tv Public Affairs CSPAN March 5, 2013 10:00am-1:00pm EST
affect readiness. the army has talked about they will really only be training those brigades they're moving directly into afghanistan and they will have to cut back on readiness for a lot of the other brigades and the flying hours for the air force. these are critical areas. cutting into the readiness, she's exactly right. it is something that needs to be looked at. host: robert, thank you very much. guest: banks. host: the house is about to come into session. it will start with morning our speeches and then work on a couple of house resolutions. to include an estimate of the cost per taxpayer of the deficit. thank you for watching. we will be back tomorrow morning at 7:00 a.m. eastern.
pro tempore on this day. signed, john a. boehner, speaker of the house of representatives. the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. pursuant to the order of the house of january 3, 2013, the chair will now recognize members from lists submitted by the majority and minority leaders for morning hour debate. the chair will alternate recognition between the parties with each party limited to one hour and each member other than the majority and minority leaders and the minority whip limited to five minutes each, but in no event shall debate continue beyond 11:50 a.m. the chair recognizes the gentleman from oregon, mr. blumenauer. for five minutes. mr. blumenauer: thank you, mr. speaker. as we wait for the congress and administration to deal with how to do business differently for defense, for health care, for the tax code, we can take a break today as we welcome over
750 men and women from every state in the union who are here for the 14th annual bicycle summit. they represent, as you might expect, people from cycling clubs, mountain bike industry. they're dedicated recreational cyclists, those in bike purism, which has become very good business, by the way. and they are part of bicycle manufacturing and those who sell bicycle apparel. bicycles mean business. over $150 million of economic activity in a year employing over 1,000 people. as the bike summit attendees visit capitol hill later this week, we'll have an opportunity to hear from people of all ages, all walks of life, communities large and small. the federal government should
be a stronger partner in capitalizing on the most efficient form of urban transportation ever designed. bicycles burn calories, not fossil fuel, and take up .1 of a car. more importantly, for those who drive, every bicycle in a bicycle next to you is not a car in front of you or competing for a scarce parking space. the goal here is to give americans more choices about how they move, making it safe for children to walk or bike to school. it helps those children. it relieves stress on the family, and can cut 30% of the rush hour congestion while helping kids stay active at a time when we're obsessing about lack of physical activity for our children and that level is already too low and declining.
bicycling is a natural remedy. cities of all size are participating in the bicycle revolution. it would not be nearly as advanced as it is, but for $9.8 billion of federal investment since the ice tea re-authorization. it's -- ice-tea re-authorization. it has increased transportation capacity for everybody and done so more cost-effectively than any other expenditure. by the way, $1 million invested in bicycle facilities creates more family wage jobs than simply constructing more miles of highway. it's also easier and faster to accomplish. at a time when america has an infrastructure debt that is in the trillions of dollars, when that infrastructure is falling apart and unreliable, our coalition for policies and resources to rebuild and renew
america will be stronger if it includes the millions of americans who travel by bike. i strongly urge my colleagues and their staff to take the time to visit with these advocates this week. hear the stories about transforming communities of all sizes, rural, urban, suburban. most important, learn how they are giving families safe transportation choices that they never had before. visit with the cycling leaders, more important, at home when you are back, get on a back, walk a trail, join the volunteers, witness an event with your family and talk to the bike businesses and communities' partners. all of these stakeholders can help us visualize what the federal partnership could mean in making communities across
america more livable and families safer, more economically secure. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania, ross, for five minutes. mr. ross: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. rothfus: i rise in memory of a woman who died at the age of 47 following a brief and courageous bout with cancer,
mrs. wilson. she could be anyone's wife, mother, co-worker, employer or fellow church member. she was extraordinary because she excelled in each of these roles. she was a woman for all seasons. ann wilson was born in 1965 in the bronx of irish stock. the daughter of thomas and frances gilcorse. she graduated from st. john the baptist high school and earned a degree in political science. she worked in new york city before moving to johnstown, the hometown of her husband bill. in the mountains of western pennsylvania, this daughter of the bronx became an adopted daughter of johnstown and she thrived there. she brought in the world three beautiful children, katie, billy and clara, whom she and bill loved dearly. and while she was raising her
family, ann pursued her professional calling with excellence and determination as the marketing director of the gleason agency. her energy was incomparable. the energy of her professional work could also be seen in her commitment to public service. in 2005, ann made her first attempt of public office and won a four-year term on the johnstown city council. she took the oath of office in january of 2006 and was the first republican woman elected to the council. notably, ann was the top vote getter on the ticket, beating out seven incumbents. in a city where democrats -- she was re-elected in 2009 and appointed deputy mayor of johnstown in january of 2010. she also served as executive director and later chairman of the republican committee.
in 2012, governor tom corbett appointed her to the pennsylvania commission for women and was elected to the delegate to the 2012 republican national convention. while her energy and professional accomplishments were remarkable, the two things that mattered most to her were her family and her church. mrs. wilson lived for her husband and children and she rarely missed a sporting or school event that involved the kids. she loved family time and family vacations and she was deeply committed to her catholic faith. she was a strong advocate for the right to life and compassion for all. in a world and time given the cynicism and doubt, ann wilson stands out in stark contrast. she's a role model for excellence and family life, professional work and community engagement. indeed, she was full of passion for the things of life that really mattered. it is a privilege to stand here today to remember mrs. ann wilson of johnstown, pennsylvania.
per family and johnstown's loss is heaven's gain. may she rest in peace and may her family be comforted in her loss. she will be missed not only by her husband and children but by her community. thank you, mr. speaker, and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas, mr. poe, for five minutes. mr. poe: mr. speaker, the talk around town is the paranoid gun control crowd, want more gun restrictions and more gun control. more government control over guns. if they had their way, some of them would actually outlaw the second amendment. and the result, the people would have no guns. the only ones that would have guns would be the government and of course criminals who ignore gun laws. i call it the mexico model. guns are outlawed in mexico. the citizens cannot possess guns. there is no second amendment. so the government has guns and
criminals have guns. some of those criminals have guns thanks in part to the united states government sending 2,000 assault weapons to them in fast and furious. but that's another story. u.s. cities are moving toward the mexico model. chicago and washington, d.c., have laws that make it very difficult for a citizen to exercise the second amendment. these cities make it difficult to even own a firearm, but all three places -- mexico, chicago, washington, d.c. -- all have a reputation of violent, unsafe places. why? because they are. in d.c., if d.c. was so safe, why are government guards everywhere in the city? even here in this capitol building there are armed guards on the roof, at the doors, at
the back doors, at the doors over to the east and to the west. it's hypocritical of the gun control crowd in this chamber to say more guns for me but not for thee. if these cities were safe, gun control laws would work, but they don't work. there is a federal law at the city of richmond, virginia, took advantage of, and it goes back to 1997. richmond, virginia, was one of the top five u.s. cities with the highest per capita murder rate in the united states. so the city used a federal law to help them control the crime problem. project exile is the name. the local and state government voluntarily cooperated with the united states attorney's office and gun prosecutions. here's how it works. if a local, state law
enforcement official arrested some criminal for a felony offense but the person also had a gun, the state official could voluntarily transfer the case to federal court because in federal court the person could be prosecuted by the u.s. attorney's office and get an additional five years in the federal penitentiary because the criminal, the drug dealer, had a firearm in their possession. it's a simple plan that worked quite well. it worked so well that in the first year richmond, virginia's homicide rate was down 33%. and by 1999, homicides in virginia, richmond, virginia, were down 97%. all because the criminal was prosecuted for unlawfully possessing a firearm and the government put their resources where they should. prosecuting criminals that use guns in the commission of their
offense. the law held the criminal accountable and exiled him out of the community. that's where the phrase project exile comes were. he was exiled from the community to the federal penitentiary where other criminals were. locked the gun toting crooks up and sent them away, what a novel idea, a law that's already on the books. maybe violent cities like chicago, washington, d.c., should look at project exile and hold criminals accountable for the violence that they commit and not be misguided by some who continue to assault the second amendment and not punish criminals. maybe our system should focus on the person who commits the crime with a weapon as opposed to trying to punish really good folks that own firearms and
>> as mentioned, the rules committee later today will take up that package. we will have live coverage over on c-span3. the house is coming back at noon for their legislative work. we're going to take you to the testimony this morning of the military leaders of central command testifying before the senate armed services can committee. >> >> is your vision that you will have forces with them or will it be institutional trainer's? ? >> we're going to have to watch
how they mature. i anticipate there will be some unbending. at the current rate and maturation, they are becoming quite impressive in their ability to operate against this enemy. we have 1.5 years to go as we get them up on the step for when we will draw down to the enduring force. we will figure out what level of and betting -- level will be there. >> you still retain the capability of striking anywhere in that region if there is a high-value target as you go forward in terms of whether or not there is access to certain bases in afghanistan. you can do that from aerial platforms, a sea bass platforms, or lans platform.
>> >> let me turn to the issue of syria. many assume the assad regime is deteriorating rapidly. let's assume its sales. what planning is going on for any type of stability operations internationally to prevent a dissent that would disrupt the whole region? >> we have some quiet planning going on with regional and other partners to see what level of ambition and what regional leadership could take on this mission. it would be clearly best accomplished with a regional leader, organization, after the russians are regrettable veto in the united nations. if the russians regrettable veto
in the united states. they may be able to take this on. we are doing some planning with the regional military and get to a framework for what this would look like. >> what do you think the reactions to the iranians would be to a collapse of the assad government? >> it would be the biggest suretyship setback for iran in 25 years. -- biggest setback for a run in 25 years. they would redouble their efforts yemen, bahrain, and elsewhere. that is what we would see. >> part of our reaction would be to plan for that contingency
explicitly? >> and we are. >> thank you. >> we appreciate your service. good luck in your retirement. i notice the map be passed around about the area of responsibility for the commander. it ranges from cause exxon to the north -- paszek stan in the north to yemen in the south. half the population is in egypt. is that correct? >> it is well over 1/3. >> a good portion. we just had an amendment a few weeks ago offered to a store relief bill on the floor of the cigarette that would have prohibited our sale of f-16 aircraft from the united states to the egyptian military.
do you follow that issue? >> i did. >> senator mccain took the point on that on the senate floor and made an impassioned plea for us not to abandon the chance of improved relationships with the egyptian military. what senator mccain correct? i voted with him on that to not abandon our sale of f-16s to egypt. what advice would you give us going forward? we may have to take further votes on that. what with the determination be on our relationship and chances of having a meaningful relationship with the egyptian military?
>> i strongly endorsed the administration's and senator mccain's position. i was in cairo. our ambassador also endorsed it. the bottom line is the egyptian military to a very difficult period has a build trust with the egyptian people. they have made clear their expectation that egypt will maintain the international treaties, including peace with israel. they are the people who provide extra security when my ships go through the suez canal. the gauze area has not been this quiet in 10 years. regionally gaza -- the gaza area has not been this quiet in 10 years. anything we do that would undercut the trust between the u.s., a u.s. military and
egyptian military would be extremely unhelpful. >> what do you think the advice of the israeli government would be to policymakers such as with regard to that sale? i have gotten a lot of mail and e-mails from a people in mississippi who are supportive of israel. they say how could you agreed to the sale of these to egypt when that could be so harmful to israel? what would your answer be to that? >> i will not speak for what is really thinks about this. i cannot do that. -- what is real things about this. i cannot do that. that issue did not come up. as far as how to respond to your constituents, the egyptian
military right now is the bulwark against the threats, against israel, and against egypt. they committed along side as part of their government. it has been very outspoken about maintaining the peace treaty. it should not be seen as an enemy. it should be seen as a stabilizing force in the region. unlike the military in libya that fought alongside gaddafi, unlike the military in syria. we have a military that did not act that way when egypt went through its transition. >> that is very helpful. let me switch to something. i had to step out of the room to meet with a distinguished group of retired admirals and generals
representing the u.s. global leadership coalition. are you familiar with this coalition? >> only very little. >> they are a group of more than 120 retired three and four-star generals and admirals. they are coming on the hill today to meet with congress and not about the military budget but about the international affairs budget. what we call foreign aid. their message to me was that we need to be very careful about cut in foreign aid. they view it as working hand in glove with our security operations they you are involved in. i just wondered if you comment on that.
if you observed that the international development budget is helpful to us in providing national defence to our country. >> i would start with the department of state budget. frankly, they need to be as fully funded as congress believes appropriate. if you do not fund the state department, i need to buy more ammunition ultimately. i think it is a cost-benefit ratio. the more we put into the state department's diplomacy the less we have to put into a military budget. >> i see. to both of you, i had to step out. the question was asked with regard to sequestration and the device that you have for us.
we need to go ahead with the full appropriation bill for the entire fiscal year. let me make sure i get this answer. would flexibility help you in getting through the sequestration issue of? if congress gave you not arbitrary cuts that the ability to pick and choose, would you be better group in -- better off in forming your mission's? >> the full appropriations bill would give us they flexibility you referred to. it would be critical to the service chiefs that carry out their responsible -- out their responsibilities. >> it would allow us to manage
our money to those areas that are at the most high risk. it to be very beneficial. >> thank you. thank you for your service. recently the navy announced that it was going to delay the deployment of an aircraft caria over into the a zero are -- into the aor because of these the sequestration threat. quite our ships are expensive. we all know that. she will be maintained at an enhanced readiness level. i was on board u.s. as harry truman and spoke with kevin sweeney about two weeks ago. me it will be able to
deploy on short notice. i have one carrier out there. i would caution any enemy that might look it as an opportunity to take a vintage of the situation that it would be very ill-advised. if the present order is as i have what it takes to make it be enemies along this and worst day. >> but the president decided that the second career needed to be out there, what is the transit time? >> into a deployed faster than it is required to. i believe they would be out of court faster and with take about 14 days to get there. >> even if you cut the 21 days
in half, say down to 10 days plus 14, you are talking a total of 24 days before it could be on the station. >> that is correct. >> when was the harry truman scheduled to depart? >> it was about two weeks ago. i would have to give you a specific date. >> i asked for the obvious reasons. here is a good example of what you all have planned in the way of readiness because of some ridiculous and budgetary altman's decision is causing the -- ultimate decision is cause you not to have the second carrier out there. would that carrier have the
opportunity to be diverted into the mediterranean instead of going to the persian gulf region? >> that would be up to the secretary of defense would to the combat and commander gets. they end up boarding a personnel. i am sure i could get it. coming back to syria, which is in your aor, and that's why i asked about sending it to the mediterranean as opposed to the persian gulf, it seems as if we have a solid and on the other hand we have a group that is fighting assad. they are trying to take over.
this is not give us much of a choice between those two. do you have any reason that the anti-assad forces are going to win out? they are more amenable to us? >> they have a good propaganda campaign. they are using their weaponry. there are looking here to dig their routes into this. at the same time they have a philosophy that is not admired by a lot of the people who are abiding -- are fighting assad. it could be very messy. the regional powers obviously
have no truck. i think you will see more support continued for the elements. it is the intertwining that concerns me. >> you want to characterize for the committee any setbacks of sequestration on your ability to special operations troops anywhere where there might be a flare-up? >> we have the perfect storm with the continuing resolution. right now the cr hurts us more than the sequestration right now. the cr is about $1.5 billion. i am unable to manage some of the issues in terms of the new starts and some of the
adjustments that need to be made. in the cr not only precludes me from spending at the 2013 level but limits what i am able to do. if you add sequestration for me, it is about a 23% cut in the available resources. it is a function of readiness but not necessarily ready this for deployment. it is coming at the expense of our our training base back in cronukonas. i think i can manage this with the resources we have a. we are beginning to create a readiness problem if we do not resolve the cr or have a opportunity to manage the sequestration money.
i am reducing some of my deployment going forward. it is a perfect storm of fiscal problems for us. the defenser o department transition, and the defense human service to the defense clandestine service, how do you anticipate this is going to affect the operations of? >> we have been working with the defense intelligence agency to help support the movement forward of the clandestine service. i prefer to talk in closed session on some of the details. in total, we think it is a very good plan. we like the initiative the plant does. it puts us in the position to
have more collectors supporting the defense intelligence agency. i am very much behind it. >> in the past, you and the cia have gotten along so well. there is some concern about the two stepping on each other as you are moving forward with movingdcs. >> we are working very closely with this. we understand our lane is in the road. it the dcs is about military intelligence. i am comfortable. i think senior leadership would tell you they are very comfortable with the clandestine service. >> thank you very much. >> i want to thank both of our witnesses for their distinguished service to our country. we will miss you. thank you for everything you
have done for our country. senator in half had asked you -- inhof has your opinion on whether current efforts will stop iran from obtaining nuclear weapons capability. i believe you said no. if that is the case, the economic sanctions that we have imposed on iran are having a very significant negative impact on their economy and currency. if current diplomatic and economic sanctions will not stop them from obtaining nuclear weapons capabilities, what do you think they are doing now with negotiations? are they trying to delay us again? i fully support the
diplomatic isolation. i still support the direction we are taking. i am paid to take a rather dim view of the iranians, frankly. >> it is understandable why you would take a dim view. i dare say that we cannot think of another country that is doing more damage in terms of terrorism around the world and hurting our interests and allies. would you agree? >> i would agree surely with what you just said. >> what is their history in
terms of using the negotiations to delay and continuing to enrich? do they have a history of doing that? >> they have a history of denial and recede -- and deceit. >> the group offered to that we would back off on some of the sanctions if they agreed to keep enrichment levels at 20%. iran, we were not able to come to an agreement there. >> they agreed to meet again. i think this was the negotiations. there is nothing final about it. >> here is our problem. if they had a history of using negotiations while they are marching toward a nuclear weapon and we know how dangerous they are, how do we stop this pattern to make sure they know that we are serious, that we will not accept them having a nuclear
weapon? >> i think the more we can accommodate a larger coalition against them i believe in some ways we have to recognize iran's the dimon security interests so they are not any process to use a legitimate means to address their legitimate during the interest. need to continue everything we are doing. the president is taking no option off the table. >> how important is it that we stop iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon and? >> i would suggest echoed the president's words. he said it is unacceptable. i believe it is absolutely important. >> based on your position on a scale of 1-10 in terms of danger to the world and our country, where would you put them obtaining nuclear weapon?
it would be dangerous because it would enable iran to continue to act like a revolutionary cause and said of irresponsible country. they would since your limitations and more and vulnerability conducting the kind of attacks that killed tourists and bulgaria i believe we would see more of this irresponsible reckless behavior. >> given we continue to enrich, why would we not consider cutting off negotiations and saying "here is the bott om-line? i fear we will be at a point where they have nuclear weapons
capability and then it is too late. >> it would be too late for our stated policy that they are not to achieve a nuclear weapons capability. i believe the negotiations are critical as we build an international consensus against them and sustain that. they are going to have to confront the unproductive aspects of what they're doing for their own interest. >> we have a press the economy dramatically. they have huge negotiations as a delay tactic. insanity is the definition of doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.
this is a danger to the world in terms of their terrorism activity. that is what i worry about your -- worry about. >> they have a resistance economy. they are trying to raise a sense of martyrdom as a nation. that is a very dangerous type of self view if they were to get a nuclear weapon. i do not think we should stop negotiations. while negotiating, i have received additional forces in the gulf by the decision of the secretary of defense to ensure we are ready to reassure our friends that we need -- mean business.
>> thank you very much. we all share the concern. we voted on a resolution saying containment is not the policy. this has been overwhelmingly bipartisan issue. we will not accept them having a nuclear weapon. i worried they're using negotiations to delay. a lot to ask you a brief section -- question on a section 841. it was copied and work we did together. we recently visited afghanistan on could january and talked to the major general about the impact of those provisions. he indicated it would be helpful in cutting off funds to
the enemy when contractors were there. we are working on an effort to extend beyond afghanistan to others come back in command and to think about extending it to other agencies including the state department. i wanted to get your opinion on that. >> i fully support both the letter in the. of what was in there. we did have to look in there. it was not with the contract. we found some things that were disappointing. i can tell you it has been very helpful to focus on that area. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you both for being here.
i know that i have some specific questions i will not have time for today about afghanistan infrastructure fund and the notion it is very hard to build infrastructure inside of a contingency by our military without money getting to the enemy because of the huge costs of security. the problem here is not just contracting with the enemy. the past these into law. it is about whether or not the strategy should in fact include infrastructure. should it include a major projects that i am going to have some specific questions about metrics being produced to support the notion that it is an effective part of counterinsurgency efforts. i am going to talk to you about
something that is, i'm going to talk about the years of service. this is something not directly related. my background includes handling dozens and dozens of the jury trials as a prosecutor of the difficult sexual assault and rape cases. i've taken an acute interest on the pervasive problem of prosecuting sexual assault in the military. i feel a sense of urgency because of what happened last week. a colonel was convicted by a jury, a military jury, of sexual assault. he was sentenced to dismissal, forfeiture of pay, and one year in jail. with a stroke of a pen last week, a general dismissed those charges against him.
a general with no legal training, a general that had not been in the courtroom, and he did it against the advice of his legal counsel. my heart is beating fast right now. i am so upset about this. as fear trying to send a signal to women, the victim was not a member of our military. i question now whether that unit that the man returns to, whether there's any chance a woman who is sexually assaulted would ever say a word. what he said is that the jury's decision did not matter. the rules actually say that the convening authority not only has complete discretion on whether the case is brought but the convening authority also has the right to either reduce punishment or dismiss the cases for "any reason or no reason at
all." is it time as we understand the majority of homeless women in this country are veterans and if the majority of them had some form of sexual assault that we look at the ucmj and decide that we need to have something other than the arbitrary decision of one general without any other supervising authority or procedure that is necessary to overturn the very difficult decision that the jury came to? >> i do not know the specifics of this case. i've always been reluctant to comment on something where i do not know it. some of you are aware of the high visibility court cases i superintended. i have read 9500 pages of investigations before i have made decisions.
let me assure you that the supreme court has upheld what congress has passed for the ucmj recognizing the unique aspects of the military. in this case, there are rights provided to defendants in the military because no court system is more subject to being characterized as a kangaroo court than 1 where military officers who are in command also initiate it. in this case, i cannot speak to the specifics. i can assure you that justice is overwhelmingly serbs by the currently constituted ucmj. was not just responsible for prosecution i was also responsible for defense. commanders must balance those of those of we are to have a fair system.
i do not know the specifics of this case. i do not want to be -- that to be drawn in for support on something i really cannot address. >> let's set aside the specifics. do you think that after a jury has found someone guilty and dismiss someone for the military for sexual assault that one person over the size of their legal counsel to be able to say never mind? don't you think something ought to change? the ability of a prosecutor or defense lawyer or the person they both work for calm at the notion that they could unilaterally say never mind.
when that is something that most, especially when you realize how serious this problem is, i think that the military needs to understand that this could be a tipping point. they could rise up, particularly the women, and say i do not think one general should be able to overturn a jury. >> the women commanders have this authority for a vested reason. we can look beyond the one case. >> i think i can bring you a lot of cases. cases were not brought, were victims were not taken seriously. there is a culture issue that will have to be addressed. what this decision did was put
an exclamation behind the notion that if you are sexually assaulted in the military, and good luck. >> i would just tell you that my troops generally know what i stand for. they have no doubt what i will not tolerate. i am not unique in this. you show a someone who conducts themselves in a criminal manner and i am dry i'd like to my beloved troops in jail the rest of their lives for all i care. >> in some ways i am sad this occurred right before this hearing. my time with the today is covering this. i have great respect for the leadership of the military enter service. please do not misinterpret this as anything other than a high degree of frustration into a system that appears unaccountable to the thousands
of victims who are struggling for a piece of justice. >> thank you very much. >> there is accountability for every general under my command. general welch will be hearing from me. it is interesting that both of these people are fighter pilots. they both have served together. that at more appearance and proprietary. >> this is the chair of the, this is broader than sexual of 40. -- authority. this may be an inappropriate
time to raise it. we will ask the general counsel, bob taylor, to address this issue. it is part of the no reason at all language that is in the uc mj and to give this committee to a source of this language. they are convening that so that no language at all. i do not want to move in a different direction than you want to go. i think it will be helpful to ask them that question.
>> thank you. >> thank you for your indulgence. let's be clear about this cut. we're still looking at $43 billion in cuts. no matter whether you have the flexibility are not, we are shooting ourselves in the foot. >> we're going to have to change our strategy. we cannot maintain it. >> the $43 billion is still a devastating blow. >> i do not want the enemy to feel brave right now. i can still deal with them. >> to somehow say this problem
goes away because you are given flexibility is not accurate. is that true? >> that is correct. >> i want to say thank you for your service. thank you for the inspiration you have provided for the men and women who have served under oyou. thank you for your service to the country. we areissue of syria', now at 70,000 people who have been massacred. the risk of spillover into lebanon and jordan is obvious. 42 iraqi -- syrian soldiers yesterday's being murdered in iraq. everything that we worry about if we intervene has taken place because we did not intervene. would you buy that argument?
>> i am not certain -- >> have we seen a worse case scenario? >> it is the further fragmentation of the country. >> you want to make sure you get the weapons to the right people to support such a move. >> yes, sir. >> isn't the best way to give them a no-fly zone and let them establish themself as the libyans did in benghazi? >> yes, sir, that would be a way to do that. >> the flow of jihadists into
the country continues unabated. the revolutionary guard is on the ground. >> they are on the ground and bring in other foreign fighters. >> the russians are providing weapons. >> yes, sir. >> would you call that an unfair fight? >> right now assad -- >> we refuse to do something. >> there are regional partners that we have that are taking action. >> many of those weapons are going to the wrong people. >> yes, sir.
>> let me switch to afghanistan. what was your recommendation for the troop levels? >> we did not use numbers. we want to know what conditions we are expected to do. 34,000, which i do support so long as the pace left them there through the fighting season. >> did that happen? >> it. did. >> what about the residual force? >> my recommendation is for 13,600 forces. >> how many nato? >> around 50% of what we
provide. >> back to iraq. are you concerned about the unraveling of iraq with the schisms between the kurds, the continued attacks that take place in increasing polarization of the suny shia situation in places like mosul, where you have everybody there. do you think the situation would have been better if we left a residual force there? >> hard to say if the would have been better. i share the concerns about the
schisms and the kurds. al qaeda it continues with its campaign. the shelling of the capital city shows they're not above going back to work their own way. in perfectly as it is, they are still the parts of the body politic in iraq they are talking with each other. it is still a level of violence that is slightly below what it was when we were at theere overall. >> barzani told me he had not spoken with maliki. that is beside the point. could we take out the assets with cruise missiles?
>> not all of them. they have a number of mobile systems. we could take got a fair amount. >> the patriots could defend a no-fly zone? >> there are a. defense weapon -- they are a point defense weapon. >> airpower is an important factor in assad being able to hang on. i am concerned about the withdrawal to the coast and the wonder what you think about the likelihood of that myight be. >> it is and economically
unstable enclave. it could create a longevity for the regime if they were to lose damascus. that right now is something we have to consider. you will see kind of a two-step . i believe the iranians are helping them to get established. >> i've had the great honor of being associated with some outstanding military leaders. i know you will contribute to continue to our nation's security. >> thank you very much. on the democratic side -- on the republican side, lee, fisher, blunt, graham. >> our colleague senator mckane
is afraid you forgot they are there. they all look panic and i'm feeling for them. >> number 5 and 6 and 7 and eight and i should have said the next four. senator joe manchin. >> thank you. thank you for being here. congratulations on your retirement. i know there was a lot going back and forth. if you knew you had flexibility and had to do the cuts, would you been able to deploy the harry s. truman on time? >> i would have to know better
what the navy confronts. >> so much said about the amount of money that we spend in the department of defense versus other countries. a quick scenario on the difference of our cost? they say the next 10 or 15 developing nations did not spend as much as we do. >> part of it is we are the gold standard. we set the standard from weaponry to the training and to the coherence of our force, the cohesion of our force that believes they are the best of the world because of the support of the hill. we also have a global responsibilities.
i was born into this time. i'm often impressed and i say, sir or your highness or mr. president, how much other countries look to us to reassure them that they can follow their better instincts and not have to accommodate some pretty ugly situations in their region. >> i find that the military is losing many of its talented people to private contractors. they are being lured away by the higher salaries. >> was truitt back at the beginning of the war -- that was true back at the beginning of the war. we were losing a number of our
senior nco's. that has tapered off considerably. right now our sessions rate is as good or better than they have ever been and our retention is equally high. >> either one of you can speak to this. if you compare it pakistan's actions and how we are working with them as an ally, i can only imagine what your thoughts if iran is able to achieve the same status with nuclear-weapons. i'm sure we would be looking at pakistan differently but i would assume your greatest fear is iran have in this nuclear arsenal.
>> that would be the most disabling event for the middle east. >> the vietnam war came to a close much quicker than this war. if anyone anticipated we would still be going at this 13 years, it brings up the question for discussion. a combined hybrid of the draft and the services that we have now. i know we would not be in a war 30 years if moms and dads have the input they had back then. >> senator, i will not take issue with what you just said. the all volunteer force has
drawn us apart but this threat is real. the shia side declared war on us in the 1980's and continue a today. al qaeda it is how you know them. they tried to take down the trade towers and took them down the second time. it is a real threat and america has been willing to meet real threats. i think we would still be here. i think the enemy would force the issue. >> we will be fighting the war on terror for generations to come. we were in afghanistan and move
to iraq. i would rather we get out quicker and rebuild america. look at the dam that we built in the 1950's. we went back and rebuilt it again. we spend $70 million to finish the project. the inspector general doubts that we can do that if we gave them $70 million. the money we're putting into and infrastructure that they are unable to maintain. are we moving away from that strategy? >> i will allow general mattis to address the dam issue.
we work with our partners abroad. we partner with about 78 nations on any day on the calendar. we're doing minor construction. be able to build schools and help with small infrastructure projects are critical to building our credibility with the host nation. >> we're not allowed to branded as made by u.s. we're not even getting credit for that. all the other things, schools or the water supplies and things of that sort. we were afraid or they were afraid to put our name on it and give us credit.
>> i would say it is on a case by case basis. i have a great relationship with aid. we take our lead from the u.s. ambassador and get together with their foreign assistance folks and we build a plan collectively that makes sense. we think it is more sensitive to allow the locals to receive credits. it is not one size fits all, sir. >> thank you, a very much. i want to thank senator fisher. her generosity is noted. senator lee.
>> thank you for all your do. general mattis, i wanted to talk about syria. you mentioned the dire situation in syria and the fact that there is a certain amount of disunity among the opposition groups. i would like to get your assessment on syria and iran just to a couple of questions. what can you tell us about the composition and the objectives of the opposition forces in syria? what can you tell me about the extent to which they have a vision for the future of a post- assad syria? >> the opposition is not
completely unified. it is becoming more unified day- by-day. they believe assad has got to go. there is some populist extremist views as well as the ones we would find along the lines of how we like to see syria, out of the civil war. the vision that some of them have is inconsistent with what we would like to see. these are the jihadists elements, the foreign fighters that want to create another chaotic background where they can put in their roots and have a new place to operate. >> what is your sense to where the center of gravity is?
is that were the center of gravity is? >> well, sir, when you look at the national coalition -- i have to refer to my notes -- you have the soc. those are one and the same thing. that is carrying a message to the assad regime that there is a message against them. there is a military council below that. that is what carries out the operations inside the country. >> ok. you cannot give me a thumbnail
sketch about whether this is a fringe or minority fraction or a majority faction -- fringe or minority faction or a majority faction. >> i would say that is a significant minority that takes the extremist approach with the idea -- as kinds of organizations. >> a significant minority and not amounting to a majority that have links to al qaeda or some other terrorist group or some other group similar to allocate a -- similar to al qaeda. >> they do use humanitarian efforts in addition to their fighters to try to build a
broader reach among the opposition. >> i assume the respective visions would break down according to what is motivating them now. >> i believe so, yes, sir. >> i like to talk about the threat we face elsewhere in the region. i agree with the president who said we will do what is necessary to prevent iran from getting a nuclear weapon. i suspect new line all my colleagues support that. decreasing the size of our carrier presents in the gulf war's me because it could be sending a different message.
the budget uncertainties surrounding sequestration has forced the department of defense to take some difficult steps. the region is of such huge importance to our national security. our removal of an aircraft carrier affect our ability to deter iranian action in the gulf or elsewhere in the region? >> it is more difficult to reassure our friends and deter iran, but i believe a strong statement of political will would cause iran to take pause before they try to take advantage of what is not really
an opportunity. i can by the time -- i can buy the time. >> thank you very much. >> thank you very much. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you both for your service. general mattis, we'll miss you and appreciate your years of service to this country. i want to start by following up on some of the serious issues that senator lee was raising. when you were here last year, one thing we discussed was the chemical weapons in syria. secretary panetta said the situation is 100 times worse
than what we saw in libya with the proliferation of weapons. it has been described as a nightmare scenario. i assume it is safe to say your concerns have not diminished and you continued to be concerned about the presence of the stockpiles of chemical weapons in syria. >> absolutely, senator. >> there has been discussion about the red line that has been drawn should syria attempt to use those chemical weapons on their own people or on others in the region. a suggestion the international community is equally concerned about that. what happens should they try to
trencher those weapons to hezbollah and they think it transferred throughout the region? has there been planning for how to address that and how to prevent that from happening? >> that would be a policy suggestion by the president. it would be very difficult to prevent it at the beginning. as fast as we picked it up, we could disrupt it. >> has nato and other countries also been involved in those contingency plans? >> yes, maiam. -- ma'am.
>> is for any reason we should have less concerned about what is happening rather than more concern? how could we affect what happens with those chemical weapons? what can you share with us about the contingency plan? >> in the chaos of what assad has created and the civil war, i believe we have increasingly vulnerable sides as the fighting swings back and forth and as weapons get transferred, as the material aspects of their leadership can cause them to do things that cause us to keep a close eye on them.
our planning is taking this into account to the degree that it can. we have options prepared. >> have any of the opposition groups been involved in any of those discussions or any of those plans? >> no, ma'am. >> thank you. >> i should say not buy u.s. central command. we're not engage with the opposition groups on this. >> thank you. i want to switch from syria to pakistan. that is another part of the central command where there are serious concerns about the impact on our actions in afghanistan. i wonder if you could talk
about what the current status is of our relationship with the military and pakistan and how the trilateral engagement on the border between afghanistan and pakistan is working or not working today. >> our military to military relationship with pakistan has been improving. this goes back over the last year, even in the aftermath of the incident were we accidently killed 24 of their frontier corps troops. the border itself and the corporation is much improved over a year or go or two years ago. it is not everything we need it but it is improving.
we have other efforts under secretary of state shultz that will ship back in may where we have retired officers to find ways to continue this improved collaboration and helps set the conditions for longer-term prosperity in the region. >> how will that work after isap out?s do you expect that collaboration to continue? we had the opportunity to see firsthand the tent in collaboration at time when it had broken down and they were talking about the potential effectiveness of that.
that is going to be critical as we withdraw in terms of maintaining stability in the region. what kinds of plants are in place to help address that once isaf withdraws? >> we have now -- we no longer meet as nato isaf. the afghan security forces and we meet in these trilaterals. right now it is at least going in the right direction. day by day we build a all little bit more trust and cooperation and collaboration along that contentious border. >> thank you very much. my time has expired. >> thank you for your service
and the service of those you represent as well. i believe you stated that with the sequester and the cr we were looking at creating a readiness problem. what are you doing now that is essential and that we need to keep on doing with special ops? >> yes, ma'am. thank you. my support to the other commanders is my number one war- fighting operational priority. the problem with the cr is it is beginning to affect our forces. i have to prioritize the training. it will come at the expense of the next generation of forces.
my ability to manage that budget is what i intend to do. take a look at our flying hours. we have about 60% of far flying hours. that bathtub will continue from this fiscal year to the next fiscal year. it will get smaller but it will continue. take a look at the flying hours. i'm cutting some other training . the readiness will move to route -- throughout to stem the lack of readiness. we are mortgaging a little bit of our readiness in the future. >> do you believe you're putting
the troops at risk when they have to be in rotation longer? the training is not there so they can benefit from some rest when they are off duty. do you see that as a major risk? what do you see it as the major risk because of these cuts? >> i have supported service components that work for me. when my biggest concern is as making sure the operational tempo of the force is appropriate. we have taken a number of important steps to insure those forces have the rest they need when they're back in the continental united states. there are certain high demand
operational specialty codes. some of the information officers, those high demand but low density requires them to rotate more quickly forward. to impress hard not upon them additional training and give them more time in the rear. >> under the current structures, do you see any limitations being imposed on our special ops forces? >> i am pleased with the relationships we have and the command authorities that i have. i may supporting commander to people like general mattis and others. that is a great relationship.
i am comfortable with that. >> you do not think any changes need to be made? >> not in terms of the forces under their control. >> do you think needs to be any additional legal authority for our soldiers to train with our partners? >> that is an area where taking a look at. one of the amendments that presents some problems -- we have to vet the individuals and the units to make sure there are no human rights violations. we understand the value of making sure we have good, clean human rights. sometimes those units need our relationship. they understand what right look
like. that is when we find ourselves more constrained than ever. we to make sure they do what is right. that is an area we are exploring with the osd and the hill. >> you have discussed that with the regional commanders? >> havi have. they find themselves constrained in certain circumstances in the units we are dealing with. we're working through the appropriate processes now. >> thank you very much. do you have any concerns being made? >> we have the best working relationship between conventional and special forces
that i have enjoyed in 40 years of service. there is no longer any alliance between us. the collaboration is intense. right now the degree of confidence in each other is at the top of its game but we're not complacent. we do not want to lose this as the war's grind down. >> thank you for your many years of service. you have a sterling reputation. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to echo everybody's thoughts. you have given so many years of service to our country. we appreciate your commitment. thank you very much.
a question about women in combat. there is the end of the direct ground combat exclusion rule. i know you highlighted the contributions that women have made to our special operations missions. the civil military support elements and other roles. i understand the recent decision for women. this will open up thousands of new positions for women. i wanted to get your thoughts on how this will be carried out under so-con. how have women contributed to our missions in recent years and what additional contributions do
you see will be possible given this policy change and how will they respond to this? how will you address the need to maintain strict standards for selection for the male and female special operators? will there be exceptions or waivers to keep any of the units all male? >> thank you. the women that have served have done a magnificent and heroic job. we have them with our support teams and there are partnered with our rangers and seals and their special forces elements. they go on target in hostile environments and they have proven themselves again and again.
they are in small numbers but have been invaluable. thee required to provide secretary of defense a brief back on may 15 saying how we will implement the new policy. i will brief the secretary on how we will get there. it will take us some time to determine whether we need to adjust the standards. the critical mass female students we might need to create the appropriate pipeline. we'll go through all of that analysis in the next year or so. if there are areas where we cannot meet the requirements without lowering the standards
and without affecting the cohesion of the small units, we will come forward to the secretary for an exception to the policy. we will find a way to make this work. the services all have equities in terms of special operations that we have. i will be looking at the special operations unique mos', the navy seals, the rangers, etc. i will have an opportunity to provide my input to the service chiefs. >> you said assess the standards. nobody is saying to lower the standards. >> i was asked about the concept of the gender neutral standards.
we have a standard. that is the standard. it is an important standard. there is no intent to lower the standard. we want to provide the nation the best forces we can. >> some of the women have been attached to a number of units but they have not been assigned. that has harmed many individuals and many saw the right thing -- writing on the wall. general mattis, there were questions about sexual assault.
seenresearch that i've from the department of veterans affairs suggests half of the women deployed to iraq or afghanistan reported being harassed and almost 25% said they were sexually assaulted. i have been to afghanistan and iraq. i was shocked and in the bill -- an individual was concerned about the amount of food that they would drink in the afternoon because they found it dangerous to go to the latrine at night. to be concerned about their safety, it makes you wonder that we have to do something about
it. what is the current state of the problem? what is being done to address the issue of sexual assault while on the deployment? the drawdownlieve will present unique challenges. is environment in the unit the environment. it comes down to the alertness of the chain of command and to the command climate and the commanders intend and her ability to articulate what is acceptable behavior and the authority of commanders to deal with unacceptable behavior things to the ucmj is more than sufficient to maintain the discipline.
we take this seriously. we took it seriously ill long time ago -- we took it seriously a long time ago. some of the act will work we get a we take that for action. we have the authority to deal with people who think that is an option. it is not an option to lack like a jerk. >> thank you for what you do for our country. >> thank you both. what are you going to do when you retire? i would hire you but we don't have a lot of money. do both and you agree with the statement that we should be army at least a portion of the rebels
yria? >> i do not believe i have the awareness to do it. >> we could absolutely do it. a very confusing situation. i'm not sure we are in a position to do that. in my case, that are being armed right now. >> but not by us. >> that is correct. >> should we armed a portion of the rebels? >> if we know who the weapons are going to, it is an option that would complicate assad's stay in power.
>> do you think 2013 is a reckoning when it comes to iran? >> i am paid to be a sentinel for this country. >> he said the sanctions were not working with iran. >> the nuclear industry continues. >> what is the likelihood they would work in the future? >> i believe this regime -- i think they are concerned that economic sanctions could turn people against them. they could be willing to give up the nuclear efforts to stay in power. >> do you think that is the most likely scenario? >> i think we should continue
sanctions but have other options already. >> to think israel was attacked iran? >> i would take its role at its word -- i would take israel at his word. >> would it be in our interest to help them? >> that would depend on what the objective of the strike is. is it to stop them? how long do you want to delay them? is there a broader effort? >> would you recommend a limited strike or should go after their navy, air force and the revolutionary guard? >> i think that is advised that to theonfidentially
president on. >> if the iranians develop a nuclear capability, how certain are you that other nations would cquire and equal opportunity? >> at least one other nation said there would not stay without a nuclear weapon. >> sorry said that is -- >> other states in the jungle region. >> let's talk about the budgets. admiral mcraven, you say your budget is being reduced by 23%.
over a tenure window, what does it do to your command -- over a 10-year window? >> it would cut us by about $10 billion. sequestration alone is $900 million. sequestration alone is about a 10% cut to my budget. think about a 10% reduction with readiness and capability. >> would we have a hollow force is fully implemented sequestration? >> we would not have a hollow special operations force as a result of sequestration alone. >> what about the marine corps?
>> i cannot speak for the ring core -- marine corps. we will do less in the future. we'll keep the sense of purpose with training and good equipment. it would be a smaller force and we would do less with it. >> 2/3 of the budget is not affected, only 1/2. -- 1/3. 50% comes out of dod. we'll be doing great damage to our national security. am overstating that? >> no, sir. what is unappreciated sometimes is while i would take $900
million a year in cuts, i get a lot of support from the services. the service cuts they take compound the special operations support. i can manage the special operations force. i get a tremendous amount of support from the various services and that will affect the special operations capabilities of this nation. >> my correct that my colleagues back home that sequestration would do a lot of damage to the military? >> yes, sir, it would. >> at the end of the 10-year sequestration 2.41% of gdp in terms of military spending.
3% on 9/11. we'll be at the incredibly low number. 1962, 49% of spending was on the military, 30% on an totten. 61% of the budget today is being spent on entitlements. religious become greece -- we will just become greece and that is the challenge. >> senator bill menthol -- lumenthal.ngaman fa >> you both exemplify the strength and courage that we see
from our military and your records are extraordinary. a special thanks to each of you at your staff for the great work you have don. e. a want to fall the questions senator gramm has been asking. i think the american people should be deeply troubled that our special operation forces are going to become a and not increase. the president's vision is for special operations play a greater role and to be supported more not less in resources and budget. i feel that approach is critical to our nation's security. my question, admiral mcraven, is
ake you mamk these kinds of cuts as the tip of the spirit of our nation's readiness going forward? i don't know how like no back to the people of connecticut and say everything is fine but we're cutting operations by 10%. i put that question to you. i'm hoping that now and into the future you will have an answer. >> sir, the sequestration and the continuing resolution will have a dramatic impact on special operations now and into the future. i was charged to manage the
best force i can to afford special operations troops and i will do the best i can to ensure that i am providing those forces forward. we tend to have to mortgage a little bit of the future. the effect these cuts are having on special operations as we begin to cut back on our flying programs and on some of the modifications on the helicopters and on the deployments. there is a global effect with the reduction of the special operations forces. i cannot tell you when that line is going to come when the forces are not the kuala forces that i think the american people
expect. as we move forward, we will hit that line sooner than later. >> so we have some time but the sooner the better we reverse these cut so as to avoid the lasting damage to our national security. >> the problems are correct. now are we're accepting affecting the force now. in some cases i have cut 60% of my deployment for my last forward units. it is having an effect now. >> thank you. do either of you differ with the statement which i happen to
think is true, thatiran is determined to develop nuclear capability? >> they are enriching uranium beyond any plausible peaceful purpose. >> do you share that view? >> i do, sir. >> that basic ambition is still there. you would agree with that? >> they have brought centrifuges online. they're refusing access to the site. they are continuing their program. >> thank you. i'm going to jump to another subject.
sexual assault, an area that has concerned me as a prosecutor for a good part of my professional life. one of the current weaknesses in our system of deterring as well as punishing sexual assault in the military seems to me the nature of the reporting of complaints but also their prosecutorial decisions as to whether someone is held criminally responsible. the decision within the command structure is in fact within the command made by generally somebody to whom both the complainant and the potential defendant report. that system is somewhat unique because of the nature of the military. there has to be a command
structure. i am posing to you the question whether it if that decision making function, whether to hold a predator responsible for taking away from the commander, whether that would undermine the capability of the commander to effectively command, whether it is at the regiment or whatever level the decision is made. >> it would undermine his command authority. anytime a commander is no longer responsible for discipline, you set the groundwork perhaps for the best of intentions to a leave the commander in a more
circumscribed situation. that is not something that is good in a force that is put together for violent action. he or she must be seen as the ultimate arbiter of good order and discipline in that unit were you're addressing one issue and creating a pandora's box of other issues that history will tell you one not work out well. >> you can continue to watch the rest of this panel. we're going over to the house with a couple of bills on the agenda. one bill deals with tobacco smuggling in u.s. territory.
the speaker: the house will come to order. the prayer will be offered by our chaplain, father conroy. chaplain conroy: let us pray. gracious god, we give you thanks for giving us another day in this chamber, where the people's house gathers, we pause to offer you gratitude for the gift of this good land on which we live and for this
great nation which you have inspired in developing over so many years. continue to inspire the american people that through the difficulties of these days we might keep liberty and justice alive in our nation and in the world. grant an extra measure of wisdom and perseverance to the members of this house that the difficulties facing our nation might be addressed to the benefit of all. give to us and all people a vivid sense of your presence that we may learn to understand each other, to respect each other, to work with each other, to live with each other and to do good to each other. so shall we make our nation great in goodness and good in its greatness. may all that is done this day be for your greater honor and glory, amen. the speaker: the chair has examined the journal of the
last day's proceedings and announces to the house his approval thereof. pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1, the journal stands approve the pledge of allegiance will be led by the gentlelady from california, mrs. capps. mrs. capps: i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the speaker: the chair will entertain up to 15 requests for one-minute speeches on each side of the aisle. for what purpose does the gentleman from montana rise? without objection, so ordered. mr. danes: mr. speaker, our -- mr. daines: our founders believe civil rights occupy the highest rung on the liberties
ladder. the obama administration has fallen short. i know that my faith doesn't begin and end at the doors of our church. living the principles of whatible is -- of what i believe is a key part of my faith. under the affordable care act, religious institutions and employers as well as employers who have religious and moral convictions are stripped of their freedoms. religious institutions and employers are forced to pay for coverage of contraceptive measures. health care providers don't have the freedom to are-fuse to perform abortion procedures they are morally opposed to. that is a violation of the first amendment. that is why i am proud to help introduce the health care conscience rights act which will uphold the constitutional rights of religious freedom and uphold our moral calling to practice life-affirming health care. thank you, i yield back my time.
the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from new york rise? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, this week i joined a tour of the sighs of the civil rights struggle, including across -- a walk across the edmund pettus bridge. mr. israel: -- mr. higgins: it upholds the need for the supreme court to uphold the law. meanwhile this congress we should be working to alleviate the lon likes at polling places.
it is my hope the supreme court and this congress will honor the struggle in the years ahead. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from michigan rise? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. thank you for letting me speak today. before i came to washington, i was a high school teacher. to be a good teacher, i had to make things understandable for my students in the classroom. with the budget, i knew that had to be an easier way to explain the numbers i was looking at to the people who sent me to washington. thomas jefferson once wrote that an informed public was vital to our couldn'ting democracy. i'd like to share with you how the sequester affects federal spending. spending is expected to be around $3.8 trillion.
that's the number $38 followed by 11 zeros. mr. bentivolio: the sequester is $85 billion, the number 85 followed by nine zeros. that's a lot of money. the best way to understand these numbers is to take eight zeros off of both of them. the president is complaining that we're taking an equivalent of $850 from a budget of $38,000. this is all pretty hypocritical after he forced hardworking americans who have to live on $38,000 a year to pay another $760 or so in increased taxes as part of his fiscal cliff deal. the people in my district want us to get serious about the enormous spending that's happening here in congress. we should be able to have a reduction in -- thank you very much, i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the
gentleman is reminded to avoid references -- inappropriate references to the president. for what purpose does gentleman from rhode island seek recognition? mr. since leaney: i ask unanimous consent to address the -- mr. cicilline: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. i rise to recognize a small business that has been notified that because of sequester, their contract will be reduced and i met with a company whose f.d.a. approval of a life-saving drug will likely be delayed because of sequestration. countless other businesses across the country are facesing similar challenges because congress refused to take action to avoid the sequestration. sequestration isn't an answer, it's a penalty that goes into effect because the republicans and democrats didn't work together to solve the deficit problem.
we spend a lot of time fighting in washington. now it's time to work together to reach a common sense solution on this issue. congressman chris van hollen has offered a detailed alternative to sequestration that i'm proud to co-sponsor that would cut spending responsibly, adopt the buffett rule and preserve the medicare guarantee for seniors. rather than pointing fingers, we should be looking at this and other reasonable alternatives that would provide critical relief for working families right now. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from oklahoma seek recognition? mr. lankford: i rise to be able to pay honor to a man who deserves honor. march 1 would have been ralph waldo ellison, we know him as ralph ellison, his 100th birthday. ralph ellison is a proud son of oklahoma city. he's a graduate of douglas high school in oklahoma city. he hopped trains to tuskegee to
go to tuskegee college on a music scholarship. he's a musician and the writer of "the invisible man," the defining work of african-american literature in the 1950's and is still a defining work to point our culture to not ignore racial injustice, social injustice and economic injustice that still occurs in our nation today. his work ethic, his fargs education, and his passion for justice is a great example to all americans. i rise to honor a great oklahoma citizen, ralph ellison, and begin a one-year celebration of his 100th birthday. with that, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from california seek recognition? without objection the gentlelady is recognized for one minute.
ms. matsui: this year marks a turning point in the freedom of armenian people in aser buy january. let's take a minute -- in azerbaijan. ms. chu: for the next two years, the armenian population was the target of racially motivated pogroms. hundreds were wounded in attacks in three areas. in 1991, the area declared independence, becoming a democratic state committed to freedom and respect for human rights. today the people of the region are still forced to live under authoritarian rule. as we commemorate their century-long struggle, let us not forget their quest for autonomy and justice.
the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? >> i request unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized. mr. thompson: the united states treasury received more than any time in the history of our nation yet we spend a third more than we take in. we don't have a revenue problem wembing a spending problem. the budget control act signed last year was a good first step, half of which has been put in motion. with the failure to achieve the other half, those cuts are going into effect in sequestration. can the cuts be made in a way that cuts waste? absolutely, but only if the president works with the congress. if the sequester takes full effect, the nation's intouget a path to continue to grow over
the next decade. our national debt will continue to grow crowding out the nation's ability to provide for the most in need. we have a spending problem, not a revenue problem. more taxes won't solve it but a little more leadership sure would help. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from california seek recognition? >> to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlelady is recognized. mrs. capps: i rise in honor of national school breakfast week. we know that the simple act of a child eating a healthy breakfast can have dramatic effects not only on their health but on their academic performance. i'm co-share chair of the school health and safety caucus, i was honored to join the share our strength no kid hungry campaign, discussing last week at a briefing the importance of the school breakfast program. i was proud to vote for the bipartisan healthy hunger-free kids act of 2010 that helped expand the school breakfast program but i'm disheartened
only half of eligible students are participating. we can do better. i spent years as a school nurse and i saw firsthand how hunger can cause children to lack focus in school, often get sick and eventually fall mifpblede that's why students are encouraged to eat and also provided with a breakfast on the day of a big test but we need to make sure they eat breakfast every day. we put the school breakfast program in place and we need to increase awareness and ensure access for all eligible students. i encourage my colleagues to join me in recognizing national school breakfast week. after all, breakfast is the most important meal of the day. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection the gentleman is recognized. >> thank you, mr. speaker. it doesn't seem like good leadership practice for the president to be going around the country to remind americans
he failed to prevent sequestration. to each his own. unfortunately, sequestration is helping us all. why should he have shackled us all with sequestration? the truth is the president's inability to lead has shackled us. the truth is, the president has not only a spending problem, but a denial problem. make no mistake, mr. speaker. sequestration is here. i implore the president to come back, work with congress and quit campaigning in the media. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from california seek recognition? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlelady is recognized for one minute. . ms. hahn: thank you, mr. speaker. congress' failure to avert sequestration with a balanced and responsible plan before march 1 tedline is not just sad, it's inexcusable. the ram if i cailingses -- ramifications of failure are anything but artificial. they are real and severement while the sequestration process has begun, it is not too late to
work together to put us back on the right path. funny enough, democrats and republicans actually agree on one thing, that we can and must adjust the way we spend money, but we have dramatically different ideas about the best approach. democrats in congress have a balanced approach, which includes spending cuts and revenue through closing tax loopholes to reduce our debt. this sequestration plan is not the answer to dealing with our deficits and neither is another 11th hour temporary solution. we owe it to the american people to move the forward and come to a compromise on a real plan that will increase revenue from sources other than slashing critical programs. i ask unanimous consent to bring up h.r. 699, a balanced bill to replace the sequester with spending cuts and revenues. the speaker pro tempore: under the guidelines consistently issued by successive speakers as recorded on page 752 of the
house rules manual, the chair is constrained not to entertain the gentlelady's request unless it is cleared by the bipartisan floor and committee leaderships. for what purpose does the gentlelady from washington seek recognition? mrs. mcmorris rodgers: to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlelady is recognized for one minute. mrs. mcmorris rodgers: thank you, mr. speaker. last week i sat around the table with a group of young people, ma lenials, who wanted to talk with me about solving our nation's spending problem. they want all the same thing -- a solution to washington spending problem today to stop hurting america's youth tomorrow. i heard from one young college student who had just recently graduated. she said i was excited to embrace all the opportunities that america had to offer, only to have many people tell me to expect five years of unemployment. unfortunately these challenges are not unique, and their
experiences are not uncommon. the national debt is more than a $16 trillion price tag. it's more than just a number. washington's out-of-control spending threatens the next generation of america's leaders from finding jobs after they grade wait, and having the tools they need -- graduate and having the tools they need top keep america competitive. why? because spending is a problem. so we will continue to urge the democrats who to work with us to cut spending in a responsible way. republicans keep fighting for smarter spending cuts and most of all for an economy in which young people are afforded the opportunities they deserve. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from michigan seek recognition? >> unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, it's now march 5 and sequestration cuts are starting to take effect. mr. kildee: instead of working
together to find a compromise that would avoid these automatic spending cuts, house republicans stood by and watched the march 1 deadline come and go. now $85 billion in deep indiscriminate cuts that will eliminate 31,000 michigan jobs are upon us. these cuts will harmony mi families and slash programs that my constituents rely on every day. many of the most desired consequences of the sequester won't be felt immediately, the truth is due to republican inaction, the wheels are now in motion and we are on a course that has real negative impacts on millions of meshes -- millions of americans. congress should be working on finding a bipartisan solution to avoid these indiscriminate cuts. democrats put forth a plan to stop the sequester. i know, i co-sponsored it. house republicans would not even let it come to the floor for a vote.
mr. speaker, we need to work on an approach that will fix sequestration while reducing the deficit responsibly. i stand ready to act. so do my democratic colleagues. let's get to work. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minutes. mr. pits: mr. speaker -- mr. pitts: today capitol hill is hosting a blind lar from china. a few moments ago i had the honor of meeting with him as he continues to advocate for the freedom of the chinese people. his amazing story of escape from house arrest is a great encouragement for all in china suffering under political persecution. the authorities could not silence him as he sought justice for victims, forced abortion, and environmental abuse. the story of chinese's rise is not about the success of an automatic government, it's the story of a people whose ingenuity and vigor have been unleashed after keaks of repression.
china has developed not because of smart planning but because the people have used a relatively small amount of economic freedom to transform their nation. given more freedom i believe there is no limit to how china will grow and how our people will impact the world. we must support chen and other human rights protectors as they seek justice for their people. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from louisiana seek recognition? >> ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, as a resident of louisiana, sportsman's paradise, i'm a strong supporter of the second amendment. however, i do not ascribe to the belief that congress has no role in responding to the gun violence epidemic plaguing communities like new orleans, chicago, and detroit. mr. richmond: according to the f.b.i., 1,464 people were killed by a firearm in new orleans between 2008 and 2011. that's 1,464 families who will
never see their loved ones again. we can't afford to do nothing. we can no longer be the do-nothing congress. we have a moral obligation to reduce the product epidemic of gun violence in this country. so i urge my colleagues in congress to join with me in standing with the victims and families of gun violence to approve legislation that invests in our mental health system. institutes more rigorous background checks, and places a ban on assault rifles and high capacity magazines. even increment progress means a few less heartbroken families. i don't want to see another child fall victim to ourselfish efforts to preserve what obviously needs to change. mr. speaker, as i yield i remind my colleagues in congress that the life we save may be our own. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from maryland seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is
recognized. mr. harris: mr. speaker, in january the president asked hardworking taxpayers to contribute 2% more of their hard-earned paychecks to the federal government in the form of a payroll tax increase. they had to cut their household budgets by 2%. the president's see quester that went into effect last friday called for a less than 2% decrease in government spending, but the president now thinks the 2% is too much to cut from each federal dollar. we all know the president's see quester is probably -- sequester is not the right way to control spending because it cuts programs across the board. but we all know this country has a spending problem and we need to get it under control. i can't help but think if the american people had to just cut 2% from their budgets, why can't the federal government? if hardworking taxpayers had to figure out how to manage with 2% less, can't the federal government figure out how to spend two less pennies out of every federal dollar? i yield back my time.
the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from new hampshire seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlelady is recognized. ms. kuster: mr. speaker, because the congress refuses to compromise, across-the-board spending cuts known as the sequester and uncertainty around the federal economy and the budget are casting a cloud over our entire economy. in new hampshire we are already seeing the impact of these cuts. right now there is a federal prison in berlin, new hampshire, with over 100 open jobs, but funding fights in washington are preventing granite staters from filling them. there is a salem company, microprecision technologies that wants to hire more workers, but sequestration is creating uncertainty and standing in the way. there are technicians in new hampshire's national guard who want to do their job, but deep cuts to defense means they are
facing the possibility of furloughs. these are all examples of businesses that will have to delay hiring, people who will lose their jobs simply because democrats and republicans will not compromise. this is not what responsible governing looks like. we owe it to new hampshire families to work across the aisle, responsibly reduce the deficit, and stop these mindless cuts. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from the district of columbia seek recognition? ms. norton: to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentlelady is recognized for one minute. ms. norton: mr. speaker, republicans cry that the president and democrats are crying wolf. about sequester cuts and furloughs. well, the wolf is already biting . in my hand is a furlough notice
from the u.s. attorney for the district of columbia. in d.c. the u.s. attorney still handles local crimes for this big city, as well as some of the most important federal matters, including terrorism suspects. to meet sequester cuts, the u.s. attorneys notice says there will be up to 14 days, that's two weeks, of furlough days for u.s. attorneys and other personnel. on furlough days, the notice says, u.s. attorneys and other staff are not committed to come to the office to volunteer. mr. speaker, the problem with making sequester is budget rather than a product as intended is not the 2%. it's the compression up front in a short period of time. the american people who depend upon u.s. attorneys deserve better than a deliberate and avoidable public safety furlough.
the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from texas seek recognition? ms. jackson lee: unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlelady is recognized for one minute. ms. jackson lee: mr. speaker, i enthusiastically rise to support john conyers, h.r. 900, of which i am an original co-sponsor, that is a thoughtful response to legislation that was really hostage taking and that is the passage of sequestration of some almost two years ago. everyone knows it was the need for the debt ceiling to be raised that generated it, but i'm not about excuses. and h.r. 900 simply eliminates the sequester provision in the budget reconciliation act. it is thoughtful, it allows us to proceed. however, we will not be able to
pass it because our friends on the other side of the aisle are celebrating about the $85 billion in cuts across the board hurting seniors, children, and families. and then of course they want to acknowledge these are the president's fault. well, the president is willing not to look at poll numbers to be able to fight to support, enhance revenues, and spending cuts. thank you, mr. president, for leading. for those who say nothing has happened, it's because it has not happened yet, but i will tell you the continuation of sequester is going to hurt the american people and kill jobs. the continuing resolution that devastates those discretionary or nondiscretionary projects of head start and education will also hurt the american people. let's pass h.r. 900, begin a process that the american people can buy into, a budget that is fair with taxes and spending cuts that work on behalf of the american people. i yield back, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman
from florida seek recognition? >> unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> will the me begin by saying, i represent a district in south florida that is made up of middle class families and neighborhoods like westchester and the florida keys. families who live in this region don't care about ideological debate of the left or right. they simply know the difference between right and wrong. and ladies and gentlemen, the sequestration is wrong. the key west reporter reported 600 civilian workers in key west naval base will be furloughed. mr. garcia: this will hurt small businesses and families. reports also say funding for work study programs at schools like miami-dade college, florida international university, and florida keys community college will be cut.
the "miami herald" reported that air traffic control workers will be furloughed at the beginning of april. i respectfully ask my colleagues to put their differences aside and get to work. i urge the speaker to bring up h.r. 699, a balanced bill to he replace sequester with spending cuts and revenues. thank you, mr. speaker. . the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlelady from hawaii seek recognition? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for one minute. ms. gabbard: i am pleased to welcome a guest from hawaii. i was contacted by a constituent who wanted to set up a capitol tour of her
80-year-old mother. she wants to see the work of her great, great grandfather. he was best known for the murals painted in the capitol including the "apotheosis of washington" and others. this friday, mary lou and her mother will receive a unique tour with the architect of the capitol to highlight the paintings and to bring mary lou closer to her very talented great, great grandfather. happy 0th birthday mary lou. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> to address he house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one
minute. >> the bill before us is a joke. it is only a few sentences, all it does is ask the president to include in his budget a simple equation that provides the -- divides the projected deficit by the number of taxpayers. it doesn't take a bill to do this, it just takes a calculator. if the house republican caucus wants to do a math problem for the american people, i can save everyone some time and money. mr. takano: $845 billion, the estimated deficit, divided by $ 158 million, the number of taxpayers, $50,000. done. why have this bill when we can solve the math problem by doing it. i shouldn't have to come to the floor to do this and yet my republican friends -- any of my republican friends could have called me and i would have
walked them through that simple equation. my constituents face an unemployment rate of 11%, higher than the national average. they need leadership from congress to help them find jobs, not gimmicks disguised as legislation. our constituents didn't envision congress assigning math homework. if my friends thope other side of the aisle want to talk about you were ins, i'd be happy to. zero, the numb of job this is bill creates. 750,000 the potential job losses if the republicans refuse to stop the sequester. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the chair announces the speaker's appointment pursuant to the rule of the following member on the part of the house to the congressional unit to the people's republic of china. the clerk: mr. walz of minnesota.
the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, the chair will postpone further proceedings today on which a recorded vote or the yeas and nays are ordered or on which the vote incurs objection under clause 6 of rule 20, record votes on postponed questions will be taken later. for what purpose does the gentleman from indiana seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 668 to amend section 1105-a of title 31 united states code that budget submission of the president of the united states include the debt per person and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the bill. the clerk: h.r. 331, to provide that the budget of the president of the united states to congress include an estimate of the tax debt per person and
for other person. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from indiana, mr. messer, and the gentleman, mr. van hollen, each will control 20 minutes. mr. messer: i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on h.r. 668 currently under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the chair recognizes the gentleman from indiana. mr. messer: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. messer: thank you, mr. speaker. i want to thank budget committee chairman paul ryan and ranking member chris van hollen for allowing the house to consider this measure which will require the president's annual budget submission to congress to include the cost per tax payer of the deficit. for each year the budget is projected to result in a deficit. this bill is based on one simple principle, that each hardworking american taxpayer deserves to know how much the
deficit costs them each year. this requirement would be a powerful reminder to the president and congress that our decisions have real world consequences for hardworking taxpayers. it's long pastime to hold washington accountable for its wasteful spending. the massive national debt has ballooned to an unsustainable level because washington has refused to make tough choices. instead, simply spending money we don't have and ignoring the explosive growth of entitlements. this abdication of responsibility is delaying the inevitable until there may not be any good choices left. mr. speaker, i'd like to stop here and reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the chair recognizes the gentleman from maryland. mr. van hollen: thank you, mr. speaker. as one of the earl wrer speakers said during the one-minutes, this bill simply requires a math calculation and we have absolutely no objection to doing that, as the gentleman may know, about a month ago, we
passed an amendment that did virtually the same thing. i do wonder why it is we think the president's bet we are a calculator than congress because what this does require simply is you take the deficit and divide it by the number of taxpayers but we're certainly fine to have transparency and have the president put that in his budget as part of his submission as well. our concern is that this really doesn't address the fundamental question that we're facing here in the congress. number one, making sure we get the economy kicked into full gear and jobs. and number two, reducing the deficit in a smart and balanced way over a period of time. so that we're not balancing the budget on the backs of our seniors, we're not violating commitments we made to seenor, we're not cutting into education funding for our kids, which is important to making sure that the economy grows and they have opportunities in their lives and that we do that
in a smart way that doesn't in the process flult fewer american jobs system of the real number we should be focused on here today is 750,000. because 750,000 is the number of jobs that the independent, nonpartisan congressional budget office says will be lost so long as the sequester that began march 1 remains in place through the end of this year. let me say that again. so long as the sequester that started on march 1 remains in place through the end of the calendar year, the independent, nonpartisan congressional budget office says we will have 750,000 fewer american jobs. it's not president obama's number, not my number, it's an independent number. and the chairman of the federal reserve, ben bernanke was on the hill, testifying, just last week and made similar
predictions. they have both, both the chairman of the federal reserve, ben bernanke, as well as the congressional budget office, say our economic growth between now and the end of the year, will be reduced by a full one third if this sequester remains in place. so that's what this house should be doing and today, later today, for the fourth time this year, for the fourth time this year, mr. speaker, i will go on behalf of my colleagues in the democratic caucus to the rules committee and ask for the opportunity to vote on a piece of legislation that would replace that se quest for the a smart and balanced way and in a way that doesn't result in 750,000 fewer american jobs. now you would think our colleagues would want to vote on something like that instead of voting on a bill that just requires a math calculation
which is fine but doesn't do anything about jobs and doesn't actually do anything to reduce the deficit, but we've not been given that opportunity. so i would just ask my colleagues, why is it so important to bring a bill to the floor that asks the president to do another math calculation, which we all can support, and not bring to the floor of the house a bill that would actually prevent the loss of 750,000 johns and present a balanced plan to reducing the deficit in a way that doesn't harm the economy. that really is the question here today, mr. speaker. maybe at some point we'll get an answer and maybe this house will live up to its promise to be the people's house and we'll actually get a vote on our fourth request, i'm not holding my breath but it would be nice if those commitments were kept as well. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from indiana is recognized. mr. messer: thank you, mr.
speaker. i appreciate representative van hollen and his comments. as he well know, chamber has twice considered sequester replacement bills put forth by house republican leadership, voted on and passed out of this chamber. the alternatives are clear. appreciate his recognition that this simple little calculation, while admittedly not going to change the planet earth, it is important in providing budget transparency and helping the american taxpayer understand how much money we're spending here. we often hear as you're out in town hall meetings, how much is $1 trillion? what this bill shows is if you take $1 trillion, if that's the deficit in a given year, and divide it by 145 million taxpayers we have, it adds up to about $6,800 a taxpayer we are adding to our debt every year. back where i come from in
indiana, sixth congressional district, that's a lot of money. besidest the number 750,000, i would concede that $85 billion is a lot of money. but it represents about 2% of what we spend as a nation every year in our $3.6 billion budget. i came to the house floor yesterday and held up two pennies, representing the two cents, 2%, the two cents out of every dollar that we're asking congress to trim out of our federal budget. and does anybody in america really believe that our federal government is so efficient and so effective we can't afford to trim two cents out of every dollar. clearly we can do this in a more sensible way. i know of no one in either chamber who is not arguing we ought to find a more sensible way to bring these reductions forward. but we bring them forward -- but bring them forward we must. with that, mr. speaker, i would like to yield one minute to the distinguished gentleman from new jersey, mr. fware rhett.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. garrett: i thank the speaker, i thank the gentleman. right now the national debt in this country is over $16 trillion. a third of that was rung up just in president obama's administration. some outside expert says what does that translate to you and me? the average taxpayer may be in debt to $11,000 -- to $111,000 to the u.s. government because of that. on on top of that, this is the further time this president this white house has failed to follow the law and submit a budget to the house on time. when he finally does, i hope this budget differs from his first one which were riddled with red ink and had no intent obalance, none, not five year, 10 years, 15 year, they never balance. in short, his budgets have been an economic disaster. and because of that, maybe that's why there has been bipartisan opposition to his budgets. in the senate which is democratically controlled, he
got absolutely zero support for his budgets in the past. so it's high time this president get serious about the deficits and acknowledge that we -- the frivolous spending is part of the problem and address the issues with appropriate budget. i support this legislation before us. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maryland is recognized. mr. van hollen: thank you, mr. speaker. the floor manager mentioned that two times our republican colleagues have put forth an alternative to the sequester. i know the gentleman knows well that we're in a new congress. and starting in january, all the bills that were put forward in the last congress were wiped off the books. they don't have any meaning at this point in time. and this year, since we've been in a new congress, since the election, the number of times our republican colleagues have put forth a proposal to prevent that se quester to replace it, is zero. zero times in this congress.
when it could actually make a difference. and yet today for the fourth time we're going to go and ask for a vote on our proposal. now we're not asking our colleagues to vote for our proposal, although i think that public surveys show the overwhelming majority of the american people would think our alternative to replacing the se quester is a lot better than replacing the sequester but we're not asking our colleagues to vote for it, we're just asking for a vote on it. let's let the people's house do its work. now, we talked about the deficit, there's no argument about the need to recuse our -- reduce our deficits. we just need to do it in a smart way new york a way that doesn't hurt the economy and doesn't cost jobs. . our free throw posal does that. it combines additional cuts over a period of time with cutting tax loopholes that are in the code over a period of time. our republican colleagues keep talking about how bad the
deficit is, we say we agree with you on that, but it apparently isn't bad enough that you would close one single tax loophole in order to reduce the deficit. in fact, that grover nor quiss pledge that's been signed by over 90% of our house colleagues said you promised not to close a single tax loophole for reducing the deficit. you can't get rid of the special treatment of hedge fund managers of the tax code if it's part of an effort to reduce the deficit. how is that serious deficit reduction? so what we have said is, we need to do both. we need to eliminate a lot of those tax preferences and tax breaks for big oil companies and others, and make sensible targeted cuts in other areas and he reduce the deficit in a smartway. and the alternative plan we proposed we are asking a vote on would accomplish the same amount
of deficit reduction as the sequester through this -- through the calendar year, but do it in a way that does not cost 750,000 american jobs, because we don't do it so deeply so quickly. and that's the difference. and that's why bipartisan commissions have recommended the balanced approach to reducing the deficit. again, the numbers for this year, which is the only thing that's relevant in terms of congressional action, is that there have been zero effort, zero times that our colleagues have brought to the floor a proposal to replace the sequester. we are now asking our fourth time this afternoon simply to have a vote. and i hope we can finally get one, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from indiana is recognized. >> mr. speaker, i yield one minute to the distinguished gentlelady from tennessee, mrs. black. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for one minute. mrs. black: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the gentleman for
yielding. i rise today to speak in support of congressman messer's bill, h.r. 668. this requirement would be a powerful reminder to the president and congress on how the decisions regarding our government spending impact the constituents that we serve. despite the fact that on the president's watch we have had four straight years of deficits exceeding $1 trillion, and we still have nearly 23 million americans struggling to find work, the president continues to champion more and more deficit spending as a cure to what ails our struggling economy. but spending money we do not have is not an indefinite. it's a liability that limits the potential and the freedom of the american people and future generations. every man, woman, and filed in america currently owes $52,000
as their share of the national debt. it's time that the president and congress level with the public about the burden of debt that's being placed on the american taxpayers each and every year. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maryland is recognized. mr. messer: i -- mr. van hollen: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from indiana is recognized for two minutes. mr. rokita: i rise in support of this important legislation offered by my good friend from indiana. for more than two years now my colleagues and i have led a family discussion across this country about our debt and deficits. our current national debt stands at over $16.5 trillion, and increases by $4 billion per day. we have $100 trillion, mr. speaker, in unfunded promises coming down the pike. many americans, including some members of this distinguished
body, fail to understand is that these numbers have consequences. our debt and deficits are not simply a series of numbers, they are a reflection of our morality as a people. and what our debt and deficits reveal that for the first time in the history of this country, this generation is preparing to leave the next worse off. i always seem to be able to talk about on one side of this body is how many times something was introduced last year versus this year and somehow expecting a difference. einstein had something to say about repeating something, expecting a different result. would anyone in this room be able to -- stand here and argue that this choice, leaving the next generation worse off, is morally correct? of course not. the out-of-control spending coming from washington will have a devastating impact on future generations, our children, and grandchildren. i recently received a letter from a boy scout in my district who said he is, quote, concerned
and disappointed in the job congress has been doing in the handling of the budget, unquote. unfortunately michael does not have a voice in this conversation. he's too young to vote and of course his children will one day have no voice they will be paying this bill. that's why i support luke messer's bill to continue this conversation with the american people by simply saying to those of us who are taxpayers what we bear in terms of the costs for the government that we now have as inhe efficient and ineffective as it is -- as inefficient and ineffective as it is. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maryland. mr. van hollen: about one month ago we passed a virtually identical provision. so why we are back here on the floor -- again without opposition. i think everybody in this house voted to do this calculation. have it put on the books. why we are here one month later
when the sequester just kicked in doing something that we already did rather than focusing on the issue at hand i think is history to the american people. folks who just read from letters they got from constituents, i think those constituents are going to be asking, why are you doing now what you did 30 days ago when we got all these other burning issues on our plate right now? and at a time when we are asking for a vote on a plan to replace the sequester in a balanced way. for the fourth time. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maryland reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from indiana is recognized. mr. messer: mr. speaker, i yield two minutes to the distinguished gentlelady from tennessee, mrs. blackburn. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from tennessee is recognized for two minutes. mrs. blackburn: thank you, mr. speaker. and i thank the chairman for the time. talking about burning issues, i don't know of anything that is
more pressing than dealing with this nation's debt. you can go back through the pages and look at what admiral mullen had to say on july 6, 2010. the greatest threat to our nation's security is our nation's debt. that is the reason we are here. we are not here for ourselves. we are here for our children and our grandchildren. and making certain that the america that they have, the future that they have, hope and opportunity that they have is going to be greater than anything that we ever possibly could have imagined for ourselves. and isn't that what preserving freedom for posterity is all about? it is about making certain that we hand over freedom in good shape for another generation.
i tell you, if you were looking at the debt clock, it's a pretty telling story, over $16.5 trillion. yesterday the per citizen share of that debt was $52,818. the per taxpayer share was $147,238. now, i know there are some in this body that would like to turn the debt clocks off in the hearing rooms. they just want to ignore it. and supposedly it would go away and we wouldn't have to talk about it and we could just pretend we do not have a spending problem in washington, d.c. but, mr. speaker, that is not reality. that is being completely divorced from reality. in order to defeat a problem, you have to admit that there is a problem. there is a problem with spending in washington. there is a problem with our nation's debt.
i support the good work that has been done by my friend from indiana and encourage all to vote for h.r. 668. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maryland is recognized. mr. van hollen: thank you, mr. speaker. listening to this debate on the floor, you might think that this bill did something to reduce the deficit and the debt. just in case anyone's confused, it does nothing to reduce the deficit and debt. it does ask for a calculation, which we agree with. in fact the gentlelady just did the calculation herself, which begs the why -- question why you need to go through a bill to get somebody to do the calculation. this calculation changes because as all of us have said the deficit goes up and that number changes every day. and so you got to do it every day, but the point is we passed this a month ago, there is no objection to doing a calculation, but this bill does nothing, nothing to reduce the
deficit. in fact it's running up the deficit as we spend taxpayer time right here on the floor of the house. while we continue to ask for a vote, up or down vote, on our plan to replace the sequester so that we don't lose 750,000 american jobs. today will be the fourth time we have asked for this. our republican colleagues have not taken any action in this congress, not one step, nothing, to replace the sequester. that's what we should be dealing with. not a bill that we passed a month ago. not a bill that the gentlelady did a calculation on the floor to achieve the result. let's focus on jobs and reducing the deficit in a smart way by targeting spending cuts in a smart way but also getting rid of those tax breaks that our colleagues seem so whetted to keeping in place. with that i yield one minute to the distinguished democratic leader, ms. pelosi. the speaker pro tempore: the
leader is recognized. ms. pelosi: thank you very much, mr. speaker. i thank the gentleman for yielding and giving me this opportunity to support his proposal, chris van hollen's proposal, as our ranking member on the budget committee, a proposal that is fair, responsible, and balanced. mr. van hollen has put forth an initiative that cuts spending responsibly, ends unnecessary wasteful tax breaks for special interest, and advances the buffet rule, ensuring that millionaires pay their fair share. i think it's really important to note as he did that this would be yet again another time we are coming to the floor asking for the republican leadership to allow a vote in an open congress and open to other ideas that block over and over again the mere consideration of mr. van hollen's proposal on the floor. instead today we are engaged in
subterfuge. what can we do instead of doing what we really need to do and make it look as if we are doing something responsible? yes, ok, let's get the calculation. but let's reduce that deficit. let's reduce that deficit. and it's important to note that this debate happened in a week that we will be taking up the continuing resolution. four days since the sequester went into effect. the continuing resolution that the republicans were putting forth is a bill that reinforces -- reinforces the sequestration. so what does that do federal reserve chairman ben bernanke, take it from him, he told congress last week that the cuts of this size made this quickly would hurt hiring and income, slow the recovery, and cost the economy 750,000 jobs this year, and keep deficits larger than
otherwise. so we are not reducing the deficit by what is really happening on the major legislation coming to this floor last week and this week in terms of sequester and continuing resolution. that's what we should be doing is figuring out a way to get rid of the sequestration. what does sequestration mean? whatever its latin roots, it equals job loss. 750,000 by the estimate of the chairman of the fed. and why are we -- what is the point of all of this? there is an answer. we already have agreed in the continuing resolution, the president and the congress has agreed to $1.2 trillion in spending cuts. we all recognize we must reduce the deficit. we have all agreed to spending cuts of that magnitude. that was in addition to $400 billion of other spending