Skip to main content

tv   US House of Representatives Special Orders  CSPAN  January 11, 2016 7:00pm-9:01pm EST

7:00 pm
7:01 pm
the speaker pro tempore: on this vote, the yeas are 414, the nays are zero. 2/3 being in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. without objection the title is amended.
7:02 pm
the speaker pro tempore: the ouse will be in order. the house will be in order. remove your conversations from the floor, please. the house will be in order. remove your conversations from the floor.
7:03 pm
the house will be in order. remove your conversations from the floor.
7:04 pm
the speaker pro tempore: the house will be in order. remove your conversations from the floor. the speaker pro tempore: remove your conversations from the floor, please. the chair will recognize -- entertain requests for one-minute speeches. for what purpose does the gentleman from minnesota seek recognition? >> permission to address the house for one minute and revise and extend. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. the house will be in order. remove your conversations from the floor.
7:05 pm
thank you. the gentleman is recognized. mr. olson: i rise the hard work f patrick kenyon a paul yeen sager. and has prove i don't know herself as an advocate and fraud crimes and advised law enforcement and helped bring criminals to justice. and officer kenyon was known as a role model and always willing to help his colleagues. our law enforcement officers keep our communities safe due to he commitment of our two officers. i congratulate them and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: jabbed.
7:06 pm
the house will be in order. remove your conversations from the floor, please. for what purpose does the gentleman from rhode island seek recognition? mr. langevin: permings to address the house for one minute. securing our networks is a challenging task. one of the most effective techniques is trained hacking tools to find weaknesses before d actors have a place to exploit them. last may, a potential to make it harder to develop new ones which could harm our national security and our economic competitiveness. it is part of the intrusion software. one of the regimes.
7:07 pm
using the 20-year-old framework quee-quarter century-old fram work has proved difficult. 'm happy to re-examine the proposal. and this will produce a final rule to test the networks bch they are attacked. this is a bipartisan hearing. thank you, mr. speaker. and i yield. >> i ask unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> i rise today to reflect on e career of an outstanding public servant, mrs. did you dunleavy.
7:08 pm
in her capacity as clerk, she voting.seen are she was first elected in 19 and the voiters chose to her for their cleck for four additional elections. her role was not her first public experience. she served as michigan's clerk and deputy clerk. she will be remembered as a highly qualified clerk. i wish her all the best. i'm honored to represent her. thank you for your commitment to livingston county. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman
7:09 pm
seek recognition? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. >> thank you, mr. speaker, i recognize the important contribution women pilots have made to our -- the service of our military and world war ii and they deserve a proper resting place. there what a women's air force pilots. pilots.one of 1,100 betty's job was to provide occur your service. the colonel and his drew were trying to bring to the end of the war. and she served nebraska and the country with honor. he passed away in 1965 did you
7:10 pm
purchase ashes sco not be added to arlington. i think that is a shame. nd i applaud congressman mcsally for her bill to give the women the recognition they did he situation. and i thank all women pilots who have served. support this important legislation and 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? mr. thompson: permission to address the house for one minute and revise and extend. mr. thompson: national slavery and human trafficking month. this is still a concern. e resource center, they have
7:11 pm
investigated cases. and including 75 cases reported in 2015. human trafficking is one of the fastest growing industries in the united states alone. hese are on the rise including those who are teenagers. and the pennsylvania's fifth congressional district. last year, i supported the justice for victims of trafficking act that was signed into law. this legislation is a.m. aimed to improve services. i will continue to work in the use for eliminating this disturbing behavior. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. >> permission to address the house for one minute.
7:12 pm
the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. ros-lehtinen: last week, we were made aware of an extremely security breach that resulted in rm castro regime taking will ile the obama administration that had under its control sensitive hardware, the white house negotiators chose to do nothing about it. the state kept has known about castro knowing our hell-fire missiles. continue engages in military cooperation and can share the missile with the russian, chinese or north koreans to be used against our national security. and it must be held by congress
7:13 pm
and i urge the administration to hold those accountable and to hold accountable the recommending emthat refuses to return the technology. thank you, mr. speaker. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. >> permission to address the house. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. >> mr. speaker, the house will take up new sanctions on north orea knee response to a. mr. lamalfa: its sanctions and seize of assets. the steps we are tasking reflect the apreemp we should be taking with iran. they cannot be trusted to respect international gleements.
7:14 pm
only when iran and north korea feel the financial impact will they change course. the sanctions we shall contemplating, the united states will not look the other way when regimes pursue. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: for what purpose does the gentleman om south carolina soak recognition? mr. wilson: mr. speaker, on the veriening, the haven't held a town hall, philadelphia police officer was shot at 11 times. nonof the president's proposals present vebt vented the attack. it was carried out with a stole
7:15 pm
en police pistol. it will not stop terrorists. he shouted his support for isis. and reform minuteal health laws and and they should update the bumper sticker if guns are outlawed, to quote, if guns are outlawed, and the only positive out come of the attack is to demonstrated america's law enforcement during national law enforcement day. god bliss our troops and may the president never forget our troops. release ising and secure guns to
7:16 pm
kill american families. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. for what purpose does the gentlewoman from texas. the. ms. jackson lee: i rise with a sense of concern, sadness, but also relief regarding the heinous shooting of the philadelphia police officer. am grateful that he managed to survive, that he is in the hospital, that he is healing. and we wish him and his family well. and that he as well will heal. i think it is important to note that we need to look at the rage of gun violence from a sensible and logical perspective. yes, the president's proposals would have had an impact on this crazed allegedly isil-inspired individual who had no direct contact with isil, had not been to the caliphate to fight, and
7:17 pm
unfortunately had a previous criminal record. how would it do so? first of all, it was a stolen gun. the president has suggested for 200 more a.t.f. officers to enforce the law. he has provided for $500 million for mental health resources. if this individual suffered from that. in addition, he's provided for data collection, f.b.i. to redo and to make more certain the inspection or the review of someone trying to get a gun. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. ms. jackson lee: let's look logically at what the president has offer and let's not be in the way. let's try to help stemmed tide of gun violence so -- stem the tide of gun violence so our fers are -- officers are not in the line of gun fire. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady's time has expired. the chair lays before the house the following request. the clerk: leave of absence requested for mr. clyburn of south carolina for today. the speaker pro tempore: without objection, the request s granted.
7:18 pm
under the speaker's announced the of january 6, 2015, gentlewoman from arizona, ms. mcsally, is recognized -- -- ms. mcsally, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the majority leader. ms. mcsally: thank you, mr. speaker. mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days in which to revise and extend their marks and include extraneous material on the subject of my special order. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. ms. mcsally: mr. speaker, i rise today to talk about a very special group of women that were mentors to me and pioneering high are here are heroes for our -- pioneering heroes for our country. these women were the women air force service pilot, the wasps. some people don't know much about them. but here's a picture of them. flying airplanes in the world war ii era. when we needed everybody to serve in whatever capacity they could in our country, they
7:19 pm
needed women to step up and become pilots, to do all sorts of different missions, like towing targets for the gunners on the ground, to learn how to shoot things down, like training men to go on to fly in combat. like ferrying airplanes all over the theaters to deliver them to -- where they needed to be in the combat zone and bringing them back for maintenance. test pilots, engineers, you name it. these women were asked to step up and serve. they went through training, they put on the uniform. they lived in the barracks. they learned how to march. and they were pie -- march. they were pie -- and they were pioneering for -- pioneers for women like me who later on served in the military. these women, there were a little over 1,000 of them who served in world war ii, they weren't given active duty status. although that was the intent of general arnold when they set up this program.
7:20 pm
but if you think back then, the thought of having women military pilots was a little bit of a cultural hang-up, right? well, we'll let women be rosie the rive ter and we'll let women serve in support positions, but pilots, now, that's kind of crazy talk, right? we had a little bit of a problem culturally. but they didn't care. they chose to serve anyway. they said, i'm going to step up and serve my country and i'm going to do that as a pilot and i'm going to do this with honor and with valor, just like their male counterparts did in these very same missions before them, alongside them and then after them. 38 of them died in training or in conducting missions. 38 of them gave their ultimate sacrifice. they weren't even given veterans benefits or any benefits after perishing in the line of dutyy. but they still continued to serve because their country needed them. it wasn't until 1977 that they were actually given veterans status, after the fact. they were then given honorable discharges.
7:21 pm
they were given the medals that their male counterparts got for serving active duty empty military. and they were allowed to be buried with honors in veterans cemeteries across the country and given full military honors that they deserved. they actually were allowed, as they should be allowed, to be in hallerington cemetery, alongside other heroes who have gone before them. and we just found out within the last few weeks that that has been rescinded by the department of the army. that that happened quietly back in march of 2015, that these heroes who deserve to be recognized and deserve to be a legacy in arlington cemetery, so that future generations will know what they did and the door that they opened and the way they served, that was resinleded by the army. we didn't know about this until elaine harman, one of the wasps, passed away and i saw her hand-written will, i met with her family last week. it says, i desire to be in arlington national cemetery, i want my ashes there.
7:22 pm
they put in the request like everybody else does. and they were denied. and we now found out that the army has rescinded that and is no longer allowing these pioneering women to be laid to rest in arlington. elaine harman's ashes are sitting on a shelf in the closet of her granddaughter's home, awaiting her final resting place in arlington, where she deserves. and the army gives us some bureaucratic answer about, oh, they're running out of space and by mistake they opened it up. in 2002, they actually allowed women to be in arlington. and only two women actually took advantage of this and have asked to be on arlington. and they they turned around and rescinded it. and again they give some bureaucratic answer. they're on the wrong side of this. and we've looked into all the legalities. the army has all of the authority that they need to allow these heroes to be laid to rest in arlington. but they're choosing not to do so. so we've introduced legislation
7:23 pm
and we're going to make sure that it happens. but we're calling on them to actually change it tonight. the secretary of the army, right now, or the secretary of defense or the president could tonight say, you know what, elaine harman and the other wasps, there's only a little over 100 that are still living, they're going to be allowed to be -- have their ashes in arlington national cemetery alongside other heroes. this is the least they could do and they could do it tonight. so i'm leading this special order tonight, and this is a bipartisan special order, this is bipartisan legislation, and it's also bicameral. we have we had, when we raised awareness on this issue and got the legislation to get, we had nearly 80 sponsors right away on this bill. saying, let's change this thing. today, the senate introduced a similar bill and we're going to work together to get this thing done. but we want to continue to raise awareness to it, this issue, this egregious violation towards these women. and we want this thing changed now. it takes a little bit of time sometimes around here to work through legislation. and in the meantime, elaine harman's ashes are sitting in a
7:24 pm
closet. that's not the way that we treat our heroes. that is not the way we treat our pioneers who paved the way for military aviators like me to be able to serve in the way we did it. needs to be changed tonight. so we've got a number of individuals here on both sides of the aisle that are going to be sharing this time with me tonight and i first want to yield some time to my good friend and colleague from california who is the lead democrat co-sponsor of this bill, susan davis. mrs. davis: thank you so much. i'm so glad that my colleague from arizona is here to speak to this. she's very uniquely qualified to do that. as one of the first women pilots, or the first, to actually fly in combat. and so as i remember, the women who joined us, who were part of the wasps a few years ago here in the capitol, they were here to receive gold medals for their heroic acts during the war and for really coming
7:25 pm
forward and being part of that volunteer band of women who had had some experience in flying, but could not have imagined in their wildest dreams doing what they were asked to do, but they were delighted to do it. and as i'll share, they actually wanted to do more. but there were some other people that took over and asked them to go home and enjoy their lives after they had given so much. so, i'm just delighted to join in this earth and to right this injustice -- effort and to right this injustice for military trail blazers who were truly ahead of their timement -- time. when the call came to serve in world war ii, the wasps answered. they answered that call, just like millions of other americans. and logged over 60 million miles and over 12,000 aircraft. as my colleagues have said, 38 wasps women died serve their
7:26 pm
country. in 2009, as i mentioned, the wasps were awarded the congressional gold medal for flying military missions in world war ii. even when they were here, they were just a strong group of women who delighted in seeing one another and reminding themselves of the amazing stories that they brought. and more than anything else, they served today as great role models to women who were considering going in the air force, of course, the navy, flying for our country. but also taking on some remarkable challenges in their lives. they really represent that for all of us. they fought, of course, and they died in service to their country. and they trained in military style. they slept on metal cots like everybody else, marched and lived under military discipline. and that's why we feel they deserve the full honors that we give our war heroes.
7:27 pm
as it's been mentioned, they were given those honors. but because we have a problem, a problem of space, it was decided that perhaps they were not at the top of the list. well, we need to be sure that we provide for everyone who needs to be there. there are many wasps who may not choose necessarily to be at armington cemetery. , for those who have chosen working with their families and their families have fought hard for them, this is something that we need to do. i want to mention particularly, i thought this was really fun to read, one of the articles about these wasps. this is edie who is saying, i thought it was the nastiest thing that they, speaking of the army air force officials, could have done to us. she was receiving visitors at her home.
7:28 pm
they fired us. they actually gave our jobs to air force men who didn't want to go oversales. i would have gone overseas in a minute, she says. i was a heck of a good fighter pilot. i also have, in my community of sabbedyage, -- san diego, a woman who perhaps was not as forthright as edie, but despite some fading memories, at 87 she still shares vivian's passion for the wasps and her disappointment with its demise. she also was one of the 1,102 women who flew in the all volunteer program during -- between 1942 and 1944. and she remarked that all of us felt bad to lose our flying jobs. all of us wanted to keep up our ability to fly. because they knew that with prevailing shove miss it tick attitudes there would be no pilots work for them in the civilian realm.
7:29 pm
so we need to be sure that we don't lose our perspective about the work that these women did and that we honor them in this way. we honor them and their families that supported them as well. because we know with all of our military families, it's not just the person who serves, but it's the entire family who serves as well. that was certainly true of these wasps. whose family members worried about them, were concerned about them, as they car iried on with their duties as forcibly as they did. so let's send that message, let's continue to work hard. i know that the wasps are also planning a museum to honor them and to make sure that the country never forgets the work that they did. because it was necessary. had they not been there to do that work, many, many people would not have received, whether it's material, whatever that was that they were making sure got to our fighting
7:30 pm
warriors during world war ii. i'm so delighted that my colleague is choosing to move forward with this and i want to turn it back to her and i know that there are other colleagues of mine over here who would like very much to join in in this. ms. mcsally: thank you. i really appreciate your partnership on this issue. together we can show the american people that we can be united on these things that matter to support our veterans and support our heroes and, again, put the pressure on the administration that we have oversight of, to actually fix this wrong right now. i really look forward to continuing working with you on it. >> i don't think it much malters if you are a man or a woman that you serve in the united states
7:31 pm
military. anybody who has stood up for our country to protect our way of life and our kids, they should receive the full honors of anybody who served in uniform. w, tonight, as congresswoman mcsally said, we can fix this. there is snow reason that the pentagon say there is no room at arlington. are you kidding me? er 1 nourks of these brave patriotic women during the time ere representative mcsally mentioned, were not always welcomed. they stood up and left their home and families and did what was right.
7:32 pm
they served this count sthri where honoring and dignity. they followed the world. over 60 million miles were logged. and look at this picture and i sla absolute you. do you think of these was ps were saying we can't get it do. the pentagon need to step up and need to find a way if they want to be issue tender at arlington. some of the missions that these brave women flew on including thinks transponts, you know what they also did? they told targets for men on the grund that were practicing
7:33 pm
artillery. did you hear them complain? at least the pentagon can do is listen to the will of the people and make sure that these brave omen are so honored by being interred, if they wish, at arlington. ann brown.e is betty wouldn't she be proud and ask that our count dry that the pentagon does the right thick and i slalute ms. mcsally for her leadership. the pentagon can do what is right today and legislation is not needed. if our combhander in chief stand up and do what is right.
7:34 pm
they deserve every right to be buried at arlington. southern california sal thank you. i'm going to yield to mr. langevin of rhode island. years ago l how many i was your guest at the state of the union of address. i was in the military and make sure that women qur treated fairly. plrm langevin. mr. langevin: i thank you, congressman mcsally for yielding and thank you for bringing this important issue this evening. i'm proud to serve with you and you are proud to represent the eople of arizona in the second
7:35 pm
congressional district there. but ms. mcsally's roots are from my home state of rhode island. she and i gue up in the same neighborhood and proud to have worked with you ol several issues since you arrived in congress and great to have you as my guest at the state of the european. thank you for raising this important issue. the women, air force surface lots have been denied in our our burial ground where we honor our men and women who have served. these brave female aviators of world war inch i, have resiliency and operatism and i'm
7:36 pm
proud po support congressman mcsally's efforts. without these congresswomen some of whom made the sacrifice and one of the greatest kind of need, our nation would not stand where it does in the world today and we are indebted to them for our service the the very lease we could do is honor them with the dignity and respect nevada earned and so deserved. we have got to see this policy reversed. i know that we will. and it's a bipartisan effort and i'm proud to join with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle and raising attention to this issue and insisting that we
7:37 pm
ensure that these brave female aviators of word war ii who embody the pavement issuing that fliers and see he they iven the deserve. ms. mcsally: i appreciate your sort and look forward to working together to getting this mission done. thanks so much for your support. i want to yield to my good friend from florida, rett tiffer representative ros-lehtinen. she has been a strong advocate for the wasps and the push for
7:38 pm
congresses ool gold medal. ms. ros-lehtinen: i'm so pleased and so honored and humbled to be . you have been a real leader on so many important issues and i think none as important as the one you are spearheading today. i rise to support you in your mission to give due recognition to the women air force service pile olts. these are the real ladies that got the job done. they are a remarkable. as you heard from the other speakers, our country turned to air pilots to deliver bases overseas and simulate
7:39 pm
missions. they became the first women in u.s. history tom nye for our proud military. out of more 25,000 women who applied for the program, 1,704 were accepted. in noncombat roles. ey logged in 670 million miles. but it wasn't until 19733 that congress passed legislation that gave these women the much did he served recognition. arlings ton national cemetery decided to allow them listed as had soduty umh that they rightfully earned. the department of the america rezippeded this decision and made these aviators of world war
7:40 pm
ii ineligible. as the author of the legislation and the gentlelady and i have talked to this awarding the what happens the congressional gold medal in zwine, i'm honored to stand with mart that are mcsally to ensure that the was ps have the services along with the rest of the war heroes. they helped defend our country and deserve our military honors. and women and i'm go tock mention some of their name. francis war sergeant. ruths schaffer. surer cruise.
7:41 pm
some of of them are not with us. they embd in world war ii. nd we see they passed a way. in this great challenge toll women, those women that you have before us, they pushed beyond the boundries and brought new opportunities. my daughter in law, she flew combat missions in ishe and afghanistan but wouldn't having able to do so without the women who came before her. and i thank you for your patriotic duty but you stand on their shoulders. they fought for the values. they are not denied the recognition for their service. we shouldn't be begging for this. the united states and ourial
7:42 pm
jice were able to defeat world war inch i. i thank you for introducing this important legislation that would make the air force pilots eligible nor the services with muscle full mill tear service. and we don't need the legislation that the secretary of the army can do the right thing, sign the order making this happen. we will continue the battle. thank you so much to the gentlelady and thank you for taking this on. you are a valuable member.
7:43 pm
ms. mcsally: it's also personal. these women opened the door for me to be a pilot in the air force and be a fight earl pilot. i didn't hear about them when i was in high school and one reason we allow them to be rested in arlington. it wasn't until i went off to the air force academy that i learned about the loss. i wouldn't imagine that we would have women pilots, but we did. and i got to meet some of these amazing women to fly and start my training.
7:44 pm
and i got to become friends with them and they became metropolitan others to me as the doors were opening up. there was hardly anybody who stad up to to understand what it was like and what you id or can or should not. but these women unts stood that and as they served and flew in world war inch. as i was looking around to have someone as a role model, these women were incredible role med else. this is ruth, one of the tucson residents who maude her final flight off the last year and she was inducted in the arizona haul
7:45 pm
of fame. and these women, they paved the way for me. the most challenging times, i would sit down with them and fight and fire another day. they were told to leave the military, they still were proud and didn't have a chip on their shoulder and grateful for the opportunity they shad and they encouraged me. and so i was able to get back in there and push forward, because what they did, they opened the doors for me. before i wrap up here, i would like to sheila jackson lee. ms. jackson lee: first of all, let they thank you for your service. and thank you so very much for
7:46 pm
bringing this very important issue, this bipartisan issue, to the floor of house -- of the house, and certainly to your colleagues. i am looking forward to working with you on this issue. and i just want to say that one of my greatest joys in the united states congress was the military war zones that i had the chance to go to, starting with the bosnian war, i came in in that time frame and traveled to that area with kosovo and albania and then of course iraq and afghanistan. certainly a number of other sites where issues of conflict were going on. and there i saw a myriad of women who stood on the shoulders of these women, who are now in a variety of the branches, not just aviators or the air force in particular, but they stood on the shoulders of thile these women. -- of these wism. and it gave me a sense of -- women. and it gave me a sense of pride and duty to say thank you. women are unique. many of them are mothers or sisters and daughters who are
7:47 pm
in the service, so they take your children or they're nurtures for someone else. we have a particular role. yet they're in the military, leaking their families. just coming in today, i read an article about the ranger that is from my constituency, who just came out of ranger school, is from houston. so i simply want to say, this is the right thing to do. every year, and i think you've joined us now, as you've come to congress, we go on memorial day week to arlington and lay a wreath for women who died in the line of duty or in the service of their country. does anyone realize the numbers of women -- and we have been doing this for now more than a decade, and the women of the house join us and they do that because this is a valuable part of america's history. so, to the lady, the aviator that now dish wouldn't say languishes, but is with your granddaughter, her ashes are we
7:48 pm
her granddaughter, i want to make a public commitment, join ing, to say her ashes should be in a place where they can rest in peace. we should move this quickly. if it requires an independent action by the army, a reconsideration, i'm sure none us would be offended by the army rescinding this particular, how should i say it, action. so i just wanted to come and thank you. i want to thank my colleague, susan davis, and all of my colleagues who have been on the floor. i did not want to miss this opportunity. coming from texas, i think as i walk down the streets of houston or travel throughout the state of texas, i see veterans and active duty everywhere. and we're proud of that. and in urban centers like houston, you would think not, but they are dominant there. just this past christmas, we had what we call toys for kids, and honored veterans' families, so this is an important -- this is an important mission. and i want to join you in this mission. we've gotten our assignment and we really need to work. i think the american people need to know that all of us
7:49 pm
will join together to honor either our veterans, our fallen soldiers, or those who are the pioneers, who i know the story of, who stood when they were called and did not step away from duty, did not step away from the danger, did not step away from possible death as they pursued the cause of this country and to protect this country. so i thank you for yielding to me. i'm ready to roll up my sleeves. let's get busy. let's help find the resting place for this dear sister and serving of the nation and let's find a resting place going forward for all of those who have served this wonderful and great country. they deserve it. and thank you so very much for yielding to me. ms. mcsally: thank you. i thank the gentlelady from texas for joining the conversation tonight. again, to continue to highlight this egregious action that was taken, that is puritying our heroes in a place, especially elaine harman right now, where she has no words to be able to rest -- nowhere to be able to rest in peace. the place she wanted to be is
7:50 pm
ding her, even though her service and her criteria is very clear that she has earned that right. i appreciate you joining this bipartisan mission. we are not going to rest until the mission is complete. so i want to thank the gentlelady for that. as i was mentioning, this isn't just the right thing to do, but this is personal for me. as i transitioned into fighters, these women, these pioneers, who opened up the door for me to even have the opportunity to become a fighter pilot, they mentored me. they walked alongside me. they encouraged me. they gave me some perspectives from their own training and their own experiences. they made me laugh. they made me cry. they were friends who just paved the way for me. and you think about the debates we've had and this body over the years, women couldn't be in the gain until military until the late 1970's, early 1980's, they finally
7:51 pm
opened up the door for women to be pilots. but they could only serve in noncombat roles. but when they had that debate, they didn't have -- it didn't have to be theoretical. or hypothetical. they had the example of these amazing women who did what they did in world war ii. again, over 1,000 of them. under extraordinary circumstances. flying by themselves, often, just trying to figure it out in bad weather and how they're going to land and dealing with emergencies and clearances and just doing what it took in order to get the mission done. get the plane where it needed to be. train the men to go off and fly in combat. tow the target, do the simulated runs, everything. to include risking their lives. 38 of them died. this is personal to me. these three women here that are pictured in this photo, dawn see more, elaine gunlederson, and ruth helm, they're sitting in this photo in the front row of the change of command ceremony that i had where i took over command of an a-10 fighter squadron. which was an historic day for our country, that we finally had a woman doing that. a historic day for me to be able to take command of a squadron. but i invited them and asked them to sit in the front row
7:52 pm
and i honored them in my change of command speech because i wanted to make sure that everybody there knew that i only had the opportunities that i had in the nil ter -- military because they paved the way. these three women, personal friends of mine, two of them have since had their final flight, dawn sewmore is still with us, but the other two have passed away. we have to keep their legacy going. we have to make sure the next generations know how they served with honor, at a time when the country needed them. we have to make sure that elaine harman and any of the other wasps who want to have their ashes in arlington cemetery can allowed to do that. let's be clear. the only reason these women were not considered active duty at the time was because of gender biases and discrimination against women. that is the only reason. had they been a man, doing those jobs, they would have
7:53 pm
been active duty in the army air corps, they would have been discharged honorably, and under the current guidelines they would have been eligible to have their ashes at arlington. the only reason they were not active duty at the time was because of gender discrimination. now, this is 2016. it's time for that to stop. we thought it was over in 1977, when we finally retroactively gave them that veterans status. they were given those honorable discharges. and the medals that they deserved from serving in world war ii. we opened up the door for them to have military honors and to be laid to rest in veterans cemeteries around the country. arlington cemetery opened up the doors to them finally, a little late, but in 2002. and last march, without telling anybody, they quietly rescinded that. it was just the last slap of gender discrimination against these amazing pioneers.
7:54 pm
and it needs to be overturned immediately. this is the right thing to do for elaine harman, for the other women that are still living. there's been 100 of them that are still with us. and for the next generations who need to know about their service. they deserve to be laid to rest next to the other heroes that are there. the secretary of the army has all the authority he needs to let elaine harman's ashes be in arlington. let's be clear. this does not take legislation. he has all the authority he needs to make that happen tonight. and if he won't do it, the secretary of defense can. and if he won't do it, then president obama can. we should not wait another day, mr. secretary, mr. president, before making the decision and calling on elaine harman's family and saying, it's approved. elaine can rest in peace in
7:55 pm
arlington national cemetery, which is what she deserved and what she asked for. we should not be lingering another day. but as we continue to call on the administration to do the right thing, we're not going to sit by idly. we've got our legislation introduced. we've got almost 80 co-sponsors in the house. we've got a senate version of the bill that was introduced today. led by senator mccluskey and senator ernst, also a bipartisan bill. and we are going to continue to push this forward to make this right. for our heroes, these women air force service pilots, these wasps. it's the least that we could do for all they have done for us. the last thing i want to say before i close out is that this just seems to be a cruel irony and a cruel contradiction, if you think about it. just last month the pentagon announced that they are opening up, finally, all positions in the military to women.
7:56 pm
it has been a long road to get to that place. and i've been a strong advocate for that happening for a very long time. we are a country that is about equal opportunity. we are a country that treats people as individuals. our foundations are based on not treating people as a class, and we should always, and in the military as well, pick the best man for the job, even if it's a woman. it has been a long haul to get over our biases as a country about what we think women as a whole group could or should do in service to our military. gradually positions have been opened. gradually women have continued to show that when called, they will serve valiantly and with honor, they will fight, they will die if needed for our freedoms and our liberty. and at the time that the pentagon is opening up all positions to women in the military, that they're qualified for, they're closing the door to arlington for the pioneers that made that happen.
7:57 pm
that is a cruel hypocrisy and contradiction. and it needs to be made right tonight. so again, i call on the secretary of the army, secretary of defense and the president, perhaps he could announce it in his speech tomorrow night, that one of the legacy things that we are going to do for our heroes, for our pioneers, for these amazing women, is to allow them to be laid to rest in arlington national cemetery. we owe it to them. they paved the way as trail blacers -- trail blazers, we owe it to them to be able to rest along sithe the other heroes and to be able to continue to educate the next generations about their legacy and all i'll say to the wasps, is i got your back. you had mine, i got yours now. it's the right thing to do. and thank you. with, that mr. speaker, i yield back -- with, that mr. speaker, i yield back.
7:58 pm
the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady yields back the balance of her time. under the speaker's announced policy of january 6, 2015, the gentleman from iowa, mr. king, is recognized for the remainder of the hour as the designee of the majority leader. mr. king: thank you, mr. speaker. it's my honor and privilege to be recognized to address you here on the floor of the house of representatives. i thank the gentlelady for yielding time and for her presentation here tonight and the collection of people that came down to support her initiative and her agenda. i thank the men and the women who have stepped up and put on the uniform and those also who have risked their lives that were not formally wearing a uniform to defend our country. i'm one whom i think you know, mr. speaker, has great reverence for our constitutional values and the pillars of american exceptionalism. the underpinnings that make this a great nation. and one of the things that we have been able to do as a great nation is be able to inspire others. if we look around the world, there are those who think that the only thing that could happen that's good to somebody
7:59 pm
is if we just bring them in to america and give them access to our welfare benefits and maybe they'll become good americans and all will be right with the rorled -- with the world. but i don't know that they've done the geography very well, mr. speaker, and recognize that we can do a lot more good by helping people where they are, so that they can help themselves. one of the most important things we can do is not send the wealth of america over to give people money and food and housing. that goes on from time to time and there's a good number of times it's very well justified. but the best thing we can do is inspire others to live and model after the freedom of the united states of america. then they can help themselves, mr. speaker. and i think of a time i sat down with several ambassadors to the united states from israel, we had a meeting over here in a room just off the palace floor, and they were explaining to me that they had adopted hebrew as their official lang -- language. and they did that, i believe,
8:00 pm
in 1954, formed their country in 1948. and said, why did you establish an official language and why did you resurrect essentially a dead language, hebrew, that had not been used in common discourse for business or politics except for prayer for 2,000 years? and they said, we saw the success of the united states and our common language that we have, english is our common language, and they wanted a common language for israelis and they wanted something that ewe eneek and bond and bind them together because they'd seen the successful model here, they were inspired by the successful model of the assimulation that came about because of a common language so they adopteded hebrew as their official language in israel. . i was quite impressed. i was impressed that america would inspire a country that had all of the world's history to draw from, to use us to bring
8:01 pm
back a language that wasn't used in common discussion in 2,000 years. i give you that example because i come here tonight. i want to talk about egypt and how it is that the inspiration that the united states of america is inspires people around the world in ways that we may not realize. and i come to the floor tonight, mr. speaker, to commemorate and celebrate and give notice to and congratulate the egyptian people because yesterday, they swore in and convened their parliament and as egypt's first parliament in nearly four years. it's a great day for egypt, it's a great day for liberty worldwide, it's a great day for the united states to see that there are others around the world who are inspired by our system of government, our representative form of government. and i extend my congratulations to the president and new speaker an drafter of e-- of eyipt's new
8:02 pm
constitution, but also to mr. musuf who i met with on at least two occasions as he chaired the committee to draft the constitution. the citizens of egypt have achieved an important foreign policy milestone. yesterday was that day. i was curious they would convene on a sunday, we wouldn't do that to start our days here, however, egypt is a muslim country. it's about 94.5% muslims, it's got a higher percentage of christians that people might think but they go to mosque on friday and in fact i learned that the christians have their services on friday as well, that way sundays are a work day. but in any case, the short history, the most recent history of egypt is astonishing and i point out that it seems our administration has missed the importance of this. i'll go through some of the history of egypt as we
8:03 pm
commemorate and congratulate them for convening their parliament now under a legitimized constitutional government of the nation state, the sovereign nation state of egypt, the country we need to expand an strengthen our relations with, a country that can be a central player in stabilizes the instability throughout the middle east. it's important that egypt be a significant component of that effort that's going forward, not just in this administration but into the next administration and for a long time. that would be this, that back in 1981, the president -- in 1981, president mubarak took power and held power for 30 years. in that 30-year period of time, some thought he was a strong man, that dehe dealt harshly with some of his opposition. it may be true. i'm not here to defend president mubarak. however, when president obama took office, it's clear he had a
8:04 pm
different view he went to cairo to give a speech in egypt on june 4, 2009. i remind, mr. speaker, the body that president obama as a candidate, senator obama at the time a candidate for president in the spring of 2008, made a statement roughly similar to this, that he believes his middle name means something to the rest of the world and when they recognize, when they see his middle name, they'll know he can communicate with them in certain way that someone who doesn't have ta middle name, doesn't have that particular tool. so armed with that -- shortly after that, elected president. and armed with that conviction, president obama traveled to cairo, egypt, and give his peech on june 4, 2009, at al azar university in cairo. that is essentially the global center for islamic thought. they have islamic scholars there
8:05 pm
that are respected world withe in the world of islam. so to send a message to the muslim world there wasn't a place more powerful than going to that university and giving his speech. it happens to be a fact that the seating arrangement was arranged, we have to presume with the approval of president obama, and in the front row sat, who, mr. speaker? the lead orse they have muslim brotherhood were seated in the front row when he gave his spooch at the university. that sent a powerful signal to the egyptian people a signal that the president of the united states supports the muslim brotherhood. i don't bring this up as speculation, i bring it back to the floor of the congress because i'm speaking at it from hands on, eye-to-eye experience, talking with the egyptian people and some of their leadership and some of their press and they say to us, why does president obama support the muslim brotherhood?
8:06 pm
that's a bit of a tough question and it's a hard one to rebut when they're seated in the front row at the university. this brought about a significant amount of unrest. contributed to the unrest is probably a more reasonable way to describe this, mr. speaker. and as the unrest grew in egypt, we also heard messages coming out of the state department. for example, then-sec retear of state hillary clinton made a statement very similar to mubarak needs to be gone yesterday. and so the push from the obama administration, the push from the state department, then secretary of state hillary clinton and others, began to put pressure on mubarak. while this is going on, the arab spring erupted and long and about january and february of 2011. and of course it was multiple countries throughout the middle east that had unrest. there was significant unrest in egypt, as we know. well, mr. speaker, the pressure
8:07 pm
built and the demonstrations that took place in tarir square were intense, system were violence, we saw on television, the crowds of people, the massive amounts of people on the square, they weren't going to leave. with the trouble there, finally president mubarak, by february 11, 2011, he stepped down. when he stepped dun, that left a bit of a void. that void was still wrapped up in the chaos and during that chaos, thrmp primarily muslim brokehood activities that were mobs attacking our churches, christian churches, attacks -- attacking the evangelical churches there are there. attacking the coptic christian churches that are there. the persecution went on in multiple cities around egypt. and there were multiple churches that were burned and razed to the ground, some gutted by fire.
8:08 pm
so then in june of 2012, mohammed morrissey came to power. he -- morsi came to power. he is the face and may still be the voice of the muslim brotherhood. as morsi came to power, we began to see how the muslim brotherhood would rule egypt. the protests died down for a while and then ramped back up again, mr. speaker. they got worse and worse and worse and more intense. and so, the protests accelerated, by january 25 of 2013, there were many protests, egypt was under more or less a very difficult -- was difficult to govern and rule because of the protests against morsi, because of the way morsi had mishandled government and the way the muslim brotherhood, with their heavy hand, had worked against many of the egypt people. they didn't see a prospect any longer that morsi, who was a duly elected president and i
8:09 pm
believe the number was 4.6 million egyptians came to the polls out of 3 million egyptians altogether. it was a low percentage of turnout but they saw him get elected. then as he essentially disempowered the legislature and disempowered the judicial branch of government, they could see, there was a democratic election for morsi, one election, one time, last time, the dictator had taken over and the egyptian people knew it and they began to push back, mr. speaker. so the protests accelerated from january 25, 2013 on through the that spring. and then as we watched, there was a funeral at the main coptic church in chi roe and the -- in kay roe and the muslim brother -- in chi roe and the muslim brother -- in cairo and the uslim brotherhood attacked the
8:10 pm
funeral. by june 29, throughout that summer, we got to mid summer, the christian groups were gathering together, mr. speaker, and during that period of time, they would have regular prayer meetings to pray that god would bring relief to egypt and turn the country back over to the egyptian people and let them govern their country and have their country back, to take it back away from morsi. as i sat and listened to a pastor maurice who leads a 4,000-member evangelical church in egypt, as they were gathering for prayers on the night of june 29 he, said to the other pastors that had been regularly coming together to pray, he said, i'm going to lead the prayer tonight. i'm going to be in charge of the prayer tonight. so they agreed. they gathered together and pastor maurice offered this prayer he said, god, we've been praying daily for relief for egypt. i'm tired of waiting, i don't want to wait any longer.
8:11 pm
i want this relief tomorrow. it's the night of june 29, 2013. god, bring us this relief tomorrow. and that was the eve of the relief that came. and by june 30, the following day, the streets began to fill and every city in egypt, tahrir square became full again. people poured into the streets in egypt and poured into the streets on -- on june 30, and july 1, and july 2 and july 3. the numb of people in the streets in egypt were estimated at 33 million people out of 83 million egyptians. now think of that. if we had that same percentage come out in the streets of america we'd have 125 million people in the streets of america, mr. speaker. it was a mass i turnout in egypt. something had to happen. nd they pleaded with general alsisi, will you take over? we've got to have some leadership, got to have somebody in charge of our country, egypt.
8:12 pm
the general demured he, said, i don't want to do this, i don't want to step in. finally by the third of june he, relented and stepped in with the military to bring order and -- to bring order in tahrir square. that turned out to be a move that stabilized egypt. as he sat there, shortly after that, they stabilized egypt, they had more peace in the streets, there was still trouble, the muslim brotherhood was still attacking people, there were still arrests taking place of some of those who had been violent in the square who had been attacking people. but they installed an interim president, put some stability into the government, this is early july of 2013, and i and a couple of other members went to egypt then over the labor day break in september of 2013, we met with the swrim interim president in one meeting , in a separate meet a different meeting with the pope of the coptic church and a separate meeting then with the general and a separate meeting with mr.
8:13 pm
mussa a chairman they have committee writing the constitution. i remember each of those meetings in a distinct way. the coptic pope said we're praying for the people who are killing us. we will not be sucked into a civil war in egypt. we're praying for them and we're asking god to forgive them which i thought was a very high level of faith that i don't know that i could reach, mr. speaker. i was impressed with the coptic pope. we met with mr. mussa who described the constitution they were draft, but said it's up to the egyptian people, they've got to ratify it. and then, as we met with, we met with the general, i recall asking him a series of questions. if this constitution is ratified, and the civilian government, a legitimate -- a legitimized civilian government takes charge in egypt, will the military take orders from a civilian president or civilian prime minister and civilian parliament he looked me in the eye and said, yes, the military
8:14 pm
will system of i didn't know at the time and i don't think he knew at the time that he'd eventually become a candidate for president and be the one issuing the orders to the military, but he has kept his word. and as he promised to me and others promised to me, they would ratify a constitution, they would elect a national leader president, and they would, once the constitution was ratified, the president was elected. they would then have elections and seat a parliament or a legislative body and within their constitution, they wrote the language that said, of the roughly 100 churches that have been destroyed, mostly by the muslim brotherhood they would use egyptian tax dollars to rebuilt those churches. and i'm here tonight, mr. speaker, to say thank you, thank you to president alsisi of egypt and thank you to those who worked on the constitution, to congratulate the parliament in egypt that is now seated as of yesterday. their country is put in place
8:15 pm
now where the egyptian people are finally in charge of their country again. and what i'm -- when i'm asked why does our administration support the muslim brotherhood, i'm going to continue to give the same answer -- the american people support the egyptian people. the egyptian people don't support the muslim brotherhood, they've proven that over and other again. the leadership that the egyptians have elected have proven that they have given their word, they have kept their word, they've performed in the fashion that they said. and as i've gone back new a couple of times since then, most recently last spring in about march or april, at some significant expense, i might add, i remember sitting down with president -- with the president and he said a couple of things that i think we should remember and i believe he wanted me to convey them here on this floor, and that is he asked he, gave a speech, january 1 of last year at al alazar university and
8:16 pm
here's the message he delivered. the message was this. he asked a rhetorical question, he asked, is it possible to accept the idea that the whole world must die so that muslims can live? that's verbatim, mr. speaker. it's a rhetorical question. it's the most powerful rhetorical question that i believe i have heard. . he rejected that idea. he understands that muslims and christians and buddhists and all the religions that need to live on this world together, and he's looking for that kind of peace and stability, so that no religion is persecuted, no religion is being murdered while they're going to someone else's funeral or their wedding, that happened also in egypt, mr. speaker. and so i want to thank president el-sisi for his commitment and i would add also that he made another statement that i think we also need to think about, mr. speaker.
8:17 pm
and that is, that is this. he said, they, speaking of the muslim brotherhood, they are trying to establish and impose divine law on all the world. and when he looked at me he realized it didn't quite register and he said, shari'a law. they want to impose shari'a law on the entire world. and he put his head down, almost between his knees, as he sat there and shook his head in rejection. i'm convinced we can work with this man. he is a dedicated muslim. who is a peaceful leader, who understands this picture of the world the way it sets. the -- when i look at the work that was done in turkey, how he provided a bridge between the east and the west, and that has been drifting back a bit the other way, but i believe that president el-sisi has the skill set, the convictions and the foundation to one day, with the right kind of support, the support of the united states of
8:18 pm
america and the free world and the middle east, could become the aditurk for the world to bring about that bridge between the muslim world and the christian world and the west. if we fail in that effort to do that outreach, and tie these bonds together, that these bonds that go back through history, a long ways back, mr. speaker, if we fail then i'm afraid there will be a tremendous amount of bloodshed. if we succeed, i believe we can eliminate and forestall a significant amount of bloodshed and bridge over this division that's coming at us. and he deserves and needs our help to defend himself from terrorists that are attacking him from all directions on the sinai and everywhere else. mr. speaker, i appreciate your indulgence here tonight and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman's time has expired. under the speaker's announced policy of january 6, 2015, the gentleman from new york, mr. jeffries, is recognized for 60 minutes as the designee of the minority leader. mr. jeffries: i thank the chair. mr. chair, i ask unanimous
8:19 pm
consent that all members be given five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and add any extraneous material relative to the subject matter of this discussion. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. jeffries: thank you. it's an honor and a privilege for me to rise today and to co-anchor, along with my distinguished colleague from the great state of ohio, representative joyce beatty, this c.b.c. special order hour, this hour of power. once again we're privileged to take to the floor of the people's house to discuss an issue that should be relevant to every member of this institution, on behalf of the 320 million-plus americans that we represent in this great country. and that is the gun violence epidemic. america has 5% of the world's guns, 5% of the world's
8:20 pm
of the n, but 50% world's guns. it's estimated that there are more than 300 million guns in circulation throughout this country. so it seems to me reasonable that we would do everything ossible to ensure that not a single one of those guns finds themselves in the hands of individuals who would do us harm. and that in many ways is what president obama has done as it relates to his most recent executive actions. and so today, members of the congressional black caucus will come to the house floor to discuss those executive actions, discuss the issue of gun violence, discuss the steps that we should be taking here in this chamber in order to keep the people of america that we all collectively represent
8:21 pm
safe. it's now my honor and my privilege to yield to my classmate and my co-anchor for this c.b.c. special order hour, i look forward to anchoring with her throughout the entire year, she's been a tremendous champion for working families, for the middle class, for small business owners and of course for the young people who are ravaged in our communities all across this country. -- country by gun violence. i now will yield to my colleague, representative joyce beatty. mrs. beatty: thank you. mr. speaker, i rise this evening proud to stand with my congressional black caucus special order hour co-anchor, congressman jeffries, from the eighth congressional district of new york. mr. jeffries, it is my honor to stand here today. as we undertake an urgent dialogue on how we as elected
8:22 pm
representatives of the people can work together to end gun violence. i look forward to engaging with congressman jeffries and our congressional black caucus colleagues in scholarly debate on the issues plaguing african-americans, african-american communities and to develop solutions to the problems our constituents face. as the conscience of the congress, the congressional black caucus will remain on the forefront of issues that affect black americans in particular and the nation in general. for tonight, our anchor, congressman jeffries, has pointed out the c.b.c. will continue to shed light on the epidemic of gun violence, standing our ground, ending gun violence in america. mr. speaker, last week we opened the second session of the 114th congress.
8:23 pm
435 of us traveled back to washington ready to serve our constituents and work for the betterment of our nation. unfortunately, mr. speaker, whatever spirit of bipartisanship may have been present at the end of 2015, as republicans and democrats worked together on key pieces of legislation, has disappeared at the precise time our nation is calling on congress to pass commonsense legislation to keep guns out of the wrong hands. we find ourselves confronted with startling statistics that no nation should endure. let me just take a moment to share just a few. we know that the impact of gun violence affects every community and every congressional district. however, african-american
8:24 pm
children and teens are 17 times more likely to die from gun homicide than white youth, according to the center for disease control and prevention. while african-americans make up 15% of youth in america, african-americans account for 45% of children and teen gun deaths in 2010. according to every town for gun safety, 88 americans die every he -- every day from gun violence, mr. speaker. roughly 50% of those killed are african-american men. who comprise just 6% of the population. homicide is the primary cause of death among african-americans age 15 to 24. mr. speaker, these numbers should be unthinkable, unimaginable, but they are the
8:25 pm
unfortunate reality in which african-american communities live. in the words of dr. martin luther king, whose legacy we honor next month, he said, we find ourselves confronted with the fierce urgency of now. mr. speaker, it is now that our nation is in an urgent crises. yes, we are trapped in congressional inaction. shame, shameful. so our president decided he would not stand by idly while congress did nothing to prevent another newtown, another charleston, another tucson. with tears in his eyes, he reflected on the senseless killings caused by gun violence over the course of his administration. president obama announced new executive actions to confront the epidemic of gun violence in america.
8:26 pm
while mocked by some republicans for showing emotion at the loss of so many lives, i am here to say, i proudly stand with my president on the actions he's taken to prevent gun violence in america. these executive actions will save lives and make the country safer, without infringing on law-abiding individuals' rights to firearms. you will hear from our colleagues tonight, talking about the president's actions. i look forward to continuing to work with my colleagues and to address gun violence. thank you, and i yield back. mr. jeffries: thank you, representative beatty, for laying out the case in such an eloquent and compelling fashion. and pointing out that with respect to gun safety and gun violence prevention in america, it's long past time when we act with the fierce urgency of now. tens of thousands of americans
8:27 pm
have died as a result of gun violence since the moment you and i first set foot in this institution. and not a single thing has been done the house of representatives to prevent those deaths. that is shameful, as you've pointed out. and we need a change of course. let me now yield to the distinguished gentleman, the ranking member, lead democrat on the house education and work force committee, once of course chaired by the legendary adam clayton powell, and representative scott has continued in that tremendous visionary tradition. and i now yield to the gentleman from virginia. mr. scott: thank you, mr. speaker. i want to thank the gentleman from new york and the gentlelady from ohio for roaringing -- for organizing tonight's special order, to focus on the toll that gun violence has taken on communities across america and especially the disportion ath impact -- disproposition at impact it has -- disproposition
8:28 pm
ath impact it hases had on people of color. rather than do what they say is celebrate the problem, i want to talk about solutions. last tuesday, the president announced an executive -- announced the executive actions that his administration will take to prevent gun violence. i commend the president for taking this action in light of the current congressional leadership's refusal to responsibly address this epidemic. these executive actions will ensure stronger enforcement of current laws and will reduce the number of lives lost to gun violence to begin with. the president's executive actions will narrow the show and internet loophole, by actually enforcing licensing requirements for gun dealers and overhauling the background check system to make it more effective and efficient. under current law, only licensed gun dealers are required to perform criminal background checks for all gun sales. and only those individuals
8:29 pm
deemed to be engaged in the business of dealing in guns are required to obtain a license from the bureau of alcohol, tobacco, firearms and explosives. the a.t.f. the executive actions make it clear that the commonsense proposition that anyone making a profit from the sale of guns or who regularly make gun sales or earns a livelihood from gun sales is in fact engaged in the business and therefore must obtain the license and conduct required criminal background checks. even if those sales occur at gun shows or over the internet. the question of whether someone is engaged in business will be determined by normal legal standards, as opposed to people just declaring themselves to be exempt, which is going on now. some of these people are even making a living selling firearms. they need to get a license. this is the present law and the president has said he will enforce it. the federal bureau of investigations is part of
8:30 pm
executive actions that will overhaul its national instant criminal background check system, to make it more effective and efficient by hiring more than 230 additional examiners and other staff so the bureau can process background checks 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and improve its notification of local authorities when prohibited persons unlawfully attempt to purchase a gun. these people are currently breaking the law when they illegally try to buy a firearm. local law enforcement officials need to be informed. according to the bureau of justice statistics, this system has already caught more than two million people trying to buy guns illegally and they need to be held accountable for breaking the law. furthermore, dealers will also be required to notify law enforcement if their guns are lost or stolen in transit. this transparency and accountability ensure that law
8:31 pm
enforcement will be notified and can begin investigations when these losses occur. these trance actions will also allow the department of homeland security to sponsor research into gun technology. when the federal government begins buying guns using that kind of technology, it will make it more likely that this technology will be used there is technology that makes it impossible for anyone other than the true owner to use weapons and these -- and the more purchases the federal government makes, the more likely it is that that technology will actually be installed in future weapons. the president has also directed departments to review the availability of smart gun technology on a regular basis and to explore potential ways to further its use and to encourage research to more broadly improve gun safety. president's plan also proposes a new $500 million investment to increase access to mental health
8:32 pm
treatment, to ensure the people who need help do not fall through the cracks of the mental health system. this is in addition to the huge increases in mental health funding under the affordable care act. mental health services are considered essential services anso now virtually all health insurance policies include mental health coverage. within the president's executive authority, these executive actions will go a long way to keeping hands out of -- gepping guns out of the hnds of people who never should have had them in the first place. but that's executive action. kuok meeds to act to protect -- protect citizens from gun violence. the house gun violence provepks task force reited -- reiterated that washington has a moral only gigs to do something to address our nation's gun violence epidemic. the most effective way to do this is through comp rehence i,
8:33 pm
evidence-based policy proposals. our task force put forth several proposals that will go a long way to achieving these goals. ese include reinstates and strengthening the ban. implementing universal background checks. cracking down on illegal gun trafficking and straw purchases. improving our mental health system and implementing comprehensive, locally tailored, violence intervention programs. the gentleman from california, representative thompson, is the chair of the house democratic gun violence pretchings task force and he introduced a resolution to establish a select committee of the house to study gun violence that resolution is co-sponsored by democratic leader nancy pelosi and the 11 co-chairs of the task force. the proposed select committee would be comprised of six republicans an six democrats who would study the research and issue a final report and recommendations including
8:34 pm
legislative proposals within 60 days of its establishment. it would study and make recommendations to address many issues including the causes of mass shootings, methods to improve federal firearm purchasing background check systems, connections between access to firearms and dangerously mentally ill individuals, federal penalties for trafficking and straw purchasing of firearms, loopholes that allow some domestic abusers continued access to firearms, linkages between firearms and suicide, gun violence' effect on public health, the correlation between state gun violence prevention laws and the incidents of gun violence. the importance of having reliable, accurate information on gun violence and its toll on our neag. the implementation of effective gun violence prevks laws, the
8:35 pm
rates of gun violence in large metropolitan areas. mr. speaker, by taking deliberate research-based approach to gun violence, treating it as we would a public health challenge, we can significantly reduce the ravages of gun violence. the president is limited by his executive authority on what alone he can do to address this ep democrat ex. long-term reforms can only be achieved through congressional action. i hope that the leadership of the congress will follow the president's lead and act in a bipartisan basis to address this critical issue using public health strategies and evidence-based proposals. again, mr. speaker, i thank the gentleman from new york and the gentlelady from ohio for coordinating this special issue -- this special order and i yield back the balance of my time. mr. ellison: thank you, representative scott, for laying out the steps being taken by the president in such a compelling jeffries: thank
8:36 pm
you, representative scott, for laying out the steps being taken by the president to -- in such a compelling way and how they're addressing the fact that more than 0,000 americans a year die as a result of gun violence related homicides. let me yield to the distinguished gentlelady from california, an incredibly eloquent and passionate voice for the voiceless, and we appreciate her service here in the congress not just on behalf of the district that she represents in northern california, but certainly on behalf of the people of the united states of america. i yield now to congresswoman barbara lee. ms. lee: let me thank the gentleman from new york for those kind remarks. also, i want to thank yourself and congresswoman beatty for organizing this very important special order and for your tremendous leadership, congressman -- congressmen
8:37 pm
jeffries and beatty. ensuring public safety. your leadership, both congresswoman beatty and congressman jeffries, is bold, and not just as a result of recent tragedies but for many, many years, even before both of you came to congress. it's an honor to serve with both of you in this body. thank you very much for the opportunity to speak this evening. also, i want to thank congresswoman robin kelly who is vice chair thief -- vice chair of the gun violence task force and chairs the c.b.c.'s health brain trust. i want to thank you for your tireless work to ensure that gun violence is treated as a public health problem which it is. madam speaker, i rise this evening with my colleagues in the congressional black caucus to call on congress to do something. to to something about the epidemic of gun violence that's harming our communities. since the start of the year, just 11 days ago, nine of my constituents have already become
8:38 pm
victims of gun violence. including an elementary schoolteacher and an innocent mother pushing her child in a stroller. just this weekend alone, my community suffered three gun homicides. my thoughts are with the victims, -- victims' families at this very terrible, difficult time. but we have to do something. enough is enough. congress can and must do more to stop this senseless violence. whether it's charleston, oak creek, sandy hook or the streets of oakland or wherever. too many people have already lost their lives. too many families have buried loved ones and too many lives have been changed forever because of catastrophic injuries as a result of gun violence. mavepls, now is the time for action. our constituents are demanding action. the country is demanding action. i've received hundreds of calls and emails from my constituents and i know other members are also hearing from their
8:39 pm
constituents. they're calling for action as well. earlier today in my own district, oakland city council presidently net gibson mcill veney buried her grandson, 17-year-old torian houston, shot and killed in a robbery just days before christmas. this has been a very difficult period for council matthew mcconaughey ill haney and her family. -- to councilmember mcill haney and her family. we must do something. we must co-something in all of their memories. let me be clear. congress can no longer ignore the massive toll that this epidemic is having on our constituents, their families and communities. last week we joined with our colleagues and millions of americans in a -- in applauding president obama's actions to reduce gun violence in our nation. thanks to the president's leadership there will be more
8:40 pm
background checks, better enforcement of existing gun laws, improved mental health services and new research on how to end this epidemic of gun violence. but more action is needed to stop the more than 30,000 gun deaths that occur in our nation each and every year. congress must pass commonsense gun reform. like closing the gun show loophole. bipartisan measures that are supported by the vast majority of americans and gun owners. congress must also fund the expanse of mental hell services. but this should not be an excuse to doing in on gun safety. we've got to provide the bureau of alcohol, tobacco, firearms and explosives the resources it needs to enforce our nation's gun laws. i have fought along with my colleagues to get these vital public safety resources in the appropriations bills which keep our community safe. we must also end the extreme data restrictions that restrict
8:41 pm
law enforcement's ability to protect public safety and prevent policymakers from addressing gun violence as a mick health issue. that's why i introduced last tiahrt 1449, the restrictions appeal -- repeal act, to repeal data restrictions on background checks. teaheart lled the restrictions. these provisions currently impede public safety by requiring the national criminal background check system records to be destroyed, mind you, destroyed within 24 hours, prohibiting the a.t.f. from requiring licensed dealers to conduct annual inventory checks to detect lost or stolen firearms, and restricting local and state law enforcement from using trace data to fully investigate corrupt dealers and traffickers. this is outrageous. we've got to restrict and repeal
8:42 pm
these amendments right away. they will help tackle the bad apples, gun tealers who provide dangerous weapons to criminals. it's estimated that just 5% of sellers supply the weapons used in nearly 90% of gun crimes. the teahart restricts provide access to vital data needed to tackle gun violence in our community. of course many of us are proud to support congresswoman kelly's bill which would allow the surgeon general to study gun violence as a public health issue and the consumer product safety commission to regulate firearms. madam speaker the time for action is now. let's start listening to the american people and insist that congress do something. it is really disingenuous to criticize the president for issuing commonsense gun safety measures when we have been trying for years in this body, for years, get these sensible
8:43 pm
bills passed. the speaker should allow these and many other bills to come to the floor so that congress can act. no more excuses. we should support congressman thompson's proposal to establish a select committee on gun violence. the speaker should do this now. and so we can't continue to really allow the misinformation to get out about congress. we need to do our job. we've been trying, many of us, the congressional black caucus and others, especially democrats, for many years, to try to get the speaker to bring these bills to the floor. so what did the president do? he had to do something. no more excuses. congress needs to act. i thank congresswoman beatty and jeffries for this very important special hour and for your tremendous leadership. thank you again. mr. jeffries: i thank the distinguished gentlelady from california for her wonderful remarks and observations and of course her support for the
8:44 pm
president's executive actions on gun safety. making it clear that the president was left with no choice but to act. tens of thousands of americans die each and every year either as it relates to homicide or suicide through a firearm. and nothing was happening here in the united states congress. classic definition of legislative insanity is to do the same exact thing which in this instance is nothing, and expect that things were going to change. for the safety and well being of the american people. that's why we're here on the floor today expressing strong support for the president's executive actions and pushing this institution to do more and finish the job that the president of the united states of america started. it's now my honor and privilege to yield to the distinguished gentlelady from houston, a
8:45 pm
forceful advocate, the lead democrat on the relevant committee on the house judiciary side of the equation as it relates to criminal justice reform and gun safety. she, of course, has been a tremendous champion for the people she serves down in h-town as well as across the country. i yield now to representative sheila jackson lee. . let me -- ms. jackson lee: let me thank the gentleman from new york for yielding. as has been stated by my colleagues, i want to add my applause as well for the thoughtfulness of the gentleman's leadership on a number of issues, but certainly his pronounced leadership on criminal justice reform. and on the judiciary committee. and then to be joined by former leader of the ohio state legislature, and she has not forgotten her talents of leadership, and that is congresswoman joyce beatty, who
8:46 pm
joins us. and if i might put words in both your mouths, with a sense of outrage about where we are today. and i say that because i would like to stand here with an enormous amount of outrage for where we are and why we are here. i want to add my appreciation to the congressional black caucus and the chairman, mr. butterfield, and of course congresswoman -- dr. kelly, who has been a great leader on the issues dealing with health care. and i just want to cite to her a lady that came to this congress more than a decade ago , deborah stiff. you maid mayweather have read her writings -- you may have read her writings. she pronounced during that time that gun violence was a health crisis. and that was so many years ago. and unfortunately with all of her writings, we still couldn't get movement. i'm going to take a slightly different perspective and, if i
8:47 pm
could just take these few moments to give you an he can dose tal story with -- anecdotal story which many you might find with a great deal of shock, if you will. and that is the limit to which gun rights advocates who mislead the american people on any ideas for gun safety or gun regulation as taking guns away. i was in a meeting where someone was trying to understand why president obama in his excellent presentation about securing america and protecting our children from gun violence was being associated with the idea of taking over 345 million guns. this is what is represented to be president obama's message. he will confiscate through his process of gun testing or making sure that there are background checks for everyone, that he wanted to confiscate
8:48 pm
345 million guns, which has been determined to be located in 65 million places here in the united states. can i, in a public forum on this august floor of the house, say that we as members of congress, and i think republicans will admit this, have no evidence, no documentation, that the white house intends to confiscate guns. no manner of level of increased a.t.f. officers can ever do that. why this misrepresentation, mischaracterization is here. but listen to this, gun advocates have made claims over the years that the second amendment means they can buy any gun they want and take it virtually anywhere. well, basically, that does exifment except for the basic constraints of background checks. which now the president has expanded to ensure that if you are in a gun show, this is a gun show loophole, and you're
8:49 pm
sitting next to the stall of a lnlsed gun person, and you're in the business of selling guns, why shouldn't you be either licensed or required -- basically background checks? but listen to this. in a legal battle in florida, they laid claim to a new fangeled second amendment right. the right not to have anyone talk to gun owners about their guns. specifically gun advocates don't want doctors discussing guns or the potential harm that guns may cause with their patients. and while mere talk about guns might seem to have nothing to do with the right to keep or bear arms, the advocates contend that the constitution is on their side. last month for the third time in the same suit a federal court of appeals agreed. this is very bizarre. the case is filed under the name of woe schrager vs. the government of the state of florida. it started when some gun owners and the national riffle association told florida legislators that their doctors
8:50 pm
were harassing them by asking about gun safety. asking about gun safety. the legislators responded by passing a law that bars health care workers from discussing or recording anything about their patients' gun ownership or safety practices that could be deemed in bad faith, irrelevant or harassing. 12 other states are thinking about it. and now we have the fire owners -- firearms privacy act. this is in the face of a number of homicides that are in this country. and let me cite to my colleagues that america is the number one country out of western nations that has the highest number of cases of homicide by firearms per 100,000. the closest that comes to them is .7 by italy. then taiwan, canada, spain, .2, germany, .2. and all the news stories we see on violent disruptions in
8:51 pm
various places and protests, there are numbers of gun violence on homicides is miniscule. australia. .1%. u.k., .1. south korea, .03. and finally japan, .01. if that doesn't get our attention, i don't know what does. then look at this map. this map, 353 mass shootings in merk in 2015. -- in america in 2015. my colleagues can see. is this anything to be proud of? mass shootings, not by knives, not by throwing stones, but by guns. this is what america is to the world. a sea of red of mass shootings. so much so that you can't even see background in some of these parts of this nation. and yet there are laws that are being passed to stop health professionals from asking whether you have guns that might in fact endanger your children or yourselves.
8:52 pm
thank you. on average, more than 100,000 people in the united states are shot in murders, assaults and other crimes, more than 32,000 people die from gun violence. including 2,677 children under the age of 18. gun deaths justify versus criminal studies always found that for every one justified homicide in the united states involve a gun. guns were used in 44 criminal homicides. in all of our communities, we see young black men being felled by gun violence. young people in our communities being felled by gun violence. or innocent store keepers being felled by gun violence. or in the instance of the philadelphia police officer, all of us respect the dangers of law enforcement, recognizing that we can work together by building, prepared and trained law enforcement officers to avoid the violence with guns. but in this instance of this individual who point-blank shot at an officer with a gun, who's now been determined possibly to
8:53 pm
have heard voices, though he said he was inspired by isis, again, someone wanted to suggest that it wasn't anything that obama could have done. it was a stolen police gun. and it's out on the streets. and obviously we don't have enough people enforcing against the trafficking of stolen guns. mass shootings, the u.s. has a far higher number of mass shootings than any others i've indicated. one in four american adults have a mental illness. every time we hear of these mass shootings, defense womens, which they have a right to talk about this person's severe criminal mental illness condition. guns and suicide is the leading cause of related deaths in america. more than 60% of deaths by guns in the country are the result of individuals using these weapons, intending to commit suicide. not knives. not stones. not even poison. or overdose on drugs. guns. guns and domestic violence. provide a deadly outcome.
8:54 pm
law enforcement killed by guns. each year hundreds of law enforcement officers lose their lives in gun violence. having been shot to death while protecting their communities. and of course we know that we have experienced tragic incidences under the authority of law where people have been killed. and the community is over the top in frustration. background checks check lives and the tragedy of mother emanuel, the individual went to buy guns and the store owner said, you know, it's taking too long. and so i support president obama's very astute and thoughtful approach. and out of that, i'm very glad to have introduced two initiatives. one, 4315, mental health access and gun violence. which is a capture president obama's, along with karen bass, and i encourage my colleagues to sign on to 4315, which authorizes $500 million for health treatment access and to assist in the reporting of relevant disqualifying mental
8:55 pm
health information to the f.b.i.'s background check system. not to violate the privacy, but to give more information to the database. because that certainly would be part of saving lives. and then, as i conclude, h.r. 4316, i'm pleased to have joined me in this, congresswoman kelly, the gun violence reduction resources act, that authorizes the hiring of 200 million additional a.t.f. agents. the very points of which my republican friends are saying, but yet they're condemning what the president has offered. i would say to my colleagues in closing, if we don't do this for any other reason, to take and codify the president's initiatives on ncis, data collection, research regarding safer guns, on background checks and closing the gun show loophole, if we don't do it, we should do it for the children. from december, 2012, to december, 2013, at least 100
8:56 pm
children were killed in unintentional shootings, almost two every week. 61% higher than federal data reflect. about 2/3 of these unintended deaths, 65%, took place in the home or vehicle that belonged to the victim's family, most often with the guns that were legally owned but not secured. i remind you of that supreme court challenge or that law in florida where doctors can't secure information to protect the patients or the children of these families. more than 2/3 of these tragedies could be avoided if gun owners stored their guns responsibly and prevented children from accessing them. i've introduced legislation on gun storage. i call it safety and responsibility. but yet unfortunately it's perceived as attacking the second amendment. my good friend from new york, let me thank you for yielding this time and allow me to just leave us with the point that as the congressional black caucus stands on the floor, we need
8:57 pm
partners in doing the right thing. and i hope before the president leaves office he'll have the opportunity to reasonably and rationalally sign bills that will save live -- rationally sign bills that will save lives. i yield back. mr. jeffries: i thank the distinguished gentlelady for yielding. for the tremendous work you continue to do on the judiciary committee. i look forward to partnering with you. as you point out, the second amendment protects the right to bear arms. it should not protect the ability of others to utilize weapons, often of mass destruction, in doing harm to americans without license or any legal basis for doing so. all we want is rational gun safety, gun violence prevention. i look forward to continuing to work with you in that regard. it's now my honor and privilege to yield to one of my classmates who's been a tremendous and forceful advocate for gun violence prevention measures, not only as the chair of the c.b.c. health brain trust, to which she's been tireless on so many different issues, but also in her capacity within the house
8:58 pm
democratic caucus, as well as a chair of the c.b.c. gun violence prevention task force. someone who stood up countless times for the children in chicago and the many others who have been dealing with unacceptable levels of gun violence. i yield now to congresswoman robin kelly. ms. kelly: thank you. i thank my good friend, the gentleman from new york, mr. jeffries, and the gentlelady from ohio, the distinguished representative, joyce beatty, for this important special order hour tonight. congressman jeffries, you've charped these special order hours -- chaired these special order hours for the congressional black caucus in my first term, so it's good to see you back in the driver's seat with our classmate, representative beatty. last year i had the privilege of leading the special order hour with our colleague, the honorable donald payne of new jersey, and in the course of that year, we came to this floor to reflect on gun violence on one too many occasions. because it is an epidemic in
8:59 pm
communities across the country. in fact, we are 11 days into 2016 and there have already been 80 shootings in my hometown of chicago. for people with -- four people were shot and killed in less than 24 hours. i applaud president obama's bold executive action that has been talked about tonight. i believe these policies will keep guns out of the hands of criminals and dangerous individuals. now, if you listen to some, they will say they are trying to take our guns. there is nothing in the executive action that says that. the opposition is pushing fear, not fact. with over 30 americans killed by guns every single day, inaction is not an option. in my nearly three years in congress, the majority party has refused to do anything on gun violence, not one hearing, not a single vote. to right what congress has unfortunately made wrong, president obama did what was necessary to address a threat to our long-term national
9:00 pm
security and economic stability. while we can't stop every criminal from committing every crime, we can take actions that will save lives. while president obama's executive actions are crucial steps in reducing the senls gun violence plaguing our nation, they don't be a solve congress of its moral responsibility to act. there are gaps in existing gun laws that leave us all vulnerable to gun violence. these holes are ones that only congress can plug. i have two commonsense bills which will compliment president obama's executive actions and help bring a redugs -- a reduction in firearm mortalities. the first bill, h.r. 224, the recognizing gun violence as a public health emergency act, would require the surgeon general to submit an annual report to congress on the public health impact of gun violence. the bill has 135 co-sponsors and i hope it can ge

50 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on