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tv   House Session  CSPAN  November 12, 2013 2:00pm-2:31pm EST

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there is a reason why it hasn't been achieved in the past, because a lot of forces fought against it. and citing president clinton is absolutely appropriate, and it's important to remember that he tried this. he tried to reform our health insurance market, and that effort was blocked. so the american people deserve quality, affordable health insurance. they deserve the certainty of knowing that they will not go bankrupt -- >> we'll leave today's white house briefing to go live to the floor of the u.s. house. members beginning with one-minute speeches and recess until 5:00 for legislative work. live coverage of the house here on c-span. the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the chair lays before the house a communication from the speaker. the clerk: the speaker's room, washington, d.c., november 12, 2013. i hereby appoint the honorable thomas j. rooney to act as
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speaker pro tempore on this day. signed john a. boehner, speaker of the house of representatives. the speaker pro tempore: the prayer will be offered by our chaplain, father conroy. chaplain conroy: let us pray. loving and gracious god, we give you thanks for giving us another day. as the members of the people's house regather, we ask that they be endowed by you with wisdom and purpose to address our nation cing still. many wish to find work. we ask the blessing of those in the philippines and those responding to that great tragedy. protect those, especially americans, who work furiously to meet those great needs. and finally, we ask your blessing on america's veterans, may our nation be faithful to them, providing whatever their
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needs may be after they gave years of their lives in service rather than personal gain. they are an inspiration to us and we should not forget nor neglect our responsibility to them. may all that is done this day be your greater honor and glory, amen. the speaker pro tempore: the chair has examined the journal of the last day's proceedings and announces to the house his approval thereof. pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1 the journal stands approved. the pledge of allegiance will be led by the gentlewoman from north carolina, ms. foxx. ms. foxx: please join in the pledge to tower wonderful flag. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the speaker pro tempore: the chair will receive a message. malik: mr. speaker, a -- the messenger: mr. speaker, a
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message from the president of the united states. the secretary: i am directed by the president of the united states to deliver to the house of representatives a message in writing. the speaker pro tempore: the chair will raise before the house a communication. the clerk: the honorable the speaker, house of representatives, sir, pursuant to the permission granted in clause 2-h of rule 2 of the rules of the u.s. house of representatives, the clerk received the following message from the secretary of the senate on october 31, 2013, at 9:39 a.m. that the senate passed senate 1561, that the senate agreed to without amendment house concurrent resolution 62, that the senate passed without amendment h.r. 3190. with best wishes i am, sincerely, karen l. haas, clerk of the house. the speaker pro tempore: the chair will entertain requests for one-minute speeches.
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for what purpose does the gentleman from south carolina seek recognition? mr. wilson: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. wilson: mr. speaker, in 2009, as the president traveled across the country campaigning for his signature health care takeover, he promised every american family that, quote, if you like your doctor, you will be able to keep your doctor, period. if you like your health plan, you'll be able to keep your health plan, period. no one can take it away no matter what, end of quote. he repeatedly made this clear promise over 20 times. as the failed rollout of obamacare continues, millions of americans have received policy cancellations. it is sad the president broke his promise to the american people. last week he was forced to say he was sorry for families who have lost their coverage. this week house republicans will pass a bill that protects hardworking americans from
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receiving coverage cancellations, losing access to doctors or paying higher premiums because of obamacare's disastrous impacts. the american people don't need sorrow and pity. they deserve solutions, promoting jobs. in conclusion, god bless our troops and we will never forget september 11 and the global war on terrorism. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from tennessee seek recognition? mr. cohen: to ask unanimous consent -- the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from tennessee is recognized for one minute. mr. cohen: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today in support of the preemie act, the re-authorization, that will be under suspension later today. i'm grateful for the support of my tennessee senator, lamar alexander, who has brought this legislation in the senate, and i have co-sponsored the house version of it. i've sponsored the newborn act,
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reducing infant mortality rates around the country. this is important for our future. america unfortunately is way back on the countries on infant mortality and tennessee unfortunately is the leader in that situation where we have a tremendous high infant mortality rate. the preemie act is aimed at reducing infant mortality, is vital to having a better nation. like the preemie act, the affordable care act has advanced this agenda by requiring maternity coverage in all health plans. the united states has a long way to go but legislation like the preemie act, the newborn act and the affordable care act can put the united states on the right track where it needs to be and the rights of premature births and infant mortality. i yield back the balance of my time to the gentleman from texas for just the way it is. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? mr. poe: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from texas is recognized for one minute. mr. poe: mr. speaker, last year
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iran's net exports of petroleum dropped to their lowest levels since 0e. its g.d.p. has dropped for the first -- since 1990. its g.d.p. has dropped for the first time in years. now the iranians say they will negotiate if the sanctions are reduced. reducing sanctions without varyfying that tehran is -- verifying that tehran is abandoning is misguided and reckless. the u.s. is moving toward an appeasement deal with iran and iran is giving up nothing. last thursday i met with prime minister netanyahu of israel who called this deal to reduce sanctions with iran a bad deal, a very bad deal. the french foreign minister called the so-called deal a fool's game. iran will not negotiate in good faith and the u.s. is being played. meanwhile, iran stalls, delays and lies about its quest for nukes. we must be clear to iran that they must totally abandon their nukes or their sanctions are
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here to stay. no deal, mr. rouhani, and that's just the way it is. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentlelady from north carolina seek recognition? ms. foxx: i request unanimous consent to address the house for one minute, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlelady is recognized for one minute. ms. foxx: thank you, mr. speaker. dawn, one of my constituents from lexington, wrote me a short email this week that everyone should hear. dawn writes, my individual health plan cancels january 1. what is being offered by healthcare.gov is triple the cost. i'm unemployed and desperately trying to keep health care until i reach 65 late next year. the president said if you like your health care plan, keep it. please do whatever you can to make that a reality and not another empty statement. we hear dawn loud and clear, mr. speaker. obamacare isn't living up to
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the president's promise, but this week we can change that. the house will vote friday to give the president a real opportunity to keep his word to the american people through the keep your health plan act of 2013. her wn and millions like will soon be illegal. supporting its passage is the least the president can do. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentlelady from indiana seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i request unanimous consent to address the chamber for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlelady is recognized for one minute. mrs. brooks: i pay tribute to a veteran who served other veterans. he passed away on june 13, 2013, at the age of 66. larry was an outstanding civil servant who served both grant county in my district and his
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country with integrity. he began his great service to our nation in the united states air force where he served as a senior master sergeant for 26 years, and after retiring from the air force, he began a second career as detective for the grant county sheriff's department, a post he held for 20 years before retiring in 1999. however, his retirement did not end his service to our community and he continued on to serve as a grant county commissioner, a grant county councilmember and a grant county veterans affairs service officer. he worked tirelessly for the veterans of grant county, helping them to receive the benefits and recognition they deserved. he was a community leader, a patriot and i'm honored to recognize his life's work today. my condolences and well wishes go out to his wife of 38 years, linda, to his children, lori, michael, christopher and his grandchildren. we will miss larry dearly but the lessons he taughtess will not be forgotten -- taught us
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will not be forgotten. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 4 of rule 1, the following enrolled bill was signed by speaker pro tempore thornberry on thursday, october 1, 2013. the clerk: h.r. 3190, an act to provide for the continued performance of the functions of the united states parole commission and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: the chair lays before the house sundry communications. the clerk: the honorable the speaker, house of representatives, sir, pursuant to the permission granted in clause 2-h of rule 2 of the rules of the u.s. house of representatives, the clerk received the following message from the secretary of the senate on november 1, 2013, at 11:20 a.m. that the senate passed without amendment h.r. 2094, that the senate passed without amendment h.r. 3302. with best wishes i am sincerely, karen l. haas,
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clerk. the honorable the speaker, house of representatives, sir, pursuant to the permission granted in clause 2-h of rule 2 of the rules of the u.s. house of representatives, the clerk received the following message from the secretary of the senate on november 5, 2013, at 12:22 p.m., that the senate passed with amendment h.r. 3080, that the senate requested a conference with the house and appoints conferees on senate 42. with best wishes i am sincerely, karen. . haas, clerk. the honorable the speaker, house of representatives, sir, pursuant to the permission granted in clause 2-h of rule 2 of the rules of the u.s. house of representatives, the clerk received the following message from the secretary of the senate on november 6, 2013, at 9:38 a.m. that the senate passed h.r.
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2747. with best wishes i am sincerely, karen l. haas, clerk. the honorable the speaker, house of representatives, sir, pursuant to the permission granted in clause 2-h of rule 2 of the rules of the u.s. house of representatives, the clerk received the following message from the secretary of the senate on november 7, 2013, at 11:13 a.m. that the senate passed senate 287. with best wishes i am sincerely, karen l. haas, clerk. the honorable the speaker, house of representatives, sir, pursuant to the permission granted in clause 2-h of rule 2 of the rules of the u.s. house of representatives, the clerk received the following message from the secretary of the senate on november 7, 2013, at 3:09 p.m. that the senate passed senate 815. with best wishes i am sincerely, karen l. haas, clerk.
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the speaker pro tempore: the chair lays before the house a message. the clerk: to the congress of the united states, section 202-d of the national emergencies act, 50 u.s.c. 1622-d, provides for the automatic termination of a national emergency unless within the 90-day period prior to the anniversary date of its declaration the president publishes in the federal register and transmits to the congress a notice stating that the emergency is to continue in effect beyond the anniversary date. in accordance with this provision, i have sent to the federal register for publication the enclosed notice stating that the national emergency with respect to iran that was declared in executive order 12170 of november 14,1979 is to continue in effect beyond november 14, 2013 , because of our relations -- because our relations with iran
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have not yet returned to normal and the process of implementing the agreements with iran dated january 19, 1981, is still under way, i have determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency declared in executive order 12 170 with respect to iran. signed, barack obama, the white house, november 12, 2013. the speaker pro tempore: referred to the committee on foreign affairs and ordered printed. pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the chair declares the house in recess until approximately 5:00 p.m
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host: we are going to talk now about the size, scope and cost of federal contractors in the work force. i'm joined by new york university professor paul white. thank you for being with us today. guest: absolutely delighted. host: explain to us what a federal contractor is and how they're different from full-time federal employees? guest: we purchase a lot of materiel from contractors. they're one step removed from the federal government. there are private firms, some nonprofit.
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some working as, you know, service contractors on schedule c 1099 income. is a very large number of people who work in directly for the federal government. there is a good debate about whether they are de facto federal employees. is a big, big workforce. host: it is a big work force with a big price tag. i am looking at a chart from cnn that says the government awarded more than $500 billion in outsourcing in the most recent fiscal year. does that number ring right with you? guest: it is right. i looked at it yesterday. maybe $550 billion, unstub standingsly from 2003, when we were really throwing a lot of money at contractors at everything from tank treads to mmunition to concrete food for
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the military in iraq. so defense is a big player in this. sucks up a lot of procurement money. maybe $150 billion of the total. as i looked at it yesterday. it's a very large amount of money, but we have a huge budget and we have a huge mission and we need those contractors to help deliver on the promises with he make. host: particularly with so many contractors, as you noted, coming to the defense department, how does the government count these people? how do you get the best number? guest: you know, the federal government doesn't count these people, and contractors would argue that they shouldn't contract or shouldn't count the number of people who work for them. you know, they're in the business of delivering a good or service. most of them are under performance contracts where they're basically promising a certain activity that produces a certain outcome.
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we're paying for results in theory so they don't count the number of people who work for them, and they don't tell us much about the individual labor costs. they don't want to. they're not compelled to. it's not exactly clear it's a relevant number in the grand sense of things. we know that a lot of people work for contractors, but what difference does it make? the question is whether we're getting good value, whether we're getting the competition that we're promised, whether contractors are giving us the lean, ce and are efficient and very effective at delivering on the goods and services on time on contract. host: we're talking to new york university's paul light. want to make sure we get to your calls. for democrats your number is 202-585-3880. or republicans, your number is 202-585-3881.
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for independents, your number is 202-585-3882. paul, one of the big reasons contractors is in the news recently is over background checks and security. want to read now from a "washington post" article. host: walk us through that narrative and what it says about the contracting community. and what's happening right now. guest: let's rewind the clock on the security clearance contracting community.
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the largest contractor that does security clearance used to be part of the u.s. office of personnel management. a very large production facility. production being the granting of clearances. i do not know when it was, 20 years ago, maybe less, the office of personnel management, the federal government decided, look, this shouldn't be in-house. let's push it out. let's cut it loose and it became a private firm. some of the things we look at in terms of things like security clearances were once in-house. the really good question here is why do we push it out? well, the answer is we wanted to reduce the total number of federal employees and we wanted to get the benefits of an efficient, low-cost operation. and sometimes you get what you pay for.
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this operation was checking the boxes, checking the lists, making sure they were getting the right people. the contract work force is very, very large and you make mistakes along the way. now, whether snowden would have been hired if the service was done inside government, it's a good question, because some of the things we do inside government sometimes fail. we do use contractors for everything, really, from ladling soup in the reagan building cafeteria all the way up to management consulting, security clearances, very mportant activities. so in this particular case, we don't really know how the -- how snowden slipped through but we do know he did slip through. there wasn't full and complete review of his background. we know that people are slipping through all the time. this contractor used to be in government and we pushed it out.
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question, you know, how capable is government? how capable are contractors at doing their jobs? part of this is a lack of oversight. we don't have enough people to monitor the contracts once we let them. host: all right. let's go to the phones starting with darlene in sacramento, california, on our line for democrats. caller: good morning. my concern is that as the republicans were in office, they pushed a lot of federal dollars to contractors and those contractors in turn don't have to hire everyone, but the federal government has the public trust. you know, most people in america, most african-americans in america got their jobs from the federal government or from governments who had federal dollars. but as we moved under the republican watch, all these moneys went to contractors and they hired their friends and their friends' friends and more, more money went outside the government. we don't have the oversight because republicans constantly say we don't need a large
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government. and in this capacity, the government has grown even more with no oversight. it is my fear that we need to pull things back so we can have country that has oversight. guest: well, look, we've been pushing out jobs for a long time. democrats have done it, republicans have done it. you know, part of the dynamic here, the politics of contracting is that we don't want to increase the federal work force. much above two million people full-time equivalent. that's sort of the de facto limit. and it's not entirely clear where that number came from. the obama administration is a little bit above right now, but we're going to see that number going down below two million. now, we got a mission that's much larger than two million people, and if you say to the public -- and democrats and republicans both say, look, the government's not getting
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bigger, you know, in terms of total personnel. it's at two million. maybe a little less. bill clinton, the clinton administration reduced the number of federal employees down to about 17 1/2 million. that's part of the reason president clinton declared that the era of big government was over. democrats weren't upset about it. they were pushing more jobs out as well. so, look, you know, as long as presidents feel compelled to keep the federal government small and taxpayers get real upset when they hear that number, you know, that the president has increased the work force by 10% and here we got unemployment still relatively high, you know, how an we add be more government workers, etc., etc.? democrats and republicans both favor more contracting. republicans like it because if a job that's funded by the federal government, better be a private
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job. democrats like it in part because it's a way to hide the true size of the federal mission. from my perspective, we've got a big mission to deliver. it, d the people to do and if you operate under this two million ceiling you are going to need a lot of contractors and that's just the way it is. contract hiring is not well inspected. they are not required -- contractors are not required to tell you what the diversity is of their hiring pools, how they're making decisions, how they go about procuring labor for delivering on their contracts. they're not required to do that, and they would argue and have argued to me that, look, they're in the business of providing a good or service, that's it. they want to -- they're required to perform, deliver, stay on budget, stay on time. though they are sometimes quite
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late and sometimes over budget argue, 're going to hey, you can't look inside our organizations because of proprietary issues. we want to keep secrets on how we operate. that's just the way it is. host: let's take another call. next from bill in clearwater beach, florida, on our line for independents. caller: well, thanks for c-span, first of all, and thanks to mr. light for bringing us this information. my wife has a good friend who's contracted out to the army individually as a computer i.t. specialist. her contract is quite rewarding. she flies to and from her home every week. she doesn't work in the d.c. area. she receives a rental car. she stays in a marriott or a comparable hotel and she receives $40 per diem per day.
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i just wanted to mention it. it seems like a high price to pay for contract work. i have two questions as well and wonder if you might answer them, the pay rate comparison between the benefits and the pay rates of a contract worker versus a full-time federal employee. and the other question i have is, where do you apply for work as a contractor with the federal government? thank you. guest: stay with me for a second. oops, we lost him. his wife, am i right, is probably a direct hire from the federal but maybe not. there have been some limited studies, and the very best one is from the project on government oversight. you can go to the website for this nonpartisan organization p-o-g-o-,.org.
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it's what they pay for labor. on an employee-by-employee level, just in terms of raw salary, just -- just basic pay, feds -- i'll abriefiate it to that, and contractors are paid roughly the same. the employee. the employee in the contract world gets better benefits, for example, the travel and the -- not getting better benefits in terms of pension and vacation time. it's like one-to-one, apples-to-apples comparison. if you load the contractors with all the other things associated with the contract, profit, executive bay to a certain extent -- pay to a certain extent, bonuses, the contractor is almost always except in the rarest of cases, the contractor -- the employee is almost always much more
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expensive. i mean much more expensive because you're not just hiring a single employee. you're hiring an employee of a large firm in most cases. so more than half of all federal contracts right now go to a relatively small number -- >> and live now to capitol hill as the senate labor subcommittee on workplace safety holds a hearing on payroll fraud. >> this is a subcommittee hearing this morning which is a subcommittee of the health, education, labor and pensions committee, this subcommittee work is critically important. we're grateful that people would be here to hear the testimony. wanted to provide an opening statement. then, i'll turn to our ranking member for his statement or comment, and then i'll introduce the witnesses and then we'll take witness testimony. payroll fraud is a

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