tv U.S. House of Representatives Legislative Business CSPAN November 16, 2015 2:00pm-9:01pm EST
items list. an expansion of the health care law and f.c.c. standards. also a two-week extension of the highway bill through december 4 as talks continues over house and senate differences in a long-term bill that's passed both houses. now to live coverage of the house here on c-span. ays before a communication from the speaker. the clerk: the speaker's rooms, washington, d.c. november 16, 2015. i hereby appoint the honorable virginia foxx to act as speaker pro tempore on this day. signed, paul d. ryan, speaker of the house of representatives. sean: the prayer will be offered by our chaplain, father conroy. chaplain conroy: let us pray. loving and gracious god, we give you thanks for giving us another dafmente -- day. help us this day to draw closer
to you so that with your spirit and aware of your presence among us we may all face the tasks of this day. on this day, the house returns when the world is even more dramatically aware of the violence that marks these days worldwide. may all people of good will and every nation be inspired to beat back those who would visit death and destruction upon even the innocent and may peace, which is so sorely longed for, break forth in our midst. bless the members of the people's house. help them to think clearly, speak could have dently, and act core rainlously in the belief that all noble service is based upon patience, truth, and love. may all that is done this day be for your great honor and glory. amen. sean: the compare compare and
announces to the house his pproval thereof. the speaker pro tempore: the chair has examined the journal of the last day's proceedings and announces to the house his approval thereof. pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1, the journal stands approved. the pledge of allegiance will be led by the gentleman from michigan, mr. kildee. mr. kildee: i ask all to please join us in the pledge. i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all. the speaker pro tempore: the chair will tent tain requests for one minute speeches. mr. poe: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. poe: madam speaker, friday morning president obama boastfully declared to the world that isis was contained.
hours later, paris was burning. isis fighters unleashed coordinated attacks all over the city of lights, murdering 130 people and injuring hundreds others. this just weeks after isis blew up an airplane killing over 200 people. the president is wrong. isis is not contained. isis's homicide aggression has spread from the middle east to the sleeping west. this morning the radical killers released a video threatening an attack on washington, d.c. shall we get here until the capitol is bombed? i think not. this is our fight but not ours alone. france should immediately invoke article 5 of the nato agreement. this says an attack on one nato nation an taac on all. this paves the way for a truly joined international response to isis. the u.s. invoked this provision after the 9/11 attack. all the nato nations need to join the war against our common enemy because containment is
not a strategy. that's just the way it is. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from michigan seek recognition? mr. kildee: i seek unanimous consent to drefment the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. thank you, madam speaker. right now in my hometown of flint, michigan, there is a public health crisis. in the 21st century of a sea of 100 thousand people, they cannot deliver safe drinking water because of my lead levels. as a result of a decision by a state appointed financial receiver, this city now has water that is undrinkable. i continue to spure sue all avenues to provide relief -- pursue all avenues to my relief of this hometown to provide relief to the victims and support the community as it now has to rebuild its water
infrastructure. the state of michigan could act to forgive the steady -- the city current debt to the drinking water revolving loan und, and it should do that immediately. i'm pushing for action to do that and that requires not only the support of the state government but the federal government as well. the state also must act to provide a health fund to provide monitoring, education, and short-term, and assistance in the long term to individuals, especially children, who have been exposed to high levels of lead. what's happening in flint is a failure of government. it cannot be allowed in the state and federal government need to act to help this poor city. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? mr. burgess: i rise to ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman from texas is recognized for one minute. mr. burgess: madam speaker, this morning my gotsche goff of texas sent a letter to president obama, i write to
inform you the state of texas will not accept any refugees from syria in the wake of the deadly attacks in paris. is tragedy on friday follows quickly behind secretary kerry's announcement that the united states will be taking in an unprecedented number of refugees. last month the helsinki commission which i was a member held a hearing, assistant secretary of state said the refugees were fleeing to europe because they perceived those borders to be opened. madam speaker, there can be no perception that our borders are open. during my questioning last month, it became clear to me that we do not have the procedures in place to perform adequate and thorough background checks on refugees. president obama is engaged in hat may be best described as magical thinking. certainly it's a fragmented strategy to combat isis. the world held a moment of silence this morning. we should not be silent on this issue any longer.
madam speaker, i ask unanimous consent that the entirety of governor abbott's letter be inserted into the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentleman is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, madam speaker. as we saw on friday as most americans were perhaps heading home for the weekend, at least 129 innocent civilians were killed by terrorists in paris. mr. lamalfa: one of the attacks was at a paris concert hall where a band from palm dezer, california, was scheduled to play. an american and 23-year-old junior at california state university long beach was doing a semester abroad and was killed while having dinner with her classmates. madam speaker, our thoughts, out ayers, our hearts go
to the families of the victims and the people of france. we stand with the french people just as they stood with us ter 9/11 and so many other times in our past going back to our founding as a nation. this attack was a deliberate attempt to use violence and the destruction of innocent lives as a means of spreading a hateful ideology against the world. isis must be times in defeated, destroyed, not contained. madam speaker, we hear rhetoric coming from this administration that global warming is the greatest threat. indeed, tell that to the families of victims of what happened in paris. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentlelady from north carolina seek recognition? ms. foxx: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the gentlelady from north carolina is recognized. ms. foxx: thank you, mr. speaker. on friday, november 13, the world was reminded once again that freedom has its foes when islamic state militants killed 129 people and injured hundreds
more in coordinated terrorist attacks in paris. as we mourn those whose lives were lost, and pray for the ople of france as they confront this terrible tragedy, of st let the adversaries liberty know that champions of freedom will not be stopped. we will not waiver. we will not cede strength and we will stand firm. today a video released by an islamic state subgroup appears to show militants praising the paris attacks and warning a similar attack can take place in washington. congress will continue to explore ways in which we can defeat islamic state. you but it's time for president on who told abc news friday that we, quote, have contained, end quote, the islamic state to take seriously this threat to our nation and all that we stand for. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yield back. for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia seek recognition?
without objection, the gentleman from georgia is recognized for one minute. >> thank you, mr. speaker. mr. collins: i rise today to recognize a constituent in my district who has made a difference of many lives of students. melanie met a girl in athens, georgia, who loved to read but had no books at home. after realizing she was one of many in this situation, she started a book club by giving books to take home over the summer. in the six years since its founding, books for keeps has 180,000 books to children in 10 schools and melanie has plans to expand it to 15 more next year. many children in rural georgia don't have access to libraries, especially during summer vacation. location, access to prorgs pose a difficulty for many, specially low-income students. being married to a school teacher i am sure my wife can attest to the frustration teachers feel when august rolls around and they have to spend
pleshes class time reviewing and catching up before they can move on. in may books for keep sends kids off to summer vacation armed with titles to tailor to their interest. they have member any smith from athen, georgia, to thank for her initiative to encourage literacy and inspire students. with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yield back. the chair lays before the house sundry communications. the clerk: the honorable the speaker, house of representatives, sir. pursuant to the permission granted in clause 2-h of rule 2 of the rules of the u.s. house of representatives, the clerk received the following message from the secretary of the senate on november 5, 2015, at 2:05 p.m. that the senate agreed to senate joint resolution 22. with best wishes i am, signed sincerely, karen l. haas. the honorable the speaker, house of representatives, sir. pursuant to the permission granted in clause 2-h of rule 2 of the rules of the u.s. house of representatives, the clerk
received the following message from the secretary of the senate on november 6, 2015, at 9:38 a.m. that the senate agreed to senate concurrent resolution 24. that the senate agreed to relative to the death of fred thompson senate resolution 309. that the senate agreed to without objection amendment house concurrent resolution 92. with best wishes i am, signed sincerely, karen l. haas. the honorable the speaker, house of representatives. sir, pursuant to the permission granted in clause 2-h of rule 2 of the rules of the u.s. house of representatives, the clerk received the following message from the secretary of the senate on november 10, 2015, at 11:20 a.m. that the senate passed senate 1004. with best wishes, i am, signed sincerely, karen lst haas. -- l. haas. the hop yorble the speaker, house of representatives -- honorable the speaker, house of representatives.
sir, pursuant to the permission granted in clause 2-h of rule 2 of the rules of the u.s. house of representatives, the clerk received the following message from the secretary of the senate on november 10, 2015, at 1:58 p.m. that the senate concur in the house amendment to the bill senate 1356. with best wishes i am, signed sincerely, karen l. haas. the honorable the speaker, house of representatives, sir. pursuant to the permission granted in clause 2-h of rule 2 of the rules of the u.s. house of representatives, the clerk received the following message from the secretary of the senate on november 10, 2015, at 5:16 p.m. that the senate disagree to house amendment to senate amendment to the text of the bill h.r. 22. senate agree to conference asked by the house, senate appointed conferees. with best wishes, i am, signed sincerely, karen l. haas. the honorable the speaker,
house of representatives. sir, pursuant to the permission granted in clause 2-h of rule 2 of the rules of the u.s. house of representatives, the clerk received the following message from the secretary of the senate on november 12, 2015, at 3:25 p.m. that the senate passed senate 1203. that the senate passed with an amendment house concurrent resolution 90. that the senate passed with an amendment h.r. 2029. with best wishes, i am, signed incerely, karen l. haas. the honorable the speaker, house of representatives, sir. pursuant to the permission granted in clause 2-h of rule 2 of the rules of the u.s. house of representatives, the clerk received the following message from the secretary of the senate on november 16, 2015, at 10:21 a.m. that the senate passed senate 2280. that the senate passed with an amendment h.r. 2262.
>> this is the palace of versailles where the french president is due to address the upper and lower houses of parliament in an extraordinary session of congress. he's just arriving now. there he is. the french president walking past the guards there at the versailles palace just outside the french capital. this is an extraordinary
session of congress. it's highly symbolic. it's only the second time it's ever happened. there he is. francois hollande due to address the whole political class, if you will, the upper and lower houses, and just looking at the pictures there is a pen across the audience everybody from the world of french politics is there today. and security extremely tight. this coming in light of the paris attacks on friday night in which 129 people lost their lives. the worst attacks on french soil since the second world war. the french president is about o speak. [speaking in french]
were acts of war. were killed people and many people were injured. it represents an attack, an aggression, against our values, gainst its against its youth, and against its way of life. let this -- these acts were created by an army of jihadists , who are fighting france because it is a country of freedom, because we are the country of the rights of man, of human rights. in this very serious period i took the decision to speak to parliament and congress, both houses of parliament and congress, to mark our national unity in the face of this abominable act and to respond the old determination to ignoble act, horrible act which
targeted our country last friday. overcome even as worse adversaries than these cowardly assassins. our republic in this very -- cannot be brought down by such people. my determination is to put the power of the state at the service of the protection of our fellow citizens. and we -- i know we can count on the service, the loyalty, of the law enforcement organizations and you, you know believe he need to that free people can be intimidated by the horror of their acts. it is not the case. the french republic has overcome many other orr deals
-- t is still -- or deals ordeals and it is still there intend to hose who defight republic have always lost out in historical terms and it will be the same this time. people are valiant people, courageous people. they do not give up. they do not resign themselves. they stand up and resist whenever a child of the country is -- has been attacked. by deliberately attacking innocent they have shown how cowardly they are shooting at people who were unarmed. so we are not committed in a war between civilizations. these assassins don't represent a civilization. are at war against jihadist
terrorism which threatens the whole of the world. and not only france. in this war which began several aware go, we are fully of the fact that it will take time and it will require because of the tough challenge ahead of us. the enemy uses the most vial methods to kill, but they cannot get away with it. and i will be even more specific. they are not out of our reach. so in this very difficult period, in this very difficult -- these very difficult times, for our fellow citizens who have felt the horror, they must stay calm. they must keep calm and once again i call on terrorism which all our fellow countrymen, all our compatriots to show the virtues that we are
proud of. perseverance, unity, lucidity, and dignity. today our country is mourning. we are thinking of those innocent people who died in the streets of paris and in the suburbs. we are thinking of their families who are suffering the most unconcernable pain and we are thinking of the hundreds of young people and young boys and girls, young men and women, who were injured and traumatized by this terrible attack. some of them at this very moment are still fighting for survival, they are still fighting for their lives. i would like to pay tribute to services who have
mobilized all their resources since friday. our health system was up to this challenge and once again our health system showed that it can fulfill its missions. i would also like to pay tribute to the law enforcement organizations who have fully committed to ensuring the security of french citizens. once again they have shown courage. these police officers who, when they had to attack the bataclan theater to free the hostages, they faced -- the hostages would have died if the police ad not intervened. they showed once again their determination and they were capable of surpassing their -- themselves. france, the whole of france was the target of terrorist. france likes love, loves life, sport, culture. france, in all its diversity in religious diversity, the france
that the assassins wanted to kill were the young people of france in all their diversity. and most of those who died were under 30. . ck, jamela, and the others what was the crime they had committed. their crime was being alive. simply being alive. and the terrorists were aiming at france that is open to the orld. they showed since friday evening i heard of solidarity from heads of state of government, from all oferte world, and in many parts of the world the three colors of the french flag are displayed, which reminds us that france remains a beacon for humanity. when france is attacked it is he world which feels attacked.
the acts of war committed on friday were decided on and planned in syria. hey were organized in belgium. these attacks had one specific objective to make people -- to instill fear in people and divide us and put pressure on us to free vent us in the middle east from fighting against terrorism. we are facing an organization da'ish which has a territorial base, it has financial resources and military capabilities. since the beginning of the year, this organization has notably already attacked
farris, denmark, tunisia, egypt -- paris denmark, tunisia, egypt, lebanon, kuwait, saudi arabia, turkey, and libya, and every day there are massacring people and oppressing the populations. that is the reason why it is -- the need to destroy da'ish is a challenge for the whole of the international community. so i have asked the security council of the united nations to convene as early as possible to adopt a resolution which will express our joint resolution to fight against terrorism. in the meantime, france will intensify its military operations in syria. yesterday evening i ordered 10 french fighter bombers to bomb the headquarters of da'ish in raqqa. they destroyed a command post and training camp and i would like to congratulate the french
pilots who succeeded, whose mission was a success. i would also like to thank our american allies who supported us in this operation. and i would like to make it known. we will continue these air trikes in the weeks to come. the aircraft carrier, charles de gaulle, will be leaving france on thursday and will go to the middle east. this will triple our resources, our capabilities. and there will be no respite. we will not give -- stop our efforts. those who ordered the attacks in paris must know that their crimes instead of reducing our resolution has reinforced our determination. -- determination to destroy them. terrorism, we fight against it everywhere. everywelfare reform states are
threatened, where their very survival is under threat. and this justifies my decision today vene in -- and our military are also present in the desert where boko haram is massacring, kidnapping, and raping people. terrorism, we are fighting against terrorism in iraq to enable the authorities in iraq to restore their sovereignty over the whole of the country. seeking ria we are resolutely a political solution in which bashar al assad cannot in part, but our enemy syria is da'ish. we are not simply aiming to contain da'ish, we need to destroy this organization. both to save the people, the people of syria, iraq, i could add the people of lebanon,
jordan, turkey, and all the neighboring countries. and it's also to protect us in rder to prevent more attacks in our country. to prevent foreign fighters to come and commit terrorist acts in our country. we need to do more. syria has become the biggest manufacturing center of terrorists in the world, as it were, and the international community, and i have often observed this, the international community is divided and has an incoherent policy. france has asked, france asked from the very beginning that the international community should, in a more unified way, today -- act in a more unified way. today we need more air strikes. we need more support for those who are 2350eu9 fighting
against da'ish. -- who are fighting against da'ish. we must bring together all those who can really fight against this terrorist army within the framework of a large single coalition. we will be working in that direction. it's in the spirit that i'll be meeting president obama and president putin in the next few days to join force was them and achieve a result which, for the moment, is still in the distant uture. france speaks to everybody. we speak with the lebanese, the gulf states, turkey, the paris attacks took place at the very moment when we were meeting -- when a meeting was being held in vienna to find a political solution to the situation in
syria. today everybody has to face his responsibilities. the neighboring countries, the big powers, but also europe. i have asked the minister of efense to -- tomorrow to invoke article of the d.n.a. an article of the european union which lace down that when a state is attack. a european state is attacked, all the member states must provide -- must show solidarity with the country attacked. the enemy is not an enemy of france. it is an enemy of europe. and europe cannot continue living with the idea that the crises around it have no impact on it. and the question of the refugees is directly linked with the war in syria and iraq. the inhabitants of those
countries notably those who come from the areas under the control of da'ish are -- have experienced martyrdom and are fleeing. they are the victims of the same terrorist system and that's why it is of vital importance that we should welcome those who have a right to asylum and send back to their home countries those who have no right to asylum. we must provide effective protection of our external borderser. we are working on this. we were the first to warn europe about this. france, with germany, is making sure that countries that are facing major flows of migrants will be supported and they are -- the countries in the region itself, turkey, lebanon, jordan, and if europe does not keep control over its external
borders, we have already seen this today in front of our very eyes, it will be -- there will be a return to national borders and to barbed wire and fences on our borders which amounts to the deconstruction of the european union. it is also essential that the request that france has expressed for a long time find their translation quickly in europe. the fighting against trafficking of arms, the implementation of coordinated and systematic controls at the borders, and thep implementation of what we call the european p.n.r. by the end of this year to ensure the traceability of the jihadists and those who have been arrested. hese are the requirements that demands france will be expressing again via the minister for interior affairs. at the meeting that will be taking place at our request on
friday. faced with the acts of war which have taken place on our territory, and which happened following the attacks of the seventh and eighth of january this year and so many other crimes committed during the past years in the name of this same jihadist doctrine, we must be merciless. we know this and it is cruel to say that it is french citizens who, friday, have killed other french citizens. on our territory there are individuals who, from ordinary crime have moved on to radicalization and terrorism. sometimes they have fought in syria or iraq. sometimes they set up networks. which train, depending on
circumstances, or help each at a moment ry out chosen by the person who gives them instructions to commit terror acts. and we have seen that during the past months. and we have seen, unfortunately, what this preparation leads to. so we must react in an emergency situation and also over a long period. 1 we the night of friday accounted the -- encountered the dead after the shootings, i convened the council of ministers and i ordered the re-establishment of controls at
the borders. and i declared the state of emergency and it is now affected the whole of our territory. i have extended the possibility of carrying out searches on the orders of the administration in the whole of the territory. over 104 persons were placed der house arrest and 168 searches have taken place. there will be more. the enemy has gone a step further. we have the ability to react. the declaration of human rights and citizens states in article 2 that the security and resistance to oppression are fundamental rights. we must exercise these rights. in conformity with these principles, we will be providing the means of guaranteeing once again the
security of our citizens. i have decided that the parliament would be examining a draft bill on wednesday extending the state of emergency for a three-month period and will adapt its context to the evolution of technology and threat. the law of the third of april, 1955, which governs the state is no longer in conformity with the state of technology and the threats that we see today. but it contains two exceptional measures. house arrest and the searches. these two means provide useful means to prevent the perfect tration of new terror acts. and i wish to exercise these fully and extend their scope. the prime minister will be proposing to the parliament
that a full regime be adopted for each of these two provisions and, ladies and gentlemen, members of the parliament, i encourage you to vote this before the end of this week. but we must go beyond the state of emergency. and i thought about this a great deal. in my conscience i believe that we need to change our constitution to enable public authorities to act in conformity with the rule of law against an act of war by a terrorist. two regimes has which are not suited to the situation we have today. the first regime is resorting to article 7 of the constitution. it implies that the regular operation of public administration be interrupted. the president of the republic
takes special measures and derogates to the powers given in the constitution. and there is article 36 concerning the state of siege which is also not suited. the state of siege is declared in a case of an immediate danger following armed insurrection and invasion by foreign troops. a number of competencies are transferred from the civilian authority to the military authority. everyone will agree here that neither of these regimes is adapted to the situation we see today. the functioning of public administration is not interrupted and it is not conceivable to transfer to military authority special powers. owever, we are at war. but this war of a different type given that we are faced enable w enemy should
us to manage the state of crisis and in 2007 the have ee presided over thought about possible evolution of our constitution. it suggests that article 36 of our basic constitution be amended to include the state of siege and state of emergency. an organic law would be determining the circumstances in which this would be applied. i believe that we should return to this project. we need to have an appropriate tool to be able to take exceptional measures for a specific direction without resorting to the state of emergency and without compromising public liberties. this revision of our constitution must be accompanied by other measures. such as the loss of nationality , the loss of nationality
should not make someone stateless. ut we should be able to enable attacked the fundamental interest of our nation or committed an act of terrorism. the person -- we must be able to deprive that person of the french nationality on the condition that the person has another nationality. we should also be able to prevent someone with dual citizenship from returning to our territory if a person constitutes a risk of terrorism. person agrees to undergo a very strict surveillance regime as is the case for our british friends. ere are cases with extreme
consequences but this is something that we must do for our interest. and there are possibilities of increasing the surveillance of people who have been the object of intelligence reports. and we will be requiring the opinion of the council of state to verify the conformity of these proposals with our text and this opinion will be made public and we will draw the consequences of this. let us think seriously about this decision. our constitution is our collective compact. it unites all of our citizens. it is the common rule. it carries principles. it is preceded by a preamble which states that france is a
state where law rules. the constitution is our common charter. it is the pact which unites all of the citizens of the country. and since our constitution is the compact which is essential for us to all live together, it is as essential that the text should have answers to fight against those who attack the state. just as we will be dissolving associations or de facto associations which express hatred or encourage the perfect tration of acts of terrorism. ladies and gentlemen -- perfect tration of acts of terrorism. i ask you to think about the decision i have taken and ask the prime minister to prepare this revision of the constitution with you so that it can be adopted as early as possible. you will be extending the state
of emergency beyond the 12-day period for three months, but beyond the three-month period we must be in a state of law to fight terrorism. and since the threat will be ighing on us cureably -- durably and the fight against da'ish will be mobile aizing us for quite some time to come on the external front as well as inside our country, i have decided to substantially strengthen the means available for the judiciary systems and enforcement services. the investigation services and message straits should be able to -- magistrates should be able to call on the full range of intelligence means and technology whose use is authorized by the new law on intelligence. the crimal proceedings should
also take into consideration as closely as possible the -- criminal proceedings should also take into consideration as closely as possible the specificity of the terrorist threat. magistrate should have means of investigation, more sophisticated means of investigation to fight in particular against the trafficking of arms because the of is with the weapons criminals that these attacks are perpetrated. the sentences will be considerably increased. way in which the police officers are authorized to use their weapons, that will have to be examined. and all these different topics will be part of the major legislative effort that i am asking all the ministers
concerned to examine so that we can waste no time in the action in which we are engaging. these different schemes will complete all the different measures which have been adopted since 2012. the anti-terrorist law, a law on intelligence, a considerable strengthening of means and i'm also aware of the fact that we must further increase our means. it cannot be ar with what we had a few years ago with the military programming law or other text which had been imagined to ensure the security of our citizens. 5,000 additional posts will be created for police officers and gendarmes within the next two years so as to increase the
total number of new jobs in the security area to 10,000 for the five-year period. five-year mandate. it's a considerable effort given the present budgetary context. and that will simply enable us level of forces to what it was in 2007. that will been fit -- benefit the fighting against terrorism, border police, and the overall security of the country. and it will be accompanied with equipment to carry out these missions. the ministry of justice will be provided with 2,500 additional posts for the administration of prisons and the judiciary services. and i am not forgetting the
the house is about to gavel in a few works taking up the 16 small bills, including ones dealing with the t.s.a.'s prohibited items list. and an expansion of the health care law and f.c.c. standards. in addition, they have added to the schedule a bill extending highway funding through december 4 as talks continue over house and senate differences in a long-term bill that's passed both houses. current funding returns out
friday. there will be votes at 6:30 eastern. a live picture of the flag over the u.s. capitol. president obama has ordered the flag flying at half staff for the victims in the paris attacks. live now to the house floor. are vote incurs objections under clause 6 of rule 20. record votes on postponed questions will be taken later. for what purpose does the gentleman from alaska seek recognition? mr. young: i move to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 308. the clerk: union calendar number 67, h.r. 308, a bill to prohibit gaming activities on certain indian lands in arizona until the expiration of certain gaming compacts. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from alaska, mr. young and the gentleman from arizona, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from alaska. mr. young: i ask that members
may have five legislative remarks and include extraneous remarks on the bill under consideration. mr. young: i yield myself such time as i may consume. h.r. 308 to keep the promise act introduced by a group of bipartisan members of the arizona delegation would approve approved gaming contacts by prohibiting any indian casino on land acquired in trust afe april 9, 2013 in the phoenix metro area. this prohibition would expire in 20727 when the current gaming --
including the nation to limit casino gaming in the phoenix metro area. unfortunately one tribe is on the verge of breaking that commitment and more of a majority of the tribes are upset. the effect of the bill is to block the nation from opening an off-es rear vacation casino in the phoenix area. the bill has bipartisan support including the majority of the house delegation, the governor of arizona and six of the tribes that took part in the 202 agreement. it is not just arizona tribes who support this bill. tribes from other states are concerned about what is happening in arizona. they believe a dangerous precedent could be set if this is not signed into law leaving
to off-resser vision casinos. to keep the promise act is keeping the intact of the gaming compact and the gaming of arizona and indian gaming in this country. i thank the gentleman from arizona for his leadership. i urge my colleagues to pass this bill and i reserve. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the chair recognizes the gentleman from arizona. mr. grijalva: i yield myself such time as i may consume. thank you very much. extend our of us condolences and support to the people of france, to the loss of life, to the friends and loved ones and families of those .urdered by terrorism
we have to defeat and deal with the horror that this terrorism has created not only in france but in other parts of the world. and our condolences and prayers and support to the victims. today is a day in which we are bating a profit-driven monopoly-seeking piece of legislation under suspension, h.r. 308, that seeks to make null and void established law 18 court and administrative decisions and in a very real way, expose the american taxpayers to at least $1 billion in liability. that c.b.o. score has been again validated and afffirmed in the same analysis that was done for s. 152, the companion legislation in the senate. and this liability has -- is for an economic taking of the tribal nation.
why is this special interest ear marked that we are talking about today for established gaming interests in the east valley of maricopa county in arizona with us today on suspension? because, it is simply a piece of legislation to eliminate competition, to control the gaming market in the metro phoenix area. the addage about let the market decide and let the consumers have choice does not apply to this piece of legislation. and again, why is h.r. 308 under suspension when dangerous precedents can be set by h.r. 308 if it were to become law? it eliminates existing law that was passed in 1986. it jever turns 18 judicial, state and federal court decisions and administrative decisions. it opens up a $1 billion taxpayer liability and creates a
new category of selective concht in terms of land taken into trust as a result of the 1986 egislation and nullifies the tribe's ability to yield a higher economic development from it. and it is essentially creating a federal law that established a no-competition zone in that part of maricopa county in the phoenix metro area. why not regular order where amendments can be discussed and have a full debate? today, monday, under suspension leads one to the belief that there is a deadline involved here, that congress must pass h.r. 308 and the president must sign h.r. 308 by december 20 when the t.o. casino in the west valley is scheduled to open.
now, hypothetically it passes the house and then it quickly passes the senate, then it goes to the president, is vetoed as has been indicated by the administration. it comes back. the house overrides that veto and the casino can't open. this scenario places h.r. 308 in a national significance above things like security and terrorism, taxes extenders that need to come before this congress, transportation, do we extend for additional time until the conference can come up with one package, general funding and appropriations, elementary and secondary act land and water conservation fund and the trade agreement. if h.r. 308 is this vital of national importance that it overrides others -- other issues, why suspension and why not have a real debate on the
issue? terms of indian country priorities, where's the legislation? where is the legislation and funding appropriate for the indian health services? where are the tribal recognition reforms as recommended by the administration? where is the funding for tribal schools and where is legislation to protect sacred sites, where is the codification for consultation? why not deal with these issues? perhaps the lobby and influence and resources are not present to move these items so quickly to suspension. but h.r. 308, a special interest piece of legislation has this congress' total attention. makes one wonder why. but i think we really know why. with that, i reserve. the chair: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the chair recognizes the gentleman from alaska. mr. young: at this time, i'm
pleased to offer mr. franks five minutes, from arizona. the chair: the gentleman from arizona is recognized. mr. franks: and i would thank chairman young and also thank bishop and the leadership of this house for bringing this bill to the floor today. i also want to thank the bipartisan group of co-sponsors for their support. and i want to thank the members of the arizona delegation, who have been in support of this bill. mr. chairman, without objection, i would like to place a budgetary impact by michael salon, the former senior adviser to the senior lp leadership in the record and place in the record without objection a report from the council for citizens against government waste and a letter from the mayors of arizona regarding this legislation. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. franks: mr. speaker, house
resolution 308, the keep the promise act seeks to prevent las vegas style gaming in the phoenix metro area until the gaming compact to which the arizona tribes agreed and the arizona voters approved, expires in 2027. one tucson area tribe is trying to build a major casino on lands that were did he accepttively purchased in the phoenix area at the time they were in negotiations with other tribes in the state to craft this gaming compact dual passed by the voters. these actions are contrary to the public commitments that this particular tribe made between 2000 and 2002 to the other 16 indian tribes in the state of arizona and also to the state voters of arizona. this legislation was then publicly supported by the passage of proposition 202, this compact.
a state referendum to limit casino gambling in the phoenix metro area. all parties knew what we were agreeing to, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, the bipartisan co-sponsors of h.r. 308 are simply trying to hold all the parties to their publicly stated commitment to the people of arizona not to engage in gaming in the phoenix metro area. contrary to the opposition's position, congress does have a role in supervising tribal gaming. congress has a long established history of regulating, managing and working with the tribes relative to tribal trust lands. most astonishing is the opposition's argument that the courts have upheld the tribe's right to operate a casino on that parcel of land. the court raised serious questions about the tribe's misconduct but dismissed the litigation under the doctrine of sovereign immunity. this is not a ruling on the
merits in favor or against any side, mr. speaker but means the court could not or would not issue a ruling. this bill passed the house twice efore and it had a zero c.b.o. score. and c.b.o.'s analysis they acknowledged the uncertainty of future legal challenges but did not score those. this is the standard practice. any ruling of the contrary sets the c.b.o. up for being politically impacted in the future. politically driven in the future. c.b.o. recently scored an addition to the exact same bill this congress scored -- zero dollars to one billion. the c.b.o. added a score now to this same bill from zero last time to now zero to $1 billion.
they were allowed to do that. while admitting it had no basis to issue any conjecture about a possible lawsuit resulting from the passage of this bill. c.b.o. admits it had no basis to score litigation. the c.b.o. has never scored potential litigation on other bills. and this score should be ignored as useless and harmful if allowed as a precedent, mr. speaker. this bill does not impact any tribe's ability to have lands taken into trust nor does it impact any water or land claims. consistent with the intent of the indian gaming regulatory act and of proposition 202, this bill merely restricts the ability of tribes to game on the very lands on which they themselves agreed that they would not game. with that, mr. speaker. i ask that my colleagues join with me today and the members of arizona's delegation in supporting this bill. and i thank chairman young and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the
balance of his time. the gentleman from alaska reserves. the chair recognizes the gentleman from arizona. mr. grijalva: let me yield as much time to the gentleman from arizona. the eaker pro tempore: gentleman is recognized. mr. gallego: i rise in opposition to h.r. 308. this legislation short changes our commitments to our tribal brothers and sisters but exorbitant costs. construction of the west valley project has been immense and welcome addition to the communities in phoenix and beyond. the project will employ 3,000 people and support their families, jobs we need in our community as we continue to be one of the hardest hit areas in the nation from the great recession. millions of dollars have flowed into the region. 45 companies have been retained both within arizona and nationally. 2,300 construction workers are currently under contract and
1,300 jobs are just the beginning. if you want proof, look no further than the job fair that the tribe recently held on september 28. it drew 3,000 applicants from the community, 400 were whom were hired on the spot. that will rise to 500 employees in december and will climb to 3,000 full-time employees when the final project is completed and staffed. these are new permit, good paying jobs that are badly needed in the west valley. this bill will put these hardworking men and women out of work while costing taxpayers as much as $1 billion. our community supports these jobs and this project. we cannot afford to play politics when it comes to the bottom lines of our families and local economy. i urge my colleagues to join me in opposing this job-killings legislation. i yield back. .
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from arkansas. mr. young: i yield five minutes to mr. gosar, a person that's been involved in this issue for many, many years. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. gosar: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the chairman. i've been actively involved in a gaming issue in my home state arizona, involving the t.o. nation. they've been attempting to open a las vegas-style casino. in another tribe's former reservation for the sole purpose of gaming. this comes after t.o. and 16 other arizona tribes adopted a compact approved by arizona voters which expressly promised there would be no additional casinos or gaming in the phoenix metropolitan area until 2027. they spent $1.8 million. in exchange for this promise, the voters granted the tribe a
statewide monopoly and other tribes gave up rights. shockingly, after they approved pop significance 202, they violated this compact and used a shell organization to purchase land in glendale for a casino. their promise to build no additional casinos in phoenix is not something that congress can ignore for what has been a national motto. mr. speaker, i'd like to call to attention critical evidence obtained from the litigation discovery in the state of arizona versus the tribe. here are a few of the important could he take from transcripts and minutes that were included in the underlying discovery. 5/18/01, v.d.i., a known corporation included in their meeting notes a description of a presentation delivered by mark coury, the lead negotiator in the gaming compact negotiations. the notes reflect and quote, 170th avenue stadium, end of
quote. quote, gaming compact unsure what will happen, end of quote. quote, put in a shell company to keep it quiet, especially when the negotiations of the compact are at stake, end of quote. 6/26/01, v.d.i. meeting with t.o.o. st. lucie district counsel, we are looking at another project based on discussions we have and continue to have about a casino at the west end of phoenix and part of the discussion we had was that we didn't want to publicize that because of the confidentiality in terms of that issue. and that's how we're holding it, as confidential, because we don't want, you know, people to know we are seriously considering this because if you do, if i'm sure they're going to be a lot of resistance from, you know, the general public, end of quote. 8/22/02. v.d.i. meeting transcript discussing the west casino project and whether the governor's successor would oppose additional casinos, the
meeting transcript states, quote, max, because if that's going to be the opposition of the state, they don't want any more casinos around the phoenix area, then we're going to fight it. whoever the new governor is. if he's going to go along, he or she go looge with jane hall regarding take the position. jim, which is why we want to wait and -- until the initiative passes, end of quote. discussing potential political proproblems with the proposal. quote, male voice, i just hope that in terms of the political -- that's going to be coming -- that some of the metro tribes over there don't come back and jump on us too. male voice, might heal a river and salt river say it's a violation of the 202, metropolitan area. male voice, that said in terms of political impact is that even those metro tribes, particularly those three that are right there, might say something, end of quote. shamefully, they've been falsely claiming victory in
court. let's be clear, they won nothing in court. in fact the u.s. district court stated they made false promises but t.o.o. sovereign immunity barred from the case. the court ruled that the tribe cannot be sued in court because it can't be sued in court. anything claimed under sovereignty by the tribe, i.e., the tribal minutes, know notations and meetings and that's is the fundamental reason why h.r. 308, the keep the promise act, is necessary. only congress has the authority to hold t.o.o. accountable for their shameful, deceitful actions. this was confirmed again by the supreme court in 2014 in the case of bay hills indian community where the court stated only congress can act when a tribe raises sovereign immunity. t.o.o. acted immorally and covertly against the fellow tribes, the state and the general public. we can't let them get away by these horrific actions that violate a voter of proof
compact. vote yes on h.r. 308. thank you, mr. chairman, and with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from arizona yields, the gentleman from alaska reserves. the chair recognizes the gentleman from arizona. mr. grijalva: thank you, mr. speaker. there have been 18 court and federal agency rulings favoring that the tribe -- the tribe on this issue. the latest, and we can dismiss the court decisions by federal judges, the ninth circuit, state judges, administrative changes with sbeeryorks we can dismiss them as not meaning anything. obviously the state of the law that was passed in 1986 means nothing and obviously these court cases mean nothing because this legislation, 308, seeks to usurp the law of 1986 and overrule judicial decisions that have been made. yet, we keep hearing about the fact there is no standing in
those decisions. well, the latest was the anonymous decision by the ninth circuit court of appeals that confirmed once again the legality of the tribe's west valley project. yet, we keep hearing about the legal outcomes actually mean for the nation. for instance, we heard just now that the nation won nothing on the merits. that all the cases have merely been dismissed on the draconian doctrine of sovereign immunity. it doesn't take a law degree to realize that while the court dismissed some claims for this reason the courts have in fact ruled on the merits of several her claims in favor of the nation. judge david campbell, a george wish b. appointee said that the nation's construction of a casino on the glendale area land would not violate the compact. he ruled no reasonable reading of the compact could lead a person to conclude that it is prohibited new casinos in the hoenix area.
that it qualifies for gaming regulatory act. and ruled -- judge campbell also ruled, and i won't, that no other agreements or promises are valid or binding. the latest unanimous ruling from the ninth circuit found that arizona state law designed to block the federal government from taking land it purchased into trust on behalf of the nation was unconstitutional and would frustrate the purpose of the law congress passed to secure replacement lands for the nation. the rulings further confirmed that if h.r. 308 is enacted, the land is now in trust, the nation's contractual and statutory right to sue to use its land would be violated and the u.s. taxpayer will be on the hook to pay the nation up to $1 billion in compensation. we can't dismiss those decisions because it serves the narrative of those who want to
keep a competitive -- no competition zone in the phoenix area. with regard to the west valuey the west valley in deep need -- and i represent part of that area in maricopa -- indeed in stimulus and economic development, this would be a huge shot in the arm as evidence by the support of the mayors and city councils of peoria, tullison and glendale, representing 670,000 people in that west valley area. so i would say that there is support in the area and one cannot merely dismiss it as there isn't any. i want to address the claim of reservation shopping head-on. the proponents of this bill love to throw around the term "reservation shopping." they like to suggest the bad images associated with it, invoke the boggyman of tribal megacasinos outside of major cities. but that cannot be further from
he truth for the nation. this has nothing to do with the -- the o'odham didn't ask for their nation to be flood and their economic resources to be destroyed. they didn't ask for their agricultural resources to be taken away. they are not asking to expand their land base. they are simply trying to replace the tribe that was taken away by the federal government. this is specific only to the tohono o'odham nation. the land in question is the exact same county, maricopa, where the flooded land was located. and the replacement land was specific -- was to be specifically used, and i am quoting the original hila bend act here, of which senator mccain was a co-sponsor, for sustaining economic juice which is not principally farming and
does not rise construction and promotes the economic self-sufficiency or the self-sufficiency of the o'odham indian people. this is not off reservation. this tribe has reservation tribes in two places, thanks to being flooded by the federal project. so let's please stop talking about reservation shopping, las vegas-style casinos when the other casinos in the east valley are not las vegas-style casinos. something less than. maybe reno-style casinos. maybe atlantic city-style casinos. the fact remains that this act and the land that we're talking about that the o'odham has was a replacement to them losing 10,000 acres due to the painted heels dam that was constructed by the federal government. and all the rights have been affirmed by the courts and the
right for use has been affirmed by the court and we can't dismiss those judicial decisions as merely inconvenience as to some. they're legal decisions, they're binding, the land is in trust and for all intents and purposes, reservation land and the complication of passing this bill and the complication of future liability for the federal government is very much part of the decision that's being made today. and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: thank you, mr. grijalva. the gentleman from alaska is recognized. mr. young: at this time i'll issue two minutes to mr. gosar. mr. gosar: i thank the gentleman. the gentleman from arizona, mr. speaker, the gentleman from arizona makes my exact point. the discovery in this case of the state of arizona vs. t.o. prohibited the discovery of those minutes and tribal minutes and meetings from being allowed in the court. that's why the court said they had to find on behalf of t.o., but knew something was wrong.
as cited earlier in my testimony, the supreme court ruled once again, that congress and only congress has the jurisdiction over tribal treaties and tribal entities when they claim sovereign immunity. once again, 2014, the gentleman from arizona cites that. last but not least, jobs have been utilized here, but it should not be utilized by a criminal extortion for violation of the indian gaming act. this has consequences far beyond that. not just arizona but across the country. when we passed indian gaming regulatory act, we expected good faith and to follow the proceedings and not enhance criminal activity. but obviously just by my citations in the record, it shows there was conspired, extoursive extent in which the t.o. conspired to violate the compact that the voters of arizona expected to be honored exactly. and with that i yield back the
balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: thank you, mr. gosar. the gentleman from alaska is recognized. mr. young: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from arizona is recognized. mr. grijalva: yeah. i would -- well, i'm not going to get into the points that were made about extortion and immorality. what's going on here is a piece of legislation, h.r. 308, that seeks to target just one tribe, the tohono o'odham to retroactively prohibit a scoono, which is on their rizzer vation land, which is -- reservation land, which is almost constructed, which will soon be operated because they don't want the competition. it's as simple as that. we talked about the court cases. the agency's ruling, the land taken into trust and the tribe is right. the west valley casino is well within the conditions of the arizona gaming compact as
upheld by the courts, and that hasn't stopped the special interests and wealthy lobbyists from pushing this reckless bill year after year. by supporting 308, i think the members are setting a dangerous precedent. you are saying that no matter what the obligations are to our native nations by previous congress, no matter what was promised to them and agreed in law, they -- no matter what was decided and ruled upon by a court, no matter the process undertaken by the administration, you're opening up a very, very dangerous area that you can unilaterally undo by the request of outside interests for one tribe, their ability to take full advantage of the law that was passed in 1986 and to make them whole again economically.
congress that's akin to congress being the sole dermer of recognizing who is a native tribe and who isn't. i believe that this bill, h.r. 08 is going to have serious ramifications from this congress if it is passed and if it were ever to become law. the precedents set here extends beyond the one tribe that is being targeted now. if it's being targeted now, what would prevent this same kind of situation in a different light in a different circumstances and different issue from another tribe being targeted and limited as to the use of their land and under law. and with that, i reserve. the chair: the gentleman from alaska is recognized.
mr. young: may i ask the gentleman from arizona how many more speakers he has. i'm ready to close if you are eady to speak. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. grijalva: with that, let me close, mr. speaker. let me close by saying this controversial and potentially costly legislation really has no place in the suspension calendar. at the very least, members deserve the opportunity to fully debate h.r. 308 and offer amendments to address the serious concerns raised by the legislation. for example, the bill should be amended to guarantee that any federal liability resulting from litigation sparked by h.r. 308, liability that c.o.c.b.o. that it should be as high as $1
billion. we should not punish the rest of indian country for the greed of a few. the legislation should be clarified that the prohibition on gaming shouldn't apply to land specifically authorized by congress for trust lands destroyed by the federal agency action. the bill is to stop so-called off-reservation gaming and reservation shopping, it should clearly exempt reservation land to replace land that the federal government destroyed. if the aim of h.r. 308 is to enforce arizona tribal state gaming compact, this legislation should be amended to make clear that gaming can take place as long as it is conducted pursuant to the compact. bringing h.r. 308 to the floor under suspension is unfair and serves the interests of those who would not discuss the issues highlighted by these and other amendments. let me it rate regardless of how
you voted the last time around, this is a completely different situation. as of july, 2014, the land is now in trust. it is now part of the reservation and this casino is set to open for business next month. if this legislation was unfair before, it is now just shameful. there was only one promise that was made that needs to be kept. the solemn promise this government made to the nation with the passage of the gila bend act in 1986. h.r. 308 will break that promise and set a dangerous precedent and will be a black mark on the dealings with independent nations. i urge members to oppose h.r. 308 and remind my colleagues that this piece of legislation, while tempered and promoted for interests carries with it, carries with it extensive
liability, dangerous precedence and deserves full order debate which we aren't going to have today. with that, mr. speaker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. mr. young: how much time do i have left? the speaker pro tempore: six minutes remaining. mr. young: this has been a good debate and i brought this on behalf of the mostly unanimous arizona delegation. i'm one of the authors, in fact the prime author of the indian gaming act itself. and i would suggest that what's affect posed does not lands in thrust and is a temporary halt. all it does is stop the opening of this casino which they did under guise of dishonesty. promises made, promises kept.
when the governor and all the tribes including the t.o. tribe agreed and signed a compact, not to expand gambling in the state of arizona as they were doing so signing the compact, they were in preparation to buy this land, not telling anybody. at least they should have had the courage and guts not to sign the compact. it went to the public, promises to the public. it never would have passed. gambling in arizona wouldn't not have been there if there had been this understanding there wouldn't be expansion. and don't talk about greed. there are people who are greedy to establish a gambling place where they said they wouldn't do it. that was the understanding with the state. that was the state legislative body. then we hear on the other side we can't vote for this because it's going to take jobs away,
away from whom? other native american indians. these were built on a casino model of how many people come in and come out. that's how you make the casinos pay and that was the understanding and the plan that all the tribes agreed to. they all signed it and we have documentation of that. it was voted on by the general public because they didn't want an expansion of gambling in the state of arizona and it passed in good faith but the pace was not that good. it was disspirited intent of the gaming act at all. it broke the compact with the state and the people of the state. that's what we have to think about. there is a factor here that was not exposed during the conference and the negotiating with the state and with the tribes. it was not exposed it was taking
place. not in sincerity but in fact, dishonesty. i don't like getting involved in the tribled wars but what is being encouraged here is what is wrong with that compact, the promise made by the people and with the tribes. and you are asking us not to stop that? this is a good piece of legislation. make sure that a dishonest act does not take place. a promise, fingers crossed and the other hand is swearing. that's what occurred. i'm asking my colleagues to listen to the arizona delegation, the governor and ask my colleagues to think about a promise made should be kept and only the congress can make sure it is kept and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 308.
those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended -- mr. grijalva: mr. speaker, i would request the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. all those in favor of taking the vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having arisen having risen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8, rule 20, further proceedings on this question will be postponed. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? mr. fitzpatrick: i move to suspend the rules and pass the
bill h.r. 1694. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 1694, a bill to amend m.a.p.-21 to improve contracting opportunities for veteran i've owned small business concerns and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. fitzpatrick and the gentlewoman from district of columbia each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. fitzpatrick: i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days within which to revise and extend their remarks and insert extraneous materials into the record on h.r. 1694. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. fitzpatrick: i yield myself such time as i may consume. i express my deepest condolences to the family, friends and loved ones killed in paris. my prayers go out to them and
the french people and those who have been shaken. as americans, we are too familiar with the specter of terrorism. 14 years ago, on september 11, 2001, terrorists attacked our homeland. 9/11 was the call to action for tens of thousands of men and women who enlisted in defense of the american ideals that we all hold so dear. now each year more than 250,000 of those pest-9/11 veterans are returning home and trangs ising into civilian life and continue to serve as leaders in our communities and our economy. one quarter of these veterans said they are interested in starting or buying their own businesses. this is exactly, mr. speaker, the kind of sbrurel spirit that makes america work. to support these heroic individuals and put their unique
skills and commitment to best use, the federal government has a role to play in empowering them to succeed in the private sector, especially in terms of federal contracting. and a number of agencies do. for example, mr. officer, the veterans administration has been the leader in engaging the veteran-owned small business community within their agency working on contracting and procurement and seeing the benefits of increased veteran involvement. in fact, this week, in my own state of pennsylvania, the v.a. in collaboration with other federal agencies and partners will host its fifth national veterans small business engagement event. this event is expected to attract nearly 3,000 business owners and focus on promoting and supporting veteran owned small businesses access to economic opportunities. v.a. secretary said the event highlights the agency's
commitment by offering veteran business owners the tools they need to thrive in the federal marketplace. we want to do all we can to help our veterans be successful, he said. however, while these veteran business owners will be making valuable inroads and working in the federal contracting and procurement programs, they won't be talking about rebuilding our nation's infrastructure through competeing of federal contracts. even with the immense amount of work facing the department of administration, the small business contracting program doesn't put veterans' small businesses on a level playing field when competing for contracts. that's a real problem. not only for missed opportunities for veteran-owned businesses but to put veteran-owned firms to rebuild our infrastructure. while i'm a supporter of having a completely level playing field for federal contracting, the
fact is that today some get a preference when doing business with the federal government where veterans do not. while 10% of federally-funded exrarbg projects are set aside for small businesses, our veterans are excluded from competing equally. and that's not fair. and that is why i rise today to offer bipartisan legislation to address it. my bipartisan fairness to veterans for infrastructure investment act is a simple yet powerful update to current law. and it would allow veteran-owned small businesses to compete in an infrastructure program known as the business enterprise program. this simple legislation is critical to both the shared goal of creating and sustaining jobs for our veterans and rebuilding our nation's infrastructure. my constituents know this as fairness to veterans and they
support it. when i visit veteran owned small businesses which have received the small business certification, easy to see its impact. connecting veteran-owned businesses to the contracting power of the federal government opens the door for increased production, the hiring of additional staff and oftentimes veterans themselves and opens doors to national opportunities. but it's not just pennsylvania veterans who would benefit. fairness to veterans would level the playing field for more than 380,000 to veteran-owned construction firms across the nation. and not just construction firms that will benefit. there are a variety of industries involved such as personnel, administrative, engineering, landscaping, utilities and information technologies. so this is an issue that affects all veteran-owned small businesses. with this obviously positive
impact, it's easy to see why the american legion, one of the foremost organizations advocating veterans backs this bill, $2.3 million members support veterans. and here's what they just said in a message to all of our offices. this is a quote. the fairness to veterans for infrastructure investment act of 2015 is a bipartisan commonsense and no cost to tax tear update of existing legislation that addresses small businesses within the framework of the d.b.e. program and when that rogram was originally drafted. . adding small businesses to this program would increase firms at the states' disposal. for states that already meet their goals, this bill does not affect them or the small business contractors that they
employ. we cannot in good conscience stand idle while our veterans are precluded from this federal program, and that's their quote. members of this body from both sides of the aisle should see the positive impact that can be made by putting the those trained work force this history on the job, of rebuilding our nation's roads and bridges. that's what the fairness to veterans for infrastructure investment act is all about, and that's why i, as a member of the congressional veterans jobs caucus, and an advocate for tens of thousands of veterans in my district in the commonwealth of pennsylvania, that's why i encourage my colleagues to support this bipartisan effort. i reserve the balance of my ime. the speaker pro tempore: thank you. the gentlewoman from the district of columbia is recognized. ms. norton: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. norton: mr. speaker, flags throughout the nation are at half staff. coincidentally we have
celebrated our own veterans day. we particularly feel that celebration here in the district of columbia where we have served our country since it was created and still have no vote on this floor. even though residents of the city i represent pay the any st taxes per capita of residents anywhere in the world, including our veterans, who continue to go to war without a vote. but this afternoon, mr. speaker, in the wake of veterans day, the house is considering several bills that will benefit the nation's veterans. i strongly support much of this legislation. i believe that many of these bills will pass the house without a single dissenting vote. regrettably, that's not the ase, mr. speaker, for h.r.
1694, which i cannot support, because as currently drafted, it may cause destructive harm to the department of transportation's disadvantage business enterprise, or d.b.e. program, which helps combat historic discrimination against women and minority-owned small businesses. the d.b.e. program helps level the playing field and provides an opportunity for these small businesses to fairly compete for highway and transit construction contracts. regrettably, this bill could destroy the entire program, taking everything down with it including what it purports to add. the u.s. supreme court has been very clear in determining that the d.b.e. program must be subject to the highest standard of constitutional review by the courts, known as the strict
scrutiny test, to be constitutional. under the strict scrutiny test, established by the u.s. supreme court, the d.b.e. program must be narrowly tailored to serve a compelling governmental interests to meet these objectives. state departments of transportation and public transit agencies must certify individual d.b.e. businesses and conduct extensive disparity studies to determine the appropriate goal for awarding contracts to the small businesses owned by women and minorities in a particular community or state. that is a very rigorous standard. the bill before us today, however, adds all veteran-owned businesses without the
stougsally mandated study -- constitutionally mandated study. i emphasize that service-connected disabled veterans are and already and always have been included. ey are a narrowly tailored group of veterans. however, the change offered today threatens the constitutionality of the existing d.b.e. program because it would no longer clearly meet one of the two essential elements of the supreme court test. one, that the program be narrowly -- that is that the rogram be narrowly tailored to dress the continued effects of discrimination, which disparity study must have already shown.
thus, although the bill has a worthy objective, it has an unintended consequence of threatening the very program designed to help level the playing field for small businesses owned by women and minorities and as it would happen, these veterans as well. it just would blow up the whole program. the gentleman from maryland, mr. cummings, and i have met extenvely with the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. fipatrick, to outline these concerns. mr cummings and i in response developed an alternative approach to create a veteran-owned business enterprise program within the department of transportation. under that program, there would be a national goal to assure that veteran-owned small businesses receive highway and transit construction contracts. moreover, this program would not undermine the constitutionality of the
existing d.b.e. program. mr. cummings and i introduced that bill earlier today, and i had hoped in the spirit of compromise that is necessary to save any program at this point, we could proceed with that compromised proposal that would achieve all of our objectives. mr. fitzpatrick's objectives and the objectives that have been in the bill since the 1980's. regretfully -- regrettably, we have not reached any such agreement on this approach with the gentleman from pennsylvania prior to today's consideration of h.r. 1694. i urge my colleagues to join me in opposing the bill, and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: thank you, ms. norton. the gentleman is recognized from pennsylvania. mr. fitzpatrick: mr. speaker, only in the nation's capital,
only in washington, d.c., would somebody ever make the argument that adding veterans to any federal program would make it weaker, but that's the argument we just heard and the fact is of the hundreds of thousands of veteran-owned small businesses in the united states of america, many of them, the owners are women veterans. the owners are minority veterans. and i just want to address some of the arguments that my colleague from the district of columbia's made. two in particular. first, the fairness to veterans for infrastructure investment act does not presume that veterans are socially and economically disadvantaged for purposes of the d.b.e. program. instead, the veteran-owned small businesses are given the exact same definition that they have in other contracting programs through the small business act. the d.b.e. program was set up to assist certain classes of small businesses, and this bill does not affect those businesses, number one. number two, the fairness to
veterans act uses existing small business act definitions requiring that businesses be 51% owned or controlled by veterans. the certification process and the screening was put in place by the department of transportation regulations. a similar process that would apply to veteran-owned small businesses. additionally, any business participating in the d.b.e. program could also be publicly owned. so with that i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: thank you, mr. fitzpatrick. the gentlelady from the district of columbia, ms. norton, is recognized. ms. norton: mr. speaker, i do want to note that the gentleman is correct, that women are covered. they're already covered. one-third of those covered under the d.b.e. category of nority and ethnic groups are minorities. so we do have large numbers of women and minorities covered,
and the disparity studies have been done on them. no disparity studies have been done. the gentleman wants to do one, we invite him to work with us in doing a disparity study on veterans rather than blowing up the whole program because that's the way he likes it. i'd like to now yield four minutes to a member of the committee and my good friend, the gentleman from maryland. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maryland is recognized for four minutes. mr. cummings: thank you very much. i thank the gentlelady for yielding. i also thank her for her leadership as the ranking member of the highway and transit subcommittee on the transportation committee. this past week our nation paused to honor the extraordinary service of our nation's veterans. the foundation of america's litary is not missiles and tanks or jets. the foundation of our military
is the men and women who voluntarily serve, the ones who give their blood, their sweat and their tears to make sure we have the freedom that we experience every day. and too often those who have served our country, particularly after the terrible events of 9/11, have faced significant challenges finding civilian employment. earlier this year, the burrow of labor statistics re-- bureau of labor statistics, released veteran unemployment in 2014. according to the b.l.s., last year there were more than 21 million men and women who had served in our armed forces, or approximately 9% of our civilian population. the b.l.s. found that in 2014 the jobless rate for all terans was 5.3%, while the
unemployment rate for veterans who had served since 9/11 was 7.2%. the b.l.s. also found that the unemployment rate for veterans in my home state of maryland was 8.5%. the highest among all 50 states. according to data drawn from the census bureau survey of business, in 2007 there were nearly 2 1/2 million businesses in the united states all which veterans comprised the majority ownership. together, these businesses had $1.2 s of approximately trillion. nearly half a million of these businesses were also employers with a combined annual payroll .f approximately $210 billion now, i agree with
representative fitzpatrick that we must expand programs that help veterans find employment after their service ends and that we should expand contracting opportunities in the highway and transit programs for small businesses owned by veterans. i just don't think adding veterans to the existing d.b.e. program is the right way to accomplish these goals. adding veteran-owned small businesses to the d.b.e. program would force the veteran-owned businesses to compete with disadvantaged businesses enterprises already participating in the program for contracting opportunities. the best way to help veterans is to establish a federal participation goal that is specifically for veteran-owned small businesses and business concerns separate and apart from the d.b.e. program. today, i and several of our colleagues introduced
legislation to accomplish that -- just that. our bill, h.r. 3997, would amend the map-21 program to create a 10% aspirational goal for veteran-owned small business concerns, setting a specific and separate goal for veteran-owned businesses would be consistent with existing federal contracting programs while ensuring that veterans do not have to compete with any other business under the aspirational goal. . setting a separate goal would also ensure that we do not make changes to the d.b.e. program that could open the program to new legal challenges, that could limit the program's ability to serve either d.b.e.'s or veterans. i hope that my colleagues across the aisle would agree to work with us to create a program that would provide the maximum benefit to veterans which is a veterans business enterprise program with its own aspirational goal.
. i urge members to vote against the bill that is before us. with that, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: time of the the gentleman from maryland has expired. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. fitzpatrick: i appreciate the comments from my colleagues. i would just indicate that this is not a policy or a bill that was recently filed. this was filed and pending in the house since 2011 when i first filed the fairness to veterans act seeking to put our veterans to work as they are coming back into a difficult economy and many of them are starting businesses, because he are entrepreneurial and hard workers and have those skills and want to put it back for an
economy and help get their country's economy moving again. and many of them found as they were competing for contracts that they were not on a level playing field. and i indicated, for five years this policy has been pending and too few meetings trying to help our nation's veterans compete. there were five years that our federal government has been measuring the d.b.e. program and for five years in a row on the 10% contracting goal that set forth in the disadvantaged business enterprise program, 25 of the 50 states, half of the states never met the 10% goal. when we hear we don't want our nation's competing, first of all, half the 10% set-aside isn't being met. i think we do want competition. it will not only be good for our nation's veterans but will be
good for all enterprises and all businesses. competition is what built this country and competition will help put our nation's veterans back to work and get our roads and bridges rebuilt which is a big and important job. mr. chairman, how much time do i have remaining? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania has 9 1/2 minutes remaining. mr. fitzpatrick: with respect to big and important job that our veterans are being prepared for. they are up to the challenge and statistics prove it. 250,000 veterans coming in each ear from the military to civilian life and looking for their next megs mission. a quarter of them say they want to start or buy their own business. that is something we should celebrate and support. they join one in seven veterans who are self-employed and small business owners right now.
and the impact of veteran i've -- veteran-owned businesses is impressive, the impact on our economy. they currently account for 3.7 million veteran-owned businesses in the united states. they account for $1.6 trillion in receipts and employ 2.8 million people. of them, more than 380,000 veteran-owned construction firms, 414,519 veteran-owned firms in the professional, scientific and technical services and over 10% of all manufacturing firms are veteran-owned. these are the people that would stand to benefit from this commonsense bill. unfortunately, the numbers also show that 75% of current veteran owners are over the age of 55 and we need to support the next generation of owners and the
bill lays that groundwork. with that, i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania reserves. the gentleman from -- the gentlewoman from from the district of columbia is recognized. ms. norton: i met with the gentleman more than once and extensive memo on the problems with the bill and you just can't divide veterans the day after veterans day or divide this house on the question of veterans not when we have offered an entire program for veterans. i don't know what's so sacred about being in this other program. in fact, the gentleman mentioned hat the minorities and women were not, in fact, leading all of the goals, therefore, there is left on the table some of
those goals. very important point. because being a minority or a woman is not enough to qualify don't want and i toll call it set-aside, for this goal, because it's not a set-aside. these minorities and women have to show equivalent skills with others who are competing. it's not an easy thing to do. so it's not a question of whether there is some leftover points to be picked up by veterans. it's 30 years of history in the united states supreme court. mr. speaker, every time this bill is passed, even with that history, the d.e. -- d.b.e. program is challenged and each time the justice department
under republican and democratic presidents have gone in and efended it as a narrowly tailored program. recognizing that history and the narrowly tailored standard, the gentleman was offered a way for veterans to in fact be recognized for transportation and infrastructure programs. he was offered a way that is probably even better than the program that units minorities and women, and i might add, service disabled veterans. that's a a narrowly tailored group that is included. but instead of accepting this offer, he has decided he wants to blow up the entire d.b.e. program for veterans and
everyone else. well we can't agree to such a destructive approach particularly when we have offered the gentleman a way for veterans to be recognizeded. and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady reserves. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. fitzpatrick: it's disappointing to hear the not iffs behind of my interest inputting veterans put back to work being mischaracterized and that the effort where i have patiently worked with both sides of the aisle and patiently introduced bills, where i patiently signed up sponsors and co-sponsors on both sides of the aisle. only in washington, d.c., would you say after five lieges of legislative work to help terans get back to work that
we are rushing. much of this work has been hand in hand with the american legion. and this is, mr. speaker, this is what the american legion has to say. on behalf of the 2.3 million members of the american legion, i would like to express my support for h.r. 1694, the fairness for infrastructure and investment act. this bill passed a resolution at the national convention of the american legion and supported fairness to resolution and passed the 2014 national convention and states that the american legion and this is a quote supports legislation to ensure equal parity for all veterans and small business government contracting programs thus ensuring no government procurement program is at a disadvantage with competing with any other government program established by law.
the american legion supports the passage of this legislation and applauds us facing this. that is from the national commander of the american legion. and let me add we're not just talking about construction firms. we are talking about a wide swath of veteran businesses that will be impacted and this is what the legion pointed out at the national meeting. it pointed out that this bipartisan commonsense and no cost to taxpayer of update of existing legislation addresses the exclusion of veteran small businesses when the framework of the d.b.e. program was originally drafted such as personnel, administrative, engineering, utilities and information and technology. so this is an issue that affects all types of veteran-owned small businesses and that is from joe sharp director of the american legion's employment and education division. i reserve.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentlewoman from district of columbia is recognized. ms. norton: the gentleman mentioned five years that he put into his amendment. well, his party has been in power for the last five years. as far as i know, he never asked for a hearing so these issues could be clarified and i'm sure that if he had, we might have been able to iron this out. even without a hearing, based on what the supreme court has said, we have no choice but to oppose the amendment as he has offered among not differentiating the service or the veterans. he is speaking about putting in a global group, which has never been done and we barely have been able to get the supreme
court but have always succeeded in get the courts to understand that this bill for past discrimation, has been shown through disparity studies. this will say we are veterans, approve us any way. nobody opposes veterans, particularly at this time following what we have seen in paris. the way in which, to make sure that veterans are not left out, is to sit down with us and to figure it out, not to barnstorm the floor in the hope that since you are in the majority, it will pass. i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. fitzpatrick: mr. speaker the
gentlelady from district of columbia indicated there has not been a hearing in the house of representatives and the relevant subcommittees or the committees in the fairness to veterans act. for five years this bill has been pending, anybody on the committee, including ms. holmes norton could have asked for a hearing and it's a shame after five years there was no hearing, but we have a hearing now on the floor here on this bill. in addition to the transportation committee, the bill was also referred to the small business committee and within one of their subcommittees, the american legion testified on the fairness to veterans' bill in that subcommittee. so there was hearing. so there was testimony. there was opportunity for all members to question and to follow up on those questions and to submit material after the hearing was over. after five years, after five years of negotiation, after five years of working with committees and subcommittees, this bill is prepared to be voted on here
today. with that, i would ask that the american legion letter dated april 22, 2015 from the national commander michael d. helm in support of the fairness to veterans act be part of the congressional record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. fitzpatrick: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania reserves. the gentlewoman from district of columbia is recognized. ms. norton: a member of the minority should have asked for a hearing on your bill. you want a hearing on your bill? that is your obligation. i'm pleased to yield to my good friend from florida. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from florida is recognized. ms. brown: we just finished celebrating -- the speaker pro tempore: how much time? ms. norton: i think the
gentlelady has a question. ms. brown: let me just say we finished celebrating veterans day and as the ranking member, i support veterans 100%. also as a minority, i have a question for the gentlewoman from, because you know, we just celebrated the 1965 voting rights act. and of course minorities have had a tough time participating in any programs. can you tell me if this amendment passed, how will this effect the minority business program in transportation? we both have been on this ommittee and over 23 years and has to be narrowly tailored or else we will have no program? ms. norton: i thank the gentlewoman for her question. there is some history of what needs to be done.
it's not as if we are speculating on what the constitutional standard is. the constitutional standard has been developed. we have to when we pass this bill, we have to go in, the states have to do their disparity studies all over again to show groups should be included. some groups will fall out. this is delicate work. and in our and our constitutional government, we don't say every worthy group should have a preference. need to make a showing, and if that showing isn't made, then the matter will not stand. and if you want to give a very painful example of that, take the voting rights act. the supreme court of the united states overturned about five years ago the voting rights act. guess why, mr. speaker? they said there had been some
changes and that people of color could now vote as they couldn't always vote when the voting rights act was passed and so they threw it back to this congress and it said, all right. you can have a voting rights act but you must update the act to show that there is still a disparity in voting. there are pending now three bills in order to do that, but if the supreme court did that on the voting rights act where the discrimination was perhaps the most apparent from poll taxes to lynching, you can imagine where we would be on d.b.e. and we got 30 years of court history to show it. we all want to do the best that we possibly can for our veterans. the way to do that is to sit
down and design a bill that would in fact pass constitutional muster. we know how to do it. this is not a matter of the ego of whoever introduces the bill. it's a matter of how you make sure that veterans in fact are designated in a constitutional way for participation in the soon-to-be signed by the president surface transportation bill. ms. brown: i have a follow-up question. ms. norton: how much time do i have? the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from the district of columbia has 45 seconds remaining. ms. norton: mr. speaker, we've done the best we can for our veterans in speaking for this bill today. we remain open to ensuring that veterans participate in the funds that are about to come from the transportation and infrastructure bill, and i
yield back the remainder of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from the district of columbia yields back the balance of her time. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. fitzpatrick: mr. speaker, we know that we must rebuild our crumbling infrastructure in this country, that is not a question. in fact, in my home state of pennsylvania, 15% of roads are in poor condition, and there are over 5,200 structural deficient bridges. there's -- structurally deficient bridges. there's plenty of work to be done. work helped by the six-year surface transportation bill. what we can decide today with my fairness to veterans act is if it will be in our nation's interest that our veterans will help lead that work. let's salute our veteran small business owners by empowering them to help rebuild america nd pass the veterans
infrastructure act, a no cost to the taxpayers. i ask my colleagues to support this simple, bipartisan proposal and pass this measure. mr. chairman, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania yields back the balance of his time. all time having now expired, the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 1694. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed, and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. mr. fitzpatrick: mr. speaker. i request a recorded vote. the speaker pro tempore: does the gentleman -- yeas and nays are requested. all those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this uestion will be postponed.
for what purpose does the gentleman from ohio seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 3114, as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: union calendar number 188. h.r. 3114, a bill to provide funds to the army corps of engineers to hire veterans and members of the armed forces to assist the corps with curation and historic preservation activities, and for other urposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from ohio, mr. gibbs, and the gentlewoman from california, mrs. napolitano, each will control 20 minutes. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from ohio. mr. gibbs: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and and their remarks
include extraneous materials on h.r. 3114. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. gibbs: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for as much time as he may consume. mr. gibbs: as our veterans return home, they deserve opportunities for employment in addition to our thanks for their sacrifice and service. i believe the greatest responsibility our government has to ensure the members of our military, both active and retired, and their families have the opportunities upon returning home. our veterans gave a career of service to our country, risked their lives in combat and experienced long periods of separation from their families. the program, which was created to give veterans to adjust to civilian work environment and learn important skills while processing at-risk archaeological collections belonging to the u.s. army corps of engineers. the veterans cureation program is building on the skills that veterans acquire during military service, including leadership, teamwork and
attention to detail. working under the direct supervision of those involved in archaeological they receive technical training in a peer-to-peer environment. i ask colleagues to support the bill and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from ohio reserves the balance of his time. the gentlewoman from california is recognized. mrs. napolitano: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized for such time as she may consume. mrs. napolitano: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in support of h.r. 3114. as stated by my colleague. a bipartisan bill along with my colleague, congressman rodney davis of illinois, to permanently authorize available funds from the army corps of engineers to hire veterans for curation, of archaeological sites, items of related activities. it's very notable that on the legislative week following veterans day, the house is
considering important legislation to provide job training, assistance to hire and train our veterans. as part of our government's effort to protect our nation's archaeological heritage, federal agencies are required to provide curation and preservation services to professional museums and archival practices. in 2009, the army corps of engineers began training veterans in archaeological processing activities using temporary funds provided by the american reinvestment and recovery act, otherwise known as arra. for six years, veterans have enrolled in the program and have been acquiring valuable job skills, including but not limited to, computer database management, records management, scanning and photographer, photographing artifacts. these are prey pairing veterans for today's job market by giving them valuable hands-on experience. earlier this year, 241 veterans
have gone through the program and currently they have 38 veterans in this current class. as a direct result of the program, 139 veterans have obtained permanent employment, 39 have continued their education either in colleges, universities or in certification programs. not only does the corps veterans curation educate, train and employ veterans, the program's jobs are tailored to fit the capabilities of disabled veterans. the corps undertakes these activities in three facilities across our country located in georgia, virginia and missouri. mr. speaker, my colleagues and i are grateful for the chance to provide our veterans an opportunity to continue healing by carrying out meaningful work and job training that is helping them and their family reintegrate, become more productive that is so beneficial to our nation. i ask my colleagues to making this worthwhile program permanent and join me in passing this legislation and i
reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california reserves the balance of her time. the gentleman from ohio is recognized. mr. gibbs: mr. speaker, i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentlelady from california is recognized. mrs. napolitano: this is a program that's worthwhile. it's one of the many agencies' efforts to continue helping our veterans get job training, get job skills and be able to sustain their families in a way that may make them feel whole again. i do ask all my colleagues to support this and i do ask for the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: does the gentlelady -- mrs. napolitano: i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california yields back the balance of her time. the gentleman from ohio is recognized. mr. gibbs: mr. speaker, i ask my colleagues to join me in supporting this important legislation and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from ohio yields back the balance of his time. the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 3114, as amended. those in favor say aye.
those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed, and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. mrs. napolitano: mr. speaker, i'd like the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. all those in favor say aye -- all those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this question will be postponed.
the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from georgia seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i move that the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 3144, as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of he bill. the clerk: h.r. 3144, a bill to require consultation with the aviation security advisory committee regarding modifications to the prohibited item list, require a report on the transportation security oversight board, and for other urposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from georgia, mr. carter, and the gentleman from new jersey, mr. payne, each will control 20 minutes. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from georgia. mr. carter: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include any extraneous material on the bill under
consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. carter: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for such time as he may consume. mr. carter: mr. speaker, i rise today in strong support of h.r. 3144, the partners for aviation security act of 2015. this important bipartisan legislation ensures that the critical decisions affecting the transportation security of the united states are not made in a vacuum without the input and perspective of relevant transportation stakeholders. unfortunately, the transportation security administration has a troublesome history which when making sweeping policy changes at the expense of the traveling public and other affected parties, such as aviation workers, airports, airline vendors and law enforcement. specifically, h.r. 3144 requires the administrator of t.s.a. to consult when possible
with the aviation security advisory committee determining whether the prohibitive item list for passenger aircraft. in the 113th congress, the subcommittee on transportation security conducted oversight of efforts to modify the prohibited items list after t.s.a. made a sweeping decision to do so without appropriate prior consultation of stakeholders. by codifying the aviation security advisory committee, our asac, the committee has a proven record of eb suring t.s.a. -- ensuring t.s.a. consults with stakeholders on transportation security when appropriate. another important provision of this bill requires that the secretary of homeland security submit a report to both congress and the transportation oversight board including important information on the board's activities. this report may include recommendations for congress and the department to improve the
board and ensure it is meeting the original intent of providing review of transportation security-related regulations and making a meaningful contribution to the security of our nation's critical transportation systems. each and every day, there are new and evolving threats to the security of americans -- of america's traveling public and it is the important work of the department of homeland security and t.s.a. to ensure that travelers are safe and to mitigate threats against transportation. in this regard, it is of the highest importance that relevant partners in transportation security are engaged and included in ongoing dialogue on important policy matters being considered. i wish to thank the chairman of the full committee, mr. mccaul, as well as the chairman of the subcommittee on transportation security, mr. katko, for their work in bringing this bill to the floor today and conducting critical oversight efforts to
secure america's transportation systems. additionally, i wish to thank the bill's author, congressman payne, for his hard work and dedication to this issue. finally, i would like to thank the ranking member of the full committee, mr. thompson, for supporting this important legislation. collaboration is the key to effective security and it is the prerogative of the committee on homeland security to ensure that open lines of communication exist between stakeholders, t.s.a. and d.h.s. i urge my colleagues to support this legislation, and i reserve the balance of my time. the chair: the gentleman from georgia reserves. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. payne: i rise in support of h.r. 3144, the pat nears for aviation security act and i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized mr. payne: thank you, mr. speaker. i introduced h.r. 3144, the
partners for aviation security act to ensure that transportation security administration's key domestic partner for aviation security, the aviation security advisory committee is positioned to can contribute to aviation security policy. before beginning, mr. speaker, i would like to say that our thoughts and prayers are with e families of those who lost -- that were lost on the metrojet flight originating from egypt recently. the safety and security of the traveling public is vital. and the work of the transportation and security subcommittee, of which i'm a member is extremely important. as we address issues in vulnerabilities that affect the nation's aviation sector. as many of you will recall in
2012, then t.s.a. administrator hn pistol unilaterally changed, changed -- made changes to the prohibited items list allowed on to passenger planes to include small knives and sporting goods equipment. almost immediately, there was an outcry against this decision from a broad range of stakeholders. our committee heard fl flight attendants, pilots, passenger groups and others about the security and safety risks associated with these changes. like many americans, i was pleased that t.s.a. matly decide todd withdraw its changes to the prohibited items list. however i believe t.s.a. should consult the aviation advisory
committee before implementing new security protocols. enactment of h.r. 3144 would ensure that such consultation occurs. h.r. 3144 includes language to ensure that there is continuity in the asac's operations even when there are changes to its membership. in general terms, given that most of our nation's most crucial infrastructure is owned and operated by the private sector, it is important that d.h.s. maintain close partnerships with the private sector to execute its mission and programs. when it comes to aviation security, such partners are essential inso far as t.s.a. cannot effectively carry out its mission at our nation's airports
without buy-in from the air carriers, labor unions, passenger groups, airport vendors and technology companies. for these reasons, i urge members to support h.r. 3144. and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey reserves. the gentleman from georgia is recognized. mr. carter: i have no more speakers, if the the gentleman from new jersey has no more speakers, i'm prepared to close when the jea does. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. payne: i yield myself such uch time as i may consume. i would like to acknowledge this bill was approved unanimously in committee and thank our co-sponsors, the chair of our subcommittee on transportation and security, mr. katko, the
chairman of the full committee, mr. mccaul, and the ranking member of the full committee, mr. thompson. i'm pleased that the committee has worked in a bipartisan fashion to advance this timely piece of legislation. together, we send a strong message to t.s.a. and the american flying public about our commitment to ensuring that sensible and effective security policies are in place in our nation's airports. with that, mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey yields back. the gentleman from georgia is recognized to close debate on this bill. mr. carter: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. carter: i urge my colleagues to support h.r. 3144 and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: all time having now expired. the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 3144 as amended.
those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair 2/3 being in the affirmative -- mr. carter: mr. speaker -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia is recognized. mr. carter: i move that the house suspend the rules and pass h.r. 27 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title. the clerk: h.r. 1073 bill to amend the homeland security act of 2002 to secure critical infrastructure against electromagnetic threats and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from georgia, mr. carter and the gentleman from new jersey, mr. payne, each will control 20 minutes. mr. carter: i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days within which to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on the bill under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. . mr. carter: i yield myself such
time as i may consume. mr. speaker, i rise in support of h.r. 1073, critical infrastructure protection act of 2015. the threats to the nation's critical infrastructure continue to evolve. threats today come in all forms, physical, cyber, electromagnetic pulse. h.r. 1073 is a commonsense piece of legislation because it would ensure that d.h.s. plans and addresses threats for these events. specifically, this bill would require the department of homeland security to inclued e.m.p. events in national planning frame works and ensure that d.h.s. conducts outreach and owners and operators and emergency planners and emergency responders about the threats of e.m.p. events. finally, this legislation requires the secretary to conduct research and development to mitigate the consequences.
i would like to thank my colleague, mr. franks for offering this important piece of legislation. i urge members to join me in supporting this bill and i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia reserves. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. payne: mr. speaker, i rise in support of h.r. 1073, the crucial infrastructure protection act and i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for as much time as he may consume. mr. payne: h.r. 1073 will require department of homeland security to undertake research, planning and educational activities to mitigate the potential consequences of electromagnetic pulses and geo mag getic disturbances on public utilities and national security assets. as the congressional budget office noted in its analysis, the department is currently carrying out programs similar to
those required by the bill. along those lines, ti think it is important to identify the lements of e.m.p. and g.m.b. preparedness and response activities that are common to the existing preparedness and response efforts as set forth in the national planning frame works. these national planning efforts identify roles and responsibilities for disaster prevention, detection, mitigation, response and recovery activities and this bill will include consideration .f e.m.p.'s it is important to distinctish between e.m.p. or g.m.d. there are significant differences in the nature of the threats. the science behind their impacts
and the range of options for potential solutions. e.m.p. weapons are most generally recognized as thermal nuclear weapons that may be launched on missiles designed to explode in the upper atmosphere and produce targeted energy that can impact a wide range of technologies and industries. e.m.p. blast could disrupt potentially and destroy lectronic devices in the affected area with consequences to critical infrastructure that rely on micro processor-based devices. devices result from solar weather activity. severe g.m.d. events may produce varying effects on the power
system depending on orientation of the solar storm, latitude, transmission lines characteristics, the geology of an affected area and the design of a power system. the effects of g.m.d. are believed to be primarily limited to reliability of the bulk power stem while the effects of an e.m.p. could cross multiple fractures and given that e.m.p. is likely to be the result of an international attack or warlike activity on the united states or its neighbors, d.h.s. may need to partner with the department of defense. going forward, i urge members to be mindful of the broad range of preparedness demands on d.h.s. and with that, i reserve.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey reserves. the gentleman from georgia is recognized. mr. carter: i yield five minutes to the distinguished the gentleman from arizona, mr. franks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from arizona is recognized for five minutes. mr. franks: thank you, mr. speaker. i'm sincerely grateful to all of those who have supported the critical infrastructure protection act. i'm especially grateful to chairman pete sessions for his co-sponsorship and his committed partnership on this bill as well as to chairman mccaul and to the leadership team of this house for allowing this legislation to come to the floor. mr. speaker, i think it's an especially appropriate time for us to pause and reflect on the tragedies that have occurred in france and stand? solidarity with those people who are part of the free world and those who fight terrorism and to
survive its effects. and my prayers are with them. and it is ironic that today we are here dealing with legislation to help mitigate our own vulnerabilities to potential attacks that could come in the future. mr. speaker, electromagnetic pulse or e.m.p. can be catalogged by nonnuclear interference or major solar storm or high altitude nuclear blast. it is an invisible blast of particles to destroy our electrical power grids which are a vital component of nearly every critical electrical structure we have. these pulses is a timely and critical matter of national security. during the past several decades, america has spent billions of dollars hardening many of our critical defense assets and our uclear triad and nuclear
components against electromagnetic pulse. however, the department of defense depends on the largely unprotected civilian grid for 99% of its electricity needs in the continental united states without which it cannot effect its mission. . a pulse knocked out the electric grid across the eastern united states. 50 million people were affected . after 21 power plants shut down in just three minutes. office workers streamed into parking lots and many commuters from stranded inside trains. from the electric grid to water pumps to cell phone service to computer systems were disrupted. life suddenly changed that day in new york city, in cleveland, in detroit and all the way into canada. in new york city alone, this
short blackout was estimated to cost more than a half billion dollars. there are at least 11 major government reports now that have all come essentially to the same conclusion regarding our vulnerabilities to electromagnetic pulse. some of america's most enlightened national security experts as well as many of our enemies or potential enemies consider a well-executed weaponized electromagnetic pulse against america to be a, quote, kill shot. let me say that again. a quote, kill shot, to america. however, our civilian grid remains fundamentally unprotected against severe e.m.p., and for it to remape so is an open invitation for our enemies to exploit this dangerous vulnerability. indeed, the national intelligence university recently translated iranian military doctrine called passive defense. this doctrine stresses that electrical grid are of major exist to powers of the world
like america and calculates the formula for targeting electric grid components and our critical infrastructure. mr. speaker, this iranian military doctrine referenced the use of nuclear-generated electromagnetic pulse as an effective weapon more than 20 times. now that the islamic republic of iran begins to enjoy the bounty of their nuclear negotiations it should be a wake-up call to all of us that e state sponsor of terrorism is contemplated as electromagnetic pulse is an asymmetric weapon against america. thankfully, mr. speaker, we are here this day to pass the critical infrastructure protect act, if signed into law, will represent the first time in history that congress will be specifically addressing this dangerous threat of electromagnetic pulse. this legislation will enhance the d.h.s. threat assessment for e.m.p. through research and reporting requirements. it will help the united states to prevent and prepare for such an event by including
large-scale blackouts into our planning snare yorks including educational awareness for the first responders to protect critical infrastructure. most importantly, it requires a specific plan for protecting and recovering the electrical grid and other critical infrastructure from a dangerous electromagnetic pulse event. mr. speaker, finally, there is a moment in the life of nearly every problem when it is big enough to be seen by reasonable people and still small enough to be addressed. those of us in this chamber and across america live in a time when there still may be opportunity for a free world to address and mitigate the vulnerability that naturally rurg occurring or weapon sised e.m.p. represents to the mechanism of our civilization. this is our moment. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the time of the gentleman from arizona has expired. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. . payne: mr. speaker, i want to acknowledge the remarks by the gentleman from arizona in
reference to the solidarity that we stand with the french people. it's been stated now and called this terrorist attack is their 9/11. so i just wanted to be on the record to acknowledge the comments of the gentleman from arizona and we stand with the french people in solidarity. mr. speaker, i have no further speakers, and i'm prepared to close if the gentleman from georgia is prepared to close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia is recognized. mr. carter: mr. speaker, i yield three minutes to the distinguished gentleman from texas, mr. sessions. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas, mr. sessions, is recognized for three minutes. mr. sessions: mr. speaker, thank you very much, and i want to thank the gentleman, my dear friend from georgia for the time. mr. speaker, i rise today in support of h.r. 1073, the critical infrastructure protection act. over the past decade, our nation has seen an unprecedented expansion in the
use of electronics, mr. speaker. these electronics have transformed our economy, our homes, our families and really the way we do business and have become an integral part of our daily lives. unfortunately, this technology is also susceptible to new types of potential threats, threats that have been talked about on this floor by not only mr. franks but also our friend, mr. carter and others. and today we know this as electromagnetic pulse, known as e.m.p.'s. they could cra matcally disrupt electronic -- dramatically disrupt electronic grids and everything that stands under those grids. examples of e.m.p. threats include those generated from geometic solar flair, short range missile, physical assault on a utility or a power plant. the critical infrastructure
protection act that we are talking about today and we hope to pass is an important first step towards protecting our nation from potential catastrophic nationwide blackouts. i would like to recognize frank gaffney, the president and founder of the center for security policy. frank has provided the leadership, not only by meeting with me, but also working with mr. franks and hundreds of other members to let us know not only about this important critical infrastructure policy need but also to make sure that we educate and spread awareness to not only our constituency but other members of congress. such potential threats and occurrences such as e.m.p. attacks, would dramatically alter our way of wife. i would also like to -- way of life. about also like to talk my dear congressman, trent
franks. mr. franks and i have spoken about this issue for years. we have worked hard with the chairman of the homeland security as well as leadership in this house to make sure that we accomplish this legislation now. unfortunately, the critical infrastructure protection act is simply the first step towards getting the u.s. closer to protecting ourselves from potentially kratt stroffic nationwide black -- catastrophic nationwide blackouts. i know this will begin a national dialogue, a dialogue that needs to take place that's already begun by such leaders as former speaker newt gingrich and former vice president dick cheney. mr. speaker, i applaud the house today for taking up this important legislation and ask that my colleagues pay attention to, understand this bill and vote for it because supporting passage of h.r. 19 -- 1073, the critical infrastructure protection act, is important to the american
people, our way of life. and mr. speaker, i thank you very much. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. payne: mr. speaker, i have no further speakers, and i am prepared to close if the gentleman from georgia is prepared to close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia is recognized. mr. carter: mr. speaker, i have no more speakers. if the gentleman from new jersey has no further speakers i'm prepared to close once the gentleman does. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey is recognized to close debate for the minority. mr. payne: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. payne: thank you, mr. speaker. in closing, i'd like to note that h.r. 1073 puts focus on e.m.p. and g.m.d. preparedness response in a reasonable manner. it does so in a way that does not come at the detriment of preparing for other more likely or more potentially lethal
events. i'd also reiterate that there are activities already under way at d.h.s. to improve preparedness activities for an e.m.p. event. for example, it is my understanding that d.h.s. is looking at including e.m.p. as an annex to the federal interagency operational plans that is currently in development. with that, mr. speaker, i urge passage of h.r. 1073 and yield back the balance of my time yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from georgia is recognized. mr. carter: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. carter: mr. speaker, i once again urge my colleagues to support h.r. 1073. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: all time having been yielded back, the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 1073, as amended.
those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed, and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman fr florida, mr. miller, seek recognition? mr. miller: mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 1338, as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of theill. the clerk: union calendar number 237, h.r. 1338, a bill to require the secretary of veterans affairs to conduct a study on matters relating to the burial of unclaimed remains of veterans in national
cemeteries, and for other urposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from florida, mr. miller, and the gentlewoman from florida, ms. brown, each will control 20 minutes. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from florida, mr. miller. mr. miller: mr. spear, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and add their remarks and any extraneous material that they may have on h.r. 1338 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. miller: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro mpore: the gentleman is recognized for such time as he may consume. mr. miler: thank you, mr. speaker. i do ge all members to support h.r. 1338, the internment of our veterans' act of 2015. introduced by my good friend of pennsylvania, mr. shuster, would help that deceased veterans are treated with respect and with dignity. h.r. 1338, as amended, would
require th the department of verans affairs conduct a study on the serious problem of unclaimed remains of deceased veterans. v.a. will provide a dignified burial in national cemeteries for those that die with no familiarry to claim their re-- family to claim their remains or who did not have money to cover burial expenses. unfortunately, the remains of deceased vetera may end up on the self-of a veteran's home or the shelf of a coroner's office and they may not know that the veteran's remains was not interred. congress passed legislation in attempt to ensure that deceased veterans were treated with the honor they earned. the benefits improvements act of 2012 drect v.a. to work with -- direct v.a. to work with veteran organizations and assist states, cities and funeral directors in identifying the unclaimed
remains of veterans and to arrange for their burials in one of our national sem tears. unfortunately, -- cemeteries. unfortunately, the law has not resolved this issue, and too many veterans may not be receiving a dignified burial and that is unconscionable. the men and women who have served our nation in uniform have the right to expect that our nation will make every effort to treat them with honor and deference, even after they pass away. this study would determine the scope of the problem and identify any obstacles associated with claiming or intering veteran remains. additionally, v.a. would also be required to make recommendations how we can better ensure that our nation's heroes are properly laid to rest. with that i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida reserves the balance of his time. the gentlewoman from florida, ms. brown, is recognized. ms. brown: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized for such time as she may consume. ms. brown: i rise in support of mr. shuster, my friend, dignified internment of our veterans' act. this legislation would require the department of veterans affairs to conduct a study on unclaimed remains of veterans. our nation continues to challenge local and privately owned cemeteries failing to identify and provide veterans with internment veterans' remains. it is our intent that the v.a. look into this issue and come up with some solutions to assist private and locally owned cemetery homes with the information and support they need to transfer those remains to the v.a. national cemetery administration. . our nation's veterans have earned a proper and honorable burial for their service. this legislation will help v.a. help our veterans.
i urge all my colleagues to support it. thank you, and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves. the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. miller: i would like to recognize the original sponsor of this bill, the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. shuster, for three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. shuster: thank you, mr. speaker, thank you, mr. chairman, for working with me on this piece of legislation. i rise today to shed light on the issue plaguing our nation's veterans. specifically, there are an estimated 47,000 cremated veteran remains waiting to be interred because it was not possible to identify the next of kin, existing legislation directs the veterans affairs administration, veterans service organizations and funeral directors to work together in claiming and interring deceased veterans. unfortunately, numerous barriers prevent collaboration among
these stake holders. as it stands today, the burials are not -- barriers are not fully understood and that's preventing a solution to the problem from being found. for instance, the missing in america project a nonprofit organization established to locate and bury unclaimed veterans' remains identified 100 veterans awaiting burial in the state of pennsylvania other the last couple of years. some of those veterans waited more than 20 years for a dignified military burial. we can speculate on the reason for this disgrace but can't know for sure without giving it the attention it deserves. that's why i introduced h.r. 1338, the dignified interment of our veterans act of 2015. my bill requires the department of veterans afares to study the matter of unclaimed veterans remains. hope of the study is to find
those remains and solicit recommendations on potential -- solutions. i'd like to thank two of my onstituents, mr. ron metrose and mr. lan nee golden, for working on this issue. when asked why he's so passionate about this issue, mr. golden replied his brothers in arms deserve to be buried a i longside those who have walked the same path. i fully agree and would like to say thank you to all those who have served this great nation. i would like to thank my colleagues, chairman miller and ranking member brown, for workinging to with me and of course the veterans affairs committee. the 98 bipartisan co-sponsthoferse house for theirs support. also a special thanks to two people i couldn't have done this without mitigating circumstance military fellow, one u.s. marine corps sergeant anna lloyd, and she's helped start the process and then fin herbed up with air force major sherry gakama.
both of them had valuable service in putting this bill forward, i couldn't thank them enough for their help and their continued service to the united states military. now more than ever we need to stand together and show our veterans we care and none of our lee heroes should be forgotten. this is a step forward, it's an important goal, and with that, i return the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back, the gentleman from florida is recognized. ms. brown: i have no further speakers. i urge my colleagues to support passage of h.r. 1338 as amended. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from florida yields back the balance of her time. the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. costello is recognized. mr. costello: i now recognize mr. royce of california for two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california, mr. royce is recognized for two minutes. mr. royce: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today in strong support of this legislation. this is the dignified interment of our veterans act of 2015.
and in may of last year, reports emerged that the bodies of 5 veterans had remain -- 52 veterans had remained unburied for over a year at the los angeles county mortuary, located just outside of my district. similar instances were discovered in 13 other states. demonstrating just how widespread this is. stories of unburied veteran's bodies are deeply unsettling and the result of gaps in burial procedure policies at the v.a. and it has to be addressed. our service men and women have made immense personal sacrifices on behalf of our nation and it is unacceptable for their remains to be treated with such a blatant lack of respect and dignity. like the gentleman from pennsylvania and many of my colleagues in the house and senate, i introduced legislation in an effort to solve this issue. the dignified interment of our
veterans act directs the department of veterans' affairs to study the burial of veteran's unclaimed remains in national cemeteries and report findings of such studies to congress. this legislation is an important step toward acknowledging and ultimately solving the problem. last week, the senate passed the 21st century veterans' benefits delivery act which incorporated house legislation by unanimous consent and i'm happy to see the companion legislation is now being voted on in the house of representatives, bringing it one step closer to the president's signature. we made a commitment to take care of our veterans in both life and death, and it is crucial that we follow through on it. i encourage my colleagues in the house of representatives to vote in support of the dignified interment of our veterans act. i thank the gentleman from pennsylvania for his work on this issue and the gentleman
from florida for his continued efforts as the house veterans affairs committee chairman and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the time of the gentleman from california has expired. the -- without objection, the chair will note that the time previously controlled by the gentleman from florida, mr. miller, will now be controlled by the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. costello. the gentlewoman from florida has previously yielded back the balance of her time. the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. costello, will now be recognized to close debate for the majority. mr. costello: i encourage all members to support h.r. 1338 as amended. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: all time having expired, the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 1338 as amended? those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and without objection the notion reconsider is laid on the
table. mr. costello: i ask for the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having risen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this uestion will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. costello, seek recognition? mr. costello: i move to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 1384, the honor america's guard reserve retirees act. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: union calendar number 229, h.r. 1384, a bill to amend title 38, united states code, to recognize the service and reserve components of certain persons by honoring them with status as veterans you should law. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. costello, and the gentlewoman from florida, ms. brown, each
will control 20 minutes. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. costello: i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislate i day tots revise and extend their remarks and add extraneous material on h.r. 1384. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. costello: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for such time as he may consume. mr. costello: i urge all members to support h.r. 1384, the honor america's guard retirees act, introduced by the gentleman from minnesota, mr. walz. the guard and reserve are vital to our nation's defense. they enlist knowing they could be deployed with little notice, just like america's active duty service members. despite the invaluable contributions of guard and reserve personnel, members may be surprised to learn that many of the men and women who served in the national forward or reserve for 20 years may not legally be considered veterans
if they were never called up for active duty. this is not fair to these brave men and women who have demonstrated their patriotism through their willingness to wear the uniform and defend our nation whenever and wherever they are needed. h.r. 1384 would not provide any monetary benefit. it would semply honor the service and sacrifice of retired national forward and reserve personnel by giving them the prestigious title of veteran. in my opinion the most prestigious title congress can debe stow. with that, mr. speaker, i reserve the plans of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania reserves the balance of his time. the gentlewoman from florida is recognized. ms. brown: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. brown: i stand before this body to support will legislation introduced by my friend and colleague from minnesota, tim walz, as the retired guardsman himself, and the hankest ranking
enlisted soldier to serve in congress. i know this bill is near and dear to his heart. the honoring american guard/reserve retiree act closes a long-existing gap. federal law has neglected to acknowledge our guardsmen and women and reservists who serve less than 180 days of active duty service as veterans. this law would remove this long-standing oversight by legally recognizing guards and reservists as american veterans. our military is more dependent on reserve component than it's been since the dawn of modern warfare. these are men and women who stood ready and trained to serve our nation's at war. they have served a dedicated 20 years of service. at the very least we should
actnology the dead nation -- dedication of these servicemen by acknowledging them as american veterans. i urge my colleagues to support this commonsense legislation. thank you and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves the balance of her time. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. costello: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania reserves the balance of his time. the gentlewoman from florida is recognized. ms. brown: i yield to mr. walz from minnesota four minutes, or as much time as he may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for such time as he may consume. mr. walz: thank you, mr. speaker. i'd like to thank the subcommittee chairman and ranking member for the time. more pornly i want to thank both of them and their respective staffs for the bipartisan, continuously exceptional effort to serve our veterans. and thank you for the opportunity to move this forward. this bill has passed the house multiple times over the last eight years.
it's very simple. it's less than 150 words. and it's very rare, it costs nothing. but i would argue that it's very important. the men and women of the reserve component, as you so eloquently heard by my colleague speaking prior, take the exact same oath of office and are held to the exact same standards as the active component. they sacrifice their time and energy, stand at the ready if called upon. whether it's assisting flood victims in minnesota or fighting wild fires across the western united states or fighting overseas in protection of our freedoms. for those who completed 20 years more in the guard or reserve but not served a qualifying period of title 10 act i duty, we honor their services withnefits and monetary been fits, with one notable exception. they must call themselves military retirees, not veterans. wed wouldn't do it.om
this bill closes the loophole. there's about 180,000 people who fall into this category. they devoted their life to our nation, served honorably for 20-plus years and this will rec hat that s said it right, it's a pretty we recognize the role our national guard and reserve play in our nation's defense. there's nothing quite so unifying or quintessentially american as the citizen soldier, dating back to the founding of the nation or serving overseas fighting terrorism, it's the mother who leave her family and her law firm to serve our nation. it's the father who leaves his teaching job and his family to serve their nation. it's about recognizing that our
all-volunteer force would be unsustainable if it were not for the men and women who dedicated 20 years of their lives and one of the most important things they did, most of those are cold "war of the worlds" yorks responsible for the training of the current force that protects us. so i want to thank the gentleman, thank the ranking member again for their commitment to our veterans, i colleagues, let's do what's right, let's call them veterans and honor their service. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. . mr. costello: i reserve. ms. brown: i urge my colleagues to support passage of h.r. 1384 and with that i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from florida yields back the balance of her time. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized to close debate on this bill. mr. costello: thank you, mr. speaker. i also urge members to support h.r. 1384, and yield back the
balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. all time having now expired, the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill, h.r. 1384. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and -- mr. costello: mr. speaker, on that i request the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. all those in favor of taking this vote by the yeas and nays will rise and remain standing until counted. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, further proceedings on this uestion will be postponed.
for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. pitts, seek recognition? mr. pitts: mr. speaker, i move that the house suspend the rules and pass the bill s. 599, as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: senate 599, an act to extend and expand the medicaid emergency psychiatric demonstration project. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. pitts, and the gentleman from texas, mr. green, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. pitts: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and insert extraneous materials into the record on the bill. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. pitts: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for
such time. mr. pitts: thank you, mr. speaker. the bill before us today extends and expands the medicaid emergency psychiatric demonstration project. a long standing policy under medicaid called the institutions for mental disease, i.m.d., exclusion, prohibblets the federal government from -- prohints the federal government from providing federal medicaid matching funds to states for services rendered to medicaid-eligible visibility -- medicaid-he will visible individuals who are patients in -- medicaid-eligible individuals who are patients in i.m.d.'s. they are in-patient facilities with more than 16 beds that primarily treat people with mental health and substance abuse disorders. the original i.m.d. exclusion is consistent with the goal of treating severe mental illness in the least restrictive setting feasible. the i.m.d. exclusion provided an incentive to shift the cost of care for mental illness to
other care facilities where medicaid matching funds were available. however, since the i.m.d. exclusion was included with the creation of the medicaid program in 1965, our mental health care system and overall health care system have evolved notably. in recent years we've seen a significant decrease in the number of publicly funded in-patient psychiatric beds available for emergency services. this has contributed to patients in need of critical mental health services facing psychiatric boarding in general hospital emergency departments. psychiatric boarding occurs when an individual with a mental health condition is kept in a hospital emergency department for several hours or admitted to medical wards or
skilled nursing facilities without psychiatric expertise, because appropriate mental health services were unavailable. this leads to potential serious consequences for psychiatric patients and unnecessary hospital costs. the patient protection and affordable care act authorized a three-year demonstration program to study the effects of allowing federal medicaid matching funds to pay for emergency psychiatric treatment for adults that are otherwise prohibited by the medicaid i.m.d. exclusion. the demonstration was funded with $75 million in f.y. 2011. and these funds were available for obligation through december 31, 2015. the h.h.s. secretary selected 11 states and the district of columbia to participate in the demonstration program in march
of 2012 and the demonstration program began july 1, 2012. due to significant state interests and patient need and other factors, the demonstration project exhausted its federal funding in april. and was forced to terminate early. s. 599 would temporarily extend the medicaid emergency psychiatric demonstration for states already participating in the demonstration through september 30, 2016. if the chief actuary of c.m.s. certifies that this extension would not increase net medicaid spending. the bill also requires that not later than september 30, 2016, the h.h.s. secretary report to congress on whether the demonstration should be continued after such date and whether the demonstration should be expanded to
additional states. if the chief actuary of c.m.s. certifies that this extension would not increase net medicaid spending, then the demonstration may continue not beyond 2019. while i have strong concerns with the president's health care law, s. 5 9 would let states -- 599 would let states and c.m.s. continue to test the provision of critical mental health services for patients in a manner that is responsible for the federal budget. mr. speaker, i encourage my colleagues to support this commonsense, bipartisan bill and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from texas, mr. green, is recognized. mr. green: mr. speaker, i yield myself as much time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for such time as he may consume. mr. green: mr. speaker, i rise in support of s. 599, the improving access to emergency psychiatric care act. this legislation sponsored by
senator ben carden, a champion in the house of representatives , would extend and expand the medicaid emergency psychiatric demonstration project. since the creation of medicaid 50 years ago, the program has excluded payment for institutions of mental disease. i.m.d.'s, a designation that includes most residential treatment facilities for mental health and substance use disorders with more than 16 beds. the original i.m.d. exclusion is consistent with the goal of treating severe mental illness in the least restricted setting possible. however, there have been some unintended consequences of long standing policy. states have extended the cost of treating mental illness to other settings where med cate matching funds are available -- medicaid matching funds are available. this contributed to a decrease of beds available. it also contributed to a rise in psychiatric boarding and recidivism in hospital emergency departments.
to develop data on whether modifying i.m.d. exclusion can improve health care for mental illness, the affordable care act authorized $75 million over three years for the medicaid emergency psychiatric demonstration project. administered by c.m.s. innovation center, the initiative aims to test whether medicaid programs can provide higher quality care at a lower total cost by reimbursing private psychiatric hospitals for emergency care, otherwise prohibited by the medicaid i.m.d. exclusion. the demonstration project is currently operating in 11 states and the district of columbia. this legislation extends to demonstration in a budget-neutral manner so the secretary of health and human services can complete an evaluation and make an informed recommendation regarding its continuation and expansion. medicaid plays a central and critical role in covering treatment for individuals with mental illness. s. 599 holds promise for improving access to quality psychiatric care for this underserved and vulnerable
population and the overall success of our mental health care system. i urge my colleagues to support s. 599 and thank the sponsors for their commitment to supporting this issue. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from pennsylvania voiced. mr. pitts: mr. speaker, i'm pleased to yield two minutes to the prime sponsor of the house companion bill, the gentlelady from indiana, a member of the health subcommittee, mrs. brooks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from indiana is recognized for two minutes. mrs. brooks: mr. speaker, i rise today to speak in support of s. 599, the improving access to emergency psychiatric care act. the bill is the companion to h.r. 3681, which i proudly introduced with my colleague, congressman sarbanes from maryland. and with the passage of this bill today, i am pleased that this meaningful mental health reform will head to the president's desk. fortunately this bipartisan, bicameral and commonsense legislation is a great step toward enacting meaningful reforms to incredibly
challenging system -- an incredibly challenging system. currently c.m.s. does not reimburse institutions for mental disease for the services provided to medicaid enrollees ages 21 to 64. yet often serious mental illness manifests itself with those in their 20's. and so they are not allowed to go under a severe psychiatric break to a psychiatric hospital. instead, they go and present at our e.r.'s and our e.r.'s are already overburdened. many of them often lack the resources and sometimes the expertise to deal with people who are suffering from a true mental crisis. and when they find themselves in the e.r.'s, it is not uncommon for them to have to sit for hours and for far too long while they are suffering. and so this commonsense legislation extends the existing demonstration grant that lifts the i.m.d. exclusion. and will allow these important psychiatric clinics to receive
medicaid reimbursement, while giving people access to short term direct care in psychiatric hospitals when they need it most. i'm proud to support this extension of this legislation, allow people to get the treatment that they need. as a lawyer, i have dealt with people who have been in a psychiatric crisis. many of us have family members who have dealt with a psychiatric crisis. they need the help from the right experts at the right time. and so i urge my colleagues. i want to thank the gentleman from maryland for car -- and so i urge my colleagues -- i want to thank the gentleman from maryland for carrying this house to the house -- i urge my colleagues to support this. mr. green: i yield to my colleague from maryland as much time as he consumes. he's also a member of the energy and commerce committee and a member of our health subcommittee and i personally appreciate his commitment to mental health. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maryland is recognized for such time as he may consume. >> thank you, mr. speaker. i want to thank the gentleman
for yielding and for his leadership on the health subcommittee and on energy and commerce. i rise today in strong support of the improving access to emergency psychiatric care act. sash sash and want to thank -- sarbsarb and i want to thank -- sashsash and i want to thank -- mr. sarbanes: and i want to thank representative brooks from indiana. what this would do is extend a demonstration project as indicated that ends the federal prohibition on medicaid matching payments to community psychiatric hospitals for emergency psychiatric cases. this demonstration project allows individuals with severe mental illness who are a threat to themselves or to others, including those with substance abuse disorders who have experienced overdoses, to get emergency in-patient treatment. the background of this is as follows. there's been a long standing medicaid provision dating back to 1965 called the institution for mental disease, i.m.d.,
exclusion. and understand that the federal government is prohibited from provide medicaid matching funds and reimbursement for the care of eligible individuals age 21 to 64. if that care is provided in an in-patient facility that primarily treats people with mental health and substance abuse disorders and if that facility has more than 16 beds. as was indicated, the affect of this exclusion -- effect of this exclusion has been to decrease the number of in-patient psychiatric beds that are available for emergency services. it's also been cited by the government accountability office as a factor in emergency department overcrowding, which congresswoman brooks just indicated. community-based psychiatric hospitals could help relieve these backups and provide much-needed emergency psychiatric care, but these hospitals cannot receive federal matching payments for these services. in 2010, congress authorized a three-year pilot called the
medicaid emergency psychiatric demonstration project which expanded the number of emergency in-patient psychiatric beds available in communities by allowing federal medicaid matching payments to free standing psychiatric hospitals for emergency psychiatric cases. 11 states, including my home state of maryland, are participating. the data is promising. of the total number of beneficiaries admitted to psychiatric-based hospitals, fully 80% had just one admission. the average length of stay was only 8. tais and in 88% of the admissions, the beneficiaries were discharged to their home or to self-care. as was indicated, the demonstration project is set to end on december 31, 2015. but the final valuation of the project is not expected to be
completed until a year later. so what this bill does, in closing, mr. speaker, it would build upon the success of the current demonstration project which is providing timely and cost effective care. it would also extend the current demonstration project by one year. it would ensure budget neutrality by certifying that the extension is not expected to result in an increase in net medicaid program spending and it would allow the secretary of h.h.s. to extend the project an additional three years, provided that the requirements regarding medicare spending are met. the bill has already been passed in the senate by unanimous consent and while i'm a little disappointed that a very small change was made that's going to require us to -- require it to go back to the senate for reconsideration, i'm confident that it will be supported there again with senator cardin's leader ship. i urge support of this bipartisan effort to extend a
demonstration project that allows individuals with severe mental illness and substance abuse disorders to get emergency inpatient treatment at community psychiatric hospitals. and i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maryland yields back. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. costello: i'm prepared to close. the chair: the gentleman is recognized. -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. green: i would like to yield the balance of our time, ms. matsui a member of the commerce committee and a champion of mental health. thank you. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from california is recognized. ms. matsui: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today in support of the improving access to emergency psychiatric care act. as we work to reform our broken mental health care system it's critical we build upon programs that provide resources to underserved and vulnerable populations at all points along
the spectrum of care. today with the passage of this bill, we have the opportunity to extend the vital medicaid emergency psychiatric demonstration project. this demonstration project which recently expired, ensures greater access to emergency psychiatric care for medicaid patients. this bipartisan bill will ensure the hospitals across our nation will be able to provide community members with in-patient psychiatric beds. in my home district this demonstration project has provided great benefits for a system of care. medicare beneficiaries have greater access to mental health services and there's a reduction in readmission rates at local hospitals. in fact, by the final year of the three-year demonstration project, the numb of individuals rehospitalized within 30 days of initial stay decreased by 20% in sacramento county and the project has improved
coordination of care for mental health patients by streamlining planning efforts between inpatient and outpatient providers. in addition, sacramento county has been able to reinvest savings generated by the project into programs that build greater community alternatives for patients identified as high utilizers of inpatient and emergency departments. all these improvements add up to a community mental health system in kale that's better able to focus on the whole spectrum of care for underserved patients. from prevention to treatment to the crisis stage. there's still much more work to do to improve the mental health system but we must not resers is -- reverse our significant progress by failing to renew this demonstration project. i urge my colleagues to vote yes on s. 599, the improve access to emergency psychiatric care act. thank you, mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas, mr. green, yielded the balance of he time on the minority to the
gentlewoman from california. she has concluded debate for the minority. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized to close debate or the majority. mr. pitts: i encourage my colleagues to support this bipartisan bill and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass house 599 as a-- senate 599 as amended? those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? mr. pitts: i move that the house suspend the rules and pass the bill s. 799. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: senate 99, an act to
address problems related to opioid use. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. pitts, and the gentleman from texas, mr. green, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania. mr. pitts: i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and insert extraneous materials in the record on the bill. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. pitts: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for such time as he may consume. mr. pitts: thank you, mr. speaker. the bill before us today begins to combat the rise of prenatal opioid abuse and neonatal abstinence syndrome. over the past several years, opioid addiction has risen dramatically in the united states, reaching epidemic proportions. the death rate for heroin
overdose doubled in just two years from 2010 to 2012. one of the issues resulting from this epidemic. -- epidemic is neoany nee tall abstinence syndrome, n.a.s. babies born with n.a.s. are infants that are addicted to opioids and suffer medical issues associated with drug withdrawal. symptoms can last for weeks. keeping otherwise healthy infants confined to the hospital at the start of their lives. n.a.s. can result from the use of prescription drugs or from the use of illegal opioids. sadly, over the past 15 years, the incidence of n.a.s. has tripled in the united states. this is a rapidly growing problem that needs to be addressed for the safety of our
mothers and children. s. 799, protecting our infants act of 2015, introduced in the senate by majority leader mcconnell and led in the house by my colleagues, ms. clarke and mr. stivers, would address the problem of prenatal opioid abuse and neonatal abstinence syndrome. preventing opioid use among women of childbearing age is crucial. the government accountability office has identified that more research is needed in this area to help treat babies born with n.a.s. and mothers addicted to opioids. this legislation would help fill this research gap by directing the agency for health care conduct and quality to a study and develop
recommendations for preventing and treating prenatal opioid abuse and neonatal abstinence syndrome. the house companion to this bill was approved by voice vote in the house committee. today we have a chance to improve this important bipartisan and -- to approve this bipartisan and bicameral legislation. i urge my colleagues to support the bill and reserve the balance of my time the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. green: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for such time as he may consume. mr. green: i rise in support of s. 799, protecting our infants act of 2015, the legislation sponsored by senator mitch mcconnell and championed in the house by representative katherine clark will help combat prenatal abuse epidemic. the centers for disease control and prevention has found drug
overdose to be the leading cause of injury death in the united states and declared prescription drug abuse to be an epidemic. prescription opioid abuse in pregnancy is strongly associated with neonatal complications. according to a recent study in the new england journal of medicine, the rate of n.a.s. quadrupled from 2004 to 2014, a four fold increase in less than a decade. n.a.s. is a group of problems that occur in newborns who have been exposed to opioids while in the womb. these newborns require specialized care in a neonatal intensive care unit. the government accounting office released a report entitled prenatal drug use and newborn health, federal efforts need better planning and coordination. the report identified a numb of different research gaps in the treatment of opioid use in treatment of -- in pregnancy and treatment of infants with n.a.s.
this will help combat premay tall opioid abuse and neonatal abstinence syndrome. this is part of our ongoing effort to combat the drug epidemic. this will coordinate a national strategy. it will require c.d.c. to help states improve day tark surveillance activities related o prenatal opioid abuse an n.a.s. i urge my colleagues to support s. 799 and thank the sponsors for their commitment to this important issue. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas reserves. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. pitts: mr. speaker, i'm pleased at this time to yield one minute to the gentleman from west virginia, the lead -- a leader on this issue, mr. jenkins. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. jenkins: every day in hospitals across my district and the country, tragically, babies begin their lives suffering
through drug withdrawal because they were exposed during pregnancy. sadly, the rates of babies with n.a.s. have skyrocketed. n.a.s. is a nationwide crisis. the protecting our infants act addresses the many gaps in the care and treatment of n.a.s. babies. how to i know there are gaps? today in a facility in my hometown, that i helped start, lily's place is caring for 10, 10 babies suffering the ravages of withdrawal. it took years of working through the regulatory burdens and certification limitations just to do what is right for our most innocent. the gaps in care are real. and so are the obstacles to treating n.a.s. babies. this legislation will pave the way to consider new models of care like lily -- like lily's place for our n.a.s. babies.
i commend my colleagues, leader mitch mcconnell, representative kathleen clark and steve stivers for helping to give every child a chance at a healthy start in life. with that, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the time of the gentleman has expired. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. green: mr. speaker, i'm happy to yield four minutes to the house sponsor of the -- the democratic sponsor, katherine clark of massachusetts. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized for four minutes. ms. clark: thank you, mr. speaker. today 5rk8 babies, one babies every 25 minute, will be born suffering from the same pain adults describe as the worst pain of their lives. the pain of drug withdrawal. over the last decade, the number of infants born experiencing withdrawal from powerful drugs has grown nearly five-fold. it's a condition called neonatal abstinence syndrome and it results from prenatal exposure
to opioids like heroin and prescription painkillers. in states like massachusetts, we're seing this happen at a rate three times the national average. in addition to the human suffering, the costs associated with n.a.s. births are staggering. they are five times more expensive than healthy births, totaling $1.5 billion for hospitals in 2012. with 80% being paid by medicaid. but despite the best efforts of doctors, nurses, and others, there's no coordinated response to this crisis. there are no clear best practices for treating these infants, and more research is needed to help understand the problem. that's why i've worked with my colleagues, researchers, doctors and advocates to introduce the protecting our infants act. the first federal bill to take
proactive steps in addressing the rise of n.a.s. births. we were able to pass this bill in the house in september, thanks to the help of my partner on this bill, representative steve stivers. a slightly modified version was passed a few weeks ago due to the hard work of our senate sponsors, majority leader mcconnell and senator casey. with broad spord this both chambers, this is an opportunity to make a difference for moms and babies suffering from the opioid epidemic. the protecting our infants act will require the department of health and human services to develop recommendations to prevent and treat prenatal opioid abuse and n.a.s. and develop a strategy in the department to coordinate programs and research. . this will help ease the suffering of the smallest
victims of the opioid crisis. it will help hospitals and medicaid save money and ease the burden on doctors and nurses that are overwhelmed by this problem. this is not controversial, partisan or political. it's just good policy. and to my republican partner in the house, steve stivers, i thank him for his leadership in getting this bill to where it is today. i ask the house to come together and help the thousands of babies and mothers who are fighting this epidemic. and urge my colleagues to pass the bipartisan protecting our infants act and send this legislation to the president for his signature. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from massachusetts yields back. the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. pitts: i'm prepared to close. reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania reserves. the gentleman from texas. mr. green: mr. speaker, we have no further speakers and i'm prepared to yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas yields back the balance of his time.
the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. mr. pitts: mr. speaker, i urge all members to support this important bipartisan, bicameral legislation, and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania yields back. all time having now expired on this bill, the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass senate 799. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and, without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. for what purpose does the
gentleman from oregon seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i -- mr. walden: mr. speaker, i move that the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 2323 -- 2583 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 2583, a bill to amend the communications act of 1934, to provide for greater transparency and efficiency in the procedures followed by the federal communications commission, and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from oregon, mr. walden, and the gentleman from new jersey, mr. pallone, each will control 20 minutes. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from oregon. mr. walden: i thank the speaker and i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and insert extraneous materials into the record on the bill. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. walden: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for such time as he may consume. mr. walden: i thank the speaker. today marks the third time in four years that a variation of the f.c.c. process reform act has come to the floor for a vote.
now, this is a sign of how seriously in need of reform the f.c.c.'s procedures are. and how seriously i and the subcommittee on communications and technology take the responsibility of helping to put these reforms in place. this bill is the product of a multi-year, bipartisan legislative process, bringing us to a place where we can at least begin to create a framework for more transparent and predictable rule makings at the federal communications commission. you know, there are few other industries that have shown such high levels of innovation and investment as the communications and technology sector. think of the developments in smartphones alone over the last few years, mr. speaker. the only way to guarantee that this continues is to make sure the agency that regulates the industry is accountable and transparent. so that the regulatory tangles do not impede the steady march of new and exciting innovations
and offerings. the subcommittee on communications and technology has spent a great deal of time on agency reform. in fact, tomorrow we'll have the entire f.c.c. before our committee once again. and we've come to a consensus on how we can best improve the processes at the federal communications commission without tying the agency's hands unnecessarily. now, it's been a focus of our work. our bipartisan compromise requires that the f.c.c. undertake a rulemaking to adopt minimum time periods for comments. and to adopt rules that prevent the introduction of large amounts of data, we call those data dumps, where enormous amounts of information come in at the last minute, nobody has chance to understand what's in them or comment effectively on them. sometimes even catching commissioners by surprise and it comes at the very end of a comment period. the new commission rules must put into place specific deadlines and time frames for agency decisions or action on different types of filings before the agency.
i know all too well what those deadlines and delays can be. i was once a broadcaster with my wife for more than two decades and we actually had applications sit at the f.c.c. for nearly 10 years without any action and then finally they were acted upon and we were given 30 days to implement them. this isn't acceptable. there must be predictability and certainty for those who rely on the f.c.c. to make decisions central to their businesses. in addition to the rulemaking, the f.c.c. must also conduct an inquiry into more complex issues. giving them flexibility in deciding whether and how to implement the reforms. we aren't looking to hamstring this agency. no, we simply are providing them with goals and allowing them to determine the best way to achieve them. that is our job as the oversight committee over an agency. processed reform is not about the actions of one party and it's not about the actions of one chairman.
this is about putting rules into place that will carry over from one administration to the next, one party to the next, one chairman to the next, creating consistency and certainty for the many that are subject to the commission's rules. i believe there must be some kind of accountability for our independent agencies and the decisions that they make. after all, it is the public's business that they're conducting. while there is stupstil much work to be done on -- still much work to be done on reforming the procedures at this agency, this bill represents a vital first step in that process. the communications industry, and more importantly, the american people, deserve a transparent and accountable federal agency, no matter who's in charge. so for the second consecutive congress, i'm proud to bring this bipartisan work to the house floor. i thank my democratic colleagues, ranking member pallone, who i know is going to speak on this bill, ranking member eshoo, who has been a terrific partner as we've worked on this, representatives matsui and clark and los back for their contributions on this
bill and the staff on both sides of the aisle. david, grace, kelsey, gene, david, laurie, david for their hard work. and i urge my cliges to vote for this legislation -- colleagues to vote for this legislation. i reserve the balance of my time and i thank you, mr. speaker. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. pallone: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for such time as he may consume. mr. pallone: mr. speaker, i rise in support of h.r. 2583rks the federal communications -- 2583, the federal communications process reform act of 2015. the f.c.c. has an important role in regulating industries that makes up 1/6 of our economy and whose services have been essential to consumers and it's important that the f.c.c. functions in a fast, efficient and transparent way. the f.c.c. chairman has made process reform a priority of his tenure and he's made great strides in improving how the f.c.c. functions. but it's the role of congress to conduct oversight and make
adjustments like we're doing today. and i believe that the final text of the bill we are considering today will achieve that goal and i urge all members to support it. not all of the issues in the f.c.c. process reform act are new. in fact, the base of the bill being considered here today is very similar to the bill that passed the house under suspension by voice vote last congress. it requires the f.c.c. to adopt procedural rule changes to maximize public participation and to look into other potential process changes, including whether to establish deadlines for application processing. it also includes the provisions of the f.c.c. collaboration act , an issue championed by representative eshoo, which will allow commissioners to more freely discuss f.c.c. issues with sufficient safeguards to protect against abuse. democrats offered additional suggest suggses earlier this year -- suggestions earlier this year when the subcommittee on communications and technology considered this and other bills aimed at f.c.c.
process reform. the ideas of clark, loebsack and mat suey, furthered our goal to -- matsui furthered our goal to make the f.c.c. fast and transparent. one, require the f.c.c. to provide quarterly reports on pending items with the agency to ensure accountability and timely responses. two, require the f.c.c. to coordinate with the small business administration, to improve small business participation in f.c.c. proceedings. and third, require the f.c.c. chairman to publicly post the agency's internal policies and procedures for greater transparency. although we could not agree on the policies offered by the republicans and descended from the version of the bill that was favorably reported from the energy and commerce committee in june, we worked in a bipartisan manner to craft a language that we take up today. in this version of the bill, it takes the bipartisan language from last congress and includes most of the democratic suggestions that improve the bill. i appreciate chairman upton and
chairman walden's willingness to listen to our concerns and work with us to achieve a bipartisan result. it's a stronger bill because of it and i also want to thank communications and technology subcommittee ranking member eshoo for her leadership on these issues as well as representatives clark, loebsack and matsui, for their thoughtful contributions. i look forward to continuing to work with our republican and democratic colleagues in the senate to help this bill become law and again i urge its passage and reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from oregon is recognized. mr. walden: thank you, mr. speaker. i want to thank my colleague from new jersey and his staff for the great work on this legislation. i also meant to thank mr. kinzinger as well, from illinois, who has been very active on our subcommittee, done great work on this measure and some of its very important provisions. and i left him out earlier today. so i want to thank him as well and thank the staff and my colleagues. with that, mr. speaker, i urge
passage in the house and i yield back the balance of my ime. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from new jersey is recognized. mr. pallone: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield the balance of my time and urge passage of the bill. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from oregon is recognized to close debate for the majority. mr. walden: thank you, mr. speaker. again, i think this is a fine piece of work. i think it will result in the federal communications commission being even better and more transparent as it conducts the public's business. and i look forward to this bill moving on across the chamber to the senate, where hopefully this year they will take it up. with that, i'd ask for approval. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. all time having now expired, the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill, h.r. 2583, as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair,
2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and, without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and concur in the senate amendment to the bill h.r. 2262. mr. mccarthy: the space active 2015. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 226 , an act to facilitate -- 2262, an act to facilitate the pro-growth environment for the commercial industry, by encouraging private sector investment and creating more stable and predictable regulatory conditions and for other purposes. senate amendment. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from california, mr. mccarthy, and the gentlewoman from maryland, ms. edwards, each will control 20 minutes. the chair now recognizes the
gentleman from california. mr. mccarthy: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members will have five legislative days to revise and extend my remarks and -- revise and extend their remarks and to include extraneous material on the bill now under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. mr. mccarthy: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for such time as he may consume. mr. mccarthy: america's a nation uniquely called to explore the final frontier. we are born adventurers with the spirit of freedom and curiosity unmatched in human history. and that spirit is aided by the wealth of intelligence so deep that we continue to lead the world in advancement of technology and science. when the wright brothers flew over the beaches of kitty hawk and chuck joerger broke the sound barrier, they were supported by the spirit of freedom and a instructture of laws that urged them to -- structure of laws that urged them to realize their dreams
and change the world at the same time. but the work of realizing our full potential is only just beginning. we're still paying russia $70 million every time we send one of our astronauts to the space station. our commercial pioneers can and want to fulfill this role, but they need our help. the space act will help. this bill will unite law and innovation, allowing the next programs to space continue. it keeps us competitive by providing much-needed flexibility in permitting and licensing, facilitating an environment that allows for swift and effective improvements in safety and reliability. with this law, i have great hope for the future of space
exploration. u know, whenever i visit the mojave air and space port, where so many advancements are happen, i'm overwhelm. upon the firm foundation of the space act, i know they and others will lead us far and our limits are only bound by what we can imagine as we continue our injure demee to the stars. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california reserves the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentlelady from maryland seek recognition? ms. edwards: i rise in opposition though i may not be opposed to the bill. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. edwards: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized for such time as she may consume. ms. edwards: i support the growing commercial space transportation industry and i support the stated goal of the space act. to, quote, encourage private sector investment and cremate
more stable and predictable regulatory provisions. the commercial space industry is emerge, it's growing, it's preparing for the 21st century in research and technology and entrepreneurship and exploration. it employs thousands of workers. the bill does some useful things. it extends the life of the international space station at least through 2024, giving us a spring board far pathway to mars. it provides for a clear definition of government astronauts as separate from crew and other space flight participants, recognizing the historic, unique place in the spectrum for government astronaut. but uh must -- but i must point out my concerns that we consider policies that will affect the safety of those use these services, especially commercial services. i'm concerned that the length of the moratorium, eight years, for f.a.a. to start proposing
regulations on humans in space flight, the so-called learning period is longer than it needs to be, for an industry that's moving at quite a rapid pace. i'm concerned that this bill requires space flight participants, those who will buy tickets to fly on commercial and human space flight systems, to waive their rights to sue the launch provider and related parties for claims. it's unclear, for example, what the parameters are for instances of negligence and gross negligence or malfeasance. and we needed the bill to clarify these issues. i'm concerned that we're rushing toest tably policy on space resource mining and utilization without having vetted the range of issues associated with it and without having carried out the necessary due diligence to inform legislation that relates to our international treaty obligations with our international partners. mr. speaker, i supported the original senate-passed bill, s.
1297, which included a five-year learning period and four-year extension of commercial launch indemnification. a formal conference would of course allow members the opportunity to fully explore and discuss the issues that i've described and resolve most, if not all, of our differences. unfortunately, such a process was not followed in this case and so we are left with a bill that i believe exceeds its risk. that said, i believe we should support to -- continue to support the emerging space industry though we must do so with an eye to protecting all those who use it. thank you, mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. mccarthy: i yield six minutes to the gentleman from texas, the esteemed chairman of the science, space, and technology committee, mr. smith. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for six minutes. mr. smith: i thank the majority leader for yielding me time and i want to thank the majority leader, kvetch mccarthy, an
honorary member of the science, space, and technology committee, for sponsoring this important legislation this bill encourages the private sector to launch rockets, take risks and shoot for the stars. .r. 2262, the space act, facilitates a pro growth environment for the developing commercial space sector. it creates more stable regulatory conditions and improves safety, which in turn protects private investment. this bill secures american leadership in space and fosters the development of advanced space technologies. it preserves the federal aviation administration's ability to regulate commercial human space flight in order to protect national security, public health and safety. it preserves the f.a.a.'s ability to regulate space flight participants and crew safety in the event of an accident. the space act allows the commercial space industry to develop standards and coordinate with the f.a.a. so the industry can grow at a stable -- grow in a stable, regulatory environment
without the threat of arbitrary regulations that would adversely impact their ability to innovate. for the intrble -- international law places liality for damages that result from space launches on the launching country. the current u.s. risk sharing structure expires in 2016. this act extends indemnification to 2025 and this provision prevents u.s. space companies from going overseas where other nations have much more favorable liability protection. the space act also closes a statutory loophole that negates an experimental permit once a launch license is issued for the same vehicle design this fosters reater innovation and allows the designer to continue to work on their design while other
license holders test. now a new category is necessary to outline the roles, responsibilities, and protections for astronauts on a commercial hun space flight launch. this bill closes a loophole that card out an exception for space flight participants and indemnification coverage. by including these individual, space flight participants who participate in a launch as a resultf a contest or for other reasons are not exposed to liability more than anyone else involved in the launch. current law requires that all parties involved in a launch wae claim against each other. this bill adds space flight participas to the cross waiver requirement to ensure consistency and reinforce the informedonsent requirement. many bipartisan provisions recently considered by the science committee are included in this legislation. in e provisions establish united states demest exlaw that united states citizens are
entled to explore, use and take possession of space provisions. they also update the office of space commerce. numerous space companies have expressed support for this bill. they include space x, virgin galactic, new horizon, worldview enterprises, mojave air and space port, space port erica, midland development corporation, maston space system th satellite industry association, and the commercial sce flight federation which represents more than 50 commercial space companies across the united states. this intill a product of over three years of work, 14 committee hearings, multiple markups, a rule on the house floor that allowed amendments and input from industry, education groups and grass root citizen advocacy groups. virtually every space stake
holders group support this is bill. it tasks the senate -- it passed the senate unanimously last yeek. this keep america at the forefront of space technology, redeuces red stape, promotes safety and inspires the next generation of explorers. it provides the boost america's preist space partners need as they lead the world into the future. we have reached this point because of the for cystence of many -- over many weeks of many able staff members. i pesslerble -- especially thank ace committee staff director chad hammond and others for their work on this legislation. i want to thank majority leader mccarthy again for his initiative on this bill and i encourage my colleagues to support it. i yield back the balance of my time the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentlewoman from maryland is recognized. ms. edwards: thank you, mr. speaker. i'd like to yield such time as she may consume to the
gentlelady, the ranking member of the science and technology committee, eddie bernice johnson of texas. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman from texas is recognized. ms. johnson: thank you, mr. speaker. nothing excites me more than to discuss and to witness much of the space exploration research. the bill we have -- bill we are considering today is a missed opportunity to enact sensible policy. it is a bill that, if enacted, will do harm to american taxpayers. to the long-term interest of the commercial space industry itself. it is a bill that is inconsistent and contradictory approach that this country, this congress, has taken toward this industry. on the one hand, congress and the industry have been saying that the commercial launch industry is so mature that we
are ready to send our nasa astronauts to the international space station as passengers on commercial spacecraft. on the other hand, the bill before us today says that the industry is still so immature that the f.a.a. shouldn't be allowed to impose any safety regulations to protect passengers who fly on any of the commercial space flight craft until well into the next decade. this despite the fact that our country has more than a half century of experience in human space flight. and we understand very well what is needed to maintain passenger safety. this is contradictory posture -- this contradictory posture makes no sense to me. nasa will insist on the insight and oversight necessary to be convinced that the vehicles its astronauts fly on will be as safe as they can be. however, with this bill,
ordinary citizens who fly on a commercial spacecraft won't have any similar protections. and i must point out that i'm not talking in the abstraction. in just this past 13 months, we have witnessed three different commercial launch providers experience catastrophic failures. one of those failures resulted in the death of a test pilot. another cost millions of dollars of damage to the launch facility. with these major accidents as a backdrop, i think it is unconscionable that we are here today, moving this bill in its current form. the bill before us also goes against the interests of the american taxpayer. by extending the current licensing and indemnification regime without any updating of its provisions, it shifts more and more third party liability
risk in the event of an accident and we know there will be accidents. from the companies to the taxpayers. each year, -- each year that the current, outdated indemnification regime is extended, the financial exposure of the taxpayer grows and that of the company are reduced. i can think of no other industry where we are willing to have the government and ultimately the american taxpayer assume an increasing share of the financial risk of an industry as it matures. of course, some of my majority colleagues will argue that we have to provide that preferential treatment to our domestic commercial space transportation industry because foreign governments are providing it to theirs. and yet i would note that many of those same members rejected that same argument when it was applied to the renewal of the ex-im bank.
i guess consistency is not always seen as a virtue in this party. mr. speaker, i will not belabor the point. opposed this bill -- i this bill when an earlier version passed the house. unfortunately, gos with the senate did not result in any significant improvements. that's not to say there are no good provisions in the bill, there are. but they are outweighed by provisions that in one way or another say we as a congress are concerned with protecting the interests of the commercial space industry but not the safety of the americans who will fly on those commercial spacecraft. when the inevitable accident with significant loss of life occurs, whether it's a year from now, or five years from now, the american public will look back and what -- at what we are doing today and ask how we could be so shortsighted.
i would urge my colleagues to take a step back from this path that we are on so that we can take the time to craft legislation that will help this industry grow in a responsible manner, while still protecting our citizens. i thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields. the gentlelady reserves. the gentleman from california is recognized. . mr. mccarthy: i yield 2.5 minutes to the chairman. >> thank you, mr. speaker, i rise in support of the amendment in the nature of a substitute to har 2262. this bill is a result of bipartisan negotiations with our senate colleagues over the last several months. just last week, the senate passed this bill unanimously. he house committee have held 1
hearings with dozzins of witnesses from government, industry and grassroots organizations. we have met with countless stakeholders and considered this bill in committee with markups. on the house floor that allowed for amendments and negotiated a bipartisan, bicameral bill with the senate. by all measures this is how the legislative process should work. i commend my colleagues both in the house and senate on a job well done. that isn't to say this is a perfect bill and i don't think the bill goes quite far enough. but that is the nature of our legislative process and the bill before us moves the ball down the field in the right direction and allowing the space industry to flourish. this is the most significant piece of legislation relating to commercial space since 1988.
i'm very proud of our final product looks remarkably similar to the bill we approved in the house with strong bipartisan support earlier. we were able to convince our senate colleagues of the importance of extending the regulatory learning period beyond five years to eight years. we were able to extend indem any fix to five years. and we were able to include my loss provisions from the original house bill. these are important provisions that will build a strong american space industry. i'm very pleased that the senate agreed to include three other critical titles in this bill that were introduced in advance by members of the committee. these ip clued the commercial remote sensing act, the the utilization ce and act sponsored by representative
posey. their advocacy ensured these stayed in the pill. they will pave the way for new industries allowing our nation to remain the world leader in space. we want the united states to be the place where the world is on top in space. this agreement facilitates a pro-growth environment for the developing space sector and reates a -- improves safety. i would like to enter this into the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentlewoman from maryland is recognized. ms. edwards: mr. speaker, i would inquire of the gentleman, we have no more speakers remaining and i would be prepared to close. but if the gentleman has other
speakers, i'll reserve. mr. carter: -- mr. mccarthy: i have two more speakers. ms. edwards: i reserve. mr. mccarthy: i yield three minutes to mr. briody bridenstine. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for three minutes. mr. bridenstine: i'm convinced what the industry represents. we rely on commercial space in so much and we will see this industry continuing to expand. worldwide internet coverage and remote sensing and weather architect turs, affordable access to space, science and commerce. utilization of space resources and the list goes on. we must make sure that we as members of congress does president do anything that stifles this industry.
this act is crucial. the most important aspect is the extension of the so-called learning period where a moratorium on human space flight. need to create it on real data. the bill extends launch indem any fix to keep companies competitive. clarifies that a permit can be issued for the same design and enables private companies to explore resources which incorporating the space resource exploration and utilization act of 2015 introduced by my friends here in this body. these provisions will go a long way by encouraging growth. i would like to address a few provisions of this bill and am pleased where we were able to keep them as the senate worked to keep them in the final bill.
section 116 of the bill would require a report to capture the role of space support vehicles in the commercial space industry. regulatory and statutory barriers to the services that these vehicles offer and updates that will address these barriers. people will be need to be trained to fly and these designs will not remain stagnant. this section will help us address situations that will be more prevalent. additionally, title 2 of this bill incorporates the commercial remote sensing act, bipartisan legislation i introduced with my fri my friend from colorado, ed perlmutter. it sets metrics to give congres what issues are preventing them from meeting statutory deadlines. it recognizes from seeking input from the advisory committee.
which is largely made up of representatives. this will be crucial as industry expands. and as congress looks to update the statutes governing these activities for the first time since the 1990's. i would like to thank mr. mccarthy, the sponsor of this legislation and the science committee chairman smith for their continued leadership on commercial space issues. h.r. 2262 is important to the future of american leadership. and i urge my colleagues to pass and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. mccarthy: i yield two minutes to the the gentleman from florida, mr. posey. >> i thank the majority leader for yielding. i rise in support of the historic u.s. competitiveness act. this legislation continues to lay the groundwork for a vibrant
commercial space industry in the united states. i thank kevin mccarthy and chairman lamar smith. without objection, i would like to submit several items for the record. title 4 of this bill includes language from h.r. 1508, the space resource and exploration utilization act. introduced this bill with my colleague from the state of washington and we are support from many members of the science committee. i appreciate the work and research of senator murray and senator rubio to introduce identical legislation. h.r. 1508 provides legal clarity if a company mines resources, it has the right of ownership to those resources. it does so consistent with u.s. are he obligations.
the right to explore and use outer space is found in article one. article six of the outer space treaty recognizes that nongovernmental entities such as private corporations may explore and use outer space, including the right to remove, take position and use natural resources from space bodies. there was a challenge in determining the best language to use to recognize this right. the term, obtain, was chosen because it was technically and politically neutral. it is our intention that only through recovering a resource does a company have the right of ownership of those resources. in short, the u.s. commercial space launch competitive act is a critical piece of legislation to the future of our commercial
space industry and space exploration efforts. i thank my colleagues for their work and urge passage of this important legislation. i yield. the chair: the gentleman yields. gentleman reserves. the gentlewoman from maryland is recognized. ms. edwards: i'm prepared to close. i just want to remind our colleagues because this is really important legislation moving forward and and i think as the ranking member, ms. johnson has indicated, as i have, that it is not for lack of concern and support of the commercial space industry and sector that we raise concern. this is an industry that is growing by leaps and bounds, that employs thousands of workers all across this country, that is at the hub of interviewership and research and exploration and it is the 21st
century future and it is what the rules of the game is going to be going forward and protect the interest of taxpayers and protect the interests of the industry and grow in a healthy way. so i would hope that the majority would take into consideration some of the concerns that have been expressed and let's use an opportunity over these next several months and years to make sure that we get it right for the industry that is a part of our future. i would note that even with the reservations that have been expressed that we pointed out a number of areas where there is strength in this legislation, but we haven't gotten it all right. i would also remind the majority that with respect to mining of asteroids, that we are not doing that tomorrow. so all the more reason we should
pay attention to the international treaties that we are a part and international partners as we move forward, that we don't have to rush to judgment. and so, i would close by just saying that i believe that there is a great future in this industry. and i am excited about it. but i know we have to balance a lot of our interests to make sure we pay attention again to safety and do it in a right kind of way. with that, i yield the balance of my time. and as i began and i applaud the gentlelady from texas for making sure that the points of concern are on the record, i do not intend to oppose the bill. and i hope that we can move forward in the future to make sure that we can provide for the kind of strength that the
industry needs and i want to take the opportunity to thank the staff, pam whitney of our space subcommittee who has put in tireless work on this bill,al and lee, our council, dick, our chief of staff who put in tireless hours who tried to get it right. all of those who are part of the commercial space industry. we want you to go forward and want you to succeed and make sure that the american public gets the benefit of the bargain and with that, i yield. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields. the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. mccarthy: america stands at the beginning of a new air ave of innovation and adventure. astronauts and interviewers are orking in the deserts of
california and we have the opportunity to aid them. ensure thathis will america remains the leader of space plorgs in the 21 century and we are here today thanks to the hard work of chairman smith. his committee and their staff, especially chris and tom. i want to thank george for his work. because of their commitment after months of negotiations following the house passage, the space act passed out of the senate unanimously. i look forward to the passage with strong bipartisan support. and i urge my colleagues to vote with me to move america into the future. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. the question is, will the house suspend rules and concur in the
senate amendment. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirmative, the the are success spend and motion to reconsider is laid on the table. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from alabama seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to take from the speaker's table h.con.res. 90 with the senate amendment thereto and concur in the senate amendment.
the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill and the senate amendment. the clerk: house concurrent resolution 90, concurrent resolution directing the secretary of the senate to make a technical correction in the enrollment of senate 1356, senate amendment, strike the mat every following the resolving clause. >> i ask unanimous consent to dispense with the reading. the speaker pro tempore: without objection the reading is dispensed with. is there objection to the original request of the gentleman from alabama? without objection, the senate amendment is agreed to and the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, proceedings will resume on motions to suspend the rules previously postponed. votes will be taken in the following order. h.r. 308. h.r. 1338. h.r. 1384. in each case by the yeas and nays.
the first electronic vote will be cubblingted as a 15-minute vote. remaining electronic votes will be conducted as five-minute votes. the unfinished business is the vote on the motion of the gentleman from alaska, mr. young, to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 308 on which the yeas and nays are ordered. the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: union calendar number 67, h.r. 308 a bill to prohibit gaming activities on certain indian lands in arizona until the expiration of certain gaming compacts. the speaker pro tempore: the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill? members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a 15-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
the speaker: without objection, five-minute voting will continue. the unfinished business is a vote on the motion of the gentleman from florida, mr. miller, to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 1338 as amended on which the yeas and nays are ordered. the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: union calendar number 237, h.r. 1338 a bill to require the secretary of veterans affairs to conduct a study on matters relating to the burial of unclaim red mains of veterans in national cemeteries and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill as amended. members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned
the unfinished business is the vote on the motion of the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. costello, to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 1384 with the -- and the yeas and nays are ordered. the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: union calendar number 229, h.r. 1384, a bill to amend title 38, united states code, to recognize the service and reserve components of certain persons by honoring them with status as veterans under law. the speaker pro tempore: the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill? members will record their votes by electronic device. this is a five-minute vote. [captioning made possible by the national captioning institute, inc., in cooperation with the united states house of representatives. any use of the closed-captioned coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
bill is passed andhe motion to reconsider is laid on the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from oklahoma seek recognition? mr. cole: i send to the desk a privileged report from the committee on rules for filing under the rule. the clerk: report to accompany house resolution 526 resolution providing for consideration of the bill h.r. 1737 to nullify certain guide appears of certain consumer protection and with respect to auto lending, providing for consideration of the bill h.r. 511, to clarify the rights of indians and independentian tribes on dependentian lands under the national labor relations act and
for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: referred to the house calendar and ordered printed. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from illinois. name. k to withdraw my the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia seek recognition. >> i ask to take the bill and concur in the senate amendment. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: an anth to amend the controlled substances act by the secretary of human and services and with respect to distributors seeking to strike all -- the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from virginia seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent that
the reading of the senate amendment be dispensed with. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. is there objection to the request from the the gentleman from virginia. without observation,. the the motion to reconsider is laid upon the table. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent to take from the speaker's desk senate concurrent resolution and ask for its immediate consideration in the house. the clerk: senate con current resolution 24, concurrent resolution authorizing the use of emancipation hall for the unveiling of vice president richard cheney on december 3, 2015. the speaker pro tempore: is there objection to con current resolution? without objection. the the motion to reconsider is
laid on the table. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from virginia seek recognition? >> i also ask unanimous consent that the committee on house administration be discharged from further consideration of house concurrent resolution 9 and ask for immediate consideration in the house. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report. the clerk: house concurrent resolution 9 , authorizing the use of emancipation hall for a ceremony to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the ratification of the 1th amendment. the speaker pro tempore: is there objection to the con current resolution? without objection. the concurrent resolution is agreed to and the motion to reconsider is laid upon the table. the gentlewoman from texas.
the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from nevada seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and pass the ill h.r. 396,. the clerk: h.r. 3996 a bill to provide highway safety, transit and other programs funded out of the highway trust fund and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the
gentleman from nevada, mr. hardy and the gentlewoman from from the district of columbia, ms. norton, each will control 20 minutes. mr. hardy: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all the members have five legislative days in which to revise and materials. aneous the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. hardy: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. hardy: mr. speaker, i rise in support of h.r. 3996 which extends the federal surface transportation programs through december of 2015. on november 5, the house overwhelming passed a multi year surface transportation bill with more than 60 members votings in support. since then, we have made good progress in resolving the differences between our two
proposals. the conference committee needs time to meet which which we will do on wednesday and produce a final measure. today, the extension provides a time for that process to occur. while avoiding the shutdown of the transportation programs, the bill allows the states to fund transportation projects and prevents 1 u.s. department employees being from furloughed. we fund these programs at the authorized levels. no offsets or transfers are necessary for the extension since the trust fund will remain solve vent during the period. 3996 andpport for h.r. i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the
gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentlelady is recognized. ms. norton: i yield myself such time as i may consume. mr. speaker, the house must consider another short-term extension to key highway ansit, safety and hazmat investments limbing for two wreaks. we must pass this bill. this expires in just four days. this stopgap measure is a means to a much needed end which the house and the senate are working diligently to accomplish. a long-term surface transportation bill to provide certainly to states and to address our nation's crumbling roads, bridges and transit systems. every state department of transportation, every county, every city, every contractor, every construction worker, every
commuter stuck in traffic, every business that uses our roads and bridges to move goods and wants congress to break through its gridlock wants us to come up with a long-term bill. i thank chairman shuster and ranking member defazio and all the members who have worked together in the most bipartisan manner. it's bipartisanship that i believe is a model for how this house should operate in order to craft a surface transportation authorization bill that passed by voice vote on it of the transportation infrastructure committee and received support when considered by the house after many amendments were also considered. the conference committee is now diligently doing its work and i look forward to continuing our
talks with the senate to produce a comprehensive bill for the president to sign, until such time as the conference committee can complete its work, we must keep programs up and running. this extension does just that. this extension is a necessary step to avert a shutdown and i will therefore support it. it is my sincere hope that this is the last extension and i think it will be because of the bipartisanship this bill has enjoyed, the last extension we will need because it is beyond time to get serious about how we are going to fund our transportation future. i urge my colleagues to support this bill and i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady reserves.
gentleman reserves. ms. norton: i have no more speakers and i yield back my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from nevada is recognized. mr. hardy: i urge my colleagues to join me in supporting this bill and yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 3996. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid n the table.
financial strength or when the federal deposit insurance corporation places a lien against an insurance company's assets and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: union calendar number 260, h.r. 1478, a bill to provide for notice to and input by state insurance commissioners when requiring a insurance company to serve as a source of financial strength or when the federal deposit insurance corporation places a lien against an insurance company's assets and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from florida, mr. posey, and the gentlewoman from wisconsin, ms. moore, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from florida, mr. posey. mr. posey: i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on this bill. the speaker pro tempore: without objection.
mr. posey: i yield myself five minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. posey: thank you, mr. speaker. i want to thank my colleague on the financial services committee, mr. sherman, for all his help and support on the policyholder protection act as well as the chairman and ranking member of the committee for their support. i've devoted a great dole of time to insurance issues, both as a state legislator in florida and as a member of congress. for over three years, i've been pushing legislation to address problems that dodd-frank created for insurance companies and more importantly their policyholders. i credit former congresswoman judy biggert for bringing these issues to light and offering a positive solution focused on protecting consumers. after a lot of hard work, multiple hearings, draft, redrafts and so forth, we now have before us this bipartisan, commonsense legislation that will ensure that state
regulators continue to have the tools they need to protect policyholders back home. mr. speaker, insurance policyholders shouldn't be on the hook for an affiliated company's failure or financial distress. but unfortunately, that's an all too real scenario under the current law. today, in certain circumstances, insurance assets, those set aside to pay out policyholders' claims, could be used as a source of strength to offset risky bets of an organization affiliated with the insurance company. this could threaten the solvency of an insurer and undermine its ability to undermine -- its ability -- and undermine its ability to keep promises made to policyholders. it is simply wrong to force middle class families to put their homeowners or life insurance policies at risk
because of some bets that someone might have made on wall street, bad bets on wall street. therefore our bill clarifies that state regulators can wall ff these assets and regardless of how an insurance company is structured. bottom line here is that insurance policies shouldn't be rated, period. and certainly not to bail out a financial institution that made poor decisions. consumers deserve certainty that they will be protected which is why our bill will also require the fdic to notify state regulators and consult with them before taking a lien on an insurance company's assets. in the rare event that this action is being considered this legislation requires that the fdic first consider the impact that taking such a lien could have on policyholders.
taken together, these measures safe gard insurance assets and make certain they continue to be used for they primary purpose which is to pay out claims to policyholders. the policyholder protection act enjoys broad support from insurance regulators, state regulators, consumer representatives and the industry. mr. speaker, i'm proud of our work on this commonsense consumer protection bill and i urge all of my colleagues to support it. mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentlelady from wisconsin is recognized. ms. moore: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in strong support of h.r. 1478, the policy protection act. i do applaud my colleagues, mr. posey of florida and mr. sherman of california, on their diligent work that they have put into crafting this legislation in the financial services committee and i support it -- supported this
legislation in committee. the bill in a nutshell ensured that insurance companies assets are first and foremost used to protect and pay policyholders' claims. nd mr. speaker, to further discuss this bill, i would like to yield to mr. sherman of california such time as he may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. sherman: i thank the gentlelady for yielding. it's been a pleasure to work with the gentleman from florida on this bill. and i was pleased to join him in introducing this legislation. this is a commonsense bill, it has, i believe, total support. we voted on it in committee, supported unanimously. it has no objection from any of the regulator the fdic or others. it's supported by most insurance
commissioners all over the country, including dave jones, the insurance commissioner california. it is supported by the life insurers, the american council of life insurers, the casualty insurers and the big i so it's got industry and the regulators behind it, democrats and republicans, it's unanimous. what is the -- what does the bill do? it deals with the circumstance where you have a insurance company that's a subsidiary of a financial services holding company. and it basically lays out the principle that the assets of the insurance company are there to pay insurance claims. the state regulator of the insurance company regulates that insurance subsidiary and makes sure that the assets are there to provide insurance reserves and to pay insurance claims. and those assets cannot be envaded to pay for bad bets made by affiliated companies.
so first, the bill says that the state regulated insurance company resources cannot be used as a source of strength for an affiliated firm that's being liquidated under dodd-frank. second, the financial regulator may not place a lien on a company under title 2 unless the state insurance commissioner can sense and it is the state insurance commissioner whose fundamental duty is to protect the policyholders. and finally, the state insurance commissioner has the primary authority to determine whether to licky kate or rehabilitate insurance companies. the insurance commissioners have done an excellent job during the meltdown of 2008 to make sure that policyholders were paid. this bill reaffirms that the state regulators have the ability to wall off insurance company assets to protect policyholders. the bill will make sure that those assets are not jeopardized
by complex bets, risk taking, or poor management of affiliated companies. in a nutshell, we want to make sure that those who have insurance feel secure and this bill will do that. i yield back to the gentlelady from wisconsin. ms. moore -- ms. moore: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady reserves. the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. posey: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the gentlelady from wisconsin and the gentleman from california for this their kind remarks in support of this legislation. i yield two minutes to the chairman of the housing and insurance subcommittee, mr. luetkemeyer. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. luetkemeyer: thank you, mr. speaker, and thank the gentleman from florida. the majority of financial services committee and in fact the majority of congress recognizes the need to preserve the current state-based model of insurance relationlation. it's an important conversation because our model, different from others around the world,
center on the protection of policyholders before anything else. h.r. 1478, introduced by the gentleman from florida, mr. posey, and the gentleman from california, mr. sherman, works to guarantee policyholder protections that serve the u.s. insurance system and consume source well. it guarantees the authorities of tate regulators to protect insurers from contagion. it also codifies the existing role of the fdic to consult with state regulators and requires full consideration of all implications a resolution can have on policyholders. the legislation also ensures that the states maintain authority other insurance resolution process. insurers typically hold large amounts of capital. their primary role is to pay claims. the bill makes sure that those
assets, that go toward payment of claim, aren't use t.d. offset other affiliates. ere's a concern that other affiliates could raid insurance company holdings to prop up other entities. in other words, it says hands off the other assets of the insurance company. it enjoys broad bipartisan support, it was passed unanimously by the financial services committee because it codifies protections for insurance policyholders. i congratulate the gentleman from florida and the gentleman from california on their bill, thank them for their work on behalf of consumers, and urge all my colleagues to join me in supporting this legislation. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentlelady is recognized. ms. moore: thank you, mr. speaker. this bill that mr. sherman and mr. posey have worked so diligently on brings parity among state law, federal bank holding company law, and now
savings and loan holding companies. it clarifies that the fdic's backup receivership authority is not triggered if a state insurance regulator decides to rehabilitate rather than liquidate a troubled insurance company. i certainly commend this bill to my colleagues. the financial services has looked it over carefully. i urge support of this balanced proposal and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from florida is elect niced. mr. posey: thank you, mr. speaker. i have no further requests for time and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 1478 as amended? those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the tchare, 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the
securities and exchange act of 1944 to require reporting of the securities and exchange commission. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 30325rk bill to amend the securities exchange act of 1934 to repeal a certain reporting requirement of the securities and exchange commission. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from texas, mr. hensarling, and the gentlewoman from wisconsin, ms. moore, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas, mr. hensarling. mr. hensarling: i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on this bill. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. hensarling: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman select niced. mr. hensarling: i rise in support of h.r. 3032, the securities and exchange commission reporting modernization act. i want to thank the gentlelady from arizona, ms. sinema, and
the gentleman from virginia, mr. hurt, for their very diligent and bipartisan work that resulted in the financial services committee favorably reporting h.r. 3032 on a unanimous vote. a unanimous vote, mr. speaker. i'd also like to thank s.e.c. chair mary jo white and her fellow commissioners for providing their unanimous recommendation to eliminate this reporting requirement, which the congress previously repealed for all other regulatory agencies. no matter how modest the legislation may be, legislative efforts to eliminate unnecessary and otherwise extraneous reporting requirements are exactly the type of proactive solutions our regulators should provide to the committee for consideration. despite the senate's unwillingness to pass equally bipartisan bills to spur growth, promote capital formation and create jobs, i hope our
colleagues in the senate can agree that this exceedingly minor change is worthy of swift enactment. again, i want to thank the gentlelady from the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time, ms. sinema and the gentleman mr. virginia, mr. hurt for their bipartisan work and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from wisconsin is recognize. s. moore: i'm so happy to join i thank you for supporting this bill. this bill, of course, will relieve the s.e.c. from unnecessary unnecessary burdens and enable the overwhelmed agency to focus resources to other more mission critical tasks, examination and enforcement. i would now yield to the ntlelady from arizona, ms. sinema such time as she may
consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from arizona i is recognized. ms. sinema: i thank you to congressman hurt for being the legal republican congressman. mr. speaker, i rise in support of our bill, h.r. 303 , securities and exchange reporting and modernization act. our regulatory act is confusing which why it is important that outdated regulations are reviewed with the goal of repealing them and to make them was for every day americans. i have introduced this bipartisan legislation to repeal unnecessary and outdated requirement. since 199 , the s.e.c. has been the only agency required to compile this obscure annual
report. it is a waste of dollars and diverts time and resources. morningizing the requirements to better focus on protecting investors and facilitating capital formation. i'm exited with working with my colleagues and i hope that members will join me in this bipartisan legislation. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. mr. hensarling: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. ms. moore: i have no more speakers so i would yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from texas. mr. hensarling: i have no further requests for time. i urge my colleagues to support this commonsense bill and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the
bill h.r. 3032. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? mr. hensarling: i move to suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 1317 as amended to to the commodity act and specify how their for transactions. the clerk: h.r. 1317, a bill to amendment the commodity exchange act of 1934 to specify how clearing requirements apply to certain transactions and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule the gentleman from texas and the
be lewoman from will each recognized for 20 minutes. mr. hensarling: i ask members include days to extraneous material. i rise in support of h.r. 1317. i would like to thank the gentlelady from wisconsin, ms. moore, and the gentleman from ohio, mr. stivers, both very good members of the financial services committee and ms. fudge and mr. gibson for their bipartisan work over frambingly several years to clarify an important provision of the d.o.d. frank act. it is neice to once and for all to provide relief for businesses that caused or contributed to the financial crisis.
they captured thousands upon thus of businesses who wanted to provide stable price is to their customers and make sure there are predictable costs. we were able to address one of those impacts on end users, as part of the try ave re-authorization, users are still subject to the costly requirements of title seven. as long as a nonfinancial company uses this to to con sole permit , this will ex the zears to comply. the house of representatives last december unanimously passed a substantially similar bill to provide this desperately needed relief. that bill met with the same fate
so many other bills that have been produced in the house, they passed on a good faith and bipartisan basis. despite the differences between internal businesses or interfill yate derivatives, the dodd-frank act treats all trades the same which needlessly increased the risk such as manufacturers, utility companies, who in turn would do what? pass those increased costs and muct fluke tuations on their customers. the center for capital markets for come pestness noticed that quote, without this critical bipartisan language, end users and consumers will face
increased costs and companies ay have to be able to abandon. h.r. 1317 is not for wall street and clearly for main street and i hope my colleagues will join me in supporting this bipartisan legislation. and i reserve. ms. moore: thank you so much. and i want to thank the chairman for his pashe especially in getting this over the line. hopefully the senate will see it our way this time. i want to thank ms. waters for her diligence in working to get this legislation to the floor. and of course, my friend, mr. stivers of ohio, for working with me on this will bill. you know, all of them have been tremendous partners, a long, long, long time ago. mr. shiferse said he would continue to work with me until
we got this legislation right and he made good on his word. i want to thank my friends on the ag committee, ms. fudge of ohio and mr. gibson of new york. i credit all of these colleagues with helping this bill pass the financial services committee, 57-0 and the ag committee by voice vote. we have a bill that sort of works for everyone, business, consumer groups and regulators. -- they tury units are are indeed the corporate best practice because they permit aggravation of the risk of a corporate entity and a single point of contact. this legislation appropriately treats central treasury units
like interaffiliated transactions in the monitoring of risks in businesses, which is xactly what the end user i which dodd-frank always ntended. cans and beer making and you need to make sure that you hedge and lock in the price before production. this bill permits a c.t.u. says that transactions under the dodd-frank ends them as principal and agent which is the ogic that consumer financial c.e.o. agrees with. it enshines that logic with
appropriate flex built with the regulator and company. i urge all my colleagues to support h.r. 1317. we need to get this legislation croot the finish line to the president's desk because our end users need to conduct business. i have no other speakers. i would yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. mr. hensarling: i yield to him as much times he may consume, mr. scott, an outstanding member of the agriculture america. mr. scott: i rise in support of h.r. 1317. this makes targeting reforms and represerves the ability to have tools in line with congressional
inat the present time. they passed similar language with the comprehensive re-authorization. today's suspension is another step forward and to protect end con see m the unintend quenses. and associated with the day-to-day operations of the business is in this country. it is practices that allows businesses like our agricultural businesses to protect themselves against unfavorable market practices. as someone who has a degree in risk management, effective policy must take into account these efficient and proven business strategies. congress sought to exempt the end users and in the drafting of
the dodd-frank legislation. current law does not take into account the current practices ho utilize practices such as c.t.u.'s. c.t.u.'s are used by businesses to hedge the companies. risk hey are and market of the end user affiliates should be exempted from the clearing requirement as if they hedged those themselves. they allow them to enterprise isk and expertise. and the exemption does not currently extend to c.t.u.'s to the trades that manage the risk.
as most c.t.u.'s, hedging the affiliates, er they will utilize c.t.u.'s by utilizing the exception. .r. 1317 makes important changes to clarify that the laws exceptions are capable regardless of their corporate structure. it's our responsibility to sure that it does not impose illegitimate business practices. and we need to resolve those issues. and ensures regulatory framework and protects the framework to the tools needed to conduct our businesses. the members from all points of the ideological spectrum have
produced this legislation which passed unanimously out of the house financial services and house agricultural services. i would like to thank you them for everyone on their hard work and i urge you to support this bill. and i yield. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia yields. the gentleman from texas is recognized. . mr. hensarling: i urge my colleagues to support this bill. this relief is needed for end users for proper risk management. it will indeed help these companies with economic growth. again, i urge all of my colleagues to support the legislation. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas yields back. the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill, h.r. 1317, as amended.
those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and, without objection, the motion to reskr laid on the table. -- reconsider is laid on the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? mr. hensarling: mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and pass the bill, s. 2036, to suspend the current compensation packages for the chief executive officers of fannie mae and freddie mac and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: the report the title of the bill. the clerk: senate 2036, an act to suspend the current compensation packages for the chief executive officers of fannie mae and freddie mac and for other purposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from texas, mr. hensarling, and the gentlewoman from wisconsin, ms. moore, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from texas. mr. hensarling: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days within which to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous
material on the this bill. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. hensarling: mr. speaker, i also ask unanimous consent that the exchange of letters between the committees of jurisdiction be included in the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. hensarling: mr. speaker, i yield myself as much time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. hensarling: thank you, mr. speaker. rise in support of s. 2036, the equity in government compensation act. i would like to thank the gentleman from california, mr. royce, for his diligent work to craft the language which is the basis for this bill. s. 2036 will simply reinstate the limits on the salaries of the c.e.o.'s at the government-sponsored enterprises fannie mae and freddie mac that were eliminated earlier this year. since entering a federal conservatorship in september of 2008, fannie mae and freddie $187.5 received nearly billion in taxpayer money, making the g.s.e. conservatorship by far the
costliest of all taxpayer bailouts due to the financial crisis. this is not the first time there has been public outcry over the compensation of fannie mae and freddie mac's c.e.o.'s during their conservatorship. following several years of substantial salaries and bonuses, congressional and hfa ic concern caused then f director to cap the compensation for the g.s.e.'s hief executives at $600,000. earlier this year, now fhfa director repealed those salary caps, allowing the g.s.e.'s to raise their c.e.o. pay to as much as the 25th percent aisle of comparable companies. this ultimately allowed both g.s.e.'s to increase their c.e.o. pay from the previous cap of $600,000 to $4 million annually, all at the expense of the american taxpayer, who is still backing these
institutions. direct -- the director's decision to repeal the salary disapproval ked il from members of congress and the administration as well. notably both the treasury department and the white house opposed fhfa's decision to raise the g.s.e.'s c.e.o. pay. treasury recommended that, quote, existing limits on compensation continue, given the taxpayers' ongoing back stop of both enterprises, unquote. additionally, white house press secretary expressed the white house's opposition, adding that, quote, the reason that these entities are different than some of the financial enltities that you see in the private sect -- entities that you see in the private sector is they benefit significantly from a back stop that's provided by the taxpayers. and because of that taxpayer assistance, i think it is entirely legitimate for the executives of those institutions to be subject to compensation limits, unquote. while some claim that the g.s.e.'s should be able to pay
salaries commensurate with the private sector, these arguments fail to consider that the g.s.e.'s have yet to repay their debt to u.s. taxpayers for their unprecedented bailouts. as a 2015 new york fed reserve bank staff report stated, taxpayers are entitled to, quote, a substantial risk premium, unquote, and the government has never collected the commitment fee taxpayers are owed. treasury secretary concurred in his june 17, 2015, testimony before the financial services committee, which i chair, that, quote, the risk is being borne by taxpayers on an ongoing basis and the conservatorship is not over, unquote. while congress continues to debate the best framework for comprehensive housing finance reform, enactment of s. 2036 is a positive step toward -- forward, based on a simple principle what people do with their money is their business, what they do with taxpayer money is our business.
i ask that my colleagues join me in supporting s. 2036 and reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentlelady from wisconsin is recognized. ms. moore: thank you, mr. speaker. we understand that fhfa director is doing everything in his power to conserve the assets of the g.s.e.'s. however, i agree with the chairman, mr. hensarling, that we disagree that the c.e.o.'s of these two companies in conservatorship, whose operations are controlled by their regulators, should be paid millionity million-dollar compensation packages -- multimillion-dollar compensation packages. the treasury, which is the g.s.e.'s largest shareholder, opposes these proposed pay packages for the c.e.o.'s and so do we. so i therefore support s. 2036, would urge my colleagues to support this legislation, i have no other speakers so i would yield back the balance of
my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time. the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. hensarling: mr. speaker, i yield as much time as he may consume to a very hardworking member of the financial services committee, the gentleman from arkansas, mr. hill. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from arkansas is recognized. mr. hill: thank you, mr. chairman. i appreciate your work on bringing this important billing to the floor and i thank -- bill to the floor and i thank my friend, chairman royce from california, for sponsoring the house version of this measure, h.r. 2243, and i stand in full support with the senate version tonight, s. 2036. you know, since being placed in voluntary conservatorship, the federal housing finance authority, in my judgment, has really abdicated their responsibility with the treasury in acting truly as a conservator. fannie mae and freddie mac have received almost $200 billion in government assistance, by far our costliest taxpayer bailout
resulting from the financial crisis. this is also not the first time that the g.s.e.'s, the government-sponsored enterprises, were placed in conservatorship. and that the fhfa has been scrutinized for awarding increased pay to the c.e.o.'s. that's been previously discussed in detail here. and largely in response to that criticism of fhfa's failure to proper administer these entities and conservator -- in conservatorship, the g.s.e.'s c.e.o. compensation was capped in 2012 at $600,000. now, miraculously, they are ing approved for millions of pay increases, despite the fact that these entities are still, mr. speaker, in conservatorship. and it's for that reason, on july 30, that i wrote the
director of the federal housing finance agency and awarded him my monthly golden fleece award for poor stewardship of taxpayer resources. i'd ask unanimous consent that my letter to the director be put in the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. hill: thank you. treasury secretary has given his opposition, the white house has provided a statement of opposition, and yet the director continues and tsd for these reasons -- and it's for these reasons that i fully support of effort of mr. royce, mr. visiter, in capping the compensation -- mr. kvitovaer, in capping the compensation -- mr. vitter in capping these exensation -- these compensation measures. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from texas is recognized. mr. hensarling: mr. speaker, i look forwarded to dat -- to the day where we can work -- forward to the day where we can work to having a stable housing financial system in america, one that's sustainable for homeowners, so they are not put into homes they cannot afford
to keep, one that is sustainable for our economy, so hat we promote economic growth and reduce our tendency to have these recessions. certainly one sustainable for the taxpayers, because the taxpayers should never, ever again be called upon to bail out government-sponsored enterprises through the tune of almost $200 billion. in regard -- and regardless of how effective the current c.e.o.'s are of fannie mae and freddie mac, $4 million compensation packages are not part of a sustainable housing finance system. again, they are under government conservatorship. the taxpayer is still at risk. this does not pass the smell test. it doesn't pass the laugh test. and it certainly doesn't pass
the taxpayer protection test. so i am very happy of the work by the gentleman from california, mr. royce, that provided the house language that was pending, the senate language that we are debating tonight, i'm glad that this is bipartisan. i don't often find myself in agreement with the administration, but i'm prepared to take yes for an answer and i urge all of my colleagues to adopt this legislation and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass senate 2036. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and, without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table.
for what purpose does the gentleman from ohio seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and concur on the senate amendment to the bill h.r. 208, the recovery improvement for small entities, rise, after disaster act of 2015, as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 208, an act to improve the disaster assistance programs of the small business administration. senate amendments. the speaker pro tempore: does the gentleman mean to condition cur in the senate amendments? -- to concur in the senate amendments? >> yes, we do. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. >> i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and include ex traun yao -- extraneous matters and materials on the bill under consideration. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, so ordered. >> thank you. mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the
gentleman is recognized. >> thank you. on july 13, this chamber overwhelmingly passed h.r. 208, which was a corrective measure for those who suffered twice. mr. chabot: first by a disaster, and second by the s.b.a.'s ability to effectively provide -- inability to effectively provide disaster assistance. since that time we've had more natural disasters, wildfires in california and across the country, and in south carolina for the severe storms and flooding that recently occurred. as we know too well, a major natural disaster can happen anywhere, at any time, and to anyone in this great nation. a natural disaster exposes us to the worst nature has to offer. yet it oftentimes brings out the best in people. communities band together, neighbors help neighbors. and volunteers -- they donate their time and energy all in an effort to rebuild.
over the last decade, america has faced some of its worst natural disasters with hurricane katrina in 2005, and more recently, hurricane sandy in 2012. in the aftermath of any disaster, it's imperative that the federal government programs operate efficiently and effectively. so victims are able to rebuild and return their lives to normal as soon as possible. following both hurricane katrina and hurricane sandy, there have been startling reports regarding the small business administration's inability to properly administer the disaster loan program. the bill before us today, as amended by the senate, has the great fortune of being authored by two individuals who have seen firsthand how challenging the s.b.a. disaster loan process is in the aftermath of these catastrophic storms. the amendment we seek to concur on today comes from senator vitter, chairman of the senate committee on small business and entrepreneurship, who, as we all know, represents the great
state of louisiana, which was devastated by hurricane katrina. the senator's amendment strengthened the already strong underlying bill which was authored by our committee's ranking member, ms. velazquez, whose district in new york city was ravaged by superstorm sandy. i would like to thank them both for their leadership and hard work on these issues and for working together to craft legislation which takes into account the needs of disaster victims and taxpayers. . we will respond quickly to the needs of victims and make ip profments to the program and allowing partners who have a presence in the disaster area to engage with mall businesses as soon as the area is declared a disaster and they can resume faster. it recognizes that sometimes the
resource partners who have been affected and allows small business development centers from other states to go into affected areas temporarily and to aid victims. i know in my district, having entucky so close, this will be great. further, the amendment build on the underlig bills' concerned regarding the s.b.a. with the loans. this amendment ensures that congress will be informed of the status of the electronic application so we can perform oversight and prevent failures that happened from disasters. this will ensure that they are capable of responseing to the next disaster. i thank ms. velazquez for her
insight and leadership and for working on a bipartisan and bicameral manner and i see that and i have been the ranking member under her when she was chair and it was always bipartisan. we worked together in a very coliegial manner. and i thank her for this bill and it will help to ensure those affected by disasters so we can rebuild quickly and the interests of the taxpayers are protected. this was passed by the senate. i would urge my colleagues to support and concur on h.r. 208 as amended by the senate. and i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from ohio reserves. the gentlelady from new york is recognized. ms. velazquez: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the
gentlelady is recognized. ms. velazquez: when hurricane sandy made landful in 2012, new york city was one of the hardest hit areas. infrastructure was disrupted and our small businesses were impacted physically and economically. after a disaster like this, it is not commun common for as many as 40% of small businesses toe fail. and slowing the businesses. the small business administration disaster nctions provided credit to small business. with flowers, livelihoods at stake, it is vital the programs operate effectively. that is why in 2008, after katrina, congress passed reforms
meant to improve the response. it became evident that there is still much work to be done. the government accountability office rg the inspector germ have all documented shortcomings in the administration of the disaster loan program. our committee found, for instance, that small businesses waited 6 days to get their application processed by s.b.a., a threefold increase over previous atlantic storms. the agency lacked clear guidance which resulted in clear guidance and underwriting criteria and those going to those ineligibility entities. this ensures those affected by
applied sandy are fairly. they were so unprepared, it is important that those impacted have another chance of securing assistance. this bill will correct many of the problems identified by the i.g. s.b.a. will be required to rovide upfront to borrowers of unnecessary documentation and written policies for loan officers. clearing up confusion, h.r. 2808 will ensure funds flow more swiftly to businesses after a catastrophe. lastly, the measure incorporates reform.
on the distribution for businesses will no longer be prohibited from posting their assets. this is important as many interviewers have had to use personal assets for loan collateral. his is a true bipartisan and bicameral effort that assists small businesses that have been impacted by natural disasters. i thank the chairman. and want to thank chairman peter and senator men nendezz for their hard work in crafting this bill. i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from new york rerves. mr. chabot: we have no further witnesses this evening or mbers who will like to speak so reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlely is recognize ms. velazquez: i yield myself
the balance of my time. when disaster strikes, getting small businesses back on their feet can help local economies to recover. the s.b.a.'s lending initiative providing s intended emergency capital. h.r. 208 wouldllow businesses to apply forssistance and it improves how they function going forward. and small businesses and homeowners when they are most in need. this is a bipartisan bill and will do much good for entrepreneurs and for businesses impacted by future disasters. i thank the chairman and senator men and dezz for working in a bipartisan manner to get this
bill to the president. i would like to take this opportunity to thank the staff for the small business committee and our staff for the house small business committee, add am, justin. i encourage my colleagues to vote yes and i yield back the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from ohio is recognized. cha mr. chot: i yield myself such time in order to close. in closing, we never know when or where the next disaster will strike, but unfortunately we know there will be another disaster and there will be more disasters. given this we must ensure the s.b.a. is prepared to help those . helps those. but h.r. 208 does more than just
correct past mistakes and imposes obligations to ensure the agency learns from history and does not repeat those mistakes. concur in the senate amendment h.r. 208 and yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. will the house suspend the rules and the house concur in the amendments to h.r. 208. those in favor say aye. thopped. the rules are suspended and the senate amendments are agreed to senate out objection, amendments are laid on the table. the chair lays before the house the following personal requests. the clerk: leaves of absence
requested for mr. defazio for today. plsfer mrs. lawrence of michigan for today and plus ruppersberger for today through november 19. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. without objection. he requests are granted. the chair will entertain one-minute requests. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. mcdermott: -- mr. honda: thank you, mr. speaker, this week is america education week. i introduce my bill, the equity
and excellence in american education act that will move us to the funding system. we can wait no longer to act knowing we are not providing each and every child with a quality education. my legislation is a starting point to establish equity as a foundational principal of our educational system. each and every child deserves to have an education based on equity. equity acknowledges all children are different with different needs. equity means supporting students at the beginning with the quality pre-school and k-5 strategies. rather than saying, what can we o with the funding we we start with the question how much do we need to meet the needs of each and every child and build a system that reflects that
funding. this will be a challenge but one we must take on. thank you, mr. chairman. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california. tr there further one-minute requests. for what purpose does the gentleman from arkansas seek recognition? >> permission to address the house for one minute. without objection. >> i stand in the well of the the with the portraits of gentlewoman is recognized washington. on friday, november 13, the world watched in horror as they witnessed the terrorist attacks n paris that claimed the lives f 129 lives. these people whose lines were taken away too soon from us and those who were grateful wounded were will not be forgotten. my thoughts and prayers are with
their families and friends and the strong people of france. this massacre at the hands of terrorists was an attack on the civilized world and we will not t these horrific actions stand. the flags are at half staff. and in the call to come bet in this massing men ace place our undying faith, bound together by young lafayettes. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from new jersey seek recognition? >> permission to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. payne: mr. speaker, back in my home state of new jersey, we
having a nor of going-home celebration for a remarkable individual from my community. he was known as rencheds ron. his name was ronald b. christian and reverend ron's ministry was unique because reverend ron looked at the least of is and took them in without judgment to help them with their ills, whether they have drug issues or issues with the criminal justice system. henever ever judged, because that life worst could show you.
because he had gone through of it himself. nd one day, god stood him up nd said, now, serve my people. this great man passed away last week, several weeks ago, but i wanted to honor him on the floor of the united states congress. he was a unique individual and one of god's children. on the outside of his churn said sinners welcome and he never waivered and never turned his back. we will miss the honorable ronald b. christian. . . the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition?
mr. thompson: mr. speaker, request unanimous consent to address the house for one minute, revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. thompson: mr. speaker, pennsylvania's fifth congressional district, which i'm proud to represent, includes the alghani national forest. forest cores more than 500,000 acres and the use of its hardwoods has supported communities in counties for generations. mr. speaker, since the small towns depend on harvesting of trees from the forest, i'm deeply concerned by the news that, while the amount of timber cut in the forest has increased in recent years, the amount sold has sharply declined. timber sales are down 19% in the fast five years. a majority of the harvest is being sold as pull , and not high-value hardwood. this is one of the reasons why i co-sponsored the resilient federal forest act, which passed the house earlier this year and would enhance management efforts in our
national forests, to make sure our quality hardwoods are being used in the right ways. thank you, mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. are there further one-minute requests? under the speaker's announced the of january 6, 2015, gentlewoman from illinois, ms. kelly, is recognized for half the remaining time until 10:00 p.m. as the designee of the minority leader. ms. kelly: thank you. i ask that all members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. kelly: thank you. mr. speaker, it's my honor and privilege to lead tonight's congressional black caucus special order hour, where for 60 minutes we have the opportunity to speak directly to the american people. but before we get to business, i do want to take a moment to express my condolences and the prayers of the congressional black caucus and this congress to our allies in france after
night's attack in paris. our hearts go out to the victims and their families. no act of terror can shake the resolve of the french people to live free and nothing will impede france's ability to live prosperously. so before i begin, i want the people of france to know the american people and this congress stand in solidarity with the people of france tonight. and say this in full faith and confidence, no act of terror will deter france or the united states from embracing the principles of liberty, equality and brotherhood. our hearts also go out to those two recently lost loved ones and friends in beirut and nigeria. mr. speaker, in this hour, the congressional black caucus will have a conversation with america about the issue of race relations in this country. this isn't a new topic of discussion. and to be honest, i really wish there was no need and no appetite remaining in america to have to address this topic.
it's amazing that the same nation that saw pilgrims journey to our shores on the may flour and founding father ben franklin make ground breaking discoveries in electrical science is the same nation that was able to land a man on the moon and harness electromagnetic speck trull fop -- spectrum for our mobile devices. yet we still wrestle with the same problem that confronted ben franklin and the founding fathers so long ago. the issue of race relations in america. as president obama so eloquently remarked, the answer to the slavery question was already imbedded within our constitution. a constitution that had at its very core the ideal of equal citizenship under the law. a constitution that promises peopleiberty and justice and a union that could be and should be perfected over time. and yet these words were not enough to deliver slaves from bondage or provide men and women of every color and creed
their full rights and obligations as citizens of the united states. and it's this inherited sin that has guided a nation -- a national history of challenging race relations in america. from slavery to 3/5 compromises, a nation divide and broken over the issue of slavery. poll taxes and literacy tests, separate but equal, japanese internment, anti-semitism, tuskegee experiments, brown vs. the board of education, the confederate flags at state houses, confederate statues in this capitol, parishioners executed during a charleston bible study in the hopes that it would spark a race war. it is the sad truth that while race relations do not define us as a nation, ignoring and perverting these relations has left a painful blemish on our national record. mr. speaker, the congressional
black caucus has come before you in this hour many times this year to discuss the issue of black voter suppression in america. the mass incarceration of african-american males in america. the issue of black lives mattering. community fears over unfair and unequal treatment at the hands of bad apple law enforcement officers. the economic concerns of communities of color. these concerns aren't made up. the images, impact and evidence of these concerns can be found everywhere for proof. look at amendments 13 through 15. look at the issue of african-americans having higher rates of mortality than any other racial or ethnic group for eight of the top 10 causes of death. look at the black lives protests that we've had across the country. mr. speaker, these concerns are our reality. and we must know these things to be tree -- true. we know more must be done to strengthen our national record
on race. so tonight i want to use my time to discuss race relations in america, but i want to do so in a way that looks forward and not behind. i want to have a conversation about strengthening our national foundation and healing the racial wounds of our past. in this conversation about race relations in america, i will highlight areas of need and opportunity that should be examined. tonight's conversation should be a strong step toward progress. it is my true honor and pleasure to co-anchor this hour with my distinguished colleague from new jersey, a man who has committed his time in congress to strengthening communities and bridging cultures, the honorable donald payne jr. and with that i yield to my colleague in service. the honorable mr. payne. mr. payne: thank you, mr. speaker. i'd like to thank the entlelady from illinois. it has been a labor of love
that we have represented the congressional black caucus on this special order hours this year. and our year is coming to a lose and we look back at the issues that we have discussed over the course of this year and been an honor and a privilege to work alongside my colleague, r. kelly. tonight's issue, we've seen in recent weeks a number of racially charged incidents that have set off protests on college campuses across the country. from the university of missouri to yale, students have protested the inadequate responses of their schools' administrations to racism and
harassment against minority students. we have seen the failure of many college administrations to promptly address overt racism against minority students on campus. adding to the anxiety felt by these students have been the threats of violence against african-american students and faculty. in many instances, there's a disconnect between students of color and the university leaders. in many of these instances, administrators have openly acknowledged that their responses to minority students came too late. and that their behaviors failed to take into account -- into consideration the concerns of students and the injustices against those students. this is an extension of the debate over interactions, often
deadly, between law enforcement and african-americans. many african-americans feel marginalized and unsafe while going about their normal day. this year an overarching theme of our special order hours has been equality and justice. we have discussed how, despite the strides our nation has made on the journey to a more justice -- just society, minorities are still the subject of racism and racial discrimination and face persistent inequities across the board. from health to income to criminal justice. through our conversations and through the ongoing national debate about racial equality,
we're highlighting how occurrences like those at the university of missouri are not isolated incidents of racism. they're part of a larger, systemic discrimination. this is a history of racial discrimination, inequality and bias that still affects african-american communities across this nation. we need to recognize this. ere also needs to be recognition of the pain and anxiety and fears that it creates in some of these young americans. as we're seeing right now, many minority students feel that they do not have a home on campus. many minority students are concerned about their safety at
school. students at the university of missouri were afraid to attend classes following reports of threats on social media. all students deserve a safe environment to live and learn. we can't discount the fears of these students, yet that is exactly what we see happening and it is why so many students across the country are coalescing in support of racial justice. so how can we move forward from here? our national conversation about racial justice needs to remain ongoing. as a nation, we must continue to confront incidents of racism and harassment and bring light to the complacency that too often enables these occurrences
in the first place. but it has to be more than just a conversation. we have to use the voices of our students, of our communities, to drive concrete action on their behalf. schools need to ensure the diversity not only of other student bodies, but also their faculty and staff, to increase racial understanding and bring a broader perspective to their institutions. schools also need to make sure that marginalized students have access to services that enable them to share their experiences and seek assistance to meet their needs. and school administrators need to be held accountable for the make their campuses
inclusive and safe for all students. there needs to be urgency to their handling of racial incidents and any hate crimes or civil rights violations need to be investigated internally and by law enforcement as appropriate. we must never waiver in our efforts to address racial disparities and eliminate racism in our country. the congressional black caucus is committed to addressing racial disparities by developing initiatives and by working with grassroots and national organizations such as black lives matter, the naacp, the urban league, to ensure that they know that they have someone in their corner and this effort to work together. the c.b.c. is also holding a number of forums to bring
african-american community resources into the areas of business development, small business assistance, financial empowerment, inequality and education. as the caw -- as a caucus, we will continue to lend our support to those fighting for justice, equality and opportunity for all. >> one thing you talked about the university of missouri, i thought it was great and did protests and white students and football players and coaches and sat with them and gave them support, they were one. even though there were bad things that happened, it was good to see there were all kinds
ms. kelly: i would like to introduce congresswoman bash rar lee. ms. lee: thank you for staying the course and holding down the for the for the congressional black fort and our message for unity which describes, that message go out and both of you have been tremendous in this effort. i rise this evening to join this critical conversation on race relations in america and challenge our colleagues to work with the congressional black caucus to us. condolences in paris, lebanon and nigeria and
egypt. and know that we join in this quest for global quest and security throughout the world. tonight's special order is an important part of our work to address the racism that plagues our nation. specifically as it relates to african-americans but it impacts all communities of color and ffects our entire country. we are the united states. and so when one is effected, all is effected. ll across the country, and places like baltimore and ferguson and spring valley high, we are waiting the impact. very recently we saw this in my home district in berkley high school, black students were
subjected to threatening messages on campuses. but they walked off and not only plaque students but all student and marched down peacefully through the city to protest. this is unacceptable. all students have a right to learn free from violence and threats. and as any stupid feels unsafe, r work for justice remains incomplete. rackicically, colors of feel it. study released more than one f three children are born into poverty. black students account for 4 % -- that is
students from two years old to our years old. % despite of accounting of 18% of enrollment. i don't know how they are expeled from school. babies.african-american these kids don't get a start let alone a head start. african-americans are overpoliced and underemployed. a report published by the "new york times" found there are estimated 1.5 million black men between ages of 25-54 who are missing from civic life. these missing men who account for one in every six black men have been victims of mass in
cargs or premature death and this extends to the sturs of the community and have persisted for generations. the average unemployment rate for plaques have been doubled the rate for white americans. it feels like this is a permanent recession. this must be our call to action. that's why i'm proud of our young people and students who re standing up to racism and injustice ap time for congress to listen and plaque lives matter. i held a forum on racial justice to address these issues. 300 east bay residents raised their voices. this was the second forum that i held within the last three months. i reached residents. and tonight in this dialogue,
which they have talked about, this dialogue leads to action and our colleagues would think about hosting these types of forums and listen to what people are saying and listen to what our policies are saying. we must be part of the conversation and we must listen and hear the pain and suffering that people are suffering as a result of discrimation and racial injustice. the congress must act to start address the institutions. it's past time for us to get serious about addressing the lack of opportunity for black and right opportunities. right now, there is legislation that can start moving the needle forward. we need to empower or communities to build trust and we need to address chronic
residism which would be a huge step. o do this congress should pass the safe justice act. h.r. 3 should stop the 22. and we should pass the police accountability act, h.r. 1102 and grand jury act, h.r. 29 so we can ensure that deadly force cases are heard by a judge. as we reform our broken criminal justice system and help to repair those families, we will be strength thing america and have people who can make a contribution not only to their families and community but to the entire country. the federal government shouldn't
put up barriers and should ban the box totally federal contractors and federal agencies. we also need to repeal the lifetime ban on pell grants for those formerly incarcerated. the ingel built forever food stamps, we need to remove these barriers so we can get back into society and get a job. this is an example of public policy that racism wreaks its ugly head. timely, we must address the poverty that flages communities. we have a task force which i'm proud to chair were congressman
whip, mr. hoyer. we are working with more than 100 of our colleagues to advance policies that give all families, including african-american families living below the poverty line, we want to give everyone a fair shot. this includes h.r. 258 which alls for on a national strategy. 2 million americans lifted out of poverty in the next 10 years programs. ting our this would create good paying jobs and lift families out of poverty while strengthing our safety net. ultimately, the om way to end this is to give people of color
a seat at the table and need to pass legislation that be begin to remove these barriers. my mentor, if they don't give you a seat at the table, bring in a folder chair. so i want to thank all of the people across our country who are ensuring that these important conversations happen. we hear you. we support you and we will keep fighting for you for ensuring hibt and justice for all means just that. and in doing so we will make the united states a sthronger country. thank you for organizing this important special order and i know our discussion, we are laying out what can be done and it doesn't take another generation to end racial injustice. ms. kelly: i like your analogy,
bring a folding chair and your issues are on the menu. but i like the folding chair. a good point that you bring up and we talk about african- they are doing something wrong she public in jail. ile compromising, 2/3 of ferguson's population, 90% of citation and 9 % of arrests made by the ferguson police department. they are twice as likely to be served in a vehicle stop. contraband was found less frequently than white drivers. these police tactics and police force and ethnicically that are
underrepresented and instill the culture of distrust. ms. lee: this is a clear example. it is very clear that the policies, federal, local and state policies, the impact and the result end up being a result that has racial components and that's what our young people are talking about when they are talking about racism. ms. kelly: thank you. mr. payne: i would like to the gentlelady from california for making a very clear and thoughtful comments, been a leader on this house for many years and has taken bold steps in your pleffs and your principles. and sometimes when it looks grim, that you might be stepping
out. history has been kind to you. so i appreciate your leadership in this united states house of representatives. and, you know, one of the issues that we also find around racism is mass incarceration. and that has been a topic that has come to the fover front and the president is taking bold steps in that direction to have a discussion and correct those issues. there is no reason why the united states of america, which comprises 5% of the world's opulation has 25% of the incarcerated population in the world. that number is mind-boggling.
you know, and we're talking about the schools that are having issues around racial issues and not being addressed. you know, there is no mistake hat when you look at the issue even around coke and the disparity in the length of time that you receive for having crack cocaine, which is predominant little been in african-american communities, as opposed to powder cocaine, which is predominantly been in the major populations community.