|00:00:01||R. 500, HOUSE RES.|
|00:00:03||500 PROVIDES FOR CONSIDERATION OF THREE MEASURES THAT WILL ENSURE THAT THE GOVERNMENT IS FUNDED THROUGH THE END OF THE FISCAL YEAR, AND THIS RULE AS WAS OUTLINED BY THE READING CLERK, PROVIDES VERY IMPORTANT TOOLS TO DEAL WITH IMPORTANT ISSUES THAT HAVE YET TO BE RESOLVED.|
|00:00:23||SPEAKER, WE ALL KNOW THAT AS WE SIT HERE AT THREE MINUTES TO 10:00 THIS MORNING, WE ARE FACED AT MIDNIGHT TONIGHT WITH THE PROSPECT OF A GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN.|
|00:00:36||AND THERE IS A BIPARTISAN CONSENSUS ON THE NEED TO ENSURE THAT WE DON'T FACE A GOVERNMENT SHUT DOWN, AND IT'S VERY IMPORTANT THAT WE TAKE ACTION TO PREVENT THAT FROM TAKING PLACE, AND THAT'S EXACTLY WHAT OUR OPPORTUNITY IS HERE TODAY.|
|00:00:57||. AT THE SAME TIME IT'S IMPORTANT FOR US TO REALIZE IT'S ABSOLUTELY IMPERATIVE IF WE WANT TO GET OUR ECONOMY GOING AND CREATE JOBS FOR US TO REDUCE THE SIZE AND SCOPE AND REACH OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.|
|00:01:10||THAT'S THE MESSAGE THE AMERICAN PEOPLE HAVE SENT TO US OVERWHELMINGLY, AND THAT'S WHY I HAVE TO SAY THAT I BELIEVE THIS BIPARTISAN, BIPARTISAN COMPROMISE, WHICH HAS BEEN WORKED OUT WITH MEMBERS OF THE HOUSE AND THE SENATE AND THE WHITE HOUSE MOVES US IN THE DIRECTION OF DOING JUST THAT.|
|00:01:31||WHY? BECAUSE WE ARE ACTUALLY BRINGING ABOUT IN THIS CONFERENCE REPORT A $95 BILLION REDUCTION IN DISCRETIONARY SPENDING.|
|00:01:39||MERELY A DROP IN THE BUCKET.|
|00:01:41||WE ALL RECOGNIZE THAT IT'S NOT ENOUGH.|
|00:01:43||WE ALL RECOGNIZE THAT MUCH, MUCH MORE REMAINS TO BE DONE, BUT, MR.|
|00:01:48||SPEAKER, THIS IS AN IMPORTANT FIRST STEP, AND THE FACT THAT THE BEEN DONE IN A BIPARTISAN, BICAMERAL WAY, WORKING WITH NOT ONLY THE FIRST BUT SECOND BRANCH OF GOVERNMENT AS WELL IS I BELIEVE A POSITIVE INDICATOR FOR US.|
|00:02:04||NOW, AS I THINK ABOUT THE CHALLENGES THAT WE HAVE AND I SAID THIS DURING MANAGEMENT OF OUR JOBS BILL THAT WE HAD, THE SO-CALLED EXTENDERS MEASURE THAT DEALS WITH THE QUESTION OF EXTENDING UNEMPLOYMENT INSURANCE, DOING EVERYTHING WE POSSIBLY CAN TO KEEP TAXES LOW BY EXTENDING FOR A YEAR THE PAYROLL TAX HOLIDAY, ENSURING THAT PEOPLE HAVE ACCESS TO MEDICARE DOLLARS AND OF COURSE FOCUSING ON JOB CREATION BY PRO -- PROSIDING WITH THE KEYSTONE PIPELINE.|
|00:02:42||OUR JOB IS JOBS.|
|00:02:47||I BELIEVE THAT THIS BIPARTISAN, BICAMERAL COMPROMISE WILL HELP US IN THIS QUEST.|
|00:02:52||IT HASN'T BEEN PRETTY GETTING HERE.|
|00:02:55||WE ALL KNOW THE FAMOUS LINE, YOU DON'T WANT TO WATCH SAUSAGE OR LAWS BEING MADE.|
|00:03:03||THIS IS UGLY.|
|00:03:05||ACTUALLY I WASN'T GOING TO SAY WHAT I AM BEING TO SAY, MR.|
|00:03:08||SPEAKER, BUT I'LL PROCEED AND I'LL EXPLAIN WHY.|
|00:03:12||IT'S BEEN A PAINFUL AND DIFFICULT AND UGLY AND MESSY PROCESS WHICH FRANKLY IS EXACTLY WHAT JAMES MADISON WANTED WHEN HE'S LOOKING DOWN ON US SAYING THE PROCESS IS WORKING JUST AS I ENVISIONED IT BECAUSE HE WANTED TO BE THIS CLASH OF IDEAS AND STRUGGLE BUT AT THE END OF THE DAY HE WANTED A COMPROMISE AND HE WANTED THERE TO BE AN AGREEMENT AT THE END OF THE DAY RECOGNIZING THAT NEEDED TO BE DONE.|
|00:03:34||WE KNOW THAT THE CHAIRS OF THE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS, MESSRS.|
|00:03:44||ROGERS AND INOUYE, SHOOK HANDS AND HAD AN AGREEMENT.|
|00:03:48||I WAS NOT GOING TO SAY THIS BUT THE RULES COMMITTEE COMPLETED ITS WORK EARLY THIS MORNING AND I GOT A FEW HOURS' SLEEP AND I WOKE UP TO NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO WHICH I DO.|
|00:03:59||THAT'S WHAT MAKES ME UP IN THE MORNING, MR.|
|00:04:01||SPEAKER. I KNOW THERE ARE SOME OF MY REPUBLICAN FRIENDS WHO ARE NOT FANS OF NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO AND I LIKE TO WATCH MSNBC TV AND LISTEN TO N.|
|00:04:14||P.R. IT KEEPS MY BLOOD CIRCULATING, MR.|
|00:04:17||SPEAKER. I WOKE UP THIS MORNING TO LISTEN TO A REPORT ON THIS CONFERENCE AGREEMENT AND, AGAIN, I WILL SAY AND I'M VERY HAPPY TO SEE MY GOOD FRIEND FROM SEATTLE, THE DISTINGUISHED RANKING MEMBER OF THE APPROPRIATIONS COMMITTEE, ARRIVE ON THE FLOOR.|
|00:04:30||I WASN'T GOING TO SAY THIS BUT BECAUSE OF THIS REPORT ON N.|
|00:04:35||P.R., I AM GOING TO SHARE IT.|
|00:04:37||TAMARA KEY, THE CONGRESSIONAL CORPORATE -- CORRESPONDENT CHARACTERIZED WHY WE ARE HERE ON FRIDAY RATHER THAN HAVING MET THE THREE-DELEOVER REQUIREMENT AND ALL THESE THINGS THAT WE WANT TO DO WHEN THE AGREEMENT WAS STRUCK ON MONDAY.|
|00:04:55||AND WHAT SHE SAID WAS THAT SENATE DEMOCRATS HELD THIS BILL HOSTAGE.|
|00:05:05||THOSE ARE NOT MY WORDS AGAIN, MR.|
|00:05:07||THOSE ARE WORDS OF TAMARA KEITH WHO REPORTED ON NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO THAT SAID THIS BILL WAS HELD HOSTAGE BY SENATE DEMOCRATS.|
|00:05:18||AND SHE SAID FINALLY THE HOSTAGES HAVE BEEN RELEASED.|
|00:05:20||AGAIN, THOSE ARE NOT MY WORDS.|
|00:05:23||THOSE ARE THE WORDS OF NATIONAL PUBLIC RADIO.|
|00:05:26||AND SO SOME PEOPLE WANTED ME TO SAY IT.|
|00:05:28||I DECIDED NOT TO SAY IT MYSELF BUT WHEN I HEARD IT EARLIER I COULDN'T HELP BUT SAY IT.|
|00:05:33||THAT'S THE REASON THAT I AM LOOKING ACROSS THE CHAMBER RIGHT NOW AT 3,000 PAGES, 3,000 PAGES STACKED THIS HIGH RIGHT NEXT TO THE DISTINGUISHED RANKING MINORITY MEMBER OF THE COMMITTEE ON RULES RIGHT ACROSS THE AISLE FROM THE DISTINGUISHED RANKING MEMBER OF THE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS, MR.|
|00:05:53||DICKS. AND, MR.|
|00:05:54||SPEAKER, WE'VE HAD TO WAIVE THE THREE-DELEOVER REQUIREMENT BECAUSE, -- THREE-DAY LAYOVER REQUIREMENT BECAUSE, ACCORDING TO N.|
|00:06:04||P.R., WE HAD THIS CONFERENCE REPORT HELD HOSTAGE.|
|00:06:07||NOW THAT WE'VE GOTTEN HERE I WILL SAY BECAUSE I AM NOT ECSTATIC WITH EVERY MEASURE IN IT AND I KNOW THAT MR.|
|00:06:15||DICKS IS NOT ECSTATIC WITH EVERY MEASURE AND I KNOW MS.|
|00:06:19||SLAUGHTER IS NOT ECSTATIC WITH EVERY MEASURE IN HERE.|
|00:06:25||WE ARE HERE BECAUSE IT IS ABSOLUTELY ESSENTIAL THAT WE NOT SEE THE GOVERNMENT SHUT DOWN IN SEVERAL HOURS, MIDNIGHT TONIGHT.|
|00:06:34||AND SO I BELIEVE THAT WE NEED TO REALIZE, AND I KNOW MR.|
|00:06:39||DICKS AND I HAVE HAD THIS CONVERSATION REPEATEDLY, ALONG WITH OUR FRIEND, MR.|
|00:06:44||ROGERS, THE CHAIR OF THE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS.|
|00:06:48||WE WANT A CLEAN SLATE AS WE HEAD INTO NEXT YEAR SO THAT MR.|
|00:06:51||DICKS AND MR.|
|00:06:52||ROGERS WILL BE ABLE TO GO THROUGH REGULAR ORDER, BRING THE APPROPRIATIONS BILLS TO THE FLOOR AND WE HOPE AND PRAY GET EACH BILL DONE THE WAY THEY'RE SUPPOSED TO BE DONE RATHER THAN DEALING WITH WHAT HAS BEEN CHARACTERIZED AS AN OMNIBUS, A MINIBUS, A MEGABUS, THE TERM THAT I LIKE THAT WAS GIVEN BY THE DISTINGUISHED CHAIR OF THE COMMITTEE ON APPROPRIATIONS LAST NIGHT WAS THIS IS THE REST OF THE BUS.|
|00:07:20||AND THAT'S REALLY WHERE WE ARE, BUT IT'S ESSENTIAL FOR THE AMERICAN PEOPLE, FOR THOSE WHO ARE REPRESENTING US SO DILIGENTLY AROUND THE WORLD AND CONFLICTS, IN AFGHANISTAN, IRAQ AND OTHER SPOTS, FOR PEOPLE WHO RELY AND NEED TO HAVE SUPPORT FROM GOVERNMENT PROGRAMS THAT DO EXIST, IT'S ESSENTIAL WE GET THIS MEASURE PASSED.|
|00:07:51||AND PASS IT WITH WHAT I HOPE WILL BE STRONG BIPARTISAN SUPPORT.|
|00:07:55||AND SO, MR.|
|00:07:56||SPEAKER, I'M NOT GOING TO SAY THAT I'M HAPPY THAT WE'RE DOING THE THINGS THAT WILL BE OUTLINED, I KNOW, VERY THOUGHTFULLY BY THE DISTINGUISHED CHAIR -- EXCUSE ME -- FORMER CHAIR AND THE RANKING MEMBER OF THE COMMITTEE ON RULES THAT WILL SAY WE GOT 3,000 PAGES.|
|00:08:14||BY THE WAY, I SHOULD SAY -- I SHOULD SAY BEFORE MY FRIEND BEGINS THIS THAT ON MONDAY, ON MONDAY, VIRTUALLY ALL OF THAT WAS AVAILABLE AND IT WAS PUT ONLINE AT 12:30 WEDNESDAY NIGHT RIGHT AFTER MIDNIGHT WEDNESDAY, IT WAS MADE AVAILABLE ONLINE.|
|00:08:32||WHILE WE'VE NOT ACTUALLY MET THE EXACT THREE-DAY LAYOVER REQUIREMENT, I SHOULD POINT TO THE FACT THAT WE ALWAYS SAID, AND I'M SO PROUD OF THE FACT THAT WE'VE BEEN ABLE TO DO IT, BUT WHEN WE FACED A VERY, VERY IMPORTANT DEADLINE, THAT BEING THE CLOSURE OF THE GOVERNMENT THAT WOULD TAKE PLACE 10 HOURS FROM NOW, I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT FOR US TO DO EVERYTHING WE POSSIBLY CAN.|
|00:08:56||14 HOURS FROM NOW.|
|00:08:58||IT'S VERY IMPORTANT THAT WE TAKE THIS ACTION AND DO IT AS QUICKLY AND AS WELL AS WE POSSIBLY CAN.|
|00:09:04||WITH THAT, MR.|
|00:09:05||SPEAKER, I RESERVE|
Mr. DREIER. Mr. Speaker, H. Res. 500 provides for the consideration of three measures that will ensure that the government is funded through the end of the fiscal year; and this rule, as was outlined by the reading Clerk, provides very important tools to deal with important issues that have yet to be resolved.
[Time: 10:00] Now, Mr. Speaker, we all know that, as we sit here at 3 minutes of 10 o'clock this morning, we are faced at midnight tonight with the prospect of a government shutdown. There is a bipartisan consensus on the need to ensure that we don't face a government shutdown; and it's very important that we take action to prevent that from taking place, and that's exactly what our opportunity is here today.
At the same time, it's important for us to realize that it is absolutely imperative, if we are going to get our economy growing and create jobs, for us to reduce the size and scope and reach of the Federal Government. That's the message the American people have sent to us overwhelmingly, and that's why I have to say that I believe this bipartisan compromise, which has been worked out with Members of the House and the Senate and the White House, moves us in the direction of doing just that.
Why? Because we are actually bringing about in this conference report a $95 billion reduction in discretionary spending, merely a drop in the bucket. We all recognize that it's not enough. We all recognize that much, much more remains to be done, but, Mr. Speaker, this is an important first step. And the fact that it's been done in a bipartisan, bicameral way, working not only with the first but the second branch of government as well, is, I believe, a positive indicator for us.
As I think about the challenges that we have--and I said this during the management of our jobs bill that we had, the so-called extenders measure that deals with the question of extending unemployment insurance, doing everything we possibly can to keep taxes low by extending for a year the payroll tax holiday, ensuring that people have access to Medicare dollars, and, of course, focusing on job creation by proceeding with the Keystone XL pipeline. As I pointed out during that debate, right now, our job is jobs. The American people want us to focus on job creation and economic growth, and I believe that this bipartisan, bicameral compromise will help us in that quest.
It hasn't been pretty getting here. We all know the famous Otto von Bismarck line, that you don't want to watch sausage or laws being made. This has been ugly.
And, actually, I was not going to say what I'm about to say right now, Mr. Speaker, but I am going to proceed and I will explain to you why.
It's been a painful and difficult and ugly and messy process which, frankly, is exactly what James Madison wanted. He is looking down at us saying, The process is working just as I envisaged it, because he wanted there to be this clash of ideas and a struggle. But, at the end of the day, he wanted there to be a compromise; and he wanted there to be an agreement at the end of the day, recognizing that that needed to be done.
We know that the chairs of the Committee on Appropriations, Messrs. Rogers and Inouye, shook hands on Monday and had an agreement. Again, I was not going to say this; but the Rules Committee completed its work early this morning, and I got a few hours of sleep, and I woke up to National Public Radio, which I do. That's what wakes me up in the morning, Mr. Speaker. And I know that there are some of my Republican friends who are not fans of National Public Radio. I like to watch MSNBC TV and listen to National Public Radio. It keeps my blood circulating very well, Mr. Speaker.
But I woke up this morning to listen to a report on this conference agreement. I am very happy to see my good friend from Seattle, the distinguished ranking member of the Appropriations Committee, arrive on the floor. And I wasn't going to say this, but because of this report on NPR, I'm going to share it.
Tamara Keith, who is the congressional correspondent for NPR on Morning Edition, characterized why it is that we are here on Friday rather than having met the 3-day layover requirement and all these things that we wanted to do when the agreement was struck on Monday, and what she said was that Senate Democrats held this bill hostage. Those are not my words, again, Mr. Speaker. Those are the words of Tamara Keith who reported on National Public Radio this morning that this measure was held hostage by Senate Democrats. And she went on a second time, using the word ``hostage.'' She said, Well, finally the hostages have been released. Again, those are not my words. Those are the words of National Public Radio.
So some people wanted me to say it, but I decided not to say it myself. But when I heard it early this morning, I couldn't help but say it. So that's the reason I'm looking across the Chamber right now at 3,000 pages stacked this high right next to the distinguished ranking minority member of the Committee on Rules, right across the aisle from the distinguished ranking member of the Committee on Appropriations, the gentleman from Washington (Mr. Dicks).
Mr. Speaker, we've had to waive the 3-day layover requirement because, again, according to NPR, we had this conference report held hostage, but we've finally gotten here. Now that we're here, I'm happy to say that, while I'm not ecstatic with every measure in it--just as I know that Mr. Dicks is not ecstatic with every measure in it; I know that Ms. Slaughter is not ecstatic with every measure in it; I'm not ecstatic with the process that has gotten us here because of the challenges and ugliness and messiness we've gone through this week. We are here because it is absolutely essential that we not see the government shut down in several hours at midnight tonight.
So I believe that we need to realize--and I know Mr. Dicks and I have had this conversation repeatedly, along with our friend Mr. Rogers of Kentucky, the chairman of the Committee on Appropriations--that we want a clean slate as we head into next year so that Mr. Dicks and Mr. Rogers will be able to go through regular order, bring the appropriations bills to the floor and, we hope and pray, get each bill done ad seriatim, the way they're supposed to be done, rather than dealing with what has been characterized as an [Page: H9814] omnibus, a mini-bus, a megabus. But the term that I like that was given by the distinguished chair of the Committee on Appropriations last night is this is ``the rest of the bus.'' And that's really where we are.
But it's essential for the American people, for those who are representing us so diligently around the world in conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, and other spots, for people who rely and need to have support from government programs that do exist, it's essential that we get this measure passed, and pass it with what I hope will be strong bipartisan support.
So, Mr. Speaker, I'm not going to say that I am happy that we are doing the things that will be outlined, I know, very thoughtfully by the distinguished former chair and current ranking member of the Committee on Rules. I will say that we have got 3,000 pages.
By the way, I should say, before my friend begins this, that on Monday, virtually all of that was available, and it was put online at 12:30 Wednesday night. Right after midnight Wednesday, it was made available online. And so while we have not actually met the exact 3-day layover requirement, I should point to the fact that we always said--and I'm so proud of the fact that we have been able to do it. But when we faced what is really a very, very important deadline, that being the closure of the government that would take place 14 hours from now, I think it is very important that we take this action and do it as quickly and as well as we possibly can.
With that, Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.