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tv   U.S. House Morning Hour  CSPAN  October 22, 2015 10:00am-11:01am EDT

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what happened in gaza, libya. questions and answers. here becauseto end the house is going to gavel in. we will bring you live coverage of the house as they are about to gavel in for the legislative session. thanks for watching. er. the clerk: the speaker's rooms, washington, d.c. october 22, 2015. i hereby appoint the honorable charles j. fleischmann to act as speaker pro tempore on this day. signed, john a. boehner, speaker of the house of representatives. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the order of the house of january 6, 2015, the
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chair will now recognize members from lists submitted by the majority and minority leaders for morning hour debate . the chair will alternate recognition between the parties with each party limited to one hour and each member other than the majority and minority leaders and minority whip limited to five minutes, but in no event shall debate continue beyond 11:50 a.m. the chair recognizes the gentleman from oregon, mr. blumenauer, for five minutes. mr. blumenauer: thank you, mr. speaker. today the house transportation and infrastructure committee will consider a surface transportation re-authorization . unfortunately, calling it a re-authorization doesn't make
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it so. this legislation calls for a six-year period of re-authorization and hopes to be funded for three years. but it doesn't actually provide a single dime of revenue from the highway trust fund. it is simply an empty shell. it really doesn't have to be this hard. there is a single solution that's supported by everyone outside of capitol hill. one that's been employed by six red republican states already this year, and championed by ronald reagan when he was president. raise the gas tax. our problems are that we are trying to fund 2015 infrastructure with 1993 dollars. the last time we raised the federal gas tax. i have a bill that will accomplish this fact. h.r. 680 provides that assurance and certainty by phasing in a gas tax increase over three years. it will permit us to fully fund a six-year re-authorization for the first time since 1998
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without resorting to gimmicks. it's co-sponsored by over three dozen house members, but more important it enjoys the broadest base of support for any major piece of legislation before congress. is there any other bill of any significance that is endorsed by the u.s. chamber and the afl-cio? countless business and trade associations, as well as individual unions, the american trucking association, representing that industry, auto users, represented by aaa, the answer is no. the coalition includes bicyclists, engineers, local government, transit agencies, virtually anyone who builds, maintains, or depends upon our transportation system. for all the rhetoric about strengthening the economy, this will be the one proven way of putting several million people
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to work at family-wage jobs while it reduces the deficit and strengthens our communities from coast to coast. every state, every metropolitan area, every rural region of america would benefit both by the transportation improvements as well as the economic impact this work will create. this has been recognized by independent analysts, editorials in major newspapers, and small newspapers all across the country. there really is no controversy. indeed, in the over two dozen states that have raised transportation revenue since 2012, the legislators that voted for more transportation revenue got re-elected by a higher percentage than the legislators that voted against it. it's broadly supported, not politically controversial, and
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is desperately needed. i'm glad my colleagues were able to reach a compromise on the transportation infrastructure committee and put forward some interesting ideas. it gives a hint of what could happen if we had a real funding source. which we don't. and the bill being marked up raises more questions, therefore, than it answers. even if the house were to embrace it unanimously, we would still be where we were three months ago, six months ago, and many times before that. we are facing another short-term extension. this will be the 35th and providing zero assurance or long-term certainty to the many who rely on our transportation system. no country became great building its infrastructure eight months at a time. we can have markups and pass a re-authorization shell on the floor of the house, but until we embrace h.r. 680 and raise
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the gas tax, finding revenue that's sustainable, dedicated, and big enough to do the job, we are still going to be spinning our wheels and america will be stuck. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from louisiana, mr. abraham, for five minutes. mr. identify bra ham: mr. speaker. i rise today to highlight the accomplishments of a truly remarkable lady in my district. ashley mitchell is a student at alexander high school in louisiana and her hard work and dedication to the sport that she loves so much has paid off in huge dividends. miss mitchell just broke two world records while participating in the world power lifting championships in the czech republic. those records were the dead lift at 326.5 pounds and the other at 762 pounds.
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those are impressive numbers, but even more impressive is when you consider, keep in mind, that this young lady is 94 pounds. she represented the united states well and has returned home as a world champion for the united states of america. it's young people like ashley that are leaders among their peers and will leads in new communities very soon that we encourage. i urge my colleagues to keep these young people, their potential, and their impressive accomplishments in mind as we do our jobs here in d.c. i commend ashley for her talent, for her tireless effort, and for representing this country on an international stage in such an impressive manner. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from illinois, mr.
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quigley, for five minutes. mr. quigley: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, this morning the national oceanic and spheric administration announced that last month was the warmest september in regard -- recorded histry. our reality can no longer be ignored. climate change is here in communities across the country and the world are feeling its effects. just take the events we have seen unfold in 2015 as an example. in april, drought-stricken california witnessed a snow pack with virtually no snow. on the other side of the country, boston recorded snowiest year with 110 inches between july 2014 and june 2015. boston had so much snow it did not melt until mid july. 2015 also brought us the wettest months ever recorded in the u.s. within the 121 years of noaa record keeping.
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and this year, tropical storm anna became the second earliest tropical storm in history to make landfall in the u.s. in early may. what does all this mean? it means that we are no longer at a place where talking about climate change is enough. we need to act and we need to act now. i'm proud we have a president who is taking actions like reducing dangerous greenhouse gas emissions to mitigate climate change. enacting new policies will help reduce the impacts of climate change in the future. but mitigation is only one piece of the solution. we also need to adapt our policies to handle the effects of our already changing climate in the present. climate change is already happening. adaptation to climate change is the only way we can help protect the people, infrastructure, businesses, and ecosystems that are already threatened. we know that societies have adjusted to and cope with changes in climate with
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different degrees of success. but our modern life is taylored to a stable climate -- tailored to a stable climate we have been accustomed to. as the president pointed out, our climate is changing faster than we are adapting to it. our klatt mat change is a global issue. it is often femmedfelt on a hyper local scale. so our cities have to be at the frontline of adaptation. we need communities that have better flood defenses, plans to deal with higher temperatures and heat waves, and better management of our water storage and use. some cities are already creating steps to create these plans. roughly 20% of cities around the globe have adapted adaptation strategies. my city of chicago is included object that -- on that list. most obviously is hotter summers and more intense heat waves. increased temperatures are leading to countless unforeseen conseences such as heat related illness and deterioration in air quality.
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higher temperatures are also boosting demand for electricity, placing stress on our power plants. heavy rains and snow are becoming more frequent in winter and spring, increasing downpours make avel more dangerous, pollute our drinking water, damage crops, and disrupt infrastructure and transportation across a city. but adaptation means more than protecting our cities. we must also protect our national defense. many of our moat critical military installations are already at risk. a 2011 national research council report found that 128 u.s. military sites could be impacted by sea level rise of just three feet. of those, 128 sites, 56 are naval facilities valued at $100 billion. recent hurricanes have pushed water levels to dangerous ights in norfolk, virginia. threatening the largest naval base in the world. as selevels rise and storms intensify, climate chge
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threatens to require the relocation of that naval base. this proves that local and state efforts are simply not enough. we need congressional action to produce lasting solutions that address the root causes of climate change and prepare us for a very differentuture. in closing, i defer to charles darwin who said, it is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent, it is the one that is most adaptable to chan. i urge mcolleagues to heed this warning and adapt tthe reality in front of us. thank you, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. rothfus, for ve minutes. mr. rothfus: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise tod to paint picture of the credible progress of an industry that is making my district in western pennsylvania a better place to work and live.
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for many years the coal industry has been an important part ofhe economyn pennsylvania. historic mining actity unfortunately left behind large piles of coal ref fuse. these piles consist of lower quality coal mixed with rock and dirt. for a long time, we did not have the technology to use this material so it accumulated in large piles in cities and towns close to schools and neighborhoods and fields across the region. this has led to a number of environmental problems. vegetation and wildlife have been harmed. the air has been polluted. and acid mine drainage has impaired nearby rivers and streams. problems compound when these piles catch fire. cost to clean up all this astronomical. pennsylvania's environmental regulator estimates that fixing abandoned mine lands could take over $16 billion,2 billion of which would be needed for the coal refuse piles alone. we needed an innovation st. louis to this touch challenge,
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a commonsense compromise was necessary to get the job done and protect the environment. that's where the coal refuse to energy industry comes n using advanced technology they have been able to use this previously unusable fuel to generate electricity. this activity powers remediation efforts that have so far been successful in removing over 200 million tons of coal refuse and repairing formerly polluted sites. i visited the coal site in my district earlier this week and witnessed the massive transformation this area has undergone. in this picture you can see an example of the progress that's been made across the commonwealth of pennsylvania. in the foreground, the remnants of a coal refuse pile that's up to 40 feet deep. in the distance you can see what used to be a coal refuse pile that's almost completely restored, a little bit of work remains, but this hillside has been restored and soon it will be covered with trees and
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wildlife and this is an example of the environmental progress that's being made. the site is just one of many examples of the good work being done by the coal refuse energy industry in pennsylvania and in historic coal sites across the country. we can all agree we want to be good steward of our natural resources and use them as efficiently as possible. we also want to ensure that regulations do not hamper job creation, the economy, and opportunity for our families. . unfortunately, expanding e.p.a. regulations threatens to bring this to a halt. that would leave billions of dollars of vital cleanup unfinished and hurt jobs and pennsylvania's energy security. a lot of people in washington like to offer up a false choice between protecting the environment and economic opportunity. the success of the coal industry shows that does not has to be the case. this week i'm introducing a commonsense approach to keep these facilities open while holding them to tough
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standards. we are calling this bill the saving energy needs and saving the environment act, or sense act, for short. the bill addresses problems arising from the e.p.a.'s mercury and air toxins standards and the cross-state r pollution rule, known as caspr. under caspr, we're requesting that the status quo remains in place for sulfur dioxide emissions. due to the nature of the coal, these facilities would be unable to comply with a new standard that is expected in 2017. under the mercury and air toxins standards rule, we are proposing to hold the industry to alternative limits to lied row jen chloride or sulfur dioxide emissions. consistent to this legs, two senators recently offered an amendment in the senate exempting this from both requirements. while this proposal was supported by a bipartisan
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majority of senators it failed to achieve the supermajority required to pass. this shouldn't be a controversial or partisan issue. we want to hold this industry to high standards, but standards they can actually achieve. y bill will help keep the coal refuse industry in business so that the economy and the environment will continue to reap the benefits. the fact they perform such a vital environmental function, we need to recognize these circumstances and allow them to keep up the good work. a longtime ngineer, resident of the area, told me why in should be signed into law. it's personal, he said. three generations of my family lived in nantiglow. unfortunately, they died without seeing this corrected. there is a real shot i will see that in my lifetime.
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with my legislation, i'm working to ensure his vision becomes a reality. i thank the speaker and yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from california, ms. sanchez, for five minutes. ms. sanchez: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i stand here today a little disheartened. disheartened because my colleagues across the aisle seem to have forgotten about the priorities and the needs of the american people. time, unprecedented 61st the majority has introduced a measure that would cripple the landmark affordable care act. the consequences of such a budget measure would be terrible. millions of americans would lose their health care insurance, and premiums for others would skyrocket. e majority claims that the
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a.c.a. is ineffective, costly or illegal, they're just wrong. mr. speaker, the affordable care act is working. it's been working. it's been working in my hometown. it's been working in orange county, california. under the affordable care act, the chip and medicaid, we have million to over 12.3 individuals. 2.6 million are latinos. cost under the a.c.a. has been greatly reduced. and the a.c.a.'s projected to save the united states $200 billion in the next decade and over $1 trillion in the second decade. i would say that those statistics speech to the success of the affordable care act. the a.c.a. has had great
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success. back home in my home district, in orange county, we were the highest number of new people into the health care benefit exchange that we have in california. currently, there are more than 1.3 million californians that now have health insurance that didn't have it before. see, mr. speaker, before the enactment of the a.c.a., the folks in my district, well, they considered it a luxury. they chose between buying clothes for their kids to go to school or putting food on the able or, worse, they used home remedies. i know because i grew up on home remedies. i grew up not going to the doctor. i grew up trying all these crazy things at home, having a simple flu and being out of
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school for 10 days because we couldn't afford to go to the doctor. it's pretty unacceptable in today's time, mr. speaker, in the greatest country in the world. health care should be a right, not a privilege. we need to continue moving forward. we need to continue moving our communities from a culture of ping to a culture of coverage. no longer do people have to worry about being denied for their existing health conditions. quality health insurance is now available to all who seek it, because nearly four out of every 10 people in my district are medicare recipients, i understand how important this legislation is for working families. so i will continue to work to join with my community-based
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organizations to ensure that our people are covered. so tomorrow, tomorrow when my colleagues across the aisle once again, vote number 61 to defund the affordable care act, i'd like for them to think about all the families in america that will suffer when that is passed. think of all the families, think about all the kids under home remedies. my colleagues in the minority and i have stood up. we've tried to explain to the other side the importance of the affordable care act only to have our passionate voices fall on deaf ears. and despite these continuous attacks against an existing law, which has improved the lives of millions of americans, will continue to fight for
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quality health care for the folks back home in my district. and mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from tennessee, mrs. blackburn, for five minutes. mrs. blackburn: thank you, mr. chairman. i wanted to talk for a few minutes this morning about the families that are suffering under the false promises of obamacare. we're beginning to see this play out all across the country, and the obamacare failings are very pronounced, and you see them in the communities and you understand how they are affecting lives. now, the supporters of obamacare continue to have blinders on about this, and they don't want to admit that the entire premise is a theory, not proven. it was changed for the sake of
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change. it was changed for the sake of centralized control. it was changed for the sake of the arrogance of the elite, making decisions for millions of americans. and determining what kind of health care they were going to be able to access. that the mber biggest fabrication of the decade is if you like your doctor you could keep it. it's also unfortunate. chairman, o, mr. talk about what's happened to these co-ops that are now failing and the failings are very pronounced and they truly have an imprint and an effect in our communities.
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one month before the obamacare-funded oregon co-op announced its failure -- in bankruptcy -- failure, the c.e.o. said she saw a long health life in front of us. i'm quoting here. they had a $50 million federal loan, if you will, and had managed to enroll only 10,000 people. and now the taxpayers are beginning to wonder if that loan is ever going to be repaid. take a look at colorado and the colorado co-op, the same story. $72 million. $72 million taxpayer dollars, they enrolled 83,000 people. do the math on what the enrollment alone is costing the american taxpayer, and do the
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math on what kind of health care access could have been if individuals were going straight to the marketplace. kentucky, oh, we've heard kentucky celebrated as being such a success story. and the poster child for the success of obamacare. here's the truth. they got $146 million in federal loans, and then another $65 million in emergency solvency loans. 51,000 people in a co-op that is not functioning. in tennessee, co-op is going under. $27 million. they had 27,000 people enrolled. now, my colleagues on othe other side of the aisle continue to say exobamacare has been such a success. if you do the -- say oh, obamacare has been such a
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success. if you look at the numbers, i take issue with that. i would not term that a success. i term it a failure. i wonder if the people in oregon and colorado, kentucky and tennessee are feeling a success as they once again find out that simply having an insurance card is not health care. it is access to the queue if the company is solvent and the queue exists. imagine for states a collective nearly half a billion dollars for experiments. half a billion taxpayer dollars for experiments in health insurance delivery all before anybody received any mental health help or received a ngle mammogram or a single
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child vaccine. we know that obamacare is too expensive to afford, and for all too many, it is too expensive to use once they get the insurance. and it is proving to be a failure. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentlewoman from florida, ms. wasserman schultz, for five minutes. ms. wasserman schultz: thank you very much, mr. speaker. i rise today to express strong support for the people in the nation of israel and to wholly condemn the horrific attacks of innocent civilians. my heart goes out to the families of the victims. all people have the right to live in peace and security and every nation has a right to take actions to protect its citizens. as chaos envelopes israel from all borders, we must stand with our strongest ally in the region. over the past month, unprovoked
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palestinian attacks against israeli civilians, including children, police officers and members of the i.d.f., have increased to shocking levels. perhaps even more disturbing are the palestinian leadership's recent incitements to violence. in his september 30 address, palestinian authority leader mahmoud abbas said they will no longer be bound by the oslo accords. they ambushed two jewish israelis murdering them in front of their children. since then, barbaric attacks including stabbings, rock-throwing and deliberate car crashes have become all too commonplace. we have seen a 15-year-old teenager stabbed in jerusalem, two rabbis stabbed and killed in the old city, five people attacked with a screwdriver in tel aviv and a driver intentionally hitting civilians at a bus stop, then getting out
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of a car with a sharp object and causing more bloodshed and destruction in broad daylight. these are only some of the innocent victims of this deplorable violence. rather than showing leadership and calling for common civility, president abbas and other palestinian leaders have chosen to further incite violence. president abbas has perpetuated false accusations about the israeli government's treatment of palestinians and undermines the assurance that it seeks to maintain the status quo on the temple mount. mr. speaker, i continue to support the united states' long-standing policy of supporting our partners for peace in the region, to reach a two-state solution. however, the palestinian authority's words and lack of actions quell the violence calls into question those partner shitches. i call on the international community to speak out against these brutal terror attacks. in addition, we must put pressure on those who are taking inflammatory actions that deliberately fuel tension. just yesterday, six countries
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submitted a resolution to unesco with the sole intention of delegitimizing jewish history in our own holy land. . we must unequivocally condemn terrorist attacks and actions wherever and whenever they take place. these haven't attacks against jews and israel are part of growing anti-semitism around the globe. tragically, over the past few years, in particular, we have seen a rise in anti-semitism from the streets of paris to the streets of miami beach in my district and around the world we have seen the spread of a violent and depraved ideology aimed as crushing the values we hold dear. the freedom to practice and celebrate our own diverse religions and cultures, the right to express ourselves in print and in speech, the right to live in our homelands and walk in our streets with dignity, respect, and safety. we must stand up and speak out whenever these rights are threatened. as a member of the appropriation subcommittee for state and foreign operations, i'm proud to advocate for
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strong funding and cooperation with israel on matters of mutual interest. as our strategic and democratic ally, we must bolster efforts to ensure israel has the necessary resources she needs to be secure and confront the violent threats against her. the rise of violence in israel and anti-semitism more broadly is deeply troubling to me as a lawmaker who values and respects the strong u.s.-israel relationship, but also impacts me more personally as a jew who feels a significant and historical connection to the land of israel. no nation on earth can be expected to sit back and take these kind of attacks on her citizens without responding. president abbas and palestinian leaders must take clear and meaningful steps to stop this violence and encourage unity and return to a path towards a peaceful two-state solution. there is absolutely no justification for violence against innocent civilians under any circumstances and i call for those responsible for these vicious terror attack -- terrorist attacks to be brought to swift justice.
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i proudly and firmly stand behind israel's right to defend herself against malicious, brutal terrorist attacks from outside her borders and from within and call on others here and around the world to do the same. thank you. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas, mr. carter, for five minutes. mr. carter: thank you, mr. chairman. mr. chairman, i rise to address the house for five minutes and talk about what the president is saying he's going to do on the ndaa. the president is determined to end his second term on a spending spree. that's that spending spree will threaten the national defense of this country and hold our military hostage. he's showing his lack of leadership by threatening to
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veto the ndaa, the national defense authorization act. i ask you, mr. chairman, does this president not understand the ndaa provides the resources for the military to do their jobs? to protect our great nation? and the freedom that we you will enjoy? the president is willing to jeopardize our national security in favor of more welfare programs. he threatens this reckless veto in spite of the fact that the ndaa has passed for 53 years in a row a rare display of bipartisanship in this city. the american people have enough of political games. they are tired of them. just turn on the radio or television and see if you can't learn that. it's especially important when it jeopardizes the men and women of our military and our national security. it's hard to find the worst example of leadership that a commander in chief who is so
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irresponsible he's willing to deny his military resources and sacrifice and security of our nation simply for political gains. but even more importantly as that, and that's statement is exactly what's going on at the white house as he approaches this veto, but i would hope that he would realize that people, men and women, of all ages from the chief of staff of the army all the way down to the lowest private have gone and risked their lives fighting for freedom and for liberty for the last 12 years because they were being rewarded by a president that won't even back them up by passing national defense authorization act, something that has been passed by every house, every senate, eanch president for the last 53 years. his reasoning is, i want more money for the programs of which have been plused up over the
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years until some of them are out of control. doesn't he think about the guys out there getting shot up or blown up and wonder why the commander in chief, the person -- our military ultimately answers to, is not on his side? is not standing up for the soldier? in my district at fort hood we have sent war fighters to this -- these actions now for 12 years. they deserve the support of this congress. they deserve the support of the president of the united states. this is a good bill. it is a bill that meets the president's standards that he set for this bill. gives him the increases he requested in this bill. yet he's going to veto it for his political convenience. this is a shame. a shame on the country. a shame on the presidency. and i hope that the president will reconsider. if not i hope this body will
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have the strength to override this veto and stand up for the american soldier. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas, mr. poe, for five minutes. mr. speaker, at least nine israelis have been killed and many wounded in the latest wave of palestinian terror. nearly every day in the past few weeks palestinians have stabbed, shot, or run over innocent israeli jews. these terrorists do not care who their victims are. they want to kill as many jews as possible. earlier this month, palestinian terrorists murdered an israeli couple driving in the west bank, right in front of their terrified children. this level of hate violence has not been seen in this region since the suicide bombings in the 2000s. why is this happening?
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this sudden ed outbreak of terror? the answer is really pretty simple. incitement by palestinian leaders. just last month palestinian authority president abbas praised violent riots on the temple mount in jerusalem. yet the world press ignores his doctrine of murdering jews. he called pan pans killed in the clashes martyrs. fighting to keep the dirty feet of jews out of the holy site. the temple mount is the holiest place in the world for jews, but according to israeli law only muslims can pray there. abbas simply wants to create a charged atmosphere of violence. this incitement doesn't just come from his speeches. palestinian leaders have turned their schools, get this, mr. speaker, they have turned their schools into virtual incubators to raise children as terrorists. school textbooks in palestinian
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schools routinely teach students that jews are evil and have no right to live in israel. they are not just taught to hate, they are even instructed specifically how to stab jews in these school textbooks. and as all of this incitement translates into real violence that kills jews and injuries israelis, what has israel done in response? israel has reacted how any democratic country would react, to defend its people, the policy is simple. if a terrorist is wielding a knife and spotted by israeli security is ordered to shoot that terrorist. israel has also increased its arrest of terrorists in the west bank including the co-founder of hamas, a terrorist group. to defer more murderous attacks, israel has destroyed the homes of terrorists who have attacked its citizens. perhaps these terrorists will think twice about killing people, women, children, and men. what exactly has our government said about this huge wave of palestinian terrorism? when israel is up against the
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wall fending off a daily attack, the state department says that israel may be using excessive force. someone who tries to kill you considered excessive force? when did self-defense become excessive force? secretary kerry went as far as to blame the current palestinian violence on israeli construction at the west bank. mr. kerry is totally uninformed about what the facts are on the ground. does secretary kerry mean to say that israeli civilians deserve to be murdered? that's tantamount to saying the 9/11 occurred because america's foreign policy in the middle east. this dangerous logic by the state department only encourages more terrorist attacks. it does not stop the terrorism. nothing can justify the killing of innocent. instead of our government supporting our israeli allies, we are turning our backs on
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them. instead we should be standing side by side with israel condemning the terrorists. we should be pointing our fingers at the palestinian leadership who have instigated all of this violence. hold those who preach hate and violence accountable, not give them a pass. instead of calling out israel, the state department should be highlighting the incitement to hatred and violence in the palestinian curriculum, in their textbooks. we must stop making excuses for terrorists and stand up for the victims. we must stand up for all our values and our friends and not betray them, and that includes standing with israel. that's just the way it is. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair lays before the house the following enrolled bill. the clerk: h.r. 3116, an act to extend by 15 years the authority of the secretary of commerce to conduct the quarterly financial report
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program. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the chair declares the house in recess until noon today. will be back at noon for legislative work and preliminary debate on a budget deficit reduction bill that contains language that would repeal the health care law's individual mandate and also defund planned parenthood for a year. they'll also be working on a bill on mineral production. live coverage of the house when they return at noon eastern here on c-span. and hillary clinton is testifying right now before the house benghazi committee. live coverage here on c-span until noon when members gavel back in. but you can also listen on c-span radio, available on and full coverage on c-span3.
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ms. clinton: i worked with the republican leader, senator mitch mcconnell, to open up burma to democratic change. i know it's possible to find common ground because i have done it. we should debate on the basis of fact, not fear. we should resist denigrating the patriotism or loyalty of those with whom we disagree. so i'm here. despite all the previous investigations and all the talk about partisan agendas, i'm here to honor those we lost and to do what i can to aid those ho serve us still. my challenge to you, members of the committee, is the same challenge i put to myself. let's be worthy of the trust the american people have bestowed upon us. they expect us to lead, to learn the right lessons, to
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rise above partisanship and to reach for statesmanship. that's what i tried to do every day as secretary of state and it's what i hope we will all strive for here today and into the future. thank you. >> thank you, madam secretary. i did not cut off your opening at all, nor would i think about doing so because the subject matter is critically important and you deserve to be heard. mr. gowdy: i would just simply note -- and i don't plan on cutting off any of your answers. our members have questions that we believe are worthy of being answered. so i would just simply note that we do plan to ask all of the questions and whatever precision you can give to the answers without getting short shrift would be much appreciated. i yield to the gentleman from
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illinois, mr. roskam. libya memo on august 21, 2011, this was the day before the rebels took tripoli. he titles it, quote, secretary clinton's leadership on libya, in which he describes you as, quote, a critical voice, and, quote, the public face of the u.s. effort in libya and nstrumental in surrounding gaddafi. i can pause while you're reading your notes from your staff. ms. clinton: one thing at a time, congressman. mr. roskam: that did not come easy, did it, that leadership role and the public face that i just mentioned? ms. clinton: [inaudible] this is an issue that the committee has raised, and it really boils down to why were we in libya, why did the united states join with our nato and
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european allies, join with our arab partners to protect the people of libya against the murderous planning of gaddafi, why did we take a role alongside our partners in doing so, there were a number of reasons for that and i think it is important to remind the american people where we were at the time when the people of libya, like people across the region, rose up demanding freedom and democracy, a chance to chart their own futures. and gaddafi threatened them with genocide, with hunting them down like cockroaches, and we were then approached by great intensity. our closest allies in europe, people who felt very strongly, the french and the british, but others as well that they could not stand idly by and permit that to happen so close to
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their shores with the unintended consequences that they worried about. and they asked for the united states to help. we did not immediately say yes. we did an enormous amount of due diligence in meeting with not only our european and arab partners but also with those who were heading up what was called the transitional national council and we had experienced diplomats who were digging deep into what was happening in libya and what the possibilities were. before we agreed to provide very specific, limited help to the european and arab efforts, we did not put one american soldier on the ground. we did not have one casualty, and in fact i think by many measures the cooperation between nato and arab forces was quite remarkable and something that we want to learn more lessons from. mr. roskam: secretary clinton, you were meeting with opposition within the state
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department from very senior careered diplomats, in fact, and they were saying that it was going to produce a net negative for u.s. military intervention. for example, in a march 9, 2011, email discussing what has become known as the libya options memo, ambassador mahl, then the u.s. secretary of the state department, and one of the top career diplomats said this, in the case of our diplomatic history, when we provided material or tactical military support to people seeking to drive their leaders from power, no matter how just their cause, it's tended to produce net negatives for our interests over the long over in those countries. now, we'll come back to that in a minute, but you overruled those career diplomats. i mean, they report to you and you're the chief diplomat of the united states. go ahead and read the note if you need to. secretary clinton: i have to -- i have -- mr. roskam: i'm not done with
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my question. i'm giving you the courtesy to read your notes. secretary clinton: i'm all right. mr. roskam: they were pushing back and you overcame those objections and you had another big obstacle, didn't you and that was the white house them self. there were senior voices within the white house that were opposed to military action. vice president biden, department of defense, secretary gates, the national security council, and so forth. but you persuaded president obama to intervene militarily. isn't that right? secretary clinton: well, congressman, i think it's important to point out there were many in the state department who believed it was very much in america's interest and furtherance of our values to protect the libyan people, to join with our european allies and our arab partners. the ambassador who had to be withdrawn from libya because of direct athreats to his physical safety but who knew libya very well, ambassador cretz, was a strong advocate for doing what
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we could to assist the europeans and the arabs. i think it's fair to say there were concerns and there were varying opinions about what to do, how to do it and the like. at the end of the day, this was the president's decision, and all of us fed in our views. i did not favor it until i had done, as i said, the due diligence speaking with not just people within our government and within the governments of all of the other nations who were urging us to assist them but also meeting in person with the gentleman who had assumed a lead role in the transitional national council. so it is, of course, fair to say this was a difficult decision. i wouldn't sit here and say otherwise. and there were vary ewing oints of view about -- varying points of view about it. because of strong appeals from our european allies, the arab league passing a resolution urging that the united states
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and nato join with them, those were unprecedented requests and we did decide in recommending to the president that there was a way to do it. the president, i think, very clearly had a limited instruction about how to proceed, and the first planes that flew were french planes. and i think what the united states provided was some of our unique capacity, but the bulk of the work militarily was done by europeans and arabs. mr. roskam: i think you're underselling yourself. you got the state department onboard, you convinced the president, you overcame the objections by vice president biden and secretary of defense gates, the national security council and you had another obstacle then and that was the united nations. and you were able to persuade the russians, of all things, to abstain and had you not been successful in arguing that
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abstention, the security resolution, 1973, wouldn't have passed because the russians had veto. so you overcame that obstacle as well, isn't that right? secretary clinton: well, congressman, it is right, that after doing my due diligence and reviewing the various options and the potential consequences of pursuing each of them, i was in favor of the united states joining with our european allies and our arab partners and i also was in favor of obtaining u.n. security council support because i thought that would provide greater legitimacy in that, of course, our ambassador at the u.n. was very influential and successful in making the case to her colleagues. but this was at the behest of and the direction of the president once he was presented with the varying arguments. congressman, i have been in a number of situation room discussions. i remember very well the very intense conversation over whether or not to launch the navy seals against the compound
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we thought that might house bin laden. there was a split in the advisors around the president. eventually the president makes the decision. i supported doing what we could to support our european and arab partners in their effort on a humanitarian basis, a strategic basis to prevent gaddafi from launching and carrying out mass massacres. mr. roskam: there was another obstacle you overcame and that was the arabs himself. jeff sullivan sent you an email and he said this. i think you should call. it will be a painful 10 minutes but you will be the one who delivered arab support, and that's a jake sullivan email march 27 to you asking you to call the secretary general of the arab -- of the arab league. so to put this in totality, you were able to put -- overcome opposition within the state department. you were able to persuade the
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president. you were able to persuade the united nations and the international community. you made the call to the arabs and brought them home. you saw it, you drove it, you articulated it and you persuaded people. did i get that wrong? secretary clinton: well, congressman, i was the secretary of state. my job was to conduct the diplomacy and the diplomacy consisted of a long series of meetings and phone calls, both here in our country and abroad, to take the measure of what people were saying and whether they meant it. we had heard sometimes before from countries saying, well, the united states should go do this. and when we say, well, what will you do in support of us, there was not much coming forth. this time, if they wanted us to support them in what they saw as an action vital to their respective national security interests, i wanted to be sure that they were going to bear the bulk of the load. and in fact they did.
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what the united states did, as i've said, was use our unique capacity. as i recall, if you want it in monetary terms, slightly over $1 billion or less than what we spend in iraq in one day is what the united states committed in support of our allies. you know, we ask our allies to do a lot for us, congressman. mr. roskam: let me reclaim our time. let me reclaim my time. you actually summed it up best when you emailed your senior staff and you said of this interchange, you said, it's good to remind ourselves and the rest of the world that this couldn't have happened without us. and you were right, secretary clinton. our libya policy couldn't have happened without you because you were its chief architect. and i said we're going to go ck to the ambassador's saying, long term things weren't going to turn out well and he was right, after your plan, things in libya today are a disaster. i yield back. secretary clinton: well, i'm
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sure we'll have more time to talk about this because that's not a view i will ascribe to. mr. gowdy: i thank the gentleman from illinois. i yield to the gentleman from maryland. mr. cummings: i want to start with the number one question that republicans claim has not been answered in eight previous investigations. yesterday, the chairman wrote in an op-ed, and he said this is his top unanswered question about benghazi. and it is, and i quote, why are ople in libya and benghazi made so many requests for additional security personnel and equipment and why are those requests denied? i'll give you a chance to answer that in a minute. secretary clinton, as you know, this exact question has been asked many times and answered many times. let's start with the
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accountability review board. now, you a moment ago, you talked about admiral mullin but another ppointed distinguished gentleman, ambassador pickering. and, of course, admiral mullin served under republican administrations and ambassador pickering, who i have a phenomenal amount of respect for, served 40 years, as you know, as a -- part of our diplomatic corps. he served under george h.w. ush, and he also served as u.n. ambassador under -- he also served under reagan. now, i'm just wondering -- let me go back to that question, why are people in libya and benghazi made so many requests. and then i want you to comment,
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seems to be an implication that the a.r.b., the accountability review board, was not independent. and i think the chairman said they were hand picked by you. of course that's done by law. but i'm just -- would you comment on those two things, please? secretary clinton: yes. i'd be happy to. you know, as i said in my opening statement, i take responsibility for what happened in benghazi. i felt a responsibility for all 70,000 people working at the state department and usaid. i take that very seriously. as i said with respect to security requests in benghazi back when i testified in january of 2013, those requests and issues related to security were rightly handled by the security professionals in the department. i did not see them. i did not approve them. i did not deny them. ambassador pickering and
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admiral mullin make this case very clearly in their testimony before your committee and in their public comments. these issues would not ordinarily come before the secretary of state, and they did not, in this case. as secretary, i was committed to taking aggressive measures to ensure our personnel and facilities were as safe as possible. certainly, when the nonpartisan , critical report from the accountable review board came forward, i took it very seriously, and that's why i embraced all of their recommendations and created a new position within the diplomatic security bureau, specifically to evaluate high-risk posts. i think it's important, also, to mention, congressman, that the diplomatic security
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professionals who are reviewing these requests, along with those who are serving in war zones and hot spots around the world have great expertise and experience in keeping people safe. if you go on codels, they are the ones who plan your trip to keep you safe. they certainly did that for me, but most importantly, that's what they do every day for everybody who serves our country as a diplomat or development professional. . i was not going to second-guess them. i was not going to substitute my judgment which is not based on experience that they have in keeping people safe for theirs. the changes that were recommended by the accountability review board are ones that we thought made sense and began quickly to implement. mr. cummings: the a.r.b. after conducting,


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