[Congressional Record Volume 140, Number 134 (Thursday, September 22, 1994)]
[Page H]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]

[Congressional Record: September 22, 1994]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]

                              {time}  1720

  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Bishop). Under the Speaker's announced 
policy of February 11, 1994, and June 10, 1994, the gentleman from 
Georgia [Mr. Gingrich] is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of 
the minority leader.
  Mr. GINGRICH. Mr. Speaker, I think at the beginning I want to talk 
tonight about the Capitol steps contract and cynicism in Washington, 
  I was very sad that I could not be here this morning when some of my 
colleagues on the Democratic side did 1-minute speeches attacking our 
proposed contract for next Tuesday. I want to talk about cynicism and 
negativism and what is happening in America, and what we are trying to 
accomplish, and the framework within which we are trying to accomplish 
  Next Tuesday, September 27, we will have over 300 candidates for 
Congress from all over America coming to the Capitol steps to pledge a 
checklist and a contract. We have a basic document that says, ``A 
campaign promise is one thing, a signed contract is quite another.'' 
Then what it outlines, in what will later on be a full page ad in TV 
Guide, is a basic set of commitments for the opening day, our 
checklist, and then a contract to bring 10 bills to the House floor and 
get them to a final passage vote in the first 100 days.
  Mr. Speaker, I think what I am sad about about the things the White 
House has done so far to try to attack the contract, and the tone in 
some of the press coverage and the 1-minute speeches here by the 
Democrats today, is that I think they miss the whole point of what we 
are doing. There is not a word in this ad that talks about the 
Democrats. There is not a word in this ad that talks about the Clinton 
  What this ad does is, it talks in a positive way about what 
Republicans would do to solve real problems. I'm going to read the ad, 
and then I'm going to explain the background of why we are doing this, 
and how we got to this.
  The ad starts, as I said a minute ago, with a cover which says: ``A 
campaign promise is one thing, a signed contract is quite another.'' 
That is why Republican House candidates have pledged in writing to vote 
on these 10 commonsense reforms.
  Then it says:

       GOP contract with America: We have listened to what you 
     want and we hear you loud and clear. On the first day of 
     Congress a Republican House will force Congress to live under 
     the same laws as every other American.
       Cut one out of every three congressional committee 
       Cut the congressional budget.
       Then in the first 100 days we will vote on the following 10 
       One, balanced budget amendment and line-item veto. It is 
     time to force the government to live within its means and to 
     restore accountability to the budget in Washington.
       Two, stop violent criminals. Let us get tough with an 
     effective, believable, and timely death penalty for violent 
     offenders. Let us also reduce crime by building more prisons, 
     making sentences longer, and putting more police on the 
       Three, welfare reform. The government should encourage 
     people to work, not to have children out of wedlock.
       Four, protect our kids. We must strengthen families by 
     giving parents greater control over education, enforcing 
     child support payments, and getting tough on child 
       Five, tax cuts for families. Let us make it easier to 
     achieve the American dream, save money, buy a home, and send 
     the kids to college.
       Six, strong national defense. We need to ensure a strong 
     national defense by restoring the essential parts of our 
     national security funding.
       Seven, raise the senior citizens' earning limit. We can put 
     an end to government age discrimination that discourages 
     seniors from working if they choose.
       Eight, roll back government regulations. Let us slash 
     regulations that strangle small business and let us make it 
     easier for people to invest in order to crate jobs and 
     increase wages.
       Nine, commonsense legal reform. We can finally stop 
     excessive legal claims, frivolous lawsuits, and overzealous 
       Ten, congressional term limits. Let us replace career 
     politicians with citizen legislators. After all, politics 
     should not be a lifetime job.

  My point is, here are three reforms for the opening day that are our 
checklist of what we will do. Here are 10 specific bills that we are 
committed to bring to a vote in the first 100 days.

  There is not a negative word here about the Democratic Party. There 
is not a negative word here about President Clinton and his 
administration. It is an effort on our part to be positive.
  You might say, why are we being positive about this? I think that 
there are two very profound reasons why it would be good to have a 
positive campaign in October 1994, rather than a negative campaign.
  The first reason is that people are so frustrated, people are so 
hostile, people are so angry, that you do not need to go out and get 
them madder. You don't have to go out and beat up on President Clinton 
or beat up on the Congress. People get it. They are already fed up.
  What people want to know, I think, is what are you going to do 
differently? Our challenge to the Democrats is if they do not like our 
10 bills, what are theirs? If they do not like our three reforms, what 
are theirs? Let us have a debate between ideas, but let us not have the 
kind of negative smear tactics that have driven the country, I think, 
to distraction, and have broken down any willingness to have a decent 
political debate.
  We are prepared to debate on the issues: Is it a good idea to have a 
balanced budget amendment, a line-item veto, or not? Is it a good idea 
to have an effective, believable, and timely death penalty for violent 
offenders, or not? Should we encourage work and family in the welfare 
system, or not?
  These are real policy proposals. We are going to have next Tuesday a 
whole set of bills. All 10 bills are already going to be written and 
  There is a second reason, I would argue, why it would be good to 
actually try to have a debate in October on the issues. I think this 
country is in trouble. People have talked about the economic recovery 
and all this stuff. Nonsense. The underlying core pattern of where 
America is at is real trouble.
  If you do not believe me, watch any major city local television news, 
including Washington, for 2 nights. The child abuse, the rape, the 
murders, the cocaine dealing, the problems of American life are 
unbelievable. I am a history teacher, and I tell every audience that as 
a matter of history, not politics, as a matter of history, it is 
impossible to maintain American civilization with 12-year-olds having 
babies, 15-year-olds killing each other, 17-year-olds dying of AIDS, 
and 18-year-olds getting diplomas they cannot read. I don't think that 
is debatable. I think it is clear.
  Yet, every single thing I just described is happening within a mile 
of your national Capitol. It is happening in every major city in the 
country. It is happening in West Virginia. It is happening on most 
Indian reservations. It is an objective fact, if you are going to be 
honest about it, that we are in the middle of the largest moral and 
societal crisis we have had maybe in the coutnry's history.
  The result has been a breakdown in trust in government. I think there 
are very deep reasons we are in trouble. I do not think what we are 
going to do in the first 100 days by itself is going to get us out of 
trouble. I think even if we pass all 10 of these bills--and frankly, I 
don't know that we can pass all 10.
  Notice, our commitment is to get them to a final passage vote, to 
bring them to the floor in the first 100 days and to get a yes or no 
vote, so that you will know who to keep and who to fire in 1996. But if 
we are a majority, we may only be a majority of 5 or 10 votes. So when 
you start listing all these controversial ideas, we are going to have 
real opposition. There are going to be some real fights.
  Even if we could pass every one of these, all they would be is the 
beginning. The purpose of next Tuesday, with all the Republican 
candidates on the Capitol steps, is to outline the beginning. It is the 
first 100 days. Remember, the Congress is elected for 731 days, so the 
Congress has time to really be involved in more than just one set of 

                              {time}  1730

  Our goal would be to work very hard on these, to start on the opening 
day, and then to be in a position to get the final vote done before the 
100 days is up; having kept our contract, to then take frankly a couple 
of weeks off, because we are going to be pretty tired. If we get all 
this done in the first 100 days, we will have earned a couple of weeks 
to go back home, to talk to folks, to unwind over Easter, and then come 
back in early May and have a second Capitol steps event outlining a 
second wave of reforms.
  I say that because, for example, it is pretty clear we are not going 
to pass a major health bill this year. I understand that Senator 
Mitchell is still trying in some secret meetings over in the other 
body, but I do not think it is going to happen. So we need to take 
health reform back up in January, but if the Republicans are in charge, 
we are going to start with medical savings accounts, we are going to 
start with home health care, we are going to start with ensuring that 
every person who is self-employed can get a tax deduction for their own 
health insurance, we are going to start with lifting the antitrust for 
hospitals so that they can work together in sharing very, very 
expensive equipment and developing specialties to deal with cancer and 
heart disease and things like that. We want to approach it very, very 
differently than the way the Clinton administration did. But health 
care is not going to be in the first 100 days, because we cannot 
guarantee that we can write an intelligent, problem-solving bill in the 
first 100 days. So that is one issue.
  The second issue that we are going to work on is voluntary school 
prayer. I have made a commitment and I will make a speech in the near 
future outlining why I believe it is so important, that we are going to 
offer an amendment on voluntary school prayer, making it possible, by 
the end of June. But I would like to see us have 3 or 4 months to go 
out and have the Judiciary Subcommittee hold hearings in every State in 
the country so that in every State in the country, people who favor 
voluntary school prayer and people who are opposed to it have an 
opportunity, without having to travel to Washington, in their own State 
to go to hearings and to express themselves, because I think this is an 
issue that has tremendous support in the country but is controversial 
and deserves to be heard.
  There are a lot of other good, small things we are going to be doing. 
One small thing we are going to do quite frankly is we are going to 
change the House rules so that when in the future we file a conference 
report, we also file the floppy disk so that it is available by 
computer at the minute you see it on C-SPAN. This is actually our 
briefing book on Contract with America for next Tuesday, it is pretty 
big. But let us say this was a bill. Nowadays what happens is, and this 
happened on the crime bill. The manager of the crime bill came in at 7 
at night after we were done voting. He said, ``I now move to file the 
conference report,'' at 7 at night. It was all written on paper. It 
was, I believe, about 700 pages long if I remember correctly. It came 
down here. At 8 the very same night, they were up in the Committee on 
Rules, nobody had yet had a chance to even look at it. They hoped to 
bring the bill to the floor the next day and actually pass it. That 
meant that if you had been at home at 7 at night and you had seen them 
file the report, even if you called your Congressman or your Senator 
the next morning, they could never have mailed you the bill in time for 
you to read it before the vote.
  One minor but real change we are going to have is that when we file 
the conference report, if the Republicans are in charge, we are also 
going to make it available electronically at that moment, so if you are 
sitting at home or you are in your office or you are at the local 
public library and you see the conference report being filed on C-SPAN, 
at that moment you will be able to access Internet and pull up the 
legislative library and get on your screen and in your computer the 
entire bill instantaneously.
  What that is going to do is going to give ideas back out to the 
country and give the country a chance, notice again, in a positive way, 
with a positive reform, doing something positive to try to improve the 
relationship between Congress and the American people.
  I would like to yield to the gentleman from New Jersey [Mr. Saxton], 
my good friend.
  Mr. SAXTON. I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  Mr. Speaker, first of all, let me commend the gentleman for taking 
this time this evening to discuss what I believe is the biggest single 
change to be proposed in the size, scope, and direction of the Federal 
Government since the 1930's. We as Republicans have recognized that in 
order to get the size of Government under control, in order to put in 
place policy that will help our economy grow at historically acceptable 
rates, which it is not currently doing, that there are some very basic 
changes that we have proposed under the gentleman's leadership and 
under the leadership of the gentleman from Texas [Mr. Armey] which will 
put in place policies over the long term to do a lot of the things that 
Republicans have been talking about for many years.
  One of the things that I find very appealing about the way this has 
turned out is that we know, for example, that when taxes get too high 
and place too much of a burden on workers and on business that the 
economy has a very difficult time performing at historic standards. As 
a result of that, we know that during the late 1970's, the economy did 
very poorly, and again during the early part of the 1990's after the 
tax increase of 1990 and the tax increase again in 1993, that we were 
unable to see the kind of growth again that we would like to see in 
jobs and in economic growth generally.
  I was asked to be a leader of 1 of the 11 groups that was to make 
recommendations. Recommendations that we made, I believe, will be very 
significant in terms of changing tax policy, in regulatory policy, to 
help businesses grow, to make jobs more plentiful for workers, to 
increase wages for workers across-the-board, and at the same time to 
help families have an easier time of paying their taxes and making a 
  Of course there are some here in the House who would not like to talk 
about these and so there has been an attempt already, even before our 
September 27 Capitol steps event, there has been an attempt already to 
change the debate, to tell America that we cannot afford to make the 
changes that we want to make in order to help the economy grow. There 
has been a claim that it is too expensive, that we cannot pay for it, 
and as a matter of fact we have looked at this very carefully under the 
leadership of the gentleman from Georgia [Mr. Gingrich] and others and 
we recognize that as we count here in Washington at least, and we do 
not always count in Washington the way normal people count, but that as 
we count here in Washington, there is a $147 billion, 5-year cost to 
this program.
  I want the gentleman to know that we have looked very carefully and 
want everyone who is listening to know that we have looked very 
carefully at this cost and we will pay the bill for this cost in terms 
of the rules that exist in the House today. We will do it by making 
cuts in the size of Government.
  One of the things that the American people may have forgotten about 
and I know some of the Members of this House would like to forget about 
is that we have already demonstrated our ability to make those kinds of 
cuts. In the fiscal year budget for 1994, under the leadership of the 
gentleman from Ohio [Mr. Kasich] and others, we showed that we could 
bring a bill to this House that actually cut $369 billion over 5 years. 
Then gain in fiscal year 1995, the House Republican budget that we had 
right here on this floor up for a vote where every Republican voted for 
it would have cut $377 billion. So those who are out there trying to 
change this debate to deflect attention away from the very good 
policies that are contained in this contract with the American people 
need to realize that we have already in the past on several occasions 
shown that we on this side of the aisle are willing to put our names on 
the line and make the kinds of very difficult decisions that are 
necessary to get our country back on the right track.

  I just wanted to point those things out for the record.
  Mr. GINGRICH. Because of your work on the Joint Economic Committee, I 
know you have paid a great deal of attention to economic policy. Being 
from New Jersey, you are actually living through the demonstration of 
what we are talking about. As I understand it, when Christie Whitman 
was running for Governor, she said, ``I believe we can cut taxes and I 
believe we can cut spending.'' The newspapers attacked her and the 
columnists attacked her and Governor Florio attacked her. She said, 
``No, we're going to do it.'' Then as I understand it when she was 
inaugurated, she said, ``We are going to keep our word,'' and I believe 
she has actually cut spending and cut taxes.
  But could you share with viewers from across America and with our 
colleagues the story of what is happening for real in New Jersey and 
why we are confident that if we apply the same principles as Governor 
Whitman, that we can move in the right direction?
  Mr. SAXTON. Governor Whitman has done a couple of things. First, you 
are absolutely correct. During the campaign the Governor pledged to cut 
taxes by approximately 25 percent over 3 years. She did so, in a way 
that would help the New Jersey economy grow. I might point out that in 
the most recent month's statistics, New Jersey had the biggest drop in 
unemployment of any State in the country.

                              {time}  1740

  Mr. GINGRICH. So she actually has cut spending, cut taxes and lowered 
unemployment by creating more jobs for the private sector?
  Mr. SAXTON. That is correct.
  Mr. GINGRICH. That is the opposite, is it not, of the liberal model?
  Mr. SAXTON. That is exactly opposite of the liberal model. And what 
she said during the campaign and ended up doing, it was very good to 
have been able to sit behind her on the stage the day she was 
inaugurated, and she said if the Democrats in Washington can increase 
your taxes retroactively, which Bill Clinton and the Democrats did in 
this House in 1993, she said I can decrease your taxes retroactively 
and she put in the first tax cut retroactive to January 1, 1992. It was 
a 5 percent reduction.
  So what has happened in New Jersey is, number one, we have put in 
place business jobs, economic growth policy that is working. That is 
No. 1.
  No. 2, she did something that is equally important and that the 
Contract for America is modeled after. That is to restore confidence in 
government. This lady, our Governor, Governor Whitman, said during the 
campaign, ``Here's what I am going to do. I am going to cut spending 
and I am going to cut taxes. We're going to make government smaller.'' 
And in her first year she made the first installment on that.
  I might add, you know we do not talk a lot on the floor here about 
politics, but I might add that the voters in New Jersey, the citizens 
of New Jersey appreciate that because her approval ratings are over 70 
percent today.
  Mr. GINGRICH. Let me build on that for a second. You have Governor 
Whitman who won an election and is very popular because she is keeping 
her word. Then to the south is Gov. George Allen. He gave his word on 
crime and spending and he is keeping his word. Then in Massachusetts 
there is Gov. Bill Weld who came in, and they had to get a balanced 
budget. He said he will not raise taxes and cut spending, and as a 
result Massachusetts is now creating jobs. In Michigan, Gov. John 
Engler got elected and said, ``I am going to reform the welfare system 
and I am going to change the welfare system and break up the 
bureaucracy.'' He has now done a tremendous job. Over in Wisconsin, 
Gov. Tommy Thompson, who invented Learn Fair, for example, who said, 
``You don't get money if you're not getting educated, we are not giving 
people money to sit around and watch soap operas,'' and he has really 
begun to change government. And then Carroll Campbell just finishing 
his term has a similar tradition. And I must say that I was with Gov. 
Pete Wilson in California last night, and he has cut spending 
dramatically in California.

  When you look at the people who are prepared to be serious about it, 
as you pointed out, with John Kasich's leadership as head of the Budget 
Committee, the House Republicans produced a budget that cut over 5 
years $400 billion. They came back and produced other proposals for 
cutting spending.
  But the first point to be made is about the spending side, that we 
have proven again and again we can offer a budget that in fact cuts 
  But there is a deeper point I think, and I find it fascinating in the 
news media some very phony numbers that the Clinton administration has 
sent up and in some comments made here on the House floor they have 
come up with a term ``a trillion dollars.'' I do not know if the 
gentleman is aware of this yet. The way they get to our program costing 
a trillion dollars is simply they say if you require a balanced budget, 
since we are going to be borrowing $750 billion under the Clinton plan, 
your plan is off by $750 billion. So they are in effect giving up on a 
balanced budget. The Clinton administration is saying that they will 
never balance the budget, and they are challenging our effort to pass a 
constitutional amendment.
  I do not think that either Mr. Saxton or I or anybody else who is on 
the Republican side thinks you can get to a balanced budget overnight. 
This is like a giant company. It takes a while to downsize and rethink 
and reshape. But I think that if we really put our shoulders to the 
wheel we can do great work.
  Was the gentleman working on the economic opportunity and regulatory 
reform section?
  Mr. SAXTON. Yes, that is correct.
  Mr. GINGRICH. And you produced as our eighth item in the contract the 
Job Creation and Wage Enhancement Act?
  Mr. SAXTON. That is correct.
  Mr. GINGRICH. I want our colleagues to know this is a list of what is 
in the bill, so this is substance. In our outline on the Contract With 
America Briefing Book this runs for 2\1/2\ pages. Here is the outline: 
Capital gains tax cut, neutral cost recovery, taxpayer empowerment to 
reduce the deficit and debt buydown, risk assessment cost/benefit 
analysis, regulatory budget, unfunded mandate reforms, strengthen 
Paperwork Reduction Act, compensation for private property takings, 
regulatory impact analysis.
  Now just in the bill that the gentleman chaired and was so active on 
you have here a tremendous liberating effect on the American economy.
  Mr. SAXTON. In just the first instance when we talked about the 
capital gains tax, which I think is very important, and incidentally, 
we got a roomful of people who are experts on economic growth, and 
people, I might add, from both ends of the spectrum because we wanted 
to get a full picture of what it was that we needed to do to make the 
economy grow. We asked what is the single most important thing we can 
do to produce the right action for economic growth in our country, and 
the broad consensus was the single most important thing that we can do, 
along with regulatory reform, and along with marginal tax rates, was 
the change in the capital gains tax rate. And we wanted to be very 
careful of that. So we got to Bill Archer, who is the ranking 
Republican on the Ways and Means Committee, and we said how do we do 
this to be fair to everybody, how do we do this so that we do not face 
the argument of trying to do favors for business people, often times 
who are viewed as, particularly by the other party as being rich 
people? How do we get away from doing the rich people in this country a 
big favor? So this bill is structured by Bill Archer in such a way that 
people who are in the lower brackets get a more significant break than 
people who are in the higher brackets, even on a capital gains tax rate 
as well as, of course, the indexing.
  So on that one item we expect very important, big things to happen.
  You mentioned the neutral cost recovery, which is a fancy word for 
saying giving people a good break on how to depreciate equipment they 
buy for their businesses, and while these are not common, everyday 
things that we talk about around the dinner table at night, at least 
not most of us, we know from our experience in having watched what 
happened to changes in the Tax Code that took place in 1986, 1990, and 
1993, and watching the performance of the Government, that these are 
the things that need to be addressed.
  Mr. GINGRICH. Let me build on that a second. If you will look at the 
neutral cost, again, for people who are not in business, what this 
means is when a business buys a computer, or when a business buys a new 
factory that they actually get to depreciate and write off on their 
taxes a full 100 percent of the purchase price value.
  A recent analysis, and this will tell you a little bit about why we 
are in the fight with the liberal Democrats over how to score this and 
how much it would cost, a recent analysis by the Institute for Policy 
Innovation found that the proposal would create 2.7 million jobs, 
produce an additional $3.5 trillion in economic activity by the year 
2000, increase the U.S. gross domestic product by $1 trillion annually, 
and increase economic activity by 1.8 percent. In other words, if you 
look at the study done by the Institute for Policy Innovation, 2.7 
million more Americans would be at work in the year 2000, the U.S. 
gross domestic product, that is our national economy would be $1 
trillion bigger. To us, a simple shorthand, we collect on the average 
19 percent of the gross national product. So by allowing businesses to 
buy the newest equipment, the newest computers, by allowing them to 
compete with Germany, Japan, and China, by making sure Americans have 
the most modern equipment in the world, we would actually increase tax 
collection by $190 billion a year by the year 2000. Not a penny of 
that, not a penny of that will be counted by the liberal Democrats in 
the way they score this bill.
  So when you read the Clinton administration's nonsense scoring, which 
is pure socialism, and when you hear Democrats come to the floor and 
start whining about the scoring and how we are going to spend money, 
remember, they do not take into account any investment, they do not 
take into account any new jobs, they do not take into account how the 
free enterprise system works. And we believe just on that one provision 
that if you were to look over the next 6 years you would actually 
probably have several hundred billion dollars in additional tax 
revenue, because more people would be at work, they would not be 
drawing welfare and unemployment, they would be paying income taxes. 
And with more people at work, with a higher salary paying more taxes, 
you actually increase the tax revenue without having to increase the 
  I am glad to yield to my friend from New Jersey.
  Mr. SAXTON. This is a very excellent point the gentleman brings up, 
because it would seem to the average person, I thought, I always 
thought until I began to study economics, that when you reduce tax 
rates the natural effect would be to get less government revenue.

                              {time}  1750

  We know today that that is not always true, and the best example, or 
the two examples of that are, one was back in the time of Jack Kennedy 
when Jack Kennedy put in place his, or when Congress did unfortunately 
after Jack Kennedy's death, the economy began to grow after the Kennedy 
tax cuts were put in place, and as the economy grew, jobs were created, 
people were bringing home bigger paychecks, and as a result, they sent 
more money off to Washington because there was a bigger pie to get a 
smaller slice of, and it produced more revenue.
  The other good example was in the early 1980's when Ronald Reagan ran 
for office. He said, ``I know what is the matter with this economy that 
we call stagflation and malaise,'' and all of those things that we 
heard back then; he said, ``Taxes have gotten too high.''
  So when Reagan ran for office in 1980, he promised the American 
people he was going to cut taxes by 30 percent. Again, just like the 
Governor Whitman we talked about a few minutes ago, a lot of people 
said, ``Ronald Reagan cannot do that.'' In 1981, 1982, 1983, we all 
know what happened. We had that 30-percent cut over 3 years of the tax 
rate, and bingo, the economy began to grow again. As a matter of fact, 
the gentleman was talking about growth in revenue when taxes are 
reduced. In 1980 our total revenue in our country was about $500 
billion. By the end of the decade, in spite of the tax cut, our revenue 
had doubled. We had over a trillion dollars to spend through this 
  The gentleman's point is very well taken. When we have to score 
things around here that do not take into consideration that economic 
growth produces more jobs, more income, and more revenue to the Federal 
Government, it is a false way of figuring out the net result of tax 
  Mr. GINGRICH. Let me make another point. This is not just about 
taxes. We have a contract for 10 items of legislation, and we have a 
checklist for some very important reforms.
  Let me make one more point before I yield to my very good friend from 
  In the work the gentleman from New Jersey [Mr. Saxton] has done on 
the Job Creation and Wage Enhancement Act, in the analysis they point 
out, and I quote, ``The Clean Air Act expressly forbids agencies from 
weighing economic effects in writing their implementing regulations.''
  Now, let me tell my colleagues what this means, because this is going 
to be a real crisis for the State of California by next spring. The 
Environmental Protection Agency is currently writing a master plan for 
air quality in California which currently, and it will be announced 
February 1, after the election, but the best evidence we have so far is 
that it is going to say to long-distance trucks, ``You can only make 
one stop in the entire State.'' It is going to say to ships, ``You 
cannot go into Long Beach or Los Angeles harbor if you have boilers 
that are still hot.'' And since seagoing ships do not turn their 
boilers off, that means no one will come in.
  Apparently a group of bureaucrats have sat down in a room and written 
the perfect Clean Air Act for an agricultural society with no trucks, 
no cars, no airplanes, and no ships. But it is madness.
  What we are saying is when you write regulations, you are going to 
have to look at what do they cost. You are going to have to do an 
economic benefit analysis, and you are going to have to assess the real 
risks. You are going to have to actually bring science to bear and not 
just the latest Ralph Nader press release.

  My guess is there are hundreds of billions of dollars in savings and 
millions of jobs that will be saved by the 21st century, 6 years from 
now, by these two items. Yet when you first read them, they do not seem 
so powerful.
  But when you look at the number of job-killing regulations now coming 
out of the Government, you begin to realize why this kind of 
legislation is so vital.
  Mr. Speaker, I yield to my friend, the gentleman from Connecticut.
  Mr. SHAYS. I was listening to what both of you were saying on the 
floor in my office, and I just felt compelled to come over and make a 
few comments.
  I mean, I just relish the thought that on the first day that a 
Republican majority is in charge that we would force Congress to live 
under the same laws as every other American and cut the number of 
congressional committees and our budget and then move forward in the 
first 100 days with some very important elements.
  As someone who has been in public life for a number of years, the one 
thing that is eminently clear to me, as you have pointed out, I say to 
the gentleman from Georgia [Mr. Gingrich], that 12-year-olds having 
babies and 14-year-olds selling drugs, 15-year-olds who are killing 
each other, and 18-year-olds who cannot read their diplomas is truly 
the legacy of the welfare state.
  Candidly, Congress, Republicans and Democrats, know the welfare state 
is dead. There just is a sense of how do we move forward. For me, it is 
extraordinarily exciting to think that as a Member of Congress that I 
can deal with the issues that we have left in this agenda that is a 
contract with the American people to provide a balanced-budget 
amendment and a line-item veto.
  I mean, I think of the extraordinary opportunity a line-item veto 
would provide and to truly move forward even more of getting tough with 
criminals, welfare reform, which we have talked about for 2 years and 
not taken any action, strengthening our families.
  I know; I have a family of four boys. I know my parents basically had 
the deductibility of about $8,000 per child in today's dollars, and yet 
that is not available to families today.
  What is exciting for me as a member of the Committee on the Budget is 
to be part of 13 Republicans who came in with alternative budgets last 
year and this year because of your urging. I mean, one of the things 
that has happened in this general assembly, in this Congress, is that 
we have been empowered to move forward in such a meaningful way. Our 
Committee on the Budget is coming up with reforms, recommendations, 
welfare reform, health care reform. It is really sad that President 
Clinton did not put away his veto pen earlier. It is sad the partisan 
political rhetoric did not stop earlier and we could not deal with some 
of the incremental needs of dealing with administrative costs and tort 
reform in our package.
  As a rank-and-file Republican, I am going to be one of those 300 who 
is going to sign on to have some commonsense legal reform, and I have 
an ability through these 10 items to make it very clear to my 
constituents that where I might disagree on the last item of term 
limits, because I happen to think that term limits is not the problem. 
I think the problem is 40 years of one-party control; the American 
people deserve to see that debated. And here we are having an open 
dialog after hours, but when there is a debate on the bill, we have 
closed rules, and to know those rules will not be closed and there will 
be true debate, I look forward as a Member of one of 435 Members if I 
am reelected to have a debate on term limits.
  I might make an argument that says, you know, 40 years of one-party 
control is the problem and not the fact that someone has been 6 or 8 or 
10 years.
  But it is exciting, and I just heard some comments today about, you 
know, criticism of this package, and I just want to weigh in as one 
Member, a moderate Member in this caucus, and to me every one of these 
issues is right on target in terms of the opportunity for the Americans 
to see what can happen in the first 100 days.
  Mr. GINGRICH. Let me give our colleagues an example. On our contract 
of 10 bills that we will bring to the floor and get to a final passage 
vote on the first 100 days, No. 9 is commonsense legal reforms. It is, 
in fact, called the Common Sense Legal Reforms Act. I think the 
gentleman from Minnesota [Mr. Ramstad] was the leader of this 
particular project.
  All of these, I should tell my colleagues, were developed under the 
leadership, or with the leadership, of the gentleman from Texas [Mr. 
Armey], the House Republican Conference chairman, with tremendous help 
from the gentleman from Illinois [Mr. Hyde], who had several policy 
forums as the head of the Policy Committee, and I think with 
enthusiastic support from the gentleman from Illinois [Mr. Michel], who 
had seen over the years the need to move to a much more positive and 
proactive kind of approach.
  No. 9 on our list of 10 bills is the Common Sense Legal Reforms Act. 
It includes discouraging wasteful litigation, honesty in evidence, 
reasonable limits in punitive damages, truth in attorneys' fees, a 
legislative checklist, and proportional liability.
  I am going to take right out of the contract with America's Briefing 
Book, which is really a tremendous work that has been put together to 
explain the whole thing, what they say about it, because I think it 
will give our colleagues a sense of why on the Republican side we are 
ready to have a positive campaign this fall. We are ready to go out to 
the country and talk about ideas and about solutions and about real 
positive things and why I was so discouraged today by the four or five 
negative and mean-spirited 1-minutes that just did not get it. They did 
not understand what we are trying to do here.
  If you will notice this, when we go through this, I think you are 
going to see it does not attack the Democrats. It does not attack the 
Clinton administration. It talks about a real solution.
  Here is what it says on commonsense legal reforms:

       Our legal system has become burdened with excessive costs 
     and long delays and no longer serves to expedite justice or 
     insure fair results. Instead, overuse and abuse of the legal 
     system impose tremendous costs upon American society. It has 
     been estimated that each year the U.S. spends an estimated 
     $300 billion as an indirect cost of the civil justice system. 
     These billions of dollars result from dramatic expansions in 
     the number of cases filed, a tripling of cases in the Federal 
     courts alone in the last 30 years. In fact, in 1989 alone, 18 
     million civil lawsuits were filed in State and Federal 
     courts, amounting to one lawsuit for every 10 adults. Enough 
     is enough.
       Although the vast majority of these cases are filed in 
     state courts, federal reforms can have a substantial impact 
     and provide a model for state reform, without having reform 
     dictated to the state by Washington, D.C. The Common Sense 
     Legal Reforms Act provides concrete steps to restore the 
     efficiency and fairness of our federal civil justice system 
       Discouraging Wasteful Litigation. One of the most effective 
     ways to ensure that nuisance, or frivolous, lawsuits are not 
     filed (or that a frivolous defense is not offered) is to 
     require that the loser of a lawsuit pay the winner for the 
     legal fees incurred. The loser pays approach encourages 
     careful consideration of the merits of one's case and the 
     exploration of a settlement prior to filing a suit. This fee 
     shifting provision would be limited to federal diversity 
     cases to ensure that litigants seeking to enforce federal 
     civil rights are not affected adversely. Along the same 
     lines, many lawsuits could be avoided if the parties would 
     just sit down and discuss their differences before going to 
     court. To achieve this first common sense step, the bill 
     requires claimants to notify the other party prior to filing 
     suit, thus encouraging settlements before resorting to 
       Honesty in evidence. The last decade has witnessed an 
     explosion of abusive practices using rent-an-expert-witnesses 
     and unsupported scientific theories. The bill prevents the 
     use of junk science by requiring expert testimony to be based 
     on sound scientific theories and bars contingency fees for 
     expert witnesses and permit greater review of experts' 
       Reasonable limits on punitive damages. It is news to no one 
     that juries have been winging out of control over the past 
     decade in awarding punitive damages to sympathetic plaintiffs 
     far in excess of what is recovered to make them whole. Part 
     of the blame is to rest on the system, because it gives 
     juries very little guidance with which to make such awards. 
     The Common Sense bill provides these standards by requiring 
     that awards be based on ``clear and convincing'' evidence of 
     malicious conduct and be limited to three times compensatory 
       Truth in attorneys' fees. Attorneys often operate under a 
     billing arrangement, called a contingency fee, that is based 
     on a percentage of the damages recovered. While this fee 
     arrangement helps some worthy claimants have access to the 
     courts, it also creates a situation ripe for abuse by 
     attorneys. To prevent abuse, one way to secure the benefits 
     of contingency fees while protecting unsuspecting plaintiffs 
     is to require attorneys to disclose up front the exact terms 
     of a billing arrangement, document the actual time spent on 
     the case, and allow a client who believes he has been misled 
     to petition the court for redress.
       Legislative checklist. The vague and incomplete laws 
     Congress passes today encourage litigation to determine 
     exactly what Congress meant when it spoke in a particular 
     bill. This provision mandates that Congress follow a simple 
     checklist to ensure that new legislation make clear exactly 
     what is intended, such as whether the new law includes a 
     private right of action, a statute of limitation, or is to be 
     applied retroactively.
       Proportionate liability. Under today's liability standards, 
     litigants can go after the deep pocket defendants for the 
     full amount of damages even though this party was responsible 
     for a small fraction of the harm. This standard encourages 
     abusive practices of shake down the deep pockets despite 
     their limited liability. The bill requires apportioning 
     liability on the basis of a defendant's responsibility.

                              {time}  1800

  My point in reading through this one bill is to get across to people 
that just in this one area we are talking about very major, very 
significant litigation reform in a way that is going to dramatically 
improve job creation, lower the cost of living in America, increase the 
opportunity to create new businesses and do the kind of things that 
will increase Government revenues by increasing the size of the economy 
and putting more people to work.
  I yield to my friend from New Jersey.
  Mr. SAXTON. I thank the gentleman for yielding.
  Mr. Speaker, I just wanted to illustrate by way of three items why 
the section that the gentleman reads from in our document, Contract for 
America, why these things are so important. Now, where the loser pays 
in liability suits, at least in some cases, out-of-court settlements 
would be encouraged. Where punitive damages--where punitive damages 
would be subject to reform; the truth-in-attorneys-fees and the other 
things the gentleman read through, why they are so important.
  Now, let me give three illustrations. I happen to live in a 
relatively small county in New Jersey, about 450,000 people. We 
currently have 13 judges. Those 13 judges are an expense to the 
taxpayer of something under $500,000 per judge, with their staff and 
their space costs and all of those things. It costs about $500,000 per 
judge per year.
  So we have 13 judges at that cost in my little county; that is a cost 
of $6.5 million a year.
  Now, it may not surprise the gentleman, after the words I just heard, 
to know that in order to bring a civil case to trial in New Jersey, in 
my county of Burlington, it is about a 5-year wait because the civil 
docket is so filled with so many suits. So that long period of time 
becomes a very frustrating thing for people who really have a 
legitimate civil suit.
  So there is a proposal in front of the New Jersey legislature today 
to create three more seats, three more judges at a cost of $1,500,000 
for the taxpayers of our area to pay. Now, that is a burden on the 
taxpayers in Burlington County, it is a burden on the taxpayers of New 
Jersey. It may provide jobs for some attorneys who become judges, but I 
do not think that is what this is all about.
  So it is a very cost-producing, time-consuming situation that is 
caused by this huge court backlog that we have in my little county.
  No. 2, an illustration of what tort reform means in the items the 
gentleman read off, which are proposals. This is a personal story. I 
have a friend who is a doctor, who is a gynecologist whom I have known 
for years. He called me up one day not too long ago and said, ``Jim, I 
just wanted you to know before somebody else tells you that I am 
closing my practice and I am going to move to another State,'' he said, 
``Colorado, and I am going to work in a clinic.'' I said, ``Why would 
you do that? You have a wonderful practice. You have been in practice 
for many years. People think the world of you.''
  He said, ``Jim, I get sued so many times that I have a choice, I 
either have to go out of business or practice without insurance.'' He 
said, ``I am not going to do either. I am going to go someplace where I 
can practice, where I will have insurance and it won't be such a burden 
on me and,'' he said, ``My patients.'' I said, ``What do you mean, your 
patients?'' And he said, ``Well, if I have to pay $100,000 or $125,000 
a year in insurance premiums, I cannot continue to pay those costs 
myself, I have to pass those costs along to my patients in higher 
doctor fees.''
  So I understood then how important this was. We have discussed for a 
long time around this institution about how we control medical costs. 
One of the important ways to get a handle on medical costs is to reduce 
the cost within the system and tort reform, the items the gentleman has 
listed here, help do that.
  No. 3, do you know we do not build piston airplanes in this country 
anymore? And the reason we do not build piston airplanes in this 
country anymore is because the product liability associated with small 
piston-driven airplanes is so high because of the way the liability 
laws are written that American manufacturers no longer find it feasible 
or possible to build these types of planes anymore.
  So this issue that the gentleman has pointed out is something we have 
dealt with around here for a long time. I hope that as we put out this 
contract for the American people that these kinds of items will be 
brought to full light. I hope we can debate them throughout this coming 
  Mr. GINGRICH. Let me say that the gentleman's points reflect three 
things which I want to say very quickly before I yield to my friend 
from Connecticut.
  One, we are really concerned, at its heart, about changing the things 
that are not working in America and we think there are--these are deep 
and significant. When you realize, with 13 judges in your county, it is 
still taking 5 years to get to court, you know something is not working 
  Second, what we are proposing here in our contract is substance, 
these are real bills with real details. This is not some press release 
or some press conference, but rather a detailed systematic effort led 
by Congressman Armey, the conference chairman involving many Members of 
the Congress and many candidates across the country to develop a real 
good substantive program of reform.
  Third, the thing I was most struck with today in what I thought was a 
sad performance by the Democrats during the 1-minutes today, that we 
are being totally positive. The gentleman from New Jersey did not bash 
the Clinton administration, he did not talk about the Democrats just 
now. He talked about real problems in the litigation system, real 
problems in the courts and our effort to find a real solution. And that 
would be a fabulous turnaround for America if this fall we could have a 
campaign between two sets of solutions, we could have the Clinton 
administration, the Democrats offering their solution to these 
problems, and we would be offering our solutions and let the country 
choose which one they like.
  I yield to my friend from Connecticut.

                              {time}  1810

  Mr. SHAYS. Mr. Speaker, I just would like to weigh in again as a rank 
and file Member and emphasize that I heard one of the individuals 
speaking today and talking about how there was this top-down emphasis 
that we, as rank and file Members, would have to go lockstep in a 
contract with the American people, and that is an individual who simply 
did not know how this was generated. This was a bottomup. It was every 
Member weighing in whether it was moderate Members in the Republican 
Caucus or the most conservative, and these are elements in which we 
find tremendous commonality.
  I mean I would like not to have to have a balanced budget amendment, 
but as someone on the Committee on the Budget and someone who has 
continually tried to get our financial house in order, I do not see any 
other alternative, and I believe that it has to happen. I think the 
tool of a line-item veto is more important, and during that debate I 
will probably put more emphasis on that, but it is going to have my 
vote, a balanced budget amendment, a line-item veto, and all of us who 
stepped forward on the Capitol steps, 300 strong, are saying to the 
American people, ``If you elect us, this is what will happen.''
  I look at what I am seeing Republicans do around the country, and it 
is exciting to see Republicans elected in Democrat States like 
Massachusetts, and I have seen what Governor Weld was able to do. In 
Connecticut, we raised taxes, instituted a new income tax. Governor 
Weld had the same option in Massachusetts because he had serious 
financial challenges, and he chose to veto budgets until he got budgets 
that were able to be balanced without any tax increase. One of the 
exciting things he did there, which we know we have to do here, is we 
have to take the entitlements, take them off automatic pilot, and put 
them back on as an appropriated expense. Welfare in Massachusetts is an 
annual voted item because of the leadership of a Republican.
  I mean I get excited thinking that for the first time in 8 years that 
I have been a Member, if I am fortunate enough to be returned, that I 
will be able to deal with these issues on the floor of the House, know 
that there will not be restricted votes, know that we will not have 
king-of-the-hill amendments so that everybody gets to vote for every 
amendment, but then the amendment that is designed to ultimately pass 
passes, but to know we are going to have open and free debate on the 
issues the gentleman talked about.
  I say to the gentleman, ``You talked about the issue of commonsense 
legal reform, and I thought basically you were going to consume the 
rest of our time because there was so much in it. We could go through 
each of these issues, the budgetary side and so on, and again as a 
member on the Committee on the Budget, what is exciting is that we are 
going to pay for every tax reduction, if, in fact, a tax deduction does 
not include more revenue. In many cases it will. A capital gains 
exemption by almost any outside expert knows that it is going to 
encourage economic growth and provide more revenues.
  I look at the senior citizens earning limit and think why do we want 
older Americans not to work? Why would we want to take those who have 
the greatest experience? And it seems to me, if we get older Americans 
to work, why should they be penalized by an earnings limit? Let them 
work. If they are working, my logic says they are paying taxes, and to 
me that seems so logical.
  We are going to have a debate on the floor of the House if we have 
enough Members who have signed this contract elected.
  Mr. GINGRICH. Let me just say that, again going back to why we are 
having a little bit of a problem over how we score, how much would this 
cost, the fact is the very point I just made. If we get economic 
growth, if people get jobs, if people leave welfare and go to work, 
common sense tells you you just saved the money for the Government over 
here on welfare because you are not paying it, and by the way, since 
they are now at work, they are paying some taxes, so you are making 
some money for the Government over here. None of that, zero, was scored 
by the Clinton administration is assessing what they are doing because 
in their model they just do not show dynamic behavior. They do not show 
what people are doing.
  And so I find it very frustrating in a way that here we are in a 
situation where we are trying to do develop a real set of positive 
ideas, the Republican House contract with America. We are trying to lay 
out for people 10 major bills to be brought forward in the first 
hundred days, 3 major things to be done on the opening day, and, by the 
way, my pledge is, as I hope I would be the Republican candidate for 
Speaker if we are a majority, and my plan would be to take this very ad 
out of TV Guide, and keep it at the Speaker's desk, and make it 
available at the time, and I yield to the gentleman from California.
  Mr. ROHRABACHER. I would just like to ask you, as our leader, Newt, 
why it is that we cannot do these things now. I do not think many of 
the people who were watching understand just what kind of restrictions 
we are under as Members of the House of Representatives as a minority. 
Some people do not even know that we do not control--for example, none 
of the chairmen of any of the committees is a Republican. Many of 
them--you know I had fought a big battle on the illegal alien issue in 
these last couple of years, and time and time again I have been 
thwarted from even bringing up this by parliamentary moves on the part 
of the majority party.
  Now these things we are talking about as part of our 10 points, we 
would have liked to have done this a long time ago, but over, and over, 
and over again the Democrats who control the majority, they will not 
even let us bring it to a vote on the floor of the House.
  Mr. GINGRICH. Well, of course, that is part of the difference. One of 
the reasons we are saying this will happen if we are a majority is 
because, if we are a majority, it is the Speaker's power to recognize, 
it is the Speaker's power to schedule, so we are then in a position to 
say, ``Hey, we are going to do this,'' and, if we are a majority, we 
can. We cannot make this same commitment if we are not a majority 
because we have every evidence to believe that the Democrats will block 
these ideas, and in fact at this very moment they are blocking, and 
that is part of the problem.
  Let me yield to another friend from California who is here.
  Mr. CUNNINGHAM. I thank the gentleman from Georgia.
  I heard Jack Kemp make a statement last weekend at the Republican 
convention in San Diego, and I also heard you, Newt, speak to a group, 
Women Who Win, to emphasize the same issue, and that issue was that it 
should not be the Republicans' position just to trash or debate 
Democratic ideals, but to come up with new ideas and new formulas that 
are better, and I think that what you have done with these pledges are 
better ideas--and to sell it to the American people.
  And I look at history to establish certain ideals, and I look at 
1986, and there was a budget deal that for every tax dollar that comes 
in we will cut spending by three, and the other side of the aisle said, 
``We're going to give you an ultimate way to do that, to control the 
budget,'' and that was called Gramm-Rudman, and Republican Presidents 
bought into that. But it was not enforceable.

  Then in 1990, Mr. Speaker, George Bush had the same pledge, for every 
tax dollar that comes in we were promised on the other side of the 
aisle that we will cut spending by $3, and to do that we are going to 
put caps on every budget, and we are not going to allow you to spend 
any more than that. That was unenforceable.
  And then the Clinton tax that comes up, the largest tax in the 
history of this country outside the 1990 tax, and yet even in a crime 
bill we waive the Budget Act to increase by $9 billion money going into 
a crime bill. So, you cannot enforce it.
  So, what I am trying to point out, a better idea, I would not have to 
take the checkbook away from my daughters if they manage their account 
well. I am happy to say I have not had to take that checkbook away 
because they are very fiscally conservative, except my older daughter 
maybe a little bit is a deficit spender sometimes. But at the same time 
the reasons why we are going to a balanced budget amendment----
  Mr. GINGRICH. If she hears you said that, you may be in trouble when 
you get back.
  Mr. SHAYS. Do you want to strike your words?
  Mr. CUNNINGHAM. No, my oldest daughter, I apologize, but my oldest 
daughter is somewhat of a deficit spender. My 12-year-old is actually 
loaning her money at 10 percent interest. I mean she is going to be the 
business person in the family, and she calculates daily interest on a 
486 computer at 12 years of age.
  But Ross Perot was right in one issue, in the fact that the country's 
No. 1 issue is not crime, not health care, not education, but the 
national debt.

                              {time}  1820

  We spend $1.3 billion a day on just the interest, and we are spending 
beyond what our children have. And the reason for a new idea, like a 
balanced budget amendment, is not a new idea. We would not have to have 
the idea if the problem did not exist. What we are trying to do is come 
to the resolution of a problem in a very effective way, because 
Congress cannot control itself.
  I commend the gentleman from Georgia. I think this is one of the most 
dynamic, inspiring deals that I have been involved with in the 3 years 
I have been in Congress.
  Mr. GINGRICH. Let me say the purpose of taking this time tonight is 
to say this is about substance, about solutions, and about being 
positive. I would like to challenge our Democratic friends to try to 
develop their version of 100 days that has the same positive substance 
and solution orientation, and not to just degenerate into negative 1 
minutes because they have nothing better to say.