tv House Session CSPAN January 6, 2015 6:00pm-8:01pm EST
legislation. this is about the veterans of this country. this isn't about keystone. we'll debate that some other time. and we have very different views. this is in no way a precedent for that. we'll debate the 40-hour week later this week. we have some very different views to put it mildly, about the legislation entitled the 40-hour week. i should also like i should also point out regarding the a.c.a. that businesses with under 50 employees aren't even required to contribute to or offer insurance to their employees. this bill is called the heroes act because the focus of this bill is to make sure that there isn't any disincentive for
anybody to hire veterans. the rate of unemployment for veterans has been higher. i had the chance in rhodesville, michigan, to meet with veterans vietnam veterans some months ago. and i was deeply troubled by the high rate of unemployment for those vietnam veterans. this country has not done an adequate job in terms of making sure that veterans have a real opportunity to work. that is the tribute that we must provide it's more than a tribute it's an obligation to those who have served this nation. that's why this is called the heroes act. let's not distort it.
let's not -- let's not undermine what is the purpose of this legislation. those who have served deserve as our priority any reasonable effort to provide them with the opportunity that they want. they have served, now they want to work. we need to make sure they have that opportunity to work. it's within that spirit that i support this legislation and urge its passage and i yield back the balance of our time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from michigan yields back. the gentleman from wisconsin is recognized. mr. ryan: i yield myself the balance of the time, only to say that our constituents have been very clear. to all of us on both sides of the aisle that they want to see us come together, find common ground, and make a positive difference in the lives of americans, morely our veterans and this bipartisan effort reflects that.
i'm very proud to be here with congressman davis with congressman levin, to be doing that. with that, i simply ask all members to support it and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from wisconsin yields back. the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 22? 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 bill is passed and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from wisconsin seek recognition? mr. ryan: i ask for the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. those favoring a vote by the yeas and nays will rise. a sufficient number having risen, the yeas and nays are ordered. 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.
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote, the yeas are 412, the nays are 0. 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? >> madam speaker, i -- mr. sessions: i offer a privileged concurrent resolution and ask for its immediate consideration. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the resolution.
the clerk: house concurrent resolution 1, resolved that pursuant to clause 4, section 5 of the u.s. constitution, during the 114th congress, the speaker of the house and the majority lead ore they have senate or their designees in consultation with the minority lead ore they have house and the minority leader of the senate may notify the members of the house and senate respectively to assemble at a place outside the district of columbia if, in their opinion, the public interest shall warrant it. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the currentres. -- the concurrent resolution is agreed to and the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. for what purpose does the gentleman seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent that during the 114th congress the speaker, majority leader and minority leader be authorized to accept recommendations and to make appointments authorized by law or by the house. the speaker pro tempore: without objection.
for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> madam speaker i ask unanimous consent that during the 114th congress all members be permitted to extend their remarks to include extraneous material within the permitted limit in that section of the record entitlement extension of remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? mr. mccarthy: madam speaker, i ask unanimous consent that during the first session of the 114th congress, on legislative days of monday or tuesday when the house convenes pursuant to house resolution 9, the house shall convene two hours earlier than the time otherwise established by the resolution for the purpose of conducting morning hour debate. on legislative days of wednesday and thursday, when the house convenes pursuant to house resolution 9, the house shall
convene two hours earlier than the time otherwise established by the resolution for the purpose of cubblingting morning hour debate. when the house convenes pursuant to an order of -- other than house resolution 9, the house shall convene for the purpose of conducting morning hour debate only as prescribed by such order. the time for morning hour debate shall be allocated equally between the parties and may not continue beyond 10 minutes before the hour appointed for the resumption of the session of the house and the form of proceedings for morning hour debate shall be as follow. -- as follows. the prayer by the chaplain, the approval of the journal and the pledge of allegiance to the flag shall be postponed until resumption of the session of the house. initial and subsequent recognitions for debate shall alternate between the parties. recognition shall be conferred by the speaker only pursuant to lists submitted by the majority
leader and by the minority leader. no member may address the house for longer than five minutes except the majority leader minority leader, or the minority whip. no ledge sleas -- legislative business shall be in order except the filing of privilege red ports and following morning hour debate, the chair shall declare a recess pusuant to clause 12-a of rule 1 until the time appointed for resumption of the session of the house and the speaker may dispense with morning hour debate upon receipt of a notification described in clause 12-c of rule 1 or upon a change in reconvening pusuant to clause 12-e of rule 1 and notifying members accordingly. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? mr. mccarthy: madam speaker, your committee appointed on the part of the house to join a like
committee on the part of the senate to notify the president of the united states that quorum of each house has been assembled and is ready to receive any communication that may be pleased to make as performed that -- has performed that duty. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? mr. mccarthy: no more, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the chair customarily takes this occasion to announce her policies with respect to particular aspects of the legislative process. the chair will insert into the record announcements concerning first, privileges of the floor, second, introduction of bills and resolutions, third, unanimous consent requests for the consideration of legislation fourth, recognition for one-minute speeches fifth, recognition for special order speeches, sixth debate, seventh conduct of votes by electronic device, eight use of handouts
on the house floor, ninth, use of electronic equipment on the house floor and 10th, use of the chamber. these announcements, where appropriate, will reiterate the origins of the stated policies. the chair intends to continue in the 114th congress the poll vis flected in these statements. the policy announced in the 102nd congress with respect to jurisdictional concepts related to clause 5-a of rule 21 tax and tariff measures, will continue to govern but need not be reiterated as it is adequately documented as precedent in the house rules and manual. the chair announces the speaker's appointment pursuant to 2 u.s.c. 2001 and the order of the house of today of the gentleman from california, mr. mccarthy and the gentlewoman from california, ms. pelosi, as
members of the house office building commission to serve with the speaker. the chair announces the speaker's appointment pursuant to clause 11 of rule 10, clause 11 of rule 1 and the order of the house of today of the following member to the permanent select committee on intelligence. the clerk: mr. nunes of california, chairman. the speaker pro tempore: the chair announces the speaker's appointment purr student section 4-a of house resolution 5, 114th congress, and the order of the house today of the following member to the select committee on the events surrounding the 2012 terrorist attack in benghazi. the clerk: mr. gowdy of south carolina, chairman.
the speaker pro tempore: the chair announces that the speaker has delivered to the clerk letter dated january 6 listing members in the order in which each shall act as speaker pro tempore under clause 8-b-3 of rule 1. the chair lays before the house a communication. the clerk: the honorable the speaker house of representatives, the honorable the clerk, house of representatives, madam clerk, i hereby designate representative kevin mccarthy of california to exercise any authority regarding assembly, reassembly, convening or reconvening of the house pursuant to house concurrent resolution 1, clause 12 of rule 1, and any concurrent resolutions of the concurrent congress as macon template my designation of members to exercise similar authority. in the event of the death or inability of that designee, the
alternate members of the house listed in the letter with this date i have placed with the clerk are recognized for the same purposes, signed, sincerely, john boehner, speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the chair lays before the house a communication. the clerk: i hereby appoint the honorable jeff dunham, the honorable macthrnbury, the honorable fred upton, the honorable andy harris the honorable barbara comstock and the honorable luke messer to act as speaker pro tempore to sign enrolled bills through the remainder of the 114th congress. signed, john a. boehner, speaker. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the appointments are approved. under clause 5-d of rule 20, the house announces -- the chair announces to the house that the whole number of the house is
416. the chair lays before the house the following personal requests. the clerk: leave of absence requested for mr. tonko of new york on tuesday january 6. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. for what purpose does the gentleman from indiana seek recognition? >> i move that the house do now adjourn. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on the motion to adjourn. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the motion is adopted. accordingly, the house stands adjourned until 10:00 a.m. tomorrow for morning hour
he is 45s to fill and all the officers of the congressional black caucus. this is a significant year as i'm sure jim clybrn, my friend, will talk about, as others will talk about. my friend john lewis. 50 years. half a century. martin luther king said, i may not get there with you, but i have seen the promised land. but everybody in this audience -- in this auditorium knows that we may have seen the promised land but the promise is not yet redeemed. that there is still much to do. last congress, the the c.b.c. played a central and critical role in shaping policy and moving legislation forward to benefit all americans. as this new congress begins with new challenges facing our country, we continue to look toward the group known as the
conscience of the congress. for ideas and inspired leadership. and inspiration. for over four decades, the c.b.c. promoted a vision of america where everyone regardless of color, creed economic circumstances has an equal shot to pursue the american dream and is entitled to equal justice under the law. that's the objective. that's the vision. that's the promise. no one in this auditorium would say that promise has been redeemed yet. so there's still much work to be done. it needs not be only a vision but a reality. sadly, it is not. but it must continue to be the goal for which we strive and toward which the congress works. there are no members of the congress of the united states
who further that vision more passionately or more focused, or as john lewis would say, keeping their eye on the prize, than my colleagues in the congressional black caucus. how proud those of us are who serve with them of their leadership and their inspiration, of their integrity and their courage. under chairwoman fudge, the c.b.c. has continued to raise its profile by serving both as a moral voice and an active player in shaping policy, not only to better the lives of african-american bus to expand opportunities for all americans. my buddy barbara lee will tell us all that lifting up all americans and all people, irrespective of race, from the
ravages of poverty and of want is a major objective of us all. with chairman bulleterfield at the help, i know this important work will continue and strengthen. for the 114th congress, the c.b.c. has grun to include the largest numbers of members in its history. comprising nearly a quarter -- [applause] almost 25% of the democratic caucus are african-americans. 10% of the congress of the united states, african-americans. but it's not just the color of their skin that is so important. s the content of their character that they display on a daily basis, calling us all to the best that is within us and the
best that is america. c.b.c. members represent 22 states and the district of columbia. all five of the new c.b.c. members for the 114th congress are women. i will tell my male friends -- [applause] bringing the total to 20. almost half of the members of the congressional black caucus. and in another historic first, perhaps most illustrative of its strength in policy make, seven full committee ranking members are c.b.c. members. will the ranking members stand? this speaks to the enormous
progress we have made over the past 50 years. in 1965, john lewis walked across a bridge. the edmund pettus bridge in selma. two weeks later, martin luther king, with legions walked across that bridge. the conscience of america was moved. and we made progress. today, though, the voting rights act sunday threat. all our efforts in restoring protections for new generations of americans have not yet succeeded. the supreme court said things were much different and indeed they are much different. but the supreme court was wrong that the job was done. it is not. i want to congratulate my friend jim clyburn for his leadership in assuring that we redeem what has been bled for and died for.
when the law was passed i was very active in my own state a segregated state a southern state in many ways. and i come from a region that was as southern as any region in the country, i think. we had great problems in cambridge. in baltimore. and yes, in my county of prince georges county in southern maryland. thanks to the c.b.c., these battles are being carried forward with strength, conviction, and a dogged determination in congress as we prepare to mark the 50th anniversary of bloody sunday. i am looking forward to accompanying many of you to selma and to other places where people died and fought for the freedom and dignity of my three
children as well as all children of color. we are in this together. and pastor, you would say, i think with me, that every individual, every sparrow, has god's eyes on them and they ought to have our eyes on them as well. i am so very proud to be here, to congratulate all of you those of you who are new and those of you who have fought the fight for decades. those of you who began this black caucus. you have made congress better. much more importantly, however you have made america better. god bless you, god speed, and thank you. [applause]
>> i'm going to take a moment of indulgence. everybody say, a change, going to come. a change going to come. congressman clyburn, right now today it's going to come on the program. the weather has permitted leader pelosi to be here and i want to introduce her first and then we will hear from congressman clyburn. thank you. [applause] >> good morning everyone. i see the hearty souls here who weathered the storm. thank you, joy ann, for your introduction. thank you, my colleagues. i have come to join my colleagues in bearing witness to the fact that for more than 0 years as you all know the congressional black caucus has served as the conscience of the congress championing an america
of justice and opportunity for all. the members of this historic caucus have fought and won critical battles to make the real promise, full promise of our country for working people, for middle class families for those who aspire to the middle class, for every person who dreams of a better life for themselves and their families. reverend, as i was coming through here, the walls were shaking from your prayer, your invocation. all of you gathered here champion the quality, dignity and prosster -- prosperity for all americans. today as we convene the 114th congress for the united states of the, the leadership and vision of the congressional black caucus, that's as bold and necessary as ever.
let's start with mars shah fudge. anyone who ever wanted to know anything about marcia fudge, all they needed to do was follow the "colbert report." he found out she was a fencing champion in high school and he the sided he would suit up and challenge her. now mind you, she had not engaged in fencing for decades. i'm not going to say how many. for decades. but he learned. as much practice trying to take her by surprise when she came on his show she got the first touch. he learned what we all know. marcia fudge rules. now congressman butterfield takes the help of the c.b.c. we know the c.b.c. will continue to be providing strong, outspoken, effective leadership for every man, woman, and child in our country.
bringing his judicious demeanor and southern courtesy to our work. don't mistake that courtesy for anything other than strength. congratulations and best wishes to you chairman butterfield. your success is the success of america. in the 114th congress, mr. butterfield -- mr. clyburn, mr. butterfield's friend, mr. clyburn, will continue to serve as the third highest ranking democrat in the house of representatives. and with great dignity and respect. steny mentioned that c.b.c. members will serve as ranking members of seven committees, i'll name names. judiciary, john conyers. financial services, maxine waters. veterans affairs, corrine brown. science, space, and technology, eddie bernice johnson.
education and work force, bobby scott. homeland security, denny thompson. oversight and government reform, elijah cummings. aren't we proud? we also welcome the surge of c.b.c. women, freshmen members, and are so honored that the 100th woman to serve in the congress is alma adams, as a member of the c.b.c. the 100th. this is historic. i know that our distinguished chair of the d.n.c., debbie wasserman shilts takes special pride in that as well. -- wasserman schultz takes special pride in that as well. today, congressman conyers becomes dean of the house after a half century of service in the congress.
[applause] a half a century of service. those 50 years have seen historic progress for our nation. but it is clear there is more to do. we respect the past, we confront our future with a conviction that we can and we must continue to effect change. injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. as we mark the 50th anniversary of the voting rights act, how proud we are all to have the tireless moral leadership of congressman john lewis on this matter, serving us in the house. as we are now called to action. to improve the quality of justice in every american community, to awaken our communities to the power of the vote. the vote destroys injustice.
and creates opportunity. and drives a new effort to increase voter participation. today starts a new congress it starts a new year. it also is the feast of the epiphany, the feast of the visitation of the magi; as you know. i am hoping, and i will say to the congress when we open in session later, let us have our own epiphany about what our responsibility is to the american people. let us not say we shouldn't have disagreement. of course we have our principals and our values and our beliefs. and that's what make ours country strong. we don't always agree with each other, and there are different schools of thought in the congress, but a democracy is about debating those issues. finding solutions. having the humility to compromise and find a way
forward. but it also is about fighting for what is right. fighting for eleanor holmes norton to have the right to vote in the kuok of the united states and people of her district. that's what we fight for. if you find that disagreement, just give eleanor the vote and then we can put that aside. so it is important for us as we view how we manage our issues, our differences. .
all of you. we thank our leadership here on this stage for your leadership, your vision, your courage. it's about courage. it's about heart. and your commitment to this great country. congratulations on your ceremonial swearing in-in. i look forward to your swearing-in by john conyers in just a few hours. congratulations to you all.
happy new year and thank you for the opportunity here this evening. thank you all very much. [applause] >> thank you very much madam leader. mr. whip. distinguished clergy. all. chair wasserman schultz. my colleagues. ladies and gentlemen. first, i want to remind you of our theme for the day. respecting the past. confronting the future. i want to thank chairwoman marcia fudge for two very successful and highly
productive years as chair of this caucus. i want to wish george kenneth butterfield god speed as he takes the reins of this great group of committed, dedicated and sometimes contrarian public servants. as martin luther king jr. once informed, everybody can be great. because everybody can serve. we have been elected to serve at a very interesting time in our country's development. the united states supreme court has gutted the 1965 voting rights act. they've made it possible for us
to serve. in the citizens united and mccutchen cases, the supreme court overturned 100 years of restraint on corporations' funding of political campaigns. and has made money speech that cannot be reasonably regulated to protect our democracy. legislatures all over the country are stacking and bleaching legislative and congressional districts, by a lotting the effectiveness of black representation and participation. state and local governments are imposing new impediments to voting and are establishing new criteria for police and citizens' uses of force. effectively undermining and
rupturing the relationship that should exist between the police and the public and people to each other. there are significant movements taking place all across the country. and although they may not be new -- they may be new to some of us they're not new to the country. we have been here before. we respect election results but we remember that ben tillman and lester maddox were elected officials who were swept into office by denigrating blacks. we respect law enforcement but we remember that jim clark and
bill conner were cops who built their reputations by brutalizing freedom fighters. we respect court decisions but we remember that dread scott was a supreme court decision that relegated blacks to second class citizenship. it took hard work and personal sacrifices to move the country to a better place. thanks to the advocacy of the naacp fraternities and sororities, the fclc, the student nonviolence coordinating committee, and countless other groups and organizations, we got to a
better place. every september the congressional black caucus foundation recognizes various people and organizations with our phoenix awards. that name was not pulled out of a hat. nor was it selected by a contest. the phoenix award's honor and historic and prophetic speech delivered from the well of the united states house of representatives by one of g.k. butterfield's predecessors from north carolina, george white. as he unser moaniously ended his career anden era of black membership in the congress. and it was over a generation later before another black sat
as a member of this august body. contrary to popular opinion, the country does not move on a lineal plane. our country moves like the pendulum on a clock. it goes from left to right and back left again before moving back right. how long the country rests in any position depends upon the intervention and level of participation of the electorate. in a couple of hours we will take our seats as members of the 114th congress. ours is a unique but postured
road. ross lynn barack, cornell brooks and the naacp have unique but pocked roads. the urban league has unique but par shall roads. the sclc, the legal defense fund roinbow push, national action network and many others have roles to play. we all have our roles to play. hopefully the lessons of our history will allow us to play our roles effectively and efficiently. few people know their history better than g.k. butterfield.
growing up in wilson, north carolina he suffered many indignities while serving in defense of this country. a doting father, he experienced elections laws that steeled his determination to study and practice law. he's a former state supreme court justice who knows what it's like to suffer defeat at the polls. he's lived much of america's history. he has learned its lessons. i believe he will take this caucus to a better place. [applause] >> ladies and gentlemen, c.b.c.
president and c.e.o., ms. a. shawnice washington. >> good morning, everyone. on behalf of my colleagues at the congressional black caucus foundation incorporated, it is my pleasure to welcome and thank you all for your presence this morning as we celebrate the beginning of the 114th congress and in particular the members of the congressional black caucus. i would like to extend a special thank you to our program participants, special guests, friends and partners for joining us for today's swearing in. c.b. -- cbcf is honored to host this time-honor traddigs which recognizes our nation's african-american members of congress whose commitment and tireless efforts continue to move our country and our communities forward. this is a historic time for the c.b.c. with the largest membership and the most diverse geographical representation since its
founding, the c.b.c. is positioned to elevate the public policy discussion on several issues impacting the black community. while the c.b.c. grows in numbers, there remains a lack of dweverts in congressional staff -- diversity in congressional staff and this is the inspiration for the cbcf's newest initiative. emerge 535. over the next few years cbcf will expand opportunities to emerging african-american leaders by providing 535 internship and fellowship placements in congressional offices and committees. and cbcf is committed to doing its part to change the landscape of capitol hill with emerge 35535 -- with emerge 535. [applause] and the c.b.c. remains an integral partner in this effort because our young people have always gained firsthand leadership and policy experience by working with and learning from each of you. our event partners for today's
ceremony include revlon, national association of broadcasters texaco, at&t, sentry link, comcast nbc universal, grocery manufacturers association, t-mobile and verizon. we are able to fulfill our mission to develop leaders and form policy and educate the public because of the generous support you each provide. for that we thank you. [applause] in closing and on behalf of the c.b.c. -- cbcf staff, i would like to thank outgoing c.b.c. chairwoman, congresswoman marsha l. fudge, for her strong support -- marcia fudge, for her strong support of the congressional black caucus foundation over the last years. g.k. butterfield and all of the new officers we look forward to working with you and all members of the c.d.c. -- c.b.d. during the 114th.
join me in congratulating and saluting the members -- members of the c.b.c. during the 114th congress. and it is now my pleasure to introduce our chairman of the board of directors, congressman shaka fattah. -- chaka fattah. >> let me acknowledge the members of the congressional black caucus foundation board of directors. i know that jim is here and a number of others. please stand and give our board a round of applause, please. [applause] and to the staff and also the members of our corporate advisory committee. the foundation is uniquely situated because of our most important stakeholders which are the congressional black caucus. and i want to thank each of the members for their partnership
with the foundation as we go forward. i want to say a few things about the work that we're doing and we have done together over these last two years. first and foremost, that we placed 148 students in public service internships, 18 in fellowships and have awarded 702 scholarships totaling $1.2 million. thank you. $1.2 million is a little bit of money. and it helps pay the bills so our young people can get an education. we also have launched our project which is an online community. think of it as an online a.l.c. weekend where you can get realtime information about the work of the congressional black caucus and its members, what's happening on the hill, and you can have actual input into the
policy development process. i want to personally thank my leader, the chairwoman of the congressional black caucus foundation over the 113th, chairwoman -- was formerly a member of the staff serving for former member from ohio, and then has served now in the congress. but rather than just represent the state of ohio, if that wasn't challenging enough, she took on the responsibility to lead the congressional black caucus and she has done an extraordinary job. i've seen her in both public moments and private moments and she's not compromised on the critical issues facing our community and she's been an authentic leader and we can ask nothing more of her. thank you so very much for all that you've done. [applause] for the caucus she launched the china study abroad program and
for dozens of our young people, they have spent time now studding in china and she's paved the way for some 400 young people to participate in that program as we go forward. i want to say to our new chairman, you have to watch butterfield, because he asked me to come to north carolina once to give a talk and -- once you say yes, you can't -- he won't let you, you know, maneuver. and so all i can say to the members is, when the chairman asks you to do something consider it and once you give a commitment you have to follow through. because he's a determined leader and he has been raised for a time like this. as we go on to a new congress. so i note in our audience a number of people, i won't go through the list, but i did want to mention just a few. one of course is my beautiful and brilliant wife who's here,
and my daughters and my dad. give them a round of applause. [applause] and i saw ernie green from the little rock nine who's here. and then i saw a young man who has been away for a while. he's been in prison in cuba. and because of the work of members of the congressional black caucus and many others, in the bold step that our president has taken in reopening relationships with cuba, he's now here and i want to recognize allen gross. give him a big welcome home. him and his wife with err -- are here. [applause] barbara lee and her leadership and other members of the caucus and other members of the
congress democrat and republicans, it's great to be able to welcome you home and it could not have happened without the leadership of a former member of our caucus who now serves as the president of the united states to step in a different direction that we have been moving in our country. we can rebuild the walls if we have a mind to work. this cause has a mind to work -- this cause has just a -- has a mind to work. in -- caucus has a mind to work. in a few hours we're going to get to work, making our country a more perfect union. thank you. [applause] >> thank you congressman fattah. now, the swearing-in of congressional members is a long-standing tradition that celebrates and signifies the start of a new congress. the ceremonial oath of office will be administered by the honorable james a. wynn jr., fourth circuit judge of the united states court of appeals.
judge wynn is from north carolina and served as an associate justice for the north carolina court of appeals and the north carolina supreme court before his u.s. court of appeals nomination by president barack obama in 2009. wynn was confirmed by the senate the following year. judge wynn is congressman butterfield's friend and former law partner. ladies and gentlemen the honorable james a. wynn jr. [applause] >> to the distinguished members of the congressional black caucus, i want to tell you this is an especially pleasure for me and i tell you this, senator clyburn, as you know as a historian, that it wasn't brown vs. board of education that was the most important decision for us in 1954. nor was it the civil rights act of 1965. nor the voting rights act of 1965. nor even the election of our
esteemed president in 2008. the most significant date in the event in the history of african-americans in this country was the abolition of slavery 150 years ago. that occurred -- [applause] that occurred representative lewis, that occurred, representative bishop, that occurred, representative scott, that occurred, representative johnson, when the state of georgia became the state that made the requisite number of states to abolish slavery by the ratification of the 13th amendment to the constitution on december 6 1865. so this 150th year from the date of the abolition of slavery constitutionally in this country gives me great pleasure to administer the oath of office to a most distinguished group of officers of the congressional black caucus. will you please rise.
and if the officers will face me. just the officers, please. if the officers will face me. all officers. and if will you repeat after me, please. i, state your name, do solemnly swear or affirm that i will support and defend, the constitution of the united states, against all enemies, foreign and domestic, and that i will bear true faith and allegiance to the same. that i take this obligation freely and without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion and that i will well
and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which i am about to enter. so help me god. congratulations. [applause] >> all right. ladies and gentlemen, i present to you the congressional black caucus of the 114th congress. [applause] all right. now at this time i would like to introduce a special presentation that highlights
some of the critical work undertaken by the congressional black caucus of the 113th congress led by then c.b.c. chairwoman marcia fudge. representative fudge is entering her fifth term serving ohio's 11th congressional district. her hard work and commitment to improving the quality of life of her constituents, african-americans and all americans has earned congresswoman fudge the confidence and respect of her peers. representative fudge's leadership the c.b.c. continued making its good health a reality tour, a project they'd cated americans across the country about how the affordable care act can improve their lives. representative fudge also remains vigilant in keeping important issues affecting african-americans at the forefront of the caucus agenda. ending poverty increasing access to college funding reforming immigration, improving the economy and enhancing the availability of jobs. and although these accomplishments are
significant, representative fudge knows that the work of advancing the african-american community is far from finished. her determination and fearlessness to stand up for others has made her one of the most recognizable and effective leaders in the congress. so please now direct your attention to this short video on the work of the c.b.c. under the leadership of c.b.c. chairwoman marcia fudge. >> here at home we are unable to fully address our own issues. mr. speaker, the house is not in order. >> the gentlewoman is correct. the house will be in order. please proceed. >> known as the conscience of the congress the congressional black caucus has been a strong voice in the congress for people of color and underserved communities. founded in 1971 with 13
members, the c.b.c. is committed to using the full constitutional power statutory authority and financial resources of the united states government to ensure access and opportunities for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. in the 113th congress, the c.b.c. was present and active on issues impacting african-americans and other underserved communities. the c.b.c. held the house floor for hours to prevent devastating cuts to the social safety net provided by the food stamp program, led advancements in the push for diversity on the federal bench and in the white house cabinet. made the parent plus loans fair and readily available to those who need them and from the supreme court rolled back the protections of the voting rights act the c.b.c. developed legislation to safeguard the right to vote for all citizens. >> we want to be sure that the immigration bill which they're
say something comprehensive is in fact comprehensive and it includes people from the caribbean and from africa which had here to for been done by diversity visas. we want to be sure that the people we represent, those who come from underserved countries , poor countries, are included in the bill. >> the c.b.c. remains steadfast in its vision and given the seniority of the c.b.c. members, the c.b.c. is poised to transform this vision into legislative reality in the upcoming 114th congress. >> one of the highest honors of my lifetime, to be elected unanimously as the chairman of the congressional black caucus for the 114th congress. i take this work very seriously. it's the role of the congressional black caucus to fight every day to try to protect those in our community, not just african-americans, but those who have been left out of the american dream and this economy.
[applause] >> now we will swear in the -- all of the members of the congressional black caucus. please stand. if all of you would repeat after me. raise your right hand, please. i, state your name. do solemnly swear or affirm that i will support and defend the constitution of the united states. against all enemies, foreign and domestic and that i will bear true faith and allegiance to the same. that i take this obligation freely and without any mental reservation or purpose of
evasion, and that i will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office as members of the congressional black caucus so help me god. congratulations. [applause] >> ok, ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the outgoing crfrpblt b.c. chairwoman, representative marcia fudge. >> good morning. there is one thing i have to do. i don't give shout-outs as a general rule but there are two members in this audience that i must recognize. they are two of our former colleagues. please stand and be recognized. ms. clayton, mr. watt. let's give them a hand, please.
and i'm certainly happy that chaka did introduce mr. gross because it is my determination i think at this point that barbara lee should be the ambassador to cuba. i've been working on that. [applause] now that i have some more time, barbara, i'll be working on it. it has in fact and indeed been a pleasure and an honor to serve as a 23rd chair of the congressional black caucus. as i've often said, i did not lead this caucus. no one can lead this caucus. this cause of leaders. instead, i compare my experience as chair to that of a conductor of an incredible orchestra. the many pieces of timeless -- a many pieces of a timeless orchestra came together over the past two years and we mansioned to make wonderful music -- managed to make wonderful music. to my colleagues, i thank you. no one can deny that we are the oldest the strongest the smartest and the most effective
caucus in the house of representatives. [applause] i want to thank you for working together, free of independent agendas, to ensure the continued success of our caucus for the benefit of this nation. thank you for your unwavering commitment to do what is right. we are the conscience of the nation, not just of the caucus. and let us continue to stand strong because we are better together. to our new members, welcome. you are now a part of a very special family. know that we will look to you to lead us into the future with fresh ideas and new energy. stand, new members, please. and to my staff, the c.b.c. staff, and my congressional staff, i want to thank you for
your hard work and sacrifice. i know i might not have said it often, certainly i didn't say it enough over the past two years, but i do truly appreciate each and every one of you. you exceeded my expectations and i am grateful. you have served this caucus well and i thank you. and now i have been given the honor of presenting to you the 24th chair of the congressional black caucus the gentleman from the first district of north carolina, my friend, congressman g.k. butterfield. who followed in his father's footsteps. his father was the first black elected in wilson since reconstruction. he is a champion for so many things. he's a champion for affordable health care, for medicaid, for education, for investments in rural communities, just to name a few. you heard mr. clyburn talk about his work on the judiciary. g.k. you have served this
country and this congress with distinction. now you have been elected to serve your peers as the chair of the c.b.c. may god grant you wisdom and patience to carry this mighty caucus as we move into the 114th congress. please accept the gavel as a symbolic token of our trust, confidence and admiration. please join me in welcoming the 24th chair of the congressional black caucus, g.k. butterfield. [applause] >> thank you thank you, thank you. first, let me begin by thanking congresswoman marcia fudge for her friendship for her leadership and for taking the congressional black caucus to higher heights. you know someone asked me a few days ago if i thought i
could fill the shoes of marcia fudge. well, let me put it this way. no one in their right mind should ever believe they can fill the shoes of congresswoman marcia fudge. marsha is a unique leader -- marsa is a unique leader who commands respect. thank you very much, marcia fudge. to the dean of the congressional black caucus to the dean of the house of representatives, congressman john conyers jr. [applause] to my other colleagues and their families, many of the families are here today, to the cbcf chair congressman shaka fattah and to ms. washington and to your team, to the congressional staff and they're all across this auditorium, thank you for all that you do. thank you to my friend and former law partner, judge jim wynn for administering the oath of office.
jim, god has been good to you, he's been good to me and over -- me over and over and over again. thank you so investment to -- so very much. to leader pelosi and whip hoyer, thank you for your leadership. assistant leader jim clyburn. the c.b.c. is honored, sir honored, sir to have one of your caliber among us. thank you so very much. [applause] to the hundreds of friends who are viewing this ceremony at watch parties in my district and all across the country, and finally to my family, a small number of whom are here today first i will ask my daughter to quickly stand, baby. that's my daughter. [applause] and i'm going to ask my cousins, my first cousins and high second -- my second cousins, if they would please
stand. [applause] and their spouses. i'm going to let you figure out which one of the cousins and which ones are the spouses. thank you, family. thank you for being here today and supporting me. it is one of the highest honors of my life to start the daunting process of leading the caucus that has a legacy of advocating for african-american interests. our 46 members hail from 22 states, the district of columbia, and the virgin islands. representing more than 30 million people. 23% of the house democratic caucus, 10% of the house of representatives. c.b.c. members, as you have heard already, hold seven ranking member full committee leadership positions. we are one of the largest caucuses in the house of representatives. and i'm proud to say that we have 20 women members,alful of
our new members are -- all of our new members are female. [applause] and as joe biden would say, that's a big deal. the exisition of our caucus brings a diverse set of experiences and viewpoints to address the unique challenges of african-american communities. every day members of this caucus go beyond their constitutional duties to lead in their communities. they're making a difference. all of them are making a difference in the lifes of millions of people -- lives of millions of people. my colleagues are smart, you know that. they are intelligent legislators. each of them was elected to congress because they prepared themselves, they served their communities and they knocked down barriers. now, i'm also mindful that we were elected to congress because great men and women,
great men and women over the past 150-plus years got their hands dirty and some gave their lives to empower future generations. during the reconstruction and postreconstruction era, 20 african-americans, 20, served in this congress. they advocated for educating the children of the former slaves they advocated for building black high schools and colleges. they advocated for jobs and decency. they even sought to make it a federal crime to lynch. the work of these 20 congressmen was too visionary for the southern power structure. and so in 1900's, seven states passed literacy tests and the poll tax as devices to prevent black people from voting. and now in the 21st century, efforts are still afoot to
disenfranchise african-american voters. as a consequence of the literacy test and the poll tax and acts of sheer violence, black participation in this in 1901 and jim clyburn made reference to, that when congressman george h. white stood in the well, stood in the well where we will all be in just a few minutes at the close of the 56th congress, and this is what he said and i will paraphrase. mr. chairman the negro ask no special favors. but simply demand that he be given the same chance for existence. for earning the livelihood, for raising himself in the skills of manhood and -- scales of manwood and womanhood obble late rate race, hatred, party prejudice and help us do the greatest good for the greatest number. this mr. chairman, is perhaps the negro's temporary farewell
to the american congress. but phoenix-like, he will rise again someday and come again. as we stand here now on the dawn of a new congress, the 114th congress we must tell the full story. for many black americans, for many black americans, they are not even close to realizing the american dream. depending on where they live and economic depression, -- an economic depression hangs over their head and it's burning the potential of their children. black america is in a state of emergency today as it was at the turn of the century. my message, my message to those across the country who are tired of business as usual, and for those who want to hold our country accountable for treating you with disrespect, i
hear you. the c.b.c. hears you. america hears you. the world hears you. that is why our theme today is so important. learn from our past. but boldly, boldly confront an uncertain future. this caucus was formed in 1971 because its founders understood that black lives matter black boys matter, black girls matter. the black church matters. black america in its totality matters. in 2015 we're still fighting. we're still fighting generations of indifference on the part of those in power. the statistics tell the story. 25% of black households, that's one in four, 25% of black
households live below the poverty line as compared to 8% for white households. one out of three black children, our children, lives in poverty. african-americans are twice as likely as whites to be unemployed. african-americans earn $13,000 less per year than their white counterparts. the unemployment rate of african-americans has consistently been twice as high as for whites over the last 50 years. for every $100 in wealth of a white household, the black household only has $6 in wealth. what is this? what is this if it's not an emergency? america's not working for many african-americans and we as the c.b. c.b. -- congressional black caucus have an obligation. we know. that we talk about it all the time. we have an obligation to fight
harder and smarter in the next congress and help repair the damage. and so my leadership of this caucus will be influenced by my experiences growing up in a segregated south. jim clyburn often says that we are the sum total of our experiences. and that is so very true. my life's experiences are similar to many of my colleagues. we saw racism at its worst. in my hometown of wilson, north carolina the railroad tracks divided our town. a town where 23 miles of unpaved streets greeted black citizens every day. they were relegated to second class citizenship. our mothers and our fathers and our grandmothers and our grandfathers, our aunts and our uncles worked every day seven days a week, to support the jim
crow economy. i recall so vividly the wealthy white citizens each morning would drive into our neighborhoods to transport black women to the paved streets on the west side of town to domestic work for just a few dollars a week. i recall white farmers driving onto our street corners at 6:00 a.m. to transport black laborers to the tobacco fields to harvest the crops for 50 cents an hour. i recall the structurally inferior black schools and how great black educators were paid less than their white counterparts. because of these unbearable conditions my generation, my generation, the baby boom generation, we escaped the south. as quickly as we could. most went to the north. some to college. some to the military. and so those experiences have
helped mold my perspective and make me determined to fight every day to expose and defeat racism and discrimination wherever it may exist. and so if anyone has any doubt that this chairman and this congressional black caucus will have any reluctance to fight for our communities, you're mistaken. [applause] marcia fudge is over there talking about me. [laughter] the ears work, if nothing else. let's get serious again.
will you see the congressional black caucus make criminal justice reform a centerpiece of our work. there's a well founded -- let me develop this for a minute and then you can give if an applause -- it an applause. we're going to make criminal justice reform a certainty piece of our work. there is a well-founded, you know it and i know it, mistrust between the african-american community and law enforcement officers. the statistics are clear. video clips are clear. we recognize the overwhelming majority of law enforcement who put their lives on the line every day to protect our communities and most of them are doing it well. but unfortunately there's some officers who abuse the sacred responsibility to protect and to serve by using excessive and sometimes deadly force when a less severe response is warranted. the c.b.c. will seek
legislative action to reverse this trend. let me also be clear as a former judge, i want to put all of this in context, to reform the enforcement system will not by itself reform the criminal justice system. the c.b.c. will address -- continue to address outdated sentencing laws unethical prosecutors and we will communicate the importance of criminal defendants. our sons and our daughters and our cousins and next door neighbors, criminal defendants in our communities, that they have competent council when they go to -- counsel when they go to court. you'll see the congressional black caucus fighting for targeted funding for persistent poverty communities. they are at least 384 county notice united states where 20% or more of the population has been living below the poverty line not since the recession
started but for the last 30 years. the congressional black caucus will be strongly advocating what i'm going to call the clyburn plan. some call it the 10-20-30 plan, which would direct that at least 10% of an agency's grants and discretionary budgeting be targeted to these communities. now, this is not a partisan issue. more than 24 million americans live in these communities. and the truth is that republican members of this congress represent more of these communities than democratic members. and so what does that mean? that means we will call on the republican conference to join with the democratic caucus and the c.b.c. to pass legislation that will address persistent poverty in america. [applause]
we will continue to fight against any additional efforts to reduce the deficit by dismantling the social safety net that our communities depend on and programs that create jobs for the unemployed and the underemployed. irresponsible budgeting in this congress will be met with dogged resistance. [applause] the c.b.c. understands that nothing is more important than an education system. an education system that works for black children. an education system that encourages, no demands excellence. we will propose and support legislation to enhance educational opportunities for african-american students and strengthen our 105 historically black colleges and universities who educated black children when other
institutions were closed. we will continue to push for science and technology, engineering and math education, we call it stem, for young african-americans and provide retraining for adults in the 21st century. on june 25 twirt -- 2013 the u.s. supreme court suspended use of section 5 of the voting rights act because of what it called an outdated formula. the essence of section five protection is now allowing states to pass discriminatory laws that disenfrance choice -- disenfranchise african-american voters and other groups. partisan redistricting schemes have been enacted with impunity. we as a caucus will continue our fight to restore section five of the voting rights act. 6 -- we will evaluate whether
american corporations who depend on government contracts and tax preferences, whether they're making a seerps effort at -- serious effort at diversity in board rooms and the work force. we will look at -- you're getting quiet on me now -- we will look at whether corporations, america's corporations, the fortune 500 corporations are investing in underserved communities and if they're failing, we will expose it. and insist on change. we are ready for these fights. the fight for the future is not a black fight, it's not a democratic or a republican fight. it is a fight that all fair-minded americans should promote. we need to use political means, you know we do, policy and legal means to reduce racial
disparities and move closer to that day when every american receives and realizes the american dream. and so in closing i issue a call. to action. for what i call an all-hands-on-deck strategy. where the c.b.c. will work with our allies in congress and in state and local governments to push for good policies and wealth and education and health care and criminal justice. we will work with grassroots organizations all across america. we will work with national black organizations and with the faith community. we will gather data and educate the public and organize masses of our people to promote our agenda. we will work with the legal community to pursue a legal strategy to reverse those most egregious laws. finally, we will push for full participation in presidential elections, state elections, local elections, with the goal of lectsing people at every level who share our values. this is our all-hands-on-deck strategy through which the
c.b.c. and its allies will promote. as we begin our work, we will continue the struggle to provide leadership and make a difference, to make a difference for those for whom we represent. may god continue to bless our communities all across this country with talented leaders talented leaders as you see on this stage. may god continue to bless each of you. c.b.c., thank you for this privilege. it's now our time to make a difference. thank you very much. [applause] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] >> today was the opening day for the 114th congress. indiana about five minutes, we'll show you today's house floor proceedings, including the swearing-in of new members and the re-election of john
boehner as house speaker. all that gets under way at 8:00 eastern. the senate also gaveled in for opening day swt swearing-in of new members and opening remarks from senate leaders, mitch mcconnell and dirk durbin. here are those comments. mr. mcconnell: mr. president? the president pro tempore: minority leader the majority leader. mr. mcconnell: today is an important day for our country. many senators took the oath this afternoon, 13 for the first time and a new republican majority accepted its new responsibility. we recognize the enormity of the task before us, we know a lot of hard work awaits, we know many important opportunities await as well. i'm really optimistic about what we can accomplish, but but i'll have much more to say about that tomorrow. for now i just want to welcome
back all of our returning members, i want to congratulate the many new ones, and i want to say a word about our colleague from nevada, senator reid is a former boxer he's tough, i know he'll be back in fighting form soon enough. we all wish him a speedy recovery and i wish is very best to all of you. enjoy the ceremonies tomorrow -- today, and tomorrow it's back to work. i yield the floor. mr. durbin: mr. president? the majoritythe president pro tempore: the minority leader. mr. durbin: i'm happy to report senator reid is making a speedy recovery from his new year's day run-in with some exercise equipment. his face and ribs are still sore he's eager to get back to work. we met with him this morning and i know that we can expect him back in the senate very soon. in the meantime it's my privilege on behalf. democratic caucus to welcome our
old colleagues back to work and to welcome our new colleagues and their families to the united states senate. i also want to wish leader mcconnell as he takes up the new duties of majority leader the very best. everett dirksen was a senator from illinois who served as republican leader of the senate from 1959 to 1969. he famously said -- and i quote -- "i am a fan of fixed and unbending principle. the first of which is to be flexible at all times." end of quote. that may sound comical even contradictory but senator dirksen's ability to be firm on factics and, produced legislation such as the civil rights act of 1964 one of the greatest achievements in our nation's history. i'm sure we remember that with fondness around pride. the american people need for us to work together to solve problems and create opportunities and for their sakes let us all try to remember that what we are about is
honorable compromise. the constitution of the united states and the senate itself are the results of just such a compromise. one of the -- one other point 100 years ago this week, an american industrialist stunned the world announced he was going to start paying his double the average and cut their work hours. that was henry ford. he committed to pay his workers a minimum wage. as we begin this new congress let us dedicate ourselves to the working men and women of america, the taxpayers of this country, the men and women which we so producedly serve. i hope that we will show flexibility and principle. we can't solve america's challenges with the same old thinking. we have to address the problems with mutual respect and a positive attitude and i look forward on this side of the aisle with working with senator reid and my colleagues to achieve that end and congratulations to leader mcconnell. mr. mcconnell: i thank my friend the assistant majority leader.
we are anxious to get to work here and in that regard i ask unanimous consent that it be in order for the energy and natural resources committee to meet on january 7 tomorrow, for the purpose of hearing testimony on the keystone pipeline, that the meeting be chaired by senator murkowski with senator cantwell as ranking member, that the following senators not currently serving on the committee be considered members of the committee for the purpose of this meeting. senators daines, cassidy gardner, capito hirono, king and warren. i further ask that the meeting be considered to comport with all senate rules related to the conduct of committees and the customary and authorized expenses be permitted. the president pro tempore: is there objection? mr. durbin: under the traditions and rules of the senate all the committees are organized in a resolution which we anticipate will be offered tomorrow for the
committee structure of the united states senate. i say to the majority leader we will continue this conversation in a positive manner in an effort to come up with a mutually agreeable approach to considering this legislation and others but for that reason i must object. the president pro tempore: objection is heard. mr. mcconnell: mr. president if i may let me say nobody's rights would have been in any way impaired by knowing forward a day earliy. we're going to pass the committee resolutions tomorrow. we all know that one of the things the senate is best at is not doing much, and i hope we can work this out so we can get started. everyone knows the first measure that's going to be up is going to come out of the energy committee. i would say to my friends on the minority side it will be open for amendment why don't we get started? so hopefully senator murkowski
and senator cantwell can work through this and we can get going and do the people's business. we're anxious to get started. >> tonight he will see the swearing-in of members, and the rules for house procedures during the session. and later, the swearing-in of members by john boehner. we start with members gathering in the house chamber. day of the 114 congress.