tv Tonight From Washington CSPAN July 1, 2010 8:00pm-11:00pm EDT
bill h.r. 4899, making supplemental appropriations for the fiscal year ending september 30, 2010, with senate amendments thereto and i offer the motion. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill, designate the senate amendments and designate the motion. croip the clerk: h.r. 4899, an act making emergency supplemental appropriations for disaster relief and summer jobs for the fiscal year ending september 30, 2010, and for other purposes. mr. obey of wisconsin, a motion offered by mr. obey of wisconsin to concur in the senate amendment to the text with amendments. the speaker pro tempore: the motion shall be debatable for one hour and 30 minutesworks 30 minutes equally divided and controlled by the ranking minority members, then 30 minutes equally divided and controlled by ms. lee and an opponent and then 30 minutes equally divided and controlled by the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. mcgovern, or
his designee and an opponent. the gentleman from wisconsin and the gentleman from california, mr. lewis, will each control 15 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from wisconsin. but the gentleman will suspend, the house is not in order. the gentleman from wisconsin's recognized. mr. obey: 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 pending legislation. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. . the gentleman will suspend. the gentleman from wisconsin. mr. obey: mr. speaker, i yield myself five minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. obey: mr. speaker, the underlying bill presented to us
by the senate is essentially a bill to provide funding to continue the war activities in afghanistan. why, people might ask, are we trying to add this amendment to that proposal? i would suggest the numbers tell the story. with this bill from the senate, we will be spending in this fiscal year $167 billion on the war in iraq and afghanistan. it is obvious to any but the most obtuse that that expenditure is killing our ability to finance a recovery of our own economy. we tried to deal with that problem in ddcember with the $90 billion economic package. the senate declined to act on
it. we proposed smaller packages on two occasions since then, and both of them -- could we have order, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: gentleman makes a point of order that the house is not in order. indeed, the house is not in order. the gentleman from wisconsin is recognized. mr. obey: about a month ago, we offered a $23 billion package aimed at trying to save teachers' jobs, teachers who are otherwise going to be laid off because of the severe economic conditions in virtually every state in the union except a few states like north dakota and south dakota. we now bring before the house a bill which reflects what we have been asked to do by a great many members. it attempts to provide a much smaller aid package to keep those teachers on the job, about $10 billion and it tains a few other small items, including
almost $5 billion in additional pell grant funds for some 87,000 students who are going to need them badly. we were also asked to provide offsets, and so we have done that. we have offsets for virtually every dollar above the president's request. and those offsets are pleasant. and they are not popular. certainly, i don't like some of them myself. the fact is that they are necessary were we to provide a fiscally disciplined bill that has a chance of getting the votes to pass this house, and that's what we have done. i think people need to ask themselves one question. are they interested in simply standing by and allowing teachers to be fired day after
day for the next three months all around the country or are they willing to do something about it? i hope the answer is the latter. and with that, i resevere the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from california. mr. lewis: mr. speaker, i yield myself five minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. lewis: mr. speaker, let me begin by making a personal observation. this evening, we are embarking upon the most irresponsible convoluted legislative exercise i have seen in my many years in this body. my dear friend and former chairman of the senate appropriations committee, the late senator byrd would be embarrassed by this process or the lack of process, because it greatly diminishes the integrity of this congress he loved so dearly. i can hear senator byrd's voice
clear as day. shame, shame, he would say. it was 35 days ago that the full appropriations committee was scheduled to mark up the fiscal year 2010 emergency supplemental before us. republican and democrats alike had a number of amendments they planned to offer to make the package a better piece of legislation. but for reasons that remain a mystery to everyone, that markup was abruptly canceled three hours before it was to occur. tonight, the house is considering legislation written by chairman obey and the majority leadership with absolutely no input from rank and file members on either side of the aisle. the only legislation we should be considering today is a clean emergency supplemental funding bill to provide critical funding
for our troops. foreign assistance and economic assistance for afghanistan as well, pakistan and iraq should be included, fema disaster assistance, oil spill cleanup assistance and relief for haiti. many other funding and policy items could easily be addressed through our regular order spending bills. just hours ago, we were sent a package of six different amendments and two resolutions to the taling 153 pages. including were efforts to cut off troop funding, a timetable for troop withdrawal from afghanistan, billions of additional spending on the domestic programs, a variety of complex legal settlements, piggy backed into a $1 billion summer youth program and a deem and scheme resolution that proposes spending of $31 billion more in
discretionary spending in fy 2011 than were spent in fy 2010. it's worth noting that only in washington could chairman obey and chairman spratt characterize this increase as a cut. i'm deeply concerned about the impact these amendments could have on our ability to approve a bill for the president's signature prior to the july 4 recess. the failure of this body to approve critical funds for our troops before the 4th of july would send the wrong message to our men and women in uniform and delay needed money for other emergency needs. further, this inaction would force our commander to begin making budget decisions that could compromise our military readiness. it would also signal to our enemies the lack of resolve that could undermine our mission in
several, very dangerous areas of the world. the fact that we are sitting here in july without this spending bill passed and signed into law is, frankly, astonishing to me. the president submitted his request in february of this year. the senate passed its war-funding measure on may 27 and indicated it was ready to conference the bill with the house. the house never marked up this supplemental or had an opportunity to amend it in anyway. and yet, here wer 35 days and tens of billions of dollars in spending later and we still have not approved funding for our troops. yesterday, the nonpartisan congressional budget office released a long-term budget outlook. c.b.o. noted our national debt equaled 40% of our national output.
by the end of this year, the federal debt will represent 62% of our national economy, a 22% increase in the level of debt in just two years. the additional unrequested, nontroop-related spending the house is considering today would drive that debt even higher. i recognize there are tremendous political pressures that come to bear on majority measures when it comes to opposing measures sponsored by their own party. today my request to the members of the majority is quite simple, please think long and hard about the consequences of supporting anything beyond the clean senate supplemental bill -- 30 additional seconds. i urge my colleagues on both sides, particularly my friends in the majority, who are truly concerned about the ever escalating rates of growth of spending to reject these amendments and reject this 4th of july spending spree. let's support our troops.
pass a clean version of this supplemental on a broad, bipartisan basis and get this package to the commander in chief. our men and women in harm's way deserve nothing less. i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from wisconsin. mr. obey: we are told we are told we are committing a mortal sin. i would simply point out just a few weeks ago, as the gentleman from massachusetts pointed out earlier in the debate, when the defense authorization bill was on the floor, only nine republicans in this house voted for it. they felt then that another matter was evidently more important than providing passage for that bill. and yet today, they criticize us because we are suggesting several additions to the
appropriation bill. i find that inconsistent. i would also point out that there are a number of high priority national items that we are trying to add besides education funding. we are trying to provide additional funds for pell grants, $5 billion. we are trying to provide $700 million for border security. $180 million more for energy loans, $163 million more for school installations, gulf coast -- i yield myself -- for gulf coast oil funding and $16 million to buildal processing center at fort hood. i would like to know what is wrong with any of those items. woy like to yield two minutes to the -- i would like to yield two minutes to the distinguished the gentleman from texas, mr. reyes.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. rahall: i thank the gentleman for -- mr. reyes: i rise today to urge my colleagues to vote in favor of this amendment, the obey amendment, because during these tough economic times there are many areas that merit attention and this amendment takes a comprehensive approach towards addressing the vital needs to our communities. the support in this amendment for border security and law enforcement. border security is a major portion of the concerns of americans as we have seen in the recent days. this amendment provides $701 million to strengthen our security efforts along the u.s.-mexico border. the funds would be used to hire 1,200 border patrol agents and
500 customs officers that would be working the ports of entry, critically needed today, as well as improved tactical communications and making much other needed investments in the security along the u.s.-mexico border. in districts that i represent are concerned about the level of violence affecting our southern neighbor, mexico. as a former border patrol chief and veteran in the united states border patrol, i know very well what these resources that are provided in this amendment mean to a critical area such as the southwest border. i'm particularly encouraged by mr. obey's efforts in this amendment to address the long-standing needs of our ports of entry by funding funds to officers. for too long, inadequate staffing and infrastructure have
made the u.s. and mexico border less safe. this is a major step forward in making our nation even more secure by providing funding for more officers at our ports of entry to conduct a more thorough and efficient inspection and keep americans safe. in addition, the bill also provides -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. reyes: another 30 seconds? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. reyes: this amendment provides $10 billion to support our teachers across the country and another $4.9 billion to fill the shortage in the pell grant program. it is vitally important that we recognize that the resources that are dedicated here are important, not just along the border but to the security of americans everywhere. therefore, i urge my colleagues to vote for the obey amendment and i thank chairman obey, speaker pelosi and majority
leader hoyer and chairman price for their leadership on this important issue. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. lewis: i recognize our leader of the homeland security committee, mr. rogers of kentucky. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. rogers: i thank the speaker for the time. i rise today to voice my opposition to the blatant exploittation of our brave troops and the brazen process being undertaken here tonight. with this ongoing char arch de, the democrat majority has chosen to drag out the consideration of this supplemental appropriations bill, now five months lagging. they have chosen to bypass the markup by the appropriations committee.
they have chosen to dictate by the few, rather than legislate by the representative many. and worst of all, they're holding hostage vital funding for our troops as a vehicle for more spending, more bailouts, more encroachment by the federal government into our private lives. a clean supplemental, mr. speaker, could have easily been disposed of through regular order months ago. regrettably, the majority has waited until the very last minute, twisted the rules of the house and put the pentagon and our warfighters in dire straits. this abuse of congress national security responsibilities would be outrageous if it wasn't so sad. and for what? for what? another bailout? more spending?
political points? to curry special interest favors? the american people want a fiscally responsible government that first and foremost provides for the safety and security of this great nation and the american people expect the congress to meet that solemn responsibility while mindful it is their money, not ours. instead, let's call it what it is. the democrat majority has hijacked our national security for their perceived political security. this is not the governance the american people want, nor deserve. we can do better. and so i plead with my colleagues to restore regular order and return to the business at hand, which is providing for our warfighters and responsibly wielding the power of the purse.
i urge a defeat of all these amendments and this bill. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. who seeks rk nix at this time? the gentleman from wisconsin is recognized. mr. obey: i yield to the gentleman from texas. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized for two minutes. >> mr. speaker, i had the humbling privilege of representing fort hood, america's largest army installation for 14 years through three combat deployments. it is now next door to my district in central texas. fort hood has sent more troops to iraq and afghanistan than any other military installation in america. and despite that sacrifice, sadly the soldiers and families at fort hood to to face an unbearable, unspeakable tragedy at the hands of the terrorists in our mids who -- midst who killed 12 fort hood army
soldiers and one army civilian just several movements ago. mr. andrews: the center through which soldiers go -- -- mr. edwards: the center through which soldiers go to fort hood, it's the last place they see while serving in iraq or afghanistan, is a soldier development servicing center there. at the request of the pentagon, i want to thank chairman obey for putting our request for $16.5 million into this amendment. first, because that center was old and inefficient and too small, but most importantly because the soldiers from fort hood who have sacrificed so much for our nation's defense in iraq and afghanistan should not be asked to process through a building where 12 of their fellow soldier comrades in that installation were brutally murdered at the hands of a
domestic terrorist. i thank chairman obey for putting this in. it is a meaningful dignyified way to show support for our troops. and i support this amendment and ask my colleagues on a bipartisan basis to support it as well. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from california seeks recognition. who seeks recognition at this time? the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. lewis: mr. speaker, i'm proud to recognize the ranking member of the judiciary committee, mr. smith of texas, for two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized for two minutes. mr. smith: mr. speaker, first of all i want to thank the ranking member, the gentleman from california, mr. lewis, for yielding me time. mr. speaker, i'm opposed to the inclusion of the preserved access to affordable generics act in r.r. 4899. most cases in the united states where the civil or criminal, antitrust or patent settle. the reasons for this are simple.
litigation is expensive and its outcomes are uncertain. the supposed problem involves a payment of cash in the settlement of a patent case brought by generic drug manufacturer. such payments were said to frustrate the intent of federal law by allowing the brand name pharmaceutical company to pay to delay entry of the generic competitor into the market. the proposed solution to this problem incorporated in this bill goes much too far. it creates a presumption that all such settlements are unlawful. the bill sets forth the criteria that a court may use to determine whether to uphold a settlement. however the validity of the underlying patent is not one of those specified criteria. also the bill dramatically reduces the ability of companies to settle these cases. if the parties cannot agree on a date of entry into the market, then in many cases they would effectively be forced to litigate the case. this means that the entry of the generic into a particular drug market could be clayed --
delayed significantly. the majority of federal courts including the second 11th and d.c. circuit have upheld the validity of these settlements. congress should uphold a well-reasoned judgment of these courts. innovative new drugs, after all, are created in the laboratory, not in the courtroom. i urge my colleagues to reject this attempt to legislate an unrelated domestic issue on a bill that is intended to pay for our troops overseas. mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas yields back. who seeks recognition? mr. obey: i reserve the balance of my time for the moment. the speaker pro tempore: forgive me. the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from california. mr. lewis: mr. speaker, i yield two minutes to the gentleman from utah, mr. bishop. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from utah is recognized for two minutes.
mr. bishop: thank you, mr. speaker. we are here on a bill that allegedly provides supplemental funding for our troops yet within the bowels of this house amendment are implications for our border security, provisions in violation of our rules by produce -- but provide a permanent security for border patrol to the department of interior with no limit. $50 million this time but then unlimited after that. so to have a situation of congress appropriating money we think is going to border patrol but then border patrol will have to give that money to the department of interior for alleged mitigation issues, such concepts and projects as in the past such as hiring three employees of the interior to monitor prong-horned antelope or having a bioologist watch the erection of 15-foot towers to verify no animal was crushed or having fish and wildlife for one acre of habitat possible lost increasing 5,500 acres somewhere else to give to them. we'll have the forest service regulations blocking border patrol from their patrols and
yet the same provision, the border patrol has to pay d.o.i. with no legislation from the legislature, no internal rules, no limitation, just to do their job. even secretary napolitano last year sent as you letter in which she said the border patrol stops the drug cartels, the human traffickers, the potential terrorists and that is a value in and of itself to the environment and should count as mitigation. yet in the provisions within this particular bill, that does not take place. this provision is a dumb idea in the wrong bill. it diverts dollars from the border patrol and makes our borders less secure. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. who seeks recognition? the gentleman from wisconsin seek recognition at this time? mr. obey: mr. speaker, i'm waiting for my last speaker to arrive. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. mr. obey: i reserve for the moment.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from california. mr. lewis: mr. speaker, my next speaker is not here either. i reserve myself. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from wisconsin has reserved. the gentleman from california has reserved. mr. obey: mr. speaker, how much time does each side have remaining? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from wisconsin has six minutes remaining. and the gentleman from california has 3 1/2 minutes remaining. mr. obey: let me yield a minute and a half to the gentleman from north carolina. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from north carolina is recognized for 90 seconds. >> i thank the gentleman for yielding and i'm happy as the chairman of the homeland security appropriations subcommittee to remind our colleagues of the provisions in this bill that will enhance
border security. the obey amendment adds money for these urgent needs, to address the alarming level of violence attributable to mexican gangs and drug cartels, to increase the presence of critical border patrol and customs personnel at the border and to strengthen the protection of jeopardized communities. four critical aspects of this -- these border provisions. first, the obey amendment would strengthen enforcement between ports of entry to deter and apprehend smugglers and illegal crossings. that means 1,200 new border patrol agents, up to three armored operating bases and it will provide two new unmanned aircraft systems to patrol the border. mr. price: secondly the amendment will tighten enforcement at ports of entry while aiding legitimate travel and commerce. it will sustain hundreds of critical c.b.p. officers at risk of being cut because of declining fee collections.
and it will add 500 c.b.p. officers for inspection and enforcement at ports of entry inbound and outbound to crack down on drugs, weapon, cash and alien traffickers. third, the bill enhances immigration and customs enforcement or investigative operations on the border and their cooperation with our mexican partners to target the cartels, their criminal enterprises and their violent henchmen. four new southwest border security enforces, embedded enforcement units with the government of mexico, 120-day surge in the i.c.e. joint criminal alien removal task force and criminal alien program and training for mexican officials on investigations of transnational drug smuggling and money laundering. 15 additional seconds. transnational drug smuggling -- the speaker pro tempore: 15 seconds. mr. price: thank you, mr. speaker. money laundering, human trafficking and child exploitation. and then finally the bill
expands aid to state and local law enforcement partners along the border, spanning the systems under operation stone garden to state and local law enforcement in cooperation with d.h.s. mr. speaker, this obey amendment will greatly enhance our border security, i urge its adoption. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. who seeks recognition at this time? the gentleman from california. mr. lewis: mr. speaker, i yield two minutes to my colleague from the appropriations committee, mr. frelinghuysen. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. frelinghuysen: i thank the gentleman for yielding. i want to associate my remarks with my ranking mr. lewis. followinging the time-honored tradition of our defense appropriation, chairman dicks and mr. young have put together in a collegial manner a solid product, the funding for defense operations and maintenance of the afghan and iraq security forces, for the army base operations, the mraps, national guard and reserve equipment and the other portions of the defensive military construction
forces in this bill are worthy of our support. and if that's where the story ended, we'd be fine. but as ronald reagan famously said, there they go again. this legislation contains over $72 billion in discretionary and mandatory spending. less than half that total, $35 billion, is related to the ongoing fight against the taliban and al qaeda in afghanistan. our withdrawal from iraq and the state department funded related to the war on terror. the rest is earmarked for nondefense programs, new bailouts and pet projects that benefit the majority's political allies. i share the views of mr. lewis on the extraneous spending in this bill, $10 billion state bailout fund, $5 billion pell grant infusion, half a billion dollars to, quote, forward fund accounts in the fiscal year 2011 appropriations bill, thereby freeing up money to spend on
other activities in fiscal year 2011. the $245 million to allow the i.r.s. to ramp up its enforcement activities. my colleagues in the majority just doesn't get it. this is washington business as usual, as this congress uses funding for our deployed war fighters, many of them in harm's way as we speak, to provide for more unnecessary social spending. my colleagues, i urge the adoption of a clean supplemental appropriation as quickly as possible so that our men in uniform can continue to do their important work on our behalf and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. who seeks recognition at this time? the gentleman from wisconsin. mr. obey: mr. speaker, i have only one remaining speaker. we have the right to close. i'd suggest the gentleman use his time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from california. the gentleman from wisconsin. the gentleman from california.
. mr. lewis: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for such time as he may consume. mr. lewis: it is important for all of my colleagues especially on the majority side of the aisle to make note of the fact that this is the president's, the president's supplemental request. this amendment adds almost $17 billion in new domestic spending to a critical war funding and disaster assistance bill, most of which was never formally requested by the commander in chief and none of which is included in the senate-passed bill. these domestic bloated domestic spending are unnecessary spending or should be considered as part of the regular fy 2011
process. for example, the amendment includes language under the teacher jobs fund that singles out texas by requiring that texas maintain a higher level of state support for elementary and secondary education and higher education spending than any other state. it adds $4.95 billion for pell grants that would normally be and should be funded in the fy 2011 health and labor and human services bill which has been the practice in previous years. $538 million to gain the fy 2011 process by forward-funding certain activities now with fy 2010 funds, thereby freeing up money to spend on other activities in 2011. this includes giving the i.r.s. an additional $245 million now
to ramp up its enforcement. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from wisconsin. mr. obey: mr. speaker, i yield to the gentleman for a unanimous consent request. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. >> i ask unanimous consent to insert a statement into the record in support of the obey record and extraneous material. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentleman from wisconsin. mr. obey: mr. speaker, let me simply say that our republican friends are running true to form tonight. in the past two weeks, they have voted against funding unemployment insurance for people who have been laid off in the most excruciating recession. and today, they are refusing to support the proposal which will help us stave the laying off of an additional 100,000 teachers
across the country which i thought thoughtful people would recognize recognize those teachers and the students. there is nothing as expensive as ignorance and ignorance is sad when you have an inadequate number of quality teachers. let me devote the rest of my time to something that i consider to be fairly off the point today, because we have been -- it has been suggested to us that the secretary of education is somewhat unhappy because of the offsets that we have required in order to pay for this additional funding. let me put that in perspective. we are trying to provide $15 billion in additional education resources to this administration, $10 billion to
stave off the firing of teachers and $5 billion to fill the shortfall that developed in the pell program this year because of the economy. in order to finance that, we have had to cut many programs. i don't like to do that and the administration doesn't like to see it either, but we also had to require that the secretary of the department himself take a cut that is equal to about 5% of the value of the additional education dollars that his department would receive. one of the secretary's objections evidently is the fact that last year in the stimulus package, we provided him with a $4.3 billion pot of money to use virtually anyway he wanted to stimulate educational progress in this country.
$4.3 billion. he has spent a very small amount of that, about $600 million and we decided we had to cut about $500 million out of that fund in order to finance and fully pay for the package before us. that still leaves him with $3.2 billion in money that he can spend anyway his department wants. we had a big discussion yesterday in the agriculture appropriations subcommittee about whether or not it was acceptable for the secretary of agriculture to have a $38 million pot. and yet the secretary of education was somehow offended because he only has $3.2 billion to pass around. i would suggest that that loose money that untargeted money he has available, is roughly called
a congressional earmark. in fact what i would call that fund is enabbling the secretary to provide executive branch earmarks. all the legislative-directed earmarks in the labor-h.h.s. bill last year amounted to less than $1 billion and the secretary seems to be offended by the fact that he only has three times that amount to spread around as he sees fit. i would also point out in the year and a half, they have only gotten grants out to two states and the department has already announced that at most, it will be about 15 other states that will get winning grants which means more than half the country will never see a dime. i would suggest there is nothing wrong with providing the secretary a modest amount of
funds to promote educational change. god knows we need it. but to suggest we are being unduly harsh is a joke. the speaker pro tempore: all time for debate from the committee on appropriations has expired. pursuant to the rule, the gentlewoman from california, ms. lee and a an opponent, each will control 15 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from california. ms. lee: i rise to claim time allotted to me under the rule. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentlelady is recognized. ms. lee: i want to thank chairman obey for his incredible leadership on this supplemental, very difficult job to put this together, but you have done a great job. and let me thank the chair of the rules committee, congresswoman slaughter and speaker pelosi for allowing this important discussion and amendment. i would like to applaud
congressman mcgovern for his amendment. he and mr. obey set forth the amendment that we'll vote on it today. i vote on it to get an exit strategy to end this war. my amendment would prevent any escalation or ongoing operation in afghanistan and limb the funding to the safe and orderly withdrawal of our troops and military contractors from afghanistan. it's critical to understand that this amendment would provide for the safety of our troops, civilian personnel and contractors while troop withdrawal takes place. it does not allow funding for ongoing combat operations or escalation. it's not a cut-and-run amendment. it would not leave our troops stranded. this amendment provides for the safe and orderly withdrawal of our troops from afghanistan. we need it because there is no military solution to afghanistan. in fact, the occupation of
afghanistan is making us less safe. our occupation is a recruiting tool for taliban and al qaeda and if we remember nearly nine years ago the reason the authorization was granted, which i could not support was to provide authorization to go after al qaeda and osama bin laden. nearly a decade later, what are we doing there? we need to redefine this mission and begin safely withdrawal of troops and military troops and we should do so by adopting this amendment. the war in afghanistan will enter its 10th year and longest war in our nation's history longer than vietnam and the civil war and there is no end in sight. this concern of war without end is why i opposed that resolution authorizing military force on september 14, 2001. it was a blank check then and it remains a blank check now.
i think it's important to take a moment and put the evolution of this war in context, because we have to remember that again, there was no discussion about the potential consequences of invading afghanistan. the debate we're having today should have happened 10 years ago. few people imagined that we would have nearly 100,000 troops there a decade later. despite the fact that the cia estimates that there may be only 50 to 100 al qaeda in afghanistan. so we have to be honest rkts the war is not working. the afghan government is playinged with corruption. and tragically over 1,000 servicemen and women have lost their lives. it is clear that our servicemen and women have performed with incredible courage and commitment and done everything we have asked them to do. as a daughter of a 25-year military office, my dad was a lieutenant colonel in the army, i understand and know the
sacrifices that these families are making. but the truth is, they have been put in an impossible situation. the afghan government is anything but a reliable partner and conditions on the ground make winning over the afghan people extremely difficult, if not nearly an impossible task. and sadly this war has no end in sight. we are bound to see the generals come back to us and ask us for more money, more time and more troops if they say it's going well. if it's not going well, i expect to see the generals come back and ask for more money, more time and more troops. regardless of the situation, unless congress does something -- and we have to face this -- if congress allows this, it will be an endless war. enough is enough. the u.s. has no choice to pursue a diplomatic solution in afghanistan. we must be about that hard work now. so please join me in supporting the safe and orderly withdrawal
of our troops. we can and we must responsibly bring them home and end this war now. thank you. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady reserves. the gentleman from california, do you rise to claim time in opposition? mr. lewis: i do. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. lewis: i rise to oppose the lee amendment to essentially cut off the funding for our troops in afghanistan and i'm very proud to call upon my colleague, our leader on the defense subcommittee from florida, bill young, for five minutes. the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. young: mr. speaker, i thank the gentleman for yielding the time. and i rise to say compliments to chairman norm dicks of the subcommittee for having worked with the minority and majority as well as the president of the
united states to develop a very good defense appropriations supplemental appropriations bill for our troops who are fighting in iraq and afghanistan. the bill provides the equipment necessary for those troops to carry out their mission. the bill provides for training. the bill provides for self-protective measures to keep our troops safe while they fight the war they were sent to fight. now the only problem i have is, we aren't going to vote on that bill. that bill, although this is supposedly a defense supplemental, that bill is not going to be voted on. that bill was reported and approved by the subcommittee back in may, but yet there has been no consideration beyond that date. the subcommittee approved it back in may after the president
requested it. the members of the appropriations committee have not had an opportunity to vote on a defense supplemental appropriations bill. the members of the house have not had an opportunity to vote on a defense appropriations supplemental bill. there's something wrong with that. chairman dicks did a good job. he worked with us as did chairman murtha before him and it was a good bipartisan effort. we aren't not only going to vote on that good bill, we aren't going to have a chance to vote on the senate version of the bill that's not quite as good as the house version, but it's better than nothing. and it's time we provide the funding that our troops in the field deployed and exposed to danger, that they're provided with what they need.
i have a problem with this. i said the subcommittee approved the bill back in may. the full committee has not considered it. as a matter of fact, we are rapidly approaching the one-year anniversary of the last time the appropriations committee met to consider an appropriations bill. now, that's unusual. it seems to me it flies in the face of the constitution because article 1, section 9 makes it very clear that the executive branch of government cannot spend money from the general treasury that has not first been appropriated by congress. if the appropriations committee doesn't meet to approve the bill, or to report the bills to the house, how are we going to meet that constitutional responsibility? it's pretty tough.
july 22, last year, was the last time the appropriations committee met to consider an appropriations bill. so i compliment chairman dicks for creating a good bipartisan product that the president of the united states supported. and i'm just disappointed that we're not going to have a chance to vote on it. our troops in the field need to know that we are supporting them with whatever it is that they need to carry out their mission. i'm opposed to all these amendments that we are considering, because none of them do anything to support our troops in the field which is what this bill is supposed to be all about. these amendments are not good and it's just a real shame that we are not considering the needs of our troops who are deployed to provide what it is
that they need in order to accomplish the mission that we sent home to accomplish and to protect themselves while they're doing it. mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentlelady from california is recognized. ms. lee: i would like to yield a minute and a half to the gentleman from california, george miller. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for 90 seconds. mr. miller: i want to thank the gentlewoman for offering this amendment and for yielding me time. this is an important amendment. the time has come to understand what is taking place in afghanistan and the incredible price that our soldiers are paying in that country and think i -- and the incredible price the american taxpayer is fight fund this war. we've got to understand that the ingredients for victory as people identify it as discuss it and describe it are simply not present in afghanistan. the idea that we would expand the franchise of an honest central government to the
countryside so we could stabilize the countryside. there is no honest central government in afghanistan. it's rife with corruption, including the president of the country and his family and his relatives and his warlords and his ministers. that's got to stop. the idea that we are going to get help from the neighbors. we're not -- we're getting minimal help from pakistanis, we're getting no help of any consequence from the russians, chinese or indians. they're all engaged in the same game, they're protecting their position while america bleeds. the america bleeds -- while america bleeds the blood of our soldiers, while our treasury bleeds the dollars of our taxpayers. that's been going on and on and on. we know how the taliban was created. we know the double counting they do and the protections they run. we know the sanctuaries they provide. yet our soldiers are required to go in and ferret it out over and over again. we're told we'll develop this nation that if we bring development, we'll have peace
in pakistan. eight years ago, nine years ago, one of the first requests from the general was to send small scale agriculture. you know what the request is nine years late her small scale agriculture, send us police that will fight, none of that has been matched what has been matched is the death and injury of our troops, it's time to bring them home. the speaker pro tempore: who seeks recognition. mr. lewis: i'm proud to recognize the gentleman from missouri, ike skeleton, two minutes. -- ike skelton, two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. skelton: i rise today in strong opposition to all the amendments to end funding for the war in afghanistan or to withdraw troops before the job is done.
afghanistan is the epicenter for terrorism and it was the genesis of multiple attacks against our nation, including the attacks on november -- on september 11. we must not forget why we are fighting this war. there's far too much at stake. for nearly a decade under the previous administration, afghanistan was the forgotten war with no clear strategy. but now, we have a strategy, a good strategy. we're already seeing clear signs of success, even before the surge of an additional 30,000 troops is complete. with the help of our allies who are capturing and killing terrorists every week, including the most significant taliban capture since the start of the war. we've been in afghanistan for many years. i recognize that the patience of the american people is not unlimited. but thanks to the men and women of our military and the new
strategy adopted, we are finally on the path to success. now is not the time to abandon this war. our nato allies and the afghan people. the amendments to immediately cut off funding for war in afghanistan or to immediately redeploy our troops are clearly the wrong thing to do. but it would be equally unwise to make a decision not to leave afghan -- now to leave afghanistan before the job is done. at long last, we have a strategy for success. now is not the time to abandon that strategy. i urge my colleagues to join me in standing behind our troops and the security of our nation by voting against these amendments. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentlelady from california is recognized. ms. lee: i'd like to yield one minute to the gentleman from ohio, mr. kucinich. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute.
mr. kucinich: just a few days before his dismissal, general mccrystal wrote what has been described as a devastate regular port on his mission. he pointed out that he faced a resilient and growing insurgency with too few troops and he expected no progress in the coming months. why are we continuing to send our troops into a mission impossible? are we committing our troops -- why are we committing our troops to a situation which is certainly bound to bring about more casualties, both of our troops and innocent civilians? general petraeus is promising an escalation of the war which will put more american lives on the line and more innocent civilians killed.
do we support our troops? if we do, and if we really paid attention to what's going on in afghanistan if we really supported our troops, we would bring them home. that's exactly what the barbara lee amendment is designed to do and that's why we should support it. the speaker pro tempore: the time of the gentleman has expired. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. lewis: i'm proud to yield time to ike skelton's partner, buck mckeon, the ranking member on the armed services committee, for three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. mckeon: i thank the gentleman for yielding the time. i'm disappointed that the house democratic leadership would allow a vote on these amendments at this time. all three would go far to crip they will war in afghanistan and directly undermine the command for the chief. 24 hours ago, the senate unanimously confirmed general david petraeus as the new commander of the international
forces in afghanistan, yet not a day later, here we are on the house floor taking dangerous political potshots at our troops' mission and the president's strategy to surge an additional 30,000 troops in the region. i strongly oppose all three afghanistan amendments before us. not only would they tie the hands of the command for the chief, but they send the exact wrong message to our allies and enemies alike at such a critical moment in our efforts in afghanistan. today, our newly confirmed commander walks the -- walked the halls at nato headquarters, working to assure our allies our country is committed to this war. right now, he's headed to afghanistan to take command. we should stand in unity with him, not sit here in washington taking vote after vote to strip funding from our war fighters before his plane touches down. general pe trays you has proven himself to be one of america's most capable military officers. he turned around a perilous situation in iraq and our
combat troops have started coming home. by the end of august, our troop levels in iraq will be down to 50,000. for training and reserve purposes. i believe the president has chosen the right commander and right strategy in afghanistan. i'm confident that general petraeus and our troops can succeed if given the time, space, and resources they need to complete their mission. as the general arrives in afghanistan, those of us here in congress cannot lose sight of the broader perspective, our brave military men and women and their civilian counterparts are in the midst of a tough fight that's critical to the u.s. national security. cutting off their funding in the middle of that fight is tantamount to abandonment. in december and again last week, the president oh minded us why we are in afghanistan. it was the epicenter of what al qaeda planned and launched the 9/11 attacks against innocent americans. after an exhaustive 90-day
review last fall, the president recommitted the united states to defeating al qaeda and the taliban. the timeline for success in afghanistan cannot be dictated by arbitrary political clocks here in washington. it must be driven by the operational clock in cabal, kandahar and the afghanistan countryside. we all hope and pray that the goal can be accomplished by july, 2011, but the president must adhere to his recent comments that conditions on the ground will dictate the pace of any withdrawal next summer. i urge my colleagues to reject these ill-timed measures, reject attempts to strip funding for our war fighters and instead show our troops and allies a united front in our efforts. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the time of the gentleman has expire the gentlelady from california is recognized. ms. lee: i yield one minute to the gentleman from minnesota, mr. oberstar. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. oberstar: i thing he
gentlewoman for her courageous lead on this issue. the $35 billion for afghanistan is roughly equivalent to the amount in the recovery act for highways and transit. if instead of afghanistan, they were invested in fund, we could do what we did in the recovery act, 1,262 bridges, 5,000 transit stations improved, 1.3 million jobs that we've documented on our part of the recovery act but this is a conflict with no end, no exit, no offset and we should not provide money for it. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. who seeks recognition? the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. lewis: i'm prows to -- proud to recognize our great leader, mike pence of indiana, for three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. pence: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. pence: i thank the
distinguished ranking member for yielding time. i rise in opposition to the amendment and also to the underlying bill. i have great respect for the gentlelady who brings this amendment. she said earlier that there is, in her way of thinking no military solution in afghanistan, but let me say that surrender is a military tactic. i just oppose it. this is a very serious time in the life of our country here at home. it's easy, i suspect, for some americans to forget that we're a nation at war. but we are. as i was reminded when i traveled to afghanistan the day after christmas this last year, at this very hour, we have men and women in uniform in harm's way in afghanistan and iraq. we owe them in this moment the
resources they need to complete their mission, get the job done, and come home safe. we also owe them the respect of doing that without using our soldiers as a vehicle for other domestic spending priorities. military spending bills should be a about military -- should be about military spending and nothing else. this legislation fails that test. before us today is a $75 billion spending bill. but less than half of this legislation will be used to support the defense department's war operations. less than half. the military funding measure will spend almost $5 billion, supposedly on a temporary bailout for federal pell grant programs. this so-called military funding measure will spend $50 million on the port of guam and $18
million for emergency reforestation and $15 million for a highway safety study. this military funding measure will also even spend, as we've heard in earlier debate, $10 billion on teacher jobs. . i have been married for 25 years to a teacher. i support teachers, which is a state and local function. we just spent $53 billion and one-time spending for education in the president's failed stimulus bill and on the backs of our soldiers comes another $10 billion that has to be appropriated to save teachers' jobs. we can do better, men and women. to top it all off, $63 billion isn't paid for.
just more deficits and more debt. one of the ways the democrats are saving a little money here is by $3 billion in cuts to the defense department. we can do better. our soldiers deserve better. let's reject this legislation and do right by our soldiers, the military spending bill should be about military spending and nothing else. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentlelady from california. ms. lee: how much time do i have remaining? the speaker pro tempore: 7 1/2 minutes remaining and the gentleman from california has 2 1/2 minutes remaining. ms. lee: i would like to recognize the gentlelady from california, ms. waters. ms. waters: i support congresswoman lee's amendment. this amendment would limit the funds appropriated within the supplemental to the continued protection of our military and civilian personnel in
afghanistan, while a plan is implemented to begin their safe and orderly withdrawal from the region. despite nearly $300 billion spent on a predominantly military operation which resulted in the loss of over 1,000 troops in afghanistan, we have not been able to address afghanistan's economic society, political corruption or social divisions which have impeded ou divisions which have impeded our military efforts within the country. the american public is tired of this war. many of us in congress do not see the logic in investing funds in training the afghan army when all methods utilized to this point have failed to achieve tangible gains. charges of corruption within the karzai government have negatively our credibility forcing them to choose between two different groups of terrorists.
i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. who seeks recognition. the gentlelady from california. ms. lee: just for clarification, let me make sure that the opposition understands that this bill -- it is very legitimate is dealing with issues. the military spending was actually added in the sthat. what we're doing today is very credible, very legitimate. we want to begin to end this war and we want to do it by stopping the funding. let me yield a munt to congressman rohrabacher, the gentleman from southern california. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. rohrabacher: yes, there are snowballs in hell. i rise in support of amendments four and five. i do so with a heavy heart because i appreciate the
americans whose lives are in danger in afghanistan. they are there to protect us against the radical forces in islam by led the slaughter of 3,000 americans. after that attack, yes, we cannot let down our guard. however, that does not mean rubber stamping any military operation, even if it does not have a chance of success. i have been engaged in afghanistan since the 1980's and i can state emphatically, that if we continue our present strategy in afghanistan, we will not succeed and america will eventually be weakened by loss of lives and expenditure of hundreds of billions of dollars. what works in afghanistan is what has worked in afghanistan. let the afghans pay the price and do their fighting. putting american boys in place is contrary to our national interest and will not lead to
success. trying to put upon the afghan people, will not work. we need to strategy instead of putting our people into a meat grinder. the speaker pro tempore: the time of the gentleman has expired. who seeks recognition. the gentlelady from california is recognized. ms. lee: i would like to yield one minute to the congresswoman from maryland, donna edwards. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. edwards: i rise in support as a co-sponsor of this amendment and i thank congresswoman lee. this amendment requires that we act on evidence and we know that based on the evidence our afghanistan policy is a failure. numerous strategies and restated mission statements from president bush to prime minister gordon brown to prime minister blair to president obama, we -- restated mission statements
continue to fall short. u.s. military reported that 102 coalition forces were killed in june alone along with the people of afghanistan heightening the iraq war. we need to use our resources to bring our troops, our treasure home. i want to be clear. my opposition to the war is opposition to the policy and not to the brave men and women about we do an an injustice if we do not have a debate. i have seen the conditions on the ground just recently and this war will never end quickly, if at all. i urge my colleagues to support this amendment. and whether it was miss crystal or petraeus, it's not about the generals but about the failure. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentlelady from california. ms. lee: i yield one minute to
the the gentlewoman from texas, sheila jackson lee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for one minute. ms. jackson lee: i rise strongly to support the barbara lee amendment which i'm a co-sponsor. and this is about the orderly withdrawal of our troops. we lost 58,000 men and women in vietnam, now today we have the opportunity to do what congress should do, not to give an unending mandate or a war, which is this is not. if we are looking after the terrorists, al qaeda is not there. our intelligence authorities, general petraeus has indicated there are less than 100 al qaeda terrorists there. there are snurts and the taliban. it is well known if you give to the taliban the mountains and valleys that have been given by general mcchrystal, you still will lose this war.
$37 billion is in this bill. we must do what were did in see vietnam and not cry after the fact. yes, we salute the young men and women and thank them for their service. i have been to afghanistan many times. now it's time to invest in the afghan people and the government to make a difference not continue to lose the precious treasure of america. stand against this war and order withdrawal for the sake of the american people. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady has expired. the the gentleman from california has 2 1/2 minutes and the gentlewoman from california has 3 minutes. mr. lewis: i reserve. ms. lee: how much time? the speaker pro tempore: three minutes. ms. lee: i yield 30 seconds to the the gentleman from wisconsin plrks kagen. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for 30 seconds.
without objection, so ordered. mr. kagen: i rise in support of this amendment and ask the question, whose side are these gentlemen on? the leader of iran was there with the leader of afghanistan, pne day after our secretary of defense, secretary gates was there. are these our friends? are these the people you are willing to invest $35 billion. human history has proved one thing in afghanistan. it's easy to get into afghanistan and very hard to get out. when you leave, they'll shoot you in the rearend. 40% of all money we are investing is being stolen. 100 al qaeda was there before we had the surge. this is our time to leave afghanistan with all honor and respect. to all who support our troops. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired..
who seeks recognition? the gentlelady -- gentlelady from california. ms. lee: i yield one minute to the the gentleman from florida, mr. grayson. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. grayson: thank you. i speak tonight in support of peace. the hardest thing that we do as human beings is to admit that we are wrong. it's not easy and we don't look forward to it and we feel bad afterwards. we have to admit we're wrong, because if we don't, we keep hurting ourselves and that's what we see in iraq and afghanistan. at this point, we are hurting ourselves and hurting ourselves extremely deeply. we have spent over $3 trillion pursuing these wars, over 10,000 for every man, woman and child in this country. we have put our national economy at the risk than and we have
killed hundreds of thousands of afghans and iraqis. we have shed blood all over the middle east at this point. and in addition to that, we have done lasting damage to ourselves as a country, on a moral level, economic level and level on the health of the young men and women who serve us. a quarter of a million of them left with brain abnormalities. we are hurting ourselves. we decide when wars begin and end and we have to end this one right now. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from california. mr. lewis: does the gentlelady have additional speakers? i reserve. ms. lee: how much time do i have now? the speaker pro tempore: 1 1/2 minutes. ms. lee: may i for the purpose of unanimous consent ask a couple members to come forward for the purpose of unanimous consent?
>> i make unanimous consent request to support this amendment. ms. lee: let me yield one minute to the the gentleman from new york, mr. nadler. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. nadler: thank you, mr. speaker. every dollar we spend in afghanistan, every life we sacrifice there is a tragic waste that does not enhance the security of the united states. we were attacked in 9/11 by al qaeda. al qaeda bases in afghanistan and makes sense to destroy those bases and we did. but the bases are no longer there, but in pakistan, yemen and somalia and we aren't invading those countries. why do we in-- go in that
country. we have no ability nor necessity to win it for one side or the other. this idea of countersnurs that we are going to persuade the people left alive to love the government we like is absurd. at this point, we must recognize rebuilding afghanistan is beyond our ability and prevents our ability to protect the united states. we should support our amendment, support our troops and bring them home now. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. who seeks recognition? the gentlewoman from california is recognized. mr. lewis: let me begin my reminding the members that this supplemental originally was sent to us by our commander in chief, the president of the united states, barack obama.
i understand the concerns about the war in afghanistan. i have similar concerns, especially following the recent turmoil regarding command changes. but i also have full faith and confidence in our brave and selfless men and women fighting over there. the president knows that war is tough and a dirty business. but our forces, although tired, are eager for the opportunity to succeed and more than capable in doing so. i have in my hand a statement of administration policy from our commander in chief, barack obama. in it, his advisers suggest that this amendment is a part of the bill that it will be recommending to the president that he veto this bill. indeed, it is time for us to recognize that the war on terror is very well. the challenge is supported by the president because he recognizes it is very real as one of the basees of operation
for activities. i believe we have to let conditions on the ground dictate the process. as general petraeus just testified this week, even if those conditions require forces to stay past the president's july 11 withdrawal date. and mr. speaker, i yield back. . the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california. mr. lee: i yield myself the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for 30 seconds. ms. lee: we need to ask, when is enough, enough. how many of our brave men and women must be sacrificed to this never-ending war? how much blood, how much treasure do we have to spend in afghanistan? and do we need another 10 years to figure it out? i suggest we don't. it's time to change course, it's time for congress assert itself in our responsibilities, in our role we control the purse strings and enough is enough. we need to say today that we
must begin to safely withdraw our young men and women from afghanistan. no more funds for combat operations. the speaker pro tempore: all time for debate from the gentlewoman from california, ms. lee, and her opponent have expired. pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. mcgovern, or his designee, and an opponent each will control 15 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from massachusetts, mr. mcgovern. mr. mcgovern: i rise in strong support of the mcgovern-obey-jones amendment. it makes sure that congress is accountable to the american people, our troops and their families about what our policy in afghanistan will be from july 11 onward. i would like to yield five minutes to the gentleman from wisconsin, mr. obey. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. obey: as was pointed out earlier, those who suggest that any efforts to add any items to what is called the military
supplemental are somehow out of line are simply wrong. this legislation started out as a disaster relief bill, it went to the senate and they marked it into a military supplemental and we're simply now responding to that action. i want to talk about the problems in afghanistan. a year ago, i made the statement that, while i was dubious about the mission in afghanistan, i would give the president a year to see whether his policy would bear fruit. but i warned at the time that we could have the best possible policy in the world and if we did not have the tools to implement it, it would be a failure. and i would suggest that the only two tools we have available to use in that region of the world are the pakistan government and the afghan government and i think it's safe to say that both of them have been less than a spectacular success to say the
least. since then, i think it's also fair to say that events have gone downhill, especially in afghanistan. and in addition, since we're now spending $167 billion on these two wars, i think it's also obvious that we're having a profoundly negative effect on our ability to reinvest and rebuild our own economy. i think the time has come for new consideration. now last december, the president indicated that it was his intention to follow policy which would begin to withdraw our troops from afghanistan beginning in july of 2011. this amendment is nonet simply buttress that commitment and what it says is this -- it requires that in january, a new intelligence estimate be provided and that after that is provided, the administration, by april 4, must respond to it
by sending to the congress an outline of its plans to follow the policy which they have -- which they have announced, which would begin to get us out of there, starting in july of next year. what this amendment also says is, if the administration decides to follow a different policy by, for instance, extending that date, then they cannot do that unless the congress explicitly votes to allow funds to be used for that purpose. what i'm concerned about is this -- what i can see happening is, come next july, we can be told by the pentagon, well things are marginally better than we thought they would be, so we're going to need more time and that target date will be slipped. on the other hand, they could
also say, things are really going badly and so we obviously can't get out at this time. we need to have more time. i want to know that there's a serious, determined commitment to withdraw our troops beginning in june of next year. that is more than ample time for the pakistani government and the afghan government to demonstrate whether they are capable of doing this mission or not. i think it is obvious that we are not going to be able to rebuild our own country and make the investments we need here at home so lock as we're cop continuing this -- so long as we're continuing this war in afghanistan. i suggest this provides an orderly, responsible way to get out of that country rather than spending another nine years before we final -- finally face up to reality. i thank the gentleman for the time. the speaker pro tempore: the
gentleman yields back. who seeks recognition? mr. lewis: mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: does the gentleman from california seek to claim time in opposition? mr. lewis: i do. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. lewis: i yield three minutes to my colleague from new jersey, mr. frelinghuysen. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. frelinghuysen: i rise to oppose all these amendments, especially those dealing with our operations in afghanistan. how quickly forget, as mr. lewis mentioned, as did mr. pence, the senate confirmed our nato command for the afghanistan. during his brief hearing, general petraeus proposed funding in an expedited way. this guarantees no fund welcome signed into law until mid july. if that's not bad enough we find ourselveses on the floor debating, not one, but three
amendments that have the effect of defunding our afghanistan operation. basically, tying the hands of our commander in chief and micromanaging the military at a time when they need to do their job and to be successful. mr. speaker, we are a nation at war. we have soldiers and marines deployed halfway around the world. many of them are in combat at this very hour, facing a dangerous enemy. yet we find ourselves here tonight questioning the very mission we've asked our troops to execute. what message does that send to them? if they're watching us? what message does it say to our allies, some of whom may question in their own government their resolution to stay the course? what message does it send to our enemies, people who would launch deadly attacks in our homeland, as they've done in their homeland.
each and every day at an early opportunity. this is a critical moment in our efforts in afghanistan. i urge rejection of these amendments and support of our troops. let's pass the clean supplemental, get rid of these amendments that do harm to our mission in afghanistan and get about the business of supporting our national defense in a proper way. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. mr. mcgovern: i yield three minutes to a co-sponsor of this amendment, mr. jones. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. jones: i'd like to start any comments on an edtorial in the "pensacola news journal" on june 25. is afghanistan worth it? is it not often that conservative columnist george will and liberal columnist thomas friedman are on the same
page, welcome to afghanistan. the reason tonight that we need to have this debate is because one issue, one main issue that bothers me greatly is what's called rules of engagement. in fact, on the 20th of june in "the washington post," george will's editorial, the n.c.o. recognizes a flawed afghanistan strategy. a recent email from a noncommissioned officer serving in afghanistan, he explains why the rules of engagement for u.s. troops are too prohibitive for coalition forces to achieve sustained tactical success. i would also like to show quickly two newspapers from the marine times, two articles, rules of engagement, we are putting our kids out there to fight with their hands handcuffed, left to die. they call for help, negligent army leadership refused and abandoned them on the
battlefield, four marines and one army kill. i spoke to this father, mr. speaker, from maine. who was featured in "the marine times," he says, caution killed my son. marine families blast suicidal tactics in afghanistan. mr. speaker, this is what they called rules of engagement. we handcuff our troops and we tell them we want them to go out and fight. mr. speaker, i have a retired general who for the last nine months has been my advisor on afghanistan. i gave him my word that i would not use his name publicly on the floor of the house in a committee or in a newspaper. six weeks ago, i asked him again about afghanistan. this is what he emailed back to me. afghanistan has been too tough a nut to crack for every nation that has ever tried to crack it. we need to figure out a way to pack our bags and get out. it is not in our national interest to be there. mr. speaker, that's why i'm on this amendment with mr.
mcgovern and mr. obey. i don't see how anybody could be opposed to this. if you're concerned about our troops and the frequent deployments that are wearing out our military and their families, if you're concerned about the billions of dollars that's unaccounted for in afghanistan, this is a reasonable amendment. it will give hope to our troops and it will give hope tour taxpayers that we're watching their moneys, but more importantly, the troops will know what's in front of them, not 10 more years of going down a road that has no end to it. with that, mr. speaker, i will ask the men and women in this room to continue to pray for our men and women in uniform and their families and let's pass this amendment. it's a good amendment. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman has expired. -- the gentleman's time has expired. who seeks recognition? the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. lewis: i reserve my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from massachusetts.
mr. mcgovern: i'd like unanimous consent to insert into the record two articles from "the washington post," one entitled, u.s. paying afghan war lords, and the other saying karzai involved in corruption cases involving the elite. at this time, i yield two minutes to the je gentleman from tennessee, mr. cohen. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. cohen: thank you, mr. speaker. you don't put good money after bad. this would be putting good money after bad. in this hall earlier with senator mcgovern, who is in the speaker's lobby. i said something to senator mcgovern, former senator mcgovern, and he said, did i hear vietnam? the echos of vietnam are in this chamber, mr. speaker. when people on the other side say they don't want to hear about surrender, that's not right, we could still be in vietnam. we'd still be losing american lives and american resources
because that was a war we couldn't win and some people would accept it system of we lost more lives and more american economy and more opportunities in america. my district cannot afford another $35 billion and $35 billion and $35 billion trying to create infrastructure in afghanistan which is not a third world country but probably like a fifth world country. the third most corrupt nation on the face of the earth. and that's not with the -- what the united states is known for doing, supporting corrupt countries around the world with a man like karzai whose brother is in the opium trade a country that predominantly benefits from the growing of poppies an the spreading of heroin around the world and that's who we're supporting. we should not be spending our money and our lives. i go to the funerals of every soldier in my district that passes. i don't want to go to more of them. i stop every soldier i see in
airports and ask them where they're going, if they're going to afghan and arook, and i ask them how they're going and they say not well. they say, we should not stay there. we are not doing well. i went to a function in my district in the west side, almost entirely african-american and to a person, we need to spend our money here. and on the east side, entirely caucasian and i asked this crowd of 30, does anybody want me to go to washington and vote for more funds for afghanistan? not one. this war is lost, bring our troops home, save our money. thank you, mr. speaker. . mr. lewis: i recognize the gentleman from ohio, mr.la turet for two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. latourette: i heard the
majority speaker give a good talk about how he wird every member could have input in this bill, 435 of us so they structured the rule in a way. there's one choice, no ability of the member of the house to vote on the senate bill and send to the president of the united states before the 4th of july a clean funding bill for the troops in the field. the rule, self-executing already, if that bill passes, it conflicts with the senate bill, nothing can go to the president. mr. speaker, what i think the house ought to be doing is clearing the senate amendments for presentation to the senate -- president. not sending more proposals to the senate, but putting the bill this that the senate has passed to the president's desk for approval as law tomorrow. to that end, i wonder if the proponent, the gentleman from wisconsin, would yield to me for a unanimous consent request and i will tell you what it is in
the hopes he'll let me pro pound it. i would like to ask unanimous consent that the senate amendments be considered as withdrawn in favor of a motion to concur in the senate amendment and woy ask the gentleman if he would yield to me for that purpose. will you permit me to have a clean vote on funding to support the troops? the silence on the other side is deafening. no ability to cast a vote to pass a bill that would go to the president. mr. obey: the senate amend the the house bill which was a disaster bill. if you want a clean vote, we would be voting on the disaster bill tonight, not the war. mr. latourette: my understanding of where we are is that the senate hollowed house a bill, you don't have a motion to
recommit and you have denied the members of this house the opportunity to cast an up or down vote on the war funding instead. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. who seeks recognition. the gentleman from from massachusetts reserves. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. lewis: i yield an additional minute to the the gentleman from ohio. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from ohio is recognized. mr. latourette: i only need 10 seconds. i ask unanimous consent to take from the speaker's table the bill h.r. 4899 and concur in the senate amendments. i'll take the rest of my minute. this is unfortunate. we have troops in the field. we have a holiday upon us and no one in this house is going to be able to cast a vote on a clean supplemental. the president of the united
states has asked for it. he has issued a veto threat against the chaa rmp ade we are performing tonight and can't let the house work its will. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from california. mr. lewis: i yield the balance of our time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for 10 minutes. mr. lewis: mr. speaker, i think it's very important for the members one more time remind ourselves that this is the president's supplemental and it's designed to provide needed funding for our troops, who are representing our interests in fighting for freedom in afghanistan. i think it's very important that this amendment goes on to
restrict year 2011 funds from being used in a manner inconsistent with a july, 2011 troop withdrawal unless expressly provided by and for the joint resolution of the congress. the president of the united states has indicated in his policy administration statement coming from his chief adviser, if the amendments we have been considering this evening are a part of this bill, those chief advisers will recommend to the president that he veto this funding measure. it's very apparent that the other body tomorrow is leaving town. they have already left town. indeed, an amendment to this bill will cause this bill to involve considerable delay for funding for our troops. as i argued under the previous administration, we should not tie the president's hands while he is executing his duties as
commander in chief. perhaps the most solemn of the commander in chief's responsibility. this amendment would do just that. the new general testified that the july 11 date is not a race for the exit, rather that date will begin a condition-based process. and he left further the option of realming change or delays in the current plan. the amendment encumbers future year funds which is not only impractical but the conditions on which those funds would be encumbered are questionable. i fail to see the logic in attempting to talk about future year funds and why try to do this now while fiscal 2011 process is working its way through the committee. the war on terror, mr. speaker, continues to be very real.
our troops certainly understand it, even if our majority leadership does not understand it. of course, i want our troops home as quickly as possible, but tying the hands of the commander in chief and the commander's executing the war is irresponsible and dangerous. mr. speaker, for that reason, i have unanimous consent request -- mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to take from the speaker's table the bill h.r. 4899, the senate amendment thereto and concur in the senate amendment. the speaker pro tempore: the objection is heard. mr. lewis: i'm very surprised there was an objection to that recommendation. after all, we are trying to find some way to get the president's original recommendations up here so the commander in chief can support our troops so they can come home as quickly as possible. in afghanistan, whether we believe it or not, the war on al
qaeda involves our future freedom and certainly as it would have a significant impact on peace in the world. mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker prr tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from massachusetts. mr. mcgovern: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california. mr. lewis: i have no additional speakers. mr. speaker, suddenly, my last speaker showed up. i would yield to my colleague, jack kingston, three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. kingston: i thank the gentleman for yielding and while i certainly appreciate the sincerity of the people who are offering this amendment, i disagree with it in as much as it ties the hands of the military. i have had the opportunity to go to iraq and afghanistan several times and i can say war is complicated.
war does not always go your way. the enemy does always cooperate with the best of our plans. and yet, we here in the safety of the u.s. congress can dictate to the commanders in the field what direction the war should go in and the time frame and what should happen next, according to a political guideline and political deadline as opposed to military guidelines and military deadlines. when the defense subcommittee of appropriations visited general mcchrystal and the ambassador and the rest of our leadership in march in afghanistan, one of the things that they told us is that there had been a difference, significant differences in the war. part of it ms. wasserman schultz: that the afghan army was stepping up in a different way, a new culture if you will, they were taking owner
in the war. in pakistan, troops had been shifted from the kashmir border over to the afghan border and that they were being attacked themselves by taliban terrorists, so the pakistanis were showing an interest and an energy, which up until now, they have not given us or given the afghan people. they are no longer looking at this war as america's war in afghanistan. they are seeing it as their war that has spilled into pakistan and caused instability in the region. i will say this, our commander, general mcchrystal said, i'm not over here to waste everyone's time. i'm keenly aware that the clock is ticking and we have to have a resolution on this. the campaign had just been
concluded and went very well. the shift in the next campaign in kandahar was already under way and people were moving in that direction. and so, mr. speaker, i think it's very important for us to let the military make these decisions and not political representatives in the washington. and i think furthermore, bogging this bill down with extra amendments sends a mixed signal to our troops. so i ask unanimous consent to take from the speaker's table, h.r. 4899 the senate amendment thereto and concur with the senate amendment. the speaker pro tempore: according to the speaker's announced policy such requests are not entertained that have not been cleared by the leadership on both sides. mr. kingston: that's why i was asking for unanimous consent, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the question is not entertained
under a previous announced policy of the speaker. mr. kingston: it's a shame because when it comes to war, we are going to let parliamentary procedure tie our hands in doing what's right for the soldiers. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. who seeks recognition? mr. lewis: i yield the gentleman an additional minute. mr. kingston: i would like to make this point about h.r. 4899 and the senate amendment is that it gives a clean bill, and a bill that will take our hands so they can do the right thing and work closely with the administration and as we know, the transition frr mcchrystal to petraeus -- from mcchrystal to petraeus has been tenuous enough, on a bipartisan basis and we don't need to add to the military woes and efforts in
afghanistan by sending a bill, which incidentally, is not going to be signed by the president. the president has said he is going to veto and the senate isn't going to pass it anyhow. why are we doing this on the eastbound of the 4th of july? we need to have a clean bill. the best thing for us to do is to take h.r. 4899 with the senate amendment and concur with the senate resolution. with that, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the chair will notify mr. mcgovern that he has six minutes remaining and mr. lewis has 2 1/2 minutes remaining. the gentleman from california. mr. lewis: mr. speaker, we have no additional speakers. so i'll make brief remarks and would hope -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. lewis: thank you, mr. speaker. i think you know that as a result of your interpretting existing policy relative to
unanimous consent requests, on three different occasions, in an effort to get the original package here before the body so they could vote up or down on h.r. 4899, i know that i could speak for my own leadership. they certainly would agree to this unanimous consent request. it would appear that the leadership on the other side, perhaps the committee, i can't speak for the speaker of course, but apparently the other side does not want to have that package before the body. mr. speaker, it is critical for us to remind ourselves continually in the weeks and months ahead, the war on terror is very real. america has been challenged at home and continues to be challenged abroad. the men and women that our commander in chief has chosen to send to afghanistan are in need of supplemental funding. to have an essentially watered
down proposals in the amendments is absolutely unbelievable to me. if the public could ornl know what the people's body is doing tonight to not just our people here at home but our people overseas as well, they would make a decision that they ought to change the entire congress. and with that, mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from massachusetts is recognized. the gentleman is recognized for up to six minutes. mr. mcgove mr. mcgovern: we have close to 100,000 men and women deployed in afghanistan. the war has raged for nine years, our strategy has changed at least that many times. we have lost over 1,000 of our brave soldiers and thousands more have been wounded. we are spending hundreds of billions of dollars in borrowed money. in nine year, neither george w. bush nor barack obama nor this
congress has seen fit to pay for the war. that's a burden we are placing on our children and our grandchildren. all of us, every single one of us, republicans and democrats alike are dedicated to defeating al qaeda and holding to account those who committed the horrible atrocities on september 11. what we are proposing today in no way lessens our commitment to that fight. our current policy in afghanistan is deeply flawed. we are getting sucked deeper and deeper and deeper into a war with no clear end. it is a war that will continue to claim the lives of our soldiers. it is a war that will continue to bankrupt us. it is a war that will not enhance our national security. my friends, we can no longer go along to get along. all of us have a responsibility to make sure we are doing the right thing. it is not just the president's war, it is our war too. we are the ones who voted to put our soldiers in harm's way. we are the ones who keep
funding it. my friends on the other side of the aisle who request, why are we asking questions, why don't we just rubber stamp what the senate did or what the president sent us? the reason why we shouldn't do that is because it's not our job. we're supposed to deliberate and ask questions and figure out whether we're doing the right thing. they're our constituents, our family members in harm's way. we need to let this administration know that we want a way out. we want a plan. that's not a radical idea. we want a plan. we want an exit strategy. for the last 30 years we said never again will we commit our armed forces out a clearly defined mission and that means a mission with a beginning a middle, a transition period and an end. well, that's all we're asking for today is a clearly defined mission. what's the plan? we are dealing with the worst economy since the great deprefplgs our citizenss our constituents are hurting. yet we're told that we cannot
afford to extend unemployment benefits to out of work americans because we cannot afford it. we're told we can't help more families aford a college education or rebuild our roads and bridges, but when it comes to supporting a corrupt, incompetent karzai government, we're supposed to be a bottomless pit. don't ask any question, just give them all the money they want, look the other way. that's in the right. that's not our job. i don't have all the answers. but i do know that it makes absolutely no sense to quietly endure the status quo. ending a war is not easy. it requires courage and it demands action. what this amendment requests is action. a strong signal to the administration that we want a plan. it also signals that congress will no longer just sit back and hope for the best. to those who say that asking the afghan government to stand up and take responsibility is somehow a bad idea, i would remind them that when we signaled to iraq that we had a
withdrawal plan, official there is actually began to act like a real government. ensuring that the president gives us a plan by next april so we can figure out by july what to do with the money slated for the war is not too much to ask. we require we deserve, and we should demand the information we need to do our jobs. let me close with this. there is a small sliver of america that is directly impacted by this war in iraq. those are the people who are fighting the war and who have family members fighting the war. the rest of us are asked to do nothing. absolutely nothing. we're not even asked to pay for it. hundreds of billions of dollars in borrowed money. well, the least we could do for these brave men and women, who we have put in harm's way, is debate this issue. to make sure we're getting it right. to make sure we're not sending these people on a mission that commits itself to a war with no
end. that is what we are asking for here today. a clearly defined mission. and i ask all of you, every one of us here, to re-engage in this policy. this issue has taken -- has been on the back burner for too long. we are at war. our constituents are dying. each and every day. we read about more people who are killed in afghanistan. we have an obligation to do better. this policy is deeply flawed. we need a way out. i ask all of you today to vote for the mcgovern-obey-jones amendment. with that, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the chairman yields back. the chair will clarify that the procedural posture for unanimous consent requests of the type recently broached by the gentleman from georgia is not dictated by guidelines for clearances, rather it is subject to managerial prerogative. in short, such a request could be propounded only if the
person managing for that motion agrees. the previous question is ordered. the question of adoption of the motion is divided among five house amendments, pursuant to house 1500, the first portion of the divided question is adopt the second portion of the divided question is will the house concur in the senate amendments with house amendment number 2 printed in house report 111-522. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes visit. the second portion of the divided question is adopted. booktv.org.
the famous phrase that an army moves on its stomach. we have a $2.1 billion contract there. what are we getting from it? guest: yes, $2.16 billion for contacting that goes through everything from food to supplies. they are getting the goods delivered. there is no argument on that. but there is a failure on the side of authorities to know who they are paying in these contracts, what impact that might have in terms of waste, fraud, and abuse, and in terms of the counterinrgency mission in afghanistan. host: that last pt is what you seem to emphasize in your
report. guest: we are not really tracking a lot of these companies. and they go and hire trucks and drivers and security companies, which in many instances, turned out to be warlords. they do whatever they need to to get the goods to where they need to be, but they are all set extorting -- also extorting to get the goods to where they need to go. there is also rumors that there are bribes being paid so that these things can get through local authority. host: so in that case, dollars when they go into a taliban or their supporters, simply supporting the people that we are fighting against. guest: we have only had reports of that so far.
defense personnel believes that it could be happening. certainly, local militias do not have the same interests as the karzai government. those things are working contrary to ournterests. host: your report has gotn lots of coverage. i even watched a piece on russian news on this. but it is not the first time we have heard about it. the secretary of state has talked about it. it seems we know the problem but the country, the defense department is not doing anything about it. why is that? guest: that is a good question. we have reports coming e-mails, messages to various officials over there, but nothing happens. they do not said anything over
the water because of security problems, -- wire because of security problems, and we do not have an explanation monday are notollowing their own rules and regulations. host: we want to continue this discussion on how your tax dollars are being spent by the defense deparent in the pursuit of this war, and for many of you, questioned about the war itself. republicans, 202-737-0001. democrats, 202-737-0002. independents, 202-628-0205 . some video from youtube from a convoy. this is one of the most complex supply operations that our military has faced. why is that? guest: some of the roughest terrain that you will come across in terms of the road.
it looks like a moonscape for parts of it. in the most dangerous areas, there are the taliban, warlords that control aspects of that road. it is difficult. it is, in large part, what brought down the russian army. the supply chain was a real problem for them. host: we found a report of an oil tanker that was hit on its way to deliver oil. the oil used in afghanistan is impressive. the need to get oil long distances. guest: that is apparently part of another investigation that we are doing. it is everything from oil to mraps, to water, to food. it is all essential. host: you have some qualms about
the war in afghanistan, it is fair to say? guest: i am not sure that we are embarking under the most efficient and cost-effective mission. there are a limited number of al qaeda in afghanistan. another limited amount in the border area of the pakistan. al qaeda leaders in yemen, somalia, sudan. everywhere except afghanisn we do not send in 100,000 troops on the ground. we work with indigenous government and other operations operative lead to root them out. so i think if we are going to do that, we need to have a system to identify the problem, anyone associated with what they are doing, and go after them similarly. i do not think it requires 100,000 troops on the groun
the counterinsurgency mission has some sious issues, and i hope the president uses this opportunity to revisit it. you do need a government that is not corrupt, which had been a problem in afghanistan, but some of this money going in could be fueling those operations. we need to see what is a more efficient way to fight terrorism. as i say in the report, there is a lot of use for that money in this country. hos the senate confirmed general petraeus as the afghanistan commander. what does that suggest to you as far as the debate in washington? guest: they believe he is the man to get this job done. he wrote a book on counterinsurgency. i might have some questions on its effectiveness here, when you combine what we have already
let's get to your telephone calls. indianapolis. tracy, republican line. caller: good morning. d i am calling on on the subject of unemployment extensions. i have been unemployed for one year. i had been working for5 years. i was fired for the wrong reasons. i go to work on a biweekly basis. there are a lot of people here in indianapolis that are unemployed and cannot get jobs. for instance, one month ago, and the indianapolis motor speedway had a job fair. i went there hoping that we would be able to fill out an application, be interviewed, and maybe have a job. we arrived in the pouring rain
and they are not taking applications. all it was was local businesses passing help fliers about their pompany and asking us to go on line. i can do that. i have been doing it for one year. host: if you could, bring us to our bottom line. then we are going to move back to the subject of us can stand. caller: i am very disappointed, as a republican, that my own senator richard lugar has voted against this bill. host: could you send your thoughts to the unemployment extensions? guest: i empathize completely with what she said. my mother lost his job when he was 58. -- father lost his job when he was 58.
i wish people would look beyond the partisanship that seems to be happening here, just say no to everything, and understand that people are hurting. host: "usa today" has two stories on afghanistan -- on their forum page -- your answer to that would be what? guest: it is not a question of winning or losing. the issue is what are we concerned about? we are concerned about terrorists that are going to attack u.s. interests. we have to look at how we are going to approach this problem globally. this is a politil fight
between a number of different factions over there. the question is how we protect our interests. host: hollywood, florida. richard on the democrat's line. caller: i want to take your argument on afghanistan one step further. since the 1980's, it has been nothing more than about hard cash. we created the mujahideen. i have seen video tape of the cia driving by and dropping double bags of hundreds of thousands of llars which were picked up by the warlords. this goes on today. we are spending hard cash, printed money, and they are distributing it among their own and taking the money on of the
country, which was reported today, and are vacatiing, buying million-dollar homes in other countries in the gulf. this our money, taxpayer money, hard earned money that is going to a totally wasted effort in afghanistan. guest: that is the concern we had. this is a $2.16 billion contract with respect to trucking. but this is not the only international money inserted into afghanistan, by any means. as disturbing as this report was, as the money was going to come of the country -- out of the country, there are also all sorts of other problems that are happening and we do not have a
good grip on it. i do not mean to be repetitive, but it is counter to the mission and goals that we have set their. host: east orange, new jersey. you are next. caller: good to talk to you this morning. what i wanted to say was, we talk about the money to the warlords -- ok. but the money is coming from the streak began -- main street. we need a better policy of getting the money. i want you to explain to me -- i am asking you to explain to me -- how is that money from main street going to afghanistan and iraq, how is it gng to impact main street?
this is our problem. why is't the president going after afghanistan like they are bp? we have to go after the afghanistan government. some othat money nee to come back to main street. guest: i think that is the point of some of these remarks in the report. we have security interests and the way we have to look ahead it is, if the security concern is terrorism, or we prosecuting that the best we can? and i do not think so. i think there is a more cost- effective way to do it. we are setting up a parallel government people who are not instilling confidence and instilling trust in the people.
these are the question that we need to be asking. the question is if this is adding to the power security. -- to our security. are there more cost-effective ways to do this? afghanistan has no economy to speak of. $13 billion total on a good day, and they have not had a good day in decades. the question should be what should be our form of assistance, and how should we pursue thisational security interest? our security is well invested and how strong we are and how it -pable we are to take on other issues. host: this story in the papers.
guest: that is exactly what we are talking about. there were some brothers who spent some years in jail in afghanistan for running drugs. a cousin of the president of afghanistan. now they are one of the companies on rk-management that gets to run the security for these trucking companies. they do not have security, trucks, or any drivers. well, one of them lives in dubai full-time. so how much of that money that was given to the contractor was taken as a pass through fee, was
taken down of the country, and they went on and hired a warlord to be the security for getting their trucks through? then the more lord says that he has paid off the afghan police to through t checkpoints. he started to name names and give positions. it is in terrible position. host: the story goes on to say the afghanistan to carry a team look into these investigations. how seriously do you think the karzai government looked into these types of corrections? guest: not very seriously. -- types of corruptions? this is serious business. if you look at the counter
terrorism strategy, you know that all this money going in, all of this corruption in the karzai government and fueled by international efforts, it is all working against our interts. host: sec's bill, maryland. chris on the republican line. -- sykesville, maryland. caller: you opposed the war. i assume that you are pushing for some kind of attenuated approach to this. number one, do you oppose president obama's campaign promise to prosecute the afghanistan war, and do you
agree that he is incompetent in executing it? and are you going to open the oppose president obama and put forward another candidate who can take the approach you want n the afghanistan war? what exactly is your position? are you going to sand up and have occred for your political convictions, or will you continue to bleed the soldiers dry and allow the president to muddle through? guest: people want to turn away from partisanship tenderly come up -- and generally, but i could criticize president bush for sevel things.
this is an example of the kind of partnership that exists out there. i could criticize obama for having inherited a difficult situation and somehow not miraculously solving it overnight. the fact is this is a difficult situation that the president finds himself . i have had conversations with him. is not a question of having some attenuated approach to the system. we are not trying to rule afghanistan. we are not trying to pick a fight amongst the different factions that are trying to govern the area. we are trying to fight terrorism. we should be consistent in that. we do not go into other countries with 100,000 troops in order to fight al qaeda that is there. we should be using our intelligence sources better
perhaps special fces, cooperation with other countries and their intelligence. we can do ts in a more cost- effective way that will put our resources in that effort in a more coordinated and effective way. yes, my votes will reflect that, as they always have, but rather than being critical -- there is plenty of blame to go around -- but we all have to go in there and go after al qaeda. it is a difficult decision to make. i understand the efforts of counterinsurgency are sincere and honest. i just question, given theact that we do not have a good afghan national police and army -- and training them has proven to be very difficult --
corruptions rampant, which is working against counterinsurgency policy. think we need to revisit it. my recommendation is that the president comes up with a plan of how we are going to go after terrorism and cooperate with the rest of the community to talk about realigning the way that we are going about it over there. host: this is a starting point on our conversation, arlord inc." which is available on your subcommittee website. you mentioned at the beginning, supplies getting to where they need to go. a former cia agent, commentatorr
wrote about this and said, acknowledged that the things were getting there, but said that it was astonishing because any effort to repay canada are dependent on him -- kandahar are dependent on him. guest: thats part of the problem of not know who your contractors are. we brought in some top people to
talk about all endorsing and contra thing out process. it was pretty well understood, in many cases, that they know who the contractor is, but they do not know who the subcontractor is. in that case, the scenario that they write about is entirely possible. you have to have that sort of disability. if you choose to do things this way, you have to have good oversight of them. you need people on their periodically to ride along, to see that thright people are t just licensed, but are not setting up a parallel militias, armies, that are paying off bribes. there are regulations under congressional wall for these types of things. they have the regulations, they are not enforcing them. host: next phone call.
new york. bob on the democrat's line. caller: usama bin laden sucked us into afghanistan the same way the soviet union got sucked in. i believe we are creating more terrorists in this middle east policy, and this war, american painters around the world, and we need to get out of the middle east. we are creating more terrorists. . .
guest: a weakened defense that they do not want to put troops on the grounds. when in fact, wall pihave a mission to keep our country say. i keep trying to refocus this thing on what are we fighting against? , it is terrorist that have in mind going after our interests and country and focused the approach around that. i think everyone gets focused on that -- al qaeda is limited in
number, but broad in scope. particularly that much of what is happening is happening over the internet. that is what we should be concerned about. i think if we focus on that, we will have a much better debate on that. host: earle on the independent line. caller:ot of people do not appreciate this war. the thing is that if we cannot secure our border, how can we possibly believe we can do anything and afghanistan? you should bring the boys home and put tem on the border. that is where they need to be. not in afghanistan. i know you guys in washington do not like to talk about the bible, but you have to remember what jesus said. your enemy can be a fortresses where it can be vagabonds. that is what they are.
that is what the whole middle east is. you have to remember what you are dealing with. thank you very much. host: any comments? guest: i think in the past several years, there has been a significant increase in investment and technology on the border, and personnel. the votes on the appropriaons spending bill, there is more bill \ / \ money on security. that has been a serious increase in that. keep in mind, half or more of the people that are in the country illegally do not a crumb of cost any quarter. they come in legally and state. we need to get that right. -- they come in legally and
stay. host: general petraeus was asked about corruption in his confirmation hearings. here is what he had to say. >> there have been actions taken this spring by the afghan governnt, the establishment of new anti-corruption bodies, the prosecution of certain cases, and also on our side, for example, the establishment of a task force 2010 headed by a two naval contracting officer, that will examine where the contract money is going. not only to our thehehehehehehee
intently if confirmed. host: anything more to say guest: obviously this is well overdue. i think it is great they have established the010 task force. the department has been aware, they do a lot of reports, and know this has been going on. host: california on the republican line. caller: in reference to afghanistan, afghan, i rraq, compared to great britain it is a far cry from giving foreign entities access to my bank account.
guest: i do not think i understand. host: this is a different question. that is the use of contracted soldiers. this viewer asks, please ask him what forces are contractors verses u.s. soldiers or is that information classified? guest: the information is not classified, unfortunately it is not certain. the best testimony was that there was 88,000 troops currently in afghanistan. some 110,000 contractors. similarly, there are fer troops than there are contractors there. this is one issue we have been trying to get the department of defense to acknowledge as well. we would have to know what is inherently governmental. what functions should be done by
our own state department or department of defense people and what would be legitimate for contracting out. i am one believe that if it is a security mission, that should be our military. maybe this is the way it should be, and they would have a more difficult time assessing whether we should be in a certain operation. certainly contracting out security has problems with security obasic, cheering and embassy, or se other government facilities or guiding convoy from one. to the other, you have a lot of difficuies with that. if they are not in your chain of command, who do they answer to? can they pick up sticks and go home if things get tough and the middle of the combat? who do they answer to? if the general is the mo over te
and says they have to stay in fights, do they have to? there are various issues that have to be resolved. i not think department keep sag they're going to. it really has not been completed and done properly we do not think. host: what part of the war strategy is creation of the local militia? forces. uniforms, weapons, and wages. from afghanistan, the men and the remote village are in uniforms defending their lan against the taliban. new legislation hammered out by
american and afghan officials and expected to be enacted by president karzai in coming weeks would authorize armed village forces across afghanistan and bring them into the country's enforcement system. guest: it is at least an effort. i think we need to have further examination. it is an effort to bring them under the government. there adjuncts to the police or military as opposed to a militia that is entirely independent. so i think that as part of their effort to try to address the situation. i think there are lots of pitfalls that could be there if
without objection, the motion to reconslaid upon the table. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from hawaii gsh the gentlewoman from rise? >> i ask to be considered the first sponsor of h.r. 709, a bill originally introduced by representative abercrombie of hawaii for the purposes of adding co-sponsors and requesting this pursuant to clause 7 of rule 12. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered.
the speaker pro tempore: the house lays before the house a communication. the clerk: the honorable, the speaker, house of representatives, madam, on july 1, 2010, the committee on transportation and infrastructure met in open session to consider 15 resolutions to authorize appropriations for the general services administration for fy 2010 capital investment and leasing program for leases authorized 225.9 million for various agencies. the committee adopted the resolution by voice vote. enclosed are copies of the resolution adopted by the committee of transportation and infrastructure on july 1, 2010, signed sincerely, james oberstar , chairman.
the speaker pro tempore: referred to the committee on appropriations. the house recognizes the followings perge requests. the clerk: personal request for mrs. capito for mrs. capito of west virginia after 2 p.m. the speaker pro tempore: members will be in order. conversations will be taken off the floor. house will be in order. take your conversations off the floor, please. the chair will entertain
requests for one-minute speeches. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania rise? pennsylvania mr. thompson: request unanimous consent to address the house for one minute revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. thompson: mr. speaker, i rise today as a penn state alum news to congratulate the ladies lions rugby team. it represents the team's first back-to back titles. they defeated stanford cardinals in overcoming hardships in lacking home field advantage. the victory has drawn praise from the president of the penn state and stanford coach who described them as a national powerhouse and unbeatable for the next 15 years. a humble and skilled athlete and
rising senior at pep state was named the game's star player. as a star player, she had the dedication and atentiveness of her team nates. they allowed penn state to hold them scoreless. victories such as this test the spirit of our youth and potential to do great things. i extend my congratulations and wish them luck in using their tough back line to defend the title neeks year and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: further one-minute requests? further one-minute requests? for what purpose does the for what purpose does the gentleman from texas rise?