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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  October 1, 2015 6:00pm-8:01pm EDT

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never stepped foot in my county. the fact that we had to fight to get the e.p.a. to come do a community meeting, the fact ituations work out blissfully are concerning to me as a citizen, a landowner and a third generation silvertonan. i guess i ask, is it immediate money? when we ask that, when the we'll gete to town back to you. i would love to trust. i would love for to know for my community that it would be instant, that it would come right away, but i don't. and hearing the real estate agents say just the talk of the stigma, deals are getting canceled, loans are not being
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offered for construction loans within our community that we are desperately wanting to build, are alarming for me. do i believe the intention is there? yes. i'm a realist and i know what i have seen and heard in our relationship with the e.p.a. i would like toage that we derstand, we are in an arranged marriage with the e.p.a. we have been working with the e.p.a. for over 25 years. they are here and have been here. it is this accident they caused at has brought it to the forefront and it is the poster child. where we are concerned as a community if our immediate
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neighbors, our definition of neighbors has changed, it's durango, to farmington and everyone who touches that water, we acknowledge that and respect that and we appreciate being brought to the table here today, what my personal presence has been, silver ton hasn't bin invited to the table. emails and ved hate received cancellation and tourists turned down water. and again we agree that is our concern. to say your cash register didn't change today but know not going to change. i'm thinking long-term. for us to figure out and lculate today is going to be
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when those tax numbers come in. this is only less than a couple of months. it's only been less than a couple of months. what i ask, again in that pioneer spirit and this is personalized is that we think outside of the box, is it the magic bullet. what does it actually mean to be on the priorities wait list, immediate remade yation. we as well want to see immediate remade yation and see that the work happening up there is wonderful, let's go forward, let's make it permanent. we want a water treatment plant. but does it have to be done like the 1980's? ion that. and we are turning our trust
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over to you. >> some of the comments being made of 95. has anybody been rurmed for a claim that has been filed? >> no. >> and there is no time line they have been givin or have you been heard? any time frame? >> no. > the county set up with the e.p.a. meeting place where people could come to get help illing it out.
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i think there is still some help out there. >> do you have any follow-up questions. and let me ask you one question which is what senator gardner and i can be helpful to you as you try to sbrling act with the federal agencies and what you want passed? >> the e.p.a. were doing some work on a small scale and when hey came in, it was a pretty big group of folks that showed up. but i think that could be something that works against them almost. so many people that came and a lot of different folks would show up every week. we asked for certain things and
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next group would come in and the ball would get dropped. the size would be a detriment. i would agree that a collaboration would be good if possible, because there are a lot of experts that are from the mining industry that have done good work in the mineral creek drainage. they did a lot of clean-up. one here, one there and i think that's a great opportunity to see the best things happen, because you get experts who have been doing it. heads in their minds. but there are people that have been there a long time and i would agree that a collaboration is really the best way to go. >> i appreciate it and as
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chairman gardner said, thank you for taking time to come here today. it's a long trip and you have day jobs you need to worry about. but this testimony has been incredibly helpful. and we will work with you to make sure we put this right. thank you, senator gardner for olding this hearing. >> there's a lot of work we need to do following up, getting ideas for time frame. we have to figure out what kind of claims are going to be accepted. form 495 can be filed. does that mean somebody next summer. can they file, what does that mean? and so again, we'll get those answers from the e.p.a. for
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those questions, but you have a commitment from the senators to work on these issues whether it's on the good samaritan law. we can't wait. and you're here today as part of the solution and we truly appreciate that. thank you for your time and testimony. thank you, senator have itner. and this committee hearing is adjourned. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
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>> the house done with legislative work with the week. bill that would prohibit until iran pays american victims. a house-senate compromise that
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would authorize national defense authorizationation. mitch mcconnell talked about the legislation and what is ahead for next week. his is 10 minutes. senator mcconnell: one more example, just now, of the democratic senators, democratic minority preventing us from doing our business. they have prevented from us taking up the defense appropriations bill and prevented us from taking on the veterans appropriations bill. look at what is happening around the world. jimmy carter said he couldn't think of a single place in the
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world where our country was better off than when president obama came to office. the democratic minority is preventing the funding for our troops and for our veterans. i hate to have to explain that to the american people. with that, let me turn to the airman of our rett advance committee. >> he couldn't understand why we are going to a bill that wasn't going to pass. i asked him the following question, what's more important than our veterans, number one. number two, what is important to speeding up the bill. and getting the v.a. out of the building business and butting corps of engineers.
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i want to commend the subcommittee for that did and make my statement in the party. we need to pass this bill and do it now. mrs. kirkpatrick: as the ski chair -- >> i would say that bills adds $.2 billion. ast year was 65 billion. and now $69.2. and even banned funding for the perp who was responsible for the overrun. $903 billion. this bill coming to the floor has the support in the committee
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. good bipartisan of five democrats with 16 republicans in the committee if you are against this bill you are against 4.2 billion for our rett rans. and doctors and nurses. i want to make sure they have the whistleblower protection act. that's all i have. >> we passed out of the armed services committee the national defense authorization act. that was on a 22-4 vote. 22-75t came to the floor, to authorize spending for our military for the department of
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defense. keep this country safe. we passed that will bill. but then we couldn't get the 60 votes to get on the appropriations bill to fund what we just authorized. that's not the way we are supposed to be working here. the america cap people know that. they want us to take up the appropriations bills and make tough decisions on what we believe are the priorities. we all travel our states. we are back in our states and we have town halls and the people of this country tell us to make those tough decisions and make those hard choices to fund those priorities. but yet we are blocked by our colleagues on the either side of taking up these 12
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appropriations bills. they liven in a dangerous world. we haven't been watching the news and certainly have haven't. we have to be able to move forward to keep this country safe. that is our first responsibility. and without the help of our colleagues on the other side, we aren't going to be able to do that. i hope they step forward and assume their responsibilities and let's get our work done. >> three years ago, president obama's opponent suggested that we might be the threat. the 190 are calling president obama. yesterday was the anniversary of munich. russia conducted its operation on that anniversary in syria because it's the result of a long series of concessions
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towards russia. what is the president's response? they are threatening to veto, now the military construction and the veterans' bill. it wouldn't just provide benefits, but change to weapons systems ap other threats around the world. nd china and other actors that mean america grave harm. this is outrageous. stop playing politics with our national security. senator mcconnell: we'll turn to the conference report. receive the signatures of two democratic senators and i hope we aren't going to see this stunt next week on the defense
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authorization bill. [inaudible [ reporter: do you haveal plan of bringing that forward? senator mcconnell: we'll talk about it further. they started at the staff level, the first meeting occurred yesterday and we are getting started. [inaudible] >> washington ideas forum which
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began yesterday. at 8:00 p.m. we will hear from senator warren and the 2016 presidential race. right after that, rodgers will alk about the resignation of planned parenthood and government spending. watch both of those events. earlier prime minister netanyahu iranian nuclear eal and here's a look. prime minister netanyahu: i have said the greatest dangerer facing our world is the couming of islam. and i'm grateful concerned that the nuclear deal with iran will prove to be the marriage
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certificate of that unwholly union. i know that some well intentioned people sincerely believe that this deal is the best way to block iran's path to the bottom. but one of the history's most important yet least learned lessons is this. the best intentions don't present the worst outcome. the vast majority of israelis believe that this nuclear deal with iran is a very bad deal. nd what makes matters even worse is that we see a world celebrating this bad deal. rushing to embrace and do business with a regime openly committed to our destruction.
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last week, major general, the commander of iran's army proclaimed this, quote, we will get rid of israel for sure. we are glad that we are in the forefront of executing the supreme leader's order to destroy israel, end quote. nd as for the supreme leader himself, a few days after the nuclear deal was announced, he released his latest book, here it is. creeed detailing his plan to stroy the state of israel. ast month, khamenei made his
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intentions clear before iran's top clerical body, the assembly of experts. he spoke about israel. home to over six million jews. will beed, quote, there , end rael in 25 years quote. 70 years after the murder of six million jews, iran's rulers , omised to destroy my country murder -- president obama preparing to make a statement about the shootings. president obama: moms, dads, children, whose lives have been
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changed forever. another community stunned with grief and and parents across the country who are scared because they know it might have been their families or their children. but in roseburg, oregon, there are really good people there. i want to thank all the first responders whose bravery saved some lives today. federal law enforcement has been on the scene and offering a supporting role for as long as they need. we will learn about the victims. young men and women who were studying and working hard, eyes set on the future, their dreams of what they could make of their lives and america will wrap with
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everyone in our prayers and our love. but as i said, just a months ago , and i said a few months before that and i said each time we see each one of these mass shootings, our thoughts and prayers are not enough. it's not enough. it does not capture, the heartache and grief and anger that we should feel and it does nothing to prevent this carnage from being inflicted someplace in america. next week or a couple of months from now. we don't know yet know why this individual did what he did. hfer and it's fair to say that
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anybody who does this has a sickness in their minds. regardless of what they think their motivations may be. but we are not the only country on earth that has people with mental illnesses who want to do harm to other people. we are the only advanced country on earth that sees these kinds of mass shootings every few onths. earlier this year, i answered a question and saying that the united states of america is the one advanced nation on earth in which we do not have sufficient commonsense gun-safety laws even in the face of repeated mass killings. nd later that day, there was a
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mass shooting in lafayette, louisiana, that day. somehow, this has become routine. the reporting is routine. my response here at this podium ends up being routine. the conversation in the aftermath of it has become numb to this. we talked about this after columbine and blacksburgs, . cson, aurora, charleston it cannot be this easy for somebody who wants to inflict harm on other people who get his or her hands on a gun. and what's become routine is the
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response of those who are opposed to any kind of commonsense gun resolution. the press is being cranked up. we need more guns, they'll argue. fewer gun safety laws. does anybody really believe that? there are scores of responsible gun owners in this country. they know that's not true. we know because of the polling that says the majority of americans says we should change these laws including the responsible law-abiding gun owners. there is a gun owner in every how can you make the argument that more guns will make us
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safer? we know that states with the most gun laws tend to have the fewest gun deaths. so the notion that gun laws don't work or just will make it harder for law-abiding citizens or criminals to get guns, isn't borne out by the evidence. we know other countries in response to one mass shooting have been able to craft laws at almost eliminate mass shootings. friends of ours, allies of ours, great britain, australia, know ies like ours, so we there are ways to prevent it. and of course, what is also routine is that somebody, somewhere will comment and say, bama politicized this issue.
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well, this is something we should politicize. body ommon to the politic. i would ask news organization, because i won't put these ta facts forward, tally up the number of americans that have been killed by terrorist attacks and the number of americans who have been killed by gun violence. this won't be information coming from me but coming from you. we spend over a trillion dollars and pass countless laws to preventing terrorist attacks on our soil and rightfully so. and yet, we have a congress that
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explicitly blocks from collecting data on how we could reduce gun deaths. how can that be? this is a political choice that we make. to allow this to happen every few months in america. we collectively are answerable to those families who lose their oved ones because of our inaction. when americans are killed in mine disasters, we work to make mines diss a asters. when americans are killed in hurricanes and tornadoes, we work to make it safer. when roads are unsafe, we fix fatalities.uce auto
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we have seat belt laws because we know it save lives. the notion that are gun violence our ehow different, that freedom and our constitution regulation modest , how we use a deadly weapon when there are law-abiding gun owners across the country who can hunt and protect their families and do everything they do under such regulations? it doesn't make sense. us who ht as those of
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are lucky enough to hug our kids thinking oser are about the families who aren't so fortunate. i'd ask the american people to think about our government to change these laws and to save laws. and to let young people grow up. and that will require a change of politics on this issue and will require that the american people, individually, whether you are a democrat or a republican or an independent, when i decide to vote for somebody, are making a determination as to whether this cause of continuing deaths of innocent people, should be a factor in your decision.
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if you think this is a problem, then you should expect your elected first to reflect your views. and i would lick particularly ask america's gun owners, who properly, ose guns , for sport, for protecting their families, to think about whether your views are being properly represented by the organization that that suggests they are speaking for you. and each time this happens, i'm going to bring this up. each time this happens, i'm going to say that we can
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actually do something about it, but we are going to have to change ourl laws. and this is not something i can do by miss. i have to have a congress and state legislatures and governors who are willing to work with me on this. i hope and pray that i don't mye to come out again during tenure as president to offer my condolences to families in these circumstances. but based on my experience as president, i can't guarantee that. nd that's terrible to say. and it can change. may god bless the memories of those who were killed today. may he bring comfort to their
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families and courage to the injured as they fight their way back. and may he give us the strength to come together and find the courage to change. thank you. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] >> more than a dozen times he has address the nation. 45 shootings at schools so far. this one in oregon. he 142nd at a school since newspapertown and roseburg, and congressman defazio says my thoughts and prays are with the victims. we want roseburg to know we are raying for them.
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earlier today, house and senate democratic leaders held area negotiation. we begin with remarks from harry reid. his is about 15 minutes. >> first of all, we extend our sympathy and best wishes and all the good thoughts that come from here on another one of the .evastating
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we don't know the details and i don't think we know -- i don't -- we're not the only ones that don't know. we hope they'll find the person that did this or the people that did this. very quickly. we had an excellent meeting. we stand united. we've been in close contact with the white house. we need to stop these devastating sequester cuts from hurting our middle class. our middle class is being devastated and our military is being devastated. the example that i use -- i'll continue to use it because it's so illustrative of what equester has done. national institutes of health cut by almost $2 billion when sequestration went into effect. we've never gotten that money ack. they are still in almost a $2 billion hole, a hole that is stopping them from leading more research and preventing diseases. it's really a tragedy what has happened with the sequestration. i want to be clear. the coming weeks, our top priority is lifting the sequester caps so we can invest in education, infrastructure, other important priorities for he middle class.
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this is not a new goal for democrats getting rid of sequestration. we've been fighting to end these unnecessary meat ax cuts for years. it was meant to be so devastating it would force both parties to the negotiating table to find a responsible way to move forward in a bipartisan agreement. the republicans have ignored this. for months we've been telling our republican counterparts again and again we're ready to do just that. we wrote a letter to senator mcconnell four months ago saying let's start negotiations. we were ignored until just a few days ago. to his credit he said, and i'm -- he hasn't backed away from it. quote, we're inevitably going to end newspaper negotiations and we'll crack the budget control act once again, closed quote. we couldn't agree more with senator mcconnell, but to my dismay, yesterday 151 republicans in the house and 20 senators voted to shut the government down over women's health. imagine that. it reminds me when the government was closed for 17 days. 2/3 of the republicans in the house of representatives voted to keep the government closed. after all people had gone through. this is a republican party that is really without belaboring the point in turmoil. everyone knows a bipartisan budget negotiations set new top line numbers need to happen and they need to happen now, not some distant time in the month of december. they need to happen now. leader mcconnell said before he eft for the august recess, "we
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have divided government. we have to talk to each other and we have to figure out a way to move forward. nothing happened during the august recess. nothing happened first two weeks in september, but he's moved a little bit in the last few days, so let's go to it now, not on the verge and unnecessary government shut down. leader pelosi. ms. pelosi: thank you very much, leader reid. join with you in expressing sympathy and our thoughts are those affected at the tragedy at the umpqua community college and those in the house and in the enate. as the minority leader said, as the democratic leader of the senate said, last night -- yesterday 151 republicans voted against opening up government. based on their ideology to hold women's health hostage in our country.
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this is disappointing but also a signal that we have to observe. the next 10 weeks, as we prepare to write a budget, can be a timetable of progress which we hope it will be or a calendar of chaos. what we need to do is pass a budget that has the proper offsets that grows the economy, that grows our economy, reduce the deficit. n addition to writing that budget, we have to pass a transportation bill that is robust and worthy of the aspirations of the american people in terms of job creation, cleaning the air, all kinds of things that a transportation bill does, improving the quality of life as it creates jobs and promotes commerce.
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we have to lift the -- honor the full faith and credit of the american people. that will probably happen in november, and we must re-authorize the ex-im bank. in addition to that, we want to pass the 9/11 health bill. so we have a large number of immediate concerns that have timetables on them that must be addressed. we can -- we want to extend the hand of friendship to do this in a bipartisan way, respectful of other views, but also respecting the needs of the american people. so will this 10 weeks be a timetable of progress or a calendar of chaos, it's up to our republican colleagues. 151 republicans, only 91 republicans voted to open up government. 151 voted to keep government shut down. that's not responsible. that does not heed the message of pope francis who told us to
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be respectful of each other's views, to have openness and pragmatism in our decisionmaking and to go forward for the good of all people. so hopefully we're in the spirit that is still with us of francis and honoring our responsibility to the american people. we'll work together as quickly -- not hastily but as soon as possible to remove all doubt that government will be open, that we will honor the full faith and credit, that we will create jobs, that our exports will be well-served and that is job creating as well. and that we will honor the people of 9/11 as we did on 9/11 by passing that important legislation. thank you. senator reid: we'll take a couple questions. yes. >> if the budget negotiations extend to november and december, do you expect they'll continue with mccarthy become speaker, and how would that change the talks? senator reid: that's a question i think you should direct to someone over in the house.
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right now you would need a ouija board to figure that one out. i'm glad you mentioned indirectly what's going on there. one of the things that we did earlier today, very early this morning, wrote a letter to speaker boehner saying this benghazi committee is a ripoff to the american taxpayer. almost $5 million they spent already. that doesn't include the money spent on six other committees who called hearings. i don't know if he meant to speak the truth, but mccarthy did. t is a political witch-hunt, and it really gives a negative smell that goes on back here and that's too bad. ith the --
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ms. pelosi: if i might add, i'm so pleased that the leadership -- the democratic leadership and others in the senate have written to the speaker to say disband the benghazi committee. we're not in favor of supporting it. but as long as they're having it, we -- our members -- some of our members still believe we should be present to defend the truth. this is not the only select committee. $5 million. longer than the watergate committee produced nothing. nd on top of which our bipartisan, nonpartisan intelligence committee has written its report clearing this issue. so they're wasting time and they're wasting taxpayers' dollar. no addition, they want to do a select committee on -- against women's health. i don't know what their title is for it, but that's what i call it.
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another expense and waste of time when we should be focusing on what our responsibilities are directly to the american eople. hopefully as we take -- as we ake this challenge that we all have to the american people, public sentiment will weigh in and the republicans will stand up to the responsibilities that we all have and not have this -- how they can shut down government but how we can keep it open. >> is there a timeline? inaudible] senator reid: we went to the white house two days in a row. yesterday the staff members were there. we're working through that. the push that leader pelosi and really are going to vess more
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than anything else is speed. we don't want to wait. we want to move this on. getting the pay-fors to offset, that's painful work, but the pain will be there no matter when we do it. we have to get that done. try to get the pay-fors, top line and then we're going to make sure that we have the riders all resolved and any increases have to be equal between defense and nondefense. those are our -- that was our eelings. that's what we're going to stick to and we are going to do it as quickly as possible. >> what time line are you working off of? senator reid: quick as we can. >> there's been a report that senator mcconnell asked president obama to get congressional democrats out of the process. does that concern you? senator reid: leader pelosi and i have been to the white house more than once in recent days alking about this. we are party to some of the conversation that's gone on.
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there is at least one of the leaders in the congress that wants to cut us out, but it's not going to happen. ms. pelosi: besides at the end of the day, the president hab -- it has to be a bill that the president will sign and that won't be a bill that republicans will vote for. the republicans know that they have to reach across party lines, as they had to do last night. 186 democrats, 100% of the democrats voted for the bill to open up government. 151 republicans voted. senator reid: republicans need our vote. ms. pelosi: i want to say something about the timetable. we want to remove all doubt in the public's mind that the government will be there, that governance will take place, that the investments that we need to be made will be made and some of the other issues that i mentioned will be addressed, like the debt ceiling, because when that wasn't addressed
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before -- even though they didn't -- we ended up passing lifting the debt ceiling just this thought -- the suspicion it could happen lowers our credit rating. so the timetable doesn't relate to who's in charge. the timetable relates to meeting the needs of the american people n a very strong way. >> leaders, are you going to be co-equal negotiators with president obama and the white house in this negotiation? senator reid: why wouldn't we be? so the answer is yes. >> how much harder do you think to get a budget deal with this new republican leadership in the house, kevin mccarthy? senator reid: what you have to talk is talk to the wizard of os. maybe they can tell you. -- wizard of oz. maybe they can tell you. >> it's more than the man behind the screen. senator reid: thanks, everybody. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. isit ncicap.org]
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>> tomorrow morning on "washington journal" tax policy proposal with an economist from the tax foundation. and the findings of the study with the author of the report. and a discussion about american household finances with the u.s. census buyer oove. "washington journal" is live every day at 7:00 a.m. eastern right here on span. the chairman brer passed a compromise on legislation that would authorize national defense programs. that debate next beginning with emarks from the chair of the
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chairman. . thornberry: pursuant hous e r 449 i call up conference rephe bill h.r. 1735 and ask for its immediate consideration. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 1735, an act to authorize appropriations for the fiscal year 2016 for military activities for the department of defense for military construction, and for defense activities at the department of energy, to describe military personnel strength for such fiscal year and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to house resolution 449, the conference report is considered read. the gentleman from texas, mr. thornberry and the gentleman from washington, mr. smith, each will control 30 minutes. mr. thornberry: i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and insert extraneous material. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. thornberry: i yield myself five minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. thornberry: the first and most important thing i can say
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today is that this conference report is good for the troops and it's good for the country. and nothing that i or anybody else is going to say in this next hour is going to be more important than that one basic proposition. we may hear a variety of excuses, ifs, ands, and buts about this, that, or the other thing and i certainly don't agree with every provision in this conference report. but in pulling this bill together, i had to put aside personal preferences and party considerations and other things because getting a bill passed and enacted that is good for the troops and good for the country is more important than anything else. the second point i want to make is that this bill is the product of work of members from both sides of the aisle and both sides of the capitol. about half of the amendments that were adopted in committee
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and on the floor were from democratic members. democratic conferees played a substantial role in shaping this final conference report. and if you look at the substance of what's in the bill, you can see major contributions from both sides. as a matter of fact, we hear a lot these days about regular order. well, this bill went through regular order through the committee with 211 amendments dopted on the floor when 131 amendments were adopt through the a regular conference with a senate-passed bill for the first time in years and now it's back here for approval. so after going through regular order and all of the -- and all that that entails, if there's still partisan opposition, it leads some to ask why? why bother? the third point i want to make, mr. speaker, is just a reminder to members that this is a dangerous world and it is getting more dangerous by the
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minute. just look at the headlines that are in today's papers. russia has conducted air strikes in syria, not against isis, but against the moderate opposition forces. and russia is telling us, the united states, when and where we can fly our airplanes in syria. meanwhile, the palestinians have decided they're going to back on take.
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it takes additional steps to combat sexual assault. it authorizes defensive weapons for ukraine. it gives the president more tools to battle isis in iraq, to provide weapons tectly to the kurds and sunni forces. we take steps for missile, to help defend this country against missiles. mr. speaker, i yield myself an additional 30 seconds.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. thornberry: we take steps to defend our country against missile attacks, particularly important since iran will have more money to put into miss isles. but we also support the israeli missile defense program with more maun than was asked for by the president system of mr. speaker, my point is this bill is good for the troops and it's good for the country and that ought to override everything else it should be -- everything else. it should be passed today. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. -- the gentleman reserves, the gentleman from washington is recognized. mr. smith: let me agree on two points with the chairman. there is a lot that is good in this bill. no question about that. i want to thank the chairman for his leadership in making that happen. i think the conference committee process was a model for how the conference committee is supposed to go. the minority was included. there was robust debate about a large number of issues. that were points when we thought
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we couldn't resolve them and we did. and i think there is a lot that is good in this bill. i also think, without question, without debate, this is a very, very dangerous time for our country. no doubt about it. and the chairman laid out some of the challenges, there are many, many more. with what's going on in the middle east, certainly with russia, with thousand we deal with china. very challenging time for national security and we need to be as strong as we possibly can. but the one area where i disagree and i think the chairman also correctly states the fundamental question, is this good for our country? is it good for our troops? i don't believe it is. it is not good for our country and it is not good for our troops and it does in fact matter where the money comes from. for a couple of reasons. first of all, by the budget gimmick that the budget committee in the house and senate put together, by using overseas contingency operations funds for things that are not
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overseas contingency operations funds, this was all done as a dodge to get around doing what we need to do, which is to lift the budget caps, because you see the oco funding for some reason does not count as real money. it's money, it's $38 billion but it enabled the conservatives in the republican party to say that they have maintained the budget caps while still spending $38 billion more. which is incredibly hypocritical and a terrible way to budget. but here are two reasons why that is bad for our country and bad for our troops. number one, it does not lift the budget caps. and these budget caps are in place, i believe, for a another nine or eight years. and unless we lift those budget caps, we are harming our troops and we are harming our country. this bill dodging that issue is precisely a national security issue. because until we lift those caps, the department of defense has no idea how much money they're going to have.
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all right? oco is one time money. that's why it's not as good as lifting the budget caps and giving the ability to do the five and 10-year planning that they do. to do multiyear projects. so that they can actually have a plan going forward. that hurts national security. the inability to raise the budget caps in this bill and the appropriations process is a critical blow to our troops and to our national security. the second reason is -- reason this is important is because the oco funding in this bill is not going to happen. all right? part of it is because the president is going to veto it but the larger part of it is, the senate, as they have been unable to do for a number of years, has not passed any appropriations bills. because they have rejected their own budget resolution. so this $38 billion in oco funding we're going to hear about, all this great money, it's not going to happen. buzz the appropriators have said it is not going to happen.
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so to have a national defense authorizing bill with $38 billion in imaginary money is not good for our troops. and it is not good for our country. we need to lift the budget caps. we need to spend the money that we need to spend on national security. i will also say that there are other pieces of national security. the budget caps remain in place for the department of homeland security. they remain in place for the department of justice. they remain in place for the department of treasury. three agencies that play a critical role in national security for this country. in tracking the money of terrorists and protecting the homeland and making sure we can try and convict terrorists when we catch them. so it is not good for the country to maintain those budget caps. and that is what this bill does. it also relies on money that simply isn't going to be there by having this imaginary oco funding. the second way i think this bill was not good for the troop, not good for the country is something the chairman alluded
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to, and that is there are restrictions on what the pentagon can do by way of saving money. the chairman mentioned the a10 but there are a whole host of other things the pentagon has proposed as a way to save money and spend it more efficiently which over the course of the last two or three years we have blocked almost every attempt. not every attempt. on personnel savings. we have made changes in the retirement system. we have made changes in the health care system. we saved no money for 10 year. for 10 years we save no money in personnel cost while the pentagon tells thause to be able to properly train our troops, to get them ready to go to battle, they need personnel cost savings. if we don't give them that savings, last year, next year, this year, in the future, they will not have the money for readiness that they need to train and equip our troops. so that's not good for the country. there are a number of other provisions, areas, brac would be a big one. we have seen our army and marine kearp shrink substantially. we've seen our entire military
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is rick substantially. we have not closed any bases. that's not good for the couldn't troy not find savings there. i yield myself 30 seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. smith: to not find savings -- there to spend it on training our troops. over the last two or throo -- or three years we have wound up authorizing and appropriating money in congress for readiness. not this year, assuming you imagine that this oco money will a-- will appear. the bulk of the oco money makes up for the readiness gap. i don't think this bill is good for our country or good for the troops but i do agree with the chairman that that's the criteria on which it should be judged. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is -- reserves, the gentleman is recognized. mr. thornberry: the gentleman -- i yield two minutes to the gentleman from virginia, mr. forbes. the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentleman is recognized. mr. forbes: thank you for your hard work on this bill. mr. chairman, one of the things you won't hear outside of this room is anybody challenging the substance of this bill. the opponents of the bill time and time again say what a good bill it is. you won't hear anyone challenging the partisanship of this bill because they will praise chairman thornberry for the bipartisan product he's brought to the floor. . you won't hear them saying the right amount of money, too much or too little, because it's almost the amount of money the president requested. or they took it from another priority because they agree it is the amount of money and spud be spent on national defense. the sole reason the bill is being opposed and the president will veto it is because he wants to use national defense as a battering chip to get everything he wants for the i.r.s., e.p.a., and all the other political agenda he has. can you imagine as chairman thornberry mentioned how strong he looks around the globe when he says america's going to be
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strong, yet he vetoes the bill that authorizes the national defense of this country and gives him almost everything he wants. the president and opponents of this bill also need to realize that if they defeat this bill, they will also defeat the construction of three destroyers, two attack subs, three small surface combatants, and delay the air force bomber and tanker programs. mr. chairman, it's time we stop using national defense as some kind of political poker chip that can be gambled away, and it's time we pass this bill. with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia yields back. the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentleman from washington. mr. smith: thank you, mr. chairman. i yield myself one minute. first of all, i very specifically challenge the substance of this bill. the o.c.o. funding and the way it is funding is not good for national security and not good for our troops. the substance of the bill is precisely the issue and what it does for defense or does not do for defense. that is why using the o.c.o. funding is the exact wrong way to go. the other thing i will say is i
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am quite confident that we will get a bill. that's the interesting thing about this argument. as i pointed out the appropriators in the senate have already rejected the o.c.o. funding. this $38 billion that we have in here is gone, done, poof, not going to happen. we are going to have to have a further debate about that in the appropriations committee to actually fund any of the stuff that we are talking about in this bill. i am confident that we'll have that debate. i wish i could be more confident it will come out in a positive way. we need to lift the budget caps. we actually need to pass appropriations bills and not shut the government down. we'll see what happens on december 11, but when that happens, we can pass this bill. we are not going to not pass the ndaa. we just need to pass it the right way so it actually helps our country and actually funds the programs that we are talking about. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas. mr. thornberry: i yield myself 30 seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. thornberry: i thank the gentleman from washington really makes the case when he
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talks about appropriations, o.c.o. will not happen that way. this is not an appropriation bill. he's exactly right. there is more to do to figure all of that out. but that is not a reason to vote against this bill. this bill can't fix what he's complaining about. but it does do something and my point is, why not do what it can? mr. speaker, i yield two minutes to the distinguished chairman of the subcommittee on emerging threats and capabilities, the gentleman from south carolina, mr. wilson. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from south carolina is recognized for two minutes. mr. wilson: thank you, mr. speaker. thank you, mr. chairman. i'm grateful to support the national defense authorization act for fiscal year 2016 and also thank chairman m.a.c. thornberry for his leader -- mac thornberry for his leadership and hard work in bringing this conference report to the floor with bipartisan support. i appreciate serving as chairman of the emerging threats and capability subcommittee to oversee some of the most important aspects of the department of defense. the subcommittee's portion of the bill represents a
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comprehensive and bipartisan product. for this reason it is said that some our democratic colleagues may vote against this bill and worse that the president is threatening a veto. mr. speaker, a veto or vote against this bipartisan bill is a vote against security for american families. and a vote against every member of the armed services and its military families. it would be a vote against authorizations that would strengthen our cyberdefense capabilities. it would be a vote against counter terrorism programs and resource for our special operations forces currently fighting overseas. and it would be a vote against reform efforts and programs that would ensure america maintains superiority in all areas of science and technology. mr. speaker, i urge my colleagues to cross the aisle to support this bipartisan national defense authorization act and for the president to sign this important piece of legislation that will soon cross his desk. a vote of veto against this
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measure is simply put a vote against in providing and endangering american families and a vote against the american dedicated service members who mean so much to our country. thank you, chairman thornberry. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from south carolina yields back. the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentleman from washington. mr. smith: i yield myself one minute just to make two quick points. first of all, we will have a motion to recommit that takes the money out of o.c.o. and puts it into the base budget. this is a problem that our bill could fix. we didn't have to buy into the o.c.o. dodge and put money in there we knew wasn't going to exist. our motion to recommit will make that obvious. we will simply take it out of o.c.o., put it in the base budget so that you can do long-term planning with it and so we actually get out from under the budget caps. he second point i will make is -- not supposed to name people. the previous speaker who said voting against the defense bill was all of those bad things, well, people have voted against
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the defense bill. in 2009 and 2010, all but seven or eight members of the republican party voted against the defense bill. they voted against the defense bill because they didn't like don't-ask, don't-tell in one instance and didn't like adding lgbt people to hate crimes in the other instance. they all were perfectly willing to vote against the troops and do all of the awful things the previous speaker said for social policy reasons that had nothing to do with defense. so voting against the defense bill does not mean that you don't support the troops. that's proof because most of the people who are now saying that it does have voted against the bill in the past. if i may i'm not sure if this works, i wanted to yield time to -- do we need to go back over there? i will yield five minutes to the gentleman from maryland, mr. hoyer. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maryland is recognized for five minutes. i thank the gentleman for yielding.
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this is my 35th year in the congress of the united states. i don't know that i voted against prior to this year either a defense appropriation bill or defense authorization bill. i will vote against this bill. i regret that i will vote against this bill because i regret that we have not gotten ourselves on a fiscally sound path and a bipartisan way that makes this country more secure not only on the national defense side but secure on the domestic side as well. i rise in opposition, mr. speaker, to this conference report which i believe does a disservice to our men and women in uniform and undermines our national security. i do not believe this is the chairman's fault. i want to make that very clear. the chairman has been dealt a
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hand and he's trying to play the best hand he can. and i understand that. i agree, fully, however, with the ranking member with his concerns in opposition to this bill not because of its substance but because of the adverse impact it has on so much else. this continues the republicans' see quester sneak around strategy. what do i mean by that? my republican colleagues historically since i have been here talk about spending money. what they don't like to do is pay for things. that's of course what we do in taxes. it's not for free, national security. , law ion, health care enforcement you have to pay for it. and if you want to put a level
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of doing something, you need to pay for that or you pass it along to the next generation. this sequester seek around strategy of blowing through their own defense spending cap by misusing overseas contingency funding for nonemergency base defense spending, that's why the pentagon is opposed to this. that's why the joint chiefs believe this is bad fiscal policy for the military. our military planners and secretary carter made clear, such an approach to funding undermines the pentagon's long-term planning process which is based on multiyear budgets and predictable funding sfreems. unfortunately -- streams. unfortunately, the fiscal policies of the leadership of this house over the last years, six years, have been anything
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but predictable. we avoided a shut down of government yesterday notwithstanding the fact 151 of my republican colleagues voted ot to fund government today. only democrats ensured the fact that we kept the government opened. 91 republicans voted with us. but that was far less than half of their caucus. this proposal undermines the chances for a bipartisan budget agreement to replace the sequester before the c.r. repassed yesterday expires on december 11. 151 republicans voted even against keeping government opened for a short period of time, approximately two months. this approach, including this
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bill, also harms fundamental national security priorities by characterizing core defense items as part of contingency operations. that is not true. it is not fiscally helpful. this includes the iron dome missile defense programs and all other u.s.-israel joint missile defense programs that helps israel protects civilians from hamas and hezz bowl yap rockets. -- hezbollah rockets. unfortunately, this report prevents the administration from closing the detention facility at guantanamo bay which remains a recruiting tool for terrorists and undermine america's role as a beacon of constitutional rights and freedoms around the world. $2.4 ile, we are spending illion per detainee every year
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for those rehold at guantanamo. -- those we hold at guantanamo. mr. smith: i yield an additional minute. mr. hoyer: the ranking member of the armed services committee oppose this is bill, strongly, as do members of that committee. the president has already made it clear he's going to veto this bill. not because he's against national security and ironically republicans have come to the number that the president proposed. there's a difference. the president paid for his number. he didn't pass it along to our children. we must recognize this conference report for what it is, a vehicle for partisan messaging and an instrument for breaking with the murray-ryan principle of parity in defense and nondefense sequester relief. it's not a bill that makes america safer and a stronger force for justice around the world. therefore i'll oppose it. i thank my friend, mr. smith, once again for the work -- for his work trying to improve this bill in committee, on this
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floor, and in conference. and for his untiring work in support of the men and women in our nation's armed services. i thank the chairman of the committee for the same thing. he was dealt a bad hand. i understand he has to play. it's not good for our country. i urge my colleagues to vote no. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from washington reserves. the gentleman from texas. mr. thornberry: mr. speaker, i yield myself 30 seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized for 30 seconds. mr. thornberry: i make three brief poivents. number one as this debate goes on it's increasingly clear the real debate is about budget and appropriations not about this bill. secondly, i'm one of those who voted to continue to fund the government because i think it's essential that we pay our troops and there be no lapse in that. unfortunately, we have today the white house playing politics with national security and i think that's what makes an ultimate agreement harder. finally, the president was short in funding israeli
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missile defense. we fully fund israeli missile defense in this bill and it should be supported. mr. speaker, i yield two minutes to the distinguished chairman of the tactical air and land forces subcommittee, the gentleman from ohio, mr. turner. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from ohio is recognized for two minutes. mr. turner: thank you. i rise in support of h.r. 1735, what would be the 5 th consecutive national defense authorization act. what we have here today is, unfortunately, partisan politics at its worse. you have people coming down on the house floor condemning a bill that they voted for. and now they are going to vote against it because the president has decided that he's going to veto it. he's not going to veto it because what's in this bill. he's going to veto it because there's not enough spending on the bureaucracies of the i.r.s. and the e.p.a. we know this because not only has the president said it, even the defense secretary ash carter has said it in front of the armed services committee.
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now, if this was such a bad bill, you would think this it wouldn't come out -- have come out of our committee for almost unanimous support both sides of the aisle, bipartisan, unbelievable support for this bill, and virtually the same structure that it's coming to this floor. only when president obama stepped forward only when the president came out and said, i'm going to veto it, did it lose bipartisan support. this isn't an issue about republicans and democrats. this administration, the author of sequestration, president obama, set forth a plan that's been dismantling our military and needs to be set aside. what we have in this bill is a bill that fully funds national defense even as the minority leader, steny hoyer, said, that fully funds it at the level requested by the president. now you can say there are gimmicks. you can say there are tricks. but you can also say what is important and as you go to the experts to determine whether or not this bill work.
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chairman dempsey of the joint chiefs of staff stood in front of our committee and asked the question of does the structure of this bill fully fund national defense he said absolutely that he could spend it, that it would be the number that is necessary, he also said it was the lower jagged edge of what is necessary for national security. so chairman dempsey says in front of our committee, and he's certainly the expert, that this works, it works. i urge everyone to support this bill, set aside sequestration, set aside partisan politics and support our men and women in uniform. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentleman from washington. mr. smith: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas. mr. thornberry: at this time i'm pleased to yield two minutes to the distinguished chair of the strategic forces subcommittee, the gentleman from alabama, mr. rogersing for the purposes of a colloquy. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. rogers: i want to thank you for your leadership in getting us here today.
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i'd like to ask the chairman a question, if i might, does the legislation provide the president the exact amount of money he requested in his budget request? mr. thornberry: the gentleman is correct. the total is exactly the amount the president asked for. mr. rogers: that's what i thought. and does the chairman recall who it was that testified that the amount requested for fiscal year 2016 for national defense is, quote, at the ragged edge of manageable risk, close quote. mr. thornberry: as the gentleman from ohio just said, it was the chairman of the joint chiefs said this is the lower raggedofpblge what it takes to defend the country. mr. rogers: and that individual is the president's senior military advisor, isn't he? mr. thornberry: yes, sir. mr. rogers: so we have an easy choice, we can vote for a conference report that sends a bill to the president, that provides authorized funding at exactly the level he requested. or we can send the nation below
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the quote, ragged edge of manageable risk, closed quote. it's a bill that provides $320 million increase for our israeli increase on top of the $550 million in the president's request for missile defense cooperation. i'd ask members, especial -- especially those who supported the iran deal, that it's this funning that the administration said was vital to israel's security. because of that deal and it's -- and its termination of multilateral sanctions on ballistic missile proliferation. s that bill that provides $184 billion to -- million to fund an american rocket to end our reliance on russian made rocket engines. s that bill that provides the president's request of $358 million for cooperative threat reduction activities. what does that mean? that's how we fight ebola. mr. speaker, my fellow members, there are some tug boats that we have to take around here from -- tough votes we have to take
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around here from time to time, this is not one of them. vladimir putin is bombing anti-assad forces in syria. you want to make putin happy, vote against this bill. with that, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from alabama yields back they have gentleman from texas reserves this egentleman from washington. mr. smith: i yield myself two minutes. mr. smith: -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. smith: the reason we are at the ragged edge of what defense needs is because of the budget caps. that is the issue. that is the substantive issue in why this is important. tied into that is a regrettable fact. the chairman says repeatedly, look, thises the authorizing bill. don't talk to me about the budget, don't talk to me about propings. the defense budget is over half of the discretionary budget system of unfortunately, the defense bill is about the budget and about the appropriations process. and as long as we have those budget caps locked in place, we will be at the ragged edge of what we can do to protect our
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national security. we shouldn't be there. we should lift the budget caps. this ndaa locks in those budget caps, uses the oco dodge which as i pointed out the senate isn't agreeing to the $38 billion isn't going to be there and even worse, what secretary carter has also said is that the oco funding perpetuates the five years of budget cuts and uncertainty of c.r.'s of government shutdown, of threatened government shutdowns, of not being able to plan. secretary carter has been very clear. he opposes this bill because the oco funding is not an adequate way to fund defense because it is one year money, it is a budget gimmick, it doesn't give them the ability to plan and do what they need to protect our country and take care of our troops. opposing this bill because of oco funding is enormously important to our troops and is a substantive part of this. i want to respond about the
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committee vote. we in committee said, we didn't like the oco funding, we needed that to be fixed. but we're coming out of committee, we're going to give it a chance to work its way through the process. no changes were made, we opposed it on the floor. we didn't just wake up yesterday and oppose this. democrats voted against this bill when it came to the house in the first place. the critically important issue we absolutely made a point of in committee was not fixed. so that is why we are opposing this bill. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas. mr. thornberry: i'm pleased to yield two minutes to the distinguished chair of the subcommittee on readiness, the gentleman from virginia, mr. wittman.
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mr. wittman: recent hi former secretary of state dr. henry kissinger proclaimed the united states has not faced a more diverse and complex array of crises tins the -- since the end of the second world war. this statement holds true today as we combat isis in the middle east, as russia again tests our commitment to global leadership and as china continues to increase its defense spending to record levels. congress has a constitutional duty for providing for the common defense of our nation. if congress and the president fail to act on the nda asks we forgo our constitutional duty and weaken the security of our nation and ability to confront crises that occur around the globe. it is also important to point out that this is not the time to play political games with our national security or to hold hostage funding and authorization for the military for political aim. our nation and our men and women in the military deso -- deserve
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better and they deserve the proper support that congress is under obligation to provide. as we have heard through testimony from our military leaders before the committee, our military is approaching the ragged edge of being able to execute our nation's defense strategy. by not passing this ndaa or by allowing sequestration to continue to devastate our nation's military readiness, we place ourselves in a position where we will be unable to defend against the threats we face today and in the future. i urge my colleagues to support this bill and vote in favor of the national defense authorization act of f.y. 2016. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman in virginia yields back. the gentleman from washington. mr. smith: i agree with a lot of what the gentleman said about how critical national security is, yet the republican majority insists on maintaining those budget caps that are devastating to our national security. they will not lift the caps that are causing precisely the problems just described and 151 of them voted yesterday to
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defund the entire military by shutting down the government. so if we realy believe in all those national security priorities, let's start funding them. lift the budget caps and actually pay for it. with that, i yield three minutes to the gentlelady from california, ms. davis. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for three minutes. rs. davis: i want to associate myself with the ranking chair. we all work very , -- we all work very, very hard on this committee and i appreciate the work that our chairman has had as well. i have to say, i'm speaking largely as someone who has never not supported an ndaa. i actually did support it in committee and i support it on the floor. but i think we're in a box and sometimes when you get in a box you've got to do something about it. you can't just stay in there and sit. it means making some hard decisions.
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i've listened in the committee. secretary carter was there. i have to say, i think he was a bit badgered in that discussion but at the same time he's a big boy and he can handle that. basically what he said is, of course we support those issues. of course we want a better budget for the men and women who serve our country. because it's in the best interests of the united states of america. but we also have to be concerned about the future, not just about tomorrow. we've got to be able to do this for the men and women and for our country as we move forward. and that's what this doesn't do. we've got to give this a chance. it's got to be a better chance. that's why i feel i have been there. and i have compromised. and there are a lot of members on that committee honestly who are not willing to compromise. we're trying to find that
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balance. i'm proud of the work we've done on the personnel committee. i'm proud because we made some gains. we sort of shuffled some issues a little bit to be able to say to our leaders that we understand their concerns. we understand what readiness means in this country and we've got to deal with that and maybe we can't deal with all these issues that we've tried to make sure we funded to the very, very highest limit that we could possibly do that. we know there's some changes perhaps that are coming and so we do it in incremental way, in a slow way, and something we think is in the best interests of the men and women and the country at the same time. we've got to do that. we have multiple global crises going on in this country so we can't just make a decision for today. it's got to be down the line. what is it that we need to do? we need to be sure -- mr. smith: i yield the gentlelady 30 seconds.
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the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for 30 seconds. mrs. davis: what was secretary carter talking about? predictability. not just for our folks at the pentagon to be able to make sure that men and women of this country are provided with everything that they need, but we also need to be sure that those who work with our country, we have a very strong contractual relationship with the public-private sector in this country. and we need to provide for them as well. that's why i stand today. i believe it is in the intest interest to go back and work this out. you know what? mr. smith: i yield an additional minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized for one minute. mrs. davis: i work in a community where we have large numbers of military families and guess what. the military is no different than the rest of our country. it is made safer and stronger by
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homeland security, by law enforcement, by environmental protection, and by strong education programs. they care about all those things. so they want us to stand up for their children and for their future. and we can do this together. let's take that chance. it's worth it. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. the gentleman from washington reserves. the gentleman from texas. mr. thornberry: i'm pleased to yield two minutes to the distinguished chair of the subcommittee on oversight, mrs. hartzler. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized for two minutes. mrs. hartzler: thank you, mr. chairman. i agree with the lady that we need to make our choices. but we don't need to do this in this bill. we can't solve the problems that have been reiterated in this bill. this is a budget issue. and i serve on the budget committee as well and i believe we need to undo sequestration
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for our national defense. we need to come up with a comprehensive plan to address the cost drivers of our country that are causing us to go into debt. we need to get our priorities back as a country and make sure we provide for the common defense. we need to do that in a budget, in a comprehensive way. but we don't need to hold our military hostage today by not approving the expenditure of funds for the vital things that they need. that's what my colleagues are doing. so i appreciate their intent. i look forward to working with, and many of us to, to solve this overall problem. but today our military need to know we are standing behind them and we're going to authorize them with the things we need. this bill is full of the things that our country and our men and women in uniform need. and as the chairman of the oversight investigation subcommittee, we're doing an investigation dealing with the transfer of detainees out of gitmo and what happened with
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sergeantberg dal and the taliban five. i was especially make sure the detapees are not removed from guantanamo bay and brought into our local communities. in addition we set up an additional protocol so that the secretary of defense has to certify that any detainees that go to foreign countries, that country is able to detain them, keep them safe, make sure they don't go back into the fight and continue their terrorist activities. this bill takes care of our troops. it addresses the threats facing us. we have so many. whether it is what's going on in ukraine and with russia, whether it is dealing with isil. whether it is the cyberthreat that we have. every day there are threats coming around us and we address them in this bill. that's why we need to pass it. it also provides for the platforms that we need. i urge my colleagues to do the right thing, to stand with our troops, to provide them with what they need. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentleman from washington.
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mr. smith: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from washington reserves. the gentleman from texas. mr. thornberry: mr. speaker, i'm pleased to yield two minutes to the distinguished chair of the subcommittee on military personnel, the gentleman from nevada, dr. heck. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from nevada is recognized for two minutes. mr. heck: i thank the gentleman for yielding. as chairman of the subcommittee on military personnel, i appreciate chairman thornberry's efforts. his dedication to our armed forces, families, and veterans is commendable. supporting the men and women who volunteer to pick up a weapon, stand a post, and guard the freedoms and liberties that make our nation great is a primary function of the federal government. article 1, section 8 of the constitution to raise and support armies, to provide and maintain a navy, tood with the adoption of this conference report, we achieve that goal. included in the report are personnel provision that is will allow us to recruit and retain the best and brightest, maintain an agile military force, and ensure our brave men and women in uniform are given the benefits they have earned
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and deserve. not the president has threatened to veto this conference report even though the report authorizes the amount he requested in his own budget because he's not happy with the manner in which it is provided. he is using our military men and women as political pawns to get increases in nondefense spending. i understand that he's urged some of my colleagues to vote no today, and i want to make sure my colleagues know some of the things they would be voting against. a new retirement plan that provides options and a portable retirement benefit for individuals who serve less than 20 years. roughly 8 % of the force. a pay raise for our military men and women, along with many special pays and bonuses, that are critical to maintaining the all volunteer force. and a joint uniformed drug formulary between the department of defense and department of veterans affairs so that transitioning service members get to stay on the drugs that are working for them as they leave active service.
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and enhance protections for sexual assault victims to include expanding access to special victims' council, protecting victims from retaliation, and improving the military rules of evidence. if the president follows through with this veto threat, serpviss members and their families will be -- service members and their families will be deprived of these significant improvements to their compensation and quality of life. i urge my colleagues to stand with our military men and women and their families and support this report. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentleman from washington. mr. smith: may i inquire how much time remains on reach side? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from washington has 10 minutes. the gentleman from texas has 10 1/2 minutes. mr. smith: i yield myself 3 minutes. there was a comment earlier about the military being held hostage by these other needs. and i think it's really important to understand that over the course of the last five years with the military -- what the military has really been held hostage to is the
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budget caps. one government shut down, multiple c.r.s, and multiple threatened government shut downs. that is what is holding the military hostage. you talk to them about how they have tried to figure out what they can spend money on and what they can't spend money on throughout that madness, because we can't pass along a budget because we can't lift the budget caps, because we can't pass appropriations, that is what is holding them hostage. a one or two-month delay in passing the ndaa, which by the way we passed in december for the last three or four years, isn't going to hold them hostage at all. what is holding them hostage is that ridiculous budget process that i just mentioned. why do we have that ridiculous budget process? because the republican majority those on maintaining budget caps. it is those budget caps that are holding our military hostage. unless we lift them, we will not be able to adequately fund
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defense. i have heard a number of times over here that the only reason we oppose this is because we want more spending on other programs. that is not even close to true and it's obvious no one is listening to the arguments i have been making. the reason we oppose this is because it perpetuates our military being held hostage to budget caps, budget gimmicks, c.r.s, and threatened government shut downs. this bill has o.c.o. funding in it. it does not have base budget funding. it does not provide the same amount of money for the president that the president's budget provides. because it's not the same money. and the type of money does matter. if you have actual budget authority, if you have actual appropriations you can spend them over multiple years because you know they are going to be there. it is absurd the way we have budgeted for the last five years. and what we are doing in opposing this bill is standing up to that absurdity for many reasons, i will grant you, but
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number one is to protect our national security and the men and women who serve in the armed forces who have had to live with that government shut down. those c.r.s, those threatened government shut downs, and most importantly, those budget caps that the majority refuses to lift. unless we lift those, the military is going to be in this situation in perpetuity. that is unacceptable for our national security. it is all about national security, it is all about defense for why we are opposing this bill. we can't go on like this and have an adequate national security. we have to lift the budget caps. i'll say one other thing. we have to raise taxes somewhere. in the last 1 years we cut taxes by somewhere in the neighborhood of $7 trillion. now, granted unquestionably places in the budget we can cut and we have cut. i yield myself an additional two minutes. we have cut medicare. i know we have cut medicare because the republican party ran all kinds of ads bashing us
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for cutting medicare back in 2010. we found about $700 billion in savings which extended the life of the program and saved money. so we have saved money. but the flat refusal to raise any revenue is what has got our military with the hand around its throat. because believe it or not, you have to actually raise the money if you're going to spend it. as you stand up here complaining about all the things that we are not funding, -- funding this thuret and insist on maintaining the budget caps and insist on not raising a penny in taxes, that is the grossest hypocrisy i can imagine. if you were unhappy with how much money is being spent on the military, have the guts to raise the caps and raise the taxes to actually pay for it. or just stop talking about it and accept it at that level. we are opposing this bill because the budget process that we have been under is what is throttling our military. and until we break that grip,
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until we get an actual appropriations process, until we get the budget caps lifted and until, i believe, we actually raise some revenues to pay for it, we are not going to be doing adequate service to the men and women of our military. i also want to say that i oppose this bill because it also continues to keep guantanamo bay opened at the cost of nearly $3 million per inmate. in addition to being an international problem, it is unbelievably expensive and not necessary. we should shut guantanamo. this bill locks in place for another year that it will stay open and does not give the president any option or flexibility in that regard. again, don't tell me or anyone over here we'll vote no for reasons that have nothing to do with national security. how can you possibly look at the last five years of budgeting and the impact it has had on the department of defense and say that getting rid of the budget caps isn't absolutely critical to national security? i believe that it is and that's why we oppose this bill. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentleman from washington reserves. the chair will receive a message. the messenger: mr. speaker, a message from the senate. the secretary: mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: madam secretary. the secretary: i have been directed by the senate to inform the house that the senate has passed without amendment h.r. 2835, cited as the border jobs for veterans act of 2015. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas. thornberry: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. thornberry: i want to make a couple points. number one is i share a lot of concerns about the effects of sequestration on the military. as this conversation continues, it's clearer and clearer that the real problem here is budgets and now we hear taxes. this bill cannot solve either of those problems. we cannot rewrite the tax code or raise taxes. we can't repeal obamacare. there's lots of things we can't do. but we can do some things and we should do that. secondly, a dollar of o.c.o. is just as much as
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a dollar of base is spent. i don't think if you are in afghanistan you care about the label put on the money. the increase in the o.c.o. account is operations and maintenance money which only good for one year anyway. next point, in fiscal year 2013, israeli missile defense was funded in o.c.o. and yet we had members on that side of the aisle, including some who are complaining about that, vote for it. that's what we do sometimes. timely, this president signed into law the exact provisions on restricting gtmo transfers -- i yield myself an additional 0 seconds. mr. speaker, -- 30 seconds. mr. speaker, in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 this president signed into law the exact restrictions on guantanamo transfers that we have in this
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bill. now, is it all of a sudden such a big deal that he's decided that he's going to veto the bill over it? i think that is a hard case to make. mr. speaker, at this point i would be pleased to yield two minutes to the distinguished chair of the house small business committee, the gentleman from ohio, mr. chabot. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from ohio is recognized for two minutes. mr. chabot: i thank the gentleman for yielding. mr. speaker, the passage of an annual national defense authorization act to lay out our nation's defense and national security priorities is one of our most important duties as members of congress. this year's no different. especially given the very serious conflicts happening around the globe in eastern europe, in the middle east, in the south china sea. which have serious implication force our own security and for our allies. this year's ndaa makes a number of positive changes to d.o.d.'s small business contracting policies to help ensure that small businesses throughout the country can continue to perform the critical support functions
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that help make america's military still the best in the world. mr. speaker, hitting a small business industrial base means taxpayers benefit from increased competition, innovation, and job creation. since 2013 we have lost over 25% of the small firms registered to do business with the government. 25%. that's over 100,000 small businesses. the reforms in this year's ndaa, the bill we are considering now, takes steps to reverse that trend. now, the white house is threatened to veto this bill. that's a shame because this partisan, bicameral bill defends small businesses and ensures that the spirit of entrepreneurship is alive and well in our industrial base. this isn't about political gamesmanship, at least it shouldn't be. this is about two of the most bipartisan issues in the political arena, the men and women in uniform, and the small
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businesses that employ half of our american work force. i sincerely hope that the president reconsiders and enacts this bipartisan, bicameral bill. i want to thank a number of members of my committee who have contributed to this year's bill, including mr. hardy of nevada, mr. knight of california, mr. curbelo of florida, mr. raddy wagon of american samoa, and mr. hanna of new york. i'd also like to thank a number of other members and thank mr. thornberry. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentleman from washington reserves. the gentleman from texas. mr. thornberry: mr. speaker, i'm pleased to yield two minutes to the distinguished gentleman from ohio. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. wenstrup: our military must always be available and able to ready, aim, fire at a moment's notice. the threats we face around the world today demand it. and as a soldier and veteran, i can tell you that ready in the military needs to be spoken as
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a command not proposed as a question. there's one crucial element our military has to be ready to engage the threats. this bill ensures our military readiness, it ensures that there's a plan for 2016, from isis to russia to north korea, the threats we face are too serious to wait any longer. but in the same week that the president was surprised by the russians bombing u.s.-backed forces in syria, he's threatening to veto this national defense bill. veto our national security, really? i encourage the president to use his phone and to paraphrase his own words, to call the 1980's and ask for their foreign policy back because we need it. . that policy demands that it must be backed by the full confidence of this government now. this can't wait. pass this to give our troops new retirement benefits. pass this to keep our weapons systems at operational level. we've been working on this
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legislation since the beginning of this year. it's a good bill that adhere's to the law and it's the certainty our troops need. pass this bill, our troops need it. they don't let you down, don't at the lem -- don't let them down. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentleman from washington reserves. the gentleman from texas. mr. thornberry: i yield two minutes to the vice chair of the subcommittee on readiness, the gentlelady from new york, ms. stepanek. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. stepanek: thank you to chairman thornberry for his leadership, guidance and tireless efforts on this imperative piece of legislation. ust this -- ms. stefanik: just this past week, this served a as another reminder to us all that this region remains unstable and brins about challenges to our national security. the f.y. 2016 ndaa provides our
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nation's armed forces with the resources they need to defend our national security. since september 11, the army's 10th mountain division out of fort drum, chime honored to represent, has been the most actively forward deployed division to iraq and afghanistan. yet sadly just this past month, specialist kyle gilbert, a soldier from the 10th mountain division, died in afghanistan while serving our nation. in new york's north country, our community and our military families understand what fighting for our nation's liberties and freedoms truly means. so when i express my support for the ndaa, the tools it provides and how it enabled our armeds fors to defend our nation from organizations to who create volatility and terrorism around the world, i'm speaking for my constituents, those service men an women who are overseas right now in highly kinetic come with the zone, foughting to protect you and me, our families, and our nation. colleagues, the f.y. 2016 ndaa
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allows for our armed forces to plan and operate according to what we as a nation have asked of them wetch must support the ndaa to maintain our readiness and provide for our military. and as leaders here today, we task e cannot continue to our troops with doing more with less as defense sequestration cuts remain. the conference report to f.y. 2016 ndaa provides relief from these harmful sequestration cuts but more must be done. let me remind my colleagues across the aisle serk quest ration was proposed by this administration, signed into law by this president, and passed by a previous congress. when the f.y. 2016 national defense -- may i have one minute? mr. smith: i yield the gentlelady 30 seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for 30 seconds. ms. stefanik: when the nda comes across the -- across the president's desk, i hope he
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-- it is could important. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from washington. mr. smith: i yield myself the balance of our time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. smith: i'll start with that last comment because it is a popular trope trotted out all the time about how sequestration was the president's idea and not our fault, which is fascinating. i don't think it's clear whose idea sequestration was but the reason we did the budget control act and sequestration was because the republican majority in the house was refusing to raise the debt ceiling. refusing to allow us to borrow money at a time when we had to borrow it. how do we think that would have impacted national security in our troops? i voted against the budget control act. but i've often said, i don't hold anything against those who
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voted for it. because they basically had a gun to their head. the budget control act was an awful piece of legislation but not raising the debt ceiling, not paying our debts, you know, stopping the ability of the united states of america to borrow money, was clearly worse. so this partisan argument that oh, sequestration was the president's idea so therefore it's not our fault is about as absurd an argument as i've ever heard. number one, because like i said, the only reason that discussion was on the table was because it was black mail for raising the debt ceiling which had to be raised but number two, it's been a good five years since then. the republicans now control both the house and the senate, and they had the opportunity to pass the budget resolution this year. and they passed the budget resolution that held those caps and sequestration firmly in place. and that is not good for our troops and it is not good for national security. so let's move on to that appropriations process, get
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those budget caps lifted for the sake of a whole lot of different issues. which brings me back to the national defense authorizinging at and the fact that by locking in the o.c.o., bicepping those budget cap ,000,000,000 using o.c.o. funds, we are once again putting the pentagon in the situation where they don't know how much money they're going to have. they have no predictability whatsoever. it is the o.c.o. in this bill that is the reason i oppose it and the reason that most democrats oppose it because that o.c.o. is harmful to national security. we need a real budget. we need real budget authority and real appropriations. voting for a bill that puts in place the o.c.o. instead of that simply perpetuates the nightmare of the last five years of uncertainty. and like i said, we're going to have a motion to recommit here in a moment that easily fixes this problem. and i agree with 95% of the rest of the bill. i don't agree with all of it. the chairman said we negotiated some things, they were up, they were down, but by and large it's
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a good bill. but the 5% that's bad is so bad that it does justify a no vote because it perpetuate this is bad budget situation and there's a very easy fix. take the o.c.o. out of it and put it in the base budget. it's very simple. that's what we're going to propose in the motion to recommit. you'll see democrats vote for that. because we support funding this. what we don't support is maintaining the budget caps through an obvious budget gimmick. i had a fascinating conversation with a member of the rule committees yesterday on the other side of the aisle who said he was very, very proud of the budget control act. said it was the best vote he'd taken in congress. interesting that it was supposedly all the president's fault. but you know, he really supported the budget control act. he felt those caps were absolutely necessary. and i said, well, then you mist oppose the ndaa because it busts those caps by $38 billion he said a lot of things at that point but never answered my question. so this dodge of saying that we're going to create sort of money that really isn't money in order to, for one brief period
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of time, fund isolated programs within the pentagon, does not help national security. the only thing that's going to help national security is by getting throifed o.c.o. dodge and budgeting honestly. so that's why we oppose this bill. yes, i believe that budget caps should be raised. for the other bills as well. in part becausic a lot of those departments are important to national security. as i mentioned. the department of homeland security. the department of justice. the department of treasury. but more than anything, we oppose this bill because of how bad it is for the pentagon. that's the reason the secretary of defense opposed it. that's the reason all of the joint chiefs of staff oppose it. because they want an actual budget. they want actual, dependable money, the way things used to be, before 2010. when we would actually pass appropriations bills and they could plan more than a month or two at a time. if we pass this bill, we simply perpetuate that process. now we will pass and nda a. we will resolve one way or the other our appropriations
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difference and we will get it done. but passing this bill now simply perpetuates a bad budget situation that is bad for our troops and bad for national security. for that reason i oppose it and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from washington yields back. the gentleman from texas. mr. thornberry: i yield myself the balance of the time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. thornberry: i want to start with one of the points i made at the beginning and that is to thank the staff, especially on both sides of the aisle who spent a lot of hours disrupt -- a lot of hour, disrutchted a lot of plans, put in incredible effort back and forth to come up with this conference report. members on both sides of the aisle and both sides of the capitol contribute to the product that we are about to vote on. mr. speaker, for 53 straight years, congresses of both parties have passed and presidents of both parties have signed into law defense authorization bills.
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now there were a handful of times and it's exactly four when a president vetoed a defense authorization bill an every single time it was because of something that was in the bill. and so it came back to congress, there were adjustments made, it went back to the white house he signed it into law. never before has a defense authorization bill been held hostage not because of something that's in it but because of trying to force congress to take action on some other matter. we've talked a lot today about appropriations, about budget, even about taxes. none of those things can happen with the defense authorization bill. the reason it has never happened before is because it would irresponsible to hold defense hostage to another domestic agenda, a political agenda, even a broader budget agenda. and it unnecessarily threatens the national security of the united states. this is a first and this first is happening at a particularly
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dangerous time. there is nothing in this bill that could solve the problem that we've heard so much about. it is an authorization bill. it is not appropriations, it is not budget, it is not a tax bill, it is a defense policy bill. now we have heard from time to time the military opposes it. no, they say, i would rather do it differently. and i would too. but i have specifically asked general after general, would you rather have the money or not and they always say they'd rather have the money. because even though it's not an idea way to do budgets, it's better to have the money than not. by the way, last provision in here so if we can, as i hope we do, get a -- reach a budget agreement with a different appropriations matter, the authorizations are adjusted accordingly. the bottom line is, if members vote against this bill, they're voting against everything in it. you may say you're for it but you're voting against it. so what i think our troops deserve and what the world needs to hear, especially at this
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point in time, is that washington can work. we may not solve all the problems today but we can do something that's good and that we are willing to stand up and take action to help defend ourselves. that's what this bill is about. i hope members will support it and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. all time for debate has expired. the compromise bill with the senate -- the house went on to pass the comp remise bill with the senate. before leaving, members passed a measure prohibiting the defense department from waiving sanctions on iran until they pay american victims of terrorism. the house returns tuesday at noon for morning hour. a week from today, house republicans began elections for new leadership positions following the resignation of
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current speaker john boehner. you can watch the house live, as always, here on c-span. tonight on c-span, president obama's reaction to the school shooting today in roseburg, oregon. then, highlights from the washington ideas forum with senator elizabeth warren, representative cathy mcmorris rodgers, and former vice president al gore on climate change. oday, a gunman opened fire at a community college in roseburg, oregon, killing several people and injuring at least 20. the president spoke to the press about the shooting earlier this evening. his comments are about 10 minutes. president obama: there has been another mass shooting in america. this time, in a community college in

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