UNITED STATE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES 2000
HOUSE FLOOR DEBATE
The House meets at 10:30 a.m. for morning hour and 12:00 p.m. for legislative business. Unlimited ?one minutes?
Suspensions (10 Bills):
1) H.R. 2711 - FBI Families of Fallen Heroes Act (Rep. Rogers (MI) / Oversight and Government Reform)
2) H.Res. 1172 - Recognizing the life and achievements of Will Keith Kellogg (Rep. Schauer / Oversight and Government Reform)
3) H.Res. 1189 - Commending Lance Mackey on winning a record 4th straight Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race (Rep. Young (AK) / Oversight and Government Reform)
4) H.Res. 1316 - Celebrating Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month (Rep. Honda / Oversight and Government Reform)
5) H.Res. 1385 - Recognizing and honoring the courage and sacrifice of the members of the Armed Forces and veterans (Rep. Skelton / Armed Services)
6) H.Res. 1353 - Supporting the goals and ideals of Student Financial Aid Awareness Month (Rep. Bishop (NY) / Education and Labor)
7) H.Res. 1169 - Honoring the 125th anniversary of Rollins College (Rep. Grayson / Education and Labor)
8) H.Res. 1161 - Honoring the Centennial Celebration of Women at Marquette University (Rep. Moore (WI) / Education and Labor)
9) H.Res. 1372 - Honoring the University of Georgia Graduate School (Rep. Broun / Education and Labor) //
10) H.Res. 407 - Expressing support for designation of May as "National Asthma and Allergy Awareness Month" (Rep. Castor / Energy and Commerce)
Postponed Suspensions Votes (5 Bills):
1) H.Res. 1258 - Expressing support for designation of May 2010 as Mental Health Month (Rep. Napolitano / Energy and Commerce)
2) H.Res. 1382 - Expressing sympathy to the families of those killed by North Korea in the sinking of the Republic of Korea Ship Cheonan, and solidarity with the Republic of Korea in the aftermath of this tragic incident (Del. Faleomavaega / Foreign Affairs)
3) H.Res. 584 - Recognizing the importance of manufactured and modular housing in the United States (Rep. Donnelly / Financial Services)
4) H.R. 3885 - Veterans Dog Training Therapy Act (Rep. Brown (SC) / Veterans' Affairs)
5) H.R. 5145 - Assuring Quality Care for Veterans Act (Rep. McNerney / Veterans' Affairs)
20:00:10economic woes and brought this country into a situation that found people in the ranks of the unemployed and brought the american economy to its knees, as i indicated, the worst since the great depression.
20:00:27what i think is important to note that when we talk about choices, when we talk about contrasts, it's looking at where the allegiances lie. with the republican party, it was siding with big banks, with
20:00:45wall street, with the bill oil companies, with credit card companies. certainly with the insurance industry. and making certain that those special interests were their priority.
20:00:58well, the turnaround here is an alignment with the american worker, rather than special interests, the democrats have aligned with the american worker. rather than big oil companies, big banks, the democrats have
20:01:15aligned with american families. and certainly when it comes to the interests, the special interests that were held precious by the republican leadership of the past, we hear, as democrats have aligned with
20:01:33small business, seeing that as the springboard to a recovery, seeing that as the backbone of our economy. . there is a change of heart.
20:01:46there's a policy enhancement that finds us moving in a new direction. what has that meant? i believe that one needs merely to look at the statistics out there. let's look at the facts. this chart here will show us in
20:02:06very stark contrast where we were headed with the economy over the last several years. the red lines, the bar graphs of red, will show us that severe
20:02:21drop, that constant loss in jobs, in payroll across this country. and then finally a change in direction with the blue bars, suggesting the turnaround, the
20:02:37investments through policy that enaged us to begin the climb -- enabled to us begin the climb upward. this formation of red and blue will show the sharp contrast, will show the choices, the priority shift, if you will, where we have now begun to climb
20:02:54forward, where we're now experiencing absolute job growth. since december of 2009, this nation has experienced some 573,000 jobs created, 84% of
20:03:12which are in the private sector category. that has been a goal, to enable us to grow the economy, to create and retain jobs and add to that private sector column.
20:03:26this goal is beginning to be achieved. now, one needs to recall that the changes here in our economy are not going to come nearly as quickly as we would like because the problem, the dilemma, the
20:03:42siding with special interests occurred over a number of years and so with the change of leadership, with the obama administration, with the leadership in the house and certainly in the united states senate we've been able to march forward in a way that allows us
20:03:58to speak with dignity, to award the american people. speak with compassion toward the american family. and speak with productivity and growth to order the small business community -- toward the
20:04:14small business community. how do we do that? there are a number of members -- measures that have been proposed and passed here in the house and in both houses and in some cases
20:04:25signed by the president, we're still in the midst of unfinished business but we're continuing to work on a number of items. what we have currently is in this last bit of recovery where
20:04:40we are seeing that over 1/2 million jobs added to the picture, it is in sharp contrast, again, contrast and change here, eight million jobs lost through the course of the bush recession.
20:04:57that rivals in fact, it surpasses the statistics, the job losses from the great depression. it is a change in thinking where we embrace science and technology, where we look toward the strengths of an innovation
20:05:14economy, one that can use the american intellectual, embrace the intellectual capacity of this nation to not only advance research and development and basic research, which translates
20:05:28into jobs, but to also create new products, new discoveries, innovation that leads to businesses that leads to production that leads to job security and job growth. often times again in the private
20:05:45sector. and so it was this stewardship of our economy, arriving on the scene, inheriting a gross bit of policy, that drove us deep into a recession, that found an in--
20:06:02impact not only on american workers, on the budgets of american households, but on house sales, on all sorts of investments that need to be part of a robust economy. all of these were dulled, the
20:06:18competitiveness of business was dulled simply by this recession. and so, again, the contrasts and the change. the choices, as we approach an election this november for
20:06:31members of this house and what will be a report card on the progress made to date, the important to note that there is a change order of thinking. the choice should be one of tremendously stark contrast, one that will look at hope inspired
20:06:50simply by the opportunity to land a job. now, there are still millions of people out of work, we know that. we're not happy with the point at which we have arrived yet. that is not our final
20:07:02destination. but it certainly is a climb in the right direction and a climb out of what was a very low, low pit in the nation's economy. let's look at the contrast. again, there are those who would
20:07:19have chosen and did choose to align with wall street, with big banks, with credit card companies, with big oil, with the insurance industry, with special interests. they had their day and made our day extremely gloomy and dark.
20:07:38made our economy bleak. however, there are those who aligned with american households, with america's families, with the hard working middle class, with small
20:07:54business, with senior populations, most of whom are looking to enjoy those golden years and have been threatened by this crash that hurt us so badly. let's look at some of those
20:08:08opportunities that we've had here in the house. opportunities to work with the president, opportunities to work with the leadership in the house of representatives. we had an opportunity called the american recovery and reinvestment act. many would like to suggest that
20:08:27it should have been avoided. we should not have invested through what our economically difficult -- through what are economically difficult times. well, a cross section of economists from very
20:08:40conservative thinking to more liberal thinking economists, as a panel, advising the president, the white house, his administration, the president's administration, a panel advising both houses, both parties in each of the houses, asked to
20:09:01where and how to recover the economy? advanced the notion that investing in these difficult times was essential. investing in a way that found a growth of some 2.8 million jobs
20:09:14to date with the american recovery and reinvestment act. that includes individuals in the public sector, including our
20:09:25educators, teachers, the school systems and support personnel, it includes public safety, our police officers, our firefighters, essential to the quality of life of communities.
20:09:38educators essential to growing the work force of tomorrow. these were important measures and again equating to some 2.8 million jobs that again are part of that recovery. keeping americans working,
20:09:54keeping services provided. more than 1/3 of the package of the american recovery and reinvestment act came in the form of tax cuts for 98% of america's workers and her small
20:10:14business community. so advancements there of the largest historic tax cut in this nation's history. for that income strata it is a part of this package, that is easily documented and should be
20:10:28touted as a form of relief that again engaged this economy. it allowed for people to circulate the dollars and their regional economies and begin to see the climb out of this difficult and very deep and
20:10:43painful recession. it also allowed as an american recovery and reinvestment act for us to play catchup with investments that were long overdue. investments in the area of clean energy, where this nation looks
20:11:02to advance, needs to advance, the concepts of energy security, enhancement of energy independence and, yes, national security, for as we reach to experts and their opinions, many
20:11:19suggest that our glute news to dependency on fossil-based fuels not only endanger our environment but find us shipping hundreds of billions of dollars per year to unfriendly and
20:11:35unstable governments that will often times then reutilize as we put those dollars, those american consumer dollars, into these foreign treasuries of again unfriendly governments. they are utilizing these dollars
20:11:49against our troops in the mid east. don't take our word for it. take the word of those who are part of the tool of veterans for american power. they recently traveled to new
20:12:05york state, the only stop made by the tour of our veterans, who defend this nation's liberties and per principles. these veterans made a stop in new york state. it was our fortune to host them
20:12:22in new york, part of the 21st congressional district, where we were joined by vintages of veterans, including our world war ii vets, amongst the oldest in the clustering. the oldest in the clustering. and they listened intently to
20:12:40the message and the message was this, we witness daily, we witnessed daily on the battlefield what was happening. dollars were going -- invested into the treasuries and then
20:12:56spent to train the taliban that would then go to harm and threaten our american troops. and so they said that if we do not resolve this climate change, global warming issue, the battle they see out there is enhanced
20:13:16because with flooding and drought and therefore famine, we have a weaker people around the globe, with lesser and lesser
20:13:31available land. a perfect storm, if you will, that then creates the chances, enhances the situation of terrorist activities as they look for less available land
20:13:45with a weakened people, it enhances that concept. and so they said, we saw the -- we witnessed the destruction, the devastation to our troops funded by our sending dollars into the treasuries of these unfriendly nations.
20:14:03so that the american recovery and reinvestment act allowed us to -- allows us to break away from those concepts that thinking allows for a new mindset. it takes projects backburnered and brought then to the front burner and it allows us to invest as we have in a clean
20:14:23energy economy with the recovery act. enabling us to talk about smart grid, smart thermostat, smart metering, an investment in our distribution system, the artery and veins of how we wheel electrons to the workplace and
20:14:39to the home place. that is part of the recovery act, so as to invest in a way that grows jobs in research and grows jobs and trades over to ph.d.'s. it goes on and on with broadband opportunities for our
20:14:52communities that are economically distressed or rural in nature or remote in location. it allows for us to invest in education with technology in the classroom, to stretch opportunities for our nation's students, it allows us to invest in health care with technology
20:15:11introduced into record keeping imaging and making certain that mistakes and duplication, unnecessary duplication, are avoided. so that is one investment that
20:15:24we made here in the house, had a choice. the president placed it before the house, democrats said yes. republicans said no. and it repeatedly -- the contrast, the choices, the differences that need to be understood by the public out there are what we're talking
20:15:40about here this evening. i am joined by a fellow freshman who has an outstanding record in the state of california. he was a state leader there, knowledgeable, extremely knowledgeable on insurance issues and small business issues and a leader. .
20:15:58this evening we're joined by the gentleman from california, representative garamendi, who is with us this evening and i welcome you, representative, and share with us your thoughts of change and contrast. .
20:16:15Garamendi (D-CA):thank you very much on focusing on what is the most spore national security issues facing this nation, which is our energy situation. we are finding $1 billion of our money is being transferred
20:16:34offshore to people who in countries that aren't our friends at all. and so the american energy policy is crucial to national security. we need to break our addiction to oil and you are bringing out not only the necessity of
20:16:51breaking that dependence on oil and sending money to very dangerous places in the world, but you're talking about creating the jobs in the future. i represented california and i was a lieutenant governor there.
20:17:04and throughout the state of california, we are looking to the green economy as being the next great opportunity. we talk about silicon valley and certainly 30, 40 years ago, the move to computers and silicon chips and all of those things
20:17:22did create a huge industry. now, what's the next step? everyone in silicon valley says the next step is the green economy and vent ture capital -- venture capital community, the scientific community,
20:17:39researchers are moving to the green economy. and so we see in my own district the biggest wind farms in california are in my district. those are the industries of the
20:17:54future. and as we move toward those green economies we free ourselves from oil. it's a huge issue. and you correctly pointed out that the stimulus program, the american reinvestment and recovery act pushed us in that direction by providing research
20:18:11dollars, the biggest increase in research in the last 12 years has occurred as a result of that stimulus program. we have another piece of legislation that was on this floor last week and it was the competes act, which is the next step in giving us the
20:18:27opportunity in america and in california to compete internationally with science, research and the educational system that we need to have those engineers and scientists and technicians educated.
20:18:44unfortunately right here on this floor, last week, the republicans put forth a reconsideration amendment motion that gutted that legislation, took away half of the potential money and stopped it cold in its tracks.
20:19:01it was one of the worst situations i have seen when they, every other business group, the american chamber of commerce, all said we have to have that piece of legislation. yet the republican party, for pure political reasons, stalled that legislation, derailed it.
20:19:17we're working hard to put it
20:19:21back on, because this is the future of america. we cannot any longer be held hostage by those countries that control our oil supply in the middle east, in venezuela and even in the gulf of mexico.
20:19:36we now know how risky it is even in our own gulf to rely upon oil. we need these new sources of energy. the next step is going to occur this week when we vote on the american jobs and closing
20:19:54corporate tax loopholes legislation. that bill is going to be up on the floor of this house this week. and what it does is provide very significant amount of funding for small businesses, increasing
20:20:09the small business administration loan potential. it provides funding for the research, green technology. it provides tax credits and subsidies so we can advance the green industries that future jobs of this nation are going to
20:20:23be advanced. and i know it's going to happen. the republican party on that side of the room are going to do everything they can to stop this critical piece of legislation, 250,000 summer jobs for youth
20:20:37that are otherwise going to be on the street causing trouble.
Tonko (D-NY):representative garamendi, you are citing another contract that is coming in the future. let's talk about the wall street
20:20:55reform. yet another contrast, another choice, that becomes very clear in terms of the behavior patterns here to the american public. the wall street reform legislation gave us a golden opportunity to fix what's broken on wall street, to deal with
20:21:11consumer protection when it comes to predatory lending, when it came to addressing executive bonuses and salaries and providing a watchdog. we are joined by another freshman in the house who is yet another powerful voice.
20:21:26it's just a great class to work with. as a fellow freshman, i'm enjoying this first term in congress. we see fresh thinking, soundness of advocacy. and joined by representative
20:21:42driehaus, who has been begging away at reform and speaks to the contrast, the change, the change in thinking that i think aligns up a very sharp choice as we move towards this fall's campaign activity.
20:21:58Driehaus (D-OH):i thank the gentleman's leadership on this issue. when we talk about the economy, obviously clean energy is a critical piece of this. wall street reform is critical to making sure we don't repeat the mistakes that were made.
20:22:14but oftentimes as i'm sitting in that chair and you're sitting in that chair, you hear republican after republican after republican come down to the floor and tell the american people that the sky is falling and this is the worst recession
20:22:32and people can't find jobs and the recovery act isn't working. perhaps i would share with our audience, not what you and i think, and not what the republicans have to say when they come down to the floor, but what other people are saying
20:22:46about the economy today, because there has been a lot of dispute as to the impact of the stimulus. the american recovery act, as we passed -- what was it now, just over a year ago. so let me tell you what's happened in that year.
20:23:03just one year later, the numbers speak for themselves. you ask consumer confidence rose in april reaching its highest level. g.d.p. grew for the third kuwait quarter, 3.2%. consumer spending, surpassing
20:23:21pre-recession levels. manufacturing activity levels, increased for the nine straight months. pending home sales, up for the fifth straight month. largely attributed to the tax
20:23:37credit for first-time home buyers that was included in the stimulus. factory orders increased by the largest amount in more than nine years. and car sales, up by 20%, according to the "wall street journal."
20:23:51according to "market watch," this is what they had to say. hiring has increased for the first four months, reversing nearly two straight years of job losses after the recession began in 2007. according to the "new york times," this is unambiguously a
20:24:10strong report for growth implications, a chief economist said. it adds that it is a clear
20:24:20pickup in employment. it is very clear there has been a bounce here and momentum has been up. according to cnnmoney.com, another sign of recovery is taking hold. according to the ap, clearly
20:24:35companies have found a newfound confidence in the future of the economic recovery on the part of their business prospects, saped president of economic advisers. this is an indication that businesses are feeling more
20:24:50comfortable about expanding their work forces. and according to bloomberg, general electric company are boosting sales, leading to income gains that may spur consumer spending and more hiring. there is no doubt that the
20:25:05economy is recovering. there is no doubt that the stimulus that we voted on, that we infused into the economy, not only shortened the length of the recession, but shortened the severity of the recession. but i think it's worthwhile to explore, because you brought up
20:25:24regulatory reform. the senate passed their version of the bill, a bill we passed last december. but it's important to take people back, take people back to where we were during the bush administration and what was happening. the former congresswoman from
20:25:40northern ohio, stephanie tubbs jones who passed away, representative tubbs jones repeatedly came to this floor and sought predatory legislation to be heard.
20:25:55it was denied her in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2006. in the meantime, ohio was experiencing the worst foreclosure crisis that we have seen in generations. due in large part to the
20:26:13predatory lending activity that we were seeing on the part of brokers, on the part of out -of-town financial institutions. what was enabling this? we found out what was enabling this.
20:26:30the mortgage-backed securities on wall street and the default swaps. it was the col rised debt obligations. all of these fancy derivative products, none of which were being regulated.
20:26:45they were being rated by the rating agencies hired by the same financial institutions that put the products together. so investors were purchasing these products, yet they didn't know what the underliing risk was.
20:27:01so what happened? well, i'll tell you what happened. because there was lax regulation and the s.i.c. and the bush administration didn't look at these various derivatives, they were shifting the risk away from
20:27:18the local markets. so whereas in the past, you would have to go to the savings and loan and would have to show proof of employment and proof of income and then the banks would offer you alone and share the
20:27:35risk, the bank would then take that mortgage paper and hold onto it. it would be part of their long term investment portfolio. that didn't happen anymore. as soon as that mortgage was closed, it would be immediately
20:27:50sold under a secondary market. that would then be bundled into these mortgage-backed securities. so no longer was there any risk at the close of the deal. what does that incentivize? you had people closing as many
20:28:06deals as they possibly could whoever walked in the door at the highest rates they could possibly get. putting people that shouldn't have qualified for loans into bad loans destinned to fail.
20:28:22that's what was contained in those mortgage-backed securities. that's what those credit default swaps were backing up. and that's why it was the house of cards ready to collapse. where were the regulators? where was the republican
20:28:37leadership when so many times democrats came to the floor and said we needed to crack down on this behavior? when the mortgage bankers were supporting the republican leadership. they didn't want to see change. they were making handsome
20:28:53profits on wall street. but finally we have an opportunity, finally we have an opportunity after this crisis, knowing that it led to the greatest recession in our lifetime, finally we have the opportunity to do something about it. that's wall street reform.
20:29:08that's what we passed in the house. that's what we passioned in the senate. that's -- passed in the senate. that's what republicans are standing in the way of.
20:29:19Tonko (D-NY):you are so very right. the gentleman from ohio outlines the greed that was allowed to take over because there was no watchdog in the equation. and tonight in this special order hour, we are sharing with the american public the sharp
20:29:34contrast, the change in direction, the choices that exist out there in terms of do we pursue this course and climb out of this recession and continue along the path of progress or do we go back into the bush recession era and go to
20:29:50those choices where we cater to these special interests? when we talk about these bank outcomes with this investment financial community and all of the woes that accompanied it, we are talking about every day
20:30:07people who perhaps live pay check to pay check and go to work and are proud of the living that they earn. this is the sort of community that got impacted. homeowners who lost their homes, retirees who had relied upon
20:30:23these savings and the growth of these savings upon which to retire, totally evaporating from their surroundings. lookingal -- looking at small businesses, the community banks
20:30:41were impacted. these are in alignment from big banks to big oil, to insurance companies, to the credit card companies. and the gentleman from california is wanting to jump in here. the choice is very clear to me. .
20:30:59Garamendi (D-CA):there are two different views about what america needs to do. the republican view, as articulated by mr. driehaus, is one of hands off, let the big boys do whatever they're going to do, we saw the result of that, the deepest recession since the great depression
20:31:14occurred because of a lack of regulation and the notion that somehow the marketplace would take care of itself. well, it took care of the economy of the world with he need that regulatory system in place and we're going to see it in the next week to two weeks,
20:31:31whether the republicans are going to stand for reining in wall street or letting it rip once more. we know where we came from. we did pass a bill in december, i was fortunate enough to be here. the senate has now acted with
20:31:44just a couple of republican votes in support, now it's going to be backed. we'll see. in this week, however, we have another opportunity to see where we stand. where do the republicans stand? this is the american jobs and corporate -- and closing
20:32:02corporate tax loopholes and bringing jobs back home. i want to go to wal-mart someday and see made in america on the things i buy. i've seen enough made in china, i want to see made in america. and we can do that and this piece of legislation that we're
20:32:17going to be voting on this week, the american jobs and ending corporate tax loopholes, for those corporations that have sent the jobs offseas, right now, those corporations have a tax break when they send american jobs offshore. enough of that.
20:32:33we're going to bring that back and we're going to get some of our money back from wall street because we're going to raise the taxes on those wall street barrens that have ripped this country off to a fair thee well. one more fact before i turn it back to you, mr. tonko, is that
20:32:52in the last days of the bush administration, in the very last days of the bush administration, when it was obvious that the entire financial institution of this nation and the world was collapsing, bush came forward with what became known as the
20:33:05tarp program. troubled asset relief program. that turned over some $700 billion to the financial industry, about $400 billion of that went directly to wall street. what did they do with that money? i tell you one thing they did
20:33:21not do, with all that money they received they reduced the number of loans and the amount of loanses that they made to small businesses on main street. now, the business banks on main street, the community banks actually increased their loans even though they got less than 18% of the money.
20:33:3781% of the money went to the big banks, they reduced their lending to small businesses. 18% went to the small banks. they increased. so what we're doing in this bill is to shift the direction. we're shifting the support to the small banks and we're going
20:33:53to build up small businesses. well, i think --
Garamendi (D-CA):well, i think the contrast is clear. when it came to whether you --
Tonko (D-NY):well, i think the cron draft is clear. democrats in the house say yes, republicans say no. do you want to have consumer
20:34:10protection for the general public out there that invests? the democrats say yes. republicans say no.
20:34:17Garamendi (D-CA):that's in the bill. the consumer protection --
Tonko (D-NY):as the instruments were invented to circumvent regulation, the democrats are -- have said yes, we're concerned about that, we want to fix it, republicans say no. the vote was clear. no to wall street reform.
20:34:32you look at the g.d.p. growth, you look at the changes that have come since the first quarter of 2009. we were hitting a job loss that was incredibly difficult. nearly $750 -- 750,000 jobs lost per month.
20:34:52lately 187,000 jobs increase. we talked earlier about december, 2009, forward in the last four months. 84% growth of the private sector from those over 1/2 million jobs, 573,000 jobs created.
20:35:08so the g.d.p. is improving, the household income lost $17.5 trillion over the last 18 months of the bush presidency, now 60% recovered. some $6 trillion recovered. and it goes on and on and on. and even with the tax situation,
20:35:24i know that representative driehaus is concerned about the tax situation. the tax cut that was part of the recovery and reinvestment act was a part of it but there are tax cuts galore and the gentleman from ohio, i believe, wants to address that factor.
Driehaus (D-OH):and the american
20:35:42recovery and reinvestment act. the largest single tax cut for middle income families in the united states.
Driehaus (D-OH):and the pretty clear to me that the republican caucus wants to take us back to the failed policies of the bushed a strailings. the exact same failed policies that brought us to the worst
20:35:59recession week of seen since the great depression. and they do it using scare tactics. they go out to the american people and suggest that we're raising their taxes. i was struck, as many people were struck, by the headline in "u.s.a. today"ed on may 11, may
20:36:2011, tax bills in 2009 at lowest level since 1950. since 1950. now, you might ask, where does
20:36:31this come from? well, it comes from the bureau of economic analysis where they say federal, state and local taxes, including income, property, sales and other taxes, consumed 9.2% of all personal income in 2009.
20:36:49the lowest rate since 1950. the lowest overall tax rate since 1950. on average, though, the tax rate paid by all americans, rich and poor combined, has fallen 26%
20:37:09since the recession began in 2007. that means a $3,400 annual tax savings for a household paying the average national rate and earning the average national
20:37:21household income of $102,000. every once in a while the facts get in the way of the arguments being made by the republicans. because time and time again they will come down to the floor and talk about how the taxes are
20:37:39going up for middle income americans. but the proof is far different. you know, i know that through the stimulus package we lowered taxes and according to reports all across america, the
20:37:57economists agree with us that these are the lowest tax rates since 1950. so, i think when you talk about the stimulus and the republicans often say, we need to be putting money back in the hands of the american taxpayer, that's
20:38:12exactly what we did. that is exactly what we did in the stimulus and it's reflected in the tax rates.
Tonko (D-NY):i think the results here are driven by a number of things. choices, contrasts. the choice here was to put american families, american
20:38:33workers, small business as a high priority. no more alignment with big oil, big banks, insurance companies, credit card companies, let's drive a benefit, let's drive the focus for america's hard working
20:38:50families across this country. 98% of americans were part of that tax cut that was part of the recovery and reinvestment act. 98% of americans and small
20:39:03businesses, a tremendously strong statistic, a contrast to the behavior before, the decade before, which found two wars off budget, let the credit card
20:39:17cover that, i guess, tax cuts for the highest income bracket off budget, a deal with the pharmaceutical company, medicare part d which suggests that medicaid paid for part of the
20:39:32program when we know seniors, often times retirees, dug into their pockets to pay for pharmaceutical costs. and so we come up with a health care reform measure to which republicans said no, contrast again, democrats say yes.
20:39:50we make certain pharmaceutical costs are covered, we make certain that deductibles and co-pays are taken out of the picture for our medicare-eligible population. there are huge contrasts here.
20:40:04siding with people who really make america's economy work. they invest their money on basic core needs, they work paycheck to paycheck and then invest in the community and so when we had an opportunity here to further
20:40:20grow opportunity for this country and for her people we said yes to student loan reform, said yes to community college investment. republicans said no. all of these activities, all of this legislation, all of these
20:40:37improvements, all of this sensitivity, all of this fairness is equating to a resurgence in the economy. because what is it? the large broad middle class that needs to be fairly treated
20:40:52in public policy terms and budgeting are now being able to have more dollars available. the g.d.p. tells the story. the household income situation, the graph that we had here last week, talked about trillions of
20:41:07dollars, $17.5 trillion worth of household income lost in the last 18 months of the bush presidency. that bush recession drained american households and now since the beginning of 2009 30%
20:41:23of that has been recovered. some $6 trillion has been recovered. we're not stopping there. we're going to continue to go. the choice here is based on the contrast, very clear. do we continue along the path of
20:41:38progress or do we, as the president said a few days ago, give back the keys to the people who drove the car into the ditch and was a painful measure to pull the car out of the ditch?
Driehaus (D-OH):it's important to
20:41:52note that we didn't just stabilize the economy, we didn't just keep it from continuing to go into the ditch. we didn't just stop the recession. we also laid the foundation for future growth. and i think our colleague from california was mentioning this earlier.
20:42:08and i think this is really important for all of us to understand. when we talk about the future economy, it's an economy of knowledge and it's an economy where there's investment in new energy technologies, where there's investment in energy efficiency, where there's
20:42:24investment in health care i.t. there are such huge opportunities for all of us in these areas. i know in ohio the governor was just down in cincinnati the other day talking about all of the energy companies wanting to come to ohio and take advantage
20:42:43of the investments being made in new energy technology. much of that coming from the stimulus as well as funding coming from the state of ohio. i know when i went out in cincinnati to a foundry where they used to work with steel and they built steel rolls, they now
20:43:00changed their technology, realizing that that same steel, that same fabrication, those same talents and skills can be used to make the gears for wind mills. they see into the future, they
20:43:14get it. and we are laying the foundation for the future growth of this economy.
Garamendi (D-CA):mr. driehaus, you just touched on something that is really a serious issue. and i want to just drive home, because you said something that i want to take back to california.
20:43:30as i said earlier, we have some of the biggest wind farms in the nation. texas has done some that are a little bit bigger but we have -- i was out touring there with a couple of the companies that are building those things, i said, this is interesting, where is it made?
20:43:46turns out that the tower -- the steel tower was made in korea. yet just across the river 20 miles away is a korean company's steel mill that could have been made in california but instead they shipped it in from korea. the big blades and gears in the wind turbines all have been made
20:44:02overseas. and i told the company, enough. you'll have no more support from me for one more wind turbine in this area until you start buyinging america. they said, well, they don't make it america.
20:44:16mr. driehaus, you and i need to get together and i need to know where those gears are because i'm going to go back to california and tell them, i know where you can get a gear. that may be 1/100 of this machine but by god you're going to make it in america and build it in america because one more thing, our tax dollars are
20:44:33subsidizing that industry. and if our tax dollars are going to be used to subsidize any industry, they are going to be made in america. and we're going to help out ohio by making that happen. i've had enough of these jobs being shipped offshore by corporations that get a tax
20:44:50break, get a subsidy from the american taxpayer so they can send our jobs overseas. enough and this week we're going to see the kind of division that you talked about, mr. tonko, because the republicans are going to be held accountable.
20:45:05are they going to stand with the corporations that have been shipping jobs overseas and continuing that tax loophole or are they going to stand with the american public and bring the jobs back to america and close those loopholes? .
20:45:29Garamendi (D-CA):it reminds me that the change in direction, i think it was "fortune" magazine said the economy is taking a sharp
20:45:40u-turn applauding what has taken place to date. we see the optimism. we see the confidence growing. so that can't help but grow the economy and get a fresher field,
20:45:56because people were weighted down by this recession which was especially painful and long. what it does also is tap into the pioneer spirit that is always in the d.n.a. of this country.
20:46:10it is part of our fabric as a people and society. we see it time and time again. throughout the course of history. this nation has stories with the sense of courage, determination and optimism. i represent a district in
20:46:27upstate new york that is the host to the erie canal that gave birth to a westward movement, an industrial receive nution that grew the united states and -- revolution that grew the united
20:46:43states and impacted the world. mill towns, they became the center of innovation and invention and intellect of the worker and the pride of producing along that assem bly-line process to enhance the
20:47:01quality of people not just in these united states but around the world. that same magic can be prompted today. and it is the turnaround in policies, fairness, the focus on american job production,
20:47:17american energy independence, innovation. i know that the history of the birth place of electricity was the place that converted a factory that was plusing loco motives and women were changing
20:47:35their agenda and see the rosie the rifter. the transformer came because the intellect and can-do attitude.
20:47:51we have tapped into this resource in a way that is very powerful and not just turning around the economy, but showing respect and enhancing the dignity of the american worker and bringing us together as a people so we can grow this economy.
20:48:05to me, that is the validity here. and tonight, this discussion of contrast, of change, of choices couldn't be more clear. we cannot afford to fall back into those republican recessionary policies.
20:48:21we cannot afford to fall back to the huge deficits inherited by this administration passed on by the bush administration after it inherited a surplus. so the choice, the contrast, the change that should be endorsed becomes very clear to me.
20:48:40Driehaus (D-OH):we have tremendous opportunity and i think we are close to wrapping this up. but i would agree wholeheartedly, this is about innovation and about giving american businesses the tools to
20:48:53move forward. they were in desperate straits in january of 2009 when you took that oath of office, when i took that oath of office, when president obama took the oath of office. we were in the middle of the worst recession in our life
20:49:09times caused by greed and corruption on wall street.
20:49:16we have an opportunity to address that greed and corruption. the republicans have the opportunity to turn things around, to join us in whold holding wall street accountable.
20:49:30more importantly, they have the opportunity to embrace the policies that are making a difference. we know the economy is turning around. we spent the last hour citing the various sources who support that notion.
20:49:44we know the g.d.p. is growing. we know people are going back to work and we are investing in their intellect and their skills and investing in new technology. that's what is so critically important.
20:50:00if we are to see continued growth over time, we have to be making those necessary investments and we are making those investments. but at the same time, we have to have to have the courage to stand up to the oil companies, who would have us dependent on
20:50:19foreign oil for years to come. we have to have the courage to stand up to the wall street investment bankers, who want to control all of the decisions when it comes to the economy, but don't have the best interests of small businesses in
20:50:34mind. we have to have the courage to stand up to do the right thing and make the right investments in our economy. that's what we're doing. that's what this aagenda ave -- agenda has done as we move
Driehaus (D-OH):thank you, representative driehaus. and representative garamendi. and i'm sure you have final statements.
Garamendi (D-CA):you have been foveringt right in pointing -- forte right in pointing out the
20:51:05differences between the republicans and the democrats. jobs, we talked about it. all house republicans voted no. the business assistance act, 93% of the republicans note voted
20:51:21no. health insurance reform, all house republicans voted know. student aid, republicans voted no. cash for clunkers, 55% of the republicans voted no. the hire act, 97% of republicans
20:51:38voted no. we passed many of those and many of those are law. wall street reform passed this house. every republican voted no. american workers, 93% of republicans voted no.
20:51:53small business infrastructure jobs act, 98% voted no. every effort that has been made to advance the economy has been done by the democratic party and it's working as you so carefully pointed out.
20:52:08thank you for bringing this to our attention and giving us the opportunity to point out the extraordinary contrast. our efforts to move the economy, to take action to do what must be done to move the economy forward, we have done it. the republicans have consistently have voted no or
20:52:24tried to block it. thank you so much for leading us in this discussion, representative tonko.
Driehaus (D-OH):i would thank my colleagues for joining me. the change is working. the contrast is stark. the choice is clear.
20:52:40and so i appreciate my colleagues sharing some very strong thoughts about what's happening here to the good. it has been a climb out of the toughest times america has known, but we need to continue to pursue and the direction i believe that has been
20:52:56strengthening our economy and therefore the american families, the american worker and american small business community. mr. speaker, i yield back on behalf of my colleagues.
THE SPEAKER PRO TEMPORE:under the speaker's announced policy of january 6, 2009, the chair
20:53:14recognizes the gentleman from iowa, mr. king.
King, S. (R-IA):i appreciate the honor to be recognized and address you here on the floor of the house and appreciate the opportunity
20:53:29to listen to the speakers and do a bit of rebuttal even though i have been more attentive in previous presentations. looking at the decline in the economy that she show in their bar graph, it could be that when
20:53:44president bush was no longer president, things got better a lot faster. as i watched that, the graph doesn't go back quite so far enough to really your honor what happened during the eight years of the bush administration. but i remember what they said.
20:54:00remember what they said when they stood here on this floor night after night, hour after hour, year after year, the 30-something group and others that would stand here and tell america through this microphone
20:54:18and projected through the c-span cameras if they were in the majority they would fix america. if you give them the gavel they would solve the problems of america.
20:54:28and they made that case over and over again. and lo and be hold, what happened? i don't think it was intentional. it was circumstance by circumstance, district by district, that the majority changed from relationship cans
20:54:45to democrats and the problem that you have when you find yourself in the majority, you're responsible for governing. and even though they claim the mantell of responsibility, in all those years, leading up to 2006 election when the majority
20:55:02in this house shifted, they claim the mantle of responsibility, but when it was passed to them by the voters in november of 2006 and when speaker pelosi was passed the gavel here on january 3, 2007,
20:55:20mr. speaker and you can correct me if i'm wrong on that date, then they achieved the goal that they called for for all that time. and i watched what happened. the election returns came dem in november of 2006, it was
20:55:36apparent that they won the majority in 2006 and it was going to be nancy pelosi and the incoming chairman of the ways and means committee would be
20:55:51charlie rangel. and he did the national talk show circuit from november, december, january and february, all the way across every network and they asked him over and over again tell us about the bush tax cuts, which ones do you want to
20:56:09keep, which ones do you want to let expire? the questions came out over and over again. and mr. speaker, i don't want to allege that charlie rangel never gave a straight answer, i just don't remember one. but i do know by february of 2007, the smart money had
20:56:27analyzed the answers and the voids in those answers of charlie rangel and concluded there wasn't a single bush tax cut he would like to keep. and here we are today in this year, may, 2010 and it's obvious
20:56:46that the bush tax cuts will expire. and in november and december of 2006 and january and february of 2007 were ack rate and we saw in the beginning -- accurate and we
20:56:59saw in the beginning of 2007 a dramatic drop, because smart money understood that the cost of capital was going to go up because taxes were going to go up and that burden was going to come down on those who invested
20:57:15on their future profits and those who created jobs. jobs get created by the private sector unless you punish the private sector and drop it into the public sector. so we saw this happen in 2006 and 2007.
20:57:31lo and be hold, the dog that had chased the car for 12 years finally caught it. and what happened? what happened was industrial investment dropped off. the economy began to decline and they pushed the economy down
20:57:48because they were punishing business all those years beginning in 2007 with the pelosi -- speakership of the house of representatives, 2007, 2008 and 2009 and now in 2010. and furthermore, the argument
20:58:06was, we couldn't do enough because we had a president bush who would veto the anti-capitalist ideas. the people who were opposed to free enterprise were in charge of the house of representatives but occasionally the president of the united states, president
20:58:23bush would veto a bad idea and come back here to the house and uphold the veto. so we were restrained. during that period of time, speaker pelosi pushed, promoted and supported 44 votes in the house of representatives that
20:58:41were designed to underfund or undermine our troops, 44 votes. i'm not pulling that out of my head or hat. i have the data. i have the spreadsheet and linked to all of those issues that were pushed.
20:58:58the effort was to attack president bush and undermine the support for president bush by challenging his position as commander in chief. and in doing so, it undermined our military in a time of war
20:59:14when their lives are on the line. and i asked the question, when someone in this house of representatives, let alone the speaker of the house of representatives speaks against a military operation, when they argue that we ought to suck up our bats and go home from iraq
20:59:30and afghanistan, when they make that argument, what happens to an al qaeda terrorist in iraq and afghanistan and has the satellite dish on top. i have flown over those mud huts
20:59:44and i don't remember the exact number, but it was over 50% of those huts had a satellite dish on top of them. and these terrorists are making bombs, i.e.d.'s and planning to set these bombs up to detonate
21:00:00them against americans. and when americans are victims of this, we need to ask this question, what happens in the mind of that al qaeda terrorist that's sitting in that mud hult making that bomb, watching al-jazeera tv and sees the