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tv   U.S. House of Representatives  CSPAN  May 29, 2014 8:00pm-9:01pm EDT

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accountability office. which says that overcrowding has affected bureau of prison en's institutions, institutions staff, and the infrastructure of bureau of prisonen's facilities and -- prison's facilities. opening the thompson prison will add critical high security beds that will help alleviate overcrowding and make our prisons safer for guards, for staff and inmates. in addition to increasing safety, opening the thompson correction alpha silt would also save taxpayers hard earned money. the cost of constructing a new facility comparable to thompson would exceed $400 million and take three to four years to complete. . that is more than double the funding needed to open the existing thompson facility.
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in short, by purchasing thompson from the state of illinois, the federal government potentially save taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars. finally, the u.s. attorney general has pledged most recently at his house appropriations hearing that, no detainees from guantanamo bay could or would be transferred to thompson. zero. none. additionally there is language in the underlying bill that prohibits this. it is simply not going to happen. i repeat, it is not going to happen. the bureau of prisons has already designated funding for the activation of the thompson prison and local job hiring has already begun. we cannot turn the clock back now. to even make that attempt is a display of contempt for the american taxpayer. the opening of the thompson prison is good for prison guards. it helps relieve and
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overcrowded prison system that pays respect to our hardworking taxpayers who are seeking common sense, not more nonsense. i urge all of my colleagues to stand with me in opposing this foolish and misguided amendment. mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlelady reserves. for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia seek recognition? mr. wolf: strike the requisite number of words. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. wolf: i rise in strong support of the amendment. there are other priorities within the bureau of prisons, including bringing online two other recently constructed facilities maintaining sufficient staffing levels at existing facilities to ensure safety. i'm also concerned, and i think what the problem is, if i could just maybe speak to the gentlelady from illinois, i think if the administration was saying that there were never -- there would never be any guantanamo, but the problem is we see the veto threat on the d.o.d. bill.
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no one is trying to hurt your community. i commend you for fighting for it. but every time you begin to kind of say we'll go that way, you then begin to see the veto threat. they have also now, not said a veto threat to this bill but expressed concern with regard to our guantanamo bay language. my sense is if honestly, ethically, morally we were all convinced that no guantanamo bay, quite frankly i don't think you want can leak muhammad to come to your community, either. you probably agree with me as much as anything, but if there was a convincing that they were never going to go there, then i wouldn't have any problem, but i think the gentlelady from tennessee raised a very, very good point. every time you come back to that it always comes back to we are going to veto that. i think it's a good amendment. if somehow -- i guess the challenge would be, i turn to
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the staff, how would we have removed this if this does not become a problem? eventually i can understand. i think you make a legitimate case. but the hurdle is members up here on both sides, but members believe that the administration ultimately will take people and guantanamo to thompson that becomes a problem. if you can remove that and whereby it will never -- nobody -- every come back and say then i think this problem would go away. until that time, i think it's going to be a battle of constantly, constantly, constantly. there are some of us on this side believe it becomes a big political issue, too. if you can somehow make it whereby there is some convincing and not two or three years from now, aha, we got
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you. then i think this problem would probably go away. i reserve the balance of my ime. i support the gentlelady's amendment. the chair: the gentleman yields back. -- the lewoman from gentlewoman from illinois is recognized. mrs. bustos: i yield one minute to mr. loebsack of iowa, please. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. loebsack: thank you, mr. chairman. i do thank my good friend and colleague from illinois who's been a real leader on this issue. like congresswoman bustos, i rise in opposition to this amendment today. this amendment would harm our economy. it would add greater stress to our prison system as well. i went to illinois waited for years for a solution on the thompson correctional center. for too long politics in washington, i think it's on display gent tonight unfortunately, got in the way of creating jobs in our region.
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for me it's in eastern iowa. it's that type of partisan game that must end. i appreciate the comments from my colleagues on both sides of the aisle on this. the thompson prison will bring more than 1,000 new jobs at a time when families need them and spur economic development in our region. money for the facility was included in the f.y. to 14 omnibus bill we passed in january and it makes no sense we it stop progress that we enhanced four months ago. i hope i don't need to remind my colleagues of the fact we have a capacity problem in our nation's prisons. the problem only grows worse when we intentionally prevent more facilities from operating. again while i understand the arguments that have been made tonight against us, those folks will not come here, and i yield back the balance of my time. thank you. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the gentlewoman from tennessee is recognized. mrs. blackburn: thank you, mr. chairman. i would like to remind my
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colleagues of a couple things. number one, going back to the letter in 2009, december 15, 2009, it says in the letter the defense department will operate part of the facility to house a limited number of detainees from guantanamo bay. now, i have to ask my colleagues, who do you think is going to be there? this is a prison that is empty. it is empty right now. we know what is going to happen. this is going to be used to receive guantanamo bay detainees. the 9/11 families support this amendment. it is supported by these families. it do not want to see khalid muhammad and other detainees here on american soil. they do not want them to have access to our civilian court
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system. and this will save us, passing this amendment will save us millions of taxpayer dollars that could end up being used, not only to house, not only to give access to the courts, but to pay for lawyers to defend enemies who have taken up arms against our brave men and women in uniform. it was clear from 2009 when the intent was. it says it in the letter. the defense department will operate part of this facility to house a limited number of detainees. i encourage support and yield back. the chair: the gentlelady's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? mr. fattah: i rise to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. fattah: i'm opposed to this amendment. generally i'm opposed to build new prisons. i think we would be better off building new schools, but there
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are circumstances which people have to be incarcerated to protect society from them. i want to talk about one young man who lost his life and i think it's important relative to this amendment. his name was eric williams. it was february, 2013. he worked for us. he worked for the federal government. he worked in a federal prison in pennsylvania. he lost his life. because of overcrowding there, right. one of the things is if we are going to imprison more people than any other nation on the face of the earth, that we have to do it and we can't do it on the cheap. we have to have facilities that are well staffed. he so that our guards, the people that work for us are not put in unsafe circumstances. this political nonsense -- this is a new theme of some of my colleagues on the other side. we can't pass immigration because the president might not do something or might do
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something. we can't do this prison that we have already invested money in because the president might do something or not do something. so it's kind of like this hyper concern about what the president may do, we should do our job. our job is is that if we are going to take the prison census from 20,000 to 220,000, that we have to have the facilities. we can't stand on the floor and vote for prison sentence that is go out years and decades t. have people try the d.o.j. that we are funding and then have no place to incarcerate them. it doesn't work that way. so this amendment makes no sense. you would have a facility that the taxpayers have fade for. you have a system that's overcrowded. you have people like eric williams who lost their lives.
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trying to do a job on behalf of the american public. then we have politics intrude. this is not about criminal justice management. this is about politics. this is about, well, obama and this and that. in 's no place in america which we can't have a circumstance on which we can incarcerate someone and make sure -- we don't have any breakouts from federal maximum security prisons. if you did, there would be the -- congress would be excited about it. it hasn't happened. so the idea we can't incarcerate people safely is defied by the facts. what we can do is safeguard our prison staff if we put them in a situation where there's overcrowding. i would hope that we would reject this amendment -- i would be glad to yield.
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mr. wolf: it boils down to a whole issue of trust. i was specifically told by the ustice department that the uighurs from guantanamo way would not be released. we had a meeting in my office, the white house was there. they were all there. they said they will not be released. we got a call from somebody in the administration who called us to say the helicopters are getting ready and leaving guantanamo, and by the way they at least -- they had leased an apartment at seven corners. these were three people who had been picked up at tora bora in a camp. if we can work this thing out i would be -- so when you see the veto message as the gentlelady from tennessee said, the concern is that they'll just blink and kind of go. they looked me directly in the eye and said we will not
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release these and then had i not gotten that telephone call -- quite frankly i think this person who stopped them from being released was the current mayor of chicago, to his credit. so that's the concern we had. there needs to be a basic trust. if somebody says something there's absolutely that's the word and it will never happen. i thank the gentleman for his comments. mr. fattah: reclaiming my time. when i was back in school, i read a paper called metaphysical madness, the essence of it was that in politics the question was how do you get ambitious, vindictive people to agree on something? that's how you make progress. i don't know that we want to be vindictive, but the point here is that we still have to be -- some way come to a shared agreement how this country's going to go forward. if you think the majority leader of the u.s. senate is going to have this bill move forward, with this language in it, it's not going to happen.
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we just are asking for a bottleneck. we should stop wasting time and find a way to go forward. i yield back. the chair: the question sont amendment offered by the gentleman from tennessee. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have t the amendment is agreed to. mrs. bustos: i ask for a recorded vote, please. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentlewoman from tennessee will e postponed. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from oregon seek recognition? ms. bonamici: i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will report will drtdrt-r -- the clerk will report the amendment. the clerk: amendment offed by ms. bonamici, insert the
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following, section, none of the funds made available in this act to the department of justice may be used to prevent a state from implementing its own state laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of industrial hemp as defined in section 7606 of the agricultural act of 2014 public law 113-79. . the chair: pursuant to the order of the house of today, the gentlelady from oregon and a member opposed each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentlelady from oregon. ms. bonamici: thank you, mr. chair. my bipartisan amendment is very simple. it would move our country in line with industrialized countries around the world that long ago recognized the importance of industrial hemp as a natural resource and agricultural commodity and a versatile component in thousands of commercial products. in fact, not only does this amendment bring america in line with much of the rest of the
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industrialized world, it brings americans -- america back in line with its own history. george washington and thomas jefferson grew it, the first drafts of our constitution and many of our first laws were written on paper made from it. in fact, during world war ii, the usda encouraged patriotic american farmers to raise it for the war effort. they even produced a promotional film entitled "hemp for victory" and now at least 16 states have passed laws that will allow their farmers to grow it. unfortunately the federal government stands in the way of family farmers who want to be able to grow industrial hemp. defensive classification of hemp as a schedule one drug does not further public safety but it does rob our farm economies of -- of a potentially multibillion-dollar crop that can be used to make everything from rope to soap. in fact, it seems like the only thing you can't make out of
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hemp is dope. despite the fact that american farmers can't grow industrial hemp, hemp products here in this country account for nearly $500 million in annual sales. now that's a sizable industry. but nothing compares to the economic impact that full-scale cultivation and commercialization would have if states were permitted to implement their laws and our hemp did not have to get imported from other countries. this amendment would only allow farmers to grow hemp in accordance with their state laws. it simply divests the department of justice and the d.e.a. of their ability to treat industrial hemp like marijuana because it's not like marijuana. so far 16 states have seen the value that hemp provides and it passed laws to allow farmers to grow hemp and closely regulate it. farmers in those states and across the country are waiting for the federal government to get out of their way. but because the department of
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justice refuses to acknowledge what washington and jefferson knew, that hemp is an important agricultural commodity, it's not marijuana, these state laws must take a back seat to federal overreach. the national association of state departments of agriculture and the american farm bureau federation agree, we should allow our farmers to grow industrial hemp. i urge my colleagues to support this bipartisan amendment and i eserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentlewoman reserves. for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia rise? seek recognition? mr. wolf: i rise in opposition to the amendment. the chair: the gentlelady is recognized. for five minutes. mr. wolf: the amendment seeks to fix a problem that does not exist. there's no restriction on use and transfer of domestically produced or traded industrial hemp products.
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they never sought a license. they have every right to do this and had they got a license -- had they got a license. the d.e.a. had a responsibility to ensure that imports are legal and safe, including the imports of agriculture products. the responsibility falls to those who seek to import these products to secure necessary import licenses in a timely way, to ensure federal law enforcement can do its job and confirm that the commodity imported is legal. there's no reason to restrict the exercise of this important law enforcement mission. so they never sought a license and that's what the problem was. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentlelady from oregon is recognized. ms. bonamici: may i please inquire as to the remaining time? the chair: two minutes. ms. bonamici: thank you. i yield one minute to my colleague from oregon, mr. blumenauer. the chair: the gentleman from oregon is recognized. mr. blumenauer: i appreciate the gentleman's -- the gentlelady's courtesy as i
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appreciate her leadership on this. the matter is that 22 states have moved to reduce the barriers. 16, 17 states now, including our home state of oregon, has removed barriers to production. but there is uncertainty. as a matter of fact, i think my friend from kentucky may talk about a problem they had in the state of kentucky now. we need to approve this amendment, to get the federal government out of the way of a revolution that's taking place at the state level, states across the country understand that this is an important commodity, it is part of our heritage, it's part of our future. the d.e.a. has more important things to do than interfere with legal activities at the state level. we need to remove the cloud of uncertainty and approve this amendment and i respectfully request that the people approve it. thank you and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from virginia is now recognized. mr. wolf: i continue to reserve. the chair: the gentleman
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continues to reserve. the gentlelady from oregon is recognized. ms. bonamici: i'd like to acknowledge and recognize my co-sponsor, mr. massie from kentucky, for one minute, please. the chair: the gentleman from kentucky is recognized for one minute. mr. massie: thank you. officials in my home state of kentucky were recently forced to file a lawsuit in federal court to compel the diarra to release industrial -- d.e.a. to release industrial hemp seeds intendeder to university research pilot program. what a waste -- intended for university research pilot program. what a waste of money and resources. states can't launch industrial hemp pilot programs if the d.e.a. seizes the seeds before they reach their destination. and although the d.e.a. did recently agree to release the seeds, they still insist that they have the authority to regulate industrial hemp. which was clearly conveyed to the states in the farm bill. isn't it ironic that thousands of pounds of owe cocaine and heroin are somehow -- of cocaine and heroin are somehow
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passing past our borders every week yet the d.e.a. thinks that seizing industrial hemp seeds is a worthwhile use of its time and resources? i say it's not. i urge my colleagues to vote for this amendment. thank you and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time nd time has expired. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. wolf: continue to reserve. the chair: for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? mr. fattah: i seek to strike the last word. i want to yield to the gentleman to speak on the question of hemp. the chair: the gentleman from colorado is recognized. mr. polis: thank you, mr. speaker. i'd like to thank the gentleman from pennsylvania, as well the gentlelady oregon, the gentleman from kentucky. i'm very pleased to support both this amendment as well as a very similar one along with representatives massie, blumenauer, bonamici and barr. thanks them for their leadership. on a very commonsense issue that helps my home state of colorado. last year i was thrilled to be part of a successful effort to
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pass an amendment to the farm bill that allows colonels like colorado state university in -- colleges like colorado state university in my district to cultivate hemp for academic and agricultural research purposes. in no other instance can i think of urgent emails and texts that i've got from farmers where they are in dire straits and need my help in getting the seed they need to grow their crop, approved through our own state department of agriculture. they set up a rule process around industrial hemp farming. but farmers are unable to get the seed they need to be able to grow their legal crop. industrial hemp is critical for our economy. it's already used in countless products from clothing to a flag that's flown over this very united states capitol. last year. to in fact some of the very
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first american flags that were made of hemp. and yet we are forced to import it from other countries. driving jobs away from american agriculture and farmers to farms overseas. it's really hard to grow industrial hemp. when the d.e.a. without any clear reason, any argument, any sense throws itself down as a road block to success. the d.e.a. recently seized industrial hemp seeds intended for a university research pilot program. it's essential that our institutions of higher education are not prevented from growing our cultivating hemp seed. in addition hemp, as we know, is an important agricultural commodity and a historic one. we can do a lot better as a country. that's why representative bonamici and others are offering this very simple amendment which states that the d.o.j. and d.e.a. cannot use funds to prevent state agricultural agencies and universities from growing industrial hemp in states where it's already legal. let us have access to the seed,
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to ensure that we can continue to grow this crop here, doing the research we need to ensure that the next great generation of hemp products that are bought and sold in our country are made in america. i urge my colleagues to vote yes on the bonamici amendment as well as the massie amendment and i thank the gentleman from pennsylvania kindly and yield back the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. .r. fattah: reserving my time i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from pennsylvania yields back. the gentleman from virginia. mr. wolf: how much time do i have left? the chair: four minutes. mr. wolf: i give the balance of the time to the gentleman from virginia, mr. goodlatte, chairman of the judiciary committee. the chair: the gentleman from virginia is recognized for four minutes. mr. goodlatte: i thank the gentleman for yielding and i join him in opposition to this amendment. the purpose of this amendment
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is to make it easier to import seeds for the purpose of research with regard to the growing or cultivating of industrial hemp and for that reason the amendment is unnecessary and inappropriate. current law imposes no impediment to legitimate research on industrial hemp being carried out in accordance with section 7606 of the agriculture act of 2014. under current law institutions of higher education and state departments of agriculture may import the seeds needed to conduct research authorized by section 7606 of the agriculture act. >> will the gentleman yield for an inquiry? mr. goodlatte: i do not. i don't have enough time to finish my remarks. such institutions of higher education or state departments of agriculture simply need to, first, become registered with the dfment e. -- d.e.a. as an importer or researcher, and, second, obtain an import
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permit. the process is not burdensome. within the last 10 days the d.e.a. registered two state democratics of agriculture in colorado and kentucky to import industrial hemp seeds and issued an import permit to the kentucky department of agriculture -- ms. bonamici: parliamentary inquiry. the chair: will the gentleman yield for a point of parliamentary inquiry? ms. bonamici: it's a parliamentary inquiry. the chair: the member needs to yield for parliamentary inquiry. mr. goodlatte: i do not yield. the chair: the gentleman does not yield. you may proceed. ms. bonamici: mr. chairman, parliamentary inquiry. mr. chairman, i just want to make sure the record is clear, there are two amendments, it appears that the gentleman is talking about the other amendment. not the one that we are currently considering. think that's important.
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mr. goodlatte: this amendment would require the u.s. customs and border protection to choose between ignoring existing law or barring all imports of seeds. removing d.e.a. from the registration and permit process without changing existing law would eliminate the only lawful means of importing can bus seeds for industrial hemp cultivation pursuant to section 7606. to protect our nation from the importation of potentially dangerous materials, our customs laws have always required the importer to demonstrate before the materials enter this country that the materials may lawfully be imported. in carrying out this function, they consult with the appropriate government agencies including the department of justice, d.e.a., but cut -- by cutting d.o.j. out of this process, this would create uncertainty and could construe any shipment to enter the u.s. as long as the shipper claims the goods are industrial hemp seeds. since there's no way to tell
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just from looking at a bag of seeds whether they will actually yield cannibus plants that fall within the limits of the law, d.o.j. and d.e.a. consultation is important. accept any importer exposes the possibility of others importing any item under the guise of industrial hemp. the existing permit and registration process provides some protection against that risk. for that reason i would join in pposing the amendment. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania eek recognition? mr. fattah: there seems to be some confusion of the ood -- confusion. i'd like to make a parliamentary inquiry. the entire comments of the gentleman who just spoke, the chair of the judiciary
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committee, were on an amendment offered by the gentleman, mr. massie from kentucky, that is not the amendment that was being debated and is being offered by my colleague who is from kentucky and we were trying to clarify that. because the house could be confused. the chair: the clerk will report the pending amendment. . the clerk: section none of the funds made available in this act to the department of justice may be used to prevent a state from implementing its own state laws that authorize the use, distribution, possession, or cultivation of industrial hemp as defined in section 7606 of the agricultural act of 2014 public law 113-79. the chair: the question is on the amendment offered by the gentlelady from oregon. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no.
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in the opinion of the chair, the noes have it. ms. bonamici: mr. chairman, i request a recorded vote. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentlelady from oregon will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentleman from michigan seek recognition? >> mr. chairman, i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the clerk will report the amendment. the clerk: amendment offered by mr. wallburg of michigan tend of the bill before the short title, insert the following, section, none of the funds made available in this act may be used for the investigative or public affairs unit of the federal bureau of investigations except for the 10 most wanted fugitives, most wanted terrorists, and missing children programs. the chair: pursuant to the order of the house of today,
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the gentleman from michigan, mr. walberg, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from michigan. mr. walberg: thank you, mr. speaker. taxpayers should not foot the bill for the f.b.i. to be consultants for hollywood producers. however, this is the case with the f.b.i. investigative publicity and public affairs unit. although this unit does important work like publicize the most wanted fugitive list, it also provides screen writers as well as movie and tv producers advice on costumes, props, scenery, and weapons, as well as b-roll footage and fact checking. now i'm confident that hollywood and their $100 million production budget can afford to hire ex-f.b.i. agents to consult with their projects. it just seems to make good
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common sense. this unit's activities and most of its $1.5 million annual budget should be highlighted for what it really is and that's department of justice waste. if hollywood can make millions from these movies and television shows, such as "without a trace "," c.s.i.," and "the closer" and movies like "the shooter" featuring, no relation i might add, mark walberg that grossed over $80 million, as well as the kingdom, which also grossed over $80 million, it does not need, i believe, the american taxpayer and f.b.i. to help fund its research. therefore, i ask my colleagues
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to support my amendment that simply states that no taxpayer funds can be used by the unit except, make this clear, doesn't zero out the entire budget. but funds can only be used by this unit for the 10 most wanted fugitives, the most wanted terrorists, and missing children programs. i think it's a reasonable amendment, mr. chairman, and i ask for support of this amendment and i reserve. fm the chair: for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? mr. fattah: i rise to claim time in opposition to this amendment. the clerk: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. fattah: it won't take long to make this point. all of us grew up in a time in which part of the ability to attract people to federal service, particularly to law enforcement, were shows that highlighted the f.b.i., but
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think about it today in order to recruit people, in order to have job fairs, career fairs, to communicate information about the agency, principle, is trying to recruit now people who can help in a cybercrime. and they have had a problem getting people who can get past some of the screenings so they have to do even more public relations in order to attract people who are capable of helping to build the cases like some of the ones that were discussed here earlier on the floor in which american mpanies were being cyberhacked for -- and stealing seengs american jobs and wealth in that process. so i think that in this effort to separate the f.b.i. from hollywood, we might be separating the agency from its ain't to promote itself. there's no member of congress
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that doesn't understand and appreciate the fact that there are times in which you need to have -- be able to communicate with the public. so is the case with a federal agency. so i think that the amendment -- i understand the impulse and sure there's waste, and i could show you waste in the f.b.i. in any of these other agencies, but i don't believe that communicating with the american public is something that we would -- should consider as wasteful. and i therefore oppose the amendment. the chair: the gentleman reserves. mr. fattah: i yield back. the chair: the gentleman from michigan is recognized. mr. walberg: i thank the chairman. i would concur with the need to communicate, but again we are talking of over 600 hollywood projects. most of which are grossing millions of dollars, $80 million as i mentioned for "the
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shooter." $80 million for "the kingdom." it seems like with the grossing that this is taking place that taxpayers shouldn't be on the bill to support the research that goes on. you have retired f.b.i. agents, c.i.a. and others that can be brought in to do the research as well as consult on these fillments. we want -- films. we want accuracy, and yet we also understand that the taxpayer should only be footing the bill that's necessary, and i don't think this is. and nothing against mark walberg or any others that are being used in these movies, weapons my name attached. i still think that the taxpayer deserves consideration here. so i ask for this reasonable amendment to be supported. it allows the continued working on most wanted fugitives, most wanted terrorists, and missing
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children programs. that i think's legitimate. beyond that i reject it. i ask for support and i yield back. the chair: the gentleman yields back. the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from michigan. so many as are in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the amendment is agreed to. >> mr. chairman. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. >> i would ask for a record roll call. the chair: pursuant to clause 6 of rule 18, further proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from michigan will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition. >> mr. chairman, i have an amendment at the desk. the chair: the gentleman will classify which number. >> 21. the chair: the clerk will report the amendment. the clerk: it -- the clerk will designate the amendment.
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the clerk: amendment number 21, printed in the across-the-board, offered by mr. -- in the congressional record, offered by mr. grayson of florida. the chair: pursuant to the order of the house of today, the gentleman from florida, mr. grayson, and a member opposed, each will control five minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from florida for five minutes. mr. grayson: mr. chair, just for the sake of perfect clarity, can i have the first few words of the amendment ead. the clerk: without objection, the clerk will report the amendment. the clerk: at the end of the bill before the short title add the following new section, section, none of the funds made available by this act may be used to enter into a contract with any offerer or any of its principals if the offerer certifies as required by -- mr. grayson: i ask unanimous consent that the amendment be considered as read. the chair: without objection. the gentleman is recognized.
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mr. grayson: than you, mr. chairman -- thank you, mr. chairman. this is identical to other amendments that have been inserted by voice vote in every appropriation bill that's been considered under an open rule. this will expand the list of parties the federal government is prohibited from contracting with because of misconduct on the part of those contractors. they would include contractors convicted of fraud, have violated federal or state antitrust laws, have been convicted of embezzlement, theft, forgery, violation of federal tax laws, and other items outlined in section 52.209-5 of title 48 of the code of federal regulations. these are all offenses which any contractor doing business with the federal government must disclose to the contracting officer, but oddly enough the contracting officer absent this amendment would then be free to ignore these transgressions and award contracts to thep offending entities. i commend the authors of this bill for their inclusion of sections 536 and 37.
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i still believe we can improve on the bill by prohibiting agencies from contracting with those entities who have engaged in the activitied described above. it is my hope this amendment will remain uncontroversial as it has been and again be passed unanimously by the house. i yield the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman yields the balance of his time. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. wolf: i accept the amendment and yield back the balance. the chair: the question is on the amendment offered by the gentleman from florida. those in favor say aye. those opposed say no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. he amendment is agreed to. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition. mr. rohrabacher: i have an amendment at the desk. he chair: the clerk will designate the amendment. the clerk: amendment number 25,
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printed in the congressional record, offered by mr. rohrabacher of california. the chair: pursuant to the order of the house of today, the gentleman from california, mr. rohrabacher, and a member opposed each will control five minutes. the gentleman from california is recognized for five minutes. mr. rohrabacher: mr. chairman, i rise to speak in favor of my amendment which would prohibit the department of justice from using any of the funds appropriated in this bill to prevent states from implementing their own medical marijuana laws. 29 states have enacted laws that allow patients access to medical marijuana and its derivatives such as c.b.d. oils. it is no surprise, then, that public opinion is shifting. a recent pew research center survey found that 61% of the republicans and a whopping 76% of the independents favor
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making medical marijuana legal and available to their patients who need it. as i have said, 29 states have already enacted laws that will permit patients access to medical marijuana and their derivatives. 80% of the democrats, by the way, feel the same way, but despite this overwhelming shift in public opinion, the federal government continues its hard line of oppression against medical marijuana. for those of us who routinely talk about the 10th amendment, which we do in conservative ranks and respect for state laws, this amendment should be a no-brainer. our amendment gives all of us an opportunity to show our constituents that we are truly constitutionalists and that we mean what we say what we are talking -- when we are talking about the importance of the 10th amendment. in addition, this also gives us the opportunity to prove that
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we really do believe in respecting the doctor-patient relationship. i proudly offer this amendment that has the support of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle. i am joined by republican co-sponsors don young, tom mcclintock, dr. paul broun, justin amash, as well as democrat co-sponsors, sam farr, earl blumenauer, jere red polis, barbara lee, and deana titus. and i would urge my colleagues to support our commonsense states rights compassionate physically -- fiscally responsible amendment. i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman reserves. for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia seek recognition? mr. wolf: i rise in opposition to the amendment yield myself one minute. the following national -- the chair: the gentleman is recognized for one minute.
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mr. wolf: are currently opposed to medical marijuana. american medical association. american cancer society. american glaw could he ma society. glaw could he ma research foundation. merican academy of pediatrics. america psychiatric association. also recent research has demonstrated marijuana use during teen years decreases i.q. rates byage average of eight points. i would like to yield now two minutes to the gentleman from maryland, mr. harris. the chair: the gentleman from maryland is recognized for two minutes. . mr. harris: thank you very much. i rise to oppose the amendment. my state's named in the amendment. everyone supports compassionate, effective medical care for patients with cancer, epilepsy, chronic pain. you'll probably hear anecdotal reports, maybe even during the testimony this evening, about how medical marijuana can solve some of these problems. but there are two problems with
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medical marijuana. first, it's the camel's nose under the tent, and second, the amendment as written would tie the d.e.a.'s hands beyond medical marijuana. with regard to the camel's nose under the tent, let me quote from the d.e.a. report just published this month. organizers behind medical marijuana movement do not really concern themselves with marijuana as a medicine. they just saw it as a means to an end which is the legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes. they did not deal with ensuring that the predict meets the standards of -- that the product meets the standards of modern medicine. because, mr. chairman, the term medical marijuana is generally used to refer, and this is from the n.i.h., now, we respect the n.i.h. this is the national institute of drug abuse. the term medical marijuana is usually used to research to the whole unprocessed marijuana plant or its crude extracts. mr. chairman, that's not what medicine is about.
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medicine is about refining the components, t.h.c. and making sure they're effective, giving a dose, not two joints a day, a brownie here, a business kit there. that's not modern medicine. in fact, the d.e.a. supports those studies looking at the safety and efficacy and dosing regiments for these. they have licensed some of the drugs. medical and street marijuana are not different. most marijuana sold in dispenseries as medicine again, is the same quality and carries the same health risk as marijuana sold on the streets and we know there are health problems. the problem is that the way the amendment is drafted in a state like maryland, if we ever legalized it the amendment would stop the d.e.a. from going after more than medical marijuana. i yield back. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired.
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mr. wolf: how much time do i have remaining? i will reserve then. the chair: the gentleman from virginia reserves. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. rohrabacher: how much time do i have remaining? the chair: 2 1/2 minutes. mr. rohrabacher: all right. i would yield to my colleague from kentucky, mr. massie, one minute. the chair: the gentleman from kentucky is recognized for one minute. mr. massie: thank you. i'm not here to talk about brownies and business kits i'm, -- business kits. i'm here to talk about a serious medical issue. oil that comes from the cannib sumbings plant. it's nonpsychoactive. research has shown promising results in children with epilepsy, autism and other neurological disorders. c.b.d. oil is showing promising results in adults with alzheimer's, parkinson's and ptsd. we need to remove the road blocks to these potential medical breakthroughs. this amendment would do that. the federal government should
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not counterman state law and in this case the absurd result of that is that medical discoveries being blocked. i edge current -- i encourage my colleagues to support this amendment and i yield back. mr. rohrabacher: reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from california reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from -- who seeks recognition? the gentleman from virginia. is recognized. mr. wolf: i have 2 1/2 minutes left. they have one minute? the chair: 1 1/2 minutes remaining for mr. rohrabacher. mr. wolf: i'll give the balance of the time to the gentleman from louisiana, dr. fleming. the chair: the gentleman from louisiana is recognized for two -- for 2 1/2 minutes. mr. fleming: thank you, mr. chairman. -- thank you, mr. chairman. let me say that in this discussion you may have heard reference to the 10th amendment and the commerce clause. let me address. that i want to get that out of the way because i've talked tremendously over the past few days and weeks about the dangers of marijuana.
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this controversy came before the u.s. supreme court in 2005 in gonzalez vs. reesh. they reviewed the controlled substances act. in a 6-3 decision, justice scalia, a strong states' rights advocate, concurred with the majority ruling that the c.s.s. -- c.s.a. does not violate the commerce clause or the principles of safety sovereignty. just to read what he said. not only is it impossible to distinguish controlled substances manufactured and distributed interstate from controlled substances merchandized -- manufactured and distributed intrastate, it hardly makes sense to speak in such terms. drugs like marijuana are fungible commodities. as the court explains, marijuana that is grown at home and possessed for personal use is never more than an instant from the interstate market. and this is so whether or not the possession is for medicinal use or lawful use under the laws of a particular state.
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and again, you know, if we want to make a statement, principle, on the 10th amendment, fine. but don't do it on the backs of our kids and our grandkids. this is dangerous for them. how do we know this? the health risks. brain development, schizophrenia, increased risk of stroke, a study at northwestern university showed profound changes in the brain just in casual marijuana users. heart complications, three times normal in such users and recent studies show, as i said, not only damage in the certain structures in the brain but the same structures that attend to motivation. which again underlines the amotionvational syndrome that we've all heard about. so, again, the supreme court has already spoken on the constitutionality of this. it is settled when it comes to medicine. we here stories but there is no
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widespread accepted use of marijuana, medicinal marijuana and so forth. there is no acceptance of this by the medical community. it's not evidence based. fine if you want to do research on it, but this will take away the ability of the department of justice to protect our young people. with that i yield back. the chair: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. rohrabacher: i would yield one minute to our doctor in the house, dr. broun, and we do believe in the dr.-patient relationship and that government shouldn't interfere. so dr. broun. the chair: the gentleman from georgia is recognized. for one minute. mr. broun: i'm a familiar physician and an addictionologist. marijuana is addicting. if it's used improperly. but used medically, and there are very valid medical reasons -- reasons to utilize extracts or products from marijuana in
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medical procedures, is a very valid medical use. under the direction of a doctor. it's actually less dangerous than some narcotics the doctors prescribe all over this country. also this is a states' rights, states' power issue. because many states across the country, in fact my own state of georgia is considering allowing the medical use under the direction of a physician. so this is a states' rights 10th amendment issue. we need to reserve the states' powers under the constitution. please support this amendment. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? mr. fattah: i've been motivated to strike the last word. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. fattah: i yield one minute to the gentleman from oregon, mr. blumenauer. the chair: the gentleman cannot yield time. mr. fattah: oh. the chair: the gentleman from oregon is recognized. mr. fattah: i'm going to yield
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approximately one minute and i will reclaim my time appropriately. the chair: the gentleman from oregon is recognized. mr. blumenauer: thank you. i appreciate the gentleman's courtesy. i'm listening to my friends on the other side of the aisle in opposition here and the notion about camel's nose under the -- this train has already left the station. 18 years ago the state of california voters approved medical marijuana. we now have 22 states that are doing so. my good friend from georgia is right. i mean, there are a million americans now with the legal right to medical marijuana as prescribed by a physician. the problem is that the federal government's getting in the way. the federal government makes it harder for doctors and researchers to be able to do what i think my friend from louisiana wants than it is for parents to self-medicate with buying marijuana for a child with violent epilepsy. this amendment is important to
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get the federal government out of the way. let this process work going forward where we can have respect for states' rights and something that makes a huge difference to hundreds of thousands of people around the country now and more in the future. and i thank the gentleman. mr. fattah: i'd like to yield -- the chair: the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. fattah: i'd like to yield a similar impulsive amount of time to the gentleman from california, mr. farr. mr. farr: thank you very much. the chair: the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. farr: i rise in support of this amendment, as a co-author of it. i point out, this is six democrats and six republicans that are authoring this. there are 33 states, three of which have just passed laws and the governors have indicated they'll sign them. this is essentially saying, look, if you are following state law, you're a legal resident doing your business under state law, the feds can't just come in and bust you and bust the doctors and bust the
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patients and it's just -- let's -- more than half the states. so you don't have to have any opinion about value of marijuana. this doesn't change any laws. this doesn't affect one law. just lists the states that have already legalized it through medical -- only for meldcal purposes, only medical purposes, and says the federal government, in those states, in those places, you can't bust people. it seems to me a practical, reasonable amendment in this time and age. mr. fattah: i want to offer an opportunity to speak to the gentlelady, ms. titus. ms. titus: thank you. for the district of columbia and 22 states, including nevada, with laws in place allowing the legal use of some form of marijuana for medical purposes, this commonsense amendment simply ensures that patients do not have to live in fear when following the laws of
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their states and the recommendations of their doctors. physicians in those states will not be prosecuted for prescribing the substance and local businesses will not be shut down for dispensing the same. i urge you vote in favor. mr. fattah: finally, i know the gentleman from virginia, i'm going to allow him to close, because he's at somewhat of a disadvantage, i want to yield the remaining amount of my time to the gentlelady from oakland, congresswoman lee. the chair: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. lee: thank you very much, mr. chairman. i want to thank the gentleman for yielding and just say that i rise in strong support of this bipartisan amendment which i am proud to co-sponsor along with my colleague. this amendment will provide much-needed clarity to patients and businesses in my home state of california and 31 other jurisdictions that provide safe and legal access to medicine. we should allow for the implementation of the will of the voters to comply with state laws rather than undermining our democracy.
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in states with medical marijuana laws, patients face uncertainty regarding their treatment. small business owners who have invested millions, creating jobs and revenue, have no assurances for the future. it's past time for the justice department to stop its unwarranted persecution of medical marijuana and put its resources where they are needed. in states with medical marijuana laws, people with multiple sclerosis and glaucoma, cancer, h.i.v. and aids and other medical issues continue to face uncertainty when it comes to accessing the medicines that they need to provide some relief. so it's time to pass this, it's time to give these patients the relief that they need. this is the humanitarian thing to do, it's the democratic thing to do and i hope this body will vote for it and pass it on a bipartisan basis. it's long overdue. enough is enough. mr. fattah: i yield back at this time. thank you. the chair: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia seek
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recognition? mr. wolf: strike the requisite number of words. the chair: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. wolf: i yield to the gentleman from maryland, dr. harris, for 2 1/2 minutes. the chair: the gentleman may not yield blocks of time. the gentleman may yield. mr. wolf: i yield to dr. harris. the chair: the gentleman from maryland is recognized. mr. harris: thank you very much. mr. chairman, marijuana is neither safe nor legal. let's get it straight. the controlled substance act makes marijuana in the united states illegal. because it's not safe. and, mr. chairman, there's more and more evidence every day that it's not safe. the effect on the brain, developing brains of teenagers and young adults is becoming more and more clear. the effect, as the doctor from louisiana has talked about, the effect on affect, the effect on mood is not safe. and, mr. chairman, this is not a medicine. this would be like me as a physician saying, you know, i
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think you need pen central, go chew on some mold. of course i wouldn't do that. i write for 250 milligrams of penicillin. i don't write chew on mold a couple times a day. mr. chairman, why don't we have therapeutic tobacco? nicotine, one of the substances in tobacco, purified is actually useful as a drug to treat knock term frontal lobe epilepsy. no one writes a prescription, smoke a couple of cigarettes and cure your epilepsy, but that's what we're being asked to do. worse than that, this blurs the line in those states that have gone beyond medical marijuana. for instance, in colorado under amendment 64 a person can grow as many plants -- i'm sorry, six plants under the new law for general use but if it's medical marijuana, you can grow as many plants as you want as long as you can prove you have a medicinal use. how is the d.e.a. going tone force anything when

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