tv U.S. House of Representatives CSPAN November 17, 2015 10:00am-9:01pm EST
professor patrick traynor from the university of florida. thank you for your time this morning. guest: my pleasure. thank you. host: we now go to the house of representatives. the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. the chair lays before the house a communication from the speaker. the clerk: the speaker's rooms, washington, d.c. november 17, 2015. i hereby appoint the honorable charles j. "chuck" flisheman ton act as speaker pro tempore on this day. signed, paul ryan, speaker of the house of representatives. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the order of the house of january 6, 2015, the chair will now recognize members from lists submitted by the majority and minority leaders for morning hour debate. the chair will alternate recognition between the parties with each party limited to one
hour and each member other than the majority and minority leaders and minority whip limited to five minutes, but in no event shall debate continue beyond 11:50 a.m. the chair recognizes the gentleman from west virginia, mr. mooney, for five minutes. mr. mooney: thank you, mr. speaker. it has been nearly four weeks since president obama visited my district in charleston, west virginia, to discuss the ongoing drug epidemic that is plaguing my state. west virginia has the highest overdose rate in the country with 29 out of every 100,000 people each year dying from drug overdoses. this is an issue that affects all west virginians. we all know someone who has been addicted or has been directly affected by drug abuse. drug addiction knows no boundaries. it affects the young and old,
rich and poor, the black and the white. that's why we have to do everything we can to fight back. we have to help coordinate efforts on the federal, state, and local levels. one of the best ways to ensure that we have a cohesive strategy is to work with the hidta program, also known as the high intensity drug trafficking area. the hidta program was created by congress to provide assistance to federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies operating in areas determined to be high drug trafficking regions of the united states. the purpose of the program is to reduce drug trafficking and illegal production in the united states of the drugs by doing the following. first, facilitating cooperation among federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to share information and implement coordinated enforcement
activities. second, enhancing law enforcement intelligence sharing . third, providing reliable law enforcement intelligence to law enforcement agencies needed to design effective enforcement strategies and operations. and fourth, by supporting coordinated law enforcement strategies which maximize use of available resources to reduce the supply of illegal drugs in designated areas and in the united states as a whole. one of the counties in my district, jefferson county, has recently applied to the hidta program. it is imperative that jefferson county become a designated area. on august 6, i sent a letter, along with my colleagues in west virginia, congressman david mckinley and congressman evan jenkins, to michael botchellly, the director of the office of drug control policy, urging him
to make jefferson county a hidta area. it is the utmost importance to include jefferson county as a washington-baltimore hidta designated county to help combat the growing drug epidemic not only in our state but also in our entire country. jefferson county is dangerously close to three major drug markets -- washington, d.c., which is 60 miles away. right here. baltimore, which is 70 miles away, here. and philadelphia which is 171 miles away. our interstate highway system directly links all three areas to jefferson county and a traveler can be reached -- can reach both d.c. and baltimore in a little more than an hour, making it incredibly easy to bring drugs into our community. there is also a large number of tourists that visited jefferson county each year.
it is estimated that around 4.3 million visitors come to jefferson county annually to visit a number of tourist attracts, including the harpers ferry national park, eight historical homes of president george washington's family, charles town racetrack, and others. while jefferson county greatly benefits from a large number of tourists, it's a growing concern that the ratio of police to visitors is growing too wide. the most dramatic reason for jefferson county to become a hidta is the high drug use statistics of the eastern pan handle of west virginia. cocaine the past year is 16% above the national average and nonmedical use of pain relievers is 15% above the national average. illicit drug use ear than marijuana is 27% above the national average. it is time tookt now before the situation in eastern pan handle of west virginia becomes grimmer. jefferson county needs to be designated as a hidta county. thank you, mr. speaker.
i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from oregon, mr. blumenauer, for five minutes. mr. blumenauer: thank you, mr. speaker. we are all horrified by the barbaric attacks in paris designed sew slaughter innocent people and inspire terror. we stand with the french people and are all committed to redoubling our efforts to assure we keep americans safe and intensify our efforts to eradicate these evil sinister forces that appear almost to be a different species. it's important, however, that we think through clearly where we are, what we have done, and what makes sense going forward to protect americans and redouble our efforts against this enemy. we must not jump to conclusions and do something before it's carefully planned and an aolized. i was here in the aftermath in the horror of 9/11, the killing of innocent americans and twin towers and pentagon, but for the bravery of passengers on united airlines flight 93, we might well have had our capitol destroyed. the federal government acted
after 9/11, but it's not clear our actions were thought out the way they should. we assembled a clumsy behemoth, the department of homeland security, the largest department we have created since 1947 and in retrospect it's not clear that was the wisest course of action. think about the excessive bureaucracy, charges of waste, fraud, and inefficiency in that department. look at the clumsy response to katrina. we passed the patriot act instead of the bipartisan legislation produced by the judiciary committee. look at the vast sprawling shadowy intelligence network so large nobody actually knows precisely how big it is. remember, the failure of 9/11 to stop the attack was not for lack of intelligence. it was a failure to be able to use the knowledge we have. there is a danger at times of drowning in data. the impulse to lash out led to the disastrous war in iraq, the aftermath of that effort has done more to empower isis not
just to draw people to the movement. we created a space where they can operate, grow, and lash out at us. now we hear what can only be described as crazy talk in the republican presidential primaries not just about ceiling the borders but -- sealing the borders but having a religious test for refugees fleeing terror. remember, the 9/11 attackers did not sneak across the borders. it exploited weakness in our visa system. even in europe it appears most of the people involved with the attack did not sneak in hidden with syrian refugees. actually people already in europe radicalized moving freely about. it's appropriate to be concerned, angry, and determined to protect innocent people, to hunt down and eliminate these horrific threats. i just hope that we learn from our past mistakes about impulse and overreach that may not
produce its intended results but leave us with more problems and vulnerability. remember how a college dropout was able to expose vast amounts of sensitive american data, edward snowden had been a private contractor who worked for the government a few months. working in a highly charged political environment does not tend to bring out the best in congress. we need to be careful about getting this right. that we have the support of the american people, and that congress in a really frustrating time in american politics takes the time and energy to craft effective action. let's try and get on the same page rather than a rapid response which history shows is not necessarily the right response. and decidedly turning our back on syrian refugees is un-american, unpatriotic, and morally weak. turning our back on an entire population due to broad brush characteristic terizations of those who practice --
characterizations of those who practice a certain faith goes against our core values as a country. i think america's better than that. sinking compassion for syrian refugees can be done securely. the facts make that clear. a failure to do so would put us on the wrong side of history would be one of those mistakes we make under pressure and would only make us less safe rather than more. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from west virginia, mr. jenkins, for five minutes. mr. jenkins: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today in strong support cfpbr. 1737, the reforming indirect auto financing guidance act. businesses across west virginia's third district are already facing hardships from the consumer financial
protection bureau's rules. those businesses that make, sell, finance, or service motor vehicles in my state are especially worried about the cfpb's 2013 rule making affecting their industry. the 2013 rule could raise credit costs and push consumers out of the marketplace entirely. it should be consumers not government bureaucrats, deciding what works best for them. this bill would rescind that rule and replace it with commonsense guidance for transactions related to indirect auto financing. the bill would give consumers, especially those with low and moderate incomes, a chance to receive the best financing options available for them to purchase a new auto vehicle.
i fully support passage of this bill and hope we can continue to work in a bipartisan fashion to reform cfpb rule making. with that i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from illinois, mr. gutierrez, for five minutes. mr. gutierrez: mr. speaker, we are shocked, horrified, and deeply saddened by the news coming from paris. as a member of the intelligence committee i know there is much to fear, both for our allies and for us, but in light of the attacks on our ally, france, last friday, i urge my colleagues to keep a cool head and not react exactly the way that isis and other terrorists hope we do, with fear, with chaos, and with lashing out. but sadly that is what we have already seen republican governors, leekted leaders,
candidates, and media figures do. i have been here long enough to know a thing or two about opportunism. maybe it's too much to ex-- resist when you are one of 15 candidates for president of the united states. politicians and pundits will be tempted to say whatever they can to get the news cameras pointed at them. the governor of illinois, my home state, could not resist saying our state was closed to syrians fleeing the terror of isis and the regime. the governor of louisiana, a nation of immigrants, said no to refugees. the governors of other states did so, too. a senator whose parents came as refugees from cuba fleeing there has said no, too. this is despicable and cowardly and the kind of reaction isis wanted. isis could not have written a better script. the free people of the world are turning their backs on people seeking safety and freedom.
when we send jews back to germany and when we send japanese to internment camps, we regretted it and we'll regret this as well. we have had candidates actually say that refugees seeking safety in the strongest nation in the world must first pass a test to prove they are from an acceptable religion in the united states of america. they said this, in the 21st century. an acceptable religion in america. now, of course, the governors of illinois, texas, and louisiana and most of the other states that are scared of vices are republican. and because it is a federal matter, they are overstepping their powers with executive orders because they cannot actually stop refugees from resettling in their states, and they know it. how sad. instead, they have instructed state agency not to assist people fleeing terror. we are a better country than that. no matter how scared republican leaders become, we must not abandon our commitment to being a nation without equal in the
world. a nation that does not fear or shy away from any challenge. it is our commitment to religious equality and to freedom to worship as we please that has made us a great nation. and this is no time to abandon that tradition. our bravery, the bravery of our military, the bravery of our commitment to freedom and equality has shown for almost 250 years what american exceptionalism is truly all about. it is not the time to lose sight of ourselves and say america is too weak, america cannot handle 20,000 or 200,000 refugees fleeing for their lives. it is not the time for america to consider raising the white flag and say to those waiving the black flag, yes, isis, you are right. we dislike and fear muslims and we don't care if you perish or not. . we love this country too much
us. rrorists terrorize on thursday, we'll hold a hearing on refugees from syria and the middle east. you can already imagine what we can hear. republicans will most likely raise fears that muslim terrorists disguised as refugees would somehow past exhaustive criminal background checks because they've been lying in wait in those camps for years. they will raise suspicions, instill fear of muslims, maybe even fear of a president they've been saying is a muslim and it will probably be pretty sad display. let us as legislators and leaders and patriots rise above petty politicks. rise above sectarian fears. rise above the underlying layer of xenophobia that often
surfaces in this country in moments like this throughout our history. and let us maintain america's commitment to being a beacon of hope for those fleeing oppression and violence and intolerance, a haven for the religiously persecuted, whether they are buddhist fathers tibet or christians from iran or pilgrims from europe, that is who we are. we are a nation that lives by the motto, out of many one. we will not run in fear from that motto today or any day. this is america. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california, mr. lamalfa, for five minutes. mr. lamalfa: thank you, mr. speaker. as a californian we know full well -- i know full well that we are suffering record drought , but what we already know is that california officials are pushing the high speed rail
proposal that won't be deterred by skyrocketing costs and absence of private investment or the $55 billion and growing funding gap. what we didn't know was the extent of secrecy and mismanagement taxpayers would face at the hands of state officials pushing this project. just this mont we learned that in 2013 -- just this month we learned that in 2013 the contractors purr posed the first phase's cost was risen by 30%. it was released two years later after pressure from congress. while the lack of transparency is unacceptable, especially given that taxpayers are ultimately on the hook for this project, the fundamental issue here is that the entire project is a reuss, in literal terrence a -- ruse, in literal terms a train wreck. officials hid this from the public. in 2008, voters were promised an 800-mile system that would link san francisco, san diego and los angeles, would have less than 1/3 of the cost paid by the state, its taxpayers.
the system was promised to travel from san francisco to los angeles in under two hours and 45 minutes. fast forward to 2011 when the price shot from $31 billion to $100 billion. the plan was reduced l.a. to san francisco and the state was quick to grab billions of unknown at the time federal stimulus that came along later. money that could be used for critical needs like roads or water infrastructure that california needs so desperately now. as well now, california will start shifting cap and trade dollars recently created to try and prop up high speed rail and the deficient budget dollars. as a state senator at the time, the first bill i introduced was one that would require them to come up with the ultimate full plan of the cost of doing high speed rail. having not succeeded getting that through a majority that still liked it as it was, my next legislation was to say, now we know this is over $100
billion, let's put this back on the ballot for the voters since the price was tripled in what they were deceived at the time. that was defeated. the majority continued this boondoggle. the governor claimed it has fallen to $60 ol billion to what would have been an illegal system passed under prop 1-a. the costs of tunneling through the mountains, cost spikes in the initial construction segment and ignores land acquisition due to people fighting back having their homes, farms paved over by this project. the promises made in 2008 ranging from low ticket prices to questionable job figures including, get this, at the time they were claiming a million jobs from high speed rail. they said, it would be a million job years which that number has been paired down. all these have been proven false. in fact, these claims are so misleading that a state court
has forbidden the legislature from writing ballot measures and putting the language on the ballot with the descriptions. earlier this week i sent out a survey to residents in my weekly enewsletter to constituents in the first district, my own district, to share their thoughts on high speed now. i listed a number of suggested actions we could take, leaving it as is, defunding to and ask which best represents our constituents' position on the project now. of the nearly 1,600 answers we received, their views are pretty clear. nearly half of them said they thought funding for high speed rail should be redirected to invest in water storage and water infrastructure to help our state right now in this drought. about 20% thought the state should subpoena the cost documents and require high speed rail authority officials to testify why the figures were concealed. 18% thought california high speed rail should undergo federal investigation in response to these allegations
given that project involves the use of federal funds. 7% thought we should keep going forward with high speed rail and believe the current price tag is worthwhile investment of public fandsfunds. lastly, 4% supported investing in high speed rail provided the project stayed within the old constraints, the old prices they saw on the ballot. 11% might support high speed rail. 4% under the old price which is nowhere near what was projected. people don't like this project. they don't trust those advocating for it. they deserve better to see . eir tax dollars used it's time we start prioritizing funding for projects that actually address real problems facing california such as the current drought. it's time to apply common sense to the situation. we have a state whose economy depends on a sound water supply, yet in the mids of a
water drought, we're still facing this high speed boondoggle. rather than spending billions of dollars, let's help the people of california. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from illinois, mr. quigley, for five minutes. mr. quigley: thank you, mr. speaker. when the average american wants to learn about a policy, where do they turn for information? often the answer is the 24-hour news cycle. often filled by talking heads and sensationalism or social media and message boards or anyone can post anything, credible or completely misinformed. the american public is no longer being informed by the likes of cronkite and morrow and is making our public debate increasingly partisan, polarized and misinformed. what few realize or like to admit, there is a way congress can help elevate the debate and educate our constituents with neutral, unbiased, nonpartisan
information from the congressional research service, or c.r.s. for over 100 years, c.r.s. has served congress, publicly funded think tank. because they serve policymakers on both sides of the aisle, c.r.s. researchers produce exemplary work that is nonpartisan, easy to understand. despite the fact that c.r.s. receives over $100 million from taxpayers each year, it is -- its reports are not made available to the public. instead, constituents must request individual reports through a congressional office. this has led to several undesirable consequences. well-connected lobbyists have the easiest access to these reports, unlike the average american. second, while nonprofits make some reports available online, there is no guarantee they will remain available and up to date. and most outrage ousley a small industry has sprung up -- outrageously a small industry has sprung up reselling these
for exorbitant fees. they're reselling publicly funded work, work that ultimately belongs to the people. keeping these reports in the hands of congress and beltway insiders is selfish and indefensible. i understand that allowing the public to access these reports will not answer all the questions they have about the work on capitol hill, but it underscores the broader need for increased transparency in congress and government. public trust in government has reached historic lows, causing too many americans to simply give up on washington and the mission of government. the best way to rebuild the public's trust and promote a more efficient and effective government is by furthering government accountability through increased transparency. it's time to recognize that educators, students, media and everyday citizens deserve access to c.r.s. reports, and that this access gives
constituents the information, policies and budgets we're debating here in congress. that's why congressman lance and i introduced house resolution 34, which directs the clerk of the house of representatives to maintain a centralized public database for nonconfidential c.r.s. reports. this resolution gives the public tools to cut through the misinformation they face. it gives them access to something they are already paying for and it empowers the american people to hold congress accountable for the decisions we make. steps toward a more open and transparent government may seem modest to some but in reality they have a huge impact on how government serves the people. the mission of government matters, and if we are truly here to serve the people, then we owe it to them to operate in an open and transparent manner. let's give the public the information we are basing our decisions on. i urge my colleagues to stand up for transparency and
accountability by supporting house resolution 34. information is power and that's exactly what the american people deserve. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. thompson, for five minutes. mr. thompson: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i rise in recognition of the efforts of the economic development council of governments, our otherwise known at cidacog, in expanding natural gas in areas across central pennsylvania. mr. speaker, when natural gas is not only produced right here in the united states of america, but it is also economical and versatile. with uses that range from home heating to cooking and drying clothes. while pennsylvania sits on one of the largest natural gas reserves in the nation, many areas of the state are
underserved by natural gas providers. converting to natural gas can lead to big savings for consumers who currently rely on other home heating fuels such as propane and oil. now, to help address this issue, $160 pilot project will provide -- $160,000 pilot project will provide homeowners the option to connect. to do that this organization has joined with gas suppliers such as u.g.i. utilities and columbia gas of pennsylvania starting with at least three projects in central pennsylvania which will expand natural gas to hundreds of potential users. in addition, the project will focus on the sustainability of delivering natural gas through virtual pipelines where compressed natural gas will be delivered by a truck to be used by large commercial businesses located nearby. if successful, officials say they could expand this model to fuel users connected by a
small pipeline network, including residential areas such as housing developments. mr. speaker, i commend the innovative spirit of this and look forward to learning more to how these projects could benefit other areas of pennsylvania. mr. speaker, i rise today in honor of the 130th anniversary of the dubois business college which has several locations located in the fifth district. it was founded in 1885 by a man who recognized the need for skill operators and employees. the school's original location was once known as the largest building in america devoted exclusively to commercial education. in the many years since, dubois business college has expanded not just to a new location in dubois but to include branch locations in three other areas.
stood they have a student body of more than 400 and offers a variety of associate degree and diploma programs all of which can be completed in less than two years. this provides a quick transition for students into the work force. i'm honored to welcome add mrdors and students to capitol hill today and look forward to congratulating them in person and wish them well and their continued success. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yield back. the chair recognizes the the gentlewoman from alabama, miss suewell, -- ms. sewell, for five minutes. ms. sewell: thank you, mr. speaker. 68 -- mr. speaker, today is restoration tuesday. i rise today to support voting rights for all americans. i was proud to stand alongside members who support the restoration of the voting rights act of 1965 recently, and to
launch the hash tag restore the vote legislative strategy. this national effort will help mobilize support for h.r. 2867, the voting rights advancement act of 2015. a bill that i sponsored with representatives judy chu and linda sanchez to restore critical federal oversight to jurisdictions who have a recent history of voter suppression. since elections are held on tuesdays, every tuesday that congress is in session, like today, we will declare it to be restoration tuesday. so today i'm speaking on the floor of the house of representatives on the need to restore the voting rights act of 1965. our call for restoring the v.r.a. is urgent, mr. speaker, as our colleague, john lewis, so eloquently says, there is no other work more important in this or any congress than protecting the full access of all americans to the democratic process.
if we do not act, the 2016 election will be the first presidential leaks in 50 years without the protections -- election in 50 years without the protections offered to millions of voters by the voting rights act of 1965. we must act now. i therefore urge all of my colleagues from both sides of the aisle, my republican and my democratic colleagues, to join me on tuesdays and speak in support of the voting rights act. and to sign on to the voting rights restoration and advancement act of 1965. which restores key components of the voting rights act of 1965. ultimately, this bill, h.r. 2657, will restore key components of the voting rights act of 1965. the bill will provide more protection to more people in more states. it's about broadening and expanding, advancing the voting rights act. nothing is more american than voting. so every tuesday congress is in
session, we will be wearing the restore the vote pin, the red, white, and blue pin is a symbol of our unwavering commitment to restoring the voitses -- voices of the excluded, and providing transparency in the voting process. 50 years ago in 1965 president lyndon johnson signed the voting rights act into law. his voice and his words still resonate today. the vote, he said, is the most powerful instrument ever devised by man for breaking down injustices. the voting rights act of 1965 was pivotal in providing voter discrimination and preventing it from occurring across the united states. the act gave millions of african-americans a voice, a voice that has been heard throughout our nation for nearly 50 years. now the voting rights advancement act will expand that not just to african-american voters but to all voters. that's exactly what we should be
about. we should be about expanding voting right opportunities so that all americans are protected. as a daughter of selma, alabama, i am painfully aware that the injustices suffered on the edmund pettus prince george's -- bridge 50 years ago have not been fully vindicated as states are passing laws to restrict access to the ballot box, we are mindful that all battles have become new again. the recent decision by the state of alabama, for example, to close 31 d.m.v. offices in majority black counties, in spite of alabama's photo i.d. law, is just one example of a modern day barrier to voth. the supreme court issued congress a challenge in--- in the shelby decision. it didn't say preclearance was unconstitutional. rather it said congress come up with a modern day formula to address modern day barriers to voting. this example is alabama, a 31 d
m.v. offices closing when there are -- the state requires a photo i.d. and drivers license is the most popular form of i.d. is one example. these counties that were discriminated against by this recent law in alabama were the very counties where foot soldiers and activists like jimmy lee jackson and jonathan daniels died for the opportunity and right for others to vote. if federal preclearance provisions were still in effect, these d.m.v. closings would not have occurred. to restrict the ability of any american to vote is an assault on all americans, equal participation in our electoral process. no one benefits when american voices are silenced at the polls. mr. speaker, i applaud certain states like the state of california and oregon, two states that are now automatically registering citizens who request a driver's license, to actually vote. so i say, mr. speaker, on this restoration tuesday, i'm asking
all of my colleagues to join me in support of h.r. 2867, the voting rights advancement act. and i'm asking all americans to join us in our efforts for hash tag restore the vote and hash tag restoration tuesday. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back. the chair will receive a message. the messenger: mr. speaker, a message from the president of the united states. -- the secretary: mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: madam secretary. the secretary: i'm directed by the president of the united states to deliver to the house of representatives a message in writing. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the gentleman from washington, mr. newhouse, for five minutes. mr. newhouse: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to recognize the opening of the manhattan project national historic park, a significant part of which is in my congressional district in the state of washington. decades of successful cleanup
efforts at the hanford nuclear site have come to fruition with the dedication of the historic b reactor as a part of this national park. the b reactor was the world's first full scale plutonium production reactor, helping our country and world war ii and the cold war. the new park will highlight the sacrifices and the contributions of thousands of workers who built the facility and the scientists whose groundbreaking research played a critical role in the manhattan project. more than 50,000 visitors have toured the sites since 2009. and the park will attract thousands more to learn about our region's history. the park will provide future generations with a unique educational experience. i applaud the efforts of the community who have worked for years to make this national park a reality. i will continue to support the opening of additional sites for
public access in order to preserve and tell the story of hanford. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from california, mr. lowenthal, for five minutes. mr. lowenthal: thank you, mr. speaker. the people of france and the people of the united states have shared a common bond of liberty and equality for over 200 years. in the face of the recent terrorist attacks in paris, that bond brings us now even closer in unity and in solidarity. we stand with the french people as they mourn. we stand with the friends and families of those who were killed like miss gonzalez, a
young california state university long beach student studying abroad in paris. we also stand with our cal state long beach family in their mourning. though emmy's death is a personal loss for each and every one of us. it tears at the very bonds of fraternity that embrace every member of our cal state long beach family, and the long beach community. emmy was a daughter, a friend, and a mentor. just 23 years of age, she was a vibrant student. and what those who knew her have . lled, quotes, a shining star she committed herself to learning. she traveled across the globe to express and to explore her
talents, her creativity, and the world. now all that seems broken. yes, we grieve for her, but we also grieve for all the victim in paris. we grieve for their families, the friends, and all their loved ones. we grieve for each and every one of them. today we are all part of the human family. , as a family, we mourn her our shining star. but in our mourning, let us remember something very, very important. this was not an attack on paris, though paris was the target. this was not an attack on the french people, though the french people were the target.
this was an attack on what unites us, our shared humanity and our shared values of liberty. d in that humanity, in those values, we will find the strength to stand strong in the face of senseless violence. because in the end the humanity that unites us is what frightens those who would do us harm. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from kansas, mr. yoder, for five minutes. mr. yoder: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, america and her allies are under attack by islamic extremism. the despicable act of terrorism the world witnessed over the weekend in paris, france, serves as a stark reminder of the
threat posed by isis knows no borders. french officials have indicated that at least one of the paris attackers linked to isis was admitted into europe as a refugee from syria. nevertheless, the administration's made it clear that in spite of this it will continue to seek to bring up to 10,000 syrian refugees to america in the coming year. the president's refugee proposal places the interests of other nations ahead of the safety and security of the american people. because we are unable to verify whether the next attacker is within their midst, we must halt the flow of any refugees into the united states from syria. mr. speaker, in light of these attacks, now is not the time to open our borders to refugees from countries who wish to do our citizens harm. congress stands ready to legislate or use the power of the purse, this administration refuses to change course of this misguided policy. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the
gentleman from illinois, mr. lahood, for five minutes. mr. lahood: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to honor retired s. army master sergeant jack anhar -- harlan who received award on veterans day in illinois. i was privileged to pin the medal on the lapel of mr. har lan's dress blues in front of spectators and veterans gathered at peoria's world war i and world war ii memorial. the veterans event held annually to honor our service men and women this year brought a special opportunity to witness master sergeant harlan receive his distinguished medal. it had been approved recently by the secretary of the army. master sergeant harlan has 18 years of service to our nation carrying out tours in afghanistan and iraq.
while on employment for operation iraqi freedom in 2007, a vehicle carrying master sergeant harlan and a small transition team on combat control was suddenly struck by an i.e.d. harlan was knocked unconscious from the blast and suffered concussion injuries from the attack. master sergeant jack harlan is a son of central illinois and has served our country with valor. he has since been honorably discharged from the united states army and has returned home to help serve his fell veterans. we -- fellow veterans. we honor him with this purple heart. 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. the chair recognizes the gentleman from florida, mr. jolly, for five minutes. mr. jolly: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to celebrate the life and honor the memory of
begunnery sergeant henry "hank" green. hank passed away on november 5 at the age of 95. hank was one of the first marines to land on guadalcanal as a member of the first marine raider battalion. he was recognized for his bravery during the battle, known as bloody ridge, in september, 1942, when he took over a machine gun where his closest friend had lost his life and hank then laid siege throughout the night. . during this heroic post he was wounded three times and hank was eventually awarded the purple heart. hank would go on to seek combat in three more locations near the solomon islands before being discharged as a gunnery sergeant in 1946. upon his return from war he worked with his father-in-law in canton, ohio, where he grew the business into two very
successful locations. in 2002, hank moved to florida. first moving to fort myers and then making his final home in st. petersburg. he was well-known and well-respected man who had an infectious love of baseball. he served his country with distinction, made a lasting impact on his community and will be sorely missed by the lives he touched. may god bless hank, his familiar leaned friends and may god bless the country hank so proudly fought for, the united states of america. mr. speaker, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the chair recognizes the gentleman from south carolina, mr. clyburn, for five minutes. mr. clyburn: thank you very much, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i rise today to express strong opposition to h.r. 1694, which was debated by this house under suspension of the rules yesterday.
h.r. 1694 purports to be about fairness to veterans. well, mr. speaker, there is nothing fair about pitting veterans against women and minority-owned businesses for an already-meager goal of 10% of federal highway and transit construction contracts. if the sponsor of h.r. 1694 really wanted to create a new veteran system at the department of transportation, he would have worked with mr. cummings and ms. norton when offered the opportunity to do so over a year ago. if my colleague really wanted to create a new veteran system, he would have co-sponsored legislation to establish a specific and separate contracting goal for veteran-owned small businesses through the creation of a
veteran-owned business enterprise program. the gentleman from pennsylvania has done neither. instead, he chose to put forth egislation that threatens to inflict irrepairable harm on the entire disadvantaged enterprise program by opening up to additional legal challenges and undermining its core purpose. the d.b.e. program was created by congress to combat discrimination against minority and women-owned small businesses. it is and must remain narrowly tailored to serve a compelling government interest in order to withstand the supreme court test of strict scrutiny. while i support the sponsor's
stated goal of helping veterans and more specifically helping veteran-owned businesses compete for federal highway and transit construction contracts, i reject the notion that the est way to do so is by undermining the disadvantaged business enterprise program. mr. speaker, this is not a zero sum game. we do not need to pit these two constituencies, both of whom continue to suffer through disproportionately high unemployment rates against each other. we can and should help both veteran and disadvantaged businesses succeed. that is why i joined representatives cummings, norton, brown and bustos in
supporting h.r. 3997, legislation that would create a new veteran-owned business enterprise program at the department of transportation that is wholly separate and apart from the existing d.b.e. program. it is a better and more direct way of helping veteran-owned businesses compete for the department of transportation contracts and it does so without harming the disadvantaged business enterprise program. i urge my colleagues to vote no back. 1694, and i yield the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the chair declares the house noon today.til
whether to conference with the senate to work out differences in the no child left behind act. live coverage when the house returns at noon eastern here on c-span. elsewhere on capitol hill, a joint house and senate subcommittee is holding a hearing on secret service conduct issues with secret service director joseph clancy on your screen there and directors from the homeland security houses. live coverage until the house returns on c-span. mr. clancy: what the congress is doing today is a help to us and our agency because, again, the seriousness of what we've done in this particular case resonates by these types of earings.
mrs. watson coleman: this is what we've been experiencing, mr. director. i want to talk about the panel's recommendation. one of the things i think was noted in the panel was that -- that we needed new leadership. we needed leadership from outside of this organization that didn't have the long-term relationships that might be somehow influenced by the relationships they did have and eeing it in sort of an insular way. you have a 27-year record or experience with the agency. clearly you are an insider. there was a removal of a number of deputies and they were replaced, and the majority of the deputies that were replaced were also from within the
agency with long service records. my question is, how do we change the culture of the organization if the very top leadership has been a part of that culture and perhaps only sees this organization from within? would we have not been better served had you identified the capacity to go to the outside and find people with certain skills, leadership abilities, accountabilities that would -- that would have transcended the relationships that individuals may have had, could that possibly have helped us become more efficient, more effective and more accountable as an agency? mr. clancy: thank you for that question. i tell you that this position, the director's position should have been someone from the
outside. there's good reason for that. i understand that. i consider the fact that i had left the service for three years, worked in private industry, has allowed me to bring me some outside views on how to run a business and how to run this agency. so what i did do is first of all, i brought in a chief operating officer, a civilian, from outside the agency. and that c.o.o., the chief operating officer, is equivalent to the deputy director. additionally, we created a lot of subject matter expert positions where traditionally they answer to agents. you know, prior to me arriving here, all the top level security was run by agents, and some of them candidly were not subject matter experts. for example, finance. we now have a chief financial officer who does not answer directly to an assistant director. she is the chief financial officer. chief technology officer is an engineer, not an agent. the chief strategy officer is a lawyer who's not an agent.
there's a few others as well. so we brought in -- we're trying to bring in this outside perspective to run this business but also move the agents into our core mission of protection and investigations. mrs. watson coleman: so talk to me about your ability to bring in not only new people into the agency but more diverse people. because the information i read regarding the secret service is that it is predominantly white male, there are -- there's a small percentage of women and not very -- not consistent with across the board in federal government. what are you doing to address the issue of lack of diversity in terms of race and ethnicity and gender in positions? and what are you doing to address the long-standing and outstanding issue with the civil rights complaints? that move beyond them as opposed to using this system to
delay the implementation of the corrective actions that could be taking place? thank you. mr. clancy: in terms of diversity, i'd ask you to look at my executive staff. on that staff of approximately 12 people, we have five african-american, six females and -- but going down throughout the ranks, you're correct. we are not where we want to be with diversity. so we are targeting universities that are -- provide diversity for us. we've shortened our hiring process where we can go to these universities and over a weekend period of time do a testing, an interview and polygraph if the first two steps are met. but we are targeting specific areas of the country to really work on this diversity. because we are deficient in that area. certainly with females as well. we are working diligently to try to improve that diversity.
mrs. watson coleman: thank you. i yield back for another -- >> the chair thanks the gentlelady. the chair recognizes the gentleman from wisconsin, mr. johnson. senator johnson: in your written testimony you state that, quote, information access by secret service employees on approximately 60 occasions between march 26 and april 2 of this year and you went on to say that we concluded that the vast majority who accessed this information did so in violation of the privacy act of 1974. what are the pants for violating the privacy act of 1974? mr. clancy: there's civil penalties for the agency if there is a widespread sort of gross negligence standard. mr. roth: for individuals who accessed the system and to -- improperly, knowing it was
protected under the privacy act. that's a misdemeanor which has a fine as a penalty but no custodial sentence. senator johnson: is there any department of justice investigation undertaken right now to determine whether those misdemeanors were being to be -- are they going to be prosecuted? mr. roth: no. during the course of our investigation, we presented a case of the most compelling case we had and it was declined by the u.s. attorney's office. senator johnson: why would that be? mr. roth: there's several reasons. first of all, each individual agent has a fifth amendment right to not speak to us if in fact he's under criminal jeopardy so we could not interview individuals compel their interview which we ultimately had to do in this case for a lack of voluntary cooperation. so the level of evidence that the department of justice had was not sufficient for them to move forward. additionally, when one looks at the penalty it was simply a matter of competing resources. senator johnson: director
clancy, i got involved in looking into the culture problems with the secret service back in early 2012 after events in cartagena. this is not why i ran for the united states senate was to look into the secret service. it's an agency that we all want to have a high deal of credibility and, you know, as you stated in your testimony, the culture in many respects is almost, you know, beyond reproachment. it's a fabulous agency. they're doing great work, but the other hand, there's a real cultural problem. what are you going to do about it? i mean, i hear communication. i understand communication, but actions speak far louder than words. and when we're just talking about a disciplinary process, when there are violations of the privacy act and there are no prosecutions of it, nobody is held to the misdemeanor penalties, there's nothing more corrosive in an organization
>> we have benchmarked that with other agencies. so we are we want to be consistent with what's being done across the board. and just recently i published for the first time to our entire work force our integrity, the discipline over the past year. so they can see what types of cases are out there, our supervisors being -- are supervisors being disciplined equal to the work force? we are trying to be transparent. that communication is critical here, but we are trying to be more transparent and driving home the point people will be held accountable. in this case they will be held accountable. mr. johnson: there are a lot of protection force the employees, the actual agents, again it's hard to see the accountability. do you find that to be a problem? are you constrained in what actions you would like to take based on all the protections for the agents? should we have -- should we be looking at the law there and making sure the agencies have enough power to actually hold
people accountable? director clancy: i think the accepted service would allow us to speed up the proposals and the discipline process. i know sometimes we are delayed in the process as we move forward. senator johnson: you would like some ability to take stronger action quicker? director clancy: yes. senator johnson: we need to take that into account. thank you. >> the chair now recognizes the gentleman from mississippi, mr. thompson. mr. thompson: thank you very uch, mr. chairman. almost to the member before me the conversation has been about the culture, the organization. and i think it speaks to whether or not internally we can fix it or do we just cover it up? and i'll get to a specific shortly.
spector roth, in your review of the secret service, how would you describe the culture within the service, especially at the executive level? mr. roth: as we noted in the report on the access to chairman chaffetz's employment record, we found a number of supervisors who, in fact, themselves had access to m.c.i. to me that was a very troubling incident. additionally, few people then elevated their concerns or the fact that this was being used to a high enough level of management for something to be done. so that was sort of certainly troubling behavior that we identified. mr. thompson: let me -- so we had senior level people accessing information. then we had that information
ing it noted by people above those individuals, and is your testimony that nothing happened? mr. roth: that's correct. i'll give two examples, if i may. the first was the special agent in charge of the washington field office came to understand some of her employees were accessing the m.c.i. to understand whether or not that rumor existed. she ordered her individual, her subordinates, to cut it out, i think her exact words were knock it off or quit fooling around with the m.c.i. database. in fact that's what occurred in the washington field office. unfortunately throughout the country other individuals were doing that. so that would be one example. the second example is the special agent in charge of the indianapolis field division who was, frankly, curious why it was, in his view, chairman chaffetz was so hard on director
clancy. and he just out of idle curiousity accessed the database himself to discover, in fact, that chairman chaffetz was a prior applicant. he did nothing with that information. did not elevate it up or do any other kind of conduct. there are a number of examples like that. mr. thompson: thank you very much. director clancy, i hope you sense the membership's concern about the culture. and i would hope that going this d you would take hearing, as you said, as a moment of instruction to try to fix it. the men and women deserve it. they do wonderful job. and -- it's about leadership.
and i think it's absolutely important. as you know, i have been talking to you since the summer. a little small issue to some. it's rillive to -- relative to the fact that we found out that there was 643 employees assigned to duty that require a security clearance and they were working for the department without the completion of the clearances. and i had asked you for the demographics of those individuals. and as of this date i don't have the information. i know you have been busy, but can you give me some indication when i can expect to receive the
demographics of those 643 employees? director clancy: yes, sir. first of all my apologies you have not received that information. 640 individuals i'm assuming may be department wide. i think within the secret service we did have people working that did not have their security clearances. i think it was much less than that. we'll get you an answer in the coming days on that -- mr. thompson: it was department wide over a five-year period. run into s some of us men and women around the country hoined kate that i'm trying to get employed with the secret service, but they tell me i can't get considered for employment because i haven't been cleared. i can't go to training. i can't do a lot of things. but it troubles some of us when we already employing people
whose job require clearance on the other hand. so i don't know if that's favoritism or what, but it's real concerning. director clancy: i'll follow up on that, sir. i can tell you that we don't look at that diversity in terms of who gets a security clearance, who does not. in this case the one that you referenced, i'll speak for the secret service, we were delinquent as we went through this hiring process. we did not get people their security clearances in a timely manner. and they were assigned to positions outside of washington for the most part. but what we have done now is we brought in some contractors, additional 14 contractors, who ensure this never happens again where someone goes through our training when they get their graduation, when they graduate, they should have their clearance. that has been resolved now within the secret service. mr. thompson: thank you.
so is your testimony that nobody working for the secret service right now without a security clearance? director clancy: that's correct. to the best of my knowledge that is correct. mr. thompson: can you verify that for the committee? director clancy: yes, sir. mr. thompson: yield back, mr. chair. >> the chairman now recognizes the gentleman from georgia, mr. loudermilk. mr. loudermilk:00 that you, mr. chairman. and thank you-all for being here. this is especially troubling for me as we look back over the history of this incredible agency, this service. it's an icon of what i think is american exceptionalism. and the action that is we have seen take place of course it tarnishes the reputation of the service. but more so i think it really tarnishes the image the american people have of what they have always elevated as the
exceptional service. not just in the nation but in the world. and i think it's imperative that we address these issues not just in hindsight but going forward to make sure we restore the trust of the american people, the trust of congress, and the trust of the protectees. mr. roth, you said something in your written statement that really struck me here. the secret service has certainly taken steps to address these challenges. but not always successfully. these persistent challenges may not be easy to resolve through actions such as suspending employees and issuing new guidance. they may require more fundamental change that addresses the root of the misconduct. i think that's what we need to focus. what is the root, in your opinion, what's the root of the problem? mr. roth: when you look at guidance with regard to creating a ethical culture, they say it comes in three dimensions.
one is tone at the top, not just the very top but all through leadership of an organization. the leaders have to set the exact right tone. the second is to have a code of conduct and ethics that is truly meaningful. the third is to enforce that code of conduct in a way that expresses to the rank and file that you mean what you say with regard to that tone at the top. you have to look at all three of those things. as director clancy said, i think the middle part, code of conduct, was not there until cartagena. there have been steps they have taken since then to establish a more rigorous policy. that's certainly an improvement we think is well deserved or a positive step in the right direction. again, it has to be tone all the way through the organization, as well as a meaningful enforcement of that code of conduct.
mr. loudermilk: i have a timeline of misconduct that went back to cartagena, but it goes back to 2011. up until that time -- there is misconduct in any organization. was there a history like we are seeing now, mr. roth, that you are aware of, prior to the last four or five years? mr. roth: i'm not aware of it. i don't have any insight into it. certainly we are only as good as the audits we do and the investigations we do. we didn't have anything before that. mr. loudermilk: thank you. mr. clancy, i applaud your efforts. you have a difficult task. you have been in the agency for white quite a while. do you -- for quite a while. do you recall there was the level or consistency of misconduct previously in the agency, or is this something new? director clancy: i think agency has always had misconduct. the secret service has had misconduct in the past. i think it has more -- more
attention has been brought to this misconduct in the last several years, and that's a good thing. i applaud the inspector general's office for that. this has to be brought out in the open. these misconduct episodes, otherwise we won't correct it. mr. loudermilk: make sure i understood it right. you're trying to benchmark your disciplinary actions of other agencies, is that what you're referring to? looking at other agencies? director clancy: yes. my understanding when the table of penalties was built out, our legal team worked with other agencies to see what they were doing from a discipline standpoint, what their table penalties were. and we took their best ideas, best practices and built ours. mr. loudermilk: i would suggest, you guys have to be a little stronger, little better. the nature of the work that you do is so important to this nation. one last thing. we talked a lot about culture in
here, and that is true. i think what you're getting at is the culture of the agency, it's the espree decore. you're in the secret service. you have an obligation to the integrity, the honor, and the dignity to uphold this agency. and i think that may be what's missing somewhere, just real quickly, i was going over this timeline, and there seems to be a common element with a lot of these. i look at cartagena, alcohol was involved. june, 2013, scol. november, 2013, abuse of scol. december, 2013, alcohol. march, alcohol. june, 2014, alcohol. there seems to be this continual cycle of alcohol abuse associated with this which, from my experience in the military, usually indicates that there's a morale issue. i'll let you comment and i'll yield back after that.
director clancy: you're correct, congressman. we do have a morale issue. a lot of it is because of our staffing. that's one of the things we need to do work is our staffing so we can build up the staffing level we can get more training which our people want, give them a better quality of life, which will help their morale as well. again, to your point here today, the accountability and discipline matters also helps that morale. are we going to hold people accountable? i will tell you the episodes since i have been here, you mentioned the march 4 incident where an individual -- two individuals after retirement party drove on to the white house. i can tell you that retirement parties now are -- i don't know of any taking place. people got that message. what we are talking about today, p.i., -- p.i.i., people are getting the message. unfortunately it takes these significant errors, misconduct to resonate sometimes with our people. i do want to also say one thing.
less than 1% of our people are involved in this misconduct. 899%, -- 99%, some of you mentioned, are doing the right thing. but we have to focus on that less than 1% because we are held to a very high and rightfully so , we are held at a high level. mr. loudermilk: i hope you can get the service back to the point where people aren't doing the right thing because they are afraid of the discipline, but they are doing the right thing because they are dedicated to their job, to the service, to the spirit of the service, and their oath to the constitution. thank you, sir. mr. chairman, i yield back. >> the chair thanks the gentleman. the chair now recognizes the gentlelady from california, mrs. torres. mrs. torres: thank you, mr. chairman. director clancy, just to be -- to have some statistics here on the record, according to the partnership for public service
the agency is 74% male, is that correct? director clancy: 75% -- let me ust check that real quick. that sounds correct. mrs. torres: 72% white. leaving it severely out of step with other agencies. women make up 25% of the agency's work force, but only about 11% of the agents and uniform officers. director clancy: you're correct, yes. mrs. torres: you talked about your outreach efforts with universities and targeting certain areas of the nation. have you engaged an employment agency to help you or to advise you in finding a more diverse
work force? director clancy: i'm not aware we have done -- taken that step yet. it's an excellent suggestion that we may look into. i will tell you that when we go to these different areas of the country, we have a very diverse group recruiting group that goes out to try to encourage females to apply, as well as across the board in diversity. mrs. torres: are you targeting also the military or law enforcement agencies looking for -- there's great people working -- director clancy: we go to military bases. again we run what we call these entry level assessment centers, so that, for example, the military base, if you want to apply for a job with the secret service, we can do a testing initially. if you pass the test, that very day we can do a super interview of you. if it looks like you're a good candidate, then we move you right to a polygraph all within a weekend to speed up that process. absolutely. the military bases, we found
personally that people that have had military background serve us very well. mrs. torres: they have a high work ethic. they understand the pecking order. they understand the need to serve. i am disturbed by the incidents. i am happy to hear that it's a reflection on less than 1% of the work force, but by no means does it make me feel better or safer. so would you say you have an agent problem or do you have a management problem? director clancy: management problem. it starts with me. there's no question. it's a management problem, leadership problem that i have to find an answer to. mrs. torres: have you taken steps to ensure that when we are climbing down on agents that tougher disciplinary actions are
taken upon the people who supervise them? director clancy: supervisors are held accountable. again, we put this out, again, trying to be transparent, to show our work force how -- mrs. torres: are there policies in place to ensure that whistle blowers are protected? director clancy: everyone in the service knows that whistle blowers perform a vital function and they cannot be -- there is no retaliation, there is no -- you have to let them go. mrs. torres: so, there are disciplinary steps that the the departmenten rules are violated? director clancy: yes. mrs. torres: and there are disciplinary steps that the department takes when our laws are broken? director clancy: yes. mrs. torres: the agents are read miranda rights, is that what you
were referring to an earlier question? director clancy: no, they are not read miranda rights. they are read others. let the inspector general correct me here. but that's what they are read, yes. mrs. torres: i come from the civilian part of law enforcement. so criminal charges are filed whether they are felony charges or misdemeanor charges. what are your steps? what steps do you take during that process? director clancy: if criminal charges are filed, we typically immediately move to removing the security clearance. so that this individual can no longer have access to any of the protected facilities, any access to any of our protectees or any of our -- mrs. torres: what happens to the rest of that immediate department that are working with
that employee now in the process of a criminal investigation and their supervisors? director clancy: if it's -- at that point we don't have -- we remove all their badges. we remove their equipment. and then it goes through the normal course of criminal justice system. mrs. torres: my time is out, but what i'm trying to figure out is if you have a rotten apple, how do you ensure that the whole bowl isn't bad? director clancy: we can remove them very quickly in that case when there is criminal charges. mr. chairman, if i could just correct the record for one item. ranking member thompson asked me about the security clearances. our agents and officers, some of them in training now, have not had their clearances settled. they will by graduation. so anyone who graduates from our academy will have security clearance. while they are going through training some of them may not have.
mr. thompson: as of this summer when we talked, that was not the case. the speaker pro tempore: that's correct. that was not the case. you're correct, yes >> the chair thanks the gentlelady. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from florida, mr. clauseon. mr. clauseon: sorry to hear about your dad. director clancy: thank you, sir. mr. clawson: greatest generation. i know many here lost their fathers from that generation and i think we learned from them. was your dad a vet? director clancy: he was. mr. clawson: i know all about this. i just lost my mom. it's the generation that the class is halfful. put the team first. work hard and go to church on sunday and the rest answers itself, right? director clancy: yes, sir. absolutely. mr. clawson: we were lucky to have those kind of folks. director clancy: yes, sir. thank you. mr. clawson: although we do lail bit for courntry now, without ever saying it that remind us
compared to what they did we don't do much. director clancy: yes, sir. mr. clawson: i have full respect and admiration for you and your dad. i walls thought organizational culture being performance and how your agent and employees think of themselves is dependent on those because they see it. when that bad behavior is not dealt with quickry, it impacts that culture and how we view each other. because it discourages good performers that they are doing their job every day. everything tells me that these incidents of bad behavior ought to be isolated, put up in lights for everyone to see, and that action needs to be taken quickly. therefore -- and that that really is the responsibility of leadership. therefore, when it drags on and on, when it drags on and on, it really sends a bad message to
this corporate culture that you referred to earlier. why so slow? i mean systematic, you're the chief and you got the head of homeland security. let's go. let's take some action so you can do what's right and preserve the culture for all your great performers. am i missing something on that? why so slow? director clancy: you're correct. again certainly if there is any criminal ack constituent -- activity, it's quicker. we can remove security clearance right away. with other types of misconduct, it does take time for the full investigation. and again in transparency we had the o.i.g. handle this investigation to do a very thorough investigation and then once the investigation was completed, then we could move forward with that discipline. under title 5, the employees, federal employees are given certain rights and we follow
that process. but eventually we get to where we need to be. eventually we do get to where we need to be. mr. clawson: it's going slow for my pace. typical folks that run large organizations don't understand this kind of length of time for -- it just fefters because you don't put it behind -- festers because you don't put it behind you. my point is let's get going. i have found in organizational change, if you don't change a third of your people in positions of responsibility, you won't change the culture. because they are going to outwait you. they always out wait you. if you change more than 50% then you may have a problem with the institutional memory that you discuss the earlier -- discussed earlier. i'm really glad you brought diversity and experience into your direct reports, but they'll outwait you below that. no rule of thumb is 100% for
sure, but film' sitting in your chair and not changing a third of my managers, and you're thinking you're going to change your organization, good luck. don't believe it. don't know if you thought of it in numeric terms, but let's get a performance culture going without washing away the memory of the successes of the past. i'm all for having both and i don't think if you implied this in your early comments, i don't think it's one or the other. change your culture and preserve the successes of the past. does that make sense? director clancy: it does, yes, sir. mr. clawson: anything i said you would disagree with? director clancy: i wouldn't, sir. mr. clawson: we want you to succeed. we can talk all day about whether you should be in the job or not but you're in the job. we need you to be successful. anything can i do and our group, we want you to succeed. i really like the tone at the
top. so let's get them. thank you. >> the chair thanks the gentleman. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from georgia, mr. carter. mr. carter: thank you, mr. chairman. thank all of you for being here. mr. clancy, how many times -- when did you get -- become the acting director? director clancy: october 6, i believe. mr. -- of 2014. mr. carter: how many times have you appeared before congress in director clancy: this may be my sixth or seventh. mr. carter: i have been here since january 6, i think this is the fourth time i've seen you. obviously we got concerns here. and there seems to be an ongoing problem. as you might know i'm very fortunate to have the federal law enforcement training center in my district. and i'm familiar with the training that takes place with the secret service agents down there, and i think they do an excellent job. i also want to remind you of the
protective mission panel that came out and actually said that the amount of training that the secret service agents were getting was far below what it should be. in fact, i think at one time they said it was equaled only to 25 minutes for each 1,300 uniformed officers? what are we doing to change that? director clancy: you're absolutely correct. i have been down to your federal law enforcement training center. they do a great job down there and they help us as we try to build our staffing levels. in terms of what we have done, uniform division, 99% have gone through a building defense exercise training mission. 10-hour block. additionally, approximately 700 of our uniformed officers have gone through a three-day training period where they do their firearms, emergency medicine, control tactics. number of things. the agents on the president's detail, we have increased the number of agents on the president's detail. by the second quarter, early january, we went out have increased the numbers there by
85, which is what was recommended by the blue ribbon panel, and that will help their training. so we have increased training. by 85% on the president's detail in the past year. mr. carter: specifically, let's get to what we are here about today and that is chairman chaffetz and that situation. inspector roth has stated that several of the agents that violated the secret service and the homeland security policies, when they accessed his records, this is a criminal offense, don't you think? director clancy: it's on the books as a criminal offense. mr. carter: tell me what you have done. have these people been fired? have they been disciplined at all? a criminal offense by an agency that we hold to the highest standard. earlier, i'm a little frustrated by some of the things i heard here. keep in mind that we up here are
experts at spin and pivoting. my campaign manager, that was his favorite word. all of a sudden i heard about the data. give me a break. if they wanted to see this they were going to see it i don't care how the data was protected. how can you let this go on? why didn't you fire these people? don't you agree? they do this was wrong. director clancy: i do agree. certainly there's misconduct here. the discipline has prn been proposed for those 15 and below. but the data is also important. it's a sidestep. mr. carter: i understand that. i respect that and i acknowledge it is important that it be protected. but still the basic premise here is that they knew what they were doing was wrong. director clancy: the o.i.g. report they should have known what they were doing was wrong. some of them i think will acknowledge -- mr. carter: should have known? to an agency that we consider to be -- to hold at the highest
level? i just can't go along with that. even you yourself said it was inexcusable and unacceptable. and it is. it deserves discipline. i'm a small business man. i have employees as well. i can tell you when something like this happens -- i'm not trying to till how to run your business, you know as well as i do that when you got a cancer, you got to get rid of t otherwise it will destroy your whole business. you have to get rid of this cancer here. you have to set an example. and you have an opportunity right here to set an example because what they did was wrong. they knew it was wrong. and they deserve discipline. they deserve to be let go. director clancy: we do look at the whole picture here, too. the whole person. some of these people have spent 28 years with no discipline in their history. some of them self-report it. some of them, they are all obviously very remorseful.
it was wrong, yes. we do look at the whole picture. the whole person of their career. mr. carter: i get that. i want to make sure that the punishment befits the crime. i understand that. and you should look at their whole career. at the same time, again, you have been here six times since you took office. we don't -- we want you to succeed. we don't want to see you fail. we don't want to see you here anymore is essentially it. we want you to do this. we want you to do well. but we got to have you help. mr. chairman, i yield back. >> the chair thanks the gentleman. the chair now recognizes the gentleman from oklahoma, mr. -- senator lankford. senator lankford: thank you. let me state a couple things i picked up from a lot of the conversation here today. i want to walkthrough multiple questions. there are a lot of issues with secret service. that's been well documented. i want to talk about that a little bit. i would say to you, i do
disagree with one of the findings of the panel, do i think someone from the inside needs to be there to fix it. someone from the outside that doesn't have the same law enforcement backgrounds or doesn't have the same sense of corporate identity with secret service walks in as an outsider and has a different opinion on it. someone on the inside can say i'm one of us and can turn things around. i appreciate you there. i'll come back that. mr. roth, let me ask you a question, is it your sense for these individuals that accessed this database it was the first time for them to access this database like this? did anyone ever ask them, gosh, did you just happen to think, gosh, maybe i should look at jason chaffetz' records? someone said i think i could get access to that. or did this look like a pattern of behavior if they are interested in someone they can pull it? mr. roth: i think it ran the gamut depending on the agent. some didn't think it was wrong at all. it was our database. it was a secret service database
unlike n.c.i.c. or one of the other larger criminal databases. this was one by the secret service and saw nothing wrong with it. others didn't understand it was wrong until after they did it. then they realized, gee, i probably should not have done it. senator lankford: there is training that happens multiple times a year both orally and electronically. your computer when it starts it up there it says for official use only. still your perception some individuals ignored that and said it's our database, we can do what we want? mr. roth: that's correct. senator lankford: the problem is if they can pull a member of congress, an individual there, that also means the new neighbor down the street, i can check my records and see if there is something on the new neighbor down the street. when their daughter starts dathe some new guy they can pull his family and pull the records on it. if this is someone they don't like, they can pull their records. what we saw from the v.a. and talk about this for g.a.o. in just a moment, but the v.a. became a whistleblower there and we found other employees that
were pulling records that were medical records on someone they didn't like as a whistleblower in the process. the challenge that we have here is access to data and it's official and nonofficial and how do we direct this? based on your perception of walking through this, with secret service, is it your perception this has been an ongoing issue for some employees just to be able to use that database as just, i can go look at it, whether it's official, nonofficial, and they blur those lines? mr. roth: that's the sense we got from. so agents we interviewed who accessed the database. how do we sen, identify this. also during the year had something toes to information for unofficial purposes and looked people up. v.a. has this issue we can can talk about with someone grabbing information that's a whistleblower. how many agencies have good systems in place to be able to
audit at least how individuals access these sensitive databases? mr. willemssen: this is probably the most common issue we see when we are doing detailed information security audits. too many people have access to things they don't need access to. it's not part of their job description. they don't have a need to know. yet they are given access. access is a real issue. it's one that we -- i would say that's probably the most frequent one we come up with. another issue that's interesting in this case is when you're collecting p.i.i., one of the things you do is end up scheduling a records notice with national archives and records administration to among other things tell them how long you'll keep the files before you dispose of it. i was curious about why an application filed from 2003 would be kept 12 years later. those kinds of things should be disposed of fairly quickly.
hopefully that's part of what this service will be doing going forward. you're supposed to schedule those records out and dispose of them at a certain dafmente sometimes one year, sometimes five years -- senator lankford: can you pause on that. mr. clancy, the electronic records that are not applicable, and paper records, it's my understanding there are still some offices though the access point has been changed electronically, if you go into a file room, those old application files may still be there in paper form as well. has that been dealt with? director clancy: yes. we are moving forward to, for example, applicants, every two years those files will be purged. now, right now there's an investigation going on with the inspector general so some of that will be delayed slightly until they are through the investigation. but that is the plan forward. and also with the applicants in mind, 95% of the people that had access before no longer will have access because of the new
system. senator lankford: both paper and electronic for those officers around the country? do they still have access to paper records in a filing cabinet? director clancy: i have to get back to you with a good solid answer on that. i think we moved away from paper. senator lankford: that would be something wise to eevaluate. and the paper version to make sure that that's also purged. it may be just if you have access to that room you also have access to those files and it's part of the challenge here. let me come back. which agency would you identify and say this agency is a good model example of how to handle personal identifiable information, they are auditing well, tracking well. mr. willemssen: don't have one. senator lankford: that's depressing. mr. willemssen: the more optimistic note, since the o.p.m. cyberdisaster, this has become a major priority.
definitely elevate i had -- elevated its priority. agency heads recognize this is a critical issue that needs to be addressed. when we first announced the information security areas as high risk, first few years i was told, you're chicken little, the sky is falling. i don't hear that. senator lankford: the sky fell. the challenge that we have here is dealing -- let me give you one example of v.a., this is something g.a.o. has for years and years identified issues with v.a., how does this get better? how do we prevent unauthorized access of medical information and private information for our veterans? mr. willemssen: veterans' affairs has a significantly high percentage of systems that are considered high impact systems. that is the disclosure of data or modification of the data because of the medical records is considered to be very severe in terms of its possible impact if it's lost, stolen, or reviewed by others.
given that you have to put much stricter controls in place, including monitoring users and what they are doing and if they have any atypical patterns and use -- senator lankford: is this an audit or algorithm. mr. willemssen: it's both. it's contained in national institute of standards and technology guidance for high impact systems. like i say v.a. has a significant percentage of high impact systems where you've got to put these kind of controls in place to try to prevent the kind of situations that you described. mr. lankford: mr. chairman, i would like -- i don't know if we have a second round of questions but i do have additional questions for director clancy as ell. >> i recognize mrs. watson coleman for a second round. mrs. watson coleman: thank you,
mr. chairman. you know, i know we were here, i know that my colleagues wanted us to sort of focus on what happened to chairman chaffetz, i think if i were he, i probably would want this to go away now. take care of the business that needs to be taken care of. discipline the people that need to be disciplined. learn the lessons that you need to learn. iies don't think he needs to have this or wants to have this as a winning story. but it does -- continuing story. but it does speak to other issues that were identified and does speak to a culture or way of thinking or way of doing business or the way we -- we perceive ourselves on the inside that needs to be addressed. i know you have expectations for that changing. i'd like to know any steps that you're actually taking to change the culture in the form of
action? what happens with your executive level? what happens with the level beneath that? the supervisory level? what happens with the rank and file level? how are you addressing the need to get our agency to think more differently about how we come to work, what we do at work, we don't sleep at work, we don't sex text under any circumstances. we don't look into files that we don't have a responsibility or need to look into. is there going to be some sort of a fail-safe mechanism that shows when the file is being accessed by someone who shouldn't be or has a reason to be? i would like to know some steps that you're taking. thank you. director clancy: you just think in terms of the overall culture here, one of the things we are doing is we are trying to have our work force take ownership of this agency. it's their agency. and let me just give you one
example. just three or four weeks ago we started a new program, it's a crowd sourcing type of service on our internet where our agents and our officers and all of our employees, professional staff, can send in ideas, suggestions. what we should be doing better, what we should be looking at. and they get other people from the work force looking at that. they can like that for a better term, and then it forces the executive staff to look at that. we have seen this as a very positive already within a few weeks. we have had close to 200 hits what we call spark, where people have taken ownership of their agency. i think that's where we got to get to that point. it is management. it's my leadership. but additionally it's the individuals who have to take ownership of this agency. i will say again, 99% of our people do have that ownership. mrs. watson coleman: mr. clancy, i have been on the executive branch of government and i know it takes that kind of
expectation, but it takes a plan of action and it takes whether or not you're hiring people from the outside who look at these issues and work through groups and you work down through the organizations. so at some point i'd like to know if you're planning to do those kinds of action steps. then the last question is, i really do want to know, is there some sort of way that there is a notification of accessing information when you're not -- when it's out of order for what you're doing, it's not related to your case. your identification number to get into it signals whether or not you are or are not the right person to be accessing this information. as a follow-up to senator lankford's concerns. director clancy: my understanding is and the her gentlemen may be able to answer better, it requires constant monitoring and auditing. there is no automatic notice that someone has accessed
someone's data inappropriately. it has to be constant onitoring. there's an administrator for each of these buckets of information. that administrator has to control who has access, who has the need to know that information. it's up to the administrator. with our human resources we have approximately 260 who have access to our applicant data with this new system. that administrator would have to ensure that anyone else who enters -- has access they have pproved. it mr. roth: if i may, just as an example the d.h.s. text system is one in which, for exasm, if director clancy had created a record there and i accessed that record, director clancy would get an email that i was the one who accessed the record. not only what director clabsy was talking about, which is you -- clancy was talking about,
which is you can run reports by the system administrator, but there are real time controls on modern i.t. systems that weren't present in the m.c.i. system. mrs. watson coleman: thank you, mr. chairman. i yield back. >> the chair recognizes the gentleman from, mr. lankford. senator lankford: thank you. i think the audit system will be the key. whatever percentage that that is to be able to have for this computer at this spot, here's everything that you ran, and that they know at some point someone's going to just spot audit. you can't go through all of it. no need. just a simple accountability that sits out there someone to know there is an algorithm that's running there is a search for files that don't seem to be consistent with official records. there's a spot audit saying you pulled records from your neighbor down the street or someone you don't like. all of those things i think become important. we have a tremendous number of people that work in the federal work force that are great people. that generally love the country and love to be able to do what
their job is. the problem is these small, as mr. clancy you mentioned, the 1%. i had to smile as we were working through some of the conversation about secret service and picking on secret service today, i hope we are really not picking on you. this has become the latest example of multiple examples whether it be v.a. or social security or others, a visual example again. as i listened to some of the conversation about challenges with public relations nightmares and employees not doing their job and alcohol abuse and everything else, we could flip the tables and you could hold a hearing on members of congress and have the same accusation. i will assure you it's more than 1% of the members of congress have some of these same issues. this issue is a human behavior issue, it's also a professionalism issue. i have taken the task seriously. mr. clancy, i'm going to give you an unfair list and just to be able to walkthrough a few things and aim going to tell you this in advance.
as -- i'm going toll you this in advance. as i have walked through the issues and some of the recommendations, the oldest general law enforcement institute in our country, it's an incredibly val usual resource to our nation. but my fear is some changes that have been put in place over the past several decades, not on your watch, have brought around some morale -- how do we shift morale back and get on top of this? otherwise it's whack a mole with inch issues. overtime rules seem to come up over and over again. getting some sort of standard practice with their counterpart agencies. accountability of leadership so if there is a bad actor everyone knows that's not tolerable in our agency. when you tilely confront issues, everyone knows that's the standard we are going to live up to it. if there is a bad apple that's been stated, everyone works down to that level. prior of new equipment and technology i find secret service is not getting the top priority for some of the newest technology and newest equipment
among our d.h.s. law enforcement. and i think that's demeaning. that sends a false message to secret service they are not as valuable as some of the other aspects of d.h.s. the responsibilities seem to be getting cluttered instead of a clarity where it has been historically for protection and for counterfeit duties. there seems to be other duties that seem to be creeping into it that distract from the core mission here. the consistent career track, a consistent theme that i have heard over and over again. career track seems to change. and so no one knows what path they are on here. am i off on any of these? director clancy: no. you're correct. i'll comment on your last, the career track. we did bring in a work force of agents at different levels to try to look at the best career track moving forward. we have just announced a couple months ago a new career track for our agents so that they can plan their future. that's been one of the problems. you don't know if you're going
to come to washington, or go to texas. again, listening to our work force trying to find solutions. senator lankford: that's one thing you can do on the inside. but i encourage in the career track, you examined this, the possibility that individuals on the previous career track still could finish that out. they could be grandfathered into that. or if they choose to shift to the other one they could choose that as well. that gives then the option, doesn't feel like the new guy has the new stuff. also i started on this and complant complete this and i feel like the rules are changing on me again. this corporate identity is extremely important and valuable. and what i fear is that there is a growing sense of lack of importance of people that run credibly important to our nation. i never want secret service hopes to feel like they guard doors for the living. they don't have an incredibly valuable role and the morale and role and standard you set will be incredibly important for years to come.
if there is a silver lining in this, historically, secret service have had a really bad time when a president was shot. no one's been shot. there are just some things that are messed up. this is a unique moment for the secret service to re-evaluate again and go who are we? where are we going? what's our clear task? i would encourage you if there are issues in working with d.h.s. and in the scheme of things, these committees need to know it. because we want to make sure that all of the d.h.s. families, all feel equal levels of importance. your secret service transition pretty quickly, i guess, from working in the treasury to d.h.s., and all the restructuring, and you're now one of many rather than the big dog at treasury. that has both benefits and challenges. and we need to know and have some way to be able to help communicate in that so we can help engage in this because we are not only advocates but accountability in the process. today probably feels more like accountability but also the desire to be advocates on these
roles. we'll need to know that. is that fair? director clancy: that's fair. if i could comment on one thing there. just to give you some comfort. i know it's given me come fomplet i went through this papal visit as well as the u.n. i traveled with the pope and i can tell you as i talk to our agents, our officers, and our professional staff, this was a defining moment for our agency. as i talked to these people and looked in their eyes, they wanted to be successful. they know the issues that have been highlighted, and rightfully so, over the past several years. this was an unprecedented time in our history. our people were determined to make this successful. we did this for them without incident. our people felt proud about that and i'm very proud of our work force. having said that we have to correct these other things, too, and we will. we've got people that redskin would go very hard for the american people. senator lankford: we acknowledge that and understand that. we also don't want anything to distract it.
mr. willemssen, let me ask you this, databases and access points, is there any independent agency or agency that's an executive agency that you think has a higher risk or has no system of tracking this? old or new, that you look at it and say these are the high risk, these are the highest risk, and part of my question are the independent agencies, do we know for certain that they have auditing process because they handle incredibly sensitive financial data on americans? mr. willemssen: i would point to those agencies who have the most p.i.i., personally identifiable information as reason to make sure that they are doing everything they can to protect that. you start with social security administration who has p.i. on almost every citizen. v.a. you already mentioned definitely an issue. department of education probably somewhat overlooked because they have a tremendous amount of p.i.i. because of the student
loans not only on the student but sometimes the parents. i would be most concerned about where the p.i.i. is most significant. senator lankford: let me ask you cfpb, hings like fkfk or they have a tremendous amount of data. do we know on their employees how they have access anti-limitations they have? mr. willemssen: we know that they have at least three sets of data collection that includes p.i., maybe more. arbitration -- p.i.i., maybe more. arbitration case records, bank account and transaction level data, and storefront payday loans. --ator lankford clo: senator lankford: we did make a recommendation in terms of the -- we previously had done work and made a recommendation related to their privacy impact assessment. whenever you correct p.i.i., you have to do a privacy impact assessment that lets everyone know what are we collecting, why
are we collecting it, how are we going to use it, how are we not going to use it, and when are we going to dispose of it? they had not fully done those when we did our work that we maimed a recommendation on that. that's something i can follow up on. senator lankford: i know cfpb has requested again another incredibly large jump of information they are gathering on americans and databases. that seems to exceed even what was originally designed in dodd-frank. mr. willemssen: it may be more than what we had mentioned in our report then. they may have further expanded t senator lankford: it's a fairly recent expansion. what we are trying to figure out who has access to that and how often. mr. willemssen: we can follow up for you on that. senator lankford: that would be helpful. gentlemen, i thank you for your participation today. >> the chair thanks the gentleman from oklahoma. before i close out i have a couple of questions. mr. willemssen, you are from the
government accountability office, i read through your information. i'm just wondering if you can provide any clarity on other agencies regarding penalties, regarding accountability for actions that have been -- that they have engaged in regarding security clearances. that might be out of your wheelhouse -- mr. willemssen: i can talk about numerous -- some of the major ibsdents over time. probably the first -- incidents over time. probably the first major incident we had with inappropriate browsing was at the i.r.s. in the mid 1990's. several employees decided to start browsing celebrity's tax returns, as a result of that there was an act passed that taxpayer browsing protection act, 1997, and that among other things has the penalties of up to $1,000 fine and imprisonment of not more than one year. mr. perry: do you know if anybody was prosecuted under
that and subjected to those penalties at all? mr. willemssen: do not know that, sir. but i can -- we can follow up on that with i.r.s. mr. perry: i actually wish you would just so we know. director, you also mentioned that i think you had -- there are limitations, right, what you can do regarding accountability, punishment for actions that are beneath the standard, is that correct? director clancy: yes. we are not able to fire at will. mr. perry: so we need to know, the members of this board and congress in general, needs to know what you need us to do for you to be successful, for you to manage it for us. we need your direct recommendations. that's as said so many times in the room, we want you to be successful. if we are standing in the way, you need to let us know what we can do, what we should do, so you can be successful. i have served for over 30 years in the united states military, if you're familiar with the army, i can guarantee you if there is a question of your security clearance and
activities regarding the security clearance, that is suspended on an interim basis pending an investigation. if you're found to have been at fault and have breached, it's serious. incredibly serious for the most minor infractions. it's not meant to be a culture of punishment and fear, but it's meant to keep honest people honest. and to raise the level of importance of those things that should be important. i would just suggest that maybe that would be something you might want to look at for suspension of security clearances, which i would imagine in your business a suspension of a security clearance, certainly on an interim basis, but -- maybe on an interim basis but absolutely on a permanent basis means loss of employment because you can't be employed without it, right? director clancy: that's correct. mr. perry: that gets to where we want to be. >> we are going to leave this hearing at this point. can you watch it again if you missed any of it on our website, go to c-span.org, check the library. the u.s. house is about to gavel
back in now to start legislative work including american native american labor law bill and another to conference with the senate to work out differences in the no child left behind act. later work on a resolution condemning the terrorist attacks in paris. and now live to the house floor. the speaker: the house will be in order. the prayer will be offered by our chaplain, father conroy. chaplain conroy: let us pray. compassion nature god we give you thanks for giving us another day. as the members of the people's house, we gather, we ask that they be endowed with your spirit of wisdom and purpose to address he issues facing our nation. there is great disagreement about what we are called to in these days when perhaps the greatest need is the sense of united -- unified focus.
help them to leave behind accusations so that the dangers that threaten us all can be responsibly addressed together. we ask your blessing upon the people of france, lebanon, nigeria and so many other nations coping with the horrific aftermath of terrorist attacks within their borders. protect those who work furiously to meet the needs of those most impacted by these events and bless those who mourn the loss of loved ones. and finally, as all such serious matters press upon us engender in us thankful hearts for the blessings we have enjoyed and which we possess today. may all that is done this day be for your greater honor and glory. men.
the speaker: the chair has examined the jourm of the last day's proceedings and pursuant to clause 1, rule 1, the jourm stands approved. the pledge of allegiance will be led by the gentlewoman from indiana, mrs. brooks. mr. brooks: 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. smick the chair will entertain up to 15 requests for one-minute speeches object each side of the aisle -- on each side of the aisle. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? mr. johnson: ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker: without objection. mr. speaker, president obama needs to stop
needly any flow of syrian refugees into america. top law enforcement officials have made it clear, we don't know who these people are and we don't have the capability to vet them. with last friday's isis attacks paris, that did include a syrian refugee, this halt is imperative. we cannot allow terrorism to slip through the cracks. that's why i'm a co-sponsor of h.r. 3314, a bill to stop the admission of refugees into the united states. we must do all we can to protect our homeland, stopping these people from coming here is the right and commonsense thing to do. mr. speaker, the president has a
duty to protect america, and if he doesn't stop risking our security, then we in the congress must make him stop. yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yield back his time. for what purpose does the gentlelady from illinois seek recognition? >> ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from illinois is recognized. ms. kelly: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise this morning to express my condolences and support to our allies in france after last week's attack on civilians in paris. an act that is undeniably the work of cowards. our heart goes out to the victims and their families. there is comfort in the knowledge that france will rebound. and we will continue to stand by their side. they are resilient. no act of terror can shake the resolve of the prench people to live free and nothing and no one will intimidate france from living prosperously. i want the people of france to know the american people and this congress stand in solidarity with you. and i say this in both faith and
confidence to the cowards who plot against innocent civilians and the principles of freedom, no asket terror will usurp the principles of liberty, equality, and brotherhood. in addition to france, innocent lives were lost in beirut and nigeria. we have terrorist violence and killing all over the worrell. as a member of the foreign affairs committee and proud american, i strongly believe we need to strengthen the international coalition in order to create a united front to combat terrorist force that is serve to undermine peace and democratcy. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yield back her time. for what purpose does the gentleman from south carolina seek recognition? mr. wilson: i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from south carolina is recognized for one minute. mr. wilson: i join with my colleague from illinois. this is certainly a bipartisan issue. on friday the world watched in horror as paris endured multiple murder attacks by islamic radicals. my thoughts and prayers go out to france, the oldest ally of
the american people. it is certain the french val ufse liberty, equality, and fraternity will never weaken in the face of terror. president hollande yesterday reminded the world that france is a country of freedom. in the last month in the global war on terrorism, dishe isil has murdered 224 on a russian jetliner. 41 murdered in beirut, lebanon, and now 129 murdered across paris with a direct threat to attack washington and rome. the president should change course to eliminate safe havens for islamic radicals. terrorists are trying to break our will with acts of cruel cowardice but they are mistaken. we will fight together to protect our values and protect american families. as co-chair of the freanch caucus of french heritage, i especially appreciate our friendship with the citizens of france. in conclusion, god bless our troops and may the president by his actions never forget september 11 and the global war on terrorism. france is the latest direct
target in the global war on terrorism. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> to address the house for one minute. revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized. >> i rise to recognize ron brown of walnut creek, california, after 15 years of service to save mount deabblow -- diablo, he has announced his retirement in 2015. nder his leadership the save the mount grew to a staff of 18 people and participated in lance use advocacy, and relationship building with local government and developers. all with the objective of preserving the ecosystem that supports the region. this has resulted in $25 million raised to preserve thousands of acres of land. swalwell: he looks forward to deadcailting his time to enjoy the land he's worked so hard to protefpblgt he'll soon spend many days fishing with his
grandchildren. community members will be recognizing ron and gathering to celebrate the contributions he's made. congratulations, ron, on a remarkable and impactful career that's positively changed the landscape of the east bay. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? >> unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized. >> mr. speaker, i rise today to recognize the 94th annual american education week and give thanks to the teachers and staff who dedicate themselves to the success and advancement of our children. mr. costello: as the son of a public school teach every, as the brother of a public school teacher i'm proud to co-sponsor house resolution 527, which supports the goals and ideals of american education week. for our public schoolteachers, what they do each and every day is more than just a job. it's a dedication to improve the lives and nourish the minds of their students and to strengthen the communities in which they
live and work. american education week is just one small way we can recognize the service of our public schoolteachers. teachers are part of the building blocks of a healthy republic and to our schoolteachers and staff, i rise today to say thank you for all you do day in and day out. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentlelady from california seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from california is recognized. ms. sanchez: mr. speaker, it's with a heavy heart that i rise today to honor the memory of a young bright student who was taken from this world far too soon. nay owe mi gonzalez a design student at california state university at long beach was one of the many innocent victims who was tragically murdered in the paris attacks on friday, november 13rks while she dined at a restaurant with three
friends also students at cal state. she was in paris for a semester abroad studying at the strait college of design. e grewp in my district and graduated from whittier high school. she was the first generation mexican american student who was passionate about design and blithe. she was a talented student, a star in the design department, and she inspired and touched the lives of many. in her own words, she was high spirited, orderly, and self-driven. she had a bright future ahead of her. i know it's not enough and it will never be enough, but i hope that her family and friends can find some so lace in the outpouring of love and support from our community. we grieve for and with you. at this time, i'd like to ask my colleagues to take a moment today to honor her and the 131 other victims and those who are still fighting for their lives in critical condition. thank you, i yield back the balance of my time.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yield back her time. for what purpose does the gentleman from minnesota seek recognition? >> unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from minnesota is recognized. mr. paulsen: mr. speaker, minnesota lost a leader, a philanthropist, and pillar in the community with the passing of bruce dayton. many remember his role in taking the department stores public and turning it into target, the major brand we know today. there were many more sides to bruce. for one, bruce was a long time patron of the arts who donated more than $80 million in 2 -- and 2,000 works of arts to the minneapolis institute of arts. i had the privilege of serving as a trustee with bruce on that institute where i saw his legacy of generosity. he donated land to conservation fforts in our state. mr. speaker, the passing of bruce dayton is a loss for all of minnesota and i offer my
condolences to governor dayton and everyone in the family. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from minnesota yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from new york seek recognition? mr. higgins: unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york is recognized. mr. higgins: mr. speaker, since congress passed the solar investment tax credit in 2005, solar i.n.s. at that lailingses have grown by 1600%, americans have invested $72 billion in solar, and 8,000 byes in all 50 states have created 168,000 jobs in the solar industry. much of this economic success story is due toint vestment tax credit which is scheduled to expire at the end of next year. if the investment tax credit expires, the solar industry could see a 71% decline. needlessly costing the american economy 100,000 jobs. this uncertainty is already affecting the market. consumers need confidence dens the tax policy before they decide whether to make an investment into the solar industry. i ask my colleagues to join me in urging the ways and means
committee to expeditiously prioritize a long-term extension of this critical job creating tax incentive. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from pennsylvania seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania is ecognized. >> mr. speaker, the recent terrorist attacks in parris a stark reminder we cannot risk the safety of our country. mr. murphy: i'm asking the pennsylvania governor to suspend the commonwealth participation in the present syrian refugee resettlement initiative. the administration has not provided any details or a thorough screening plan to thwart isil infiltration. the director of the national sbins, f.b.i., secretary of homeland security have told congress they cannot properly screen refugees coming from syria and the surrounding regions for national security threats. we have an obligation to protect americans from those who seek to take advantage of our generosity
at the expense of innocent lives. the present and governor are pushing to make america the home for tens of thousands of refugees. we have 50,000 homeless veterans within the u.s.a. and 1,500 in pennsylvania. if we want to welcome someone home, let's start instead with our homeless veterans. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from nebraska seek recognition? >> to address the house for one minute. revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from nebraska is recognized. mr. ashford: mr. speaker, i rise today in support of small business saturday. small business saturday takes place every year on the saturday after thanksgiving. this event is an opportunity for americans to reinvest in our communities by supporting our local businesses. small businesses are the lifeblood of our local economies and a key to unlocking the american dream. as a former small business owner, i know the value that small businesses bring to our local communities. my family owned and operated the
nebraska clothing company in omaha for generations. this experience taught me the importance of the entrepreneurial spirit to our economy and communities. nebraska is the proud home of over 166,000 small businesses. nearly half of all working nebraskans are employed by local companies. beyond the facts and figures, small businesses are essential to the health of our communities. local companies have local ties. they hire local employees. contribute to local causes. and provide a high level of personal service. we have an opportunity to show our appreciation for small businesses. i encourage all americans to support small businesses on saturday, november 28. the speaker pro tempore: jabts. for what purpose does gentlelady from indiana seek recognition? mrs. brooks: permission to the -- to address the house for one minute.
the day before a pair of suicide bombings struck beirut and the russian passenger plane car ying 224 people was blown up using a homemade explosive device. violent extremism can't be contained but is a cancer dieding our societies and undermining our personal security and sparing none. one year ago yesterday, violent extremism touched my home state of indiana. a 26-year-old humanitarian aid worker from indianapolis was killed by the isis coward known as jihadi john. he is the type of person in targeting. an apolitical medical aid worker treating the wounded and bringing relief to the displaced syrians in lebanon and syria.
islamic twitted ideology will not cease until our life is destroyed. it is vital that the united states take the leadership role that the world demands of us, develop a strategy that will not degrade but destroy the ice is network. the families of terror deserve this and the security of our nation depends on it. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> permission to address the house for one minute, revise and stepped. i rise to praise our nation, a nation of hundreds of years of immigrants. since the mayflower landed, we have been a land built by immigrants. today in this great country, five million immigrants, kids and their parents no no other
country. they are working hard. they are our new plymouth rock and the foundation on which we will build the next generation of our country. now three justices have decided to block that generation. but if our nation stays true to itself, that won't last long. one year after our president took action, i urged the supreme court to approve president obama's immigration policy. if you want to work hard and help keep building this great nation of ours, this nation of immigrants, you are welcome. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from arkansas seek recognition? >> permission to address the house for one minute, revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from arkansas is recognized. >> i rise today to recognize and celebrate the extraordinary accomplishments of various student members of future farmers of america. as their congressman, i'm very
proud of their achievements. during the 88th national convention, high school students were announced as the winning time in the livestock evaluation event. an agricultural business major at southern arkansas university was named the 2015-2016 national f.a.a. president. as president, she will travel more than 100,000 miles to further f.a.a. mission to advance agricultural literacy congratulate the fourth district students and applaud their efforts to serve others and hold truce to the best traditions. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> permission to address the house for one minute and revise and extend my remarks. mr. costa: i rise today to
recognize as seek america awareness and appreciation month. this month we recognize the contributions from seek americans who have given much to our nation. since the turn of the 20th century in california san joaquin's valley, the seek americans have come like immigrants all over the world to seek a better life. in addition to sharing in their rich culture and values, they have made contributions to our economy. they are farmers, business owners, physicians, and are engaged in every walk of life in so many fields. they bring pride to the many endeavors and have a very strong work ethic, like all immigrant families. their commitment to faith, family and hard work is part of their rich diversity that sets our country apart from others because we welcome immigrants. as we strive to appreciate the
contributions of all religions and cultures in our nation, i ask my colleagues to join me in seek america awareness and appreciate month and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> permings to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. denham: i rise today to acknowledge and acknowledge the life of a modesto community leader. last oyette passed away week. born in carl, he was modesto. he was offered an appointment to the united states coast guard academy and displayed bravery during a tour of duty in vietnam and served valiantly in the tet
offensive. after returning to civilian life, carl began working in his family company. he became the c.e.o. and provided leadership resulting in large vision which the company just celebrated its 75 anniversary. he had a general rouse spirit participating in numerous enterprises. he demonstrated time and again a desire to share his resources and talents with others and he was a recipient of numerous awards and honor. please join me in honoring and my friend on behalf of the modesto community and the nation. god bless him always. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does the gentleman from north carolina seek recognition? >> permission to address the ouse for one minute.
the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. price: i rise to honor tim value entire, former representative from north carolina's 2nd district who passed away last week. tim was a legislator who worked effectively on the public works and transportation and the science, space and technology committees. he was my mentor and we frequently collaborated. they valued tim as a easy to work with colleague and not afraid to engage in vigorous debate or take a courageous stand. he was known for his witt and good humor and remarkable ability to diffuse any tense situation with humor. he made me look forward to coming to the house floor each day, where he would have a good story to tell or a quip to make and a quip that cut to the heart of the matter we were dealing with.
tim was a treasured friend and colleague and grateful for his work and life personally and also on behalf of the institution which we serve and the citizens who whose behalf he labored. we attended a beautiful service last saturday and we extend our love and best wishes to tim's wife barbara and the rest of his family. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. for what purpose does gentlelady from arizona seek recognition? >> permission to address the house for one minute and revise and extend. ms. mcsally: it was are reported over 100 isis oil tanker trucks were destroyed in syria in an amendment to cut off the oil revenue and what asset did we call on to efficiently and effectively get the job done? none other than the a-10 warhogs. the pilots employ their 30 millimeter guns and bombs to
obliterate the trucks. time and time again we have seen the a-10's number called up to protect us. 12 are deployed to turkey to strike isis targets. they are deployed in europe to deter russian aggression and along the border with north korea. december pit the administration's flawed arguments for seeking to mothball this asset, a-10's continue to demonstrate on the battlefield. when the world turns to us, we turn to the arch-10. until we have a suitable replacement for this one of a kind attack jet, we must keep it flying. with that, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from michigan seek recognition? >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. kildee: like many members, i was pleased that congress last month passed the bipartisan
budget agreement that avoids yet another manufactured political crisis from hanging over the heads of america's hardworking families. but congress must still act to pass legislation to fund the government before december 11. especially now with very real national security threats, congress must take the politics of usual out of the question, pass a clean bill without poison pill riders. fund our government. when i go home, i hear from my constituents every day that they want congress to do our job and say it's time for responsible bipartisan governing. i couldn't agree more. i'm ready. i know other democrats are and i know republicans are as well to continue to work together to avoid a government shutdown, but without action that won't happen. passing a budget and funding bill that will keep the government open will help people
send their kids to school, afford to buy a house and protect national security. we have to act together and have to do it soon. with that, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does gentlelady from florida seek recognition? >> permission to address the ouse for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the entlelady is recognized. ms. wilson: tomorrow is wear wed wednesday to bring back our girls to remember those affected by the ayes is-linked boko haram and despite the attacks in paris, our remembrance is especially important. as we lower our heads insomer prayer for the victims and raise our voices in disgust, i hope we will also remember the millions
of people around the world who have had their lives destroyed by isis. his includes the 15,000 people isis-linked boko haram has murdered in west africa. we will continue to wear red every wednesday until we free the girls from boko haram and continue to tweet tweet tweet, girls. ackour pray for the victims of paris and africa. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back her time. for what purpose does the gentleman from oklahoma seek recognition? mr. cole: by direction i call up house resolution 526 and ask for its immediate consideration. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the resolution. the clerk: house resolution 526,
resolved, that at any time after the adoption of this resolution, the speaker may pursuant to clause 2-b of rule 18 declare the house resolved in the committee of the whole house on the state of the union for consideration of the bill h.r. 1737 to nullify certain guidelines of the bureau of consumer financial protection and should by the burro with respect to auto lending. the first reading of the bill shall be dispensed with. all points of order against consideration of the bill are waived. general debate shall be confined to the bill and not exceed one here equally controlled by the chair and ranking member. after general debate, the bill shall be considered for amendment under the five-minute rule. the bill shall be considered as read. all points of order against provisions in the bill are waived. no amendment to the bill shall be in order except those printed in the report of the committee on rules accompanying this resolution. each such amendment may be
offered only in the order printed in the report, may be offered by a member designated in the report, shall be considered as read, shall be debatable for the time specified in the report equally divided and controlled by a proponent and opponent, shall not be subject to amendment or subject to demand for addition of the question in the house or in the committee of the whole. all points of order against such amendments are waived. at the conclusion of consideration of the bill for amendments, the committee shall rise and report the bill to the house with such amendments as may have been adopted. the previous question may be considered as ordered on the bill and amendments thereto without intervening motion except one motion to recommit with or without instructions. h.r. 511 to clarify the rights of indians and indian tribes on indian land under the national labor relations ack. all point of order against
consideration of the bill are waived. the amendment in the nature of a substitute recommended by the committee on education and the work force now printed in the bill shall be considered as adopped. the bill as amended shall be considered as read. all points of order against provisions in the bill as amended are waived. the previous question shall be considered as ordered on the bill as amened and on any further amendment thereto to final passage without intervening motion except one, one hour of debate equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the committee on education and the work force. and two, one motion to recommit with or without instructions. section 3, upon adoption of this resolution, a, the house shall be considered to have, one, taken from the speaker's table the bill senate 1177 to re-authorize the elementary and secondary education act of 1965 to ensure that every child achieves. two, stricken all after the
enacting clause of such bill and insert it in lieu there of the provisions of h.r. 5 as passed by the house. and three, pass the senate bill as so amended. and b, it shall be in order for the chair of the committee on education and the work force or his designee to move that the house insist on its amendment to senate 1177 and request a conference with the senate thereon. section 4, in the engrossment of h.r. 3762, the clerk shall strike title 1 and redesignate this subsequent titles accordingly. search the gentleman from oklahoma -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from oklahoma is recognized for one hour. mr. cole: mr. speaker, for the purpose of debate only i yield the customary 30 minutes to my friend, the gentlelady from new york, ms. slaughter, pending which i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the gentleman is recognized for as much time as he wishes to use. mr. cole: during consideration of this resolution, all time
yielded is for the purpose of debate only. mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. cole: mr. speaker, yesterday the rules committee met and reported a rule for consideration of two important measures. first, the resolution provides a structured rule for consideration of h.r. 1737, the reforming of the consumer financial protection bureau indirect auto financing guidance act. the rule provides for one hour of debate equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking member of the financial services committee and makes in order three amendments submitted to the rules committee which were germane to the legislation, and provide for a motion to recommit. in addition, the resolution provides a closed rule for consideration of h.r. 511. the tribal labor sovereignty act of 2015. the rule provides one hour of debate equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking member of the education and work force committee, and
provides for a motion to recommit. in addition, mr. speaker, the rule facilitates a conference with the senate on re-authorization of the elementary and secondary education act by replacing the text of s. 1177 with the section of h.r. 5. as passed by the house and provides for a motion by the chair on the committee on education and the work force to request a conference with the senate. finally, the rule directs the clerk to strike a provision from the reconciliation bill which in already enacted into law the bipartisan budget act in 2015 to sill tating consideration of the bill by the senate. mr. speaker, h.r. 1737 passed out of the financial services committee by a vote of 47-10. a nullifies guidance put forward by the consumer protection -- financial protection bureau in which the cfpb was specifically exempted from making the in the first place. in addition the cfpb's disregard
for its statutory limitation, the cfpb's methodology is severely flawed. a according to a study by the charles river associates, the cpb's methodology overestimates minorities by 40% leading many to question the reliability of the results. in addition and more importantly to me, the rule provides for consideration of h.r. 511, the tribal labor sovereignty act of 2015. when congress passed the national labor relations act in 1935, it specifically recognized all governments were excluded. subsequent regulations and case law further recognizes exemption applies to territories, possessions, the district of columbia, and state operated port authorities. from the 1970's until 2004, the nlrb recognized that tribal governments are exempt from the nlra as sovereignty governments. unfortunately, in 2004, the nlrb
decided to reverse 69 years of prior precedent and strip tribes of their ability of self-government. in our first terms in congress, chairman kleine and i both worked to try to restore the sovereignty of this board had stripped away. while unsuccessful at that time, i'm happy we are able to now rectify this injustice. h.r. 511, the tribal labor sovereignty act, would unequivocally state that tribal governments are not subject to the national labor relations act. i respect my friends who hold different opinions, but in this case they are simply wrong. in the nlrb's 2004 decision, they made an arbitrary distinction between commercial activity and governmental activity. if you're a tribe and it's a commercial activity, they said the nlrb could regulate t but the same standard isn't applied to any other government exempted from the nlra regardless whether it engages in commercial
activities or not. their nature as a government precludes their regulation under the nlra. practically every county and city in this country has a golf course. most states have a lottery. the national park service operates hotels. virginia and other states sell alcohol. many cities operate convention centers. all of these activities are not regulated under the nlra. it should be the same with tribes. in addition, mr. speaker, i'm pleased that this rule sets up a process for us to go to conference on an esea re-authorization. he last time we considered a esea re-authorization was 13 years ago. it's far past time to re-authorize this critical program. mr. speaker, i urge support of the rule and underlying legislation. with that i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from oklahoma reserves his time. the gentlelady from new york is recognized. ms. slaughter: thank you, mr. speaker. i appreciate the gentleman
yielding me the time. and i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from new york is recognized for as much time as she wishes to use. ms. slaughter: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, on january 5, 2011, newly elected speaker john boehner announced, and i quote, to my friends in the minority, i offer a commitment. openness, once a tradition of this institution, but increasingly scarce in recent decades, will be the new standard. you will always have the right to a robust debate and an open process that allows you to represent your constituents to make your case, to offer alternatives, and to be heard. end quote. what we were promised was openness but what we got as absolutely the opposite. mr. speaker, i rise today to mark the breaking of a record. perhaps the worst kiped of record -- kind of record that's come to this closed session of congress in american histry. we are living it now. today marks the 45th closed rule
in this session of congress. and with each new closed rule that the majority approves, we'll break the record anew and under a closed rule no amendments are allowed on the house floor, which limit debate and silences half of the american people. who are represented by the minority of the house. it's true that the trend toward more closed rules has been growing over the past 20 years under the leadership of both political parties. but my republican colleagues have taken the trend to new heights. the republican congress, for example, past more -- passed more closed rules in one week, the week of october, 2013, than the entire year under democrat control. it is the work of the rules committee to report each rule that comes to the floor and according to our statistics in this session of congress, the majority has chosen a closed rule more times than any other ind of rule.
upped this regime the majority has wasted taxpayer money under the exception of taking health care away from american people and more than 60 votes to repeal or dismantle obamacare. they spent over $5 million in taxpayer money on a duplicative politicized benghazi special committee, even after nine other house and senate and one state committee -- state department committee had found nothing in fairous nor illegal. -- nothing nefarious nor illegal. it was not a conspiracy. to continue with the wasteful politicized special committees, they created a special committee to investigate planned parenthood, even after grilling the president of plant parenthood for five hours in a hearing and the chairman later declared that no law had been broken. ladies and gentlemen, this is what you get here for your taxpayer dollars.
while americans are riding over rutted roads, traveling over unsafe bridges, using crowded and outdated airports and schools are crumbling, the majority insists on wasting millions of dollars and our time not on governance but purely political goals. these distractions true regular order nothing but a mirage. this is the work that we got under speaker boehner's promise of openness. as it turns out, speaker ryan promised the same openness for his tenure and on november 5, 2015, just after taking office, he said to a gaggle of reporters, i quote, i want to have a process that is more open, more inclusive, more deliberative, more participatory, and that is what we are trying to do, end quote. we have heard that before. he even explained the importance of an open legislative process and said, quote, so that every citizen of this country through
their elected representatives has the opportunity to make a difference. that is the people's house, this is the branch of the government closest to the people. end quote. will we get that openness? today gives us very little reason for hope. let me remind us that while we may have new hand wielding the gavel, no a good intentions can overcome the dynamics in the conference of radical republican conference because it remains the same. mr. speaker, for this body to function as the founding fathers intended, we need debate, we need openness. for our constituents to be heard and for our institutions to thrive, we need debate. we need openness. democrats have always been willing to provide the votes to move the country forward on any bill that comes to the floor. and i'd like to extend my well wishes to our new speaker, paul ryan, and express again our willingness to work together for the american people because that is why we have been sent here.
let me mention if i may, that day we are concerned about bringing refugees and immigration, that we have been begging for two years or more that this house would take up an immigration bill. and the majority has refused to do so. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from new york reserves her time. the gentleman from oklahoma is recognized. mr. cole: thank you, 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 wishes to use. mr. cole: thank you very much, mr. speaker. not surprising i differ with my good friend on whether or not we have an open process here. frankly, i think we can all point to times in the past where each of us believe the other has been less than open. i recall during the democratic majority we literally would bring appropriations bills to the floor with absolutely closed rules. something that violates the tradition of this house.
in terms of this legislation, i hope i'm forgiven, but again i find very little relevance of discussions of benghazi, planned parenthood to this particular debate. i don't think it has anything to do. the legislation in front of us really deals with two bills. h.r. 1737, the consumer finance protection bureau bill, actually seeks to simply restrain an agency from exercising authority that is prohibited from exercising under the legislation. and all the amendments that were germane to that piece of legislation were made in order. h.r. 511, a tribal sovereignty labor act, frankly just simply does the nlrb if this jurisdiction or not? it doesn't take a lot of amendments. it's a straight question. our assertion is that it does not. its claimed authority. we are simply restoring that to tribal governments. i think the rule in question
facilitates the debate. allows those who have different ideas to present them if they are relevant. and i think we'll end up in a good result. with that, mr. chairman, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentlelady from new york is recognized. ms. slaughter: mr. speaker, if we defeat the previous question, will i offer an amendment to the rule to bring up h.r. 430, a bill to clean up the secret money and politics and give the american people the fair and transparent political system that they deserve. . i ask unanimous consent to insert the text of the amendment in the record. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. slaughter: i'm pleased to yield two minutes to distinguished the gentleman from maryland, the ranking member on the budget committee, mr. van
hollen. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. van hollen: i thank mrs. slaughter who began the discussion by pointing out, here we go again. we say there is new leadership in town on the republican side, but it's the same old closed process, closed rule. limit democracy. don't allow a full debate and don't allow the people's house to decide on important questions for the country. when you have a closed rule, you are starting to close down democracy. you are limiting the ability of this house to make decisions on behalf of all the american people. so, we have as part of the previous question, if you defeat the previous question, a proposal to also improve transparency and openness in the full political process. because this is the people's house and we would hope it would do the people's business, but we
also know that there are a lot of special interests out there that are spending millions and millions and millions of dollars trying to get their way and substitute their special interests for the public interests. and they are spending millions of dollars to try to elect candidates who will do their bidding. what this proposal does is just say we need to be transparent and open about who is spending all that money. people and those interests can continue to spend money to try and elect candidates, but don't do it secretly but do it openly. what we're asking is for this house to take up what's called the disclose act. the disclose act simply says that voters have a right to know which special interests around the country are spending millions and millions of dollars to try to influence their voting
decision, because we believe that sunlight and transparency helps build accountability and that accountability helps build a stronger democracy. if i could have another two minutes. ms. slaughter: i yield the gentleman another two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. van hollen: i thank the gentlelady. so after the citizens united decision, that terrible decision, what happened? special interests were able to spend millions and millions of dollars at a time. they weren't constrained by limits on what kind of contributions they could make. we got a lot more money, but got something else. we got essentially a political underground in spending. we had this system now where people try to channel their monies in secret ways to hide themselves from the public. and so if we get to vote on the disclose act, we'll see where we
stand on the simple question of whether this body supports transparency because honestly, if you've got nothing to hide, you've got nothing to fear. right now, we have these commissioners out there that say paid for by a committee for a better america, paid for by mom and apple pie, but the people who are paying for them don't want the voters to know who they are. they want it to be a closed process. and so we're asking that they disclose their identity. in fact in the citizens united case, eight of the nine supreme court justices said they were for more more disclosure. and justice kennedy said the disclosure that he thought would work is not working. but they said the legislature can always act on this issue and improve the transportation and
disclosure of the political process. and justice scalia said it would be good for the political process and we want to know who is spending that money who are trying to influence decisions in the people's house. what's wrong with a little sunshine? what's wrong with transparency? doesn't that improve accountability and doesn't that strengthen our democracy? so i understand that we are going to have these closed rules that are not going to make this an open process here, but for goodness -- ms. slaughter: i yield 30 seconds. mr. van hollen: let's not allow the american people to know who is spending that money to try to influence voting decisions and ultimately influence the kind of legislation that comes to the floor of this house, because we need to be focused on the people's business, not the business of secret special
interests. let's let the sunshine in and defeat the previous question so we can vote on the disclose act and give the voters the right to know that they deserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentlelady from new york reserves. the gentleman from oklahoma is recognized. mr. cole: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for as much time as he wishes to use. mr. cole: my good friends have said nothing on the two bills under consideration. i assume they support these bipartisan pieces of legislation. but just to reiterate. we are not hear to talk about campaign finance reform. i remember bringing it up, trying to get rid of taxpayer subsidies for political conventions. we got that done. redirected that money to research for pediatric diseases.
but could never get it made in order. so i understand the frustrations. but we have two important bills to consider. i think that's where we ought to focus our attention. h.r. 1737, the consumer financial protection bureau has gone beyond the mandate laid out in dodd-frank. miami mystified that i'm defending a provision of dodd-frank, but in this case, it's actually the right thing to do. they have tried to extend their extend auto lending which is specifically prohibited under the statute and h.r. 511 does something that this house can be very proud of. it recognizes and extends and restores tribal sovereignty in a very important area. that is an area of bipartisan cooperation. we worked together in the violence against women act across party lines to extend tribal sovereignty with respect
to domestic violence committed by non-indians on indian land against indian citizens and we are trying to once again restore tribal sovereignty what it was before 2004 when the national labor relations board acted outside of its authority and ceased jurisdiction that it never had under any statute passed by congress. i would ask my friends to focus on those two important areas and hope they do and look forward to working with them in a bipartisan manner to pass both of those bills. and with that, i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from oklahoma reserves. the gentlelady from new york is recognized. ms. slaughter: may i inquire from my colleague if he has any more speakers. if not, i'm prepared to close. mr. cole: i have no additional speakers that have arrived. ms. slaughter: then i shall close. mr. speaker, it is a shame that only way we can talk about
campaign finance is to put it in the previous question because it's never a subject for debate here and that is a shame because we have terrible situations going on in campaign finance, unaccounted for, which is something that we never had before in this country. certainly since the watergate issue where we cleaned up campaign finance and did well with it. and now anything goes. mr. speaker, this rule we are doing today strikes a provision of the reconciliation bill that the house passed last month. in the latest futile republican attempt to undermine the affordable care act. this is unprecedented and unacceptable and we oppose it. the stricken provision eliminates, a quote, auto enroll unquote requirement for of that employers enroll new employees in the health plan.
the rule strikes this provision from the reconciliation bill because it became law as part of last month's bipartisan budget agreement. my republican colleagues may describe this as a simple housekeeping measure, but no matter what is done the reconciliation bill will not become a serious piece of legislation. the bill passed by the house would add 16 million pep to the ranks of uninsured and increase health insurance premiums by up to 20% and reduce women's access to important health services by ending medicaid funding to planned parent hood funding. the best piece of housekeeping that congress could do is set it aside and put an end to this fantasy of repealing health care for millions of americans. instead, let us focus on the policies that actually help american families such as improving access to education and to good paying jobs.
and mr. speaker, i urge my colleagues -- i hope that people pay attention to debate today. there is so much going on in the house that won wonders if we have. at every turn, let me reiterate this is the most closed congress in history and they have silenced the will of members. minority party for our constituents and democratic process are ailing, mr. speaker. and we must do something about it. so, i urge my colleagues as i said to vote no and defeat the previous question. surely we can take up mr. van hollen's good measure and try to clean up as even members of the supreme court who voted to give us citizens united would like some change there because what they have recognized is a complete failure. they had this idea that everyone
would put their name down on their contributions and that is not the case and we don't know what countries the money is coming from. i urming my colleagues to vote no and defeat the previous question and also to vote no on the rule and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from new york yields back her time. the gentleman from oklahoma is recognized. mr. cole: thank you, mr. speaker, i yield myself the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for the balance of the time. mr. cole: i'm mystified by the debate by my friend have offered, having to do with campaign finance reform. there is nothing in the legislation before us that deals with that. i beg to differ in terms of whether or not the rules here are closed or inappropriate. frankly every amendment hovered to h.r. 1737 that was germane was actually made in order. and amendments on h.r. 511 simply aren't necessary. it's a yes or no type of
question. either the nlrb has jurisdiction that we think it has claimed inappropriately over labor matters or it does not. and we think it clarifies things considerably. so, again, we also little bit surprised to see what we think is a housekeeping matter in terms of striking something out of the reconciliation bill, objected to. they voted overwhelmingly for the budget that included that measure. so there is nothing untoward but we are trying to move forward legislation that we think is important and remove things that have been enacted into law. so it is a housekeeping matter. mr. speaker, in closing, i want to encourage all members to support the rule, h.r. 1737 undoes a regulation that should never have been made in the first place and h.r. 511 restores the right of
self-governance that was taken away from tribal governments. with that, i yield back and i move the previous question on the resolution. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from oklahoma yields back the balance of the time. the question is on ordering the previous question on the resolution. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. ms. slaughter: i request the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. those favoring a vote by the yeas and nays will rise. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered members will record their votes by electronic device. pursuant to clause 8 and clause 9 of rule 20, this 15-minute vote on ordering the previous question will be followed by five-minute votes on adopting house resolution 526 and suspending the rules and passing h.r. 1694 and h.r. 3114. this is a 15-minute vote.
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 245. the nays are 178. the previous question is ordered. the question's on adoption of the resolution. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the gentlelady from new york. ms. slaughter: mr. speaker, on that i request the yeas and nays. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. those favoring a vote by the yeas and nays will rise. a sufficient number having arisen, the yeas and nays are ordered. 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
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 243. the nays are 180. the resolution is adopted. without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 243. the nays are 181. the resolution is adopted. without oion,bject motion to reconsider is laid on the table.
the unfinished business is the vote on the motion of the gentleman from pennsylvania, mr. fitzpatrick, to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 1694, on which the yeas and nays are ordered. the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 1694, a bill to amend map-21 to improve contracting opportunities for veteran-owned small business concerns, and for other urposes. 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.]
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote the yeas are 285. the nays are 138. 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 unfinished business is on the vote on the motion of the gentleman from ohio, mr. gibbs, to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 3114, as amended, on which the yeas and nays are ordered. 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: 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 coverage of the house proceedings for political or commercial purposes is expressly prohibited by the u.s. house of representatives.]
the speaker pro tempore: the yeas are 422, the nays are 3. 2/3 voting in the affirmative, the bill is passed and without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. pursuant to house resolution 526 , s. 1777 as amended is onsidered as passed. for what purpose does the gentleman from tennessee seek recognition? >> pursuant to house resolution 526, i call up h.r. 511 and i ask for immediate consideration in the house. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: union calendar number
197, h.r. 511, a bill to clarify the rights of indians and indian tribes on indian lands under the national labor relations act. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to house resolution 526, the amendment in the nature of a substitute recommended by the committee on education and the work force printed in the bill shall be considered as adopted and the bill as amended shall be considered read. the gentleman from tennessee, mr. roe and the gentleman from virginia, mr. scott, each will control 30 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from tennessee. mr. roe: i thank the speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days in which to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on h.r. 511 the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. roe: i rise today in strong support of h.r. 511, the tribal labor sovereignty act and yield myself such time as i may
consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. roe: mr. speaker, the house is not in order. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is correct. the house is not in order. please take your conversations outside of the chamber. mr. roe: there are more than 550 federally recognized native american tribes across the united states. each of these tribes has a unique history and distinct culture that they have helped shape who they are today and each tribe as an inherent right to self-govern just like any other sovereign government does. that right is rooted in the constitution and aafffirmed by the courts for 200 years. tribal leaders are able to make decisions that affect their people that make the most sense and best protects the interests of their members or rather they should be able to make those zigs. for the past 10 years, the national labor relations board
has ignored language labor policy and involved itself in tribal activities. since the 2004 san manuel bingo and casino decision, the board has used a subjective test to decide on a case by case basis whether tribal business on tribal land is for commercial purposes and if it is, the board has asserted its jurisdiction over that business. if the board were to do with a school or park or any other enterprise owned by a state or local government, no member of congress would stand for it? why should we stand back and allow the nlrb to impose its will on native american tribes? the answer is, we shouldn't. we have the responsibility to protect tribal sovereignty and that is what h.r. 511 will do. the bill under consideration will amend the act to reaffirm that the nlrb cannot assert its
authority over institutions on a tribe on tribal land. very simply reaverts a legal standard that was in place for decades and allows tribes to manage their own labor relations as they have a sovereign right to do. i thank the gentleman from indiana, mr. rokita, for his leadership on this issue and for continuing to work with those in congress who helped lead the fight to protect tribal sovereignty over the years. it's time for all of us to stand with the native american community and restore the tribes' ability to govern their own labor relations. i urge my colleagues to vote yes on h.r. 511 and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. scott: i yield myself such time as i may consume.
mr. speaker, i rise in opposition to the tribal labor sovereignty act of 2015. legislation that would strip employees of protections afforded under the national labor relations act of any -- and any enterprise owned by an indian tribe and located on indian lands. at issue are two solemn and deeply rooted principles, one the right of indian tribes they possess as distinct independent political communities retaining the original right in matters of local self-government and, two, the rights of workers to organize, bargain collectively and engage in concerted activities for the mutual aid and protection. rather than attempting to reconcile these two competing principles, h.r. 511 chooses sovereignty for some over the long standing rights of others. this bill strips hundreds of thousands of workers of their voice in workplaces such as
casinos and should be noted that some 600,000 workers employed in tribal casinos and fully 75% are not members of tribes. this legislation would jet ison carefully drawn balance between tribal sovereignty and workers' rights that was adopted in 2004 by a republican-led nlrb. that decision is the san manuel restricted the jurisdiction of the nlra if it touches on the exclusive rights of self-governments and in matters or rights guaranteed under treaties. the nlrb stated it would accommodate the unique status of indians in deciding nlrb
jurisdiction. in the san manuel decision has been upheld in every appeals court where it has been challenged and based on legal precepts by a.m. ate courts over 30 years. the tribal casinos are commercial enterprises and not government agencies like department of education, but commercial enterprises serving predominantly nontribal clients and nontribal employees. thrl legislation ensures that low-paid service workers in tribal casinos would lose the opportunity to share in the fruits of the wealth they are creating for the tribe and did he priving them of the opportunity to climb the ladder into the middle class. the bill sets up a double standard. as a member of the international labor organization, the united states is obligated as a government to respect and
promote the rights outlined in the declaration of fundamental principles and rights at work, including, quote, the freedom of association and effective recognition of the right to collectively bargain. the democrats and republicans have insisted that our trading partners abide by and enforce these rights and congress has repeatedly ratified these obligations in trade agreements. but today, the house will vote on a bill that does just the opposite when it comes to the freedom of association and the right to collectively bargain at tribal enterprises. mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. . the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. mr. roe: mr. speaker -- the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from tennessee. mr. roe: i now yield one minute mr. moll nar of michigan.
-- moolenaar of michigan. mr. moolenaar: thank you, mr. speaker. as we've already seen federal departments and agencies have proposed overreaching water rules that create uncertainty for michigan farmers, energy rules that raise electric rates on hardworking families and health care rules that disrupt patients' coverage. now, federal rulemaking is interfering with the sovereignty of native american tribes. the national labor relations board has claimed jurisdiction over the commercial businesses on tribal lands, intruding on the self-governance of the saginaw chippewa in my district. today i rise in support of h.r. 511, the tribal labor sovereignty act, to restore self-governance for the saginaw chippewa and all tribes and to stop the national labor relations board from further hindering business owners and entrepreneurs with more regulations and costs. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from virginia is recognized.
mr. scott: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i yield three minutes to the gentleman from minnesota, mr. ellison. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from minnesota is recognized for three minutes. mr. ellison: i'd like to thank the gentleman for yielding. you know, mr. speaker, i'm very proud of my record in support of tribal sovereignty. i've been a member of the native american caucus since 2012. i supported the legislative fix to a supreme court decision that overturned 75 years of federal indian policy. i co-sponsored the peoples in trademark registration and i stood out industry calling for the washington football team to change its name because of the ugliness of what that represents. of course, i was proud, proud to be a sponsor and a supporter of the violence against women act which authorized tribal governments to exercise special domestic violence criminal jurisdiction over any
individual that commets domestic violence, dating violence or any kind of violence and to protect men and women on the tribal areas. in short, i am a person who was very proudly and affirmatively for tribal sovereignty and tribal rights. however, the right to form and work in a labor organization and the right to have rights on your job is also a very important right, and i cannot see why we cannot fashion legislation which protects both tribal sovereignty and the right of labor. this bill unfortunately takes rights away from some in order to purportedly give them to the other. i urge my friends who are attempted to vote for this legislation to ask themselves what they're giving up and what they're getting. we could fashion legislation to
look out for tribes. we could work together, but instead what we're doing is simply using a wedge issue to try to divide two very important principles, labor rights and tribal rights. i'm going to vote against this, and i hope that all members do and i hope that people who believe in tribal rights know and sovereignty that this is nothing to do without a -- this is not about not supporting sovereignty, because i support it, but i believe that this tribal -- this tribal labor sovereignty act is going to do something very damaging to all workers, including tribal members. we should be supporting all people, including tribal members, right to form unions, to be in a labor organization, which is very their best shot at getting into the middle class. we know that union members earn $207 more than nonunion
counterparts. this is why some business interests, not all, hate unions, because they just don't want to have a fair economy. they want to horde the wealth of the company for themselves. they're not more -- they are workers who are in the unions are far more likely to have retirement benefits, paid sick leave and other medical benefits. workers have turned down low-wage sector jobs into good-paying jobs with benefits. this would take those jobs and away and therefore i must oppose it and urge my colleagues to do the same. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. the gentleman from tennessee is recognized. mr. roe: i thank the chairman. i now yield one minute to my friend and colleague on the education and work force committee and veteran of this great nation, duncan hunter. you're recognized. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized. mr. hunter: i'd like to thank the good doctor from tennessee, and i want to thank my republican colleagues and mr. rokita, especially, for bringing this important matter
to a vote today. mr. speaker, i rise in support of h.r. 511, the tribal labor sovereignty act. in this house we often speak about the importance of ensuring and protecting tribal sovereignty. this bill does just that. the measure treats tribal governments like we do any other government entity in this country. by excluding them from the onerous coverage under the national labor relations act in my district in san diego and riverside, california, i represent 18 different tribes in congress. that's more than anybody else in this house. they vary in size, tradition and economic wealth, but they share one thing in common. they're all sovereign nations. this sovereignty ensures they have jurisdiction over their territory and, remember, the american people made a promise to these tribes that they can govern themselves on their own land. this should especially applies in areas this bill seeks to address. i think it's ludicrous the national labor relations board has purview over native american tribes. with that i urge my colleagues to support h.r. 511 and yield
back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back his time. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. scott: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i yield three minutes to the gentleman from new jersey, mr. norcross. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey is recognized for three minutes. mr. norcross: thank you, mr. speaker. we live in a land of opportunity, and certainly many of the people who are being discussed here today understand for a very long time it was not fair and it was not equal because that's what we're truly discussing today, having a level playing field. this year's the 80th anniversary of the national labor relations act, which quite frankly gave rise to the middle class as we know it here in america today. but time after time both sides of the aisle we hear how the discrepancies between those who are at the lower end and the one percenters is growing wider.
so why am i talking about this when we're talking about this tribal bill? because that's what we're really talking about. see, there's a mechanism in place already that addresses this issue. it's a three-part test that has worked very well, not only with the nlrb, but in the courts, and has been working very well. so this is a bill that's looking for a problem, because the true test of what's going on here today is trying to take those rights of having a level playing field away from those who don't have a voice. we stand here today as that voice. my career was as an electrician who later had the opportunity to become a business agent. i've been to the national labor relations board many, many time. i've lost some, i've won some. but one thing i can tell you, it was a fair fight. and that's what we want to give
those on tribal lands, a fair fight. just because they're tribal lands doesn't mean that none of our laws, history and traditions apply to them. in fact, just the opposite. that three-part test has stood the time -- the test of time and has given a fair shot. so what we're really talking about today is those who have the most abusing those that have the least, not giving them an opportunity to have a voice in the workplace so that they can have the american dream. i would urge my colleagues to vote against this very unfair, misguided bill and to give those who need it most that voice. that's what we were elected to do, and i urge my colleagues to vote against this and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from tennessee is recognized. mr. roe: thank you, mr. speaker. at this time i'd like to yield one minute to mr. allen from
georgia. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia is recognized for one minute. mr. allen: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today in support of legislation that i'm proud to co-sponsor, the tribal labor sovereignty act of 2015. it has long been a priority of this congress to protect tribal sovereignty. these lands and their people should be free from bureaucratic intrusion as they are sovereign nations. however, the national labor relations board has once again overstepped its authority to expand its jurisdiction over tribal lands, creating a cloud of uncertainty for tribal leaders. this legislation allows tribes to operate as they should, free from the threat of intrusion from the national labor relations board. much like states' rights, this legislation puts the power back in the hands of local tribal government so they can make decisions in their best
interest. during a time of political and partisan gridlock, empowering tribes and the lives of their people is a bipartisan issue that both sides should be able to find common ground on. we need to protect tribal lands from washington's constant overreach. i will continue to work to ensure tribal sovereignty is not enfringed upon, and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back his time. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. scott: mr. speaker, i yield three minutes to the gentleman from washington, mr. pocan. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from wisconsin is recognized for three minutes. mr. pocan: thank you, mr. speaker. and thank you, ranking member scott. mr. speaker, i rise to oppose h.r. 511. one of the most important things we can do in this body is help the middle class to have every opportunity for their family. and while the economy has been rebounding, unfortunately wages for the middle class have remained flat. productivity is up, profits are up, c.e.o. pay is up but wages for most workers have remained
flat and now we have a bill before us that will make it harder for hundreds of thousands of workers by taking away national labor relations act protections from them. now, promoters of this legislation say this bill is designed to protect sovereignty. while i strongly support tribal sovereignty, this bill is not about that. there are a number of federal laws that tribes are compelled to follow in addition to the national labor relations act. the occupational ssafety and health administration, the employer retirement income security act, the family and medical leave act and the public accommodations of the americans with disabilities act, just for starters. this bill isn't about meaningful sovereignty. it's about selective sovereignty because it only excludes labor rights, which makes this a labor bill, not a sovereignty bill. it would even affect workers who already have collective bargaining agreements, stripping away the rights they have collectively fought for and been agreed to.
and many of the advocates for this bill are hardly credible on this. the u.s. chamber and other organizations have never taken strong stances on tribal issues n the past, like issues like spearfishing and gaming in my home state of wisconsin or bureau of indian affairs schools. but studly they support sovereignty. well, history says otherwise. if this bill is about sovereignty, exempt osha and erisa and fmla for starters. that would be a sovereignty bill. or require the tribes at least to have their own labor relations boards which they don't have. this bill exempts labor protections for hundreds of thousands of workers, both tribal members and nonmembers. those affected workers will be denied their fundamental rights under this bill and that's what this is really about. mr. speaker, if this body wants to help tribes, i'm here to help. if you want to make it easier for federal tribes to be recognized via the carciary
fix, i'm in. if you want to provide more adequate funding for indian health services and exempt them from future sequestration cuts, where do i sign up if? if you want to provide funding for maintenance and infrastructure as well as educational needs for bureau of indian affairs schools, i'm with you. if you want to address some of the tax code disparities that hinder tribes from encouraging economic development on their lands, especially renewable energy projects, let's do that bill. but we are not addressing the real pressing issues that affect tribes in our country. instead, we're only going after workers' rights in the veil of tribal sovereignty and that's wrong. i urge a no vote. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields his time. the gentleman from tennessee is recognized. mr. roe: thank you, mr. speaker. during testimony at our subcommittee hearing, a number of indian tribes have labor boards at their particular reservation. so i just want to have that for the record. and also, all we're asking is to treat the indian tribes
exactly the same as state or local treats it. if they're sovereign they're sovereign. if they're not they're not. at this time i want to recognize mr. mcclintock from california for two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. mcclintock: i thank the gentleman for yielding. mr. speaker, there's no need today to catalog the litany of promises made and broken by this government to the american indian nations. but the sum total of these broken promises amounted to the banishment of these first americans to the most desloate and undesirable lands in the nation. we left them with one thing and one thing only. we left them sovereignty over their lands. . other the past half century many of these tribes created from that sovereignty great engines of prosperity with which to provide for themselves and their posterity. and suddenly our government's disinterest in their welfare, it's he benign neglect of their affairs has changed.
now that they are prosperous our develop has developed a canine appetite to intervene in their affairs. for 70 years after the enactment of the national labor relations act, the federal government recognized the internal independence of these tribal governments established of, by, and for their rightful members. it recognized that unless congress specified otherwise, the indian nations were free to conduct their own affairs on their sovereign lands and organize their enterprises according to their own traditions, customs e. conditions, and necessities. that is until 2004 when the national labor relations board decided to shatter these decades of legal precedents and usurp the legislative powers of the congress. the nlra was never intended to apply to governments, and the american indian nations have always been recognized as governments. that is until the nlrb decided
to radically and fundamentally change the law that created it in the first place. the question before the house is whether congress will reassert its authority over a rogue executive agency and for a change honor the promises of tribal sovereignty made to these nations more than 100 years ago. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back his time of the the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. scott: yield such time she may consume to the gentlelady from illinois, ms. schakowsky. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from illinois is recognized. ms. schakowsky: i thank the gentleman for yielding. thank you for your leadership, mr. scott, in support of working men and women. my colleagues, i am a strong supporter of tribal sovereignty and believe that we must recognize the rights of tribal governments, but i'm also a strong supporter of labor rights. the ability of hardworking men and women to join together in collective bargaining to improve their workplace and the lives of their families.
union membership has many advantages. higher wages, better benefits, safer working conditions. and it's no coincidence that we have seen the middle class shrink dramatically at the same time that union membership has declined. and that's why we need to act to expand labor rights and why we should be concerned about the bill before us. i believe that the 2004 national labor relations board decision indian bingo and casino struck the appropriate balance between respecting tribal sovereignty and upholding labor rights. in its decision the nlrb stated the national labor relations act does not apply if it would undermine the quote, exclusive right of self-governs, and purely intramural matters, unquote. or, quote, abrogate indian treaty rights, unquote. however, the nlrb clarified that labor law would apply if an entity is purely commercial
enterprise and employs or katers to individuals who are not tribal members. -- or caters to individuals who are not tribal members. that is an appropriate test whether we are talking about casinos, construction companies, hotels, reports, mines or power plants. h.r. 511 would overturn the carefully crafted decision and take away existing bargaining rights of hundreds of thousands of workers. we know that workers of tribally owned casinos have benefited from union membership. a union study of tribal workers in california documented higher wages, lower health care costs, and less worker reliance on public benefits like medicaid to meet the needs of their families. employers, too, gain when workers are more productive and turnover is reduced. as we have -- and we have real world examples of how unions have helped workers. gary an indian member employed grotten resort, i became
active because of unjust treatment of casino workers by the managers and how nothing could be done about even sexual harassment because of sovereignty. exercising our right to organize turned out to be the only way to protect ourselves an our co-workers, unquote. madeleine, a worker at foxwoods, was suspended because she was forced to clock out when she went to see a nurse for a work related injury, which put her over the casino's attendance point system. her union won her reinstatement and back pay and the company provided a mandatory osha training program for management. jenny from foxwoods gave her the time she needed to receive treatment for breast cancer. h.r. 511 would result in the loss of those gains and by eliminating nlra rights could deny them to many more workers in the future. by doing so it would leave those workers without any avenue to
bargain collectively, ensure fair compensation, or seek redress for workplace injuries. three out of four of the 600,000 workers employed in tribal casinos are not tribal members. they do not have full access to internal tribal mechanisms for filing grieve abcs -- grievances or petitions for policy. while some have labor laws that apply to commercial operations, many don't. there is no guarantee those who have them will not change or eliminate them in the future. by eflamenting nlra rights workers could have no place to turn to push for labor rights, to appeal for firings or disciplinary action or take action against sexual harassment, and h.r. 511 would affect more than the gaming industry, including construction workers, miners, and hotel workers. and that is why the international labor organization has stated, that quote, it would appear likely an exclusion of
certain workers from the nlra is a -- and its mechanisms would give rise to a failure to ensure these workers their fundamental freedom of association rights absent any assurances that there were tribal labor laws that provide the same rights to all workers. but there is no such requirement in h.r. 511. it would preempt nlra coverage, but there are other federal laws that apply to tribes, including the occupational safety and health act, title 3 of the americans with disabilities act, the family and medical leave act, and the employee retirement income security act. why should we single out the nlra, the law that gives workers bargaining rights, or will we be asked to eliminate those other important protections in the future? proponents of the bill argue that it is designed to provide equal treatment for tribal nations and state and local governments. but there are key distinctions. first, we are talking here not about people who work directly for tribal governments but for
workers in commercial enterprises and most states and localities don't operate huge commercial entities that hire the majority of workers from outside of their jurisdiction. sec, if state or local workers want to push for laws to obtain or protect collective bargaining, they have the ability to participate in the political process and vote in elections. that is one reason that the vast majority of state and local public employees have those rights. nontribal workers at tribal operated commercial enterprises lack that tablet. they don't vote in tribal elections and they have no direct ability to affect labor policies for tribal governments. we should fight for workplace rights and support the balanced approach taken by the nlrb. i ask my colleagues to join in opposition to this bill. i thank the gentleman. yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yield back. the gentleman from tennessee is recognized. mr. roe: thank you, mr. speaker. now i'd like to yield one minute
to the gentleman from minnesota, mr. emmer. mr. emmer: i thank the gentleman from tennessee. i rise in support of the tribal labor sovereignty act of 2015. minnesota is a proud home to seven ojibway reservations in four dakota communities. we have a strong and deep native american history and proud of the work we have accomplished through centuries of working together. the federal government has long recognized that native american tribes have the capacity and ability to govern themselves in an efficient and meaningful manner that is consistent with their heritage. the legislation being discussed today is of grave importance to the communities that have contributed so much to our nation's history. the intent of the national labor rights act passed in 1935 was never to include tribal governments within its jurisdiction. it is unfortunate that some are seeking to take advantage of a once well intended law but it is now up to congress to do the right thing and expressly
clarify the tribal governments are exempt from the national labor relations act. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. scott: mr. speaker, could you tell us how much time remains on both sides? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia has 12 minutes. the gentleman from tennessee has 21 1/4. the gentleman from virginia is recognized. mr. scott: mr. speaker, i yield three minutes to the gentleman from maryland, the minority whip, mr. hoyer. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maryland is recognized for three minutes. mr. hoyer: thank you very much, mr. scott, for yielding. i want to also say to my friend, mr. roe from tennessee, he and i are good friends and done a lot of work together. but on this we disagree. and i want to say, mr. speaker, that if the national labor
relations act were at issue on this floor today, my belief is, i may be wrong, that many of the people who will vote for this bill would be for repealing the ational labor relations act. that's a fair place to be, i suppose, but that's essentially what we are talking about here. i can't think of anyone in this house who does not believe strongly in the principle of protecting the off rept of american tribes -- the sovereignty of american tribes and their government. i know that's where i am. but i presume all 434 of my colleagues are there. it is the least we can do. having treated the native americans so badly when we got here and thereafter. we agree that when tribal
governments are carrying out inherently government functions, that's the key, it's the key for the courts, it ought to be the key for us. their sovereignty is fully and should be secure under current law. but this bill goes a lot further. than reinforcing that understanding. instead, this bill extends the current understanding of sovereignty not from what it is, but it is in an effort to undermine the rights for working men and women in this country. which is why for all americans we cannot get a minimum wage bill on this floor. which is 725, which is now seven ears in being. and would be if we paid the same in 1968, $10.68 today.
same principle. we can't get it on the floor. for all americans. not just indian americans, for all americans. native americans. it undermines their rights. rights that every member of this house also ought to support. democrats are proud to stand shoulder to shoulder with native american tribal communities across this country. and we are going to continue working with them to fight for more investment in education, hear me, we need to put our money where our mouth is. native american housing, health care, education, along with continuing to protect their sovereignty and governing themselves according to their cultures and traditions. but we do not support is taking
away protections from american workers, native and nonnative alike. mr. scott: i yield an additional minute. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman. the work in commercial enterprises owned by tribes. all of our people deserve the chance to earn a decent living, be safe at work, and reach for a better life. this bill is not a step in the right direction. courts have ruled that tribes must also comply among other laws and i want to adopt the comments of the gentlelady from illinois. courts have ruled that tribes must also comply with the fair labor standards act, the occupational safety and health act, should we repeal that? and have unhealthy working conditions and commercial enterprises? perhaps that's the next bill you will bring forward in the name of native sovereignty.
many criminal laws among others. why is the nlra being singled out from among these laws of general applicability by the proponents of this bill? i suggested why at the beginning of my comments. because that side does not support labor relations act. . given that there is no logical distinction to explain -- mr. scott: i yield the gentleman an additional minute. mr. hoyer: i thank the gentleman. given there is no logical distinction to explain why these other laws should apply to tribes but the nlra should not, the only plausible explanation is that this of slation is a precursor other legislation and says once again we do not support the rights of americans to
collectively bargain for pay, benefits, safety and working conditions. mr. speaker, i urge my colleagues to send a strong and unequivocal message -- two messages. a, we support strongly the sovereignty of our tribes. but secondly, we also support the decency and safety and pay of working americans, tribes and nontribes alike. i urge my colleagues to vote no and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back his time. the gentleman from tennessee is recognized. mr. roe: i thank the speaker. just to clarify, mr. speaker. many federal labor laws specifically exclude indian tribes from the definition of employer, including title 7 of the civil rights act, 1964,
title 1 of the americans with disabilities act and worker adjustment and the training notification act. in contrast, statutes of general application, including the nlra, uniform services employment, reemployment rights act, age discrimination employment, adda, fair labor standards act and the family medical leave act, employment and retirement income security, erisa, are silent in their application to indian tribes. federal courts have held that the statutes of general applications, specifically flsa, and erisa, do apply. otherwise they do not. at this time i'd like to yield -- at this time i'd like to yield one minute to my good friend from south dakota, which i had the privilege of visiting her beautiful say the about a month ago. kristi noem. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for one minute. mrs. noem: i'd like to remind everyone in light of the debate we have on the floor that this bill is extremely bipartisan. it's supported by tribes all across the nation.
it is something they've been asking for. in fact, in the last two congresses, i carried the bill. i was the sponsor of it because it needs to be done and i was asked to do so by tribes across the country. this is an issue of sovereignty. no other level of government in the country is subject to the national labor relations act, and it's time that congress clarifies the law, reaffirms their self-determination. the bipartisan policy of economic development through self-determination has helped create economic opportunity in indian country. tribes across the country and in my home state of south dakota work daily to overcome the high rates of poverty and unemployment they face. they continue to develop their businesses and lands for the benefits of their people and their communities. the last thing that they need is to have the national labor relations board meddling in their economic development affairs when they're trying to make life better for the people that live in their communities. i urge my colleagues to support tribal sovereignty, support tribal governments and vote yes on this important legs.
with that i -- this important legislation. with that i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time. mr. scott: could the gentleman from tennessee let us know how many more speakers you have? mr. roe: we have several. seven, eight. mr. scott: we only have a couple so if you want, i'll reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from tennessee is recognized. mr. roe: i thank the speaker. at this point i'd like to recognize for two minutes mr. lamalfa from california. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. lamalfa: well, i thank you to the fine gentleman from tennessee. mr. speaker, i'm also pleased to be able to speak on this bill today. while this administration has been eager to recognize tribes, too often it fails to also recognize their sovereign rights, imposing onerous federal requirements on tribes' management and their livelihoods. my district is home to many recognized tribes. this rectifies a clear overreach yet again of this administration by rolling back
national labor relations board regulations that impose federal labor laws on tribal business locate on their own tribal land. never intended under the nlra. mr. speaker, sovereign status doesn't mean that tribes may manage their own affairs only now and then or only when administration chooses. it means tribes have a right to self-government in every aspect of their affairs. it's time that this house reaffirm its constitutional role defined in article 1, section 8 and lead the federal government in its relations with indian tribes, not this overreaching board. i yield back, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back his time. the gentleman from virginia. mr. scott: mr. speaker, i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia reserves his time. the gentleman from tennessee is recognized. mr. roe: i thank you, mr. speaker. at this time i'd like to take the opportunity to yield the floor for one minute, colonel russell, and thank you for your service to this great nation. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. russell: i thank the gentleman from tennessee and thank you, mr. speaker.
really, this whole matter and discussion is pretty simple. article 1, section 8, congress shall have the power to regulate commerce with foreign nations and among the several states and with the indian tribes. explicit language in the constitution that we all defend and that i've defended since i was 18. it is the purview of this congress, not the rule makers of the national labor relations board, to regulate commerce. this nation must continue to recognize the rights of indian tribal sovereignty, and this congress must uphold the constitution and sovereign treaties with those tribes. those opposed to this bill, mr. speaker, say that it will take away the rights of workers. as a representative from oklahoma, whose fifth district has more than 13% native american, our largest minority, our constituents know that the actions of the rule makers will take away the rights of
sovereign tribes. congress must restore these rights with passage of this bill. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. mr. scott: mr. speaker, i reserve. mr. roe: how much time do we have time for debate? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman has 17 minutes. 17 1/4. mr. roe: thank you, mr. speaker. at this time i yield one minute to mr. cramer from north dakota. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from north dakota is recognized. mr. cramer: thank you, mr. speaker. i thank the gentleman for yielding. mr. speaker, self-reliance and self-governance need to be more than liberal buzzwords if we're going to make a difference. if they're going to have any meaning at all. i find some of the comments of the opposition to be quite rich in contradiction. unfortunately, there's so much of the comments that president obama had this morning when he announced his opposition to this legislation. stating he could not support the bill unless tribal governments adopted his view. in other words, they have to be identical to his views in order
to have sovereignty. well, this isn't sovereignty at all. the president often likes to say that he honors and respects tribal sovereignty. in fact, i heard him say that he respects it as much as any president right while standing in the powwow grands in cannonball, north dakota, -- grounds in cannonball, north dakota, last summer. native american energy act, pipeline gas gathering bills have done the same thing, trying to give sovereignty where sovereignty is to be given and actually it is actually not given to them. it is held by them, and so i call on congress and president obama to respect the rights of tribes and pass this legislation into law and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. mr. scott: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from virginia yields -- reserves his time. the gentleman has seven minutes. the gentleman from tennessee. mr. roe: thank you, mr. speaker.
at this time i'd like to yield one minute to ms. lujan grisham from new mexico. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. lujan grisham: mr. speaker, i rise in support of the tribal labor sovereignty act which would clarify federal law, restore parity for tribal governments and protect tribal autonomy. as you heard today, tribes can regulate tribal enterprises according to their own culture, traditions and law. they have the right to regulate labor relations with their employees as a result, and i expect tribal governments to view this legislation in fact as an opportunity to strengthen their own worker protections. no worker, as you also heard today, should be without a voice or ability to petition their employer for stronger benefits or a better work environment. in fact, many tribes across the country and in new mexico have developed labor ordinances that in fact protect these rights. during negotiations at the 1999
tribal state gaming compact, indian tribes in california agreed to adopt the model tribal relations ordinance in order to strengthen worker protections. although this bill does not prevent similar tribal efforts to protect workers, i am disappointed that it doesn't do anything to promote stronger tribal labor practices. congress should provide tribes the resources they need to develop and implement labor laws and regulations at native american enterprises. employee protections around tribal autonomy are not opposing -- and tribal autonomy are not opposing values. thank you and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back her time. mr. scott: mr. speaker, i yield myself one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. scott: mr. speaker, i just wanted to read portions of the statement of administration policy, issued by the executive office of the president. the administration is deeply committed to the respecting the tribal sovereignty and maintaining government-to-government relationships with indian
tribes as well as protecting american workers and enforcing federal labor laws. the administration cannot support h.r. 511, the tribal labor sovereignty act of 2015, as currently drafted because it does not include the provisions as explained below. going on, the administration is encouraged by the efforts by some tribal efforts to find common ground when formulating compacts to operate casinos on tribal land under federal gaming regulatory act. the tribes have agreed to establish their own labor relations are policies. these compacts differ of what they have in common is they generally protect tribal self-governance while also ensuring that most casino workers retain important and effective labor rights. thus, it is possible to protect both the tribal sovereignty and workers' rights, and the administration can only support legislation that accomplishes that result. therefore, the administration can support a bill -- can support a bill which recognizes
tribal sovereignty in formulating labor relations law and exempt tribes from jurisdictions of the national labor relations board only if the tribes adopt labor standards and procedures applicable to tribes on land and operated -- commercial enterprises reasonably equivalent to those allowed in the national labor relations act. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back his time. the gentleman reserves his time. the gentleman from tennessee. mr. roe: i thank you, mr. speaker. and i guess what sovereignty means for an indian reservation, you can be sovereign as long as we can tell you what to do at this time i'd like to yield two minutes to mr. pearce from new mexico. has been a very active voice on this issue. the speaker pro tempore: the chair recognizes the distinguished gentleman from new mexico. mr. pearce: thank you, mr. speaker. and i thank the gentleman for yielding. h.r. 511, the tribal labor sovereignty act, says it all.
all we're trying to do is to provide native american tribes the sovereignty and autonomy they deserve, ensuring they have the same rights as other businesses off the reservation, and that they have the same standards as states and local governments. now, we heard on this floor from those who reject the bill, those who oppose it, that all we're after is decency, safety and pay. i'm from new mexico. i represent the tribes, and i will tell you we're falling far short of those objectives, of those who oppose the bill. many of the tribes are looking to get in their own businesses now, they want to compete off rizzer vation. they want o-- reservation. they want to put tribal members to work. but they're hamstrung by the national labor relations board which currently chooses on a case-by-case basis which tribes are regulated and which are not. they are dependent on the government to give them
permission. that's not what sovereignty sounds like in new mexico, and tribes across this country are rejecting the status quo saying, let us move forward. let us be in charge of our own destiny. we do not want to be responsible, we don't want to be wards of the government any longer, give us our freedom to compete and i see tribal companies that could compete easily if they're allowed to by this government. and just the phrase, being allowed to by this government, should hat chafes and chafe the native americans. the status quo, which is trying to provide decency, safety and pay, which is not doing that the confusion from some some being chosen and some that's not is one that needs to be overturned. h.r. 511 does it. i rise to support it and appreciate the gentleman's time. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from virginia. mr. scott: mr. speaker, i
reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from tennessee. mr. roe: thank you, mr. speaker. at this time i would like to yield two minutes to representative moore from wisconsin. ms. moore: i thank the gentleman for yielding. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized. ms. moore: mr. speaker, i rise today in strong support of h.r. 511. passed gress originally the national labor relations act in 1935, congress exempted federal, state and local governments from the definition of employer. . now what we have what we have seen is local units of government have allowed labor unions to develop and we have seen the growth and development of the middle class because labor unions have been in place. now, in where in the nlra are indian tribes mentioned. for nearly 60 years, 60 years
the nlrb treated tribes as local units of government. and the board declined to apply the nlra over tribal activities in indian country. owever, in 2004 the nlrb abruptly reversed course with the ruling asserting that the nlra does apply to tribal enterprises. the ruling comment that tribes would no longer be treated as local units of government. h.r. 511 is a narrow legislative fix that simply adds tribal governments to the list of other governments specifically excluded from the definition of employer in the nlra. this bill simply assures that the american indian tribes are treated with parity as are other local units of government. as a long time labor advocate, i support this bill because i believe in tribal sovereignty and i have seen tribes afford their workers good pay, good
health care benefits. i respect their sovereignty and respect them to do as our cities and our states do. sovereignty means respecting the individual authority and decisionmaking of our country's first nations and that is what h.r. 511 does. thank you, i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yield back. the gentleman from virginia. mr. scott: mr. speaker, i yield two minutes to the gentleman from wisconsin, mr. pocan. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. pocan: thank you, mr. speaker. i just wanted to stand because a few of the things we haven't heard on the other side of the aisle. i have heard a lot about sovereignty, but we have asked explicitly on the other areas osha, we have asked explicitly those aren't hy in here. if this is a sovereignty bill and not just an anti-labor bill. in fact, in the education and
work force committee, i don't think a month goes by, mr. speaker, we don't have a hearing attacking the national labor relations board and their actions or some other labor related activity. it happens as often as you could imagine, and yet here we are being told this is really about sovereignty but we don't engage in a debate about sovereignty. and what we have a problem is on the labor front what it means to working people and the hundreds of thousands of people, 700,000 people plus who lozz their rights if this were passed -- lose their rights if this were passed. one of the things that was said that's not correct is a number of the tribes have their own labor practices. here's the reality. according to labor and employment law in indian country, from 2011, a book specifically about labor law and tribes of the 567 federally recognized tribes, this is their words, few tribes have implemented labor ordnances other than right to work provisions to govern labor organizations and collective
bargaining. when you look at specific tribes, what's been passed are things all too often, unfortunately, things like right to work that take away the ability to have that collective bargaining right. if we are going to have this debate about sovereignty, let's talk about sovereignty, let's talk about funding for the bureau of indian affairs schools. let's talk about lifting some of those tax laws that make it harder for them to invest in renewable energy. let's talk about those laws and not just the ones you want to because this is like when i was a kid, when i had to take a pill it came in the middle of something sweet, you are trying to take something really bad, like taking away workers' rights, and putting it in a tribal bill because we support the tribes and we support the unions and you want to split that up. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman virginia tech for an additional one minute. mr. pocan: thank you. so the bottom line is we just want to have that debate. let's talk about sovereignty. but i am not hearing anything bout the other shoes that a --
issues that affect my district. i have had a good long relationship through my time in the legislature with these tribes. i fought on behalf of changing indian mascot names. i have fought on behalf of making sure they have spearfishing rights in the state of wisconsin. and the u.s. chamber and all those groups were never there. the u.s. chamber's only here because they want to go after workers' rights. this bill only here because you want to go after workers' rights. let's just be honest about it. if you want to have a debate on sovereignty, talk about the many issues we brought up. because that's not what this bill is about. i support tribal sovereignty. but i also support the many people who work in these facilities and we have to ensure that they still have the protections. i urge a no vote. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from tennessee is recognized. mr. roe: i thank you, mr. speaker. certainly what we are after here today are the rights of native americans whose rights have been
trampled on by this contry. we have had treaty after treasty that we have ignored -- treaty that we have ignored and maybe we can finally with this piece of legislation get one right here. at this point i'd like to recognize for five minutes my very good friend from indiana, the chairman of the subcommittee on early childhood and elementary and secondary education, mr. rokita. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for five minutes. mr. rokita: i thank the gentleman not only for the time but for his leadership on the committee and helping bring the bill to the point it is today. this bill, mr. speaker, is not a new product. it's been around for about 10 years, but it hasn't been as far as it's been today. that's a compliment to alt proponents of the bill. members like kristi noem who talked earlier and had this bill in the past. members like chairman john kline who has carried it in the past, all the way back to j.d. hayworth. we thank them all for getting us
here. i for one am a member who picked up this product and run with it to help get it here. been to 13 tribal communities this year alone understanding what the problems are with this activist department of labor and national labor relations board. and that's why this bill is so popular. that's why so many members have supported it in talking with nearly every member of this body. i expect, would ask for a strong vote today. for sovereignty, for parity. mr. speaker, the history is this. the national labor relations act was silent as to tribal communities when it -- in terms of being regulated as an employer. state governments, local governments were specifically exempted from the act. then because of an errant court decision along with an activist department of labor, we are in
this position where the jurisdiction of tribal communities under the act has now been i vented. this bill -- been invented. this bill corrects that and says in no uncertain terms in three pages that tribal communities are to be exempted from the act. if they are to be sovereign. so all we are asking for is parity with state and local government. let me give you an example, let's say you have a municipal owned and operated golf course in your community and that municipality, if it was a state government, didn't want to have union activities t wrote its own set of rules for its employees, that would be fine under the act. by not allowing the very same right or luxury to a tribal government, we are treating them unlike other state and local governments. that's why in this context they are not sovereign. that's why this bill is needed. now, the gentleman from
wisconsin who just spoke reminds us that there are agencies in this bill that aren't covered. and i would say to him, what a great idea. what a great idea for tribal labor sovereignty act two. but the logic that just because every agency isn't covered under what was only meant to cover the nlra somehow negates the good that this bill does, the right answer that comes with a yes vote. is ridiculous. just because it doesn't do everything doesn't mean you can't do anything. i would say to my members -- to the members of this body on that fact alone you should vote yes. now, it's also true that many tribal communities have unions. many tribal communities have rules that govern their labor. and employees. and those who want to oppose this bill in my estimation, mr.
speaker, simply want to insert their judgment, their bias for their preferred rule or their preferred union in place of duly elected members of a tribal government. and so i would say to those opponents, what makes you smarter than the people who elect the tribal government? what makes you better and your judgment superior to those that have been duly elected in -- by the members of a tribal nation? the fact of the matter is the arguments that have been made by the opposition do not apply to what is right here. and the right thing is, in asking ourselves, our tribal community is sovereign or are they not? should they at least be on parity with state and local governments or should they not? and i would say, mr. speaker, to every member here, republican
and democrat and i have to remind everyone this is a bipartisan bill. we just had two democrat members speak in favor of this bill. if you want to do what's right, if you believe in the sovereignty of tribal communities, if you believe they should at least have the same parity, judgment, and authority state and local governments do, then you should vote yes on h.r. 511. i urge all members to do that, republican and democrat. thank you, mr. speaker. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from virginia. mr. scott: thank you, mr. speaker. is the gentleman prepared to close? mr. roe: yes, i'm prepared to close. mr. scott: i yield my southwest balance of the time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. scott: thank you, mr. speaker. we have heard about the fact that the national labor relations act is silent. that's true but in terms of laws of general application, they are applied to tribes based on the balancing test, the courts applied that test.
that test is half a century old. nd the activists nlrb that led in 2004 was during the george w. bush administration. so we don't know how activist they could be interpreted, but there are a lot of laws that we found and been discussed that apply to tribes like the fair labor standards act, osha, erisa. they have to withhold taxes. have to pay their employer share of social security and medicare. and on and on the criminal laws on and on. laws of general application. so, mr. speaker, finally just i make the quote from a letter from international labor office, bureau of international -- basically talking about the
obligations we have, international labor obligations we have and they say that while elements of indigenous people sovereignty have been invoked by the proponents of this bill, the central question revolves around the manner in which the united states government can best assure throughout its territory the full application of the fundamental principles of freedom of association and collective bargaining. from an i.l.o. perspective while the variety of mechanisms for ensuring freedom of association and collective bargaining rights may differ depending on the distinct atorial considerations or devolution of labor competence, it is critical that the state, the national authority, takes ultimate responsibility for ensuring respect for freedom of association and collective bargaining throughout its territory. given the serns that you have raised, it is -- concerns that you have raised, it would be critically important that at the very least a exe tent, legal, and comparative reef-e review be
undertaken to ensure all rights for the full protection of internationally recognized freedom of asocial yeas rights are available to all workers on tribal lands. in the absence of such assurances, it would appear likely that the exclusion of certain workers from the nlra and its mechanisms would give rise to a failure to ensure of e workers, their freedom association rights and would be in violation of the i.l.o. mr. speaker, this isn't about labor rights. this is about whether or not we are going to fulfill our obligations under the international labor organization as a government. it subscribes to those. finally, spreebling, -- mr. speaker, i would like to introduce the full letter from the i.l.o. and several other letters in opposition to the legislation. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. scott: also, the statement
of administration policy. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. scott: with that i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from tennessee is recognized. r. row: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. roe: thank you, mr. speaker. i want to thank mr. scott for working with me on this. policymakers on both sides of the aisle have long agreed on the importance of protecting sovereignty of native american tribes. today we have an opportunity to provide, to prove that we are committed to that bipartisan goal. in my packet here, i have literally page after page of tribes that have supported this piece of legislation. to me, being sovereign means you're able to make your own decisions. and what we're seeing the nlrb do is nibble away a little bit at a time the authority that the local tribes have over local matters. the political job i had before i
came to congress was being mayor of a city. i had more rights than the native americans. let me say that, native americans, who occupied this land, many of them in my district, the cherokee nation. the tribal labor sovereignty act of 2015 is a simple, commonsense measure, but it means a great deal particularly to those in the native american community. as tribal lead verse said this bill will prevent unnecessary and unproductive overreach into tribal afares. it will empower tribal governments to make decisions that are in the best for their people and ensure that the federal government honors and respects the sovereignty of the tribal nations. just as importantly, it shows that we're serious about honoring commit. s and making good on promises we've made to native americans and broken many, many, many times. i urge my colleagues to vote yes
on h.r. 51 and mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: all time for debate has expired. pursuant to house resolution 526, the previous question is ordered on the bill as amended. the question is on engrossment and third reading. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it, third reading. the clerk: a bill to clarify the rights of indians and inian tribes on indian lands under the national labor relations act. the speaker pro tempore: the question is on passage of the bill. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, the ayes have it. the gentleman from tennessee. mr. roe: mr. speaker, i request a recorded vote, please. the speaker pro tempore: does the gentleman request the yeas and nays? mr. roe: yes. the speaker pro tempore: the yeas and nays are requested. those favor a vote by the yeas and nays will rise. a sufficient number having risen, the yeas and nays are
ordered. further proceedings on this uestion will be postponed. for what purpose does the gentleman from minnesota seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, pursuant to house resolution 526, i offer a motion. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title. the clerk: mr. kline of minnesota moves that the house insist on its amendment to senate 1177 and request a conference with the senate thereon. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from minnesota is recognized for one hour. mr. kline: mr. speaker, this motion to authorize a conference on s. 1177, this bill with the house amendment helps improve elementary and secondary education in the nation. mr. speaker, i yield back the balance of my time and i move the previous question on the motion. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. without objection, the previous question is ordered. the question is on the motion. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. the ayes have it. the motion is adopted. without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table.
without objection the chair appoints the following conferees on s. 1177. he clerk: mr. kline, ms. foxx, messers roe of tennessee, thompson of pennsylvania, guthrie, rokita, messer, russell, curbelo of florida, scott of virginia, mrs. davis of california, ms. fudge, mr. florida, ms. of bonamici and ms. clarke of massachusetts. -- ms. clark of massachusetts. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20 the unfinished business is the vote on the passage of h.r. 511. the clerk: h.r. 511 a bill to similar fi the rights of indians and indian tribes on indian lands under the national labor relations act.
the speaker pro tempore: the question is on passage of the bill. members will record their votes by electronic device. this will be 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.]
members please take your onversations from the floor. pursuant to clause 8 of rule 20, the chair will postpone further proceedings today on which a recorded vote or the yeas and nays are ordered or on which a vote incurs objection under clause 6 of rule 20. any record votes on postponed questions will be taken later. for what purpose does the gentleman from texas seek recognition? without objection. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> i move that the house suspend the rules and pass house resolution 524 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the resolution.
the clerk: house resolution 524, resolution condemning in the strongest terms the terrorist attacks in paris, france, on november 13, 2015, that related in a loss -- in the loss of at least 129 lives. the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. members will remove onversations from the floor. pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from california, mr. royce, and the gentleman from new york, mr. engel, will each control 20 minutes this echair recognizes the gentleman from california. mr. royce: i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and to include extraneous material on this resolution. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. royce: thank you, mr. speaker. now i'll yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. royce: mr. speaker, i rise today in support of house resolution 524, condemning the
series of terrorist attacks in france carried out by islamist extremists last week. it was just after 9:00 p.m. on friday, november 13, when a night of terror fell over paris, france. that's when isis launched three waves of terrorist attacks on the french capital, killing at least 129 people and wounding more than 350 others. at least one american, noemi gonzalez of long beach, was killed in the attacks while several more were injured. the first wave involved three at the state de france, where thousands including the french president
were watching soccer. other attacks were in an area known for the night life of paris. a suicide bomber blew himself up on a nearby street. and the third wave involved a bataclan ing at the musicic hall where an american rock band was playing music. the attackers took theater attendees hostage and started to systematically shoot members of the audience and they detonated suicide vests as the police launched an assault on the theater. this is where most of the killing that night took place. in claiming responsibility for the attacks, isis called them, the first storm. the paris attacks came a day after isis carried out a double suicide bombing in beirut, lebanon, and two weeks after
they claimed responsibility for downing a russian passenger jet in egypt's sinai penslasm indeed, u.s. officials, including the c.i.a. director, have warned that these three attacks demonstrate a commitment by isis to conduct attacks outside of syria and iraq, reaching further and further from their home base. and yesterday, isis released a video threatening attacks here on washington, d.c. which u.s. counterterrorism officials are taking seriously. mr. speaker, there are no words we can say today that will comfort the families and friends of the 129 people murdered in these terrorist attacks. the victims included parisians from every walk of life. and there are no words strong enough to condemn these terrorists and their radical ideology. isis is waging war on anyone who
disagrees with their violent world view and frankly, they view everyone else as apostates to be killed. alarmingly, they're fighting -- their fighting force continues to grow, thanks in part to a steady stream of foreign recruits, more than 30,000 fight verse made it to syria and iraq from more than 100 countries. of those, it is estimated that more than 4,000 -- more than 4,500 hold western passports with more than 250 americans among them. diaspora is a plane ride from europe and the united states. this resolution put the house on record as condemning in the strongest terms possible the paris attack and extends the sympathy of every american to those affected by this tragedy. it reaffirms our support for
france, america's sister republic, our oldest ally, this is a time to not just express sorrow for those killed but also a time to show resolve in this fight. our intelligence sharing with allies, already strong, will need to get sharper. border checks will need to be improved. online recruitment of terrorists need to be checked. and coalition efforts to destroy isis will need to be stepped up. i urge all members to support this resolution and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from new york. mr. engel: i rise in support of this measure and yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. engel: i first of all would like to associate myself with the remarks of our chairman, chairman royce. i think that all of us share the horror of what happened in paris
just a few short days ago. like so many around the world, we're heart broken, we're outraged, we're stunned. the perpetrators of these brutal and brazen attacks in paris are our enemies, just as they are the enemies of the people of france. we must remain vigilant in the face of this challenge. terrorists, mr. speaker, want to make their enemies live their lives in fear and retreat from the freedom which underpins our society but i think the fanatic responsible for this attack underestimate the french people. across the centuries, paris and france have seen far worse a bloody revolution, the darkest kays of two world wars, a nazi occupation that marched columns german trumes beneath the rche de triompe. they emerged stronger and more committed to the values of
freedom, equality and fraternity. the people of france will endure and the city of light will shine even brighter. last week's attack were an atrocity but they won't break the spirit of the french people. as france grieves and moves forward, the united states will be standing shoulder to shoulder alongside our oldest ally in friendship and solidarity. but let's be clear. friendship and solidarity aren't all that's needed in the wake of these attacks. what's needed is clarity, resolve, and action. clearly isis is an enemy that must be defeated system of we need to ramp up our information sharing and intelligence efforts with our allies and partners to figure out how isis orchestrated this plot a tond prevent future attacks. we need to keep pushing for a resolution to syria's civil war which has created the conditions for isis to flourish. we need to increase our support for those on the ground in syria
and iraq that are already fighting isis so that they can keep building on their recent successes. we need to stem the flow of foreign fighters traveling to the middle east to join the ranks of isis and figure out how to counter the radicalization of vulnerable populations. and we need to bring to justice those responsible for the paris attacks to send a clear, strong message that murder and terrorism will never go unanswered. these terrorists, they're not religious people. they're fascists. they think they can use terror to further their political ends. they won't succeed. this resolution conveys our deepest condolences to the french people, just as importantly, it shows that the united states stands ready to assist france in its time of need and to respond to the growing threat of isis. i urge all my colleagues to la, t this measure, viva
-- la france. mr. royce: i yield to mr. rohrabacher. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. rohrabacher: i thank chairman royce and ranking member engel for the great leadership they are providing in this great moment in our history. what we are witnessing is an attack on western civilization. radical islamic terrorists are seeking to terrorize the west into a retreat. we fought and defeated an evil ideology that would have implanted a dictatorship on the world not that long ago. we defeated that evil force, communism, just as we defeated naziism. today the west again is confronted with an evil force that would threaten the world. again, america must stand tall
and we must provide the leadership to save mankind from this evil threat. we will defeat radical islamic terrorism. we are americans. we will lead the way. we say to the people of france at this moment of suffering, lafayette, we are here. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from new york. mr. engel: it's my pleasure to yield two minutes to the gentleman from california, mr. schiff, ranking member of the house intelligence committee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for two minutes. mr. schiff: as co-chair of the house's-france caucus. i rise with a heavy heart. the terrorist attacks were a savage attempt to shake the foundations of the civilized world, the victims, families and loved ones are in our thoughts and in our hearts and we send them our deepest condolences in this enormously difficult time.
the indiscriminate brutality has shocked the con -- conscience of people around the world. the forces of isil cannot extinguish the city of lights and not reap the panic acknowledge and fear they are attempting to sow. we stand with france today as a partner, friend and an ally. we will confront this evil together and in the names of all of those who suffered at the hands of isil, we will defeat it. violence, intolerance and epression are no match for liberte. i stand today in solidarity with the people of france and the people of all nations who would choose freedom over tyranny. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from california. mr. royce: i yield one minute to
the gentleman from ohio, mr. latta. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. latta: mr. speaker, as co-chairman of the congressional french caucus, i extend my heartfelt condolences to the victims in paris to their entire as we mourn the loss of innocent lives. we are unified in our dedication to the protection and dedication of liberty and committed to ensuring those who perpetrated these attacks are brought to justice. isis poses a clear and present danger to the united states and to our allies across the world. there are threats to all those who promote freedom. our strength is in our solidarity. the united states and our allies including those in nato must stand together to defeat this threat and ensure the security of freedom to freedom-loving people across the world. i urge passage of the
resolution. i thank the chairman. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from new york. mr. engel: thank you, mr. chairman. i now yield one minute to the gentleman from virginia, a very well-respected member of the foreign affairs committee, mr. connellly. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for one minute. mr. connolly: i rise today to condemn the november 13 attacks in paris. this is a time of mourning for families who lost their loved ones. let's reflect on the lives that was -- were cut throat and bring to justice those responsible. the extremists who carried out those attacks wounded a great nation and ally. from the liberation of paris, our countries have a special bond forged in the darkest hours. the full measure of our creation is owed to the people of france and we must come to their aid
and must act not out of fear but the ence but we have the safety and those societies are worth preserving. it is in this manner that a liberated paris will endure and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from california. mr. royce: i yield one minute to the gentleman from mississippi. >> our prayers go out to the families whose loved ones were murdered in the violent acts. these are attacks on innocent people by islamic terrorists, recruited, trained equipped by people known as isis. these are our enemies. they may be difficult to know but not impossible to defeat. we will defeat them. i commend the french president for calling this what it is, an act of war.
this is indeed a war, declared on western civilization and in fact all of civilization by islamic terrorists who were consumed with pure evil that they pleeved the slaughter of innocence is the path to paradise. we will never give up on this war. france is the oldest ally of the united states. in fact, a portrait of lafayette whose assistance was intgral to the birth of this nation is in this chamber. if france is at war, the united states must be at war as well. i condemn islamic terrorists around the world and pledge commitment to our french brothers and sisters. and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from new york. mr. engel: i yield to the the gentlewoman from texas, ms. jackson lee. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized for three minutes.
ms. jackson lee: let me thank the gentleman from new york and the gentleman from california. and i think many of us will come to the floor and emphasize that we stand with both mr. royce and very gel for -- their strong statement to stand with the people of france. my heart cried, my soul was disturbed as the video began to unfold, the most heinous acts of attacking innocent persons, persons who had gone to a stadium to be with friends and relatives, maybe fathers with young sons, maybe families with two or three or four children, maybe brothers and sisters, as was noted by one of the soccer players, whose sister was lost, would come to see him play. maybe as the beautiful young woman from california experiencing her dreams, a beautiful designer.
i pay tribute to her courage and inspiration, just was enjoying the culture of france in the beautiful outdoor cafes that many travel to france just to experience. she lost her life. a beautiful flower of someone that america can be proud of who was going to be a young lady who would attain her dreams. they didn't care about that. all they cared about was the vial violence of killing. and so i am very much in solidarity as we move forward to isis to and tolerate continue their violent ways. i want peace, mr. speaker. all of us want peace, but isil must be eliminated. and we must do things differently here in this
country. we have been vigilant. we have changed our ways since 9/11. do some things, say something. we must act not out of fear but of rational thought and we must deal with the radicalization of young people and in the efforts of the administration countering violent terrorism, extreme has been leading communities letting them know if they see something, they must say something. we must question vulnerabilities in airports and large venues, not be shameful of enhancing security but recognizing our values of democracy, freedom and access are very important. and i think we can do that. we did it after 9/11 with the u.s.a. patriot act and we continue to do it. it is our heritage to be free and have a democratic process
and our friends who first established democracy that we follow here in the united states. so to the people of france, we know that you will act, but we ask you to be mindful of the wonderful leadership that you have given of democracy and freedom and the tenets of liberty. it is not free. but it is important to acknowledge the horrible and outrageous and heinous acts. i rise in support of h.res. 524 nd i call upon america to be diligent and vigilant but not to act in fear. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back. the gentleman from california. mrs. wagner: mr. speaker, i rise to support house resolution 524. like all americans, i was shocked and saddened by the terrorist attacks in paris, france. as americans, we must stand
united with the people of france. the stories of innocent civilians being slaughtered on the streets of paris serve stark remind rs that we must do everything in our power to prevent this type of attack from occurring in the united states of america. investigations reveal that one of the terrorists entered europe with migrants fleeing the civil war. in light of these reports, it is essential that we pause the process of refugees coming into the united states. mr. speaker, the attacks in paris show the danger of open borders policy and the united states must not allow them in our country without exhaustive security screening. my district have a long and admirable track record of refugees fleeing war and turmoil. the safety and security of the american people must always be
our number one priority. we mourn with our brothers and sisters of france. [speaking french] . the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york. mr. engel: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california. mr. royce: i yield to mr. messer. mr. messer: i rise today to express my prayers and deepest sympathies to the people of paris. as americans, we share in the shock, the horror and the tremendous sense of loss you now feel following the ruthless, unprovoked terrorist attack against your great country. we stand with you against isis and in defense of our shared values of freedom, liberty and equality under the law. mr. speaker, the world needs america toe lead with clarity and resolve in the fight against
terror. contrary to the president's assertion that isis is contained. the world now knows they are not. hope is not a strategy in defeating terror. isis has openly declared war on america, france and our very way of life. we must respond. this is a war. and america needs to lead defeating isis before it's too late. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york. mr. engel: continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california. mr. royce: i yield one minute to the gentleman from florida, mr. yoho. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. yoho: mr. speaker, i want to express mine, my family's and country's thoughts and sympathies in your loss and in your pain. i'm here to stand in solidarity with the french people, france
and all the people and families around the world who lost loved ones. this is not just an act or an attack on france and innocent people, but people in the western and all of societies that love peace, liberty, freedom and value human life. people who believe that the rights come from a creator, that we are free to determine the life we choose to live in a civil society, not forced to choose a life from the dark ages at the barrel of a gun or live in the threat of terrorism. i applaud french president hollande in his rapid response and support his words that this will be a merslyless response. may the terrorists and reistl isil's presence on this earth be hort and i yield back.
. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from new york. mr. engel: i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california. mr. royce: i reserve the right to close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york. mr. engel: all right, then, mr. speaker, i yield myself as much time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. engel: for the purpose of closing. thank you. make no mistake, as we've heard from our colleagues on both sides of the aisle, that the united states grieves with france after these horrible attacks. the united states stands ready to assist france in its time of need. but we must look toward the root causes of the atrocity and direct our resolve toward defeating the growing threat i have sis. this includes -- of eye sills. this includes -- of isis. this includes intelligence and communication collaboration with our allies and partners. this includes finding a diplomatic solution to the syrian civil war. this includes addressing the refugee crisis and the separate grievances and risks that this humanitarian crisis breeds. and this includes stemming isis' recruitment and radicalization efforts of
disillusioned westerners to join their ranks. we must address the complex and multifaceted layers that contribute to the paris attacks, all while bringing those responsible to justice. we must send a clear and very loud message that international terrorism will not go unanswered. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from california reserves his time to close? mr. royce: i'll continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york. mr. engel: thank you. it's my pleasure now to yield three minutes to the gentleman from maryland, mr. hoyer, our democratic whip. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from maryland is recognized for three minutes. mr. hoyer: thank you, mr. speaker. i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. hoyer: i want to thank the chairman. and the ranking member. for bringing this resolution to
the floor. it is sad that we bring this resolution to the floor and it is sad that too often we see the results of terrorism around the world. mr. speaker, i rise in strong support, as i think all members will, of this resolution expressing congress' solidarity with the people of paris. and all of france after friday's terror attacks. america knows that paris is the city of light. very day evening, 129 bright, vibrant lights were suddenly extinguished. leaving a dark void in the heart of the city and in the hearts of millions across france, america and the world. our flag on this capitol stands
at half-staff in memory of those 129 souls. as we mourn them, pray for their families and offer our aid to the wounded, we stand ith a firm resolve to deny the perpetrators a chance to instill in us that which they seek, fear. these attacks were carried out by individuals who follow a hopeless ideology, who look with awe to a twisted image of the past, because they are blind to the better future the rest of us can envision. without a belief in tomorrow, there is only fear and the acts of coward ist it inspires -- cowardice it inspires. but the french republic and the american republic were neither born in fear nor do we live in
fear. we were born in hope and in courage. we were born looking forward and both our nations were founded upon the same ideals of liberty, democracy, individual rights espoused by jefferson nd others. the markey -- marquee is the only substantial painting other an the father of our nation, george washington, to be pictured in this hall of democracy. in this hall of free people. , as france ench
stood with us for freedom, for equality, and yes, for fraternity, brotherhood between us and them. mr. engel: i yield the gentleman another minute. mr. hoyer: behind me -- and across the river from the eiffel tower, in the middle of a major traffic circle in paris, one could see a majestic statue of his brother in harms -- arms, george washington. raising his sword high in a triumphant absolute. -- salute. they suffered hunger and cold at valley forge to help secure for the american people our freedom. generations later, american rangers scaled the cliffs to help the people of france regain thrares. our history -- theirs. our history binds us together. so does our future. and that's because we believe in tomorrow. ever hopeful, we believe that
the unknown, which lies ahead, can shape our hands into a better world than one we know today. that's what sets us apart from our enemies. that's why those who perpetrated friday's attack will never, never, never win. it is why no matter what historians in the future call isis or isil or dash -- one minute. i thank the gentleman. it's why no matter what historians in the future call us -- call isis or isil or dash , they will surely be using only the past tense. and it's why the people of france and america and all who cherish the freedom to think, to speak, to worship, and to strive for a better tomorrow .ust stand together
as we have before. and shine the bright light of our values and our principles nto the darkins we confront. we are all french today. it will not be quick. it will not be easy. it will test our resolve. and it will test our will. but with lafayette watching over us in this house, and with george washington standing guard over the city of paris, and with lady liberty holding her torch high, surely france and america and all those who love liberty and justice throughout the world will continue to cast the light of
hope and strength and freedom for our world. may god bless our french brothers and sisters. we send them our sympathy and we pledge them our resolve. and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from california. mr. royce: i'll reserve the right to close. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from new york. mr. engel: thank you, mr. speaker. let me just say in closing, we've heard empationed -- impassioned speeches from all of our colleagues on both sides of the aisle. this is certainly something with which we agree. certainly something that the congress needs to send a very, very strong message, that terrorism will never triumph, that we have a resolve here in america to join with our friends around the world, to stop the scourge of terrorism. we stand with the people of france in these very, very troubling times. with that i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from california.
mr. royce: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. royce: mr. speaker, our hearts go out to the people of paris. i want to thank my colleague, mr. engel, who worked to make sure that we brought this resolution to the floor today, working together so that we in this congress speak with one voice, speak with one voice , the the attack on france foundation, the heart of europe, the heart of the enlightenment, the heart of the concept of freedom and liberty and equality under the law, which animated so much of the thinking of civilization itself. and indeed it's an attack on that civilization. it is an attack on those freedoms, the freedom of religion, the freedom of speech, that the freedom of assembly and democracy that are
so closely held by us here in the united states and by our original ally, france, in our own effort to achieve the dream of that freedom. it is that freedom that is under assault. and the unfortunate reality is that these attacks in paris are indicative of a resurgent to orism that is continuing build. i mentioned that there were some 30,000 fighters, well, those fighters, my friends, came from all over the world. came from across the globe on a virtual caliphate called the internet. in order to join islamic state, in order to join what they call their caliphate. and the intent of their caliphate is to put an end to
the freedom that is enjoyed by those that they consider apostates, the freedom enjoyed by civilization itself. and the great sorrow that we express here today on this floor is over the fact that of those young people murdered and maimed in this attack, the vast majority of them are under 30 years of age. they had their whole life live -- lives ahead of them. when they were targeted. civil yabs -- civilians targeted for this kind of mayhem. and the resolve we show with our brothers and sisters in france is a resolve that freedom will be the rallying cry, civilization will be the test, freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly under democracy, those
are the rights of civilized people. and those who bring mr. barrow:ism -- bring barbarism and attack the institutions and attack the civilians are the threat to that civilization. and we reaffirm our support for france and we reaffirm our support for the french government and the words and the actions that they have taken in the wake of this attack. and, yes, here in this chamber we have lafayette's portrait. and he said at the end of that war of independence, and this is why his portrait is here, he said to us, humanity has now won its battle. liberty has a country. and after we achieved our freedom, france went on to achieve their freedom. but now liberty is under assault. and that's why today we bring
this resolution to the floor of this house to say that america must continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with the french in their fight against tyranny, in their fight against this terror , and in the hope that this will give an example to the rest of the world in standing up to isis and to make certain that our basic liberties are protected around this world. david g to quote petrino who recently gave -- petreus who recently gave us these remarks. he said, syria is a geopolitical chernobyl. he said, it's like a nuclear disaster. the fallout from the meltdown of syria threatens to be with us for decades. and the longer it is permitted to continue, the more severe the damage will be.
you know, we've had this relationship tested many times. france has had its relationship with us tested many times. tonight, we stand together with france in our commitment to see this through and to make certain that isis is not merely contained, to make certain that isis is ultimately destroyed. . the speaker pro tempore: the question is will the house suspend the rules house resolution 324, 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 resolution is agreed to and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. the chair lays before the house the following enrolled bill. the clerk: senate 1356, an act to authorize appropriations for fiscal year 2016 for military activities of the department of defense, for military construction and for defense activities of the department of
energy, to prescribe military personnel strength for such fiscal year and for other purposes. the eaker pro tempore: chair lays before the house the following personal requests. the clerk: leave of absence requested for ms. ros-lehtinen of florida for today. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the request s granted. pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the chair declares the house in recess subject to
i will sign later today requires the president to come with a plan for defeating isis, not just containing, but defeating isis. a containment plan is not enough. that has failed. in addition, the majority leader and our committee chairs are develop plang to address the syrian refugee crisis. our nation has always been welcoming, but we cannot let terrorists take advantage of our compassion. this is a moment where it's better to be safe than to be sorry. so we think the prudent, the responsible thing is to take a pause in this particular aspect of this refugee program in order to verify that terrorists are not trying to infiltrate the refugee population. in the end, the ultimate solution to this crisis is a strategy to defeat isis. all of this rises above politics. this is not about politics. this is about national security. and so we will invite all of
our colleagues, republicans and democrats, to work with us quickly to address the urgent ature of this situation. mr. mccarthy: i would like to add to the condolences from the house to the innocent victims of paris. they were attacked because of their way of life. as we watch now around the world. the speaker's correct. this is not a time to find containment. it's a time to defeat isis. that's why when the speaker and spoke this weekend, we put together a task force. it is a task force made up of the chairmen on counterterrorism and homeland scumplete it's made up of armed service appropriations, intel, homeland, judiciary and foreign affairs. we've been coming up with short-term and long-term solutions. this is not something that we can solve overnight. but there are issues right before us. when it comes to the refugees.
we realize what has happened in paris, we realize we want our homeland to be secure. the speaker has challenged to us come up with legislation starting this week to deal with the issue as we go forward. we'll find a series of bills that not only in the ndaa ask the president to come up with a strategy to defeat isis, but a series of bills to protect our homeland as we move forward. mr. scalise: as the people of france are grieving, we stand with them in grief. they've seen attacks from terrorists on their soil, we've seen it on our soil. we grieve with the people of france. i think it underscores even more importantly how vigilant we have to be in establishing a real plan to go and root out and take on eye sills. in a broader way -- isis.
in a broader way. i would like to see the president have a stronger plan and a new plan to take on isis and to confront this threat as they are saying that they're going to exploit these refugee programs. we ought to take them seriously in that threat. as they're saying they want to attack america. we ought to take them seriously. that threat. i was in greece just a few months ago, meeting with some of our military leaders who were on the front lines. as they confirmed to us, as they're seeing thousands of refugees coming in, being distributed throughout europe, the plans to vet just don't exist. you're seeing the president say he wants to bring 10,000 more refugees into america. his own leaders are saying that there is no ability right now to vet that there are not terrorists infiltrating these refugee plans. so i think the american people are concerned as well as we are about making sure that these refugee programs are not exploited by terrorist organizations and the president ought to join with us and make
sure that does not happen. and until it's certified that it's not happening, discontinue this plan. mr. rogers: last friday the world -- mrs. mcmorris rodgers: last friday the world witnessed another unspeakable act against civilization and the people of paris. and our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the victims and their families. on behalf of the american people and our allies, we must finally rise to the challenge. working alongside our international partners, we must provide the leadership and the commitment necessary to destroy sis and halt al-assad's mass atrocities. these are the causes of the world's most serious terrorist threat and most significant refugee crisis since world war ii. it is time for a real commitment. and the courage and the resolve from our president. it is time for leadership. we must be articulating that broader strategy to the nation and to our allies and then we
must actually follow through on t. >> my thoughts and prayers are also with the people of paris and the families worldwide affected by this horrific tragedy. the united states must continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with france and our allies in the face of this radical islamic terrorism. mr. jenkins: there is no more important -- ms. jenkins: there is no important duty than protecting american lives at home and abroad. nations have always looked to america for leadership. america must lead. that is why congress passed the national defense authorization act with overwhelming bipartisan support. this defense bill will give our military the tools they need to combat the spread of terrorism. we must act swiftly and
effectively to help ensure the continued safety of americans everywhere. it's up to us in america to show a path forward as we fight for a safer world for our kids to grow up in. ms. mcsally: good morning. i serve on the armed services and the homeland security committee. prior to being in congress, i was in the military for 26 years. as our colleagues in leadership said, our thoughts and prayers are with the people of paris and france. for these horrific attacks that happened last week. but it could have happened here. i had the privilege to be appointed to a task force on combating the flow of foreign fighters and terrorist travel. for six months this bipartisan task force looked at this very threat. what we know of is 30,000 individuals that have traveled from over 100 countries to iraq and syria. we know over 4,000 are from western and visa waiver countries, 250 from america. those are the ones that we know of. we realize there are so many that we don't know of.
law enforcement has investigations in every single state right now. and we found 32 findings in our report that we released in september after six months. this administration needs to step up. we do not have a strategy. we do not have a focus. there are over 200,000 social media tweets and posts per day by isis in a very sophisticated social media campaign. they are acting as the speed of broadband while we are acting at the speed of bureaucracy. we need a strategy. that includes unleashing american air power in a way that can actually crush and defeat them in iraq and syria. a broader strategy diplomatically and militarily for the dozens of countries that we're seeing isis presence in, stopping the flow of foreign fighters and encountering the radical extremism that we're seeing happening in our own neighborhoods. we have less than two dozen people focused on countering this extremism in america. we have 10,000 i.r.s. agents make sugar that you don't take any -- making sure that you don't take an improper charity deduction. it's time for this
administration to step up its game, take this seriously, it is a generational conflict. and we must lead now more than ever. thank you. mr. ryan: questions? reporter: you said this is an act of war. -- [inaudible] -- are you talking about an actual declaration -- mr. ryan: i think isis showed that they're going to -- they are committing an act of war against the west. what else do you call what they did in paris? reporter: what should be the congressional response? i guess what you're talking about -- mr. ryan: if you're talking about aumf, that's a different question. we have the authority right now under the existing aumf and we'll revisit all of these issues later. look, the way we look at this issue is, number one, right in front of us is the fact that we have a refugee situation that we think requires a pause and a more comprehensive assessment on how to better guarantee that members of isis are not infiltrating themselves among the refugee population. then -- but please know, this
isn't just about refugees. this is what congresswoman mcsally said, this is about having a comprehensive strategy to deal with isis, by defeating isis. that's what we do not have. the bill we are sending to the white house today -- this week, the defense authorization bill, requires that the president have a comprehensive plan to defeat and eliminate isis. containing isis is not enough. defeating isis is what is necessary and we do not have that comprehensive plan in place. reporter: can you be clear on what you're calling for in the pause to the refugee program? the entire refugee program? mr. ryan: we're talking about -- let me say this. the american refugee laws are important laws. it's important that we have a refugee system in place. we respect that. but we think it's simply prudent that for this particular program, in this particular situation, that we be better guarded against any possible infiltration of isis coming through this program. that is why we think it's necessary to have a pause and
to have a more comprehensive strategy dealing with guaranteeing that we do not allow isis members coming here. so just to finish answering your question, this is what the majority leader's working group is coming up with. we've assembled a task force starting saturday to consider legislation as quickly as possible and we'll be back in touch as we make our conclusions this week. reporter: one of the ways in which isis is successful is they're able to hold ground. we've had limited success with man power on the ground and overtaking isis strong holds. do you think part of this comprehensive strategy should entertain the possibility of u.s. combat troops on the ground? mr. ryan: i do not think any option should be taken off the table. i think all options should be placed on the table and i think the commander in chief, this is his duty and responsibility, should come up with a plan that accomplishes the goal of defeating isis. reporter: you want to pause the program until you can verify -- mr. ryan: our task force is
considering legislation while we speak, we're mighting -- meeting every day and we will bring legislation forward and we'll give you the answer to those questions when we have ade our conclusions. reporter: [inaudible] mr. ryan: redon't want to wait that lofpblgt we want to work and act on this faster than that. we will be having an intelligence briefing for our members this evening. the intelligence committee will be briefing all of the members of the house at 5:30 this evening so that members have the kinds of facts that we need as the situation unfolds. thank you very much, everybody. appreciate it. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2015] >> house democrats also held a briefing with reporters earlier today. they focused on immigration policy and they urged republicans to take up legislation as soon as possible. they also spoke about the syrian refugee problem and statements by certain u.s. governors who said that their states will not accept any refugees due to the threats posed by isis. this is about 40 minutes.
mr. becerra: good morning to everyone. chairman of the house democratic caucus. we just had a well attended caucus meeting with secretary s health and human services burwell with us, we had presentations by several of our colleagues on legislation. i'm joined by leader nancy pelosi, assistant leader jim clyburn, vice chairman joe owley, chairman lujan, and we're going to be joined shortly we hope by an individual who can speak directly to some of the issues that we'll be discussion here, ms. dominguez. i want to begin by just acknowledging that, in a time of you to multi, it is important for us to -- you to multi, it is important for to important t, it is
for us to convey to all the people in france our solidarity with them and our prayers and thoughts that we extend to the families and the victims from this past week's terrorist attack in paris, france. like france, we hold up the work that we do in this country to preserve freedom, we cherish our democracy, and we do everything we can to make in the land of the free, to make it a place where people will find home. and because we're a nation of immigrants, we make it very clear that if you come to work and build this country, you have a home. , in line with our history and our principle of being a nation of immigrants, we look at the system that we have in place today for immigration and we see that our immigration system is broken. in so many ways. and it is time to fix it. it is interesting, at a time
when our house republican colleagues have called for a fresh start and have a new speaker, a fresh start with a fresh new speaker, paul ryan, that rather than give us a chance to begin a fresh start on something like immigration, which is operating under a broken system, that unfortunately we have word that we're not going to do anything this side. in the congress. in the house. that of course ignores the fact that immigration reform would not only be good for our national security, it would be good for our economy and it certainly would be good for all of our families who are here in the united states of america. we know that there would be more job growth if we fixed our broken immigration system, we know we would decrease our federal budgets by having a system of immigration that works. and we know that we would strengthen programs like social security if we had an immigration system that worked. and along the lines of being a nation of immigrants, we must underscore that we respect and understand the need to be accepting of refugees into our
country. people who by definition as refugees must show that they fear death or persecution in order to have an opportunity to come into this country. 750,000 refugees have been resettled in america since 9/11. not one has been arrested on domestic terrorism charges in the united states of america. we are a nation of immigrants. we are a nation of laws. but we understand that to make our nation continue to work for all, we must reform our immigration system, which is severely broken. with that, let me yield now to our leader, nancy pelosi. ms. pelosi: thank you very much, mr. chairman, for a very productive house democratic caucus this morning. i want to associate myself with your remarks about extending our sympathies to the people of france. i also extend that to the people of lebron for the losses -- lebanon for the losses they suffered last week.
france is our oldest friend. our oldest friend. and as i wrote in the book yesterday at the embassy, france, our oldest friend, we extend sympathy and fraternity. when 9/11 hit, the french press said, we are all americans, we are all french. -- we are all french now. as we approach the issues that are the source of concern there, we have to recognize that protecting people is our first response -- is our first responsibility. but we also cannot yield to terrorists whose goal is to instill fear and change who we are and our way of life. so, i again associate myself further with your remarks. today we are gathered in esponse to the first circuit's misguided decision which is important for families and communities across america. but we're glad for the opportunity to move forward and resolve this issue. continuing to stall essential
elements of immigration -- the immigration accountability executive action issued by president obama only perpetuates a broken immigration system that tears families apart and fails to serve the national interest. we must not continue to defer the dreams of hardworking immigrant steams -- families who give so much to our communities. in our meeting this morning, our ranking member on immigration committee, congresswoman lofgren of california, a person who has been in immigration -- been an immigration lawyer, taught immigration law, chaired the immigration committee, presented us with the option of signing an amick us brief in this case. one of the points that will be de in the brief is about the president's authority. it's just stunning that people are saying that the president doesn't -- this president does
not have the authority. just as presidents before him, president obama has brought authority to make our immigration system better, meet -- better meet the needs of our country and reflect our shalled -- our shared values. and every administration, republican, since president dwight david dyson hour, has used executive authority to do just that. in the years immediately following the enactment, in fact, even when congress has acted, our president is acting in the absence of congressional action. -- in the absence of that he has discretely, using his authorities, made his presidential expect -- taken his presidential executive actions. t even when congress did act in 1986, it was called the 1986 immigration and reform and control act, president ronald
reagan, and following him, president george herbert walker bush, took bold action to protect the spouses and children of people who received status under that law. they said congress did not go far enough, so they initiated family fairness initiatives. even after congress acted. as president george herbert walker bush and president ronald reagan took those bold actions, how can you say, this court say, that this president doesn't have the authority to do exactly what they did? if a fact, that he affected a higher -- in fact, they peakted -- affected a higher percentage of people than president obama's actions. although congress explicitly chose not to grant status, as i said in the thing, to the people that president reagan and president bush extended it to, presidents reagan and bush recognized that it was not in the national interest to separate families.
god bless him for that. especially as we approach thanksgiving, we should remember the cool impact of our broken immigration system on millions of families. we must rededicate ourselves to advancing immigration -- comprehensive immigration reform that honors families and strengthens communities. while we remain confident that president obama's executive actions will be upheld, they are no substitute for congress acting to pass a comprehensive immigration reform our nation so urgently needs. i just hope that we can move this forward. there have been some delays, what i perceive to be delaying tactics on the part of the district court, i hope that this can move expeditiously so that it can be heard by the u.s. supreme court in this coming session. it has to be done by sort of the end of april for them to proceed in that way. so this is really very important. it's been a year since the president took his action. it has all the legal
authorities in the law, precedent by former presidents. this is a very misguided decision. it must be reversed. with that i'm pleased to yield to the distinguished assistant leader, mr. clyburn. mr. clyburn: thank you very much. and join with you chairman becerra in expressing r tremendous grief over what is happening in france and lebanon. and, quite frankly, other places across the globe. i don't know of anyone, though, who will argue against the notion that our immigration system is broken. it is broken and we have known that for a very long time.
and we believe very strongly that what president obama is attempting to do is put families first, as we pursue how to respond to a broken system. congress has a role to play. and for some strange reason, cop ajority has decided to out to the tea party element and refused to move forward to try and fix our immigration laws. and until congress does, i for the is important president to do what is necessary to keep families together. and that is what he's attempting to do with this
system. d it is not that he's acting outside of the law. i think that all of us are that of the history presidents have pursued in trying to keep families together and trying not to destroy communities and trying not to unfairly penalize law-abiding citizens. so i'm pleased to stand today with my colleagues in support of the president and i'm pleased now to yield the mike to the vice chair of our caucus, joe crowley. mr. crowley: thank you, jim. i just want to, as well, express my condolences to the people of france. particularly the people of paris. as well as the people of lebanon. and turkey and elsewhere that are experiencing acts of terrorism. this has not been obviously the first attack in this last year in france.
but certainly the most deadly. and being from new york, i think we have always maintained a special bond between new york and paris. and that has been further reinforced by this atrocious act against innocent lives. but i also want to take this opportunity this morning to talk about real-life experiences within my district as well. i have the opportunity and the great honor and pleasure to represent one of the most diverse districts in the united states today. whether my constituents may be from ireland or mexico, colombia, or korea, i think one thing that bonds them altogether together -- all together is the potential for a knock at the door at night or being pulled over in a vehicle because of a tail light being out, that for many of us would be inconsequential, but for them can be a life-changing experience. one that potentially could rip
a child's parents away from them and see them deported. that is a real-life fear for many of the people that i represent in this -- in the 14th congressional district, in queens and bronx, new york. and one that i think our fellow americans understand is not keeping up with the principles of what we as americans stand for. not unlike my grandparents who all came to this country for a better life for themselves and for their children, i dare say that i don't think any of my four grandparents would ever have imagined in a generation that their grandson would be a member of the house of representatives. they're no different in many respects than the people coming here today, seek out that same opportunity, to provide for their families, to give them a better life in the greatest country the world has ever known. that's a standard that we have proudly lived up to throughout our history. and one that i believe unfortunately many on the other
side of the aisle are looking to further deteriorate. and we see even that rhetoric coming out in the aftermath of what took place in paris. the quick knee jerk response from our republican colleagues as opposed to a thoughtful, well thought out plan of how we deal with an ever-growing issue of people who are under duress and need relief. instead they just simply turn their back. that cannot be the america we are. it is not the america that we are. we need to reevaluate that. i applaud what the president attempted to do. i believe the fifth circuit was wrong in the decision they made. but be that as it may, it's a calling to everyone, and especially to mr. ryan, the new speaker, who i know has had an open ear on the issue of immigration reform, that now is the time to fix our broken immigration system. we need to address the undocumented who live in the
united states today. for national security purposes. we need to address the issue of the integrity of our border for national security purposes. we also have to understand the world that we're living in today. and understand that the ever growing desire to be a fabric of the united states, something that we cherish, we know others want to be a part of, we need to find a way to fix the broken legal immigration system that we have today as well. it's not working. and that's -- we need to take an opportunity -- now is the opportunity to do it. now is the time to fix our broken immigration system. don't let this language -- don't let this languish any further. we have a president who wants to do just that. with that i'm happy to yield time to my good friend from new mexico, mr. lujan. mr. lujan: thank you, mr. crowley. good morning, everyone. i want to join my colleagues by expressing my thoughts and prayers, my condolences and support to the people of france . as we gather this morning to have a conversation about comprehensive immigration reform, and policies in the
united states, we have to make sure that we work together and democrats are willing to work with our republican colleagues to pass comprehensive immigration reform. to have a thoughtful conversation and debate. but yet while we have a new speaker, we're hearing the same old tired excuses. and we still have a speaker who is unable or unwilling to stand up to the freedom caucus, to the most conservative arm of the congress, to allow for even a debate on comprehensive immigration reform. republicans from the presidential candidates like donald trump to the house continue to alienate latino voices, hispanic voices, to their ultraconservative position on comprehensive immigration reform. because republicans in the house have refused to address this important issue, president
barack obama took action, just as every president since eisenhower has done. including presidents reagan and both president bushes. i'm hopeful the supreme court will review this case quickly. every day that goes by, people have been part of our communities for years, contributing to the economy, paying taxes, will continue to live in fear. and even worse, families may be split up and broken up. senator rubio said doing nothing was de facto amnesty. yet that's exactly what house republicans have been doing. so time and again when house republicans have had an opportunity to support comprehensive immigration reform, to support dreamers, they have voted against them every time on the house floor. house republicans have better -- had better come up with some more solutions than come pping up with excuses. -- coming up with excuses. it's important, it's long past
time for house republican leadership to allow a vote and a debate on comprehensive immigration reform. with that i'll turn this back over to chairman becerra. mr. becerra: i don't know if ms. dominguez has arrived. no? i know she was caught in some traffic. if she has a chance to come before we close this preps conference, we certainly will try to turn it over to her. why don't we do. this we will open it up for questions. if she arrives later, we can he -- we can see about having her present as well. any questions? reporter: [inaudible] mr. becerra: i think most of us respect the fact that the president's done everything to keep americans safe. keep american troops safe and if we get involved in any conflict, it's for the right reason. i'm not interested in voting to send american troops to fight a foreign civil war. but i am prepared to vote to send troops to a country, if i find that those people in that
country are prepared to fight for themselves. at this stage in syria, and iraq, i will tell you that i have yet to see that the people of syria and the people of iraq are conducting themselves as a unified people ready to fight against a common enemy. and so for that reason, it's tough to me to see how we would want to go further than what our president has done. i think what everything the president's done, from the air strikes to coordination with our allies on the ground, to coordinating with france and our european partners, and our region am partners, to try to help those -- regional partners, to try to help those who are fighting isis, i think what we're doing is making every effort to make sure that isis is not only beaten back, as we've seen recently, as they are losing territory, but are ultimately defeated. i don't know if any of my colleagues wish to respond as
well? reporter: there's talk that mr. ryan may bring out a syrian refugee bill to the floor this week. is this something that needs to be done? if not, is there something -- [inaudible] mr. becerra: as i mentioned, you hate to be driven by fear. perhaps things that are worse than fear. when it comes to how you treat people. i mentioned that over some 750,000 refugees have come in since 9/11, into this country. and not a one has ever faced arrest for terrorism or some ype of terrorist activity. the process that you must go through to come into this country as a refugee is extensive, it's long. you must go through the most thorough background checks.
there's no form of person coming into the country from another land that requires more inspection and more rigorous inspection than those who wish to qualify as refugees. so, i'm not sure what the legislation is that my republican colleagues might ntroduce, but if it's simply a prid morial reaction, then i would say that what we have to do is recognize that all americans want to make sure we do nothing to jeopardize our freedom and our security here. and we must do everything we can, not just in the inspection and interrogation process or questioning process of anyone speaking -- seeking refugee status but in making sure that we avoid having anyone come to this country who might try to do us harm. we do everything we can to give the american people the sense that that is our job. but to then say that some child or a mother should be denied
refugee status after going through a rigorous process to qualify, who has proven that she fears death, torture, persecution, would be such a sin on our american values. i think it's important, before reaktsing much more, to say that we have to see what this legislation says. but if it says something about making the process more rigorous than what we already have, i think you're going to find a lot of people very receptive. but if it simply says, shut the door to people who are in fear of their life, and no more than that, when we have a track record of showing that we have a process that rigorously inspects these individuals, i think that's an overreaction based on fear, perhaps hate, and i would hate to see that. mr. crowley: in thinking about the first question as well, i just want to -- initially had no comment, beyond what the chairman had said. but do i think it's important to point out that the first
responsibility, i think, of the federal government is to protect the citizens of the united states from foreign invasion and from those who choose to harm us. i think the president is doing everything he believes, in conjunction and coordination with experts, to address that issue. n.i.h. he's also said, he's open to -- i think he's also said he's open to any suggestions and ideas that anyone may have, that would be helpful in terms of further containing isil or dash in the region. and certainly to protect new yorkers, washingtonians, people who live in omaha, nebraska. everywhere in the united states. that is the responsibility. and i think we should all be working in that, toward that. in terms of the reaction immediately in terms of mr. ryan's move to bring a bill so quickly to the floor, i wish we could have that same type of action in terms of the overall comprehensive immigration
issue. which has languished, never brought to the floor, not a single bill brought to the floor to actually address the need for comprehensive reform for immigration. and instead in a knee jerk movement based on fear, and i would suggest politics, politics, this is not a time for political answer. this is a time for real answers and solutions. i understand the american people have fear. i understand that they are concerned about what happened in paris. and that may happen here. we all do. we're all human beings. but we need, as legislators and as lawmakers and as people with responsibilities, to do it in a deliberate fashion and a smart fashion. and i haven't yet heard from any of the experts. we'll have a meeting today, a closed-door meeting today. i want to gather as much information as i possibly can before making or rushing to judgment or making those types of decisions. i think that's what the republican leadership and the peaker need to do as well. reporter: [inaudible] -- would
you oppose something -- [inaudible] mr. becerra: i think we're all open to find out if there's some ways to make the refugee program better, work smarter, protect those who are innocent, who are truly in fear of their life or their children's lives. i don't think any of us have any issue there. we want to make sure that someone coming into this country has the right intentions. i think that's absolutely appropriate. and not only do the american people deserve it, they demand it. there i think you're going to find every single member of congress is supportive of that. shutting the door of america completely to those who are seeking asylum or refuge is not our tradition. in fact, i think all of us can think of the one instance back in 1939 with the voyage of the st. louis, where some 1,000 people were seeking refuge.
people who were fleeing nazi persecution because they were jews. we turned that ship away. and as a result we know that probably 1 nourt of those people -- 1/4 of those people perished in concentration camps. we're not talking about people who just want to come into this country, certainly not about people who want to do this country harm. we're not just talking about folks who, for even economic reasons, are trying to flee their home country. we're talking about people who have to prove that if they don't get refugee relief, they may die. they may be tortured. and so i don't believe america intends to close its doors to folks likes that. i don't think the american people who are demanding that we provide them with the security that prevents an attack as we saw in beirut and in paris occur here, i believe the american people continue to recognize that some of them are the sons and daughters of those
very refugees. and they want us to uphold our status as a democracy that fights for freedom for all, including those who seek refugee status. mr. crowley: i think we also have to recognize what ramifications of that will be. what message will be sent to turkey, what message will be sent to jordan, others within the region, that we're asking to do their part? what message will be sent to saudi arabia, for instance, who doesn't do enough? don't do any more, when there are people who are not threatened with economic disaster, or political consequence, this is about rape, this is about beheading, this is about the wanton massacre, a genocide of people, that we have to help prevent. and as the chairman has mentioned, there's a rigorous, rigorous program that they have to go through in order to gain entry here into the united states. and i think we have to exam that -- examine that.
if there's something we can do to improve that and to further ensure and route root out the possibility of any terrorist entering the united states, of course we have to try to stop that as best we can. but i think to simply turn our backs is not the answersed -- is not the answer as well. eporter: [inaudible] mr. becerra: are you asking a question or is that your statement? would say, first, that it rts to hear governors say, don't bring any of those folks into my state. first, there's a question as to whether or not the governor has any right to say that. in the united states of america, if you are here legally, if you are a citizen, you have the right to travel. and i don't believe a governor
has a right to say, can't come into my state. thank god for the constitution. first. condly, for someone to say you on this side of the room, yes, you'll be allowed in, you on the other side of the room, no, you will not, and therefore your persecution may lead to your death, that, as a son of mmigrants, that hurts. where mr. bush gotgoth that idea, i have fro -- got that idea, i have no idea. i am christian. i'm catholic. if you can easily say, we'll accept christians but not muslim, can we then say, as we did in 1939, we'll accept christians but not jews? or if we're going to accept christians, we'll accept them protestant ofit
but not if they're contact lick? -- protestant but not if they're catholic? the idea of refugee status is you fear persecution. not because you're a jew, not because you're christian or muslim, but because you fear for your life. and if anyone, especially if you're running for office -- to the highest office in this land, by god, please explain yourself. stop profiling. stop making people feel like they are bad simply because they are coming from the same country that there is so much turmoil in. do not paint people with a broad brush. we have seen the results of that back in world war ii. and that is an ugly part of this discussion that is surfacing way too quickly and i hope it changes. we'll have to hold off. but if there are any further questions. any final questions?
[inaudible question] mr. becerra: as much as you hear the words of so many, the tough talk of so many who want to send your son or daughter to war to fight a civil war in syria or iraq, those same people who are calling for us to send our troops and put them on the ground in combat have yet to say let's have the authorization to use military force so congress gives the constitutional authority to the president to do that. . find that to be coward is and certainly aren't willing to put their own sons and daughters first in line to go serve on boots in the ground before they send your son or daughter to fight. let me see if the vice chair has
quick word and talk about why we treat the whole issue of immigration. mr. crowley: just very briefly, i think specifically for an event that took place 14 years ago and then again, a different entity. and this ever changing world that we live in that we need to update amuf and every member of congress who wasn't here back then have the opportunity to express him or herself as to their belief, the direction the united states should go in. as the chairman said, it's one thing to speak and another thing to have to put your vote where your mouth is and every member of congress -- it's a difficult vote and not easy for us but we have the responsibility and
obligation for the american get along.o that and mr. becerra: sometimes difficult to navigate entry and being in this country and we are glad that ms. dominguez was here and we would like to hear a few thoughts on how important it is to have an immigration system that works. represent today to millions of mothers and fathers. they have worked so long to come out of the shadows. we march because -- they need to leave without fear without being deported. when president obama announced darpa and daca, we cried because
mr. becerra: thank you for those words and thank you for your courage and figuring out a way to raise your children in the shadows and thank you for making .t clear why we want to make it any final words? [inaudible question] mr. becerra: clearly what all of this manifests is there is a need to have a system that works properly, whether it's our refugee system, making sure it's rigorous and robust and making
sure only those qualified come into the country and our system has worked very well and moving forward and we'll make sure it's even tighter if necessary. but with regard to someone like ms. dominguez who is building a future for her kids. for her to be here for 15 years shows you that we have to move forward because of people and families who have made this their home for the right reasons. and so we hope to be able to have reform that deals in a comprehensive way, whether it's refugee status, asylum status or immigration and dealing and dealing with the 11 million people here without documents, time to do with this. we are looking forward to having her smile at us as her son
graduates and goes on to college. mr. crowley: mr. ryan made it clear he would like to bring regular order to the process. this comprehensive bill and we need comprehensive reform. and nothing ever was brought to the floor. they talk about not trusting the president. who can trust them? they never brought any bill forward that they promised to bring before the house of representatives. they talk about trust. when you point the finger at someone, there are three pointing back. mr. becerra: thank you all very much. [captions copyright national
cable satellite corp. 2015] >> members passed a bill that aims to clarify labor rights of indians and indian tribes. the chamber appointed conferees to negotiate with the senate on the rewrite of the no child left behind bill. they condemned the recent attacks in paris. the house returns tomorrow to begin work on rescinding the consumer financial protection bureau. you can follow it at 10:00 a.m. noon for legislative work. earlier this afternoon, speaker paul ryan formally signed the 2015 defense authorization bill and still needs to be signed by president obama. the legislation authorizes 2016 defense programs while reforming the military retirement system and changing parts of the defense acquisition program. right now on capitol hill, we'll show you the flags remaining at half staff in honor of the
victims of the recent terrorist attacks in paris. in 20 minutes, members will receive a classified briefing and u.s. national security issues. members expect todd hear from the f.b.i. director and homeland security secretary johnson. and paris is on the mind of several world leaders and david cameron who spoke about the u.k. steps to boost national security and talked about the syrian efugee crisis. >> i would like to make a statement on the paris attacks. the home secretary gave the house the chilling statistics yesterday and we know among the victims was a 36-year-old britain, i know the thoughts and
prayers of the whole house will be with the families and friends by all those affected. i spoke to president hollande to express the condolences and our commitment to help in whatever way we can. mr. speaker, after our horror and anger must come our resolve and determination to rid our world of this evil. the steps we are taking to deal with this terrorist threat. the more we learned about what happened in paris, it justifies the full spectrum approach that we have discussed before. we are dealing with radicalized european muslims, links to isil in syria and poisonous narrative of this. military power, counterterrorism expertise and defeating the poisonous narrative. let me take each in turn. first, we should be clear that this murderous violence requires
a strong security response. that means continuing our efforts to degrade and destroy isil in syria and iraq and working with our allies to strike against those who poast a direct threat to the safety of british people around the world. together, coalition forces have damaged 13,500 targets and helped the local forces to regain territory in iraq and retask and push isil back and on friday, kurdish forces retook a territory. the u.k. is training local forces, striking targets in iraq and providing vital intelligence support. last thursday, the united states and d out an air strike, this was a result of months where we stopped to vicious murderer.
mr. speaker, it is important that the whole house understands the reality of the situation we are in. there is no government in syria we can work with, particularly not in that part of syria. no rigorous police investigations or independent courts upholding justice. we have no military on the ground to detain those preparing plots against our people. in this situation, we do not protect the british people by sitting back and wishing things are different. we have to act to keep our people safe and that is what this government will always do. counterterrorism here in the u.k., over the past year alone our police services have foiled no fewer than seven terrorist plots. the people in our security services work incredibly hard and they are a credit to our nation and we should pay tribute to them. we must do more to help them in their vital work. in next week's strategic and
defense review, we will make an additional investment. this will include 1,900 additional security and intelligence staff and more money to increase our network of counterterrorism experts in the middle east, in north africa, south asian subsahar and south africa. at the g-20, we agreed to better steps to better protect ourselves by sharing intelligence and stopping them from traveling. we agreed for the first time to work together to strengthen global aviation security. we need robust and consistent standards of aviation security at every airport in the world and the u.k. would double its spending in this area. third, to defeat this terrorist threat we must understand and understand its root causes. that means confronting th