tv [untitled] CSPAN June 9, 2009 7:00pm-7:30pm EDT
closing costs or assist with their down payment. america's homeowners face many challenges in this month and will face many more this year. this resolution demonstrates that this congress' commitment to assisting them and first time home buyers in achieving the american dream of home ownership. i urge all of my colleagues to support this important resolution and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves her time. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. miller: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the month of june is national home ownership month. i would like to thank maxine waters, you have been here every time on the floor speaking with me. you're an ardent supporter of housing, you understand the benefit of communities and how
it helps people who need time. we need to acknowledge the importance of home ownership in building strong communities and families. owning a home is a fundamental part of the american dream and is the largest personal investment most families will make. it provides an entry to the middle class as a key to building wealth. it also helps strengthen communities. homeowners have a greater stake in the success of local schools, civic centers and churches. we have recently experienced an upheaval in the housing market which affected the entire economy. thousands of fam is -- families have lost their homes. despite all this, we need to remember that home ownership has been historically the single largest creator of wealth for most americans. as someone involved in the housing industry for more than 25 years, i've seen more than my share of housing down turns.
it's important to ensure that liquidity flows to the housing market to keep it functioning. the home loans are finally providing afordable, safe loans for home buyers who had been reduced to risky loans. there was also an act introduced to encuverage responsible home ownership. congressman ken calvert would extend the home buyers' tax credit. during these economically challenging times, it's more important than ever to provide help to homeowners. it's become more difficult for many people to retain home ownership today. many families are trying to hard to make their house payment each and every month. in the past, we've seen
downturns in the 70's, -- in the 1970's, 1980's, 1990's. but this is the most significant we've seen. i urge my colleagues to join me in supporting this resolution by voting yes. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back his time. the chair recognizes the gentlelady from california. ms. waters: mr. speaker, i would like to request of my colleague that we join in a little colloquy prior to going to our closing. representative miller, i know that you have been involved with real estate and housing and development and you understand a lot about the housing market and while we have identified that there are certainly problems we have been going through, a crisis with foreclosures and a kind of meltdown, i'm extremely hopeful
that we're going to be able to stabilize this housing market and that we can continue to encourage our families to seek home ownership opportunities and i think we see some indications of the banks getting stronger and being able to pay back money that the united states citizens have invested in the banks in order to stabilize the housing market but i would like to have your opinion, based on your expertise and your involvement for so many years, do you think that this -- there is beginning -- we're going to have a turn around? mr. miller: you've worked closely with me over the years for defining loan limits for fannie and freddie. in california we almost felt like step children for years. the limits were so low that people in california couldn't use them to buy a home. they were forced into riskyier
loans. we've raised the loan limit in california and we're helping a tremendous amount of people refinance their loans or people selling a home or buying a home will be able to get into a marketplace at least 100 basis points cheaper than they could get into a jumbo loan. i don't know if it's over. i wish i could say it was. i remember when prime went to 21 1/2% in the early 1980's, as a developer, i was paying 21 1/2% interest rate and if anybody could get a loan for 12% they'd buy a house at that point time, but you couldn't get it. i hope we're doing what's right providing liquidity in the marketplace but you see more and more lenders having to foreclose on homes, they're putting them on the marketplace, i have a bill right now that chairman frank is going to be bringing before the committee that will lease the homes up to five years and
get a lot of distress sales off the marketplace. hopefully we find a reasonable bottom at that point in time and the market will start to come back. but you have such a glut of foreclosed prolts on the market today, it drives them down further and further. it makes it difficult for people to stay in their home because they owe so much more than it's worth. we've dovene in of these things in bipartisan fashion. i'm looking forward to that. i'm thankful for you and your help and cooperation, your support for the housing market. off passion for that as i do. i know spencer bachus and chairman frank does too. hopefully we find the bottom and move the american people in a positive fashion forward. thank you. ms. waters: thank you very much. i do appreciate your comments and i value them because of your experience. mr. speaker, i would reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves the
balance of her time. mr. miller: i have no further speakers and i would be willing to yield back the balance of my time. ms. waters: thank you very much, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back her time. ms. waters: we have no other speakers. the speaker pro tempore: the question on the floor, will the house spuned the rules and agree to house resolution 502? those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, with 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the resolution is agreed to, and without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from colorado rise? >> ski that h.res. 385 be brought up.
he was looking at me, i'd be happy to yield. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from colorado rise? >> i send to the desk a privilege red port for the -- from the committee on rules for filing under the rules. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title. the clerk: report to accompany house resolution 522 providing for consideration of the bill h.r. 1886 to authorize democratic economic and social development assistance for pakistan to authorize security assistance for pakistan and for other purposes and providing for consideration of the bill h.r. 2410 to authorize appropriationers in department of state and peace corps for fiscal years 2010 and 2011 to modernize the foreign service and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: referred to the house calendar and ordered printed.
for what purpose does the gentleman from missouri rise? >> i move that the house suspend the rules and agree to house resolution 385? the chair: house resolution 385, celebrating the life of millard fuller a life which provides all the evidence one needs to believe in the power of the human spirit who inspire hoped and lifted the burdens of poverty and despair from one the shoulders of one's fellow man. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from missouri, mr. cleaver, and the gentleman from california, mr. gary miller each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from missouri. mr. cleaver: thank you, mr. speaker. i ask unanimous consent that
all members may have five legislative days within which to revise and extend their remarks on this legislation and to insert extraneous materials thereon. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. cleer: mr. speaker, i'd like to yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. cleaver: mr. speaker, i rise this evening recognize and celebrate the life of mr. millard fuller, the founder and strength behind one of our nation's most well known and beloved nonprofit institutions. mr. fuller led habitat for humanity from its founding in 1976 to 2005. he was an amazing man who was able to turn a simple idea into a global housing juggernaut, serving over 100 countries. through his leadership, habitat
for humanity has created affordable homes for more than 300,000 families and one million people. families that otherwise would have remained in substandard housing. so mr. speaker, i think that it is appropriate for this body to pass this resolution for a gentleman who certainly is worthy of having this recognition. i yield back the balance of my time. diereserve se -- i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. miller: i rise in support of house resolution 385, celebrating the life of millard fuller, founder of habitat for humanity. millard fuller along with his wife linda founded habitat for humanity in 1976. working together with local
affiliate they provide safe, decent, affordable housing for people of all backgrounds. since its founding, they've built more than 300,000 homes worldwide in 3,000 communities and provided housing for more than 1.5 million people. it provides needy families with the opportunity for home ownership. the average cost for a habitat home in the u.s. is $60,000. they sell homes at a nonprofit to habitat homeowner. each homeowner must invest hundreds of hours of sweat equity on not only their house but other habitat houses as well. they're able to finance their work through mortgage payments from homeowners and others. in my state of california, habitat for humanity worked tirelessly to provide housing for needy californians.
thousands have a police station to live because of the generosity of these donors. i urge my colleague to join me in voting yes on this resolution. i reserve the balance or my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. mr. cleaver: mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from missouri. mr. cleaver: i would like to yield to my colleague and friend from georgia, mr. stanford bishop, seven minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from georgia for seven minutes. mr. bishop: mr. speaker, it often takes loss to remind ourselves of our unwavering appreciation and unfaltering gratitude for those few extraordinary people who despite their ability to enjoy tremendous success and reward for themselves, instead commit their energies and talents for the betterment of the world.
millard fuller of america's georgia was one of those extraordinary few. he passed away february 2, leaving behind a wife and family but more importantly a legacy that is all the evidence one needs to believe in the pow ore they have human spirit to inspire hope and lift the burdens of poverty and despair from the shoulders of one's fellow man. throughout his life, millard fuller's talent and passion were put on display in no small number of ways he proved to be a great entrepreneur, founding a marketing company that made him a millionaire before he was 30 years old. he was a great lawyer and headed the southern poverty law center in montgomery, alabama. he was a great christian one who walked away from his hard-earned wealth to pursue a life of service and philanthropy through the founding of the tremendously successful habitat for humanity. miller led the organization for more than three decades and
through the application of what he called the economics of jesus helped provide over 300,000 homes to the destitute and downtrodden across the globe. however, more than any of these things, millard was a great man. his selflessness serves as an inspiration to people throughout the nation and all across the world. born to a grocer, he refused to allow his modest beginnings to define the course of his life. although he attained great fortune from his tireless efforts as a businessman, he soon found that in order to live a life of fulfillment, he had to dedicate himself to a simple life of devotion and service to a higher purpose. he traveled to africa in order to observe what he could do to improve the lot of the impoverished. he became a staunch advocate for aids, africa's poor and traveled the united states for assistant in his efforts for africa. after moving to america's
georgia which is located in the second congressional district of georgia which i'm proud to represent, millard and his supporters founded what would become the most visible and effective manifestation of his desire to make a difference, an organization dedicated to providing housing and supporting for the poor, habitat for humanity. for more than 30 years, habitat for humanity, with the help of countless volunteers, ranging from the average citizen to former president jimmy carter, built hundreds of thousands of homes for the world's disadvantaged. his mission, as reflected a simple philosophy best expressed in millard's own words, he said, we want to make it socially, morally, political, religiously unacceptable to have substandard housing and homelessness. in 1996, president bill clinton recognized millard's dedication by awarding him the presidential
medal of freedom. in 2005 millard also founded the fuller center for housing, a nonprofit housing ministry dedicated to eliminating poverty housing worldwide, by providing the structure, guidance and support that communities need to build and repair homes for the impoven parishionered among them -- impoverished among them. it is my great honor to sponsor h.res. 385 which celebrates the life of millard fuller and the impact that he had on so many. as this resolution is voted on today, let us seek to emulate millard fuller's passion for the good and the just and his selfless spirit of a better, gentler world. i urge my colleagues to support this resolution, to honor the life and the memory and the legacy of millard fuller. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time.
the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. miller: thank you, mr. speaker. in closing, you have to admire an individual who applies christian principles to his life. he didn't just talk good, he didn't just tell a story, he created good and he created a life for many people. there's nothing like looking in the eyes of an individual or a friend who is -- who is moving into a new home, especially when the family was involved in building that home and helping build homes for other people. you have to admire him for what he did and all the other individuals in this country and those who give their time and talent and resources for the betterment of humanity. at this time i'd ask for a yea vote on a man who deserves it and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the chair recognizes t gentleman from missouri. mr. cleaver: thank you, mr. speaker. let me just agree with my colleague who talked about the -- living out beliefs. i read a story in one of the newspapers today which i thought was one of the most illogically unsound things i've seen or read recently. it compared the times president
obama and president bush said the name jesus, as if there is something that is magically going to happen as a result of calling the name. and i think we are going into a slippery slope when we begin to compare people how they call the name of their deity. but in the case of millard fuller, he acted out his beliefs. and we believe in at least my religious tradition that there can be no faith, measurable faith, unless there are word and we say faith without words is dead. and so you see today on the political scene a lot of talk about religion. but after all is said and done, there's always almost more said than done. and so we have reason to stand
up and celebrate mr. fuller who put his faith into action. i never had the opportunity to work on more than two habitat homes and i really hate the fact that i have not been able to do more. but i appreciate the fact that former president jimmy carter has become one of the most ardent supporters of habitat for humanity and has actually worked on tens and tens of homes not only in this country but around the world. and by the organization's 25th anniversary, tens of thousands of people like president jimmy carter were volunteering with habitat and more than a half million people were living in habitat homes. i am proud to count myself among the numbers of habitat volunteers and i am also proud
that i have the opportunity to speak in favor of millard fuller, a prolific writer, authoring 10 books, and man who put his faith in action. mr. speaker, i yield the balance of my time and have no additional speakers. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is, will the house suspend the rules on house resolution 385. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, with 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the resolution is agreed to and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. for what purpose does the
gentlewoman from california rise? >> mr. speaker, i move that the house suspend the rules and agree to house resolution 498. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 498, resolution honoring and congratulating the u.s. border patrol on its 85th anniverry. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule the gentlewoman from california, ms. sanchez, and the gentleman from indiana, mr. souder, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from california. san an -- ms. sanchez: thank you, mr. speaker, and i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and insert extraneous material on the resolution under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. ms. sanchez: mr. speaker, i rise in strong support of house resolution 498, honoring and
congratulating the united states border patrol on its 85th anniversary and i yield myself as much time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. sanchez: as the chairwoman of the committee on homeland security subcommittee for border, maritime and global counterterrorism, i have been fortunate enough to visit the border several times to see first-hand the good work of the border patrol. i have seen it not just on the southern border with mexico but also that with canada. these dedicated men and women patrol america's borders, often in harsh climates, in isolated conditions, under dangerous conditions in order to keep our nation secure. representatives of customs and border protection, the border patrol and its agents have also testified many, many times before our committee about the challenges they face, particularly the border -- pord
board -- border patrol's rapid growth and its evolving mission in recent years. i don't know if a lot of you remember but just a few years back our border patrol was only 450 people. today it numbers almost 19,000. and it's on track to grow to 2,000 agents by the end of next year. when it was founded, the border patrol's sole mission was to prevent persons and contraband from entering our country illegally but in particular in the wake of the attacks of september 11, 2001, the border patrol is also charged -- it is our front line with stopping terrorists and their weapons from entering our country. in the early days of the border patrol, agents patrolled our borders without the benefit of modern technology, but today they have sensors, cameras, in addition to their traditional
sign cutting or their tracking skills which they still use in some of the mountainous areas, especially out there in the arizona and california desert. and through all these changes, the border patrol and its agents have maintained a steadfast commitment to serving our nation. i commend the border patrol and all the agents who have served honorably and you the patrol's proud 85-year history. it is certainly fitting that the house of representatives is marking this anniversary today with this resolution. and finally, mr. speaker, i congratulate mr. teague, the gentleman from new mexico, for offering this fine resolution and i urge all of my colleagues to give it their support. and, mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves the balance of her time. the chair recognizes the gentleman from indiana. mr. souder: thank you, mr. chairman. i yield myself such time as i may consume.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. souder: i rise in support of h. resolution 498, celebrating the anniversary of the border patrol. the border patrol was established in the immigration act of 1924 and celebrated its 85th anniversary just recently on may 28, 2009. the border patrol is one of the most public faces of the department of homeland security. for those who aren't familiar with the differences, the border patrol covers the areas between the ports of entry as opposed to the ports of entry. the 18,000 men and women in green work every day along the borders and coast lines of the united states, often in some of the most rugged and challenging terrain. i have this outsized map here, this sector had given me from texas. and this is just one small section of the border but i wanted to use it to illustrate a few points. it is one of the more, let's just say, rural parts of america.
which is why it was featured in "no country for old men." because it was such a kind of undeveloped area. the area at the bottom on the point is the big bend of texas that you ewe -- see. that's big bend national park. those mountains in that area are about 7,000 feet. a lot of people think our border is just flat. and that it would be very easy to see all the problems coming through. but in fact it's very mountainous. the far northwest edge of this map is in the western side of the sector is a point of entry. that point of entry was a fort. there's no other legal point of -- point of entry for hundreds of miles as you go across that border through big bend and up until the far side which is near a lake and del rio sector.
these areas are very vulnerable to penetration by any number of things. and a lot of times the border patrol, as well as illustrating the national park service has a huge chunk there, huge chunk over in other parts, that this border is not simple and that when people say, can't you just put a couple thousand agents there and control the border, well, no. it is an incredible challenge. during my time in congress i have had the opportunity to visit almost every border patrol sector on the north end south borders. 2,000 miles in the south. the challenges are diverse and the criminal elements seeking to exploit our open borders are inventive and have significant resources. drug smugglers are using helicopters, fast boats and something as simple as coyotes, forcing illegal aliens to carry 50-pound loads of drugs on their back. the challenge is endless and the mission is critical. in the years that the border patrol has been in the department of homeland security,
their agency has doubled in size. congress has provided authorization funding for hundreds of miles of fencing and vehicle barriers which combine total over 600 miles. efforts to provide additional technological resources to the border patrol through the s.b.i. net program that should when complete provide an additional capability to detect and respond to illegal entry. a sign that the efforts to gain operational control of the border are working is the growing drug cartel violence in mexico. nearly 8,000 people have been killed in drug-related violence in mexico. it's a tragic situation and it's absolutely critical that we continue to support and strengthen the government of mexico headed by president calderon. at the same time, we must further strengthen our own border security efforts and can't be dependent on another nation doing that. the years of honorable service have not been without loss. 104 agents have lost their lives in duty to our country. assaults occur every year to our border patrol agents. as we celebrate the 85th