tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN February 2, 2012 10:00am-1:00pm EST
people involved in the churches and religious life today that their work back during the founding times. host: we have been talking to robert jones, ceo and founder of the public religion research institute. thank you very much. guest: thank you. host: the house is coming into session. they are working on a budget procedural issues, not on the actual budget. we are covering hearings today. ben bernanke testifying at the house budget committee. there is a hearing about an affable, another -- hearing about an affable, another fast and furious hearing. c-span.org if you want to watch those hearings or to see where they are being broadcast on your tv set. donald trump is holding a press conference and the word is that he will be endorsing newt gingrich. we will be covering that as well.
sunday, our "in depth" program will feature best selling author mark steyn. that is on a super bowl sunday, so if you want to break away booktv thisegame, sunday. enjoy the rest of your thursday. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the chair lays before the house a communication from the speaker. the clerk: the speaker's rooms, washington, d.c.
february 2, 2012. i hereby appoint the honorable ted poe to act as speaker pro tempore on this day. signed, john a. boehner, speaker of the house of representatives. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the order of the house of january 12, 2012, the chair will now recognize members from lists submitted by the majority and minority leaders for morning hour debate. the chair will alternate recognition between the parties with each party limited to one hour and each member other than the majority and minority leaders and the minority whip limited to five minutes each, but in no event shall debate continue beyond 11:50 a.m. the chair recognizes the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. neal, for five minutes. mr. neal: i ask permission to address the house for five minutes. revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized. mr. neal: thank you, mr.
speaker. i rise today to speak about the new market tax credit program and the positive impact it has had on western massachusetts. i have been a leader of new market since its enactment in 2000 because of its cost-effective way to create jobs and drive investment in low-income communities. today i want to highlight a few new initiatives in my state. new market's tax credits is designed to stimulate investment and economic growth in areas that are low-income. this attracts capital to low-income communities by providing private investors with a 39% federal tax credit for investments made in businesses or economic developments located in those areas. in 2012 new markets generated $9.5 billion in capital for projects and businesses in low-income communities. this capital resulted in the development of 15 million square feet of manufacturing, retail, and community related
space throughout the country. last year new markets tax credits investments resulted in the creation or retention of 70,000 jobs, including 38,000 construction jobs. unfortunately new markets is a temporary program that expired on december 31. i am now and have been the lead democratic sponsor of this legislation to extend the program for a predictable 2350eu6 years -- five years. i have been calling on our colleagues to extend this initiative. let me share with you a few success from back home and explain why i think new markets works so well. hot mommas foods in springfield, massachusetts, my hometown. a great success story. the company was created in 1980 and they manufactured or package fresh and frozen gourmet salsa and other spreads that are all natural and organic. hot mommas was originally located in north hampton, but thanks to new markets they were agent to purchase a larger usda
certified facility on avocado street in springfield. it has added 10 new jobs and retained 50 jobs in current work force. another success story is the river valley market in north hampton, massachusetts, which moved into a former granite quarry. no one wanted this space because it was expensive to renovate. through new markets and other financial support they opened a food cooperative that features a local farmers and employs neighborhood residents. and finally, let me highlight a more recent project that's currently under construction. the massachusetts green high performance computing center in holy observing mass. it is a city in western massachusetts with a population of about 40,000 people, from the late 19th century until the mid 20th century, holy oak was known as the world's biggest paper manufacturer. the high performance computing center is a 168 million technology hub that is being
built at the former industry site on biga low street in the heart of holy oak. construction of the center began in the fall of 2012 and the two story, 90,000 square foot complex is expected to be completed next year. this facility will be new england's first high performance computing center. it will feature computers with high speed, capacity to process extraordinary amounts of data. when it's complete, it will be among the 500 most powerful computer centers in the world. the holy oak center is a partnership between local universities, university of massachusetts, harvard, m.i.t., boston university, northeastern university, and two private sector companies, the e.m.c. corporation based in hockington, and cisco systems. the center received a $14.5 million new market tax credit allocation. which is the critical component to financing this important project. i believe the holy oak center
will be a catalyst for economic development in holy oak and western massachusetts. it will employ 13 permanent jobs and 130 research positions at various universities. it is expected to create 600 construction jobs. without new markets, and the leadership that i tried to offer on this program, hot mommas foods, river valley market, and the computing center probably would in the have been possible. new markets is a good example of how public and private investment can be used to spur community and economic revitalization. i hope we'll stop wasting time and with the other tax extenders that have to get taken care of, we'll include an extension of the new markets tax credit program as quickly as possible. i thank the leadership. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the chair recognizes the gentleman from michigan, mr. mccotter, for five minutes. mr. mccotter: thank you, mr.
speaker. the programming note, good news is i won't be using all five minutes. mr. speaker, today we endure much discussion about who most cares for our poor. some measure their compassion by spending their own money. some measure their compassion by spending other people's money. yet compassion for the poor's true measure is premised upon this fact. you cannot empower a person by making them dependent. be it upon charity or be it upon bureaucracy. thus let us strive to emancipate our poor from dependency's nightmare so that our suffering brothers and sisters may rise in self-reliance and awaken to the american dream. i yield back.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from california, ms. woolsey, for five minutes. 7 ms. woolsey: mr. speaker, it's groundhog day, phil saw his shadow this morning, and winter will last six more weeks. but what comes to find for me is that old bill murray movie called "groundhog's day" where he wakes up and the same thing happens day after day after day. we are living our own version of groundhog day right now because every morning for the last 3700-plus mornings the american people have woken to a nation at war. every morning we have woken up to the same scenario. thousands and thousands of our fellow americans in harm's way.
occupying a foreign nation as part of a reckless policy that is costing us at least $10 billion a month. well, there was some encouraging news, however, just yesterday, as secretary of defense panetta said that our combat role in afghanistan would be over as soon as the middle of next year, that's a year earlier than we have been talking. that would be a long overdue but welcomed development. a belated recognition that this war is doing more harm than good in every way we are involved. i'll believe it when i see it, though. the goal posts have been moved too many times to put much confidence in a single statement. what i have heard so far is a little too vage to take to the -- vague to take to the bank,
especially since secretary panetta maintained that some troops would still remain through 2014 in an advisory role. and the commander on the ground just this morning is reported on the news as sounding less than enthusiastic in his response. what i'd like to hear perhaps in conjunction with secretary clinton and the head of usaid is that as our military role recedes, we will use all the civilian tools at our disposal to improve the lives of the afghan people. because the real challenge and the best way to advance our national security interests is to eliminate the crushing poverty and address the overwhelming humanitarian need in afghanistan. that's what's at the heart of my smart security proposal. instead of military force, instead of unmanned, amoral
droughns that don't know the difference between killing an insurgent and killing a child, how about we send american compassion to afghanistan? how about we send our very best experts in education, health care, energy, agriculture, legal reform, government transparency, and whatever else we have to offer that they may want to learn from. even if secretary panetta sticks to this timetable, under the best case scenario we have another 500 or so mornings, and perhaps another groundhog day ahead of us. at least 500 more days of the same old, same old americans dying on a mission that is not making america safer or afghanistan freer. the time has come, in fact it came a long time ago.
let's make tomorrow different from the thousands of days that preceded it. let's end the war in afghanistan now and finally bring our troops home. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back her time. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california, mr. mcclintock, for five minutes. mr. mcclintock: mr. speaker, today i have introduced a bill to name the united states post office in california in honor of united states marine corps private first class victor do. this young man was only 20 years old when he left his family and friends in late september of 2010 for helmund province, afghanistan. just three weeks later on october 13 private do was killed in action when his convoy was ambushed. victor grew up dreaming of becoming a marine. he loved military history. he was fully aware of the mortal dangers he would face.
yet when he was offered a posting to a ceremonial position stateside, he turned it down. he believed his duty and destiny was to fight -- to keep the fight away from our shores, away from his family and his country, and so he chose combat even when he had been offered safe and honorable service at home. what did he sacrifice to give our country a little more security and to give another country a fleeting chance at redemption? he had everything in the world to live for. he was engaged to be married to a devoted young lady named courtney gold. courtney said, we had life in the grasp of our hands and we were ready to take on the world. and they would have. she had already picked out her wedding dress. here's a picture of her wearing that dress, it's in victor's casket. victor was one of those sunny personalities who lifted the spirits of everyone around him,
that's the recurring theme and all of the recollections of everyone who knew him. they would be feeling down and victor would lift them up. i didn't know him but i think i caught a glimpse of him and his little brother, kyle. at the funeral reception last year i found kyle sitting at a table with his friends when i went to offer my condolences, one of his friends said, you know, we came to cheer him up and instead he's cheering us up. . victor lives on in the lives of those he touched, and he touched quite a few. he's remembered as a faithful friend and inspiring teacher. before he enlisted, he'd become a popular martial arts instructor at a lowal dojo. his local students, some a lot older than he, came to his service that day. it's been over a year since he returned to granite bay. in that year he would have
celebrated his 21st birthday. he would have returned safely home with his unit, he would have been married. as courtney sharkede would have taken on the world. instead, he rests in an honored grave. his family does what every gold star family does, they cope with their grief with a mixture of fond memories and faith, but most of all, of pride for the life of their son. there are many graves in that cemetery etched with lifetimes much longer than the 20 years recorded on victor's. but none of them comes close to his in this most important respect, what they did with those years. the most iconic work of art on the titanic was a great carving that depicted honor and glory crowning time. victor's time may have been short in this world but he crowned that time with honor and glory the rest of us can
only marvel at. every morning since he was 12 years old, victor awoke under a marine corps banner over his bed, emblazoned with the words semper fidelis. in his life we can see the full measure of those words. every day in this majestic capitol, we walk in the footsteps of the giants of our nation's history. the oratory of henry clay and daniel webster still echoes through these halls. at arm's reach of where i stand right now, once spoke franklin roosevelt, ronald reagan, douglas macarthur and winston churchill. yet in their long and ill lust res you lives, not one could claim to have sacrificed more for his country than these young men like victor do. lincoln was right that no meager words of ours can add or detract from their deeds but shakespeare was also right that their story, should the good
man teach his son. for that reason i'm proud to join a unanimous delegation from california in proposing that the post office in the town where victor lived and loved and returned as a fallen hero be named in his honor. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back his time. the chair recognizes the gentleman from oregon, mr. blumenauer, for five minutes. mr. blumenauer: thank you, mr. speaker. oregon lost an amazing pioneer with the death of gail ackerman last weekend. at the moment gail was drawing her last breath, her husband was telling me the story of how she had won his heart as he listened to her give a lecture on the taylor grazing act that tells you all you need to know, actually, about both of them. her lecture on an obscure federal law could spark an -- a
whirlwind romance and a marriage of 30 years. that's what made her a remarkable woman. she was a three-letter woman at stanford university in basketball, track and softball. each of the many roles she plaed in her too short life but stellar four-decade career were characterized by her insight, drive, comprehensive view of the world, and commitment to excellence. she was a pioneer in every sense of the word. from big-time women's athletics to being the first woman to chair oregon's transportation commission. but she was not just breaking ground for women but being a leader and role model for anyone who wanted to both excel and make a difference. oregon was fortunate to have her as one of america's finest natural resource lawyers,
practicing in portland at the state's largest law firm she rose to become a partner in the firm, leaving to become the governor's senior advisor on natural resources and helping to navigate some of oregon's most difficult challenges in the 1980's. what for most people would have been at the very height of her career she left the law firm to retire, lead the deshutes river copper is vancy in central oregon and in 2003 to become director of the institute of natural resources at oregon state university. during all of this time, she was involved in civic affairs and professional activities too numerous to mention, giving speeches, lectures, consulting with people throughout her beloved pacific northwest and around america. during the last 10 years she served on oregon's transportation commission, the last term as its chair. where she guided some of the
most innovative approaches in the nation to our transportation infrastructure challenges. her work in leadership helped spark oregon's economy and community revitalization. she also had won environmental and civic awards, the last i witnessed a few months ago was from the pedestrian community because of her leadership and understanding of a transportation system that worked for everybody. truckers, railroad, bikes and pedestrians. she was part of our celebration last summer of the 25th anniversary of the columbia river gorge national scenic act in recognition of the role she helped play in drafting senator mark hatfield's legislation that led to the protection of this priceless national treasure. at the time of her passing, gail had been focusing her attention on the future of the river valley and the need for a comprehensive approach to its
needs and opportunities. even in her last month, gail's vision, commitment and insight was focused on the big picture. everything about gail seemed big picture and larger in life, whether rolling on the river, cross country skiing or presiding over a public hearing. passion, focus, commitment, and the joy of giving -- getting a job done well were her signature characteristics. it was always part of that bigger picture, especially of land use and transportation, water for our future. she epitomized the strength of oregon public policy, understanding how the pieces fit together and then translating that knowledge to others in a very understated but powerful way and ultimately helping find its way into
public policy and action. she was an extraordinary daughter of oregon. she will be missed by all who knew her and appreciated for the difference she made for generations to come. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from north carolina, mr. jones, for five minutes. mr. jones: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, today i've heard ms. woolsey, mr. mcclintock talk about the war in afghanistan and it reminds me this morning about the -- about 8:00, i did a call-in show in my district, jacksonville, north carolina, the home of camp lejeune marine base. the topic of the call-in show was proposed budget cuts to our military. and the emcee of the show, the host, said to me, he said, you know, i'm coming around to your thinking. it's time to get out of after depan stan. -- out of afghanistan.
we're spending $10 billion a month in afghanistan. let's say we start bringing them home this year new york 2012, at least start the process of bringing them home and the host said, well, i guess if we did that, we would save at least, probably, $240 billion in a two-year period of time. so if they're proposing cuts of $490 billion in next year's budget for the department of defense and we save $240 billion, then we're almost cutting in half what we're going to require of the military. i said, you're exactly right. not only do i hear this from a talk show host, but i hear it throughout the eastern part of the state that i have the privilege to represent. i hope that mr. panetta, who i have a lot of respect for, will keep to that 2013 time frame. but i share with ms. woolsey that i don't trust him. it has nothing to do with the person, i want to make that
clear, he's an honorable man, but there are too many factors playing into this issue of staying in afghanistan there are too many people that are, sadly, making money on war. i won't get into that, because i don't have enough time. as the host said to me today, you know, if we would just spend money on the defense of america instead of building empires around the world, we probably would save a lot of money and we would have a strong defense, which we need. that brings me to this poster, mr. speaker. i have a book called the $-- called "the $3 trillion war," written by a noble prize winner in economics named dr. joe stieglitz, and his co-author, linda belims is an economics
professor at harvard an they testified a year ago on the -- before the veterans health committee, i am not on that committee, but as they finish thared discussion, excuse me, they were saying that if they wrote the book today, this was written five years ago, the title would go from the $-- "the $3 trillion war" to "the $5 trillion war." that's what it's going to cost to take care of our young men and women. the poster to my left is a young army sergeant who has lost both legs and an arm with his wife going into a new apartment. i've seen four young men at walter reed that have no body parts below their waist. no body part best low their waist. and they're living. and god bless them.
and i hope they have a good life. i don't know, i cannot make that judgment. but i know one thing, uncle sam, you're going to have to spend a lot of money to take care of those young men, because they earned it. they earned it because of our failed policies in iraq and afghanistan. it is my hope, mr. speaker, that sometime this spring, in a bipartisan way, we will have an amendment on the floor that will say, and the house will pass it, you need to start bringing our troops home, beginning the end of 2012 because the process will take a long time. mr. speaker, in closing, as i always do, i've signed over 10,000 letters to families who have lost loved ones in afghanistan and iraq because i was not strong enough to vote my conscience on the request by the bush administration to go into iraq.
so i've asked god to forgive me by signing these letters and i think he has foregiven me. god, please continue to bless our men and women in uniform. god, continue to bless the families of our men and women in uniform. god, in your loving arms hole the families who have given a child diing for freedom in afghanistan and iraq. god, please bless the house and senate that we will do what is right in your eyes for this country. god, please continue to bless the leader of our country, let him know he's doing what's right in your eyes and three times, i ask, god, please, god, please, god, please continue to bless america. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas, mr. poe, for five minutes. mr. poe: mr. speaker, when most people think of smuggling, they envision outlaws, recklessly sneaking gun, contraband and money to other outlaws. most people would never imagine
that the government of the greatest nation in the world would be engaged in helping a criminal smuggling operation by sending guns and money to narcoterrorists south of our border. no, this isn't a hollywood movie. unfortunately, this has become a reality in washington, d.c. the justice department, with the aid of the a.t.f., facilitated the smuggling of over 2,000 weapons to drug cartels, to the national enemy of mexico. in mexico. reports indicate those weapons were used to kill at least 200 mexican nationals and two u.s. law enforcement agents. the justice department appears to have gone wild. instead of enforcing the law, rogue operatives in the department of justice seem to be recklessly encouraging violations of law. who is responsible for this conduct? over a year has gone by since the murder of brian terry, border agent, and we still
don't know who was in charge. brian tery was murdered by one of those fast and furious guns. the attorney general says he was unaware of fast and furious. he claims he either didn't get the memo or maybe he didn't read the memo. well, mr. speaker, according to the latest group of emails sent over to congress, he did get the email. according to emails sent to congress friday night, arizona u.s. attorney dennis burke notified erik holder's deputy chief of staff over email about brian terry's murder hours after it happened. later that day, he notified the department of justice that the murder weapon was from fast and furious. imagine that. holder's staff member applied he -- replied he alerted the attorney general system of who knew what and when? the attorney general apparently knew not days an months, but hours after that murder occurred. . did the toinl know about this
operation? did he approve it? in any event the attorney general should resign because it all happened under his watch. he is the one in charge of the justice department. when he appeared before the house judiciary committee in december, the attorney general also told me that he did not know who in his department was responsible for making the decision of operation fast and furious. so is the attorney general now claiming there is a rogue operation of moles in the department of justice that authorized and carried out these smuggling missions? we want to find out. to coin a phrase from senator hillary clinton on another subject, the fact he did not know about this massive operation requires a willing suspension of disbelief. the attorney general is a chief lawyer and law enforcement officer in the country. whoever did know about this and approved it may have violated u.s. or international law. they need to be held accountable even if it means, mr. speaker, somebody goes to
jail. but that is not the case. the rogue criminals responsible for carrying out fast and furious still work in the justice department. these individuals have not been fired, criminally prosecuted for their reckless actions. some have actually been promoted -- or transferred. it all looks like an organized, deceitful attempt to hide the stench of fast and furious from the american people. apparently the department of justice believes in order to catch a criminal you have to be like a criminal. we need an inpent special counsel appointed by the president to investigate the a.t.f. and department of justice. the department of justice cannot be trusted to investigate themselves because the agency has lost credibility on this issue. the d.o.j. has stonewalled providing information to congress. if the d.o.j. has nothing to hide, why do they keep hiding information from us? the justice department has to be removed from investigating fast and furious. otherwise, mr. speaker, this
would look like a bunch of burglars sitting on a jury trying a burglary case. that would sort of look bad, wouldn't it? people died in this reckless, misguided operation. we owe it to the american people and the people of mexico to get to the bottom of this. in many states when a person commits an offense, when he recklessly causes the death of another individual, the definition of that offense is called manslaughter. even washington insiders responsible for fast and furious cannot hide from the long arm of american justice because, mr. speaker, justice is what we do in this country. and that's just the way it is. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from illinois, mr. schilling, for five minutes. mr. schilling: thank you, mr. speaker. i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. schilling: as we all know,
mr. speaker, last week was the march for life here in washington. now, as the father of 10. life is a big issue in my house shall and a big issue in other homes and businesses throughout the united states. thousands of americans, including some residents of my district, traveled from all corners of the country last week to express their support for the right for life for each human being. to express the desire and passion they have for the born and the unborn. just a couple days later on sunday morning, once we had all returned to illinois, my family and i headed off to church as we normally do. we sat in the pew and listened to the priest's homily and he read us a letter written by the bishop of the diocese of peoria and it goes like this. in the history of the united states friday, january 20, 2012, will certainly stand out as a moment of enormous peril for religious liberty. the letter reads referring to the date, the department of health and human services
announced that religious organizations will be forced to provide employees with insurance programs that provide contraceptive services and sterilization. the letter continues, if these regulations are put into effect, they could close down every catholic school, hospital, and other public ministry of our church, which is perhaps their underlying intention. what is perfectly clear is that this is a bigoted and blatant attack on the first amendment rights of every catholic believer. under no circumstances, however, will our church ever abandon our unshakable commitment to the gospel of life. mr. speaker, i later learned that this was one of more than 120 letters that bishops had read from the pulpit at masses across the united states. the letter written by bishop of marquette reads, the federal government which claims to be of, by, and for the people has just dealt a heavy blow to almost a quarter of those
people. the catholic population, and to the millions more who are served by the catholic faithful, it later says our parents and grandparents did not come to these shores to help build america's cities and towns, its infrastructure, and institutions, its culture only to have the prosperity stripped of their god-given rights. mr. speaker, like many of my catholic brothers and sisters, i do not believe it is the government's business to target religion and require that its believers violate their conscience and their religious beliefs. or suffer the consequences. i do not believe it is the role of government to persecute religions. i proudly and passionately pro-life, mr. speaker, but regardless of what your views may be on abortion or contraceptive, i would imagine most americans would be alarmed to learn of our government chipping away at the first amendment mandating its
citizens disregard their liberties, convictions, and conscience or else. this is totally unacceptable. no government should force its citizens to violate their religious beliefs. i recently joined with a number of my colleagues in urging that the administration reconsider this unprecedented government overreach and violation, but i would go further and encourage the administration to abandon this rule, abandon this rule and continue to allow these americans who oppose these services for either moral or religious reasons to their lives and get out of the way and let them do what their religion allows them. without the fear of punishment. bishop jenky of the diocese of peoria concludes his letter by saying, this country once fought a revolution to guarantee the freedom, but the time has clearly arrived to strongly reassert our fundamental human rights. our religious freedoms are under attack. i was sent here to uphold, protect, and defend the united
states constitution and i intend to do so. i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from alabama, miss suewell -- sewell, for five minutes. ms. sewell: thank you, mr. speaker. today i rise to recognize and pay tribute to one of our nation's most distinguished trial lawyers, an avid sports collector, historian, author, and family man, attorney jacques michael smith. he was a well respected member of the alabama bar and he is known nationally throughout the legal communities for his exceptional legal abilities, his legendary courtroom style, civic activism, and passion for equal justice for all. sadly attorney smith passed away at his home in montgomery, alabama, on january 8 at the age of 63. the story of jacques michael smith is not just one of a notable and accomplished attorney, his story is one of
hope. beating the odds and the fearless pursuit of one's dreams. the life and legacy of jacques smith is an inspiration to us all. despite losing his father tragically at the age -- at a young age, and despite being told in high school that he could not be anything more than a sanitary worker, he did not let that deter him. this young boy, son of a widow, single mother of two, was determined to chart his own course. inspired by the memory of his father, jacques developed his academic gifts. he graduated with honors from tuskegee university and then matriculated to the university of notre dame's school of law. on an academic scholarship. as a first year law student, he founded the black american law students association chapter at notre dame. he earned a law degree in 199
-- 1973. in 1996 attorney smith co-founded a partnership with the late renowned attorney, johnny cochran, the cochran law firm as it is known, is actually the law firm of cochran, cheery, gibbons, and smith. it has 23 offices across this country and continues to be one of the most well-known criminal defense and civil plaintiffs law firms in the nation. attorney smith remarkable legal career was filled with many record setting verdicts and settlements. a landmark $1.6 billion verdict against southwestern life insurance was one of the largest in america's history in 2004. he represented the legacy estates of both rosa parks, martin luther king jr., and he represented the negro league players and civil rights activists reverend fred shuttlesworth.
during his illustrious career attorney smith's hard work and leadership was acknowledged by numerous awards. he he was recognized by the alabama trial lawyers association for his tireless dedication and unwavering commitment. as a author, jacques smith shared his amazing life story in an autobiography entitled "climbing jacob's ladder, a trial lawyer's journey on behalf of the least of these." media personality and author, tavis smiley, best summed up, the gifts he gave us by writing down his memoirs. jacques smith's story is a part of american story. it's part history lesson, part sermon, and 100% fascinating. he and lawyers like his late partner, johnny cochran, are modern day knights using their skills to protect both the poor and defenseless. on a personal level, climbing jacob's ladder, his book, shows
how faith and hard work can bring great success. jacques smith was a member of alpha fie alpha fraternity incorporated and the first african-american to serve on the board for the president's advisory council of the national wildlife federation. jacques smith was amazing. i know as a young lawyer his life stands as a personal tribute to me. i am grateful to have known him. i know that i walk in a path that he blazed. and for that i am eternally grateful to his parents, to his family. and some of his family members are here with us today in the gallery. he is forever remembered as a remarkable and amazing man. he is survived by his wife of 45 years, ms. yvette smith, and his daughter, who is with us
today. i want to say in closing that his life is truly a testament to what is possible with opportunity, when you take opportunity, and with so many resources. jacques' life, he lived it by the favorite quote he always would say, service is a price we pay for the space that we occupy. it is with tremendous pride and privilege and great honor that today i get to recognize the life and legacy of attorney jacques smith on the floor of the united states congress so that all of us can remember that we must pay our fair share -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. -- the gentlelady's time has expired. members are reminded not to make reference to visitors in the gallery. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from florida, mr. nugent, for five minutes. mr. nugent: mr. speaker, we in the house of representatives need to start restoring the trust that the american people
gave when they elected us to this office. last night 100 members voted to give themselves a pay raise. is that what we are all about? it's not about us enriching ourselves because i don't believe that's what our founding fathers thought. when i first came to congress this last year, found out that i had an option to either take the health insurance plan that the federal government offered or to go out on my own and do my own thing. and i took the option. even though it cost myself, my family over $10,000 more. but when we started to look at options in regards to the federal employee retirement system that all members of congress are required to be in, and also the thrift savings plan that all members of congress are part of whether they want to or not, even though it's different for the senate, the house of representatives back in the 104th congress decided that they wanted to take that option
away. i think that's wrong. i believe that america is about choices. i also believe that congress is not a career. and so when those members of congress don't have an option to remove themselves from the federal employee retirement system, like i wanted to, or those members of congress that wanted to participate in the thrift savings plan but are told that you, the taxpayers, are going to give us an additional 5% of our salary because you like us so much, i asked if i could exempt myself from that and guess what? we were told we couldn't. because those prior to us had made decision for us now that we couldn't do that, we couldn't do what we think is right for this body. . ladies and gentlemen, mr. speaker, it is about doing the right thing. it is about looking back at what, you know, our founding fathers envisioned for this country.
it's about service to this country, not about enriching ourselveses on the backs of our fellow countrymen. you know, on the 60 minutes program, we saw the insider trading issue that's gone across this congress. it brings to mind that it is about doing the right thing. unfortunately, there are those among us that really believe it's about enriching ourselveses on the back of those we are supposed to serve. there's been a number of bills put forth in regards to stopping insider trading. so we have put forth a bill to do the same thing. it's very simple. it just requires that members of congress, the president, an the vice president put their holdings into a blind -- a qualified blind trust. which means no matter what information they may have, they can't enrich themselves with it because within 30 days of them
taking office they must put it within a blind trust. it takes away all the issues in regards to how do you enforce some of the issues that were talked about in the stock act? noble intentions, but when you make it more difficult to enforce, what you do is you give people loopholes to get around it and skirt around the issue. 23 you put it into a blind trust, it takes away the ability, takes away the ability to skirt around the issue. ladies and gentlemen, it's not about create manager loopholes. it's about making it simpler to do the right thing here in congress. when we have the lowest approval rating, i'm shocked. not shocked because we don't deserve it, i'm shocked because we don't want to do anything to improve it. you know, as sheriff i had a
73% approval rating, i come to congress and find out we're not as respected as we should be but it's because of our own hand that we're not. it's nobody else's fault. it's not the press' fault, it's nobody else's fault. it's what we do within these halls. what we do sets the tone for what the american people believe in or what we're supposed to be providing to the american people, and that is a level of trust. so two things, a bill that was called congress is not a career act is out there and also one in regards to blind trust. mr. speaker, i ask that we think about those issues an move forward. mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from arizona, mr. tell hoe -- mr. quell hoe for five minutes -- mr. question
low for five minutes. -- mr. quayle for five minutes. mr. quayle: since agent terry's death, the responsible federal department, the justice department, and its leader, attorney general eric holder, have obfuscated every attempt to get to the bottom of what went wrong with this disastrous operation. despite the best efforts of the justice department to hide the facts, we now know many disturbing things about fast and furious. this ill-conceived operation began in november of 2009. since that time, the a.t.f. has sanctioned the sale of thousands of weapons to straw purchasers who transported these weapons across the united states' southern border and into the hands of mexican criminals. the a.t.f. lost track of these records until they began turning up at crime scenes in the united states and mexico.
as a result of justice department incompetence, the united states actively armed dangerous cartels that have wreaked havoc in mexico and put our own federal agents directly in harm's way. our hard-won trust and the relationships we built with the mexican government has both countries -- as both countries seek to combat the cartels has been severely strained, which has harmed our efforts to get drug running under control. operation fast and furious hasn't been a failure, it's been a tragic failure. it's believed that hundreds of mexicans have lost their lives through the use of these weapons and at least one u.s. federal agent, brian terry, has lost his life. when an operation goes so horribly wrong, it is important to find out why and who is responsible. the congress has acted on its oversight responsibility. in doing so, we asked attorney general holder directly about the operation. on may 3, 2011, attorney general holder testified before the house judiciary committee
and when asked when he first knew about operation fast and furious, he stated, quote, i'm not sure of the exact date but i probably heard about fast and furious for the first time over the last few weeks, end quote. however, we now know that weekly memos adressed to the attorney general, which included briefings on operation fast and furious, began crossing his desk nearly a year before that. when it became clear his may 3 testimony was untrue, he later revised the timeline in which he claimed to have knowledge of the operation. on november 8, 2011, attorney general holder claim head had in fact first learned about the operation at the beginning of 2011, which again is belied by the fact that he was receiving memos about the operation much earlier than that. we now know that even that revised and extended time frame is incorrect. just days ago, the justice department reloosed documents which included a december 14,
2010, email exchanged between the attorney general's chief of staff and the u.s. attorney from the district of arizona, stating the attorney general had been alerted of the shooting and death of agent terry on the day of that shooting. a troubling picture has emerged of the holder justice department. from the attorney general's own testimony, it would appear he is either frighteningly unaware of major operations taking place in his own department or he did not -- or he did know about fast and furious, did nothing to stop it and refused to take responsibility when it failed. it has been more than a year since the death of agent terry, mr. speaker. we still don't have the answers the american people deserve and agent terry's family deserves. we know we won't get these answers from a proper internal investigation from the justice department. far from the department investigating itself, it has covered up for itself. a year of delay, denial and obfuscation is enough. a year of nighttime document dumps full of fully blacked out
pages and redacted information is enough. a year of senior justice department officials pleading the fifth is enough. it's time we get to the bottom of why fast and furious happened and restore accountability to the department of justice. that's why i introduced h.res. 532 which calls on the president to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate operation fast an furious as well as the attorney general's role in it. without a special prosecutor, the only other way to get to the truth is through impeachment proceedings and the investigations that come with those proceedings. with all the vital work before this house, it would be better to avoid the distraction and cost that impeachment proceedings would bring. i hope the -- i hope the president agrees. i urge my colleagues to support this resolution so we can finally get to the truth and ensure no more innocent lives are lost due this this attorney general's failure. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the
gentleman from california, mr. dreier, for five minutes. mr. dreier: i ask unanimous consent to address the house an revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. dreier: mr. speaker, praise silence. praise silence is the very british expression used regularly by ambassador charles price when he would stand up after dinner to offer thoughtful, insightful, and humorous remarks and he did it most often at the wonderful home, sunnylands, of ambassador walter and mrs. annenberg and he was one who provided a great deal of inspiration and leadership. i'm very saddened to have had the news, mr. speaker, of his passing, but i have to say that he lived a very, very full and active 80 years.
ambassador price and i shared a hometown and many mutual friends in kansas city and we also shared a great love of california. mr. price was someone who was very big, physically. he was very big intellectually. an he had a great big heart. i always felt comforted arn him because he had that wonderful embrace, when he would bring you in, and with me, for the past several decades, he's offered very thoughtful political insight and advice and counsel on a wide range of issues. he served as ambassador to the court of st. james after having served as ambassador to belgium under president reagan in the 1980's. he was the first american to go to the site in lockerbie, scotland where pan am flight 103 went down. he was on the cutting edge of
many very, very important decisions that were made with our very important ally, margaret thatcher. i have to say that ambassador price was someone who had that very unique ability, mr. speaker, to, as rudd yard kipling said -- as rudyard kipping said torque walk with kings -- to walk with kings and keep the common touch. he was nonfor his great sense of humor. he was known for having a great desire to spend time with working men and women. and he was often to listen to people, he would go to pubs in england and i suspect that charlie price might have enjoyed a guiness or two at the same time. mr. speaker, he was also a great business leader and a great philanthropist. i remember that as the leading diplomat that he was, our great
former secretary of state, george schultz, once said to me new york describing charlie price that when the secretary would arrive in london and get into the car with charlie price, no ambassador, there was no ambassador who could provide him with a more cogent, thoughful insight into the circumstances that existed on the ground as they were. and mr. speaker, in the spirit of winston churchill, i read in my original hometown paper, in char -- and charlie price's as well "the kansas city star," that he had just, not long ago, written a note to a grandson of his to lift his spirits. and in that note, he said never, never give up. you will always succeed if you accept that you will not succeed every time. but never accept losing as anything other than a learning experience, to drive you to be
a champion in all walks of life. mr. speaker, my thoughts and prayers go to carol price and to the wonderful family and i have to say that as we look to next week's, a week from this sunday's dedication of the great new operation at sunnylands in southern california, i know that she will be there but charlie price will be greatly missed. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from alabama, mrs. roby, for five minutes. mrs. roby: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlelady is recognized for five minutes. mrs. roby: mr. speaker, americans deserve a genuine and predictable government that shoots straight. as thomas jefferson wrote, the whole art of government consists in the art of being honest. how can the people hold their representative accountable when
congress and the president distort the basic facts. -- facts? many of my colleagues and i are dismayed by the dysfunction in the process. we have seen firsthand the insider tricks and schemes used to distort the budget and hide new spending. we've learned that these loopholes are deeply ingrained in the rules of congress. they are institutionalized and both republicans and democrats are guilty of exploiting them. the american people have a right to expect accountability, honesty, and transparency from their government. but every year, washington relies on a series of budget gimmicks and accounting tricks to conceal or enable deficit spending. with our nation's debt nearing $16 trillion, washington must drop the budget games and commit to honest budget practices. many of us believe we were sent here to washington to do things
differently and to insist on an honest and transparent government. that's why i, earlier this week, along with 28 of my leagues, introduced the honest budget act of 2012, an important step to chame the way washington works and instill integrity into the budget process. this legislation is designed to root out the budget gimmicks most commonly used by politicians to hide the truth, confuse the public, and run up the national debt. last year, senator jeff sessions from alabama introduced in the senate similar legislation to strengthen the senate's rules against budget trickery. numerous conservative groups have endorsed session's -- sessions' bill including the heritage foundation, americans for tax reform and citizens against government waste this legislation introduced in the house expands the senate bill with similar rulers in house of representatives to address nine
specific budget gimmicks that since 2005 have cost taxpayers more than $350 billion and have consistently added to our deficit and our debt. . for example the legislation makes it hard to pass appropriations bills without first approving a budget. a novel idea. the legislation also tightens rules regarding emergency designations and disaster designations to justify off-budget spending. it reveals the real cost and real commitment on what the federal government is spending. the bill also prevents congress from relying on phony rescissions or claiming savings that are not savings unless they are real and genuine. that's common sense. common sense dictates you cannot account as savings money that was never going to be spent in the first place. a budget is a plan for this nation's future.
americans deserve the truth. mr. speaker, given what i have witnessed over the last year, the only way to guarantee truth is to specifically root out an end to gimmicks. we are keenly aware that the number one issue facing america today is jobs. we must continue to do all we can here in washington to create an environment that fosters job growth. and we will continue to do that, but we cannot overlook the fact that washington spends money it does not have. certainly this reckless spending spree has contributed greatly towards our downward economy. the honest budget act does not fix all of our problems, but it is a step in the right direction. in many respects the honest budget act of 2012 embodies the spirit of transparency and accountability that unites many in my freshman class. the bill is a rallying point for those who truly want to put
an end to tricks, gimmicks, and empty promises. and all who believe that the american people deserve a government that they can trust. i look forward to working with my colleagues to see this proposed legislation become law. thank you. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from illinois, mr. dold, for five minutes. mr. dold: thank you, mr. speaker. i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. dold: thank you, mr. speaker. during the president's state of the union address in this chamber just last week, he spoke of the importance of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education. also known as stem education. stem education helps support u.s. manufacturing jobs and is something that i am a strong proponent of. the 10th district of illinois that i represent is one of the
largest manufacturing districts in our nation. as i travel back home, i hear time and time again from manufacturers that they can't find qualified people able to step up and take the jobs that they have opened right now at their manufacturing facilities. one way we can help put people back to work is by promoting stem education. those trained in the stem field have the opportunity to gain good-paying jobs right here in our local communities. from high schools, training our future workers to train -- community colleges, stem education helps put people back to work and allows u.s. manufacturers to hire american workers. one example of a successful stem education program back home is at weeling high school. wheeling high school's principal took the initiative to start a stem education program in order to empower his students to graduate and have a
competitive edge against other students seeking employment. just yesterday wheeling high school announced they are now looking to expand that education to include a curriculum that has now a technology. this type of curriculum will give wheeling high school students a greater competitive advantage when applying for jobs and purr degrees in science and technology. -- pursuing degrees in science and technology. preparing our students for the 21st century work force i would argue is critical. it is also essential we empower the unemployed to be retrained, to pursue careers in the stem field, right back at home and across our country. back home i am working with the college of lake county which is working hard to provide stem education to adults who are interested in preparing themselves for new careers. the college of lake county will be hosting a stem education day on saturday, february 25.
this is to motivate our young people about the importance of stem education and to especially focus on young women to learn more about careers in the fields of science and technology. i'm impressed with the work that the college of lake county and other community colleges are doing to bridge the gap between industry and education. by teaming up with local employers, the college of lake county is putting in place programs that can train the work force and also help local manufacturers in need. in the weeks to come, i'll be hosting the manufacturing and education summit at e.t.a. in vernon hills. the goal of this summit is find ways in which local industry can invest in local education so that our region has the resources and trained work force it needs to expand and to invest in the manufacturing sector of our economy. i will continue to work with republicans, with democrats, on
promoting this critical initiative of stem education. this will not only help put people back to work but will enable manufacturers to hire workers right here at home so that they can continue to grow and expand in our local communities. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the chair declares the house in recess
estimates. about 1/5 of total amount of revenue related to the extension of the 2001-2003 tax cuts is attributable to the top tax rates, and 4/5 is attributable to -- >> put some numbers on there. how many dollars are we talking? >> the total number that we show in our -- in the outlook is about $4.5 trillion for extending certain income tax and estate provisions and indexes for inflation. a fifth to $4.5 trillion is about 900 billion. and debt service. >> tax rates that's income earners -- >> don't remember the exact cut off. the joint committee on taxation does. i don't have those numbers in hand. >> appreciate it. >> thank you very much. thank you for being here. let mere first ask -- it's
interesting as i sit here listening, i have been here three years, this is a deja vu, the debate we'll have here, and the real question is how do we craft the right package. you have given some scenarios, let me ask this -- it in a question. do you believe to move this economy forward, get better revenue streams, reduce the deficit, create the right kind of mix, can you cut your way out of this? if that's the only scenario you have, that we are just going to cut the budget? >> so our estimates say that if you were to have sharper cuts in spending, than those already embodied in current law, then we could -- would come back to you with a lower skpwrokes of economic growth in the next few years.
depending what happened to policies over time, we might have different circumstances to the effect on the economy later in the decade. depends whether those policies were sustained. what other changes might be made in the budget. but in the next few years cuts, further cuts in spending beyond those in the budget control act or increases in taxes beyond those in current law would lead to even weaker economic growth. >> would impact economic growth in a negative way? >> yes. >> let me ask you also where we are today, and i actually went back and got the last -- the testimony you have done the last two times, which is always interesting, i'm sure you review it and you kind of go did i really estimate that? but it's interesting. you have a pattern, which i like, what i'm going to cite to you, and that is when you do your baseline budget outlooks, and i noted your comment, you said, these are benchmarks not
forecasts. you know the problem with that is, of course, when you have seen an article and it says c.b.o. projects, it says there are much dimmer forecasts. i understand the difference. there is a clear difference between these. but in your documents, and i'm going to use your words, you actually talk about forecast. that's the phrase you use. so we have to help us help you make sure the people understand there is a big difference between forecast and saying here's a benchmark. because a benchmark is just what it is based on information you have at that time and some assumptions. forecasts are using all kinds of other methods to get to that. when you read the document that says forecast, help us as you do your reports -- >> i see the problem. it is very hard to use the word project or forecast about 50,000 times. in those 150 pages. it's hard to say in every case the parenthetical of conditioned on current law. >> the benchmark is a very important differentiation.
this is interesting, in 2010 in your report two years ago you said projected 2010 deficit, 1.3 trillion actual, 1.29. and then last year you project a deficit for 2011, 1.48 trillion, actual deficit, 1.29. there is variations, revenue went up, and we actually spent less. actually had a combination of the two that are moving us. so i have great hope as you project out this next year at 8.9 that it's going to be about a half a point less on the deficit -- the deficit will be less than what you project in a little over $1 trillion. also your unemployment projection was always about a half a point off, lower, which again i think is great because any time you overproject and it goes down is good news. so help me -- i mean i'm
assuming you take probably a much more middle conservative view on these numbers. so -- because we are very unpredictable group here and you have to bank that, right? is that a fair -- >> in terms of what you -- congress would do we simply follow current law. we make no attempt to guess what you and your colleagues might do. just simply based on current law. for all the other things that we do in our projections, we try to be in the middle of the distribution of possible outcome. i don't -- we are not trying to be conservative, not even sure what that means all the time in this context. we see a range of possibilities. we want to give you a sense about what the middle of that contribution is, and i hope everybody understands the contribution is very wide, lots of things can happen. the rate rose a little more than expected given the weakness of g.d.p. earlier in the downturn and that has been reversed. part of why it came in lower than we thought it would. >> and actually in all flee of these projections you are a half
point too high. i'm just looking off your documents. i'm not--that's good news. i'm just saying i like the way you project because my view is your trend line is the right trend line. i think that's a good point that your projections may be higher than what may have happen. -- may happen. that's my opinion. >> i'm rooting for good news, too. >> we are all rooting for good news. let me ask you a couple quick things and that is have you done an analysis, there's this discussion which i oppose, and that's domestic bracks, again going through this whole process what could happen with domestic bases, i oppose it. i think there are a lot of folks, bipartisan oppose it. have you done any analysis now or planning to in the future to give us an impact what that might do to the ghi if these are implemented over a period of
time? or is it worth it? >> i'm not aware of any work we are doing on that specific topic. i mean depends how much -- how many changes the government makes and how large those changes are. we have a very large economy although not as large as it could be. >> military is a sighsable amount. >> but what will be important -- sizable amount. >> but what will be important is the magnitude the changes and also just what those changes were. >> are they -- >> people don't have jobs in the military anywhere or are you closing bases and moving people to jobs? that's what we look at. >> if somehow this materialized you have the capacity to analyze it based on the information you are given. >> we can look at some of that. it depends -- >> there are a lot of variables. >> whether the macroeconomic afalcies -- analysis is popet depends on the scale of the
activity. we did a few years ago the way the military manageages its arsenals today. -- manages its arsenals today. we couldn't answer that because there were too many unknowns and we didn't have an ability to do the analysis that we would have liked to do. >> i do have some questions regarding impacts of natural resource development. obviously oil and gas and what that could mean in my state, the chairman's state has huge growth potential, job poe fence, and actually revenue stream for the federal government. i'll hold that and give it to you in writing so we can get more detail. thank you very much. >> thank you, senator. senator portman. >> thank you, mr. chairman. and thank you for your testimony today and all the work you did in relationship to the so-called supercommittee. which turned out to be not that super, but we appreciated the work of your team. some are with you today. we did, as you know, do a lot of
good analysis that i think can be helpful going forward. and answer the chairman's question and ranking member's question the confidence people are looking for in this economy would be help enormously by having a plan. part of that plan is what the supercommittee was not able to arrive at but what we still have to do. the problem doesn't go away, it gets worse. and in my view part of that plan includes tax reform, not just tax increases, and so in the context of that let me ask you a couple questions about the tax side. first with regard to your report , this week, which was very helpful, the alternative baseline as you know shows the tax extension basically would save jobs and you apparently looking at your testimony referred to that. basically as i look at it you're saying that under your table 22,
which is the alternative baseline, that if you let the tax cuts expire it will play a significant role in having economic growth be reduced substantially and in essence when you look at it, because you are projecting unemployment rates of 8.9, 9.2 over the next few years you are saying with growth about three points higher in 2013 and unemployment a full percentage point lower with the tax cuts continuing it -- continuing, that the tax cuts played a lead role in costing about 1.5 million jobs. admittedly there are other factors here. the tax cuts are by far the largest part of that. can you comment on that? also since you have calculated the growth impacts of keeping the tax cuts, which again i think is helpful work, why
didn't you incorporate those growth effects into the estimated cost of keeping the tax cuts? clearly those growth effects would create feedback revenues and thereby lower the cost of keeping the tax cuts. did you think about including that as well as the growth impacts of keeping them? >> two quick points, senator. the first is as you know from the table we talk about the economic effect in 2013 and also the economic effects in 2022. you highlighted the effects in 2013, in which case extending 2450es expiring tax provisions and not implementing all the cuts and spending under current law would provide a boost in 2013 in our estimate of the tax part of that alone is that it would add, extending those provisions, would add between a half and 2.5 million jobs in 2013. in 2022 the effects are quite different. in 2022 the alternative scenario has significantly lower g.n.t. than in the baseline and that's
because the accumulating debt weighs on the economy more than the lower tax rates boost the economy in our estimates. on the matter of why we didn't do an estimate of the alternative fiscal scenario that incorporated its economic effects, i think the answer to that is a practical matter and the time we had to put this outlook together to do an entire second set of budget estimates on a different economic baseline is just too complicated. we do, as you know, even bert than i perhaps at o.m.b., there are a lot of accounts in the federal budget, we do a very detailed job of looking at each of those as part of our baselines and on a single set of economic assumptions. and then we try to illustrate the effective alternatives. it's just not possible to do all of that original work again on a second set of economic assumptions. i think you are right to say in
2013 that stronger economy would itself make the budget a little better off. in 2011 the weeker economy would make it worse off than we are showing here. it's not the case we are systematically on one side. it illustrates the complexity for us of trying to do this analysis -- the full analysis on two distinct economic baselines. >> i appreciate that. i do think it's a significant impact. you are talking about 500,000 to 2.5 million jobs in 2013 alone. which is something that we ought to be cognizant of as we look at these tax cuts, particularly the progrowth ones. the 2003 tax cuts might be different in kind if you talked about earlier not all spending is equal, not all tax cuts are equal. that's something this committee needs to look at as we talk about the budget going forward. it is a huge impact on jobs at a time when as you say, short-term, we need a boost. and clearly the tax cuts provide that. we talked earlier about times at
tie the spending was -- at which the spending was at 20% and times the tax as percent of our g.d.p. was 18% and the chairman talked about the fact we have not had a balanced budget when the ref nigh was at historic level, which was about 18.3% of g.d.p. i would say in 2007, again, i happen to be at o.m.b. at the time, that's where we were. although we had a budget deficit it was 1.2% of the economy which many economists would view as minimal. we have had times like that where we have had growth in the economy and were able at 18.3% to achieve at least very close 20 a balanced budget. in fact we had a five-year plan to get to that balance. the tax cuts are often blamed for fiscal woes, notwithstanding that and when i look at your analysis, it shows even if all of it current tax relate, 2003, 2001 continue we get back up to
that 18.3% level. on the flip side the current policy shows us spending 22% of g.d.p. by 2022 which is 3% above the historic average. this notion as to what the issue is spending on taxes, on historic average, the spend something going higher and taxes are going to the historic level. so in a way the reason the deficit is going to be about 3% of g.d.p. higher than average is because spending is about 3% of g.d.p. higher than the historic average. and there is no long-term revenue decline at all. it's really all from the rising spending. i'm supportive of tax reform. but do i think we need to take that into account. since my time is up i look forward to your response maybe to other folks on that issue. but i think through tax reform you can generate more economic growth and therefore more revenue and that would be the better way to go rather than looking at raising taxes in the time of a tough economy. >> senator whitehouse.
>> thank you very much, mr. chairman. welcome back. first a comment then a question. the comment is that as we face these issues the problem of our health care system remains enormous. you and i have discussed beforehand the scoring problems of addressing delivery system reform and i appreciate and understand those. i just hope that as you as an important voice in this debate go around and talk about this that you don't become the captive of your methodology and avoid discussing the potential benefits to our economy of delivery system reform simply because it's not quantifiable by the metrics of your organization. i think that we have two separate questions here. one is what can you score and the other is what's the right thing to do. i hope you will point out as often as you can solving the
excessive cost in our health care system by improving the quality of care is a very good thing to do. even if o.m.b. can't score it. c.b.o. can't score it. >> yes, senator. of course the tremendous distinction between things that we estimate and the effect we estimate, and the set of issues that you and other of our elected leaders should take into account in making decisions. i think it's universal view among analysts of the u.s. health care system that improvements in the delivery of health care are critical to our getting greater value for our dollar. and i would certainly not speak against that point at all. the harder question for us is which specific government policies that are brought to us to analyze would have what effects on delivery system? and those are -- we do a lot of work as you know to try to learn all we can to make the best estimates we can, but is a very
uncertain business. as you know we released an issue brief with two backup working papers reviewing some of the recent medicare demonstration projects on coordinating the delivery of care and on paying providers not just for the quantity of services but paying them for doing a good job. so we are studying that literature very carefully and talking with practitioners all the time. >> let me switch to a different topic, the so-called buffet rule. the president spoke about it in his state of the union. i have been working on a statute , a bill for a while now that we just filed. there is obviously a direct revenue effect when, to use one of the examples, the 400 highest income earners in the country who earned on average over a quarter of a billion dollars each during that reported year turned out to have paid net
18.2% on average in total federal taxes. and you look at what middle income people pay and it's very often higher than that. there's an upside-down quality for certain people in our supposedly progressive tax code. and when you bring them up to the -- closer to the nomal level with the minimum the way buffet rule would, obviously that would create additional revenues for the government that could be used to address the deficit and other issues. we have a request into the joint committee on taxation right now on that. we'll find out what that number is. the argument against it is that the folks who are involved in these hedge funds and so forth are such magnificent job creators that we should indulge the favored treatment in the tax code in favor of that job creation that they create.
i'm wondering if that is an issue that you look at. if there is an offset of some kind that is appropriate to the revenues based on diminished job creation when folks like that have to pay a 30% instead of a 15% or 18% or in mr. buffet's case one year 11% tax rate, how do you evaluate those two priorities? and what kind of an offset should we be thinking about in terms of diminished job growth when these so-called job creators are not longer treated so magnificently under the tax code? >> senator, i think we would be very hard-pressed to provide any analysis of the effect of a tax change as narrowly targeted as the one you seem to be discussing. the evidence that economists have collected on the effect of changes in tax rates and
people's behavior, generally involves fairly broad swath of the population, and you don't get a lot of people in the top 400 in the country. so i think as the tax policy focuses more and more on your example on the smaller, smaller, then our ability to analyze the economic effects of that become attenuated. i don't know what we could do on that topic at all. >> as a practical matter does it makes sense to think somebody who is making $270 million a year, which was the average number in the 400 for the last reported year, would significantly change their behavior because their tax rate moved from 18% to 30%? >> i don't know. i just don't know, senator. with all noted some people have a lot of flexibility in how they arrange their financial affairs. so the taxable income can be more sensitive than underlying
work behavior, but also means it's hard to disentangle from tax return data on how much of the changes one might see are reflect underlying economic behavior vs. accounting changes. i don't envy our colleagues to try to estimate the revenue effects. i don't know what we can do beyond that, sorry. >> thank you, senator. senator sessions. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i would yield. i believe senator thune is next. >> i thank senator sessions. senator thune. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, mr. elmendorf for being with us today. i want to ask you some questions about what perhaps the biggest news on health care was and that's the c.b.o. decision to remove the class program from the january 2012 -- january, 2012 baseline. despite that development there was no mention of class in your testimony.
as you know in the final cost estimate of the health care legislation issued in march 20, 2010, c.b.o. projected the class would save $70 billion in the first decade. those savings represented nearly 60% of the total and 75% of the on-budget deficit reduction shown in c.b.o.'s estimate of the health care law over the 10-year window. c.b.o.'s estimate of class and baseline updates did not take into account the substantial risk that the program would be insolvent and workable even though a significant amount of evidence suggested that was a likely outcome. and as recently as the last baseline update in august of 2011, you had stood by c.b.o.'s original class estimate, that is in august you only assumed the program's implementation would be delayed by about a year. on september 22, the class actuary indicated the class office at h.h.s. was closing. on october 14, the secretary of h.h.s. officially notified congress there was no viable path forward to implement the class program. then october 17 c.b.o. responded ated mcmorris rodgers'
announcement it removed class from the baseline in january. why did c.b.o. estimate's of class during the health care debate failed to account that the program could not be made solvent? >> senator i respectly disagree the premise of the question. the estimate we made for the class program and all the pieces of the health care legislation recognized there was substantial uncertainty. and in the multiple letters that we wrote about the class program over the course of its evolution into law, we emphasized the uncertainty around that. the challenge for us, based on uncertainty, is to try to determine what a reasonable middle point is in the range of possible outcome. we recognize there was some risk the program would never get off the ground. there was some chance the program would get off the ground and would later crumble. there was some chance the program would get off the ground and not crumble. and so for us to have actually said in our estimate that the effect would be zero on the
budget, we would have to have great confidence for the program not only would ultimately fail but it would be recognized before it started it would fail, and i don't think it was the middle of the contribution -- distribution of possible outcomes of the after the fact it was not a good estimate. after the fact it turned out the thing could not be made viable. and i wish we had known that going in. i don't think it's actually reasonable to say we should have known that. for example the actuary at c.m.s. who also spoke about the concerns of the viability of the program, but their estimate of the effect of the legislation showed about $40 billion of net receipts for the government in the first decade from the class program. that's less than our 70-something. so they were closer to the ultimate answer of zero. but they didn't put down zero at that time, either, because i -- i don't know. i have not talked with rick about this. my guess would be they, like we, weren't sure what was going to happen.
and since the zero was one end of the possible distribution over the first decade, that was not the middle of the distribution. we are very clear in these letters to emphasize the program would turn around later in time. if one looked over a longer time, it would ultimately become, even if it were working in a sense in which it was intended to work, would become a drag on the budget. we emphasize that in the letters that we wrote to a number of your colleagues that that was pros was going on. >> what was -- process was going on. >> what was the evidence c.b.o. used in terming its key assumptions and design class model? i understand what you're saying about, of course in the early years when you are getting premium income in you are going to show positive perhaps cash flow, but it was abundantly clear from statements of the actuary that when you got into the second decade and beyond this thing was a sure loser. he made that very clear. in 36 years of actuarial experience i can't come to any other conclusion but this thing
will fail. that was what foster said at the time. and so the score because of the front-loading of this, i understand how you came up with the score, but it seems to me at least that there should have been some suggestion to the congress that, at least, that this thing was likely to fail. that's what the actuary was saying. what were your assumptions in determining -- >> again, senator. i don't have them at hand but you can going to the letters we wrote to a number of senators over the course of that period, we deliberately emphasized that the cash flow of the program in the first decade was not representative of what would be in subsequent decades. it would in fact turn around. we took so many pains to explain why that was the case even in a program that was actuarially working because as you say the money comes in up front and paid out later. we took some pains to emphasize that point. when we confronted the estimate we talked with outside -- we
have some expertise in long-term care issues a little, but we also talk a great deal without the actuaries and other experts. i think all of them raised concerns that it might not work. but as we talked with people we cannot get -- i think we had very few people who were convinced it would be so obvious it would not work it would never be started. i think a fair number thought it would be started but ultimately fail. we had a range of views. again we tried in the writing we did to explain that this was a very uncertain part of what we were doing. in retrospect it was not a good estimate. i'm not trying-dirnl' not saying we had the right number. obviously we did not. but i don't think it's so obvious that we should have known that much better then. i emphasize the actuary. not to try to pull it in with us necessarily, but just to say for all the skepticism rick foster
expressed, did he that clearly, they themselves didn't view zero as the -- apparently as the best middle ground estimate to provide. do i wish that we had -- we had known more then? yes. no doubt. i don't take lightly projections of ours that turn out to be wrong. but i also think it wasn't so obvious at the time we were making that estimate. that the program would never be launched. >> i see my time has expired. thank you. >> can i say on this point to my colleague, in the original iteration of the class act, i called it a ponzi scheme. i think senator quoted me on the floor. i remember quite often those words coming up. and part of my analysis was based on c.b.o. analysis and the
actuary's analysis that told me in the early years it was cash flow positive because premiums come in, but that that turned, especially when you got to the second 10 years, it was very clear to me it wouldn't work. i'm going to say part of my analysis was based on what c.b.o. provided us i think a number of us in writing, i think -- acknowledging yes, you get money on the front end. and the work of the actuary. >> mr. chairman, i congratulate you and thank you for that courageous statement, actually. i think it was an important thing for you to say. i also my prior colleague here, judd gregg, quided language that required the secretary to certify it would be sound over a long period of time and she couldn't certify it. so hopefully we have avoided this result.
i would just say one thing. mr. elmendorf knows this. there are a lot of very, very skilled people in this town that know how to read your reports and if taken out of context, or improperly allowed the debate to continue on the floor of the senate and the president to assert that this was a program that was going to make money for the government. that was not accurate. i felt pretty sort -- senator thune led the battle on it to try to point out it was not going to make money for the government, but that that you scored was used to reduce the cost of the president's plan. and that -- in the short run maybe it would have if it had been implemented. in the long run it would have been a cost. we do need to figure out how to use your scores more objectively. thank you. >> we work hard to try to explain ourselves and explain our numbers in a way that makes
the most possible people understand them and fewest possible people misuse them. but as you know -- i don't think we always get that language just right. we work very hard at it. we are at least as bothered as anyone else if we think the numbers we have done, analysis we have done is being used out of context to convey things that we had not said. >> mr. chairman, i have a bill to repeal that. so happy to have you onboard, co-sponsor if you like. i'm always interested in the legislative official of my colleague from south dakota. at some point we are going to have a hearing on the history of north and south dakota before this committee. >> snard widen. >> thank you -- senator wyden. >> thank you, mr. chairman. you essentially lay out these two scenarios in your testimony. the first, the congress does nothing to change current law, the bush tax cuts sunset, and
the budget control act in effect spending cuts kick in. bad for the economy. good for the deficit is essentially where you go. the second one is your alternative scenario, congress extends the bush tax cuts and a.m.t. patch while it blocks most of the spending cuts required by the budget control act. something like this, according to your analysis, makes the deficit much worse but it's bert for the economy. so that leaves us with these two scenarios that are singularly unappealing and probably compounded by the fact that if the congress does nothing you have this kind of meltdown in the lame duck session of 2012, much like the lame duck session of 2010. so it won't surprise you, i want to ask you about the third scenario and pick up on senator portman's point with respect to tax reform.
on this i understood your answer and respect it that you couldn't do a full kind of quantitative analysis of a third approach. so i want to start by picking up on statements you have made that are on the public record that ought to be encouraging for those of us in this kind of third space where we like to have pro-growth tax reform. for example, i was very pleased that in the discussion about -- that came up in connection with the supercommittee, that you said it was possible to write a pro-growth and progressive tax reform that would generate revenue for the government. you were asked that supercommittee and again, absent the details that was something that was useful for those of us that have tried to constantly come back to this third path between the parade of horribles. let's pick up on that.
are there any reasons, for example, that you can give us based on the aal sees -- on the analyses that you have done thus far that would suggest that pro-growth tax reform would be a problem? you and i have talked about the outcome in 1986 when a big group of liberal of democrats and ronald reagan got together and we created 6.3 million new jobs in two years. let me steer clear of you having to give a quantitative analysis of a third patch. let me note the fact you said something that was pretty encouraging, the tax reformers in the context of the supercommittee, where you said it could actually score a revenue, a view that i share, are there any factors that you know of based on the work that you have done thus far that would suggest that the kind of
pro-growth tax reform where you clean out the special interest breaks, to hold down rates for everybody, and keep productivity, that would be problematic if we can muster the support for this third kind of path. >> so depending on specifics, senator, i think analysts would widely agree that reform of the tax code that broaden the base and brought down rates would be a positive force for economic growth, both in the short term and loafer a longer period. -- and over a longer period. >> with respect to any kind of warning signal -- it would seem to me for example precipitous action, senator conrad and i have talked about this, if you had poorly drafted transition rules, for example, as part of tax reform, and chairman balk cuss -- baucus is certainly going to be sensitive to this. i can't see any kind of warning
other than those kinds of issues which i think there would be a lot of sensitivity on both sides of the aisle. any other kind of warning lights? again respect you on the absence of being able to do a quantitative analysis, like what you said in the supercommittee. any warning lights? >> not just a quantitative analysis. as i said carefully at the beginning of my last sense. but i think in general it's quite possible to design a reform of the tax code that would have the characteristics to broaden the base and lower rates with appropriate transition rules that would make the economy stronger. it's also possible to do it badly and end up making the economy worse off. your presumption seems to be to be it would be done in a sensible fashion. >> my hope is that you get asked to do the quantitative analysis of this third path sooner rather
than later. because i think this has been very helpful today to have you lay out the two alternatives, both of whom should strike any reasonable person, regardless of their political views, as unacceptable for the country. unacceptable and particularly given the challenges in europe. these two paths are bad news for america. and there is a path and i have been encouraged about what you had to say in the past. i hope you are going to get asked that taun at thisive analysis by people whose pay grade is above mine because i think history and the psychology of the country seeing something big and bipartisan -- by the way i think senator whitehouse has made a number of good points, ironically, with respect to the buffet rule. i was struck. in talking about tax reform senator coates and i have a top
rate which is lower than the rate -- excuse me that is higher than the rate that senator whitehouse has been talking about. so there's plenty of opportunities here for some common ground. i look forward to continuing the discussion. thank you. >> i want to just take this moment to recognize once again the remarkable amount of serious work that senator wyden has produced without the benefit of a committee chairmanship. fundamental tax reform and on health care reform. i just want to thank him for it. i think it's an enormous contribution. senator sessions. >> could i -- while you're preparing i would join in that. it is tremendous amount of
effort that it takes and senator wyden, i appreciate your leadership. all of us in the senate on watching your work and we appreciate it. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you, senator sessions. dr. elmendorf, i understand that you testified before the house committee yesterday that we can get to 2013 without raising the debt ceiling again or without additional extraordinary measures. so my question to you is this, we are at a point where we have -- the president has gd and the congress has allowed the debt ceiling to go to 16.4 trillion, it surpasses the size of our economy. it's a huge number. you issued the estimate that we won't have to have another increase of the debt ceiling before 2013.
i simply have this question for you is. what could further balloon our debt and what keeps you awake at night when it comes to the issues you are most worried about in terms of having our debt get out of control and also further increasing in a way that you haven't been able to estimate? >> senator, what i said yesterday was that we think given our current projections that the government can get to 2013 without needing to raise the debt ceiling. great deal of uncertainty what will happen with the economy and tax collections and spending over the coming year. as well as the actions congress may take that may lead to additional government borrowing. i don't want to -- nobody should think of that estimate as somehow capped in stone. it's conditional on current law and current economic outlook. a lot of things keep me awake at night worrying about the state of the federal budget. you are paying me partly to do that.
i think a particular risk over the coming decade is the interest rates will rise. further and more sharply than we have in the projection. i don't think the risk and interest rate is one-sided. our projection of the interest rates over the second half of the decade is actually well above the interest rates implicit in the current prices of treasury securities being traded in financial markets. so this downside risk as well. but i worry about the chance that creditors, or potential creditors of the united states government will become concerned about the trajectory of the debt and concerned about whether policymakers are willing and able to confront the challenges and change course. i think when you see other countries that have encountered fiscal crises, it is not just that something special happens in the numbers, although sometimes that is the case, but also it can be because investors' perception of the ability of the government to
manage its finances can turn very rapidly in ways that are hard to predict of the beyond that i mean the budget projection we have, even under any -- either of the scenarios for policy choices, could be way off because the economy could rebound more quickly than we thifment this has already been a very long downturn by historical standards. progress is being made we think in clearing out some of the problems that have been hanging over the economy. things could take over rapidly. also true, though, that any economies that have suffered from financial crises of the sort that ours did that some countries took many more years to finally climb out of the hole their economies fell into than we have in this projection. there are uncertainties on both sides. >> can you help me in terms of when you were talking about the rise in interest rates just to give us a sense of a number. let's say the interest rates increase 1%, what does it do in terms of what we have to pay
back? i understand this is an estimate, but if you can give me a sense just so people in the public understand. there are an urgency to us addressing our debt because when the interest rates rise what we have to pay back is so much greater. we have scuffles around here, last march we had a scuffle around here over $60 billion in reductions. and just 1% in increase in interest rates. if you can give us a sense of that. i think it puts in perspective our scuffles are really minor compared to the issue we have to address. >> we do show in the outlook how -- a table of how certain economic changes might affect the budget. the estimate is if interest rates were one percentage point higher throughout the coming decade, that would add nearly $1 trillion to the cumulative deficit over the decade. >> it puts it into perspective when we are fighting over cutting, reducing spending by $60 billion we have to do better around here in terms of the decision that is we have to make. >> senator ayotte, may i just
interrupt not on your time but ask the director to repeat that, because i think the question you have asked is is so important that that message be understood by those listening, our colleagues, staffs, and people who might be listening via television if you would repeat the -- >> if the treasury interest rates were one percentage point higher throughout the coming decade that would add about $1 trillion to the cumulative deficit over the decade. >> it's really staggering and it points out the urgency of us going forward with a debt reduction plan, bipartisan debt reduction plan that addresses where we are going, the sustainability of our debt. i have been a supporter of the efforts and i know the chairman has been as well to go big and address this issue head on. i want to ask one other quick
question which is, what is your view on the impact of what's happening in europe and how could that impact here in terms of ourcies fist cal health? >> -- in terms of our fiscal health? >> the situation europe has. there are crosscurrents how it affects our economy. if european economies suffer from a worse projection than addressing, it reduces our exports, it's also true if their financial system suffers from yet larger problems that could affect the health of financial institutions in the united states and thereby affect the flow of credit to private borrowers, businesses, and households in the united states. at the same time, though, the concerns of investors about the situation in europe has so far led them to invest more in the united states and in u.s. treasury security. so one of the factors that push down the interest rate the u.s. treasury is now paying is fear what's happening in europe and investors' desire to come to a place that they think is in
better shape. if the situation in europe were to worsen, there would be important factors that could be very bad for our economy. there are also some charges through which our -- channels through which our -- in a perverse sort of way we would be viewed as relatively a better investment than europe. i think we do worry about the risks of -- to the u.s. economy of worse outcome in europe. i think that is a topic we discussed a number of times in our panel of economic advisors. we built into this projection shallow recession in europe which is consistent with the latest consentuss forecast. we didn't -- consensus forecast. we didn't find a way to quantify a particular alternative european skenaireo. part of that is we are very unsure what the financial connections are. and just how a particular sort of financial debacle in europe would reverberate on u.s. financial institutions is a very
hard thing for us to know. >> i thank the senator. senator sessions, i want to thank senator sessions for his courtesy knowing that i need to leave here at noon. i appreciate very much how he held off on his round in case we needed the time. i appreciate that. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. elmendorf, i appreciate c.b.o.'s work. i think you do very valuable work. you missed the g.d.p. this year, i think you were 2.7 predicting it. it came in at 1.7. mr. zandi, great moodies, was at 4% and it came in at 1.7. i give you credit for being more accurate than some of the other experts. i wouldous say that all of us need to understand that the challenges we face with regard to debt and the unsustainable
fiscal course we are on is that debt creates risk throughout the system and puts us in a more dangerous area if some unexpected shock occurs. would you agree with that? >> yes. absolutely senator. >> things you can't predict, just can't predict them, but periodically hayestry shows -- history shows do happen. >> that's one of the costs of higher debt that we highlighted in our issue sheet as you know. >> i think we need to get that margin down. a larger margin between what the maximum debt this nation can possibly carry and get well below that so we are in a position to avoid shock. you can't borrow your way out of debt. we are living beyond our means. bill gross, was quoted recently
that we are at a five to 15-year period of below normal growth. because of deleveraging. he projected, i sold more bonds than anybody in the history of the world, he says that families have to take more money than they used to to control their debt, pay down their debt. the government's absorbed huge amounts of debt which has got to be reduced, leaving less money to be spent in the economy for consumption. would you agree that the deleveraging process is going to take many years? do you have an opinion? and will that deleveraging process, whatever the growth rate would be would be somewhat lower? >> yes, senator. we think that the deleveraging process is holding down consumer spending now. and that is part of why the recovery is proceeding slowly. how long it will go on is very
difficult for us to know. we have a project under way trying to examine the causes of the slow economic recovery. we are doing that partly just to inform you and partly to inform ourselves so our future economic forecasts will benefit from a better understanding of just what has been going on in the past few years. >> you can continue to watch this online at c-span.org. we are leaving this now. the house is coming in next taking up a couple bills dealing with the federal budget process and this news from the senate side. majority leader harry reid just asked for and got unanimous consent to ask several amendment votes on the congressional insider trading bill, the stock act, beginning at 2:00 p.m. a number of hours of debate ahead but it looks like a final passage vote on that bill in the senate late this afternoon. follow that on c-span2. now live to the house floor on c-span. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] in c
we give you thanks, o god, for giving us another day. there have been many prayers this day rising to you from those engaged in the political discourse of this nation. we give you thanks for those who are able to gather at the national prayer breakfast and those across this land who joined their prayer intentions with the many who attended. bless the members of this people's house now as they gather to do the legislative work they are called to do. may their prayers this day be authentic and heard by you the living god. may their work be fruitful and beneficial to those whom you favor, the poor. and may all they do be done in humility and charity, knowing that they are all earthen vessels through whom your spirit might shine forth.
. the speaker pro tempore: the pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1, the journal stands approved. the pledge of allegiance will be led by the gentleman from minnesota, mr. ellison. mr. ellison: i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the speaker: the chair will entertain up to 15 requests for one-minute speeches on each side of the aisle. for what purpose does the gentleman from south carolina rise? mr. wilson: unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend my remarks. the speaker: without objection. mr. wilson: mr. speaker, the president's blue ribbon commission which was tasked
with making recommendations for dealing with our country's nuclear waste recently issued their findings. after conducting a two-year study, the commission discovered that measures must be taken to deal with nuclear waste currently in interim storage at 121 sites across the country. the editorial response by the aiken standard to this anemic obvious conclusion is summarized by one word, duh. we have known for decades that this waste must be properly dealt with and discarded in a proper setting. the scientific community has determined that yucca mountain is the ideal location for a safe national repository. the president and the liberal control senate must quit playing political games and allow the nuclear regulatory commission to finish analyzing the licensed permit. it's time to let science dictate policy not politics. in conclusion, god bless our troops and we will never forget spetch and the global war on
terrorism. -- september 11 and the global war on terrorism. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from new york rise? without objection. ms. hochul: thank you, mr. speaker. i stand with my good colleague from new york, brian higgins, united in the opposition to the postal processing distribution center in buffalo and the 700 jobs of people currently employed there. i understand the postal service has gone through some tough times, they need to make some hard decisions. but up in our neck of the woods 700 jobs is a very big deal. that's 700 families making mortgage payments. 700 families making their car payments. and 700 families that are able to make their tuition payments. in addition to these individuals, businesses, seniors, and rural communities we represent would be adversely affected if this was to end. it could end the overnight
delivery of first class mail in the buffalo region, impacting all the business that is depend on this service. it provide slow commerce, delay the delivery of medication to our seniors, and impair communications to rural families who don't have internet access. at a time when the postal service is struggle to -- struggling to retain business, they need to find ways to garner work for customers, not decleat them. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from ohio seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. johnson: mr. speaker, president obama's activist e.p.a. is at it again. this destructive agency in advancing the administration's role on coal is forcing the closure of six coal fired power plants in three states. just a few weeks ago it was announced that the river power plant in my district would have to close and eliminate over 100
jobs. because the burdensome e.p.a. regulations. now, president obama's war on coal is nothing new. with just one proposed rewrite of one rule, president obama is putting tens of thousands of direct and indirect coal related jobs at risk. just over a week ago the president stood in this chamber and told americans that he wants to create jobs and grow the economy. but his policies do the exact opposite. hardworking taxpayers across america deserve better. they deserve effective leadership that moves us forward rather than holding us back. with over 14 million americans out of work, we can't afford more of the same failed policies from this administration. they are hurting america and with that i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentlelady from massachusetts seek recognition? without objection.
ms. tsongas: mr. speaker, we are now in the month of february and in less than four weeks the two-month payroll tax cut extension, which house republicans begrudgingly agreed to, would expire. to avoid the same dramatic standoff that threatened a $1,400 tax increase for the average massachusetts family, we must work together and adopt a year-long extension of this vital tax credit. rather than waiting until the last minute yet again. failure to extend the payroll tax cut to the end of the year would not only severely impact already overstretched households around the country, but would also dramatically undermine our still fragile economic recovery. families have already made their budgets for this year. they are counting on this extension to pay their bills, heat their homes, and meet other needs. let's not let them down. thank you. i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from ohio seek recognition? without objection.
>> mr. speaker, today our colleagues at the education and work force committee held a subcommittee hearing looking into the challenges facing the pension benefit guarantee corporation. mr. turner: perhaps one of the greatest challenges facing the pbgc is transparency. the pbgc will not release even the most basic documents explaining the denial of the full earned pension benefits of the delphi salaried employees. perhaps because it is because of the many conflicts of interest that existed between the treasury derpt and the pbgc. when these pensions were turned over approximately 20,000 current and future salaried retire years were subjected to benefit cuts up to 70%. mr. speaker, the hardworking taxpayers whose tax dollars were used to pay for the auto bailouts deserve to know who made these decisions to cut these pensions and why they are made. thank you, mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the
gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? without objection. mr. higgins: on sunday, tens of millions of americans will gather with friends. many of in my community will be among them. unfortunately western new york families do not always have the opportunity to watch their hometown team, the buffalo bills. the nfl's blackout rule prohibits the broadcast of a game in a team's home market if the game has not been sold out within 72 hours of the kickoff. mr. speaker, in buffalo this meant that the past season almost half of the bills' games were blacked out. this is unacceptable. we have a strong and enthusiastic fan base, but with one of the largest football stadiums in the national football league, buffalo mussel 6,000 more tickets than the league's average to avoid a blackout. i have sent a letter to the commissioner, along with my colleagues, congresswoman hochul, congresswoman brown, asking for an end to this unfair polcy.
it's time for the league to update this regulation taking into account factors like state yum and media market size -- stadium and media market size and most importantly the tough financial situation millions of families across the nation find themselves in. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? >> permission to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> mr. speaker, washington is failing the american people. our leaders need to be held to the highest standards and that means obeying the same laws that everyone else has to live under. i'm pleased to report progress on an born bill that i co-sponsored. it's called the stock act. it would prohibit inside trading by any member of congress. mr. buchanan: this bill is now starting to move in the senate and i intend to fight to ensure its swift passage. no one in government should profit from private information obtained through their position. serving the people is a
privilege and it's an honor, not an opportunity for personal gain. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from illinois seek recognition? without objection. >> mr. speaker, today is a sad day. in an effort to strip women of their right to choose, anti-choice groups have blocked access to lifesaving cancer screenings. mr. quigley: the nation's leading breast cancer charity, susan g. kome nefment announced it would no longer partner with planned parenthood. the nation's leading health care provider. this fight has pitted two of our nation' preer mere -- premiere and important women's health care groups wrongly against each other. we on the other side of the capitol and in these chambers must remember that rhetoric has real world consequences. for the health of the women across america, this issue must be resolved quickly and the collaborative relationship between these two great institutions restored.
until then lives are at stake. sadly for political gain. thank you. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? without objection. mr. pitts: mr. speaker, institutions across the country are facing an impossible choice. do they continue in their mission to provide for their employees or do they violate their conscience? when the affordable care act passed, there was no thought in the minds of many catholics that the law would eventually force them into such a terrible choice. in fact, my former colleague from pennsylvania, kathy call kemper, recently came out and said, quote, i would never have voted for the final version of the bill if i expected the obama administration to force catholic hospitals and catholic come ledges and universities to pay for contraception. end quote. i might add this rule that we are going will go into effect
on august 12 includes not only contraceptives but drugs like plan b sells sterilization services. catholic and other religious organizations that have cared for the sake and -- sick and educate the americans of all religions since the founding of our republic and they have done this because their conscience compels them to show their love to all mankind. never before has the federal government compelled them to violate their conscience. to force them to violate their conscience is wrong. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? without objection. >> i rise to advocate an aggressive spopes to the housing crisis. last year 30% of california homeowners with mortgages were under water, that's one of the highest rates in the country. but to improve our economy we must fix the broken housing market. large banks simply wait out short sales offers which kills
the process. back home i hear from people who are trying to secure short sales and have to wait for months or longer to get a decision from their lender. mr. mcnerney: that's unacceptable. banks need to treat people fairly which is why i'm a co-sponsor of h.r. 1498, the short sale decision act. this is a bipartisan bill that requires lenders to make a decision within 45 days to approve or disapprove a short sale. this bill simply makes sure that prospective homeowners receive a decision from their banks in time to be usable. i ask my colleagues to join me in supporting this legislation so we can break up the housing market logjam. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from california rise? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> mr. speaker, if congress does not act soon, 160 million americans will see a tax increase at the end of the
month. mr. baca: working families in my district rely on the payroll tax cut to make their mortgage payments or put food on the table. we need to get to work right now on extending the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance for a full year. 14 million americans, i say 14 million americans are without jobs. families need our help. they are hurting. but instead of working together to create jobs, republicans continue to push a partisan agenda that further divides us. this week we have yet another bill to repeal the health care. let's stop this misguided bill. let's get to work on the agenda that creates jobs, i say create jobs and strengthens the middle class. we must work together. i yield back the balance of my time. . the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentlelady from hawaii rise? >> to address the house for one minute.
the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlelady is recognized. ms. hirono: we took away different points from the state of the union speech. we will address manufacturing, educating, creating a more -- ms. hanabusa: i took away that the blueprint for america to last will be successful because of its foundation, the foundation is the people of this great nation. the president is putting his faith in the people, putting ehis faith in their values, uniquely american values. he is putting his faith in those values which created an motivated the creation of that middle class, the middle class which is the backbone of this great nation that is why we will have an america built to last. mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from minnesota rise? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore:
without objection. mr. ellison: mr. speaker, 1,300 minnesota workers have been denied their basic and most fundamental right to work and support their families. that's right, yesterday marked the six-month anniversary of workers at american crystal sugar factory in moorhead being locked out. locked out. many of these people have worked for the factory their whole lives. their parents worked there, and their grandparents worked there too. these workers have gone to work and gone to bat for the company. these workers, mr. speaker, stood shoulder-to-shoulder with the company to fight for a better sugar program in the farm bill because that's how dedicated they are. what have they got in return? they have gotten locked out. they're not on strike, they are locked out, because they will not accept an unfair, take it or leave it contract. these workers vowed not to strike because they know how important the work is but they have been locked out even though we have agreed to a no
strike guarantee. it's wrong, mr. speaker. these 1,300 folks deserve better from this company and i think the time is now for the company to negotiate. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expire. for what purpose does the gentleman from oregon seek recognition? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. blumenauer: we are working on what the worst transportation bill when we need the best. it's not just the wrong size, it fails to protect the integrity of the trust fund, inviting opposition from budget hawks. it attacks the cheapest way to develop highway capacity in most communities, transit, cycling, even eliminates the safe routes to school program for our children.
i hope my staff heard wrong, that the committee chair will deny participation to anybody who who asks for a vote on provision, not just in committee, but will not be able to offer an amendment on the floor. let's get back to the bipartisan tradition to have infrastructure america needs. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expire. for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia seek recognition? >> to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. johnson spks i rise to ask the tea party republican majority to do something to create jobs. -- mr. johnson: i rise to ask the tea party republican majority to do something to create jobs. last week, the president offered a plan to create jobs but all the american people hear from the republican majority is the same agenda from this no-show republican congress. the economy is improving but there are still 14 million americans without jobs, yet the republican congress hardly even
shows up for work. congress met only six days of the month of january. six days in one month. we need to come to work and pass president obama's jobs plan, level the playing field, force the rich to pay their fair share of our nation's debt. and put an end to rewarding businesses that ship jobs overseas. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from california seek recognition? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> mr. speaker, my constituents and i, for us, the work here in congress is about making laws that make lives better. last week, our president came to this chamber and laid out a blueprint to build an america that lasts. ms. hahn: that blueprint focuses on manufacturing, education, worker training,
clean energy and ensuring that every american plays by the same set of rules an pay theirs fair share. by building from the ground up, by focusing on working people, we can build an economy that lasts. my friends on the other side offer a different path. it's a top-down approach, with big tax break for the wealthy and subsidies for big oil at the expense of new technology and innovators. but we know what happens when you use all of your resources and materials at the top of the building. it topples over. thank you, i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from kansas seek recognition? >> ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> i rise to honor those who fought and died in world war i. this will be the centennial of
that war, it's my hope the nation will come together to pay tribute to those who fought for liberty and freedom 100 years ago. i ask my colleagues to support the frank buckles memorial act, to mark a national observance of this historic occasion. kansas city has a long tradition of honoring world war i and its legacy is home to the world war i museum. mr. yoder: i ask my colleagues to dedicate this museum, the national world war i memorial. it's my hope that we can come together to recognize the ideals and values that our country's bravest exemplified in the first world war and we continue to honor today. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady rise? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. pingree: there are many
couples in my home state, they remain committed to each other through the ups and downs of life. but they are denied the -- but because they are same-sec couples they are denied the right to honor their love through marriage. maine will change that, granting all couples the same right to get married. we have made progress on ending discriminatory practices here in congress, like ending don't ask, don't tell, but it is up to us in maine to allow same-sex marriage. i am confident we will do the right thing. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from delaware seek recognition? mr. carney: to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. carney: i rise today to talk about the scription drug shortage crisis we have today in america. our across the country, patients are being forced to go
out the critical medication they need to battle diseases and stay healthy this crisis is hitting cancer patients especially hard. with serious shortages of chemotherapy drugs. that's why this week, i introduced the drug shortage prevention act with larry but shon -- bucshon, my colleague from indiana. we work to fix regulatory problems causing these shortages. it also improves communication so doctors and patients have the information they need to make smart treatment decisions. this is not a partisan issue. drug shortages affect all of us and so i urge my colleagues to quickly pass this bipartisan legislation. when a family gets hit with a diagnosis like cancer, they have enough things to worry about, running out of chemo drugs should not be one of those things. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from connecticut seek
recognition? >> to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection the gentleman is recognized. >> i rise to voice my support for the stock act, a bill that would make it illegal for members of congress to trade securities on inside information a restriction applies to pretty much everybody else. i'm a proud co-sponsor of that act but only partly proud. i'm embarrassed that legislation is necessary to prohibit insider trading by all of us. i urge the republican leadership to bring that bill to the floor now. don't make us go through petitions and this, that, and the other thing. i urge the other body, the united states senate torque move it now. my understanding is that senators are attaching constitutional amendments an other irrelevant provisions to a bill that should be a no brainer. mr. himes: if we can't get this done, we will have earned the
scorn of the american people. thank you, mr. speaker, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yeels back. the chair lays before the house the following communication. the clerk: the honorable the speaker, house of representatives, sir, pursuant to the permission granted in clause 2-h of rule 2 of the rules of the u.s. house of representatives, the clerk received the following message from the secretary of the senate on february 2, 2012, at 9:40 a.m., that the senate passed senate 1296, that the senate passed, without amendment, h.r. 588, with best wishes, i am, signed sincerely, karen l. haas. the speaker pro tempore: the communication is received. for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia seek recognition? >> by direction of the committee on rules, i call up house resolution 534 and ask for its immediate consideration. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the resolution. the clerk: resolved that upon
adoption of this resolution it shall be in order to consider in the house the bill h r. 57 , to amend the balanced budget and emergency deficit control act of 1985, reform the budget baseline. all points of order against consideration of the bill are waived. in lue of the amendment in the nature of -- in lieu of the amendment in the nature of a substitute printed in the bill, an amendment in the nature of a substitute co-consisting of the rules committee print 112-9 shall be considered as adopted. the bill as amended shall be considered as read. all points of order against the provisions in the bill as amened are waived. the previous question shall be considered as ordered on the bill as amended and on any further amendment thereto to final passage without intervening motion except, one, one our -- hour of debate equally controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the committee on the budget,
two, the fourth amendment printed in part a of the committee on rules accompanying this resolution, if offered by representative jackson lee of texas or her designee, shall be in order without intervention of any point of order, shall be considered as read, shall be debatable for 10 minutes, equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent and shall not be subject to demand for division of the question, and three, one megs many -- motion to recommit, with or without instruction. section 2. at any time after the adoption of this resolution, the speaker may, pursuant to clause 2-b of rule 18, declare the house resolved into the committee of the whole house on the state of the union for consideration of the bill h.r. 3582, to amend the congressional budget act of 1974 to provide for macroeconomic analysis of the impact of legislation. the first reading of the bill shall be dispensed with. all points of order against considering of the bill are
waived. yen debate shall be confined to the bill and shall not exceed one hour equally divide and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the committee on the budget. after debate, the bill shall be considered for debate urn the five-minute rule. in lieu of the amendment in the nature of a substitute now printed in the bill, it shall be in order to consider the original bill for purpose of amendment urn the five-minute rule, the amendment in the nature of a substitute, consisting of the text of the rules committee print 112-10, dated january 25, 2012. that amendment in the nature of a substitute shall be considered as read. all points of order against that amendment in the nature of a substitute are waived. no amendment to that amendment in the nature of a substitute shall be in order except those printed in part b of the report of the committee on rules accompanying this resolution. each such amendment may be offered only in the order
printed in the report, may be offered only by a member designated in the report, shall be considered as read, shall be debatable for the time specified in the report, equally divided and controlled by the proponent and an opponent, shall not be subject to amendment and shall not be subject to nand for division of the question in the house or the committee of the whole. all points of order against such amendments are waived. at the conclusion of consideration of the bill for amendment, the committee shall rise and report the bill to the house with such amendments as may have been adopted. any member may demand a separate vote in the house on any amendment adopted in the committee of the whole to the bill or to the amendment in the nature of a substitute made in order as original text. the previous question shall be considered as ordered on the bill and amendments thereto to final passage without intervening motion except one motion to recommit with or without instructions.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia is recognized for one hour. mr. woodall: i'm happy to be here down here with you today. for purpose of debate only i'd like to yield the customary 30 minutes to my good friend from florida, mr. hastings. i'd like to ask unanimous consent, mr. speaker, that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. woodall: mr. speaker, house resolution 534, this rule before us today, brings the first of two budget committee reform bills to the floor. the speaker is very familiar, the budget has been working hard not just this year but last year as well to put together an agenda to make the budget more accessible to the american people. to make budgeting in washington, d.c., look more like budgeting back home around the kitsch table. we have the -- kitchen table. we have the first of the two refortunately bills with the rule today. this rule is a structured rule, mr. speaker, that brings h.r.
3578, the baseline reform act, an h.r. 3582, the pro-growth budgeting act to the floor. we all know it's been 1,000 days, mr. speaker, over 1,000 days since the senate has produced a budget. but here in the house not only did we produce a budget last year on time, we will produce a budget this year on time. we'll produce another budget as we did last year that the american people can be proud of. knowing that the american people will be proud of that work product, mr. speaker, because you and i will ensure it. the question is will folks be able to understand it? i confess as a freshman member on the budget committee, mr. speaker, it's not always easy to do. the president's going to submit his budget to us in a couple weeks. i think it was going to be next week. i think he's put it off another week. i'm looking forward to seeing it when it finally arrives. but my wreck check and expectation is going to be it's going to be more than 12 inches tall. not because the president's
doing anything wrong, but because that's the level of detail and sophistication it takes to produce a budget for the united states ever america. so what can we do to make this budget easier to understand? what can we do to make this budget more like the budget that goes on around the kitchen table? the baseline reform act, first bill this rule would bring to the floor, does this, mr. speaker. it eliminates the assumption that the c.b.o. makes today that every congress is going to spend more next year than the previous congress. now there are as a function of law, mr. speaker, some areas of the budget that do in fact go up. we know, for example, that 10,000 new americans every day apply for social security and medicare. 10,000 new baby boomers every day apply for social security and medicare. we calculate that in the law, it exists in statute today, to say let's go ahead and raise that spending level based on those new folks accessing the system. but there is over $1 trillion
in spending, mr. speaker. for which there is no law that says it's going to go up next year and the year after that and the year after that and yet the congressional budget office today when they chart out the budget for the united states of america assumes that that increase is going to take place. i'm proud, mr. speaker, at least in my short time here, i have seen just the opposite. every single bill that this body has brought to the floor since the president has reduced spending. spending was $1.91 trillion in 2010. we reduced it to 2011. reduce it again for 2012. that's the trend that my constituents want back home, mr. speaker. i think the trend that america deserves, but more importantly we have all been involved in those conversations back home where folks say, when is a cut not really a cut? when is an increase not really an increase? only here in washington, mr. speaker, can we spend $10 last
year and $12 next year an call that a budget cut. only here. the baseline reform act eliminates that. the pro-growth budgeting act, the second bill this rule would bring to the floor, adds a new bit of information to the congressional budget office baseline. it's the same information that president obama asked for in his stimulus bill to say when we spend this $800 billion, what impact is that going to have? we know it's going to be $800 billion out the door. we know we are never going to get that money back. we know that's going to be money we have to borrow from foreign lands. what do we get for that $800 billion? and the congressional budget office c.b.o. scored it that way and they did. what the pro-growth budgeting act says is let's add that feature for every future bill. on the tax side of the ledger, what happens, mr. speaker, when we cut taxes? we know that means less revenue comes in from that one tax, but what does it mean for the economy as a whole? we see it over and over again.
we have taxes at their highest. sometimes tax receipts are at their lowest, when we have tax rates at their lowest, sometimes our tax receipts are at their highest, the congressional budget office can give us that information and this bill makes it possible for them to do that. so, mr. speaker, i'm tremendously proud and enthusiastic about not only the rule but the two underlying bills and i look forward to that discussion not just on the rule with my friend, mr. hastings, but with the budget committee later on this afternoon. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. hastings: mr. speaker, thank you very much. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. hastings: i thank my good friend from georgia for yielding me the time to go forward with the discussion of this particular rule.
the rule provides for consideration of both h.r. 3578, which is referred to as the baseline reform act, and h.r. 3582, the pro-growth budgeting act. both of these bills in my opinion impose convoluted new rules on an already complicated budget process. an attempt to enshrine the majority's ideology into what is supposed to be an objective analysis. what our friends are saying are common sense reforms are actually nonsense reforms. these budget process changes are mere gimmicks to defend the
elimination of spending on essential government services and to dress up tax cuts for those in our society who are well off in the phony disguise of benefiting average americans. these changes tie congress and the congressional budget office c.b.o. up in not in an -- congressional budget office up in knots in an effort to prove the conservative ideology of taxes and spending is going to grow our nation's economy. not creating more jobs, not stimulating demand, not investing in infrastructure or education or any of the many endeavors that are critical to improving the lives of all americans, rather what my friends the republicans are trying to do is, in my opinion, create a frankenstein budget.
and a preured here -- procedure here adds a little bit of a procedure several rule over there, zap it with some electricity or high ber poely and now you have a budget process that proves tax cuts for the wealthiest among us are the overwhelm way to grow our economy. guess what? it stale ain't human and it certainly isn't humane. for the baseline reform act, mr. speaker, republicans propose that the congressional budget office not include annual inflation when making their budget estimates. when i was a child, 10, 11 years old, we didn't get radio programs very much, but we got radio programs on saturday.
and one of the programs that i enjoyed so much as a little boy sitting on the rug in the living room listening to was "let's pretend." and i know -- didn't know then that i would be here in this august institution sitting around with people who are pretending in the budget process that inflation doesn't exist when they are making budget estimates. i talked yesterday, one of my friends on the rules committee had been down in florida and knew when i told him that i had a major water issue at my home in florida, and so over the last two or three months my water bill has been exorbitant
and i couldn't figure out why. and i ultimately this morning i learned for the first time that there is a substantial leak inside the house. so the plumbers are there. i'm already out more than $1,000. and later on i'm going to be voting about my salary. yesterday i voted about the cost of living for federal employees. and i think we do them a terrible disservice by disaplowing them the kinds of increases that take into consideration the exact same kind of thing that i and other members of this house and people throughout this nation are experiencing when it comes to their personal undertaking. we have been without an increase here, and, yes, this nation is in serious trouble. and the people that we tend a tack are the people that are at the lowest end of the scale and the middle class people. the police officers, the firefighters, the
schoolteachers who make $35,000, $40,000, one or two luckily make $60,000 and what we wind up doing is taking them to task. they have the same plumbing problems i do. there is inflation. and you can't do a budget without contemplating it, but if you wish to pretend, then i guess that's what we will do is play "let's pretend." this seems like a rather mundane technical change, but it isn't. i would be pleased to support this, mr. speaker, because it means that in making my own personal budget projections i could have just simply ignored the fact that costs for everyday items, i don't know a single thing that i bought in the last three years that has gone down in price. i just simply ignore the fact that costs for everyday items and activities can go up every year, indeed every month, and allowing this place, looking at the local gas stations, every
day, every week. i can just assume that i'm paying the day if i wanted to, i guess, and keep paying 10 years from now and still expect the exact same amount of goods and services. but of course we all know that that isn't true. simply wishing it away or pretending inflation away won't make it so. so the math does not equal fiscal responsibility. -- fuzzy math does not equal fiscal responsibility. by eliminating inflation adjustments from discretionary spending projections, my friends, the republicans, are actually just reducing the funding for a federal program. since the dollar amount would stay the same every year, the amount of services that could be covered would decrease. i this morning had the good
fortune of having a fine group of safety parole students from pleasant city elementary school -- safety patrol students from pleasant city elementary school in the office and i was talking with them about the fact that i would be here discussing the budget and how everything affects their lives as well as the lives of all american citizens around this country. if we were to allow that to -- this budget process to take place, all we will have is a continuing decrease over the long term and things that i may wish for those children at pleasant city elementary school , their council was here and we were discussing the number of
teachers that have been laid off and the number of music programs that no longer exist, so let's just pretend that they don't cost but the same thing at one time. and you will find over the long haul that you'll get these decreases and that will result in massive decreases in essential services like fire services and police services and schoolteachers that millions, indeed all americans, are rely on. . this technical change is actually a back door effort to slowly starve necessary government programs rather than be upfront about which programs republicans want to eliminate. the celebrated conservative grover norquist made it very
clear, h.r. 3578 says that every year, every program, -- program and agency should be assumed to get smaller and smaller automatically. i refer to mr. norquist as an ideologue. he says, i'm not in favor of abolishing government, and i'm quoting him. i just want to shrink it down to the size where we can drown it in a bathtub. i somehow or another am at odds with that kind of thinking when we're about the business of having more people, as i explained to the children, that are in the category of the neediest, and here we are protecting the greediest. -- greediest in our society. this technical change, then, is
actually a back door effort to slowly starve necessary government programs their ran -- rather than be upfront about which programs republicans want to eliminate. they would rather put sneaky rules in place to guarantee the outcome they want rather than having rules in place. that's the kind of process that only igor, the frankenstein monster, could love. republicans want to introduce dynamic scoring to the c.b.o.'s projection process. this seems like a minor technical change but when you look closely you'll see that this is an effort to zap electricity into igor the monster's budget that is tax cuts in the final analysis for those of us in the society that are better off and the wealthier even among that class.
under this bill, the c.b.o.'s analysis --age cease are tweaked so -- analyses are tweaked so tax cuts seem to grow the economy while investments in the needs of everyday americans do not. republicans make it easier to cut taxes for those of us that are well off and those of us that are rich than to build bridges and schools for the rest of us. this bill specifically instructs the c.b.o. to ignore the positive economic effects that will come about from investment in things like infrastructure and education, as if spending on things americans want and need won't boost the economy, they would have us pretend. the c.b.o. has projected that extending the bush tax cuts for the wealthiest among us would actually reduce growth in the long run but rather than face the facts, republicans simply want to change the rules so
that this analysis is turned upside down. any friends on the republican side have been so concerned about building actual bridges to nowhere, they've turned the budget process into its own kind of bridge to nowhere rather than using the budget process to lead this country into a new era of economic growth, my friends on the other side of the aisle want to cut taxes for very wealthy people, cut programs for everyone else, and then feel like they set this country on the right track. this is no way to run an economy. no way to run a budget process. and no way to stick up for millions of struggling americans who need us to focus on improving the economy. mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from georgia is recognized. >> mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume to just really take a moment to
think about the double speak here in washington, d.c. mr. woodall: that's been the biggest adjustment since having the great privilege of being a member of the u.s. house of representatives. what my friend from florida, i know very genuinely, calls sneaky, i call common sense. today in the budget, mr. speaker, today in the budget, the c.b.o. doesn't have to follow the law. for about a quarter of all federal government spending. when they're scoring medicare and medicaid, they follow the law to say what's medicare and medicaid going to do over the next 10 years. when they're scoring discretionary spending, however, they just guess. they just guess. that's what the process is today. just guess at what future congresses are going to be. what are those future congresses going to do? that's an exercise in folly of -- in folly. you couldn't possibly get it right, it's a challenge to put
these numbers together and the more they have to guess, the more inaccurate their result becomes. so what of these two bills -- i would be happy to yield. mr. hastings: then why are we mandating 40 years, how will we pro pre-dict what 40 years will look like. mr. woodall: i thank my friend for asking and reclaiming my time, what those 40 years are, are 40 years of congressionally mandated action. that's what's so different here. there are things congress speaks to an things about which congress is silent. an for reasons unbeknownst to me or the families back home in my district, what this congress has said this body that's been instilled with the power of all our voters back home, we said we abdicated. c.b.o., just guess. when you and i were working together last summer on the budget control act, we went
exactly the opposite route. as you know, mr. speaker, the budget control act, we said, don't guess about what's going to happen next year. we're putting a number in statute for spening. don't guess about what's going to happen two years down the road. we're putting a number in statute. don't guess about another year down the road for that, because we're putting a number in statute. look at that. what we chose to do, instead of just guessing about the country's future, is to do what the american people sent us here to do, and that's legislate on the country's future. only here can you spend $10 this year, $12 next year and call that a cut. i don't get it. and folks back home don't get it. far from being gimmickry, this is unifying the federal budget process, what that budget process is for millions of families back home around the dinner table. to be clear about the pro-growth budgeting act, mr. speaker, because i want to make
sure that my friend from florida and i are working on the same information, the pro-growth budgeting act does not change the c.b.o. baseline process at all. not at all. the same score that c.b.o. would have done for legislation yesterday, they're going to do that same score for legislation tomorrow if the pro growth budgeting act becomes law. what will be different is, and i love this about the direction of this congress, the difference will be the american people will have a new piece of information to add to the old baseline. a new piece of information. during the discussion yesterday with the congressional budget office, we got the c.b.o. baseline, but we also got additional information. what would happen if you extended tax cuts? what would happen if you did alternative things, called the alternative base line. the pro-growth budgeting act says let's build on that. in these time, we can't afford to have any stone unturned for
economic growth for this country and we certainly can't afford to continue as this town has done far too long, if we're candid with ourselves, far too long, kept the american people in the dark about federal budgeting issues. these two bills, again, these are just the first of 10 bills coming to this floor, mr. speaker, but these two bills shine a spotlight on the federal budget process in ways that we can all be proud. and i reserve my time so i can discuss that further later on. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from florida. mr. hastings: i'm pleased to yield five minutes to my good friend, the gentleman from new jersey, mr. andrews. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. andrews: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank my friend for yielding. for a long time, americans have believed, if you work hard every day and play by the rules, you'll be able to earn enough to own a home and educate your children and retire with some dignity. it's the american dream.
precious numbers of -- large numbers of people, rather, are now disbelieving in that because it's not really happening in their lives. they're working as hard as they can but they seem to go backwards not forwards when they work so hard. you can't reignite the american dream unless you reignite the middle class and you can't reignite the middle class unless you reignite small business. small businesses in this country create two out of every three jobs created in the country. in the last 20 years, 80% of the new jobs have been created by businesses that are younger than a year old. so new, small businesses are the key to getting things done. if you talk to small business people around the country, as we have in our district, here's what they'll tell you. their number one concern these days is they don't have enough customers. there's not enough people eating in their restaurants or buying goods in their stores or
buying manufactured goods or buying software code they write. they need more customers. so 147 days ago, 147 days ago, the president of the united states came to this chamber and said, we ought to do four things. to stimulate customers for those small businesses and grow the middle class. first, he said, we should repair our nation's aging bridges and railroads and highways and put construction workers back to work building schools in the process. the congress has never voted on that proposal. second thing the president said is, when a small business hires people, their taxes should be cut. so a tax cut for small businesses that hire americans. the congress has never voted on that proposal. third thing he said is because of the economic distress of our country, cities and counties
and states are laying off police officers, firefighters, teachers, which hurts public safety and hurts education but it also hurts businesses because police officers and firefighters an teachers without a paycheck aren't going to be buying things in thesters or -- stores or eating in restaurants or spending their money. so the president said, let's take some money and help states an localities rehire and put those teachers back in the classroom and put those firefighters back on the apparatus and put those cops back on the beat. we have never voted on that proposele. finally, the president said, look, we cut social security taxes, we cut the payroll tax for really all working americans in 2010, at the enof 2010. that tax cut is about to expire. if we let it expire, it'll be about a $1,000 tax increase for middle class americans, which
will not only hurt those families but hurt the economy by draining their purchasing power from the economy. let's ex-ten that tax cut. we did manage to do that for two months and that's about to expire in 27 days. we'll be back at that by the end of the month. now, if that's the urgent agenda for the country, what are we doing today? what we're doing today is passing a change in budget rules that essentially says the following. if you're really optimistic about what a tax cut might do to the economy, you can assume that optimism for purposes of keeping score in the budget. this is like a family sitting town and planning its budget at the beginning of the year and saying, i think we're both going to get a raise this year. you're a teacher, i'm a truck driver, i think we're going to get a 5% or 10% raise, so let's plan the family budget based on that. i think scarely any of the constituents who send us here
would ever draft their family budget in that way. if this rule goes through, that's the way we'll draft the federal budget. it's become an article of faith, religious orthodoxy on the republican side, that tax cuts produce higher revenues. at best, the evidence is ambiguous. most of the time it doesn't. maybe sometimes it does. but i don't think that we -- i think we should expect the establishment clause of the constitution and separate church and state. if the republican religion is that tax cuts always produce more revenue, i don't think we should write that religion into the law of the country because it's not always right. beyond that, if we go home to our constituents, our myle class families, our businesses, and say -- i would ask for one more minute. mr. hastings: i yield the gentleman one more minute. mr. andrews: did you pass bills to bring more customers in?