The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Huelskamp). Under the Speaker's announced policy of January 5, 2011, the gentleman from California (Mr. Garamendi) is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the minority leader.
Mr. GARAMENDI. Mr. Speaker, today we want to talk about jobs. The people in my district,the 10th Congressional District of California, in Concord, Antioch, Pittsburg, Fairfield, Livermore, they want jobs. They want to go to work. They want this government to create jobs.
We are now in the 10th week of the new majority, the Republican majority, and thus far there has not been one significant, useful job bill brought to the floor. Instead, we had a CR brought to the floor that, in all probability, will cost America 700,000 jobs. That's what the CR, the first piece of legislation introduced by the Republicans, would do, 700,000 jobs. And it's all across the board: construction jobs, research, manufacturing jobs, education.
We just heard one fellow stand up here on the floor and say he was worried about his children. He should be, because the bill that he voted for less than 10 days ago will destroy thousands and thousands of teaching jobs across this Nation, including 218,000 young children that will not be in the Head Start program. We can't afford that kind of a ``jobs'' program.
Joining me today is Betty Sutton from the great State of Ohio, in the heart of the once very strong manufacturing base of this Nation.
Ms. Sutton, if you would tell us what's going on in Ohio and how you see these issues.
Ms. SUTTON. Well, I thank the gentleman, and I thank you for your leadership.
Boy, that poster says a lot: GOP continuing resolution destroys 700,000-plus jobs, possibly yours. And where did we get that number? Before we get to Ohio, where did we get that number? We got that number from a number of places. Ben Bernanke said that the plan would cost hundreds of thousands of jobs. The GOP's CR, according to Goldman Sachs, would reduce economic growth by 2 percent and cause the unemployment rate to increase. And a study by the International Monetary Fund concluded that the idea that fiscal austerity stimulates economic activity in the short term finds little support in the data.
We have a group of 300 economists, including two Nobel laureates, who wrote a letter warning that the shortsighted budget cuts to ``human capital, our infrastructure, and the next generation of scientific and technological advances'' would threaten future economic competitiveness as well as our current recovery.
So that's where we begin. Despite all of this forewarning about what this path will lead us to, we still see a continuing resolution that indicates we're going to lose 700,000-plus jobs.
In the State of Ohio, I'm sure that a number of people, most of the people out there, have seen at the statehouse where we're witnessing democracy in action, at least from the outside, because for a while there the statehouse doors were closed when all of the workers and fair-minded Ohioans descended upon our State's capitol to protest against what the Republican Governor there is trying to do to public sector workers.
Under the guise of taking care of our deficit, an attack on workers' rights is being waged not only in Ohio but across this country, from Wisconsin to Ohio to the floor of Congress where we've seen attack after attack. And it's really a sad thing, because we all know we should be focused--and the other side should join us in focusing--on priority one, which is putting people back to work.
In Ohio, the key to our budget problems is more people working than you have revenue to pay for the public services and the public sector employees who help to make our world turn. Can you imagine the idea?
It was not the workers in Wisconsin or Ohio or across this country that drove our economy off the cliff. It was not those teachers or those firefighters who rush into those burning buildings when we run out of them. It was not the police officers who are out there on our streets protecting us and keeping our communities safe. It was not the workers.
The workers are not the problem. They are part of the solution of where we need to go. But the bottom line is we need to be focused on creating jobs. And it's just amazing that not only are our friends across the aisle, the Republicans, not interested and focusing on that--10 weeks on the job, zero jobs--they're actually looking at cutting those people who do have jobs, their rights. It's just fundamentally unfair and it's counterproductive.
We all know that we need to trim back our budget. We should always be willing to trim back the budget, but only by engaging in smart cuts, not just indiscriminate cuts.
What happens when a person doesn't have a job? What happens when 700,000 people don't have a job? Do we think they just disappear, that they are no cost to our government, to our country? Not to mention the loss of dignity and the loss of opportunity, everything that our country stands for, having a chance to make a way for your family, to feed your family and take care of your family.
It's a crazy idea to say that we can make cuts that cut hundreds of thousands of jobs and somehow that will lead us to prosperity.
Mr. GARAMENDI. And reduce the budget deficit.
Our President in his State of the Union said that we have to out-educate, out-research, out-manufacture and out-build the rest of the world. Yet the first significant piece of legislation
that the Republicans moved through this House goes in exactly the opposite direction. It does in fact reduce the education. I guess 20,000 or 30,000 teachers are going to lose their jobs. Kids will not be there.
But the thing that really struck me--we were talking earlier with my colleague from Maryland about this--is the research. In the area of research, which are tomorrow's jobs, what does this CR do? What does the Republican Caucus want to do? They want to cut back on the research. You're looking at a significant number. I think it's over 5,000 key researchers.
Could our colleague from Maryland share with us her experience and her knowledge, because you are in one of the research centers.
Ms. EDWARDS. I want to thank the gentleman from California for bringing this to our attention. I've been thinking a lot about the role of research and development to the 21st century and to 21st-century job creation. In fact, I've introduced along with you and a number of our colleagues, my colleague from Maryland, Republican Roscoe Bartlett, H.R. 689 which is the 21st Century Reinvestment Act. The goal is to invest in research and development, expand our tax credit for research and development, make it permanent, and then link it to manufacturing.
Here has been my experience. In the Fourth Congressional District, we are home to some of the most fantastic research innovation that's happening anywhere in the country. That's true all across the country, but these sorts of robust and innovative firms, many of them are small firms. They can't afford to just front-load R&D to create manufacturing jobs, but they need the government to have a tax policy that actually encourages that. So I am all in favor, actually, of a tax policy that encourages the positive things that we want, research and development, job creation, manufacturing.
Instead, what did we get out of Congress? We got a tax bill that rewards the top 2 percent with tax breaks that they're never going to put back into the economy. We've had 10 weeks of a Republican revolution here in the House of Representatives that has created zero jobs, and, in fact, a continuing resolution out of this House of Representatives, this Republican-led House of Representatives, that would destroy 700,000 jobs. It is as if we're saying, No, we don't really like the 21st century. We want to go back to the 19th and the 20th century. That is not how you rebuild a manufacturing base in this country.
I have actually been struck traveling throughout my congressional district at small firms like Wabtech up in Gaithersburg, Maryland, which is doing some really innovative R&D, research and development, to develop signaling systems that will help us with high-speed rail. Guess what: they've just had to lay off workers because we are not making the right kinds of investments into research and development and technology that's about jobs for the 21st century.
The President got it right. He said we have to out-innovate, out-educate and out-build. The way that we do that, of course, is to invest in our educators; invest in our young people. We're doing exactly the opposite. The Republican majority is doing the exact opposite here in this Congress. Again, 10 weeks of work and not a single job.
In fact, Congressman Pete Sessions from Texas has just said: you know what, we're not going to create a jobs bill at all. We're not interested in jobs. All we're interested in is cutting government spending.
Well, let's look at what they're cutting, some of the most innovative research that's going on in this country. NOAA, that looks at our weather service, that makes sure that our farmers understand what's happening with our climate and our weather so that they can engage in production of products throughout this country.
What else are we doing? They say the National Institutes of Health doesn't need $2.5 billion to continue innovative research in cancer and other things, things that actually play out in terms of the marketplace, creating private sector jobs in a new economy.
I am really struck by the language of small business, the language of innovation, the language of job creation but not a single job. Zero jobs. Ten weeks of a Republican revolution, zero jobs; 700,000 jobs lost.
I would urge my colleagues that if they really want to be about the 21st century, then they should join us in expanding the research and development tax credit so those innovative firms can invest in all the technologies of the future, so that we can produce the Ph.D.s who are needed to conquer the 21st century and then link that to manufacturing so that the small firms in my district and all across the country can take advantage of a research and development tax credit because they are making things, where, making it in America.
Mr. GARAMENDI. If America is going to make it, we must once again make it in America. Manufacturing matters, and the first step in the manufacturing of this century is the research. It's the well-educated workforce that's capable of doing the new things and the research that goes with it. You are very fortunate in your district to have some major research facilities. NOAA and NASA are in this area. In my own district I have the Lawrence Livermore labs and, adjacent to it, the Lawrence Berkeley labs and the Berkeley campus as well as the University of California-Davis campus where research is what it's all about.
In the continuing resolution, 700,000 jobs. That's a big number, and we just don't focus on that. But we're talking about real people. This is the job next to you that's going to be lost. Sandia Laboratories was in my office no more than an hour ago talking about research for nuclear power and how we're going to deal with that. I told them if the Republicans get their way, 5,500 researchers at the national labs are going to lose their jobs. So what of tomorrow's energy systems? $1.7 billion would be taken out of the Department of Energy's future energy research. So solar, photovoltaic, advanced biofuels, the research for tomorrow so that we can actually wean ourselves from foreign oil, gone. Gone.
You go, What is this, just a feeding frenzy? Is it wise? Is there any real thought put on this? I think the answer for me is no.
I notice that our colleague, new to the House but not new to the issues from Rhode Island, has joined us. How does this affect Rhode Island? What does this mean to your State?
Mr. CICILLINE. I thank the gentleman from California for organizing this Special Order. I'm new to this Chamber, I've been here 2 months, but I think the poll that was released today, the Bloomberg poll released this morning, again found that America's top priority is jobs and getting people back to work.
We've been here 10 weeks and the Republican-controlled Congress has presented zero jobs. It hasn't presented a jobs bill. It has presented a spending plan that will cost 700,000 jobs. That's an analysis done by respected economists across the country.
Rhode Island is a State that has a very rich manufacturing history. We are the place where the Industrial Revolution began, home to some of the greatest manufacturing. I think, like many States, we have suffered in this recent economy. Rhode Island has been particularly hard hit. But I think if we are going to remain a world economic power, we absolutely have to make things again in America. If you ask people who believe that we're losing that position as a world economic power, you ask them, who do they think is the world economic power, they say China. If you say, why China? They say, because China makes everything.
I asked my constituents during my campaign, go into a store in Rhode Island, try to find something made in America. It's almost impossible. I really hope that the 112th Congress will be the Congress that revitalizes manufacturing in America. That means working hard to be sure we have a national manufacturing policy, to be sure that we provide manufacturers with the tools that they need to compete in the 21st century, to be sure that we have trade policies and workforce investments that allow them to compete globally, and to be really making the kinds of investments in manufacturing that are necessary not only to create jobs in the short term but to ensure the long-term economic health and prosperity of our country.
What I am afraid the Republicans have proposed in their budget proposal, in an effort to make cuts now, are seriously compromising our ability to lead the world as an economic power. Look, we have to cut spending. We have to be responsible about managing this deficit. But we have to do it in a smart and strategic way that protects our investments in education, in innovation, in science and research so that we can make the new discoveries, develop the new products, and then manufacture them and lead the world as an economic power.
This is an opportunity to really understand the urgency of supporting manufacturing so that we can start making things again in this country, start selling goods. That's how the middle class was built in America, was through manufacturing. That's what built this country, a strong middle class. And the ongoing decisions that have been made by my friends on the other side of the aisle are undermining the middle class, are weakening the ability for manufacturing to grow. And I think they are the wrong decisions for our country.
Mr. GARAMENDI. Thank you very much for the perspective from Rhode Island. I was, years ago, on the Blackstone River, which I think was the heart of the Industrial Revolution here in the United States; and they were using water power for the mills at that time. A fascinating, great history. And now the most advanced technology is also done in Rhode Island, a lot of it having to do with the construction of submarines and the like. Very, very advanced. But all of that comes from the research, the engineering, the STEM education: science, technology, engineering, mathematics.
I would like to turn back to our colleague from Maryland. I see that she has a few more thoughts. She was kind of anxious to get back into this discussion.
Ms. EDWARDS. I want to thank you, Mr. Garamendi, because I am excited about the prospect of manufacturing again in America. In my home State of Maryland, about 40 percent of our economic base was manufacturing. Today, that's under 10 percent. And I think that that's a sign of what's happened all across this country. But it doesn't have to remain that way.
Today, we heard the Prime Minister of Australia express a belief in America that I want America to express in herself in terms of us leading the world in technology development and manufacturing for the 21st century. We need to return to that. There is still a lot of innovation that's going on.
But let me tell you what's happened over the last couple of decades. The United States used to have the number one research and development tax credit in the world. Today, we're number 17. From number one to number 17. And what that means, when you begin to lose ahold of your innovation and other people are doing that innovation, pretty soon the production lines move to where the innovation is taking place. So it's no accident that manufacturing is leaving to where some of that innovation is taking place in other countries. I want to make sure that we're doing it, that we are making it, that we are manufacturing it right here in the United States.
Let's take solar panels as an example. All of the great solar technology that we have developed right here in the United States. Where do we make solar panels? Every place else, particularly in China. Well, we should be making those in the United States, production lines and manufacturing lines that are actually close to where the research and development is taking place. We can go industry by industry, sector by sector and make the argument for making it in America. We are great innovators.
But we don't want to be at number 17 when it comes to incentivizing through our tax policy good things, incentivizing innovation and manufacturing here in the United States, creating local jobs. I mean, the couple of firms that I talked about, they have 200 employees. And, you know, some of those employees graduated high school and they're working on that production line, high-paid jobs working on that production line. They're working alongside engineers who have Ph.D.s, and there are researchers with their Ph.D.s all along that production line, a couple of hundred employees. Well, we should be doubling and tripling that all across communities across this country so that we're not at 10 percent of manufacturing capacity in my State, but we're at 40 and 50 percent, because then people are working, they've got good job jobs, they've got great education, and we are making it in America.
Mr. GARAMENDI. Let me pick up a couple of the themes that you hit upon. One of them, continuing on with research in this area of this part of the country, and certainly in the San Francisco Bay area, where I represent, health care research is huge. It is an extraordinarily big part of the economy, both the research and then the spin-offs from it. We call this the biotech. And this is almost entirely health care-related biotech. We also have the biofuels, again coming out of research.
The Republican continuing resolution reduces funding for the National Institutes of Health by $1.6 billion. We are talking about 25,000 health-related research projects that will either stop, be delayed, or pushed off the track--25,000. We're talking about things that are really serious to us: heart disease, diabetes, cancer, all of the things that affect every American and literally everybody in this world. The research would be slowed down, stopped, and in some cases terminated as a result of the feeding frenzy that went on here on this floor where more than 400 amendments were considered with very, very little thought.
Our colleague Betty Sutton talked about, yes, cuts, but be smart with your cuts. Don't just take whatever is on your mind, whatever the latest sound bite is, because it may have a very detrimental effect. You are looking at in this case the National Institutes of Health. Human health. Our well-being as Americans; and that means 25,000 research jobs would be terminated.
Now, the press doesn't follow the details. The press follows the game. Is the Senate going to act, or will we have a government shutdown? That's an
interesting game. But underlying those will-they won't-they issues are the issues of what actually is in the legislation; and this particular piece of legislation, 700,000 jobs, critical needs that we have as human beings for health, jobs that we need in the future, whether they are in the science field, in the manufacturing field, and jobs for today in the construction industry.
Pulling money out of construction for infrastructure; programs to provide clean water for our communities--thousands of those programs will die as a result of the Republican continuing resolution which is now before the Senate. Hopefully, the Senate will be wiser than what happened here on the floor. We can go on and on.
I developed a list, I call it the dirty dozen, and these are specific things, education, I know that's a big thing in your district, University of Maryland, I think it's adjacent to your district, but you claim it, don't you?
Ms. EDWARDS. Well, let me just go, because I am having a conversation this afternoon with the president of the University of Maryland. I was out at the University of Maryland campus over the past weekend. Like campuses all across this country that are engaged in some of the top-notch research that's going on in the country, I was with 300 young people from kindergarten to 12th grade over at the University of Maryland, all interested in the STEM fields, interested in science, technology, engineering, and math, interested in making a career in those fields that are about the 21st century.
Sadly, here we are in the United States Congress completely disconnected to communities, completely disconnected to young people and their aspirations for the future, cutting, slashing, burning, cutting programs that are about educating our young people to take advantage of the 21st century.
And so it just seems that there is a complete disconnect between what the majority is doing and how that will play out for our future. And so I had to say to these young people, you know, stay with it. Stick with those STEM fields, with the science and the technology and the engineering and math. Go on to that engineering school, go on into the biosciences that we see coming out of the University of Maryland, go on into the space program because we are investing in technologies not just that are going to open up our universe, but that actually have real application here on Earth.
We have to continue to support our young people to do that. But it really does fly in the face of what's actually being done by this Republican majority to cut away at education for the future, to say we don't really want to manufacture things here in the United States and say that we don't really care whether we make that research and development tax credit permanent so that small firms can innovate and create and hire.
But we know that America cares about those things. That's why it's important for us to have this conversation with the American people about what it's going to take, really, to jump-start the economy and the things that are happening in this Congress that are going to put a kibosh on that.
Cutting 700,000 jobs, zero jobs created in 10 weeks of this Congress, and not investing in our future, not investing in our manufacturing.
Mr. GARAMENDI. Precisely so.
At the University of Maryland, I suspect it's similar to what I found in the California State University system, which is the largest university system, they would argue, in the world. We may want to find out what China's actually up to, but it's a huge system.
The Pell Grant is a critical element in providing the opportunity for students to stay in school. Yet the continuing resolution supported by the Republicans here on this floor, and now over in the Senate for consideration, would drastically reduce the Pell Grant by some $870 per person at the same time that the tuition at all of the universities is going up, literally making it very difficult for tens or hundreds of thousands of students to stay in school, and these are the future workers in the high-value jobs that we need here in America.
So, it's not just the higher education and the Pell Grants that are being cut, but at the beginning, the Head Start program, we're talking about young children who do not have an opportunity because of their family's poverty to get started in education, a proven program that actually works. Now, not every Head Start program--and last year, we put together a program to weed out those that are not successful and bring in new ones that would be able to replace them. But 218,000 young children from impoverished families are going to be thrown off of the Head Start program, not next year, but as soon as this continuing resolution becomes law. We can't let that happen.
So we will fight. Firstly, and hopefully, the President, should this somehow pass the Senate and come back to this House and be passed, the President should veto it because I know that he wants to out-educate, out-build, and out-innovate every other country in the world; and you cannot do that unless you have a highly educated workforce soon and later, beginning with those children in the Head Start program.
Now, this is a program in your year that I understand that is important to you.
Ms. EDWARDS. Just yesterday, educators from my congressional district were here on Capitol Hill. They were educators from Bowie State University, an Historically Black College that is now poised to get research grants going to Historically Black Colleges and Universities, cut by the Republican majority in the continuing resolution.
There were representatives here from the University of Maryland. I've spoken again about the wonderful work that they are doing in cyber security, in aerospace research over at that university campus, cut in this continuing resolution.
There were educators from our community colleges that are training both young people and people who want new and real skills for this new economy, cut in this continuing resolution.
And you spoke about the Pell Grants. What these universities and community colleges share in common in higher education is that they know that in order to bring up the most diverse workforce, a trained and skilled workforce, we also need students who come from vulnerable families, whose families can't afford to send them to school. And what have we done? We've cut out of that continuing resolution, the Republican majority has cut $845, $870 from Pell Grants. And you know what that means? That's books for a semester, not even two semesters but, you know, probably a semester.
And so I have to wonder what the majority is thinking about the future. They may be thinking about today, maybe--and we can argue about that--but they surely are not thinking about the future by cutting education, by not investing in manufacturing, by not investing in research, by not investing in all of the things that will make us competitive for the 21st century.
Mr. GARAMENDI. We kind of bracket the United States here. We've got the east coast with Maryland, and I'm out on the Pacific coast, but somewhere in between I believe is the State of Colorado, and I noticed our colleague from the State of Colorado was standing over there, and he had that ``I've got to get involved in this'' look. Please join us and share with us Colorado, which has some of these programs and is very, very important to all of us.
Mr. PERLMUTTER. Well, your point, to my friend from California, is that manufacturing matters and having jobs in America matters, that, you know, if we make it in America, we will make it in America. Our focus should be on providing good jobs here with good infrastructure, whether that's education, highways, transit, energy, in this country so that, for ourselves, our kids, our grandkids, there's a prosperous future.
But the Republicans completely missed that entire approach, and I liken it to this. Everybody says let's look at this as if it's family and a family has to tighten its belt sometime. No question about it, but let's really look at what's occurred here and talk about the country as a family, because we are all in this together. You know, sometimes we can do something by ourselves, but most of the time we're in this together.
So what's happened here, let's look at it, is at the beginning of this century, back in 2001, 2002, the country took a voluntary pay cut. When the tax cuts under Bush came down, the country took a voluntary pay cut. So then the next thing that happens is, besides taking a voluntary pay cut, that family or that person goes out and he builds two houses. We went to war twice in the Middle East to the tune of who knows how much money, but at least $1 trillion. So now we've taken a pay cut. We are building two houses----
Mr. GARAMENDI. Two wars.
Mr. PERLMUTTER. Which are two wars, and all of a sudden the breadwinner has a heart attack. And that's what happened in the fall of 2008 when we had the financial crash. So no income or lower income and lots of hospital bills. And those hospital bills came in the form of unemployment insurance, COBRA for health insurance, and all sorts of things designed to keep the country moving forward despite the financial crash.
So now, just as the person begins to recover, the breadwinner recovers from the heart attack and is starting to earn a salary again. Hospital bills start dropping, but you still have hospital bills to pay. My friends on the Republican side of the aisle said, Wait a second. We should pay them all right now.
No question that they have to be paid, but you've also got to get healthy. And just as we're starting to add jobs in this country, just as people are starting to get back to work, my friends on the Republican side of the aisle want to blame the debt of this country not on the voluntary pay cut, the tax cuts, not on the two wars, not on the financial crash. They want to blame it on Head Start. They want to blame it on energy efficiency. They want to blame it on education.
Those are the kinds of things that make the patients stronger and healthier and this Nation stronger and healthier so that we can have jobs here, so that we can build things here, so that we can have a prosperous future for ourselves and our kids.
And my friends on the Republican side of the aisle are so misdirected on this that it's scary, and Americans should really sit up and take notice that their future is really being put to the test by the approach that the Republicans want to take to balancing our budget and to building our future.
With that, I would return the conversation to my friend from California.
Mr. GARAMENDI. Let's continue the conversation for a few moments here.
Presumably, these cuts were made to deal with the deficit. We've got a deficit problem. Thank you so very much for going back to the history of how we wound up with this huge deficit problem. It did begin in 2000 when the Clinton administration left office.
The projection for the decade 2000 to 2010 was there would be a $5 trillion surplus, $5 trillion surplus. Based upon the policies that were in place when Clinton left office, 2001, $5 trillion surplus, literally paying off all of America's debt--gone, history.
What happened? How well you said it. Two tax cuts that were not paid for that cut the revenue of the Federal Government. Two wars, Afghanistan and Iraq, not paid for. First time in America's history that we went to war without having some way to pay for it, that is, some tax policy to pay for it. And then on top of that, a Medicare program, the drug benefit, again, a hundred billion dollar program, not paid for, and then the heart attack.
The crash of the world economy was caused by excess Wall Street exuberance. In many cases, that exuberance was fraud, misdirection, and the collapse of the financial industry taking down the world economy and our economy.
Mr. PERLMUTTER. And to that point, the financial heart attack that this country suffered and the world suffered, now the country starts to get back on its feet. Under Barack Obama, on March 9 of 2009, 2 years ago, the President had been in office for 1 month, we hit the bottom of the stock market. It had fallen some 6,000 points in the last months of George Bush. Since President Obama came into office, the stock market has gained 6,000 points. Almost 2 years ago to the day, the stock market reversed itself under his leadership.
Now, part of that is we put some police back on Wall Street, not in an excessive way, but in a way to make sure that investors and people dealing with the financial industry were getting a fair shake. And confidence has been restored to some degree in the financial industry.
Now my Republican friends, that's another place they want to cut. Let's take the cops back off the beat both on Wall Street as well as all across the country. Again, a very wrong-headed move to build the future of this Nation.
I would like to do just one other family analogy if I could. So we've had this tremendous fall. The family has got to manage its expenses. It needs to get its income up, and it needs to manage the expense side. So what we have is, say, okay, we got Aunt Maude, she's in a nursing home. We've got Nephew Joey, he's in a preschool down the street, and we've got Uncle Rex who is an oil company executive. And we've been helping all of them. We've been helping Aunt Maude. We've been helping Nephew Joey. And we've been helping Uncle Rex.
Well, under the Republican approach, they want to kick Aunt Maude out of the nursing home. They want to make sure there's no preschool for Nephew Joey, but they want to keep sending the check to Uncle Rex.
We're all in this together. If we want to manage this deficit, if we want to pay down the debt, we are all in this together. And the approach that they've taken just doesn't make sense.
Mr. GARAMENDI. If we were to look at the proposal that President Obama put forth in his budget that came out about a month ago, he put forth a program that would hold government expenditures at a 5-year freeze, that is, no increase, but they're being able to continue to pay for those necessary programs for Aunt Maude and for Nephew Rick--was it Nephew Rick?
Mr. PERLMUTTER. Nephew Joey.
Mr. GARAMENDI. Nephew Joey. It was that other uncle that was making off like a bandit.
Mr. PERLMUTTER. Uncle Rex.
Mr. GARAMENDI. So that was to freeze the level of expenditure and to put in place tax policies so that your oil company executive would begin paying a fair share, rather than getting a very significant tax break, beginning to pay their share back into this economy.
Over time, and this was about in 7 years, the percentage of the GDP, the gross domestic product, that was to debt, or to the deficit, would fall from around 11 percent down to about 3 percent, so that it would be managed over time.
Going back to your analogy, you've got all of those debts built up during the 2000 to 2010 period or 2008 period, and then, taking time, 6, 7 years, to bring it back under control, not with the kind of chaotic cuts that are now being proposed by our Republican friends where we would actually slow down the economy, throw some 700,000 people out of work, reducing tax revenues, increasing unemployment, unemployment expenses go up, hospital, emergency room expenses go up because people no longer have health care, and on the other end, people losing their homes. They don't have a job, you can't pay the mortgage, you're going to lose your home, so the housing market would also be hit as a result of the proposal that actually passed this floor with Republican support. I think there were only three or four Democrats who voted for it.
We need to have a wise policy. We need to make cuts. To be sure, we need to make cuts. And I want to put one example on the table here before we go any further and people think that we're not supporting cuts. We asked last year the Congressional Research Office, a nonpartisan group, to take a look at governmental programs and to tell us where the duplication is, where the unnecessary programs are in governmental programs.
That report just came out yesterday. And I was thumbing through it quickly. I don't have it in front of me, but I was going through it. And what struck me was that most of the duplication, most of the unnecessary programs and the waste turned out to be in one Department of this government. It happens to be the Department of Defense. No surprise. No surprise. Duplication, unnecessary expenditures and line after line after line came up that that's where we should be focusing. There are other programs, to be sure, but the big bucks, the big dollars were in the Department of Defense.
Now, it is pretty well known, certainly in my district, and I'd like anybody else to know, that I think this war in Afghanistan ought to end right away. That's $120 billion. Let's just say we leave behind in Afghanistan for social and economic development, to deal like a laser on al Qaeda, the real terrorists that may be there and in Pakistan and in other places, let's just say we can take back $100 billion. That happens to be $40 billion more than the continuing resolution that was put forth here. I don't want to get too far off track, but that's a lot of money. And ultimately, we're going to leave, and they're going to go about doing what they need to do over there. But we need to focus on the terrorism and focus significantly like a laser on that.
Maybe I got a little bit off track with it, but if you want to save $100 billion, there's $100 billion.
Mr. PERLMUTTER. Would the gentleman yield?
Mr. GARAMENDI. Please.
Mr. PERLMUTTER. So I just say to my friend from California, just going back to my analogy, or my metaphor, of voluntary pay cut and then all of a sudden you're building two houses after you just took a voluntary pay cut, being the two wars, but the good news, but there still is much work to go, is that the war in Iraq, we had 150,000 people there. Under the Obama administration, that's been drawn down to about 50 and is shrinking, we're saving already $100 billion a year there alone. Obviously, you've got to look at Afghanistan and a continued drawdown because that's money that could go towards not increasing the debt, but ultimately reducing the debt.
The other thing is that the best way to shrink the deficit, just in that same analogy I was giving, is to put people back to work. The more people that are working, the better off we are. We are in this together. That's the whole point of this. This country's motto is ``e pluribus unum,'' from many one. We're in this together. Big guys, those guys making a lot of money, God bless them. The little guys who are working their fannies off, God bless them. We are in this together. And the only way we deal with problems in this Nation is when we deal with them together.
And this country is a great Nation. We will solve these problems. There will always be problems in the future, and we just take them one at a time as they come. We can do this. We will do this. We will have a prosperous future for all of us. But we've got some work to do right now.
And my plea to my friends on the Republican side of the aisle is don't cut off the Nation's nose to spite its face. We can take care of these responsibilities and pay these bills. That's what America does. It pays its bills. We need to do it in a sensible way and not cut out the future and the opportunity that so many Americans get from their education, from the infrastructure that needs to be rebuilt, and from making things here in this country.
Mr. GARAMENDI. I am delighted to hear the gentleman from Colorado's perspective.
Two things immediately on my mind, and I see my senior colleague from the great State of New York has joined us. I will call on him in just a second.
One of the things that we are focused on in the Democratic Caucus is making it in America, rebuilding the manufacturing in America so that America can make it. Manufacturing really matters because this is where the middle class is. This is where the middle class jobs are, when you couple that with the power of the unions to make sure that working men and women, the middle class, get a share of the wealth that is generated when we manufacture things.
Some what is going on in the Midwest, in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Ohio, and other States is really important in making sure that the wealth that is generated in this Nation is available to everyone in this Nation, particularly those people who are making things in America once more. Wouldn't we all love to go into a Target store and find on every shelf ``Made in America.'' Chinese, fine, you guys are doing okay. But I want those things made in America.
Two pieces of legislation that I have introduced, along with many others that my colleagues have introduced, simply say if it is our tax money that is being used to support, for example, solar, photovoltaic systems, the wind turbines, the biofuel systems, if it is our tax money that is being used for the production tax credits or to subsidize the solar cells on your house, buy American-made cells. Buy American. That is American dollars. Use that money in America.
Similarly, you and I, we are paying 18 1/2 cents on every gallon of gas to support traffic, to support highway construction, buses, trains, and light rail systems. Our money should be used to purchase trains and buses and light rail systems that are made in America.
Mr. PERLMUTTER. Would the gentleman yield one more time?
Mr. GARAMENDI. Certainly, and then I will turn it over to Mr. Rangel.
Mr. PERLMUTTER. On that point, you raise a great point. Here we are finally making some real progress on energy efficiency and renewable energy, and we know that you have to have the whole menu of ways to power this country. It's oil and gas; it's going to be carbon-based fuels; it's going to be nuclear; it's going to be renewable energy and energy efficiency. But under my Republican colleagues' plans, we are going to go right back to where we were as we start to see gasoline starting to go through the roof. So we are always going to be at the whim of importing oil.
I mean, I feel like sometimes my friends on the Republican side of the aisle, their mantra is: Let's export jobs and import oil. It's just wrong. It's wrong for this Nation. It's wrong for the future, for our future, and for our kids. We really have to be focusing on that. This Nation needs to come together because we can build that better future together and not just doing some of the I think knee-jerk things that the Republican Party has requested of the Congress. It is bad for America. It goes way too far, and I know we can do better.
Mr. GARAMENDI. Mr. Rangel, please join us here.
Mr. RANGEL. Well, thank you so much. I was in my office doing a lot of work, and I couldn't figure who you people were talking about; it must be some foreign enemies of the United States that really were not supporting the things that, as far as I am concerned, it just makes common sense. It's just a patriotic agenda. It's just something that if America has given us the opportunity to get to where we are, and our parents are where they are, it just seems to me that we cannot afford to talk like Democrats and Republicans. We're talking about America, an America that can be and continues to be a beacon for countries all over the world.
You mentioned manufactured, made in the United States. I remember I was on a trade mission in the Caribbean and there were some difficulties some Members had about whether or not we should give preferential trade to these small countries. My contribution was I just walked around everything that was in the places where we were. The corn flakes came from the United States. The cars came from the United States. The lamps came from the United States. The furniture came from the United States. Doing trade with them meant we were encouraging our base to do what we do best, and that is to make things. So it just seems to me that when we get a flicker of hope coming out of Detroit--and, oh, my God, Detroit, when I was a kid after World War II, I really thought I was in heaven to see middle class people with cars and little boats and kids going to college, and their parents never dreamed it. But they were making things. They were making money. They were investing in our future.
And now that they're coming back, I cannot see why any police cars, fire cars, commuter cars, anything, how we can say that--we ought to go to Detroit first before we go to Tokyo, before we go to Taiwan and all of these other countries. It is the sense in saying that you made an investment in a country that created an atmosphere that makes us all proud.
To me, I like fighting Republicans. I mean, it's what the country should be all about. And I have been here for four decades. It has been exciting. And people said, well, didn't this happen in 1994? No; we fought then, but we were still friends. We didn't have people putting down our country. We had different ideas how to reach the same objectives. We were concerned about jobs always, but also education, also health care.
It's inconceivable how anybody, Republican or Democrat, can cut programs when, if you go into an emergency ward in a hospital, they don't ask for your voting card. They don't ask whether you are a Democrat or a Republican. If you are laid off, and you go home and you have to tell your wife or pull your kids out of school, the loss of self-esteem, the loss of the security you have, the embarrassment that you are going to lose your house, nobody asks, are you a Democrat or Republican, are you liberal or conservative. And it gets contagious as to what happens in one block when a house is foreclosed. Then it happens in a community, and then is happens to America. And that is what is happening today. It is happening to our country.
And so it seems to me that when people have campaigned and said that they want to stop spending, they want to stop borrowing and they want to raise revenue, they want to balance the budget, that's not Republican, that's American. But where do you ever get the concept that just stopping spending in certain areas, it means that you have savings? I mean, you can cut someone's foot off, but still you're going to have a problem with the rest of the economy. And if, indeed, the specialists, Republicans or Democrats, economists can tell you, that their H.R. 1 continuing resolution is going to lose 700,000 jobs, how in the world could we not debate that? How in the world can we not discuss that?
How can not a group of Democrats and Republicans say, well look, we made these campaign promises. They were ridiculous. We really believe we ought to make sensible cutbacks. Let's see how we can cut back without causing more economic problems for our country. Let's see whether or not the environmental problems still are going to continue, whether or not health problems are still going to be there.
And my God, education. Education, the United States of America. Education has been the key to opening the doors for imaginations to capture the entire world. And you don't have to have any bad feelings about other people in other countries; it's just that we're so used to being proud as Americans. We're so used to saying that if it's made in America, it must be better. And what we're not used to is asking for handouts. And what we're not used to is having people say that they're not going to help us with unemployment insurance when we didn't want that, we wanted employment. And they say no, they can't even give us assistance while we're waiting for a break.
Right here in America, there are so many people who have lost their jobs. And do you know, John, those jobs will never be there for them because productivity, technology, has closed the opportunity. My God, they have to be retrained; and they reach a certain age where retraining is not even an option.
For our young people to go to school or for them to continue to believe in their communities, in their families and in their country, you've got to have training and education to find out what the demand is going to be. It won't be the same demand that we had, perhaps, when I was a kid or when my parents were kids; but there should be great opportunities in the greatest country in the world.
Make no mistake about it: We are not broke. We are not broke. We did not get into this thing in a Democrat way or in a Republican way. People made big, big, big mistakes, but it wasn't the guy working on the job or the guy in the union who made the mistake. It wasn't that we overcompensated public employees. They didn't cause this deficit.
It just seems to me, John, that we shouldn't have to have this debate on this floor. People listening ought to recognize that cutting billions of dollars of resources and causing pain to our young people and to our senior citizens is a campaign promise that shouldn't have been made and that certainly shouldn't have been carried through.
Mr. GARAMENDI. If the gentleman would yield, first, thank you so very much for joining us and for bringing a perspective of four decades of extraordinary work here on the floor and in the committees, for keeping us on track, and for keeping that vision that America is a great place. Americans are strong and resilient and really want to improve their positions and, even more so, want to improve their children's positions. Therefore, the key investments that we must make for today and on into the future are pretty straightforward.
We need to have the best education in the world. We've got a long way to go. We're not going to get there by eliminating Head Start, by eliminating the Pell Grants, by forcing kids out of school, by shutting down classes or by taking classes from 20 to 35 kids. That's what my daughter faces. She's a second-grade teacher. She now has 33 kids in her class. She'll probably have 35 in a couple of months. She had 20 last year. We can't improve the education system. Research. That's tomorrow. Research is tomorrow. If we don't do it today, we will lose this.
Already I'm getting companies coming to me, saying we have to improve the research. We have to have that research tax credit because what's happening is the manufacturing isn't in America--it's overseas--and now the research is following the manufacturing. We've got to turn that around. Yet the continuing resolution cuts research: energy research, research in manufacturing, research in health care.
So where is tomorrow?
Tomorrow is going to be overseas unless we return it to America with smart investments in the future: infrastructure; transportation, moving people here and there; information infrastructure. The continuing resolution cuts infrastructure. Those are ``today'' jobs that give us the future. We can go on and on here, but we are nearly out of time.
What I would ask my Republican colleagues is to put the feeding frenzy aside and to sit down and look at what really can be cut without harming the future. We can do this. We can make it once again in America if we use our tax policy wisely, if we use our tax money to support American-made products--buses, trains, solar cells, wind turbines. Our tax money should be used to buy those pieces of equipment that are made in America.
Mr. RANGEL. Will the gentleman yield?
Mr. GARAMENDI. I would love to yield to you anytime.
Mr. RANGEL. Just on what you were talking about, the tax policy, and knowing that the top 1 percent of the wage earners, or the income people, in this country own 40 percent of the Nation's wealth. The President of the United States has to go to the United States Chamber of Commerce and remind them of the hundreds of billions of dollars that taxpayers have given to them so that they will be able to survive. Yet they won't take a gamble with their country in terms of helping us in partnerships to create the jobs that we need so badly. If we cleaned up the Tax Code, we could find so much that we could reduce the rates and make certain the incentives that we have would be to encourage people to invest in the good USA.
So let me thank you so much for the contribution you're making. To me, anyone watching this ought to throw away Republican and Democrat ideas and try to find out what's good for our great country.
Mr. GARAMENDI. This is a great country, and we're going to have a great future. We're in tough times right now, and we've been in tough times in the past. But if we have wise, thoughtful policies, we'll pull this country together, and we will deal with the deficit. We just can't do it in ways that are not wise and that do not give us the investments for the future.
I think our time has expired. Thank you so very much for joining us. Thank you for your years of service to this Nation as a Member of Congress and as a war hero. We thank you.
Mr. RANGEL. Thank you for your great contribution.
Mr. GARAMENDI. I yield back the balance of my time.