Skip to main content

tv   U.S. House of Representatives  CSPAN  December 8, 2010 10:00am-1:00pm EST

10:00 am
the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the chair lays before the house a communication from the speaker. the clerk: the speaker's room, washington, d.c., december 8, 2010, i hereby appoint the honorable ed pastor to act as speaker pro tempore on this day, signed, snain bepelosi, speaker of the house of representatives. the speaker pro tempore: this morning our chaplain will be offered by the acting command chaplain of the naval command station in maryland.
10:01 am
the chaplain: let us pray. almighty and everlasting god, we are reminded to worship you and you wiwill direct and guide as. as we recognize your presence in the details of today's activities, discussions and resolutions, we ask that you empower this body of men and women with wisdom that is grounded in compassion for your people. enlighten them, o god, as they struggle with the effects and consequences of life-changing decisions. encourage them with words of honesty, integrity, truth spoken by collegiate members of the united states congress. we thank you, fwod, for the diligence of each representative and the labor of every staff member and the labor of every professional and participant today. continue to bless them as they do the work of your great nation.
10:02 am
now, god, shower each one of us with a double portion of your grace and mercy. let your warm and abundant blessings flow in such a way that this 111th session of congress may experience the sweetness of your joy. to god be the glory, amen. the speaker pro tempore: the chair 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 gentleman from wisconsin. >> i 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 pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from maryland, congressman hoyer is recognized for one minute. more hoyer: i thank the --
10:03 am
mr. hoyer: i thank the speaker for yielding and i welcome crystal whalen, a member of -- of the united states naval corps she serves at the naval air station in maryland where she ministers to sailors, their families, and i might add of the greater community in which i live. she's a native of the st. mare arery's county, she went to study at harvard beginity school. after serving in the ministry for two decades she joined the navy as a chaplain two years ago. today she is proud to serve so closely to the community where she grew up. we thank her as members of the house of representatives not only for gracing us today with our opening prayer, but also for her service to our country and to her community. we thank her for the guidance she provides to our men and
10:04 am
women in uniform and thank her for her words of inspiration to the house today. lieutenant, we appreciate your being with us. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back his time. the chair will are receive a message. the messenger: mr. speaker, a message from the senate. the secretary: mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: madam sec are retear. the secretary: i have been direct inform the house that the senate has passed the early detection and intervention act of 2010, in which the concurrence of the house is requested. the speaker pro tempore: the chair will are entertain up to 15 one-minute requests on each side of the aisle. for what purpose does the gentleman rise? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized. >> i rise this morning before everyone begins their discussions about tax cuts to
10:05 am
raise health concern. i was raised in northeast wisconsin. my father taught me if it's good for business it's going to happen, i'd just like it to be legal. what i'm going to mention is the false idea of medicinal marijuana. there's nothing safe about smoking. there's nothing safe about smoking an illicit product called marijuana. marijuana is universe loyal contaminated with a mold spore and other items that will cost human health this house this body has to do what's best for people. mr. kagen: we need a healthy economy and we need healthy people at work. so don't make the mistake of thinking at any point in time that there's something safe about smoking medicinal marijuana which is a misnomer. so i look forward later today to passing the are resolution 1540 that addresses the illicit production of marijuana on federal lands. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the
10:06 am
gentleman from texas rise? >> mr. speaker, i request permission to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. poe: every time a child is born, the good lord is making a bet on the future of mankind. olivia carolyn shoemaker arrived on monday night, december 6, at seven pounds and 19 1/2 inches. she was affectionately referred to as baby shoe until she was named by her parents. her mother is our youngest child. like her mother kelly, she has her mom's happy spirit. having the intellect of her father anthony, i'm sure she'll be quoting the constitution soon. god sends little girls to the world to soften up the rough edges of dads and soften up
10:07 am
grandfathers like me. i know she was born for a special reason to make a world of difference in a world that just needs little girls. that's just the way it is. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from illinois rise? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> when i was a schoolteacher, i never knew how well my kids were doing until i gave them a test. we need to have a test here today in this chamber. with eneed to test our tolerance, fairness and sense of justice. we need to vote today on the dream act. will we pass that test? will we get an a or an f? those who will grade the tests are are watching. mr. gutierrez: young people's futures are riding on whether we pass this test. their families and communities are watching to see how we do on the test. they want to see if we're compassionate to do what's right. our kids and young people have all passed. they worked hard and planned for
10:08 am
a better future and they love this country, they love america. i urge my colleagues not to fail these kids and reward their love by the passage of the dream act. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from south carolina rise? >> 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. mr. wilson: i am happy the president recognizes tax increases kill jobs as documented by the national federation of independent business, nfib. this resolution protects south carolina from losing 9,000 jobs a year and $3,000 a family of disposable income. i have two corrections. first the death tax must be permanently are repealed as this double taxation destroys family-owned businesses. secly i'm concerned about extending unemployment benefits without paying for them. i understand that hardworking americans find themselves
10:09 am
needing assistance. a common sense solution is to pay for an extension of unemployment benefits with unused stimulus funds. in conclusion, god bless our troops and we'll never forget september 11. congratulations to the lexington county council for recruit 1g00 new jobs. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from illinois rise? >> to address the house. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is are recognized for one minute. >> i rise today in support of the dream act. further, i rise in support of the nation's children and young adults. children who have sadly borne they are brunt of our immigration issues. children who graduated high school and want to continue on to college but can't are receive any help. children who would sign up and fight and die for our country but are seen as ghosts by their host country. in august of 1864, president lincoln wrote, it is not merely for today but for all time to come that we should perpetuate for our children's children this
10:10 am
great and free government which we have all enjoyed all our lives. mr. quigley: nearly 150 years later, we asked to stand up to the same task to perpetuate this great and free government for all our children. i ask my colleagues to support the children and support the dream act. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from new jersey rise? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, as founder and chairman of the congressional constitution caucus, i rise to urge support of my resolution to restore pre-eminence of the constitution in law making. my resolution requires that all house bills appropriately cite an enumerated power in the constitution. this bill does not -- if the bill does not cite that justification it would be subject to a point of order and waived by the rule committees. some of my colleagues would say
10:11 am
all laws are constitutional as long as they support the general welfare. but james madison said, and i quote, for what purpose cowl the enumerated powers be inserted if these and all others were meant to be included in progeneral welfare power. in other words, why does the constitution list specific powers in article i if every conceivable law is basically fair game sni urge my colleagues to support this common sense resolution. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from new york rise? >> to address the house for one minute and revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker, i rise today to note the retirement of a tv icon in my district. mr. tonko: he worked in an
10:12 am
advertising agency. it was during the last 30 years, however, as ho of wgy's top-rated morning news program that don cemented his legacy as one of the most congenial and recognizable personalities of the capple tall region he entertained listeners with his laugh-out-loud sense of humor, his friendly, inquisitive interviews. for 30 years, don was the voice and face behind wgy's annual christmas wish fund drive drive which raised million nrs local charities. he was awarded the marconi award for medium market personality of the year and named best personality by the broadcasters association. to don and his wife sue, i wish you a happy and healthyry tirmente, it's well-herbed, my friend. i yield back the rest of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? >> to address the house for one
10:13 am
minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. >> i rise to -- >> i rise to strongly encourage my colleagues to vote for the dream act. it provides immigration status to young people who are eager to contribute to our work force, economy and armed forces. mr. hinojosa: i want to thank the university of texas pan american and the thousands of students, civil rights groups and business and civil rights leaders who have fought tirelessly to pass the dream act. toifs are recognize alex and another student who fasted for a week to express support for the dream act. i'm grateful to defense
10:14 am
secretary robert gates, former secretary of state colin powell, carlos gutierrez and many chancellors and many university presidents who are underscoring the urgency of passing this dream act. our armed forces need courageous service men and women to encourage our nation's military readiness. i yield back the balance of my time and ask everyone to vote in favor of the dream act. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from massachusetts rise? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, this coming spring, tens of thousands of young people will graduate from high school, many of them at the top of their class, only to discover they have no hope of pursuing their goals because they were brought here illegally. the dream act will allow these young people the opportunity to pursue a pathway to citizenship
10:15 am
while contributing to our country through higher education or military service. mr. olver: young people like marissa, an honor student from my district. she was brought here as a young child from uruguay and grew up considering herself as american as her classmates. her english is as good as yours and mine. her dream was to go to college and become a physician. that dream was crushed when her parents sat her down and told her her family is in the united states illegally. america deserves to have the best and brightest young people like marissa studying at our universities and defending our nation. these students deserve the chance to earn citizenship in the country that is the only homeland they know. it's the moral thing and fair thing to do. i aurge my colleagues to support the dream act. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is are recognized for one minute.
10:16 am
>> thank you, mr. speaker. of course i hope we do have a vote on the dream act. this is a plea to ply colleagues on the other clile -- to my colleagues on the other side of the aisle to prove a spokesman for the bush administration wrong. whatever its legislative fate the dream act is effective at stripping away pretense. opponents of this law don't want earned citizenship for any illegal immigrant. even those personally guilty of no crime, even those who demonstrate their skills and character. the dream act would be a potent incentive for assimilation. but for some assimilation is clearly not the goal. they have no intention of sharing the honor of citizenship with anyone called illegal. even those who came as children have grown up as neighbors and would be willing to give their lives in the nation's cause.
10:17 am
i implore and i request fair consideration and that we prove michael gear sop wrong. my fear is he may be very, very accurate in what this vote represents. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentlelady from new york rise? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlelady is recognized for one minute. mrs. mccarthy: thank you, mr. speaker. today we are going to be voting on h.r. 5987, the seniors protection act. for the second year in a row our seniors have not received a cost of living social security recipients. the consumer price index that is used to calculate the cost of living increase does not take into account where our seniors face on a daily basis. we do need to change the cost of living adjustment calculated, ensure accurately that the rising costs seniors face are addressed. i hope we have an opportunity to address that in the next congress. today, however, we do have a vote coming up for that and i
10:18 am
hope everybody will support it. h.r. 5987 will provide a one-time $250 payment to seniors in place of the annual cost of living. this will help our seniors offset the rising cost that they face. many of us, myself included, introduced legislation in 2009 and today i'm happy that we have come to a conclusion that we need to do this today. i know that the president has said that congress should pass this. i am pleased we are finally taking up this bill today and i ask all of my colleagues to support this. with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back the balance of her time. for what purpose does the gentleman from connecticut rise? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. himes: imagine you wake up one morning to see the u.s. government is sending you under duress to guatemala, mexico, or ukraine. you don't speak the language, never visited. these places are as foreign as foreign can be but you are deported because of a crime of a
10:19 am
parent. that's inhumane. it's dumb economics. the c.b.o. tells us the dream act if we pass it will cut the deficit by $1.4 billion. it's dumb for our security. commonsense gates says that passing the -- commonsense -- secretary of defense gates says passing the bill will help recruiting. we can create a more humane, secure, and economically prosperous nation by passing the dream act today. mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from michigan rise? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, i rise today to discuss a truly extraordinary young man from my district. army staff sergeant william mclauren, known as staff sergeant mac to those who served with him is a field artillery man serving in southern iraq. his unit is assigned to help protect the civilian state department, provincial reconstruction mission that is helping to rebuild iraq. our former colleague, mike
10:20 am
flanagan is serving with the state department in iraq and informed me of his heroism and sacrifice. staff sergeant mac was wounded twice by a sniper. in the first attack he was hit in the backside but did not flinch from completing his mission. he returned to duty only three weeks later without even so much as a limp. several weeks later while patrolling and escorting on an important mission, he was hit again by the same sniper in the chest and shoulder. while his wounds this time are more serious, i'm happy to report that he's expected to make a full recovery and is already trying to make it back to his unit in iraq. staff sergeant mac is a truly extraordinary young man and one we can all be proud of. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentlelady from california rise? >> unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlelady is recognized for one minute. ms. lee: i rise today on behalf of the more than 800,000 young people looking to make better lives for themselves.
10:21 am
i stand with these children and the dream act because it's smart for the future of our country, but it's the right thing to do for these young people. the dream act does not reward illegality, it provides the opportunity to achieve the american dream for a select group of students who deserve to realize this dream. should we further punish these 800,000 young people through deportation and keeping them in legal limbo, or should we allow these highly motivated youth to attend colleges and become productive members of our society? the answer really should be quite obvious. i support the dream act because it is in of course our national interest, but it reflects the best of our american values. and it is long overdue. i urge a yes vote. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back her time. for what purpose does the gentlelady from california rise?
10:22 am
>> mr. speaker, i ask permission to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlelady is recognized for one minute. miss nope: thank you -- mrs. napolitano: thank you, mr. speaker. we have had many exceptional bright students struggling because of their status. sam, a political science degree graduate, came to the united states at the age of 2. a psychology major who would like to become a university professor. another would like to be a psychologist. we need male psychologists. john, a chemical engineer major, mother recently became a silt zen, got killed at a bus stop while waiting to have him become a citizen. robert, a civil engineer, major, livers 34 miles away from college and travels at least seven hours to and from school. so he can get educated. this is just a microcosm of the 800,000 youngsters who were brought to the united states as infants. it is a necessaryity for us to be able to ensure that these young people who have been
10:23 am
trained, educated in the u.s. remain and become our own leaders of tomorrow. dream act is a moral issue. it is the right thing to do. we must pass the dream act. mr. speaker, yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back the balance of her time. for what purpose does the gentlelady from new york rise? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. >> the immigrant children and young adults affected by our clause are as diverse as this country. ms. clarke: my district is home to a signature and diverse immigrant population. according to the census bureau, 47% of the immigrant population that settled in my district between 1980 and 2008 has yet obtained naturalized citizenship. many of those individuals are documented legal residents and some are not. with such a large population, my office has been inundated with instances of young people who are either facing the threat of
10:24 am
deportation to a country they have never known or had no choice in leaving, or they are forced into an .immigration purgatory, whereby the opportunity to obtain higher education and gainful employment are curtailed by the immigrant status. many of these young people have been considered themselves americans, having never truly known their land of birth. we cannot delay passing the dream act any longer. we cannot continue to punish a community of young people that came to this country at no fault of their own. many communities across this nation have nurtured these young people. i support the dream act and urge my colleagues to do the same. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back her time. for what purpose does the gentleman from new jersey rise? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. pane: -- mr. payne: mr. speaker, the dream act would not only benefit undocumented students but it would benefit the country as well. it is estimated that about 65,000 undocumented students graduate from high school after
10:25 am
living in the united states for at least five years. unfortunately because of current law only 5% to 10% ever these students attend college. the remaining 90% to 95% remain unable to find employment appropriate to their level of academic potential and become victims of the criminal justice and social welfare system. earlier this year my home state of new jersey passed the state version of this law recognizing that these students deserve to be rewarded for their hard work and allow opportunity just as their pearce. furthermore, -- peers. acknowledging the fact that more than 30% of the state's sign continueses and engineers with advanced degrees were foreign born in 2006, the economic benefit was taken into account. it was under stood that beyond this measure being morally just, it is an economic measure as well. with that i ask that we support the dream act.
10:26 am
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, i rise to offer my unconditional and complete support for the american dream act. this bill is intended to address the situation faced by those young people, among us, who were brought to the united states years ago as undocumented immigrant children. some of those children didn't even know they were born in a foreign country. these children have grown up and stayed here, stayed in school, they kept out of trouble, they dream of becoming a full-fledged american, but are prevented from doing so because they lack the legal status. the american dream act would provide an avenue for these young people to acquire legal status, pursue a college degree or join the military and give back to the community and to the country that they consider home.
10:27 am
i have worked with these students. i represent a border state. these children are intelligent, they are smart, and not only that they love this country. mr. ortiz: as a veteran eam member of the house armed services committee i recognize the benefits of the dream act can bring to this nation. i would ask my colleagues to support this bill. it's a good bill. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 10, the chair will postpone further preetings today on motions to suspend the rules 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. recorded votes on postponed questions will be taken later.
10:28 am
the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from north dakota seek recognition? mr. pomeroy: i move to suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 5987, the seniors protection act
10:29 am
of 2010, as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 5987, a bill to ensure that seniors, veterans, and people with disabilities who receive social security and certain other federal benefits receive a one-time $250 payment in the event that no cost of living adjustment is payable in 20121. -- 2011. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from north dakota, mr. pomeroy, and the gentleman from texas, mr. johnson, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from north dakota. mr. pomeroy: mr. speaker, i'd like to ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks on h.r. 5987, the bill now under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. pomeroy: i now yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. pomeroy: in october, the social security commission announced there would be no cost of living adjustment, or cola, for social security benefits in
10:30 am
2011. . this is a result of economic conditions, not due to action or inaction on the part of congress. congress provided for an automatic cost of living adjustment so seniors wouldn't face year after year of rising prices for daily expenses with no increase in benefit. unfortunately, due to the formula, next month will mark the first time since 1975 when the automatic cola won't increase for the second year in a row. because the recovery is slow, prices tracked by bureaucrats measuring these items find it has not reached the peak of inflation in 2008, caused by the spike of energy prices. it's an anomaly within the formula, providing no cost of living adjustment. any of us visiting with our seniors and the senior citizens across this great land
10:31 am
understand something quite different has occurred within the life of our seniors. they are experiencing higher prices. in fact, this is causing a hardship for so many, given the fact that social security benefit levels are really very modest, $14,000 on average per retiree, $13,000 on average in north dakota. we estimate that some more than 30 million americans get most of their income from social security and many millions of americans get all of their income from social security. so basically, they have their benefit levels flatlined at a time when they're encountering higher costs, reducing their quality of life experience and disappointing them greatly about social security. the bill before us would provide 54 million americans with a $250
10:32 am
payment in lieu of cola. for those at the very bottom this means a lot. about $20 a month, cost of living adjustment to help them with higher costs. i want us to think for just a moment, mr. speaker, about this very modest $250 payment, $20 a month, in contrast to some of the relief measures being tossed around as negotiations proceed to conclude this session. we heard about a deal the white house has been discussing with the senate that would provide, for example, estate tax provision representing a wind fall to the wealthiest few -- a windfall to the wealthiest few families in this country. at a time when congress is considering measures that would provide vast amounts of relief to the wealthiest who need it
10:33 am
the least, you would think we'd be able to measure support for $250 to seniors living on social security checks unable to meet their expenses in light of higher cost bus no cola. the bill before us should pass in any sense of fairness, particularly at this time of the holidays. it was supported by aarp, the national committee to preserve social security and medicare, the strengthen social security campaign, the disabled american veterans and the wider opportunities for women's organizations. i encourage my colleagues to support h.r. 5987, the senior protection act of 2010 and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i hate references to what we're doing today, the bipartisan congressional effort to
10:34 am
establish the cost of living adjustment, or cola, formula, beginning in 1975 to make sure that social security benefits retain their purchasing power for our nation's seniors. the cola formula is designed to achieve a specific goal, triggering increased prices in social security benefits. mr. johnson: in 2009, seniors received the largest cola since 1982 because of a temporary spike in energy prices. since then, energy prices fell and even though the inflation rate was negative between 2008 and 2009, benefits were not reduced in 2010. instead they remain constant. that's because the law prevents benefits from being reduced when prices decline. and that helps seniors in these tough economic times.
10:35 am
since prices have remained short of the peak they reached back in 2008, the social security administration announced there will not be a cola in 2011, either. those seniors are understandably disappointed, the cola formula is working as intended. the good news is most seniors don't face an increase in medicare part b costs when there's no increase in cola. also last year seniors received a $250 economic recovery payment through the stimulus. while many seniors are hurting so too are american working families. during an end run around the current bipartisan cola formula without even one hearing to examine whether it's working or the many options for change our colleagues have offered is wrong.
10:36 am
sending out $250 checks to people like ross perot or warren buffett or to the members of this house who may be eligible for them as this bill does is wrong. sending $250 checks to prisoners or dead people as social security has done in the past is wrong. increasing our nation's crushing deficit on the backs of our children by an additional $14 billion is wrong. unfortunately, our side is unable to right these wrongs as we are prohibited from offering any amendments to this bill. i urge my colleagues to vote no and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves his time. the gentleman from north dakota. mr. pomeroy: i yield one minute to mr. higgins of new york. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is are recognized. mr. higgins: i rise in strong support of the seniors
10:37 am
protection act. since 1975, seniors depended on a cost of living adjustment to meet their rising expenses. they have received an adu.s.ment every year without fail until last year. now far second year in a row at a time when seniors have seen savings and home value drops and prices for prescriptions and other bills rise, they will also see their benefits frozen yet again. i believe we must examine the cola formula to ensure it meets the needs of seniors but in the meantime we must provide an increase to their benefits today so they can pay their expenses. i support this legislation which will provide a one-time payment of $250 to social security recipients in the upcoming year. i support my -- urge my colleagues to support this legislation and yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas. mr. johnson: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from north dakota. mr. pomeroy: i yield one minute
10:38 am
to the gentleman from iowa, mr. loebsack. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. loebsack: i thank you for yielding. and thank you for your great leadership on this issue as well, mr. prime. what i hear time and again from iowa seniors is that their expenses are rising. they pay too much already for prescriptions and other health-related costs, transportation, and heating for their homes. to make matters worse, their other retirement income has lost value in this recession. despite this fact, as was mentioned, there will be no cola again for seniors and veterans in 2011 and this is simply unfair. no senior should retire into poverty after a lifetime of hard work. that is why i strongly support of the seniors protection act, which will provide our seniors with $250 to help defray the cost increases they are experiencing that aren't recognized by the cola formula. i am an original co-sponsor of
10:39 am
this bill and a i have strongly advocated for its passage. i plan to vote for it today because i believe it is the right thing to do for our seniors. thank you. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas. mr. johnson: i'll continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas continues to reserve. the gentleman from north dakota. mr. pomeroy: i yield one minute to the gentlelady from florida, ms. kaptur. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for one minute. ms. kaptur: good morning, mr. speaker. i rise in strong support of the seniors protection act and thank my colleague, mr. pomeroy, from north dakota for his tremendous leadership. my older neighbors throughout the tampa bay area in florida have shared with me that since the are recession hit in 2007, they've struggled with property value declines, swings in the value of their retirement savings, rising costs of medicare, so it's particularly troubling when the social security administration
10:40 am
announced that for the second year in a row, there would be no cost of living increase. ms. castor: they just couldn't believe it. it appears the cola is not adequate taking account of the economic situation our older neighbors are facing today. i urge my colleagues to vote in favor of the seniors -- seniors protection act. let's keep the fundamental promise of social security that no matter what happens in a person's life, our older neighbors will continue to live in dignity. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas. mr. johnson: might i inquire if my fellow over there has any further speakers? mr. pomeroy: we do have three additional speakers. mr. johnson: that's fine, i'll reserve my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from north dakota. mr. pomeroy: i yield one minute to the gentleman from indiana, mr. donnelly.
10:41 am
i take that back. i yield one minute to the gentleman from wisconsin, mr. kagen. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. kagen: thank you for yielding. i rise to join my colleagues in support of this necessary action. what is it our colleagues on the other side of the aisle don't like about senior citizens? what is it that you don't understand about people being in need? it's $250 that is needed now, helping our people, our constituents, and for me, my patients to get their necessary prescription drugs. people need help now, not next year. thank you and i endorse this bill very strongly. thank you for the time and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas. mr. johnson: i continue to yield. the speaker pro tempore: continues to yield his time. the gentleman from north dakota. mr. pomeroy: i yield one minute to the gentleman from connecticut, mr. courtney. mr. courtney: here's the reality today of rising prices for
10:42 am
america's seniors and retired veterans. from october, 2009, to october, 20 10, the following commodities which consume the lion's share of senior household budgets, home heating oil up 13%, prescription drug prices 3.9%, medical care 3.6%. despite relentless increases, the labor department's formula spit out a 0% cola because the cost of things it counts like flat screen tv's, personal computers and recreation activities went down. for seniors and veterans dependent on social security and v.a. pentagons, the latest flat screen television and personal computers aren't high on their shopping list. congress needs to intervene for the benefit of seniors and retired veterans by passing this mash for emergency help with the real world budgets of elderly
10:43 am
americans. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas. mr. johnson: continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from north dakota. mr. pomeroy: i have no additional speakers. i believe i have the right to close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas. mr. johnson: thank you, mr. speaker. you know, we're getting calls from our constituents telling us that they don't want the cola to continue in just giving money away. what they're interested in is tax decreases without yielding any more, i would say that this is ill-advised at this time and we should not just throw more money at a problem that we can solve and have solved already. so i urge my colleagues to oppose this legislation and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas yields back his time. the gentleman from north dakota.
10:44 am
mr. pomeroy: for purposes of closing on our side, i yield to mr. wiener of new york. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. weiner: how much time is remaining? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman has 11 1/2 minutes. mr. weiner: thank you very muchism appreciate the sponsor of the legislation. it is not as my good friend characterized it throwing money or giving money away. this is whether you take people who have helped build this couldn't are troy what it is, who have paid into the social security trust fund and who very often rely entirely on social security for their support. these are people who, frank arery, -- frankly, on average, are making in the magnitude of $16,000, $17,000, $20,000 for the entire year. the social security cola was passed in the 1970's with a logical rationale, to allow seniors to keep up with the high cost of living. the mistake that we continually make and perhaps it's because the law is written incorrectly,
10:45 am
perhaps it's a misinterpretation, is that we assume for a moment that when inflation is at a low level like it is today, it means costs haven't risen for seniors. but if you look at the thing -- at the things seniors are actually buying, at the things they need to survive, housing, health care, their very basics for food, all of these things are actually experiencing rising costs. . it is inic when i hear my good friends on the other side talk about the need for austerity, it always seems to be it's the people in the middle class and struggling to make it that are the ones supposed to take the hit. still social security beneficiaries are the broad cross section of this country. we have made a contract with them. i have to tell you i know that the new republican congress was elected on a platform of eviscerating social security as we know it. that's not a rhetorical talking point.
10:46 am
if you look at the book written quite literally the book written by the person who is going to be the chairman of the budget committee on the republican side, he suggests turning large portions of the social security trust fund to the stock market. yeah. that's their belief. that's what they think the lesson is that was learned. so there really is a question here about who are we fighting for? mr. pomeroy and the people that are going to vote yes on this bill say we want to fight for senior citizens who are struggling to make it each and every day. they are the ones that believe that social security isn't some kind of bizarre socialist plot, but it is a way we have created a safety net. and that's all it is. nobody, i say to my colleagues, collects their social security check and says, whooo, i'm rich. they collect it and say, oh. what a relief. i can get through to the next month. i can continue with the standard of living that i have without it being chipped away at.
10:47 am
now for two consecutive years we have seen that the social security cost of living increase, which is going to inch up to keep track of costs that they have elsewhere in life, are going to be restored. and we are doing the best we can. i believe, frankly, the cola law needs to be rewritten. i believe it did not contemplate the type of scenario we have today where overall inflation rates are going down and the cost for seniors are staying high. as other speakers have pointed out, there are two fundamental mistakes that get made when the social security trust fund is calculated. one, the basket what seniors actually buy is entirely different from what a teenager buys or businessperson. they have very discreet costs and those costs are going up. it is also important to know that there are sometimes regional differences. in parts of the country that mr. pomeroy comes from, energy costs are sometimes exceedingly high because of cold winters. in parts of the country i represent and congressman pascrell represents, the cost of housing is extraordinarily high.
10:48 am
definitely going up more than zero percent a year. i would also remind my republican colleagues of one other thing. a lot of them did not like the social security program for the -- from the word go. they didn't like it then. there's a schizophrenia inherent in the republican position about social security. they really never got it in their bones that having a safety net program for senior citizens was really something government should be doing. they dew point like it. go look at the debate -- they didn't like it. go look at the debate when it began. from 1935 when the checks started coming until today, one thing has been consistently true, month after month, year after year, this program has worked exactly how it was designed. it was designed to keep up to help generation help provide a safety net for the next. year after year, generation after generation. i want to say one other thing. this whole idea that the apocalypse is arriving and social security is coming undone at the seams is wildly, wildly
10:49 am
overblown. today the social security program will add to the deficit exactly zero dollars and zero cents. that's more than i can say about the tax cuts for billionaires which is going to add $700 billion over 10 years to the deficit. so what we are saying is, we democrats, we who vote yes on this bill, we are standing up and fighting for senior citizens. we are standing up and fighting for every social security beneficiary. even the ones who are republicans and dependents from all parts of the country because we fundamentally believe the program works. if you believe that the social security program is a good and virtuous program, this is your chance to show it by voting yes. because this is the chance to improve it. if you believe that the social security program is some kind of hoax or fraud or you believe what many of my republican friends believe it should be privatize, dismantled, eliminated, tossed in the trash bin, you should probably vote no on this because this bill only
10:50 am
strengthens social security. let me make one final remark and i thank very much mr. pomeroy for being the sponsor of this legislation. he has never lost sight of the fact that the senior citizens we help with social security are the ones who helped put us in a position to build this country to what it is today. let me make one final point. in all of the political back and forth that very often happens during campaign season, i think that we really did just see a campaign where one side operated almost entirely from the position of what they were against. they are against strength in social security. they are against health care reform. they are against financial reform. they are against cuts to reduction of taxes on the middle class. we know precious little about what the new incoming republican congress is in favor of. this is an interesting test where they are on social security. they have kind of, i know -- the chairman of their incoming budget committee believes prizing it. many of their candidates hemmed and hawed when asked. this is it. this is a good early test.
10:51 am
i want to remind the american people if you believe social security is one of those programs you really think should be protected and strengthened, this is the team that's fighting for you, the one that's offering this piece of legislation. i urge my colleagues to vote yes and i urge my republican colleagues to finally realize that supporting senior citizens and social security is a virtuous and good thing to do even from their perspective. i yield back the balance of our time. the speaker pro tempore: the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 5987 as amended. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed. the yeas and nays are requested. all those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise. and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20,
10:52 am
further proceedings on this question will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentleman from north dakota rise? seek recognition? mr. pomeroy: i move to suspend the rules and pass the bill s. 378 the, the social security number protection act of 2010. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: senate 3989, an act to limit access to social security account numbers. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from north dakota, mr. pomeroy, and the gentleman from texas, mr. johnson, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from north dakota. mr. pomeroy: mr. speaker, earlier this year i introduced a bill with my friend, the ranking member, on social security subcommittee, sam johnson, to protect the accuracy of social
10:53 am
security records and help shield individuals from identity theft. our bill prohibits federal, state, and local governments from employing prisoners in any capacity that would allow inmates access to the full or partial social security numbers of other individuals such as through prison labor contracts. the bipartisan senate bill before us today does the same thing. it also prohibits federal, state, and local governments from displaying social security numbers on paper checks which will also help protect the social security program and protect fraud. both are obvious changes that would protect millions of americans from identity theft. mr. speaker, i urge passage of this bill, reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from texas. the gentleman from texas. mr. johnson: thank you, mr. speaker. i concur with all that's been
10:54 am
said so far. americans worry about the security of their personal information including their social security number. and i don't blame them. even though social security numbers were created to track wages for determining social security benefits, these numbers are widely used as personal identifiers. in fact, in their april, twetch report the president's identity task force identified the social security number as the most valuable commodity for an identity thief. these thieves are working overtime. identity theft is the fastest growing fraud in america. last year there were over 11 million victims. the federal trade mission says identity theft cost consumers about $50 billion per year. today we are taking a step forward all be it a small step -- albeit a small step to protect social security numbers
10:55 am
by preventing prisoner access to these numbers and prohibiting social security numbers from appearing on government checks. believe it or not, the social security inspector general found eight states currently allow prisoners to work on jobs that give them access to social security numbers. with today's vote we will be one step closer to putting an end to that practice. i'm glad to report that over the years the ways and means committee has been working on a bipartisan basis to stem the tide of identity theft through restricting sale use and public display of social security numbers. i thank my colleague for that. most recently these provisions or part of the social security number privacy and prevention act introduced this congress by then subcommittee chairman john tanner and myself. i was also pleased to join chairman pomeroy when he
10:56 am
introduced h.r. 5854, the no prisoner access to social security number act of 2010. this is a great bill. i urge my colleagues to support this important first step by voting yes. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from north carolina. mr. pomeroy: mr. speaker, i yield two minutes to the gentleman from houston, texas, mr. green. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. green: thank you, mr. speaker. i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend. let me first say i want to thank my colleague -- the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. green: my colleague for bringing both these bills up, h.r. 5987 and also s. 3789. first let me talk about congressman pomeroy. he and i came to congress together in 1993, and we worked together on a lot of issues coming from a very rural area, but we found out about three or four years ago that -- you can
10:57 am
tell my texas accent, his state has grown dramatically in production of natural gas and oil, and also we have a refinery in north dakota. obviously i have refineries, but i'm glad they have one up in his state and we have worked together for the last two years on energy issues for our country. i want to thank him for his service to our country and earl will miss you and friendship and leadership on the ways and means committee. i'm proud to be here today to support not only s. 3789, the protect social security numbers act, but also h.r. 5987, the seniors protection act of 2010. for the second year in a row our nation's seniors and veterans and people with disabilities have been denied a cost of living adjustment, their cola. the seniors protection act would provide 54 million social security beneficiaries with a one-time $250 payment in lieu of a cola. this bill would provide targeted and economic relief for our
10:58 am
nation's most vulnerable citizens. i have seniors in our district who are living together, they are married, and some because of their circumstance, i have one her husband is disabled, she takes care of him, because of family situation she's taking care of three of her grandchildren. this is the second year she would not get any assistance or increase in her social security. that's why this bill is so important. almost two out of three seniors and 70% of people with disabilities rely on social security for half or more of their income. 1/3 of seniors get more than 90% of their income from social security. it's important that our nation continue to promise that americans should not be allowed to retire with dignity which has lasted for 75 years. mr. pomeroy: i yield an additional one minute. mr. green: thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. green: i urge my colleagues to vote for both h.r. 5987 but also for s. 3789. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from north dakota. mr. pomeroy: mr. speaker, i do
10:59 am
have an additional speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas. mr. johnson: i reserve my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from north dakota. mr. pomeroy: i yield two minutes to the gentleman from oregon, mr. defazio. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. defazio: i thank the gentleman for the time. thank him for his leadership on both the issues before us regarding social security. the protection of our social security numbers is vital. i once had a reporter come to my office and say i have something to show you. she pulled out a piece of paper and she said, here's your social security number. i bought it for $15 on line. that should not be allowed. that should be an illegal activity in this country. but the other issue just -- that preceded this is equally important to 40 million people who collect social security and a number of people who collect veterans benefits and that is a meaningful and well deserved cost of living adjustment for
11:00 am
real increases in the cost of living for seniors in america. now you have the pointy heads down at the department of labor have this chiggered up cost of living index which puts heavyweight on buying a g4 iphone and second generation and third generation of expensive computers and things like that, but it doesn't go to basics. it doesn't go to the cost of pharmaceuticals which unfortunately many seniors have to consume to maintain their health. it doesn't go to the cost of hospital care or physicians visits. it doesn't go meaningfully to basics like utility costs or rent or your taxes on your property. none of those things are given heavyweight or any weight in some cases in the cost of living index they are using to say to seniors, your costs didn't go up last year, so you'll get no cost of living adjustment. i have introduced legislation over a number of years to have a specific cost of living index
11:01 am
for seniors called the cpie, elderly, because they consume from a different market basket than young consumers in this country. . you'd get laughed out of the room if you went to any senior cent for the this cubtry and said to retirees and say, your costs didn't go up last year, you don't need a cost of living adjustment. give me a break. seniors need a cost of living adjustment and we need to protect social security numbers. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas. mr. johnson: we are digressing from the business at hand to something that's already happened and he needs to know that the people out there do understand the cost of living adjustment and it's fixed under social security rules and they don't need it this year. do you have any further
11:02 am
speakers? mr. pomeroy: no further speakers. mr. johnson: you told me that last time too. mr. pomeroy: i yielded to my colleague from new york for purposes of closing, we did not have an additional speaker. mr. johnson: i urge my colleagues to support this important legislation. it is good for america and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from north dakota. mr. pomeroy: by way of close, let me say that the legislation before us is in important and reflects what has been a pattern of bipartisan work between the ranking member and myself as i have chaired the social security committee. i've enjoyed working with sam johnson. pretty thrilling thing for a kid from north dakota to get to work with an american hero and i have appreciated his conscientious service as ranking member of the social security subcommittee. i've also have deeply
11:03 am
appreciated the opportunity to chair the committee. i received a social security check in my own life when my dad died, i was teenager, to have the opportunity to chair the subcommittee protecting the united states' most important domestic program, social security, was a deep honor and a responsibility i'll always treasure having had that chance. the -- i want to thank the staff members who helped throughout keeping this subcommittee specially supported with the important policy work before it. katherine olson, lohr in a miller, we have appreciated working with kim hildreth on the minority. it has been a terrific experience. so with that, mr. speaker, i would like to ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days to revise
11:04 am
and extend their remarks on s. 3789, the bill now under consideration, and i encourage my colleagues to support this bill. i now reserve -- i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass senate 3789. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table.
11:05 am
the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from indiana seek recognition? >> i move to suspend the rules and agree to house resolution 1746 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 1746, resolution recognizing and supporting the efforts of welcome back veterans to augment the services provided by the departments of defense and veterans affairs and providing timely and world class care for veterans and members of the armed forces suffering from ptsd and related psychiatric disorders. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from indiana, mr. donnelly, and the gentleman from tennessee, mr. roe, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from indiana. mr. donnelly: i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on house resolution 1746 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. donnelly texas i speeled -- mr. donnelly: i yield smeist
11:06 am
such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. donnelly: i want to thank the committee on armed services for working with us to bring this resolution to the floor. mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that the exchange of letters waiving jurisdiction between the committee on veterans affairs and the committee on armed services be inserted into the congressional record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. donnelly: thank you, mr. speaker. we are all aware that post-traumatic stress disorder, ptsd, is one of the signature wounds of operation new dawn and operation enduring freedom. countless reports and studies bear out this state ptment. a 2008 study released by the rand corporation reported that one in five veterans of the wars in iraq and afghanistan are suffering from ptsd. studies from other experts and the v.a. itself demonstrate how widespread and serious ptsd is
11:07 am
and as more service members return home, the problem will only grow larger of. the v.a. has made important strides in the treatment of ptsd. they boast providers throughout the nation who provide excellent care for ptsd and researchers have found innovative new treatments as well. but v.a. can't combat ptsd alone. organizations throughout the country are dedicated to doing their part. welcome back veterans has answered this call to service. the partnership between major league baseball, the mccormick foundation, the entertainment industry foundation and the university hospital at cornell, the university of michigan, stanford university and the massachusetts institute of technology has already made tremendous accomplishments on behalf of our veterans. they have raised over $15 million for ptsd treatment and research and are working closely
11:08 am
with hospitals in massachusetts, new york, michigan, and california to help provide care to over 5,000 service members. but for all the great things that welcome back veterans has accomplished, i know they are poised to do so much more. they are committed to continuing to work hard to care for our veterans, and i look forward to watching them continue with these efforts. welcome back veterans deserves our formal recognition for the great work they have done. i urge you to join me in offering gratitude to welcome back veterans by support of house resolution 1746. mr. speaker, i are reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves his time. the gentleman from tennessee. mr. roe: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. roe: i rise in support of house resolution 1746 as amended a bill to recognize the efforts of welcome back veterans
11:09 am
organizations to augment the services of the department of defense and veterans affairs in providing timely and world class care for veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and related disorders. many veterans return from combat in need of assistance due to the symptoms are related to ptsd. welcome back veterans is engaged in a public-private partnership with the department of veterans' affairs, major league baseball, the mccormick foundation and university hospitals at cornell and the university of michigan and stanford university to provider veterans with ways to treat ptsd. nearly five million veterans are receiving treatment through the program. to date, the program has raised over 10 million -- over $10 million in funding. their center of excellence initiative looks to continue commitment to veterans by creating a network of university
11:10 am
hospitals that specialize in assisting veterans who suffer from ptsd. they encourage the secretary of veterans affairs to establish innovative public-private partnerships for research into post-traumatic stress disorder in teaching hofments across the country. i urge my colleagues to support h.r. 1746 and reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from indiana. >> i yield two minutes to mr. israel. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. israel: i thank my colleague for recognizingen me and i rise in support of this resolution which i had the privilege of introducing and sponsoring, i want to thank the leaders, members, and staff of the armed services committee for their
11:11 am
support and cooperation on this vitally important are resolution. this effort are recognizes the efforts in providing critically needed treatment for ptsd to members of the armed forces. it's a partnership with major league baseball charities, the mccormick foundationed on others, they are creating a network of university hospitals to address the mental health needs of service members and their families. today welcome back veterans has raised over $4 million in private funding to support research of ptsd through grants and service organizations prorkvided treatment to over 5,000 veterans and active duty service members and they have a broad and integrated and innovative approach toward ptsd, and they should because ptsd is known as the silent killer. one of every five veterans from afghanistan and iraq has been affected. it doesn't always have physical
11:12 am
symptoms that are recognized. it affects not just the service member but the family members, loved ones, children. service members and veterans with ptsd are at righter risk of depression, alcohol and drug abuse, six times more likely to commit suicide than people without ptsd. mr. speaker, this is a massive problem, it requires a massive response. it's not just the response from the v.a. and the department of defense, they are in the frontlines of helping those who have been on the frontlines with ptsd but it's got to go broader and deeper than that. we need partners. we need university hospitals. we need good philanthropic organizations like major league baseball charities and the mccormick foundation. they have assembled a team that is addressing this critical need and this resolution encourages the sec are retear of veterans affairs to not only support that team but continue to build and
11:13 am
expand the public-private partnerships that will make sure that anybody we send into combat or into the military theater are into the department of defense who comes back with ptsd has access to treatment and cures. i want to thank the gentleman again for his leadership and i yield pack the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from tennessee. mr. roe: i thank the speaker. i want to commend congressman israel for introducing this much-needed are resolution and also as a veteran myself and as a physician, we need to be looking for public-private partnerships. i couldn't be happier with this because the v.a. is not needing the entire -- is not meeting the entire need we have with our veterans in treating ptsd and we need to look at innovative ways to put these young men and women back into the work force and help them, certainly not just with the iraq-iran war -- i mean, iraq-afghanistan war but
11:14 am
through the vietnam war, world war i and world world -- world war ii and korea, many veterans are dealing with these problems. i want to thank these organizations for stepping up. i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from indiana. mr. donnelly: i want to thank my colleague, mr. israel, for his leadership on this issue. i urge my colleagues to unanimously support house resolution 1746 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back his time. mr. donnelly: i have no further requests for time and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the question is, will the house suspend the rules and agree to house resolution 1746 as amended? those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the resolution is agreed to -- mr. donnelly: i object to the vote on the ground that a quorum is not present and make the point of order that a quorum is not present. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20,
11:15 am
further proceedings on this question will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentleman from new jersey seek recognition? mr. pallone: i move that the house suspend the rules and agree to h.r. 5470. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 5470, a bill to exclude an external power supply for certain security or life safety alarms and surveillance system components from the application of certain energy efficiency standards under the energy policy and conservation
11:16 am
act. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from new jersey, mr. pallone, and the gentleman from kentucky, mr. whitfield, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from new jersey. mr. pallone: thank you, mr. speaker. i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. pallone: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. pallone: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to offer h.r. 5470, a simple piece of legislation that provides a straightforward technical correction to the energy independence and security act of 2007. specific provisions in the energy independence and security act intended to increase the energy efficiency requirements for battery chargers and external you power supplies, have been implemented in a way that includes security and life safety products that yield no energy savings. the law requires the power
11:17 am
supplies on these products to meet energy efficiency standards in a number of different modes, including offmode and standby mode. security and life safety products, however, are always on and never operate in offmode or standby mode. fire monitors, carbon monoxide monitors, intrusion, detection centers, and access control readers require a constant uninterrupted power supply. security products are always in active mode, meaning they are connected to a main power source and remain active to detect and monitor various readings. to disconnect these devices from the transformer would destroy the integrity of the security system and compromise public safety and security. this legislation will provide an exemption for security and life safety products from these federal energy efficiency requirements while still retaining the law's active mode efficiency requirements for these products. without creating this correction for security and life safety products, the industry would be forced to spend millions of
11:18 am
dollars to comply with an energy standard will yield no energy savings and could actually cost jobs. mr. speaker, this commonsense correction to current law is supported by the security industry and a broad spectrum of environmental groups, including the natural resources defense council, the american council for efficient economy, and the alliance to save energy. the bill also contains language which will mitigate any potential new-found concerns by limiting the duration of the exemption to allow the department of energy to modify it after null of 2017 -- to nullify it after july of 2017. i see my colleague on the floor from kentucky who is also one of the co-sponsors of the bill. i would urge all my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support this sensible technical correction and vote aye. i thank you.
11:19 am
i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from kentucky. mr. whitfield: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. whitfield: thank you very much. i want to also thank the gentleman from new jersey for introducing this important legislation. we anticipate that over the next 25 years the demand for electricity in america is going to almost double. and one of the ways not the only way, but one of the ways that we are going to have to address this problem is to have consumer products that are more efficient. that they use less electricity. and that was certainly the purpose of the energy independence and security act of 2007 which sought to clarify requirements in the measurement of energy consumption in certain consumer devices. some of the devices, however, that were not excluded in this legislation included security
11:20 am
devices such as smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. so when we have regulation to make products more efficient, it's always a balancing act. we want them to be more efficient but we don't want them to have to be done in such a way it raises the price to the consumer and makes the manufacturer of that product less competitive in a global marketplace. and so this legislation, h.r. 5470, is designed to do particularly that. to exclude from this legislation of 2007 the security devices such as smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. so this legislation is going to help clarify that because we went to the department of energy and asked them to modify the requirement and they refused saying that a ruling they --
11:21 am
they could issue a ruling only to modify regulations written by the department not amend a law passed by congress. mr. pallone's legislation does expressly that and i would urge all of our members to support it. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from new jersey. mr. pallone: mr. speaker, i have no additional speakers. i ask my colleague if he does. mr. whitfield: i have no additional speakers. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from kentucky yields back his time. mr. pallone: i yield back the balance of my time. and urge passage of the bill. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 5470. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed, and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid upon the table.
11:22 am
for what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i move the house suspend the rules and agree to h.r. 4501, the guarantee of a legitimate deal act. as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: union calendar number 402, h.r. 4501, a bill to require certain return policies from businesses that purchase precious materials from consumers and solicit such transactions through an internet website. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from new york, mr. weiner, and the gentleman from kentucky, mr. whitfield, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from new york. mr. weiner: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. weiner: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. i don't intend to use all of the time. thank the indulgence of the gentleman from kentucky both in
11:23 am
this debate and considering of the bill in committee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. weiner: during these difficult economic times americans are looking for any way they can to try to make ends meet. they are looking or taking on second jobs, they are looking through their coverage trying to see if there is anything they can fell. there is just about any opportunity they can to make the few dollars people are looking for. that's why there's been a great deal of attention paid recently to companies advertising very heavily that if you give us your gold and jewelry, we will give you cash for those products. the problem is that when you put the cash, the gold and jewelry in the envelope and send it to some of these companies, they are finding that consumers are not being treated very well. the consumers union and their publication consumers report did a good expose on this turning out the problems that people face. sometimes they are getting pennies on the dollar for what comes back. but even more difficult are the cases where people don't even agree to the transaction or finding since they didn't act
11:24 am
fast enough their gold and jewelry had been melted down, sold off for pennies on the dollar and they were left with little recourse. when congress found out about this, a hearing was convened and congressman bobby rush's subcommittee, energy and commerce committee, we heard from victims who had this happen to them and industry groups. there was consensus that more needed to be done to protect consumers. you can have a debate which perhaps should go on in each household before you engage in one of these transactions through the internet or the mail whether or not you should see a neighborhood pawnbroker, a neighborhood jeweler, someone who can give you actual hands on advice about these things, as with so many things with rare jewelry, like a lot of other elements of products that consumers don't have a real intrinsic sense of what they should be worth, so they are subject to be taken advantage of. the act we are taking up today, the gold act, the guarantee of rement deal act of 2009 -- legitimate deal act of 2009, made some changes in the law to
11:25 am
give consumers a little more wait on their -- weight on their side of the scale, no pun intended. under this new law a consumer would have to accept or reject the offer before the transaction has been considered complete. right now there are many companies, including cash for gold, the biggest one, that will give us finite number of days after which they'll simply melt down the gold. it mandates that the purchasers of precious metals through the mail ensure the product in the send them back in the same insurance level they were sent to them for. let me explain why that's necessary. according to the postal service, we have a large number of people alleging that they would send their gold say i don't want to do the deal, and miraculously or mysteriously, rather, when the gold was mailed back to them, it disappeared in the mail. and frankly it seems more likely than not that the people sending back those shipments never
11:26 am
actually did it. so what we are proposing here is that if someone insures it for $100 going it gets insured for $100 when it gets sent back as part of the transaction. it would institute civil penalties for any company that melts down someone's gold or without the prior approval by the consumer. now, as i said you can have a debate and i think it's from a lot of the testimony we took, it's good to get a second or third opinion about the true value as you might really have some rare exotic piece of jewelry. and you may find that when you send it to one of these places, as consumer reports found out when they did a study, they found out that people were only getting on average between 11% and 29% of the value of the gold offered back to them. you should try to get some advice from an actual person you trust in your community. but also what this says if you
11:27 am
go ahead with one of these transactions, if you take a piece of jewelry you have, put it in a premade envelope, you are going to continue to have control over the transaction should this law pass. that's why the consumers union supports it. the jewelers vigilance council, a trade organization that testified, and it's my understanding even the biggest player in the field that prompted this investigation, cash for gold, has said they support this legislation. while they have had problems, i want to commend them for doing so. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from kentucky. mr. whitfield: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. whitfield: i want to thank the gentleman from new york for bringing this matter to the attention of the congress and specifically the energy and commerce committee. as he said with the economic downturn and with the dramatic increase in the price of gold, we see more and more people mailing their gold possessions
11:28 am
in an envelope to these companies that are buying gold and melting it down. it is a system that is ripe with the opportunity to defraud a lot of people. and this legislation, as the gentleman from new york stated, simply clarifies the number of issues. number one, it makes it easier to determine whether or not a consumer is expecting the offer of the company that's buying the gold. it also provides these additional protections on the insurance because as the gentleman from new york said, frequently the client, consumer, did not really want to sell and yet it probably was melted down and they said, well, we mailed it back to you but it was lost in the mail. so this is important legislation, provides additional consumer protection at a time when a lot of our consumers are particularly vulnerable to being taken advantage of. i want to commend the gentleman
11:29 am
once again for his actions and urge the support of h.r. 4501. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from new york. mr. weiner: thank you. i yield myself such time as i may consume. i want to thank representative wlitfield for his kind words and his help in crafting this bill and making it better than when it was first offered. chairman rush, who is the subcommittee chairman, and his staff, peter, michelle, and also yuri of my staff, and batine who helped do the research, and consumers union and jewelers vigilance council. i urge my colleagues to vote yes and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 4501 as amended. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is
11:30 am
passed, and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid upon the table. mr. weiner: i ask for a recorded vote. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman asks for a recorded vote? the yeas and nays? the gentleman asks for the yeas and nays. mr. weiner: whatever is in order at this time. i ask for that. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. all those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counted. . a sufficient number having risen, the yeas and nays are ordered. further proceedings on this order will be postponed. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, proceedings will resume on motions to suspend the rules previously postponed. votes will be taken in the following order. h.r. 5987,y the -- by the yeas and nays. house resolution 1717 by the yeas and nays. house resolution 1540, by the yeas and nays.
11:31 am
house resolution 1531, de novo. the first electronic vote will be conducted as a 15-minute vote. remaining electronic votes will be conducted as five-minute votes. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.] the unfinished business is the vote on the motion of the gentleman from north dakota, mr. pomeroy, to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 5987 as amended, on which the yeas and nays are ordered. the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 5987, a bill to ensure that senior, veterans, and people with disabilities who receive social security and other federal benefits receive a one-time, $250 payment in the event that no cost of living adjustment in payable in 201 1. the speaker pro tempore: the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill as amended? members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a 15-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the
11:32 am
united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
11:33 am
11:34 am
11:35 am
11:36 am
11:37 am
11:38 am
11:39 am
11:40 am
11:41 am
11:42 am
11:43 am
11:44 am
11:45 am
11:46 am
11:47 am
11:48 am
11:49 am
11:50 am
11:51 am
11:52 am
11:53 am
11:54 am
11:55 am
11:56 am
11:57 am
11:58 am
11:59 am
12:00 pm
12:01 pm
12:02 pm
12:03 pm
12:04 pm
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 254. the nays are 150. the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 253.
12:05 pm
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 254. the nays are 153. 2/3 of those not responding in the affirmative, the rules are not suspended and the bill is not passed.
12:06 pm
the unfinished business is the vote on the motion of the gentleman from florida, mr. klein, to suspend the rules and agree to house resolution 1717 as amended on which the yeas and nays were ordered. the clerk will report the title of the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 1717 , resolution congratulating imprisoned chinese democracy advocate liu xiaobo on the award of the 2010 nobel peace prize. the speaker pro tempore: the question is will the house suspend the rules and agree to the resolution as amended. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned
12:07 pm
coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
12:08 pm
12:09 pm
12:10 pm
12:11 pm
12:12 pm
12:13 pm
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 402. the nays are one. 2/3 having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the resolution is agreed to and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. the unfinished business is on the vote on the motion of the gentleman from virginia, mr.
12:14 pm
scott, to suspend the rules and agree to house resolution 1540, as amended, on which the yeas and nays were ordered. the clerk will report the title of the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 1540, resolution supporting the goal of eradicating illicit marijuana cultivation on federal lands and calling on the director of the office of national drug control policies to develop a coordinated strategy to permanently dismantle mexican drug trafficking organizations operating on federal lands. the speaker pro tempore: the question is will the house suspend the rules and agree to the resolution as amended. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
12:15 pm
12:16 pm
12:17 pm
12:18 pm
12:19 pm
12:20 pm
12:21 pm
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 393 --
12:22 pm
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 400. the nays are four. 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the resolution is agreed to, and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid upon the table. without objection, the title is amended. the unfinished business is the question on suspend the rules
12:23 pm
and agreeing to house resolution 531, which the clerk will report by title. the speaker pro tempore: -- the clerk: house resolution, 1531, resolution expressing support for designation of 2011 as world veterinary year, to bring attention to and show appreciation for the vet run nary profession -- veterinary profession on its 250th anniversary. the speaker pro tempore: the question is will the house suspend the rules and agree to the resolution. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules -- >> madam speaker, ask for a recorded vote. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from missouri -- a recorded vote is requested. those favoring a recorded vote will rise. a sufficient number having arisen, a recorded vote is ordered. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives.
12:24 pm
any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
12:25 pm
12:26 pm
12:27 pm
12:28 pm
12:29 pm
12:30 pm
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 406. the nays are zero. 2/3 having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the resolution is agreed to and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. without objection the title is amended.
12:31 pm
the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. would members please clear the well and take their conversations to the back of the hall. for what purpose does the gentleman from colorado seek recognition? mr. polis: mr. speaker, by the direction of the committee on rules, i call up house resolution 1752 and ask for its immediate consideration. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the resolution. the clerk: house calendar number 250. house resolution 1752. resolved, that the requirement of clause 6-a of rule 13 for a
12:32 pm
2/3 vote to consider a report from the committee on rules on the same day it is presented to the house is waived with respect to any resolution reported through the legislative day of december 18, 2010. section 2, it shall be in order at any time through the legislative day of december 18, 2010, for the speaker to entertain motions that the house suspend the rules. the speaker or her designee shall consult with the minority leader or his designee on the designation of any matter for consideration pursuant to this section. the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the gentleman from colorado is recognized for one hour. mr. polis: for the purpose of debate only i yield the customary 30 minutes to the gentleman from florida, mr. diaz-balart. all time during consideration of the bill is for debate only. i yield myself such time as i may consume, and i ask unanimous consent that all members may
12:33 pm
have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks on h.r. 175 . the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentleman from colorado is recognized. mr. polis: mr. speaker, house resolution 1752 waives the requirement of clause 6 of rule 13 requiring a 2/3 vote to consider a rule on the same day it's reported from the rules committee. this would allow for the same day consideration of any resolution reported through the legislative day of december 18, 2010. finally, the rule allows the speaker to entertain motions to suspend the rules through the legislative day of december 18, 2010. the speaker or her designee shall consult with the minority leader or his designee on the designation of any matter for consideration pursuant to this resolution. today, mr. speaker, as we near the end of an historic 111th congress, key legislation remains to be completed. the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. will members please take their conversations to the back of the
12:34 pm
hall? the gentleman from colorado is recognized. mr. polis: mr. speaker, we are nearing the end of the 111th congress and key legislation necessary for our country continues to be completed. this rule will provide flexibility to allow bipartisan negotiations to continue and put the finishing touches on important initiatives before our 111th congress. this rule will allow the house to act as fast as it can when receiving legislation from the senate which, as we all know, can arrive on a very unpredictable time frame. the unpredictability of the senate, thus far this congress, the lengthy negotiations process and the partisanship affects the prospects and drastically reduces our ability to take on so many important bills. this bill today is critical so that we can move forward to consider middle-class tax cuts, the dream act, food safety,
12:35 pm
defense authorization, regardless of where members of this body stand on particular issues. i think we owe it to our country to bring them forward in a timely manner for full consideration of this body. i am very proud to be a member of the 111th congress. this has been one of the most productive body in nearly half a century. we passed several historic bills that will improve the lives of every american and help dig us out of an economic disaster leading to our recovery. we also passed legislation to make college loans more affordable, to protect consumers from credit card interest rates. to finally regulate tobacco proconducts under the f.d.a. to crack down on waste in the pentagon. from giving business tax incentives to hired unemployed workers and giving tax credits to first-time homebuyers which realtors in my district said it
12:36 pm
helped get the market going again. but despite these historic accomplishments, there is work to be done in our final weeks. i can stand here, as many members of this body can, talking about the many bills we would like to take up and the programs we need to re-authorize, bills that would strengthen our national security, fixing our broking immigration system, helping our children and repairing our highways. by extending same day on suspension authority until december 18, we are making a commitment to the country that will uphold our constitutional responsibility and stay on task and keep the government running. we're also keeping the promises that we made to our communities and our nation. if it comes down to the wire, mr. speaker, this rule will give us the flexibility to act in a timely fashion. we know that to consider a bill under a rule there needs to be a one-deleover and suspensions are only considered monday through wednesday. without this rule, if the senate sends us a government funding measure on saturday, december 18, we would have to literally
12:37 pm
let the government shut down. this rule is a matter of efficiency. we're all aware of the time constraints before us and the time remaining in this session as well as the work that needs to be done. it will do the american people no service if their elected representatives are here debating multiple procedural rules, wasting our taxpayer dollars when government shuts down. that's why we've extended the authority through the end of the current c.r. let us save the remaining time of the 111th congress to debate the important initiatives that are still pending and pass this rule today. mr. speaker, these are not unusual procedures. i want to point out that in the 109th congress the republican majority reported at least 21 rules that allowed for same-day consideration. in fact, five of those rules waived this requirement against any rule reported from the committee. mr. speaker, this will also be the last rule that i have the honor of co-managing with my good friend and colleague from
12:38 pm
florida, mr. diaz-balart, and i just want to say a few words on his behalf. it has been a great pleasure serving with the gentleman from florida on the rules committee, having managed a number of rules together on the floor. i have always appreciated his thoughtful and inseesive remarks on rules committee and on the floor. his championing of developing american capital, developing the economy of florida and miami, his dedication to foreign relations and affairs, to help restore democracy to a country from which he derived his heritage. lincoln diaz-balart is truly a great american. i look forward to staying in touch with him in his future journeys because i know that his career in congress is not the end of his professional career or his life journey, but it is merely a stage and a beginning, and we will hear many great things in the future from one of the most respected, talented,
12:39 pm
insightful members of this chamber. and it's truly to have been an honor to be his colleague on the rules committee. with that i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from colorado reserves. the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. diaz-balart: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. i thank my friend from colorado, mr. polis, for the time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. diaz-balart: i also thank him for his gracious words. he in the short period of time that he's been here has already left a mark with his thoughtfulness and his hard work and really his conscience and compassion. he's left a mark on this congress, and i know his constituents must be and will continue to be very proud to have sent him here because they have already seen the kind of member of congress that jared
12:40 pm
polis is so i thank him for those kind words. i share with him the view that we've been able to work on some projects together and my hope that we will be able to work in the future, and really my almost certainty that we will be able to work in the future on important projects as well. mr. speaker, as this the 111th congress proceeds, it's in its final days. the rule before us provides for expedited same day consideration for all legislation brought forward until december 18 and extends suspension authority for that period. it's really martial law rule
12:41 pm
rule because it closes down the process, doesn't allow members of congress to review legislation, to really know what legislation that will be considered is about. and it historically -- an historically unprecedented manner it sets 11 days for this expedited consideration of legislation without necessarily showing legislation to colleagues before consideration. the congressional majority and the speaker have not fulfilled their 2006 campaign pledge to have, and i quote, the most honest, most open and most ethical congress in history, end quote. it was indeed needed reform at that time, but as we now know it
12:42 pm
failed to materialize. this majority admits, mr. speaker, with the rule before us today, it admits that it doesn't even pretend to care about fair process and transparency and the rights of the minority anymore. the congressional majority feels no need to allow the public and all of our colleagues to read legislation before the house votes. the language before us allows bills to be considered the same day that they are ushered through the rules committee. the majority cares little for the ability to have members to have input in the forms of amendments to vital must-pass legislation that we will consider in the next days and weeks. i think it's important to note, though i think it's unfortunate that the house of representatives has not considered even one open rule
12:43 pm
this congress. and that would have been certainly something that i would not have expected. in my 18 years here, i've never seen this before, and did not expect it. this house has not considered even one open rule this congress. now, we've come to expect that from the current majority, and so what's to be expected is the majority will have more martial laws before us in the days ahead. i think it's appropriate. i think it's good news that the republicans, that we have made a pledge that i am confident will be kept. i'm happy to report that very soon there will be significant and impactful course correction in the house of representatives, that members will be able to read legislation before they cast votes, open rules will make
12:44 pm
a triumphant return to the house floor, all representatives in this house will be able to contribute to the legislative process bringing forth a course of ideas that have been suppressed during the last two congresses. so that's good news, and that is one of the good things about renewal in politics and the democratic process. again, i thank mr. polis for his courtesy, for his friendship and all of my colleagues. as i said a few weeks ago, these have been an extraordinary 18 years, mr. speaker, the honor of my life. this is the congress of the greatest nation in the world. and it's a miracle. the united states of america is a miracle of freedom. .
12:45 pm
so as i leave this house, again i thank all of my colleagues for the honor of being able to have been able to serve with them, for the honor of having been able to serve with them, both those who have helped me, who agreed with me, and the causes i fought and those who have opposed me. it's been an honor to serve with all of them. and at this point we have no further speakers. i would ask my friend if he does. mr. polis: no additional speakers. mr. diaz-balart: so, mr. speaker, i urge my colleagues to vote no on this rule. and to let this house return to openness a few weeks ahead of schedule. since no one has contacted me and asked for time, i yield back
12:46 pm
the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida yield back the balance of his time. the gentleman from colorado is recognized. mr. polis: mr. speaker, this is a simple and important vote. the 111th congress has done a great deal and has been one of the most accomplished congresses in decades. however there are critical needs that must be met before this body adjourns and gives way to a nation. mr. speaker, it's been said as a member of the house one's true opponent is not the opposing party but the senate. this has never been more true than the most deliberative body has unfortunately pushed some complicated and yet critical decisions to the last minute, down to the wire. forcing the house and the american people in the position we find ourselves in today. mr. speaker, congress is riddled with ways to obstruct and delay progress on bills. just a few weeks ago the house barely scrapped together the votes to pass a child nutrition bill. in the senate a minority of
12:47 pm
members continue to stall defense authorization act, the dream act, as well as their necessary work on making sure middle class americans don't face an increase in taxes come january. gridlock is typical of congress and of course discussion is an important part of the political process, but never before has many within government set out to stop progress for political gain at a great cost to our nation. this rule will simply allow the necessary work of this house to continue both proactively and reactively with regard to the united states senate. the american people want congress to create jobs and grow the economy by working together. it's not a small task. but it certainly can't be accomplished if we yield to those who would stand in the way of progress. that's why we must pass this rule today, mr. speaker, to allow this body to pass critical
12:48 pm
provisions, to allow government to continue to operate essential services for our citizens, defending our borders and our nation from threats here and abroad. to make sure that middle class americans don't face the largest tax increase in history come january. not only do we need to make hard, well informed decisions about what to do with regard to our tax code, but we need to make tough decisions about many other tax provision that is are scheduled to expire at the end of this calendar year. it is that calendar that 10-year clock that necessitates the 111th congress getting this work done prior to the end of the year. i strongly encourage my colleagues to vote yes on the previous question and the rule. i yield back the balance of my time and i move the previous question on the resolution. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from colorado yields back the balance of his time. without objection, the previous question is ordered. the question is on adoption of the resolution. so many as are in favor say aye.
12:49 pm
those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the resolution -- the gentleman from florida. mr. diaz-balart: we request the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. those favoring a vote by the yeas and nays will rise. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this question will be postponed. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, the chair will postpone further proceedings today on motions to
12:50 pm
suspend the rules 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. recorded votes on postponed questions will be taken later today. for what purpose does the gentleman from northern mariana islands seek recognition? mr. sablan: i move the house suspend the rules and agree to h.r. 5012 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: 5012, a bill to amend the richard b. russell national school lunch to establish a weekend and holiday feeding program to provide nutritious food to at-risk school children on weekends and during extended school holidays during the school year. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from the northern mariana islands, mr. sablan, and the gentleman from kentucky, mr. guthrie, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from the northern mariana islands. mr. sablan: mr. speaker, i
12:51 pm
request five legislative days during which members may revise and extend and insert extraneous material on h.r. 5012 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. sablan: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman virginia tech. mr. sablan: mr. speaker, i rise today in support of h.r. 5012, the weekends without hunger act legislation to help us prevent school-aged children from having to go hungry during weekends and breaks when they are not in school. the weekends without hunger act help prevent children from going hungry when they are not in school. children coming to school hungry on mondays and after extended school holidays. it is a pilot program to provide commodities to schools and food banks in low income areas to provide nutritious food to at-risk school children to bring home on weekends and during school holidays. nearly one in our of our nation's children's are at risk of going hungry every day. no child should go hungry yet millions of families struggle to
12:52 pm
make ends meet and put healthy food on the table at home. more than 19 million school-aged children need a free or reduced priced meal every day and many depend on the school meals as their main source of food throughout the week. when school is in session school breakfast and lunches help keep children healthy and prepared to learn. children who experience hunger get sick more often and have decreased attention and lower test schools. even with the safety net already in place, there is still a significant gap in children's access to nutrition during weekends and breaks from school. for many children, this gap means going without nutritious meals or any meals at all over the weekend and when school is out. the organization, feeding america, has been at the forefront of public-private partnerships to ensure children and families have access to healthy meals. their backpack program is one of
12:53 pm
a number of innovative programs to meet the needs of families who experience hunger. this program provides backpacks filled with nutritious food is that child friendly, none perishable, and easily consumed. they are discreetly contributed to children on the last day of the weekend or holiday vacation. currently, more than 3,000 backpack programs serve more than 90,000 children in 46 states and the district of columbia. the pack back -- backpack program has been successful and in demand. many programs have begun waiting list because they are unable to fulfill every request for service. earlier this year the committee on education and labor report add bipartisan bill improving the nutrition for america's children act, h.r. 5504, to the house by a vote of 32-13. the weekends for hunger provision was included in this bill. last week the house approved s. 330 , the healthy hunger free
12:54 pm
kids act, to re-authorize and improve the child nutrition programs to increase children's access to this critical program and to improve nutrition quality. while we were unable to include h.r. 5012 in that bill, the committee strongly believes this initiative deserves consideration and supplements what was included in the healthy hunger free kids act. mr. speaker, i want to thank representive titus for her leadership in bringing this bill to the floor and once again express my support for h.r. 5012, the weekends without hunger act. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from kentucky is recognized. mr. guthrie: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. guthrie: i rise today in opposition to h.r. 5012, to refresh my colleague's memory, just last week the house sent the re-authorization of child nutrition and school meal programs to the president for his signature.
12:55 pm
that bill spent an additional $4.5 billion and added more than a dozen new programs. it was a significant expansion ever federal child nutrition programs at a time when the american people have told us to stop growing government and instead to make the programs better rather than simply layering on new programs. every member of this chamber wants to fight childhood hunger and promote healthy school meals, but adding one more program in the long line of new programs is not the way to do that. we can have debate in this bill along with several other proposals during floor consideration of child nutrition legislation last week if only this majority did not insist on coming out with closed rules. unfortunately just like the responsible republican alternate this program was not considered at the time it should have been during that debate. instead we are here today debating whether to add yet another program to the ever expanding federal government under this majority. this is another new program to add to the list of new programs
12:56 pm
created just last week. the federal government supports numerous programs to feed children in school, after school, and during the summer. if the majority did not see fit to include this new program when it re-authorized childhood nutrition last week, i do not see how we can justify its creation today and urge my colleagues to oppose this bill. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from the northern mariana islands is recognized. mr. sablan: i'm pleased to recognize the gentlewoman from nevada, ms. titus, for five minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from nevada is recognized for five minutes. ms. titus: thank you very much. i rise today in support of h.r. 5012, the weekends without hunger act. last week the house passed the child nutrition bill that takes important steps towards keeping our children healthy and hunger free chile in school. this is a goal i strongly support and that's why i introduced legislation weekends without hunger act which would
12:57 pm
help children not be hungry when they are not in school. across the country almost one out of every four children is at risk of going hungry. in southern nevada, over 50% of children rely on the free and reduced lunch program. that means that more than 156,000 students are facing hunger at home. and many depend on school meals as their main source of food and nutrition throughout the week. while school meals help keep children healthy and ready to learn during the days when school is in session, there is currently no targeted federal child nutrition program available to provide these children with food during the weekend or extended holiday when they do not have access to those school meals. especially at this time of year when most of us are having holiday meals with our families and friends, it's important to remember so many children are not enjoying their school vacation because they are going hungry.
12:58 pm
a vacation from school should not mean hunger for our children. food banks around the country including three square food bank in las vegas has stepped up to meet the challenge of hunger on weekends through programs such as backpack for kids. in clark county, backpack for kids operates in 178 schools, assembling and delivering approximately 5,200 weekend backpacks each week filled with nutritional nonperishable foods to provide meals for children in need. i believe that at the federal level we can and should be doing more to support vital programs like backpack for kids. that's why i introduced weekend without hunger. which will help children keep them from going hungry when they are not in school over the weekends and during holidays. in this tough economic climate, food banks across the country are seeing an increased need for
12:59 pm
their services, that's especially true in areas hardest hit by unemployment. while these organizations are doing great work, passing h.r. 5012 would build on their efforts and help them do even better. it would be a great partnership. h.r. 5012 would establish a five-year pilot program to provide commodities to eligible institutions such as schools and food banks to provide nutritious food to at-risk school children over the weekend and during school holiday. for example, $10 million would be enough funding for approximately three million weekend food backpacks. to ensure that the federal funds are well spent, the bill also requires an interim and final evaluation of the program by the secretary of agriculture. i urge you-all to support h.r. 5012, weekends without hunger. as this congress moves to give tax breaks to millionai

70 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on