tv Public Affairs CSPAN November 29, 2012 10:00am-1:00pm EST
businesses. people have to think about the future. it is unclear. i would say there is a chance that we will go over the cliff. there is still a great divide between parties. i do not see them coming together a great deal on that. host: williams mcbride and seth hanlon, thank you for being on the "washington journal." the house is coming into session right now. they will be debating the feasible. -- visa bill. the clerk: the speaker's room, washington, d.c., november 29, 2012. i hereby appoint the honorable charles j. fleischmann 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 17, 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 will receive a message. the messenger: mr. speaker, a message from the senate. the secretary: mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: madam secretary. the secretary: i have been directed by the senate to inform the house that the senate has passed s. 1998, cited as the d.h.s. audit requirement target act of 2012, in which the concurrence of the house is requested.
the speaker pro tempore: the chair now recognizes the gentleman from north carolina, mr. jones, for five minutes. mr. jones: mr. speaker, thank you very much. yesterday in the republican conference i acknowledged that five marines and one soldier from my district, the third district of north carolina, had been killed in afghanistan by the afghans they were training. this to me is just does not make any sense at all why we stay in afghanistan. i also shared with the conference an email i got from the former commandant of the united states marine corps, who has actually been my advisor on afghanistan for three years. the commandant, i said, mr. commandant, why do we stand by and see our american soldiers, marines killed by those people we are training? i said, mr. commandant, how many more have to die, killed at the hands of the people they're trying to help?
and i read this from the commandant. at the end of the day, i am more convinced than ever that we need to get out of afghanistan. when our friends turn out to be our enemy, it's time to pull the plug. the idea that troops we have trained and equipped now turn that training and equipment on us is simply unconscionable. whether we leave tomorrow or 1,000 tomorrows from now, nothing, nothing will really change. we're now nothing more than a recruiting poster for every malcontent in the middle east. we need to wake up, and i read that yesterday in the conference, mr. speaker. i want my party and the democratic party to wake up and get our troops home. mr. speaker, recently on cnn's reliable sources with howard kurtz, well-known journalist made this statement. we seem to be concerned about the sex lives of our generals than real-life soldiers.
probably no one knew who sergeant channing hicks and specialist joseph richardson were. they were two american soldiers killed in afghanistan the friday before he was interviewed. almost everyone in the country knows paula boardwell. that's such a tragedy, mr. speaker, that our troops are dying in afghanistan and we're writing about generals having relationships with outside of a marriage. it makes no sense. we've lost 32 americans in october and november. i want to know where is the outrage here in congress, why are we spending money we don't have, why are our troops dying and yet we just seem to go on and on talking about the fiscal cliff? well, i know that's important. mr. speaker, it is time for congress to realize that we are having young men and women to die in afghanistan for a failed policy that will not change one thing. mr. speaker, before closing, i make reference to this poster of a young american in a casket being carried by his colleagues
to be buried. please, american people, put pressure on congress to bring our troops home now and not wait until december, 2014. i ask god to please bless our men and women in uniform, to please bless the loved ones who lost those in iraq and afghanistan. please, god, help get our troops home now and not later. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizing the gentleman from oregon, mr. blumenauer, for five minutes. mr. blumenauer: mr. speaker, mitt romney weathered a storm of criticism late in the campaign after hurricane sandy for his earlier comments about privatizing fema and turning responsibility back to state and local governments. but during an era of fiscal restraint and global warming, it's high time that we start this conversation in earnest. how big do you want your fema
to be? how generous your disaster relief payments and how much do you want to pay for it? in today's "new york times" op-ed section, there's an article that points out potential liability for flood insurance alone is $1.25 trillion. second only to the liability for social security. right now we have arguably the worst of both worlds. the federal government responds to disaster usually paying too much for the wrong people to do the wrong things. we provide federal money to put people back in harm's way and sometimes provide infrastructure to make future risky development worse. we often take remedial action, like for theifying beaches, a temporary solution, that can actually accelerate erosion elsewhere, shift storm damage down the coast to another spot
or more serious flooding downriver. by giving the illusion of protection, more people locate in dangerous areas and the vicious cycle is repeated with untold damage to families, with loss of life, loss of property, disruption of business. perhaps we'd be better off if we began with a serious conversation about what people expect from fema and heavily subsidized flood insurance. what if the balance of responsibility between individuals, local, state and federal governments was analyzed? what if we required individual property owners to assume more of the cost of disaster mitigation and recovery by paying the full cost of their flood insurance premiums and having recovery benefits provided on a declining scale after repetitive incidents? what if local developers were required to insure their
buildings withstood the cost of certain foreseeable disaster events? would they be less likely to pressure local governments to approve risky development proposals? if individual homeowners absorb more of their costs with slightly higher home prices, would it make it less likely they're going to be buying homes in sdwuss locations? shouldn't -- sdwuss locations? shouldn't local governments have stronger building and zoning codes to make cost less likely and recovery less expensive? what if these local governments were put on notice that when they invest in infrastructure that the federal disaster relief is only going to cover a portion of the loss and that portion will decline with increasing frequency of events? while there appears to be little appetite for overall federal control, there ought to
be even less appetite for the federal government to pay for the failure of local control to plan, zone, enact and enforce strong code provisions and consumer protection. the notion that this is all going to be a one-way street for the federal taxpayer to pay for repetitive disaster costs is something that needs to be challenged and rejected out of hand. now, make no mistake, i think it would be foolish to privatize fema because there's a need for federal response to true disasters. that's precisely the time that the local economy and taxpayer are least able to pay the full cost of recovery. they need money, personnel and assistance, but that doesn't mean a permanent entitlement to risky behavior. the federal government should deal with what is truly catastrophic and with the humanitarian costs. families obviously should not
be less destitute, hungry and homeless in the aftermath of natural disaster. there is, however, no reason that we encourage the repetition of these terrible events. in a time of fiscal stress and budgetary realignment, we should include government disaster spending, liability and development policy as we address the fiscal cliff. done right this will not only save money but countless lives as well. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from new york, ms. hayworth, for five minutes. ms. hayworth: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, all work in congress during these final weeks of 2012 is focused on the fiscal cliff. we're worried and rightly so about what it means to our economy, to our future, to the daily lives right now of hardworking americans who are in all too many cases already struggling to make ends meet.
like the mother in carmel, new york, who told me their kids are going to have to limit their sports activities because she's finding trouble to find gas money to fill her tank a week. i helped her mom who is doing all she can just to get by. she cares for her family. she has a job, and she's a taxpayer. she's in the middle class, and she's being squeezed from all sides. and she knows that even though she has to set and keep a budget, the federal government hasn't been able to do that, and that's why we're facing the fiscal cliff. the federal government has been spending her hard-earned tax dollars like water, running trillion-dollar deficits year after year. she's angry and she has every right to be angry. so what are we going to do about it? lately we've heard a lot of talk about raising revenues, but not nearly enough talk about bringing the federal
government down to the right size, about matching spending to the resources we have, about balancing the federal budget. oh, we hear about a balanced approach, but that's just a way of saying we need to increase taxes. actually, we don't need to increase taxes. the best thing we could do would be to not increase taxes. the best thing we can do is to raise revenues by making our economy as healthy and strong as it can be. that means we need to help our businesses grow and hire. that's become way too hard to do in the past couple of years. a businessman in duchess county, new york, said he's going to have to limit the number of employees he has to less than 50 so he won't be subject to penalties under the 2010 health law. so right now the federal government is keeping him from offering jobs. that hurts the people who need jobs and who would be happy to be on a payroll where they
would be putting their own contributions into social security and medicare. increasing taxes means less growth and fewer jobs, and that's not balanced. three years ago i made a pledge to oppose tax increases. i made that pledge to the citizens i serve and to no one else, and i made it because tax increases will hurt them. when jen, the owner of la petite cuisine in new york says the best thing i can do is give her a break from high taxes, i believe her. i ran for congress to help jen and all the small business people like her who are the engines of job creation. i ran for congress to help all the people who need employers like jen to hire them. these good people deserve better than temporary fixes. they deserve a plan that solves our economic problems for the long term. they deserve a plan that goes
beyond politics and shows a commitment to putting the federal government on a budget and on track to eliminate our crushing debt, that respects our citizens' rights to enjoy the fruits of their labor and to spend and save and invest as they see fit, which is the best way to grow the economy and add jobs and that allows each of them, regardless of their station in life or where they live or their ethnic background or their gender to use their energy, talent and common sense as free people in a nation that must remain the strongest in the world which is simply cannot be if it's drowning in debt. i'm here to fight for what's best for my constituents, every one of them, today and every day in every single way i can. i am here to serve them and not any party or idea -- ideology. my constituents' future extends
far beyond any election. they deserve that future to be as secure and prosperous as it can be. and it surely can be if we in congress and the white house can have the courage to move forward together in a spirit of true cooperation. i stand ready to do that, and i stand with the people of the hudson valley. thank you, mr. speaker, and i yield back. . the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from illinois, mr. gutierrez, for five minutes. mr. gutierrez: mr. speaker, let me tell you how you know you have turpped the corner in the immigration debate. when sean hanity and senator rand paul and a group of others in the republican party began saying it's time to rethink the party's approach to immigration, we have probably reached a milestone. when donald trump says the probable policy of asking 12 million people to self-deport is, quote, a crazy policy, that likely caused the republicans the white house, you have turned
the corner. any time i agree with donald trump, hope for bipartisan agreement should be running high. most americans believe that election day demonstrated beyond the same old politics, the same tired, blame game on immigration. so when i saw republican sponsored senate bill on the house calendar this week, i thought, well, maybe house republicans are changing their tune. on the campaign trail we heard governor romney say he supported a green card to the every math and science graduate from our university. why should we educate some of the best minds on earth and say sorry, no room in the u.s. economy for you? it makes no sense. they go away and compete against us rather than innovating and creating jobs here. then i took a closer look at what the republicans are actually proposing. they haven't turned the corner at all. in fact, they haven't even stepped out of their houses. they certainly didn't learn anything from the last election. the stem visa bill on the house floor this week was actually voted down in september.
it was introduced with a few changes and no consultation with democrats. i want to find a bipartisan solution on immigration. i'm committed to it. i know it won't be easy. they say a journey of 1,000 miles begins with just one step. the problem is my colleagues on the other side of the aisle want to take one step and have the democrats travel the other 999.9 miles. certainly this bill isn't even a step it's a shell game. it's the same problem that the stem bill in september had. it holds visa from a legal immigration program that works over to a new visa category where there may or may not be sufficient demand to use those visas each year. immigration is always a zero sum game for my colleagues on the other side. we will only increase visa for immigrants we like if we can eliminate immigration for immigrants we don't like. but it isn't even a sum zero
trick they are pulling here. that's the myth. only 20,000 stem visas would be issued to graduates meaning that the other 35 visas would just disappear. and which immigrant do they want to exclude in order to play this game? people from around the world who want a chance to make a new life for themselves in the u.s. you know, people like the fathers and mothers and grandparents of almost every member of congress. in this case, half of the people who come to america legally through the diversity visa program come from the continent of africa, over half of them. but they come from all over. so the republicans would have us say to the good people of ghana or south africa, but also to the people of sweden, and ireland, and new zealand, and taiwan who applied to come here legally, sorry we have to withdraw the chance you had so we can convert them to maybe 20,000 stem graduates. maybe.
once again republicans' math doesn't add up. here's something i bet you didn't know about the visa diversity program. many come to this country and join the armed forces of the united states of america. but these legal immigrants are the target of the republican bill. i have news for my friends on the other side of the aisle. you can't fool immigrants. you can't pretend to be pro-immigrant and eliminate immigration for one group to allow another group to come. i woke up the day after the election. i saw a new landscape for the immigration debate. it is one where democrats and republicans work together to solve tough problems facing the united states. we should not treat this as an opportunity for politicians to score political points again. but sadly, that is what is happening here. i want republicans to know that democrats support stem visas. we don't need to kill other legal immigration programs to create a stem program. but republicans are more interested in killing the diversity visa than in creating
a program for stem grads watts for this bill, no matter what happens on friday, will not pass in the senate. mr. speaker, i believe we can turn the corner on real immigration reform, but only if republicans are willing to put on their walking shoes and take a few steps with democrats walking side by side for a greater, better america. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. fitzpatrick, for five minutes. mr. fitzpatrick: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to honor the life of lois of new briton in my home county of bucks, pennsylvania. a devoted husband and loving father, he passed away earlier this week after a long life of service to his community and country. as a young man in the army, louis answered his country's call and honorably served in the korean war, and was awarded a purple heart for his service. upon returning home from the war
louis went on to serve his community as an officer with the philadelphia police department for over 20 years. i had the opportunity to visit the korean war memorial here in our nation's capital with louis earlier this year. i was fortunate to have been able to spend that time with him. and proud to have called him my friend. his life of service is an example to each of us and i wish his family all the best in these difficult times. mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from illinois, mr. quigley, for five minutes. mr. quigley: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i rise today to highlight the exceptional work of an organization operating in my district called tips for patriots. this program strides to save not just one life but two. chicagoland organization currently trains rescued pit bulls to become service dogs for veterans in need. in addition to helping our country's patriots, the program is committed to educating the
public about the loyalty, devotion, and commitment of the pit bull breed. their service dogs are trained to help improve a veterans' quality of life in the day to day activities such as opening and closing doors, retrieving items, and assisting with mobility problems. i had the honor of attending a training session and meeting a dedicated veteran, sergeant danny randall, and his companion dog, shiloh. after serving for nine years in the army, danny felt an emotional disconnect between military and civilian life. re-entering the civilian work force had been a difficult adjustment. danny suffers from posttraumatic stress disorder. making it difficult for him to remain calm in large crowds or tight spaces. he is not comfortable sitting with his back to a door or window and feels stressed when strangers enter his personal space. danny has found a way to help battle some of the aftereffects of war. danny's medicine is in the form
of four legged pit bulldog that goes by the name of shiloh. shiloh helps danny to remain calm when going out in product, and creates a comfort level and socialization skills. shiloh and other pit bulls to more than facilitate the day to day lives of the recipients. they provide a sense independence and unconditional love. for the veterans caring for a companion animal can provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment while lessening the feelings of loneliness, isolation, and depression. there are over 22 million american veterans today. and although the number of service members being deployed in today's wars are fewer than wars in the past, those returning from wars suffer from increasingly severe disability such as traumatic brain injury, numerous amputation, and post traumatic stress disorder. over the past decade the number of vets in need of disability compensation has more than doubled from 600,000 in 2000, to
over 1.4 million in the year 2011. as more vets return home from multiple tours in iraq and afghanistan, the need for assistance will grow even greater. we must do all we can to support inventive program such as pits for patriots to provide support and assistance to our veterans in need. i want to end with the words of sergeant randell who said about his pit bull, shiloh. he gives me a reason to be successful. shiloh gives me a great sense of calm and balance. he's an amazing dog not just where he has been and what he has lived through, but all that he has overcome. and that's sense we are a lot alike, and i believe that is why we have such a that
he has overcome. and that's sense we are a lot alike, and i believe that is why we have such a strong bond. we truly do everything together and i could not have asked for a better partner. let's make sure other veterans in need have access to the same program that has done so much to help danny and shiloh. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from tennessee. mr. duncan. mr. mr. duncan: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. duncan: i rise today to pay tribute to my friend ron paul. i have now served in congress for 24 years, the last 16 of which i have served with congressman paul. during all of that time, i have never once seen him waiver or stray from the commitment to liberty and freedom and his promise to uphold and defend our constitution. i can assure you that no one runs for office wanting to make people mad. in fact, it may be the people who run for office have a strong desire to be liked than most people. thus i feel certain at times it has been hurtful to congressman paul to be the only member out of 435 to vote know on some popular bill or seemingly harmless resolution. yet on many occasions he has been the only vote on some issue. yet because of his currently and sincerity and steadfast belief in free enterprise, private
property, and individual freedom he has earned the respect and admiration of almost everyone with whom he has served on both sides of the aisle. when there was tremendous pressure, especially on the republican side, only six republicans voted no to go to war in iraq. three were very liberal republicans and three very conservative. the three conservative no votes came from congressman paul and myself. it is probably accurate to say during the 16 years congressman paul and i have served together, no two members have voted more alike than we have. most of that time we have arrived at a our decision separately and independently. we also have discussed many votes over the years and i have attended most of the meetings of the liberty caucus, congressman paul has hosted in his office with a wide variety of speakers. one national magazine about four years ago gave three members 100% ratings on the freedom index, congressman paul, congressman jeff flake of arizona, and myself. last year i was very surprised
when the national taxpayers union ranked me as the most fiscally conservative member on all 338 spending votes, but the only reason that congressman paul was not first was because he missed many votes during his run for the white house. there have been articles and comments and questions about who would be the next ron paul in congress. but really no one can replace ron paul or fill his shoes or be the next ron paul. he has achieved a fame and following and a position of influence that is almost miraculous considering his unique independence. he is such a kind, humble, almost bashful person that i know he has been amazed by the numbers that have turned out to support him. and especially the following he has among young people. after all, there is nothing cool or hip about him, but several million college students and 20 somethings love the man. i think his appeal lives in the principle stand on the issues, the concern young people have for their future and where this country is heading, and the fact that congressman paul is real.
there is nothing fake about him. he believes what he says and says what he believes. and then sticks by it even when it is not politically correct. financial columnist charles said probably summed up him best. he wrote 34ricks has ways of bending such lesser men and molding even the well intentioned to become servants of the state. the tools are many. congressional leadership bestows its favors for plum committee assignments and nicer offices. the parties reward the lockstep marchers, too. for those who stay in step, there are endorsements and campaign funds. meanwhile, for those who march to a different drummer, well, then there is the simple social pressure to which men whose eyes are not focused on a principle soon succumb. the description you have heard of washington that you have to go along to get along is all too true. mr. goy yet concluded by writing ron paul never succumbed.
he never sold out for a better assignment or nicer office, or shallow conviffyabblet. finally, mr. speaker, i think words written in a 1930 novel, "the lion's den" fit ron paul. the author wrote, quote, no matter how the espousal of a lost cause might hurt his prestige in the house, zimmer never hesitated to identify himself with the -- seemed to him to be right. he knew only two way, the right one and the wrong. and if he sometimes made a mistake, it was never won of honor. he voted as he believed he should and although sometimes his voice was raised alone on one side of the question, it was never still. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from virginia, mr. connolly. for five minutes. mr. connolly: thank you, mr. speaker. americans turned out in record numbers this past election day,
november 6, to exercise our most cherished and fundamental right, the right to vote. no doubt my colleagues heard from their constituents who endured in many cases outrageously long lines. i spoke with voters who reported having to wait two or more hours, and in some cases up to five hours to cast that precious vote. . the shortage of voting machines and well-trained election volunteers were the primary culprits leading to unacceptably long lines. whether one lived in a blue or red state or voted in an urban, suburban or rural prestinket, a dozen states including florida, pennsylvania, colorado, ohio, new york, massachusetts, wisconsin, south carolina, montana, tennessee, hawaii, arizona, rhode island and my own commonwealth of virginia encountered significant but avoidable barriers to casting
their ballots. this is not a republican or a democratic problem. this is truly a national bipartisan challenge. it's not a crisis, and to quote president obama, it's one we have to fix. one that -- the senior citizen who may not have had the stamina to stand in line for five hours or the young working mom waiting to vote, worried about the fact that she won't get to the front of the line in time to pick up her kids at daycare. the experience of our constituents on election day amounts to a modern day poll tax on all americans that must be eliminated. 1 years after the 2000 presidential election exposed the deep structural problems that plague our decentralized voting system, our troubles appeared to have worsened, not
improved. voting machines, malfunctioning machines showing their age, a shortage of paper ballots, absentee ballots that failed to reach civilian and military voters in time were among the litany of voting problems that came to the head on election day. i saw the problem firsthand at a polling place in my district as i visited with voters in one prince william county precinct who had been waiting in line for more than four hours in the cold. that's why i joined with congressman jim langevin to introduce the fair, act rate, secure and timely voting act of 2012, the fast act. a senate companion bill was introduced was introduced. representative langevin and i have significant experience serving in the state and local levels and we strongly believe that the federal government often works best when it leverages those laboratories of
democracy at the state and local levels to test innovative solutions and governing reforms and best practices that might have applicability at the federal level. consistent with this principle, the overly printive requirements and instead offer states a menu of options and financial incentives to adopt voting reforms. our fast voting act recognizes that modernizing the nation's voting system will require collaborative and coordinated efforts at the state, federal and local levels. it creates a competitive grant program, similar to the president's top -- race to the top schools initiative and rewards those states that aggressively implement the most effective and promising reforms to expavend the franchise. the menu of reforms includes flexible voter registration including same-day registration. early voting with a minimum with at least nine days before the election. no excuse absentee voting. assistant to voters who do not
speak english as a primary language. assistance to voters with disabilities, including the visually impaired. effective access for voting for members of the armed services. formal training of election officials including state and county administrators and volunteers. auditing and reducing time at polling stations. creating contingency plans of voting in the event of or kind of natural disaster. to be clear, the fast act is the latest in a series of proposals to reform how our elections are administered. given the renewed interest among the public, members of congress and the president, we ought to at least move forward with hearings to debate the merits of these proposals. this is the world's greatest and oldest democracy. how can any of us be satisfied with the scandalous operations that occurred in all too many voting places that impaired the ability of americans, free americans to freely cast their vote? we ought to clean this up. it's a solvable problem and it ought to be solved in a
bipartisan -- on a bipartisan basis. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas, mr. flores, for five minutes. mr. flores: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for five minutes and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. flores: mr. speaker, america recently lost another hero in the war on terror. on september 28, america lost army first army first class stevens. he enlisted as an infantry man in the army in 1993. he volunteered for the special forces assessment and selection corps. he also went on to graduate from the special forces qualification course in march of 2005. at the time of his tragic death, he was assigned to company b, first battalion, third special forces group, airborne, as a special forces medical sergeant. he would go on five separate deployments in support of
operation enduring freedom. during his 19 years of service to our country, sergeant stevens earned many awards and declarations. he earned the bronze star medal with valor. two bronze star medals, the purple heart, the army achievement medal with valor, four army accommodation medals, four army achievement medals, the national defense service medal, the afghanistan campaign medal with three campaign stars, the global war on terrorism service medal, the noncommission officer professional development ribbon military, the army service ribbon, two overseas service ribbons, the nato medal, the air assault badge, the basic parachutest badge, the expert infantryman badge, the combat infantryman badge, the ranger tab and the special forces tab. on october 7, sergeant first class riley g. steaches was laid to rest at the
dallas-forth worth national cemetery, not far from his hometown. while earlier that day his life was celebrated and his service to our country was celebrated in a church full of friends and family and fellow patriots. our thoughts and prayers are with the family and friends of mr. stevens. he will forever be remembered as an outstanding soldier, husband, father and friend. we thank them for his service to our country. john 15-13 which says greater love hath no man than this than the man who laid down his life for his friends. as i close, mr. speaker, i'd like to ask all americans to continue praying for our country during these difficult times, for our military men and women and for our first responders who keep us safe by their sacrifice each day. god bless our military, -- military men and women and god bless america. i yield back.
the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from hawaii, ms. hirono, for five minutes. ms. hirono: mr. speaker, i rise today to introduce a resolution commemorating the remarkable life of service of mother mary ann cope and the saint of the roman catholic church on october 21, 2012. she joins st. damien among the 12 american saints. i am joined in introducing this resolution by congresswoman ann marie buerkle, who represents syracuse, new york, whether mother mary ann's order of the sister of st. francis is based. richard hanna, who represents utica, new york, where mother mothery ann grew up. and coleen hanabusa who represents hawaii's first congressional district. i am proud to represent hawaii's second congressional district which includes the island of mull i couldy. it may seem surprising that 1/6
of america's saints are convicted to the tiny peninsula on the hawaii island of mulakai. we have all heard of how isolated native populations are, especially susceptible to new diseases. once westerners and other peoples came to hawaii, diseases like smallpox and measles caused high mortality. it was no different with leprosy. native hawaiians made up the majority of those afflicted with this disease. to stem the spread of leprosy, the kingdom of hawaii decided in 1866 to forcibly relocate persons found to have the disease to the peninsula. those with the disease were outcast in every sense of the word. that is chosen because it's surrounded by the ocean and some of the tallest sea cliffs in the world, effectively cutting off escape.
mothers, fathers and children who contracted the disease were taken from their families and sent to the peninsula where medical care almost nonexistent. father damien, who ultimately contracted and died from the disease, is recognized throughout the world to improve the disease the conditions at the peninsula. mother mary ann expanded on his work. this legislation honors her for her compassion, care and recognizes her example of what it truly means to dedicate one's life in service to others. one does not need to be catholic to be humbled and inspired by someone who devoted herself selflessly to those who almost everyone else shunned and rejected. she immigrated to this country from germany as a young girl. she and her family settled in utica, new york. at the age of 24 she entered
the religious life as a catholic nun and commenced a life dedicated to children, education and the sick. she later focused her efforts on health care and was influential in establishing st. elizabeth's hospital in utica. she was also the founder and administrator of st. joseph's hospital in syracuse, the city's first hospital. in 1883, mother mary ann received a letter that would change her life. it was from a missionary in hawaii who was desperately searching for volunteers to take charge of the hospitals that served people with hanson's disease. more than 50 religious congregations had already declined, but mother mary ann was different. she eagerly accepted the mission. she wrote back to fatherly nor. quote, i'm hungry for the work and wish in all my heart to be one of the chosen ones. i am not afraid of any disease,
end quote. mother mary ann left for hawaii along with six sisters from syracuse in 1883 where she began a 30-year mission, caring for those diagnosed with hanson's disease. mother maryian accepted a government plea to start a new -- mothery mary ann accepted a government plea to start a new hospital. she arrived months before f damien's death. she oversaw the expansion of health services and programs to provide for education and she lived until the age of 80. on august 9, 1918, she died. she was deeply mourned and is still revered. i have visited her grave site where i left a traditional hawaiian offering. i was deeply moved by the devotion of this woman from new york who left all that was
familiar to live on an isolated peninsula 5,000 miles from home. this became her home and those people her family. mother mary ann recognized the rights and inherent dignity of all people. she dedicated her life caring for those who needed it the most. people of all faiths can admire her spirit of aloha, encompassing love, compassion, mercy and grace and to care for others. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from california, ms. woolsey, for five minutes. ms. woolsey: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, it's the time of year when families reunite and renew their very close connections, connections that are actually in most instances the most precious parts of our lives. this thanksgiving i know all of us were grateful for the company of those we love the
most. but more than 2,000 american families sat at tables where there was one less serving of the thanksgiving meal just a week ago. those families lost a loved one in the deadly war in afghanistan. now more than 11 years long and a tragically reckless policy. i'm personally grateful for the service of all of our afghanistan veterans and for their sacrifice and for the sacrifice of our military families. but sometimes i don't know how we as a congress and a nation can look them right straight in the face after everything we've put them through. the benefits of this war don't come close to justifying the devastating human cost. not just fatalities but disfiguring wounds, loss of
limbs, posttraumatic stress all add up to tragedy at the utmost. . for too many of our veterans, the for too many of our veterans the transition back to civilian life is a daily struggle. many face not just health care challenges, but joblessness, housing, credit trouble, and overall economic anxiety and stress. we had enough of this. why would we want to extend a war that has given so much misery and so much heartache and so few actual national security benefits? the american people have rendered their verdict on the occupation of afghanistan. poll after poll shows they want it over. who can blame them? in fact, the public opinion was so clear during the last presidential election that both candidates for president in this
year's campaign were saying that they would end the war. but the question, mr. speaker, is when? the current 2014 timetable is not nearly aggressiveness. not when we are losing brave service members every single week. not when our military presence is sustaining the very extremists we are trying to defeat. not when american taxpayers are paying the bill to the tune of $10 billion a month. at least. now it seems our policymakers might be planning for a significant military presence in afghanistan beyond 2014. according to a new "new york times" article last weekend, one of the options on the table calls for 10,000 american troops and several thousand more nato troops to remain on the ground
after 2014. sources say that general john allen, our top commander in afghanistan, prefers to keep as many as 60,000 troops for another year. as the "times" editorial board points out, this is not the, quote, steady pace our troops -- of troop withdrawal that the president has promised. this is unacceptable. we ought to have a role in afghanistan. but it cannot and must not be a military role. we need more humanitarian aid, more support for education, health care democracy promotion, civil society, and so much more. but we will not make america safer. we will not make afghanistan stronger by continuing this war.
the only morally decent and strategically sensible approach is to bring our troops home now. certainly before 2014. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from texas, ms. johnson, for five minutes. ms. johnson: thank you very much, mr. speaker. today i would like to emphasize the importance of the federal government's role in investment and research and development, r&d, and science technology engineering and mathematics, stem education, in stimulating growth, creating new industries and jobs, and delivering long-term benefits to our citizens. as a member of the house committee on science, space, and
technology, and now as ranking member, i have had the privilege of hearing countless witnesses from industry, academia, and government. over the past several years testify that investments in r&d are essential to keeping america competitive in a challenging international marketplace. in fact, according to a paper by the national bureau of economic research, changes in technology are the only source of permanent increases in productivity. if we are to reverse the trend of the last 20 years, where our country's technology is in the world has diminished, we must make the investments necessary today. the statistics speak for themselves. it is estimated that more than 50% of our economic growth since world war ii can be attributed
to development and adoption of new technologies. the path is simple, research and education lead to innovation. innovation leads to economic development and good-paying jobs and revenue. revenue to pay for more research. and as private firms underinvest in research and development because of the returns are too far off in the future, there is a clear and necessary role of government to help our nation keep pace with the rest of the world. more than 50 years ago doppler was first created, no one had any idea that the research that they would fund would be responsible for the creation of the internet or the proliferation of the g.p.s. technology, but it did. those inventions started with federal dollars as did countless
other game changing technologies. it is clear that federal investments in r&d bring significantly -- significant returns for decades to come. in 1987, m.i.t. professor was awarded the nobel prize in economics for his work, proving that improved technology and improved education in the work force was clearly and chiefly responsible for long-term growth. much more than increases in labor or capital. the best estimate for the return on academic research alone is 28%. federal efforts are under way now to more vigorously and rigorously quantify the return on federal investments in r&d. today we find ourselves at a crossroads. the united states remains a leader in science, technology, and innovation, but no longer the unchallenged leader.
while our own world class innovation infrastructure is under stress, our competitors in other countries, even as they institute austerity measures in other parts of their budgets, are seizing the opportunity to make strategic investments in long-term basic research and build and leverage public-private partnerships to support the shorter term r&d that will help create jobs now and long into the future. as we struggle with our own destiny, we, too, can make the strategic choice to continue to invest in our contour, both in our human capital and physical infrastructure, or we can make the strategic choice to permanently cede our leadership, to fail our current generation of young people, and put our economy in the state of stagnation for years to come. stem education is another
critical component to the nation's economic competitiveness. yet according to the program for international studies, student assessment, the u.s. currently ranks 17th in science and 25th in math out of 34 countries. though our best stem students have no trouble competing with the international peers on average, our k through 12 students continue to lag far behind their international peers in math and science aptitude. according to the national assessment of educational progress, for naep, 2009 science assessment, 34% of the fourth graders, 30% of the eighth graders, and 21% of the 12th graders perform at or above the proficient level in science. when eighth graders were tested
again in 2011, they achieved a modest two point gain in the percentage of students demonstrating proficiency. when the results are broken down by demographic groups, -- is that a signal my time is up? the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. ms. johnson: i ask unanimous consent to put the rest of my statement in the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. johnson: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from colorado, mr. coffman, for five minutes. mr. coffman: thank you, mr. chairman. i would ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. coffman: thank you, mr. chairman. this year i push for and received a congressional investigation into the darwin national military hospital in afghanistan, based on allegations that senior afghan medical personnel sold the u.s.
military medical supplies and that afghan soldiers and police were dying in the facility from untreated wounds and malnutrition because their families couldn't come up with the necessary bribes to pay the hospital staff for their care. the afghan surgeon general was complicit in the corruption. u.s. army lieutenant general william caldwell was instrumental in covering it up by not only delaying an investigation but by limiting the scope of it when it did occur. neither general callwell nor general yatali have been disciplined for their conduct. last week i was in afghanistan and i visited the hospital. i left afghanistan confirming my belief that the greatest threat to the future of afghanistan is not the taliban but the perversive corruption that permeates every level of afghan
governance and the lack of leadership by the united states in confronting it. mr. chairman, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the chair declares the house in recess until >> also today the white house briefing with jay carney, and that's
and you can follow that on c-span.org. back on capitol hill today, tim geithner, the treasury secretary, has separate meetings with senate and house leaders, and we expect a briefing from senate democrats at about noon also. c-span cameras will be covering that. in london today, lord justice brian levison had the culture, ethics into the british press and to oversee press behavior. this in the wake of the behavior that surfaced at rupert murdoch's newspaper, "news of the world." his briefing this morning is about 25 minutes. >> good afternoon. for the seventh time in less than 70 years there's a new report commissioned by the government dealing with concerns about the press.
it was sparked by public revulsion about a single act. the hacking of a mobile phone by a murdered teenager. it has expanded to cover the culture, practices and ethics of the press and its conduct in relation to the public, the police and politicians. this inquiry has been the most concentrated look at the press this country has ever seen. in nearly nine months of all hearings, 337 witnesses gave evidence in person and the statements of nearly 300 others were read into the record. i am grateful to all who have contributed. the report will now be published on the inquiry website which also carries the
statements, exhibits and both transcripts and video coverage of the evidence. for over 40 years as a barister and a judge i have watched the press in action day after day in the courts in which i have practiced. i know how vital the press is, all of it, as guardian of the interest of the public, as a critical witness to events, as a standard barrier for those who have no one else to speak up for them. nothing in the evidence i have heard or read has changed that view. the press, operating freely and in the public interest, is one of the true safeguards of our democracy. as a result, it holds a privileged and powerful place in our society.
but this power and influence carries with it responsibilities to the public interest in whose name it exercises these privileges. unfortunately as the evidence has shown beyond doubt on too many occasions, those responsibilities along with the code of conduct, which the press wrote and promoted, have simply been ignored. this has damaged the public interest, caused real hardship, and on occasion, wreaked havoc in the lives of innocent people. what the press do and say is no ordinary exercise of free speech. it operates very differently from blogs or the internet and other social media such as
twitter. its impact is uniquely powerful. a free press in a democracy holds power to account, but with a few honorable exceptions, the u.k. press has not performed that vital role in the case of its own power. none of this, however, is to conclude the press freedom in britain hard won over 300 years ago should be jeopardized. on the contrary, it should not. i remain firmly of the belief that the british press, i repeat, all of it, serves the country very well for the vast majority of the time. there are truly countless examples of great journalism, great investigations, and great
campaigns. note that it is necessary or appropriate for the press to pursue serious stories for it to be working in the public interest. some of its most important functions are to inform, educate, and entertain, and when doing so to be irreverent, unrule -- unruly, and opinionated. but none of that means the press is beyond challenge. i know of no organized profession, industry, or trade in which the serious failings of the few are overlooked or ignored because of the good done by the many. were it so in any other case, the press would be the very first to expose such practices. the purpose of this inquiry has
been twofold. first, it has been to do just that, to expose precisely what has been happening. secondly, you need to make recommendations for change. after change almost everyone accepts that the press commission has failed in the task if indeed it ever saw itself as having such a task of keeping the press to its responsibilities to the public generally. and to the individuals unfairly damaged. there must be change. let me say this very clearly. not a single witness proposed that either government or politicians, all of whom the press owe to account, should be involved in the regulation of the press. neither would i make any such suggestion.
let me deal very briefly with the idea this inquiry might not have been necessary if the criminal law had simply operated more effectively. there were errors in aspects of the way the phone hacking investigation was managed in 2006. and in relation to failure to undertake later reviews. there are some problems that needs to be fixed with the criminal and civil laws. in particular, exemplary damages should be available for all media torts, including breach of privacy. in the end, however, law enforcement can never be the whole answer. as we have seen that is because the law breaking in this area is typically hidden. with the victims generally unaware of what has happened t
even if it were possible, and it is certainly not desirable, putting a policeman in ever newsroom is no sort of answer. in any event, the powers of law enforcement are significantly limited because of the privileges that it provides to the press, including for the protection of its sources. that is specifically that it can perform its role in the public interest. what is needed, therefore, is a genuinely independent and effective system of self-regulation of standards with obligations to the public interest. at the very start of the inquiry and throughout, i have encouraged the industry to work together to find a mechanism for independent self-regulation. that would work for them and
would work for the public. lord will and lord black of brentwood stepped forward to lead the effort. they put forward the idea of a model based on contractual obligations among press organizations. on monday afternoon of this wreak, -- week w. the report being printed -- week, with the report being printed, i received two separate submissions within the press telling me most of the industry was now prepared to sign self-regulation contracts. the first submission recognizes the possibility of improvements to the model proposed so far. the second expresses confidence that the model proposed by lord black and lord hunt addresses the criticisms made at the inquiry. unfortunately, however, although
this model is an improvement on the p.c.c., in my view it does not come close to delivering in the words of the submission itself, quote, regulation that is itself genuinely free and independent both of the industry and regulates and political control. any model is simply not independent of the industry to anything approaching the degree required to warrant public confidence. it is still the industry marking its own homework. nor is the model proposed stable or robust for the longer term future. the press needs to establish a new regulatory body which is truly independent of industry leaders and of government and of politicians. it must promote high standards
of journalism and protect both the public interest and the rights and liberties of individuals. is it should set and enforce standards. hear individual complaints against its members, and provide a fair, quick, and inexpensive arbitration service to deal with civil law claims. the chair and the other members of the body must be dependent and appointed by a fair and open process. it must comprise a majority of members who are independent of the press. it should not include any serving editor or politician. that can be readily achieved by an appointments panel which could itself include a current editor, but with a substantial majority, demonstrably independent of the press, and of politicians. in the report, i explain who
might be involved. although i make some recommendations in this area, it is absolutely not my role to think to establish a new press standards code or decide how an independent self-regulatory body would go about its business. as to a standards code, i recommend the development of an industry economy which could include serving editors. that committee would advise the regulatory body and this should be a process of public consultation. in my report i also address the need for incentives to be put in place to encourage all in the industry to sign up for this new regulatory system. guaranteed independents -- independence, long-term stability, and genuine benefits
for the industry cannot be realized without legislation. so much misleading speculation and misinformation has been spread about the prospect of new legislation. -l that i need to make a few things very clear. i am proposing it only, only for the narrow purpose of recognizing a new, independent self-regulatory system. it is important to be clear what this legislation would not do. it would not establish a body to regulate the press. that is for the press itself to organize and to do. so what would this legislation achieve? three things. it would enshrine for the first time a legal duty on the government to protect the freedom of the press.
secondly, it would provide an independent process to recognize the new self-regulatory body and thereby reassure the public of its independence and efficacy. thirdly, it would provide new and tangible benefits for the press. as members of thed abouty -- of the body, newspapers could show they act in good faith and comply with standards based on the public interest. decision ises of the new recognized regulator could create precedence which could in turn help a court in civil actions. in addition, the existence of a formally recognized, free arbitration system is likely to provide a powerful argument as to cost should a complainant decide not to use that free system or conversely f. a
newspaper is not a member. -- conversely, if a newspaper is not a member. in my view, the benefits of membership should be obvious to all. this is not and cannot reasonably or fairly be characterized a statutory regulation of the press. i am proposing independent regulation of the press organized by the press itself with a statutory process to support press freedom, provide stability, and guarantee for the public that this new body is independent and effective. i firmly believe that these recommendations for self-regulation are in the best interests of the public and the press. they have not been influenced by any political or other agenda, but based on the evidence i have heard and by what i believe is fair and right for everyone. what is more, given the public
interest role of which the press is rightly proud, i do not think that either the victims i have heard from or the public in general would accept anything less. the relationship between police and public is vital to the e sention requirements of policing by consent. and the press have a very important part to play in its promotion. although there have been a limit on how far it has been possible for the inquiry to go, because of the need not to prejudice any ongoing investigations, whatever operation could certainly corrupt payments to officials, might reveal, i ever not seen any evidence to suggest that corruption by the press is a widespread problem in relation to the police.
however, while broadly endorsing the approach of recent reviews into bliss governance, i have identified a number of issues that i recommend should be addressed. as for the politicians, the overwhelming evidence is that relations on a day to day basis are in robust good health. and performing the vital public interest functions of a free press in a vigorous democracy. every day interactions between journalists and politicians cause no concern. but senior politicians across the spectrum have accepted that in a number of respects the relationship between politics and the press has been too close. i agree. what i am concerned about is a particular kind of lobbying
conducted out of the public eye through the relationships of policymakers and those in the media who stand to gain or lose from the policy being considered. that gives rise to the understandable perception that the power of the press to effect political fortunes may be used to influence that polcy. -- policy. this in turn undermines public trust and confidence in decisions on media matters being taken genuinely in the public interest. this is a long-standing issue and one which over the years and across the political spectrum has repeatedly resulted in opportunities being missed to respond proachtly to legitimate public concern -- appropriately to legitimate public concern about press behavior. the press is, of course,
entitled to lobby in its own interests whether editorially or through the senior political access it enjoys. it is, however, the responsibility of the politicians to ensure the decision ises that are taken are based on the public interest as a whole. this means the extent to which they are lobbied by the press should be open and transparent. and that the public should therefore have a basic understanding of the process. in this limited area, i have recommended the consideration should be given to a number of steps to create greater transparency about these influential relationships that the top of politics and media and so address the issue of public perception and hence trust and confidence.
but this would be those steps for greater transparency to be taken in relation to press lobbying about this report. similar consideration applied to the relative ministers when taking decisions about the public interest in relation to media ownership. i believe that democratically accountable ministers are the right people to make these decisions. however, i have made recommendations as to how the process can be made much more transparent to ensure that in future there should be no risk even of the perception of bias. it is essential that the u.k. retains a plural media with a genuine diversity of ownership approach, and perspective. in my opinion, the competition authorities should have the
means to keep levels of plurelt under review and be -- plurality under review and be equipped with a full range of remedies to deal with concerns. i must now place on record my thanks to all who participated in the inquiry. these are the assessors who advised in areas of their expertise and who were selected by the government with the support of the leader of the opposition in the prime minister's words, as i quote, for their complete independence from all interested parties. robert jay and counsel for collecting and presenting such a massive volume of evidence so efficiently. everyone in the inquiry team who has worked so hard to achieve so much in such limited time. the core participants and their lawyers, and most of all, the
public who have provided evidence, views, and submissions . as i said at the beginning, this is the seventh time in less than 70 years that these issues have been addressed. no one can think that it makes any sense to contemplate. i hope that my recommendations will be treated in exactly the same cross party spirit which led to setting up of the inquiry in the first place and will lead to a cross-party response. i believe that the report can and must speak for itself. to that end i would be making no further comment. nobody will be speaking for me about its contents either now or in the future. the ball moves back into the
politicians' court. they must now decide who guards the guardians. thank you all very much. [applause] fun one -- >> just to let you know you can read the leveson inquiry report on our website, c-span.org, we also have the video of today's news conference. coming down at this hour is more about that report. prime minister david cameron is taking questions from members of the british house of commons and we will have that for you in our video library. and later in our schedule on the c-span networks. back in washington today at the white house, president obama has lunch scheduled with mitt romney, his presidential rival. they'll be having lunch in the white house private dining room. also today at the white house, jay carney holding his briefing. that's about 12:45 and we'll
have that live for you at c-span.org. out of the white house today, vice president joe biden participating in the grand opening of washington, d.c.'s first cost could he -- costco store opened day. the vice president -- bakery and frozen foods. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> jill wouldn't let me have one. i went to get my wife's card, she said no. get your own.
doesn't let me shop alone. all the people you meet in here today, and you see, these are hardworking folks who don't need to see their taxes go up. and the truth of the matter is that it's going to make a big difference. i mean costco has hired 216 new employees in this new store. part of a whole renaissance of a whole neighborhood out here anti-ability of consumers to actually have money in their moket, to be able to go out and support their families in terms of their christmas gifts they want to bivement i met with some small businesspeople in the white house, and they said we are in the red nine months a year, and we count on three months a year to put us in the black. and so i think it's important congress act now. i mean right now. all it has to do is take a single vote to exfend the middle class tax cut. if -- extend the middle class tax cut. if they don't do that and we go
over this so-called fiscal cliff, the fact is it's been estimated that $200 billion less will be spent next year as well as are you going to have people having their taxes go up roughly $2,300 a year. it's going to have an impact on the economy. so i think, i hope we have a lot we have to settle. but there's one thing we should all agree on and that is the middle class tax cut should be made permanent. it's already passed the senate. it takes a single vote. we are fully prepared to work with our republican colleagues to make sure we deal with, quote, the rest of the fiscal cliff. that would take $900 billion off the cliff right now. so, folks, just look around here. people are consumer confidence is growing. the last thing we need to do is dash that now by being unable to extend the middle class tax cuts. thanks for shopping with me. i know you won't tell anybody what i bought for christmas.
thank you very much. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> vice president joe biden at the new and the first costco in washington which employs some 200 people. he was joined there by the c.e.o. of costco, who also spoke at the democratic national convention. was a major obama fundraiser. we are live back on capitol hill waiting to hear from house speaker john boehner and his weekly briefing. the speaker today was one of the leaders set to meet with treasury secretary tim geithner up on capitol hill today to talk about the fiscal cliff
negotiation. we'll be hearing from the speaker shortly. the house gavels back in at noon eastern with just one bill on the agenda today. that's a bill that is a new visa proposal for foreign students earning advanced degrees in science, engineering, and math in the u.s. that's coming up at noon. and back at the white house, the president is having lunch with his former rival, mitt romnifment they are having a private lunch at the white house and also today the briefing at the white house with jay carney. that will get under way at about 12:30 eastern. we'll have that at c-span.org. there's also word today that the congressional organizers of the presidential unanimous consent racial have announced today that the theme of the festivities in 2013 will be called, "faith in america's future." "the washington post" writes that the focus similar to the forward theme that the obama campaign used during the closing months of the campaign. announced today, reported here by "the washington post."
here on c-span waiting to hear from house speaker john boehner on the g.o.p. agenda. it may be a couple minutes before speaker boehner comes out on c-span's "washington journal" over the next week or so, we are bringing you every day, each week day, a look at the fiscal cliff. the issues involved in the impending tax hikes and budget cuts. focusing on a particular issue of the fiscal cliff. each day. this morning's focus was on the payroll tax cut. continues. host: joining us now is kim dixon, a tax policy
correspondent for reuters. this is part of our series on the so-called fiscal cliff. today we're looking at the issue of the payroll tax cut. kim dixon, when did the payroll tax cuts issue come into effect? guest: about two years ago at this time. expiration of the bush-era tax cuts that began in 2001 were set to expire. republicans control the house. president obama wanted to continue them for everybody except those in the top 2% tax rate. --wasn't ended the year deal
it was an end-of-the-year deal. the obama administration was looking for the stimulus measure. they thought it would be hard for republicans to oppose a tax cuts. host: the money rigidly was going where -- the money originally was going where? guest: going to the social security trust >> we take you live now to the u.s. capitol and house speaker john boehner. >> the president has warned us about the dangers of going over the fiscal cliff. but his actions have not matched his public statements. momings of his own party seem quite comfortable on sending the economy over the fiscal cliff. two weeks ago we had a very productive conversation at the white house. based on where we stand today i would say two things.
first, despite the claims that the president supports a balanced approach, the democrats have yet to get serious about real spending cuts. and secondly, no substantive progress has been made in the talks between the white house and the house over the last two weeks. this is not a game. jobs are on the line. the american economy is on the line. and this is a moment for adult leadership. campaign rallies and leaks in the press are not the way to get things done here in washington. the majority leader and i just had a meeting with the treasury secretary. it was frank and it was direct. i was hopeful we would see a specific plan for cutting spending. we sought to find out today what the president really is willing to do. i remain hopeful that productive conversations can be had in the
days ahead, but the white house has to get serious. yesterday our leadership team met with erskine bowles and business leaders about averting the fiscal cliff and achieving the balanced approach the white house says it wants. and i made clear that we put real concessions on the line by putting revenues on the table right up front. unfortunately many democrats continue to rule out sensible spending cuts that must be part of any significant agreement that will reduce our deficit. mr. bowles himself said yesterday there's been no serious discussion on spending cuts so far. and unless there is, there is a real danger of going off the fiscal cliff. going off the fiscal cliff will hurt our economy, it will cost american jobs. republicans have taken action to avert the fiscal cliff by passing legislation to stop all the tax hikes, to replace the sequester, and pave the way for
tax reform and entitlement reform. we are the only one was a balanced plan to protect the economy, protect the american jobs, and protect the middle class from the fiscal cliff. but without spending cuts and entitlement reform, it's going to be impossible to address our country's debt crisis and get our economy going again and create jobs. right now all eyes are on the white house. the country doesn't need a victory lap, it needs leadership. it's time for the president and congressional democrats to tell the american people what spending cuts they are really willing to make. i'll take a few questions. it's been very clear over the last year and a half, i talked to the president about many of them. you can look at our budget. where we outline very specific
proposals that we have in last year's budget and the budget from the year before. we know what the menu is. but what we don't know is what the white house is willing to do to get serious about solving our debt crisis. i'm not going to get into the details, but it's very clear what kind of spending cuts need to occur, and -- but we have no idea what the white house is willing to do. >> at this point, most public statements have been optimistic, confident, hopeful. are you walking away from talks? have things completely broken down? >> no, no. stop. i got to tell you i'm disappointed in where we are and disappointed in what's happened over the last couple of weeks.
but going over the fiscal cliff is serious business, and i'm here seriously trying to resolve it and i would hope the white house would get serious as well. >> is this based on your meeting with secretary geithner or your phone call with president obama last night. could you tell us something about that phone call? >> well, we had a very nice conversation last night. it was direct. and straightforward. but this assessment i give you today would be a product of both of those conversations. >> how much would you be open to the idea of discretionary spending cuts as part of a down payment to get to a longer range solution on entitlements and tax reforms? >> there are a lot of options on the table including that one. >> before the election you were asked whether if obama won taxes would have to go up.
i are acknowledging that they will. >> the day after the election i came here and made it clear that the republicans would put revenue on the table as a way to begin to move the process to get this resolved. >> my question is, what message do you have for people who look at the negotiating position and believe it's inevitable you'll have to accept some compromise on tax. >> revenue is on the table. but revenue was only on the table if there was a serious spending cut as part of this agreement. it has to be part of the agreement. we have a debt crisis. we are spending too much. and while we are willing to put revenue on the table, we have to recognize is the spending that's out of control. >> roughly what size spending cuts do you think it would take to reach a deal on the fiscal cliff? do you think that at least the promise of spending cuts has to
be included in this level deal at this time? >> i don't think there's -- it's productive for either side to lay out hard lines in terms of what the size of the spending cuts ought to be. they are thoroughly -- there are a lot of options on how you could get there. but the second part of your question was -- >> my question is, do you think the promise of spending cuts has to be included in the deal that averts the fiscal cliff? >> there's a framework that we presented to the white house two weeks ago. the framework is -- has been agreed to in terms of really a down payment on the end of this year. that would include spending cuts and it would include revenue. setting up a process for entitlement reform next year and tax reform for next year. but this was way out of balance.
and not a recognition on the part of the white house about the serious spending problem that we have. >> the prospect of going over the fiscal cliff, which you just called serious business, for extending the lower tax rate and not the upper ones. >> i'm going to do everything i can to putting the american economy, american people through the fiasco of going over the fiscal cliff. >> which is worse? >> as i told the president a couple weeks ago, there is a lot of things i have wanted in my life but almost all of them had a price tag attached to them. in we are going to talk about the debt limit in this, we are -- there's going to be some price tag associated with it. i continue to believe that any
increase in the debt limit has to be accompanied by spending reductions that meet or exceed it. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012] >> there is a live twitter feed with comments from viewers and reporters with documents and links at c-span.org/fiscalcliff. democrats have been meeting, holding their leadership elections. all positions were unanimously elected by aically mation. no surprise. democratic leader, nancy pelosi, the whip is steny hoyer, the assistant democratic leader, jim clyburn, and change in the caucus, becerra, becomes the coucks chairman and joe crowley of new york the vice chairman. they also nominated by the caucus the speaker to be nancy pelosi -- nancy pelosi to be speaker of the house for the
113th congress. the house is coming in in about 10 minutes. taking up just one bill today. a new visa proposal for foreign students earning advanced degrees in science, engineering, and math. that's live at noon eastern here on c-span. up until then a discussion on issues over the affordable care act in the congress, the courts, and at the state level from this morning's "washington journal." host: julie, let's start with the fiscal cliff. where does health policy, health care fit into this if at all? guest: obviously what -- there's nothing about the fiscal cliff that particularly impacts the health law. we do know that starting january
1, if congress does not act, there are these automatic cuts that take effect. compared is impacted only slightly. there will be 2% cut to payments to providers, not to beneficiaries, medicaid is excluded. however also on january 1, this is not part of this whole sequester piece, there is the problem medicare physician fees, the perennial problem, it happens to also expire in conjunction with everything else that happens on january 1. there would be a 27% cut to doctor payments under medicare, something that congress continues to not let happen, but they have to find several billion dollars, or if they want to make it go away for good, several hundred billion dollars to fix that problem. so there are a lot of health related issues involved in these negotiations. there are a lot of people, a lot of republicans, who would like to bring the health care law into the negotiations of what happens with the fiscal cliff. they would like to do something as they always talk about entitlement reform. they would like to bring medicare on to the table to talk
about perhaps doing something about revenues. so health care becomes an issue in the fiscal cliff talks even if it is not immediately impacted by what happens on january 1 if nothing is done. >> when it comes to physician reimbursement, are there people meeting up on capitol hill about this now? this is another one of these by december 31 issues. guest: there have been people meeting about this all year. when they decided to extend this. for a while this was happening every month they were extending this. every time they give themselves, congress gives themselves an extra certain period of time, they say we'll give ourselves this period of time to solve this problem. well, this problem has basically been going on since 2002. and congress has yet to solve it. it's a formula issue that dates back to 1997 when they did the balanced budget act in 1997, it tripped over into negative territory starting to cut physician fees. in 2002 they have been basically kicking the can down the road,
that famous phrase, since 2003 and they have yet to figure out how to fix it. here we are again almost december, congress has yet to figure out how to fix it. yes, they have been meeting. no, no one has heard they have come up with any answer to it. host: julie, the health care law and the courts. what's the status? guest: the status is there are still a couple challenges kicking around. actually just this week the supreme court pulled out one of the remaining challenges that was still there, the fourth circuit in richmond. they were one of the few appeals courts that did not actually decide the case. they had said that they couldn't decide the case because the anti-injunction act, the tax law, said it was premature. and the supreme court has said, no. it was not premature. this was in fact -- that that law didn't apply. this was a tax and that congress was within its rights to do it. one of the case that is had been before the fourth circuit in richmond was from liberty university in lynchburg, and one
of their arguments was about the individual mandate, whether people could -- most people could be required to have insurance. the supreme court did decide that issue, but there were two other issues in that liberty university case. one was the employer requirement, whether most employers could be required to either offer insurance or else pay a fine. and also there is an issue about whether or not it was a violation of liberty university, religious university, religious obligations to provide contraception. those were never heard by the appeals court. they were heard by the lower court but not the appeals court but the appeals court said they couldn't hear, it was premature to hear the case. the supreme court this week with the assent of the obama administration, remanded that case back to the appeals court to say, you should hear these other two issues. it's not clear yet -- i believe it goes back to the same panel of three judges. on the fourth circuit, right. who made pretty clear in their
decision that they are probably not going to go the liberty university's way. that's not entirely clear. that case is going back to the fourth circuit. there is a case in oklahoma, again, this was also originally one of those states that sued over this individual mandate, but they were able to change their argument. so that case also lives. this is a whole new argument. they are saying that there is a glitch in the way the law was written that the subsidies, if you go into these health exchanges, the new marketplaces, you can get subsidies if you have income under a certain -- 400% of poverty. and they are saying that the law was written so the subsidies are only available in the exchanges that are actually run by the states. remember, the states have a choice. they can run their own exchanges or they cannot run an exchange and let the federal government come in and do it for them. it looks like at least half the states if not more are going to have the federal government run
those exchanges. what they are arguing in this case out of oklahoma is that there are no subsidies available in the federal exchanges. that the law was written in such a way that only the state exchanges are allowed to deliver those subsidies. so that lawsuit is going forward. and then we have a whole series of lawsuits going forward again about this issue of the requirement to offer contraceptives as part of the insurance package. there's a lot of things kicking around. host: when you look around at all these court cases, do you see it coming before the supreme court in a time frame? guest: i could see the -- one of these contraceptive suits -- that wouldn't -- that would only take -- address a piece of the law. it wouldn't, unlike the case that the supreme court decided last summer, which really was the central piece of the law, that would -- this is a very, very small part of the law. if it -- if the supreme court were to hold that piece of the
law was unconstitutional t. would not take down the rest of the law. it would only take down that one sliver. these other issues, whether or not the subsidies can be offered in the state or federal exchanges, that's a live issue. i don't -- not very many people think that that's going to go very far. i should mention there's yet another lawsuit that -- that's i think in california that says that congress acted illegally because this was a revenue measure that began in the senate, but that's something that the senate often does. they take a tax bill that comes over from the house. they strike out all of what was in it and replace it with their bill, in this case -- congress has had all the time. i would be really surprised to see that go anywhere. so there are lots of other issues. i think the fact that the supreme court has spoken about this already fairly convincingly makes it less likely that a lower court would up and say, we
want to call this to a halt. some these smaller issues you might still see some legal machinations about, but i don't think we are going to see another big huge supreme court case calling into question whether or not this law goes forward. host: what provisions of the a.c.a. are due to take effect in 2013? guest: there are some tax provision that is take effect in 2013. but mostly the big provisions take effect in 2014. we are going to spend most of 2013 getting ready for 2014. host: when you say tax provisions, increased taxes? guest: yes. some of the tax increases on higher income people. there's a new tax on -- new tax limitations on people with high incomes that go into effect in 2013. sort of in anticipation of 2014. to bank some of the money, if you will, that will pay for some of the things like these subsidies people will be getting when they go to these exchanges
that start in 2014. host: republicans in congress, are they still pushing for a repeal or altering the a.c.a.? >> repeal, not so much. i think we saw right after the election, saw a number of republicans who were acknowledging, yes, it was, if you will, a referendum on the a.c.a. it is here to stay. it is the law of the land. probably not so many out and out repeal votes. that doesn't mean there still won't be efforts to change it. as i mentioned i think you'll see some of those in these -- fiscal cliff talks that you might see. there's a lot of elements to this law that are controversial. >> today's "washington journal," available any time in our video library at c-span.org. u.s. house gaveling in momentarily. they are taking up a new visa proposal for foreign students earning advanced degrees in science, engineering, and math. votes expect the sometime between 1:00 and 2:00 p.m. eastern. live coverage here on c-span.
the speaker: the house will be in order. the prayer will be offered today by our guest chaplain, the reverend lesley cali han, st. paul baptist church. philadelphia, pennsylvania. the chaplain: let us pray. gracious god, we often thanks for the joys and challenges of self-government. which this house and the whole congress symbolize. and world ravaged by clns, political, and domestic we enter greatly the sanctuary of these
chambers for peaceful deliberation for this nation's good. even in the spaces of deep disagreement, may these debates be seasoned with mutual understanding. may your presence as liberty, love, and justice walk up and down and yes, even between these aisles. remind everyone of the sacredness of the trust of their constituents and the hope of all of our citizens. at days end, may all affected by their decisions be confident of their good faith. at the end of the term, may the re-elected redouble their efforts for the common good and those retiring find satisfaction in having done their duty. in the name of all that is holy and good. amen. pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1, the journal stands approved. the pledge of allegiance will be led by the gentleman from new york, mr. meade.
mr. reed: 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: without objection the gentleman from ohio -- the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. ms. fudge: i am proud to welcome the pastor of st. paul baptist church in philadelphia, pennsylvania, its first female leader in 150 years. dr. callahan is a religion scholar who received her bachelor of arts in religion ratcliff clem, and doctor of philosophy in religion from princeton university.
a native of gary, west virginia, and resident of philadelphia, pennsylvania, dr. callahan has been publicly preaching since the age of 19. she is noted for her dynamic preaching and teaching gifts and as is minister who plays a major role in shaping the future of the african-american church. she is the mother of 2-month-old anabel, bella. reverend callahan's character is captured in her favorite scripture, psalm 27:4. one thing i desired of the lord that i shall seek, that i may dwell in the house of the lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the lord and to seek god in god's temple. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the thisme gentlelady has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman seek recognition? the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> yesterday we had an energy and commerce health subcommittee
hearing. we heard from private sector representatives about some of the innovative ways they prevent fraud before it happens. at the same time, medicare loses billions of dollars annually because most fraud is only discovered after it has been perpetrated. now under obamacare we have a new medical loss ratio rule, m.l.r., that may actually create perverse incentives for private insurers to behave like medicare. some suggested that the consumer protections provided by the m.l.r. rule are too important to sthinlt rule to change in order to prevent fraud. setting aside whether individuals or employers have received the benefit of the m.l.r. rule clearly, the best way to save money is prevent it from being stolen in the first place, not chasing criminals after they have received and spent their ill list game. this is another example of how
obamacare's sloppy legislating and rule making has the ability to cost the american people tearly. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from ohio seek recognition? mr. kucinich: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. kucinich: the same geniuses who involved the must a war against libya, who created in benghazi an extremist shooth gallery which has claimed four american lives, have not been held accountable for those vet who opened the door for radical fundamentalists to run roughshod over radical fundamentalists. these same people are working on syria. apparently flush from success in libya, the administration is preparing to ratchet up the war in syria. why? would qatar our partner in libya
be supplying weapons to syria without the support of this administration in nato, meaning the u.s., discusses putting missiles in turkey which creates a detack toe no-fly zone over northwestern syria, expanding the war. is this why we need a tax increase? more money for more war? really? the speaker pro tempore: the time of the gentleman from ohio as expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. >> i rise to con garage late the randolph cardinals on their victory in the title game at the carrier dome in syracuse, new york. led by head coach and the most valuable player cody aldro, the cardinals won. mr. reed: it is with pride we recognize the coaches,
administrators and most importantly the parents and kids for their title. it was coach slaret's final game, capping a 33-year career at the help. his teams earned three state titles, eight section six championships and a career record of 313 wins and 99 losses. we honor coach slater for the positive impact he has had on the students at randolph for so many years. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? >> to address the house fur one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. higgins: mr. speaker, our national policy for transportation and budget is a disgrace and embarrassment. our road and bridges are a mess. transportation for america says we have 6 ,000 structurally deficient bridges in this nation. we have over 2,000 structurally deficient bridges in new york
state and we have 99 structurally deficient bridges in my home community of western new york. every second of every day seven cars carrying our families drive on a bridge that is structurally deficient. in the city of buffalo we are preparing to make a decision about the future of the elevated skyway bridge a roadway classified by officials as being structurally deficient, fracture critical and functionally obsolete. federal investments should help communities make smart decisions to become more self-sufficient. investing in smart infrastructure is not simply about tearing down our crumbling bridges, it's about rebuilding our nation. 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 colorado seek recognition? >> to atres the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered.
>> today i rise to honor colorado board of education schafer on his retirement. throughout his career in congress and the state board of education he has dedicated himself to improving the education of colorado and this nation's youth. he is a passionate advocate or education policies that reach all students in our nation. in addition to his work on the state board, bob serves as principal at liberty commons high school in colorado. it's a public charter school that's consistently ranked among the state's top performing schools. mr. gardner: chairman schafer has been an advocate for state and local control over education , saying that all schools need to be held accountable. through his leadership we have seen education in colorado improve for our kids. they have a brighter future ahead and the tools to achieve success. today i recognize bob schafer's
service in this chamber and the service of the people of colorado. i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the time as expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? >> to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection so ordered. >> recently i had the honor of attending a ceremony for the library receiving the medal of library or museum service. mr. altmire: the shaler north hills library serve 50's,000 families. it presents outstanding programs for all ages, including showcasing local gardeners and a speaker series. they won a pennsylvania library association best practice award preck nicing their program as the best of the best for early learning. they set the standard for all
ages in library services. i con garagelation -- congratulate them on this well deserved honor. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from illinois seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to acress the house for one min. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to honor the work that sheriff mark kern are doing in the 10th district. heroin and prescription drugs are on the rise in our local communities. mr. dold: families are being affected by this as a result of the increases in heroin deaths, sheriff mark currin and others have come together to raise awareness of the dangers of these drugs. i have had had the privilege or working with these leaders to help educate our communities and get help for those struggling
with adiction. from round tables and events including a recent community forum, i'm proud of the work being done to thend emdemocratic. -- to end this epidemic. i'm confident that the sheriff and others will continue to champion this cause and provide valuable resources to our communities. i look forward to helping in any way possible. the speaker pro tempore: the time of the gentleman has expired. for what purpose does the gentlelady from florida seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. >> i rise today on world aids day to highlight the remarkable prodepress made in the last 30 years in the fight against h.i.v. and aids. i commend those like the reverend dr. james faber who understand the importance of
speaking about h.i.v. and aids. he urged churches to put h.i.v. and aaids wayer -- awareness at the hoferte their sermons. he's drawn national acclaim from the national black leadership on aids. i also commend the test tampa bay campaign, an initiative designed to intensify h.i.v. education and awareness. ms. castor: test tampa aims to increase the number of tampa residents who know their h.i.v. status by encouraging h.i.v. testing. finally i would like to voice my strong support for h.r. 138 ending the h.i.v. -- ending the hiv-aids epidemic. we must remain committed to ending the hiv-aids epidemic. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from utah seek recognition?
mr. larson: i ask unanimous consent -- mr. bishop: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. bishop: i stand today to honor one of the best examples of a dedicated teacher, margaret olbray, a teacher in hiram, utah. she has dedicated the past three decades of her life to actually encouraging her students both in and out of the school. she's worked tirelessly to open their may understand, to guide them toward a productive and meaningful life. she's decided to retire at the end of this school year. and having changed literally thousands of students, their live -- the lives of thousands of student who was had the of being taught by an outstanding educator. i have watched her for many years and can verify she's the epitome of what a good educator
should be. she'll be sorely missed. we want to thank you for what you've done, the impact you've had on students you've taught in the past this ones you are teaching currently and we have pity in the future who will never have that experience. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from washington seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection so ordered. mr. mcdermott: as we celebrate world aids day, we have reason to be proud of what we've done to fight hiv-aids. when i came to the congress in 1989, aids was a death sentence. now with the right medicine it's a manageable chronic disease. and we've made real progress toward a vaccine. that happened a buzz the united states congress took action. it wupt magic. people living with the disease fought to make it happen and leaders in the congress and the white house want to make it -- fought to make it happen. as we recognize world aids day today, we cannot get complacent.
we can create an aids-free generation. it is possible. but it will slip away if we let these essential programs get cut. today resolve to stay the course, keep the pressure and win the fight to honor all those who died of aids and all those who are still fighting for aids today. . this capital has a epidemic of aids. we need to deal with it. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from california seek recognition? without objection, so ordered. mrs. capps: i rise today to congratulate teach elementary school on becoming a national blue ribbon school. for 30 years the department of education has bestowed this coveted award for outstanding academic achievement. and i'm delighted that one of our local schools in the central coast of california was awarded such a tremendous honor.
this distinguished recognition highlights the hard work and dedication of the entire staff at teach elementary, and i specifically like to note the outstanding leadership of the principal, dan block. for teach elementary to have such remarkable results, particularly during these tough budget times, is truly commendable. at a time when we must invest in high quality education in order to strengthen our nation's economic vitality, it is important that we recognize and replicate the successes of schools such as teach elementary. our students are our nation's greatest resource, and it's our responsibility to provide them with high quality schools that put them on a path toward solid success. we are truly fortunate to have a remarkable school such as teach elementary. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentlelady from california seek recognition? without objection, so ordered.
mrs. davis: i rise to oppose the anti-immigration bill brought before us today. the supporters of this legislation would have you believe that immigration is a zero sum game. that for every door you open, for one person, you have to close it on another. and that's what this bill aims to do by increasing the number of visas forestem graduates while eliminating them from the university visa program. the troubling precedent of creating visa offsets will foreclose the promise of the american dream for countless immigrants. our country remains the beacon of opportunity and freedom and for many the only path to getting here is through the diversity program. people like ula. who is a constituent of mine. that lucky draw in the lottery was her best hope for coming to america from kazakhstan.
it is irresponsible, mr. speaker, to hold the much needed and i would say we need it stem visa bill hostage just to dismantle a program that has helped new immigrants, new americans like ula. it's bad policy and i urge my colleagues to reject the bill. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia seek recognition? without objection, so ordered. mr. moran: mr. speaker, the consequences of jumping off this so-called fiscal cliff are serious. but avoidable if the sacrifice is shared. my concern is that the domestic discretionary accounts don't seem to have a seat at the negotiating table. if you don't have a seat at the table, you are far more likely to be on the menu. domestic discretionary fund something already projected to fall to historically low levels at less than 3% of g.d.p. this is less than what existed during the eisenhower administration. when our poop pew lation was
much smaller and much younger. -- population was much smaller and younger. these are the programs most critical to the future of our country. they fund our roads, rails, and support the most scientific research and health and technology and are necessary to educate, feed, and house our most vulnerable children and families. and yet they are the ones most likely to be targeted for budget savings. you allow that to happen we'll condemn 16 million children to living the lives on the margins of our economy rather than providing them with the means to escape the cycle of poverty. a nation such as ours cannot meet the challenge of the 21st century without making the necessary investments in our human and fiscal infrastructure and the cutting edge basic research and health and technology. we shouldn't further diminish our future to get ourselves through this artificially created budget crisis. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentlelady from illinois seek recognition? without objection, so ordered.
ms. schakowsky: today, world aids dade, provides the opportunity to celebrate the gains made in the prevention and treatment of hiv-aids. people living with h.i.v. can now experience long and productive lives. advancement in prevention have led to a turning point, the possibility, as secretary clinton said, and aids-free generation. however, cutting funding to international and domestic programs could very well turn back the clock. we must take action now to avoid the looming threat to more than one million americans, including more than 4,000 in my own district in illinois, who are living with hiv-aids. they can't afford the $538 million cut in sequestration that would affect our hiv-aids program. 15,708 people cannot afford to lose access to crucial
lifesaving drugs. so let's stop these cuts and move forward towards an end to this epidemic. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentlelady from california seek recognition? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. ms. lee: thank you, mr. speaker. december 1 is world aids day. although every day is world aids day for the millions battling this epidemic on the frontlines. it's an important time, though, to reflect upon our loved one's lost, to celebrate the progress we are making, and to recommit ourselves to achieving an aids free generation. as this congress comes to an end and new one begins in january, we have been given the extraordinary opportunity to lead an -- leave an astonishing legacy. our understanding has changed dramatically in recent years. armed with the national aids strategy, affordable care act, and ongoing progress of pepfar
and the global fund, we are closer than ever to stomping aids off earth. we must not lose sight of where we are going. we declared a state of emergency in 199 , my phenomenal local activists an providers have done a great job with minimal resources to end the state of emergency, but like all communities we need more resources and not budget cuts. we have the tools we need. we just need the political will and investment to make the end of aids the legacy of our generation. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from new jersey seek recognition? without objection, so ordered. mr. sires: -- mr. payne: i join my colleague today in recognizing world aids day. while great progress has been achieved nationally and globally, our fight against hiv-aids should only grow
stronger. globally, 6. million people are eligible for -- 6.8 million people are eligible for treatment but don't have access. in the u.s. accessibility of treatment has significantly increased, but the rate of new h.i.v. infections has only stabilized. so today in recognition of world aids day, i come first to remember the lives of the affected in my district, the country, and the world, but also to reaffirm my commitment on their behalf to stand with those who have relentlessly forged progress, including my late predecessor and father, donald m. payne. today i stand with the nation and the world in international solidarity committed to the fight against aids, h.i.v., and aids, and getting to zero. the speaker pro tempore: the time of the gentleman from new jersey has expired. for what purpose does the gentlelady from district of
columbia seek recognition? ms. norton: to ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. ms. norton: mr. speaker, i come to the floor to thank the house for recognizing that all veterans and members of the military must be recognized equally not only some of them, and ask the senate to do the same. imagine you are a parent, you go to a military ceremony, for example the graduation from navy boot camp, applause comes with each graduate's name as they are called, and the flag is raised of your state. but your flag is not raised. why? because your son is from district of columbia or one of the territories. the house defense authorization bill recognized the injustice of discrimination against any of our veterans or members of the military. the senate bill does not. we ask that the senate follow the lead of the house. in our country no american and
especially no veteran or member of the military is more equal than any other. if the military flies the flags, then fly them all. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? >> preek, by direction of the committee on rules, i call up house resolution 781. the clerk: house resolution 821, resolved that upon the adoption of this resolution it shall be in order to consider in the house the bill h.r. 6429, to amend the immigration and national -- nationality act, to promote innovation, investment, and research in the united states, to eliminate the diversity in the grant program, and for other purposes. all points of order against consideration of the bill are waived. an amendment in the nature of a substitute consisting of the text of rules committee print
112-34 modified by the amendment printed in the report of the committee on rules accompanying this resolution shall be considered as adopted. the bill as amended shall be considered as read. all points of order against provisions in the bill as amended are waived. the previous question shall be considered as ordered on the bill as amended. and on any amendment thereto to final passage without intervening motion except one, 90 minutes of debate equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the committee on the judiciary, and two, one motion to recommit with or without instructions. section 2, it shall be in order at any time on the legislative day of december 6, 2012, for the speaker to entertain motions that the house suspend the rules as though under clause 1 of rule 15. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida is recognized for one hour.
mr. nugent: for the purpose of debate only, i yield the customary 30 minutes to the gentleman from colorado, mr. polis, pending which i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. nugent: during consideration of resolution, all time yielded is for purpose of debate only. mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. nugent: mr. speaker, i rise today in support of this rule which will allow house of representatives to consider h.r. 62 -- correction, 6429, the stem jobs act of 2012. i'm sure my colleague from colorado will point out that h.res. 821 is a closed rule. the fact is that like mr. polis i prefer an open amendment process, open rules let us come together on both sides of the aisle and contribute ideas that help make a bill better. today's rule will be closed, but that's because the crafting of the stem jobs act has been a
collaborative process for the last two months. chairman mr. smith, the author of the legislation, has already worked with the committee, republicans and democrats, and even the senate to come up with a bill that, hopefully, everybody could support. unfortunately, we have since been informed that our colleagues on the oriole side of the aisle and other chamber are looking to play politics with the stem jobs act. however that doesn't change the fact that chairman smith worked diligently to make sure the legislation filled with bipartisan ideas. the stem jobs act would eliminate the flawed diversity lottery green card program and reallocate up to 55,000 green cards a year to new green card programs for foreign graduates of u.s. universities with advanced stem degrees. according to a study by the national science foundation and the national center of science and engineering statistics, in 1990, 91,000 full-time foreign
graduate students were studying in stem fields in the united states. that number's jumped to almost 149,000 by 2009. 149,000 in 2009. however, the vast majority of these highly skilled, highly educated innovators are leaving the united states where they once received their education. we are training hundreds of thousands of highly skilled engineers, technicians, scientists at american universities and then sending them back home to compete against us in other countries. . they aren't moving to other country because they want to leave the united states but because the immigration department forces them out system of the advanced -- the vast majority of students who
come to the united states to get an education get on a years-long green card waiting list and give up and go back to their country. they take with them all their education and training and go work for america's competitors in canada, europe and asia. the exodus of u.s.-trained specialists has been referred to to -- to as reverse brain drain. the stem act of 2012 would reverse this trend, establishing a priority for groan cards for those with graduate level degrees. it would eliminate think lottery green card program a program that's been repeatedly highlighted as a threat to our national security. the result is that there would be no net increase in the number of groan cards we give out as a nation. the difference is that we'll get immigrants who have the training and skills that we need to keep
american businesses competitive in a globalized and increasingly technical age. in the process, we will eliminate a visa lottery system that's rife with fraud and abuse and the state department stated contains significant threats to our national security. some opponents to h.r. 6429 said that fraud and security concerns are old problems and that they've been fixed. my colleagues were right in that these are old problems but the state department inspector genre port published in 2003 listed the widespread abuse in the diversity lottery visa fleasm inspector general pointed out iden fi ty fraud, formed documents and national security threats, their words. however my colleagues were wrong to say that the problems have been fixed. in fact two months ago, the
g.a.o. released a study discussing the ways the state department could reduce fraud in our immigration system. it highlighted the diversity lottery program. the stem jobs act does this without putting american jobs at risk. this legislation includes provisions that would require a pe -- would require petitioning an employer to submit a job ordered -- order to the appropriate state work force agent. the job would be posted on the agency's official website in an effort to publicize available jobs for americans. to reform the green card process for students with advanced stem degrees it includes provisions to help reunite families waiting on the immigration process. as it is current -- as it currently stands, flame green cards can take six or seven years to process and be approved. during these long years,
families are separated, a spouse or parent can be living as a permanent resident in the united states while their loved ones wait back home, hoping, hoping to be reunited somewhere down the line. this is a pro-family legislation that would help reduce the time these families need to spend apart without speeding up or preempting the actual green card process. provisions contained with the stems job act will expand the nonimmigration visa program to allow spouses and minor children of permanent u.s. residents to come to the united states to live with their loved ones once they have spent one year on the depreen card waiting list. the bill expressly states that these people, these folks, would not be allowed to work, take jobs away from american citizens, nor would they inherently be entitled to government welfare programs because of the visa in and of
itself. similarly the v-visa program won't speed up or expedite the green card process in any way. all it does is ensures that families don't have to live separately and uncertainty as to when they can be reunited at an unknown time down the line. it brings families back together the simple fact is that our current immigration system is ineffective. we educate the world's best and brightest and then send them away to be our competitors. we only prioritize about 5% of our visas tissue visas based on what they contribute to our economy. we have a diversity lottery system that is subject to widespread abuse and opens up our country for entry of hostile intelligence officers, criminals, and terrorists of we separate spouses, parents and minor children for unknown years on end. we can do bet we are the stem jobs about. it's an important step toward
doing better. makes the american green card process smarter, safer, and more family oriented. protects american jobs an workers will style -- while still supporting american innovation and industry which is why over 100 major companies have supported h.r. 6429. i support this rule and i hope all my colleagues on both sides of the aisle will with. that,ry se -- i reserve the blps of my time. -- the perhaps of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from colorado. pll polis: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the gentleman for yield me the cust mir 30 minutes. i rise in opposition to the underlying bill for h.r. 6429. it's prnt to talk about in consideration of this rule and this bill what it is and what it suspect. now here we are with a looming
fiscal cliff and yet congress has allow nod issue to fester longer than immigration. whether one is on the left or the right or the middle, i'm sure my colleague from florida would agree that whatever we're doing now in immigration is not working very well. we have over 10 million people here illegally. there's rampant violation of the law. there is lackluster enforcement, families are torn apart, and what's before us regardless of the merits which we'll get into in a moment, clearly does not address the problems in our immigration system. whether this bill becomes law or not, our immigration system will continue to have problems or will continue to be over 10 million people here in violation of the law, many working illegally. in some cases taking jobs away
from american citizens. so instead of a solution, we have a bill before us that asks taos weigh two goals of our immigration policy, in many ways against one another. now, there might very well be room for a noncontroversial immigration bill that catches up and includes some of the less controversial provisions including a stem program and there could very well be room for that sort of comprehensive imdepration reform and i support and am a co-spon so far -- co-sponsor of the idea act which does that. i tried to amend into this bill, allow for the consideration of this body yesterday in rules a bill i have for the permanent re-authorization of the ev-5 visa program a program that is not very controversial, has strong support from both sides,
but suffers from temporary re-authorization. this is a critical program for creating jobs for americans because it allows companies to attract capital from investors. and those investors are able to be part of those companies and grow those companies, creating jobs fb americans. and this program could be much more successful if the rules committee yesterday had not on a party line vote not allowed that amendment to come to the floor. i'm confident that that amendment would have passed with near universal support. and certainly strong support from pote sides. but instead of trying to catch and move forward on some of the less controversial aspects of immigration which in no way, shape, or form, again, prevent the need far comprehensive solution, but instead of moving forward on the noncontroversial aspect well, have a bill before us that is controversial because it weighs two important goals of
immigration against one another. so rather than create a stem visa program as the idea act does, as the staples act, which i'm a co-sponsor of, my colleague, congressman flake, from arizona has introduced in past sessions. rather than do that it asks the question of this bdy, -- of this body, would we rather have a diversity visa concept or a stem visa concept? when in reality, i think many in this body would agree ta both are desirable. diversity visas essentially go to immigrants that are from countries other than the main countries that send us immigrants. one of the main countries that sends us immigrants, obviously, mexico, in addition to that, china, brazil, bangladesh, pakistan, peru, several others system of we have a lot of immigrants from mexico. and these other countries.
what the diversity visa does is says, shouldn't we also give opportunities to some residents of other countries like the ukraine or albania or ethiopia to also come so they're not crowded out by applicants from mexico, ippeda, and china. and if we don't -- india and china. and if we don't have a diversity visa, a higher percentage of the. grants will be from mexico, india, and china. that's ok, it's not the end of the world but there is value in having immigrants from across the world. there is value in having ukrainians come to this country. there is value in having ethiopians. there is value in people having diverse social backgrounds and ethnic backgrounds coming to this country to facilitate acclimation to this country. so i think that it was well thought out having the concept
whereby people who don't happen to be from mexico, india, or china, or the other main countries, have a way of getting here. it's a good program. so, too, having a stem visa program is absolutely critical call. it's important to our country to make sure we retain the talent we attract to our universitys and nothing is more frustrating to me as an american and many of our stites and i talk about it frequently back home, representing both of our major state universitys in colorado, as well as private universitys in my district as well, that here we are, educating people from across the world and if you look at our engineering grad school well, see a high number of foreign national obs student visas, educating computer programs -- programmers, aerospace engineers, with the skills they need to compete in the 21st century work force. opinion giving them their masters or ph.d.'s, we tell
them, you're not allowed to work in this country, you have to move to another country and compete against us. guess what? the jobs follow them. in the digital age, employers careless where an employee is based and more where the talent is. if the aerospace is only available for hire in india, mexico or the u.k., the company will and increasingly are setting up dwigs in those countries to hire them rather than hire them here system of the lack of having a stem jobs pathway is actively destroying american jobs every day. so here we are as a body, being asked to say under a closed rule, is it more important to have immigrants from countries other than mexico, india, and chi sna is it more important to have some ukrainians, ethiopians, and albanians? those are some of the leading countries that use the diversity
visas but there are a broad number of countries that do. is that important? and how does its importance compare to making sure that those that we train here are table deploy their teament -- talents here and create jobs in america rather than overseas? again, it's a very frustrating proposition the way that the republicans have chose ton bring this to the floor. a, it obviously doesn't aggress -- address the underlying issues of the crisis in this country, it doesn't change that there are 10 million people here illegally, doesn't prevent people coming here illegally and b it asks us to choose between two valuable programs, rather than simply passing the staples act or the idea act, it says, we're going to have to choose as a country to benefit either from stem graduates or from people from other countries other than mexico, india, and china. it's a false dilemma. there were amendments offered by
zoe lofgren that would have addressed that. turned down by the rules committee. again, there were strong bipartisan concepts like ev-5 authorization that i offered forward that were shut down in committee. in addition this bill, at a time of budget deficits and the looming fiscal crisis would increase the budget deficit by over $1 billion over the next five years. . that is unpaid for as well. so again there are many ways that immigration can be looked at to reduce our budget deficit, and many concepts of comprehensive immigration reform, either through fees paid by those who violate the law, penalties paid, increased taxes going forward for those who would have to pay taxes under immigration reform, would actually reduce our deficit, but here we are with a solitary idea
around immigration that forces all members of this body to weigh two valuable programs against one another. and at the same time cost taxpayers over $1 billion over the next five years. it's a choice that congress shouldn't face. there are also very legitimate concerns that not only does this bill weigh two valuable programs , but in fact it's a backdoor way to reduce the number of legal immigrants. there should be no hesitation in saying it by reducing the number of legal immigrants we will increase the number of illegal immigrants. so again this bill will likely increase the number of illegal immigrants in this country because the math doesn't work. why doesn't the math work? the bill purports to offset 55,000 stem green cards by eliminating 55,000 green cards in the diversity program. if that was a one on one trade,
that would be the same net number of immigrants. the issue is, our institutions of higher education that give masters and ph.d.s in the eligibility areas to students on foreign visas simply don't provide -- there's not 55,000 foreign students that receive them every year. there's in fact 29,904 last year. so about 30,000. now, there is a backlog that after several years where the 55,000 could be met, it would no longer be able to be met. after three or four years and when the backlog was met, this would likely lead to a reduction in legal immigration and increase in illegal immigration because only 29,000 foreign nationals are ma trick by lating with masters and ph.d.s in the included areas, and yet 55,000 visas would be removed from the program that allows ukranians and ethiopians and people from countries that are not mexico, india, and china and the other
12 from coming to this country legally. i have very sincere concerns that rather than addressing the issue of illegal immigration, this bill because of the math and numbers that have brought to my attention could actually increase illegal immigration. by reducing legal immigration, which is the last thing that we need to do with regard to solving in a bipartisan way or immigration crisis. now, as a former internet entrepreneur myself and representing our universities, i know firsthand about the critical need to pass a stem visa program. not only would it create more high-paying, high-tech jobs for americans, but it would produce tax revenues, it would make our country stronger, and our economy stronger. but rather than take up the i.d. act or the staples act, we hear the backdoor attempt by the republicans to increase the number of illegal immigrants in our country, which i would argue is not the right direction for immigration reform.
immigration reform should be predicated around solving the crisis in illegal immigration. and rather than increasing the number of illegal immigrants from 10 million to 12 million to 14 million, we need to find a way to reduce that number to as close to zero as is feasible, and that should be the goal of immigration reform. with that i will reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from colorado reserves the time. the gentleman from florida. mr. nugent: continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from colorado. mr. polis: it's my honor to yield three minutes to the gentleman from illinois, a leader on immigration issues, mr. gueter res. -- gue tear he res. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from illinois is recognized for three minutes. mr. gutierrez: i thank the gentleman from colorado and the distinguished rules committee for yielding time to me. despite bipartisan support for a clean stem visa bill, this is a partisan bill that picks winners and losers in our immigration system and requires the elimination of diversity visa
program for a single stem visa can be issued. in other words, we want to pick immigrants we like and then eliminate immigrant we don't like. as though some are better than others. the interest thing is most of the members of the house can look back in their own personal history and find the countries that are being eliminated, find their own family members and ancestors come interesting there. after the historic elections we just witnessed, it flies in the face of our diverse elech brat to precondition some visas on the elimination of diversity visa immigrants, 50% of whom come from the continent of africa. like stem graduates, they have much to contribute to the united states. we have seen this poison bill before, pitting immigrant against immigrant, before when the house voted down h.r. 6422 under suspension, but it gets worse. inserted in the new version of this bill is an amendment in the b visa program the majority
claims helps families and makes bills balanced and bipartisan. let me be clear, this was not a provision negotiated with us on the democratic side. it was negotiated with anti-immigrant groups and extremists in the republican party. h.r. 6429 takes the bipartisan visa created more than 10 years ago and amends to to deny b pisa shoulders development to work and cuts out spouses and minor children living in the u.s. this backhanded so-called family fix should offend anyone who truly cares about families. but the family provisions are worse than that. families of stem visa holders are treated fairly, but the families of ordinary green card holders are treated as second class. if you are a stem degree holder, your spouse and minor children can immediately come to the united states and your spouse is granted a work permit. my colleagues on the other side of the aisle know this. however, if you are an ordinary
green cardholder who applies to bring your spouse and children to the united states through our regular family immigration channels, you will make your spouse and children wait at least a year before joining you in the u.s., and we will not allow your spouse to work once he or she gets here. i agree that the stem holders should be able to bring their families, their children, and their wives or husbands and that their spouses should be able to work legally in the united states. however i resent that the spouses and children of other family based immigrants are treated differently and unfairly. apparently republicans' devotion to family extends only to families where the principal immigrant is smart enough to earn a ph.d. and master's degree in the stem field. and that is something that i resent. and that is something that all americans should abhor. it goes against the immigration diversity we have as a nation created. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired.
the gentleman from florida. mr. nugent: i continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from colorado. mr. polis: thank you, mr. speaker. i'd like to yield 2 1/2 minutes to the gentleman from michigan, new member of our body, mr. curson. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan is recognized for 2 1/2 minutes. mr. curson: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today in opposition to h.r. 6429 because i have great concerns with the bill's elimination of the diversity visa program. the diversity visa program has given people from around the world the opportunity to win the most precious lottery. the chance to come to the united states to work hard and to earn the right to be an american. the program increases our nation's ethnic diversity and provides one of the few legal pathways for immigration countries that are impoverished, persecuted, or unfree. i do support increasing stem
visas to foreign graduates that will increase our pool of high skilled workers that will promote new ideas, new technologies, and help our business stay on the cutting edge of new things to come. but we should not reward one class of individuals and deny another class that's not so blessed with the opportunity to prove themselves. h.r. 6429 would actually reduce legal immigration levels by not allowing to roll over their unused visas. it's disappointing there is no opportunity to craft sensible bipartisan legislation on an issue that so many democrats and republicans agree on. h.r. 6412, the democratic version, requires that employers offer wages to stem graduates that do not undercut actual wages paid to u.s. workers with similar levels of experience. i have witnessed over the last decade n scrupulous employers who dramatically eroded wages,
not for competitive reasons, but solely to transfer wealth from workers to executives. they were successful only because workers were hungry for jobs and willing to work for nearly any wage. the medium household income dropped by $3,700 in that time while executive pay skyrocketed. even as our economy tanked. by contrast, the bill we are debating today does not include wage protections and does not adequately ensure that american workers are protected. equally important is that h.r. 6412 preserves the diversity visa program, ensuring equally opportunity to work in our great land. democrats and republicans alike have forwarded great wisdom towards this issue. now is the time to cooperate with one another and craft a truly bipartisan approach to immigration reform that provides for equality of opportunity for all of those who seek the benefit of u.s. citizenship. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the
gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from florida. mr. nugent: continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida reserves his time. the gentleman from colorado. mr. polis: thank you. it's my honor to yield 2 1/2 minutes to the gentleman from oregon, mr. blumenauer. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from oregon is recognized for 2 1/2 minutes. mr. blumenauer: thank you. i appreciate the gentleman's courtesy and i identify with a number of the reservations that he advanced on this legislation. a costly, inhumane, and broken immigration system is a shadow over the american landscape. it denies the reality of nearly 12 million immigrants who for the most part are already part of the fabric of american life. they work in american business and are often already integrated into existing families. a consequence of this recent election may well be a new reality on the american political scene when it comes to immigration and a willingness to soften hard-edged position and
move us in a more thoughtful direction. we are already hearing some of these signals from the senate already this week, and in a small way this legislation may -- before us today may provide an opportunity to move us forward. i voted against its earlier incarnation reluctantly because it was designed to fail, but i will vote today for the rule and tomorrow for the legislation which would create the stem visa program and give 55,000 green cards a year to doctoral, masters, and graduates in science, technology, engineering, and the mathematical fields. dealing with this in regular order is encouraging. it was also made marginally better, but i think we have an opportunity here for us all to help break this logjam. creating a stem visa program
should be a no-brainer. this legislation is certainly not perfect, and i agree, as i mentioned, with some of the reservations that has been advanced. frankly unless the objectives -- our objections are addressed, it will not pass the senate. we don't support the philosophy that immigration needs to be zero sum. we need not eliminate the diversity visa program in order to add this program. and the senate, as i say, will fix these provisions if they take it up at all. but frankly i hope they do fix it and they do take it up. this would be an important signal to the next congress that we can and must move forward on broader immigration reform. comprehensive immigration reform. immigration that senator mccain -- that senator mccain
previously sported -- supported with the late senator kendy. america needs to unite families, to protect and give justice to young people, strengthen business from high tech to agriculture, and help us live up to our ideals as a nation of immigrants. thank you. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from florida. mr. nugent: continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from colorado. mr. polis: i'd like to inquire if the gentleman from florida has any remaining speakers? mr. nugent: i do not. mr. polis: seeing i'm the last speaker for my side, i will yield myself the balance of the time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. polis: thank you. as articulated by the gentleman from oregon, this bill presents a difficult decision for members of this body, and i certainly have great respect for people on both sides of the issue. i want to go over again some of the pros and cons. the pr