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tv   U.S. House of Representatives Legislative Business  CSPAN  February 9, 2016 2:00pm-4:01pm EST

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consideration 12 bills today under suspension of the rules. including one that designates the 9/11 memorial in new york city as a national memorial. another dealing with mental health and suicide prevention for female veterans. pro tempore house will be in order. the prayer for today will be offered by our chaplain, father conroy. chaplain conroy: let us pray. merciful god, we give you thanks forgiving us another day -- for giving us another day. we ask your special blessing upon the members of this people's house, they face difficult decisions and difficult times, with many forces and interests demanding their attention. enlighten the hearts of those who are faithful and tireless in securing equal justice under the law. fulfill the hopes of those who long for peace and security for their children. guide and protect all elected officials and all who choose to serve this nation through
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public service. unite your people and keep them focused on essentials that reflect your kingdom, even in the midst of conflicting opinions, philosophical differences and the contentiousness of an election season. bless us, o god, and be with us all this day and every day to come. may all that is done be for your greater honor and glory, amen. the speaker pro tempore: the pledge of aliege -- the chair has examined the journal of the last day's proceedings and announces to the house his approval thereof. pursuant to clause 1 of rule 1 the journal stands approved. now the pledge of allegiance will be led by the gentleman from texas, dr. babin. mr. babin: i pledge allegiance to the flag of the united states of america and to the republic for which it stands, one nation under god, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
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director stewart: the chair will now entertain requests for one-minute speeches. for what purpose does the gentleman from california seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i seek unanimous consent to address the house for one minute. revise and extend my rae marks. director stewart: without objection. mr. lamalfa: thank you, mr. speaker. our charge in congress is to be very careful and frugal and honest with the people's money that they send with their hard earned tax dollars. today we have an opportunity to make good on part that have with our commitment making government work bet forethe people it serves, control spending, and work at finally getting down the national debt. the v.a. medical facility process is broken and in need of major reform. in colorado they spent at least triple, probably quadruple, what is expected on
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construction of a replacement hospital due to mismanagement and lack of accountability. g.a.o. found in 2013 that the v.a.'s four largest medical construction projects were experiencing significant delays and massive cost increases. my district the v.a. plans to build two replacement clinics which v.a. says will take five years. in order to streamline improve the process, the house will vote on h.r. 3106 today which is sponsored by the gentleman is recognized for one minute jeff meryl of the v.a. committee. the bill includes commonsense reforms that will require the v.a. to use industry standards for meddal facility construction projects and increases congressional oversight. i'm proud to support this bill, continue to work to be accountable to the american people, and especially our veterans who need and deserve clear access, present access, timely access to the health care they deserve. i yield back. director stewart: the gentleman yields back. for what purpose does the gentleman from michigan seek recognition? mr. kildee: i seek unanimous
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consent to address the house for one minute. director stewart: without objection. mr. kildee: thank you, mr. speaker. the families and the children exposed to high levels of lead in my hometown of flint deserve action by the people who did this to them. the state of michigan, governor snyder's administration, created this public health emergency through their own inaction and by decision that is their appointed manager, their emergency manager, made in the city of flint, which has led to this kycies. -- crisis. we need to act in mearn equal to the graphity of this terrible situation. the -- gravity of this terrible situation. the president has already declared a state of emergency. congress can act, too. i have legislation i introduced last week that is a comprehensive set of solutions that not only deals with the need to replace those lead service lines that are leeching lead into the water system in households, but also provides the kind of support for
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children and families to get through this crisis and give them as individuals and my community as a community a chance on a future. resources are needed. not just a get well card. not just an apology. we need financial resources. the state needs to step up. and i'm asking this congress to do so as well. with that i yield back. director stewart: the chair lays before the house a communication. the clerk: the honorable the speaker, house of representatives. sir, pursuant to the permission granted in clause 2-h of rule 2 of the rules of the u.s. house of representatives, the clerk received the following message from the secretary of the senate on february 8, 2016, at 3:26 p.m. that the senate communicate senate resolution 364, relative to the death of marleau cook, signed, sin nearly, karen l. haas. -- sincerely, karen l. haas. director stewart: the chair lays before the house a communication.
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the clerk: the honorable the speaker, house of representatives. sir. pursuant to the permission granted in class 2-h of rule 2 of the rules of the u.s. house of representatives the clerk received the following message from the secretary of the senate on february 9, 2016, at 10:44 a.m., appointments. washington's farewell address. signed, sincere-l i. karen l. haas. the speaker pro tempore: the chair lays before the house a message. the clerk: to the congress of the united states. as i look back on the past seven years, i am inspired by america's progress and i am more determined than ever to keep our country moving forward. when i took office, our nation was in the midst of the worst recession since the great depression. the economy was shedding 800,000 jobs a month. the auto industry was on the brink of collapse and our manufacturing sector was in decline. many families were struggling
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to pay their bills and make ends meet. millions more saw their savings evaporate, even as retirement neared. thanks to the grit and determination of the american people, we have rescued our economy from the depths of the recession. we have analyzed our auto industry and laid down new rules to safeguard our economy from recklessness on wall street. we made the largest investment in clean energy in our history and made health care reform a reality. and today, our economy is the strongest, most durable on earth. our businesses have created more than 14 million jobs over 70 months. the longest streak of job growth on record. we have cut our unemployment rate in half. our manufacturing sector has added nearly 900,000 jobs in the last six years. our auto industry just had its best year of sales ever. we are less reliant on foreign oil than at any point in the previous four decades. nearly 18 million people have gained health care coverage
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under the affordable care act, a.c.a. cutting the uninsured rate to a record lofmente our children are graduating from high school at the highest rate ever. and we manage to accomplish all this while dramatically cutting our deficits by almost 3/4 and setting our nation on a more sustainable fiscal path. together we have brought america back. yet while it is important to take stock of our progress, this budget is not about looking back at the road we have traveled, it is about looking forward. it is about making sure our economy works for everybody, not just those at the top. it is about choosing investments that not only make us stronger today but also reflect the kind of country we aspire to be. the kind of country we want to pass on to our children and grandchildren. it is about answering the big questions that will define america and the world in the 21st century. my budget makes critical investments while adhering to the bipartisan budget agreement
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i signed into law last fall, nd it lifts sequestration in future years so we continue to invest in our economic future and national security. it also drives down deficits and maintains our fiscal progress through smart savings from health care, immigration, and tax reforms. and it focuses on meeting our greatest challenges not only for the year ahead but for decades to come. first by accelerating the pace of american innovation we can create jobs and build the economy as a future while tackling our greatest challenges including addressing climate change and finding new treatments and cures for evastating diseases. the challenge of climate change will define the contours of this country -- century more dramatically than any other. last year the hottest on record surpassing the record set just a year before, climate change is already causing damage, including longer, more severe droughts and dangerous floods, disruptions to our food and
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water supply, and threats to our health and our economy and our security. we have made great strides to foster a robust, clean, energy industry and move our economy away from energy sources that fuel climate change, and communities across the nation. wind power is now cheaper than dirtier conventional power, and solar pewer is saving americans tens of millions of dollars a year. it employs more workers than the coal industry and jobs that pay better than average. despite these advances, we can and must do more rather than shrinking from the challenge america must foster the spirit of innovation to create jobs, build a climate smart economy the future, and protect the
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only planet we have. to speed our transition to an affordable, reliable clean energy system, my budget funds mission innovation. our landmark commitment to double clean energy research and development funding. it also calls for a 21st century clean transportation initiative that would help to put hundreds of thousands of americans to work modernizing our infrastructure to ease congestion and make it easier for businesses to bring goods to market for new technologies such as autonomous vehicles and high speed rail funded through a fee paid by oil companies. it proposes to modernize our business tax system to promote innovation and job creation. it invests in strategies to make our communities more resilient to floods, wildfires, and other effects of climate change. and it protects and modernizing our water supply and preserves our natural landscapes. these investments coupled with those in other cutting-edge technology sectors range interesting manufacturing to space exploration will drive new jobs, new industries, and a new understanding of the world around us.
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just as a commitment to innovation can accelerate our efforts to protect our planet and create a new sustainable economy, it can also drive critical medical breakthroughs, the budget supports a new moon shot to finally cure cancer, an effort that led by the vice president and will channel resources, technology, and our collective knowledge to save lives and end this deadly disease. it also supports the precision, medicine initiative to accelerate the development of customized treefment that take into account a patient's genes, environment, and lifestyle, as well as the brain initiative which will dramatically increase our understanding of how the brain works. second, we must work to deliver a fair shot at opportunity for all. both because this reflects american values and because in the 21st century global economy, our competitiveness depends on tapping the full potential of every american. even as we have rebounded from the worst economic crisis of
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our lifetimes. too many families struggle to reach the middle class and stay there, and too many kids face obstacles on the path to success. real opportunity begins with education. my budget supports the ambitious goal that all children should have access to high quality preschool, including kids from low-income families who too often enter kindergarten already behind. it also supports states and cities as they implement a new education law that will place all students on a path to graduate, prepare for college, and successful careers. the bipartisan every student seeks act sets high standards for our schools and students, ensures states are held accountable for the success of all students, including those in the lowest performing schools. spurs innovation in education, helps schools recruit and support great teaches, and encourages states to reduce unnecessary testing. and because jobs in science, technology, engineering, and
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mathematics are projected to grow faster than other jobs in the years ahead, the budget makes critical investments in math and science through a new computer science for all initiative. the budget will expand the teaching and learning of these important concepts across america's schools better preparing our nation's students or today's innovation economy. higher education is the clearest path to the middle class. by 2020, 2/3 of jobs will require some education beyond high school. for our students and our economy, we must make a quality education, college education affordable for every american to support that goal the budget strengthens pell grants to help families pay for college. by increasing the scholarships available to students who take enough courses to stay on track for an on-time graduation, allowing students making progress towards their degrees to get support for summer classes, and providing scholarships to help incarcerated americans turn
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their lives around, get jobs, and support their families. it also offers two years of free community college to every responsible student and strengthens the american opportunity tax credit. in addition to preparing students for careers, we must help workers gain the skills they need to fill jobs in growing industries. my budget builds on the progress we have made to improve the nation's job training programs through implementation of the bipartisan work force innovation and opportunity act. it funds innovative strategies to train more workers and young people for 21st century jobs, and it doubles down on apprenticeships. a proven pathway to the middle class and supports a robust set of protections for the health, safety, wages, working conditions and retirement security for working americans.
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even as we invest in better skills and education for our work force, we must respond to dramatic changes in our economy and our work force. more auto mation, increased global competition, corporations less rigid in their communities, frequent job changes throughout a workers' career and a can he -- worker's career and a growing gap between the wealthiest and everyone else. these trends squeeze workers, even when they have jobs. even when the economy is growing. they make it harder to start a career, a family, a business, or retirement. to address these changes and give americans more economic security, we need to update several key benefit structures to make sure that workers can balance work and family, save for retirement, and get back on their feet if they lose a job. the budget supports these priorities by funding high-quality child care, encouraging state-paid leave policies, extending employer-based retirement plans to part-time workers, putting us on a path toward more
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portable benefit models and provide a tax credit for two earned families it. also modernizes the unemployment insurance system, so that more unemployed workers receive the unemployment benefits they need and an opportunity to retain their next job. and if that new job does not pay as much initially, it offers a system of wage insurance to encourage workers to rejoin the work force and help them pay their bills. budget includes tax cuts for middle class and working families that will make paychecks go further in meeting the cost of child care, education and saving for retirement. it builds upon the demonstrated success of the earned income tax credit by expanding it for workers without children and noncustodial parents. providing opportunity to all americans means tackling poverty, to many americans -- too many americans live in communities with underperforming schools and few jobs. we know from groundbreaking new
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research that growing up in these communities can put life-long limits on a child's opportunities. over the past few years, we've made progress in supporting families that were falling behind. for example, working family tax credits keep more than nine million people, including five million children, out of poverty each year. and the a.c.a. provides access to quality, affordable health care to millions. nevertheless, we need to do more to ensure that a child's zip code does not determine his or her destiny. improving the opportunity and economic security of poor children and families is both a moral and economic imperative. the budget funds innovative strategies to support this goal. including helping families move to safer neighborhoods with better schools and more jobs. we wwe is right liesing distressed -- revitalizing discorrespondenced communities, -- distressed community, providing families from becoming homeless, and ensuring
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that children have enough to eat when school is out for the summer. it also supports efforts to break the cycle of poverty and incarceration through criminal justice reform. finally, as we work to build a brighter few tier at home, we muffles also strengthen our national -- we must also strengthen our national security and global leadership. the united states of america is the most powerful nation on earth. blessed with the finest fighting force in the history f the world. till, this is a dangerous time . we face many threats, including the threat of terrorist attacks and violent extremists in many forms. our highest priority is keeping the american people safe and going after terrorist networks. that is why my budget increases support for a comprehensive strategy to destroy the islamic
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state of iraq, isil. in partnership with more than 60 other countries, by eliminating its leadership, cutting off its financing, disrupting its plots, stopping the flow of terrorist fighters and stepping out -- stamping out the vicious ideology. if the congress is serious about winning this war and wants to send a message to the troops, and the world, it should specifically authorize the use of military force against isil. the budget also sustains and builds the strength of our unmatched military forces. making the investments and reforms that will maintain our nation's superiority and ensure our advantage over any potential adversary. it also makes investments to ensure that our men and women in uniform who sacrificed so much to defend our nation and keep us safe get the support they have earned to succeed and thrive when they return home. cybersecurity is one of the most important national security challenges.
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as our economy becomes increasingly digital, more sensitive information is vulnerable tomy litsch -- malicious cyber -- to malicious cyber activity. my budget significantly increases our investment in cybersecurity through a sirne security national action plan. this plan includes retiring outdated federal information technology, i.t. systems, that were designed in a different age and increasingly are vulnerable to attack. reforming the way that the federal government manages and responds to cyberthreats and recruiting the best cybertalent will also help strengthen cybersecurity in the private sector and the digital ecosystem as a whole, enhancing cybereducation and making sure companies and consumers have the tools they need to protect themselves. but many of our challenges in cybersecurity require bold, long-term commitments to change the way we operate in an increasingly digital world. that is why to compliment the steps, i am also creating a commission of experts to make
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recommendations for enhancing cybersecurity awareness and protections inside and outside of government, protecting privacy and empowering take better control of their digital security. to ensure security at home, we must also demonstrate leadership around the world, strong leadership means not only wise application of military power, but also rallying other nations behind causes that are right. it means viewing the diplomacy and development efforts around the world as an essential instrument of our national security strategy and mobilizing the private sector and other donors alongside our foreign assistance to help achieve our global development and climate priorities. the budget supports this vision with funding for effective global health programs to fight hiv-aids, malaria and other illnesses, assistance for displaced persons and refugees, including from syria, and
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expanding educational opportunities for girls among many other critical development initiatives. as we make these investments to meet our greatest challenges, we are also working to build a 21st century government that delivers for the american people. the budget supports efforts to make the federal government more efficient and effective through smarter i.t. delivery and procurement, improving digital services, eliminating outdated regulationses and recruiting and retaining the best talent. it also invests in a new approach to working in local communities, one that disrupts an outdated top-down approach and makes our efforts more responsive to the ideas and concerns of local citizens. the budget supports the use of data and evidence to drive policymaking, so the federal government can do more of what works and stop doing what does not. the budget is a road map to a future that embodies america's
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values and aspirations, a future of opportunity and security for all of our families, a rising standard of living, and a sustainable, peaceful planet for our kids. this future is within our reach. but just as it took the collective efforts of the american people to rise from the recession and rebuild and leave a stronger economy, so will it take all of us working together to meet the challenges that lie ahead. it will not be easy, but i have never been more optimistic about america's future than i am today. over the past seven years, i have seen the strength, resilience and commitment of the american people. i know that when we are united in the face of challenges, our nation emerges stronger and better than ever before. i know that when we work together, there are no limits to what we can achieve. together we will move forward to innovate, to expand opportunity and security, and to make our nation safer and stronger than ever before. signed, barack obama, the white
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house, february 9, 2016. the speaker pro tempore: referred to the committee on appropriations and order printed. -- ordered printed. pursuant to clause 12-a of rule 1, the chair declares the house to be in recess until approximately 3
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to speak about the proposal which breaks decades of precedent. say they'll create their own joint budget resolution to present to the president later this year. and tonight, c-span will have results from new hampshire. the first in the nation primary starting at 8:00 p.m. eastern with coverage from wmur in manchester, and we'll also have candidates' victory and concession speeches and take your calls, your facebook reaction and your tweets, all getting under way tonight at 8:00 eastern here on c-span. here's more about today's first in the nation primary. this is from "washington journal." m, he is the survey center director there.
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thank you for joining us this morning, mr. smith. we want to talk about this new ndll you put out for cnn ad wmur. bernie sanders has 61% in new hampshire. hillary clinton has 30%. >> we have seen that lead never quite some time. sanders pulled ahead of clinton back in the fall. i think the clinton campaign made a enormous mistake ignoring sanders as a challenger, thinking he would go away. or the democrats would not support someone who had just recently become a democrat. on andnders has held extended his lead. he has tremendous support among younger people and people who have not voted in the primary before. the only saving grace you can see for hillary clinton right now is those people are the least likely to show up in the election next week. host: who are those people? ted chung: people under the age
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of 25 or 30 and people who have not voted in a primary in 2008 or 2012. we know younger people are less likely to vote than people who are in their 30's, 40's, or 50's. voting is a habit and if you have voted in the earlier primaries, there isn't much better chance that you will vote in the current primaries. host: have somebody who has observed, covered and research into politics for a long time, mr. smith, what if bernie sanders wins by 10 points or what the wins by 30 points? what is the significance? >> it is not if you win or lose, it is if you manage the expectations set for you by your campaign, and by the press. clinton is in the polls right now. in singleable to lose
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digit, that is almost a victory. her husband bill clinton had been losing by up to 16 points and pulls rugby for the primary. helost only by eight and claimed that was a victory and claimed he was a comeback kid. he used that to build momentum primaries.equent she could plausibly make the same case. however, if this lead for sanders holds up, it will be difficult for her to explain away a 20 point loss. it was because sanders is from a neighboring state. what we have seen historically is candidates from new england do better here. the major reason isn't because they are better known. the democrats for example, in new hampshire are very similar berniedemocrats sanders is used to. a hard timeve
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explaining away a large loss. that would damage her and build momentum for bernie sanders and make him a much more credible candidate in states like south carolina. host: we have left the line open. the number to call on is on the screen. you write that there is some importance attached to the new hampshire primary, but that it could be overblown. >> that is true. there used to be a new hampshire slogan that read "new hampshire first, always right." we saw that bill clinton finished second in 1992. first w bush was blown out by john mccain. hillary clinton beat barack obama here in 2008. all three went on to win the
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presidency. candidatesf those who won the party nomination, have won new hampshire. it is not as important as it used to be, but it is still the single most important dates in the nomination process. iowa is important, but because iowa and new hampshire have campaigns going on at the same time, they are like parallel campaigns. new hampshire can often stop the momentum of the candidate who wins iowa. the electorate in iowa and new hampshire are so different that the new hampshire candidate is typically the one who gets the momentum going forward. it is not the dominant state it used to be in the early part of the 1970's and 1980's when the parties and candidates were just process out the primary . it is still the single most important state.
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host: let's look at the republican side. here is the most recent poll. donald trump, 29%. marco rubio up to second place with 18%. ted cruz, 13%. john kasich, 12%. chris christie and carly fiorina each have 4%. what is significant in that to you? mr. smith: the takeaway is that donald trump's numbers have not budged before or after iowa. that is typical. even though he did not win in iowa, it has not impacted voters here. it is also not surprising that ted cruz who won iowa is not getting much traction here. it is not been a republican theidate who has won both iowa caucuses and the new hampshire primary in the same
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year. mainly because the iowa caucuses are dominated by more socially conservative and evangelical voters. 45% of new hampshire voters are moderate to liberal and are not that concerned about social issues. it is not surprising that ted cruz is down fairly far. marco rubio is the one to watch. rubioe have seen is marco is one of those candidates who is pretty accepted with the conservative wing and the mainstream wing. they like him and have not had much to dislike about him, yet. io is getting a bit of a bounce from his third-place finish in iowa, the unexpected third-place finish. what that is allowing voters in new hampshire to do is to take a second look at his campaign to see if he might be the more mainstream republican, who are right now bunched
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altogether. if you get behind marco rubio and ted cruz, use the john kasich, jeb bush, and chris christie bunched together. we expected one of those candidates to pull away from the others over the last weekend. buto may be that person, it is still too early to say. host: the population of new hampshire is about 1.3 million people. voters or registered undeclared. 30% are republican and 26% are democratic. can anybody vote in any primary? mr. smith: new hampshire is a semi closed primary. if you are registered as a republican you can only vote in the republican primary. it is the same with democrats.
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those we call independents can vote in either. using that term makes many people outside of the state, as well as people here in new hampshire, that they are free agents. in then choose republican and democratic primary. that is true, but most of them are democrats and republicans. 38% are really democrats and 33% are really republicans. undeclared voters that are really democrats vote like other democrats. they will vote primarily in the democratic primary. similarly, dos about the same as registered republicans. those people who could truly pick up a ballot from either party makeup a very small percentage of the overall electorate, somewhere in the 3%-7% range. it is nowhere near as large as the 44% that is thrown around as
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the big block of independence that will sway the election. andy smith has been the director of the university of new hampshire survey center since 1999. he also teaches political science at that university. the first call for him comes thank you forand taking my call. i would like to ask you to what do you attribute the bernie sanders-trump phenomenon? i was raised to believe that we if you arefficials qualified for a job because of recommendations, experience, proven records. in both of these men, there is not much of that. heartband is a purple recipient from the korean war,
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and bernie sanders was on the committee for veterans quagmireation and the resulted in men dying, not getting treatment and we are only hearing about it. what did he do for the veterans to change that? host: thank you. mr. smith? guest: it is interesting. we have come around to think that the qualifications for a president means you must have office,revious elected governor or at least a senator. that is a more recent phenomenon. the founding fathers outlined what the characteristics were for office, and they were integrity, strength of character, honesty and wisdom, but they do not say anything about elected office. century, we often elected generals who had not been political at all.
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even as recently as 1952, we elected dwight eisenhower who had no previous political experience. democraticthat the and republican parties were recruiting him in 1952 simply on the strength of his celebrity and being able to prosecute the war in europe. said, i think some of the anger you are seeing expressed in both republican and democratic electorates has its roots in economic stagnation that has taken place over the last 20 years. people are working more now, and even in new hampshire, we have an unemployment rate of 3.1%, but there are people angry about the economy. we are anxious about the economic future and they have a lot of debt. younger people in particular have not been able to get jobs here and in other parts of the debtry and have enormous out of college. i think it is the anxiety
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leading people to say, ok, we need somebody different, outside of the normal political structure to look at. i think that is why you are seeing trump and sanders. not that the trump and sanders voters might switch over and vote for the other guy, the partisanship really prevents that from happening, but i think that is one reason you are seeing these outsider candidates, candidates not in the mainstream of their parties, having more success. host: carl is in baltimore and a republican. caller: hi, how are you doing? host: please, go ahead. caller: thank you. -- i have been g and six college credits. i get looked for a job, the job because i qualify for it. the president of the united states is the commander-in-chief.
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he didn't really answer it. you run for president because you are in the military, it is a military job. in thee a problem nation, we have congress. you vote for people who believe in what you believe in and will accomplish what you want to the congress. congressmen, senators, house of representatives, they will the country. we put too much on that. he is there to protect you, the commander-in-chief, like george washington said, i don't want to be a king. the military, of your commander-in-chief, that's it. host: who are you currently supporting for president? caller: i am a republican, so ago with republicans. term does not qualify. none of the front runners qualify. they are not military people. host: that is carl in baltimore.
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he is right. throughout the 19 century and starting with george washington, people with military experience have often served as president and they pointed to the military experience as a major qualification. since we have gotten to the 20th century and the later part of the 20th century, the role of the president has expanded the on the traditional and more constitutionally-based role as dealing with foreign policy, primarily with outside relations , and letting states deal with what happens in terms of domestic policy as federal government become bigger and bigger, the president takes on the role as chief executive more than the commander-in-chief of the united states. he has been seen as the person who is essentially a giant governor of the country. i think that is one of the reasons you see governors be
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more successful in 20th century. hadof those people have military experience, but if you look over the past several presidents we had, barack obama did not have military experience, george w. bush was in the national guard, bill clinton did not have military experience. george h.w. bush was the last you could say it really had military experience with his time in world war ii as a pilot. host: how important our military issues to new hampshire voters? jeb bush talked quite a bit in this town hall last night about veterans. speaking, foreign affairs and terrorism related issues are the top issue on the republican side. the democratic side is economic. it is important for republicans, and we have had republican candidates talking very tough on things like what they would do it isis if they were elected, how do it feel with the soviet union -- showing my age -- how
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they would deal with russia and how they might deal with china. donald trump is made this essential part of his campaign and he wants to get the u.s. military where everyone will fear us and no one will mess with us. that is attracting veterans and nonveterans. the whole issue about veterans affairs and dealing with veterans has been interesting in new hampshire. one of the issues we have appeared, we are fairly suburban and if you live in southeastern parts of this day, you have access to veterans facilities in massachusetts or new hampshire, but a lot of the veterans of the rural parts are stuck. it is a long way for them to get to a veteran facility, so there are efforts to make it easier for them to go to regular hospitals and get treatment. host: four days out, what percentage of voters are undecided? guest: historically, anywhere between 35% to 45% of primary voters have told people and then
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suppose that they made up their minds in the last three days. 15% to 20% said they made up their mind on election day. the polls we see right now on the republican side shows that 40% ofnly about republicans say they firmly decided who they are going to vote for. that is about 65% of democrats who say they decided to they will vote for. not surprising that the democrats are more's decided since they'll have two people. we could see a a lot of movement over the past weekend -- over this weekend because many have not made up their minds. host: bill on the independent line. caller: good morning. thank you particular call. for taking my call. i follow mr. sanders closely and listen to his speeches. what hetand completely is saying. he articulates his positions extremely well.
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see all ofis that i the republican contenders calling themselves conservatives, but i don't understand what they are this leftwardmbat shift in the democratic party. are they purposely avoiding these issues and waiting for the general election? exactly what the with the are to deal challenge that mr. sanders is presented. also, hillary clinton. i am confused. all of the republican candidates seem to be running at the right
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and is the republican party, but when they come to the election in the fall, whoever is the nominee is going to have to run from the center. host: i think we got the point. andrew smith? guest: that is the contrary -- politicals quandary are in. you have to run as far to the right and then run like hell back to the center and i think that is the case in both parties. the republicans are trying to out conservative each other, whatever that definition might be, and on the democratic side, there is quite a debate on so which of the candidates is the two progressive, meaning, further to the left. in primary nomination processes or schedules, typically, with the notable exception of new hampshire, only the most activist voters come out and vote. those activist tend to be far
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more to the polar extremes of the parties. the voters appeal to during the primary process or the nomination process and then you have to hope that the things that you said during the primary do not allow you to be tainted too far to the extreme or the more moderate -- for the more moderate general election voter. both parties are having trouble with this right now. bernie sanders has forced hillary clinton to run further to the left then wanted to. sanders does not have problems with that and he is doing quite well among democrats who want to hear that. on the republican side, they're moving to the right, many different versions of conservatism over there, but the notable exception is donald trump. wins both party nominations, they will have the challenge of moving back to the center because these processes have made the move to the
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extremes of the parties. host: what if it snows on tuesday? how does that affect turnout? to still are used appear, even though we have not had much this year. it might dampen turnout a little bit but they would have to be an dampens snowstorm to turnout significantly. last year, we had over 100 inches in new hampshire, so we are used to it and we have people who know how to get about the streets and their sidewalks quickly. host: record turnout for republicans in iowa at the caucuses. what do you predict poor turnout this year? -- for turnout this year? we had recordght turnout in new hampshire. we had about 54% come to voting eligible population voting turnout. in 2016, it was record turnout me,republicans -- excuse 2000 12 was another record for republicans and opera democrats because they did not have a competitive primary.
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this year, both are competitive. i think we might see another record turnout, so that if 24% range could happen again. that is important because in new hampshire, we don't really have just activist determining who wins the primary. it is regular voters, people who don't pay as much attention to politics, who don't know the candidates as well, the issue positions of the candidates. i think that is the major reason why you see the new hampshire electorate the more volatile than the electorate in other states because you have people who are essentially choosing flavors of ice cream when they choose a candidate and they don't see a lot of difference. they will be happy with whoever wins the party nomination. host: we have said aside our fourth voting line for people in new hampshire. (202)-748-8003 is the number to call. sue in new jersey. democrat. caller: good morning, gentlemen.
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that theve an opinion party is nothing but actors and they always try to use situations to their benefit and convince the voters that they are the best for the country. there is not a single person in each party who has the best of the people in their hearts. therefore, my question is -- is there any chance that someone with a good heart and a love of god in their heart and they care about the people in this country and this people that are suffering around the world that they can come together, both parties, and bring the world to a calmer situation. host: that is sue in colonial,
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new jersey, any comment? guest: after watching presidential elections for many decades, i think that come to a cynical conclusion that you have to be have crazy or certainly somewhat psychopathic to run for president and to think that you are the person who deserves to be most powerful person in the world and that you alone are qualified to do that job. i think sue has a point that the people who run for office are only out to tell the people what they want to hear or what they think they want to hear and get power for themselves. the most important role in any elected office or any elected government is to get elected. if you are not elected, you don't have the ability to affect a change of up to make. that is the trade-off that you have in any democratic system. you have to appeal to voters first. edmund burke talked about this in his letter to the people of bristol that basically says, you
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are elected me for my wisdom and judgment, not to do what you necessarily want me to do and you can always throw me out if you don't believe i am living up to what you wanted me to do. he was thrown out of parliament after that. [laughter] it is a problem in a democratic society -- what do you have to do to appeal to the voters and how do implement what you think is best for the country once you are elected? debate one is a saturday night, a republican debate, but some candidates have events this weekend. andy smith is someone who has observed this process for a long time. ,hat will make more difference the debate or smaller events where new hampshireites can meet the candidates? guest: we don't know really. the debates have the potential and having artant significant impact, but we don't know. we have seen sometimes which debates have been hugely important. i think the debate in 2008 with hillary clinton was important
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and that helped her secure the democratic win that year, but there are other times when debates are more the same, so it remains to be seen. shaking hands and meeting with people is important, but most voters really don't ever have a chance or don't bother to try to meet a candidate and shake cans with the candidate. you have the opportunity to do that in new hampshire you want to, but most voters don't take advantage of that opportunity. i think with the campaigns are makingtrying to do is sure their get out the vote machines are ready to go and identify the number of voters they think they need to have to get to their level of success. they can really turn this people out on election day. -- campaigning is designed obviously it is designed, you want to meet people, have them have a good sense about you,
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gave the media attention in local media and national media from that campaign stop, but it is really making sure that your kid out the vote machine is ready on election day. host: amber is in pittsfield, new hampshire, democrat. have you ever attended a candidate event? caller: good morning, gentlemen. one way, i did go to back when, but i just had a quick question. if someone is registered in new hampshire as democrat and they wanted to vote independent, will that be a problem? guest: if you are registered as a democrat, you can only vote in the democratic primary. if you wanted to change a registration to independent aren't declared, you would have had to do that back in october and early november before the filing period for candidates was open.
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if you bow, you can change your status to undeclared or independent after you vote, but if you are a registered democrat before the election, you will only be able to vote in the democratic primary. gopaul is an national. caller: -- host: is in nashville. believe bernie sanders being a socialist will not be able to make deals for the country work for him, so what is your opinion, sir? that: that is the argument the clinton campaign has been making. clinton has not been making it has directly, but the rest of the campaign and the surrogates have been making that case. one person earlier referred to the potential republican ad against sanders as standing next to a hammer and sickle, referencing the soviet union, so
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it is something central to the minds of a lot of democrats, but we also see a lot who really don't have the bad or negative associations with socialism like older voters. if you give a 25-year-old, the berlin wall fell before they were warned, the soviet union was gone when they were just children. they do not think of socialism as the gulags of the soviet union for the cultural revolution of china. they think of socialism as may be that nice trip they made to denmark, sweden, germany or france, socialized medical programs which seem to be popular, so the perception of what it means to be a socialist are changing as the historical era of the cold war is disappearing into our rearview mirrors. host: your senator jeanne shaheen is campaigning for hillary clinton and campaigning this weekend for her.
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barbara bush was out with jeff last night, what if john mccain stepped into the race? i am just trying to gather up endorsements. do they matter? endorsements i don't think really matter too much. i think what helps is if you have a surrogate that can go out and attract people enough so you in moret the candidates than one place at the time. the most viable is the time and people want to hear the candidates, but if you are able to bring a movie star, rockstar, famous politician, people might want to come out and here and that allows you to be multiple places at one time. i think endorsements in and of themselves don't really help. you mentioned john mccain, he was an avid supporter of lindsey graham and he essentially went nowhere. that is not john mccain's fault
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because ultimately, it is the candidate who has to attract support and not the surrogates. host: jeff in gaithersburg, maryland. go ahead with your question or comment. caller: good morning. i wanted to say i think you are on the right track earlier asking about the conservative and progressive question. we should dump the parties and just go with that -- conservative and progressive -- and that the people make up their minds about what that means to them. i wanted to ask mr. smith about the polling and actual voting. doesn't it seem like a lot of people, if they see what the result is going to end up the for certain election, if they are going to vote the opposite way, why bother, you know? why bother going through the process of voting if it is already tabulated by way of a poll? tost: i can speak directly
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that from new hampshire. the final polls in new hampshire, those are the polls taken over the last weekend and essentially finished on sunday that before the election, they are notoriously inaccurate. we certainly saw that in 2008 where all of the polls show that barack obama would win by now which of seven percentage points and hillary clinton one by 2.5 points. back in 1990, polls show that john mccain would win by eight points by average but he won by 19. back in 1984, kerry hart one even though he was not leading in the polls. in new hampshire, i think holes are wrong as often as they are right. the reason is that in new hampshire, people are not polls butsting the they do make up their mind in the end. polls may influence some people to not vote for some candidates in a multiparty field and today feels has no chance of winning
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and not to go with the votes, but it does not meet the candidate who is leading is going to win. we have seen these changed dramatically in the past and i would not be surprised at all if we see changes in new hampshire over this past weekend. in rocks though, maryland. caller: good morning, gentlemen. how you just about mentioned the clinton campaign bernie sanders electability issue and i see hillary clinton is having a credibility issue, whether it is e-mail, transparency, she is not willing to release her transcripts or saying openly that she will release her transcripts. i think she is underestimating the fallout from the independent minded democrats like myself were just -- or just independent voters. she is denying she is a part of the establishment and stating that she is the first woman.
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the voters are not that ignorant just a think they will vote for her because she is a woman. otherwise, she would have won in 2008. they are going to vote for her based on their positive factors. saying she is going to be a fighter but we need a leader, someone who will bring consensus and action in washington and not someone who will bring continued [indiscernible] i think hillary is in real trouble and bernie is bring that out. she cannot make that up, so i think there will be challenges. i'm sure your polling data shows that. thank you very much. guest: we are seeing that in the polling data that the e-mail controversy, not for all democrats and not for clinton supporters, but it has undermined her credibility. we asked democratic primary voters which candidate they think is at least honest and 55% named hillary clinton and only 10% to 15% named bernie sanders.
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there is a credibility issue that clinton has been fighting, and also in 2008 as well. you can see that during the debate last night with the issue up her speech transcripts coming up. the is relatively new to campaign and has not been something that has been talked about too much until recently. that might be something to pay attention to over the weekend as well, that it fits in with the problem that a lot of democrats had about her credibility and how that could hurt her electability in november. new hampshire is a swing state in general elections and we see that bernie sanders has been doing much better than hillary clinton against all republican candidates. i think that credibility issue that you speak to is part of the reason for that. host: a new hole out shows nationwide that hillary clinton has 44% and bernie sanders is that 42%. let's hear next from betty in planters bill, mississippi, republican line. caller: thank you for taking my call.
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christian,no, hispanic american and i wanted to comment on what happened on the caucuses. i was strongly looking at ted cruz and marco rubio and i am .isappointed on the dishonesty after looking at everybody on the news, the last person that really confirmed it for me was with numbers. there was a deception and ted cruz and marco rubio knew about it and i am disappointed. first of all, as a christian. when we confess to christ, we cannot use christ to an elections. god is big enough to win an election, but dishonesty is very bad and i am incurs objection under clause 6 of rule 20. record votes on postponed getters will be taken later.
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for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? mr. miller: [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2016] 443. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. to clerk: h.r. 4437,, extend the deadline for submittal of the final report required of the commission on care. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from florida, mr. miller, and the gentlewoman from florida, ms. brown, will each control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from florida. mr. miller: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and add any extraneous material on h.r. 4437. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. miller: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. miller: thank you, mr. speaker. i do rise in support of h.r. 4437, a bill of which i am honored to sponsor to extend the deadline for the submittal of the final report that is required by the commission on care.
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in response to the veterans affairs crisis that saw far too many veterans waiting too long for the care they needed required the establishment of a commission on care to examine veteran access to care and recommend how to best organize the v.a. health care system over the next 20 years. the law required the commission to develop a final report 180 days after their first meeting or by february 20, 2016. however, the commission has requested that congress extend the reporting deadline to june in order to provide the commissioners more time to develop their findings and recommendations. as such, h.r. 4437 would extend the commission's final reporting deadline to june 30 of this year. the commission's work is vitally important to determining the future of the v.a. health care system and i am proud to sponsor this bill to allow the commissioners more time to carry out their mission
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on behalf of our nation's veterans. and i urge all my colleagues to support h.r. 4437 and reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentlewoman from florida is recognized. ms. brown: thank you, mr. chairman. i yield myself such time as i may consume. i rise in support of h.r. 4437, of which i am an original co-sponsor. when the congress passed and the president signed into law the veterans access care and accountability act of 2014, we included sections requiring an independent assessment of the hospital care, medical services and other health care furnished in medical facilities of the v.a. we established a commission on care to examine the access of veterans to health care from the department of veterans affairs and strategize, examine how best to organize the veterans health administration. local health care resources and delivering health care to
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veterans over the next 20 years. the commission has contacted us to explain they will not be able to meet this statutory deadline of presenting their report to us in time and would like an extension until june, 2016. i feel this is a very important report and i'm willing to extend the authorization for the commission on care in order to receive this information. i urge my colleagues to support this legislation, and, mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves. the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. miller: mr. speaker, i have no more speakers at this time so i'm ready to close. ms. brown: i yield back the balance of my time. mr. miller: thank you very much, mr. speaker. i urge all members to support h.r. 4437 and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 4437. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no.
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in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed, and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? mr. miller: mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 3106, as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 3106, a bill to authorize department major medical facility construction projects for fiscal year 2015, to amend title 38, united states code, to make certain improvements in the administration of department medical facility construction projects, and for other urposes. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from florida, mr. miller, and the gentlewoman from florida, ms. brown, each will coal 20 minutes. -- each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from florida. mr. miller: thank you, mr. speaker. i do ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and and add ir remarks extraneous material on h.r. 3106, as amended. the speaker pro tempore: without objection.
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mr. miller: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. miller: thank you very much, mr. speaker. i do rise in had support of h.r. 3106, as amended, the construction reform act of 2015. this bill would strengthen the partment of veterans affairs to the construction management process. as the owner and operator of the federal government's real property portfolio, v.a. manages a complex and costly major facility program. but in recent years that program has been fraught with failures and mismanagement that has led to millions of dollars of cost increases and years of scheduled delays on all of v.a.'s major medical facility construction projects. the most glaring example of these failings can be seen in the construction of the replacement v.a. medical center in denver, colorado. the discussions surrounding that facility, if my colleagues will recall, began more than 16 years ago in 1999.
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construction is now expected to conclude in 2018. upon completion, that project will be more than $1 billion over budget and many, many years behind schedule. that is assuming, of course, that the project does not experience any further delays. now, to prevent any further construction calamities like the one in denver, this bill would require v.a. to use industry standards, standard designs and best practices for all medical facility construction projects. to complete a master plan for each v.a. medical facility and to provide regular reports on superconstruction projects. to further strengthen oversight of v.a.'s construction projects, the bill would also create an assistant inspector general for construction within the v.a. office of inspector general. these are commonsense reforms that will lead ultimately to better facilities for our veterans and better use of our taxpayers' hard-earned dollars.
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i would urge all my colleagues to support this legislation and with that i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentlewoman from florida is recognized. ms. brown: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. brown: i want to thank the chairman for his fair and even leadership on this committee. while we don't agree on all issues, i feel he has made an effort to allow all voices to be heard. and so that i want to thank you. thank you, mr. chairman, for bringing this important legislation to our attention. as we have seen in recent events that v.a. has been challenged with major construction projects. before they undertook the most recent medical center construction project, it had been at least 15 years since a new medical center had been built. this lack of experience showed and continues to show to date. not one other major hospital is
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on its original timetable. however, the v.a. has demonstrated they are able to do small, less complicated projects on time and under budget. the bill also refers a nondepartment federal entity to provide full project management service for the civil construction projects, including management over the project design, acquisition construction and contract changes. we all know from experience that that is only one federal entity that fits that description and that's the u.s. army corps of engineers. for these projects that have not broken ground yet, the v.a. and the corps of engineers have already worked on plans to include the corps in the planning and construction of major projects over $100 million. i continue to believe that the simple construction project
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should be at least $250 million. as a member of the committee on transportation and infrastructure, i know how busy the army corps is in responding to the projects that the committee requires them to complete. it is important that we do not bog down with projects of insignificant complex. i will continue to watch the construction process and follow the complex issues to determine if this needs to be increased in the future. i believe this legislation includes an assistant inspector general for construction, oversight of the projects need a person who has the expertise to evaluate the complex of v.a.'s ongoing construction project. i urge my colleagues to join me in supporting this legislation. mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves. the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. miller: thank you, mr. speaker. at this time i yield to my good friend, a member of the committee and somebody who has been on this from the very,
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very beginning, mr. coffman from colorado, for two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized for two minutes. -- colorado is recognized for two minutes. mr. coffman: mr. speaker, i rise in support of the construction reform act of 2015, an important piece of legislation that will further reform v.a.'s severely troubled major construction program. for decades, the government accountability office has documented hundreds of millions of dollars in cost overruns on mismanagement of v.a.'s major construction projects. g.a.o. reports from 1981, 1993, 2009 and 2013 all reflect a stunning degree of bureaucratic incompetence in v.a.'s construction management. in my own district, a single v.a. hospital project is over $1 billion over budget and years behind schedule. v.a.'s construction failure represents billions of wasted tax dollars that should have gone towards v.a.'s core
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mission, taking care of our nation's veterans. since 2012, the house veterans' affairs committee has conducted at least six separate hearings, exploring v.a.'s construction failures, and this bill's reforms incorporates many of the committee's findings. first, it forces v.a. to leave hospital construction to the experts. federal construction managers like the army corps of engineers. in fact, the contractor on the troubled aurora, colorado, project demanded that the army corps of engineers take over the project from v.a. before they would turn to work on the project. . in 2014 the house unanimously passed my legislation which required the army corps to take over the v.a.'s most troubled projects, including the project in aurora. i'm pleased that my colleagues in both the house and senate are now fully supportive of this transfer of authority. second, the bill introduces a
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much-needed improvement over the contract change order process. the g.a.o. and the veterans affairs committee -- veterans' affairs committee, identified the management as a major driver of both cost increases in project delays. third, the bill creates a new independent assistant inspector general for construction. which would be required to report directly to congress. required to report directly to congress when it sees problems. as we learned with the project in aurora, v.a. went to great lengths to hide the significant problems. with a project from the american people. insisting in congressional hearings after hearing that the project was on time and on budget. it wasn't until the project's contractors sued v.a. and won on every count in december of 2014 that v.a. finally admitted it had significant problems.
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-- problems with the aurora project. i urge all of my colleagues -- to support this measure and continue withed long-needed construction -- with the long-needed construction reforms in the v.a. thank you. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from florida is recognized. ms. brown: i urge my colleagues to support -- i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields. the gentleman from florida. mr. miller: thank you very much, mr. speaker. i do encourage all meek mebs to support this as amended and -- members to support this as amended and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 3106 as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and, without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table . without objection, the title is amended.
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for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? mr. miller: mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 3016 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 3016, a bill to amend title 38 united states code, to clarify the role of pa die terrorists in the department of veterans affairs. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from florida, mr. miller, and the gentlewoman from florida, ms. brown, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from florida. mr. miller: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members have five legislative days with which to revise and extend their remarks or add extraneous materials on h.r. 3016 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. miller: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. miller: thank you very much, mr. speaker. i rise in support of h.r. 3016 as amended. the veterans employment, education and health care improvement act. this bill, which was introduced by the chairman of our subcommittee on economic
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opportunity, congressman wenstrup of ohio, includes a number of provisions relating to veterans' health care, education and employment benefits. one provision of the bill would authorize the department of veterans affairs to create a new fourth administration to streamline oversight of the many v.a. programs and benefits that assist veterans with transition and promote their economic welfare. these benefits include vocational rehabilitation and employment, g.i. bill education benefits, verification of veteran-owned small businesses, v.a.'s portion of the transition assistance program, and home loan guarantee program. another provision of the bill would make needed improvements to education and vocational rehabilitation and employment benefits by, among other things, closing a costly loophole that has allowed some contracted out flight schools to charge v.a. hundreds of thousands of dollars in excessive tuition and fee payments. still, other provisions would
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improve the administration of benefits and expand opportunities for use of the home loan benefit by eliminating the loan limit that capps the amount of money v.a. will guarantee under the home loan program. this would help tens of thousands of veterans living in high-cost areas realize the dream that many americans strive for. health-related provisions of the bill would elevate the role of doctors in the v.a. medical facilities, improve care for newborn children of female veterans, create a pilot program on service dog training for veterans with posttraumatic stress, and require the government accountability office to conduct period audits of v.a.'s budget. i am grateful to dr. wenstrup, dr. roe and the many other sponsors of these provisions for their hard work and leadership in crafting and developing this legislation and urge all of my colleagues to support it. with that i reserve the balance
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of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentlewoman from florida is recognized. ms. brown: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself as much time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. brown: i rise today in support of h.r. 3016, as amended. equity act as er amended. this directly affects the health of veterans by making doctors equal to other doctors in the v.a. making medical honor recipients a top priority in receiving health care at the v.a., and making the newborn babies of service members eligible for v.a. health in the first six weeks of life. to follow their mother's ligibility in the v.a. i feel that the veterans have been more responsive under the leadership of the doctor but
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agree that everyone would be better informed of how the v.h.a. is working if we are all starting on the same page. also, i am pleased that a successful dog training program will be expanded to other parts of the country to help veterans recover from t.b.i. and ttsd. i am particularly pleased to support provisions in the h.r. 3016, which improves the veterans education and rehabilitation program, and increased limits on the veterans home loan program, while maintaining v.a.'s strict lending requirements. in h.r. 3016 -- and h.r. 3016 also attains several important improvements in education and employment programs for veterans. representative connor will have more to say because he's taken the lead on these as the ranking member of the economic opportunities subcommittee. i also want to thank chairman miller for compromising on the
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establishment of a new administration within the v.a. called the veterans economic opportunity and transitional administration. and while i appreciate the chairman's attempt to compromise on other key provisions, i want to make it clear that i oppose the policy to cut in half the living stipend for children of servicemen who have received their parents' trfrl g.i. bill -- transferal g.i. bill's benefit. we promised the men and women who signed up to serve this -- in our nation's military and they would be able to transfer their entire g.a.o. bill benefits to a -- g.i. bill benefits to a despent spouse or child. it is unfair that we're now breaking part of that promise. while i understand that these changes paid for in other essential provisions of this bill, i would have preferred that we keep the promise we made to servicemenberry finding our ways to pay for this package.
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i will continue to work with my colleagues as this legislation moves forward to find a different way to pay for these provisions that do not violate the promise we had made -- we made to our veterans. i hope our republican colleagues will bring this bill to the floor under an open rule, to give members the opportunity to oppose amendments and debate ways to improve more controversial provisions of this bill. i am disappointed that we're not able to offer amendments to improve the bill today. that said, i will support this bill overall due to the number of positive policy improvements. mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves the balance of her time. the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. miller: thank you, mr. speaker. at this time i yield three minutes to the chairman of the economic opportunity subcommittee, dr. wenstrup, from the second district of ohio, a combat veteran himself. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from ohio is recognized for three minutes.
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mr. wenstrup: mr. speaker, i rise in support of h.r. 3016, as amended. the veterans employment, education and health care improvement act. i'm proud to sponsor this bill and glad to be joined by veterans service organizations and their support, like the v.f.w. and d.a.v. who will help ensure veterans receive the benefits they have earned. this veterans legislation contains over 30 provisions from over a dozen members of congress, the result of countless hours of work amongst the members of the committee. i want to highlight three specific provisions in the bill that improve the benefits our veterans receive. first is the v.a. provider equity act, which would strengthen access to the comprehensive, first-class health care that veterans deserve. we all know wait times for health care at v.a. remains somewhat unacceptable in many places. this is true in part because v.a. struggles to employ enough health care specialists to meet the needs of veterans. the v.a. provider equity act responds to into issue -- to this issue by aligning outdated v.a. standards more closely with private sector practices
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of today. when introduced, every doctor on the v.a. committee joined as an original co-sponsor. understanding that we need to make it easier for v.a. to recruit and retain the specialists our veterans so desperately need. the bill also includes h.r. 2344, the veterans vocational rehabilitation employment improvement act of 2015, which i introduced earlier this year. the v.a.'s vocational rehabilitation and employment program helps disabled veterans prepare for employment or to live as independently as possible. if a veteran chooses to pursue education or training through this program, current law does not require the courses to be approved for g.i. benefits. my provision would tighten this requirement to provide additional oversight and protection for our veterans. we also include the g.i. bill quality enhancement act by giving state-approving agencies increased oversight of g.i. bill programs. this provision would provide veterans with the information they need to make good choices about education and training programs that offer the best
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quality. the veterans employment education and health care improvement act would make important progress in streamlining veteran access to earned benefits. it's one simple step we can take in ensuring that our veterans receive the benefits they earned and i want to thank -- give a thank you to ranking member takano for his help in moving this forward and i urge my colleagues to support it and yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time? mr. miller: reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentlewoman from florida is recognized. ms. brown: i yield four minutes to mr. takano. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized for four minutes. tack tack i thank the gentlewoman for yielding -- mr. takano: i thank the gentlewoman for yielding -- mr. takano: i thank the gentlewoman for yielding time. while there are parts of this bill that i hope to see changed as it moved forward, it includes numerous provisions that will have a positive impact on our nation's veteran population, including several provisions i authored. section 307 of this bill is the language from my g.i. bill
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fairness act, bipartisan legislation, to close a gap faced by our national guardsmen and reservists who have been repeatedly called to war throughout operations in iraq and afghanistan. currently members of the guard or reserve who are wounded in combat are sometimes plade placed on active duty for the recovery, treatment and rehabilitation. unfortunately current law does not recognize such active duty orders as eligible for post-9/11 g.i. bill education assistance, meaning that unlike other members of the military, those who serve in the guard and reserve may actually lose benefits for being injured in the line of duty. this provision in h.r. 3016 would end unequal treatment and ensure these guardsmen and reservists are able to accrue g.i. bill benefits when ordered to active duty for the purposes of receiving medical care. h.r. 3016 also includes my work
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study for student veterans act which would reinstate certain v.a. work study activities that expired on june 30, 2013. the v.a.'s work study -- student work study allowance program allows qualifying student veterans and college degree programs or vocational or professional programs to be paid for working in a variety of capacities, on campus, at v.a. facilities, or at other veteran centered organizations, to assist fellow veterans. the work study program achieves two important goals. offering student veterans a way to earn a little extra money, -- money, and providing transitioning veterans with the guidance and assistance of fellow veterans who know firsthand what that transition is like. i also strongly support section 306 of the bill, which caps the amount of povet 9/11 g.i. bill funds available to flight schools. private flight schools that contract with community colleges at the same amount that the g.i. bill caps funds
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available to private universities. due to a current loophole in the g.i. bill, student veterans have been able to take pilot training classes with questionable job placement prospects at exorbitant costs to the taxpayers. according to the "los angeles times," one flight training company charged 12 student veterans over $500,000 each in g.i. bill funds. while it's true that flights -- flight training can be more expensive than other programs, v.a. data show that while the number of student veterans taking flight training increased by only 9% between fiscal years 2013 and 2014, and the total cost to tax patients of this program grew by 87% during the same period, costing $37 million in taxpayer dollars. . the drafters of the g.i. bill didn't want to create this windfall for the flight school. the v.f. kmplet w. and american
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legion support the cap, including this loophole is a . sservice to student veterans i do have serious reservations about section 301 of this legislation which would cut by half the monthly housing allowance provided to children of service members who will have post9/11 g.i. bill -- post-9/11 g.i. bill benefits transferred to them. i don't think we need to be paying the great provisions in this bill by cutting benefits. this does not include a grandfather clause. that means that some current service members will see the terms they agreed to when they signed up changed. as this bill advances, i strongly urge the chairman and ranking member to find another pay-for and eliminate section 301. with that being said, i believe overall with some tweaks this legislation will provide valuable support for our veterans and i urge my
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colleagues to support h.r. 3016. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady reserves. and the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. miller: thank you very much, mr. speaker. i now yield to the gentleman from the fifth district of louisiana, fine member of our committee on veterans' affairs, dr. abraham, i recognize him for a minute and a half. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from louisiana is recognized for 1 1/2 minutes. mr. abraham: thank you, mr. chairman. mr. speaker, i'd like to thank chairman miller, ranking member brown, ranking member titus and all members who worked so hard to helped bring this bill to the floor. there are many provisions in bill that would help improve services for veterans and their families but i want to focus my remarks on the section i am proud to have authored. it would provide an automatic cola for beneficiaries who receive the v.a. disability compensation, and although the congress generally approves
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colas every year, veterans have to wait until congress actually acts. i yield back the balance of my time at this time, mr. chairman. the speaker pro tempore: continues to yield. the gentleman reserve. the gentlelady from florida is recognized. ms. brown: thank you, mr. chairman. i yield four minutes to the gentleman from minnesota, mr. walz. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from minnesota is recognized for four minutes. mr. walz: thank you very much. as you heard, i associate my remarks with the positive nature of the provisions in this bill. it's been the house veterans' affairs committee that's been the forefront of improving veterans care from the post-9/11 g.i. bill to health care changes to job placements. we've been at the forefront of veteran improvements and accountability reform. as you heard here, there's one provision in it that for me personally i cannot cross. to pay for these programs an offset has to be found. that's a noble and correct
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principle, meaning if we add anything we have to find the pay-for somewhere else to not add to the debt. in the case for this to pay for these absolutely wonderful programs, many of which i helped write on, we went back and we took a benefit. and i'm not going to debate whether that benefit was overly generous. if one veteran signed up, served this nation and went overseas and fought for our defense and they were promised a benefit, to pull it back at this time is an egregious breach of trust. at a time when the v.a. is hurting, at a thyme -- time when the faith in govet is hurting, the faith in the media, our soldiers need to know some things will not be crossed. so i want to be very clear on this the motives of the people who worked on this should never be questioned. i have never seen people with more integrity and more care for our veterans. thought goes into this. improvements try to be made and when the american people are frustrated and they see nothing gets done this committee and the bipartisan of the care of our veterans is absolutely paramount and this is a devillish situation.
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how do we find the pay-for? my question is -- and perhaps it's a chip on my shoulder of an enlisted soldier -- why come to the soldiers first? there's nowhere else in the federal government we can find this and the chairman rightfully pointed out another egregious cutting to v.a. officials not fulfilling their duty. my question is, can't we find some way to at least get the people through who are there and if we want to make the changes do so and i know every effort and good faith has been made to do that. yes, it can be around this was overly generous and should not have been there in the first place but it was and it was signed up for and people went. i have stood in front of troops who said, you promised it to me, i'm counting to use it. it seems to me as representatives of the american people i can go back and ask my constituents -- and they'll agree on almost nothing -- but i ask them, should we do everything necessary to care for our veterans, the answer is yes. and if we can't find the offset, then let's have the colonel to go back and ask them what they think -- what would they be -- have the courage to
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go back and ask them what they think, what would they will be to do, but i will urge no on this piece of legislation. i hope over the years i have proven i am not a person that would get in the way of having a perfect get in the way of the good or not trying to work for compromises. it's a line i feel if we cross the trust gets breached and it's very difficult to gain it back. and with that i thank all members who worked on this and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. the gentlewoman from florida. ms. brown: i have no other speakers at this time. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields. the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. miller: to my good friend mr. walz who is a stalwart of supporter on our veterans' committee and brings many, many issues to the forefront for both sides of the aisle to be able to work on together, i do not question his motives in his negative vote against this bill, but i would say any child who's already had their parent's post-9/11 g.i. bills
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benefits will not be affected by this change and will 100% of the current living stipend and gives 180 days after enactment before it begins to take effect so any service members who are eligible to transfer their benefits but have not done so would have 180 days to do so so their child would receive 100% of their monthly stipend. with that i yield to mr. stivers of ohio, the 15th district, one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from ohio is recognized for one minute. mr. stivers: thank you, mr. speaker. i'd like to thank the chairman and the folks on the committee for their great work on this bill. i stand today to support the recognize one of the sections is the veterans dog therapy act which was rolled into 3016. we lose 22 of our former service members every day to suicide. this legislation will create a pilot program at three to five
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of our v.a. facilities which is modeled on the warrior, k-9 connection program for getting access to service dogs for our veterans. veterans who enrolled in this program with service dogs have seen improvement in their ptsd and their t.b.i.-related symptoms. additionally, it's shown that veterans who own service dogs have fewer symptoms of depression, better interpersonal skills, lower risk of substance abuse and better all mental health. while no one thing can help cure our suicide epidemic among veterans, this is a good start. i want to thank tim walz for being my co-sponsor on this bill. i'm glad it's rolled in. i'd like to urge my colleagues to support this provision as well as the entire bill. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. the gentleman from florida. mr. miller: thank you, mr. speaker. i have one more speaker i'd like to recognize at this time from the ninth district of georgia, mr. collins, recognize for two minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia is recognized for two minutes.
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mr. collins: thank you, mr. speaker. today i rise in support of h.r. 3016 and i want to thank the chairman for leadership and his leadership. as which heard today, this is something that truly brings us together. as someone who continues to serve in the air force and looking at my brothers and sisters in arms, this is something we should be about. today is good also to thank my colleague from ohio, mr. wenstrup, for bringing this important legislation to the floor, including language regarding postdelivery care service and want to thank dr. roe that would extend the courage postdelivery care to 42 days. female veterans face unique challenges, especially when many of the services available for them are designed for males. one of the most significant problems female veterans face is access to health care. currently the v.a. is authorized to provide up to seven days of postdelivery care for female veterans and newborn babies. mr. roe's amendment will expand the coverage for 42 day, the length the v.a. currently provides for mothers' health.
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females represent the fastest growing group of veterans who are enrolling in v.a. health care and many of them are mothers or soon will be. it is past time for the v.a. to expand this care and services to meet the needs of the female veteran. these women have risked their lives to protect our nation and it is our responsibility to them doesn't end when they are no longer serving on active duty. in fact, their service to our country may jeopardize their very future children, meaning our responsibility to them is even greater. research shows having ptsd in the year before delivery increases the risk of premature delivery before 35%. think need longer hospitalizations after they are born. i know what it's like to be a parent of a little baby who needed intensive medical care for an extended period of time from the moment she was born. and by the way, she is getting ready to turn 24 right now. any new mother who has given selflessly to her country shouldn't worry about congress standing in the way as she tries to give selflessly to her new child. i want to thank the chairman for his leadership on this
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issue and would urge passage of this bill and i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back. the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. miller: thank you, mr. speaker. i have no more speakers at this time so i would encourage my colleagues to support h.r. 3016, as amended, and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields. the question is will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill h.r. 3016, as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed, and without objection the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. without objection, the title is amended. for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? mr. miller: mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 2360, as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: union calendar number 257. h.r. 2360, a bill to amend title 38, united states code, to improve the approval of certain programs of education for purposes of educational assistance provided by the
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department of veterans affairs. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from florida, mr. miller, and the gentlewoman from florida, ms. brown, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from florida. mr. miller: thank you, mr. speaker. i would ask that he can that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend their remarks and add any extraneous material they may have on h.r. 2360, as amended. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. miller: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. miller: thank you very much, mr. speaker. the post-9/11 g.i. bill provides student veterans with a wonderful opportunity to educate themselves for a job in the new economy. thousands of training programs and schools have been approved for use of this program that has benefited millions of veterans. unfortunately, there are some schools that are not simply providing quality education or training that sufficiently prepares students for jobs in their field of study. the committee has found that in some cases students have been caught in a situation where the
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school they attended is properly accredited but the program they are using at the school is not. this has led to situations where students have completed a training or a degree program only to find out that this training does not qualify them to receive the necessary credentials or take the necessary tests to practice in the career field for which they use their benefits. this was clearly not the intention of the g.i. bill, and i'm glad that this bill would ensure that in order to be eligible for g.i. bill benefits, an accredited or nonaccredited program must meet state accreditation, licensure or certification standards. this requirement would not only protect student veterans but would also protect the integrity of the g.i. bill for future generations. i want to thank chairman wenstrup of our subcommittee on economic opportunity and the author of the -- and the author of the bill, ranking member
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takano, for their work in this legislation which has my full support. i urge all of my colleagues to support h.r. 2360, as amended, and with that i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentlewoman from florida is recognized. ms. brown: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. brown: mr. speaker, i'm very happy to rise today to support h.r. 2360, the career-ready student veterans act. mr. speaker, i do so for two important reasons. the first is that it protects veterans using their g.i. bill benefits by requiring that all career education programs meet proper accreditation, license and accreditation requirements in order to be eligible for the g.i. bill. the second reason i'm so happy to support h.r. 2360, it represents the very best of the legislative process. it is the product of the
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collaboration between the majority and the minority, but it is also a collaboration between congress and the academic communities. i want to give due credit to ors, ll's original auth veteran economic opportunity, takano and chairman wenstrup and his staff for working hard to ensure the bill meets its goals of preparing student veterans for their chosen field of study. the career-ready student veterans act puts a protection in place for student veterans which is used for those that use the tuition assistance benefits. i'm pleased the bill creates this basic fairness and ensures that the g.i. bill benefits help veterans earn credit that will lead to meaningful employment. .
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in addition to ensure that it meet proper accreditation requirements, the bill also requires that they publicly disclose any additional steps that the student veteran needs to take to prepare them for entry into their chosen profession. understand this legislation has passed out of the committee in the senate and enjoys bipartisan support there. again, i want to congratulate the bill's original authors on this side and offer my strong support. with this, mr. speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves. the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. miller: thank you very much, mr. speaker. i yield three minutes to the gentleman from phoenixville, pennsylvania, mr. costello. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from pennsylvania is recognized for three minutes. mr. costello: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise today to support h.r. 2360, the career-ready student veterans act, a straightforward solution that will ensure that career education programs set our veterans on the proper path to their desired employment. as a proud member of the
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subcommittee on economic opportunity and a co-sponsor of this legislation, h.r. 2360 would ensure that g.i. bill-eligible career education programs provide our veterans with the accreditation and credentials they need to build a career in the professional field or specialty of their choosing. this bill requires career education programs that accept g.i. bill tuition payments, must have program accreditation, if accreditation is required for employment in the career for which the program is designed to prepare its students. the bill also requires the career education programs designed to prepare an individual for certification in a state must meet the curriculum and instructional requirements set by the state for certification. mr. speaker, if our veterans invest their time and effort to learn a skill set, they will have the peace of mind to know that they're on the right career education path and the
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confidence to know that if they work hard, they'll receive the appropriate certification they need to start their desired employment. mr. speaker, i also want to thank mr. takano for his leadership on this legislation and urge my colleagues to support this bipartisan bill. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from florida. mr. miller: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentlewoman from florida is recognized. ms. brown: at this time i would like to yield four minutes to the gentleman from california, mr. takano. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from california is recognized for four minutes. mr. takano: i thank the ranking member for yielding time. mr. speaker, i rise today in support of my bipartisan legislation, h.r. 2360, the career-ready student veterans act. this bill will ensure that our veterans are using their post-9/11 g.i. benefits at programs that say they do what they -- programs that do what they say they do. prepare for a career field. my legislation would require
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that in order to be eligible to receive g.i. bill benefits, programs have accreditation if required by the state for employment in a specific field. programs also must prepare students for licenseure or certification if a -- in a field if required by the state. and they must meet any state mandated curricular or instructal requirements. this closely mirrors language included in the fiscal year 2014 national defense authorization act in relation to military tuition assistance. we all know the importance of a good job in helping veterans successfully transition out of service and into civilian life. education training is often a necessary part of finding that job. unfortunately too many veterans waste their time and s d-earned education benefit at career education programs
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that don't actually prepare them for that career field. for example, most states require perspective lawyers to have graduated from a law program, accredited by the american bar association, in order to sit for the bar exam. as we all know, you must pass the bar to practice law. when veterans unwittingly spend their g.i. bill benefits at law programs not accredited by the a.b.a., they graduate with no prospects of becoming a lawyer in most states. my legislation will make sure that this no longer happens. i thank chairman miller and ranking member brown, as well as chairman wenstrup, and my friend, mr. costello of pennsylvania, for their support, and urge all my colleagues to vote in favor of the career-ready student veterans act and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentlewoman reserves? the gentlewoman reserves. the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. miller: i have no more speakers at this time so we're prepared to close. ms. brown: i urge my colleagues to support h.r. 2360 and yield
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back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields. the gentleman is recognized. mr. miller: i too urge a yea vote on 2360 as amended and with that i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill, h.r. 2360 as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and, without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. for what purpose does the gentleman from florida seek recognition? mr. miller: mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 4056 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 4056, a bill to authorize the secretary of veterans affairs to convey to the florida department of veterans affairs all right, title and interest of the united states to the property known as the community living center at the late baldwin veterans affairs outpatient clinic, orlando, florida. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the
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gentleman from florida, mr. miller, and the gentlewoman from florida, ms. brown, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from florida. mr. miller: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members would have five legislative days with which to revise and extend their remarks and add any extraneous material they may have on h.r. 4056 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. miller: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i might consume. thank you very much. i rise in support of h.r. 4056 as amend, which was introduced by my colleague and fellow floridian, congressman mica. this bill would authorize the department of veterans affairs to convey the community living center on the lake baldwin campus in orlando to the florida department of veterans affairs. this is in line with the v.a.'s plans to repurpose the lake baldwin campus and would save v.a. from expending money maintaining the property that the department no further -- has no further use for and while allowing this parcel of land to continue to be used in
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the service of our veterans. i'm grateful to congressman mica for sponsoring this legislation and i would urge my colleagues to support it. with that i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentlewoman from florida is recognizes -- recognized. mr. brown: thank you, mr. speaker. i -- ms. brown: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman is recognized. ms. brown: this legislation, h.r. 4056, introduced by my colleague from florida, mr. john mica, will authorize the v.a. to convey to the florida department of veterans affairs the community living center at the late pa -- lake baldwin veterans affairs outpatient clinic in orlando, florida. when the orlando v.a. center is ully complete, it will include 134 in-patient beds and out-patient clinic parking garage and chapel and central energy plant. one of the first buildings open at the orlando v.a. medical center was the 120-bed
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community living center and the 60-bed. both are now open and accepting veterans. with the new facility, it is not necessary for the v.a. to keep two facilities open in close areas. i am pleased that mr. mica's able to work with the florida department of veterans affairs to take over this facility and continue to serve the veterans of central florida. let me just say one other thing. i am just very impressed with this facility. the opening of the facility, the domicile and also the clinic, we were able to get hat facility open before the hospital opened and it was taken -- taking veterans. in addition to that, that facility, the department of defense gave it to the . partment of veterans affairs i am just very pleased that we
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will continue to use this facility for veterans and with that i will reserve the balance of my time and i want to thank mr. mica for bringing this before the house. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman reserves the balance of her time. the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. miller: thank you, mr. speaker. i yield to the gentleman who authored this piece of legislation five minutes, the gentleman from the seventh district of florida, mr. mica. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida is recognized for five minutes. mike tyson thank you, mr. speaker -- mr. mica: thank you, mr. speaker. first of all, i'd like to thank chairman mill and ranking member brown for their -- miller and ranking member brown for their strong support this helping to expedite this legislation. this is a simple measure. it does transfer a vacant 120-bed v.a. nursing care v.a. g in orlando's baldwin park facility to the florida department of veterans
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affairs, as the chairman described. we actually, as the ranking member mentioned, have opened 120-bed new facility to the south of orlando and a 60-bed domicile unit also open now for nearly two years. adjacent to that is a new hospital at lake nona. this nursing facility, and i think ms. brown was with me, back in 1999, this 120-bed nursing care facility, we were there for the dedication. so the facility is not that old. it was closed two years ago when we opened the new facility. and v.a. used that building and some of the rooms for transition, for training, for employment. now the new hospital is open, the new 120-bed facility is open to the south and the domicile unit. so we have agreement from the
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state of florida to take that facility. you might be interested to know why central florida would want another veterans facility, some areas there's a declining population. the chief financial officer of the state just announced that we have had 1,000 new people come to florida every day last year. we have now exceeded 20 million. and many of those are veterans and they're settling in central florida. so we do have an agreement with the state of florida to assume this facility. they can open it quicker, they can do it in a cost-effective manner for v.a. and they can take some of the burden off of the federal v.a., which we know has a full set of challenges right now. so i want to thank the v.a. secretary mcdonald. i also want to thank my colleagues. in 2014 the ranking member, ms.
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rown, mr. webster, mr. grayson and myself all wrote the secretary at that time and asked that this be done. it's taken a little bit of time, but we're getting there. so, again, i ask concurrence in passing 4056. it will, again, expedite and make available the needed nursing homes with our aging veterans population and many thousands of veterans moving to the state of florida and particularly central florida. with that i thank you, again, for expediting this. and ask, again, for the house o concur in passing h.r. 4056. i yield back. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from florida. mr. miller: i reserve. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentlewoman from florida is recognized. ms. brown: i want to once again thank mr. mica for his leadership in this area and with that i would urge all of my colleagues to support h.r.
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4056 and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlewoman yields back the balance of her time. the gentleman from florida is recognized. mr. miller: mr. speaker, i too urge my colleagues to support h.r. 4056 as amended and yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the question is, will the house suspend the rules and pass the bill, h.r. 4056, as amended. those in favor say aye. those opposed, no. in the opinion of the chair, 2/3 of those voting having responded in the affirmative, the rules are suspended, the bill is passed and, without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table. without objection, the title is amended. for what purpose does the gentleman from louisiana seek recognition? >> mr. speaker, i move to suspend the rules and pass h.r. 677 as amended. the speaker pro tempore: the clerk will report the title of the bill. the clerk: h.r. 677, a bill to amend title 38 united states code, to provide for an annual cost of living adjust to be
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made automatically by law each year and the rates of disability compensation for veterans with service-connected disabilities and the rates of dependency and indemnity compensation for survivors of certain service-connected disabled veterans. the speaker pro tempore: pursuant to the rule, the gentleman from louisiana, mr. abraham, and the gentleman from california, mr. takano, each will control 20 minutes. the chair recognizes the gentleman from louisiana. mr. abraham: mr. speaker, i ask unanimous consent that all members may have five legislative days to revise and extend th asei amended. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. abraham: mr. speaker, i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. abraham: thank you, mr. speaker. i rise in support of h.r. 677, as amended. 677 contains many important provisions that would help our nation's veterans, including provisions to provide a

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