The Theft Protection

Myths and Facts About Identity Theft


ERIN WILLIAMS IS THE CURRENT PEACE CORPS DIRECTOR — AARON
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CORPS DIRECTOR. WILLIAMS IS THE CURRENT PEACE HE WAS A VOLUNTEER IN 1967 TO 1970, SERVED THREE YEARS. HE MET HIS WIFE THERE, TOO. THEY’RE HAPPILY MARRIED AND THE PEACE CORPS DOESN’T JUST — SOME
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HOME WITH NEW FAMILIES. PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEERS COMES THERE ARE MANY, MANY OPPORTUNITIES THAT THE PEACE CORPS DEVELOPED AND, YES, INDEED, THEY CAN COME HOME WITH A NEW FAMILY AND A WIFE AND YOU’RE QUITE CORRECT ABOUT AARON. 8,655 VOLUNTEERS AS OF TODAY SERVING IN 77 COUNTRIES, URBAN, RURAL, IN ALL KINDS OF WORK, JUST SOME OF THE STATISTICS ARE I THINK INTERESTING. EDUCATION, 37%. AND WE WERE TEACHERS AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT AND ACTUALLY PATTY AND I WERE INVOLVED IN THE SMALLPOX ERADICATION PROGRAM IN ETHIOPIA BEING ONE OF THE LAST COUNTRIES TO ERADICATE SMALLPOX. HEALTH, HIV-AIDS, 22%. BUSINESS, WANT TO BE A GRADUATE OF HARVARD BUSINESS SCHOOL AND REALLY GET SOME EXPERIENCE? 14% OF THE VOLUNTEERS DO THAT. WE HAD SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT IN COLOMBIA AND THERE WERE A WHOLE BUNCH OF PEOPLE WORKING ON EDUCATIONAL TELEVISION WHICH THE COUNTRY WAS IMPLEMENTING AND NEEDED TEACHERS OF HOW TO DO THAT AND TECHNICIANS OF HOW TO RUN THE STUDIOS AND SET IT ALL UP. WE ALSO HAD ARCHITECTS HELPING DESIGN PUBLIC FACILITIES AND PARKS. YOU DON’T WORK ON YOUR OWN, YOU WORK WITH HOST COUNTRY COUNTERPARTS WHO ARE PROFESSIONALS LIKE YOU ARE. AND A GREAT EXAMPLE, THERE’S A TELEVISION REPORTER-CAMERAMAN THAT’S IN THE
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BAY AREA AND THAT’S ABOUT TO RETIRE. EVERY TIME I SEE HIM, THE SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA, EVERY TIME I SEE HIM HE SAYS, I’M GOING TO GO INTO THE PEACE CORPS. I SAID, HAVE YOU GONE ONLINE? PEACECORPS.COM, TO PUT YOUR APPLICATION IN? HE SAYS, NO, AND I SAID, WELL THE NEXT TIME I SEE YOU, I WANT YOU TO TELL ME THAT YOU HAVE YOUR APPLICATION IN. HE WANTS TO TAKE HIS KNOWLEDGE OF REPORTING AND TELEVISION CAMERA WORK, HE WANTS TO TAKE THAT OVERSEAS TO WORK WITH COUNTRIES THAT ARE DEVELOPING THEIR OWN MEDIA, FOR THE PURPOSES OF PROVIDING THAT FOUNDATION FOR A DEMOCRATIC SOCIETY. AND HE WOULD BE TERRIFIC. HE’S A GREAT REPORTER. I THINK THAT’S VERY IMPORTANT. ONE OF THE THINGS I DID TODAY, WHEN SOMEBODY ASKED ME ABOUT IT, HE WAS MY AGE, I SAID, GO LOOK UP THE PEACE CORPS ON THE INTERNET. NOT ONLY THAT, IT SHOWS EVERY ONE OF THOSE COUNTRIES, 77 COUNTRIES THEY’RE IN, AND WHAT JOBS ARE IN THAT COUNTRY. YOU CAN GO OUT AND LOOK AROUND THE WORLD AND SEE THE COUNTRY YOU WANT TO GO TO AND FIND A JOB THAT YOU THINK YOU’RE QUALIFIED TO DO AND THAT GIVES YOU A MOTIVATION TO DO THAT. IT ALSO, YOU KNOW, IT’S NOT ALL PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEERS LIVE IN MUD HUTS. IF YOU’RE TEACHING IN A UNIVERSITY OR IN A SCHOOL IN AN URBAN AREA, YOU COULD BE IN A MUCH MORE COMFORTABLE MIDDLE CLASS SETTING THAN PEOPLE DISTRIBUTE IMAGE OF SLEEPING IN A HAMMOCK IN A MUD HUT. SO IT’S ALL KINDS OF OPPORTUNITIES, JUST DEPENDING ON THE SKILL SETS OF YOU, THE
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HOST COUNTRY. INDIVIDUAL, AND THE NEEDS OF THE WE’RE ALWAYS THERE AS A GUEST BEING ASKED BY THE COUNTRY TO BE THERE AND WE DO THE JOBS THEY DISCUSS TO DO. — ASK US TO DO. AND WE HAVE ENOUGH INNOVATION THAT SOMETIMES IF THE JOB ISN’T WORKING EXACTLY AS THEY DESCRIBED, YOU LOOK AROUND AND SEE WHAT ELSE IS NEEDED AND ADAPT YOURSELF. AND THAT’S A LOT OF FUN. THAT’S A LOT OF CREATIVITY AND I THINK A LOT OF SATISFACTION FOR THE VOLUNTEER. SAM, WE’RE JUST ABOUT OUT OF TIME. TODAY, MARCH 1, 2011, MARKS THE 50TH ANNIVERSARY, 50TH BIRTHDAY OF THE UNITED STATES PEACE CORPS. IT’S BEEN AN INCREDIBLE ORGANIZATION ALL OF THESE YEARS, OVER 200,000 AMERICANS HAVE SERVED, BOTH YOUNG AND OLD, IN SOME 139 COUNTRIES. AND SO FOR ALL OF THOSE OUT THERE THAT WANT TO DO SOMETHING VERY, VERY SPECIAL WITH THEIR LIFE, WELL, YOU CAN GOOGLE IT OR YOU CAN GO DIRECTLY TO PEACECORPS.GOV. PUT YOUR APPLICATION IN AND SEE WHAT THE TOUGHEST JOB YOU EVER LOVE WILL BRING TO YOU. CONGRESSMAN SAM FARR, THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH FOR JOINING ME THIS EVENING, FOR TOM PETRI AND MIKE HONDA, THE FOUR OF US WHO ARE IN CONGRESS THAT REMAIN PEACE CORPS VOLUNTEERS, AND FOR LOISCA — LOSI CAPPS JOINING US AND GIVING HER PERSPECTIVE. HAPPY BIRTHDAY, PEACE CORPS. THE GENTLEMAN YIELDS BACK THE BALANCE OF HIS TIME. PURSUANT TO THE SPEAKER’S ANNOUNCED POLICY OF JANUARY 5, 2011, THE CHAIR RECOGNIZES THE GENTLEMAN FROM IOWA, MR. KING, FOR 30 MINUTES. THANK YOU, MADAM SPEAKER. THE GENTLEMAN FROM IOWA IS PLEASED TO BE RECOGNIZED TO ADDRESS YOU HERE ON THE FLOOR OF THE HOUSE. I WANT TO EXPRESS MY DISAPPOINTMENT IN THE GENTLEMAN WHO SPOKE BEFORE ME. I USUALLY COME HERE TO PICK UP MY STEERL FOR REBUTTAL. AS I LISTENED TO YOU TALK ABOUT YOUR AFFECTION FOR THE PEACE CORPS, I DIDN’T COME UP WITH A SINGLE THING I SEEK TO REBUT HERE TONIGHT. I’LL GO OFF ON A SUBJECT MATTER THAT I CAME TO ADDRESS, MADAM SPEAKER. AND THAT IS, THE SITUATION WHERE WE ARE IN THIS COUNTRY TODAY, WITH THE DEAF AND DEFICIT, AND THE GROWTH IN DEAF GOVERNMENT AND THE THINGS WE MUST DO TO TURN THIS COUNTRY BACK AROUND AND PUT IT ON THE RIGHT TRACK. THIS HOUSE HERE THIS AFTERNOON VOTED TO PASS A CONTINUING RESOLUTION THAT HAS WITHIN IT AN AGGREGATE OF ABOUT $4.1 BILLION IN CUTS OVER A TWO-WEEK PERIOD OF TIME, THAT IF YOU MULTIPLY OR EXTRAPOLATE THAT OUT TO THE FISCAL YEAR IT COMES IN THAT NEIGHBORHOOD OF $61 BILLION IN CUTS. WHICH ARGUABLY HOLDS THE REDUCTIONS IN PLACE. BUT IT DID SPECIFICALLY GO IN AND MAKE THE CUTS IN AREAS WHERE THE PRESIDENT HAD RECOMMENDED THOSE CUTS. IT DIALED DOWN THE CONTENTION AND TRIED TO FIND A WAY TO FIND A SOLUTION AND A RESOLUTION, LIST THE OF THE PRESIDENT’S
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DON’T THINK I’M GOING TO TAKE RECOMMENDATIONS I HAVE, BUT I THE TIME OR THE TROUBLE, MADAM SPEAKER, TO READ THEM INTO THE RECORD. I’LL JUST SAY THAT IT SUFFICES TO SHOW THAT A NUMBER IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD OF $2.7 BILLION WOULD BE TO EARMARK SAVINGS AND THE TERMINATION OF PROGRAM SAVINGS IS ABOUT $1.25 BILLION. SO WE GET TO THAT NUMBER THAT’S JUST SLIGHTLY MORE THAN $4 BILLION. IT IS PERHAPS A VICTORY, IT’S PERHAPS A SUCCESS, IT’S PERHAPS A TEMPORARY ONE, I THINK IT’S MOST LIKELY THAT IT IS. THESE CUTS THAT WERE OFFERED HERE TODAY WERE — WILL MOST LIKELY BE MET WITH AN AGREEMENT DOWN ON THE OTHER END OF THE CAPITOL BUILDING, IN THE SENATE THAT’S RUN BY THE MAJORITY LEADER, HARRY REID OF NEVADA, I THINK I SAW SOME LANGUAGE IN THIS APPROPRIATIONS BILL THAT MIGHT DIRECTLY AFFECT HIM. THAT MIGHT BE WHAT HELPS CONVINCE HIM AS WELL. BUT, MADAM SPEAKER, THIS IS A SHORT-TERM PIECE THAT WAS DESIGNED TO BE A PERIOD OF TIME THAT WOULD ALLOW THE SENATE TO MULL OVER THE HOUSE POSITION WHICH IS H.R. 1. H.R. 1 IS THE BILL THAT HAS THE HIGHEST PRIORITY FOR THE SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE, IT’S BEEN TRADITIONALLY THE CASE. AND TWO WEEKS AGO THIS CONGRESS NEGOTIATED, DEBATED, OFFERED AMENDMENTS, SOME 500 TO 600 AMENDMENTS WERE FILED, NEARLY 200 OF THEM WERE DEBATED, AND VOTED UPON, AND MANY OF THEM THAT WENT IN THAT WERE CUTS IN SPENDING OR PROHIBITIONS FROM USING THAT SPENDING TO IMPLEMENT CERTAIN POLICIES THAT HAVE BEEN SINCE REJECTED BY THIS CONGRESS, AND, MADAM SPEAKER, WE NEED TO REMEMBER THAT THERE WAS AN ELECTION LAST NOVEMBER 2 OF 2010. AND TO QUOTE THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, HE’S FAMOUSLY SAID AFTER THE ELECTION OF NOVEMBER, 2008, HE SAID, WE HAD AN ELECTION AND WE WON.
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POLICY. WHICH MEANS THAT HE DICTATES THE WELL, MADAM SPEAKER, TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, I WOULD SAY, IF WE HAD AN ELECTION NOVEMBER 2, YOU DIDN’T WIN THAT ONE, MADAM SPEAKER — MR. PRESIDENT. IN FACT, YOU DECLARED IT TO BE, I QUOTE, A SHAH LACKING, CLOSED QUOTE. IT WAS A SHALACKING. AND THE REPUBLICANS WON THE MAJORITY IN THIS HOUSE BY HUGE NUMBERS, WE’RE LOOKING TODAY AT 87 NEW FRESHMEN REPUBLICANS, NINE FRESHMEN DEMOCRATS, TO GIVE YOU A SENSE OF THE PROPORTIONALITY OR THE DISPROPORTIONALITY. THE SEATS THAT WERE PICKED UP HAVE DRAMATICALLY CHANGED, THE GAVELS ALL CHANGED HANDS IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES, THE AGENDA CHANGED, HAS GONE FROM AN AGENDA THAT’S BEEN DRIVEN UNDER THE SPEAKERSHIP OF NANCY PELOSI FOR FOUR YEARS, OF AN AGENDA OF ACCELERATING SPENDING, INCREASING GOVERNMENT, PUSHING SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, WHICH IS WHAT I HAVE LONG DECLARED OBAMACARE TO BE, THAT DOESN’T SHOCK ANYBODY, MADAM SPEAKER, IT’S COMMON VERNACULAR IN THE CENTRAL PART OF THE UNITED STATES AT A MINIMUM. WE SAW THIS PUSH TO GROW GOVERNMENT, WE SAW THE PRESIDENT PARTICIPATE IN AS A UNITED STATES SENATOR AND ACCELERATE HIS EFFORTS AS THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES IN THE GOVERNMENT TAKEOVER FIRST PROMOTING A $700 BILLION TARP BAILOUT PROGRAM THAT WAS DESIGNED TO PICK UP TOXIC ASSETS THAT COULD HAVE BEEN FAR BETTER PICKED UP BY THE PRIVATE SECTOR IF HE WOULD HAVE IDENTIFIED THEM AND WE WOULD HAVE EXEMPTED CAPITAL GAINS TAXES ON THE PROFITS THAT WOULD BE MADE, WE WOULD HAVE SEEN PRIVATE MONEY GO IN AND PICK UP THESE TOXIC MORTGAGES IN A LARGE WAY AND BE MANAGED, MANAGED FOR A BETTER RESULT THAT WOULD HAVE KEPT MORE PEOPLE IN THEIR HOMES. THE LIST OF GOOD THINGS GOES ON THAT MIGHT HAVE HAPPENED HAD WE HAD MORE FREE MARKET SOLUTIONS AND LESS GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION. BUT THAT $700 MILLION TARP PLAN WAS A MISTAKE IN MY VIEW, MADAM SPEAKER, AND BEHIND THAT AIM, THE CALL FOR THE ECONOMIC STIMULUS PLAN, WHICH WAS $787.5 BILLION THAT NOW ROLLED UP TO OVER $800 BILLION, AROUND $816 BILLION, IN THE ECONOMIC STIMULUS PLAN. NOT ALL OF IT SPENT, BUT IT WAS TO KEEP UNEMPLOYMENT BELOW 8%. WE KNOW THAT IT SAILED UP INTO THE UPPER 9%, 9.7% AND ABOVE, IT’S DIALED DOWN NOW TO AROUND 9%. BUT WE HAVE A LOT OF PEOPLE THAT
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HAVE GIVEN UP AND STOPPED TRYING. AND IT’S CLEAR THAT THE STIMULUS PLAN DIDN’T STIMULATE THE ECONOMY AT ALL IN THE WAY THAT IT WAS DESCRIBED OR THE WAY IT WAS PROMISED TO US, BUT IT SURELY ADDED TO THE DEBT. WE’VE SEEN ABOUT $3 TRILLION IN UNNECESSARY SPENDING DRIVEN BY THIS PRESIDENT. WE WATCHED AS PROUD COMPANIES BECAME — WENT INTO HOC TO THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND FOUND THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ENGAGED IN MANAGING SOME OF THOSE COMPANIES. THREE LARGE INVESTMENT BANKS TAKEN OVER BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, AT LEAST BY THE POWER OF MANAGEMENT OR INFLUENCE. A.I.G., THE INSURANCE COMPANY, OVER $180 BILLION THAT FLOWED INTO A.I.G. TO PROTECT OTHER INVESTORS THAT HAD AN INTEREST IN A.I.G., THE INSURANCE COMPANY, OR IN POLICIES THAT THEY HAD OFFERED THAT WERE GUARANTEEING THE RETURN ON
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. MORTGAGE-BACKED SECURITIES. THREE LARGE INVESTMENT BANKS, A.I.G. THE INSURANCE COMPANIES. WE SAW FANNIE MAE AND FREDDIE MAC TRANSITION FROM KWASI GOVERNMENT TO TAXPAYER GUARANTEED STEPPING IN TO PLAY A ROLE IN THE MAJORITY OF THE MORTGAGE LOANS IN THE UNITED STATES. GUARANTEED BY THE TAXPAYERS. I RECALL STANDING ON THIS FLOOR, THE FLOOR OF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES IN OCTOBER 26, 2005, LISTENING TO THE MOST IMMEDIATE PAST CHAIRMAN OF THE FINANCIAL SERVICES COMMITTEE ARGUE THAT HE WAS NEVER GOING TO PARTICIPATE IN BAILING OUT FANNIE AND FREDDIE AND IF ANYONE WAS CONSIDERING BUYING STOCK IN EITHER ONE THEY SHOULD NOT DO SO UNDER THE CONSIDERATION THAT BARNEY FRANK FROM MASSACHUSETTS WOULD BE ENGAGED IN BAILING THEM OUT. SO HE LATER BECAME CHAIRMAN OF THE COMMITTEE, AND THAT’S WHAT HAPPENED. THERE WAS THAT — WE SAW DODD-FRANK BECOME LAW WHICH GIVES THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT MASSIVE REGULATORY CONTROL OVER THE FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS IN AMERICA. WE SAW THE GOVERNMENT, THE WHITE HOUSE TAKEOVER OF GENERAL MOTORS AND CHRYSLER. AND WE SAW THEN OBAMACARE PASS, WHICH I’VE DECLARED TO BE THE NATIONALIZATION OF OUR SKIN AND EVERYTHING INSIDE IT. AND BY THE WAY, IT INCLUDES A 10% TAX ON THE OUTSIDE IF YOU GO TO THE TANNING SALON. THAT’S OVER 50% OF OUR ECONOMY SWALLOWED UP BY THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION AND SUPPORTED BY THE PELOSI CONGRESS AND THE REID SENATE. AND WE COME TO THIS POINT WHERE AMERICA CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE, MADAM SPEAKER. WE CAN’T TAKE IT ANYMORE AND ALL OVER THE WORLD TOO MUCH SPENDING HAS PUT AMERICA IN DEBT AND PUT OUR CURRENCY IN QUESTION AND PUT OUR ECONOMY IN AN UNSTABLE POSITION AND IT GUARANTEES WE WILL BE IN A LONG, DRAWN-OUT RECOVERY BECAUSE WE HAVE THE OVERSPENDING, WHERE WE HAVE TO PAY THE INTEREST AND THEN
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EVENTUALLY PAY OFF THE PRINCIPAL. AND WE’RE BORROWING MONEY FROM THE CHINESE AND BEGGING THEM
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AND FROM THE SAUDIS AND BEGGING THEM. WE’RE LOOKING AT A FOREIGN POLICY THAT’S CONFLAGRATION IN THE MIDDLE EAST, COUNTRY AFTER COUNTRY IS SEEKING TO THROW OFF THE YOKE OF ITS LEADER AND REPLACE IT WITH WE DON’T KNOW WHAT THEIR IDEALS ARE, BUT THEY’VE HIT THE END OF THEIR PATIENCE LINE. BUT HERE WE ARE WITH A CONTINUING RESOLUTION THE GOVERNMENT IS OPERATING ON TODAY THAT WAS NEGOTIATED AND PASSED HERE IN THE HOUSE AND SENATE IN DECEMBER THAT EXTENDED THE FUNDING OF THE GOVERNMENT OVER UNTIL MARCH 4 OF THIS YEAR. MIDNIGHT, AROUND MARCH 4, WHICH IS MAYBE THURSDAY NIGHT, THERE’S BEEN AN ACTION TAKEN HERE ON THE FLOOR TO PASS A CONTINUING RESOLUTION TO DO A CAREER STOPGAP FUNDING TO KEEP THE GOVERNMENT RUNNING ANOTHER TWO WEEKS, UP UNTIL MARCH 18, AND THAT C.R. HAS NOW BEEN MESSAGED TO THE SENATE AND THE SENATE CAN DECIDE IF THEY WANT TO TAKE IT UP TOMORROW OR THE NEXT DAY, GET IT TO THE PRESIDENT’S DESK AND THE PRESIDENT SIGNS THE C.R., THE GOVERNMENT KEEPS RUNNING. IF THE PRESIDENT DOESN’T, THE GOVERNMENT SHUTS DOWN. AND I’M WATCHING AS MY COLLEAGUES SEEM TO THINK THAT THERE’S ONE DATA POINT OF MESSAGE FOR THEM TO LEARN FROM , THAT BECAUSE THERE WAS A GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN IN 1995, IT WAS ONE THAT WAS PUSHED FOR BY REPUBLICANS AND DRIVEN FOR BY REPUBLICANS, THEY WANTED TO FACE PRESIDENT CLINTON DOWN AND INSIST THAT THEY PASS A BALANCED BUDGET, AND TO GET TO A BALANCED BUDGET. IN SPITE OF ALL THE THINGS THAT HAPPENED IN 1995 AND IN EARLY 1996, THAT WAS THE RESULT, MADAM SPEAKER, THAT SHORTLY HAD A BALANCED BUDGET AND THAT BALANCED BUDGET CAME A LOT SOONER THAN IT WOULD HAVE OTHERWISE AND LASTED AT LEAST UNTIL SUCH TIME AS WE WERE HIT BY SEPTEMBER 11 AND THE CALAMITY THAT SENT THIS AMERICA INTO AN OVERSPENDING BINGE. I THINK WE COULD HAVE FACED THE CALAMITY OF SEPTEMBER 11 WITHOUT HAVING TO BLOW OUR BUDGET IN THE WAY WE DID BUT THAT IS NOT WHAT HAPPENED. BUT WHAT DID HAPPEN IN 1995, IF THAT’S THE ONLY DATA POINT, I WANT TO MAKE THIS POINT, MADAM SPEAKER, THAT FIRST OF ALL, THERE ARE THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS OF STUDENTS ALL OVER AMERICA WHO ARE STUDYING
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ARE WATCHING TONIGHT. POLITICAL SCIENCE, SOME OF THEM SOME OF THEM ARE READING IN THE PAPER THE THINGS WE SAY AND DO AND ANALYZING IT AND LISTENING TO THEIR PROFESSORS ANALYZE WHAT GOES ON IN CONGRESS AND ARE LISTENING TO THE INSTRUCTION OF THE RULES, THE STANDARDS, THE AXIOMS THAT COME FROM CERTAIN DATA POINTS ALONG THE LINE OF THE CONTINUUM OF POLITICAL HISTORY. AND THAT ONE DATA POINT ON THE LINE OF THE CONTINUUM OF POLITICAL HISTORY IS THE GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN OF 1995 AND
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1996. SOME OF IT DRUG OVER INTO EARLY AND THE ARGUMENT IS THAT HOUSE REPUBLICANS LOST THAT BECAUSE THEY HAD TO CONCEDE THEIR POSITION TO THE PRESIDENT AND TO THE SENATE. WELL, IT IS A FACT THAT THE HOUSE HAD TO CONCEDE. THEY DID CONCEDE. IT’S ALSO A FACT THAT THE REPUBLICANS THAT CONTROLLED THE SENATE AT THE TIME PASSED A UNANIMOUS CONSENT AGREEMENT TO GO AHEAD AND SPEND THE MONEY DEMANDED BY BILL CLINTON AND SEND IT OVER TO THE HOUSE. THE HOUSE WAS IN A POSITION WHERE THEY COULDN’T PUSH THAT CHAIN BACK UPHILL AND PRESIDENT CLINTON AND THE SENATE GOT
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THE HOUSE. THEIR WAY AND IMPOSED IT OVER BUT I WILL STILL SAY THAT THERE’S NOT A DIME THAT CAN BE SPENT BY THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT IF THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES INSISTS THAT IT NOT BE SPENT. WE HAVE TO CONCEDE AND GO ALONG WITH IT AT SOME POINT OR IT WON’T BE SPENT. AND THAT THE NEGOTIATING POSITION THAT WAS THERE FOR THE HOUSE REPUBLICANS IN 1995 WAS ONE THAT WAS MARGINALLY STRONGER BECAUSE THEY HAD AT LEAST A MAJORITY IN THE SENATE. THAT’S THE DIFFERENCE IN THE DYNAMICS. BUT IT WAS ALSO ABOUT $300 BILLION, AS I RECALL, ON MEDICARE SPENDING. AND SO WHENEVER YOU PUT DOWN A DOLLAR FIGURE AND YOU TRY TO STAND ON THAT AS A PRINCIPLE, IT’S A DIFFERENT SUBSTANCE — STANCE THAN IF YOU PUT SOMETHING THAT’S PRINCIPLE DOWN AND STAND ON IT. FOR EXAMPLE, WHETHER WE’RE GOING TO SPEND $300 BILLION ON MEDICARE, 1995, OR $250 BILLION OR $200 BILLION OR $150 BILLION OR $100 BILLION OR NO MORE, YOU WILL LOSE OR GAIN PEOPLE ALONG THAT LINE OF THAT CONTINUUM. IF YOU WANT TO CUT MEDICARE BY $350 BILLION, YOU’D LOSE SOME PEOPLE THAT MIGHT BE WITH YOU AT $300 BILLION. AND IF YOU MOVE THE LINE UP $400 BILLION, YOU LOSE PEOPLE THAT MIGHT HAVE BEEN WITH YOU AT $350 BILLION OR $400 BILLION. MONEY IS SOMETHING THAT THERE’S A SLIDING SCALE, AND THERE’S NOT — YOU CANNOT FIND A PRINCIPLE THERE THAT YOU CAN STAND ON. IT’S LIKE GOING TO AN AUCTION AND SEEING SOMETHING THAT YOU WANT AND MAYBE IF YOU GO TO THE AUCTION AND YOU DECIDE, HEY, I WANT TO BUY A BICYCLE AND I’M WILLING TO PAY $100 FOR THAT BICYCLE, IF YOU GO TO THE AUCTION AND THE AUCTIONEER IS CRYING OUT HE’S GOT A BID FOR $100, NOW HE WANTS $101, DO YOU PAY THAT EXTRA DOLLAR AND GO HOME WITH THE BICYCLE, SOMETHING TO SHOW FOR IT OR DO YOU SAY, NO, THAT WAS MY PRINCIPLE. MY PRINCIPLE WAS I’M NOT GOING TO SPEND MORE THAN $100. SOME PEOPLE LIVE BY THAT PRINCIPLE, I DO, OCCASIONALLY. BUT IT’S NOT A PRINCIPLE THAT’S TIED TO ANYTHING THAT IS DEFINABLE FROM A SENSE OF RIGHT AND WRONG, IT’S A PERCENTAGE SCALE, IF $100 WAS THE RIGHT NUMBER, IT’S ONLY 1% WRONG TO PAY $101, WITH — IF YOU GET IT
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FOR $99, DO YOU HAVE ANY MORE
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NO. VIRTUE? YOU JUST GOT A BARGAIN FROM WHAT YOU ANTICIPATED. BUT IF YOU STAND ON A
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PRINCIPLE, IT’S A DIFFERENT STORY. THE PRINCIPLE HERE THAT’S BETTER FOR THE HOUSE TO STAND ON THAN THE PRINCIPLE OF THE $300 BILLION IN 1995 IS THE PRINCIPLE THAT WE MUST NOT BE FUNDING OBAMACARE WILLFULLY WITH THE APPROPRIATION BILLS IN THE HOUSE. WE MUST NOT DO SO BECAUSE EVERY REPUBLICAN AND A HANDFUL OF DEMOCRATS, AND THERE WILL BE
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MORE, VOTED TO REPEAL OBAMACARE. THEY PASSED THE REPEAL AND SENT IT OVER TO HARRY REID. AND FURTHERMORE, NOW THAT THAT’S HAPPENED, EVERY REPUBLICAN, WHETHER THEY’RE WITH H.R. 1, HAS VOTED TO SHUT OFF ANY FUNDING THAT CAN BE USED TO IMPLEMENT OR ENFORCE OBAMACARE. THAT’S ALSO A FACT. THEY’RE PRINCIPLED VOTES. THEY’RE NOT VOTES MEASURED ON THE DOLLAR FIGURE. IN FACT, MOST PEOPLE THAT VOTED IN THAT FASHION DIDN’T KNOW HOW MUCH MONEY IT ACTUALLY SAVED US FOR VOTING TO REPEAL OBAMACARE. AND IT’S HARD FOR ME TO TAKE A POSITION ON THAT. I’LL JUST SAY THAT THE CHAIRMAN OF THE BUDGET COMMITTEE, PAUL RYAN, HAS USED THE WORDS ABOUT $2.6 TRILLION IS THE SPENDING THAT IS SAVED BY REPEALING OBAMACARE. THAT’S THE BEST NUMBER WE HAVE AND I DON’T DISAGREE WITH THAT. I ACCEPT THAT NUMBER. BUT IT’S HARD TO COME DOWN TO SOMETHING AND ARGUE THAT WE’RE
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DOING IT BECAUSE OF THE MONEY SAVINGS? DID WE VOTE TO REPEAL OBAMACARE BECAUSE IT WOULD STOP THE SPENDING OF $2.6 TRILLION? I THINK NOT, MADAM SPEAKER. I THINK IT’S PART OF THE EQUATION, WE CAN’T AFFORD IT. BUT THERE ARE MANY OTHER PRINCIPLES AND THE MOST IMPORTANT ONE IS OBAMACARE TAKES AMERICAN LIBERTY AND PUTS IT INTO THE HANDS OF GOVERNMENT TO MANAGE OUR — THE MOST — I’LL SAY THE SECOND-MOST SOVEREIGN THING WE HAVE IS OUR BODIES AND OUR HEALTH. THAT’S WHAT’S WRONG WITH OBAMACARE. IT’S THE MATTER OF THE PRINCIPLE. IT’S THE TAKINGS OF AMERICAN LIBERTY THAT MUST BE STOPPED. AND NO, WE CAN’T AFFORD IT AND IT’S MONEY THAT’S BETTER SPENT BY DOCTOR-PATIENT RELATIONSHIPS AND INDIVIDUALS MAKING DECISIONS ON THEIR HEALTH INSURANCE AND MOVING ON DOWN THE LINE WITHIN THOSE CONSERVATIVE PRINCIPLES. BUT WE NEED TO STAND ON PRINCIPLE. AND WE HAVE THIS OPPORTUNITY HERE IN THIS 112TH CONGRESS TO STAND ON PRINCIPLE. AND THE STANCE NEEDS TO BE THAT WE WILL NOT VOTE TO FUND OBAMACARE. AND I’M GOING TO ADD TO THIS, THAT NEITHER SHALL WE VOTE TO FUND PLANNED PARENTHOOD. AND I SHALL BE LOOKING FOR WAYS TO UNFUND EVERY OTHER ENTITY LIKE THEM THAT PROMOTES ABORTION OR PROVIDES ABORTION AS A MATTER OF PRACTICE IN THEIR FACILITIES.
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IN PROMISCUITY. PLANNED PARENTHOOD IS INVESTED IT’S A LONGER DISCUSSION THAN I’LL ENGAGE IN TONIGHT, MADAM SPEAKER. BUT I THINK THESE TWO ISSUES ARE TIED VERY CLOSELY TOGETHER GOING FORWARD, THAT OBAMACARE FUNDING MUST BE SHUT OFF, AND WE CANNOT BE ASKING OUR MEMBERS TO VOTE AGAIN TO APPROPRIATE FUNDS THAT CAN BE USED TO FUND OBAMACARE. AND SOME WILL BE SAYING IF WE DIDN’T HAVE OBAMACARE FUNDING IN THIS SHORT-TERM C.R., AS THEY SAID THERE WASN’T OBAMACARE FUNDING IN THE C.R. THAT PASSED AT THE END OF DECEMBER THAT TAKES US TO MARCH 4, BUT HERE’S THE ANSWER TO THIS, THERE ARE AT LEAST 21 DIFFERENT COMPONENTS TO OBAMACARE THAT ARE BENEFICIARIES OF FUNDING THAT GOES INTO THE VARIOUS DEPARTMENTS THAT THERE’S NO PROHIBITION OF THAT MONEY FROM GOING INTO FOR BEING USED TO IMPLEMENT OR FORCE OBAMACARE. AT LEAST 21 DIFFERENT AREAS. AND WHEN YOU LOOK AT THE MONEY THAT’S IN THERE, WE DISCOVERED ALTOGETHER THE AUTOMATIC APPROPRIATION IS SOMETHING LIKE $4.9 BILLION THAT WENT INTO — FOR THE BALANCE OF THIS YEAR THAT WERE AUTOMATICALLY APPROPRIATED, THAT’S NOT PROHIBITED IN THIS C.R. WE DIDN’T GET IT INTO H.R. 1, ACTUALLY, EITHER. BUT THE 21 PROGRAMS ARE THERE AND THE MONEY IS THERE FOR THEM. AND I CAN ROLL THOSE INTO THE RECORD, MADAM SPEAKER, BUT THERE’S ANOTHER COMPONENT TO THIS THAT’S A BLANKET COMPONENT, AND THAT IS LANGUAGE IN OBAMACARE THAT GIVES THE AUTHORITY TO THE SECRETARY OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES, KATHLEEN SEBELIUS TO DO INTRADEPARTMENTAL TRANSFERS SO SHE CAN USE THAT MONEY TO IMPLEMENT AND ENFORCE OBAMACARE AT HER DISCRETION. NOW, WE FAILED TO SHUT THAT LANGUAGE OFF, TOO. SO THIS APPROPRIATIONS BILL THAT PASSED TODAY, H.J. RECENT 44 — H.J.RES 21, AND THERE ARE 21 PLACES THAT FUND OBAMACARE AND STILL ALLOWS FOR THE SECRETARY OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES TO TAKE INTRADEPARTMENTAL TRANSFERS TO USE AT HER DISCRETION AT WILL. WHICH FUNDS OBAMACARE, AND THE PENCE LANGUAGE, THE PENCE AMENDMENT HE’S WORKED ON SO VALIANTLY AND SO LONG TO SHUT OFF ALL FUNDING TO PLANNED HAINTHOOD WAS PASSED BY THIS HOUSE IN H.R. 1 AND BECAME A COMPONENT OF THE FIRST POSITION OF THE HOUSE THAT WAS DELIVERED HERE ABOUT 4:30 ON A SATURDAY MORNING A WEEK AGO LAST SATURDAY MORNING. THOSE COMPONENTS, I BELIEVE, NEED TO BE PART OF EVERYTHING WE DO GOING FORWARD. AND I WILL STAND AND PROMOTE THOSE AND I WILL STAND WITH THOSE WHO WILL STAND FOR LIFE, AND SIMPLIFY IT WHEN I SAY DEFENSE LANGUAGE THAT SHUTS OFF FUNDING TO PLANNED PARENTHOOD, BUT THERE ARE OTHER COMPONENTS THAT ALSO WERE LEFT OUT, AND THAT’S THE DORN AMENDMENT THAT PROHIBITS FUNDING FOR ABORTIONS IN D.C., THE MEXICO CITY POLICY WHICH WE’VE ALWAYS DONE, NOT PART OF IT, THAT SHUTS OFF FUNDING TO ABORTIONS IN FOREIGN LANDS, THE INTERNATIONAL POPULATION CONTROL AND FAMILY PLANNING FUND GETS MONEY STILL, ALONG WITH PLANNED PARENTHOOD. THIS IS WHAT’S TAKEN PLACE, MADAM SPEAKER, IN THE SHORT-TERM C.R. IT’S HARD FOR MANY MEMBERS TO VOTE FOR IT, THEY WANT TO BE TEAM PLAYERS. AND I APPRECIATE THAT SENTIMENT FROM MY STANDPOINT, I HAVE AN OBLIGATION TO MY CONSTITUENTS AND TO GOD AND COUNTRY TO DO THE BEST JOB I CAN TO SERVE. AND IT GOES IN THE OPPOSITE ORDER, GOD, COUNTRY, CONSTITUENTS RIGHT UP THERE WITH COUNTRY, AND SOMETIMES THE BEST INTERESTS OF MY DISTRICT ARE NOT ALWAYS GOING TO BE THE BEST INTERESTS OF AMERICA. I HAVEN’T HAD THAT CONFLICT THAT I CAN ARTICULATE YET, BUT IF THAT COMES, I’M PRETTY CONFIDENT MY CONSTITUENTS WILL UNDERSTAND THE PRIORITY. WE HAVE TO DO THE RIGHT THING FOR THE LONG TERM FOR OUR COUNTRY AND THE RIGHT THING IS FOR US TO STAND ON PRINCIPLE AND TO SHUT OFF THIS FUNDING TO OBAMACARE, SHUT OFF THIS FUNDING TO PLANNED PARENTHOOD, AND MAKE SURE THAT WE ARE STANDING ON A SOLID, MORAL PRINCIPLED GROUND AND THAT WE’VE GOT A FIRM PLACE THAT WE CAN THEN NEGOTIATE THOSE THINGS THAT ARE NEGOTIABLE WITH THE SENATE, WHICH BY THE WAY IS A PROXY FOR THE PRESIDENT OF THE
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. UNITED STATES. IF IT CAN BE NEGOTIATED WITH THE SENATE, IT’S ALSO NEGOTIATED WITH THE PRESIDENT IN MY VIEW. BUT I ALSO WANT TO ADD THIS AND IN A MOMENT I’M GOING TO LOOK FORWARD TO YIELDING TO MY FRIEND FROM TEXAS WHO HAS JUST ARRIVED ON THE FLOOR, BUT FOR WEEKS NOW, THE DEMOCRATS IN THE HOUSE AND THE DEMOCRATS IN THE SENATE HAVE BEEN CLAMORING FOR A GOVERNMENT SHIPDOWN.
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SHUT — SHUTDOWN. THEY SEEM TO BE DETERMINED TO THEY SEEM TO BE DETERMINED TO SHUT THE GOVERNMENT DOWN. THEY SEEM TO THINK IF THEY WIN THE GOVERNMENT SHUTDOWN THEY’RE GOING TO PICK UP SEATS IN THE HOUSE AND THE SENATE AND THEY’LL BE ABLE TO IMPOSE THEIR GOVERNMENT GROWTH, GOVERNMENT EXPANSION PROPOSALS THAT THEY’VE BEEN PUSHING THAT HAS FAILED,
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REJECTED. THAT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE HAVE AND WE SHOULD NOT BE DELUDED INTO BELIEVING THAT DEMOCRATS SOMEHOW WANT TO BE — GO THROUGH THIS PERIOD OF FISCAL AUSTERITY. THEY WANT TO DRIVE THIS SPENDING UP AND THEY WANT TO HAVE MORE EXCUSES FOR INCREASING TAXES. IF GOVERNMENT GROWS AND TAXES GROW, AT SOME POINT THE TAXES GROW TO THE POINT WHERE THEY CONSUME EVERYTHING AND THEN THOSE BUSINESS ENTITY IT’S THAT I TAKE — THAT I TALKED ABOUT BEING TAKEN OVER BY THIS WHITE HOUSE BECOME THE SMALL PART OF A LONG LIST OF BUSINESS ENTITIES THAT ARE TAKEN OVER. I’VE SPOKEN OF THIS BEFORE. ON THE WEBSITE, THE SOCIALIST WEBSITE, THEY SAY, WE DON’T WANT TO NATIONALIZE EVERYTHING LIKE THE COMMUNISTS, WE’RE JUST SOCIALISTS. WE ONLY WANT TO NATIONALIZE THE FORTUNE 500 COMPANIES, THANKS A LOT, GIVE THE BARBER AND THE BUTCHER AND THE CANDLESTICK MAKER SOME RELIEF, THANKSAS A LOT FOR THATMENT AND THEN THEY WANT TO MANAGE THE FORTUNE 500 COMPANIES FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE PEOPLE AFFECTED BY THEM, CLOSED QUOTE. THAT’S THE UNIONS. AND THE PRESIDENT HANDED SHARES AND GENERAL MOTORS AND CHRYSLER OVER TO THE UNIONS WHO HAD NO SKIN IN THE GAME, NO EQUITY INVESTED AND HE HANDED IT OVER TO THEM ANYWAY. IT’S RIGHT OFF THE SOCIALIST WEBSITE AND THE PROGRESSIVES THAT ARE LEFT IN THIS CONGRESS ADHERE TO THE AGENDA OF THE SOCIALISTS ON THE WEBSITE. BUT DEMOCRATS THAT ARE CLAMORING FOR A SHUTDOWN FAIL TO UNDERSTAND THAT THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE MORE SOPHISTICATED TODAY THAN THEY WERE IN 1995, THEY’VE SEEN THIS MOVIE BEFORE. AND THEY FEAR IT ENDS WITH REPUBLICANS GIVING IN TO THE DEMANDS OF TAX CONSUMERS. I HAVE THAT SAME FEAR, BUT I’M ENCOURAGING ALL OF US ON THIS SIDE OF THE AISLE AND THOSE DISCERNING DEMOCRATS WHO REMAIN, AND THERE ARE SOME, TO JOIN WITH US IN PUTTING AN END TO OBAMACARE, PUTTING AN END TO FUNDING FOR PLANNED PARENTHOOD, PUTTING AN END TO OVERSPENDING, LET’S GET SERIOUS ABOUT REAL CUTS, LET’S GET SERIOUS ABOUT HOLDING THE LINE. WHAT EVERY REPUBLICAN IN THE HOUSE VOTED TO REPEAL OBAMACARE AND EVERY REPUBLICAN VOTED TO DEFUND OBAMACARE, THAT’S WHAT WE MUST DO, THAT’S WHAT WE SHALL DO. MADAM SPEAKER, I’D BE HAPPY TO YIELD TO THE GENTLEMAN FROM TEXAS, MY FRIEND, JUDGE GOHMERT. AND I THANK MY FRIEND FROM IOWA, I’VE BEEN LISTENING TO YOUR WELL THOUGHT OUT COMMENTS. THIS IS A SERIOUS TIME NOT JUST IN AMERICAN HISTORY BUT IN WORLD HISTORY. AND IT’S A LITTLE DIFFICULT TO GET BEAT UP FROM OUR FRIENDS FROM THE OTHER SIDE OF THE AISLE OVER WHAT’S GOING ON RIGHT NOW OVER A CONTINUING RESOLUTION WHEN THERE’S ONE REASON WE’RE DOING ANY CONTINUING RESOLUTION, IT’S BECAUSE THEY DIDN’T DO THEIR JOB LAST YEAR. THIS WAS SUPPOSED TO HAVE BEEN DONE LAST YEAR. THEY DIDN’T DO IT. WHY? I GUESS THEY WERE CONCERNED THAT IF PEOPLE SAW EXACTLY A BUDGET THAT’S REQUIRED BY LAW THAT WASN’T DONE LAST YEAR, JUST IGNORED THAT, JUST LIKE THE PRESIDENT’S NOW GOING TO IGNORE THE DEFENSE OF MARRIAGE ACT, I DIDN’T KNOW PRESIDENTS COULD PICK AND CHOOSE THE LAWS THAT WERE PASSED AND SIGNED INTO LAW AND JUST SAY, WE DON’T CHOOSE TO DEFEND THAT ANYMORE. BUT TO GET BEAT UP BY PEOPLE ACROSS THE AISLE OVER WHAT’S GOING ON IS A LITTLE TOUGH TO TAKE BECAUSE THEY DIDN’T DO THEIR JOB, NOW WE’RE HAVING TO DO IT AND THEN TO FURTHER GET BEAT UP OVER SPENDING ISSUES BECAUSE WE’RE TRYING TO CUT SPENDING, AND I KNOW MY FRIEND FROM IOWA AS I DID VOTED NO ON THE C.R. TODAY BECAUSE IT DIDN’T CONTINUE THE HARD-FOUGHT BATTLE THAT WAS WON IN H.R. 1, WHERE WE WERE DEFUNDING OBAMACARE, BUT I RECALL IN 2005, 2006, MY FIRST TERM IN CONGRESS, GETTING BEAT UP FIGURATIVELY SPEAKING BY FRIENDS ACROSS THE AISLE BECAUSE THEY SAID RIGHTFULLY WE WERE SPENDING TOO MUCH MONEY. AND THAT WE WERE GOING TO RUN, YOU KNOW, $100 BILLION TO $200 BILLION IN DEFICIT OVER THE AMOUNT WE WERE GOING TO RECEIVE IN. AND THAT THAT WAS IRRESPONSIBLE. WELL, THEY WERE RIGHT. WE SHOULDN’T HAVE BEEN SPENDING $100 BILLION TO $200 BILLION MORE THAN WE WERE GETTING IN FIVE AND 2006. THEY SAID WE WERE SPENDING TOO MUCH, THEY WERE RIGHT. AND WHAT HAPPENED IN NOVEMBER OF 2006, THEY PROMISED THEY’D GET THE SPENDING UNDER CONTROL, IF THEY WERE GIVEN THE MAJORITY. THEY GOT THE MAJORITY AND THEY IMMEDIATELY STARTED SPENDING MORE THAN WE HAD SPENT AND SO HERE WE ARE AFTER A DEMOCRAT PRESIDENT GETS ELECTED, PROMISING HOME HOPE AND CHANGE, AND PEOPLE DIDN’T REALIZE THAT THE CHANGE WAS GOING TO BE THE FEW PENNIES LEFT IN THEIR POCKETS AFTER THIS GOVERNMENT WAS SPENDING SO MUCH AND LEAVING LITTLE THAT BANKS CAN LOAN FOR NEW BUSINESSES AND SMALL BUSINESSES, TO HIRE PEOPLE. SO THE ECONOMY’S STRUGGLING. I MEAN, THIS GOVERNMENT HAS SUCKED UP ALL THE CAPITAL THAT THERE IS TO CREATE JOBS AND TO GET THE ECONOMY GOING. SO, ONE OF THE THINGS THAT’S TROUBLED ME IS HEARING PEOPLE COMPLAINING ABOUT WANTING TO CUT HUNDREDS OF BILLIONS OF DOLLARS, IN FACT, TRYING TO CUT $1.5 TRILLION OF THE PRESIDENT’S PROPOSED $3.65 TRILLION BUDGET, $3.7 TRILLION, IT’S OVER — WE’RE ONLY SUPPOSED TO GET IN ABOUT $1.– 2.16 TRILLION TOTAL OF ALL FEDERAL REVENUE AND THIS PRESIDENT’S PROPOSING A BUDGET THAT’S $1.65 TRILLION MORE THAN THAT. SO, I KEEP WONDERING, SINCE OUR DEMOCRATIC FRIENDS ACROSS THE AISLE WERE BEATING UP ON US IN 2006 FOR SPENDING TOO MUCH MONEY , WHAT WOULD BE WRONG WITH SAYING, NOT CUT $100 BILLION, BUT CUT $1.65 TRILLION AND LET’S GET BACK TO WHERE WE WERE IN 2006? THAT WAS ONLY $200 BILLION OVER WHAT WE WERE RECEIVING. WHAT WOULD BE WRONG WITH — THE DEMOCRATS WERE RIGHT, REPUBLICANS WERE SPENDING TOO MUCH MONEY IN 2005 AND 2006. WHAT WOULD BE WRONG WITH GOING BACK TO THAT BUDGET? AND YET HERE THERE’S ALL THIS RANCOR OVER JUST CUTTING $100 BILLION AND THE PRESIDENT’S TALKING ABOUT $1.65 TRILLION MORE THAN WE RECEIVED IN. I DON’T KNOW IF MY FRIEND FROM IOWA NOTICED BUT TWO WEEKS AGO WHEN THE PRESIDENT CAME OUT WITH HIS ABSOLUTELY IRRESPONSIBLE BUDGET THAT WAS GOING TO SPEND $1.65 TRILLION MORE THAN WE BROUGHT IN, NOT THE $160 BILLION MORE THAT WE GOT BEAT UP FOR SPENDING MORE THAN, BUT 10 TIMES THAT, $1.65 TRILLION, I NOTICED IN THE PAPER THE NEXT DAY THAT THE CHINESE WERE SELLING OFF SOME OF THEIR U.S. BONDS, SOME OF THEIR DEBT FROM OUR COUNTRY, WHAT IMMEDIATELY CAME TO MY MIND, IF I WERE CHINA AND I WERE HOLDING OUR DEBT, AND I SAW THAT THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES, DESPITE MAKING ALMOST DAILY SPEECHES ABOUT HOW WE’RE GETTING SPENDING UNDER CONTROL, IT WOULD BE IRRESPONSIBLE, HE SAYS, NOT TO GET SPENDING UNDER CONTROL, AND THEN HE REVEALS HIS BUDGET AND IT’S SPENDING $150 MILLION BEING — BILLION MORE THAN HE DID LAST YEAR, I’D START IS HING OFF OUR DEBT, TOO. I’D BE THINKING, THESE PEOPLE ARE SO CRAZY. I MEAN, THE DOLLAR IS THE CURRENCY OF THE WORLD. NATIONS AROUND THE WORLD HAVE BEEN ADVISING US AS FRIENDS, LOOK, YOU DON’T REALIZE WHAT YOU’RE DOING BUT PEOPLE ARE GETTING READY TO DUMP THE DOLLAR AS A RESERVE CURRENCY FOR ONE REASON, WELL, TWO REASONS. ONE, A LOT OF THEM ARE JEALOUS. BUT, NUMBER TWO, WE’RE BEING IRRESPONSIBLE WITH OUR ECONOMY AND WITH OUR SPENDING. AND SO I COULDN’T HELP BUT VOTE NO TODAY ON THE C.R. WITH MY FRIEND FROM IOWA. AND I ALSO — I HEARD A LADY YESTERDAY TALKING ABOUT 30 PEOPLE HAD LOST THEIR JOBS BECAUSE OF OBAMACARE AND WHAT THIS ADMINISTRATION IS DOING. I’VE HEARD FROM PEOPLE WHO ARE EXTREMELY UPSET BACK IN TEXAS WHO HAVE LOST THEIR HEALTH CARE
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JUST BECAUSE OBAMACARE’S BEEN PASSED. I TALKED TO DOCTORS WHO HAVE SAID, I’M DONE, I CAN’T PLAY THESE GAMES ANYMORE, I HAVE NOT SAVED AS MUCH MONEY AS I’D HOPED BEFORE I RETIRED, BUT I’M DONE. AND THEY’RE GIVING UP MEDICAL PRACTICE. TALKED TO A DOCTOR JUST THIS MORNING WHO SAID THE VERY SAME THING. IT JUST KEEPS BRINGING BACK, IF YOU CARE ABOUT PEOPLE, IF YOU CARE ABOUT THEM HAVING JOBS, IF YOU CARE ABOUT THEIR SELF-RESPECT THAT COMES WHEN THEY HAVE A MEANINGFUL JOB, EARN THEIR OWN KEEP, INSTEAD OF HAVING THE GOVERNMENT LURING THEM INTO SERVITUDE WHERE THEY’RE SERVANTS OF THE GOVERNMENT, AND JUST RUNNING AROUND, WHEREVER THEY CAN FIND A GOVERNMENT THAT WILL HAND THEM A CHECK, AND DEMANDING CHECKS, WE JUST — AMERICA DESERVES BETTER. THERE ARE PEOPLE THAT HAVE GIVEN THAT LAST FULL MEASURE OF DEVOTION TO MAKE SURE THAT FREEDOM EXISTED AROUND HERE, NOT FREEDOM TO GO BEGGING TO GOVERNMENT FOR A CHECK, NOT FREEDOM TO GO BEGGING THE GOVERNMENT FOR HEALTH CARE, TO PASS SOME LAW THAT WE’RE GOING TO TAKE SOMEONE’S MONEY THAT THEY EARNED, THEY DON’T WANT TO GIVE UP, FORCE THEM TO SPEND ON PEOPLE WHO DON’T WANT TO WORK, BUT WE OWE THEM BETTER THAN WE’VE BEEN DOING. AND SO WHEN WE HEAR OUR FRIENDS TALKING ABOUT HOW WE SHOULDN’T EVEN HAVE TO GO THROUGH THIS PROCESS, I COULDN’T AGREE MORE. THEY’VE DONE THEIR JOB, IF THEY HAD CUT SPENDING INSTEAD OF PUTTING THE DOLLAR IN JEOPARDY, PUTTING OUR ECONOMY IN JEOPARDY, THEN THEY’RE RIGHT, WE SHOULDN’T HAVE TO BE GOING THROUGH THIS. BUT WE HAVE GOT TO DEFUND OBAMACARE BEFORE TOO MANY MORE PEOPLE LOSE THEIR HEALTH CARE AND END UP HAVING RASHED CARE, HEARD ABOUT MORE DOCTORS — RATIONED CARE, HEARD ABOUT MORE DOCTORS TODAY WHO ARE NO LONGER TAKING MEDICARE OR MEDICAID. WE OWE ALL OF THE PEOPLE ACROSS THIS COUNTRY BETTER THAN WHAT THEY’VE GOTTEN THE LAST SIX YEARS? AND WHAT THEY’VE SURE BEEN GETTING THE LAST TWO YEARS. THIS IS DIRE CIRCUMSTANCES AND WE JUST CAN’T KEEP THIS GOING. I MEAN, WE ARE REALLY IN SERIOUS TROUBLE. AND I KNOW MY FRIEND KNOWS THAT OR HE WOULDN’T BE SPENDING HIS TIME HERE WHEN HE COULD BE DOING SO MANY OTHER THINGS. BUT I APPRECIATE MY FRIEND FROM IOWA MORE THAN HE CAN POSSIBLY KNOW. I APPRECIATE HIS COURAGEOUS STANCE AND I LOOK FORWARD TO — I CAN’T REALLY SAY THAT, I DON’T LOOK FORWARD TO THE BATTLES AHEAD, BUT I LOOK FORWARD TO HAVING A FRIEND AS WE GO THROUGH THEM AND I YIELD BACK TO MY FRIEND FROM IOWA. RECLAIMING MY TIME, THANKING THE GENTLEMAN FROM TEXAS, SPARKED SOME THINGS IN MY MIND THAT IN THE ABOUT SIX MINUTES WE MAY HAVE, A LITTLE BIT OF DIALOGUE WITH REGARD TO THAT. ONE OF THE POINTS I WANTED TO MAKE ABOUT WHAT’S GOING ON WITH THE STRATEGY ON OBAMACARE IS THIS, THAT I’VE SPOKEN SIGNIFICANTLY ABOUT HOW THIS HOUSE HAS VOTED TO REPEAL IT, THIS HOUSE HAS VOTED TO SHUT OFF THE FUNDING TO IT, AND EVERY SINGLE OPPORTUNITY — AT EVERY SINGLE OPPORTUNITY. IF THERE’S A STRATEGY OUT THERE THAT SAYS WE’RE GOING TO DO DEATH TO OBAMACARE BY A THOUSAND CUTS, I’D ASK THOSE FOLKS THAT ARE CONCERNED ABOUT A REAL SHOWDOWN WITH THE PRESIDENT ON OBAMACARE TO THINK ABOUT WHAT REALLY HAPPENED NOT SO MUCH IN THE 1995 SHUTDOWN, WHICH I SAID EARLIER I DON’T THINK IS APPLICABLE UNDER THESE CIRCUMSTANCES, THERE’S A BETTER ISSUE TO UNDERSTAND AND THAT IS, IN 1998 WHEN THE IMPEACHMENT OF PRESIDENT CLINTON WAS BROUGHT UP, WHEN AMERICA FOUND OUT ABOUT WHAT WAS GOING ON IN THE OVAL OFFICE, AND IN THE ROOM NEXT TO THE OVAL OFFICE, IN TOO STARK OF DETAIL FOR THE CHILDREN OF AMERICA TO BE SO RUSHED INTO THE BIRDS AND THE BEES DISCUSSION IN THE WAY THAT THEY WERE, MADAM SPEAKER, BUT WHAT HAPPENED WAS, AS APPALLED AS AMERICA WAS — THE GENTLEMAN’S TIME HAS EXPIRED. MADAM SPEAKER, I APOLOGIZE. I DIDN’T HEAR YOUR GAVEL EARLIER. EVEN THOUGH IT’S ABRUPT, I’M HAPPY TO YIELD BACK THE BALANCE OF MY TIME. UNDER THE SPEAKER’S ANNOUNCED POLICY OF JANUARY 5, 2011, OF JANUARY 5 — UNDER THE SPEAKER’S ANNOUNCED POLICY OF JANUARY 5, 2011,, THE CHAIR RECOGNIZES THE GENTLEWOMAN FROM CALIFORNIA, MS. SPEIER, FOR
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. 30 MINUTES. DD MS. FIRE MS. SPEIER THANK YOU, MADAM SPEAKER. AND I APPRECIATE THE OPPORTUNITY THIS EVENING TO TALK ABOUT SOMETHING THAT WE’RE NOT TALKING MUCH ABOUT RIGHT NOW. WE TALK ABOUT THE LOSS OF JOBS, THE UNEMPLOYMENT, BUT WHAT REALLY CAUSED IT? YOU KNOW, A FEW WEEKS AGO, THE FINANCIAL CRISIS INQUIRY COMMISSION ACTUALLY SUBMITTED ITS REPORT TO CONGRESS. THE GOOD NEWS IS IT’S ON THE BESTSELLER’S LIST. THE BAD NEWS IS THAT I’M FEARFUL THAT IT’S GOING TO BE GATHERING DUST IN THE CHAMBER HERE AND THROUGHOUT THIS BUILDING BECAUSE IN THIS DOCUMENT, IT SPEAKS VOLUMES ABOUT WHY WE ARE SITTING WHERE WE ARE TODAY, WHY OUR ECONOMY HAS TANKED, WHY THERE ARE 15 MILLION PEOPLE UNEMPLOYED IN THIS COUNTRY, AND WHY THERE ARE FOUR MILLION PEOPLE WHO NOW HAVE BEEN FORECLOSED ON AND ANOTHER FOUR MILLION WHO ARE UNDER WATER RELATIVE TO THEIR MORTGAGES. SO, THIS EVENING, I AM JOINED BY THE DISTINGUISHED MEMBER FROM THE FINANCIAL SERVICES COMMITTEE, MY GOOD FRIEND FROM THE STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA, WHO IS A POWERFUL VOICE ON CONSUMER PROTECTION AND THE
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ENDURRED. FINANCIAL CRISIS THAT WE’VE AND WE’RE GOING TO SPEND THE
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ABOUT IT. NEXT ONE HALF-HOUR JUST TALKING FIRST AND FOREMOST, WHAT WAS THIS COMMISSION? THIS COMMISSION WAS A BIPARTISAN, INDEPENDENT, 10-MEMBER COMMITTEE COMPOSED OF PRIVATE CITIZENS WITH EXPERIENCE IN ECONOMICS, FINANCE, HOUSING, MARKET REGULATION. THEY HELD 19 PUBLIC HEARINGS IN AFFECTED COMMUNITIES ACROSS THIS COUNTRY, INCLUDING WASHINGTON, NEW YORK, MIAMI, SACRAMENTO, LAS VEGAS, AND BAKER FIELD. — AND BAKERSFIELD. 115 WITNESSES APPEARED IN SWORN PUBLIC HEARINGS, INCLUDING LEADING FIGURES IN THE CRISIS. IN ADDITION, THE COMMISSION INTERVIEWED OVER 300 PEOPLE, VIRTUALLY ALL THE KEY PLAYERS IN THE FINANCIAL COLLAPSE, INCLUDING ANGELO MAZILLO OF COUNTRYWIDE, RICHARD FOLD OF LEHMAN AND JOE KOZANO OF A.I.G. PRODUCTS DIVISION AND EXAMINED THOUSANDS OF DOCUMENTS, ALL OF WHICH ARE POSTED ON THE WEB, A TOTALLY TRANSPARENT PROCESS. AND THE SINGULAR MOST IMPORTANT STATEMENT THEY MADE WAS THIS CRISIS COULD HAVE BEEN AVOIDED. NOW, THEY GAVE JUST A FEW EXAMPLES. THE SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION COULD HAVE REQUIRED MORE CAPITAL AND HALTED RISKY PRACTICES AT THE BIG INVESTMENT BANKS, BUT THEY DID NOT. THE FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF NEW YORK AND OTHER REGULATORS COULD HAVE CLAMPED DOWN ON CITIGROUP’S EXCESSES TO THE RUN-UP ON THE CRISIS. THEY DID NOT. POLICYMAKERS AND REGULATORS COULD HAVE STOPPED THE RUNAWAY MORTGAGE SECURIZATION TRAIN BUT THEY DID NOT. SO THIS DOCUMENT HAS LINE AND VERSE OF WHAT WENT WRONG. BUT ONE OF THE MOST TELLING
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FRAUD. PARTS DEALS WITH THE MORTGAGE AND I WOULD LIKE TO JUST PUT THIS UP. HOW MANY EXECUTIVES HAVE BEEN HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS IN THIS FINANCIAL CRISIS? WELL, AS YOU CAN SEE, TWO HAVE BEEN CRIMINALLY CHARGED, THERE HAVE BEEN ZERO CONVICTIONS, ZERO SENT TO PRISON. WELL, WHAT HAPPENED WHEN THE SAVINGS AND LOAN CRISIS OCCURRED IN THIS COUNTRY DECADES AGO? WELL, THE RESULTS THERE WERE MUCH DIFFERENT. 1,188 WERE CRIMINALLY CHARGED, 915 WERE CONVICTED, AND 592 — 582 WENT TO PRISON. CONVICTIONS INCLUDED MORE THAN 260 THRIFT C.E.O.’S AND SENIOR EXECUTIVES, INCLUDING, OF COURSE, THE FAMOUS MR. KEATING. SO IT IS VERY IMPORTANT FOR US TONIGHT AND THROUGH THE NEXT YEAR OR TWO TO NOT ONLY STUDY THIS DOCUMENT, BUT TO PUT IT TO PAPER. TO PUT IT TO PAPER I MEAN LEGISLATE AROUND IT. NOW, THE DODD BILL IS AN
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INCREDIBLE EFFORT IN THAT REGARD. THE DODD-FRANK EFFORT WAS ONE THAT WE WERE SUCCESSFUL IN MOVING THROUGH. BUT AS THIS REPORT POINTS OUT, THERE WERE POWERS THAT MANY OF THESE REGULATORS ALREADY HAD BUT CHOSE NOT TO USE. NOW, THE SECOND POSTER — TALKS ABOUT MORTGAGE FRAUD. AND THE COMPELLING INFORMATION IN THE REPORT THAT I THINK IS IMPORTANT TO POINT OUT IS THAT, AGAIN, THERE WERE PEOPLE THAT WERE LOOKING AT THE PROBLEM AND SAYING, WAIT A MINUTE, WE NEED TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS. ONE IN PARTICULAR WAS THE DEPUTY DIRECTOR OF THE F.B.I. WHO BEGAN TO LOOK AT THIS ISSUE AND THOUGHT, SOMETHING IS WRONG HERE. ACCORDING TO THE F.B.I., 80% OF THE CASES OF FRAUD INVOLVES INSIDERS. SO IF THERE WERE FRAUD BEING EXERCISED IN THE MORTGAGE INDUSTRY, IT WAS COMING FROM THE INSIDE. THE F.B.I. ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, CHRIS SWECKER, BEGAN NOTICING A RISE IN MORTGAGES FRAUD IN 1999 AND IN 2002 LED A SUCCESSFUL CRIMINAL PROSECUTION AGAINST THE OWNER OF BENEFICIAL MORTGAGE IN YOUR STATE, MY DEAR FREND FROM NORTH CAROLINA — FRIEND FROM NORTH CAROLINA, FOR SELLING FRAUDULENT LOANS TO FANNIE MAE. FIRST THEY PURCHASED THE LOANS FROM FANNIE BUT PROCEEDED TO RESELL THEM TO GINNIE MAE WITHOUT ANY INTERFERENCE FROM FANNIE. FANNIE LATER PAID $7.5 MILLION IN RESTITUTION TO THE GOVERNMENT FOR ALLOWING THE SALE. THE ASSISTANT DIRECTOR SWECKER TOLD AN EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE THAT IF MORTGAGE PRACTICES BECAME UNRESTRAINED AND SYSTEMATIC, IT WOULD ULTIMATELY PLACE FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS AT RISK AND HAVE ADVERSE AFFECTS ON THE STOCK MARKET. BOY, WAS HE PRESCIENT OR WHAT? HERE IS AN INTERESTING CHART THAT SHOULDS — THAT SHOWS HOW WE’VE SEEN AN INCREASE IN FRAUD REPORTS AT FINANCIAL INSTITUTIONS. NOW, THESE ARE REALLY UNDERVALUED AND PROBABLY FIVE TIMES HIGHER BECAUSE MANY INSTITUTIONS DO NOT ACTUALLY REPORT LIKE THEY SHOULD. BUT WHAT IS EVEN MORE DISTURBING IS THAT WHILE THE NUMBER OF MORTGAGE FRAUDS HAVE INCREASED, THE NUMBER OF ACTUAL PROSECUTIONS HAVE SLOWED DOWN. SO AS WE ARE TRYING TO KIND OF SOMEHOW COME TO SOME UNDERSTANDING OF WHY THIS ALL HAPPENED AND HOW DO WE MAKE SURE IT DOESN’T HAPPEN AGAIN, IF WE DON’T HAVE ENFORCEMENT TOOLS, IF WE DON’T HAVE THOSE WHO HAVE THE ENFORCEMENT TOOLS SEEKING TO GO AFTER THE MORTGAGE FRAUD, THEN IN ALL LIKELIHOOD, IT WILL CONTINUE TO HAPPEN. SO I KNOW THAT MY GOOD FRIEND FROM NORTH CAROLINA IS INTERESTED IN WEIGHING IN ON THIS ISSUE. I THINK THAT AS WE DISCUSS THIS ISSUE, IT’S IMPORTANT TO KNOW, ONE, THAT THERE ARE ENFORCEMENT
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TOOLS, BUT THEY HAVE TO BE USED. I YIELD TO MY GOOD FRIEND. THANK YOU. AND THANK YOU FOR ORGANIZING THIS SPECIAL ORDER OF THE NIGHT TO TALK ABOUT AN ISSUE THAT WE SHOULD NOT TURN OUR ATTENTION FROM BECAUSE WE NEED TO REMEMBER HOW WE GOT HERE IF WE’RE GOING TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO GET OUT AND HOW TO MAKE SURE WE DON’T GET HERE AGAIN. THIS HAS BEEN THE WORST ECONOMY SINCE THE GREAT DEPRESSION AND NEED TO MAKE SURE THE MISTAKES THAT GOT US HERE ARE MISTAKES WE AVOID IN THE FUTURE. OUR COLLEAGUES ACROSS THE AISLE SAID THE GREATEST ISSUE IS THOSE WHO WANT BIG GOVERNMENT
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AND THOSE WHO WANT SMALL GOVERNMENT. THE REAL ISSUE IS WHICH SIDE GOVERNMENT IS ON. FOR TOO LONG GOVERNMENT HAS NOT BEEN ON THE SIDE OF WORKING IN MIDDLE CLASS FAMILIES TRYING TO MAKE AN HONEST LIVING, WHO ARE TRYING TO SUPPORT THEMSELVES,
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RIGHT THING, DO SOMETHING SUPPORT THEIR FAMILIES, DO THE USEFUL WITH THEIR LIVES.
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GOVERNMENT HAS BEEN ON THE SIDE OF THE PEOPLE TRYING TO MAKE A KILLING BY GETTING THEMSELVES INTO A POSITION WHERE THEY CAN TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE ECONOMY WHERE THEY CAN EXTRACT MONEY, WHAT ECONOMISTS CALL RENT-SEEKING, DOING NOTHING PARTICULARLY YOUTHFUL BUT TAKING A PIECE OF OTHER PEOPLE’S PRODUCTIVE WORK. THERE’S BEEN A LOT OF GLOATING IN THE LAST LITTLE BIT ABOUT HOW SUCCESSFUL THE FINANCIAL RESCUE HAS BEEN, AND BY MANY MEASURES IT HAS BEEN. THE BANKS HAVE NOT ACTUALLY COLLAPSED, THE FINANCIAL SYSTEM DIDN’T COLLAPSE.
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DEPRESSION. WE DID NOT HAVE A GREAT AS PAINFUL AS THIS HAS BEEN. BUT THE FINANCIAL COLLAPSE AND THE RESCUE PROFOUNDLY OFFENDED AMERICAN SENSE OF JUSTICE AND
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. IT DEFENDED MY SENSE OF JUSTICE WHAT LED TO THE FINANCIAL COLLAPSE WAS NOT SOME PERFECT STORM OF UNFORESEEABLE MACROECONOMIC FORCES AND THIS WEIRD COMBINATION OF EVENTS THAT NO ONE COULD POSSIBLY HAVE SEEN, IT REALLY WAS A RESULT, AS THE FCIC REPORT CONCLUDED, IT WAS NOT JUST PREVENTABLE, IT WAS A RESULT OF BLAME-WORTHY CONDUCT, THAT WE SHOULD NEVER HAVE ALLOWED TO HAPPEN. I FIRST GOT INVOLVED IN THIS ISSUE NOT KNOWING IT WOULD RESULT EVENTUALLY IN A FINANCIAL CRISIS THROUGH WORKING ON THE ISSUE OF MORTGAGES. KNOWING THAT THE MORTGAGES WERE TERRIBLE FOR CONSUMERS, FOR HOMEOWNERS. AND THE WAY THAT THEY HAVE BEEN PORTRAYED AS A GOOD-FAITH EFFORT BY THE FINANCIAL SYSTEM TO TRY TO MAHOLM OWNERSHIP AVAILABLE TO PEOPLE WHO OTHERWISE COULD NOT AFFORD IT WAS COMPLETELY DIFFERENT FROM WHAT WAS REALLY GOING ON WITH SUBPRIME MORTGAGES. THERE WAS AN EXPLOSIVE GROWTH OF SUBPRIME MORTGAGES. THEY GREW FROM 8% OF ALL MORTGAGES IN 2003 TO 28% IN 2006. THAT IS AN ENORMOUS GROWTH IN THREE SHORT YEARS. AND THEY CERTAINLY WERE NOT ABOUT HELPING PEOPLE BUY HOMES WHO OTHERWISE COULD NOT HAVE AFFORDED HOMEOWNERSHIP. IN FACT, EVERY STUDY THAT’S LOOKED AT IT CONCLUDED THE GREAT MAJORITY OF PEOPLE WHO GOT SUBPRIME LOANS QUALIFIED FOR PRIME LOANS. THEY GOT CHEATED. THEY GOT STEERED INTO LOANS THAT OBVIOUSLY WERE NOT IN THEIR INTEREST. THEY WEREN’T ABOUT HELPING PEOPLE INTO HOMEOWNERSHIP. IN FACT, SUBPRIME WAS ALMOST ENTIRELY A CREATURE OF REFINANCING, 70%, EVEN DURING THAT 2003-2006 PERIOD, 70% WERE REFINANCE. AND PEOPLE ALREADY OWNED THEIR
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HOMES BUT THEY NEEDED TO BORROW MONEY. SOME OF THEM LIVED BEYOND THEIR MEANS, NO DOUBT ABOUT IT. SOME WERE USING THE EQUITY IN
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MACHINE. THEIR HOME AT AN A.T.M. BUT IN THE PAST GENERATION THE MEANS OF MIDDLE CLASS FAMILIES HAVE NOT BEEN ENOUGH. AMERICANS, AS THE ECONOMY HAS GROWN, AS THE NATION HAS PROSPERED, THAT PROSPERITY HAS NOT BEEN WIDELY SHARED AS IT HAS BEEN IN THE PAST. SO WHEN AMERICANS GOT INTO TROUBLE, WHEN THEY NEEDED TO BORROW MONEY FROM SOMEWHERE, WHEN SOMEONE IN THE FAMILY GOT SICK, WHEN SOMEONE LOST THEIR JOB, WHEN THEY WENT THROUGH A DIVORCE, WHEN THEY NEEDED TO BORROW MONEY, THE ONLY WAY TO BORROW MONEY WAS TO REFINANCE THEIR HOME. 70% OF SUBPRIME LOANS WERE REFINANCES. AND AGAIN, THE GREAT MAJORITY,
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“THE WALL STREET JOURNAL” ESTIMATED 55%. MOST OTHER ESTIMATES HAVE BEEN MORE THAN THAT WHO WERE PEOPLE WHO QUALIFIED FOR PRIME MORTGAGES. 90% WERE NOT FIXED RATE 30-YEAR MORTGAGES. THEY HAD A QUICK RESET. AFTER JUST TWO OR THREE YEARS. THEY WERE 2-28’S OR 3-27’S. PEOPLE WHO GOT THOSE LOANS DIDN’T KNOW THAT AND DIDN’T KNOW THE INITIAL PAYMENT THEY HAD TO MAKE, THE MONTHLY PAYMENT, WOULD BE SUBJECT TO A QUICK INCREASE AND THE INCREASE AFTER A COUPLE YEARS WAS GENERALLY 30% TO 50% A MONTH. TO GET OUT OF THE MORTGAGE, THE GREAT RATE MAJORITY HAD TO PAY A PREPAYMENT PENALTY, USUALLY LIKE 3% OF THE OUTSTANDING BALANCE OF THE MORTGAGE. NOW, THOSE WERE NOT MORTGAGES DESIGNED TO HELP MIDDLE CLASS FAMILIES. THOSE WERE MORTGAGES DESIGNED TO TAKE THE EQUITY IN THEIR HOME, TO STRIP THEM OF THE WE CANITY OF THEIR HOME AS HOUSE — OF THE EQUITY IN THEIR HOME AS HOUSE PRICES WERE GOING UP. THERE WOULD BE NO WAY TO PAY OFF THOSE MORTGAGES IN THE COURSE OF 30 YEARS AND THEN INVITE THEIR FRIENDS AND FAMILY OVER TO HAVE A CEREMONY WHERE THEY BURNED THEIR MORTGAGES, EARLIER GENERATIONS OF AMERICANS HAVE DONE. THEY WERE MORTGAGES THAT HAD THE EFFECT OF TRAPPING PEOPLE IN DEBT AND TAKING FROM THEM THE EQUITY IN THEIR HOME AND MADE SURE THAT ENDED UP IN THE POCKETS OF THE FINANCIAL SECTOR, NOT IN THE POCKETS OF THE MIDDLE CLASS FAMILIES. OTHER PRACTICES IN THAT LAST DECADE THAT SHOULD NEVER HAVE HAPPENED, OVERDRAFTEES. NOW, OVERDRAFTEES SERVE A USEFUL PURPOSE. IN ANOTHER GENERATION, WE USE CRIMINAL LAWS TO PROSECUTE PEOPLE WHO WROTE BAD CHECKS. THERE ARE A LOT OF PERFECTLY HONEST FOLKS WHO GOT THEMSELVES IN A LITTLE BIT OF TROUBLE OR DIDN’T BALANCE THEIR CHECKBOOKS THAT ENDED UP WITH PROSECUTIONS FOR WRITING BAD CHECKS, BUT OVERDRAFT FEES WERE — BECAME A
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. SOURCE OF PROFIT FOR BANKS.
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BE $40. TYPICALLY AN OVERDRAFT FEE WOULD THE BIGGEST BANKS DEVELOPED FEE-HARVESTING SOFTWARE. IF YOU HAD AN OVERDRAFT AGREEMENT, UNLESS YOU SPECIFICALLY ASKED NOT TO HAVE ONE, AND YOU WENT TO AN A.T.M. MACHINE AND YOU ASKED FOR YOUR BALANCE, IT WOULDN’T TELL YOU HOW MUCH YOU HAD IN YOUR ACCOUNT, IT WOULD SAY THE FUNDS AVAILABLE. THAT MEANT HOW MUCH YOUR BALANCE WAS, PLUS WHAT THEY WOULD ALLOW IN OVERDRAFT FEES. AND THEY WOULD RUN THE BILL THROUGH IN A WAY THAT WOULD MAXIMIZE YOUR OVERDRAFT FEE. SO YOU WERE LIKE A LOT OF PEOPLE AND YOU GOT TO THE END OF THE MONTH AND THERE WAS MORE MONTH THAN THERE WAS PAYCHECK, AND YOU WENT AND YOU HAD $100 IN YOUR ACCOUNT AND YOU WENT TO THE A.T.M. MACHINE AND YOU TOOK OUT $20 AND THEN YOU TOOK OUT ANOTHER $20 AND THEN YOU MADE A $20 PURCHASE AND THEN ANOTHER $20 PURCHASE WITH YOUR DEBIT CARD AND THEN MAYBE A $15 PURCHASE AND THEN YOU WROTE A $100 CHECK OR A $105 CHECK, THE BANKS WOULD PUT THE $105 CHECK THROUGH FIRST, PUTTING YOU OVER YOUR LIMIT, CHARGING YOU $40 OVERDRAFT FEE ON THAT AND THE
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$15. $20, THE $20, THE $20 AND THE THAT’S JUST CROOKED AND THAT WAS LEGAL. MS. SPEIER, MY COLLEAGUE FROM CALIFORNIA, HAS POINTED OUT THE LACK OF PROSECUTIONS, PERHAPS THE GREATEST SCANDAL OF THIS FINANCIAL CRISIS IS WHAT WAS LEGAL, NOT THE ILLEGALALITY WAS
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BLINKED AT BUT WHAT WAS LEGAL IN THIS. WE HAVE NOW PASSED LEGISLATION THAT SHOULD REFORM MUCH OF THIS. BUT WE HAVE TO STICK TO IT, TO MAKE SURE THAT THOSE REFORMS ARE ENFORCED, THEY ARE GIVEN MEANING AND THAT THE REGULATORS DO NOT FALL INTO THAT TENDENCY TO BE CONTROLLED BY THE PEOPLE THEY’RE SUPPOSED TO BE LOOKING AFTER. THEY’RE SUPPOSED TO BE THE COP ON THE BLOCK AND THEY ARE — THEY HAVE TO EXERCISE INDEPENDENT JUDGMENT ON BEHALF OF THE AMERICAN PEOPLE. WE NEED TO MAKE SURE THESE REFORMS WORK BECAUSE WE CANNOT ALLOW WHAT HAPPENED IN THE LAST DECADE. IT TRULY OFFENDED THE AMERICAN SENSE OF JUSTICE, THAT THE PEOPLE WHO CAUSED IT HAVE COME OUT UNSCATHED. NOT ONLY HAVE THEY NOT BEEN CRIMINALLY PROSECUTED BUT
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BONUSES THEY MADE BEFORE AND THE THEY’RE MAKING STATEMENT KIND OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE SUFFERED, SUFFERED THE MOST, THE WORKING AND MIDDLE CLASS FAMILIES WHO HAVE LOST THEIR JOBS OR EVEN PEOPLE WHO HAD GOOD MORALITIES, HAVE NOW SEEN THE — MORTGAGES, HAVE NOW SEEN THE VALUE OF THEIR HOMES COLLAPSE AND WITH THE LOSS OF THE VALUE OF THEIR HOME, ONE IN FOUR PEOPLE WHO OWN MORTGAGES ARE UNDER WATER. WITH THAT THEY HAVE SEEN THE LOSS OF THEIR LIFE SAVINGS. THAT IS A LIFE SAVINGS FOR MOST MIDDLE CLASS FAMILIES, THE EQUITY IN THEIR HOME. OF COURSE THERE’S A KNOT, PEOPLE HAVE A KNOT IN THEIR STOMACH, THEY HAVE A KNOT IN THEIR STOMACH ABOUT WHETHER THEY’RE GOING TO KEEP THEIR JOBS, THEY HAVE A KNOT IN THEIR STOMACH OF WHAT THEY REALLY OWN IN THE WORLD. WHEN THEY HAVE SEEN THE VALUE OF THEIR HOME COLLAPSE IN THE WAY THAT IT HAS. SO I THANK THE GENTLELADY FROM CALIFORNIA FOR CALLING, FOR ORGANIZING THIS SPECIAL ORDER SO WE CAN CALL ATTENTION AGAIN TO THE KIND OF MISCONDUCT, THE KIND OF CORRUPT RENT-SEEKING LOOTING OF THE ECONOMY THAT WE HAVE SEEN IN THE LAST DECADE THAT GOT US TO WHERE WE ARE. I THANK THE GENTLEMAN. RECLAIMING MY TIME, YOU KNOW, YOU HAD SAID EARLIER THAT OUR FRIENDS ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE AISLE WERE BEMOANING THE BIG

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