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tv   U.S. House of Representatives  CSPAN  September 17, 2014 10:00am-3:01pm EDT

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nternational student once, i came and i stayed. i believe many international students come and stay in this the ry because of opportunities. and we have -- we have over state ofshmen from the illinois. hat's all the -- those are the stakeholders. we have students from illinois. years, we've many grown in terms of students. e've taken out of state not only international students but students from california. a lot of students from california, new jersey, and from the country. so this is the international environment. we always said that our students can do study abroad -- illinois study abroad on campus. we're proud of that. host: okay. we're proud of the global reputation. host: i apologize. but we have to leave it there. the house is coming in. we thank you for your time. the house for live coverage here on c-span. to act
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speaker pro tempore on this day. signed, john a. boehner, speaker of the house of representatives. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the order of the house of january 7, 2014, the chair will now recognize members from lists submitted by the majority and minority leaders for morning hour ebate. the chair will alternate recognition between the parties with each party limited to one hour and each member other than the majority and minority leaders and the minority whip , but in o five minutes no event shall debate continue beyond 11:50 a.m. the chair recognizes the gentleman from oregon, mr. lumenauer, for five minutes. mr. blumenauer: thank you, mr. speaker. for the last six years i've been spending a significant amount of time making sure that the federal government is a better partner in helping families as they deal with some of the most difficult times they will ever encounter as a loved one enters their last
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stage of life. this often involves an elderly spouse or relative but not necessarily. this is a challenge that faces all of us, regardless of age, health or family circumstance. the youngest, healthiest, most vital member of your office could suffer an accident or come down with a disease this afternoon. we all must at some point face this challenge that requires that we do a better job of meeting those needs, helping our families, understand the circumstances and choices and that we make their wishes known and that those wishes are respected. this afternoon there's an important landmark in this effort to protect families as the institute of medicine releases key facts and recommendations on improving the quality and honoring individual preferences at the end of life. it's entitled "dying in america ," sort of a jarring title, but
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it should be required reading for everyone in government, health care, insurance, anyone who's involved with this complex web that should be supportive of families in their time of need but too often fails them. this report makes clear that most people nearing the end of life are not physically, mentally or cognitively able to make their own decisions about care, and that the majority of those patients who receive acute care from physicians who don't even know them. the default is often for more hospital days, intensive care, emergency care, which means there is more transitions about care settings which can be unnerving for patients and complicate their care. all this combines to jeopardize the quality of end of life care while obviously adding to its
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cost and complexity. this panel of experts, after months of intense study, makes a compelling case that we all should be working to provide for comprehensive care for individuals nearing end of life, how it should be seamless, high quality, integrated, patient-centered, family-oriented and consistently accessible around the clock. it should be tailored to the needs and desires of the families and the resources that we can save by doing it right can be redirected to enhance the quality of their last days. often done right, it will enable them to live longer as well as more comfortably. this report is an opportunity for all of us to step back and make sure we're doing everything we can to play our part in meeting the critical responsibilities, not just for our constituents, but for our family members. dr. phil roe and i have introduced h.r. 1173, the
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personalize your health care act. there are 60 bipartisan co-sponsors focusing on the federal government placing value on this relationship, on these critical conversations and empowering families and patients to control the circumstance that matters so much to them. we strongly urge that everyone looks at this institute of medicine report and that you co-sponsor personalize your care act. i congratulate the institute for the careful research, the clear analysis and the strong recommendations. it's an important step to make sure that critical assistance to support our families that they deserve and demand is available. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from kentucky, mr. barr, for five minutes. mr. barr: mr. speaker, i rise today to honor the career of
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mr. james c. russell, master distiller at the wild turkey distillery in kentucky and to mark his 60th year in the industry. jimmy, as he's warmly known to family, friends, acquaintanses alike, born into a family of distillers just three miles from the wild turkey distillery in lawrenceburg, he's been instrumental in the craftsmanship of nearly every barrel since he began working at the facility on september 10, 1954, when he was just 19 years old. since becoming master distiller in the late 1960's, jimmy has been prolific, distilling more than three million barrels with his keen eye for detail and palate for flavor. when he's not there overseeing production, he's traveling the world for kentucky's signature bourbon industry. mr. russell has seen the ebbs and flows in the career. treated like a rock star
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wherever he goes as aduring fans clamor for his ago or a bottle of american honey or russell reserve, his kentucky bourbon hall of famer or the so-called buddha of bourbon will help guide the bourbon industry long into the future. jimmy's son, eddie, himself a hall of famer, will ensure that the family's time-honored tradition of producing complex, finally honed bourbons, continues into the fourth generation. so mr. speaker, i urge my colleagues to join jimmy's friends, family and fans and fellow master distillers in raising a toast to celebrate mr. russell's contributions to a distinctly american and kentucky industry on this moment us industry. i know i speak for millions more across the country and around the world when i say that i look forward to enjoying the fruits of jimmy's labor for many more years to come. i yield back. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california, mr. garamendi, for five minutes. mr. garamendi: i thank you, mr. speaker. the success of our districts and the livelihood of our future of our communities we lies heavily on the devotion and services of those who go above the call of duty. the helpers willing to devote their time and energy to improving the lives of those around them, they deserve to be recognized. this fall, through my 2014 women of the year awards, i've made an effort to recognize, honor and celebrate the vital contributions of outstanding women in my district. hrough their work and volume untarism have -- volunteerism recognize pat, puente, gloria, leean,
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dr. francis nelson, gloria, linda palmer, loretta riley, michelle and nicole. these are exemplary examples of sacrifice and devotion. these civic leaders have helped improve their communities in various ways. they are advocates for education, agriculture, flood protection, environmental stewardship, the arts, promoting healthy communities, organizing events for world peace and raising community awareness to end bullying. throughout our history, america's foremothers have made great strides in securing their equal rights and equal treatment under the law, and while we have come very far, there is still work to be done. we stand on the shoulders of those giants. but that does not mean that we have creased to reach further. the -- ceased to reach further. the success of women -- the success that these women have
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had in their lives translates directly to the success of their communities. the correlation is undeniable. when women succeed our communities succeed, our states succeed. when women succeeds america succeeds. i'll continue to work to shape a nation that fosters possibilities, opportunities and equity for women. a large component of that mission is the economic agenda for women and families, which highlights three areas of importance. the first is pay. women in this country make only 70 cents for every dollar earned by men doing exactly the same work. for an african-american and latino women, the pay gap widens to 64 cents and 55 cents to a man's dollar. the minimum wage has not kept up with inflation, and when adjusted is more than 30% lower than it was in 1968. this is an unacceptable impediment to our success and particularly the success of women. women cannot succeed if wages
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are inequitable or insufficient. paycheck fairness and increase in the minimum wage that includes tipped workers are just two solutions thats will help the wage gap. the second area is work and family balance. the lack of policy ensuring earned pay sick day and paid maternity leave is appalling. our inaction on ensuring family balance not only affects the lives of parents but the lives and development of their children. the third area is childcare. the passage of the childcare development block grant of 2014 in the house of representatives is a good first step towards access to k -- childcare but more needs to be done. ensuring the success of women will help the success of america. i'm proud of the women working and serving in the communities i represent. the devotion and care shown by
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them and by those like them are what make my district and america succeed. mr. speaker, i thank you for the time. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from florida, mr. jolly, for five minutes. mr. jolly: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. olly: thank you, speaker. we will be today vote on authorization for the president's request to arm syrian rebels. i rise this morning to oppose the president's request, and i do so with a heart of conviction that says we must do more to combat, confront, defeat and destroy isis. but also with a conviction, respectfully, that the president's request is simply wrong. isis constitutes a direct threat to the national security of the united states. my belief on this is clear. i was one of a little over a dozen members of congress to
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recently introduce legislation authorizing the president to do more. we must eradicate the isis regime that perverts a religion founded on peace and uses it as a platform to engage in crucifixions and beheadings and mass murders. but i oppose today's request because it fails to seek the full authorization of this body. it fails to seek a clear mandate of the american people, and because it asks this body to approve only one small portion of an overall strategy that is continuing to evolve and that portion is most controversial, most questioned and most vulnerable to failure. we should be here today as a congress debating whether we are a nation at war, whether isis constitutes a direct threat to the national security of the united states, and if we are at war, we as a congress should be asking the question -- are we fully engaged as a nation to defeat isis, and are we fully committed to accepting the consequences and the
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casualties required to do so? but that is not what today's vote is about. today's vote is whether we as a nation put our reliance on syrian rebels, and that leaves far too many unanswered questions. we tried this in iraq to mixed results. we know syrian rebels, we know this. some will cooperate with isis and in fact contribute to the additional killings of syrian christians and religious minorities. are we prepared as a body to accept those collateral casualties of terror? we know training will take months. what will we be doing tomorrow? we know russia has declared this will be an act of aggression. what is our nation's response and what is this body's response? and how does today's debate contribute to the -- to article 1, section 8 authority under the constitution? are we quiet a lot aligning with the syrian government, a government 18 months we said we want to topple or is this a question of sovereignty? where is this congress in this
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debate? the final question is, do we serious think as the president pour trends this will not require a single pair of boots of our special operations ommunity to touch syrian soil? there are boots on the ground today. we can call them military advisors but the fact is the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff said yesterday if necessary he would recommend them being put in a combat role. the american people needs a congress that is fair and honest about where we -- what we face militarily. we question the strategy, we question the trust of syrian rebels. we question our constitutional responsibility and yet we are prepared as a body to ignore all doubt, to ignore our uncomfortable conviction of opposition to this request simply out of a desperate hope that somehow this matter might resolve itself without the president and the congress having the hard conversation,
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recognizing that we are a war weary and tired nation faced again with an asymmetric threat from terrorists who have threatened our homeland. we want to believe the beheadings and the audible threats of terror to our shores is not real, but we know it is. . we as a nation do not have the lucky to choose what threats confront us. we only choose our response. my request to my colleagues is we have a full debate on what we face as a nation. the president has brought us this very limited request merely out of statutory convenience, not out of constitutional conviction. we should not accept that. and my request of the president is this, very respectfully do not trample on the constitutional authority of this congress as you reluctantly march to the drumbeat of war you are rightfully hesitant to engage in. and with an elusive strategy that leave so many unanswered questions today. this body should have a full
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debate. the american people deserve to know that the president has requested full authorization and this congress has had an opportunity to deliberate on it. i reluctantly oppose the request today knowing we must do so much more to confront isis. i ask my colleagues to do the same. mr. speaker, i yield back. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from virginia, mr. connolly, for five minutes. mr. connolly: mr. speaker, later today we are likely to see bipartisan support for an amendment to authorize secretaries of defense and state to provide limited assistance to properly vetted factions within the syrian opposition of this broader effort to, quote degrade and ultimately destroy the islamic state of iraq. the president specifically requested congress to provide these authorities, and i somewhat reluctantly will agree to support it.
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but i want to add a caution that this action should not be interpreted as granting congressional authorization for the broader use of military force to combat the growing threat posed by issel. quite -- isil. quite the contrary, the amendment specifically prohibits the introduction of u.s. armed forces into hostilities absent such explicit authorization. now, the president asserts he already has the authority to confront isil. in his most recent notifications to congress he cites the executive constitutional authority to conduct u.s. foreign relations and as commander in chief. while this issue as been the subject of long simmering debate between our branches, and among historians and scholars, i would mottestly note -- modestly note that the constitution explicitly grants to congress and only to congress the power to declare war. if there are inheroin
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unenumerated powers in the role of commander in chief, most surely logic dictates there are similar inherent unenumerated powers congress is vested in with our role to declare war. let's make no mistake. we are confronting here on this issue a matter of war and peace. yet in the same breath we are discussing the danger, we are congress to shutter for another seven weeks until after the election. the president said he welcomes congressional support for this effort to show the world we are united in confrontation with this danger. i'm glad he welcomes congressional input, but i for one believe the president actually needs specific congressional authority whether he wants it or not. for what he himself acknowledges will be a prolonged campaign to
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eradicate the cancer like isil. anything short of that is an abrogation of our sworn duty to defend and uphold the constitution of the united states. this isn't president obama trampling on the constitution. this is congress in a long 60-year histry of winking and blinking about our responsibility because we -- history of winking and blinking about our responsibility because we don't want to bear t but in matters of war and peace we either live up to our constitutional responsibility, which is quite clear, or we go on a seven-week recess. my colleagues know there are historical cases in which congressional acquiescence has been construed to confer support or authorization where none has been given. the gulf of tonkin resolution is certainly a case in point. it led to a prolonged war and
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55,000 u.s. deaths. the 93rd congress adopted the war powers resolution to reassert congress' role after both korea and vietnam. the war powers resolution requires the president to consult with congress prior to introducing american forces into hostilities. the administration as recently argued that the aerial strikes do not constitute hostilities because they don't involve sustained fighting. again, out of the president's own words, he said last week, this would be, quote, a comprehensive and sustained effort. that doesn't sound like a temporary action by the commander in chief. to put an even finer point on the issue, i remind my colleagues of house concurrent resolution 105, which was adopted in july, that prohibits the president from deploying or maintaining u.s. armed forces in
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a sustained combat role in iraq without specific statutory authorization. i agree with the president when he said we are strongest as a nation when the president and congress work together. on the most important issue we ever vote on, war and peace, we must come together and this branch must live up to its constitutional responsibility at long last. i thank the speaker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from california, mr. cclintock, for five minutes. mr. speaker, contrary to the president's assertion last week, the islamic state is islamic and it is a state or at least it has all the attributes of a state. it is precisely this combination that makes it so dangerous. a messianic and clearly stated
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intention to wage jihad on american soil and the resources and equipment to do so. in response to this danger, the president proposes that the united states wage a continuing air war against the islamic state but to avoid any commitment of ground forces. instead, he seeks to use vetted elements of the free syrian army as the american proxy for us and proposes to arm and train them for that purpose. this raises two major concerns. first, many elements of the free syrian army have a long history of collaborating with the islamic state. its principal mission is to destroy the syrian government, which though utterly despotic, is currently fighting the islamic state. we have a very real risk this equipment will either be turned against syria or turned over to the i.s. as elements of the iraqi security forces recently did. second, committing insufficient
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force in any conflict is self-defeating and air strikes alone cannot win a war. for 13 years the brave young americans who stepped forward to defend our country after 9/11 have found themselves hamstrung by political correctness on the battlefield, a perilously co-mingled with hostile forces, endangered by rules of engagement that undermine their ability to defend themselves, and denied the full resources and commitment of our country. we are in precarious times with an administration that either cannot or will not learn from the mistakes of the past. until we are prepared to put the full might and resources of our nation mind a war against the islamic state, we can at least act to contain i.s. advances, protect our people, and restore the martial strength and national will that will certainly be needed in the years ahead. first i believe the president is
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correct to select air strikes -- to order selected air strikes and tactical support of resistance forces where they are actively engaged in against the i.s. where we can turn the tide of battle in these engagements we must. and the immediate destruction of oil fields under i.s. control is vital to reduce the resources that is currently converting to cash. second, it's appropriate to take immediate, significant, and focused retaliatory strikes against the islamic state in response to specific acts that it commits against american interests. this is the reagan model in libya, and it worked. third, the direct threat posed to the united states by the i.s. is not on syrian or iraqi soil, but on american soil. the islamic state has been explicit in declaring its intention to insert a fifth column in our borders that wages jihad on americans. for far too long we have ignored a threat posed by the wide open southern border, lax enforcement
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on the northern border, and nonenforcement of these overstays and this negligent needs -- neglect needs to stop now. we must secure our borders, force the time limits on visas, and change the law to revoke the passports of any american who takes up arms for the islamic state. fourth, we must recognize that the improving world situation that justified reducing military spending in recent years has now reversed and so must our priorities. the world is now becoming more dangerous and unstable and our military budget must be adjusted to meet that growing danger. our nation's weak and fiscal condition requires a comprehensive review of our spending priorities as a matter of vital national security. fifth, we must assure that our own -- that our only reliable ally in the middle east, israel, has all the equipment and supplies and assistance it may need in coming years and that it will have the unqualified
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support of the united states when it must take action for its own security. mr. speaker, islamic fascism is now advancing into a vacuum that many past blunders have created. the worst of them being to underestimate the terrible demands that war requires. these are mistakes we can no longer afford to make. confronting the rise of european fascism in the 1930's, churchill counseled measured resistance where possible while undertaking utmost martial preparation. that advice lights our path that we must take today. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair now recognizes the gentlelady from california, miss speier for five minutes. ms. speier: thank you, mr. speaker. anything for football. it's a phrase i have heard a lot recently that we should ignore what happens off the field for the sake of the sport.
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this creed used to mean something positive. vince lombardi, the namesake of the super bowl trophy, said he viewed his players as neither black nor white, but packer green. anything for football. meant he had to fight racism and homephobia off the field to coach the best football team possible. recently anything for football has been used to justify an organization that perpetuates violence and sexism rather than teamwork, family, and sport. instead of fighting injustice off the field for the sake of the sport, the nfl chooses deafening silence. we are told to ignore what happens on the sidelines in disciplinary board rooms, or behind elevator doors. all for the sport. well, i refuse to ignore what is
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happening. the nfl thinks they can play by their own rules. as we saw in the ray rice case, these decisions go all the way to the top. commissioner roger goodell is judge and jury. yet he is also the one who stands to profit by seeing these cases hushed and unpunished. since he took over the nfl in 2006, there have been 56 arrests of players for domestic violence. the nfl has been inconsistent in its response ranging from counseling to a single game suspension to conditional fines, to nothing at all. after a player is arrested, more often than not, they continue to play, even if there is clear evidence for their violent crime. when a police officer is being investigated for domestic violence, they are suspended with pay until the investigation
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ends. if the nfl is serious about zero tolerance, why shouldn't it play by the same rules? of the 56 football players arrested for domestic violence, they only saw a combined 13 games suspended. . the nfl would rather see these players on the field than take a stance against violence. after all, anything for football. i say bench them. ray mcdonald of the san francisco 49ers was arrested at party after his fiancee, who was 10 weeks pregnant, showed police bruises on her neck and arm. he's played the last two weeks. why hasn't he been benched? anything for football. i'm an avid 49er fan, but this
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is disgusting. 49ers.t more from my greg hardy of the carolina panthers was arrested and convicted for assaulting his former girlfriend. the woman said hardy picked her up, choked her, threw her on a couch, covered in assault rifles and shotguns and bragged to her that they were loaded. he's appealing his case and still playing. why hasn't he been benched? anything for football. ray rice of the baltimore ravens, who was indicted in march with assaulting his then-fiancee, has finally received a punishment befitting his crime but only after a video of the actual event was released. after he was indicted, his coach, john harbaugh, said, and i quote, he will be part of our team. support the person without condoning the action. why wasn't he benched from the
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start? anything for football. the list goes on and on, like the military and universities, the nfl thinks they can enforce their own justice internally. they have failed. the nfl should change their policies so these players stay on the bench while they are investigated. this week i will send a letter to commissioner goodell and team owners calling on them to immediately change their domestic violence policy. when a player is arrested for domestic violence, the nfl should immediately suspend the player and continue to pay them until a preponderance of the evidence determines their guilt or innocence. this suspension should continue until end of court proceedings when the nfl can apply its player policy. it's what we do with police officers. this is what zero tolerance looks like. 2/3 of all americans watch the nfl.
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let's work together to put an end to the nfl's inaction. lombardi didn't just think we could fight racism through football. he said, people who work together will win, whether it be against complex football defenses or the problems of modern society. it may be difficult but we deserve sports that show the best in our society. after all, anything for football. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the chair will receive a message. the messenger: mr. speaker, a message from the senate. the secretary: mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: madam secretary. the secretary: i have been directed by the senate to inform the house that the senate has passed s. 2539, cited as the traumatic brain injury re-authorization act of 2014, in which the concurrence of the house is requested. the speaker pro tempore: the chair now recognizes the gentleman from south carolina, mr. sanford, for five minutes. mr. sanford: i thank the
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speaker. i rise today in opposition to the plan that's been put forward by the president. as you, mr. speaker, just noted a few moments ago, it is a small portion of a larger and what i believe to be fundamentally flawed plan. and i say that for many different reasonses, one of which -- reasons, one of which is this simple reality, that body bags from a far-off battle or from a far-off war don't return to washington, d.c. they return to congressional districts and states across this country and it is for that very reason that the founding fathers believe so strongly in congress having the authority and the sole authority for the declaration of war. i mean, i think it's important to look at what james wilson, who happened to be one of the biggest advocates for a strong presidency, what he said to his own state delegation back in 1787. he said on the importance of congressional authority with regard to war, this system will
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not hurry us into war. it is calculated to guard against it. it will not be in the power of a single man or a single body of men to involve us in such distress, for the important power of declaring war is vested at the legislative level at large. george washington said this, the constitution vests the power of declaring war in congress, therefore, no offense of expedition of importance can be undertaken until after they shall deliberated upon the subject and authorized such a measure. james madison said this, the power to declare war, including the power of judging the causes of war, is fully and exclusively vested in the legislature. the executive has no right in any case to decide the question whether there is or is not cause for declaring war.
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i think our founding fathers had it right, and if we move forward today without stopping and waiting and insisting upon the president's constitutional duty to come before this body and ask for declaration of war, i think we're making a mistake. i would say secondly that i think we're making a mistake because the news of today is that general dempsey now says if the plan doesn't work out he would in fact recommend american ground troops there in the middle east. i think that's telling because if you stop and think about it, is america the only group that's expected to suffer through the ravages of war with regard to boots on the ground in this instant if general dempsey's call is right? think about this, there have been 6,600 american deaths there in this part of the world in recent history.
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there have been more than 50,000 soldiers that have returned with life-altering wounds. i mean, their lives are changed forever, and yet we can't get a real firm commitment out of allies there in the middle east as to what they will or won't do with regard to ground troops. so if it is that big of threat, why is it that allies in that part of the world isn't making real and substantial commitments with regard to what they will or won't do with regard to ground troops? thirdly, i'd say what we're doing is signing up for an open-ended commitment, maybe a five or 10 or 15 or 20-year commitment without legal authority to do so. the administration is resting solely on the 2001 authorization language which was to president bush in the wake of 9/11 for pursuing perpetrators of 9/11, and yet in this instance what they're saying, well, no. that gives us authority for the next 10, 15, 20 years. that's not the case. congress authorized for that
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action. i think it's a misreading of the law to move forward as they have. finally, i'd make this point. be bible says bebe hot, cold but don't be lukewarm. i have some colleagues that say we need to commit ground troops, we need firmer involvement. i have others that say we don't need to do anything at all and we're splitting it down the middle. let's arm, quote, rebels. just this spring 1,000 isis soldiers routed two divisions of iraqis, about 30,000 folks in no time. mind you, these are the same folks that american taxpayers spent $25 billion training in equipment. we equippeded thousands of them. it has not worked. i think we need to pause first for constitutional reasons, second for legal reasons, and third for a flawed strategy that's base on lukewarm. we have that chance today and i
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would beg of my colleagues to do so. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from south carolina yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from illinois, mr. schneider, for five minutes. mr. schneider: thank you, mr. speaker. our number one priority should always be strengthening our economy and expanding job growth and opportunity. that's why i launched the brand it initiative to hear about the opportunities and challenges facing the businesses in my district. so far i have visited more than 80 companies, speaking with owners, managers and employees about their aspirations and means for achieving success. i spoke with some of the largest companies in our country, but also the small and medium-sized businesses. second, third and fourth generation family firms, startups, advanced manufacturing companies, retail and service firms. throughout these visits i've heard several recurring themes, including concerns about our growing skills gap, our aging
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infrastructure, the need to reform our broken immigration system and the need to modernize our tax code to successfully compete in a global economy. these conversations have subsequently led to concrete actions such as introducing the america works act and the learn act that will help better match worker training programs to specific employer needs. if we are to successfully lead a resurgence of the u.s. economy, we need more collaboration between our business owners, workers and elected officials. only by working together can we reignite social mobility, rebuild the ladders of opportunity and achieve a more inclusive prosperity for all americans. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from new york, mr. angel, for five minutes. without objection.
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mr. rangel: september 17, 2014, and for me this is an historic event because i will be able to tell my grandkids and those who would listen that on the eve of the house of representatives taking a vote that would expand the war powers of the president of the united states that i stood in the well of the house talking to a house that was void of any member of the house of representatives. i make this point not so much to indicate the importance of anything i might say this morning, but because i really think that the whole country should be concerned about the gravity and importance of the vote that we take today. which in my 44 years i cannot ink of any vote that is more
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important and certainly more historic. it goes unchallenged that the more day would expose members of the military to bodily harm. it is clear that the ministration has called this a war on isis or isil. it's abundantly clear that the threat to our national security is subject to a whole lot of debate, and while i may not have the answer to whether or not there is a threat, to me i cannot think of anything more important than the 435 members of the house and the 100 at rs of the other body least before we vote to be able to debate this issue.
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i intend to vote against the amendment that would include an expansion of our military venture, which means that i will be forced to vote against the concurrent resolution. but i think the house members, republicans and democrats, should resent the fact that these votes are combined into one vote. the vote as to whether or not it's constitutional, the vote that's whether or not there is a threat to the united states security, the vote as to how we're going to pay for it, the vote in terms of who's going to make the sacrifices, these are the things that should be debated. there is no reason, lawful reason why these two issues have to be joined in one vote. and i do hope i get an opportunity to bring an amendment to the authority of
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the president to use military force by condition it to two things. that if this congress and the american people believe that we have a threat to our national security, then by all means we should be prepared to make the sacrifices to protect our country. what are those sacrifices? well, one is financial sacrifice, because the trillions of dollars that was spent -- i think it's close to $6 trillion since we've been involved in the middle east -- most of the profits have been made by the military industrial complex. but the $6 trillion comes out of our budget, and there's not a war tax. i think we need that. the other question has to be that we cannot dismiss the military that's in iraq today and those that may be in that
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area that lives are endangered that it's less than 1% of the united states population is making the sacrifice. we already lost 1,600 american lives in this war, and it's very difficult to explain to their families and friends at funerals what the cause was or whether we won or loss, but the question should be, once we make a determination that there is a threat to our national security, we should have a mandatory selective service act, reinstate it. we already have it on the books. we should activate it to make certain that if you are voting to put more men and women's lives into jeopardy, make sure universal men and women will be selected to make certain they provide for a national service of some sort. . what i'm suggesting is that i could never believe that this
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country would be voting this day and that the debates would be -- that i would be talking to an empty chamber in pleading for the american people that if you're going to make a decision that we should really go to war, because it's a threat to the security of the united states of america, one that should not be debated just on the question of the continuance and support of the budget of the united states. i yield back the balance of my time. i thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the chair now declares the house in recess until noon
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opposition forces fighting against the islamic militant group isis. three hours of debate remain on that amendment. and off the floor the house benghazi committee is holding a hearing on the consulate in benghazi and looking at diplomatic security as well. that hearing got under way at 10:00 a.m. eastern. you can watch it live right now over on c-span3 and we'll invite you to share your thoughts about the committee and their work on our facebook page and on twitter. he the hash tag is #cspanchat.
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the senate foreign relations committee strategy to combat the threat of isis. that's scheduled at 2:30 eastern and we'll have it live on c-span3. back here on c-span, while the house is recess until noon, we'll take you live to another hearing going on this morning. homeland security secretary jay johnson, the national counterterrorism director are testifying before the house homeland security committee. they, too, came in at 10:00 .m. eastern. >> thank you, mr. chairman. secretary johnson, there have been comments made relative to isil making attempts to enter from our southern border. and can you, for the sake of this committee, indicate whether or not there's any evidence that that has occurred or that anyone has been
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captured trying to enter our southern border? > congressman, we see no specific intelligence or evidence to suggest at present that isil is attempting to infiltrate this country through our southern border. and i'm sure my intelligence colleague could add to that. having said that, we do need to be vigilant. we do need to be aware of the risk of potential infiltration by isil or any other terrorist group. and we have tools in place to monitor that and to do that. >> thank you. mr. olson. >> yes, i agree with secretary johnson. there has been a very small sympathizers with
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isil who posted messages on social media about this but we've seen nothing to indicate that there's any sort of operational effort or plot to infiltrate or to move operatives from isil through the -- into the united states through the southern border. >> thank you. director, you talked about cybersecurity being upon your return one of the new real threats. this committee has on a very bipartisan basis came together and has promoted what we think is one of the solutions to address many of the lnerabilities that our cyber framework possess. can you just enlighten the committee a little more on where you see some of those cyberthreats coming from?
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>> thank you, mr. thompson. they come from everywhere. it's sort of a -- i call it an evil layer cake with nation states at the top, terrorist groups, international criminal hacktivists, child abusers and pedophiles. because our entire world son the internet, i'm told that my sneakers will tell my refrigerator that i just went for a run. it runs every bad mow tate and every bad kind of person that you can imagine, that's where the threat is. >> thank you, mr. secretary. s you know, that legislation would have given d.h.s. the resources and authority that it needs to perfect and protect civilian networks and critical infrastructure. do you see that type of
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legislation being important as we look at this vulnerability? >> very much so, congressman. i appreciate and congratulate you and the chairman and other members of this committee for your leadership in this regard. i'm aware that the bill that came out of this committee passed the full house, and i've spoken to your colleagues in the senate about doing the same on the senate side. i believe it is critical. i have written an op-ed recently on the importance of cybersecurity legislation. there's real bipartisan support in the house and the senate for cybersecurity legislation, and i think it's critical to our national security. >> thank you. mr. olson, with respect to violent extreme -- mr. olsen, with respect to violent extremism, and to the extent you can give the information in this kind of setting, have you seen any difference in the recruitment and sophistication of isis or isil in comparison
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to other terrorist groups? >> i would say what we've seen from isil is a very sophisticated propaganda effort. the types of information that they're putting out on the internet and in particular using social media really exceed the types of propaganda that we've seen from other groups. so certainly that effort has been quite sophisticated and extensive. i think we still are -- remains to be seen the impact of that formation on potential recruits. the one fact i could point to is, is the number of foreign fighters and the significant number of foreign fighters that have traveled to syria, again, many of those, not all, but many of them joining isil ranks . so from that perspective, it's
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obviously a concern that the propaganda is having an impact in recruiting individuals. >> last point is, with respect to violent extremism, and how e counter it, is there something you see our allies doing that maybe we should adopt as we look at how we as a country address that here? >> we do work in coordination with our allies, particularly the united kingdom, which has a strong program of countering violent extremism. and we seek to learn from their lessons. they had a little more importance with it than we ave. to identify ways to improve our efforts in this regard. >> thank you. i yield back, mr. chair. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from new york, mr.
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king. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i want to thank you for holding this hearing. this is extremely timely and appropriate. i want to thank you for joining in this effort. i want to thank matt olsen. it's been a privilege. secretary johnson, you've certainly hit the ground running. i want to thank you for that. and also your visit in new york the other day, i think it's important to remind people in new york about the constant terror threat we face. and director comey, it does show the since of cooperation that's needed among all the counterterrorism forces in our country. all of you mentioned that it's not just isis but it's the whole al qaeda threats we have to face, aqap, al qaeda itself and others. one group, i'm only mentioning this because it was in the media, the corzine group. can you tell us in any unclassified setting regarding this? and if not i understand. i'm only mentioning it because
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it's been in the media. >> discussion of specific organizations i think should be left to a classified setting. >> i understand that. ranking member thompson asked the question about working with our allies. director comey, i would ask you, what are the plus and minuses of prime minister's cameron -- prime minister cameron's suggestion that passports be taken away, in particular people that travel to syria? americans traveling from syria, what is your perspective and the f.b.i.'s perspective of taking away their passports? >> thank you, mr. king. that's a question probably better answered by secretary johnson. just quickly, it's of interest to us. i met with the home secretary, as i know secretary did from the u.k., this week to try and understand better how that's working for them. among the concerns i would have is what's the due process that would come with that in the united states? how would i protect sources and methods? how would we be able to use, if
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at all, classified information to make the showing that would be necessary? so i'm interested in any tool that might help us identify and incapacitate these people. but i'd want to understand the details a little bit better. >> if i could ask, what would be the advantages of allowing them back into the country and monitoring them to see who they would be in contact with? is that too risky? >> no, we do it on a case-by-case basis in all manners of circumstances. sometimes it makes sense. under limited circumstance, let someone back in, cover them closely to see who they connect with. sometimes it makes sense to get them back in the country and lock them up right away. it's hard to say in the abstract. >> mr. secretary. >> i agree with the f.b.i. director that suspension of passports should be considered on a case-by-case basis. the state department has the authority to suspend passports, our passports. also know that suspension, revocation of passports can be done on an expedited basis when
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the situation warrants, in a matter of hours or days. it does not necessarily need to be a lengthy process. and i agree, given the current environment, that we need to seriously consider limiting the ability of certain individuals to travel. either to go from one foreign country to another or from our country to another country. >> director olsen. >> i think this was touched on by the chairman. how concerned are you of, let's say, put it in simple terms, rivalry between al qaeda and isis or aqap and isis as far as getting themselves back in the headlines, re-establish themselves as the number one errorist force that they would increase chances of attack on the homeland?
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>> i'm very concerned about that. these groups are in competition with one another for attention, for fundraising, for recruitment, and one way to compete is to show that you're the biggest and baddest group out there. and so i think that the environment we're in right now presents additional challenges. so i agree with the premise in your question. >> director olsen. >> i agree, secretary johnson. i think there's this concern about competition among these groups. in one particular example of this would be the recent announcement by al qaeda core of a new affiliate in the indian subcontinent. that was announced on social media on september 3, and it could be viewed as an effort by ore al qaeda to reassert its supremacy in this global movement. so those sorts of -- those sorts of efforts can be viewed in the context of what might be
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an emerging competition among groups. >> director comey. >> mr. king, the logic of it is compelling. you're not going to be the leader in the global jihad without striking america. and so it drives that sense of competition that my colleagues have talked about. >> thank you, all, for your testimony. i yield back. thank you, mr. chairman. >> the chair recognizes ms. jackson lee. >> to create this department, i know how important the issues all you gentlemen are speaking of are to the nation and america. i think it's important even in
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this meeting to hold up the constitution, to tell all those who would have a malicious intent toward the united states is that we would not sacrifice r values, our liberty, our commitment to equality and justice for their terroristic ways. and i thank all of you for recognizing as my ranking member indicated that we are not here to label a faith, islam, or the muslim people. we are here to ensure the security and safety of the united states of america. i want to first of all say that as i was looking over materials that i think are relevant, i think it is important to note from an article -- i ask unanimous consent to put into the record an article by william mccants, who indicated that the issue or the idea of isil began
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in 2006, long before president obama, long before secretary johnson or anyone was in the positions that they were in today, and before the american at that time had popular backing. let me be very clear. i believe our president has been very effective in trying to both downsize and bring down the war in iraq and as well address the national security of the american people. i will not vote for an authorization for war, but we cannot talk about isil without doing something. i will vote today for ensuring that other fighters -- in this instance the free syrian army, is well trained to do the job. that means that we here in the united states must be very sure of what we are doing to protect the homeland. mr. johnson, i would ask --
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secretary johnson, i would ask a follow-up question on my colleague, mr. thompson, coming from texas, do you feel that you have sufficient federal resources on the border to, if there was such an intrusion, that your staffing between i.c.e., which is on the inner side, between the border patrol intelligence, working with your colleagues, do you believe you have the right and necessary resources? >> we have more resources today than we have had at any time previously. over the last several years we have put at the border, particularly the southwest border, an unprecedented level of resources in terms of people, technology, vehicles, and other equipment. as you know i'm sure congresswoman, apprehensions over the last 14 years have gone down. they have gone up this year because of the spike in the rio grande valley sector, but we
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could use more. the bill passed by the senate last year, s. 744, would have gone a long way to providing additional resources, additional personnel, for the southwest border. >> thank you. >> toward border security. >> thank you. i wanted to be clear if i could because my time is running that you do have -- i do support that legislation and i would rather have federal resources than unpaid national guard that has been put down by the governor of the state of texas. let me quickly ask the question to all of you, we know that we have been hacked. all of us have been hacked. but the question is do you -- are you able to discern the distinction between the identity thief hackers and that of thele it state hackers that are coming in as terrorists on the cybersecurity grid? could you-all answer that question? my last question so i get it in so you can answer if you might, the women of this nation are
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seemingly targets of recruitment for isil. women coming from western nations, poor, maybe uneducated. are we having a special target to recognize the concern for those women? and how we would stop that? if all three could answer that i would appreciate it. >> congresswoman, let me begin with the question on cyber. as director comey suggested, we face cyberthreats from a range of different types of actors, and i think we do a pretty good job of detecting the nature and the type of actor for each specific attack, but it's a range from private individuals to others. i defer to my colleagues. >> i agree with secretary johnson, though attribute gets increasingly difficult as the thieves get increasingly sophisticated and some of their techniques come to rival those of nation states. we do a reasonably good job of
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sorting them out. as to the respect of recruitment of women. you're right. there is a targeted effort by isil to attract fighters and people who would be spouses of fighters given the nature of their male orientation, the spouses are always women, they are trying to attract them from all over the west to come from their so-called cal fate to start families in their -- caliphate to start families in their warped world. >> mr. olsen. >> the recruitment of women, among the most barbaric aspects of what isil has done in iraq is the persuasion of women and young girls. it's obviously a huge concern to us. if i may add, ms. jackson lee, you held up the constitution and today's constitution today. i would say that the director of national intelligence, jim clapper, yesterday held a swearing-in for those of us to reaffirm our commitment to the constitution with the work force. i think that reflects the
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commitment within nctc and broader intelligence community to our fidelity to the constitution constitution. >> if i might, mr. chairman, thank mr. olsen for his service. and ask unanimous consent i believe i asked for unanimous consent for this, but i'd also ask for unanimous consent which i'd like to refer to the chairman's review h.r. 5488, which i'd like to ask unanimous consent to put into the record, which is legislation that is called no fly for foreign fighters. it doesn't tie your hands, but it refines the watch list to make sure that everyone that should be on it is on it. particularly since the foreign fighter concept is continuing to grow. i ask unanimous consent to introduce that into the record and look forward to discussing it with you gentlemen. >> without objection, so ordered. dr. browne from georgia. -- broun from georgia. >> thank you. it was mentioned in oral testimony that over roughly 100 americans have joined isil.
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do we know how many americans have actually joined isil as well as other terrorist organizations around the world? it any of you can give me a number? >> i want to be very clear about the numbers if i may, congressman. we estimate over 100 americans have traveled to syria. to join with extremist groups in syria. or at least attempted to travel. >> you don't know a number of who have actually joined. >> once in syria it's difficult to discern what happens there. >> do you know who they are that have joined or who have traveled to syria or traveled to pakistan or other places around the world? do we know who those people actually are? >> with varying degrees we have specific information about who they are whether they traveled to syria or other locations. >> going back to what former chairman peter king was asking about passports, the state
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department recently said they are not going to revoke passports on americans that fly to syria or fly to these different places. if we know who those people are, i think it's an outright security threat not to revoke their passports. certainly i believe in due process, but i think we can do this. and it's a huge security threat to this country if we don't revoke their passports. we all know that t.s.a. has allowed known terrorists that are on the no-fly list to get on an aircraft in america and that presents a huge security threat to america. next question for all three of you, we have cities now in the state of california that have declared themselves as being sanctuaries for illegal entrants into this country. do you-all see this kind of philosophy of cities or even a state being a security risk to our nation?
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mr. secretary? >> i guess i'd answer it this way. we have a pretty good ability through law enforcement, intelligence, homeland security means to identify individuals, including undocumented, who are people of suspicion suspected terrorists, and the f.b.i. proves that time and again. i do think that in any situation where there are large number -- a large number of people who are undocumented, there is a risk that -- it hinders our ability to track those individuals, which is why from my homeland security perspective i'd want to see those people come forward and get on the books so that i know who they are. if what you're suggesting is that the risk to homeland
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security grows when there are larger numbers of undocumented people in any one place, in any crowded area, i can't disagree with that. >> we know we have a porous border, particularly on the southwest. we already know that as your department secretary describes this, we have o.t.m.'s, other than mexicans, crossing the border. that we have apprehended. we don't know how many people have not been apprehended. would you agree with that statement? yes or no. -- e generally believe that we have an ability to calculate total attempts to cross the border illegally. apprehensions are a large percentage of that. it runs somewhere between 70% and 90%. we have a sense for who we didn't get who has crossed the border. >> let me apologize for intercorrupting you. do we know how many syrians or pakistanians or iranians or
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somalians or others have crossed the border? >> in a broad sense. obviously legal migration, and there are obviously a large number of people who travel from those countries for legitimate means, through lawful means. i think we have a pretty good sense of the nationalities of who comes to this country, both through legal migration and apprehensions. >> frankly i believe this visa waiver program we have increases our security threat, too, because of these terrorists being able to fly into this country on the visa waiver program. i think we need to, mr. chairman, look at that. one final question, some americans say that isil and what's going on in syria and iraq today are just involved in a local civil war. what would you-all say to them as far as the threat that this poses to our own interest here in this country? if i could get all three of you
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to respond to that. >> i'll start. congressman, i think that isil represents a huge threat to our interests. it represents a potential threat to our homeland security. it represents a threat to the stability in the region. it obviousry represents a threat to americans -- obviously represents a threat to americans in the region and demonstrates a willingness to kill americans because they are americans. as the chairman and others have pointed out, they have acquired territory. we have to be very concerned any time any terrorist organization acquires territory for training, for launching attacks, and we are determined to take the fight to this group. >> director comey ow -- comey, would you comment? >> i wish it were a case that was something in the hocks half way around the world, but it's not. >> director olsen? >> i agree with secretary johnson. only add that there's certainly
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no lack of understanding within our departments and agencies or within the intelligence community the nature of the threat that the group poses. >> thank you so much. mr. chairman, my time has expired. >> during the limited time we have with our witnesses i'm going to hold members very strictly to the five-minute rule. next we have mr. barber, who is not here. mr. payne. who is also -- where is mr. payne? ight next to me. too many a thank you, mr. pearn. -- mr. chairman. mr. secretary, recently there have been news reports that have claimed thousands of foreign students 7 have overstayed their visas and have disappeared, however the department of homeland security has done a great job in their own data appears to show that while these
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cases were initially flagged for lee view -- review, the location of these students was in fact known by d.h.s. field offices. it is my understanding that there are many reasons why it a record might be flagged as a potential overstay. none of which are reasons to expect dangerous activity. for example, d.h.s.'s own press office has stated that many cases appear to be closed due to a variety of legal reasons. including the students' receipt of a green card or departure from the united states. for generations, american foreign policy leaders have agreed to educational exchanges are one of the most successful foreign policy tools. if eight of the nobel peace prize winners since 1987 have been foreign students educated
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in the united states. and america needs friends and understanding around the world more than ever. and educating young people here gives us a great opportunity to develop those ties for future world leaders. therefore we need to understand how the department manages the student visa program. can you discuss what the procedures and the systems d.h.s. uses to monitor foreign students? i want to make sure that we do not distract the american people from the real threats that we are currently facing by mischaracterizing foreign students. >> congressman, given the nature of student visas, we have to depend to a very large degree on what the universities tell us about whether the individual is still a student, still seeking
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an educational in -- an education in this contry. as you referenced there have been a number of individuals who have overstayed their student visas. this is something i've looked into. taken a special interest in. i believe there are a number of vulnerabilities in our ability to track these individuals that are being addressed. a number of gaps are being closed. we have looked into the number of those who are reportedly overstaying their visas. we have found that a very large fraction have either been arrested or have returned to their countries, or are in compliance through the receipt of krein cards. there is a fraction of that population where there are still open investigations. but i don't have the exact numbers offhand but a very, very large number of those who were initially individuals of concern we found either are now in compliance or have returned, but there's still open investigations on some.
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so i think we are doing a better job of tracking those individuals and i totally agree with what you said about the importance of student visas and the importance of receiving an education. >> thank you. i just -- i saw a report where they had used a number of 60,000 which was ridiculous and absurd. it appeared that the number's closer to maybe 6,000. i.c.e. has been on top of closing and narrowing that number consistently, is that correct? >> that is correct. of the 6,000 you referred to, we have found that a large number are either in compliance or have returned or have been arrested. there's still a number -- i don't have the number offhand, but there's still a number a fraction of that 6,000 that are under investigation. i believe most of them are either in compliance, have been arrested, or returned. >> ok. thank you.
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i will yield back. >> the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. meehan. >> thank you, mr. chairman. director comey, i appreciate your focus on the issue of technology. i enjoyed your anecdote about the fact that your sneakers may tell your refrigerator you went for a run. i know you appreciate those same sneakers would tell your wife you went to the refrigerator. i do appreciate your leadership on the technology front. i'm struck by your concept that -- your observation after 10 years, seeing the dramatic change and the cyberdomain. we see the fifth dimension of warfare being in this cybercapacity. one of our former colleagues, lee hamilton, who observed this same phenomenon from our time together in 2001 came back and testified earlier in the week that he sees the cyberthreat as even greater than the collective threat currently coming from
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isil. we know about the use of the radicalization and recruitment that has been done. we have seen more sophisticated attacks from iranians that have been tied to denial of services from our banks. we have seen criminal gangs use the internet for the creation of ways in which they can do things like extortion and to raise revenues. i'm also genuinely concerned about the ability to purchase expertise out there in the worldwide domain from people that may not be directly associated but can be hired to conduct activities. of course there's some concerns that even a certain point the kind of islamic jihad could be tied back to isil with cyberattacks, look at government organizations, energy companies, transport systems, banks, things of that nature. in light of that, looking specifically at isil, what do you think the iber dimension is of the cyberthreat that isil
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creates? >> thank you, mr. meehan. i remember fondly our time working together. thank you for caring so much about these issues. i do think it transforms all of the things we are responsible for. i see isil focused most on using the internet, cyberspace, to recruit. both through peer to peer communications to try to lure people to come and fight for them. but also as the chair said, through their very slick propaganda efforts, to energize and to train would-be fighters. i know this is something nctc has spent a lot of time thinking about as well. >> have you seen something, mr. olsen, with regard to the activities that lead you to believe there is a growing competency that may create an actual threat from isil on the cyberdomain? >> it's something we are concerned about. at this point i would characterize it as basically just aspirational in terms of
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any capability of isil or other similar groups to carry out cyberattacks. i think as director comey said, the primary concern about cyberright now is the use of the nternet to recruit and attract followers. >> director johnson, you made -- secretary johnson, you may feel comfortable in commenting on that, but i want to take my remaining minute to thank you for your leadership and close cooperation with this committee as we have worked to structure new legislation that would enhance the ability for the agencies across the board to better prepare to be responsive to this growing of technological threat. can you tell me -- i know you support it, but can you tell me why you believe this legislation is critical to the enhancement of your mission, and why it's so
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critical we act in a timely fashion on this? >> congressman meehan, thank you for your leadership in this area. i think it's critical. the reason -- there are several reasons i believe legislation in this area is important. one, to codify the authority of gov . to act in the dot. world. there is legal uncertainty about our ability to protect the dot-gov world. some are constitutes that would interpret to interhibblet our ability to protect the dot-gov world. the statutory landscape needs clarity for us to do our job. we know also that in the private sector there are those who are concerned about their legal authority to share information with the government. they are concerned about their civil liability, their potential civil liability if they share
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information with the government if they act in response to the government. we are also looking to enhance our authority to higher cyber talent. one of my immediate concerns, which i know you're focused on, is clarity in terms of helping us police the dot-gov world. this is something we have to do on a daily basis. we face attacks on a daily basis. not just a cybersecurity threat anymore. >> i thank you again for your leadership. particularly the promotion of the ncic as the kind of junction through which a lot of this activity can take place. and how vital it is. mr. chairman, thank you for your leadership. i yield back. >> thank for your leadership on cyber. secretary, your strong support and the administration's support for passage in the senate. we all appreciate that as well. the chair recognizes mr. higgins. >> thank you, mr. chairman. just firstly on the isil numbers, about five weeks ago in published reports there was
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estimated to be between 7,000 and 11,000 isil fighters. the most recent c.i.a. report puts the estimate at 31,000. -- just wondering if that's that distinction is a result of bad numbers analysis or rapid recruitment success on the part of isil? >> yes, congressman. so the current assessment is that their strength is anywhere between 20,000 and approximately 31,000, 31,500. that obviously demonstrates that what we are talking about is an approximation with a large range. so we have limited intelligence on this question. that's by virtue of the fact that our ability to collect on this question is limited in syria and in iraq. the increase in that number does also reflect some of the recent gains the group has made through
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its battlefield successes and recruitment efforts, particularly in iraq. so it's both the change reflects our limited intelligence collection, but also the gains the group's made. >> since the commencement of air strikes, have those numbers dropped? have the increases been reduced? because i think part of the military strategy there is to stop the isis momentum, because that more than anything else, is probably the most potent recruitment advantage that isis has. >> what we have seen from the intelligence perspective, certainly, is that the air strikes have -- had an impact on the military momentum of isil. it's had an impact on the battlefield. it's too soon to tell how those strikes will affect the overall numbers of isil fighters or
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their ability to attract people to join the ranks. >> so the estimate of future recruitment in terms of isil members is open-ended and unknown? >> i think that's right. how it will look in a year or more from now at this point a question that -- >> it's hard to know where this s going. because nobody saw it coming. if we saw it coming we potentially could have acted earlier to hold its progress. we know that 15,000 foreign fighters traveling to syria, 2,000 of which are from europe to the united states, begins bring this closer to home. isil is younger than al qaeda. it's more aggressive. it's more brute a it's better at raising money. it's more technologically sophisticated. and this foses a major problem. my district alone -- poses a
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major problem. my district alone, last year there was a terrorist plot to blow up a passenger train that was thwarted going through niagara falls. two individuals were indicted and thought to have had al qaeda afillation. in 2003, six homegrown terrorists were lackawanna were convicted in providing material support after having traveled to afghanistan and participated in al qaeda training camps. just yesterday in rochester, new york, about 50 miles from my district, a man was indicted for attempting to provide material support tore isil. attempting to kill u.s. soldiers. and for possession of firearms and silencers. i think it's -- people shouldn't be alarmed, but i think that the growth of isil, our inability -- it's not strategy that
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fool proof. it depends on people we have not demonstrated any confidence in before. the free syrian army, and all the thousands of militias that make that up. this is a major concern. i saw it in the secretary's statement, there were five things that the department of homeland security is doing. including aviation safety, and a number of other things. and that's fine. i just think that the threat of isil to the american homeland is much -- it's more substantial than we are willing to acknowledge. and the idea, again, is not to alarm anybody, but to prepare for what is a very, very serious situation that is metastasizing in that part of the world. they are not going to stop in eastern syria or northwestern iraq. they have a goal. it's very specifically defined. the borders in that part of the
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world, these people have no appreciation for historically because they had nothing to do with it. they are looking to upend the entire middle eastern region. and wanting to claim it for themselves. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. duncan is recognized. >> thank you, mr. chairman. thank you for the timeliness of this committee. i want to thank the gentleman, mr. higgins, for his comments as well. thank you, gentlemen, for your service to this nation. you have an immense challenge ahead of you. we all recognize that. and we support it where we can. having a dialogue about the threats, global threats to safety and security is very, very important, not only for lawmakers and policymakers, but also the american people. i want to comment about secretary johnson, you mentioned o.t.m.'s and whether we -- you use a broad spectrum and whether it's broad or narrow, the fact is, we have no idea who is in
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our country or what their intent is. one side of the political spectrum really wants to paint a rosy picture that we have a secure border, but the fact is americans realize that we don't. and we also, i think americans are counting on us in this arena to transcend politics and keep the bad items out of our country, the work to keep another 9/11 from happening. they expect you guys to transcend politics and focus on keeping us safe. i grew up in the cold war. at that time we were as a nation tracking troop movement of the soviets, tank placements, surface and subsurface ships and where they may be across the contry, across the globe. now we are tracking individuals. foreign fighters who may have left our country or europe and traveled to syria to fight jihad
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who may have been radicalized. who may have the ability to travel back to their country. and may have the ability to come here. in june i was in brussels, before we got to brussels a born fighter had traveled to syria, was radicalized. made his way back through turkey and germany. germany knew about this individual, failed to let the belgiums know. he went into brussels and shot up a jewish museum. at least three if not four individuals lost their lives. he tried to flea through france and caught -- flee through france and caught at a bus stop. germany knew and failed to share that information. we are relying on information sharing as we try to track individuals, foreign fighters, as they travel around the globe. it's an immense challenge to go back to what i mentioned earlier. we talked earlier or heard earlier about the 100 or so americans that have gone to fight with isis. but we also have somali americans who have traveled to fight with al shabab.
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we have boko haram. al qaeda, wherever they may be in the aabian peninsula or other maces. don't take our eyes off al qaeda as we focus on isis because it's still a threat. the thing that i want to question about this morning is a classified -- actually unclassified now, internal memo from f.b.i. on june 13, a violent criminal threat section sent out a request for information regarding encroachment mission creep by other federal law enforcement and the traditional f.b.i. lanes. and it goes on to talk about mission creep by homeland security investigations is an issue and an alarming number of field offices. i appreciate the director of f.b.i. saying that's really not an issue, but what i want to point out is d.h.s. was stood up in 2003 to recognize -- after recognizing the stovepiping of
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information, the walls or barriers of sharing information between agencies that possibly could have thwarted the 9/11 hydrogenings -- hijackings. germ failing to let belgium know about a foreign fighter that traveled through their country who ended up killing some folks at a jewish museum. we cannot afford to have these type of turf wars between agencies charged with keeping us safe. so how, director, how do you combat that? how do you keep that mission creep issue from being an issue? i would love to hear from secretary johnson on how he feels about that. >> thank you, mr. duncan. by talking about it constantly that report made my head explode. so i shared that head explosion with every leader in the f.b.i. to let them know how i think about it, which is the f.b.i. does nothing alone. to be effective in protecting the american people across all our responsibilities, we need the kind of partnersships you
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see visually represented by the two of us sitting together. there's no other way to do it. the american taxpayer should have no patience for turf battles. i have none. >> director, i appreciate you-all's communication. i'm concerned about communication where the rubber meets the road and that's where the communication needs to happen. if you have turf wars going on i'm afraid information may not be shared appropriately. >> that's what i meant by talking about it. i visited now 44 of my 56 field offices. i talk about it everywhere i go to make sure i'm shaping the culture in the right way. i think that's an exception, that particular -- what's reflected in that particular news account. i think we have made tremendous progress in 13 years and we'll keep working on it. >> thank you. mr. secretary. >> congressman, just yesterday director comey and i got together to talk about cybersecurity, to ensure that our organizations are working together effectively on cybersecurity. we both have a role in
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cybersecurity. along with other agencies. so one of our challenges is to make sure that what you refer to doesn't happen, because that doesn't do any good for the american people, for our government, for the taxpayers to see you engaged in turf wars. we have committed to setting the example at the top and instilling that example in the rank and file in our leadership. on cybersecurity, for example, we get together routinely to talk about what is our framework. are we getting it right? are we having any turf battles? all three of us, i think, i think i speak for our respective organizations and communities, are committed to working together. i think it does depend a lot on the personalities at the top. committing to work together. the last thing i'll say is your comment about d.h.s.. in the nine months i have been in office, i have seen the advantage of having the
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components within my department together in one conference table. when we were dealing with the situation in the southwest border this summer in rio grande valley, i could put together at my conference table c.b.p., i.c.e., fema, and the coast guard to deal with the situation, to tell them what needs to be done. these are entities that were scattered across the federal government previous to the creation of d.h.s. i have seen the synergies of putting a loft these components together in one department. if that was the thrust of your comment i agree with t >> i'm glad it's working and communicating with all your elements. that's why it was stood up. we need to learn from the 9/11 commission report. the reason we combated the stovepiping and sharing of information, americans are counting on you guys. thank you so much. god bless you. i yield back. >> the chair recognizings mr. o'rourke. >> thank you, mr. chairman, for holding this hearing. i join my colleagues who said earlier that there's perhaps no
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way that the american public can know everything that each of you and the men and women who work with you have done to protect this country. none the less we owe you our thanks and i want to join my colleagues in letting you know how much we appreciate it. secretary johnson, i appreciate you setting the record straight on terrorist threats to the homeland from our border with mexico. i could not agree more with you that despite our success thus far, that there have not been any terrorist plots connected to the southern border. there's no evidence that isis is preparing to infiltrate the united states. i couldn't agree more with you this is something we need to remain vigilant against, continue to guard against. continue to use all of our resources as warranted by the threat that exists based on the evidence that we find. i also appreciate you answering my colleagues' question about
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whether or not we have sufficient resources on the southern border. we are spending $18 billion a year. we have 20,000 border patrol agents. the vast majority of whom are on the southern border today. those are double the numbers, more than double the numbers we saw five or six or seven years ago. as you mentioned, the number of apprehensions is at a record low level. we saw 1.6 million apprehensions 15 years ago on the eve of 9/11. this year with the spike in rio grande valley i think it's going to be right at about half a million at the highest. in the el paso sector, the community i represent, the verage agent apprehended 4.2 migrants or crossers this last year. 4.2 per agent. now, that number does not reflect the deterrent value those agents have. i think there is a lot to be said for that. you also said earlier that while we have sufficient federal resources there, we could use
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nor. you are mentioned the center proposal which i think was to add another 20,000 agents on the border. i'm concerned that when we know that the greatest risk is at our airports. we talked about homegrown terrorists. that we are obsessively focusing on the southern border. let's remain vigilant. but we have finite resources. we should apply them where we have the greatest threats based on established risks we have been able to determine. let me get your thoughts on that comment. >> most people would endorse the notion of a risk-based strategy to homeland security, border security, aviation security. we focus resources where we believe the risk exists. it's an effective, efficient use of taxpayer dollars. in aviation security, for example, we made the judgment to develop the t.s.a. precheck
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program where we focus resources on the population we know less about. and the border parole experts that i have talked to also endorse that approach. and so with the additional personnel, additional boots on the ground, on the border comes surveillance technology, the ability to monitor what's going on on the southwest border. to know where the threat areas are because they do migrate. they do move around. we had a challenge this summer in south texas. so i continually with our border patrol personnel look at where are the threat areas, how has it evolved. so in my judgment in response to your question i think that a risk-based strategy is appropriate and i think that technology, more technology, more surveillance, is the key to our future for border security. >> just following on your
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comments. my colleague sought analogy in previous conflicts to apply to this threat from terrorists who might want to enter the homeland. i also think about the french on the eve of world war ii and their obsession with the line and somehow through fortifications and line of defense and the specific place we are going to somehow solve a threat posed to this country. i think we have to be far more creative and really be rigorous and disciplined about applying resources to where those threats are or where they could be based on established risk. last question to you, mr. secretary. there is a southern border and approaches campaign plan through d.h.s. some have compared this to a south com-type effort of organizing resources and assets against a specific threat. could you very briefly describe the intent of that campaign and where you were in its implementation? >> first of all, going back to your previous question, i think
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i speak for my colleagues when i of one of us want -- none us down play or underestimate the risk of -- or the concern of a terrorist or terrorist organization infiltrating our homeland. that is probably our primary concern, day to day, when we go to work every day. something we have to continually be vigilant about. southern campaign plan is in development. i expect to be in a position to announce some things in the month of october concerning the southern campaign plan. it is an effort to more strategicically bring to -- strategically bring to bear more resources from my department onboarder security in a way that is not stove piped -- stovepiped. in a way that is strategic in how we use all our different
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resources within the department. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> the chair recognizes mr. chaffetz. >> i thank all three of you for your dedication and the men and women who serve in our departments and agencies. secretary johnson, i want to thank you particularly for the good work the men and women are doing in homeland security. i can tell you it's taken off is the production and response to congress in terms of responding to our letters and inquiries is the difference i cannot tell you how much better it is. i thank you and the people who work on this. i do appreciate it. >> i'd like to respond but you are getting them faster. >> true. since you took office, secretary johnson, on december 23, are you aware of any apprehensions of suspected or known terrorists who are trying to come to our country illegally? >> that's an important question.
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attempting to come to this country? >> who came across our border illegally. did you ever apprehend anybody who was a known terrorist, a suspected terrorist, somebody who had ties to a terrorist organization? >> sitting here right now no specific case comes to mind. that doesn't mean there is none. perhaps director comey can think of one. sitting here right now none comes to mind but that doesn't mean there isn't one. nor does that mean there is no investigation of one, either. >> my concern is that i have reason to believe on september 10 there were actually four individuals trying to cross through the texas border who were apprehended at two different stations that do have ties to known terrorist organizations in the middle east. are you not aware of that? >> i have heard reports to that effect. i don't know the accuracy of the reports or how much creed ns to
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give them. but i have heard -- credence to give them. but i have heard reports to that effect. >> you as a secretary, does that information rise to the level of the secretary. let me give you some metrics and some of the reason i'm concerned about what's going on in the southwest border. this is an internal document of yours. while there were, as noted, nearly 466,000 apprehensions over the last 351 days, we also had 157,012 got aways. 142,630 reported turnbacks. but one of the other metrics that's also fascinating to me is the sensors found there primarily throughout the southwest, we had just under five million sensor hits in fiscal year 2013, but fiscal year 2014, eefer the last days, we now have had more than six million of those hits.
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we got tortoises and animals that -- there's a lot of false positives there. but the kesh is -- concern is if you look at the apprehensions, we have apprehended people from 143 different countries, according to the internal statistics, 13 were from syria, six from iraq, four from iran. and the list goes on to 143 different countries. the men and women that work on our southwest border, they do an amazing job. but to suggest that we have operational control of the border, help me understand this. you said there was a 70% to 90% success rate? explain to me what that is. >> when you look at what we believe to be total attempts to cross the border illegally, the estimated rate of those who make the attempt, of those who are
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apprehended are somewhere between 70% and 90%. it varies in time. >> previously the g.a.o. had indicated there was only a 6% operational control of the border. what percentage, what is the operational control of the border at this time? >> i don't have that number off hand. i do agree with you that the challenge of those coming from countries other than mexico, particularly into the rio grande valley sector, is one i'm very concerned about. it's something that i have been concerned about since i took office in january. i have seen it myself at our detention center in brownsville when i visited there in january. there was something like 80 nationalities. >> i need to interrupt because i have just a little time. i have to switch real quick to a yes-no question. in 1983 president reagan put in place the prohibition on libyan nationals from seeking visas to
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come to the united states to be trained in aviation security -- aviation and nuclear sciences. myself, the judiciary chairman, bob goodlatte, congressman and i introduced legislation that would keep that prohibition in place. there's been a process going through your offices and through the administration to actually reverse that prohibition that was put in place in 1983 that now sits on your desk. what is your view of lifting that prohibition? >> i do not intend to lift that prohibition at this time. he don't believe -- i don't believe legislation to prevent me from lifting it is necessary. given the current environment i do not intend to lift it at this time. >> i appreciate it. thank you. yield back. >> the chair recognizes mr. swalwell. >> i thank the chair. to our witnesses, 13 years ago i was a congressional intern here in this town on september 11, i
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watched with great interest our country's response to september 11. and i watched the creation, mr. secretary, of your department. and this committee become a full standing committee. and now i think what we are experiencing with the rise and spread of isil in the middle east and our efforts to respond to it is exactly why this department was created. so first i just want to thank you, mr. secretary, and the two directors, for the work you do every day to answer to these challenges to keep us safe here at home. while we are going to consider today what offensive measures we may take abroad, the critical component i'm most concerned about is what are we doing here at home? so first i just want to get out of the way. something that my colleague from texas alluded to. mr. secretary, do we have any evidence of any of the following groups coming across our southern border?
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isil? we have no specific intelligence that members of isil are crossing into the united states on our southern border. director olsen could comment more specifically or correct me on that. a i'll go one by one. how about hezbollah? yes or no? >> same answer. >> how about al nutra? >> i believe the answer is the same. again i want to defer to my intelligence community colleague here in terms of any assessments of the current environment. >> may i also ask, in addition to it not stopping anyone or interacting with anyone or interdicting anyone coming across who is not a member these groups, would it also be safe to say that the intelligence community has not collected any information in the various means and methods that uses to select intelligence that there are efforts under way to use the
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southern border to go into the united states? >> i think that's true certainly with respect to your first question, congressman on isil. we have seen it. i mentioned chatter on -- from sympathizers about that question. but we have seen nothing to indicate any effort to enter the border into the united states by isil. >> i was in jordan, egypt, morocco, and israel two weeks ago and met with our state department teams and allies over there. my greater fear is not the southern border but we were told about the number of americans who are over in syria and iraq fighting shoulder to shoulder with isil as well as the number of westerners who are over there. i was hoping that you could elaborate on what we are going to do or what we are doing to disrupt any plans of theirs to return to the united states and carry out with the tools and
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hate that they have built and developed abroad. >> congressman, we have made enhanced ferts to -- efforts to track these individuals within the various communities of the u.s. government. as you heard we mention, we have enhanced our aviation security measures. we are making enhanced efforts. we have stepped up our dialogue with our allies. with our partners there. the president will chair a u.n. security council session next week on the topic of foreign fighters. and we are considering a number of things to do that will give us more information from passengers from countries from visa waiver countries so that we know more about individuals who attempt to travel. there's always law enforcement. i believe the f.b.i. does a terrific job from the law enforcement perspective of investigating and arresting people who attempt to join terrorist organizations, who attempt to leave the country.
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i believe our allies also understand the nature of this threat and are making enhanced efforts as well. >> with the number of foreign fighters coming in to syria and iraq, i have asked you, mr. secretary, and others from the department, that we really expedite the number of visa waiver countries who are participating in interpol's stolen and lost travel documents database. i still remain concerned after what happened back in the spring with the malaysian airline disappearance. two passengers had boarded that flight with lost or stolen passports. now more than ever we need to make sure we know and have these other countries step up their efforts to report to interpol. i -- if you could update us briefly on what we are doing. >> we have been having that dialogue with our allies. i think they understand the nature of that issue. >> thank you again to each of you for what you are doing to
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keep us safe here. i yield back. >> this committee's considering legislation to require visa waiver countries to provide more data and information in exchange for that privilege. with that, the chair now recognizes mr. barletta. >> thank you, mr. chair. i don't know film' making the argument here whether or not we should secure our southern border or not. that's the feeling i'm getting. there's been a lot of talk if any terrorists -- whether or not any terrorists have crossed the border illegally. but we do know that those wishing to do us harm have manipulated in the past our immigration system. to enter and remain in the united states. mahmoud halima, a convicted perpetrator of the 1993 world trade center bombing received amnesty in 1986 after he claimed to be an agricultural worker despite being a cabdriver in new
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york. the only thing he planted in america was a bomb. president obama has told the american people and potential terrorists that he plans to grant some form of administrative amnesty to potentially millions of those currently in the country unlawfully. secretary johnson, as you make recommendations to the president, as to how he should implement such a program, how will you assure the american halima will nother not slip through the cracks? is >> congressman, i am very knowing as much as we can about individuals who are undocumented in this country. if an elieve that it earned path to citizenship were
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to become law, that would encourage people to come forward and submit to a background check so that they can get on the books. i know there's a lot of debate -- give me a secretary, please. there's a lot of debate about the earned path to citizenship. from my homeland security perspective, i want people who are living in this country, undocumented, to come forward an get on the books and -- and get on the books and subject themselves to a background check so can i know who they are and whether it's the current daca program or an earned path to citizenship. whether it's deferred action or earned path to citizenship, from my homeland security perspective i want people to come forward and submit -- >> secretary johnson, i have dealt with this as a mayor in my hometown. do we honestly believe that any would-be terrorist or criminal or drug dealer is going to come forward to have a criminal background check done on them? are they going to continue to remain under ground, nobody with
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a criminal record's going to come forward. >> the more i can learn about the undocumented population in this country, the better. the more effectively we can use our removal resources against the type of person you just described, the better. so i'm interested in going after public safety, national security threats in terms of our removal resources. i want to have a system that more effectively gets to that population. >> do you believe halima would have come forward for a criminal background check in 1993? >> most criminals do not subject themselves to criminal background checks. i agree with that. >> he still would have planted that bomb in the world trade center. the 9/11 commission report that i have here i question whether this was a report and recommendations that was passed by congress and signed by the president, why we haven't taken those recommendations and
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enforced them? the summary in the very first line says enforcement of our immigration law is a core component that according to the commission, up to 15 of the 19 hijackers on september 11 could have been intercepted or deported through more diligent enforcement of immigration laws. why are we not picking up the recommendations of the 9/11 commission report so we don't have another attack again? >> there are a number of 9/11 commission recommendations that i wish we could all adopt. >> but enforcing our immigration law is number one. >> very plainly enforcement of our immigration laws is a top priority of mine. and with the resources that congress gives us, we can and we should do an effective job of going after those who represent threats to public safety. >> and secure the borders. >> you can continue to watch this hearing live at here on c-span we'll take you live momentarily to the house floor. they are gaveling in next to take up a resolution expressing
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house support for the people of ukraine. then they will resume work on the continuing resolution funding the federal government at current levels through december 11 and they'll also resume debate on the amendment to that c.r. which would authorize the eequipping and training of some -- equipping and training of some rebel fighters against isis. three more hours of debate set on the house floor. live coverage. the speaker: the house will be in order. the prayer will be offered today by our guest chaplain, reverend joseph holcomb, flushing, new york. the chaplain: let us place ourselves in the presence of almighty god. all powerful and merciful god, we praise you and give you thanks for all your gracious gifts. most especially the gift of your
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infinite and unconditional love. it is your gift of love that inspires and drives us to seek peace throughout our nation and our world. to gain an awareness that we share a common destiny which is ultimately transcendent. peace that is not the mere absence of war, but as a harmonious coexistence of individual citizens within a society governed by justice, one in which the good is also achieved for each of them. help us through your gift of love to work diligently in these coming days, months, and years, to seek peace for all. may our deliberations in this, the united states house of representatives, bring about understanding, tolerance, and
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peace in our great nation and the world. we pray this in your holy name, amen. the speaker pro tempore: the chair has examined the journal of the last -- the speaker: the chair has exnled the journal of the last day's proceed. pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1, the journal stands approve. for what purpose does the gentleman rise? >> pursuant to clause 1 on rule 1, i demand a vote on the speaker's approval of the journal. the speaker: the question is on the speaker's approval of the journal. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the gentleman from california. >> i object to the vote on the grounds that a quorum is not present and make a point of order that a quorum is not present. the speaker: pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this question will be postpone the pledge of allegiance will be led by mr. payne.
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mr. payne: indivisible, with liberty and justice for all pledge and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under god, pledge -- i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation, under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the speaker: without objection the gentlelady from new york, ms. meng is recognized for one minute. ms. meng: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to introduce my colleagues to father joseph t. holcomb the guest chaplain today. he serves st. andrew avalino roman catholic church in queens, new york. a native new yorker he, attended holy family catholic grammar school, cathedral preparatory seminary, cathedral college of the immaculate conception and seminary of the immaculate conception he obtained a bachelor's degree from college in new york and a masters in beginity from immaculate on
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seppings and an -- a masters in social work. he woffers ordained in 1980 and has been faithfully serving ever since. he was appointed as the sixth pastor of st. andrew avalino and has worked tireless to make improvements where possible. his efforts to ved will -- have led to enhance fer hancement of the church hismeds work in the church has touched thousands of lives and we're so privileged to have him in the queens community. far holcomb is a pillar of leadership and faith in my district and i ask my colleagues to join me in welcoming father holcomb to the house of representatives and to thank him for serving as our guest haplain today. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair will entertain up to 15 further requests for one-minute speeches on each side of the aisle. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek
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recognition? without objection the gentleman s recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. chairman. you know, 227 years ago, our founding fathers came together to write the constitution and it's on this foundation that we have built the greatest nation on earth. the constitution protect ours democracy and individual liberties that define the american way of life we are all blessed to enjoy. i have spent most of my life defending what the constitution stands for. mr. johnson: 29 years in the united states air force and now in the united states congress. and i consider this to be an honor and a privilege. but we can all do our part to defend americans' freedom by understanding and remembering our constitution's significance. that's why today, on national constitution day, i encourage all americans to join me in
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reflecting on the history and the meaning of this important document. we must never take our freedom for granted. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from -- does the gentlewoman from new york seek recognition. ew jersey. -- the gentleman from new jersey seek recognition. >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. payne: i rise today because i'm concerned about the newark public schools one newark plan which picks winners and losers among schools and students. i sent a letter to the superintendent of newark public schools and i am deeply troubled by its actions which ignored efforts to strengthen traditional public schools. further, i question whether the one newark plan will truly realize the vision for all
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students in the newark public school system, especially children with disabilities. mr. speaker, i sent this let for the february and more than five months later, i have yet to receive a single response. the people i represent are very upset over the lack of answers and the complete disregard for their concerns and they have a right to be upset. the opening of the schools in the newark public school system this year was a debacle. there have been protests and there will continue to be until the voices of the people are heard. we are talking about the future of newark, the future of our district and the future of our state and the children that we love. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, i rise today to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the land and water
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conservation fund this landmark legislation was initially passed in 1964, permanently paving the way for the protection and growth of our nation's natural resources. mr. speaker, new york's 19th congressional district is home to some of the most amazing scenery in the nation. constituents in our district can walk and bike in the hudson and mohawk valleys. they can hike through the mountains and paddle along streams that feed into the river. i'm proud to say my constituents know how important it is to preserve and protect our land. the land and water conservation fund has been a tremendous success for new york state. it has been estimated that outdoor recreational activity supports over 300,000 jobs for new york and that over four million new yorkers participate in hunting, fishing and wildlife each year. mr. gibson: additionally, my district benefit from the forest legacy program that helps states preserve and maintain forestland. next year we'll have the opportunity to re-authorize
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lwcf. i encourage my colleagues in the house and senate to reflect on the legislation's success, recognize our nation's legacy of historic beauty and support the re-authorization next year. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? without objection the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> i rise too highlight the importance of clean energy sources and the leading role america is poised to play in his field. earlier this summer plans were announced to open a plant in new york. mr. high fwins: it would create ove 1,000 jobs. however continued growth the renewable energy is dependent on congress making the right policy. that's why we must extend the solar tax credits which are due to expire at the end of 2016 and need to ensure that consumers
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selling energy back to the grid are able to do so at predictable and fair prices. hat's why i've urged them to study best practices for net metering. just as buffalo-niagara region was an early adopter of hydroelectricity, we intend to be a lead for the clean technologies like solar power as well. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from arkansas seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, since the u.s. marshals service was founded on september 24 of 17 9, u.s. marshals have served this country with dedication and distinction, upholding its creed of justice. the u.s. marshal service will
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celebrate its birthday next week in my district by breaking ground on the u.s. marshals' museum in fort smith, arkansas. mr. womack: it will be funded in part by the sale of coins commemorating the 225th anniversary of the marshal service. the museum will highlight pivotal moments in our oldest federal law enforcement agency's history and pay proper tribute to the heroism the marshals have shown over the last 225 years. i speak for all my constituents in my district to say we are humbled to have the marshals' museum make fort smith it's home and honored to play a part in their next 225 years of service. happy birthday, u.s. marshals, and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from texas seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. ms. jackson lee: i just left the
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homeland security hearing on the horror of isil and held up the constitution to say that we will not allow terrorists to undermine our values. i am grateful we live under the constitution that we do. with that in mind, i encourage my colleagues to join me on h.r. 5488 a bill that i've introduced that would call for the reviewing and looking at the watch list to make sure that no foreign fighters are lift off that list and that there's a no fly for foreign fighters, again reminding thousands of processes in which we use and i hope that there will be those who will do so. i want to make knowledge of the fact that we are facing economic growth and we should acknowledge that but we also experiencing problems. all i hear from the nfl are the expression of problems. i sent a letter to director goodell of the nfl, the commissioner, to say put your resources where your complaints are. there are so many groups that are dealing with this violence against women and abuse of
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children that we need to provide from the nfl the resources to all of those groups. we need nfl waive -- wives to be engaged. stop talking and let's do something. this is disgraceful. but there's an epidemic of domestic violence and the nfl can stand up and announce a major funding, as my colleague in the senate has indicated, to be able to lift all these groups that struggle every day to reach these women. i would also add to them, paw campaign, see something, say something on domestic violence, i ask the nfl to stand up and be counted i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from kansas seek recognition? without objection the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. ms. jenkins: i rise in support of h.r. 3043, the tribal general welfare exclusion act. under what is known as the general welfare doctrine, the i.r.s. excludes a broad array of government services for purposes such as education, public
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safety, health, housing, culture, and health. this has not always been the case for tribal nations. recently the i.r.s. challenged tribal welfare programs, despite many of these being nearly identical to tax exempt programs provided at state and local levels. several groups have voiced their concerns to me about invasive i.r.s. audits and examinations that seek to tax government programs and benefits to their members. this bicameral and bipartisan legislation will positively affect many native americans and is an important step in bringing i.r.s. treatment of the tribes in line with how they are currently treating states. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? of >> i ask unanimous consent to
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address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> mr. speaker, domestic violence should never, ever be tolerate the nfl's inept response to the recent reports of domestic violence has thrust a tragic spotlight onto this issue that we are all aware of. mr. costa: the truth is, domestic violence and assault are daily realities. one in four women will experience physical violence by an intimate partner in their lifetime. in 2012, part of the area that i represent in california, 6,000 domestic violence cases were reportedy the fresno police department. -- reported by the fresno police department. it's hard to believe and unacceptable. today let's make a commitment not to let this moment fade away after the headlines are gone. as a co-founder and co-chair of the bipartisan victims' rights
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caucus, we will keep working with all the strim advocate groups to strength -- all the victim advocate groups to strengthen violence against women act and end the rape kit backlog and ensure that every woman has the right to a life without violence. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. 227 years ago our founding fathers signed the u.s. constitution. mr. lamalfa: establishing our nation united arne the principal that our rights as citizens come not from the government but the creator. today we commit ourselves by choice to upholding and defending these fundamental principles recognizing this document, including liberty, freedom, rule of law of our great republic. indeed, our first act as newly elected members of this house is to swear an oath to uphold and protect this document. these principles have guided our
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nation well over the last 227 years, both in times of prosperity as well as discord. now perhaps more than ever it is our duty and duty of every american to ensure these liberties and freedoms can be passed on to our children and grandchildren. i'm honored to stand here today to democrat rate the works of these 39 brave and wise original signators o our constitution. i yield -- to our constitution. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from california rise? >> unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> thank you, madam speaker. this month we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the land and water conservation fund and wilderness act, two of our nation's most effective conservation tools. in california, the land and water conservation fund has provided more than $2 billion to protect some of our most iconic
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national landmarks. in my district alone, this includes the point raise national seashore, redwood national park, goalen gate national recreation area, and countless state parks, trails, and recreation areas. the fund uses zero taxpayer dollars for these investments and the economic and environmental well-being of our communities. instead, it is funded by revenues from offshore oil and gas activities. we celebrate also the 50th anniversary of the wilderness act, which has protected some of our nation's mostries teen and impact wild places. mr. huffman: as climate change begins to take its toll, protecting these giled places will be more vital to the survival of being threatened and endangered species and conservation values part of our national fabric. this should not be a partisan issue. every american benefits from these two important laws and the lands they protefpblgt please join me in supporting them for another 50 years. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for
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what purpose does the gentleman from west virginia seek recognition? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> madam speaker, after more than 40 years in the construction trade, my friend, john clark, of wheeling, has retired. he's a lifelong west virginian. form president of the international brotherhood of electrical works and served on the international executive committee of iebw. after serving in vietnam in the marine corps, he returned home and gave back to his community serving on over 25 local charitable and professional organizations. . mckinley: the president ed hill said working families in west virginia have never had a better friend than john clark. more importantly, in a world conflicted with partisanship, john proudly put his country
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first. not his political affiliation. he made a difference. his decades of devotion to his country and community can only be matched by his commitment to his wife of 43 years, margaret and his two sons, justin and lucas. i extend my congratulations to john and wish him well on his retirement. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? >> unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> madam speaker, each year from september 15 until october 15 the nation celebrates the many contributions of latinos during hispanic heritage month. mr. veasey: the hispanic community continues to relish in the cultural and historical footprint in the areas of government, architecture, business, and the arts. from north texas, hispanic elected officials, both past andp present, who are advocating
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for the latino community, to the theater in fort worth and latino cultural center in dallas, hispanic culture continues to illuminate all aspects of life and history in the dallas-fort worth metroplex. the contribution of the business leaders continue to make the area we live in one of the best in the entire country. both the hispanic -- both the dallas and counties are fortunate to be served by very strong hispanic chambers of commerce that proudly serve many of those businesses. it is undeniable that hispanic culture is woven into all aspects of american culture and the dallas-fort worth area. we are fortunate to be known for a city vibrant for its strong latino community. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from montana seek recognition? mr. daines: unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. daines: montana is a state
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blessed with people of a strong commitment to service. in fact, more than 100,000 military veterans call our state home and our dedicated law enforcement officials perform critical services each and every day. on august 14, 2014, we lost a great montanan when cascade county sheriff deputy and marine corps combat veteran joseph james dunne, the first, was killed in the line of duty. joe put faith and family at the center of his life. going on multiple mission trips, he was described as a bold ambassador for christ. no one was more important to joe than his family. his dear wife, robin, son, joey, and daughter shiloh. joe will be doorly missed by all who -- dearly missed by all who knew him. he personafide service to his contry, his state, and community. joe's life is an inspiration for all montanans. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: for
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what purpose does the gentleman from illinois seek recognition? >> unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, madam speaker. mr. quigley: this week the house will vote on loosely related bits of campaign fodder bundled together and labeled a jobs bill. but if we really want to help american workers and boost our economy, let's take a vote to increase the minimum wage. let's show hardworking americans that it is simply unacceptable for a mother working full-time to live $400 below the federal poverty line. let's show businesses that we understand that added buying power for our works workers is the boost this economic recovery needs. president truman once said, full human dignity requires at least a minimum level of economic sufficiency and security. the american people deserve that and more.
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the american people want and deserve a vote to increase the minimum wage. thank you. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from illinois seek recognition? >> unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> madam speaker, i rise today disturbed by a report confirming that the affordable care act provides for a massive expansion of abortion funded by the taxpayer. this week the nonpartisan government accountability office revealed that 1,036 of the plans hovered under obamacare ineligible for hirp subsidies cover abortion on demand. mr. hultgren: although the president promised in 2009 that no federal dollars would be used to fund abortions, the law's accounting gimmicks show otherwise. one of my heroes, the late honorable henry hyde, worked hard to ensure that no american would be forced to pay for someone else's abortion. that's why the house passed h.r.
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7, the no taxpayer funding for abortion and abortion insurance full disclosure act. clearly there's been a lack of full disclosure by the administration and the insurance companies who have ignored the law. a law which failed to provide adequate safeguards for the taxpayer. many americans are thus unwilling -- unwittingly paying for a procedure which violates their most deeply held beliefs. it's time the administration honored both the letter and spirit of the hyde amendment. it's time for the senate to pass h.r. 7 and ensure no american is forced for abortion. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentlewoman from california seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. ms. lee: thank you, madam speaker, as we prepare to cast our vote today to train and equip syrian rebels. i want to remind my colleagues of the $22 billion that the united states has spent to train and equip iraqi security forces
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during our decade at war there. what happened? the iraqi security forces could not secure the country and fled major iraqi cities when confronted by isis. $20.2 billion. yet here we are again today ready to authorize hundreds of millions of dollars to train and equip members of the syrian free army. what in the world are we doing? instead of rushing in to yet another war flooding the region with more weapons and intervening further in a civil war, congress should be pressing the pause button. instead of rushing into yet another war authorization, which of course is congressional resolution says it's not, but the unintended consequences will expand this war, congress should be examining all of the solutions to this crises, not just the military ones. that's why i have called and will continue to call for congress to live up to its constitutional responsibility and have a full debate on an authorization to use force. the cost and consequences should be made clear.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. -- the gentlelady's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from missouri seek recognition? >> madam speaker, to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, madam speaker. today, september 17, 2014, marks 82,910 days since the constitution was signed in 1787. though i have only been a united states congressman for 469 of those days, on every one of them i work to uphold the oath of office i swore to defend our nation's most important governing document, the constitution. mr. smith: on this constitution day, i would like to take some time to remind us all that all parts of the founding document are important. especially in this time of executive overreach, we should remember that our constitution created three equal and distinct
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branches of government. thank you, madam speaker. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the the gentlewoman from california seek wreck? >> to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. mrs. capps: madam speaker, i rise today to add my voice to the thousands of citizens who will soon descend upon new york city to call upon -- for action to combat climate change. the first ever people's climate march will demonstrate robust support for climate action ahead of the united nations climate summit next tuesday. climate change is the defining challenge of our time. it threatens our economy. and our way of life. in countless ways. through catastrophic wildfires. through severe storms. and rising seas. and in my home state of california, one of the worst droughts on record threatens water supplies for drinking water and irrigation of valuable crops. this year alone the drought will
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cost the agricultural sector $2.2 billion and over 17,000 jobs. our nation is taking positive steps to curb harmful carbon emissions. but there is so much more work that needs to be done. we can't wait any longer. our children and our grandchildren are depending upon it. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from hawaii seek recognition? ms. hanabusa: unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. ms. hanabusa: thank you, madam speaker. my home state of hawaii is a unique and very special place. there isn't a day that goes by that either a colleague or someone stops me to share with me a very special story about hawaii. i stand here today to ask that you remember us in a different way. a state with a very active volcano, which is now within the
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residential area called the homestead, and with lava flowing at a rate of 705 feet a day, soon to wipe out a major highway and who knows how many other subdivisions in its way. this area is known as puna, the same area which took the brunt of the hurricane, later tropical storm, issel, in august of this year. they still have not recuperated from that storm and now they have to contend with the lava. so i ask my colleagues, madam speaker, that when we look at fema, department of agriculture, other agencies which will be able to help us, that when we look at the funding of first responders, that you remember hawaii, you remember our big island, and you remember the people of puna. thank you. i yield back.
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the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> madam speaker, as someone who was born and raised in south florida, i know miami thrives on investment, exports, and economic development provided by the export-import bank facilities, the ex-im bank this organization will lose its authorization unless congress acts. mr. garcia: and it is crucial to fueling a prosperous economy not knowledge south florida but the entire country. in 2013 alone, the ex-im bank supported an estimated $347 billion in exports and helped sustain more than 200,000 jobs. this is key. in my own district, 300 million exports since 2007. as a percentage of the g.d.p.,
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china and india provided roughly three times as much financing as we did. we need to re-authorize the ex-im fwoonk create jobs and keep our exporters in a competitive foreign market. i urge my colleagues to join me in working to re-authorize the ex-im bank. this is an issue too important in the economy for partisan politics. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair clarifies that pursuant to section 106-d-5-b of the higher education opportunity act, public law 110-315, the speaker's appointments of may 25, 2010, and december 22, 2010, of individuals on the part of the house to the national advisory committee on institutional quality and integrity expired on may 25, 2014.
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the chair announces the speaker's appointment, pursuant to section 106 of the higher education opportunity act, public law 110-315, and the order of the house of january 3, 2013, of the following individuals on the part of the house to the national advisory committee on institutional quality and integrity for a term f six years. the clerk: upon the recommendation of the majority leader, arthur e. kaiser of fort auder dill, florida, william paskulo of florida, and william j. rothkof of washington, d.c. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20 the chair will postpone further proceedings today on motions to suspend the rules on which the a recorded vote or the yeas and nays are ordered or on which the vote incurs objection under clause 6 of rule 20.
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any record vote on the postponed uestion will be taken later.
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for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> madam speaker, i move the house suspend the rules and pass house resolution 726. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 726, resolution strongly sporting the right of the people of ukraine tissue supporting the right of the people of ukraine to freely determine their future, including their country's relationship with other nations and international organizations, without interference, intimidation, or coercion by
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other countries. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from california, mr. royce, and the gentleman from new jersey, mr. pascrell, will each control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. royce: i ask unanimous consent that members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include any extraneous materials in the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. royce: thank you, madam speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. royce: madam speaker, this is a historic moment for the ukraine. it has withstood invasion by illegal orces, their annexation of crimea, the arming of separatist militias by moscow, the cutoff of natural gas, the imposition of trade barriers aimed at undermining ukraine's economy, they've suffered under a russian
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propaganda offensive designed to sow fear and exploit division. and they've had many other assaults along the way. i had an opportunity, myself and eliot engel of new york, to travel to the ukraine. long with jim gerlalk. -- gerlalk. -- gerlach. we are happy to have mr. gerlach and ms. kaptur with us today, they are the authors of this resolution today. i will lay out what we saw both in western ukraine and in the east because we traveled across that country. but before i do that, let me point out that thousands and thousands of ukrainians have been killed by the fighting in the east and hundreds of thousands have been made refugees. but ukraine still stands. it stands unbowed. more determined than tover secure its independence and its -- than ever to secure its
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independence and sovereignty. and this resolution that the house has before it states unambiguously our support for ukraine in its effort. the united states, our european allies and many other countries have made clear that we will not allow troush bludgeon, bludgeon ukraine into submission because that's exactly what they attempted to do. we have imposed tough sanctions on russia. we provided extensive assistance to help ukraine through this difficult time. its military needs to be bolstered and we are supporting the establishment of a democratic system representing all of the people of ukraine. importantly, yesterday, the ukrainian parliament passed a law granting greater autonomy, including russian language rights to those in the east. a strong democracy, respectful of individual rights is the best counter to vladimir putin's
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autocratic ways. ukraine faces many challenges, including growing economic problems, the possibility of a gas shortage this winter, and a never-ending onslaught of propaganda. we will continue to asaste ukraine but it's vie -- to assist ukraine but it's vital that in ukraine, and we carried this message when we were in country, vital that they implement the far-reaching economic and structural reforms necessary to enable that economy to grow. ending russia's ability to use its oil and natural gas as weapons has got to be a priority. there are steps that ukraine itself can take. beginning with reforming its energy sector to expand its own production of energy and of course to increase efficiency. the united states and other countries, especially yew crane's neighbors in europe, can help by make -- especially ukraine's neighbors in europe can help by making alternative
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supplies available to this country. you notice that the polish engineers reverse engineered those pipes so that gas can come into ukraine. western ukraine is -- has tremendous possibilities for oil shale. we met, when we were in aser buy january, with the -- in azerbaijan with the government there building a pipeline into central europe. we know that a lot more can be done to get gas into the ukraine. the u.s. can take a major step forward by removing the restrictions we have imposed on ourselves that severely limit the export of our abundant natural gas supplies. we've got a glut on our market. frankly, this is a way to create jobs,s that way to help our balance of payments. let's sell this to the ukraine because they deeply need it and frankly the prices in the east are very, very high and this will give us a new market.
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and the other body could act on legislation this house has passed to revamp u.s. international broadcasting so there's an effective counter to moscow's never-ending propaganda. this is legislation that i and my colleague eliot engel have offered in order to make certain that the people in ukraine and frackly that russian-speaking populations everywhere, can hear the truth about what is happening ined -- inside their own countries as well as an appeal to political pluralism and tolerance and all the values that the international community should share. in april, ranking member engel and i led a delegation, as i mentioned, to the ukraine, to see for ourselveses the situation on the -- for ourselves, the situation on the ground, including an area that borders on the region controlled by the separatists. there and in kiev we had discussions with a range of
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senior officials including the prime minister about the situation in their country. we also spoke with leaders of the civil society community, women's groups, lawyers' groups, russian speaking communities, all strongly supported a united ukraine, all opposed russian intervention. all shared with us that at the end of the day, they wanted ukraine whole, they wanted russia out. prior with mr. -- we met to the election and assured him of our support and now the entire congress will demonstrate that continuing commitment when the president of ukraine addresses the joint session tomorrow. the message will be heard loud and clear, not just in ukraine, not just in kiev but also in moscow and around the world that the united states stands with the people of ukraine now and always.
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mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. engel: i rise in strong support of this resolution and yield myself such time as i macon susme the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. engel: thank you, mr. speaker. tomorrow, we'll welcome the president of ukraine to address the joint session of congress. it's fitting that the leader of the ukrainian people will speak in this chamber where over the centuries, our own democracy has grown and thrived. today, we know that freedom and democracy in ukraine are under threat and so with this resolution, we will send a clear signal to the president and people of ukraine that we stand by them. america stands with them. i visited ukraine a few months woog my friend, the chame of the -- chairman of the foreign affairs committee, congressman royce, and everywhere we went we
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heard the same thing, the people of ukraine do not want russian interference in their country. ukraine is an independent nation, it's not part of another country. and the people of ukraine have a right to make a determination for themselves as to what their policies would be without intimidation from mr. putin or anybody else. this hit home, especially for me when i visited a synagogue in eastern ukraine. my four grandfathers -- grandparents were born in ukraine. two holder -- older men at the synagogue approached me to talk about the russian threat. over the last century their eyes have seen the tide of history roll in and out of ukraine. they fought against hitler's army, lived under the yolk of soviet tyranny, watched democracy spread across eastern europe and now they were looking at a new threat on the horizon. don't abandon us, one of them said. america is very, very important. if anything that threat has only grown worse in recent months.
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separatist forces, bolstered by president putin, continue to wreak havoc across eastern ukraine. russian weapons brought down a plane full of innocent civilians. thousands of russian troops spilled over the border, trampling on ukrainian sovereignty. with this measure, we say, we support ukraine. we support the right of ukraine to determine its own future. we are also saying to our friends and allies around the world that this russian aggression must not stand and that democracies must unite to meet this challenge. finally, we're saying to mr. putin, if you continue to threaten your neighbors if you continue to sow unrest, if you continue to defy the will of the global community, you will isolate your country and your actions will have cons questions quenses. i should also add that i think the nato alliance, the credibility of the nato alliance, is really hanging in the balance. for the past 20 or 25 years, we
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have proceeded on the fact that russia was not a threat and russia indeed in many ways was a partner. that's no longer, unfortunately, the situation. russia is an adversary and the -- and the nato alliance has to adjust to that. the equation that nato has to adjust to has changed because of the actions of mr. putin in ukraine and so we have to make sure that our nato allies feel strengthened, we have to make sure that the countries bordering russia and bordering the rest of europe feel that they are not being intimidated and countries like ukraine and georgia and moldova, countries like that ought to be free to exert their independent thinking and what they feel is best for their country and not being intimidated by mr. putin system of i urge my colleagues to support this resolution and i reserve the balance of my time. .
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. royce: thank you, mr. speaker. i'm going to yield five minutes to the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. gur lack, he is co-chairman of the house ukraine caucus and he's the author of the resolution we have before us. mr. gerlach: i thank the chairman. mr. speaker, thank you for this opportunity to be before this body. particular thanks to chairman royce and to ranking member engel for their great support and cooperation for this resolution. and for the ukrainian people themselves. also special thanks to my colleagues in the house, congresswoman kaptur, congressman levin, and congressman pascrell for their terrific support on these important issues involving our two countries. this resolution sends unmistakable message to the russian federation and the entire world that this house stands united with the people of ecrane. during the last 10 months, no other ally has experienced more internal upheaval or more of an imminent threat to its sovereignty than our friends in
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ukraine. last november, the people of ukraine flooded key eve to protest the corrupt and arrogant regime. for nearly three months ukranians risked their lives and more than 100 civilians died while ushering in a new era and system of governance. an era in which their elected leaders will be accountable and transparent. honor the fundamental human rights awe ecraneans have regardless of their political affiliation. and bolster alliances with the united states and european union to foster greater economic opportunity and prosperity. he smoldering fires had barely been extinguish with a new threat emerged on ukrainian's eastern border with russia. putin occupied and annexed crimea. he emboldened except pra 'tises. clearly what putin has in mind for ukraine is not a new era of openness, liberty, and
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opportunity. but rather return to a bygone era of political intimidation and coercion. and putin's gambit to reassert russian influence in ukraine has exacted a lethal toll. the united nations estimates 3,000 ecranian civilians have been killed since april as a result of the clashes in eastern ukraine. but through all of these challenges, ukrainian people have not waivered in their desire to remain independent and to restore stability to their system of governance and an economy ravaged by the excesses of the previous regime. i believe the people of ukraine deserve our moral and material support as their country continues to confront challenges from within its borders and from its belligerent neighbor. that support must include defense articles, services, and training, and intelligence information that will allow ukraine to effectively defend its territory and maintain its sovereignty. i truly believe that an
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independent and democratic ukraine enhances the security of the united states and offers greater economic opportunity for citizens in both countries. therefore, i ask my colleagues to pass this resolution and reaffirm the united states' commitment to supporting the right of the people of ukraine to independently determine their future, free from intimidation and free from outside influence. i yield back, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. engel: thank you, mr. speaker. i now yield three minutes to the gentleman from new jersey, mr. pascrell. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey is recognized for three minutes. mr. pascrell: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, not too long ago, several years ago, several of us walked into this very, very historic room. the president of ukraine at that time, president yushchenko.
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a lot has happened since that orange revolution. a lot has happened. -- happened to the ukraine. we have in the ukraine we see a democratically elected, mr. poroshenko, who will be here tomorrow. walking down the same aisle in a very, very different political environment. i rise in support of house resolution 726, supporting the right of the people of ukraine, to freely determine their future. that's what this resolution is all about. and we must make clear our position that russia's actions over the past year to intimidate, to bring violence and death to the people of ukraine, as well as the victims of malaysia flight 17, lest we forget that behavior is
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unacceptable. by the entire international community. ukraine is a sovereign nation that either means something or it doesn't. it has borders. it has a democratically elected government. it has the right to govern itself as it sees fit. mr. putin doesn't understand the concept of a sovereign nation. it's like he's living in a time before wes feela. when the people of ukraine decided they wanted to further integrate with europe, he sent an army to invade. that was his answer. my congressional district in northern new jersey is home to many ukrainian americans. they are proud american citizens. they are proud of where they came from. they are proud of the culture. and proud of this culture in this great nation. they refuse to let russia bully their homeland.
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they know how to assimlate ukrainian americans in the united states. they are proud americans. while we have already put tough multilateral sanctions on russia, we need to do more. we wish russia no harm. but we are not going to be dictated by mr. putin's dream whims. i'm pleased that we have a cease-fire that appears to be holding. but we don't know for how long. russia needs to immediately withdraw any military assets it has in ukraine and the militias in the eats should be -- east should be disarmed. we should provide ukranians with defensive arms so that they can defend their country in sovereignty. this is how you treat an ally. not with words. i'm pleased this resolution calls for the president to do just this. we cannot let up on this
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pressure, mr. speaker, on mr. putin. after ukraine, he has his eyes set on allies in the ball particular states. -- baltic states. ukraine is not a part of nato. at least not yet. nor do we have a specific treaty -- 20 seconds. mr. engel: an additional 30 seconds. mr. pascrell: do we have a specific treaty with ukraine? no, we don't. but they are our ally. that must mean something. the united states of america stands with the people of ukraine today and we will continue to stand with them in the future. i thank mr. gerlach from pennsylvania for putting this resolution forward, marcy kaptur from ohio, mr. levin from michigan, and of course mr. elliott is always there to do the right thing in international
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discourse. i'm honored to be here today to present this, mr. speaker. i yield back the rest of my time. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from california continues to reserve. the gentleman from new york is recognized. thank you, mr. speaker. let me first of all echo what mr. pascrell just said. i want to commend mr. gerlach, ms. kaptur, and mr. levin. i now yield three minutes to the gentleman from michigan, mr. levin, who, as i said, is the co-author of this legislation. mr. levin: thank you to the ranking member for yielding and to the chair. and also to mr. gerlach. many of us have enjoyed working with you. and we are going to miss you. we don't do enough work together in this institution.
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i strongly and emotionally in a way support this resolution because of what has been going on in ukraine. this resolution shows our support for the ukrainian people's right to determine their own future and to build a country that is free and democratic. we stand firmly with ukrainian people and condemn russia's aggression. we should always remember that the impetus for ukraine's freedom comes from within. from within the ukrainian people. it is their desire to be free that is the ultimate force behind all international efforts. time and events have shown time and again that the ukrainian people are standing up for their freedom. from the orange revolution in 2004 to the protests in the
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square earlier this year, it is clear to the world that ukraine is determined to build her own future. the past year has been very difficult. ukrainian people have paid a very high price to govern according to their own wishes. the images and reports from ukraine have been hard to accept. we are deeply saddened by the lives lost and by the overwhelming uncertainties that still loom ahead. yet the ukrainian people have spoken through their actions. just yesterday here at the capitol the congressional ukrainian caucus held a celebration to commemorate the 400th anniversary of its oldest school. at the event i was delighted to see the strong support stemming from the american ukrainian community. the community's work in my home state of michigan and all across
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this nation has led to close collaboration between our two nations. and has reaffirmed our common values. the community's work is especially important now when others try to speak for their values and aspirations held true by the ukrainian people. tomorrow we will welcome president poroshenko to a joint meeting with members of the house and senate. we eagerly look forward to his remarks. the passage of this resolution will be emblematic of the support from the american people. but we should always remember that the impetus for a free and democratic ukraine comes from the ukrainian people themselves. but we can, should, and will help their efforts to continue to build a free ukraine. i yield back the balance of my time.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. the gentleman from california continues to reserve. the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. engel: thank you, mr. speaker. i now yield three minutes to the gentlewoman from ohio. she and i traveled to ukraine together many years ago on my first trip there. she's also the co-chair of the ukrainian caucus and has long been an advocate for a free and independent ukraine. marcy kaptur. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from ohio is recognized for three minutes. ms. kaptur: i would like to thank ranking member engel very much for yielding me the time, and also chairman royce for your leadership and willingness to bring -- to do all that was necessary to bring this bill to the floor today. to join jim gerlach, sander levin, bill pascrell, all very, very valued members of the ukrainian caucus. we rise as colleagues in support of house resolution 726. as we continue to strongly
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support the right of the people of ukraine to freely determine their own futures, their sovereignty, without outside interference and god forbid, further blood shed or loss of life. the brave people of ukraine continue to face incredible challenges. not only an assault on their borders by russia, but reforming their own government and judiciary to develop a rich, civil society with a rule of law. . the path that lies ahead for ukraine is daunting but beckons liberty forward this is ukraine's moment in modern historyism expect her to become one of the greatest nations in europe. while the situation remains unstable, there are clear signs of hope. the ultimate reflection of the intrepid souls of the ukraine -- ukrainian people who endure sod very much. just yesterday, ukraine's
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president, petro poroshenko, signed a landmark agreement, a brave step forward. we recall it was this desire for a closer association with europe and the west on the part of the ukrainian people that was ultimately responsible for the start of the crisis which persists today. as a great nation, the name ukraine means borderland. ukraine should reach west and east and north and south. it is just that vast a land. and its potential, unlimited. but in trying to accomplish that effort with europe, what began kiev, ceful protest in the capital, ended in bloodshed. first at the hands of the corrupt regime and now at the hands of russian agitators under the directives and support of russia's vth, vladimir putin. we look forward to our joint
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meeting of congress tomorrow in honor of president petro poroshenko's first official visit to the united states. we must heed president poroshenko's words and take into consideration any requests he makes of us a vital friend and ally. we continue to stand in sol dare dity with ukraine and her people and the passage of this bill h.res. 726 on the eve of president poroshenko's visit aims to further illustrate the special bond our two countries share. were it not for ukrainian americans in our country and other americans who had endured under the soviet mantle for so many generations, the visit here would not have as deep a meeting. we share ukraine's struggle. i urge this bill's passage and yield back the balance of my time and thank all of those, ranking member engel, chairman royce, my colleague as co-chair of the ukrainian caucus, jim gerlach, and sander levin, for making this moment possible. the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentlewoman yields back. the gentleman from california reserves. the gentleman from new york is recognize . mr. -- is recognized. mr. engel: i yield three minutes to a member of the foreign affairs committee, mr. connolly. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. connolly: i thank my dear friend mr. engel from new york. and i congratulate the authors of h.res. 726. they've done a great job in building bipartisan support for this resolution. i rise in support of that resolution. the united states must stand with the people of the ukraine in the face of russia's naked aggression and reverse violation to ukrainian sovereignty and prevent further russian meddling and attacks on what they consider former soviet republics. we must remember that this assault began in cry mia, part of the ukraine.
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it was in crimea, that russian military forces violated, initially, ukrainian sovereignty and it was russia that illegal -- illegally arranged for the annex sation of this territory, the territory of a sovereign country. e have witnessed further incursions into ukraine. i'm stuck on crime yasm ignoring russian agreement -- russian aggression in crimea emboldened putin to do it again in western ukraine. i'm proud that the authors of the legislation adopted the principles of our bipartisan legislation introduced earlier this year and like the crimea alex -- annex sation act -- --exation act fermly rejects
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firmly rejects crimea and urges others to do the same. without this, the west becomes complicit in putin's further aggression and interference throughout ukraine. what's next? moldava? georgia? the baltic republics? congress must address the crimea issue if we're going to have credibility on the issue of putin's aggression in the region. i thank the author of -- authors of the resolution for doing that and i thank mr. engel and mr. royce for the way they comport the house foreign affairs committee in true bipartisan fashion, and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from california. mr. royce: thank you, mr. speaker. i will reserve the right to close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from new york is elect niced. mr. engel: thank you, i'll close now, and say that this is a very
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important and timely resolution. when chairman royce and i visited ukraine a few months ago, we had the good fortune to meet with many ukrainian officials and people running for president. mr. poroshenko, who will address us tomorrow in joint session, was one of them. i can tell you that chairman royce and i were both very impressed with mr. poroshenko. we really felt that there was great hope for ukraine and thought that he was the likely winner and everything that he's done in my opinion since he's won just reaffirms our initial feeling about him. i was very happy that ukraine signed the european union association agreement yesterday. it strikes a very good balance but moves ukraine closer to the west where the people want it.
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i can tell you that when we went ukraine and we stood in the square where the protest happened, you really felt, there was a palpable feeling that you were part of history and people -- average ukrainians coming up to us in the street thanking the united states of america for its strong support of ukraine and for the independence of ukraine. now the resolution, and i think it's important to highlight certain things, it says that the united states is strongly committed to the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of the ukraine and the united states strongly supports the right of the people of the ukraine to determine their future, including their country's relationship with other nations and without interference, intimidation, or coercion by other countries. it also talks about crimea and i think that that should not be
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forgotten. mr. connolly is quite right. the taking of -- taking apart of another country through military force cannot be fathomed and we cannot look the other way. we need to very strongly condemn it. crimea is part of ukraine, not part of russia. so what we have here in this resolution, and again, i want to commend mr. gerlach and ms. kaptur, mr. levin, and all the people who put it together is a commonsense resolution. that says that the united states stands with the people of ukraine and stands with the right of the people of ukraine to determine its own future. this is a very important resolution, it's a very timely resolution, and i would urge all my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support it. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. royce: thank you, mr.
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speaker. the ukrainian people have had a long, turbulent history of struggle. it's important to remember that when that vote for independence came, it passed overwhelmingly across the ukraine. for me, i think the most memorable point of that trip was standing with mr. engel in the synagogue. it was passover. adjacent to the largest community center, jewish community center, in all of europe. eliot engel, whose four grandparents all came from the ukraine, spoke to the hopes that the american people have for a ukraine which is a ukraine that embraces tolerance, political pluralism, freedom, a ukraine in which the persecution of people are a thing of the past but in
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which the future lies with the democratic ideals that we share. a ukraine independent, a ukraine free of threat. free of outside influence. and this is the hopes embodied in this resolution. because the ukrainian people have withstood these enormous pressures. they have endured this great suffering. they know there are many challenges still to overcome before they can rest secure. but the ukrainians we spoke with told us that among the most important things -- things sustaining them throughout this difficult time is the knowledge that we in the united states stand with them and tomorrow, president poroshenko will address this joint session of congress here and by granting him -- by granting his country this honor and by adopting
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resolution today, we will demonstrate our continuing commitment to ukraine and to helping its people achieve the freedom, achieve the security and prosperity that they so rightfully deserve and i yield back the balance of my time, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the question is, will the house suspend the rules and agree to house resolution 726. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the resolution is agreed to, and without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, proceedings will resume on motions to suspend the rules
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previously postponed. votes will be taken in the following order. h.r. 24 by the yeas and nays, .r. 5462 by the yeas and nays. and s. 476 by the yeas and nays. the first electronic vote will be conducted as a 15-minute vote. remaining electronic votes will be conducted as five-minute votes. the unfinished business is the vote on the motion of the gentleman from north carolina, mr. meadows, to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 24. as amended. on which the yeas and nays are ordered. the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 24 a bill to require a full audit of the board of governors of the federal reserve system and the federal reserve banks by the comptroller general of the
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united states and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill as amended? members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a 15-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the speaker pro tempore: on this vote, the yeas are 333, the nays are 92. 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed, and without
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objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. the unfinished business is the vote on the motion of the gentleman from north carolina, mr. hudson, to suspend the rules which the.r. 5462, on yeas and nays are ordered. the clerk will report the bill. the clerk: h.r. 5462 a bill to amend title 49, united states code, to provide for limitations on the fees charged to passengers of air carriers. the speaker pro tempore: the cleque is, will the house suspend the rules and -- the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 423. the nays are zero. 2/3 having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed, and without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. the unfinished business is the vote on the motion of the gentleman from washington, mr. hastings, to suspend the rules and pass s. 476, on which the yeas and nays are ordered. the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: senate 476, an act to amend the chesapeake and ohio canal development act to excontinued to the chesapeake and ohio canal national historical park commission. the speaker pro tempore: the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill.
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members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
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the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 419. the nays are zero. 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed, and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid upon the table.
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he house will be in order. the house will be in order. please take your conversations ff the floor of the house. pursuant to clause 1-c of rule 19, further consideration of house joint resolution 124 will now resume. the clerk will report the title. the clerk: house joint resolution 124, joint resolution making continuing appropriations for fiscal year 2015, and for
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ther purposes. the speaker pro tempore: staff and members are urged to take their conversations off the floor. when proceedings were postponed on tuesday, september 16, 2014, three hours and 30 1/2 minutes of debate remained on the amendment printed in part b of house report 11-600 offered by the gentleman from california, mr. mckeon. the gentleman from california, mr. mckeon, has one hour and 41 1/2 minutes remaining. and the gentleman from washington, mr. smith, has one hour and 49 minutes remaining. the house will be in order. please remove your conversations the chair or t
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recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. mckeon: madam speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. mckeon: at this time, i yield two minutes to my friend and colleague, the distinguished gentlewoman from tennessee, mrs. blackburn. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from tennessee is recognized for two minutes. mrs. blackburn: thank you, madam speaker. i thank the chairman for yielding the time. i rise today to speak on behalf of something that i am for and that is the chairman's amendment as he has presented it. you know, madam speaker, i think that for so many of us who represent the men and women in uniform who comprise our fighting forces and who have been so diligent in this battle, in this war on terrorism. we look at these votes and
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certainly it causes us concern, and we know that the measure that the house is taking up is a measure as requested by the president. we recognize that. and we recognize also the severity and importance of the issue. madam speaker, the house is not in order. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is correct. the staff will please take their conversations off the floor.
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the gentlewoman from tennessee is recognized. mrs. blackburn: thank you, madam speaker. you know, this is an issue that should require the full attention of every member and every staff member of this body. and i think that we all approach this, i do, with a lot of estions, and we realize that what the commander in chief has asked for is really in the opinion of so many of the men and women that i represent, a half measure. i wish we would see more leadership, and i am hopeful in the days to come we will see leadership from our commander in chief. that is what the men and women deserve, and that is what the american people deserve. as we seek to protect our homeland. i wish that we could stand here and say, this administration has
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learned their lessons. because they so mishandled the drawdown in iraq. and the rhetoric of al qaeda being on the run was truly a disservice to our military forces and to our men and women in uniform and to the american people. it would be my hope that as we take a first step that we resenter our focus and commit to annihilating isil from the face of the earth. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. smith: thank you, madam speaker. i yield three minutes to the gentleman from michigan, mr. levin. mr. levin: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentleman from michigan is recognized for three minutes. if the threat from
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isis is real. all of us who have seen the violence and the barberism of isis. the rapid advance of isis militants within iraq and syria an immediate threat to these countries and the region. no one should be under any delusion about what will happen if the u.s. sits this one out. if unchecked, the isis threat will grow and become even more difficult to address down the road. and directly threaten our nation. as we have seen since president obama authorized limited air strikes against isis in august, we have the ability to mitigate the isis threat. but we cannot defeat isis by ourselves with u.s. air strikes.
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thomas friedman said it well in the "new york times," and i quote, isis loses if our moderate arab muslim partners can unite and make this a civil war within islam. a civil war in which america is the air force for the sunnis and shiites through decency versus those of barbarism. it is about them and who they want to be. it as i see is it an important aspect of u.s. assistance under this amendment in the training of syrian rebels is that it will be an occasion for nations with the sunni majority to join in a battle against the fanatical sunni isis. hopefully this can lead to expanded involvement of other nations in this battle. iraq's me time, it as
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see a majority with our active encouragement finally provides full rights and participation for its sunni and kurdish minorities. so amidst all the difficulties and the challenges and they are serious and many, this amendment can hopefully serve as a steppingstone, as a steppingstone to a broad based effective coalition against the spread of isis. our country can provide air support, can provide intelligence, and other logistics. but in the end it cannot achieve for the people of syria and iraq on the ground what they can only do for themselves. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. mckeon: madam speaker, i yield three minutes to my friend, the colleague, the chairman of the committee on homeland security, the gentleman from texas, mr. mccaul. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized for three minutes. mr. mccaul: i thank the gentleman from california, the chairman, whose amendment i support here today and i will support any measure that will lead to the destruction of isis. this administration has known about this threat for over a year. and it wasn't until the two beheadings of american journalists and a british aide worker that the american people really understood the pure evil that is isis. the white house has been sending mixed messages. and words do matter. finally, i believe this administration realized despite its flawed narrative over the years, what the threat from isis really is. in fact, general democracy, the chairman of the joint chiefs said, to fully defeat isis we
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have to go into syria. i agree with him. we must cut off the head of the snake wherever it exists. and it does exist in syria. while limited in nature, this authorization will begin the process to do just that by vetting, equimming, -- eequipping, and training moderate -- equipping and training moderate forces in syria. i did visit with pentagon officials and i got greater confidence. i do believe the numbers are a little bit too low, but the broader strategy under general allen is to lead a coalition not only of nato allies but of these moderate sunni nations to build a ground force in syria which currently does not exist. it is vital, madam speaker, that sunni moderates stand out, sunni moderates and arab nations step up to the plate to defeat in combat sunni extremists in their
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own back beyond a reasonable doubt. while this is a step in the right direction, i believe that long-term the administration needs to come forward with a comprehensive strategy, one that the american people and congress can debate, which could be fully authorized by congress. and in closing, madam speaker, there is nothing more important that we debate up here, that we talk about here, that we vote on up here than matters of war and peace. it is for that reason that i support this amendment. for if we do not hit isis overseas, they will certainly hit us in the united states. with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. smith: thank you, madam speaker. i yield three minutes to the gentlelady from california, ms. sanchez. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from california is recognized for three minutes. ms. sanchez: thank you, madam speaker. i rise today in opposition to this amendment. and i don't take that lightly. i spent 18 years on the armed services committee, and about 12
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years on the homeland security committee. and with any decision like this, we have to weigh what we know and what we don't know. we know that if left unchecked isis would become a direct threat not only to the united states but possibly to the entire world. and that is why we are going after them currently in iraq. with partners that we know we can trust, such as the kurds. we know we cannot sit on our hands, close our eyes, and hope that isis goes away. hat's why we need a good plan. we know that we cannot do this alone. that we need a committed international coalition to stop isis. so the president says we have a coalition of 40. it's interesting because i remember the iraq war and the coalition.
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some of our coalition members sent one person. i'd really like to know who our coalition is and what they are really going to do before i vote for any plan. what don't we know? we don't know how moderate these syrian rebels really are. in fact, some of my syrian constituents are americans that live in orange county have told me that there are no moderates left, or worse, that the moderates, given the choice between losing or assad, or isis, went to isis. and they say people are going to fight against isis. we don't know if somewhere down the line they will turn our guns right back on us. if in fact, that is one of the scariest things that we
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have to face. or we simply don't know if we can trust in an uncontrolled war torn, destabilized country, who do we trust? we can look back, for example, at what happened in central america. and how the rebels there, who were armed by the united states, when asked for innocent civilians, this blood will be on our hands when that happens. we need a winning strategy to degrade and ultimately destroy isis. now, we are in an election season and everybody says this isn't political, but i know, i have been talking to colleagues on both sides of the aisle, some are wondering what they do with seven weeks away from an election, and i've got to tell you, this is not a political vote. the last time people took a political vote in this house, it
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was on the iraq war, and many of my colleagues say it was the worst vote they took. . i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. mckeon: i yield three minutes to my friend and colleague, the distinguished gentlewoman from florida, ms. ros-lehtinen. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from florida is recognized for three minutes. ms. ros-lehtinen: thank you very much, madam speaker. this proposal just compms one piece of the puzz -- examines one piece of the puzzle. the congress should have come to full authorization to put all of our options on the table with no limitations. isis is part of the radical islam threat which the 9/11 commission identified as a serious threat to u.s. national security and to world peace and stability. i have serious reservations about the president's plan to train and equip the so-called moderate opposition in syria
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because we don't want isil to get even more of our equipment and arms as it did in iraq. isil is not the only terror group in syria, madam speaker, nor is it the only hurdle before stability in syria and iraq. there are dangerous terror groups in syria that are waiting to take up the mantle should isil fall and, of course, assad is responsible for the deaths of over 200,000 people. last year the president failed to act militarily when assad used chemical weapons against his own people. we need a plan that needs to remove assad alongside the destruction of isil and other terror threats. even though i'll vote for the mckeon amendment, we still won't be approaching this situation in a comprehensive manner that is required. we were successful in isolating iran with sanctions until we unraveled that with these nuclear negotiations.
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we can do the same in syria. i'm afraid that this misguided appropriations approach in iran will preempt many to acquiesce and take a deal that will undermine our national security and leave iran with enrichment capabilities. that, madam speaker, is a real and present danger in the middle east -- a nuclear iran. this could be a calamity for the region and u.s. national security interests, such as the safety and security of our strong ally, the democratic jewish state of israel. yesterday, the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, general dempsey, revealed that the use of military forces on the ground may be needed in syria if our military officials believe that it is absolutely necessary to use the u.s. military on the ground, i would fully support that. we cannot take anything off the table and showcase for the terrorists what we are not willing to do. the full range of the united states political, economic and military power must be brought to bear against this radical threat. announcing to the enemy of self-imposed limits on the part
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of our arsenal is signaling we do not possess the necessary will to prevail against radical islam. i thank the chairman for the leadership and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. smith: thank you, madam speaker. i yield five minutes to the gentleman from maryland, the distinguished minority whip, mr. hoyer. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maryland is recognized for five minutes. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman for yielding. i thank the gentleman for his leadership. i thank mr. mckeon for his leadership. we will see today a bipartisan action, bipartisan action on on its security and on behalf of our international partners in confronting terrorism. madam speaker, today the house is fulfilling one of its most important responsibilities, to protect our national security
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and defend our interests overseas. among those interests is to prevent the dangerous isil terrorist group from spreading and threatening american personnel, our allies and innocent civilians. the amendment before us will authorize the president to train and equip moderate syrian opposition to degrade and syria. isil in iraq and no sanket wears, no place -- sanctuaries, no place to hide. isil is already threatening americans and our allies in the middle east and europe, and if left unchecked, it will surely threaten us here at home. this amendment is congress' opportunity to demonstrate unity in support of the president's strategy in providing him with the authorization he needs to help train and equip our regional partners to go on the offense against isil.
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isil has already murdered, captured soldiers, innocent civilians, journalist, including, of course, two americans, and members of religious communities targeted for their faith. there are no more -- they are no more than a collection of terrorists imposing their fanatical objectives on others by force, violence and barbarism. isil constitutes a duo threat. they pose a counterterrorism threat to the united states and our regional partners, and they represent a destabilizing force in the region. madam speaker, we cannot ignore the challenge that isil presents to america and to the world. there is no question that there will be challenges, but we no
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impurecally that the cost of doing nothing is far too great. the president was right to wait until the government had formed that we're ready to move against isil. americans do not want american men and women on the ground. congress has an important role to play in this effort, and this amendment ought to be a strong and clear message to the world that the american people, through their elected representatives, will join those in the region to prevent the terrorist group isil from running rampant across the middle east. it is a message to our allies and regional partners that our nation is prepared to train and equip those who are working to stop isil's advance. it's a message to the world that we are united in our
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resolve to meet this threat. we clearly may have differences on this house floor, but we are americans when it comes to defending our people and our country. mr. speaker -- madam speaker, with regard to the underlying bill, the continuing resolution, let me make some rief comments. house republicans have chosen not to repeat their government shutdown from last year. i think they're making a wise decision. there are things i would change in this bill, just as i know there are things my friends on the republican side would change in this bill. that's compromise. that's the legislative process. that's what our founding fathers envisioned. that in fact is governing. i am hopeful that this continuing resolution will give congress the time it needs to complete work on appropriations for the fiscal year 2015 and that meets our obligations to
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the american people and to america's future. we need a budget that embraces fiscal sustainability while investing in job growth and competitiveness so we can grow our middle class. while it's important that congress moves forward with this 72-day funding bill, i'm disappointed, madam speaker, that we're not extending the export-import bank's charter for multiple years. not doing so is another example of undermining our competitive position for the world and the creators. of our job cnbc pointed out last week, at first glance it seems like a congressional deal -- one additional minute? mr. smith: i yield the gentleman one additional minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. hoyer: thank you, madam speaker. at first glance it might seem like a congressional deal to extend the export-import bank's charter would be good for the
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beleaguered institution which supports america with loan guarantees and credit assistance. in fact, cnbc says it's the exact opposite. an extension till june could be a death sentence for the bank. i sincerely pray it is not. congress has a responsibility to make sure the bank's charter is extended beyond june. we need a multiyear re-authorization along the lines of the one proposed by chairwoman waters and representative denny heck. actually, it's ranking member waters. the export-import bank is instrumental in helping small businesses access foreign market and uncertainty over its future has already cost american businesses lucrative trade deals. i urge us between now and june to come together in a bipartisan way to move forward with legislation that achieves this goal. i believe that the house is allowed to vote -- house's
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allowal to vote will achieve that. i will vote for the amendment and for final passage of the continuing resolution, and i urge my colleagues to do the same. i think it's in the best interest of america, the best interest of our national security and i urge this house to act in a way that will make our constituents proud and safer. and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. mckeon: madam speaker, i have a letter that was written to myself and ranking member ith from four of our leading experiod of times in the area, former -- experts in the area, former generals ryan c. crocker, robert s. ford, general jack m. keene and general david h. petraeus. dear, chairman mckeon and ranking member smith -- this letter was dated this morning
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-- we write to express our strong support for congressional authorization of the provision of assistance and training to properlyly vetted members of the syrian -- properly vetted members of the syrian opposition. the free syrian army is fighting both the murderous regime of assad and the barbaric islamic state in iraq and al-sham, which is isil. providing greater assistance to the free syrian army is the united states' best opportunity to develop a moderate force that's capable of defeating isil and bringing about a post-assad syria that is free of terror. as you may know, free syrian army forces have recently achieved some successes on the ground against isil forces in northern syria, but their effectiveness is limited by their lack of sufficient assistance and training. building up the moderate opposition in syria will be a
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key element of any successful strategy against isil. to be sure after three years of war it will take a long time to build a moderate opposition, but there is no viable opportunity. the united states must step to this task immediately. finally, we note that approval of this measure should not prevent or sir come scribe -- circumscribe congress for the use of military force in the future or from otherwise revisiting or revising its position on this issue as conditions on the ground evolve. but time is of the essence, and we are convinced of the urgent need for congress to authorize this effort. sincerely, ambassador ryan c. crocker, ambassador robert s. ford, general jack m. keene, u.s. army retired, and general david h. petraeus, u.s. army,
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retired. madam speaker, at this time i yield two minutes to my friend and colleague, a member of the committee on armed services, the gentleman from california, mr. hunter. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized for two minutes. mr. hunter: i thank the gentleman and my good friend and the chairman who i am very, very lucky and honored to serve under and serve with. madam speaker, i oppose this amendment. it's not an easy vote. i've been looking for reasons to support this amendment, and i can't find it. this amendment does nothing to destroy the islamic state. this amendment does not crush the islamic state. what this amendment does is start training islamists to fight islamists, and we may have that islamist army to fight islamists in a matter of a few years. i will not vote for something that i know will not work. arming islamists to fight other islamists is not a winning strategy. i don't believe that weapons and tactics that we bestow to
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the islamists will only be used against america's enemies. we've been through this before in iraq and afghanistan. i'm one the only people speaking today who served in the u.s. corps in iraq and afghanistan. in a confusing situation with many warring factions on all sides, the last thing we should do is arm islamic rebels to fight other islamic rebels. the truth is that the president invited the islamic state into iraq when he removed our eyes and ears on the ground and removed the u.s. military from iraq two years ago. we will continue to be at war with radical islam in this area well into the future. but that doesn't matter now. what matters is that the islamic state is on the march and it presents a serious regional threat. we need to crush the islamic state. we need to kill them. we need to destroy them. we need to burn the islamic state to the ground. and you don't do that by
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training islamic syrians. you don't crush the islamic state by training islamists to fight other islamists. arming islamic fighters is no longer a viable strategy it was a year ago, it was two years ago, but it's not now. there is no confidence that we are arming the right people and there is no assurance that those weapons and u.s. tactics and u.s. communications gear won't fall into the wrong hands. . the saudi arabians are going to help us fight in syria. if i remember right, madam speaker, the saudi arabians provided the majority of the hydrogeners -- hijackers who killed 3,000 in america on 9/11. i refuse to stand with the saudi arabians. we need to crush isis not work on training more islamic radicals. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. smith: thank you, madam speaker. i yield two minutes to the gentleman from new york, mr. bishop. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york is
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recognized for two minutes. mr. bishop: thank you, madam speaker. i thank the gentleman from washington for yielding. i rise in support of the mckeon amendment to grant the president the authority needed to fund and train syrian opposition forces and counter the threat posed by isis. since the september 11 attacks, our nation has taken the fight to terrorists. our brave men and women in uniform supported by the defense and intelligence agencies have kept us safe from another attack on american soil. now our allies on the ground in the middle east must take the fight to isis, supported by our airpower, arms, and expertise. i agree with the administration that the most effective way for the united states to realize this goal is providing training and equipment to our allies in iraq and select groups among the syrian opposition. this is not a situation that can be solved by the introduction of u.s. troops into combat. in fact, such a response would jeopardize the games made recently following -- gains made recently following the air campaign over iraq. it is vital, however, that the syrian opposition groups selected to receive support be
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fully vetted by the administration to ensure to the greatest extent possible that no weapons or expertise would end up in the hands of our unmeese, whether it be the islamic state or another bad actor involved in the conflict. we must only provide support to those groups at both the department of defense and state have determined have the greatest chance of success. while there are no guarantees in this situation, the administration must take appropriate steps to minimize the risk and avoid repeating history. it must also be made clear that these efforts are not the first step of an ever escalating conflict ending with widespread u.s. involvement in a combat role. our allies in the arab world, both sunni and shiia, must be the leaders in -- of the international alliance to combat isis. only through a coalition and widespread involvement of arab nations will these efforts succeed and not be seen as yet another chapter of sunni on shiia violence, or another chapter in a war between the christian west and the muslim
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middle east. our allies must make significant military commitments to support moderate groups in opposition to isis. finally, the administration must be able to give a clear view of their long-term strategy and goals going forward. entering a conflict without clear objectives for the next strategy is not a situation any member of the house wishes to repeat. i urge my colleagues to support the mckeon amendment. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. mckeon: i yield one minute to the distinguished majority leader, my friend from california, it mr. mccarthy. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california, mr. mccarthy, is recognized for one minute. mr. mccarthy: madam speaker, we face an enemy who poses a grave and growing threat to the united states and our allies. a threat that has been ignored for too long must no longer be tolerated. i know that many of us in this
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chamber from both sides of the aisle believe that the president's strategy should do more to eradicate those extremists from the earth. but despite those reservations, reservations that i share, we must support this amendment and take this first step towards a comprehensive strategy to combat these brutal terrorists. voting against this request would send a terrible message that america's unwilling to stand with those who are already fighting the common enemy. and confirm the views of many in the region that america's but a paper tiger. i'm not convinced this trained and equipped effort will change the balance of power on the ground any time soon. and i believe this approach comes with great risks. i am also concerned that air strikes alone will be insufficient to meet the international threat posed by these terrorists. congress must maintain a central
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role. we must conduct oversight to ensure this program is managed effectively. under the leadership of chairman mckeon, we have taken the president's original request and have added substantial oversight provisions to ensure this program is properly and carefully managed. congress must also push the president for a strategy that recognizes the inescapable reality that isil is but a symptom of a broader terrorist threat. preventing the next 9/11 requires us to confront the reality that al qaeda, isil, and similar radical terrorist groups are spreading. operating out of sanctuaries across the middle east, north africa, and south asia. these groups pose a grave and growing threat to the united states. a strategy cannot ignore these growing dangers. a president, who's made ending
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the war on terrorism the central focus of his foreign polcy, must now change. he must -- policy, must now change. he must now make winning the war a priority. the congress will need to push the president and his administration to do this right. to confront america's enemies and restore america's alliance, strength, and credibility. but this institution will be in no position to do that if we block this simple request today. congress must now vote to support the first steps of what will be a long march towards victory. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. smith: thank you, madam speaker. i yield two minutes to the gentlelady from connecticut, ms. delauro. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from connecticut is recognized for two minutes. ms. delauro: madam speaker, i rise against this amendment to arm and quip syrian rebels and
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other syrian groups and individuals. i want to be clear, we need to take action against the threat posed by isil, and i support the president in the use of air strikes. but our response must also be appropriate to the complex it of the situation on the ground in syria. first and foremost we must make sure that any response to the threat that we face does not plunge us deeper into a complicated and sectarian civil war, and i fear this amendment may lead to that. with their barbaric attacks against journalist, women, and children, and innocent civilians, icele is a terrorist group, pure and simple. while they are not now a threat to our nation, they do have the potential to be one if left unchecked. so i believe that operating with our allies in the region like arab nations and leaders and the newly formed iraqi government, that we must be part of a broad coalition to address this potential threat. i do not think this amendment is
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the right way forward. syrian president assad is a tyrant. he has tortured. he has massacred his own people for years now. he should stand before the world to be made to pay for his crime. but as the very existence of isil illustrates, simply arming those who oppose thinks tyranny will not make america or the region safer. syria's a deeply complex situation. it is a nation in the midst of a civil war. splintered between shiia and sunni, authoritarian and al qaeda, and along countless other points of fracture. i do not see how we are going to be able to thread the needle. whereby we arm those we think are, quote-unquote, good guys in this conflict without inadvertently making the bad guys stronger as well. we need to take action against isil and i support air strikes and other counterterrorism measures. but i believe that the amendment before us today provides much broader authority and i cannot
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support it. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. the gentleman from california. mr. mckeon: i yield two minutes to my friend and colleague, the distinguished gentleman from ohio, mr. johnson. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from ohio is recognized for two minutes. mr. johnson: i thank the chairman for yielding me time. madam speaker, i rise in support of this amendment. the president took an important step in his address to the nation last week. he said that he is committed to degrading and destroying isil. the president should be commended for evolving from his position last month when he indicated he didn't think isil posed much of a threat to america. madam speaker, much, much more must be done. i am concerned that the president isn't fully listening to his military leaders. reports have emerged indicating that president obama did not choose to use the recommendations that our military leaders gave him. specifically, it has been reported that general lloyd
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austin, the top commander of u.s. forces in the middle east, advised the president to send in some special operations forces to advise and assist iraqi army units while fighting the militants. just today at a senate hearing, chairman of joint chiefs martin democracy said the reality of the threat of isil might make the hands off approach that the president is pursuing insufficient to deal with the threat. it's troubling when a commander in chief with no military experience chooses to ignore the advice of his military leaders. on the one hand, secretary hagel said we are at war with isil. on the other hand, it appears as if the president may be settling for what may be less than overwhelming force and confronting an enemy that he says should be destroyed because of the threat it poses. again, it was encouraging to see president obama acknowledge isil as the threat that they are to americans, to our homeland, and
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our friends and allies. however, i hope when this authorization expires in december that president obama will take the steps that his military leaders propose that will actually accomplish the president's goal of degrading and destroying isil. with that i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. smith: i yield three minutes to the gentleman from new jersey, he insisted i say this, a fellow graduate of fordham university, mr. pascrell. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey is recognized for three minutes. mr. pascrell: thank you, madam chair. i rise in support of this amendment. we all agonized as to what we should do. but i want to correct the record at 2:25 this afternoon through he chair, when we start to pontificate on this floor about islamists against islamists,
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what we do is perpetuate the agony. what we do is stir up the pot when we stereotype who's with us and who is not with us. not every muslim is the same. not every christian is the same. as we found out in the baltimores in 1998 and 1999. in that it war, in that war we assisted kosovo because it was being totally overcome with serbs. one was muslim, one was christian. i think it's not good that the congress go on record as pitting one group against the other. don't think it works. i don't think it's healthy, madam chair. let's be clear about what this vote is about. this is not an organization for open-ended war. this is not october, 2002, which was an authorization. no one knows that better than the chair and the ranking member
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who have done a spectacular job, i believe, in keeping this a fair debate and a fair discussion. i want to compliment both of you. i believe that isil is a threat to our national security. and i support the president's mission to end that threat. while america must lead, we cannot do this alone. we must see a real commitment from our coalition partners in the region, and must provide the kind of support that is necessary if we are going to be successful. in two months, three months, when we get to december and we ought to vote for a c.r. again, we have to vote whether we are going to continue to do -- down this path, we better have tangible evidence that those countries who sign sheets of paper that they are going to support us have tangible support out there for us and not just sending cupcakes for the troops. we can do our part. we can arm all the properly vetted opposition forces in
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syria that we can find, provide air support and training to those on the ground. but we won't be successful in destroying isil unless our partners in the region help us cut off their funding. better police their borders. provide combat troupes on the ground, and end the political bickering that causes the chaos and mistrust that groups like isil thrive under. i'm pleased that the president has chosen to come to congress to get our support for his plan. i believe that the provisions that this amendment will allow us to perform the oversight that is actually responsive. however, as i said before this is not a blank check. today we are voting for a limited mission and ensuring that we properly vet those we are arming. i'm pleased that we will revisit this issue later this year. in the intervening months. mr. smith: an additional 30
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seconds. mr. pascrell: thank you. if our coalition partners don't step up to the plate, i don't see how we can be successful in destroying isil and why we should continue. the lesson we learn from the war in iraq is that american military might alone is not enough to defeat enemies. no matter how murderous or vicious a terrorist group like isil might be, sometimes military intervention cannot be the silver bullet that solves all of our problems. we say this about the greatest air and sea and land troops in the world. it's going to take a broad regional coalition acting as one, both military and politically. and madam chair, i say we need support not only in the short-term but the long-term to have a government and syria, we pray to god they can have a government that can sustain. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. pascrell: thank you and i
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yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. mckeon: madam speaker, i yield two minutes to my friend and colleague, the distinguished gentleman from georgia, mr. broun. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia is recognized for two minutes. mr. broun: thank you, chairman mckeon. today, 227 years ago on september 17, our founding fathers signed our most precious document, the u.s. constitution. article 1, section 8 of the u.s. constitution states, congress shall have the power to declare war. the president does not have that power, only congress. congress gives our president the power to defend our country. however, that authority remains subject to checks and balances, particularly by this body. as such, if the president believes a state of war exists between ourselves and isil, the comments made by secretary of defense and secretary state indicates that he does, then let him make it constitutional
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by, first, coming to congress and asking for that declaration. today, the house will vote on the president's request to authorize assistance to train and arm the syrian rebels. i have long opposed arming the syrian opposition out of the fear that these weapons will fall into the hands of islamic radicals, such as isil, rather than supporting relatively unknown opposition groups in syria to battle these forces, the islamic state, we must instead turn to our long-standing allies, the kurds. the kurds have shown repeatedly that they have the capacity, the tenacity and the will to stand up to isil. with our support, the kurdish people, together with the iraqi security forces will be able to successfully annihilate the evil forces of isil. in conclusion, madam chair, if the president wishes to engage
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this country in military action against isil, then i urge him to ask congress for a declaration of war. therefore, i ask my colleagues to join me in opposition to this amendment and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia yields back. the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. smith: thank you, madam speaker. i yield three minutes to the gentleman from texas, mr. doggett. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized for three minutes. mr. doggett: i thank the gentleman, and i respect all of my colleagues on the tough decisions that we're asked to make today. i believe that america must use our military might anytime that our families face an imminent threat. though isis, like a number of terrorist groups around the who had' like to kill more americans, our leadership has made it clear that isis does not represent such a threat today. it is a regional threat without the capacity to do the harm it
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would like to do. rejecting this one amendment does not mean doing nothing about isis. the president already has the necessary authority to respond to this savagery when americans are murdered. now the president's response, however, has been expanded and he proposes a full-scale war. this amendment establishes a new objective for this broader war to end the civil war in syria that has already consumed lmost 200,000 lives. to enable this broader war approving this amendment is the one vote that's been requested without a declaration by the congress to approve that war and without knowing what commitment those in the region will really make in order to fight this war. i got a communication from a constituent of mine in san
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antonio. her name is gloria flores and she tells me this. she poses some questions that are not being answered today in washington. quote, in my view, she says, isis is just one more extreme group which have destroyed, -- which if destroyed, will be replaced by another group. i don't say boots on the ground because that phrase says the ll a family will take if a son or daughter dies. my nephew died. why should american kids, she asked, carry the load for saudis, jordanians, etc.? why, indeed? but this purported coalition does not carry its own load. others may appear in photos. they may cheer from the rear,
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but nearby countries are not risking their young people in ground combat. in one case we even have a neighboring country that will not even permit us to launch an attack by air from its soil. with the number of our u.s. military on the ground already approaching 2,000 in iraq and with general michael hayden, the former n.s.a. and c.i.a. head, expecting 5,000 by the end of the year. the danger of escalation is very real. now, i do find it difficult to understand with its hostility -- may i have an additional minute? mr. smith: i give the gentleman an additional 30 seconds. mr. doggett: with the hostilities against the christians and disdain for our values how saudi arabia can be a place for training anyone. certainly no syrian women learning to drive there. ultimately, i believe that this resolution has to be evaluated
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on whether it secures our families in a stronger way. i think it entangles us in a conflict that we cannot get out of as quickly as those trained iraqi soldiers drop their uniforms and their guns. today is constitution day. let us use our constitutional powers to consider a declaration of war before we enter this entanglement. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. mckeon: mr. speaker, i yield two minutes to a member of the committee on armed services, the distinguished gentleman from ohio, dr. wenstrup. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from ohio is recognized for two minutes. mr. wenstrup: thank you, madam speaker. i rise in support of the president's request to train vetted, moderate syrian rebels. as i believe it is only one step in the right direction and it's supported by military experts. tremendous oversight is going to be necessary in this effort, and unfortunately i fear, as do
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many experienced generals and military personnel, it's part of a strategy that's insufficient to secure america's national security. the president's stated objective is to destroy isil. however, i believe this overall strategy and the means requested are not enough to meet this objective. the current strategy relies on u.s. airpower in support of local forces. this is not a counterterrorism effort. and to destroy isil, it's necessary to have strong coordinated ground troops. the local ground forces the president's planning to rely on appear currently unready and they will need to operate with a strong central command and control. the president's strategy does not provide for u.s. special forces in the backing of our ground troops. even though our military leaders have repeatedly suggested the exact recommendation. our security is too important to base military strategy on political calculations. our strategy must be firmly
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rooted on what is necessary in order to complete the mission and to ensure our security. military leaders have preached support. i served in iraq. we heat this had wisdom and committed to win with decisive force. we acted on military reality and not political risk. we can do this again and fulfill the american objective to destroy isil, but we must commit ourselves to do what is necessary, not only what it takes, but whatever it takes. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from ohio yields back. the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. smith: thank you, madam speaker. i yield two minutes to the gentleman from new york, mr. israel. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york is recognized for two minutes. mr. israel: i thank my friend. madam speaker, last week i met with a constituent from huntington station on long island and she said to me, mr. israel, war is never the answer. i'd agree with that view war is
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never the answer unless isil agreed with that view but they do not. i thought a lot about my constituent's comments and i thought a lot about this resolution, and there are four things that we do know. first, isil is not just a threat. it is a sabage threat. and what message do we send to potential beheaders around the world if we bury our head in the sand? secondly, isil has filled a vacuum, and if we do not check at vacuum it will spread and instability and beheadings and savagery will spread across the middle east and beyond. number three, we cannot nor should we do this alone. and i believe that the president has helped to organize an important international coalition to ensure that this is not on our shoulders and that we do not have boots on the ground. and finally, there should be no blank checks. we did that. we gave those blank checks from
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2000 to 2008. no more blank checks. and this resolution ensures accountability. it ensures transparency. it ensures reporting. taken altogether, mr. speaker, this resolution is a restrained and responsible and appropriate response to the spread of isil, to beheadings, to savagery in the middle east and potentially around the world and i urge my colleagues to support it. i yield back the balance of my time and i thank my friend. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york yields back. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. mckeon: madam speaker, i yield two minutes to my friend and colleague, the distinguished gentleman from california, mr. mcclintock. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california, mr. mcclintock, is recognized for two minutes. mr. mcclintock: i thank my friend for yielding. madam speaker, all of us recognize the threat posed to our nation by the islamic state. the question before us is whether to arm and train supposedly carefully vetted
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elements of the free syrian army as a proximate owe ground force. i respect the intentions of the supporters but this runs a great risk of backfiring. the f.s.a. is a marriage of convenience among many islamic factions that have a long history of collaborating with the islamic state. the singular purpose of the f.s.a. is not to destroy the islamic state, it exists to destroy the syrian government that is now actively fighting against the islamic state. the equipment we provide to the f.s.a. could easily be turned against the syrian government, by despite all of his despotic -- dess podic tendencies, we would weaken our overall strategic tendency. we watched carefully vetted security forces do. in fact, that's the reason the islamic state is armed to the teeth with american equipment. neither we nor the world can afford more blunders or
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miscalculations in this region. we should learn by now that alliances in the islamic middle east are in constant flux and ally today is a sworn enemy tomorrow. often our allies are our enemies. after i was elected, the first man killed from my district in iraq, army specialist jeremiah mccrery, died when carefully vetted iraqi soldiers turned their american-provided weapons on him. most recent fatality from my district, marine staff sergeant sky mote, died when carefully vetted afghan police turned their american-provided weapons on him. madam speaker, our consistent experience in this region should be screaming this warning at us. we're making a big mistake. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california yields back. the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. smith: thank you, madam speaker. i yield three minutes to the gentlelady from hawaii, ms. gabbard. the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentlewoman from hawaii is recognized for three minutes. ms. gabbard: thank you very much. madam speaker, i stand in opposition to this amendment because this proposed strategy actually reflects a lack of commitment to really destroy isil and the other islamic extremist groups that we're at war with. here are just a few reasons why i'll be voting no. first, it's unrealistic. it will take way too long and the number of fighters trained will be way too small to be truly effective in the fight against isil. over that period of time, isil will continue to grow in strength. number two, the mission is unclear. the american people want isil destroyed, but the primary objective of the fighters that we train will be to overthrow assad. number three, we don't really know who they are. presently they're fighting shoulder to shoulder with al qaeda and other islamic extremists, and therefore can't be trusted.
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the weapons and training that we give them may end up actually being used against us nd our allies. voting to support this proposal is voting to overthrow assad because overthrowing asaud is the primary objective of the so-called free syrian army. if we combine the missions of destroig isil and overthrowing assad, this is not a smart or effective strategy far number of reasons. we must focus on one mission. to destroy isil and other islamic extremists who declared war on us. our mission should not be to top they will assad regime, which would make the situation in the region even worse and more unstable than s


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