tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN January 21, 2015 4:00pm-6:01pm EST
mr. biggert of virginia, alternate. with the concurrence of the speaker, mr. david scaggs of colorado co-chairman. brigadier general retired belinda pinke of virginia, mr. karen english of arizona, mr. mike barnes of virginia alternate. the speaker pro tempore: under the speaker's announced policy of january 6 2015, the gentleman from new jersey, mr. smith, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the majority leader. . mr. smith: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield two minutes or such time as she may consume to the distinguished gentlelady from missouri. mrs. wagner: thank you very much. i appreciate and thank the gentleman for yielding and for hosting this very important special order today. and for his lifetime of service in protecting the right of the unborn. those who have no voice. so i thank you, sir. mr. speaker i rise today in support of the sanctity of life. sadly tomorrow is the 42nd
anniversary of roe v. wade. and hundreds of thousands of people, including pro-life advocates from my own hometown of st. louis, missouri, will gather in our nation's capital in honor of the over 56 million precious angels we have lost since that infamous supreme court decision. not to mention the millions of women who have been adversely affected in the aftermath of their abortion, both physically and emotionally. i first participated in the march for life 25 years ago this week in 1990. i was 28 years old with a real bad hairdo and i was 12 weeks pregnant with my son, steven. at that point at 12 weeks in my pregnancy, steven was able to suck his thumb. a few weeks later at 15 weeks he could make facial expressions and he had taste buds. by 17 weeks steven began to
kick. by week 18 his ears had developed and he could hear. and by week 20 not only was steven able to recognize my voice as his mother, but he was capable of feeling pain. while killing an unborn child is unconscionable at any time, it is especially abhorrent at the 20-week mark, when a child is able to feel the pain of an abortion. mr. speaker, the theme of this year's march is every life is a gift. and i truly believe that life at all stages, from conception to natural death, is indeed a gift. i am for the life of the baby, i am also for the life of the mother and oftentimes the victim -- the victim. and i will continue to work and to pray for the day when
abortion is not only illegal, but abortion is unthinkable. i yield back. mr. smith: i thank mrs. wagner for her very eloquent statement and ferre her long service on the -- for her long service on behalf of the unborn. i'd like to yield to tim walberg. mr. walberg: mr. speaker, i thank the gentleman from new jersey for putting this special order together. on the 42nd anniversary of an infamous decision, roe v. wade, where i believe that mr. speaker, the supreme court stepped out of their role and unconstitutionally set up the course that has gone on to this day, a murder of innocents. and ultimately the murder of the innocence of our country as well. that was established on a
principle that was well known, well understood and put into our declaration of independence that said, we hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal and endowed by their creator with certain inalienable rights, among them the right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness. it all begins with life. i'll never forget eight years ago, as i stood in the maternity word at northwestern university hospital and waited for word from the room where my daughter-in-law was giving birth to our first two grandchildren twins, john timothy and michael todd. michael todd is now 8 years old, happy, healthy, moving
forward. john timothy, we look forward to seeing him again someday in heaven. for eight days he lived on this earth, he fought after being born with his twin brother at 26 weeks. i watched them as they fought for life. i watched them at less than 12 inches long, one pound, 12 ounces. fighting for life, understanding in their own way that this is what they were supposed to do. they were capable of pain. they were capable of doing what nature's god had enabled them to do. that changed my life more than ever before. back in 1982 i ran for the state house on the issue of life itself. that's what brought me out of the pulpit as a pastor. and brought me into the arena to try to promote life and go
away from that terrible decision that the supreme court put upon us. and now i think 42 years later, we have seen gains in this country, as we'll see millennials come out of metro tubes tomorrow, as we'll see young people standing in front of us speaking for life, declaring their desire to see abortion ended. and i'm hopeful that in our day we will see that take place, not because of religion, not even because of politics. but because of people understanding the sanctity of life. understood by the profit, jeremiah, when he said, after the words of god himself, before i was formed in my mother's womb you knew me and declared the days of my life. mr. speaker my colleague from new jersey, all of my colleagues who will stand in defense of life, i say thank you. let's not give up. because we're on the right side.
i yield back. mr. smith: thank you very much, thank you very much. i'd like to now yield to mr. stutzman, the gentleman from indiana. mr. stutzman: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the gentleman from new jersey for his tireless work on this important issue for our day and age. mr. speaker in this 42nd anniversary of roe vs. wade, we must remember the innocent lives who were never given the chance to live the american dream. since 1973 tens of millions of innocent, unborn children have been denied an opportunity to grow and be successful. in america, we are always espousing the belief that anything is possible, that anyone can achieve their dreams if they set their minds to it. and yet it is here in this country where we deny those dreams to so many. mr. speaker, i was born in 1976
and i'm so thankful that my mother, at the age of 17 chose life and gave me the gift of life. because my federal government at the time three years earlier said it was ok for her to end it, if she so chose. most of us have very strong feelings about the value of life. we must continue to seek opportunities to promote a culture of life that protects the innocent. tomorrow tens of thousands of people from all across the country will descend on the national mall to champion the belief that every life is a gift. and congress will have an opportunity to act and show that we are listening through the pain-capable unborn child protection act, a bill i urge my colleagues to support. we may meet some obstacles, but the pro-life movement will not be shaken. we will meet -- we will continue to fight to protect the unborn we will continue to fight and provide a voice for those who do not have one, we will continue to fight because
we believe that america should be a place where everyone is protected by law and welcome to life. this is our goal and i pray that together we will achieve it. thank you. mr. smith: i thank my friend for his statements and leadership as well. i'd like to yield to chris stewart from utah. mr. stewart: mr. chairman, i join with my colleagues in thanking my friend, mr. smith for giving us this opportunity to address such an important and a deeply personal issue. i am the proud father of six children and nothing in the world means more to me. my life changed forever the first time i held my first son. i look at my sons and daughters and i am humbled by the responsibility it is to be their parent. and i'm touched always by the power and the blessing of life.
now i am a grandfather and that fact alone makes my life very good. this week we commemorate the anniversary of one of the most significant supreme court cases in the history of the united states, of course roe v. wade. we also welcome thousands of pro-life activists who came to our nation's capital to participate in the march for life. and think about that title for a moment. the march for life. it's extremely important, as we are members of congress, to stand up for those who do not have a voice to stand up for themselves. our precious unborn children. tomorrow the house will vote on h.r. 36, the pain-capable unborn child prevention act -- i'm sorry, protection act. which protects the lives -- the lives of unborn by banning abortions at or after 20 weeks of pregnancy. with medical evidence that an
unborn child is capable of experiencing pain by at least 20 weeks, if not earlier i will support this bill and i encourage my colleagues to support it as well. think of what we would be saying if we were to reject this bill. i understand that there are exceptions and i recognize a woman's health is just as important as her child. thus we made reasonable medical judgment exceptions. which would be made in the case of rape, incest or in the endangerment of the mother's life. as i conclude i would like to say or reiterate each life is sacred. each life has a right to protection. i urge my colleagues to help to defend the innocent lives of america's unborn children and represent those who cannot represent themselves. thank you once again, mr. smith, and i yield back. mr. smith: stewart, thank you very much -- mr. stewart, thank you very much for your statement and your leadership as well.
i'd like to now yield to mr. yoho the gentleman from florida. mr. yoho: thank you mr. speaker. i want to thank my dear colleague, mr. smith, for holding this important pro-life special order that gives a voice to the unborn. i stand here today in defense of the thousands of unborn children whose lives were ended through no fault of their own. these children are precious gifts and cannot defend themselves. they do not have the luxury to debate whether or not society should recognize them as living beings. as a christian and the proud father also of three children i strongly believe in the sanctity of life and that it begins at conception. my heart aches for the thousands of unborn children who will never have that chance to experience the wonder of life. life is truly a miracle, granted through the grace of nature's god, and i am here today to say every life is a gift and every life does matter
. it has been 42 years since the supreme court made their ruling in roe v. wade. since that ruling, an estimated -- and i want to repeat this, an estimated 55 million lives have been lost. that's more than the total population of the northeast states. that's more than the population of the state of california. future generations will look back and judge us. they will judge us on our failure to protect the most innocent among us. they'll judge us for allowing this. human genocide of our next generation yet to come. this week the defenders of life in the thousands have and will come to washington, d.c., to support the sanctity of life. this has grown into the largest pro-life event in the world. i want them to know we will keep fighting to defend the silent unborn child. how can we as a nation, how can
we as a nation have laws that protect the sea turtle or bald eagle, but yet refuse to protect the same of our own species? shouldn't the lives of the unborn children, shouldn't they matter as much as these in the eyes of the law? these lives, these gifts these human beings deserve to be protected and defended and i thank my colleague and i yield back. mr. smith: thank you very much. i'd like to yield to the gentleman from california. mr. lamalfa: i greatly appreciate, thank you my colleague from new jersey, mr. smith, for leading this today and also for the comments started out by my colleague from missouri, ann wagner, a very heartfelt the importance of this.
mr. speaker, i rise today in strong support of the sanctity of human life and to recognize those who will be in d.c. this week, tomorrow, for the march for life. i'm pleased jo inmy colleagues -- i'm pleased to join my colleagues and those who have traveled near and far. i applaud those marchers that come here year after year despite snow, such as today, rainy conditions cold conditions, to stand up for such a vital cause. it's their efforts and determination that give the substance and meaning to this year's theme which every life is a gift. and to march for the truth. as a parent, i only wish that all americans, all parents, would understand what the gift is that the lord has bestowed. that's part of our mission. is to help them understand. that's part of the mission for the march for life. to appreciate that these are gifts. even through the hard times. we have struggles in all manners of our life. that's an important one we have
to get through as well. mr. smith: thank you. thank you so very much. i'd like to now yield to the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. rothfus: thank you, mr. speaker, and i thank the gentleman from new jersey. and what a privilege it is to be here with the gentleman from new jersey who has been fighting this fight for a very long time. just remembering back in my college days, in the 1980's and seeing you standing for life. i rise today, mr. speaker, to commemorate the 2015 march for life, appropriately themed, every life is a gift.
life begins at conception and must be defended at every stage. whether for the unborn the disabled, the elderly, we must promote a culture of life. this can and must be done to our -- through our public policy that's made here in washington, d.c., just as it's being done throughout the country and our communities. across the country there are many places, thousands of pro-life pregnancy centers places like choices pregnancy services in western pennsylvania, which does important work helpinging families say yes to life -- helping families say yes to life, by offering free medical and counseling services and helpinging women in need -- helping women in need. as we prepare to march tomorrow on the anniversary of roe vs. wade, a decision that the late justice white described as an exercise in raw judicial power i urge my colleagues to join me in committing to defend the sanctity of life. i also ask my colleagues to join me in supporting the pain-capable unborn child
protection act. i thank the speaker and i yield back to the gentleman. mr. smith: thank you very much. i want to thank mr. roth tough for not only his statement -- rothfus for not only his statement today but a leader. i'd like to now yield to a physician who has delivered well over 5,000 babies, dr. phil roe the gentleman from tennessee. . mr. roe: before i start, mr. speaker i want to say just a couple of things about my good friend chris smith. not -- of the 435 of us who serve here in the house of representatives no one in this bdy has been a stronger voice for life than chris. chris thank you, hopefully one day we'll see this egregious law overturned. your perseverance over now four decades is exemplary. thank you very much. mr. speaker, as an obstetrician and gynecologist, i've delivered
close to 5,000 babies personally. i strongly support the sanctity of life. using technology like the 3-d ultra sound has given us a window into the womb that shows the unborn child as a living breathing, feeling human being. i've looked through that window with my own eyes literally thousands of times. i've seen human development occur from the earliest stages of conception when you mr. speaker, see a heart beat at 26 days post-conception, already dreams of being developed by that mother and father about what this baby will be in their lifetime, many of us, i've been experience -- fortunate enough to experience that three times. it's a wonderful feeling to know that this little person will be your child, will grow up to who knows what. all the way through birth we see this. which strengthens my conviction and the -- in the right to life.
life is a precious miracle from god and begins at conception. it's our responsibility and privilege as legislators to protect those who do not have a voice. i will always fight for life because it's my conviction that we're all unique creations of a god who knows us and loves us before we're born. tonight we mark one of the most tragic misguided supreme court cases in our nation's history roe v. wade. since 1973, more than 50 million babies have been denied the boast basic right in this country, protected by our constitution, which is the right to life. we must restore full legal protections to all those waiting to be born. if government has any legitimate function at all, it's to protect those, the most innocent among us. for over 30 years, congress has prevented taxpayer funded abortions.
unfortunately this door has been reopened with the passage of obamacare. the largest expansion since the pivotal roe v. wade decision was made 42 years ago. members who stand here before you today pledge themselves to protect those without a voice and i look forward to working with my colleagues to ensure this promise is kept. it's only by making good on this oath that we can expect to restore the trust that the american people have in their own government and in doing so ensure that the door to taxpayer funded abortions remain closed. let me just tell a brief story i was telling congressman smith before he came on the house floor. over 25 years ago, my partner delivered a baby and i'll just say, smith i will, for privacy purposes. baby smith weighed about one pound six ounces over 25 years ago. well the chances of that baby surviving were minimal. baby smith got down to less than one pound. i looked by the intensive care
nursery and saw this little teeny baby that i thought would never make it. baby smith did make it. i was on a trip to wal-mart with my kids one day and there was this youngster there with a pair of glasses on just like his doctor had, two years old, he was doing like any other 2-year-old did he was knocking everything off the shelves at wal-mart. wouldn't it have been a shame, and we're aborting babies much larger than baby smith and baby smith is alive and well today thriving in our country and being a productive citizen in this country. as a father and grandfather, i'm privileged to be here on the house floor tonight with other legislators fighting for the rights of the unborn. chris, thank you and thank my colleagues and god bless each and every one of you. i yield back. >> thank you for your kind statement and for your work as
an obstetrician and lawmaker has made a huge difference. you provide guidance and insight all of us benefit from. i'd like to now yield to mr. huelskamp, the gentleman from kansas. mr. huelskamp: i know we probably sound like a broken record and for the record, for the marchers coming in tomorrow that's something they use before there were c.d.'s. isn't that great, we have all these marchers coming in that don't know what a record is because they're so young. i say on the bat 8 -- battle for life we are winning this generation, they understand the reality when life begins. i'm so thankful for that, i'm so thankful for chris smith's leadership, like one of my earlier colleagues, i remember being on the other side of the rally, watching the congressman say, gosh darn it, i wish i could be like him, what could i do. that's whapet to talk about tonight, what can we do to make
a difference. of course as we'll see tomorrow a tremendous level of political involvement with tens, perhaps hundreds of thousands of folks showing up here from all over the country. people from kansas to lead the march, great to see some kids from benedictine college getting involved, making a difference here in washington and their state capital, coming here for the march for life which we use #whywemarch. we can help and assist women in crisis pregnancy. there are hundreds and hundreds of facilities across the country that offer free health and free care, outreach for those in a difficult situation. we can do that. the second thing we can do is encourage families. encourage marriage. marriage is the founding block of our society of our civilization. the more we can encourage marriage, the more we can encourage family, the more we can help our unborn. we also consider adoption. for those listening today
wondering, maybe that should be for me, sometimes it might be one, sometimes another. i was with some friends talking about it saying, think about it, pray about it there are tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of young folks looking for a home. so please consider that. and lastly i'd ask, please pay for the unborn. pray for birth families. and please pray for those considering adoption. lastly i want to offer very briefly just, i should do this to thank the fort worth families who blessed our family with children and some of them i know. many of them i don't. two of them are in foreign countries, two of those families are here in this country. that is a tough decision. i'm so thankful for the men and women in this country who chose life and offered their children for adoption. mr. smith: thank you.
i'd like to yield to the gentleman from michigan, mr. huizenga. mr. huizenga: i appreciate my friend from new jersey yielding this time and thank you mr. speaker, i rise today to join my colleagues and thousands of americans who will be marching on washington, d.c., tomorrow, because every life truly is a gift, which is this year's right to life march theme. it's been talked about, the millions of young lives that have been tragically cut short but i, like my colleague and our friend from kansas who was talking about his personal experience with adoption, i come from a place that has, in western michigan, that has really embraced the notion of adoption. and we have a number of friends and neighbors who have done both domestic and international adoption. in fact, one family is now on their third adoption from
africa. and this time they're coming home with a brother and a sister. for four kids. adding to their own natural five that they have. and i must add that a little jokingly, we're not catholic typically in western michigan, we're just passionate protestants. we are wanting to share that gift of life and that opportunity for those children who have that potential that their parents see and go through a difficult decision to put them up. whether that's domestically or internationally, we're so pleased they have done that. it's also why, because of this life being so precious, why my wife natalie and i have been active through our church and through michigan right to life and my wife particularly through the lakeshore pregnancy center a crisis pregnancy center she's been on the board for for a number of years, helping young
men and women to make those difficult choices and those life -- -- in those difficult life circumstances. i understand, and i know my colleagues know this as well. this is very difficult. it's very emotional. it's issues that have affected so many of us. and as we deal with difficult circumstances that these pregnancies have arisen, whether it is through rape or through mistakes that have been made to have these unplanned pregnancies, i think we need to show that love and that mercy that we have been shown at various times in our life. i do want to encourage my colleagues though to, in the house, take a close look at a loophole of an issue that has become aware, i have become aware of a couple of years ago, over the previous two congresses i introduced something called the homeland security respect for life act and worked with my friend and appropriations member
representative aderholt to attach language to the annual department of homeland security appropriations bill. this commonsense bill simply prevents hardworking taxpayer dollars for paying for abortions through the d.h.s. programs that currently would afford -- fund abortions for detainees who lack lawful status here in the united states this bill codifies pro-life language that is already found in the i.c.e. immigrations and customs enforcement manual on detention standards but since this manual lacks the basis in law and the weight of law, it can be changed at any time by unelected bureaucrats. i think that is time for taos put d.h.s. in line with other departments of the government and codify this. and make sure that this is crystal clear. our current policy prohibits federal taxpayer funding for i have a abortions for law-abiding citizens on medicaid as well as citizens in federal prison. why not the d.h.s. and why not in these detention areas and it only makes sense to apply the
same life-affirming standards on immigration detainees as well. this is an easy fix, mr. chairman and i'm hopeful that this year the senate and the president will agree to our bill language and follow the precedent as consistent with current administration policy and other federal agencies. i too want to say thank you for your leadership in this area and appreciate the opportunity to spend some time on the floor with you. mr. smith: thank you for your leadership on pro life issues and for the detainee issue, that could quickly emerge as a trouble spot, we're pay for abortions for people who make it across the board, that would be unconscionable, thinking we would be enabling the killing of those precious children. i would like to now yield to the gentleman from ohio, mr. bob latta. mr. latta: i appreciate the gentleman for yielding and i want to extend my thanks for your many, many years of work and leadership to protect the
life and lives of the unborn. we really appreciate everything you've done. i know across the country it's appreciated. mr. speaker, i do i rise to voice my support of the right to life for unborn children. during my time in the ohio general assembly and now as member of congress i've been a strong supporter of pro-life legislation. i firmly belief -- believe we must be vigilant in protecting the sagity of human life -- sanctity of huff of human life. it is heart -- of human life. it is heartbreaking to know that there have been 55 million abortions in the united states. fortunately a report found that abortion rates and ratios are continually -- continuing to decline in the united states understand and the rate of abortion has drop -- united states and the rate of abortion has dropped to its lowest since legalization. however, there's more work to be done and that's why i support legislation that protects the unborn. tomorrow tens of thousands of
our fellow citizens will be in washington to participate in the march for life and i absolute them for their -- salute them for their steadfastness in our cause for life. it will be here -- they'll be here to let their voices be heard. and i can speak that in our church, i know that we sponsor a couple of buses that will be coming down. there will be high schoolers from across my district who will be here and we salute them again for making sure that they're here to have their voices heard. i also want to extend my sincere thanks and appreciation to those who have tirelessly worked for years to defend the right to life. and again i thank the gentleman for his efforts and mr. speaker, i yield back. thank you. mr. smith: thank you very much, mr. latta. i appreciate you. i would like to now yield to the gentleman from florida, mr. mica. mr. mica: thank you, mr. smith, for yielding, and thank you also for calling this special order.
particularly as congress tomorrow will take up an important issue relating to the unborn. mr. speaker, and -- mr. speaker and my colleagues, of all the responsibilities given to congress under our constitution none is more important to protect -- than to protect and preserve life. throughout the history of governments through the entire course of the world as we know it, governments have had the power to decide who dies and who lives. our founding fathers established the united states to ensure the protection of first first life, liberty and the pursuit of happeniness for all of our citizens. -- happiness for all of our citizens. as the people's congress, we pass ws that define life.
we pass laws that define life for all americans including the unborn. no matter that comes before this congress or our society is more important than the matter of protecting the lives of our citizens. and my colleagues no citizen is more vulnerable or helpless than the unborn. our nation in respect for life and the unborn must not waiver -- waver. protecting human life at every opportunity must be our only option and certainly our moral responsibility. as thousands of pro-life americans express their support for the unborn in our nation's
capital this week i welcome them and i also hope and pray that their voices are heard. thank you, mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. mr. smith: thank you chairman mica. i'd like to now yield to joe pitts and just before i do, note that mr. pitts not only chairs the health subcommittee for the energy and commerce committee, but prior to coming to washington was one of the prime authors of a sweeping pro-life law in pennsylvania that has saved countless lives. so i want to yield to this great leader, joe pitts. mr. pitts: thank you, mr. speaker. first i want to thank chris smith for his leadership over the years. he's one of the people along with henry hyde that i admired from afar. and when i was elected 18 years ago told him, i want to come
and hold up his arms in this fight for life. he's been a real champion and just a terrific leader here in the congress and i want to thank him for that. you know, i heard in a congressional life forum a few years ago a lady by the name of frederica matthews green. she was president of the feminist for life. and she said something i'll never forget. she said abortion is the most violent form of death known to mankind. it's death by dismemberment decapitation, poisoning. she said, abortion breaks a mother's heart. she said, there are always two victims in an abortion. one's the baby and one's the mother. one's dead, one's wounded.
i never forgot those statements of this great feminist leader. and i think her focus is right. we need to keep that focus where it is. where she had it. on the mother, on the baby. we're talking here about babies who are in their sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth month of pregnancy. for the first five months, you know, a woman could have an abortion. but after that it bans abortion. and i want to say this. i was first elected in 1972, inaugurated three weeks before roe v. wade. so i've been involved in these battles for the whole time. this is the first time in my memory our leadership have moved substantive legislation on the anniversary of roe v. wade. on the day of the march. they should be applauded for
that. this is significant. in two years, if things go the way we hope with a new republican president and a house and a senate, two years from tomorrow we could very well see this legislation signed into law. that's how important this is. and it moves the bar back on roe v. wade. and doe v. bolten. those two infamous decisions that have resulted in 55 million unborn children and women being affected by abortion. as chris said, i was involved in authoring the pennsylvania abortion control act, but i also was involved in the medicaid funding cutoff bill that passed pennsylvania. i think that was around 1978. and we had a reporting requirement in that bill so that the abortions that were
due to rape and incest had to be reported to the appropriate law enforcement or social service agencies. the year before our bill was passed into law there were some 740 abortions, medicaid-funded abortions due to so-called rape. the year after our bill was signed into law there were 38. so this shows the importance of that provision in the law, of reporting to the appropriate authorities. if you remove that provision from the law, and some people want to do that that would create a loophole for late term abortions. as i said, for the first five months a woman could have an abortion. but in the later term they
could not. without the appropriate reporting to appropriate authorities. so, it would i think be a mistake as some would like to do to remove those requirements. and i just might conclude by saying you know, we're one of only seven countries that allow abortion at any point of pregnancy. some countries are appalled that the united states would permit these late term abortions. we had a famous case in pennsylvania the kermit gosnell clinic, which was outrageous when people find out what happens in those late term abortions. but scientific studies tell us that children feel pain in the womb. these are the children at this age who smile in the womb, who suck their thumb, who hiccup
who have brain patterns or dream patterns, who react to light if it's there or a pin prick. these are very tiny but knowing learning individuals. and they have no one to speak for them. they're voiceless. so we have an obligation to speak for those who cannot speak for themselves, who can't run away, who face this horrific type of death. and the mothers who carry them. so i would urge members just like is shown in the public polls, the public -- the majority of americans support the legislation. i would like to thank the leadership for moving the legislation and like to say that we're admonished in the scriptures.
that if we see someone drawn to death and we do not speak up we do nothing that we will be held responsible because doing nothing is doing something, silence is consent. so with the other pro-life people, members, and our great champion, i urge the members to support this legislation and i yield back. mr. smith: thank you very much, mr. pitts. again i want to thank you for those decades' long -- your leadership both at the state and now federal level, especially as chairman of the committee that deals with health. thank you so much. i'd like to now yield to mr. lamborn, the gentleman from colorado, who has also been an outspoken champion of the right to life. mr. lamborn: mr. speaker, tomorrow marks the 42nd anniversary of the infamous roe vs. wade supreme court decision which legalized elective abortion in the u.s. elective abortion is an
abhorrent practice that tragically remains a common medical procedure performed in the u.s. every year over one million abortions are performed here. since 1973, when roe vs. wade was decided 57 million babies have been lost to abortion. 57 million, mr. speaker. to put this in perspective, according to the last census numbers 57 million is about 18% of the u.s. population. this staggering loss of children's lives is unconscionable. my wife and i have been blessed with ve children and two grandchildren with one more on the way. i firmly believe that every life is a precious gift from god and i remain wholly committed to protecting the sanctity of life. one critically important step toward protecting life is the pain-capable unborn child protection act that will be vote -- that we'll be voting on tomorrow. i'm a proud co-sponsor of this bill that will prohibit anyone from performing an abortion on an unborn child that is 20 weeks or older.
medical research has shown that at least by the 20th week of a pregnancy, unborn babies can feel pain. polls have consistently shown that a majority of americans support banning abortions after 20 weeks. abortions after the 20th week are painful, violent and harmful even to the mothers. it is time to end this horrible procedure. this week we will continue to mourn the lives cut short in the inhumane wake of roe vs. wade. we pray for god's continued comfort, grace and mercy to those touched by abortion. every life has value and we have a duty to protect the lives of those who are the most innocent among us. i will continue to be among those fighting to do just that. thank you, mr. speaker and i yield back. mr. smith: thank you, doug. i'd like to now close and i want to thank my distinguished colleagues for their eloquent statements in defense of life.
you know mr. speaker, 42 years ago tomorrow marks the u.s. supreme court's infamous reckless and inhumane abandonment of women and babies to the abortionists. 42 years of victims, dead babies, wounded women, shattered families. 42 years of government-sanctioned violence against women and children. since 1973 more than 56 million, maybe 57 million children have been killed by abortion, a staggering loss of children's lives, a death toll that equates to the entire population of england. . the passage of time has not changed the fact that abortion is a violation of fundamental human rights. rather than dull our consciences to abortion, the passage of time has only allowed us to see better and understand better the
cruelty of abortion and its horrific legacy victims while making us more determined than ever to protect the weakest and most vulnerable. in his inaugural speech, president obama said, and i quote him, together we resolve that a great nation must care for the vulnerable, that all are created equal and our journey is not complete until all our children are cared for and cherished and always safe from harm. yes mr. president, we must care for the vulnerable, but that also includes unborn children. and their mothers. no one gets left out or left behind. all people are created equal and our journey is not complete until all our children, including the child in the womb, are cared for and cherished and always safe from harm. last night, right here in this chamber, the president said, tell every child in every
neighborhood your life matters. again, mr. president mr. speaker, the president is leaving out someone, a whole class of human beings, who by reason of their developmental -- the fact that they are in utero, the fact that they are yet to be born, are construed to be excluded from humanity and therefore their basic human rights. it is unconscionable, mr. speaker. it is unconscionable. let me also say, talking about victims, a couple of years ago i met a woman, linda sluicebury, an academic a degree from harvard, who had had an abortion. she said that the lies that brought me to that day and its sorrowful aftermath are crystal clear in my mind. falsehoods and deceptions that concealed the truth about abortion. lies planted in my thinking by
marketing. media campaigns. and endless repetition. led to a tragic, irreversible decision, the death of my first child she said. she went on to say, i didn't understand back then, at age 20 i had no inkling of the mental and emotional darkness i was about to enter. i couldn't have grasped the immense psychological toll it would take for years into the future. unrelenting tearing guilt, shame, and depression. after spending many years in denial, i did eventually find healing. linda goes on to say, when i understood and rejected distortions about fetal development double speak about choice, planned, wanted children, i understood the reality and victimhood of my aborted child. she went on and concluded, i understood the absence of moral basis for choosing to disentitle an innocent human being of life.
when i embraced the truth, the truth set me free and i finally gained inner peace. for someone -- now some of my colleagues have mentioned the historic vote we'll take tomorrow on the un-- the pain-capable unborn child protection act. this legislation, mr. speaker, as you know, is a modest but necessary attempt to at least protect babies who are 20 weeks old and pain capable from having to suffer and die from abortion. you know, i don't know about you, mr. speaker, but i like i think most people avoid pain at almost all costs. when i have surgery, when anyone has surgeries, they are put locally or generally into -- they get anesthesia so that they do not have to feel the pain. the unborn child, when he or she is getting an intervention to help cure a disability, or deal with disease or illness, gets
anesthesia. because we now know beyond any reasonable doubt that unborn children, at least at 20 weeks gestation feel that pain. when the abortionist commits a d&e abortion or one of the other abortions, d and e is a way of literally dismembering the child they feel, they being the children, they feel this pain and it is excruciating. children, including children with disabilities, deserve better treatment than pain-filled dismemberment. i would point out to my colleagues an expert testimony before the house judiciary committee, dr. anthony levantino, a former abortionist who performed hundreds of dismemberment abortions described a d&e and said the baby can be in any position inside the uterus just reach in
with a clamp and grasp whatever you can. former abortionist went on to say, pull really hard and out pops an arm, reach in again and again. and tear out the spine, intestines heart, and lungs. pull out a severed arm. tear out the spine, intestines, heart, and lungs. this is child abuse. mr. speaker. not only is in assault on a child -- not only is this assault on a child inhumane, it is extremely painful as the child experiences that dismemberment. again i say children, including children with disabilities, deserve better treatment than pain-filled dismemberment. again, tomorrow is the march for life. and there will be tens of thousands of people there speaking out for the unborn and equally for their mothers. there will be numbers of women
there from the silent no more awareness campaign. all women who had abortions now speak out eloquently and with great compassion to say to women who are post-abortive there is hope. there is reconciliation. face the truth. that is the beginning to that reconciliation. we will be there tomorrow praying, working, of course even fasting, for that day when every life is cherished as a gift, every life loved despite one's disability race, sex, or condition of dependency, where every life is welcomed no matter the inconvenience. mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: thank you. the gentleman yb the remainder of his time. under the speaker's announced policy of january 6, the chair recognized the -- recognizes the gentleman from florida, mr. jolly.
the gentleman has 30 minutes. mr. jolly: thank you mr. speaker. i appreciate the opportunity to address the house address the country this afternoon and to do so with a colleague of mine from alabama, mr. byrne and from illinois, mr. davis, draw contrast between the view of government represented by our side of the aisle and that that we heard last night from our president. a president who seemingly ignored the will of the people as expressed in the ballot box in november and instead doubled down on an agenda that we believe on our side of the aisle is the wrong view of government and the wrong direction for our nation. so i rise with my colleagues today to talk about just a few of the very substantive points and to do so constructively and present why we have a different view of government and why we think that is important. and i would start by suggesting this. if we think about what the president said last night in his words, his quote, the president
declared from the rostrum that no challenge poses a greater threat to future generations than climate change. now i understand the sympathetic position on climate change. i'm from a coastal state and i'm a member of the republican party who believes that climate is indeed changing. but i do not believe that the greatest challenge facing our future generations is that of climate change. in fact, you can he,en back to the words of -- harken back to the words of thomas jefferson, he said public debt is the greatest of dangers for our nation to fear. and i would suggest that jefferson was right. the greatest threat to our future generations is actually economic security and domestic security. so i'd like to speak for just a couple of moments ooling that and allow my colleagues to talk about other portions of the president's remarks. let's first talk about the long-term threat to our economic
security. our national debt. a topic that was completely ignored in the president's address to the nation last night. understanding the significance of where we sit -- understand the significance of where we sit historically. when this president took office our national debt was just over $10 trillion. it had taken 220 years for our republic 20 years to -- 220 years, accumulate $10 trillion in debt. a number already far too high. in the eight years of this administration, an additional $10 trillion will be added under this president's watch. when he leave this is office, his office, our debt will be over $20 trillion. mr. speaker that is a threat to our national security. the greatest threat perhaps to our national security arguably could be an unwatched, out of control spending and debt that ultimately collapses our economic systemened en-- and ensures we are no longer the
world's greatest super power. george washington himself admonished that we have a moral obligation to pay off our debts during the life of the majority. during our lifetime. and so rather than hearing from a president that doubled down on a very progressive agenda and to suggest with a rather audacity, as he did that our nation is fine, that conflicts and wars are over, our economy has returned we have faster job growth than european nations, and yet the president has suggested last night he wants to grow our government in the very same manner that these european nations now have today. rather than tell us how to grow a government we already can't afford, i would ask the president to present a plan to pay for the government we already have. the greatest threat to future generations is not climate change it is our economic security and it is also our homeland security. many on this side of the aisle have grave reservations about
the president's current plan. to combat the war against isis or isil. against radical extremist terrorists who intend to bring harm to the united states. that is a threat. that is a real threat. and the president calls for something last night that i strongly agree with. i think this body should have a robust debate about an authorization to use military force. we owe it to the people who sent us here to represent them on this critical issue of what is our national policy to protect our homeland, to protect american lives, and what is the current plan to arm syrian rebels and what is the likelihood that will be successful when we have seen a lack of success in areas like iraq. and despite the declarations of last night, i would imagine that we are not as safe as perhaps the president suggested. from the northeast to africa to -- from the middle east to
africa to yemen, to our very own border what is that plan? because house republicans passed a border security bill that reflected the will of the people last july. and yet we heard nothing last night, not a single comment about how to secure our border. it is a sharp contrast. we heard about negotiating with iran. we heard about releasing prisoners from gitmo. we heard nothing about securing our borders and securing our homeland system of we have taken this time today to present a constructive contrast between the president's view of government and our view of government and what we believe are the right priorities for our goth. i'm pleased to be joined by my colleagues today and i recognize now for as much time as he would consume my colleague, mr. davis, from illinois. mr. davis: thank you to my good friend and colleague from florida thank you to my good friend and colleague from alabama for joining us mr. byrne. this is a great opportunity to talk about what we heard in this
chamber just slightly less than 24 hours ago. from this president. from my home state of illinois. we heard a lot of ideas. a lot of talk. a lot of promises. but if it's anything like the students that i have had the opportunity to sit in this chamber for the last two years, we're not going to see a lot of action. there's a lot of talk about the economy. well, the economy is getting better. frankly, it couldn't have gotten much worse when you compare it to a few years ago. so of course it's going to get better. but the reality is, there are still 8.7 million americans out of work. seven million americans are in part-time jobs looking for full-time jobs. and the president's solution to many of his issues that were brought up was to tax more american families. to tax american families who have been saving for their
children's college education to pay for grandiose idea we he has yet to give us details on. and the president also talked about helping our heroes, our veterans. this one is personal to me because just a few weeks ago, the day we got sworn in for this 114th congress mr. speaker we were able to unanimously pass a bill called the hire more heroes act that i sponsored. this wasn't an idea that came from washington, it was an idea that came from illinois. brad leviti, superintendent of the madison county veterans commission came to me in the last congress and said why is it that veterans who are getting their health care through tricare, through the department of defense, why do they count toward the obamacare 50-employee limit in the employer mandate? i came here took his idea, and garnered hundreds of co-sponsors to put this on the floor of the
house. it passed in the last congress but cot held up in the senate, but it passed unanimously in this congress on day one and that bill should go through the senate and get to the president's desk and if he wants to help veterans get jobs i hope the president signs that immediately when it hits his desk, hopefully in no more than a few weeks. . these are the type of bipartisan solutions that the president told us he wanted to put forth but talked to us in a manner that i didn't think was bipartisan at all. most of his speech talked about what he was going to do. i would have rather heard the president talk about what we are going to do together, because frankly that's what our constituents in illinois want us to do. they want us to come and govern together. that's why i'm glad to be part of this special order with my good friend, mr. jolly, and i'll yield back the balance of my time so we can begin
hopefully a good wanter about discussing what our thoughts on on where america needs to go to move forward and work with this president but do it in a way that's a lot less confrontational than we heard last night. i yield back. mr. jolly: with that i'd like to recognize a real leader in this institution the gentleman, mr. byrne. mr. byrne: those were eloquent words spoken from the heart because i know these gentlemen mean everything they said. last night was an interesting moment for me. one of the president's big plays is his proposal regarding community colleges. let me tell you a little bit about myself. i'm the first person in my family to go to college. both of my parents grew up during the depression. there wasn't any money for college. i was really privileged to go to college, but during the time i went, my parties were not doing well financially so i was like very many other people, financial aid students. we didn't have pell grants back then. you got federal student loans
and maybe a federal work study job and lots of people in my generation did that. i tell you i won't complain because that's the best money i ever borrowed and best work i did because it gave me the opportunity i've done in life. but it also taught me how important it is to give people the opportunity for a real education so that they can move up in their lives. this may the last four children will finish college. we've had people in college since twee, writing those tuition checks fees, etc. so i look at this also from the point of view of someone who's had to be there writing those checks, sending their young people to college. but i'm the former chancellor of postsectary education for the state of alabama. two-year colleges for the state of alabama. i brought a certain level of expertise to this issue that may be different from people in this body.
when the president first proposed this, his office just gave us a heads up. didn't check and say is this a good idea, given your background is this something we can do? and our first question we asked was how much will it cost? and the initial answer we got from the white house, we don't know how much it's going to cost. now that should cause you to ask questions about how serious this proposal is when the very first instance they decide they're going to propose it they can't even tell us how much it costs. and even after they decided how much they think it's going to cost $60 billion, they couldn't tell us how they were going to pay for it. so it let me to ask this question -- is this a serious idea? because you see, over a third of our community college students in america are already on federal pell grants which cover all or virtually all of their tuition and fee costs when they go to community college.
and the people that don't have the eligibility to get pell grants, there are a combination of other things they can get. so my experience as somebody who ran a community college system was that covering tuition and fees wasn't the real problem that college students face. most of them face a more difficult problem and that is they're not adequately academically prepared or they have other problems in their lives, whether it's from their homes, jobs, whatever, it's hard for them to stay in college, to stay up with the work they got to do so they need a lot of extra help and the president doesn't talk about that. here's the worst thing about this proposal. we heard a lot last night from the president of the united states that he was all about the middle class. let me tell you one of the taxes that he's going to raise that's going to pay for these proposals. he's going to tax 529 plans. now for people that don't know what those are 529 plans are
savings accounts essentially that mamas and dads and grandmamas and granddads put money in over time and they use that money to put their young people through college. and the good thing about that is while they pay taxes on the money that they made before they put in the plans, if when they take the money out of those plans there's been some aappreciateiation, gone from being this much money to that much money, they don't have to pay taxes on it. it's an incentive for them. it's a way for middle-class people to save for college for their young people. it's the only way middle-class people in this country have a real savings plan for the young people, and this president who stood up right behind me last night and talked about being for the middle class wants to tax those middle-class savings plans and take them away from people. 12 million people use those plans in this country.
12 million people, like my parents, like my wife and me, like many, many other people in america, and they shouldn't have their plans taxed. so i say to my colleagues from florida and illinois, you look at just that one part of what he proposed, it's hard to say he was serious because if he really cares about higher education in america, he'd think about the other needs of these community college students but most importantly he'd think about those 12 million parents that are saving for their young people, middle-class people who he's trying to take money away from with this proposed tax. and i think that sort of gives you a flavor for my appreciation for that one part of what he said last night. and i yield back to my friend, the gentleman from florida. mr. jolly: i'd also point out and you bring much education experience, but as a lay person, but somebody with very
specific political convictions. the president talked about free community college. and as an example, he used two local areas that now provide it. well, i think that's the point of departure from our view of governance, if a local community decides they want to provide education through whatever tax levee that the residents there might support, that's a great opportunity. but to suggest somehow washington, who so often fails, and orchestrated through the heavy hand of government, a new type of education economics, is going to work better than those two communities he cited last night, is exactly where the view of government between our side of the aisle and his begins to subside. mrs. davis: if the gentleman will yield? mr. jolly: of course. mrs. davis: i wonder how many community colleges that the administration talked to if this was a good idea. -- mr. davis: i wonder how many
community colleges that the administration talked to to see if this was a good idea. tennessee will use their lottery funds to pay for it. let me give you an example, in illinois where i live, the president's home state. unless we're going to get a brand new crop of loto players, if the loto was going to fund it then you know what, that money would be robbed from our k-12 system to create what is tantamount to grades 13 and 14 in our community colleges who may not have the faculty, who may not have the facilities to handle the influx. and then to top is it off by faxing saving plans that many middle-class americans have been using to be able to send their children to college at a time when the cost to go to any college is rising exponentially much faster than the inflation rate. and i don't know if this is a conflict of interest or not, because this is just a proposal from the white house, but i
have a 529 plan. and we've been saving for my three kids to go to college. and to be taxed now after investing since they were very young and my daughter is now 17 i can tell you from the standpoint as a dad, i can empathize with many families who aren't in the financial position that we're able to be in because we're blessed to serve our districts in this institution. it's flabbergasting to me to hear the president talk about these great ideas -- and frankly, i just don't know how many of us sat in this room last night and believed it was going to get beyond the idea stage. and i don't know how much effort he's going to put in to try and pass this plan, but i'd urge my colleagues to take a good hard look at this and the impact it's going to have on our four-year institutions, both private and public, and i serve nine of those in my
district in illinois, what kind of impact's it's going to have when you take a good pirsage of those students to the community colleges which provide a great education. i'd love to hear more what you think and the impact it might have on the community college systems that you're so familiar to bradley, mr. byrne. mr. byrne: if the gentleman will yield? mr. davis: i'd yield back so he can yield to you. mr. byrne: when you look at education, each part serves its own special need. the four-year colleges are different from the two-year colleges are different from high schools, etc. so there's a role that each of them play, but sometimes we start fuzzing them together. and we miss the importance of each one of them. i think there will be some negative affects on four-year colleges. already heard from some four-year college people about that. they don't want to pick on the two-year colleges.
i think they understand there could be some negative effects. but the point you were making, the gentleman from florida was making, that's even more important than this, these are mainly local and state decisions. the federal government is inserting itself in things that traditionally under our federal understanding of government, the federal government didn't get involved in. i talked to our colleagues in this house from the state of tennessee, democrat and republican, and i said, what do you think about taking your tennessee plan and nationalize it? they said, we think it's a bad idea. we're proud of our tennessee plan. we think it's a good plan. we're proud our state's doing it. it's one thing to talk about it from a state level. i understand they have one in chicago at the local level. it's different when you blow it up into being a national thing. so the president wants to blow this good idea from a single state or single city, he wants
to blow it up into a national thing and we're not really scoped here to do that. we don't really understand how to do that and here's what happens now. we send the money out and what happens after we send the money? rules and regulations and mandates come flowing down after it. and washington starts telling tennessee and illinois and florida and alabama how to run our colleges, and that my friends, is a very bad idea. i don't think anybody in higher education wants the heavy hand of the federal government telling us how to run our institutions of higher education. let me end on this one point. america's known as having the best institutions of higher education in the world. and the reason we do is because each one of our institutions is different from one another. they specialize in who they are. and they focus on quality. and if we start robbing that
from them by trying to stamp some one-size-fits-all concept of higher education concept which the president is trying to do with this rating system he wants to put on higher education, then we might lose the area in which we're the preeminent leader in the world and i don think the people of alabama sent me here to let the federal government to do that to the fine institutions of higher educations we have in the state of alabama. and i yield back on that point. mr. jolly: in our remaining time, i'd like to revisit another topic and one i think our solutions on our side of the aisle reflect the will of the people that we saw at the balance objection box in november is border security. we need to redefine this national conversation. the president likes to continually say that if congress would just send him a bill, then all would be ok. and it's usually followed by suggesting if we send the bill that we passed he'll veto it. what it means is he wants us to send him his bill.
let me point out something. we have solutions on this side of the aisle and we've acted responsibly on behalf of that. in july we passed a border security bill that put facilities closer to the border, to keep those who enter illegal closer to the border. last in, first out, if you get in you don't get to linger for years. if you don't have a humanitarian claim that merits stay. we also increased funding for judges create a telecourtrooms so we can more expeditiously process those who come here illegally. and rightfully so, and we should do so very responsibly. we are a loving nation. made better for immigration. we should show everybody the rule of law and how to responsibly immigrate here. and we provided for the health care of those who come here and while they are detained here. . the coming weeks of this congress is going to offer another bill to require operational control of our
border. that is a great urgency to have operational control of our border, not to address the border issue but growing issue of homeland security. we have seen the threats around the globe. we can reach agreement with the white house and hope to take up the president on his offer to put a bill on his desk and ask him to sign it just as he has pledged to do so. mr. davis: thank you for yielding. you bring up a great point. this isn't just a border security issue because of immigration but because of homeland security issue. we have to make our borders secure. we are going to have what our vision for border security is in this institution pass now to the senate. and the president will get his wish. we will put a bill on his desk. it may not be a bill he wants, but my message to the administration, the white house
is come work with us. in my first two years here, i haven't seen that happen on a wide variety of issues. seems like every idea we come up with in this institution even that passed with huge bipartisan majorities, they threaten a veto. well that's ok, but that's not conducive to working together, to find solutions. and that's what i think we're here for. i think we on this side, there are many of us who are out here to find solutions to the nation's problems, not to create more problems. and that's exactly the message i hope to send to the american people tonight, we are willing to work with the president on border security, on education, on a wide variety of issues, but we have to have some response back and that's what we're lacking. and i yield back. mr. davis: i'm on the armed services committee and i look at
border security as national security. give you a story from a trip that several of us took to the middle east back in august and september. we visited several countries over there. as you know, it's a very dangerous part of the world. one of the countries we went to was morocco. if you think about where it is, should have lots of problems. you don't hear much about morocco having terror instances. i asked a lot of questions how is that so? they take their border security very seriously. they use a lot of the military aid that america provides to morocco for border security and they keep the bad guys out. so you don't hear in this country that's in some of the most troubled part of the world, you don't hear about the problems there because they control their borders and they understand that their internal
and national security is dependent upon that. we had two brothers, the tsarnaev brothers, who grew up in boston. one of them was allowed to go back to where they were from in one of the satellite countries in russia. was trained by terrorists. we allowed him to come back into this country after we were warned by the russians where they had gone and he and his brother ignited those bombs in the boston marathon seriously wounding and killing some. what kind of a security situation do we have to allow him back in the country? what sort of security situation do we have today? it's about the security of the entire nation. and if we'll start looking at border security as national security, which is the way we on this side of the aisle understand this issue, then we
can protect the american people. but it definitely does take us working with the president, because he runs the department of homeland security through his appointee to the secretary's position. and it's his policies to determine whether or not we are going to be protected and protecting our borders is a part of protecting americans from international terrorism including international islamic terrorism, and i yield back. mr. jolly: mr. davis any more comments? mr. davis: how much time do we have left? the speaker pro tempore: three more minutes. mr. davis: if the gentleman would yield, i'm excited to talk about what happened at the state of the union last night, our perspective and it frustrates me that we didn't see real solutions to the exploding cost of higher education.
if the solution is what the president laid out, which is going to actually put more of a burden on middle-class families by taxing their savings plans that they have been saving for sometimes decades that's a wrong approach of bringing down the cost of higher education to make pell grants go further. and the president mentioned another point last night about equal pay. it would have been nice to have the president and the white house actually do that in the white house where women make an average of 18% less than men. so it's not just enough to talk about it here in this chamber. do it when you have control over the opportunity to make things happen. that's why i hope it's not just rhetoric on many issues, but i want to see action. and i yield back. mr. jolly: i appreciate this time. i hope what the american people have seen and our colleagues have seen is a congress with
solutions. we will be passing through this house, homeland security solution. frankly addressing the constitutional overreach we saw from the president. we will be passing education solutions, tax reform solutions. we are committed to doing that on behalf of the american people and i look forward to working with our colleagues and working with the president as well. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: under the speaker's announced policy of january 6 2015, the chair recognizes mr. franks from arizona for 30 minutes.
mr. franks: thank you mr. speaker. mr. speaker, tomorrow is january 22 2015. in 42 years to the day since the tragedy called roe versus wade was firsthanded down from the united states supreme court. every foundation of this nation has been stained by the blood of more than 55 million of its own unborn children. those who have profited from it most have hailed it as freedom. we should all remember the words of president lincoln when he said, quote those who deny
freedom to others deserve it not for themselves and under a just god, cannot long retain it. mr. lincoln called upon all of us to remember america's founding fathers and quote their enlightened belief that nothing stamped with the divine image and likeness was sent into the world to be trodden on, and he reminded those hole called posterity that in the distant future, some man, some interests should set up a doctrine that some were not entitled to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. their pros tert, that's us, mr. speaker their posterity might look at the declaration of independence and take courage to renew the battle which their fathers began. mr. speaker, for the sake of all
who founded this nation and dreamed of what america could someday be and for the sake of all those since then who have decide in darkness to walk in the light of freedom. it is so very important that those of us who are privileged to be members of the united states congress pause time to time and remind ourselves of why we are really all here. thomas jefferson, whose words mark the beginning of this nation said, quote, the care of human life and its happiness and not its destruction is the chief and only object jegget of good governance. the phrase in the fifth amendment says no person shall be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of
law and the 14th amendment says no state shall denny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws. mr. speaker protecting the lives of all americans and their constitutional rights is why we are all here. yet today a great shadow looms over america. when authorities entered the clinic of dr. gosnell, they found a torture chamber. according to the grand jury report, quote, dr. gosnell had a simple solution for unwanted babies. he killed them. he didn't call it that. he called it quote ensuring fetal demise.
he stuck scissors in the back of the baby's back and cutting the spinal cord. he called it snipping. over the years, there were over hundreds snippings. one of dr. gosnell's employees said she saw babies breathing and she defined one as two feet long that no longer had eyes or a mouth, but in her words was making like this screeching noise and quote, it sounded like a little alien. for god's sake, mr. speaker, is this who we truly are? kerr hit gosnell now rightfully sits in prison for murdering innocent children like the one i described. yet if he killed these babies
only five minutes earlier and before they passed through the birth canal, it would have been perfectly legal and many of the united states of america. if there is one thing that we must not miss about this unspeakbly evil episode is that kermit gosnell is the visible face of this lucrative enterprise of murdering pain-capable children in america. mr. speaker, more than 18 thundershowers very late term abortions are occurring in america every year placing the mothers at greater risk and subbing their pain-capable unborn babies to torture and death without anesthesia. it is the greatest atrocity in the united states. and according to the bartlett
study, a woman seeking an abortion weeks at 20 weeks is 35 times likely to die from an abortion than she was in the first trimester. at 21 weeks 91 more times likely to die and regardless of how supporters of abortion might try to suppress it, it is accepted by every credible expert that the risk to a mother's health from abortion increases as pregnancy increases. there is no debate on that. supporters of abortion on demand try to suppress that. they also have tried for decades, mr. speaker, to deny that unborn babies feel pain even those at the beginning of the sixth month of pregnancy as if somehow the ability to feel pain magicically develops the
very second the child is born. mr. speaker, almost every other major civilized nation on this earth protects pain-capable unborn babies at this age and every credible poll the american people show they are in favor of protecting these children and yet we have given them less legal protection from unnecessary pain and cruelty than the protection we have given farm animals under the federal humane slaughter act. mr. speaker, it is a tragedy that begs my ability to articulate. . what i'd submit to you, sir, that the winds of change are beginning to blow and that the tide of blindness and blood is finally turning in america. because tomorrow we will vote on the pain-capable unborn
child protection act in this chamber. and it will be a vote that every one of us will always remember and for which we shall be held accountable. and no matter how it is shouted down or what distortions, deceptive what-ifs distractions, diversions, got yous, twisted words changing the subject or blatant falsehoods, the abortion industry hurls at this bill and its supporters, it remains a deeply sincere effort. beginning at their sixth month of pregnancy to protect both mothers and their pain-capable unborn babies from the atrocity of late-term abortion on demand. and mr. speaker, it's one that all humane americans can support if they truly understand it for themselves. mr. speaker not long ago i
heard barack obama speak very noble and poignant words that whether he realizes it or not applies so profoundly to this subject. let me quote, if you will excerpted portions of his comments. he said, quote, this is our first task, caring for our children. it is our first job. if we don't get that right we don't get anything right. that's how as a society we will be judged. the president asked, are we really prepared to say that we're powerless in the face of such carnage that the politics are too hard? are we really prepared to say that such violence visited on our children year after year after year is somehow the price of freedom? the president also said, quote, our journey is not complete until our children all our children are quote, cared for
and cherished and always safe from harm. this is our generation's task, he said, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness real for every american. mr. speaker, never have i so deeply agreed with any words ever spoken by president obama as those i've just quoted. how i wish that somehow we could all open our hearts and our ears to these incontrowvertable words and ask ourselves in the core of our souls why these words that should apply to all children cannot include the most helpless and vulnerable of all children, how does any child become more vulnerable than these little pain-capable unborn babies? mr. speaker, it seems that we are never quite so eloquent as
when we decry the crimes of a past generation and we are never quite so staggering blind as when we assess an atrocity in our own time. what we are doing to these babies is real and all of us here knows that in our hearts. medical science regarding the development of unborn babies begins at the sixth month of pregnancy now demonstrates irrefutablely that they in fact do feel pain. many of them cry and scream as they die. but because it's amniotic fluid going over the vocal cords instead of air, we cannot hear them. it is mr. speaker, the greatest human rights atrocity in the united states of america today. i began and i close with the wise counsel from abraham lincoln to all of us. he said fellow citizens, we cannot escape history.
we of this congress and this administration will be remembered in spite of ourselves no personal significance or incision can spare one or another of us. the fiery trial which -- through which we now pass will light us down in honor or dishonor to the last generation. mr. speaker, it's time to open our eyes and our souls and recognize that protecting pain-capable unborn children and their mothers is not a republican issue or a democrat issue. and who we are as a human family. it is time to open our eyes and allow our consciouses to catch
up with our technology. it's time for members of the united states congress to open our eyes and protect those who cannot protect ourselves. which is why we are all here. open our hearts to the humanity of these unborn children of god. and the inhumanity to what is being done to them. and mr. speaker i would yield back. the speaker pro tempore: thank you. the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from new jersey s cti? >> i seek unanimous consent for a unanimous consent request. the speaker pro tempore: what is your request? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to remove all co-sponsors from h.r. 416. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ded. mr. lobiondo: thank you. the speaker pro tempore:
the process. if they do change the language, the vote doesn't occur tomorrow as planned. >> it sounds like they are going forward or calling for passage of the current legislation the house will vote to protect unborn babies after five months. also from captain clark, a new member of the house said i'm urging the house urging to vote -- to not vote. in terms of democratic support, it had some last year. what about this year? >> unlikely to see democratic support. six democrats that voted last year in favor of this measure, most of them have been left congress. there aren't enough democrats that republicans can rely on to pass this over republican objections. >> you have reported that the
white house in issuing a veto threat on this legislation. what would happen in the senate? do the leaders plan to take up this measure? >> passing the bill in the senate and mitch mcconnell hasn't said it will pass and whether it would be scheduled. the senate moves much slower as the house, so it could be weeks or months before they go forward and don't have the votes to override a presidential veto which could tamper expectations. follow lauren french's stwitter. >> house speaker boehner held a briefing with reporters earlier today at the capitol following last night's state of the union address. he spoke about his invitation to benjamin netanyahu to address a
joint meeting of congress in february. this is 10 minutes. >> good morning, i'm martha roby. i want to talk about what the president talked about last night and that was flexibility in the workplace. we couldn't agree with him more that we need to be helping working moms and dads. so we have the right goal. he just has the wrong approach. more mandates on the work force is not the way to go. we have seen this with obamacare and how it is -- hurt job creation rather than bring along more jobs in this economy. we can't legislate another hour in the day. we can't. but we can do is give moms and dads the opportunities to make choices. that's why i'm introducing the working families flexibility act and i'm headed over to the senate side to join with senator mike lee who will be introducing
the companion bill in the senate. this bill is about allowing hourly wage employees in the private sector to choose whether they want overtime or convert that to paid time off. i'm a working mom. i certainly understand that time is our most valuable asset and we want to give parents in the private sector who are taking care of young children but also could be taking care of aging parents at the same time. this is letting them to determine what to do with their overtime. this simple amendment would allow private employers to do the same. the president has the right goal. he has the wrong approach. more government mandates is the last thing we need. flexibility in the workplace is a good thing for working moms and dads all over this country. >> thank you all. listening to the president last night, i believe he missed an
opportunity. i listened to a lot of the old ideas, the old strategy top down instead of bottom up, which this country believes in. i listened to more veto threats at a time when he said he wanted to work together. i found places where we can. cybersecurity. he said hire more vets. but i believe if you listen to the american people on the priorities there is a new poll that came out printed before his speech that said number one 85% creating jobs. when you listen to the rosey numbers that the president gave, he skipped over the participation rate when you look at unploilt. 62.7% since 1978 at the time of jimmy carter. but what does participation rate mean? that means those are the people in this economy that have given up given up looking on their
dreams and their futures. that's why creating jobs is number one and second defeating and dismantling isis. third is reducing the deficit. $18 trillion of our debt. on passing legislation to secure the border with mexico, 5%. we will have a bill marked up today and move it next week. at the bottom of the numbers, closing gitmo and addressing climate change. i think it's time for a new beginning with a new american congress and focus on the priorities of america putting us back to work, no more bottom down -- no more top down but bottom up. >> congress has been working on cybersecurity. you heard the president talk about cyber attacks and where
the president can work with congress to further solve this problem. we passed legislation last year to increase the sharing between federal agencies as it relates to cyber attacks and that bill was actually signed. but as you can see there are still threats in the government and private sector whether it's individual hackers that continue to attack our networks and millions of americans have their data placed at risk. congress is working on legislation to increase the ability for priferte sector and government sharing of the attacks that are out there the real threats of cyber attacks while also making sure that individual privacy is a very top priority. so there is a real opportunity where we got an opportunity for the president to work with congress to solve this problem and we welcome his participation. i'm glad it is something he mentioned last night because they are threats to americans
and those threats happen every single day. >> as i listened to the president last night i couldn't help but think of the many hard-working americans that continue to have to tighten their belts because costs are going up food costs, health care costs or their rent. moms and dads working double shifts to make ends meet, college graduates that are saddled with more debt than ever, high unemployment, continue to find jobs. and last night i had hoped to hear from the president that he would stand up for them. but instead so much what i heard was he was standing up for washington, d.c.,. he was standing up for the old approach top down, outdated bureaucratic approach that comes from washington, d.c., rather than a vision that is focused upon an open transparent approach that creates a healthy economy. see, we agree with the president
that middle-class families continue to struggle, but what they need is to be empowered. they need to be empowered with lower taxes, lower costs and more opportunities. that's what we are going to be promoting in america's new congress, more job opportunities and the legislation that we passed today is just the beginning. we want to improve people's lives and grow america's economy, not washington, d.c.,'s economy. >> several years ago, i had the honor of serving as president of the national association of state treasurers where we all worked tirelessly together to work and expand college savings tools so families would have the opportunity to send their kids to the institution of higher education of their choice. congress created section 529 to help middle-class families plan
and save for their children's future and there's no doubt about the popularity of these plans. ever since the earnings on the withdrawals for college expenses became tax-free back in 2001, one million account holders have turned into 12 million. now president obama wants to turn back the clock and further burden hard-working families with new taxes. middle-income families that have worked hard and saved to send their children to college should receive our support, not a tax bill to pay for his agenda. taxing college savings plans as the president has pushed for and likely will again tomorrow in a speech in my district in kansas will only lead to less savings for middle-class families and remove the incentives for families to save for themselves and i hope the president is
willing to work with america's new congress to fix our broken tax code and expand opportunities for all american families. >> good morning, everybody. all the president really offered last night was more taxes, more government more of the same approach that has failed the middle class for decades. these just aren't just the wrong policies, they're the wrong priorities and growing washington's bureaucracy here instead of helping to grow our economy and helping to grow opportunities for middle-class families. there's a better way. we need to fix our broken tax code, balance our budget, replace the broken health care law with solutions that lower costs and protect jobs. the veto threats and fantasyland proposals from the white house will not distract the people's
house from the people's prites. another priority is protecting our united states and allies overseas. i have invited benjamin netanyahu to address joint session of congress on the grave threats of radical islam and the threat that iran poses to not only the middle east but to the world. america and israel have stood together and we have a shared cause and common ideals and must raise to that moment once again. >> last night president obama said he would like a new authorization, is that going to happen? >> i would expect the president is going to send an authorization to the congress. i expect we will have hearings on that and that we will, in fact, a debate and a vote on it time yet to be determined.
>> did you consult with the white house before inviting benjamin netanyahu? >> i did not consult with the white house. the congress can make this decision on its own. i don't believe i'm poking anyone in the eye. there is a serious threat that exists in the world. and the president last night kind of papered over it. and the fact is there needs to be a more serious discussion in america about how serious the threat is from radical islamist jihadists and the threat posed by iran. >> the president said last night one of his top priorities, what
about tax reform this year instead of talking about it? >> we would love to do tax reform. the president called for raising taxes again. he wants to raise taxes it's going to make it difficult for us to reform our broken tax code. [inaudible] i expect we will have hearings on iran sanctions legislation. timing yet to be determined. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> house minority leader nancy pelosi held a briefing with reporters on capitol hill and joined by other democratic leaders as they unveiled a task
force. this is 45 minutes. >> good afternoon everyone. as we have just come through a magnificent weekend to honor the life and legacy of reverend martin luther king junior, it is appropriate for us to continue the legacy in this year. this year being the 50th anniversary of the voting rights act. it is important to remember the struggles that led to the passage of the bill. it's probably one of the most important pieces of legislation in our country's history because it preserves freedom and enables people to vote. sacrifices were made at the time libes were lost. the bill was -- signed in august 50 years ago. the person who participated in
all of that activity at the time as a very young man, he was there in the fight for civil rights and voting rights. he is here with us in the congress and we're so honored, our assistant leader, mr. jim clyburn. he has agreed to be the chair of our democratic outreach and engagement task force. he will talk to you more about it. i will just say that i'm so grateful to all of the members who have agreed to participate. he will introduce them. i'm so proud of the actions taken by the congressional black caucus. they were in ferguson this weekend, perhaps you saw it in the press. we're very proud of how they launched this commemoration of what happened 50 years ago and why it's so important that we pass the civil rights bill now and do all that we can to
encourage engagement, give people a reason to register and reason to vote. as we gathered today, protestors are on the steps of the capitol five years since the terrible decision made by the sprime court of citizens united, but just acknowledging that dreadful decision tells us how important it is for us to make sure that every person who is eligible has the right to vote and his and her vote is counted as cast. who better to lead the way for us than our assistant leader, former chair of the congressional black caucus, long-term advocate for civil rights our assistant leader, jim clyburn. >> thank you so much for putting it together this task force.
to work on a very, very important issue. i often talk about the weekend back in 1960 down in atlanta georgia on the campus of millhouse college when i first met john lewis. that 1960, five years before we were able to secure a voting rights act. as i was reflecting earlier today on all that has transpired and the fact that when the leader and i first talked about this task force, it was an aftermath of the last november elections when we saw a significant falloff of participation on the part of those that we worked so hard
here to try to improve their lives. and we talked about things we might be able to do to re-engage people that we fought, really need to be involved in the process. we talk about all that we have heard about ferguson and missouri and the fact when we looked at the local participation there, we saw that in the last municipal elections back in april, last year or year before last, the participation was 6%. single digit 6% in the election in a community that was over 65% minority only 6% participation in the municipal election. and that was troubling. and so in our discussions as to
what we could do going forward, we thought to get a group to concentrate on this and one of our meetings, i talked to a member of the task force and she told me about her experiences last november and people kept asking her -- i'll let her use the english translation, what for? what for? that bothered me a great deal. and so we decided that we want to do some things to get voters engaged in the process again. earlier today, i took a look at a video of film -- a 1966 speech
made by martin luther king junior in a little town in my district, king street, less than a year after the passage of the 1965 voting rights act. he came to that community to talk voting. he said once you get registered, go and get 10 of your neighbors and get them registered. that effort has led to great voter participation in that county. and those people, the vast majority of them, i don't care when the election is or what it's about they vote. and i want to really rekindle that emotion. so i'm going to thank the following people who agrowed to serve on this task f