the department of interior and forest service, because once again i think common sense would say, if people were of like mind and people were able to sit down and work these situations out, this is not rocket science. but in deference to some of them, the law to which they look for guidance says that they have to manage it for wilderness designation and endangered speciesa aspects first. that's the way they're interpreting it. i personally think they could reinterpret that very easily. administratively if they chose. but that is the interpretation which is, a lot of the other reasons why i think the law we have proposed, the law that passed in the senate but didn't get over here needs to be put in place so we make it very, very clear that on these public lands indeed public security is the number one priority that we want to stop the drugs and the violence from coming across here. mr. carter: i yield to another
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question, isn't it a fact that the kind of people they're letting come in there without any enforcement, law enforcement being able to stop them are not what you'd call good citizens for taking care of the wilderness nor good citizens for protecting endangered species? look at that picture you're holding up there. bottles, cancer, clothing, every kind of -- looks like the city dump outside of the city here. now, is that protecting our wilderness? mr. bishop: that's the irony, if will you yield again, that's the irony in the situation we find ourselves. the very land we're trying to protect is the land that's being destroyed by people who don't care about the quality and purpose of land. and that's -- this is what we must stop. this is unfortunately what the reality of the today is and that is sad. and it should be one of the reasons why our policy should be very clear and very open and why when you talk to people, this is
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-- they just shake their heads in amazement because this just does not make common sense. i think you may have some -- mr. carter: real quickly, you know, we've got this issue with the arizona law. and i think everyone says that the arizona law really is an outcry from arizonans saying, you're not going to do it, we're all going to get involved. but maybe the administration is setting a policy or a mindset here that is causing some of these things because public opinion versus the opinion of our speaker and our president seems to go in opposite directions. public opinion says, and i believe they'd even say it louder, they would say, my lord, if we're not enforcing our borders and all this horrible stuff is happening down there, somebody's got to. and i don't blame arizona for saying we want to have the right to ask questions.
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so, look at these polls, 51%, 59 approve -- 59% approve. fox news, 61% approve. president obama, attorney generic holder, secretary of state and the department spokesman all seem to take the position that this is some horrible infringement upon goodness and mercy. and the constitution of the united states. maybe we got to get our minds set straight. you got to start realizing that our job as members of this congress, this whole body, we take an oath to preserve, protect and defend the constitution. and in that constitution it tells us one of our responsibility is to defend our nation against all enemies. these are enemies of our country.
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if you don't believe it, i will be glad to take you down to places in texas where the abuse of the drugs that are killing our children are clearly seen over the streets and you tell me if that's not an attack on our country, for those drugs to come pouring in here. and you tell me the rape trees are not an attack. maybe it's happening to poor innocent people from foreign lands being smuggled in here. but the rapes are taking place in the united states. and that sexual assault has been taking place on those hundreds of women, that is a serious felony afence in every jurisdiction in this country -- offense in every jurisdiction in this country. and we know it's going on and we're using regulations to hold the hands of those who would protect those innocents. it drives you nuts to listen to this stuff. i yield back. mr. bishop: if i may.
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i appreciate your emphasis on the public attitude there. i do not have a window into the hearts of what arizona legislators may or may not have done. but in the back of my mind, i cannot keep telling myself or i cannot keep wondering that if we as a federal government had actually taken charge of our southern border and our northern border, if we as a federal government had stopped that most heinous of individuals who are freely coming in here now, perhaps the anxiety level or the anger level would not have made necessary the particular arizona statute. now, that's pure speculation on my part as well but i can't help thinking that if we were doing our jobs and getting all of the government agencies, interior, ag, forest service and homeland security, to work together and do the right thing for people, just to take a commonsense approach, that we would lower at least the rhetoric of the discussion and we would raise the security feeling of people and maybe people like rob would
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be alive today to be with his family. mr. carter: i thank the gentleman for coming down here and actually enening me on some facts that i was -- enlightening me on some facts that i was not aware of. like i say, we retain our public lands in texas and we look at texas as the issue -- it's just as serious on the texas border but it's a different issue on the texas border. but they're all serious and the incursions into texas, new mexico, arizona and california are getting worse every time they occur. . we need an imgracious policy that works. everyone is. i'm not for rewarding criminal behavior and we need to stop that border and send it up and
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come up with an immigration policy that is fair and takes in mind that the law has a purpose in this country is the glue that holds this society together. i thank my friend for joining me. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: under the speaker's announced policy january 6, 2009, the chair recognizes the gentleman from florida, mr. meek, for half the remaining time. mr. meek: mr. meek: thank you for me addressing the issues facing florida and the country. and you know we have had a number of incidents that have taken place in the gulf in recent years, hurricane katrina and other storms like it. and now, we have a threat to not
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only our environment but also the economy of the gulf states. tonight, i come to address some of the issues that are facing the state of florida right now. everyone knows the effects of the deepwater horizon oil spill. and also understand what they see on the news every night not only of environmentalists and scientists and responders to the incident and what they're doing. america's being educated on what's going on. water as deep as 5,000 feet. but i can tell you, i just recently left the gulf coast area. i had an opportunity in my own state to be in tampa and then moving on up to panama city and the cities in between panama city and pensacola. had the opportunity to meet with
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some good floridians and pigged up first-hand ideas on what we can do to stabilize not only the economy but do away with some of the rumors that's affecting the overall economic outlook for that particular area. i also -- in pensacola, i went to the command center in mobile, alabama and had an opportunity to meet with the coordinateors there on behalf of the coast guard and coordinateors for the state of florida, coordinateors also for the recovery effort as it relates to oil companies. i want to say from the outset, mr. speaker, that those that are responsible for this spill b.p., haliburton or the number of other companies that have been named, i guarantee you this,
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that response will not go without them paying. and i think it's very, very important that everyone on this house floor understand that many people have been affected due to the lack of regulation be from the regulatory agency not doing what they should do and i know that this congress will find out more about what did happen and did not happen and the mismanagement that took place but also as it relates to b.p., halliburton and others to make sure they -- that this did not happen. some individuals work pay check to pay check, some families have been fishing there in the gulf for a very long time and they have been affected. i talked to fishermen in panama city and i talked to fishermen
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in pensacola and those that are concerned about the perception out there, the fact that we do not have oil on the beaches in florida and oil in the florida waters, but somehow, some way, the perception has been that there's oil on the beach. and i can tell you that it's affected the economy of both communities. and i just want to share with the members that it's very important that we not only get out accurate information but we use every tool we can and meeting with those fishermen in panama city where their boats were there in the slips, they're usually out on the water catching fish, but people have canceled their reservations because they feel the waters are unsafe. that's not the case and these
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communities are already hit. and i want to make sure that americans understand that they can come to florida and they can vacation there and they should not cancel their reservations because it will be affecting the economy not only in florida, but for individuals who work hard every day that were already on their knees as relates to an economic slowdown we are experiencing right now, fishermen had their books all filled through the snapper season, the only sign that individuals are cancelling, corporations that planned retreats down in the panhandle county, decided to cancel their reservations. maybe do away with some of the myths out there, it's about the hotel industry and tourism industry that hold our economy
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as being the number one spot in creating jobs. i have some charts here, mr. speaker, that talks about the $55 billion that tourism generates in the state of florida and i can tell you just recreational salt water fishing, $5 billion, $50,00 jobs and i think it's very, very important that everyone understands that the economy in florida is already some 11.3 and above as it relates to unemployment. some of the communities that are involved and i'll talk about it as we move along of the unemployment rates that are there and people that feel that they feel sorry for those individuals that are impacted, i can tell you, you can go down to that area and enjoy yourself and come down to florida. i want to share a few other statistical data that i have
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here. boating impakistans on florida's economy, $18 billion, 220 something jobs. florida average is 35 million in -- 35 million fishing trips per year and unfortunately that industry is hurting as i described earlier. i think that a mber of folks need to understand that many of these fishing families that are along that coastline, i think they are too small to fail. we talked about too big to fail when we look at the financial industry. these are the reasons why hotels are filled and reasons why people are walking in and out of restaurants and reason why people come to that neck of the woods. and i think it's important that everyone understand what we're facing here. these are some statistics that i have already mentioned here.
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but i think it's important that everyone understands that in florida, we're trying to do everything we can. i met with the hotel ownr who said she has 40 rooms but only seven reservations. staff of 35 individuals, but she's going to have to lay folks off. that's not because of any acts against our country, but that's an act of environmental perception that the beaches in panama city have oil on them and folks can't come down and enjoy themselves. when i met with them, i said, listen, i have filed legislation with senator bill nelson in the senate calling for a moratorium until we figure out how we could make these rigs safe and make sure there is a moratorium on expansion of offshore oil drilling off the coast of
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florida and in the gulf of mexico. that is already filed. legislation is already filed. ross holt, moving the liability cap up, to make sure these oil companies do not get off the hook for the kind of misery they have put upon these individuals that just wanted to work every day. i shared what the s.b.a. is providing for small businesses. in the final analysis, kendrick, if you go back to congress and say we are open for business and ready to receive them, that will help us more than everything that you just mentioned, everything that you just mentioned will be for the future, but not for right now. they have mortgages to meet. they can't take a second on their home because they have already have one. they don't have the money to make that payment for the slip they have there at the marina.
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they have bills that they have to meet. and i can tell you, ladies and gentlemen, it's important, as a member of congress, that's the least i can do to come to the floor tonight and stand up on behalf of those individuals that need someone to stand up o their behalf. these are some of the guys that i met with there in panama city. as you can see, as a fishermen. i'm looking at mackerel, grouper, snapper and i see some grunt. these are the guys who are ready to go to work and people are cancelling on them saying there is oil in the water. there isn't oil in the water. i ask them to hold them in consideration. these pictures were taken last week. i'm not showing you a picture from a website. they wanted this picture to let folks know they are ready to
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fish, ready, set, go and clean and stay a couple of days and enjoy yourselves. seasonal community along this gulf coast area, especially along the panhandle of florida, they only have 120 days. they have the most seasonal economy in the state of florida. these individuals are affected because of the lack of responsibility of those that are responsibility for oil that's gushing out in the bottom of the gulf right now. i think it's important we look at leadership and we understand that the economy is going to be affected, time after time again when individuals are irresponsible, one, by not standing up as leaders when they are supposed to stand up as leaders and be consistent. two, turning their back and not paying attention to details. i think it's important -- i'm going to bring that fishing back up again because i'm a fishermen.
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visitflorida is the website you can go to. it's very important that you can go to this website and get accurate information. on the website, you have key area areas where you can click on and get twitter updates on what's going on on that particular beach and visitflorida on the website. i think it's important that you understand that coming to florida for many individuals that are hit by hard times, you don't have the opportunity to go on the plane and fly overseas. it would be a lot cheaper to come on down. here's where the rubber meets the road. this is important. we look at our economy. not only the florida economy, but this is the deepwater horizon's project and where the incident took place. this is the map updated by noaa and i thinkt's important in that you understand that this
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red line here is the red line of the area that is shut off. this has very little to do with the area i'm talking about over top pensacola. you can see this little black line here are the florida waters that florida has jurisdiction over. there is a proposal, mr. speaker, to call a special session to put in the state constitution calling for no oil drilling around the state of florida. and as it relates to our constitution, that will be a good move, because what's happening right now, our economy is being affected and will be affected and will not have the resources we need to be able to deal with schools, health care, a number of other issues that the state has to take responsibility for. i'm just doing my part, not only signing bills, but giving voice to those individuals that i have met with saying, if you could help us, it would help us to be
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able to bounce back and that's what we are trying to do. this is the area that was shut down as of 6:00 p.m. today. this is only 19% of the gulf and this is very, very, deep water. only kind of fishing is tuna fishing. all the fish that you saw that i put up in the chart before that are caught in this area. where these boats going out is right here and has nothing to do with this. and the department of health would let you know that these areas are shut down and that they're not open for business or open for fishing. i know there was rumor, not a rumor, but fact that tar balls were found by the florida keys. that's being analyzed. being a florida guy myself, i could tell you that you get a little tar every now and then. it may not be from thewater
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horizon sludge, but we don't want hysteria going throughout saying there is tar going throughout the keys. and it's very important that we understand that. and i can tell you one thing, as much as i fought against offshore oil drilling in the state of florida or around the state of florida, i can tell you that i'm just as concerned as some, but it's not for alarm. that ach is still open. . this chart here, you can go onto grand panama beach --, this is a webcam, just to let you know that the beach is open and ready, set, go for visitors and i think that that's something that's very, very important and folks need to understand. now, one thing that gets to the
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bread and butter here, mr. speaker, i think it's important, you've been hearing a lot about how we're trying to shut this oil down, how the coast guard is a part of that, the e.p.a., the b.p. and a number of other agencies. but i can tell you where the rubber meets the road. this area all the way to the county, you have the counties that are already affected by unemployment. 7.2% unemployment, gaston county also has individuals that are living up into these areas here in the panhandle, northwest florida, that are affected by 9.6% unemployment. liberty county, 5.3% unemployment, franklin county, 7.10% unemployment. gulf county, 9.8% unemployment, calhoun county, 8.2% unemployment, jackson county, 7.2% unemployment. and bay county is 8.9%
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unemployment. and washington county is also up here in the panhandle area is 9.6% unemployment. holmes county, 7.2% unemployment. walter county, 6.8% unemployment. santa rosa county, 9.4% unemployment and scambia county, better known as pensacola is 9.8% unemployment. i say all of that, ladies and gentlemen, because if we don't kill this whole issue that we have oil on the beaches in florida, those unemployment numbers that i just mentioned are going to get higher. that's not fiction, that's fact. and think it's important that we understand that even though b.p. and halliburton and all these oth companies that took advantage of what they were supposed to do and put these individuals in a financial situation, that they're not going to even be able to provide for their families.
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i want toes families to know -- those families to know that we're going to do everything we can, at least i am as a member of congress, to make she's these individuals pay. that's not going to -- make sure these individuals pay. that's not going to put food on the table, not right now. but i'll tell you one thing, if we don't do our part as individuals that are not living in the area that i just mentioned, to make sure that we do everything we can to support those floridians and also those americans, then shame on us. we need to be able to stand up for them. i think it's also important to understand, we talk about this issue of offshore oil drilling. it's ok to be against it now, now that you have oil in the gulf. i understand louisiana and especially -- and new orleans, they're adjudged of handling all of the court orders that can coming through. b.p. is trying to move that
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hearing to houston. i wonder why? i guessor more favorable kind of judge or environment so that they will, you know, can have that at the home base, so that they can be able to have influence over need it be the jury pool or what have you. we need to pay very close attention to what's happening. people are scared. people are concerned. some people may be looking at it as a vacation situation. we have folks think a just mentioned in trying to give some representation to here tonight that are directly affected, they have children, it too. they have mortgages, too. they have car notes, too, and boat notes, too. and they have to make ends meet. exxon valdez is the only thing that we can really point to see what the outcome measures of what happened to a community when there was an oil spill. now, i commend those workers that are out there that's trying to ral upand round up this oil
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off the top of the water. commend them for their work. i went by that command center, there are loot of great americans that are working to try to -- a lot of great americans that are working to try to save communities. both captains that i was with, they both live in santa rosa county. they said, i have an invested interest in making sure this oil doesn't hit the beach. they're out there working 20-hour days. making sure that they're able to skim and burn and pick up this oil. but they can't get it all. and it's not on the beaches of florida. and i think it's very important that everyone understands that and there are people that are working but i'll be dog gone if we'll allow these oil executives to come to congress with $1,200 suits on and say they're not going to answer questions and folks back home are suffering. i think it's important that everyone understands that this is serious business, the cleanup of this horizons project is
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going to take years. not months. but years. and i think it's important that everyone understands, we look at national security and we talk about green initiatives, that folks don't feel that the some sort of liberal tree hugging experience. china's doing it. india's doing it. why do we have to be third or fourth as a country when we look at alternative fuel sources? we talk about solar power, folks think that's weak. i look it as putting folks to work. maybe diversifying opportunities for these people that i've identified for those who have been fishing for generation and generation, maybe they can have some other opportunities. biomass, i speak as a congressman that has promoted biomass as it relates to our agricultural opportunities that we have. and reusing sugar cane and reusing some of our crops as it relates to orange peels and
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others to turn them into energy, to give -- to put power back into the grid and to talk about solar power. constantly coming from the sunshine state. i talk about solar power because i see opportunities in it. i see homeowners being able to have the opportunity to save on their electric bill. but it's all about the transition. so if we continue to depend on fossil fuels, especially when it comes down to affecting the economy of so many gulf state communities, communities along the gulf states that are affected by this and the dollars that are being deployed right now, is something that we can prevent in the future. so, i,, you know, mr. speaker, i just wanted to do my part here tonight. i wanted to make sure that those individuals in this picture here -- think a didn't let them down, i told them that i would bring
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voice to their issue as it relates to -- which is my issue to -- as it relates to the fact that people are canceling on these guys. and gals, i must add. and i just really want to thank pamela anderson for supplying this picture at anderson marina. they want to go to work and we need to give them the opportunity to go to work. but as we look at this issue, mr. speaker, it's important that as this congress moves on with the investigation and the legislation that i'm a prime sponsor of and co-sponsor of that's not enough. making sure we're able to look at this legislation -- situation as though it is a natural disaster and the federal response should treat it as though. so we need to make sure that these individuals do not fail because if we didn't let the banks fail, we should not let these individuals that work every day, pay taxes and many of
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whom are veterans in this country, and there are democrats and republicans and independents. i can tell you one thing about this oil spill, i don't care what your party affiliation is, the bottom line is the bottom line. when 50% of your business is walker and that shuts down to 1% or 2% and you have a boat that you're taking six people out on and you're now taking one and the other person happens to be your cuss cuss cousin, something's really wrong with that. and that's going to affect these families. i hope as we move on, not only with the investigation, because we're an investigative body, but as we look at the affects that this oil spill has brought about, i think that we have to take into account what we're going through right now. my heart goes out to my brother enin alabama, my heart goes out to those that are in mississippi, my heart goes out
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to louisiana. i think it's very important that folks understand that this issue is just not a gulf issue, it's a united states issue and it's a perfect example of why we need to move forward as it relates to alternative fuel and energy in our country so that we don't have to find ourselves in a situation where individuals are affected by some mishap that took place because individuals were irresponsible and brought about pain and suffering for these individuals that are trying to work and put food on the table for their families. with that, mr. speaker, it was an honor to come to the floor. i want to let the membership know that many members of the florida delegation wanted to be here this evening but due to the hour, they were not able to be here. the florida delegation will be meeting tomorrow, when i say the florida delegation, i'm saying the members of the house and the
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senate, will come together to talk about this issue of florida and the deep water horizons oil spill. this directly affects our economy because our economy is all about tourism. i hope in that florida delegation meeting that there is a continued bipartisan spirit to not only help florida bounce back, but also as we move forward, as we look at energy, as policymakers that we remember this moment, that we remember that all of florida is going to be affected by the perception that there's oil in the water and so it doesn't matter if you're a representative of the west coast or you represent southern florida or the east coast of florida or you're in the middle of florida, every last one of those members and 27 members of the delegation with two senators, i think it's very, very important, including two senators, i think it's very, very important that we remember this moment, remember the
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floridians that are being affected and the fact that our economy already were on our knees and we're getting hit in the back of the head again, if we don't cap this oil from cup -- coming out from the bottom of the gulf of mexico and we don't remember this moment as we move forward as it relates to our national energy policy with that, mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time, sir. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. under the speaker's announced policy of january 6, 2009, the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas, mr. gohmert, for 60 minutes. mr. gohmert: thank you, mr. speaker. appreciate that. and i appreciate my friend from florida and his discussion about
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energy. sornely a timely topic -- certainly a timely topic. i think we're all pretty upset with what b.p. has done. we heard the president point out that we're not going to have any finger pointing. but that was yesterday. that was yesterday as he us in -- yesterday's news. i understand today the white house announces that it's going to have a commission that's going to do the finger pointing, so one day no finger pointing, the next day we're going to have a commission to do the finger pointing. so, i guess we know that nobody that comes in here would ever do anything but tell the truth. but whoever sent out those messages sure has been inconsistent. and, you know, i heard the president say last week that he was tired of all the cozy
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relationships between big oil and government. well, as long as big oil is being properly supervised then we're ok. but the trouble is, in the last year and a half, apparently things have not been going so well in the area of supervision. . there was an article from sunday, may 16, this article indicates the federal agency responsible for insuring that deepwater horizon was operating safely before it exploded last month fell short that the rig be inspected at least once per
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month. the agency's inspection frequency fell dramatically over the past five years and apparently in the last year and a half has dropped significantly . according to the article this indicates, officials say 83 inspections have been performed since the rig arrived in the gulf 104 months ago, which was september of 2001 and then being questioned, officials subsequently readvised that -- readvised that total up to 88 inspections and it changed from 26 to 48 since january of 2005. no explanation was given for that revision, but what's
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amazing to some of us is the fact that you could have a level 5 hurricane as existed in the gulf with hurricane katrina before it hit the coast of louisiana. once it hit the coast it was a level 3. but out there at the rigs, it was still a 5. and some of those platforms were completely destroyed. completely destroyed. but the blowout preventers worked. there was no oil leaked. so you wonder what's the deal. and relying on the old addage here in washington that no matter how cynical you get, it's never enough to catch up, begin thinking about the president
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deploying this cozy relationship between big oil and the government because if he's blowing smoke, maybe there's fire there. so we got to looking, after all it is m.m.s., the minerals management service of the department of interior that's supposed to be monitoring british petroleum and making sure that our environment's kept safe, because we need the energy. my friend from florida was talking about all the alternative energies, well, that's going to cost a ton of money to develop. so on the one hand, you can shut down this economy and prevent everybody from driving cars, prevent the trains from carrying the freight they do, prevent
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ships, stop all these things, stop commerce completely and somehow come up with money to develop alternative energies or you can develop what we have and make sure that the government is doing a good enough job as a watchdog to make sure that there are not these kind of violations. that's what could be done. and some of us had proposed repeatedly that all you have to do is use the resources we've got, take the government's royalty and use that to develop alternative energy sources, so as we deplete our energy resources, more than any nation in the world when you consider all the different resources we have, use the government's share of the royalty to fund alternative energy research so that we can keep moving smoothly
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transising into the day where we don't need any type of carbon-based fuel. but it's not in the next few years. we saw efforts in the last 2 1/2 years since republicans properly lost the majority because they were spending too much, little did we know that those who convinced the public to elect them to stop the deficit spending would do 10 times the spending or create 10 times the spending than we did in one year right after i got here. but be that as it may, we have the resources to drive this economy like none in the world. we have the resources that will allow us to take those royalties and to develop resources so we don't need the carbon-based fuel
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that we're using today. we could be moving toward nuclear energy, making sure that the cookie-cutter type facility and that, you know parts can be utilized in different facilities. you train somebody to work in one, they can work in others. those things can be done. but we're not moving in that direction. we're still moving under this majority toward greater and greater reliance on foreign oil and foreign energy. so wanting to see, though, what could the president be talking about regarding this cozy relationship being on the natural resources committee, i have some institutional recollection of things that have gone on since i have been here the last 5 1/2 years and one of
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the things we have taken up is the fact during the last two, three years of the clinton administration, the department of interior had at least a couple of people who intentionally, intentionally left out language regarding price controls out of the federal leases with major oil for offshore drilling. and it has cost this nation millions and millions of dollars because it was knowingly done. we had hearings, brought the inspector general in. and i was one who inquired why hasn't there been a more thorough investigation about why these individuals intentionally, knowingly left the price control language out of the leases.
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it was always put there under former president bush, under george w. bush, his department of interior always put it in. but for some reason the last two, three years of the clinton administration, it was left out. and the inspector general indicated he couldn't talk to those individuals because they left government service. found it a little bit hard myself to understand why you can't investigate gross negligence and if not gross negligence, maybe intentional misconduct, but we won't know until the proper investigation is done, why wouldn't the inspector general, who was charged with doing the inspection while the bush administration was in the white house, why he wouldn't do this. now, this is a man who worked in the clinton administration and
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now he's inspector general. and his idea was to blame bush, a thing that's followed up today, even, even though it wasn't president bush that negotiated the leases, it was the clinton administration. one of the two individuals, said we can't question her because she's no longer part of the government and gone back in the private sector and nothing we can do about it. and so, i certainly wondered myself why you wouldn't pursue that, perhaps turn it over to the f.b.i., to the justice department, let them do some investigation, because nobody is beyond their investigation of a potential federal wrongdoing and mismanagement and costing the country mills and millions of dollars.
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it made that money for big oil companies with which the clinton administration cut these deals. but anyway, that individual, who had worked for the department of interior had assisted in seeing that the leases did not contain the price control language. cost the government taxpayers millions and made those millions , transferred to the big oil companies. whatever happened to her? well, a little checking, because we know the president said there is a cozy relationship he was concerned about. it turns out that this administration has put her back in the interior department as the deputy assistant secretary for minerals management service. the people, m.m.s., the very people who were supposed to inspect these offshore rigs, the
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very people who are supposed to make sure that the blowout preventers worked properly so that if there is a catastrophe, like hurricane katrina, the blowout preventers work and no oil is leaked from those wells, well, it didn't work out here as the a.p. article talks about, inspections weren't done with the regularity as they were supposed to. i agree with the president that we need to be working on issues and not finger pointing except that -- the problem is there are other rigs under operation right now under the supervision of these same folks that let this happen. we can't afford more disasters like this in the gulf or anywhere else. i have been a strong advocate for offshore drilling, but i anticipated that we would have a
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government that would not spend days and weeks deciding what to do that they would get out there and do something, not do a wave-by but an actual on-the-job, on-the-ground, you're going to get this done. we heard that the boot is on the neck of these folks, but i think it's on the toe or something because we don't seem to be moving in the right direction. we heard stories, having so many friends that know something about oil and gas. you hear different versions about potential ways to close this well up. god help b.p. if it turns out they could have closed this with some ploseiffs very quickly but have not acted quickly enough in order to rework the same well, letting this disaster hit the coast in this manner.
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so what is the administration doing? i anticipated that with offshore drilling we would make sure that these blowout preventers were regularly tested, which wasn't happening here with this administration. and if there were an accident, we would see what happened with katrina, they would shut themselves down. and we can't see that there's really any strong movement toward inspecting the rest of the rigs that this minerals and management service may have neglected just like this b.p. pig. they ought to be there out there on every rig checking and making sure that they're not allowing this to happen somewhere else. i'm not for shutting down the energy resources, but when you see a major company having more than one problem and other major
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oil companies not having the same problem, it does make you wonder if they're nuer one, not being properly inspected and if they're not ing properly inspected, do they have a cozy relationship? well, let's see. this new deputy assistant secretary for minerals -- minerals management service, what job did she come from? well, here it is. she was the general manager for social investment programs and strategic partnerships at british petroleum america in houston. previously, other work experience, she had been director of the global health safety, environment and emergency response. that would be people regarding safety and environment and emergency response. they probably dealt in the company she was with with blow out preventers, things that
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would prevent emergencies since she was the director of environmental and emergency responses. oh, yes, that was for british petroleum in london. well, what other experience? previously, she had been a vice president for health, safety and environment, environment like preventing oil spills. what company? oh, yes, that was british petroleum of north america in los angeles. but 95 -- 1995 to 2001 when the bush administration came in and let her go, she served as the assistant secretary for land and minerals management at the department of interior, where she was the principal policy advise irto the secretary of interior for environmental stewardship, isn't that special. .
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talking about chief executives of big oil company being too cozy with his administration, it bears looking into and you don't have to go very far to see there was a serious problem here. and the person that works with british petroleum, that may have worked with m.m.s. officials from the british petroleum side is now with -- is now the assistant secretary with m.m.s., working with these same people of which she used to be one. interesting. now, we know that the jobs have not come as was promised. we were told a year and a half ago if we would move in a socialist direction, give $787 billion more on top of the
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ridiculous wall street bailout months before that, we add another $787 billion in a so-called stimulus package, that that would prevent the unemployment rate from ever going above 8%. we were told if we didn't pass that $787 billion of the stimulus package, the president said unemployment might reach as high as 8.5%. well, doesn't that sound good now? wouldn't it have been nice not to have passed that $787 billion porkulous bill and have unemployment not go beyond 8.5%? because what happens is, the government is sucking all the air out of the capital in the country, keep hearing my friends across the aisle talk about banks not making loans. well, there are a couple of problems. number one, the federal government's using up all the
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capital to build new buildings, hire new people, 60,000 -- the biggest sector of hiring in the last month was from census workers. well, that's not long-term help for the economy. it is a job that needs to be done. i'm glad it's not acorn. of course these may be acorn employees that may be working for the census bureau. but that's not good news. how in the world can anybody go out as the speaker and the president have saying, great news, the unemployment rate went from 9.7% to 9.9%. isn't that great news? if you talk to the people that are out of work, it's not good news. which is one of the reasons we've set up a couple of job fairs again to try to merry up people who have jobs open with people that are looking for
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jobs, we plan on doing one on june 2 in marshall and then another down in lubbock in july 8, i'm sorry, that will be at austin university, the one in marshall will be at east texas baptist university and we're going to be trying to mary up people that have -- marry up people that have job openings with people who have jobs. we've ended up with having hundreds of people having employment that didn't before but sadly not nearly enough people found the employment they needed. so, what's going on? i mean, you obviously this government is sending -- obviously this government is spending tons of money, we know that goldman sachs had the best year they've ever had last year. but then when you get to scratching, we know the federal reserve is refusing to open its books, refusing to be audited.
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the same people that are demanding that the intelligence agency, the f.b.i., all these other folks, the department of defense need to have complete transparency, not demanding the same thing of the federal reserve got to keep that secret for some reason. when the truth is, we need to know how much trouble the federal reserve continues to get us into. but we were able to pull in one contract between the federal reserve and new york with someone called goldman sachs s.f. management. and they got a sweetheart deal here. but it does allow them to basically act on behalf of the federal reserve, just do whatever the federal reserve could do on their behalf, including hiring people to manage their assets. but, in order to be hired to manage assets of the federal reserve, the manager, goldman
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sachs, acting on behalf of the federal reserve is restricted to only hiring those outside entities that are listed in exhibit c of their contract. so you know that's at least restricted them. they can't line their own pockets, except that goldman sachs asset management l.p. is the manager acting on behalf of the federal reserve and lo and behold goldman sachs and company is an authorized counterparty with whom goldman sachs asset management can cut a deal, as goldman sachs asset management l.p. sees fit. on behalf of the federal reserve bank of new york. isn't that special? isn't that convenient? those are the kind of things
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we're talking about, i guess, when someone here on the floor or the president talks about these cozy relationships between his administration and others that are not good for america. because that sure doesn't sound good for america. but, you know, there was a time in america when people had consciouses -- consciences. there was something in america called morality. and when morality was such an important thing in this country, if someone was greedy, they breed neglect, ran their car off in a ditch and even though it was their own fault, their own greed, thank got them in trouble, if their neighbors came out and helped them get their car out of a ditch, there's this
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conscience, this still small voice that spoke within the greedy person to say, gee, i am so sorry. i am so sorry i will never be able to thank you enough for helping me get my cart out of the ditch. i owe you. what can i do for you? now we're in a day when greed of an entity like goldman sachs, i think they gave 4-1 to help the president get elected over president mccain, they ran their cart into a ditch in the end of the bush administration and since the former chairman was the secretary of the treasury and he could see his friends were in big trouble, he decided to scare america, tell them the financial sky was falling, to
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convince the president that the financial sky was falling and the only remedy was to give him, hank paulson, $700 billion to play with and maybe he could keep thing from getting to bad -- things from getting too bad. he kept things from getting bad for goldman sachs. that's why it was necessary to bail out a.i.g. most of a.i.g.'s departments were doing great. it's the credit default swaps that got hem in trouble. unfortunately credit default swaps were deals that were done with goldman sachs, awful lot of them. so, had to bail out a.i.g., so the billions that were paid to a.i.g. to bail them out, most of that would go to goldman sachs. so the american taxpayers were on the hook to pull goldman sachs' cart, that their greed drove into the ditch, and once they were out of the ditch they
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run over the rest of america. their neighbors. there used to be morality. this there used to be a conscience. and morality ensured that we could have economic stability and when you lose morality, you lose economic stability, there's so many brilliant theologians and floss fers that have talked about this, chuck colson was talking about it in a bottle study over a year ago and what he said is true. if you got morality, you can have economic stability. when you lose economic stability then throughout history people have always been willing to give up liberty to get economic stability. but to preserve liberty, wouldn't it have been better just to rede-- refind this nation's morals? our moral foundation?
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then we don't lose liberty. to get economic stability, you get it by having a moral nation. the miss u.s.a. pageant got some notoriety before the pageant this week because contestants were required to take pictures scantly clad. what was that about? it's about greed. greed. people figuring if people saw how thinly clad the contestants were more people would tune in, means more money for the pageant, it's about greed. greed. keeps coming back to that. so, if you get back to morality you can get economic stability. one of the things that george washington warned about, he
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tried to warn us in his farewell address, washington said, of all the dispositions if and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. in vein would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness. let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion. whatever may be conceded to the influence of refined education on minds of peculiar structure, reason and experience both for bid to us expect that national -- forbid to us expect that national morality can prevail in exclusion of religious principle. so, to be moral washington said
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we need to be a religious people. the nation once was. and in fact, when washington resigned from the leadership as commanding general of the revolutionary military he at the end of his resignation had these words, i make it my honest prayer that god would you have in the state over which you preside in his holy protection and he would -- this is not the whole thing but shortening it here -- and that he he would most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility and pacific temper of mind which were the character statistics of that divine author -- characteristics of that divine author, our blessed religion, and without a noble
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limitation of whose example in these things we can never hope to be a happy nation. of course he was talking about the divine -- divine author of our blessed religion, that's how he referred to jesus. but to be moral under judeo-christian beliefs we would need to be tolerant and allow the expressions of opinions, even those opinions that we happen to disagree with. even when those opinions disagree with our lifestyle. and, mr. speaker, when people become so intolerant that they do not allow people to speak their mind, even when it is to say, i believe your lifestyle is immoral, then e


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